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5 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2009 - 5:05PM #1
mikeincolorado
Posts: 393

"For those who are unable to drink moderately the question is how to stop altogether. We are assuming, of course, that the reader desires to stop. Whether such a person can quit upon a nonspiritual basis depends upon the extent to which he has already lost the power to choose whether he will drink or not. Many of us felt that we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it - this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.


How then shall we help our readers determine, to their own satisfaction, whether they are one of us?" (emphasis mine)


I spent some number of months prior to coming back to AA attempting to stay away from a drink. The more I exerted my efforts to stop, the shorter the intervals between drinking bouts. The intensity of the bouts seemed to be increasing as well. Each time I would come to, I was filled with dread - dread that I had this thing called alcoholism, and dreading what my lack of control meant. At best, I was afraid it meant I would have to go to AA, and to surrender to the idea that these people had something I needed, that I might have to do things someone else's way. I certainly didn't want to admit those assholes might be right.Wink


At worst, I was afraid that my condition would kill me.


But, on that Sunday morning, I was finally in a state of being where I was willing to listen to others - and even (maybe, just maybe) try what was suggested. So, instead of going to get another bottle, I went and sought out some AA members and asked for help. They listened to my story with understanding and compassion. There was no sense of "Oh, it'll be alright" a "You need to do a,b,c...", but in the sense of I understand how you feel. One of the fellas suggested that I attend a beginners meeting on the following Tuesday.


The significant thing is that I went to the meeting on Tuesday! I actually did something that someone else suggested. I was out of ideas on how to handle the drink problem.


I have found the simple things outlined in the AA program effective. Not only have I been free from drinking since that day, my life has been revolutionized. The main reason why is that I was able to determine - to my own satisfaction - that I was "one of". Some of that happened by my efforts to stop or control my drinking, some of that came afterwards, as I faced a life that didn't have drinking. But, to start, I had to determine I was like these people. Then, and only then, could I make use of the approach.

Mike

*******************************************************
"When I've learned enough to really live, I'll be old enough to die" - Johnny Cash
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2009 - 12:16AM #2
R._c._lee
Posts: 24

I identify with that.


My major stumbling block has always been that while I knew I was an alcoholic I wanted to drink like normies, which is to say that my major stumbling block is my ego.

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 11, 2009 - 11:35AM #3
mikeincolorado
Posts: 393

Even after coming to AA, and despite all of my suffering, I still was looking for a way to drink. I didn't know anything else. A large part of my struggles in sobriety was rooted in the fact I was still looking for the effect produced by alcohol, and unaware that is what I was looking for.


Well, The twelve steps don't produce the effect produced by alcohol. The ego deflation at depth is a bit different Tongue out


Anyhow, reading the book was an exercise in confusion for me (isn't it to us all?), because any time I would stumble across phrases like "spiritual experience", "god", "rocketed into a fourth dimension", etc... My mind would translate that into what I experienced when I drank. So I could have an experience, like the book described, and I was immediately convinced AA doesn't work, or I wasn't doing it right... because the experience didn't fit my notion of how it should be.


There is a part in Chapter 4 that suggests we ask ourselves honestly what spiritual terms mean to us. When I started doing that, I was finally able to start uncovering the truth about seeking the effect produced by alcohol.


 

Mike

*******************************************************
"When I've learned enough to really live, I'll be old enough to die" - Johnny Cash
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 14, 2009 - 7:41AM #4
Seefan
Posts: 3,884

Jun 11, 2009 -- 11:35AM, mikeincolorado wrote:


Even after coming to AA, and despite all of my suffering, I still was looking for a way to drink. I didn't know anything else. A large part of my struggles in sobriety was rooted in the fact I was still looking for the effect produced by alcohol, and unaware that is what I was looking for.


Well, The twelve steps don't produce the effect produced by alcohol. The ego deflation at depth is a bit different  




I think for me that when I arrived at the doors of AA, consciously,  I was not looking to drink like other "normal" people but simply wanting to feel comfortable in my own skin.  I wanted to be happy and content, to be able to converse with others with some sort of ease.  The first time I was introduced to AA it wasn't like that.  The 1st time I just wanted my wife off my back so the program didn't work.  The 2nd time I was willing to do what I was ask and part of that was working the 12 steps.  I never looked back (except for many mental slips over the years). 


With all that said, I'm sure in the beginning if someone promised me that I could drink safely I would.  That was my crutch, my confort zone ...  Undecided


Smile


 

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 14, 2009 - 2:33PM #5
mikeincolorado
Posts: 393

At some point after my first year, I remeber someone asking in a meeting  "If I had a pill that would let you drink and not get in trouble, who would take it?"


My hand shot up so fast...


Funny,


On one hand, I have the idea "a desire to stop drinking means I shouldn't have any want to drink again". On the other, the emphasis on rigorous honesty means that I MUST raise my hand, because I do want to drink, even though I have some strange idea that i shouldn't want that...


Laughing


I find my little self-created dramas pretty funny.

Mike

*******************************************************
"When I've learned enough to really live, I'll be old enough to die" - Johnny Cash
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