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Friday, May 18, 2012

12 simple steps: THERE IS ONE THAT HAS ALL POWER

12 simple steps: THERE IS ONE THAT HAS ALL POWER: At the end of my first marriage my wife and I decided to try religion to save our relationship. We joined an extremely heavy Bible study a...

THERE IS ONE THAT HAS ALL POWER


At the end of my first marriage my wife and I decided to try religion to save our relationship. We joined an extremely heavy Bible study accepted Jesus as our savor and made vows to stop smoking, drinking and cheating on each other. All went well for a few months till one by one we began to break our vows. This all ended in a divorce and I was separated from my children for over five years.

 I interrupted this out come to be due to the fact that I could not live up to standards of the cross and I feared that if I called on the Lord for help again and failed that my name would be stricken from the book of life and I would burn in hell for all eternity as I was taught.

When I came to AA some eight years later and seen the third step hanging on the wall I was scared shitless! I was sick & tired and I had an honest desire to stay sober but there was no way I could make a decision to turn my will and life over to “God as I understood Him”. My first sponsor told me to use the group as a higher power (Group Of Drunks=GOD) and my second sponsor suggested a coffee cup. Neither one of these concepts gave me the needed power that I lacked to move on to the fourth step. I couldn’t clean house and I couldn’t stay sober. This went on for nearly eight years.

The last time I went through detox I had the good fortune to meat a man that gave we way to get past this stumbling block. When he asked me if I believed there was a power greater then myself in this universe that could help me I told him of my religious beliefs. I told him I understood there was only one way to reach God and that was through Jesus. I told him I could never do this because I could not live up to the standards of my belief and if I failed again I was doomed.

He pointed out the fact that I was doomed anyway and made a suggestion that changed my life. He pointed out that religion was about getting into heaven after I die and the 12 steps are about living the rest of my life without destroying myself and others. He suggested that if I wanted to Live I skip the middle man and just go straight to God. I had never even considered this course of action before. I attempted to debate him on this point and he simply used We Agnostics to shoot down my arguments.

He told me to let go of my old beliefs about religion and just accept God For God. Stop debating it in my within my own mind and just surrender. He gave me a copy of the third step prayer and told me to go home and think about it and if I could do this to memorize the prayer and come back to see him and if I couldn’t then there was nothing he could do for me.

I went Home and thought about it. I wanted to live and I knew if I keep drinking I would die. I came to a point where I just gave up and surrendered my old beliefs and excepted God as I didn’t understand Him and from that day on I haven’t given any thought to who or what god is. I no longer try to define God. I am most certain that there is a power in this universe that sets life in motion. I simply see this power as a concept of Good Orderly Direction and I do my best to follow it’s dictates. When I do things work out for the best.  And when I don’t things go bad. This is how I know God is real…

Friday, May 4, 2012

Can A Atheist find God?

I was at a meeting out of town when I was a couple of years Sober. It had a solid core group with quite a bit of sober time. This night a new comer was leading the meeting and he shared that he a atheist and was having trouble grasping the 2nd& 3rd steps and wanted to hear how others had dealt with this step. As the group started to share it became obvious that these guys all had same religious beliefs and they all agreed on who and what God was and how He worked in the steps. They all stated that unless he accepted God as they understood him he would never be able to stay sober and he better try something other than AA. This seemed to make the new guy vary uneasy.

About half way through the meeting one of the core group members got up and Shared that he was a Atheist when he first came to AA 20 something years before and he still was. The whole group actually gasped in unison! He said that he had the same beliefs as the young man leading the meeting that night and whenever he tried to talk about it he got the same reaction. You can’t stay sober if you don’t believe in God. He talked about his fear of drinking again and felt that AA was his only hope. He was afraid they would run him off so he just stared to say that he believed in God when he actually did not. And further more he still didn’t. He said they should all be ashamed of themselves for speaking to a newcomer to AA this way.

The group was shocked at this and the rest of the meeting was spent sharing how they never knew this member felt this way. They all said that they believed him to be the most spiritual man in the group and how he always talked about God and they just couldn’t see him as an atheist.
After the meeting I talked asked him about this and this is what he told me. He said he never in his life could see any concept of god in the conventional sense. Then one day he heard someone say that God had brought Good Orderly Direction into his life. He told me as he spent months contemplating this thought he had came to see how there was good orderly direction in nature. He could see it in the way our solar system worked. How the earth was just in the right distance from the sun for life to survive here. Any closer and we burn, any further and we freeze. He could see how it worked in engineering. Build a bridge right and maintain it stays up. Take short cuts in building it or don’t maintain it and it’ll come down. And he finally could see it in his life as he started to follow a path of Good Orderly Direction his life straightened out and his troubles went away.
He said his understanding of the word God was something worthy of devotion and he felt that this concept of Good Orderly Direction was definitely worthy of devotion. He told me when this concept became clear to him that he came to believe. Not in a deity or an entity but a concept of Good Orderly Direction. And to him this concept is GOD. From that he was able to make a decision to surrender his will to and turn his life over to God as he now understood him. He became a Atheist that believed in GOD.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Two examples of Surrender



Imagine you’re having a great time partying in a field, holding a bottle and a bag of dope. Along comes the cops! Drop the bottle, drop the bindle! Along comes your Boss! Drop the Bottle, Drop the Bindle! Along comes your wife Drop the Bottle, Drop the bindle! Along comes Family! Drop the bottle, drop the bindle! What do you do? You hailer I Surrender and you drop the bottle and the bindle and they march you off to Treatment. What have you become? A prisoner. What is a prisoner’s main priority? To escape….



Now imagine your stander in that filed holding a bottle and a bag of dope. But this time there’s no cops’ cause you can’t get it together to commit a crime worth arresting you for. There’s no boss because you keep a job. There’s no wife because she left with the kids long ago. There’s no family because they couldn’t take watching you destroy yourself any more. You realize what you have done to yourself. You surrender and drop the bottle and the bag of dope and March yourself off to seek recovery anywhere you can find it….



In the first example you have surrendered to authority against your will. You were forced to give in to the powers that be and entered into treatment for a disease that there is no treatment for. The intention here is to get out of the trouble you’re in and your mind is focused on escape. You have surrendered your freedom, not your will…



The Doctor’s Opinion page xxvii

…This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery...



In the second example you have surrendered your will. You may not know what you have surrendered your will to, you just surrendered. Now you just have to find what is going to help you. Not to get out of trouble. Just so you don’t die…



It is not till you freely surrender your will that you can find recovery. You can go from Surrender type 1 to surrender type 2 at any given moment. It is all in your mind..






Wednesday, April 25, 2012

was Hitler as spiritual as Sister Teresa?


Have you ever had someone tell you they are a spiritual person? Most of us just accept this statement as we understand the word in our own way. The same as the one making the statement understands the word in their own way. To most of us this word brings up images of religion that we were taught when we were young. We may have accepted these teachings or dismissed them along the way and looked for something more suited to us. But to us the definition of the word spiritual remained the same.

But what does it really mean? What is spiritual? Let’s have a look…

The Encarta Dictionary defines the word Spiritual as an adjective relating to the soul or spirit, usually in contrast to material things. In other words the nature of a person’s of Spirit.

Soul:  The Encarta Dictionary defines soul as the complex of human attributes that manifests as consciousness, thought, feeling, and will, regarded as distinct from the physical body, a person's emotional and moral nature where the most private thoughts and feelings are hidden

Spirit: The Oxford American College Dictionary defines Spirit as the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character regarded as a person's true self.  The animating influence within a person.

 So our spiritually is the accepted rule of conduct within a person that makes them do the things they do. So by the true definition of the word every person that ever lived has been Spiritual in nature! Adolf Hitler was just as spiritual as Sister Teresa! The only difference between Adolf Hitler and Sister Teresa simply being  the excepted rule of conduct that made them do the things that they did. Both Adolf Hitler and Sister Teresa had religious beliefs (although I don’t know what Hitler’s was) that guided them in their actions.

Religion: The Encarta Dictionary defines religion as an institutionalized or personal system of beliefs and practices relating to the divine {divine: transitive verb: to learn or discover something by intuition, inspiration, or other apparently supernatural means}.

What was the difference within the Spirituality between Adolf Hitler and Sister Teresa? Ones Spirituality was rooted in self the others was rooted in selflessness. All you have to do is look at their actions to see which one was which. The actions of one brought about a world war with misery and death to mankind. The other brought relief from the suffering of mankind.   

This is the true purpose of the original 12 step program that is defined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is meant to bring about a physic change in the root of your Spirituality from self based towards selflessness, by following a program of 12 individual steps.

Program: a plan of action to accomplish a specified end

Steps: to proceed in order

Steps 1-2-3 are The Inside Job. There function is to bring to light “the hopelessness and futility of life the way you have been living it” and to give you access to a power that will solve all your problems

Steps 4-5-6-7-8-9 are the House Cleaning. There function is to provide a way to clean out the wreckage and repair the damage you have created of your past that you have created for yourself and others.

Steps 10-11-12 are the Maintenance Steps. There function is to help keep you stay track so you don’t continue to harm yourself others as you begin your new life

All of this is meant to bring about a change in your view and outlook of the world and the people in it through self reflection to enable you to see the root of your spirituality. If you find that it has been based in self you have the rest of your life to change it if you choose to. The steps are simply a starting point. But you must start somewhere.

So when someone tells you they work a Spiritual program listen to what they have to say but watch their actions and see what they do.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Our Southern Friend


Sensuality, drunkenness, and worldliness satisfy a man for a time, but their power is a decreasing one. God produces harmony in those who receive His Spirit and follow Its dictates.  Today as I become more harmonized within, I become more in tune with all of God's wonderful creation. The singing of the birds, the sighing of the wind, the patter of raindrops, the roll of thunder, the laughter of happy children, add to the symphony with which I am in tune. The heaving ocean, the driving rain, autumn leaves, the stars of heaven, the perfume of flowers, music, a smile, and a host of other things tell me of the glory of God.  There are periods of darkness, but the stars are shining, no matter how black the night. There are disturbances, but I have learned that if I seek patience and open-mindedness, understanding will come. And with it, direction by the Spirit of God. The dawn comes and with it more understanding, the peace that passes understanding and the joy of living that is not disturbed by the wildness of circumstances or people around me. Fears, resentments, pride, worldly desires, worry, and self-pity no longer possess me. Ever-increasing are the number of true friends, ever-growing is the capacity for love, ever-widening is the horizon of understanding. And above all else comes a greater thankfulness to, and a greater love for Our Father in heaven.



 Fitz….. Our Southern Friend

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Allergy Theory


The Allergy Theory



"Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks-drinks which they see others taking with impunity. 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."
   
Definitions


Obsession: A persistent disturbing preoccupation with an idea or feeling, compelling motivation.

Allergy: Altered bodily reaction to a substance in response to first exposure that does not affect the average individual.


(a) Phenomenon: An observable fact or event.

(b)  Craving: an abnormal desire greater than any other aspect.

Bottom: The lowest or last place in a point of precedence.

Alcoholism & Drug Addiction

Alcoholism: A complex chronic psychological disorder associated with compulsive drinking.

Drug: A substance intended to affect the function of the body.

Addiction: A compulsive physiological need


The Allergy Theory
(It's the first drink that gets you drunk)

This concept came into being in the early 1900s. Prior to that time Alcoholism and Drug Addiction were considered to be a Moral issue or mental problem. If the sufferer would just pull himself up by his bootstraps and drink like a gentleman his troubles would be over. Many forms of moral psychology, and religious were used as treatment.

Around this time Dr. William D. Silkworth, Medical director of Towns Hospital in N.Y. City and the Author of THE DOCTOR’S OPINION in the Big Book, began to notice a pattern in the patients there. Most would respond well to the treatment used at that time and would return to their family and occupations with no further problems and could drink like gentlemen if they choose to drink at all. Dr. Silkworth also noticed a second type of patient that would respond well to the treatment but would lose all control once he began to drink or use. Why was this? Why could one man regain control of his drinking and the other could not, even though he honestly wanted to? From these observations he developed the theory that the body of the Alcoholic/Addict, for some reason possesses an X-factor allergy to alcohol and drugs.

On page xxvi Dr. Silkworth writes….
We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve.

This is how this theory works out…….

Obsession
(Domination of our thoughts)

 On page xxviii in The Doctor’s Opinion, Dr. Silkworth describes obsession like this…..
“Men and woman drink essentially because they like the effect produced by Alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that while they admit it is injurious they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. They are restless, irritable and discontented unless they can experience the sense of ease and comfort that comes from a few drinks-drinks they see others taking with impunity.”…

What Doctor Silkworth is describing here is simply our way of thinking and feeling. Your view and outlook of the world and the people in it. When these thoughts begin to make us feel uncomfortable or out of place, we know what will fix the problem and let us relax and feel better for the moment. When these thoughts won’t go away, this is obsession
Obsession of the mind simply means that our thoughts become dominated by one particular idea or train of thought. You know like maybe “I’m an Alcoholic but I don’t have a problem with weed”. Or “I’ve been clean from Heroin for 6 months now so a few Beers won’t hurt me”. These obsessions may not even start with thoughts of drinking or using. It may start with something like “the boss has been an asshole all day I need a drink” or “my wife has been a bitch, I need a drink!” Or maybe it’s been a long hot day and “a beer sounds good”.

Sometimes these thoughts can be deceiving, such as “it’s the third drink that gets me drunk so I’ll just have one” or “I can’t drink so I’ll just smoke weed”. We don’t intend to go on a run, just chill and party for the night. That’s it, nothing more. I won’t slam it I’ll just smoke it. This time it’ll be different!
All in all these are only thoughts. Everybody has them and you don’t get drunk or stoned off of a thought. You have to actually drink or use for that. These obsessions are not what make you an Alcoholic or Addict no matter how unmanageable they make your life. There is more to Alcoholism and Drug Addiction then that. Let’s look a little further…..


Allergy

(In this statement he confirms what we who have suffered alcoholic torture must believe-that the body of the alcoholic is quite as abnormal as his mind.)

On page xxvii in The Doctor’s Opinion, Dr. Silkworth continues…
…After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do (first drink)…



Here is an example of two seemingly similar people with one difference. One has an allergy to Alcohol and Drugs and the other one does not. Both are normal in every way except for the effect that Alcohol and Drugs have on them.

Two men dig a ditch in the hot sun. The boss has been on there ass all day. One man turns to the other and says “Hay let’s stop at Joe’s Bar on the way Home and grab a cold one” The day is done and off to Joe’s they go.
They both have a wife at home with dinner on the table. They won’t be long they only intend to have one. They order up a couple beers and drink them down. One man turns to the other and says “that was great but I got to go. Wife’s waiting with dinner on the table!” The other says so is mine but I think I’ll have another. I’ll see you early tomorrow. First man leaves, second man stays and has another… and another…and another. He doesn’t make it home for dinner. Or make it to work early the next day like he intended to. All he wanted to do was have one beer then go home to the wife and kids he loves. Just like his buddy did. Why didn’t he? The answer is simple. One man has an allergy in his body to Alcohol and Drugs and the other one does not. Both men had an obsession to drink a beer after work. The obsession had been fulfilled in both men, but one of them had a physiological reaction to the first beer he drank that does not happen in the average individual.


Here’s one more. Two college girls are studying for finals. Time is running out and they need a little help to stay up and finish. One of their friends has been has been using Adderall to help so they try it. They have no intention to keep using it. They finish studying and pass their exams. One of the girls never uses it again. The other girl can’t stop using it and she moves on to meth.  After cleaning up in treatment a couple times she finds that every time she starts to drink she ends up using Meth again

Here’s one more. A young man in his 20’s started drinking and smoking Pot in his teens. After a couple of DUIs and one time in treatment he makes up his mind to quit drinking because he blacks out every time he gets drunk. After being clean and sober for a while he’s at a party and someone sparks up a joint. The thought crosses his mind that Pot never made him blackout so he takes a hit. Within a few weeks he’s back to smoking pot every day and in a couple months he’s back to drinking and blacking out.

It’s just a theory, but it holds up to reason doesn’t it?

How do you know if you have an Allergy? A bee sting will put you in shock, strawberries will give you hives. What’s the reaction to Alcohol and Drugs? Let’s have a look…..


 
Phenomenon of Craving

(The Allergic Reaction)


On page xxvii in The Doctor’s Opinion, Dr. Silkworth continues…

…And the phenomenon of craving develops…


Dr. Silkworth describes this allergic reaction best on page xxvii in the Doctors Opinion like this:
Page xxvii in THE DOCTOR”S OPINION

“I do not hold with those who believe that alcoholism is entirely a problem of mental control. I have had many men who had, for example, worked a period of months on some problem or business deal which was to be settled on a certain date, favorably to them. They took a drink a day or so prior to the date, and then the phenomenon of craving at once became paramount to all other interests so that the important appointment was not met. These men were not drinking to escape; they were drinking to overcome a craving beyond their mental control.”


Phenomenon meaning that you can see it happening but cannot explain why it’s happening. Craving meaning a desire that is greater than any other aspect of your life such as your family, job, home, legal issues or even your health.

Page xxviii in THE DOCTOR’S OPINION
All these, and many others, have one symptom in common: they cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving. This phenomenon, as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity. It has never been, by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently eradicated. The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence.

This is the Allergic reaction to Alcohol and Drugs. Not a rash like with strawberries or a sneeze like hay-fever, but a deep longing for more Alcohol and Drugs that is beyond our mental control. It’s just that simple. Just one drink or toke and off on another run we go, weather we want to or not.…

The Bottom
(How low can you go)

On page xxvii in The Doctor’s Opinion, Dr. Silkworth continues…
…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.

It can be marked by deep remorse and incomprehensible demoralization with a true desire within the sufferer to end the run, a heartfelt belief that "I can't go on like this" or simply busted and locked up in jail. No matter how ends, by choice or by force, It always comes to an end.

A little note on Drug of Choice

This is a tricky one. Treatment centers are full of Addicts that don't believe they have a problem with Alcohol. They drink a beer at a party or a glass of wine on a date and next thing you know their back at the dope mans house. Then you have Alcoholics that don't believe they have problem with pot. They start smoking and there drunk again.
Heroin addicts switch to speed. Speed freaks turn into drunks. Drunks turn into Dope fiends. You can mix and match all you want.
The point is if you begin to use substance and louse control, then maybe have a Psychological allergy in your body and are experiencing Phenomenon of craving.
There is a saying in N.A. that goes "A Drug is a Drug and Alcohol is a Drug." How do you think they came up with that one? They didn't need a doctor to teach them. They learned that the hard way like we all do!
If you can detoxify from whisky and switch to weed without going back to whisky or smoking weed without experiencing craving. Then you may not be Allergic.
But if you are Allergic then you don't have a Drug of choice. You may have a Drug of preference, but not a drug of choice. In fact you may have no choice.