How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.
stilljohnny
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How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by stilljohnny »

I recently chaired a meeting with this as a topic. The sharing was incredible, as members shared their ESH then used the book for support. I shared that Steps 1, 2 and 3 happened concurrently for me. Please share your thoughts on this topic. Oh yeah, my sobriety date is 10/22/93 thank God!!

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Brock
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

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I think if you have come from a really bad place in your alcoholism, then step one is not hard to accept completely, if someone says they MAY have a problem, because on weekends they go out and always get drunk, they will be less inclined to accept step one, than the fellow who has to drink first thing every morning to stop his hands from shaking, hell he knows he is powerless and life is unmanageable.

With step two, if as a younger person you were introduced to religion, and had to go along every Sunday with the family to church. Even though you may have drifted away from spiritual thinking years before, it is not hard to jump back in, you are quick to try the power you were taught as a child could help. Step three is then also easy for the same reason.

So the little “disco drunk” who is an atheist, may have a harder time looking for a HP he is not sure he needs in the first place, than someone who is a down and out alcoholic of the full blown variety, who has a bible on his bookshelf that just needs dusting off, this fellow usually accepts steps 1,2&3 all at the same time.

God bless all who contribute.
Brock.
PS. Welcome to this site, you will find lots of fine alcoholics here.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Peter.H.
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by Peter.H. »

Hello stilljohnny.
stilljohnny wrote:I recently chaired a meeting with this as a topic. The sharing was incredible, as members shared their ESH then used the book for support. I shared that Steps 1, 2 and 3 happened concurrently for me. Please share your thoughts on this topic. Oh yeah, my sobriety date is 10/22/93 thank God!!
Step 2: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
This step assumes that from Step 1 we realized that we were insane.
Many of us did not realize this until we experienced a "moment of clarity".
The trouble with being insanity is that we do not know we are insane because we are insane.
This truth ought to be enough reason to do Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Steps 2 and 3 become our reason to have God as our lifelong Guide and Companion.
This awareness for needing God to survive, moves us from Step 1 by full accepting our truth - we have a mental disorder called 'alcoholism'.
"...unless this person can experience an entire psyche change there is very little hope of his recovery" - Dr. Silkworth. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Ed, p xxix.]

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Tosh
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by Tosh »

I believe Dr Bob used to take people through Steps 1 to 3 by asking if they were an alcoholic (Step 1), if they believed in God, (Step 2) and then by some kind of prayer (Step 3), and then they'd get on with a Step 4.

I'll dig the source out when I get a chance, but I think we can make such a big deal out of these first three steps that we delay (procrastinate?) the tough ones at Step 4 and 5.
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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Peter.H.
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by Peter.H. »

Tosh wrote:I believe Dr Bob used to take people through Steps 1 to 3 by asking if they were an alcoholic (Step 1), if they believed in God, (Step 2) and then by some kind of prayer (Step 3), and then they'd get on with a Step 4.

I'll dig the source out when I get a chance, but I think we can make such a big deal out of these first three steps that we delay (procrastinate?) the tough ones at Step 4 and 5.
I agree Tosh.
In the early days, most of the new members came from a deep despair. They never heard of AA, or of people who recovered from alcoholism. Many have seen doctors and hospitals receiving little, if any, hope of recovery. They became "the last gaspers" - many died that way. But those who still had a flicker of hope had little trouble grasping a Higher Power concept for survival. Steps 1-3 became easier than many of us today.
"...unless this person can experience an entire psyche change there is very little hope of his recovery" - Dr. Silkworth. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Ed, p xxix.]

Stepchild
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

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There is one place in the book where this question is answered regarding steps 1 and 2. It's on page 60. If you read the book up to that point...They state that they have made clear three important ideas....It is only when you are convinced of these three ideas...Leaving no doubt...You are at step three.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

Being convinced, we were at Step Three,


If you aren't convinced of those three pertinent ideas....I'd recommend going back and reading it again. This is how it was worded in the original manuscript...

If you are not convinced on these vital issues, you ought to re-read the book to this point or else throw it away!

If you are convinced, you are now at step three,


They toned it down for the first edition....But you get the point.

Stepchild
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by Stepchild »

On a sidenote...If you are convinced of those three ideas...And you are at step three....The best description I ever heard of step three is this.....

Now you make a decision...Am I going to work the rest of these steps or not?

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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by Tom S »

Good, good stuff. I might just add that Step 3 says "...could and would if he were sought..."; it doesn't say "found", it says sought. I see a lot of needless struggling and frustration over this. I have also heard that "it is in the seeking at we find"
Just sayin....

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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by Stepchild »

Tom S wrote:I might just add that Step 3 says "...could and would if he were sought...";
That's actually step 2...

A and B are the two parts of step 1.

A... being the second part....And B....Being the first part.

Tom S
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by Tom S »

Thnx

Stepchild
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by Stepchild »

How is the AA in New Zealand Tom S?....I would love to go there someday. I have an uncle that went.....He loved it. Wants to go back.

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tblue818
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by tblue818 »

Brock wrote:I think if you have come from a really bad place in your alcoholism, then step one is not hard to accept completely, if someone says they MAY have a problem, because on weekends they go out and always get drunk, they will be less inclined to accept step one, than the fellow who has to drink first thing every morning to stop his hands from shaking, hell he knows he is powerless and life is unmanageable.

With step two, if as a younger person you were introduced to religion, and had to go along every Sunday with the family to church. Even though you may have drifted away from spiritual thinking years before, it is not hard to jump back in, you are quick to try the power you were taught as a child could help. Step three is then also easy for the same reason.

So the little “disco drunk” who is an atheist, may have a harder time looking for a HP he is not sure he needs in the first place, than someone who is a down and out alcoholic of the full blown variety, who has a bible on his bookshelf that just needs dusting off, this fellow usually accepts steps 1,2&3 all at the same time.

God bless all who contribute.
Brock.
PS. Welcome to this site, you will find lots of fine alcoholics here.

The 'you' thingy is often precarious opinion rather than experience. It wasn't mine, anyway :wink: - and I had plenty of 'religious training'. There is *nothing* I've found about the Spiritual Principles of AA that I was ever taught, where 'dusting off a Bible' would have done me a bit of good coming through these doors.

Heard in the very beginning: "You can't get sober using the same mind that got you drunk. The God that got you drunk cannot be the same God that gets you sober....Trust the Process and seek the Great Reality Within." I do read the Bible today (particular portions that reference Holy Spirit), and can appreciate AA's roots being in its Wisdom (with the Light I made conscious contact with in the 5th Step, that is, and *not* before that happened).

Step 1a: Powerless over alcohol - I couldn't stop drinking alcohol. 1b: life unmanagable - For the life of me, I couldn't manage to stop drinking alcohol!
Step 2: I came to believe that you folks were actually sober and not acting.
Step 3: I made a decision to follow/trust the suggestions you did that got you sober.

That's what got both feet in the door - it was enough. Better and broader understanding grew.

Best to All,

Pamela
dos 8/98
Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.

"Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got."

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johnd
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by johnd »

Hi Stilljohnny Welcome to the format.
Step 1 was a process for me I still denied that I was powerless over alcohol. I could admit my life had been unmanageable. It took close to 3 years for me to see the whole of step 1. Pain is a great motivator. I had been attending a regular 12&12 meeting and getting aquainted with the steps. That is why we say we have to continue to read and hear things over and over again til finally it dawns. It actually became apparent to me while reading step 2 of the 12&12 book. Even though it was Bill W's experience it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was really surprised that someone else had the same feelings and experiences as me. I went back to my sponsor and told him that I was an alcoholic. He then smiled and said "Welcome to sobriety'" I was so relieved I expected him to say "What the hell did you think you were?" but he was patient and knew the old saying "The teacher will arrive when the student is ready....." It became quite a journey as I progressed in recovery. Step 1 for some can be the hard pill to swallow. but, I feel from my own experience that even if one could take part of that step and just show up and apply yourself things will happen. As the book tells us in the Promises "Sometimes quickly sometimes slowly." at some point we will arrive into sobriety and freedom from alcohol.... Thanks for the topic John D.
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans- Anonymous

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avaneesh912
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by avaneesh912 »

If you want to understand the fatal progressive nature of the disease, I would suggest the Big book not the 12 and 12. You have the Doctors Opinion though does not dwelve too much on the real problem, talks more about the phenomenon of craving, our Co-Founders Story, where you could see the arogance,ambition, the peak, the alcoholic torture, recovery. Then there is the "There is the Solution" where they talk about the absolute powerlessness that we can't stay away from the 1st drink and therefore the mind being the main problem of the alcoholic and the solution-the 12 steps (not the meetings). To rub salt into the wound, they have the chapter "more about alcoholism" which nicely illustrates the fatal progressive nature of the disease with stories of Man of Thirty, Fred and Jim. You could see the queer mental twist of each of the candidates before they take that 1st drink.

And then We Agnostics talks about finding power for people who are convinced that they are powerless.
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)

Stepchild
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Re: How to move from Step 1 and realizing you have.

Post by Stepchild »

johnd wrote: Step 1 was a process for me I still denied that I was powerless over alcohol. I could admit my life had been unmanageable. It took close to 3 years for me to see the whole of step 1. Pain is a great motivator. I had been attending a regular 12&12 meeting and getting aquainted with the steps.
Hey John....This post here concerns me. Can you expand on this a little bit? Are you saying you attended 12 & 12 meetings for three years...Not drinking....Before you followed the directions for step one in the Big Book? For some of us this isn't a possibility...Myself being one of them. It would be nice if you could clarify this statement.

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