"But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life-a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy." 1 Timothy 6:11When members of the 12 steps program of AA "Alcoholic Anonymous" define Alcoholism they describe it as a physical compulsion, coupled with a mental obsession. We mean that we had a distinct physical desire to consume alcohol beyond our capacity to control it, and in defiance of all the rules of common sense. We not only had an abnormal craving for alcohol, but we frequently yielded to it at the worst possible times. We did not know when (or how) to stop drinking. --- (AA Glossary)
Because AA considers Alcoholism to be a disease and not an "Undesirable Habit/Behavior", members in learning to recover developed a saying to reminder themselves not to take this disease of Alcoholism lightly and in the process put themselves in compromised positions lest they get harmed by slipping once again into the undesirable habit, they say "Respect the Disease". If one took it seriously and respected the outcomes of its episodes a life of serenity is possible and attainable. Just like a diabetic or someone with allergies going through life following a certain diet of avoiding certain food/beverages.
There are many forms and sizes of a Disease it does not necessary fatal, permanent or contagious, for having a cold is a disease and so is Malaria. Respecting the disease is knowing that one is seriously complaining and hurting of something and even if in some cases the pain is not at the surface that does not mean it is not there, so precaution is recommended. Sometimes, diseases are not apparent, commonly acknowledged and openly recognized. There are emotional diseases, one could be experiencing a heart ache after a break up, or suffering with a relationship, or have people problems at work or ones community.
I thought about this phrase today as I sat in excruciating pain in my lower back and shoulders because of some silly inconsiderate actions from my part, like sitting glued to my computer or to a book while in my bed, bending my back the wrong way to pick something from the floor over and over, or carrying something heavy against my doctor instructions who advised me against that and gave me a list of positions to avoid and others to maintain because of the problem I have wit"six" discs in both my neck and back.
I know that instead of bending 90 degrees I could have simply bent my knees and used my legs like a mattress/chairs springs to go down pick something and come back up, sparing my back the inevitable pain from the accumulated misuse and abuse, and putting my body literally in compromised positions.
I think ones heart, relationship, people problems, financial stresses or behavioral issues like temper/jealousy could also sometimes experience a disease. It is up to me to decide whether to take my acknowledge that I have a disease or remain in denial, and if I acknowledged it like the first step of the 12 steps program do I take it seriously or do I carry in my denial by undermining it's strength to bring me down.
As I was looking for the exact definition of Alcoholism on the internet I stumbled on one of AA forums and one member posted a comment sharing his/her (members are anonymous) thoughts about some person who have been in recovery so long still comes regularly and participate in those forums so the commentator wondered why is this great person who have been in recovery for so long still come to meetings even online ones, and how that thought was an instant reminder that This Disease (Alcoholism) has no respect!
Diseases have no respect, they don't care what gender, age, or circumstances in life one is going through. They Happen! It is up to me to properly evaluate the situation and what is going on with ones life and make the decision to what to do about it, a.k.a "Respect my Disease"!!