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a quote worth contemplating

Old 07-27-2015, 07:31 PM
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waking down
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a quote worth contemplating

from RuthAnn in Noah Levine's Refuge Recovery:

"Instead of just desperately clinging to each moment of sobriety and trying to not drink, I began to learn how to be with pain and joy and be okay. Meditation cut right into my core and addressed my heart. I've begun to see my craving as part of my humanity, not something that is wrong with me. I no longer feel as though I need to be 'fixed.'

For me, this speaks to the difference between AA and Refuge Recovery and other approaches to recovery. It seems dis-empowering to tell people they are diseased or defected or insane and can only be "restored to sanity" by some "higher power." It seems to me that though our lives had "become unmanageable," we are NOT "powerless over alcohol" (as long as we abstain), and that we have the power to restore ourselves to sanity.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:47 PM
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I think, especially early on, it's important to realize that wanting or cravings are not signs of failing to quit. AVRT really helped me to "get" that, and showed me the best way to handle the wanting without the acting on it. Best overall strategy, starve it out.
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:13 PM
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Whatever works.
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:51 PM
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Ultimately your own power put the bottle to your lips. Your own power can dump it down the drain. That being said if one believes that praying to a door knob keeps them sober then by all means let them kneel to the knob.

"restore ourselves to sanity"? What is sanity anyway? Sounds pretty damn boring.

"
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:19 AM
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It took me a long time to realize that I wasn't going to experience some Disney end-of-movie switch of the mind and suddenly become all things sober. It's OK and normal to want to have a drink with friends or want to be a moderate drinker. Those thoughts exist right along with wanting to be sober and live a healthy productive life. Meditation really helps me see just how random (and numerous) thoughts can be. I have my chosen path to sobriety because I needed to be empowered. No matter what other noise is happening around me, it is always my choice to drink or not - and I am able to say NO each and every time.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:16 AM
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Sanity? Lack of issues? Chromatic anal emissions? unicorn petting zoo attendant? Lol, so far just the tackling of one 'issue' the consumption of alcohol <-- Over
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:36 AM
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thought:
seeing craving as part of our humanity....i see my human-ness as "defected". it's what being human implies: imperfect.
"defect" used to be a word i only interpreted in one way, but now think of just in terms of my human imperfection.
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:53 AM
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"de" rubs me in the negative way as prefixes go, maybe "unfect"
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Old 07-28-2015, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
thought:
seeing craving as part of our humanity....i see my human-ness as "defected". it's what being human implies: imperfect.
"defect" used to be a word i only interpreted in one way, but now think of just in terms of my human imperfection.
That's a helpful way to look at it. I guess I was inspired to post this because whenever I go to AA meetings (half a dozen times in 19 months), I am struck by what seems like a mindset that says, "I am damaged goods." When the 12 Steps use phrases like "restore yourself to sanity," am I to conclude that I am insane? And for those who can't wrap our heads around the "God or Higher Power" thing, how can we be expected to "turn our will and our lives over" to whatever it is we're supposed to turn them over to?

In contrast to the disease model, Buddhism suggests that addiction is basically taking the usual state of being human to the extreme. That is, all people crave and craving causes suffering. In a way, it's like saying all humans are on some level addicts (except maybe the so-called enlightened who are free from craving and suffering). We are addicted to pleasure and fear pain (physical/psychological/emotional). Addiction stems from the craving for pleasure and the desire to escape pain. When we can sit with both and not resort to substances or other habits that cause suffering, we are on a productive path.

I do appreciate that AA helps a lot of people, but I sometimes wonder if it is not also doing some harm. I am learning to forgive myself and to accept rather than run. Buddha might say we all have the defect of craving, and if it is a defect then it is up to me to remove it and any other defects I might have. Are they "defects of character" as stated in the 12 Steps? Or are they defects in thinking? I'm not waiting for "God to remove all these defects," thank you very much. I have work to do.
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