Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery
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Postby ROBERT » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:22 am

Can any one shed some light on why the steps are suggested :?:

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Postby DiggerinVA » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:14 pm

To not scare off the newcomer. They even did it in the original manuscript.

How it works from the original manuscript. I like it better.

Chapter Five
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our directions. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a way of life which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it -then you are ready to follow directions.

At some of these you may balk. You may think you can find an easier, softer way. We doubt if you can. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that you are dealing with alcohol - cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for you. But there is One who has all power - That One is God. You must find Him now!

Half measures will avail you nothing. You stand at the turning point. Throw yourself under His protection and care with complete abandon.

Now we think you can take it! Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as your Program of Recovery:

1.Admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2.Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3.Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care and direction of God as we understood Him.
4.Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5.Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6.Were entirely willing that God remove all these defects of character.
7.Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings - holding nothing back.
8.Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make complete amends to them all.
9.Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10.Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11.Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12.Having had a spiritual experience as the result of this course of action, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
You may exclaim, "What an order! I can't go through with it." Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after, have been designed to sell you three pertinent ideas:

(a) That you are alcoholic and cannot manage your own life.

(b) That probably no human power can relieve your alcoholism.

(c) That God can and will.

If you are not convinced on these vital issues, you ought to re-read the book to this point or else throw it away!

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Postby ROBERT » Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:31 pm

Thanks DiggerinVA :wink: ---Sounds reasonable :) ----any other thoughts out there on why the steps are suggested :?:

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Postby gunner48 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:35 pm

What I was told early on was that if I was investigating the program of Alcoholics Anonymous to see if I wanted to get sober using it then the steps were suggested as a means of achieving soberity. Once I made the decision to use AA to get Sober then the steps were no longer suggested,ie page 29 futher on clear cut directions are given.

Don't know if that is what it really means just what I understood.

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Postby ROBERT » Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:36 pm

Thanks gunner48--thats where I see that--The 3rd tradition clearly says that the ONLY requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking--we don't have to do anything, get a sponser, read any big book, share anything, or do those complicated steps-unless of course I see it as the only way to save my life, and thats how it was for me, so I share how it was,(my drinking life)-how I tried many ways to "GET IT TOGETHER"- and could not-and what is like NOW-- from taking the suggestions-boy was it a battle-It sure is easier staying recovered, than it was, getting recovered...I thank God for his mercy, on me, and anyone else who actually gets to experience the psychic change-some AMAZING STUFF. I'm sold. :shock:
Last edited by ROBERT on Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Dallas » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:12 pm

There is a difference in a desire to stop drinking and a desire to stay stopped drinking.

The desire to stop -- can be had while the person is still drinking.

The desire to stay stopped -- can only take place after one has stopped drinking.

For an alcoholic to "stay stopped" with their drinking -- it most often takes other measure and other actions than just plugging the jug.

If an alcoholic had to be sober before they could be an AA would have excluded many who stayed around to stay sober.

In my personal case, for me, if I had started drinking again, I automatically lost my status as a "member of AA"... but, that was for me, doesn't apply to anyone else.

Newcomers often do not realize that everyone in AA is not sober -- they only have a desire to stop drinking, or a desire to control it.


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Postby ROBERT » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:42 pm

Lots of them are sober (not drunk) as I was many times, and mis-took that as recovery, after of course a few meetings, a few chairing of meetings, you know fellowship stuff. I thought I was recovered, all better,-I had to go thru it to get to the other side, as many others are also doing-so my experience going thru that, keeps me on the beam, and I TRY to carry that message, but leave the results up to the truly effective manager. Humbly speaking, all my perspective comes from hindsight.

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Postby Dallas » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:10 pm

I understand.

I endeavor to get my perspectives from a mix of hindsights, frontsights, and current sights.

I'm not sure about the original question -- so that's good enough reason for a guy like me to try to answer a question when I'm not sure what the question is. :lol:

The 12 Steps: Why?

As stated in the BB, and summarized by me, it was to "outline the actions that they were taking -- in regards to producing the transformation that took place inside them -- that helped them to remain sober."

Why was the words "Awakening" used?

Having had a "Spiritual Awakening"...
Having had a "Life changing experience"
Having had a "transformation in my personality"
Having had a "dramatic change in my outlook and understanding"

All seems to mean the same thing to me.

"Having had a change"

Spritiual = Life. Awakening = "change in state of being" Like sleeping vs awake. We are still alive when we are sleeping. The consciousness that seems to take place while sleeping -- most often, to me, seems like dreaming.

Kind of like alive -- living in a dream, verses, awakened to a new reality.

Bill was trying to codify a formula that others could follow -- like a recipe -- to produce the transformation that took place -- that assisted them to "change their personality" in such a way that they could recover from alcoholism.

Where did Bill get his information?

a. William James, "Varieties of Religious Experiences"
b. The Oxford Group's formula for "Conversion"
c. His own experience.
d. Peabody's "Common Sense of Drinking."

William James, studied and researched various radical religious sects -- to try and find out what they had in common -- and did in common -- to produce radical changes of personality -- that would radically change a persons behavior.

These studies were reduced down to a series of Lectures that were given in Edenburg -- and later condensed into a book "Varieties of Religious Experience."

James, wrote of "conversion experiences" and the Oxfor Group, wrote of "conversion experiences".

The idea in the 12 Steps -- is a series of certain specific actions -- to be taken, one after another, to produce a "conversion" in the personality -- spiritual awakening -- spiritual experience.

This is why on page 58, of the BB, it refers to them as "the Steps we took"... one after another, in one setting, to produce a change.

This was also precisely the Oxford Group's understanding.

At one select time, to follow this recipe, to produce a specific experience.

It helps to use baking a cake as an illustration:

1. Flower
2. Eggs
3. Milk
4. Salt
5. Sugar
6. Yeast, or a rising agent.

Mix it all together.
Put it in a predetermined temperature inside a heated oven.
Leave it for a certain time.
Take it out of the oven.
Let it cool.
Then, put the icing on it.

The result: Cake.

Now, can you imagine taking several months to bake the cake?

Sure. You'll have what you call "cake"... but it won't be the same cake that is cooked in a matter of a couple of hours.

The eggs will get rotten. The milk will sower. The flower will get crusty and hard... and after it bakes... yes, you can call it a cake... but it will be nothing like the cake that gets baked during a couple of hours of "steps, one after the other, to bake a cake."

Spiritual Awakenings -- Conversion -- the one's that William James and the Oxford Groups wrote about "took place within a short period of time" in a matter of "hours". This is what made them look "radical" and appeared as "miracles" of change.


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Postby ROBERT » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:23 pm

Wow I can only have perspective from hindsight-if a way is passing me by on another way, please share--I'm up for new ideas.... :oops:

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Postby DiggerinVA » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:44 pm

Dallas that was excellent. The point of one sitting is so important to me. It is sort of neat that Bill put the elements in the 10th step. Sort of trickery to me. But it is so cool. Yes I am hung up on the 10 step because a particular meeting I go to the answer for the past, oh I don't know, has been the 10 step.

The Oxford Group listed 4 I will call them phases.

1.Surrender (1-3)
2.Sharing (4-7)
3.Restitution (8-9)
4.Guidance (10-12)

Oh there is another reason the 12 steps are a suggestion, they knew these worked too.

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