The 24 HR Plan.

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Brock
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The 24 HR Plan.

Post by Brock » Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:21 am

There has been a good deal of discussion on another thread regarding this, I made the mistake of not reading the AA leaflet which prompted one of our members to introduce this as a way we in AA should look upon our sobriety. I have now done so, the leaflet is called 'THIS IS A.A. An introduction to the A.A. Recovery Program.' It can be found here - http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-1_thisisaa1.pdf

Near the end of the previous discussion I was advised - “Well maybe you could take the pamphlet up with the General Service Conference who approved the "24 Hour Plan". What I have found in reading the pamphlet is that this section is but a few words among thousands, from page 11--
Now that we are in A.A., we have a new outlook on sobriety. We enjoy a sense of release, a feeling of freedom from even the desire to drink. Since we cannot expect to drink normally at any time in the future, we concentrate on living a full life without alcohol today. There is not a thing we can do about yesterday. And tomorrow never comes. Today is the only day we have to worry about. And we know from experience that even the “worst” drunks can go twenty-four hours without a drink. They may need to postpone that next drink to the next hour, even the next minute — but they learn that it can be put off for a period of time.

And those words are followed immediately by these --
When we first heard about A.A., it seemed miraculous that anyone who had really been an uncontrolled drinker could ever achieve and maintain the kind of sobriety that older A.A. members talked about.

And that is precisely what the older members here were talking about, a different kind of sobriety. And in many meetings I attend I hear some folks advising newcomers to hold on for just a day or an hour if need be, usually followed by the fact that after they do the steps the holding on for set periods will vanish from their minds, and if they fail to mention that fact others do.

So this pamphlet is not that bad after all, it's designed for people wondering if AA is for them, since I accepted the program a few years ago it is not for me. I hope to always be able to show newcomers the very thing the pamphlet asks the ones with experience to do, to show how we “achieve and maintain the kind of sobriety that older A.A. members talked about.”
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by leejosepho » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:47 am

note: This is not a post to in any way critique the pamphlet. This post is for anyone such as myself and/or for anyone trying to help someone such as myself as I was in my own time before I had ever even heard of A.A. I do not know whether this pamphlet existed at that time of my own desperation, but I do know I would have quickly dropped it and continued hoping and trying to find help from someone somewhere...and here is why:
Now that we are in A.A., we...enjoy...a feeling of freedom from even the desire to drink.
I was neither seeking nor did I even need freedom from any kind of desire to drink. I already had a desire to never again drink -- a desperate desire to stop forever -- and I absolutely could not do that. Much to my amazement just a few weeks later, I actually met and then read about many people with my kind of problem:

"For those who are unable to drink moderately the question is how to stop altogether...assuming, of course, that the reader desires to stop...a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it - this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish." ("Alcoholics Anonymous", page 34)
...we concentrate on living a full life without alcohol today.
I had already been trying that for quite some time and my brain -- never mind my mind -- could take no more.
There is not a thing we can do about yesterday. And tomorrow never comes. Today is the only day we have to worry about.
I was long past worrying, I was looking for facts and help, not philosophy or more psycho-babble -- even Thorazine had once been more reliable than that -- I knew death was inevitable (possibly imminent)...and so it would have made no sense whatsoever to go ask for help from people still worrying about the "today" that will be forever gone and not a thing can be done about anyway even if the tomorrow that never comes might ever actually somehow get here.
And we know from experience that even the “worst” drunks can go twenty-four hours without a drink.
Had I not already done so, once again: I would have just dropped the pamphlet and walked away crying -- really -- while assuming you people had never happened upon a case like mine.
They may need to postpone that next drink to the next hour, even the next minute...
I had honestly, sincerely and repeatedly tried "One day at time, 'sweet Jesus'" (no disrespect there from this former Anabaptist who even used to sing that song for others) before I had ever even heard of A.A., and that absolutely did not ever work for me for more than about three days at a time.
...but they learn that it can be put off for a period of time.
Again, I could only had believed you folks did not understand a case like mine. At about 3AM on 09/27/81, I walked into my home-town police station smoking a joint and then handed the on-duty officer a fresh ounce as my "ticket" while asking him to "Please lock me up and don't let me out until I got help. I'm sick" -- the officer said he could see that -- "and I want to stop drinking but I can't."

I had heard about a man who was sober and I wanted to go see him, but I knew I could not possibly sober up and then also stay sober even just only for long enough to go get that done (and I saw no point in going to see him while I was drunk since I would later not remember even having been there, let alone whatever he might have said to me about whatever).
When we first heard about A.A., it seemed miraculous that anyone who had really been an uncontrolled drinker could ever achieve and maintain the kind of sobriety that older A.A. members talked about.
Not only had I never heard of A.A., but neither did I know anything at all about alcoholism. However, I did know about myself and that my inability to control my drinking while drinking had absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I could ever achieve or maintain any kind of sobriety. So again, I would have found nothing even close to helpful, insightful and/or otherwise attractive either within or about that pamphlet...but that does not mean I condemn it. I simply share the highly-contrasting original A.A. experience for the sake of anyone yet remaining -- maybe the last Mohican or even yet another delusional Lone Ranger, eh?! ;) -- who might ever need and want it.

As best I can tell, the best place for "one day at a time" in A.A. might be here:

"...try leaving liquor alone ['one day at a time'] for one year. If he is a real alcoholic and very far advanced, there is scant chance of success." (page 34) And of course, I see nothing at all wrong with even "cheating" a bit by coming to meetings for the duration!

Once again: I honestly and truly have no issue at all with anyone over the matter of the so-called "24-Hour Plan".
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by D'oh » Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:17 pm

Ok I will bite "BING" Round 2.

Have you ever asked an Old Timer How they have done it? Most often I hear "Go to meeting, find a Sponsor, and Stay away from the first drink" So if the drink problem (cravings) have been removed, then why the importance of staying away from the first drink? I see it that I am and always be 1 drink away from the Hell that brought me to the program. And I have to deal with the reasons that I drank, everyday. I call them the ISM's since the Alcohol has been removed. Look at it as a 2 part illness.

Everyday is a day I have to deal with the ISM's, now without the crutch of Alcohol. So everyday is a day I ask my Higher Power for help. The help often comes from the fellowship, my sponsors, family, friends, or even some of Gods creations like a sunset.

We must always remember where we came from, and that just 1 drink away from a drunk. So for me I have a DAILY reprieve from that 1st drink, as long as I practice these principals in all my affairs.

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by PaigeB » Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:08 pm

Let us not do too much quibbling over tiny words... we have lives to save and it takes all kinds. I just spent 48 hours with 100 women from all over the midwest. We, each different, do not claim to have THE key, only "a key".

I am sorry, but whatever works. Glad you are all here today - something is working. And you might as well not bother to argue my point. I will not respond. I love that you are all here and I cherish how you got here and I want you, each different, to pass it on. Let's not mess this thing up with quibbling.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by avaneesh912 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:51 pm

Stay away from the first drink

Yep, you will hear all kinds of goofy slogens, even the silver chip has a statement that would make you wonder who came up with that idea "Time to call your sponsor is before you take a drink". And there is a guy who says this all the time "Don't drink and get back to a meeting even if your ass falls off" most people request him to say in the meetings, its not even funny anymore.

You wouldn't hear people read the 10th step promises, there are great things the Big book says when you work the steps what you would experience:

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone, even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.

Instead you would hear about, the disease doing push-ups outside waiting for you to pick that drink, or good old joe who drank after 30 years of continuous sobriety (you don't know if he worked the steps or just going to meetings) as though this knowledge would keep the new-comer away from the 1st drink. They use scare tactics, which really doesn't work, like we see in Bill story and in thousands of live examples after 80 years of AA existence.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by D'oh » Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:42 pm

Yep slogans won't keep you sober, the Promises will. All 12 of them, even without doing the 39 something "Musts" that are layed out in the Big Book.

I was once told I could do the steps any which way I wished. But chances are, if I do the 1st and the 12th step. I will rip the crotch out of my pants.

Good Luck and may I wish you another lifetime of the program.

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by leejosepho » Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:48 pm

D'oh wrote:Ok I will bite "BING" Round 2.
No trolls within sight as best I can tell, so no "bite" even necessary, my fellow. :)
Have you ever asked an Old Timer How they have done it?
No, never had any need or reason to ask since every one I have ever known had already said they had done what is in the book in order to have the problem removed. However, there have been times when I have asked others what they might have said if they had been the ones to 12th-Step me and the most-honest one ever quickly admitted he could not have helped me because I could not "Don't drink."

The above is representative of the two extremes of the "recovery spectrum" as I know it, and my first sponsor was somewhere in the middle. He never suggested either "Don't drink" or "one day at a time" to anyone, but even years later I do not think he ever really understood when I shared this stuff with him. In any case, his directions for me and many others were these:
1. Pray to God, asking for His will and direction in your life;
2. Read the book and take the Steps -- no "working" them permitted -- to learn about yourself and to find answers to that prayer;
3. Come to meetings and share with others everything you learn and experience.
Most often I hear "Go to meeting, find a Sponsor, and Stay away from the first drink"
I understand, and I do not find fault. I am just grateful I never heard anything like that in any of the meetings I attended for at least my first six months. But then after that I moved to another state and received the shock of my life when I entered "the big world of AA" my first sponsor had said I would need to learn to survive.
So if the drink problem (cravings) have been removed...
I know nothing about having any cravings removed.
...then why the importance of staying away from the first drink?
Because of the physical craving that hits and takes over while drinking.
I see it that I am and [will] always be 1 drink away from the Hell that brought me to the program.
My own so-called "next drink" is now so far behind me that I doubt I could ever find it even if I did insanely turn around and go looking for it. Bill said we *grow* away, not stay away, and that is what has happened for me.
And I have to deal with the reasons that I drank, everyday.
Certainly, and today I just drink of a different "Spirit" as a "sufficient substitute" (page 152) for alcohol.
We must always remember where we came from...
I cannot imagine ever forgetting, but remembering my last drunk never prevented the next one anyway.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by Reborn » Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:12 pm

By taking action in the steps laid out in the big book thoroughly and honestly I have been given the gift to be present in the moment. All of my life I was a victim of 2 thieves....regret and remorse of yesterday and fear and anxiety of tomorrow. For me God lives right here right now at this moment in time...so I do my best to be where my hands are. I keep my side of the street clean...ask my higher power for guidance and direction...and then I take action by practicing what I have learned and sharing it with other alcoholics. I do not stay sober one day at a time I live one moment at a time...what a gift!
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by leejosepho » Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:31 pm

Reborn wrote:By taking action in the steps laid out in the big book thoroughly and honestly I have been given the gift to be present in the moment...be where my hands are...what a gift!
Exactly, and taking every thought captive and running each through the proper filter to check it before doing anything.

"...sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength...inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision...relax and take it easy...don't struggle...
"What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind." (pages 13, 86-87)
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by leejosepho » Sun Oct 04, 2015 4:13 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:Stay away from the first drink

Yep, you will hear all kinds of goofy slogans, even the silver chip has a statement that would make you wonder who came up with that idea "Time to call your sponsor is before you take a drink ."
I was once in a Traditions Workshop running alongside a Charlie & Joe "Big Book Comes Alive!" Seminar where the former GSO-usa Archivist (Frank M., a great guy) and others were fielding questions. During a lull in the action I thought that might be a good time and place to ask, "When, where and/or how did 'Don't drink' ever find its way into A.A.?" The woman sitting next to me nearly fell from her chair in shock, and nobody anywhere in the room even attempted an answer. During a break a little later, one of the panel members seemed to loosen up a bit and eventually said he typically does something like this with new people:

him: Do you have a desire to stop drinking?
recovery prospect: Yes.
him: Well then, don't drink...and be sure to call me before you do.

That truly boggles my mind and I have no idea why nobody has ever yet ventured any kind of answer to what seems to me should be a simple question if an answer even exists. "Don't drink" is something judges, bosses, mothers, wives, preachers and Temperance Societies say, and A.A. (at least as I know it from our book) is for people who might *want* to not drink but cannot.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by avaneesh912 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 4:28 pm

I tell new-comers "try not to drink and go to meetings, find a sponsor and start working the steps quickly, so they can experience the power of God sooner".
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by leejosepho » Sun Oct 04, 2015 4:50 pm

I suggest they stop trying to stop so they can take Step One in its entirety -- no human power can provide an effective mental defense -- and then offer to help them get on in the Steps to have that "no effective mental defense" problem removed.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by ezdzit247 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:54 pm

I'm good with whatever works for any recovering alcoholic. I'm a total pragmatist. It doesn't matter to me what anyone believes or how they get sober or stay sober. Whatever it takes for any drunk to make the decision to put the plug in the jug and gives them the courage to keep it there whether it takes breaking down their mental construct of time into one second at a time, one minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time or forever....with or without a solemn oath....whatever works. One person's "goofy slogan" is another person's holy parable. It's all good.

I like the "One Day At A Time" aka 24 Hour Plan because it's very practical and it works, not just for keeping away from that first drink, but because it has such broad applications, plugs in nicely to a lot of other recovery issues like character defects and works real well for them too. It's generally not too hard for anyone to not do anything "just for today". If "just for today" does seem too hard for anyone, the time frames are flexible and can be broken down into chewable, bite size pieces, achievable goals of seconds, minutes, or hours....whatever works. Baby steps work.

All I know today, all I can ever know, is what works and doesn't work for me. And that's what I share in meetings--my experience, hope, and strength. I can't know, don't know, and don't presume to know, what works or doesn't work for any other alcoholic. The really wonderful thing about AA and the combined experience, strength, and hope of so many millions of recovering alcoholics is that if we find that something isn't working for us, we can choose to try something different and keep moving forward.

Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by Stepchild » Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:07 pm

ezdzit247 wrote: All I know today, all I can ever know, is what works and doesn't work for me. And that's what I share in meetings--my experience, hope, and strength. I can't know, don't know, and don't presume to know, what works or doesn't work for any other alcoholic. The really wonderful thing about AA and the combined experience, strength, and hope of so many millions of recovering alcoholics is that if we find that something isn't working for us, we can choose to try something different and keep moving forward.
So when they say this in the book...

If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense.
pg 85

Is that just for grins or what?

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Re: The 24 HR Plan.

Post by D'oh » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:42 pm

Stepchild wrote:
So when they say this in the book...

If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense.
pg 85

Is that just for grins or what?
You do like the 10th step promises so here is just some of the Musts that lead us to them.

Your quote ends in "But we MUST go further and that means more action."

Just before that "Every day is a day that we MUST carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities"

and before that "The Spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it"

and "First of all we had to quit playing God. It didn't work."

and before that "Above everything, we Alcoholics MUST be rid of this selfishness. We MUST or it kills us."

So asking for Gods help daily sounds like a pretty simple step to staying on his path.

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