I wanted to stop. Everyone who was dying of substance abused wanted to stop. But they “couldn’t”. That’s what I and everyone else would say. “I can’t stop!” And everyone else in the world would loudly reply, “Why on Earth can’t you stop?”
Because our minds had become our worst enemy. I would decide to stop one morning, but by that afternoon, my mind would be swarming with a thousand reasons why stopping is a terrible idea. Remember, you cannot run from your own mind. So, I had to listen to these insanely trivial excuses bombarding me constantly.
The definition: “Excuse – The act of (excepting), apologizing, exculpating, pardoning, releasing, and the like”
The Big Book explains: “There was always the curious mental phenomenon that parallel with our sound reasoning there inevitably ran some insanely trivial excuse for taking the first drink. Our sound reasoning failed to hold us in check. The insane idea won out. Next day we would ask ourselves, in all earnestness and sincerity, how it could have happened.
Those excuses have been fatal to millions over the years. I had to get away from them but could not do so under my own power. Working the Twelve Steps allowed me to access a Higher Power than myself. It’s true. And that saved my life.
In my illustration for “excuse”, I showed a decision point that is carefully guarded by a police officer. He permits no one to go in a bad direction. But for one person, he makes an exception. There’s no explanation visible for why he is sending that one person to a different destination. That’s how my brain made excuses…. for no good reason.
Random and perplexing excuses still exist. But they no longer have power over me. I am free from them, one day at a time.