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|03-26-2008, 09:00 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2006
I've just about finished Terence Gorski's book "Understanding the Twelve Steps". It's shown me a lot of holes in my attempts to do the steps before - things like an unwillingness to work hard at it! - and has inspired me to try again. But I did a search on Gorski in SR and I turned up a post from Groucho the Cat which referred to this site -
Three Views of Recovery
It's fascinating! I've seen parts of myself in all three of these approaches to recovery, and two of them are distinctly "secular" - but I like the way the spiritual one is written too, very much from the perspective of "conversion experience leads to this change in the alcoholic", rather than anything about G*d (which wouldn't bother me anyway).
Any thoughts, on Gorski or these ways of describing recovery experience?
It all works. It IS simple Miss C
Give up hope of a better past.
|03-26-2008, 10:10 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Reach Out and Touch Faith
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Very good stuff. I have seen all three in meetings I have attended, with a lot less emphasis on the psychological view. I think this is too bad, as studies have shown that working a program along with therapy is often the most beneficial IIRC (If I remember correctly). However, many addicts and alcoholics do not suffer from mental disorders and although therapy helps them in their recovery the illnesses should not be the focus in meetings.
On first glance, these are my opinions.
"Its Mr Higher Power unless I'm angry, then just like everyone else in my life it simply becomes Mr. Power."
Copyright © 2005 - 2013 Shockozulu
|03-26-2008, 11:53 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Upstate New York
I don't actually see any reason why the 3 are in any way mutually exclusive - in fact, as far as I can tell, the very best / most effective / safest / strongest / whatever-you-want-to-call-it recovery would necessarily entail all 3 (...except for the fact that I personally would prefer to refer to the first one in terms of a "spiritual awakening" rather than a "religious conversion," because I really do think -- and my personal experience with my own 12 Step work is such that "spiritual awakening(s)" is very accurate but "religious conversion" would be really misrepresentative)......
Actually, I just have really hard time trying to compartmetalize my life, my experience, my recovery in such silly, arbitrary, essentially limiting ways -- my psychological "health," my spiritual "health," my emotional "health," my social "health," my physical "health," are all intricately interrelated and interdependent and I ignore any aspect of my health to my own detriment. Recovery is a whole-life and a whole-person experience/endeavor and if it's less than that, then it's probably less than true recovery --- IMHO, of course!
Working the Steps isn't about me acquiring power; working the Steps is about removing the things that block me from being a channel for God's Power.
Last edited by freya; 03-26-2008 at 12:14 PM.
|03-26-2008, 12:50 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
It is an interesting read, but I find the expectations for recovery within each view slanted.
Outcomes anticipated for people in recovery are very high in the Conversion Experience View. People who work the Steps successfully, are expected to find emotional well-being, freedom from mental obsession, and a deep sense of peace that comes from having a spiritual purpose in life.
Expectations for recovering people in the Re-Socialization View are moderate compared to the expectations for people recovering in the Conversion Experience View. It is anticipated that recovery will be a painful process that lasts a lifetime. One is not expected to find relief from mental obsession, nor a vital spiritual life.
The Psychological View’s expectations for recovering people are equal to or less than those of the Re-Socialization View. Addicts are expected to struggle greatly with mental obsession and difficult feelings for the rest of their lives.
|03-27-2008, 02:42 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California coast
I am so glad I found this post today.
After 2.5 years of sobriety...I started to relapse at the end of January. I am now 5 days sober, and feeling so much better about everything. I loved being clean and sober. And I am so glad to have this feeling back...you know, the sun is shining brighter. The world is a shinier and happier place. It seems to be clouded over with soot..even when the sun shines when you are using.
Anyway..back to this post. I started going to meetings again. Yes, I slacked off. Why? Because of all the religious speak. And I am an atheist.
The other night I read the chapter to the agnostic again. It made great sense. I do need to be more tolerant and accepting of all views of religion. I just don't like it when others try and jam it down my throat.
My Dad (sober 28 years) came to my home and stayed with me for 3 days to help me detox. It was really great. And I enjoyed going to the meetings. It felt so good to be surrounded by people who understood me the addict/alcoholic. Oh yes! It was good.
But my Dad asked me to make one promise to him. That I would find some kind of higher power. And that I would surrender to this higher power. I told him I would do it.
So I got busy. Pulled up the big book and read the chapter to the agnostic. And I feel good about believing the universe is my higher power. But I just can't believe that there is a thinking, intelligent something out there that will put thoughts in my head. I can't do it.
So I came back here to see what all you are saying and thinking about this. How does the recovering atheist come to terms with the 12-steps?
I am glad I found this article. And I found the article about 12-steps and buddhism. That seems to be something I can work into my spiritual being (although again..I don't believe in souls, or non-seen thinking gods.)
I agree that recovery is multi-faceted. I take everything and anything I can to help me. I've done rehab. I've done out-patient care. I've gone to meetings, and I read self-help books. It ALL can work.
I like going to meetings to be with people who are just like me. And I like the buddhist belief that I am a part of everything. I have spent too much time recently thinking I am so different, and so difficult. So I feel much better realizing that I am a part of everything, and everything is a part of me. I like going to the meetings to listen to people talk, and share. I need to get out and socialize more. I have isolated myself and that led me back to drinking and drugging. Not good.
Thank you for this post.
|03-27-2008, 02:51 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Hey LC ---
Just like Theists see their understandings of God differently, and work the steps differently, so do Atheists.....
I posted this earlier, and I guess it's time for me to post it again....it's a link to a waaaaaay earlier post of mine on how I, as an atheist, worked the steps of AA.....
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ml#post1662451 (Sometimes I wonder . . .)
Hope this helps.....
DOS: 6/23/86 (w/o the benefit of an external HP)
|03-27-2008, 04:17 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California coast
One thing I agree is that we have to become completly honest with ourselves and to everyone. I do agree with this. Being dishonest has caused me and those I love some serious problems. But when I get back on track with being honest then I feel good and secure. honesty is not about an higher power in my mind.
The big hurdle to me is to allow direction to come from this enity that I don't believe in. How can somthing tell me how to think. I am open to ideas and clues from the world, but I don't think something out there is putting a idea or thought in my head. And the BB says this is what frees us from our alcoholism.
Anyway...the more I think about it...the more I can accept that I just need to take a step back, and try and think about something on my own in a still and quiet place, and then I can move forward.
|03-29-2008, 11:04 AM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: in the present moment
I didn't get a chance to go through everything in the link, but I wanted to chime in on the concept of the triune nature of alcoholism, as well as the triune approach in recovery.
("triune" means threefold)
(as opposed to "diune" which is based in dichotomies or opposites)
Every ancient medical system springs from the understanding that, in order to effectively heal any condition, it requires awareness on 3 fronts. ~Body~ Mind~ Spirit~
Patanjali, in the yoga sutras sums the basic requirements up as "effort, faith and memory".
AA sums it up as "experience, strength, and hope". I think they are the same, in different order.
But, owing to my Hindu orientation, I prefer Patanjali's translation of effort, faith and memory, to the AA "e,s, + h" .
(yet I want to be clear that, for me, the requisite "faith" is not religious nor dogmatic. It is purely secular.)
All 3 actions/attributes go hand - in - hand. Can't have one without effecting the others.
Effort means that I need to show up, take action and make conscious choices. Sometimes it is literal, as in: I need to get into my car and drive to a meeting. Other times it can be subtle, as in: I need to relinquish an arrogant attitude or habit by saying "no" to it.
"Faith" means that I believe sobriety is wise and worthwhile, and it will benefit more than just me. I may not see past today and know how my sobriety will be good for me, but I do believe it nonetheless.
"Memory" is something I am continuously creating. I am creating future positive memories, which will get stored in every one of my cells, each time I choose sober behaviour. Memory also is required if I am to stay sober, for if I lose the memory of the end of my drinking days, I may drink again.
Sorry if this was way off the poiint of the first post.
Glad this forum is here!
i close my eyes and see clearly
i stop trying to listen and hear truth
i am silent and my heart sings
i seek no contact and find union
i am still and move forward
i am gentle and need no strength
i am humble and remain whole
(ancient taoist meditation)
|03-29-2008, 12:10 PM||#10 (permalink)|
problem with authority
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Interesting sort of Big Tent site about AA. Thanks for sharing. This jumped out at me from that site...I was beginning to think there wasn't anyone else who felt similarly to the way I do sometimes...and I love the Big Book!
"The often vehement insistence of Big Book sponsors upon the effectiveness of their approach, their denial of the value of other approaches, and their insistence upon the need of a recovering alcoholic to develop a relationship with God have earned Big Book sponsorship a bad reputation within AA. “Big Book Nazis” and “AA Fundamentalists” are terms that have been used to characterize this minority movement by members of mainstream AA. The reputation of Big Book sponsorship has led many to be cautious of the movement. After all, who wants to get bullied by a Big Book Nazi?"
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