- AA is a selfish program

AA is a selfish program




Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery

Postby Ranman99 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:50 pm

Hey there Dallas. Yup read that and the varieties of religous experience earlier this year when I basically read everything on silkworth dot net back in about month 2 or 3. I wanted it real bad this time but my sponsor would tell you I was still kicking and screamin'. You mentioned about either wanting a pre '75 or ppost '75 copy of 24 hours I thought. Just wondering for that particular read what significance to '75.

When I shared this week I read a passage from "Came to believe" that goes like this:

"In the beginning, I rejected any part of the AA program that referenced God in any manner. I even remained silent when they closed meetings with the Lords Prayer (ours here is the serenity prayer as you do).

Looking back, I don't think I was an agnostic, nor do I think I was an atheist. But I do know this: I couldn't accept any of "the God bit," nor did I want to come to believe or have any spiritual awakening. After all, I had come to AA to get sober, and what did all this truck have to do with that?

Even with all my stupid arrogance, you still loved me, held out your hand of friendship, and I'm sure, used cautious wisdom in trying to reach me with the program. But I could hear only what I wanted to hear.

I remained dry for a number of years (substitute months here for me and it's the same drill) and then, as you may already have guessed, I drank again. It was inevitable. I had accepted only those parts of the program that fitted into my life without effort on my part. I was still the self-centered egotist I had always been, still full of all my old hatreds, selfishness, and disbelief -- just as lacking in maturity as I had been when I first arrived in AA"

Read that last Sunday and it struck a chord with me. I think I did want the spiritual angle but the rest lines up pretty good. It was nice to read varieties prior to having had my own variety. Whish I had read it earlier.

Peaceful day to you!!! :wink:
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Postby Ranman99 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:02 pm

Just one more observation. For me varieties was not the mind blower I thought it would be but I did enjoy the turn of the century academic writing style :) Had me lookin' up a few things!
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Postby Dallas » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:43 am

You mentioned about either wanting a pre '75 or ppost '75 copy of 24 hours I thought. Just wondering for that particular read what significance to '75.


I don't ever remember saying or writing anything about that. Maybe it was something you read on the other sites. I have been curious about the changes to it, after Hazeldon bought the copyrights. Since the original would now be in the public domain in regards to copyrights -- I would assume they made some slight changes to re-package it and hold some rights on the re-packaging. But, I don't ever remember expressing these thoughts in public. :wink:
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Postby Dallas » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:59 am

Ranman99 wrote:I remained dry for a number of years


As I read that above, the thought that I had was: I wonder if sometimes we're making too much of a big deal and much-a-do about nothing -- in regards to dry, sober, sobriety, recover, recovered, healed, cured, etceteras.

It sets up a barrier amongs us.... and set's up levels of "well, this guy or gal is not as sober as that guy or gal... and they're definitely not as sober as me now."

That kind of behavior, would probably be characterized into the "dry" phase... that we talk about.

If an alcoholic is sober -- they're sober. They are not drinking. And, that's a good thing. And, they should be commended for it, regardless of how they are doing it. I'm sure that many of their friends, family and loved ones, or those in association with them, think, "well damn. at least he/she is not drinking and killing themselves or others."

When we talk about humility, and being humble, and at peace with the universe... I wonder if some see us as hypocritical... when get off into tangents of making like we've got some better angle on sobriety and recovery -- kind of like how some church folks, talk about other church folks, in regards to "WELL, we've got it right and they don't".

Now, my statements here don't have anything to do with anyone in particular, (even though Robert will think it's about him :lol: ) it really isn't about anyone other than general comments made by me in my view of my reality.

Why are we setting ourselves up... as judges, to judge the quality of someone elses life or sobriety -- even if we're only judging ourselves?

It doesn't seem right to me, at least, for me, to be doing that. Kind of like Chuck C., used to say "either we're all God's kids or none of us are. If one ain't then all of us ain't. And, if one of us is, the we all is."

It just seems like an out-of-place condemnation on our selves when used in regards to our self, or condemnation of others -- in regards to judging our experience with someone elses experience. It doesn't seem to be a very loving, kind, healthy, or helpful way of looking at life and those of us in it.

I've been just as guilty if not more guilty in my past of doing this very thing. And, I recognized it was a good time for me to change -- especially if I had the desire to "help others."

Do I really mean it, when I tell a soaking wet drunk that "I care about you, buddy. I understand. And, there is a special love inside of me for you -- because I'm just like you -- I just haven't had a drink today." ??

If I did mean that -- then why should I be judging one of those wet alcoholics now that they are dry, and not drinking? Did my common problem with them disappear? Or, was my loving and caring that I expressed, just a thing in my head, that I was saying to impress the guy/gal about what a good guy I am? Am I being a phony? Or, am I just confused?

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Postby Ranman99 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:17 am

Hey Dallas, thanks for the explanation and I just flipped back and it was Diggerin VA that mentioned owning a pre '75.

I liked this post. I think when I see certain things now I don't necessarily judge I can feel a bit sad. I think for me I have to be cautious around giving what I've got and not trying to give what I don't have and that can go for any particular day or period.

Kinda carry the message when necessary be there to take a call or run out but once done it's up to each individual where they want to step next I suppose.

It's like when I speak to yonger people of course I simply tell them what happened to me and that they don't have to do what I did and make a few suggestions like when I was their age I could not stop but what would have been helpful would be to not hide it at least speak openly with others that understand about the problem. But hey honesty eh! hmmm one of the offenders!.

I like what I just read and it is a good message for me for today.

How does one practice humbling oneself? What advice would you give to someone who asked you that?

Cheers,
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Postby ROBERT » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:59 am

Hey quit talking about me :lol: :lol:
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Postby gunner48 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:39 am

The only difference between me and the person drunk under the bridge is that I have welcomed spirital help and they have yet to do so. I was as sober as I was ever to be in about 3 days. Until I put spirital principles to use in my life that is all I was ever to be, just sober or dry whichever you like to say. My soberity doesn't revolve around not drinking but upon spirital growth. How I grow in spirit is by taking a message of hope to another. Not judging, not comparing, not trying to convince someone they are alcoholic but simply carring a message of hope.

My past has become my greatest asset. Without it I can't connect with the one still drinking. My hope is important to let them know there is a way out if they want it. My strength is my relationship with God that allows me to continue to go into the places I need to go in order to carry the message of Hope.

What still works for me is one drunk talking to another about what is real. Nothing will so much insure my ammunity from the next drink as intensive work with another alcoholic. It works when all else fails.

I must always remember; I'm one drink away from hopelessness. I must keep my hope and continue to grow in spirit.

I was told that if I think I am being humble, I most likely am not.

Peace and Love
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Postby ROBERT » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:39 pm

I believe the book says it well...there are as many definitions of humility as there are people...I asked that as a topic once--what is humility...no lack of participants willing to share their perception of the word, and ya know what... I believe they were all correct. luv to all :D
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Postby Dallas » Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:01 pm

How can I become humble?

Gees. That's a $100,000 question for sure! :lol:

I believe it's good for me to have self-confidence and a sense of good self-worth. That I believe is healthy. And, at the same time to have a level of humility, or to be humble. Kind of like a dichotomy. Maybe, similar to Yin and Yang.

For me to develop a healthy, good sense of self-worth -- my self needs to do things that are worthy. And, by practicing worthy actions -- this will lead me to self-confidence.

For me to develop humility, or to be humble -- my self needs to do things that cause me to consider my size and importance. Example: I could go to an observatory and spend the day observing the giant-ness of the Universe... which, might help me to realize that I am but a small particle of the whole. Or, I might volunteer at a hospice, or cancer treatment center, and realize how small and powerless I am in regards to solving those kinds of problems.

While I wasn't trying to become humble or develop humility -- and my focus was simply to try and hang on to my precious sobriety -- when I was about 2 and three years sober, I used to get a group of newcomers together and bring them to my apartment. Since I was often the only one working and had any money, I would go to a place like Costco or Price Club and buy a bunch of loaves of bread, and some meat to make sandwiches, and some cookies, and oranges, and some brown paper lunch bags. Then, we would spend a couple of hours preparing a couple hundred bag lunches... and then take them down to hand out on skid-row in Los Angeles. Seeing the less-fortunate, homeless, hungry, sick, drunk, mental-health problems, diseased, living in cardboard box shelters, and trying to do something to comfort them -- made me feel so small, and so grateful.

Other times, when one of the newcomers would be at the "jumping off place" and it would be late at night, I'd drive to Santa Monica, and go through the McDonalds drive-through, and order 20/25 Happy meals, and cartons of milk and apple pies. Then, the two of us would make up sack meals and drive around the streets and alleys at 3 am in the morning, passing out the Happy Meals secretly while the homeless people were sleeping or passed out. This always made me feel small and grateful. And, at the same time, (which I didn't know it then) it was helping me to feel a sense of good self-worth.

When I recognize that I need a good dosing of humbleness and humility, is often at the same time that I am trying to help someone else -- that has bigger problems than I have.

I'm not doing those things to try to be humble or develop humility -- I'm just trying to do what I was taught to do that was:
a. My responsibility to be of service to others when I can. And,
b. Because in doing these things it is saving my ass -- and actually doing more good for me, than it is for the people that I'm trying to help.

Other than those examples, the only thing that has worked for me, in regards to gaining humility or becoming humble (as I can remember right now) -- was to be faced with a huge crisis, or a huge life-threatening situation that was bigger than me. A situation where I was fully aware that the odds were stacked against me -- and, my only hope was from the Loving Hands of Life, God's mercy and goodness towards me.

I also observed that when I kept busy trying to save my ass -- by doing good and worthy things for others that were less fortunate than myself -- I began to experience less of the times when my situations or problems would be life-threatening to me, or a major crisis.

I seem to, without trying too hard to do it, maybe because it has become habit --- be a magnet for people with problems. And, as I'm trying to help them -- it causes me to think "Heck. I sure don't have any problems!" And, it helps me to keep right sized, realizing... it could be me facing what they are facing, or "I understand. I've faced that before, also."

That seems to be what works for me. But, like I said in the beginning: I think it's the $100,000 question -- and, I don't know if I know for sure, what the real answer is.

Dallas
Last edited by Dallas on Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ROBERT » Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:06 pm

maybe, that IS the real answere, Dallas.......for you! :)
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