Rarely have we seen a person fail who has throughly followed our path....
Half measures availed us nothing....
In my experience I have seen that people who do 90 in 90 typically stick around longer. I think it shows commitment to recovery and hope that there is a solution. People who refuse to do 90 in 90 typically relapse and/ or don't return to the rooms.
I'm curious.... how many of you "old timers" did 90 in 90? And how many of you didn't?
Since it cost a lot to win, and even more to loose, you and me gotta spend some time just wondering what to choose.
Light a man a fire and he's warm for a night, set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life
My last return to AA was a 'do it OR die' situation ... so, I did 8-9-10 meetings a week for almost two years ... My sponsor said I was 'sicker' than most ... so my 1st 90-in-90 was just the start for me ... It quickly became a habit and I started looking forward to the meetings and went every chance I got ... @ the 2 year mark, more life changes occurred, and I had to find 'balance' ... Now-a-days ... I typically make 3 sometimes four meetings a week ... Except!!!Except when I pick up a new sponsee, then I feel doing the 90-in-90 with him is very important ... it lets me know if the guy is serious or not ... and it lets him know that I EXPECT TO SEE HIM THERE ... LOLPappy
"Life offers no guarantees ... just choices; no certainty ... but consequences; no predictable outcomes ... just the privilege of pursuit." -Tim Conner
When all else fails...Follow the directions.
I may have been sober before today, But I've never been sober today before :)
Thanks so much for these wonderful responses!
I recently moved back to the UK to a city with a very small fellowship. Few of them have worked the steps, fewer still talk about the importance of 90 in 90. Reading your comments is refreshing and motivating.
Please keep them coming.
ps. a massive congratulations to Tasha and Stepchild! Keep coming back :)
Walking with curiosity.
How many meetings did I attend during my first 90 days? As many as I could. But my sponsor wasn't as strict as others were. He wanted me to attend meetings on a regular basis (no specific amount), but within the first 90 days there were no set amount. They didn't have to run concurrently either, or have to be 90 exactly, just as many as I could in the beginning, that's all. I hope this helps.
Fyne Spirit wrote:The single most important thing I did was get into the steps- this is the program. The meetings were fellowship and support but as a human entity, lacked the power to relieve my alcoholism.
The single most important thing I did was get into the steps- this is the program. The meetings were fellowship and support but as a human entity, lacked the power to relieve my alcoholism.
I totally agree with this...I've seen a lot of people do 90 in 90 and not make it. Not even get started on the steps.
With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start.
They weren't talking about meetings when they wrote that. I needed meetings...It was a safe place for me where I couldn't get into trouble.....Stay with the herd. The steps are the solution.
It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you got.BB
When all else fails - RTFM
Don't have to be old to be wise - Judas Priest
You are right. That is just you McGowdog. It would not exist as a strong suggestion if it wasn't important and useful. I also only go to 2 meetings a week at the moment (almost 4 years later) but during my very first exposure to AA - yes, the 90 in 90 was helpful. It's meant for newcomers (though can be a useful tool later on too).You are the exception if going to "less" meetings at the start was the answer to you. In the great majority of cases, people don't make AA a priority, they don't get to the 90 day mark before giving up...You can argue it's BS for you, but the utility of it as a whole is pretty undeniable. I could also relapse now - but it would have nothing to do with whether I did 90 and 90 or not. It would be from me forgetting step 1 and falling off the program completely. Had I not done the 90 and 90, I doubt I would have the time that I even have now. Anyhow, 90 in 90 is not a surefire way to build future long term sobriety. It's a useful way to absorb info and make a major lifestyle change which is discussed as needed (a major psychic shift) in the big book. Odds are, if you do it, you will be sober for 90 days. After that is a whole nother story.Of course if you get a bunch of alcoholics together there will always be a few screaming "This is BS" to everything. Pretty much the same way a rational business meeting rarely takes place.I remember when I came to MIP 4 years ago and in my intro thread I stated I was "doing the 90 in 90." At the time Dean resonded that it was really good that I was serious about my recovery and that it was way more common for folks to come to MIP and whine about how miserable the their life was due to drinking and then reject the idea of going to meetings or to go to only a few (Half-measures). I am glad I got some sound support and suggestions then and not told that 90 meetings in 90 days is BS.
Here is the actual response I got from Dean (the moderator here) which was the first response anyone gave me here at MIP -
Hi Mark, welcome to the board. I like your bio. "doing the 90/90" and it sounds like you're "getting it". A great example for other newcomers already.
PinkChip hit the nail on the head, ... ... ... 90 -in- 90 is simply a suggestion ... it is not mandatory ... and it is not B.S. ... ... ... it really does help the 'new-comer' look at, and evaluate, themselves in a serious manner ... They will come to know for sure if they have a problem with alcohol or not, then they will know the solution to the problem is there in front of them if they admit they have a problem and have a desire to quite ... So, McGowdog, you do get something for your 90 -in- 90 ... (whether you drink or not during this time is your choice ... I did ... then having done the 90 -in- 90, It screwed up any further enjoyment i had to drink, I drank because I thought I had to ... then years later, I came back and actually worked the program ...)I understand the suggestion of doing 90 -in- 90 came about as the result of a judge giving an alcoholic the option of 90 days in jail or attend 90 meetings in 90 days(a long time ago) ... 'So let it be written ... So let it be done' ... ... ... LOLthat's my opinion, it oughtta be yours ... LOLPappy
Excellent 'point of view' MikeH, ... ... ... Everybody is different and it takes what it takes to sober up and stay that way ... we're either going to do it -or- most likely die (sooner than later)... The choice is ours ... Pappy
Fyne Spirit wrote:Andrew, I hesitate to question your posts as they are always well written and thoroughly researched and I have learnt a great deal from them. I have to ask though, where in the manual of instruction (The Big Book) does it say anything about 90 in 90? I have nothing against the idea, and undertook something simliar in different times, but I believe that one needs to be discriminating in which meetings would be useful, and which dangerous in this context. Where I live, not all meetings follow the instructions, some are against the steps, some say meetings will keep you sober but the steps will change your life, some are amateur group therapy, some are all inclusive where people with all kinds of problems other than alcohol participate. 90 in 90 in meetings like this will most likely do the real alcoholic newcomer more harm than good and many do infact fall by the wayside. In an area with plenty of groups with the sole aim of achieving sobriety through the teaching and practice of the 12 steps, 90/90 is bound to be effective, but if that is not the case, more one on one work is an effective and proven alternative. It's a matter of making the best of the available resources, rather than following a particular dogma.God bless,Mike.
Andrew, I hesitate to question your posts as they are always well written and thoroughly researched and I have learnt a great deal from them. I have to ask though, where in the manual of instruction (The Big Book) does it say anything about 90 in 90? I have nothing against the idea, and undertook something simliar in different times, but I believe that one needs to be discriminating in which meetings would be useful, and which dangerous in this context. Where I live, not all meetings follow the instructions, some are against the steps, some say meetings will keep you sober but the steps will change your life, some are amateur group therapy, some are all inclusive where people with all kinds of problems other than alcohol participate. 90 in 90 in meetings like this will most likely do the real alcoholic newcomer more harm than good and many do infact fall by the wayside. In an area with plenty of groups with the sole aim of achieving sobriety through the teaching and practice of the 12 steps, 90/90 is bound to be effective, but if that is not the case, more one on one work is an effective and proven alternative. It's a matter of making the best of the available resources, rather than following a particular dogma.God bless,Mike.
The Big Book doesn't say anything about 90 in 90
nor does it mention sponsorship
nor does it mention service work, or taking commitments at meetings
it doesn't say anything about no new relationships for your first year
it doesn't teach about swapping adictions with sex or other drugs either
it does say "hardly an evening goes by without a get together at someone's house (this was before meetings) and we have set aside one night a week to carry the message to other alcoholics (the first meetings), implying that "fellowshipping" was something that was happening every day.
However the Big Book says (about sex) "We want to stay out of this controversy, we all have sex problems we'd hardly be human if we didn't" yet aa as such has taken the exact opposite route, "No new relationships for a year" is touted as gospel in every meeting I have ever attended, as is the "hands off the women newcomers" and these are both sounds bits of wisdom as well. AA nowadays gets all up in people's sex lives.
90 in 90 isn't "The Answer", it isn't "the silver bullet", but, taken in conjuction with the other steps it's good sound stuff, it's been proven that it takes 90 days to replace one habit with another, so just by getting in the habit of going to a meeting instead of to the bar or popping a cold one is helpful.
I am also a proponent of the steps, sponsorship, etc and believe The Program resides in the first 164 pages, but we have picked up a wrinkle or two over the years that we have found to be helpful...such as...say...sponsorship...which also isn't in The Big Book, mainly because sponsorship as we know it wasn't "invented" until after the book was published by Clarence, so just because 90 in 90, sponsorship. cross addiction, relationship addictions, etc ad nauseum aren't in the book don't make them bad ideas.
So say we want to stick -exactly- to the book and the founders, let's take a look, shall we? Bill was dropping acid to try to have another spiritual experience and shagged anything that moved, especially if she was new, my old great grandsponsor was smoking pot living naked in Thailand in the 50's (while sober) because they were still experimenting, try going to a meeting today, tell them you will be smoking pot, doing acid, you won't be doing 90 in 90 or getting a sponsor and you will be banging as many newcomer chicks as possible, see how they react...and yeah, you can say "but but none of that is in the book and that's how Bill did it" and see how far it gets you.
90 in 90 is sound stuff -in addition to- the steps, working with a sponsor, getting into service, sponsoring others etc
The meetings are NOT the Program, but they aren't a bar or your head either.
Hell I wasn't denigrating Bill, I have done all those things, dropped acid, made some piss poor sexual decisions, hell it just means he was human, I like Bill a lot, but he wasn't God and his poop stunk, and not everything he said and did was gospel, he was a frail human who penned a remarkable book, some might even say "miraculous", and you wouldn't find me arguing.
I actually stick to the bb pretty much, I stay out of people's sex lives, I pass on my experience, what the BB says, what the fellowsip says, then each person's choice is their own, I don't say "you must needs do this", I say "this is what I did, this is what the BB says, this is what the fellowship says, here are my ideas on that based on my experience" and I encourage my sponsees to have an experience of their own.I actually think the miracle of AA is that it -wasn't- written by Saints, it was written by people with flaws, put in stark prose my life could sound similar to Bill's in that I am certainly not without sin, and by no means was I casting stones, the point I was illustrating is AA -has- learned a few things over the years, such as cross addiction, and 90 in 90 is helpful, and I was pointing out that being too dogmatic can be taken to a ridiculous extreme (which I don't believe you do by the way)Gandhi said I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. I think that happens sometimes in AA, people get so tangled up in the dogma they forget the forest for the trees, which is this deal is about love and service and helping each other, because none of us made it alone, and not relying on or deifying any one person or rigid mindset, we made it by helping each other and forgiving each other our transgressions and forgiving ourselves in our quest to be better people, I actually really like Bill, I have a LOT of respect for him, think his books are amazing, and his fourth step about sex is one of the most rational and balanced approaches to sex I have ever seen in my life. once again, I do not mean you are too rigid, you whom I have nothing but affection and respect for, but that was the point I was making when someone questions the 90 in 90 because "it's not in the book". That argument just doesn't hold water, any more then saying Leviticus says homosexuality is an abomination without pointing out the rest of the moonshine Leviticus spouts, you can't just cherry pick your facts and leave out others and be truly fair. Want to stick strictly to the book and our founders, OK, but you have to take the bad with the good.Not everything is the book, that's just how that is, I'm not knocking the book, I think it's as close as you can get to divinely inspired, as are the seeming "coincidences" of Bill's life that lead him to each of the steps, Dr Silkworth, Carl Jung, The Oxford Group, but 90 in 90 is helpful, as is our pamphlet about sponsorship, and about medicines outside AA, also the 12 Traditions aren't part of the "first 164 pages" either, since they were written later. The Program evolved to a certain extent over the years, and while I consider myself to be "Traditional" as my main sponsor influence/guide got sober in the 40's, he pounded service, selflessness, reaching out to the newcomers, sitting down and shutting up until you had something worthwhile to say (aka experience) and working the steps, but 50 years later he was still attending his fair share of meetings.Using "90 and 90" isn't in the book as a premise, I simply state if that is your entire premise, you must needs remove sponsorship, cross addictions, smoking pot, doing acid, the traditions, 90 in 90, the preambles to the subsequent editions, the suffix about the spiritual awakening etc. etc ad nauseum, you can't just pick and choose which things aren't in the first 164 you are going to disregard while embracing others without being hypocritical.
Seriously, how would Bill and Bob be viewed in their own program now, doing acid, hitting on newcomers, 12 stepping guys that were still drunk (gasp), bringing drunk people to meetings (gasp) telling people who weren't entirely ready that AA probably wasn't for them (yet) and telling people who questioned their alcoholism to go have a drink (yes, the BB says that, if you are wondering if you are an alcoholic, step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking and see what happens.) People would lose their F'ing minds if these things happened at meetings now, doing acid, hitting on newcomers, trying to work with people who are actually (gasp) drinking, Bill and Bob were both 12 stepped while drinking/drunk/ or hung over.
90 in 90 is sound advice even if it isn't in the book, as is the "no new relationships for a year" as is staying away from other cross addictions or recreational drugs, the reason I pointed out Bill dropping acid and womanizing is to show the ridiculousness of sticking to a particular dogma while losing sight of what is behind that Dogma, which, in the case of both Christianity and AA's spiritual awakening is "Love and Service", the Christians and AAer's who espouse dogma without living these other traits are missing the point, kwim?Even the approach to sponsorship you mention isn't strictly speaking "in the book", since it was introduced after the book was published by Clarence, who came up with the idea that you could sponsor just by using the book and who's model we base sponsorship in AA on now.
AA has evolved, I'd say it's mostly for the better, since we let women and Catholics and drug addicts and ....wait, what did Bill call them, . "beggars, tramps, asylum inmates, prisoners, queers, plain crackpots, and fallen women" in AA, rather then the "pure alcoholic" although it was iffy for a minute. You want to see blindl adherence to dogma, start up that converstaion here or at a meeting, or another venue and watch intolerance and stupidity rear it's it's ugly head even if it written in black and white, you are an alcoholic if you say you are, drug adict or not, gay or not, man or woman, jew or gentile and people STILL argue about that petty shit like it matters.
AA is about love and tolerance, it's our thang man, and when it's not we have gotten off the beam, and not everything is "in the book", that's the only point I was trying to make, I have nothing but affection and respect for you and hold you in high esteem, if something I wrote ruffled your feathers, I am sorry, it's not how it was meant.