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Struggling with AA.

Old 06-24-2010, 10:12 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I use to cring when people
told me what to do and to
be truthful I still do. I try
to the best of my ability to
use suggestions in a
softer sutle way instead
of a forceable pushy way.

I dont mean any harm to
anyone nor do i want to
come across as someone
who knows it all cause I
don't.

Even for me im still a work
in progress and Ill remain
teachable for as long as i
live.

I remember religion and sex
were the 2 topics that id feel
uncomfortable talking about.

Only because each of us has
our own opinions on them.
They are also personal topics
to each it's own.

I would want anyone to convert
me as I wouldnt want to do it to
them.

Being brought up Catholic back
in the 50's for me was how i was
raised. Catholic schools, nuns,
church, commandments, confession.

That was the faith i was brought
up on.

When raising my kids, we Baptized
them Catholic and Christian.

I left the door open to them to
decide for themselves which
religion they wanted when they
grew up just as long as they
continued to have faith.

They are in their 20's now and
they have their own faith and
thats fine with me. It's their
life, not mine.

I was told to bring the body
and the mind will follow. I
did that to recovery everyday
not totally understanding the
concept of it. In time things
in recovery began to make
sense to me.

And today i know what each
of those slogans mean in my
life.

My program is mine and I
imbrace it just like ur program
is ur own.

Im glad to be here and have
SR as my lifeline in recovery.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:16 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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The phrase "What makes you think your brain doesn't need washing" IS part of the brainwashing in AA. It serves as thought stopping.

I agree that AA has helped some people, but not all of us benefit from the program of AA and what irked me while in AA for 2 years, was the fact that it wasn't acceptable not to find AA helpful. No one should have to be convinced of it. If it works for some, fine, if not fine. Additionally, people can and do stay sober without AA.

I hear you Sobermax. Best to you.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:24 AM
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Hey good that you have identified that you want what some people have and what others dont...also that when someone throws you a lifering nd saves your life you are pretty damn defensive about whoever chucked you the ring...this is what i did:

Got a sponsor like you, worked through the steps as quickly as i could to the best of my ability with my sponsor (who i assumed you asked if he has worked the steps himself) and got my promised spiritual awakening (personality change) which has given me a life of freedom from all the BS that i had before...

As for the insane bit ill put it like this i knew that my behaviour was insane both drunk and sober, sober because it wasnt drunk when i took the first drink...if the drinking had really been as simple as a life choice to me then for 20 years i was a total ******* idiot and i am not an idiot...so i like the insane bit;-)

Just remember a bit of humility too you knocked on AA's door they didn't knock on yours....and i'm not attacking you or defending AA but have a think about that and you might give the group of strangers that are trying to help you a bit more slack and it gets too much there is a liquor store on every corner...put some perspective in this for yourself i promise it will make the initial journey a lot more fun:-)
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:33 AM
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AA wasn't for me either. I found myself looking at people who go every day for 10 years and have to wonder if that's really getting their life back.

Just keep looking for what is going to work for you. Chris Prentiss has a lot of good books.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:44 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Steps 1, 2 and 3

Hi Sobermax,

I can understand where you are at right now. I am in the beginning of my sobriety as well. What I have been told is that if you can't get one step, then you have not completed the previous step. For me, I have had an issue finding a higher power of my understanding. I have never been a religious person and the though about praying on my knees sounded stupid. But, as the days past and I wasn't drinking, I was still misserable and couldn't understand why? Finally I decieded that I wanted to be happy and I wanted what everyone else had, peice. So, I started doing what my sponsor asked me to do regardless if i believed or not. after about a week, i started feeling ok, not great, but better than miserable. I have now been praying for about 3weeks now and today I feel good, instead of ok and definately not miserable.

Bring the body, and the mind will follow.

The 2nd and 3rd steps say "came to believe". I am allowing myself to be open minded to the suggestions, which doesn't mean i have to fully understand them or god.

As for your non-AA things in your life, i am a single mother and i have priorities that i have to take care of. I came into AA so that I can learn to live my life without drinking. As long as I am not drinking, then my non-AA things are still LIFE!! Just be sure where you are, alcholol is cunning, baffling, and powerfull and will try to win back your loyalty!
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sobermax View Post
There are some people who just radiate peace, so I guess I'll stick to them as much as I can.
I think this is a very good idea.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:48 AM
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I respect and admire AA a great deal.

Good to know it's there if I need it, either now or down the road.

That said, my only complaint with AA is the culture of and acceptance of smoking. My sobriety/recovery includes smoking and it's not a coincidence that smoking was the last addiction I recovered from when I decided to give up drugs and alcohol. At AA, most everyone smokes, it's like the last gasp vice and some AA people cling to it like a life-raft. So for me it's hard to be around smokers and smoking, especially if it's not only accepted but almost promoted as an alternative to drinking. In the past, being around it has led me back to it, the old saying if you can't beat em, join em. On top of that I hate the smell of cigarettes on people, I hate breathing 2nd hand smoke, and I hate getting 2nd hand smoke on and in my clothes. So smartly I avoid smokers and smoking.

All this smoking is an issue for me as far as AA is concerned.

I have no issue with the steps.
I do not see it as a brainwashing cult.
And I have no issue with the concept of a Higher Power.

However the LAST thing I wanna do is end up smoking again, it was harder for me to stop smoking than it was to quit drinking. By far, not even close, multiple nicotine relapses can attest to this, and yet on on my first ever "quit" with drinking, it's been almost two years. Needless to say my first "quit" with nicotine (back in like 1989) was neither as lengthy or as successful as this. I think I went a month. Not saying I'm drunk proof or outta the woods yet as far as drinking is concerned but when I look at all things honestly, the risk of a smoking relapse because of AA outweighs the benefits of AA for drinking right now, for me.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:07 PM
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Interesting point getr345.

I do find it quite ironic that damn near all of the stalwarts of AA smoke. I always find that one a little weird. 12 steps, spiritual awakening et al but still fill your lungs full of the crappiest drug of them all (does it actually do anything?) Each to their own though and it doesn't bother me at all. I just find it strange how the 12 steps aren't merely applied to smoking. Hand it over to your higher-power etcetc.

But everyones entitled to their own recovery. For me drinking,drugs, smoking aren't mutually exclusive. Come one, come all.

I was actually offered a roll-up at an AA meeting on Sunday and declined. It's like the last of the vices being clung onto.

Nothing against smokers or anything but I always find it ironic.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:13 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Raindance View Post
AA wasn't for me either. I found myself looking at people who go every day for 10 years and have to wonder if that's really getting their life back.

Just keep looking for what is going to work for you. Chris Prentiss has a lot of good books.
Obviously, not every AA'er that has been sober for 10 years goes everyday. It's like life in general - there are all kinds of people in the world - there are all kinds of people in AA. Stick with the winners (as you should do in life and in AA).
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by NEOMARXIST View Post
12 steps, spiritual awakening et al but still fill your lungs full of the crappiest drug of them all.
12 Steps, spiritual awakening etc... but still ADDICTED.

Still using a mind & mood altering drug (albeit mild) for pretty much the same reasons people drink; to escape, to feel good, to feel different, to cope with stress, to fit in, etc...

That's what is most sad IMO, and I think someday AA will have a major realignment in their group thinking and approach towards smoking. I believe that someday, AA will look at active nicotine addiction among their members as unacceptable (like marijuana maintenance, add nicotine maintenance) and they will take responsibility for their past improper promotion of cigarettes as an alternative to drinking and they will promote TRUE sobriety and freedom from ALL drugs and alcohol. No more addicted sponsors.

It will be a light bulb moment for everyone...
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:47 PM
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here is a *silly* question....aren't most public meetings and rooms where they have AA meetings now smoke free?

I do not and do not plan to seek assistance from AA....there is a Sunday PM meeting in the building where I work every Sunday ( I work in a municipal hospital complex)...No one is allowed to smoke in or around the building.

How can you actually smoke unless you are in a private residence?

just wondering....?
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:03 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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I don't think everyone does that, but that was my example. I went to meetings for 6 months, got what I felt I could from it, and I have no desire to go to any more.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:16 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Raindance View Post
I don't think everyone does that, but that was my example. I went to meetings for 6 months, got what I felt I could from it, and I have no desire to go to any more.
Please understand I'm not judging your time or experience in AA, but I just want to point out that a lot of people who have worked through the steps keep coming back to help the newcomer.

It's their way of keeping sober and helping those who need help.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:18 PM
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AA, is not for me, however if i should end up in another problematic drinking habit, and unable to cope...which i really think/hope i wont, would need an open mind, an never say never as it were, like someone mentioned, there are likeable characters in AA, I can relate too, fun like. entertaining, genuinely seem happy, then theres some who seem dogmatic, stuck in a past time warp...repeating the same bumph..and not seeming too happy about living it...i guess the same goes in any groups,types,religeons,people in general...and i also think,if it canhelp get people sober, and offer so much help and support,
thats all good, each to there own...
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:19 PM
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I'm not begrudging them their path, it's just not for me.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:27 PM
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Yeagr8,

"Just remember a bit of humility too you knocked on AA's door, they didn't knock on yours"

......" you might give the group of strangers that are all trying to help you a bit more slack and if it gets too much, there is a liquor store on every corner."

That sounds like typical AA shaming, admonishment and ridicule offered when someone strays from the AA mindset.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:40 PM
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So many good points were brought up, I don't know what i could add.

Yeah, I'm an AAer, and there is plenty that annoys me. The crowd that gulps coffee, chainsmokes (agreed, AA needs to take a holistic view on recovery, and stop condoning smoking and sugar instead of drinking! It's ALL addiction!) and says over and over again, "don't drink and go to lots of meetings."

Also, the slogans drive me crazy. I had a friend call me and did nothing but chant slogans at me. Anybody else who calls me and shouts slogans is going to get a dial tone in their ear. They're like parrots "Stinking thinking"! "Don't drink no matter what!" "Keep coming back!" SQUAK!!!

To me AA is a spiritual program that invokes surrenduring to my disease, then change, then maintaining my recovery. I'm a spiritual person from the word go, so the spiritual thing doesn't both me at all. (The Abrahamic God doesn't both me either, as long as you keep to your god, and I'll keep to mine.)
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:54 PM
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What got to me was how people felt everything they did was about being an alcoholic. It's one thing to say that you used an addictive substance and became addicted to it, but I don't like hearing "the alki in me did it this way" when it's just a character trait.

I'm rambling.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Raindance View Post
What got to me was how people felt everything they did was about being an alcoholic. It's one thing to say that you used an addictive substance and became addicted to it, but I don't like hearing "the alki in me did it this way" when it's just a character trait.

I'm rambling.
I hear ya on that, but it's a room full of people trying to recovery from alcoholism. There is bound to be some people, maybe saying some silly, or just wrong things, sometimes.

I go to a big group. We can have over 80 people there. Yes, some of them get on my nerves. I'm sure I get on someones nerves there too. ...but it's a very solution based, fun loving, and full of sobriety group.

When I finally gave up fighting, gave in, and admitted I'm an alcoholic, boy things finally made sense to me. I finally knew what was wrong with me.

I believe I found a solution to my alcoholism and for that, I'm very, very grateful.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:36 PM
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My group never had more than 15 people. Some things became a broken record.

I have a lot of tools from the time that I did go to the meetings that I took away with me, but after awhile it felt time to leave and go use them rather than going back to hear the same thing again and again.

It felt like I needed to go back and live my life and stop hiding in meetings KWIM?
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