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Mizz is going to Alcoholics Anonymous

Old 02-16-2018, 01:48 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Hey Miss, I think AA in the US is quite different to Australia in some ways. The best advice I received about AA was have an open mind, simply absorb and have no expectations. Attend as many meetings as you feel comfortable with and simply listen. If a meeting or folks resonate with you, stay with that meeting fora while. In Australia, the 12 Steps are good to do but not mandatory. You wont burn in hell if you attend meetings but don’t do the 12 Steps. The only heavy emphasis is on a Sponsor but even that can be temporary.

The take away for me is I choose the bits of AA that worked for me and ignore the rest.

So, go with a light heart !
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Old 02-16-2018, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by NYCDoglvr View Post
HUH? Why the focus on Step 5? The steps are done in order, with the help of a sponsor. Perhaps you shouldn't think of steps beyond one-two-three and get an interim sponsor?

For me it was simple: my best thinking got me drunk so I should just shut up and listen then take suggestions. I came in with total fear that if I drank again I would die (which almost happened) so I didn't cheery-pick things I didn't understand. It was obvious my will was self-destructive.
I dont know why I focused on step 5. I worked the steps before. 3 times. I dont necessarily like sharing all this info about myself to people. I suppose it is not something to be concerned about right now but it is something that I think about.

I hear you about focusing on the first few steps. I am working on that now.
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Old 02-16-2018, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Kaneda8888 View Post
Hey Miss, I think AA in the US is quite different to Australia in some ways. The best advice I received about AA was have an open mind, simply absorb and have no expectations. Attend as many meetings as you feel comfortable with and simply listen. If a meeting or folks resonate with you, stay with that meeting fora while. In Australia, the 12 Steps are good to do but not mandatory. You wont burn in hell if you attend meetings but donít do the 12 Steps. The only heavy emphasis is on a Sponsor but even that can be temporary.

The take away for me is I choose the bits of AA that worked for me and ignore the rest.

So, go with a light heart !
Thanks, Kaneda. Light heart! Got it. Will do. Good to hear from you.
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:51 PM
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I hope you feel better after finding a strong support network. Keep on going.
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Kaneda8888 View Post
You wont burn in hell if you attend meetings but don’t do the 12 Steps.

!
I don't suppose you would burn in hell, but an alcoholic of my type will likely drink again if they follow this advice. I and many others have put this to the test and the result was always the same. I found the fellowship could not keep me sober for more than about 3 weeks in my best run.

AA does not claim that meetings alone will bring about a full recovery. It might in Australia, but they have Aussie rules for everything over there. We recover by the steps we take, not the meetings we make.
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by NYCDoglvr View Post
HUH? Why the focus on Step 5? The steps are done in order, with the help of a sponsor. Perhaps you shouldn't think of steps beyond one-two-three and get an interim sponsor?
There is another possibility that might explain the revisitng of step five. A little known problem where an individual gets through their first step five and experiences the promises on page 75. Pretty cool, start having a spiritual experience etc, it really feels great. They get the feeling that they have cracked it. And STOP.

After a while the good feeling fades and they get uncomfortable again, and if they like that stuff about acceptance and the problem being within me as per Dr Paul, then they think, gosh I need to do another step four/five, and another.

Doctor Bob was the first to try this path. He accepted every part of the program, and acted on it, except step nine. He got drunk again. Then he took step nine immediately after his last drunk, and never drank again.

Sometimes the problem isn't at the self analysis end of the program. Sometimes it can be that we just didn't complete the work. Doing endless fourths and fifths will not get around the need for the rest of the steps.

The other big reason is a secret kept bottled up.
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:15 PM
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I dont think I have been sober at all. Removing the alcohol made me physically sober. I can do physically sober until I couldn't any longer. That leads me to believe that I was mentally and emotionally drunk. I have been for a long time.

Since I was going at this sober journey solo and not implementing one persons advice, I am now implementing the readings of the BB. I have researched on the 12 steps again and will be working towards those soon.

The phone number I was given by the nice lady at the meeting= I almost called
When it hit noon today= I almost went to a meeting.

Im not opposed and I am willing to give it a go. Im giving it more of a go than I have in the last year.

And, I am not on the verge of another relapse at all. I really did myself in with those few times of drinking. I just need balance and a different way now. To be steady as the ship of life sails the turbulent sea.
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Lindajean68 View Post
Really interesting thread. The AA debate could be never-ending, eh? .
I believe such debates in AA have been going on since the beginning and will continue to until the HP upstairs turns out the lights on this small planet .
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Gottalife View Post
There is another possibility that might explain the revisitng of step five. A little known problem where an individual gets through their first step five and experiences the promises on page 75. Pretty cool, start having a spiritual experience etc, it really feels great. They get the feeling that they have cracked it. And STOP.

After a while the good feeling fades and they get uncomfortable again, and if they like that stuff about acceptance and the problem being within me as per Dr Paul, then they think, gosh I need to do another step four/five, and another.

Doctor Bob was the first to try this path. He accepted every part of the program, and acted on it, except step nine. He got drunk again. Then he took step nine immediately after his last drunk, and never drank again.

Sometimes the problem isn't at the self analysis end of the program. Sometimes it can be that we just didn't complete the work. Doing endless fourths and fifths will not get around the need for the rest of the steps.

The other big reason is a secret kept bottled up.
I find the 4th and 5th steps to be very similar to confession in the Catholic church. You say your penance and you are forgiven. You feel great for awhile but then what?

Well, if you pray daily asking for Gods hopefully you'll find serenity when life gets out of whack. I get it. However, I also believe having been granted the gift of sobriety the rest is on me. I do not feel I am entitled to anymore. Which isn't to say I don't pray because I still do. (I often give thanks for my sobriety as my head hits the pillow. )

Now, there are some who will suggest by giving thanks to God on a regular basis for my sobriety I am continuously conditioning myself to its importance. (The same as meetings help with reinforcement. )

Thus when a temptation or crisis occurs I am "spiritually fit" not to pick up that first drink.

Ultimately, AA as with much of life you need to find your niche.

A place where you're comfortable.
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:05 AM
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Hey Mizz,

Just wanted to say noon meetings are different from 0630 meetings are different from 8pm meetings. And there are variations within. Mix it up, indeed.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Mizzuno View Post
I dont think I have been sober at all. Removing the alcohol made me physically sober. I can do physically sober until I couldn't any longer. That leads me to believe that I was mentally and emotionally drunk. I have been for a long time.

Since I was going at this sober journey solo and not implementing one persons advice, I am now implementing the readings of the BB. I have researched on the 12 steps again and will be working towards those soon.

The phone number I was given by the nice lady at the meeting= I almost called
When it hit noon today= I almost went to a meeting.

Im not opposed and I am willing to give it a go. Im giving it more of a go than I have in the last year.

And, I am not on the verge of another relapse at all. I really did myself in with those few times of drinking. I just need balance and a different way now. To be steady as the ship of life sails the turbulent sea.
I identify with being physically sober (aka - dry) but just KNOWING something was missing. I just wasn't "better," not better the way I expected to be anyway. I was going to meetings so I figured going to more would be a good thing. I doubled my meeting # and got negligible results - maybe another 10%. Not a good return on my investment, I thought.

One day it hit me, maybe I need to work the steps. I was pretty sure it wouldn't do much but hey, why not give it a try. I took the advice of the members I liked and "took what I liked and ignored the rest." Lucky for me, most of the steps seemed stupid so that meant I could ignore them. I kinda did a couple, as I felt they should be done and skipped the bulk of them.

For some people - that plan of attack works. They stop drinking, kinda do some of the work, attend some meetings to sponge some of the power off for themselves and go home. It wasn't working so well for me. I wasn't really feeling much better at all even with all this new stuff I was adding to my regime. I still felt like I was off, like I was missing something. It wasn't a sharp pain, but in the back of my head there was this nagging feeling that said, "here we go again.....more mediocrity Michael.......more work with nothing to show for it."

Over time that nagging feeling got stronger and stronger. I was as unhappy with my life with 8 or 9 months sober as I was in the middle of my active alcoholism. A fabulous therapist hit me dead in the nose though, when she suggested my recovery program didn't make any sense. She said I could go to the gym 2x a day but so long as I viewed picking up all those heavy weights as far too strenuous so I'll stick with the ones that aren't too hard. When I judged running on those treadmills as silly cuz you go like hell and don't even go anywhere. And doing laps in the pool is nowhere near as fun as laying on your back, floating, and enjoying the water so skip the laps... just make sure you enjoy being in the water. I wasn't going to lose any weight / get in shape / get the body I went to the gym to achieve.

It occurred to me I was maybe in AA to get well......like some of the members there were talking about. Yeah, I wasn't drinking but so what? I sure as hell wasn't enjoying my life and I knew that most ppl who'd gone back out drinking didn't believe that they were headed that way before it happened. Was I fooling myself? Was I maybe closer to a drink than I realized? Was there maybe more to this AA thing than not drinking and going to meetings? Was I the type of person who could not drink, go to meetings, and enjoy my life? Was I the type who, like some of the ppl at those meetings, would have to actually do the whole darn thing - pick up the weights, lift them, push myself, do the treadmill, swim the laps - to really get into good, solid fit mental and emotional shape?

It turned out I was.....I learned over time that for me to be truly content, to really enjoy my life, it usually means I have to so a lot of things I don't always understand, don't really "want" to do, don't necessarily "feel" will benefit me, and most of these things will look hard to do........... but when I do them, all of them, the result is that part that was missing from so much of my life completely goes away.
Worth it? You bettcha...
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Mizzuno View Post
I dont think I have been sober at all. Removing the alcohol made me physically sober. I can do physically sober until I couldn't any longer. That leads me to believe that I was mentally and emotionally drunk. I have been for a long time.
heres a few things from the big book:

The Story of
How Many Thousands of Men and Women
Have Recovered from Alcoholism

We, OF Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book.

Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in the face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body. If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking -"What do I have to do?" It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically.

We have recovered

Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered

We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics...

After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.
On the other hand-and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand-once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:49 PM
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I screwed up in a job big time due to my drinking and the head of executive personnel told me to go to AA. I walked in, sat in the back, didn't talk to anyone and basically criticized everything I heard. I stopped going and drank again.
Then EIGHT years later my life was all but destroyed, I came within a hair's breath of dying and crawled on my hands and knees into AA. I said, totally defeated, "tell me what to do." I took the suggestions and, 26 years later, can say I owe my life to the fellowship of AA.

I had to give up my self-destructive self will to finally get better.
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:04 PM
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(I thought they were all weird and felt really bad for those who had multiple years of sobriety and STILL needed meetings...hahaha )
That really cracked me up LOL
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by NYCDoglvr View Post
I screwed up in a job big time due to my drinking and the head of executive personnel told me to go to AA. I walked in, sat in the back, didn't talk to anyone and basically criticized everything I heard. I stopped going and drank again.
Then EIGHT years later my life was all but destroyed, I came within a hair's breath of dying and crawled on my hands and knees into AA. I said, totally defeated, "tell me what to do." I took the suggestions and, 26 years later, can say I owe my life to the fellowship of AA.

I had to give up my self-destructive self will to finally get better.

Thank you for your information.

If there are implications in your response I am trying my best to not get defensive. A part of me thinks you're not reading the responses or what is being said? Another part of me just thinks that its hard to convey what we really mean over the internet.
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DayTrader View Post
I identify with being physically sober (aka - dry) but just KNOWING something was missing. I just wasn't "better," not better the way I expected to be anyway. I was going to meetings so I figured going to more would be a good thing. I doubled my meeting # and got negligible results - maybe another 10%. Not a good return on my investment, I thought.

One day it hit me, maybe I need to work the steps. I was pretty sure it wouldn't do much but hey, why not give it a try. I took the advice of the members I liked and "took what I liked and ignored the rest." Lucky for me, most of the steps seemed stupid so that meant I could ignore them. I kinda did a couple, as I felt they should be done and skipped the bulk of them.

For some people - that plan of attack works. They stop drinking, kinda do some of the work, attend some meetings to sponge some of the power off for themselves and go home. It wasn't working so well for me. I wasn't really feeling much better at all even with all this new stuff I was adding to my regime. I still felt like I was off, like I was missing something. It wasn't a sharp pain, but in the back of my head there was this nagging feeling that said, "here we go again.....more mediocrity Michael.......more work with nothing to show for it."

Over time that nagging feeling got stronger and stronger. I was as unhappy with my life with 8 or 9 months sober as I was in the middle of my active alcoholism. A fabulous therapist hit me dead in the nose though, when she suggested my recovery program didn't make any sense. She said I could go to the gym 2x a day but so long as I viewed picking up all those heavy weights as far too strenuous so I'll stick with the ones that aren't too hard. When I judged running on those treadmills as silly cuz you go like hell and don't even go anywhere. And doing laps in the pool is nowhere near as fun as laying on your back, floating, and enjoying the water so skip the laps... just make sure you enjoy being in the water. I wasn't going to lose any weight / get in shape / get the body I went to the gym to achieve.

It occurred to me I was maybe in AA to get well......like some of the members there were talking about. Yeah, I wasn't drinking but so what? I sure as hell wasn't enjoying my life and I knew that most ppl who'd gone back out drinking didn't believe that they were headed that way before it happened. Was I fooling myself? Was I maybe closer to a drink than I realized? Was there maybe more to this AA thing than not drinking and going to meetings? Was I the type of person who could not drink, go to meetings, and enjoy my life? Was I the type who, like some of the ppl at those meetings, would have to actually do the whole darn thing - pick up the weights, lift them, push myself, do the treadmill, swim the laps - to really get into good, solid fit mental and emotional shape?

It turned out I was.....I learned over time that for me to be truly content, to really enjoy my life, it usually means I have to so a lot of things I don't always understand, don't really "want" to do, don't necessarily "feel" will benefit me, and most of these things will look hard to do........... but when I do them, all of them, the result is that part that was missing from so much of my life completely goes away.
Worth it? You bettcha...
Thank You for such a thoughtful response. I was only able to realize my lack of emotional sobriety when I relapsed again after 10 plus months of sobriety. Whatever it was that I was doing was not working.

But you know, this relapse has brought me closer to wanting to find lasting sobriety that involves mental and emotional happiness. I took the drink away but did not see myself growing or changing for the better. Sure, I was physically better. Running miles on end, running myself in to the ground. With all that happened and was happening I could not seem to keep holding on.

Three life altering events took place and I was not able to hold on. Its not those events that took me out though. It was my thought process. It was the return to something that was all too familiar.

Im lucky in that it took a very short period of time to regain my footing. I have a lot to lose even after losing so much.

There is a book called The Red Road to Wellbriety. I have been reading some of it, reading some of the BB and praying for guidance through this. I have the time to work on my recovery and so I am.

It is one of the most important goals in my life.
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:50 AM
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I also loved day traders message.

All this has made me decide to do the steps, which had never crossed my mind in the past.

I haven't had a drink in a long time, but any tool in the toolkit.

Thank you.

Now back to my article, this was a cheat.

Happy Sunday.
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by DayTrader View Post
I identify with being physically sober (aka - dry) but just KNOWING something was missing. I just wasn't "better," not better the way I expected to be anyway. I was going to meetings so I figured going to more would be a good thing. I doubled my meeting # and got negligible results - maybe another 10%. Not a good return on my investment, I thought.

One day it hit me, maybe I need to work the steps. I was pretty sure it wouldn't do much but hey, why not give it a try. I took the advice of the members I liked and "took what I liked and ignored the rest." Lucky for me, most of the steps seemed stupid so that meant I could ignore them. I kinda did a couple, as I felt they should be done and skipped the bulk of them.

For some people - that plan of attack works. They stop drinking, kinda do some of the work, attend some meetings to sponge some of the power off for themselves and go home. It wasn't working so well for me. I wasn't really feeling much better at all even with all this new stuff I was adding to my regime. I still felt like I was off, like I was missing something. It wasn't a sharp pain, but in the back of my head there was this nagging feeling that said, "here we go again.....more mediocrity Michael.......more work with nothing to show for it."

Over time that nagging feeling got stronger and stronger. I was as unhappy with my life with 8 or 9 months sober as I was in the middle of my active alcoholism. A fabulous therapist hit me dead in the nose though, when she suggested my recovery program didn't make any sense. She said I could go to the gym 2x a day but so long as I viewed picking up all those heavy weights as far too strenuous so I'll stick with the ones that aren't too hard. When I judged running on those treadmills as silly cuz you go like hell and don't even go anywhere. And doing laps in the pool is nowhere near as fun as laying on your back, floating, and enjoying the water so skip the laps... just make sure you enjoy being in the water. I wasn't going to lose any weight / get in shape / get the body I went to the gym to achieve.

It occurred to me I was maybe in AA to get well......like some of the members there were talking about. Yeah, I wasn't drinking but so what? I sure as hell wasn't enjoying my life and I knew that most ppl who'd gone back out drinking didn't believe that they were headed that way before it happened. Was I fooling myself? Was I maybe closer to a drink than I realized? Was there maybe more to this AA thing than not drinking and going to meetings? Was I the type of person who could not drink, go to meetings, and enjoy my life? Was I the type who, like some of the ppl at those meetings, would have to actually do the whole darn thing - pick up the weights, lift them, push myself, do the treadmill, swim the laps - to really get into good, solid fit mental and emotional shape?

It turned out I was.....I learned over time that for me to be truly content, to really enjoy my life, it usually means I have to so a lot of things I don't always understand, don't really "want" to do, don't necessarily "feel" will benefit me, and most of these things will look hard to do........... but when I do them, all of them, the result is that part that was missing from so much of my life completely goes away.
Worth it? You bettcha...

I received a lot of conflicting advice when I was new to AA. Because I got sober overseas the members and their experiences in AA varied. There was no group think but plenty of group arguments. There were members who some called big book thumpers. I didn’t necessarily dig their approach and felt something was off… Were they trying to convince me or themselves?

Then there was the “take what you want and leave the rest” crowd who used a tool box approach to the 12 steps.

I don’t think I’ve met too many members over the years that strictly worked the program and didn’t attend meetings or went to meetings and ignore the steps.

The majority seem to fall somewhere in the middle.

So today after 20 years of AA am I happy? No more or less than anyone else I see in the rooms. I'm getting older but who isn't I take care of myself. I go to the gym and I avoid junk food. (Well, I try anyway...)

In the end AA gave me a life and it's alright.
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:46 AM
  # 59 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Gottalife View Post

Sometimes the problem isn't at the self analysis end of the program. Sometimes it can be that we just didn't complete the work. Doing endless fourths and fifths will not get around the need for the rest of the steps.
Love this because it is so true! I have been at both ends of it. One time, sober for a year. Did 4 & 5 but never really did Step 1, so I inevitably relapsed.

I'm also guilty of taking inventory as a way of avoiding step 6 & 7. If I am taking inventory on the same situation over and over, it's not because I keep missing something on the inventory - it's because I haven't really done 6 & 7.
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Old 02-18-2018, 06:04 AM
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I think this is a great thread Mizz. I've not done AA or any steps (at 5 months now) and it is making me wonder if it is something I should try, maybe I should at least read the BB.
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