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Old 01-29-2020, 02:26 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sortofhomecomin View Post
To be totally frank I'm really taken aback that any AA member, particularly one with 28 years sobriety, would suggest controlled drinking to another member.

I guess I have an open mind as to whether alcoholism is a disease or, as you put aptly put it, "habit forming resulting from deeper psychological issues and medicating those". But I simply don't accept the idea of a "spiritual disease" as claimed in AA's big book. It has no logical or scientific validity.
One huge thing about the BB is that it is a book of principles, and it is ALL based on suggestion. One guy went to another guy, in a bit they had right around 100 mem and thus codified the book etc. Their experience was that nothing logical or scientific could cure them.

The BB does talk about being "recovered." This is a nuance, v "recovery" and I believe in both the spiritual component and a disease model.

The basic idea is that ESH - experience, strength and hope- is what guides us - Sr and other options are all about that, too. So ultimately, one thing is needed: willingness. To seek whatever help works.

As for the controlled drinking or keep drinking- one thing the BB does clarify is the diff b/t heavy drinkers and ("real") alcoholics. Experience being that even incredibly heavy drinkers may not be alcoholics, and could (some do) stop when they want.

I think most of this goes to the question we often pose here - "what's alcohol doing for us?" My answer was simple - killing me. So I decided - that part is the choice- to find a solution.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:55 PM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by August252015 View Post
One huge thing about the BB is that it is a book of principles, and it is ALL based on suggestion. One guy went to another guy, in a bit they had right around 100 mem and thus codified the book etc. Their experience was that nothing logical or scientific could cure them.

The BB does talk about being "recovered." This is a nuance, v "recovery" and I believe in both the spiritual component and a disease model.

The basic idea is that ESH - experience, strength and hope- is what guides us - Sr and other options are all about that, too. So ultimately, one thing is needed: willingness. To seek whatever help works.

As for the controlled drinking or keep drinking- one thing the BB does clarify is the diff b/t heavy drinkers and ("real") alcoholics. Experience being that even incredibly heavy drinkers may not be alcoholics, and could (some do) stop when they want.

I think most of this goes to the question we often pose here - "what's alcohol doing for us?" My answer was simple - killing me. So I decided - that part is the choice- to find a solution.

That's true.

Unfortunately, one can expect push back if not outright hostility from some in the rooms if one decides to take a cafeteria approach to AA.

To be totally frank I'm really taken aback that any AA member, particularly one with 28 years sobriety, would suggest controlled drinking to another member.


I've seen a member tossed a five dollar bill on the table. Then tell another member to leave have a drink on him. Told him to return when he was ready to get serious.

However, let me be clear such behavior in my experience is rare.

Sadly it's not that unusual to find old-timers in AA who for whatever the reason.... aren't happy.

But boy can they quote the BB!
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Old 01-30-2020, 04:36 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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Good post, Ken, thanks.

I too see many old timers who are rough. I tend to see that they might not view recovery as I do, as much more about emotional sobriety . Old school AA sounds pretty rough and hardcore basic to me. But whatever works- one sober alcoholic is never too many, no matter what they are like.

And, yeah, I haven't seen literally money given but I have heard that sentiment voiced. It can sound pretty rough but frankly? It makes a very valid point. Keep drinking, see what happens, we don't think it'll be great, and you can always come back here if you are still alive. Harsh? Well, not in my case by the end.

And the cafeteria thing "bugs" me (too). I believe anyone can benefit from learning the program, but contempt w/o investigation drives me batty, and misses the point of the principals pretty much completely.

"Take what you want and leave the rest" is, for me, meant to apply to the spirit of the "law." Not the letter ie the steps. Do those. Then live by what resonates most, on any given day even. Proceed with your life.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:26 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by August252015 View Post
Good post, Ken, thanks.

I too see many old timers who are rough. I tend to see that they might not view recovery as I do, as much more about emotional sobriety . Old school AA sounds pretty rough and hardcore basic to me. But whatever works- one sober alcoholic is never too many, no matter what they are like.

And, yeah, I haven't seen literally money given but I have heard that sentiment voiced. It can sound pretty rough but frankly? It makes a very valid point. Keep drinking, see what happens, we don't think it'll be great, and you can always come back here if you are still alive. Harsh? Well, not in my case by the end.

And the cafeteria thing "bugs" me (too). I believe anyone can benefit from learning the program, but contempt w/o investigation drives me batty, and misses the point of the principals pretty much completely.

"Take what you want and leave the rest" is, for me, meant to apply to the spirit of the "law." Not the letter ie the steps. Do those. Then live by what resonates most, on any given day even. Proceed with your life.

And that's the bottom line.

As for the quality of sobriety. That's subjective and up to the individual.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:25 AM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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Older AA'rs often had very tough upbringings and grew up in a world before political correctness. I would kind of be forgiving /understanding of that for the most part.

I liked the anecdote frequently related by a long term AA member in my area, who related a a conversation with another, long since deceased AA member who taught him the AA ropes:

"Can you count to one?"

"I think I can manage that"

"Good. In that case, go to one meeting, get one sponsor and don't pick up one drink. Just for today."
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:00 AM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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JdA,

I like your approach to the problem. I'm a big fan of observation and experimentation when seeking success. Warnings from others that your methods will fail are worth considering, but not always logical because success by alcoholics from all walks of life using different paths and resources is continually demonstrated. Sure it's also true that failure can be demonstrated as well, but that is not limited only to only those outside of the AA program, as you have surely observed by now.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:00 AM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Ken33xx View Post
And that's the bottom line.

As for the quality of sobriety. That's subjective and up to the individual.
Maybe "the Singleness of Purpose" has become too watered down for old timers. I saw a lot of different folks coming to meetings to get their slips signed that had nothing to do with alcoholism. Most leads I heard had more to do with Heroin than drinking. So i can see why old times are getting frustrated when someone is taking cafeteria approach or just showing up.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:17 AM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DriGuy View Post
JdA,

I like your approach to the problem. I'm a big fan of observation and experimentation when seeking success. Warnings from others that your methods will fail are worth considering, but not always logical because success by alcoholics from all walks of life using different paths and resources is continually demonstrated. Sure it's also true that failure can be demonstrated as well, but that is not limited only to only those outside of the AA program, as you have surely observed by now.
It's funny, Ive pretty much failed at everything Ive tried in life. Divorced, fired from almost every job(although ive been at my current job for 17 years this june) failed at school, dropped out of 2 different colleges. But i told myself that sobriety was something I wasnt going to fail. I feel the longer I was going to meeting and leads that more likely I was going to though. Its just my personality. The cravings never subsided because I was constantly being reminded of them. I feel Im on the right path, I feel good. Meditations feel good and i can be more focused on things at home and work. I am grateful for the tools AA gave me. It allowed me to take a long look at myself. I definitely don't take light of that and completely appreciative for my sponsor and the program.
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:05 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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"I am grateful for the tools AA gave me" - to me this is a priceless take away and one reason I often say that everyone alive could benefit from knowing what's up with AA.

And to your experience re singleness of purposes etc. Yeah, over almost 4yrs I've noticed and heard variations on this "problem" folks see, or indeed hear in mtgs when stuff like drugs are really the main topic not alcohol.Some groups I've seen end up having to have a group conscience and clarify verbally in intros that it is about alcohol. (or the combo, if you're primarily there to share about being an alcoholic).

The court ordered thing...in this vein I just chalk it up to common ways our laws etc deal with criminal offenses now. Prob different in the 30s, 50s, even 80s when seatbelt laws weren't really enforced And... maybe people like me who had to go after a DUI eventually WANT to come and actually get sober. I *might* have just flitted in for a signature once upon a time...

We've also got a lot more folks around like you -seeking additional and alternate support and methods and learning, but also coming into the rooms to both share and listen, so it does have plusses and minuses to maintaining that singular purpose.

Also, we're all a little bit nutty in my book, so you never know who might say what. I say that with complete fondness of being one for being one of the nuts.
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Old 01-30-2020, 05:42 PM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by JdA23 View Post
But i told myself that sobriety was something I wasnt going to fail. I feel the longer I was going to meeting and leads that more likely I was going to though. Its just my personality. The cravings never subsided because I was constantly being reminded of them.
This is different than I experienced it. I attended meetings every night. Consequently, I was thinking about alcohol all the time, but the cravings diminished to near zero quickly. Thinking about alcohol in that context was not the equivalent of craving. It was something else. Maybe it was centered around watching for triggers and planning strategies to deal with them should they appear. Now that I'm thinking about this, it would seem that recovery requires considerable concentration on the problem, at least at first. On the other hand, I have dealt with other problems where the solution was to stop concentrating on them. For some reason, I didn't apply that strategy with alcohol. Eventually, I just stopped thinking about alcohol, as it no longer played a role in my life.

When I left AA, which was way after I needed to be there, one of my motivations was that I no longer wanted to be an environment centered around alcohol and abuse. I wanted to let it go and move on, but that was after 15 years.

So look at me now. I'm in a forum every day where 99% of the issues are alcohol related. lol I'll just consider it a refresher course, I guess.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:27 PM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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A this talk of the "hard" old timers doesn't fit my experience. I guess I just about qualify as an old timer and the AA I came into was already well watered down, permeated with amateur therapists who tried to turn it into some kind of group therapy session, without the qualified therapist. It sure was warm and friendly, but often meetings did not bother with such things as the Big Book, or even putting the steps up on the wall. All of that was "suggested", but. you know, take your time, maybe one step a year, just keep coming back and everything will be fine.

Because we had a national treatment center close by, we had a constant parade of new faces. It made AA seem like grand central station, full of people who were going somewhere, and they were, mostly back out. When that treatment center closed our membership dwindled. Our fellowship now is about the same size it was when I came in, though the population of our city has almost doubled.

There were a few old timers who dared to tell the truth, brave enough to put principles before popularity. I am glad I listened to them. By some stroke of good fortune I found an AA recovered alcoholic to sponsor me, and I recovered.

But the main thing I remember about the old timers back then, (as distinct from the regular membership)the ones I knew all died sober, was their sense of humor and their refusal to take themselves too seriously. I don't know about political correctness, but they loved a good laugh, and they really did care about the newcomer.
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:50 AM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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An open minded approach...

Personally I take the view, learnt from the two guys I see as my sponsors. The late Joe McQuany and Charlie Parmley, who, after listening to a recording of one of their, 'Joe & Charlie: Big Book Study Meeting'. Which played a large part in my recovery, that AA acts as a support organization for 'problem drinkers'.

No one got sober at an AA meeting and the key to recovery is in the practices and principles outlined in the Big Book.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:56 AM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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"...sense of humor and refusal to take themselves too seriously" --> gold
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:43 PM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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For me, I was sex abused by both parents so it's difficult to see why it is that I am the one that should be making amends. I suspect that the abuse is the deeper level cause of me being psychologically abused in the workplace, and also my alcoholism, but Steps 4 to 7 are really not something that I can go along with.

Do any AA members have input on this?
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:55 PM
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Sortof - did you manage to quit yet? I didn't see you pop in on your Feb 1 start thread to tell us what's up.

The 4-5 inventories and then step 9 are something to work with a sponsor about - remind me if AA has been your program? Or are you just starting? If you are just getting sober (I hope this wk!) then a re-start would be my suggestion. In a very (very) short answer, my experience and education has been that yes, there are some things that happen to us that we do not have fault in. Again, with my one example of that, I still needed to discuss it and work thru it in my steps.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:19 PM
  # 56 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sortofhomecomin View Post
For me, I was sex abused by both parents so it's difficult to see why it is that I am the one that should be making amends. I suspect that the abuse is the deeper level cause of me being psychologically abused in the workplace, and also my alcoholism, but Steps 4 to 7 are really not something that I can go along with.

Do any AA members have input on this?
I am also a sexual abuse survivor, and victimization is pattern I have repeated in most other areas of my life. I have not always gotten along well with people. I have lashed out when I perceived insult or accusations. I adopted maladaptive behaviors long before I understood where they began. That is where I owe amends so that I can heal. It is true that things were done to me, but I need to own my piece of perpetuating the damage.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:23 PM
  # 57 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sortofhomecomin View Post
For me, I was sex abused by both parents so it's difficult to see why it is that I am the one that should be making amends. I suspect that the abuse is the deeper level cause of me being psychologically abused in the workplace, and also my alcoholism, but Steps 4 to 7 are really not something that I can go along with.

Do any AA members have input on this?
Thank you for sharing. Making amends was something I struggled with for those reasons. I couldnít get myself to look at my fault in everything that was detrimental in my life. I carried those thoughts on my shoulders when I havenít thought about them or had put them aside. I felt like I was looking for things wrong with me for the sake of AA. it really weighed on me. Finally, for myself, accepting the fact that my sobriety is not determined by something that was beyond my control. But understanding and accepting a reality that is part of my life. I feel amends can be made through accepting my own character defects without character assassination.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:33 PM
  # 58 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sortofhomecomin View Post
For me, I was sex abused by both parents so it's difficult to see why it is that I am the one that should be making amends. I suspect that the abuse is the deeper level cause of me being psychologically abused in the workplace, and also my alcoholism, but Steps 4 to 7 are really not something that I can go along with.

Do any AA members have input on this?
It is a terrible thing that has happened to you. However, it did not make you alcoholic, you would have been an alcoholic in any case, the abuse just made everything worse.

There was a man I sponsored who had also been a victim. It came up in step four as you would expect. The big realisation for him was that he was just a child when it happened and there was no possible way he had any causal part in the event, and certainly no amends to the offender was appropriate. His part was the choice to remain a victim. His experience became a very convenient excuse in his life, it excused his drinking, it excused him from doing certain things necessary to be a better person. It became a cop out. He saw this, sought therapy, and made a full recovery. Also, he was able to forgive the offender.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:03 PM
  # 59 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sortofhomecomin View Post
For me, I was sex abused by both parents so it's difficult to see why it is that I am the one that should be making amends. I suspect that the abuse is the deeper level cause of me being psychologically abused in the workplace, and also my alcoholism, but Steps 4 to 7 are really not something that I can go along with.

Do any AA members have input on this?

You might consider discussing this with a therapist.

Perhaps a therapist might be better equipped to advise on the subject of possible amends.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:07 PM
  # 60 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sortofhomecomin View Post
For me, I was sex abused by both parents so it's difficult to see why it is that I am the one that should be making amends. I suspect that the abuse is the deeper level cause of me being psychologically abused in the workplace, and also my alcoholism, but Steps 4 to 7 are really not something that I can go along with.

Do any AA members have input on this?
I've never been to AA so I cannot comment on that part, but you are dealing with some extremely tough psychological issues and I would also suggest you see a therapist.
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