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I know this will "stir up the pot"

Old 03-07-2011, 05:36 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by nbunderstanding View Post
I know this will "stir up the pot" but I need to get some other perspectives on this.

My husband entered rehab in July of 2010 while he was gone he asked me to read the chapter of the AA book called to the wives. I was more than happy to do so. As I read some of it was exactly how I felt and some actually offended me. I began researching about Bill W and cannot believe what I found. He was basically a sex addict, used LSD (even wanted everyone in AA to use LSD), came up with the 12 steps on hallucinogenic drugs in the hospital and ect.

I have been questioning how AA or ALANON can work when it focuses on so much self centeredness. I understand there is a certain amount of time where this must be done in the beginning of recovery, but these organizations say forever you work these steps and live by there teachings. How can a person live life and find true happiness and spirtuality while always putting ones self first?

I want to end this with I know this helps many people and I am very happy for them but I don't understand the long term effects of this program. I see that Bill W did not live a very happy life, in what is just my opinion, was because he didn't come full circle and work on all his mental issues and ended up substituting additions.

Again this isn't to disrespect what is working for people but maybe to gain a different insight into how this can work and how to look past the transgressions of the man who founded AA.
Most of that book is a little out of date.

When I was in rehab one young man came up with his own 12 steps. I thought it was super! I read them and they applied to his situation and beliefs.

Some people raised their hand and whined about it cause they said "it took away from their own recovery". I'm like WTF???

Nobody said you were asked to follow his 12 steps. He only introduced it cause he felt it would benefit him most. I loved what he wrote.

Best of all, it had NO religious undertone in it. What turns me off the most is that.

And I can't stand it when they tell you "your own version of Higher Power" when they know damn well they mean "their version" of their higher power and you can't get around it.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:41 AM
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P.S. My own recovery is a huge mishmash of program, friends in the program, good supportive healthy friends outside the program, a fantastic counsellor, major changes in my nutrition, lots of exercise outdoors near water and a very close relationship with my rescue dog :-)

The program and the Big Book, for me, are a jumping off point. I know people with a narrow focus on the 12 steps as their recovery tool and people whose recovery is a similar mishmash - all of whom are doing great. The take what you like and leave the rest leaves lots of room for you to choose what works for you.

SL.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:20 PM
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In Lois's writing, she states that SHE felt she should write the chapter, "To Wives," but Bill was convinced the whole book had to be written in the same "tone". That was a lot of baloney, of course, and Lois never QUITE forgave him for it, I don't think.

I don't know that Lois would have stayed with him today, either, but she might have. Many strong women have stood by great, yet deeply flawed, men throughout history (men seem to have less patience).

There is VERY strong sentiment against changing a word of the first 164 pages. I used to think the BB should be "updated," too, but I now think it should stay as is, and the historical context be taken into account. It would sort of be like changing the Bible, which is HORRIBLY misogynistic in places, but still contains a lot of truth and historical detail.

Incidentally, it IS true that Bill experimented with LSD. It wasn't for the purpose of getting "high" in the "let's get wasted" sense; rather, it was in the context of exploration of the consciousness in the Timothy Leary days. It was at one time believed to have medical value, as well.

Context, context.

Bill was no saint, but he had a wonderful revelation that he had the energy to spread to millions of suffering alcoholics.

Besides, the BB was a group effort, heavily edited and commented upon by the first 100 members. I recently got "The Book That Started It All," which is a reproduction of the working manuscript for the BB, complete with edits and scribbled comments in the margin. My personal favorite margin note was one that indicated a particular passage was "Dangerous for the NUTS!"
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:37 PM
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take what you want and leave the rest

I enjoy the steps...and my recovery and the lifestyle change i have done up to this point...my HP has seen me struggle with all my questions...i am slowly learning a few, and the rest..not to know at this point and time....i have many tools, and slogans to help me and my Al anon family also...for me its the best...
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:26 PM
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Thank you for your post. I too have had a few misgivings about "The Big Book," AA and Alanon.

But I've decided that I'm just going to keep an open mind at this point. When I read something that I find suspicious, I just note that. I can come back to it later if I want, or totally disregard it.

I don't expect AA or Alanon to have all the answers. If they did, I'd have them too. My AH would be sober and good company instead of a giant PITA.

I'm currently reading "Beyond the Influence." Great book and a real eye opener for me. It doesn't have all the answers either.

All I'm saying here is that I don't worry to much about whether or not AA or Alanon work. My concern is that I find a way to live "or not" live with my AH. I need to find a way that makes me feel good about getting up in the morning and allows me to enjoy the rest of my day.

I'm not necessarily looking for a program. If I find one great. But, I'm taking charge and I intend to enjoy living. If AA, or Alanon, or Smart Recovery, or Dr. Phil disagrees with my approach--oh well. I'm gonna do what makes me happy.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:11 PM
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Folks who go to AA run the gamut from purists to people who combine it with other treatment plans.

I have my own opinions about it as well but if it helps then who am I to even voice them other than as an observer who believes in a more holistic approach.

I do agree the BB needs some serious updating but to my knowledge most that I know who use it agree with that as well.

AA isn't a cure, it is about managing the illness and it has helped many worldwide. What is the alternative? For many it isn't good.
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