How can I tolerate living in an impossibly hard situation?
I understand the "dropping guard for a second" business, but how do you tolerate living in an "impossibly hard" situation to begin with?
Maybe I'm missing something here, but it really, really is not the last drink that gets us in trouble, it's the first one. Maybe you know this, but putting it into action means one thing: pain. It just plain hurts to walk the other way and not take the "drink" after being tempted. It feels like mourning a real loss, crazy as it may be - to mourn over poison.
But, surrender and freedom from temptation ultimately has nothing whatever to do with goodness, intelligence, G-d's Will, my potential, my soul, or how I should be / could be, etc. Yes, being truly aware of these things may prove useful tools, but they remain "half-measures" in the end.
It eventually comes down to acceptance of my inability to successfully use the drug of my choice ,and learning to live honestly with the implications. This grows out of the 1st step (which is; "admitting powerlessness").
I do not believe that anyone who is not an addict can ever understand that pain without judging it or trying to analyze it (which is just as useless for me!). It's like becoming an expert about all aspects of driving, but without ever getting into a car. Useless, really.
The question was, "how do things get bad first?" I have almost no will-power, nor any real strength, and I am more powerless today over lust than I ever was! I just can't afford for the fantasies to start, nor to take that "second look", even though I may wish I could, much of the time.
There are two ways to ascend: You can step upward, leaving one foot in its place as the other moves ahead. Or you can crouch down and jump.
This is the true meaning of failure: It is the way we have of tearing ourselves out of our past so we can leap into the future.
When a person is always successful, he only moves forward step by step. Which really means that he remains always within the same dimension of reality as before.
When he fails, however, he is then able to look back and say, "This is not where I should be!" Then he tears himself out of his pattern and leaps into a whole new dimension of life.
Anyone who has worked with an addict in recovery has seen this in very practical terms.