When World War II broke out, this spiritual principle had its rst major test. A.A.’s entered the services and were scattered all over the world. Would they be able to take discipline, stand up under re, and endure the monotony and misery of war? Would the kind of dependence they had learned in A.A. carry them through? Well, it did. They had even fewer alcoholic lapses or emotional binges than A.A.’s safe at home did. They were just as capable of en- durance and valor as any other soldiers. Whether in Alas- ka or on the Salerno beachhead, their dependence upon a Higher Power worked. And far from being a weakness, this dependence was their chief source of strength.
So how, exactly, can the willing person continue to turn his will and his life over to the Higher Power? He made a beginning, we have seen, when he commenced to rely upon A.A. for the solution of his alcohol problem. By now, though, the chances are that he has become convinced that he has more problems than alcohol, and that some of these refuse to be solved by all the sheer personal determination and courage he can muster. They simply will not budge; they make him desperately unhappy and threaten his newfound sobriety. Our friend is still victimized by remorse and guilt when he thinks of yesterday. Bitterness still overpowers him when he broods upon those he still envies or hates. His financial insecurity worries him sick, and panic takes over when he thinks of all the bridges to safety that alcohol burned behind him. And how shall he ever straighten out that awful jam that cost him the affection of his family and separated him from them? His lone courage and unaided will cannot do it. Surely he must now depend upon Somebody or Something else.
At first that “somebody” is likely to be his closest A.A. friend. He relies upon the assurance that his many troubles, now made more acute because he cannot use alcohol to kill the pain, can be solved, too. Of course the sponsor points out that our friend’s life is still unmanageable even though he is sober, that after all, only a bare start on A.A.’s program has been made. More sobriety brought about by the admission of alcoholism and by attendance at a few meetings is very good indeed, but it is bound to be a far cry from permanent sobriety and a contented, useful life. That is just where the remaining Steps of the A.A. program come in. Nothing short of continuous action upon these as a way of life can bring the much-desired result.
I can’t comment on the WWII aspect and I don’t know if there was any science behind these assertions. I also seriously doubt my own ability to stay sober in a war and I’m extremely grateful that I haven’t found out how I’d do.
I can summarize my feelings about the rest of this text by saying that it’s my understanding that I turn my will and my life over to the care of a higher power by doing the rest of the steps. By doing all of the steps continuously. For me personally, that’s meant formally and that’s what I’m doing here, in this blog. I started eight (?) years ago with Step Six because in my redoings I have usually stopped after five. After twelve I went back to one and now I’m partway through three.
It’s no kind of hocus pocus. It’s how I keep the program active in my life along with meetings and readings.