If you think you can quit, you probably can’t

How to Break Free from Addiction for Good

A surprising discovery by Bill Wilson, the founder of AA.

Eugene Terekhin
ILLUMINATION-Curated
5 min readMar 9, 2021

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Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

How to break free from addiction for good?

Whether it’s alcohol or social media, if you have battled with addiction for any number of years, you know that it’s not enough to just stop. Stopping is relatively easy. The hard part is not to start again.

Bill Wilson, a co-founder of AA, saw thousands of people quit drinking after “working the 12-step program.” But he noticed over time that many of them eventually replaced their old addiction with a new one.

A pearl of wisdom by Bill Wilson

“How often have some of us begun to drink in this nonchalant way, and after the third or fourth, pounded on the bar and said to ourselves, “For God’s sake, how did I ever get started again?’” AA’s Big Book, page 24.

Why do we return to the same thing? According to Bill Wilson, an addict will remain an addict as long as they believe in their power.

We go back to our self-destructive behavior because we believe that through it we can control things.

For example, I fall into passive aggression and start pouting every time I feel offended because I believe that this will induce the other person to meet my needs.

The reason I fall into workaholism again and again is because I believe that through overperforming I can control how much I get in life.

The reason I reach out for this next piece of chocolate against my better judgment is because I believe I can control my mood from outside in.

I believe in my own power. I am God.

The gates of hell “closed on him with a clang”

The AA Big Book tells of an American businessman who, after trying to give up drinking for years, went to Europe to get consultations from a famous psychiatrist Dr. Jung.

He finished his treatment…

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