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Post Info TOPIC: AA's Definition of Sobriety


MIP Old Timer

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AA's Definition of Sobriety
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Does it mean, you can have a drink or 2 or a slip when taking a swallow (or drinking "non" alcoholic beer which btw has alcohol in it!) , as long as you don't get DRUNK, you're fine? It doesn't count?

Or does sobriety mean what Bill W and Dr. Bob intended - COMPLETE ABSTINENCE ?


~ Jen


1940 AA Preamble:

We are gathered here because we are faced with the fact that we are

powerless over alcohol and unable to do anything about it without the

help of a Power greater than ourselves.We feel that each person's religious

views, if any, are his own affair. The simple purpose of the program of

Alcoholics Anonymous is to show what may be done to enlist the aid of a

Power greater than ourselves regardless of what our individual

conception ofthat Power may be. In order to form a habit of depending upon and
referring all we do to that Power, we must at first apply ourselves with some

diligence. By often repeating these acts, they become habitual and the

help rendered becomes natural to us. We have all come to know that as

alcoholics we are suffering from a serious illness for which medicine has no cure.

Our condition may be the result of an allergy which makes us different from

other people. It has never been by any treatment with which we are

familiar,permanently cured. The only relief we have to offer is absolute

abstinence,the second meaning of A.A. There are no dues or fees. The only

requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. Each member squares his

debts by helping others to recover. An Alcoholics Anonymous is an alcoholic who

through application and adherence to the A.A. program has forsworne the

use of any and all alcoholic beverage in any form. The moment he takes so

much as one drop of beer, wine, spirits. or any other alcoholic beverage he

automatically loses all status as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

A.A. isnot interested in sobering up drunks who are not sincere in their

desire to remain sober for all time. Not being reformers, we offer our experience

only to those who want it. We have a way out on which we can absolutely

agree on and which we can join in harmonious action. Rarely have we seen a person

fail who has thoroughly followed our program. Those who do not recover are

people who will not or simply cannot give themselves to this simple program.

Now you may like this program or you may not, but the fact remains, it

works. It is our only chance to recover. There is a vast amount of fun in the

A.A.fellowship. Some people might be shocked at our seeming worldliness and

levity but just underneath there lies a deadly earnestness and a full

realization that we must put first things first and with each of us the

first thing is our alcoholic problem. To drink is to die. Faith must

work twenty-four hours a day in and through us or we perish. In order to set

our tone for this meeting I ask that we bow our heads in a few moments of

silent prayer and meditation. I wish to remind you that whatever is said at

this meeting expresses our own individual opinion as of today and as of up

to this moment. We do not speak for A.A. as a whole and you are free to

agree or disagree as you see fit, in fact, it is suggested that you pay no

attention to anything which might not be reconciled with what is in the

A.A.Big Book. If you don't have a Big Book, it's time you bought one. Read

it,study it, live with it, loan it, scatter it, and then learn from it

what it means to be an A.A.er


-- Edited by Doll on Sunday 21st of June 2009 09:58:55 AM

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  It's about learning to dance in the rain.



Newbie

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doll,  would love to know where to find the original for of this preamble.
would appreciate the reference. thanks, cate.

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MIP Old Timer

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Someone read the 1940 "How it works" in a recent meeting I went to. Also very interesting. It was more like instead of God..May you find him now.... God, You must find him now. Evidently, he too took suggestions to make AA more encompassing and workable to larger groups of people. Thanks for the post Doll/Jen.

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MIP Old Timer

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Just go to any search engine you use and type in


1940 AA Preamble. There's millions of them posted all over........


Do you think AA means for it to be DRUNK? That as long as you don't become intoxicated having a few now and then are OK?

I have managed over the years to have a few now and then, but eventually and quickly I ended up drunk........ I that is true for all alcoholics, otherwise they wouldn't be alcoholics!



PC - what are your thoughts on the definition of 'sobriety' ?






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Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
  It's about learning to dance in the rain.



MIP Old Timer

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It has changed so much since I entered AA.  I had ABSOLUTELY no idea what sobriety was.  I did know that complete abstinence was the only answer as far as drinking was concerned. I didn't come into AA expecting to be taught "how to be a normal drinker" as I have heard in so many other peoples' stories of when they first came in. I had tried countless ways of changing and limiting my itake and it always brought me back to the same demoralizing point.  I don't have the willpower to play around with 1 or 2 drinks. I also don't have the willpower to stay sober in a bar or at drinking parties (I could do it a few times probably, but I don't want to play with fire) so I avoid them.  Drinking alcohol AT ALL is a relapse for me.  Picking up an O'dools would be a relapse because it would be the same basic behavior of trying to "be a normal drinker" when the simple fact is I CANNOT DRINK like a normal person. 

I need only look at the way I handle smoking, coffee drinking, and relationships to know that I am a true addict in so many ways.   I do not crave alcohol anymore, but when I stopped drinking, there was this huge gap or void that was left unfilled.  I filled a large part of it with healthy things such as AA, fellowship, service....but I also have continued struggling in terms of filling it with unhealthy things such as excessive smoking, coffee drinking, and continually trying to make myself happy in a relationship when it is so obvious that I have to be happy with myself before any relationship can work.  So, now sobriety means letting go of all those old and dysfuntional ways that I tried and continue sometimes to fill the gap and deal with who I am and the world around me.  Sobriety = Serenity and it will come when I am okay with who I am, can tolerate the world around me on its terms, and when my spiritual connection is stronger I think.  Also, further stepwork will hopefully get to the core of how I wound up this way and I pray I can let some of my old ways of thinking go.  Thanks for the question Doll.  It helped me clarify my thoughts which are pretty scrambled these days.

 



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Senior Member

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I wish to remind you that whatever is said at

this meeting expresses our own individual opinion as of today and as of up

to this moment. We do not speak for A.A. as a whole and you are free to

agree or disagree as you see fit, in fact, it is suggested that you pay no

attention to anything which might not be reconciled with what is in the

A.A.Big Book.

Why do you feel you need to bring up something which was said in 1940 and at the end of which they expressly said they are only expressing their opinion as of that day, do not speak for A.A. as a whole, and people are free to agree or disagree as they see fit, as some kind of gospel truth that validates your own opinion?  Is there a reason why A.A. continues to update the Big Book with new editions, in which they add some things and eliminate others, or should they refrain from doing so and start only printing up the first edition from now on? 


-- Edited by StPeteDean on Monday 22nd of June 2009 07:22:31 PM

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MIP Old Timer

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Ok, let's not get into a pissing contest. I'm sure that the original poster wasn't directing their post at anyone, and likewise responces shouldn't either. Go after the idea, not the poster. smile.gif

Dean

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MIP Old Timer

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Very interesting I have not seen this before.

They make it very clear the goal is 100% abstinence, then they mention that AA is not interested in sobering up drunks not interested in being all the time.

We must remember what AA was like in 1940. AA groups where concentrated in NE Ohio and NYC area, there where no treatement centers, Dr Bob had to forge records to get drunks into the hospital for detox, the book had just come out 1 year prior, there where many people flocking to AA for help and there where limited recources/sober AA members to help them, thus the need to pre-screen those who where serious about constant soberiety.

At that time to help someone not serious would mean keeping attention away from a drunk serious about recovery who might otherwise die

I got sober in Ohio and I remember the stories from those days, you went through all the steps in a couple of months or less and you where immediatly helping new drunks during and thereafter.

We are very fortunate today that usually there is plenty of help from sober and experienced AA's when a new person finds the rooms, at least there was for me, so it is my pleasure to be there for them.



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Rob

"There ain't no Coupe DeVille hiding in the bottom of a Cracker Jack Box."



MIP Old Timer

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BTW,

I think everyone knows 1 or 2 drinks is not ok, and does not equal soberity>

What alcoholic would ever be interested in 1 or 2 drinks anyway? Certainly not this one

__________________

Rob

"There ain't no Coupe DeVille hiding in the bottom of a Cracker Jack Box."

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