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 Toast » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:44 am

I felt oh so spiritual after my first ever AA meeting. I left the room feeling like Billy Graham, was gonna cure the world with my healing hands then burn down all the bars in town!

Unfortunately before i got that project off the ground someone offered me a drink and then i found out i had no mental defence against that 1st drink and i woke up once again flat out on the 'frozen' grass. In January in Scotland, like you say its a wonder i'm still here today.

Think somebody up there likes me? :wink:

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Postby RichC » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:08 pm

Haven't seen Bovril come on back.
IMO he or she as the case may be may not realize just exactly what group he or she may fall into. HD or Alkie.
However not to chastise anyone posting, but doing it anyway...
Perhaps the reason is we chased Bovril off...???

Re-Reading through all this it appears to me that a few conclusions were drawn early.
Perhaps Bovril needed a little explanation, or perhaps Bovril was a bit on the fence where he or she actually stood and was seeking a little sway one way or another.
Or even some enlightenment as to the true situation from someone looking in instead of Bovril looking out.
I can only guess at this point.
I see this in meetings also all too often.
The group of members that feel that their way is the only path.
The old bishops of the meeting that are dead set on running the meeting within their rules and unflexable to the point of being tyrannical.

Remeber these?
Lets take close note of 2, 3, and 5


1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
6. An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside
8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our
service centers may employ special workers.
9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Brutal Honesty I know is hard to swallow.
Sometimes it just takes a little tough looking at ourselves to see things we may not have realized we actually did.

Ok that being said is it possible we as group may have pushed Bovril away?
Perhaps just a little?

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Postby Toast » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:32 pm

Educate me?

Never intended to offend anyone?

How could we have chased someone away when all we have been doing is having an open discussion on matters that affect us all?

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Postby RichC » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:16 pm

I may be wrong here because I am an alcoholic and have an alkie mind.
So perhaps my perception is not so good.
Call me on my sh** if I am off base too.

Anyway it appeared to me that Bovril came in with the "Cured" attitude.
We all have experienced it with others.
We have all seen those that sit upon the pedestal and say "Look At Me, And How Great I Am" too.
It seems there is the stage we all go through on the Pink Cloud.
Some fall quickly off it, and others are intent on portraying to others that they are permanent residents.
The residents are the ones I see always coddling the newcomers with phrases like:
"Oh it's ok you went to the party, because your Higher Power didn't let you slip. Even though you almost did the coke."
"We feel for your circumstances that led to your relapse. We will hug and cry for you and feel your pain."
"I remember when I first came to AA and how I was saved my first meeting.."
That kind of thing.

Well I was scared as hell my first AA meeting and I was in a residential treatment program at the time.
I was angry and disappointed in myself and those around me that wanted me to open myself to the world and tell all.
Those that approached me with the Touchy Feely attitudes I want to just say "Get back ya fruitcake".
I swung from one extreme to the other during that time and thank God I had those around me to call me on my sh** and point it out, Bluntly, and In Detail.
I eventually found that happy medium and learned to see myself for what I really was.
(A selfish, inconsiderate, bastard concerned with nothing but my own little world.)
And to my surprise I could see others as well.
I spent two years in aftercare after treatment and watched those Newbies come in on that cloud and pretend to work their steps.
I could see the true workers, that were dead serious in helping themselves stay sober.
I also could see the charlatans that were just there to fill the box, or were in some competition to complete the steps before others in the group.
And the Pink Clouders that were so high on their own recovery they were blinded by what others were actually doing.
And if someone in the group relapsed they ALWAYS made excuses for them.
"Stress has been high for you."
"Your life is so complicated we understand how you could relapse."

Bull Sh**!!
I would jump right straight in their face and tell them they were full of it.
They themselves allowed this to happen, and they themselves were responsible for the outcome. IN DETAIL.

So I see Bovril walking in here on that Cloud.
Been there some time too.

I see someone headed for the fall.
I see people characterizing him/her as a 2 Stepper, a Hard Drinker, whatever.
Well I see a Pink Cloud Alkie.
But also someone questioning their own beliefs in themselves.
Questioning if what they see is true.
But playing the role of "I am OK".
People resent being Classed.
People are afraid to admit to themselves what they are more than anything.
Especially when they are told what they are doing is wrong.
And then dismissed as inconsequential.

I saw that in this thread.
So I pointed it out.
I don't think anyone here was intentionally doing it.
Or for that matter even saw it that way.
Perhaps I am out in left field.

From my experience (limited as it is) the Residents fall hard. It may take a bit longer; but the fall always happens.
I will be there to pick up the pieces if so invited too.
But I will also point out the pieces that they assembled that caused them to trip on their own feet.
Hand that piece to them and ask if they really want that piece put back.

My sincere hope is Bovril will chime back in.
My hand is extended to help him/her back on their feet.
But be warned.
If you take my hand you better be willing to listen to what I tell you.
I did say listen. Not accept.
That is your choice, as with all of you.
Take what you want and leave the rest as it is said.
I figure I am stable in my program.
As stable as walking a tightrope that is.
I can fall at any time.
All it will take is a big enough wind to knock me off.
I just pray that if that happens there will be someone there to call me a dumba** for walking on a tightrope in the first place.

My 2 cents worth a plugged nickle.

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Postby Dallas » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:24 pm

I can see how you might see it that way Rich. Others will probably see it that way, too. Not all others -- just the others that see it the way that you do -- and I'm sure there will be some that do. None of us are so unique that only one of us see's something one way.

I personally don't see it like you do. And, that's okay. I'm not going to explain the how and why of how I see it nor offer a defense or explanation for it. I read through this thread and followed the discussion carefully and I didn't see anyone attacking anyone or attempting to be hard on anyone. Someone asked for information. And, they got information. If honest information offends -- don't ask for it.

None of us have the power to drive anyone out -- nor do we have the power to drive them in.

AA "does" have an Official Plan of Recovery -- it's in the text book "Alcoholics Anonymous." When the Founders & Pioneers wrote that book -- their research into other methods was over. When an Alkie shows up in AA -- their either ready to surrender to the AA Official Plan of Recovery -- or they are still in "research mode." In research mode, they'll try all kinds "paths" for sobriety rather than following AA's Path. (pg 58 BB). There is no problem with an alkie researching. It would be nice if they finished their research before AA -- instead of taking "other" newcomers down their experimental paths towards sobriety. This way, if the researcher dies -- he/she dies alone.... rather than killing some other alkies with them.

Dallas B.

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Postby RichC » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:08 pm

Well we will see our movie through our eyes.
I still believe Bovril is questioning his/her own program.
But Bovril is the only one with that answer.
I dont see where anyone attacked anybody.
Just inferred.
Perhaps if Bovril makes an appearance again the discussion may help him/her out.
I believe in the program and know it works.
It works for many things not just D&A.
We all carry a lot of baggage around we dont need too.
I dont regret a moment of it now.

Jim W
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Postby Jim W » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:50 pm

Comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.

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Postby junebug » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:45 am

Jim W wrote:Comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
interesting............... I thought I only had one resentment-until-and I mean this-I did my list exactly as the BB book stated. I was going to stay in my head for so long -hiding behind the "I don't like to journal, or write" excuse, that boy, when I did put pen to paper, I was shocked. I had some work to do.

Jim W
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Postby Jim W » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:19 am

junebug wrote:
Jim W wrote:Comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
interesting............... I thought I only had one resentment-until-and I mean this-I did my list exactly as the BB book stated. I was going to stay in my head for so long -hiding behind the "I don't like to journal, or write" excuse, that boy, when I did put pen to paper, I was shocked. I had some work to do.

Doing this work isn't always comfortable. I've been guilty of turning the process into a search for comfort, which if you look at it is exactly what kept me pursuing the illusion that booze was going to give me the effect that it did the first time it worked for me.

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Postby merckx » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:01 pm

I'm a little behind on this one ...

When I did my inventory I told my sponsor I didn't have any resentments. He laughed and said that I had more than I knew and that if his name didn't make it on the list that I definitely had not completed a thorough 4th step. He told me to follow the instructions laid out in the book and list anyone who came to mind. "If their name comes up, you have a problem with them." Prior to that a lot of names came up but I told myself those issues were settled. If they were settled their names would not of come up!

Looking specifically at Bovril's case, in the second edition we read "Upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, we surely have no monopoly." A.A. is a solution not the solution for alcoholism. Others have found themselves of sober mind and body without the program of recovery found in the Big Book.

My issue with an individual helping newcomers at an A.A. meeting who has not engaged in the program of recovery found in the Big Book is that you can't give something to someone you don't have. How can you help someone work the program of recovery found in the Big Book if you haven't worked them yourselves?

My co-workers frequently ask me to give them advice on how to help their patients work the steps. I tell them to grab the big book, read it page to page, and then sit down and work the Twelve Steps. All of us have our "ics" and "isms" and the Twelve Steps addresses all of them. Our program for recovery brings about healing for the whole man/woman. Up to this point all of them have said this is too much. So I tell them to direct their patient to an A.A./N.A. meeting, have them find a sponsor, and then stay out of it.

If Bovril enjoys the fellowship of A.A. by all means he should attend. Many attend meetings who are not alcoholic at all. To offer help or insight into recovery at a 12 Step Meeting that does not follow the program is at best confusing and at worst terminal.

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