Steps

623 replies [Last post]
admin
Offline
Joined: 2009-08-28

Got questions, comments, experience or tales to share about AA's 12 Steps? Jump in and sound off!

Anonymous
12 Step audio study

What is the best 12 Step audio to listen to in order to better understand the steps???

Anonymous
12 step audio

www.xa-speakers.org has many 12 step walk thrus. I like paul F (put his name in the search box) There are also step & tradition workshops and walk thru at the site.
I think there is a section / heading for the steps & traditions.
Brad

noduis
Offline
Joined: 2013-09-05
12 Step audio study

Try the Big Book audio download. Chapters 2 and 3 can get you through Step 1, Chapter 4 explains Step 2, Chapter 5 gives very good suggestions on Step 4.
Chapter 6 shows what to do about Steps 5 through 11, and by then we're ready for Chapter 7.
Over the years people have written to AAWS concerning study guides. See the answer in "Box 4-5-9" August-September 1977.
It seems AAWS gives alcoholics more credit for their intelligence than most modern sponsors and the myriad self-appointed 'experts' who write the study guides.

Anonymous
First Step

After I read the Alcoholics Anonymous First Step and think about what it means to, me. I begin to comprehend first because it is a obvious thought, that my opinion really means nothing because many people have opinions and there is only one book Alcoholics Anonymous, but this does mean I am able to stay sober with the opinion I have if I remain active inside of, my, sobriety. This is the same thought I need to actually keep thinking with every individual Step from the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Steps, even the Fifth Step and the Ninth Step(Hazelden or people did not help me with sobriety like the book Alcoholics Anonymous did). The Alcoholics Anonymous First Step provided me with a new knowledge of 1) What Step One is as I read it, and 2) The thoughts I personally had, because I was aloud to think for myself, after I read the step. It was not ever what any thing or any body felt they needed because they thought after recognizing that I was inside of a certain state of mind, but it seemed the people helped me if they kept the thoughts they developed after reading the step for themselves and related to the book Alcoholics Anonymous; and even those were their thoughts and not mine. Just as I have my own thoughts and opinions this moment apart from what I have, "ever," herd anyone think aloud. This is why reading the book Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me in a great way; furthermore why reading the Alcoholics Anonymous First Step allows me to recognize even more what this Step means to me, most importantly. I feel less powerless when I see other people around me able to achieve sobriety after feeling hopeless while they lived actual lives powerless and unable to stop drinking alcohol, and I fell like my life is more manageable after thinking this because I know what more manageable actually is and, also, as I recognize I am doing what others have done to stay sober. Reading the book Alcoholics Anonymous and gathering my own thoughts seems to be the only opinion I have.

Anonymous
Is Seven that tough?

Seventh step prayer P76
“My Creator I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me the strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.”

Does it say “change me completely into some televangelist’s vision of the perfect man or women? Not to me. I’ve never met one in AA or anyplace else so either the prayer never works or that’s not what God wants. I’m betting on the latter.

God use whatever is good in me and whatever is bad in me and make it useful to my fellows. Throw the rest away. I sincerely believe whatever’s left is what God wants me to be today, nothing more, nothing less. Do the best I can today and that’s good enough. Tomorrow will be a new day and an ajustment may be needed. That’s what tomorrow’s for.

That’s what it says to me. Had I walked into my first AA meeting and was greeted by a room full of that TV preacher’s perfect people the door wouldn’t have had time to close behind me before I was back out. Over and over in our literature it repeats how it takes one to know one. Someone who has been down that path and has the scars to prove it can reach an alcoholic that no one else can.

Now that I know what it means and have had some of the guilt and shame and other crap removed, it works. I absolutely feel it work – often. Too much of my life I had lived in a would’a, should’a, could’a world. Never commit. “Maybe later”, “I don’t have time now”, “maybe”, “I’ll try”. When that thinking enters my mind now it is almost instantly replaced with a better idea that achieves results. Results that I am pleased with. Results that benefit others. Non-alcoholic thinking results. We are promised these results.

Now, is this Higher Power business reall that tough?

Anonymous
7th step

I say the 7th step prayer every day as I say all the step prayers every day. If I forget, a resentment, fear or active character defect will remind me.

lunchbunch
Offline
Joined: 2013-01-08
7th Step

When I took the 7th step for the first time at 6 months sober, I had no idea what lay ahead for me in AA and in life. All I knew was that I had stayed sober and learned a lot working 1-6 and was expressing my will to continue on and be of service in 7 - despite my shortcomings.

Many years later, my defects of character still flare up and create trouble in my AA and outside life. Today,thanks to AA, I not only know what my defects are and how they play out in my life, but I have a way to deal with them.

I have also learned that my defects in no way prevent me from being of service in AA, at home, at work and in my community. I can do the best with what I have and try to practice the principles of AA in all of my affairs.

Anonymous
Step Two

In order to be an atheist (deny the existence of god), I must first develop an image of this thing to be rejected. Having created this god that is not up to the standards in my mind, I reject it. So all I am rejecting is an image I dreamed up. Dismissing this imagined, defective non-entity for not being up to the standards for god can only be done by recognizing the qualities a god would have. By definition, god does not have to live up to a standard, god is this standard. By the way, this exercise, ferreting out and rejecting a mere idol, is a religious act.

And where did this god we conjured up come from? Assembled from parts that others cobbled together and called god and unless we are really lucky or really, really look it is very difficult to find any Lego’s out there in religionland that would make much of a god. In short, there is a great deal of lousy religion out there. On the other hand if I look elsewhere, where thinkers who love thinking pull out all the stops and don’t need to compromise to keep the building fund afloat, or uphold existing dogma I find quality. I find answers. I find questions to ask to find my own answers.

A good example of a quality of a good god would be Justice. We can search the world over and investigate everything calling itself justice and see that it easily falls short of Justice. Does this mean justice doesn’t exist? Of course it exists. It is the standard of quality that everything falls short of. Of course it is real. How could there be any concept of doing justice without a standard of what Justice is?

Agnostic? That’s just repeating the above exercise with a bag over my head.

noduis
Offline
Joined: 2013-09-05
Re: Step Two

Looking closely, I see that Step Two says I came to believe THAT a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity, not that I came to believe IN a power greater than myself.It says nothing about what I must believe in, just that I believe in something, even the collective power of the AA members. Once I stopped condemning religion and religious people I could start reading the Steps as they were written, and then begin working on myself.

Anonymous
RE: Step Two ...bag over my head

Your understandings of agnosticism and atheism are old fashioned. Please don’t lump all non-believers into a hopeless and negative category because of the few odd ball ones you may have encountered who might be immature as well. There is no official document in AA that bans people of no faith from accessing our fellowship. Agnostic AA meetings are central office approved and are now growing throughout the states. The old saying “Your enemy may just me your best friend” is sometimes relevant when we lock into “me vs. them” mentalities. Spiritual principals such as, love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, tolerance and other qualities are not owned by Gods in heavens but, are human characteristics which reside in all of us. A person does not have belief in god to express these qualities. Members who embrace our principals offer their hand out to everyone including non-believers and support the non-believers journey in sobriety. I do, even though I have a faith I sponsor both believers and non-believers. I’m not aware of any writings in our literature that proclaims it’s necessary to believe in god to get sober. They felt that “Probably” no-human power but at least they were humble to say that instead of “Absolutely” no- human power. They left the door open for progress, which was correct. Yes, the earlier members relied on religious ideas heavily but, there has always been a strand of non-believers to balance out the equation. We would be hypocrites if we turned our backs on non-believers and only reached out to believers. It’s true when AA was being shaped the early members fought with agnostics and atheists and this tone is reflected in the Big Book and other writings. Their struggle with non-believers is irrelevant today and out-dated. For instance, in Dr. Bob’s story, read his last paragraph and you can see he is not welcoming and tolerate of “atheists, agnostics, skeptics and other forms of men of intellectual pride” but pities them. He is saying that if the Big Book is not followed then someone is arrogant and will be doomed? Today, out of respect for our founders, we know this is not true and there is plenty of evidence to support it. We shouldn’t carry old attitudes by AA members from 70 years ago into our present day AA thinking because attitudes and opinions aren’t principals but biased, close-minded and personal. “Principals before Personalities”

Anonymous
re: step two

Logic fails when it endeavors to prove faith. Faith comes from hope, later from experience. I had hope AA would work for me, and now I have faith that it will as it has in the past. But that is just my understanding of faith, of a power greater than myself.
Your reference to Legos brings to mind the line from Edwin Arlington Robinson: "The world is not a prison house, but a kind of spiritual kindergarten where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks." I can't spell it, nor can you.

Anonymous
RE: Step Two.

If we offer the twelve steps and the Big Book, the
whole program/fellowship, in a suggestive manner, the
issue of Agnostic/Atheist would not even exist. All
suffering alcoholics approaching us would be treated
equally. I am a Christian and believe in and serve Christ.
I can share that openly at a meeting. That is my
experience, my strength and my hope. If I share that
without pride or arrogance, I should offend no one.
I don't say "well, if you want what I have, you will
have to do what I do, or worse yet, do what I tell you
to do.
Personal liberty in A.A. has been lost. God (of my
understanding) gave us free will. Today we seem to
place all kinds of conditions on sobriety. Pride does
lead the procession, and has all but destroyed A.A.
ANONYMOUS.

Anonymous
Step 2

I came to believe that I was insane because I did make a lost of insane thoughts about alcohol and everything else. I certainly could not change my thinking with my own sick head.
That to me is the first part of the step. I am not sane.

I also had to examine what I believed about the Higher Power and look at whether I thought I was smart enough to understand all that HP is or does. Since it speaks all languages, and responds to all the names it is called accepts all forms of prayer, and since it is in charge of absolutely everything, I accepted a power greater than my understanding.
The book says it is all or nothing.

I then asked that power to remove my insanity, as much as possible for that day. I still do that every day. It helps to keep the ego in check when I acknowledge that I still need help to stay sane.

Anonymous
Step 2

First I had to allow that I am insane about alcohol, then gradually my other insane ideas became apparent as I worked the steps. I made simple lists of my insane ideas. I find that the funniest speakers are those that talk openly about their insanity.
As I am not a Christian, I nearly left because of the Christian witnessing and language in the books. Even after many years sober, I am careful not to say the name of my HP in meetings. People stop listening to the recovery and argue in their minds with my religion if I do. Many newcomers leave because it seems religion is stressed rather than spirituality.
I want to make my message of recovery available to all who are suffering from this disease regardless of their religion.
I have found that spirituality is not the same as religion. The adventures in becoming humble, teachable, and willing, and tolerant are spiritual and can be recognized by the believers of any religion...and atheists too.

Anonymous
destroyed, liberty lost?

There are over 64,000 active groups in the US and Canada. I've attended a number of them during the last thirty years and have never seen one that an alcoholic couldn't walk in to a get all the solutions that they needed to solve their drinking problem. If you call that "all but destroyed", in my experience you are mistaken.

Personal liberty lost? I've offered views on spirituality that no one in the room agreed with but never once had a disparaging word to say about it. If you have lost personal liberty, it must be self-imposed.

Anonymous
Step One

If I have any expectation of getting rid of problems relating to alcoholism, I first need to be honest about having alcoholism. Three symptoms. I couldn't control alcohol after drinking a small amount, I couldn't stay away from it and I denied the first two facts. I lied to myself hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of times that, this time, repeating behavior would give different results. You have shown me countless times that unaided, this will continue. If I stop taking action, action that didn’t come natural to me, the denial will return, then inability to stay away from the first drink will return and then the lack of control over alcohol will return. When I make an honest appraisal of my drinking, I listen to you share yours and I consider those others who provided a clear message by dying from alcoholism, I see the disease. It is an absolute avalanche of misery. I’ve seen those who live with it, die with it, die from it. It provides unlimited misery. If I have any reservations in embracing Step Two, I am still clueless about my alcoholism and have not begun AA’s program of recovery. The measure of any of the steps completion is the willingness to embrace the next. Was I able to think my way through a step? No. Did waiting for the step to finish itself like a load of laundry in the dryer work. No. Simple, focused, action did however. Completing the first step and the remaining eleven provided rewards were beyond my dreams, as promised.

Anonymous
RE: Step one

Thanks. "It is an absolute avalanche of misery." We
destroy ourselves and those close to us by drinking. And
the pain multiplies when an AA member drinks again. And
according to some statistics, 95 percent of AA members drink
again after being exposed to Alcoholics Anonymous. To
see a father, mother,spouse or child relapse, after hope has been built up, is the epitome of misery.
Why do so many alcoholics fail to achieve and maintain
sobriety? Why do we continue to blame the sick individual
for not responding to treatment. Should we suggest a
second opinion, maybe a different program?
The true method, which Bill W explains on page 70
in Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, is a solution
to our stagnation. Bill writes about humility and
responsibility.
Bill wrote on page 70: "THIS WAS IT. And this
mutual give-and-take is at the very heart of all of A.A."s
Twelfth Step work today. This was how to carry the message.
The final link was located right there in my first talk
with Dr. Bob." This statement came from Bill W. in 1957,
after twenty of working to establish A.A. as a solution
to stop this avalanche of misery. It will work, if we
work it according to Bill's design. God's gift to Bill
was transmitted to Dr. Bob by humility and weakness,
not from some spiritual hilltop. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Step seven

Seventh step prayer P76
“My Creator I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me the strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.”

Does it say “change me completely into some televangelist’s vision of the perfect man or women? Not to me. I’ve never met one in AA or anyplace else so either the prayer never works or that’s not what God wants. I’m betting on the latter.

God use whatever is good in me and whatever is bad in me and make it useful to my fellows. Throw the rest away. I’ll do the best I can today and that’s good enough. I believe whatever is left is exactly what you want me to be today rough edges and all. Tomorrow will be a new day and an ajustment may be needed. That we will do tomorrow.

That’s what it says to me. Had I walked into my first AA meeting and was greeted by a room full of that TV preacher’s perfect people the door wouldn’t have had time to close behind me before I was back out. Over and over in our literature it repeats how it takes one to know one. Someone who has been down that path and has the scars to prove it can reach an alcoholic that no one else can.

Now that I know what it means and have had some of the guilt and shame and other crap removed, it works. I absolutely feel it work – often. For example, all my life I had lived in a would’a, should’a, could’a world. Never commit. “Maybe later”, “I don’t have time now”, “maybe”, “I’ll try”. When that thinking enters my mind now it is almost instantly replaced with a better idea that achieves results. Results that I am pleased with. Results that benefit others. Non-alcoholic thinking results. You are also promised the same.

Anonymous
steps

u only need step 7 if u have any shortcomings in step 6. b/book pp 76 thank God they kept it simple !!

clu1992
Offline
Joined: 2012-05-30
big book topic

would it be possible to create a big book topic? I think a big book topic would be a great addition to this forum. I would love to read others interpretation of various paragraphs from the big book.

Anonymous
RE: bigbook topic

Clu1992
Ask and you shall receive.
Rose

Anonymous
ordained fellow?

Hello, as I work through step 5 with sponsor/teacher I have decided that it is time to be "entirely honest with somebody". During the past week I have prayed for direction "in choosing the person with whom to take this intimate step". I believe I "will do well to talk to someone ordained by an established religion". I have never searched for an ordained drunk, and I am presently living 2+ hours from my church (located in Middle Georgia). As I am presently searching for a new home church I am not certain how easy it will be to find my man through local churches. I have met one pastor who I believe would assist with the Big Book rules ("must be hard on self"), but I know he is not a fellow. Ideally my man would be in the northwest Atlanta area(Marietta, Kennesaw, Woodstock, Roswell, Canton). He will be ordained (established religion) and really working the steps. I prefer he be a member of the Baptist's (Southern Baptisset Convention). As I search I will be working on other Step 5 items. If you are able to help please send a message

John

Anonymous
Ordained

I worked the 4th with guidance from my sponsor and our home group members (step study group). My sponsor regularly shared nuggets of his 4th with me to illuminate possible areas of examination. He was not shy about revealing the most embarrassing details, including sex. This helped me mine deeper depths of my 4th. During the 3 months I worked on my 4th, I probably shared most details with my sponsor.

I was fully prepared to do a 5th with my sponsor. Instead, he directed me to a local Jesuit priest who regularly heard 5th steps. I'd been raised Catholic so this worked out fine for me. At one point, out of the blue, the priest asked me to tell him what I didn't want to tell him. I blurted out my darkest and most shameful secret. Today, I have no problem openly talk about that secret at meeting or podium level. Freedom.

Another thing that surprised me was that the priest didn't want to hear about every sad sexual encounter or despicable thing I'd done as a drunk. He'd listen to one or two examples, would help me see the nature of my wrong and would suggest we move on to a new area.

The priest thing worked out great for me but the main lesson is that through the process of working the 4th & 5th, I gained the freedom to share just about anything with anyone in AA. My past has no power over me and has become an asset that can be used to help others.

Anonymous
Step 12

Thanks for your share, er, honesty. The truth is freedom; and I hear it through courageous acts such as your share, er, post. Thank you for transmitting the gift of your knowledge of God's will. You helped this alcoholic today.

Anonymous
Ordained - 5th step priest

I have heard of an order of priests, I think somewhere in the north east that specialize in the ministry of hearing 5th steps. Have you heard of these priests? Recently I am finding myself in need of taking a 5th step on an issue other than alcohol, and feeling called to entrust this 5th step to an ordained priest.

Anonymous
RE: ordained

I certainly would not want the person sitting next to me
at meetings to know the dark secrets of my past. And I suspect that
most alcoholics have secrets similar to mine. That information could certainly place a person "sponsor"
in a position of power, and could be used in a negative
or harmful way, especially in the sexual arena. Think about it. This is too close to cultism.
If You feel the need for confession, find someone
qualified (you certainly did so and favorably) I personally
would never do the fourth or fifth in a group setting.
Just because others expose themselves, does not mean
that knowledge of your past acts are safe with them.
Use caution and prudence along with common sense. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
ordained fellow

I would pray to be guided to the right person and I wouldn't be giving God specifications about the qualifications of that person.

Anonymous
RE: ordained fellow?

When I came into AA, there was very little mention of
the steps. The step shades had appeared on the meeting
walls. No one pointed to them, saying "this is what you
have to do". I could see them out of the corner of my eye.
They were truly suggestions. My first couple of years were
spent attending speaker meetings. I became interested in
the steps when my home group leaders started a step
meeting using the 12 & 12. That meeting is still active.
At about five years I was going through some "tough
times", and felt that the steps might help me. Upon
examination I found that I had already "taken" steps one,
two and three. Step four was staring me in the face.
I had some shameful events in my past that weighed
heavily on me. I wrote them down as clearly as I could.
I called an Elder in my home group and asked him
if he would listen to my "confession". He was someone
I felt I could trust. We met at his place on a Saturday
morning at his kitchen table with a coffee pot and my
notes. I talked about all of it, even though I wasn't
sure that I would be able to expose all of it.
I left his home that morning in good spirits. I just
felt a bit lighter. I went to my rented room and pondered
what I had just done, and my "work" so far.
I rested for an hour or so and went for a drive. The
revelation came to me that now maybe I could indeed stay
sober in spite of my circumstances or conditions.
And I have stayed sober almost 44 years of absolute
abstinence from alcohol. I went through the forth and
fifth steps again at about twenty years. This time
I confided in a priest with whom I had become friends.
This helped me through another difficult period.
This has been my experience with the steps. I have
attended step meetings on a regular basis. We only
study the steps and they are the discussion topic. We
don't work or take the steps at meetings. We leave
that up to the individual member.
I would ask you to read Bill W's article printed in
the AA Grapevine September 1945 issue. "Rules Dangerous but Unity Vital. You can find it
in The Language of the Heart beginning on page 6. I found
it interesting and helpful, especially in passing the
message to other suffering alcoholics.

Anonymous
4 or 5

working on other Step 5 items?

I assume you mean step four items and, if so, Step 5 is absolutely none of your concern.

I don't hear anything about trusting a Higher Power to solve your problem.

I prayed for courage and expected to be made fearless. I finally learned that courage is not lack of fear, it is the act of putting one foot in front of the other toward something we are frightened of. What kind of Higher Power have you come to believe in that won't provide the courage to make you a better human being as promised by the AA program?

Anonymous
ordained

I don't know about you but a journey of 2 + hours would be no hurdle for me to get drunk and try to drive home. Why should it be to hindrance to getting sober?

A couple of calls or emails to set it up and one trip. The End.

Anonymous
re ordained

The step has much more to do with you than with the listener. If your sponsor has done what AA recommends, he has taken you to a variety of meetings. If you ask at a few you will certainly hear the experience of others. (Isn't that how this thing works?)

It sounds like you are trying to combine two tasks in one. Do the fifth step with someone knowledgeable about the AA program. If you also want to speak one-on-one with someone ordained in your church too all the better.

If you are like me and a lot of others you need a fifth step to save your life. Many of us without any religious affiliation have taken this step with great success. Put one foot in front of the other on step five until you have completed it. I liked seeing my garbage in the rear view mirror, not staring me in the face.

Anonymous
steps

in tells u how it works in the B/Book. Clear cut precise instructions ! Chap 5 !!? I do despair for the future of this Programme ! God help u all !

Anonymous
RE: re ordained

"If you are like me and a lot of others you need a fifth step to save your life." I would really hesitate to tell
an AA member, new or early timer that they will die if they don't take the fifth step. The steps ought to be offered
in a suggestive manner. They ARE suggestions. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
One suggestion.

The steps are a suggestion of a program of recovery. One suggestion comprised of twelve steps not twelve suggestions. A recipe is a suggestion for baking a cake, whether or not to use all the listed ingredients isn't. Sure you can add or subtract some but that makes it a different recipe, wouldn't it. AA has a recipe that works and documented it. Nameless, faceless posters on the internet post other recipes. Where are their documented results?

Anonymous
RE: One Suggestion.

Alcoholics Anonymous offers a method (receipt) which works.
That method has little with telling an alcoholic they will
die if they don't confess their sins or defects. Rarely have
we seen an alcoholic fail who has thoroughly followed our
path. Our PATH, not our directions. For those who don't know, that was changed just before the BB went to press.
ANONYMOUS

bryce92
Offline
Joined: 2014-03-20
Directions

Page 29, top "Further on are clear cut DIRECTIONS.....page 85 last paragraph: " If you have carefully followed DIRECTIONS....Y'all might want to investigate what is between those 2 pages.....

Anonymous
RE: Directions

Bill and his friends were pressed for time. They needed money desperately and soon. They did make a lot of changes at the last minute. Changing "our directions" to "our path" is significant. The Big Book in its entirety is to be offered as a suggestion, in a suggestive manner. Bill did not have the luxury of time to make all the changes needed. He covered it all by using the word path, and that more
would be revealed. We push prospects back out into the
darkness by giving them directions, and telling them they
have to work those steps. Allow them to follow the path
left for us. ANONYMOUS

clu1992
Offline
Joined: 2012-05-30
re pressed for time

“Bill and his friends were pressed for time” Bill was so pressed for time that he wrote a chapter, made 2 copies, sent one to akron ohio and one to the NY group for feedback. they made those changes then they sent out 400 mimeograph copies to everyone who might be interested for feedback. Please check out “markings your archives enewsletter” spring 2014 for some interesting information of the 18 months between when they decided to write a book and the publication of the big book in april 1939.
Anyway, the changes made in the printers copy was mostly the “you” to “we” and “must” to “ought” at the suggestion of Dr. Howard and Dr. Silkworth. I have in my possession a copy reprinted from hazeldon of the printers copy. It’s awesome to see the handwritten notes in the margins. What I found most interesting was not what they changed, but what they decided not to change. The main example is in the chapter “working with others” where they left all the “you” language in place.
Currently we have the 4th edition of the big book. Bill died in Jan of 1971 giving him 31 years and 9 months to make these changes you say he didn’t have time to make. You would think Bill would have made these important changes in one of the printings of the 1st or 2nd editions with all the other changes that were made. It’ll be 75 years in April since the first printing giving AA 75 years to make the changes you say they didn’t have time to make.
Like you said, “more will be revealed” what has been revealed over the last 75 years is that alcoholism hasn’t changed and the program of recovery from alcoholism hasn’t changed. From what I have seen is the further we get away from that program outlined in the book, the less effective AA is.

Anonymous
RE: RE: One Suggestion.

I visualize a path going up into the woods. It is a well
beaten path. There is a sign which says, "this is the way
to a faith that works." There is no one on that path. God
is there but you probably will not see Him.
There is a method, gadget, formula recipe which, if followed, which rarely fails the alcoholic sufferer.
I would sometimes find receipts in my pockets the next
morning: memos of where I had been and what I had done.
Never a recipe. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
re directions

My big book still has directions. the book refers to the directions on page 85, "if we have carefully followed directions......."

I’m of the belief that we should be honest up front. When I consider all the steps, traditions, literature, what comes to mind is if you work the steps and your group follows the traditions as close as possible, you and the group will survive. If we stray too far from either, we and our groups will most certainly die.

I’m attending another funeral this week. It was suggested to him to take the program cafeteria style ( take what you want and leave the rest). Of course he did all the easy stuff ie, go to meetings, keep coming back, easy does it. He easy did it so long, now he’s dead. He never had a daily program of action.

Anonymous
RE: re directions

Your Big Book still has directions. If you will read
page 164, you will see that these directions are to be
offered to anyone interested, in a suggestive manner. This
is the most important direction.
Initially, after Bill W.'s "White Light" experience,
Bill also believed that absolute honesty (the truth)
ought to be up front. That approach did not work for
Bill and seldom works for us today. Sure, a few get
the message and get well. Enough alcoholics are saved
to replace those who die or just leave for various
reasons. But if we could have a little less truth and
a lot more grace, the multitudes can be saved. You
actually have to study AA history to understand what
I keep writing about. ANONYMOUS

charin
Offline
Joined: 2011-12-20
Big Book Pg. 72

"If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking."

Anonymous
re hesitate

I don’t see much hesitation in AA Iiterature! I think you should read the big book. If you are a “real alcoholic” you will more than likely die from alcoholism without working step 5. Take a few minutes to read the following from the big book.

Into Action, p.72
“The best reason first: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking.”
Bill's Story, p.15
“If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die.”

How It Works, p.66
“And with us, to drink is to die.”

Appendix I, The A.A. Tradition, p.561
“We alcoholics see that we must work together and hang together, else most of us will finally die alone.”

A Vision For You, p.154
“But what about his responsibilities -- his family and the men who would die because they would not know how to get well, ah -- yes, those other alcoholics?”

There Is A Solution, p.24
“When this sort of thinking is fully established in an individual with alcoholic tendencies, he has probably placed himself beyond human aid, and unless locked up, may die or go permanently insane.”

Foreword to Second Edition, p.xix
“But out of this frightening and at first disrupting experience the conviction grew that A.A.'s had to hang together or die separately.”

noduis
Offline
Joined: 2013-09-05
Re: re hesitate

Two quotes which really irritate the "Steps are only suggestions" type:
"Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it culd have little permanent effect uless at once followed by a strenuos effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us." (Big Book, page 64)
"More sobriety brought about by the admission of alcoholism and by attendance at a few meetings is very good indeed, but it is bound to be a far cry from permanent sobriety and a contented, useful life. That is just where the remaining steps of the A.A. program come in. Nothing short of continuus action upon these as a way of life can bring the much-desired result." (12&12, pages 39 and 40)

Anonymous
RE: re ordained

There is a big difference between a dozen separatte suggestions and a suggested program. Check a dictionary. The idea that the steps are merely separate suggestions is nothing more than rationalization for not taking any of them.

Anonymous
Struggling with the whole thing

I am sober 2.5 years now. I know I'm an alcoholic, that I can't just have one drink or be ok walking away from a half full beer. I decided after half a dozen meetings in the very beginning that I can do this on my own. The last years of my drinking life were bitter, lonely and angry. Most of the friends I had made were not friends they were drinking buddies, the lovers not loved but drunken mashed up bodies that I couldn't remember. There was no great bottom for me, I knew I had to change to be better to be worthy of people and love. Being around people drinking doesn't bother me as much any more, but I still find myself falling into the patterns that I had when I was drinking. I spend the majority of my free time in my apartment alone, not interested in spending time outside of myself. I want to begin to go out into the world, but I am afraid of that worlds rejection. I'm sort of all over the place with this I guess. I want to begin at the beginning with the steps that I skipped over, but contacting the first person that I feel I hurt because of my drinking seems selfish with so much time that has passed his life a nice pretty picture from the outside (damn internet) Why should I disrupt his life, especially if I don't know that it will improve my feelings.

jefft1962
Offline
Joined: 2013-11-25
Struggling

I can relate to the isolation. I always told myself that I was a loner and an introvert, that I was not a "people person." But now after three years of sobriety I cannot go a day without some type of meaningful interaction with a member of AA; I also need other people in my daily life. So it seems that I was just justifying being alone by telling myself that I was an introvert.

I had to keep it simple; I took small steps. Through honest interaction with spiritually fit AA's, I moved beyond the fear of rejection. I found out who I am through others. When this process began, as long as I kept trying, the momentum of my recovery was guided along by a power greater than myself. The Steps made more sense to me, I was working the steps--the Steps became a working part of my life; I am having trouble explaining this experience, but I knew it was working because I felt better. I had hope and serenity. I was able to trust others and really hear what they were saying. I tried what they had done and it worked for me despite my doubts.

I have learned not to trust my thoughts. I have learned to be patient in doing a personal inventory and clearing away the wreckage of the past. I have learned to ask others about their experience with these issues and I have become willing and ready to take action.

Anonymous
re struggling

Like you I tried to think my way out of having a thinking disorder called alcoholism. When the struggeling wore me out, I finally read directions.
“The main object (of our book) is to enable you find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem”. Alcoholics Anonymous p45.

It is now several years later my problem was solved and stayed solved.

Anonymous
LOVE THAT FEELING

LOVE THE FEELING OF NOT KNOWING WHAT I IM FEELING AND AT THE SAME TIME I KNOW WHERE IM AT EVEN WHEN IM LOST RHANK GOD I KNOW WHWERE MY NEXT MEETING IS

jefft1962
Offline
Joined: 2013-11-25
Love that Feeling

I love the feeling that I get when I accept that I am right where I am supposed to be at this moment. I don't have to stop and try to figure anything out--just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Post new comment