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Old 08-14-2019, 03:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Spiritual foundation ...


I've heard "make 90 meetings in 90 days to build a spiritual foundation". Another one was "make 90 meetings in 90 days to make 90 potential new friends as your spiritual foundation". These two directions do not equate to a spiritual foundation in my experience. But is there something I am not getting?

It is my understanding that the first three steps are the spiritual foundation. I just googled it and it seems to be a practical understanding and following of the full 12 steps.

I told my sponsor recently I am going to take my time for now with the third step. In my story, I went through all twelve steps years ago but still relapsed at month 9. Did 1-8 in my first two years this time around, and still found myself resentful, fearful, and just insane.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I told my sponsor recently I am going to take my time for now with the third step.
It does say to think carefully before making the decision of the third step.

If lack of power and alcoholism aren't your problem so you'll have all the time in the world to contemplate it. If they are your problem, I've found expecting God's grace while we ponder whether to act grateful for it or not doesn't last a lifetime.

I didn't drink at 9 mos. but I could hear myself sinking back into that old familiar pit of despair, half-hoping I'd die. Had you asked me I would have said I did the first 7 steps. Looking back now, I hadn't even taken the first step completely, skipped the 2nd step proposition but kinda figured there was a power greater than myself, said I made a decision in the 3rd step but it was just BS to keep the other AA ppl off my back - a truth that was evident had you watched my actions. Actions indicative of someone who's decided they need some outside Power in their life "or else," tends to look (in AA anyway) like someone writing a 4-column resentment inventory, a fear inventory and writing a sex ideal. Then one would see that person not reading off their inventory like it's an incident report but getting down to the EXACT NATURE of their defects of character - two different things completely. Upon internalizing all this stuff, combined with their lack of power and a heavy dose of powerlessness over alcohol, one would see that person live as if they were entirely ready to have God remove all their defects of character followed by a humble asking that it be done. That same person would then write a thorough 8th step list and follow it up by completing ALL of their amends.

When I told ppl at about a year and some change sober that I'd worked the 12 steps - that was a lie. I worked my version of them, skipped the 8th step list, worked on the list in my mind, amends were apologies and I CERTAINLY didn't make all of them......... To make matters worse, I figured I'd do step 10 IF it popped into my head and only then, I didn't do "upon awakening" and "when we retire" in step 11, and as a result, anyone with any skills of observation could see I didn't really have anything they wanted so anyone I might have approached to "help" didn't stick around much. Since I was trying to convey a message I wasn't in possession of, nobody wanted me to sponsor them so I couldn't work the 12 step really at all......... but I'd sit in meetings telling everyone I was in recovery and worked the 12 steps.

.....of course I was depressed and suicidal. I wasn't drinking and I wasn't recovering - a state I look back on and find was worse than drinking and not recovering.

If you're like me, you'll maybe see some similar holes in the rest of the "work" you've done. Maybe not. I thought my biggest issue for a long time was that I hadn't really taken step 3, as you stated in your opening comment. The clarity of hindsight allows me to see my problem is precisely where it's always been - in my refusal to really admit - to my deepest and innermost self - that I'm truly powerless over alcohol, drunk OR sober, and that whether I'm drinking or not, I'm not a sufficiently powerful manager of my own life. Once the realization of those two truths really sunk in, I gladly ditched "Michael's program of recovery" for AA's program of recovery...... and my actions were 100% indicative of someone working the AA program, not their version of it.
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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the spiritual foundation of the program is the steps.
going to meetings and not drinking doesnt build the spiritual foundation. new friends dont do that either.
at one time there werent many meetings in the u.s. at one time a man from chicago rode the train to the nearest meeting- in akron. how could he do 90 in 90 and have a spiritual foundation built? people out west and worldwide got sober and built their spiritual foundation by doing what then BB suggests, THEN formed meeting. did they not have a spiritual foundation before starting meetings?
does the bb say meetings and friends are a spiritual foundation?

Did 1-8 in my first two years this time around, and still found myself resentful, fearful, and just insane.
is aa an 8 step program?
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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p.s.
on that takin yer time with the 3rd step:
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
the BB says:
Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless AT ONCEfollowed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.
it says why we get our asses in gear at once after this.
when i turned my will and life over to God i stopped trying to run the show and think i knew what was best for me.
we made a decision to continue with the rest of the steps. its very simple-w e dont sit back and wait for God to show himself. He shows Himself as we work for it.
having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the steps....

used to have detox clients brought to my HG. cant say how many times i heard,"i got to the 4th step and drank." not only from them clients-also from others. it took a while for me to realize how many times i heard it, but was cranking on my 4th when it hit me. talked to an old fart after a meeting:
"tom(another tom who became my 1st sponsor) i dont get it. i hear so many people say they got to the 4th and drank yet here i am crankin on mine. why am i crankin on it and they get drunk?"
his simple reply:
"you completed the first 3 steps."
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm just going to reply specifically to why I understood 90 in 90 to be important.
Learning
Reinforcement
New life choice of sobriety
Beginning the steps- I was not one of those people who found a sponsor right off and flew thru the steps in a wkd.

I haven't heard the expressions you have (certainly not the 90 friends part! I cannot imagine how you make real friends, rather than just get numbers, say, that fast!).

I know my fanny had to sit in a chair, if only that, as my brain was healing and I could begin to compute what AA the program - NOT meeting attendance- was about. Like others said, willingness/desire to stop drinking, consideration of the 3rd step and therefore real prep for the 4/5, the start of the spiritual process.
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I did as I was told for the first time in my life. I listened for the first time in my life. Thirty meetings in 30 days. Sixty meetings in 60 days. Ninety meetings in 90 days.

The spiritual foundation is surrender.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I took 90 in 90 to be a metaphor for total immersion in AA. By the time 90 days were up, I had attended 80 something meetings, and was well into step nine, beginning to learn to live in steps 10,11 and 12, andmy life had changed forever. There was a sudden realisation that I had gone all that time without seriously contemplating taking a drink.

I suppose I might have been a bit gullible, but I really believed that if I wanted to successfully bake a cake, I would have to stick to the recipe. This cake had 12 ingredients. I put them all in and have my cake. Could I have the same cake using only eight ingredients, would it even resemble a cake?
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by One23 View Post
I've heard "make 90 meetings in 90 days to build a spiritual foundation". Another one was "make 90 meetings in 90 days to make 90 potential new friends as your spiritual foundation". These two directions do not equate to a spiritual foundation in my experience. But is there something I am not getting?

It is my understanding that the first three steps are the spiritual foundation. I just googled it and it seems to be a practical understanding and following of the full 12 steps.

I told my sponsor recently I am going to take my time for now with the third step. In my story, I went through all twelve steps years ago but still relapsed at month 9. Did 1-8 in my first two years this time around, and still found myself resentful, fearful, and just insane.
Never heard either of those two sayings in AA. This was pretty much how it was for me:

...the practice of attending a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous every day for 90 days in a row is a common suggestion for a newcomer to AA. A newcomer is typically newly sober and requires significant support to maintain sobriety. It’s common that a newcomer doesn’t feel well physically and mentally, being deprived of the alcohol (or drugs) which have served as the solution to the newcomer’s problems until very recently. Without their preferred solution, newcomers are left to face their problems without the buffer of intoxication.

Daily attendance of AA meetings can serve several purposes. The first is human contact. Newcomers are welcomed into a community of people who understand them - something they’ve always had trouble finding. Through that contact, they make new relationships which give them some hope as they face the reality of their situation. Another benefit of daily meeting attendance is that many newcomers are unconvinced that AA and abstinence from drugs and alcohol will be the right path for them. Everything inside the newcomer is telling them to run away, that the alcohol that worked to keep them comfortable for so long is still the answer. They’re sure they’re different, that AA isn’t for them. But as the 90 days unfold, newcomers hear many stories other AA members share. Eventually, someone’s story resonates with the newcomer. She starts identifying with the situations and feelings she hears. In this way, 90 in 90 is a “large dose” of AA, intended to create and solidify the newcomer’s connection to her new AA home group.

https://www.lionrockrecovery.com/dru...ngs-in-90-days
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Step 3, making a decision that I'll let God take charge, that I'll be open to ideas other than my own, the acknowledgement of, and surrender to, I can't, he can, I'll let him, really was for me only a decision at the beginning, a willingness to try something new. That's the beauty of how the programme was written, it has an intelligence and a gentleness that must be divinely inspired (it's not humanly heavy handed enough to be otherwise)

What actually interested me in your post though was about doing steps 1-8 (perhaps you needed to continue on from there? ) and the continued insanity. I was listening to a Russell Brand Under your skin podcast at work this afternoon. In this one he was in conversation with Gabor Mate, and in part of the podcast they were talking about the 12 steps, given that Russell Brand is in recovery. It was one of the best explorations of the 12 step programme, in all its life-changing capacity and its profound spiritual foundation. They also discussed what it doesn't do, or perhaps what it doesn't do for everyone And if you have completed the step programme formally, and two years on, are still feeling insane as you put it, then perhaps outside help is implied? It may be that another addiction/behaviour has arisen, and this time, one needs to go back to the source. There is no objection to outside help, and I'd consider it one of the fundamentals of recovery if one needs to do it.....
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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One thing I learned in my fourth step was that I was the author of my own misfortune. I had a way of behaving when sober, that wasn't a recipe for happiness, that in fact built up pressures which could only be relieved with a drink.

Knowing that did not fix it. I have listened to some very good speakers on the subject of step nine, and what they had to say rang true with my experience also. For example experience had shown that those who do not make their financial amends (pay their debts) tend to have ongoing problems in that area.

For me, unmade amends, unresolved issues where a great source of fear and anxiety as well as sleepless nights. The big questions were:
What will I do/say if I see that person?
When will I get the tap on the shoulder, and what will be the consequences?
Will I have to always cross the road to avoid certain people?
Should I go to an event if so and so will be there?
Will someone expose me?
How will I ever pay that debt?
Can I ever hold my head up?

My head was full of thoughts like this. Many have tried the approach that I would only need to forgive myself, and just try to forget everything else. Very few succeed with that approach. Step nine has a simple and practical solution. It takes faith and courage (courage is fear that has said its prayers) and the guidance of a good sponsor, and it is amazing how in 99% of cases the problems just melt away. Generally people are very forgiving and only too happy to see one of us on the road to recovery.
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