- analyzing step 3 and confusing it for what it is.

analyzing step 3 and confusing it for what it is.




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

analyzing step 3 and confusing it for what it is.

Postby jaybah74 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:21 pm

Im an addict who has lost everything he has. I started going to AA 6 years ago and I know enough that it's the only thing that's gonna save me. I use to be very responsible before heroin came into play. Even during my first couple of years I maintained. I was proud of who I was. Now that I have lost it all it is so hard for me to stay clean. I just wantto isolate when not using, I don't want to look at life. before drugs, I would feed off having nothing to give me ambition to get thimgs done. From being a perfectionist and seeing no gray in life only black and white I analyzed everything including AA. I thought God's Will was to be happy with only what I have, only care about helping others, and not wanting more. I thought being ambitous was contradicting with being Spiritual. Now whenever I get clean, Im filled with anxiety,depression, and all the other raw feelings. It gets so bad it makes me isolate. Even though I want to go back to work and live like before drugs, there is nothing to motivate me. I think as long as I go to meetings thats all that Im supposed to do. I try to motivate myself and think of being happy so I will go to work, but because I feel so bad and don't want to go, and at the same time think God don't care I don't. I think that If I lose my place or run out of money than I will learn to be happy with just living in general. Being responsible and working use to be what mattered most to me. Now that I think it's not supposed to, and I think what I use to consider doing good was wrong, I have nothing telling me I have too. It's almost like Im using early recovery as a crutch to not be responsible, but I think Im being more spiritual by thinking like this. AA doesn't talk about going to work and working hard, or wanting nice things. It only talks about being greatfull for right now and not worrying about nothing else. I wish I had something that says God requires that I go to work e.t.c. because I would do it. I think wanting more is not being greatfull for now. I know my problem is that I analyze everything but believe me, when I try to not think about it, it's still there. It's easier for me to find out how to be Spiritual and work AA the right way, and be ambitous and driven for more. What am I suppose to look at to be happy? Feel if I look at wanting more, Im not doing AA right, Feel like if I'm doing AA right, I'm not wanting more. Does anyone have any insight on this. I don't know what to do no more. Sometimes I feel like I wish I never heard of AA, because I feel like it ruined me. I feel so ashamed. I just want to be who I use to be before the using, but I think Im not supposed to.
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:00 am

Yep. I used to be confused like that. What I discovered was -- I was going to the wrong meetings and listening to the wrong people. Their intentions were probably good -- but their thinking and doing made no common sense at all. Sometimes, it seemed like they'd treat me as an outcast (and many still do) if I didn't think like they did or think like they do. My observation became: their still thinking with stinking thinking -- even though they are sober. I chose a different way to do it. And, I stayed sober, and I'm happy while sober. And, I live what I consider to be the Good Life.

I figure that if they think that God wants their life to suck -- that's their business and it's their God as they understand God. I have a different understanding of God. God wants me to be happy, joyous, free, and have stuff, too. He wants me to be productive, efficient, ambitious, creative, and to achieve the things I set out to achieve. And, if someone else don't like it -- it doesn't bother me or my understanding at all! :lol:

You mentioned that you're an addict -- but didn't mention if you're alcoholic. Have you tried NA? Or, are you also alcoholic?

Whatever you do -- I wish the best for you! There is a different way to do it -- but, it's up to you to find out the difference and do it. Life won't push that on to you -- and neither will God.

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Postby jaybah74 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:45 am

Hey Dallas, Nice to meet ya. Drug addiction is what brought me to my knees but it all started with the drinking. I normally would go to NA but I live in Boston and around here AA is everywhere every night usually can hit 3 meetings a day 7 days a week. Tons of people go too. NA on the other hand is very very small and totally different people attend. One of the things that discouraged me from doing the NA meetings is because I never seen anyone over the age of 45 there. AA has people that are in their 80's 90's even. Just gives me more hope. And alot of dealers go who are stipulated from the courts to avoid charges by saying they were an addict when caught. I don't need that ####. Although Id probably do the same. I do however read a bunch of na litterature. I learned to substitute Alcohol for addiction, it's all the same. We might be from different boats, but were on the same ship. Around here also, id say about 70% of people are addicts or addicts/alcoholics in AA. I steered away for a bit because When I first started going I started dating a girl who later died from an OD. It was too painfull for me to go and remember her. I got through though. Anyway you make alot of sense. And AA definately does keep stuff in the clouds on most stuff. Down to earth people like us find it tough to grasp. I actually find the NA litterature on the steps to be a little more in detail. Their step work book is really good too. I just always had that question of how I can be happy but yet ambitous. Since AA makes it out like if I go to meetings thats all I gotta do, and I don't want or feel like going to work than it's fine. If I ever was to start looking for ambition again I really have to keep my eyes on the prize and that feels wrong if trying to work the program.I found out however last night that Gods Will for me too is to be discaplined with work and taking care of myself, even when I dont want too. I found that it's not about erasing the positive things Ive always had, but adding more positive things that are going to have to be the most important in my life, or I wont be able to do anyhting.
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Postby norohs » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:33 am

I struggled with the 3rd step until another AA member said to me:

Will = Thoughts

Lives = Actions

When I say the 3rd step using these words, things make more sense to me.
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:55 am

When I first landed in AA -- my real thoughts that I kept to myself was: I can see and I can admit that I'm addicted to drugs -- but, surely... I can't be one of those alcoholics! :lol:

I later changed my mind -- because after I learned what an alcoholic really was, and wasn't -- I knew I was alcoholic. And, that made a huge difference from me. Funny, how in the beginning I thought I was addicted to everything BUT alcohol. I thought I had been using alcohol to control my drug addiction. :lol:

There is a difference. Yes, both an addict and an alcoholic are addicted -- to a drug -- and the drug is alcohol. The difference is a physical condition that is most often not readily visible. The physical body of an alcoholic has a different reaction to alcohol than the non-alcoholic. It's an alcohol metabolism problem that makes the body of an alcoholic different than the body of a non-alcoholic -- regardless if they are a drug addict or not.

I remember when I was newly sober in AA and I went to an NA meeting thinking "well... I probably need this too!" It was a hardcore NA meeting, one of the first NA meetings ever -- out in Los Angeles. They asked me "Did you shoot dope? Were you addicted to heroin?" When I said "No" they ran me out. :lol: Originally, NA was strictly for "heroin addicts" ... if you were a coke addict or pill head, or you smoked the dope and didn't shoot it -- they didn't want you there. It was a strong group and was helping many heroin addicts. Some of them were alcoholic heroin addicts and they had gone to AA to get sober, found NA because they identified, and often went to AA and NA. Some just stayed sober (realizing that "clean" is a condition of sobriety in AA) and continued in AA.

I understand about the AA meetings that tend to "keep it in the clouds." That never worked for me and it still doesn't. Luckily, out in LA where I got sober -- I found some practical folks in the Fellowship that helped me keep my feet on the ground and my head in the air.

I also understand about going to meetings and not making any real progress in my life. I did that for a while, too. I was constantly confused -- and finally, when my bottom got so low -- my fear of drinking again -- had me resolving to the idea that "well, just being physically sober and alive is better than being drunk and successful." I had fallen into the trap of thinking that this was going to be my only option. Fortunately, after some time, I was able to figure out that this wasn't the deal at all. My only limitations at success in life were: 1. How strong my foundation was in recovery. And, 2. Getting rid of the stinking thinking -- and getting off my butt and setting some goals, making plans, and taking actions, one step at a time, on solid ground, to achieve my goals.

In some AA meetings they'd laugh and make jokes like "If you want to make God laugh -- tell him your plans." I took that to mean "we're not supposed to have or make plans." When I got hooked up w/ a good sponsor -- he helped me turn all that around. Today, I know that I can achieve and do whatever I want to achieve and do -- as long as I'm willing to stay sober and take the actions to achieve and take the actions to stay sober, too. I was lucky, to be in a Fellowship that had many people that went from the gutter to high places in life through sobriety. They became doctors, judges, architects, successful business people, actors, directors, producers, scientists, and were living the good life -- in sobriety. Many had come off of skid-row, and out of jails and prisons and mental institutions -- and some ended up running jails, hospitals and institutions. :lol:

The real deal is: The 12 Steps. "Taking" the Steps BEFORE trying to Practice or Live the Steps. Taking the Steps produces the necessary transformation -- that enables us to stay sober AND to live successful and good lives.
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Postby jaybah74 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:49 am

Yea but the mind is where it all starts. Obsessive compulsive, perfectionism, all or nothing attitude, no gray area. The physical things follow the brain and the way it acts. Thats the disease, STINKING THINKING. Im reading a book that I'm going to recommend to all addicted people, drinkers or not. Im reading it right now and it's having a huge impact on me. It was recommended by the place I got sectioned too last year. Massachusetts has a thing called a section 35, where your Family can section you for 30 days to a loced down re-hab. It's basically jail, but it does help get ya clean. Than recovery is up to you. Anyway the book is calle "I want to change my life, how to overcome anxiety,depression,and addiction, by Steven M. Melemis, PH.D M.D.. The addiction part is totally related to the 12 steps. I recommend this book to new comers as well as people with a lot of sobriety. It really helps the post accute withdrawel part of the disease, which can last years if you don't learn how to handle it. I got a copy for $16.00 off amazon. This book with the help of AA is saving my life right now.
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Postby Ranman99 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:24 am

I have not studied the NA book though I did have a copy back in the '90's but for me it was the other way around Alcohol brought me to my knees and eventually I could avail myself of what is in the Big Book.

All I can say is thank GOD for the steps and the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous once we are willing to give it a shot. Left to my own devices I'm lazy, selfish and 100% self centred. Once I saw the power working it gave me the incentive to keep doing what was working.

Step three is a contract. I do my part and the other part works out just like it is supposed to. Instead of a self centred COSMOS a GOD centred one make more sense

All the best. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :evil: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :oops: :oops: :oops: :shock: :shock: 8)
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Postby TexasMark » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:51 pm

Hey guys, I'm new to the board and I was just looking around and came upon this post. I am not an addict, but I can truly relate to the discussion going on. You guys are giving me insight to the other side of addiction, and I believe that to be important if I ever sponsor someone who is both alcoholic and addict. However, I would probably refer him to some guys I know who have experienced both.

So with that being said, the 3rd step. I just recently realized that it is not just a one time deal. You really have to practice that principle every day. I had a major problem a couple of weeks ago, and even made myself sick over it. Not knowing how to fix it was killing me. Finally someone told me to remember step 3. It's not just about alcohol.

Anyhow, just wanted to share.

Mark
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Postby Dallas » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:28 pm

I get lost when they refer to books other than the Big Book. I don't read the NA, OA, GA, or Any Other A, books. I've read a bunch of the other books -- but the Big Book serves all I need. In comparison -- it seems like the other A's tried to copy the BB ideas -- but they changed them so much that they aren't nearly the same.

For me -- Step Three is "I make a decision" to do something. I haven't done anything other than to -- make a decision.

When we read the Step -- that's exactly what the Step says...

Step 3. Made a decision -- to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

It doesn't say "We turned over our..." it says "We made a decision to -- turn our..."

How many times do I need to make a decision?

1. If I'm often changing my mind -- I might make a decision a hundred times -- without EVER doing what I decided on doing. Or,

2. Or, I might keep making the same decision -- if I never do what I decided to do -- regardless of why.

Like this:

Step 3: I made a decision to move to California.

Does that mean I'm in California? Nope. Just means I made a decision to move to California.

Like the old kids joke "Three frogs sitting on a log -- two decide to jump in the water -- how many frogs are now sitting on the log?" Answer is: Three. They decided to jump in the water -- but they didn't jump. They only made the decision.

PRACTICING STEP THREE: Okay, so maybe like swimming? I'm going to make a decision to practice swimming today... I never get wet, because I'm only practicing making decisions.

UNLESS: I change what Step Three says. And, that's not suggested.

It could be the same as changing Step 12: "Having WENT TO SLEEP as the result of these Steps..." :lol:

With that said... When I was newly sober -- I was going through a particularly rough time. Someone suggested to me to PRACTICE Step 3, and to carry the Step 3, prayer w/ me and to read it and say it often throughout the day.

I did that. It seem to work because "It made me FEEL better" It made me FEEL like something changed or was changing.

What I later discovered was: I was FEELING better -- but, nothing was changing! The rough times kept coming back!

That's when I learned that "STEP THREE IS ONLY MAKING A DECISION"

When I was new and jittery -- I could have made a decision to go to the liquor store and buy a jug. If I went and bought the jug -- I would "feel better" as soon as the jug was in my hands! :lol: I wouldn't even have to pop the top or take a drink -- I would of felt better just knowing -- that "things are about to change!" :lol:

But... IF nothing changes... NOTHING changes.

Steps 4 through 10 is how I "carry out the decision that I made in Step 3."

Yep. Steps 4 through 10 is HOW I carry out the decision I made in Step 3.

When I did that -- Steps 4 to 10... I began to change, my life began to change, my results began to change -- and I stopped creating those rough spots to go through.

Now... I did continue to create rough spots, but not as often. So, I was able to use Step 10 -- for the new rough spot -- (which is the same in principle as Steps 4-10) to handle the NEW rough spots.

And, by continually doing Steps 11 & 12, after each new 10... I finally developed some structure and discipline in my life -- and my life continued to get better.

If practicing making a decision w/ Step Three makes someone feel better -- by all means -- DO IT! It's better to fee better than to feel bad.

But, when they want to "get over" what's making them feel bad -- take Steps 4 through 10.

Dallas
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Postby TexasMark » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:45 pm

You are totally correct Dallas. Making a decision is one thing, going through with that decision is another.

When I refer to step 3, I don't refer to it as a decision any longer. I did turn my will and my life over to the care of God. Somethimes I just have to remember that :D

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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - analyzing step 3 and confusing it for what it is.