- Does an Alcoholic have The Power of Choice?

Does an Alcoholic have The Power of Choice?




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Does an Alcoholic have The Power of Choice?

Postby Jebtion12345 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:07 pm

Hi group!
I am curious how others interpret or use the following passage in their spiritual life.

"The fact is that most alcoholics have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically non-existent ."

My Step One left me convicted that i cannot keep myself clean and sober; even sober I am powerless over picking up that first drink.

I "choose" to enlarge my spiritual life and my relationship with God, basically live the steps and completely let God solve the drink problem.

I asked an old timer today at a meeting what people mean when they say they "stay away from the first drink" or choose to not drink. He told me "sure, we have a choice." If we have a choice why continue to go to meetings?

A guy asked me to sponsor him and I want to make sure I am clear on this. I feel like if I have a choice I dont need to be in AA. I surrender the problem COMPLETELY to God, I cease fighting alcohol all together. If I can wake up and keep myself clean and sober there really is no need for me to be in AA. I also consoder myself recovered. The great paradox !

I have two great "sponsors"/teachers but can't hurt to ask some other people I respect .
Best to all
Thanks for being here!
J
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Re: The Power of Choice to drink or not drink

Postby Dallas » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:46 pm

Rather than just give my answers -- I'd rather ask you a couple of questions.
That way, the answers you discover will be your answers (instead of mine)
and your answers -- will be more meaningful to you -- than mine.

First question, is in re:
If I can wake up and keep myself clean and sober there really is no need for me to be in AA.


What is your need -- to be in AA?

Second question:
What is it -- that makes you powerless over alcohol?

Thanks for letting me ask. ;-)

Dallas
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Re: The Power of Choice

Postby Jebtion12345 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:00 pm

Powerless -
The physical allergy but that will be dormant if no alcohol is consumed.
The mental obsession which considering I never think about drinking thus far has been removed by a Higher Power.

The spiritual malady which I use the steps and helping others and other tools to treat on a daily basis.
I am powerless over my character defects and my selfishness but with the steps and God they are softened. It says liquor was but a symptom. When the alcohol obsession is removed there are still "choices" which can lead me to a drink.

Meetings are where I go to be of service, look for guys to help/Take through the book, and stay connected to the Fellowship.
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Re: The Power of Choice

Postby Dallas » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:54 pm

What makes me powerless is -- the insanity. (The part of the problem that centers in the mind)
Steps 1-9, the obsession & compulsion get removed.
At Step 10, our book indicates that sanity has been restored
and we react sanely and normally.

Steps 10-12, and 1, daily keep me sane and remind me that I'm still alcoholic
which means I can't drink.

I go to meetings to be of service -- to try to find an alcoholic that I can be helpful to.
Trying to help another alcoholic (last part of Step 12), according the the first paragraph in Chapter 7, helps me stay sober.
I also do that as a sense of duty & responsibility -- to try and pay back what was freely given to me, by those that came before me -- who kept the meetings alive -- until I could get there. They also nurtured me, and helped me detox, and showed me how to stay sober and live sober.

I don't go to meetings to keep me sober. My personal experience has already proved to me -- that going to meetings will not keep me sober -- nor get me sober.

Am I still Powerless? You bethca!
Do I have a choice to drink? I don't believe God would keep me from drinking -- if I make up my mind to drink.

One of the newcomers that I sometimes hang out with -- used to be an oldtimer. He's really struggling. He told me on the day that he started drinking again that he knew he was going to drink. He even told God he was going to drink and he knew that God wouldn't stop him. This guy used to be very religious -- before he started drinking again.

Do I have a choice to drink? Sure I do. But, I don't need to exercise "my choice to drink." All I've got to do is stop doing what I'm doing now that keeps me sane and sober -- and I'll automatically drink again. I'm still an alcohol-magnet. I either continue to take the actions that lead me and attract me to sobriety -- or I'm automatically attracted back to alcohol.

It's written in our history, that Bill Wilson, used to put a bottle of whiskey on the fire place mantle at Dr. Bob's house, while he was staying with Dr. Bob & Anne. Bill was pretty cocky about it -- because he actually believed at that time, (a little more than six months sober) that he had been cured. The bottle of whiskey on the mantle was his way of "showing off" at how powerful he thought "God working in him & Dr. Bob, was." Anne used to get ticked off about the bottle. (Hadn't Bill stood in the Mayflower lobby, just a few weeks earlier -- desperately trying to find an alcoholic to help -- because he was shaky and knew that he was going to drink?) LOL. Kind of indicates a "manic" type of thinking, aye? :-)

Over the last 25 years, I've known several of the deeply religious types that told me "God keeps them sober." Unfortunately, only a few of them are left remaining. Evidently, God did not decide to keep the other ones sober. :-)

I think that maybe each person, has to answer these questions for themselves. Whatever they are comfortable with seems to be what's important to them at the time. I figure, that their sobriety is theirs -- and mine is mine. What they do or believe is really none of my business. And, it's not my job to convince them one way or another. I've kind of made up my mind that I'm going to do and believe whatever I think is going to keep ME sober. :-)

Great questions! I'm glad you asked them. Because, myself -- and I know for sure, that many others -- have had these same questions come to mind. Hopefully, our discussing it -- will help them to find their own answers. And, hopefully, their answers will be good enough to keep them sober.

Dallas
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Re: The Power of Choice

Postby Dallas » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:02 am

btw: Please keep in mind -- that I may change my mind about it 5 minutes from now. LOL.
20 seconds is long enough for one of my ideas to become "an old idea." :-)
So... what you, or anyone else does... don't base it on anything that I say, think or write!
Or.. you could get drunk!

Also -- I don't kid myself one bit -- that I COULD BE the next one to take a drink!

So, does that mean I have a Power of Choice? Maybe I don't. :-)

I certainly don't won't to do anything to experiment to find out if I'm right or wrong
or if I have a Power of Choice or not. :-)
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Re: The Power of Choice

Postby Jebtion12345 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:17 am

Hey Dallas!

Thanks for thoughtful response.

And yes! I am learning that as my experience changes often on my journey, so do others! And not to take each man's comments and thoughts as "the word" as we are all (hopefully) growing and changing and developing!

A guy with 20 some days called me two nights ago and asked him to sponsor me. I was rendered speechless practically but I do reach out as much as I can to new comers and make meetings about carrying the message of a spiritual awakening versus chit chatting with my friends and talking about movies or what not. Anyhow I guess I just dont want to deliver any wrong information but my sponsor said stick with the book and take him through as he did for me and share my experiece as it relates to the book and I will be fine :) Also, I know if he is beyond human aid I cannot save him, just help him. His fate is not completely in my hands!

About my original questions, today I feel like i always feel/do/act my best when I am living in the solution not focusing on the problem. Instead of my questioning my power of choice and it leading me to a drink or away, I am going to focus on how willing am I to exercise my power of choice to go to any length to remain recovered and remain in that wonderful place of nuetrality to alcohol. If I live the steps, and grow my spiritual life, and help others the idea of taking a drink just isn't a problem. The problem has been removed or it hasn't. So far my willingness just keeps coming and coming :) My step one experience was so powerful I just keep drawing upon the convicition that I cannot fix myself or my problems alone!

Thanks again !
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Re: The Power of Choice

Postby Dallas » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:05 pm

The evidence of Spiritual Growth appears to be the Growth in Understanding and Effectiveness. (Step 10). ;-)

The longer we stay sober and DO the program of recovery -- the more our ideas change. Constantly. And, continually.

When we reach that place where we think we've got it all figured out -- we've stopped growing. ;-)

My friend used to tell me: "Keep it fresh. Keep it green! Keep it growing!"
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