It just irritates me to no end. We used to say "Keep coming back - it works." Then the self-will part got added. As If! I could "work" myself sober! Think about that!
"a. That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
b. That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
c. That God could and would if He were sought." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 60
Beyond human aid. That is what we are. That includes our very own aid. It includes our "working" to get and keep ourselves sober.
"We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves." Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 45
When an alcoholic is done drinking and has hit their very own personal bottom, they have a pretty good concept that they are bankrupt as human beings. Not necessarily financially, although that certainly may be the case, but bankrupt in the things that make a human being viable and worthwhile. Bankrupt physically, spiritually, and emotionally. How would you "work" yourself out of that condition? You can't.
God can change me, I cannot change me.
I ask God for help and then put my trust in Him. He led me into the rooms of AA where the people have helped me. I have had a series of good (and bad) sponsors who have helped me to go through the steps. I have been taught that I need to pass that on. I have been blessed with women who have asked me to help them with the steps. I have been blessed to have beautiful relationships with my sponsor and sponsees. It is truly a beautiful thing.
But I could not create it. And I propose no alcoholic could create this life we are freely given. I need to cooperate with the gift that has been given to me. It needs some care and feeding and that is what I do when I go to meetings, read the big book, work with others, and pass it on.
So each day I have this gift of sobriety. I can be grateful for the gift and care for it and try to pass it on to others, I think that is the proper response. I don't think that being boastful and arrogant about it is what is called for. I also don't think it is appropriate to take credit for all of the "work" I have done. It is a mere nothing in comparison with the life I have been given.
My feeling is that there are a bunch of people sitting in AA meetings who have been forced to go there by a court, or a professional organization, or a family. They have not reached their very own bottom (no matter how high or low or pink or green) and will be unable to get this stuff to take the 12 inch trip from their heads to their hearts.
If you are an alcoholic who has had enough to drink, it is not hard for you to comprehend that you cannot fix yourself, no matter how hard you work. I am so grateful for the love of a merciful God who picked me up and gently brought me back to health. And I could "work" for the rest of my life and never earn that love.