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Old 04-28-2009, 08:30 PM
  # 81 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jimhere View Post
I realized that most people don't think I'm that important. They don't get up in the morning and think "What can I do to **** Jim off?"
Only "most people", so there are some doing that?
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:44 PM
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http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a1...ns/popcorn.gif
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:45 PM
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dernit, that didn't work. was looking for the "popcorn" smiley.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by stone View Post
After that month had passed with the bottle of wine in your fridge, what made you start drinking again?
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I see what other people have mentioned. SC does kind of take everything anti-AA. I started this with comments about drug education and somehow we got into AA. Not trying to squash comments regarding AA, but I sure didn't expect that.
Agreed. This is not an anti-twelve step forum so lets all please try to keep our eye on the ball and discuss our SECULAR recovery programs.

Thanks,

Alera
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:48 PM
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I still don't know what this AA is that ya'll keep talkin' about...
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by FightingIrish View Post
dernit, that didn't work. was looking for the "popcorn" smiley.
You accidentally put it between "url" tags instead of "img" tags.

So here is your popcorn smiley

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Old 04-29-2009, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by stone View Post
Only "most people", so there are some doing that?

Maybe, I don't know, but I doubt it.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jimhere View Post
You do realize that you are the only one that can determine if you are alcoholic don't you?
Hmmm. I dunno, Jim. I wonder if the message has gotten a little perverted because of it's common usage in popular culture. Even non-alcoholics sort of walk around with the notion that everyone needs to diagnose this for themselves (the first step is admitting you have a problem sort of thing). I know that's what the BB says ("We never pronounce someone as alcoholic"). But, I can look at a person's attempts to control their drinking, their lack of control after that first drink, and I can get a pretty good idea of their physical craving and mental obsession. Even the BB asks us to judge whether or not a prospect is an alcoholic ("If youare satisfied he is a real alcoholic..." Ch. 7). A doctor or counselor has other criteria they apply, but they too can make an fairly accurate assessment.

The problem is, that someone else making the determination just isn't useful. I, or a counselor, can make the most accurate determination in the world, but it just isn't useful to the still suffering alkie. Until they admit to their innermost selves and hold no reservations, our (AA) solution is somewhat closed off. And I think most of the other common solutions are closed off as well. Why do I need a solution if I can just muster up the will power and not drink or use? If I don't have a problem, I don't need a solution.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:24 AM
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The problem is, that someone else making the determination just isn't useful. I, or a counselor, can make the most accurate determination in the world, but it just isn't useful to the still suffering alkie. Until they admit to their innermost selves and hold no reservations, our (AA) solution is somewhat closed off. And I think most of the other common solutions are closed off as well. Why do I need a solution if I can just muster up the will power and not drink or use? If I don't have a problem, I don't need a solution.
.

Absolutely! Quite a few people in my life made very insighful diagnosis into my problems. My mother, girlfiends, even a drug dealer I once knew, all told me I was an alcoholic, and all were right on the money and gave very good reasons why I was one. The problem is, that until I believed it, it did no good.

Education programs can be great, but I think they will be more helpful to family and friends of the alcoholic. The alcoholic will likely be the last person to see the problem, but the family and friends of one can possibly help them to reach the moment of truth a little quicker, and perhaps a little easier.


Now addiction is real. But do all addicts lose control every time they use? Of course not. Even the hardest drinker could stop after drink number 1 if a gun was held to his head. There's no evidence to support the magical out of control theory.
That is not a rational control model friend, and neither is this, but it is closer to the truth for an alcoholic who has no control:

A man who drinks alcoholically has w ife who says if he drinks again she will leave him for good and take his children away. He loves his wife and kids dearly and would gladly lay down his life for them, yet some time later he is drunk, despite his best efforts and sincere desire to not pick up the first one.

yes if you stuck a gun to the head of an alkie and said if you take another drink I will pull the trigger, they will most likely not pick up the drink, and if you held a gun to my head today and said drink, or I will shoot, I will guzzle that drink like there is no tomorrow, but what will most likely happen is that I will develop a craving for alcohol, it may be strong, it may not. I have no control.

Oh pirates, yes they rob I, sold I to the merchant ship, minutes after they made I, take a little sip ( oops, that ain't how Bob sung it but...)
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by keithj View Post

The problem is, that someone else making the determination just isn't useful. I, or a counselor, can make the most accurate determination in the world, but it just isn't useful to the still suffering alkie. Until they admit to their innermost selves and hold no reservations, our (AA) solution is somewhat closed off. And I think most of the other common solutions are closed off as well. Why do I need a solution if I can just muster up the will power and not drink or use? If I don't have a problem, I don't need a solution.
I have never been to counseling and I don't do AA. So, basically, aside from posting here and having a couple friends I can call and rant at when I'm feeling kind of crappy, it comes down to willpower. A couple months ago I used, one night of stupidity, and have not looked back. Does that mean I didn't have an alcohol/drug problem? Nope. I definitely have one. Maybe not as strong as some, but it is still there. That's why I'm not convinced the labels matter.

A few times on SR I have felt like there's a one-up thing going on: "I'm more alcoholic than you are." It's always been an undercurrent to a conversation that otherwise seems pretty normal, but opinions are discounted because one person's take is different because they haven't been drinking as long or as much or had less trouble quitting. It makes it feel like we have a secret handshake or something. "You haven't achieved the level of alcoholic yet, you don't belong here." That's a scary thought. Say someone really couldn't be clinically diagnosed as an addict (I suspect a lot of us couldn't, including me), perhaps they really just have fallen into a bad habit of drinking too much, it's causing some sort of problems for them, and they need some other way to fill their time. If SR works for them to that end, why should they be treated like they don't belong here?

Also I don't understand how this works. Earlier on this thread it was mentioned that an alcoholic can't stop drinking no matter what. The consequences won't matter to them. If that's true, interventions are a waste of time because if there are consequences bad enough to make someone stop, they aren't an alcoholic. Finding a "bottom" becomes a pointless exercise in making someone with no drug/alcohol problem think they have one? WHAT?! That doesn't make any sense. So clearly the person has a problem, and the consequences are enough to make them go for treatment. But then, if something was bad enough it would make them stop... were they an addict? It's a circular argument and another reason the label you stick on the problem doesn't make a lick of difference to me.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:20 PM
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If that's true, interventions are a waste of time because if there are consequences bad enough to make someone stop, they aren't an alcoholic.
That isn't what we are saying at all. Those of us who use AA often feel that is the last stop for us. And unfortunately, that is how bad many of us had to get. When we say we are alcoholics of the hopeless variety, we are not saying anything other than how we felt about our alcoholism. Many people try different ways, those of ous who really work the AA program are happy for others who find a different path. Our book even mentions it:

If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or
prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him
to follow his own conscience. We have no monopoly
on God; we merely have an approach that worked
with us.
BB page 95.


If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, encourage him to follow his own conscience...

That is straight out of our book, not my interpretation. If someone says AA isn't for them, I have no labels, no condescending view of them, I simply see that this isn't a way they want.

Why would someone want to argue about degrees of alcoholism????

I see it real simple, if I had a drinking problem, then when I put down the drink my problem ends, if I am an alcoholic, my problem is just beginning. AA does not claim to be the only solution in town, all of its ideas are borrowed from other sources, so it goes without saying that there are other places to look for answers.

Last edited by navysteve; 04-29-2009 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:36 PM
  # 93 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by navysteve View Post
That isn't what we are saying at all.
I realize that. In the context of the rest of the paragraph I was pointing out how silly the arguments can get sometimes and how stuck people can get on the labels.

Originally Posted by navysteve View Post
Those of us who use AA often feel that is the last stop for us. And unfortunately, that is how bad many of us had to get. When we say we are alcoholics of the hopeless variety, we are not saying anything other than how we felt about our alcoholism. Many people try different ways, those of ous who really work the AA program are happy for others who find a different path.
I have NEVER told anyone AA is a bad program, in fact I encourage people to try it and see if it is what they are looking for. But just like you found AA to work for you, I found my technique works for me. That said, a small but vocal minority still seems to think I need to join the AA bandwagon.

It is interesting that I have heard a similar argument for Christianity. "Don't judge Christianity on the actions of some Christians. People doing [XYZ] aren't real Christians."

Similarly: "...those of ous [sic] who really work the AA program..."

To me, it indicates a similar mindset between religion and AA, which makes sense because AA is a religious program. I don't have a problem with that-- why would I?-- but it's why I don't do AA.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:37 PM
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gneiss,

I think I see your point. And thanks for the reasoned manner of discussion. The definition or label matters only insofar as it's useful. That's what we're all about, isn't it, being useful? People come to these forums because they have an issue with alcohol or drugs, or some other related aspect. The label identifies, or points the way, to a solution to the drinking or drug problem.

Let's take you as an example. You say you have a problem with alcohol/drugs. But, you are doing all right with posting on SR and venting to some friends. Maybe you are and maybe you aren't (you did use a couple months ago), but let's assume that posting here and venting a little allows you to have a happy, drug and alcohol free life. You are fulfilled and complete. Willpower and some support is your solution and it works.

Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I have never been to counseling and I don't do AA. So, basically, aside from posting here and having a couple friends I can call and rant at when I'm feeling kind of crappy, it comes down to willpower.
Willpower and support does not work for me. I am not complete and fulfilled. I am insane. I am miserable with your solution. What's more, I can't stay sober with your solution. How do I know this? Years of experimentation. I tried anti-depressants, counseling, outpatient treatment, inpatient rehab, AA as a support group (as distinguished from the AA program of recovery). I couldn't stay sober with any of those things.

Does that make me different than you? More alcoholic? It's not about one-upping someone else. It's about finding a solution that works. If willpower and support works for you, and doesn't for me, then, yes, we may be different, or our addiction may be different. Therefore, we may need different solutions to deal with our respective problems. A label or definition helps point the way to the right solution.

But so what. We can have different problems and different solutions and both be happy as clams.

Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
Say someone really couldn't be clinically diagnosed as an addict (I suspect a lot of us couldn't, including me), perhaps they really just have fallen into a bad habit of drinking too much, it's causing some sort of problems for them, and they need some other way to fill their time. If SR works for them to that end, why should they be treated like they don't belong here?
I couldn't agree with you more. And I didn't know that anyone was treated like they don't belong here. I'm very new here, so maybe I just haven't seen it. If posting here and getting support is enough to keep some people happy and sober and sane, I think they should be welcomed. I don't see anyone having a problem with that.

The friction I see comes up when "filling in their time" with SR is presented as a solution for someone like me. There is a certain kind of person for whom that will be ineffective. AA knows that. Other recovery programs know it. The medical community knows it. The treatment centers know it. The judicial system knows it. What do we do about those types of people that can't seem to quit know matter what?

It is incredibly cruel to tell that person to "keep coming back", "stay strong", "just don't drink", talk to support friends, identify your triggers, or any number of other things we here around recovery programs of various kinds. It's a criticism I have of mainstream AA also. It's cruel to give that person the impression that finding a group of supportive friends is going to be their solution.

So, I don't know, gneiss. Do we have the same problem? Do we need the same solution? Does the label or definition help steer us to a solution that works? That's the only point in discussing labels.

Once that definition is figured out, the solution is presented. Even if we have the same problem, there are a variety of solutions. Despite being an AA guy, I would follow exactly what Steve posted from the Big Book and urge every person to follow their conscience.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by keithj View Post
And thanks for the reasoned manner of discussion. The definition or label matters only insofar as it's useful.
Exactly. And thanks to you, as well, for your reasoned discussion. I believe I am doing well on my "program." I was doing meth and drinking basically every day, and from January 2 to now I have used one time, two months ago. No weaning off, no detox; I just stopped. I fully realize this is not an option for the majority of people though.

Getting too bogged down in the semantics doesn't seem to aid recovery. If we're both getting better using our solutions to whatever we call our particular problems.... perfect. My reasons for drinking and doing drugs had nothing to do with yours so it follows that our solutions would not necessarily have anything to do with each other.

And, people are RARELY treated like they don't belong here, thankfully. But it does occasionally happen.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:01 PM
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Comparing AA to religion has a lot of holes in it. If I go to a Catholic Church and tell them I don't believe in the Immaculate conception, they will kindly point me to another church. If I come to AA and say I don't believe in your concept of God, no one cares. I can see many similarities between AA and religion, but under your definition, I can see a close comparison between AA and the American Athiest's
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:26 PM
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Too funny Steve. Yeah, at most AA meetings around me, you **** a lot people off if there is any mention of having a spiritual awakening. The secular crowd might fit in just fine.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by navysteve View Post
Comparing AA to religion has a lot of holes in it. If I go to a Catholic Church and tell them I don't believe in the Immaculate conception, they will kindly point me to another church. If I come to AA and say I don't believe in your concept of God, no one cares. I can see many similarities between AA and religion, but under your definition, I can see a close comparison between AA and the American Athiest's
Re: what I bolded. This is directly contradictory to my experience with AA. The one meeting I went to (and I admit that's far from a representative sample) was all religion, all the time. And when it came time for me to say something it was clear I was quite unwelcome because I didn't agree with the rest of them. Perhaps a different meeting would have been better for me, but I was doing ok not going so I gave up on it.

I'm not attacking anyone's religion here. And I see your point; AA is a religious program but it is not in itself a religion. To me though, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Pagans, Wiccans, Native American religions, those who believe in Norse or Greek mythology, atheists, etc. all have a similar issue: they believe something of which they have no direct evidence (they may have had an experience that is good enough for them to believe, and there's nothing wrong with that. But their experience isn't enough to make me believe). I cannot say there is a god (or gods) with any more certainty than I can say there isn't one. And the Catholic church that directs you toward another church is basically saying the same thing: "Well, if you were a real Christian..." This is why I lump all religions into the same group. And again, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with someone's religious beliefs, that is between them and whatever deity they believe in. But it does not provide a reason for me to believe.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
AA is a religious program but it is not in itself a religion.
That's the way I see it too. Pepsi is a cola, but not all colas are Pepsi.

To me though, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Pagans, Wiccans, Native American religions, those who believe in Norse or Greek mythology, atheists, etc. all have a similar issue: they believe something of which they have no direct evidence (they may have had an experience that is good enough for them to believe, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Not all atheists. You can be an atheist simply by lacking a belief in god. In that sense, agnostics are atheistic as well.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
Not all atheists. You can be an atheist simply by lacking a belief in god. In that sense, agnostics are atheistic as well.
This is a good point. Maybe it's another confusing label!!

Atheists can be either people who do not believe in any god or people who believe there is no god. I've always thought of the former as agnostic rather than atheist though.



I know this is REALLY nerdy, but I started this thread and I am really proud we're on page 5 now. Not that it really had anything to do with me, but it's cool anyway.
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