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Post Info TOPIC: Am I recovered or recovering?


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Where I live, there seems to be a big division between those AAs who say they have recovered and those who say they are recovering.

The 'recovered' ones insist that no time can be lost, to get a sponsor, take the steps and, above all, to find a higher power.

Personally, I went through a 4th and 5th step before and I feel I rushed it. I hadn't fully committed to step3 with the result that I drank again. I believe I needed to hear the message 'stay away from the first drink' over and over and that I needed time to experience lots of different AA groups and find a few that I would stick with.

I am still struggling with a higher power, so Steps 4 and 5 are on hold, but I feel stronger this time for sticking with meetings, using the phone and my daily readings. I never take anything for granted these days though, and take time to listen to anyone in AA even if I don't like or disagree with what they say.

But what do you think? Are we recovered or recovering?confused

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how can you be "recovered" from an incurable disease?

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For me, it depends on the day of the week! rofl.gif I personally don't believe in being 'recovered' - yet - as I will always need AA meetings, step practiceing, sponsorship, etc. However, my outlook may someday change as to how I view those words.

Maybe, I'm recovered from the alcohol itself since the obession has left and I'll continue to be recovering from what's between my ears?



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StPeteDean wrote:

how can you be "recovered" from an incurable disease?




 Well, in the BB it talks about being recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of body and mind. Lots of AAs state that they have recovered.



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Dreamnine wrote:

 

StPeteDean wrote:

how can you be "recovered" from an incurable disease?




"Well, in the BB it talks about being recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of body and mind."


So now they found hope, that doesn't mean they're "recovered", it just means that now they realize that they can do something about their disease.


"Lots of AAs state that they have recovered."

 

Not over here they don't.  smile


 

 




 



-- Edited by StPeteDean at 17:25, 2008-09-22

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Welcome to MIP, Richard. I don't see any need for any controversy with recovered or recovering. Like you & the BB I take recovered to mean from a seemingly hopeless state of body & mind. I don't equate the word recovered with cured & I take such recovery to be on a daily reprieve basis contingent on a good spiritual condition & that can change on any given day.

I see myself as recovering as I can still struggle & tussle with my ego & defects without surrender sometimes & I haven't had the fullness of a spiritual awakening as a result of working the whole 12Steps. I'm still working Step4 & growing my relationship with God & thorough self honesty.

Like the term Alcoholic as a self diagnosis so too people can identify for themselves what they feel most suited to them. I don't think it does for any of us to put our opinions of such issues on others like this 'I am.. so you are.. ' I'm a great believer in principles before personalities & think these are finer points that are pointless to snit & snat over (imho)

So to finish, I say I'm recovering while Carl says he's recovered from that seemingly hopeless state of mind & body Just for Today but he's not impassioned or defensive of the term & wouldn't try to argue it either way. It's simply how he sees himself & with humble gratitude to AA anyway.

I have a faith that one day I may feel able to say I'm recovered too but it would only be because, like Carl, I'd be adept in my Program & using it to manage my life. Equally, it may never happen & I may be one who always feels perfection is just out of reach. It doesn't matter either way. I'm Sober Today & I'm In Recovery. I'm happy with that Today.

I have heard different alcoholics in Liverpool say one way or the other for themselves so it could be said there's a divide here too but no great chasm & nobody has ever had to 'take it outside'. Peace be with us all! :Daniella x


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People with alergies can take treatments to alleviate their allergies.  To my knowledge, none of them have ever been given a medication that "cures" their allergies.  Wouldn't it be great to have a shot for everything from diabetes to cancer to allergies to mental illnesses that would instantly "cure" us of the disease so we could go back to living our lives without a thought of having to continue the treatment. 

Ah well,.........maybe someday.  Until then, I will have to continue to take my medication to "control" my illness and wait for the day of that miracle cure.

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I always understood the part of the Big Book where it says "we are... people who have Recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body"...... meaning we have recovered from being "hopeless", not necessarily from the disease of alcoholism. As those of us who have relapsed know, we were not immune to drinking again, but we at least KNEW there was a solution, even while we were doing "another experiment". With a little AA in us, even in those horrible times back out and drinking again, we knew there was a solution. We were no longer fumbling in the dark. We were screwing up again, but we no longer feared we were doomed.

That is how I interpret that we are "recovered". It is from the true hopelessness, not from the disease. IMO.

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Hi Richard,

Welcome to MIP.

For this alkie, I will always be recovering. If I thought of myself as recovered I would associate that with being 'cured' and feel the need to try drinking again as irresistible.

I'm just happy to be sober one day at a time.

Take care,

Carol

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jonijoni1 wrote:

I always understood the part of the Big Book where it says "we are... people who have Recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body"...... meaning we have recovered from being "hopeless", not necessarily from the disease of alcoholism.

That is how I interpret that we are "recovered". It is from the true hopelessness, not from the disease. IMO.



THAT is GOOD stuff, Joni. Thank you.



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I'm with everyone else, no such thing as being recovered (which I consider the same as cured). It's all just semantics from the 30s and I have seen this wording cause more problems over the years..... I think that it even has the potential to give some people a false sense of security which can be dangerous. Just my 2 cents.

Scott

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Many thanks for the messages. Yeah, I believe I am recovering and that it is just down to semantics. I still have to look for the similarities and not concentrate on the differences.

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CAM


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just my two cents   confused

It's a process.  I feel more recovered than ever with almost two years sober this saturday.   However, if don't live those steps on a regular basis, I will certainly stop recovering and maybe even regress, and most likely, drink again. 

christine  heart.gif




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Oh; I LOVE this topic.

I'm Bruce Milmine and I'm a recovered alcoholic.

In my early days of AA I went to a meeting in Collingwood, Ontario where Father Pete Waters was speaking. And he introduced himself as a recovered alcoholic and I "instantly" had a resentment building up inside me.

"How Dare He!"  In a split second these thoughts and more ran through my mind, all gleaned from AA meetings: incurable, once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, if you drink again, you'll be right back where you left off.

Then he continued. He was "recovered" just like it says so in the Forward to the First Edition:

We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book.

Back to my words again....

So lets face it folks, the reason the Big Book exists is to show us just how to recover! That's why; the meetings, doing the steps, sharing with other alcoholics. TO RECOVER from what alcohol does to us!

Isn't that your goal?

Isn't that why you are here?


It does NOT say "cured of alcoholism", lets face it all I need to do is have a drink and I'm right back into that "seemingly hopeless state of mind and body" that alcohol induces.  And from the many "I've gone back out to see if I can drink safely again so you don't have to" stories it is evident that one picks up right where they stopped, or even worse.

So you see, I am an alcoholic that can not and does not drink today because I want to maintain my recovery from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

I am an alcoholic, I will always be an alcoholic, BUT
I am a recovered alcoholic, I have regained my sanity, my ability to "choose not to drink today" or as I put it (for me): Drinking is not an option!

Next we should tackle the "quality of sobriety" issue. smile

Have a GREAT sober day folks,
We've earned it and deserve it.
Bruce

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Dreamnine wrote:

But what do you think? Are we recovered or recovering?confused




Well, that's your personal choice to determine.

Are you still suffering from a seemingly hopless state of mind or body?

Is your mind still preoccupied with alcoholic thoughts or thinking about drinking?

Recovery is a process, and if you have stopped drinking, you have a piece of that.

 

And just a personal observation here, if you are asking, that's another little piece of recovery.

Have a great sober day.

Bruce



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Howdy Matay...

Good ole Father Pete:)

Heard him a few times.. My ears are still ringing.

Not far from Owen Sound here...Tara Group.

Where yu at?


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Have I found or am I seeking? For me it is both.
Am I recovered or recovering. For me it is both. idea 

                                               In Love, Marc T.



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Hi Phil,

I certainly can relate to "ringing ears" after hearing Pete speak, after that first meeting I went and told him that when he said he's "recovered" I started to get a resentment for that. He told me to wait a few years that I'd understand what he meant.  And I did, took about 12 years to "start" to sink in, and at 15 I was comfortable with saying I was recovered.

I'm a Canuck living in Buenos Aires Argentina.
I went to my first AA meeting in Barrie Ontario, 1986, and two years later was transfered to Halifax, Nova Scotia. There I stayed until moving here in 99.

Since then I've checked out a few online AA forums and have settled here. I like it.

I tried the only English meeting here but they were into talking about everything else other than AA. Except for one old timer that just kept repeating over and over; "Don't drink, go to meetings".  It was obvious that that was as far as he could go as alcohol had done it's toll, and he was the only one I could really identify with there.  The Spanish meetings here seem to be more like "inquisitions" and "OMG! I'll have to tell the police on you."

So I read my Big Book, 12&12, Dr. Bob and the Good Old Timers, AA Comes of Age, Vol II of Best of the Grapvine and Pass It On.

Have a great sober day.
Bruce

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AA makes it a small world eh :)

And Father Pete is still truckin...

And the recovered vs recovering..?

Yup...

The Big Book says it the way it is..

Nothing to analyze :)

Have a good one.


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Yes, AA sure does that.
And you say Father Pete it still truckin', well that is good news.

Couldn't agree more, the BB absolutely says what is: is!

You too Phil,
Have a sober day,
Bruce


-- Edited by matay at 14:17, 2008-09-24

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whether your an alcoholic, a drud addict, a shopaholic, an over spender, or whether you look at men more than women, or women more than men, or whether your cat is an epileptic, and your dog is  anorexic, and you wish you had a rabbit instead.
what ever your thinking during the day dont obsess with it, it doesnt matter whether your a recoverer ,or a recovering , unless your playing scrabble, it doesnt matter whether your 20 years sober or 1 year your still a worth while member of AA, i love playing with words but i keep it inside scrabble, and worth while thoughts, where as once upon a time i was filled with hate, and resentment, obsessing all hours with trivial negativity, but then i have recovered from that.lol.smile

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whether your 20 years sober or 1 year your still a worth while member of AA
Well said!  A new person can't very well get this if there isn't someone "giving back" what was freely given.

We only have today, and today someone may need what I have to share as I may need what you have to share. The perfect circle.

Have a great sober day.
Bruce

-- Edited by matay at 15:58, 2008-09-24

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Love that!!!!! THE PERFECT CIRCLE!!!!!

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I'm sorry- I was offline for 6 days or so. Many thanks to everyone who responded to this post and may God's love be with you all.

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I'm a recovered Alcoholic from the Maple Men's group of Alcoholics Anonymous outside Buffalo, NY

 I also heard Father Pete w. speak recently.  He spoke at the National Archives workshop up in Niagara Falls this past September. 

  He did identify himself as a Recovered alcoholic.  He spoke of how the reader of the Big Book needs to understand what the author is trying to convey.   What did Bill W. try to convey to us when he used the word Recovered so many times throughout the Big Book?

  He meant that we get Well.  We get better in A.A.   That is the case for me.  I know have 5 yrs. sober..... But after I was sober for about 2yrs. i did so in depth action (Step work) and had a "psychic change"   I used to be a recovering alcoholic but after the Psychic change the mental obsession was lifted.  i no longer think drink....This for me is a miracle.

  In my experience.... All recovered alcoholics have had a psychic change and many times numerous spiritual experiences.  Try telling someone who has not had these experiences that you are Recovered and they will generally disagree.

But do not scoff until you try the action yourself.   Get honest and clean house and anyone can get well and become recovered.biggrin

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Many thanks for your post. I believe very much in continuous Step work and think that getting honest and cleaning house is so important in sobriety.

So many people talk of recovering, though, and an old-timer here says that women who've just given birth are 'recovering'; we, as alcoholics, have either recovered or not.

Getting to meetings and staying away from the first drink is just half the battle. G.B.

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chavelo wrote:

I'm a recovered Alcoholic from the Maple Men's group of Alcoholics Anonymous outside Buffalo, NY

 I also heard Father Pete w. speak recently.  He spoke at the National Archives workshop up in Niagara Falls this past September. 




Welcome to MIB. Also glad to hear Father Pete is still out there spreading the word.

What you have said is some great advice and right from the hip too!

Have a great sober day.

Bruce



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Dreamnine wrote:

Where I live, there seems to be a big division between those AAs who say they have recovered and those who say they are recovering.

The 'recovered' ones insist that no time can be lost, to get a sponsor, take the steps and, above all, to find a higher power.

Personally, I went through a 4th and 5th step before and I feel I rushed it. I hadn't fully committed to step3 with the result that I drank again. I believe I needed to hear the message 'stay away from the first drink' over and over and that I needed time to experience lots of different AA groups and find a few that I would stick with.

I am still struggling with a higher power, so Steps 4 and 5 are on hold, but I feel stronger this time for sticking with meetings, using the phone and my daily readings. I never take anything for granted these days though, and take time to listen to anyone in AA even if I don't like or disagree with what they say.

But what do you think? Are we recovered or recovering?confused




 This debate of words is entertaining for its own sake.  I love words and discussing their meaning, intent of the author, etc.  But regardless of consensus or whatever conclusion I may come to on my own, it doesn't change what I have to do to stay sober today.  I've had people tell me I couldn't be an alcoholic if I have stayed sober as long as I have, that I was just a "heavy drinker" or "problem drinker".  Hey, whatever.  The treatment for alcoholism works pretty well on me, and since taking it, my life has gotten better and better.  So as Dr. Paul wrote, maybe it's ok for me to be an alcoholic. 

So if discussing the tense of a verb is enjoyable, entertaining, stimulating, or in some other way of value to you - have at it.  If it's the source of resentment, conflict, doubt, or has an impact on your life and sobriety... probably better to just leave it alone.

Barisax

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barisax wrote:

 This debate of words is entertaining for its own sake.  I love words and discussing their meaning, intent of the author, etc.  But regardless of consensus or whatever conclusion I may come to on my own, it doesn't change what I have to do to stay sober today.  I've had people tell me I couldn't be an alcoholic if I have stayed sober as long as I have, that I was just a "heavy drinker" or "problem drinker".  Hey, whatever.  The treatment for alcoholism works pretty well on me, and since taking it, my life has gotten better and better.  So as Dr. Paul wrote, maybe it's ok for me to be an alcoholic. 

So if discussing the tense of a verb is enjoyable, entertaining, stimulating, or in some other way of value to you - have at it.  If it's the source of resentment, conflict, doubt, or has an impact on your life and sobriety... probably better to just leave it alone.

Barisax

     There are different treatments for alcoholism.    Just going to A.A. you will run into a number of them most likely?!!!

   Then there is the solution that was written by the experiences of the early members.  that particular "treatment" is VASTLY different than what I often hear at A.A. meetings. 

    I always, try to direct the newcommer to book tables.    If there is one thing that I can see about alcoholism,  it's that many people are still baffled by how to treat it!  From Psychologist, to Doctors, etc.   Many will say go to A.A. ....(but is AA?)  

   Hopefully telling someone that the meaning of words is not important will not kill them?



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chavelo wrote:

 


Hopefully telling someone that the meaning of words is not important will not kill them?

 



I see more hazard in obsessing over words and terminology.  No matter how well a person may explain, people are going to interpret those words their own way.  What is posted here, what is shared in meetings, what is printed in the Big Book.  If everything is taken literally, one is doomed to forever debate the precise meaning of every letter.  There is a greater whole - in the sum of the parts, all of the book, all of the personal stories - which can be easily found to contradict each other if taken literally and individually.  It is in the whole where I find my belief, and where I find recovery.  I need all of the program - I can't stay sober just re-reading 3rd edition page 449, no matter how succinct it may be.

Barisax

 



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chavelo wrote:

 


I'm a recovered Alcoholic from the Maple Men's group of Alcoholics Anonymous outside Buffalo, NY

 I also heard Father Pete w. speak recently.  He spoke at the National Archives workshop up in Niagara Falls this past September. 

  He did identify himself as a Recovered alcoholic.  He spoke of how the reader of the Big Book needs to understand what the author is trying to convey.   What did Bill W. try to convey to us when he used the word Recovered so many times throughout the Big Book?

  He meant that we get Well.  We get better in A.A.   That is the case for me.  I know have 5 yrs. sober..... But after I was sober for about 2yrs. i did so in depth action (Step work) and had a "psychic change"   I used to be a recovering alcoholic but after the Psychic change the mental obsession was lifted.  i no longer think drink....This for me is a miracle.

  In my experience.... All recovered alcoholics have had a psychic change and many times numerous spiritual experiences.  Try telling someone who has not had these experiences that you are Recovered and they will generally disagree.

But do not scoff until you try the action yourself.   Get honest and clean house and anyone can get well and become recovered.biggrin
_____________________________________________

If you're "recovered"  than you should be able to drink normally. 
biggrin.   And trying to connect your "recoverdness"  to having had a physic change and spiritual experiences as your proof (as if very few others have) is flawed logic, just the same as usuing the word recovered.  It kinda reminds me of  the exclusivity that some Christians cling to.

  5 years is commedable (congrats on that) but at the same time you're not out of the woods yet.  AA surveys show that most people don't make it past 5 years.  It may  be ego, arrogance, and overconfidence that takes them out, but in my opinion it's relationships that usually does it.  Looking back approximately 15 years, to when I had 5 years, I thought that I had the program by the short hairs too.  But now, hindsight being 20/20,  I know that I still suffered from a lot of flawed logic, and made poor decisions base on mostly self will.  Ring me up in another 10 or 15 years and tell me what you think.  smile
___________________________________________

Chevelo Wrote: 
     There are different treatments for alcoholism.    Just going to A.A. you will run into a number of them most likely?!!!

   Then there is the solution that was written by the experiences of the early members.  that particular "treatment" is VASTLY different than what I often hear at A.A. meetings. 

    I always, try to direct the newcommer to book tables.    If there is one thing that I can see about alcoholism,  it's that many people are still baffled by how to treat it!  From Psychologist, to Doctors, etc.   Many will say go to A.A. ....(but is AA?)  

   Hopefully telling someone that the meaning of words is not important will not kill them?

 



Thinking that your words have some kind of power of another drunk is,  well, absurd.   I can't say anything, that will keep you sober, and I can't make you drink.  I guess the same goes for telling people that some day they will be "recovered". 

 



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StPeteDean wrote:

 

5 years is commedable (congrats on that) but at the same time you're not out of the woods yet. AA surveys show that most people don't make it past 5 years. It may be ego, arrogance, and overconfidence that takes them out, but in my opinion it's relationships that usually does it.

 



Wow.  It was just past my 5 year coin that my loving wife unceremoniously dumped me.  The suddenness was only exceeded by the coldness, and the finality of it.  One day I was "happily married", the next I was done - no "let's try to work it out".  I had no warning, although there were signs I simply failed to see, or take seriously.  There's no question that was the toughest period in my sobriety.  Although I really didn't contemplate drinking, I did contemplate suicide - for the first and only time in my life.  It was fleeting, but it was scary.  I needed, and received, help outside the walls of AA - but I did not use a therapist in lieu of meetings.  Quite the contrary - if my therapist had tried to talk me out of AA, I would have found another therapist.  In the end, the therapist began to push me toward taking drugs, and I resisted and ultimately terminated the therapy after some years.  But I was ready for that at the time.  Therapy is not a lifestyle... it's a short or  long term treatment.  AA *is* a lifestyle, and one I choose to continue.

I have kept all my AA coins.  Most of them are in good condition.  I recently came across my 5 year coin, in the bottom of a box of stuff that I had taken out of my truck when I got rid of it a long time ago.  It was all corroded and nasty looking, probably from getting coffee and soda and other stuff spilled on it in the hatch on the truck.  The coin was basically ate up.  Which pretty much describes me, during that 5-6 year period.

I didn't have to drink over my divorce.  Or kill myself.  But I wouldn't want to live that year over again. 

Barisax

 



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It still mystifies me to this day how this is a controversial topic.  Anything shared outside the confines of the basic text of the first 164 pages is just someone's opinion.  The description of being "RECOVERED" is used 12 times in the first 164 and twice in the forward to the First Edition.  The word "RECOVERING" is used exactly ONE time, and that's in the chapter "To Wives" and talks about the husband who is still early in sobriety and "recovering". This is not debatable, it's fact.  Take for instance the INSTRUCTION we get on page 90:

"Then let his family or a friend ask him if he wants to quit for good and if he would go to any extreme to do so.  If he says yes, then his attention should be drawn to you as a person who has RECOVERED."

Guys, that's not up for us to start taking poetic license with.  That's just one example.  There is very clear cut, precise instruction all through the book on this.  If you're going say, "I'll always be recovering", at least be honest with it and let everyone know you disagree with the book and it's your opinion.

And for the, "Well, it says recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body" crowd, I say correct!  Consider this, if you are "recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body" and the obsession has been removed, then why would you drink?  Alcohol IS NOT the problem.  The book says it's a "symptom".  If your mind does not take you to that first drink then you have RECOVERED, just like the book says.  No need to throw out disclaimers or straddle the fence.  You're there baby!  Are you cured?  No.  What are you not cured of?  A constant need for a conscious connection to a Higher Power.  Stop chopping the wood and carrying the water of the 12 Steps and you're rolling the dice and better hope for a lot of grace.

Peace!


-- Edited by cajunhorn on Sunday 12th of July 2009 01:43:41 PM

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Awesome post cajunhorn, you may have persuaded me. But if "Alcohol IS NOT the problem. The book says it's a "symptom"" , then why do we call it alcoholism and not symptomism? lol.  And if It's not the problem,  how can we be recovered just because we're not drinking for a prolonged period?  What of dry drunks, and other problems like relationships, personal finances, other addictions....?  Are we "recovered" from all that as well?  Do you join in, in the meetings, when the leader says "If you haven't picked up a drink today you're a winner"?

Dean


-- Edited by StPeteDean on Sunday 12th of July 2009 01:54:02 PM

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Haha!  I'm pretty sure that if Bill and Dr. Bob had called it "Selfish and Self-centerednessism", it would've attracted exactly ZERO people.  It takes 62 pages for the BB to tell us that alcohol is not our problem.  They had to figure out a way to "hook" us by A LOT of identification before they told us what the REAL problem was.  If they had started out with, "The purpose of this Book is to show others how we have recovered from selfishness and self-centeredness", most of us would have said, "Hell, the wife tells me that all the time", and we'd of just moved on.wink

Think about it, if Alcohol were my problem, then just removing it from my life would fix the problem.  When you take alcohol from me, sans a conscious contact, I don't get better, I get worse.  Alcohol was never my problem, it was my solution to the Spiritual Malady.  It worked right up until the point where it didn't work anymore and I had to seek a different solution to get the same sense of ease and comfort I got for a time with booze.  WORKING the 12 steps got me connected to that which gives me that same sense of ease and comfort and so much more.  From that position I not only don't have to drink anymore, I don't even consider it.  I am in that "place of neutrality" the book promised I'd be placed in and I am absolutely RECOVERED.  It's the coolest.  That's not arrogance or ego, it's just an affirmation that what that book say will happen is true.

There's another aspect to why our co-founders instruct us to present ourselves as "recovered", and that is they understood the need for us to start taking responsibility for our lives.  See, if I say "I'm recovering" and I lie to you, who can blame me?  I'm still sick.  No dice!  Today, I'm recovered, so if I lie to you, it's because I'm a LIAR.  If I steal from you, it's because I'm a thief.  No more, "Poor me, I'm still sick.  Can't you see I'm a recovering alcoholic?".

I truly hope that doesn't offend anyone on here.  If it does, I'm sorry, but you need to consider THIS, you're not taking offense to my opinion.  You're taking exception to what's in the Big Book and the original message of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I love you all. Even though I don't know you, I "know" you and love you enough to carry to you the EXACT same message that was carried to me.  Pure, unadulterated, and just as Bill and Bob wrote it.


-- Edited by cajunhorn on Sunday 12th of July 2009 03:13:48 PM

-- Edited by cajunhorn on Sunday 12th of July 2009 03:26:11 PM

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My personal favorite recovery author is John Bradshaw. He has been a recovering alcoholic for over 40 years and writes about the inner child and shame.

He believes that it is impossible to have a "primary" disease of alcoholism. He says that while we are alcoholics, that is not our primary infection - it is always secondary.

He believes that the primary disease of every alcoholic is co-dependency...

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No disrespect to you or Mr. Bradshaw, but if someone is staying sober based on ANY of that, they are NOT an AA definition alcoholic.  If all that works for ya, great!  But, it will do NOTHING for the REAL DEAL ALCOHOLIC who MUST have a spiritual experience and maintain a conscious contact with his/her Higher Power in order to live a happy life.  This is not a therapy, self-help deal.  If Mr. Bradshaw has stayed sober for 40 years based on that, then he's not an alcoholic.  And no, you're not an alcoholic just because you say you are.  You can stick a feather in your rear, scratch around the yard, and call yourself a chicken, but that doesn't mean you actually ARE one.  Again, I don't mean to be offensive in any way, it's just not the message the guy on Page 22 needs to hear.

-- Edited by cajunhorn on Monday 13th of July 2009 12:03:12 AM

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Dean~Do you join in, in the meetings, when the leader says "If you haven't picked up a drink today you're a winner"?

Sorry, I forgot to answer this.  Not only is that not one of the lame cliches in my area, I've never heard it before anywhere.  That's not to say that I don't hear a bunch of similar brain-dead stuff around here all the time.  The little one liners and shallow cliches make me cringe because almost NONE are out of the book with the ones that are being taken completely out of context.  About the only one I subscribe to is "DO THE WORK!".

Having said all that, don't get me wrong.  I read and find a lot of VERY helpful stuff that isn't in the Big Book.  But, here's the deal, it reconciles almost perfectly with what's in there.  Thomas Merton, Anthony De Mello, and Eckhart Tolle are all consistently in my daily meditation readings as is Tao 365 and the Bible, but never "instead of" and always "along with".


-- Edited by cajunhorn on Monday 13th of July 2009 12:08:28 AM

-- Edited by cajunhorn on Monday 13th of July 2009 12:10:07 AM

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cajunhorn wrote:

It still mystifies me to this day how this is a controversial topic.




I just introduce myself as an alcoholic.  There's usually not too much controversy on that one, at least not within the walls of AA.  Never had anybody challenge my credentials there.

Barisax

 



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Dave Harm wrote:

My personal favorite recovery author is John Bradshaw. He has been a recovering alcoholic for over 40 years and writes about the inner child and shame.



JB has made a great deal of money writing about the various aspects of addiction, and in his seminars he has no trouble getting his audience to relate.  But after all that the solution is still in the 12 steps - he really has nothing new to offer.   I've seen a number of his seminars on video... he doles out a lot of warm fuzzies.  The real work doesn't happen on stage or via a "guru" though.  Of all the paths to AA - intervention, treatment center, doctor, psychologist, clergy, court - JB is just one more.  A doorway is a useful thing, but not where you want to stand for the rest of your life.  In the end, which door you came through is inconsequential... the important thing is keep coming back.

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barisax wrote:

 

cajunhorn wrote:

It still mystifies me to this day how this is a controversial topic.




I just introduce myself as an alcoholic.  There's usually not too much controversy on that one, at least not within the walls of AA.  Never had anybody challenge my credentials there.

Barisax

 

 



I have no issue with someone just introducing themselves as an "alcoholic".  What's always amazed me is how disjointed some people get over those who have done the work, and like Bill and Dr. Bob, call themselves "Recovered Alcoholics".  Thank God that the guy who first carried the message to me let me know that he was indeed "recovered", because if after 24 years he had told me he was still "recovering" I would have said, "good luck with all that" and left the room.  I needed that kind of pure message.  He had worked the steps, had a spiritual awakening as the result, been relieved of the obsession to drink,  now lives a really cool life, and didn't take poetic license with the message as he carried it to me.  Way too many folks out there trying to water down that message while playing "Junior Therapist" which is why our recovery rates are nowhere even close to what they had back in the early days.  It's a shame.

And while I agree that it's important to "keep coming back", the fact is that doing the work is what is paramount.  I watch LOTS of people who "keep coming back" who are absolutely miserable in the rooms and have seen an astonishing number eat bullets.  I have yet to see ANYONE actively staying in all three sides of the triangle fall in that category.  

 



-- Edited by cajunhorn on Monday 13th of July 2009 03:56:23 PM

-- Edited by cajunhorn on Monday 13th of July 2009 03:58:48 PM

-- Edited by cajunhorn on Monday 13th of July 2009 04:56:17 PM

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cajunhorn wrote:

I have no issue with someone just introducing themselves as an "alcoholic". What's always amazed me is how disjointed some people get over those who have done the work, and like Bill and Dr. Bob, call themselves "Recovered Alcoholics".



I don't care what people call themselves as long as they don't rub my nose in it, i.e. implying that I should be using that verbage myself or I'm not doing it right.  If someone is speaking in a meeting, I want to hear their experience, strength, and hope, not a 5 minute speech justifying their introduction.  But, alcoholics are opinionated - and take poetic license (whether they are aware of it or not).  For everybody that claims to be 100% by the book, there's some other 100 percenter who will disagree with him.  Often vehemently.

Barisax

 



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cajunhorn wrote:

No disrespect to you or Mr. Bradshaw, but if someone is staying sober based on ANY of that, they are NOT an AA definition alcoholic.  If all that works for ya, great!  But, it will do NOTHING for the REAL DEAL ALCOHOLIC who MUST have a spiritual experience and maintain a conscious contact with his/her Higher Power in order to live a happy life.  This is not a therapy, self-help deal.  If Mr. Bradshaw has stayed sober for 40 years based on that, then he's not an alcoholic.  And no, you're not an alcoholic just because you say you are.  You can stick a feather in your rear, scratch around the yard, and call yourself a chicken, but that doesn't mean you actually ARE one.  Again, I don't mean to be offensive in any way, it's just not the message the guy on Page 22 needs to hear.

-- Edited by cajunhorn on Monday 13th of July 2009 12:03:12 AM




I was just sharing another view point.  Does that make me any "less" an alcoholic.  No, I most certainly am an alcoholic and from day one went to AA meetings and still do.

Myself, I like Bradshaw because his message hits home with me and whether he makes money with that message or not isn't that important to me.  Do I agree with his idea about being a secondary illness?  For me, yes, it does hold true, but the dynamics does not lessen the fact that I am an alcoholic...

 



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barisax wrote:

 

cajunhorn wrote:

I have no issue with someone just introducing themselves as an "alcoholic". What's always amazed me is how disjointed some people get over those who have done the work, and like Bill and Dr. Bob, call themselves "Recovered Alcoholics".



I don't care what people call themselves as long as they don't rub my nose in it, i.e. implying that I should be using that verbage myself or I'm not doing it right.  If someone is speaking in a meeting, I want to hear their experience, strength, and hope, not a 5 minute speech justifying their introduction.  But, alcoholics are opinionated - and take poetic license (whether they are aware of it or not).  For everybody that claims to be 100% by the book, there's some other 100 percenter who will disagree with him.  Often vehemently.

Barisax

 

 



Couldn't agree more with you on that point.  I think that sometimes we do mean the same thing and often get "locked" into the word, missing the spirit behind the word.

 



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Dave Harm wrote:

 

cajunhorn wrote:

No disrespect to you or Mr. Bradshaw, but if someone is staying sober based on ANY of that, they are NOT an AA definition alcoholic.  If all that works for ya, great!  But, it will do NOTHING for the REAL DEAL ALCOHOLIC who MUST have a spiritual experience and maintain a conscious contact with his/her Higher Power in order to live a happy life.  This is not a therapy, self-help deal.  If Mr. Bradshaw has stayed sober for 40 years based on that, then he's not an alcoholic.  And no, you're not an alcoholic just because you say you are.  You can stick a feather in your rear, scratch around the yard, and call yourself a chicken, but that doesn't mean you actually ARE one.  Again, I don't mean to be offensive in any way, it's just not the message the guy on Page 22 needs to hear.

-- Edited by cajunhorn on Monday 13th of July 2009 12:03:12 AM




I was just sharing another view point.  Does that make me any "less" an alcoholic.  No, I most certainly am an alcoholic and from day one went to AA meetings and still do.

Myself, I like Bradshaw because his message hits home with me and whether he makes money with that message or not isn't that important to me.  Do I agree with his idea about being a secondary illness?  For me, yes, it does hold true, but the dynamics does not lessen the fact that I am an alcoholic...

 

 




Apologies Dave, if I came off as throwing a jab at you, it was unintentional and I was wrong.  My default setting is to always look at what reconciles with that Big Book and if it doesn't, I move on.  That said, if something outside is workin', I say ride that "donkey" till it drops.  In fact, that's the only morality that I operate from now that I've had the obsession removed as a result of working the Steps, is it working for you?  The BB talks about 4 different types of alcoholics, the 4th type being one that has two options: Work the Steps to develop a Conscious Contact or "go on to the bitter end blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation".  I am the 4th type which means I need the original, full dose of the exact same solution Bill, Bob, and the other first "100" laid out.  Again, I've got TWO options, Steps or drink.  When I start thinking I've got "Door Number Three", you're lookin' at a dead man.  But like I said before, if another way is working for you, rock on brother.



-- Edited by cajunhorn on Monday 13th of July 2009 11:35:49 PM

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cajunhorn wrote:

Couldn't agree more with you on that point. I think that sometimes we do mean the same thing and often get "locked" into the word, missing the spirit behind the word.

 



For me faith in a Higher Power is not about semantics. The proof is in my sobriety, and that's proof enough for me - it may not be for someone else. I love to debate words and facts and figures and proofs... and I love science. Because I'm sober I can engage in these activities and have fun and learn from them. But my sobriety isn't dependent on the outcome of any debate. It is a gift, and it's not a pawn or a chip to be gambled on or with - win or lose, right or wrong, I can still have the gift and share it.


Barisax

 



-- Edited by barisax on Tuesday 14th of July 2009 01:00:00 AM

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barisax wrote:

 

cajunhorn wrote:

Couldn't agree more with you on that point. I think that sometimes we do mean the same thing and often get "locked" into the word, missing the spirit behind the word.

 



For me faith in a Higher Power is not about semantics.  The proof is in my sobriety, and that's proof enough for me - it may not be for someone else.  I love to debate words and facts and figures and proofs...  and I love science.  Because I'm sober I can engage in these activities and have fun and learn from them.  But my sobriety isn't dependent on the outcome of any debate.  It is a gift, and it's not a pawn or a chip to be gambled on or with - win or lose, right or wrong, I can still have the gift and share it.

One of my best friends in AA was a self-proclaimed Big Book Thumper.  I do miss him sometimes.  He went back out about 7 years ago, after 18 years sober, and nobody has heard from him.  I don't know what happened. The only thing I heard was that he decided he wasn't an alcoholic and could handle it.

Barisax

 

 



I do.  Sorry to hear about that.

 



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cajunhorn wrote:



I do. Sorry to hear about that.

 



That was a quick comeback smile.gif   I edited my post to delete the last part because I thought it was off topic for the thread, but you had already quoted it in your reply.

Anyway, I really don't know why my friend convinced himself that he could drink but it probably had something to do with not going to meetings.  But that's just my perspective.  For me the fellowship of the meetings is why I keep coming back, and I stay sober because I keep coming back.  If I were to turn my back on the fellowship, I believe I would find it increasingly difficult to practice the principles - especially step 12.  If there are people out there who do a 100% by-the-book program and never go to meetings and are happy and doing fine, that's great but I'd never know about them, and I'd wonder how they can be 100% if they aren't working  step 12... seems like that's only 91.666 %  smile.gif

I look around and I see perfection... nowhere!  I wouldn't even know perfection if it bit me in the ass.  I do agree wholeheartedly with your statement about comprehending God.  I can barely comprehend human stuff.  If I comprehend it, it's probably not God.  Just what part he's allowing me to experience.

Barisax


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barisax wrote:

 

cajunhorn wrote:



I do. Sorry to hear about that.

 



That was a quick comeback smile.gif I edited my post to delete the last part because I thought it was off topic for the thread, but you had already quoted it in your reply.

Anyway, I really don't know why my friend convinced himself that he could drink but it probably had something to do with not going to meetings.  But that's just my perspective.  For me the fellowship of the meetings is why I keep coming back, and I stay sober because I keep coming back.  If I were to turn my back on the fellowship, I believe I would find it increasingly difficult to practice the principles - especially step 12.  If there are people out there who do a 100% by-the-book program and never go to meetings and are happy and doing fine, that's great but I'd never know about them, and I'd wonder how they can be 100% if they aren't working  step 12... seems like that's only 91.666 %  smile.gif

I look around and I see perfection... nowhere!  I wouldn't even know perfection if it bit me in the ass.  I do agree wholeheartedly with your statement about comprehending God.  I can barely comprehend human stuff.  If I comprehend it, it's probably not God.  Just what part he's allowing me to experience.

Barisax

 



One of the limitations of the internet is it's often hard to interpret the intent behind a statement because you can't see the person you're talking to.  Why I highlighted that part and made the comment was just to say that the reason was he became spiritually unfit.  There was an area of the work in there somewhere he wasn't in and he became prey to the "voice" again.  All the rest is just detail and an exercise in mental gymnastics.  I meant no harm and my heart truly goes out to the guy.


 



-- Edited by cajunhorn on Tuesday 14th of July 2009 02:34:31 PM

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wat deference does it make,  every morning that i awake i get down on my knees and ask my higher to keep me away from the first drink, its a day at a time,  these are the stepts we take as a program of recovery,  all we have is a reprive,  just for to day, the big book as all the answers , a,b,c,  how it works,

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Welcome, Seamus,

Why don't you start an introduction thread so we can get to know you?

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Just for me, there's way to much "thinking" going on here. I don't know if I'm recovered or recovering. All I know is I didn't drink today. None of the rest matters to me.

But that's just me...

Brian

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wow, don't start that stuff up again. People got pretty testy and some left. lol Called yourself "Cured" for all I care.

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I was gonna say... who kicked this sleeping dog?  I'll be tiptoeing to bed soon and hopefully won't wake him up.

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The Big Book states that in order to recover we must "change everything".  My life is really good and I feel recovered most of the time...ha ha.. But I haven't CHANGED EVERYTHING so I have to say that I am still recovering. IF you are going to use the Big Book as the litmus test for being "recovered"

 



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I will kick this dead horse, why not.

 

Absolutely consider myself recovered and I wear it with pride. At the same time I more than understand that if I start boozing or drugging, there is a sleeping lion in me that can never get enough raw red meat. I know he's there I just don't feed the fucker.



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I think Bones is referring to the 'Drs. Opinion' passage:

After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.
On the other hand-and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand-once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules.



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In my opinion alcoholism is a continuom, if you consider yourself recovered ,and you still attend meetings and do step work , are you really recovered or just completely healed from this insidious disease. I really do not think about it, I just attend meetings and take one day at a time. I often hear of stories , people five and 10 years sober having a relapse, so it believe it's an ongoing recovery , never ending just work hard to stay sober.

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Not a canned answer to that one.  I consider myself recovered.  I don't think about alcohol unless I am at a meeting, I haven't have a desire to drink in over 22 years, and I practice the principles of the AA program in all my affairs to the best of my ability.  The promises have come true for me, I am in a position of neutrality, as it says in the book.  You would have to examine yourself to see if you have been made free from the bondage of self, of which alcohol is a symptom.  If so, you too have recovered.  That is the expressly stated intent of the program.  To show how many thousands of men and women have recovered.  The book explains exactly how they did it.  Before you realize the end goal of the program, you are recovering.  When you realize that you have come to a place where you are safe and secure, you have recovered.  Highly controversial, as many people want to argue about the Big Book.  It was not written as a theory of what they thought might work.  It was written as a history of what did work, and if I want what they had, I need to do what they did.  I can't put on baseball cleats to jump on the ice to play hockey and expect to be seen as a serious hockey player.  I either follow the AA program or I am not doing AA.



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IMHO, I'm recovered - but not cured. I no longer exhibit the symptoms of the disease but certainly cannot drink without reverting to my old behavior.

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