|Photo : Ani|
"You're feeling like shit ? Go get out of yourself and do something for someone else, voilà, you don't feel like shit anymore. You're confused and you're driving yourself crazy ? Go call a guy who's got three days sober and has no clue what to do. The minute you get out of your self-centered mind-set, you're instantly freed of your own pain. The trick to staying sober is to constantly be of service to another alcoholic. It's like perpetual motion. All these people freely gave you what was given to them, and now you get to give it to someone else. It's a constant source of energy, like recharging a battery, only there's no pollution or toxic runoff.
The reason the program is so successful is because alcoholics help other alcoholics. I've never met a Normie (our lingo for a person who doesn't have a problem with drugs or alcohol) who could even conceive of what it's like to be an alcoholic. Normies are always going, "There's this new pill you can take and you won't want to shoot heroin anymore." That shows a fundamental misunderstanding of alcoolism and drug addiction. These aren't just physical allergies, they're obsessions of the mind and maladies of the spirit. It's a threefold disease. And if it's partly a spiritual malady, then there's a spiritual cure.
When I say spiritual, I'm not talking about chanting or reading Eastern philosophy. I'm talking about setting up the chairs at a meeting, picking up another alcoholic and driving him across town to a meeting. That's a spiritual lifestyle, being willing to admit that you don't know everything and that you were wrong about some things. It's about making a list of all the people you've harmed, either emotionally or physically or financially, and going back and making amends. That's a spiritual lifestyle. It's not a fluffy etheral concept.
My friend Bob Forrest is a spiritual person. He doesn't go to church and he doesn't talk about God and he doesn't go do charity events on weekends, but he'll sit and talk for hours to a guy in jail who can't stop smoking crack. That's curing Bob of his spiritual malady, because he's willing to do something that's not really for him, it's for the other guy. He's not doing it with the expectation of getting anything out of it, but as a by-product, hi is."
Anthony Kiedis, Scar Tissue, Time Warner Books, pp. 460-1