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Old 08-24-2019, 03:10 PM
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step one

when did you accept you were powerless over alcohol?
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Old 08-25-2019, 03:02 AM
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at my first detox. when I understood my situation. I think I became powerless over alcohol years before that but just thought it was normal to want to drink all the time.
I was 28 when I decided that I was powerless but it took me two more decades of trying to drink like other people to again realize that alcohol is just BAD medicine.
in those 20 more years of drinking on and off, I lost everything, including jail stings, broken leg, facial scars, suicide attempts and the list goes on.
goes to show how far we would go to refuse to accept the powerlessness
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:01 AM
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So, this is a secular thread, not an AA / 12 step one. Dee might want to move it- I'd be able to give you my best answer in that concept.

In short, tho, whatever method you use, I generally sum it up that I cannot ever drink again, safely, and on a permanent basis. Acceptance of that, then so much else, starts there.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by August252015 View Post
So, this is a secular thread, not an AA / 12 step one. Dee might want to move it- I'd be able to give you my best answer in that concept.

In short, tho, whatever method you use, I generally sum it up that I cannot ever drink again, safely, and on a permanent basis. Acceptance of that, then so much else, starts there.
Im sorry I wasnt aware there was a secular component to AA. Kudos to that. i wont post stuff like this in there.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:02 AM
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No, I didn't mean it like that - there is not a secular component to AA. There are just different threads based on type of recovery program.

The way you worded the OP question, and use of the word "acceptance" made me immediately go to AA. And that's the first, critical, most important thing to do - so it's Step One.
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:39 AM
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i am confused...does any secular 12-step not start with admission of powerlessness?
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:45 AM
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Here's my suggestion, haas.

Start a page on your computer or in a notebook and start with your very first drink, write it down.

Then work chronologically through your drinking "career" and write down all the experiences you had while drinking. Don't leave anything out.

Then look at the story as a whole.

When I did that, it became very clear.

How did continuing to drink change over time? How often did I drink a couple and feel content with that? More than one drink per day for a woman or two drinks per day for a man is considered excessive, medically.

I know where I fall on that. I was pretty powerless in all things drink-related: even from the very start I wanted to keep the party going, but definitely by the end it was more than just a little problem.
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:50 AM
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When I realized that I could not "not drink" no matter what I did. It dovetailed with me reaching out for help because I couldn't do it on my own.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by haas1234 View Post
when did you accept you were powerless over alcohol?
After a solid fifteen years of having problems related to my drinking.

Time and time again there were issues some small and some serious but alcohol was always present.

Nobody could tell me to stop and nobody could convince me I had a problem.

I had to come to this realization myself.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:46 AM
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I reached a point of utter defeat and a realization that I lacked the power to solve this problem. That was the admission part, and I kept drinking. The acceptance part was when I became willing to do whatever it took to recover and took some action. Admission + Action = Acceptance.

Having identified the problem, the next thing was to select a solution, fundamental to this being to overcome the "powerlessness". That would mean finding some power somewhere. The AA spiritual approach was the way I tapped into the Power. In a secular approach I guess you would have to find the power somewhere else, maybe from other people, a group or a therapist, or maybe it could be found inside after all.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by haas1234 View Post
when did you accept you were powerless over alcohol?
Actually, we are never powerless, but it seems like we are because as we keep trying harder to quit, we always meet with the same fatal outcome. The problem is not that we don't try hard enough. The problem is that we didn't find a way that works.

I've noticed an intellectual flaw that humans seem to default to when facing continuing failure. They say, "I've tried everything." Whoa! That's simply not true. The statement is made with heartfelt sincerity, but it's seldom, if ever, true. I read about a psychological study long ago, that tested creativity in problem solving. One finding was that as levels of frustration rise in the face of continued failure, people tend to revert to past solutions that no longer work. I suppose it's a return to the familiar. But in the face of frustration, creativity decreases.

What you can find in SR or even AA, are alternative solutions. My personal experience is that they come in bits a pieces that we fit together ourselves to create useful plans for recovery. These bits and pieces can be actual knowledge from others, or insights others have had that helped them.

Ultimately, we are the source of power. It's we who execute the plans, and we are the ones who commit ourselves to recovery. We are the ones who find inspiration in the success of others in recovery. It's not easy, especially in the beginning, when fighting those abominable cravings. After getting through that, the rest involves using your head, being honest with yourself, and not being tempted by that little voice inside that says, "Go ahead and have a drink," or, "Sure you can go to that party where everyone is getting drunk."

It's not all just knowledge. Some things must be accepted on faith, such as, "I can never drink responsibly." This is not something I know, but I do know that I have never done so in the past. You have to be willing to recognize your own excuses, and what risks are off the table. Ultimately, you are the one who does the necessary things. I don't believe there is any magical formula in any of this.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:33 AM
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For me, rather than being powerless over alcohol, it was more a matter of being powerless over the thoughts that popped into my head.

Thoughts like:
go on have a drink, it will be alright
just have one
this time it will be different
so what if I drink
no one will know
etc. etc. etc...

Thoughts have no power of their own. I have no power over the myriad of thoughts that will pop into my head on a daily basis. Experts say that number for the average person is around 60,000-80,000.

I do have power over which thoughts I decide to act upon. With the number of thoughts being that high, I can afford to be somewhat selective.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:34 AM
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I realized I was powerless over alchohol in 1985, I didn't accept that my life was unmanageable unitl 2016 with a forced retirement. I've only been sober since then.


Ananda posting as Ananda1 until I can get my password figured out.
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