So, back to the original topic "When stopping drinking makes it worse - you may be alcoholic"
It seems as though we always have a very nice and like-able newcomer that shows up for meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting... talking about how their life has become so painful and miserable now that they are sober.... They often do this until they reaching the jumping off place and return to drinking.
Then, they show up again at the A.A. meeting... talking about how their life has become so painful and miserable now that they are sober.... They often do this until they reaching the jumping off place and return to drinking.
And, we watch as they cycle over and over and over again....... sober one day, two days, maybe a week, maybe a month..... and then, back to drinking again.
Each time they come in... they hear the solution read at most all A.A. meetings... "Chapter 5, How it works" (page 58-60 of the Big Book)... explaining... "If you want what we have" (continued sobriety... a comfortable state of being totally physically sober... with tools to deal with the conflicts and pain and restlessness and irritability that alcoholics suffer from, when physically sober).... "and are willing to go to any length to get it"... (meaning that THEY will do the work that is necessary) THEY are "ready to take certain steps." (meaning... actually doing the 12 Steps... taking them until they are took'n!)
We explain that the 12 Steps is our solution... the 12 Steps are to bring about the transformation of mind and attitude that is required to reach a comfortable level of physical sobriety... to deal with the pain and conflicts, the un-named fears and emotions, to remove the obsession for alcohol, to treat the alcoholic insanity of picking up the next drink... and to make them feel usefully whole and contented with peace of mind while sober.
The newcomer, when they return after another alcoholic-beating... still doesn't hear the message... they still don't get it... they go back to talking about their pain and misery and how they are back to trying to work on one of the first three Steps.... until they reach that jumping off place again.
It used to baffle me why do they do this... over and over and over and over again... and never seem to get it... in regards to what we're telling them.
It doesn't really baffle me any more. And, I don't think it's a case of "some are sicker than others" (many of us could have claimed membership in that crowd!).
After being sober in AA long enough, and looking at my own experience, I can now listen for the "AA newcomer code speak."
It's a code... that newcomers use when they aren't finished drinking. Certain phrases that they use and hang on to and repeat each time they come back again.... that let's those of us who understand the newcomer code-speak, know... that the person isn't finished with their drinking.
They have not made a decision that they want to stop drinking... for good... and for forever. They are stuck on racking up a certain amount of days sober... until they can once again go out and do a little experimental drinking... to see if they can now control their drinking... and drink like non-alcoholic drinkers. And, I believe that we perhaps fail them when we don't follow the suggestions for working with other alcoholics, that are outlined in the Big Book... where we start by asking them the question... "Do you want to stop drinking for good? Do you want to get over the problem or keep dabbling with it? Are you ready to quit forever?"
I believe that our vast experience shows the truths of what we read in our Big Book. If the newcomer is not ready to quit for good... and not ready to stop drinking forever... they will never be ready to go to the lengths that are necessary to work our solution. They can "practice" "making a decision" for years.... and never make the decision, by following through with the necessary actions.
Sometimes, I think we do them a dis-service when we emphasis the not-drinking one-day-at-a-time plan... for too long... and they get the idea that just not drinking today is the real deal.... Which leaves them the option to drink tomorrow but not today. In essense... from one side of our mouths we are telling them that their will power needs to be assisted.... with a Higher Power... and then tell them to go back to relying on their own will power... because until they have followed our "path" our "solution" the "12 Steps"... they are not going to get the relief that is necessary to stop drinking for good.
There is a Solution. It's the 12 Steps.