How do you define...?

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How do you define...?

Post by Annegirl »

How do you define "incomprehensible demoralization"?

I'm struggling with the thoughts on this and just want to get some other experiences/strengths and hopes on this

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Re: How do you define...?

Post by Tosh »

I guess we provide the definition ourselves. I find the Big Book is good like that; it leaves a lot of stuff to us to find out the answer; it means when we find the answer, it means much more. It's a deeper kind of knowledge.

So for me, I think 'incomprehensible demoralization' was when my life was just a mess, anxiety and fear were my bedfellows, I was having suicidal thoughts and this jarred with my self concept that I wasn't stupid. It all just seemed so incomprehensible; like there was some huge cosmic conspiracy against me.

But it could mean something different to you. I personally wouldn't get too tied up with the words; it's a program of action - just taking the actions answers a lot of questions.
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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Re: How do you define...?

Post by ann2 »

My "incomprehensible demoralization" was an experience, or several. Things I didn't want to be doing, but was doing thanks to my desire to drink.

I've heard it expressed in meetings as, "When I was a kid I didn't dream of hiding under bushes on my college campus quaking in fear" or some such other bottom.

It''s the opposite of comprehensible moralization :-) which leads to the discussion of morals. When I started studying the words, as Tosh mentions, I learned a lot about stuff I thought I already knew. Being moral is doing right, not wrong. It's the *doing*, not the *being*. I'M not right, or wrong, but my actions . . . which should be under my control . . . can easily fall under those labels.

What does this mean? why do I do things I disagree with doing, knowing there's a better way? then (shudder) defend my right to be wrong? (hand up)

This is what the spirituality of AA may actually come down to, if one looks at it from this perspective. And really, isn't it right to help people, and wrong to hurt ourselves? Oddly, helping others keeps us from hurting ourselves.

Now I'm going into woo-woo land.

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Re: How do you define...?

Post by Marc L »

Annegirl wrote:How do you define "incomprehensible demoralization"?
I'm Marc and I'm Alcoholic.
To each his/her own bottom...
There might be some clues on the subject in this thread.

Recovery won't just happen by Osmosis. You gonna' have to work at it some.
12th Step work ain't just a job... It's an Adventure.
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Re: How do you define...?

Post by Annegirl »

Thanks everyone for sharing...

I've been thinking about this in two in morale.... And as in morals.... And searching my past on both. I'm trying to uncover what my definition is...or rather has been so I can identify it and move through that.

I have de-moraled myself lots of times...where my moral compass included everyone BUT me.... I treated everyone how I wanted to be treated but treated myself like trash and thought I deserved no better.

That led to a drop in my self esteem and my personal morale.

Just my thinking to this point...

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Re: How do you define...?

Post by kenyal »

I had standards of behavior that I would find myself violating while drunk. At first I thought the solution to that was to simply absolve myself of all my old standards, but then I'd surprise myself by becoming involved in things that no reasonable person would even think to put on any list of things they would never do.

Actually being the guy doing these crazy things was incomprehensible. It really took an effort to wrap my head around some of the pitiful circumstances I remembered. With an unclouded mind what had seemed like an excellent idea the day before was crushing and demoralizing.

The fear came with what having done x meant. If I was doing what I would never in my right mind do, then the truth is there was no restriction on what I would do. It meant if I could imagine doing something weird and/or horrible/hurtful then I knew that if presented with the opportunity in the right circumstances I would do that and whatever was three times worse than that. The fact was I could not reassure myself my behavior when drinking would have reliable limits.

It translated into suffering and running and covering up and leading two lives and hurting people.

I had secrets to tell in my 5th step. And plenty of amends to make when I got to 9. At this point years later I've shared all those things when appropriate in meetings.
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Re: How do you define...?

Post by hecramsey2 »

I once heard this guy say "there was not a friendly thought in my head". I felt that. There was nowhere in my mind I could find any solace or comfort. That was hopefully my last bottom. I had been sober 10 years, btw.
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Re: How do you define...?

Post by Texan »

IMHO, it is a moving target on the way to the basement of alcoholism. Something happens and the whole experience makes one say, "Wow! I never want to go there again!" Then if nothing is done about the overall illness, then sometime later another experience, or set of experiences will take place that will eclipse the previous, like getting in deeper or having more and more dirt shoveled in over your head. At some point it gets to the point that you, somehow through the alcohol induced fog on the brain, come to the conclusion that this was as far as I was willing to go. It doesn't have to be a public display, nor does it have to involve a second or third party, but most often it does.

I guess you could lump the entire free fall to where ever you decide the basement is, all the horrible things together into one great big pile, point to it and say "That is MY 'incomprehensible demoralizing' pile of crap right there, and today - for whatever reason - I decided that I'm not going to help add more crap to let that pile get any bigger."
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Re: How do you define...?

Post by Lali »

Well said, Bill.

It was the same for me. What had previously been totally unacceptable, would become acceptable until almost nothing was off limits. I'm referring to the progression of my drinking habilts. I found myself going straight from work to the grocery for wine. Then I would pick it up on my lunch hour, so I wouldn't have to make the long drive from work to the grocery. Well, of course I then decided it would be okay to drink some of it during my lunch hour. Lastly, I started drinking enough before work to stop the shakes. Due to the progression of my disease, these things became necessary. Both my body and my mind told me this.

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Re: How do you define...?

Post by Stepchild »

waleeed12 wrote:I felt that. There was nowhere in my mind I could find any solace or comfort. That was hopefully my last bottom. I had been sober 10 years, btw.
No...That's how you define plagiarism walweed. To answer the OP's question...It's that pitiful feeling of not understanding the hopelessness of our situation.
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Re: How do you define...?

Post by PaigeB »

Sorry - waleeed12 - was a spammer and their post was deleted.
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
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Re: How do you define...?

Post by Roberth »

How do you define "incomprehensible demoralization?
I don’t define anything in AA anymore. Causes too many arguments about who is right. Now if you ask me to describe that incomprehensible demoralization feel like to me well that is a different story. For me it the emptiness wondering how did I get to this low point in my life…and the incredible fear that am can stop sinking lower.
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Re: How do you define...?

Post by positrac »

Lately it seems everyone ---maybe not the whole lot; but enough people are just wired out with self centered attitude regarding taking responsibility for ones actions.

If we/them/us expect good sobriety then we need to stand up and be held to accountability. Newly sober folks will learn this in due time and hopefully they will see the need to do the right thing as the alternative is going back out and getting drunk again.

So we have choices and we have to live with our selves and when I screw up I know what I need to do when I feel the heat.......

So the defining is also about looking at ourselves.
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Re: How do you define...?

Post by kdub720 »

I like How the Big Book gives examples and stories leading us to reflect and process the books messages in our own lives. I like how everyone is talking about self interpretation of the words and phrases. This whole thing is about us as individuals and how we deal with our struggles with alcohol.
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Re: How do you define...?

Post by Barbara D. »

For those 15 years that my drinking was sporadic, I thought I controlled it. I believed I was responsible for the people, places, and things around me. I thought this would make me happy.

In Recovery, I found out I had constructed my own belief system that made reality unbearable. This became overwhelming in my 2nd marriage when having 2 kids put me at war with the feelings and thoughts I was "supposed to" have. Alcohol unleashed my Jekyll and Hyde, allowed my anger to be turned inward or to come out in the open. Not being able to control Barbara was a life-long battle before alcohol led to my surrender.

I think my bottom, my "incomprehensible demoralization," occurred when I realized I couldn't keep doing the same things over and over and over again and expect to force myself into the "ideals" that made me crazy. It was such a shock to my system when I realized that having no Higher Power meant I had to play the role of my own HP in my own life. I became willing to get feedback from other recovering alcoholics and to start the Steps. It was a while before I could actually ask for help. Sigh. Who knew, with spiritual principles, I could have a new framework for living, that life-on-life's-terms could be a comfort, not the enemy?

Thank you for listening and still being my lifeline!!! Barbara D, alcoholic
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