"DR. JUNG - MY HERO!"
"The afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life's morning." - Carl Gustav Jung
I love Carl Jung. He was a famous psychiatrist who not only knew a lot about life and people, but gave hope to otherwise hopeless alcoholics.
I am in the afternoon of my life (maybe the dusk -grin-). My sobriety, Alcoholics Anonymous, steps 10, 11, and 12 have made it possible for me to find the most significant moments of my existence at these "beyond the midpoint" days of my life.
My life's morning was filled with a lot of "bad thinking, bad behavior, and misery". I'm so grateful I have made it to the afternoon of life and it isn't a pitiful appendage - it is a vibrant and full life of its own. Hallelujah!
In our Big Book - "Alcoholics Anonymous", p. 27, a description is written of Dr. Jung trying to help an alcoholic (Bill W.) he eventually came to label as "utterly hopeless". The doctor told this alcoholic that he had the mind of a chronic alcoholic worse than any he had ever seen and had never seen anyone in that state recover. The man asked if there were any exceptions, was there any hope at all?
Dr. Jung responded, "there is. Exceptions to cases such as yours have been occurring since early times. Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them. In fact, I have been trying to produce some such emotional rearrangement within you. With many individuals the methods which I employed are successful, but I have never been successful with an alcoholic of your description."
This man had a vital spiritual experience, was relieved of his alcoholism, and became a free man.
As for me, after slipping and sliding in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous for maybe six months, I woke up from what was to be my last drunk, with a completely different set of ideas, emotions, and attitudes than the ones I held when I passed out the night before. I had what turned out to be a vital spiritual experience. I had passed out and come awake hundreds of times before, but this time was different. Some complement of God's will and my cooperation took place.
I awoke surrendered, knowing that somehow all would be O.K., I understood that alcohol would kill me, I understood what it meant by "it's the first drink that gets you drunk", I had an understanding of "one-day-at-a-time", and there was a kernel of hope present. I was sick as a dog. (It does get worse even when you are not drinking. I had almost 3 months sober when I drank for the last time.)
There was absolutely "no reason" for me to have this changed attitude, yet there it was. I still call it a miracle.
Love you all,
(Photo credit: Jessica Jenney)