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Old 04-18-2013, 08:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
skg
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Solution, Solution, Solution

Quote:
"When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away. From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink." pp. 417, Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition
Sounds way too simple to be of any use, right?

After sitting in some open meetings at various places and reading some threads, I've made a few observations. First, most people whom I would consider to have a viable recovery seem to focus on the solution--the new life--rather than the old one. Personally, I don't care to be reminded of my life, my dead life, prior to getting sober. I'll do it when working with another suffering alcoholic, but mostly I like the new me much better--and I want to continue to grow.

Secondly, when I dwell in the fears of the past, I'm blocked from positivity. Self-pity is an old, clammy, insidious colleague that I'd sooner not meet any more. When I recognize it, I have to leave because (for me) while self analysis is helpful in identifying character defects, doing nothing about them merely tosses me back into the cesspool of self.

Third. The posters in here that seem to be most calm and centered seem to all have some sort of spiritual center. Doesn't matter what they're calling it, but they are beyond themselves in a place that allows others' bitter barbs to pass unnoticed. THAT is awesome.

Finally, when I focus on the problem, the problem gets bigger; when I focus on the solution, the solution gets bigger. When this simple statement finally sunk in, I realized that I had work to do--that I needed to stop taking inventory on everyone else's deficiencies that were 'making me sideways' and focus on the things I was doing to get better.

For me, recovery is selfish--and I'm all about me (especially when I'm getting better!). The odd thing is that the better I am at working the spiritual tools you people have given me, the better I become to you. THAT is a miracle in my life--and YOU get the benefits. Cool, huh?
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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and its ok to have your opinion.
if it wasnt for the people that werent afraid to talk about what they used to be like( as in,"our stories disclose what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now") i wouldnt have found my home and a fellowship with the solution. seeing people share the chaos, drama, and calamity that alcoholism brought them, with a sense of peace, was amazing. i wanted to be able to not regret my past nor shut the door on it. if i forget it i'll repeat it. if i regret it i'll get drunk.

whether my posts show i have it all together or not i dont know, but i know i dont have it all together all the time. i am no saint. i make mistakes. if it appears i have it all together because of what i type, please reconsider. how i am off of this computer and outside of meetings is where it counts. i dont want to be wearing a mask on here or in meetings then switch to a different mask out in society.
if what i type here is taken as bitter and makes people feel i dont have a spititual center in my life,then i feel sorry for you to not investigate. the most spiritual people i know are the ones that openly admit they have spiritual struggles. we all do!

"that I needed to stop taking inventory on everyone else's deficiencies that were 'making me sideways'..."

werent ya just taking everyone elses inventory?
"
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
and its ok to have your opinion.
if it wasnt for the people that werent afraid to talk about what they used to be like( as in,"our stories disclose what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now") i wouldnt have found my home and a fellowship with the solution. seeing people share the chaos, drama, and calamity that alcoholism brought them, with a sense of peace, was amazing. i wanted to be able to not regret my past nor shut the door on it. if i forget it i'll repeat it. if i regret it i'll get drunk.

whether my posts show i have it all together or not i dont know, but i know i dont have it all together all the time. i am no saint. i make mistakes. if it appears i have it all together because of what i type, please reconsider. how i am off of this computer and outside of meetings is where it counts. i dont want to be wearing a mask on here or in meetings then switch to a different mask out in society.
if what i type here is taken as bitter and makes people feel i dont have a spititual center in my life,then i feel sorry for you to not investigate. the most spiritual people i know are the ones that openly admit they have spiritual struggles. we all do!

"that I needed to stop taking inventory on everyone else's deficiencies that were 'making me sideways'..."

werent ya just taking everyone elses inventory?
"
Hey tomsteve...I was just thinking "yikes, I started that thread the other day about the 12step forum here and I probably didn't sound too spiritual...". But it is what it is, I suppose. Like you, I have my good days, and days where my spirituality sags a bit, I open the door a bit to self-pity, I compare myself to others, I get agitated easily, I snap when I normally don't snap, etc. I don't usually come here with that stuff - or sometimes I do. Like you, I don't know how it all comes across. but I can only be authentic, however that plays out in my recovery right this moment.

I agree that the solution is where it is at, and sometimes we need reminders of what the problem is. I don't enjoy the drunkalogues or 2nd column meetings, but they do have their place in terms of identification.

Great post skg, and great response tomsteve.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Speaking as someone who hasn't just sailed through the steps, who has struggled and questioned every single concept that has been suggested to me, I still need reminders of the past and how it was for me. I no longer need the drunkalogs so much, but I did when I was newly sober because it proved to me time and time again that I was in the right place. Every time I questioned whether I was really an alcoholic, I heard someone talk about themselves and by doing so, they perfectly described me. I couldn't stand the old timers at first with their serenity and their talk of spiritual enlightenment because that seemed an impossibility for me to achieve. I thought they had been brainwashed!
Meetings that focus solely on the solution may seem so far out of reach for newcomers they may actually be off-putting.
When a newbie starts at my home group, my sponsor really encourages me to share, because my drinking days are not so far in the past I don't remember them in great agonising detail, and my journey in lots of ways is still at the beginning. I haven't found it easy, but my spiritual journey and faith is still a total wonder to me. And my total belief that this programme works, even for someone as bloody stubborn as me, can hopefully help them.
So no, I don't think we should focus on the difficulties, but they should still be acknowledged, that combined with the solution should go hand in hand.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You have come a long way Jeni!
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For the rest of my life I will reflect on what light is. Albert Einstein

1 John 1:5 God is light

God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I really enjoyed reading your post. It got me thinking, I think I have only touched on my drinking story when I shared once when I was asked to a speakers meeting.

I don't like to think about my drinking days but at the same time understand the importance of telling our stories so others can relate to us.

Our meetings here are very small and my sponosor asks that when we share that we stay in the solution of our problems rather than dwell on the problems themselves.

That we keep it current, that we talk about how the AA program is working for us on a daily basis.
This works for me as I don't get to many meetings, we have one a week. SR is an important part of my daily program, essential really.

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Old 04-18-2013, 01:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skg View Post

... when I focus on the problem, the problem gets bigger; when I focus on the solution, the solution gets bigger.
"Whatever you give your attention to, is the thing that governs your life. Attention is the key. Your free will lies in the directing of your attention. Whatever you steadfastly direct your attention to, will come into your life and dominate it."
~ Emmet Fox
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I started learn during my first year of recovery, that when I had a problem if I briefly shared the current dilemma I was and the solution I had come up with so far and asked for solutions, I usually heard what I needed to hear from some really great folks, and I would also ad that the solution was usually much simpler and less complicated than the one or two I had come up with, roflmao

In those first months as a newcomer I did identify with the folks that did give a brief 'what it was like' as it helped me to see that I was NOT alone and I was NOT unique and actually helped me to see, when they shared the 'what happened' and 'what is like now', that there WAS HOPE FOR ME.

So absolutely "solution,solution, solution." However, I will say that sometimes in order to actually hear and accept a 'solution' I also had to hear the identification of the person sharing so that I knew they 'knew'. As time has gone on, I try to remember that, especially if there are newcomers or fairly new folks in a meeting I attend.

J M H O

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Old 04-19-2013, 06:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey everyone. Rather than defend the original post as would normally have been my instinct, I will simply add that when I first came to recovery, I knew how to drink. I didn't know how to stay sober. I gravitated to the positive people willing to offer their perspective and I asked a lot of questions. When I finally became rigorously honest about my powerlessness, I learned about hope in asking what others had done--and I'd try their suggestions. Solutions for living, they called them.

Rather than argue I am learning to cease fighting and see how I am supposed to grow. To add to the stream of life rather than poison it with my fears.

Take care, everybody. Stay sobah, no matter what!
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