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- July 12, 2016 at 2:59 pm #4649020
@timbo555 2593229 wrote:
You and I are a lot alike. Whenever someone asks me what time it is, I have to tell them the huistory of timekeeping devices back to the first sundial. I have to examine everything twice before I can accept it as the truth.
Then someone explained to me what the first three letters of analysis spelled.
Please don’t take any offence, but your “examination” of your first step is entirely superflouous.
You merely need to be rigorously honest in ansewering the two questiions written below. It’s from “We Agnostics” in the Big Book of alcoholics anonymous:
“We hope we have made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the non-alco*holic. If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if, when drinking, you have lit*tle control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic.”
That’s it. And, actually, for that matter, who gives a damn? If you work the steps, your life will become more wonderful than you can imagine. It will never occur to you to want a drink again!
Stop dithering. Get to work
Hehehe, so true, decribes my own attempts.
I had to pick everything apart and fully comprehend every nuance of the steps before moving forward.
But the book tells me Step 2 “we came to believe..” , not came to fully comprehend.
I was procrastinating because I didn’t completely understand the process.
The truth is I was being defiant, procrastination is defiance at some level.
Trying to wrap my mind around the process was an attempt to control it
(and the outcome).
Steps 3 thru 9 make step 2 come true.
There is no requirement to believe in step 2.
Only willingness to believe.
So in the spirit of “quit dithering” , step 3 please.:c031:July 16, 2016 at 4:08 pm #4649018
Hi LKKPA –
sorry I didn’t see your post earlier. Something about this darn site – a lot of new threads and posts don’t show up as having new information in them unless I look at the date of the last post.
Anyway…..back on track. You said, “My only course of action is at this point is to not drink!! Hopefully in time and with God’s help and this wonderful site, I will begin to see myself and my issues more clearly and be able to work the steps as they should be worked.” That hit home with me. I got to AA through the court system – 3 DUI’s in total. I recall the last judge saying from the bench, “Michael, you better do something about this because YOU’RE AN ALCOHOLIC.” I think he might have even been pointing at me as he said it (maybe he wasn’t….but it makes for a good story – lol). I was soooooo mad at that. I mean, how could HE know? There’s NO WAY he could know what my drinking habits are! So I got 2 dui’s within a year……that doesn’t PROOOOOOVE anything! All my experience “proooooved” was that I had a “drinking and driving” problem (but I was sure I could fix that by being more careful, drinking at home, taking different ways home….etc – lol) – not a “drinking problem.” That judge, he had me pegged – BIG TIME.
The AA book refers to what we do to ignore our drinking problem as “delusional.” I went and looked up “denial” and “delusion” in the dictionary, took a screen-shot of each, merged them next to each other and keep that .jpg on my desktop. I’ll paraphrase what those definitions are.
Denial – a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.
Delusion – a: something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated. b: a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary.
I didn’t “like” either one of those but I can see now that I was totally delusional. There was a lot of “indisputable evidence” that indicated I was drinking alcoholically. Of course, to know that, I had to know what it meant to be an alcoholic….that you’ll find in the big book – specifically on pages 20, 21 and the top half of 22. I wasn’t homeless, I wasn’t allllllllllways drinking, heck – I could even give it up at times. When I sat with those words for a while….. and tried my best to get humble and honest….. it became clear to me that I probably was an alcoholic – or at least “studying hard to be one.”
Take a look at those pages. See if and how they apply to you and your drinking history – note – I didn’t say “see how they apply to how you WANT to drink” I said “see how they apply to how you ACTUALLY drank.”
Maybe it’s just me but I had a darn hard time (still do actually) being TOLD I was this, that, or the other. My defense walls go zoomin’ up and I tune out/ignore whatever it is I’m being told. There was something magical about reading that stuff in the peace and quiet of my house. I didn’t get all defensive – I could actually more easily digest what the book was “telling” me. I find I tend to do better if I “think” I’m discovering something on my own vs. someone else telling me something about myself.
Anti-authority, denial, delusion, rebellion, can’t seem to be satisfied with much of anything, always seeking something “better,” shame, entitlement, self-superiority, self-inferiority, self-superiority coupled with inferiority complexes, etc……those are all nice, complex, sophisticated, clinical words for what the BB calls: the spiritual malady – and that’s 1/3 of the issue for the alcoholic. Combine the spiritual malady with a mental compulsion to drink (even when you know you shouldn’t – like when you’re being tested for it) and mix in a physical craving (once you have one or two you almost always WANT more) and you have yourself the whole package – alcoholism.
The 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, in the writing of the 1st step, discusses how, at first, only looooow bottom drunks with many years of “experience” with booze and hitting bottom made it in AA. Over time…….AA changed. Through the years, alcoholics who still had their health, families, jobs and even cars we able to recognize their alcoholism well before they hit the deeeeeep bottoms that many of the early aa adopters had hit. Even young ppl who were no more than “potential alcoholics” were able to catch on and be spared 10, 15, or more years of pain.
–Boy….there’s soooo much more. Get yourself a Big Book (the AA book) if you don’t already have one. Get a 12 Steps and 12 Traditions if you don’t already have one. Those two books were VERY important to my early sobriety. Maybe they’ll help you as well.
I’ll keep you in my prayers too. 😉
MikeJuly 16, 2016 at 4:27 pm #4649019
Oh yeah….one more thing….
Just because you haven’t worked a particular step “perfectly” or “totally”…….that doesn’t mean you can’t continue on to the next step (with a sponsor’s guidance, of course). I got WAY hung up on “totally understanding, believing, and committing” to each individual step before I moved to the next one. I took that line “rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path,” a bit TOO seriously perhaps. I dunno……maybe that was ok BUT….it took me forever to get through all 12 the first time. Luckily, I had an alcohol tether on 24hrs per day (compliments of that last judge) to force me to stay “dry” for 9 months…….. but I didn’t get sober until I got most of the way through step #9. I’d never recommend someone lolly-gag through the steps like I did….hoping to get them “right the first time.”
Now, I’m able to see that we NEVER completely “get” the steps. They will always mean more and new things to us as we grow in the program. Essentially, you’ll allllllways be working all of the steps all of the time.
I don’t mean to insinuate that you shouldn’t “go back to step one” but just because you discovered a new reason to revisit step 1, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t also be working on step 2, 3, 4, etc. The steps were designed to be worked through rapidly…the first time through. There’s no test on the previous steps when you move on to the next one.
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