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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 10:00AM #1
cherubino
Posts: 7,277
By the time I was a few  months sober, my sponsor had already sat patiently through enough of my whining  and mood swings that he was able to play them back, gently but firmly mocking me  with some rather humiliating but very convincing acting-out of my scatterbrained  ups & downs.
 
Finally he was able to  persuade me that 24 years of hard drinking had turned my brain to mush, that I  couldn't stay focused, and that my undisciplined thoughts controlled me instead  of me being in control of my thoughts. This was a very dangerous situation, he  went on, because how could I possibly overcome such sloppy thinking when the day  came when I was alone and picking up another drink seemed like a good idea? 
 
His suggested solution was  that I get whatever book it was that was so hard to understand when I was in  school that I never finished it, and read that book again. He said it didn't  matter what the book was about, because this wasn't about getting information or  inspiration, but about having the mental equipment to sort out the information I  was already getting. The brain, he said, is like a muscle, and mine was flabby  and almost paralyzed from lack of exercise and self-discipline.
 
"Use it or lose it," he  said.
 
I got the book. The funny  thing is that I had no trouble remembering which one it was. I read it twice and  I still have a copy of it.
 
Has anyone else tried this  or gotten similar advice from a sponsor?
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 6:28PM #2
mikeincolorado
Posts: 393
In a similar vein, my friend suggested a dictionary. Turns out what I thought words meant and the dictionary definition were sometimes very far apart.

Interestingly, it can be easy to become discouraged and even dismissive of thought and intellect. While intellect as we use it cannot overcome the malady, the failure lies in my use of the mind, not in the mind itself. It can be hard sometimes for people to understand the distinction. I don't know anyone here who would take the approach your sponsor did with you - but I've started taking a similar approach with people I work with.

Truth is, I have not made use of a great gift I've been given.

At the moment, I've got a copy of Einstein's "Relativity: The Special and General Theory" that I'm winding my way through. My wife picked it up for me.
Mike

*******************************************************
"When I've learned enough to really live, I'll be old enough to die" - Johnny Cash
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 8:55PM #3
annie_mac
Posts: 57
Not a particular book, but I went back to school. It's been an amazing journey. At first I had such a defeatist attitude; each semester, after one or two classes, I thought "I'd better withdraw before I flunk out", but I kept pushing on, and semester after semester I walked through the fear and the struggles in comprehension. Then, after my first Philosophy class, which was head-spinning for this simple gal, in which I got an "A", I figured, hey, if I can get an "A" in Philosophy, I can do anything!! It's been quite empowering.

(And, Hey Y'all to those who may remember me...)
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 24, 2008 - 10:38AM #4
mikeincolorado
Posts: 393
Hi Annie - Nice to "see" you. :p
Mike

*******************************************************
"When I've learned enough to really live, I'll be old enough to die" - Johnny Cash
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 24, 2008 - 4:21PM #5
soblessed3
Posts: 205
I did this. I never really read a book in its entirity until about a year ago. Then I started and I can't put books down. I get pyscology books and read them. I don't know why, I just do. It's something I find interesting. I like to figure out why people do the things they do.
Not only is reading good for the muscle like your sponsor said but it also takes you away without drinking. When your mind is somewhere else it can't be on drinking or using.
I just finished Tuesdays with Morrie. It was a good book.
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 02, 2010 - 6:22PM #6
andrewcyrus
Posts: 4,253

Jul 14, 2008 -- 10:00AM, cherubino wrote:

By the time I was a few months sober, my sponsor had already sat patiently through enough of my whining and mood swings that he was able to play them back, gently but firmly mocking me with some rather humiliating but very convincing acting-out of my scatterbrained ups & downs. Finally he was able to persuade me that 24 years of hard drinking had turned my brain to mush, that I couldn't stay focused, and that my undisciplined thoughts controlled me instead of me being in control of my thoughts. This was a very dangerous situation, he went on, because how could I possibly overcome such sloppy thinking when the day came when I was alone and picking up another drink seemed like a good idea? His suggested solution was that I get whatever book it was that was so hard to understand when I was in school that I never finished it, and read that book again. He said it didn't matter what the book was about, because this wasn't about getting information or inspiration, but about having the mental equipment to sort out the information I was already getting. The brain, he said, is like a muscle, and mine was flabby and almost paralyzed from lack of exercise and self-discipline. "Use it or lose it," he said. I got the book. The funny thing is that I had no trouble remembering which one it was. I read it twice and I still have a copy of it. Has anyone else tried this or gotten similar advice from a sponsor?



 


 


My sponsor gave me all kinds of books. He started me out with a new pair of glasses by Chuck C.


It was just the right mental music for my foggy mind.

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