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Old 04-02-2009, 12:03 AM
  # 101 (permalink)  
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I am not familiar with the term "Flaming". Are you referring to inflaming [a situation or opinion], or to critique [of a viewpoint]? Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:19 AM
  # 102 (permalink)  
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The thinking process when AA came into being was that ego deflation was in order. AA was created by men, for men. I haven't seen too many women walk through the doors of AA that needed their egos deflated, IMHO.
I find this to be a sexist remark, and flaming my person as a man through a generalization of my gender. Historically, in 1935, women did not seek treatment in St. Thomas hospital in Akron, where the majority of the early Alcoholics were met. A reading of Anne Smiths diaries show her to be of pivotal importance in the spiritual development of our founders, and that the meetings held in Akron included the wives of the members. The first female Alcoholic, Florence R. joined in 1937.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by irishmalcolm View Post
I am not familiar with the term "Flaming". Are you referring to inflaming [a situation or opinion], or to critique [of a viewpoint]? Thanks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flaming_(Internet)

Hope that helps you.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:08 AM
  # 104 (permalink)  
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Irishmalcom,

I respectfully offer, hearing/reading the concept of ego deflation in AA can't be a new one for you surely. It's been around since the beginning of AA and still continues. The steps...It is done woman to woman also. As far as woman joining their husbands in meetings in Akron, they made the coffee. Bill's wife is quoted as saying such in one of the books I read a few years ago.

Also, it is told that Al Anon began as a result of the wifes sitting outside on the steps, while their husbands were at the meetings talking amongst themselves.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:07 PM
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Well, of course it's neither a new term to me, or even a theory. But for someone to insinuate that it is a male problem and that in her opinion she has never seen a woman enter A.A. who needed a little ego deflation is just ridiculous. A reading of A.A. history will show women were more than coffee makers from the start. Henrieta Siberling, Anne Smith, Lois Wilson, Sister Ignatia, Nurse Edna McD., Ruth Hock amongst others. The Grapevine is named as being started in '44 by Marty, Priscilla, Lois K, Abbot, Maeve, Kay and Grace O., all A.A.'s and the majority women. Pages 23-24 of the text book "A.A. Comes of Age" makes no reference to women sitting on steps. It does say that Al-Anon was planned at an early stage by Anne, Lois and Katie (wife of Dr. Earle M.).

If we are to believe (and I do) that our problem centers in the mind. And the ego is a process of the mind, of our natural instincts, our God given drive for security in our Sexual, Social and Security needs. When out of kilter they "have warped us" (12x12 p.43). Hence our "character defects", "shortcomings, "human liabilities" leading to the destructive manifestations of Self. Women, as much as Men, are subject to the same natural instincts - specific to the needs of there Gender (as are Men). I have yet to meet anyone new to A.A., to whatever degree, have these in harmony with themselves and other people. This is the rational behind, the very reason for, a written 4th step inventory. To take a look at our resentments (social), Security (fear) and Sex (Sexual identity). In speaking with my many female friends in AA, it is clear that the Ego (and I really hate the negative connotations the word has taken on) when dominating their lives, has had an extremely negative impact on their lives i.e. how it has affected their self image as workers, girlfriends, mothers and other roles. How alcoholism has affected their sexuality, and how often that can be a very serious source of shame or guilt (especially when abuse or exploitation has taken place). And how it has left many with deeply embedded feelings of loneliness, guilt and vulnerability. Many have shared about the guilt of being female and alcoholic; that Male alcoholism is more acceptable to society. i don't see gender as a reason to differentiate within recovery any more than race, age, sexual preference, disability or any other reason. I don't care for sweeping generalizations, I prefer to see mutual support and respect between all people in recovery.

Last edited by irishmalcolm; 04-02-2009 at 06:16 PM. Reason: insert a line
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:10 PM
  # 106 (permalink)  
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Hey Malcolm. Do you ever see my higher power over there in Ireland?

This guy....

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Old 04-02-2009, 06:15 PM
  # 107 (permalink)  
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I have this weird image of Windy's avatar sitting in front of his morning cereal, asking Lucky to remove his character defects.

*shiver*
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:58 PM
  # 108 (permalink)  
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Ok, I am laying low today, but the truth is I NEED SR in my recovery. I am waiting for a friend to come over - a normie - to help me in my recovery. I also have an intake scheduled at noon tomorrow. Ok, she is here.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:54 PM
  # 109 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by irishmalcolm View Post
Well, of course it's neither a new term to me, or even a theory. But for someone to insinuate that it is a male problem and that in her opinion she has never seen a woman enter A.A. who needed a little ego deflation is just ridiculous.
I think you may have missed Katie's point. It is one that I identified with in whole. And it really is not so much about talking about ego deflation as the male problem but about what AA leaves out when not talking about the other side of the card. Women are raised and groomed to be caretakers, to think about other people. The language of AA is very heavy on ego-deflation and to someone who has spent their whole life taking care of others at the expense of their own selves it can be very confusing, infuriating, and alienating talk. I think that because of the different gender roles in society that this is a very real concern. While I definitely think that there is some crossover, egotistical women and caretaker deflated men, I would say that in general men need to be deflated while women need to be built up. Actually, I'll rephrase that to talk for me only because that is all I really know and that is I need to be built up. I was not a "selfish" addict. In fact with all that talk I have searched myself to ask myself if somehow I was blind to it. I just wasn't.

However, I do agree that the recovery ideas can benefit both genders. I do believe they are presented in a way that is much more palatable and attractive to men though. I was utterly disgusted by AA in the beginning. It took me reading a lot to now appreciate a lot of the concepts. I searched out literature specific to women— the 12 steps rewritten for women because I recognized the alienating nature of the language. Now I really take a lot from different concepts in AA but I had to break down through some barriers. I also probably had to break down through some of my own rigidity and issues. I do believe that it could seriously benefit from different language which I believe is one of the reasons AA can produce so much controversy. AA could benefit from less rigidity. I don't think that it is arguable that the Big Book is a book written for men by men.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:08 PM
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Spirituality and Addiciton

Katie—

Awhile back, I think it was on this post but I don't know it could have been on another you said something about why is spirituality the cure for addiction. I thought it was an interesting question, one that while I understood you were implying it obviously shouldn't be the cure, because in fact that doesn't really make sense. Why should spirituality be a cure for a disease? But for me, while not AA brand "spirituality" or church brand spirituality has been a part of my recovery, I do feel that spirituality has actually been a major part of my recovery. And I am not saying here that it should be part of yours, but I couldn't answer the question to myself. Why was it a part? Why should it be a part? Hell, I don't even know what spirituality is, so when I say this I basically mean something tending towards meaning of life, connection with the source type stuff but nothing hippy-dippy. And spirituality does end up being the part of a lot of people's programs so there must be something to it.

So I thought about the question a few days and this is the answer I came up with. One day about three months in, I was walking by my house with my dog on a Saturday night. I walked by a bar and the memories flooded me. With the memories came this other feeling, that that, going to bars and drinking, the drinking really, had sort of been my reason for living. Does that make sense? For a while, probably a longer while than I realized, my purpose in life was to drink. It was so sad to realize that because it also meant I needed to find something to replace it. And that is where the spirituality section comes in, if you don't cross addict or fill it with something else, you fill the void with spirituality. I don't know— just my thoughts.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:20 PM
  # 111 (permalink)  
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many women seek recovery outside of AA for reasons that AA asks for powerlessness. If a woman has been abused or traumatized, suffers low self-esteem, or PTSD I'd say the last thing she needs is ego deflation. It about set my recovery backwards 5 years. AA is not for everyone and WFS is all about helping women who don't need ego deflation. To me it's all about what works for each of us.

It's rather hypocritcal of Bill W to have his women and want wives to be ego deflated. But I see it was a product of it's time, women had zero rights back then. I hope things have changed some but still some women don't need this approach it is very harmful to their recovery.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:20 PM
  # 112 (permalink)  
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The admission of powerlessness is one of AA’s most telling features.
If you are a theist, you turn your life and problems over to god.
If you are an atheist, that’s not an option. The person in the mirror gets all the glory and all the blame. There’s no powerlessness about it.
If one embraces the ideology of humanism, nothing holds more power than the free willful acts that define us (I’m glad I found this site…).
I am reading Rational Recovery and I like it a lot.
One feature of mainstream recovery promotes the idea that alcoholism is a disease. Rational Recovery suggests that alcohol addiction is the outcome of a normal, healthy mind that is seduced or misled by the deep pleasure of alcohol.
I honestly have no interest in flaming a recovery program or method.
I do however, have a real problem with the medical establishment’s treatment of psychiatric disorders, particularly personality disorders and diagnoses such as attention deficit hyperactive disorder. I also believe that the use of drugs such as Ritalin will end up causing many people to develop addictive tendencies in the name of keeping children interested in the egocentric agendas of adult parents and teachers.
I believe that AA is working to promote the disease model (correct me if I’m wrong) and I do not agree with this approach. This seems like an extention of the designer diagnosis fad that we seem to accept in this day and age.
Alcoholism seems to me to involve a lack of judgment and discipline, not a symptom of a disease which we are powerless to control.
If we are powerless, why do we bother trying to quit?
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:34 PM
  # 113 (permalink)  
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Freepath, welcome to SR and SC. Good to have you here.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:21 AM
  # 114 (permalink)  
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There is a line at the beginning of "There Is A Solution" which state that "we are average Americans." Now, in 1938, when the Book was published that was a literal truth. It was plain to me that A.A. is now a worldwide fellowship and so, with little a little leap of semantics, my reading is "we are average people".
There are other programs, which have nothing to do with A.A., and as such I have no opinion on what they do. There are special interest groups who are not A.A. but do use the 12 steps, as codified in the text book Alcoholics Anonymous, that cater for the special needs of Doctors, Pilots, Jews and others. I qualify for none of them, so thank god for the third tradition of A.A. "Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend on money or conformity."

The "powerlessness" we see on the abbreviated version of the 12 steps hanging in every meeting is explicitly dealt with in the text book Alcoholics Anonymous, and expanded upon in the 12x12. I think it is best summed up on page 24 "The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink". This is the what we are asked to concede to (to our innermost self) in order to make a start on the recovery program.

One more thing, the "Disease Model" of Alcoholism is the opinion of the W.H.O, the American Medical Assoc., and (I believe) now the E.U. It is on outside opinion to A.A., who stand by, to this day, what the book says. That it is an illness. It does not endorse or reject the matter. An interesting point is that "The Doctor's Opinion" was moved from being the first numbered chapter in the 1st edition to being a foreword in the second (1955) when it was realized that the Book seemed to endorse it, which it doesn't on the grounds that "As laymen, our opinion as to its soundness may, of course mean little" (p. xxvi).

I want to finish on this note, I stand by what the book says in the foreword to the second edition: "Upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, we surely have no monopoly". My sincere best wishes and love to all who find, wherever and however; sobriety, happiness and peace.

Malcolm

BTW I haven't seen windysan's little friend in a while. He usually pops up when I pop open the bottle. He looks cute, friendly and harmless, but in Irish folklore he'll lead you into some bad places!
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:56 AM
  # 115 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Freepath View Post
If we are powerless, why do we bother trying to quit?



Thank you.


Welcome, Freepath.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:41 AM
  # 116 (permalink)  
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This thread got my attention by the name, I haven't been coming to SR long and I've already been told basically to shut up. I only share my own experiences, I tried AA, it was good but not for me long term I would never tell someone to not go to AA just that their are alternatives if it doesn't work for them. One of the PMs I got said something like.... if you can stay sober (which I have for 19 mths) w/o AA then I probably am not an alcoholic. I told the person that amused me when some people in AA act that way (and I've met others in person) that AA is the only way it reminds of some religions I have read about or gotten involved in that want the people to believe that if they don't follow this particular religion they will go to h*ll.
So can I hang w/you guys?

J
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:47 AM
  # 117 (permalink)  
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Welcome, jamdls.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:03 AM
  # 118 (permalink)  
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I love that, if you can stay sober without aa then you are not a real alcoholic!
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:20 AM
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I am a member of AA, and it works well for me..but not by itself. I require my spiriutality (non-god type) and also I think SR.

AA in my area is very open and I actually have no problem with the powerlessness concept. I guess cause my stubornly fighting the bottle just didn't work for me. Long story and i'm on lunch...gotta go soon.

Anyhow...guess i just find that even when i disagree with some people in AA, it helps me to understand what i do believe. And i have been accepted. And even the godless steps have added to my ablility to not drink or use.

I think the whole recovery thing is about simply diligently seeking and finding what works for us and supporting others to find their own ways to stay sober as well.

People seem key to my ability to stay sober....compasion.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:40 AM
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You can hang with me. I'm safe, though I might not be a "real alcoholic" either. I've heard there is a lot of "terminal uniqueness" going around in secular, hopefully it's not too contagious, from what I understand it's "terminal", that is , it will kill you.

Kick me, what kind of a welcome is that? Sorry, I'm expecting a cat attack any minute now, and what's more I have spring fever !
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