Playing Dead

“Playing Dead”

The term or principle ”Play Dead” has become a vital part of How It Works group members’ program of recovery from alcoholism, and we must play dead to recover from an abnormal mind and body that constantly looks for the negative and makes everything about us. The Big Book states very clearly that resentments are the Number One Offender and destroy more alcoholics than anything else. When Playing Dead, we have no resentments.

Just ask yourself: How would the world get along if you weren’t in it? If we are truly honest about the wreckage of our alcoholic past, the answer is, “Not bad. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, most everyone would’ve been better off!” From this realization, we have to start approaching life and its problems by giving rather than taking. We ask ourselves, “How can I be of help here rather than what I can get.” By playing dead, we don’t take anything personally. After all, you wouldn’t take anything personally if you were dead, would you? And we bring this attitude into our homes, work and social life.

Addictions and resentments can go away temporarily, but the abnormal state of mind and body is permanent so we need a permanent answer to treat this permanent illness. Playing dead helps us respond to life with the principles of patience, tolerance, consideration, respect, kindness and love. We become a listener when playing dead and we will see a much clearer reality without being blinded by judgment or prejudice with our eyes closed and our minds open. Our learning is a lifelong journey and, of course, this includes learning to play dead.

This is done one day at a time, and includes attending meetings and studying the Big Book. By committing to playing dead, you will find a Power that will not only help you overcome alcoholism, but will help induce the Spiritual Awakening promised in Step 12. The personality change brought about by playing dead will be immediately apparent to those around you and you will be uniquely helpful to your family, your friends and other alcoholics in need of the solution you have!

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