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.

****************************************************************

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

Giraffe Purse

A New Purse…A New Life! :)

NEW Black Large Vicky Giraffe Print Faux Leather Satchel Bag Handbag Purse

 

Red Large Vicky Giraffe Print Faux Leather Satchel Bag Handbag Purse

Brown Giraffe Print Clutch Wallet with Checkbook Holder with Brown Trim

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.

 

 

 

Gainesville 12 Step AA & NA Programs

Thank you “Elmer” for your insight on emotional tools which you shared at the Triangle Club to help the guys your worked with get well.

In Gainesville  ******ics Anonymous Program  some of us have a certain tradition.  I am not talking about the 12 traditions right now.  I am talking about an exercise that we do in accordance with the fifth step.  This tradition keeps us SANE, AND SOBER.  This tradition keeps shame at bay which is the number one reason people leave the program…shame.   Yes “resentment is the number one offender but it is not the #1 reason people that have the program working for them yet choose to leave.  Ok yes they leave because they drank or wanted to drink and then the shame sets back in.

The Gainesville tradition that I am referring to is that we share in our meeting “WHAT HAPPENED AND HOW IT MADE US FEEL.”  We have learned that keeping secrets about our INTENSE feelings will kill us.  We have learned that all the repressed emotions in the world will not change who we are.  We have learned how to come to terms with who we are and to accept that.  But not only accept..WE SHARE NOT ONLY “WHAT HAPPENED” BUT “HOW IT MADE US FEEL”

This is the magic children.  This is the one thing that 12 step programs around the world are missing.  THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING ONLY WRONG ACTIONS.  If we label our feelings “wrong” we are labelling ourselves wrong.  Every feeling that we have is for a valid reason and is valid.   Granted we don’t share all of our feelings nor do we allow our feelings to rule over us.  However, we do respect and honor our feelings, they are valid.   No we don’t run around having to express every small felling we have.  There is a time to say “feelings aren’t facts” and simply ignore them.  But there are on the other hand feelings that are eating our lunch that need to come out…  Otherwise we may slip into our old behavior of projecting and blaming others for the way we feel.  So we put our intense and nagging emotions into the middle of the meeting room so they get absorbed and carried away by the Spirit of the program.  This my friend is one of the most important solutions I have.  It is just as important as not holding resentments.   Similar article “Men in Recovery”

repressed feelings

 

WHAT TO EXPECT AT ALCOHOLICS & NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS MEETINGS

If you have never gone to an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting, it can be a little scary at first.  You don’t know what to expect because it is a new experience. You may have heard a lot of negative things about meetings from other using addicts. Some people are court ordered to go to meetings and may feel negatively about them because they resent being forced to go. Remember that everyone in AA and NA had to walk into their first meeting at some point so you are not alone in feeling scared. People who go to meetings regularly are aware of this and often try to be very welcoming when they see someone new enter a meeting.

Where Do Meetings Occur and How Do I Find One?

 

Many meetings take place in church basements, treatment facilities, hospitals and recovery clubs. You can find a list of meetings online at the Alcoholics Anonymous website and the Narcotics Anonymous website. In addition, most counties have a drug and alcohol commission to help people in their county locate treatment. You can find the number for your local drug and alcohol commission in your phone book or online. They often have local meeting lists available in their offices. Any local treatment facilities would probably provide you with a free local list of meetings too.

Once you find your first meeting, you will be able to get a list of other meetings there. The meeting list will let you know the name of the meetings, time and place of the meetings and what kind of meetings are available in your area. The best way to find good meetings is to ask people in recovery who go to meetings. They can help you find the kind of meeting you want to go to. For example, there are meetings just for people who are new to AA and NA.

What Are the Different Types of Meetings?

  • Discussion meetings – These meetings usually are focused on a particular topic or two or  three topics which can be chosen by the chairperson of the meeting or the group itself. Group members take turns talking one at a time about the topic that is chosen.
  • Speaker meetings – These meetings have a speaker who is a member of AA or NA. The speaker tells their story of alcoholism/addiction and how they found recovery. These meetings can be very inspiring because you can learn that you are not alone and recovery is possible.
  • Beginner meetings – These meetings are for people who are new to AA/NA and want to learn more about the program.
  • 12 Step and 12 Tradition study – These meetings help you to learn more about the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. Members usually read a chapter from the book and then discuss it.
  • Big Book or Basic Text meetings – These meetings are about studying the Big Book which is the main text of AA and the Basic Text which is the main book of NA.
  • Men’s and women’s meetings – These meetings are specifically designed for either men or women. These are great meetings to meet more members of your own gender, which is important for finding a sponsor.
  • Candlelight meetings – These meetings often take place in the evening and are lit by candles. It can be a different and fun change from regular meetings.
  • Open meetings – These meetings are open to anyone. Family and friends of addicts can attend as well as addiction professionals who want to learn more about the program of AA/NA.
  • Closed meetings – These meetings are only for people who have an alcohol or drug problem.

What Happens During the Meeting?

<p>The Beginning of the Meeting</p>

Some meetings vary the order of the format, some are more formal or more laid back but the following is generally what happens at most meetings.

Opening the Meeting

The chairperson of the meeting will open the meeting usually by pounding on the table and announcing the meeting is starting. Everyone who isn’t already seated takes a seat. Seating is sometimes in a circle or around a square or rectangle table. However, large meetings can have seats throughout the room. People are often chatting before the meeting but they get quiet when the meeting starts.

The Serenity Prayer

The chairperson asks everyone to help him/her begin the meeting with the Serenity Prayer. Don’t worry if you don’t know it. You will learn it in time. Only the first four lines of the Serenity Prayer are spoken.

This is the Serenity Prayer:

  • God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Readings

The chairperson will ask for the readings. Somewhere in the meeting room will be a table of free pamphlets and books for purchase. You can find a booklet there which includes all the readings. The chairperson will either ask people to do the readings before the meeting starts or sometimes they are placed around the room and anyone sitting by one can choose to read.

You never have to read if you feel uncomfortable with it. If you see a reading at the seat you chose, you can ask someone else to read it or move to another seat. Even if you are asked, no one will be offended if you say you would rather not read.

The readings are either read from the person’s seat or sometimes from a podium. Before each person reads, they announce their name and that they are an alcoholic or addict. It is customary to say you are an alcoholic at AA meetings and an addict at NA meetings. However, you can say you are an alcoholic and an addict or cross-addicted. The readings can vary somewhat from meeting to meeting and are a little different at AA and NA meetings but they both read the 12 steps and 12 Traditions. NA changes “alcohol” to “addiction” in their readings.

Announcements

There may be a time during the meeting for announcements, which may include anniversary meetings, new meetings, meetings needing home group members or other business related to AA or NA. The group may be asked if they have any announcements related to AA or NA.

Introductions

The chairperson will ask if there is anyone from out of town or new to the meeting. The chairperson may say “this is not to embarrass you but to help us get to know you better.” If you are a newcomer or haven’t been to this particular meeting before, feel free to stand up, say your name and that you are new. Everyone will welcome you and tell you to “keep coming back.”

Talking about Cravings

There will also be a point during the meeting when the chairperson will ask if anyone feels like drinking/using. Some people will announce themselves (name and I’m an alcoholic/addict) and admit that they are feeling like drinking or using drugs. We call this “telling on yourself.” People often do this because talking about cravings helps you to not follow through and actually drink or use drugs.

Talking about it also lets group members know you may need more support. They may come up and offer their phone numbers to someone in need. Or pass around paper for people to write down their phone numbers for a newcomer. The chairperson also may say that if you didn’t feel comfortable talking about it with the group, get with someone after the meeting to talk.

Don’t be afraid to approach someone after the meeting and tell them you feel like drinking or using drugs and need more help. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. You have to speak up and ask for additional help to get it.

Clean Time

What is clean time and why is it important?

AA/NA meetings celebrate clean time at every meeting by giving out coins or keychains. There are different colors for different months and years of sober or clean time. The first coin/keychain is for “24 hours sober/clean or the desire to start a new way of life.”

Anyone can get this coin/keychain. If you are a newcomer, I recommend getting your first coin/keychain. You can expect lots of applause, people welcoming you, telling you to “keep coming back,” shaking your hand or hugging you. This will help you feel welcome and at home in the meetings. It is also meant to help you realize that you have made great progress just by attending a meeting.

The purpose of clean time is not to make people feel that some members have more seniority but to let everyone know that recovery is possible. It is meant to inspire newcomers and let people know that you can reach multiple years of clean time. Some meetings ask anyone with more than a year clean to stand up. This is also to show that recovery is attainable.

The Middle of the Meeting 

The middle of the meeting varies whether it is a discussion meeting, a book meeting or a speaker meeting.

  • For discussion meetings, some go around the room to give everyone a chance to speak. You can introduce yourself and say “I pass.”  No one will make you share.  People introduce themselves by saying “I’m (Your Name) and I’m an alcoholic/addict” or a variation of this.
  • At other meetings, anyone can choose to speak after the meeting is opened to discussion. Each person usually speaks for about 3 to 5 minutes so everyone has a chance to speak. When someone finishes speaking, they may say, “with that I pass.”  Members respond with “thank you” or “thank you for sharing.” There is no crosstalk during the meeting. One person speaks at a time.
  • Book or 12 Step/12 Tradition meetings read from the chosen book or read a Step/Tradition and may discuss the reading at the end.
  • Speaker meetings have a speaker who tells their story of alcoholism or addiction and how they found recovery.

The End of the Meeting

Most meetings close with members forming a circle and reciting The Lord’s Prayer or the Serenity Prayer. AA meetings usually join hands and say the Lord’s Prayer while NA meetings put their arms around each other and say the Serenity Prayer.

<p>Some Tips for Meetings</p>

  • The meeting will usually begin exactly on time.
  • Cross talk is not acceptable.
  • You can be asked to leave if you disrupt the meeting with cross talk, cell phones, inappropriate behavior, etc.
  • Please turn your cell phone off during the meeting.
  • It is acceptable to bring children to most meetings but you may need to bring something for them to do. If they are not quiet, you may want to remove them from the meeting so as to not disrupt the meeting. Some meetings have child care available during the meeting so ask around if you need to bring your children. You may be able to find a group member who will watch them so you can get the most out of the meeting.
  • AA members usually shake hands more often while NA members hug more.
  • Most meetings are non-smoking but may have a section for smokers.
  • Try to come early and stay late to meetings when you can. What happens before and after the meeting can be as important as the meeting itself. This is a time to socialize, get support, help others, get phone numbers or find a sponsor

 

Guest Post “Shame” The Prison and The Key

By Adam J. Pearson.    Recovery Farmhouse Thanks you Adam Pearson for your courageous bravery which you have exhibited by addressing a topic most people run from.  The topic of shame is one that should be addressed by each of our hearts.  Until we examine our shame we cannot claim to know ourselves.  If we say we have no shame we have not examined ourselves any further than ego and false pride will allow.  We will not be ashamed of being ashamed!…..The Farmhouse.

xx bars keys

The Wisdom of Eamonn Perkins

Eamonn Perkins is a wise, humble and tremendously compassionate teacher from Ireland who spends much of his time working with addicts and prisoners. He’s so low-key that, as of this writing, he doesn’t even have a website. In a 2014 interview, Eamann said something brilliantly concise and and equally incisive:

“If you truly knew me, you wouldn’t like me,” that’s the mantra of human existence. “

I love this line. It’s so simple and so profound. It’s one of those ideas that is so powerful that it momentarily stuns us into silence. Words like these hit home somewhere deep within us and resonate with something in the darkness that wants to be seen, a hidden truth that yearns to come to light. I couldn’t agree more with the truth of the statement, especially in our current global situation in which we have so much information and yet paradoxically feel so lost, are so socially connected and yet so lonely, and are so encouraged to puff up our egos and yet so inwardly drowning in a sea of shame.

And if shamethe intensely painful feeling that we are in some way flawed or not good enough and are, therefore, unworthy of love, belonging and connection–is the cause of our drowning, then it’s no surprise that we’re all desperately searching for a lifeline out of it.

If you truly knew me, you wouldn’t like me” is the secret belief, the shameful idea, the “mantra of human existence.”

When we believe this story, we meet each other from a place of fear and put up fronts and facades. We operate from a feeling of inadequacy and hide out of reflex. We refuse to let ourselves really show up and be seen out of the fear of being judged or rejected. And very slowly and very quietly, this message, which is the voice of shame within us, begins to stifle life. Without understanding, we watch it happen, wishing we had the words to describe what is going on and the tools to handle it.

As if paralyzed, we watch shame crush our free expression. The fear at its core blocks our creativity and replaces honesty with self-defensive lies. It makes us scramble for escapes and distractions to avoid the excruciating pain that is fundamental to shame. And while saying that we would never want to be anything but authentic, we find ourselves so afraid to be real and not belong that we choose to be inauthentic in order to fit in.

Shame is Widespread

Lady Godiva statue by John Thomas (1813 – 1862), Maidstone Museum, Kent, England.

Maidstone_012
Lady Godiva statue by John Thomas (1813 – 1862), Maidstone Museum, Kent, England.

 

shame 2

This pattern is so common and yet so unspoken. “The less you talk about shame, the more you have it,” says the brilliant and inspiring shame researcher Brene Brown in her renowned TED talk, “The Power of Vulnerability.” “The only people who don’t have it” she continues, “also have no capacity for human empathy or connection.”

Shame is incredibly universal. I’ve seen it in the students I’ve taught. I’ve seen it in the men and women I’ve known. I’ve seen it in my friends. I’ve seen it expressed in the media on TV.  And I’ve seen it in myself. For 25 years of my life, shame stifled and held me down like a heavy and unspoken weight. I feel for, and with, all of those who struggle with shame because I get them. Shame varies in the details from person to person, but its core is always the same.

This is one reason why I’m open about shame, because I’ve struggled with it, because so many people do, and because shame grows in silence and “cannot survive being spoken” (Brown, 2013). When I do openly talk to people about shame, I tend to hear the same thing over and over again: “I thought it was just me…” Oh yeah. I know that feeling. Shame is tremendously effective at making us feel like we’re the only ones who feel it, when the truth is that it comes up in nearly all of us.

xx shame

Shame Itself is Fear, Our Prison and the Key to Freedom

Facing shame can sometimes feel terrifying because shame itself is fear, the fear of not being enough and being unworthy, unlovable, and rejected as a result. The basic truth, as I see it, though, is this: if we want to flourish, if we want to be boldly authentic, if we want to truly love and be loved, if we want to transcend fear, if we want to cultivate kindness and forgiveness, if we want to find peace, then we need to face shame rather than deny, repress, and project it. We need to meet it in an intelligent and self-compassionate way that works.

And that’s why I spend so much time and so many words writing about shame. Because it’s the substance out of which we forged the bars of our internal prison. And it’s also the key to our liberation.

***

spring 2014 Anna Maria 105
“The Flower hugs the Stem” We embrace our ugly parts

 

Resources on Shame and Cultivating Shame-Resilience

If anything I said above resonates, rings true, or sounds familiar to what you or people you know have felt, here are some resources that I’ve found helpful that will give you some powerful insights into shame and shame-resilience.

  • Above all, I’d recommend reading the amazing book “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent and Lead” by the shame-researcher and brilliantly compassionate and inspiring Brene Brown. This book literally changed my life. It gave me words for feelings I had felt for years and had never been able to express. It cast light on powerful shadows. And it empowered me with useful tools. I’ve read it 3 times. It’s that good. It literally changed my life.
  • In addition, here’s a wonderful Positive Psychology article on Brene Brown’s “Shame-Resilience Theory” if you’re into a more psychology-oriented academic approach.

If you want some down-to-Earth distillations of the core principles from Brene’s book as I’ve applied them in my life, here are a few articles that I’ve written on the subjects of shame and how to empower ourselves with resilience against it. These articles are grounded, not in hypothetical theories, but in both solid research and in my own experience and practice. My general rule is that I only write about tools I’ve actually used and found helpful in my own life. If I haven’t used it and found it to work, I don’t write about it.

However, you don’t have to take my word for it. Let your own experience be the laboratory and the judge. I’m right there in the arena with you, facing the same issues. We’re in this together and we’re never alone, even though shame can make us feel that way. There are useful strategies that work to empower us to work with these things and the purpose of my writing is to share them.

eemoo 069
“The Odd Tree”Is Not Ashamed of being different Photo by Laura Edgar

 

 

Here’s a brief guide and orienting overview to my writings on the subject:

  • “Silencing the Praise: Why Seeking Approval Fails to Fill Our Inner Void” introduces shame and identifies it as the name of the void we feel within us, the void that says we are “not good enough” and are thus unworthy of love and belonging. It then explains why approval-seeking fails to fill the void of shame because shame invalidates approval even when we do receive it. We are not hopeless, however; at the end of the article, I introduce a few healthy alternatives and powerful strategies to meet shame with resilience and compassion.
  • “The Heart of the Void: Finding the Assumptions at the Heart of Shame”  breaks shame down into two key components: a feeling part and a thinking part. The feeling part involves the painful emotions at the heart of shame (e.g. fear, anxiety, inadequacy) and the thinking part involves the core assumptionsabout ourselves that are at the root of the feelings. This article specifically explains how to discover these assumptions and then how to reality-check andtransform them once we find them. This practice is a powerful tool for our shame-resilience arsenal.
  • “Finding the Calm Within the Storm: Shame-Resilience in Practice” breaks down Brene Brown’s powerful shame-resilience method into clear steps and gives a real-world example of how I applied it to one shame story in my own life. I’ve seen tons of articles about the method online, but very few concrete examples of how we apply it in our own inner experience. This article was written in an attempt to fill that void and also to practice “the courage to be vulnerable” that Brene Brown champions.
  • “Forgive and Be Free: The Liberating Power of Forgiveness” offers a useful practice for compassionately addressing the feeling part of shame throughforgiveness. Forgiveness was a subject that I took for granted for a long time because I didn’t realize how powerfully liberating and empowering it truly is. However, it was a key part of the shame puzzle for me.
  • “Release the Past to Free the Present: Another Meaning of Forgiveness” expands on the previous article to explain how forgiveness helps us lovingly liberate our present from the stranglehold of the past. Since shame is powerfully rooted in our past thoughts, perceptions, and experiences, forgiveness thus is a powerfully compassionate practice for skillfully handling shame. This article explains how this works.
  • Shame sometimes expresses itself as catastrophizing or obsessive worst-case scenario thinking“Catastrophizing: How to Handle Worst-Case Scenario Thinking” explores the fascinating dynamics of catastrophizing. It also offers a powerful way to handle catastrophic thinking so that it ceases to drive us towards unintentional self-sabotage and drag us out of the joy of being present.

About these ads

Related

The Heart of the Void: Finding the Assumptions At the Core of ShameIn “agony”

Finding the Calm Within the Storm: Shame-Resilience in PracticeWith 8 comments

Silencing the Praise: Why Seeking Approval Fails to Fill Our Inner VoidIn “affect”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged affectiveawakeningbrenebrene brownbrowncognitivedepression,empowerempowermentfearforgivenessfreedomhappinesshopeliberationlifelightlovepowerresiliencesadness,shameshame-resilience. Bookmark the permalink.

6 thoughts on “The Prison and the Key: Why I Write About Shame”

  1. Pingback: Silencing the Praise: Why Seeking Approval Fails to Fill Our Inner Void | Words from the Wind
  2. Pingback: Finding the Calm Within the Storm: Shame-Resilience in Practice | Words from the Wind
  3. Pingback: The Heart of the Void: Finding the Assumptions At the Core of Shame | Words from the Wind
  4. Lisa Kahale

February 3, 2015 at 5:58 am

Dissolving shame is like dissolving a poison that is killing, one drop at a time. In its place… space, air and welcoming of life. That’s what happened for me, finally.
Keep writing about this, Adam, it’s needed.

Reply

February 3, 2015 at 6:17 am

Well said, Lisa. I totally relate. Thank you for sharing.

Reply

Pingback: Shadow Integration: The Complete Shadow Work Process in Four Steps | Words from the Wind

AM I A “RECOVERED” ALCOHOLIC?

CHANGE 2

Recovery gospel according to Lori E

AM I RECOVERED AND SANE?  OR AM I AN ALCOHOLIC DESTINED TO ALWAYS BE INSANE?  THE 12 STEP PROGRAMS WORK…..TO A CERTAIN EXTENT.

Ok I just re-read the following and I think its a little harsh.  So… Disclaimer-I have been jealous and will be again at some point. I am human.  Getting jealous does derive from fear however ALL HUMANS GET FEAR OCCASIONALLY OR OFTEN.  

Big “GET OVER IT!”  To the alcoholics and addicts who are stuck in the mind-set that, their way of recovery is the ONLY way to recover.   People get sober with and without AA.  Believe it the addict mind in many instances becomes jealous over “their way” of recovery.  Even to the point of hoping that the person who got sober on their own or in church will quickly relapse to prove his point.

Addicts become jealous over “their Higher Power” and “their 12 step program”.   Lets face it codependency which thrives on jealousy runs rampant through the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Understandable if you take into consideration that jealousy stems from fear of loss and that Alcoholics tend to be emotionally immature (sometimes).

But open your minds my fellows!  There are many ways to recover that works and many times those same ways don’t work.   It just depends on several different factors.

Here are the three main ways that people are known to drastically change for the better.

 

 

1. Therapy has helped millions change: therapy only works if you have the right empathic therapist and if you have the courage to face yourself. To allow yourself to be vulnerable by facing your insecurities and your deepest feelings. Therapy only works if you are willing to re-live your most traumatic childhood and adult events, face them, and express your feelings in regard to them on an honest emotional level. The core level.
 
2. The 12 Steps: only work if we are willing to get honest about feelings and past events. They only work if we are willing to humble ourselves and become vulnerable & teachable. They only work if we truly seek out a Higher Power and involve Him/Her/it in the process of working steps 1 through 12.
 
3. Religion: Finding God only works if we seek with our heart and our mind. My experience dictates that “repentance” is one of the main keys to becoming spiritually empowered. At the same time without the balance of empathic understanding from relating with those like us and a degree of realization that we were victims as well as wrong, shame will tend to rein in our psyches. This lingering shame will inevitably throw us back into emotional and psychological denial of our weaknesses & faults. Religion has helped millions change, don’t underestimate its power just because it didn’t help YOU change. However there must be a logic based psychic balance that shows us we are not ALL BAD. Some religions oppress but God dwells where people seek and praise God. Your chances of having a spiritual experience at all are GREATLY INCREASED IF you surround yourself with people that are openly praising God.
 
Oftentimes the religious people don’t have a way to expel certain shame and guilt or to get in touch with the child in them who was abandoned, abused, neglected, and rejected. The common barrier to healing from past wounds is by reasoning out that “you can’t change the past why go there?” YOU CAN CHANGE THE PAST! By changing our perception of the past we change the past. How do we change a perception? Go back, relive, journal, share, be vulnerable. With therapy and the 12 steps these three long-term actions together are an absolute recipe for not only sobriety but also A COMPLETE RECOVERY as possible

 

But this is not the whole topic today.

Today the topic is; “am I recovered or not?”

 

This is the thing….the big book reads that bill w. And the group “recovered” from a hopeless state of mind. Being recovered is mentioned through-out the big book.   If a person has five years sober and realizes that they no longer have the alcoholic mind…and they have recovered. There is one sure way to know for themselves if they really have recovered.

 

The still insane, sick alcoholic will reason out…I have recovered so… I am no longer an alcoholic.  Now I can drink responsibly.   Now, this time it will be different!”   And for a time they may actually be able to drink responsibly.   However with the progression and insanity that alcohol produces and their past behaviors this luxury won’t last long.   On the flip side:  for the recovered alcoholic who truly is recovered, whose sanity has returned and have had a psychic change; their thought process works differently.  These types realize they no longer have the alcoholic mind and reason out that in spite of that and because of that they do not want to drink again…ever.   No matter what.   So if one is truly recovered they will know that because of the allergy to alcohol they will never be able to drink like a normal person.   They also realize that they are no longer an alcoholic in spite of a few addict-like tendencies and lesser addictions such as over-eating, internet addiction, cigarette addiction, sex addiction, anger or rage addiction, the addiction to being “not alright” even. 

Perhaps all three solutions are only needed for those that have been abused and neglected.  However i question any alcoholic’s self-awareness if they state they have no “core issues”.  Why would anyone try to destroy himself by drinking alcoholically and try to numb out feelings and awareness by poisoning oneself yet claim not to have any childhood issues or core level shame?

 

IS ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS GOOD OR BAD?

Firstly I want to state that without Alcoholics Anonymous and my Higher Power I would probably be dead or worse.

However I believe it is very important to find our identity outside of AA once we are sober for several years.   We become strong due to working the 12 steps and being active in the workings of step 12 service work.  Step 12 makes us confident and helps us  develop coping skills and reach a level of emotional sobriety (maturity).

When I stepped away from AA myself due to a case of AA burnout I wondered who the heck I was. It scared me, I thought do I have an identity without of AA?  The steps and Big book I believe are good and ordained of God.  The 12 steps and the perfect directions for staying sober and to experience a psychic change and a spiritual awakening.  HOWEVER as we have learned from the history of the Bible good things are easily twisted and misconstrued by sick men. My conclusion is that: AA is a good program but sick men seek out many devices and can produce a counterfeit for every good AA directive.

IS THE ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS PROGRAM GOOD OR BAD?

We cannot really label Alcoholics Anonymous good or bad as a whole because there are so many members, sponsors, sponsee’s and various representatives who all have their own methods and ideals of what AA is and how it actually works.

 

You may ask two former members of AA about the program and get two totally different views.  There are many articles online that call AA a cult and a worthless and depraved organization.  Ex-members state that they were taken advantage of, abused, and lied to.  While other members will attest that without AA they would be dead or worse.  These members swear that the program transformed them from a destructive, and violent addict into a productive, spiritual member of society.  And neither of the two testimonies would be untrue.

 

But what are the facts concerning the “program” of AA?  The twelve steps and the Big Book if viewed and understood rightly will induce a miracle if not several miracles in a person’s life IF that person is honest and willing to work the steps, get a good sponsor and reach out to God with their heart.  The program on paper is the perfect way to not only get clean and sober but also to become a moral and decent human being. So its really a matter of choice whether the program actually works for a person or doesn’t work.  

 

So why so many negative testimonies about AA?  Remember human beings can turn any good into a bad.  For every good and righteous directive in the Big Book there is twisted and misunderstood counterfeit version. 

 

Example; Step 10 “Continued to taker personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”  Confession is good for the soul no doubt but if we confess too often and to the wrong person our humility may turn into not only gossip but also a demeaning and self-degrading process that beats down our self-esteem rather than building it up.  Our confidant may even put themselves in a place of authority and power over us using our confessed wrongs against us with an oppressive thumb.  We must have a trustworthy person to confess and admit our wrongs to then be done with it.   We should be allowed to move on into our  new sober life and leave the wreckage in the past where it belongs.

 STEP FOUR

Good ideas can be mis-construed.   Hate-driven  interpretations of the Bible show us that.  If a man holds bitterness in his heart that bitterness will seek a way to express itself, whether passive or aggressive or both hate searches for an outlet while the psyche knowing right from wrong seeks subconsciously for a justified way to express that hate.

AA needs two types of personas to make it function…the newcomer and the sponsor or, the teacher and the student.  Not every teacher in AA has the humility to remain a student as well after years of sobriety.  False pride wants badly to know-it-all.  Bottom line just because a newcomer is sick and suffering and has no idea how to work the program of AA that is no reason to treat a man disrespectfully.  

 If something feels very wrong then it probably is.  We should take our common sense with us into our 12 step program and read the Big Book thoroughly for ourselves rather than having someone interpret it for us.  We should share in meetings about our progress so we can get useful feedback.  A sponsor should never try to make our decisions and choices for us but rather sponsors should make suggestions and guide us through the steps and various options.  The program works but we must work it ourselves thoroughly and honestly.

 

A Vision of Jesus

The vision of Jesus

 

I had a vision while wide awake sitting in church.  I went to another place to another realm.  I appeared as a child about six years old.

I was wearing a white dress with a blue sash.  The dress looked like dresses little girls wore back in the sixties all cotton with a full, fluffy skirt.  Jesus was there with me He was young beautiful and had long brown hair.  His Spirit was so loving and comforting he cared for me and I could feel it in a strong way.  He swung me around in circles by my arms.  We laughed and played.  Even though I appeared as a child just how Jesus sees me, I was still adult as I am now.  We had fun and then He picked me up and held me to His bosom.  I asked him fearfully, Jesus will you save me from the dangerous evil that I wanted to ignore but evidently wants me dead.

As we looked at each other that moment a dark entity began beating a path towards me, Jesus held up His hand and commanded that the evil being depart in haste.  He showed He was so much more powerful than that dark mass.  Jesus promised; “I will save you from the dark side.”  I was relieved but still had another confession and request of which I was ashamed.  He still held me close in His arms.  I told Jesus it is I that I fear the most, will you save me from myself.  I asked Him this even though I was scared to admit my true nature to this sacred son of God and reveal that I was such a sinful soul.  He was so sweet and pure, so comforting and protective He was my own personal daddy and savior.  He said to me “Laura, because you have asked I will save you even from yourself.”  What a wonderful blessing to know such a loving God and to know I am saved already…it is done.

 

Hebrews 7:25

“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. or NIV Therefore he is able to save completely [fn] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

 

I had the following vision for the purpose of enlightenment.  The vision was a reminder of the dark addiction from which I was delivered.  “The creature” in the story is the embodiment of the allurement of prescription medications.  The drugs kept me spiritually blind and emotionally stunted and most significantly kept me from doing God’s work.

 

WILL YOU TRUST ME NOW?

 

During meditation, I saw a face.  The image was scraggly and ugly.  I could not tell if it was a woman or a man, it looked like a supernatural mixture of both.  The appearing of the creature exposed its evil demeanor of ill intent.  Its face looked familiar somehow yet I could not remember from where.  The genderless being spoke to me, “will you trust me now?  Why would I trust such a vile monster-like phantom?  Somehow, I knew the creature had wronged me in the past.  I remembered taking her in repeatedly only to be cut by the knife of her wrath.  She made me bleed precious life from my soul and live with eyes closed.  She caused self worth to flow out like blood.  She took my truthful heart and caused me to bring to my breast lies.  She steadily presented illusion to my soul and by my own hand, I spooned them in.  I knew her well; she has no respect or value for me.  What could she offer me now to tempt me?  She offers me up some misery and to my own shame; by misery I am drawn.  “Name your poison” she shrieks!  “With this brew my love, I satisfy your lust for control and pleasure!  Take the power you so deserve my pet!”  Her words are seductive and delicious to the part of my heart that is afraid and empty.

 

Does this story leave me without a choice?  Must I fall victim to allurement’s fervent need to destroy my soul?  A white ray begins to shine through the gray matter of my self-doubt.  I was enlightened by what the light shown.  I remember the reasons I ripped this horrid, evil vessel from my life.  I remembered the lies the creature told me.  I recalled the effects of consuming her tantalizing poison.  The light ray that saved me this day from possible enslavement by the hateful bloodsucker was the light of Love that God gives by grace.

On this day, the light saved my soul.  My prayers have been many, I have made my spiritual deposits into the bank of my soul, and I have seen the dividends pay-off.

 

Ephesians 2:8&9

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast”.

 

This was not one of my beautiful meditations nevertheless; it was a very important reminder.

HOW IT WORKS

hEIL A.A.

HOW IT WORKS

skip to “How It Works”- here “HOW IT WORKS” From pg. 58-60 Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

PAGE 62 OF THE BIG BOOK OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS READS:  “So our troubles we think, are basically of our own making.  They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so.  Above everything we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness.”

Skipping down further  we read…”First of all we had to quit playing God it didn’t work.  Next we decided that here after in this drama of life, God was going to be our director.  He is the Principal ; we are His agents.  He is the Father and we are His children.”  Skipping down again to page 63:  When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed.”

Wow that’s a big piece of humble pie to swallow      and it’s valuable and true information except for one thing.  Addicts are usually totally without emotional balance.  Especially when using we tend to blame everyone around us for our predicaments and the way we feel.   If you tell us “our problems are of our own making” we will either turn on the guilt, shame, condemnation, and punishment toward ourselves or we reject the idea entirely.

There are two types of addicts, those who have been beating themselves up their entire lives and those who have been beating everyone around them up their entire lives.  Seriously we must stop the punishment in spite of our accepting responsibility for where we are at in life and how we feel about ourselves, others, and our Higher Power.

The expert psychiatrists and psychologists who study alcoholism and addictions agree that addiction is not only a disease but is also a [shame based disease].   Once we accept responsibility for ourselves we must move straight-away into our step work and most importantly into our Fourth and Fifth Steps.  Taking action and continuing to take action will alleviate the shame and guilt that we try so hard to pretend doesn’t exist.  We prefer to stay in denial about our shame and fear because we perceive it as weak, bad, and wrong.  But mostly we see our guilt as weakness.  And more importantly our perceptions dictate that all eyes are on us therefore we must put on a strong and confident mask for our peers to see.

Remember one of the most prominent Ninth Step promises is “fear of people will leave us”.  However, we fear not so much “people” but think about it, rather, we fear what people think of us.  Certainly Bill W. and the rest of the early founders should have re-worded that promise in my opinion.

Our fellows will make fun of us if we admit that we feel and think of ourselves as “lesser than” our peers.  Right?  That’s one reason people won’t do a thorough fourth step, false-pride sneaks in and tells us we mustn’t reveal our true selves lest others despise us and see that we are weak, wrong, and bad.

THE SOLUTION?  WE TAKE ACTION AND WORK THE STEPS HONESTLY AND THOROUGHLY IN SPITE OF OUR FEELINGS AND FEARS.  WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE NOT EVER GOING TO GET BETTER IF WE LET OUR FEELINGS RULE US.  WE DO THE STEPS ACCORDING TO FAITH AND HOPE.  WE ACT OUT OF FAITH AND HOPE SO THESE PRINCIPLES GROW STRONGER WITHIN US.  AND WE DO THE “NEXT RIGHT THING” (see in pop up)
Open a popup window  AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN UNTIL IT BECOMES A WAY OF LIFE AND WE REALIZE WE HAVE BEEN TRANSFORMED.

“OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION”.  SELF ABUSE VERBALLY OR OTHERWISE IS NOT CONSTRUCTIVE NOR IS ADVERTISING OUR SHORTCOMINGS A FORM OF HUMILITY.

Page 58 Big Book A.A. “How It Works”
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it-then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol-cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

 

 

SEXUAL INVENTORY

You can find the directions to do your “sexual inventory” on none other than  page 69 in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  HURRAY for great coincidences.    My personal favorite Bill W. wrote: “WE DO NOT WANT TO BE THE ARBITER OF ANYONE’S SEX CONDUCT. An arbiter is a person who settles a dispute or has ultimate authority in a matter) OF ANYONE’S SEX CONDUCT.”

Firstly  I try to remember that not everyone’s moral compass is set on the same settings as mine.  As long as no law is being broken and no one is getting  (badly) hurt then like Bill W says; other people’s sex conduct.

The Fourth Step Sexual Inventory only works when I apply it to myself.  So what kind of things  do I needs to write down?  God gave mankind a great gift called the “conscience” and that is what I will use along with prayer.  The things in my past that I feel guilty for and ashamed of these things need to come out into the open, out of my mind they will then lose power over me.  First I put them to paper then I confess them aloud in my fifth step.

WHY?!!!!!  WHY DREDGE UP THE PAST, BURYING IT SEEMS LIKE A BETTER IDEA.  Yes so it seems, however experience teaches us that confession is good for the soul.   Furthermore the intense emotions that we try to hide WILL come out sideways.  Things like wrath, blame, emotional struggles, and intense anger derive from the feelings that we bury.  These emotions need to be expressed and then let go.        It takes either a miracle or some emotional work to clear the wreckage of the past is to face it and come to terms with it.  The Fourth Step runs more people out of the rooms than anything else.  I have had countless women make it through steps one, two, and three, only to bolt at the prospect of confessing their deep dark secrets.

The good news is that on page 69 there are a group of questions to guide us through the sexual inventory.  Also if we pray before we start the work IT WILL give it the supernatural kick we need.  We are striving for a psychic change.  “The same man will drink again” therefore we must do the work that is outlined in the twelve steps.

And most importantly remember, its all been said and done before.  There are only seven deadly sins and there are  only so many sexually perverse things we can engage in.  Usually the sponcee is the only one affected by his own actions.  When we confess our shortcomings we most likely will feel relieved but we most certainly will improve our emotional healthy by it.

OUR E-MAIL IS UP AND RUNNING

HELLO FROM RECOVERY FARMHOUSE

I HOPE YOU ARE DOING WELL!  MY NAME IS LORI E AND I AM AN ALCOHOLIC.

I just wanted to thank everybody who reads my articles and has subscribed to the posts.  I had no idea but our e-mail system was down for quite some time.  It is working again and you will receive weekly posts or whenever I write new ones sometimes more sometimes less often.  Please I invite your feedback and any suggestions you have to improve our website and my writing.

Welcome back everyone lol!  There is a simple unsubscribe at the bottom right of the new e-mail delivery page.  If you unsubscribe you will still be registered with us.

Thanks again here’s to growing old sober!  Lori E.

Nurture Our Inner Child

How do we nurture our inner child?

Do not underestimate the value of writing and it’s affect on our emotions.  Writing has helped me heal.

There is a small child in each of us, innocent, full of wonder, with feelings that are hopeful and fragile. The heart of a child longs for the most powerful gift to humanity, which is LOVE. When we Love one another by our deeds we feed our inner child. We mustn’t repress our innocence and label it “weak”.   Our intellect may reason out to do just that. The Love we show one another now is an opportunity for immortality, our Love echoes in eternity!

Lori E

Sobriety Year Seven

SEVEN YEARS SOBER, ALCOHOL WAS BUT A SYMPTOM OF A DEEPER SICKNESS

 

I ran into a lady a Wal-Mart, she invited me to church.  I gave her a brief summary of what God has done for me in the last nine years.  I told her I have stayed sober nine years.  She looked at me amazed and said, “Wow!  That must be hard, it’s hard to stay sober.”  I thought to myself about the last years in sobriety and how easy it has been to stay sober anymore.   I thought to myself this life of mine is the closest this former drunk has ever been to a “normal life”.  I told “June” (is her name), I said, “June it was hard, very, very hard to get sober and the first four years where absolutely filled with processing my core issues. 

 I worked very hard to clear up the wreckage of the past and root out the underlying causes of my addiction.  Not to mention the twelve steps were and are my guide through my sober journey.  In the twelve steps lies the magical jump-start that made all my healing and psychic change possible.  That magic is my Higher Power.  I relentlessly worked step eleven meditation daily for years.  I connected with God, I met my Spirit Guides and I became strengthened to the point of a new self-confidence and awareness of who I really am.  I let little Laura out of the closet and she isn’t so bad after all.                                                                      

My underlying cause was “emotional disorder”    Not to mention I was ate up with shame.  Until I went to AA and had one full year of recovery based therapy I had no idea what to do with feelings.  Feelings used to scare the shit out of me to put it bluntly.

Why does the addict work so hard to change the way he/she feels?  How is it that the new re-habs are advertising that they have the “cure” for addiction when we are taught in the big book that we will always be alcoholics?  Is it possible that Bill Wilson was wrong?  We are taught to keep an open mind and to never limit God and His power.   Maybe Bill Wilson just never did find the courage and where-with-all to return to his childhood traumas and scream and cry them out as that small child.  Letting the hurts out rather than holding them in and allowing them to rule over out action and emotional responses is the sickness.  Letting hurt out is the process that leads to our healing but not everyone can make themselves so vulnerable.  Crying is a healthy emotion and should not be repressed.

If the underlying cause is healed by God and we are taught how to express our feelings in a healthy way, then it becomes very easy to stay sober. Is it a cure?  Well that’s a matter of semantics.

NEVER-THE-LESS I AM SOBER BY THE GRACE OF GOD WHO PICKED ME UP OFF THE STREET WHERE I WAS DEAD TO THE LIGHT AND HE OPENED MY EYES AND HEALED

PEACE OF MIND The other greatest gift

“PEACE” The other greatest gift

EVERY COURAGEOUS ACT STARTED FROM A FEARFUL BEGINNING.

I did not know just how valuable Peace of mind was until I found it.  Alternatively….I did not know how valuable Peace of mind really was until I lost it.  Either way there is no doubt in my mind that peace of mind is one of the most wonderful things a person can possess  and that lack of Peace is at the core of the addicts malady.  When one has peace of mind, they are not in a wanton state of craving, obsession, or intense need.  Peace of mind stirs through our being and shoots out from us touching the lives of everyone around us, When we are at-peace we have no need to be mean, or sarcastic, we have no need to belittle our fellows with snide remarks.  We are not in fear because the presence of fear is the absence of peace.  It is said that Love is the greatest spiritual gift and that hope, & faith are next in value.  However, mixed into all three of these greatest spiritual gifts is Peace, which lingers amidst each one of them.  Peace is the by-product of the greatest spiritual gifts.

The absence of peace of mind can happen in different degrees.  We can be extremely fearful to the point of anxiety, panic attack, and even complete emotional paralysis, which is the absence of not only faith but of peace as well.  Mankind seeks out many destructive devices to outrun its torturous fears.  Seldom if ever does the fearful and miserable man admit or even realize that he is afraid or that it is fear that tortures him.  For he has been taught that to admit fear would be admitting that he is weak, bad, and not as good as his peers so, much of mankind (not just active addicts) choose denial over truth.   Moreover, we all know what we were taught about those who fear when we were young and impressionable…scaredy-cat, chicken-shit, pussy, pansy, yellow belly, yellow, woosy, and any other negative descriptive word that would shame us for being who we are….human and afraid.  I must remind myself that without fear there would be no courage and that every courageous act started with a fearful beginning.

So it’s ok to be human and afraid but we need to have a way to get out of fear.  We need to forbid fear from taking power over our actions.  We must step out of the box and deploy Love in defense against fear so we can experience that wonderful thing called spiritual peace.  How in the heck do you “deploy Love?”  You might ask.  We deploy Love by looking fear straight in the eye and walking, or taking action in spite of how we feel.  We walk through the fear!  If it is sobriety and reality that is paralyzing us then we get up, put on our shoes, and we go to a meeting.  We work the steps and do a fifth step in spite of our survival instinct which screams “keep your shortcomings a secret!  We deploy Love by doing service work, Step twelve.  We pray to our Higher Power when we feel like we have better things to do.  We write out our Fourth Step because we want to feel and get better.  We put the things on our fourth step list of which we are most ashamed.   Deploying Love does not necessarily feel good at the time but it is what is good for us and will bring us peace.  By the same token Love tears down our character flaws.   Working the Twelve Steps cuts flaws like false pride, self-loathing, lying, sloth, procrastination, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and greed to the quick.

Character flaws within us have a life of their own and when we begin working the steps they cry, scream, claw, and scratch at us from the inside.  Our character defect patterns do not want us to change and they will tell us all the good things that we need to do instead of working a program because the bad that we would do won’t work to trick us into not working the steps.  Meaning, our brain will tell us “you need to take you children bowling because you should spend more time with them, or you need to clean the house, or you need to job hunt or you need to work.  Yes all these things are good to do in recovery but if we do not have the foundation of the twelve steps we can easily slip.  Doing ninety meetings in ninety days will expose us to the program enough to get us started with a sponsor and some new sober friends to hang out with.  If we are going to stay sober and do the responsible thing for us and our families we need to do first things first.  All the other “good” things should come after our daily meeting, getting a decent sponsor, one who shows respect and emotional maturity, and working the steps.

 

HOW DO RECOVERING ADDICTS & ALCOHOLICS DEAL WITH MONEY?

MONEY AND THE RECOVERING ADDICT.  FREEDOM FROM COMPULSIVE SPENDING.

How do addicts handle their finances after years of spending money on the wrong things and suffering the regret?  In the past personally I crossed many moral boundaries to make my money and then spent it on drugs instead of paying the bills, buying important things for my family and myself.  Since I now have years of sober time under my belt I do question my occasional compulsive spending, I analyse it and am now sharing it with you.

I remember at the start of my recovery I continued in my willingness to cross moral boundaries to get money a time or two when I needed that money to get to a meeting or put toward my rehab stay.  I had the gift of desperation that is a key in opening the lock of  sobriety.  I don’t save money well I never have.  Neither have my parents, they didn’t teach me good financial planning or skills.  However since I have been sober I do much better with my money, I get my bills paid even though sometimes they are late.  I enjoy shopping but if I know a bill is due I usually pay it first.  I say “usually”.

When it comes to walking in a Wal-mart with a pocket full of money even though all I need is a gallon of milk I will tell myself “I know there’s something I need” just so I can shop.  Shopping is a high for me and if I go to the grocery store hungry I may forget all about my bills temporarily until I get home and wish I hadn’t spent so much money.  I wonder…is it the shopping or the beating myself up that I get more satisfaction from.  Maybe subconsciously the thought of just being good bores me to tears and since I no longer drink and drug because it became too painful I must replace that debauchery with another of a different flavor.  One thing sure if we are busy doing Step 12 we won’t have time for self abuse.

The cycle of guilt is a merry-go-round that does not enjoy being put to rest.  Whether it be illicit sex, stealing, yelling at our loved ones, gossip, over-eating, or greed recovering addicts seem to have a need to keep the merry-go-round of guilt and self-punishment alive.  After all what will we do with out emotions and thoughts if we don’t have some negative aspect of ourselves or others to focus on?

The 12 steps help us to STOP the cycle of guilt and remorse.  Perhaps not completely however,  believe it there are degrees of guilt.  Remorse can be so deep that it becomes intolerable after all where does depression step from if not from a deep nagging dissatisfaction of one’s self?   The program gives us all kinds of new things to focus on and yes new things to criticize and balk at.   Aren’t the very nature of steps 1,4,6,7,8,9, & 10 about asking ourselves “what have I done wrong today and in the past”?  YES THEY ARE however the steps offer us solutions to that guilt so we don’t have to walk around ashamed of who we are.  Without steps two, three, five, eleven and 12 our wonderful recovery program is nothing more than [ more of the same], more insanity and a continued process of self-abasement without the solutions.  At the same time without the self-examination of our shortcomings we cannot clear the wreckage of our past and put our emotions from “disorder” to order,  It is completely understandable why so many people take a peak at AA and then decide it’s not for them.  They see all the negative self-examination and say “It does me no good to dwell on the past there is nothing I can do about it now its gone.”  To an extent they are spot on and that is the best attitude if a person does not have steps 2,3, 5, 11,12.

Ignoring and repressing guilt will only get us so-far.  Unprocessed emotions will come out of us in the form of criticisms, gossip, verbal attacks on other people, and it will turn bitter inside of our bellies and prompt us to jealousy, envy,  and make us sick.  Repressed guilt turns to shame which turns to fear and hate.  We as recovering addicts need the 12 steps like a fish needs water.  We must not give way to homicidal and suicidal thoughts but instead have the courage to do self-examination and admit our wrongs and then tell someone about it.  We must let the cat out of the bag by doing our Fifth Step which is so important for our emotional recovery.  Our relationship with God is so important but we must have at least one confidant that we can tell anything to.    Where there is no sense of accountability personalities digress.

So how does all this fit in with our finances?  We recognize when and if we are using money to continue somehow our cycle of shame and guilt.  If we learn to work the 12 steps properly and  as women focus on our feelings when doing so and honor them by validating and sharing them in our fifth step we can then let the pain go rather than hold onto it like Gollum held on to the ring….his Precious.  We shall put our emotions into a state of “order” rather than sick and depressive “disorder”.   By admitting that we do experience guilt and shame instead of labeling such feelings weak and shameful we can and will simply grow out of them.

SELF LOATHING

Check google pagerank for recoveryfarmhouse.com

A.A. HIGHER POWER

God is Love. I have run the gambit where religion and spirituality are concerned.   

I believe in Christ He is my higher power.  I use the terms “He” and “Him” even though I believe my Higher Powers are Spirit not flesh.  I also believe they could become flesh anytime they want.  I use the “Him” term because I am just so used to it, I do hope it doesn’t put you off. 

Anyway Before I met Christ I had a prayerful relationship with who I call “God the father”.  Christ brought me closer to, God the Father.  I had one drastic life altering white light experience where I was delivered, yes delivered (one of those religious terms unpalatable to many especially to recovering Catholics & addicts) from a life of deep and twisted addition.  I learned allot about God’s Grace and unconditional Love after I turned my back on Him by sinking into a deep dark and long relapse.  I say I learned much about His grace because he again pulled me from the mire and brought me into the program of AA. 

The first time I got sober due to my white light experience I was also involved in NA.  I didn’t work the steps or get a sponsor.  The second time I got sober I pretty much did everything suggested and learned and worked the steps more thoroughly than most woman I know.  (I can say that because I have worked the 12 steps with countless woman and I know to what depth of awareness they worked.  Granted this doesn’t make me better or of more value than any soul just self-aware.  False humility is not one of my defects I won’t hide behind a mask of false bravado pretending to be unaware of my own accomplishments for fear that acknowledging my progress would be vain or defective.  (Pet-peeve sorry) There is a thing called footwork and I have done plenty of it!  I won’t stand by and say I don’t know anything either as I have seen countless both blessed and knowledgeable men do.  That would be dishonest of me wouldn’t it seeing that I KNOW different.

These misguided attitudes are a luxury to those who perhaps fear that if they did acknowledge any goodness in themselves or acknowledge that they achieved (for lack of a better term) an “A” or “B” level of recovery they would quickly be swept away by the false pride that would send them plummeting to their last and final grave & incomprehensible relapse.  Let me point out that one character defect (false humility) will not protect oneself from another character defect (false-pride).  It’s not the little quirkish traditions of local AA lore that get and keep us sober.  And certainly self-degradation won’t keep me close to God or sober for that matter. 

Let me also clarify what humility really is, it is the awareness of one’s own character flaws or patterns.  We acknowledge these patterns not so we can publicly announce them but rather so we may avoid acting them out.  Sitting in a meeting and stating that I am garbage without God and the program implies that God does make junk.  Do I need God to be good and stay on track?  Hell yes!  However no matter how reliant upon my Higher Power I am cutting myself down openly or privately is a form of condemnation, harsh judgment and criticism. 

Ok back on topic…God the supercomputer.  For us Bible believing folks we like to validate ideas by lining them up with the word.  It’s written that “man was made in the image of God.”  The Bible speaks of the “hand of God” and other various body parts such as His eyes, arm, and mind.  Scientists have proven that our human brains are a computer of sorts.  A fleshly computer to be precise.  In deep meditation I have had many visions but most recently I have had visions that make me believe God can download us mere mortals with any program he wishes.  He can change out our hard drive or do a complete recovery on us.  Is it coincidence that when you clean out a computer it is called a “recovery”?   Ok I know what your thinking…Lori’s cheese has finally fallen off the cracker. Lol!

When I was delivered from addiction the first time around I was clean for years I stayed on a pink cloud for at least a year.  Prior to that I was plagued with anxiety, and panic attacks, I was a heroin and cocaine junky who had to have a shot of dope to get out of bed in the morning.  After one touch from God my thinking was changed dramatically.  I no longer had anxiety or panic attacks.  After one download in a little Baptist church in the meadow.  As windows 8 calls it, by one “refresh” I was set in a direction of service and Love toward mankind.  I received a new operating system with my files or memories left intact.  My resentments were quelled and my sickness abated.  I loved my mother again that in itself was a miracle. 

Let’s face it folks steps 10, 11, and 12 are the maintenance steps when I meditate I get spiritually fed, I get a disk defragging, a disk cleaning, and vital updates.  Why is it different this time clean and sober for me?  Granted I had much joy my first round of sobriety, I learned allot, I changed in a huge way morally and I became Loving but God had only begun my overhaul.  The first time I was sober I didn’t wholeheartedly believe that I was a good child of God.  I believed with my head but my heart deep down was telling me that I was bad and of Satan.  I still carried deep shame within my heart from the sexual abuse I suffered as a child and my actions during years of addiction.  Deep down I knew I would screw things up again.  Why? 

There are three things that I did different this time (I got sober this time in 2006) One; this time I worked the steps with a sponsor honestly and thoroughly, everything came out in my fifth step.  Two, I got empathic recovery therapy and learned how to continually share my true, illogical and fearful heartfelt inner feelings.  People are usually ashamed of their true feelings because nobody (well most people) wants to be vulnerable or be looked upon as different.  The thing is everybody except perhaps true sociopaths have illogical fears and deep child-like feelings that they don’t like about themselves.  So we cover them up with the mask, distractions and lies.  Therapy taught me to vent these feelings so they don’t fester, or turn to rage, and obsession.  Thirdly this time I practiced meditation on a regular basis for the first six years I was sober.  What this did is open my mind to receive God’s blessings.  Meditation improved every aspect of my recovery and most importantly helped heal me both emotionally and spiritually.  

When I say “meditation” I don’t mean picking up a book and reading a passage.  I am talking about the kind of meditation that takes an hour a day to be still, silent, and open.  Meditation when practiced regularly brings a steady flow of continuous spiritual experiences that can move mountains and heal the heart the soul and the mind.

Funny thing…different things have different ways of communicating.  Animals have their own way, humans speak to humans verbally, computers have their own language, electricity speaks to the light bulb and it reacts, the light speaks to our atmosphere and it reacts and becomes visual, the sun speaks to the flower, the moon speaks to the Earth, even water speaks to our bodies and we live.  Action and reaction but how does man speak to God?  Should we use our tongue as if God were a man that has ears…perhaps so but God my friend “looks upon the heart” so it is written.  Should we not try seeking God with words straight from our heart and then talk to Him with our minds as well? 

Seek and you shall find but seek with your hearts language for it is the language of truth absent of all the editing that our mind thinks should be done.  For out of the heart bursts forth the well-springs of life.  Eternal Life“  

What is logical to the mind is folly to the heart and what is truth to the heart is valid to God.”   

CHARACTER ASSASINATION

CHARACTER ASSASINATION

The temptation to assassinate the character of he who has done me wrong is huge when I am hurt and fuming with anger.

Hurt people hurt people.

I want to lash out badly but I am responsible for processing my own pain and lashing out is counter productive to my own healing.  A good cry on the other hand sends poison gushing out of my heart along with the tears.  Strange yes but that does not make it less true.  Crying brings emotional order where there has been emotional disorder.

I have the resources to blast my perceived enemy into dust!  However if I were to scream from the hilltops their continued debauchery…sure that just might hurt them.  But it’s me unfortunately that I would really be hurting and its me that I especially do not want to hurt.

Spiritual laws are not earthly laws.  Spiritual laws are magic and silent consequences that occur when I wrong someone but it’s me who receives the inevitable occurring spiritual consequence.  What trumps Karma…not a whole lot.  (Only “Grace” trumps Karma.  To not receive the horrid consequences of my wrongs, that is Grace.)  Spiritual consequences do happen just like emotional, physical, and other earthly consequences.

Once I realized that character flaws and defects hurt me when I am mean to people or wrong them more than anyone else I was not so tempted to act out.  The good part is when I do a good deed or in AA language “the next right thing” I receive the good karma for it.  “We reap what we sew.”  “What comes around goes around”.   “With the yardstick we use to judge others the same will be used to judge us.

SPONSORSHIP AND SPEAKER MEETINGS

When we go to the jails and institutions and share our experience, strength, and hope, we are strengthened.  Oftentimes it helps us more than it helps others.

Do not worry, we may not see anyone getting sober around us as a result of our sponsorship or sharing.  Oftentimes we just don’t know the good we have done for others.  But the bottom line is; we simply are not remembering that we are the one who is still sober and that is the fruit of our labor.  As far as the spiritual Karma of our good works, we will receive ten or a hundred fold in good spiritual blessings for that which we have given from our hearts.  Spiritually it is always “better to give than to receive”.

Sexual Abuse and addiction

Addiction is a symptom of childhood sexual abuse.

Is it just coincidence that every woman I have known in AA and in NA were sexually abused as children?

Why is it that some people commit suicide after being sober for years at a time?  I am sure each person has their own reasons for suicide but what if we work the steps, go to lots of meetings, work with others, and are active in the inner workings of AA but are still depressed and have intense anxiety?  When it comes to deep emotional trauma, sexual abuse, and the mental issues resulting from that trauma unless you have a sponsor who is a therapist as well AA will not be enough to clear the demons eating at you from the inside out.  When we lash out at those we love most in this world there is something inside us that needs attention.   It just means that AA is not equipped to address the emotional issues that a survivor of abuse in recovery will suffer.  Getting sober brings up all the emotional pains and shames that we have been trying to stuff down for so long.  Many people would rather continue stuffing their memories and feelings down and just accept a diagnosis of “anxiety disorder” or “bi-polar” or depressive disorder rather than work on the underlying reason for their addiction.  It’s understandable...feeling the pain that is responsible for our ongoing misery is a horrifying concept.  Most people just want to let sleeping dogs lie.  I think mainly because they don’t realize that if they could delve into their past and really cry, scream, and share about all of their core issues with God’s help they would heal.

Why refuse help when it’s available.  Why refuse to pray when God has helped so many.  Why refuse therapy and procrastinate when empathic therapy has helped so many.  And lastly….why refuse to go to AA and throw ourselves into the program with every bit of gumption we can muster up?  

AA works, therapy and addressing core issues works, God works.  Jesus came for the sinner and the sick.  He is the Higher Power that answered my call.  He came into the world not to condemn the world but rather that the world may be saved

Please don’t end up like one of those bitter old-timers angry because he is tortured inside and can’t bear the thought of either drinking or continuing his life.

True joy comes from God, peace of mind comes from God.  We can work with others till we are blue in the face but what’s inside of us will come out sideways if we don’t express it emotionally and share.

We have a right to be content no matter how low or how many bottoms we have had.  With the three keys of God, AA, and therapy we have a chance.

 

There is nothing wrong with getting outside help.  It does not mean that AA doesn’t work we don’t have to be jealous over AA.  AA won’t get it’s feelings hurt if we get help from religion and therapy.  And believe me by religion I do meant God & The Holy Spirit.  In spite of whatever name you choose to call God if you seek with your heart your heart will receive and find.  It’s not our intellect that needs a healing if it was we could go online and do computer exercises to build our brains up.  If we want to build up our muscles we work out with our muscles.  Active addicts are spiritually sick in their hearts and it is our heart that needs the healing.  I don’t mean our physical heart.  So we seek God, we work the steps, and we go to therapy and open up with our true feelings and our true thoughts.  

 

Disease dis-ease causes and conditions

Is addiction a real disease?

I guess that depends on your definition of the word.

But did the word originate somehow from the word dis-ease.

Not in any language study I can find.

The word disease did not originate from dis ease contrary to popular AA lore. It does however have Greek & Latin origin words with definitions that are complex. These core Latin and Greek words mean suffering, various “opathy’s” disease type categories including psychopath(y) neuropath(y), and feelings, empathy, sympathy and various “pathy’s”.

However like the word dishwasher the “dis” is not a prefix meaning “separated from” as it occurs in the word discomfort and other words like it.

The word disease’s core definition is not dis-ease. Here’s Mirriam Websters def.dis·ease noun \di-ˈzēz\
: an illness that affects a person, animal, or plant : a condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally

: a problem that a person, group, organization, or society has and cannot stop.
I will stop you right there Mirriam by saying there are allot of things that society can’t stop yet we do not define them a disease. That’s a poor definition Mirriam.

SHAME BEGINS AT A VERY YOUNG AGE BUT I WON’T GET INTO THAT.

Addiction is a spiritual malady because of our own moral boundaries that we cross when addicted. These rationals result in deep and embedded shame and guilt which cause the need for further numbing of feelings.

Addicts are experts at denial…it’s an emotional survival skill. Deep denial leads to self delusion meaning we often end up being blind to what’s really going on with us and our emotions.

Addiction is also an emotional sickness because of emotional disorder or an inability to regularly engage in healthy emotional processes like crying or sharing deep feelings pile up in us.

IT IS VITAL TO LEARN HOW TO REACH OUT AND SHARE, TO LEARN HOW TO CRY OR BEAT THE BAG, JOURNAL, SCREAM IN THE CAR (ALL EMOTIONAL OUTLETS) IF WE ARE GOING TO SURVIVE SOBRIETY WITHOUT VIEWING SUICIDE AS A SOLUTION AT SOME POINT OR RELAPSE OR ALIENATE EVERYONE WE LOVE BY BLAMING THEM FOR THE WAY WE FEEL INSIDE.
IT TAKES ENERGY TO PROCESS REPRESSED EMOTIONS. DEPRESSION IS HURT TURNED TO – ANGER WITHOUT ENTHUSIASM.
In my opinion

PS part of the cure is not drinking.

THE SAME MAN WILL DRINK AGAIN & STEP THREE

 

THE SAME MAN WILL DRINK AGAIN…BUT WHAT WILL THE CHANGED MAN DO?  And how do we know that we are really changed?  Initially the first real proof that we have done step three right or with our heart is that we will continue on and do the rest of the steps especially a thorough step four.

“The evidence of the Spirit of God is Love”.  How do we know that our third step prayer has taken hold?  How do we act after our Higher Power gives us the psychic change that will keep us from self-destructing?

One huge misconception among the church folk and early born-again Christians is that once God has delivered, healed, and made us new we will no longer sin, be unhappy, get depressed or cry.  Even the Bible’s versus imply that we shall “go and sin no more.”  Big mistake to expect perfection and perpetual joy from any human being no matter how intense their white light experience has been.  This view of somehow being born of Spirit and then sinning no more is exactly what drives many baby Christians into shame and isolation.  Oh how those of the church Love to put on their Sunday go to meeting masks and pretend they are sinless, while all the time engaging in the worst flavor of sin called judgments and hypocrisy.  Surely that is what drove many a man away from the church and crawling into the bosom of AA.  Where they find the same God under different labels and precepts…the same God nevertheless.  After-all how can we relate to a room full of perfect lives?  Of course we don’t fit in!

What’s in a label if the heart is in the right place?  “God looks upon the heart.”  Or so it is written.  God jealous?  Really?  I surmise that God, He, She, or It doesn’t mind being called by different names as long as He is called.  “Seek and ye SHALL find.”  Personally I believe that when a heart seeks its God, its God will answer.

Perfection and constant joy are off the table!  Next, what about all those yummy and sweet fluffy scriptures about “Love” in the book of 1st John about if we Love we know we are in Christ but if we hate we are of the devil?  Being “of” or “in” Satan or Christ really just means we have choices and free will to choose with fear or Love.  Yikes…Being Loving all the time is off the table as well I don’t care how deeply you were touched by the Great Spirit of God.  As long as we are in our human flesh we will feel resentment even after we have done a thorough fourth step.  So the changed man knows the solutions for resentment while our old man or addict man stays in the blame.  The changed many does not condemn himself for having a resentment.  He acknowledged it and does what it takes to expel it.

Loving all the time is off the table!  But wait a minute?  What then does happen after a spiritual awakening and intense white light experience or even a mild touch from the Great Spirit?

We will Love ourselves and others a little more.  We will seek out emotionally nurturing solutions to our emotional disorder.  We will care for and help others a little more.  We will no longer view alcohol as a solution to our feelings.  We will reach out for the solutions that we learn in AA instead of sitting in the problem and spinning around.  After absorbing enough meetings, working the twelve steps and establishing enough sober relationships we will have developed a set of coping skills that will steer us through our emotional upheavals without drinking or smoking crack.  We will have a self-awareness called a conscience that we will have learned to listen to (most of the time anyway).  We will have learned that The Twelve Steps are all tools to pick up and use at any time especially when we have a resentment or are bungled up with fear.

The changed man is humble not self-condemning.  That changed man Loves his brother and does not take hostages.  The changed man takes responsibility for his actions rather than blaming others for them.  The changed man cries a little, laughs a little, and continually relies on his Higher Power rather than pretending to be a Higher Power.  The changed man teaches by example rather than emotional punishment and control-ism. 

The changed man knows that he has a choice.

WE DO HAVE A CHOICE OF HOW WE DO OUR STEP ELEVEN AND WHAT FLAVOR THIRD STEP PRAYER WE BELIEVE IN.  HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR THIRD STEP PRAYER VARIATIONS BY VARIOUS FAITHS.  THANK YOU FRIENDS OF BILL W.  http://friendsofbillw.net/third_step_prayers

Third Step Prayers

The following prayer is the third step prayer found in the Big Book and used by Bill W.:
God, I offer myself to Thee To build with me & 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 & Thy way of life.
May I do Thy will always.

 

However, there are numerous third steps prayers used as part of the program of recovery, including those used by Dr. Bob and Clarence S.  There are also third step prayers for each religion or faith.  While the ones on this site show a sampling of these prayers, it is by no means exhaustive.

Here is a list of the third step prayers I have encountered over the years: Dr. Bob, Clarence S., NA, Native American, Christian, Buddhist, Wiccan, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Baha’i, Universalist, Catholic, Set Aside Prayer, Before Getting Out of Bed. Again, this is by no means a complete list, it is just an example of the different types of third step prayers used today.

Native American 3rd Step Prayer

(short version)
Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the wind,
whose breath gives life to the world,
Hear me.
I come to you as one of your many children,
I am small & weak,
I need your strength & wisdom.
May I walk in beauty.
And how my life is unmanageable.
I need to learn & remember that
I have an incurable illness & that
bstinence is the only way to deal with it.

Long Version

Oh Great Spirit whose voice in the winds I hear,
And whose breath gives life to all the world-
Hear me.
Before you I come
One of your many children.
I am small & weak.
Your strength & wisdom I need.
Let me walk in beauty & make my eyes ever behold the sunset.
Make my heart respect all You have made,
& my ears sharp to hear Your voice.
Make me wise that I may know all You have taught my people,
The lessons You have hidden in every rock.
I seek strength, not to be superior to my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me ready to stand before You with clean & straight eyes,
So when life fades as the fading sunset,
may my spirit stand before You without shame.
Mitakuye Oyasin

Third Step Prayer (Alcoholics Anonymous)

God, I offer myself to Thee
To build with me & 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 & Thy way of life.
May I do Thy will always!

3rd Step Prayer

Take my will & my life,
Guide me in my recovery,
Show me how to live.

3rd Step Prayer (Jewish)

Grant me inner peace…, Let my body be completely subordinate to my soul & have no other will or desire but to follow the desire of the holy soul, which is to do Your will.
Let peace reign between my soul & my body. Let my body be sanctified & purified until it becomes united with the holy soul & I carry out all Your commandments & do everything You want of me, body & soul, willingly & with great joy.

Let my body & soul unite in love & peace to do Your will sincerely, until I attain complete inner harmony & am ready to order my prayer before You perfectly. Let my prayer rise before You like the incense & perfect sacrifices offered by those who are whole & perfect.

3rd Step Prayer (Dr. Bob)

Dear God, I’m sorry about the mess I’ve made of my life. I want to turn away from all the wrong things I’ve ever done and all the wrong things I’ve ever been. Please forgive me for it all. I know You have the power to change my life and can turn me into a winner. Thank You, God for getting my attention long enough to interest me in trying it Your way. God, please take over the management of my life and everything about me. I am making this conscious decision to turn my will and my life over to Your care and am asking You to please take over all parts of my life. Please, God, move into my heart. However You do it is Your business, but make Yourself real inside me and fill my awful emptiness. Fill me with your love and Holy Spirit and make me know Your will for me. And now, God, help Yourself to me and keep on doing it. I’m not sure I want You to, but do it anyhow. I rejoice that I am now a part of Your people, that my uncertainty is gone forever, and that You now have control of my will and my life. Thank You and I praise Your name. Amen.

Third Step Prayer (Clarence S.)

Lord, I ask that you guide and direct me, and that I have decided to turn my life and will over to you. To serve You and to dedicate my life to You. I thank you Lord, I believe that if I ask this in prayer, I shall receive what I have asked for. Thank you God. Amen.

Third Step Prayer, Life With Hope

Higher Power,
I have tried to control the uncontrollable for far too long.
I acknowledge that my life is unmanageable.
I ask for your care and guidance.
Grant me honesty, courage, humility, and serenity,
to face that which keeps me from you and others.
I give this life to you to do with as you will.

EASTERN ORTHODOX

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace, help me in all things to rely upon your holy will. In every hour of the day reveal your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that your will governs all. In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray. And you, yourself, pray in me. Amen.

Christian Prayer

Dear Lord JESUS, I thank You for this day.
I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning.
I’m blessed because You are a forgiving God and an understanding God.
You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me.
Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought

that was not pleasing to you.
I ask now for Your forgiveness.
Please keep me safe from all danger and harm.
Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude.
Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind

so that I can hear from You.
Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things.
Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over.
Let me continue to see through God’s eyes and see his people with love.
And when I sin, let me repent, and confess with my mouth my wrongdoing, and receive the forgiveness of God.
And when this world closes in on me, let me remember Jesus’ example –
to slip away and find a quiet place to pray.
It’s the best response when I’m pushed beyond my limits.
I know that when I can’t pray, You listen to my heart.
Continue to use me to do Your will.
Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others.
Keep me strong that I may help the weak.
Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others.
I pray for those that are lost and can’t find their way.
I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood.
I pray for those who don’t know you intimately.
I pray for those that will delete this without sharing it with others.
I pray for those that don’t believe.
But I thank you that I believe.
I believe that God changes people and God changes things.
I pray for all my sisters and brothers.
For each and every family member in their households.
I pray for peace, love and joy in their homes that they are out of debt

and all their needs are met.
I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than God.
Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight.
I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees them and every mouth that confesses them willingly.

Wiccan Prayer

I know the Laws of Nature are you, Lady.
Keep me mindful that I step upon Your Body,
with your feet,
that my sorrows are Your sorrows,
and that a healthy priest makes all things sound.
I feel Your breath in the wind, and Your hand in mine.
Keep me sincere.
Give me Your work,
which is to be joyous,
and to tend all things, because all things live, of themselves,
and with Your spirit.Your will through mine, so mote it be.

Buddhist Prayer

With every breath I take today,
I vow to be awake;

And every step I take,
I vow to take with a grateful heart–

So I may see with eyes of love
into the hearts of all I meet,

To ease their burden when I can
And touch them with a smile of peace

I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha
Until I attain Enlightenment.
By merit accumulations from practicing generosity and the other perfections
May I attain Enlightenment, for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Bahai Prayer

O my God and my Master! I am Thy servant and the son of Thy servant. I have risen from my couch at this dawntide when the Daystar of Thy oneness hath shone forth from the Dayspring of Thy will, and hath shed its radiance upon the whole world, according to what had been ordained in the Books of Thy Decree.
Praise be unto Thee, O my God, that we have wakened to the splendors of the light of Thy knowledge. Send down, then, upon us, O my Lord, what will enable us to dispense with anyone but Thee, and will rid us of all attachment to aught except Thyself. Write down, moreover, for me, and for such as are dear to me, and for my kindred, man and woman alike, the good of this world and the world to come. Keep us safe, then, through Thine unfailing protection, O Thou the Beloved of the entire creation and the Desire of the whole universe, from them whom Thou hast made to be the manifestations of the Evil Whisperer, who whisper in men’s breasts. Potent art Thou to do Thy pleasure. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

Bless Thou, O Lord my God, Him Whom Thou hast set over Thy most excellent Titles, and through Whom Thou hast divided between the godly and the wicked, and graciously aid us to do what Thou lovest and desirest. Bless Thou, moreover, O my God, them Who are Thy Words and Thy Letters, and them who have set their faces towards Thee, and turned unto Thy face, and hearkened to Thy Call. Thou art, truly, the Lord and King of all men, and art potent over all things.
Bahullh

Unitarian Universalist Prayer

I know little of who you are. I know little of your plan. I can understand only specks of your power. I cannot begin to comprehend all of what you are. But this I know. You do not give love, you are love. You do not project beauty, you are beauty. You do not allow hope, you are hope. You do not lend strength, you are strength. All that is good is your gift. All that is bad is the consequence of man s attempt to reject or mold you. The solutions to my problems, my fears, and my shame are all found in you.

All things I wish to be come from my desire to be closer to you. I see you every time I see the light shining through a tree. I see you every time a sunset or mountain vista takes my breath away. I hear you ever time I open myself to the wonder of life. I feel you every time my heart fills with joy and love. I doubt you only when I allow fear, and greed, and selfishness to assume the power to control me. I know that if I allow you in my life I feel peace. When I embrace you I feel love. When I seek you I find strength.
Father, show me the way to serenity so that I may be of help to others. Show me the way to responsibility so that I may give to others.

Mother, show me the path to compassion so that I may comfort others. Show me the path to healing so I may help others heal themselves.

Grandfather, show me the road to wisdom so that I may teach others. Show me the road to strength so that I may carry others until they can carry themselves.

Grandmother, show me how to feel love so that I may love others. Show me forgiveness so that I may forgive myself and others.

God, help me remove the blinders of self-will. Help me see what is true. Teach me so that I can be of service. Free me from fear, from hate, from greed, from discontent so that I may contribute myself to your work. Allow me to see what you would have me do and grant me the strength to follow through. Without you I am empty. With you at my side I am whole.

Thank You.

Catholic Prayer

Father, Help me know Your will through the spiritual wisdom and understanding that comes from the Spirit so I may live a life worthy of You, pleasing You in every way. Help me to bear fruit, to influence others’ lives in every good thing I do. May I constantly be growing in my understanding of who You are and in my awareness of how You work in the world.

Help me offermyself as a living sacrifice, desiring not to live like those who are giving in to the ways of the world but to be totally changed by the renewing of my mind. Then I will be able to know Your willYour good, pleasing, and perfect will.

May I yield my will to Yours and set my hearts on doing Your will. Help me set aside my own desires, seeking only Your will, standing firm and keeping on in Your strength. Help me be strong and not give up no matter what happens filled with joy and thanksgiving.

May I have no other desire than Yours. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Prayer of St. Francis Assisi

Lord, Make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
Where there is discord, harmony.
Where there is error, truth.
Where there is wrong, the spirit of forgiveness.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Dear Lord,
So far Ive done all right.
I havent gossiped,
havent lost my temper,
havent been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or overindulgent.
Im really glad about that.
But in a few minutes, God,
Im going to get out of bed,
and from then on,
Im going to need a lot more help.

The Serenity Prayer

God Grant me the Serenity
to accept the things
I cannot change,
the courage to
change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know
the difference.

Living one day at a time
Enjoying one moment at a time.
Accepting hardship as
the pathway to Peace.

Taking as He did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it.

Trusting that He
will make it right;
If I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably
happy in this life,
and supremely happy
with Him forever
in the next.

THIS TOO SHALL PASS

This Too Shall Pass

Things get difficult sometimes.  

Disaster is a test of our character.  If we show Love and respect in spite of our troubles we show good character. After we

have been sober for a few years we no longer feed on Kayos.  We no longer need catastrophes, disasters, and general negative distractions as a solution to our inner pain.  When we work the steps honestly and thoroughly we release the guilt & shame that tortures our emotional condition.  When we work step twelve we learn to communicate in a respectful way with others.  We don’t have to keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  We have learned to love peace

Long story short at two years sober if we have done the work we will prefer peace of mind and the peace of God over problems and upset.  And in our new sober life we live & work to get the things we need to be comfortable.  Unfortunately sometimes disaster occurs even though we are doing all the right things.  Uncomfortable things happen and it strikes fear in our hearts. 

Stuff is beyond our control.  Life happens, life on life’s terms is hard at times.  During difficult time we can usually say “this too shall pass” knowing that negative life changing events are only temporary.

Faith is easier said than done.  Building faith is not easy.  We tell ourselves that God has our back and this disaster will work out for the better.  We hope that somehow our disaster will make life easier in the long run.  We visualize that we will grow emotionally and spiritually from our struggles.

We band together with our loved one’s when disaster strikes.  Taking our stress out on those closest to us must be a thing of the past.  We show understanding and empathy toward our loved ones during their trouble instead of attacking each other.  We grant our partners grace and forgive them if they do project there problems onto us as if we were the cause of their plight.  We must not be driven by fear!  We are there for one another and if we stick together disaster strengthens our bonds.

AA How Addiction Effects Our Children

How addiction effects our children

Read the poem “Does Baby Know”

I wrote this poem eight years ago when feeling the deep deep pain of hurting the one that I Love the most in this world as most parents do.  Especially for us mothers; neglecting our children hits us harder in the guilt department than any of our wreckage .  Here is one of my processing poems that helped me get the pain out.

 

Does Baby Know?

 

Baby’s so sweet in her Mickey Mouse clothes

Innocent cuddly wonder if she knows

Most mommies don’t need pills before starting the day

of cooking and work to keep jonesin’ at bay

 

Baby’s so bright in her eyes does she know

Most mommies don’t shoot dope to get up and go

 

Sometimes the little girl gets so annoyed

“Mommy wake up and look at these toys!

Don’t run off the road any more cause I’m scared

We could crash and burn, your eyes closed your not there”

 

Still baby loves mommy the most cause her daddy

Yells all the time she goes with mommy gladly

Daddy is mean frustrated at mom

she won’t do as he says he does not keep calm

Baby’s becoming a young lady now

 

Ten years have passed by mommies wondering how,

they survived the years before she straightened up

quit shooting her dope and getting fucked up

 

Baby’s so beautiful in her brand new school clothes

and daddy still yells but baby knows

they both really care and are doing their best

to show that they love her

 

God’s doing the rest____________________

2-14-2018 UPDATED comment about poem.  **My ex-husband has long since been removed from our lives.  He was very abusive and the trauma he caused my daughter was devastating.  All due to my own ability to leave him back then.  She was nine when I got sober and 10 when I stood up to her father and cut him from our lives.  She is an adult now.  Doing a step nine with here was a freeing experience for both of us and probably saved my own life.  Please do the steps on your most intense issues.  If you don’t have an understanding sponsor, fire them.

This part was written back when I wrote the poem-****Nearly nine years after I wrote this sad poem my daughter is happy and healthy.  She will graduate this year God willing,  she is driving her first car and is a beautiful young lady.  She has a fighting chance at a good life and shows no signs of addiction praise God!  I am there for her which I never would have been able to do had it not been for AA and the 12 steps.  Thank you AA and thank you especially to my Higher Power who I am sure made it all happen like a magic red carpet ride of sobriety.  Change and healing can happen for anyone who has the willingness to do the work honestly and thoroughly until it becomes a way of life.

 

 

 

 

HOPE IS A PRELUDE TO FAITH

What is “hope”?

Hope is a spiritual gift straight from our Higher Power

What is hope?  Hope says, “everything will be alright” when things may not look so good.   Without a little fear there is no need for hope.  Hope is present when courage is in action.     Hope accommodates peace of mind.   We rest in the hope that God has our back even though we may have some doubts.    When we practice hope regularly “HOPE IS A PRELUDE TO FAITH”.

Undeniably  we addicts have our trust issues.   Fear is as natural as faith.  When faith takes over our fear, hope, & doubts disappear with a dose of new faith and trust in our Higher Power that the unknown really will be OK.  Let’s face it…the future can be a scary thing but hope takes that fear of the unknown and eventually  turns it into faith & trust  mixed with a little desire.

Hope is a spiritual gift grouped with Love and Faith as the greatest gifts.

We must remember to allow hope to live in us because the opposite of Hope is hopelessness which is accompanied by depression and a lack of Love for life.  We Nurture the Hope that we are given so it will transform into a faith that will move mountains.

Step Five of Alcoholics Anonymous (2)

Topics: Fear Not, Step three and Step Five of Alcoholics Anonymous

HELP LINE

Suicide rate statistics among addicts.

“Fear not” is easier said than done. We need to learn the 12 step tools and especially invoke step three to keep fear at bay. There is no shame in revisiting a third step to remind us that God has our back! One of the first things we do when beginning our walk in sober school is identify, seek, and find a Higher Power.  Step five in the Big Book is the magic step that alleviates our guilt & shame but make no mistake, it is not a one-time job!  Unless of coarse your perfect or sociopath.

 

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 used phrase in the Bible is “fear not”

 

The psychological make-up of an addict

Many of us when we were very small children were often told by parents that we had nothing to be afraid of when we expressed our intense child-like fears. Unfortunately during our forthright expression of true feelings our parents often implied by their lack of empathy and understanding that our fears were not only unfounded but ridiculous and perhaps absurd. These adults knew no better. 

Parents do not usually know that some validation of our feelings along with comfort and logic was necessary for our emotional health. Therefore our intense little feelings were invalidated, we felt “wrong” for being afraid.   After-all our parents knew best how we should feel so our fears must be wrong.  But instead of that making our fears go away it motivated us to hide our fears for shame.  My parents used shame to control me.  They used shame to oppress me and steal my dreams and hopes.

What’s worse once we got to pre and elementary school we found out just what kind of people express their fears openly. We learned about the scaredy-cats, the chicken-shits, the pussies and the yellow-bellies. We learned that people who express any form of fear will be ostracized greatly by their fellows and friends.   We must be bad we must be wrong!

And so we learned to stuff down those big fears into our guts, we learned to act, and we learned to put on the mask of fearlessness.   No-one would call us cry-baby again!  Ever!  We learned, even…to shut off our tears.  Showing any kind of hurt emotional or physical would label us weak.  So we turned our hurts to anger.  Who could blame us…we didn’t want to be labelled by everyone.  Between our parents and our school-mates we were really left with very few people if any in whom we could confide our true feelings so we could let them out. 

Most of us women in addiction were sexually abused as children.  We hid the feelings from that away as well…deep in our bowels lie the pain and hurt of a wounded, neglected, and abused child.  We did not trust that our feelings were right therefore we could not trust our parents to tell them what happened…or maybe our parents are the culprits of the abuse.  Either way we had no adult to confide with about the abuse and the feelings of self-loathing that resulted from it.

AND SO GOES THE STORY OF THE TYPICAL ADDICTS EMOTIONS…expression of feelings was off the table so what would we do with all those feelings inside us that were ready & able to cause an explosion of wrath.  We usually weren’t cruel people we didn’t want to take out our feelings on others so we beat ourselves up for being who we were.

We developed a voice in our head that screamed at us for things we said and did and things we didn’t say and do.  We became our own worst enemy. 

The self-hate, the anxiety, and the depression that we felt had to stop! 

SO WE MEDICATED!  After-all the last thing we would do is confide in someone so they could turn around and use it against us!

Ohhhh how the drugs worked, ohhhh how they made us feel better…for a while anyway!

Robin Williams-an addict in recovery hung himself today.  Why would anyone with all that money, in the program, sober for quite some time want to kill himself?

“Our liquor was but a symptom, so we had to get down to causes and conditions.”

I have a friend who is a therapist and in 12 step recovery.  He loves both programs.  But he has quoted me shocking numbers of addicts/alcoholics in a 12 step program who have committed suicide.  The statistics are staggering.  What you will find behind the statistics is an ability to express and share negative feelings. .  My friend insists that all his sponcees do regular fifth-steps in meetings by telling “WHAT HAPPENED AND HOW IT MADE ME FEEL.” 

FEELINGS ARE NOT AN OUTSIDE ISSUE, THE SOLUTIONS DO NOT LIE IN SHUTTING DOWN OUR FEELINGS AND PRETENDING THEY DON’T EXIST.

“WE ARE AS SICK AS OUR SECRETS”

WE MUST FIND AT LEAST ONE PERSON WE CAN TELL ANYTHING TO.

IN THE U.S. SUICIDE STATISTICS FAR OUTWEIGH OTHER COUNTRIES.

 

The solutions to anxiety and depression are simple but not easy.  You can find them on my website:

HTTPS://WWW.RECOVERYFARMHOUSE.COM

 

AA OLD TIMERS

 AA OLD TIMERS

& A LOOK A STEP 12

 

THE CARROT”

It’s the way of some of the AA old-timers to go to an extreme by denying that their emotions exist.  They confuse emotions such as anger or hurt with character defects.  A feeling is not a defect again I say it comes from our heart which is a place of truth.  Actions are the only things that come under the heading of “character defect” .  These old crotchety types will teach the new-comer that crying is self-pity and that expressing hurt from being wronged under any circumstance no matter how horrific is always a character defect in us

POET & SONGWRITER  JOHN MELLENCAMP          EXCERPT FROM “PINK HOUSES”

 “Oh but ain’t that America, for you and me

 Ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby

Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah

Little pink houses, for you and me,

oh baby for you and me 

Well there’s people and more people

What do they know, know, know

Go to work in some high rise

And vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico

Ooo yeah”

What do we do after we have processed our painful traumatic pasts, we have a new set of friends in AA, we have let our feelings out, talked about them and the circumstances surrounding our feelings, (make no mistake it is vital we express both our feelings and the circumstances that surround them,) we wrote about same, identified & related with others about same, talked about our shame, and thoroughly worked our steps, we have reconnected with God YET we feel bored.   We feel something needs to be done, its as if the spark is gone from our recovery and all we do is work, work, work!  

So, I tell my partner “Partner” I say, “I am bored and feeling unfulfilled because I must work, work, and work some more!”   He says to me; “partner, set your eyes upon the CARROT” .  He jogs my memory by his suggestion.  I had forgotten how valuable the carrot is for me emotionally and how it improves my attitude.  And so I do just that.  I work, work, work, and keep my thoughts on my up and coming “vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico Oh yea!   I pack my camera, my bathing suit, I buy a $3 raft and I am on my way!  Yaay!!  I have worked and I deserve a rest to reflect, revitalize, and remember how good life really is!

And yes, the next paragraph of the song by the way talks about “the pills that kill” but I shall save that for my next article on that and the choice of taking meds for pain, anti-depressants, psych meds etc. while in recovery.  If I can’t go to the gulf then I will go to the local springs or wherever I can get with nature and be refreshed.  I count my blessings and am filled with gratitude when I get close to God’s natural creations and then I do it all over again. 

Step Twelve work gives me a purpose when I share the solutions at meetings.  AAers need to talk about what is going on with them.  It is not our place to shut anyone down who needs to express their emotional pain. Recovery is about learning what to do with our emotions not pretending we don’t have emotions.  Staying in emotional denial feeds anxiety, fear, and secret-keeping.  We are as sick as our secrets and that includes secret emotions.  

It’s the way of some of the old-timers to go to an extreme by denying that their emotions exist.  They confuse emotions such as anger or hurt with character defects.  A feeling is not a defect again I say it comes from our heart which is a place of truth.  Actions are the only things that come under the heading of “character defect” .  These old crotchety types will teach the new-comer that crying is self-pity and that expressing hurt from being wronged under any circumstance no matter how horrific is always a character defect in us.  

Oftentimes alcoholics have been sexually and emotionally abused as children and have never had the chance to express the pain associated with the abuse.  Getting sober will always bring those deep pains to the surface so we need an outlet.  God gave us tears for a reason and crying is absolutely a part of the healthy emotional process.    We who have learned the remedy for addiction share the solutions for the newcomers pain in meetings and that is a twelfth step action.  

 We gain fulfillment by sharing in meeting however it can get old continually  being around negativity especially when we just want to enjoy life and stay on a positive train of thought.  Nothing wrong with taking a break from meetings when we know how to live the program.  

When we vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico we get to go to out-of-town meetings that are new and different.  That in itself is a positive change. 

And so we use the carrot as one of our survival tools for the good life  in recovery.

A THOUGHT: Yep acceptance is a part of healing. Where there is no acceptance there is denial., However denial is also one of the stages of healing. Denial keeps us alive until we are ready to face past traumas and process or cry them out…or scream…or write…or punch the bag.

 

OLDTIMER SNIP

Step Eleven

STEP ELEVEN AND NATURE

GREAT PLACE TO DO STEP ELEVEN MEDITATION, AT THE BEACH, OR AT A CHURCH THAT HAS A GROTTO.

Step Eleven in the Big Book can be done at a deep level or a very shallow one.  Find a place in nature to sit still and seep your Higher Power with your heart.  Prayer and meditation are so beneficial to anyone trying to stay sober.  Only God can heal a broken heart by His mighty Spirit.  Labels are not important.  God looks upon the heart.

HOW TO MEDITATE   

This is one of the few posts that has copyright laws in place.  It was taken from the the book “PARADISE FOR THE HELLBOUND” BY Laura R. Edgar  You are welcome to copy it but please remember to give credit to the writer.  Thank you

 

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

 

The places that I go during meditation are a “secret place” where God abides where it is just He (She,It,The I Am) and I.

 

I start by finding a quiet serene place away from distractions.  I light a candle and drink some water sometimes I light incense.  Often I use my favorite precious stones/crystals as listed in Revelation chapter 21:10-21 to aid in my meditation, Jasper stone sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth, and amethyst.  John the Revelator who wrote the Book of Revelation mentions all these stones as “most precious”.  Sometimes I put a stone on my forehead or my throat.  There are seven spots on the human body believed by many through the ages to be centers of spiritual power or energy power points of my body.  My body is the temple of God and the stones are most precious therefore, I do not accept that using such sacred and natural objects to seek God is evil or witchcraft.  I believe using crystals just makes for a stronger connection to the beyond.  They are tools like many other tools used by man to aid in spiritual exercises.  Such as anointing oil, prayer cloths, crosses, statues, etc.  The goal is to empty my mind so I can hear God’s direction and receive whatever blessings await me supernaturally.

 

Lying down with my crystals on or around me I consider my most recent interactions with people because these thoughts are usually foremost in my mind.  After processing my interactions if need be I clear up any guilt or shame by repentance and plan my amends if merited.  Once I have cleared my conscience I spread my arms and invite Jesus and the Holy Spirit in, I pray for God to help me meditate.  I ask God that I may His will and to bestow upon me the power to do His will.  If I fear Satan or his demons, I pray the protection of the blood of Christ.  I then pray the Lords prayer visualizing every sentence in my mind.  I picture God in Heaven; I picture His kingdom alive in me and on Earth and so on.  When my mind drifts toward worries of this world I reel it back in and start again, each sentence of the Lords Prayer can be visualized.  I picture myself kneeling in front of the throne of God as I pray the Lords prayer.  I may have to reel my mind in several times to get to the end of the mantra.  The key is perseverance to make my mind stay focused on the prayer mantra.

 

I remember when I first started practicing meditation, as I laid still I felt such horrible energy clawing inside me.  Candidly put it felt like I had an alien or demon inside my body.  It was so hard to be still with no chaos or confusion to distract me from my feelings.  I pressed on sometimes I had to moan to release the energy inside my body.  Sometimes memories came up that needed to be resolved or processed.  I use the exercises of writing and sharing when this happens.  Meditation will give you the self-knowledge to clear up emotional issues and clear up your chakras.

 

I practiced meditation like this for quite some time until I was able with God’s help to clear my mind of all clutter and noise quickly and easily.  When my mind became quiet, I began to have visions and travel to beautiful, exciting places.  After a couple years of practice, I travelled to a place during meditation where I met my spirit guides.  My Guides are a group of beings whose purpose is to help me fulfill the will of God in my life.  My Spirit Guides are appointed by God to make my life easier and more fulfilling.  We all have them though most people do not stop and seek long enough to meet them.

 

I practice meditation as often as I want.  It is best for me if I do it on a regular basis.  If I get away from it for a while, it takes time to clear the clutter and noise from my mind to get back to a quiet mind.  When I let up on meditation, I tend to become more worrisome, agitated, and impatient.  I react to people abruptly and have less self-restraint and control.  When I let up on meditation, I may become fearful again.  It is amazing how much it benefits me when I lie on my bed, spread my arms, and show God all of my heart.  Meditation is communing with God.  Meditation is listening to God.  Meditation is seeking God at a higher level.

 

First Corinthians 1:9

“God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

Remember the only explanation we have of why we were created is to commune with God.  Meaning to glorify Him, to praise him, to cry to Him and to listen and talk to Him.

 

Let Him get to know you at a deeper level.   We will never be free of human nature while we are human.  It is ok that we are not perfect before God.  We can still approach Him dragging our guilt and shame behind us.  I notice many times when I get close to God in this way it provokes crying and then I feel such relief from stress and worry.

 

Meditation starts with being able to focus on one thing, the mantra.  Then the next phase you will notice with your minds eye is the presence of a black space or black energy this is the place of doors, windows and who knows what all.  There is nothing for us in that region of black except the doors God is pleased to let us walk through.  Let your mind travel past the dark into the lighted visions of beauty and Hope.

 

Once you allow yourself to take time and seek God in this way, your astral-travel will come naturally.  Just as a child learns to walk, we can learn to travel with our higher awareness one-step at a time.

 

Supernatural travel starts in the black…  I want to call that black “outer space” but It may be a place of consciousness void of actual physical “space” by our earthly terms however it looks like dark outer space.  I usually see crosses and triangles in the black, which represent my own personal symbols of Christ and religion.  The triangle is about fellowship, unity, and sharing what God has done for me.  You will probably see something similar that has meaning for you in that place.  These shapes are somehow the door which I pass through into other realms.  Focus on your door then allow your mind to move on from there. You will not have to travel through the black darkness to get to the light it is more as if you hit hyper-drive into God’s realm in a split second once you find your personal door.

 

Sometimes I fall asleep during meditation that is good I must have needed the rest.


DSCN3436

 

DSCN3437

 THIS MIGHT BE A KAPOK TREE

DSCN3433

 

 

 

 GREAT PLACE TO DO STEP ELEVEN MEDITATION, AT THE BEACH, OR AT A CHURCH THAT HAS A GROTTO.

 

DSCN3430

 

DSCN3408RecoveryFarmhouse.com all right reserved, “Paradise for the Hellbound” copyright, Laura R. Edgar 2003copyright

 

 

AT A YEAR SOBER WE ASK; WHATS WRONG WITH ME????

STEP THREE….LETTING GO & LETTING GOD

AT A YEAR SOBER WE ASK; WHATS WRONG WITH ME????

 Real Recovery doesn’t always feel or look like quality sobriety

“If anybody knew how I really felt inside they would know that I am not doing well in my recovery. I feel like something is wrong with me. I must be doing something wrong! I am sober but I am depressed, I am sober but I still have anxiety attacks. I mustn’t tell anyone how I feel or they will know I am not really emotionally sober. I don’t have quality recovery how could I if I did I would not feel like this.”Hmm??? Ever hear anybody share the above statements in a meeting? Most likely you answered no. However the above scenarios show the way that many addicts think and feel even though they have worked the steps and regularly work steps ten through twelve.WHY????????????

First let’s define this type of thinking and what it’s connected to in us. Let’s explore the dreaded word, feeling, and thought called “SHAME”. Alcoholism & addiction have been explored and painstakingly researched by many experts who have finally defined addiction as a “shame based disease”.In the Big Book it is written that alcohol is but a symptom of an underlying problem. And that we alcoholics suffer from spiritual and emotional maladies. So what is this underlying malady and how do I fix it? In “How it Works” it is written that some of us suffer from “grave emotional disorders”. It says that those who suffer from these disorders can also get better and stay sober. Well guess what ALL ADDICTS AND ALCOHOLICS SUFFER FROM EMOTIONAL DISORDER in my opinion. It takes some serious open-mindedness and lots of journaling, meetings, therapy, working with a sponsor, prayer and meditation to get in touch with and admit to ourselves our underlying malady of shame.Shame tells us that we are not worthy of a Higher Powers Love. Shame tells us that we don’t deserve anything good. Shame tells us that we are bad, wrong, evil, and that we must keep who we are a secret or we will never have anything we want or need. Starting the day from the platform of shame blocks us off from so many good and spiritual things. It causes us to have to justify and defend ourselves. It causes us to be in defensive mode. It shuts us off from Love. Shame shuts us off from God even in our prayers we block off certain parts of our heart hiding parts of us from our Higher Power in hopes that even He, It, She will Love us if we pretend to be someone we are not.
What’s the solution?

We must first realize that we are human and we will never be perfect as long as we are human so we can never ever approach God as a perfect and totally worthy person. We must quit hiding and keeping secrets from God and man.
ACTION:

We should lay on the bed or floor stretch our arms out as far as we can to our sides focus on God and expose all of our heart to God. We should approach our Higher Power in all honesty and transparency and say; “here I am just as I am, I want a relationship with You I need your help.”

We are our Higher Powers creation and we were created INCOMPLETE that’s why we feel so incomplete. Not because we are bad, wrong, unworthy etc. but because that’s the way we were made. We are only complete & fulfilled when we exercise an ongoing relationship with our creator. Fulfillment, enlightenment, encouragement, comfort, and healing are some of the things we get from opening up to our creator. That’s why the steps work, they show us how to have a spiritual connection with our creator.

WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO FEEL GOOD ALL THE TIME
even when working the steps correctly, we were not created that way. It doesn’t mean something is horribly wrong with us.
So, we acknowledge and honor our feelings no matter what they are and we continue on with our daily lives in spite of them. We don’t let our feelings create Kayos in our minds. “THE

NEGATIVE THOUGHTS THAT ATTACH THEMSELVES TO MY FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS.” FEELINGS themselves ARE FACTS because they are very real to us and come from our hearts experiences. It’s the thoughts that get us in trouble. If we don’t honor our feelings and journal them, talk about them then we are dishonoring and invalidating who we are. Our unhappy feelings come from somewhere real and often times we need to do some crying, some screaming (not at anyone) some beating the bed with our fists to get these intense feelings out in a healthy way so they don’t come out sideways at other people.
Addictions spell emotional trauma and that trauma needs an outlet. Emotional trauma does not have to mean that we were abused as children by adults. Emotional trauma can result from emotional neglect and a lack of nurturing as children. Deep hurts from rejection and abandonment don’t go away just because we are grown. We usually blame other people for the way we feel we are confused because other people trigger intense feelings (from past events) that live in us. Blaming others for the way we feel gives us temporary relief but will never ever help us heal.

All humans have a capacity to be hurt emotionally by others, if we do not have a healthy outlet for hurt it will evolve into anger and continue to live inside us until we connect with it and express it in a healthy non-attacking way.
When deep emotional hurt does not have an outlet it turns to anger which in turn can evolve into rage.

Depression is anger without enthusiasm
it happens when we are just too worn down by our own anger & we haven’t the energy to be angry anymore. We have not processed our anger we have merely changed our focus so the anger evolves into depression.
ACTION: Putting our emotions in order by talking about our feelings with someone who won’t shut us down and will be empathic is healing. Journaling is healing, moaning in guttural sounds to let hurts out is healing. Putting on our shoes and getting out of the house to do 12 step work or meetings is healing. Crying is healing. Screaming when we hurt so bad emotionally that words will not suffice is healing.

WE DO NOT RAMBLE ABOUT HOW BAD OTHER PEOPLE ARE AND WHAT THEY DID TO US UNLESS IT’S ON PAPER. WE ONLY NEED TO SAY IT ONCE OUTLOAD, IN A MEETING AND AGAIN TO OUR SPONSOR OR EMPATHIC LISTENER. It’s the talking about “how it made me feel” that heals us. It made me feel worthless for example or it made me feel dirty etc.
I am talking about healing core issues that are the cause of our relentless effort to numb out our feelings and our life. But let’s face it had we really wanted to be dead we would have gone through with suicide. What we really want is balanced and orderly emotions not lack of emotions.

We woman will die if we don’t talk about the way we feel. Criticizing others, character assassination and living in blame are character defects that we should not confuse with the expression it takes for healthy emotional order.

ACTION: What about anxiety? The fourth step in the Big Book has an exercise called the “fear list”. We write down all our core fears, we explore them.

REMEMBER FEARS COME FROM OUR HEART AND DO NOT HAVE TO BE LOGICAL. Just because our mind knows we don’t have to fear something if our heart fears it we should recognize it and honor it. Furthermore we should not let our shame throw us into the deep river of denial. Our fears need expression if we want to stop the anxiety attacks. So we write all our fears down and consider them. We realize we are not trusting God and that our faith is sometimes little if we are in fear. So rather than sticking our fear in the “denial box” we stick it in the “God Box”. We then ask God to remove our fears and help us to rely on him, it, or her.
Anxiety is intense fear that we have buried rather than expressing it, perhaps it’s a fear associated with trauma. After all who wants to be labelled “chicken shit”, “spiritually unfit” or other judgmental words to label he who has fear? But guess what? Every human on the face of the earth has fear it’s just learning how to express it and taking action in spite of it that turns it into courage or emotional growth. Intense fears need to be expressed and released (not dwelled on) so they don’t live in us and turn into intense anxiety.

THOUGHT PROVOKING QUESTIONS: Why is screaming a natural response to intense fear? Screaming releases boatloads of endorphins and is a solution to fear. Why do some soldiers come back from the war with PTSD and others don’t who have the exact same experiences? Because often times we were taught that our expressions of fear and hurt and anger are wrong, bad, weak, stupid, ugly, disgusting etc. We were taught that our healthy emotional expression was wrong by some adult when we were very young and so we believed them and we became ashamed and shut down our own healthy emotional process.
What’s the solution to emotional disorder? Drinking and drugging of course! Yes I am serious. What happens when drinking and drugging quits working because of the consequences? Find a way to express and process our emotions in a healthy non-attacking, non-hurtful, non-destructive way.

God gave us vocal cords for a reason we can either save our face or save our ass! It’s time to let the emotional child within us out of the box so she, he can have a half way decent recovery.
Disclaimer: I own two supernatural boxes. One is called the “GOD BOX” the other is called the “DENIAL BOX”. I have and do use both.
 

 

 

A Little Apology

cat

To all registered readers of Recovery Farmhouse we want to apologize for a horrible glitch that was in the website.   Due to super-slow load time on header pictures we have discontinued the social “share” buttons for Facebook, Google, etc.  

So sorry you guys had to suffer through such slow loading times YIKES!   Blame it on procrastination we were duck hunting!  We are recovering addicts too and took way too long to straighten it out.  

Anyway, until we can identify a plugin that won’t slow down the system there will not be any “share buttons” on the site.

Thank you readers you are awesome!  We Love you!  Sincerely Recovery Farmhouse.

Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Cult?

AA

BLAME

CULTS

Is AA a cult?  Well that depends on who you ask the question.  One thing for certain about the human race…we get some kind of fulfillment out of stamping a “BAD” label on groups of people, organizations, types of people etc.   We don’t want the karma or negative consequences that harsh judgement could bestow on us so we should definitely be careful about using the word “cult”.    There are lots of articles labeling AA a cult.  But really what are the characteristics of a true cult?

  • An organization that insists on separating you from your friends and family.
  • A group of people that want to control your behavior, the way you look, act by lots of rules and regulations that are invasive and contrary to freedom.
  • A religious group that insists they are the only one’s who know God.   They drill into you that all other spiritual and religious groups are bad, wrong and evil.   And they  insist that they are the “way” to God.  Without them you will be lost and doomed to a fate worse than death.
  • They often claim to be the only prophets on the face of the Earth.
  • They make themselves as God by requiring that you worship them, him.  They require that you give you self wholly to them.  All of you your mind, body, time, and work.  They require that you give all your worldly possessions to them.
  • They ultimately require that you cross your own moral boundaries and good conscience to obey them even unto death or group suicide.  The ultimate sacrifice.
  • A cult usually condemns everyone else they claim to be all-knowing when it comes to who and what is evil.  Their primary purpose is to manipulate you into handing over all your power and choices.

Pretty vicious!  These are evil characteristics at best and clearly just another form of blame by a cults condemnation of all other things religious/spiritual .

Is AA a cult?  No, not by it’s doctrines, which are the 12 steps and 12 traditions absolutely not.   Granted that does not mean that there could never be cultist sects working within AA.  Made up of people that practice AA completely contrary to the 12 steps and traditions, but that goes for any large group within organizations.  Any group of people can go awry.

However, few if any religious organizations have the liberating and non-controlling foundation that AA has by its 12 Tradition.  Nor does any other religion suggest that you seek God and put your own vision and label on God.    AA does not hand us God on a platter served up with a cocktail of legalistic regulations of what HE looks like acts like dresses like, wants us to dress like Nor do they serve a desert of descriptive visuals of the punishment and torture God will smite us with  if we don’t obey all the rules.

Spirituality does not come in a box.  We do not come to know God by other people’s seeking God for us.  We must seek out our Higher Power on our own.  That way when we reach that pie in the sky the great creator of human life will recognize us and know exactly who we are because we prayed, meditated, sought God with our might and even helped a few addicts along the way.

Out of a desperation that only the fear of utter emotional pain, death, suffering and worse can induce.   Yes by this woe we found God and by this woe we learned that Love is an action that we take to receive back that same Love.

 

 

TO OUR SILENT READERS; THANK YOU!

Administrators, writers, editors, and spiritualists of recoveryfarmhouse.com want to throw you guys a BIG LIP SMACKIN’ thank-you for your interest in our website.  You guys have played a part in keeping us clean and sober and giving us a reason to keep on keepin’ on.  We in recovery are best suited for long term goals that don’t get fulfilled until we have planned the next motivating and energizing life’s mission.   Trudge on my fellows until we meet in that supernatural meeting in the beyond we will trudge on!

cow kiss