Your opinion is requested

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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Your opinion is requested

Postby tim-one » Sun May 31, 2009 12:53 pm


All newcomers are told that faith in a Higher Power they understand is of utmost importance. I am convinced that it is of paramount import. It is written that sobriety is very near impossible without an HP.

Yet there seems to be a great reluctance among us to help with the search for fear of being too persuasive in one direction or another.

I have a desire to be helpful to those who have trouble finding their Higher Power. I don't care who or what that Power is and I am not inclined to promote mine to a suffering, conflicted mind. Only to help think it through. I am unshakeably convinced of mine, but I am not jealous or zealous in AA context.

I am asking for your opinions regarding another forum here; Something like "Finding your Higher Power" wherein we can discuss the thought processes we struggled with to break through our own resistance. It's a personal, very individual struggle (An internal "Holy War", if you will). I imagine many of us went through different, yet fairly common considerations.

1. Do you think such a forum would be helpful?
2. If not why not?
3. If so, please suggest forum rules that would make the forum more useful or that would limit misuse. Any concerns?

I can only guess it likely that everyone has an opinion about this.

If you have an opinion, but don't want it publicly shared, you can PM me. I promise your anonimity in this forum.

Thank you very much. God bless you one and all.


PS: I've posted this question in various forums. Please only respond in one forum to save site space. Or PM me. I'll keep my inbox cleared regularly. Thanks.

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Postby DebbieV » Sun May 31, 2009 7:40 pm

Hey Tim-one

I think a forum for our quest for HP is a valid request, however, since your asking let me share with you a little of my story:

When I first got sober my sponsor had me do my steps as they were done in the beginning, within 3 weeks of being sober I was through all 12 and done so very precise. On step three my sponsor took me to a prayer house next to a church, and I said “I would rather die drunk than go in that placeâ€

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Postby tim-one » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:51 am

Thank you very much, Debbie. My point 'zakly.

Personally, I would like to see the rules permit personal experiences, strengths, and hopes each of us went through. That's not preaching. That's sharing.

I would like to see PERSUASION avoided. The importance should be placed on breaking through mental/emotional resistance, such as you described, and expressing the necessity and the attitude of hope.

My personal story, FOR ME, is that I had turned away from a perfectly wonderful personal relationship with my God, raged perversely against Him, and misrepresented Him. Now in need, I had to crawl back in humiliation and was convinced He could not, would not forgive me and have me back. I'm not sure which is worse - to find an HP I never knew, or believe that a ruined relationship could be revitalized.

The worst prodigal son He ever had, in my mind.

I am convinced My God is the only one. But that's just me. I am only concerned that people who don't know how to think it through to their own understanding get guidance breaking through their resistance to the concept, not which God is the only one, best one, or even the easiest one.

Yes, maam - Bill W. got it right. I don't care what HP yours is. He/She/It just has to be higher than you AND higher than your addiction and has to be actively concerned for your welfare.


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Postby GeoffS » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:39 am

Hi Tim,

I've always heard that the best way to find your way to a higher power is through practising the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

It can take time, but that spiritual awakening is there and available for all who try and want it.

The instructions on how to come to an understanding of a Higher Power are in the Big Book.

and they work.

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Postby tim-one » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:42 am

Thank you, Geoff. That's my understanding, too. And it worked for me.

I see many who turn away at the first menthion of God and a sponsor thinking they will be prostelyted.

Step 2: "Came to believe that A Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of whom? Understand what?

Lots of deep resistance to get over before going on adequately.

You're absolutely right. I have and continue to see a plethora of various struggles in the rehab center I frequent.

I think we can be helpful. Just my opinion.

Was your post a yes or no vote? I'm not sure.


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Postby Tim » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:35 pm

Many AA members are sensitive about discussing a higher power. Many have bad memories or experiences related to a Higher Power. Others are more comfortable with it.

When I began my sobriety journey 12 years ago, the guy who had a light bulb as his higher power had a more helpful higher power than I did. Mine was full of wrath and merciless judgment about my alcoholic drinking.

I rediscovered a helpful God thru AA. I have a better relationship today with God, myself and others thru working the 12 Steps than I have ever had before.

The site owner has added new forums before based on user requests, and a forum about finding a Higher Power may be helpful for some people who post and read here. (A warning that Internet forum responses can tend to be more visceral, emotional, judgmental and tactless than face-to-face conversations.)

Geoff's comment that the Big Book helps in finding a Higher Power ( so does the '12x12') may be a useful starting point for discussion. There are Internet forums that are designed for those with common spiritual beliefs.

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Postby sunlight » Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:52 am

"Where and how were we to find this Power? Well, that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem." (pg45)

One of our groups here is called, "It's in the Book". And it is! :D

I've found the article that Dallas wrote on the home page of this site - "How I Took Step 2" - to be very helpful in guiding women through this step. The logic, common sense and simplicity of it seems to break through the toughest mental barriers of this step and opens the door to progress. Also, this is someone's experience, and the experience of one alcoholic to another has a weight and depth beyond intellectual knowledge.

Still, I can only guide someone to finding a Power greater than themselves.
I can't find It for them. I can only share my experience.
Once a man told me that he wanted me to give him my higher Power. :? :?: :!: I CAN'T!
It's like asking me to find true love for you. I can tell you what I did, give you tips to improve your search (take a shower, brush your teeth :lol: , give of yourself...) and help you to put your best foot forward, but in the end, you will have to get out there and go to bat for yourself. And the results and the joy will be yours, and it will be all the sweeter because you took the steps necessary and put forth the effort to achieve it.

When women ask me why they need a sponsor, I tell them that a sponsor is a house cleaning service and a trail guide.

I can help them clean house because I know all the stuff I've hidden under the bed, the couch, the rug - hoping others and myself won't notice and maybe I can forget it's there. :oops:
I can also be a trail guide through the steps, because I've taken them myself, and I know for a fact that they enable you to find a Power greater than yourself and have a spiritual awakening. And, I know how to have fun and enjoy life while going through often painful progress!

Are we voting? I already voted this year, but I'll vote again for God, however you may understand Him!

Thanks Tim-1

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Postby tim-one » Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:55 am

Thanks Tim & Sunlight.

I absolutely agree with both of you ... the internet is visceral and the BB and 12/12 were very helpful to me and should be to all.

Yet people still search and struggle in with themselves and go anywhere they can for help, sometimes to the 'net 'cause that's what they do. I might have used a forum in addition to personal counseling if I'd had access to a 'puter in rehab lock-up. :?

I don't know how many novices may visit this site. The forum may go unused. Should it be available just in case? I dunno. That's why I'm aksin'.

"In the counsel of many is wisdom."

And thanks, Sunlight, my point 'zakly about persuasion. That should be a no-no. All I can offer is my personal experience busting through my own resistance, not advice or promotion. You both touched on your experiences here and yours may be very helpful to someone who is working through the same thing.

My experience was brutal and I'd like to forget it. But it may be helpful to someone. One helped is all it would take for me to accept that I had to suffer it to get me here ... my bottom ... and God can use it if He wants to.

I AM keepng track and I am deeply considering these responses just for myself. But, on the question, I'm not sure how to tally yes or no votes RE: a forum. Would you clarify yes or no?

I really appreciate your responses. Good stuff for me.

I vote for God, too! That might be a u-nonymous vote here. :)


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Postby Dallas » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:24 pm

Take some time to think it through.

Often, when I'm trying to figure out a solution to something -- I use pen and paper. "What if's" and "Pros and Cons" and "What's the worst that can happen?" If it happens... how will I take care of it? What can I do to minimize the risk of the harmful happening? Just a few of the questions that I ask myself.

Then, I talk it over with someone else to see what they come up with. How does it sound to them? What are their concerns?

Then, after I've crystalized my thoughts on paper... I take it to prayer and meditation. Often, I'll direct some dreams about it -- and notice what happens in the dreams.

Just suggestions.

I think you have a good idea and a productive and helpful one. I just don't know (at this time) how to get over the hurdles that might end up twisting other peoples ankles and necks. :lol:


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Postby tim-one » Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:46 pm

Thanks, Dallas. Sage advice.

I think that's what I'm doing asking everyone else what they think. I certainly have no power to do this thing. I still think it's a good idea.

Actually, I'm thinking there's already this "Help for alcoholics..." forum.
That should suffice for anyone who wants to talk HP stuff. I kinda don't think many people right out of the shoot come here, do they? Dunno.

I think I just talked myself out of the idea with everyone's input. Thanks to everyone for discussing it. I got a lot out of your sharing.


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