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Stepsherpa

Stepsherpa

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Big Book Step 10 suggests taking my own inventory "constantly". Can I see myself ? Or am I still self centered, driven by that revealing hundred forms of fear made clear way back in my 4th Step inventory. Is it possible I am still more than not dominated by people?  Stimulus? At any time really I still selfishly jockey with others for a quick self esteem boost? Are people always going to be a threat, a chess piece of a different color?

Boy, I wish I could say NO, they aren't, I would stand up at my Big Book 12 Step conference and say YEAH! Over here! Look at me! I'm ALL FIXED! I have seen the light! I have studied the uber original original Big Book 12 Step program and now? I am no longer alcoholic, I am a normal adult.  And THERE'S MORE!  I'm sober and have found the one true God too. I mean how can I be alcoholic if I no longer drink and do Gods will everyday, right? I am one of the chosen few. I have answers now! I know why Billy Joe Mcallister jumped off the Tallahatchie bridge, I get it!! Hey was GAY!

 

Alright, proving myself level headed. The 9th Step promises have come true in my life? Even with all my Step work, a level headed stage presence is not going to be easy. I can't just leave it alone, I must direct. I'm all over the place still struggling for emotional security, I'm relatively new to the Higher Power Spiritual Path thing although I seem to feel myself an authority? This is a sign post. The 12 Step work is not over and well, applies to me. It's easy to practice my AA program at an AA meeting.

The hits just keep coming. I have not received my official Big Book teaching certificate, or been chosen to save the masses from the alcoholic pit of despair. At best I can be equal, a part of. Outside the halls? I believe the best I can do is focus on my daily reprieve suggested. What a hard lesson to learn, keep my own house in order first without the reliance on people for the instant gratification. I must rely on the Higher Power for courage and strength, sometimes I need to wait, and wait, this will take faith. I'm not saying that I haven't stood in front of thousands of people and been honest about my AA recovery, Sat at the coffee shop and hobnobbed with my AA homies after the meeting. I would consider myself a Fellowshipping Friend for sure. I'm just saying that on the real side? It could have been someone else, probably was someone else. The real me stays safe and protected in my selfishness. Much has been removed yes, I have experienced a drastic change in attitude and outlook but down deep where God only knows? I am still alone in my illness.   I am still acting one way and thinking another.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Now I go out and clean up my messy past. Who would have thought? Certainly not me. I was doomed to an alcoholic death or worse, the ongoing insanity surrounding  the first drink of the day, every day, would be happening right now. But that's all changed, everything has changed for the better. Laugh, even scoff if you want too, I have been reborn. I am no longer the skeptic, I am not afraid.. There isn't anything really in my entire life history that hasn't been inventoried, analyzed, and set in proper perspective. Sure it is ruff around the edges but to me? It is perfect. My whole attitude and outlook on life has changed. Like the Book said, a psychic change sufficient to overcome alcoholism. I have solved the drink problem, I will not drink today. I have become accountable in my 4th and 5th Steps, let my Higher Power know that I know who I am and who I've been. Humbled myself to God and man. Now, I will make my best attempt to answer to my fellows for my unacceptable conduct. My active alcoholic conduct. I have my answers and do not see myself as the producer of confusion with great motives here. I am willing to tell the truth and where I can set these unsettling matters in my past history straight. Yes I still have fear at times. I am not Spiritually fit at all times, I am willing to be but have yet to experience the safety of Steps 10 11 and 12 on a daily basis. My maintenance for now is my faith and willingness to take responsibility for myself. I have yet to gain the security of experience. I am living one moment at a time and quite comfortable. All I think about really is the Higher Power and my Big Book 12 Step work.

 

I am ready to finally at 27ish years old put my big boy pants on.. It's 1982. I am alone with my God and AA Big Book 12 Step sponsor. In my selfish self centeredness, I have used up every imaginable person, place, or thing in my selfish arrangements, my last ditch efforts at survival had failed. I am honest with myself, I didn't make any grand decisions to join AA, I had no thoughts left, no choice in my recovery. I was rescued, I know it and am not ashamed. All the people who constantly dominate my thoughts are loosing their power over me as I grow in understanding and effectiveness on the Spiritual Path. It was by the hand of AA I was yanked up and out of my emotionally baron void of existence and plopped down in the front row of the Looney Nooney. A 12:00 main street Hyannis AA meeting. Thru the heavy fog of tourists, people, families everywhere on this hot August summer day. I remember having difficulty crossing the street not sure if it was the cars or me that was moving and the guy who was 12 Stepping me holding onto my sweat soaked flannel shirt sleeve for guidance. Jake with the strange high pitched voice was chairing. Weird what I can remember, I hope this isn't forgotten. This is who I had become under my own power. I had proved my father right, I really was a failure to society and surely would never amount to anything..

 

It hadn't been more than a year and now I sit in my truck that I own which is registered and insured. I rent a decent place to live and work daily. I have my new smaller notebook with all my amends written out from my 4th Step list. The list where I admitted my faults and was willing to set these matters straight like it said in the Book on pages 70 and ...67 I think? In my 8th Step I went back like it was suggested to my 4th Step list. Now, It doesn't actually say to re write this amends list. Some people just use a highliter or check off the names where amends apply, but I needed to. Truth is I have changed remarkably yes, but I shouldn't kid myself here. I was not "all fixed" and still crispy around the edges if not just plain burnt at times.. I was a thousand percent better but still under certain conditions easily dominated by people, especially in any confrontational situation. My nervous system was junk really, I would shake and sweat or become emotionally unstable at the slightest bit of agitation. In other words I was still weak. Anyway, It was important for me to know what I'm doing there and also back it up.  My amends was focused on my selfishness and fear. This selfishness and self-centeredness was familiar to me as I had seen my conduct over and over again.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I've been a speaker at my share of Big Book 12 Step workshops since they began maybe early nineties up and down the east coast? It was fun, lots of good natured people. That's Big Book 12 Steps, not the reenactment sponsorship thing from Toronto. Some people are amazed and grateful for all the new insight they gathered in a weekend of 12 Steps, some are just happy to be doing something sober, right? There's also good Saturday night entertainment and food catering for the two or three day event. Well, I've also sat at meetings and heard the people say I'm stuck on my 8th Step and well, shouldn't this continue for my lifetime anyway? What's the hurry? I have seen many fall down here on Step 8. I thought I would look at my self here and some wrong turns I myself have made, not seeing the cliff with my arms full of Big Books.

 

 Well?  the first 7 Steps wear off without the action of Steps 8/9. This is a given. Like, WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED? I don't understand! I was doing great and then for no real reason I was crazy with resentment and wanted, no, almost drank! No different than according to the Book, the 3rd Step eventually fizzles out without a fearless and thorough moral inventory. It's the whole faith without works thing. Action, willingness. Without it I am sewing my own tailor made dream away plan of recovery? All I have really done is used my emotional Bedazzler on everything. All stop and look at my outsides sparkle.  I glitter as I speak in kind words at the podium like Liberace. I offer security to the new gals with a hippy shake like Elvis in sequins.  

 

You may as well say in this state action means I make lots of plans so I don't do anything now. I'm at Step 8 and it's all stop! Back to hoping my arrangements will stay put, waiting for my good work so far in the 12 Steps to pay off a bit. Cash the check for all my hard work. Finally living the good sober life in AA where people are no longer in my way and I swagger through my days as the center of attention. Yes, back to worshipping people for my self esteem. Really, I speak at meetings and people actually listen. They love me, they really love me.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Steps 6 and 7. A couple of paragraphs on page 76. At first glance I didn't think there was much to it, I was wrong..

 

I wrapped up my Big Book 5th Step. I followed the directions with my complete 4th Step all there in a big pile of cheap notebooks. I am ready for a long talk like the Book suggests.. There was no real general conversation or even Spiritual or Religious offerings from any others beliefs involved, just what I had written down on paper and my own conception of a Power greater than myself, a Spiritual Path. Everything I had found in my searching and fearless moral inventory of myself, every dark cranny of my past. This indepth inventory of my grosser handicaps was suggested with no other option, just an inventory of my grosser handicaps.. It wasn't a inventory of my team, family, or church, even AA group, it was only me, just my defective character, the flaws in me. We searched out the flaws right? That is what it says right? flaws? Some have an asset and liability 4th Step, good for them. That's 12/12 and talk therapy, not Big Book. The 12/12 meant nothing to me at this point, I had my facts right in front of me so there was nothing really to arrange with more discussion and opinion. There was no sense keeping my hell of a guy awards if I kept throwing away the houses with the mantles to keep them on. In other words, selfishly validating myself with positive affirmations would only produce denial and I had seen enough of my selfish conduct, pretty much every thought I had in my head was selfish.. So I was much too selfish to participate in discussion that could at all be manipulated to suite me. Or the self pity depths of despair where I did destroy our hopeful family dynamic with my drinking but my daddy never loved me so it's really not all my fault right? I get points for that right? I come from an alcoholic home so that's why I'm such a freaken loser right? No, you're done. Just you. Nobody cares how hard you tried or from where you came, there is no alcoholic hardship clause. Either I am willing to take responsibility or I'm not. Besides, every time I need a spoonful of sugar to help me accept myself I run around in circles for 5 minutes and then crash into the coffee table. Before long I'm addicted to sugar and need meds for my mood swings. It never ends for an alcoholic like me. My never ending selfish arrangement.

 

Ok, Step 6. The facts are in, people cannot fix me. I believe my God can. Quite simple really and in my amazement I continue seeking Spiritual courage and strength. Is there really a God? or Gods? or Spiritual intelligence? underlying the totality of life as I see it? Yeah, I can feel myself changing. I believe there is something to it all. My beliefs are getting stronger and I am not afraid, this is new. I can't really put my finger on what exactly it is but there's definitely something going on here. My life is getting better and well? my life never gets better without somebody's help or some new scene where I make a successful get away or maybe push others away and I don't really care? That's the best really when I just don't care and move on. But later when the next arrangement of people fails me or even the one after that, I go back through my life seeking emotional support, now they're important!, now I need them as I scramble for any emotional security I can find. Love me, fix me, validate me, I'm hopefully sorry enough to manipulate a good bit of emotional security.....The worst is when I'm quickly writing my script for a situation I know is doomed from the beginning but am forced to participate. I have nowhere to go, no people to please.  I have failed already but have nowhere to run and nobody to save me. Living in extreme selfishness, the bondage of extreme self centered fear. The frustrated dictator looking for a country to save.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I was thinking back about telling the truth, in life. Times when I had told the truth and what I believed that eventually became lies without the support of others.. Like, "I'll never do that again" for instance.  How I believed in myself for that short while, self reliance was good as far as it went as the Book says.  How one philosophy is "the truth will set you free" or honesty is the best policy. Then there are the times when I out right lied to myself and others. This led in time to telling the truth but no one would believe me. Even how in my extreme insecure emotional state I believed my lies to boost my self esteem.. Like, I remember taking a Corvette for a test ride once when I was young, maybe 18ish. In the test drive time I had behind the wheel I had enough information on a 76 Corvette to believe I had one, a blue one actually, T-tops with a four speed. Eh..When I lived in California, that's why nobody on the east coast knew.  Lies.. Lies and more lies. I was whatever I thought you wanted me to be, whatever I thought I should be to impress, gain support, control.  How do you like me so far? Let me tell you what I think you want to hear or assume you would say. It got so I couldn't tell the truth, I didn't know what it was. Besides, with a history like mine living with such low self esteem it didn't much matter what I said, the outcome was predetermined.  Truth? lies? I jockeyed for position no matter what was said. Nobody can hear me anyway. It's like I'm talking on a different wavelength. A walking infomercial, a commentator. Problem is I am trying to carry on intellectual conversations with only my emotions to guide me. I am talking at people. What you think of me is more important than what you say to me. In my extensive 4th Step I have seen myself as the worshipper of people that I am, the user.

 

Step 5 is in a way telling on myself? Letting my God know that I know? Being honest with another human? A witness? well, yeah. This is my experience. I can't speak for those who follow the order of their Religion, confession or the like. I have no experience there, that is your business. I am also not speaking of admitting your faults to a counselor or therapist or other professional authority. I have not done that and have no experience there. I am following the Big Book 12 Step directions.  I am searching for a Spiritual advisor who will keep a confidence and not try to alter my 12 Step path. For me that person is my Sponsor, a phone call away waiting.. He is actually my Spiritual Advisor. The word Sponsor is commonplace and I use it freely but in truth? If a Sponsor at all he is a Big Book 12 Step sponsor..He is the one who helped my with my search for Spiritual willingness in Step 2. He reviewed the 3rd Step idea with me until I was clear on my purpose and made my decision. He suggested using my 3rd Step prayer when I wrote in my 4th. Suggested I pray for Spiritual guidance, let my Higher Power to put the pen to the paper. When I would call him all whacked out with people places and things in my way he would suggest I ask for help first before I say anything. He has advised me well. So here I am at Step 5, why would this be any different. He is my trusted friend. He understands what I'm doing here, he himself had done a 5th Step before me. I'm not an AA guinea pig, sober lab rat, I am into the Book, not what he thinks or his newest brilliant Big Book rewrite suggests. I am ready.

 

So I have a written inventory and am prepared for a long talk like the Book says. Actually, I have a pile of notebooks. I have four (resentment) notebooks, a (fear)notebook, two (sex conduct) notebooks. I did what it said to do to the best of my ability. I prayed and got it all down on paper and looked at it like it said to do.A fearless and thorough moral inventory of myself. It was " fearless" because I prayed for courage and strength and "thorough " because I asked for help until I had nothing left to write, "moral" because it was my character, inventory. The likes of which I had never attempted or imagined for that matter. My Sponsor and I decide to not waste time like it says in the Book and begin the next night. He showed up at about 5. I was nervous as I heard the familiar plow frame rattle from his truck bouncing up my driveway. I remember being in a kind of fog really. By the end of my 4th I'd been writing for days, all day into the night. My finger had a bleeding blister from holding the pen. The house was still more or less like a bunker. Weird, I did notice I hadn't had the TV on for a while, maybe days? I also had felt good enough about myself to cook myself some decent food too. Just days before it seemed I couldn't be alone without some kind of noise or distraction from myself. It seemed as if It was ok to be alone. Like what I was now doing was more important than obsessing over my life's failings. I was beginning to get the picture here, when I let my mind wander ungoverned into fear and selfishness I'm the one that gets the beating. Maybe I didn't have to treat myself that way? Like the "better way" described in the fear part of the 4th. I would begin to care for myself? Willing to pray for direction? I still could not understand how this was all happening by writing down a bunch of crap. I didn't understand the Spiritual realm of things I had begun to tap in to. I was basically just reading and writing, following directions and things were changing, just like the Book said they would.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Well, I've got a house full of family women for the weekend, partner with breast cancer getting tired from radiation everyday, mother inlaw with dementia, wild and fun family friend up from North Carolina..everywhere scattered, bedrooms, couch..I'm up early and tip toeing around as they were all up late last night laughing and having fun. I myself hit a meeting and took the long way home on my antique FJ1200. My big Jap. I always had the Harleys too but the Japanese superbike technology is just better? Yikes! I'm an old guy really, 50's. But there is something about a stock 27 year old motorcycle with 130 horsepower that still rocks me..I like old stuff. It's like my antique submariner, people think having a Rolex is an ego thing. I can't really deny this? They don't realize though, that for those of us who wear one? We share a kind of bond. The watch gives me super powers right? There isn't anything close for me, certainly no decoder ring.. I used to sleep where ever I fell down, now I wear a Rolex. Eh, it did take about 20 years to get it but hey, who's counting? Oh, and I haven't found it necessary to dump it for dope.

 

So it's a new day and I'm up first naturally. I found a safe place out back at the picnic table. When I ran power out here I never thought it would be to plug in my laptop, cool. I just wanted light for the grill. The sun is coming up and it's peaceful, seagulls yacking. I did my Step 11 upon awakening on my knees, I'm pretty focused, grateful for another day of sobriety ahead. Eventually these gals will all get up and I'll take them out to breakfast. Simmy's in Fairhaven probably. Small place, kinda tight seating but Great light fluffy pancakes and real orange juice, not too much, a good breakfast, not a pig out.. Plus the "girl food" like fresh fruit and yogert, banana nut bread. What a sexist right? lol.. I'm grateful I can do that, I can be a man today, what I believe a man should be, I can buy everyone breakfast, I work for my money. I want to share the benefits of a good days work with others. It's a Step 12 thing to me. There was many a day that I woke up alone and broke, just wishing for the end. Obsessed with things I can't have, not caring enough about myself to take care of myself..That's gone for today, I get a daily reprieve. So anyway, I may as well write for a while here on Addictionland, they haven't thrown me off yet. Big Book 12 Steps are a different animal and well? not for everyone that's for sure. Just me, the Big Book 12 Steps have saved my life today, maybe it will be that way with you. So, where am I here? I guess I left off finishing up my fears so now I'm on the last part of my Big Book 4th Step, sex. Now about sex. Big Book page 68.

 

Still have my place where I can be quiet and write. My pen and new notebook, Book opened to Step 3 prayer to remind myself what I'm doing here. Remember I need courage and strength from the Higher Power if I'm going to be honest with myself. So on my knees I pray to pick up the pen and put it to the paper, write down and face the things in myself that are blocking me from the sunlight of the Spiritual Path suggested in the Big Book.. Again I go back through my life and make a list like I did with fears and resentments in the first and second parts of my inventory. . This list is of my sex conduct, people I had sex with. Immediately I am reminded of a couple of instances around sex in my past that horrify me yet I have never been able to make them go away. The best I can do on my own is keep them secret. But the problem remains, I can't keep the secret from myself.  I ask for help and just add them to my list. I am afraid of what my Sponsor will think if he finds out how selfish I have been but whatever, he mentioned a few things to me that actually seem worse than my horror shows so I'll keep writing. I'm not alone or unique. Like it says, we all have sex problems we'd hardly be human if we didn't, what can we do about them? I can see how this crap does block me, man it has some power. Guilt and shame, remorse, impending doom, betrayal, fear. It marks me like I've been emotionally tattooed for life in a few minutes.. memory's,  tunnel vision. Sexual abuse. Expected to make adult decisions at 10 years old.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Well yes, by now I had pretty much dropped away from the 12/12. Besides ,my mind was all over the place dredging up the past. I was crucifying myself everytime I spoke at the 12/12 meeting. I stopped going to discussion meetings also. I had to put my AA recovery into perspective, I listened to my Sponsor. He suggested I keep my mouth shut for a bit and focus on myself and my Higher Power, I agreed. It seemed he was right about me, always trying to be validated by people, hoping for a self esteem boost by sharing at the meeting.

Fellowship had brought me this far but now it was about the 12 Steps. I would eventually be interested in the 12 Traditions and try and follow up my Big Book Step work with the reading and discussing of the 12 Steps at a 12/12 meeting. I even returned later to my old 12/12 meeting with a desire to listen more than anything. Plus, that's where I would find sponsees. Those like myself trying to read and apply what the 12/12 Book and others at the meeting offer for my daily AA sobriety. My attention would be drawn to Alcoholics like myself going to meetings everyday but not able to stay sober. I am not as concerned about the defensive petty rivalries in AA as much as trying to be of service to the man who still suffers. I am committed to the Big Book 12 Steps so, that's who I am and now primarily where I go. I am still in direct contact with my Sponsor everyday as I write my 4th. I am on a 4th Step writing  mission really, I can't do much else at this point. I pray and I write. I have picked up the pace and decided to put time into my writing everyday. The process of writing? The writing action was somehow helping me, I always felt better after I put some time into it. So, I have finished the resentment part of my 4th and with a new notebook am willing to look at my fears now. I hit my knees and pick up the pen overwhelmed with willingness. I had begun to change. The Big Book says "notice" the word fear is bracketed along side the difficulties with Mr. Brown. I get it, in my own work I have the same thing only the first name is Ray, not Mr. Brown. I'm on the right track, I see where I have fear bracketed in my "Affects my" column next to self esteem or security, personal relations, sex relations. ..

Yup. Fear is an evil and corroding thread woven into my existence. Ok, I see fear. Like self centered fear right? Or like fear of falling out of an airplane. Either one? I see it says even though I have no resentment in connection with the fear so, yes. I can have a fear that isn't connected to anything I had bracketed in my resentments. I pray and these fears come and I put them on the list. That's it really. I am relying on the Higher Power to direct my thinking..

 

Like, I'm afraid of what others think? That would be what, fear of peoples opinions? Yeah. So I write down fear of "peoples opinions" and begin to make my fear list. What's another one? Fear of "not being good enough"? I write that one on the list. As I review my resentment part and look over my "affects my" column I see lots of fears where I bracketed the word for many different reasons and add them to the list. Fear of "women"? Fear of "financial ruin"? Fear that people know the real me?  Fear that this 12 Step stuff won't work for me? Fear of my father hating me? Holy crap! I'm loaded with fear. It's everywhere! This fear has basically ruined me, I've ruined me. I notice the trains of circumstance line in the Book. Fear brought me misfortune I felt I didn't deserve but didn't I set the ball rolling?...Just about everything I do is backed by fear, no wonder I drank like I did everyday, I was always full of fear! A lot of these fears go back to when I was a kid, a young kid.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I went to a 12/12 men's meeting on Step 4 more than a few times. Got a Sponsor who in hindsight? Had nothing to offer. Wasn't aware of the Steps in the Big Book and relying on the seven deadly sins of the 12/12 offered me a Hazeldon 4th Step guide. I think I left it at the meeting that night.. Meanwhile, lots of discussion from others, lots of character defects floating around. Assets and liabilities, like never putting gas in the car to loving kittens.  Common drunk, but shaves everyday and goes to meetings now. It meant nothing to me, I was much too sick for this. It was as if I was trying to sugar coat being a complete failure at life by painting my endless stream of haunting alcoholic horror shows a soft periwinkle blue for my viewing pleasure.. No matter how hard I tried and prayed to be relieved of my demons, surrender myself to God, these alcoholic B movies that ran constantly in my head would not stop. No, I wasn't making much headway sanding away at the surface rust with others in my 12/12 talk therapy, I needed to dig out the rot, my own rot. Either that or just go ahead and hang myself, get it over with.

 

 I was even more distanced from the AA 12/12 norm now. It wasn't like I didn't still want what these people had at the 12/12 Step meeting it's more like it just didn't apply to me. I didn't understand, I could talk along with everyone sure. But that was it really, I didn't change at all and actually couldn't remember what was said anyway. I was extremely self will run riot and could not be left alone and expect to participate. I lacked the power to change. I was terminally unique. It's like AA was in addition to my own thinking. No matter what happened I always came first, my thinking remained first..The outsider looking in. I just wasn't willing to let go of myself and become a part of anything I couldn't control.. I couldn't muster the willingness unless there was something for me.. On the surface I could be a real song and dance man but deep down, where the change was needed?  I wasn't willing to take the risk. These people would go all week and come back with new interest. New stories of how their lives were getting better, stories of gratitude and living sober while I was just as crazy if not more so than I was last week. It was clear I couldn't tell them what was really going on in my head and it was becoming too difficult to keep controlling it, editing myself for the public appearances. Their smiling faces eager to move on to the Step 5 reading while I was still the same as before, lost in my head, I knew I just could not keep up. They knew it and I knew it.

 

It wasn't them, they weren't the problem. It was me. I got that much. I could look forward to the 12/12 meeting all week and get there wondering what Step we're on as if a heavy fog of self-centeredness followed me to my seat.. I was just, detached. So self centered I could hardly see past my nose. A obsessive feeling of I think you think.  I could feel every muscle move as I got my coffee and found my seat. Yes it's a people problem, a bad people problem, a fear problem. That's about as far as I got. I'm screwed and don't know what to do.  Maybe it was PTSD, maybe ADD, ADHD, too much LSD? Wet brain? Depression? Anxiety, my frequent Panic At tack ack ack acks? I also thought I was simply born retarded and nobody wanted to tell me. Like someday they'd have a party and lift their masks up and yell SURPRISE!! You're retarded!! It was obvious, I needed more than what the 12/12 Step meeting offered. My own thinking, what was left of it? could not be trusted. My brain was like a TV left on 24 hours a day without an antenna. on and off frequency, blurps of this and that but all in all? nothing but static. So, back to Big Book, why? Because it was my only option left. That or drink again and I knew if I drank again I wouldn't last long. It was over for me.. In this respect my Big Book Sponsor, Spiritual advisor if you will, my 4th Step, was do or die.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Ok, so I'm into the Big Book now. I've made my 3rd Step decision and am ready to write my 4th. It's just that I am bothered or nagged by the criticism I get wind of around Big Book. The bad rapping of the 12/12 Book. it's just essays, no directions, basically putting those who faithfully attend their 12/12 groups down. The old 12/12 is screwed up and not the original AA way that is in the Big Book! The 12/12 people criticizing the Big Book crowd as being unjust and overbearing! I just don't like the whole 12/12 Big Book Step controversy going on everywhere. I think, this controversy thing, this jockeying for AA position, this can't be new right? This whole debacle probably began as soon as the 12/12 hit the streets like when, back in the 50's? Probably earlier with the different alcoholic treatments before the 12/12 was written. Belladonna, Religion, Lock up. Loonie Bin, Heavy narcotics.. Everyone looking to be validated by others faults is the easiest way to a quick self esteem boost I guess.. So it's got to be here somewhere. Gossip and criticism. The Big Book isn't going to have any direct information on this Big Book 12/12 thing, how could it?  But the 12/12? That's where I'll look. And lucky me, I didn't have to look too far. 

 

12/12 Forward  Page 16. 3rd paragraph. Ok I'm on to something here. AA principles borrowed mainly from Religion and medicine, I knew that. Then added their own experience with the needs of the Fellowship itself. ok.. Page 17, they put this experience down in a Book called Alcoholics Anonymous where the 12 Steps were codified for the first time and from it the Fellowship took it's name.. OK, the Big Book 12 Steps are real, good.. This 12/12 Step Book is meant to broaden and deepen my relationship with the earlier Big Book 12 Step work. What did that say? The 12/12 Step Book is meant to broaden and deepen my relationship with the earlier work.  Wow, that's a mouthful of answers. Page 17, I'll remember that... Al right, this is all good stuff but not really what I'm looking for. I want to know what the deal is between Big Book Steps and 12/12 Steps. Even the meetings are drastically different.

 

JACKPOT ! 12/12 Page 23. The Big Book with the Steps written in masterly detail was published for low bottom cases ONLY.  Many less desperate tried AA but could not make the admission of hopelessness so success in the Big Book 12 Steps was just that, generally unsuccessful except for the low bottom alcoholics...What to do? Still on page 23,  Many who come to AA haven't experienced the Hell those who identify with the original Big Book Step work seem to easily grasp. These people may have supportive home lives still, responsibilities they meet everyday, jobs, a bit of security. They may be young and not completely beaten themselves senseless yet, they may still have some fragmented hope. Sure their life is threatened but they have not completely lost their power of choice as many of the low bottom alcoholics have. That's not to difficult to understand. So Bill W. raised the lower bottom to where it would hit them with the 12/12 Book. Makes sense to me. Basically the 12/12 is for those who still have a brain in their heads. They can read, share, and apply what they learn to their lives. But me? I'm a Big Book burnout. I am beyond human aid. I am hopeless, that's the reason for the Spiritual willingness and fearless moral inventory. The constant thought of how I may serve my God and meet the needs of others, my primary purpose I agreed to in Step 3. So when people say I'm being too hard on myself with all this intense Big Book stuff that I'm here to be happy joyous and free? I just smile knowing the joke is If I could be happy joyous and free, I would, believe me I would....I know I can't fix myself, I've proved this over and over a hundred different ways.. I can't go to sobriety school, I'm far too gone for that too..I have nothing to believe in and can't believe in myself. I'm a big fat nothing with cheese.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Well? I'd like to say I am balanced in my AA at this point especially enjoying the camaraderie of the Fellowship with a discussion meeting, an open speaker meeting, 12/12, Big Book Step, Big Book discussion, each day of the week some well rounded AA. It was the thing to do right? Bang out meetings, don't pick up one drink for one day, participate..Get there early to help set up, maybe greet at the door or help make coffee, welcome anyone who shows up. I was a member of AA because I said I was and was actually working on myself a bit . Addressing my hygiene with a long over due dentist visit for instance. I had never done that before, I always relied on somebody else to make the call and set up the appointment, usually a responsible girlfriend / foster mother.  It wasn't too bad, too hard, I did it all the while feeling myself the adult. Probably mentioning to  anyone who would listen in a subtle way that oh by the way, I have a dentist appointment this week, probably cost a lot of money but I got it covered.. Boasting my new sober life with a adult dose of Hey! Look at me! Look what I can do!...I may as well have been a 5 year old twirling and hopping for attention but at this point? Who knew, certainly not me.

 

No, I was finding my place, Taking some time off from my usual daily self imposed crisis and following the emotional security trail, the bread crumbs of my Sponsor. In my daily racing mind I was connected or grounded to him, my Sponsor, my Spiritual advisor. This was new to me, I never trusted anyone, the best I could do was arrange them in my mind so I somehow fit. I would manipulate my acceptance, even if they liked me I would still have to control my relationship. Anyway, he was Big Book 12 Steps so I was Big Book 12 Steps. All the other stuff began to fall away. Sure I would still attend my discussion group but there was nolonger anything to discuss. Yes I would go to my open speaker meeting but saw myself there looking for, more like obsessed with getting a date. The 12/12 men's group where I felt like I was one of the guys, like I was equal to those who had been around a while? I wasn't comfortable there anymore. It was like I was phony, I would read and share and maybe have a laugh but then when I left the meeting I was crazy again. Sometimes right away. The 12/12 Step meeting would wear off quick for me. Plus I imagined the oldtimers that had been my friends there seemed to look at me different knowing I had a Big Book 12 Step sponsor, like I was betraying them, weird. I just wanted AA but with them it seemed like there wasn't any middle ground. The Big Book 12 Step people were know it all bastards and the 12/12 crowd was the real happy joyous and free AA. The 12/12 group did have more general conversation I could jump into without any real qualification plus somebody's wife made cookies every week. It was definitely much more comfortable like, yeah, this is how I want to live!

 

But the Big Book had a hook in it and I was on it flopping around. Maybe my Sponsor was fishing around AA meetings and caught me, I didn't care really. Something told me I needed to work on myself, my Sponsor had pegged me too many times with my life history through his own experience. He'd talk about himself as if he was describing me, I wasn't alone with him and the strange thing was I would just listen and not try to arrange what he said. It was ok to hear about me, it was ok that someone else knew..I began to lean heavily on Big Book. I needed to know where he got this information about me, stuff I myself didn't even know. I felt something down deep just like when I read Bills story. This Bill W, my Sponsor too, they had something that I felt was key to my survival and if it was ever going to materialize it would be through them. Was this a cult? I didn't know what a cult was so I didn't care. I just couldn't figure this stuff out on my own and the Big Book did say self knowledge won't fix me. I needed willingness. I was just kind of funneled into Step 3. After reading and discussing the three pertinent ideas in the Big Book with my Sponsor I knew I was on to something. It was ok that my 12/12 guys were happy joyous and free without me. I was on to something else, what? I'm not sure but definitely something else. My Sponsor said lets see what the Book says the "something else" is? Maybe it's true. The answers are really in the Big Book.

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