- Step 11

Step 11




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

Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:32 pm

Life and my work schedule made it possible that I could attend a noon AA meeting today.

The topic was out of the Dr.'s Opinion, regarding the allergy to alcohol, the phenomenon of craving... etceteras. It reminded me of the very first few meetings that I had attended where the Dr.'s Opinion, the allergy and phenomenon of craving, etceteras... were discussed. I'd have to say that within the first few AA meetings, I knew all that I needed to know about alcohol and alcoholism.

The thing that I didn't have was the realization I was alcoholic... and that my problem wasn't alcohol... my problem was and still is... my alcoholism. I learned that it was not safe for me to use alcohol in any form, and that that if I wanted to stay sober... I had to not have the first drink.

When I was newly sober... I thought "Gee... with all that I know about myself and about alcohol and about drinking... all I've got to do is go to a few meetings and just not drink in between meetings. :wink: That was my solution.

When my solution failed... and I discovered that I had started drinking again and couldn't stop drinking... between the AA meetings that I was attending... sometimes drunk during the meeting... I was baffled as to "why did I ever take that first drink to begin with? And, why can't I just stop drinking now that I know all that I know about being an alcoholic?" I was confused.

Later, after I was able to get sober again and had been trying to answer the riddle as to why I had started drinking again... I stumbled across the Jaywalker story in Chapter 3 of the Big Book. That's one of my favorite stories... because I so identify with it. I discovered that I started drinking again... because I was alcoholic. I was like the Jay walker.

I'm still just as alcoholic today as I was when I came in to A.A. I probably don't know any more about alcoholism today... than I knew when I came back to A.A. I'm like the Jay walker... except I haven't been doing any jay walking!!! :wink:

What I have been doing... over and over and over and over again.... is taking some different actions. Actions that lead me away from my obsession. If I stop taking those actions... I know what will happen. The idea will return... and unconsciously, I'll discover that I'm looking up at the bottom of a bus that just ran over me!!!! :lol:

When I reflect back on the stories of our A.A. co-founders... I see Bill W., who had an incredible "White Flash" spiritual experience... and, when he realized that at about six months sober... he was getting ready to do some Jay walking... he started looking for another alcoholic to help.

The alcoholic Bill found to help was Dr. Bob... a very spiritual, highly religious... God-aware alcoholic... who couldn't stay sober.

Bill knew a lot about the scientific aspect of alcoholism... that he had learned from Dr. Silkworth. Dr. Bob, knew a lot about faith, and prayer and meditation and spirituality. Yet... both of them were getting ready to do some more Jay walking!!!!

I'm sure that they talked about alcoholism for hours and hours and hours... and they probably talked about God for hours and hours and hours... but, it wasn't their discussions about God and religious things... nor was it their discussions about alcoholism... that was keeping them sober. What was keeping them sober... was their efforts to help another alcoholic.

The more that I pray and meditate and do daily inventories the more serene and happy I seem to become, and my life seems to work better.

The 12 Step Design for Living keeps my life getting better and better and better.... And, even in doing this... and in contemplating Life and Spirituality and all kinds of things that might make me feel a good buzz... I always want to remember that there is a sleeping Jay Walker... deep a sleep inside me.

Most the time... I don't even think about the Jay Walker being there! I never want to forget... that the way to keep it (sobriety)... is to be passing it on... to another alcoholic who has a desire to become sober.

If I reach a place in my spirituality or my good life... where I forget that I have a responsibility to be helping another alcoholic.... I could lose it all. And, what better way to help another alcoholic... than to be inside and active in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous?

Thanks for letting me share! :wink:

Dallas
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Postby Molly M. » Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:49 am

Hey Dallas;

I'm not sure why but reading your post made me think about something I heard last night (yes, I drove the distance to get to my meeting :D ). I've heard it before, but it really hit me last night--"Insanity is not being able to see the truth."

I've also been noticing lately how my own sobriety seems to go in layers of "seeing" more truth, getting honest about the truth, and finally accepting the truth, until God is nice enough to show me a little more. So the way I see myself and my place in the world now, as compared to 1997 when I got sober, is in fact a very different reality.

First I had to accept that I was an alcoholic and get honest about it. But then I had to learn to live without alcohol. I didn't really like life so I spent alot of years trying to arrange people, places and things to get it just right. If only I was thin enough, rich enough, tan enough, had the right apartment, car ect. then I would earn enough "love" and admiration to fill that black hole. But over time, I've been able to see and accept more and more how the world really is imperfectly perfect the way it is without my self-centered interference and I've been lucky enough to start to gain small amounts of true happiness from real acceptance of persons, places and things.

At the beginning, I didn't have time for the BB and when I did look at it I didn't feel any real connection--I thought that it was embarassing and hokey. :oops: I used the steps to get my sponsor's support and attention. But I sure wasn't honest in any real sense--it was all about me and trying to get the reaction I wanted. :oops:

It's taken alot of work and more passes through the steps for me to get to a place where every word in the BB rings true and I'm grateful for that.

Nowadays, I think when I share with the newly sober it helps me keep the little bits of truth that I have worked so hard to accept and that make my life so worthwhile.

Thanks for sharing Dallas. I was getting worried when you didn't post for a few days. :D
Molly M.
 
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Postby Dallas » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:32 am

Hey Molly!!! Thanks for noticing :wink: I like to be noticed. :oops:

I didn't realize that I went for a couple of days without posting. Sometimes I go through this phase where I try to re-learn to be slow to speak.... to be quiet and to listen, and to read and absorb what others are writing.

There have been times in the past... when I would read someone elses message, and then reply to it right away... and then a few days later, I would re-read their message... and notice that I had somehow read something other than what they had written. So, I'm trying to make progress. :oops:

I've noticed that I've been kind of quiet in meetings lately, also. Same thing there... I'm trying to be still, and invisible and observe, rather than always having something to say.

Maybe... I'm finally getting tired of listening to myself! My sponsor would say "that's progress!" :lol:

Then, again... it could be something else...

I had one of those "hard-to-deal-with emotional circumstances" that showed up on Thursday. One of my very best friends -- my little dog that I've had since she was a tiny pup, and is now about 13 years old -- and, who I feel kind of like a parent to -- was attacked by another dog that tried to kill her. Luckily, I was close by when it happened, and when I heard the commotion of her getting attacked, I was able to run and get the other dog off of her. Friday, she was in a lot of pain and I was spending a lot of time trying to comfort and care for her... and then, Friday night she became very ill, and I stayed up all night with her because I was afraid she might die. Got her to the vet on Saturday morning for treatments and morphine and antibiotics... and also had to assist the friend... who owned the dog that attacked her. And, a decision was made that it was in the dogs and in life's best interest, that the other dog should be put down. I was also very close to the other dog that had to be put down.... loved her very much... but it's the second time that she's tried to kill another dog, and periodically... she would seem to have a mental snap, and attack other dogs.... and it has been believed for a while... that it would only be a matter of time, when her next victim could be a human. So, I guess I've had some quiet sadness going on about that, too. I guess that this experience with the other dog... was perhaps the seed that was brewing inside me in regards to "Jay walker" experiences.... relating the dogs mental twists... to my own mental twists... in regards to my alcoholism.

Anyhoot!!! Thanks for keeping an eye out for me! I appreciate you.

Dallas
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Postby Molly M. » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:13 am

Hey Dallas;

What a difficult couple of days--talk about strong emotions, fear, and loyalty. I'm so impressed that you could show up for your dog and your friend. You know people are quick to dismiss the intensity of our relationships with our pets and I think that's unfortunate. I was recently told that it's not that we love them more than humans, rather the pets are the ones that are always by our side so we miss them more when they are gone. :(

Hard emotional decisions and interactions are always scary for me. It's funny that my MO used to be in creating them--my form of jay-walking because they invariably led to a drink. Now, I still usually feel shaky and off balance for a few days after they've passed, fear of getting hit by that bus I guess.

I hope you and your dog get some nice petting time today :D
Molly M.
 
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Postby Dallas » Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:09 am

Thanks Molly. Today was one of those tough ones. I took her to the Vet again this morning and they did surgery and put a drain-tube thats running from her back and out through her side. At least she's here at home with me tonight.... and I don't have a cot set up in front of a cage at the Vet's office. We'll go back for a check-up first thing in the morning. I went to a noon meeting while she was in surgery. I felt like a big cry baby. :oops:

I feel a little brain-energy-dead right now and kind of raw inside... Not sure if I'm repeating something I already wrote or not... but, here's a few things I've discovered and reflecting on, in this situation:

1. I'm so very fortunate to have such a sweet loving dog, and,
2. I'm so fortunate to have you all... my A.A. friends here.
3. I'm grateful that I have a sponsor... and this situation really drives home my thoughts... about why I have a sponsor... and about people who dont have sponsors... they are really missing a tremendous asset that could be utilized in their life.... for free!!!
4. I'm so grateful for the fellowship of A.A. and for A.A. friends and strangers... that will always open their arms to help me through difficult life situations.
5. I'm grateful that I have the 12 Steps as tools for living.
6. I'm grateful to the A.A.'s who have offered prayers for my dog... and so grateful to the God that they pray to.
7. I'm grateful to God, who has made all of this possible for myself, and for countless others.
8. I'm so grateful to my Vet, and his staff of dedicated assistants... they, too, are so caring and loving and patient and kind and professional!!!
9. I'm grateful and so lucky to have Cooper... my other dog ( a big 100 pound black lab) who has been helping me and my dog get through this.

Life is Good.

Dallas
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Postby Molly M. » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:16 am

Dallas would you mind sharing your little dogs name?

I'm so glad you went to the noon meeting both for you and the other people there. It takes so many years to figure out how to express and share real emotions that I thinks it's always a gift when people, who've been around as long as you, do just that, instead trying to pretend that they are always happy no matter what.

When its my time, I hope and pray that I can look back on my life and know that I experienced all of life--the good bad and the ugly and stayed sober through it all. Of course, I'm a bit of a coward so I always temper that prayer with wanting more good than bad :oops:

How lucky your little dog is to have such a good owner:D We'll keep you guys in our thoughts today.
Molly M.
 
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Postby anniemac » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:33 pm

Hey Dallas ~ I'm so sorry to hear what you, and your little doggie, have gone through. How is your dog doing? You and Molly have a great conversation going on here, but I'm kind of all thinked out today, but wanted to ask about your dog.....let us know please!
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Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:47 am

Thanks for asking and thanks to all those who have offered their prayers and thoughts. She is finally doing much better. We had several very close calls... and thanks to the great Vets and their assistants... they've done a great job on her (and on me!). We go in to the Vet's office in the morning and hopefully, if all is well they'll remove the rubber tube from her.

It was kind of interesting one night after we got back from the Emergency Pet Hospital, she looked up at me as if she was saying "You guys sure are doing a lot to get me through this... and because it's important to you that I get better... I'm going to do all that I can, too!"

She's been my little Ala-pup for the last 12 years and has helped me get through several of my own difficulties. She's learned that when the phone rings late at night... that I'll probably be getting dressed and going out until the next morning... and somehow, I think she knows that I'm going out to help another alcoholic like myself. (It's one of the few times that it's acceptable to her for me to be leaving!)

For many years now, when I get on my knees to pray, she'll come and laydown on the floor beneath my chest and the floor as if shes participating in the prayer with me. She has definitely been a God-send. I remind her that she is actually God's dog, and He thought enough of me to allow me to take care of her for Him. And, I let her know that I believe that she has been His Angel, that He sent to me, because He knew that I would need her special kind of love and help. She sure means a lot to me! So thank you all......... for your thoughts and your prayers for her! She is the most gentle, loving, caring, and thoughtful little being that I have ever known!

Dallas
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Postby Molly M. » Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:11 pm

Dallas that was a beautiful message to wake up to. Thanks much!!
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Postby anniemac » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:01 pm

yes, Dallas, beautiful message and I'm so glad that she is recovering well.
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