My Struggles with the 12 step program - Page 2 - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:05 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mcconnth2017 View Post
I have been in AA for almost 8 months. The people I have encountered have been very warm and accepting. I have not had a drink in 224 days and am working through the steps, although I am having a difficult time.
Congratulations on your 224 days of sobriety!

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I am keeping an open mind, but I am an agnostic at best.
You can be agnostic in AA. If the God stuff bothers you, call it something else like "higher self", "the universe", etc.

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I knew going into the program that it was anti-intellectual in nature. Ie. Just follow the path and you "could" be ok. I get some comments or odd looks, from die hards, when I mention my concerns in sharing. No, I don't call AA anti-intellectual at meetings.
What they mean by anti-intellectual is that you could have a PhD in addiction, read every single book out there about addiction, be as intellectual as Albert Einstein, but still not recover. It's a spiritual program. That's all they mean. Intellectualizing recovery doesn't work.

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They are starting an agnostic and atheist meeting shortly near my location, which I am certainly going to try.
That sounds interesting. Where can someone find these types of meetings listed?

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The powerlessness and giving up free will are just a couple of things that seem counter intuitive to me.
I completely get what you're saying. These bothered me, too. But the longer I've been in recovery, I think what it means is that we cannot use our minds/ego to not drink. But we have a power within us that is a higher power than the mind/ego that we can use to not drink. Some call is God. You can choose to call it whatever you want. Some people call it the lower self vs. the higher self.

It's not that you're giving up free will. It's that you chose to do the best thing for you and others, that won't harm yourself or harm others. But it's still ultimately your choice.

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However, as I read more books on recovery, I get more confused, which leads me further away from AA principles. I don't mean to bash AA, I am just sharing where I am at in recovery. Then the AA voice hits "Keep it simple stupid"
I found that reading books on recovery made me very confused, too, because many say different things.

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The meetings are beginning to become boring and a little depressing.
Meetings can sometimes feel boring and repetitive because recovered folk need to reach the newcomer who just walked through the door.

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However, I made a commitment to sobriety and I am going to work the steps and then reassess. Yes, I realize the step aren't to be done in a weekend.
Just like it took years to put on weight, we won't be able to sustain long term weight loss if we lose weight in a weekend. It took a life time of our thinking, behaviors, and reaction to life to get to a place of enough is enough, time to change. We need much more than a weekend to do it.

Enjoy the journey of growth, however you seek it.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:43 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quit!

Trying to please everyone.

Fearing change.

Living in the past.

Putting yourself down.

Overthinking, it will kill your reality.

Sobriety -- living in the natural state of a human being i.e. complete mental, physical and spiritual equanimity.

'Always take the shortest route and the shortest route is the natural, by which one says and does everything most soundly.. For such an end delivers one from toils and warfare, and from all scheming adornment.' - Marcus Aurelius 'Meditations' book 4.51
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'The time we have assigned to us is limited. If you do not use it to free yourself it is gone and will never return.' - Marcus Aurelius
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:18 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Can you please describe in detail how you "would try to work the steps over and over."
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:10 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Derringer - for me, this way of expressing a life using the steps to guide me isn't quite right. It makes me think someone is doing them all over and over again, and I have found success at focusing daily on specific ones, and turning to others as different things arise in my life (or mind!).

How I work the program of AA (with a sponsor)
First, I read the first 164 pages with my first sponsor. We discussed, she pointed out salient points and back info, if you will - like the actual name of "Our Mutual Friend."
In employing the steps, I describe my life how my second sponsor (with whom I did step 4-12) as "guidelines for living my best life."
I have not done a COMPLETE set of the steps again - have thought I might during my upcoming 4th year but now beginning to work with my 3rd sponsor for this phase of my life, we will see.

Daily working the steps "over and over" would better be described as how I use them to live my best recovered life. I describe it as living in 1, 10, 11 and 12.
This means:
1 Acceptance (now, that means way more than I can't drink) - it means accepting that others' feel as they do; that I can't control anything from how slow the lady ahead of me is driving or the person at the drive thru getting my order right, all the way up to I my view of the world isn't the "perfect" one for everyone else. Acceptance applies to, well, everything in life.
10 & 11 - I read pp 84-88 (and 417-418 which tie back into Acceptance as well as getting out of my ego) - I do the daily inventory which means I reflect on my actions and resolutions of a day, like did I apologize promptly about something I needed to; was I selfish, resentful, dishonest or afraid. Here, and as part of 11, I apply the St Francis prayer as a guide for the new day ahead of me.
12 Service to others. It could be literally in a meeting, like moving over a chair so a couple could sit together; it can mean going to my step-daughter's b-ball game to support my husband, even though I have a difficult time hearing his ex-wife talking about a serious situation with my other step child (see, acceptance comes in again)...it means leading an AA meeting or running the recovery group I lead for the restaurant industry.

Wash, rinse, repeat every day...and I've got a solid, joyful, well-directed (bc it's not me directing it) life in recovery.
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