This program is confusing me

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Mike O
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by Mike O »

He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial.
I would also highlight the above quote from the same Appendix.
:D

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Brock
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by Brock »

liz wrote:
do you guys just do a 10 step around every bad feeling that comes along during the day? is that what is meant by working on it?
One of the times that I tried AA half heartedly, a speaker said he prayed all day, that was not for me and was just the excuse I was looking for, went home and told my wife those people have to pray all day, bless her she said it was OK I didn’t need to go back. I was also confused when at the end somebody usually shouted “it works if you work it,” work what ? so the question you ask is a good one.

In my experience at first the tendency was to look out for stuff to apply the 10th step to, check everything I was doing, was I rude to someone should I apologize, always on the lookout, and as someone said here earlier I was guilty of over analyzing the program, forgot the keep it simple part. I found that within a short time, probably a few months, it was not necessary to think of the 10th step at all, that is until I did something which the program and common sense tells me I should not do. We try to avoid being selfish and self centered, and it is not difficult for us to recognize when we are, and a simple sorry usually is fine, and the best part is that the new behavior of thinking of the feelings of others starts to come automatically, just like we don’t need to think much to comb our hair or brush our teeth. Another time I find the 10th useful is when fear creeps in, remember the book says on page 87 – “As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.” It could be in any number of situations, from as simple as being agitated while waiting in the supermarket checkout, or doubtful when waiting for an important job interview. When we pause and ask for assistance the answer seems to come from within, it was in us all along. Basically you are probably right that we do a 10th step around every bad feeling that comes along, the good part is they don’t come along often once you are grounded in the program. Have patience and keep it simple, more will be revealed.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

Mike O
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by Mike O »

Brock wrote:
liz wrote:
do you guys just do a 10 step around every bad feeling that comes along during the day? is that what is meant by working on it?
One of the times that I tried AA half heartedly, a speaker said he prayed all day, that was not for me and was just the excuse I was looking for, went home and told my wife those people have to pray all day, bless her she said it was OK I didn’t need to go back. I was also confused when at the end somebody usually shouted “it works if you work it,” work what ? so the question you ask is a good one.

In my experience at first the tendency was to look out for stuff to apply the 10th step to, check everything I was doing, was I rude to someone should I apologize, always on the lookout, and as someone said here earlier I was guilty of over analyzing the program, forgot the keep it simple part. I found that within a short time, probably a few months, it was not necessary to think of the 10th step at all, that is until I did something which the program and common sense tells me I should not do. We try to avoid being selfish and self centered, and it is not difficult for us to recognize when we are, and a simple sorry usually is fine, and the best part is that the new behavior of thinking of the feelings of others starts to come automatically, just like we don’t need to think much to comb our hair or brush our teeth. Another time I find the 10th useful is when fear creeps in, remember the book says on page 87 – “As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.” It could be in any number of situations, from as simple as being agitated while waiting in the supermarket checkout, or doubtful when waiting for an important job interview. When we pause and ask for assistance the answer seems to come from within, it was in us all along. Basically you are probably right that we do a 10th step around every bad feeling that comes along, the good part is they don’t come along often once you are grounded in the program. Have patience and keep it simple, more will be revealed.
Excellent post, Brock. I've highlighted one particular aspect that, in my experience, is vital to the programme.

liz
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by liz »

These replies have been very helpful and clarifying.
So basically it takes time, I can live with that.
What was nagging on my mind is that I am about to go to step 12 and the book says 10,11 and 12 are maintenance steps but I have yet to have the spiritual experience at this point.
my sponsor tells me the program was really reinforced when she started sponsoring.
But i am not ready to sponsor now I feel like I would be a fraud at this point.

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avaneesh912
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by avaneesh912 »

If you are not comfortable dont. If you are still restless, irritable, discontented and filled with fear, you may want to get a good sponsor who has a thorough understanding of the big book and go thru the steps again. If you can't find one you way well use the temporary sponsors available here at e-aa. Also listen to workshops like Joe and Charlie Big Book Study @ Xa-Speakers (dot) org. You may also want make amends, that will help you be more tolerant of others.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

liz
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by liz »

my sponsor just had to back away due to relapse.
I will need to find a new sponsor asap.

If you dont mind I will post here for support.

thanks

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avaneesh912
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by avaneesh912 »

my sponsor just had to back away due to relapse.
Lot of people today in the fellowship think just because they are sober (working or not working the steps), its their right to sponsor other people. I have seen people who have not gone past the 4th step raising their hand to volunteer to sponsor. And then there are people who recite the 9th step promises. Don't get sucked into their illusion. Ask questions, how he/she applies the principles of the steps in their daily life.

You are most welcome to hang in here. You may want to consider re-working the steps.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Layne
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by Layne »

liz wrote:my sponsor just had to back away due to relapse.
I will need to find a new sponsor asap.

If you dont mind I will post here for support.

thanks
By all means.

Having a sponsor is not a requirement for success. Many times I have seen people develop a mentality akin to "too many eggs in one basket" when it comes to their sponsor.

I have never had a sponsor. I do have some "go to guys" when things get hairy, but I also have meetings, a phone, and a computer for getting me in touch with support. By listening to many voices for advice and guidance, not only am I enabled to make better informed choices; but I also feel more a "part of" which is huge for this alcoholic.

harry71
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by harry71 »

AA success has always bee that one alcoholic talking to another. Having a sponsor , to me, is imperative. Not to give me all the answers, but to listen and help me see how I might do things different. It helps when they are well versed in the BB. It is too easy for this alcoholic to go from one person to another, until I get the answer I want.

A home group and sponsor go hand in hand. I have the same sponsor for 42 years. He knows all my little side steps and calls me on my BS. My home group sees me at my best and worse and is there for both. Time takes time(I hated that). Find that one meeting and commit to regular attendance and you will find that special person that will be what you need.

Carrying the message in step 12 can be done a lot of ways, not just sponsoring. Sharing, helping set up and clean up are ways to carry the message. For me one of the down sides to non smoking meetings is no ash trays to clean. Kept me involved for a long time. My sponsor called it the ABC's-ash trays, brooms and chairs.
God Keeps Me Sober AA Keeps Me Asking

Passiton
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by Passiton »

Layne wrote:
liz wrote:I simply do not know what I am doing spirituality wise.....Does it take quite a bit of practice and time?
The rest of my life for this alcoholic, but it is about progress and not perfection, attempting to improve my conscious contact with my higher power; it is about the journey, not a destination.

I used to talk about how I had never had any burning bush spiritual experiences; now I am not so sure how true that is. It could be that I had been so close to a burning bush that I got singed by the intense heat and was just unaware of the pyre happening at my elbow.

My lack of acknowledgement of something doesn't mean that it isn't happening. For years I didn't acknowledge the fact that I was an alcoholic, didn't mean that I wasn't one.

Trust the process and be willing. Let your heart guide you and be quiet long enough to hear the the answers, because you are receiving them.
I could not have said it any better!!

Tom S
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by Tom S »

Hi
I offer my own experience with this with the greatest respect for your
honesty and openness. I find slowly reading Appendix 2 of the BB
most helpful. I found the persistent practice of the principles yields
results I could not have dreamed of. It takes me repeated faithful
and thoughtful work to become sufficiently released from self obsession
to let spirit, for want of a better word, in. I have to do the work to get
the result, constantly; my fearful ego is always watching to distract me
and to reassert its dominion over me. Only by faithfully attempting to
follow these principles in all my affairs do I find peace.
Grateful for the gift.

liz
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by liz »

Well I gave it a good try but this thing just wont work for me.
Im not even entirely sure HP can remove my defects.
Ive been dealing with disabling anxiety disorder for few years now and no amount of praying or even drugs helped.
I'm also slightly upset with my sponsor situation for having to drop me as I feel things were going somewhat ok since then as I had a daily person to touch base with. The sponsors so far I have been trying to find dont really seem too concerned with replying back to even an email.
I empathize with relapse but she would insist that helping others was the real key and I should get on it as soon as possible.
Well Thank God I didn't or I would have taken someone else with me.
Obviously the anger is my own and I am just transferring it onto someone else. Sorry for that.
I would like to be relieved of my anger,fear,self will,frustration,craving,desire to escape current reality.
I would really like to eventually help someone else too.

Lali
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by Lali »

liz wrote:Well I gave it a good try but this thing just wont work for me.
Im not even entirely sure HP can remove my defects.
Ive been dealing with disabling anxiety disorder for few years now and no amount of praying or even drugs helped.
I'm also slightly upset with my sponsor situation for having to drop me as I feel things were going somewhat ok since then as I had a daily person to touch base with. The sponsors so far I have been trying to find dont really seem too concerned with replying back to even an email.
I empathize with relapse but she would insist that helping others was the real key and I should get on it as soon as possible.
Well Thank God I didn't or I would have taken someone else with me.
Obviously the anger is my own and I am just transferring it onto someone else. Sorry for that.
I would like to be relieved of my anger,fear,self will,frustration,craving,desire to escape current reality.
I would really like to eventually help someone else too.
So, you're just going to give up? In a prior post you said you lost your job, live with a difficult relative and have nothing. So how is giving up AA going to make your situation any better? If you cannot find a sponsor in your meetings, why don't you try one of the e-aa sponsors here and explain what is going on with you and let them know that you had worked up to step 11 when you lost your sponsor. It is unfortunate that your sposor relapsed but it happens.

I think you are putting too much pressure on yourself for everything to happen overnight.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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Layne
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by Layne »

liz wrote:Well I gave it a good try but this thing just wont work for me.
When I looked for ways that the program wouldn't work for me, I found them and my results were nil and disheartening.

When I looked for ways that the program would work for me, I found them and the results have been life changing and rewarding.

The program works if we are honest, open minded, and willing.

harry71
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Re: This program is confusing me

Post by harry71 »

Liz,put on your big girl pants and get on with it. I know it sounds harsh, but we can not depend on our own assessment of how bad we are. Over my years in recovery I have seen folks as bad as you say you are and worse and they hung in and made it. How does giving up help. At this point you need to slow down and focus on going to meetings and not drinking. Each day will build on another.

Your self talk can be overcome. Small victories are important. You can only eat an elephant on bite at a time.
God Keeps Me Sober AA Keeps Me Asking

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