Moment of Clarity
Ever had an "ah-ha" moment in your recovery in which something suddenly become clear? Share it here!
my ah-ha moment came as I journaled (4th stepped) a resentment. A long respected member of my home group has gone rogue. Instead of drinking, he is character assassinating my best friends. I am trying to bring my HP into my awareness with this. But a man who I previously respected is hurting my friends. Last night he yelled through a business meeting. He looked and acted drunk but I think what he has is worse than drinking.
So my ah-hah is that we have the opportunity to pray for a brother that is lost. At the same time, I get to see up close what happens when someone chooses a lower power over a higher power. At the meeting he was clearly being powered by his rage. He stepped on all of us, this man I have loved for 20 years as a trusted servant in AA, and as a friend. It is heart breaking to see a long time sober person descend into this terrible, rageful, hurtful, mean spirited person. We had to abort the meeting because he wouldn't stop shouting. I have been searching for articles but can't find any on this topic. HELP!
Alcoholics Anonymous has been declining in effectiveness
for two decades. Many of todays early timers see our failure
and lose hope for AA's future. We are sober, and somewhat
safe in our own recovery, but why are we not attracting and
holding new members? It is very easy to just rebel and walk
away. Denying the truth that we have become a failure in
helping others is common. Most of today's members think AA
is "alive and well". But we are really just "churning", only
holding enough members to replace those who walk away.
Personally I became "rogue" about five years ago when I
discovered our decline in membership. It has been agony to
have become that terrible, rage full, hurtful, mean spirited
person you describe. My relief came when I finally researched our history and found the causes for our failure.
Bill W. warned us of mistakes that we might make. IMO,
we have made all of them. Bill called them blunders. These
mistakes will not be found in the Big Book or the 12 & 12.
The blunders I found have been listed here. They are only
understood by those members who open-mindedly try to
understand them. I am truly grateful for the forum as
a vehicle to post my concerns and observations. ANONYMOUS
I recently heard something you might be interested in. I heard a speaker say nixon signed a bill in 1971 that made insurance companies pay for treatment. he said in 1971 AA had 500k members. he said AA exploded until 1993 when treatment centers started to close. I think. he called it the "hough " or huff bill. anyway maybe what you think happened. in AA was really treatment centers pumping drunks into AA and the decline started when treatment centers declined. the timeline makes sence.
does anyone have first hand knowledge of such a bill?
It's easy for us to be lulled into a belief that there is an expiration date on "Cunning, baffling and powerful". Many are satisfied with remission until alcoholism's progression catches up. Recovery doesn't expire.
You've just shown an example of why al-anon's first step is the same as ours - "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol..." whether its clouding our minds or someone else's. Groups that I have been a member of have needed to have a group conscience decision and policy of what to do with disruptive people. It's sometimes warranted to have the police remove them. It is our responsibility to provide an atmosphere where AA's message can be carried. The disruptive person needs to be held accountable for their action. Many of us believe that there is no conflict with anonymity. We don't need to tell the police that the person is a member or an alcoholic. They are simply disrupting our work and need to be removed. Police like what we do and are willing to help.
Added to the damage of alcoholism, it is not unusual for many of us to engage in other unhealthful habits that promote dementia and we see the results at times. The Big Book and 12 & 12 have a number of things to say about the misbehavior of others and, more importantly, how we react to it. Your articles are there.
sounds like a mental illness surfacing.
God NEVER changes his mind. WE DO
I am an alcoholic that is clean and sober. I nearly had a spirital awakening, but my free will took over. I had the chance to awaken with my higher power and pride got in the way. I feel let down. Free will sucked me down and it hurt my chances to stay sober. God cares about me though there is some reason why there is a blockade. If I could just stop being the rebel punk rock upstart, and choose faith over stubborn ego, I might just survive. I come to meetings and belive in what A.A. is about. The seed is definately set. I just need to belong to the "We" in recovery and worry less about self importance and fighting everyone in society.
this is true, you are right in what you say. and for some reason I want to say "sir". I don't know why but I feel like you're a man. You need to look at the man in the mirror and realize that it was you who did what you did, and you can pull yourself out of it, with the Help of God. Yes, He is there, He is alway with you. God bless and may you see the promises of A.A. in your life. Thanks for reading, Heather
I am a big book recovering alcoholic and I love this thought.
THE WILL OF GOD, ONCE FOLLOWED, WILL NERVER LEAD ME TO A PLACE WHERE THE GRACE OF GOD WILL NOT PROTECT ME.
Iam living that right now as my whole sober life got turned around and I landed in a place thats safe, 15 minute walk to an AA group called good morning god. Miricales happen even if you dont ask for one.
I live here in Northwestern Pa. I looking for real AA meetings, Not these Drug and Alcohol meetings that are in this area. So please help. Z
The first meeting I attended almost 34 years ago included people identifying themselves as having problems with drugs other than the drug ethanol. Same with the last meeting last week and almost every one in between.
What exactly is it you think you will gain?
Great News for You.
GSO will be happy to send you a package to start whatever kind of pure AA group you want. Just add a coffee pot and you are set. That's exactly how the 64,000 plus groups in the US and Canada did it.
Z. I am looking for the same thing here in Connecticut.
When you find one, post the address here. I am willing to
I am a "pure and respectable" alcoholic. As such, I have nothing in common with the "addict" or "drugaholic," at least in terms of how my alcohol addiction manifested itself, and other minor details regarding the path and rate of my descent. The solution, however, is the same once I am able to put down the drink (or drug): I go to meetings to be reminded not to ingest anything that allows me to escape from life, from my troubles, from my emotions, as well as to learn how to deal with life on life's terms. I therefore find meetings not based on whether there are "others" besides alcoholics present, but rather based on whether the people there talk about the solution: how they get through the day without getting drunk or high regardless of what curves life may throw their way. As my favorite quote suggests: "We cannot tell what may happen to us in the strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us - how we can take it, what we do with it - and that is what really counts in the end. How to take the raw stuff of life and make it a thing of worth and beauty - that is the test of living."
ardest thing i did was yesterday.
ahhh i like that!! you're an overcomer! Heather
The pink cloud changed into real feelings. The steps helped me to walk through those feelings.
I’ve noticed the ever growing number of cupcake stores. Anyone else? Seems like they are on almost every corner. I’ve finally learned why and of all places on this message board! They are the home of the New AA Lite. When groups take out the objectionable material like the steps and big book beating and that God business, that’s what’s left, cupcakes! Eat up!
The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, the entire program, is offered to those who suffer.
It is offered in a suggestive manner. A suggestion is only the introduction of
an idea: a hint. We offer it. If they want it, they are welcome to try what worked for us.
Most of the drinking alcoholics I have met have a rebellious nature. So we do not give them anything to rebel against. Offer the new prospect a copy of the Big Book, and if they have any
interest they can read it. Don't tell them they must read it. Don't tell them they have to
read it to get sober or to join A.A. There are no musts in A.A. I believe if we can study
and employ this method, we can restore A.A. to an acceptable success rate. Our success rate
for the past twenty years has been zero. What do we have to lose? ANONYMOUS
While reviewing how to carry the message, particularly in meetings, I highlighted thirteen sugggestions in the chapter Working With Others.
You seem to suggest one is enough. I think the newcomer is worth all thirteen. Perhaps you could read what AA has found that works before trying to write your own.
Another benefit of this study revealed to me that your zero success rate is really "Rarely have we seen a person fail.."
Fortunately for me, I was able to obtain a college degree before my alcoholism sent me running to AA. I’m not willing to write off the thousands less fortunate with difficulties reading by telling them here it is and throwing them a book. There are some very smart people that have difficulty reading. Our delegate from a few years ago told how an in depth big book study retreat gave his recovery a tremendous boost simply because everything was spoken aloud. He was able to deal with his reading problems AFTER he got sober.
Thankfully your speaker knows what he is talking about ! Many people have learning disabilities, and deserve recovery just as much as other people. Remember too that it was the one on one contact, a close community, and verbal communication of the steps that got the first real members of AA sober. They did not have a book - nor did they need one. Many people today find that weekly attendance at Big Book and 12 and 12 meetings where the books are read out loud made ALL the difference !!! Please support literature meetings- and invite newcomers to meet you there !!!
It seems to me that there is almost an overemphasis on using the Big Book these days. When I came to AA I couldn't read, was homeless, and had been committed to an institution. My sponsor told me to go to meetings and listen. When I tried to read my mind was so darkened and confused that by the time I got to the end of a sentence I would forget the beginning. I didn't know how to spell alcoholic.
Gradually I cleared up. I read the big book. I now work as a teacher and have a Masters degree. The Third Tradition states that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. I get the sense from some members (the recovery Taliban) that we are also required to study and apply first 165 pages of the BOOK to our lives just as they do. According to their standards, the 29 years of sobriety God and AA have given me don't count. In humility, love, and hope I believe they do.
I got sober with an AA group that was very strict about using the BIG Book as a guide and diligently undertaking and continuing the steps. I feel unbelievably grateful that I was instructed by people who would might strike you as the AA Taliban. We called them, affectionately, Big Book Nazis. Being part of AA requires only a desire to stop drinking certainly. But the most powerful part of the program is the transformation that people undergo, and the only way to do that is to rely heavily on the Big Book and take the steps seriously. The transformation at first is from a drinker to non-drinker. As time passes, AA members who follow the Big Book and the steps change from unquiet, troubled, deeply anxious and often destructive people into happier and more loving souls. That's the part you miss if you use AA just to stop drinking and not to change, and it's why the hard part of the program -- the book and the steps -- is so important.
Yes, there are those of us who have been sober a while in AA (20+ years) who have never been all that much of a worshipper of the Big Book (12&12? Yes. Big Book? Not so much.) I find your statement "the only way to do that is to rely heavily on the Big Book..." a bit extreme. Only? Sorry, not my experience. I have a bigger Big Book and it's called the Bible - works for me just fine.
When I read the words "There is a Solution" - my Hope turned into Faith. That Faith has sustained me for 26 years.
I new to the world of sobriety, I have 27 days sober today!!! What a day to remember as it means to you, I was sitting around in the detox center three weeks ago, homeless and beat. I was wondering what has become of my life? Is this what was meant for me? I never wanted to be an alcoholic. but somewhere I was consumed in the whirlwind of this mental defect.
But it occurred to me that no one was putting me here but me. No one told me to drink all that I did for so many years. I decided to let god into my life. that day, I kneeled down and gave myself to the will of god. and I heard a voice say to me " what took you so long" I was neglecting my will. god wasn't punishing me for the sin I had been living, we was welcoming me back into his will,
So today I sit in a rehab sober and grateful.
your comment was very uplifting to read, as i am now 30 days sober. I still cannot believe I could ever go for any stretch of time without force. My sobriety is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I am finding strength I never knew I had, as I have been faced with the near death of my husband--and still maintained my sobriety. Letting go and letting God has changed my life into a miracle.
9 years 8 months of total sobriety...ain't it great!!!
I've had more moments of clarity as the years of sobriety accumulate.
The latest? Well, after being laid off in 2009, I experienced intense rejection and hate toward me as I struggled with so many different jobs at my age.
I started to retaliate and was angry for quite some time. But now, I've had a moment of "clarity". Since it feels so terrible to be rejected and hated, what good does it do to spread that virus around? It does nothing to solve it, make me healthy, or create harmony. So, I've decided in a moment of lasting clarity that I will simply not hate or reject anyone.
I may disagree with them, but I will NOT hate or reject them.
These moments of clarity are not restrictive, but rather liberating.
And liberation is what gives us true inner freedom.
So, sometimes we must suffer to have a moment of clarity followed by liberating thought and action.
Nuff said: Sounds like you are getting a glimpse of
that vital ingredient, humility. Stay away from alcohol.
Stay real close to the fellowship. There are millions
in the same boat, alcoholics and non alcoholics. As difficult as it is to believe, God is still in charge.
I have a friend who is waiting for a lung transplant.
He was baptized last night. He says that he is not
dying, but wants to be ready. He is at peace. He made my day brighter. ANONYMOUS
Hi, I'm fairly new to the program, almost 7 months in. I've been working on letting go of some issues and resentments from my childhood. I was abused and mistreated and have held on to the resentment and anger for decades. I have not been able to forgive or forget the way that I was treated and I feel living the victim role has played a big role in my alcoholism. In working the steps and participating in the program, I've made a lot of progress. I'm also discovering my spiritual side, which was pretty much in a coma. I had an aha moment, where I thought of the movie, the Labarynth, with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. Towards the end of the movie, Sarah, played by Jennifer Connelly declared to the Goblin King, played by David Bowie that "you have no power over me", therefore defeating him and taking away his power, gaining victory and her Brother's safe return. The moral to the story was that it was all in her mind and soon as she realized this and cast him out, declaring he had no power over her.... He no longer did. I guess it was a moment where all of the work I've been doing became so clear and simple. The people that hurt me in my childhood have no power over me anymore. I choose who I am now and how I live my life and that statement is very liberating and freeing! AA has really opened me up to a spiritual side of myself that I've denied for so long and I'mextremely thankful.
Wow. You told my story. I am only a few weeks off alcohol and struggling with prescription meds still. I had a moment of clarity when I realized the people who abused me don't care and I have sabotaged my entire life trying to be believed and understood. I just turned into a bratty victim. Thanks for helping me put this into words.
Moments of clarity are nice, I hope they are glimpses of what life is going to be like once I have constant clarity. I empathize with you regarding false powers holding people back. They seem like legitimate reasons of why things aren't going your way but the future isn't written. Just because life sucked because of it it doesn't mean it has to keep ruining things.
forgive: to give up resentment of or claim to requital for
resentment: feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury, ew-living anger.
I'm now quick to deal resentments. Why would I provide free rent in my head for people I dislike?
Forgiveness does not mean I need to start liking the person, although I may. Nor does it mean trusting some who have proven untrustworthy.
Welcome and it sounds like you're on a good track.
I had ridden everything in my life to the edge of a cliff, job, finances, legal problems, out of friends, etc. I had spent six weeks reading the Big Book, going to meetings, and drinking. I woke up after a brutal, blackout weekend too sick to go to work. I stood in my dirty apartment and told myself, "My life sucks, and it is just going to get worse if I keep on drinking." Detox and AA recovery followed. The idea of the progressive nature of alcoholism, and personal powerlessness, finally sunk in. That was my moment of clarity.
Bill:Did you hear about the about the recovering alcoholic that went back to law school?
Bob: Ya, I heard he just passed the bar.
After 18 years in these rooms I often dont see the same AA I knew. The ' bottoms' of many are a joke. In Palm Beach their bottom was the 2 million they lost and only had 5 million left in their trust fund, please. The rooms seem to be populated by lightweights today- if you swear or speak bluntly they look at you like your the anti christ. I had a guy brag to me he had 2 years sobriety and had been on antibuse the whole 2 years- whats that? It aint AA- but he gets a clap on the back and a ' group hug' Thank God there are still ' cottage meettings ' out there
Many bottoms,are different.My 6 dui was not my bottom.Only when i lost my SOUL.It can be lost with 5 million in your pocket.
Hardest things for an alcoholic to do - admit he needs help and two ask for help.
Easiest thing in the world to do - stop taking a pill.
Someone wants to take antibuse to help combat those out of nowhere impulses (Bill's Armistice day drunk) more power to them. When he is sharing the road with my kids or anybody elses kids or anybody, I don't care how he keeps sober as long as he does.
You don't like meetings in Palm Beach go to Detroit, they didn't put glue in your chair did they?
Good judgment comes from experience, and experience....well that comes from poor judgment.
Great quote! I'm wondering why my judgment remains questionable since I've had lots of "experience", i.e. poor decision-making!!! Oh, wait, I've got an alcoholic mind. Still do after many years in recovery.
"...that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself that will solve your problem."
Alcoholics Anonymous p45.
Instead of the religious war mongering H.P by way of surrendering advisers imposes on others , I found within a loving and caring God that I “FREELY ACCEPTED”. Thank God that he himself is an un interpreted version. Acceptance and surrender are opposites, Take a closer look you don’t have to be bludgeoned into it religiously again
I surrender to the fact that my way doesn't work the twelve steps do. God provides acceptance.
If I had the capacity to simply dial in as much acceptance as I please I never would have felt the urge to escape into oblivion.
Towards the end of my first year sober I took a job at a ski resort and did a lot of outside physical work in a mountain environment. An old friend who worked at an outdoor clothing company heard about this and offered to send me a sampling of their latest gear if I'd try it out and report back. I was particularly looking forward to putting their state of the art rain jacket and pants to the test.
A box arrived about a week later filled with everything I had requested except the rain pants. I began to wonder (obsess might be a better word) did she not have my size, was there another box on the way, would it be bad form for me to call and ask why no rain pants.....during a run later that day in a place known as "Bum Jungle" with those thoughts still running through my mind, I had the sudden realization that I was thinking not about the 10 things I'd received but about the one thing that was missing. I realized that this was how I'd always thought and this was how I lived my life, in a constant state of want or need; always focusing on what was wrong or what was missing instead of what I had.
This realization hit me like a bolt of lightning and I fell to my knees right there in Bum Jungle. I thanked my HP for all of the gifts I'd received including my new job and the clothes and vowed to focus on and be grateful for the gifts. This was a major turning point of my sobriety. Once this pattern of thinking had been revealed to me, it became much more difficult to give it power.
I should mention here that I doubt this realization would have hit me if I had not already made a habit of taking inventory through the steps. I believe that the practice of the steps helped open my mind to this awakening and helped me see it as a gift of sobriety.
#13 "Again the 24 hour book" from January*
Yes,Kudos ! This person is 100% correct.Don't read non A.A. literature/books included, at A.A. meetings!
Since the 70's I've attempted to bring this point out a few times. Hot heads attacked me. I was weak. Healthier and stronger and more mature now, thank you to A.A.years of growth....This person has me ready to broach and pursue the campaign again. THANX !
At a meeting recently the non-conference approved
literature and books were displayed on separate tables
from approved material.
They see nothing wrong with that. The group conscience
(I don't know how informed they were) approved it. Is it
wrong? Doesn't every group have the right to be wrong?
For me it gets a little confusing. IMO, non-approved
material ought not be displayed at all in an A.A.
meeting room. ANONYMOUS
That moment came a long time after getting sober and "coming back" for a while.If your new to this way of life,stick around for a while and see what happens. Don't leave "before the miracle happens". It took a while before I understood what " you can't think your way into better living, you have to live your way into better thinking" means. Maybe i'm slow , but slows good sometimes. Where else is a drunk like me got to go?