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juks
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Post by juks » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:45 am

just wanted to introduce myself. i am jason and i am an alcoholic. my 5 year sobriety birthday is jul 6th. i have been struggling for the last year or so with turning my life and will over to a higher power. i guess when i came in to the program i was so desperate i was willing to do anything to find peace and i prayed daily,read the big book, ect. but now that i have been clean for a few 24hrs it has been much harder. i just dont have the willingness anymore? i know my ego has alot to do with it. my enxiety has been terrible. i was taking medication for it for over a year but it didnt help so i stopped. i guess i joined this forum so i can hopefully find someone who is going through the same thing.

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Spirit Flower
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Post by Spirit Flower » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:20 am

Happy anniversary!

Peace,
SF
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juks
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Post by juks » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:22 am

thank u

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avaneesh912
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Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:27 am

Did you work the first 9 steps and working the 10, 11 and 12 on a daily basis? What we have is a daily reprieve. We need to take care of the spiritual malady/un-treated alcoholism each day.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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juks
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Post by juks » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:34 am

i did step one the last day i used, i came to believe AA meetings will restore me to sanity (#2), i was practicing the 3rd with willingness the first few years in. i did my 4th and 5th with a local pastor, but i struggle with the humility needed to let go of my character defects, i made the most important amends i needed to make, there are a few more i need to make but alot of those people arent around any more. when i am wrong i apologize asap. my problem is that i want i want when i want it and i dont want any help from anyone getting it, stuff. call it false pride,ego, what ever. i have struggled all my life with a huge resentment toward authority figures especially my dad and god. while i sit hear typing this i can feel the anger/rage. i went to counseling and wrote the stupid letters and i thought i was ok with them but now it seems to be coming back? but i think my resent toward god is one that i dont think i can ever let go of. i guess i am where i am for a reason, right?

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avaneesh912
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Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:49 am

appreciate the honesty here. we are not going to be saints over-night. i guess we all have some prejudice toward this GOD thing. did you come up with your on friendly version of GOD? for me my own consciousness helped. Recently i ran into "Emmet Fox Speaks" (google it, you will find the link).

This mystic but intensely real force can pick you up today, now, from the midst of failure, ruin, misery, despair – and in the twinkling of an eye, as Paul said, solve your problems, smooth out your difficulties, cut you free from any entanglements, and place you clear, safe, and happy upon the highroad of freedom and opportunity.

It can lift you out of an invalid’s bed, make you sound and well once more, and free to go out into the world to shape your life as you will. It can throw open the prison door and liberate the captive. It has a magical healing balm for the bruised or broken heart.

Does this sound like "Lack of Power is the Dilemma" stuff in the BB?

But where, it will naturally be asked, is this wonderful, mystic Power to be contacted? Where may we find it? And how is it brought into action? The answer is perfectly simple – This Power is to be found within your own consciousness, the last place that most people would look for it. Right within your own mentality there lies a source of energy stronger than electricity, more potent than high explosive; unlimited and inexhaustible. You only need to make conscious contact with this Power to set it working in your affairs; and all the marvelous results enumerated can be yours. This is the real meaning of such sayings in the Bible as "The Kingdom of God is within you"; and "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all the rest shall be added."

Resentment, Anger, Fear..... all are related to selfish and self-centeredness. Which the bb tells us is the root cause of all our problems (not alcohol).

You may want get a sponsor from AA and re-do your 5th step.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Post by Blue Moon » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:56 am

Hi, welcome!

Sounds to me like you're suffering from untreated alcoholism. It's very common to come into AA, put the plug in the jug, and expect life to just "get better".

After all, isn't that what they tell us in AA? "Keep coming back, it gets better".

Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but that's one of the bigger loads of horse-S*** you'll hear in AA 8) It's true physically, no more DTs or hangovers ... but recovery needs to go beyond the physical.

The simple fact is, we drank alcoholically for a reason. Nobody got up one morning and made a career choice to become alcoholic. Get wasted, maybe, but become alcoholic? So unless that reason was a lack of a social setting, by definition meetings alone cannot bring about recovery from alcoholism. They're a start, and they often instil a vital ingredient - hope. But there are other ingredients we need in our recovery cake.

"Handing it over" doesn't work, does it? It's your life, so "handing it over" is like playing catch, it gets thrown back to you, right? The decision in Step 3 is to suspend self-will and follow some guidance - which means taking some action. As Step 3 is the 1/4 mark of 11 other Steps, it seems reasonable to assume that the other Steps are the directions we're deciding to follow.

So, by definition, anyone not following them cannot have taken Step 3, even when they think they have :)

When I quit drinking, I still felt like a kid. Emotionally stunted, it was even a blessed surprise I didn't have pimples. All those years I'd used alcohol to try and suppress negative feelings - basically, inadequacy, being "not good enough", rejection (real or imagined).

Come into AA, and the party line is "just don't drink". That moved me into a more painful state of existence, because those suppressed feelings rose to the surface without any alcohol to suppress them. Not unlike a magnifying glass focusing sunlight on an ant.

AA's recovery program is about getting that merciless obsession lifted, which means lifting the causes of the obsession - focus on self. "Selfishness - self-centredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking and self-pity...."

So, as it turns out, the ant is the one holding the magnifying glass. And the very fact he's doing so is proof enough that he needs help.

So, I'd implore you or any other alcoholic who's struggling, don't just don't drink. Do what they used to do, study and understand the alcoholic problem, take stock honestly, clear the wreckage of the past as best you honestly can, and go help another alcoholic.

Every occasion I've really tried to help another alcoholic, I've triggered a "forget" button on whatever I think is going wrong with me.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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juks
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Post by juks » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:07 pm

so the secret here is to "forget ones self" by helping another? is it that basic? i have tried to fix myself by working the steps the best i could,prayed to god to remove my character defects, and the hole time all i needed to do is help someone else? if that is true that would be wonderful. by the way i did a very painfull and honest 5th step. yes, it felt better to rid myself of those terrible secrets but the step did not rid myself of regret, shame and the ability to forgive myself and i didnt have a spiritual revalation like some say. did anyone else have the same experience with the fifth step?

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Blue Moon
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Post by Blue Moon » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:04 pm

juks wrote:so the secret here is to "forget ones self" by helping another? is it that basic?
Pretty much :)

Annoying, isn't it? We come into AA with a boatload of "stuff" weighing us down emotionally and spiritually. We're told the Big Book holds the answer to all our woes (in my case, the Big Book didn't seem thick enough to sort out all my problems!) We learn to invest in knee-pads to "hit our knees" day and night. We go through the psychotherapy of a "simple" program which is far from "easy".

I wanted some more "panache" to this recovery stuff. After all, my alcoholism and the sundry other problems seemed pretty complicated.

Yet, at the end of the day, as Dr Bob said it really boils down to "love" and "service". Being of service to our fellows without demand for reward or recognition.

What drinking alcoholic would ever do that, unless his existence depended on it?

And it's a process not found in many therapy chairs or confessional boxes. Their focus is on the thinking or the feeling, whereas we focus on the doing. Buddhism, Samaritans or the Salvation Army offer closer parallels to what we do - "other-centredness" through action is the secret to AA's success, mostly other-centredness through being able to reach out to and connect with a suffering alcoholic in a way which few therapists ever could.

This process is diametrically opposed to the deepest motives of a drinking alcoholic, so must entail an entire psychic change. Just as drinking was a symptom of the problem, sobriety becomes a symptom of recovery.

As for Step 5, I felt exhausted. Sort of drained. And no, it didn't lift all my resentments. It was a vital step, but as they say "faith without works is dead". Life is not trouble-free, it wouldn't be "life" if it was! But the troubles are no longer so overwhelming that I have a constant need to somehow undergo a phase shift into a twilight zone just to survive.

So yes, I'd also seek out an AA sponsor, someone with useful experience. For example, on the God front, the Big Book has a vital requisite - "he does not have to agree with your conception of God. He can choose any conception he likes, provided it makes sense to him."
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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ann2
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Post by ann2 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:10 pm

Hi Jason,

5 years is a big deal. It's wonderful that you're taking stock of your sobriety and seeing the gaps. BUT -- the gaps are *not* all that's there! You've made humongous progress in the last 5 years to even begin to see the things that you are talking about.

I think what you're going through is just one of those times that leads to greater understanding and re-dedication. Yes, helping others is a big part of it. It's amazing to me, however, that the more I try to do that, the more help comes my way. Blue Moon, for example, gives generously of his time and I'm a grateful benefiter of his activities. But heck, I wouldn't be in the line of his generosity and knowledge if it weren't for the fact that I forced myself to take on a couple of service positions in e-AA :)

Sobriety does need to stretch and exercise its muscles. I don't think you've done anything wrong to this point -- but you don't need to critique your wonderful step work. Just because you're feeling this way does NOT mean that what you've achieved through the steps was somehow false or sub-par. Just the opposite, I think, in fact.

I would suggest, however, that you do some serious A.A. literature reading. You might be surprised at some of the things you learn. Go to BB and 12&12 study meetings, of course, but if you haven't already then delve into

Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age (333 pages)
Written by Bill W. and published in 1957, this is the first book-length account of the birth, development, and expansion of A.A. during its first two decades.

As Bill Sees It (The A.A. Way of Life) (333 pages)
A reader comprising selections from the writings of Bill W.

Dr. Bob and The Good Oldtimers (373 pages)
Published in 1980, this biography of A.A.'s co-founder also includes pioneer members' recollections of early A.A. in the Midwest.

"Pass It On"
The Story of Bill Wilson and How The A.A. Message Reached the World (429 pages) Biography of A.A. co-founder, published in 1984.

Language of the Heart: Bill W.'s Grapevine Writings

I think you're at an important juncture in your journey. 5 years sober is fantastic. Congratulations. Now keep going.

Ann (ann2)
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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juks
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Post by juks » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:30 pm

first i would like to give a heartfelt thank you to u all for your replys. i guess what it all comes down to is that i am a selfish,self centered alcy and every one of these steps goes directly against the grain. and of course they would! having to face my powerlessness on a daily basis is not easy for this stubourn guy. humility is bitter sweet for me. for me it is the direct opposite of ego/pride which i have an abundance of. i just wish it wouldnt take so much pain and misery for me to get the willingness, hopefully that will come with age. :wink:

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avaneesh912
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Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:48 pm

someone said 4th step is not about confession. if it is, there will be no drunk catholics, but there are.

its about finding who we are and work on those short comings with the help of the higher-power.

i didn't get much help doing the 5th step either. i did it with another. And then run my short-comings with other confidants in AA, meaning i constantly keep myself in check.

if you read the Vicious Cycle story in the BB, it tells you why we need to work with others. Jim Burwell is the character in the story, he goes to Philly to start a group. No one embraces the program until he follows them and sets himself as an example..........so working with others is a great way to be self-less. also looking at others short-comings, we look at ourself.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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