The metaphor of “tools” is an excellent one. I had so many problems I could not solve. I couldn’t live without alcohol, I couldn’t handle or be successful at any aspect of life. The program taught me coping strategies and gave me things I could use to manage my living – all aspects of it, mundane and dramatic. Tools I use include:
- The Steps. Tool number one. The Steps teach me a whole way of living that works, in that I can succeed at what I want and need to succeed at. I get better and I get happier as I increase my ability to use the Steps.
- Slogans. Those quick-shot truisms that boil it all right down to the bottom line of what I need to do and what I need to remember.
- The fellowship. As an introvert, I’d really rather not talk and visit and call and tell my secrets.
- The literature. Well beyond just the “AA approved” books, but including those, there is too much there for me to get through in a life time. It keeps me intellectually stimulated and then some.
These tools continually point me back to the point that when I’m disturbed, there’s something wrong with ME. There may well be something wrong with the world. There often is. And I can do a little something about that, but mostly what I can change is me. The tools of the program are tools I use to work on myself. Just that concept is worth so much to me, as someone who continues to strive to be better.