Steps/Pace

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Tracy h
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Steps/Pace

Post by Tracy h »

There was another thread recently regarding a newcomer diving through steps very quickly, which was met with much positive feedback and support as general consensus. I didn't want to include my questions on that post. I have read and heard over and over that relief is in the steps and I do believe in and want to do it the way the BB outlines. My question has to do with pace. I understand the process is different for all, but does awareness have anything to do with effectiveness? I look back at my journal from 3 months ago and what I understand even in just that short time has been developed so much more by reading, conversations, meetings, personal reflection and attempts at daily application/consideration ... I've worked 1 & 2 with a temporary online sponsor (who is/was great) and recently have a f2f sponsor (who is also great) who favors moving slowly. I understand steps are revisited and reapplied continually, so if one moves quickly and then potentially revisits quickly as understanding matures is that any more beneficial than working a lesser pace, but perhaps more methodically as the extra time allows? It's all very interesting and I don't wish to ignite a debate about right and wrong ways, nor question another's progress, I was just curious.

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avaneesh912
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Re: Steps/Pace

Post by avaneesh912 »

who favors moving slowly.
It all depends on the sponsor. If he/she realizes that the alcoholic needs power (quickly) he/she will push the new-comer to work the steps quickly. So the newcomer could experience the 10th step promises.

If you are powerless you would logically look for power right? Working slowly through the steps wont get you hooked to the power quickly. To put it in a different way.
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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Tosh
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Re: Steps/Pace

Post by Tosh »

I know a guy who did his Step 4 in one day, while detoxing, and his Steps 5 to 8 the following day, still detoxing. It had the desired effect. We slowed down some for his amends though, some of which were difficult ones (abandoned child not seen for years, bitter ex wife, and that kind of thing).

He was a re-tread who had tried to avoid doing a Step 4; so he knew enough to know what was required.

But on the whole I think people tend to work slowly through the process because they don't trust the process.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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PaigeB
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Re: Steps/Pace

Post by PaigeB »

I was a re-tread, but gone for 17 years. I wanted to do the 4th Step as I heard that is where the relief was. I had a temp sponsor f2f and still had not found any AA online... Maybe I had been going to some late night online meetings... But I had to changes sponsors because my temp sponsor was not getting into the book at all. So at 6 months or so I changed sponsors.

I wanted to go fast, but my new sponsor just said, "We'll get to as we get to them". So we started reading. I guess I had more questions and comments than I thought (Me... go figure, lol). I finally got to the 4th Step in about 6 more months, so around my 1 year mark.

Of note, I was busy driving gals to meetings, going to assemblies and conferences and round ups. I also had a home group ~ a strong group of women who stood ready to take my calls and put up with my idiosyncrasies! I often imagined what they would say if I laid this or that problem in front of them. I imagined their laughter and wise counsel. I also went to about 5 meetings a week. So I had the power of Alcoholics Anonymous to hold me up out of the mire.

Going slowly is not recommended, but neither is blowing through the Steps thinking that one day we "graduate" from this thing. For me this was an inner journey and a damn important one. We are building an arch through which we will walk a free man/woman. It worked for me because I worked it. I KNOW that it will work for you if you work it too! Go forward with Love.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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whipping post
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Re: Steps/Pace

Post by whipping post »

My experience was that it took me a couple of months to decide to do them. Then my sponsor and I sat down and did one through three in a couple of hours and he cut me loose on my fourth step. I drug around on it for about a month. Looking back that was more fear and procrastination rather than work. I finally sat down and did 5-7 in a couple of hours. Now I get some relief so I drag around for a couple of months enjoying it and put off 8 and 9. Finally sat down and did those. Made my amends which were fairly straightforward. I try to incorporate 10 through 12 each day. Try is the key word there :D

I was one of those who tried to read all I could and figure things out prior to taking action. I wanted to understand what each step did and how, have my concept of a higher power all hammered out in stone, etc... The reality was I should have been taking action and working them instead of trying to figure everything out. My awareness came through the work.

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Brock
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Re: Steps/Pace

Post by Brock »

I have read and heard over and over that relief is in the steps and I do believe in and want to do it the way the BB outlines.
The relief according to the books and many who have spoken about it, often kicks in after #5, so it stands to reason that we might want to get there ASAP. Most people reach 3 without much trouble and procrastinate at 4, but here the book is clear on how quickly it should be done. Toward the ending of 3 on page 63 we see “Next we launched out...” then near the top of 64 “it could have little effect unless at once followed by...” so if we go according to the book we have a choice of between next and at once, pretty clear cut it means right away.

Then after we have done the writing it says on 75 “we waste no time” in speaking to the person we choose for #5. So I would think if you find it going too slow you could politely point this out to your sponsor, best of luck to you.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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clouds
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Re: Steps/Pace

Post by clouds »

My vote is squarly with the go ahead, waste no time. My experience however was not exactly that. I was very slow in clearing the fog from my mind and not at all educated about the spiritual terms in the book, and I didnt understand words like pride, resentments in relation to myself. After two sponsors, one left the country and another wasnt helping me at all as she was not long inAA and hadnt mentioned the steps to me after several weeks, So I just set about reading the book s and trying to understand step two and three. That and going to several meetings a week with many AA members phoning me and taking me to meetings and a lot of support kept me sober for a few months, then I asked another woman to sponsor me. She was a Big Book thumper and explaned step three very well. Immediately after that she got me used to looking at myself, as she called it, meaning how I was to start identifying the characte defects in myself on a daily basis. She told me to write those down and every couple of days I was to phone or we would meet at meetings and discuss what I had observed in myself over the past few days. This helped me to identify the self pity, self centredness, pride, resentment so that I could see exactly what was causeing me so much trouble. This might have taken me a lot longer than most people due to my lack of knowledge about character and spiritual terms but gradually I began to see myself in a new light and began to develope this observing and writing as a habit. Naturally this, over time led to a real step four and five including my past wrongs. I was happy to do steps 6 and 7 by then and eight and nine didnt cause me much trouble. These steps have saved my life.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.

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Tosh
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Re: Steps/Pace

Post by Tosh »

Brock wrote: but here the book is clear on how quickly it should be done.
+1

After the Step 3 prayer:
Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal housecleaning, which many of us had never attempted.
I like the Chris R take on this: "How do you know you've done your 3rd Step? You're working on your Step 4!"

My sponsor - old skool - wouldn't let me smoke after my 3rd Step prayer because the instructions say 'next we launched..."; it doesn't say "Then we went for a smoke!".

He did give me a couple of months to complete mine, mind, and we had a date set for a 5th. He also checked mid-way through to ensure that I had been putting pen to paper, which I hadn't. :lol:

In the end I think I left it right till the last weekend prior to our meeting date for a 5th Step and I knocked it out in two days.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Niagara
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Re: Steps/Pace

Post by Niagara »

Hey there

I went slowly the first time...and almost ended up drunk at six months. Close call...my bad, I withheld on a step 4 for a start.

My next sponsor knew I was nowhere near this program, though that small effort I put in had eased the pain somewhat. He took me through them in mere days. Launched into another dimension is exactly what happened for me. Misery and pain gone. Obsession removed. Having experienced those, the desire for more was lit in me and I couldn't wait to do the rest of them. I still have that passion.

I also saw him take someone through the first 7 steps in mere hours. The change was miraculous. This person had been on the verge of a breakdown...hours later, walking on air. Wow. Why wait?
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

BPG
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Re: Steps/Pace

Post by BPG »

I had a lot of trouble with Step 2. I thought it was all BS, and Step 3 was even worse. But I came back --- and didn't drink --- because I always felt better after the meetings. So I went to a lot of meetings.

I have a hard time remembering now, but I'm sure it was more than a year before I grew to the point that I could begin doing serious step work. My sponsor was a patient man; good thing for me that he was, because if he'd pushed me I would have bolted, no matter how much better i felt.

I don't recommend my way, but it took what it took. 'Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.....'

Just start the process and treat it seriously. You'll know the right pace when you find it.

No.3
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Back in the old days

Post by No.3 »

Guys were sponsoring other guys after 3 days or thereabouts, at most a few weeks; you were expected to chair meetings (memorized format, selecting literature and speakers, etc.) at about 3 months: essentially 'running the show' as a "recovered Alcoholic" then. Too fast, you might think?

A careful read of the Resentments inventory on p. 65 tells us what? The Alcoholic is still mad in fits of Alcoholic-Jealousy & paranoid about Mr. Brown (1 day sober?), mad that his drinking buddy Mr. Jones was recently put in an alcoholic sanitarium (days or week ago), mad at boss for threat of firing (up to 5 days? not yet returned to work sober) and mad at wife (couple of days to 2 weeks; haven't reconciled since last spree) ... how soon/sober is that 4th Step written, by your estimate, time-wise? I'm guessing Day 2 or Day 3 by all factors, as they did it in the Late 1930s.

So how does that that square with any sponsor today who slams on the brakes and says "Don't work the Steps in the first year!" ... what's up with that anyway?

If you're satisfied you are a real alcoholic, the correct reply to your question "How soon do I start working the Steps?" is almost always "How soon is NOW!" The BB suggests nothing should slow you down, in any case.

Indeed YES you can do the Steps as you read the book, over a few days if you so wish. That was certainly the idea, back in 1938. Lest we forget, Dr. Bob made amends (our 9th Step) on the day of his last drink, right? No I don't recommend picking up a scapel for surgery if you're still pulling the hair of the dog - but they didn't waste any time either. Where my/your/our Sobriety's at stake, I think we shouldn't "dilly-dally" on a life-or-death errand.

If you want to go slower, that's also your choice: it's still a free country, last I checked.

p.s. I don't agree with the blanket-claim that "relief is in the steps" either. That may (or may not) be true for some posting here, but I believe "relief" actually comes through a clear, conscious contact with a Higher Power (God). However many "Steps" (or "times") it takes, that's where the answer to our problem is found according to the BB. And I've seen too many 'still sick' fundie AAs who have something I really don't want, yet they 'preach the Steps' in shrill cacophony. Mental, emotional and spiritual sobriety is what we should all desire from the Program; the Steps are just the process, not the goal.
"The Group demands total loyalty to the inner group. Some have had to leave the movement because of the Groups' demands which conflict with truth or duty." The Oxford Groups by Herbert H. Henson, 1933, pages 73-74.

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Re: Back in the old days

Post by Stepchild »

No.3 wrote:
p.s. I don't agree with the blanket-claim that "relief is in the steps" either. That may (or may not) be true for some posting here, but I believe "relief" actually comes through a clear, conscious contact with a Higher Power (God). However many "Steps" (or "times") it takes, that's where the answer to our problem is found according to the BB.
I know you don't like to quote from the book...But can you share where it says that?

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Tosh
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Re: Back in the old days

Post by Tosh »

Stepchild wrote:
No.3 wrote:
p.s. I don't agree with the blanket-claim that "relief is in the steps" either. That may (or may not) be true for some posting here, but I believe "relief" actually comes through a clear, conscious contact with a Higher Power (God). However many "Steps" (or "times") it takes, that's where the answer to our problem is found according to the BB.
I know you don't like to quote from the book...But can you share where it says that?
You know experience beats what's written in any book? But you can infer a lot of what No 3 said from Dr Bob's Nightmare:
I did not get over my craving for liquor much during the first two and one-half years of abstinence. It was almost always with me. But at no time have I been anywhere near yielding. I used to get terribly upset when I saw my friends drink and knew I could not, but I schooled myself to believe that though I once had the same privilege, I had abused it so frightfully that it was withdrawn.
But that wasn't my experience.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: Back in the old days

Post by Stepchild »

Tosh wrote:
You know experience beats what's written in any book? But you can infer a lot of what No 3 said from Dr Bob's Nightmare:
I did not get over my craving for liquor much during the first two and one-half years of abstinence. It was almost always with me. But at no time have I been anywhere near yielding. I used to get terribly upset when I saw my friends drink and knew I could not, but I schooled myself to believe that though I once had the same privilege, I had abused it so frightfully that it was withdrawn.
But that wasn't my experience.
When someone states something is...."according to the bb"....Is it alright to ask him to clarify that here? Or do I have to take your answer for him...Which makes little sense to me....As the final answer?

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Tosh
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Re: Back in the old days

Post by Tosh »

Stepchild wrote: When someone states something is...."according to the bb"....Is it alright to ask him to clarify that here? Or do I have to take your answer for him...Which makes little sense to me....As the final answer?
You can do what you want, mate.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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