Step 1: The meaning of Powerless

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

Step 1: The meaning of Powerless

Postby Joanna Marie » Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:36 pm

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than our self could restore us to sanity.


How can I define powerless in such a way that causes me to accept
step 2?

3. I have asked a good question


Powerless: Synonyms: immobilized, toothless, helpless, incapable, weak, ineffective, feeble, defenseless

Insanity: Synonyms: madness, lunacy, psychosis, mental illness

It is clear that before we can admit to anything, we must first define what we are admitting to.

The only way I can take the first step that makes any sense would be to define powerless to mean insanity.

Example 1.: Try substituting one of the synonyms of powerless in for powerless and read the results.

Example 2.: Now try substituting one of the synonyms of insanity in for powerless and read the results.

Steps 1 and 2 together

We admitted we were insane with respect to alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable, and came to believe that a power greater than our self could restore us to sanity.

Now this makes sense so far.

So what about this ‘power greater than our self’?
There are three questions that must first be answered.

1. Does a power greater than our self exist?
2. Can I become conscious of this power?
3. Can I identity it?

I think before I try something as serious as the third step I would want to be 100% sure of these 3 questions. I would want to know that each one is true.

Are they true?

Joanna Marie
Last edited by Joanna Marie on Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Joanna Marie » Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:47 pm

Hi
I think I should make my self clear.
I do not believe that the 3 the statements below are true.

1. A power greater than our self exist.
2. Become conscious of this power
3. Can identify this power.


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Postby samantha » Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:05 pm

If you are an alcoholic you will drink again even though you know that drinking cost you a lot more than money - it is the insanity of the first drink. The fact you take that first drink when you KNOW what it will cost you ... a normal person would say hell no, I ain't going down that road again. But the alcoholic mind does not function properly when it comes to alcohol - it is powerless, of and by itself, to do so.

The power that restores sanity to the alcoholic mind therefore MUST come from outside the alcoholic. This is self evident. The proof is the former, out of control drunk who becomes the sober, in control recovering alcoholic.

What is that power that is higher than or greater than the alcoholic that can do this? We don't need to define it, we just know it works. Are you the greatest power there is in this world and universe? If so, why are you bothering to spend time arguing here with mere mortals?

This is not a Philosophy 100 class. Spirituality and Logic are not the same thing. You are trying to put a rainbow in a bottle - good luck with that! :twisted:

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Postby LetgoJoe » Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:08 pm

Thank you Samantha.
Honesty gets us sober, tolerance keeps us sober. ~Bill W.
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Postby Jim 725 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:14 pm

I assume you came to AA because you tried to quit drinking and failed.
1. Does a power greater than our self exist?
2. Can I become conscious of this power?
3. Can I identity it?

1. Apparently alcohol has control over you, so alcohol is a power greater than you.
2. You must be conscious of it, or you wouldn't be trying to get out of its grip.
3. In your case, alcohol.
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Postby Layne » Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:46 pm

1. Does a power greater than our self exist?
2. Can I become conscious of this power?
3. Can I identity it?

I think before I try something as serious as the third step I would want to be 100% sure of these 3 questions. I would want to know that each one is true.

Are they ture?


1. What about love, gravity, and or the group? It doesn't mention an omnipotent power, just a power greater.

2. I only have to look to my wife, jump out of an airplane without a parachute, and or go to a meeting.

3. Yes, yes, yes. for me at any rate.
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Step 3: The meaning of powerless

Postby Joanna Marie » Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:51 pm

Not bad Jim S.
How does it feel to have a real thought.

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol so alcohol is a power greater than our self.

My reply:

You got 1 out of 3.

1. Does a power greater than our self exist? Yes, it is alcohol.

2. Can I become conscious of this power? No, I am powerless. Consciousness is the faculty of awareness.

3. Can I identity it? No, I am insane
So what do I do?

If I can become conscious of the power of alcohol,
If I can come to Identify It
This is what I have done.
Then I can make the decision ‘I will never drink again, I will never change my mind’.

I am 76 years old. My last drink was 02/22/70
In the past 39 years I have attended over 10,000 AA meetings.
Sponsored over 500 alcoholics
Started 10 or more meetings for AA.

I will probably be dropped from this group.
I have tried to tell you the truth
PS: I can only find 2 that have remained sober.

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Postby Joe H » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:50 pm

So what about this ‘power greater than our self’?
There are three questions that must first be answered.

1. Does a power greater than our self exist?
2. Can I become conscious of this power?
3. Can I identity it?


1. Go to the frig and take out an egg...make it into a chicken.

2. When you find peace and happiness.

3. No. Just a little faith will do.
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Postby Ken_the_Geordie » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:35 am

For me, being Powerless over alcohol was that I could never just have one-or-two drinks and leave it at that. Once I got 'the taste' after a drink, I just had to carry on.

I used to get myself into all sorts of trouble. When I was a Staff Sergeant in the army, we'd have these posh dinners and most of the sensible guys would only have a small drink prior to sitting down for their meal and drink in moderation during the meal.

Why? Because once sat down, you weren't allowed to leave the table and these dinners could go on for about four hours when you took the speaches at the end of the meal into consideration.

But me, I'd plan to have one pint of lager before the meal and for some reason I'd end up drinking about four of them. Then during the meal I'd drink everything that was put in front of me and I'd end up getting into all sorts of trouble because I needed to go to the toilet badly.

I've even urinated into water jugs under the table, or just left the table which showed 'weakness', and got me into all sorts of trouble. I was even kicked out of the Sergeant's Mess one evening for just getting up and going to the toilet.

But I was powerless to moderate my alcohol intake.
I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)
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Re: Step 3: The meaning of powerless

Postby ann2 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:48 am

Joanna Marie wrote:Not bad Jim S.
How does it feel to have a real thought.

. . . .Joanna Marie


How does it feel to be rude and insensitive?

Is this how you taught your high school students? By belittling them?

I suggest you think deeply about your behavior to others and the hurt you may be causing, if not to Jim, who I have seen take it every which way without flinching, then to the newcomer reading here who may lose courage in posting when such objectionable remarks are flying.

As a moderator of this board, it is partly my responsibility to make sure that everyone is playing nicely. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Whether or not you are upset by the fact that someone pointed something out to you that your humongous great self-power did not see on its own.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
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Postby Jim 725 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:00 am

Sponsored over 500 alcoholics

PS: I can only find 2 that have remained sober.

I'm surprised that even two stayed sober, considering your views of the AA program.
Jim S.
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Postby martin08 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:01 am

Posted by GantR 11/25/08

This will be my final post to this group.
It must be great to be able conger up any old God that is going to do all those wonderful things for you that you claim that you are powerless to do for your self.

I do understand where you are coming from.
I have been there and done that.
Thanks but no thanks.
You helped me see that I no longer need a God concept to stay sober.

My decision still stands.
I will never drink again and I will never change my mind.
Good luck to you.


11/30/08
If God as you understand him is “All Good’ then He would want to get rid of the illness of alcoholism.

If God as you understand him is “All Knowing" He would know that He should stop this evil.

If God as you understand him is “All Powerful” He is capable of eliminating alcoholism,

Then why in the hell does he continue to allow alcoholism to exist?


11/08

I will say this much. In 1962 I was seriously addicted to alcohol and I went to AA.

I stayed sober and because they did not make me a birthday cake after I had been sober a year I went out and got drunk.

I lost my job and nearly lost my wife and 2 children. I stayed drunk off and on for the nest 8 years.

I found a job in Michigan and moved my family there. On Feb 22, 1970 I went to my first AA meeting in Michigan. On that day I made a decision that I will never drink again, I will never change my mind
.


Hello GantR, or Joanna-Marie. Hope you are having fun again. But believe it or not, your questions are helpful to someone who is on the edge. If they hear the response from a sane and faithful member that gives them the boost to try God, then you (Gant) have done your job well. Thank you.
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Postby Joanna Marie » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:35 am

Hello Martin08
Having a great time.

No one wants to answer my question.

How can I define powerless in such a way that causes me to accept
step 2?

All they want to do is criticize me.

Gant R
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Postby martin08 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:49 am

How about taking a "leap"?

Instead of pining for a definition, how about simply accepting powerlessness. What a concept!

Page 22.

...Perhaps there never will be a full answer to these questions. Opinions vary considerably as to why the alcoholic reacts differently from normal people. We are not sure why, once a certain point is reached, little can be done for him. We cannot answer the riddle.
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Postby Jim 725 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:47 am

am 76 years old. My last drink was 02/22/70
In the past 39 years I have attended over 10,000 AA meetings.
Sponsored over 500 alcoholics
Started 10 or more meetings for AA.

How can I define powerless in such a way that causes me to accept step 2?

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs."
Thirty-nine years and still haven't taken step two??? And you have the gall to call yourself a sponsor? What message do you carry, the one step program of Gant R/Joanna Marie? You strike me as being the same as those who e mail me with offers of cheap Rolex watches, palming a poor imitation of the AA program as the real thing.
Jim S.
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