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Old 04-07-2013, 07:59 PM
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You just appear to have come a little undone. I don't want to add to that.

When someone doesn't share my opinion, or my experiences, no I do not take that personally. I am sorry that you do.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
You just appear to have come a little undone. I don't want to add to that.

When someone doesn't share my opinion, or my experiences, no I do not take that personally. I am sorry that you do.
I'm not taking whatever personal. I'm hurt and angry because I have feelings and I respect myself.

So there.

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Old 04-07-2013, 08:11 PM
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I hope Robby doesn't close this thread. I can understand if he would / does though.

Mainly because yeh, it's 'not a friggin teaching thread'. Experience/s are so varied that it's almost impossible to (um) 'reconcile'.

And, feeling frustration, even peed off, is NOTHING TO DO with versions of my sobriety / your sobriety / alcoholism or any other 'ism'. It's quite normal. We seem to have forgotten this simple age-old fact, in the plethora of advice and self-improvement stuff which abounds in our society.

As you know and others know SoberL, anger etc is really only detrimental if if truly does overt harm to others. But passive disclaimers can be harmful too. They mess with even the clearest minds.

Anyway, regardless: if Robby decides it's time for this thread to be concluded, then, why not? 'Agree to disagree'. Newcomers are indeed not helpless either. They / we are just often told we are. They / we can move elsewhere. No drama. The internet is not a rehab :-) It's a conversation.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Like I've said again and again, I am defining what AA sobriety is to me. I don't friggin care if you've never heard about it before or not. Your hearing about it NOW. If you don't agree, say so, and be done with me. Write me off as a whatever, and move on. Don't keep asking me over and over again about this elusive experience for YOU. For me, its all very real!

You attended AA for years, and still ended up drinking. And you want me to do what with that? I believe you returned to drinking, is what I'm doing with it, not a lot of success there for me, okay?

I'm saying AA is about both quitting and sobriety. BOTH. AA is not just about quitting. Or just about sobriety. It is about BOTH together. Doing AA successfully is doing BOTH TOGETHER.

AVRT is only about QUITTING.

There is no way you are being confused by what I'm saying. You don't agree, okay. Confused? NO WAY.
I am extremely confused and even more so now. Sorry if my confusion and asking for clarification has upset you to the point of you needing to respond to me in this manner.


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Old 04-07-2013, 08:18 PM
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Awesome, bemyself.

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Old 04-07-2013, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Received View Post
I am extremely confused and even more so now. Sorry if my confusion and asking for clarification has upset you to the point of you needing to respond to me in this manner.



And of course, that is your mantra with me: you're confused.

Well, then so be it. You're confused.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:21 PM
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I've been reading through this thread for a couple of days..A lot of good things said here and some a little snarky. I must say. I don't want Robby's thread to turn into "a lousy drag" as Robby said.

I think we are all just trying to figure this thing out the best we can. I like to hear different thoughts, ideas, feelings etc. For me the bottom line is what is going to keep me from not drinking is not drinking! It is like when I look in the mirror and think do these pants make my butt look big? No my big butt makes my butt look big! Not to over simplify because it is a HUGE struggle any input , methods , tools whatever you want to call it..I'm in.

Taking what works and running with it.

Thanks everyone
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bemyself
Newcomers are indeed not helpless either. They / we are just often told we are.
No one said newcomers were helpless. I frequently post about the problem of learned helplessness in the recovery movement. Personally I believe one of the strongest messages one starting out can hear is "I believe you are capable". I say it all the time.

I would address your other comment to me about anger and passive disclaimers, but I'm not clear on what you mean. Stuff like this does not get me unglued...that's just me. I recognize that everyone is different.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:37 PM
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And being different is not a bad or good thing in itself - its just different.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:38 PM
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Then why do you call it alcoholism??? Perhaps I'm a compulsive gambler, but I just don't know it because I don't gamble, and gambling doesn't have terrifically much to do with that particular ism either? When you replace alcohol with any other addictive substance or activity, it sounds ridiculous. Why does alcohol get awarded this superstitious, magical quality?

SoberKnitter,

"alcoholism" might not be what we'd call it today if we were to name it now.
i'm thinking now of what we call "eating disorders", and how we don't call that "foodism", because we know that it isn't about the food. it plays out around food.
so, in a similar manner, my alcoholism played/plays out around alcohol, but isn't exactly ABOUT alcohol.

does that show better what i mean?
nothing to do with awarding alcohol any qualities, magical or otherwise.

please do remember what i keep saying also: that i didn't start out seeing it that way at all; the way i see and understand it now took a long time and much grappling with things i didn't really want to look at, namely what i call "the choice-thing". i didn't want to be an alcoholic, SK, i would have rather had an alcohol addiction. much more straightforward.

and once again, i've responded without reading past your post, and i'd imagine someone else will have pointed out that aa does not require belief in god.

and there is a huge difference between a belief in god (you mean this as in "faith"?) and a tool: a tool is something we use that is designed to help us attain a certain result/goal.
faith is its own end. not there for a purpose of achieving something else.

does that clarify for you where i'm at/how i see things? p[lease keep asking if it doesn't and you want to; i enjoy it.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
You attended AA for years, and still ended up drinking. And you want me to do what with that? I believe you returned to drinking, is what I'm doing with it, not a lot of success there for me, okay?
If you've never had this experience, how can you speak to it?
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:47 PM
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Yeah, faith needs works with it to become something of a purpose, and from there create an achievement. Faith on its own has no purpose. It is not a tool. Faith must bring something into play that without faith would not of otherwise come into play, in my opinion.

Experiences with faith differ, of course.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
If you've never had this experience, how can you speak to it?
I'm just accepting the facts, that a return to drinking is not a success, after years of being in AA. This is not about me needing to experience that exact same failure to see failure for what it is: no way drinking again can be considered a success after years of AA.

People can of course successfully get their desire fulfilled by returning to drinking when what they want is to return to drinking.

Will you ever stop breaking my balls, Soberlicious?
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:11 PM
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whoa, have read the rest.
and have such conflicting emotions right now, and thoughts...

not a teaching thread, no, of course not.
but for myself, knowing how often i have been confused in this journey and been grateful over the years when someone has borne with me through those confusions and has tried many different ways of saying what they're saying until i could finally get it. or some of it.
and then, too, knowing that i personally was entirely incapable of understanding some things some people said to me until i could put aside my convictions and make space; until i spent time reading, re-reading, thinking, and yeah, asking a lot of questions. covering the same ground for ages.


so yeah, i get it when people say they're confused and find it confusing. and a week, a month, six months later are still confused about the same thing someone else has been saying all that time.

and i get the frustration and ****-off and hurt when personal experience is being questioned in this kind of , uh..."scientific prove-it-to-me-buddy-i'm-catching-you-in-a-contradiction" way.

what to do?
for myself, if i'm confused and really can't figure, i'll ask. not always, but i try to. i'll ask because i want to understand. and sometimes the way i (or others) ask is mistaken as combativeness. there's that.



but crumbs, there's nothing much better than someone really interested in understanding. and working on that regardless of confusion.

oh gee, i do go on so sometimes. sigh.
in any case, Robby, not a teaching thread, but lots to learn
i'm very glad you're sharing the to-me-intriguing way your way works for you. seeing what's possible in a program i saw as mostly rigid. you've widened the parameters for me.
and i hope there's still room for people's questions.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
Then why do you call it alcoholism??? Perhaps I'm a compulsive gambler, but I just don't know it because I don't gamble, and gambling doesn't have terrifically much to do with that particular ism either? When you replace alcohol with any other addictive substance or activity, it sounds ridiculous. Why does alcohol get awarded this superstitious, magical quality?

SoberKnitter,

"alcoholism" might not be what we'd call it today if we were to name it now.
i'm thinking now of what we call "eating disorders", and how we don't call that "foodism", because we know that it isn't about the food. it plays out around food.
so, in a similar manner, my alcoholism played/plays out around alcohol, but isn't exactly ABOUT alcohol.

does that show better what i mean?
nothing to do with awarding alcohol any qualities, magical or otherwise.
That makes more sense, and, yes, a different name would be really, really helpful. I still don't get the point of continuing to use unhelpful and misleading terms, as opposed to calling it inner turmoil or whatever. I don't think eating disorders are exactly analogous, because when someone stops the disordered eating, it would be just as confusing for him or her to continue to self-identify as someone with an eating disorder.

Originally Posted by fini View Post
and once again, i've responded without reading past your post, and i'd imagine someone else will have pointed out that aa does not require belief in god.
I think this points out another source of the communication problems happening in this thread: defining AA workings in ways that don't track with the organization's own literature. No one reading the Big Book or even the steps could reasonably conclude that AA can be used without a belief in God. You can use the higher power euphemism, but said higher power is indistinguishable from a monotheistic deity if it can be used in the way the steps require. It is singular, desirous, omnipotent (at the very least it can restore sanity) and in communication with the AA practitioner through prayer and meditation. Heck, it is even male and named "God".

I, like every other non-theist who has been to AA, have been told that one's higher power can be a doorknob, but read through the steps substituting any terrestrial thing for the word "God," and it's obvious why the doorknob thing sounds like unadulterated and insulting BS to most people.

Originally Posted by fini View Post
and there is a huge difference between a belief in god (you mean this as in "faith"?) and a tool: a tool is something we use that is designed to help us attain a certain result/goal.
faith is its own end. not there for a purpose of achieving something else.
Step 2 ("Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.") and the "Chapter to the Agnostic" both refer to belief in God, or faith, as something to be cultivated in order to attain certain goals (e.g. sobriety and sanity).

It seems that many - including yourself and Robby - are practicing their own, modified versions of AA. This isn't a bad thing, but it does make it troublesome to talk about. I suppose I can call myself a Catholic and believe it to be so, but it will confuse the bejeesus out of people when I say that I don't believe in any of the church's doctrines, or that I find my Catholicism to be perfectly compatible with my job at an abortion clinic or a gay bar.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
This is not about me needing to experience that exact same failure to see failure for what it is:
You obviously have a strong opinion on something that you personally have never experienced. Hmmm...that is curious indeed.

no way drinking again can be considered a success after years of AA.
The literature does not speak in terms of success/failure. It's progress, not perfection. The quote above is your opinion, stated as fact.

There is a reason for using words like "not a lot of success" and "failure". The intent wasn't lost on me, Robby, nor was it lost on the poster, or the many lurkers here. It's that kind of subtle undermining that might make one wonder about wanting "AA sobriety".

Will you ever stop breaking my balls, Soberlicious?
Probably not.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
You obviously have a strong opinion on something that you personally have never experienced. Hmmm...that is curious indeed.

The literature does not speak in terms of success/failure. It's progress, not perfection. The quote above is your opinion, stated as fact.

There is a reason for using words like "not a lot of success" and "failure". The intent wasn't lost on me, Robby, nor was it lost on the poster, or the many lurkers here. It's that kind of subtle undermining that might make one wonder about wanting "AA sobriety".
I have always talked about creating success out of failure, so, I'm only being myself when I talk with these terms. Failure is as real as is success, in my life and experience, and failure can be very useful and valuable in achieving later success. I call it as I see it for myself. Failure is not a dirty word, for me. If it is for some others, so be it.

As for you saying a certain intent on my part wasn't lost on you, on the poster, or on lurkers, you really need to just say it out plainly. Saying my use of failure is undermining is pure projection on your part about my intent.

And of course I have experienced failure. A return to drinking does not make people into failures of course, but drinking after years of not drinking is failure to not return to drinking, and that is important: drinking is absolutely NOT in any way a part of recovery, for any reason, for me.

Progress does not mean drinking is included as a positive progress. Progress means challenges in sobriety do not have to be met with perfection, imo.

I'm not selling or otherwise offering my ideas on AA sobriety to be taken up by others. I'm only sharing my experiences with being who I am as a recovered alcoholic drug addict, and how I have become recovered.

It's really not important to me if you want what I have or don't want it, soberlicious. You should want what you have for yourself. I can admire or not what others have, but I want my own, not theirs. The more people have for themselves what they themselves want, the more they will enjoy their own happiness and success while not drinking.

Like I said, I'm not any AA/AVRT poster child.

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Old 04-07-2013, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by SoberKnitter View Post
It seems that many - including yourself and Robby - are practicing their own, modified versions of AA. This isn't a bad thing, but it does make it troublesome to talk about. I suppose I can call myself a Catholic and believe it to be so, but it will confuse the bejeesus out of people when I say that I don't believe in any of the church's doctrines, or that I find my Catholicism to be perfectly compatible with my job at an abortion clinic or a gay bar.
You see, there it is right there. I am NOT doing a modified kind of AA. What I am doing is totally being myself, as myself, which is absolutely allowed within AA. All of us are free to "do" the program any way we see fit for ourselves as long as we don't change the words in the steps themselves. My interpretation of those words is entirely my own business, though.

No one person or interpretation speaks for AA. We each can safely and without penalty have our own way of experiencing the AA program.

I'm very sure of my way, very little doubt remains. I have extremely high confidence in my experiences, and I have the results to back me up, so I'm very sure of my practice of the AA program.

Same with AVRT, for that matter.

I am not speaking for AA/AVRT. I'm speaking for myself.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:40 PM
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The other thing I want to remind us of in this thread, is we cannot talk about the steps themselves, even in a positive way. We can talk about our experiences, but not directly about Step whatever. That's the rules for this forum, and I agree with those rules.

The 12 step forum can be used for positive talks about the steps.

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Old 04-07-2013, 10:44 PM
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Smile

Originally Posted by fini View Post
but crumbs, there's nothing much better than someone really interested in understanding. and working on that regardless of confusion.

oh gee, i do go on so sometimes. sigh.
in any case, Robby, not a teaching thread, but lots to learn
i'm very glad you're sharing the to-me-intriguing way your way works for you. seeing what's possible in a program i saw as mostly rigid. you've widened the parameters for me.
and i hope there's still room for people's questions.
Yeah, for those who want to continue with a discussion, I'm all for it. Debates, no. Questions are ideal for learning. Debates help no one, imo, in these kind of threads.

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