Programmed from Birth To Be Addicted

Sounds like a rationalization “programmed for addiction” but it’s a truth and  realization.

In the schools by the television, by commercials, and by media they taught me who and what to be from my first innocent learning experience of a child they polluted my purity with lies.  As they polluted my ancestors before me.

They taught me that fear was shameful by words like chicken shit and pansey.

Continue reading “Programmed from Birth To Be Addicted”

“Blame”

STEP FOUR

12 STEP SOLUTIONS

Self Esteem is tied to step four along with Fear. Low self worth breeds fear of people. Page 65 of the Big Book verify’s this.

Is blame a character defect or an emotional survival skill? How about it’s both?
Blame rears its ugly head in ways that may surprise many in the realm of recovery. Blame, accusation, and just plain critical fault finding is an unhealthy survival skill for those of us who learned how to live through a life of addiction without snuffing ourselves out because of guilt.

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A True Story of Re-Deliverance from Drug Addiction


POWERFUL! MY GOD IS POWERFUL! A SINNERS VISION

I am a delivered drug addict;(means:rescued by a Higher Power, revived, awoken, set free from obsession and a reprobate mind, put on another path.) I was as devoted to drugs as any slave could be. Finding and seeking drugs was my primary purpose and I did most every demoralizing thing a woman can do to get money and drugs. What I did to myself was traumatic and devastated my emotions, my health, and my mental condition. My first deliverance came after a horrific run of drug and alcohol abuse that stopped when I was 27. Cocaine abuse was the straw that broke the camels back. When I sobered up, I was stricken with anxiety and panic attacks; I had suffered from hepatitis B at least two times and had scars on my arms from repeatedly injecting narcotics.

Continue reading “A True Story of Re-Deliverance from Drug Addiction”

Addiction: “Manage” by Chris Joubert

Recovery Farmhouse hopes to see more stories and insight from Chris Joubert in the near future.

Chris Joubert a recovered addict shares from his up and coming book on addiction and recovery.  He speaks and writes in a grounded and emotionally sober manner.  His tone seems to exude a certain peace and serenity as he shares on topics of spirituality, and the disease concept .

“I have to mention”, says Chris,  “I had a great mentor called Pastor Sophos Nissiotis, the founder of Noupoort Christian Care Centre. His understanding of addiction is unparalleled.”

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Why Do Some Members Defensively Whitewash Alcoholics Anonymous?

Why Whitewash anything for that matter?

Definition of Whitewash:  To ignore any imperfection, shortcoming, or flaw.  To view a person, place, or thing, as flawless.

Addicts are not bad people trying to get good.  They are sick people trying to get well first and foremost.

In my interactions with various Facebook recovery groups I have noticed a pattern that emerges often in threads.  With diligence members cannot accept one tither of negative information in, about, or around their program of A.A.  And God forbid I make a remark about one of our founding fathers being wrong, making a mistake, or acting out in character defects.  Oh hell no!  The members scream from their hot keyboards as they spit and fume while rambling out their reaction to a perceived insult.

Continue reading “Why Do Some Members Defensively Whitewash Alcoholics Anonymous?”

From Recovering to Recovered

When is it Okay for an Addict to Move from “Recovering” into “Recovered”?

If we believe we are emotionally and spiritually healed and have done much work on ourselves in those areas with God’s help, and do not want to drink. We may be “recovered”  for real.  To thine own self be true.

This is the Foreword to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous as it appeared in the first printing of the first edition in 1939

“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. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication will be necessary.”

 

Continue reading “From Recovering to Recovered”

Adult Children of Alcoholics can be a Place of Healing

If we are willing and honest.

Scroll to the mp3 audio below

Please enjoy the speaker meeting recording below, a testimony from Beth P. of ACOA.

There is a lot of core level work on addiction and core issue causes of addiction going on in ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics a 12 step program) according to fellow and friend Beth P.
Beth is moderator and peacemaker in my favorite Facebook recovery group  “Friends of Bill and Bob” to join the fb recovery group click this link

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2247449301/

CLICK ARROW BELOW FOR AUDIO OF BETH P.

Your Own Domain Name & Website

Only $200 and $14 a month for Hosting for a real website with your domain name of choice.
Buy now and get one month free hosting. Don’t pay your $14 for two months. For questions email me at info@recoveryfarmhousecom




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The Insanity Prayer

Sing this song to the tune of “My favorite things” in The Sound of Music…or Mary Poppins if you like.


“The Insanity Prayer”  Words

Red legged spiders that waddle while walking.
Don’t clip my wings while I’m sitting here talking.
Fudge covered caramels of candy and creams.
Soft quilted dreams of dysfunctional things.

Rough sober drunks with opinions abounding.
Nodding in chairs while on drugs they are drowning.
Fierce, angry housewives with husbands to blame.
Waving a butcher knife, they are insane.

(Chorus)
when your friend slips, when there’s lost dreams.
When you health’s destroyed.
Simply recite the insanity prayer and then you won’t beee________ ah______noid.

Taking Viagra and drinking my prune juice.
Eating through straws wishing I had some vermouth.
Tall tainted hookers are lovely to me.
Little do they know but money they neeeeeed.

(chorus)
When I see, I’m decomposing, when I’m old and crazed.
I simply recite the insanity prayer and then I will be_____-ah-mazed.

 

Deryck Whibley on Alcohol Addiction

Deryck Whibley on Alcohol Addiction From the “People Music”

website (link here)

 

While Sum 41 fans knew frontman Deryck Whibley for his catchy punk-rock anthems and electric live shows, behind the scenes, the singer found himself battling with some serious demons — including a nearly fatal alcohol addiction.

 

Now healthy and happily remarried, the musician — who was married to Avril Lavigne before their 2009 split — opened up to PEOPLE about hitting rock bottom, his journey to sobriety and Sum 41’s new album, 13 Voices, which Whibley and the band will be touring behind through March 2017.  READ MORE HERE

 

How has the whole process of getting out there and performing changed since your recovery?

The Disease Concept is a Rationalization

If you don’t know the true reason for addiction just make up a reason and run with it.  After all, alcoholics are skilled at the art of denial and bullshit.  We fool ourselves first then we fool the world.

Let’s face it recovering alcoholics are commonly desperate for a valid cause to pin their miseries on. Sometimes in the form of co dependency and blame.  Other times in the form of playing up a tragedy that really doesn’t affect us.  We jump at the chance for a valid process of grief…seldom does anyone ever accept and validate our true grief if and when we have the balls and self honesty to find out what that is. Most recovering addicts have pushed their emotions so far away from their heart that they grasp the “disease concept” in order to validate their reason for drinking and drugging. When truth is IT’S ALL EMOTIONAL.  Very few addicts ever adapt more than the “textbook answer (Big Book)” for WHY DID YOU DRINK CORROSIVELY BROTHER?  It’s not our fault we can seldom answer this question with a true to life cause.

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“God Is Either All or [He-She-It] Is Nothing”

 

https://recoveryfarmhouse.com

I heard a women at a meeting tonight share this: “When I expressed fear my sponsor told me that God is either everything or He’s nothing.” The sponsor made a typical example of the extreme thinking, closed mindedness and lack of balance addicts often experience. Why do I disagree with the statement? Because: THERE IS A WHOLE LOTTA GOD WHO LIVES BETWEEN “ALL AND NOTHING”.

Continue reading ““God Is Either All or [He-She-It] Is Nothing””

You Must have Mistook me for Someone Who Gives a Shit

Truly some people who really do give a shit have no idea or ability to show it in a Loving way.

At least that’s what I am hoping considering the actions of many people in the world today.

We have all heard the sarcastic comment that rolls off the tongues of those who want to make known to us all that they don’t care about us or anyone.  They pretend they cannot be hurt because they are emotionally bullet-proof.   I don’t know about you but I have made peace with the fact, that I am human and like to know I am cared for, liked, and loved.     Thing is, with this awareness of the vulnerable human condition of my own heart comes more unpleasant truths.

Continue reading “You Must have Mistook me for Someone Who Gives a Shit”

Cocaine Trauma Deliverance

I grew up in the 70s in Tampa. There was Cocaine everywhere. Long story short I became deeply addicted to injecting ether based Cocaine. After a few years and a few overdoses I ended up with the worst paranoia and fear I can imagine. I had one overdose where I died and was brought back with CPR. I literally went to death and hell and a place of bondage that I could not get out of. Thank God I was given CPR it was like clawing my way out of Hell. I did not come back easy. After that I was plagued with anxiety attacks and paralyzed with panic from my experiences with Cocaine and the things I did while using it. I ran, I got as far away from my enablers as I could. I then desperately sought God in any place people worship. I found what I was looking for by His Grace.

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Addiction & Recovery

Learning cleaver cliché’s, a new key word AA pirate vocabulary, and the ability to repress resentment and shame will never be the same as the emotional sobriety induced by doing a Higher Power directed, honest, and thorough working of the 12 steps.  However, make no mistake oftentimes it appears to be the same.  The thing is if the inside of the cup doesn’t get washed regularly (4th,10th, 11th steps) the taste will not be so sweet.  Sometimes the taste of life still ain’t so sweet even with having done all the work.  There will always be something that is hard to put into the acceptance basket of the heart.  But the fewer things we try to control the easier our day will be.  Hence….God Grant us the Serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and wisdom to know the difference.

WHY DO HUMANS WANT TO PLAY GOD?  Humans, while human will never be capable of seeing things in an absolute pure light.  Why?  There is a veil of carnality over human beings which pollute the pure view.  Looking through the eyes of Love is the pure view.  Gazing through the throngs of fear is the view marred with all sorts of grasping means for self survival according to false prides dictate.  “Oh yee of little faith!” cries our self exacerbation.  “If only our self-image could be fixed and then re-implanted in our hearts” we think to ourselves, as we quickly look around for another unsuspecting human to tag the label “bad & wrong” on.  Ohhhh if only we ourselves could see us through the eyes of Love.  If even for a moment…we could see us as God sees us, a pure lighted glow of innocence surrounded with an aura of color so soft it could only be spiritual and celestial.

Continue reading “Addiction & Recovery”

Emotional Disorder Disclaimer

Copyright Disclaimer

Recovery Farmhouse is not an Alcoholics Anonymous company and does not use A.A. Logos or trademarks that are copyrighted.  RFH is a sole proprietorship based in the United States therefore not subject to copyright laws to the extent of other countries where the Big book “Alcoholics Anonymous” is concerned.  A.A. does not hold the copyrights on certain editions of the Big Book in the U.S. and has not for a long time. (Reference.-http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/node/3620)     Any AA literature quoted

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WHO IS YOUR HIGHER POWER?

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOUR HIGHER POWER REALLY IS?

Third Step Prayer short version

God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.  Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.  Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and The way of life.  May I do Thy will always!

A DOOR KNOB IS NOT A POWER GREATER THAN YOURSELF THEREFORE IT IS NOT A “HIGHER POWER”

We want to choose a god deserving of our faith not an inanimate object that has less power than the man who installed it into the door.  Why not seek God with our heart in prayer?  Seek and we will find.  Could it be our resentment, pain, and hurt is much too deep to even consider seeking a god whom we feel is the reason we have suffered?   Or is our desire to control all things too strong in us to risk relinquishing control?   Our pain and consequences of active addiction must be more intense than our fear of the unknown and giving up control.  

In Narcotics Anonymous it has been said many times and is a popular belief that we may conjure up and name our own Higher Power.  Also members have said, if we want to use a door knob as a HP we can.   They say a door knob will work just as good as if we had one of the well-documented HP’s.  Perhaps the “Doorknob” is the official-unofficial HP of N.A.  But again, a doorknob is not a power greater than any human.

Continue reading “WHO IS YOUR HIGHER POWER?”

30 Famous Actors and Actresses Who Have Battled Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

Who says sobriety’s not fun?  (two Cougars and a Tigris!)PTDC0010

From Drugabuse.com

1. Drew Barrymore

Former child star Drew Barrymore’s drug abuse in her teenage years found her controversial fame, including two trips to rehab that motivated her to get back on track with her career.

2. Mary-Kate Olsen

Mary-Kate Olsen“Full House” actress Mary-Kate Olsen suffered with anorexia and a related cocaine addiction that led her to rehab. The Olsen twins have since designed a $55,000 pill-covered handbag.

3. Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay LohanOnce the adorable child star in the original film, The Parent Trap, Lindsay Lohan has since lost control of her life, including cocaine and alcohol abuse, DUI arrests, jail time and multiple stints in rehab.

4. Tila Tequila

tila-tequila2Bisexual reality dating star Tila Tequila is known for her publicity stunts and drug use.

5. Mischa Barton

Mischa Barton“The O.C.” star Mischa Barton has gotten more press for drug use than for acting. Her DUI and marijuana possession have kept her in the spotlight.

 

SEE THE OF THE ARTICLE HERE/FAMOUS PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE & PICTURES AT DRUG ABUSE . COM

“Bring Me the Horizon’s” Oli Sykes Interviews and Video

OLI SYKES: “Bollocks” to addiction’s, political correctness
Click here to SKIP COMMENTARY
I will be candid.  I never heard of this guy or his band “Bring me the Horizon’s”until today however, I like the way he thinks.  And what this title means (Bollocks) in England’s terminology is basically; “Screw addiction’s political correctness”

YES!  A man after my own heart.  He does not see addiction as a disease…for him anyway.  And even better he calls for a  “celebration of depression.”  He isn’t saying that depression is great and we should all band together and pray for more of it.  No, rather he is saying feel your feelings rather than trying to chronically fend them off and repress.  We need no longer fear our feelings but rather let them flow through us.  To do that we must accept them.  I can relate!  This theory is the foundation of healing.  Maybe that is why he doesn’t see addiction as a disease because he realizes YOU CAN HEAL AND MOVE ON.

Picture this, a large Martini glass 6ft tall, green olive, plastic sword, and lots of Vodka and Vermouth.  On the rim is me in a pink tutu, doing a balancing act.   A long balancing pole and 12 meetings a week are the only thing preventing my decent into the poignant liquid by which I would get an instant intoxication followed by a 12 hour ride to the same place I left on my sobriety date ten years ago.   SCREW THE DISEASE CONCEPT sorry folks I am not buying that pig to market.  Granted, disease is a safe concept for the first oh___say 6 or 7 years of healing but after that…if I still need 4 meetings a week then I have not learned to live the program of 12 steps and have barked I mean balked at outside help.  Please allow yourself to cry all the tears you stuffed down all those years of addiction.  Yes I am saying crying for two or three years pretty regularly, share, journal, make a God box  basically allow yourself some emotional diarrhea to heal.  Your heart is not a tough girl.

Oliver Sykes

The Interview on Video SEE HERE from APTV’s Ryan J. Downey

Musician Oli Sykes speaks about his critics- “They want you to say what’s in line with what their experience is like.  They say like, “How dare you say drug addiction is not a disease.”  I am telling you, it’s NOT, that’s what I think.  Addiction is not a disease!”  says Oli Sykes, perturbed that people are offended by his own experience.  He shared how he overcame his addiction to drugs and some people were offended because he believes addiction is NOT a disease.

Band “Bring Me the Horizon’s” Oli Sykes on Depression and Inspiration from Louis C.K.

Oliver says; “People have become so scared just to be alone with their feelings and their thoughts. And I realized that, for me, a massive part in sorting myself out was accepting what I’m feeling and just sort of letting myself experience it.  the whole album’s about the celebration of depression—not saying, ‘Yeah, it’s a good thing to be depressed,’ but that it’s better to accept depression rather than trying to block out the darkness. It’s about accepting it, accepting who you are, and accepting what life is.”

A Non-Theists View of AA

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ARTICLE “The God of Coincidence.” TAKEN FROM AAagnostica website

According to the AAagnostica website most AAs believe in “a god of coincidence”  because God reveals It’s power in what seem to be coincidences yet AAs believe there are no coincidences.  Therefore when things happen just the way they are supposed to apparently God is working in our lives.

Tom P writes:       “The dominant AA creed I have found in meetings and in the Grapevine is that there is a God who is always with us, watching us, and He sometimes arranges coincidences that have good outcomes, or, if something bad happens, He allows it to happen in order to teach us important lessons, or because it leads to personal growth. ”          Yet, it seems that if members’ wish to belong to the AA club they adopt the dominant AA creed of the “God of Coincidence.” How else can you explain that otherwise intelligent and savvy people would discount the obvious explanation that coincidences are inevitable, and positive coincidences are more likely for those who are drug-free, grateful, willing, and working to overcome their selfishness. Just as members of a church accept the sect’s religious teachings in order to belong, and show this acceptance by professing their faith, members of AA seem to look for positive happenstances in their lives, and attribute them to God in order to (unconsciously of course) cement their feeling that they truly belong with AA      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Member and Author Tom P calls himself a “non-theist” What is a non-theist?

Theist: God exists.
Nontheist: Prove it.

Seems that the Atheists just want to fit in and be a part of.  But the word “God” in the steps is eating their lunch.  And so they are fighting to start a group or a ‘sect’ of AA that isn’t rittled with mentions of God and The Higher Power.

One quote from AAagnostica site is this the  Definition of “Religion”:  “The biggest lie in human history. It has been responsible for more deaths in more wars than any.”

Tom P also wrote:

“Yet, we also want people to discover and embrace their true selves, and for some of us adopting the God of Coincidence, or labeling anything as a “Higher Power,”would be a self-betrayal. I love AA, it saved my life, and I have no Higher Power.”

Tom P. is a physician who spent twenty years working in mental health. Tom sees no evidence that the universe cares whether the Earth or us homo sapiens are here or not, but he also thinks that AA demonstrates the great good humanity can do when we hold hands, unite and take some responsibility for one another.

Tom also says:

“I wish I did not have to talk-around the Higher Power issue when I am sharing in meetings, to hide a part of myself. But then again, it has not been too hard for me to do. I have had a lifetime of practice.”

From the author:

Thanks to everybody for your positive comments. While I go to AA meetings, I actually feel more at home
and nurtured in Al-Anon. Among other things, there is less crosstalk, less fundamentalism, and a better
adherence to the principle of “take what
you want and leave the rest.” I don’t know if it will work for you, but it works for me.

I admit it still stings a little whenever the God issue comes up in meetings.   I have as much a need to belong as anybody does. One has to be careful, as some AAs will prompt you to just ignore feelings like this. Thankfully, I also have Adult Children of Alcoholics, where I can accept my feelings whatever they are, and get to know my true self.

TP

Comment Next comment Chris G on September 27, 2015 at 4:11 pm said: Mostly there is some parroting of “My HP guides me…” and so on, but I don’t engage.

READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE ‘THE GOD OF COINCIDENCE”

Restless, Irritable, and Discontent

It’s Normal and Common To be Sad In Recovery For No Apparent Reason

Well the common consensus in AA is if your not happy, joyous, and free then it’s your own fault.  Your obviously not working the program right or you would be ecstatic with joy at least most of the time, right?  On the contrary,  many of us are so desperate to allow some of our long repressed grief to escape that we will latch-on to any sorrowful event no matter how far removed from us it really is, just to have something “valid” in the eyes of our fellows to grieve about. Please I need to let out some of this repressed emotional pain!

Someone dies in the program and we don’t even know them much more than a distant hello, but it’s an opportunity for a “valid” expression of grief so we grab onto it with the rest of our home-group who barely knew the guy.  Hey, maybe some of the people really are sad the fellow died…but I kinda doubt it.

WE DO NOT NEED A REASON TO LET OUT OUR PAIN. THERE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A DEATH OR LOSS FOR US TO FEEL INTENSE EMOTIONAL HURT.  THE ONLY “VALID REASON” WE NEED TO EXPRESS PAIN IS, THERE ARE MANY THINGS WHILE  IN OUR ADDICTION WE SHOULD HAVE CRIED ABOUT AND DIDN’T.  THAT REPRESSED PAIN DOES NOT GO AWAY, IT NEEDS TO BE LET-OUT.  AND IF WE IDENTIFY THE CORE SOURCE OF OUR PAIN DURING THE VENTING AND EXPRESSION, THEN ALL THE BETTER FOR OUR HEALING.

In this human life there are many things to grieve over.  Sickness, disease, loneliness, emotional disorder, loss.  Please be kind to yourself.  If your heart is screaming to cry, we must not turn it to anger and criticism it does not get released or healed that way.    Rather, we have the steps to help us to be restored to emotional balance and peace of mind.

Quality emotional sobriety has many faces and sadness for no apparent reason is one of them.  Your not in recovery if you don’t feel hurt and sad or scared for no apparent reason.    Most of the people telling us we are supposed to be happy all of the time have no idea what emotional balance really looks or feels like.  Crying is a healthy emotion.  Grieving is a healthy emotion and there does not have to be a death for us to feel real grief.  Especially in recovery because many of us didn’t grieve or feel our pain while in addiction.  We stuffed it down and now that we are sober it is surfacing.  We may need to grieve when there is seemingly nothing going on except the fact that we are recovering from an emotional trauma. 

I am validating you now.  It’s OK to grieve when no one has died.  It’s OK to cry when we see no apparent reason.  We should honor our feelings.  Honor our heart when it talks to us.  We do not let our feelings rule over us or paralyze us.  but neither do we continue to ignore, deny, invalidate our own hearts cry.

HOW DO WE GRIEVE?

Healthy grieving will prevent morbid reflection because it gets the pain out.  Morbid reflection is when the negative tape won’t stop playing in our head.  Doing a fourth step on recurring memories works fabulously as does revisiting our Step 3.  “That’s right, God has my back and I am forgiven”.

To grieve, we cry, we write, we share our feelings with someone who WON’T SHUT US DOWN OR INVALIDATE OUR PAIN.  We grieve to the emphatic person who understands and won’t call our grieving a character defect like self-pity. A good cry can release many relaxing endorphin and the vital chemical dopamine.  A good cry can put our brain chemicals back on track.

Our Brain Will Heal

Don’t believe for a minute that your brain can’t be healed and create it’s own endorphin and dopamine.  I have read and heard it said but my experience is that feel good chemicals can go into over-drive in recovery.  Cut down on your smoking for a day or two and then see what happens when you do have say 4 cigarettes a day.  OMG!  Not to mention sex and orgasms are always best in early recovery from my experience.

If you don’t get the 2016 red Ford Mustang that you wanted and are throwing a hissy fit over it, well that would be self-pity.  but if you are feeling deep emotional pain and sorrow yet nothing is going on then write.  The core issues will surface.  Often when an emotional trauma from the past is surfacing we will have a recurring memory attached to the pain.  Normally we cast the thought aside but we should explore the thought instead.  Recurring memories are signalling us to do some work in that area of our past.  Were we wronged?  If it’s a memory from our childhood we should picture ourselves as a child, not as an adult who says “get over it!”  When we picture ourselves as a child then we have more understanding toward our feelings and what we may have gone through at a young age.  Then we can allow ourselves to cry over it.  We were harmed.  We were neglected emotionally.  Our parents most likely had no idea how to emotionally nurture us.  It doesn’t mean they didn’t love us dearly.

We can’t heal while we stay in defensive mode

PLEASE, THERE IS A REASON WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO NUMB OUR FEELINGS FOR YEARS ON END.  IT DOESN’T MEAN WE ARE BAD OR OUR PARENTS ARE BAD.

If we stay defensive of everything and every one we will never get to our core issues because we will be too busy trying to shoot down any semblance of guilt in us or the adults who raised us.  We cannot see clearly when we are too busy holding walls up around us which are blocking our view of truth.  Truth is our healer.  Truth is our friend.  Unlike our past, in recovery the lie becomes the enemy and truth becomes our protector.  The lie doesn’t protect us it harms us.  Character defects do not protect us from others but rather they shut out Love and Truth which are the magic gifts of recovery.  Truth and Love are spiritual gifts, they are magic.

I used to think that character defects hurt others.  That if I engaged in them it would hurt other people.  But character flaws hurt me first and foremost.

Please self-pity is not the same as valid emotion.  Self-pity is pouting over not getting our way.  I know it is so similar to authentic pain of loss that many AA’s really don’t know the difference.  But if you do the journalling you will quickly find out what is really going on with your heart.  Many times the pen is like magic.  It reveals our reasons for grief and sadness.

Lastly

Being afraid is part of the human condition and that’s why there is a “fear list” (Which most members don’t even include in their fourth step) included in the fourth step, and don’t forget your sexual inventory.  Please don’t believe the steps are only done one time and then the work is over.  A fourth step should be done every time we get a taste of misery, deep emotional pain and resentment.  AA is strong in dealing with our own faults and wrongs.  But many of us have suffered whether at the hand of a loving or a cruel adult.  So if we have no resentment attached to our pain then we write down the even, what happened, and how it made us feel.  We can use an empty chair and imagine our assailant or abuser is in that chair.  Then we tell them how they made us feel.  We can write them a letter that we need not send.  But the letter will relieve us of boxed in feelings toward the person.

After all…its hard for me to imagine a child with a healthy emotional rearing to resort to self-destruction and self-hate and loathing because of their wonderful childhood.  If you don’t know the ‘why’ you became an addict you are missing a large part of what recovery is.

Many times a simple look at our family tree will answer many questions for us.

The question “why” is the beginning of knowledge and knowledge is the primary tool linking us to wisdom.

 

The Four Stages of Early Sobriety

From “The Adventures of Sober Senorita”

 

JOIN IN THE SOBER FUN LADIES!

This is not a “Recovery Farmhouse” original article.  But it’s a very interesting topic for recovery.  Pretty sure you can find the writer’s name somewhere at the link of the sober senority. https://sobersenorita.com/2015/08/20/the-4-stages-of-early-sobriety/

Lately I’ve been receiving a ton of messages and emails from my readers about early sobriety. I realize that many of us contemplate sobriety for months, or even years, before we decide to take the leap and make a change. Before we do, we want to know exactly what it’s going to be like and what’s going to happen when we get sober. I’m sure that’s why a lot of you read my blog in the first place. You want to know – is getting sober possible? Is it enjoyable? What is everyday life going to be like? Well, to briefly answer those questions, early sobriety is different from years of sobriety, as I am quickly learning at 2 years and 3.5 months sober. I think early sobriety can easily be broken down into 4 realistic stages which I will detail for you below…….READ MORE

Trust in God – Sharon’s Story about Crystal Meth Addiction Recovery

More from http://mormonchannel.org/12steps
http://www.mormonchannel.org/12steps   This is the link to all 12 of the videos that the Mormon channel has recently put out.  They are getting allot of attention in the press.  Apparently they are very down to earth real stories of real people, their bottom and their recovery from all different kinds of addiction.

Here’s the link to the really good and helpful video. FOOD FOR THOUGHT AA EMOTIONAL SOBRIETY TOM P

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We must never give up hope.  In all things give thanks.  I have been ungrateful for the things I have.  For that I repent, where does that get me other than anger and resentment.  And so once again I accept that God is in charge and I trust, trust, trust, that He, She, It, has my best interests at heart.

WHY PEOPLE RUN FROM A.A.

        

AA IS A PROGRAM OF ATTRACTION RATHER THAN PROMOTION

IF WE WANT TO STAY SOBER WE MUST BE WILLING TO BECOME TEACHABLE

Why would people who need help so badly run from the very program that has helped so many with the same malady? Without the ingredient of ‘desperation’ the alcoholic addict will try anything except giving up and signing over power to a sponsor and A.A.
What would keep me from being teachable?
1. FALSE PRIDE AND SHAME-, False pride tells me that if I don’t know literally EVERYTHING then I am stupid, wrong, and bad. False pride says that only the most brilliant people are qualified to teach me anything. Working the steps and getting a sponsor curtails the lies my psyche is telling me to keep me sick.
2. . TRUST ISSUES Clearly I can’t get a sponsor because everyone is out to get me. The world revolves around my belly button therefore the world wants to know my fifth step and if I get a sponsor, he will sell tickets to the opening night show. “Mickey’s Fifth Step on Parade”. Yikes! However, realize this; there are only so many deadly sins. Seven to be exact. Most people’s step five are pretty much the same…boring sex, wrath, thieving, and the like.
3. FEAR OF COMMITMENT Omg! In my past addiction I made so many appointments that I could not keep. I am now gun-shy of commitment. I use words like ‘maybe’, ‘probably’, ‘most likely’ but never ‘yes I will be there’. Commitment is hard for me because of my past failures to keep them. The good news is now I am so desperate to get sober that I WILL KEEP MY APPOINTMENTS WITH MY SPONSOR NO MATTER WHAT. In addition, by doing that I am walking through the fear and building my self-worth. I am working the good principles and that magically feeds recovery to my soul.
4. FEAR OF BEING CONTROLLED BY OTHERS I used to hand over power to my partners to make them feel good so I could get what I wanted from them. After they made my choices for me (so I would not have to fear the outcome), they would put me on a time clock. Where are you going? What time will you be back? Whom are you going with? etc., etc. After a while, I would snatch back the power I had turned over. My codependent dance partner would then suffer from intense anger and lash out at me as if I had done something terrible. Won’t a sponsor do the same thing? Won’t the same sick dance take place? Fortunately not. Sponsors know we only suggest, we do not control our sponcees. We suggest to them what worked for us. It is my choice whether I do what is suggested therefore I reap the good consequences of my new actions.
5. ‘FEAR OF RELIGION’ . Religion told me that I am bad and going to Hell. I believed it. I was young and innocent yet they told me of a place of suffering and despair. Moreover, since I was bad, spilled my milk, and made an F on my report card they said I would surely be sent to the lowest pit in the underground skyscraper called “Hell”. I cannot bear to be terrorized by religious views anymore. AA must not be religious, we are a spiritual program. Step 11 proves that we are a spiritual not religious program of choice. There is no Hell in our Big Book.
6. THE FEELING I AM GOING TO LOSE SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. My addict is scared to death of not having the drugs that worked to suppress my fears and emotional pain for so long. NOW MY DOPE HAS STOPPED WORKING. I have hit a brick wall. I drank and drugged repeatedly so many times I nearly killed myself. Therefore, I walk through the fear and distrust. I muddle though the past betrayal, I walk in the rooms, shrouded in shame and I say with all my heart; I am Mickey and I want to change, I can’t go on like I am, please show and teach me how to recover.

     HERE ARE THE NINTH STEP PROMISES THAT DO COME TRUE WHEN WE WORK THE STEPS HONESTLY AND THOROUGHLY   

   THE NINTH STEP PROMISES

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through.  We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.  We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.  We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.  No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.  That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.  We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.  Self-seeking will slip away.  Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.  Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.  We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.  We will suddenly realize that God 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.

 

Read a similar article by Martha Lockie)

12 Steps and (the right) Therapy Go Hand In Hand

Thank God for AA and Empathic Therapy

“We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. …But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. … though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward.” [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, p. 133]

HAVING WRITTEN THAT…..

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Me and a group of recovering addicts/alcoholics had the opportunity to participate in group therapy from a brilliant ground-breaking therapist and writer in the field of “Trauma and Recovery”.   Randall Mayrovitz is employed at Meridian Healthcare, Bridgehouse Rehabilitation Center.  The  therapy took place in 2006, our little group of women are still to this day sober and very much emotionally healed.  And thanks to the 12 step program spiritually fed.  Our commonality besides addiction is we women had suffered from abuse and neglect, of different types and different extents.

Please, we all love AA and still go on the most part.  We believe deeply in the working of the steps.  However, each of us women believe in our heart of hearts that without learning what Randy taught us in group, we would not have made it.  The pain was much too deep to be healed by looking only at “our part” in matters.

Learning our own patterns of dysfunction was a large part of recovery.  But do we shut down the tears of a five year old who is black and blue from the fist of a parent?   Do we send him off with an assignment to write down his part in the abuse?  An abused child now an adult does not grown out of needing comfort, care, and an understanding and loving hand to say,  “I feel your pain, its safe to cry.”   An abused child suffers and until that child is taught a way to heal they will be sick and continue to suffer.  Outside issue you say?  Well in some ways yes.  But also for us it is the issue.  Causes and conditions, the reason we (not all) drank and drugged was to bury feelings we could not bear.  Addiction is a shame based malady with fear at the helm and anger spewing from the rudder.  If addiction were or is solely a spiritual malady then we must all have a demon dwelling in us.  For us spirituality is the remedy but the sickness is very much emotional coupled with a lack of spirituality.  In my opinion.

Randall

EMPATHIC RECOVERY STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

We come together as survivors of painful life experience seeking a place to heal our wounds.  We’ve reached a point in our recovery where interventions aimed at symptomatic relief no longer satisfy us.  We recognize the revolving door of symptom substitution and feel the weight of something deeper.

While our symptoms and circumstances may vary, the end product of our trauma is the same: frozen feelings bottled inside because it was too unsafe to feel.  It was our natural inborn impulse to express these feelings in order to heal and grow.  Their suppression has created a powerful negative energy, driving us to emotional, physical, and spiritual illness and destructive behaviors.

Through each other’s empathic support and understanding, we hope to be able to restore our life flow, the inner force that guides us toward vitality and well being, compelling us to feel our darkest pain in order to recapture our deepest pleasure.  In so doing, we will slowly render unhealthy coping mechanisms useless, giving expression to old and new feelings and healing our wounds one piece at a time.

I will be publishing more from the Empathic Healing Workbooks that we were given at Bridgehouse

The Healing Journey

Embracing The Storm

Empathic Relashionships

“Moving” by Author Nancy Carr

“Moving” by Author Nancy Carr

 

Since I got sober in 2004 I’ve moved 12 times.  Prior to getting sober I had moved over 20 times.  You’d think after you get sober, you stick around for a while as your life isn’t bat shit crazy anymore.  One of the many gifts when you get sober is that you aren’t shoving everything you own into heavy duty garbage bags, tossing out furniture because you’re too lazy to deal with it and leaving a messy dirty apartment in your wake.  I’d like to think that I became a much more organized and methodical mover after I got sober, but no – not really.  I tend to de-clutter more, but now I have more clutter; more books (about recovery), more boxes of step work and journals, and many more tres important spiritual healing things that I must cling to.  Besides the new spiritual library, there are now God Boxes, Coin boxes, AA scrapbooks and boxes of saved “Sobriety Birthday” cards.  I have, however, become much more strategic about my moves as I’m not skipping out on roommates or leases anymore.  I’m a bit more accountable to myself and others now.   My moves actually mean something, they have purpose.  The early sober ones were for nicer and bigger apartments; apartments that had an Ocean view, closer to the local Clubhouse and affordable as my piggy bank had savings since I wasn’t spending all my money on drugs and booze. I was now a real grown up.  Yay for me!

My 4th move in sobriety was the big one.  The cross-country I need to go back to Philly and move in with my sick Mother, find a real job and become reacquainted with the snowy winter wonderland move.  It had been 10 years and I needed to do the right thing.  I needed to be that sober daughter to my mother and siblings and establish a life back home again.  If I wasn’t sober, I’m sure I wouldn’t have left San Diego, as my selfish self would have had a zillion excuses not to move back. So, I sold all my furniture, packed up my Acura sedan and carved out just enough space in the back for Lucy to curl up and slobber out the window with her ears flowing in the wind.  I cried from Encinitas until I reached the Arizona border.   I then heard Elton John on the radio, “Philadelphia Freedom”.  I got it.  Ok.

Lucy and I drove for 5 days taking the southern route and within days of our arrival the Snowmaggedon blizzards of 2010 took over and within 4 days there was over 60 inches of snow.  What had I done? Reality set in and there was no more walking over to Swami’s beach for my evening meditations.  My main respite was that Lucy loved the snow and she could run around all day in it.  I was miserable, broke, cold, and not connected in local AA.  I was homesick for my San Diego scene.  The day after we arrived though I ran to the local clubhouse and did what my San Diego peeps told me to do.  I shared about where I was and how I had just moved home and that I was living with my sick mother.  I didn’t have a job nor was I happy to be home.  The thought of a drink sounded pretty good.  I hadn’t been to a meeting in over a week and my grim reality was setting in.  After the meeting women ran over to me like I was a newcomer and gave me their numbers, told me which meetings to check out and told me to keep coming back.  I was almost 6 years sober and I felt like a newcomer, except I wasn’t in an alcoholic fog, I wasn’t crying or hung over and I wasn’t as vulnerable.  I had some time. I knew the deal.  I felt raw and green.  I spent 3 years in Philly and immersed myself into the Malvern Center Fellowship – I made women friends, I got a sponsor – I reconnected with old friends (who were now sober) and I met my now husband.  Mission Accomplished!  We left Malvern in 2013 and spent a year in Baltimore before moving to the Sunshine State.

 

Our move to Florida was fueled by the we are so done with Winter.  It was my 11th move in sobriety, my 4th move to a new Fellowship.  This move was no different than the other moves, so I had to put myself out there again and tell the Fellowship what was going on with me and open up again to someone new. I was able to get a new sponsor pretty early on and she was exactly what I needed. God put her in my life for a reason and I felt like I knew her for years.  I could tell her anything and everything and not feel judged. She got me and I got her.  That’s how this deal works; you have to keep coming back and realize that it works if you work it.

2015 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. has not approved, endorsed, or reviewed this website, nor is it affiliated with it, and the ability to link to A.A.’s site does not imply otherwise.

2015 International Convention
of Alcoholics Anonymous
July 2-5, 2015 – Atlanta, Georgia
The 2015 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous will be held July 2 – 5, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia with the theme “80 Years – Happy, Joyous and Free.” A.A. members and guests from around the world will celebrate A.A.’s 80th year with Big Meetings held Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday morning in the Georgia Dome. Other meetings, scheduled or informal, will take place throughout the weekend in the Georgia World Congress Center and local hotels.
Registration will be available on site at the Georgia World Congress Center.
We know you are excited about the 2015 International Convention and eager for information

http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/2015-international-convention-of-alcoholics-anonymous

 

BECOME A DRUG ABUSE COUNSELOR, FIND OUT HOW AT THIS LINK.  http://collegedirectory.org/lp75/index.aspx?ct2=123&source=942859&cid=4281&source3=substanceabuse123lp75&source2=newbetests820&path=ap

 

 

 

 

http://collegedirectory.org/lp75/index.aspx?ct2=123&source=942859&cid=4281&source3=substanceabuse123lp75&source2=newbetests820&path=ap

Jesus is the Cure

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life!”

 

Read “THE DREADED SIN OF FORNICATION” by Laura Edgar

This is one chapter from the book “Paradise for the Hellbound”  Read the first 4 chapters free here.      http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.com/paradise-hellbound-laura-edgar/             But first read

“THE DREADED SIN OF FORNICATION”

FACING MARRIAGE OR THE DREADED SIN OF FORNICATION

I was delivered by God from heroin and cocaine addiction by receiving prayer in a little Baptist Church from five or so parishioners including the preacher.  At that time my life changed dramatically and so I was born of Spirit or born-again as the expression goes.

Not terribly long after my born again experience which by the way included; water baptism, baptism of the Holy Spirit and I’m sure the baptism of fire (Luke 3:16).  (All the Christian credentials).  I met another Christian I liked very much that was quite an attraction for me.  I was single, young, impressionable, and very much desired to live by the rules.  We dated for a short time.  I believed in sexual abstinence before marriage because that’s how I understood the rule in the Bible.  I believed God wanted me celibate and had gone a year with no romantic relationships (a very strange concept to most people I think).  However I had such strong passionate desire for this man I felt I had better marry him before I commit the dreaded sin of fornicationAfter all God had saved me from drugs and alcohol.  I didn’t realize it at the time but I felt obligated as if now I owed God my obedience.   I felt as if there were strings attached to my deliverance I did not have a pure understanding of God’s grace and Love. I was viewing a spiritual even from a carnal and earthly standpoint

 

I was totally frustrated with abstaining from sex.  Between my unreasonable fear of God and my raging hormones I was about to make a huge mistake.  My solution for my overwhelming frustration and fear was to get married and so I did.  Not long after our union my young and handsome husband began popping Xanax and drinking in excess.  He stopped working and became very much an obnoxious drunk.

 

I have learned the doctrine of marriage from attending various Christian churches.  Some teach that I should have actually submitted to my husband and stay married.  I was attending Narcotics Anonymous and still newly sober.  Some churches will callously dis-fellowship or excommunicate a woman by disciplinary council for divorcing her husband under any circumstances.  Biblical teachings on this subject can be misunderstood resulting in oppressive beliefs and doctrines.  Some church members said I should have persistently prayed for my will to happen in my husband’s life meaning, for God to change him into what I want him to be and now!  I could have wasted away praying for his transformation all the while living a life of servitude to a drunk.   I would have been mourning and grieving daily about my husband.  Me miraculously set free only to put myself back into bondage to an unfulfilled unreasonable expectation.

I recognize my readers may not agree with all I am writing.  Christian divorce is a very sticky subject.  As the preachers declare, “Sin to one may not be sin to another” I have found this to be true.

I married so I could Biblically and lawfully have sexual relations against the advice of my spiritual teachers.  I married hastily not knowing the man well enough or long enough.  Most people are on their best behavior when courting for the first 90 days.

Marriage is many good things but it is confined by intention when thought of as only a solution to sexuality.  I quickly divorced Slim.  I had not considered his well-being when I married him.  I had ignored the glaring red flags I saw in my soon to be husband so I could get what I wanted.  The union was based on selfishness.  I broke the marriage vow and regretted the entire incident.

 

 

Should I have stayed in the marriage and sinned by self-induced oppression?  Or should I have sinned by divorce and breaking a marriage vow?  I deduced that I should not, by God live in my sinful mistake the rest of my life.  The worse sin would have been rejecting my freedom to Love by staying with a man in a graceless institution by my immature ignorance of the higher law of Love.

 

Mathew 5:32

“But I say unto you whosoever put away his wife saving for the cause of fornication causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever marry her that is divorced commit adultery.”

 

What does this scripture really mean?  It is saying God’s law is higher than man’s law is it not.  Even if the woman in the scripture was legally divorced, she still commits adultery states Jesus.  The Judge signed the divorce decree, put his state seal on it and yet in Gods eye she is still obligated to her first husband.  God’s law prevails.  His law deems the divorce occurred for the wrong reasons, only infidelity it declares will allow such a separation and freedom to unite with another person.

 

My question is this; are your beliefs in traditional marriage so lawfully bound that there is no allowance for grace?  Does forgiveness stop when we consider the laws of marriage?  I do not think that is what Jesus really meant.  Mathew 15:1-9 talks about the scribes and Pharisees who asked Jesus

 

“Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?”  Jesus answered: “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of tradition”

 

In my ignorance and fear of breaking traditional biblical law, I abandoned and breached the higher law of Love.  I placed my fear of the law first and married with selfish motives in my heart.  The act of sin to one may not be sin to another because of the motives of one’s heart.  Certainly, the act of marriage in of itself is not a sin but I believe it may be a sin depending on our heart.

 

Suppose I help someone because of the kindness of my heart and Love.  Later I help someone again this time I’m doing it because they have something I want and I’m trying to manipulate them into giving it to me, I covet and lie to get what I want.  Two of the same deed one sin, one Love.  Indubitably, a big chocolate cake is not sinful but to the obese man it could be the tool of his self-destructive demise.  In his heart, he lusts for it putting it before God, man and himself.  The cake rules him it is his god.  What about TV do I put it before my family and God?  The same rule applies, what is in my heart?

 

Hebrews 4:12

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart.”

 

 

 

Mathew 15:8

“These people draw near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.”

 

Mathew 5:8

“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

Romans 10:10

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.”

We have biblically established that what is in our hearts is the bottom line with God unto life and salvation.  Given this knowledge,

I would like to be capable of placing with my hand what goes in and what comes out of my heart thank you!  More self-sufficiency, Please!

Self-sufficiency does not jive with the realm of The Spirit.  Let’s examine the fornication issue a little further.  Suppose on the flip side I meet that special man of God.  A man of God, meaning he lives by the golden rule.  This is the man I have been praying for, the man I want for my life partner.

We make a promise of fidelity to each other and keep it.  We embark on a long loving relationship free of guilt and shame.  We consider each other before ourselves often.

We do not legally marry or vow a vow because we are unsure of what tomorrow may bring and we have both been married before.  Would I be living in sin?  Would I be fornicating?  I think not.  Our motives are pure and within the boundaries of Gods higher law of Love.

Some men asked God this question,

Mathew 22:36-40

“Teacher which is the greatest commandment in the law?  Jesus said to him “You shall

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.

This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it,

Love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments hang all the
Law and the Prophets.”

 

My point liberally spoken as it may be is if the motive in my heart is pure and my actions Loving, traditional do’s and don’ts are not relevant.  Moreover, this child of God is not bound by their meticulous and complicated tuition.  Some may call these traditions religious bondage.  Fornication as I understand it is committing a wrong act done out of twisted immoral motivation, selfish in nature and hurtful to people.  Love cannot fornicate, only God can see my heart and yours.  Setting moral boundaries for me and identifying what is and what is not sin for me is one crucial ingredient of my spiritual maturity.  No one else can decide how I abide in good conscience toward God except me.

 

A proverb written by a friend of mine reads, “Of guilt I can’t relieve you though you’re sorry and I believe you.”  So often, when we go against our own beliefs and convictions (otherwise known as apostasy) we seek justification and approval from others.  These confirmations give us temporary relief from inner guilt but do not cleanse our soul.  Justification distracts us from our guilt and turns it to blame.  Blame being a much easier emotion for our egos to handle.  However, our hearts suffer the loss.  Unchecked guilt usually results in self-hatred and snowballs into various sin.  A little guilt can spin into more wrong action and create a downward spiral toward Hell.

 

Another spiritual succubus is un-forgiveness.  Un-forgiveness also lives in our hearts and minds causing negative action due to negative feelings.  I believe if we could see spiritual entities, these emotions such as guilt, hatred, blame etc. would appear as black clouds going down into the pit of our stomachs (like the graphic illustrations of disease in the movie “The Green Mile”) and if unchecked, fill our bodies to the brim resulting in feelings that are unbearable.  These feelings often spill over in a bad way.  These individual sins should be checked daily and confessed to God and man.

 

The bottom line of my message to you is illustrated here so perfectly in First Corinthians.

 

First Corinthians 6:12-15

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.  Meats for the belly and the belly for meats but God shall destroy both it and them.  Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body.”

AMEN

 


AA LOVE AND TOLERANCE IS OUR CODE

LOVE IS HIGHLY UNDER-RATED IN SOME SECTS OF AA

This article is dedicated to Beth Palmer who by her sharing has the gift to help us see.

I want to begin this post with a quote from the “Twelve and Twelve” I simply love Bill W.s literary expression and agree with most everything he and his fellows wrote.

“Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves,

are to some extent emotionally ill as well as

frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and

see what real love for our fellows actually means.”

I’m sure some AA members will be quick to tell me that Love won’t get anyone sober but I say it will sure as hell heal the underlying and core causes of addiction when applied to the right emotional wounds.  Often times in AA there is a mentality that to get sober we have to be kicked in the ass.  That really does work for some people and I will not discount that a “call you on your shit” sponsor is a valuable commodity.  However I think for the people that have had their asses kicked all their lives and tend to beat themselves up for human error and minor mistakes need a more loving and empathetic approach to their choosing a sponsor and friends in AA. 

Please I don’t mean to imply a sponsor should be a coddling mama figure and emotional enabler who calls my wrongs “rights” and breast feeds me at every turn.  I just mean someone who will not constantly look to label their sponcee “wrong” and “bad”.  Personally I have done that to myself all my life as have my family members to the point of feeling I have no human right to even exist on the earth much less be a valid and important member of society.  No I mean a sponsor who will validate my emotions because they are God given.  And a sponsor who will see the similarities and relate to me which means someone who understands and “gets” me.  That is so important for healthy emotional healing and that is what I found in AA not just from my sponsors but from my friends in AA as well.

GOD IS LOVE

God is Love. When people have had a spiritual experience they walk away feeling loved by God and their faith that God exists is increased greatly.  They walk away from the experience feeling much more loving towards others. That includes loving themselves. I guess that’s why spirituality is a solution to addiction. When I am loving myself I am not abusing drugs or over-taking them. When I am loving myself I eat right, sleep right, fellowship, take myself to the beach or the river.  Generally I have a clear vision of what is good for me and what is not and I follow that criteria. Gaining spirituality through seeking God by prayer or meditation (step eleven) has turned my life on a different path than if I were running on pure self-will.

I wish my self-will were healthier but I have had my own self-will run me into the dirt literally.   I have watched like a by-stander as I have gone against my own moral compass while struggling and fighting for what my self-will demanded and thought it needed. I have hurt those I love and I have taken what little self-worth I had and crushed it in the wine-press by my own apostasy. (Going against what I believe in) Apostasy will crush a man’s self-image quicker than anything that I know of.  Guilt and remorse set in when we do what we know is wrong. Then to cover the feelings of guilt we pour on more rational and false justifications to numb it all out and engage in further drinking and drugging.

There are many other addictions besides drugs and alcohol mark my words. When a man gets sober after many years of using he will seek out a new addiction even if it be the addiction to something considered healthy like working out or work or sex or eating. But all things done in excess are potentially harmful.

So what then?   Are we recovering addicts doomed to always be revelling in one addiction or another?   No absolutely not!  The solution IS Love and steps 10-12 show us how to maintain self-love. Put in simpler terms we make it a habit to pray and meditate at least 30 minutes a day. We exercise our bodies and we eat right. We do some kind of service work and we keep guilt and shame off of our backs by confessing anything that makes us feel guilty and ashamed. When it comes to confession and the fifth step, it works best when we confess to both man and God. Oftentimes our souls will not feel a cleansing relief if we only confess to God because He, She, It is so far removed from us we just don’t feel the accountability provided by a human. The first 5 or 6 years of my own recovery I had plenty to confess and I did so in meetings and in private. Not to mention when we confess in meetings it helps other people relate to us and they realize that they are not so bad or different than other people.

Confessing our shortcomings to a human cuts our false-pride to the quick.   False-pride is a crippling character defect that has caused more debauchery and chaos than imaginable.   False pride ends Loving relationships, it can’t admit when it’s wrong, it shuts down our ability to learn new things (because it knows everything) and it basically and quite literally will kill us by its symptoms if it’s not kept in check.  And so confession and truth are the tools we have to wage war against our false pride. This is another reason why the 12 steps work. The truth will set us free

 

How Do I Know God Really Loves Me?

http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.com/important-disclaimer/

If it don’t apply let it fly…

How Do I Know God Really Loves Me?

The only way for us to know that God Loves us…really know in our heart and soul is for God to show and tell us personally in whatever way we can really believe.  People can tell me all day long that Jesus Loves me but unless Jesus introduces himself to me and shows me that He Loves me I won’t take anyone’s word for it past my own wishful thinking.

The Spiritual Awakening

One of the most common reasons for people to run around telling others “Jesus Loves You” is because they themselves have truly been touched by God and are inspired to share or they have some kind of ulterior motive.    Not all of them are delusional or doing it just for some financial gain.  Many, many people have had spiritual experiences and spiritual awakenings which have changed their lives dramatically for the better.   The question is how can I get a spiritual experience that will show me that God Loves me personally.   And how do I find a Higher Power that will help me to stay sober.  How can I attain the spiritual experience that will heal me both emotionally and physically?  How can I receive a touch from the almighty God that will deliver me from anxiety and panic attacks?

Sound self-centered?  Well we humans are self-centered by nature and that’s one reason why our race has survived.  It’s OK to love ourselves enough to seek out salvation from death and relief from pain.

The 12 Steps

In Step three of AA it is suggested that we attain a higher power and start building a relationship with a God of our understanding.

Step Three

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

There are two things that will stop a person from getting and staying sober.  One is shame in relation to people and two is shame in relation to God.  Shame wants to isolate us, shame wants to always be alone.  Unhealthy emotions were taught and hatched in us addicts at ages one through five the formative years.   Addiction is but a symptom of core emotional issues.  Unhealthy emotions are an inability to process and let out our intense feelings.  We bottle feelings up until they make us sick and we verbally attack the ones we love because of the pain inside of us.

So whats the solution?  Seeking God is the solution.  Because if we seek and continue to seek we will find our own God.  Men no matter how hard they try will never ever be able to connect us with their God.  Believe me they will try and some will pretend that they can connect us to God.  The first ingredient that urges us to seek God is usually desperation.  Usually men have to become desperate before they will seek God by prayer with their whole heart.  We should pray and meditate on a regular basis to find God.

Seek A Higher Power Where Other Humans Have Found God

Be willing to go out into the world to places where people openly praise and worship God.  Go to the alter and confess to God and man those things of which you feel guilt.  Doing a fourth step should include writing down the things we ourselves feel shame and guilt for.   If we don’t write down the things we vehemently want no one to ever know our heart will not be cleansed and our step-work will not be a liberating act of truth.    “The truth will set us free.”

Oh sure we can write most of the stuff down and hide our worst offenses and it will be better than nothing that is for sure.  But to get the kind of relief that promotes a psychic change and relief from anxiety and depression we need to tell it all.  And not just tell but express our feelings emotionally from wrongs we have suffered and wrongs we have done.  We need to do some crying and even some screaming in our car, some beating the bed to find relief.  What I am talking about is crying and screaming over things we should have been allowed to scream and cry over long ago.  Or maybe we didn’t know that crying is a healthy emotion and we stifled our tears on many occasion.  Maybe we were told it’s weak to cry and we are ashamed and apology when we cry.

The 12 Steps

Step four is about resentments right?  Next step Five and Six are about finding “our part” in our list of resentments.  “My part” means, where was I wrong.  When I look at my wrongs I should feel guilty about them if I have the normal human make-up.   We should be uncomfortable confessing our guilt and shame for our confession to give us an emotional relief.  The Catholics have a good thing called a confessional.  Other religions have alter calls where people confess to one another and receive prayer.  In the 12 step program we confess to whoever we choose to listen to our fourth step at least in this part of the country that’s how it is done.

Some AA groups don’t believe in putting guilt and shame on their fourth step.  Either their false pride will not permit it or they have no guilt which would make them sociopath.   Or their guilt is buried so far inside of them it will take an act of God to bring it to the surface.  We should be patient and pray for those who feel they have committed no wrongs.  In the Big Book it says that “some are incapable of being honest with themselves, they are not at fault”.  That doesn’t mean we have to live with a person who abuses us, that would be unhealthy on our part.

Perfectionism

Some times our emotions are so twisted up we feel guilt over things that are not wrong and we don’t feel guilt over horrible things we have done.  If we feel guilt we should express our deep feelings even if people tell us we did not wrong.  The intensity of our feelings  should be our guide to which emotions get shared and processed.  Perfectionism is much like guilt.  When we expect ourselves to be perfect and feel bad about making a mistake that could be ego and pride pushing us to be perfect which is something we will never be.  Beating ourselves up for mistakes and for being human falls under our list of shortcomings.

Beating our own ass for being human is just another form of playing God.  We have no right to condemn us or others apparently our creator wanted us to be imperfect, who are we to argue with that? And at the same time we should work to improve.

Doing the 12 steps is a blueprint for living clean and sober.  It’s also a blueprint for living guilt free.  However Bill and the gang missed the part about learning how to express deep emotional pain.  Guttural sounds and groans are another way to get pain out.  Some emotional pain is too strong for even tears.   In some countries it is not a shame for a man or a woman to express deep emotion there are less suicides there I am sure.  With the blue print of the fourth step we can figure out what it is we are feeling so much pain over. That is if we take our step eleven seriously.

 

 

How To Get Sober

SOBRIETY

I AM LORI E AND I AM A RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC

How To Get Sober

Typically, those who have experienced what they are teaching to others are better teachers than those who have not and are merely teaching out of the book per-say. We in AA don’t use the word “teacher” because there are too many emotional issues attached to the word for addicts.   Sponsors are teachers and we teach our sponsees how to live sober. That’s one of the most important jobs a teacher can have.   If I had not been successful at staying sober for over nine years myself this article would be less authentic.   I came from a life of deep dark heroin, cocaine, methadone,  Xanax, alcohol and nicotine addiction.  This article is heartfelt and I am mustering up some compassion for those still suffering from addiction so I don’t become too far removed from where I have come from.

Simply put…Before I could get sober I had to hit bottom.   My bottom was crack dens and then jail.   But jail was a step up from where I had been.  First step to sobriety was prayer.  I prayed and prayed some more.  I have not stopped.

Then I did almost everything the people in AA and rehab suggested I do.  I did get into a relationship with a guy who had seven years sober at the time.  We are still sober today…but he is a rare find, hence the prayer.  He is a gift straight from God.
90 Meetings in 90 Days is a very important suggestion for many reasons like to establish new sober friendships.  To create new patterns, habits.  To learn the twelve steps and traditions.  To get a sponsor.  To work the 12 steps.  Begin doing Twelve Step work like chairing meetings which builds new new worth.  To build tolerance and patience.  For gratitude to see people worse off than me.  To share my own experience, strength, and hope which adds to my gratitude and self worth by remembering how far I have come.  For accountability which has a big part in keeping me sober in the beginning.  Basically 90 meetings in 90 days resets our brain and jump-starts our recovery.  People newly sober are like sponges.  To a point we absorb recovery sitting in repetitive meetings.

Next I sought God with my heart and at churches. I sought a spiritual connection in places where people seek God.

CONNECT WITH THE WOMEN AND GET THERAPY

Next I did group recovery therapy with other women in rehab and a brilliant psychologist.   Rehab and AA authorities teach newcomers to stay away from romance and relationships for an entire year, including sex.  However if you are a person capable of independently working your own 12 step program and not falling into a codependent life-style which pulls you away from working hard at recovery, then perhaps you won’t trade your sobriety-in for the closeness of a man or woman’s affection as so many newly sober people do.   I promise you no matter how much my partner (a man) was there for me we just were not able to relate to each other at a core level like me and the women relate.

My life-partner gave me excellent suggestions but when it came to the core level emotional processes that needed to take place for me to heal it had to be the women who listened, cared, and empathized in the way I needed.     My soul so badly needed to finally be validated and realize I was not chronically different and I dod not have to be ashamed any more.     I saw myself as a child and realized my own innocence.  I did not have to condemn myself anymore.  My sisters and I are one.   This connection phenomena is crucial to healing.

I disliked women didn’t trust them and thought I was protecting myself by not opening up to them.  I had to let my walls down and tell people that I was afraid. Tell them that I was ashamed.  Me the tough girl is a women who has a heart that wants to be loved and a ‘part-of’. My Higher Power gave me the connections I needed.  I found a safe place with my new women friends.

My boyfriend on the other hand…he makes me laugh.  Laughter is so important when your getting sober.  It releases the feel-good endorphins we all need so badly.

WORK THE 12 STEPS

I worked the 12 step of Alcoholic Anonymous. The first time I did the steps was in rehab and my fourth step was all blame and anger. I was furious at everyone, I hated myself. The second time I did them I wrote a fifty page fourth step on all my resentments, and thing I resented myself for and was ashamed of. I did writing on each one to get my pent up feelings out. Trust me the men will say it’s all wrong to do it that way, well most men. But for us women it’s a life saver. Some people stay in deep denial over their resentments and short comings. While others beat themselves to a pulp over their mistakes. All I know is the truth will set us free but we need to speak that truth to a sponsor. I needed a sponsor that would not shut me down and invalidate my feelings and thoughts. I had that all my life. It was my fifth step therefore all I needed was an empathetic listener so I could get it all out.

“CALL YOU ON YOUR SHIT” SPONSOR

I have heard many times those that need a kick you in the ass sponsor who “calls you on your shit”. If someone is still in deep denial over their-part of event of the past I can see where that could snap a person out of it. You know if that’s the kind of sponsor you need. That does not mean that you are worse than those that need the more mellow empathic sponsors. It just depends on your personality.

My Brain needed washing

If I would have had the call you on your shit sponsor I would have fired her from the get go. I consider certain things disrespectful that others may not. Such as name-calling and spewing out authoritative orders in a public place to show they are inn charge and superior. I am an addict not a dog. Don’t order me around like one. I can’t control the behavior of other people but I can walk away. Respect is the first vital component in a successful relationship. Respect from a sponsor and anyone for that matter is something I have found in sobriety. They say “We teach people how to treat us.” And we should know a person by who they show us they are not by who they tell us they are.” There is no perfect sponsor and we wouldn’t relate to one if there were. But through prayer we can get the sponsor that is perfect for us.

Next more prayer, more meditation and on that note…lots of nature. The ocean, the beach, the springs, the river. Buy a raft and go float. Get lots of sunshine and lots and lots of water. Personally I drank allot of grape juice not sure why but I believe your own body will tell you what it needs. Easy on the coffee at least the impure coffee with additives and fake creamer. Easy on the sugar but fake sugar is worse. Lots more nature. Meditate with crystals. Put one on your forehead, close your eyes and try to concentrate on one sing thought or prayer. After you do that long enough you will clear your mind. This step 11 exerciser with give you patience and insight, it will promote enlightenment.
Lastly Step 12 Service Work

I started chairing meetings at sixty days sober. I took commitments for service work such as bringing meetings into work release. Bringing meetings into the jails and the rehab center. I was hot and heavy into service work for the first five years I was sober. I kinda slacked off since then but still participate just not as much. Service work is where my self-esteem and confidence where molded. The benefits of service are immense. And there is no telling what it has done for my karma.

That’s it in a nutshell. AA builds lives.

EMOTIONALLY GROWING UP IN A.A.

STEP FOUR, STEP 12, AND SELF-WORTH.  AGREE TO DISAGREE BY GAINING SELF-WORTH, GAIN SELF WORTH BY WORKING THE STEPS

Having a different opinion than my fellows is ok.  Expressing varied views and opinions is good.  Debate is good and necessary for the progress of A.A. AND OUR NATION.  We have elections in every aspect of A,A, except regular meetings.  We learn to agree to disagree because it is the mature and emotionally sober thing to do. Even in a facebook A.A. group varying outlooks and opinions are part of healthy social expression.  DISRESPECT AND PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE INSULTS ARE A WHOLE OTHER MATTER.  Time to learn which is which if we don’t already know.  And if we don’t know how to disagree with a fellow without running away no doubt it’s because of a valid reason stemming from our past.  We shouldn’t be hard on ourselves or others if we  or they are in the process of growing up emotionally.

AGREE TO DISAGREE by working the 12 steps.

Without “agree to disagree” there would be no Alcoholics Anonymous or any of the other 12 step programs.  Without agree to disagree anything that involves political decision making and voting would be chaos.  Firstly humans always will and always have had varied opinions and viewpoints on topics.  When we have business meetings in A.A. whether it be in our home group, inter-group or at area assembly there are important matters at hand and decisions to be made.  Sometimes the outcome of these votes will effect A.A. as a whole.  These votes are not about “me” as an individual.  The votes and varied opinions though they may differ than my own choices or viewpoints do not mean that I am bad, wrong, ugly or any other negative adjective for having different viewpoints than my peers.  Sounds a little crazy when you say it outload but this issue is why fights break out over minor disagreements people perceive that if someone has another opinion than theirs that they are belittled somehow.  The thing is if a man has low self-worth then he takes many things personally as an insult about himself.  Low self-esteem always has its feelers out looking to protect itself against perceived insults.  Low self-esteem is always in “defense” mode.  It hones in on comments or actions that have nothing at all to do with itself and perceives them as if they are putting him down and expressly meant to insult him.  Let’s face it low self-worth thinks that the world revolves around its belly button. 

What are the solutions to low self-worth?  Notice in the fourth step grid on page 65 http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt5.pdf  in the “effects my” column of the fourth step.  After every resentment “pride” and “self-esteem” are at the core of every resentment.  It’s not that the resentment gave me low self-worth it’s that low self-worth is the prime breeding ground for resentments because it puts us on the defensive.  So typically if I have low self-worth then the chances of me being able to engage in a peaceful disagreement such as a business meeting vote and debate or an election of some sort are slim. With addiction we continually go against our ingrained conscience and each blow against our conscience is a blow against our self-worth.   

And if we were raised in a home where every disagreement or varying viewpoint ended in a violent fight it’s no wonder we are squeamish around any hint of varying opinion. 

So what then do we leave all the important elections, crucial debates and decision making to those who understand peaceful debate and didn’t grow up in a violent home where agree to disagree was never exhibited?  HELL NO!  We learn, we grow we find out how to achieve the self-worth needed to NOT take every comment personally!  Image how nice it would feel to not get emotionally triggered every time we try to socialize?  So, we do a painful and honest fourth step.  We do a candid fifth step and share with someone who shows respect and empathy not some “beat you down” sponsor who hasn’t gained any self-worth themselves. 

We do 12 step service work until we are blue in the face!  We take meetings into jails and institutions even if we feel like our anxiety is going to kill us!  We stifle our expression of pen and tongue unless we are speaking with respect.  We journal until we are blue in the face because getting out our fearful feelings WILL RELIEVE OUR ANXIETY.    We get a same sexed sponsor and gain a support group who will show us respect, and if they don’t respect us then we respectfully tell them, …no we “ask” them not to do it again because we consider their action toward us disrespectful.  We remember that we can’t make anybody do or think anything, if they don’t show us respect we WALK AWAY and find friends that will show us respect by choice.  We will find that once we start to work the steps and engage in steps 10 through 12 on a regular basis we won’t have to command and defend because people will automatically show us respect.  Even fulfilling our part of probation is an emotional growth experience.  Doing a couple years’ probation in early sobriety will most likely benefit us in many ways.  Once we have worked the steps and put the things on our fourth step that we were most ashamed of, those things we did that we NEVER WANTED ANYBODY TO EVER FIND OUT these are the things that need to be on that list the most.  If we can’t be honest with our steps we won’t gain the self-esteem needed to agree to disagree.

We do these thing even though they are new and scare the hell out of us emotionally.  We do not hesitate to make a “fear list” even though we may have a year or two sober because there is no shame in being afraid.  The people that hide their fears are the one’s that suffer the most emotionally.  Being afraid is part of the human condition and if we are newly sober SOMETHING IS WRONG IF WE ARE NOT AFRAID.  So after we write down all our fears pertaining to loss of our loved one’s loss of our social status and loss of our security we have a talk with our higher power and ask for some “faith” and to learn how to better trust that Higher Power.  If we have a resentment that won’t let up we pray for that person to receive all the blessings that we wish for.  And we do the work that 75% of the people in A.A. are too far into denial to see that they need to do as well.  And every time we catch ourselves looking for the differences instead of the similarities in a meeting we pray for help with that because relating to others in A.A. is one of the ways we get well.  Just some solutions.

 

 

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Step Two of Alcoholics Anonymous

 

Sanity step two and relationships

STEP TWO

Heavenly Father, I know in my heart that only You can restore me to sanity. I humbly ask that You remove all twisted thought and addictive behavior from me this day. Heal my spirit and restore in me a clear mind.

Overcoming Fear the human condition from which all addictions spring

“Let no man condemn himself; for it is by self-condemnation that we set ourselves above God who is our only True & Righteous Judge.  For it is He & He alone who possesses a capacity for the unconditional Grace and Love which mankind’s collective soul so desperately needs to survive the deceptive throngs that encompass death and the grave?”

It is written that the fear of death is the mother of all fears and from it springs all manner of worry, fear, and anxiety and so we engage the great struggle to defeat these feelings. 

We can quickly destroy all our loving relationships due to natural knee-jerk reactions that fend off fear and the feelings that fear creates.  Some deadly knee-jerk solutions are blame, criticisms, hate, playing the victim or the oppressor anything that relates to putting down and condemning others to make ourselves feel better if even just for a short while.  There is no shortage of people to condemn including ourselves.  In the meantime we lose what our hearts really need and crave…to Love and to be Loved, to comfort and to be comforted, to understand and to be understood, to follow our conscience and to live guilt-free.

John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

They say that the most common phrase in the Bible is “fear not”.  Some say it is written in the Bible 365 times once for each day of the year.  Staying in faith and trusting in God is easier said than done.  Things happen that strike fear in us, fear of loss, fear of losing control of a situation, fear of sickness and death, fear that people will not like us or will desert and abandon us.  It is said in the rooms of AA that people most commonly have fears associated with these three things.  Sex, Society, and Security.

Firstly we often fear losing our partners, boyfriends, and husbands.  Second we fear losing our “status” in our society of peers.  Thirdly we fear losing our homes, jobs, money, and car.  The feelings that fear produces is at the core of addiction and codependency so we must find solutions to gnawing and torturous feelings.

When we are well grounded in our Higher Power by exercising regular prayer, meditation, meetings, and service work we not only receive fulfillment by that charity but we also have less reason to fear because our faith has been exercised and strengthened by regular communing with God. We must get our [daily bread], our spiritual feeding to continue trusting God and to repel fear.

When we pray and meditate yet find that our lives and minds are still full of discord, animosity, worrying, anxiety, and stress then there is more we can do.

“Out of the problem into the solution!”  We write down our fears in a list, we look it over and realize we lack trust in our Higher Power.  We then courageously ask God to help us to trust Him/Her/It and if our religion requires we repent.  We remember our second step and the insanity that God has delivered us from.  Sometimes the insanity of a second step returns if we are not active with living these steps.  We remember that beating ourselves up is counterproductive and not a solution to anything.  We revisit our Third step and remember that we have put our life and will into Gods caring hands so everything will be ok if we do our part.  Have we done a formal and thorough fourth step if so; do we have any new active resentment?  If so, we do a proper fourth step and ask ourselves what our fear is behind the resentment.  Have we completed our amends by either apologizing or giving back what we have stolen?  We do not gravel or expect any certain reaction from the persons with whom we make amends.  We can’t make them feel better by amends but we will feel better by it no matter their response.  If we still resent anyone we have worked a fourth step on we pray blessings upon them daily until we forget about it and the resentment is gone.

By these steps which include God we learn to Love ourselves and others.  By these steps we replace our old survival skills of blame and all its cohorts with healthy and loving coping skills based in truth, honesty, righteousness, Love and compassion.  We replace character defects with good character.  In this text on a day by day basis I will explain the why’s and how’s of working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous which can apply to any addiction including the addictions called drama, self-hate, and co-da.

During the first year of my recovery I had the opportunity to be in an addictions therapy group.  During therapy I learned that there is no wrong feeling and that I must believe this in order to accept myself.  For when I label my feelings “wrong” or “bad” I label myself and my own God given heart wrong and bad.  Terms like; “I shouldn’t feel this way” or “but there’s nothing to be afraid of” are no longer in my vocabulary because there is always a valid reason for the way I/we feel.  Even if that reason comes from years prior or is physiological there is always but always a valid reason for the way our hearts feel. 

We are not bad or wrong ever by the way we feel.  Usually if our emotions get “stuck” in us and we hurt and fear seemingly endlessly it is because no one has taught us how to process our feelings.  They certainly didn’t teach it in school even though teaching a healthy emotional process should have been at the top of the curriculum.  Actions and reactions are the only things that can ever be wrong or bad.  I have found solutions to the feelings that I don’t like and have learned that some feelings just take time to walk through and that I need not let them paralyze me anymore.   I have learned that feelings are “right” and appropriate yet sometimes unpleasant such as grieving a death or fear of a situation that’s new and different.  In this book along with the 12 steps I will teach emotional processes to help let go of anger, rage, hurt, disgust, and the rest of the fear based emotions that we feel.  I will share with you what has worked for me during my eight years of recovery from my two devastating bottoms which did include incomprehensible demoralization like the Big Book addresses.

Banning and Censorship in Narcotics Anonymous

“Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly. “~Albert Einstein

There are many emotionally mature people in N.A. AND A.A. this article is not talking about them.  The actual by-the-book program of N.A. AND A.A. are good and do work.

Many Narcotics Anonymous Groups commonly ban and censor the words Alcoholics Anonymous from their groups.  If you say it they will oftentimes kick you out of the group.  If you use the word “sober” instead of the word “clean” they quickly censor your writings and delete your experiences.  Narcotics Anonymous is staunch about not even mentioning A,A. in groups, meetings, or even in the smoking area.

As a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and a student of human behavior I find their censorship quite interesting and ironic at the least.    For certain without A,A. Narcotics Anonymous and all it’s  copycat (from A.A.) Facebook groups  would not exist.  Narcotics Anonymous has adapted the twelve steps and traditions from Alcoholics Anonymous.  Yes they changed a few key words in the N.A. Text but on the most part their text is from the Big Book.  Often leaders of the Facebook N.A. Groups (which notably are not Narcotics Anonymous or approved by them)  become irate if you don’t abide by their changes in your  fashion of conversation or choice of words.  Censorship is nothing short of intense prejudice and a unequivocal denial of their own generational roots.

There are people that attend both programs.  These people have discovered the benefits of both programs.  Most addicts are also alcoholics and most alcoholics are also addicts.

My observation of common addict behavior around these NA Facebook groups has shown me that addicts tend to see things very black and white.   However a more accurate depiction is that some addicts (not all) live in a realm of  limited original thought and high razor wire walls that hover around their thinking and reasoning.  It seems that oftentimes Facebook NA group members believe all things are either good or bad and nothing in between.  Furthermore they don’t believe in neutralities or vaiables.  So that means that if NA is labelled a good program then AA has to be labelled a bad one.  There can only be one road to recovery and it has to be their road.  If a man shares in group that he got sober another way or clean another way and does not need meetings then the N.A member will have to reason out that this person isn’t a real addict in spite of the persons own experience and life events.  The member is stuck in a mindset that is he needs meetings to stay clean then so must every other addict on the face of the earth.

Therapy and therapists are deemed “bad”.  Church and religion are “bad”.            Because if they were deemed good then N.A. would have to be check-marked “bad”.  And if N.A. were bad then the emotionally immature member himself would also be bad because that’s their program, they feel responsible for the whole of NA somehow.  The immature and fearful addict suffers from very low self-worth.

So my theory is that because of a deep dark doubt of the addicts own self worth any different ideals other than their own is interpreted as a direct hit against their beliefs.               Censorship is a desperate act by the fearful and the prejudicially closed-minded.

                   Censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself.  It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.  ~Potter Stewart                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Please give me just one valid reason why there needs to be censorship in Narcotics Anonymous Groups…there is no reason except a desperate thrashing attempt to validate themselves by crushing other peoples expression .  This is sad…no one taught them how to achieve emotional sobriety.

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http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_tradition10.pdf

Tradition Ten is not meant to be a vault that locks out one’s personality and views.

Have you ever sat in an A.A. or N.A. meeting and heard someone quote the Tenth Tradition just because someone had the guts to express an opinion on a contraversial topic?   As if it is wrong to have views , religious stances, political opinions and moral beliefs?

These group members delete and hint of controversy or opinion on deep and interesting topics.  They are sadly operating under the belief system that it’s spiritual and mature to censor all opposing views when they surface between people.

Haven’t they ever been to a AA or NA business meetings which makes our programs tick.  Controversy is the root of political growth and our existence.  Discussions of alternating views is a must among grown ups to move forward.  Stifling all controversy also stifles emotional maturity.  Learning communication skills is a priority in recovery and stating ones’ opinion aids in personal growth.  Hiding from controversy is the right of every man and women however controlling other people’s controversy is just that, immature and vastly controlling.

Do not censor my freedom of speech in the name of emotional maturity and spirituality.  Your maturity is actually an act of playing God.  You have brought your sickness into your recovery program and called it good.  Censorship by any other name is still censorship/

Tradition Ten

“AA has no opinion on outside issues hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.” 

Have you even been in a private Facebook group where people are discussing matters of interest and someone quotes the Tenth Tradition as if we AAers are not allowed to have or express  an individual opinion in a private group?

What does The Tenth Tradition really mean?  Does it mean that I shouldn’t have an opinion on anything except what shirt to put on?  Does it mean that I cannot agree to disagree with my fellows in a business meeting vote?  Does it mean that I am not allowed to state my opinion in a meeting or a group on Facebook?

PLEASE!  We don’t get sober and do all the 12 step  work  to rebuild our personalities and lives just so we can be opion-less!  Having no opinion on anything is not how AA got formed and built.  The founders had to mull over many choices and argued and got resentments in the process. 

Shrugging away from stating my own personal opinions could be nothing more than fear-based running from responsibilities.

If I am one of the one’s quoting the Tenth tradition in meetings I better read it first so I understand just what I am quoting and what it means.

AA AS A WHOLE HAS NO OPINION ON OUTSIDE, YES OUTSIDE ISSUES! 

Here is a quote from the Tenth Tradition in the Twelve and Twelve.

“Let us reemphasize that this reluctance to fight one another or anybody else is not counted (motives?) as some special virtue which makes us feel superior to other people.  Nor does it mean that the members of alcoholics Anonymous, now restored as citizens of the world, are going to back away from their individual responsibilities to act as they see the right upon issues of our time.  BUT WHEN IT COMES TO AA AS A WHOLE, THAT’S QUITE A DIFFERENT MATTER.  IN THIS RESPECT WE DO NOT ENTER INTO PUBLIC CONTROVERSY, BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT OUR SOCIETY WILL PERISH IF IT DOES.” 

Tradition ten twelve & twelve page 177

Am I saying that we should argue all the time and not “cease fighting”?   No, struggling wears us down and can cause emotional hangovers.  Disrespectful actions will boomerang back at me and hurt me.  However having my own belief system is a healthy stance and a sign of emotional sobriety.  Running from choices could be is a sign of low self-esteem.  What I am saying is that I have an opinion and should express it and even debate it sometimes which has nothing to do with the Tenth Tradition and A.A. as a whole having a public opinion in a political light.

Rarely Have We Seen A Person Fail…

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt5.pdf

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.”  Chapter 5 How It Works from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I remember hearing these words for the first time in an A.A. meeting and thinking to myself, “God I hope that’s true.”  I wanted so badly to get and stay clean and sober.  My life had been torturous.  I had hit a bottom that was so emotionally painful and mentally taxing that I understand completely why people kill themselves.  I also understand why the suicide statistics among sober addicts is very high as well.  Since that first day I have been sober nearly ten years.  I am at peace with myself more so now than in my entire life.  I am so blessed.  I believe that when we make and effort to do the right thing and we work the steps…that God is in our corner.  Everything just clicked for me yet at times I forget how good God has been to me and  I start whine go Him that I want more.  Bottom line, God gives me what I need.  Peace of mind is priceless in my book and between therapy and the 12 steps

There is such a thing as God rolling out the red carpet of sobriety.  I also believe there is suchc a ,v

Sure you would think once someone can get and stay sober there problems are over they will automatically be “happy joyous and free” just like the A.A cliche’ says.  Unfortunately depression, bi-polar disorder, high anxiety, mental illness, and obsessive compulsive disorder are all common among sober alcoholics.

How depressing you say…and it is BUT, the good news is we can adjust to a sober life and we can even overcome high anxiety.  Plus there are medications that help the mental illness if we stay sober and take it regularly.  Instead many addicts go through a phase of thinking they don’t need their bi-polar meds.  And that the meds are having a negative effect on them.

The steps work to help every disorder I mentioned above not just to keeps us sober.  If we can just take a step of faith and get a sponsor, go to 90 meetings in 90 days.  Immerse ourselves in A.A. and connect with the people.  Ask questions and share in meetings.  Find some friendly members and tell them how you feel.  When we are scared we should share that we are scared.  It takes off the emotional load.

We need to have a therapist that will help us learn how to let our emotions flow.  We need to make friends who have let down their walls and are not afraid to be honest about their feelings.  We need to let ourselves cry after all we have been through hell in our addiction.

The Big Book reads that many of us suffer from gave emotional dis

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LEAVING AA

WHAT PEOPLE HATE AND LIKE ABOUT A.A.

Truly once a man realizes that he has the power of choice and is responsible for all his decisions and actions he can no longer blame others for his own misery he now knows he alone has the ultimate power which is…TO TURN, WALK AWAY AND NOT LOOK BACK. HE HAS THAT RIGHT.  If he hangs around for abuse that’s on him.

http://www.orange-papers.org/

http://leavingaa.com/why-i-left-aa-stories/#comment-123785

Leaving A.A. is a popular topic on the web.

These two links are to anti-12 step websites.  These are created by disgruntled ex-A.A. and N.A. members.  the Orange Papers site has allot of statistics true and balanced.  The “leaving AA” site is more just a bitch session by people who either have been hurt by people in A.A or they are trying hard to rationalize their own inability to stay sober, you be the judge.  Lord knows I know how guilt can wear on a person struggling to stay sober.  If it keeps them feeling sane without really hurting anyone it’s ok I reckon, let them bitch and criticize with each other.   They have a common bond at least.

I like to give a fair and balanced opinion about anything.  Leave it to alcoholics and addicts to have to label things either all bad or all good.  Addicts are notorious for wanting to put the “bad and wrong” label on anything they can.  (myself included at times)  However lets face it there are not many things in this world that are all bad or all good, in fact it is a rarity.  Even a good thing can be overdone until it becomes bad.  But when it comes to inanimate objects they are not usually bad in and of themselves.  It’s the people that abuse and make inanimate objects bad.

However when it comes to people it is our actions that can be bad or good.  To label a person all bad or all good again will usually be inaccurate.  Granted there are some evil people out there who are bad but they even do some good things now and again right.  But me as a person…well I am neither bad nor good I am just human.  The 12 step programs meaning the 12 steps in their proper form ARE ABSOLUTELY GOOD.   Who could possibly refute that except maybe someone who hates the “Higher Power” concept or resents God.  A person who doesn’t understand the true and good 12 steps could easily call them bad.

From what I have read some people end up with oppressive and controlling sponsors in A.A. I don’t doubt that a bit.  I have been a member of A.A. for ten years…this time.  I have met the sick and controlling people.  I have seen the closed-mindedness, the liars and the sick perverted sex offenders.  But I have also seen and felt the love.  I have experienced the magic.  And I have fallen head over heals in love with AA for a time.  But that white-washed view of AA had to tumble down from its pedestal.  White-washing anything as all good is simply inaccurate.  Pink clouds end but it did serve it’s purpose for me to begin my sober life.

What these sites (above links) comments say about A.A. is probably true on the most part.  But what they are not saying is that they need to label A.A. bad because to them there is no such thing as something being both good and bad.  IT MUST BE ONE OR THE OTHER THEY SCREAM!

So does A.A. really work?  Well it appears that only 5% of newcomers will pick up a 1 year medallion and only 1.17% will pick up a 10 year medallion and 0.15% will pick up a 20 year medallion.  Now that doesn’t mean that there are not allot of people that stay sober due to A.A. yet leave A.A. for one reason or another.    I know some people who have learned the 12 steps and how to live them. They have people in their lives that they confide in and they are close to God… they don’t NEED the meetings when they have the program.  Maybe others no longer need to sit in A.A. meetings absorbing the sick vibes of all those emotionally handicapped people who frankly don’t open up enough in meetings to get better.  And with good reason.   Quite possibly they would get shut down and criticized if they shared their hurts, fears, and worries the way that they should be encouraged to.  Often members mistake the healthy need to vent about hurts and fears or process core issues by labeling that kind of emotional outpouring “character defect” and “self-pity”

If members could express core issues they would heal.  If people would get real in the rooms more often and tell the sick and suffering addict that they understand and have felt that way too then the program would be much more effective.  But instead some members sit like vultures in meetings waiting for someone to criticize.   Emotionally abusive members use the A.A. cliche’s as if they were weapons to stab the un-knowledgeable newcomers with.   Newcomers suffer while some members make it a fault-finding meeting rather than looking for the similarities and relating.

I have often wondered why is it some people want to make people feel better while others exist to make people feel inferior, degraded and wrong.  If I were hurt by an A,A cliche’ that a member wielded at me as a newcomer, would I then wield that same cliche’ later when my self confidence returns?  Wouldn’t I assess that the statement was hurtful to me therefore I would find another way to express a similar thought?  However I do see people using the same tools that hurt them to hurt other people.  It’s not surprising that many people just get tired of A.A.

Granted A.A is the perfect platform for a minister or counselor to catapult his career.  Some groups will allow any member with 30 days sobriety to take meetings into jails and institutions.  These people could have audience to hundreds of people in no time while they share their story and their own interpretation of what the 12 steps are and how to work them.  Right or wrong if they are offering hope to the hopeless it’s good.  Service work is a wonderful thing if it’s done with kindness.  It does not take brash, and mean cliche’s to share the program of A.A.

Why are so many members so defensive when it comes to their 12 step program?  That’s simple besides the fact that AA often produces miraculous results in one’s life, therefore gratitude and vigilant guardianship is common. But also in the addicts ego things are either good or bad (no diversity or grey area) so if someone points out one wrong thing with their A.A it means the entire program is bad, which in turn in the perception of an insecure addict makes themselves bad.  An insecure man with low self-worth is defensive because he feels he needs to be to make himself look better…and if his program looks bad he looks bad.

Feeling we need to defend A.A. is akin to thinking we have to defend God Himself who clearly doesn’t need us for It’s defense, It is the almighty It needs no defending because no one can bring it down.  Both God and A.A.  I think the only one that could truly bring down the 12 steps and their programs would be He who established it to begin with (and I don’t mean Bill W. I mean God Itself, Himself, Herself. (Choose your own descriptive word.)

 

HOW DO I GET CLEAN & SOBER?

If you seek a full recovery from addiction A.A. Works for some people, therapy works for others, and spirituality works for yet others.  Combine all three and you have a chance.

THERAPY

Be sure to choose a therapist who knows how to show empathy not one who just sits there like a bump on a log writing words you can’t see.   I say this because addicts suffer from low self-worth and we already feel like we are being judged. An addict will rarely open up fully to a person unless he feels he will not be judged.  When it comes to therapy for addicts it’s best to have a therapist who has recovered from addiction himself.   And if you can’t find a recovered addiction therapist then group therapy could work because of the feedback and relating.

AA sponsors are there to take you through the 12 steps not to delve into your emotional healing.  The statistics of suicide among recovering addicts is high.  I am basing this on the fact that I know several who have killed themselves while in A.A.  I accredit the suicide rate to the fact that so many recovering addicts don’t get the right therapy.  And they don’t address their true core issues.  The things that we are ashamed of are the things that haunt us.  Past issues live inside us and take on a life of their own.  Past issues make us sick, angry, and trying to fend the pain off causes character defects.

CHURCH

I recommend a Spirit-filled church (holy roller type).  Dry and Spirit-less churches whose members really believe in the gifts of the Spirit don’t have allot of spiritual power.    Make certain that your church at least believes in the power of the blood of Jesus and the laying on of hands for healing and deliverance.   Truly every spiritual experience I have had of high magnitude has been in or around a church where people praise God openly.   Miracles can happen anywhere but it’s more likely to find a miracle at a tent revival than in the bathroom at home.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

There are many non-addicts in church who will not relate to what your feeling when going through a struggle with addiction.   Non-addicts are not privy to the practical solutions that you will learn at A.A.  By the same token many A.A. people don’t know what a complete deliverance from addiction by a spiritual experience is either.  And really isn’t that what actually took place in Bill Wilson’s life the co-founder and author of The Big Book and most of it’s literature?  That spiritual white light experience of his is what prompted the idea for the 12 steps.  So really why not seek both a miracle and sobriety from working the steps?  Why not use both solutions?

The 12 steps are not therapy they address our shortcomings and the need for confession and repentance. (step 4 & 5) You won’t hear it worded repentance and confession in AA confession is called a fifth step.

Every addicted women I have met WAS SEXUALLY MOLESTED at some point in their child hood and most were repeatedly molested.   Unfortunately the 12 steps don’t and step-work don’t provide a way for  true “victims” to acquire a healing.  If we hold a grudge toward our assailant then the steps do give place to addressing our resentments.  But simply jotting down the event in a one sentence format and then searching for our own guilt in the experience and what we did wrong WILL NOT HELP US HEAL FROM ABUSE.

Maybe that’s where Bill Wilson just missed the boat on his own emotional healing.  There should have been a step that addresses the pain of the true victims of abuse.  “Victims” are real and not some made up psychological crutch or bad habit.  Yes we need to get past being a victim and the idea can be used as a way to control people.  “Oh poor me give me attention that sort of thing.  In AA they call abuse an “outside issue”.  It’s understandable they are not equipped to handle deep emotional trauma issues.  But in my opinion those issues are why people become addicts.  So the 12 steps alone will only be enough if God touches you and heals you.

That’s it bottom line without God the steps won’t work and without giving rebellious addicts a way to seek God that is acceptable to them they will not recover that’s why the church shouldn’t judge AA and AA shouldn’t judge the church but they do and often.

The steps and Big Book do not tell us how to get an emotional healing from abuse.  And even if you don’t remember being abused, or emotionally neglected it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.  Many addicts don’t know what emotional neglect looks or feels like.  They will say they had a fine childhood, “my parents did the best they knew how”.  And they did , except;  why then are we alcoholic?  Emotionally balanced people don’t seek to numb themselves out on a regular basis to the point of self-destruction.  Emotional abuse by a parent can be just as devastating as sexual abuse or violent beatings.   Most addicts subconsciously grow up thinking they are bad and wrong.  Therapy will help us figure out why.  I think if Bill Wilson would have had a better therapist he could have felt free enough to let out some of the feelings that were causing him so much depression.

Bill W.’s depression is well documented. Instead of looking at “our part” on our fourth step concerning  childhood abuse (which by the way, could only be that we held a natural resentment toward our assailant for years and that we are full of false guilt over the event.  We do not grow out of trauma, it will live inside us until we give it a healthy door out.  What we actually need to do is find a way to go back to the events that traumatized us and express the way we feel about it from our hearts core.  Crying, weeping, screaming, moaning, and guttural sounds will do the trick.  But also talking it out with a caring listener who can relate to the pain it caused us.  This can heal us.  In AA they will shut you down quick over expressing past trauma and insist that you forgive or just “get over it!” before you are even able to express your pain.  We usually are unable to forgive until the emotions are properly expressed.  If you get hit in the face you scream ouch then cry! Then you can work on forgiving after the OUCH and tears are out.

JAILS AND INSTITUTIONS

What about rehabilitation centers?
Getting thrown in jail and rehab can be a good thing initially to get sober.  Sometimes we have got to be locked up for the first 90 days or so because otherwise we will not be able to get through the physical withdrawal.  Plus rehab centers teach many things about sobriety.  Having a detox center to help with the withdraw is good.  My theory is get all the help you can!  If your dead from a drug overdose having a house and job won’t do you any  good anyway right?

HOW TO REALLY GET SOBER?

THERE IS NO PERFECT SPONSOR, NO PERFECT REHAB CENTER NO PERFECT DETOX NO PERFECT COUNSELOR, NO PERFECT PROGRAM AND NO PERFECT CHURCH , PREACHER OR THERAPIST.  However, all these imperfect things combined can lead to your imperfect recovery.

A FULL RECOVERY

Yes you can recover.  AA works.  “THESE SICK PEOPLE ARE KEEPING ME WELL”  how ironic.    Those sick people , and they are will teach you how to get and stay sober but you won’t find many that believe in employing all three spirituality, therapy, and the 12 steps.  But that’s what worked for me.  After several years of all three you won’t need meetings anymore, why would you?  Meetings are not the program the 12 steps are the program.  Fellowship though, is a must in the beginning to establish sober relationships with people.  Also it’s suggested we go to 90 meetings in 90 days if at all possible to jump start recovery.  You won’t hear in AA that you will fully recover and no longer need meetings even if it is written in the big book.  Look it up , the word “recovered” is all over the Big Book.

The following are some quotes from the Big Book about being “recovered”.

“I will always be recovering, never recovered.”  This statement is not aligned with the teachings of the Big Book we do recover!

 

 Title Page: “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism” (I totally agree with him on this one we absolutely do recover, at least I have.)

 

Page 20, paragraph 2: “Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body.  (here, here!)

 

Foreword 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.”

 

Page 29, paragraph 2: “Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered.”

 

Page 132, paragraph 3: “We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”

 ____________________________________________________________________________

NEXT ARTICLE:

WHAT PEOPLE HATE AND LIKE ABOUT A.A.

http://www.orange-papers.org/

http://leavingaa.com/why-i-left-aa-stories/#comment-123785

These two links are anti-12 step websites.  It appears that the sites were created by disgruntled ex-A.A. and N.A. members.  The Orange Papers site has allot of statistics true and balanced.  The “leaving AA” site is more just a bitch session by people who either have been hurt by people in A.A or they are trying hard to rationalize their own inability to stay sober, you be the judge.  Lord knows I know how guilt can wear on a person struggling to stay sober.  If their blaming keeps them feeling sane without really hurting anyone it’s ok I reckon, let them bitch and criticize as one.   They have a common bond at least.

I like to give a fair and balanced opinion about anything.  Leave it to alcoholics and addicts to have to label things either all bad or all good.  Addicts are notorious for wanting to put the “bad and wrong” label on anything they can.  (myself included at times)  However lets face it there are not many things in this world that are all bad or all good, in fact it is a rarity.  Even a good thing can be overdone until it becomes bad.  But when it comes to inanimate objects they are not usually bad on their own.  It’s the people that are wrong for using an object like a gun or knife for evil purposes.

From what I have read some people end up with oppressive and controlling sponsors in A.A. I don’t doubt that a bit.  I have been a member of A.A. for ten years…this time.  I have met the sick and controlling people.  I have seen the closed-mindedness, the liars and the sick perverted sex offenders by the droves.  As a matter of fact I think child molesters and alcoholism go hand in hand.

What these sites comments say about A.A. is probably true on the most part.  But what they are not saying is that they need to label A.A. bad because to them there is no such thing as something being both good and bad.  IT MUST BE ONE OR THE OTHER THEY SCREAM!

So does A.A. really work?  Well it appears that only 5% of newcomers will pick up a 1 year medallion and only 1.17% will pick up a 10 year medallion and 0.15% will pick up a 20 year medallion.  Now that doesn’t mean that there are not allot of people that stay sober due to A.A. yet leave A.A. for one reason or another.    I know some people who have learned the 12 steps and how to live them. They have people in their lives that they confide in and they are close to God… they don’t NEED the meetings when they have the program.  Maybe others no longer need to sit in A.A. meetings absorbing the sick vibes of all those emotionally handicapped people who frankly don’t open up enough in meetings to get better.  And with good reason.   They would no doubt get shut down and criticized if they actually shared their hurts, fears, and worries the way that they should be encouraged to.

If they could vent they would heal.  If people would get real in the rooms and tell the sick and suffering addict that they understand and have felt that way too then the program would be much more effective.  But instead people sit like vultures in meetings waiting for someone to criticize.  Members use the A.A. cliche’s as if they were weapons to stab the unknowledgable newcomers with.   Newcomers suffer while members make it a fault-finding meeting rather than looking for the similarities and relating.

I have often wondered why is it some people want to make people feel better and other people want to make people feel inferior.  If I were hurt by an A,A cliche’ that a member wielded at me as a newcomer, would I then wield that same cliche’ later?  Wouldn’t I access that the statement was hurtful therefore I would find another way to express a similar thought?  However I do see people using the same tools that hurt them to hurt other people.  It’s not surprising that many people just get tired of A.A.

Granted A.A is the perfect platform for a minister or counselor to catapult his career.  Some groups will allow any member with 30 days sobriety to take meetings into jails and institutions.  These people could have audience to hundreds of people in no time while they share their story and their own interpretation of what the 12 steps really are and how to work them.  Right or wrong if they are offering hope to the hopeless it good.  Service work is a wonderful thing if it’s done with kindness.  It does not take brash, and mean cliche’s to share the program of A.A.

Why are so many members so defensive when it comes to their 12 step program?  That’s simple in the addict mind things are either good or bad so if someone points out one wrong thing with their A.A then that means that the entire program is bad, which in turn in the perception of the insecure addict makes themselves bad as well because they are a member.  An insecure man with low self-worth is defensive because he feels he needs to be to make himself look better…and if his program looks bad he looks bad.

Feeling we need to defend A.A. is akin to thinking we have to defend God Himself who clearly doesn’t need us for It’s defense, It is the almighty It needs no defending because no one can bring it down.  Both God and A.A.  I think the only one that could truly bring down the 12 steps and their programs would be He who established it to begin with (and I don’t mean Bill W. I mean God Itself, Himself, Herself. (Choose your own descriptive word.)

Why Am I An Addict?

AA “I WON’T CO-SIGN YOUR BULLSHIT!”

THERAPY VS PROGRAM?

“How it works” Chapter in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states that even people with “grave emotional disorders” can get and stay sober.  What is “grave emotional disorder” and how can I really heal from it and stay sober to boot? 

I won’t co-sign your bullshit!  Scream the A.A. sponsors to the detriment of their heartsick fellows! There is a great need in AA to understand the difference between co-signing bull shit and showing Love by exerting understanding, compassion, and care.  We don’t have to give our sponsees the beat-down that is not what the program is about.  Nowhere in the Big Book do the writers suggest brutality and badgering as 12 step service work.

There is a great need to understand the difference between self-pity and the expression of valid feelings such as anger, and hurt. Human feelings that result from an abusive past need expressed for us to stay or get sane.

The words, “I know how you feel, you have a right to feel your pain, grieve and to process your hurt…even if, the feelings derive from years prior” are words that can heal a heart.Most addicts have stuffed down tears for years that desperately needed to be cried for us to attain emotional balance and healing. Usually when we get clean & sober all our un-cried tears come to the surface and scream to get out. We then ask ourselves: “What’s wrong with me, why am I so depressed, nothing bad is going on right now? Next our sponsors quickly tell us to “get over it and write a gratitude list” as they watch us slam the door in the face of AA.

Gratitude lists work great for those stomping their feet because things are not going their way (self-pity). However when it comes to the horrible feelings of grief that result from abuse, abandonment, neglect and other childhood trauma all our sponsors suggestion does is add to our low self-image and push us out the doors.

The most common “grave emotional disorder” that addicts in the rooms suffer from is the inability to process deep hurts and trauma inflicted as children & sometimes through adulthood. We have turned our hurt to anger and continually search for a scape-goat to blame for our intolerable feelings. Our hurts have morphed into anger because “grief”, unless short lived and a result of the death of a loved one is unacceptable in our society. When we experience any other cause of emotional pain except what’s socially acceptable we are often told to just “GET OVER IT!” So driven by shame we bone-up, pretend we are tuff-girls and boys, file our feelings under the “wrong and weak” category in our hearts and make ourselves sick till we have no other solution except to numb that which we have labeled “Invalid feelings”.

Is it no wonder that when one of us relapses so many seem to be so devastated by it…even when we scarcely know the person who went back out? We are desperate to let out some of our grief in a way that is acceptable to our fellows. We all step up our meetings and talk about our pain and loss when it usually has nothing to do with the guy who just relapsed who we have never invited to our home by the way.

The need for validation of our deep hurt is huge and necessary for healing. It’s hard for us in recovery to see when we are stuffing down a pain that really needs to be expressed. Few of us were taught by example or in school that it’s ok to scream and cry feelings out, or that crying is a part of emotional health.

Grave emotional disorders are not healed by just writing down [our part] and transferring all the blame from one scape goat to the next; [ourselves]. Please don’t hear what I am not saying…we addicts have boatloads of character defects that we need to work on however, not all grave emotional disorder is solved by doing a guilt based fourth step. Furthermore, if Bill W. would have had a course in empathic healing and were taught that his feelings are valid and how to emotionally process them he may not have spent at least 12 years sober and depressed trying so many therapies and pharmaceutical remedies.

Typically Bill was too hard on himself. There comes a time when we must pause from blaming ourselves for where we are at emotionally if we are to find answers and heal. There comes a time when we should realize that we were dealt a mistaken hand where our understanding of emotions is concerned and the steps don’t fix everything.

THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING once we establish this we won’t be quite so quick to deny and shut them down. For anyone to label our feelings wrong is to label us wrong as a person because our feelings are our heart.  “Wrong”  is an action word.   What we do with out deep feelings like, blaming others for them or acting out in rage and  violence this can be labelled “wrong”.   It’s what happens after the feeling that is right or wrong.

When we learn how to let feelings flow through us instead of getting stuck in us, then we are on our way to being emotionally balanced. There are many ways to accomplish a flow of emotions.

Taking responsibility for ourselves includes learning how to process hurt, anger, guilt, remorse, disgust, fear, and pain. Labeling feelings wrong, staying in denial about them till they come out in the form of rage and blame is not emotional sobriety. How will anybody in recovery ever stop blaming others for their feelings if they have not allowed themselves to learn what to do with deep feelings to get them out?

Have you ever asked why there is so much finger-pointing going on in AA or the world for that matter? And why is it that so few alcoholics and addicts in recovery find healthy and loving long term relationships? We can’t make our significant others’ responsible for our feelings and show them Love at the same time. So many alcoholics just settle for the fact that they will never be able to have a successful relationship if they are to stay sober. Ouch!

Lastly have you ever heard anyone in meetings pit therapy against the program as if there were a war between the two? How about pitting religion against the program or pitting religion against therapy (that’s a common one in the church). The fact is these all three are good they are not at war at all.  

Every person I know that shows quality sobriety; meaning they are mature enough to not play the blame game and they show Love are those that have used a combination of therapy,  a 12 step program and seek spirituality.   All three are good and all three work if we are willing, open-minded, and honest enough to not practice contempt prior to investigation on any of them.

Therapy vs. program or therapy enhances program?

 

Laura Edgar

STEP FOUR ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

IF STEP FOUR IS NOT FREAKING YOU OUT YOUR PROABLY NOT DOING IT RIGHT.

Humans generally learn by default to put on a hard emotionally protective shell so others will not see their vulnerabilities and they won’t get hurt.  However oftentimes that hard shell tends to offend or trigger others emotionally before they can actually see what is going on with the person.  In other words; when we are hurt we may seem just angry or mad at someone who really has nothing to do with the reason we are actually feeling unrest.  Hurt and fear by default turn to anger in most alcoholics because it is a safer emotion to portray to our fellows than an emotion that appears weak.  Some say depression is anger without enthusiasm with hurt at the core.  We alcoholics tend to have trust issues and we are not willing to show our real emotions to anybody.  We fear for our survival in this world that we see as cruel and unsafe!  This my friends is the core reason so many fear and run from doing a fourth and fifth step.So what do we do?  Do we continue repressing every hurt and pain of betrayal unto infinity till it takes us down?  No never!  Not if we are to heal and actually be able to say “Hi, I am Lori, I am an alcoholic addict in recovery.”  Not if we want a redeeming psychic change…we must find someone we are willing to trust with our feelings, our shame, and our fears.  We need, yes need someone in the program who will relate to us and have compassion, someone whom we can cry to.

We must for survival sake do a thorough Fourth and a thorough Fifth Step to get out the skeletons of our past that are eating our emotions and our relationships alive! 

We must make our step work personal by writing and sharing our Fifth Step in the “I” context.  We should state our feelings and events with honest emotion.

IT IS THE THING WE ARE MOST ASHAMED OF THAT SHOULD BE AT THE TOP OF OUR LIST.  A shallow and non-revealing Fifth Step with our most shameful events omitted will not help us.  No, not if we are to recover our joy and obtain the miraculous psychic change needed to not only stay sober but stay sane enough that we do not choose suicide over sobriety like countless addicts and alcoholics have.

We are dying out there and we must take serious action for our true survival…”It is better to save our ass than save our face.”  “Pride comes before a fall oh how deep that fall can be.”  Hope is the answer, hold on to the hope that we really can get better with God at the helm of our step work.

What should I do today to start the process of working the steps? 

RESPONSIBILITY PLEDGE

This is the responsibility pledge quoted at some A.A. meetings at the closing right after the prayer.  Some people do object to it because Alcoholics Anonymous is a free program.  Recovery is shared by members because they themselves want to stay sober.  Step Twelve states in so many words that we must “give it away to keep it”.  And service work gets us out of our own heads.  Yes step twelve keeps us sober and it has many more virtuous benefits when worked thoroughly and honestly.  Going to jails and institutions to share just what I did to get and stay sober is a self-esteem building exercise.  Jesus said “It is better to give than to receive” and He was right.  When I share what A.A. had done for me it gives others hope that they too can have a life that is peaceful and productive.  I must admit I had to be desperate for change to actually work the steps, but when I did I received the psychic change that was needed for me to become happy and usefully whole.

IF IT DON’T APPLY LET IT FLY!

 

 

“I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that I am responsible”.

 

 

 

SOBRIETY

 

SOBRIETY is not an impossible dream!

 

Jim Neighbors sang it best…WE CAN DO IT!  It’s NOT impossible to get and stay sober.  

But why not get some help with the job?   When I attempted to get sober I knew nothing about living sober.  So I went to sober school.    It was my choice to go to A.A.  It was my choice to stay sober. I didn’t know I had a choice but I found out different.  We all have a choice it’s just that the lies in our heads want us to believe different.  We have a choice whether or not to drink today.  

When you are your own worst enemy it’s a good idea to invoke an army of fellows and facts to war against the self-defeating lies that your own head creates.     Maybe you are not as sick as I was, I lived most of my life in a haze of drug addiction.  The 12 Steps,  group therapy, and seeking God are how I have stayed sober by the Grace of God for nearly 10 years.

Choose your favorite 12 step program and get a home group.   Go to a meeting every day and then ask someone to be your sponsor.  Ask the person that you relate to most.  If they say “no” ask someone else that you relate to when they share in a 12 step meeting.  Next work the 12 steps.  Open-up in meetings no matter how scared you are and tell people how you feel and where you are at psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.

 

Buy a Twelve and Twelve and a Big Book and make sure that you are grasping each step as you do it.    This website has the Big Book available for 99 cents.  (First 164 pages, which is all you need).  Make sure at some point that you get some outside help.  There are many people in A.A. that are prejudiced against therapy.  However our literature (A.A.) states that alcohol is just a symptom of a deeper sickness. 

If we don’t deal with our core issues we will not recover at a core level.  And then when we have no-one left to blame for the way we feel, we might be alone and suicidal.  It’s best to open up to at least one person and tell them the worst things we have ever done.  Make a fear list, write down core fears of loss and insecurities.  If you don’t have any then your not human.  It’s because of fear, childhood neglect, abuse and insecurities  that most people self-medicate.  Therefore it’s important to get to the cause of our addiction.  Shame and false pride will fight you  on this.  There are a million and one reasons not to revisit the past to clear up childhood traumas but that’s where the answers to our underlying issues can be found and released most likely.  

 

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions from A.A. World Services $5.99 only.  BUY NOW!  Don’t take everyone else’s word for what the book says, read it for yourself.

 

Recovery Farmhouse has sought out the cheapest available price and we add no additional fees to the price of this book purchased from A.A. World Services.  We are merely helping to support A.A. as a whole by supplying this link.  This book is sold by World Services, Inc.

The God Hole

I will no longer tolerate separation from my God.

There is a place in my spirit where I do feel my perpetual shame deriving from guilt nevertheless, I present my heart before my God.  A strong place within me cries out, “I will not tolerate separation from my creator by hiding and protecting parts of my soul and being that I am ashamed of in hopes that I can then win God’s acceptance.  Embracing the attitude of desperation toward God in spite of my apprehension awards me complete acceptance of “me” and of how God created me.

A Parent Growing Up With An Addict

Hi this is Lori E administrator, web-tech, writer and designer of Recovery Farmhouse.   I am also known as Laura of Akron in some parts of this website (psychic readings) and other various social sites……. and I am a recovered alcoholic.    I can say recovered because I haven’t picked up a drink, a hit of crack or a shot of heroin in nearly 10 years.

I want to introduce Bill C my father.  Here is an article I thank him for writing.  Please feel free to comment.

 

I was asked by the creator of this web-site to write something

that the readers might find interesting. My first reaction was,

yes but I needed to think about what to write.

Years ago my reaction would have been different. What

the flip do I know about AA? What do I know about a Big Blue

Book? And about that dance, the 12 step? I had heard about

the 2 step and the 4 step, but I sure didn’t know about the

12 step dance. Well, my daughter corrected me on that.

She said it has nothing to do with dancing. Dad it is a 12

step program that helps people stop drinking.

Before my daughter was introduced to AA she tried a

lot of drinks and pills to make her happy. All it was doing

was causing her parents pain.

We spent sleepless nights wondering where she was.

I am sure some of you reading  this can relate to what parents

went through worrying about you.

She got into some trouble while driving, lost her license

and had to go through what they call the revolving door.

Paying fines and reporting to a probation officer.

After the mess was cleared up she finally decided to get

sober. I don’t know if the addict knows what parents go

through while all this is going on. Yes we go through hell.

It is ironic that Laura of Akron was born in the same

city that 2 young men founded AA.

I would like to end this writing with a poem by an

amateur poet.

The addict and the parent

The addict says I’ll take this pill,

And then an alcoholic drink.

Then the parent holds her up,

While she throws up in the sink.

The addict says I’ll take more pills,

They will make me feel swell.

The parent says here we go again,

She’s putting us through hell.

The addict says I need a drink,

To get me through the day.

The parent says she traded her VCR,

We got her for her birthday.

But all of that is in the past,

No more beer or wine.

Yes we have our daughter back,

And she is doing just fine.

If this writing has helped one person,

In some special way.

Then it makes it all worthwhile,

You have made my day.

. . . By Bill C.  Laura of Akron is my daughter.

 

 

 

 

A Parent Growing Up With An Addict

Hi this is Lori E administrator, web-tech, writer and designer of Recovery Farmhouse.   I am also known as Laura of Akron in some parts of this website (psychic readings) and other various social sites……. and I am a recovered alcoholic.    I can say recovered because I haven’t picked up a drink, a hit of crack or a shot of heroin in nearly 10 years.

I want to introduce Bill C my father.  Here is an article I thank him for writing.  Please feel free to comment.

 

I was asked by the creator of this web-site to write something

that the readers might find interesting. My first reaction was,

yes but I needed to think about what to write.

Years ago my reaction would have been different. What

the flip do I know about AA? What do I know about a Big Blue

Book? And about that dance, the 12 step? I had heard about

the 2 step and the 4 step, but I sure didn’t know about the

12 step dance. Well, my daughter corrected me on that.

She said it has nothing to do with dancing. Dad it is a 12

step program that helps people stop drinking.

Before my daughter was introduced to AA she tried a

lot of drinks and pills to make her happy. All it was doing

was causing her parents pain.

We spent sleepless nights wondering where she was.

I am sure some of you reading  this can relate to what parents

went through worrying about you.

She got into some trouble while driving, lost her license

and had to go through what they call the revolving door.

Paying fines and reporting to a probation officer.

After the mess was cleared up she finally decided to get

sober. I don’t know if the addict knows what parents go

through while all this is going on. Yes we go through hell.

It is ironic that Laura of Akron was born in the same

city that 2 young men founded AA.

I would like to end this writing with a poem by an

amateur poet.

The addict and the parent

The addict says I’ll take this pill,

And then an alcoholic drink.

Then the parent holds her up,

While she throws up in the sink.

The addict says I’ll take more pills,

They will make me feel swell.

The parent says here we go again,

She’s putting us through hell.

The addict says I need a drink,

To get me through the day.

The parent says she traded her VCR,

We got her for her birthday.

But all of that is in the past,

No more beer or wine.

Yes we have our daughter back,

And she is doing just fine.

If this writing has helped one person,

In some special way.

Then it makes it all worthwhile,

You have made my day.

. . . By Bill C.  Laura of Akron is my daughter.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE SCROLL OVER “GUEST WRITERS” IN THE WEBSITES TOP MENU AND CLICK ON THIS ARTICLE “A PARENT GROWING UP WITH AN ADDICT” IT WILL HAVE A COMMENT BLOCK AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE.  WHEREAS THE VERSION IN E-MAIL LINK DOES NOT.