Trouble undertsanding sometimes

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whipping post
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Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by whipping post »

I guess I have fried my brain over the years or I never had much of one to begin with. Because very often, both here and in meetings, I just don't understand. Tosh's recent post about problems is one of those cases. It also seems like if a reading gets very long or comes from "as Bill sees it" my mind just jumbles it all up and by the end of the reading I can't remember what the beginning was about. I'm hoping it just takes time and that some of this stuff will click. I know that How It Works was the same way until I finally quit trying to figure it out and started working the steps.

I guess I should just be happy that I am sober today and the obsession to drink is gone at this moment. Whether I understand some things or not.

Chris S.
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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by Chris S. »

Somebody in a meeting once said..."Just do the work, you'll be contacted later." I have learned many things on this journey, the biggest of which, is that I will always have much to learn. One of my favorite things in life are, "Ah-ha" moments, hope I never stop having them.

Lali
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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by Lali »

I know what you mean, whipping post. I have to admit that after a while of hearing How It Works at every meeting, I began doing my grocery list or my to do list for the day in my head. I have missed many meetings recently due to chronic pain which has now improved.

So, I have kind of rededicated myself to the program. I'm looking at everything like a newcomer now. I have begun closing my eyes when How It Works (or any of the readings) is read and trying to listen to every word. When I catch myself drifting, I just bring my mind back no matter how many times it wanders. Try it, whipping post, again and again. You should begin to absorb most of it after a while. Oh, and I have ADD so its hard sometimes for me, too. Have you ever felt like maybe you have ADD, too? (Adults do have it, not just children and I know I had it as a child but back then, nobody knew what ADD was).

Also, volunteer to do one of the readings every so often. Sometimes we retain more when we say it out loud.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by Tom S »

"Trouble understanding" would be quite an understatement for my experience. I wouldn't /couldn't understand much of anything when I first came in. It wasn't because I wasn't smart enough- it was because the implications of this thing were too big. I was unaware that I was unaware.
The only thing I could see was that there was a group of people who seemed to be pretty happy, who said they were alcoholics, that their lives had dramatically changed for the better and that they were glad I was there. They didn't want anything from me.
Eventually I believed them when they said if I wanted what they had, then I would need to do what they did.
Took me two years without a drink before I began to really get sober.
Eventually, as my resistance turned into acceptance, as fellowship replaced fear, as faith and forgiveness entered then the seeming paradoxes and aphorisms took on new meaning.
For me, understanding followed footwork; still does.

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Tosh
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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

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whipping post wrote:Because very often, both here and in meetings, I just don't understand.
I get that too. Now, if something intrigues me enough, I'll ask questions, but when I was new I wouldn't ask 'how?' or 'why?' or 'can you explain that so a Geordie can understand it?' (I'm a Geordie - we're considered daft in the UK). You don't seem to suffer with the same embarrassment as myself, which is great (for you).

The post you couldn't understand was basically saying that everyone alive - alcoholic or not - has a lot of problems. But we also add to all the problems we have by creating another (in our mind), and that extra problem is not wanting any problems.

I used to always have that "Why is this S*** always happening to me!" feeling, like there was some kind of Cosmic conspiracy aimed especially at 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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PaigeB
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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by PaigeB »

Eventually I believed them when they said if I wanted what they had, then I would need to do what they did.
Said here by Tom S. but said in AA rooms all around the world I imagine. I know it was what I thought of when I read the original post!

If I want what they have, I have to DO what they DID.
Thank goodness it was not:
If I want what they have, I have to understand what they understood!

There was SO much and still is so much that I do not understand. It leaves me frustrated & angry sometimes! But the lesson I think I got from it (though I am sure there were other ingredients to the lesson) is that each of us learns different things at different rates. That is why meetings are so effective. We read a passage and share our experience ~ what we did and what happened. We don't all get the same lesson from our first 1st Step experience with our sponsors, nor do we get the same effect when going through it with sponsees 1, 3 & 5. My mind set is always changing and information coming in changes with it.

I am less frustrated when I don't understand something. I sometimes smile & laugh and let the thought go past - I'll get it someday, or not. Today is STILL better than my best day as a drunk!
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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whipping post
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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by whipping post »

Thanks all for your ESH. They all really helped. Just like with drinking it helps knowing I am not the only one.

And Lali, not sure on the ADD. I do retain much better when I read.

2granddaughters

Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by 2granddaughters »

I remember the first time I heard a guy say at a meeting "Just wnen I think I'm ready to kick a field goal they move the posts".

I find that often in recovery .. I guess that's why it's "progress not perfection".

The spiritual leaders say that God's secrets are hidden in plain sight. Paradoxes .. dichotomies.. seeming contradictions that are 2 sides of the same coin.

Yin-Yang.

I guess that's why the 3rd Pertinent idea in HOW IT WORKS is "God could and would if He were sought" ... not FOUND. :?

All the best.

Bob R

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Tosh
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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by Tosh »

2granddaughters wrote: I guess that's why the 3rd Pertinent idea in HOW IT WORKS is "God could and would if He were sought" ... not FOUND. :?
I never noticed that. Thanks, Bob.
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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ezdzit247
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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by ezdzit247 »

whipping post wrote:I guess I have fried my brain over the years or I never had much of one to begin with. Because very often, both here and in meetings, I just don't understand. Tosh's recent post about problems is one of those cases. It also seems like if a reading gets very long or comes from "as Bill sees it" my mind just jumbles it all up and by the end of the reading I can't remember what the beginning was about. I'm hoping it just takes time and that some of this stuff will click. I know that How It Works was the same way until I finally quit trying to figure it out and started working the steps.

I guess I should just be happy that I am sober today and the obsession to drink is gone at this moment. Whether I understand some things or not.
It will get better. Some of us, for whatever reason, just take longer to detox than others. When I first got sober, I also thought my excessive drinking had damaged my brain. Had a lot of trouble with short term memory and problem solving. I was very grateful that portions of Chapter 3 and 5 and other parts of the Big Book were read out loud by other members at meetings because I couldn't read at all--my brain was scrambling the words and they would jump all over the page when I tried to focus. I'd walk into my kitchen or open the refrigerator door and forget why or go grocery shopping and forget what I'd wanted to buy. Very frustrating and very scary too. When I read the "PERKS OF BEING OVER 50" here: http://www.e-aa.org/forum/viewtopic.php ... ls#p114627 I laughed out loud at #19--"Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.".... :lol: I remember thinking that at 30 as a newcomer! What I finally did was just accept that if what I was experiencing was as good as it ever got, it was still okay and I could deal with it. Old timers would say "my worst day sober is better than my best day drinking" and I could identify with that. The experience taught me humility, especially in working with newcomers. I don't push reading the Big Book or get hysterical about newcomers working the 4th Step immediately because I know what it's like when it looks like all the lights are on but nobody's really home upstairs. Been there. The most important thing I learned from the experience was to love and accept myself unconditionally just the way I was, warts and all. I think it's the most important lesson any recovering alcoholic can learn. Btw--my brain did rewire itself and begin to function better. I returned to college in my second year of sobriety and, although it was a struggle, I did fairly well.

Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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ezdzit247
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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by ezdzit247 »

Tosh wrote:
2granddaughters wrote: I guess that's why the 3rd Pertinent idea in HOW IT WORKS is "God could and would if He were sought" ... not FOUND. :?
I never noticed that. Thanks, Bob.
Second what Tosh posted. Great catch, Bob. Thanks!
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by Brock »

2granddaughters wrote:
I guess that's why the 3rd Pertinent idea in HOW IT WORKS is "God could and would if He were sought" ... not FOUND. :?
I have been keeping an eye on this since Sunday, hoping somebody would say it was not correct, Tosh and Easy said it was a good eye by Bob, and I don’t want to be thought of as the fellow who always disagrees with others, but in this case I do. As someone who believes he has most certainly found God, I just don’t want others, especially newcomers who may read this, going away with the idea that they may be searching for something but may not find it.

Here are a few quotes from the first 164, the one on p.59 is actually just the page before what Bob quoted, to my mind Bob's quote is just stating the obvious, you must seek something in order to find it. Any added emphasis is mine.

45. Well, that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater
than yourself which will solve your problem.

59. But there is One who has all power — that One is God. May you find Him now!

129. He may demand that the family find God in a hurry……

158. But he had found God -- and in finding God had
found himself.
So there are some examples of the fact that the book expects us to FIND God, it is my experience that we may lose contact now and then after we find Him, but that contact is easily renewed in prayer.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

2granddaughters

Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by 2granddaughters »

That is the big problem with "words" ..... there is a "duality" to them.

Literally, words can be taken different ways. That's why the "spiritual" realm is so important.. The others knew what I meant. They felt the truth.

You go to any AA meeting and ask all the oldtimers if they have "found" God and you'll be hard-pressed to see a hand raised.
But we do continue to get closer as we go along.

Fr Thomas Keating and Rabbi Schachter discuss seeking God here (link deleted per forum policy) . Very enlightening

The dalai lama will be the first to tell you that he doesn't know all, nor Gary Zukav, nor Thomas Merton nor Richard Rohr.

In the end Brock & I seem to have 2 sides of the same coin... another "duality". 8)

All the best.

Bob R

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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by Chris S. »

I have come to believe, that God is, and has always been there. As I looked back on all of those times that I thought I had been foresaken, overlooked, and maybe even punished, in seeking a deeper connection, I have come to realize that in all of those times, things could've been much worse. I also came to realize that God has never punished me for my sins, I was punished by them.

God cannot be found, because God was never lost. It was I that was lost. It was I that had foresaken God. Yet, God was always there. Now, this realization did not happen over night. It took quite awhile for me to begin to lose my resentment towards God. Heck, I've just begin to see how I still ask help from God selfishly. The Third Step, it appears takes a lifetime to perfect. My prayers are beginning to lean more for asking what it is that I may do for God, not so much what God can do for me.

Point is, I never had to seek for God, I only needed to seek for my connection to God. For me, this has been and still is a process, not an event. (Guess I could've just said that...lol)

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Re: Trouble undertsanding sometimes

Post by mikek365 »

This Post by Chris.S made me smile, Not laughing at Chris but with him, It's true for me more often then I used to admit, That a sentence often covered better then Several, But Chris.S we are all human,I think what some consider our flaws are really signs of Individuality Traits :D

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