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Did your "best efforts" get you to the depths of your addiction?

Old 07-25-2013, 03:56 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I don't think the phrase is meant to be taken literally. I take it to mean that left on my own I chose to continue drinking alcohol despite increasing evidence I should quit. Was it my "best" thinking? Certainly not, but I also seemed unable to change course even though I saw the problem.

Ultimately, quitting alcohol is simply about applying our "best thinking" and not drinking. If it was simply a matter of kicking ourselves in the butt and doing that, then no external support would be needed - including this forum. However, many people find it helpful to have external support from other people, information, or tricks and techniques to stick to our "best thinking".
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:47 AM
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Some people find the phrase "your best thinking got you here" offensive because it implies that because they have become addicted to a substance, they are not very bright, ie "Listen dummy, you obviously don't have a brain, or a very good one, because look at the predicament you're in. Here, let me do the thinking for you, since you're obviously not qualified or capable."

Honestly, I really don't know what the phrase is supposed to convey. I suppose if someone assigns some meaning to it that they find helpful, then the phrase is a good thing. I'm obviously stating the obvious.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:06 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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It does not deal with quality of thinking, but rather openness to listening to the experience and suggestions of people who are staying sober. I've only heard it as a lighthearted nudge.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:04 PM
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This phrase is usually used to underline and highlight one's supposed powerlessness and inability to make changes in life without a specific 'program of recovery' and ultimately a HP. Hooey.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
This phrase is usually used to underline and highlight one's supposed powerlessness and inability to make changes in life without a specific 'program of recovery' and ultimately a HP. Hooey.
Wrong again fresh start. There seems to be no end to people who are not in 'that other program that will not be named' but "know" what it all means. Perhaps listening to interpretations from those who successfully work any given specific program/method would be more helpful than listening to those who are not successful with it.

I find myself wondering why this other-program-bashing seems to take place in this forum so frequently.
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:10 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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My best efforts always seemed flawed.
Involved in atheism/agnosticism for many years.
Also toyed with various religions.

As I am able to relate to a metaphysical force for
the good now, and genuinely tune in, I believe this
has greatly enhanced my aim at on going sobriety.
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:16 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by awuh1 View Post
Wrong again fresh start. There seems to be no end to people who are not in 'that other program that will not be named' but "know" what it all means. Perhaps listening to interpretations from those who successfully work any given specific program/method would be more helpful than listening to those who are not successful with it.

I find myself wondering why this other-program-bashing seems to take place in this forum so frequently.
Perhaps if FreshStart had prefaced that post by saying... "In my experience or opinion..." then you wouldn't have felt the need to say she/he was wrong.

Awuh, I think you could have worded that less rudely, you know?
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:47 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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'First, thanks Doc S, for posing another curly one - to get us all thinking!! I've always been a great believer in (Socrates?) adage that 'the unexamined life is not worth living', and therefore, continually 'examine' my addiction as well as all the other parts of my life.

To be sure, when I'm drinking (as I am for the nth time, currently), my 'best' thinking is - as you and others note - not as 'gooder' (thanks for that one Fresh :-)) as it can be and is when I'm sober. Well, duh, of course it can't be while my cognitive abilities are askew, courtesy of what Soberlicious accurately glossed as 'be[a]st thinking'.

I'm still a part-time member of XX groups - primarily to alleviate my social isolation. I try to go a coupla times a week to just be around other sober and / or still struggling (like me) alcoholics, to give and get a few hugs (the dog can't do reliable hugs :-)), and to hear a few nuggets of people's stories.

And yeah, that saying - like several of the other XX slogans people have noted on this thread - has really peeved me. If I may expand on that: AS a member who also uses multiple other recovery approaches - it tends to be linked with that PART of XX which some members seem to cling to and need due to their personalities or something. In my opinion and experience, it's a sub-set of 'I've had to learn to Do As I'm Told', 'my thinking is f98&^ed, so I have to Do as I'm Told now', and so on. I heard just such statements from a couple of people in their meeting shares only this week, and have often heard them - and cringed, almost wanted to just walk out.

The saying and stuff like it always brings to my mind that chilling scene in Cool Hand Luke, when the prison warden shoves his face into Luke's (Paul Newman) and with that drawling, sneering Deep South accent of his, says: 'you need to git your MIND RIGHT, boy....'. To this moment, it still creeps the hell out of me - all about intimidation, 'I know better than you', 'you better get with the program (i.e. succumb to the prison environment) or there'll be nasty consequences for ya' etc etc.

I've heard that XX slogan said in all manner of ways (smug, sarcastic, bland and unthinking as to the effect on the usually-newbie hearer, only very occasionally said with a warm smile in a caring attempt to bust through to the newbies' incomprehension / denial / defiance / whatever. It seems that it may do just that for SOME. Bring some moment of enlightenment about their need to quit and stay quit drinking.

But yes, it's a huge turn off for so many of us. I'm slowly learning to just put it aside in my mind, not let it and such sayings get to me. I'll continue to live my examined life, which includes many times of the day where I practise meditation / not-too-much thinking. But I refuse to be like the XX female member who, sometime last year, after I'd shared where I was at that day, turned around from her seat in front of me and handed me a scrawled bit of paper. On it, she'd written in capital letters: STOP THINKING!!!' I nearly left XX for good that day.

Now, I just remind myself that she, like many others, need and want that kind of stuff to keep them sober or get sober again. I now take what I need and leave the rest. I don't mind if the stop-thinking camps in XX see people like me as doomed to fail, doomed to die drinking, some kind of incurable oddball, or a smarty pants, or anything. Those types of members (I remind myself) want nothing to do with ANY other type of recovery approach. Those types are decidedly not amenable to even hearing about SR, rational recovery / AVRT, SMART, etc etc. It's THEIR personality, their way of getting / staying sober. So be it. Fair enough. Whatever.
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:01 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bemyself
And yeah, that saying - like several of the other XX slogans people have noted on this thread - has really peeved me. If I may expand on that: AS a member who also uses multiple other recovery approaches - it tends to be linked with that PART of XX which some members seem to cling to and need due to their personalities or something. In my opinion and experience, it's a sub-set of 'I've had to learn to Do As I'm Told', 'my thinking is f98&^ed, so I have to Do as I'm Told now', and so on. I heard just such statements from a couple of people in their meeting shares only this week, and have often heard them - and cringed, almost wanted to just walk out.
I would agree. In my experience, there seems to be a lot of self deprecating in relation to ones own ability to think or make choices among recovery groups. For me, believing that "my head is a dangerous place to be" was really counterproductive, because I spent my whole life looking to others to make decisions for me. I did not need more dependence, I needed to develop my independence.

And side note, I'm a little hurt that Awuh did not single out my response. I must be losing my edge.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:40 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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there are so many different ways to hear it...and "my best efforets got me here" is not the same as "my best thinking got me here".

the latter used to **** me off no end, but doesn't any more. in fact, my thinking WAS screwy. my thinking managed to minimize the "problem" for years, finding excuses in comparisons, circumstances, rules...ridiculous stuff.

hm...also, were anyone to say "stop thinking!" to me, i wouldn't, of course. i might ask, though, if they intend to convey the message that taking actions brings results as opposed to thinking about it all ad infinitum.


Perhaps listening to interpretations from those who successfully work any given specific program/method would be more helpful than listening to those who are not successful with it.

quite so. if i want to know what the Pope means by something, i won't ask the Dalai Lama.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:03 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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My best efforts got me here to day 6 of another sober stretch. I hated the expression 'you're best thinking got you here' too. Like I'm a helpless garden variety alcoholic or something! So, YOU BETTER LISTEN!
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:20 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Ha! Very timely, again.

Whilst I still struggle to put together a day 1 for the umpteenth time ( a whole other story), I thought I'd at least get outta the house for part of this Saturday afternoon and go to a meeting I haven't wanted to attend in many months. It's extremely close by to my house; I just needed to fill in some time in the hope I'd not-pick-up too soon in the afternoon; there's nothing else I can viably do in the middle of a so-far-sober Saturday (due to various other factors). Point is, this particular meeting is full of um, some very 'odd' members. Many of which - after a long gap of not attending it - do tend still to bang on with just these kinds of sayings.

But, yeah, I got there, and just sat. Listened. When those sloganeering types did their thing, I just quieted my mind. I had to.

The timely / weird part was: the very last person to get up and speak, was the bird who slapped the Stop Thinking note on me last year. And this time, this day, what she said - terrible experiences happening in her own life right now (impending death, today or tomorrow of her father in law; impending death at some stage of her husband) - and HOW she said it all, calmly, with a kind of peace (which totally befuddles me), just reinforced to me what I'd said earlier here.

I don't know how such people stay sober how they do. Their methods are not entirely mine. But by gee, as she spoke, the atmosphere in the room ( a rather dingy, classic old dusty church hall) was of the kind one might expect in any meditation sitting, or many such gatherings. Serene.

So: comme ci, comme ca. I'm slowly learning to just let (such) people BE who they are becoming. I know it'll take me a longer time, having so many subconscious / and conscious judgements in my head. Still, for those few moments, I just heard - really heard - some woman I don't really know at all, just describe her 'today'.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:13 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Like I'm a helpless garden variety alcoholic or something!

waterwagon,
this made me smile.
because it's where i came from, so to speak.
turns out, though, that i AM an ordinary garden variety drunk . was quite the shocker, that one!
helpless? not by any stretch of the imagination!

just as you can, there are oodles of things i can do if i so choose.
being here talking with others is one of them.
no, not helpless about what i choose to do about it.

good going on day six!
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:13 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Fandy View Post
I truly dislike those cliché sayings and derogatory terms, i.e. white knuckles, dry drunk, blah blah blah, oh take the cotton out of your ears, put it in your mouth. We are NOT little children, we are adults that are taking control of our addictions...(I do not use the word disease either. I reserve that one for my brother's cancer that has a less than 25% survival rate)

my best efforts have gotten me sober and not drinking...this is my reality. My best thinking has gotten me sober.
It's interesting that so many of us people that gave in to being powerless over alcohol have been recovering for many years, usually comfortable with themselves. We usually surrendered and asked for help in removing the desire to drink from us and it worked because we worked it. Your correct we are not little children in size however most of us have characteristics that mentally and emotional stunted us at an early age because of drinking/drugging. At those lettered meetings the slogans are fit for ALL people at a particular time. I found that when I got honest with myself things including me got better. I just wonder why when I see all the effort that goes into going against the tide is so important. Perhaps it's the characteristic of wanting all control, not having it most of the time and demanding themselves to be in charge of themselves. I know, to each their own. BE WELL
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by visch1 View Post
It's interesting that so many of us people that gave in to being powerless over alcohol have been recovering for many years, usually comfortable with themselves. We usually surrendered and asked for help in removing the desire to drink from us and it worked because we worked it. Your correct we are not little children in size however most of us have characteristics that mentally and emotional stunted us at an early age because of drinking/drugging. At those lettered meetings the slogans are fit for ALL people at a particular time. I found that when I got honest with myself things including me got better. I just wonder why when I see all the effort that goes into going against the tide is so important. Perhaps it's the characteristic of wanting all control, not having it most of the time and demanding themselves to be in charge of themselves. I know, to each their own. BE WELL

Absolutely. I do demand of myself that I am in charge of myself. In charge of my decisions and in charge of my ability to choose not to consume alcohol.

My best efforts have gotten me sober. It didn't take hardly any effort at all for me to get drunk...just throw on shoes and get to the liquor store.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:59 AM
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'that other program that will not be named'
Don't you all have good things you can say about your method of recovery rather than focusing on the method you aren't using? Not naming the program does not change anything. It is off topic for this forum.
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