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Old 04-20-17, 02:31 AM
Letching Gray Letching Gray is offline
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The Traditional 12-Step Thread

I hope I'm doing this right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermus View Post
I think both are right in some way. Letting go, not knowing where you'll end up might be beneficial. But I can't blame myself or others for wanting to know what the benefits will be for going through all these troubles. It's hard to put myself through the fire if I don't know what will be on the other side.
Yea, who the heck wants to go through this process if there's no assurances where we're headed, where we will come out.

The AA and Affiliated 12 Step Program Literature contains Promises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AA
The AA Promises
1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our
experience can benefit others.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that our Higher Power is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us -sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
Alcoholics Anonymous p83-84
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous with permission of A.A. WorldServices, Inc
FOR SLAA
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLAA
S.L.A.A Promises

1. We will regain control of our lives.

2. We will begin to feel dignity and respect for ourselves.

3. The Loneliness will subside and we will begin to enjoy being alone.

4. We will no longer be plagued by an unceasing sense of longing.

5. In the company of family and friends, we will be with them in body and mind.

6. We will pursue interests and activities that we desire for ourselves.

7. Love will be a committed, thoughtful decision rather than a feeling by which we are overwhelmed.

8. We will Love and Accept ourselves.

9. We will relate to others from a state of wholeness.

10. We will extend ourselves to nurture our own spiritual growth and that of others.

11. We will make peace with our past and make amends to those we have harmed.

12. We will be thankful for what has been given us, what has been taken away and what has been left behind.

Last edited by namazu; 04-20-17 at 01:53 PM.. Reason: Removed proselytizing comments; added quote tags.
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Old 04-20-17, 11:01 AM
Letching Gray Letching Gray is offline
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

Quote:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Something I find amazing in these steps is the assurance, the reality, of a spiritual awakening as the result of doing them.

As a newcomer to AA, I often felt overwhelmed when I read these suggested steps to recovery. But, it wasn't necessary. Taking time to learn about them and to do the steps were key for me, and no one does them perfectly.

Last edited by namazu; 04-20-17 at 01:51 PM.. Reason: Added quote tags; removed proselytizing comments and comments discussing religion more generally.
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Old 04-20-17, 11:10 AM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letching Gray View Post
I hope I'm doing this right.



Yea, who the heck wants to go through this process if there's no assurances where we're headed, where we will come out.

The AA and Affiliated 12 Step Program Literature contains Promises.

The AA Promises
1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our
experience can benefit others.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that HP? (is HP ok here?) is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us -sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them. Alcoholics Anonymous p83-84
Reprinted from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous with permission of A.A. WorldServices, Inc

FOR SLAA
S.L.A.A Promises
S.L.A.A Promises

1. We will regain control of our lives.

2. We will begin to feel dignity and respect for ourselves.

3. The Loneliness will subside and we will begin to enjoy being alone.

4. We will no longer be plagued by an unceasing sense of longing.

5. In the company of family and friends, we will be with them in body and mind.

6. We will pursue interests and activities that we desire for ourselves.

7. Love will be a committed, thoughtful decision rather than a feeling by which we are overwhelmed.

8. We will Love and Accept ourselves.

9. We will relate to others from a state of wholeness.

10. We will extend ourselves to nurture our own spiritual growth and that of others.

11. We will make peace with our past and make amends to those we have harmed.

12. We will be thankful for what has been given us, what has been taken away and what has been left behind.
POSTED BY SLAA
LABELS: S.L.A.A PROMISES
Now in principle I'm willing to recover, but number 7 of the SLAA actually freaks me out more than it sounds like a promise. A committed thoughtful decision, sounds like signing a contract with a new employer. According to Robert Sternberg's triangular theory of love consummate love (which is the ideal) involves three elements: commitment, passion and intimacy. I don't necessarily fear commitment, but without intimacy and passion it is what Sternberg calls empty love.
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Last edited by namazu; 04-20-17 at 12:49 PM.. Reason: quote consistency
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Old 04-20-17, 11:54 AM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermus View Post
Now in principle I'm willing to recover, but number 7 of the SLAA actually freaks me out more than it sounds like a promise. A committed thoughtful decision, sounds like signing a contract with a new employer. According to Robert Sternberg's triangular theory of love consummate love (which is the ideal) involves three elements: commitment, passion and intimacy. I don't necessarily fear commitment, but without intimacy and passion it is what Sternberg calls empty love.
To love is an action, and actions, when we are present and engaged, are always born of considered choices.

In no situation is this more true than the interplay of Storge, Agape, and Eros.


Cheers,
Ian
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Old 04-20-17, 12:12 PM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

Thread reopened after review.

Please remember that the Meditation and Spirituality section is a place for sharing your own experiences and practices that have helped you manage your ADHD or other conditions (including addictions).

It is not a place to proselytize or preach, nor a place to belittle those for whom the path you've chosen failed. (Share, don't sell.)

Last edited by namazu; 04-20-17 at 12:52 PM..
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  #6  
Old 04-20-17, 07:00 PM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermus View Post
Now in principle I'm willing to recover, but number 7 of the SLAA actually freaks me out more than it sounds like a promise. A committed thoughtful decision, sounds like signing a contract with a new employer. According to Robert Sternberg's triangular theory of love consummate love (which is the ideal) involves three elements: commitment, passion and intimacy. I don't necessarily fear commitment, but without intimacy and passion it is what Sternberg calls empty love.
I hear you. Had the same thoughts. Amazing.

Two things come to mind. I remember it dawned on me, "Well, i haven't exactly had a ton of success so far doing it my way." LOL

And passion is different than souped up sexual energy. I never knew the difference. The fools gold of addictive trappings and the opportunity for a mature, passionate give and take relationship based on my own intact and emerging integrity, were blurred by my urgent neediness, my cravings for love and approval, for the opportunity to have an other make me feel whole and like a man.

I had done enough research to know that if I didn't change, I'd forfeit what possibilities remained to love and to be loved. That's just me.
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Old 04-21-17, 12:57 AM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

Quote:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
IOW, to begin to work on my sobriety through this program, I must start out conceding there is something other men can do to their heart's delight, but I can't cause I don't have enough determination, enough guts, enough power? I can't control; my drinking? Is that what you think? Honestly? Do you have any idea who it is you're talking to, pal? Huh?

I see. Well, go s..... you. I'm tougher than anyone you ever seen and I'll show you who has whatever it takes to be sober.

Twelve years later. S.... you. I had some bad luck. I can do anything you can do, only better.

Three years later. I told ya. S.... you. I'm here because my wife is driving me crazy.

One year later. Excuse me. I can't stop drinking no matter what I do or try. I give it my all. I swear today is it. I vow never to drink again every time I drink. I promise, every single
day.
Can you help?

I seem to enjoy getting the tar whooped out of me.
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Old 04-26-17, 10:33 PM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

well duh. i used to believe that. that's exactly what happened. this god fella took the desire to drink away and i never even asked him to. years later, drinking wine to help me to sleep, eventually led to the out-of-control drinking that compelled me to try aa. now, you are telling me to believe in the same power that once delivered me? i don't think he hears me anymore. what the heck.

maybe god changed. uh, maybe i changed how i viewed this guy? god, where the heck have you been? i gotta believe you can help me to get sober when i've been begging you night and day for years for your help and gettin silence in return. huh? maybe i was praying to a god i didn't know anymore. maybe i was so sick from my childhood that i began to lose sight of the you that helped me the first time? maybe your'e not so mean as i began to believe. maybe you weren't just dying to see me fail, like i came to expect. maybe you still really loved me and could love others thru me? that's all i ever wanted since you loved me, when i experienced your love. you put love in my heart and i could not believe it, what was happening to me. i'd never known anything like that was possible. i never knew you were. never knew anything about you and you engulfed me in love and i thought i was in heaven.

is that why i couldn't find you anymore? you became my mom and dad. i couldn't see you too good for a long time and thought you rejected me.
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Old 04-27-17, 06:13 AM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letching Gray View Post
I hear you. Had the same thoughts. Amazing.

Two things come to mind. I remember it dawned on me, "Well, i haven't exactly had a ton of success so far doing it my way." LOL

And passion is different than souped up sexual energy. I never knew the difference. The fools gold of addictive trappings and the opportunity for a mature, passionate give and take relationship based on my own intact and emerging integrity, were blurred by my urgent neediness, my cravings for love and approval, for the opportunity to have an other make me feel whole and like a man.

I had done enough research to know that if I didn't change, I'd forfeit what possibilities remained to love and to be loved. That's just me.
I understand what you are saying. I also talked about this with some fellows at SLAA. What they explained and what I can understand now is that there will be room for plenty of passion and intimacy, but within the limits of a healthy committed relationship. Which is very different from what I first understood it to mean.

I have started on my fourth step. Have done quite a lot of writing already, but I'm not even close to finished. I mention all my ex partners and infatuations, and the relationship I had to them. It is not a pretty picture, but I can see some patterns emerging and am glad that that part of my life is over now.

One thing is becoming very clear to me that wasn't so clear a few weeks ago. My past relationships, infatuations interchanged by periods of sexual and emotional anorexia, have caused a huge amount of suffering. I really don't want these unhealthy relationships anymore. Even if it would mean being without a partner for the rest of my life that would be preferable to the suffering I caused to myself and my partners in the past. Not that I strive for a lifetime without romantic and sexual relationships all of a sudden, but there is no need anymore to be with people that I find unattractive, that are emotionally unstable and with whom I can't have a healthy relationship based on mutual commitment and respect.
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Old 04-27-17, 06:38 AM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letching Gray View Post
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

well duh. i used to believe that. that's exactly what happened. this god fella took the desire to drink away and i never even asked him to. years later, drinking wine to help me to sleep, eventually led to the out-of-control drinking that compelled me to try aa. now, you are telling me to believe in the same power that once delivered me? i don't think he hears me anymore. what the heck.

maybe god changed. uh, maybe i changed how i viewed this guy? god, where the heck have you been? i gotta believe you can help me to get sober when i've been begging you night and day for years for your help and gettin silence in return. huh? maybe i was praying to a god i didn't know anymore. maybe i was so sick from my childhood that i began to lose sight of the you that helped me the first time? maybe your'e not so mean as i began to believe. maybe you weren't just dying to see me fail, like i came to expect. maybe you still really loved me and could love others thru me? that's all i ever wanted since you loved me, when i experienced your love. you put love in my heart and i could not believe it, what was happening to me. i'd never known anything like that was possible. i never knew you were. never knew anything about you and you engulfed me in love and i thought i was in heaven.

is that why i couldn't find you anymore? you became my mom and dad. i couldn't see you too good for a long time and thought you rejected me.
Personally I don't hold the concepts of God and higher power. I have a belief system based on Buddhism that I integrate with the twelve steps. Buddhism replaces God and higher power with the three jewels. We take refuge in the Buddha, the dharma and the sangha. The Buddha is a concept that has different meanings that are interrelated. There is the historical Buddha, Siddharta Gautama, referred to by Buddhist teacher Noah Levine as Sid . Then there is the inner Buddha, which means the enlightened being that is present in all of us, but that is hidden by the ego. The ego consists of the attachments we have formed during this life, attachments to certain dysfunctional behavioural patterns, to things, to people. The importance of the Buddhist path is to return to our inner being. Our inner Buddha is part of Buddha nature, which permeats and connects all living beings.

The dharma are the teachings of the Buddha on suffering, impermanence, cause and effect etc. These teachings can help us to make an end to our suffering. Then there is the sangha, which is the community of practitioners that together walk the Buddhist path.

My first experience with Buddhism was in primary school. We had to do a lecture ourselves every few months on any self-chosen topic. I chose Buddhism and it fascinated me. Then I started meditating in a Tibetan group, which was quite esoteric. After a while I stopped there. Years later I started again in another group, connected to the teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. I practised there for a while and then quit, but later went back to it.

Before rehab I just used my meditation on a weekly basis to get some peace of mind. I soon realized that it stopped working for me. The more my addiction got hold of me, the less meditation did for me. Nevertheless I kept going. The teachings to me seemed quite theoretical and I could not really understand and accept them. When in rehab I thought about the teachings again and realized the truth of the four noble truths. I started to realize that Buddha had very early insight into the nature of addiction. Not addiction as it is used in Western medicine, but addiction is in the unhealthy attachments anyone has. Those truths are:
  • Life is suffering
  • Suffering is caused by craving
  • There is a way out of suffering
  • The way out of suffering is formed by the eightfold path

This to me offers a truly liberating spiritual system.

After rehab I started practising again. First with Wake Up, the group related to Thich Nhat Hanh. Then I started sharing about Buddhism and meditation at a NA-meeting. An awesome guy came to me and started talking about the group related to the teacher Noah Levine. I already knew some of the work by Noah and how he found his way out of addiction through Buddhism. So I started visiting the local Dharma Punx group. It soon became apparent to me that this was with I needed in this stage of my spiritual path. From Dharma Punx I started in Refuge Recovery, a recovery group related to Noah Levine. What I've experience so far from this is an increased self-compassion and compassion with others. It is not always easy, but I am following the path and I will see where it takes me.
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Old 04-27-17, 07:23 AM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

You said some cool things Hermus. Glad your understanding about the joy of sex inside a committed relationship brought you comfort. I think that within that framework, sex is out of this world, or at least it can be for me. I'm still tempted to think "A little bit of Monica in my life. A little bit of Erica by my side. A little bit of Rita is all I need. A little bit of Tina is what I ... A little bit of Mary all night long. A little bit of ..." But that kind of stuff never worked for me. And it almost killed me to learn that lesson. Man, the power of sexual attraction, of sex, is incredible, for me, anyway.

Siddhartha Gautama was amazing, amazing. His dedication, determination, insights, demand for meaning and understanding of the world. He was a unique figure in all of recorded history. It's not like he was forced into personal deprivation, either. He chose to do whatever it took to achieve a purer understanding of this life and this world. Gandhi was an special, special person, too.
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Old 04-27-17, 07:32 AM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

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Originally Posted by Letching Gray View Post
You said some cool things Hermus. Glad your understanding about the joy of sex inside a committed relationship brought you comfort. I think that within that framework, sex is out of this world, or at least it can be for me. I'm still tempted to think "A little bit of Monica in my life. A little bit of Erica by my side. A little bit of Rita is all I need. A little bit of Tina is what I ... A little bit of Mary all night long. A little bit of ..." But that kind of stuff never worked for me. And it almost killed me to learn that lesson. Man, the power of sexual attraction, of sex, is incredible, for me, anyway.

Siddhartha Gautama was amazing, amazing. His dedication, determination, insights, demand for meaning and understanding of the world. He was a unique figure in all of recorded history. It's not like he was forced into personal deprivation, either. He chose to do whatever it took to achieve a purer understanding of this life and this world. Gandhi was an special, special person, too.
For me I didn't need a bit of Erica, Rita, Tina or Mary. I was happy if I had one of them and then would get hooked on them quickly. To a certain extent I used to be commited, but more like a drug user is commited to his drugs than really to the person. When I perceived I might be abandoned, I would be looking for attention somewhere else. I wouldn't even be that much of a player. I was way too anxious for that, but I managed to often get my fix in the end. I wouldnt even care if I was attracted to someone or whether relationships were healthy.
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Old 04-27-17, 05:39 PM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

My cravings were non-stop, overwhelming, intrusive, powerful, uncomfortable, wild and devastating.

It has taken years and years of working the steps, avoiding dangerous situations, prayer, studying the SLAA text, opening up, putting one foot in front of another, living through pain I'd always run from, just breathing--literally, not doing anything other than hurting like mad and breathing. Not running took all my strength. Standing still and feeling the hurtful emotions is the most I could handle many times.

The longing for the touch of a female, not just sex, by any means. To have a female comfort me through my loneliness, worship me through my successes, to be a tender loving source who would always be there just for me, combined with all the other issues surrounding sex and love. I questioned constantly if I could make it through the hell of withdrawal. I had no motive to do anything without being able to look forward to the rush of the next intrigue, to the next flashing chance for ecstasy and wholeness. I was truly frightened. I was fighting to remove my Aqualung, submerged in the ocean depths.
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Old 04-27-17, 05:50 PM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

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Originally Posted by Letching Gray View Post
My cravings were non-stop, overwhelming, intrusive, powerful, uncomfortable, wild and devastating.

It has taken years and years of working the steps, avoiding dangerous situations, prayer, studying the SLAA text, opening up, putting one foot in front of another, living through pain I'd always run from, just breathing--literally, not doing anything other than hurting like mad and breathing. Not running took all my strength. Standing still and feeling the hurtful emotions is the most I could handle many times.

The longing for the touch of a female, not just sex, by any means. To have a female comfort me through my loneliness, worship me through my successes, to be a tender loving source who would always be there just for me, combined with all the other issues surrounding sex and love. I questioned constantly if I could make it through the hell of withdrawal. I had no motive to do anything without being able to look forward to the rush of the next intrigue, to the next flashing chance for ecstasy and wholeness. I was truly frightened. I was fighting to remove my Aqualung, submerged in the ocean depths.
I relate. It is difficult. Having worked on the fourth step and starting to see my past mistakes, makes me come to the source of my pain. The fear of being unattractive, not finding the woman I want and who is healthy for me to be with, fear of being alone forever. It is going to take some time to accept that I am this weird, unattractive guy who is never going to find a woman who is both healthy and attractive enough. But everything better than turning back to the unsatisfactory, destructive relationships of the past.
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Old 04-27-17, 08:57 PM
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Re: The Traditional 12-Step Thread

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Originally Posted by Hermus View Post
I relate. It is difficult. Having worked on the fourth step and starting to see my past mistakes, makes me come to the source of my pain. The fear of being unattractive, not finding the woman I want and who is healthy for me to be with, fear of being alone forever. It is going to take some time to accept that I am this weird, unattractive guy who is never going to find a woman who is both healthy and attractive enough. But everything better than turning back to the unsatisfactory, destructive relationships of the past.
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I am this weird, unattractive guy who is never going to find a woman who is both healthy and attractive enough.
Did you know that is your illness talking to you? Do you realize that?
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