12 Steps/ Working them too hard, too soon?

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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12 Steps/ Working them too hard, too soon?

Postby Jebtion12345 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:41 am

Hi family,
My name is Joseph, sober by the Grace of God.

I am 6.5 months sober. I came into rooms when I was 20ish. I am now 34. I slipped over and over for years. I had one year and a month in 2005. Then stayed out for 5 years. I give my history just to illustrate that meeting makers do not always make it... I always "worked the program"; I got a sponsor, called them, got numbers, reached out, went for fellowship and tried to not drink even "if my ass fell off or turned to gold." I did not work the steps or read the book. I now do all of the above and mostly the latter(steps, sponsor, and literature) and at 6 months I feel more joy and Grace then ever! My sponsor tells me the disease of alcoholism is progressive BUT so is recovery :) I look forward to it getting better and better.

I see in some of my meetings I go to where the people with time don't want the newcomer (me) to work right away. Just stay away from the first drink. Well, I am not someone who can sit in pain and resentment very easily. I need a way to move away from resentment so God can work his Grace in my life. Resentments block the sunlight of the spirit and move me closer to a drink. This trend in meetings to have me shy away from too much step work early on I fear will kill me.

An "old timer" told me to share more about my drinking days and what that felt like. I do a little bit but I prefer to talk about my (albeit limited) experience with the solution. I like in "acceptance is the answer" in the stories the idea of focusing on the solution and it gets larger. I was also told I hide behind literature :) I cant think of a better place to hide (better than a bottle of bourbon).

I don't mean to be "precocious" or get a head of myself or LECTURE (as i was told I do). I just think I am the type of alcoholic that has to get right to work. My experience shows me resting on my laurels kept getting me drunk. The meetings I go to that seem to have higher bottom cases are the ones telling me this. MY "bottom" was close to death. I seem to hear a stronger message of recovery at the more diverse meetings.

I guess I should just go where the water is wet and not ask why is the water wet.

Peace and love to everyone. i am full of resentment and contempt often but I am trying to have more of the first two qualities in my life with the Gods help.

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Postby Dallas » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:12 am

Thanks for sharing! Listen to your sponsor and stick w/ what's in the Big Book and to hell with what you're hearing in those meetings. :lol:

I shared about this subject last night in the meeting that I went to. Yep. I ticked off the old-timers w/ 25 & 30 years that sit around and share some real dumb ideas in meetings. Some old-timers used to screw w/ my head -- telling me "their opinions" instead of "the facts" in the book and I nearly died drunk -- had I continued to listen to them, instead of READ THE BOOK. :lol:

They have a harder time trying to control me now, though -- because I'm now considered an old-timer. :lol: Rest insured that "we" are NOT all the same. (Us old-timers). :lol: Some of us really do read the book -- like you're doing -- and we understand what you're going through and what you're saying. We went through the persecutions. And, guess what? We stayed sober while many of them returned to drinking.

There is either a post here in the forum, or a page on the main part of this website -- where I posted a "Big Book Research"... of going through the first 172 pages -- and also Dr. Bob's story, Earl T.'s Story, and Bill D.'s story (he was AA #3) and showed... "how long did they wait before taking ALL the Steps... and how long did it take them... to take ALL of the Steps). From their own stories printed in the First Edition of the Big Book, all the way through the 4th Edition of the Big Book -- it shows that none of them had been sober for more than two weeks before they took the Steps. And, with each of them... the longest it took them was a couple of days. Most of the time... it was done in ONE day.

There is a REASON for that. But, a lot of AA's don't want to hear it. They want to be just like "Jim" in Chapter 3, (around page 35 BB)... who just "Made a beginning." And... that's all he did. Made a beginning! Then, the insanity returned and he got drunk again.

You see... alcoholics a GREAT at making "Beginnings"... starting over, and over and over and over... in SOBRIETY just like they did when they were drinking. They're great starters -- but they don't finish well. :lol:

They trust that God is keeping them sober -- without them doing the WORK (the Steps) that God want's US to do.

It's not God's job to take the Steps for me -- that's my job. :lol:

It's not God's job to keep me sober -- that's my job, too.

God's job is: To give me DIRECTION on what I HAVE TO DO (the actions that I MUST take)... so that I can stay sober -- AND so that I can be happy, joyous and free -- while sober. :wink:

Well. God ALREADY gave me the DIRECTIONS. It's the 12 Steps. It's the Big Book. And, helping other alcoholics. If I TAKE the Steps, read the book and do the work that's in the book -- and help other alcoholics -- in the way, that the book tells me to help them -- then, I'm firmly convinced that I will stay sober. And, my experience has been that I'll be happy while sober.

Here is what I used to ask them, when they'd get on my case...

1. Is alcohol-ism a fatal disease or not?
2. Is alcohol-ism progressive?
3. Why is it -- that when I TRY to "not drink" I INVARIABLY ALWAYS start drinking again?
4. Why can't I just STOP drinking -- after the first drink?
5. Is there a SOLUTION?
6. How long should I wait -- before I take the SOLUTION?

If you're bleeding to death, and bleeding WILL kill you.. (don't think it wont)... and you go to the ER... and sit there for an hour, with others, who are bleeding to death... and at the end of an hour of waiting, you all stand up, hold hands, and say the Lord's Prayer... and then tell each other "Let's go home now and JUST DON'T BLEED! Don't bleed for the next 24 hrs. And, keep coming back to the WAITING room, because it works if you work it!"

How many would leave without getting stitched up first?
Is that what you would do if you were bleeding to death?

Well...???? IS alcohol-ism fatal or is it not?

Don't tell me that it's progressive and it's going to kill me -- and then tell me "don't die too soon now! Keep coming back to the meetings!"
:lol: :lol:

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Postby Jebtion12345 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:40 pm

Why the persecutions for adhering to the solution?
Would you say that Higher Power (God as I call him) relieves the compulsion to drink provided I do the work (the steps) to keep the channel clear to have him work in my life?

Ex. I feel a sense of connection to God in my day to day life in sort of a sixth sense way; It is like intuition, an "inner resource." BUT when I am full of anger, hurt, resentment that connection is lost, gone.

I feel like my rudimentary working of the steps help me out and away from the pain long enough to feel hope again.

Heard a t a meeting: I will pass it along ...
" I wash the windows and let God take care of the sunlight"

Thanks Dallas for your reply.

BTW I do listen to my sponsor ... God bless her . I work her like she is a librarian of the literature.

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Postby Dallas » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:01 am

I thank God, for my sponsor. Life became sooo much easier for me when I started listening to him -- instead of listening to me. :lol:

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Postby DiggerinVA » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:32 pm

Working the steps. For me it was relief a big relief. But I still believe that the very simple thing that struck me while reading Bill's story for the first time (my first read it struck me on page 23) was that it work for Bill and it worked for my Grandmother; so therefore it has to work for me. Yes I was at wits end, I could not stop drinking and I knew where that would take me. That with the decision would take me through 3.

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Postby Toast » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:54 am

Our code is ' Be Fearless And Thorough From The Very Start. ' Not after another 5 wasted years down the line sitting in AA meetings wondering why we're still sick. :lol:

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Postby lenny » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:15 pm

listen to the joe and charlie tapes they tell you why them old timers are like that,A.A. today is so watered down,that i cannot identify what being said at some meetings.Hang in there dude the book doesn't lie!

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Postby Dallas » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:10 pm

I think it's a little amazing that -- the bunch of us that have landed together here in this forum -- seem to have been experiencing the same things, in regards to meetings, the messages we've been hearing in meetings, our experience -- and the same discovery regarding the Steps, that each of us seems to have made, in regards to the Steps and recovery and the book.

It's so nice to know that I'm not alone. :wink:


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Postby Jebtion12345 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:16 am

Thanks all. My sponsor is an amazing lady who lives a life based in recovery (in multiple 12 step programs). She has 30 years (plus 10 of coming to meetings not staying sober) and she is so giving with her knowledge as it comes from the big book. She is not rigid in her thinking and is helping me take the steps promptly. I will do the fifth with her Monday. I downloaded the forms and am putting to paper what I have written in a looser format to just get the thoughts down.
The cool thing with her is she tells me the steps are in order but life doesn't always happen in order. So, we are taking the steps in order but she points out where some of the steps are already working in my life by being open and willing to change my ideas and actions.

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Re: 12 Steps/ Working them too hard, too soon?

Postby Frananne » Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:06 pm

Boy oh boy did I need this today!!! I am 82 days sober. Thank GOD,thank GOD ,thank GOD.

I have done the first 11 steps and have been doing the recycle loop of 10 and 11. I want and need to do service even though my Sobreity is short. Service is many things but it keeps coming to my mind that service in the correctional program would be a good thing to do. So I am trying to find out about it. I downloaded the GAO service manual and sent an email to a committee and in general am just trying to find out what I can do. I asked an old timer who the correctional representative is for our group and he thinks we do not have one and did not know. Then he lectured me about just focusing on my recovery. I responded that i need to do service.

A woman then asked for me email so she can send me a contact. It was a difficult encounter but I choose to believe that Ted just doesn't want me to get off track. He asked me to take us out at the end of the meeting which really made me happy.

Got home and found the pamplet on this topic . Read it. I think just maybe I am meant to write letters . I have turned this over to God and will pray on it for a while and discuss with my sponsor.

I think it odd that the thought of helping with prisons keeps coming to mind when I have never been in on myself. Thank you all for letting me share on this. God bless you!

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