Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

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D'oh
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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by D'oh »

leejosepho wrote: I definitely know all the rhetorical arguments used for trying to turn A.A. into a "Just don't take the first drink one-day-at-a-time" program, but that just cannot be done when the facts are faced:

"Once more: The alcoholic at certain times [as possibly during any given 24-hour period] has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither s/he nor any other human being [including no 'group of drunks'] can provide such a defense. His/Her defense must come from a Higher Power." (page 43)

However, nothing in the facts ever diminishes the idea of one-day-at-a-time in relation to spiritual growth away from ever again finding oneself drinking rather than ever assuming, hoping, wishing or trying to become saints overnight...as if not drinking could even help there anyway!

Bottom line? "Just don't take the first drink one-day-at-a-time" is used by many for trying to avoid "ego deflation in depth" (Tiebout) at Step One, and many non-alcoholics in today's A.A. seem to me to be quite proud of having done so. For myself, however, I had taken Step One before ever even hearing of A.A. and then learned the words after I got here:

"We are powerless over alcohol and cannot manage our own lives out of that mess."

From Bill W: "We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
You make it sound like I practice the 1st and 12th step only. Nothing could be further from the truth rhetorically speaking.

But once you have completed the 3rd step, and cleared the wreckage of the past, all you have is today, yes to do Thy Will. Morning Meditation from the Big Book even states "On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead" It doesn't say "Let us contemplate the rest of our Life!"

A very wise member and good friend who was there when I came in, his morning Meditation consisted of asking his HP to help him through the day sober, to better do His Will. At night he thank his HP and looked for anything he could have did better. That's it.

In fact he humbly asked a member after they slipped "Did you ask for help that morning?"

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leejosepho
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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by leejosepho »

Lali wrote:Who put that pamphlet out? Are the pamphlets AA General Service conference-approved literature?

In order to avoid confusion, when any literature, including pamphlets, contradicts the Big Book, I go with what the Big Book says.
Definitely. Using the book "Living Sober" as an example, there are pieces of even "conference-approved" literature that conflict with our Basic Text and are not reliable in relation to actual recovery from chronic alcoholism. My first sponsor and others who first helped me used various gimmicks of one kind or another to help maintain my focus on learning to do what is in the book, but he never failed to also mention "Read the book to know who and who to listen to in any A.A. meeting!"
D'oh wrote:You make it sound like I practice the 1st and 12th step only.
I know nothing of your personal practice other that whatever you might share here, but neither your practice nor mine is the point of discussion!
D'oh wrote:...once you have completed the 3rd step, and cleared the wreckage of the past...
...you will have had the problem removed and will no longer need to put any effort into "Don't drink"..."For by this time sanity will have returned...will seldom be interested in liquor...recoil from it as from a hot flame...sanely and normally...automatically...without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes!" (pages 84-85)
D'oh wrote:...all you have is today...the Big Book even states "On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead" It doesn't say "Let us contemplate the rest of our Life!"
That fact that is not mentioned in that particular location in the book does not mean we never should, and especially since a desire to stop drinking "for good and all" (Dr. Bob) or forever or whatever is where we began. But in any case:

"...release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you." (page 152)

Overall, it seems we agree: Practice and grow along spiritual lines one-day-at-a-time or die from chronic alcoholism.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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avaneesh912
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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by avaneesh912 »

May I wish you another 24 hours.
Thank you my friend. When I came in, back in 2006, I was done, I was looking for a solution. And I got it. Following those few simple rules, this will be by 9 years, and 3rd day of obsession free life.

Wish you the same.
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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ezdzit247
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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by ezdzit247 »

change wrote:It was difficult but I am glad I did it, I will def attend again :) my brain was raceing with withdrawal so it was good to listen and I felt a bit calmer there. I did find it scary hearing stories where people were still suffering years later :( I have been clinging to the hope I will feel better in a month or so. I am feeling physically stronger now on day 3.
Hi change.

Glad you dragged your butt to the meeting. Congratulations on 3 days of sobriety!

When I finally got sober, oldtimers in the meeting rooms recommended that newcomers go to a meeting every day. They said go to 30 meetings in 30 days and if I didn't like the way I felt at the end of those 30 days, the snarky ol' buzzards said they would refund my misery.... :lol: I followed their suggestions--one day at a time, one meeting at a time--and at the end of those first 30 days when I picked up my white chip, I felt really good. Didn't want a refund on my misery. In fact, by that time, I'd figured out the relationship between going to meetings and feeling good, and had already started going to 2 sometimes 3 meetings a day. By the end of 90 days I felt terrific and was ready to dive into working the rest of the 12 Steps.

I was fortunate to finally get sober in an area of southern California where there was over 2000 AA meetings a week within about a 30 minute drive and I took full advantage of that by going to lots and lots of different meetings in different areas. Some were very "up" meetings where the members were happy, joyous and free and there was a lot of teasing, joking and laughter going on. Loved those meetings. And some were kind of "down" meetings where the more vocal members were more into being preachy about the evils of drinking and their doom and gloom attitude seemed to suck all the light out of the room. Couldn't wait to get out of those meetings and never went back. I found that in the majority of AA meetings the more vocal members were a mix of both kinds of alcoholics, the doom and gloom kind who were sober but not yet liberated from their disease and the happy, joyous and free kind who most definitely had been liberated. I wanted the latter kind of sobriety for myself so I gravitated towards those members and learned everything I could from them. You will find those same kind of members and opportunities to learn and grow in the meetings you attend.

Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Brock
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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by Brock »

D'oh said-
"On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead" It doesn't say "Let us contemplate the rest of our Life!"
You may be right it does not say the rest of our life, but it most certainly does not say this--
A very wise member and good friend who was there when I came in, his morning Meditation consisted of asking his HP to help him through the day sober….
People who have been in meetings for a while, and say things like this, defeat the whole message that we seldom think of alcohol, they make it look like we think of it everyday. I can't remember the last time I asked God to keep me sober, it was probably just before I did the 5th step.
Ch. 6 Into Action
...      On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.

The word sober is not mentioned for good reason.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by D'oh »

Being dry and not drinking, doesn't necessarily mean that you are sober.

From Mirriam-Websters;

Full Definition of SOBER


1a : sparing in the use of food and drink : abstemious

b : not addicted to intoxicating drink

c : not drunk

2: marked by sedate or gravely or earnestly thoughtful character or demeanor

3: unhurried, calm

4: marked by temperance, moderation, or seriousness <a sober candlelight vigil>

5: subdued in tone or color

6: showing no excessive or extreme qualities of fancy, emotion, or prejudice

Every meeting that I have been to, with either new comers or oldtimers, I have brought 2 ears and 1 mouth. Doing that I have learn much from both parties.

Like One Day at a Time. I am not cured of alcoholism,(even though I am not thinking of booze) but have a daily reprieve contingent on my spiritual maintenance. And living in the future is just as bad for me as living in the past.

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leejosepho
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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by leejosepho »

Reprieve, verb transitive [I know not the origin of this word. (Webster)]
1. To respit after sentence of death; to suspend or delay the execution of for a time; as, to reprieve a criminal for thirty days.
2. To grant a respit to; to relieve for a time for any suffering.

Reprieve, noun
1. The temporary suspension of the execution of sentence of death on a criminal.
2. Respit; interval of ease or relief.
I think we can really only speculate as to why Bill ever used the word reprieve at all, but its actual meaning clearly conflicts with the message of grace shared in our book...
"...beyond human aid, and unless locked up, may die or go permanently insane...But for the grace of God..." (pages 24-25 and throughout the 12&12)
So, I suspect Bill was only speaking of this kind of "reprieve" and not about how God operates:
"The tyrant alcohol wielded a double-edged sword over us: first we were smitten by an insane urge that condemned us to go on (or to go back to) drinking, and then by an allergy of the body that insured we would ultimately destroy ourselves in the process." (12&12, Step One)
Alcohol or "spirits" might have been trying to condemn us, but I have yet to ever have anyone even try to show me where God ever was or had been.

As to the word "sober": I definitely know the difference between "sober" and "sober-minded"...and whenever someone new might ask, I share how the Steps can get us from one to the other.

As to "contingent on my spiritual maintenance": That can get real old real quick for the alcoholic "whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience (or 'educational variety' awakening)" (page 66) if the growth part is missing...and my desire for having a future is why I even came to A.A. in the first place.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

D'oh
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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by D'oh »

leejosepho wrote:
Reprieve, verb transitive [I know not the origin of this word. (Webster)]
1. To respit after sentence of death; to suspend or delay the execution of for a time; as, to reprieve a criminal for thirty days.
2. To grant a respit to; to relieve for a time for any suffering.

Reprieve, noun
1. The temporary suspension of the execution of sentence of death on a criminal.
2. Respit; interval of ease or relief.
.
I think you have answered my point with #1 to suspend or delay the execution of for a time; and again as a noun #1 1. The temporary suspension of the execution of sentence of death on a _________ (fill in the blank.)

It is a 24 hour way of living. All I have is Today. I have no power about what tomorrow might bring. But I can rest assured that there is a path for me to follow, if I want to follow it tomorrow.

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leejosepho
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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by leejosepho »

D'oh wrote:I think you have answered my point with #1 to suspend or delay the execution of for a time; and again as a noun #1 1. The temporary suspension of the execution of sentence of death on a _________ (fill in the blank.)
Who had judged us guilty of anything and condemned us to die in the first place? The only death sentence I know about would have had to have come from my own hand:

"Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant." ("A.A. Comes Of Age" and 12&12, Tradition Nine)
D'oh wrote:It is a 24 hour way of living. All I have is Today.
I do not think anyone disagrees.
D'oh wrote:I have no power about what tomorrow might bring.
I suspect we all agree there also.
D'oh wrote:I can rest assured that there is a path for me to follow...
Just as surely as the sun rises.
D'oh wrote:...if I want to follow it tomorrow.
I made that decision a long time ago, so no reprieve will ever be necessary now...and maybe there is where one of us might occasionally differ from another.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Brock
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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by Brock »

D'oh wrote:It is a 24 hour way of living. All I have is Today. I have no power about what tomorrow might bring. But I can rest assured that there is a path for me to follow, if I want to follow it
This is where I agree wholeheartedly with Lee. In my opinion we must avoid saying and writing things, which make it appear that each morning our thinking is in any way directed towards how to stay sober today. Yes there is a path to follow, but having followed that path for several years I know it very well, I do not need to think about it, from chapter six -” what used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind.”

If a person has a different experience I believe they are in the minority, just as a fellow on another thread is in the minority when he says he 'white knuckled' for a few years. We like to say everyone has the right to state their own experience, but surely this must be done with the encouragement of newcomers in mind. If someone was at a skydiving class and said his parachute failed and he nearly died, most of the class would walk out and never try skydiving. We should encourage AA newcomers with the results experienced by the vast majority, and clearly documented in our book.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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leejosepho
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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by leejosepho »

Brock wrote:In my opinion we must avoid saying and writing things, which make it appear that each morning our thinking is in any way directed towards how to stay sober today.
Yes, at least in the sense of never suggesting any single thought about anything is all there ever is...and here is the breakpoint:

"Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary...transcended by the happiness they found in [freely and unexpectingly] giving themselves for others." (page 159)

So where the first bunch might mis-speak and say "'All' we really have is a daily reprieve...", the second bunch places the emphasis upon "Every day...carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities." (page 85)...or something like that!
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Layne
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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by Layne »

Is it six or is it half a dozen?

Hey @change, I want to hear how it is going for you. Care to share a bit about your experience with going to meetings?
change wrote:It was difficult but I am glad I did it, I will def attend again :) my brain was raceing with withdrawal so it was good to listen and I felt a bit calmer there.
I can so relate to this. It has been a few years, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I am so grateful that due to the program of AA and working the twelve steps, I never have to experience it again. It does get better, beyond my wildest expectations actually. What a concept!

Glad you are here!

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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by Tracy h »

I sure learned a lot reading all this through, but boy did this thread take a "meaty" turn ... A bit overwhelming for relatively new me actually, though I appreciate the intensity of the discussion. Wanted to send a quick nod to Change's courage at going to meeting, and hopefully continuing ... It wasn't so long ago that I was opening that same door. No matter how the internal debate is raging in advance about it, I've not yet had the experience that attending a meeting has not provided some measure of solace and set me on better path for the day; hope that your experience is similar. I look forward to hearing about your journey ...

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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by Stepchild »

Tracy h wrote:I sure learned a lot reading all this through, but boy did this thread take a "meaty" turn ... A bit overwhelming for relatively new me actually, though I appreciate the intensity of the discussion.
That's good you learned something....I wish more meetings had this kind of dialogue...A lot of the B.S. you hear in meetings goes unchecked...And people walk out believing it's true. This has always been a good rule that I've followed from the start. The book says this...

You may already have asked yourself why it is that all of us became so very ill from drinking. Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in the face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body. If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking -"What do I have to do?"

It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically. We shall tell you what we have done.

pg 20

So if they are telling me what I have to do specifically...And someone else is telling me something different...I don't pay attention to it. I do what the book says. That has worked just fine for me. Do you know how many times "One day at a time" is mentioned in the book?....Not once. It does appear in this prayer that part of was adopted by AA in 1941. I'm sure you've heard it.

Serenity Prayer
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Amen.

Somehow living one day at a time...Turned into trying to not drink one day at a time...And for the alcoholic AA appeals to...That doesn't work. Keep learning...The answers are in the book.

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Re: Dragging my butt to the AA meeting

Post by D'oh »

First off Change, I too am glad you made it through the doors, which is (IMO) the hardest step. Sorry for being apart of the Hi Jacking of your thread.
Brock wrote:
D'oh wrote:It is a 24 hour way of living. All I have is Today. I have no power about what tomorrow might bring. But I can rest assured that there is a path for me to follow, if I want to follow it
This is where I agree wholeheartedly with Lee. In my opinion we must avoid saying and writing things, which make it appear that each morning our thinking is in any way directed towards how to stay sober today. Yes there is a path to follow, but having followed that path for several years I know it very well, I do not need to think about it, from chapter six -” what used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind.”

If a person has a different experience I believe they are in the minority, just as a fellow on another thread is in the minority when he says he 'white knuckled' for a few years. We like to say everyone has the right to state their own experience, but surely this must be done with the encouragement of newcomers in mind. If someone was at a skydiving class and said his parachute failed and he nearly died, most of the class would walk out and never try skydiving. We should encourage AA newcomers with the results experienced by the vast majority, and clearly documented in our book.
I do not wish to send you down any other road if your path works for you. I just know that for myself it is a daily gift. A gift that I cannot over look for a second at times. I have had a program that worked for 15+ years of good times. So good that I started to stay away from meetings and doing it on my own no fellowship, then no Higher Power. It went well for a couple more years, then a dry drunk for a few. Then life and my thinking got too messed up and I started to drink again. I never intended to, it was just there when I had no defence. And yes it does get worse, not better.

So everyday is a day I ask for help. Even though I don't think about drinking today, I do have to deal with life everyday. Will I drink tomorrow? Who knows, but my Higher Power and with his , and the Fellowships help, I just might be able to cope with life on life's terms.

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