- Alcoholics Anonymous Greatest Danger: Rigidity

Alcoholics Anonymous Greatest Danger: Rigidity




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Re: Our Greatest Danger: Rigidity

Postby Jebtion12345 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:25 am

I fear at times i am growing in rigidity.
I want my AA from the Book. The program is so optimistic and empowering as outlined in the Book.
I live in a big city and the program is pretty strongly represented in the meetings I go to ... but there is still a lot of parroting of non-program information that just is so discouraging to me.

-I didnt get sick over night I wont get well overnight
-I wish you a slow recovery
-You can't sponsor- you only have 8 months
-At five years you'll get your marbles back and at 10 you will know how to use 'em
-I am addicted to Words with Friends (scrabble on iPhone) --- this proves I am an alcoholic (Yes I heard that a few weeks ago)

Is it rigid to question the old timers why what they say contradicts the program in the Book?
Is it rigid to ask people to be humble enough to not re-write the literature.
I believe I am recovered (at 8 months) , not cured, and have a daily reprieve based on my spiritual fitness. I refuse to say I am in recovery for the rest of my life. Lack of power was my dilemma, the step provided me a direct experience with the higher power, I feel reborn and empowered and responsible to try to not share my opinion.

I don't know.
I hope I am not cocky.
I know that of myself without God I am nothing.
I TRY to be tolerant and loving. I pray for God to remove all the defects that stand in my way of this.

The new format of the forum looks great :)
Have a good day all!
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Re: Our Greatest Danger: Rigidity

Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:47 am

I think I understand what you mean. It was after I moved from the non-book focused member to a recovery-by-the-book member, that my recovery seemed to take off like a rocket. I began changing so much "for the better" that I couldn't figure out "why" so many others were not using the book. It made me realize how much of the recovery program that an average member is missing out on.

I, too, went through some rigidity phases. It began to drive me nuts -- listening and hearing things that were in no way part of the recovery program -- and how so many people were not recovering as a result of "listening to and parroting things that were totally "opposed" to the recovery in the book.

I still get nerved up when I hear "The Promises" read in newcomer meetings. The reason is: 1. Those are 9th Step, by-the-book recovery promises. Yet, they get interpreted as if "just don't drink and go to lots of meetings and this stuff will happen for you." 2. The experiences of "what I thought I had without the book" was like an empty glass in regards to what "the experiences were" as a result of following the instructions in the book. Example: If I said, "I like to drive a Bug" -- and they've never driven a Volkswagon -- they think of "driving on a grass hopper" LOL. (And, I think that Grass Hopper is also a riding lawn mower brand, so are they thinking Bug as in VW, Grass Hopper as in riding Lawn Mower, or a big green grasshopper that flies! LOL.

I went through "phases" in my development (much like the book uses that "phases of development" expression in the promises).

Now, I'm much more relaxed and laid back. I realize that there is not much I can do for those that are "not recovering by using the book" -- except to watch them go through their Crazy Eights, and hope that one day, they will actually get it. (I hope that they do). And, would they even know that recovery is possible -- if they don't see a few of us "that HAVE recovered." (Just identify in a meeting as "My name is Dallas, and I'm a recovered alcoholic" and watch them squirm. LOL. Yet, on the title page of the big book, it refers to "recovered" alcoholics. LOL.

So, I just try to achieve true love and tolerance of others -- and it seems to work out okay. One of the questions that I constantly ask myself is: "Am I being helpful to them?" Our book indicates that we will NOT be able to help everyone -- but, that we should try to achieve a "helpfulness towards others" at least in our attitudes towards them. (Part of the 4th Step Inventory information in the BB).
Dallas
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Re: Our Greatest Danger: Rigidity

Postby Jebtion12345 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:56 am

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
I think after a decade of trying to "get it" and being more lost and confused in sobriety I am just so damn lit up by finally feeling comfortable and not feeling lost anymore I just want everyone to feel this good. And I believe it can only get better and better if I stay in the work. Life will happen but I dont have to lose connection with HP!
Thanks again :D
Jebtion12345
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:10 am
Location: Washington DC

Re: Our Greatest Danger: Rigidity

Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:14 pm

I understand. :-)

When I would try to explain the difference to others, an illustration I often use is "with drinking."

I ask them:

"Do you think non-alkies get the same buzz and effects w/ alcohol, that we alkies do?"

No. They don't. And, alkies w/out the book experience don't get the recovery buzz that those of us who use the book gets. They get a buzz -- but it's not the same.

Another one is:

"Did you ever get the same kind of buzz -- just looking at the bottle -- compared to the buzz you got after you drank what's in the bottle?"

No. They don't. Different kind of buzz.

Then, I ask:

"So, now, maybe you know what I'm talking about. Taking the Steps following the recipe in the book, produces a different kind of buzz -- than the effects of the buzz by those who just read the book, without actually following the directions -- and, the book readers, (who still don't get the buzz that book doers get) will get a better buzz than those who don't even read the book." :-)

You had to "take a drink" to feel the effect, right? (Yes)
Well -- you have to take the Step (as directed by the book) to get the effect, right? (Huh? What do you mean? LOL As they look dazzed and stare off into space.)
Dallas
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