- The Thinking Prior To a Return to Drinking or Relapse

The Thinking Prior To a Return to Drinking or Relapse




Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

Postby Dallas » Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:35 pm

GardenVariety wrote:But here's where maybe our paths go different ways - the thing I learned is that if I put these simple suggestions into action, then my life gets better, and my ability to "think" clearly or in a sane way somehow improves over a time.


Gee, GardenVariety, I can’t really explain why you would “thinkâ€
Last edited by Dallas on Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Position3DAT » Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:47 pm

Hey guys (and gals!). This topic is right up my alley right now and I felt that it was only fair that I throw in my two cents.

I've been (hehe.. do I dare say it?) THINKING about this topic a lot as of late. I've had this sort of epiphany lately in regards to the difference between my higher power and my own personal thinking.

For me the problem with "thinking" comes into play when I start to over-analyze things. If I over-analyze for too long it soon becomes an obsession. AND if I obsess for too long, that obsession eventually becomes an action... and not the "good" kind of action we've been talking about here. I'm talking about the scary, irrational, dangerous action that, for me, is a very direct result of my thinking. Still being young in the program thinking too much is very, very dangerous for me. HOWEVER, one of the gifts I almost automatically received from sobriety was the return to sanity. Don't get me wrong... I'm probably not fully sane yet, and I'd only be kidding myself if I thought I was, but I did join AA so that I could stop drinking and hopefully start thinking clearly and sanely.

I'm learning very quickly that actions are a very important part of recovery. If we don't do our inventories, make our amends, do work with a fellow alcoholic, we'll get stuck in a rut and eventually start behaving all nutty again! Even if we don't go out and start drinking again, we still might start to behave like we were! It's a sick, sick, sad disease.

Anyways, I don't THINK that we can go through life without THINKING but we can take certain actions to minimize the types and amounts of thinking we do.

Dallas and Paul.. you both are right. Debbie.. sorry to hear. You're in my prayers.

p.s. I didn't get to the part about me figuring out the difference between my higher power and my thinking... but it's okay. Some of the miracles that have taken place for me over the last few weeks are beyond explanation. Have a goodnight everybody!
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Postby garden variety » Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:40 am

O this is funny. Now I'm really gonna be talking in circles.

I know nobody was talking about me, but I was worried if I didn't use me as the subject, I'd get moderated for talking like I was arguing with somebody else. So when I was saying "me" - I was meaning "we". But I really didn't take anything personal. But I re-read my post and I busted up because of how you "thought" that I "thought" you or somebody was talking about me. Now this sounds really rediculous, but I meant "me" not personally, but "me" in a general way. Way too funny!

But hey, you sure got me there - see the mess I made when I started "thinking"?

I'll just say it simple. I don't agree with you about not trusting your mind and "thinking" that you're following God's will but you're not because your "thinker" is broken. The book says you have to think about God's will and trust that He will give you the right Direction. You probably know where it says that, but I'm on a handheld and its taking forever so I'm not quoting exact.

Another thing it sounds like your saying is that action in itself is the only thing that will keep you sober. Bill says it different. He said that "when all other measures failed, working with another alcoholic saved the day." He's not saying when all else fails that he had to take action - he said that for him personally, helping another alcoholic would get him out of himself. So what he implies is there were other times when he was not having those waves of depression, and other measures besides helping another alcoholic were effective at taking his mind off of drinking.

Now there was someone who did say she didn't go to meetings because she was suffering from promise-deficiency syndrome, she was going to meetings to stay sober. Well I see that as a personal swipe against something that many alcoholics hold close to their heart. And those 12 promises are intended to give hope - and they are read at most meetings around here just like the steps, or "How it works." The promises make sobriety attractive to most folks.
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Postby Dallas » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:03 am

Bill W. wrote:PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE shows that nothing will
so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive
work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities
fail.

page 90, Big Book

Hey Paul, you're right. Is that the quote you were refering to? :lol:

I'll stick with taking the actions and placing my faith in the actions -- and I'll leave the thinking to you! You're better equipped for it than I am. :lol:

For those who do enjoy thinking (Not referring to you Paul, now don't hit me!) -- here's a little A.A. History Twister for you to think about!

Did you ever stop to "think" about the fact that A.A.'s roots were actually started in a Psychiatrist's office -- and not with the Oxford Groups, as so many would have us to believe??? Think about that one! :lol: :lol:

And, Bill Wilson, who did get sober before Dr. Bob - and carried the message to Dr. Bob, was the one who said that!

So -- if you disagree with that one -- you'll have to take it up with Bill W.!!!
:lol: :lol:

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Postby Dallas » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:50 am

Paul wrote:Another thing it sounds like your saying is that action in itself is the only thing that will keep you sober.


Oops!!! I almost let that one slip by me! :lol: :lol:

You got close! :lol:

Action is the magic word!

Yes, I believe that the reason that I'm sober -- is a result of the actions that I'm taking.

I realize that this goes against the way it is "as you understand it." :lol:

I'm not trying to convert you! :lol:
I'm not trying to convince you! :lol:

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Postby Serenity » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:25 am

It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action
and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we
do, for alcohol is a subtle foe.

Wow! How exciting! Somewhere here in the forum I read about someone here who reads and does the things on pages 83 through 88 in the big book every day. I decided to try it and I just read the quote above on pg 85 in the Alcoholics Anonymous book and you guys are talking about the program of action. Now it is starting to make more sense to me. It is about what I do. The next right action. Staying focused on having God direct my actions and staying out of my head. I have been trusting my head instead of trusting God. I'm trusting God by taking the actions that I'm suposed to take. Somewhere I read I'm supposed to trust God, clean house and help someone else. By trusting God to direct my actions by using the steps I don't have to rely on me trusting my head. I can trust on the program of action. Now I'm beginning to see why I hear take the next right action. My head distracts me from taking the next right action. A spiritual program of action. God directing my actions. I LIKE THAT! I'm going to go try that now and I'll let you know what happens.

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Postby garden variety » Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:32 am

O wow Serenity! Ypu said in a short space what I've been trying now for a gazillion words to say. Hey Dallas - that's what I've been "thinking" all along. Duh!

How's that for irony? My problem wasn't in the "thinking" part - it was in the "action" part. I kept on posting words (actions) that didn't accurately convey my "thoughts". Serenity said it perfectly.

It's a spiritual program of action. My mind needs to be Directed by someone other than me. And it has to be a Higher Power. Now I guess the tricky thing about that is, that Power which is an outside Source of my Direction, has to work through the "inside" (my mind and imagination") to "express" Himself outwardly through my actions. Now there is something to think about, huh?

Thanks for all the great wisdom and help - you guys and gals help me so much!
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Postby garden variety » Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:43 am

O wow Serenity! Ypu said in a short space what I've been trying now for a gazillion words to say. Hey Dallas - that's what I've been "thinking" all along. Duh!

How's that for irony? My problem wasn't in the "thinking" part - it was in the "action" part. I kept on posting words (actions) that didn't accurately convey my "thoughts". Serenity said it perfectly.

It's a spiritual program of action. My mind needs to be Directed by someone other than me. And it has to be a Higher Power. Now I guess the tricky thing about that is, that Power which is an outside Source of my Direction, has to work through the "inside" (my mind and imagination") to "express" Himself outwardly through my actions. Now there is something to think about, huh?

Thanks for all the great wisdom and help - you guys and gals help me so much!
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Postby Dallas » Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:06 pm

Paul wrote:It's a spiritual program of action. My mind needs to be Directed by someone other than me. And it has to be a Higher Power. Now I guess the tricky thing about that is, that Power which is an outside Source of my Direction, has to work through the "inside" (my mind and imagination") to "express" Himself outwardly through my actions. Now there is something to think about, huh?


I used to look on the "outside" ... once upon a time, then I read the Appendix II, Spiritual Experience, in the back of the Big Book, and then re-read Chapter 4. Not sure which page the Appendix II Spiritual Experience is on in the 4th Edition, but if you look at the bottom of page 569-570 3rd Edition, it reads:

"With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves."

When I gave up being one of the "few exceptions" through ACTIONS (Spiritual Program of Actions, as mentioned by Serenity) I was able to tap into an unsuspected inner resource that I began to presently identify with my own conception of a Power greater than myself.

My old religious ideas kept me looking for something on "the outside" to fix me. Alcohol is also "outside me" and I was looking for that to fix me.

When I let go of all my old ideas -- absolutely -- I was able to have those ideas replaced "because of the actions" -- and I discovered deep inside me what I had been searching for on "the outside."

That's why I believe that it was most important for me -- to identify "my own conception" of the Power Greater than myself.... which is what Bill's Story shows that he did, and in Chapter 2 and Chapter 4, along with the Appendex II, Spiritual Experience, it led me to conclude.

That's when I discovered that "what I had been looking for I was looking with" (As old Chuck Chamberlain used to say). "I was looking for what I was looking with. In Him I live and walk and have my being. I and the Father are One, He in me and I in Him."

Then, when I went back to read the book of James, that the early A.A.'s had been reading (not William James), it became clear to me why our program is based on Actions -- and why Bill kept repeating that "Faith without works is dead." James, focuses on Actions, doing. He says something like "you show me your faith by your words (words are an expression of thinking, a word is a thought expressed ) and I'll show you my faith by my actions (works)."

When Bill wrote the 12 Steps, he was looking for the formula that "they did" not a formula for what "they thought." The actions will produce the thoughts -- rather than the thoughts producing the actions. The world had us doing it backwards and it wouldn't work for us. They said "believe this and think this -- and this will happen" -- through A.A. I learned "do this and do that -- and this is what I'll start thinking". To go back to thinking and then doing -- would have me doing what I had to stop doing -- to remain sober! :lol:

That's why I agree with someone who wrote above, something like "we can act (actions) ourselfs into right thinking -- but we cant think ourselves into right actions."

And, someone else wrote something about "Trusting God instead of trusting my head." When I'm trusting my head, I'm back into "trusting in Self" :lol: Actions keep me from going back to my head and trusting my head.

If I trust in the Actions -- and God was the one who gave the course of Actions (which I believe that He did through the 12 Steps), that puts me in a place where I know that I'm not trusting in "my thinking" (regardless of how inspired it may be). I am allowing Him to "direct my course of actions".

When I go back to my head -- "My Ego" -- "my Self" will tell me that "This is God talking to you" and, it's only me talking to me in God's voice. :lol:

This is why they "checked it out" after the period of quiet time. My will or His will? His plan or my plan? Then they would talk it over instead of running out and "thinking about it." They knew that their thinking could be dangerous. My head will tell me what I want to hear, and it will tell me that any way that it has to tell me so that I will listen to it instead of Him.

So, this is why I listen to Him with my feet -- (actions) rather than my head. And, this way I can keep Him as the Head, and me as the feet!

Why do the Actions always work? Because He ordered the Actions.

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Postby garden variety » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:24 am

Thanks for pointing that out to me Dallas. You're right, the Source is internal and not external. Well hush my grits!

"We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us."

Shoot, Dallas - that gives me goosebumps! Especially where it says "He was as much a fact as we were" - this is great stuff!
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