- 1st day of being clean, campral, alts to AA?

1st day of being clean, campral, alts to AA?

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

Postby cogringo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:45 pm

Thanks All. Went to a small meeting last night. Only 4 other people there. Kind of strange actually and more of a addict than alcoholic group. It was still nice to air out my thoughts and I get a copy of "the book". I think I will look for some other groups but still sober either way!
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Help for alcoholics who want to achieve and maintain sobriet

Postby knny913 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:07 pm

Hi cogringo,
Glad to hear that you went to your first (planned ) meeting, keep it up.
I'm not sure which part of Colorado you're in, I'm in the central sw, down between Alamosa and Salida, there are meetings everyday mostly 2-3 times a day, the only drawback is that they are between 27-60 miles (one way) from me. When I first got sober I would attend at least 5-6 meetings a week, "go to any lenghts". Now I attend 3-4 a week. It is a small price to pay, if you will, for what I have to gain and look forward to. Sure beats wasting my days away with a bottle, passing out and waking up long enough to have another drink.
Just remember to keep an open mind. It is really important to me in my sobriety to keep focused on what works, and not elaberate on what doesn't work. If you keep going to meetings, and not drink in between, you will soon see that the miricle of the program is working for you. It took me a few meetings and finding a sponsor to start to recognize the changes, I actually had a few slips in the beginning, but I sucked up and got right back into meetings when I did.
Keep up the good work, and let go of the bad, you'll be O.K.
Please keep in touch, we are all behind you.
As it states on pg 164
"Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge (meaning-walk with purpose and effort) the Road of Happy Destiny.
May God bless you and keep you-until then."

Your Friend
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Location: Villa Grove, Colorado

Postby Ranman99 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:50 pm

Good thread. I always say to the guy's here just pick a concept that you are comfortable with today and don't feel locked in. If you end up like me it will eveolve and chagne as long as we work the program and stay sober.

Mine did and today my concept of HP is different and is not on the secular track at all but still a fairly common approach. It came to me when I was about 11 months sober and is still evolving.

For me it is about freedom to choose. Without my sobriety I have a lot nothing. No wife, no job, no kids, no money, no HP. Nothing!!! Today is a good day;_)

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Postby cogringo » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:33 pm

Thanks again. Been to 2 meetings now. Still looking to try out some others to find the best fit. Cravings are starting to drop off it seems too.
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Postby Ranman99 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:30 am

Good stuff!!! Keep pluggin away and all will be good. I sponsor a guy here who after three months went out for two days. Thankfully he came back but still annoying as heck :lol: Oh well keeps me sober :oops:
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Postby garden variety » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:07 pm

Hi Cogringo -

I'm glad you're figuring out your disease. It sounds like you got the same one as me. Sometimes I can "steam" a few folks by what I believe and say, but the book says that "God gave us brains to use" on page 86.

I'm not meaning to "couch" this comment in "religiosity either". I believe "God gave is brains" is in the context of having enough uninterrupted sobriety to discover that the 12 step recovery program is a "design for living that really works". In other words, working the steps and taking action to stay content while sober leads to a relationship with a "Higher Power" Who has been a concept in all our hearts from the get-go which the book says is like the "feeling we have for a friend".

I also was taught that "Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable." which you can find in "Appendix 2" in the book. Give it read if you dare to explore what "God-consciousness" means to some of us.

So there again, I had the "open-minded" part seared into my brain which is what I thought it was how it's supposed to be. So with a few years sober (11 years), working and living the 12-steps and spiritual principles, and being open-minded, guess what? What I sometimes say in discussions still gives a few insecure AA's the heebee-jeebee's!

I'm not a doctor or pyschologist or psychiatrist, but I know a whole bunch of them that I go to visit when I'm sick. I ask them all kinds of questions about all kinds of things which includes "recovery". I'm also not a "perfect AA", so I sometimes find myself involved with a few things, from time to time, that make a certain sober folks "cringe". So take what I'm saying lightly - that goes for everyone reading.

The book says alcoholics have a 3-prong "malady" that is physical, mental, and spiritual. The book also describes alcoholism as an "illness" having similar characteristics as an "allergy" (in case anybody missed it, "similar" means "pretty darn close but maybe not exactly alike").

The medical world and various US and state government health boards use printed "definitions" of alcoholism. Oddly enough, they are in agreement with the Big Book that alcoholics have that same a 3-prong "malady" that is physical, mental, and spiritual. It's also a widely-held belief that alcoholism is a "disease". I agree with that too, even though the book doesn't use the exact word "disease".

What is even more significant is that the medical world and various US and state government health boards AGREE that a 12-step program is necessary for prolonged recovery from alcoholism and addiction. That is just a simple fact. Sobriety and prolonged recovery from alcoholism and addiction can't be accomplished without a "group recovery support" system. In case anyone missed it, "group recovery support" and "12-step recovery program" are one in the same to the world of medical doctors and bureaucrats.

What a lot of "antsy AA's" don't like hearing discussed is the PHYSICAL "malady" and "disease concept". Like I said, I get a kick out of using the brain God gave me (I'm amazed the darn thing still works!), so I ask questions and "seek" answers. What I found out is something about that drug you mentioned called "Camprol".

From my reading which is from genuine books (not the internet), and also from interviewing my own medical professionals who are board certified medical doctors, I found out a few things about Camprol. It turns out that drug was designed to "speed up" the physical healing of brain cells that get damaged by alcohol. I thought that was pretty cool - why not?

There are devoted medical researchers that pour their hearts into trying to heal the PHYSICAL malady of alcoholism. I'm open-minded enough to give these dedicated professionals their due. I give them credit for trying to make the PHYSICAL malady of alcoholism and addiction a teensy bit more bearable.

There is a small handful of other similar drugs that were chemically designed and specifically engineered to make other aspects of the PHYSICAL malady of alcoholism and addiction a teensy bit more bearable. I also think that is cool, too.

I just think that anyone who devotes his or her career to finding a way to bring about healing that is faster or less painful, regardless of whatever part (knee, hip, arm, lungs, heart, tummy, and BRAIN, etc) that is physically healing - well they deserve my respect.

OK - are we angry yet? Have I clearly been misunderstood once more?

I want to make this clear. I BELIEVE with all my heart that AA is one of the best ways, if not the absolute best way of taking care of the SPIRITUAL malady of alcoholism. I've also even seen our spiritual program of action bring about healing to a great deal of the MENTAL malady of alcoholism.

But there are other INCREDIBLE researchers and clinical psychologists that have devoted their careers and lives to healing the MENTAL malady of alcoholism and addiction. There is one "celebrated" psychiatrist in particular, without whom, there would be no 12-step recovery program as we know it. He is so beautifully quoted in the "basic text" of our Big Book on page 27:

"Yes," replied the doctor, "there is. Exceptions to [hopeless] cases [of alcoholism] such as yours have been occurring since early times. Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me, these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them."

...as if that isn't breathtaking enough, the psychiatrist continues:
"In fact, I have been trying to produce some such emotional rearrangement within you. With many individuals, the methods which I employ are successful, but I have never been successful with an alcoholic of your description."

Friends, that is one of the most awesome and profound statements of a "non-alcoholic" medical doctor that I've ever had the blessed opportunity to actually be living proof of today. This psychiatrist split from "Freudian" psychology, and became the PIONEER of what has become ACCEPTED in the medical world as the "spiritual" aspect of psychology.

This non-alcoholic psychiatrist devoted his ENTIRE life to research, experimenting, and scientifically PROVING that SPIRITUALITY is an essential ingredient in recovery from the MENTAL malady of alcoholism, among other mental illnesses. His work is the foundation of the 12th step, and of our AA program of recovery. It's also the basis of appendix 2.

That gives insecure AA's the heebee-jeebees because Carl Jung's published work is not "psycho-babble". It is FACT, and the foundation of seeking and finding spirituality in the form of "God as we understand Him". I guess insecure AA's are afraid of "losing AA" to the medical world?

Not me. How can I be anything other than grateful that the God of my understanding inspired a gifted and intelligent young man, without even having the illness of alcoholism, to devote his entire life to bringing about the process of healing the SPIRITUAL and MENTAL maladies of alcoholism.

For this alcoholic, the work of Carl Jung is nothing less than a miracle. Think about it, the concept of "Acceptance" for example, resulted from Carl Jung's work with alcoholics.

Once again, for me, the spiritual program of recovery known as the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is essential for long-term sobriety.
garden variety
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Postby cogringo » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:19 pm

Thanks Garden Variety. In my 2nd meeting I was asked to talk about the spirituality portion of what was cited from the book. Lots of others had much to say about God and that was the reason for their success and that may very well be. Since I am so new and just getting sober I basically said I was thankful to God for keeping me out of trouble as I never once got a DUI, went to jail, and the many other rough situations I have heard about.

Another person that was in the meeting was called on to talk and he has been sober for something like 15 years and he did not lay a lot of his success on the God portion. I guess whatever works in the end for you is the important piece.
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Postby Ranman99 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:56 pm

One of my Athiest associates substituted GOD with Good Orderly Direction and then proceeded to work the steps as carefully as he possibly could using that concept becuase he knew he was going to either die through a mishap or committ suicide.

Same fellow works with other guys that have the GOD aversion to get them to go through the steps.

I think the worse thing is to see a guy who can't handle the GOD talk not do the steps hecause of that. I was that guy for 18 years.

Dang if I only knew then what I know know 8)
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Postby garden variety » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:50 am

Hi again,

After re-reading this thread I wanted to clarify my comments.

I understand that "having problems with God" can be a "tough pill" to swallow for someone with agnostic or atheist leanings for valid reasons. The point I was trying to stress is that the "God concept" is unique to each person. The way Bill Wilson presents this "God concept" was that his religious friend suggested to Bill that he "find" a Power Greater than himself that came from Bill's own personal understanding and concept, not his friend's.

Bill goes on to explain that a "God concept" exists in each of us that transcends religion, dogma, or other manipulative methods various "believers" use to browbeat people who believe differently than them. According to the book, the only "place" where a concept of "God" or "Higher Power" can be found is deep within ourselves, and that comes about through personal introspection or "reflection". Within the fellowship, it would be inappropriate for me to push my beliefs about God on anyone else.

Carl Jung's work "officially" opened the clinical doors of psychiatry to the "God concept" which was no small undertaking. Prior to Jung, "spirituality" and "beliefs" were off-limits between doctor and patient - most folks with strong religious beliefs were psychologically stereotyped in terms of being "unstable". Jung was a ground-breaker and pioneer who validated personal spiritual belief systems, regardless of their origin, denomination, or sect.

Which is exactly why Bill Wilson presents the 12-steps as "Universal spiritual principles" having their roots in many different spiritual belief systems. Although most folks give Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob the credit for publishing this idea, and making it popular and appealing to folks in recovery, it was inspired by the work of Dr. Carl Jung.

I also tried to stress that alcoholism is a "disease" and manifests with a clinical condition. Because it is a disease, that means there are clinical methods that are used to define the "physical malady" of alcoholism. It often comes as a complete shock to many sober alcoholics AND drunks, that there is a physical and measurable pathology. It REALLY is a disease, but it's rarely discussed at AA meetings.

Alcoholism is clinically measurable by the physical damage it causes to the brain and neurological receptor systems. We can go into technical details galore after that, but it isn't as relevant. What matters is that in the medical world, "diseases" are not capable of being successfully treated with "will power" or "talk therapy" or "group support". All the will power in the world will not stop a Crohn's Diesease flare-up or an onset of a "mini-stroke".

That's why using medically supervised drug therapy, such as prescribing Campral or Vivitrol, can be effective in helping to ease acute and post-withdrawal symptoms. It's a DISEASE, so it shouldn't go beyond our understanding that the PHYSICAL malady of alcoholism might be more effectively treated by medical professionals instead of insisting AA meetings or the 12-steps is better "treatment" for the purely physical aspects of the disease.
garden variety
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Postby cogringo » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:33 pm

Agreed. The bit of research I have done over the years of considering quitting there definitely seems like that medicinal science can assist. I believe it is helping me. I still have times I really desire a drink but I think the Campral and my willpower knock it down (at least so far). I just started reading "the book" and that is also becoming a big help along with the meetings.
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