Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment
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Postby Dallas » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:13 am


"When dealing with an alcoholic, there may be a natural
annoyance that a man could be so weak, stupid and
irresponsible. Even when you understand the malady better,
you may feel this feeling rising."

"Having suffered from alcoholism, I should understand the
illness, but sometimes I feel annoyance, even contempt,
toward a person who cannot make it in A.A. When I feel
that way, I am satisfying my false sense of superiority
and I must remember, but for the grace of God, there go I."

from the book
~ Daily Reflections

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Postby Ranman99 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:58 pm

Happy New Year Dallas!!! Picked up my one year on Dec. 20th. Now absolutely without a doubt longest I have been clean and sober and relatively honest (oh is that supposed to be rigorously;-) since I was 13 years old. Longest I have been without alkie-hole since I was 15. It was a fine (and miserable) 29 year run on the booze;-) When I get my kit together I still owe you a song. Today my share is:

You are asking yourself, as all of us must: "Who am I?â€

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Postby MichalF » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:43 am

"natural annoyance" some time is for me like excuse to avoid uncomfortable situation.
I prefer stay among old timers "to shine" instead of look after notoriuos...
I miss this word in English... 8)

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understanding the Malady

Postby knny913 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:12 pm

Hi Michal & Dallas,
Ranman99 congradulations on your 1 year. May you pick up a hundred more. I know that's impossible, but keep up the good work, and remember, the more you give away, the better your chance of seeing more birthdays.
Ah.. the malady. I was talking with my sponsor tonight, he has another sponsee, a newcomer who has been in and out of the program so many times, we refer to him as the revolving door. He has had alot of sponsors in the past few years, including myself at one time. I'm not the type that gets upset over loosing sponsees', I understand that I cannot help everyone, although I wish I could. I was asked by this person the time he went back out and when he came back if "I was upset that he found another sponser?". I looked at him and asked "are you sober now?". He knew that that was all I wanted for him. Anyway, back to my point, my sponsor told me in confidence (so don't let this out), that this person was doing really well "up until yesterday", he didn't drink, he did some "meth" instead. So my sponsor told him that he had to renounce he sobriety date. Which is another issue in itself, I probably will start a new topic on this subject. So once again, back to the malady, my heart gets heavy everytime I hear of a person slipping, going back out, or just quiting the program altogether. I myself had several slips up until the program kicked in. I find that since I make it a point, everyday, to ask for help in the morning and give thanks at night, it is far tougher for me to even think about picking up. Because of my work schedule and vacation this past month, I was not able to attend meetings (sounds like a pretty rotten excuse to me), I was out of touch with my sponsor, and the people I normally surround myself with. After the first few days, I noticed myself getting edgy, then a couple of days later I was telling myself I didn't need meetings, not that I was cured (thank God), but that I was in control. As I was surrounded by people drinking this past week and half, I was feeling the erge to pick up drinks, not that I was craving them, but moreso out of habit. If it weren't for the tools I have received in AA, the fellowship, these forums, and the love of my God, I could have easily given up more than 3 years of sobriety, but I didn't. And for that I am greatful, but I also know that I am an alcoholic, and with the lack of the program, and not talking to my Higher Power on a daily and sometimes minute by minute basis, I would not stay sober. So I don't feel that false sense of superiority, and I can't else there go I.
Happy New Year to everyone!
Yours in sobriety

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Postby Sermon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:00 pm

Hey everyone... I noticed that this topic was only a few years old but when it comes to a part of the disease that stays with us... Really and truthfully it never hurts to brush up on it.

The Spiritual Malady....... The feelings and emotions of this deadly disease. I've found that this is where the disease starts (even after alittle sobriety under my belt). Irritable, restless, afraid, discontent, angry, LONELY!!! (big one for me), depressed, BORED!!! (another big one for me), I could even go as far to say Joyous..... I could remember getting alittle extra on my paycheck and telling myself "I'm not going with the cheap stuff tonight!!! I'm going all out with this little bonus!" Point being when these feelings crop up is when my mind is likley to kick in and start telling me what is "good for me!" :twisted:

The big book says, "When the spiritual malady is overcome..... We straighten out mentally and physically."

I've found that to be true with myself. I've also found with me, that the malady "normally" tend to crop up when I have a "big" desicion to make or a change is happening in my life. But don't take it that this is the only time it does I've also experienced it happen to me on when I'm just having a bad day. By working the steps the first time we get to experience something new happen to us. We meet our true selves for the first time in a long time. We get to experience an awakening to the realization that life isn't all about me and I've got more issues that just what I would accept it was "drinking". But sooner or later I've found myself riding this newfound "high" and when the new wears off my "reborn spirit" will go back to sleep, (please notice I'm speaking of my own experiences not what is set in stone) I become complacent and here comes the malady once again. My ego will remanifest itself in other ways than alcohol and I become vonerable to "sprees" (shopping, choclate, lottery, spam, spending, coffee). All in all I'm trying to fill my God Shaped hole again and I can't figure our what's wrong with me!!! Time for me to rework the steps again!!!!!

Working the steps on a continuing basis I'm more understanding of myself and the way I act when the malady sets in (hopefully this does not happen with you guys, but I'm not that guy). :oops: Also with working the steps continuously in my life I get to see how far I've actually come in sobriety and where I need to be headed (Everyone needs alittle pat on the back sometimes).

Thank God I didn't get this perfect the first time!!!!! More will be revieled the further we search!!!!!

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Postby Dallas » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:34 pm

Thanks for sharing & for refreshing this topic! Whats amazing to me is: this is a topic that I've been silently contemplating recently. Meaning: Quietly thinking about it -- rather than talking about it. So, I've been doing some internal and external personal research. :lol:

Personally, I was soberly raised up in the old AA idea of "not getting involved w/ discussing alcoholism as a disease -- simply sticking to the idea of 'a malady' or 'an illness' ... as it's described in the Big Book -- when discussing alcoholism in an AA or sobriety discussion environment. I've recently noticed how the GSO & Grapevine -- have strayed away from this tradition and have mingled 'disease' into some of the recent AA literature. And, personally -- I think it's a huge mistake for us AA's to get involved w/ a 'disease' concept regardless of how politicall correct, or academically & professional sounding that it might be.

And, how does what I just wrote pertain to this topic? (Since 'the disease' idea wasn't mentioned so my comments might appear out of place or off topic )... It's simply a part of my recent thoughts that tie in w/ the topic of 'spiritual malady' and 'religious themes' that sometimes get discussed in AA -- and a fresh way of observing and looking at the subject.

I have to remind myself often, that 'other people' do not live inside my brain -- so, when I discuss something I need to ask myself the question 'do they understand what I mean? How I mean it? What I mean by what I say?'

Here is an example: Let's suppose... I'm discussing alcohol-ism or 'spiritual malady' or 'spirituality' or 'things of a spiritual nature' as they are mentioned in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous -- and I'm discussing this w/ someone that has 'no previous knowledge or experience' of religion? How would I describe and explain what those words and those terms mean -- when I'm saying them? As difficult to do as this may sound -- one thing that would be definitely more difficult for me to do -- would be discussing the topic 'with' someone that already had religious ideas! :wink:

So, I'll pose the questions here that I might be asked by someone that was trying to understand what I might be talking with -- about what I think 'spiritual' means to me -- when discussing these ideas that are found in the Big Book:

1. What is the meaning of 'spiritual'? And,
2. What is my 'spirit'?

The reason that I believe the questions and the answers are so pertinent is: if I'm going to 'steer clear' of discussing alcohol-ism in terms of it being a 'disease' ... and I'm going to discuss things of a 'spiritual nature' while 'steering clear' of religion -- how will I answer those questions? And, by answering these questions for myself -- 'as if' I'm the other person -- it will help me to better understand 'myself' and 'what it means to me.'

I hope that wasn't confusing! :lol: :lol:

So, I'll ask those here in the forum:

1. What do you mean -- when you say the word 'spirit'?
2. What is 'my spirit'?
3. What do you mean -- when you say or write the word 'spiritual'?

Thanks for sharing your understandings!


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Postby sunlight » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:14 pm

I brought a speaker into our AA club who helped others understand the concept of spirit by sharing how he came to understand.

This man could not stay sober. He kept trying to attain sobriety his way, rather than by the program of recovery in the big book. He said he "slipped" 49 times in a year, and, admitting defeat, finally got a sponsor and began taking the steps.

He told his sponsor, "I don't want or need a higher power, a spiritual experience or a spiritual awakening. What is 'spirit' anyway?" His sponsor said, "Your spirit is your thoughts and feelings. How do you like your thoughts and feelings?" The man said, "They suck!" His sponsor said, "Then change them!" He said, "I can't. I've tried." His sponsor smiled and said, "Sounds like you need a higher power." :wink:

He is now 10 years sober & the rest of his story is so awesome I may post it sometime.

His sponsor's definition of spirit made sense to everyone at the meeting & was something all could relate to. It's been helpful to me in working with others.

"Spiritual" can be explained as that which is not tangible or material.
Love is something like that for me. I can see and touch expressions of love, but I can't actually see "love" or hold it in my hand. It's something I experience.
Love has a spirit: when I experience it and express it, I have a spiritual experience. :mrgreen:

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Postby sunlight » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:08 pm

My ex husband died of this illness last week. :cry:

This was a man who never reached his bottom.
He had broken nearly every bone in his body, lost his mind and given away everything he had. He was on dozens of pills to alleviate his pain and alter his mood, and washed them all down with alcohol. He denied to the end that he had a problem.

Even understanding the malady, it was so painful and frustrating for me and our children to watch him destroy himself.

Hard to say anything more about this except that I am grateful there is a loving God.

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Postby Pebbles » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:22 pm

Thank you for posting that Sunlight....alcohol is so very cunning, baffling, and powerful....and I must never forget that.

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