It was never satisfying for me to hear, “You are an alcoholic because you have a disease,” or, “It’s in your genes.” For me, such generic explanations of my very personal problems were no help at all. I wanted to understand what was going on with me emotionally in the way I understood what was going on with my body in the yoga class. That way, I would not feel helpless—as I could sense I was not.
I made the choice to quit using alcohol and drugs. In that choice was a commitment to find out how to significantly improve my life—not merely to deny myself the use of substances. Because of that commitment, I needed a deeper understanding of my psychological patterns. So I decided that since it was me who was struggling, then I was my best subject for study. I began to carry out that study by using the powerful tool of self-observation.