Ambiguity.

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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Db1105 » Sun May 14, 2017 6:57 am

Brock wrote:The Hazelden folks put out a three part daily reading for alcoholics, much like our daily reflection. The first part of today’s, I believe can be interpreted in a way which puts our program in a poor light. I will put it up, (don't worry moderators it shouldn't be an infringement of copyright).

Twenty Four Hours A Day^*
A.A. Thought for the Day
We can depend on those members of any group who have gone all out for the program. They come to meetings. They work with other alcoholics. We don't have to worry about their slipping. They're loyal members of the group. I'm trying to be a loyal member of the group. When I'm tempted to take a drink, I tell myself that if I did I'd be letting down the other members who are the best friends I have. Am I going to let them down, if I can help it?

We prefer official AA literature for good reason, but many alcoholics get guidance from these 24hr readings as well, and to be fair this is the only one so far that I didn't like. In this instance I believe they have done the AA program a disservice, with this ambiguous statement. Some may believe that we get the strength to stay sober, from considering what other members would think if we slip - “Am I going to let them down, if I can help it?”

I would say that this may be a useful thing to think in very early sobriety, before the steps while we are struggling a bit, but they should have made that clear. There probably are 'alcoholics' in groups all over the world, who may still cling to thinking like this, I have met a few. The meeting makers bunch, who get their strength from not wanting to disappoint friends and family, our literature says we get our strength elsewhere. And I believe it puts our powerful program in a bad light by suggesting otherwise.



Well, that's your opinion and everyone is entitled to have on of those. The 24 Hour a Day book was just one important tool of many in my early recovery. I still see meaning in the quote taken from part of the daily reading. I learned early on in recovery that just because I don't get something out of a book, text, prayer, etc., don't mean other will. Life is not all about me. hence we come back to opinions.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby clouds » Sun May 14, 2017 7:48 am

I was given a copy of the 24 hours book. I didn't use it . I thought it got a little too psychological even though it mentions God a lot. I have that same feeling about all of the Hazelden literature that I've read. I prefer the book 'Alcoholics Anonymous' first and the 12 x 12. In my early years in AA I read 'As Bill Sees It' so frequently the binding wore through.

The 12th step is important as are all of the steps. But I must also quote this important point:

"Job or no job - wife or no wife - we simply do not stop drinking as long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God.
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."

That quote is on page 98 in the chapter 'Working With Others' AA. It points out where our sobriety must ultimatly come from, for after all we consented to this idea : "That no human power could have relieved our alcoholism." ( in number b. from the "three pertinant ideas describing steps one and two" on page 60 in 'How It Works').

Now I know no one here will disagree with that. So how does this lead back to the original topic of this thread? Well, the 24 hour reading is not giving a good example of letting us know where our sobriety comes from.

The best we can do is be willing to become fully dependent on God, not on human power. Maybe that takes a lifetime or longer for some of us, like me, as I still think I can run the show from time to time. Never works out though. Fortunately, by continuing to work the steps to the best of my ability, I am still around.
" 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." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Sun May 14, 2017 11:06 am

Db said -
I learned early on in recovery that just because I don't get something out of a book, text, prayer, etc., don't mean other will. Life is not all about me. hence we come back to opinions.

(Mod edit)

And of course if I don't get something out of the passage somebody else might, but that is precisely why the post was written. Because any new person reading the words - “When I'm tempted to take a drink, I tell myself that if I did I'd be letting down the other members who are the best friends I have. Am I going to let them down, if I can help it?”- is going to get something out of it indeed, and that is the idea that they can stay sober by not wanting to let other people down, an idea which the vast majority of responders here have agreed is dangerous. If you have a different opinion, as you said “everyone is entitled to have one of those.”
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby PaigeB » Sun May 14, 2017 11:30 am

It is a good thing that the Hazelton 24 hour Book is not the ONLY tool we have.

I do not think that even the Hazelton treatment center relies on helping people without offering the Big Book.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Layne » Sun May 14, 2017 1:40 pm

I am not very good at multi-tasking so I spend the majority of my time focusing on what recovery is. The good news for me is that it doesn't leave me as much time to focus on what recovery isn't. Somehow this practice increases my serenity.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Sun May 14, 2017 2:13 pm

I am not very good at multi-tasking so I spend the majority of my time focusing on what recovery is.

Some of us who have recovered don't see the need to focus on what recovery is, unless we are contributing to a thread involving a newcomer, because as the book says "it becomes a working part of the mind...we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it.” If I had to focus on it, I would say I missed out on the miracle.
The good news for me is that it doesn't leave me as much time to focus on what recovery isn't. Somehow this practice increases my serenity.

The good news for me, is that it gives me the time to tell newcomers the possible pitfalls to watch out for, and somehow this increases my serenity. Anyhow you look at it we both get our serenity, and the newcomer gets to hear what recovery is and is not, based on our own experience.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby ezdzit247 » Sun May 14, 2017 2:30 pm

It is a good thing that the Hazelton 24 hour Book is not the ONLY tool we have.


I agree. AA members have always been free to choose from a wide variety of books to aid their spiritual growth. Different strokes for different folks. Whatever works. One of my long time AA friends discovered the "I Ching" early on in sobriety and has used that for over 40 years. One of the younger members of my current home group discovered "The Tau of Pooh" early on in sobriety and that works for him. I have always been drawn to books, poems, music, and even movies which "spoke" to my soul, but thought of them as "life affirming" rather than "spiritual" before I got sober and was introduced to the concept of "spirituality".
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby D'oh » Sun May 14, 2017 3:06 pm

When I say that I read my Daily Meditation, out of the Big Book. Many look at me with a stun look? I did try, just the Daily Reflections, but I found something missing, so an Easier Softer Way, now includes both readings.

So, All the answers are in the Big Book, but others like Hazelton, fills in some extras. Ever look at step 6 and 7 out of the Big Book? Not very descriptive.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby PaigeB » Sun May 14, 2017 5:11 pm

BROCK said: Some of us who have recovered don't see the need to focus on what recovery is...

Now that is just what I am talking about when I said:

PaigeB wrote:We have all had this discussion many times before.

These works are helpful in addition to the Big Book...

We have a SOLUTION and it works IF you work it. So what did I miss? I feel pretty good with my 7+ years and
I always feel like you think we are missing something special that you have that I don't
... What is it? I am drawing a blank. lol

So what is it that I don't have that would make you say that "Some of us haven't recovered" if we focus on recovery & meetings? Surely Bill went to a lot of meetings... surely he focused on recovery. Maybe he even made a sole vocation of the work, but never alone - and surely never from not leaving his house.

What are "us" missing?
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Mon May 15, 2017 6:40 am

My reply was a direct answer to the post above it from Layne, who had also earlier asked flat out why I would start a thread on a topic like this. Maybe it's not the best of topics, but topics are what make a forum like this work, and those who never take the chance of starting one I feel should not be so critical. I have also in the past received PM's from him criticizing my style of posting, (and I know I can be pretty annoying at times), so I was not in the best frame of mind when that reply was done, and the remarks by me were what might be considered 'snide.'

But now Paige you are turning this thing around, you put this in quotes and ask what would make me say - "Some of us haven't recovered." I never said some of you haven't recovered, I said some of us who have recovered don't see the need to do x y and z, completely different meaning.

I was put off of AA, (and have said this several times in the past), since I was given the wrong impression, that I would have to attend endless meetings for life. And I would be very happy to stop telling newcomers, here and elsewhere, that constant meetings are not a life sentence, but you are the main reason I feel I need to. Always going on about the busy schedule, this meeting today, district meeting on Sunday, this sponsee to see tomorrow, this sponsor to see the next day, to go through the book for the twentieth time. Reading your idea of what AA is may send some running for the hills, I am one of the voices shouting at the hills telling them to come back down, that not everybody needs to do things this way.

I very often speak about the fact that I attend a couple of meetings a week, and have come to enjoy doing so, encouraging new people that they may come to enjoy them as well. But you go on and on with all this quoting the book about 'bright spot in our day' putting it in large letters. Maybe in those days of low bottoms only, when everyone had drunk themselves out of money and friends and places to go, and meetings were in members houses with nice sandwiches and tea, maybe it could have been the bright spot in their day. But if today meetings are the bright spot in somebody's day, after being in AA for years, well let's just say my life has some brighter spots than that. We can't just say it's in the book so we can quote it free sheet, we keep in mind changing times and changes in the way people think, just like those of us who believe in the power of God more than others, in deference to those who may be put off by all the God talk in the book, we don't often quote those passages.

For my parting 'shot' I will say this. I believe a 'recovered' alcoholic is a person who can stay happily sober, using a relationship with their higher power only, no meetings no sponsor no sponsees, it's a selfish way to practice the program which I wouldn't recommend. But when you ask what are you 'missing,' I believe it's just that, missing the freedom to walk the broad highway just you and your God.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon May 15, 2017 7:08 am

I believe a 'recovered' alcoholic is a person who can stay happily sober, using a relationship with their higher power only, no meetings no sponsor no sponsees, it's a selfish way to practice the program which I wouldn't recommend. But when you ask what are you 'missing,' I believe it's just that, missing the freedom to walk the broad highway just you and your God.


I agree. They become a vessel through which God works. Its like the 14th century Persian spiritual master talks about:

“I am a hole in a flute that the Christ's breath moves through. Listen to this music.”
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: Ambiguity.

Postby Layne » Mon May 15, 2017 7:35 am

Brock wrote: I have also in the past received PM's from him criticizing my style of posting,

In the 11 years I have been on this forum, I have sent you exactly one email. The contents of which were
Why include this

" I can't tell you to ignore what some have said about plugs in jugs for 24 hours, that sort of thing gets me in trouble here."

in an otherwise well thought out and good post. IMO it takes away from the quality of your reply.
Just my two cents,
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby PaigeB » Mon May 15, 2017 12:43 pm

But when you ask what are you 'missing,' I believe it's just that, missing the freedom to walk the broad highway just you and your God.

"God" walks with me everyminute of everyday no matter who is near me or what the circumstances are. For you to imply I am missing that is offensive. You have no idea what is going on inside me or any other person. But I am glad you finally said it out loud. I can work with the Truth.
...you put this in quotes and ask what would make me say - "Some of us haven't recovered." I never said some of you haven't recovered, I said some of us who have recovered don't see the need to do x y and z, completely different meaning.

I said:
BROCK said: Some of us who have recovered don't see the need to focus on what recovery is...

ie: Some of us (Brock) who have recovered don't see the need to focus on what recovery is (Layne & Paige) implying that Layne and Paige are not part of the "us" that have recovered AND ARE MISSING SOMETHING.

And you finally came out and said it... after all these years daily on this board
I believe it's just that, missing the freedom to walk the broad highway just you and your God.

I am grateful to GOD that YOU ARE WRONG.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Mon May 15, 2017 2:08 pm

I said (with a highlight added) -
Some of us who have recovered don't see the need to focus on what recovery is, unless we are contributing to a thread involving a newcomer, because as the book says "it becomes a working part of the mind...we will find that this has happened automatically….etc.

Paige said -
So what is it that I don't have that would make you say that "Some of us haven't recovered" if we focus on recovery & meetings?...

Surely you can see that I was mainly commenting on what we say here, and I did not mention meetings. You know full well that it was a response to Layne, who obviously felt (with some justification), that we should be posting about what's right with the program, rather than what's wrong.

"God" walks with me everyminute of everyday no matter who is near me or what the circumstances are. For you to imply I am missing that is offensive.

Of course that would be offensive, and that's why you shouldn't pick a sentence out of a paragraph and quote it. I said that I believed a 'recovered' alcoholic “is a person who can stay happily sober, using a relationship with their higher power only, no meetings no sponsor no sponsees...” I never said God does not walk with you, I said just you and your God, so in fact I said He does walk with you, but you together with all the paraphernalia that you speak about here very often, which I have a right to state that I believe a 'recovered' alcoholic does not necessarily need.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby PaigeB » Mon May 15, 2017 5:14 pm

but you together with all the paraphernalia that you speak about here very often, which I have a right to state that I believe a 'recovered' alcoholic does not necessarily need

Not necessarily need - thank you for that clarification.

Some recovered alcoholics do need and or want fellowship and meetings. I am one of those. I talk about the Solution after I briefly Identify as an alcoholic. I do drive home the hopelessness of the alcoholic condition, but I try to never fail in discussing the solution as it is from my experience. I was drunk everyday allday and a few meetings a week is a small commitment.

I am speaking this Wednesday at 7 pm Central Time. I hope you will all join me, in person or in spirit. I will be sharing my ES&H as it comes from my inner-most self. I hope it is helpful to someone, but it will surely be helpful for me.

Godspeed folks, God's speed.
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