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First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:08 pm
by Biker Bill
On page 455 the second to last paragraph... (B.B. 4th ed.).

It talks about the 'suggested' do-nots.

For example:
Don't get married.
Don't move.
Don't hang around old friends.

Can any of my brothers or sisters point to where these suggestions are in ink in AA literature?
Where are they within the steps?

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:02 pm
by Tosh
Biker Bill wrote: Don't get married.
That's good advice! :mrgreen:

Hi Bill,

Welcome to the forum. I haven't read the stories, but they're not really the program, just alkies sharing their experience of recovery. And some stuff in A.A. are meme(s?):

"meme /mēm/ Noun An element of a culture or behaviour that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation."

When I sponsor, I try to stick with the Big Book and my experience. For things outside the scope of that, I say "I don't know" and I advise prayer and meditation; unless of course something is glaringly and obviously going to cause harm to someone.

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:42 pm
by Tommy-S
Welcome Bill

The only suggestions I was willing to take were those given by my sponsor... and that came out of His experience.

I don' find anything in the Steps or the first 164 pages of the Big Book to suggest brushing one's teeth, bathing regularly (appreciated by those sitting near) or that awful 3 letter word... J O B ... in fact, the book says I can stay sober regardless)

Cleaning my house or car, dressing neatly, watching my language, further an education, participating in social responsibilities like elections & jury duty were all suggestions I took from those who had come before me because I wanted what they had, so I did what they did.

Make life simple for yourself...pick one Sponsor, and follow him.

Thanks... Tommy

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:17 pm
by johnd
Welcome, That is all I heard during my first year of sobriety "Don't make life altering decisions during your first year!" for instance If you're marriage is in jeopordy stay in it and work it out, If you're not in a relationship stay out for the first year, Jobs. Old friends who are still drinking etc,etc, This is to be mindful of making irrational decisions at a critical stage of our recovery. My sponsor often asked me about my motives when making critical decisions. Tosh's suggestion of praying and meditating has become a tool for me when I want to obtain or change something. I have made irrational decisions and had what is called the boomerang effect, I thought I was ready to take on a job change which was very trying for me.... I did work through the emotional rollercoaster and stayed sober through it. So just take them as suggestions and be aware of your limitations. It takes time and working the steps and incorporating them into your life will help you through the changes you make or what life may present to you. I hope this helps Thanks John D.

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:33 pm
by Blue Moon
There's a lot that is generally accepted as good advice which doesn't need to be enshrined in AA literature to still be good advice.

Not making life-changing decisions whilst going through bereavement is one of them. For me, separation from alcohol was much more than just quitting drinking, I needed that time to work at recovery.

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:54 am
by ann2
Good discussion. Distraction from recovery is what I feel much of this relationship issue is about for me. I have problems with my beloved for sure, but that's because we're both human, it's not because he's wrong or I'm wrong or it's impossible to live with someone I have problems with. It's not, and it's actually a joy to do so sober. Weird eh? To feel grateful to have normal problems and not have to run away?

I did change jobs plenty times when drinking. Funny how the new job was usually worse than the previous one. When I got sober I eventually started sticking around. It was hard, actually, and I ended up with some very uncomfortable situations, but honestly, if I hadn't stayed, I never would have found out *why* it was uncomfortable . . . nor had the data to use in my 4th step :-)

About hanging around with old friends . . . goodness, of course you don't give up on your friends in sobriety. They have often been waiting a long time to see you -- really *see* you -- and not have to worry about watching you get in the car drunk. I assume however that you are talking about drinking "buddies". For me, I needed to be away from alcohol for a good 4-5 months. After that it wasn't a problem, but I simply told them not to drink around me. If they were friends, they didn't. I remember my parents coming to my house with their "snakebite kit" :roll: and I told them to put it away, there would be no drinking in my house. i was 3 months sober. God bless them, they listened.

Ann

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:06 am
by Biker Bill
OK, thanks everyone...

Tosh I agree. A meme is probably what they are since I can not find suggestions in AA literature as part of trusting God, cleaning house or working with others. Prayer & Meditation is like my AA chocolate... mmmmmmmmmmmmm 8)

Tommy_S thank you for welcoming me and your advice ;) I've seen lots of people stay around their first year from taking the suggestions as well as people who don't take suggestions and both groups still stay around (after their first year and continue in sobriety). However, I'm on a quest to find the evidence in writing.

johnd thank you too. Its hard to say when (during their path in sobriety) one becomes aware of their limitations... it took about three months before the desire was lifted and the I could start to enjoy a life in sobriety. After I started enjoying myself (pink cloud) I was able to make decisions with a brain that I didn't have when I was drinking and using. Decisions like do I want to change jobs, sell my car, move or dump my girlfriend and date a new one or be single or whatever...

Blue moon thank you too. You're absolutely right! Still I need to see this in writing... Help me keep digging please!

ann2 thanks, great advice. Really liked what everyone has said but I did find your reply most informal. And I don't want to get off topic by telling you why I agree with you because I really do.

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:11 am
by avaneesh912
On page 455 the second to last paragraph... (B.B. 4th ed.).
These are rewards of the constant changes that AA makes around the stories section "to represent the current membership of Alcoholics Anonymous more accurately, and thereby to reach more alcoholics." Thank goodness, that they leave the recovery portion of the book as is.

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:22 pm
by MitchellK
Welcome, That is all I heard during my first year of sobriety "Don't make life altering decisions during your first year!"

The biggest life altering decision I made during my first year was to stop drinking. I wonder where I would be today if I didn't make that decision?

Step One - We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that's a decision
Step Three - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God
Step Four - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory - we had to make a decision to do that

In order to do the work of the steps, decisions; life altering decisions had to be made. I guess there are some who put off working the steps until after the first year.

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:10 pm
by Biker Bill
MitchellK well said.
Do we know of where these suggestions exist?
Yes or No
?

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:13 pm
by Blue Moon
MitchellK wrote:Welcome, That is all I heard during my first year of sobriety "Don't make life altering decisions during your first year!"

The biggest life altering decision I made during my first year was to stop drinking. I wonder where I would be today if I didn't make that decision?

Step One - We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that's a decision
Step Three - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God
Step Four - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory - we had to make a decision to do that

In order to do the work of the steps, decisions; life altering decisions had to be made. I guess there are some who put off working the steps until after the first year.
I'm assuming there's a life-changing decision to eat a meal each day. Many of us also make a life-changing decision to go to work. Life would be very different if we didn't. Life throws decisions our way which we can ill-afford to evade.

But there's a big difference between making the decisions around recovering from alcoholism and a decision to, say, get married.

Not sure about you, but I would have been an idiot to make both of those decisions within the first few months or so of sobriety - and I sort-of doubt whether I'd have kept either of them.

If you want to take sobriety seriously, what are your real priorities?

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:06 pm
by Biker Bill
Blue Moon!
Again with the solid points of good sobriety , you are leading by example for me!

Please don't get it twisted... you're missing the point hahah (we could have started like five great but separate topics).

My question is, where are the suggestions in AA writing?

Thank you.

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:24 pm
by Todd M
I'm thinking... in a “Keep it Simple” attitude… its all in the Preamble

We share our experience, strength, and hope... that seems to cover the bases.
in writing :wink:

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:15 pm
by Blue Moon
Biker Bill wrote: My question is, where are the suggestions in AA writing?
I thought that had already been answered - they're not (unless you include the stories, or articles in grapevine which aren't Conference-approved). And for good reason IMO, because to say something like "don't get married in the first year" is an absolute, yet each case should have careful consideration on its own merits. In some cases there may be very good reasons to do something life-changing. For example, I got divorced in my first year... in my case, that was the right thing to do - in another's, it might not have been.

All I'd really say on the subject is: beware of rationalizing self-will. Most things that "feel" wrong probably are, but things that "feel" right might not be.

Yet methinks the real question remains unasked so far. I'm wondering ... why is it so troubling for you to need to know?

Re: First year around A.A. & Suggested for me not to do

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:49 am
by Biker Bill
Blue Moon
they're not (unless you include the stories, or articles in grapevine which aren't Conference-approved).
Image
Thanks.
And for good reason IMO, because to say something like "don't get married in the first year" is an absolute, yet each case should have careful consideration on its own merits. In some cases there may be very good reasons to do something life-changing. For example, I got divorced in my first year... in my case, that was the right thing to do - in another's, it might not have been.
Thanks again.
All I'd really say on the subject is: beware of rationalizing self-will. Most things that "feel" wrong probably are, but things that "feel" right might not be.
Agreed, however the newcomers may or may not be able to feel anything until they sober up, physically, spiritually and mentally.
why is it so troubling for you to need to know?
I never said it was!

8)

It's a pretty trendy question. "Where are these suggestions we speak of?"