Relapse.

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Re: Relapse.

Postby D'oh » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:25 am

“Next we launched out,” this reefers to start step four, and for me the words 'launched out' signifies launching like a rocket with speed.


Does not an Ocean Liner also Launch? Very slowly and with direction. In fact, did people even know of Rocket Ships when the words you quote were written?

“Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little effect unless at once followed by….


It continues to speak of some very important points. not just
(they start speaking of step 4).
They talk about the Liquor being only a symptom of a much deeper issue. That we have to get to the causes and conditions to be released.

I did not feel the Awakening until struggling on my 4th step. It came when I wasn't struggling, trying to find it.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Reborn » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:15 am

The first 3 steps are vital...They build the foundation for the rest of the steps. As they say here on page 62...

This is the how and why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn't work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.

Notice they use the word concept..which is simply an idea. What I take that to mean is I have become open minded to the "idea" that God can guide and direct me if I seek him. Well how do I seek Him? In AA we do that by working the rest of the steps fearlessly, thoroughly and honestly. I can't simply say I believe and not do anything about it...the pink cloud does crash eventually. I have seen far to many newcomers do the AA waltz...1,2,3 drink...1,2,3 drink. As I said I cracked the door a little in step 3 but it wasn't until I worked the rest of those steps (through step 9) that I clearly understood what they meant by a spiritual experience/awakening. I had to stop thinking and start doing...I had to stop holding on to my old ideas and let go absolutely...and that came from taking ACTION!
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Spirit Flower » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:32 am

IMO:

AA does not own God or Spirit or Higher Power. Belief and faith come to a person when they are ready.
Even before one says the third step prayer, the BB says pg 63 about quitting playing God, "we felt new power flow in, we enjoyed peace of mind... we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of his presence.... etc" But the BB is peppered with ah ha moments. If any one of them grabs you, if you are sitting in a meeting and something grabs you, if you are looking out the window and something grabs you: go with it.

After step 5, I was not walking on a broad highway. But I do become conscious of His presence very frequently.

So don't worry about exactly when God is supposed to come. By staying sober and working the steps as a way of life, you'll eventually get it.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Brock » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:48 am

Does not an Ocean Liner also Launch? Very slowly and with direction. In fact, did people even know of Rocket Ships when the words you quote were written?

I said “and for ME the words launched out signifies...” And I have never seen an ocean liner launch very slowly, they may pull away from the dock slowly but that is not launching. And yes they knew very well about rockets when the book was written.
They talk about the Liquor being only a symptom of a much deeper issue. That we have to get to the causes and conditions to be released.

Right after the word conditions you mention above they say - “Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory, This was Step Four.”

That you would take my response on a sensitive topic, one of a good number of words and quotations, and try to put it down in a simplistic manner, shows an ulterior motive on your part. The same motive is displayed in the 13th step thread.

On this site I have publicly and privately lobbied for a forum section, where those who wish to debate AA matters might do so, but the idea was for intelligent and constructive debate. If we are going to have people who think pulling away and launching are the same thing, or that rockets were not around in the late thirties, I will withdraw my lobby. You would do well to not cross swords here with me, for while others with better general education, and book knowledge might fair fairly well, you will come up woefully short.

For your education “launch” doesn’t always mean quick action, as in Donald Trump launching his campaign, I bet even he knew that.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Noels » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:07 am

Hi all, thanks for the responses so far. I realise that the candle is not mentioned in the BB but it makes sense to use a candle as when lighting it before a meeting start it represents the coming of the alcoholic from darkness into light. So when we light the candle before saying the third step prayer preparing to meet with our God TO ME it represents me handing over my life from darkness to the light.

This is how I understand Step 3.

By reading and working through the step in the BB I make the DECISION to hand my life and will over to a Higher Power. By lighting the candle and SAYING the step 3 prayer out loud I TAKE THE ACTION of handing my life and will over to the God of my understanding. By saying the step 3 prayer the example of the 3 or 4 frogs is no longer applicable as it is NO LONGER a DECISION. Saying the prayer was an ACTION.

Regarding the words quoted " Next we launched out " - I googled the meaning of the word " launched " and it means setting in motion. So it could be setting a boat in motion by pushing it or allowing it to roll into water (gentle slower motion) OR launching a rocket (powerful fast motion). So as far as I understand it, step 4 could be approached fast or slower.

Now what I'm about to say is pure speculation on my side. I remember when I was growing up many many many moons ago, most of the people from my late parent's era (mom was born 1933) belonged to A RELIGION - mostly Christian. In those days if we had to discuss spirituality as we now know and experience it we would surely have been classified as Devil Worshippers. If you didn't belong to a religion or said you were atheist you would have been avoided like the plague. So it makes sense to me that most people in the days when AA was founded had a religious background and had very little problems by acknowledging a Higher Power in step 3 so they could move onto step 4 fast. This is however, not the case any longer as most people I have heard speak or join AA do not believe in God or a Higher Power which result in step 3 difficulty.

So when I hear or read that someone relapsed on step 4 I immediately suggest they go back to step 3 and start practising the actual LIVING with the concept of a Higher Power. This I do because if I look at real life situations - for instance - accounts that I do in my work. I have to balance a seller's account and a purchaser's account. BUT these 2 simple accounts have to balance to the cent with 3 other accounts which is kept in my file as records. Now if I make a mistake on a seller's account or purchaser's account, the other 3 accounts do not balance. I then go back to the calculation I did right before I added up the final figures and I usually find the error I made in the step right before I added up. So in the AA language this would mean if I made a mistake in step 4 I would go back to step 3 because that is probably where the mistake occurred? We also had another member in another post who said that she found step 7 difficult so she went back to step 6 and found there was things in step 6 that she still had to understand. Once she understood what she originally missed in step 6 she could move on to step 7 without any problem. (I am speaking under correction with the step numbers. I think it was steps 6 and 7 that was mentioned in that particular post that I am referring to).

Apart from the above my question still stands. If step 3 is not such an important step and we can just move on then why is there a prayer which is so important that it is printed on little cards so that newcomers will know what to say when doing the step 3 prayer? Why is there not a specific prayer given for steps 4, 5 and 6?

I agree that we grow as we continue through the steps (and life) BUT if we don't "GET IT" in step 3 or at least "GET THE BASICS OR SOMETHING" in step 3, what exactly do we have to grow on?

Looking forward to your responses.

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Re: Relapse.

Postby PaigeB » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:27 am

The BB spends A LOT of paper getting up to and through Step 3. I tend to agree that if we are not willing to turn our life over - to commit to this process - than we probably need to step back and look closely at 1, 2 & 3 before moving on.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Reborn » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:47 am

Noels, When I read the Big Book today it is quite different than when I was newly sober. They start it off with the Doctor's Opinion..telling us about the physical allergy and the obsession of the mind. Then in Bill's Story they show us how that disease played out in Bill's life...and how he found a spiritual solution to his problem. In There is a Solution they tell us exactly what that solution is...a Higher Power...but knowing that alcoholics might have a big problem with that solution they continue with More About Alcoholism. In this chapter they drive home the fact that "once and alcoholic, always and alcoholic" with the carpet slipper guy's story...then they show us with Jim's and Fred's stories that self knowledge will not fix our problem...that we must seek this Higher Power. We Agnostics is a whole chapter devoted to the idea that most alcoholics are going to have issues with this Higher Power...they tell us we can choose any concept of a Higher Power as long as it makes sense to us...and we are willing to seek it. Then in How it Works...after the steps they have the three pertinent ideas...

(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.
If you are not convinced on these vital issues, you ought to re-read the book to this point or else throw it away!

They removed that last bit but it makes a very strong point. If you are not convinced of those 3 pertinent ideas you really should re-read the book. If you are convinced of those three pertinent ideas then you are ready to make a decision and more importantly take action. I really believe that alot of folks make a bigger deal of step 3 than they need to...I remember feeling the same at step 3 but my sponsor kept me focused on the task at hand...kept it right sized for me. He said just take the actions suggested and your Higher Power will reveal itself to you and he was right. I know you what you are saying...I felt the presence of God when I did my third step which gave me hope...but I now know that if I didn't immediately get into working that 4th step..after experiencing the presence of God and using that experience to move forward...I don't know where I would be today...I really understand what they mean by faith without works is dead.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby D'oh » Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:13 pm

(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.
If you are not convinced on these vital issues, you ought to re-read the book to this point or else throw it away!

They removed that last bit but it makes a very strong point. If you are not convinced of those 3 pertinent ideas you really should re-read the book. If you are convinced of those three pertinent ideas then you are ready to make a decision and more importantly take action. I really believe that alot of folks make a bigger deal of step 3 than they need to...I remember feeling the same at step 3 but my sponsor kept me focused on the task at hand...kept it right sized for me. He said just take the actions suggested and your Higher Power will reveal itself to you and he was right. I know you what you are saying...I felt the presence of God when I did my third step which gave me hope...but I now know that if I didn't immediately get into working that 4th step..after experiencing the presence of God and using that experience to move forward...I don't know where I would be today...I really understand what they mean by faith without works is dead.


Yes very strong words, and truthfully I am not sure I would have made it if the Red part was read at every meeting. (c) came to me when I wasn't concentrating looking for it. But I was sober while looking. Bring the body and the mind will follow. More will be revealed. Maybe it was His time not mine.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Tosh » Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:25 pm

PaigeB wrote:The BB spends A LOT of paper getting up to and through Step 3. I tend to agree that if we are not willing to turn our life over - to commit to this process - than we probably need to step back and look closely at 1, 2 & 3 before moving on.


More drinking and suicidal thoughts did the trick for me. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Stepchild » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:21 pm

I must admit...That's the first time I've ever heard the word "launched" brought up for debate. It never even crossed my mind...Because what are we launching into?

A course of "vigorous" action. I like to look at Merriam-Webster because that is a dictionary Bill W. could have used. I recommend it for anyone reading the book as a useful tool.

vigorous: Done with great force and energy.

If you want to tell your sponsee he should slowly slide into a course of vigorous action...Have at it. It would only make sense he is talking about propelling...Or throwing ourselves into it. I think he would have used a different word....Like "waltzed" into a course of vigorous action...If that's what he was going after.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Stepchild » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:07 pm

PaigeB wrote:The BB spends A LOT of paper getting up to and through Step 3. I tend to agree that if we are not willing to turn our life over - to commit to this process - than we probably need to step back and look closely at 1, 2 & 3 before moving on.


Agreed...But they put the bulk of their emphasis on the first step. Probably for good reason. You'll probably like this Paige.

I heard a speaker one time break down the book like this. It's very interesting...I shared it at a meeting one time and lady came up to me after and asked me to repeat it so she could write it down and take it back to her meeting. It goes like this...

The directions for the steps are contained in The Doctor's Opinion(8 pages) and the first 103 pages of the book. The Doctor's Opinion and pages 1 through 43 are devoted to step one. Pages 1-23 deal with the physical craving....23-43 deal with mental obsession. That's 51 pages for step one.

The next 19 pages deal with steps 2 and 3. Two crucial steps in 19 pages.

Steps 4 through 9 are covered in the next 20 pages...That's six steps in 20 pages.

That leaves 19 pages for steps 10 through 12....With step 12 having it's own chapter.

It's a different way to look at it.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Tosh » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:28 pm

Stepchild wrote:I must admit...That's the first time I've ever heard the word "launched" brought up for debate. It never even crossed my mind...Because what are we launching into?

A course of "vigorous" action. I like to look at Merriam-Webster because that is a dictionary Bill W. could have used. I recommend it for anyone reading the book as a useful tool.

vigorous: Done with great force and energy.


Yes, it kinda shows us the attitude we should try to adopt.

"We, in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of drowning men." p28 Seems apt too. That line struck a chord with me when I first read it.

I took from that that I had to make recovery my No 1 priority and put some effort into it. I didn't find that too difficult though; I enjoyed going to meetings and doing service; it was the finding a sponsor, the steps and being honest; those were my challenges. But a relapse, then a period of 'sobriety' (so-dry-ity) in which suicidal thoughts found me asking someone to be my sponsor and he took me through the steps. And I still have my struggles with the program and honesty aspect, but the Big Book talks about 'developing a life which involves rigorous honesty' (emphasis mine; developing means it's something that develops; it's a process; probably a life-long one for me).

And here I am, on the eve of my seventh birthday with no seven-year-itch in sight.

No more relapses too; not even into a hopeless state of mind and body (never mind the drinking symptom).
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Noels » Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:39 am

Good morning beautiful people :D Another beautiful day with so many possibilities :D Thank you very much for your responses and replies. Much appreciated.

Are there any other writings of Bill W or the co-founders apart from the BB that deals specifically with the steps and relapse? (not the personal experiences / stories at the BB. Actual factual writings from Bill or the other 100 specifically discussing relapse whilst working the program?) Ive noticed that Bill W wrote on a few topics that was relevant in his life outside of BB and since relapse is a great part of recovery I'm sure there must be literature on that particular subject that we can find and refer to? This could be a way of finding factual literature where we can all agree on unanimously which can assist not only us but also others searching for an answer relating to relapse whilst working the 12 step program? If you do have literature, please quote only a small portion and give us the references (where you found it) so we can search for it an read the entire article ourselves in consideration of the 5 page limit. Perhaps at this time I could humbly ask the Moderators to be lenient with the 5 page limit on this particular thread as whatever we find now could be a great help for all in AA and would be easier if viewed as one whole thread? So may I also humbly ask the members who have already and possibly find factual literature relating to the steps and relapse to withhold our personal views and opinions at this time and just post the literature? Afterwards we can all have a proper look at the literature and then discuss? Who knows ... maybe we find a definite answer here?

Have an awesome day and I better work now :lol: Chat again later.

Mwah xxx
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Tosh » Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:46 am

Noels wrote:searching for an answer relating to relapse whilst working the 12 step program?


I don't think people will relapse while working a 12 Step program. I mean I hear some stuff like "I don't know why I relapsed, I do my program, I get up every morning and pray, and I do my readings and go to meetings", but the thing is, that's not a 12 Step program.

People relapse because they ease off - particularly when it comes to 'working with others' - we become more selfish and self centred (the roots of all our troubles), and then we relapse. We do want 'we want to do' (the lazy selfish part of us), rather than 'God's will' (I'm an atheist, but I know what God's will means to me).
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Relapse.

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:12 am

since relapse is a great part of recovery I'm sure there must be literature on that particular subject that we can find and refer to?


No its not a great part of recovery. Few of my friends never came back. As to your question, I will see if I can find any article Bill W wrote on why people slip in the articles he wrote in GP and those were published as a book "Language of the Heart".

But, the big book over and over talks about the blank spot the alcoholic hits if he/she fails to enlarge his/her spiritual life. As simple as that. People fail to keep the "internal un-manageability" in check and run into this blank spot.

The car salesman being irritable that he lost his dealership, Fred the accountant not keeping the success in check (elation), The guy in the story "He sold himself short" builds resentment over his wife for she was not giving him credit for he being sober......blah blah... you could see the common thread in all of them.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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