Hello Deb, Ben, and Finch!
Great to hear from all of you -- and Happy Easter Eve to you all!
What a nice luxury it is to log-in and find some wonderful sharing here from some great A.A.'s from all over the country!!! What more could I ask for? Late on a Sunday night. All the meetings are over. The local AA's probably sleeping... and the site here makes it like a late nite AA hang out, where I can pour a cup of coffee in an online coffee shop and sit and fellowship with you! It's just amazing! The only thing missing is a waitress to tip and the chance to get a hug or a hand shake!!!
First, I'll offer an answer some of Deb's questions, and maybe a comment or two.
Deb wrote:But what I hear about going through the 12 Steps, an enlightenment-Spiritual Awakening can overcome them with some sensitivity-serenity.
You heard right, Deb. That's what the 12 Steps are for: to produce that enlightenment-Spiritual-Awakening, to produce a transformation in thoughts and actions and attitudes, and to empower you with a conscious-contact with The Something that can help you overcome all your problems, and to give you the sensitive-serenity to match the calamities and conflicts in life.
We would think that "If they can do all that -- then, why wouldn't everyone want to do them?" Or -- "if they'be been around AA for a while... why haven't they changed or gotten much better than they are?"
It's baffling, why they won't or why they don't. This could turn in to a long answer from me, because I believe I know why... but, I promised myself I was going to try to keep my answers short tonight, and maybe someone will start a new thread or topic on each of the individual questions where we can offer more indepth answers.
So my short answer to this one:
Their alcoholic Ego refuses to admit that they are wrong about the 12 Steps and about A.A., and they think they are uniquely different, and that they know it all have it all figured out -- already. When a person thinks they know it all -- they've already closed the door on having an open-mind that will let them take in new information so that they can develop a new awareness -- and try some new and different ways of doing what they've been doing. Thier logic is "Well, I have been staying physically sober." And, their reasoning is: "If I've been staying sober -- I must be all right, and that's the best I can do, and all that AA or the 12 Steps has to offer." If a person thinks "I have it all" -- how can they know if they are missing something?
Deb wrote:That is a reason why I do not share and keep alot bottled up. I just figure no one wants to hear what I have to say...
That could be a past problem for you... because the solution is in front of you... WE WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY!"
Deb wrote:And that I have alot of questions. I have asked them and I am told there is no wrong or right answer.
I'm happy for you that you have a lot of questions! That's the sign of an intelligent and wise person... they always have a lot of questions! People like Einstien, (I probably mis-spelled his name)... became famous for the thousands of questions that he had! He sure believed that "there are right and wrong answers".... and I do, too. I have heard "there are no right or wrong questions"... and I believe that. But, there are right and wrong answers. The first one is, if someone asks me: "Do you want a drink?" There is always ONLY ONE RIGHT ANSWER to that question, and it's "NO!"
Deb wrote:Do you have to talk every meeting? Is that mandatory?
Ben, gave a good answer to that, above, when he shared what his sponsor told him:
Ben wrote:He said that, until I felt comfortable with AA, if someone asked me to share, just say,"My name is Ben H, and I am an alcoholic, I pass."
Deb wrote:I also do not have a sponsor. I live in a very rural community. We are very fortunate to meet 3 times a week.
I understand. Hopefully, we can help you here until you have the luxury of finding a sponsor... and even then, hopefully, we can still be helpful.
If you have one of those uniquely "women" topics, or problems... there are women here, like Finch, that would be happy to help you. And... you can be sure... (probably reasonably sure...) that she doesn't know your husband!
And, she might even have experience with husband problems! I don't know... you'd have to ask her that!
And, there are other women here on the site like TJ, and others who will be happy to help you.
Deb wrote:I am grateful to be happy the majority of the time and sober 100% of the time (since Friday, however it has crossed my mind).
Geesss!!! Isn't that wonderful? To be grateful to be happy the majority of the time... and sober 100% of the time! To me -- that defines "the good life!"
Now... another comment or two on Ben's reply:
Ben wrote:I am a shy person who is terrified at having to speak publicly. My hands get cold and clammy, my mouth goes dry, and every thought vanishes from my mind. It's very embarrassing.
I understand, Ben. I think that's a Georgia problem! I was born in Atlanta, and that described me to a tee!
I had the problem so bad -- that the only time I could talk to people was after a few drinks! And, after a few drinks I felt so wonderful that I decided to become a salesman! And, I was THE BEST salesman ever!!! (As long as I had a few drinks)... my real problems started when I either had too many drinks, or not enough drinks, or if I was sober!!!
But, A.A. helped me with that. I know that today, I "could be" THE BEST saleman ever" (at least in my mind and many other minds) and do it SOBER... because of all that A.A. has done for me! I know that I can be the BEST ME ever... and do it SOBER... because of A.A. And, anything else I wanted to do or be... I could do it sober... because of A.A.
Some people think I give AA too much credit. I believe I don't give enough.
For me... as long as I'm keeping hooked in to what I've learned and been given in A.A. -- I'm hooked in to God, as I understand God. And, I'm happy. And, I can stay sober. And, I can do all the things I ever wanted to do -- sober. And, if I've got that... and I'm sober... what more could I ask for? I never had that before my involvement A.A.!
Ben wrote:On having someone rude or insensitive make fun of your comments, that person, no matter how long he has in the Program, is not working THE Program and practicing the 12 Steps. He is working HIS Program, and, as said above,"Some are sicker than others." How do you treat a sick person?
And, that's the real truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!!!
Ben wrote:Some people will never change, will never get the benefits of working the Steps for life. I am a sort who will not just settle for sobriety. I want all that God has planned for me. I try not to sweat the small stuff (rude people).
Ben, we're very similar! Yep. Must be a Georgia, thing. I want all that God has planned for me, too!!!
It's a sad fact that some people will never change. They have the opportunity.... but, they will never take action to manifest it.
And, our little spirit bird, Finch!
Finch wrote:You are in a tough spot when all the women know your husband.
Isn't that the truth!
I'll bet a husband could be in a tough spot over that one, too!
Thanks for letting me share!