10.20.09

Three Views of Recovery

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Currently, there are three major conflicting views on the nature of recovery. One view states that recovery is the result of a religious conversion experience. Another holds that recovery is really the process of re-socializing oneself to a community of sober addicts. A third view maintains that recovery happens when addicts expose and treat the underlying psychological causes of addiction.

via Three Views of Recovery « Stepstudy.org.

How are they conflicting? Aren’t they all true?

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Written by xty

September 11, 2010 at 10:54

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antabuse

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I told my Dr today that I was relieved to be on Antabuse. I am. It is an acceptance of powerlessness on a different level, a mechanical level, about which I have had mixed feelings but now do not.

I have drank on Antabuse 4 times – amounts ranging from trace to full-blown in my system –  and have been afraid or reluctant to use it again until now. I feel comfortable with it now. There are some ethical gray areas with this drug, or at least one. One can die combining it with alcohol…but one can die from just alcohol too.  The idea is that impulsive drinking is ruled out, and the several days required to clear it out of one’s system provide an opportunity for a return to sanity or a request for help.

The difference in my reaction can be described in how I thought about the possible inevitability I would want to drink while taking it. I used to think “Oh god I might drink on it and have that horrible reaction or at best have to wait days before I can drink safely, no way. Too risky. Too risky, I might suffer if I change my mind.” Now I think “Good no chance I can ruin my life again without an interval where I can run around telling everyone I’m thinking about that and throw myself on the mercy of…whatever…support network, higher power, common sense, a decision to watch all the seasons of Lost back to back in my free time while being monitored by friends…”

Does it matter what I think? I think so.

Written by xty

September 8, 2010 at 13:32

H.O.W.

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I realized I have not been very open-minded at all. That state of being informed a corrupted honesty and thus made willingness unnatural.  I’m hopeful there has been a cool miracle or spiritual/mental breakthrough that I may stay here and move forward.  New Sponsor P told me last night to be aware of honesty for a bit…just be aware of it through my days, as that is the principal behind Step One. Did I make a decision to be closed-minded and unwilling?  Not a conscious one, that’s certain.

To be honest, I’ve often felt a whisper of jealousy when someone shared “…and then I was ready to do whatever it took….”   I’ll never figure out why my experience has been so protracted and imperfect, but maybe one day I will understand.

Written by xty

September 2, 2010 at 09:52

moratorium on omniscience

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be careful, because the problem with clever is that when everything’s just fodder for the next punchline then eventually everything you take in is just a “yes, but…” and that’s a hard thing to have riding shotgun in your head when you’re alone and it’s late and you realize your alcoholism has been whispering in your ear for the past hour, and suddenly you are very seriously considering picking up your car keys and going out to do something very, very foolish

via Mr. SponsorPants: they don’t warn you.

The topic at the clubhouse noon meeting today was humility, acceptance, and the First Suggested Step. I confess I asked for it, and also confess I am pretty sure I have never in 20 AA years asked to hear experience on humility, acceptance and the 1st step. Always assumed I had it cold. Seemingly hundreds of things are coming together at once these recent weeks (insert several long boring stories here) and when my Hopefully-Sponsor-to-Be asked me to tell him about my understanding of powerlessness it occurred to me that the question seemed fresh for the first time in a long time so I’ve been thinking on it. There are so many things I gotta accept, mostly globbed together in one giant-ass pill the size of a Buick I foresee having to swallow.

On anothernote, this meeting also features the Quintessential Betty who makes me smile because of her southern oldtimer perfection, among a serious arsenal of AA archetypes; in fact, it is now also clear to me that I must henceforth refer to this meeting as the Archetype Meeting.

Written by xty

August 26, 2010 at 19:33

The 12 Suggested Steps and the Set-Aside Prayer

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A woman at the Sunday night meeting referred to “the twelve suggested steps” glibly and comfortably during her share….I inferred from her delivery that this is how she always refers to the steps. I thought “I ought to do that, that’s cool.” but it is a bit pointed, and I already say something other than  “I’m an alcoholic.”  I don’t need to come off like “what a maverick!”  (I say “I am powerless over alcohol.” Because I have to think about it to say it and I hear it when I do.)  I think it’s cool because the Maverick in me wants to remember to lighten up and create my own unique-like-everyone-else Program, as I have often been advised. Then I don’t think I should go there because the Fundamentalist in me hears “How It Works” all the time as well as some Greenville favoritisms such as “the chapter is  not called How It Thinks” to “figuring it out is not one of the steps.”  How can it all be true?

Yes, here is the dilemma:

Part A: “rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path…..some of us sought an easier softer way….we beg of you with all the earnestness at our command to be fearless and thorough from the very start” (from Big Book, How It Works)

Part B:  The Twelve Steps are but “a suggested program of recovery.”  “Take what you want and leave the rest.”

Big sigh. It was recently suggested to me that I forget my omniscience regarding AA and sobriety and just start from here. Ok. Evidently it is just time for that because it makes a lot of sense.  I knit my brow at the conundrum above, but not for too long.  I have decided to do the Twelve Suggested Steps( henceforth TTSS) sooner than planned (i.e. right away) because evidently they work and what am I going to lose? I mean, can it get worse? (This wisdom came from Therapist K last night, sealing the deal on my conviction regarding TTSS).

In perfect solidarity I was reminded this week of the set-aside prayer, which I will make an effort to say before essentially anything from here on out:

God,
Please help me set aside
Everything I think I know
About myself, my disease,
These steps, and especially You;
For an open mind
And a new experience
With myself, my disease,
These steps and especially You

Written by xty

August 25, 2010 at 00:21

surreal

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this blog breaks my heart.

Written by xty

August 24, 2010 at 23:47

Posted in alcoholism

fear and loathing in my corpus callosum

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You are not bad if you love alcohol. You are likely seeking instant satisfaction which isn’t always the smartest thing to do—but you are not bad. Many of the things you have done while intoxicated or trying to get intoxicated may have been bad, harmful, and offensive but you are not bad….

….So no condemning—not even when you do.

You can say, “Oops, my mistake. I forgot for a second there that I’m adorable and I love me. Sorry about that Self.”

You might feel sadness rather than anger when you think this way.  Sadness can be a nice healer… It often melts away unhappiness and leaves a person exhausted but feeling better.

Practice adoring yourself first. Then tend to your willpower and all that other stuff…

Precious you.

via On Self-Criticism | Beyond Rehab.

Something to try, maybe turn the  self-denigration down to about 7.  Would it be possible to put the past down until step nine where I might be more able to look at it with a kinder eye?  Shrug.  Maybe not that, so much as being occupied in the present more completely.  Completely present, and abstaining from paradoxes and such.

image by Parker L. - "alcoholic outsider artist" see blogroll

Written by xty

August 18, 2010 at 11:00