AA and spirituality

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dannymawg, May 2, 2008.

  1. dannymawg

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,121
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'm really hoping that I can pull some longtime, salient LPSG members out of the shadows to discuss this thread, and not have it degenerate into silliness or empty comment. I'd like to gather some of the third party objectivism(?) that I used to see floating around here when I first joined in '06.

    Last night I went to my first ever AA meeting. I should have approached a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, as my problem is more with marijuana than with alcohol, but under the advice of my recently sought-out therapist, I needed to hit some sort of 12-step program while the idea was fresh in my head.

    I know upon reading the above, there's a bunch of you out there that are thinking, "pot has no physical addictive qualities", and are poo-pooing any psychological addictions with "if it's such a problem for you, then just quit". Not that easy folks, when it first began as a tool to enhance my only real hobby of creating/listening to music, and then turned into a daily escape mechanism for the last 15 years as I experienced two career flameouts which I had little control over.

    I went to the meeting last night at 7:30 pm, participated, and came home with the "Big Book", which I read in bed until 5:30 am today. And here is the crux of my problem:

    Spirituality. Supposedly, I cannot make the decision that God exists or not - that the billions of Christians who get along with having a God infinitely outnumber me, and that I must believe in a higher power in order for the 12 steps to work.

    But isn't this about me? That only I have the power to control myself? To look squarely at my addictions, choices, decisions, and realize no one has done anything about this or put me in this place other than me? Yeah, selfish, I know, it flies in the face of the unselfishness that has made AA so successful in people's lives...

    Part of my problem that I didn't have the time to present in the meeting last night was that I deliberately scoff/shun Christianity or a omnipresent God, due to religious devisiveness that tore my family apart before I was even born - my father's family are teetotalling Presbyterians (in fact, my grandfather was a pastor of a prominent church and religious editor of a major newspaper for 20+ years), and my mother's family are your average blue collar Irish Catholics. Excepting my grandpa (who died a year before I was born), my father's family cut off all communication with my dad for years, to the point where I am not acquainted with the family with whom I share a surname with. And I hate the whole concept of guilt driven Catholicism, and throwing money at Vatican City through my local church. And then there's the clergy preying on little kids all these years...

    At the advice of my therapist, I looked into other programs similar to the 12-step method, such as the SMART Recovery program - but something told me that the popularity of AA might be a better choice. I should also mention here that my mother's sister was a prominent member of our community, as a APN nurse in the alcoholic ward of our local hospital for almost 30 years. She passed away in '03, and I really wish she was still here with us now. Seeing the light in people's faces when I dropped her name in the meeting last night was heartening, especially in those faces of the oldtimers.

    I obviously have some deep thinking to do - and this might be my swansong from LPSG, as I feel I have to disconnect myself from all the time-sinks that I associated with my use of the sweet leaf - music is included, which is really fucking scary, as it's one of the few outlets I have anymore.




    Thanks in advance for your posts, and if anyone out there has any AA or other experience they feel comfortable sharing, please - do so. I'm attending another meeting tonight, and looking forward to reading/answering replies over the weekend.



    D-mawg
     
  2. lilbighorn

    lilbighorn New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    GA
    I have a good friend from HS days, I bet he's been smoking pot for at least 15 years now. They say it's not addictive, but I've seen him go to the ends of the earth to get more, so who knows. As I'm sure you know, it's not a true narcotic, nor in that family.

    I have been to AA, and I found that it was not the program but the people that made it good. I've been to both gay and straight meetings, and I have to say, the gay ones are better. So I would not worry too much about the 12 steps exactly, because you will have benefits from just hearing and participating in the discussions. The key here is to "be real", and "get real" with people and life, and gift yourself some time to let some of the fog clear.
     
  3. distillers<3222

    distillers<3222 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Arixona
    Welcome to AA dude. Keep coming back, you won't regret it. I have 59 days sober. Find a sponser and pray. :)
     
  4. dannymawg

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,121
    Likes Received:
    3
    This is true, and thanks for catching that. I fell into the general public trap of lumping weed in with the rest.
     
  5. Mr. Snakey

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    24,702
    Likes Received:
    25
    Being Spiritual and religious are two different things. You can be spiritual and religious at the same time but you can be one without the other. Thats why in A. A. they speak of a higher power. Your higher power could be even a ball of light in the sky. The word GOD can mean many different things to many people. It is very important for you to be spiritual in order to stay clean and sober. Relax and keep going to meetings and in time you will understand the meaning of spirituality. It takes time. Take it one day at a time. I have been clean and sober about 18 years now and life is great. Go to a meeting everyday. A. A. or N.A or even G. A. a meeting is a meeting. You will feel at home at any one of them. The question of have you really hit your bottom and are you sick and tired of being sick and tired. It took me till i was down on the floor screaming for my sanity. Look at this not as the end but a new begining in your life. A cleansing of your mind, body and soul. A whole new you. The real you. I know there are many other friends of Bill's on here and i do hope we hear from them. Thanx for sharing.. Danny:smile:
     
  6. JustAsking

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ohio
    dannymawg,
    I have had two very dear and close friends join AA. On both occasions I attended meetings with them and read the Big Book. One of them was quite agnostic, and the other one was religious, but a recovering fundamentalist.

    Over long discussions with both of them, and as deep into Christianity as I believe I am, I have thought about AA, spirituality and Christianity for a long time.

    I find that both AA and mainstream Christianity have a lot of similarity, as both of them have the same healing message about accepting your brokenness, and acknowledging that your brokenness is something that is inevitable (addicted or not). That acknowledgement is not a giving up. What it is is an antidote to the destructive notion that every aspect of your being is totally under your own control.

    If you labor under the illusion that every aspect of your being is under your control, you have no choice but to consider yourself totally responsible for any of your failures and to judge yourself unworthy when they occur. This self-blame for every single failure leads ultimately to shame, which is probably the most destructive emotional force contributing to problems like addiction and depression.

    Total self-blame leads an addict to the notion that curing the addiction is all about personal choices and will power and nothing else. Christian fundamentalists also think this is true about themselves, their faith in Christ and avoiding sin. Both the addict and the fundamentalist Christian who thinks it is all about total self-control sets themselves up for a boatload of shame and self-loathing when their actions do not live up to their standards. In summary, for both the addict and the fundamentalist Christian, they have set themselves up for failure and the failure leads to shame, which ultimately makes their situation worse.

    On the other hand both mainstream Christianity and AA preach a truer message that is probably the most helpful and healing one for an addict or a depressed person. The message is that you cannot possibly be responsible for every aspect of your behavior and your actions. It is physically and mentally impossible to always make the right choices and always resist what you think you need to resist (sin or dangerous addictive substances).

    Mainstream Christianity teaches something that is analogous to what AA teaches, that humans are somewhat bonded to do things that Christianity would consider sinful (like hurt themselves or others). AA teaches that (and medical science backs it up completely) that humans have different propensities to become addicted to certain substances, and that propensity is beyond their control. Similarly, their addiction makes them hurt themselves and others.

    When AA says that you must rely on a "higher power", to help recover from your addiction, they are echoing what a mainstream Christian would say about "repenting", which for a mainstream Christian means to "rethink" your life under your new understanding that you are a somewhat flawed and broken organism, and you need the help of a higher power to keep you from hurting yourself and others.

    Another similarity between AA and mainstream Christianity is the notion of a community of believers. Mainstream theology stresses the notion that God's influence on our lives is mediated through your relationship with others and not as much a private matter between you and God. AA also stresses that the community and fellowship of fellow addicts will be the most powerful force for your healing. In other words, they both would say that the community's power to heal you is far stronger than your own choice making or your own force of will.

    So, in summary, both bodies of belief are saying that total self-reliance is a myth, therefore, you are forgiven for not having the strength of will to completely control your behavior by yourself. If you can recognize this and truly believe it, you can relieve yourself of the awful and destructive burden of guilt that comes with failure in respect to total self-reliance.

    I believe that anyone can go to AA and reap the benefits of it whether you are deeply religious or agnostic. All you have to do is forgive yourself for being human and therefore flawed and somewhat broken somehow, rethink your guilt, shame, and sense of failure so you rid yourself of the myth of complete self-reliance and the awful burden that it is all completely up to you. Once you can completely accept that, you will be free to accept the help of the AA community of wounded healers.

    Whether you think that it is God being mediated through the community or human compassion and fellowship that is being mediated through the community might not matter. Either one is a "higher power" in respect to your own (and everyone's for that matter) limited ability to be completely self-reliant.

    Go to AA. It has saved the lives of two very dear friends of mine.
     
  7. B_becominghorse

    B_becominghorse New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,142
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    new york city
    I read or heard sometime in the last 5-10 years that AA does not deal nearly as much with the other substances. I don't know anybody who has used NA or whether that is better, nor have I ever been to any meetings like this, but I would think that if the NA deals more specifically with pot, that would be better, wouldn't it? I don't imagine alcoholics ever go to NA as their basic meeting place. Also, I remember only one article about this, but do remember that there was some complaint that the other substances were not included nearly as much as some thought they should be--that AA ought to be more inclusive. Of course, there may be those who think the kinds of support you get would automatically apply to any substance addiction, so I don't know.

    Only thing that does occur is you wouldn't be able to discuss your specific experiences as much, and wouldn't that help to be talking about people who are overusing marijuana? In any case, you could still go to the AA meetings too if you liked them. I gave up marijuana by myself because I could not use it without becoming totally paranoid and thinking I would have to go to the hospital. I suppose, now that I think about it, I was lucky, because I do remember the last time I got 'stoned' in 1991, I thought I was going to die, because by then I hardly ever used it any more anyway, so at this party the strongest pot I ever smoked put me into a state of near-shock. Obviously, this is not the case with what you are talking about, because after I got out of that 'bad trip', it never even occurred to me since to smoke any more pot. The few times in the 80s I had used it had always brought me to this kind of state very quickly, but most people who smoke a lot of pot don't have this reaction, since they mostly like it.

    Take care.
     
  8. Phil Ayesho

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    5,590
    Likes Received:
    876
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Diego
    I hate to be the wet blanket...

    But, studied long term, 12 step programs have exactly the same rate of "cure" as doing nothing at all.

    5&#37; of those who try to quit, whether thru AA or on their own, will be successful over 10 years.

    There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that 12 step programs are any more effective than prayer, or wishing on shamrocks.

    You do not need to "give over control to a higher power" to quit any addictive substance or behavior.

    You simply need to persist in NOT indulging while you find alternative methods for dealing with whatever you are turning to drugs to deal with.


    The problem is that the longer you have relied on a particular drug or behavior to deal with the stressors in your life... the more habituated you are... the deeper a groove you have worn in your brain.

    It takes years... maybe as many as you spent indulging, to develop other, better methods of dealing with the stresses that you have trained yourself to rely on your drugs to solve.


    If 12 step programs appeal to you... great... but do not expect any miracle... God does not take control over your life... that is something YOU will have to actually do yourself.

    Contrary to the propaganda they spout to enable you to escape responsibility for your actions...Its not a disease... its a HABIT of thought exacerbated by the fact that your body will reduce its OWN production of opiods, serotonins or dopamines if you keep supplying it with an outside source of mood altering chemicals.... which is why quitting can be such a problem... because it can take months or years for your body to recover and start properly regulating its own production of psychoactive substances.



    The only potentially useful thing about 12 step programs is the peer support they offer. That is where the real help lies...

    The God stuff has no more effect than reading Harry Potter.
     
  9. B_Mademoiselle Rouge

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Messages:
    9,735
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Southern US
    I cant say the specific Anonymous meetings i used to go to were all that helpful when it came to learning the steps and applying them. I went to two different groups, one was not as helpful as the other. The other group was helpful because of the peers i had there. I would do my addiction to and from the meetings. I felt a lot of guilt and even lied on the meeting about not doing it.

    I have to say i ended up stopping it on my own long after i quit going. It wasnt the same addiction you have, but it was my crutch that almost destroyed my life and business.

    Sharing your story and hearing the stories of others is what really helped me. I have the Big Book and while it was helpful to hear the quotes out of it, i never spent the time studying it on my own.

    I was always confused when someone would refer to a specific step by memory, because i never got to know them all that well. I felt a little stupid because i didnt know them as well as the others.

    I hope it works out for you. I found my husband and child to be my inspiration for quitting even though they say you should do it for yourself. I did it for the love i had for others. Some of the feedback i got regarding my reasons for wanting to stop was kind of ridiculous i thought. Oh well. We all have to find the ultimate reason to stop what we are doing to destroy ourselves.
     
  10. unique_exposure

    unique_exposure New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    577
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Southwest
    The meetings vary in tone, intensity, and content. Some are more socially oriented, like lunch meetings. Its best to listen (not just with your ears) at first, it helps to pick up the emphasis.

    Some people call "the rooms" their god, relying on the meeting's feel or presense. Others call the People who attend the rooms their god, and find their synchronistic 'messages' through the spoken portion of the meetings.

    "Good Orderly Direction" is acceptable terminology at most 12 step meetings. The Serenity prayer can be said without the word God, the emphasis being on the wisdom, peace and quiet.

    With the Lord's Prayer, I believe "give us our daily bread" is changed to "give us our daily strength"-- this is said at Gay AA often.

    AA is typically more religious-toned than NA. At both, people are generally understanding of beginners and not wanting to go monotheistic, but that varies by meeting and group.

    "the moment"
    "simplicity"
    "progress, not perfection"

    are common themes for discussion, these are more spiritual to me than religious.

    There are "home groups"-- where one finds enough common bond to stick with the group 3 days per week. Each meeting type and group has its own tone, which is made by the people getting together.

    Hope it works with you, not for you.
     
  11. Northland

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    6,082
    Likes Received:
    4
    I discussed this at length with my partner of the moment who is an admitted alcoholic and has spent a lot of time in AA. Here's where it went-

    He indicated that the whole God thing is essentially whittled down to just finding an ability within of understanding/believing that something created the universe and what is in it. He took it further by using reference to the ocean. Think of the power of the ocean and how it works and then ask if it is something which you have control over. Since the answer tends to be a resounding no, then that shows there is something other than me which is apparently-at least in ocean current-more powerful which he says is what the bottom line is with AA- a power greater than self. Call it God, call it Allah, call it Bennet. I have been to open AA meetings (those where non alkies, non drug addicts are welcome to attend as opposed to Closed meetings) and have heard people claim a tree or a doorknob as their higher power.

    AA becomes confusing on the spiritual side since meetings tend to have either The Lord's Prayer or The Serenity Prayer involved in them which screams religion. There is a difference though between religion and spirituality. Religion (to me) is doctrines and hoo-ha all focussed on what was written in The Bible which is a book which has changed numerous times over the centuries. Many parts of The Bible were written long after events took place-this is religion. Stuff based on stories passed down generation to generation before many of them made it to written form. And about that written form-which form? King James? Revised Standard? New English? New American?

    Spirituality is a harder thing-it is an inner feeling, sensation or belief that something created something else which led to my being and then my being inside the body which I currently inhabit. Spitiruality (again, I speak for me) involves interaction with other beings. Learning how to feel. How to feel comfortable within the body and within the suroundings in which I have been placed.


    AA is just one of many recovery options out there. Some thrive in AA and its offshoots such as NA and CA (cocaine) and SA (sex addicts anon) and there's something out there in some places for Crystal Meth users (cma). There are also recovery practices not based on 12 steps, 12 traditions and 12 principles. What the majority have in common is a genuine desire to get away from the substance or activity which has become all consuming for one's life. Some do this through sheer will power. Some stand by the idea of Moderation. Moderation is the limitting of drinks and/or drugs and/or sex or anything else which is excessive. Many fail in moderation therapy because one drink leads to yet another. The AA comment is "The first drink gets you drunk" because one leads to another, then another, then another until a person is completely drunk; but, it all began with the first drink. Many cannot stop at just one or two, for these, moderation is not the answer.

    Moving along. My partner has been addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex and the internet. He has gotten away from the alcohol and drugs and I am his sex fix (and he is mine as well). He has used moderation on the Internet.


    There are different forms of AA meetings from rigid, big-book thumping, have to do the steps to must have a sponsor and must blah blah blah to the liberal meetings which say the only requirement is a desire to stop drinking. The only Requirement for sobriety is not drinking, the only requirement to stay clean and straight (off drugs) is not to use them. The steps become part of life in other ways. Find what works best for you-it may be a 12 step program or something else.

    In addition to The Big Book you might want to get a-hold of Living Sober, a sublime little book (yellow cover) which covers early sobriety/clean time and how to survive. It's not all about prayers.

    Get a-hold of As Bill Sees It-a small book with an orange cover, which has an index on all sorts of topics and gives very brief little quotes from the AA co-founder Bill Wilson.

    Go slow and easy and be easy on yourself as you embark on this pathway. At times it may be hard; however, there will be great rewards reaped later-happier times as you find you function quite well-perhaps better- without mind changing chemicals.

    Best of everything as you step forward.
     
  12. midlifebear

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,908
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nevada, Buenos Aires, and Barçelona
    AA has helped many people. However, when a friend joined up because she was drinking heavily she brought up the same issue about "giving one's self up to a higher power." I've never had to deal with issues of addiction (well, maybe sex, but I've always regarded that as a positive part of my life). But the idea of giving one's self up to a higher power, to me, smacks of infantilism and the inability to take responsibility for one's own actions.

    On a positive note, for those out there who are seeking AA help I have heard there are chapters where like-minded folk gather who don't buy into any religion or imaginary friends. I would suggest you ask around. The idea that one cannot skip onto the road to recovery unless he or she gives up rational thinking and submits to becoming a sunbeam for Jesus is simply plain hokum.

    Check around. Being a "friend of Bill" has helped countless people, but there are other means to the same end to which AA aspires; for example, generic transcendental meditation.

    By the way, good luck with wrestling control of your life.
     
  13. B_becominghorse

    B_becominghorse New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,142
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    new york city
    I remember from the mid-90s an old tabloid story of an actress who used the drug Revia for her alcoholism. This is probably not what people involved with the group support of AA want to hear much about, but some people are just not interested in these support groups for addictions. I somehow remembered the name of this drug, and in 2003 I was again in touch with a very old friend who had had what he considered a dangerous drinking problem. While he had told me he stopped drinking on his own, it may be possible that he relapsed because by that time he was very active in AA in a midwestern state (when he first 'stopped by himself'), he'd been living near me, although I wasn't seeing him at the time.

    Anyway, I mentioned this drug regarding his boyfriend, who'd followed him to the Midwest and was apparently also an alcoholic but falling off the wagon. He said that Revia was indeed a drug used in alcoholism, but that 'it was very expensive'. But I can't get the story straight, because the 'expensive' began to seem like the Hope Diamond--given that the guy, without medical insurance, got a face-lift, tit implants, and went to Hawaii two years in a row after they pronounced the Revia 'too expensive.' I somehow doubt it was really all that expensive, though. I imagine my friend wanted his boyfriend to be a part of the community of AA, and didn't believe in using the drug for alcoholism. I fail to understand this reasoning from him, though, given that he was on anti-depressants, HIV cocktail, and even an diazepam, although I recall that his psychiatrist took him off the latter.

    Drugs that block the alcohol craving would seem ideal for some people and I'm sure that even those opposing such things will not stop the further development of these drugs. I guess this must be like methadone with heroin. But there's a fairly clear parallel between those people who demand only psychiatry without anti-depressants, etc. and the much greater use these have come into in the last 25 years (especially.) And I know several people who are in heavy therapy while taking the ADPs (including this friend, whom I haven't seen since 1985, I believe.

    I imagine people who have strong belief in AA won't like this, but there are so many different kinds of people that many different kinds of treatment are necessary. I'm going to see if wiki has something on Revia right now...
     
  14. B_becominghorse

    B_becominghorse New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,142
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    new york city
    Naltrexone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I believe the basic drug is called naltrexone from this article. I haven't time to read it right now, but maybe somebody will find it useful.

    I did quickly see that it is used for other forms of drug dependence, not just alcohol. So, worth knowing about.
     
  15. AquaEyes11010

    AquaEyes11010 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    789
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New Brunswick, NJ (from Long Island, NY)

    I was going to say a lot of the same stuff you just said. I remember seeing a Penn & Teller "BULLSHIT" episode that dealt with AA and mentioned the same low rate of success. What prompted the episode was that there was an individual who was given AA as part of his sentence by a court, and being that this person was an atheist, he felt it violated his rights to be forced to join a spirituality-based organization.

    Ultimately, conquering any addiction requires a lot of work for many. The body adjusts its chemistry when a substance has been added regularly for a length of time, and removing that substance throws the body off until readjustments are completed. Many studies have shown that once addicted, there are permanent changes made in the brain, so it really is true that once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. It will become easier over time if you keep at it, but know that the craving will never be completely eliminated. Take solace in the knowledge that you are doing an awesome thing for yourself, and awesome things don't usually come easily. Good luck to you.
    :)
     
  16. ZOS23xy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,073
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    directly above the center of the earth
    I was addicted to the weed for its giggle induction and feelings of nirvana. It was some five years of narcoleptic joy and fun, but it was debilitating. I got off, stopped using it for many years...I took up Yoga and meditation disciplines.

    My brother in law and Sister in law are AA people. Two decades for her, and ten or so for him. They are often annoying and blunt, but they aren't dead or driving around with the potential to kill.


    As opposed to my younger brother, dead through a stupid accident where alcohol was involved.

    Hang tough. It is life.
     
  17. B_becominghorse

    B_becominghorse New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,142
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    new york city
    This is very good way of putting it, I feel the same way. It's not hard to understand why 'allowing everyone else to continue drinking' is not the easiest thing to do in accepting that some people do not need to drink to excess. There are differences, of course, among individual AA'ers on this matter: One I know always offered me wine of the most atrocious rotgut quality available, and another wanted me to have a good bottle of wine to celebrate something as part of a gift he was making me. If we don't drink much--I don't care to drink alone ever, and even with my bf I have 2-3 glasses of wine per week, so only one day a week do I have alcohol--we don't experience the memory of craving the way an AA'er may or may not (I imagine this may vary too, with some getting totally off the booze and not really even missing it, but nobody has ever told me about this.)

    The first of these, though, who served the undrinkable wine, seemed to think it was fine to smoke enormous amounts of pot and also do a fair amount of cocaine. So that one of the peculiar things I've seen among at least some AA'ers is that they will think it is ONLY about one specific addiction, not other habits. But then, conquering one is admirable enough when that happens. This same one is a next-door neighbour and a most disagreeable person in most ways--loud, selfish and obnoxious, and we don't even speak any more. He's also filthy in personal habits. The other one I mention is wealthy and heavily medicated in other ways, has HIV, and basically lives the life of an invalid. Other AA people I've known less well have not been obnoxious though. They just don't drink, and you don't know anything about it until a drink is offered perhaps a little too aggressively. I admit to preferring this type of person, maybe they were the shy type who drank to 'be more sociable'. But this loud one next to my apt. is much less pleasant than many people I know who drink maybe a little more than they should sometimes. I just had a roommate who would sometimes drink to excess every few weeks--to the point of getting sick--but she never was irresponsible about it, and I hope she doesn't have a serious drinking problem (don't think she does, but it's true that she was only really friendly and wanted to converse a lot with me after she'd been drinking too much, and then she'd even wake me up sometime wanting to talk about her bf, etc. She was here for 14 months, and was physically very strong, but whether she has a drinking problem I don't know, but I still mainly doubt it, because she's too involved with her work.)
     
  18. B_sugarandspice

    B_sugarandspice New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    903
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    DC
    12 step programs are for people who NEED them.
    It is something that they have to do because they are desperate.
    The issue is something like they can't live with or without the use of these drugs or alcohol.


    The part about the Higher Power is that if they could quit on their own they already would have. They may have already tried everything HUMANLY possible. They need a Higher Power because Human Power is not enough for THEM ( the people who have to have a program).
    If you don't need a program and a higher power then great, maybe you had a drug or drinking problem which is not the same as being an alcoholic or addict whose real problem is extreme self-centeredness and or OCD.


    There are at least 4 types of alcoholics described in the Big Book of AA.
    Addicts probably vary as well.
    One theory is that if you take a room full of people and put them in a room doing drugs if they keep it up they can all become addicted.
    If you take a room full of people and give them alcohol only a few will come out alcoholic.
    Now NA says it is one big disease. One program,one disease.

    Go to 90 meetings in 90 days.
    Praying is important.
    You don't have to believe or figure out anything.
    Just pray on your knees (or sitting on the ground) to nothing and see how it works anyway.
    Like a placebo effect.
    It doesn't matter if God or the HP hears it or not.
    Pray for other people and to stay clean and sober for that day.

    Here is an example for A.M.:
    Great Spirit ( insert your preference " Invisible Nothing" or HP/ Goddess-God)
    Thank you for my life and health. Keep me clean and sober today.
    Make me a better person. Show me how I can help someone in need.
    Please keep ,( your family) safe. Help ( persons) be successful with( need).
    I ask your protection and blessing for....
    (close)
    Amen
    So mote it be.
    It is done
    In the name of ( insert Deity)


    PM:thank you for keeping me sober/clean today.

    Keep it simple:
    Don't use.
    Go to a meeting.
    Pray.
    Call your sponsor.
    Read your texts.
    The rest will all take care of itself if you do these first.
    Every time you hit a snag you can stop to pray.
    You can study Egyptian stuff . I would have to look it up for you.
    But you have your Higher Self,your Ka.
    So pray even if to just the air. Your Higher Self that is pure energy will help you along with everything including traffic jams,car problems, bitches and assholes, electronics,anything.
    Prayer takes practice and doing it everyday will really work and you will get better and better at it.
     
  19. simcha

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow
    Danny,

    Congratulations for taking a step forward! At least you are keeping an open mind. That's one of the keys to success:

    HOW: Honesty, Openness, Willingness

    I think that if you keep going to meetings you will find that each member's definition of higher power is quite different. Where most people agree is the concept of spirituality, which is quite different than a belief in a higher power.

    I joined AA's sister group Al-Anon in 1995. It helped me immeasurably. I already believed in a higher power and I was into practicing some forms of spirituality when I joined. So the whole "higher power" and "spirituality" thing didn't scare me off.

    I have to say that he AA Big Book has very out-dated language about what current 12-Step groups practice and believe about higher power and spirituality. Remember the origins of AA. Bill was a Christian Protestant. The Big Book is hence influenced by his and the other early members' beliefs. Since then 12-Step groups have blossomed and grown. They are very diverse when it comes to spirituality and higher power language and belief.

    What I remember a sponsor who was a long-timer telling me is that it didn't matter what I called my higher power or what my concept of a higher power was. I just had to believe that there is some power that is greater than me. This was easy enough to grasp for me. It could be the collective of the group that is a higher power. Many atheist members use that. For logically many people gathered for one purpose has more power than one person standing alone.

    Also spirituality isn't necessarily about belief in the "other." It has more to do with connections. For most members spirituality boils down to being connected with the group and one another. Doing service work like chairing a meeting, being the treasurer for the meeting, setting up chairs for the meeting, serving as a representative to intergroup committees, etc. serves as their way of manifesting spirituality because it re-enforces their connection to the program, the group, and the individual members. Making phone calls to individual members is a way of practicing spirituality. It takes on a significance because it's reaching out to another for help and helping another, thus making a connection.

    So, go to many different meetings until you find a set of meetings where you start to feel at home. Make contact with other members. Exchange phone numbers. Go to the fellowship after meetings and hang out with the other members. That's what helped me in 12-Step. You'll find others who are like-minded about the God-stuff...
     
  20. simcha

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow
Draft saved Draft deleted