self-knowledge / powerlessness

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MyNameIsBetsy
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self-knowledge / powerlessness

Post by MyNameIsBetsy » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:30 pm

More About Alcoholism, page 30: "But the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge."

This was soooooo me. I knew I had a problem. I was drunk every night despite having just learned how much the alcohol was hurting me medically. It would be smart to stop, completely stop. But here's the thing . . . I couldn't. I couldn't seem to leave it alone.

I researched alcoholism online and in the local library. I absorbed big library books on alcoholism, being careful to hide those titles from other library users. I was ashamed to have anyone see what I was reading. There is much knowledge out there about our common illness and I soaked it up. But knowledge alone wasn't helping. During all this research time, I was still getting drunk. I needed something more . . . I needed help from others who had been where I was.

I found that help and I am sober today. I needed - and still need - the steps, the fellowship, the books, my sponsor, those slogans, my Higher Power. I wasn't successful getting sober based on self-knowledge of my alcoholic condition. But I began getting sober when I walked into AA and said those first words, "My name is Betsy and I am an alcoholic."

What's your story? Did you try to get sober based on self-knowledge?

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avaneesh912
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Re: self-knowledge / powerlessness

Post by avaneesh912 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:19 am

For me realization that i am an alcoholic propelled me to work the rest of the steps and help experience the promises. Right knowledge of the disease is necessary but thats just for conclusion. That in itself cannot be a solution as they state in the paragraph leading into Fred the accountant story:

But the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge. This is a point we wish to emphasize and re-emphasize, to smash home upon our alcoholic readers as it has been revealed to us out of bitter experience. Let us take another illustration.

Then they pitch in the story of Fred to illustrate that. How we could be blind-sighted. He couldn't think through the drink.
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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Jane08
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Re: self-knowledge / powerlessness

Post by Jane08 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:00 pm

I knew a lot, at least I thought I did, but someone pointed out to me that I did not know how to stay sober. Not even for one day.

Once I had a plan that I would write down all the horrible things I could think of related to my drinking. Then, I thought, when I wanted to drink I would simply pull out the list and read it. That would stop me, right? I wrote the list, a few yellow legal pad pages of “pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.” I put it in my big book (it seemed appropriate), then I shut the book and with absolute certainty realized I was never going to read those pages if I was going to drink.

About powerlessness- I thought I was changing my mind but my alcoholism was. I thought I was making choices but alcohol was choosing for me.

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avaneesh912
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Re: self-knowledge / powerlessness

Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:25 am

About powerlessness- I thought I was changing my mind but my alcoholism was. I thought I was making choices but alcohol was choosing for me.
In the book in several segments, the authors talk about the "peculiar mental twist that precedes the first drink". In working with others, it talks about we discussing "the state that leads to the first drink". They ask us to use the path they used in the chapter More about alcoholism. If you see those short stories, you will see the common element in all three drunks. Blank spot or justification for taking that drink.
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: self-knowledge / powerlessness

Post by D'oh » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:29 am

This was soooooo me. I knew I had a problem. I was drunk every night despite having just learned how much the alcohol was hurting me medically. It would be smart to stop, completely stop. But here's the thing . . . I couldn't. I couldn't seem to leave it alone.
Having the Fortune, to make it through the doors twice, By the Grace. I often think "Scarcely more than Potential Alcoholics" is a tougher road to derogatory.

My first time, was at 21y's old, for 14 years. I was scared sober long enough to grasp the Program and believe I was Powerless. Until life started and the Program faded.

Gradually a drink here, a bottle there (as Tests), and I was no longer Potentially. Worse than ever. Totally Powerless and Completely Deflated.

Everyday Sober is a Gift, I get to use (if I ask) but I never own.

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PaigeB
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Re: self-knowledge / powerlessness

Post by PaigeB » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:12 am

MyNameIsBetsy wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:30 pm
More About Alcoholism, page 30: "But the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge."

What's your story? Did you try to get sober based on self-knowledge?
Also on page 30 - "... pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization." I had that and I knew it. I KNEW that I could/would never get and stay sober without AA.

For an atheist who despises proselytizing, it was hard to walk in the doors, but I was welcomed. I tried to tell them I was atheist but they Loved me anyway - they told me not to change! WHAT?! Yeah they said I would be helpful to lots of newcomers like myself. So I waited for them to force me to my knees to embrace "American Christianity". It never happened. Still hasn't happened. AND I think I have been helpful. One young gal lost her father suddenly and cried out to me for help because she had lost her capital "F" Faith. I told her that it was Love that got me through and my experience could tell her no more. I think it helped - at least she was baffled by my answer and she now had something else to think about? I'll never know how I helped unless I ask her. She is still sober and doing very well! Just got married in fact! But I prefer to keep these things "anonymous". I rarely tell people they helped me - but me sticking around can tell you that!

So did I stay sober on self knowledge? For 7 years I never prayed aloud to the Lord's Prayer - still don't at 10 years. But I always smile when we all hold hands - I might even toss out an AMEN if I am feeling particularly happy. But I don't think I changed from atheism nor did I embrace Christianity. I Began to pray the "God save me from being Angry" prayer at about 6 years sober. And I will pray the 3rd and 7th Step prayers from the Big Book. Though I never adopted any formal religion, I did embrace that Unsuspected Inner Resource that is referred to in the Big Book Appendix on the Spiritual Experience.

I KNOW I would not be here if anyone forced me in anyway. I am sober because of people like YOU! If someone does have a problem with me - I will pray for them. :wink:
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: self-knowledge / powerlessness

Post by D'oh » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:03 pm

I had much the same thoughts as Paige, Atheist/Agnostic what ever, I didn't really know or care what I was. I just didn't believe that I could stay sober myself, but the Fellowship could keep me sober. If I stayed close and did as they did or asked of me. They talked of Higher Powers, even God. Which if it worked well "Good for Them."

Until one night at a Meeting I didn't believe I would be at, a Member's share was simple. "Everyone's happy, content faces in this meeting, it is not them. They are just messed up Alcoholics, it is a Higher Power working through them." It was proof enough to "Act as if" if nothing else.

I don't believe anyone else's Higher Power has to be the same as my HP, but it is something more than the #6 Bus.

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