SOBER SEX

SEX IN EARLY RECOVERY

(link to Big Book page 68-71 sexual inventory)
“BIG BOOK SEXUAL INVENTORY PAGE 69” (see in pop up)
Open a popup window

“We do not want to be the arbiter of anyones sex conduct” pg 69 Big Book.   (a*r*b*i*t*e*r-a person who settles a dispute or has ultimate authority in a matter.)

“We do not want to be the arbiter of anyones sex conduct”, so it states in the Big Book and rightly so!   Translation:  Unless someone asks for advice don’t give it.   We thank you for that clarification Bill Wilson.  BUT a big BUT!  It just so happens that  sex is a hot topic in and out of the rooms and “not being an arbiter”  doesn’t mean we can’t read and talk about what sober sex is all about.   In accordance with the 12 Steps of AA (the good and righteous principles) we  should live by truth, respect, humility, faith, hope, Love, charity and more,

BUT WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES? (click here for complete principles of AA)

Core Spiritual Principles of the Program:  Willingness, Open-mindedness, Honesty

AA’s Code:  Love and Tolerance of Others

Gratitude, Acceptance, Love, Honesty, Tolerance, Unselfishness, Strength, Serenity, Giving, Fortitude, Faith, Brotherhood, Service, Understanding, Courage, Wisdom, Humility, self-forgetting,  compassion, Love, kindness,  persistence, faith, hope, wisdom, harmony, willingness, fair minded, Good Judgment, Courage, Humility, Sincerity, Forthright, Generous, Prudence, Serenity, Patience, long-suffering, Admission of Defeat.

Sober Sex

Ok these are all wonderfully spiritual qualities.  And theses virtues are what Step 12 service work is all about…except, from what I have learned we don’t  do step 12 service work to help others as much as we do it to help ourselves.   We do step 12 to keep us sober, another “rightly so”.  If we don’t take care of our sobriety first then we are no good to anyone and certainly no good in a lasting intimate relationship  if we go full blown addict again.

Rule #1 Get to know a potential partner

Get to know this person way before you even think about having sex with them.  Do not say I love you, do not move in with them, do not get engaged, do not profess we are soul mates until at least absolute bare minimum of 90 days.  He/She could turn out to be a psycho maniac controlling hostage taker.  Or he could be the 13th step king of the club and as soon as you sleep with him he intends to mark you off as a conquered foe.   He has no intention of seeing you again after you comply.  After you make the choice to give your precious body once…he will move on to the next conquest.  And that is his prerogative and your choice.

We are building our self-esteem presently not looking to tear it down.    To this sportsman you are just his secondary addiction.  There’s one like him in every AA Group and it doesn’t mean that you are a victim.  We make our choices and if we choose to sleep with a man of this caliber we are an adult and it is our choice.  WE ARE NOT VICTIMS when he kicks us to the curb.

These type serial sex junkies are not a good choice for us even if all we want is sexual satisfaction because they don’t respect anyone that will sleep with them that makes the encounter kinda dysfunctional.

And lets not be too hard on him ladies.  He is scared to death of commitment and he is also afraid if you get to know him too well you won’t like him much.  Rejection is tough and it scars us all.  The survival skills we have developed tend to look kinda mean and selfish but all they really are underneath is hurt.

So get to know the person you are attracted to.  Find out if they are someone who is kind.  find out if you have anything in common.  Talk about everything and anything.  Does he believe in God like I do?  What is his past like?  Find out how he treats his X.  The healthiest X’s neither hate each other nor do they still sleep with each other, they have moved on and forgiven one another.

Jumping into relationship commitments such as moving in and saying I love you before the first 90 day probationary period is typical people-addiction behavior.  Again if we “need” a relationship then we are not ready for one.

GET TESTED

Rule #2 If you want to sleep with me you will have to get tested and show me the results on paper.  If you can’t resist sex in the mean-time absolutely use a condom especially if you haven’t gotten your own results in yet.  You could be committing murder.

DEFINE YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Rule #3 Walk through the Fear-Show Self-Respect and mutual respect.  The fear of rejection is big in early recovery.     Actually not just early recovery it’s a prime characteristic of alcoholics.   But to stick with the principles we must communicate our desires to our new or potential sex partner.  Again we should not be needy, if we are needy we are not ready to date.  These days sex kills so monogamy and sexual commitment are things that are not so far fetched even on the first date.

It feels awkward but, ARE YOU COMFORTABLE SLEEPING WITH A MAN (or woman) WHO  INTENDS TO SLEEP  AROUND WHILE HE/SHE SLEEPS WITH YOU AS WELL?  My support group asked me that question when I started dating in my first year.  I surprised myself with a big HELL NO!  Sexual commitment is not marriage, it’s not going steady and it’s not a way to control someone or take them hostage. It doesn’t mean I love you.   A sexual monogamous commitment with a partner in this day and age is for safety and mutual respect and consideration.  It means that while we two are dating if he or I decide we want to sleep with other people we will have enough respect for each other to tell the other partner before we sleep around.

Remember it takes assertiveness to be candid and reveal who we are with complete truthfulness.  Doing this the first time will be hard because of the fear of rejection.  Having a support group is so important to back you up on doing the right thing until you get used to standing on your own two feet in a place of principled morality and Loving respect for yourself and others.

Even Oprah talks about “defining our relationship” its not just a recovery thing.

Work Your AA Program First

GO HOME AT NIGHT, AND KEEP GOING HOME AND GO HOME NO MATTER HOW BAD WE MAY WANT TO FALL INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE WE ARE building a new and sober life.  We are finding out who we really are.  And we are also re-creating who we are.  It’s best if we can live alone to grow spiritually for a year or so before we commit to sharing our life with someone else.

The window to recovery is open for you now.  Now is your time.  It will be easier now than it will every be.  Get to a meeting and meet some new friends.

Life will be good!

SOON TO COME “A MANS PERSPECTIVE ON EARLY RECOVERY AND SOBER SEX”

I am currently looking for a sober man 4 years plus to write this article to the men new to recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

 

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.

 

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear In AA

“Don’t  Believe Everything You Hear In AA”

IS ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS A MORAL PROGRAM OR NOT?

Big Book page 45

WE THE MEMBERS…AT LEAST THE MAJORITY OF MEMBERS THAT I HAVE HEARD SHARE IN THE ROOMS TEND TO DISLIKE HAVING THEIR MORALITY POLICED OR EVEN QUESTIONED.

Big Book page 45

“Well, that’s exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem. That means we have written a book which we believe to be spiritual as well as moral. And it means, of course, that we are going to talk about God. Here difficulty arises with agnostics.”

A HIGHER PLACE

The very nature of the 12 steps are truth, humility, tolerance, perseverance, Love, graciousness, open-mindedness, hope, faith, courage, service, willingness and more.

How many times have we heard in the rooms; “AA is not a moral program?”  And yet the Big Book authors have stated on page 45 that the Big Book is both moral and spiritual.  Some people just don’t like the word “immoral” I think and that’s why they swear the program is not about morality.  I believe what they mean to say is the program isn’t about policing our sexuality and it isn’t.

The principles of AA are absolutely spiritual and moral!

However more importantly is that our authors have stated here that The Big Books main objective is to “enable you to find a Power (capital P no less) greater than yourself.

Chapter Four:  WE AGNOSTICS Page 45 Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

“Lack of power, that was our dilemma.  We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves.  Obviously.  But where and how were we to find this Power?

Well, that’s exactly what  THE BIG book is about.  Its main object is to enable us to find a Power greater than ourselves which will solve our problem.  That means we have written a book which we believe to be spiritual as well as moral.  And it means, of course, that we are going to talk about God.”BB pg.45