We alcoholics are undisciplined...

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

We alcoholics are undisciplined...

Postby Ken_the_Geordie » Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:29 pm

This alcoholic certainly is!

From p87/88 of the BB:

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer
running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.’’ We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry,
self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were
trying to arrange life to suit ourselves. It works—it really does.

We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.


At a meeting in early sobriety, maybe my third-or-forth, I heard a member of my home group share about 'doing the next right thing that was placed in front of us', and I also liked Chris R (of speakertape fame) saying, "Do you know what God wants you to do? I'll tell you what God wants you to do, he wants you to treat your family with some respect, go to work, and get on with Step 4!"

I liked and use both suggestions.

Now, later in sobriety, I'm still an undisciplined 'sack-of-nails', - or at least I can be at times - I seem to focus on one area in my life, and discipline myself there, but other stuff falls by the wayside. For example, I'm currently extremely disciplined with work. I set myself targets, and I bring my whole focus upon them to ensure I reach them, but then I'm so tired, my meditation takes a miss, or I fail to pay my family the attention they deserve.

And I sort of get the feeling that this is a case of 'progress (which I have without a doubt made) not perfection (which I am far from)'.

So, can I ask you fellow members your experience of applying the above to your own life?
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: We alcoholics are undisciplined...

Postby Mike O » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:17 am

Ken_the_Geordie wrote:
And I sort of get the feeling that this is a case of 'progress (which I have without a doubt made) not perfection (which I am far from)'.


Absolutely. Perfection is NOT EVER achievable for any of us.

It's also important for me to realise...or recognise.... that "excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions" are ALL human emotions and experiences. They are always going to be there for all of us as part of the human condition. Anybody who thinks these should be, or can be, eliminated from one's life will find life itself very hard indeed.

What I aim for is discipline in dealing with these emotions when they arise, not eliminating them.

:D
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Re: We alcoholics are undisciplined...

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:21 am

What I aim for is discipline in dealing with these emotions when they arise, not eliminating them.


Yes. That is totally true. From what i read and experienced so far, there is a energy flow behind every emotions and we start watching for those. Meditation helps to constantly look at those energy/thoughts what ever you call it and some form of resolve happens within us and we forgive others, ourselves.

Emotion literally means "disturbance." The word comes from the Latin emovere, meaning "to disturb." This is from Power of NOW.
You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created. You must see the world anew.
Albert Einstein.
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Re: We alcoholics are undisciplined...

Postby Karl R » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:15 am

Absolutely right.

The pause that refreshes. (a takeoff on an old soda commercial). Watch for the emotions. It becomes easier over time. Take a few seconds to evaluate the what, who, why, how it affects me, and most importantly what is my part. Look for the underlying why of the emotion-the attachment to self which has us in a bind. It becomes easier with more sober experience. The right actions seems to come more frequently/quicker. Part of the 10th step promises.

Amazing stuff.

cheers,
Karl
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Re: We alcoholics are undisciplined...

Postby walkshaw » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:00 pm

Ken_the_Geordie wrote:This alcoholic certainly is!

From p87/88 of the BB:

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer
running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.’’ We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry,
self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were
trying to arrange life to suit ourselves. It works—it really does.

We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.


At a meeting in early sobriety, maybe my third-or-forth, I heard a member of my home group share about 'doing the next right thing that was placed in front of us', and I also liked Chris R (of speakertape fame) saying, "Do you know what God wants you to do? I'll tell you what God wants you to do, he wants you to treat your family with some respect, go to work, and get on with Step 4!"

I liked and use both suggestions.

Now, later in sobriety, I'm still an undisciplined 'sack-of-nails', - or at least I can be at times - I seem to focus on one area in my life, and discipline myself there, but other stuff falls by the wayside. For example, I'm currently extremely disciplined with work. I set myself targets, and I bring my whole focus upon them to ensure I reach them, but then I'm so tired, my meditation takes a miss, or I fail to pay my family the attention they deserve.

And I sort of get the feeling that this is a case of 'progress (which I have without a doubt made) not perfection (which I am far from)'.

So, can I ask you fellow members your experience of applying the above to your own life?


Hey, Ken :D

Progress... not perfection (darnit!). The quote on page 87 doesn't say, "we do the next right thing", it says "...and ask (God) for the right thought or action..." Not sure how that got changed to the "next right thing"... but believe it came out of treatment centers, as I never heard it when I first came in.

In early sobriety, I was frustrated not to be "cured" & possess 20 yrs of sobriety in 2 months, 2 years, etc. My sponsor reminded me that I had to "practice, practice, practice" Steps 10 & 11 each day -- preferably as they were outlined in our Big Book :) She taught me how to incorporate my 6th & 7th Steps as part of my 11th Step evening review in early sobriety, as I was still "learning" to be aware of when my character defects (destructive reactionary emotions) flared up! Just being aware of them was progress for me in the beginning, and if I missed one of them... well... she had no problem in pointing them out for me!

I had learned the "God pauses" from day 1, so imagine my surprise when I got to page 87 and saw where my sponsor learned about them, as I thought she & the other old-timers were brilliant with these ideas :lol: I was told that I'd written with my right hand my entire life, and now that I'm in AA... I had to be willing to use my LEFT hand. That meant practice, practice, practice! In early sobriety, when fear or one of those other nasty defects popped up, my instinct was to try to use my right hand, as that was more familiar - though a destructive bad habit learned over my years of drinking. But in time... and with daily practice to the best of my ability... it got much easier to use my left. Then, with more time & practice, those old destructive bad habits were replaced with the spiritually based ones described in Steps 10 & 11 - wow! The promises of those Steps came true for me... especially the one stated on page 87: "We come to rely upon it."

The direction of the Steps helped me find a God of my understanding, One which I totally trust & rely upon today. Prayer, meditation, & even those "God pauses" have all become 2nd nature... like breathing in and out. The old bad habits were eventually replaced with the ones that really worked :D

I try to keep things very simple, don't over-analyze & take myself too seriously, and still have a sponsor after all these years! For me, living & incorporating the Steps in my daily life has become the easier, softer way. They will for you too... just follow the directions... one day at a time. I believe there is no "neutral" in AA... we're either growing spiritually or slipping backwards. From what you've shared, sounds like you're growing - isn't it a wonderful way of life :D ?
With gratitude, hugs, & prayers... Patti
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Re: We alcoholics are undisciplined...

Postby Mike O » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:22 am

walkshaw wrote:
I try to keep things very simple, don't over-analyze.....


Absolutely.
IMO this cannot be emphasised enough.
:D
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Re: We alcoholics are undisciplined...

Postby Ken_the_Geordie » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:40 pm

It's a habit of mine to over-analyse everything, then try to do stuff in the most perfect and laborious manner possible and ending up getting my knickers in a right twist; at which point I have a re-think and do it the simple 'correct' way.

It's good for ESH, because I can say I started off doing it 'this way', ended up with 'this mess', and then kept it simple and did it like 'this', and 'this' was the product.

It's the way I am!

Anyway, I've been practising this:

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer
running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.’’ We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry,
self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were
trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.


And I must be doing it wrong, because I am absolutely knackered (tired)! My HP seems to be a bit of a task master; I hope he/she/it calms down shortly.
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: We alcoholics are undisciplined...

Postby ShaneL » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:06 pm

Karl R wrote:Take a few seconds to evaluate the what, who, why, how it affects me, and most importantly what is my part. Look for the underlying why of the emotion-the attachment to self which has us in a bind. It becomes easier with more sober experience. The right actions seems to come more frequently/quicker. Part of the 10th step promises.


Very good!
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
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Re: We alcoholics are undisciplined...

Postby ann2 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:25 am

I get frustrated when things don't go my way. Things going my way may include my perfectly applying all the principles of the steps in every area of my life :-)

I can't manage anything, it seems.

always an alcoholic,

Ann
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Re: We alcoholics are undisciplined...

Postby WHO » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:13 pm

Hi

I came to see through my experience that I cannot discipline myself, I have tried many things to discipline myself and I just cannot pull it off, I also came to see that I failed to live a spiritual life, my experience is that God disciplines me as I move through the 12 Steps. I do the Steps because there is no other alternative, and I am desperate. I did the steps my way for a long time and in the end it took me to that place of absolute powerlessness drunk and sober and I had to follow the exact path in the Big Book.
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