want to go deeper

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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Cristy99 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:16 am

LANSBURY,

Awwwwww I am so happy for you!!! Wow! I am always so amazed at the way God works in our program!! Do you see what He did there??? DAYS before she prayed to be helpful to someone, you were thinking of her as a sponsor; perhaps even prayed for a good sponsor. Even if you didn't pray that prayer, God knew what you needed and worked His glorious majic!!! Lord have mercy your post absolutely made my day!!!!

I have to share this even though it's off topic. I love love love getting to talk to people from other countries. My husband lived in the UK for 5 years when he was in the US Air Force and LOVED it!! He tells me how things are there. He has adopted funny things from the U.K. (Well funny to me, or more...cute) such as eating with his fork turned the wrong way and has adopted some of your vocabulary: car park (parking lot), Lorry (big rig truck), sat. nav. (gps). Too cute!! When you said it's now your responsibility to make tea I just about exploded!!!! Of course y'all would have tea instead of coffee!!!! My goodness that's so precious!!!! I hope to visit some day....I love imagining your accent as I read your posts. I know it's a little silly coming from a simple Texas girl. But it sure brightens my day!!!

I am so proud of you, and sending more hugs your way!!!
Be brave cutie pie!! XOXOX
"Talk doesn't cook rice."
~ Chinese proverb
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Lansbury » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:13 am

Of course we have tea, Cristy - lots and lots of tea!!! (Some people have coffee too...!)

I met with new sponsor this morning. We read and talked about 'the doctor's opinion' and steps one and two. It was great. I felt very at ease with her and it was a great, non judgmental conversation. She also told me a little about her own drinking and recovery - she is 24 years sober.

I'm puzzling over a couple of things - one, that alcoholism is an illness, an allergy, and I am not at fault for it. And two, that I would have been an alcoholic even if I'd never picked up a drink - that I was born that way, and will always be that way.

I sort of thought I'd made myself into an alcoholic by drinking too much. I accepted that I had made myself powerless over alcohol and that I'd never ever be able to drink in a controlled way - as others do - ever again. That my only option was a slow slide towards death or jail, or abstinence and some kind of recovery programme. I do accept that. But I always thought this was something that I'd done to myself. I felt terrible about it. Now she's asking me to consider whether I would feel the same if I had any other kind of congenital illness. I'm not sure why I feel the need to make that distinction. I guess I'd rather be a person that made a bad choice - who did something bad - than someone who was just born bad. But I am going to just trust her and carry on.

Thanks everyone.
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Spirit Flower » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:45 am

Having an illness is not "bad." You are not "bad."
...a score card reading zero...
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Lansbury » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:56 am

I guess I think that I didn't start drinking because I was an alcoholic, I drank because I wanted to feel better. Then it caught me, and I drank so much I turned myself into an alcoholic accidentally.

Is this the disease speaking? Does it matter? I can accept, wholeheartedly, that I am now, and forever will be, powerless over alcohol and defenceless against the first drink. 100% no questions asked.

I'm just not certain I was born this way - I think I did it to myself. I didn't mean to, but I did.
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Brock » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:42 pm

Some do stress this illness business more than others, I saw a poster someone was carrying while marching for more money for cancer research or something like that. It was a comment about the free drugs drug addicts get to wean them off the habit, it said something like 'if drug addiction is an illness and they get free medicine, why don't cancer patients get free medicine?' I agree with that question.

Being in the program some time, I have come to see more and more, that I may have come to AA to stop drinking, I thought that was my problem. But why did I drink so much, most people don't, so what made me different. In another thread that Timothy started we see some of the reasons, Tim talking about having to be perfect, Cristy and myself chipping in a few other things. The AA program is not just about having us stop drinking, some seem to believe that and never do the steps, and somehow manage to stay sober, but they are fighting the urge and are generally unhappy, things you have mentioned in your own experience. These steps will remove those things, enough at first to remove the urge, then as we continue practice especially of steps 10, 11 & 12, we keep removing more and more of those things which keep us back from full enjoyment of life.

For example in the 12 & 12 book, step 5 starts out with these words - “All of A.A.'s Twelve Steps ask us to go contrary to our natural desires . . . they all deflate our egos. When it comes to ego deflation, few Steps are harder to take than Five. But scarcely any Step is more necessary to longtime sobriety and peace of mind than this one.” I underlined peace of mind, because sobriety alone is not what we are looking for.

If as you say “I drank because I wanted to feel better,” then someone might say if you didn't feel better or good enough not drinking, then you were ill, when we are no longer ill we say we feel better. I don't speak about this as a disease but as I said some do, it's thought to help new members who believe they are bad or weak people for turning to drink, and our literature does in parts refer to this disease concept. If we go to the root of the word DIS EASE, it's saying we were not at ease, we drank to be at ease, now we turn to the 12 steps for that.

As you said you will trust her and carry on, don't fret this small stuff, it's going to work out just fine.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Lansbury » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:54 pm

I think I've just been thinking too much: researching models of addiction, trying to figure out if my problem is societal, or trauma-based, or genetic, or congenital illness, or something else.

I reread some parts of the Big Book tonight and there's a part where he calls the cause of alcoholism a 'riddle'.

I can get behind that. It is a riddle to me. It is more important to get on with the solution. Some of this, I think, is a kind of self-punishment tendency that tips me into self pity and won't do me any good.

Sponsor has given me homework so I am going to get on with that.

Thank you everyone. I do really really appreciate you sharing your experiences with me here.
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Noels » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:14 pm

Lansbury wrote:I guess I think that I didn't start drinking because I was an alcoholic, I drank because I wanted to feel better. Then it caught me, and I drank so much I turned myself into an alcoholic accidentally.

Is this the disease speaking? Does it matter? I can accept, wholeheartedly, that I am now, and forever will be, powerless over alcohol and defenceless against the first drink. 100% no questions asked.

I'm just not certain I was born this way - I think I did it to myself. I didn't mean to, but I did.


Hi Lansbury :D I didn't quite follow the flow of this conversation from where the 'exploding tea' came about but will tell you that we are all 'sick ' to an extent. Some just more so than us. We get better though by truly living the 12 step program. Something else I like to ask is how do one define 'normal '? When I reach that question I usually burst out laughing thinking that for all I know I'm the 'normal one ' and the rest of the world is the 'sick one '. :) Try not to think about it too much. Weve all gone through that feeling, got through it and still 'experience ' it at times. We are all created as we are meant to be by our Creator and I wouldn't want it any other way. We are all beautifully unique. Created in the image of God and that's good enough for me. Good luck and well done for taking your life back from alcohol.
Regards
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Cristy99 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:14 am

Lansbury wrote:

I'm puzzling over a couple of things - one, that alcoholism is an illness, an allergy, and I am not at fault for it. And two, that I would have been an alcoholic even if I'd never picked up a drink - that I was born that way, and will always be that way.


Good morning!!

I LOVE science!!! Soon after I joined AA, a member told me to research "THIQ." This is the science behind our alcoholism. Our bodies do not process and get rid of ALL of the poisonous alcohol as the bodies of non-alcoholics do. A tiny portion of one of the by-products somehow is transferred to our brains where it messes stuff up!!! I loved reading about it and it helped me to understand the WHY of it. It was only fairly recently that it was discovered (accidentally) by a doctor doing cancer research. Amazing!!

Something else that helped me understand the sometimes difficult language of the Big Book were (and I still listen) Joe and Charlie Big Book studies. You can Google and find these subjects easily.

My learning about THIQ helped solidify my resolve not to drink alcohol. It was by no means a replacement for the program of AA, but it satisfied my constant yearning to know WHY.

Hugs!!!
"Talk doesn't cook rice."
~ Chinese proverb
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Lansbury » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:38 am

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

Just wanted to check in and say I am still here, still sober. I've decided to give that other AA meeting a miss - apparently not all groups are healthy, and this was a pretty small group, and all men. There are many in my area, so I think it's okay just to stick to my regular home group, and two additional ones that I find benefit in and feel comfy in. All three groups are really different, and I appreciate that too.

Just working on the homework from my sponsor. We're on step three and I am trying to develop a basic 'understanding' of what a higher power might look like for me. Right now I have honesty, open mindedness and willingness. I accept that I've treated work, alcohol and my romantic relationships as a higher power, and none of that is high or big enough to work - they've been the wrong thing to put my trust in and base my life around. To workship, even.

I thought I'd have this part of the steps done in a few days, but it's longer than that and I am still working on it. My sponsor said to take as long as I need, that the steps won't happen in her time, or in my time, but in their own time.

I hope to talk to her the day after tomorrow and let her know what I've been up to.

Thanks for checking in with me, everyone. I really appreciate this site and reading the threads here.
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Cristy99 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:47 am

Awwww it's so good to hear from you Lansbury!!!

Glad all is well!!!

XOXOX,
Cristy
"Talk doesn't cook rice."
~ Chinese proverb
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Lansbury » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:56 pm

Hi everyone

just wanted to check in and say I took the third step with my sponsor yesterday morning. She had me work on my own words to write a prayer, which I did, and we said it together in her house.

She's asked me to say it again, morning and night, until I see her next to discuss starting on the fourth step.

I'm wondering if I'm supposed to feel different or transformed after saying the prayer? Because I don't, not really. I feel relieved - that I have committed to taking the action in the next steps and trusting that process will be good for me and the people around me, and trusting that while I don't know and can't control the outcome, that I am in the safe and caring and attentive hands of a higher power.

But I didn't get a bolt of lightning or anything. Just a sense of calm and relief and willingness to do the dirty work that comes next. Is that right?

With thanks

Lansbury
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Chelle » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:43 pm

Hi Lansbury,
What you describe is the same that I felt. Relief. That if I continued to do the rest of the steps, I was going to be OK, and not have to ever drink again. For me, it was a turning point that was followed by action shortly after. I was ready to do the work and just kept asking this higher power to help me. I was no longer running the show. Thy will, not my will started to mean something to me, because I made a decision to turn my life over to it. I'm in charge of the action and God is in charge of the results =wink

Sounds like you have a great sponsor. If you have a sense of calm and relief, something is working out just right imo. I spent years trying to achieve that and didn't find it until I came to AA. I'm glad you are here
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Brock » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:07 pm

I am also very pleased that you seem to be coming along just fine, good sponsor it seems, not hanging around for months on each step. In the appendix of the book they speak about the 'lightening bolt' experience, and the 'normal' experience, like this -
Most of our experiences are what the psychologist William James calls the "educational variety" because they develop slowly over a period of time. Quite often friends of the newcomer are aware of the difference long before he is himself. He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly have been brought about by himself alone. What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self discipline. With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves.

It's at step five they say we often start to feel this experience, from page 75 -
We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every
twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once
we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are
delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be
alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us.
We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may
have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to
have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink
problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We
feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand
with the Spirit of the Universe.

You’re going along fine, very happy to hear about it.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby JohnDaniels » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:20 pm

Lansbury wrote:Hi everyone

just wanted to check in and say I took the third step with my sponsor yesterday morning. She had me work on my own words to write a prayer, which I did, and we said it together in her house.

She's asked me to say it again, morning and night, until I see her next to discuss starting on the fourth step.

I'm wondering if I'm supposed to feel different or transformed after saying the prayer? Because I don't, not really. I feel relieved - that I have committed to taking the action in the next steps and trusting that process will be good for me and the people around me, and trusting that while I don't know and can't control the outcome, that I am in the safe and caring and attentive hands of a higher power.

But I didn't get a bolt of lightning or anything. Just a sense of calm and relief and willingness to do the dirty work that comes next. Is that right?

With thanks

Lansbury


Hi Lansbury.

I want to share a few things here that your post reminds me of and it's all about the wonderful and exciting growth and personal development in your AA recovery. You've come farther than you realize and you put a smile on my face today. Here's why:

1 - Brock mentioned it in his post to you.

2 - I see something very positive happening in you that you may not see happening in you. I think others can see it too. I'll tell how I see it in a minute here. But first I want to share something. Alcoholism and the recovery is not simply about stopping drinking. The real recovery that saves our lives is literally about changing our perceptions of life a little at a time and it comes in a spiritual awakening we get incrementally. I'm sure there are some who got it all at once like Bill W who was being treated in a hospital. He prayed and the winds rushed through the rooms and bright lights! But for myself and the folks I know, we have an incremental spiritual awakening, little at a time. The reason this is, if we got it all at once the shock would be too much in contrast with our past, the experience would be too much for us to handle. So we get it little at a time like "UGH! ... UGH! ... UGH!" We don't feel ourselves into a spiritual awakening. We work ourselves into an incremental spiritual awakening little by little through God and taking the actions in the 12 Steps . We don't even see it growing in our lives. Then one day, like today will be for you here, we will take a look back at where we came from in taking those actions in our recovery work. Then we can see the thing others are seeing in us. There-in lies an awakening, or a measuring if you will.

So how are we going to see it for ourselves? Well here's one way:

Now Lansbury scroll back to the very first post you made in this topic. Now look at your post today in this topic. See the difference? I sure see it and it is exciting to me! You have grown just as we do when we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by winners in the forums here and in life of winners like your sponsor outside of the forums. Yes, it really happens, sometimes slow and sometimes fast. But it does happen.

The first time I ever saw the first big signs on my own incremental spiritual awakening in myself was on a drive down the highway that I'd driven hundreds of times before when I drank.
But sober, I looked to the left and saw for the first time the Wasatch Mountains, a huge beautiful maintain range. I got so excited I wanted to just jump right out of my truck and shout it to the world and thank God!

You've made my day!

Peace be with you
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Re: want to go deeper

Postby Lansbury » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:55 pm

THANK YOU everyone. I am so grateful that you're all here. That I am so easily able to chat to other alcoholics and check out my experience with them. I KNOW how poor my judgement is, and I know that I'm mainly insane, so to be able to just pop in here for a sanity check now and again - in addition to my sponsor and the women in the fellowship - is really amazing for me. THANK YOU.

I am sitting on the floor by my bed doing my prayer as my sponsor suggested. I feel a bit daft and a bit like a fraud, as I can't say that I have a strong belief, just that I am willing to say that there's plenty I don't see and don't understand, and God might be one of those things, so I may as well act as if there's a higher power rather than allowing myself to be certain that there isn't. It does make me feel calmer.

I have a terrible, terrible marriage. I have been practicing - very very unevenly and shakily - detaching with love. It seems to be making things worse. Almost everything my husband says to be right now is about casting blame my way for some piece of unhappiness or inconvenience he's feeling. This is who he is - everything is someone else's fault. Today he's angry because I gently suggested an alternative to a plan he'd made that wasn't working (it was a plan that involved me and the kids, otherwise I'd have left him to it.) He says that is nasty. I didn't shout or swear, I spoke gently and lovingly. So this is his stuff, and he's busy sulking and throwing it my way. I keep leaving the room and doing the prayer and trying to remember I am loved, even if not by him.

It's really, really, really, really hard. I know things will change as a result of these steps and I know that I will be okay. I feel that very strongly. So long as I don't pick up a drink and do the next right thing and work the steps, I will be fine and perhaps happier in ways that I can't foresee or imagine right now. But I'm also afraid. I'm afraid that my husband doesn't want to be married to someone healthy and with good boundaries, he wants a sick addict he can alternatively rescue and blame. He's still playing the martyred hero. I asked, a couple of weeks ago, if we could talk to each other respectfully, each concentrating on our own part in things, and try to solve things. He told me his only part in things was being too lenient with me.

I hope I'll uncover a lot about my part in this during step four and be able to sort out my side of things. I am pretty sure that even while sorting out my side of things, this isn't going to be a marriage that is healthy for me to be in.

But that's not today's problem, I guess.
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