Most Christians Will Be Left Behind, But Not Because of Sin…..
Most Christians will be left behind by reason of their heart condition. The same thing that needs to happen to get real/truthful with God needs to happen to stay sober.
Most Christians will be left behind by reason of their heart condition. The same thing that needs to happen to get real/truthful with God needs to happen to stay sober.
Recovered– Self worth is restored, self love is apparent. Our self worth comes from God therefore if someone puts down AA it doesn’t trigger us to rage.
Reprogrammed– No recovery or healing has taken place at heart level therefore we only have reprogramming of the mind into the AA mindset program. Therefore if someone contradicts one of the AA mantras or the disease concept we attack them because it is an attack on our person we think.
Become who you really were meant to be or become an AA parrot.
If you follow these cult rules your a parrot.
All members must adhere to these rules or be considered non compliant.
Ammendment #1 AA traditional mantas always take priority over Truth.
Ammendment #2 If they put down or even show ideals contrary to AA status quos they put us down so we ATTACK.
Ammendment #3 “Live and Let Live” is our Lie.
1. Members must download the directives of how to become an AA robot instead of becoming a clean & sober version of who we really are. You must be a copycat to fit in.
2. Quote mantras instead of using your own words.
3. make others look stupid so whenever possible so you don’t feel so stupid
4. never ever do self examination stay in blame.
5. blame others for your feelings
6. NEVER look at wrongs suffered “victimhood” is illegal in AA no matter what abuse is in your past.
Continue reading “Cult Rules of Alcoholics Anonymous Especially In Facebook Recovery Groups”
Betrayed by the Image of the Beast
In this day and age for those saved souls who know Jesus the most important prayer we can say may be “Father, let me NOT be deceived”.
Please watch the video above then read the short story or visa versa.
I want to tell you a story of heartfelt truth. It’s not a made up story but I may use some allegories. Picture a little girl. Little Elior is her name. Little Elior has parents who love her but they know little about emotional nurturing. They don’t know how confidence and self worth are built because, well they have little of their own…they punish by guilting and shaming. They punish by violence. Even the father “spanks” little Elior at a very young innocent age. Naturally little Elior believes if her father hits her she deserves to be hit. And the messages she repeatedly got from school, & parents were that she, not her actions were bad and wrong.
What this article really is, is my great awakening catalogued for you to see in plain sight. This is 4 years of research and revelation I give you. It’s very scary and very true. Pray for faith so you can bear it.
NEWS FLASH! Satan IS the ruler of this world and YOU were/are an addict by design. The more abuse you endured in the formative and teen years the more likely your calling from God IS. Were you targeted? Did the voices in your head tell you “your a piece of shit”? The dark side fears you because God will give you POWER & MIGHT if you seek Him.
You are not ultimately responsible for who you were as an addict, or who you have become. But you ARE responsible for learning, & changing.
Sorry folks this article is not based on recovery topics. However its important
Taken from Jazweeh.com
Sleep on lost sheep sleep on. Perhaps is was Jesus Himself who changed this KJVB scripture from “awaken the time is at hand” to “sleep-on” as if Jesus would encourage blindness and spiritual complacency. As if Jesus would encourage the destruction of a precious soul. For the lost sheep will not awaken until after certain events occur. When they awaken it shall be the final harvest and if repentance is unavailable to a man at that time it shan’t be good.
WARNING! THIS ARTICLE IS A PARADIGM BUSTER. I PRESENT HERE THE CONCEPTS by which recovery & addiction meet full blown truth.
There are Two types of recovery, “Recovery in Truth” or Recovery in partial to full blindness and deception via the “Beast system brand recovery” and its status quos.
Beast system recovery requires ongoing meetings for ever…always an arms length from a drink, never recovered.
Healing recovery requires you become who you really are, no holds barred. How long does this complete healing take? Seven years of reprogramming and virus expulsion by expression of your true inner child. It takes seven years to become who you really are it doesn’t happen overnight.
Don’t have time for long articles? SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR SHORT VERSION SYNOPSIS.
I went to an AA meeting yesterday and clearly see that even though the people there are my brothers and sisters there are many parts of me that are very different than they. I am sober 14 years this month and do not need meetings to stay sober. In spite of popular belief even the Big Book did not say we are dependant on meetings the rest of our lives lest we fall back into addiction. YET most will say if they don’t always continue in meetings they will relapse forthwith.
Praying always in the Spirit our battle is not against flesh and blood. Our enemy is the voice of the dark. That voice can be us or dark mocking spirits who work for the enemy. Or both. AA will help us reprogram our destructive brain that we not mock ourselves or others in word or deed.
First we pray God to KNOW WHEN WE ARE UNDER SPIRITUAL ATTACK. And we learn the difference between our voice and the voice of the enemy by working the 12 steps thoroughly.
Yes we have the debate of nature vs nurture and it is valid as we are formed by BOTH. Nature would be all the genes and hereditary factors that influence who we are—from our physical appearance to our personality characteristics. Therefore “nature” also means generational curses especially I am referring to addiction.
What are the danger signs that I may be embarking into a very SICK RELATIONSHIP?
The real reason for a life long partnership is for HELPMATES to Love and help one another. To relate to one another and show empathy. To bring out the best in one another and allow one another to reach their purpose in life spiritually. If your partner is a hindrance to your goals, dreams, and purpose you may be in a sick relationship.
Article by Ben Thare
“Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand, and stand firm in the coming days of darkness upon the Earth.”
This article will also cover the effects of THC oils and tars some magnified in potency and not pertaining to simple CBD oils taken for health with no “high” involved.
God gives us chances on earth to live when death is at hand. He allows us grace periods to see when we are blind. And there are windows of opportunity literal and spiritual that we can feel in our heart of hearts when they appear. For instance, if we were/are an addict in need of deliverance, a window would open in a 24 hour period in which if we made the right choice sobriety would come much easier and roll out like a magic red carpet even though the processes of recovery are very long and emotionally treacherous. With the right people at the right time we learn. Our choice would present a momentum toward good and healing
If you ended up in the psych ward due to some antics you engaged in because of addiction or alcoholism then it’s time. Are you done? There is a reason that you feel better when your numb. There is a reason that you are uncomfortable in your own skin. As a matter of fact…since I have been sober over 14 years this time I have learned exactly the precise and many varied reasons I was uncomfortable and down right ashamed in my own skin.
So many times, during the first two years of recovery I felt as if I was somehow doing something wrong in my recovery or that something was not right with my progress. I used to feel like my feelings themselves where wrong. Especially if I were sad or fearful, on the edge of depression or angry. I was fortunate to have effective group therapy which when combined with Alcoholics Anonymous kept me and several of my rehab-mates sober for a very long time. We all had sexual abuse in our past and took our addiction to places we were ashamed of. But I learned THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING, EVER. THEY ALL COME FROM A VALID PLACE AND ARE THERE FOR A VALID REASON. We don’t allow our feelings to rule us but intense feelings should be processed.
THE BAFFLING PART OF ADDICTION EXPLAINED. How does an emotional pain morph into spiritual blindness and darkness that would cause a man to self destruct?
Clearing up the EMOTIONAL wreckage of the past makes us less vulnerable to actions of fear and hurt toward self and others. Confessing our greatest fear(s) DOES render them powerless over us. In this sense we ARE as sick as our secrets. Shame is the leverage of darkness. Yet “shame” is something humans seldom want to explore within themselves to irrigate it with light. Why?
Because we are taught to never allow ourselves to be vulnerable. The deception is that if we expose our fear to the light people will use it against us. However it’s not the people that we need to be concerned with when it comes to fear. But rather the leverage of spiritual darkness in high places who exploit unconfessed shame. Every fourth step should include a shame and fear list that needs spoken out loud. The fear list should be repeated until it becomes a way of life to expose shame and fear to the light.
If you like this you may like Laura’s book “Paradise for the Hellbound”. It is not a typical Biblical text. And the book is not bent on social status quos. Read it free: http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/paradise-for-the-hellbound/
Addiction is not a Disease, but rather it is a spiritual malady and force of habit. It is a poor self image and the presence of a broken heart. Our heart can be healed and our habits can be changes. We won’t relapse if we take the time to respect ourselves enough to realize not only did we hurt others but others hurt us deeply. The certainly taught us as children that we were inferior and bad. So we spent the rest of our days trying to prove that it wasn’t true while our own hearts believed that it was.
Disclaimer: This article holds nothing back. It is not a blame game but rather has identified common reasons for addiction. Taking responsibility for our healing and recovery is still imperative to our emotional health. But for those who do find addiction “cunning and baffling” this explains common causes. If you want solutions they are all over this website but clearly this article is not solution oriented. See The Cure: http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/addiction-is-no-longer-baffling-to-me-and-many-others/
We Addicts have been conditioned to demoralize one another.
Article written by Jobaly Timerivess 6-6-06
Oh Mr. Wilson! Yea for art thou a colorful writer to stretch your mind around such an appropriate and relate-able term as “Pitiful and Incomprehensible Demoralization”. Oh how you must have suffered to feel these heinous words rushing through your blood and soul!
War for profit shows the mentality of the men and women who rule the Earth and what they are concerned with primarily. We are roaches to many of them. And our self
esteem/ADDICTION problems are directly related to the indoctrination we suffered in schools, and our parents endured as well in the U.S. Does this mean we don’t do a personal
inventory? Hell no! It means we need to see the big picture of why our lives really went south and what was behind it. TV, education, poison foods, all part of our slave
mentality indoctrination. We were DEMORALIZED WAY BEFORE WE COMMITTED OUR FIRST WRONG to others. Credit where credit is due. THERE IS NO DISEASE OF ADDICTION. DRUGS WERE OUR
ATTEMPT AT A SOLUTION TO THE PAIN WE HID DEEP INSIDE US FOR SO LONG.
Addicts should look at and process of both wrongs committed and wrongs suffered to fully recover. When we enter the realm of understanding and acceptance, we abandon deep denial, that is when addiction is no longer baffling to us. We label it a “disease” which gets us nowhere in progressive understanding of ourselves but instead we become open to emotional vulnerability in ourselves. Then we can start understanding how and why we were in so much emotional pain at a young age and forward.
Don’t you see my friend? If I call addiction a disease it will always be baffling to me and I will never get to know myself at a core level with both acceptance and understanding, forgiveness, and mesh my addict self with Love to my healthy patterns, and nurture that part of me back to health.
Calling the addict part of me a “disease” is a label of negativity. As if part of me is reprehensible and beyond repair, this is no true. Yes addiction is spiritual, but first it’s emotional. My sick emotions open the door for the demon of addiction to abide. When I Love that emotional part of me back to health I then dispel the hateful addict demon that latched itself to my feelings of inferiority and deep hidden fear.
I expose my fear to the light of empathy and fellowship in the name of truth and transparency of self. I quit hiding fear away as if it were a sign of “shitty recovery” to experience it. I now understand fear is and always was a part of the human condition therefore I stop being ashamed of fear, and instead I share it and write down on my FEAR LIST just as directed in the fourth step of the Big Book instructions. You know the fear list that NOBODY EVER TALKS ABOUT OR MENTIONS ON YOUR FOURTH STEP…..HELLO!
What else? Well how about I need at LEAST one person I can tell anything to. I now need to relieve myself of guilt and shame the culprits of my sick emotional state. WE ARE AS SICK AS OUR SECRETS. You will never gain self Love and confidence if you do not know who the hell you are to begin with. WE must finally accept our vulnerable sides in spite of the brainwashing we all have experienced in society, from TV, educational indoctrination, and our parents misconceptions of what is and isn’t permissible in behaviors.
YOU HAVE BEEN SHUT DOWN by parents and societal norms and status quos. It’s time to find out who you are and why you were so ashamed of you. People who hide who they are put a box around their own hearts. By this they make themselves very very sick. THE ELITE WHO BRAINWASHED YOU AS THE AGES OF 1-7 KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IT TAKES TO SHUT YOU UP AND MAKE YOU SICK. Think I am kidding? Or wrong maybe? I challenge you this…research food as long as I have and you will see their are very evil and extremely knowledgeable people running this show. It is those elite 1% who have intentionally brought you and many others like you and me to our knees with their drugs and psyop programs.
We MUST abandoned our carnal, primal emotional survival skills of denial in the form of blame, self deception, and covering our childhood with a painting based in pact mentality where our parents and childhood was just fine. BULLSHIT! If our emotionally charged childhoods were so fine we would not be pegged for self loathing drizzled with self destruction. Face the truth and recovery. Stay in a picture perfect world and remain sick with sick emotional patterns.
If we keep an open mind and get a good therapist along with a 12 step program we will figure out why we were in so much emotional pain for so long. We should learn emotional tools that we use to process that pain, and really get to know who we are and love and forgive ourselves. The problem with addicts is they cannot bear to expose vulnerabilities emotionally. WE SIMPLY MUST EXAMINE childhood HURT, ANGER, AND FEAR to recover in the real world.
The first 2/3 of my life sucked. If someone would have told me I was in purgatory I would have believed it easily even though I didn’t believe in purgatory at the time. Until I had a certain dreams which were reality.
The whole story and dream are at this link.
Read this story and find your answer.
There was a blessed spirit in Heaven it could fly; it was completely sustained by the light of God that was readily available in the beyond where it existed. We will call the blessed spirit Elior. Elior could travel from realm to realm, planet to planet; dimension to dimension he could take any shape he wanted. The realm that housed the seven Earths (God did create seven) were only one of the realms that Elior had toured. There was a realm called “Ecstasy”, the realm of “Wisdom”, the powerful realm of “Love”, there was a realm called “The knowledge of every universe”. Elior could help any creature or being that he desired…he did much good and had powerful knowledge as a supernatural entity.
One day during a great rebellion in Heaven by an angel named
IN SIMPLE TERMS THE FOLLOWING STEPS ARE THE FAKE AA THAT IS COMMONLY BELIEVED AND PROFESSED BY THOSE WHO HAVE NOT ACTUALLY READ THE LITERATURE. The writer does not agree with the fake steps of AA and wishes to expose them as being FAKE.
DISCLAIMER: These 13 steps are DOGMA AND SATIRE. They are what I have seen in AA over and over. This article does not apply to nor is it written of the true and miraculous program of fellowship called AA with it's actual 12 steps.
When sick alcoholics use their spiritual deficit to create rules and regulations based in character defects the false AA then appears. These false rules geared in and around the people of AA become a false doctrine to worship. False doctrines occur in any group of humans who subconsciously relish religious error and mistake spirituality for legalism. Why would we of AA be any different than typical religion? AA is a religion in the true sense of the word, we work the program “religiously”. So of course we have dogma and error in the rooms. This article is to expose that error.
A. Never ever do anything but whitewash AA as a perfect program. Any constructive criticism no matter how true or rampant the error in AA is. Correcting AA is forbidden. Anyone who points out common misconceptions in AA will be shunned as holding intense resentment and belittled with name-calling and will surely relapse.
However, that is a sick attempts at getting well. It’s an attempt which is seldom realized by the punisher. And while we are in this state we also project our punishing onto those around us, often those we love most.
My answer to the question “what was I numbing when I was using drugs and alcohol addictively?”
I had to numb my fear, shame, and intense feeling of inferiority.
For me, at a young age I was taught (in so many words and lessons)
that the whole world of people were all superior to me in every way. And that everything about me was wrong both inside and out. Therefore, I had to hide my
identity so no one would see how bad and wrong I was. Of course I had no idea of this at the time.
It took years of work to understand the emotional inner workings of my subconscious.
And so with this starke, devastating truth of who and what I was (inferior) I had to shut down and transform into someone else.
I (my true heart) became a prisoner in my own
mind always living/acting as status quos dictated, trying to be someone else. I was sold a bill
of goods and commenced to live up to what I was sold.
Wake up! In the next 20 years technology will (if corporate rulers succeed) take, remove, make obsolete to humans HALF the jobs on the face of the Earth. That is 2 billion jobs in 20 years will be LOST to AI (artificial intelligence). No wonder the Georgia guide stones and elite rulers want to do away with 2/3 of the Earths population. Keep eating the poison people. Munch down on those heavy metals. Yum yum please put more aluminum in my biscuits. DUMB ME DOWN.
After being in numerous Facebook recovery groups for a number of years. I have made numerous attempts at sharing vital information pertaining to real healing and recovery. Unfortunately, I am convinced that the addicts head does not pop out of his own ass until the seventh year of sobriety. Omg! At least that is my own experience. It’s also my observation. What do I mean? It means alcoholics are not able to process information freely and unhindered. It’s a horrible mental state of tightly boxed/cemented ideals, preconceived notions that have to fit into the numbered boxes which the addict has created from their past interactions. Passing judgement is a sad replacement for open minded consideration and critical thinking. And these are the skills we need to develop in recovery to live in truth instead of a fairyland. It’s not until year seven that the addict can perceive without prejudices, pat conclusions, biased, and other bullshit principals that are based in fear and are nothing short of chained and oppressed mental processes. Hate me for it but FREE YOUR MIND!
Addiction and self destructive habits start with a “demoralizing of our view of self”.IT STARTS IN SCHOOL OR PRIOR. We are poisoned be chemicals in the womb.
Our education did just what it was supposed to do, show us how worthless we are. That we need the system to care for and protect us. BUT NOW THEY POISON US WITH THEIR CHEMICALS, GEO-ENGINEERING, TOXIC SMOKE RETARDANTS, POISON DRUGS, POLLUTION BY DISPOSABLE CONSUMER PRODUCTS.
What did you learn in school today child?
What did they feed your soul?
What did they feed your body?
2016 Alcoholics Anonymous Financial statements
This financial statement is public record at https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_gsofinancialinfo.pdf
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Disclaimer: Recovery Farmhouse is not any sect of Alcoholics Anonymous. RFH is providing information to anyone interested in recovery addiction step work and 12 step programs. This article is for informational purposes only and means to incite no accusations against AA or its non addict paid servant board of directors and officers.
click here to read BILL WILSON’S ANSWER (OR click “continue reading” below if you’re on the homepage.)
Clearly the largest part of AA’s income comes from literature sales therefore my next article will be on how group members have or have not any power whatsoever related to those millions of dollars or any say at all in what that money is used for. Clearly the Big Book proceeds go to the family of Lois Wilson as she instructed in her will. She did leave much of her estate to the Stepping Stones foundation. The Foundation, created by Lois Wilson in 1979, maintains the home, its contents … “If the fellowship is an extension of my family then Stepping Stones is home.”
Care and fear are two different things. I care about all your opinions and beliefs. I care about my reputation and what you think of me. This makes me human not weak. Can I control it? Of course not. Can I make you like me or change your opinions? No only you can do that but I can shed light on my own motives.
Update: Apparently according to online sources Charlie Seen did stay sober on his own for eleven years until he was diagnosed in 2016-January with H.I.V. Some articles state his sobriety was a farce. The news of his HIV threw him into a deep state of anxiety and relapse apparently. Recent information states he detoxed at his father's Malibu home in 2017-April. Hopefully since then he is finding spiritual help. Recent info says he is sober now and doing charity work as an HIV solutions advocate.
2011-Charlie Sheen stated that he quit drugs by his own self will. I must admit I know people sober for long periods of time who have done it on their own. Granted…this does not allow for any work on the core reasons for the need to numb ones awarness on a regular basis. Nor does it introduce emotional coping skills that work for many addicts. The article below is so accurate in my opinion I had to share it with you. Taken from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-you-cure-yourself-of-addiction/ and written by: By Nina Bai on March 4, 2011
I am especially impressed with the accuracy of the statement made by: “Scientific American spoke with Sally Satel, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and lecturer in
psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, about quitting drugs without professional treatment. Satel was formerly a staff psychiatrist at
the Oasis Clinic in Washington, D.C., where she worked with substance abuse patients.”
Prayer and step three are a prerequisite to all recovery steps and exercises for guidance and direction, for revelation, and epiphany, for self awareness and cutting through the ego .
My recovery from addiction in short has been about
And I thought it was just the addicts cross to bear.
Some background info. Who is AAAgnostica and Tom B?
The AAAgnostica site advocates the book “Secular Sobriety” by Dale K which is a rewrite of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book text. aaagnostica.org and writer Tom B. are an open minded, free-thinking organization geared toward alcoholics Anonymous. They impress on us the fundamentals of a godless recovery for those who need it. (Tom B always uses a small “g”) The website’s “about” page states this: “When we use the word “agnostic” in relation to AA – or words like “atheist” or “freethinker” – we are simply referring to the specific wisdom of groups and individuals within the fellowship who understand that belief in a “God” (of any understanding) is not a necessary part of recovery from alcoholism. They advocate freedom of choice where religion and spirituality are concerned and admonish religious dogma and social prejudice that lives in the rooms of AA. Here is their email if you wish to contact them. Thomas B writes most of the articles on the site and wrote one promoting the book “Secular Sobriety”.
AA Can you help me unravel my latest mistake? Damn right we can.
“You’re a little late..I’m already torn, torn.”
It is progress to realize one is emotionally torn. This is the first step in emotional healing. Emotions, Body, and spirit in us are as one….We need not label our emotions “bad” or “weak” but rather embrace them as part of us. Take up the defensive angry screaming ego known as the “committee” and nurture that part of ourselves with Love, comfort, and assurance. During step eleven meditations I can reassure that part of me which is defensively reactionary when fear is triggered.
My “addict” (persay) wears a stone cold armor of defense and blame so I
There is so much in this world to fear. The more research I do on the condition of the Earth, food, pollution, radiation, food additives, toxins, malnutrition due to processed foods the more I am learning about THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS in 2017. So I regroup & choose faith and hope to kwell the horrible uncertainties of the future. My HP has got my back. And I know the tools that bring me back to the safety of “NOW”. Writing is one of my tools. So with all the dangers around me I moved myself on to the solutions just like my favorite AA cliche’ states; “Out of the problem into the solution”. And my 2nd fav. “Move a muscle change a thought”. 3rd “the program works”.
Spring of 2006 I spent 2 months in jail getting sober for the last time. I spent my time locked up reading the Bible, The Big Book, writing ‘Paradise for the Hellbound’, and praying that the judge would sentence me to Bridgehouse. Bridgehouse (B.H.) is a rehab center owned by Meridian Behavioral Healthcare. I had been on the Methadone program there and I sent letters to my doctor to get me into rehab from jail. He was all for it. He himself later landed in rehab. Come to find out the doc was dipping into his own meds .How convenient.
On June 15th 2006 I got transported to B.H. by a Levy County Sheriff to begin my 28-day stay. Twenty-eight days…… twenty-eight days …. (reminiscent sigh). In the spring of 2006 28 days seemed like a very long time. The days were long and the nights were even longer. I had been in my addiction for nearly 35 years.
THE HEART OF A MANEATER. By Laura Edgar
“You’re a Bad little girl/boy! How could you do such a thing, again? Don’t do that, don’t act like that, don’t be like that and don’t feel like that! You’re wrong, wrong, wrong everything that comes from your little heart is wrong”. And then here’s the worst quote of all folks: “You shouldn’t FEEL that way! Your feelings are wrong! Your ideas are stupid and you should be ashamed of yourself. Don’t cry! Cry baby! That’s nothing to cry about! That’s nothing to be afraid of! Chicken shit…scaredy cat..and worse. We are programmed to hide our fears, weaknesses, and hearts truths.
What is the best kind of sponsor?
There has been a long standing debate in A.A. about what kind of sponsor is right. The kind who is loving, caring, considerate, respectful, informative, giving, truthful, and assertive. Or the kind who says “I am not here to be your friend, get off your lazy low-life ass and do this work.” Or as one man shared recently about a man in A.A. who “saved his life” by saying to him early on in recovery “FUCK YOUR FEELINGS”. OUCH! I SAY OUCH TO THAT. But it worked for him. It got his attention he said. But not all emotional pain is self-pity, on the contrary. Trauma needs to be expressed to come out.
Granted keep in mind in our scenario both sponsors are teaching the twelve steps and the traditions from the Big Book. The personalities are just an added flavor or bi-product of their Sponsorship.
Spirituality is like swimming I explained to my sister Brenda. You dip your soul, spirit, and body into the presence of God and you swim in joyous distractions from every negative reality that once brought you low. You feel good. For me a burden was lifted and black cloud on my soul, removed. After my spiritual experience the joy and peace that only the supernatural can provide blanketed me. My choices are different than they used to be. I have never been the same…thank God! I love humans again or…maybe for the first time I love other women. I was unaffected by negativity because my perception was one of spiritual insight. I saw the good in all things. Continue reading “Spirituality Is Like Swimming”
We do not have to know “why” we became addicts to recover. If our brains are still prone to obsession it’s understandable that our sponsors suggest to us “don’t ask why”. For the sake of peace in the first few years we should both “choose our battle’s” wisely and choose our purposes and goals wisely. “Out of the problem into the solution” is by far one of my most valuable mantras for recovery.
However moving on into a more mature lifestyle I am discovering my truths and who I am. If I question nothing and never ask “why” I shut myself out to both knowledge and learning. This flipside of the “why ask why” coin is both dangerous and lacks depth. A lack of learning is akin to a stagnant mind and stunted emotional growth. My mind should have moved on into sanity at some point. If I work the steps and get some good therapy.
First let me tell you this. I have had long periods of sobriety then relapsed. My last sober run beginning in 2006 and still going strong. Oddly the topic of addiction interests me thoroughly even today after years of sobriety.
So what is addiction really? Is it cunning, baffling and powerful? At some point we can all agree that “yes” it is. What does the Big Book tell us? It’s insidious, progressive, deadly, destructive and a spiritual sickness or malady of sorts. Some says it’s inherited and genetic. Some say it grounded in our environment.
“From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” Big Book fourth step.
There’s that contradiction again “spiritually and sick”. Spirituality is in some ways a replacement drug for addiction.
Continue reading “What is Addiction Really?”
Meditate and become self aware so you are no longer manipulated by the elite. This is the step eleven suggestion put forth by both the Anonymous (wake up call) organization and Alcoholics Anonymous known as Step Eleven suggestion of frequent prayer and meditation as a tool to stay sane and sober.
Meditation works wonder of this I can attest. It will both enlighten and fulfill parts of us we didn’t know were empty. And even better it will help us expel ur demons. See link on “how to meditate”
Apparently the Anonymous organization whoever they are (watch video CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO) knows one of the many benefits of practicing meditation. To become self aware is to become armed with many good characteristics that do allot more than just help a person stay sober. Meditation will also show you the “why” behind your addiction, journaling, prayer, and meditation combined with the rest of the 12 steps will arm you with truth, enlightenment, and epiphanies about many things. Interesting that the Anonymous speaker mentions that, “a few thousand years ago we humans were all primal with little intelligence”. Some folks believe this theory, that our race mated with higher intelligence aliens so we could become a race better serving their species. Basically we were too ape-like to be of any use to these aliens so they bread intelligence into us.
Another interesting tid bit is the old Testament scripture that lines up with such a theory. However the Bible
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called the aliens “sons of God”. And that these sons of God breat with the daughters of man. ” when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Gen 6:4. Basically picturing a higher intelligent being having sex with a lower intelligence but apparently “hot looking” woman to populate the earth with smarter creatures capable of understanding certain jobs these aliens presented to us. Who were these “sons of God”? Where the “angels” like the preachers say? Hmm more will be revealed I suppose.
Click picture of the hooded man to watch video in next page.
In December of 1934 Bill Wilson was in Towns Hospital off Central Park in NYC for what would be his last detoxification. During this hospitalization Bill had a dramatic “spiritual experience.” Bill describes this dramatic experience in his history of A.A. (1957, p.63):
“My depression deepened unbearably and finally it seemed to me as though I were at the bottom of the pit. I still gagged badly on the notion of a Power greater than myself, but finally, just for the moment, the last vestige of my proud obstinacy was crushed. All at once I found myself crying out, ‘If there is a God, let Him show Himself! I am ready to do anything, anything!’
Suddenly the room lit up with a great white light. I was caught up into an ecstasy which there are no words to describe. It seemed to me, in my mind’s eye, that I was on a mountain and that a wind not of air but of spirit was blowing. And then it burst upon me that I was a free man. Slowly the ecstasy subsided. I lay on the bed, but now for a time I was in another world, a new world of consciousness. All about me and through me there was a wonderful feeling of Presence, and I thought to myself, ‘So this is the God of the preachers!’ A great peace stole over me and I thought, ‘No matter how wrong things seem to be, they are still all right. Things are all right with God and His world.”
In “Language of the Heart” Bill W. writes again about his white light experience at the Towns Hospital. Continue reading “Bill Wilson’s White Light Experience”
This is a recovery from addictions website. But I watched the video below and felt it was so important I posted it “off topic”. However this site is full of recovery tools and AA controversial topics if you are interested.
Who are these people, the one percent who don’t give a damn about the planet Earth. If you have allot of money DO NOT keep it in the bank. If the banks face bankruptcy they can keep your money to prevent it. But you know what I think…they will be brought low and soon. There are beings more intelligent and powerful than the elite 1%ers. Soon these powerful beings who do care about the survival of the Earth and it’s people will bring low the diabolical destroyers of the planet. The toxic waste makers, the food poisoners, the money lenders, the tricksters and blood thirsty cheaters who bathe in blood for a youthful look. They will be brought low and soon. This is my prophecy to the people.
“In January of this year the discrimination against agnostic groups by Intergroup in the Toronto area ended as a result of a settlement mediated by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. In the very next Intergroup Newsletter, called Better Times, this candid history of one of the previously excluded groups was published. Imagine that (Original aaagnostica.com article).”
Though Recovery Farmhouse writers do not advocate any certain Higher Power we do advocate sharing what works for you and us to stay sober. Clearly Bill W. and the Big Book make clear no certain Higher Power is required by AA. Where? “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stay sober.” Granted in the BB Bill writes that the purpose of this book is
Being “baffled” by anything isn’t a stance we should fight to stay in, is it? Dr. Gabor says: “The heart of addiction is ALWAYS emotional loss.”(trauma, neglect, abuse) Thing is children have no way of recognizing this when it’s happening. The addict adult scarcely wants to process the real causes of his pain so he can actually be cured. The real cure for addiction doesn’t poise addiction as being magically stronger than an emotional healing. By far the healing from addiction leaves one enlightened and seldom if ever wanting to avoid life and reality.
Make no mistake Spirituality is a cure to anything when applied. That’s not rocket science. So, what is the allergy? The allergy component in addiction is emotional pain, shame, and fear. When that’s cleared up there’s no reason to numb one’s self. If I am not in emotional pain my body won’t react to drugs with a sigh of relief. Again…this isn’t rocket science.
But addicts will do anything to avoid seeing that their “pack” and childhood in most cases is what made them sick in the first place. Believe me I know the subconscious will to protect the pack. I know how to bury memories and avoid core feelings. The pack mentality stands guard to protect every addiction. False pride sits with it’s gun cocked and ready to shoot down any realizations of intense shame. The ego screams and shuts down any tears that form at the base of core emotional issues. “Out of the problem into the solution!” is only good advice when we are revelling in chaos, blame,
Food companies could be destroying your health!
This video will tell you exactly what the worst foods are and what they do to us. What is the chemical “High Fructose Corn Syrup”? And how does our brain react to both preservatives and HFCS?
It’s no wonder our country is overweight. This video tells how to beat a fat waistline and still eat yummy foods.
I Want Every Addict to Know,
addiction can be a thing of the past. It doesn’t have to be a threat to us for evermore. We don’t have to fear it crouching outside the rooms like some powerful beast cunning baffling powerful. FEAR is not what the 12 steps teach us.
The reason people are always on the edge of relapse or fear they will is because they have not worked the twelve steps to the point of learning to live them. If fear could keep us sober then we would have stayed sober along time ago of our own accord. Because fear is one thing that most addicts are well versed in.
The second reason people don’t stay sober is because
The Fix-Addiction & Recovery
This episode we take a sober look at the throbbing, aching, craving desire states that return people (again and again) to the object of their addiction … and the pills that just might set them free.
Reporter Amy O’Leary was fed up with her ex-boyfriend’s hard-drinking, when she discovered a French doctor’s memoir titled The End of My Addiction. The fix that he proposed seemed too good to be true. But her phone call with the doctor left her, and us, even more intrigued. Could this malady – so often seen as moral and spiritual – really be beaten back with a pill?
We talk to addiction researcher Dr. Anna Rose Childress, addiction psychologist Dr. Mark Willenbring, journalist Gabrielle Glaser, The National Institute of Health’s Dr. Nora Volkow, and scores of people dealing with substance abuse as we try to figure out whether we’re in the midst of a sea change in how we think about addiction.
Produced by Andy Mills with Simon Adler
If you are someone looking for help with a substance abuse problem and want to find health care services in your area, check out this map from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.
For more on Dr. Mark Willenbring and the Alltyr Clinic visit their website.
If you’d like to hear more from Nora Volkow you can watch her speech from this summer’s American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting.
Or watch her and other top addiction researchers at last year’s World Science Fair
Recovery is a place you learn to face your fears. Walk through the fear. But not only that express the fear in a healthy way if need be to better overcome it. Writing, sharing, crying, praying, are all healthy ways to relieve the very fear that is at the core of addiction.
Why I chose to become a drug addict.
Firstly who can justify beating with a belt or even an open hand little baby girls. We were beautiful and innocent babies who had not even learned right from wrong.
My heart is broken. I spent the first 17 years of my life learning from those I trusted and loved most what a horrible person I was. I learned it from my father who I now loath. Thing is I had no idea what child abuse looked like so I blamed myself for every beating, verbal belittling, rejections, abandonments, and violent strike my father gave me before the age of 5. Who allows their little daughter of 3 or 4 to walk into a pile of hot coals? I suffered 3rd degree burns on my butt and legs for my parents….neglect was it? I remember the mail man bringing me home at the age of 3 because I wondered down the highway with no supervision.
Firstly how in the hell does a man justify beating a little 3 or 4 year old girl. It sickens me. Father; you taught me I was literally disgusting. He taught me that my young and excited hopes and dreams were ridiculous and I could not possibly attain any of them. He taught me who I was. He was my teacher and he showed me I scarcely had a right to be on this earth. All my feelings were wrong he said. All my ideas were wrong. By the time I was 4 or 5 I remember wanting to cut my body because it was reprehensible.
What can be done in the name of “Truth”? Truth is a wonderful thing. But it should not be an excuse to carry out a character flaw or hateful act. Please candor and truth are two different things. Truth is easily used to carry out a hateful and malicious act. Truth must be tempered to be spiritual. It must be prudent and mature and ALWAYS, BUT ALWAYS BEFORE TRUTH SHOULD COME LOVE. Truth should not be used as an excuse for debaucheries such as these:
Hurtful and Critical and antagonizing verbal attacks
Hateful and demeaning character assassination
The ruin of a man’s life by character assassination
Disastrous destruction of relationships
The belittling of a young mind and heart that can never be repaired.
The tearing apart of nations.
A collapse in all that is personal, private, and sacred.
And much much more.
Are you capable of seeing how truth can be used to carry out these hateful and malicious acts?
There is a time to keep truth in it’s place….SILENT.
Communication the front line of Love
Inside our empathic sanctuary, we seek to re-discover the natural healing rhythm of our life flow, trusting that each wave of darkness will ultimately return us to the light.
Trusting our rage to return us to peace.
Trusting our shame to return us to self-love.
Trusting our fear to return us to faith.
Trusting our sorrow to return us to joy.
And trusting the guiding light within to lead us on, ever closer to our true nature.
False pride has been my most besetting character defect. I like to think even today that I am absolutely recovered. I like to think all my intense emotional trauma has been talked out, written through, cried and screamed out of my lungs and gone for good. God knows I have worked on my sobriety by spiritual, emotional, and 12 step work at a very deep level. I have learned to take responsibility for the way I feel and to find the root and process it, rather than blame some silly event of person in today.
I have learned the difference between the three types of healing and malady “emotional, spiritual, and 12 step/character defect” recovery. By receiving the solutions to each aspect of recovery separately and at different times my recovery has been educational and worth sharing. I harp on the emotional recovery because it’s my most recent form of deliverance. Emotional recovery involves processing feelings and events of the past. It involves core issues and core healing.
But in the last two years I have realized by the anger I have felt and the
Find out if your doctor is on a list of recieving payments from drug companies. Granted it doesn’t mean the perks affect the way he prescribes medications. Or it may mean that he is out for the money and cares nothing about your health. Be sure to listen to the evidence first in the video below.
USE THIS LINK TO FIND OUT IF YOUR DOCTOR RECEIVES $$ FROM DRUG COMPANIES
Let’s face it in my own experience some doctors have major prejudice against drug addicts. Alcoholics not so much. Doctors don’t care if you drank. They do get angry though over the many dope fiends who have tried to hustle them for pills over and over and over again. In retaliation (perhaps even subconsciously) they have been knows to withhold drugs from professed drug addicts in desperate situations of illness, injury, emergency, and health issues. In early recovery it’s vital we don’t walk out of a doctors office with the very instrument to bring us to our death. But at the same time in hospitals and controlled settings, surgery, and injury WE ARE NOT MARTYRS. We deserve the same pain relief as the next guy. We should not be punished for our histories by which we have surely suffered enough. If you want God to be your only pain relief after surgery fine, but don’t demand it of anyone else or infer we are not sober because we needed to take meds from a doctor.
http://draonline.org/medications.html Another informative article with A.A. & N.A.’s views on the matter. Though neither organizations takes into account the numerous pill pushing doctors who will be your best enablers is you take their advice. Therefore to thine own self be true.
Facebook Group Addiction Professional Referral Group: In response to the comment that addicts don’t understand healthy fear and that healthy fear (the kind we need to survive) is somehow the culprit of addiction. (This article is based on my own experience therefore may have nothing to do with yours. Read Disclaimer)
In short-Addiction is a solution to an emotional disorder defined as an inability to process feelings in a healthy way. It is comprised of Intense shame usually because of neglect, abuse, and childhood lessons dictating that our feelings and we are all wrong. And therepression of fear which intensifies fear. Addiction is a solution to terror and the fear of loss and feelings. Then- the solution goes wrong and we must find another or figure out the core pain and fear so as to find healthy solutions to it. Simply put addicts are scared to death and have been taught they are bad, and wrong at the core. Imagine going through life like that. We addicts made the grave error of taking to heart what our parents taught us about ourselves. We have been sold a bill of goods that is not easily remedied. I don’t have a disease because I have found the core reasons for my fear and shame. If the reasons under the reasons to drink and drug are not realized by the addict then he does still have a disease, obscure, and incurable. Without self-awareness there can be no cure.______Laura Edgar author of Paradise for the Hellbound
The same man will drink again.
Not to mention most of us come into the rooms with horrible relationship skills. We are skilled in the art of getting what we want at nearly any cost.
When I got sober in 2006 I swore the last thing I wanted was another
“Organ banks around the country have noted an increasing number of organs becoming available from donors who have died of overdoses.” Say’s Radio Host Robin Young
I was shocked when I heard the headlines on 89.1 WUFT Gainesville, FL. The story is from the Here & Now show with Robin Young who discusses the issue with Alexandra Glazier, president of the New England Organ Bank and Eileen Grugan, a Philadelphia mother whose son donated organs after dying of overdose in 2011. Eileen Grugan did an amazingly giving thing at such a crucial time. I think many mothers would shutter at the thought of donating their child’s organs right after they died. Here are Mrs. Grugans very words.
“When that person, when that doctor, asked if we had thought of donation, it was like a hand of God had reached right through and grabbed us.”– Eileen Grugan
The station has great news and heartfelt informative shows and hosts. When I heard on the “Here and Now” show of the sharp rise in Heroin deaths in the U.S. I was dismayed.
Organ banks around the country have noted an increasing number of organs becoming available from donors who have died of overdoses. The New England Organ Bank notes that in 2010 there were eight overdose victims who donated organs in the region; in 2015 there were 54. Nationally, 848 organs became available from overdose victims in 2015.
Here is the link so you can read the story for yourself that I listed to on WUFT radio Gainesville. http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/05/26/overdose-organ-donation
Page 64 Big Book: Our liquor was but a symptom. We HAD TO get down to causes and conditions.
Here’s the thing. Recovery is a process. It can be dangerous for a person under approx. 5 to 7 years (w/variables) sober to adapt the “recovered” view point because you know what they might do. I don’t believe anyone should stop going to meetings until they truly are fully recovered and/or know how to apply the steps in their daily life.
Who is recovered?
The “See More” will take you to FaceBook
Here’s the FB article for those who don’t want to click the link to FB.
That just sucks. It sounds like the drug companies have a magic halo over their heads and a free pass.What a joke, it’s as if this whole election is merely a play-write with actors taking cues from the one’s with the money. PLEASE HELP I AM TAKING A PRIVATE POLE!! I want to write an article NO NAMES WILL BE MENTIONED. I JUST WANT NUMBERS, STATISTICS FROM YOU. ARE YOU INSURED WITH OBAMACARE OR MEDICAID AND DOES IT WORK FOR YOU? AND DOES IT PAY FOR YOUR MEDICINES, does your doctor accept these insurances?? If you don’t want to answer publicly PLEASE message me. Public radio and politicians are clueless on this issue AND USING IT TO GET VOTES. No not clueless! Deceptive and I am appalled! On Point radio show 89.1 in Gainesville (Tom Ashbrook) are calling the premium hikes in O.C “growing pains” as if it’s acceptable to double premiums for people who can’t pay. I know people who were reeled in with cheap premiums then experienced DOUBLED PREMIUMS and half the coverage in the next six months. They call it growing pains as if The insurance companies didn’t know what the costs would be before the customers signed up. “We were unaware of the cost” said one of the expert guests (paraphrasing). They hacked up Trump by mentioning this: “Study: Trump healthcare plan would end coverage for 21M — “A new analysis reports that Donald Trump’s healthcare plan would result in about 21 million people losing health insurance and cost about $270 billion over 10 years. The analysis, from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), looks at the healthcare plan that Trump released earlier this month, which includes many popular Republican concepts.” (The Hill) They are using a lie to get votes. That just re-inforces my view toward Trump in a good way.
God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and The way of life. May I do Thy will always!
I was telling my sponsee and friend about a meditation I do. Once I have settled into my meditative state after saying a few mantras such as the Lords Prayer. Then I pray a step eleven request that I be given the knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry that out. I close my eyes. I put some of the heavenly crystals on my chakras, throat, forehead, abdomen. Then I envision dancing before The Lord, my Higher Power. The dance I do is an offering unto God. It is an act of showing my Higher power reverence, tribute, veneration, High regard, and it is a testimonial of my honor toward God. I wear a long white dress with a sash. The color of the dress is relevant to my mood and color is symbolic in a spiritual way.
Last time I did this meditation I was given a gift. I didn’t expect it. What I got was a deep realization of my creator and His care of me. I was zapped by God’s Spirit and then I laughed at myself. God took the time, care and Love to create me. He will not discard me like a piece of garbage. I fear sometimes for the future. What will become of me I worry to myself. Will I get Alzheimer’s? Will I be able to walk and get around at the age of eighty? What will my death be like? Will I suffer? Will I even have a roof over my head? And what about my daughter and loved ones? I also worry for them. Well God gave me an epiphany of His Love and care for me. He let me know that He is not going to feed me to the wolves. The realization went deep into my heart into a locked door which no human could have ever opened. It was an empty room of my heart that only the creator of me could fill. But if I don’t take the time to move near to God. God if left out of my life in ways that only I can choose. God is a gentlemen as they say and He will not overstep the boundaries of my free-will.
When I rely on God my needs and unhealthy reliance on mankind fads to nothing. My faith was increased that day. My fears were quelled. I trust my Higher Power a little more than ever before.
When I got sober after 30 years of drinking, drugging, and sick relationships I was scared to death. My self-esteem was zero. I was afraid to make a choice about pretty much anything for fear it would be wrong. I didn’t trust myself or my choices and hadn’t for a long time, that is unless I was in control-ism mode. But once I sobered up certain behaviors stopped immediately other habits took some time to develop.
I met a nice guy in AA. He had seven years sober. I like him so much but I was scared to death. That did not stop me from building a relationship. Well the thing is I was also going through group therapy at the time. All three of my
Page 64 Big Book: Our liquor was but a symptom. We HAD TO get down to causes and conditions.
Sharing from our heart especially the things that bring us shame, are imperative to share if we are to recover. Recovery is not just quiting drinking but also to emotionally heal. We won’t recover without the component of emotional transparency. Oh sure we can quit drinking by the art of distraction but we will need meetings the rest of our lives if we don’t address our real reasons for wanting to numb our capacity to feel.
My official position on Alcoholics Anonymous. I do not speak for the whole of AA or speak at a level to press, radio, or films as a representative of AA. Tradition 10 in no way means we should not have a vote or an opinion on issues of our time. Very few people ever do speak for the whole of AA at that level.
I believe AA is god breathed. I believe AA works…to an extent. It works IF your sponsor teaches you the true program AND a person does a serious step 1 and 3 especially putting their sobriety in god’s hands to start with. It works if we read the books for ourselves and do the work. It works if a person learns how to make themselves transparent by sharing their deepest fears, shame, misdeeds, and hurts. Then that person moves on to clarity and does a more thorough step four than their first one, including all core issues. Then that same person enlarges their spirituality by step eleven ongoing. Then that person enlarges their self-worth by doing ongoing step 12 in a leadership capacity. Then that person does another 4,5 because of more clarity and stuff coming up.
As for character defects, ask god to remove them but good luck with that. At some point this person needs to realize they are human and will never be even close to perfect and let themselves OFF THE HOOK. Accepting that god created man to be flawed and flawed perfection is synonymous with being human.
At some point this person should quit labeling himself with negative terms including “alcoholic addict”. Unless the word “recovered” precedes the label.
This person should learn respectful communication skills with other humans. No sarcasm, no dishonesty, no veg bullshit. We say what we mean and mean what we say. We don’t hide insults behind the guise of “kidding” or a passive aggressive jab.
We don’t use AA clichés to make ourselves look better and put a man down.
“Some are sicker than others”,
“keep coming back”
we check our motives.
We learn boundaries and what they really are. Realizing that a boundary isn’t something we tell other people to abide by. A true boundary can only be enforced by us whether it be walking away, saying no and sticking to it or not answering the phone only we can enforce our boundaries. Yes, we can let people know we won’t continue in disrespectful relationships but it’s up to us to take action. Not by directly telling people how to act. All that would be is controlism.
Writers can write what they want that is a different deal altogether. If we think we can overcome character defects by exercising other character defects that’s wrong. And at some point…we should learn to have our own voice not just mimic what they say in AA. There are many popular clichés, phrases, and terms in AA that are total bullshit and just sound good are not in the books at all.
Lastly, we should have life goals in mind and work toward them. “Help others do no harm” is the will of God.
AA and religion are parallel. The people at church are very much like the people in AA.
It’s time to quit judging religion so harshly. AA has a boatload of dysfunctional members.
it’s time to write our own cliché’s. Find our own truth, and quit hiding behind the mask of AA. Who will you be when you no longer have AA? What would you do right now if AA were no longer available?
Oprah and Food Addiction
Oprah’s Special Announcment
Oprah’s very public food addiction
Oprah’s Weight Watchers call
Oprah’s ongoing battle with food addiction
You must have seen the Tabloid headlines announcing to the whole world that Oprah hit the 200 pound mark again. Food Addiction is still, after all these years, a reality for her.
I actually read a whole article on this in her O magazine at the gym. I do not agree with the whole new age journey into self that she embraces. Unfortunately all of this is a far cry from her Christian roots, however, I do admire the woman’s openness about her struggle with food addiction (not that it is such an easy thing to hide). Could be that we never would have heard a word about it if it was a struggle with drugs or alcohol.
For registration go to this official AA site
The cost for basic registration will be $25.00 during Pre-Registration and $30.00 at the event. Pre-Registration will run from March 1st at 9:00 am through May 15th, 2016 at 11:59 pm. Mail in registrations must be postmarked by 5/15/2016. Pricing for the Package Plans for those staying at the University of Akron has yet to be determined.
For registration go to this official AA siteFor registration and info go to this official AA site
Page 64 Big Book: Our liquor was but a symptom. We HAD TO get down to causes and conditions.
Answer number one: I was in so much pain that I needed to numb myself due to a life-time of hiding away my true identity. By hiding intense feelings and thoughts away my pain lived inside me till I finally was taught how to let it all out.
Because of emotional neglect
The Depth of Denial in a Sober Addict
Is it easier to claim a life-long genetic disease than to admit core issues and work on them to heal and move on. Generational curses can be lifted and addictions can be cured. It happens. But not while we sit redundant meetings never addressing the real reason we drank and drugged in the first place.
You cannot save your face and save your ass at the same time. If we want to really heal, really overcome addiction we must go to the places where we feel
It’s no wonder most people fear showing their true self even to their most intimate fellows, with everyone else hiding behind the mask of ego and the bravado of “it’s all good” the man who is truly self-aware and acknowledges a full scale of human emotion feels odd and alone: and so festers our society of anxiety, stress, panic attacks, depression, and lastly mental illness. Bring on the pharmaceuticals cry the Americans from their bed of deception. Seems like the theme of the day is healthy “risk taking”. Without the risk of making one’s self vulnerable in a safe environment we will never grow into the person who becomes who they really are. The person who follows their own heart and God’s leading takes emotional risks.
When we are stripped of all self-worth by the beast of addiction we come into the rooms broken and full of resentment. After our thorough working of the 12 steps we are a clean slate. We are then sponges ready to absorb even download if you will our new programs. Oh yes the “Same man WILL drink again” therefore, if we don’t download a new program we are destined to relapse. We absorb all the good we can around us in the rooms of AA, in the re-hab, from the sober friends we choose. We shut our mouths and listen and learn and grow.
When fear crops up & it will, we share it with empathic listeners who will hopefully validate our feelings. Please don’t confuse this with “validating or co-signing bullshit meaning co-signing wrong behaviors and actions. I don’t know about you but my heart and what’s in it is not bullshit. How can feelings ever be wrong when they come from our own heart? They are who we are and should be given validity otherwise we are still in a process of tearing ourselves down.
We cannot change our own feelings but we can validate and process them. If we don’t have some intimate fellows in recovery that are open and honest enough to admit their own feelings to us they are living behind a wall of ego and a mask of bravado. It is very important for our feelings to be acknowledged so we may then move on. Our feelings absolutely should not paralyze or control us. However, if they are intense and not addressed (the reoccurring and intense feelings) they will come out sideways by the old survival skill of blame and judgment.
Granted children of God, the skill of fault-finding does work to brush off fear however it usually involves hurting either ourselves or others by developing and nurturing hate & accusation which pollutes our own heart. It is important to surround ourselves with sobriety and good Loving people when we are healing from a life of pain from self-induced abuse. We need not accuse my brethren for accusations are the first fruits of Satan’s own spawn…so says the word. Rev. 12:10 THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!
Fourth Step Resentment. How do I get over a resentment? It is easy for people to say “GET OVER IT!” And peer down on us because we have a resentment. But what is the fourth step process by which we actually have God remove it?
I went to see Father Martin speak. He agreed to shake hands after the speaker meeting. But then after the meeting he was nowhere to be found. I get a profound and long term resentment toward him for this. Here is how I handle it with God’s help.
I used to revel in the fact that addiction is hereditary, genetic even. I used to be conformed to the idea since addiction is genetic it relieves me of all responsibility and renders me powerless over the past, present, and future. I thought I had to pick up. I thought I had no choice. I was compelled and even after years of sobriety I was convinced that I was basically a victim of the DISEASE of addiction. And that I also would require treatment for that addiction the rest of my life. Furthermore I was conditioned in AA to call myself a never-ending “alcoholic/addict” and if I ever thought I was getting well I was in grave danger of relapse and highly delusional.
Well it’s no wonder I adhered so staunchly to such precepts considering I do come from a long line of addicts. These ideals relived me of much guilt. I was finally able to put a “why” on my torn personality. And torn it was, fighting itself to not do what I was compelled at the time to do.
So what changed? What happened? Why do I now believe that my addiction was not cause by some obscure gene pool swimming around in my DNA. Why now do I believe it was nurture or more appropriately a lack of emotional nurturing which caused my sickness? Well it’s like this, after ten years of prayer, meditation, meetings, and a year of very enlightening therapy I have realized the true “why” behind my drinking and drugging. Not only that, I also believe most people drink and drug for pretty much the same reasons I did. Reasons being 1.Shame, 2.pain, 3. an inability to process and deal with feelings. 4. fear of feeling feelings. 5. And finally a lack of God in my life.
Once I cried and screamed out the core issues from childhood which haunted me and were so, so painful I was able to quit being so afraid of my feelings. Once I worked step 12 for so long I gained true self worth. Once I realized God really does have my back and finalized my step three my fears were lessened. Once I learned how to use a fourth step to my advantage including the “fear list” which people seldom talk about anywhere in AA. Not to mention once I saw the popular misconceptions and scare methodologies in AA and moved away from such precepts of bondage I realized, I WILL ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE. And I always had a choice. I am not some genetic victim who needs AA for the rest of my life. Furthermore that is NOT what is taught in the Big Book nor was AA ever intended to be a life-long dependency.
Oh yes I see the old timers sitting around in meetings talking about how they are just as close to a drink than anyone and that they are still so, so sick. Well true if we don’t do the work both step work, spiritual work, and therapy work yes we will always have no advantages over the wet drunk off the street. But if a man has done the work in these three areas and still considers himself as sick as the foggy eyed newly sober man, then he is a dry drunk and has done nothing to allow himself to heal. And if we have truly worked the program for a number of years and are no better off than the new-comer who has done no work and has no knowledge of the twelve steps then that speaks for itself a program which is basically worthless. To say I am still sick is to say the program does not work and my spiritual condition benefited nothing from steps 3 and eleven. These dogmatic concepts are clearly “false humility” at work. It is both dishonest and a false testament to lie about the progress which AA provides. It is clearly rampant false humility to pretend we are in a no better position than the new comer.
Furthermore what man sits in meeting after meeting swearing that someone other than himself “is the most important one in the room”? More bullshit clearly or am I the only one who goes to AA for his own sobriety? I have no control over the new comer and he is not more important than me, sorry. Really?
It’s a choice and I choose to be well. http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/addict-gene/
Hi! My name is Laura Edgar and I am a writer. My passion is to write about the changes I myself have experienced and just how they came about. In “Paradise for the Hellbound” the book, I tell this story. My book also addresses many spiritual and religious topics of which I have experience with.
I don’t think I or anybody should try to write a book about something they know nothing about. I know about and have experienced profound changes in my lifetime. I also write about emotional issues and how to get past fear, emotional pain, stress, depression, panic attacks, and addictions.
Change can come to any of us if we do the work to get the results. When it comes to addictions, if we simply write off our issues as hereditary and non-environment connected then we have little chance of changing. We may stand firm in our denial and take no responsibility what-so-ever for our addictive tenancies. We simply blame our emotional condition on an obscure gene pool. Most addicts find for themselves it’s easier to blame our behaviors on a genetic twist of events rather than emotionally traumatic circumstances. Simply put, it takes too much work we think to delve into the origin of past hurts and pains. Not to mention our primal natures bent on protecting the pack (mom, dad, brother, sister, uncle, etc) are so strong protective ideologies step in where enlightenment is scratching and clawing to get out and our true hearts are desperately yearning to be heard. And then there’s the false pride screaming at the door of truth shaming us into submission. “Don’t share that truth!” our false pride screams. “If you share that truth no one will Love you. For sure, everyone will make fun of you if you express any kind of hurt or need.” So says our false pride. Yes our own intellectual false pride is at war with our true and feeling heart.
Our own intellect condemns what our heart wants to speak. Our intellect calls our heart “weak” and “needy” because it wants its truth to be heard and it needs to be loved for who it is.
We have learned through conditioning as adolescents that our truth is wrong and bad. That even we ourselves are wrong and bad. So we continue to stifle and repress every authentic truth that springs from our heart.
We submerge ourselves into our left brain where we don’t have to fear feelings like hurt and neglect. We go to the place which we know is safe from prying eyes that would tell us we are wrong. In our left brain exercises we are safe.
And be sure…our left brain artistic activities do soothe us and protect us from the pains of rejection and inferiority. However our activities are but a band-aid for the original wound that begs to be expressed so it can finally heal. Until we go back into the past and become a vulnerable child. A child who DOES care what other people thinks of her. A child who is allowed to say she is hurt and cries. A child who looks at her friends and says “I want you to like me” a child who wants to be thought of as good and is GOOD. Yes until we allow that child who craves mommies love and daddies attention to have her voice. Until we let our heart have it’s voice all our efforts of distraction are merely a band-aid on a wound forever seeping. Our emotional pain without a voice will stay infected. And many times the infection will come out sideways onto those we love the most, those we have no intention of hurting.
WHAT IT WAS LIKE
I know what it’s like to be torn in two. Half of me desperately wanting to be sober and clean. The other half tearing at me convinced that I am a slave to drugs and that I have no choice in the matter…I must use. In this case it might have been better to have NO CONSCIENCE WHAT SO EVER. But I could not tear the very heart of me out and replace it with a sober emotionally balanced and spiritually grounded heart.
I was squittled. It seemed there was nothing I could do. I was a slave to crack, methadone, morphine, cigarettes, alcohol and an emotional & mental mess I might add. Denial was the closest thing to peace of mind that I had. But denial was the counterfeit of Peace.
On good Friday 2006 I was walking on the sidewalk when I got stopped by a cop. I was in a county called “GilChrist”. I had no idea it was Good Friday until the cop threw me in jail because of warrants. Warrants I was also unaware of. I was lost. I screamed at the cop all the way to jail.
As I sat in the holding cell I prayed to God; “please lesson the withdraw symptoms” The withdraw wasn’t nearly as bad as it should have been. After about two weeks in jail my decrepit mind began to realize what I had done with my life. The guilt in me for neglecting my nine year old daughter still eats at my heart. Even after doing a step nine with her and all the rest of the steps.
I don’t know if a mother’s brand of guilt ever really goes away totally. If I had a million dollars I would buy her the world to make up for my horrible horrible behavior. Even though my crack days were limited to about a year on and off. If was the second worst drug of them all. I was unavailable and when I did have my daughter I exposed her my addiction. Clearly injecting Cocaine was the most horrific drug abuse. It left me a basket case of panic attacks and shadows of experiencing the deepest fear you can ever imagine. Those days ended in my twenties, way before I had my daughter. I could not keep that up. It’s a whole other story for another day.
My head cleared up. I prayed allot. I remembered the first time I had gotten sober for a very long time due to a spiritual experience. I had sought God in a little Baptist church in the meadow. The pasture was a sweet old man. There was also a minister woman. She put her hand on my chest where all my pain lived as I was leaving the Sunday morning service. She said; “God has something for you, come to the evening service”. And so I did, and I received prayer and the laying on of hands from five or six Christian believers.
I recieved the Holy Spirit that night. The story is in my book “Paradise for the Hellbound” I spent a year as a student with that women Sister Petty. She taught me allot. There is also an article about my overdose here which lead me to seek God. .
Back to 2006
Between my first spiritual experience back in 1989 and my second stay in rehab, in 2006 and Alcoholics Anonymous I was finally able to release most of my fear and pain. But I spent a year in therapy. The right therapy. It also changed me for the better. Honestly one touch from God made me a different person. Morally I was changed for ever. Seek God my friend. Seek with every fiber of your being. God out into the world and follow your heart. God to the church that draws you in. And it will if you listen to the still small voice. GOD DELIVERS HIS CHILDREN FROM BONDAGE ALL THE TIME WE JUST HAVE TO SEEK HIM. SAY JESUS’ NAME ALOUD AND GIVE THANKS OVER AND OVER.. I found that the laying on of hands in prayer is magical. Working the 12 steps is miraculous as well but in a different way. Every addict should go to therapy for at least a year in my opinion. When they get sober I mean.
WHAT IT’S LIKE NOW
When I got out of two months in jail and thirty days of rehab I began my knew life. I raised my daughter in loving environment for the next eight years till she grew up and moved out. I made amends. I took meetings into the very jail I got sober in. I shared my experience strength and hope with the women for two years straight before I got service burn out. I started a successful business. I wrote a book and published it. I have been in a good relationship for ten years. I have been sober nearly ten years also. I have been healed by writing, sharing, prayer, meditation, telling my story, chairing meetings, doing step four and five over and over. I love my life for the first time ever.
But without Jesus, God, I am hopeless. Call your God by any name. Names are not important but seeking is. And seeking is done by the heart and the footwork.
The Big Book is in the public domain. Therefore when Amazon sells it Amazon gets the money not World Services.
After much study and research I have concluded this article I found online is the best one on the topic of The Big Book, it’s profits, and it’s copyright laws. Editions One & Two are in the public domain. That’s why Amazon and other book manufacturers are selling it at full profit. Meaning AA gets nothing from the sales. There are a few theories as to why AA failed to renew it’s copyrights. Read the article.
Is the Big Book Shrinking?
By Meg Williams 07/09/13
The Big Book remains the place to find AA’s program of recovery. But thanks to competing publishers and free apps, literature revenues are falling. Is there anything World Services can do?
Will AA’s publishing revenues soon become small beer? Photo via
When the 63rd General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous met this April, the delegates representing AA groups from the US and Canada passed a motion to allow AA World Services (AAWS) to “use commissioned online stores to sell and distribute digital AA literature.”
AA literature is already widely available on the web. This includes the AA website’s links to the current edition of Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. But other vendors also publish editions of the Big Book online, downloadable for free or for a nominal charge. At this point, AAWS has already lost considerable business to these other publishers. Many would ask, “Why is AA allowing this?” The answer: AA has no legal recourse to stop it.
Individual AA members must choose whom to pay for the Big Book, if they choose to pay at all.
The first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous has been public domain since 1967, when AA failed to renew its copyright on the text. AA also failed to renew the copyright on the second edition, causing it to lapse in 1983. In both cases, most sources say that AAWS failed to act simply because of a lack of understanding of the applicable copyright laws.
Of course, other theories have been proposed. Some suggest that AA let the copyright lapse to dodge any liability resulting from the fact that Bill Wilson claimed he was the only author at the time the Big Book was first copyrighted. (Other people are known to have written portions of the book, including “To Employers” and “The Doctor’s Opinion,” for example.) Moving these works into public domain then re-copyrighting the third edition and not claiming that Bill Wilson was the only author would prevent anyone from suing AA over the original copyright. These same sources add that AA’s General Service Office (GSO) claimed to misunderstood the law in order to hide its true motives. This theory needs to be qualified by saying that these sources seem to have a bone to pick with AA in general. They present evidence to support their claims; however, it is very difficult to confirm its veracity, due to the lack of documentation available to the public from the AA’s service structures.
Whatever its reasons, this apparent oversight has caused a considerable headache for AAWS and the GSO as a whole, because a large part of their budget comes from literature sales. The projected net income from sales for the year of 2013 was $7,782,800. This figure represents profits after subtracting all costs for royalties, manufacturing and shipping. This money was expected to cover 54% of GSO’s expenses for 2013. The 2013 gross income was budgeted at $95,000 less than 2012—showing a decline in sales, though not a steep one. GSO hoped to compensate by reducing production and distribution costs in order to increase the profit margin.
Although the current laws would have extended the copyright until at least 2021, AAWS must adhere to the laws that were in place when the first and second editions were published. The applicable law, the 1909 Copyright Act, dictates that copyrights must be renewed in writing after 30 years. International copyright laws, on the other…read more at “The Fix”
I validated the claims of this article by researching all day. Here are some of the verifications.
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/fair-use-policy What happened to the triangle in the circle?
WE DO NOT HAVE TO STAY IN DENIAL ABOUT OUR DEFECTS OF CHARACTER, WE DO NOT TAKE INVENTORY TO BEAT OURSELVES UP. WE DEVELOPED OUR CHARACTER DEFECTS AS AN INSTINCT TO SURVIVE EMOTIONALLY. WE NOW HAVE THE TOOLS TO CHANGE…BUT FEW CHANGES WILL COME WITHOUT COURAGEOUS SELF-APPRAISAL.
Most parents don’t have any idea what emotional nurturing is. First instinct when we hear this parental blight is to protect the pack. The pack are usually the very people (family) who inadvertently taught us to shut down who we really are. Grave emotional disorder is at the core of addictive personalities. “Grave disorder(How it Works)” is basically constipated and stifled emotions. We addicts often learned how not to cry and how not to share our heart. We learned to wear a mask and hide who we are so we wouldn’t get hurt. So we thought. If your emotions are healthy and happy then why in the hell did you try to drink and drug yourself to death? Come on now. Oh right you did it because of an innate gene pool. Well then for you there could be no cure. But for those of us who have learned a twisted set of emotional responses and survival tactics. We can unlearn them. You can’t swim your way out of a gene pool.
We in AA have identified an array of character defects that are the culprits of our addictive patterns. Among these are the inclination to control everyone and everything around us. Some of us are painfully controlling while others are more passive-aggressive with their scheming. Our defects cause friends and family to run from us like we are ravenous wolves.
Some of us have learned to use other people’s control defect to our advantage. We can passively control others by handing over a certain amount of our own power to them.
Ah yes how we can puff up a gentlemen’s ego by asking him to make our choices for us. Handing over our decision making is a perfect way for a damsel to relinquish responsibility for any consequences of that decision. At the same time, it makes our Knight in shining armor feel so powerful and smart that he is more than willing to help us. The problem is the Knight is weaving his own manipulation, there are many invisible strings attached to his assistance.
When we snatch our power back and the knight inevitably becomes disturbed we will just label him possessive and take out a restraining order. Yikes! Don’t try this at home!
The damsel and the gentlemen is just one example of controlling behavior. We have all seen those who are painfully controlling, they are the one’s running around like directors on a movie screen. When the movie doesn’t play out like they want it to, they promptly fall apart or get very angry and spin around a bit screaming and yelling. Take controlism up another notch and you have obsessive compulsive disorder.
The fact is if resentment is rearing its ugly head you can bet there is a fear at the heart of it. (Pg.417 BB) Getting in touch with one’s own “God syndrome” is important during a fourth step. Once we have established the identity of our controlling side we can use that knowledge in all our tenth steps. Contrary to popular portrayal in The Rooms resentments do crop up and it doesn’t mean we are not “working a program”. People can be ass-holes and they are going to piss us off. Getting a resentment lets us know we are still [feeling] and still sober. Holding on to resentment is dangerous and can result in misery if not checked.
Finding the part of us who wants to play god doesn’t happen for everybody. Some sober people just never get it…the blame game worked for them for so long they are just incapable of trying a healthy solution. You will find them engaging in numerous sick relationships with train wreck break-ups that are never their fault.
The steps are in order for a reason meaning the third step must be done before a fourth will have that supernatural kick. With God’s help the revelation of self will happen during our fourth step.
If we realize our resentments are rooted in wanting to control other adults and the fear that accompanies a of lack of power pg. 45 Big Book then join the club, but consider yourself blessed you already know yourself better than many
Link to Twelve Step Prayers.
Your Right Where Your Supposed to Be
So many times during the first two years of recovery I felt as if I was somehow doing something wrong in my recovery or that something was not right with my progress. I used to feel like my feelings themselves where wrong. Especially if I was sad or fearful, on the edge of depression or angry. I was fortunate to have effective group therapy which when combined with Alcoholics Anonymous kept me and several of my rehab-mates sober for a very long time. We all had sexual abuse in our past and took our addiction to places we were ashamed of. But I learned THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING, EVER.
It’s completely normal to go through an emotional rollercoaster ride in the first couple years of sobriety.
Oprah sits down with award-winning filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg to discuss his time-lapse nature photography and the inherent spirituality revealed through nature. Louie, whose TED talk on gratitude has been viewed more than 6 million times, captures breathtaking images on film that are often unseen by the naked eye and that celebrate the gift of life.
As Oprah and Louie view some of his most magnificent work, they discuss how nature can act as one of our greatest spiritual teachers. A firm believer that beauty is nature’s tool for survival, Louie also shares how the awe of seeing nature can make one more present and mindful and can help us connect to our inner voice. By allowing viewers to see that which can’t be seen, Louie hopes to cultivate gratitude and an awareness that nature is a reflection of the human experience.
However, if we have hit a nasty emotional bottom, it usually causes a deep and lingering fear within us of returning to the horrible drink and drug that planted our guilt. That fear in itself can supply the momentum needed to stay sober long enough to get a sponsor and work the steps. Unfortunately we never know when that bottom will appear. We never know when a loved one will have had enough.
Sometime the fear of going back out hangs onto to us even after years of sobriety. Reason being most of us have relapsed so many times we just don’t trust ourselves. Think about it, even if another man betrays us we never fully trust him again. We do this same thing to ourselves (most of us) by setting out to stay sober over and over and failing miserably. Therefore we tend to feel we are on really shaky ground even after years of sobriety. As a solution for that fear I would tell myself. “Self, it’s not you that is keeping you sober, you are relying on the program now, as long as you work the program, the program works! You will not relapse. I knew it worked because I heard testimony upon testimony of just that in meetings.
Typically with addicts we may feel extremely guilty and remorseful about the the debauchery of the night before and quit for a day or two. But unfortunately again addicts forget so quickly the pain of a hangover or the pain of withdraw symptoms until directly after the next benge.
What the program does if we work it is remind us of the pain we have been through so its not so easy to justify that first drink or first drug. Therefore, the rationalization and memory lapses that are required to get drunk again do not happen as readily.
So many times we addicts get sober then hope and pray our loved ones will follow suit. We think if we just share what worked for us surely they will take the same route. Why wouldn’t they? We think. But very seldom do they follow suit until they finally hit their own pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.
The more we harp on them to stay sober and preach to them about what worked for us the more it pushes our loved ones away.
So we pray “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
“Gratitude is the only coin by which man can buy God. The most appropriate depiction of addiction is soul sickness.” Denial is a prostitution of the soul.” “You cannot trample on your conscious without pain.” He tells a joke. WOW THIS MAN CAN PREACH AA!
Published on Dec 17, 2012
Father Martin speaks about “Gratitude” in this video in such an effective way. Allow someone to view this with you so that they can get the information that they need especially if they are in need of support.
“Fair Use” Section 107 through 118 of the copyright law title 17 U.S. Code for educational purposes
Published on Dec 18, 2012
Sharing such treasures like this is important. In this video Father Martin speaks about the importance of “Forgiveness” in the “Recovery” process. Hope that you get something out of watching this like thousands of other people in recovery has.
Building Self-Worth takes time and work. But it is a priceless result when we become who we were really meant to be. We Become who our heart screams and claws inside us to be.
Join a home group and open-up to the group. You have to be a friend to make a friend. Show vulnerability. (true feelings) Express your fears. The truth WILL set you free. (don’t incriminate yourself legally) Share “what happened and how it made you feel.) Get phone numbers of same sex members. Call them and check in. Get a sponsor.
Chair meetings, bring meetings into jails and institutions, go to detox to share your story with others. Get in the middle of the boat, per-say.” Set goals to accomplish that are fulfilling to you. Work the 12 steps with all your heart, leave nothing uncovered where shame can get a strong-hold.
Shame is at the core; it drives us to isolate and puts us humans on the defensive. Put one foot in front of the other. Do Step Eleven and don’t stop doing it. Years pass quickly. I challenge you and myself to meditate 4 times a week and see where that gets us. So what I am suggesting here should supply both inner fulfillment and enlightenment.
If we lie still, chant a mantra of our choice. The demons (metaphor) will leave, they hate when we lie still and focus on finding our Higher Power. Or IT/HE/SHE finding us.
Meetings every day or two a day.
WHY does it seem addicts are far more fearful than other people? It is a fear of feelings that drives a man to numb all his feelings including the blessed ones. At the core of addiction lies fear, shame, and an inability to process our feelings in a healthy way.
Panic attacks, anxiety, stress, shame, embarrassment, nervousness, phobias, freaking out,, shame, insecurity, shyness, inferiority are all bi-products of fear. Addiction =”fear management gone awry”.
Some may highly disagree with the fear theory. They will tell us they are ashamed of nothing and don’t give a damn what anybody thinks of them! And as they approach life through a platform of anger and wrath what they say is in some ways true. We bathe in anger to cover fear, hurt and pain. This is the addicts basic false-pride and denial system born from a core of fear and shame. Shame is a form of fear. Shame is the belief that other people are better than us and will see that we are BAD so we hide. (I do wish I was not writing my own emotional story here).
Please realize, addicts are not at fault for their deep fear/shame feelings. In the formative years of which we were sponges learning the basics of life itself and where we fit into it, some adult/adults who probably loved us (as much as they were able) convinced us that we were of less value than other people. These influential moms, dads, uncles, brothers, sisters, priests, pastures, coaches and teachers were in a position to literally form our self-image at a core level. Most likely they themselves reflected their own self-image onto us. They felt worthless and so we were worthless. At times addict-type parents are ashamed even of their own children.
We wear our hearts on our sleeves and we flinch and lash-out at any remote suggestion that we are bad, wrong, ugly, stupid, or any other negative connotation such as these. Feeling threatened we immediately switch-off to blame-mode and block out countless opportunities for fruitful and productive relationships. We routinely cut-off our own nose to spite our face.
And so as young emotionally defenseless children, we walked around with our heads hung low separate from the flock, prime prey for the abusive and distorted sex offender who reels us in by telling us what we crave to hear more than anything; ‘WE ARE OF VALUE, WE ARE LOVED’.
This my friend is the story of many an addict boys and girls alike.
IF AN ADDICT DOESN’T KNOW HE HAS BEEN DEEPLY ASHAMED HE HASN’T GOTTEN DOWN TO “CAUSES AND CONDITIONS”….YET, IN his/her RECOVERY PROCESS. But this is the beginning of healing, realizing the malady’s core.
We formed temporary emotional survival skills for our deep shame, but our skills, primal in nature have become destructive and push away the ones we love most and those we could have loved. Our slip-shot solutions are destructive and hurt others. We set ourselves up not as equals but rather as better than everyone else. We do this through harsh condemning judgments and endless fault finding and criticisms. We had to find a way to live with ourselves. When we drink and drug then we are beautiful, then we are strong, then we do not have to be ashamed.
But the drugs quit working that’s why we are here in AA to find new solutions. Solutions that do not consist of blame as their pre-requisite. Solutions that will aid in our sobriety and our emotional healing. And hopefully somewhere in our recovery we learn it’s ok to cry. That crying and being hurt are part of being human. We MUST FIND WAYS TO PROCESS THE MOST INTENSE OF OUR FEELINGS IF WE DON’T, THEN WE WILL CONTINUE REPRESSING EMOTIONS.
What do we do? An immersion into AA or any 12 step group is vital. We do a serious third step.
We do step four and list all prejudice, shame, resentment, silent judgement, guilt, and all hurtful actions. We do ongoing step work. We make a FEAR LIST.
We do step 12 chair meetings in jails, institutions, and AA itself, all service work will build self-worth. The more the better.
We get therapy and develop emotional processes that work for us. We hournal, write, cry, scream, groan, beat the bag, share, beat the bed. (There is no wrong feeling therefore we don’t have to hide and deny them.) We confess past offences.
We write a biography of the intense times in our life-What happened and how it made us feel.
Practice Spirituality-Step Eleven is priceless and should be ongoing.
A connection to nature and the outdoors is very helpful. We go to rivers, lakes, springs, snow, sky, caves, animals, walks and more.)
Why is Google both a Teacher and a Student?
We in recovery like to use the phrase “remain teachable” and “everyone is our teacher” and we had to become teachable to get and stay sober. Sponsors teach us what they did to stay sober. We pass on that information to our sponsees.
Google has to continually study the internet down to the last search and little homegrown website to continue to edit their search engine’s algorithm (the way searches are carried out) to suite all users from corporate hierarchy to the one man entrepreneur like me. The world’s largest and arguably its best search engine serves up over one billion results out of Mountain View, Calif., every day to people like me. If they didn’t remain teachable they would be crowded out by better up and coming search engines. Technology is a constantly changing field.
I just want to say Google I hope you remain an advocate of free internet and open source applications. Thank you for your service to me and my writing.
Granted not all changes benefit big business either as shown in the article below. And of coarse Google is a teacher who shows us how to develop a website which can climb in search results. There are thousands of “helps” with which to learn Google’s requirements.
“Contempt prior to investigation is as much a symptom of alcoholism as cirrhosis of the liver. So says https://www.thefix.com/content/contempt-prior-to-investigation-AA-Herbert-Spencer8042 .
But not always. If an alcoholic in recovery opens his mind, he then has twice the ability to help open the mind of those who are suffering from closed-mindedness. Why? He can relate to what its like having a mind shut tight as the locks on the gates of hell. Which shuts out the light of the Spirit. He is familiar with the mechanics of a mind suddenly opening experiencing the epiphanies and spiritual awakenings of a free thinker. He can share the method by which the blind can see.
Apparently Herbert Spencer did not originally coin the contempt investigation phrase after all according to the article found at this link (THE FIX “CONTEMPT PHRASE”).
But one thing Spencer did not write is the immortal words about contempt and investigation, according to Michael St. George, who searched the digitized library of papers that Spencer left after his death and who detailed his findings in the essay “The Survival of a Fitting Quotation.”
“Contempt before investigation” was penned almost a century earlier by another British philosopher, William Paley, whose book Evidences of Christianity contains the following sentence: “Contempt prior to examination is an intellectual vice, from which the greatest faculties of mind are not free.” Paley was writing about Romans who scoffed at early Christianity.
WHAT DOES RECOVERY REALLY LOOK LIKE?
Step Four & Five’s primary result is the sudden awareness of character patterns of manipulation and dysfunction. Starting the day from the platform of humility means we are aware of our personality flaws and can adjust behaviors and ask for God’s help throughout the day. We don’t sit in meetings advertising how sick we are after years of step work and therapy (false humility).
We don’t take hostages or use the cliches as weapons to punish newcomers. We don’t tear down the newcomer to build them back up they are already torn down. Encouragement it not poison. Sarcasm is dishonest and should be a thing of the past. We say what we mean and mean what we say. We ask for help by choice.
Our 12 step work is by choice therefore we reap the self-esteem by doing the next right thing. Having an opinion on any issue outside or otherwise is part of self-confidence not a tradition ten breach. We do not speak for the whole of AA and seldom does anyone have that official power.
Facebook groups are not CNN or the Tampa Times. I vote and engage in National politics as my freedom and right. I make opinions on vital outside issues. I discuss important topics and learn to show respect for others and their opinions. I don’t shut anyone down or invalidate their feelings which are a part of them. Sometimes anger is the appropriate reaction to life’s circumstances. I get resentments but I know how to relieve them. I don’t’ rewrite the English language to suite my views.
I don’t whitewash AA and its members. In any large group of humans there is always error and mistakes. Quality sobriety sometimes looks like a boatload of tears and cries. Happy joyous and free is not constant. There is more to getting sober than just getting sober. If I don’t discover the reason for my attempts to numb my feelings, then I have more exploring to do. It’s not a sin to ask “why”. By exploring reasons and asking why empires have been built and humans have been saved.
There is no wrong feeling only wrong actions. To say my feelings are bad and wrong is to condemn myself as bad and wrong. No but instead I learn what to do with the feelings that I have for so long feared. Stuffed feelings will come out sideways usually at those we love most so I write, I cry, I share, I find the fear behind the emotion and ask God to remove it. I admit when I am afraid. I walk through the fear.
AA, rehab, and God all were and are the ingredients in saving my life. In AA I have done the 12 step work many times and at many levels. Demonizing rehab or AA as a whole would be drastically inaccurate. I got sober at a $2 a day rehab called Bridgehouse at Meridian in Gainesville, Fl in 2006. My therapists were nothing short of brilliant. Not all the counselors were savvy. The government paid for my stay even before Obama care. http://mbhci.org/treatment-services/residential-inpatient-services/
Recently I have done an extensive study on Alcoholics Anonymous. Also I have been an active member for ten years. I refuse to white-wash AA by pretending its processes and members are either ALL GOOD or ALL BAD. I myself admit an annoyance of Club level sobriety which participates in much dysfunction in the name of AA.
That being said in my study, I have found several websites (listed at the link above) and people of reputation and high education who claim Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous are ALL BAD and literally killing people. In some cases sick sponsors have been responsible for just that. Because of my own open minded and sometimes critical views on some widespread AA misconceptions, and bringing those into light I have been mistaken as an AA hater which I am not. I have been badgered to say the least by some less mature new members. I understand these members are in deep pain and need someone to blame. For some newcomers if their perceptions of AA and all it’s members are not ‘perfect’ and whitewashed they delude that it reflects on them. For their benefit I have curbed my critical articles. In the beginning of sobriety it’s not uncommon for a member to attach their identity to AA. Similar to my own search early-on for the perfect sponsor who in my mind had to be perfect AA to sponsor me. Lol I learned early on the ingredient of perfect-program requires imperfect people. All my sponsor needs to be good at is staying sober.
We should go into our recovery with eyes wide open knowing that in any human arena things can go bad and people prey on weakness and vulnerability. Desperation by family members to save their loved one’s life is being exploited full force. We must be aware of that and not automatically trust these organizations. At the same time we need to give both rehab and AA a chance as if we were shopping for a car from used car lots. Pic and choose our meetings and rehab with prudence. As you can see by my own financial rehab experience ($2 a day) money doesn’t necessarily buy sobriety.
WILLINGNESS, OPEN-MINDEDNESS, AND HONESTY are the keys to sobriety.
A new documentary by a former rehab insider shines a skeptical light on the business of high-priced addiction centers. However demonizing all of rehabs could be fatal. Just as demonizing all of AA could be fatal.
It seems that some Insurance companies, big business, rehab centers will do anything to get the money of suffering addicts families, as shown in the following article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/02/the-million-dollar-rehab-racket-that-drains-family-savings.html
The centers “paint this picture that they’re going to fix everything. These families in crisis are so vulnerable, and they want to believe what they hear.”
But in truth, Horvath says, the biggest motive of rehab facilities, some of which charged upwards of $50,000 a month, was simpler still: profit. One rehab he worked with, he said, had an employee whose job was to guide families through the process of refinancing their home to pay the tens of thousands of dollars charged for treatment.
I believe big money is trying it’s best to sabotage and discredit AA so they can profit from our pain per-say. And that they are behind many of these negative websites and are using disgruntled AAers to their advantage. Granted these disgruntled often have truly been wronged by members. However like addicts do they have gone to an extreme about AA. And if it is big business behind many of these sites since Obama care agreed to pay for rehab, they are not doing a very good job of discrediting AA. God is the author and finisher of AA in my opinion.
“Take it easy, don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can don’t even try to understand, just find A place and make your stand and take it easy yee ha!” This line has helped me lighten up on myself many times. It is basically saying the same thing to me as the unwritten rule 62 in AA “don’t take yourself so damn seriously!” I gotta say I have never ever cried over the loss of someone I didn’t know personally. But I am crying now. Listen to the song “Take it Easy” and “Hotel California” now.
CLICK TO SEE/HEAR “TAKE IT EASY”
One of the founding members of the Eagles, Glenn Frey, died today in New York City, his family and bandmates announced on the band’s website.
He was 67.
According to the statement from his loved ones and colleagues, Frey’s death was caused by complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.
“The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery,” read a statement on the Eagles’ website. “Words can neither describe our sorrow nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community and millions of fans worldwide.”
A Detroit native, Frey met Don Henley when they were in their 20s and new to the music business. Soon after, they formed the Eagles with Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon, quickly becoming one of the most popular rock bands of all time, with hits including “Take It Easy,” “Desperado,” and “Hotel California.” (Meisner was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit in 1977 and Joe Walsh took over for Leadon in 1975.) ABC NEWS click here to read entire article abc.com
There is an unwritten rule in AA that is not without merit. “No sex for the first year sober” is the suggestion. Unwritten indeed. The rule teeters on a scale defined as either a beneficial and spiritual quest or controlling and insane demand depending on the context by which it is administered. Granted the “no sex” rule is not as well established as the “no relationships” for the first year rule. But admittedly they are similar, and sex can be huge distraction in early sobriety that leads directly to the cliff called “relationships”. After all a sexual relationship is still a relationship.
How can the rule of no sex for a year be potentially either spiritual or character defect both? It is a spiritual quest if we choose it to stay clear of distractions and deny the flesh to empower the spirit. And it is a decision I can change at any time preferably without being called an evil 13th stepper. If someone is demanding that I “stop all sex for a year” no questions asked and insisting I won’t stay sober if I have sex as a blanket rule for everyone…well then it’s insanity because there are a host of circumstances in life which could prove that newly sober sexual relationships can work. It depends on the person and the situation. Perhaps I enter the rooms married, or maybe I meet my soul mate in the rooms. Him with 13 years sober and me 13 days sober. We fall deeply in love and are still together many years later, in harmony. And yet the frigid and judgmental call it a 13th step. The most horrid of the AA offences, that is other than relapse.
In the words of our great guru, king of the 12 steps, validator of the suffering addict, Bill W. himself. “We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone’s sex conduct.” Well you sure as hell could of fooled me! If “we” means the people at meetings I have been to that is. Seems to me the rule forbidding sex in the first year of recovery supersedes many of the more important sobriety suggestions. And Bill W. continues: “We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.” He goes on to mention that “everyone has sex problems.” I am sure that’s true also for the majority of humans, eventually.
Yes ironically, since the word “religion” is by far the most evil word in the AA pirate dictionary.
And the interesting part about all this shame inducing sex talk? We hear a very similar message echoing from the pulpit of many churches. Even though the Bible itself doesn’t talk much about sex. But rather the Bible condemns the betrayal called adultery. The word “fornication” in my opinion implies ‘betrayal’ and some sort of hurtfulness not sex alone. Let consenting adults alone with their consensual sex. Why, with all the violence, torture, abuse, murders, maiming, and molestation happening does an act of sexual harmony rate being called sin? Only for the misguided, clearly only for the misguided. Common sense tells me that harmonious sex is no more a sin than eating food. Sex is right there in line with eat, sleep, drink water, have sex, have babies, and breath air. Granted I am not referring to sex abuse that my friend is another mater.
What is addiction in the arena of substance abuse? Addiction means un-manageability. That is the difference between using a drug to help us and abusing a drug to hurt us. But don’t think you escape un-manageability just because your sober. ha ha ha ha
Recovery happens when we go to meetings and do the work regardless of whether we are having sex with a newcomer who by the way used to be a prostitute. The program works if we work it. If you have sex you still make your meetings. If you have sex with a newcomer you still make your meetings and if the newcomer doesn’t make his or her meetings, well that’s on them isn’t it?
We are adults, we make our own choices. Newcomers make their own choices. Some programs like to take away the power of choice, even imprison or restrain adults but Alcoholics Anonymous is not one of them and the literature proves it.
The Addicts Prayer
If the above prayer makes you nauseous then you may not be a child of that God. It’s your choice to pray the following prayer instead.
From: “Paradise for the Hellbound” by author Laura Edgar
I was deep into my Cocaine addiction. I had a few people who enabled my drug use and one was a guy name Ed. He was a drug dealer, not a street dealer mind you. He had a three hundred-thousand-dollar house in the late 70s and it was very nice. He drove a brand new BMW which was way too small in my opinion for his fat ass. Sorry I guess there is some resentment left. He was a greasy Italian not the beautiful kind like my daughter’s father. Those dark olive skin beauties with the almond shaped eyes that wear the top lid eye liner so well. My daughter is gorgeous and I am very proud of her Italian heritage. No! This man was a pale skinned sweaty, greasy, over-weight (yet judged anybody that didn’t have a models body) jet black hair, blood like ice coursing through his heartless veins, probably connected to the mafia, he sure as hell acted like it, Italian. I resent the hell out of him EVEN STILL because of what he nearly did to me and the fact that I have not let it go. I promise to work on it.
I remember one day I rode around with him back in Tampa in the BMW that smelled like cherries all the time. He stopped to drop money off to a woman at her house in Lutz. I asked him why she was receiving money from him. He talked in the “we” context about his organization of some sort. He said that basically one of his dealers (the woman’s husband apparently” went to jail while selling the organizations goods. So the woman was hand delivered compensation on a monthly basis since her husband didn’t snitch. My drug dealing friends taught me at a very young age YOU JUST DON’T SNITCH-EVER! Unlike the attitude of the people I have met in the later years of my rampant addiction who automatically snitched at the drop of a hat. I was taught that’s the lowest most worthless thing you can do to anyone.
I went to jail myself back then not long after that conversation. Recently one of my old friends from back in-the-day said the organization almost had me killed for fear I would turn them in once I was arrested. Well, leaving town back then for a very long time may have saved my life. I refused to snitch and was on the run for thirteen years because of my principles. They didn’t know that I had refused to snitch. How would they know? I was over the deep end in their opinion. I couldn’t handle my drugs in their opinion. The drugs they supplied that is. Once I was arrested Fat Ed treated me like a bad tooth. He pulled me out and threw me away. My overdose happened prior to that. Allot went on back then but this isn’t a book about war stories. It’s a book about my recovery and how it all happened.
We used to eat Quaalude and then break open the Cocaine bag. We snorted it, smoked it, shot it, and any other way we could find to get it into our blood stream that’s what we did. Me and “Fat Ed” as we called him were on a two-day coke shooting binge on this day. God blessed me with some very large and very strong veins. I rarely couldn’t hit myself once I learned how. However, this must have been before I learned to inject my own drugs because Fat Ed was hitting me up at this time. We were shooting up in the bathroom for some reason don’t remember why. We did shot after shot after shot but I wasn’t satisfied, it was never enough. Long story short I kept complaining “Ed it’s not enough give me more, I want more, more, more!”. And on and on I went. I can’t say I blame Ed; he finally did what I asked him to do after many warnings. He kept saying “Lori it’s too strong, we must be careful”. But the nagging finally got to him as he fixed me up the lethal shot. He knew it would kill me, he knew what he made up would kill me. He knew it was way too much. He was sick of me hounding him. Fat Ed is still alive today from what I have heard, unlike many other of my old friends.
HE GAVE ME THE HUGE SHOT
I crashed to the bathroom floor. What they told me after I woke back up was they gave me C.P.R. and I finally woke up after a couple minutes. But it wasn’t because Ed saved my life. It was because his roommate Mike was in the house and refused to let me die. Mike was Ed’s longtime partner. He knew and didn’t approve of what we were doing in the bathroom. But it was what Mike told me about his best friend after I woke and he pulled me aside that really shocked me. Mike saved my life and then said “Lori, if you ever date Ed again after this I won’t have any respect for you.” Mike continued, “Ed told me to take you out and throw you into a dumpster. He had no desire to even try to bring you back.” He said. Those were the most words Mike had ever spoken to me. I remember his concern waking me up, “are you OK Lori, do you know where you are and what day it is?” I was so lost back then. I had no identity. I didn’t know who I was emotionally or spiritually. I was back knocking on Ed’s door a few days later once I recuperated from my shocking overdose in spite of what Mike had told me. I didn’t know how to love myself….yet.
While I was out cold, apparently I fell flat on my back to the floor. I could feel myself as if I were shrunk down to nothing, my body left me. All I was, was a thought without a body. I was invisible as if I had been shrunk down into a minute fraction of my normal size so small the human eye could not have seen me. But my thoughts were still just as large as before. My ideas were still alive. I had a consciousness about me. I was not aware of why I was shrunk down in the center of a rock prison. I didn’t know that I had, at one time had a body and lost it. All I knew is I was crushed into the center of a rock and I couldn’t move. There was no white light. I was imprisoned and compressed inside blackness without a body there was no time or space in that consciousness. There was no light of God’s Spirit that I could feel. No warmth on my body from the sun, no wind on my shoulder.
Suddenly something happened to me abruptly someone was pulling me from the rock. It was horribly uncomfortable to come back out of the rock. Have you ever been awoken abruptly from a hangover sleep by a glass of cold water on the face? Magnify that by a million that is how it felt being brought back from the dead. My body screamed! My consciousness screamed! No! I wanted to be left in the rock, the rock would become my home even though I had no power at all to do anything crushed without a body or limb to move. I was ripped from the rock and my body ripped with the movement. I see the rock now it was white and black speckles. Like a rock you would see in a North Carolina river. But this rock was animated hanging me in anti-space where there is no time or space. Space is a wonderful thing I tell you. I never ever want to return to the prison I was in when I died. My overdose happened before I met my God, knew Jesus, before my third step. There was no white light my friend only a prison and a thought. And Fat Ed would have left me there he didn’t care. But I didn’t remember anything in my prison it was devoid of knowledge. All there was is a silent awareness. Mike was my angel that day back in 1978. Mike saved my soul from that rock prison. Mike acted in accordance with God, my God. Mike is in my prayers where-ever he may be. Please my friends seek God while it is still light. Get to know your maker lest you end up in that horrible place. Life and Love and having a vessel to call a body is the best way to be that I know of. My soul was imprisoned while I was alive, therefore when I died it was also imprisoned. I don’t know if I would have ever been freed from that prison had I not been brought back to life . In 1986 I was born again, born of the Spirit a second birth they call it¬¬. I came alive when I found that little Baptist Church in the meadow and God introduced Himself to me in a big way. (see “the Baptism of the Holy Spirit” chapter of Paradise for the Hellbound). http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/paradise-for-the-hellbound/#BAPTISM%20OF%20THE%20HOLY%20SPIRIT
Hi I am Lori a recovered addict
I can’t send you to this article until I share something with you about my own liver illness story. This is the story of how God healed my liver from Hepatitis B and more.
This past February, I was thrown off of my health high-horse. What first started as a headache, fever, and body aches, quickly escalated into an excruciating migraine, debilitating muscle stiffness, and an overwhelming sense of nausea. I was hit with what I thought was a nasty case of the seasonal flu, and it sucked. But I powered through, drinking my liquids and following the natural recommended flu-protocol, knowing that it would all be over within a few days.
My prognosis proved wrong, however. Over a week into my sickness I still couldn’t eat, and I was dropping weight like a Jenny Craig story gone right. The only word I could use to describe the feeling in my stomach was “gross.” My usually clear skin had broken out, and my urine and stool were also starting to look “off” to say the least, which caused some serious concern.
There’s a great article in the Tampa Times about his life and legacy. read the Tampa Times article here
An Alcoholics Anonymous member Randy M. brought Sandy to his last meeting on Sunday night at 7:30 pm. The two were attending their meeting at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church. The meeting was supposed to have a speaker discuss a step. While Randy went to grab some black coffee for the man, Sandy waited, perhaps looking tired. “I asked him if he was okay,” Randy explained Sandy’s last words. “He looked at me and said, ‘Thanks for bringing me to the meeting, buddy.’” Randy went to grab the man some black coffee and came back hearing his friend abruptly fell forward onto page 23 of the Alcoholics Anonymous literature, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, which ironically just so happened to discuss the first step – the most meaningful one to Sandy. As sad as the man’s death may be, Sandy lived a long life with an inspiring message sent about the gifts that sobriety can bring when you are honesty, open-minded, and willing to recover.
12 Steps of AA with Father Martin
CHALK TALK WE CALL FATHER MARTIN’S TEACHINGS IN AA
“Bill Wilson was the man who dreamed the impossible dream till he reached the unreachable star!” Beautiful quote!
SKIP COMMENTARY GO STRAIGHT TO VIDEO
If you are one of those people who automatically agree with everything any and all A.A. Guru’s say you won’t like my commentary on this video. Take what you need and leave the rest but please don’t white-wash or blind yourself to anybody’s rhetoric as if they were perfect or a God. We are all human and all make mistakes. We all occasionally engage in a little verbal error.
Father Martin says (paraphrased) “psychologists say, [you are alcoholic because you have an inferiority complex], his answer to that theory is, “maybe I have an inferiority complex because I AM inferior.” Hmm well I don’t believe that, not for a minute, I believe we are all equal, he is oversimplifying a profound truth about the alcoholic including himself. Maybe he is incapable of addressing his own inferiority complex. Step 12 builds the self esteem that is needed to walk in equality with our fellow man.
Step One “In weakness we are made strong” New International Version 2nd Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
The Priest says that Bill W. stated what the insanity of the disease is and described it as this. “When the alki is completely physically sober and yet picks up the drink of alcohol that is killing him that is insane.” Emotions, the priest says are dominating the alcoholic rather than intellect when he does this. This ideal is perfectly in line with my own theory that grave emotional disorder IS the WHY behind addiction. Furthermore that theory is why and how addiction can be cured. He says don’t use
“Admitted to God, ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs” He says Step Five is vital and a once in a lifetime job. Well I agree it’s vital but “once in a lifetime”,I question that. Obviously if I go out and murder a man I will need to do another fifth step for certain. How in the hell could a priest of all things not see that? That is baffling. Step Five should be a prescription that says “as needed” on the package. (i.m.o)
The Priest began a reference toward the human aspect of step five. “Admitted to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”. He goes on to say with a hint of disgust in his voice “step five is the most humiliating thing that can happen to anybody>” WOW! If that is the way people really feeling about confessing their shameful misdeeds to another human being it’s no wonder so few people that cast a shadow in the doorway of A.A. actually do all 12 steps. I have had many many sponsees who have no problem doing steps one through three. But when they get to step four…they bolt. In ten years I have one sponsee who is still sober and did all twelve steps. I don’t blame myself.
The Father Martin call step 12 a command. Not a suggestion, not a request, but a command. Interesting. And finally he tells us that Bill W. wrote the steps for the first time with the word “God” in place of “Higher Power” but he realized that he had to change the title of the entity because people were just too afraid of the prospect of a relationship with “God” .
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But it’s not something you can buy or special order. You can put yourself in a position to get it but there are no guarantees if you do get it how long it will last as your only source of recovery. The white light experience straight from God is the only easier softer way. Usually people who receive white light experiences go on to carry the message of Jesus Christ or God while not doing any of the 12 step work on their character flaws. And why would they? They are riding a pink cloud. But pink clouds don’t last. God will remove some flaws during this experience but seldom, well I have never ever seen God make anybody perfect…ever. So usually these people fall into some flavor of character flaw. Most likely they delve into judging others, get their resentment back and relapse. Then they really hate themselves even more because now they are turning their back on a God they know exists.
I know, sad story…I am talking about myself during my first bout of recovery. And I have seen this same pattern manifest often in others, usually Christians in recovery. Never the less it does not mean God fails or Jesus has abandon us somehow. It just means God clearly WILL NOT TAKE A HUMAN’S SELF-WILL. He will enlighten us, but it’s up to us to go out and get fulfillment once we are enlightened. Hence step eleven and why it works, it fulfills us spiritually. Step twelve builds our self worth, and fulfills us spiritually. Step Ten, well I have found that Ten really isn’t enough, but instead it’s step four that I need to revisit every six months to a year and do thoroughly. When fear of relapse slips in, I remember two things, I have turned my life and will over to the care of God. And the program works, I can turn to the program, work a step. This is what keeps me sober after countless lapses. Sure if I rely on me I will fail. I rely on God, the steps, and the fact that I am being healed and healing by processing core issues.
So can I really call this a cure? ABSOLUTELY! There are many things that humans have to do to stay well. Such as eating, sleeping, nurturing and being nurtured. We do not call ourselves sick because we require food. why would I call myself sick because I require a spiritual program?
The only hole in the 12 steps of AA is the lack of empathy by the prerequisite that we are never victims. The rule (paraphrased see below for full quote) that when there is something bothering us it is always our fault (that we are disturbed) makes way for more shame, guilt, and self punishment. There is a horrific absence of a way to process abuse, neglect, and emotional trauma. Emotional hurts and pains are often written off by members as either self-pity or unfounded and selfish character defects. Furthermore insinuating that emotions are “wrong” says that I as a person am “wrong” because my feelings are a part of me and they emerge from my heart.
pg. 417 BB
“When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation- some fact of my life- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept my life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes”
The notion that nothing happens in God’s world by accident, well that would mean we have no free-will and humans are nothing short of robots. We do not have to go to such extremes to make the point that God works in our lives. The reason people use extremes in conversation is they have spent a life-time not being heard and feel they must exaggerate to be heard at all. Understandable.
If there were another set of steps to address the wrongs done to us resulting in deep wounds, and emotional devastation the program would be more successful I believe. These deep emotional wounds have caused the addict much pain. Pain is the very reason that many of us drank and drugged. WE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO PROCESS EMOTIONAL HURTS RATHER THAN BEING ASHAMED OF OUR VULNERABILITIES AND HIDING THEM AWAY.
Trauma is not an outside issue. But rather it is THE Issue. Trauma and emotional disorder is the WHY behind the addiction.
Please don’t hear what I am not saying. 12 step programs are good and have helped millions including myself. There are some really twisted common belief systems running rampant in AA and NA .
One common dogma I have seen often is a kind of jealousy over the program. People will get angry and down right mean if you say that therapy or church or even rehab centers have helped to keep you sober.
We shouldn’t knock supplemental healing and recovery methods till we’ve tried them. If people have found “a cure” for addiction and are sharing it who are we to say it’s not successful? Many people find answers in places other than AA. The problem is some addicts who still suffer from low self-worth often attach their own identities to the program. These insecure addicts seem to think if there is another solution offered other than AA it is a direct reflection on them and not in a good way.
There is an unwritten rule if we don’t wear the identity of ‘sick addict’ or ‘alcoholic, addict’ then our egos will take flight and we will relapse straight away. If we don’t repeatedly identify ourselves as addicts we will then believe we can drink and drug successfully. Really, AA and NA are programs designed by addicts, there are bound to be some flaws. But now advertisements on TV and online are claiming there is a cure. So the dry drunk AA-er feels put-down by the prospect of a true cure. The dogma of AA teaches us that the minute we feel cured and no longer need meetings we are sicker than ever. When really the actual danger lies in the belief that we can drink like normal people. But alcoholics have an allergy to alcohol that will not disappear except by some rare miracle.
If we truly work the steps, open up in long term therapy, and find our Higher Power we will be cured. Not cured to drink again, rather cured to not want to drink again, we won’t see drinking as a solution. Still it’s important also to have fellowship, not necessarily in a program. Anxiety and depression can be cured as well. Why do so many people get outside help, including Bill W? We don’t have to fear the word “emotional disorder”. All it means is our healthy emotional process has been stifled. Often the reason we have stifled it is usually that we were taught at a young age our feelings and processes were wrong. Regaining a healthy emotional process and using it on our most intense past hurts is how we heal core issues and truly recover with God’s help. It doesn’t mean that AA or Bill W is bad or wrong, it just means that no one taught Bill W this aspect of healing. He was human and did not have all the answers.
You don’t take deep pains and hurts and tag them as character defects. That’s absurd and crying is not self pity but rather a key healthy emotional process. The grieving process starts with feeling the pain not shutting it down. If we move straight into the “my part (what I did wrong in the past)” and character defects without processing our core pains and hurts of how we were wronged then all we are doing is putting a band-aid on an infected sore.
Why do people scream “OUTSIDE ISSUE” in the rooms whenever someone starts talking about child abuse. Abuse and neglect are why people become addicts and those who scream “outside issue” the loudest are most likely trying to further repress their own abuse as a child. People love to sit in the rooms after a horrific bout of drug abuse and swear they had a wonderful childhood. Many people have no idea what neglect and abuse looks like. But I guarantee, if these people would actually take meditation seriously and do it on a regular basis, they would most likely remember some form of childhood trauma.
All feelings are valid. Feelings come from our heart, a place of truth. We get angry for a valid reason. It’s hanging on to that anger rather than letting it flow out of us in a non harmful way that gets us in trouble and gets us sick with resentment.
Children don’t usually get angry toward adults for no reason at all. If we were harmed, and many of us were then we are legitimate victims. Not everything is ‘our fault’ so we mustn’t treat it as if it were. Sharing our trauma with an understanding and empathic listener who will point out the validity of our hurt and show caring understanding is where the healing begins. Statements like “I know how you feel” or “I was abused also and the man is a son of a bitch to do what he did”, shows support, relating, caring and validation. Empathy not spankings are needed for healing wounds. And the thing is, many addicts are badly wounded. Emotional issues are not an outside issue separate from addiction, they are, I believe the biggest reasons behind addiction.
Third Step Prayer short version
God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and The way of life. May I do Thy will always!
TWELVE STEP PRAYERS
We want to choose a god deserving of our faith not an inanimate object that has less power than the man who installed it into the door. Why not seek God with our heart in prayer? Seek and we will find. Could it be our resentment, pain, and hurt is much too deep to even consider seeking a god whom we feel is the reason we have suffered? Or is our desire to control all things too strong in us to risk relinquishing control? Our pain and consequences of active addiction must be more intense than our fear of the unknown and giving up control.
In Narcotics Anonymous it has been said many times and is a popular belief that we may conjure up and name our own Higher Power. Also members have said, if we want to use a door knob as a HP we can. They say a door knob will work just as good as if we had one of the well-documented HP’s. Perhaps the “Door knob” is the official-unofficial HP of N.A. But again, a doorknob is not a power greater than any human.
Many people in N.A. have major prejudices against organized religion. It is understandable that if we expect any group of people to be spiritually perfect or to adhere to all that their religion teaches we will automatically consider them hypocrites and not worthy of our respect when they falter, sin, or make a mistake contrary to their perspective rules of thumb. These preconcieved type-sets that run deep in the neuron-pathways of our brain will have to be set aside or we won’t find a sponsor that we feel is fit to be our guide. All addicts have character flaws and do all religious people.
The first mention of “God” in the 12 steps of A.A. is in Step Two. “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”. When I did step two I believed that my HP “could” restore me to sanity. However I wasn’t so sure that IT would restore me (if I had ever been sane).
My own HP is The Father that Jesus spoke of in the days of old. My other HP is Jesus Himself. If this pisses you off be sure to put your prejudice on your step four (I did). Your feelings of resentment are there for a valid reason no doubt. You were probably wronged by religious people. However the steps are about releasing the baggage that deep hurt and resentments cause in our heart and soul.
Anyway personally I also believe there are many other HP’s which could actually be used as a person’s main recovery HP. And that any of these god’s have the power available to them to keep a person sober when they learn to rely on them. Christian doctrine would call my beliefs sacrilegious but, oh well. I didn’t make-up my beliefs concerning Gods. I learned to seek God and meditated for many years. I believe that “The Most High God” and creator gave power to many other beings we can call gods. Gods such as The Moon Goddess, The God of The Sun, and many more to choose from.
In this article I explain how to really find YOUR higher power by seeking with your heart. There will be no doubts when God reveals itself to you. https://www.recoveryfarmhouse.com/vengeance-is-mine-sayeth-the-lord/
What is at the core of your addiction? I suppose everyone must answer it for themselves. But I think it’s important to answer it. For me it was a deep wound. An emotional constipation. A deep hurt that I didn’t know how to express in a way that was healthy and appropriate. Shame was at the core it surrounded the wound.
So when I finally got the spiritual and emotional laxative (therapy, 12 steps, God) it took quite some time to cry it all out. All that’s left now of my malady is a scar and a few old habits that die hard called character flaws. Many of the character defects I acquired through the years of addiction, like resentment were nothing more than a distraction from my painful shame. Resentment was a place to lay blame on how a felt. I needed to lay blame because it was myself I condemned deep in my heart.
No, for me resentment wasn’t the number one offender, shame was. I mustn’t be ashamed and keep secrets. I try to stay clear of shame and be an open book. Writing and sharing…the truth sets me free. Shame….no one wants to admit shame. People are ashamed of shame because it is perceived as weakness. It’s a dirty little word.
It wasn’t the wound so much as the shame I blanketed it in that made me so self destructive.
I was taught to be ashamed of who I was, and that my feelings were wrong. And that basically I didn’t even have a right to be on this earth. That’s a hard one to shake…so I drank.
Resentment is the acceptable blame based emotion that distracts me from my hurt and shame. I am too ashamed of being hurt cause I see it as weakness. So I cover it all up in a nice package called “blame” and put a big bow on it called resentment. And I carry the package around with me never having to look at what is really inside.
That is until I got sober nearly Ten years ago. But for the Grace of God, But for the Grace of God.
THE CURE FOR MY ADDICTION IS WRITTEN IN PART 1 OF THIS TWO ARTICLE SERIES-RESENTMENT THE NUMBER ONE OFFENDER. http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/resentment-number-offender/
Bill Wilson co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote the phrase “resentment is the number one offender” in the Big Book.
Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry. We asked ourselves why we were angry. In most cases it was found that our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal relationships (including sex) were hurt or threatened. So we were sore. We were “burned up.”
On our grudge list we set opposite each name our injuries. Was it our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal, or sex relations, which had been interfered with?
It means that if we hold onto resentments then we will relapse and resentment is the cause of our relapse. But really how true is that? Well at face value it appears that resentment toward others and anger is the cause of our relapse. It seems to be the most dominant emotion addicts have when going back out.
However, I am not so sure the resentment for others has taken the relaps-er back out. I rather think anger and blame in the form of resentment is the survival skill which helps us live with ourselves when we step back into a life we know will kill us. There is actually only one resentment that sends us back out if you look deeper into our hearts, which is a resentment toward self.
But what lies underneath our self loathing? Our self loathing is at the core of all our other resentments. Ask any addict in the midst of a relapse and he will most likely deny to you his self-hate. Addicts carry much shame and shame is at the core of our deception to self and others. Un-processed shame, and hurt are at the core of our addiction. These are the feelings stuck in our crawl. These are what carries us to the dope man.
Bill W. touched on it when he mentions “emotional disorder” he just didn’t elaborate or realize that emotional constipation which is disorder was at the core of most addictions. (At least that’s my theory.)
Hurt transforms into anger and we can’t cope with hating ourselves so we bury the hate into a thing called blame. We are constantly on the look-out for new people, places and things to blame for the way we feel deep inside. We deceive us and others. We must resent people and blame them to deal with and cover up the way we actually feel about ourselves. The only true resentment that sends us back out is the resentment toward ourselves.
Why do people claim they have a cure for addiction? Why are some people cured and others sign on to the belief “once an addict always an addict”. Simply because they don’t know the cure. Or they have done one part of the cure and left off another.
Find the core issues of the original hurt and pain, usually stemming from a very early age, and emotionally process them. (cry, scream, write, share). Transcendental meditation will show us our core issues. While at the same time we must develop new routines, new habits, new people, places, and things. Find new goals and a new purpose for life that is healthy. Work the twelves steps and learn how to use the steps when needed including the fear list and steps three, four, eleven, and twelve. Work step twelve for several years or some kind of service work to build self-esteem. And the big one (included in the steps) get a Higher Power by seeking with your heart and stay in contact with that Higher power as much as possible.
That all sounds like allot. Isn’t there an easier softer way? YES AS A MATTER OF FACT THERE IS AN ‘EASIER SOFTER WAY’. But it’s not something you can buy or special order. You can put yourself in a position to get it but there are no guarantees if you do get it how long it will last as your only source of recovery. The white light experience straight from God is the only easier softer way. Usually people who receive white light experiences go on to carry the message of Jesus Christ or God while not doing any of the 12 step work on their character flaws. And why would they? They are riding a pink cloud. But pink clouds don’t last. God will remove some flaws during this experience but seldom, well I have never ever seen God make anybody perfect…ever. So usually these people fall into some flavor of character flaw. Most likely they delve into judging others, get their resentment back and relapse. Then they really hate themselves even more because now they are turning their back on a God they know exists.
I know, sad story…I am talking about myself during my first bout of recovery. And I have seen this same pattern manifest often in others, usually Christians in recovery. Never the less it does not mean God fails or Jesus has abandon us somehow. It just means God clearly WILL NOT TAKE A HUMAN’S SELF-WILL. He will enlighten us, but it’s up to us to go out and get fulfillment once we are enlightened. Hence step eleven and why it works, it fulfills us spiritually. Step twelve builds our self worth, and fulfills us spiritually. Step Ten, well I have found that Ten really isn’t enough, but instead it’s step four that I need to revisit every six months to a year and do thoroughly. When fear of relapse slips in, I remember two things, I have turned my life and will over to the care of God. And the program works, I can turn to the program, work a step. This is what keeps me sober after countless lapses. Sure if I rely on me I will fail. I rely on God, the steps, and the fact that I am being healed and healing by processing core issues.
So can I really call this a cure? ABSOLUTELY! There are many things that humans have to do to stay well. Such as eating, sleeping, nurturing and being nurtured. We do not call ourselves sick because we require food. why would I call myself sick because I require a spiritual program?
NO. I WAS AN ADDICT FOR 35 YEARS I KNOW WHAT SICK IS. I WILL NO LONGER CALL MYSELF SICK UNDER THE ILLUSION AND FEAR THAT IF I SAY I AM HEALED I WILL RELAPSE. THAT IS A.A. SUPERSTITION AND LORE WHICH IS DERIVED FROM FEAR.
The 12 Steps- every resentment, shame, every guilt, every hate, every prejudice, every intense hurt, every theft. We do this till a light goes off and we then recognize our character defect patterns. I recommend at least 1 page of writing for each offense. Repeat the process every year and when we get bungled up.
New fellowship either church, AA people, somewhere we can start a new social life.
Therapy honest and thorough, we must go back and feel the pain and process it out in an emotional way.
God-find your God
We can change who we are but it takes work. So what Life is work.
Basically this guy Jack Thomas had a website called non-normies. Don’t go there though it no longer exists. This guy -with a belly full of al-anon and a heart full of deep and painful resentment feels that non-normies… are out to destroy our country. But his definition of “non-normies” includes ALL non-normies not just addicts in recovery. Non-normies to Jack are any non-conformist types who don’t walk his straight and narrow criteria. If you don’t have the conservative right wing, Rush Limbaugh type viewpoints you are out to take over and destroy the world. And now he is super shocked and dismayed that even Oprah yes Oprah the sacred mother of Africa is actually a non-normie at heart. Yikes! So below we have the “about Jack Thomas the author” and then the article itself. You be the judge.
ABOUT JACK THOMAS, a Recovering and Developing “Non-normie”
Jack Thomas, a seemingly ordinary guy with one emotionally destructive compulsion, was thrust into the ranks of Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous. There he recovered. In the process he gathered cryptic data about what may be the largest laboratory of non-normal people in existence.
Jack was addicted to relationships with self-destructive alcoholic women, stemming from his alcoholic mother. Having had numerous relationships with this type, he married a woman with a progressively worsening drinking problem.
The more he tried to cure her, including years of expensive therapy and a costly move, the worse the drinking became. Jack’s Pastor referred him to Al-Anon—an A.A. program for the co-alcoholic (codependent) relatives and friends of alcoholics.
There Jack learned that he didn’t cause her drinking and couldn’t cure it. He could only set sane boundaries. Jack told her to either go into detox or leave. At first she agreed to the treatment and his insurance approved it but, just before entering, she backed out and left.
Devastated, Jack plunged further into Al-Anon recovery, faithfully working all of the Twelve Steps and acquiring an excellent sponsor. Within two years he was sponsoring many new members, himself, while hosting the Introduction for Newcomers. During this time Jack took over the Alateen program, for children of alcoholics ages ten to teen in Torrance, CA, and ran it for three years. Then his Pastor asked him to design and lead a codependency recovery group, which he headed for several years, and soon he became a lay counselor for the church.
Fascinated with helping people recover, Jack jumped into learning even more about emotional disorders. He read the DSM III (The Psychiatrist’s “bible”) cover to cover, took courses, finished his Associates Degree and veraciously studied everything on the subject that he found.
He began to notice more and more commonalties amongst the emotionally non-normal (“non-normies”), cataloging them in a six-hundred page workbook. Also, all of them had large internal deposits of repressed anger that they didn’t want to give up—even though it appeared to be the root of their problem. Stockpiled rage had led to their developing emotionally driven personalities.
This motivated Jack to ask: If stored un-grieved (unprocessed) anger was the basis for people becoming emotionally non-normal, why would they cling to it if it was destroying them psychologically? The answer came after years of probing the hidden agendas and psyches of thousands of emotionally non-normal people that he encountered.
Those findings, along with how the emotionally driven non-normal personality was negatively affecting society, eventually resulted in the creation of the Web/Blog Site titled: www.non-normie.com
Our “non-normie” of the day, today, is Orah Winfrey.
Say it ain’t so, Jack. Not Oprah.
Unfortunately, self-help expert Jack Thomas is holding to his guns and conducting Talk Show interviews giving reasons why Oprah is (Jack’s term) a non-normie.
The following is a column written by Jack Thomas justifying his classification of Oprah.
A week ago Monday, Bill O’Reilly did an expose of our non-normie of the day, today, Oprah Winfrey, when he pointed out that during the past two years she has had only four personalities who were even close to being mainstream conservative on her show. Those included Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani.
Conversely, the rest of her guests were virtually all polar-left non-normies. Those were Frank Rich, Michael Moore, Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Al Gore, Barbra Streisand, Sean Penn, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, George Clooney, Jim McGreevey and the like.
Bill went on to identify some best selling conservative authors who haven’t been on Oprah, like John Stossle, Pat Buchanan and Laura Ingram. Michelle Malkin called her a limousine liberal.
The reason why Bill was doing this segment was obvious. He has written four best selling books, including his current one titled “Culture Warrior,” not to mention 2005’s number one children’s book in America. Yet he has never been invited on Oprah’s show. Mr. O’Reilly was definitely putting pressure on Ms. Winfrey and it worked. Within twenty-four hours, he received a booking on Oprah to be taped today for a Friday broadcast.
Now what does that tell you about Oprah? I know what it tells me. It says, Jack you were right when you declared that polar-left non-normies are all cowards and that they have a hidden agenda which they fear being exposed. Oprah is obviously a polar-left non-normie who protects her caring and compassionate image as if it was the Holy Grail itself—because it is her holy grail.
This is not sour grapes. I don’t begrudge her success, nor do I envy her money. I do envy her power to influence, which is what I hope to do with my web site and radio interviews. But, contrary to her desires, I don’t wish to control people or their thought processes. I merely wish to provide information that they currently either don’t have or have neglected to understand. Once I accomplish that, I don’t even care if it’s attributed to me. My goal is to help normies comprehend the non-normie mindset and how insidious their subtle quest for power is changing our country for the worst. In fact, unless normies eventually do grasp the evil power of this emotional disease, they’ll be defeated by it and, later, they won’t even grasp why it happened.
FINISH READING at specialguest.com
Very important to learn our emotional triggers in recovery otherwise…we will project every hurt, anger, and pain onto usually those we love most. When we first get sober we are emotionally R.A.W. Ripe anger within. Feelings follow actions not the other way around. Meaning if I wait till I feel like doing something I am letting my feelings rule me. At the same time denying and repressing feelings will make me sicker. Emotional balance is what alcoholics often lack. But for now, If we are not walking around with our hearts on our sleeve then we are not an addict in early recovery. The thing is we usually want to Love and be Loved desperately but we continually push people away with our reactions to twisted perceptions. WE ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE TRYING TO GET GOOD, We are Sick People Trying to Get Well. We must rangle in our emotions long enough to get a sponsor and make some new recovery friends.
So how do we identify our emotional triggers so we don’t blame the world for our own feelings? First we start the day with the precept of “I am responsible for my own feelings” even when I am wronged. Even if I am wronged I am the one who must process the pain and hurt from that wrong. I am the only one who can let it go. So rather than trying to fix all my triggers in one day by taking my heart out of my chest and washing it off. That would be impossible. But what I CAN do and do have control over is my tongue and my thought processes. I can intervene and basically “fake it till I make it” emotionally.
So when I suddenly find myself furious or deeply hurt, my face is turning red and I want to attack someone because it’s their fault that I feel the way I do…Instead I say. “I am responsible for my own feelings.” I write out what I am feeling on paper. I talk out what I am feeling with an empathic and understanding listener who WON’T POINT OUT MY SHORTCOMINGS AND DO MY STEP FOUR AND TENTH STEP FOR ME by taking my inventory. My support group can help me see my triggers by their understanding and sharing their experience and their own past triggers.
I must be able to admit fear or I won’t find my triggers. I have to ask myself…”What is it that I am afraid of when angered and hurt?” Am I trying to control everyone by making them have all my same viewpoints? Am I playing God? Am I afraid of losing something, like control or power? Do I feel belittled and inferior as if the person I blame directly insulted me? Do I feel I need to defend myself because I am afraid that I really am worthless, bad, inferior, stupid, or anything along those lines? (that’s the most common.)
We don’t come into recovery brimming with high self-worth and the self-esteem of an accomplished CEO of a large corporation. Working on the 12 Steps however ALL OF THE STEPS will gain us the self improvement and esteem that we lack. And that is exactly what we need to do to quell the incessant emotional triggers that hurt and anger us at a core level.
Know this my friend…nine times out of ten if I am triggered in early recovery IT IS NOT ABOUT THE PRESENT AT ALL. It’s really about what lives in me and the baggage that needs worked through. Repressing my emotions by denial will only make things worse. I AM NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING! This is the attitude that will keep me sick. All humans have fears and when I start realizing mine that doesn’t give me permission to point out everyone else’s. But it does give me the advantage of understanding people at a deeper level. When I realize my fears and ask God to remove them I realize often the same fears in other people by their behaviors.
We must go one step further in our self-examination process by finding the original “hurt” behind the triggers. Practicing meditation will help me realize what my past trauma emotional issues are. And remember none of the self-awareness is so I can beat myself up or condemn myself for my past. Self punishment never has and never will get me well emotionally or stop my addiction. If it could it would have already. If I find myself in a place of self abasement then I say “OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION.” And I practice one of the programs’ many tools at that point.
If the grammar and punctuation of this article makes you crazy please contact Lori Edgar who is most likely willing to make you an editor on this recoveryfarmhouse website.
Before we can truly heal from emotional pain we must have a chance to express the hurt in a way that is acknowledged and validated. Crying is one healthy emotion. Letting go of hurt is a process much like the grieving process. If we have learned to shut down pain we are omitting the first step to healing. We must feel to heal. Then and only then can we move on to “our part” in injuries and neglect suffered as children or resentments that have stemmed from abuse and neglect. Often the only part we had to play in the core reason for our pain and addiction is that we were not taught a healthy emotional process. We therefore had to resort to unhealthy solutions.
Rejection should be acknowledged and worked through. There is much more to recovery than just staying sober. There is much more to working the Twelve Steps than just writing down resentments and finding our part in it.
We all have a life flow, a Spirit if you will that needs both nurturing and Love. Nurturing includes a validation of who we are and our right to be ourselves. When rejected at a young age by caregivers we shut down our life force in shame. And we hide who we really are.
Rejection can take many forms. It may be direct and obvious or indirect and subtle. (“Your brother is doing so well. Don’t you want to do well too?”) It may be all encompassing (“You can’t do anything right.” or focused on certain parts of our personality (“Stop being so curious about everything.”). It may be depriving (neglect) and distinctly lacking in emotional contact and nurturance or it may be dominating and controlling-suppressing our natural desires and over riding fundamental boundaries. It may be shaming and create within us a feeling of being “bad” or “defective”. Regardless of the form of rejection, we quickly learn that simply being ourselves will not get us the Love and acceptance that we so desperately need.
Rejection injures our emotional healing process and our ability to express and release our pain. Without empathy, this impulse is stifled. In homes of deprivation, we cry out in vain because nobody is there to listen. This is nothing short of tragic. Dominating parents might say “I’ll give you something to cry about!” Maybe we are allowed to cry alone, but not to show our tears, and certainly not to protest against our parent’s wishes. Usually we don’t even know that we have been emotionally injured. Into adulthood we may admit we are addicts but never connect the dots to why we ended up so self-repulsed.
Hearing from our teachers that most of our natural impulsed are bad or wrong, we quickly learn to hide away these aspects of ourselves. We learn to hide away our pleasure as well as our pain; our thoughts as well as our feelings. All that brings a negative reaction from our caregivers is hidden away in order to try and get their Love.
Now we are susceptible to sexual molestation, drug addiction, or sick relationships we have not been taught what Love really is.
To survive the overwhelming pain of rejection and un-met childhood need, we shut down our life flow and shut off the pain. We do this through defense mechanisms that block or divert painful feelings and memories away from conscious awareness.
Defense mechanisms may come in the form of extreme behavior patterns, suck as over-eating, compulsive behavior self-sabotage, crisis creating, people pleasing, leaving before being left, rebellion, etc. Our defense behaviors serve two basic purposes: We either struggle to meet our unfulfilled needs through someone or something else or we deny our needs and detach from our pain.
The struggle defense is an unconscious attempt to correct the past. If we had to struggle to get our parent’s love, approval, help or understanding, we may re-create situations that elicit the same struggle and then strive for a different outcome. In some cases, we may get into abusive relationships similar to our childhood experience. Often we project our past feelings toward the care giver onto our partners.
Ever wonder why addicts relationship statistics are so sparse and unhealthy? We are not bad we just were not taught, shown how to love.
We are now in defense mode not just emotionally but also physically. We repress our breathing. Maybe our diaphragm expands when we exhale instead of expanding when we take breath in. We start by correcting our breathing. We learn deep breathing and deeply expand our bellies as we take air in.
PLEASE, we are in recovery, we mustn’t allow self or others to tell us to “get over it, it’s in the past.” It is not in the past emotional trauma is our core reason for using and needs to be processed.
Solutions to resentment.
When is it safe to date after narcissistic abuse? Part 1 By Empowered Love Radio Relationship Recovery Expert Melanie Tonia Evans
This audio show starts a little slow but picks up volume and speed. It turns out to be very informative and full of healing ideals and precepts.
True beauty is found within but don’t pretend it can’t be found within and with-out. simultaneously Or is Suzanne Summers the only one who realizes the prejudices that transpire toward the beautiful? All humans suffer from prejudice in one way or another. Is there a man alive under the age of 60 that could overlook this woman’s beauty
long enough to hear what her heart speaks? Or how about a woman out there who was dealt a crappy hand in the “looks” department. The ugly duckling is tempted to say “beauty is skin deep”. The envious woman insinuates that all beautiful and voluptuous women are incapable of caring love, and charity . To infer the absence of inner beauty based on outer beauty is what? The punishment for possessing outer beauty? HOGWASH! Are all unsightly women drenched with a kind and giving heart? Certainly The wicked Witch of the West can attest. The rejected and abandoned tend to seek out such prejudices as aforementioned. As for this beauty below? Her heart is as kind as Cinderella and her beauty as stunning as Snow White. Rather than jealousy I think an awe of God’s handy-work is in order. ________The Writer
Brilliant website artist depicts the consequences of drinking alcohol.
I never play games but this intrigued me. It keeps asking me if I can see the cannon ball. I cannot find a cannon ball to save my life, I just keep trashing the set for fun!! Click on the link below to play the game.
“A venue-trashing, drumset-smashing interactive music video for psych-pop geniuses Celestial Shore.” http://glander.itch.io/animal-ratio
I ran accross two very koooL web-pages. These artists have done work for some of the largest corporations in the country. But this isn’t just web-art this is moving web-art. Graphic design to be precise. Is it CSS or is in memorex?
One thing that can make me dissatisfied often if I allow it to creep into my life is an attitude of entitlement. Entitlement is a feeling of being deserving of certain things. My entitlement issues could spring forth in any area of life really. Maybe I feel I deserve romance, sex, Love, cars, boats, money, decent family, certain behaviors out of others, even good health. But what am I really entitled to? More precisely, upon which areas of my life shall I invest my deep feelings of entitlement? Best answer: None.
Naturally we are completely valid in expecting many things. Things like getting paid for a job we are hired to do. Or, to be treated with respect and with loyal regard by those who are named as loved ones and friends. If we buy an item from the store, we expect it to do what is advertised. These are valid expectations that are natural to have. However, the fewer and more cautious our expectations the happier we will be. Hope is the spiritual replacement for expectations.
Assuming and expecting are pretty much the same thing. When we “assume” we expect without having all the facts we should but when we “expect” it’s supposed to be “based in” fact. Some situations are highly predictable and others are not. Some people and situations catch us totally off guard.
that way we won’t put too much stock (trust) where it is unwarranted. People will mess up repeatedly, intentionally and unintentionally including ourselves. Keeping an open mind especially were dating and commitments are concerned will save us from emotional crash and burn. If all we see in our potential life partner is the good, then we probably don’t know them well enough to marry them- yet. Granted there are exceptions to every rule but going into a relationship commitment with a well balanced view of who we are committing to is better than going into it with eyes half shut. Sometimes we want something so bad we white-wash it and then when the fairy tale phase is over…it all comes crumbling down. Addicts are famous for marrying prematurely.
Alcoholics and addicts tend to see things in an all or nothing, good or bad light sometimes. But truly good people do bad things and bad people do good things and even more appropriately,
It’s important to understand and know ourselves in depth so we can know others. Working the 12 steps is one of the best ways to gain wisdom and understanding of ourselves.
As children of God we deserve good things. As recovering addicts, we can’t afford to plant our hearts in entitlement. And so- we cautiously hope for good things and when they don’t happen we keep our eye on the prize which is meeting our maker. And we stay grateful for that which we DO have.
A man who claimed that Facebook discriminated against him because of his name, attracting global media attention, has announced that it was a hoax.
Wow! See how easily this average Joe fella fooled the largest media organizations.
“What started as a joke between friends, became a prank that made a fool out of the media and brought out the best in the people who reached out to me. It didn’t bring out the anger and darkness that we often see on the internet, but it brought a levity and humanity in a time we need it most.
Claims that Vietnamese man with an Australian passport in the name ‘Phuc Dat Bich’ had been discriminated against by Facebook were false
In January, a man posted to Facebook a screenshot of an Australian passport that appeared to show his full legal name was Phuc Dat Bich, claiming that he had been accused of “using a false and misleading name” and had his account shut down multiple times.
The post went viral in mid-November. Media including the Sydney Morning Herald, news.com.au, SBS, BBC.com, the Herald Sun and 9news.com.au, and news organizations in India, Argentina and other countries – reported the story, though Phuc Dat Bich gave no interviews.
In a mea culpa posted to Facebook, still titled Phuc Dat Bich, on Wednesday afternoon, the 23-year-old Melbourne man admitted that the name change and doctored image was part of a prank intended to fool the news media and highlight shortcomings of Facebook’s “real name” policy.
In a post signed “Joe Carr” (understood to refer to “joker”), he wrote: “Facebook needs to understand that it is utterly impossible to legitimize a place where there will always be pranksters and tricksters.
‘Phuc Dat Bich’: man says he created name hoax to fool media and Facebook
So what is the legal definition of defamation of character and who does it really hurt.
Defamation of character occurs when someone makes a false statement about you that causes you some type of harm. The statement must be published like on a Facebook page(meaning some third party must have heard or seen it). It must be false, and it must result in harm, usually to the reputation.
Defamation of Character Lawsuits happen all the time.
In recovery, if we are in a 12 step program that means we are trying to live by spiritual principles. It means that we have put our life in God’s care and we are making an effort to trust God with our well being. This spiritual recipe for living takes revenge and doing harm to others off the table. It means that when we are wronged we pray for our enemies and try to understand that when someone trashes us on Facebook they are a sick person and their actions are rooted in fears of various flavors.
So when I see my picture plastered all over someones FB wall with lies and vicious comments and I want to destroy the person I don’t Furthermore I may want to call their parole officer and report them for this real crime of defamation of character. But I don’t. Also this is a man that I have done many good things for. I helped him in many ways and with charity. So, I pic up my prayer tool and pray for him. I ask for all the blessings of heaven and earth to cover him. I never argue and engage in defensive strategies. I call another person in the program and vent my anger. I write a Step Four resentment grid that might look something like the following. And remember just because I know that I am right and good in my intellectual mind my feelings have a mind of their own. My heart does not have to be either logical or reasonable. To expel the resentment I examine my own core fears.
“I resent John Doe because he told lies about me on Facebook. He said I am bad and a liar. He said that I have stolen from the most innocent and needy of victims. He said that I am greedy and a pirate thief. ” I ask myself “what is my core fear behind the resentment?”
I am afraid that others will believe the accusations. This fear is rooted in my own insecurity. My heart thinks I am not good enough and not as good as other people. I fear at my core that somehow what this man said about me is true. (illogical but real and important to recognize). My carnal reaction is to run to my own defense and argue and send out messages to the people reading the lies. I fear I am not good enough. I fear that God will not protect me and that certain and sure damage will be done to me by these evil posts. My society fear kicks in (reputation), my security fear kicks in because he is also crucifying my business websites as being unfair, evil, and dishonest.
Although I have taken no wrong action since I have resentment and want revenge I now have a “my part” that needs addressed before I can let it all go. So what is my part? I am not trusting God and I have certain insecurities called “fear of what people think of me”. This is why the mans sin angers me and I am resentful. I want this man to be righteous and he isn’t. So I have some “controlism” in there also. Please know that at the same time my anger is just and my feelings which want my reputation clear are just as well. Nevertheless I want the resentment and obsession over it to be gone so I….
KARMA AND POWERFUL LOVE
I ask God to remove my character defects of fear, control and distrust of God. and to replace them with Love and understanding I DEPLOY LOVE IN DEFENSE OF EVIL AND FEAR. I ask God to help me trust Him and to give me understanding toward the man.
Jesus said pray for those who despitefully use you. It is also written In Proverbs that to “return evil for good” is one of the most dangerous sins because of the karmic laws in place. I helped this man and had good motives and actions toward him. He took my charity and crushed it under hate and fear. So me and this man bot have fear it’s the actions which define us, not our fear. Without fear their is no such thing as courage and overcoming.
My anger is valid and the proper reaction to being attacked. But I am responsible for processing my anger. The man that told the public lies cannot relieve my anger and resentment this I must take action to relieve. And so I have done the work to fend of bitterness. I am no longer hurt by the wrong done to me. However the man that did the deed, unless Grace intervenes to block the karma of “evil will never leave his house” he is majorly squittled. His hate and wrong actions toward me will never relieve his feelings of fear and wrath. By his actions he intensifies his short-comings and he works on separating himself from his God. He is making a spectacle of himself to the people who see through his actions.
A good and spiritual man will rarely engage in rallying support for the direct punishment of another human being. Good people know that if we are wronged we pray for that person not trash them on Facebook. We recognize that if someone is trashing another person on Facebook it is most likely the man doing the trashing who is actually the guilty party.
Click here to read SOLUTIONS
What do we do if we are so hurt from our addict driven past and horrific childhood that we are unable to Love and accept others? And why is it that a lack of acceptance and the alcoholic go hand in hand? Our parents didn’t teach us healthy emotional coping skills or we would not reach for such destructive emotional survival skills like the drink and drug. The thing is as long as our using (drug abuse) and blame-based coping skills worked to keep us reasonably numb & feeling shame-free we had no reason to stop using them….right?
Why is it that the serenity prayer is an addicts most valuable coping skill known far and wide? The Big Book reads that a lack of power was our dilemma. Meaning when we feel we are not in control within and without we buck, we freak. We lack acceptance when we are sick and suffering on such a grand scale that we block new, different people and ideas out of our lives. We can’t cope with any kind of change…it’s too scarey. But again Why? (Oh I’m not supposed to know the answers to any “why’s”? that’s first 90 days sober AA jargon. If we are going to really be healed of our underlying emotional issues we must allow ourselves to seek & find some knowledge.)
Blame, criticism, and looking for the wrong and the bad in other people and their ideas is the most wide-spread destructive emotional coping skill on the face of the Earth used by addicts and normies alike. AS LONG AS I CAN PUT A “BAD” LABEL ON SOMEONE TODAY MAYBE I WON’T HAVE TO SEE THE PAIN LIVING INSIDE ME. IF I CAN JUST BE “RIGHT” AND FEEL THAT I AM “BETTER THAN OTHERS” THEN I WON’T HAVE TO SEE THE SICKNESS THAT LIVES IN MY SOUL.
I need to ask myself some questions and I have …how long have I been sober and why am I still having anxiety attacks and suffering from intense rage and depression? Why am I having repeated migraines? Why have I pushed all the people I love out of my life? Why am I still isolating and beating myself up? Have I left something out of my program? BETTER YET DID BILL W. AND THE GROUP LEAVE SOMETHING OUT THAT IS VITAL.? Could my prejudices toward religion and therapy be hindering my healing? What can I do to really overcome depression and anxiety?
The serenity prayer and twelve step work are two grand survival skills for us. When we share our story of what it was like what happened and what it is like now, if sincere & heart-felt processes out a little bit of our pain and sickness bit by bit. Telling our story builds self-worth and confidence. However it also feeds our ego and can be a deflection from our own emotional wounds. Step 12 and chairing meetings are mere band-aids covering a wound that needs far more healing and medicine. We need a deep and searching moral inventory we need to address our underlying issues or the infection in our soul will just keep hurting us and those around us. The symptoms that are screaming at me are depression and anxiety.
SO WHAT THEN? WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS TO DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY AND HOW DO I APPLY THEM IN MY LIFE? Know this solutions will go against the grain of the disease and make us feel very uncomfortable. PLEASE KNOW THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING, ONLY WRONG ACTIONS. EVERY FEELING IS BECAUSE OF A REASON, AN EXPERIENCE, A REACTION TO AN EVENT THEREFORE WE SHOULD NEVER SAY…I SHOULD NOT FEEL THAT WAY. YOUR HEART IS THE PLACE THAT FEELINGS COME FROM AND YOUR HEART DOES NOT LIE. WE WILL NO LONGER BE ASHAMED OF WHO AND WHY WE ARE OR HOW WE ARE. BUT WE CAN LEARN TO OVERCOME AND WORK THROUGH NEGATIVE FEELINGS RATHER THAN ALLOWING OUR FEARS AND FEELINGS TO PARALYZE US.
Well firstly I need to work the steps more thoroughly starting with my spirituality and lack thereof. I need to seek God with every fiber of my heart and being. Ask my Higher Power to guide my step-work and my actions. God answers the heart, every testimony of spiritual experience I have ever heard or had began with an intense seeking of God with one’s heart, mind and very depth of soul. Please, shallow prayers reap shallow rewards. Then I keep seeking, I go to churches, tent revivals, Unity God-self type temples, Mausks, Catholic church. I recommend Pentecostal church because they praise and more spiritual miracles happen there than other dry churches. Just don’t let them kidnap your life. Pentecostals are easily as dysfunctional as alcoholics. But Jesus came for the sick He said it Himself. People are not on their knees praying in meetings, people are not crying out at the alter for healing in meetings. If I am not willing to take this action to seek my Higher Power then I must not be depressed enough or maybe I have just gotten comfortable in my depression. Depression is anger without enthusiasm to that I can attest.
Therapy, I need to open up my deepest and most vulnerable self to me and a therapist or a friend who won’t shut me down, who will let me show my pain. I need to share my fears that I am ashamed of, I need to share my feelings that I think are wrong, stupid, weak and I am ashamed of. I need to share my shame and guilt. Not just in my journal but also out loud to a human or in group. I need to let down my emotional protection in a safe place and tell people who I really am. The child within needs to be heard. If I was abused I need to talk about it. If I was neglected and rejected and need to share it. If I was sexually abused or abused others sexually I need to share it. First write it down that makes saying it outloud much easier. My deepest darkest shames need to be exposed to the light. I need to get real about who I resent. I need to put myself and God (most likely) on my resentment list. My fourth step should have “The cause” or what happened to start the resent ment and delve into what my fears are behind the resent me. Do I think I am unlovable, ugly, stupid, not good enough, that the person who accused me is right? There is always an insecurity and fear of some sort crouching behind the hate for mankind. I need to get at my own insecurities and express them on paper and then out-loud. I need to accept my weaker-self and make myself vulnerable to others. This isn’t part of the fourth and fifth steps it’s part of a honest and thorough fourth and fifth step. Notice the “(fear)” and “(self-esteem)” that was written in the fourth step grid in the Big Book? What I am explaining to you…the shame the feeling of not good enough that is what’s meant by self esteem and fear in that fourth step grid. If we can’t address this stuff we most likely will not heal from depression and anxiety.
STEP 12, I need to allow the steps to work in my life. I need to open up and say what’s really going on with me in meeting. If I am depressed I need to share it, If I am happy I need to share it, if I am angry I need to share it, I should confess all my resentments not leaving out organizations and groups of people. People with certain appearances. And the big one I need to write down and confess anything I am ashamed of and am keeping secret. I should work these 12 steps in an orderly fashion with a sponsor that will not shut me down. I should attend step-study-meetings. I should regularly go to jails or institutions of some type to tell my story of what it was like, what happened and what it is like now. I should do a very thorough step 6 & 7. Out of the problem into the solution. Every day I should shower, put on my shoes and do at least TWO things towards my recovery. I should clean my house and do my dishes. I should get sober phone contacts and call people. If I have an emotional upheaval and think I have been wronged I call someone and talk about it. And of coarse if I want to drink or drug I confess it in a meeting and or call someone.
I keep doing what works, I don’t stop, I don’t slow down. I am relentless. Four meetings a week, Church of some sort (meetings are not church) one day a week.
I learn and practice real meditation. I lay down, I get quiet, and I do a mantra by trying repeatedly over and over to concentrate on only one thought. When my mind drifts I reel it back in and concentrate on only the mantra. I picture each sentence in my mind. If my mantra is the Lord’s Prayer I picture each line, I see my father in heaven I think about his/her sacred name. I picture his kingdom-coming etc. etc. I practice meditation daily for at least a half hour a day. I begin my meditation with a prayer. I can use crystals or props, candles, and incense I make it a ritual. My mind will wonder but eventually I will train my mind to stay on one thought. After practicing for quite some time my mind will naturally empty…and I will hear God. I will be more patient, self-aware, more tolerant, more likely to think things through rather than being sporadic and impatient. Sometimes in the beginning it’s necessary to just moan during meditation. When trying to lye till and quiet because of the negative energy living inside it’s hard to be still. I remember feeling like there was an alien inside of me trying to get out so I moaned like I was taught to do to release that energy. Then I can better concentrate on the mantra and meditate.
Release guttural sounds from your body on a regular basis in private in your car, alone at home. Guttural sounds come straight from core and underlying issues of the emotions and the soul. Moaning, Screaming, shrieking, and sound that needs to come out. Try it, it will feel weird and insane but it works to get out the very energy that is causing the depression and anxiety. Do it for years as long as needed. It releases the poison from our bowels that we have stored there by pushing down our anger and hurt until it makes us sick.
Diet, exercise, and nature. These are self explanatory stick to natural foods as much as possible and to to the beach or just take walks in the woods but get outside and exercise. Get fresh air daily, drink lots of water. Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Sometings exercise alone relieve a huge part of our anxiety.
And remember “OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION”
Don’t stay in the problem spinning around.
REMEMBER NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________The next article works too.
“It’s not what goes into the body (food) which pollutes it but rather what comes out (my hurtful words).”
Depression is anger without enthusiasm. Depression is a final succumbing to the relentless feelings of anger. When I am angry I still hold some form of control of my situation even if it is an illusion. When my feelings switch to depression I have emotionally given up. These additional solutions are a mix of therapy and the 12 steps. I have added an example form of a mini fourth step. Well actually now it’s a Fifth step. “Better to save my ass than save my face.” I am past shame of who I am and my human condition.
Anger is a feeling which produces a reaction in us emotionally. Wrath is an action produced by rage that usually hurts people. One thing sure if I am angry it’s most likely myself and God I am angry with primarily. People and circumstances are rarely at the core of my anger. I use people and circumstances as a way to blame and vent. I usually have a choice who I want to hang around and whether or not I am going to argue, scream, yell, or fight. Walking away is a great solutions to wrath.
Recovery is the time for me to take responsibility for my own feelings including anger. Even if I am wronged no one can process my feelings of anger to work through them and get them out except me. So when I accept that I am responsible for all my feelings I can then take charge and start the endeavor toward the solutions to negative and intense feelings. As long as I blame people, places, and things for the way I feel and can’t begin to consider the solutions. Staying in blame is an old survival skill which I know all too well.
Exercise is a great solution but it’s a generic one, meaning it doesn’t address the core. It’s more of a distraction that does help. Start out with some journalling and see where it takes us. I may find that I get the answers to what I am angry at in the words I write. I am usually surprised at the result. If I have deep resentments toward myself or others I do a mini fourth step on them.
My Anger/resentment List
I am angry at myself because I have not accomplished the things I know I could if I was focused. I am angry at me because I don’t get enough exercise, I don’t eat right, I am overweight, etc. I spend way too much time on the computer and don’t get out enough. I neglect my spiritual exercises. I don’t do what I know is good for me.
What is my part in my resentment toward me?
Perfectionism, critical, fear of people(isolating), sloth.
I am angry at God because of the circumstances of the human condition. God won’t give me what I want. I want money and I want to be a success in a new career and I have tried so hard and worked to the point of obsession.
Self-pity,playing God, I think I know better than God.
MY FEAR LIST
I am afraid. I am afraid of getting old. I am afraid of being homeless. I am afraid of not getting what I need. I am afraid my car will break down. I fear allot.
My part in the fear list
I don’t trust God, I lack sufficient faith, (God will supply my needs He always has. And even though times are hard sometimes God has given me so much). I lack gratitude. I lack Hope. I lack Love/charity/Faith.
Oh wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of death? Praise be to my Higher Power Jesus Christ and The Most High God whose name cannot be uttered by man.
My writing has helped me realize that under my anger was hurt. It helped me cry. I honor my feelings by crying which is a healthy emotion. I ask God to remove the fears and character defects I have listed. I am separated from God and I do feel that separation. But there are people out there who are in a much worse place than I. I believe God has trusted me with His Vineyard it’s my job to be of help to mankind. I revisit my Step Three and If I have not said the Third Step Prayer I say it now. I promise you it will help. The Higher Power hears even our weakest prayer. And it doesn’t matter how long or how short your clean time is. There is always room for emotional and spiritual maintenance.
I remember that beating myself up doesn’t help anything. Self abasement is not a solution. I get up I put on my shoes and I go help somebody. I openly praise my Higher Power aloud. If I have deep trauma issues from abuse I write a “fuck you ” letter to those who have hurt me. (don’t send) I write every little thing that I want to say to them. I do not mail the “fuck-you letter “it’s for me to help heal. Then I cry, I beat the bed, I beat a tree with a plastic bat or a whip. This is the best kind of anger processing when I am in touch with the core reason for my anger. Core anger is usually from a childhood event.
What I am saying is if I have a focus on the core issue instead of “my husband called me a bitch” or “I got cut off at the green light” when I do my anger exercise I will get the core issue attended to and begin healing. If it’s just a blame type distraction from the present I am not processing the core trauma. That’s why writing works so well, the pen tends to carry us to the root of our pain.
If you were abused, put the bastard in the empty chair (literally an empty chair pretend your abuser is in it) and scream out everything you were too afraid to say to them when the abuse occurred. There are some seriously wicked people . Or maybe you were neglected and deprived of emotional nurturing. Being ignored as a child is trauma as well. We are raised often by people who have no idea what it is to nurture a child’s soul and spirit. But you have walked into the sunlight of sobriety. God has It’s hand on you and will not let you go. God, I promise will protect you even from yourself. You are a beautiful child of God. You have suffered a lifetime and now is your time of peace. The peace which surpasses all earthly understanding is at your doorstep. All you need do is pick it up.
because of what we have endured and what we have learned in AA. We have felt the depths of despair therefore our hearts can soar to great heights. We have a capacity for faith even though we don’t always trust God. Yet the steps taught us how to rely on God and that fear equals courage not failure.
Alcoholics Anonymous offers us a program of spiritual maintenance in the form of steps ten-twelve. And if we use the steps we stay flush with gratitude and our eye-glasses are clear or rose colored. No, this does not mean we are always happy and full of joy. But we are free of guilt and shame if we have done the twelve step purging.
Men and women who experience the pains, trauma, oppression, depression, psychic and extreme emotional stresses of addiction and then over-come that addiction by whatever means tend to have a much greater capacity for spirituality, faith, and Love than people who have not gone through taxing suffering, whether they be addicts or not. We have come through the fire and now we can rest on the knowledge that God has our back. If we fear we are backsliding we have the program to work and strengthen us back up. “Out of the problem, into the solution” is the most valuable cliche’ of all. The good part is we now have the solutions, we don’t have to return to our Hell. These solutions when done in depth not only keep us clean and sober but are also a remedy for depression, anxiety and self loathing.
For one thing we usually are forced to seek a Higher Power diligently, in which case we become enlightened spiritually and psychicly. We then realize that there is a process by which we get fed spiritually on a regular basis. Either by working the Twelve Steps and 10-12 maintenance steps or by attaining our daily bread in a religious way. We in recovery tend to set new life goals at a later age than most people which helps us to be more open-minded with a fresh new outlook on life. All men are equal as a rule but all men are not walking the same walk.
Getting sober in our thirty’s or forty’s tends to awaken us and our brains are jump-started into a new way of thinking far from the stagnant wasteland of the alcoholic muck. Upon awakening we consider the day. We ask God that our thinking be divorced from self-centeredness and self-pity. We make an effort to help others and do no harm. Clearly a person working the program of AA joined to a fellowship of both Love and weakness are there for one another. Many normal people have basically the same things the best of AA offers. It comes under different labels in different flavors and colors but the same basic spiritual tools are available to most people.
The Big Book and A.A. works for so many because the malady of addiction produces common behaviors and personality traits among addicts. Please allow me the same luxury of speaking in the “we” context even though “we” does not necessarily mean “you”. Even though we addicts have many similarities we also have many differences . I am well aware of that. We do tend to wear our emotions on our sleeves in the first few years of sobriety after all we have been through allot and usually no one taught us healthy ways to deal with our feelings. We have the fourth step fear list which helps so much when we get bogged down with any negative emotion. If our sponsors have taught us the fourth step in full then we have done our fear list.. I have found that I use the fourth step when anger becomes too much for me. Thank God for AA.
I don’t usually post non-recovery articles but this ISIS thing is completely out of hand and our brothers and sisters who stayed over from the recent convention could have been injured or killed. The NATIONAL CONGRESS 55th anniversary AA France Paris 2015
SATURDAY 7 AND SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2015 Just happnened. I hope you join me in prayer for them and all those suffering from this terrorist attack.
Why is everybody’s profile pic red and blue is a very good question.
France came under attack late Friday Night and we by changing our pro-pic are supporting the French against the machine gun and bombing attacks. Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Three teams carried out the attacks in the French capital which killed 129 people and left more than 352 wounded, the Paris chief prosecutor says. Ninety-nine of the wounded are reported in very serious condition, he said.
“We have to find out where they came from… and how they were financed,” Francois Molins, Prosecutor told reporters.
He said seven attackers had been killed, and that all had been heavily armed and wearing explosive belts
ISIS claimed responsibility in an online statement. The statement said eight ISIS militants wearing explosive belts and armed with machine guns attacked precisely selected targets in the French capital.
It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Europe since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, in which 191 people died. And it came less than two weeks after after a Russian plane crashed in Sinai — downed, intelligence officials believe, by a terrorist bomb — killing all 224 people aboard.
CNN-Find out more about the attacks
Mark Zuckerberg turns his profile pic blue and red in support of France, Paris which has come under attack recently
Facebook Safety Check Helps Parisians, Company Responds To Those In Beirut Asking, ‘Why Not Us’
Facebook deployed its Safety Check feature for Paris Saturday morning, making it the first time it was ever used in connection with terrorist attacks.
Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows his support for France by changing his profile photograph.
Paris was the first test of Facebook Inc.’s Safety Check role in helping improve quick communication during acts of terrorism. The company said in a statement Saturday afternoon: “Safety Check is a relatively new feature and until yesterday we had only activated it in the wake of natural disasters. The product will continue to evolve as we learn more about how it’s used during different crises. We hope to never be confronted with a situation like this again, but if we are, we are of course open to activating the tool given how reassuring it has been for people in Paris.”
CLICK HERE TO SEE I.B.T FACEBOOK PROFILE PIC SUPPORT ARTICLE
Story by Laura Edgar
Sources CNN News Online
International Business Times
BBC Interview with Molins procecuter.
Worst Tweaker Yet At Wal-Mart Oh my god! This is seriously so sad and I said to my partner, maybe she is just obsessibe compulsive we don’t really know do we? Tweaker is a good guess and an obvious appearance if you have been around that sort of thing and know the behaviors. But still all I can do is pray for the girl she doesn’t really look that bad appearance wise, skin, hair etc.
12 Step programs really do work if yo work-em.
Is AA a cult?
Well that depends on who you ask the question. One thing for certain about the human race…we get some kind of fulfillment out of stamping a “BAD” label on groups of people, organizations, types of people etc. We don’t want the karma or negative consequences that harsh judgement could bestow on us so we should definitely be careful about using the word “cult”. There are lots of articles labeling AA a cult. But really what are the characteristics of a true cult?
Pretty vicious! These are evil characteristics at best and clearly just another form of blame by a cults condemnation of all other things religious/spiritual .
Is AA a cult? No, not by it’s doctrines, which are the 12 steps and 12 traditions absolutely not. Granted that does not mean that there could never be cultist sects working within AA. Made up of people that practice AA completely contrary to the 12 steps and traditions, but that goes for any large group within organizations. Any group of people can go awry.
However, few if any religious organizations have the liberating and non-controlling foundation that AA has by its 12 Tradition. Nor does any other religion suggest that you seek God and put your own vision and label on God. AA does not hand us God on a platter served up with a cocktail of legalistic regulations of what HE looks like acts like dresses like, wants us to dress like Nor do they serve a desert of descriptive visuals of the punishment and torture God will smite us with if we don’t obey all the rules.
Spirituality does not come in a box. We do not come to know God by other people’s seeking God for us. We must seek out our Higher Power on our own. That way when we reach that pie in the sky the great creator of human life will recognize us and know exactly who we are because we prayed, meditated, sought God with our might and even helped a few addicts along the way.
Out of a desperation that only the fear of utter emotional pain, death, suffering and worse can induce. Yes by this woe we found God and by this woe we learned that Love is an action that we take to receive back that same Love.
(thanks to Erwin Guillem for the gorgeous photograph that can be found on “your shot” National Georgraphic.)
Why is it that there are more men getting and staying sober in the program of AA than women? Why is it that we women seem to have more emotional issues that need addressing than men? Partly we just talk about our issues more, men repress on a much larger scale. Nevertheless we woman that do stay sober are usually more of the “tomboy” type. The very feminine and highly fragile woman rarely can get through what it takes to stay sober. Experience teaches that us rough types even often bi-sexual type women have a much higher chance statistically of staying sober than do the frail and feminine.
Clearly experience teaches it’s the “alpha” females who stay sober in much greater numbers than the more submissive woman. But we must learn to make ourselves vulnerable emotionally rather than protecting ourselves emotionally. “Sobriety ain’t for sissies!” So bone up ladies! You can do it but it’s gonna hurt! The bad news is…we can feel again, the good news is…we can feel again. Yes and we have a boat load of emotional issues and character flaws to give to our Higher Power and to ebb-away at.
Firstly, in my nine years of recovery which ya, hey it is allot of clean-time and I won’t pretend that it isn’t even if it is by the Grace of God. I have done a hell-of-allot of work on myself, with the help of other women. And what I have seen in AA is there is only one woman in AA that I have met whom was not sexually abused as a child. I have silent theories this is the “why” behind most addictions. The guilt and shame a young child will place on her-self for something she really was not equipped to resist is astounding even life-changing. We addict woman have learned by the age of ten or younger that we can use our sexuality against men (or women) to control them, manipulate them, and force feed them guilt to get whatever we want from them.
We are in recovery now it is time to do our sexual inventory not absent of crimes done to us. We write how that made us feel but rite now we are addressing our side of the street and cleaning it. On page…ok ya page 69 in the Big Book Itgives us a long list of questions to ask ourselves. These question help us with this inventory of our sex based wrongs. It is imperative for our emotional sobriety that we go over this list honestly and thoroughly and own up to all those that we have manipulated with our sexuality. Usually the men on our Fourth Step resentment list will also be a big part of our sexual inventory. In spite of how these men have wronged and abused us it is vital that we see “our part” so we can learn to Love and keep Love close to us and in us. Yes I am saying Love is of greater importance than anything however we are usually incapable of showing Love and acting out of Love when we are deep in our addiction so that sets sobriety up as a priority before anything else in our lives even Love.
Most of us when abused, didn’t run to an adult and snitch the assailant out, we wanted someone to Love us. We confused affection with Love and we thought to get Love we had to drop our moral boundaries. We thought we had to be hurt to get what we needed. Perhaps that’s what our parents ingrained in us. And so we turned things around because we are survivors and we used our sexual power accompanied with lies and deception to get what we thought we needed at the time…usually money, drugs, & the basic things like food and shelter.
Some of us even sold our bodies outright for money to get drugs. We were exposed to many disgusting and painful situations. Some that we barely made it out of alive. It’s no wonder we learned to hate men. It’s no wonder we learned to hate women! They were our competition they betrayed our confidence! Screw woman! We could not manipulate them as easily.
But now we must put our “woman’s issues” on our fourth step. We will need other women if we are to heal and stay sober. So we pray for God to put the right woman in our lives so we can experience the “sisterhood of The Spirit”. Men absolutely are incapable of relating to many aspects of our personalities therefore they are of limited use to us in recovery when working through these core woman’s issues. If we have a chance to get into a woman’s meeting we DO IT! These meetings are much more intimate and women will share things that absolutely will not hear in a regular meeting, shares that are vital for our healing
We begin to let our abuses out of our bag of secrets. We expose some shameful actions of our past in our fifth step with a sponsor and we expose other secrets in the rooms with the woman. We will find that doing so will put in place the connection that we need to other woman. When we listen in our women’s meeting we train ourselves to LOOK FOR THE SIMILARITIES RATHER THAN THE DIFFERENCES!
Finding someone to criticize is an old survival skill that deflects self-guilt. Criticism feeds the ego that which it needs to go-on however, criticism is not what we need now…we need empathy, we need healing and that will never come whilst seeking differences so we can criticize others. We write ourselves a note “seek the similarities don’t criticize!” and we put that in front of us in every meeting we go to until we have trained our brains and have built a bridge over the sick neuron-pathways called addiction. Our brain-bridge is called “survival for the sober”. Building a sober brain-bridge takes work and a supernatural kick so we start by ninety meetings in ninety days and we pray for willingness, clarity, guidance, healing, and for HP to make a way where there seems no way.
We have deep and imbedded trust issues that simply must be ignored to an extent so we can get what we need. We may not be able to trust but we will nevertheless choose a sponsor and work the Fifth Step leaving no debauchery uncovered. That which we want to keep secret the most should be at the top of our fourth step. The Truth will set us free.
We put the “blame-game” in the garbage. We are responsible for processing every feeling that comes into our hearts. If we have sex with a person they owe us nothing! It is our choice weather we have sex and unless we tell the person up-front a price for that sex…they owe us nothing. Not a phone call, not to fix things for us, not to make our choices for us, nor a place to stay they owe us nothing. If we expect something from a person we are in bed with then we should be up-front about it. We can propose that if they are screwing other people we will have to leave the relationship. They are adult they can do as they please. They can make promises that they won’t keep. If they don’t respect us then we leave the relationship it is our choice if we stay therefore blame is off the table. Granted we can command respect but it is us who must draw the line in the sand and walk away when it is crossed. We cannot make other adults do anything we can only request and suggest.
If we feel we have been wronged we should call a woman and talk it out. If a law has been broken we may call the cops. We may find if we talk things out with another woman that it is our unresolved issues that are haunting us rather than the person we are in bed with in the present. We addicts tend to carry an ink-blotter stamping “guilty” on anyone we are intimate with once the fairy-tale phase of the relationship is over. Not anymore! Now we journal, we write “fuck you” letters (do not send) to vent our angers. We scream in our cars if we have to. We beat the pillow, we talk it out with woman but we do not blame anyone anymore for our feelings ever.
Even if we are wronged…can the person process our emotions? No! If others had the responsibility of processing and dealing with our feelings then we would be slaves to other people which we are not. We are learning how to take responsibility for our lives and our emotions. It is not easy, not for sissies but you can do it my dear because you are stronger and capable of a deeper Love than most women can even imagine. Why? Because of the deep pain you have suffered.
Your emotional pain has carved out a deep dark hole in your heart. You will process that hurt and replace it with Love. That is why we women in recovery are more capable of a deeper Love than anyone who has not been through the trauma that we have. Seek God and The Sunlight of The Spirit and you shall be a vessel of joy, Love, and happiness amidst the tears that have gone un-cried for too long.
Confessions of a Meth Lab Cook is an audio by blog talk radio and Dale Garrett. Dale Garrett is a wonderful guy who takes his experience strength and hope to the people who need to hear it most. He makes weekly audio shows at blog talk radio
“AS TIME HAS PASSED MANY HAVE SENT TO ME THEIR STORIES OF HOW THEIR LIVES HAVE BEEN TURNED INSIDE OUT BY THE DECISIONS AND ACTIONS THAT THEY MADE, NAMELY ALL LEADING BACK TO THE USE OR MAKING OF METHAMPHETAMINE, NOW THEY HAVE ASKED ME TO SHARE THEIR STORIES IN HOPES THAT BY DOING SO IT WILL SHOW OTHERS THE HORROR AND DEVASTATION THAT COMES ALONG WITH THIS SO CALLED GLAMOURS LIFESTYLE,, SO I INVITE YOU TO JOIN BOTH MYSELF AND MY HOST SARAH BETH AS WE TAKE YOU ON A JOURNEY THROUGH THE LIVES OF 3 YOUNG LADIES LIVES WHO GOT TRAPPED IN THE METH GAME, AND NEARLY LOST EVERYTHING,BUT….THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, FOR YOU SEE, THEY WERE BLESSED TO BE ABLE TO MAKE IT OUT OF THIS EVIL MADNESS THAT NOW PLAGUES OUR SOCIETY, SO JOIN US IF YOU WILL..FOR OUR SHOW “CONFESSIONS OF A METH COOK “THE UNTOLD STORIES” By Dale Garrett
Your Words and Information http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2014/10/who-legally-owns-your-facebook-posts.html
That means if you share your recipe on Facebook, and celebrity chef Bobby Flay decides to appropriate it for his next cookbook, you won’t be getting any royalties. This is partially because recipes generally aren’t available for copyright, but most of your posts containing words and information aren’t either.
Your Photos and Videos
Facebook users have slightly more rights to the photos and videos which you post to the site, as those works are easier to protect via copyright. However, Facebook’s terms allow them “a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook.” In layman’s terms, Facebook has license to use the photos and videos you post (which you own) in any way it sees fit, without paying you, and it can transfer that license to third parties.
Typically, you could sue a company like Facebook for using your image without your permission (or without paying you) under your rights of publicity. But by joining Facebook, you’ve essentially given the company carte blanche to do what it will with your images and videos, not to mention whomever Facebook decides to share your media with.
READ MORE WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS, FACEBOOK POSTS
New International Version
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
New Living Translation
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
English Standard Version
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Berean Study Bible
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Berean Literal Bible
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
New American Standard Bible
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
King James Bible
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God.
International Standard Version
“How blessed are those who make peace, because it is they who will be called God’s children!
This is a “must see”! Check out how we can so easily be manipulated by cropping. Our thoughts and be decieved and mislead dramatically!. http://zumfeed.com/news/1418-here-are-28-times-when-cropping-a-photo-changed-everything-wait-until-you-see-9.html
What is emotional maturity? A mature person takes responsibility for their own feelings and actions and learns what to do with their emotions (contrary to repression or blame). Coupled with the acceptance of others and the ability to NOT PLAY GOD. They show respect toward their fellow man and do no harm to themselves or others of any form.
But it’s obvious and common-sense that when we no longer use healthy emotional coping skills we resort to unhealthy ones. Drinking and drugging to mask intense fear and inferiority issues causes emotional stagnation. This emotional numbing process goes hand in hand with suppressing feelings. For instance instead of crying when we are hurt we pound down a twelve pack and become an angry drunk because we think to be hurt shows weakness so we never address the core “emotional hurts” behind our anger. The supposedly “recovering” addict can engage in a similar sick emotional process while sober. Just substitute blame or any character defect in place of the twelve pack and we can still repress our emotions and stay in denial of fear and pain.
There seems to be no permanent remedy to character defects and perfectionism. But rather it takes spiritual maintenance (steps 10-12) to stay positive and emotionally healthy once sick emotional processes have been introduced to the brain (especially in the formative years).
Here is what Bill W. said about “fear”;
“this short word somehow touches about every aspect of our lives. It was an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it. It set in motion trains of circumstances which brought us misfortune we felt we didn’t deserve. But did not we ourselves set the ball rolling?”
Before we can mature emotionally in sobriety we need to learn how to process our feelings. Sounds like psycho-babble right? Emotionally healthy people use processes like this for instance.
First we admit our emotional pains, insecurities and fears. We moan, scream (not at anybody) or cry them out, that’s why God made tear ducts. And we write them down. We share them with someone and then we give them to God. Fear itself is not the character defect because it’s a feeling and feelings are part of us. Actions however, can be defective. We are clearly not trusting our Higher Power if we are paralyzed by fear. We ask for God’s help with our lack of faith and trust. We can use a God box to help us let go of the things that we are putting in God’s care.
Now if you or your sponsor have labelled any part of natures healthy emotional processing techniques as “character flaws” and have deemed crying as “self-pity” and labelled sharing and writing our fear list as “self-centered & self indulgent” then it’s time to fire our sponsor and find one that is compassionate and understanding even empathetic.
Steps Ten through Twelve do work just as step four and five works to clear the wreckage of the past. But when it comes to fear addicts and alcoholics seem to be loaded down with more fear than the average person. I believe this is because we were introduced to fear as a result of some childhood emotional trauma and it set the ball rolling in our brains. And so we set out for a solution to our fear based feelings and double helping of shame that came with it.
It’s imperative that in recovery we learn to open up about who we are and how we feel. The tough girl, tough boy facade must be left behind.
We will mature emotionally if we allow natures process to flow through us rather than getting stuck.
SEE VIDEO NOW ORIGINAL ARTICLE NY DAILY NEWS.COM
Beloved comedian Robin Williams’ widow, Susan Williams, says she doesn’t blame him “one bit” for committing suicide — and that his final act was simply a way to wrest back control from a “sea monster” of a disease.
In her first interview since her husband’s Aug. 11, 2014 death, a tearful Susan opened about her husband’s demons on a “Good Morning America” interview airing Tuesday.
“I got to tell him, ‘I forgive you 50 billion percent, with all my heart. You’re the bravest man I’ve ever known,'” she recalled of the day Williams, 63, was found after hanging himself with a belt. “You know, we were living a nightmare.”
Susan compared the “Mrs. Doubtfire” actor’s “endless parade of symptoms” in the months leading up to his death to a game of Whac-A-Mole, admitting she thought he was a hypochondriac at first. He would’ve had “maybe three years” left if he was lucky, she said.
>READ MORE SEE THE INTENSE VIDEO NOW
Paul Williams: Coming Back from Rock Bottom | Super Soul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network
Watch both video’s. They are very short at these links.
Songwriting legend Paul Williams says that, at the height of his fame, an addiction to alcohol and drugs nearly destroyed him. After hitting bottom
a bunch of alcoholics in Oklahoma City prayed in a prayer circle for him and that night in a black out Paul Williams finally called a doctor and went to rehab. Above is the link to the video and also after the P. Williams video is the Oprah show that talks about Normies needing recovery too.
See him tell the story of what saved him at this link:
OMG He wrote “Just an old fashion love song” that Three Dog Night made famous but here’s his version with the mupputs. Too funny.
PAUL WILLIAMS AND MUPPETS. Also wrote “Rainy Days and Mondays” that the carpenters made famous. And
“I WON’T CO-SIGN YOUR BULLSHIT!”
Scream the 12 step sponsors to the detriment of their heartsick fellows! There is a great need in AA to understand the difference between co-signing bull shit and showing Love by exerting understanding, compassion, and care.
There is a great need to understand the difference between self-pity and the expression of valid feelings such as anger, and hurt.
Human feelings that result from an abusive past need expressed for us to stay or get sane.
The words, “I know how you feel, you have a right to feel your pain, grieve and to process your hurt…even if, the feelings derive from years prior” are words that can heal a heart. Most addicts have stuffed down tears for years that desperately needed to be cried for us to attain emotional balance and healing. Usually when we get clean & sober all our un-cried tears come to the surface and scream to get out. We then ask ourselves: “What’s wrong with me, why am I so depressed, nothing bad is going on right now? Next our sponsors quickly tell us to “get over it and write a gratitude list” as they watch us slam the door in the face of AA.
Gratitude lists work great for those stomping their feet because things are not going their way (self-pity). However when it comes to the horrible feelings of grief that result from abuse, abandonment, neglect and other childhood trauma all our sponsors suggestion does is add to our low self-image and push us out the doors.
The most common “grave emotional disorder” that addicts in the rooms suffer from is the inability to process deep hurts and trauma inflicted as children & sometimes through adulthood. We have turned our hurt to anger and continually search for a scape-goat to blame for our intolerable feelings. Our hurts have morphed into anger because “grief”, unless short lived and a result of the death of a loved one is unacceptable in our society. When we experience any other cause of emotional pain except what’s socially acceptable we are often told to just “GET OVER IT!” So driven by shame we bone-up, pretend we are tuff-girls and boys, file our feelings under the “wrong and weak” category in our hearts and make ourselves sick till we have no other solution except to numb that which we have labeled “Invalid feelings”.
Is it no wonder that when one of us relapses so many seem to be so devastated by it…
even when we scarcely know the person who went back out? We are desperate to let out some of our grief in a way that is acceptable to our fellows. We all step up our meetings and talk about our pain and loss when it usually has nothing to do with the guy who just relapsed who we have never invited to our home by the way.
The need for validation of our deep hurt is huge and necessary for healing. It’s hard for us in recovery to see when we are stuffing down a pain that really needs to be expressed. Few of us were taught by example or in school that it’s ok to scream and cry feelings out, or that crying is a part of emotional health.
Grave emotional disorders
are not healed by just writing down [our part] and transferring all the blame from one scape goat to the next; [ourselves]. Please don’t hear what I am not saying…we addicts have boatloads of character defects that we need to work on however, not all grave emotional disorder is solved by doing a guilt based fourth step. Furthermore, if Bill W. would have had a course in empathic healing and were taught that his feelings are valid and how to emotionally process them he may not have spent at least 12 years sober and depressed trying so many therapies and pharmaceutical remedies.
Typically Bill was too hard on himself. There comes a time when we must pause from blaming ourselves for where we are at emotionally if we are to find answers and heal. There comes a time when we should realize that we were dealt a mistaken hand where our understanding of emotions is concerned and the steps don’t fix everything.
THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING
MENTAL ILLNESS, ADDICTION AND SUICIDE ALL ROLLED INTO ONE COURAGEOUS AND CANDID DOCUMENTARY OF THE LIVES OF THE FAMOUS HEMINGWAY’S Originally aired on April 23, 2013
Get the instant video or DVD of this compelling documentary only on Amazon
Mariel Hemingway opens up about suicide, molestation and her family’s curse in ‘Running from Crazy’
Mariel admits she saw her father sometimes enter the girls’ bedroom when they were young and sexually abuse Muffet and Margaux. “I didn’t know what he was doing, but I knew it wasn’t right,” she says on camera, adding that she was never herself abused — though one is nevertheless left wondering if that is actually true. Further, she hypothesizes that unfortunate past as something relating to how extremely close to their father Muffet and Margaux were, while, again, Mariel seemed to be on the outside of the unit, closer to her mother than anyone else.
Amid all of this, Mariel struggles with the “Hemingway curse.” Ernest’s 1961 suicide is legendary but two of his siblings also killed themselves, as did his father. This in addition to Margaux. That curse is theorized as a suicide gene and the very potential of such a thing leaves Mariel racked with fear for her own daughters as she participates in charity work and suicide prevention initiatives.
READ MORE at Huffpost Live
My sobriety date is April of 2006. I got clean on Good Friday and spent Easter weekend in a small holding cell going cold turkey off numerous drugs and alcohol.
Needless to say the black chair had restraints. Granted the tiny female prisoner was drunk, delusional and played her own part in the torture I heard her endure that night. The guards used the “black chair” title as a threat to keep inmates in line. After several weeks of recuperation that inmate was moved from medical into the women’s pod.
After my second month of sickness with painful gull bladder attacks I was sent to ‘medical’ where another women suffered from seizures in the room next to me. Apparently seizures are a criminal infarction in the Levy County Jail. I ‘saw’ nothing that night but what I heard was both scary and alarming. Let’s say I lived years on the streets, in crack traps, bars, with felons but what I witnessed in that jail to me was shocking. I couldn’t have imagined that a female nurse could be so utterly brutal. Funny…we never saw that patient/inmate again after the night of her seizures. All I know is I heard her hit the floor and she went silent. Just a few feet from me with a wall between us. She went silent as that nursed screamed brutalized her . She kept screaming, “your faking your seizures”! Word was she was mysteriously released even though prior to her visit to medical there was no chance of her getting bail and her court date was a long way off.
That wasn’t the first abuse I witnessed in that jail. But that’s not what this story is about. Idk…maybe it should be, maybe that is where it’s taking me.
who got to leave jail to take trips to “McDonald’s” if they were chosen by the guards. One of the inmates was also my friend on the outside who just happened to be younger and prettier than me. She said the guards would not only take them to McDonalds but also get them their drug of choice on occasion for their trip to Micky D’s. I think we all know what the girls did for the guards, and they were happy to get a McDonald’s hamburger for their pleasure.
The pod we were in consisted of about 30 inmates 15 upstairs and 15 downstairs. We were allowed to choose the location of our own bunks. How it usually went down was ‘if’ NO ‘when’ someone pissed us off we would grab our gear and bunk as far away from them as possible. I ended up grabbing my gear and heading down those stairs. We all ended up right where we were supposed to be.
We had an audience called the “Screws”. Up high straight across from the inmates second story was the guards own second story room with a huge glass window facing down on our pod. The glass was even set at an angle so they could see everything. They could look right down on the ladies day or night…with good intentions of coarse. They were keeping us safe you see. And at the same time, well lets just say as it all turned out, the ladies upstairs had much different personalities than the ladies of the downstairs levels of the pod.
The ladies upstairs kept themselves up at all hours of the night. They were active and the guards loved it. Apparently they knew how to put on a show. The guards had their own big screen real-time stripper show with girl on girl pornography and it was all live. I guess they just couldn’t resist the temptation to watch the show and buy the burgers.
We were generally kind to one another. There were spiritual things happening to us. We were having a common dream about water and baptisms, pools, and rivers. We went to church on Wednesday nights and we had AA group on Sundays. In between we had the library and all its recovery literature. We were women who wanted to change. (even if some of us did take the occasional trip to McDonald’s). I remember that jail-house preacher told us “God is here walking the halls & working miracles.” I believed him, somehow I just knew I was going to get my miracle. That preacher was one judgmental, assuming son-of-a-bitch but he had some good things to say too. We ladies were soaking up as much positive energy as we could find.
But the girls upstairs…well they hated us ladies down stairs. My girlfriend from the outside basically couldn’t make up her mind she kept switching back and forth from upstairs to down. She would fill me in on what was going on up top . I considered her credible I knew her. We were hypocrites to them. To them we were showing pitiful weakness and they despised it. If I had not been released when I was, well there was a women who was picking a fight with me and it was reaching a head. She screamed at me because she was going to prison and I wasn’t. She swore she would see me in prison and then she would have my ass. I feel pity for her at this moment.
You know you are in recovery when you take A.A. meetings into the very jail which incarcerated you for sixty days. Yes, for two years I walked freely in and out of that same jail. By the Grace of God, AA and therapy with Randall Mayrovitz at Meridian Healthcare Bridge-house outpatient therapy and inpatient both I learned how to live sober.
Chadwick Buford Holmes, 32, a jail guard with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested on June 30, 2011 on a third-degree felony charge of sexual misconduct. He is accused of repeatedly having sex with a female prisoner in a bathroom, and was booked into the same jail where he is alleged to have committed the sex acts.
Not to mention I kept having gull bladder attacks omg. It’s a wonder I survived it. But for the grace of God. I finally got my day in court after two months and the judge gave me a sentence to rehab. I got to ride to Meridian in decked out cop car with sixty days detox time under my belt. I was well on my way to full blown recovery.
Jail saved my ass. AA taught me coping skills and how to get sober. Therapy taught me what to do with my emotions and helped me work through core issues. The 12 steps are the essence of my religion. Without my higher power I would not have survived addiction. All good things are from the Great Spirit of Light and Life. Tapping into that strengthens my faith.
Inside me is a good and loving dog and a fearful and criminal dog which ever one I feed the most will become stronger. Lately I have been tempted to shop-lift. Time to feed the good dog. But one thing for sure while I am alive, I will be human. The human condition is by default corruptible. The program works as long as I make the choice and take the action to work it. But without the outside help I would be screwed.
By Laura Edgar
Robin W., Alcoholic (from the writers at https://aspiritualevolution.wordpress.com)
Note: This is the first time I’ve written about something outside my own personal experience, but it’s been on my mind enough that I felt moved to.
When Amy Winehouse’s body was found with a blood alcohol content of .4% (five times the DUI level), lying among scattered vodka bottles like so many smoking guns, most of the media and public understood that her death was caused by alcoholism.
Not so with the loss of Robin Williams – also caused by alcoholism, but in a much subtler sense. The press does note that he had checked into rehab a few weeks prior, but his prolonged suspension of active drinking causes them to dismiss his addiction as conquered. It seems to me only my fellow alcoholics are able to intuit the close relationship between his alcoholism, depression, and the unbearable-ness of being that led him to take his life…read more…
Do Not Do this to Your Tongue
CLICK HERE TO SEE PIERCING ABUSE HORRORS
TOTALLY RAD MAN…OH DO PEOPLE STILL SAY THAT? A MUST SEE.
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
A sponsor is a person who has completed working the 12 steps and now teaches others to work them. One common first step assignment is to read “How it Works” and “The Doctors Opinion” in the Big Book of AA. Another assignment is to write five examples of powerlessness over alcohol or drugs in our own lives. And so we have begun the journey of recovery with a sponsor who has managed to stay sober themselves. What this first assignment does is brings our addiction into the light by listing our powerlessness it keeps us from forgetting we are addicts and prevents us from lying to ourselves by saying…”Yes I can drink responsibly…this time.”
The Doctors opinion shows us that we are definitely not alone and we are not the only ones who have experience the powerlessness of addiction. Powerlessness and the “insanity” of addiction are hard to differentiate between. All powerlessness associated with addiction is insanity but not all inanity exhibits powerlessness.I promised myself I would only have one drink however I woke up after a three day bender asking myself “What in the hell happened?” I promised myself I would never drink or drug again but I did it anyway. I promised myself I would never hurt my loved ones by my addiction yet, again I stole money from my daughter’s piggy bank to buy crack. Ouch! That is serious powerlessness.
Premeditated and guiltless thievery to support my addiction is insane but it is not a show of powerlessness. Accusing my ex-husband of being the reason that I drink and drug because of the way he treats me is insanity but it is not powerlessness. Good luck with your step work!
When we write our examples of powerlessness we should write also how it made us feel. The thing is we addicts usually want to be in complete control. Most of us have intense control issues even. And so we internally beat ourselves to a pulp when we cannot stick to our own using guidelines. Simply put we are expecting ourselves to control something that we are completely incapable of controlling.
We find ourselves in a subconscious state of self-loathing by which we hate us and the world. We did not create our powerlessness nor did we sign up to become addicts. We have no right to condemn ourselves for our powerlessness. We merely accept it and move on to step two.
OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION!
By Linda R.
Inside AA, one hears members frequently repeat the well-known phrase “AA is spiritual, not religious.” AA takes pride in saying it’s not religious. But what do outsiders, such as the court systems, think about AA’s claim?
In the ten year period between 1996 and 2007, five high-level US courts — three federal circuit courts and two state supreme courts – did take a long and hard look at AA’s claim. Each of these cases involved a person who was being forced to participate in AA meetings, either as a condition of their parole or probation, or while actually incarcerated. These cases reached the highest level of judiciary scrutiny — only one level below the US Supreme Court — because they involved the critical issue of separation of Church and State. This separation is a fundamental aspect of US law, known as the Establishment Clause, and is explicated in the first amendment to the US Constitution, which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
The parolees, probationers and inmates in each of these cases claimed that the State was using its power to force them to participate in a religious activity. They claimed that AA meetings were religious. Thus, their required attendance was a violation of the Establishment Clause, which requires governmental neutrality with respect to religion and a wall of separation between Church and State. READ MORE AT aaagnostica.com
Scroll down to see video now.
The name of the Mormon website is LDS Living
In honor of National Addiction Recovery Month, the Mormon Channel is releasing a series of powerful and raw videos, which focus on the struggles and triumphs of those overcoming various addictions.
The 12-part series focuses on the personal experience of 12 former addicts who share startlingly honest and real experiences of their fights to overcome drug, alcohol, food, sex, and pornography addictions. read more…
FAMOUS SEX ADDICT AND CONVICTED MURDERER SCOTT PETERSON, UPDATE: Show Airs on Reelz August 25, 10pm, 9 ep/pt
The Scott Peterson, Laci Peterson, Modesto, California murder case will make the next episode of Murder Made Me Famous on Reelz. Read more in the inquisitor… (Please know the partial story printed here was written by
Sex addict Scott Peterson lives a cushy life on death row after murdering his pregnant wife and unborn child. It’s said that he did it for his mistress Amber Frey who he was seeing at the time. Consequently, Peter Reynosa filed a lawsuit late Wednesday in Fresno County Superior Court, seeking either $250,000 or Frey’s renewed cooperation on the book, titled “Memoirs of a Sex Addict,” and the screenplay, “Myths of the Flesh.”
It is unclear if the book was fiction or a memoir by Frey, but a document attached to the lawsuit that Reynosa said is a contract says authorship would be listed as “Amber Frey as told to Peter Reynosa.” Talk about a can of worms.
The screenplay — which is fiction, Reynosa said — was at one point known as “Orgasms of the Dying.” Read more here:
Scott Peterson “The Perfect Husband” Crime Archives Scott Peterson Trial – Scott & Laci Home Video – July 4th, 2002
Geraldo video from March when he appealed his death row sentence.
The Scott Peterson, Laci Peterson, Modesto, California murder case will make the next episode of Murder Made Me Famous on Reelz. Last Week, the Inquisitr reported on the debut of the new Reelz show. Tonight’s Murder Made Me Famous will detail the actual events of the murder of Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant, and her unborn baby, Connor. Laci’s death made headlines in 2002 after she vanished on Christmas Eve. When her body washed ashore several months later, her husband, Scott Peterson, was charged with murder. Today, he still sits on California’s death row, where he seems to be living a “cushy’ life,” according to Daily Mail.
Laci Peterson was a bubbly, cute, dark haired beauty. By all accounts, she was a talented young woman with many friends and was a beautiful homemaker. She enjoyed being a housewife, and she loved putting together exquisite meals for her friends and family members. When you were invited to Laci’s house, you knew you were going to have a good time. And this is exactly the kind of image that Laci wanted to portray.
According to the Movies Based On True Stories Archives, Laci emulated Martha Stewart, and other shows that encouraged women to be the perfect homemakers. Impressing her friends with her beautifully organized Modesto home sure made people feel cozy, and it gave Laci lots of pride. Her husband, Scott, liked that about her, too—in the beginning.
Scott Peterson was a handsome dark-haired man who appeared to be a successful businessman. From the outside looking in, it seemed that life for the Petersons was just perfect. In reality, Laci was not was not happy with Scott. Though at times he could be charming and reassuring that he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, behind the scenes, he was longing for life as a single man. Scott loved three things: money, porn, sexy women who loved lots of sex, and himself—so that makes four. see original article in new tab
More on the Scott Peterson appeal
FULL BLOWN SEX ADDICT
Scott Peterson’s ex-girlfriend sued over ‘sex addict’ book
What sin is depends on the person who is defining it for themselves. What is sin to one person may not be sin to another. My own conscience is what guides me as to whether I am committing a sin or not. If I feel guilty, truly guilty about an action then it is sin to me.
Many people suffer from false guilt at times by feeling responsible for other people’s condition. However that happens to people who feel they have way more power than they actually do. Unless I have wronged a person by literally physically or verbally disrespecting them I am not responsible for their condition. Furthermore even if I do hurt someone emotionally by my words, it is ultimately up to that person to work through their own emotions. I can’t process anyone’s emotions for them. I can’t work through your hurt for you. I can’t cry for you to get it out and I can’t let it go for you by praying to God the Serenity Prayer.
We are all responsible to process our own emotions. I can no more cry for you than I can tell you what is sin for you. Granted there are the clear cut cases of people who have no conscience and therefore have nothing to label as sin. And there are the clear cut cases of violent crimes against others that on a universal standard are easily defined as wrong. But if I am a person who can go out and kill with no guilt feelings what so ever even if I am killing the innocent, then there is no such thing as sin to me only right and wrong as defined by other people. My own conscience is what defines my sin.
“Sin” is a religious and moral term, some people have no morals in their heart, these people should abide by the law. Then there are those who feel even a cuss word is sin or masturbation or sex is sin I have one word for these people. KEEP YOUR SINS TO YOURSELF, no adult has the right to tell other respectful law abiding adults what to do. So I say bugger-off sinner.
On December 14th 2011 the meth lab I was operating blew up and set me on fire leaving me to die in my own destructive ways. But then a miracle happened- God had plans for my life and he reached down and put the flames out. I spent several months in the hospital receiving surgeries and skin grafts and then sentenced to 10 years in the Iowa state prison. I am now out on parole and doing what I feel God has called me to do- reach out to others still struggling with addictions. I have written a book about my accident and how I have found recovry with God. The book is called “My 7 Seconds in Hell the Complete Story” and is available through Amazon both online and paperback. Anyone who is experimenting with making meth I strongly urge you to check this book out. I may very well save a life. A miraculous story of survival SEE MORE…
Or just watch his testimony/his story:
Eventually I landed in the hospital with a “fever of unknown origin” (FUO, the doctors called it), which lingered over 105 degrees for a week and kept me shivering under an electric cold blanket, hallucinating all the while. The following week I was right back at it, having anonymous sex as soon as I was discharged — until, sure enough, I returned to the hospital with another FUO. This time I was worried, and alone: my boss from the theater where I had started working straight out of college didn’t come to visit, as she had the first time. I was trying people’s patience; things could only get worse.
And then what movie aired on TV as I lay in my hospital bed but Philadelphia, in which Tom Hanks plays a lawyer who’s fired for being gay and ultimately dies of AIDS.
“Okay, God,” I said. “I’ll stop.”
But of course I didn’t. I am an addict.
I acted out for ever more potent highs with, paradoxically, ever more debasing behavior, so that demoralization imbued whatever self-worth I had left, until I saw myself as deserving nothing more. I began to believe what I believed other people believed about me.
Years and years into the cycle, reprieve would come at last in the form of recovery meetings. I needed to show up in the rooms to stay abstinent, not from sex altogether, but rather from the addictive behaviors that made my life unmanageable: phone sex, cybersex and pornography, in addition to the anonymous sex — all forms of sexual activity which were, for me, attempts to rub out the unease of being in the wrong body through forms of self-effacement.
The root of the problem was that I did not want to be in a male body; I never had. Anonymous sex provided an avenue for assuming the role in which I was comfortable, while covering up the longings I felt inside, if only for as long as I acted out. Since the sex was over before it began, and I never knew my partners, the underbelly of my gender dissipated upon expression. Thus I sought to suppress myself under the illusion of control.
But denial only exacerbated the discrepancy between my reality and my potential. The mirror of life followed me everywhere, and the shame in which addiction coated me obscured the reflections I saw.
Impulsion distorted any sense of self-worth, which worsened the disgrace of being unable to control my addiction. After engaging in behavior that I’d promised last time I would never do again, here I was doing the same thing once more — again, and again, and again and again — and again.
I ventured further into the abyss each time I acted out. Yesterday’s rush fell short of what I needed today — riskier danger, steeper precipices and more, always more. There was never enough of anything because my addiction craved annihilation above all else. Every letdown fanned the flames of the hell that life became when I acted out.
And yet I sought even more.
I wanted to stop. I promised myself I would stop.
I could not stop. read more…
That is provided we do a certain amount of spiritual maintenance. I suppose technically it is a cure that requires maintenance and action. “Cured” does not mean we can drink normally, it means now we have no desire to drink and we do not consider alcohol a solution to anything.
So why is it that people in AA so often have the attitude that they are chronically ill and will never be “recovered”. The only CHRONIC part of this disease that cannot be healed is the allergy. We will always get a different reaction from alcohol than normal people get.
But the real reason for the apprehension to say “cured” is that most of us have relapsed so many times before we reached AA that we feel it is a disease that we are powerless over. And just after the paragraph where Bill W. writes “the problem has been removed it does not exist for us” he also writes “We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”
Personally being a recovered addict/alcoholic I think it’s a negative fail-safe constructed by the addicts reasoning like..waiting for the other shoe to drop. If we don’t accept that we are “well” then we won’t relapse because we are always working toward getting better. Therefore hypothetically we never “rest on our laurels because we never get well enough to lighten up. I guess the theory has it’s advantages. This attitude is clearly akin to the fear of success and sprouts from the low self-worth that repeated relapse ingrains. BUT NOW we rely on the program NOW we rely on God. THE PROGRAM WORKS! So as long as we work our program and rely on God we are good. ANYBODY can grow into a complete and miraculous recovery if they learn the program and work on core issues. You gotta feel to heal.
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 fight 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 our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.
Title Page: “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism” (I totally agree with him on this one we absolutely do recover, at least I have.)
Page 20, paragraph 2: “Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body. (here, here!)
Ok then what is a “fit spiritual condition” and how do we attain it? The Program is simple not complicated, simple but not easy. “Fit spiritual condition” does not mean I am happy all the time or my life is perfect. I am a human with human emotions. I did not come to AA to learn how to further repress my emotions, put on a mask of happy joyous and free, and walk around saying “life is good” every three seconds. NO THAT IS TOTAL BULLSHIT! Life is not good all the time and just because I am sober it doesn’t mean that it’s a good day.
If people die or get sick it sucks. If I break my toe it sucks. If my lover has an affair IT HURTS! Crying is a healthy emotion to relieve emotional pain. Tears are a sign that my emotions are balanced and I allow myself to feel what my heart is saying. Fit spiritual condition means that I have an on-going relationship with my Higher Power and I have learned to rely on Him/Her/It. It also means that I have worked on my core issues and learned what to do with my intense emotions when they do surface. It means that I have worked the 12 steps and know how to implement them when I need to. I know how to revisit step three and remember God has my back. I know how to do a step four and five when I get a resentment. I know how to make amends if I hurt someone. I recognize when I am slipping into complacency or insanity so I formally work all 12 steps again. I take time to connect with nature and I get peace from that. I eat right and show others the respect that I desire. The wreckage of the past must be processed I must not hold on to the worst offences. No secrets. We are as sick as the secrets we keep.
The three things that cure addiction are this= 1. therapy, working on the core issues that made me want to numb myself in the first place, 2. The 12 Steps combined with the fellowship and service work, learning and recognizing my dysfunctional patterns so I can guard against them in the now, furthermore the steps teach me humility, honesty, and more 3. spirituality= a relationship with my Higher Power to RELY on God and soak up God’s strength and Love.
Leaving out any aspect of this healing recovery recipe could result in a return to addiction, dry drunk-ism, possible eventual suicide or hurting others.
to see video of Robert Downey Jr. at home by the pool talking about addiction and recovery.
At the age of 67, James Taylor has made his 16th album, his first in 13 years. After spending his early career addicted to heroin, he’s surprised he made it this far In the center of Florence, a short walk from the Ponte Vecchio, a rangy, bespectacled figure in a baseball cap clutches a cup of coffee and slips back into his hotel unrecognized. He is perhaps the definitive singer-songwriter of his generation, he has come to represent everything noble and dignified about American artistry, and he is preparing to tell me how he is amazed to be alive.
At 67, James Taylor has an air of low-key statesmanship that most senior politicians can only aspire to. A lifelong Democrat (‘I inherit my politics from my father, and my aesthetic, probably, from my mum’), he has sung for presidents, calls Bill and Barack by their first names, and is vehemently backing Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House. See Video at this link.
My drinking problem started at 12 years old, drinking myself to sleep every
single night just to deal with (or not deal with) what my cousin was
doing to me every night after my parents went to bed. My mom found a
whole garbage bag full of empty Jägermeister bottles from where I was
drinking a whole bottle every night. My mom tried getting me help after
that for my alcoholism but I was nowhere near ready to receive that help.
My addiction flourished to popping pills and self-harming and still
drinking. When all of that stopped numbing me the way, I needed it to, I
started smoking meth. For a while, I smoked it socially (every weekend and
sometimes during the week). However, my addiction made it very clear
that socially was not enough… By 17 years old, I was a full-blown meth
addict. I met my first husband when I was high on meth and on a run for
more and he happened to be the dope man. Nine solid years of pure hell
started from that night on… Meth was my best friend and every time we
were even close to running out of her, we had to go chase her down for
more. My ex-husband made it as well so the search was never but a cook
away. When he went to prison, I was still on meth but needing something
more to numb me from the pain I felt from missing my husband so bad. I
was introduced to crack cocaine and was instantly hooked. Spent every
penny I had then whatever I could steal to get it. I was brutally raped
and beaten by the crack dealer in his trap house one night and my mom
found me the next morning walking, eye swollen shut and eyes lifeless
with tear stained cheeks. I didn’t want to live anymore. The cops treated
me like the criminal because I was a crackhead at a crack house and they conveniently lost my rape kit to prosecute my rapist. He walked free. I
never smoked crack again after that but my addiction spun more out of
control than ever after that… Abusing so much benzos, I lost many days,
not remembering much of anything. Just the way I wanted it. I didn’t want
to remember. I just wanted to forget. Every time I spoke to my husband on
the phone and every visit I came home from, I was balling like a baby. He
was so verbally abusive and mean to me. He blamed me for the rape. Mom
stayed up with me countless nights from the torture I was in mentally
from the rape and feeling like my husband hated me. It was all my fault.
When he got out of prison, on my birthday weekend we went to my sister
and her then boyfriends house and got drunk and high. I went in the guest
bedroom we once stayed in and passed out. I woke up to being punched in
the back of the head and him screaming at me and tearing my underwear
off. He beat me so bad that night and anally raped me. Telling me how
much I deserved it for letting the crack dealer f*ck me… What little
bit of soul I did have left, he murdered that night. My own husband raped
and beat me unconscious. I screamed and begged for help, nobody came to
my rescue… No one. I started shooting meth very soon after that. I was
also shooting and popping large quantities of opiates with it. Everyday,
we stayed on the road wheeling, dealing, and finding our next fix. The
beatings from my husband became a normal part of everyday life and
honestly, I didn’t care anymore. Just get me my next dose so I can block
it out. When I got pregnant with my oldest daughter, I was excited and
full of life for the first time in several years. I felt like I was
getting a fresh start to do things right and would finally have someone
who loved me unconditionally… I couldn’t even succeed at that. My
husband beat me throughout my pregnancy, cheated constantly and although I didn’t do meth during my pregnancy, I okayed it by taking opiates my doctor was prescribing me and I smoked weed. When she was born, she was the most beautiful little girl I had ever laid eyes on.
When I looked at her,
everything else faded. The pain, the shame, the guilt, the fear,
everything… In that moment, all I felt was love. God I loved her so
much and wanted to protect her so bad… But, I was a junkie. I loved her
as much as I was able to love her. I protected her as much as my
addiction allowed me to. She seen him beat me and choke me unconscious
so many times. She never should have seen that. She seen me high.
God, what have I done? In my addicted mind, I just used even more to
cover the guilt and shame I had. I got pregnant again… I was heavily
addicted to Spice. I did not use anything but Spice during my pregnancy
with her but I used so much of it daily. My ex-husband cheated on me with
someone very close to me during the last part of my pregnancy. When I found out, it tore me to pieces. I smoked even more Spice. I was so selfish…
When my baby was born, she cried so much. My husband swore she wasn’t his (she looks just like him) and he would scream at me and beat me when she wouldn’t quit crying, sometimes while she was still in my arms. I held
her pretty much 24/7 and the crying never stopped. It was my fault… I
used more. My parents got custody of my girls, rightfully so. They could
provide and do for them what I was nowhere near able to do at the time. I
was so sick and tired of being sick and tired. Tired of being a junkie.
Tired of him beating me. Tired of being a worthless mother. Tired of it
all… In 2013, my husband beat, raped and poisoned me. I was transported
to the best hospital in Alabama, UAB, and one of the best surgeons in the
world spent countless hours trying to keep me alive. I had to have
several blood transfusions from bleeding to death, my kidneys and
intestines had shut down and the doctors only gave me a 20% chance to
live. The odds were against me. This was it. He finally succeeded in
killing me… God wasn’t done with me yet, though. Eight weeks later,
after a very long painful fight to live, I got to go home. I had 30
something staples in my stomach and a feeding tube hanging out of my arm
to go home with… My poor mom had to get up at three and 4am every single morning to change out my feeding bag and when the home health nurses wasn’t there to nurse my wounds, my mom was doing it and bathing me. She helped save my life. The addict in me was still raging though… I ended
up going back to the very man who tried killing me. The beatings
continued and shooting dope was still my daily life. This was the
insanity of addiction… Repeating the same thing over and over expecting
different results every time. Different results never came. I finally
left my ex-husband for good, There is a protection order in place and I have been tempted but have not gone back. I still had not gotten clean YET. I would go on binges of shooting massive amounts of dope to popping opiates and benzos every day. When I was not shooting dope, I would rationalize my pill popping and drinking by telling myself it was better than shooting dope.
I had several overdoses, several detoxes also mental hospitals later and losing my family and homes. I was so miserable. Drinking enough to kill a horse from the time, I woke up until I passed out at night, popping tons of pills, smoking lots of weed and when able, still shooting up dope. I had lost my family. I had lost every home I ever had. I owned nothing anymore but a few cloths and pictures of my kids. Everything else I had sold or pawned for more drugs.
I had lost every decent relationship I had. I was completely alone in my disease.
Even when others were around me, I was still so alone. I was intoxicated
one evening and a friend of mine, who I call my guardian angel, made it
clear I needed help NOW… At the rate I was going, I would not have lived
another two weeks. I would wake up every single morning and cry, cursing
God for waking me up another day. Why wasn’t I dead?! This wonderful
friend (who I’ve never even met) called and got me into a halfway house
in Delray Beach, FL, the recovery capital of the world. I was on a plane
early the next morning and there was no looking back…
I knew I HAD to have a change. I could not keep going as I was. I did not want to keep going as I was. I stayed at the halfway a few days and the house manager got me a scholarship to one of the best rehabs in America called Palm Partners. I stayed there 40 days and that broken down girl that
walked in there was leaving a happy, healthy, strong woman ready to face
the world. I had some rough patches in the beginning but when I fully
surrendered and let God lead the way, change started happening. I soaked
in every single thing they taught me at rehab and brought back with me
some very valuable life lessons… Rehab was the best thing that is ever
happened to me in my life. I’ve had a complete physical, mental and
spiritual makeover. I am not the same woman I was several months ago.
For the first time in my life, my mom is proud of me. I have my relationship
back with my parents and my children. I have happiness in my heart
instead of hate. I am at peace now. Has it been a walk in the park? No,
some days have been hard. I lost a dear friend of mine that I was
in rehab with to this sickening insidious deadly disease within my first
week out of rehab. That was so hard! Nevertheless, God brought me through it.
All I have to do is get through 24 hours without using and each day that I do
that, I have succeeded in my goal. I get to my meetings and I do my step
work and I firmly believe in giving back to a program that’s given so
freely to me. I can honestly say my worst day sober has still been better
than my best day using. I may have been a sick girl before but today, I am
a healthy woman in recovery. Today, I am clean. Today, I am happy, joyous and free. Nobody ever said this journey would be easy but it’s so worth
From the time we snuggle close to our mothers breast as new-born infants till the day we lye on our death-bed we crave care and Love. Perhaps we are praying we won’t die alone. It is a natural and good thing to care that our friends, lovers, and family do love us enough to be near. Even to our neighbors who we don’t really know we hope to look good. We dress well, and buy nice things to make us look good. Its natural to the human condition to want to be admired. Socially humans are built to care about their reputations and what others think of them.
It isn’t weak or demeaning to want to be loved. On the contrary it is a natural desire to want to be desired and cared about. A “good reputation” is a valuable component of our self-esteem.
Caring what people think of us is an important human societal trait. Social structural norms like working toward a good reputation can change the coarse of a life for the good. To put a healthy value on what people think of us can highly impact our goals, careers, accomplishments, and the way we treat other people. We should treat others the way we want to be treated , this ties in closely to the desire to be liked and respected.
It is when this desire runs rampant to the point of fear and obsession it isn’t good. Fear of what people think of us moves us into unhealthy behaviors. We don’t need to swing to a polar opposite in a struggle to overcome the fear of what people think of us by pretending we don’t care at all or by saying “it’s none of my business what people think of me”. Which if you don’t go to AA you probably don’t know this statement is said allot around the rooms. It’s a coy verbal act to overcome fear. Even the phrase “It’s none of your business” is crass and disrespectful and typically used abruptly as an angry response. That is not the tone I want to use toward anyone. Saying ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks of me’ supplies a false sense of superiority.
If I truly didn’t care what anyone thought of me I may be more prone to irresponsible actions with no value of what people would say or think, no social consequences per say. Best I keep my natural desires to please others. Who doesn’t like to hear the words ‘I love and care for you’? Sociopaths, folks that thrive on hate and narcissists.
If we expect more out of the program of AA than just sobriety we will have to go deeper into our fourth step. The fourth step in depth can cure anxiety, depression, resentment, co-dependency and fear. Best to begin step work with a prayer for guidance and revelation.
If the pop up window doesn’t work in your browser click here for full page link. Big Book fear list
The fear list is an important part of on-going maintenance in recovery. The fear list is in Step Four of the big book. Some people teach we only do step four once. And few sponsors teach sponcees to write down fears not associated with a resentment. For me step ten wasn’t enough until I formally worked the 12 steps at least 5 times and learned how to use a fear list. When resentment, depression or anxiety pops up and won’t go away no matter how much service I do I do a mini fourth step coupled with a fear-list inventory. The purpose of the mini fourth is to hone out what my core feelings of self-image are which triggered the fear or resentment. Once I get to the core fear/feelings I ask God to remove them it works like magic.
Surface fears are associated with sex, security, and society. Meaning fear of losing a girlfriend/boyfriend, not having a roof over my head or money or losing my reputation among my friends and fellow AAers.
Root causes and feelings go even deeper than that, they are the ones that most often we WILL NOT ADMIT MUCH LESS ADMIT TO OTHERS. Core issues that drive fears are anchored in inferiority, unworthy feelings and low self image and are usually a little illogical, often we dismiss them by intellect.
But the heart does not have to be logical. Our heart needs to be heard or at least acknowledged. It’s quite natural for an addict to feel inferior, unworthy, bad, wrong, ugly, gross, pitiful at the core of our being. Not just addicts, it is often the human condition. It’s not our fault, we were taught who we are at a young age it sticks in our heart until it can be released by a fear list or confession. If a shameful human condition weren’t common the world would not be in chaos and disarray. When we feel high self-worth and are trusting God we are not prone to fear, anxiety, anger and depression. Emotional balance depends on a healthy self-identity.
SOLUTION: First do the regular step four and five. Then GET TO THE CORE FEELINGS ATTACHED TO THE FEARS on your list AND ASK GOD TO REMOVE THEM all. Apologize to our Higher Power for our lack of trust and ask for help with that. Confess to someone the way we feel no matter how illogical or even un-true those feelings are, they come from a valid place, our heart which is only guilty of believing what it was taught.
Disclaimer: This does not apply to everyone. This is mainly for those of us who were traumatized, neglected, and abused when we were children or young adults.
I woke up in the middle of the night with an intense feeling of impending doom. I felt like I was somehow in a position where I had no safety. I felt like I was dangling miles high in the air with no safety net. In my heart and mind I must be putting my wellbeing in the hands of the wrong thing. It is not uncommon to sub-consciously put our faith into a cigarette or a pill while in recovery from a traumatic addiction. When in that addiction our neuro-pathways had been trained to take the direction where drinking is a solution. Sometimes in recovery our brain takes a wrong turn if you will. All we need do is put our faith back on the right neuro-road where we depend on our spiritual God rather than a person, place, or earthly thing.
When I was a very young child I remember having an intense realization that one day I would die. It frightened me because there is no earthly solution for death. It prompted me to seek and connect with my Higher Power.
When I experience impending doom all I have to do is pray and tell my Higher Power how I feel (fear) and remember that He/She/It does have my back and the feeling of fear will leave me. Maybe it was the prospect of death itself that haunted me. Perhaps I had awoken from a nightmare that I don’t remember. Do I need to write a fear list? If the feeling does not let-up by prayer alone then “Yes” back to Step Four!
The fear list is an important part of our on-going maintenance in sobriety. You will find the directions for it in Step Four of the big book. “But that’s Step Four I should be over that!”….So some say. However my experience is in the matter of emotional sobriety and overcoming grave emotional disorder I revisit the fourth step as often as needed and Step Ten is far from enough maintenance to keep my emotions in check.
In Step Ten the book reads that we are pretty much cured of regarding drink & drug as a solution, this is true to any extent. “The problem has been removed, it does not exist for us.” However emotions and emotional sobriety are another matter, if I don’t stay emotionally balanced I will eventually see alcohol as a solution. Absolutely we do “recoil” from alcohol if we work the steps but will we “recoil” from being self-destructive or hurting others? Or will we just switch to another self-destructive habit?
This is a very limited prospect of which is useless without the rest of the 12 steps.
Step ten works good enough for a quick apology or when simple self-acknowledgement of a defect then a little prayer will resolve resentment, shame, guilt or fear but if it doesn’t rectify my deep negative feelings a little more work may be necessary even though I have worked the steps thoroughly. Truly Step Ten is not much of anything without the rest of the 12 Steps actively in place in our lives. Furthermore without prayer and meditation we are usually not spiritually fit enough to take our own inventory anyway.
Do I have any unresolved resentments I ask myself? If so I need to pray for that person and if that doesn’t work I do a step four and five including “my part” and not eliminating “wrongs done to me” and how both of those have made me feel. If it brings up deep feelings I let myself feel them and I cry.
If I have a reoccurring memory of an event in my past and it is attached to an intense feeling; that is when prayer is not usually enough. That does not mean I don’t pray. It just means that there is something in my past that I need to explore with an empathic listener who can hopefully relate to the event. I write down what happened. Have I wronged anyone? Do I feel guilt or shame? Remember our heart does not have to make sense it just needs to express itself, raw, & without editing. I share my feelings with a listener whom will neither shut me down, shame me, nor invalidate me for my feelings.
Staying disconnected from our feelings is an old survival skill that worked. To truly process core feelings we need to connect with them 100% and write, cry, scream, talk, moan, run, or even punch (the bag, pillow) them out.
Let’s face it folks some AA, NA members are in the business of invalidation. These members will always look for the differences instead of the similarities. Furthermore they will look for the “wrong” in anything you propose to them. This may work for some people…but blame is a principle of co-dependency not a principle of healing in recovery.
Do I feel dirty, wrong, and bad? We must not allow our intellect to cloud our fourth step by invalidation. Admitting core feelings like “bad, dirty, wrong, disgusting, or cheap sounds embarrassing but these are the common human feelings that surface after living an addicted life. These deep feelings need to come out or they will make us sick. Let’s face it not only have most of us crossed our own moral boundaries when in addiction but we also have core issues that need addressing from childhood. Oftentimes adults taught us that we were just plain “wrong” and that we don’t even have a right to be who we are and feel how we feel.
Remember we in recovery usually reach out for some secondary dependencies or lesser addictions when we get sober. You won’t hear it talked about in the rooms much but that’ what we do.
There are two kinds of people in AA those who struggle and admit it and those who struggle and don’t talk about it. We certainly don’t struggle at all times and we do reach a place of peace if we work the steps but we are never finished doing the work while human and alive.
Do not be too hard on yourself for that is a character defect within itself! Come on folks! We are all doing the best we can for right now. From what I have experienced in Narcotics Anonymous the way they sometimes ostracize fellows for secondary addictions it feeds into the sickness of keeping secrets, repressing emotions, and feeds our shame issues. Some groups forbid members to chair meetings if they are on much needed psyche meds or pain meds even non-narcotic meds. Intolerance and a lack of acceptance for others and their personal medicinal status is just that…a lack of understanding and empathy.
In recovery we often struggle with sick relationships (co-dependency), cigarettes, food, sexual promiscuity, anger issues, even your non-narcotic prescription drugs…nevertheless we are doing way better than we were before AA and the 12 steps. Do not think that your recovery is counterfeit if you struggle with one of these? Believe me we all struggle at times. You will find that when one of us overcomes ALL of our little crutches we then become highly judgmental, and our control issues hit their highest peaks. It’s always something! Not a justification just fact. Best we accept ourselves and other as human and remember “OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION”!
I found this article on-line about AA and The Big Book. I have picked it apart. It is rich and full of lots of great information. The red text is my commentary on the article. There are many misconceptions about whats in the Big Book passed down from generation to generation. This article clears up many of the most common. A.A. and prayer are how I got sober its not perfect and I would not fit in if it were.
The problem with this article found at http://www.nwarkaa.org/aintinthebook.htm is that the writer is unable to see that sometimes there are two right answers to one question, it can be both. Two rights don’t make a wrong. Not everything is black and white there are circumstances that change therefore reactions change. The writer is also right about several of his A.A. misconceptions.
That ain’t in the Big Book article starts here, my comments are in red.
THAT ISN’T IN THE BOOK! WE HEAR A LOT OF STUFF SAID IN MEETINGS THAT CAN’T BE RECONCILED WITH THE PROGRAM AS DESCRIBED IN THE BIG BOOK OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. WHAT FOLLOWS ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE OFTEN HEAR, ALONG WITH WHAT THE 1ST EDITION OF OUR BASIC TEXT HAS TO SAY ON THE SUBJECT. (Some versions of the Big Book will not line up page for page with this article like the 80 year red and yellow cover paperback, however most will)
“Remember your last drunk”
Page 24, Paragraph 2: “We are unable, at times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.” (Not a contradiction What Bill is talking about here is when we are still in our disease we are in denial hence: we block out the bad memories best we can. )
“I choose not to drink today”
Page 24 Paragraph 2: “The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink.” (Again same thing: Not a contradiction What Bill is talking about here is when we are still in our disease we have no power of choice but clearly when we work the steps choice returns UNTIL we put alcohol in our bodies and the allergy awakens, then we are slaves once again to the whims of demon alcohol)
“Play the tape all the way through”
Page 24, paragraph 3: “The almost certain consequences that follow taking even a glass of beer do not crowd into the mind to deter us. I f these thoughts do occur, they are hazy and readily supplanted with the old threadbare idea that this time we shall handle ourselves like other people. There is a complete failure of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove.” (Once again, once we are sober go through re-hab and are in A.A. we are able to pull up the necessary memories of bad consequences which WILL detour us from the drink.)
“Think through the drink”
Page 43, paragraph 4: “Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.” Once we are sober we can “play it through” and “go to a meeting” (my guess is this writer is justifying a relapse by the use of the literature and the conception of powerlessness he is using the Big Book to continue drinking, ironic no doubt remember we addicts are very intuitive and we must justify our actions or the guilt will kill us.)
“I will always be recovering, never recovered.”
Title Page: “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism” (I totally agree with him on this one we absolutely do recover, at least I have.)
Page 20, paragraph 2: “Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body. (here, here!)
Foreword to the First Edition: “We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.”
Page 29, paragraph 2: “Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered.”
Page 132, paragraph 3: “We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”
“We are all just an arms length away from a drink”
Page 84, paragraph 4, “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 is 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”
“I don’t have an alcohol problem, I have a living problem”
Page xxiv, paragraph 2: “In our belief, any picture of the alcoholic which leaves out this physical factor is incomplete.” (hmm I don’t really see this as a contradiction, I believe in “underlying causes of addiction and the struggle with life on life’s terms why would a living problem be discounted because it’s an allergy. Again it’s both, I have the allergy that is now in check by staying sober but also I have an underlying emotional disorder which affects my living when sober at times which is fixable by the way”)
“Don’t drink and go to meetings.”
Page 34, paragraph 2: “Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was 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.” (Come on writer your just fishing for ways to put down the program. By our support group the 12 steps and meetings we now have a way to not drink and go to meetings.)
Page 34, paragraph 3: “Whether such a person can quit upon a nonspiritual basis depends upon the extent to which he has already lost the power to choose whether he will drink or not.” (some are just problem drinkers and can quit)
Page 17, paragraph 2: “Unlike the feelings of the ship’s passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined.”(sorry I don’t get the connection here I’m lost on this one writer says it contradicts “don’t drink and go to meetings” Isn’t Bill just saying camaraderie isn’t enough to stay sober?)
“This is a selfish program” (Totally agree with the writer here. The program is NOT SELFISH rather it is selfless. The 12 Steps are built on self-examination and a truthful self-awareness achieved initially by step 3 “Made a decision to turn our will and our life over to the THE CARE of God as we understood God”. Selfish: means: taking from others, I want, want, want give me give me give me now! Where-as self-examination and self-inventory are humble and are made of humility a spiritual principle that does not fall under the heading of “selfish” this contradiction is based on mistaken definitions and semantics the writer doesn’t know the difference between humility and selfishness, that’s actually pretty common in AA)
Page 20, paragraph 1: “Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.”
Page 97, paragraph 2: “Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn’t enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be. It may mean the loss of many nights’ sleep, great interference with your pleasures, interruptions to your business. It may mean sharing your money and your home, counseling frantic wives and relatives, innumerable trips to police courts, sanitariums, hospitals, jails and asylums. Your telephone may jangle at any time of the day or night. “
Page 14-15: “For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead.”
Page 62, paragraph 2: “Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles”
Page 62, paragraph 3: “So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kill us!”
“Meeting makers make it” (Please writer not a contradiction, going to meetings is a vital part of recovery. And thrown in with the steps and the fellowship it’s all working toward our recovery. TWO RIGHTS DO NOT MAKE A WRONG! THEY ARE JUST TWO RIGHTS. The writer is stuck in the mind-set of false comparisons and competitiveness. As if recovery was a math test that only has one possible correct answer to every question. Recovery questions often have several good and correct answers. That’s the epitome of the open-minded knowing there can be several right answers and many good things to do.) And often where relapse is concerned “the good can be the enemy of the best in early recovery. If I neglect working the steps and going to meetings to go to work or spend time with my children…seems good right? After all how could anyone tell me not to spend time with my children who I neglected for so long? Early recovery is not the time for good deeds, often good deeds are the precise sabotage our disease will use to make us relapse.)
Page 59, paragraph 3: “Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery”
“I’m powerless over people, places and things” (Agreed) I have choices and power the power to heal and the power to hurt and much more. Otherwise I am a leaf in the wind.) We doubtful never were 100% powerless I said 100%.
Page 132, paragraph 3: “We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”
Page 122, paragraph 3: ” Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic. “
Page 82, paragraph 4: “The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough.”
Page 89, paragraph 2: “You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail.”
“You’re in the right place” (Ok some people don’t belong in AA)
Page 20-21: “Then we have a certain type of hard drinker. He may have the habit badly enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally. It may cause him to die a few years before his time. If a sufficiently strong reason – ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor – becomes operative, this man can also stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention.”
Page 31, paragraph 2: ” If anyone who is showing inability to control his drinking can do the right- about-face and drink like a gentleman, our hats are off to him.”
Page 31-32: “We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition.”
Page 108-109: “Your husband may be only a heavy drinker. His drinking may be constant or it may be heavy only on certain occasions. Perhaps he spends too much money for liquor. It may be slowing him up mentally and physically, but he does not see it. Sometimes he is a source of embarrassment to you and his friends. He is positive he can handle his liquor, that it does him no harm, that drinking is necessary in his business. He would probably be insulted if he were called an alcoholic. This world is full of people like him. Some will moderate or stop altogether, and some will not. Of those who keep on, a good number will become true alcoholics after a while.”
Page 92, paragraph 2: “If you are satisfied that he is a real alcoholic”
Page 95, paragraph 4: “If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience.”
“If an alcoholic wants to get sober, nothing you say can make him drink.” (Sure our words affect people and we are affected by others words, false pride loves to say different because we often learn that it’s weak or inferior to allow a person to effect our emotions but hey, we can harden our hearts by blocking people out and not letting them close . Or we can try to guard over our hearts but usually that just amounts to a big pot of denial. We are human and we are supposed to be affected. We have emotions and that we are powerless over but if we work the steps we can heal and become way less prone to feelings of inferiority and fear which trigger hurt then anger then wrath and resentment.)
Page 103, paragraph 2: “A spirit of intolerance might repel alcoholics whose lives could have been saved, had it not been for such stupidity. We would not even do the cause of temperate drinking any good, for not one drinker in a thousand likes to be told anything about alcohol by one who hates it.”
“We must change playmates, playgrounds, and playthings” Again this is more vital during early recovery things change we change when we have some program in us.
Page 100-101: “Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do. People have said we must not go where liquor is served; we must not have it in our homes; we must shun friends who drink; we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes; we must not go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles if we go to their houses; we mustn’t think or be reminded about alcohol at all. Our experience shows that this is not necessarily so. We meet these conditions every day. An alcoholic who cannot meet them, still has an alcoholic mind; there is something the matter with his spiritual status. His only chance for sobriety would be some place like the Greenland Ice Cap, and even there an Eskimo might turn up with a bottle of scotch and ruin everything!”
“I’m a people pleaser. I need to learn to take care of myself” People pleaser’s don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, we/they want people to like them and maybe fear people not liking them It doesn’t mean that we are always being a self-seeker however the words “human” and “self-seeker” are synonymous to an extent. If not, the human race wouldn’t survive. We must be self-seeking to survive. But we also help others. Is it not possible that both are present and even necessary during certain actions…of coarse it is. We give and we take. The program is a giving and a taking program they are both right. Service and step 12 is giving and step 2, 3, and 11 are taking or a better word is “receiving”. We counsel others and then we receive counsel or suggestions same thing both right. In meetings we take what we need. We also give in meetings when we share. Why would it have to be only one way? Who made that rule?
Page 61, paragraph 2:”Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind?”
“Don’t drink, even if your ass falls off.” (again with the program we an “not drink” I am not sure why the writer saw this as a bullshit cliche’ except he is fishing to make something wrong and I can totally relate to that. Sometimes I am just in that negative mind-set, our writer may be doing very well in his/her recovery right now. This article does not make him a bad person he may have moved on quite well after this article. idk We should not harshly judge a man by one article.)
Page 34, paragraph 2: “Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was 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.”
“I haven’t had a drink today, so I’m a complete success today.” ( or the way I always hear it is “I didn’t drink today so today is a good day!” I agree with our writer: total bull shit. Do people really believe this? However in all open-mindedness. That cliché is used for people in early recovery who need badly to feel better and this is a splendid justification of everything they have done up and until the point that they say it. It’s all good, everything is OK, its kind of a reassuring statement that we are not going to fall apart and that our feelings at the time are not going to define or kill us so, “bullshit “as it may be it helps people and that’s OK by me. Why the opinion you might ask? Because I am a realist who has had plenty of shitty days, great days, and fair days sober so please after 10 years you will most likely agree with me. There are bad days, good days and average days it’s called “balance” emotional balance. Then again, it all depends on your definition of a “good day”. One man’s truth is another man’s bullshit. And one thing certain some AAers lover to re-define the English language. So good day does not mean good day any more it actually now means “sober day.” People die, people o.d, people betray, people hurt, kill and cuss you out not every day will be a good day and if we believe that story we are setting ourselves up for failure. Comparing other peoples outsides to my insides. Why am I not happy joyous and free all the time like Hugo portrays? I must not be working my program right. What’s wrong with me? You catch my drift? That’s why our sometimes closed minded writer put this one on his list.
Page 19, paragraph 1: “The elimination of drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs.”
“It’s my opinion that…” or “I don’t know anything about the Big Book, but this is the way I do it…” (False humility- the act of dishonest and degrading statements about one’s self which we know are not true) Have you read the Big Book and worked the steps? Then you have something to offer don’t you. Please don’t pretend you don’t. Humility-Awareness of one’s own flaws of character as patterns/ with this knowledge and the tools we can avoid committing our old patterns of character flaws. hence steps 6 & 7
Page 19, paragraph 1: “We have concluded to publish an anonymous volume setting forth the problem as we see it. We shall bring to the task our combined experience and knowledge. This should suggest a useful program for anyone concerned with a drinking problem.”
“Don’t drink, no matter what.” (Our writer has resorted to Sarcasm–the inability to communicate on an honest level for fear if we reveal our true self and we won’t be liked. so we have learned to communicate with untruths) Sarcasm is rarely literal or true. He knew what Bill meant by this and is pretending he doesn’t. Yes we came to AA to stay sober so we are encouraged to not drink and encourage others to not drink no matter what. If a man doesn’t know if he is alcoholic then he can try the test of limiting his drinking.
Page 34, paragraph 2: “Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was 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.”
Page 31, paragraph 4: “We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition.”
“We need to give up planning, it doesn’t work.”
Page 86, paragraphs 3-4: “On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.”
“You don’t need a shrink. You have an alcoholic personality. All you will ever need is in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.”
Page 133, 2nd paragraph: “But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons. Most of them give freely of themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and bodies. Try to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward.”
“AA is the only way to stay sober.” (God, thereapy, and AA) All work)
Page 95, paragraph 4: If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience. We have no monopoly on God; we merely have an approach that worked with us.
Page 164, paragraph 3: “ Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little.”
“My sponsor told me that, if in making an amend I would be harmed, I could consider myself as one of the ‘others’ in Step Nine.”
Page 79, paragraph 2 “Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences might be.”
“I need to forgive myself first” or “You need to be good to yourself” (Do both not a contradiction. Bill is only guilty of using poor grammatical wording here. Hard on ourself meaning be honest in our self-appraisal and ALWAYS considerate of ourself and others.)
Page 74, paragraph 2 “ The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others.”
“Take what you want and leave the rest” ??
Page 17, paragraph 3: “The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.”
“Just do the next right thing” More fishing come on. Do the next right thing and also get guidance.
Page 86, paragraph 4: ” We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision.”
Page 87, paragraph 1: ” Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas.”
“Don’t make any major decisions for the first year” Ok there is an exception to every rule.
Page 60, paragraph 4: “(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives. (b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism. (c) That God could and would if He were sought. Being convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him.”
Page 76, paragraph 2: “When ready, we say something like this: “My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.” We have then completed Step Seven.”
“Stay out of relationships for the first year!” I like this one I am in agreement.
Page. 69, paragraph 1: “We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone’s sex conduct.”
Page 69, paragraph 3: “In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter. The right answer will come if we want it.
Page 69, paragraph 4: “God alone can judge our sex situation.”
Page 69-70:”Counsel with other persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge.”
Page 70, Paragraph 2: “We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing.”
“Alcohol was my drug of choice” sarcasm again, the loss of choice is when the obsession is active when we are actively drinking.
Page 24, paragraph 2: “The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink.”
“Keep coming back, eventually it will rub off on you” the “rub off” is that if we keep going to meetings something may eventually click and we will become willing to do the suggestions.
Page 64, Paragraph 1: “Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us”
“Ninety Meetings in Ninety Days” Chronologically impossible back in the day. Not enough meetings.
Page 15, paragraph 2: “We meet frequently so that newcomers may find the fellowship they seek.”
Page 19, paragraph 2: “None of us makes a sole vocation of this work, nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased if we did.”
Page 59, paragraph 3: “Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery”
“You only work one step a year” “Take your time to work the steps” I never heard this one. I worked the steps in full formally once a year for the first 6 years.
Page 569, paragraph 3: What often takes place in a few months can hardly be brought about by himself alone.”
Page 63, paragraph3: “Next we launched on a course of vigorous action.” Writer totally took this one out of context.
Page 74, paragraph 2: “If that is so, this step may be postponed, only, however, if we hold ourselves in complete readiness to go through with it at the first opportunity”
Page 75, paragraph 3: “Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for AN HOUR, carefully reviewing what we have done.”
“Make sure to put something good about yourself in your 4th step inventory.” Yes, he’s right that’s not what an inventory is for. However I have heard people lie about their clean time repeatedly saying “all I have is today” when they have years of sobriety. Is it true that we only have one day sober or not? We are not helping the new-comer by saying that we only have one day sober if we really have 5 years. We do not have the right to re-define the English language or to lie in the name of false pride. Please false humility thinks it has to cut itself down and deny any good thing about itself or its considered vain and conceited. Emotionally balanced people don’t lie about their good qualities and put themselves down to make themselves look good. (God that is so ironic.) SO we should not lie about our good qualities. We don’t brag thats another animal all together. It’s almost like many AAers think that if they admit any good thing about themselves they will fall prey to false pride and get drunk immediately. What are the motives? Be truthful. Show the newcomers that things do get better not just in speaker meetings are we permitted to mention our clean date and accomplishments. The “I don’t know shit” routine doesn’t wear well on people put in a position to teach, lead , and sponsor. We are building self esteem, every time I lie about who I am and what I have accomplished it’s a step in the other direction working the other principles. I confess that I sometimes mention my own accomplishments fishing for some validation and encouragement that I am doing well. I get very little of that and my self esteem does sometimes revert to feeling bad or low or wrong, I have my patterns as well which get revealled when we work steps 4-7. That is a quick fifth step to the world.
Page 64 paragraph 3 “First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure.”
Page 67 paragraph 3 “The inventory was ours, not the other man’s. When we saw our faults we listed them.”
Page 71 paragraph 1 “If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning.”
“You need to stay in those feelings and really feel them.” Bottom line intense feelings need to be explored. They come from somewhere in our past trauma or they are triggered by character flaws developed in our past from either emotional neglect or abuse or trauma. These core issues produce feelings that we want to bury, numb, deny, deflect, or blame others for. Some feelings should be ignored others need explored and expressed by crying, screaming, moaning, guttural sounds. or they will not heal. Sobriety brings them up in an orderly fashion. Women more than men (I guess) need to talk them through and connect them to their core occurances. What happened and how did it make me feel? Journaling first makes talking about it easier. We are a people with deep shame issues. The experts say addiction is a shame based disease. Every healthy AAer I know has had therapy at which time they opened up about these past issues and feelings and actions they were ashamed of.
Page 84, paragraph 2: “When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them.”
“There are no musts in this program.” self explanatory
Now look at all the good we or I got out of this seemingly insulting article putting down A.A. :)
Page 99, paragraph 1: “it must be done if any results are to be expected.”
Page 99, paragraph 2: “we must try to repair the damage immediately lest we pay the penalty by a spree.”
Page 99, paragraph 3: “it must be on a better basis, since the former did not work.”
Page 83, paragraph 1: “Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead. We must take the lead.”
Page 83, paragraph 2: “We must remember that ten or twenty years of drunkenness would make a skeptic out of anyone.”
Page 74, paragraph 1: “Those of us belonging to a religious denomination which requires confession must, and of course, will want to go to the properly appointed authority whose duty it is to receive it.”
Page 74, paragraph 2: “The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others.”
Page 75, paragraph 1: ” But we must not use this as a mere excuse to postpone.”
Page 85, paragraph 3: “But we must go further and that means more action.”
Page 85, paragraph 2: “Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities.”
Page 85, paragraph 2: “These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.”
Page 80, paragraph 1: ” If we have obtained permission, have consulted with others, asked God to help and the drastic step is indicated we must not shrink.”
Page 14, paragraph 2: “I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.”
Page 62, paragraph 3: “Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!”
Page 144, paragraph 3: “The man must decide for himself.”
Page 89, paragraph 2: “To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends – this is an experience you must not miss.”
Page 33, paragraph 3: “If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind”
Page 79, paragraph 2: “We must not shrink at anything.”
Page 86, paragraph 2: “But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others.”
Page 120, paragraph 2: “he must redouble his spiritual activities if he expects to survive.”
Page 152, paragraph 2: “I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I?”
Page 95, paragraph 3: “he must decide for himself whether he wants to go on”
Page 95, paragraph 3: “If he is to find God, the desire must come from within.”
Page 159, paragraph 3: “Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary.”
Page 156, paragraph 3: “Both saw that they must keep spiritually active.”
Page 130, paragraph 2: “that is where our work must be done.”
Page 82, paragraph 3: “Certainly he must keep sober, for there will be no home if he doesn’t.”
Page 143, paragraph 2: “he should understand that he must undergo a change of heart”
Page 69, paragraph 4: “Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it.”
Page 69, paragraph 4: “We must be willing to make amends where we have done harm”
Page 44, paragraph 3: “we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life – or else.”
Page 78, paragraph 3: “We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them.”
Page 93, paragraph 3: “To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.”
Page 43, paragraph 4: “His defense must come from a Higher Power.”
Page 66, paragraph 4: “We saw that these resentments must be mastered”
Page 146, paragraph 4: “For he knows he must be honest if he would live at all.”
Page 73, paragraph 5: “We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world.”
But Remember… “When the man is presented with this volume it is best that no one tell him he must abide by its suggestions.” page 144, paragraph 3
Now about sex. Many of us needed an overhauling there. But above all, we tried to be sensible on this question. It’s so easy to get way off the track. Here we find human opinions running to extremes – absurd extremes, perhaps. One set of voices cry that sex is a lust of our lower nature, a base necessity of procreation.
Then we have the voices who cry for sex and more sex; who bewail the institution of marriage; who think that most of the troubles of the race are traceable to sex causes. They think we do not have enough of it, or that it isn’t the right kind. They see its significance everywhere. One school would allow man no flavor for his fare and the other would have us all on a straight pepper diet. We want to stay out of this controversy. We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone’s sex conduct. We all have sex problems. We’d hardly be human if we didn’t. What can we do about them?
We reviewed our own conduct over the years past. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Whom had we hurt? Did we unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness? Where were we at fault, what should we have done instead? We got this all down on paper and looked at it.
In this way we tried to shape a sane and sound ideal for our future sex life. We subjected each relation to this test – was it selfish or not? We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them. We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.
Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it. We must be willing to make amends where we have done harm, provided that we do not bring about still more harm in so doing. In other words, we treat sex as we would any other problem. In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter. The right answer will come, if we want it.
God alone can judge our sex situation. Counsel with persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge. We realize that some people are as fanatical about sex as others are loose. We avoid hysterical thinking or advice.
Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is only a half-truth. It depends on us and on our motives. If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. We are not theorizing. These are facts out of our experience.
To sum up about sex: We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing. If sex is very troublesome, we throw ourselves the harder into helping others. We think of their needs and work for them. This takes us out of ourselves. It quiets the imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache.
If we have been thorough about our personal inventory, we have written down a lot. We have listed and analyzed our resentments. We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. We have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness. We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people. We have listed the people we have hurt by our conduct, and are willing to straighten out the past if we can.
In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves. We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him. If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning. That being so you have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself.
Core Spiritual Principles of the Program: Willingness, Open-mindedness, Honesty
AA’s Code: Love and Tolerance of Others
We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Acceptance, Admission of Defeat, Open-mindedness, Willingness, Humility
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Open-mindedness, Humility, Acceptance
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Honesty Fearlessness Willingness Humility
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Humility, Willingness, Honesty, Humility, Forgiveness, Open-mindedness, Acceptance, Prudence, Serenity
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Willingness, Honesty, Open-mindedness, Acceptance, Humility
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Humility, Willingness, open-mindedness
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Forgiveness, Calmness, Brotherhood, Honesty, Thoroughness, Responsibility, Humility Acceptance Tolerance Objective
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Good Judgment, Courage, Humility, Sincerity, Forthright, Generous, Willingness,
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Discipline, Acceptance, Humility, Patience, Persistence, Self-restraint, Honesty, Willingness, Forgiveness, Fair-minded, Tolerance, Love, Kindness,
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.
Humility, Love, Forgiveness, Harmony, Truth, Faith, Hope, Compassion, Understanding, Self-forgetting, Willingness, Strength, Wisdom, Serenity,
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Gratitude, Acceptance, Love, Honesty, Tolerance, Unselfishness, Strength, Serenity, Giving, Fortitude, Faith, Brotherhood, Service, Understanding, Courage, Wisdom, Humility,
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If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us____sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
ALL OF A.A.’s Twelve Steps ask us to go contrary to our
natural desires . . . they all deflate our egos. When it comes
to ego deflation, few Steps are harder to take than Five. But
scarcely any Step is more necessary to longtime sobriety
and peace of mind than this one.
A.A. experience has taught us we cannot live alone
with our pressing problems and the character defects which
cause or aggravate them. If we have swept the searchlight
of Step Four back and forth over our careers, and it has revealed
in stark relief those experiences we’d rather not
remember, if we have come to know how wrong thinking
and action have hurt us and others, then the need to quit living
by ourselves with those tormenting ghosts of yesterday
gets more urgent than ever. We have to talk to somebody
So intense, though, is our fear and reluctance to do this,
that many A.A.’s at first try to bypass Step Five. We search
for an easier way—which usually consists of the general
and fairly painless admission that when drinking we were
sometimes bad actors. Then, for good measure, we add dramatic
descriptions of that part of our drinking behavior
which our friends probably know about anyhow.
But of the things which really bother and burn us, we
say nothing. Certain distressing or humiliating memories,
we tell ourselves, ought not be shared with anyone. These
will remain our secret. Not a soul must ever know. We hope
they’ll go to the grave with us.
Yet if A.A.’s experience means anything at all, this is
not only unwise, but is actually a perilous resolve. Few
muddled attitudes have caused us more trouble than holding
back on Step Five. Some people are unable to stay
sober at all; others will relapse periodically until they really
clean house. Even A.A. old timers, sober for years, often
pay dearly for skimping this Step. They will tell how they
tried to carry the load alone; how much they suffered of irritability,
anxiety, remorse, and depression; and how,
unconsciously seeking relief, they would sometimes accuse
even their best friends of the very character defects they
themselves were trying to conceal. They always discovered
that relief never came by confessing the sins of other people.
Everybody had to confess his own.
This practice of admitting one’s defects to another person
is, of course, very ancient. It has been validated in
every century, and it characterizes the lives of all spiritually
centered and truly religious people. But today religion is by
no means the sole advocate of this saving principle. Psychiatrists
and psychologists point out the deep need every
human being has for practical insight and knowledge of his
own personality flaws and for a discussion of them with an
understanding and trustworthy person. So far as alcoholics
are concerned, A.A. would go even further. Most of us
would declare that without a fearless admission of our defects
to another human being we could not stay sober. It
seems plain that the grace of God will not enter to expel our
destructive obsessions until we are willing to try this.
What are we likely to receive from Step Five? For one
thing, we shall get rid of that terrible sense of isolation
we’ve always had. Almost without exception, alcoholics are
tortured by loneliness. Even before our drinking got bad
and people began to cut us off, nearly all of us suffered the
feeling that we didn’t quite belong. Either we were shy, and
dared not draw near others, or we were apt to be noisy good
fellows craving attention and companionship, but never
getting it—at least to our way of thinking. There was always
that mysterious barrier we could neither surmount nor
understand. It was as if we were actors on a stage, suddenly
realizing that we did not know a single line of our parts.
That’s one reason we loved alcohol too well. It did let us act
extemporaneously. But even Bacchus boomeranged on us;
we were finally struck down and left in terrified loneliness.
When we reached A.A., and for the first time in our
lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the
sense of belonging was tremendously exciting. We thought
the isolation problem had been solved. But we soon discovered
that while we weren’t alone any more in a social sense,
we still suffered many of the old pangs of anxious apartness.
Until we had talked with complete candor of our
conflicts, and had listened to someone else do the same
thing, we still didn’t belong. Step Five was the answer. It
was the beginning of true kinship with man and God.
This vital Step was also the means by which we began
to get the feeling that we could be forgiven, no matter what
we had thought or done. Often it was while working on this
Step with our sponsors or spiritual advisers that we first felt
truly able to forgive others, no matter how deeply we felt
they had wronged us. Our moral inventory had persuaded
us that all-round forgiveness was desirable, but it was only
when we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly
knew we’d be able to receive forgiveness and give it, too.
Another great dividend we may expect from confiding
our defects to another human being is humility—a word often
misunderstood. To those who have made progress in
A.A., it amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we
really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what
we could be. Therefore, our first practical move toward humility
must consist of recognizing our deficiencies. No
defect can be corrected unless we clearly see what it is. But
we shall have to do more than see. The objective look at
ourselves we achieved in Step Four was, after all, only a
look. All of us saw, for example, that we lacked honesty
and tolerance, that we were beset at times by attacks of selfpity
or delusions of personal grandeur. But while this was a
humiliating experience, it didn’t necessarily mean that we
had yet acquired much actual humility. Though now recognized,
our defects were still there. Something had to be
done about them. And we soon found that we could not
wish or will them away by ourselves.
More realism and therefore more honesty about ourselves
are the great gains we make under the influence of
Step Five. As we took inventory, we began to suspect how
much trouble self-delusion had been causing us. This had
brought a disturbing reflection. If all our lives we had more
or less fooled ourselves, how could we now be so sure that
we weren’t still self-deceived? How could we be certain
that we had made a true catalog of our defects and had really
admitted them, even to ourselves? Because we were still
bothered by fear, self-pity, and hurt feelings, it was probable
we couldn’t appraise ourselves fairly at all. Too much guilt
and remorse might cause us to dramatize and exaggerate
our shortcomings. Or anger and hurt pride might be the
smoke screen under which we were hiding some of our defects
while we blamed others for them. Possibly, too, we
were still handicapped by many liabilities, great and small,
we never knew we had.
Hence it was most evident that a solitary self-appraisal,
and the admission of our defects based upon that alone,
wouldn’t be nearly enough. We’d have to have outside help
if we were surely to know and admit the truth about ourselves—the
help of God and another human being. Only by
discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being
willing to take advice and accept direction could we set foot
on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine
Yet many of us still hung back. We said, “Why can’t
‘God as we understand Him’ tell us where we are astray? If
the Creator gave us our lives in the first place, then He must
know in every detail where we have since gone wrong.
Why don’t we make our admissions to Him directly? Why
do we need to bring anyone else into this?”
At this stage, the difficulties of trying to deal rightly
with God by ourselves are twofold. Though we may at first
be startled to realize that God knows all about us, we are
apt to get used to that quite quickly. Somehow, being alone
with God doesn’t seem as embarrassing as facing up to another
person. Until we actually sit down and talk aloud
about what we have so long hidden, our willingness to
clean house is still largely theoretical. When we are honest
with another person, it confirms that we have been honest
with ourselves and with God.
The second difficulty is this: what comes to us alone
may be garbled by our own rationalization and wishful
thinking. The benefit of talking to another person is that we
can get his direct comment and counsel on our situation,
and there can be no doubt in our minds what that advice is.
Going it alone in spiritual matters is dangerous. How many
times have we heard well-intentioned people claim the
guidance of God when it was all too plain that they were
sorely mistaken. Lacking both practice and humility, they
had deluded themselves and were able to justify the most
arrant nonsense on the ground that this was what God had
told them. It is worth noting that people of very high spiritual
development almost always insist on checking with
friends or spiritual advisers the guidance they feel they have
received from God. Surely, then, a novice ought not lay
himself open to the chance of making foolish, perhaps tragic,
blunders in this fashion. While the comment or advice of
others may be by no means infallible, it is likely to be far
more specific than any direct guidance we may receive
while we are still so inexperienced in establishing contact
with a Power greater than ourselves.
Ou0rating. Perhaps we shall need to share with this person facts
about ourselves which no others ought to know. We shall
want to speak with someone who is experienced, who not
only has stayed dry but has been able to surmount other serious
difficulties. Difficulties, perhaps, like our own. This
person may turn out to be one’s sponsor, but not necessarily
If you have developed a high confidence in him, and his
temperament and problems are close to your own, then
such a choice will be good. Besides, your sponsor already
has the advantage of knowing something about your case.
Perhaps, though, your relation to him is such that you
would care to reveal only a part of your story. If this is the
situation, by all means do so, for you ought to make a beginning
as soon as you can. It may turn out, however, that
you’ll choose someone else for the more difficult and deeper
revelations. This individual may be entirely outside of
A.A.—for example, your clergyman or your doctor. For
some of us, a complete stranger may prove the best bet.
The real tests of the situation are your own willingness
to confide and your full confidence in the one with whom
you share your first accurate self-survey. Even when you’ve
found the person, it frequently takes great resolution to approach
him or her. No one ought to say the A.A. program
requires no willpower; here is one place you may require
all you’ve got. Happily, though, the chances are that you
will be in for a very pleasant surprise. When your mission
is carefully explained, and it is seen by the recipient of your
confidence how helpful he can really be, the conversation
will start easily and will soon become eager. Before long,
your listener may well tell a story or two about himself
which will place you even more at ease. Provided you hold
back nothing, your sense of relief will mount from minute
to minute. The dammed-up emotions of years break out of
their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon as they
are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing tranquility
takes its place. And when humility and serenity are so combined,
something else of great moment is apt to occur.
Many an A.A., once agnostic or atheistic, tells us that it was
during this stage of Step Five that he first actually felt the
presence of God. And even those who had faith already often
become conscious of God as they never were before.
This feeling of being at one with God and man, this
emerging from isolation through the open and honest sharing
of our terrible burden of guilt, brings us to a resting
place where we may prepare ourselves for the following
Steps toward a full and meaningful sobriety.
“Continued to take personal inventory and
when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
AS we work the first nine Steps, we prepare ourselves for
the adventure of a new life. But when we approach Step
Ten we commence to put our A.A. way of living to practical
use, day by day, in fair weather or foul. Then comes the
acid test: can we stay sober, keep in emotional balance, and
live to good purpose under all conditions?
A continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real
desire to learn and grow by this means, are necessities forWe alcoholics have learned this the hard way. More experienced
people, of course, in all times and places have
practiced unsparing self-survey and criticism. For the wise
have always known that no one can make much of his life
until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able
to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently
and persistently tries to correct what is wrong.
When a drunk has a terrific hangover because he drank
heavily yesterday, he cannot live well today. But there is
another kind of hangover which we all experience whether
we are drinking or not. That is the emotional hangover, the
direct result of yesterday’s and sometimes today’s excesses
of negative emotion—anger, fear, jealousy, and the like. If
we would live serenely today and tomorrow, we certainly
need to eliminate these hangovers. This doesn’t mean we
need to wander morbidly around in the past. It requires an
admission and correction of errors now. Our inventory enables
us to settle with the past. When this is done, we are
really able to leave it behind us. When our inventory is
carefully taken, and we have made peace with ourselves,
the conviction follows that tomorrow’s challenges can be
met as they come.
Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time
factor does distinguish one from another. There’s the spotcheck
inventory, taken at any time of the day, whenever we
find ourselves getting tangled up. There’s the one we take at
day’s end, when we review the happenings of the hours just
past. Here we cast up a balance sheet, crediting ourselves
with things well done, and chalking up debits where due.
Then there are those occasions when alone, or in the company
of our sponsor or spiritual adviser, we make a careful
review of our progress since the last time. Many A.A.’s go
in for annual or semiannual housecleanings. Many of us
also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the
outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed
day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.
Aren’t these practices joy-killers as well as time-consumers?
Must A.A.’s spend most of their waking hours?
drearily rehashing their sins of omission or commission?
Well, hardly. The emphasis on inventory is heavy only because
a great many of us have never really acquired the
habit of accurate self-appraisal. Once this healthy practice
has become grooved, it will be so interesting and profitable
that the time it takes won’t be missed. For these minutes
and sometimes hours spent in self-examination are bound
to make all the other hours of our day better and happier.
And at length our inventories become a regular part of everyday
living, rather than something unusual or set apart.
Before we ask what a spot-check inventory is, let’s look
at the kind of setting in which such an inventory can do its
It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed,
no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the
wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What
about “justifiable” anger? If somebody cheats us, aren’t we
entitled to be mad? Can’t we be properly angry with selfrighteous
folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions.
We have found that justified anger ought to be left to
those better qualified to handle it.
Few people have been more victimized by resentments
than have we alcoholics. It mattered little whether our resentments
were justified or not. A burst of temper could
spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miserably
ineffective. Nor were we ever skillful in separating
justified from unjustified anger. As we saw it, our wrath
was always justified. Anger, that occasional luxury of more
balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely.
These emotional “dry benders” often led straight to
the bottle. Other kinds of disturbances—jealousy, envy,
self-pity, or hurt pride—did the same thing.
A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of such disturbances
can be of very great help in quieting stormy
emotions. Today’s spot check finds its chief application to
situations which arise in each day’s march. The consideration of long-standing difficulties had better be postponed,
when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose.
The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and
downs, especially those where people or new events throw
us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes.
In all these situations we need self-restraint, honest
analysis of what is involved, a willingness to admit when
the fault is ours, and an equal willingness to forgive when
the fault is elsewhere. We need not be discouraged when
we fall into the error of our old ways, for these disciplines
are not easy. We shall look for progress, not for perfection.
Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint.
This carries a top priority rating. When we speak or
act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant
evaporates on the spot. One unkind tirade or one willful
snap judgment can ruin our relation with another person for
a whole day, or maybe a whole year. Nothing pays off like
restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered
criticism and furious, power-driven argument. The same
goes for sulking or silent scorn. These are emotional booby
traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Our first job is to
sidestep the traps. When we are tempted by the bait, we
should train ourselves to step back and think. For we can
neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of selfrestraint
has become automatic.
Disagreeable or unexpected problems are not the only
ones that call for self-control. We must be quite as careful
when we begin to achieve some measure of importance and
material success. For no people have ever loved personal
triumphs more than we have loved them; we drank of success as of a wine which could never fail to make us feel
elated. When temporary good fortune came our way, we indulged
ourselves in fantasies of still greater victories over
people and circumstances. Thus blinded by prideful selfconfidence,
we were apt to play the big shot. Of course,
people turned away from us, bored or hurt.
Now that we’re in A.A. and sober, and winning back the
esteem of our friends and business associates, we find that
we still need to exercise special vigilance. As an insurance
against “big-shot-ism” we can often check ourselves by remembering
that we are today sober only by the grace of
God and that any success we may be having is far more His
success than ours.
Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves,
are to some extent emotionally ill as well as
frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and
see what real love for our fellows actually means. It will become
more and more evident as we go forward that it is
pointless to become angry, or to get hurt by people who,
like us, are suffering from the pains of growing up.
Such a radical change in our outlook will take time,
maybe a lot of time. Not many people can truthfully assert
that they love everybody. Most of us must admit that we
have loved but a few; that we have been quite indifferent to
the many so long as none of them gave us trouble; and as
for the remainder—well, we have really disliked or hated
them. Although these attitudes are common enough, we
A.A.’s find we need something much better in order to keep
our balance. We can’t stand it if we hate deeply. The idea
that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore the
many, and can continue to fear or hate anybody, has to be
abandoned, if only a little at a time.
We can try to stop making unreasonable demands upon
those we love. We can show kindness where we had shown
none. With those we dislike we can begin to practice justice
and courtesy, perhaps going out of our way to understand
and help them.
Whenever we fail any of these people, we can promptly
admit it—to ourselves always, and to them also, when the
admission would be helpful. Courtesy, kindness, justice,
and love are the keynotes by which we may come into harmony
with practically anybody. When in doubt we can
always pause, saying, “Not my will, but Thine, be done.”
And we can often ask ourselves, “Am I doing to others as I
would have them do to me—today?”
When evening comes, perhaps just before going to
sleep, many of us draw up a balance sheet for the day. This
is a good place to remember that inventory-taking is not always
done in red ink. It’s a poor day indeed when we
haven’t done something right. As a matter of fact, the waking
hours are usually well filled with things that are
constructive. Good intentions, good thoughts, and good acts
are there for us to see. Even when we have tried hard and
failed, we may chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of
all. Under these conditions, the pains of failure are converted
into assets. Out of them we receive the stimulation we
need to go forward. Someone who knew what he was talking
about once remarked that pain was the touchstone of all
spiritual progress. How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with
him, for we know that the pains of drinking had to come
before sobriety, and emotional turmoil before serenity.
As we glance down the debit side of the day’s ledger,
we should carefully examine our motives in each thought
or act that appears to be wrong. In most cases our motives
won’t be hard to see and understand. When prideful, angry,
jealous, anxious, or fearful, we acted accordingly, and that
was that. Here we need only recognize that we did act or
think badly, try to visualize how we might have done better,
and resolve with God’s help to carry these lessons over into
tomorrow, making, of course, any amends still neglected.
But in other instances only the closest scrutiny will reveal
what our true motives were. There are cases where our
ancient enemy, rationalization, has stepped in and has justified
conduct which was really wrong. The temptation here
is to imagine that we had good motives and reasons when
we really didn’t.
We “constructively criticized” someone who needed it,
when our real motive was to win a useless argument. Or,
the person concerned not being present, we thought we
were helping others to understand him, when in actuality
our true motive was to feel superior by pulling him down.
We sometimes hurt those we love because they need to be
“taught a lesson,” when we really want to punish. We were
depressed and complained we felt bad, when in fact we
were mainly asking for sympathy and attention. This odd
trait of mind and emotion, this perverse wish to hide a bad
motive underneath a good one, permeates human affairs
from top to bottom. This subtle and elusive kind of self-righteousness
can underlie the smallest act or thought.
Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws is the
essence of character-building and good living. An honest
regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received,
and a willingness to try for better things tomorrow
will be the permanent assets we shall seek.
Having so considered our day, not omitting to take due
note of things well done, and having searched our hearts
with neither fear nor favor, we can truly thank God for the
blessings we have received and sleep in good conscience.
PRAYER and meditation are our principal means of conscious
contact with God.
We A.A.’s are active folk, enjoying the satisfactions of
dealing with the realities of life, usually for the first time in
our lives, and strenuously trying to help the next alcoholic
who comes along. So it isn’t surprising that we often tend to
slight serious meditation and prayer as something not really
necessary. To be sure, we feel it is something that might
help us to meet an occasional emergency, but at first many
of us are apt to regard it as a somewhat mysterious skill of
clergymen, from which we may hope to get a secondhand
benefit. Or perhaps we don’t believe in these things at all.
To certain newcomers and to those one-time agnostics
who still cling to the A.A. group as their higher power,
claims for the power of prayer may, despite all the logic and
experience in proof of it, still be unconvincing or quite objectionable.
Those of us who once felt this way can
certainly understand and sympathize. We well remember
how something deep inside us kept rebelling against the
idea of bowing before any God. Many of us had strong log-
ic, too, which “proved” there was no God whatever. What
about all the accidents, sickness, cruelty, and injustice in the
world? What about all those unhappy lives which were the
direct result of unfortunate birth and uncontrollable circumstances?
Surely there could be no justice in this scheme of
things, and therefore no God at all.
Sometimes we took a slightly different tack. Sure, we
said to ourselves, the hen probably did come before the
egg. No doubt the universe had a “first cause” of some sort,
the God of the Atom, maybe, hot and cold by turns. But
certainly there wasn’t any evidence of a God who knew or
cared about human beings. We liked A.A. all right, and
were quick to say that it had done miracles. But we recoiled
from meditation and prayer as obstinately as the scientist
who refused to perform a certain experiment lest it prove
his pet theory wrong. Of course we finally did experiment,
and when unexpected results followed, we felt different; in
fact we knew different; and so we were sold on meditation
and prayer. And that, we have found, can happen to anybody
who tries. It has been well said that “almost the only
scoffers at prayer are those who never tried it enough.”
Those of us who have come to make regular use of
prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse
air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we
refuse air, light, or food, the body suffers. And when we
turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive
our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed
support. As the body can fail its purpose for lack of
nourishment, so can the soul. We all need the light of God’s
reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere
of His grace. To an amazing extent the facts of A.A. Life
confirm this ageless truth.
There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation,
and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can
bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically
related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation
for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of
that ultimate reality which is God’s kingdom. And we will
be comforted and assured that our own destiny in that realm
will be secure for so long as we try, however falteringly, to
find and do the will of our own Creator.
As we have seen, self-searching is the means by which
we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the
dark and negative side of our natures. It is a step in the development
of that kind of humility that makes it possible
for us to receive God’s help. Yet it is only a step. We will
want to go further.
We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst
of us, to flower and to grow. Most certainly we shall need
bracing air and an abundance of food. But first of all we
shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark.
Meditation is our step out into the sun. How, then, shall we
The actual experience of meditation and prayer across
the centuries is, of course, immense. The world’s libraries
and places of worship are a treasure trove for all seekers. It
is to be hoped that every A.A. who has a religious connection
which emphasizes m
Well, we might start like this. First let’s look at a really
good prayer. We won’t have far to seek; the great men and
women of all religions have left us a wonderful supply.
Here let us consider one that is a classic.
Its author was a man who for several hundred years
now has been rated as a saint. We won’t be biased or scared
off by that fact, because although he was not an alcoholic
he did, like us, go through the emotional wringer. And as he
came out the other side of that painful experience, this
prayer was his expression of what he could then see, feel,
and wish to become:
As beginners in meditation, we might now reread this
prayer several times very slowly, savoring every word and
trying to take in the deep meaning of each phrase and idea.
It will help if we can drop all resistance to what our friend
says. For in meditation, debate has no place. We rest quietly
with the thoughts of someone who knows, so that we may
experience and learn.
As though lying upon a sunlit beach, let us relax and
breathe deeply of the spiritual atmosphere with which the
grace of this prayer surrounds us. Let us become willing to
partake and be strengthened and lifted up by the sheer spiritual
power, beauty, and love of which these magnificent
words are the carriers. Let us look now upon the sea and
ponder what its mystery is; and let us lift our eyes to the far
horizon, beyond which we shall seek all those wonders still
“Shucks!” says somebody. “This is nonsense. It isn’t
When such thoughts break in, we might recall, a little
ruefully, how much store we used to set by imagination as
it tried to create reality out of bottles. Yes, we reveled in that
sort of thinking, didn’t we? And though sober nowadays,
don’t we often try to do much the same thing? Perhaps our
trouble was not that we used our imagination. Perhaps the
real trouble was our almost total inability to point imagination
toward the right objectives. There’s nothing the matter
with constructive imagination; all sound achievement rests
upon it. After all, no man can build a house until he first envisions
a plan for it. Well, meditation is like that, too; it
helps to envision our spiritual objective before we try to
move toward it. So let’s get back to that sunlit beach—or to
the plains or to the mountains, if you prefer.
When, by such simple devices, we have placed ourselves
in a mood in which we can focus undisturbed on
constructive imagination, we might proceed like this:
This much could be a fragment of what is called meditation,
perhaps our very first attempt at a mood, a flier into
the realm of spirit, if you like. It ought to be followed by a
good look at where we stand now, and a further look at
what might happen in our lives were we able to move closer
to the ideal we have been trying to glimpse. Meditation is
something which can always be further developed. It has
no boundaries, either of width or height. Aided by such instruction
and example as we can find, it is essentially an
individual adventure, something which each one of us
works out in his own way. But its object is always the
same: to improve our conscious contact with God, with His
grace, wisdom, and love. And let’s always remember that
meditation is in reality intensely practical. One of its first
fruits is emotional balance. With it we can broaden and
deepen the channel between ourselves and God as we understand
Now, what of prayer? Prayer is the raising of the heart
and mind to God—and in this sense it includes meditation.
How may we go about it? And how does it fit in with meditation?
Prayer, as commonly understood, is a petition to
God. Having opened our channel as best we can, we try to
ask for those right things of which we and others are in the
greatest need. And we think that the whole range of our
needs is well defined by that part of Step Eleven which
says: “. . . knowledge of His will for us and the power to
carry that out.” A request for this fits in any part of our day.
In the morning we think of the hours to come. Perhaps
we think of our day’s work and the chances it may afford us
to be useful and helpful, or of some special problem that it
may bring. Possibly today will see a continuation of a serious
and as yet unresolved problem left over from yesterday.
Our immediate temptation will be to ask for specific solutions
to specific problems, and for the ability to help other
people as we have already thought they should be helped.
In that case, we are asking God to do it our way. Therefore,
we ought to consider each request carefully to see what its
real merit is. Even so, when making specific requests, it
will be well to add to each one of them this qualification: “.
. . if it be Thy will.” We ask simply that throughout the day
God place in us the best understanding of His will that we
can have for that day, and that we be given the grace by
which we may carry it out.
As the day goes on, we can pause where situations must
be met and decisions made, and renew the simple request:
“Thy will, not mine, be done.” If at these points our emotional
disturbance happens to be great, we will more surely
keep our balance, provided we remember, and repeat to
ourselves, a particular prayer or phrase that has appealed to
us in our reading or meditation. Just saying it over and over
will often enable us to clear a channel choked up with
anger, fear, frustration, or misunderstanding, and permit us
to return to the surest help of all—our search for God’s will,
not our own, in the moment of stress. At these critical moments,
if we remind ourselves that “it is better to comfort
than to be comforted, to understand than to be understood,
to love than to be loved,” we will be following the intent of
Of course, it is reasonable and understandable that the
question is often asked: “Why can’t we take a specific and
troubling dilemma straight to God, and in prayer secure
from Him sure and definite answers to our requests?”
This can be done, but it has hazards. We have seen
A.A.’s ask with much earnestness and faith for God’s explicit
guidance on matters ranging all the way from a
shattering domestic or financial crisis to correcting a minor
personal fault, like tardiness. Quite often, however, the
thoughts that seem to come from God are not answers at
all. They prove to be well-intentioned unconscious rationalizations.
The A.A., or indeed any man, who tries to run his
life rigidly by this kind of prayer, by this self-serving demand
of God for replies, is a particularly disconcerting
individual. To any questioning or criticism of his actions he
instantly proffers his reliance upon prayer for guidance in
all matters great or small. He may have forgotten the possibility
that his own wishful thinking and the human
tendency to rationalize have distorted his so-called guid-
ance. With the best of intentions, he tends to force his own
will into all sorts of situations and problems with the comfortable
assurance that he is acting under God’s specific
direction. Under such an illusion, he can of course create
great havoc without in the least intending it.
We also fall into another similar temptation. We form
ideas as to what we think God’s will is for other people. We
say to ourselves, “This one ought to be cured of his fatal
malady,” or “That one ought to be relieved of his emotional
pain,” and we pray for these specific things. Such prayers,
of course, are fundamentally good acts, but often they are
based upon a supposition that we know God’s will for the
person for whom we pray. This means that side by side
with an earnest prayer there can be a certain amount of presumption
and conceit in us. It is A.A.’s experience that
particularly in these cases we ought to pray that God’s will,
whatever it is, be done for others as well as for ourselves.
In A.A. we have found that the actual good results of
prayer are beyond question. They are matters of knowledge
and experience. All those who have persisted have found
strength not ordinarily their own. They have found wisdom
beyond their usual capability. And they have increasingly
found a peace of mind which can stand firm in the face of
We discover that we do receive guidance for our lives
to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon
God to give it to us on order and on our terms. Almost any
experienced A.A. will tell how his affairs have taken remarkable
and unexpected turns for the better as he tried to
improve his conscious contact with God. He will also re-
port that out of every season of grief or suffering, when the
hand of God seemed heavy or even unjust, new lessons for
living were learned, new resources of courage were uncovered,
and that finally, inescapably, the conviction came that
God does “move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”
All this should be very encouraging news for those who
recoil from prayer because they don’t believe in it, or because
they feel themselves cut off from God’s help and
direction. All of us, without exception, pass through times
when we can pray only with the greatest exertion of will.
Occasionally we go even further than this. We are seized
with a rebellion so sickening that we simply won’t pray.
When these things happen we should not think too ill of
ourselves. We should simply resume prayer as soon as we
can, doing what we know to be good for us.
Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and
prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. We no
longer live in a completely hostile world. We are no longer
lost and frightened and purposeless. The moment we catch
even a glimpse of God’s will, the moment we begin to see
truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal things in life,
we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence
to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human
affairs. We know that God lovingly watches over us. We
know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us,
here and hereafter.
THE joy of living is the theme of A.A.’s Twelfth Step, and
action is its key word. Here we turn outward toward our
fellow alcoholics who are still in distress. Here we experience
the kind of giving that asks no rewards. Here we begin
to practice all Twelve Steps of the program in our daily
lives so that we and those about us may find emotional sobriety.
When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication,
it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price
tag on it.
Our Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing
all the Steps, we have each found something called a spiritual
awakening. To new A.A.’s, this often seems like a very
dubious and improbable state of affairs. “What do you
mean when you talk about a ‘spiritual awakening’?” they
Maybe there are as many definitions of spiritual awakening
as there are people who have had them. But certainly
each genuine one has something in common with all the
others. And these things which they have in common are
not too hard to understand. When a man or a woman has a
spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is
that he has now become able to do, feel, and believe that
which he could not do before on his unaided strength and
resources alone. He has been granted a gift which amounts
to a new state of consciousness and being. He has been set
on a path which tells him he is really going somewhere,
that life is not a dead end, not something to be endured or
mastered. In a very real sense he has been transformed, because
he has laid hold of a source of strength which, in one
way or another, he had hitherto denied himself. He finds
himself in possession of a degree of honesty, tolerance, unselfishness,
peace of mind, and love of which he had
thought himself quite incapable. What he has received is a
free gift, and yet usually, at least in some small part, he has
made himself ready to receive it.
A.A.’s manner of making ready to receive this gift lies
in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program. So let’s
consider briefly what we have been trying to do up to this
Step One showed us an amazing paradox: We found
that we were totally unable to be rid of the alcohol obsession
until we first admitted that we were powerless over it.
In Step Two we saw that since we could not restore ourselves
to sanity, some Higher Power must necessarily do so
if we were to survive. Consequently, in Step Three we
turned our will and our lives over to the care of God as we
understood Him. For the time being, we who were atheist
or agnostic discovered that our own group, or A.A. as a
whole, would suffice as a higher power. Beginning with
Step Four, we commenced to search out the things in ourselves
which had brought us to physical, moral, and
spiritual bankruptcy. We made a searching and fearless
moral inventory. Looking at Step Five, we decided that an
inventory, taken alone, wouldn’t be enough. We knew we
would have to quit the deadly business of living alone with
our conflicts, and in honesty confide these to God and another
human being. At Step Six, many of us balked—for
the practical reason that we did not wish to have all our defects
of character removed, because we still loved some of
them too much. Yet we knew we had to make a settlement
with the fundamental principle of Step Six. So we decided
that while we still had some flaws of character that we
could not yet relinquish, we ought nevertheless to quit our
stubborn, rebellious hanging on to them. We said to ourselves,
“This I cannot do today, perhaps, but I can stop
crying out ‘No, never!’” Then, in Step Seven, we humbly
asked God to remove our short comings such as He could
or would under the conditions of the day we asked. In Step
Eight, we continued our housecleaning, for we saw that we
were not only in conflict with ourselves, but also with people
and situations in the world in which we lived. We had to
begin to make our peace, and so we listed the people we
had harmed and became willing to set things right. We followed
this up in Step Nine by making direct amends to
those concerned, except when it would injure them or other
people. By this time, at Step Ten, we had begun to get a basis
for daily living, and we keenly realized that we would
need to continue taking personal inventory, and that when
we were in the wrong we ought to admit it promptly. In
Step Eleven we saw that if a Higher Power had restored us
to sanity and had enabled us to live with some peace of
mind in a sorely troubled world, then such a Higher Power
was worth knowing better, by as direct contact as possible.
The persistent use of meditation and prayer, we found, did
open the channel so that where there had been a trickle,
there now was a river which led to sure power and safe
guidance from God as we were increasingly better able to
So, practicing these Steps, we had a spiritual awakening
about which finally there was no question. Looking at those
who were only beginning and still doubted themselves, the
rest of us were able to see the change setting in. From great
numbers of such experiences, we could predict that the
doubter who still claimed that he hadn’t got the “spiritual
angle,” and who still considered his well-loved A.A. group
the higher power, would presently love God and call Him
Now, what about the rest of the Twelfth Step? The wonderful
energy it releases and the eager action by which it
carries our message to the next suffering alcoholic and
which finally translates the Twelve Steps into action upon
all our affairs is the payoff, the magnificent reality, of Alcoholics
Even the newest of newcomers finds undreamed rewards
as he tries to help his brother alcoholic, the one who
is even blinder than he. This is indeed the kind of giving
that actually demands nothing. He does not expect his
brother sufferer to pay him, or even to love him. And then
he discovers that by the divine paradox of this kind of giving
he has found his own reward, whether his brother has
yet received anything or not. His own character may still be
gravely defective, but he somehow knows that God has en-
abled him to make a mighty beginning, and he senses that
he stands at the edge of new mysteries, joys, and experiences
of which he had never even dreamed.
Practically every A.A. member declares that no satisfaction
has been deeper and no joy greater than in a Twelfth
Step job well done. To watch the eyes of men and women
open with wonder as they move from darkness into light, to
see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and meaning,
to see whole families reassembled, to see the alcoholic outcast
received back into his community in full citizenship,
and above all to watch these people awaken to the presence
of a loving God in their lives—these things are the substance
of what we receive as we carry A.A.’s message to the
Nor is this the only kind of Twelfth Step work. We sit in
A.A. meetings and listen, not only to receive something
ourselves, but to give the reassurance and support which
our presence can bring. If our turn comes to speak at a
meeting, we again try to carry A.A.’s message. Whether our
audience is one or many, it is still Twelfth Step work. There
are many opportunities even for those of us who feel unable
to speak at meetings or who are so situated that we cannot
do much face-to-face Twelfth Step work. We can be the
ones who take on the unspectacular but important tasks that
make good Twelfth Step work possible, perhaps arranging
for the coffee and cake after the meetings, where so many
skeptical, suspicious newcomers have found confidence
and comfort in the laughter and talk. This is Twelfth Step
work in the very best sense of the word. “Freely ye have received;
freely give . . .” is the core of this part of Step
We may often pass through Twelfth Step experiences
where we will seem to be temporarily off the beam. These
will appear as big setbacks at the time, but will be seen later
as stepping-stones to better things. For example, we may
set our hearts on getting a particular person sobered up, and
after doing all we can for months, we see him relapse. Perhaps
this will happen in a succession of cases, and we may
be deeply discouraged as to our ability to carry A.A.’s message.
Or we may encounter the reverse situation, in which
we are highly elated because we seem to have been successful.
Here the temptation is to become rather possessive
of these newcomers. Perhaps we try to give them advice
about their affairs which we aren’t really competent to give
or ought not give at all. Then we are hurt and confused
when the advice is rejected, or when it is accepted and
brings still greater confusion. By a great deal of ardent
Twelfth Step work we sometimes carry the message to so
many alcoholics that they place us in a position of trust.
They make us, let us say, the group’s chairman. Here again
we are presented with the temptation to overmanage things,
and sometimes this results in rebuffs and other consequences
which are hard to take.
But in the longer run we clearly realize that these are
only the pains of growing up, and nothing but good can
come from them if we turn more and more to the entire
Twelve Steps for the answers.
Now comes the biggest question yet. What about the
practice of these principles in all our affairs? Can we love
the whole pattern of living as eagerly as we do the small
segment of it we discover when we try to help other alcoholics
achieve sobriety? Can we bring the same spirit of
love and tolerance into our sometimes deranged family
lives that we bring to our A.A. group? Can we have the
same kind of confidence and faith in these people who have
been infected and sometimes crippled by our own illness
that we have in our sponsors? Can we actually carry the
A.A. spirit into our daily work? Can we meet our newly
recognized responsibilities to the world at large? And can
we bring new purpose and devotion to the religion of our
choice? Can we find a new joy of living in trying to do
something about all these things?
Furthermore, how shall we come to terms with seeming
failure or success? Can we now accept and adjust to either
without despair or pride? Can we accept poverty, sickness,
loneliness, and bereavement with courage and serenity?
Can we steadfastly content ourselves with the humbler, yet
sometimes more durable, satisfactions when the brighter,
more glittering achievements are denied us?
The A.A. answer to these questions about living is “Yes,
all of these things are possible.” We know this because we
see monotony, pain, and even calamity turned to good use
by those who keep on trying to practice A.A.’s Twelve
Steps. And if these are facts of life for the many alcoholics
who have recovered in A.A., they can become the facts of
life for many more.
Of course all A.A.’s, even the best, fall far short of such
achievements as a consistent thing. Without necessarily taking
that first drink, we often get quite far off the beam. Our
troubles sometimes begin with indifference. We are sober
and happy in our A.A. work. Things go well at home and
office. We naturally congratulate ourselves on what later
proves to be a far too easy and superficial point of view. We
temporarily cease to grow because we feel satisfied that
there is no need for all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps for us. We
are doing fine on a few of them. Maybe we are doing fine
on only two of them, the First Step and that part of the
Twelfth where we “carry the message.” In A.A. slang, that
blissful state is known as “two-stepping.” And it can go on
The best-intentioned of us can fall for the “two-step” illusion.
Sooner or later the pink cloud stage wears off and
things go disappointingly dull. We begin to think that A.A.
doesn’t pay off after all. We become puzzled and discouraged.
Then perhaps life, as it has a way of doing, suddenly
hands us a great big lump that we can’t begin to swallow, let
alone digest. We fail to get a worked-for promotion. We
lose that good job. Maybe there are serious domestic or romantic
difficulties, or perhaps that boy we thought God was
looking after becomes a military casualty.
What then? Have we alcoholics in A.A. got, or can we
get, the resources to meet these calamities which come to
so many? These were problems of life which we could never
face up to. Can we now, with the help of God as we
understand Him, handle them as well and as bravely as our
nonalcoholic friends often do? Can we transform these
calamities into assets, sources of growth and comfort to
ourselves and those about us? Well, we surely have a
chance if we switch from “two-stepping” to “twelve-step-
ping,” if we are willing to receive that grace of God which
can sustain and strengthen us in any catastrophe.
Our basic troubles are the same as everyone else’s, but
when an honest effort is made “to practice these principles
in all our affairs,” well-grounded A.A.’s seem to have the
ability, by God’s grace, to take these troubles in stride and
turn them into demonstrations of faith. We have seen A.A.’s
suffer lingering and fatal illness with little complaint, and
often in good cheer. We have sometimes seen families broken
apart by misunderstanding, tensions, or actual
infidelity, who are reunited by the A.A. way of life.
Though the earning power of most A.A.’s is relatively
high, we have some members who never seem to get on
their feet moneywise, and still others who encounter heavy
financial reverses. Ordinarily we see these situations met
with fortitude and faith.
Like most people, we have found that we can take our
big lumps as they come. But also like others, we often discover
a greater challenge in the lesser and more continuous
problems of life. Our answer is in still more spiritual development.
Only by this means can we improve our chances
for really happy and useful living. And as we grow spiritually,
we find that our old attitudes toward our instincts need
to undergo drastic revisions. Our desires for emotional security
and wealth, for personal prestige and power, for
romance, and for family satisfactions—all these have to be
tempered and redirected. We have learned that the satisfaction
of instincts cannot be the sole end and aim of our lives.
If we place instincts first, we have got the cart before the
horse; we shall be pulled backward into disillusionment.
But when we are willing to place spiritual growth first—
then and only then do we have a real chance.
After we come into A.A., if we go on growing, our attitudes
and actions toward security—emotional security and
financial security—commence to change profoundly. Our
demand for emotional security, for our own way, had constantly
thrown us into unworkable relations with other
people. Though we were sometimes quite unconscious of
this, the result always had been the same. Either we had
tried to play God and dominate those about us, or we had
insisted on being overdependent upon them. Where people
had temporarily let us run their lives as though they were
still children, we had felt very happy and secure ourselves.
But when they finally resisted or ran away, we were bitterly
hurt and disappointed. We blamed them, being quite unable
to see that our unreasonable demands had been the cause.
When we had taken the opposite tack and had insisted,
like infants ourselves, that people protect and take care of
us or that the world owed us a living, then the result had
been equally unfortunate. This often caused the people we
had loved most to push us aside or perhaps desert us entirely.
Our disillusionment had been hard to bear. We couldn’t
imagine people acting that way toward us. We had failed to
see that though adult in years we were still behaving childishly,
trying to turn everybody—friends, wives, husbands,
even the world itself—into protective parents. We had refused
to learn the very hard lesson that overdependence
upon people is unsuccessful because all people are fallible,
and even the best of them will sometimes let us down, especially
when our demands for attention become unreasonable.
As we made spiritual progress, we saw through these
fallacies. It became clear that if we ever were to feel emotionally
secure among grown-up people, we would have to
put our lives on a give-and-take basis; we would have to
develop the sense of being in partnership or brotherhood
with all those around us. We saw that we would need to
give constantly of ourselves without demands for repayment.
When we persistently did this we gradually found
that people were attracted to us as never before. And even if
they failed us, we could be understanding and not too seriously
When we developed still more, we discovered the best
possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself.
We found that dependence upon His perfect justice, forgiveness,
and love was healthy, and that it would work
where nothing else would. If we really depended upon
God, we couldn’t very well play God to our fellows nor
would we feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection
and care. These were the new attitudes that finally brought
many of us an inner strength and peace that could not be
deeply shaken by the shortcomings of others or by any
calamity not of our own making.
This new outlook was, we learned, something especially
necessary to us alcoholics. For alcoholism had been a
lonely business, even though we had been surrounded by
people who loved us. But when self-will had driven everybody
away and our isolation had become complete, it
caused us to play the big shot in cheap barrooms and then
fare forth alone on the street to depend upon the charity of
passersby. We were still trying to find emotional security by
being dominating or dependent upon others. Even when
our fortunes had not ebbed that much and we nevertheless
found ourselves alone in the world, we still vainly tried to
be secure by some unhealthy kind of domination or dependence.
For those of us who were like that, A.A. had a very
special meaning. Through it we begin to learn right relations
with people who understand us; we don’t have to be
alone any more.
Most married folks in A.A. have very happy homes. To
a surprising extent, A.A. has offset the damage to family
life brought about by years of alcoholism. But just like all
other societies, we do have sex and marital problems, and
sometimes they are distressingly acute. Permanent marriage
breakups and separations, however, are unusual in
A.A. Our main problem is not how we are to stay married;
it is how to be more happily married by eliminating the severe
emotional twists that have so often stemmed from
Nearly every sound human being experiences, at some
time in life, a compelling desire to find a mate of the opposite
sex with whom the fullest possible union can be made
—spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. This mighty
urge is the root of great human accomplishments, a creative
energy that deeply influences our lives. God fashioned us
that way. So our question will be this: How, by ignorance,
compulsion, and self-will, do we misuse this gift for our
own destruction? We A.A. cannot pretend to offer full answers
to age-old perplexities, but our own experience does
provide certain answers that work for us.
When alcoholism strikes, very unnatural situations may
develop which work against marriage partnership and compatible
union. If the man is affected, the wife must become
the head of the house, often the breadwinner. As matters get
worse, the husband becomes a sick and irresponsible child
who needs to be looked after and extricated from endless
scrapes and impasses. Very gradually, and usually without
any realization of the fact, the wife is forced to become the
mother of an erring boy. And if she had a strong maternal
instinct to begin with, the situation is aggravated. Obviously
not much partnership can exist under these conditions.
The wife usually goes on doing the best she knows how,
but meanwhile the alcoholic alternately loves and hates her
maternal care. A pattern is thereby established that may take
a lot of undoing later on. Nevertheless, under the influence
of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, these situations are often set right.*
When the distortion has been great, however, a long period
of patient striving may be necessary. After the husband
joins A.A., the wife may become discontented, even highly
resentful that Alcoholics Anonymous has done the very
thing that all her years of devotion had failed to do. Her
husband may become so wrapped up in A.A. and his new
friends that he is inconsiderately away from home more
than when he drank. Seeing her unhappiness, he recommends
A.A.’s Twelve Steps and tries to teach her how to
live. She naturally feels that for years she has made a far
*In adapted form, the Steps are also used by Al-Anon Family
Groups. Not a part of A.A., this worldwide fellowship consists of
spouses and other relatives or friends of alcoholics (in A.A. or still
drinking). Its headquarters address is 1600 Corporate Landing
Parkway, Virgina Beach, VA 23456.
better job of living than he has. Both of them blame each
other and ask when their marriage is ever going to be happy
again. They may even begin to suspect it had never been
any good in the first place.
Compatibility, of course, can be so impossibly damaged
that a separation may be necessary. But those cases are the
unusual ones. The alcoholic, realizing what his wife has endured,
and now fully understanding how much he himself
did to damage her and his children, nearly always takes up
his marriage responsibilities with a willingness to repair
what he can and to accept what he can’t. He persistently
tries all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps in his home, often with fine
results. At this point he firmly but lovingly commences to
behave like a partner instead of like a bad boy. And above
all he is finally convinced that reckless romancing is not a
way of life for him.
A.A. has many single alcoholics who wish to marry and
are in a position to do so. Some marry fellow A.A.’s. How
do they come out? On the whole these marriages are very
good ones. Their common suffering as drinkers, their common
interest in A.A. and spiritual things, often enhance
such unions. It is only where “boy meets girl on A.A. campus,”
and love follows at first sight, that difficulties may
develop. The prospective partners need to be solid A.A.’s
and long enough acquainted to know that their compatibility
at spiritual, mental, and emotional levels is a fact and not
wishful thinking. They need to be as sure as possible that
no deep-lying emotional handicap in either will be likely to
rise up under later pressures to cripple them. The considerations
are equally true and important for the A.A.’s who
marry “outside” A.A. With clear understanding and right,
grown-up attitudes, very happy results do follow.
And what can be said of many A.A. members who, for
a variety of reasons, cannot have a family life? At first
many of these feel lonely, hurt, and left out as they witness
so much domestic happiness about them. If they cannot
have this kind of happiness, can A.A. offer them satisfactions
of similar worth and durability? Yes—whenever they
try hard to seek them out. Surrounded by so many A.A.
friends, these so-called loners tell us they no longer feel
alone. In partnership with others—women and men—they
can devote themselves to any number of ideas, people, and
constructive projects. Free of marital responsibilities, they
can participate in enterprises which would be denied to
family men and women. We daily see such members render
prodigies of service, and receive great joys in return.
Where the possession of money and material things
was concerned, our outlook underwent the same revolutionary
change. With a few exceptions, all of us had been
spendthrifts. We threw money about in every direction with
the purpose of pleasing ourselves and impressing other
people. In our drinking time, we acted as if the money supply
was inexhaustible, though between binges we’d
sometimes go to the other extreme and become almost
miserly. Without realizing it we were just accumulating
funds for the next spree. Money was the symbol of pleasure
and self-importance. When our drinking had become much
worse, money was only an urgent requirement which could
supply us with the next drink and the temporary comfort of
oblivion it brought.
Upon entering A.A., these attitudes were sharply reversed,
often going much too far in the opposite direction.
The spectacle of years of waste threw us into panic. There
simply wouldn’t be time, we thought, to rebuild our shattered
fortunes. How could we ever take care of those awful
debts, possess a decent home, educate the kids, and set
something by for old age? Financial importance was no
longer our principal aim; we now clamored for material security.
Even when we were well reestablished in our
business, these terrible fears often continued to haunt us.
This made us misers and penny pinchers all over again.
Complete financial security we must have—or else. We
forgot that most alcoholics in A.A. have an earning power
considerably above average; we forgot the immense goodwill
of our brother A.A.’s who were only too eager to help
us to better jobs when we deserved them; we forgot the actual
or potential financial insecurity of every human being
in the world. And, worst of all, we forgot God. In money
matters we had faith only in ourselves, and not too much of
This all meant, of course, that we were still far off balance.
When a job still looked like a mere means of getting
money rather than an opportunity for service, when the acquisition
of money for financial independence looked more
important than a right dependence upon God, we were still
the victims of unreasonable fears. And these were fears
which would make a serene and useful existence, at any financial
level, quite impossible.
But as time passed we found that with the help of A.A.’s
Twelve Steps we could lose those fears, no matter what of
material prospects were. We could cheerfully perform humble
labor without worrying about tomorrow. If our
circumstances happened to be good, we no longer dreaded
a change for the worse, for we had learned that these troubles
could be turned into great values. It did not matter too
much what our material condition was, but it did matter
what our spiritual condition was. Money gradually became
our servant and not our master. It became a means of exchanging
love and service with those about us. When, with
God’s help, we calmly accepted our lot, then we found we
could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still
suffered the same fears that they could get over them, too.
We found that freedom from fear was more important than
freedom from want.
Let’s here take note of our improved outlook upon the
problems of personal importance, power, ambition, and
leadership. These were reefs upon which many of us came
to shipwreck during our drinking careers.
Practically every boy in the United States dreams of becoming
our President. He wants to be his country’s number
one man. As he gets older and sees the impossibility of this,
he can smile good-naturedly at his childhood dream. In later
life he finds that real happiness is not to be found in just
trying to be a number one man, or even a first-rater in the
heartbreaking struggle for money, romance, or self-importance.
He learns that he can be content as long as he plays
well whatever cards life deals him. He’s still ambitious, but
not absurdly so, because he can now see and accept actual
reality. He’s willing to stay right size.
But not so with alcoholics. When A.A. was quite
young, a number of eminent psychologists and doctors
made an exhaustive study of a good-sized group of socalled
problem drinkers. The doctors weren’t trying to find
how different we were from one another; they sought to
find whatever personality traits, if any, this group of alcoholics
had in common. They finally came up with a
conclusion that shocked the A.A. members of that time.
These distinguished men had the nerve to say that most of
the alcoholics under investigation were still childish, emotionally
sensitive, and grandiose.
How we alcoholics did resent that verdict! We would
not believe that our adult dreams were often truly childish.
And considering the rough deal life had given us, we felt it
perfectly natural that we were sensitive. As to our grandiose
behavior, we insisted that we had been possessed of nothing
but a high and legitimate ambition to win the battle of
In the years since, however, most of us have come to
agree with those doctors. We have had a much keener look
at ourselves and those about us. We have seen that we were
prodded by unreasonable fears or anxieties into making a
life business of winning fame, money, and what we thought
was leadership. So false pride became the reverse side of
that ruinous coin marked “Fear.” We simply had to be number
one people to cover up our deep-lying inferiorities. In
fitful successes we boasted of greater feats to be done; in
defeat we were bitter. If we didn’t have much of any worldly
success we became depressed and cowed. Then people
said we were of the “inferior” type. But now we see ourselves
as chips off the same old block. At heart we had all
been abnormally fearful. It mattered little whether we had
sat on the shore of life drinking ourselves into forgetfulness
or had plunged in recklessly and willfully beyond our depth
and ability. The result was the same—all of us had nearly
perished in a sea of alcohol.
But today, in well-matured A.A.’s, these distorted drives
have been restored to something like their true purpose and
direction. We no longer strive to dominate or rule those
about us in order to gain self-importance. We no longer
seek fame and honor in order to be praised. When by devoted
service to family, friends, business, or community we
attract widespread affection and are sometimes singled out
for posts of greater responsibility and trust, we try to be
humbly grateful and exert ourselves the more in a spirit of
love and service. True leadership, we find, depends upon
able example and not upon vain displays of power or glory.
Still more wonderful is the feeling that we do not have
to be specially distinguished among our fellows in order to
be useful and profoundly happy. Not many of us can be
leaders of prominence, nor do we wish to be. Service, gladly
rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well
accepted or solved with God’s help, the knowledge that at
home or in the world outside we are partners in a common
effort, the well-understood fact that in God’s sight all human
beings are important, the proof that love freely given
surely brings a full return, the certainty that we are no
longer isolated and alone in self-constructed prisons, the
surety that we need no longer be square pegs in round holes
but can fit and belong in God’s scheme of things—these are
the permanent and legitimate satisfactions of right living for
which no amount of pomp and circumstance, no heap of
material possessions, could possibly be substitutes. True
ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is
the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the
grace of God.
These little studies of A.A. Twelve Steps now come to a
close. We have been considering so many problems that it
may appear that A.A. consists mainly of racking dilemmas
and troubleshooting. To a certain extent, that is true. We
have been talking about problems because we are problem
people who have found a way up and out, and who wish to
share our knowledge of that way with all who can use it.
For it is only by accepting and solving our problems that
we can begin to get right with ourselves and with the world
about us, and with Him who presides over us all. Understanding
is the key to right principles and attitudes, and
right action is the key to good living; therefore the joy of
good living is the theme of A.A. Twelfth Step.
With each passing day of our lives, may every one of us
sense more deeply the inner meaning of A.A.’s simple
https://www.recoveryfarmhouse.net/legal-child-abuse-and-parental-neglect-iced-over-with-ignorance/ “Love” becomes assault and battery once you turn 18. Strange transformation of violent abuse that we are taught is “Love”.
US 6506148 B2 Google that. Why do they say in AA “don’t ask why”. Oh its cause you obsess over things right? Why the phrase “morbid reflection”? If you do look at your past thoroughly you might find Satan, roaming to and fro seeking whom he may destroy. And YOU may have a sacred call on your life that makes you an arch enemy of evil. He knows his time is short. LOOK AT WHAT THE PRETTY PEOPLE DID AND PARROT THAT…..
First I have to say, Etsy, Amazon, and eBay protect their buyers from being ripped off just like eBay or Amazon would, if not more so. But also, none of these selling platforms won’t ask you for your work history or your criminal history. If you are responsible, and can be relied upon for respectful communication and treatment of customers and you sell a good hand made product, they WILL give you a chance to excel in their seller platform. If you show yourself unreliable and customer unfriendly, well then you should not be in sales anyway and you would not grow in Etsy seller.
All you need to start is a product and a Paypal or bank account for the sales to flow into.
Your clean and sober but no one will hire you locally because you have a criminal record. You have changed your ways, buy no one sees that. All they see is the fact that you stole a candy bar in 2015 and went to jail. You were drunk at the time and have recently gone to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. You got a year probation and NOBODY will hire you even though your more honest now than you have EVER BEEN. All your AA sponsor can say is “expect distrust you have earned it!” UHG!
Well guess what? Online work may be right up your ally. Not to mention sober recovering addicts tend to be very creative. All we need do is practice our step eleven meditation, use our imagination, find our artistic flare and start creating something people want or need. Then we put our products or art on a listing in Etsy Seller and be patient for the sales to start happening.
Don’t quit before the miracle happens. It took me a good year to start making money on Etsy. In the mean time I settled for an eBay and Amazon seller account which, just didn’t make the grade compared to Etsy systems and software. Amazon and eBay started with a bang and fizzled out with a soft cry, while my Etsy store did a slow-grow-dance, the system testing my business along the way, as it flowered into a thriving burst of colorful energy painted with authentic handmade jewelry and outfits galore, with a steady income to boot.
Recovery is Fun!