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Is it possible

Old 10-06-2013, 02:17 PM
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Is it possible

Is it possible that our relapses are much much worse than they actually would be based on power of suggestion. For years or how ever long you have been in the program it has been pounded in to our heads that 1 drink will lead us to doom. Is it possible that if we un-wash these "facts" from our brain, we could go on living happy life's enjoying a drink or two after a few years of sob riety?

~Doubts
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by NeverHadALegal View Post
Is it possible that our relapses are much much worse than they actually would be based on power of suggestion. For years or how ever long you have been in the program it has been pounded in to our heads that 1 drink will lead us to doom. Is it possible that if we un-wash these "facts" from our brain, we could go on living happy life's enjoying a drink or two after a few years of sob riety?
I didn't have to un-wash anything. I thought I was a superman when it came to drinking and AA members were simply wimps who could not hold their liquor. I tried the "Just 1 drink" experiment dozens of times with excellent short term results. It proved that I was not one of "those people".

The trouble was, sometime within the next 2 weeks, I would try it again and then again till I was drinking as much or worse than ever... Usually worse. It was like lighting the fuse on a time bomb.

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Old 10-06-2013, 02:36 PM
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Wink

I certainly agreed with you, and thought the complete abstinence and "powerlessness" against alcohol was complete bull, and a big reason I avoided AA, and hence recovery, for so long.

Before coming to AA I tried hypnotherapy to retrain my brain to drink moderately. I did this for months. It didn't work for me. After my complete and utter demoralization, I came to the conclusion that those damned AAs were right!!! At least about me, I can't speak for you!!
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:52 PM
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Let me know if it works for you.

I tried. It didn't work, at least not for long.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:01 PM
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Any teaching will program your belief system in a certain way if you buy into it, how could it not? It's not really brain-washing but it does influence your attitudes toward things. Think about the aspect of counting sober time, a slip can seem like failure in a program, goes with the territory.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:04 PM
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I agree %100 with you.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:13 PM
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Nope, not for me. The progression of this disease was quite obvious to me before I ever heard of a progression.

Try some controlled drinking and let us know how it goes.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:24 PM
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I've never had a relapse and it is my intention to never have one (with all due respect to "one day at a time"). And I'm not interested in a drink or two. Never was. Having only one or two pissed me off to no end.

Just my experience.

-allan
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:37 PM
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Thank you Lilly. But my point and case is just that. I am very well versed in the Big Book. Your paraphrased quote "Try some controlled drinking and let us know how it goes" from chapter 3 More about alcoholism. But reading the bible and reciting the commandments never stopped the man from sinning. The way it is said and set up has such a stigma placed on it. Almost an air of pretentiousness. Back to my original point being if there was not such a stigma placed on allot of the program, maybe a "slip" would not be such doom. P.S. Thank you all for the feedback. No answer is wrong and I am enjoying this healthy discussion :-)
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by NeverHadALegal View Post
Is it possible that our relapses are much much worse than they actually would be based on power of suggestion. For years or how ever long you have been in the program it has been pounded in to our heads that 1 drink will lead us to doom. Is it possible that if we un-wash these "facts" from our brain, we could go on living happy life's enjoying a drink or two after a few years of sob riety?

~Doubts
That's the line of thinking I took when I tried picking up again a few years ago after a good stretch of abstinence. Kind of like "there is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so". It did work for a while I have to admit. Was able to stay within MM guidelines for almost a year. Then I found that the compulsion was slowly creeping in and taking priority of other things. Gradually I was drinking more that I had planned until I had enough again. Have almost two years abs now.

Good luck, but I would not recommend you try it. Ask yourself why you're entertaining these thoughts. That void can get filled in more healthy ways IMO.
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Old 10-06-2013, 04:05 PM
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I have sat with people in the last few years who's only defence against the first drink is how bad it will be for them, these are the kind of people who say when someone relapses "they drank so i don't have to"...thank God I do not fall into this category:-)
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Old 10-06-2013, 04:11 PM
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I Have also sat with plenty of people who tell me the horrors of their relapse. But again, is it possible that those people would not have had such a difficult time had it not been for the program telling them it would be such a horror...
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Old 10-06-2013, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by NeverHadALegal View Post
Back to my original point being if there was not such a stigma placed on allot of the program, maybe a "slip" would not be such doom.
When I first starting attending AA meetings my goal was to cut down from drinking 30 days a month to just every other weekend. I attended 1 - 2 meetings a day at fist and found it did in fact interfere with my drinking - just like they said it would.

Ironically, I was going 11 -12 days between binges - Just like I hoped for. The only problem was, those binges were 5 PM Friday till 11 PM Sunday with 16 hour a day drinking in between. Mondays were way worse than they were when I was drinking every day.. Sometimes my hands shook all day Monday. Eventually I had to call in sick for work every other Monday because my hangovers were turning into full blown DT's.

Then it got me to a point where I was only binging 1 time a month. At first I thought that was progress. However, instead of drinking Friday to Sunday, it was Friday till Monday. Then it went to Friday till Tuesday. Then I lost my job and it went from Friday till Friday 24x7.

I am now 100% convinced that alcoholism is always progressive, never regressive.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:42 PM
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Actually, I don't believe that relapses are so much worse because of the power of suggestion. They are worse because it's a progressive disease and progressively damages your organs. I have seen many documentaries and a few real life people I knew that died from a relapse. One guy I knew was in and out of the hospital due to relapses. The doctor told him if he started drinking again, he would die--his liver was that damaged! Well, he relapsed a week after getting out of the hospital for the final time. And he died.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:01 PM
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Not for me. Before I had ever reached out for help, I tried quitting. Tried to stick to one. Couldn't do it. Whenever by force of circumstances, I was without alcohol for a period of time, I thought it would help me cut back. It didn't. I always got worse. This was long before I had joined up in any program or group, online or otherwise.

The Big Book described my life exactly--that's how I knew I was in the right place. (Though I fought it for the first couple of years.) I was exactly the desperate kind of alcoholic they described. My experience matched their description long before I knew what the Big Book was. There was nowhere I would have heard the "suggestions" that my relapses should be worse prior to going to AA. (I come from a family of abstainers and normal drinkers, so I also wasn't raised to get drunk. Just got lucky, lol.) I just could never stick to one drink and over time I kept having to drink more and more to get the same result.

Just my experience. Thankfully not only the drunk part, but the getting sober part has matched the BB pretty directly, too.

Interesting question, thanks for bringing it up.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by NeverHadALegal View Post
I Have also sat with plenty of people who tell me the horrors of their relapse. But again, is it possible that those people would not have had such a difficult time had it not been for the program telling them it would be such a horror...
It's not the program telling them that, it's their experience.

Just saw someone who relapsed recently at a meeting tonight. She just got out of the hospital. She took a bunch of pills, and tried to kill herself while blacked out drunk. A horror indeed!!

My disease is a fatal illness.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Kathleen41 View Post
It's not the program telling them that, it's their experience.
That's what the big book is - the collective experience of those first alcoholics who were doing the deal. They weren't try to suggest anything or scare anyone or anything nefarious or devious like that. They simply laid out what their own experience and let others take it or leave it. I know enough people who have relapsed and have been quite adamant at how much worse it was when they went back out. They don't mention it to frighten me or to hold to a certain line.

I have yet to hear someone say that the relapse really wasn't that bad, and maybe they'll do it again some day.

If so, I would love to hear from them.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:36 AM
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One fact about alcoholism that is WELL understood is that it never gets better, it always gets worse.

If I am convinced......and I am......that I am alcoholic, I know what will happen if I drink again. If I am not entirely convinced, then I will probably drink again. Happens all the time.

The question is whether you are convinced.......or not.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by NeverHadALegal View Post
Is it possible that our relapses are much much worse than they actually would be based on power of suggestion. For years or how ever long you have been in the program it has been pounded in to our heads that 1 drink will lead us to doom. Is it possible that if we un-wash these "facts" from our brain, we could go on living happy life's enjoying a drink or two after a few years of sob riety?

~Doubts
Its not the power of suggestion which defines what is or isn't a relapse in anybody's experience - its their own journey which brings them to their own understanding of what it means to have sobriety or to have moderated drinking or to define what is a relapse in either case.

The moment a person decides a drink can be moderated they no longer define such drinks as relapses - until things become all crazy again they would consider their drinking as just being under their control. When things finally go off the rails again then they would consider their drinking is again now uncontrollable - and they would quit or try to quit. And so we've come full circle.

Sobriety and drinking don't go together for those who have crossed the line into problem drinking/alcoholism - for those who haven't crossed over they don't think about "sobriety" they just enjoy their drinks and get on with living of course.

The question as stated simply looks to me anyways as alcoholic-minded thinking to justify having a few drinks with the idea that if we really believe we have been brain-washed our beliefs can make it so, lol.

Not.

You know, its not really the one drink that would lead me (us) to doom - its all the crap I would more and more justify to get that second, third, fourth, fifth...well, you get my drift I'm thinking. And all that crap would be the destruction of my life being turned from sobriety back into drinking - I'm thinking that would really %#$ me up, hahaha. I'm laughing because a return to drinking for any justification really would be/is such a huge joke.



Yeah, so its not really that one drink - its all the drinks that would follow - and for those who then say - "Yeah, but I could control it after all that sobriety" - I say, "Yeah, and all that sobriety is now History. Past. Done. Bye-bye. Drinking again becomes the new deal going forward because all we can do is live and die in our "NOW" and of course then our past is our experience and our future is yet untold...

A sober mind is a terrible thing to waste.

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