Fear of unhappiness

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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby whipping post » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:52 am

My opinion is that the censoring that is going on is doing a disservice to the newcomer. I'm pretty new and can tell you that trying to wade through AA groups with a foggy head isn't easy. It took me awhile to figure out what all the papers getting signed were. I was hearing people talk about drugs which as I understood it wasn't what the meeting was for. I'm not talking about recovery from drugs. I'm talking about Expletive because a relative stole their "scrip". I heard maybe 5% of the people talk about the steps and alcoholism. My initial impression was that life was going to consist of placing AA over my job and family and going to meetings every day with a bunch of people who didn't want to be there. I went to probably 10 different meetings before I finally found my home group that talked about the steps, had only a few addicts who were respectful enough to identify as alkies, and didn't have 75% of attendees getting a paper signed.

Newcomers need to know what is going on, what they are going to encounter, and that not all meetings are created equal. They also need to know that not everyone there has a desire to stop drinking or is an alcoholic. I have to wonder how many people attend one meeting and never go back because of what I have described above.

As far as ESH. When I went to AA I wanted to recover from alcoholism but I had no idea what AA was other than that. I spent about 3 months struggling because I thought I could just take bits and pieces and shuck what didn't sound appealing. I tried just winging it on meetings because "meeting makers make it" and was miserable. Luckily a handful of people kept reinforcing that if you want out of the misery work the steps and have a spiritual awakening. The program and solution of AA is the steps, right? As a result of these steps we have a spiritual awakening and we carry the message to other alcoholics through our ESH, right? I seriously doubt that the founders of this program intended for ESH to be about stolen prescriptions, meeting makers, or individuals who can get by on just steps 1 and 12. In my opinion, that kind of ESH is no different than going into an AA meeting and saying you use Rational Recovery or Smart. If that is your ESH take it somewhere else because that is not the program of AA.

Newcomers that visit this website need to know what the program is and what it is not. They need to know that not everyone around is an alcoholic and needs to have a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps. They need to be warned about the crap they will have to wade through at meetings.

If you are going to censor and threaten to ban people who carry the message just because they point out that someone is not working the program and probably isn't an alkie then what you are doing a great disservice to the newcomer and actually hindering someone else's 12th step work. If you are going to censor or ban them then you need to censor or ban those who say people get by with only working 1 and 12. I believe THAT is not the ESH our founders intended.
Last edited by whipping post on Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Stepchild » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:15 am

Great post WP....
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:24 am

its about not reaching for the bottle and affirming and rewarding yourself for not grabbing it.


This is like the meetings where I live. While initially we do struggle with this, but applying the principles of the 12 steps, the obsession gets lifted. And thats the wonderful gift of the program. We can go anywhere in the world, even be around people who drink. Thats the 10th step promise. We don't do anything. Sobriety is given.
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: Fear of unhappiness

Postby PuppyEars » Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:56 am

WhippingPost, you haven't figured out it's personal here? I am new here and it was blatantly evident to me. Whoever is the top dog here has a certain program. And if your posts don't match that easier softer way, your posts will be edited. The saddest part is many moderators will read and leave a post that later gets deleted by 1 person.

Unfit for command and I will go down swinging.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:28 am

In the BB's Chapter 7, "Working With Others", Bill W. laid out a very practical guide for AA members to use for 12th Step work including explanations for both the do's and the don'ts.

In addition to this, AA publishes a pamphlet entitled "This is AA - An introduction to the AA recovery program" which is certainly a must read both for newcomers and any AA member who works with newcomers.

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-1_thisisaa1.pdf.

AA also publishes a booklet entitled "SUGGESTIONS FOR LEADING BEGINNERS MEETINGS", another must read for any AA member who is interested in working with newcomers both in live meetings and internet forums:

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/mu-1_sug ... etings.pdf.

Here's the foreword from the booklet:

This booklet is for all A.A.s. Although it is written mainly to help the group holding beginners meetings, or the member leading them, any other A.A. will find it worthwhile reading. By receiving and giving A.A. help, every one of us becomes a link in a chain around the world. All of us cling to the chain to save our lives, and yet each of us ispart of it—depending on all the others to help keep the chain unbroken.So this booklet explores ways to strengthen the links—ways through which we can stay sober by helping other alcoholics stay away from one drink, one day at atime. It is a collection, from A.A. groups everywhere, of suggestions for helping A.A.newcomers gain sobriety and grow in the program....


Here's an excerpt from the booklet on suggested topics:


SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR BEGINNERS MEETINGS:

# 1—How to Stay Away From One Drink One Day at a Time -- In any series of beginners meetings there are usually new faces at each session. Therefore, leaders have found that this topic should always be included in every meeting. When we first came to A.A., many of us did not realize that the first drink triggered the compulsion to drink more and more; that it deluded us into thinking we could drink another safely, then another and another. The danger seems obvious now, but many of today’s newcomers are just as baffled as we once were. So the leader usually explains the significance of the first drink—and how to avoid just that one, for at least one day or one hour. Almost every A.A. has a favorite means of doing this, and other members attending a meeting can make suggestions for additions to the following:

1. The twenty-four hour (or one-minute, if necessary) plan

2. The halt reminder—never getting too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.

3. Sticking close to your sponsor and discussing personal problems with him or her.

4. Postponing the drink.

5. Going to lots of A.A. meetings.

6. Keeping pockets stuffed with A.A. reading matter.

7. Prayer—in whatever form the new member prefers it.

8. Changing routines—especially at drinking hours—to break up the old habit patterns.

9. Spending time with other members individually—either in person or on the telephone (andespecially during old drinking hours).

10. Spending time in meeting rooms or central offices where A.A.s gather outside of regular meeting hours.

11. Starting work on the Twelve Steps, to fight such threats to sobriety as resentments,self-pity, and the tendency to dwell on the past or the future.


AA's conference approved literature, which includes the BB, Daily Reflections, books, pamphlets, booklets, the Grapevine, etc, represents, has always represented, the collective ESH and group conscience of AA meeting groups in the US and around the world, or what I call "mainstream AA". I certainly reserve the right to disagree with the collective group conscience on certain other matters and topics, as is my right as an AA member, but I do not and never have disagreed with anything written in AA's conference approved literature on working with newcomers. My ESH is that it works and has been working for over 80 years now so I'm going to continue to follow "mainstream AA" on all matters concerning newcomers.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Brock » Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:06 pm

In the BB's Chapter 7, "Working With Others", Bill W. laid out a very practical guide for AA members to use for 12th Step work including explanations for both the do's and the don'ts.

Yes he did, and his suggestions include these, keep in mind this was at the first meeting with the prospect, before he was invited to accompany you to a meting. Some highlighting is done to reinforce the idea that he insisted the new person knew what was required, which certainly was not just stay away from the first drink,- from working with others -
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... simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him how they worked with you... 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.

Does that sound like stay away from the first drink one day at a time?

Regarding the pamphlet recommended, “Suggestions For Leading Beginners Meetings,” the lists are numbered and only #1 was given, on that first list we see “Starting work on the Twelve Steps,” but then it goes to list #2 -”Alcoholism, the Disease,” and everything we should tell the new person about that. Then list #3-”How It Works” and everything we must tell them about the steps. It even continues with more lists for traditions and such.

So you see, someone can come on here, who's agenda is to promote put off the drink one day at a time, and then quote leaflets, but is it fair, or even in keeping with the AA principles, to just quote those sections which might reinforce their view, perhaps expecting none of us would read the rest of what the leaflet contained. Because the rest of the leaflet very clearly says, teach the newcomer that it is a disease requiring a spiritual experience to overcome, followed by how we go about doing that.
"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 D'oh » Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:16 pm

Great posts Edzits and Whipping.

I am reminded of what I was told when first coming in. KISS. or keep it simple stupid. Something that still holds true to me today, but perhaps in a different level or way, but the same meaning.

It was revealed again to me just last week. I was lying in bed at the Cabin readying for sleep carefully reviewing my day. A crazy work day but a beautiful evening on the lake, light chop on the water, gorgeous sunset, beautiful colours, and being grateful to be a part of what God has offered. Then I began wondering if it was God or Mother Nature, or if they are different or the same thing.

I proceeded down this thought in my meditation, getting very deep into it when bam, the thought of South Park's "Tree Fitty, Loc Ness Monster" skit. Wow where did that come from? So I got out of bed, the cabin was hot and the wind switched, so I went to check the boat. The wind switch cooled the cabin right down, and there was a storm coming (I love watching storms up there with no lights). I laid back down and was amazed how cool the cabin had become, thanking God for the wind then thinking again was it God or Mother Nature? Or even Earth, or some kind of funky threesome.

Being very close to the meaning of life I continued thinking/meditating, when bam, another total out of the left thought came to me.

I then realized that I don't have to figure all of this out. I just have to utilize what is being offered. Be grateful for the great evening, cool breeze and pending light show. It was then that I realized that I had been selfish at work and owed an apology. Even though the other involved didn't realize what I had done, they actually made an apology also the next morning for the same incident.

So KISS works, Just for Today works, and Doing what I need to do Today, so I don't have any regrets Tomorrow is the key. When I worry about tomorrow, or what others are up to is when I get into troubles.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Stepchild » Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:22 pm

Great post Brock.....Amen.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby D'oh » Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:29 pm

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... simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him how they worked with you... 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.

Does that sound like stay away from the first drink one day at a time?

No that sounds like the person can answer

a) that we were Alcoholic and could not manage our lives.
b) that probably no human power could have relieved our Alcoholism.
c) that God could and would if he were sought.

Hence the very next words written "Being convinced we are at step 3" one may add we can move on.

So it Does not sound like stay away from the first drink one day at a time, it says that once you have completed step 3, it is in Gods hands, but still One Day at a Time.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby tyg » Sat Jul 30, 2016 2:42 pm

In step 1, "We admitted we are powerless over alcohol - that our lives have become Unmanageable." The second part of Step 1 is the spiritual malady and is all what you have described and are feeling right now. Our drinking did not make life unmanageable, the spiritual malady did. Would you like to be free of all that stuff and have permanent sobriety? I had been suffering from a lot of the same things as you talked about. This program changed my life around when I actually did it and, I know it will work for you to.

Like someone already said, for those who follow this program carefully, something beautiful will happen. Here is just a small preview of how different life can be:

Page last paragraph of 164-165
Page 13 last paragraph
Promises 83-84
Step 10 Promises last paragraph 84 to 85
Page 42 paragraph 3 thru pg 43
Page 25:1:5
I deleted my previous post because I was off the Topic. Stepchild, I will answer your question in a PM. Also...

Ezdzit247 was not commenting on this post but, the one I deleted.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:07 pm

Thanks for sharing, Tyg, I totally agree on every point.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Stepchild » Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:20 pm

Let me ask you tyg....Do you think there is any truth to this?

As we look back, we feel we had gone on drinking many years beyond the point where we could quit on our will power. If anyone questions whether he has entered this dangerous area, let him try leaving liquor alone for one year. If he is a real alcoholic and very far advanced, there is scant chance of success. In the early days of our drinking we occasionally remained sober for a year or more, becoming serious drinkers again later. Though you may be able to stop for a considerable period, you may yet be a potential alcoholic. We think few, to whom this book will appeal, can stay dry anything like a year. Some will be drunk the day after making their resolutions; most of them within a few weeks.
pg 34
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Reborn » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:34 pm

Maybe I'm missing something but aren't we talking about a guy with 29 years who says he doesn't believe in God and only works steps 1 and 12? The problem doesn't lie with the newcomer...it lies with these people with years off the sauce sharing in meetings how they pick and choose which steps they work like its some kind of buffet line. I know one thing for sure it doesn't matter who says what to anyone...identifying as an alcoholic must come from within. Also I've never met anyone in AA who has gotten sober reading pamphlets...maybe we should create a pamphlet titled "The Answer"...right below that it says "put this down and pick up the Big Book".
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby PaigeB » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:14 am

Here are the steps were took that are suggested as a program of recovery...

From How it Works, pg 59 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Brock » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:58 pm

Here are the steps we took that are suggested as a program of recovery...

If you don't want to follow these “suggestions” no problem, you won't recover, but "if you want what we have AND are willing to go to any length to get it," then we “suggest” you burn this into your brain "To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book" "If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking - What do I have to do? It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions SPECIFICALLY.” "CLEAR-CUT DIRECTIONS are given showing how we recovered" "Half measures avail us NOTHING"
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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