This is what you wrote about the FELLOWSHIP of AA:
"Each member shares what helps them. Not all members share the same experiences in recovery. Not every bit of AA wisdom was discovered in 1935. The founders would agreed with me on that. Where is it written in AA that if someone does not work the suggested path they should be kicked out? No where."
Indeed everything you wrote is correct. Every bit of AA wisdom was discovered BEFORE 1935. Nothing, absolutely nothing was added after 1935. As Bill W. wrote (see Appendix II of the Big Book Fourth Edition, 2001) his inspiration was from the book by William James published in 1902: The Varieties of Religious Experiences. As also clearly stated by Bill W. in his article of July 1953, Volume 10, No. 2. of the Grapevine, "12 Steps in 30 Minutes".
Bill W. followed excatly the format presented by William James for the alcoholic recovery experiences, religious or not so religious stories, in the first edition of the Big Book. But where did William James get his ideas about drunkards helping other drunkards by relating their experiences, religious or not, of how they stopped drinking?. As he stated in his book, William James obtained them from an article by James H. Leuba published in the Journal of Psychology, Volume 7, No. 2, 1896, containing one story after another of recovery from drinking. Yes, 1896.
There is nothing more to the AA Fellowship than it takes one alcoholic to help another and that by helping another it helps the alcoholic remain sober. This is what Bill W. did. He never followed the 12 steps. NEVER. A sponsor? He NEVER had one. The word SPONSOR is not even in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.
So, with membership meetings (and also now online meetings) AA is providing a venue for alcoholics to come and share, with the hope that such will bring beneficial results, as such hope was already described in 1896, and maybe even prior to this.
Alcoholics Anonymous is known universally as a "Twelve Step Program." I have never heard anyone refer to it as a "Meeting Every Day Program."
One off you asked why those in AA who believe in God go to church? I ask you why those of you who want only fellowship come only to AA? For the cheap coffee? You can find fellowship in any church, organization, or bar. Go to any fast food restaurant in the morning and see if there isn't at least one table full of folks who meet there every morning for breakfast and fellowship. Fellowship can be found at any group therapy session. There is even a form of fellowship in mental hospitals.
I'm sure a newcomer feels welcome when you give him a hug and say, "I love you, Brother, don't drink and keep coming back."
But that won't solve the problem of someone who suffers from the mental obsession which compels him to drink and the physical allergy which forces him to keep on drinking. If he could 'just don't drink' he wouldn't need AA in the first place.
Another seems to know what the founders though. I suggest you read pages 274 and 275 in "Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers" to see what at least one of our founders actually thought about those who wanted sobriety but didn't want to work for it.
I agree, the Preamble says AA is a fellowship. It also says we share our experience, strength and hope. If the only strength someone has to share is his strong will power it won't do a lot of good to those who tried to quit on will power and failed.
"Why does anyone really care how anyone else is getting
sober?"?? I am always interested in success stories. To
me, they are the backbone of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Bill W. wrote in "Three Talks To American Medical
societies": You may ask: How does A.A. work? Bill answers
the question. Bill says that he could not fully explain
how A.A. works. Yet we say at most meetings "this is how
it works: HIW.
Bill wrote that we can only tell you what we do and
what seems to happen to us as the result.
I may have a fragile recovery and be insecure about
it, but I have been SOBER for 43 years.
I understand the pie chart. Thanks to the "thinker"!
Thanks for a message worth reading more than once.
"It can only be seen looking back into it". I believe this
explains why the word "directions" was changed to "path"
just before the Big Book went to print. The first hundred
members left us a path to follow. There is no one on that
path. God may be there, but we will probably not see Him.
"Recovery occurs experientially". We follow the path
by faith, willingly. The only authority is a member's full
consent, willingly given. We are not ruled by people, but
by principles, by truths, and, as most of us would say,
by God. Refer to page 8 in The Language of the Heart.
Yes, the rewards have been extraordinary. It grieves
me that our fellowship is so near death. A.A. was by
far the greatest gift I have every known: so much more
than I ever expected or deserved. ANONYMOUS
My soon to be ex-wife got a hold of my fourth step behind my back and made copies for her lawyers and family.
Now I'm finished. Can she use this in a court of law against me? I really got honest and there is stuff in there that will create all kinds of legal problems. Feeling like a chump.
Same thing happened to me 20+ years ago. I left my 4 the step on the coffee table and my wife read it. She wasn't pleased with my sex inventory. I complained to my sponsor that for the 1st time it "really " wasn't my fault. After further discussion, it was my fault. Who wouldn't Be tempted to read someone 's inventory?
I learned to keep my inventories in a safe place and yes, I continue taking a "written " inventory and am still happily married to my first wife.
Instead of looking at it in a negative light, look at it as a way of making amends. This may be your chance to deal with the past. However don't forget to use your higher power, your sponsor, and maybe a lawyer. You will continue to live only for today.
I know if some people knew what I did in my past I would destroy a whole family, and probably go to prison for a long time. Only my higher power and my sponsor knows. If it came that the people found out what I did, Iwould have to accept what is going to happen to me, and deal with the consequences of my actions. I know I'm not perfect and truly I ask if anyone has not sinned to cast the first stone.(not trying to be religious)
Yikes man it doesn't look good for you. We have to face the consequences of our reckless drinking and it looks like you will face them sooner than you wanted to. Drinking won't solve anything. I was told never to write a fourth step down on paper or on leave one on my computer. Mine was in the form of one drunk talking to another. Good luck.
Legal problems? Do you want information from a professional who is knowledgeable about your case and divorce law in your state or us.
The only qualification we need to have is that we are nuts.
But since you reached out:
Most of us sweat the same kind of stuff needlessly. I've been through it. Almost no-one can afford to go to court so it is unlikely the information will be put on display there.
Standards of misbehavior have changed since Henry the eighth got his last divorce. Judges see/hear it all every week so bizarre behavior like daytime TV doesn't even get their attention. They just want to get out of there and play golf.
I was told divorce is a business deal, its about money, for the most part there isn't a price tag on misbehavior. Where did the assets come from, how were they shared, for how long? "Bla, bla, bla, he did, she did, 50 -50, bailiff call the next case."
Now that I may have given you some ray of hope, get a lawyer and see if I have a clue what I'm talking about.
Thanks for your thoughtful replies. I must accept the fact that their were consequences because of my reckless past. This week a guy shared at our group that he was sentenced to two years in jail after he was sober a year and a half for things that caught up with him. He seems mature and sensible now and is grateful for getting honest.
Today is my 25th Anniversary... Thanks to HP & AA could not have done it on my own....
Did not think I could get 25 days in a row let alone 9,131...
bftgogtgi Thankful for the complete program off AA R. U. S. all 3 legacies.
AA needs to work with disabled people like myself. I have cerebral palsy ans don't feel welcome in my home town. step 12 is non existent and judging is the norm. I have relaspse many times but doesn't want to .
Sorry to hear of your troubles. You are not alone. Like many older AA's, I have a hearing disability. Mine is worse than most, some people I can never hear or understand. Others, however, I can hear perfectly if they put forth any effort to be heard. You'd be surprised at the number of people who have a hand over their mouth while sharing. I've asked people point blank to speak up or uncover their mouth. They are incapable of it for more than a few seconds. I'm sure some psychologist has an explanation for it but that doesn't increase the volume any. My observation is that they are simply oblivious to others. I'm the same in some areas and I'm sure that there are other acts of self-centeredness I'm still unaware of. It took years to notice that somebody else might want a refill of coffee while I am up. We lived in the ultimate world of self-centeredness, drunk, for years. At least some of us have been able to pick up the tools and deal with that and other improvement follows.
My recovery started with me looking inward not outward for character defects.
At the end of my first meeting an old salt asked me if I was willing to go to any lengths to get sober and I responded honestly that I didn’t know. He told me loud and clear “Then AA is no @*&!! place for you.” I went back about three months later with the conviction that if that building wasn’t big enough for both of us, he could leave. That was over thirty years ago and I haven't had a drink since that meeting.
My sobriety is not about THEM.
My sobriety is about God and me.
I expect to find the most self-centered, self-absorbed people in the world in AA and I find them. Eagles don't flock but I have found enough of them in AA to show me how it can work.
For thousands of years alcoholics didn't have a chance of recovery as we know it. We have a two hundred and one word instruction sheet that tells us exactly how we can recover. If you don't want to relapse use it.
There are hundreds of AA stories that can be listened to online. Just search for AA talks. There are excellent resources on YouTube and numerous online groups. Much of AA's literature is online and a Grapevine subscription is cheaper than your last drunk.
I don't know where the deal about read the first 164 pages of the big book came from, what are the rest for, toilet paper? I learned about what AA owes me and I owe AA when I read "Ok, go start AA in Detroit," "Go start AA in Chicago", "Go back to Canada and start AA, here are 400 letters asking for help".
Those who want to stay sober pick up the tools and with God's help stay sober, happy, joyous and free. It's up to you. I sincerely hope you join us.
I have been an active member of AA since 1992. I was a member prior to 1992, but didn’t find continued happy sobriety until I got a sponor, homegroup, and began working the steps with that sponsor. What I mean by active member is I attend and participate in my homegroup activities and duties, talk to my sponsor on a regular basis, work the steps as best I can, and sponsor or help newcomers when asked.
On average over the last 20 plus years I attend my home group once a week, attend a jail or other meeting, and a detox or other meeting, and speak at other AA meetings or public information workshops when asked. So, usually about 3 meetings a week, sometimes more depending on my schedule. What does this have to do with AA’s 12 steps? Well at last night’s detox meeting there were 6 patients and I knew 3. The three I know attend meetings and don’t work the steps. One was back after a couple months of not drinking and the other two around 7 months. All three seem to really want sobriety but are under the illusion that real alcoholics can stay sober by doing what hard drinkers do to stay sober. I have met a lot of alcoholics over the years and my experience is this- after participating in open, closed, jail, and detox AA meetings over the years I have never met a single alcoholic that has relapsed while practicing AA’s 12 steps. I have seen hundreds over and over that have tried other methods and failed. I am not theorizing, I am simply stating my personal experience. The statement in the big book is true, “rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path”. My experience is “never have I seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path”.
What I suggest to the alcoholics out there who have as yet not found happy sobriety is get a sponsor, homegroup, and start working the steps with that sponsor as described in our book “Alcoholics Anonymous”.
God bless you and keep you until then.
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly
followed our path". If we are trying to help another
alcoholic get sober or stay sober, and that person drinks,
would that not be called a failure? But who has failed?
I would say that the sponsor has failed. I believe that
most "sponsors" place the blame on the "prospect".
We blame the patient because the medicine we offer
him does not work. Maybe you will say, Well, he/she
refuses to take the medicine.
I believe that if we present the medicine in the
way Dr. Silkworth suggested to Bill W. in the spring
of 1935, most patients will take the medicine and we,
along with the patient, will rarely fail.
Note: I have never seen an alcoholic fail who has
followed this suggestion. "don't drink alcohol, and go to
alcoholics anonymous meetings". If we don't drink and
continue to go to meetings, how can we fail? ANONYMOUS
A definition of alcoholism is the inability to control drinking after consuming a small amount and the inability to stay away from that first drink. "Alcoholics Anonymous" is filled with examples of exactly that. In other words untreated alcoholics don't have the capacity to not drink. Sitting in meetings watching others recover works about like sitting by the pool watching others taking swimming lessons.
I heard or read somewhere that those who contributed to writing the BB wanted to include the line "NEVER have we seen a person fail...." but thought that statement might be a bit too boastful or unbelievable so they dialed it back a bit.
My experience over the years tracks with yours. I would feel comfortable using the word Never. Of course, the bar is high. How many who come to AA are willing to "thoroughly follow our path" and do the things called for on that path? It is a wonderful and miraculous thing to behold when it happens.
Not sure who first came up with the notion that Bill W contemplated using the word "never" to begin "how it works," but in spite of his tendency to hyperbole, he did not. To borrow from Pope, "whatever works best is best." I NEVER tell someone else how to work the steps or to work the steps. I merely tell them what I have done, what has worked, what has not.
So -- what has worked for u and what has not?
Can I skip Steps 6 and 7 because I don't think they work too good? The old-timers in my group are still full of character defects as far as I can see. And from what I read Bill W. had plenty of defects well into his recovery. Why would God remove my defects? If he made me then I must be perfect or does he allow the imperfections to live in me so he can remove them later? If my defects don't go away does that mean God doesn't exist?
No it does not mean God doesn't exist. God is always there with a hand, it is up to us to reach for it. We only need to be willing. besides if you want to skip 6&7 go ahead, you'll just won't be your better or if you will your authentic self. When I did my 6&7 I was free from my selfish bad defects of character. I mean how can you do 8&9 if you have an attitude problem, anger, inferiority complex, being selfish, and all the other stuff that made your life misery? Think about it, it's your life. do you want to live happy or not?
Hi, don't sweat it. Stay away from the first drink and your dreams will come true. Some personality types like to follow recipes in order to bake cookies but recovery is not a cookie cutter experience. Others have in them a mechanism that drives them to experiment with finding their bliss. I sponsor both types and so far both types are sober. It's often said that the two things that drive people to unhappiness is fear and desire. These characteristics will drive us to rigidity, close-mindedness and hostility, not to mention greed and territorialism. Some unhealthy groups and people are dominated by these characteristics in AA. I think these are the main characteristic's that fuel all addicts minds as well as the average person, however the average person won't wake up in the morning in a blackout in a strange place surrounded by strange people. They will just be the person most likely to be avoided at social gatherings.
Your comments sound like someone from a non 12 step program trying to trip up someone in AA. If your sober by using programs like "rational recovery " or group therapy, great. I'm greatfull for your sobriety. Please don't suggest members of AA nit work the steps of AA. The steps of AA are what individuals members of AA try to work as a daily program of recovery. Although none of us are required to practice the program, the progressive. Nature of alcoholism dictates whether one can stay sober without working the program.
Please review the Tradition Three checklist. It is available on-line. If I'm following your post correctly then you are saying if someone doesn't get sober like you than they don't belong in AA? Where is the love and tolerance in this message? Everything I share I have heard in the AA rooms or from long-time AA members. These alternative places you mentioned are not part of my recovery. And if you are suggesting I belong somewhere else than please feel free to bring this up with your sponsor. I personally love AA but unfortunately some members fall from grace often because their egos want to be more important than our principals or traditions.
No u didn't read my post correctly. I didn't say leave. I said u sound like people I know who are not in AA.
I believe without the steps, AA would be just another rotary club.
U mentioned love and tolerance. Big book page 84, it's our code, part of the 10th step, of course one must practice the first 9 to be at step ten .
What I really want to share is I have yet to see an alcoholic not recover by using our steps. I have seen hundreds die unwilling to apply the steps as a way of life. Why would I ever suggest not working the steps? Especially as a member having such a good time with the steps.
You said, "Why would I ever suggest not working the steps? Why would you? I wouldn't either but, I do tell them its not necessary if they are concerned. You also mentioned, "I have seen hundreds die unwilling to apply the steps as a way of life." Again, I see thousands get sober without the steps and I've seen the best of big book thumpers relapse. Whether one works or does not work the steps is not the key ingredient in whether one relapses or stays sober. One day I hope you discover the true reason for all of this.
I would NEVER tell an alcoholic to take the steps. I
would NEVER tell anyone, alcoholic or not, not to take
the steps. I share how the steps have helped me, without
implying that anyone else do the same. Attraction, no
promotion of any kind. Everyone is free to decide whether to work the twelve steps of A.A.
"Whether one works the steps or does not work the
steps is not the key ingredient in whether one relapses or stays sober". Your statement will rile many A.A. members,
although it is true. One day I also hope all A.A. members
discover the true reason for all of this. It is really simple. The steps are offered as suggestions (in theory).
Most of today's A.A. members do not know what is meant
by suggestion; or (in theory), for that matter. The 12
steps are suggestions; the Big Book is meant to be
suggestive only. Bill wrote that "more will be revealed"
But most of today's A.A. members consider the Big Book
to be a second Bible.
We are in the same book and seem to be on the same
page. Our cramming of the steps is written about by
Bill in the September 1945 issue of the Grapevine. He
cautions us about cramming the steps down anyone's
throat. Repeatedly reading HIW is cramming the steps,
in my opinion.
Six to Eight million suffering alcoholics have been
pushed away from A.A. in the past 20 years, due to
our spiritual pride and ignorance. ANONYMOUS
In 21 years I have never witnessed anyone relapse who is actively working the steps from the big book.
You said, "In 21 years I have never witnessed anyone relapse who is actively working the steps from the big book." My response is, "Great, and I would also add that in 31 years, I have seen people who have never read the big book or work the steps and stay sober. I'm one of them." That's the beauty about the Fellowship of AA. Some people like the suggested path and others like to find paths that better suit their recovery needs. Some people find it not necessary to be spiritual in AA and that doesn't mean they are evil-doers. Neither paths are better or worse. They are equal in value with equal results. I was never told there was only one way of getting sober and if I didn't follow that one way then I would drink again. Are people that closed in now? A mind that adheres to that kind of rationale obviously has missed the beauty and joy of sobriety because being sober is one of the greatest pleasures in an alcoholics life.
I will preface my comments by noting that I am a militant agnostic. Thus, step 3 took some consideration, as did step seven. But I ultimately concluded that my prayers at step three, as well as after step six, were basically my resolution not to act as I had for some long, impulsively and out of a warped sense of my own importance and entitlement. Thich Nhat Hanh writes that all of those traits we in AA refer to as character defects are always there as part of our store consciousness. My anger, for example, often emerges from where it has been resting. Rather than cursing some god for not taking away my anger, I recognize and embrace it as an old but often wayward friend, try to remember that "this too shall pass," and in the meantime try not to act out on that anger. I try to go through the same process when driving a car and in the check-out line at the grocery store. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But what the discussions in the rooms of AA provide is the help I need to identify the errant manifestations of my character defects.
Thanks you so much for you wisdom. People in my group attack agnostics but, your truth today saved my life. I was thinking about going back out until I read your post. Now I feel like I belong. I can go on another day because of you and will always be grateful for your anonymous post. I also believe we should treat every alcoholic equally and not discriminate over if they believe or do not believe in a higher power or what they work or do not work. I can see the real power in AA is when we share our personal experience.
"I was thinking about going back out until I read your post."
Let me see if I have this right? You were thinking about risking great harm to yourself (by drinking again) because some people in AA won't do what you want them to.
And this makes sense to you but asking a power great enough to create the entire universe and every atom in it to improve your ability to get along with others doesn't?
I am so sorry to hear that there are people in your group who attack agnostics. I agree with you that every alcoholic should be treated equally and no one should be discriminated against if they are an agnostic. I am fortunate to have found a group that treats everyone equally. No one in my group imposes having a Higher Power on other members of the group or enforces working the Steps. It is unfortunate that you ended up in a group that discriminates. The only requirement for membership in the group that I attend is the desire to stop drinking.
If you’re located in a larger city, you could look for another group that does not have members who attack agnostics. If you’re located in a small community, it might be more difficult to find another group. As was mentioned in another recent post, there are online resources for agnostics who are being attacked and discriminated against These resources can at least help to cope with the feelings that arise from being attacked and can provide suggestions on how to survive the vigorous evangelizing you are being subjected to. One of these resources is the AA online Intergroup. It lists on-line groups. Some of these AA on-line groups are accepting of agnostics.
how does a group "attack" an agnostic? how does a group "impose" a higher power or "enforce" working the steps? sounds like strong language. I have been attending meetings across the US and Canada for 20+ years. I have yet to see a group attack, impose, or enforce anything! It's alcohol's job to beat us up, not the group.
I have witnessed individual members acting up. I've seen fist fights after jail meetings, police called to meetings, even one member throwing another member into the christmas tree! But never, never a group, just some members who were simply being alcoholic like me.
The anonymous writer said “People in my group attack agnostics but, your truth today saved my life.”
“people in my group” = individuals
“attack” = verbal argument i.e. attack and defend verbally
The responding anonymous said “I am so sorry to hear that there are people in your group who attack agnostics.”
“people in your group” = individuals
“attack” = verbal argument i.e. attack and defend verbally
Neither of the anonymous writers said that “the group” did anything. Individuals in the group are not the same as the entire group.
You must attend some very rough meetings.
There are more non-believers out there than you think, and doing a web search for "aa agnostics" will get you to several sites, including one I found recently from an organization out of Toronto, which has extensive resources listed. Wish I had found it earlier. With apologies to R. Crumb, "Keep on trudging."
Do you want to be sober, happy, joyous, and free? If not go ahead and skip 6 & 7. I usually see a step 4 and 5 problem when sponsees have 6 &7 problems. Without a thorough inventory, we don’t know what our character defects or shortcomings are. Read your big book, it says selfishness is the root of our trouble. In step 6 I became willing to have God remove my selfishness and in step 7 I humbly asked Him to.
All of my shortcomings are related to my selfishness. When I drank I was thinking of me, me, and me. I never thought, hey I’m gonna be a better husband, father, employee, ect by drinking. I was only thinking of myself. My selfishness came out in other ways too. When I didn’t get my way in the past, I was resentful. When I didn’t get my way right now, I was angry. When I didn’t think I was going to get my way in the future, I had fear. When God removes or at least lessens my selfishness, my life gets better.
Now after asking God to remove my shortcomings and praying that He does in 6 & 7, I need to make my 8th step list (from my 4th step inventory column “my part”) and begin to make amends while working 10,11, & 12. The directions are simple and laid out in detail in our textbook “Alcoholics Anonymous”. The steps I referred to are in chapters 5 “how it works”, 6 “into action”, and 7 “working with others”.
Of course this is my experience with step 6 and 7. Feel free to agree or disagree as much as you like. I would simply like to end with I am sober, happy, joyous, and free. My life today is better than anything I could have ever imagined or planned.
Good luck to you and God bless you!
In reply "Do you want to be sober, happy, joyous, and free? If not go ahead and skip 6 & 7" Can I see your evidence-based study on that? Just passing on clichés is not helpful. What is helpful is when we share what works for us individually. I know members who don't work those steps and are happy joyous and free. And I'm one of them. The steps are suggestions. For some members just Step One alone will change their lives. Its not necessary for some people to become great sages or gurus in AA. In my experience, I became a loving husband and father. That alone will keep me at peace until the long journey across the dark waters. I am grateful to the Fellowship because in the rooms there is enough wisdom for anyone. I don't sit around and worry about if I'm getting sober by the book. I do what I feel is the next right thing.
If you have so much wisdom, why do you participate on the "step " forum and post about not working the steps? What can be more unhelpful than to suggest not working the steps of AA as a program of recovery?
How many suffering alcoholics have died following your advise to use half measures? If alcoholics could recover by your method we wouldn't need. AA.
Hi, you said, "How many suffering alcoholics have died following your advice to use half measures? If alcoholics could recover by your method we wouldn't need." To answer your question, I don't have a method or do I ever suggest to any alcoholic to not work the steps. I always suggest them. I encourage step meetings if they are interested. Please don't jump to conclusions. Just because I haven't formally worked the steps doesn't mean I am against the steps. Throughout the years I have always left that choice up to each person I sponsor. Over the years, many people I've sponsored have worked the steps while others declined. Should I them tell the decliners to drink and leave AA? No and you wouldn't either. I encourage everyone I sponsor to be tolerant and open-minded. And for the record, zero have died or relapsed and of the current three people I sponsor, all three are sober over five years. Half-measures to you might be full measures for someone else. We aren't in the business to decides who stays or who dies.
What happened to the others you sponsored? I hope your experience throughout the "years " is based on more than 3 sponsees!
My evidence is my 20+years of happily applying the 12 steps as a way of life while watching countless numbers of dry alcoholics die working your program of suggesting step none. I've experienced it over and over, work the steps as best you can and become sober and happy or try the easier softer way you suggest and die. My experience abundenlty conferms my statement, my sponsors 40+ years confermed it, old pat who died 11 years ago with 54 years had the same experience.
I am glad you are happy and sober. I am not theorizing. I've been to too many funerals of AA members who were told " don't drink Ans go to meetings ".
My message is this, if you have as yet not found a happy sobriety, try our 12 steps as away to
As we work the steps in order 1 We have a problem alcohol and we can't solve it. 2 Find a power greater than yourself that you can turn to for strength and good orderly direction.3 agree that you will seek and commit yourself to that HP. 4 List your character liabilities. 5 Confess 6.Choose what liabilities you want resolved in your life. 7 Ask your HP for strength and guidance while you work on changing your liabilities into assets. 8 list your liabilities and the harms they have created. 9 Do your best to fix them (amends)10 continue to check any new liabilities 11 Work on your relationship with your HP 12 Help others.
So you can see where 6 & 7 come into play. If you want a successful life you have to change those liabilities and we need extra help from a faith in a HP that we believe in to change what is necessary, otherwise we stay the same with the same liabilities that caused us to drink. Our problems stem from the mind, thoughts to feelings to urges to actions so we must change our thinking which changes our behavior. So I believe 6 & 7 are vital to recovery
If you really believe that there is enough wisdom in the rooms then listen to it. I have heard dozens and dozens of times "I grew up in an alcoholic home or my dad was alcoholic or similar and I would never be that way around my kids but I failed".
Step one - powerless when drinking it and powerless to stay away from it. Until I finish the second part I'm not finished with the step or not finished drinking.
"Can I see your evidence-based study on that?"
No there is never an evidence-based study re spiritual matters. By definition they are ideas based on faith in unknown forces. As soon as forces become known they are moved into the sciences. Chemistry, physics, thermodynamics. Is that news?
If you put any stock in the experiences of others who have experienced profound changes, it's documented many times in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, its been working for me for years and I've seen in work in others in AA for years.
Best example I ever saw, a really big, really bad biker, recently discharged from prison. Some drunk in Key West(that the police were fond of) hit the guy's Harley. Any one thing in his normal bag of tricks would be an instant ticket back to prison. He said the rage was simply removed, he wasn't happy about it. He didn't like being not him any more. He was afraid of what he might turn into. (Believe me this guy was not going to turn into Mr Wimpy any time soon)I knew what he was feeling, I've had it too. The feelings level out but guess what, he was still a free man when the sun came up the next morning. That's the kind of results that many of us need.
I'm always curious about people who don't have faith in God but can't be driven away from people who do.
It's not an issue to me if the person on my left believes in God or the person on my right believes in nothing. Any alcoholic can help another alcoholic stay sober. Recovery is not what I believe or not believe, it is what I do. Can we become that rigid in our programs that we close ourselves up to anyone who is different? Believers, non-believers and the "not-sure for now people" are all equally accepted in AA. We all can be there for the new person. Love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, and unselfishness are not religious specific characteristics. The key is to not discriminate but to co-exist. Let's not bring the "King of the Hill pecking order" mentality into AA. Think horizontally for a change.
In our group we have the same problem. I asked my sponsor about it and she because the old-timers are still human and have character defects that remain.
This morning 3 different ol-timers were calling out someone on cross talking, when they cross talk themselves.
I think if you look at the seventh step prayer it speaks about God using our defect to help others. I believe God will remove those defects standing between ourselves and our best selves if we earnestly pray that he relieve us of those defects. I also believe that we are human and as such are imperfect, we have to do the best that we can and God will not take away our defects forever but he/she will help us work through them so that we may help both others and ourselves.
I usually share in Step Six and Seven meetings that they do work. I'm far from the person I was before AA. The AAs I know are for the most part wonderful people. Sure, I still have bothersome defects (sloth being foremost) and we are not rendered saints, but we've made progress.