Where does the 90 days come from?

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Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby MyNameisVictor » Mon May 07, 2012 10:56 pm

just for the record,I am not opposed to the 90 in 90 concept at all, in fact, I strongly recommend it - I'm just curious.

There is no reference ot 90 meetings in 90 days in the BB. I've read reports that the 90 days thing was introduced by Hazelden, which is a good program but the folks there seem to believe - to a disturbing degree - that Hazelden IS Alcoholics Anonymous. I've read in medical journals that it takes a full 90 days for the central nervous system to stabilize after drinking. I've also heard that one of the early AA chapters said 90 meeings in 90 days because in the Big Book, it tells of the original Akron group growing from 30 to 300 in 90 days.

Anyway, I'm just curious. Thanks
"They said a miracle would happen on my 90th day of sobriety, and it did happen...I was sober."
-Anonymous from the Trinity Group of AA in NYC
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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby ann2 » Tue May 08, 2012 12:22 am

In a mailing list I participated in a discussion on the origins of the phrase "90 Meetings in 90 Days" and this was my contribution:

My personal opinion is that the suggestion was taken from one of the
books A.A.'s gave each other in the very beginning of our fellowship --
Henry Drummond's "The Greatest Thing in the World" published in 1887.

This sermon is a loving guide to Chapter 13 of Paul's First Letter to
the Corinthians. There are many short sections in this talk, and one of
them is titled, "Read it Ninety Times in Ninety Days".

Seems a little too coincidental to me, given that this talk is included
in a list often referred to as "recovery classics", books which Bill W.
and Dr. Bob both "had high regard for" and "passed them on to persons
they sought to help" (from the introduction to "Three Recovery Classics
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen The greatest Thing in the World by
Henry Drummond An Instrument of Peace the St. Francis Prayer" Mel B.
Spammer 2004)


So basically I think it's not from the rehab environment and not from Hazelden.

I hadn't heard that information about the physical process taking 90 days, that's interesting.

Ann
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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby MyNameisVictor » Tue May 08, 2012 6:15 am

That's extremely interesting. Thanks Ann!
"They said a miracle would happen on my 90th day of sobriety, and it did happen...I was sober."
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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby Tosh » Tue May 08, 2012 9:50 am

Yes, interesting topic, thanks.
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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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby nickyj » Wed May 09, 2012 3:18 am

My understanding is that the 90 days comes from the justice sytem in the US where people were/are sentenced to attend 90 meetings in 90 days.
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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby PaigeB » Wed May 09, 2012 10:09 am

I wrote to Archives at the US GSO to see if they have an answer for us! Good question!
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: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby jakpar » Wed May 09, 2012 10:40 am

great question and reading everyone,
I always understood it to have come out of rehabs or Hazeldon...........
I did find this in the ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS GENERAL SERVICE CONFERENCE OF IRELAND Newsletter article

"The Murky Origins of ‘90 Meetings in 90 Days’"

"No one can speak with any certainty about the roots of "90
meetings in 90 days." Certainly, no one at the General
Service Office can pinpoint the source of this bit of
counselling heard in some A.A. meetings. No such
suggestion appears in the Big Book or in the Twelve and
Twelve. In the 1950s, though, mention of 90 days or three
months as a milestone in sobriety was appearing in the
Grapevine. An article in the January 1959 issue, which was
one of a series on conducting talks at beginners meetings,
is headed "90 – Day Trial."
In the article, it was pointed out that one approach to
newcomers might be: "I’d like to suggest that for a period of
three months you decide to stay away from a drink twentyfour
hours at a time, and also decide to attend many
meetings – every night if possible. Surely you can spare
ninety days from your life. They might prove to be the most
useful ninety days in your entire lifetime. You may learn
whether or not you are an alcoholic, and that’s a good thing
to know."
For some in the Fellowship it makes obvious sense to
suggest to newcomers that they immerse themselves in
A.A.’s program for the first few months. Someone new to the
rooms following this suggestion is relieved of the burden of
deciding on a daily basis whether to attend a meeting.
Some, though, believe that the concept of 90 meetings in 90
days runs counter to A.A.’s focus on a day at a time, and that
to suggest to newcomers that they plan three months ahead
is asking too much of them. One letter writer to the
Grapevine is the March 1988 issue asserts: "If I had been
required to do anything for more than a twenty four hour
period, I probably would have walked out."
Also, some A.A. members with years of sobriety can be
heard announcing that they are doing "90 – in – 90" to give
their program a boost.
In general, A.A. members and groups have shown solid
instincts for finding what works for staying sober. There are
no rules on how many meetings anyone has to attend, of
course. It comes down to what works for the individual."
Credit Box 4-5-9, April/May 2007
Jack

"We are of service by accepting responsibility for the authority God has given us and by respecting the authority God has given to others"
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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby PaigeB » Wed May 09, 2012 1:44 pm

Wow! Thanks Jack!
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: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby Marc L » Wed May 09, 2012 3:02 pm

I Googled '90 Meetings in 90 Days' and found this:

Dear Glenn: We used to think that all the women who were either alcoholics or
the wife of an alcoholic, were the enemy. I think the reason Al-Anon became an
organization was because of the paranoia that existed among the members of AA.

This morning has been wonderful for me. I have just joined the Pearl Harbor
Survivors and this morning I got a call from two members, one the president of
the group. The first call started with, "Is this the Primo Kid?" Primo was the
name of the beer in Honolulu, and when I pitched baseball on the Army Air Corps
team in Hawaii before the Second World War began, the fans up in the stands used
to shout when I came out to the pitcher's mound and call me the Primo Kid. I
almost collapsed when he identified himself. It was one of the men I used to
play baseball with and both he and the man who called later were members of my
outfit. When I told the one I was in AA for 56 years and had written two books
he said I am happy that you no longer drink but I am not surprised that you
wrote the books. Everyone thought that you were smart but a drunk. The second
call was from another member of my Squadron who is now the president of the
Pearl Harbor group.

I must admit that I never heard the term "13th Stepping" until I moved to
California in 1966 and even then it was after that, in the 1980's, that I first
heard the term used. However I am familiar with the basis for this slogan. When
I first got sober in 1948, there was a lot of suspicion surrounding the
relationship between AA members and the spouses of the alcoholics.

Early on, it was suggested that men only sponsor men and women only sponsor
women. The basis for this was the suspicion that there was a lot of sexual
activity between alcoholic women and male AA members.

You are right on with your reference to the transference phenomenon, which
particularly affects the therapeutic relationship between a male psychiatrist
and a female patient (and vice versa), but in fact will affect any counseling
relationship, including AA sponsorship. The female patient begins to develop
romantic feelings toward the male psychiatrist because of the degree of
psychological intimacy involved (or vice versa with a female psychiatrist and a
male patient). There is a tendency for some to put desire before honor.

I recall that there were very few females in my group in Valley Stream, New
York, when I first got sober, and those who did attend meetings were assumed to
be loose. Dependents of alcoholics attended the meetings until Al-Anon was
formed and most of them became part of that group. (Many female alcoholics
attend Al-Anon meetings today and vice versa.)

I truly believe that Lois assisted in the formation of the first Al-Anon group
because of Bill's lust.

I do not know the origin of the "13th Stepping" saying but it was after I came
to California in 1966.

Also 90 meetings in 90 days was never advocated until treatment centers sprang
up and recommended that amount of time to enhance recovery (also the need for
cash for treating the alcoholic).

Because I was in the military during the earlier days, many things of an
historical significance in AA in the civilian sphere were unknown to me. I am
sorry I cannot be more specific.

Love Bill

-----------------------------------

REFERENCES:

Sgt. Bill S., On the Military Firing Line in the Alcoholism Treatment Program:
The Air Force Sergeant Who Beat Alcoholism and Taught Others to Do the Same
(2003)
Recovery won't just happen by Osmosis. You gonna' have to work at it some.
12th Step work ain't just a job... It's an Adventure.
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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby Tommy-S » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:16 am

Thanks folks.

"Use what you can & leave the rest for others to use"... I don't remember 90 in 90 when I started, and am rather unconcerned... If one shoe on, one off, and carrying a chicken head in your pocket 'reminds' you to avoid the First One for 24 hours, I'm rooting for you. (Heck, if it works, I'll file it away in case I need it)

I had a new guy who was doing 90 in 90, but grudgingly. I really didn't think he was 'willing to go to any lengths', but kept encouraging him. About 2 months in, he announced he was going to hit 3 meetings on Friday.

Wow, I thought, he's finally getting some enthusiasm. Maybe I'll see him 'light up' from the 'dead behind the eyes' he came to us as.

So, I asked him, how come?

"Well", he happily replied, "That way I can keep my 90 in 90 going, and take Saturday and Sunday off."

True story...

I could only think, "Man, why didn't I ever think of that one!"

Have a sober day :)

Tommy
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!
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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby Tosh » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:54 pm

I once worked with a guy who had been living on the streets. He ended up in a charitable dry house and as part of his tenancy agreement had to attend an alcohol rehabilitation course. He was also issued an all zones bus pass so he could travel to his course and A.A. meetings. He also HAD to find an A.A. sponsor (he found me), he had to attend a minimum of three meetings per week, and he WAS NOT ALLOWED to do any Big Book work because it may interfere with his alcohol rehabilitation course (I know I know).

Anyway, this guy did something like 115 meetings in 90 days. The last I heard of him he was on relapse 18 or something! Poor bloke.
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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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby Tommy-S » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:22 pm

Thanks, Tosh

I guess I should have finished the story, as the 'clever' fellow later went back out, also.

Taught me it was more important to stress the daily reprieve and work at sobriety every day than to accumulate a predetermined number of attendances.
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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby mjohns451 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:25 am

I couldn't tell you about what effect 90 meetings in 90 days has mentally on a person, but I was told in some classes I had to attend by a doctor that yes, 90 days is roughly the time it takes for the body to cleanse itself of toxins from drinking. If I remember correctly it was 30 days from the time you stop drinking the body cleans out the bone marrow, then again at 60, and again at 90. After that it was every 6 months or something along those lines. Whether or not this has anything to do with the way AA meeting coin times are set up, I cannot say for sure.
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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby Hanna » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:22 pm

MyNameisVictor wrote: I've read in medical journals that it takes a full 90 days for the central nervous system to stabilize after drinking.


mjohns451 wrote:I couldn't tell you about what effect 90 meetings in 90 days has mentally on a person, but I was told in some classes I had to attend by a doctor that yes, 90 days is roughly the time it takes for the body to cleanse itself of toxins from drinking. If I remember correctly it was 30 days from the time you stop drinking the body cleans out the bone marrow, then again at 60, and again at 90. After that it was every 6 months or something along those lines. Whether or not this has anything to do with the way AA meeting coin times are set up, I cannot say for sure.


Great topic for me as I am at Day 89 :D . I feel like I've just come out of the spin cycle and I am begining to regain my balance, emotionally, mentally and physically. :roll:
Anybody have any thoughts on how they felt the first 90 days. I remember severe anxiety, trembling, sleeplessness, and overall fear when I first started this journey. Today I sleep well, feel clear headed (most of the time), have hope, yet still experience mild anxiety (mostly still when I first wake up). I know that prayer and keeping spiritually fit while working this program helps me each day.
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Re: Where does the 90 days come from?

Postby Tosh » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:29 pm

Hanna wrote:Anybody have any thoughts on how they felt the first 90 days.


I went on a weekend bender at about my 90 day sober point. Mrs Tosh went away for a weekend and I couldn't help meself! :oops:

The novelty of being sober just got boring I guess and I needed a break from being restless, irritable and discontented; that really wore me down. As soon as Mrs Tosh had four minutes out of the house and on her way, I was out too - headed straight for the off licence. That weekend was my last drink. Nine months later, the Sun was shining, no longer were the bailiffs after me, I was sober but depressed. It was a drag (British understatement); I'd played with a Step 4 inventory, did a dishonest Step 5 and a few minor amends and being sober just wasn't enough. I didn't drink, but I did make a call and phoned a Big Book guy and asked him to sponsor me. Then things started to change for the better.

It's tough to live a day at a time program when we've stuff in our past that needs dealing with. I really needed to deal with mine; I guess a lot of alkies are like me; we have messy pasts. So via Steps 1 to 9 I did my best to clean things up - not always successful in some ways - but it let me let go of the past; and now I focus on 10 to 12. My program and I are a works in progress, but I really needed more than just merely not drinking; just not drinking for me is a drag.

Thankfully we have a program for that! :mrgreen:
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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