Half Measures Availed Us Nothing—AA Slogan
Alcoholics rarely acknowledge they are living in denial. In fact, they will do almost anything to avoid “getting real.” There is a reason for this. They love the darkness, rather than the light. There is also a reason why they love the darkness. Their deeds are evil.
At the same time, they are perfectly willing to allow people to know them—but just at a superficial level. Alcoholics want you to believe that, the image of who they portray themselves to be, is who they really are, but it never is. As often as not, it is the complete opposite, but they become very adept at masquerading the truth. Because they are terrified for you to really know them, especially their weaknesses, they become experts at camouflaging the truth.
They avoid true intimacy at all costs because they cannot handle vulnerability. It rattles them like nothing else. Despite how alcoholics feel about being vulnerable, straightforward, and honest, it is absolutely necessary for them to get well. There can be no permanent recovery without “coming clean.”
This is what makes a fearless moral inventory of exactly who they are so important. Alcoholics must do this, and those around them must insist that they do. Half measures will not work. Fearless honesty is required.
Interestingly, those who love the alcoholic the most often become the greatest obstacles, often getting in the way of sobriety. They provide cover for the alcoholic, believing they are doing God’s will, while they are actually doing the work of the Devil. By helping the alcoholic hide, enabling him or her to avoid the legitimate consequences of their actions, they make the problem worse rather than better.
If you are doing this, stop, it’s counterproductive. Remember, walking in the darkness never works; neither does covering up another’s deeds of darkness. If you want to rid yourself of either problem, join me in the following prayer:
Nothing seems clear to me.
I pray and seek Your face,
But You seem so far away—
So distant and unapproachable.
My life is a mess, and nothing I do
Seems to work or to be the wise course.
I believed I have been doing the right thing—
But maybe I haven’t. Instead, maybe
All of my efforts to help have been futile.
Perhaps, I have been making things worse,
But this is not what I want, nor do
I believe it is Your will to cleave to wrongdoing,
While avoiding the truth.
Father, having walked in error for so long,
Believing I have been right,
When I have been dead wrong,
I don’t know how to reverse my behavior.
Unknowingly, I have embraced many lies.
I have lost the ability to stand for the truth,
Which was once my strength.
Now, being candid seems so foreign to me,
But it doesn’t seem foreign to You.
Transparency is at the core of Your nature.
Please help me change my ways, Father.
Restore wisdom to me, and add discretion.
But most of all, provide me with discernment.
Establish me in righteousness, so that
I may become as powerful an example
For Good, as I once was for Evil,
If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth, (1 JN 1:6, NAS)