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Switch to Forum Live View Recovered vs Recovering?
5 years ago  ::  Sep 07, 2012 - 12:08AM #41
trudging
Posts: 159

Jun 8, 2012 -- 3:31PM, kevgo64 wrote:


It is such a shame that few people read and understand the terminology in the big book,or the english language for that matter.Look in the first page of your big book.That would be the page with the copyright printed on it.What does it say? - "How many thousands of men and women have recovered from alcoholism" Look also in the forward to the 1st edition.What does it say? "To show other alcoholics precisely how we have RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book."(My first edition has recovered in big bold type,by the way) Now look in the forward to the second edition.What does it say? "Alcoholics anonymous has mushroomed into nearly 6000 groups whose membership is far above 150000 RECOVERED alcoholics.Now turn ahead a few pages to page x Why does it say that? vii.What does it say about AA number 3 ? "Their very first case,a desperate one,recovered immediately and became AA number three.Now look on page 132.What does it say? "We have RECOVERED and have been given the power to help others" Now,what is it that we have recovered from ? Not from being an alcoholic.That is obvious.Not from having to live the 12 steps.That is also obvious.Go back to the forward to the first edition.What do you see ? "We of Alcoholics anonymous are more than 100 men and women who have RECOVERED from a SEEMINGLY HOPELESS STATE OF MIND AND BODY.So,for those who call themselves "Recovering" I hope you get out of what seems to be a hopeless state of mind and body.That is the purpose of our AA book,and our program.Bill Wilson told my sponsor this many years ago.





Good stuff, if they're anything like I was, they read the big book alright and understood the implication, then started playing semantic games, my excuse is I was insane, they can use whatever excuse they want, if they so desire. Sooner or later the excuse wears out.



step 2 told me I can be restored to sanity,


that meant I was still insane at step 2,


recovered by virtue of working the 12 steps therefore, is restored to sanity. 



"Recovering" means on the road to sanity,


"recovered" is past tense, I have arrived at sanity already.

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5 years ago  ::  Sep 24, 2012 - 9:59AM #42
Jim
Posts: 9

I left AA a while back, and have been trying to break myself of using the lingo.  But here's my spin,view, opinion, whatever you want to call it. I choose to call it my experience.


Early on, I believe I was recovering, that is I still suffered some of the symptoms of active alcoholism. Now I do not suffer those symptoms, therefore I've recovered.  That does not mean that I don't make mistakes and that I'm not succeptible to the vagaries and whims of life. I hurt, I laugh, I love, I grow.



Not long ago, I was talking with a friend who is still in AA. I told her that I don't buy into the notion that I am powerless and diseased anymore. She asked me if I still thought I was alcoholic...i had to think about that. I finallytold her, I was done with labels like alcoholic, recovering, recovered, in recovery, etc. Maybe I am just a guy who goes to work and pays his bills and taxes and makes mistakes and who doesn't drink.

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 06, 2012 - 8:07PM #43
Seefan
Posts: 4,017

Sep 24, 2012 -- 9:59AM, Jim wrote:


I left AA a while back, and have been trying to break myself of using the lingo.  But here's my spin,view, opinion, whatever you want to call it. I choose to call it my experience.


Early on, I believe I was recovering, that is I still suffered some of the symptoms of active alcoholism. Now I do not suffer those symptoms, therefore I've recovered.  That does not mean that I don't make mistakes and that I'm not succeptible to the vagaries and whims of life. I hurt, I laugh, I love, I grow.


Not long ago, I was talking with a friend who is still in AA. I told her that I don't buy into the notion that I am powerless and diseased anymore. She asked me if I still thought I was alcoholic...i had to think about that. I finallytold her, I was done with labels like alcoholic, recovering, recovered, in recovery, etc. Maybe I am just a guy who goes to work and pays his bills and taxes and makes mistakes and who doesn't drink.




"Just a guy" is a label.  We can't escape labels.  It's what defines us and our actions and/or beliefs.  Whether you don't like labels doesn't change the facts.  You're either an alcoholic or not.  If you're not sure you maybe on the way to prove it to yourself by reaching for that drink!  Be careful your ego doesn't get the best of you ...


Alcoholics who find themselves recovered from alcoholism would be similar to a cancer patience who has been 'cured' of cancer.  There is no more affects noticed but if they continue to do the same thing that caused their cancer they will be in the same situation.  If an alcoholic, whether they have been recovered from alcoholism for years goes back to drinking, they soon find out if they were cured or just recovered  ...


We all grow, laugh, love and a host of lots of other things, some not so nice.  While our character defects have nothing to do with whether we are alcoholc of not we need to be on guard.  For if for some reason we allow them to grow to a point that they get a life of their own and they start causing us misery, we may find out that those old thoughts that tell us, I know how to get rid of these bad feeling, even if it is for a short duration of time.  If we are alcoholic and we take that first drink it just may trigger a craving which eventually will cause us to want more.  Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic ...


Today I am free from that simply because I take care of my emotional and spiritual needs and make sure I'm aware of it when I'm not ...


Good luck with your need not to label Jim.  It doesn't bother me.  In fact it help me to identify ...


By the way Jim ... welcome to the board and to this thread.  As you may have noticed, it's not very busy.  In fact I just noticed you post today ...
 

In the human world, if we do not understand the divine world, is that a proof that the world of God does not exist?  (Divine Philosophy, p. 117 ... Baha'i Writings)
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2012 - 2:25PM #44
Jim
Posts: 9

"By the way Jim ... welcome to the board and to this thread. As you may have noticed, it's not very busy. In fact I just noticed you post today ..." Thanks for the welcome and also thanks for not throwing the usual party line rhetoric at me, although I had my doubts when I first read your post, I'm glad I read it all the way through. This is what I meant: "You're either an alcoholic or not. If you're not sure you maybe on the way to prove it to yourself by reaching for that drink! Be careful your ego doesn't get the best of you ..." I almost stopped reading after that. One big reason I left AA is I grew really tired of the black/white thinking and the AA need to always have an answer. A little about myself: I am coming up on 22 years sober, so I was a bit more than 21 years sober when I finally decided to make a break in late January. I was not secretive about it, at least not with those I was close to. I made the announcement to my home group one night at a gathering at my house. The reactions varied from horrified to anger, all a reflection of their own fears. One guy says it's my alcoholic thinking. I say no, it's his alcoholic thinking. One gal asks me what I would have said to someone who was considering leaving. I told I would say to follow their heart. The same lady asked me if I was worried about what kind of message my leaving would send to the newcomer. I told her I couldn't worry about that as the newcomer would have to arrive at their own conclusion, just as I had. And maybe the message is that it's OK to leave. Other AA's have called me up to ask if I'm drinking. Others have unfriended me on FaceBook. Just last week at work (I work at a treatment facility), one of the detox nurses asked me if it was true that I didn't go to AA anymore and I said yes it is true. Then she asked if I was drinking. Obviously, she's a member. I digress, sorry for rambling. The point is that most members are locked into this fear-based thinking. Sure, I could possibly drink. But, I've seen AA members who were active, Big Book thumping, doing the deal members drink. And I've seen the most defiant, free-thinking, atheistic members stay sober. I didn't give it any thought when I was a member and I'm not going to start now. And I'm sure not going to define myself as an alcoholic. Sure, I may have alcoholism, but that isn't who I am. Why are AA members, so terrified of their egos? Ego is a necessary part of us, and I've found that the trick is to make friends with it. It only gets me in trouble when it becomes the master and not the servant. I guess what I'm saying or trying to say, is that I refuse to live in fear. And so much of AA, possibly because it is rooted in evangelical, original-sin based, hell fire & damnation Christianity, is fear-based. Whether it's fear of having a drink, fear of their own minds and of thinking for themselves, or fear of their egos and "character defects," I refuse to buy into it anymore.

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2012 - 5:30PM #45
Seefan
Posts: 4,017

Thanks so much for replying to my post.  Anything I say is simply comments from my expereince and may not apply to you.  If they don't disregard ...


Oct 7, 2012 -- 2:25PM, Jim wrote:


"By the way Jim ... welcome to the board and to this thread. As you may have noticed, it's not very busy. In fact I just noticed you post today ..." Thanks for the welcome and also thanks for not throwing the usual party line rhetoric at me, although I had my doubts when I first read your post, I'm glad I read it all the way through. This is what I meant: "You're either an alcoholic or not. If you're not sure you maybe on the way to prove it to yourself by reaching for that drink! Be careful your ego doesn't get the best of you ..." I almost stopped reading after that.


And I thank you for reading it through as well if it is of any assistance ...


One big reason I left AA is I grew really tired of the black/white thinking and the AA need to always have an answer.


That's me!  I always have to have an answer.  That's why I know everything's not black/white.  That's also why I try to think outside of the box for answers and go outside of AA.  But AA itself claims it doesn't have all of the answers.  I think that's why Bill W suggested to back to the religion of your youth.  Expand upon that suggestion and you can go outside for answers you can't find in AA.  And my answers need to make sense to me ...


A little about myself: I am coming up on 22 years sober, so I was a bit more than 21 years sober when I finally decided to make a break in late January. I was not secretive about it, at least not with those I was close to. I made the announcement to my home group one night at a gathering at my house. The reactions varied from horrified to anger, all a reflection of their own fears. One guy says it's my alcoholic thinking. I say no, it's his alcoholic thinking.


When I was somewhere around 15 years sober I too left AA because it got stale for me.  The same old stuff.  I never drank for two reasons - I didn't want to drink and I didn't need to drink for the obsession had left.  And I knew I'd remain that way as long as I stayed spiritually grounded.  I don't tell this to others because they don't understand unless you're at that point in sobriety.  Here's the kicker!  A few years later I came back.  The reason - because I felt I had a good grasp in what AA was all about and I also felt with a little more attention to the AA philosophy I'd have an even sounder understanding and ability to be of help, especially to the newcomer.  Once I returned I had to renew my committment ...


One gal asks me what I would have said to someone who was considering leaving. I told I would say to follow their heart. The same lady asked me if I was worried about what kind of message my leaving would send to the newcomer. I told her I couldn't worry about that as the newcomer would have to arrive at their own conclusion, just as I had. And maybe the message is that it's OK to leave.


The problem is that maybe it was ok for you to leave.  Time will tell.  But to suggest that for the newcomer, (s)he is suffering from being an active alcoholic and still very much powerless to survive without the AA program and fellowship.  I know I certainly wasn't capable of surviving on my own and couldn't follow my heart because my heart was sick and blinded ...


Other AA's have called me up to ask if I'm drinking. Others have unfriended me on FaceBook. Just last week at work (I work at a treatment facility), one of the detox nurses asked me if it was true that I didn't go to AA anymore and I said yes it is true. Then she asked if I was drinking. Obviously, she's a member. I digress, sorry for rambling. The point is that most members are locked into this fear-based thinking.


You maybe right about some.  But I suspect other simply are concerned and aren't in your head.  Don't worry about the negatives.  They probably have seen far too many leave AA and not make it.  And, to use the old AA line - some don't make it back ...


Sure, I could possibly drink. But, I've seen AA members who were active, Big Book thumping, doing the deal members drink. And I've seen the most defiant, free-thinking, atheistic members stay sober. I didn't give it any thought when I was a member and I'm not going to start now. And I'm sure not going to define myself as an alcoholic. Sure, I may have alcoholism, but that isn't who I am.


Actually, like it or not, it is what partly defines you.  Whether it's going to be a problem is another story only you can figure out.  I'm a cancer survivor.  This is part of what defines me.  I have certain experience in this area which I've chosen to be of help to others as they trudged along this path.  It's the same if you are an alcoholic.  You have experiences of which can be useful to others.  That's how every human being grows and develops and finds peace of mind and contentment.  Through being useful ...


Why are AA members, so terrified of their egos? Ego is a necessary part of us, and I've found that the trick is to make friends with it. It only gets me in trouble when it becomes the master and not the servant.


AA members are so terrified of their egos because they don't know what you know ...


I guess what I'm saying or trying to say, is that I refuse to live in fear. And so much of AA, possibly because it is rooted in evangelical, original-sin based, hell fire & damnation Christianity, is fear-based. Whether it's fear of having a drink, fear of their own minds and of thinking for themselves, or fear of their egos and "character defects," I refuse to buy into it anymore.


I haven't lived in fear for a long, long time now.  It sounds like you've discovered that it isn't the ego that's the problem but when we allow it to become overinflated, grows a life of its own and begins to control us.  That's something you maybe able to teach others ...





Good luck to you and yours!  Your path is your path and only you are responsibile for its results.  Simply try your best wither the infomation you are privy to.  One suggestion if I may ... Bill W. wrote an article called emotional sobriety that you may find of interest.  Also there's an AA talk online by Tom Brady Jr by the same name.  Some find that it's a little preachy in parts but the message is worthwhile ...


all the best ...


 

In the human world, if we do not understand the divine world, is that a proof that the world of God does not exist?  (Divine Philosophy, p. 117 ... Baha'i Writings)
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2012 - 9:57PM #46
mikeincolorado
Posts: 395

Welcome Jim.

Not that you require it, but I understand and fully support such a view. It's refreshing to hear someone articulate it in such a fashion. Fear makes it very tough for someone to really accept that they have recovered. That such a thing might be possible is revolutionary (impossible!) to many in our fellowship.

While I seem to have had a similar experience to yours, my path has (up to this point) had me continuing to participate within AA - if for no other reason that to aggravate the close-minded Tongue Out I do enjoy playing a contrarian...


It also provides an opportunity to share my experience with others who want it. I believe that the message in our book is a hopeful one, that I need to give step 2 slightly more respect than step one.


Again, welcome and thank you.

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  ::  Oct 09, 2012 - 8:41AM #47
Jim
Posts: 9

Oct 7, 2012 -- 5:30PM, Seefan wrote:

Thanks so much for replying to my post.  Anything I say is simply comments from my expereince and may not apply to you.  If they don't disregard ...


Oct 7, 2012 -- 2:25PM, Jim wrote:


"By the way Jim ... welcome to the board and to this thread. As you may have noticed, it's not very busy. In fact I just noticed you post today ..." Thanks for the welcome and also thanks for not throwing the usual party line rhetoric at me, although I had my doubts when I first read your post, I'm glad I read it all the way through. This is what I meant: "You're either an alcoholic or not. If you're not sure you maybe on the way to prove it to yourself by reaching for that drink! Be careful your ego doesn't get the best of you ..." I almost stopped reading after that.


And I thank you for reading it through as well if it is of any assistance ...


One big reason I left AA is I grew really tired of the black/white thinking and the AA need to always have an answer.


That's me!  I always have to have an answer.  That's why I know everything's not black/white.  That's also why I try to think outside of the box for answers and go outside of AA.  But AA itself claims it doesn't have all of the answers.  I think that's why Bill W suggested to back to the religion of your youth.  Expand upon that suggestion and you can go outside for answers you can't find in AA.  And my answers need to make sense to me ...


A little about myself: I am coming up on 22 years sober, so I was a bit more than 21 years sober when I finally decided to make a break in late January. I was not secretive about it, at least not with those I was close to. I made the announcement to my home group one night at a gathering at my house. The reactions varied from horrified to anger, all a reflection of their own fears. One guy says it's my alcoholic thinking. I say no, it's his alcoholic thinking.


When I was somewhere around 15 years sober I too left AA because it got stale for me.  The same old stuff.  I never drank for two reasons - I didn't want to drink and I didn't need to drink for the obsession had left.  And I knew I'd remain that way as long as I stayed spiritually grounded.  I don't tell this to others because they don't understand unless you're at that point in sobriety.  Here's the kicker!  A few years later I came back.  The reason - because I felt I had a good grasp in what AA was all about and I also felt with a little more attention to the AA philosophy I'd have an even sounder understanding and ability to be of help, especially to the newcomer.  Once I returned I had to renew my committment ...


One gal asks me what I would have said to someone who was considering leaving. I told I would say to follow their heart. The same lady asked me if I was worried about what kind of message my leaving would send to the newcomer. I told her I couldn't worry about that as the newcomer would have to arrive at their own conclusion, just as I had. And maybe the message is that it's OK to leave.


The problem is that maybe it was ok for you to leave.  Time will tell.  But to suggest that for the newcomer, (s)he is suffering from being an active alcoholic and still very much powerless to survive without the AA program and fellowship.  I know I certainly wasn't capable of surviving on my own and couldn't follow my heart because my heart was sick and blinded ...


Other AA's have called me up to ask if I'm drinking. Others have unfriended me on FaceBook. Just last week at work (I work at a treatment facility), one of the detox nurses asked me if it was true that I didn't go to AA anymore and I said yes it is true. Then she asked if I was drinking. Obviously, she's a member. I digress, sorry for rambling. The point is that most members are locked into this fear-based thinking.


You maybe right about some.  But I suspect other simply are concerned and aren't in your head.  Don't worry about the negatives.  They probably have seen far too many leave AA and not make it.  And, to use the old AA line - some don't make it back ...


Sure, I could possibly drink. But, I've seen AA members who were active, Big Book thumping, doing the deal members drink. And I've seen the most defiant, free-thinking, atheistic members stay sober. I didn't give it any thought when I was a member and I'm not going to start now. And I'm sure not going to define myself as an alcoholic. Sure, I may have alcoholism, but that isn't who I am.


Actually, like it or not, it is what partly defines you.  Whether it's going to be a problem is another story only you can figure out.  I'm a cancer survivor.  This is part of what defines me.  I have certain experience in this area which I've chosen to be of help to others as they trudged along this path.  It's the same if you are an alcoholic.  You have experiences of which can be useful to others.  That's how every human being grows and develops and finds peace of mind and contentment.  Through being useful ...


Why are AA members, so terrified of their egos? Ego is a necessary part of us, and I've found that the trick is to make friends with it. It only gets me in trouble when it becomes the master and not the servant.


AA members are so terrified of their egos because they don't know what you know ...


I guess what I'm saying or trying to say, is that I refuse to live in fear. And so much of AA, possibly because it is rooted in evangelical, original-sin based, hell fire & damnation Christianity, is fear-based. Whether it's fear of having a drink, fear of their own minds and of thinking for themselves, or fear of their egos and "character defects," I refuse to buy into it anymore.


I haven't lived in fear for a long, long time now.  It sounds like you've discovered that it isn't the ego that's the problem but when we allow it to become overinflated, grows a life of its own and begins to control us.  That's something you maybe able to teach others ...





Good luck to you and yours!  Your path is your path and only you are responsibile for its results.  Simply try your best wither the infomation you are privy to.  One suggestion if I may ... Bill W. wrote an article called emotional sobriety that you may find of interest.  Also there's an AA talk online by Tom Brady Jr by the same name.  Some find that it's a little preachy in parts but the message is worthwhile ...


all the best ...


 


Hi Seefan,


I think you are correct, AA itself does not claim to have all the answers, but some AA members do. I used to be one of those.



As for many leaving AA and not making it back, that's probably true of a certain percentage. However, many leave and choose not to make it back. There are many who leave, stay sober, and don't make a big deal of it. The "not making it back" is another fear-mongering tactic used by members to convince those that are leaving or are on the fring to stay. Myself, at this point, I have no intention of making it back. Truthfully, the idea of sitting ina meeting seems almost repugnant to me.



I have to respectufully disagree with you concerning being defined by alcoholism. An AA member whom I deeply respected, and who had a huge influence on my sobriety, Don P., used to say "I'mnot an ex-convict. I'm a man who's been to prison." I am a human being who has alcoholism. I'm an alcoholic, but that isn't WHO I am. So please don't define me.



I've read the Bill Wilson article and have heard the Tom Brady Jr. talk. Good stuff, but neither really speak to me where I'm at right now.



Oh, concerning the message my leaving might send to the newcomer. I've never actually told anyone to not go to AA/NA/ In fact, at work, I tell them TO Go, if they think it will help. But if they are questioning it, I also tell them not be afraid to do that. 

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2012 - 8:47AM #48
Jim
Posts: 9

Oct 7, 2012 -- 9:57PM, mikeincolorado wrote:

Welcome Jim.

Not that you require it, but I understand and fully support such a view. It's refreshing to hear someone articulate it in such a fashion. Fear makes it very tough for someone to really accept that they have recovered. That such a thing might be possible is revolutionary (impossible!) to many in our fellowship.

While I seem to have had a similar experience to yours, my path has (up to this point) had me continuing to participate within AA - if for no other reason that to aggravate the close-minded  I do enjoy playing a contrarian...


It also provides an opportunity to share my experience with others who want it. I believe that the message in our book is a hopeful one, that I need to give step 2 slightly more respect than step one.


Again, welcome and thank you.


Thanks Mike.



I too like to stir the pot and cause people to think. Question everything is what I say. Not always popular with a certain crowd, but oh well. 



I have no desire to participate in AA. As I told told another poster, the idea of sitting in a meeting is repugnant to me. That may change, but I don't think so in the near future.



I admit, it has been a bit of a lonely path at times. I do believe we need community of like-minded people. Unfortunately. there isn't a lot of that here. I've found a fellowship of Buddhists who meet once a week to sit, but it's a thirty-five mile drive on a Sunday night. Not willing to do that.

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2012 - 10:50AM #49
Seefan
Posts: 4,017

Oct 9, 2012 -- 8:41AM, Jim wrote:


Thanks so much for replying to my post.  Anything I say is simply comments from my experience and may not apply to you.  If they don't - disregard ...   



I left the above just as a reminder that anything I say is how I relate to my experience and only refers to myself.  If you can relate fine but I'm not judging anyone.  If it sounds that way sorry!  And actually I don't have that right! Undecided


Hi Seefan,


I think you are correct, AA itself does not claim to have all the answers, but some AA members do. I used to be one of those.


Right you are but who cares if members think they know everything!  We find that everywhere.  People are people and are at different level of understanding.  And we get even more diversity within AA rooms.  In AA it is my job to share my reflections and what I understand from personal experience as it relates to the 12 steps.  If someone has it wrong or different it's not my job to change them but to change me so I can understand them better.  So honestly, I really don't concern myself.  I have better things to do with my time. 



As for many leaving AA and not making it back, that's probably true of a certain percentage. However, many leave and choose not to make it back. There are many who leave, stay sober, and don't make a big deal of it. The "not making it back" is another fear-mongering tactic used by members to convince those that are leaving or are on the fring to stay. Myself, at this point, I have no intention of making it back. Truthfully, the idea of sitting ina meeting seems almost repugnant to me.


And in my experience you are absolutely right about those who leave.  And I suspect that you are also right in that it can be used to create fear, but I like to think out of concern. 


If you feel repugnant at the thought at going to a meeting, unless the feeling passes it might be a good idea not to go.  Not good for you and especially not good for those who like what AA has to offer ... Wink


I have to respectufully disagree with you concerning being defined by alcoholism. An AA member whom I deeply respected, and who had a huge influence on my sobriety, Don P., used to say "I'mnot an ex-convict. I'm a man who's been to prison." I am a human being who has alcoholism. I'm an alcoholic, but that isn't WHO I am. So please don't define me.


Keep in mind that I didn't say alcoholism defines you but partly defines you.  And to disagree is fine.  These are just thoughts in how my experience relates to your understanding.  Nothin' personal!  For me and only me, and not to be disrespectful, a man who has been in prison is an ex-con.  But as long as the actions that got him there has changed, it is always nice to see things in the positive light.  It helps us cope with our past.  But it is a part of who we are through experience and memory.  That doesn't have to define our present actions.  But it does define who we are to a smaller or greater extent.  Just ask yourself, if being an alcoholic didn't happen would I be different today.  If it is major, like the life of many alcoholic, it defines who we have become, one way or the other.  That to me does not have to be a negative.  I don't go around wallowing or bragging.  It just is!  It has become a part of the journey called life.  But as an individual we define who we are through our actions today, all bits and pieces of yesterday. 


As to don't define you, I'm not.  What I say has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me.  Sorry you feel that I'm judging you in a negative light!  Since I don't see myself that way I don't see you that way!  As I've say earlier if you don't relate please ignore for the only one that can truly define you is you. 
I've read the Bill Wilson article and have heard the Tom Brady Jr. talk. Good stuff, but neither really speak to me where I'm at right now.


Just thought I'd throw that in.  If that's not where you're at that's fine ...
Oh, concerning the message my leaving might send to the newcomer. I've never actually told anyone to not go to AA/NA/ In fact, at work, I tell them TO Go, if they think it will help. But if they are questioning it, I also tell them not be afraid to do that. 


Sounds good ...





In the human world, if we do not understand the divine world, is that a proof that the world of God does not exist?  (Divine Philosophy, p. 117 ... Baha'i Writings)
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2012 - 8:30AM #50
Jim
Posts: 9

Oct 9, 2012 -- 10:50AM, Seefan wrote:

Oct 9, 2012 -- 8:41AM, Jim wrote:


Thanks so much for replying to my post.  Anything I say is simply comments from my experience and may not apply to you.  If they don't - disregard ...   



I left the above just as a reminder that anything I say is how I relate to my experience and only refers to myself.  If you can relate fine but I'm not judging anyone.  If it sounds that way sorry!  And actually I don't have that right! Undecided


Hi Seefan,


I think you are correct, AA itself does not claim to have all the answers, but some AA members do. I used to be one of those.


Right you are but who cares if members think they know everything!  We find that everywhere.  People are people and are at different level of understanding.  And we get even more diversity within AA rooms.  In AA it is my job to share my reflections and what I understand from personal experience as it relates to the 12 steps.  If someone has it wrong or different it's not my job to change them but to change me so I can understand them better.  So honestly, I really don't concern myself.  I have better things to do with my time. 



As for many leaving AA and not making it back, that's probably true of a certain percentage. However, many leave and choose not to make it back. There are many who leave, stay sober, and don't make a big deal of it. The "not making it back" is another fear-mongering tactic used by members to convince those that are leaving or are on the fring to stay. Myself, at this point, I have no intention of making it back. Truthfully, the idea of sitting ina meeting seems almost repugnant to me.


And in my experience you are absolutely right about those who leave.  And I suspect that you are also right in that it can be used to create fear, but I like to think out of concern. 


If you feel repugnant at the thought at going to a meeting, unless the feeling passes it might be a good idea not to go.  Not good for you and especially not good for those who like what AA has to offer ... Wink


I have to respectufully disagree with you concerning being defined by alcoholism. An AA member whom I deeply respected, and who had a huge influence on my sobriety, Don P., used to say "I'mnot an ex-convict. I'm a man who's been to prison." I am a human being who has alcoholism. I'm an alcoholic, but that isn't WHO I am. So please don't define me.


Keep in mind that I didn't say alcoholism defines you but partly defines you.  And to disagree is fine.  These are just thoughts in how my experience relates to your understanding.  Nothin' personal!  For me and only me, and not to be disrespectful, a man who has been in prison is an ex-con.  But as long as the actions that got him there has changed, it is always nice to see things in the positive light.  It helps us cope with our past.  But it is a part of who we are through experience and memory.  That doesn't have to define our present actions.  But it does define who we are to a smaller or greater extent.  Just ask yourself, if being an alcoholic didn't happen would I be different today.  If it is major, like the life of many alcoholic, it defines who we have become, one way or the other.  That to me does not have to be a negative.  I don't go around wallowing or bragging.  It just is!  It has become a part of the journey called life.  But as an individual we define who we are through our actions today, all bits and pieces of yesterday. 


As to don't define you, I'm not.  What I say has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me.  Sorry you feel that I'm judging you in a negative light!  Since I don't see myself that way I don't see you that way!  As I've say earlier if you don't relate please ignore for the only one that can truly define you is you. 
I've read the Bill Wilson article and have heard the Tom Brady Jr. talk. Good stuff, but neither really speak to me where I'm at right now.


Just thought I'd throw that in.  If that's not where you're at that's fine ...
Oh, concerning the message my leaving might send to the newcomer. I've never actually told anyone to not go to AA/NA/ In fact, at work, I tell them TO Go, if they think it will help. But if they are questioning it, I also tell them not be afraid to do that. 


Sounds good ...






Fear-mongering is fear mongering, no matter where it comes from. A fellow I know contacted me the other day with some of his concerns. It seems that he has some of the concerns/feelings that I had during the last few years before I left, and he is considering leaving. He's voiced those sentiments and told me about some of the comments made at him-the usual fear-based stuff about drinking again and booze will drive him back.  


aI believe that a a member turning a blind eye/deaf ear toward such BS is tatamount to apathy. So, no, I choose not to believe it's out of genuine concern, except self-concern, because when a person expresses doubts or leaves, it threatens the rest of them. It threatens their beliefs and security. The correct response to anyone expressing doubt is not to try to steer them in the right direction but to encourage them to find out for themselves. And the correct response to to anyone leaving is not to try and get them to stay but to encourage them to follow their conscience. I do agree that most AA members don't wish any harm towards the doubting or leaving person, but at the same time they react out of their own sense of fear and not genuine concern.


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