- Principles Before Personalities in AA

Principles Before Personalities in AA




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Principles Before Personalities in AA

Postby Serenity Seeker » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:23 am

I went to a meeting yesterday, entered did my usual hugging of fellow members and was speaking to a group at a certain table. My husbands sponsor which has been quite impatient and down right rude to him, reflected the same rudeness on me. He does have some good sobriety and I have always respected him and the way he tries to work the twelve steps principles in all his affairs.

He blurted out in front of atleast seven other members very loudly that he can not stand my voice. He did not say this once, he said it five times telling me a couple of times he just cringed when he heard my voice. The only response I could come up with, without crying was "Have you heard me sing?" I told him that made me want to cry and another gentlemen asked if I wanted them to get the orchastra out for me.

I am a loving person and do not treat others that way. If I start judging others I speak to my sponsor and try to find out what is going on inside of me.

It hit my feelings hard and I cried the first 20 minutes of the meeting like a little baby. I was not leaving for nothing or nobody. Even though I did not want to drink over it I reminded my self that no person, place or thing is worth picking up a drink over anymore. I am out of excuses.

Dallas, it helped to hear what you told me about dealing with my son... Conflict does not mean it is about me. When a person is stuck at the impasse of their own opposing forces they are at war with their self. So don't blame yourself for someone elses bad behavior. I believe I can apply this their. Although it is hard to get my hurtful poor pity feelings out of the way.

For me this is not placing principles before personalities. Why would someone do that to a newcomer, fresh again in sobriety? He stated it was an honest program and he had to be honest.

Sobriety Seeker.
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Postby Dallas » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:18 pm

What he did to you and what he did and said to you in front of others, especially in a meeting, was not right. His words and his behavior was self-centered, Egotistical, and selfish. It was wrong. It was immature. It was childish and arrogant. I understand how it hurt your feelings.

Keep in mind -- that his words, actions and behavior towards you -- did not define you or your voice -- it defined him, it defined his spirituality, it defined his level of maturity and growth.

Keep in mind -- as our book clearly states, that "Many do not comprehend that the alcoholic is a very sick person." (forward to the First Edition, Big Book.)

His actions fit perfectly with the my quote that you referred to above. He appears to be stuck at the impasse of HIS OWN opposing forces and he is at war within his self.

As Bill W., wrote in the 12 & 12, in the section for Step 10: "It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us." IF your voice disturbed him -- I wonder what's wrong with him?

On the flip side, you'll also have to ask... "If his actions and words and behavior disturbed me... where am I wrong?"

Uggg? Who wants to hear that??? Especially... when you were not in the wrong?

If it were me, I would answer... "where I was in the wrong, was: I let his actions and behavior be 'about me' rather than 'about him.' He's the sick cookie... but I stumbled in the moment and bit into it. :wink: "I forgive myself of allowing my feelings to get hurt -- over someone else's bad behavior.

Bill, follows up in Step 10 with: "If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about "justifiable" anger? If somebody cheats us, aren't we entitled to be mad? Can't we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it."

Yes. I would say that your hurt feelings were justified and if you were angry at him -- that would be justified, too. HOWEVER... "We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it."

I can't afford to be angry -- even when to most people, it would be justified. It messes w/ my own Spiritual well-being and Spiritual fitness -- for me to be angry. It messes w/ my serenity, sanity and peace of mind. God wants me to be happy, joyous and free. (pg 133 Big Book).

pg 66, Big Book:
"We turned back to the list, for it held the key to the future.
We were prepared to look at it from an entirely different
angle. We began to see that the world and its people really
dominated us. In that state, *** the wrong-doing of others,***
fancied or real, had power to actually kill. How could we
escape? We saw that these resentments must be mastered,
but how? We could not wish them away any more than
alcohol."

The solution is in the following paragraph (of pg 66).
"This was our course: We realized that the people
who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick."

On to pg 67, BB:
"Though we did not like their symptoms and the way
these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too.
We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance,
pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant
a sick friend. When a person offended we said to
ourselves, “This is a sick man. How can I be helpful
to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be
done.
â€
Dallas
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Thanks yet again Dallas!

Postby Serenity Seeker » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:13 pm

[quote="Dallas"]What he did to you and what he did and said to you in front of others, especially in a meeting, was not right. His words and his behavior was self-centered, Egotistical, and selfish. It was wrong. It was immature. It was childish and arrogant. I understand how it hurt your feelings.

Keep in mind -- that his words, actions and behavior towards you -- did not define you or your voice -- it defined him, it defined his spirituality, it defined his level of maturity and growth.

Keep in mind -- as our book clearly states, that "Many do not comprehend that the alcoholic is a very sick person." (forward to the First Edition, Big Book.)

His actions fit perfectly with the my quote that you referred to above. He appears to be stuck at the impasse of HIS OWN opposing forces and he is at war within his self.

As Bill W., wrote in the 12 & 12, in the section for Step 10: "It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us." IF your voice disturbed him -- I wonder what's wrong with him?

On the flip side, you'll also have to ask... "If his actions and words and behavior disturbed me... where am I wrong?"

Uggg? Who wants to hear that??? Especially... when you were not in the wrong?

If it were me, I would answer... "where I was in the wrong, was: I let his actions and behavior be 'about me' rather than 'about him.' He's the sick cookie... but I stumbled in the moment and bit into it. :wink: "I forgive myself of allowing my feelings to get hurt -- over someone else's bad behavior.

Bill, follows up in Step 10 with: "If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about "justifiable" anger? If somebody cheats us, aren't we entitled to be mad? Can't we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it."

Yes. I would say that your hurt feelings were justified and if you were angry at him -- that would be justified, too. HOWEVER... "We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it."

I can't afford to be angry -- even when to most people, it would be justified. It messes w/ my own Spiritual well-being and Spiritual fitness -- for me to be angry. It messes w/ my serenity, sanity and peace of mind. God wants me to be happy, joyous and free. (pg 133 Big Book).

pg 66, Big Book:
"We turned back to the list, for it held the key to the future.
We were prepared to look at it from an entirely different
angle. We began to see that the world and its people really
dominated us. In that state, *** the wrong-doing of others,***
fancied or real, had power to actually kill. How could we
escape? We saw that these resentments must be mastered,
but how? We could not wish them away any more than
alcohol."

The solution is in the following paragraph (of pg 66).
"This was our course: We realized that the people
who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick."

On to pg 67, BB:
"Though we did not like their symptoms and the way
these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too.
We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance,
pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant
a sick friend. When a person offended we said to
ourselves, “This is a sick man. How can I be helpful
to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be
done.
â€
Serenity Seeker
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

Postby Dallas » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:54 pm

It sounds like you've got a really great sponsor! That's a huge bonus.

Our #1 problem is: we think about ourselves -- too much. :lol: The only time I can get angry or depressed is: when I'm thinking about myself. I've tried getting angry without thinking about me and I can't do it! :lol:

I learned a little saying when I was a child, that I always thought was the dumbest of sayings -- until I got sober and stayed sober for a while, and saw the wisdom in it. It went something like this:

"Sticks and stones can break my bones
but words can never hurt me."

When others that are living in adult bodies take jabs at us -- it's simply an outward demonstration of their inward condition, which our book refers to as being "mentally and spiritually sick." It's okay to ignore the person. (And, ignoring them is often the best medicine for us and for them. They notice that we are ignoring them and that they are unable to steal our serenity and happiness -- and that begins to burn them up so much, that hopefully, they will arrive at "the gift of desperation" and they will begin to seek help.

We don't have to try to understand them. Most often, we can't even be helpful to them. So, here is where we ask God to "save us from being angry." (and... that's in the book). :wink:
Dallas
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Postby Serenity Seeker » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:17 am

Thanks yet again Dallas.
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Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

Postby Toast » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:16 am

Hi all,

Thar part Dallas mentioned about us getting sore when others hurt us i still cant get there.

My marriage was a rescue all those years back, my partner can engineer being stuck in so many ways and i just spring to the rescue and doing so fills a hole in me that i usually filled with booze.

She can also produce imaginary fears out of thin air when there really is nothing to fear. I'm supposed to rush in and take this away from her as well, which i dont anymore i just stop and ask if she ever thought about seeing a shrink about all this stupid childish behaviour? which goes down really well as you can imagine. We've just been shopping and she stormed off when i asked that very question after she faked a near heart attack when she found out the time! So i'm sitting here all on my lonesome which suits me fine.

Being a rescuer it seems i used to get a high absorbing someone elses shock and fear, maybe all this saved me looking at myself? It most certainly doesnt work that way today.

So now that i dont need either and can see through the sickness i really dont like the way my life is going at present. We're both 50 now and one of us aint growing.

And i'm not saying all this because someone new has came along and i have all these imaginary dreams about the perfect romance which i know doesn't exist, life is hard for everyone and just for today i need another woman like i need another drink.

So my puzzle is this, is it this crazy illness that's trying to isolate me from the human race as it done before and dam near killed me or am i coming out of a 30 year phase of codependancy and can now see the truth?

I know this is not a marriage guidance service but any thoughts on my situation would be much appreciated. I really am tired of being 'shocked' and 'alarmed' out of my wits half a dozen times a day. My nervous system just cant take anymore. The things that 'nearly' happened are killing me.
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Postby Dallas » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:55 am

So my puzzle is this, is it this crazy illness that's trying to isolate me from the human race as it done before and dam near killed me or am i coming out of a 30 year phase of codependancy and can now see the truth?


1. What's the rapid-fire answer that you get without thinking about it or thinking it over?

2. How rampant is "this crazy illness" running in your life?

I think I might understand the experience. A long term relationship. Nothing much has changed over the years? Seems like we have a partner (or, perhaps a "co-resident of the house" which might be a better description) that is willing to go to any lengths to feed their obsession for attention?

Hopefully, I misunderstood and I don't understand. I wouldn't want to know that anyone else has experienced that! :lol:

What has helped me, is to become fully aware that it is NOT just alcoholics -- that are sick.

One of the ideas that I've been focusing on lately and giving much observation is, the idea of "a Fragmented Self."

Using the body as a metaphor -- the body has many parts which make up the whole body. If we break a leg, we don't consider the whole body to be bad or broken -- it's just the leg. Yet, the broken leg affects nearly every other task that the other parts of the body must achieve. It's handicapped. So, perhaps a description might be "a fragmented body."

Sometimes, the fragmented part might not be so obvious to us. Maybe, it's like a tumor growing in the leg. Under normal circumstances we don't feel it, it's not painful, so it doesn't get our attention until one day we have trouble walking -- and we see a doctor, and the doctor finds the tumor that is growing and tells us how bad our situation is.

Our "Self" (our psyche, or Personality... for a better understood description)... has some broken parts to it. Those, I refer to as "fragmented." Sometimes, they become so fragmented that we tend to deny their existence and "dis-associate" with those parts -- until we are no longer aware that a problem exists.

As alcoholics in recovery -- the actions we are taking, (the Steps) "Recovery" is a process, which over time "defragments" our Self -- to put it back together in Healthy Whole-ness of Self. We go through "phases of development."

When we're getting better -- but, the other person in a significant relationship is not getting better -- we can become aware that we have been in a "fragmented relationship" ... often, since the beginning of the relationship.

The "fragmented relationship" was no big deal "way back when" we were both significantly fragmented in our Self(s). As a matter of fact, often, it might have been fun, and had benefits to it! It served us well to achieve our desires "at the time."

However, as we continue to get well-er and well-er ... and the other person seems to become more fragmented... it becomes very difficult and a complex juggling act ... to try to remain sane... let alone, to experience deep levels of peace of mind, serenity, happiness and joy.

It becomes like a prisoner -- with one of those huge balls chained to their leg.

We realize that we MUST keep our sobriety FIRST... or we lose everything. Then, we realize that we might have to give up some of the "everything" in order to keep our sobriety... and we have to consider "IF I remain willing to go to ANY lengths ... to stay sober, and to be happy, joyous and free" how far are those lengths?

Maybe, it's during these times, that it really is a wise idea to seek some professional help with the situation. So, that we can find out: "what is normal? what is healthy for me? and, whats the best, for us?"

I hope I didn't add to any fires of confusion.
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Newcomers thought and experience

Postby Serenity Seeker » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:36 pm

Hello Toast,

I am certainly new in sobriety. I have no answers but can share about a few things I have learned from my sponsor and the fellowship.

It is one thing when an aquaintance hurts, disturbs or aggervates us, but even harder when we are trying to the best of our ability to change ourselves and others are not changing. I have this in my household daily.

Words I have heard that at times really do not make me feel better, but when I see just the smallest change that sometimes my sponsor has to point out to me... I feel them directly effecting those I love and care for around me it is amazing. The words I thought were never going to happen truly are slowly happening.

My sponsor tells me some people may not change. But if we follow the principles set forth of the AA code: Love and Tolerance is our code (in the BB somewhere) it will help us grow and others around us.

She has promised that if I clean my OWN side of the street and be the change I want to see in others, it will reflect upon others. Just as an example: My household for a long time has been filled with nothing but negative energy filled with tension. I try my best to change the way someone in my family speaks to another person, to act and speak the way we are wanting them to react to us and calm down. If I react with a pointing finger or hurtful word, trying to change them; it does not good but put up more blocks of negativity. But I am slowly, and I repeat slowly starting to see that when I take a breath, give it to God and suggest a different way we can handle things, extend concern it makes a huge difference.



This is hard to do some days, because when it comes down to it, this is learned behavior that we all have reacted upon for many years. But the more I practice turning it completely over to God and realizing I do not control others, the easier it gets. I always want that immediate gratification for someone else to change, because I am. Kind of like the actor they speak about in the book forever trying to arrange the show. This is some hard stuff to admit, but I am thankful for the program and God for the chance to change these things, so I and other people around me can experience the change and will God has in store for me.

I like what Dallas pointed out about asking for help to keep from being angry that the books suggests we do. I really have had to practice this alot this week.

I hope it makes sense what I shared. This is just for me. Hope it helps some.

Sobriety Seeker.
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Postby Then, and only then » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:37 am

Some are sicker than others. He maybe sober and show signs of strong program, but he is a social retard. Some think it is ok to laugh at other's expense. Isn't that self-centeredness? Isn't that supposed to kill us, and God would let that possible?

With years in the rooms, anyone can talk a good game. Honestly, I am sick of those party lines and AA raps. Judgement only hurt ourselves, but I believe we must not ignore prudence.

Drunk or sober, personal remarks about lady's voice? What does that have to do with alcoholism? Not to mention, sponsee's wife? That is a sick man. Some also think age make them ok to be rude. Rubbish.

If that is all you and you God can do with all that years in the rooms. I do not want what you got. You can keep what you have, and do it over there.

Maybe, it is a lesson of boundary, not endurance. This is a program of honesty. They can argue with our thoughts, but not with our feelings. Why don't we have a honest and polite talk about how his remarks make you feel?

I thank you for staying in the rooms. Please do stay. It is a beautiful forest, some trees are ugly, but despite of all, you shined! I am sure some of us at that meeting felt what I am feeling. Thank you.

We are all children of God. We bow down to no one. We are not Seville ... From 12 and 12.
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Postby Dallas » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:15 am

Thank you. I really enjoyed your share!
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