But it is all a fiction. And meanwhile, we live in a manufactured fear that we are not 'winning' in the game of life, that somehow our lives (unlike the lives we see on television, or imagine all around us) are 'unmanageable;' and, worse yet, that there there must be 'something' out there, some product or adventureous 'change', that will magically make our life not only 'manageable,' but somehow flawless, beautiful and majestic - just like the lives that are portrayed to sell such products.
"It is a spiritual axiom," we read at page 99 of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, "that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us." Even if our upset is just a general 'dissatisfaction' with our lives, and a subtle feeling that somehow, some way we should be 'managing' things better, and that better 'things' should be in our life.
This is perhaps the biggest con game that the ego (our self-consciousness) uses against us, and it leads many alcoholic addicts in recovery - and nearly all non-alcoholics - into a state of despair at some point in their lives, even if only at their life's end.
life is inherently unmanageable is an ageless truth that is addressed in the famous passage on acceptance in the 'Big Book,' and which is also addressed, below, by the best-selling author and spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, a non-alcoholic with profound insights into the addiction we all have to our egoic minds.
“… (A)cceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation - some fact of my life - unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in [this] world by mistake… . (U)ntil I accept life completely on life’s term, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.”
["Alcoholics Anonymous," 4th ed. page 417.]
We learn in Alcoholics Anonymous (or any one of AA's sister 12 Step recovery groups) that our lives do not become suddenly and magically manageable once we give up our addiction, but rather that life becomes acceptable to us, no matter the gains or losses that life hands to us along its path.