|AA MembersPage 1 of 7 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)|
|I am an AA member myself. I thought it might be relevant to have somewhre to discuss our commone problems within the program, or even to share some of our uplifting stories. Anyone got something to discuss or share in here please feel free. Do not use this thread for chat. The last one got shut down, so we do not wish to see that happen again. |
Welcome to all those who wish to contribute.
I am an AA member myself, and will break my anonimity as it is my own right to do so. In turn I can never break another's. That is the Creed we live by. God Bless.
Posted: 11/29/2005 7:50:19 PM
|When one is an alcoholic they do not get the concept of a social drink........that does not compute. The same can be said of a social drinker.......they have no idea of what an alcoholic feels like. That is the very reason we all need to be to-gether in the rooms of AA and wage war against this thing that would control our very lives. Alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful. Many of us do not realize we are even alcoholics. I remember the day I first told my Dr. about my drinking a lot of white wine. He kind of fluffed it off, as he is a family friend until I earnestly told him, "John, you don't understand, I'm drinking a LOT of wine"! He kind of snapped his head around and asked, "Just how much wine we talking about here"? I told him, "about a magnum a day and make sure I got more in case I run out". He quickly agreed I was indeed in trouble and promptly sent me to see a phychiatrist the very next day. The psychiatrist patiently explained what the alcohol was doing to my body. I really did not even realize it. All I knew was I didn't like Me much at all. The next morning after trying unsuccessfully to not drink, I phoned AA. That night I took myself alone and scared to my first AA meeting. I never looked back, and I never ever took another drink. It wasn't easy either. Never think that. But being rigourously honest from the start, and adopting the 12 steps completely into my life, and learning how to live properly all over again saved my life. AA is not about stopping drinking, as much as it is about how to live correctly. In doing so, we learn how not to drink. Since it takes 90 days for the toxins and chemicals to leave your body, I can tell you it was honestly day 94 when I put a big black X on my calendar that I realized, I had a happy day, and I felt good and I did not want a drink. 94 days it took to feel good for me! Do you know when I first got sober, I couldn't walk properly? It was so hard to simply walk around the 1 block in front of our beach-side house. My feet didn't even work right. There is no comparison to me then and me now. My oldest friends don't even recognize me anymore. I'm a totally re-created and brand new woman who loves this life very much. |
Keep Coming Back, It Works.........
Posted: 11/29/2005 8:29:32 PM
|AA is not a Bible based group. We are a Spiritual based group. You come to believe in a Higher Power as you see it. Believe in a door knob for all we care, or believe in the group as a whole. Just as long as you have a Higher Power that helps you to stay sober. Heck I turn my stuff over to whatever all the time. I ask for help every morning and I say thanks for the day every night. I have a Higher Power of my understanding as I came to know it based on my own personal needs. It is not like anyone else's in the program. It's just my HP of my own understanding. I may call it God or any name I wish. It's all my choice. |
There are open meetings, attend them and see for yourself. It's easy, and very Spiritual in nature. One of the biggest Myths, is this pre-conceived false belief by outsiders who do not understand.
Although I have to say, in Arkansas with a church on every corner, in the Bible Belt.......well it is pretty scary there. I've been to them meetings.......but they do not follow the strict AA teachings either.
Posted: 11/29/2005 8:35:03 PM
|The 12 Suggested Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous|
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Please note...........these steps are only **suggested. You pick what and how you believe.
The nicest part is......it works.
Posted: 11/30/2005 5:18:11 AM
|Why would anyone not drinking want to be in AA? If your a social drinker it's not needed. An addictive personality can be addicted to many things. Right now I think I must be addicted to the forums......LOL! But that is one that does not hurt me. The first 3 steps are what holds my program to-gether for me. And I do run a very solid program. I go anywhere and do anything now, and I cope. Just remember, it's the 1st drink that gets me drunk. If I Never drink that first drink, no problem. I know tons of folks who can have 1 drink, and leave it alone. That's normal. As for me, well maybe a couple of bottles might do it. That makes me an alcoholic. So far there is no cure, except not drinking. As for it being a disease, a allergy, or whatever, there are various opinions on that. It is recognized by the US and Canadian medical fields as an illness. But many people do not believe it. Just as many do not believe in AA. It's all a matter of personal opinion. Some folks get sober without AA, and I have many friends who have done that too. It just happened to be the way my life went. since it worked for me, I consider it a successful outcome for me. I'm biased. LOL!|
Now comments on the 1st 3 steps that saved me........
1.We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.
I was so powerless over alcohol....I thought I would never escape the desire to drink, and yes my life had become unmanageable. We lost between $200,000-$300.00 due to reckless drinking behaviour over the course of my marriage......I'd call that pretty damn unmanageable.
2.Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
I had to find that Higher Power. Which I certainly did. Was I insane? Of course I believe I was. At least my behaviour had been anyway. No sane person would have logically lived the way I did. When the drink comes before all else in my life, I call that insane.
3.Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
I did turn my life over to what I now call my Higher Power. I get to pick what that is too. No-one says to believe in Religion to do it. I simply believe that something bigger than me can help when I need help. so far it has never failed me yet. This does not mean my life is a easy one either, it simply means I am able to cope with life on life's terms.
We are not allowed to chat on these threads, so I will not direct this post to anyone. It's simply what I know that happened in my own life.
Posted: 11/30/2005 7:40:58 PM
|Yes my HP is only mine. I do choose to call mine God as well. Only because I was traised in the old ways, and so it works for me. It's the one term that works, that and Creator. I also do enjoy the Native Spirituality ways. Somehow I manage to weave it all to-gether and have my own personal beliefs. It's kind of nice having my own way, and no-one can argue against it. |
To-night was a cold but nice night here. I went to my Dutton home group to-night. I chaired the meeting as Randy was still on Holidays. Wouldn't you know I turned the wrong way on the 401 and nearly ended up in London before I could turn around. LOL! Kit if you see this, I almost just gave up and went right to your house.......heheheheeeeeeeee
But I persevered and went backkkkkkkkk up the 401 to the Dutton turn-off. I'm so glad I did as the meeting was a good one and a few old friends I hadn't seen in a while visited us there. It's so nice when folks you started the program with come walking in after a few weeks of being at other meetings and you get that old familiar smile and hug.
Posted: 12/2/2005 2:38:27 PM
|To better understand the Spitituality aspect versus Relgion.......read pg. 567-568........of the Big Book of AA. It is all about the Spiritual Experience. You have to live it, to know it. |
Posted: 12/5/2005 9:00:03 PM
|Hi Robert. I have no idea what happens. The medical society might have an opinion on that question, but I do not. I never had a drink until age 22, and then I did the social drinking thing for years. Then we bought a nice little cottage rental resort at the Lake. I did not really have a favourite drink I liked. Then 1 day some-one gave me some white wine. Well let me tell you, I grew to love that white wine with a fierce passion over time. I got 8 years of drinking in until I realized what I was doing. Alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful. Well it baffled the shit out of me and completely blind-sided me. It was sneaky and way too powerful for me to break free of. So I sought the only help I knew. My Dr. and friend John H. He sent me directly to a phychiatrist to explain things to my befuddled mind. The next day I took myself to an AA meeting. The process took me 3 days. Scared to death too. But I did it. I have never looked back. For me the program worked from the start. I believe myself it worked because I told the bare truth from the start. I did not lie about myself. I just came clean with everything. It is foremost a program of rigourous honesty. To-day I am a grateful re-covering alcoholic. I have my life back, I do not feel sick anymore and I'm very happy. |
The questions you ask here Robert, are not for anyone to answer on this forum. We are not Drs. and have no clinical training. If some-one does I am sure they will let you know.
Posted: 12/5/2005 10:36:32 PM
|Searcher........It's the first drink that gets you drunk. If you never start...no problem. So your Uncle was correct. |
Er.......Yeah, so many never realize. I didn't know what the heck was wrong with me til it was shown in graphic detail. Yikes. I can't blame my folks either, as we never even had a bottle in the house and my folks never ever drank. My grand dad was a severe alkie though so who knows?? If I had to hazard an uninformed guess...I would say I made some very stupid life choices early on. I just didn't know. I lived a pretty sheltered and secure life for most of my youth. I did marry an alkie and found the lifestyle quite exciting. That was mistake #one. Who knew? But it was MY mistake.........that's what it means to take responsibilty for my own actions. Teach me to examine my life and motives. Love you too sweetie......
Posted: 12/6/2005 10:51:28 AM
|In response to a few posters about the religiosity of the 12 Step programs. It isn't about religion and will in fact mess up the working of a program. God is often synonymous with "Love". Majority of people (especially on a dating site) believe in the power of love. The third step can be translated to say: Made a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of Love. Means essentially the same thing but allows people who may have a problem with a preconceived idea of God to understand and accept what it is they are striving for. When a person tries to live a life from the basis of doing that which is most loving, a spitirtual awakening will be the result.|
Posted: 12/7/2005 8:58:34 PM
|Reference..Page..567 of AA Big Book....Free for all to Read. |
The terms “spiritual experience” and “spiritual awakening” are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms.
Yet it is true that our first printing gave many readers the impression that these personality changes, or religious experiences, must be in the nature of sudden and spectacular upheavals. Happily for everyone, this conclusion is erroneous. In the first few chapters a number of sudden revolutionary changes are described. Though it was not our intention to create such an impression, many alcoholics have nevertheless concluded that in order to recover they must acquire an immediate and overwhelming “God-consciousness” followed at once by a vast change in feeling and outlook.
Among our rapidly growing membership of thousands of alcoholics such transformations, though frequent, are by no means the rule. Most of our experiences are what the psychologist William James calls the “educational variety” because they develop slowly over a period of time. Quite often friends of the newcomer are aware of the difference long before he is himself. He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly have been brought about by himself alone. What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self discipline. With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves.
Most of us think this awareness of a Power greater than ourselves is the essence of spiritual experience. Our more religious members call it “God-consciousness.”
Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience can recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial.
We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
Posted: 12/20/2005 10:10:31 AM
|Searcher......Well your Uncle was exactly right about that. It's the first drink that gets you drunk. Remember that one too. |
To The MODERATOR here........Please move this thread to a more appropriate thread. I don't want it disappearing like the last one did. Thanks.......Ruby Lips.
Posted: 12/31/2005 1:31:39 PM
|Hi Shy and Brad. Just what this alkie needed to hear to-day! HP really does rule!! Have a wonderful sober New Year and stay safe. I love you all so much. |
Posted: 1/2/2006 12:35:50 PM
|Hi Ruby, I just have some comments and questions on the 12 steps you posted.|
1/ We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.
-Powerless is a very strong and misleading word. Constant drinking is an indulgence turned into a habit that becomes a learned behaviour. The step should read- I realized I must regain control of my life.
2/Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
-Aha! 'POWER'>< 'POWERLESS' get it? The 1st step merely sets up the 2nd.
3/Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- as opposed to figuring out how you can change your behaviour and take full control?
4/Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
-*WARNING* This is religion. Morality has nothing to do with drinking!!!
5/Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
-What in the world does overcoming an addiction have to do with this? Can you say Guilt Complex?
6/Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
-What do 'defects of char.' have to do with anything. This is just more moralizing.
7/Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- a magical pixie can alter my brain chemistry? We all have shortcomings, without them we'd all be perfect or robots!
8/Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. 9/Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- What about injuring ourselves?
10/Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Obviously by now the only purpose of this program is to replace alcohol with religion. God forbid you actually try and confront your addiction.
11/Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
-This is not spirituality. This program clearly has a religious framework.
12/Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
- like a true disciple.
13/Please note...........these steps are only **suggested. You pick what and how you believe.
-Which ones did you leave out?
14/The nicest part is......it works.
-no it doesn't, I believe you make it work despite it's tremendous flaws.
Posted: 1/2/2006 2:27:03 PM
|Your version works for the social drinkers?|
Posted: 1/2/2006 2:49:59 PM
|'Coffeeholic;Your version works for the social drinkers?'|
My version is about taking responsibility for your own health. I don't see how even hardened drinkers can avoid that and succeed. Saying you are not responsible is a cop out. Calling it a disease is no excuse.
Posted: 1/2/2006 3:29:29 PM
a)just goes to prove that a littel bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing
-what does that mean?
b)it reads like this
Here are the steps we took (all 12 of them) which are suggested as a program of recovery (one complete program to a very specific end... recovery)
c)It was put to me like this
"If you want what we have...do what we did"
-follow blindly?.... hiel hitler!
d)The only flaw in the 12 steps when i did them was me doing them my way.
- How so?
If someone is sick and tired of being sick and tired because of booze and drugs I know a way that works... It may not be the only way... but it is the way i know and if anyone is willing to try it i'll be more than happy to help them. I have all the time in the world for an addict/alcoholic that wants help but i don't have 5 minutes to fuk around with someone that is just fukkin around
I do find it very interesting though that most of the nay sayers on this thread don't seem to havea problem with drugs/alcohol (not that they will admit to at least)... they only have a problem with AA's solution. I guess they are entitled to an opinion.
Please do share your alternative solutions with us... and make sure you take the time to back it up with your experiences with booze/drugs and a life that is no longer hampered by them and the desease of addiction/alcoholism.
Oh wait....the thread is entitled AA members.... nevermind...i don't care to hear it.
You are either part of the problem or you are part of the solution
OMFG You're just spitting out meaningless slogans as a substitute for thoughtful discussion.
Couldn't you address my comments?
Couldn't you tell me HOW you think the program works?
Posted: 1/2/2006 4:22:37 PM
My version is about taking responsibility for your own health. I don't see how even hardened drinkers can avoid that and succeed. Saying you are not responsible is a cop out. Calling it a disease is no excuse.
All you are saying here is how clueless you are about what constitutes an "alcoholic". You don't "see" perhaps because you aren't one. Real acoholics die because of the shortsightedness and judgmental behaviour of people like you.
Posted: 1/2/2006 5:39:49 PM
|Alcoholics die of untreated alcoholism often as a result of the mistaken belief that somehow, someway, they will to learn how to handle it through willpower. This fallacy is often promoted by those who aren't alcoholic. The responsibility ultimately rests with the alcoholic but that still does not absolve those who knowingly promote false beliefs when public awareness of the disease of alcoholism is recognized by the medical establishment.|
Posted: 1/2/2006 7:43:02 PM
|Apparantley, AA members can't actually discuss or question the program; they can only preach it. How's that for rigid dogmatism. As you may have observed, any criticism is met with a wall of slogans or counter accusations. It would have been much easier to address my comments.|
The AMA has no listing for Alcoholism as a physical or psychological disease. People do not die of alcoholism but from the damage alcohol does to their body. Alcohol is not a disease, it causes disease. Who is promoting false beliefs here?
Posted: 1/4/2006 9:48:44 PM
|Hello all. I can only say it's what I lived as well. No-body knows but me what I went through. One thing I did have trouble with was the relating myself to others in the program. But once I learned to identify myself and my experiences it became much easier. The similarities are just too glaring to ignore. We question for a long time actually. Of course we do. Us alkies don't go down and give up booze without one heck of a fight. The one thing we do cherish above all else is that alcohol. That is what 1 day at a time is all about. Some of us start doing 1 minute at a time. Lots of alkies never do get the program or get sober either. If I know why it worked so well on some, and not on others, I'd give it away every chance I got. |
emtchicky..it is sad to watch. Lots are around the program, but never in it. I've seen a lot of fine folks lose their lives to this very illness. Their lives, their call! Nothing at all we can do but watch. There but for the Grace of God go I does mean something to me personally. I just happen to be the lucky one to-day! Now I start all over again to-morrow. God Bless the Old Boys for showing me the way to do it.
Posted: 2/22/2006 10:57:51 AM
|Ruby u r one of the most awsome pofr's that i have had the pleasure of meeting. you always know what to say and give out the best advice. u r one woman to be admired.Not to forget to mention that u r a hellofalotta fun, too!! |
Posted: 5/15/2006 9:58:05 PM
|Alcohol is a poison.It tastes terrible and I have seen it destroy MANY lives.I chose very early in life to obstain from any type of alcohol.|
Posted: 5/16/2006 9:35:34 AM
|Thank you Ruby Red for the support to the fact that I don't drink.You have no idea how many times I have been offered drinks,and upon declining,made to feel somewhat an ''outsider''.|
Posted: 5/16/2006 11:08:50 AM
|This is an excellent thread Ruby. And I commend you on your bravery to let us know about your experiences. |
I really am on the fence as to whether or not alcoholism is a disease or not.
My ex is an alcoholic. I never understood how he could drink from dawn til dusk and keep drinking day in and day out (I still don't). He would let's say (as an example) drink from Friday to Sunday (the only time he stopped drinking was when he was passed out), then be home Monday... be bed ridden most of the day and sleep on and off having the sweats, then come Tuesday he would be shaking, sometimes so bad he would make his way to the boozecan for a drink before the bars opened, only to drink til the following Wednesday then try to be sober for a day or two to repeat the cycle. There was one time when Davina was an infant and I asked him if he wanted to feed her.. he couldn't as his hand was shaking too much.
I remember times when he'd disappear for a few days then call me asking if I made dinner as he hadn't eaten in three days. There were also the times when his temper would flare (I think because he was doing cocaine as well... he denied drug use), and he would literally destroy everything in the apartment, turning it upside down. I can't begin to count how may times I was up all night cleaning the apartment of his mess so that Davina wouldn't get into it. He had threatened my life a few times... the last time he was arrested for uttering those death threats. And the times he had the knives out holding them to his chest and telling me to push them into him? I'm sure he has other issues aside from his alcoholism. I will never know as I left him. I left him because I gave up. I wanted to be with him, and to have a family with him... but the abuse had to end somewhere.
It may sound harsh but Davina and I are better off without him in our lives. I couldn't take care of him the way he needed me to. (There are other reasons why I left but those aren't what this topic is about).
It was recommended that I attend AA meetings. Attend them to help me in understanding, and gaining the support I needed so that I could find the strength and help I needed. I never attended a meeting. I left. At times I feel bad about leaving. Taking my daughter away form her father. But what was I to do?
I'm sorry I got way too personal there for a bit. I guess I'm hoping to further my understanding on this widely debated and studied topic myself.