choice

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS
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Dub24
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choice

Post by Dub24 »

The fact is that most alcoholics for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink.

Can anyone explain what they mean when they say we have lost the power of choice in drink. I do get a bit confused around this..my sponsor says we drank passed choice. My interpretation is that if i don't have an spiritual experience and a relationship with God by going through the steps i will drink again? There is no choice.

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avaneesh912
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Re: choice

Post by avaneesh912 »

Yes, as simple as that. The insanity of that first drink has been removed. All you have to do is stay spiritually fit. Then you experience the 10th step promise.
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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Brock
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Re: choice

Post by Brock »

Thanks for the topic.

I also think you have hit the nail on the head with this -
My interpretation is that if i don't have an spiritual experience and a relationship with God by going through the steps i will drink again? There is no choice.
There is no choice because we can’t stay stopped without this, therefore we lost the power of choice in drink, we could not just choose to not drink again if we are the real alcoholic the book describes, drink will always win.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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PaigeB
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Re: choice

Post by PaigeB »

Dub24 wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:15 am
The fact is that most alcoholics for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink.

Can anyone explain what they mean when they say we have lost the power of choice in drink. I do get a bit confused around this..my sponsor says we drank passed choice. My interpretation is that if i don't have an spiritual experience and a relationship with God by going through the steps i will drink again? There is no choice.
I think that I had acquired a solid habit of using alcohol as my "fixer". Then it became the ONLY thing I knew would "fix" things inside me. THEN I got so far passed a point of being able to choose that I knew NO OTHER WAY TO LIVE. I had surrounded myself with people who drank the way I drank, but at the same time I thought that EVERYONE drank like we did - or they suffered like I imagined I would suffer. Long passed the point of choice fear gripped me and I was compelled to drink - usually without conceiving any choice in the matter. I hurt inside - so I drank or I stayed drunk. I knew no other way - aka I didn't have choices.

I had no choices... until I saw sobriety demonstrated by other people who thought like I did but managed to get out of the Hole. If you want what I have you have to do what I did... the Steps.
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

MyNameIsBetsy
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Re: choice

Post by MyNameIsBetsy »

Can anyone explain what they mean when they say we have lost the power of choice in drink.
Hey Dub, thanks for a great question.

Here's how I understand it with an example that happened just today. I met a friend for coffee. I don't usually drink coffee, so the caffeine got to me and I felt jittery. I felt it, decided that was enough, and didn't get a second cup. I walked away. No big deal.

That is the way a non-alcoholic deals with alcohol. He has a drink or two, feels the effect, and concludes that he has had enough. He chooses to not drink more alcohol, and walks away. No big deal. It is a choice.

Not so with alcohol and us alcoholics. During my drinking years, I would start with a drink or two, feel the effect, but was utterly unable to walk away and be done. Once started, I kept drinking until the evening was done. I had lost my choice in the matter. Once I took that first drink I had lost the ability to stop. I was doomed to repeat myself over and over and over.

The cure is what we have here in AA. It is working the steps, growing our connection with our God, staying in the fellowship, helping others, and never forgetting. If we get sloppy, we run the risk of drinking again. And then there is no guarantee of ever making it back.

Betsy, an alcoholic
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."

Mike O
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Re: choice

Post by Mike O »

We cannot choose whether to drink or not drink. Even if we choose not to drink, we’ll drink.

Dub24
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Re: choice

Post by Dub24 »

Great to hear people's thoughts on this.
I'm going through the steps again..moving on to step 10 today.

I had a relapse before Christmas after 5 years sobriety but as it says I didn't enlarge my spiritual life & eventually the obsession came back and I drank again.

And I will drink again if I don't finish the steps & keep spiritual fit afterwards I know that for sure something I don't want to happen. So I can see now I have no choice with alcohol. It's tough going coming back from a relapse..not something I recommend even though it was one night, it has been much more harder this.time round especially dealing with the head/mind/ego.

As Joe H says my ego wants me back on a bar stool..scary stuff.

Also I have always heard "more will be revealed " at meetings not really understanding what it means tbh. I always thought it would be good stuff but finding out not so much!! I'm seeing alot of truth about myself especially with the 4th & 5th and then amends.
What's everyone's take on "more will be revealed "??

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avaneesh912
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Re: choice

Post by avaneesh912 »

"more will be revealed "

For me, its more clarity about my condition. As I dug deep into the book, I see how conditions lead people back into the first drink. Recent example being a brethren, was sober close to 9 months, relapsed. He was doing so great working the steps and organizing zoom meetings during lock-down but heard he had a quarrel with his separated wife next few days he was awake enough to go back to the treatment facility. So the number one goal for me is like you said to stay on top of my spiritual condition.
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)

tomsteve
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Re: choice

Post by tomsteve »

good question. something i think wise to remember is the type of alcoholic that refers to- the REAL alcoholic. most REAL alcoholics have lost all power of choice of whether they can drink or not.
for myself, even when i wasnt drinking i couldnt stop thinking about that next drink.
letting up on the spiritual program of action and resting on my laurels got me real close to a drink. the only thing i was doing for months was going to meetings. i was very fortunate that God smacked me upside the head when i was in the shower gettin cleaned up before heading to the store for a 12 pack. after that i realized i had been working on that thought for a few months

D'oh
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Re: choice

Post by D'oh »

Of course "We" have a "Choice".

However, the Consequences, well Ain't Pretty, and Few, make it back. And it is a Progressive Illness, we get Worse, not Better.
We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals—usually brief—were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.
pg 30 More about Alcoholism.

The Writer of "Gutter Bravado" 4th Edition, writes about the Simplest remedy. While in a Bar looking at a Drink he had ordered, but didn't drink.

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