- Step One – the most often misquoted Step of the 12 Steps!

Step One – the most often misquoted Step of the 12 Steps!




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Postby rkdian34 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:12 am

The dash in this instance mean "therefore". Be careful of the three S's.
    Self pity
    Self justification
    Self bull*hit
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Postby Silverbullet » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:46 am

It's used to to represent the parallel relationship and to join words . :wink:
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Postby thx1138 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:38 pm

.
I mistakenly thought that the First Step was the AA definition of an alcoholic.

---------

So you don't think the First Step is one AA definition of an alcoholic?
.
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Postby Kristie » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:47 pm

I guess I'm too new to figure this out. I have the blue book and I have read it. I didn't think I'm alcoholic and maybe I'm not alcoholic. I searched for answers and found this web site. When I first read this topic at the beginning I started to become convinced that I might be alcoholic. Now as I read through the rest of it I'm not so convinced.

Here is my problem. I drink too much when I drink. My friends have said I could be alcoholic and to check it out. If the first step is the description of an alcoholic and it means my life has to be unmanageable to be an alcoholic I'm not alcoholic. I'm young. I was on honor society in HS. I'm top of my class in college. I'm a successful athlete in sports competition. I have good parents and my family is well adjusted. I grew up in church and have morals and ethics. I haven't missed one day of school since grade school. I work two part time jobs. One job I am manager. I get frequent raises and praises for my work. I have never missed one day of work. I have never been in a bad relationship. I am honest. I don't steal or cheat. I have never been in trouble or had to go to court or to jail. I am happy and I take care of myself. I have many good friends. I have asked my pastor and my parents and my friends if they think my life is unmanageable. They are shocked that I asked them that question. They agree on no being the answer. That means that according to some of the things I have read here that I must not be alcoholic. I do drink too much when I drink. It happens everytime I drink. I go to clubs and parties with my friends and they drink. I intend to only drink one drink but I drink until I throw up or pass out. Can someone here help me to find the answer? Can I still be alcoholic if my life is not unmanageable or not?
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Postby Tim » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:38 pm

Kristie--Well, your drinking is unmanageable; that's a start. One of the definitions of an alcoholic in the Alcoholics Anonymous book is this: "If, when drinking,you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic."

When I was young like you (I had my first drink at age 20), I could not control the amount I drank when I drank. My situation was much like yours in terms of the outward appearances. I felt empty on the inside though and did not feel comfortable in my own skin. Drinking helped to make me feel less empty and more comfortable.

Fast forward many years. My drinking gradually controlled me more and more. It took away a lot of those things that, like you, I had. I finally was forced to admit that I was powerless over alcohol--that my life was unmanageable. I became a member of AA and have been sober for a dozen years. I worked the 12 Steps and practice these principles in my life. I am reasonably content, have good relationships with others, and rely on God as the source of spiritual power in my life.

I don't have any advice for you. If you're an alcoholic like me, it may take some hard experiences to realize that you need help. The ABC's of AA are these:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.
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Postby Dallas » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:40 am

Hello Kristie, and welcome to the forums! You are more likely than not -- in the right place!!! :wink:

It may come as a shock to you, as it does to many members of AA, that have been members for a while -- as strange as this may seem, A.A. does not have "An Official Definition of an alcoholic"! :lol:

There are a few places in the blue book Alcoholics Anonymous (I assume that's the one you mentioned you are reading, please check and be sure that it is, because there are a few other A.A. books, that are blue), that give a general description of "what an alcoholic MAY be like", but it also lists several types of alcoholics, and even mentions, that there has been no attempt to identify all the different types.

In the Doctor's Opinion, in the front section of the book, you'll find some of these types mentioned.

There is one type that is specifically mentioned, that the alcoholic appears normal in every aspect of their life (meaning, normal, as in non-alcoholic), except in regards to their drinking alcohol.

I wont tell you that you are alcoholic, because we go to great effort not to judge anyone else, other than ourselves, as alcoholic. You will have to decide this for yourself. And, I'll be happy to assist you by helping you discover relevant information that you can use to make your decision.

However, I will say, that from what you have written about your experience -- it sounds to me, like you are probably alcoholic.

The reason that I say this is: If you'll turn to page 30, of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, the first page in the Chapter "More About Alcoholism", there are some simple test questions that you can ask yourself, to help you decide. (And, not one of those questions ask, if your life is unmanageable). :wink:

You are not alone in getting confused! :lol: All of us were confused when we were first exposed to A.A.! (And, some are still confused, even though they've been around for a while)! :lol: :lol:

The First Step -- in recovery, IS NOT the definition or description of an alcoholic. :wink:

The First Step -- simply "names the problem". It allows you to identify the problem and give it a name, but it does not describe or define what an alcoholic is.

Please read the Doctor's Opinion, in the front of the book, and then read, Chapter Three, more about alcoholism. By reading these two parts of the book, you will be able to decide for yourself, if you are alcoholic.

I suggest taking a pen and paper, and writing down any questions that you have and then, if you do not discover the answer to your questions, please ask them here in the forum. Also, if you'd like to contact me by Private Message, just click on the little icon for sending a Private Message, and I'll be more than happy to help you with finding your answers.

You do NOT have to wait -- for your life to become unmanageable! Many of us have come to believe that we were alcoholic many years before we got to A.A., and many years before we created the major problems in our lives. Many were, like you, "normal in every respect" except for their reaction to alcohol. You do not have to wait and experience the low bottoms of life -- that other alcoholics experienced. Our job, is to "help you raise your bottom!" :lol:

I wish you the best! And, PLEASE keep coming back!!! I believe, that you have found the right place!

Dallas B.
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Postby MichalF » Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:04 am

Hello Kristie,
Great to meet you here. Thank you for sharing.
I know that it would be seems strange for you, but when I first went to AA at my 25th old I was one of the youngest members of local AA community . Twenty years ego other AA members in Poland were generally after theirs thirties and forties “richâ€
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Postby DiggerinVA » Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:31 pm

Kristie wrote:I guess I'm too new to figure this out. I have the blue book and I have read it. I didn't think I'm alcoholic and maybe I'm not alcoholic. I searched for answers and found this web site. When I first read this topic at the beginning I started to become convinced that I might be alcoholic. Now as I read through the rest of it I'm not so convinced.

Here is my problem. I drink too much when I drink. My friends have said I could be alcoholic and to check it out. If the first step is the description of an alcoholic and it means my life has to be unmanageable to be an alcoholic I'm not alcoholic. I'm young. I was on honor society in HS. I'm top of my class in college. I'm a successful athlete in sports competition. I have good parents and my family is well adjusted. I grew up in church and have morals and ethics. I haven't missed one day of school since grade school. I work two part time jobs. One job I am manager. I get frequent raises and praises for my work. I have never missed one day of work. I have never been in a bad relationship. I am honest. I don't steal or cheat. I have never been in trouble or had to go to court or to jail. I am happy and I take care of myself. I have many good friends. I have asked my pastor and my parents and my friends if they think my life is unmanageable. They are shocked that I asked them that question. They agree on no being the answer. That means that according to some of the things I have read here that I must not be alcoholic. I do drink too much when I drink. It happens everytime I drink. I go to clubs and parties with my friends and they drink. I intend to only drink one drink but I drink until I throw up or pass out. Can someone here help me to find the answer? Can I still be alcoholic if my life is not unmanageable or not?


For me the craving did not set in until my forties. But the way you describe what happens when you drink, describes me in my twenties and my 30's. I also worked real hard and was successful in pressure type of industry. So I would say to watch that no off switch stuff (I also had a high tolerance, compare yourself to your friend that don't over do it).

Life being unmanageable could (it iwas for me anyway) be of of those "yets" we talk about. You know the stuff that will happen if we put off the treatment.
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step one- the most often misquoted of the steps

Postby knny913 » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:55 pm

Good Evening Kristie, and welcome.
If you "think" you have a drinking problem, you are probably in the right place. The "disease" of alcoholism is a "progressive" one. I know several people in AA now that have over 25 years in AA, and they are in their 40's. They are the smart ones, as far as I'm concerned. It took me 39 years of drinking, admittedly the last 8 or 9 years the hardest, before I realized that I was an alcoholic - my life was unmanageable. My bottom was deep, and when I hit it, I hit it hard. We of Alcoholics Anonymous do not take inventory for others, we are only here to help others to not have to hit the bottom as hard as we have, if we can prevent it. One thing I have learned in AA, is that lots of people who are not here, are in denial, they think that as long as they are showing up to work everyday, that they are "exempt" from being an alcoholic, as long as they are doing what they need to do, again they are "exempt". Have you tried to control your drinking, can you continually go out and only drink one or two? Then stop and continue into the evening without another drink, or make one drink last all night? An Alcoholic doesn't have to be a "skid row bum", we are all active people, I know Drs, Lawyers, Congress people, Dentists, and even us Business owners, that have a drinking problem, just look at Dr. Bob and Bill W. they like most people were brought up in nice homes, with money and religion. But Alcohol is a "cunning and baffling" disease. We believe that we are truly alergic to alcohol, that once we take the first drink, we are no longer in control of how much or what we drink. So you see it doesn't matter how old or young you are, if you (again) "think" you have a drinking problem, you don't have to wake up on the floor of a jail cell, going through withdrawals to quit drinking. You can just stop!, and if you find that you cannot, then you have us to help you.
Good Luck, and just for the heck of it, keep coming back to these forums and sharing with us, we love to hear how you are progressing.
Thank you
Kenny
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Postby thx1138 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:26 pm

hi Kristie ... hope this helps ...

One interpretation of "our lives had become unmanageable" is that "our DRINKING lives had become unmanageable".

With some alcoholics, nearly every aspect of their life is unmanageable. With other alcoholics, they are what is called "functional" alcoholics -- everything in their life is pretty much OK, except for their drinking.

In your post you said:
"I drink too much when I drink."
"It happens everytime I drink."
"I intend to only drink one drink but I drink until I throw up or pass out. "

That does sound unmanageable, at least with respect to your drinking life.

It's great that you have the self-awareness to be able to recognize those problem drinking symptoms in yourself. It's also great that you are so accomplished at school and work and with family and friends and relationships, etc. You may be alcoholic, you may not be. You may be just a temporary "problem drinker" as it's called. For instance, lots of people are problem drinkers in college, then when they graduate, their hard drinking days are over -- and it was just a temporary phase.

But at first blush, it does sound as if you may have a problem with alcohol -- in that, as you said, usually when you drink, you drink too much.

How does all that sound? Thanks for your post ...

Jay
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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Step One – the most often misquoted Step of the 12 Steps!



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