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Old 06-22-2012, 02:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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No major changes in the first year

You hear this said in meetings all over.

What is walking through the door of your first few meetings?

What is a Third step?
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My guess is that this came into use either when folks started stretching out the time to take the steps or with raise-the-bottom drunks who got a little sobriety under their belts and might be easily distracted from the spiritual path.

I would not suggest to a sponsee that she stay with an abusive partner because separation or divorce is a "major change," or that getting a job might endanger sobriety. I do encourage taking the steps and seeing exactly what she's made of before she jumps into a committed relationship--or a friends-with-benefits relationship. Maybe she's not that kind of girl, and then she's got another fourth step entry and a sticky situation to get out of (no pun intended). I know a couple who were two years sober and their children were still in the care of others because, "We need to focus on our sobriety." Bullshit.

I personally don't like the expression. It's too often twisted and used as a justification for inaction.

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Old 06-22-2012, 06:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I thought it came from rehabs. The big book doesn't say no major changes in the first year, unless I missed it. The first year, well, my first year, was nothing but major changes! Just one thing after another to accomplish along with not picking up a drink. It's doable!

Life.

The only thing constant in life is change(s).
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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not sure what the real question is here, but heres my experience:
No major changes in the first year
i had asked about this and was told it started out in early AA . it was a suggestion after seeing what worked good and what didnt with alcoholics. some seriously regretted changes early on when their brain was still in a fog.

What is walking through the door of your first few meetings?
courageous.

What is a Third step?
faith, commitment, surrender
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If I heard the "No major changes" early on...I don't remember
it and certainly paid it no mind...

Of course the first major change was joining AA then I
implemented many positive changes ...none I have regretted.

AA recovery really rocks on for me....
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What does one consider a major change?
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think it's to rein in the "pink cloud" impulses that might lead to rash decisions early on.

All of a sudden, you're feeling healthy, you're sober two months, you've gotten in touch with your spiritual life (maybe for the first time) and anything's possible.

So you quit your job at the insurance company, cash in the 401(k) and step off that treadmill. A couple months later, things might not have turned out exactly as you'd imagined and it's all sobriety's fault!

Things were soooooo much better when you were drinking.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyerFan View Post
What does one consider a major change?
good point! getting sober in itself is a rather major change, but a good one.


quitting a job
moving
ending or starting a relationship

IMO, its up to the individaul and always good to ask others about any decisions and taking the time to pray on it, then listen.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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DANG!

I completely missed that when I got laid off last month. I should have told the nice lady in HR that I couldn't be terminated because I have three months to go until my first year is complete!

Sad, but true.

Sometimes life sneaks up and happens on us. It sure did for me but, happily, I had some sober time and didn't go off the rails.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think they forgot the comma.....

No, Major Changes!!!
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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When I first came around I heard "it is suggested that you make no major changes in your first year". I was told mainly not to act impulsively with major decisions, to think things through, and if necessary to talk with my sponsor.

A lot of time people leave out the 'it is suggested'. It was a good suggestion for me to concentrate on not drinking, working the steps, helping others, and to start to repair the damage my drinking caused. It helped me not to fall in love(really lust), join the army, move across the country, and a lot of other not so brute impulsive ideas I had early in sobriety. It also helped to develop some plain old common sense.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
good point! getting sober in itself is a rather major change, but a good one.


quitting a job
moving
ending or starting a relationship

IMO, its up to the individaul and always good to ask others about any decisions and taking the time to pray on it, then listen.
Yeah, those seem like the obvious ones. However sometimes things just happen. I think that if you pray on them and talk about them and think them through very very carefully it can be okay. I think they what they really mean is don't make any sudden or impulsive changes. At least that's the way I work the program. I haven't made any major changes myself (other then going to AA) but I plan on moving after my lease is up next year.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
I thought it came from rehabs.
Most of the stuff people in AA label as rehab talk actually came from AA and filtered into the rehabs. In other words:

We started it but blame the rehabs for spreading it
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post

quitting a job
moving
ending or starting a relationship
Where would we be if Bill W. had not changed jobs, moved to another city, started a relationship with Dr. Bob and joined up with the Oxford Group - all within his first year?
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Question is, what are my motives for any drastic change(s) I desire? That's where/what my sponsor helps me determine. If I'm involved in the action, I can't always see what's really going on from outside of the action. That's why we have coaches.
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Alright all you so called Big Book thumpers, please tell me exactally where in the approved literature it says "no major changes", as Boleo makes a good piont.

It's not that AA philosophy is filtered through the rehabs, but if you carefully read BOTH the "big Books" AA & NA you will start to see where the confusion is coming from, hence such concepts as 90 in 90, taking your time doing the steps, and thinking of your sponsor as your mommy, your shrink and your personal 911 operator.

AA used to expect the alcoholic to qiuckly regain a respectable place in society, NA on the other hand, well this recoveredcrackhead will just keep identifying himself as an alcoholic at the meetings.

Be Well,
Larry
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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There IS something to this "no major changes thing". It matters very much how this is employed, when and to whom.

Low bottom drunks... Unemployed, street level, health issues, legal issues... Hell yes.. Everything needs to be changed. But what about the alcoholic who is still married, employed, kids, all that... It doesn't seem too far outside the imagination to consider the drunk who gets sober, who still hasn't really learned yet what it means to be sober, not yet living the spiritual solution... who says to themselves... It's my job that is the problem, that's why I am alcoholic... My wife is a bitch, that's why I drink... Maybe I will go up into the mountains and live in trees and these problems of mine will go away...

Sorry, but I think this "no major changes the first year" has some legitimacy, when taken in the spirit intended and with some common sense and intuition.

When I got in trouble in my career... To save it I had to get sober, and prove it... Lots of hoops to jump through... Rehab, monitoring, therapy... Someone close to me suggested that maybe I could just find a new career and not be bothered... Even then I intuitively knew that was a bad idea, for a lot of reasons... I remember, clearly, thinking... No, no major changes, not until I have this recovery thing...

I think it is way oversimplified to just approach this with a one size fits all attitude.

Everything changed with me in recovery, but nothing did... I have the same job, wife and kids, all of which I could have lost if it weren't, partially, at least, because I heard somewhere ...

No major changes the first year
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE --- The terms "spiritual experience" and "spiritual awakening" are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality 1(CHANGE) sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms. --- Yet it is true that our first printing gave many readers the impression that these personality 2(CHANGES), or religious experiences, must be in the nature of sudden and spectacular upheavels. Happily for everyone, this conclusion is erroneous. --- In the first few chapters a number of sudden revolutionary 3(CHANGES) are described. Though it was not our intention to create such an impression, many alcoholics have nevertheless concluded that in order to recover they must acquire an immediate and overwhelming "God consciousness" followed at once by a vast 4(CHANGE) in feeling and outlook. --- Among our rapidly growing membership of thousands of alcoholics such transformations, though frequent, are by no means the rule. Most of our experiences are what the psychologist William James calls the "educational variety" because they develop slowly over a period of time. Quite often friends of the newcomer are aware of the difference long before he is himself. He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life; that such a 5(CHANGE) could hardely have been brought about by himself alone. What often takes place in a (FEW MONTHS) could seldom have been accomplished by years of self - discipline. With few exceptions ourmembers find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves. --- Most of us think this awareness of a Power greater than ourselves is the essence of spiritual experience. Our more religious members call it " God-consciousness." --- Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience can recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial. --- We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindfulness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:53 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Where would we be if Bill W. had not changed jobs, moved to another city, started a relationship with Dr. Bob and joined up with the Oxford Group - all within his first year?
bill w was fired, was evicted but didnt leave NYC. he was in akron on a business deal when he met dr bob and returned to NYC a few months later. his relationship with dr bob was a friendship and didnt involve what is meant. i think you know this though.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:01 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by UpperbucksAAguy View Post
You hear this said in meetings all over.

What is walking through the door of your first few meetings?

What is a Third step?
I've read most of the responses, and 'speed-read' those that I didn't truly read closely, so I hope I don't step on anybody's toes.....

First a 'nit-pick' (gosh, how I love those.....LOLOL). Back in the day, before it became 'first year,' the original suggestion, as I heard it was 'no major changes in early sobriety/recovery (no mention of any time-frame).

OK.....enough nit-picking....When I've been asked my opinion regarding 'major changes,' I've usually told whomever [whether it be a sponsee, or just a confused newcomer, or even a confused (perish the thought!) oldtimer], well that's not exactly how I like to look at that suggestion.

I see it more as....."don't make any changes major in early sobriety/recovery." In other words, try not to make mountains out of molehills (oh how we love to do that!); like the slogans go: easy does it; one day/thing at a time; don't sweat the small stuff; don't worry, be happy (is that a slogan? if not, mebbe it should be)...........

Well, no more stuff for me here....big or small; major or minor.....y'all take care, and ........................... have a great weekend....!!!!!


(o:
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