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Old 08-07-2019, 02:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What message should we carry??


Hypothetical situation:

Let's say I'm a new guy and I AM, by all accounts and experience (though I may not be fully aware of it myself yet), a full-blown alcoholic - the type described in the big book.

I go to an average group of friends (or family) - GROUP A - and I tell them I have a drinking problem. Odds are those friends will tell me to stop drinking, encourage me to "just say no," recommend I join a gym, get more exercise, make sure I'm getting enough rest, and offer to love me, help me and support me all i could possibly need or want until I can finally grab hold of my willpower and put the drinking problems behind me.

The second group I encounter - GROUP B - is a group of recovered full-blown alcoholics in an AA meeting. When I tell them about my problem, this group suggests several things for me to consider:
1. I may be powerless over alcohol once I start drinking (physical craving for more once I start)
2. I may be powerless to keep myself from drinking again (mental compulsion)
3. Do to my possibly having a spiritual malady (aka - my compulsive need to drive my life by self-will .... unsuccessfully) any "clean time" I'm likely able to put together will likely feel unfulfilling.
This group of ppl goes on to suggest that they found that ONLY through some exhaustive self searching, the leveling of their pride and the admission and confession of their shortcomings combined with a lifetime of dedication to the thought of others and how meet the needs of others, not their own needs/desires were they able to get free of alcohol AND find a lifestyle that they enjoyed.


OK, question time -- no need to answer these here. They're really more questions for us to think about:
To the new guy (me in this example) who really knows nothing about their alcoholism yet -
1. Which message "seems" more supportive?
2. Which message "seems" more kind and loving?
-------------
3. Does what feels good always prove to BE good?
4. Does being confronted with the truth always FEEL good?
-------------
3. Which message IS more supportive/kind and loving?
4. What message do I (you, me, us.....) share in meetings or here on SR in this 12-step forum and the other forums on SR........??
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good post DT - I'm sure you know my thoughts on this
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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as a raw newcomer I would say group A in question 1
as a raw newcomer,I would say group A in question 2

3-no
I drank for the effect,and it wasn`t too good but the end results got me into AA

4-no,it don`t but when I cooled down and the anger subsided,I realized they was right

3-the truth is more supported in the end,altho I wouldn`t know much about it in the beginning.Group B

4-here,I tone it down,in f2f,I go big book all the way,well,98% of the way

SR-well,here is a good mix of people from all over,and I like this forum.I get a wide selection of ideas too.

DT,I figure group 2 would be the way to go since they could answer questions with the right answers.
They could tell me and show me what my problems were,and offer me a tried and tested solution that works,thereby loving me in the best way possible.

A guy named Jim helped me get sober,he always told me the truth.I got mad quite a bit but after I cooled down,I realized he was right.He loved me enough to tell the truth to me.
He risked me getting mad at him..He thought I was worth the risk apparently
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For me, my first home group was "B" but the message that I got was that these people had their lives together, and seemed genuinely happy with who they were and where they were heading. When I came to the conclusion that they were not BS artists or some kind of cult trying to wrest control of my life, I decided I wanted what they had.

I was willing to do whatever was asked of me, because I believed not so much what they said, but who they were - and that it was mine if I became willing to do what they did.

In other words, the message was hope.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I guess if we are acting as individuals, we can carry any message we like. But if we are representing ourselves as AA members, I find the only honest thing to do is to put aside my own opinions and carry the AA message as suggested in the Big Book.

Unfortunately, AA is a one trick pony. We don't have lots of different ways to recover, it is not a multi choice deal. If I identify with the common problem described in the book, then the evidence suggests my best chance lays with the common solution- not solutions you will note. Short version of that is I will need to have a spiritual experience in order to recover, refer, Jung and Silkworth, and I could add modern day Peterson and Selman.

As described by Bill W, "Alcoholics Anonymous is a set of principles, spiritual in nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the compulsion to drink." And at some point "This means we are going to talk about God."
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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To the new guy (me in this example) who really knows nothing about their alcoholism yet -
1. Which message "seems" more supportive?
to the me new guy, group A
2. Which message "seems" more kind and loving?
group A again
-------------
3. Does what feels good always prove to BE good?
hell no. avoiding the underlying issues sure seemed to feel gooder, but it wasnt.
4. Does being confronted with the truth always FEEL good?
hell yes! i LOVED when people called me on my BS. it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling.
its my lie i'll tell it like i want!
im dam greatful for them bastaads that cared about me enough to call me on my BS. buggered me right up upon doin it but i dont think i would have seen the BS if they didnt do that. i dont think id be alive today if they didnt do that!
-------------
3. Which message IS more supportive/kind and loving?
group A doesnt really know how to support a real alcoholic and what they suggest probably works for them and think its supportive but it doesnt address the underlying issues alcohol is a symptom of. i believe some people in this group could have actions/words they think are supportive but in reality are enabling.
group B knows about the underlying issues, knows the message must have depth and weight, and wants the real alcoholic to experience all of the promises of the BB. those in group B can have solutions to the underlying issues. not gonna say,"go exercise to take your mind off whats bothering you."

however,both groups want to see the alkie get and stay sober.
i say it like it is. that doesnt mean it isnt kind and loving. i dont **** around when it comes to something as fatal as alcoholism.

What message do I (you, me, us.....) share in meetings or here on SR in this 12-step forum and the other forums on SR........??

in short,the message of hope.
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The only message I can carry is the one I have experienced. And it just so happens I've tried staying sober the "easier softer way" and it didn't work in the long run. Funny now that I think about it...how many times I read how it works in meetings when I was the "balker" Bill was talking about.

But I can also talk about how when I finally became willing to become willing and work the steps with a sponsor how it changed my life for the better. I have another (extended) family member who has struggled with alcohol and drugs for much of their adult life. They have come to me a couple different times to talk about how I stay sober and I share my experience with them, but as far as I know they have never gone to an AA meeting. They seem to get plenty of the "A" messages from other family and friends and has had "bouts" of sobriety, usually under duress from the courts, but seems to eventually relapse (something I can relate to). They haven't come to me to talk about sobriety for several years now...I guess they know my message is the same as it was last time we talked about it.

Very though provoking topic though DT. I guess what it boils down to for me is that I can only share my ESH and realize that I have no control over what another person does with it. I've tried the easier softer way myself and it only went so far for me and never stood up when the chit hit the fan in life. I finally followed the instructions in the BB and that has worked for me in good times and difficult times.

One final though about group A and group B. If my car was making a funny noise would I go to a mechanic for advice or to friends/family, none of which know anything about cars? I might get a lot of opinions from friends/family on what I should do, but the mechanic (an honest one anyway ) is going to tell me what the problem is and what the solution is whether I like his advice or not.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Very thought provoking topic

One final thought

Though I meant to type thought, I typed though.
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Old 08-09-2019, 04:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That sure is a hypothetical situation. If someone is a full blown alcoholic as described in the BB they have lost most/all of their sober friends, their family is fed up with them and the chance that they will love and support them is highly unlikely. Their score card reads zero.

Regarding the message I carry. I can only offer AA to someone else as a program of attraction, love and kindness. Another AA member with over 30 years of sobriety taught me this approach. It changed my life.
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Old 08-09-2019, 04:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I just woke up and your post was confusing me a bit.

I think it is comparing AA recovery to making a lifestyle change type of recovery.

There may be more, but I read it through and I sort of got lost towards the end.

If I had fit into my AA experience better, I might still be there. But, I gave it the college try and took what was useful.

All you smart AA anf non AA folks here are part of my salvation now.

When it comes to my saving grace overall, AA gave me the answer.....God first.

Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I complicate stuff. It got me a seat in the rooms of AA...
"The Message," alluded to in Step Twelve is that of Hope:
"There IS a SOLUTION. If you do what we did you may get what we got."

If anyone ever wants to understand SIMPLICITY, consider, "“The Freedom of Simplicity,” Richard J. Foster, 1981" It's 7 CDs long--nearly 200 pages...

And then get to a meeting and share your H.O.P.E. (Hearing Other Peoples' Experiences). And don't drink before you get there.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I hope those of you who are supposed to be doing some contemplating are enjoying it.

I've got more to add/question but I'll let this one sit for a while before I post them
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I hope those of you who are supposed to be doing some contemplating are enjoying it.

I've got more to add/question but I'll let this one sit for a while before I post them
Thanks for all your posts, DT I always get something out of them!!

Good stuff! Enjoy your weekend, Sir!
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I hope those of you who are supposed to be doing some contemplating are enjoying it.

I've got more to add/question but I'll let this one sit for a while before I post them
i see a sign at many AA meetings:
Think
Think
Think

good thinkin questions are better than bad thinkin questions.
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hypothetical situation:

Let's say I'm a new guy and I AM, by all accounts and experience (though I may not be fully aware of it myself yet), a full-blown alcoholic -the type described in the big book.

I go to an average group of friends (or family) - GROUP A - and I tell them I have a drinking problem. Odds are those friends will tell me to stop drinking, encourage me to "just say no," recommend I join a gym, get more exercise, make sure I'm getting enough rest, and offer to love me, help me and support me all i could possibly need or want until I can finally grab hold of my willpower and put the drinking problems behind me.

The second group I encounter - GROUP B - is a group of recovered full-blown alcoholics in an AA meeting. When I tell them about my problem, this group suggests several things for me to consider:
1. I may be powerless over alcohol once I start drinking (physical craving for more once I start)
2. I may be powerless to keep myself from drinking again (mental compulsion)
3. Do to my possibly having a spiritual malady (aka - my compulsive need to drive my life by self-will .... unsuccessfully) any "clean time" I'm likely able to put together will likely feel unfulfilling.
This group of ppl goes on to suggest that they found that ONLY through some exhaustive self searching, the leveling of their pride and the admission and confession of their shortcomings combined with a lifetime of dedication to the thought of others and how meet the needs of others, not their own needs/desires were they able to get free of alcohol AND find a lifestyle that they enjoyed.


OK, question time -- no need to answer these here. They're really more questions for us to think about:
To the new guy (me in this example) who really knows nothing about their alcoholism yet -
1. Which message "seems" more supportive?
2. Which message "seems" more kind and loving?
-------------
3. Does what feels good always prove to BE good?
4. Does being confronted with the truth always FEEL good?
-------------
3. Which message IS more supportive/kind and loving?


4. What message do I (you, me, us.....) share in meetings or here on SR in this 12-step forum and the other forums on SR........??

All depends on the individual.


As far as what message I bring to AA meetings or on this forum (for the newcomer) it's one of hope.

Because if I can get sober than so can you.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't fit into the A or B paradigms.

The folks in A are well-intended, but their ideas aren't enough to arrest chronic alcoholism.

For me, if someone approaches me about his or her drinking, I tell them about my experience, strength and hope, which is all AA-based, of course.

But I always personalize it, to let them know what has worked for me.

I don't give them the entire AA regimen (i.e. the 12 steps) in the first encounter.

I just let them know that I was drinking pathologically for years, about to lose my career and, ultimately, my health and my life.

Then, with considerable reluctance, I joined AA (in my case from going through treatment).

I let their sponsor go through the steps with them.

I just make sure they know that I was hopeless for a very long time, joined AA and participated in it (and the fact that I still do today and everyday) and haven't had a drink since.

I also let them know I have had a very blessed life, which I attribute to AA.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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As far as what message I bring to AA meetings or on this forum (for the newcomer) it's one of hope.

Because if I can get sober than so can you.
I dig it.
You CAN recover is vital...
is that different from HERE'S HOW YOU CAN....... ?
Is the former always included in the latter and the latter always part of the former?

Do they jive with: To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose and Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I dig it.
You CAN recover is vital...
is that different from HERE'S HOW YOU CAN....... ?
Is the former always included in the latter and the latter always part of the former?

Do they jive with: To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose and Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem
My guess is most newcomers are nervous like I was. However, today many will go on-line before their first meeting and research AA which can bring up the good, bad and the ugly.

The key is attraction rather than promotion. Share ones ESH and let the newcomer decide. AA is based on attraction rather than promotion.

Regarding a HP: I was raised Catholic and the concept of a Higher Power or God wasn't an issue for me.

But it can be a major sticking point for many.

Where I live today all meetings end with the Lord's Prayer and HP is referred to as God by almost everyone. Heaven help the person who starts talking about a door knob as their HP because....

They don't play that here.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I thought it was our public relations policy that is based on attraction rather than promotion, and that Alcoholics Anonymous is based on carrying the message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

The very first part of working with others deals with proactively looking for alcoholics who are willing and able to benefit from our experience. Having found such an individual, isn't our one and only responsibility to make sure they get an adequate presentation of the program (Here's how you can recover) upon which they can make an informed decision?

The internet is no substitute for that, there is so much misinformation about, and really even meetings do not make a good substitute for an old fashioned 12 step one on one session.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:12 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I thought it was our public relations policy that is based on attraction rather than promotion, and that Alcoholics Anonymous is based on carrying the message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
True but how one carries that messages is just as critical.

Meetings? The vibe often varies. This is what newcomers may not understand. Not all meetings are the same.

Now, there are often endless arguments as to what constitutes a "good or bad" meeting. However, what is important is making the the newcomer realize they too can find a new life in sobriety.

Which goes back to how the message is carried. And why it is good for the newcomer if possible to check out meetings at on different days/different times.
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