- Are you RECOVERD or Recovering?

Are you RECOVERD or Recovering?




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Are you RECOVERD or Recovering?

Postby txsuperman » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:08 am

My name is Jason and I am a Recoverd alcoholic. I have been sober for over 11 months and this question comes up often in the different meetings I go to. Just curious on your thoughts about this. When I heard my spiritual advisor(some people call them a sponsor) the first words out of his mouth was "my name is ___, and i'm a Recovered alcoholic". I thought wow. I had never heard anyone say that before. After hearing his story, I knew I wanted what he had. He told me that he could guarantee me Permanent abstinence from alcohol in 30 days. SHOW ME!! So he took me through a 3 1/2 week book study of the first 164 pages of the big book. Then I did my steps in 2 days and RECOVERED from Alcoholism. I'm not saying i'm cured, but I have RECOVERED just like the big book says I can.
I can tell you why I identify as “Recovered".
I am saying something different because I am having a different experience in AA and have had different results from being a member than many others who aren’t recovered and aren’t recovering either. When I identify with my truth – that I have indeed recovered – oftentimes someone will come up to me afterwards to ask me to explain it to them. That one word is sometimes a walking billboard of more hope than they have yet to hear in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.
“Recoveringâ€
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Postby Dallas » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:41 am

Hello Jason, welcome to the site!
Nice to hear that you are recovered.

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Postby ROBERT » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:13 am

HEY JASON, awesome man,sounds like good ole' fasioned big book A.A. to me! In the forward to first edition, the first paragraph says; We of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than 100 men and women who have RECOVERED ............ then it goes on; To show others PRECISELY how we have RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book!!!! Great attitude dude....and sounds like your doing some good ole' fasioned A.A. work! Keep on truckin bro!!!!
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:06 am

We of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than 100 men and women who have RECOVERED ............


I discovered that it's a good idea for me to remember that some of those that it referred to as RECOVERED ... went back to drinking.

Some of the RECOVERED that it referred to... that went back to drinking... after several tries, they were able to achieve sobriety again.

And, some of the RECOVERED that it referred to... that went back to drinking... after several tries, were unable to achieve sobriety again.... and died miserable and painful alcoholic deaths.


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Postby ROBERT » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:21 am

WOW--SO DALLAS WHAT I HEAR YOU SAYING IS, YOUR RIGHT AND.......,WELL YOU FINISH IT FOR ME!
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Postby angel143 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:25 am

Thats one of the things we talked about in the meeting I was in last night.

Dallas, you are dead on! The chair of the meeting had us read and re read it....then we discussed it.

Your points are what the group came to consensus on....

Thank you so much
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Postby txsuperman » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:16 am

The book gives us clear cut directions how to RECOVER. And I agree that some people who have recovered go back to drinking. They go back to drinking because they stop doing what it takes to stay recovered. That's a no brainer. It's like if you get food poisoning. I recover from it, and the doctor says "Jason, if you do this and that, you will NEVER get food poisoning again." It's a fool proof system that the book lays out for us.

Thanks for your response. Here's a few things to think about. The book tells us that the real problem with an alcoholic centers in his mind. Once we have the pyshic change and have "solved the drink problem", haven't we recovered then. Are you still "SOLVING" the drink problem???The book tells us that as a result of doing the steps and having had a spiritual awakening, "the obsession to drink has been removed". So what are you still RECOVERING from????
Forward to 1st Edition "To show other alcoholics precisely how we have RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book."
Ch 2. pg17. "We, of ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, know thousands of men and women who were once just as hopeless as Bill. Nearly all have RECOVERED. They have solved the drink problem."
Pg 19 "Many could recover if they had the opportunity we have enjoyed"
In order for me to stay RECOVERED there are some things I must do daily. On pg 86 there's 12 questions I MUST ask myself daily.

One beautiful thing about the Spiritual Awakening of the Big Book is that not only does it free us from alcohol, self-absorption and our egotism but while it downsizes our egotistical "self" it also downsizes our need for words - it even frees us from the Big Book itself. The Book becomes then a tool for carrying the message and working with others as we turn more and more to the Guidance that comes from God.
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Postby txsuperman » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:24 am

It is well to study AA History before jumping on AA Diving Boards.

[/quote]
Thanks for your OPINION on AA history. When AA started having discussion meetings and letting people add their OPINION to what's in the AA big book, that's when AA's success rate went to crap. Back when you had to do the steps before they would even let you in the meeting those were the days of " good Ole' Fashioned AA"
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Postby garden variety » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:38 pm

Well Jason, I understand what you're saying. I've felt pretty strongly about those words and concepts you're talking about. The book tells me as a "recovered alcoholic", I have the power to help others. That's a lot of power, but the other side of that coin is that as a "recovered alcoholic", I also have the power to harm others, especially the new man or woman. The most harm I've ever seen done to a new person was with words.

There's a lot of heartbreak and needless relapse in early sobriety. For me it's worked out better to err at being thoughtful and careful at word choice, rather than opinionated. Dallas can confirm with you that my words have been harsh to the point where they caused more harm than good to a new person here in this forum. She left us and probably went back out. I'm not proud of that experience.

I've been taught that A.A. "does not wish to engage in any controversy", yet your position on the word "recovered" is at the heart of so many A.A. controversies, that it splits one fellow against the other. It's an argument I've seen cut into and asunder our very first Tradition of Unity. But you probably well know and understand alcoholics yourself. I've seen alcoholics make a controversy out of what brand of tires to use.

In my opinion, which does not represent A.A. as a whole, semantics has a way of dividing and isolating friends and fellows, one from the other.

You asked the specific question: "Are you RECOVERED or recovering?" You responded in a manner that you percieve to be "correct". Dallas presented an alternative viewpoint. You countered, or might I say "parleyed" with your perception and opinion of what defines "good ole' Fashioned A.A."

First I'll answer your question with what I think would contribute more to unity than it would to controversy. Then I'll ask a question.

"Am I RECOVERED or recovering?"

Neither. Because A.A. does not wish to engage in controversy, I'm neither "RECOVERED" nor "recovering". I choose to stake my position as one of walking the lifelong journey of "Achieving Sobriety", and that happens one day at a time in my world. It's the best journey I ever began, and I meet many loving folks who take constructive action to stay sober and help me to "Achieve Sobriety" each day. It doesn't matter to me what words they use or don't use, because my spiritual awakening has allowed me to understand that actions speak louder than words.

The question I'll leave you with is this: Are you open-minded enough to practice the slogan I've been taught by many A.A. longtimers, "live and let live"?

Thanks, Jason, for helping me today.

God bless,
Paul
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:45 pm

Hi Jason, it may not appear that way... but I agree with 99.8 percent of what you're referring to.

I identify as being in the class of who I think might be some of your favorite speakers on the topic... "I came to AA and went back out again and nearly died of alcoholism... listening and learning from the BS crap in discussion meetings that has nothing to do with the Plan of Recovery described in the book!" I was going to those smorgasboard meetings of "you make up your own program. Take what you want leave the rest. Just don't drink... 90/90, 120/120......... the meeting makers make it (crap), and just go to meetings!" etceteras, etceteras, etceteras... all opinions from untreated alcoholics that ... unfortunately were fatal and they don't work!" No real alcoholic that I know of -- has ever remained physically sober forever by... and definetly they did not get better by... sitting in a chair in an AA meeting... sharing their disease..

See... I really am more in agreement with you, than you might imagine! :wink:

After my first failed attempt in AA, I was desparate. I didn't believe AA would work for me. I was of the screwed-variety... of alcoholics. I tried again, and again, and again, and again, and again... with and without AA help... to no avail. I couldn't get sober or stay sober in AA.

After I got my second chance at sobriety... I was desparate to hang on to what I had... and I still didn't believe AA was going to work for an alcoholic of my type.

Not only did I cram my nose into AA history, I enrolled in university classes to learn more about alcoholism... and treating it... figuring I could use the knowledge along with AA (if AA wasn't just a bunch of crap for problem drinkers)... and POSSIBLY have a chance to remain sober... longer than I did the first time.

What I discovered in the University level classes on Alcoholism, and the treatment of alcoholism was... the Professors of the classes were in 100 percent agreement... that AA was the only known solution that was available and successful at treating alcoholics and for the alcoholic to have any chance of achieving long term sobriety. These classes were for doctors... that were treating alcoholic patients... and they agreed, no amount of therapy or treatment or anything else will do as good -- for the long-haul, as "getting your patient actively involved in Alcoholics Anonymous" (not just attending... but actively involved).

I still wouldn't believe it would work for me... even after studying everything I could find on Bill W., and talking to Old-timers that personally knew him, and some of the Old Timers, who's stories were in the First Edition, BB, that were still living and sober. I also researched every archive I could find to listen to the early stories of the founders and pioneers.

All that knowledge still wasn't making things better for me. I was going nuts every day. Doctors wanted to put me on medication -- and I wouldn't go for it. I was convinced... that I would die sober... without drinking... and it was going to kill me.

In around 1987, while contemplating ending it all -- sober -- I came across the very first set of recordings from a BB Study, given by Charlie P and Joe McQuanny. (I later spent much time with Charlie and Joe. Joe was like a second sponsor to me, my BB sponsor... and I believe that Joe McQ... knew more about the BB, than Bill W. (who wrote it, knew). Page 164... "more will be revealed".

Originally, I followed along with the recordings and the BB, going line-by-line, front to back. Following the instructions and taking the actions that I read. I experienced the Spiritual Awakening that the book referred to... and it literally rocketed me into the 4th diminsion!

I finally found what they were talking about when they wrote the lines... "if you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it". They were referring to a series of spiritual experiences that would remove the obsession to drink, and remove the alcoholic insanity... provided that... we didn't rest on our laurels... and we kept actively pursuing spiritual fitness and spiritual growth. (Not just maintenance. Nothing is ever maintained in life. It's either growing or dieing).

I got hung up on the "Recover, Recovery, Recovered" ideas... Recovered sounded particularly dangerous to me -- the way I understood it -- with my best understanding! The way I heard it being presented was: "I wouldn't be able to drink -- even if I wanted to -- it's all a God deal, and God's will is for me to never drink... and He will keep me sober!"

That sounds wonderful... but, based on everything I had learned in the book, and by the founders and Pioneers, and Charlie and Joe, and my sponsors... there was something wrong with the idea.

Then, I found out, what I wrote in another post or a few of them here on the site... "Recover, recovery, and RECOVERED..." in the "as more will be revealed" understanding of the founders... that it meant simply one thing: "the alcoholic is not drinking."

Early in AA, the Founders believed that they really had discovered a "cure" for alcoholism... then, their experiences leading up to the writing of the first edition... proved them wrong. That's when they learned that it was a "daily repreive" that they were getting... as long as they continued to "treat their alcoholism" with the spiritual tool-kit of recovery AND EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT... continued to stay acive in attempting to help another alcoholic -- to achieve and maintain their sobriety.. This is what they learned that would work... when ALL ELSE FAILS!

(And, perhaps it's one of the mystery answers as to ... "how do those alcoholics in AA... that have not experienced the Spritual Awakening... through the 12 Steps... stay physically sober? They are sober. And, many are not getting any better. They're staying sick in their disease... but... they are not drinking?" How is it? Perhaps... one part of the equation that they are doing... is at least trying... to help another alcoholic... even when their methods don't work. It's kind of like the Law of Attraction (a spiritual principle)... They are receiving what they are giving.... physical sobriety (but not treatment)... that most often ends up as "sobriety on the installment plan!")

I've seen scores of RECOVERED... and the DELIVERED... that have returned to drinking and died... because they thought they had been "cured" and had been granted a state of "permanent abstinance."

Thanks for letting my share. I hope it wasn't boring or offensive to anyone.

BTW: I am sharing MY experience, and not attempting to admonish or correct anyone. We have no authorities in AA... other than a "loving God" that expresses Himself in and through our Group Conscience. :wink:

My only dog in the race is me. I seek no followers and do not desire to convince anyone of anything. I'm simply a sober memeber of AA, that is grateful for the sobriety and the good life that I experience... today, and the days that have led up to today!

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery... and all that I have is right now. And, look out if you depend on anything I say... I change my mind in seconds and inches! That for me, is spiritual growth. The daily willingness of letting go of my old ideas... about life, good, God, love, and AA. Starting a new day. Fresh and green. And, keeping an open mind, and asking God to help me to keep it that way.

Dallas B.
Last edited by Dallas on Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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