The First One!

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Re: The First One!

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:54 am

Yes, these stories particularly in the chapter More about alcoholism is there to convey the key message. An Alcoholic without a spiritual awakening will drink again.

In the workshop we host, we use the Car salesman story. We could see what procrastination of working the steps will lead to. Jim didn't take care of the resentment of losing the business. And the story goes, while he admitted he was powerless, he failed to enlarge his spiritual life. And runs into this peculiar mental twist.

Suddenly, the thought comes through that he could handle whisky on a full stomach, if only he could mix whiskey with milk.

Then the cravings kicks. He orders more. And more and finally he ends up in the hospital.
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: The First One!

Postby JohnDaniels » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:33 am

Thanks for your post Avaneesh912,

You make a great point with the Car salesman Jim in that "Suddenly the thought crossed my mind that if I were to put an ounce of whiskey in milk, it couldn't hurt me on a full stomach. I ordered a whiskey and poured it into the milk. I vaguely sensed I was not being any too smart, but I felt reassured as I was taking the whiskey on a full stomach. The experiment went so well that I ordered another whiskey and poured it into more milk. That didn't seem to bother me so I ordered another."
Thus started one more journey into the asylum for Jim. Here was the threat of commitment, the loss of family and position, to say nothing of the intense mental and physical suffering which drinking always caused him. He had much knowledge of himself as an alcoholic. Yet all reasons for not drinking were easily pushed aside for the idea that he could take whiskey if he only mixed it with milk. What ever the precise definition of the word may be, we call this plain insanity.

Ya know what Avaneesh? Today we can see it more clearly, but we know it still has the power to get us. It's still right outside my door doing pushups. All I have is a daily reprieve based on certain spiritual principles. Alcoholism is powerful and without help it is too much for us. There IS one who has all power!

But ya know what Avaneesh? When we drank I think you and I could have both took Jims side and agreed with him. I bet we could have put our arm around Jims shoulder while we lifted the wallet out of his back pocket with our other hand.
Hey I bet we could've sold JIM a used car! "HEY, that's not rust ... that's GOLD! That's not sawdust in the transmission ... that's an All-New-High-Tech-Wiz-Bang-Graphite-Dyno-Flow-Hydraulic-Fluid!"
:lol:

I like to laugh and joke around. We all do. We absolutely insist on enjoying life. But seriously though, I had a sister and her daughter who knew more about Alcoholism than all of us put together on these forums here. They both had Liver Shunts due to their alcoholism. They immediately went home and drank again. They both died from Alcoholism in Las Vegas, one day apart in their hotel room. Similarly, Jims story posted by Avaneesh in the workshop they host is not to be taken lightly, but respectfully as the powerful message it is. It's something we can all relate to. Jims story is like my buddy Johnny says "I took a drink, the drink took a drink, then the drink took me."

Peace
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Re: The First One!

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:51 am

I do want to add, at the end of the session (its not a long drawn workshop) we read the 2 paragraphs on page 25:

There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self- searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at out feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.

The great fact is just this, and nothing less: That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences* which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows and toward God's universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves.


Bill didn't waste too much time here. He gives the solution right away. Clean up. Then he says God enters us. And I agree, its not a one time deal. I have to do this everyday.
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: The First One!

Postby mule » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:44 pm

Since a higher power is central to everything in aa(even the closet atheists admit this) I personally see no reason to delay the introduction. guttertrash meet god...god meet guttertrash. Let the healing begin.
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Re: The First One!

Postby jenko » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:55 am

Brock wrote:At meetings in my area, well meaning members often say, 'it's the first one that get's you drunk, just don't take the first drink.' There is truth in that, but some of us really don't like hearing it, unless immediately followed by saying we have no power against taking that first drink, that the power must come from the steps and a spiritual awakening.

When we have discussed this, some members point to the AA idea of one day at a time, saying it means staying away from drinking one day at a time. For example I have seen the first question of the 12 question pamphlet used to support this, it says -
1. Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?

Most of us in A.A. made all kinds of promises to ourselves and to our families. We could not keep them. Then we came to A.A. A.A. said: "Just try not to drink today." (If you do not drink today, you cannot get drunk today.)

So when AA says "Just try not to drink today,” does that mean we don't need to tell the newcomers at their first meeting, that they need the help of a higher power, and it's OK to introduce that at as we go along?


Excellent topic. :)

For me, I had completely lost the power of choice. There was no willpower to be had. I am sober today because I was struck sober by the Grace of God - it had nothing to do with me choosing not to take that first drink - and I believe that within the very depths of my soul. I had no choice whether I drank or not when I walked into AA.

Having said that, people come into AA in all different stages of alcoholism. Some are merely potential alcoholics. When I look back on my drinking, I think maybe there was a time when I still had a choice in the matter of the first drink, although I'm not sure how much that choice still existed after the first one. The phenomena of craving came pretty early on for me. It was well established after only a few years of drinking in my teens. However, I know of some alcoholics who were able to drink socially for years before they became alcoholic. Perhaps some potential alcoholics still have the power of choice. I really don't know.

But when newcomers are told "Just don't take the first drink!" I believe it is well intended, but I'm not convinced it's very helpful for certain alcoholics who have long crossed the line. I prefer to tell people to pray as I think they've got a better chance with prayer than with willpower.
Jennifer K. :)
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Re: The First One!

Postby Blue Moon » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:23 am

jenko wrote:But when newcomers are told "Just don't take the first drink!" I believe it is well intended, but I'm not convinced it's very helpful for certain alcoholics who have long crossed the line. I prefer to tell people to pray as I think they've got a better chance with prayer than with willpower.

Not only is it unhelpful, but it directly contradicts what AA itself says about the alcoholic condition. I think most well-meaning phrases arise from 1 of 2 conditions: either the speaker is ignorant of alcoholism and recovery therefrom, or they realise the average newcomer isn't able to absorb anything beyond the simplest notion.

But you realise that praying for sobriety contradicts AA also?
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Re: The First One!

Postby D'oh » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:44 pm

As a New Comer, I barely knew my name, let alone that there was a way to not have a drink for the rest of my life. Just don't take the first drink, although simple, was something I could understand.

We recoil from it, as if it were a hot flame
didn't happen immediately. That comes from working the Steps, kind of why the promises are in the 10th step.
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Re: The First One!

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:47 am

After the meeting yesterday I was talking to a guy who had 7 days. The whole meeting was about getting duis and losing control after taking that first drink. This gentlemen already did all that. What he shared with me after the meeting was that, he would give away the beers to friends, yet, he would come up some excuse to got back and get a beer. Yep, I asked him to read the stories in More about alcoholism and see if he can relate to the peculiar mental twist. Without the power we can't stay away from that first one.
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: The First One!

Postby D'oh » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:07 am

When I slipped, the first one didn't get me falling down stumbling drunk. It more or less opened the door to try it again. Experiments I use to call them.

Well as others before me had warned me about, I was soon worse than where I left off at 21 YO.

Cunning, Baffling, Powerful! Just don't take that first drink. Today, One at a Time.
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Re: The First One!

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:27 am

When I slipped


Why did you slip? Perhaps like the car salesman, little bit of internal discomfort?
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: The First One!

Postby D'oh » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:32 am

avaneesh912 wrote:
When I slipped


Why did you slip? Perhaps like the car salesman, little bit of internal discomfort?

Good question, but Perhaps too much comfort, not discomfort.
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Re: The First One!

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:09 am

Sure perhaps like Jeff the accountant. Not a cloud on the horizon. There are people here and in the meetings who keep parroting the slogan, if you dont take the first one you wont get drunk. But we alcoholics, without the power, will get blind sighted and take that first drink. We may not go into immediate downward spiral right away, like in your case, thats even more dangerous than hitting the bottom right away. I also know people who were gone for several years caught in the zone.
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: The First One!

Postby PaigeB » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:07 am

NOVEMBER 4

A DAILY DISCIPLINE

. . . when they [self-examination, meditation and prayer] are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 98

The last three Steps of the program invoke God's loving discipline upon my willful nature. If I devote just a few moments every night to a review of the highlights of my day, along with an acknowledgement of those aspects that didn't please me so much, I gain a personal history of myself, one that is essential to my journey into self-discovery. I was able to note my growth, or lack of it, and to ask in prayerful meditation to be relieved of those continuing shortcomings that cause me pain. Meditation and prayer also teach me the art of focusing and listening. I find that the turmoil of the day gets tuned out as I pray for His will and guidance. The practice of asking Him to help me in my strivings for perfection puts a new slant on the tedium of any day, because I know there is honor in any job done well. The daily discipline of prayer and meditation will keep me in fit spiritual condition, able to face whatever the day brings—without the thought of a drink.

From the book Daily Reflections

If I forget self-examination, meditation and prayer then I am likely missing the red flags that come before the blindsiding.
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: The First One!

Postby D'oh » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:35 pm

PaigeB wrote:
NOVEMBER 4

A DAILY DISCIPLINE

. . . when they [self-examination, meditation and prayer] are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 98

The last three Steps of the program invoke God's loving discipline upon my willful nature. If I devote just a few moments every night to a review of the highlights of my day, along with an acknowledgement of those aspects that didn't please me so much, I gain a personal history of myself, one that is essential to my journey into self-discovery. I was able to note my growth, or lack of it, and to ask in prayerful meditation to be relieved of those continuing shortcomings that cause me pain. Meditation and prayer also teach me the art of focusing and listening. I find that the turmoil of the day gets tuned out as I pray for His will and guidance. The practice of asking Him to help me in my strivings for perfection puts a new slant on the tedium of any day, because I know there is honor in any job done well. The daily discipline of prayer and meditation will keep me in fit spiritual condition, able to face whatever the day brings—without the thought of a drink.

From the book Daily Reflections

If I forget self-examination, meditation and prayer then I am likely missing the red flags that come before the blindsiding.

Thanks Paige.

I like to say now, "Sobriety is a Gift, I receive any day I ask for it, I get to use anyway I believe (He) would have me, but I don't Ever Own it"
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Re: The First One!

Postby desypete » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:00 am

avaneesh912 wrote:Sure perhaps like Jeff the accountant. Not a cloud on the horizon. There are people here and in the meetings who keep parroting the slogan, if you dont take the first one you wont get drunk. But we alcoholics, without the power, will get blind sighted and take that first drink. We may not go into immediate downward spiral right away, like in your case, thats even more dangerous than hitting the bottom right away. I also know people who were gone for several years caught in the zone.


i realise you struggle with the simplicity of the saying dont pick up the first drink and you can not get drunk

all i can say is try not worrying about it and just accept that it works
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