Metaphors: The Man Without Legs | Twelve Drawings

ARTIST’S COMMENTSOn page 30 of the Big Book of AA, Bill W made a statement that has always haunted me. He wrote “We are like men who have lost their legs; they never grow new ones.” Here was a sentence that left no room for escape. Bill had to leave no loopholes here. He already stated elsewhere that every newly arriving addict and alcoholic is obsessed with getting back the pleasures they recall from earlier days. The user clearly remembers enjoying a harmless little indulgence and the next thing, they were pitifully and hopelessly hooked. All they want is to rewind that memory like a movie and replay that early good part over and over. It was Bill W’s goal to invite as many alcoholics into recovery as possible. Yet he stubbornly included the very statement that none of his recruits would ever want to hear. He used this single-sentence metaphor to squash the greatest hope and comfort of every person in recovery…..the wish to go back, back, back.  It is an astonishingly blunt and brutal statement, considering the temporary pain it caused people like me.Today, I have to give Bill W. a lot of credit for writing those words. He had the guts to confront me….or ask me to confront myself. I’ll admit it. I WANTED to go back badly. I wanted the happy times. Just like when a good marriage turns bitter, or a beloved job is lost, I yearned for those wonderful, carefree, joyful, and innocent days. Those fun-filled days never appeared more glowing and lustrously perfect as when viewed from first-time visit to a recovery meeting room. It took a lot of courage for Bill to tell all who enter recovery that they must fully close the door of illusion behind them.

Source: Metaphors: The Man Without Legs | Twelve Drawings


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