- How long should I wait to take the 12 Steps?

How long should I wait to take the 12 Steps?




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Hi ya, Jim

Postby musicmode » Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:20 pm

My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic,

I wrote that back in Feb., when my head wasn't on too straight--not that it is now :roll: :) ...but I hear ya loud & clear...just git down & git to it...it's not a race, but by the same token, if ya'll wanna keep feelin' the way ya was--then, by all means...wait around, kick it around some more & keep all that crap inside ya :? ...but it ya want what we have to offer, & are willin' to go to any lengths...the promises'll only materialize by doin' the 12 steps. I see folks 'round me beatin' 'round the bush 'bout the steps, then in the same breath wonder why they don't feel no better. Gotta keep yir feet movin' forward :wink: .

In the spirit of the fellowship,
Annie 8)
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My name is Cyndee.....Alcoholic

Postby dcyndee » Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:41 am

Speaking only from my personal experience. I dont feel a time table is needed as long as each step is completed in order to the best of ability.

If thoroughly beaten up an powerless over alcohol, time to move to step 2. If know under no circumstances can make self better and life managable time for step 3. If totally willing to turn life and will over to a power that can, then by nature of that willingness will be under that guidance on the timetable for the remaining steps
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Postby anniemac » Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:24 pm

I think I fall somewhere in the middle of the pack on this one. During the first few days of my sobriety, I was incapable of being thorough and honest. I didn't even think I had ever committed a wrong! I thought I just liked to party a little too much. So, had I done my step work in the timeframe it was done in the BB, there would have been no substance to it. As it was, the 4th Step that I did at 8 months was quite on-the-surface. Much much more came up when I did another 4th Step at almost 3 years' sobriety.

However, I do believe in getting started on the Steps right away and working them consistently.

There's a woman in my home group, she's coming up on a year next week. She is miserable, and has been miserable this whole past year. She is lonely and feels empty all the time, and clings to other women and asks if she can come over to visit so she doesn't have to sit home alone, etc. She attends 3-4 meetings a day to keep herself out of her house. She is continually looking for externals (other people) to fill that hole in her soul.

Her sponsor has had her on Step 1 for the past 6 months. :!: The sponsor tells her, no rush, you're not ready, etc. The woman is too anxiety-ridden to change sponsors. She has some other issues, I guess mental illness, and she thinks this sponsor's word is direct from God.

I know I don't know what's best for everyone; however, it is killing me to watch this woman sit in misery when there is such a fantastic solution right there at her fingertips. I've suggested to her that she may feel tons better if she went through the Steps. She feels it's up to her sponsor. I don't want to butt in to her stuff with her sponsor, but yet as a responsible member of AA, I feel that this should not be allowed to go on. It almost seems abusive. Like a doctor withholding a cure. I'd love to pull that sponsor aside and ask her what the &^%$*& she thinks she is doing. :evil:
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Postby Dallas » Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:16 pm

Welcome to the site Cyndee!!! Glad you're here and I look forward to hearing more from you.

Thank you Anne and Anne!!! :wink: I really got a lot out of what you shared. Thank you all for being here!

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re: anniemac

Postby musicmode » Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:13 am

My name is Anne M., I'm an alcoholic

Hey all, how's this day been for ya?

Your share took me back to when I first come in to the program 6 years ago. I wanted it & was willin' to go to any length to get it, so willin' that if my first sponsor would-a told me to stand on my head in the middle-a mainstreet I'd a blindly done so. I'm still that willin' -although my own history since then tells otherwise--I am still here..I keep comin' back cuz I know this is the solution. When I first come in, I was sick :mrgreen: ..sick&insane. One-a the lady's from my 1st home group attached to me like a burr. My head was so spun & wrung that I couldn't make sense-a nothin'....she'd tell me 'er rules & I'd nod & go along. Some-a 'er rules was that I wasn't allowed to talk to any-a the guys in the group-to only talk to her, the women need to stick with the women; I was to do the steps her way, not the BB way, that was only an example, & she showed me 'er resentment list & said to write down God's name 1st cuz I was angry at Him. :?: :? I had resentments...God wasn't one of 'em. I said this was her list...she said to do it exactly like she said. Another rule was to call 'er everyday, in the same breath, she said that she was gonna be outta town for 3 months, then after that, she was travellin' to some place else for however long...I wouldn't be able to git a-hold of 'er...but--I was to call 'er everyday??? :wink: She'd be poppin' thru town & would call me to see how I was doin'...when she did get back, I'd best be on Step 4. I know I'd only been sober 'bout 15 minutes...so I didn't know if the headaches I's gettin' was prolonged hangover or her givin' 'em to me. I knew this lady had my best interest at heart, & even still today, a lotta stuff she said to me back then--well...makes more sense to me today, but then--some of it, like the above said--still don't git it?? The above said, that she'd stated to me, it was 5 days 'er so after my last drink. She told me that she was my sponsor. I never saw 'er again for 'bout 2 months, in the meetin' room-asked me if I'd got to step 4 yet?? One-a the guys butted into say that my color had just now went from this :mrgreen: to now lookin' like I was gonna live. She abruptly told 'im to mind his own business :shock: . I was to listen to only her, she asked me like she was a school teacher if I'd been talkin' to any-a the guys, cuz remember what her rules were. This one had me goin', & I didn't know no better. But as the fog got clearer & clearer, I slowly began to sense that somethin' wasn't quite right with this picture. I thought fo' sho' it was me cuz what did I know, I was a newcomer. I felt like what ya'll's seein' with this girl. Her sponsor is likely tellin' 'er to only listen to her. I seen this, too...& I've heard some who are honest about it in sayin' that they want people/a person all to themselves (in a strange way, it's obsession manifestin' in a different form). I am soooo grateful for the guys in my first group--cuz see--they knew this chick-a-dee, right? I didn't. And at first, they said they didn't say nothin', cuz ya just never know what'll work for someone...but they also said that they could see that I wasn't gettin' better. One of 'em...quietly asked me how it was goin'...6 months later, cuz he said he's been watchin', & he was concerned. Well, I fidgeted & fussed, not quite too sure how to even answer his question. He caught on to that, too. He clarified only for certainty of who my sponsor was. I nodded...he leaned in & asked me...so how's that goin' for ya. I leaned in & quietly said, ya heard the sayin' 'bout how some people'll drive ya ta drink? He quietly said to me, it's been known to happen with the sponsor you got. Then the second guy piped in & said, in fact, when it comes to the perfect battin' average, anyone she sponsors goes back out. I told 'em that I wasn't even s'posed to be talkin' to 'em cuz they were guys. These guys sort-a bunched up together & as a unit were my 'sponsors' :wink: . The 1st guy quietly asked me if I'd heard that I could fire my sponsor? :twisted: 'Course I hadn't heard that, how could I-a heard it if I wasn't s'posed to talk to anyone??? :? They helped me out a lot.

If you's not too sure if you should step in 'er not? Pray about it? Ask God as you understand Him if there's somethin' ya'll can do? These guys stepped in when the timin' was right. After that...I'd watch when this chick-a-dee would latch 'erself to a newcomer & I saw what I must-a looked like. One-a the guys said to me that if I felt like the program was gettin' jammed down my throat, & if I wasn't allowed to talk to people, then that person's probably not the right sponsor for me--they didn't tell me, they only...well...[i]talked. I'd try to do the same for new ladies who would come in...they'd be adamate as I was, that they needed someone tough like this chick-a-dee. Next thing we'd hear, they were back out there. I've seen many like 'er...like one's head ain't already got all our marbles rollin' 'round the floor of our skulls...but, ya know...who's to say I'm no different...maybe not in that sense, but--in other ways. You feel like ya wanna step in, ya feel like it's your responsibility. Have ya'll tried just invitin' this girl out for coffee or somethin' durin' the day or a time other than meetin' time? Don't gotta talk program, help 'er git to know someone else in the program. Maybe let 'er see an alternative for 'erself? Let 'er know that there's a wide-world of us out there, that she don't gotta stick with just one person. See if she'll take a Grapevine, read stories of others? If she wants it bad 'nuff, she'll figure it out...might be like me...might take time...I gotta git outta this "I want it now" attitude. Like Steve T., says, life's a journey, not a destination. :)

Might be nothin', might be somethin'...thanks for lettin' me share. I'm grateful to be here.

In the spirit of the fellowship,
Anne M. 8)
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Good Morning!

Postby Spiritman » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:56 pm

Thank you.
A wonderful post... you spoke to my spirit.
I'm not around much anymore--but I am sober thanks yo folk like ou.
Thank you.

Peace,
The Spiritman
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Sponsorship -vs- Sponsorship

Postby Spiritman » Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:14 am

A few personal comments about sponsorship...
A sponsor without a sponsor is a sponsor in malpractice!
A sponsor's role in AA is simply to assist the sponsee in working the 12 Steps.
Not all people who sponsor should sponsor the entire 12 Steps!
Ooops!
Yes, not everyone who wants to be a sponsor has the ability to sponsor those in early recovery. Why do I say this?
Some sponsors are possive, control freaks and think they are the sponsee's higher power (and actualy keep the sponsee from establishing communication with their own Higher Power).
The Big Book and 12 & 12 say little about sponsorship. The Big Book, Chapter 7, Working With Others is one place that comes to my mind immediatley.
When I sponsor I share my experience, strength and hope. I do not set the path of my sponsee, I do make suggestions. If I fail to let my sponsee make their own decisions about their own recovery I am not practing the 12th Step. Oh yes, there are times in every stage of recovery that assertiveness is needed, yet it should be assertiveness not dictatorship or passive agressiveness.
I am not God.
I am not the director of anothers life, I simply suggest...
"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."
Yes, we carry this message to other alcoholics.
Pages 60 and 61 of the Big Book (4th Editon) say a lot.
I am not advertising for Hamilton B., who wrote Twelve Step Sponsorship, How It Works (available at Hazelden). It is a great book. Very well written and totally appropriate for all of us.
I say all of us, but I am really speaking about al of us or just myself?
Who am I to judge what is helpful to another?
How do I know what is appropriate for another?
When I judge another and become angry I am actually experiencing a biological, psychological, social and or spiritual threat.
When I express my turmoil and dispair to others I sometimes feel better.
Then too, when I express and share my turmoil and dispair with others and let them know I am sharing, they often share with me how they responed to their feelings of anger, dispair, turmoil, resentments... the words can go on and on.
Then too, when I feel anger and get upset with what another is doing, Is do somehting simple. I ask myself, "What is it I resent about this," person, place or thing?
How does this impact my life?
Anniemac, once I was in a similiar situation with a sponsor and sponsee relationship I was concerned about--one of them was on meds. I had to be careful, very careful about how I handled the situation.
I did.
Then I shared it in an open meeting.
I felt better. I expressed myself. I shared from my own personal being.
What is right what is wrong?
I expressed myself. Others expressed themself. We did Steps 4 & 5 automatically-introspectively. Then we shared in the group with each other. All this hapened in one hour...

“Religion is doing; a man does not merely think his religion or feel it, he “lives” his religion as much as he is able, otherwise it is not religion but fantasy or philosophy.” by George Gurdjieff

Ah....
"Recovery is doing; a man does not merely think his recovery or feel it, he lives his recovery as much as he is able, otherwise it is not recovery but fantasy or philosophy" by Plagiarism

Peace,

The Spiritman
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Postby Jim W » Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:42 pm

Good Stuff.
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Postby Dallas » Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:25 pm

Thanks for the message Spiritman. Always great to hear from you!

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hello

Postby musicmode » Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:37 pm

My name is Anne 8) , I'm an alcoholic

Definitely food for thought, Spiritman...whether they be on prescription meds, or smokin' dope, or they're wrapped up in 'busyness'...I keep in mind & have a compassion, as they are sick. I know within myself that--and I'm bein' honest with myself when I say, that at this moment & place in time, I wouldn't be doin' anybody any favors as a sponsor...by the same token, if I can help, as in one alcoholic helpin' another, then I'm open to be that shoulder, ear, etc. I've seen sponsees get a sponsor for the sake of gettin' a sponsor, so that when they's asked, or when they's at the meetin' table, they can say they has a sponsor, and I've seen it work in vice-versa, too...so that the individual can say they's sponsorin' someone. I've also had what I've said to a sponsor come back to me thru another member :? --which, for me...once the cat-fish's outta the bag so-ta-speak, I don't got it to hide no more. The other side-a the coin though...plays with the trust, which, for me--is already kind-a a challenge thing. Still tho', I'll go out on a limb when it comes to trust, cuz--I heard this at a meetin'...why not go out on a limb...that's where the fruit is.

Peace & Love,
In the spirit of the fellowship,
Anne 8)
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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - How long should I wait to take the 12 Steps?