- What did he mean?

What did he mean?




Alcoholics and Addicts sharing their personal recovery story with us to help others who want to recover.

What did he mean?

Postby Dallas » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:13 am

On page 25, of the Big Book, Bill W., wrote:

"We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed."

1. What does that mean to you?

2. Have you experienced it?

Thanks for sharing your story.

Dallas
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Postby dahlgren » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:45 am

Good topic Dallas,

And what I'm sharing here actually parallel's some of your other posts this morning, seems like we may both be experiencing some self reflection at the moment, I know I certainly am.

Don't think I've gone into my story too deeply at this point so just a bit of background first. First came to AA almost 26 years ago no, my first sobriety date was on March 18th, 1982, day after St. Pat's Day, had to get one last one in you know. After that I spent the next several month's faithfully going to meetings, about 4-5 per week and was flat-assed stoned at every one of them but I didn't drink! Well I think you probably know how that worked out, I drank after almost 8 months.

When I got back on November 18th of the same year, this time sober and clean I really threw myself into the program, worked the steps, got a sponsor and as Dallas loves to remind us every chance he gets, practiced, Action, Action, Action. Hey it works Dallas, I'm not critisizing.

I then spent the next 5+ years working the program and getting as involved in service as I could with the help of my sponsor who was a tireless man when it came to AA service work. I met a woman in AA about this time and after a 2 1/2 year courtship we married. Although neither of us consciously meant to we both nonetheless drifted away from meetings and the program. Neither of us relapsed, our life appeared to be happy, joyous and free from addictions, we had a beautiful child who is now 12 years old and we're very proud of him.

Almost 3 years ago now my wife and fellow alcoholic and I found ourselves in a fairly stagnant and somewhat poisonious relationship, imagine that! You see, she suffers from depression, always has since I've known her and when I had finally built up enough resentment toward her about that, after living with it for 16+ years, things began to crumble for us. She found herself suicidal, had to be admitted to a hospital and found another claiming to have the same feelings and depression as herself. That's when I lost her, to another, my world collapsed and I had nothing of substance to prop me up. But I did have AA if I chose to go back, it had been a good number of years since I'd gone to a meeting, spoken to a fellow member, practiced the principles in any of my affairs. But the group I had helped to start some 20 years earlier was still there, still good people there that remembered me but more importantly welcomed me in with open arms.

That was a little over 2 years ago and I'm still going, still involved, started an additional meeting that had been dropped somewhere over the years. I pray everyday to God that I won't allow myself to make the same mistake twice and drift away from the very thing that gave me the life I have today, that fourth dimension, see I got to part of it eventually Dallas.

Ok here is the next part of my story, during the time that wife and I were separated, a little over 2 years some major changes came about for both of us. Shortly after her initial involvement with the other man she allowed herself to enter into a new world of addiction, she became addicted to "crack" after 18 years of continuous alcohol sobriety. Since we were separated this was not something I became aware of until just this past September, we were at a place in our lives discussing the possibility of giving it another go. When I found out about her addiction, she made the decision she wanted to go into a treatment facility and then I told her I would address our relationship with her after she completed the rehab.

During her time in rehab I searched for something to help me with this new twist of life and came across another 12 Step program, modeled after the one that saved my life all these many years ago. This program is basically NA's version of Al Anon, it's called Nara non and the 12 Steps are the same 12 we here have all come to know, love and embrace.

I am currently working the 12 Steps through this program and as I said they are basically the same, have found that I view them in a different light and as a result some things about me have surfaced that need to be addressed by me. This isn't to say that had I remained a steady member of AA for those years I was absent, that I wouldn't have stumbled upon this new awareness. But the point is I did become aware, through my involvement in this program, of some glaring defects of character needing to be expunged. This is where a parallel comes in, Dallas posted something under Relationships in Recovery and the journey I've started on in working the Steps again in this new light is what's allowed me to see exactly how sick I still am.

Taking action, in any program or facet of one's life will always result in the same thing, CHANGE. It's a fact of our natural world and it doesn't mean that the change will necessarily be a good change, action can result in adverse change, no doubt. Today I choose to take action in my life that I will continue to scrutinize, analyze and do everything I possibly can to be sure the results are POSITIVE changes, today. And then tomorrow, God willing, I'll start all over again one day at a time, through the help of my programs and all the good people I surround myself with, including all of you, to affect those positive changes in all my relationships.

Thank you so much for letting me share and thank you Dallas for this topic, as you can see it sparked much within me.

In love and recovery,
Mike
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Postby garden variety » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:34 am

Wow Mike!

I can identify with lots of your pain. It must have really smarted to fall out of the shelter of a loving family relationship, and not have the fellowship already there to grab you before your chin hit the concrete. Ouch - I really can sense your pain. I been there before too.

This last relationship that ended when she broke up with me was different, though. I didn't drift away and kept my calls and meetings regular. What a difference that makes. Everyone called me on the break-up because they knew the lady, and they wanted to make sure I wasn't being the idiot. After that inital "third degree", though, the fellowship and my support group gave me lots of love and support - especially my sponsor who has been know to crack the whip.

After I got him to "shut up and listen" instead of convincing himself the problem was me, he nearly jumped out of his skin with one of those "Oh - now I get it" moments (Now it took a few months - ever wonder why sponsors are so convinced it's always the sponsee's fault?). Now I'm not saying the "problem" was her either. She reached an end point, and I followed that still small voice in my heart and just let it stand. Today I am grateful I did let it stand instead of trying to "force the river" that runs well enough without my help. None of that could have happened without this fellowship and the program of recovery being right there when I needed it. I would have been a very miserable soul without AA and this 4th dimension that I never knew existed.

I also understand the 12 steps from that "other perspective" you talked about. I know what it's like to have a loved one stumble and fall. That was an eye-opener for me, too. Wow - all of the sudden it wasn't me who was causing all the pain and suffering. It was alcohol. But it was alcohol at work in my loved one, and not me (not the same girl mentioned above). That was a real, almost mind-blowing experience to see the tables turned. Like you said it was with your Nar-anon, it was the same with me.

Funny thing is that it really is the same steps, exactly, from a different perspective. The first step of Al-anon is the same. "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable." But it wasn't the alcohol inside me that I was powerless over - I find that Power every day. I learned about being powerless over alcohol when it was in the body and mind of my loved one - and how it affected me. Same illness - different perspective. Completely different. It was a real eye-opener, so I totally understand what you're saying.

Let me tell you what Mike, that light came on at a Founders Day double lead: AA and Al-anon. It was a lady Al-anon that spoke her story about her husband who was the alcoholic. I found myself ears-pointed to her and crying. I could identify more with her story than I did with her AA husband! That bass-turd! - I said to myself - he's just like...then BOOM! The light went on - he was just like my girlfriend! Then I said "Now wait a minute??!!!" because I also knew the story from his perspective. It was an experience I'll never forget, I tell you what!

I'm gald you're with us and you're active again Mike - you help me. I know you'll never regret being in the fellowship. I can almost guarantee you that. Thanks for sharing your story. It is a beautiful and heartbreaking experience I can identify with pretty well.

God bless my friend
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Postby dahlgren » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:05 pm

Thank you for the kind words Paul. The way I feel about myself today is that I'm a miracle twice over now. Although I drifted away from the program for a number of years, really for no apparent reason, when the rubber hit the road for me a few years ago I knew where to turn. The program was still there and ready to welcome me back happily, just like a faithful dog to it's owner. It's simply amazing how well this really does work if the desire and willingness is there. Oh and also as our good friend Dallas would remind us of, "if you're ready for Action, Action and more Action".

In love and recovery,
Mike
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Postby Dallas » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:17 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

You guys sure know how to grow!
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