What is obsession?
In 1934 Dr. William Duncan Silkworth described alcoholism as an obsession of the mind and an allergy of the body. Bill Wilson would later take this description of the illness and use it as the basis of the Alcoholics Anonymous approach. This obsession to use substances against all practical wisdom is often called insanity.
The Big Book (pages 36–37) explains insanity this way:
He had much knowledge about himself as an alcoholic. Yet all reasons for not drinking were easily pushed aside in favor of the foolish idea that he could take whiskey if only he mixed it with milk! Whatever the precise definition of the word may be, we call this plain insanity. How can such a lack of proportion, of the ability to think straight, be called anything else?
How does obsession affect your recovery?
When you start to realize the depth of your obsession with substances and how it has negatively affected your life, you experience what is often called “hitting bottom.” At this low point you see that you no longer have control over the things that you value most—your health, your family, your sanity. In Step Two you are learning to define the problem of insanity—to see addiction as the by-product of a spiritual problem that requires a spiritual solution. This means you need the help of others; you don’t have all the answers. To live an ongoing lifetime of recovery, you will need to find a loving, guiding power you can really trust. This is your Higher Power.
If you’re like many people in early recovery, you haven’t defined your Higher Power yet. That’s okay; you don’t have to know who or what your Higher Power is right now—you just need to know that you aren’t it.