Allergy of the Body, Obsession of the Mind

The definition of alcoholism -- according to the book Alcoholics
Anonymous -- is essentially a one-two combination of physiology and
psychology. The alcoholic suffers from an "allergy of the body" that
makes him unable to ingest alcohol without experiencing the
"phenomenon of craving" and an "obsession of the mind" that tells him
that he can drink anyway.

The program of Alcoholics Anonymous offers a chance at breaking this
otherwise unending cycle by granting relief from the mental obsession
to drink. To be specific, it is the "spiritual awakening" that comes
as a result of step-work that brings on this crucial change. In other
words, the entire program of AA is based on the idea that the power of
G-d can heal the alcoholic mind.

Which begs the question...

What about the alcoholic body?

No, I don't mean why don't drunks' physical health improve with
sobriety. They do. What I mean is why can't the allergy disappear
just like the obsession can disappear?

If we are relying on G-d, if the program is quite literally a case of
miracle at work, then why can't G-d also reverse the bodily condition
that makes a person alcoholic?

Simply put, if G-d can remove the obsession of the mind, then can't He
also remove the allergy of the body?

Okay. Obviously He CAN, but DOES He? And if not, then why not? And
if yes, then is there a program for that, too?

If this questions bothers anyone, I will tell you my two cents on the topic.

Rabbi Shais Taub

1 comment:

M said...

Great topic.

Being and atheist, I don't have this dilemma.

To be clear, I have a deep spiritual connection to a Higher Power. I jsut don't believe there as a being with human-like intelligence that plays a direct role in my life.

I think the question is like asking, Why doesn't G-d give me 11 fingers?

My addiction to alcohol is just the way it is. Maybe it always was, maybe not. I don't need to know.

The important thing to me is the state of my spiritual connection to my Higher Power and to other people in recovery.