Step 4 - I have no resentments

12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:26 pm

Not all members of AA are alcoholics. Some are merely "hard drinkers". They look like an alcoholic, they act like an alcoholic, they talk like an alcoholic, and they drink like an alcoholic -- but, the fact is they are not alcoholic. If you read Chapter 3, more about alcoholism -- it specifically addresses them. They do not need a program to recover or to stop drinking. A good crisis, threat of divorce, loss of job, facing a judge, a trip to jail -- and, they can just quit -- and stay quit drinking.

These hard-drinking non-alcoholics that are in AA, can maintain their sober-ness by simply going to meetings or hanging out w/ the Fellowship. They don't need the 12 Steps and they don't need the Big Book.

I nearly died drinking -- after going to AA and finding these types of AA's that were trying to help me. They had fellowship support but no program of recovery. They stayed sober -- one guy for five years and another guy for 3 years -- they didn't take the steps -- and this convinced me, a "real alcoholic" that I could do what they did. I ended up going back to drinking and couldn't stay sober. I figured "well, I already tried what Jack & Bill and those AA's were doing -- so, I know that AA will not work for me."

That's one of the primary problems inside AA today that newcomers are not aware of. They see some guy or girl going to meetings with a message of "just don't drink no matter what, go to meetings, call me if you need to talk or need a ride and I'll be there for you" (with that member thinking he is being helpful)... and the guy or girl ends up dying from alcoholism -- because they got the wrong message. They were real alcoholics -- and the non-alcoholic AA member, that didn't need the 12 Steps as a program of recovery -- did more to harm those alcoholics than he did to help them.

There is two AA's.

One is the book, Alcoholics Anonymous -- it has the program of recovery of AA, which is the 12 Steps.

The second AA -- is simply the Fellowship. Alcoholics that are (supposedly and expectedly) using the program of recovery -- the 12 Steps, in the book.

This is why I asked Bovril the question of "what is IT". The answer, obviously is "the IT" is just meetings and the Fellowship -- with no AA program of recovery.

My suggestion, for members of AA, that do not use "the AA Program of Recovery" in the Big Book is: They should leave AA. They do more to harm and hurt newcomers in AA than they do to help them.

While their motives are good, and I'm sure they are good well-meaning humans -- they could be more helpful by finding venues other than AA -- to help alcoholics. Places like churches or other foundations -- or organizations -- but, not AA.

Dallas B.

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Postby Ranman99 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:36 pm

Dang interesting read. And great stuff. I saw the willingness to just go through the steps and give it a shot. I'm doing them for the third time and I also do not have too many resentments on there this time but I did add some people that piss me off on a regular basis and just give it a shot. I have nothing to lose except my sobriety. I have also learned that I need to keep in top spiritual condition so I can circumvent those unexpected logs in the spiritual river without capsizing.

Anywho It's taken me a long time to do it by the book. I like page 96 "Having had the experience yourself you can give him much practical advice". What experience pray tell? Well the experience of working through the steps as honestly and thoroughly as possible with the guidance of a good sponsor who is also applying the steps.

It was only after working through the steps and applying the principals in all my affairs that I was able to share with new comers what it is like to work the steps and apply the principals in all my affairs.

One old timer gave me very good advice some months back. He said never ever offer opinions on anything. Always just share what you have done and experienced. That's the best way to keep a liar like me from embellishing or talking nonsense. It keeps it honest and from the heart. :D You can not accuse me of not being honest if I just tell you what I did and what happened.

Glad to have the tools;-)

Jim W
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Postby Jim W » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:59 am

Yes, if you are a hard drinker in AA, all we are is a support group to you. I guess it is nice that we can be that, but the real alkie needs more than that, because he/she is beyond human aid. So, if you are a hard drinker hanging out in AA and sucking the life out of it, no one can make you leave, but please don't try to help any real alcoholics, because you don't have anything to offer them.

There is a lady that goes to meeting here. She must, oh, twenty, twenty-one years away from a drink. She openly claims to have never cracked the Big Book or have taken a step. She is a nice lady and a kind person who seems to be genuinely happy and content. And in her own way, she loves A.A. as much as I do. She says it is "us," meaning the fellowship, that comes between her and drink. She does not need a spiritual answer to stop drinking.

So where is the harm in that? Doesn't she have every right to come to A.A. and say that stuff? I guess she does, but I've had several guys I've worked with, guys who are the real deal hardcore alkie, say to me "Why do I have to do this stuff? People like ___ don' have to"

Oh, I guess if I have to explain the answer, that explains everything, because if you don't know, you don't know. Only a real alcoholic who has found it through taking these steps would know.

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Postby junebug » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:29 pm

Wow-what a thread to jump in on. Being brand new (sober 77 days) and working the steps with the help of my sponsor has been awesome! I so agree that there ARE "hard drinkers" filling chairs in the the rooms. I am so grateful that I have found a solution based group and folks that work the steps. Without a spiritual solution and the steps I would never have made it even this far.......

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Postby Toast » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:15 pm

After 7 yrs in AA and being the world record attender at meetings and just doing what i was told and staying away from the 1st drink and going to plenty ' book burning' meetings. Even done a bit of prison sponsorship during that time, my thinking was that mixing with the tought guys ( so i thought then, i dont know) would mean i was a real man who didn't need your soppy programme.

So now loaded with all this phoney wisdom it came as a surprise to me ( but not to people in the know) to arrive at my 7th AA birthday and once again find myself at the jumping off place. Turns out all those feelings i had when i first made the call to AA 7 years before were still lurking below the surface. I found out the hard way that buried feelings never die.

It was then after 7 yrs of trying it ' Old Toms' way and ' Old Pete's' way and finding it didnt work i decided to try it the AA way. I changed groups and found a programme orientated sponsor who knew what he was talking about and we commenced our journey through the steps.

Still being a bit defiant i wanted to know what each step was all about before i would tackle them. But my sponsor just told me to get on with it and it all worked out well. I remember feeling great after step 3 and wanting to stop there but my sponsor told me that if i felt good at step 3 then i was only enjoying 25% of the benefits of this wonderful 12 step programme. I found i got 'God Given' inspiration after each step and not before. I had to be willing to make the leap of faith first before i got ' what you had'. And the real proof in the pudding was what my wife said to me around this time. She said' So thats what AA is all about, for years i thought you were wasting your time!' And boy was she right.

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Postby Ranman99 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:29 pm

Thanks for that Toast. Ya it is dang uncanny.

I was in and out for the last 18 years of my 29 year drinking career ( I started young :lol: ).

Today I am grateful that I was so deflated when I came in this time that I immediatley got a sponsor and listened to most of what he instructed and just did the steps. Took me about 4 months and it has changed my life.

I had to get over the hump of knowing it all becuase I had worked through the steps before but as my sponsor was so kind to point out I must have missed something 8)

Today I am 692 days sober but whose counting.

I'm not the type of person that takes to instructions well when I have my own idea but fortunatley I was so crushed that my deflation was followed up immediatly with surrender (actually my sponsor says I was still fighting for about 6 weeks he's probably right :oops: ).

It could have been fatal :P

I'm also grateful to have the attitude today that I like to try and grow a little more each week becuase I know how fast I can slip back to old behaviour and that will eventually lead to a drink for me. To finally have the experience that I needed is precious. A smart alec like me can miss this so easily.

I also have had one opportunity to be struck with the urge to drink and be saved by the cosmic bell. Dang never know when that can happen.

Grateful to be an alkie :lol: How else could I have availed myself of this :oops:

Today when I see someone come into our meetings that remind me of myself I try to spend a bit of face time and tell my story and suggest they just keep and open mind and give it a shot. I am not the type of person that can come into AA and just do meetings and not do the program.

Ciao all and have a good weekend.

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Postby Toast » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:57 pm

Thanks Ranman

I think now that i have that experience of doing it the wrong way for so long i dont have much patience with people who dont want ' what we have'. The types who just come here for a chat and a coffee and dont change anything outside the meetings. I sit with guys who have more brains and talents than i could ever dream of but they're either too lazy or arrogant to use them. Makes me want to bang there heads of a wall and say ' its later than you think, if not now when'?

Think a lot of AA's hide behind this rigerous honesty thing. First time they get a job interview they tell them they're in AA and other stuff about there inglorious past. This ensure they dont get the job and can stay in bed all day until its time to go to a meeting and tell everyone how wonderful life is having nothing to do all day?

I lied through my teeth to get my first job sober. Had a lovely wife and 2 damaged kids to support, wasted years in my bed coming off booze. Their welfare was my first priority.

I was told early on that you dont build a ship to leave it in the dry dock, you have to take it out there and see if it works under all conditions. If you dont then building it was a waste of time in the first place.

I have a construction site first aid course this weekend, knowing me, once i'm qualified i'll be tripping people up so i can fix them! :wink:

Embrace your weekend

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Postby Ranman99 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:19 pm

Thanks Toast. I relate exactly to what you said. I often have to just walk up and say to the new guy. Here is what I was like and here is what I did and stop myself from saying anything critical. I was jsut the same and when they don't want to do. I just keep saying you know the first times I bounced around AA I just could not hear what people where trying to tell me I was just like ......... I keep doing it and have a chuckle to see if they can tell I'm describing them. Some get it some don't it's up to them and HP to decide what they need next.

For me no one could take away the bottoms I needed because they were the bottoms I needed and as long as I stay sober they are great gifts. Wouldn't trade some of that pain for a million dollars now if that makes sense :P

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Postby Toast » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:45 am

Hi Ranman

Oh yes those memorable bottoms, the worse days were having no booze, no money and no more friends to borrow any from. Just sitting there suffering from an illness i didnt know i had. I'll forget those days at my peril!

My first drunk was when i was 15 yrs old. After that i woke up on a patch of grass, i'd lost my jacket, shirt ,scarf, you name it. My last drunk was when i was 32. After that i woke up on a patch of grass, i'd lost my jacket, my shirt and anything else of any value. So as you can i'd clearly done well in 17 yrs drinking and running the whole show all by myself! To my credit the patches of grass where about 1000 yards apart but i had moved house by then and both times i was trying to get home :oops:

In soberiety some doors i thought i was destined to go through were firmly closed in my face. I then had to turn around and walk in a completely new direction. This new journey took me to the place i should have been heading all along!

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Postby Ranman99 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:22 am

Hey that's cool I also had my first good drunk at 15 and world spinning both ways and puking. Found myself also lying on the grass and it was about 3:00am and lucky I figured I better just get up and walk home as it was November and in Canada. Could have been an early end to a long career of it :lol:

I was pretty stuborn though I figured I had a problem by about 19 went to my first AA meeting at 26 and then in every time my butt caught fire but just could not hang up the guns till I was about 44.

Dang baffling but the booze was definatley my higher power for many years. :P

Went to the morning mens meeting here today. Watch a new guy who remings me of myself and he's just over 30 days. Everybody got onto the HP topic for some reason and were just oh so dang gratefull. I could just see the new guy really struggling with all that spirit or the universe talk.

It's tough I know. To live by spiritual principals or die is a tough decsion :roll:

Later, Have a good Sunday mine just wrapping up. Glad to be sober and happy and calmn and gratefull. I expect I will sleep really well tonight 8)

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