First Impressions

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Re: First Impressions

Postby whipping post » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:54 am

Same here reborn. There were days in early sobriety when seeing someone get a chip was the only hope I had that day. 30 days was impressive to me and one year seemed like a lifetime.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Duke » Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:16 am

By the way, I've seen way more ego displayed by some folks dismissing birthday celebrations then those celebrating them. Like my sponsor told me: Be wary when you think you're smarter than everyone else. You may be, but it can be awful lonely.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
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Re: First Impressions

Postby clouds » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:08 am

I like the celebrations of sobriety time.

When I came to AA I wasn't sure how long I would last. So it was good to know people were sober through the 12 steps for many years.

The other thing is, I believe sobriety time is significant. Someone who has been sober for many years has lived through many experiences sober. They have sober experience working the steps in "all of their affairs".

So I have to admit, I listen very carefully to those people who have a few years living sober lives.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Tosh » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:22 am

Ron27 wrote:Overall it has been a very rewarding experience. I haven’t decided on a home group yet or thought about a sponsor.


Hi Ron,

It's common for me to see newcomers arrive at A.A. and actually fall in love with it pretty fast. I see them at a lot of meetings. I've heard one describe us in A.A. as 'wonderful'. But as time goes on meetings become boring, and us 'wonderful people' turn into something else; being sober gets boring, and the meetings either taper off or abruptly stop.

The people who seem to do well are the ones who get a home group, who do service, who find a sponsor and most importantly, do the 12 Steps.

It also kind of marks a transition from someone who is visiting A.A. to someone who becomes an A.A..

And along the way the mental obsession to drink (the monkey on our back) is just removed; gone.
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: First Impressions

Postby Tosh » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:25 am

Duke wrote:By the way, I've seen way more ego displayed by some folks dismissing birthday celebrations then those celebrating them. Like my sponsor told me: Be wary when you think you're smarter than everyone else. You may be, but it can be awful lonely.


Birthdays are a time of reflection for me. Gratitude also.
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: First Impressions

Postby Ron27 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:08 am

My view of many religions is that they are evil institutions of which there are many loving and caring followers. For example, Roman Catholicism with indulgences and control by fear versus those such as mother Theresa. The power is vested in radicals, those that have blind faith such as in Islam where the vast majority are loving people yet the radicals control and manipulate.
It is my perception that AA suffers from dualism in the context of ‘the division of something conceptually into two opposed or contrasted aspects, or the state of being so divided’.
1. The AA of people who care about alcoholism and such care and love is unconditional. Everyone are welcome. They typically follow:
“We are a Fellowship of men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking and have found ourselves in various kinds of trouble as a result of drinking. We attempt—most of us successfully—to create a satisfying way of life without alcohol. For this we find we need the help and support of other alcoholics in AA.”
“You are an AA member if and when you say you are. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking (and many of us were not very wholehearted about that when we first approached AA)”.
“The majority of AA members believe that we have found the solution to our drinking problem not through individual willpower, but through a power greater than ourselves. However, everyone defines this power as he or she wishes. Many people call it God, others think it is the AA group, still others don't believe in it at all. There is room in AA for people of all shades of belief and nonbelief”.

2. The AA people who believe in the Bible of the Big Book religiously. I have been told here that if you do not believe in that bible you are not of AA you are a visitor. I am told that AA ‘is’ the 12 steps and I must conform. These are the voices of the indoctrinated just as it is in most religions. Humility and equality are lost; they wish to manipulate. Walls are adorned with biblical texts and the religious instructors are called ‘sponsors’, such deceit. Despite modern day alteration to the English language we all understand sponsorship and it is nothing to do with instruction or manipulation. The texts of AA, and indeed there is a requirement to speak so at meetings, refer to ‘He and Him’. They are Biblical texts. The Bible has been referring to God as "He" since the beginning when Moses wrote Genesis approximately 3,500 years ago. Gods were not always addressed as “he”. The pantheons of ancient egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies with polytheistic religions consisted of both male gods and female goddesses, with the egalitarianism reflected in their pantheons. In many cases a female goddess would be as powerful, or in some instances more powerful, than a male god. There is clearly no room for nonbelief in the AA people of this mind. An example is the Serenity Prayer of Niebuhr, who first wrote the prayer for a sermon at Heath Evangelical Union Church in Heath, Massachusetts, used it widely in sermons as early as 1934 and first published it in 1951 in a magazine column. The prayer spread both through Niebuhr's sermons and church groups in the 1930s and 1940s and was later adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs.
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.

This is clearly Christian religion and indoctrinated at each meeting! So much for those believing AA is for people of all shades of belief and nonbelief.


It may be true that alcoholism can stem from a lack of purpose in life and that step 12 gives purpose and helps maintain sobriety. This may be successful but is extremely selfish. The ‘sponsor’s’ target is of secondary importance to self. Psychotherapy is full of addicts who aspire to be psychotherapists, after all they have been addicts so are superior! In reality they simply seek power and purpose. The more serious the addiction the more desperate and vulnerable a person becomes. Such people prey on the vulnerable.

I am guilty of the sin of ‘truth’. I did not seek spirituality, it found me. I know of the immense power available to us all but I am a million miles off being able to heal as Jesus did. I am a novice. I have been unable to control my alcoholism in the past and desire the help of others because I fear relapse. I seek those if type 1 and there are many. I do not believe in a higher power yet I am scorned, not that it matters because we choose to feel the hurt of words only when they ring true.

The beliefs in a higher power insisted upon by AA, are common criticisms of twelve-step programs universal applicability and efficacy. Only about 3 percent of people suffering from alcoholism and attending Alcoholic Anonymous involved in a study found recovery results without relapse from the 12-step program's treatment. Does that not give a message? (Project MATCH was the largest and most expensive alcoholism treatment trial ever conducted).

What if AA was all about Alcoholism and not religious indoctrination? Type 1 dominated.
• AA would probably lose many type 2 members. I recall trade unionists in UK deserting ship after losing power due to Thatcher.
• AA would lose its common belief of being religious
• Thousands would flock to AA, because alcoholism is taking poison and growing.
• Thousands would get better and perhaps persuade governments to help more.
• Many would give financial aid to help alcoholism, it is a worthy cause.

Having said the above it is doubtful that anything will change, power is power and by the serenity prayer we cannot change that which cannot be changed. OR CAN IT?

I leave you all with what is a better alternative than the serenity prayer of AA and I will not visit this forum again, as it is a vexation to my soul.

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star


Courtesy: The man from LA MANCHA
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Re: First Impressions

Postby PuppyEars » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:22 am

Ron, if you are an alcoholic of the hopeless variety and find you cannot quit entirely guess what bud...AA will be here to welcome you back.
Last edited by PuppyEars on Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby D'oh » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:28 am

Amen PE,

The door is open, much wider than it appears.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Brock » Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:12 am

Ron is not the first nor will be the last to inform our forum where AA has got it wrong, we have all done this to a certain extent at one time or another.

From quite early in the book we see on page 64 a long explanation of the alcoholic mind, as usually being that of one who wants to tell others how the show should be run. All our literature goes to some length to encourage a reduction in our ego, on page 55 in the 12 & 12 it says all the steps are designed to 'deflate our ego.' Even when he says - “I will not visit this forum again, as it is a vexation to my soul.” He will be back to read what we say about his comments, ego will make sure of that.

Taking the simplified form of the serenity prayer which some groups use, informing us of its roots in Christianity quoting the original long form, all common knowledge to those here capable of using Google, which is everyone.

We get a bullet point list of the great things that would happen if - “What if AA was all about Alcoholism and not religious indoctrination?” Well it hasn’t turned out quite as well as he believes it would, and there has been such an organization for very many years. The website aa agnostia will explain their beliefs, and where Ron will find meetings, but he will go there and tell them how to run that as well. It is in the nature of many alcoholics to do this, myself included, until the AA program hopefully 'rightsizes' us, and we are willing to follow those more experienced. No harm lobbying for change, but we should resist the temptation to do so while coming through the door.

The comment about a 3% success rate, is worthy only of a person who is out of ammunition so spits on his opponent, this comment however is fair - “Psychotherapy is full of addicts who aspire to be psychotherapists” - Some of us have in the past pointed out on this forum, the need for some sponsors to stop trying to be amateur psychiatrists, and stick only to the role of being a guide to the instructions laid out in our literature, as very many good sponsors do.

But with all it's perceived shortcomings AA remains the savior of millions, and as Puppy Ears and D'oh pointed out welcomes everyone back, regardless of what they say, and how many times they say it.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: First Impressions

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:48 am

Read some where in scriptures: knowledge, beauty, being rich are some of the greatest impediments to understanding GOD.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Tosh » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:45 am

Ron27 wrote:I am told that AA ‘is’ the 12 steps and I must conform.


Tradition 3 says:
Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.


You don't have to conform, Ron, many of us don't. A.A. would probably be some niche religious cult if it wasn't for non-conformists (have a google for Jimmy Burwell, an A.A. hero of mine and who had a hand in writing the Big Book).

Edited to add:

Whoever said that "A.A. is the 12 Steps" is quite wrong. Imagine (not like John Lenon) that there were no humans left; we'd all been wiped out with some meteor crash (or something). Would A.A. exist then? Nope.

A.A. is a spiritual entity that exists inside of living - breathing - human beings; it's a concept, an abstract idea.
Last edited by Tosh on Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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: First Impressions

Postby Tosh » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:53 am

avaneesh912 wrote:Read some where in scriptures: knowledge, beauty, being rich are some of the greatest impediments to understanding GOD.


I'm stupid, ugly and I'm definitively not rich, so you'd think I'd have a head-start when it comes to understanding God then? :lol:

But I don't understand God at all.

However, I would say that Thomas Merton wrote something I quite liked about those who claimed to understand God:

Does it occur to us that instead of revealing him we are hiding him?
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: First Impressions

Postby Roman James » Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:26 pm

I'm a newbie to sobriety. I thought I was on the right track. Ron has me thinking AA is not the way to go. More confusion.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Brock » Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:48 pm

Try not to let 'confusion' get to you Roman. I am absolutely certain Ron's intention was not to cause confusion, I have had a private message from him, and he is actively looking into aa agnostia, an offshoot of AA perhaps more suitable for those who can not fathom the idea of a power greater than ourselves.

I myself on two occasions over the years left AA, the difficultly is to believe that a simple program can turn your life around, many don't believe enough to give it a chance to work. But when you do the steps even by half way through, you will start to feel and see results, and these will have you wanting more. If all it did was stop me wanting to drink I probably would have been satisfied, but it has done more and more as I trust the power I doubted at one time, the book speaks of a 4th dimension of existence, it can't be explained but it's really cool. Hang in there brother, work on those steps, you won't regret it.

From Bill's story -
I was soon to be catapulted into what I like to call the fourth dimension of existence. I was to know happiness, peace, and usefulness, in a way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Reborn » Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:05 pm

Some people can be to "smart" for AA...for me I took actions in this program I didn't believe in but I got results I can't deny...do the steps Roman and you will see.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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