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Old 06-08-2007, 09:29 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Location makes a huge difference, too, and the attitudes at meetings usually reflect those of the area they are held in. The meetings in Oakland, CA, where I grew up, are much different than the ones I went to in the college town of Bozeman, MT, and even more different from the ones in the little hicktowns in the Wenatchee Valley, where I currently reside.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:33 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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So DK, yet again I feel like I've arrived at something new, and you're able to point me in the direction of proof that I'm just riding a recovery zeitgeist!

You know one of the beauties of AA Tyler? Where you say quoting the BB as if it were scripture can be a big turn off for newcomers - I couldn't agree more. But what is AA really, really good at? Helping people in abject crisis. And what's the last thing we need when we're in crisis? Equivocation. Options. Uncertainty. Well you could try this, or maybe this, or have you thought about this? But in crisis, what one gets is a simple, unambiguous set of instructions - avoid the first drink, one day at a time and keep coming back. Mixed in with a load of ESH - which is much more "take it or leave it" than a science debate. And as far as I can see, there is no better way to beat critical alcoholism - and when someone comes through the door - like I did, twice, once in 1990 and again in 1996 - and is "put off" by the no-nonsense unambiguous "this is the way to do it" stuff - well, I simply wasn't sufficiently in crisis!
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:07 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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oh paul, you are my HERO! you have somehow managed to say just what i wanted to say... it was in my brain, but it wouldn't make sense and form real words! thank you thank you!
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:02 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by paulmh View Post
You know one of the beauties of AA Tyler? Where you say quoting the BB as if it were scripture can be a big turn off for newcomers - I couldn't agree more. But what is AA really, really good at? Helping people in abject crisis. And what's the last thing we need when we're in crisis? Equivocation. Options. Uncertainty. Well you could try this, or maybe this, or have you thought about this? But in crisis, what one gets is a simple, unambiguous set of instructions - avoid the first drink, one day at a time and keep coming back. Mixed in with a load of ESH - which is much more "take it or leave it" than a science debate. And as far as I can see, there is no better way to beat critical alcoholism - and when someone comes through the door - like I did, twice, once in 1990 and again in 1996 - and is "put off" by the no-nonsense unambiguous "this is the way to do it" stuff - well, I simply wasn't sufficiently in crisis!

Excellent points Paul!! I think it goes back to what works for some just may not work for others. Few would argue that I havent' gone through "sufficient crisis", it's just that for me, the structure of AA/NA wasn't a comfort.

I also do not believe it is "necessary to hit rock bottom" before recovery is possible. In fact I consider that to be somewhat of a dangerous statement. Some addicts even seem to view it as some sort of sick challange. I firmly believe a person can seek recovery when ever they want, that is the important thing though, they must want it. That is one area I've stuggled with for so long. I would do it for everyone but myself, and it never stuck. This time it's for me, and it doesn't seem nearly so hard. I definately have major self esteem issues to go along with my self centeredness, but they are things I have accepted and am working to improve about myself.

I also agree with DK about meetings being different in different areas. The meetings I went to in Miami while in rehab were a totaly different feel than the one's in NC and other's I've been to. I suppose that is to be expected as the vibe of a meeting takes on the members personalities. Hope everyone is well. Take care.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:35 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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I also do not believe it is "necessary to hit rock bottom" before recovery is possible.
I agree wholeheartedly. AA rooms are full of this self-selecting sample of people who pretty much agree to a man and a woman that an alcoholic has to hit rock bottom before they get out. Why? Because they're sitting in rooms with people who had to hit rock bottom to get out. All the people, like you say, who didn't hit some sort of immense crash, but sorted their problem in one way or another - they're not in the rooms to disagree. So this consensus arises that because all of us had to hit rock bottom, "people" have to hit rock bottom. Thankfully the world is a much more diverse place than that. But the BB has this great phrase - "alcoholics of our type". That's me that is. I'm an alcoholic of our type. I had to hit my rock bottom.

And having gotten there, the journey back up is such a joy.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:54 PM
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i'm a "high bottom drunk." my bottom was realizing that my spirit was completely dead.

did i get a dui? no.
did i lose my house? no.
did i alienate family, friends, etc.? well, some of 'em.

but, overall, i was remarkably unscathed when i got to AA. i still went though, because i fit the only requirement-i had a desire to stop drinking.

and i did.
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:36 PM
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I envy the original poster for his extensive study and experience in Buddhism!
The Dalai Lama has an avid interest in science and research...I studied a bit of it for awhile and was astounded.

Nonetheless, I am a die hard agnostic.

And, frankly I am not here tonight to support my sobriety from any substance, that is not my problem.
But I do get overwhelmed sometimes on the rest of SR with the religious and dogmatic.

PS MG....I sincerely apologize and promise to behave.

live/Tena
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:49 PM
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I hope the original poster is just lurking. If you are please chime in, we'd love to hear from you!!! Take care.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:18 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
Location makes a huge difference, too, and the attitudes at meetings usually reflect those of the area they are held in. The meetings in Oakland, CA, where I grew up, are much different than the ones I went to in the college town of Bozeman, MT, and even more different from the ones in the little hicktowns in the Wenatchee Valley, where I currently reside.
I guess there are differences after all... ;o)

VINCENT: ...In Paris, you can buy beer at MacDonald's. Also, you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
JULES: They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
VINCENT: No, they got the metric system there, they wouldn't know what the f*** a Quarter Pounder is.
JULES: What'd they call it?
VINCENT: Royale with Cheese.
JULES: Royale with Cheese. What'd they call a Big Mac?
VINCENT: Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.
JULES: What do they call a Whopper?
VINCENT: I dunno, I didn't go into a Burger King. But you know what they put on french fries in Holland instead of ketchup?
JULES: What?
VINCENT: Mayonnaise.
JULES: Goddamn!
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:01 AM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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Lol....
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:13 AM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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that's funny no longer,....I have been there! And in Holland, next to McDonald's is a live sex show! Really!

And in Argentina the McD hamburger has a fried egg on top of it!

Thank the rotation of the earth that the Europeans are up now!
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Old 06-09-2007, 10:31 AM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by paulmh View Post
You know one of the beauties of AA Tyler? Where you say quoting the BB as if it were scripture can be a big turn off for newcomers - I couldn't agree more. But what is AA really, really good at? Helping people in abject crisis. And what's the last thing we need when we're in crisis? Equivocation. Options. Uncertainty. Well you could try this, or maybe this, or have you thought about this? But in crisis, what one gets is a simple, unambiguous set of instructions - avoid the first drink, one day at a time and keep coming back. Mixed in with a load of ESH - which is much more "take it or leave it" than a science debate. And as far as I can see, there is no better way to beat critical alcoholism - and when someone comes through the door - like I did, twice, once in 1990 and again in 1996 - and is "put off" by the no-nonsense unambiguous "this is the way to do it" stuff - well, I simply wasn't sufficiently in crisis!
I believe it is important to experience AA in order to evaluate the benefits and determents of the program as a whole. Early on in my recovery I was fortunate enough to have the cognitive ability ( with only minor brain damage from 35 years of extreme amphetamine and alcohol abuse) to see for myself if the groups of AA could provide me with the support I required in developing a recovery program. One that would addressed my uniquely specific needs. After careful consideration, I found far too many aspects of the AA program that were offensive to my core values and as consequence would cause a significant hindrance to my newly formed sobriety. Sure, For those that have a diminished capacity and unable to form a judicious independent opinion for themselves, guidance may be necessary.

Unfortunately for me a chronic relapsing and boastful book thumping AA member has returned to the group that I used to attend. It took me a long time after visiting various meetings to find a laissez-faire meeting where the majority of the members use the condensed version of the 12 steps: don’t drink and don’t go crazy because of it. Although I have been advised by other members that this person generally “moves to a new location” and practices his brand of sobriety elseware after relevantly short stints in the AA program. Until then I will do, as I have been doing all along: whatever is advantageous to me and remain sober.
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:00 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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Sure, For those that have a diminished capacity and unable to form a judicious independent opinion for themselves, guidance may be necessary.
I thought it was a really good idea to drink on the way to work and always while driving. I also believed they'd never fire me. I thought I only drank because of the wife/job/car/kids/bills. I thought if everyone would just do exactly what I wanted, we'd all be happy. I thought getting up and going to work was the only requirement of a husband/father. I was doing nothing wrong, and it was all perfectly justified in my head.

AA or no AA, no one who is in that shape is in any position to evaluate, analyze, or make any decision beyond where to get the next drink.
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:54 PM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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AA can be quite useful to some in the early days, when life is pretty shaky, literally or other wise. It can be useful to some as a place to talk and get support. AA can be useful to some as a place to go when all the bridges have been burned.

I can only say: know why you are going there; know that AA is only one option amoung several. Also know: people quit abusing when one decides to stop abusing; AA is no more capable of getting someone to stop than any thing else is.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:22 AM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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Hello,

I am the OP, and I have not looked at the thread for a while. I am very impressed and excited by all the interesting posts people have made. I very much like hearing different viewpoints, and am very happy that everyone has posted. I will post more tonight. I am still thinking things through. Change is wonderful.

Take Care,
Angulimala
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:29 PM
  # 56 (permalink)  
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Hello,

I am by no means an expert on recovery, but I know that for many, including myself, it is an immensely personal and crucial issue, thus, I think, it is bound to bring up many emotions in us recovering folks.


I think that people, including myself, often mistake our "selves" with our paths in recovery. When someone critiques our path to sobriety or abstinence from addiction or substance abuse, we think that we are being attacked personally. I am a very sensitive sort, so I know this can be true for me, at times.

I, myself, do not believe in an all-encompassing universal path to recovery. We are all the same, in that we want to be happy and do not want to suffer, but we might go about that in a different way from one another.

I think that fighting over which way is the best way is silly, personally. If you are happy, and sober, I do not care which path you have chosen to recovery, so long as you are happy with your choice.

I will leave you with one of my favorite teachings from the Buddha. It is called "Free From All Opinion"

This I do now declare, after investigation there is nothing among all doctrines that such a one as I would embrace. Seeing misery in philosophical views, without adopting any of them, I discovered 'inward peace.

Not by any philosophical opinion, not by tradition, not by knowledge, not by virtue and holy works can anyone say that purity exists; nor by absence of philosophical opinion, by absence of tradition, by absence of knowledge, by absence of virtue and holy works either; having abandoned these without adopting anything else, let one, calm and independent, not desire any resting place.

One who thinks oneself equal to others, or superior, or inferior, for that very reason disputes; but one who is unmoved under those three conditions, for that person the notions 'equal', 'superior', and 'inferior' do not exist.

The Sage for whom the notions 'equal' and 'unequal' do not exist, would he say 'This is true'? Or with whom should he dispute, saying 'This is false'? With whom should he enter into dispute?

An accomplished person does not by a philosophical view nor by thinking become arrogant, for he is not of that sort, not by holy works, nor by tradition is he led, he is not led into any of the resting places of the mind.

For one who is free from views there are no ties, for one who is delivered by understanding there are no follies; but those who grasp after views and philosophical opinions, they wander about in the world annoying people.


-adapted from the Sutta Nipata, translated by V. Fausboll

p.116-117 "Teachings of the Buddha", Shambhala, Boston and London, 1996

-Be Well, All

Last edited by Angulimala; 06-14-2007 at 04:32 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:58 AM
  # 57 (permalink)  
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I am old. I have lived nearly all my life; and, outlived all my loved ones. Including the one most of all. So, my comments relative to AA should be viewed in that context.

I quit drinking because I decided to quit; just as I decided to start getting habitually drunk. Both were decisions taken by intent. My intent.

AA cannot; will not, say or do anything which will cause anyone to put an eand to abuse. AA, nor any other external force, will cause abstinence.

Putting an end to habitual drunkeness is, first and foremost, an act of will. That comes first.

A support group may provide: emotional support, good tools, good advice. All may be very helpful and useful; even, necessary.

A support group is useful for a time. But, it has a sell by date.


There comes a time when one draws a line under it. I did that; I abused substances for a time. But, I am a different person now.

That applies to AA; and, any other support group.
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:36 PM
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After admitting I was an alcoholic, I struggled for two years to get and stay sober: treatment programs, rehab, detox, hospitals...each and every one was based on the AA model. I'm definately a non-conformist, i hate groups, and I hate being told what to do. Furthermore, having been raised in a fundamentalist church, AA to me seemed like just more of the same! It was a big turn-off.

Then I guess I REALLY hit bottom. Then I was so desperate to stop drinking I would have done just about anything! And I heard so many success stories in all those AA meetings! I saw so many people who had turned their lives around and were now happy, content, at peace with themselves and the world! I had been to so many meetings, in so many diverse areas, and no matter what the skin color or socio-economic background, all these people(who couldn't be all that much different or better than me) had gotten sober thru AA.

My first year, I went through six sponsors(fired them all), sat through thousands of meetings(I was so sick I couldn't work, so there wasn't much else to do! I was struggling so much!), and, yes, worked the steps.

Now, the "higher power" I have finally found, is nothing like the one from the religion I was brought up in. I dislike organized religion in just about any form. The closest I could find would be the philosophy of Taoism. Or maybe the ancient pagan Goddess religion. My "higher power" is definately more feminine than masculine, if any gender at all. But I now definately believe there is "something" out there, or maybe actually "in there", in all of us, and in all of nature. There's so much we don't know about.

So now, my life has been rebuilt, I(miraculously!!!) have no desire to drink, I'm at peace just about on a daily basis, I'm working, traveling, learning to love myself, etc. AND I go to my AA meeting every week(not religiously or compulsively, mind you! I'm still very much a rebel, hater of groups, and non-conformist!). Life is simple and joyful and if going to AA and stubbornly believing that if it works for ALLTHESE PEOPLE it can somehow work for me, then so be it.

I also know several AA members who are devote atheists!

Hang in there, it gets better, as they say! One friggin' day at a time!
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:07 PM
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A feminine god? hmmmmmm, sounds pretty good. Maybe I'll be able to understand this kinda spirituality.

Is, um, she hot?
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:10 AM
  # 60 (permalink)  
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Windy -

most of the goddesses are quite hot.

unless you get into the Egyptian stuff.
Then you got yer lion heads, hot bodies, bird heads ... stuff like that.

personal taste, I suppose.
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