Susan68 wrote:Although I am kind of wondering if this isn't true just a little. I was told, don't even attempt to make amends until you've gone over it with a sponsor.
I understand... some amends are simple. No problem. And, there is no rule that anyone has to do anything any certain way.
For me... I like to cover my bases and come out ahead. Before sobriety I made some amends on my own. Way before I ever heard of the 12 Steps. I used an attorney for it -- but, wouldn't listen to the attorneys advice. I insisted on doing it "my way." And, it cost me severely! I was willing to pay the price -- just because my big Ego said "I'm in charge here! And, if it get's done -- it will be done my way!"
Then, another time... before sobriety... I was facing a big deal! (When I was drinking trouble used to find me rather easily!) That time -- I hired the attorney... told him how it works and how he was going to handle it! And, it worked out great for me. (Can you tell I learn from my mistakes ) Had we did things the attorney's way -- I would have been in real deep doo doo!
When I got sober... I was making my amends on my own.... Nope! Didn't need some raisin's help or advice. I was in the process of making one of the amends and I mentioned it to some guys at a men's meeting that I used to attend. The guys eyes popped out of their heads and they laughed! I didn't like that... but, I listened to what they were saying. And, I changed my mind about "how" I was going to make my amend for that situation.
I had a bunch of other amends to make, also. My first sponsor recused and resigned from my case at Step Seven. He said that I had so many serious problems facing me -- that it would be foolish of him to try and offer me suggestions on how to handle them. That's when I found those guys that I admired at the men's meeting. Nearly all of them were professionals. Lawyers. CPA's. A judge. A couple of policemen. Business owners and execs were among them. I felt as though I couldn't pick a better Board of Directors to assist me in formulating and executing my plans for Steps 8 & 9. And, destiny smiled on me when I was stuck with a problem, my sponsor fired himself, and I ended up with a bunch of pros to offer me guidance! It was an offer I couldn't refuse.
Not every alcoholic has serious amends. They may owe a little money. They may have cheated and lied to a boss or some friends or family members... And, there are others -- that could end up at the bottomless pit without help. Of course, they are free to do it their own way also. No problem here.
Susan68 wrote:In retrospect, stuff like this is probably not good for a new person trying to come terms with all of this. I went out to walk the dog and started having that nagging feeling (that I had the day I "fired" my temporary sponsor) that I'm drinking Jim Jones's Kool Aid. That I'm killing off the best of myself through adherence to a "groupthink." You know, I can sign on to anything if it's the truth. But what is the truth? The BB seems sane, but a lot of what I hear in AA (and the way some folks interpret AA) seems less than sane. I really hate this nagging uncertainty.
I understand... Again!
When I was new... my thoughts were "Hey! If this Rummy that's now a Raisin took his Steps... He's an admitted Nut Case! He's insane! Why would I listen to a crazy guy???? Well... I discovered that I had been listening to one... most of my life!
I understand about the Kool-Aid Groups, too! Sometimes, it seems that way, and sometimes it is that way. Isn't politics and media the same way? Progressives rather than Constitutionalists. Wear the right clothes, say the right things and let the others dictate our decisions and our lives and our destiny for us. Kool-Aid Groups are inside and outside AA. They're also in schools, churches and professions. So, what?
I'm not the kind of alcoholic that would let a Kool-Aid Group run my life or make my decisions for me. I'm more of the defiante individualist type. (And, most of the AA's that I know... are the same way! Sometimes, it's a liability for us. But, we seemed to have been born that way!)
For me... Life is what you make of it. The same goes for AA. AA is what you make of it. You can use it for your advancement or use it to dig deeper ground.
Opinions is what most of it all boil down to. People form their opinions and perceptions to fit their own self interest. The AA lovers and the AA haters are no different. Each of them has a dog in the race.