- Principles Before Personalities in AA

Principles Before Personalities in AA

Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Postby Toast » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:27 pm

Thanks for the thoughts, sorry for the delay in getting back to the subject, been busy with the holidays n stuff. I also have kids and grandkids to spend some normal time with.

Will chew it over and post something soon.

Thanks :lol:
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Postby Toast » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:50 pm

Dallas wrote.

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

That hits the nail on the head. Think it all boils down to the deep seated alcoholic fear thing, we tend to gravitate towards people who resonate at the same level of inner fear/turmoil that we do, regardless of whether they're drinkers or not. That way we can all be in mental turmoil together and not stand out from the crowd.

But once we get sober...............................?
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Postby sparklek » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:12 am

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?"

This was my EXACT experience from a relationship I recently ended. It helped me to get outside help because I was losing my serenity, patience and nearly my sanity!

Toast, I needed help to know what was normal as I kept trying to "look at my part" over and over again.

I was eventually able to see that I was dealing with a sick person and even though they were in AA, they just were not willing to get honest enough to get healthier. I saw that my part was being in denial- not trusting what was right in front of me.

In my case, I saw that the denial had EVERYTHING to do with the fact of fearing losing what I wanted. I wanted that relationship bad enough to lie to myself over and over again. I THOUGHT I needed it to feel whole (oops…that’s my HP job???!!!).

The prayer that worked for me (along with outside help, sponsorship and service) was "God, please make me willing to do your will in this relationship."

My original prayer was "God, if this is for me let it work and flourish. If not, make it clear and take it away." This did not work because of my own self will being strong enough to hold on and see what I wanted to see. I clearly was given MANY 'signs.' LOL! :)

Emotions and relationships...tough. This was the stuff I drank over....but guess what? I did not have to drink over it and neither do you. You do not have to do this alone. Many people have walked through such relationships. Be honest. Reach out. Be willing to put yourself (which of course includes your sobriety) first. You ARE worth it! How do I know that? Something kept you alive while you were out there drinking. Something got you sober. Something has you on this forum getting help :D
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:33 am

Thanks for mentioning how the "outside help" helped you.

There are many good resources of professional and other "outside help" -- that often seem to get a bad rap in some parts of our Fellowship.

Unfortunately, those that could really benefit the most from the outside help often get more confused and discouraged from seeking the outside help -- when someone makes it sound like 'they are not working our program'.

Make use of professionals and other resources when they can help!
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Postby Toast » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:27 pm

Thanks Sparklet and Dallas for your words of support.

Like you Sparklet i had many signs/opportunities to end this over the years but my sheer stubborness kept me here. Maybe its just good old alcoholic defiance? 'I'll do it my way in my time and no one will tell me any different!'

But the bottom line is its not mine to fix, i can learn to detach from it and do my own thing.

Its the whole package i'd miss, kids, grandkids etc, i really like being a family guy when the family's here and as they only live around the corner that's almost every day.

Its just when the holidays come and we're by our two selves that the control games start and i get edgy and want to bale out. Its like living with a time bomb waiting on a near miss happening! :?

There are so many facets to this insidious illness it never fails to amaze me just how little i know. 8)
Last edited by Toast on Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:13 pm

Kind of like our program. Simple -- but, definitely not easy. The right answer for one person -- may be a wrong answer for another person in regards to many things in life. About the only thing I know for sure is: what I've done (or what I think I've done) that's kept me sober.

I've made a lot of bad decisions before sobriety -- and I've made a lot of bad decisions in sobriety. I made some good decisions before sobriety and I've made some good decisions in sobriety. But, so far -- I haven't had to drink or get drunk over the decisions I made in sobriety. It's come close a few times! I'd probably be really shocked to see how close!

When I can say "I believe that I'm doing what God wants me to do -- in this moment" -- I feel like, whatever that is -- I'm going to be alright.

There have been many decisions I made that at the time, I believed that "This is what God would have me do." The results seemed horrible at the time! But, I clung to the idea that "It was what God's will for me was -- in that moment. And, today -- what God wants for me is different."

Timing seems to have a lot to do with it. Sometimes, maybe, we know when to hold them -- and know when to fold them -- and the timing is an important part of the holding or folding. There also some decisions where I KNEW deep in my innermost self that -- It's time to leave. But, I didn't leave, I stuck around.

What I'm really grateful for is: My sponsor. I know that I can trust my sponsor and that he has way more experience in sober living than I have. I know that I can go to him when I have a problem and he will have the answer that I need. He may not be able to solve my problem -- but he can guide me to finding the help that I need to solve my problems. He seems to know what questions to ask me.
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Postby Toast » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:48 pm

Dont know if i said but i did leave the family home 11 years ago with a woman who like me was on the rebound after a huge family fall out and was looking for a way out. It later transpired that was all we had in common and eventually i was more desperate to get away from her than i was from my wife. I was working away from home at the time, living out a suitcase, the isolation did have a big part to play in that episode.

After a few months i ended up back in the family fold for yet another fresh start, gave up my good job for a poor one i stuck for a few years before i finally got sorted in that department.

All's going well right now so i'd be a fool to do that again today although i know nothing stays the same and anything can happen.

Plus my wife is a very attractive woman (but she knows it only too well) and we do have a very healthy relationship in that respect.

So as Dallas says what works for one wont necessarily work for another.The pattern of my life has been that everything has been alright until i've said or done something then everythings been all wrong!

Maybe it's till me thats the problem, ever since i was a kid i've wanted ' out'. That's out of school, jobs, marriage anything that had some sort of power over me i've rebelled at.

But saying that i still cant figure out if i'm selling myself short, or have i just answered my own question?

So with all things not being as well as they could be i'd have to say the last 24 hrs have been superb. 8)

Visited my son last night with his new baby daughter, all went very well. And today i had my other 2 grandaughters round baking cakes with their new xmas baking kits. :lol:

Not the earth shattering rock n roll life style many alcoholics seem to hanker after but if you've been where i've been with this illness that was more than enough. :lol:
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Postby sparklek » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:40 am

Dallas, I agree about the outside help. I had a lot of problems when I got here and AA really helped me "put the plug in the jug" and find a God to replace alcohol. But there came a point it was clear I needed more help in weaving through this crazy head! I am glad I have a sponsor and a supportive group of people in AA that see doctors as helpful.

Toast, it is a tough situation because of the lifestyle that is attached to the relationship. I have had to work to adjust to being single again and all change involves some discomfort for me. You are not alone.
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Re: Principles Before Personalities in the rooms

Postby Frananne » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:24 pm

I am trying to hear no evil,I.e. gossip. What do y'all do when gossip starts other than deciding not to hang out with the people who are gossing? Any clever suggestions? I really do not want to hurt some one's feelings by telling them I do not like to listen to talk about others but I also do not want to hear bad things about others! My sponsor just suggested trying to change the conversation or praying that God would make it stop.
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Re: Principles Before Personalities in the rooms

Postby Dallas » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:22 pm

I just remind them real clear and frankly that I don't gossip, I don't talk about people and I don't hang out w/ people that do talk about people. If they don't stop -- I leave. I'm real firm about that. I've gone through some severe injuries over gossip. So, I have zero tolerance for it. And, I have zero tolerance for being around people that gossip. Gossip is a sickness that injures people and their lives. it's like, what about anonymity? If we're supposed to leave what we see and hear in the rooms when we leave the rooms -- and if we're going to "practice these principles in ALL our affairs" where's the limit?

I do realize that we do spend a lot of time talking about each other. Our Big Book talks about it.

page 125 "...We do talk about
each other a great deal, but we almost invariably temper
such talk by a spirit of love and tolerance.
Another principle we observe carefully is that we do
not relate intimate experiences of another person unless
we are sure he would approve. We find it better, when
possible, to stick to our own stories. A man may criticize
or laugh at himself and it will affect others favorably,
but criticism or ridicule coming from another often produces
the contrary effect. Members of a family should
watch such matters carefully, for one careless, inconsiderate
remark has been known to raise the very devil. We
alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long
time to outgrow that serious handicap."

I try to use that as my personal guideline.
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