- The Four Questions 

Of people in recovery, others sometimes inquire. Why can't you just leave your past

behind you? Make a clean break, don't dwell in the past: rehashing it again and again.

You've stopped your habit, pulled yourself together. You're clean now, sober and

respectable. Why go back and sit in a room full of people like yourself, people who may

still be doing the crazy things you no longer do. Who are still the sick person you used to

be, talking it over and over and over? Is it healthy to live in the horror story? Look to the

future. Don't talk about the past as though you had some kind of disease. You glorify the

program and call it Recovery, treating it like a Dialysis machine or Iron Lung without

which you could not live. Why can't you be like a normal person?  

The youngest person sitting at the table is usually the first to ask the "four questions".

The youngest is usually the newcomer, and these questions are natural to the newcomer. 

1. Why is our disease so all-encompassing, so all-excluding? 

Other people have their hobbies, recreations, pleasures, how come we can't enjoy these

things like they do? Why did we have only "THE BREAD OF OUR AFFLICTION"?

The symbol we use for the object of our obsession is the unleavened bread - Matzo. Our

world had shrunk very small. 

2. How come there was no pleasure left in what we were doing? 

No amount of "acting out" could rid us of our real feelings. Everything we did to relieve

the pain merely substituted or increased it. The symbol we use for the bitterness and pain

is "MAROR" (bitter herbs).  There are two more questions commonly asked by the newcomer.

They refer to the process of recovery. 

3. Why do we treat ourselves so well in Recovery? Why don't we just get on with

life? Why pay so much attention the way we feel? Whence the slogan EASY

DOES IT? Surely a little more discipline, more will-power, a tougher daily

regimen, all would work more efficiently than this gentle touch with which we

treat ourselves? 

The relaxed attitude we adopt is symbolized by the "CONDIMENTS" (dipping food into


4. Why do we take Recovery so slowly? Surely we ought to be rushing to get

well? We need fixing now! 

The pace at which we expect changes to occur, is symbolized by the "LEANING".

Sprawling and reclining as though we were "in our cups". Why does all this take so


haggadah Section: -- Four Questions