Fear of unhappiness

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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Reborn » Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:50 pm

One AA friend of mine is an atheist, didn't get a sponsor, didn't work the Steps except for 1 and 12, and reports that he has never experienced a craving for alcohol. He's maintained continuous sobriety for over 29 years now. It seems to be different for different AA members.


Sounds to me like this guy has the power to choose if he will drink or not. The steps are designed for people who have lost that choice. This is not the typical experience for alcoholics in AA...the book calls these people hard drinkers. If you can do this I'm very happy for you...but for me and many like me...the quoted statement above is impossible. Saying these types of things here isn't keeping with our singleness of purpose and frankly is irresponsible. If I was new I would probably hand pick this statement and say to myself...WOW 29 years...never got a sponsor...never worked the steps...sounds like something I could do...easier softer way. There is no quick fix in sobriety...it takes willingness, patience and action. Please if you are new "we beg of you to fearless and thorough from the very start." Just do the work outlined in the big book and you will be contacted...bring the body and the mind will follow.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:48 pm

"This is not the typical experience for alcoholics in AA...the book calls these people hard drinkers."


My point exactly. There is no such thing as the "typical experience" for alcoholics seeking recovery in AA. Everybody is different. There is no such thing as a "one size fits all" kind of program that works for every alcoholic in AA.

Chapter 11, "A Vision for You"

"...Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us."


Our Third tradition says: "The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking." To me that means I'm not required to make a judgment call about whether an AA member is a "hard drinker" or a "problem drinker" or a "real alcoholic". It's not my job and it's really none of my business. As far as I know, there's never been any kind of of official AA committee with any kind of a mandate to screen and label people with a drinking problem seeking AA's help. If there had ever been one, AA would have died out decades ago.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Brock » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:12 pm

Moderator deleted this post. It is being "stored" in the moderator discussion forum.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Noels » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:34 pm

Hi Star,thank you very much for posting on this particular topic :D Fact is, I was sitting here thinking of starting a new thread but weve been having internet problems this week (must be the bad weather weve been having) when your post opened up so I knew I could simply respond on your post. Thanks for that.

I had a very similar experience today. Its been a real hard two weeks work wise. The work I do involves many individuals in higheish positions and factors, so there are many egos involved. I am in the middle of the entire transaction and need to communicate with all these different people to obtain important dox, figures, organise a whole lot of stuff and finally reach finalisation of the transaction within 8 - 12 weeks. If anything goes wrong the finger is pointed immediately at us although the error is directly due to one or more of the other factors involved. Either inability / laziness to do their job or incompetence.

Through being sober and building on my relationship with my Creator it has been pretty smooth sailing for most of the year because the more we discover ourselves spiritually the easier it becomes to put ego behind. The last few weeks however have been an absolute nightmare. The other egos involved in various transactions failed to deliver their part (and would argue about it :lol: )regardless of several reminders from me,so I would very nicely just put in more effort, " rescue " the various transactions and get it back on track just to hit another snag with another ego or three again, dealing the entire time with deadlines.

The emotional roller coaster finally got me this morning when yet another error from a party got the entire transaction thrown out and the deadline for finalisation is tomorrow so I sat back in my chair and thought of just going out to buy a big-ass bottle of wine, get back into bed, have the entire bottle and if that wasn't yet enough, have a sleeping pill or two and just sleep for the entire day. I didn't have a craving for alcohol - that left me a few months ago already - yet my brain immediately took the opportunity to remind me of how I used to deal with this type of thing 11 months ago before I got sober and started working the 12 step program.

Thank God once we honestly admit to ourselves that we do not WANT to drink anymore, we do seem to get the ability to choose again and make better decisions because I immediately dismissed that thought and just decided to stay in my pjs for the day. (we work from home so I can " sneak " a pj day now and then if I need to :D ) I contacted a person who could help me out on this one and then decided to forget it for that moment and started with other work. My frame of mind amazingly improved and about 2 hours later I received information that the transaction can possibly still be saved and the deadline extended until next week. Already an indication that the choice I made that morning when I had that negative thought - to rather pause, do what I could and then applied my mind to other matters, showed results. If I acted on the negative thought I would have been drunk, disgusted and miserable with myself for failing yet again, my entire family would have been exceptionally hurt and the problem would have loomed larger than life tomorrow morning.

So what I'm trying to say to you is that life doesn't stop because we stop drinking. The people around us remain exactly the same so we will still be presented with the same events and/or happenings that used to trigger us and which resulted in us reaching for that bottle. HOWEVER, by having made the decision OURSELVES to stop drinking WE have changed. The really nice part of making this choice ourselves is that we cant blame anyone for how we feel and for not being able to have a drink when life gets hard to handle. Once we understand THIS concept - that nobody is to blame - it becomes very easy when life gets hard to say to ourselves - I made the decision not to have a drink and very importantly, I can not control what that person do or say to me BUT what I CAN control is how I am going to allow that to make me feel and also how I am going to react to it.

I have heard so many people say that feelings are just that - a feeling and I have always and still disagree with that take because to me a feeling is valid. I drank because I didn't WANT to feel. This " want " didn't serve me well at all because whether I liked it or not, the alcohol didn't and couldn't take what I felt away. It simply dulled it for that moment while I was intoxicated. So if I now, that I'm sober still go on the same principle - that a feeling is not important - I am effectively doing the exact same thing. Only without alcohol? So I'm either still suppressing that feeling or I'm simply " skipping over it" and by doing that I am NOT clearing that feeling but building layers. (which incidentally causes blockages in the body -i.e dis-ease but that's for another discussion on another day). So I will eventually be like a pressure pot - feeling upon feeling upon feeling ....... pressed down on top of the other year after year and ..... boooooooffffff - lid comes off and pressure pot explodes. So what I do now is to pause. To look at that feeling, to see where it comes from, what did it hurt in me - to acknowledge that feeling, to increase that feeling of pain or emotion to the point that I want to break and then i press on, through and ..... release .... which results in peace. Feeling dealt with. Not layered, not ignored. Brandon Bays book "The Journey" explains how to release feelings and emotions.

So as from now I want you to remember that YOU yourself made the decision to become sober. To take your life back. So YOU have the ability to choose. By being on the site and attending meetings you already have people's phone numbers, communicate well on the net and have already picked up some of the suggestions on what to do when you get a negative thought or experience a trigger which your mind WILL use to remember what you used to do when presented with a problem, stress or feeling. All you need to do is to just pick up that particular tool and use it at that particular moment. Also pray and speak to your Higher Power often. Your Higher Power is already surrounding you and carrying you through difficult times. You will be amazed at what your Higher Power will do for you in times when you feel low. (He has done for me what I couldn't do for myself - kept me sober)

Thank you for letting me share. Be blessed and keep on doing what youre doing. It works if we work it.

Nite Nite, mwah xxx
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:09 pm

Wonderful share, Noels. Thank you!

It took me a while, but learning to hit that pause button instead of reacting (always a mistake for me) is one of the best and most under-rated little tools in AA's entire spiritual tool kit.

(PS--I hope you're charging those ego-driven "illigitimi" up the ying-yang for your time!!!)
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Stepchild » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:51 pm

Moderator removed the quote of the deleted post
.
I couldn't agree with you more Brock. There may not be a committee...The book suggests we do this ourselves....

If you are satisfied that he is a real alcoholic, begin to dwell on the hopeless feature of the malady. Show him, from your own experience, how the queer mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power.

From the chapter...Working With Others. I can only be grateful that when I was introduced to AA in the hopeless condition I was in....That the message carried to me was not a 2 step program. I'd probably be dead.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Larryp713 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:39 am

Moderator removed the quote of the deleted post....

We have an old-timer with over 40 years of sobriety who says he is still on step one and has not read the big book. He refers to his higher power as the cosmic muffin and takes shots against religion occasionally. I used to be really annoyed by his shares because I thought the same thing - if this is the only message I heard when I was finally ready to surrender and try AA, I would not have made it. But the Book says we are to share our experience with other alcoholics and to be rigorously honest. It occurred to me that he has stayed sober for 40 years and is still very active in AA. He is a great example of service to me. Only he can answer if he is a true alcoholic, and it would be a waste of my time judging him.

My theory is that this old-timer really did find a higher power and developed a relationship with <insert pronoun>. For whatever reason, it works for him not to refer to this higher power as God, but he has the spiritual blessings from living by the principles of the program to the best of his ability. I would not want to silence him, but rather use his share as an example of how God touches all of us differently, based on our own ability to understand and physically define Him. I also believe that in his 40 years of working the program, he has probably done a good job of taking an inventory, surrendering his defects, and making amends. He certainly carries the message of hope that has depth. When he shares his story today, I can chuckle along with everybody and accept that his spiritual path is different than my own. Larry
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Stepchild » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:19 am

I thought the same thing - if this is the only message I heard when I was finally ready to surrender and try AA, I would not have made it.


He certainly carries the message of hope that has depth.


It's kind of hard to fathom how these two statements come from the same post.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Larryp713 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:32 am

Stepchild wrote:
I thought the same thing - if this is the only message I heard when I was finally ready to surrender and try AA, I would not have made it.


He certainly carries the message of hope that has depth.


It's kind of hard to fathom how these two statements come from the same post.


I think it demonstrates how I have grown to understand his impact better today. Yes, that message would not have inspired me, but it has inspired others. I have had people say they love his message. I appreciate him more because I have got to know him better, and his actions speak more recovery than what he articulates in meetings.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Brock » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:40 am

I like what Larry says in his posts, and have no doubt the few other 'thumpers' here do as well, Stepchild being one of them. Larry says “his actions speak more recovery than he articulates in meetings,” fair enough but I still have a couple of reservations with that.

Firstly, a new person listening to his 'message' doesn’t know about his actions, and it's said a couple of others love his message. Providing they don't love to follow it no real harm done, and providing also that others in meetings give a more traditional message, insisting that short cuts, (like just doing as he does), generally avail us nothing.

Secondly and most importantly, for me a lot depends on his 'war story.' I think they are way over used, but their primary function is to let the new man identify, perhaps he has a story which would convince others that he drank a lot of booze, I just hope it also includes the measures he took to stop on his own, which failed, and that only a spiritual experience saved him. Without those things I am afraid, service or not, I might still judge him as a hard drinker.

A couple of us in another thread, were trying to convince a new forums member, one with thirty odd years of sobriety, that the daily reprieve should not be taken too literally, he maintained that we can not stay sober on yesterdays work, nor even for one day it seems. He joined AA at the age of fourteen, never to drink again. I am not ill speaking this person or doubting his genuine love of the program, but when people say what AA has done for them, yes they have found recovery, but recovery from what, is it the other things that alcohol was but a symptom of? Maybe I should be like some others and say no big deal, anyone needing 'recovery' from selfishness and a crappy life 'come on down,' maybe one day my God will have me willing to do that. In the meantime I remain a little stuck on the first line in the long form of tradition three – “Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism,” those suffering from any other isms start your own fellowship.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby PaigeB » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:07 am

I am SICK of you judging who is an alcoholic and who is not.

If you find he is an alkie then share your es&h - the BB

If you think he is not an alkie - PUT YOUR HAND OVER YOUR MOUTH... Paige.
NO WHERE does it say you are to belittle people out the door.

ANY MORE.... AND I MEAN ANY, will result in an immediate ban on posting privileges.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Spirit Flower » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:01 am

The carpet slipper guy (page 32) quit for 25 years then drank at retirement and died of alcoholism.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Stepchild » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:08 am

But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got.
BB pg 164
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Spirit Flower » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:01 am

Anybody read "Physician Heal Thyself"? The man who brought us acceptance, Doctor Alcoholic Addict, was an addict too.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Brock » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:05 am

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics,.. - How it Works.

Frothy emotional appeal seldom suffices. The message which can interest and hold these alcoholic people must have depth and weight.- The Doctors Opinion.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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