The Doctors Opinion

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS

The Doctors Opinion

Postby akasha » Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:59 am

When my sponsor was still with us, he had me read 1 chapter from the AA big book every night, the same chapter for 30 days straight, and at the end of the thirty days, he had me write out how my life has related to that chapter. I would like to share that here. I hope this helps someone other than just me :)
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Re: The Doctors Opinion

Postby akasha » Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:44 am

After reading "The Doctors Opinion" over the last month, not only have I memorized the chapter, but I have also learned two very important things:

1. I AM AN ALCOHOLIC
2. THIS PROGRAM WORKS!

This letter was written by a well known doctor who was the head of a hospital and specializes in drug and alcohol addiction. This suggests that I should take his opinion seriously.

He gives examples of different types of alcoholics...I was able to identify with each of them, much to my dismay.

THE FIRST TYPE: "Going on the wagon for keeps"
-ever remorseful and makes many resolutions, but no real decisions.

At first I didnt understand what this meant. But after reading it a few more times it started to make real sense to me. Every day was like New Years to me, always a resolution, never a solution. I ALWAYS "quit". Every time I drank or drugged I would tell myself it was my last. Every morning I woke up feeling guilty and remorseful for not being able to stick to my guns and stay sober for a day. I also was dying inside because my drinking and using was something that I kept hidden from everyone and to bear a load like that alone is agonizing. I was alwasy telling myself "one last time, this is it, one more for the road" but the very second I got a craving I was off and running again. During the last few months I dont know where I got the energy and motivation to even get out of bed let alone walk all the way to my dealer while at the same time keeping it a secret from my friends and family. But the second the drink/drug hit my lips, the guilt and remorse were forgotten and suddenly it was everyone elses problem that I had to hide it from them. Its funny how quickly your mind will turn against you once the disease has taken control of you. I could never truly decide whether or not I wanted to stop, sure I always said I would, but the desire to use and drink never left me.

THE SECOND TYPE: "Unwilling to admit he couldnt take a drink. He changes his brand or environment"

This hit me like a ton of bricks. I started thinking back to when I was younger. I used to get blackout drunk after drinking vodka. My friends told me I should stop drinking, but I figured it was just the vodka that was making me blackout. The problem wasnt me, it was the alcohol. So I gave up vodka and switched to rum. And when I would blackout drinking rum, I would switch to beer. I never did find that miracle blackout preventing drink. I never saw what I was doing as a problem. I was only 15, I thought that partying hard was just part of being a teenager. As I got older, I assumed that it would be ok to drink once in awhile, so I tried only drinking on weekends....that didnt last very long and eventually I was drinking every day. Within a month of my binging, I lost my job my car and my apartment. Again, I blamed the alcohol and switched to smoking pot only. After awhile I learned that if I took a few lartabs and smoked a joint, it produced the same intoxicating effect as being drunk, only without the hangover. At last I found the alternative to blackout drunks! This produced the same effect on my life. Eventually my thinking helped me to lose another apartment, another job, and my boyfriend.

THE THIRD TYPE: "Manic depressive, least understood by his friends"

During the course of my drinking and drugging, I never considered myself to be depressed. I wasnt the problem, everyone else was. Looking back on it now, I could barely drag myself out of bed half the time (unless I had an appointment with my dealer). I was overweight, I didnt care how I looked, I was constantly in pajamas. I had a negative outlook on everything and even getting high was no fun anymore. I hated looking at my reflection in the mirror, it was like looking at someone else, someone I had never met, and I was ashamed that it was me. I even went as far as taking all the mirrors in the house down so I didnt have to see my own reflection. I couldnt bare to be reminded of what I had become, it was too painful. I started seeing a doctor hoping for some anti-depressants. I was prescribed zoloft, which takes a few weeks to have an effect. Well, I didnt have a few weeks. I jumped to 100mgs right away, instead of starting at 50 like I was told. I wanted to hurry the effect so I didnt have to be sad anymore. After a few days, I still felt the same, so I stopped taking the Zoloft and switched back to my old friend hydrocodone. I truly felt defeated.

THE FINAL TYPE: "Normal in every aspect except for the effect alcohol has upon them"

This I am still unsure of. I always considered myself to be pretty normal. I always had a job and my son was always financially taken care of. I thought I was a good mother because I never used or drank in front of him (I never did because the guilt was too much)When I drank I was usually really bubbly, I acted like an idiot. Either that or I was a mean drunk, picking fights with random strangers. Pot and Hydrocodone had the same effect on me. Drugs and alcohol turned me into a different person, and if that is what the doctor meant, than I can relate.

The doctor talks about the phenomenon of craving. This I understand. I would go for a few days without a drink or a drug and I always thought I had it down, I was in control, not the drugs. If I could go a few days without it, I wasnt an alcoholic or an addict. But each time I picked up again, I would be off and running for days on end. Every time I had a reality check, I would swear to myself that I was going to change my ways and stop turning to drugs and alcohol to get me through the day. I would make my ammends to friends and family and all would be forgiven. The truth was I had no real hold over anything, let alone my disease. The drink owned me, and once I picked it up, I couldnt put it down. Now I know why they say never pick up that first drink, its almost impossible to put down.

He also talks about the need of a higher power. This is the most important part of the chapter to me. If a doctor, a man of science, is telling me to have faith in God, that must mean that there really is one! Being able to choose my own concept of God was the easiest part for me. I have wiccan based beliefs, I always have, but growing up I was taught that Wicca was evil and I would go to hell if I practiced it. So when I entered the program and they told me I could believe anything I wanted...I was floored. It wasnt a sin to believe in Isis...I could openly pray to her and not be ashamed of it. This was amazing to me. Since this discovery, I pray every day. I say please in the morning, and thankyou at night. I celebrate the Sabbats. I let her guide me.

I have learned that as long as we take things one day at a time and turn over our will each day, that day is always a good day. They say "this is a simple program for complicated people" I am in total agreement. With that, I have just complicated the hell out of this assignment and turned it into a novel. To sum it all up in one sentence, this program works.
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Re: The Doctors Opinion

Postby keithd » Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:50 am

I can't, He can, It's time i let him (1-2-3)
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Re: The Doctors Opinion

Postby trent » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:25 am

Thanks Akasha!
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Re: The Doctors Opinion

Postby Holly96 » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:46 am

When I first came into AA, the Big Book did not make sense at ALL to me. (course nothing much made sense to me!) :-) It was like reading a book in another language. Some of the stories I could relate to, but that was about it.
However my sponsor suggested I read selcted chapters, and gave me work to do on what I read.

As time went on, the book began to make more sense, and now I love to read it. It always reveals more to me.....if I am paying attention.

thanks for sharing everyone..
Holly
don't leave before the miracle...you will be amazed.

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