Why Dale K Re-wrote The First 164 Pages of The Big Book

 

Why on Earth did Dale K think he had the right to change our treasured Big Book?

Some background info.  Who is AAAgnostica and Tom B?

Read original aaagnostica article here

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”.

Continue reading “Why Dale K Re-wrote The First 164 Pages of The Big Book”

A Note to my Alcoholics Anonymous Family

Alcoholics Anonymous Family,

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”.

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What is Addiction Really?

What is Addiction Really?

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.
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Father Knows Best…or does he?

Ladies,

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

Continue reading “Father Knows Best…or does he?”

Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?

Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?

Page 64 Big Book: Our liquor was but a symptom. We HAD TO get down to causes and conditions.

Why do addicts seem to have a proclivity towards self destruction?

Why are addicts so inclined to blame others for their own choices?

And the biggie, why do our sponsors teach us to not ask “why”?

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

Continue reading “Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?”

When Will My Loved One Finally Hit Their Bottom?

“The Mystery of the Unpredictable Bottom”

No one absolutely no one knows when they or anyone else will hit the emotional bottom that it takes to get sober. Getting clean and sober is no easy task.

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.”

Meet Sober Dog

Meet Sober Dog

He’s FINE at 90 days sober. Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional. He is also going to be a drug counselor to the stars.

click to enlarge

Sober Dog

YES THERE IS AN EASIER, SOFTER WAY TO GET SOBER

‘YES AS A MATTER OF FACT THERE IS AN ‘EASIER SOFTER WAY’

sex robot
Men that want to marry cyborg sex robots.

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?

HOW DO I CHOOSE A HIGHER POWER

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOUR HIGHER POWER REALLY IS?

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

A DOOR KNOB IS NOT A POWER GREATER THAN YOURSELF THEREFORE IT IS NOT A “HIGHER POWER”

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.

A THOUSAND GODS TO CHOOSE FROM

HOW TO TRULY FIND AND CONNECT WITH YOUR OWN HIGHER POWER

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/

Is Resentment the Number One Offender?

Is Resentment the Number One Offender?

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/

Is Resentment the Number One Offender?

What does it mean and who said it?  “Resentment is the number one 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.

Addicts suffer from emotional constipation and Shame is truly at the core of that stuck place.  Shame is my #1 Offender Resentment springs from Shame to cover it up.  SHAME SUCKED MY LIFE FORCE AND LIED TO ME FOR YEARS

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.

What is the cure?

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?

I DO NOT NEED TO CALL MYSELF SICK TO BE RECOVERED.  THAT’S RIDICULOUS!  CALLING MYSELF SICK AND AN ADDICT IS NOT WHAT HEALS OR KEEPS ME SOBER IS IT?

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

Set goals

We can change who we are but it takes work.  So what Life is work.

Be Sure to read part 2 “Is Resentment the #1 Offender?”

TRUE BEAUTY LIES WITHIN? SICK RELATIONSHIPS IN RECOVERY

Before recovery and the 12 steps, in a room of 100 men I would be attracted to the sickest and most abusive.  This audio has some answers to why.

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.

More Co-da and Narcissist Info at Melanie’s Website

A Thought on ‘True Beauty Lies Within’

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

perf5

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

 

 

 

 

ANGER AND WRATH

https://www.recoveryfarmhouse.com/solutions-depression-anxiety/

WHAT CAN I DO TO OVERCOME DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY?

Click here to read SOLUTIONS

HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE….YES BUT

Hurt people usually hurt themselves first and foremost by their limited ability to accept new people, new places, and new things.

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.

SOLUTION 1
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.

SOLUTION 2

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.

SOLUTION 3

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.

SOLUTION 4

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.  

SOLUTION 5

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.

SOLUTION 6

GUTERAL SOUNDS

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.

SOLUTIONS 7

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.

 

Anger & Wrath  “Out of the problem into the solutions.”

“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.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOLUTIONS

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.

 

 

 

 

Recovering Addicts/Alcoholics Persevere

Alcoholics are strong

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.

They Say…”Addicts Stop Maturing Emotionally When They Start Using”…

I was not able to find any scientific evidence stating addicts stunt their emotional growth the minute they start drinking and drugging to cope with their feelings.

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.

ANGER THE ACCEPTED EMOTION

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.

My own inadequacies are haunting me even after years of twelve step work, therapy, and spiritual experiences.

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).

I really do dislike the fact that I can’t be fixed once and for all and that I will always need spiritual solutions BUT there are worse things.

“FEAR” THE UNACCEPTABLE FEELING

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.

“HURT FEELINGS” THE UNACCEPTABLE  EMOTION & SOLUTIONS

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.

HEAVEN BY WAY OF HELL

My Own: “Orange is the new Black”

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.

All my senses were heightened as the withdraw pains increased and I listened to the guards just outside my dark holding cell  drink, party, and play adult games.  Not long after I heard them torturing a woman in what they later refereed to as the “Black Chair”.

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.

Perhaps I should mention the prettier younger girls

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.

One thing sure, we were on display, literally.

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.

The downstairs ladies used to rise in the morning and say a morning prayer together in a circle right there in jail.  We were tired of the life as addicts and criminals.

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.

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2012/apr/15/state-by-state-prisoner-rape-and-sexual-abuse-round-up/

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.

I was coming off Xanax, Crack, Methadone, Cigarettes, and Caffeine

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

James Taylor ‘A big part of my story is recovery from addiction’

James Taylor: ‘A big part of my story is recovery from addiction’ By Paul Sexton

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.
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