Burning Desire to Share
Thanks for checking in with us. Sorry you are having a hassle.
When challenges come up in my sobriety it seems to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r for the solution to come, but they come and it keeps getting better just like we are promised.
I used the serenity prayer for years and waited to be made fearless. Wait a minute, I didn't ask to be made fearless, I asked for courage - taking action even if I feared the outcome. I tried it. It worked. My Higher Power thinks it's a slap in the face to be asked for courage and assume He won't provide it. He does provide it. He cannot not provide it. He's God.
isn't it a federal offence to tamper with the united states postal service?
I have one year nine months and twenty five days today. My sobrity was court ordered. I dont have a sponser bec oouse i dont work the steps. I havetalked to people and they seem to think imm not gonna make it bc i dont work the normal aa program. I do realaize that. I am a alcoholic and i can not have the firsy drink without going down the same path of almost thirty years. I go to meeting to help keep that realality in my head. I often think it would help tp have a sort of sponsor to talk to but not have there program pushed on me
I have seen people old timers some of them 30 yrs. + sober living a miserable live because they did not do the steps of recovery. The 12 steps of recovery is not to change you but to make you better person. If a curtain is closed you cannot see through it or if a window is dirty it is difficult to see through. Therefore in the same instance we pick up a lot of bad habits during our drinking the 12 steps is assist to clear the bad habits ( Open the Curtin ) so we can have direct contact with our higher power. So it is therefore suggested we do the 12 steps of recovery and the main object is to get a power greater than yourself. Also note being miserable will lead to going back to your old ways and eventually getting drunk again. To prevent this start with one step at a time you will see as you go along a weight is lifted from your shoulder and life gets better and easier to live.
You said, "The 12 steps of recovery is not to change you but to make you better person." True and they work for some people, however they are not the only way to make one a better person. If they made you a better person I'm happy for you. I didn't need the steps to learn how to be a better person because my mother instilled in me all the necessary ingredients years ago. When I came into the rooms and sobered up I focused my recovery on love and unselfishness. There is this misconception in the rooms and that is "If someone is not working the steps they are doing nothing and are against them." Thanks
Are you addicted to alcohol? If so, its a good idea to not pick up the first drink. We are not saints in AA although some members think they are. You mentioned being sober one year nine months; seems like something is working. Not everyone gets sober the same way. I haven't said a prayer in twenty years. The Fellowship of AA does not have rules about bullying people into sponsorship, reading books or praying. Read the Preamble. All we are asked to do is share what helps up individually. Believe it or not your post today helped me. That's the same magic Bill and Bob discovered. If your meetings are wacky try to find another one. There are other people like you in the same boat. Not everyone likes to be a robot. There are suggestions in the rooms but, certain members do not know the difference between a suggestion and a commandment. Pat yourself on the back mate and avoid know-it-all's.
AA was a gift to me. It took my worthless life that was quickly going down the drain and gave me hope, meaning & purpose.
Meetings were a gift. They gave me a port in a storm and what I had been looking for in the bars; friendship, fellowship, meaningful conversation, sociability, laughter, fun, support & love.
My sponsors over the years have been a gift. We gave each other permission to talk deeper than we might at a meeting and to be more honest with each other. They had my permission to call me on things that might pass at meeting level. And they shared their experience with working the steps and making the steps a way of life.
The steps were a gift to me. They led me inside to uncover, discover and discard the things that had ruled me since I was a child such as my shyness, fear of people, my hypochondria and resentments regarding what life had given me or not given me. The steps led me on a journey of discovery about myself, other people and my Higher Power/Higher Purpose.
My Higher Power has been a gift. In AA I found a Power greater than myself or alcohol that has miraculously removed from me the desire/obsession/compulsion to drink. Though I do not follow a particular religion or believe in a conventional type of God, I still seek and am open minded. I have friends of every religious and spiritual stripe including atheists and agnostics and am able to listen, learn and converse.
For me, the ultimate expression of my HP and our 12th step is Love. And the ultimate expression of Love is service to others with no thought of reward for ourselves. We see this EVERY day in AA. That is the Ultimate gift.
Keep coming back!!
Are u suggesting that if I work the steps as suggested I am a robot? It sounds like your mind is as closed as those u say give commandments
No of course not. Look deeper-Think about what a robot is.
Bill W. talked about the language of the heart. Robots don't have hearts. They are obedient to their masters. There are no masters in AA. A robot can be programed but, can a robot love? A robot can talk the walk. But the true essence of recovery cannot be programed.
There are many A.A. members who believe and teach that
the true essence of recovery can be programed. Alcoholic
rehabs are built on that belief. And that Program does
work quite well for some alcoholics. We push most of
those approaching us back out into the darkness.
True-some people like to follow programs while others like to explore. Bill W. was an explorer because if he wasn't we would all be in the Oxford group. We all have different intelligences and ways of learning which are all represented in AA. I am a grateful member of the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous but, have not chosen to work the program. I have found other ways to achieve the same happy joyous and free results through exploring. Can you accept that some people in AA get sober differently than you? I can.
Of course bill had to explore, prior to 1934 most alcoholics died from alcoholism. Don't get me wrong, I've read and investigated everything. To do with alcohol and recovery from alcohol. I've simply found Utopia in the steps of AA, if it ain't broke why fix it?
"I have found other ways to achieve the same happy joyous and free results through exploring. Can you accept that some people in AA get sober differently than you?"
Speaking for myself, I can accept it, since it's no secret that there are other was to get sober. My father, an admitted alcoholic, died with thirty-six years sobriety without using AA. But why would a person claim to be sober in AA if he refuses to do what AA teaches? I have to believe it's to stroke his own ego, to try and convince himself he's better than we poor folk who choose to follow suggestions.
There is no honesty in passing on one's personal, homemade 'program' to others as the AA program.
You said, "There is no honesty in passing on one's personal, homemade 'program' to others as the AA program."
I don't see your point. Perhaps you should read the Preamble. I think that guy was saying something else. We share our experience, strength and hope with each other in AA. It doesn't say anything about passing on the AA program. Therefore when I share what helps me I am with alignment with the AA Preamble.
"That's the same magic Bill and Bob discovered."
What did Bill receive from his newly sober pal, Ebby?
“…I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems. Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain a new order of things, were the essential requirements.”
What did Bill pass on?
“For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead.”
What did Dr Bob say of Bill’s call on him?
“but he had been cured by the very means I had been trying to employ, that is to say the spiritual approach.”
From Bill's story and Dr Bob's Nightmare, Alcoholics Anonymous
If the first half of step one has been working for you, imagine the results of employing the rest.
Do you suppose there is any connection between your lack of a grasp on AA's program of recovery and your angry name calling?
Today we have:
Thanks for sharing your resentments with us but I don't think I'll add them to my toolkit of solutions.
I’m not sure how a few words of mine upset you. How do you equate my usage of the terms bullies, wacky, robot and know-it-alls as angry and resentful? These are common descriptions of certain AA types that turns everyone off.
The only thing I can make of it was my post hit close to home. AA is a wonderful Fellowship. The support I received in the rooms over the years is incalculable. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
Other’s words don’t upset me. My unrealistic expectations or lack of acceptance of the world the way it is sometimes do. (AA 101). And no, I’m not upset reading your post. I just wanted to clarify for any newcomers that insulting and name calling is not a trademark of recovery nor is trying rationalize it afterwards. With AA's open door policy we get what we get.
Thanks for your passionate reply. I'm glad you are not upset. You said, "I just wanted to clarify for any newcomers" I too feel the same way. If you read my post correctly I was not insulting or targeting anyone. My post was actually positive. Newcomers should know that recovery is not the same for everyone and that most people in AA are loving, easy going and friendly. But there are those who think they are more important than others and who think they know more than they really do. The newcomer shouldn’t feel shame or guilt because they feel annoyed with someone in AA. It’s normal. We should not present a Pollyanna program. Do you like everything you hear in the rooms? Do you enjoy sitting through meetings dominated by bullies, fanatics, BB thumpers, know-it-alls, or robots? Know one in my men's group does. Unless you are the healthiest member in AA, you have to admit that there are a few members with these characteristics that would rather work your program then their own. Thank goodness the majority of members “get it.” We don’t have to like everyone in AA, even if love and tolerance is our code but, we have a Responsibility Statement which reminds us of our purpose. Recovery is not a popularity contest, its serious business.
Believe it or not, your way is the A.A. way. Your message
helped me. You only passed on your own experience, which
is what sober members of A.A. ought to do.
The steps and the Big Book are meant to be suggestive
only. Most A.A. members (yes, I have done the survey) do
not know the difference between a suggestion and a demand
Keep your eyes and ears open. And do not let ANYONE
stop you from going to A.A. meetings. Most alcoholics
generally just give up on us and walk away. Don't be
one of them. And don't join the cult element. It will
not be easy. It is easier to just walk away from all
the nonsense. Don't you dare! There are so few of us
left. Rules and bullies do not belong here. If we
ignore them and avoid them, maybe they will eventually
get the message.
Bill W. and Dr. Bob discovered that magic message
in the spring of 1935, using advice from Dr. Silkworth.
That advice came in the form of an IDEA. Most A.A.
members today have no idea what that IDEA is. For anyone
who cares enough to look, you can find the meaning in
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age. Page 70. ANONYMOUS
FYI a survey isn't worth much when the survey taker is looking for a particular outcome.
"I had quit preaching...And this mutual give and take is at the very heart of all AA's twelfth step work today. This was how to carry the message."
Is that what you are referring to? How to twelfth step. What does one do before he starts doing twelfth step work? Does it somehow imply that there is something before step twelve that one needs to do?
"This was how to carry the message."
Does that say to you that the message is that all there is to recovering from this progressive, deadly disease is visiting one on one? It tells me that visiting one on one on an equal basis is how to carry AA's message of a program of recovery. Exactly how to do that isn't buried in some obscure volume, its spelled out in the Big Book in, of all places a chapter "Working with Others". AA's message is also spelled out in this volume. Just so you don't misunderstand, they are steps one through eleven to get you a message to carry in twelve.
In other words the method is not the message.
You asked, "What does one do before he starts doing twelfth step work?" That's easy. We share our their experience, strength and hope. Any drunk can help a drunk get sober. There's no pecking order of assistance when it comes to reaching the hand of AA out to a newcomer. Try saying "Hi, I'm Joe welcome. If you need anything let me know."
Glad to hear you are sober. If you are sober and happy, by all means continue doing what you are doing. AA and the program of recovery laid out in our steps are for alcoholics that want them. If you have a way that works for you by all means continue.
My only issue is that most alcoholics of my type can't stay sober and happy for long without the AA program. AA is full of heavy drinkers that were told to go to AA. They seem the get sober without too much effort and that's great. I and several of my friends tried what you are doing for years without the results you have gotten. That simply says going to meetings and working on step none doesn't work for us.
What will happen to us alcoholics when we come to your group of no program? Of course we will die like most alcoholics did prior to the 12 steps and the fellowship of AA.
I don't understand what the problem is for some people especially old timers when it comes to a member who talks about his aaictions. I mean doesn't the tradition 3 say that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking? I'm a recovered alcoholic and drug addict and wanted to say that there were some times that some addicts had no where to go because there are no NA meetings near here, and to tell them to leave you mind as well say go die. I stand up for what I believe because I was there, and if it wasn't for tradition 3 which I remind those who forget then there would be chaos. Come on and grow up old timers, most people of today have more than one addiction. I hope you liked my honest opinion.
Maybe some of the old timers might want to read Acceptance was the answer (page 407 in the 4th edition).
I am reminded of the interview of Dr. Paul, author of "Doctor, Alcohol, Addict," (later changed to "Acceptance was the Answer"), in the Grapevine, in which he was asked whether after several decades of sobriety he ever had problems with acceptance. His response: "Only when things don't go my way."
Dr. Paul regretted making that statement. Look it up. I don't make much of it but, the more religious members like it because it's a guiding tool in their journey to everlasting peace, which is fine with me. Actually, what I identify most with in Dr. Paul's story is his dual addiction. Reading that helped me very much. So in AA there is something for everyone. Believe it or not.
If you are referring to his comment in the interview, I suspect he was being flippant - to an extent. I took it in the context of what I was struggling with at the time, and still struggle with today, which is to not react or over-react to those things that happen around me that I am not happy with, i.e., view it all in the proper context - as "small stuff." Put differently, in Doc Paul's words, live life on life's terms. I am not immune to hyperbole even with a little time under my belt, as I am only a recovering BS'er, but I never BS about how AA has helped me.
There is nothing wrong with acceptance unless by accepting I am harming myself in some way. By washing my hands with acceptance I can actually stunt my spiritual growth and corrupt the drive to seek the truth. Sweeping things under the carpet with an acceptance broom might be a temporary necessity but, its not a good strategy for the long haul.
I try and not over simplify my recovery with trite sayings and clichés. I'm not one who can afford to live on the surface in recovery. I will drink again if I don't move past the party-line and walk through the darkness until it leads me to the hidden treasure.
Maybe some of the old timers might want to read Acceptance was the answer in the Big book (page 407 in the 4th edition)
"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today."
The why do we still continue to use the entire Serenity Prayer? Why don't we just pray for the serenity to accept everything, rather than just those things we cannot change?
Why not stop after Step One, the admission of our alcoholism?Some might find that enough, but I certainly couldn't. I admitted and accepted my alcoholism months before I did anything about it. The only problem that solved was the necessity to make excuses for my drinking.
I've often wondered why that story was published in the "Grapevine" under one title, the third edition Big Book under another, and the fourth edition Big Book under a third.
In the July, 1995 issue of the Grapevine is an interview with Dr Paul O. In it he says one thing, yet in his Big Book story and every one of his talks he does another. As my Native American friend might say, "White Medicine Man speaks with forked tongue."
God gave me a brain. I believe He expects me to use it.
It might be easy to just say acceptance is the answer.
Personally, I have been trying hard to change a lot of
things I can no longer accept. My head was kept in the
sand too long. There are times when I wish I could return to that state of ignorant bliss. ANONYMOUS
I hear what your saying but ho are you tiring to convince them or yourself? Question why can’t NA work for you ? Don’t get religious on me just a question.
N A's website shows that they have over 60,000 meetings weekly. How did every one of those meetings start? Just like AA's I imagine, members who cared enough and worked hard enough to fill a need.
Sounds like you have the resume for it, what's stopping you. I've been a founding member of two AA groups and tonight my wife is at the regular tuesday night women's meeting she helped start.
Hi I'm the one who wrote about what's the big deal of other substances being talked about. I wanted to say thanks for the response. I guess I learned really quickly how humbling the answers I got was, as well how very ignorant I was. I want to say I owe an amends to those who I may have harmed in my written opinion, especially old-timers. Thank you very much for putting me in my place. True I am selfish in ways, but open minded I am. And I will take your advise and start a new NA group.
Hi What's the Big Deal:
You didn't harm anyone! You gave your opinion. There's nothing wrong with that!
I think it's great that you will be starting an NA group. Some AA members and groups try to enforce a prohibition on talking about drugs other than alcohol in AA meetings. From a physiological perspective, the distinction makes no sense. Alcohol is similar to the other drugs of abuse in the way it affects the brain. There has been seventy years of scientific research on drugs and the brain since the Alcoholics Anonymous movement began in the 1930s.
From a historical and cultural perspective, the distinction makes little sense either. Times have changed since the 1950s when NA was founded. There are few people coming into AA who are addicted to alcohol who did not use other drugs. This is especially true in urban areas of the country. I've never met anyone under 30 in AA in my city (Chicago) who did not use other drugs besides alcohol. Other drugs are, as we say, "part of their story." In the meetings I go to, other drugs are mentioned as a matter of course.
Why don't all these people leave AA and go to Narcotics Anonymous, as the folks on this site seem to be suggesting? I have nothing against NA, but Alcoholics Anonymous is a strong fellowship with millions of members around the world, and it's a wonderful fellowship to recover in. AA is flourishing among young people in my city. It's an exciting time to be in AA. I go to AA meetings at the county jail (I'm going today) where it would be ridiculous not to talk about drugs other than alcohol.
Again, it's terrific that you'll be starting an NA group. Best of luck to you.
If all drugs are the same, next time you get a headache take some exlax and see what happens! ;)
Sounds like those NA's will have a good founder. My thinking ill of someone doesn't necessary harm them unless I follow up by doing something besides think. If all you did was an anonymous post about them, no harm done, move on. Sounds like you're going to busy for a while.
The big deal is this, when an alcoholic comes to AA to learn about alcoholism and the recovery from alcoholism and hears the group talking about every addiction besides alcoholism he will leave and die.
The idea that most people have more than one addiction may or may not be true. What I do know is that 50% of all workplace fatalities and injuries are due to alcoholism. 750,000 deaths in the united states last year were a direct result of alcohol and 2.5 million deaths around the world a result of alcohol. Google it and see for yourself.
If there are no NA meetings where you live start one. Don't be so selfish to change AA to suit you when there are 200 other groups that deal with problems other than alcohol. Start an NA group where you can talk about your addictions. Just be warned that even in NA they say "clean" and discourage talking about individual addictions for the same reason AA has a singleness of purpose. so newcomers can identify. If newcomers cannot identify they die, it's that simple.
You said, "The idea that most people have more than one addiction may or may not be true." It's true. Look at the founders who died of nicotine related diseases. Perhaps you might think "Smoking never killed anyone except the smoker" This is not true. My mother died of lung cancer from second hand smoke. We most be responsible do discuss the current medical realities of the biochemistry of addiction and not pretend its the 1930's. Addiction is a brain disorder. Many people in recovery switch addictions. People have found legal ways of lighting up the same addictive neural-pathways. Look around the rooms. Members are self-medicating through sugar, carbs, rage, sex, caffeine, nicotine, or doctor prescribed medications. Our group decided to allow talking of other substances to better serve the new person and to wake-up that 70 lb. over-weight old-timer who couldn't stop eating ice-cream. Through discussion and debate at group conscious, we decided to bring current medical knowledge into the picture. Although AA was founded on "Faith" we can't ignore the scientific person behind the curtain if we truly want to help the alcoholic in this century.
From Step 4
"Who wants to be gluttonous enough to ruin their health?"
That hit my two pack a day habit every time I heard it. Kept trying different approaches until I found something that worked. Have better wind now at 64 than I did at 40.
Ah yes, another voice crying out to call AA "Assorted Ailments."
Before Alcoholics Anonymous found me I knew for a fact that whatever I did, everyone else did. I drank to excess, so everyone else drank to excess. I was unfaithful to my spouse, so everyone else was unfaithful to their spouse. I was a liar, cheat and thief, therefore everyone else was a liar cheat and thief.
Somehow the twelve steps taught me that while many people shared the same character defects I did, not everyone else did.
Insisting that AA change to suit me is a perfect example of the selfishness and self centeredness the Big Book talks about. Hiding one's selfish motive behind the curtain of helping all who suffer is simply another alibi to cover up one's selfishness, And those who use others' weaknesses (smoking, overeating,sex, etc.) are doing nothing more than proclaiming themselves better than the rest.
If your group has taken on the multipurpose activity you have described, you must not call your group an AA group. You can continue to hold your meetings and follow your group’s conscience, however if as a group you are dealing with these other issues, you must not call yourself an AA group. Our literature is crystal clear on this matter. Your group is clearly violating tradition 1,3, and 5. For clarification please read the AA pamphlets “the AA group” and “problems other than alcohol”. They can be downloaded at the link below.
Alcoholics Anonymous deals only with alcohol and recovery from alcoholism. That is why in my opinion, AA continually grew until 1992. In 1992 AA had 2.4 million members worldwide. 20 years later AA has 2.4 million members worldwide with 2.5 million people dying annually from alcohol worldwide, If we truly want to help alcoholics in this century, we must cleave to our singleness of purpose.
I do not intend to offend anyone, I only wish to share a message vital to the survival of AA since we are responsible when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, we want the hand of AA to be there and for that we are responsible. We can twist that up to mean multipurpose activity, or we can juxtapose that statement with our tradition of unity, having to at least have an alcohol problem to be a member, and our singleness of purpose- traditions 1, 3 , and 5.
Please read our literature so you can have a truly informed group conscience.
The NA World Services Board of Trustees certainly agrees- having published NAs position on this in their Bulletin #13, found in the ‘Members’ section of the NA World Svcs website. Here’s an excerpt from NA Bulletin 13:
“Both fellowships have a Sixth Tradition for a reason: to keep each one from being diverted from its own primary purpose. Because of the inherent need of a Twelve Step fellowship to focus on one thing and one thing only, so that it can do that one thing supremely well, each Twelve Step fellowship must stand alone, unaffiliated with everything else. It is in our nature to be separate, to feel separate, and use a separate set of recovery terms, because we each have a separate, unique primary purpose. The focus of AA is on the alcoholic, and we ought to respect that fellowship’s perfect right to adhere to its own traditions and protect its focus. If we cannot use language consistent with that, we ought not go to their meetings and undermine that atmosphere. In the same way, we NA members ought to respect our own primary purpose and identify ourselves at NA meetings simply as addicts, and share in a way that keeps our message clear”.
That sure sounds quite clear to me.
I used to feel the same way....I also went to na...but the more I had time to think about where it all started , it started with a drink...thats where it started....i now do aa ...not na....so I respect aa when it comes to only speaking of a drink...
First you should listen when the AA preamble is read at meetings. It says says we share our experience, strength and hope so that we may solve our COMMON problem and help others recover from ALCOHOLISM.
Then you should read the long form of Tradition Three on page 563 of the Big Book.
Find a 12&12 and read what it says about the Third Tradition, especially the anecdote which starts at the bottom of page 141. Pay attention to the last sentence, "Never did he trouble anyone with his other difficulty."
The essay on Tradition Five begins with the cautionary statement, "Shoemaker, stick to thy last."
Another thing you should read is the pamphlet, "Problems Other Than Alcohol."
I was told in the beginning, "Identify, don't compare." I've never smoked pot, snorted coke, shot heroin, popped pills or did any of the other popular drugs, so when you talk of doing those things I have no way to identify. You may not believe this, but there are many like me who did nothing but drink. You're telling us that the letters A. A. now stand for Alcadictions anonymous, or maybe Assorted Ailments.
You wrote, "I'm a recovered alcoholic and drug addict and wanted to say that there were some times that some addicts had no where to go because there are no NA meetings near here, and to tell them to leave you mind as well say go die." If you're truly a recovered drug addict why don't you start an NA meeting?
You said, ""Identify, don't compare." I've never smoked pot, snorted coke, shot heroin, popped pills or did any of the other popular drugs, so when you talk of doing those things I have no way to identify." I disagree. So you can't identify with hurting your loved ones, having actions that against everything you believe in, waking up in strange places with strange people, abusing friends, being fired, living in despair, being homeless, living a false life, suicidal thoughts, lying, cheating, stealing, withdrawal, police activities, paranoia, depression, desperation?
These are not alcohol specific characteristics that are characteristics of all addictions. If you can't identify with these you must have the most unique alcoholism on the planet. Consider love and compassion for anyone that suffers
ive been in and out a.a and n.a , walked into first a.a meeting about 20 years ago , have had some sucess , 2 years ssemed to be max time id last , im 58 now , alcohal ive been able to stop for afew months at a time , but have quite a few medical issues that im treated with pain med , and antidepressentsb , ect , for me staying away from the alcohal is my sober . ive been through 3 rehabs , and have heard different opinions about ppl on presacribed meds , ive even walked away and try staying sober from alcohal on my own , it edoesn t last though , im feel ive run outta time , health is makeing it alot harder to attend a meeting even if i get the desire , guess bottom line is id like to hear another opinion about haveing to feel guilty cause im on pain meds , thanks L.S
I've been clean and sober for over 33 years using the program of recovery suggested by Alcoholics Anonymous. I've skipped meetings for years at a time but I was not in and out of my AA program. That's how powerful it is when done as suggested. I've been prescribed and used antidepressants and painkillers at times. I use doctors that know addiction. I don't need to ask anybody if its OK.
If you zero in on AA's program of recovery, you will have the answers to your questions.
Are you taking the medications as prescribed or to get a buzz? If you're not abusing the meds don't pay attention to the amateur doctors who tell you not to take them.
You don't have to tell anyone you're taking them, you know.