3 Step 3 Requirements

First Requirement

The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. – BB, p. 60

Second Requirement

…we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. – BB, p. 62

Third Requirement

Next, we decided that hereafter 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. – BB, p. 62

Advertisements

4th Step Questions

SEX

12×12 p.49 Did I lust for sex?

12×12 p.43 Have I ever placed the sex desire above everything else?

12×12 p.43 Did I threaten my chance for material security?

12×12 p.43 Did I threaten my chance for emotional security?

12×12 p.43 Did I threaten my standing in the community?

12×12 p.44 Did my pursuit of sex result in my trampling upon people who happened to be in the way?

12×12 p.50 When, and how, and in just what instances did my selfish pursuit of the sex relation damage other people and me?

12×12 p.50 What people were hurt?

12×12 p.50 How badly were those people hurt?

12×12 p.50 Did I spoil my marriage?

12×12 p.50 Did I injure my children?

12×12 p.50 Did I jeopardize my standing in the community?

12×12 p.50 How did I react to these situations at the time?

12×12 p.50 Did I burn with guilt?

12×12 p.50 Did I insist that I was the pursued and not the pursuer, and thus absolve myself?

12×12 p.50 How have I reacted to frustration in sexual matters?

12×12 p.51 When denied, did I become vengeful?

12×12 p.51 When denied, did I become depressed?

12×12 p.51 Did I take it out on other people?

12×12 p.51 If there was rejection or coldness at home, did I use this as a reason for promiscuity?

12×12 p.52 What sex situations have caused me anxiety?

12×12 p.52 What sex situations have caused me bitterness?

12×12 p.52 What sex situations have caused me frustration?

12×12 p.52 What sex situations have caused me depression?

12×12 p.52 Do I lack the ability to accept conditions I cannot change?

MATERIAL/FINANCIAL SECURITY

12×12 p.43 Did I hoard money?

12×12 p.43 Did I become a miser?

12×12 p.44 Did my pursuit of wealth result in my trampling upon people who happened to be in the way?

12×12 p.51 What character defects contributed to my financial instability?

12×12 p.51 Did fear and inferiority about my fitness for my job destroy my confidence and fill me with conflict?

12×12 p.51 Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by bluffing?

12×12 p.51 Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by cheating?

12×12 p.51 Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by lying?

12×12 p.51 Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by evading responsibility?

12×12 p.51 Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by griping that others failed to recognize my truly exceptional abilities?

12×12 p.51 Did I overvalue myself and play the big shot?

12×12 p.51 Did I have such unprincipled ambition that I double-crossed and undercut my associates?

12×12 p.51 Was I extravagant?

12×12 p.51 Did I recklessly borrow money?

12×12 p.51 Was I a pinchpenny?

12×12 p.51 Did I refuse to support my family properly?

12×12 p.51 Did I cut corners financially?

12×12 p.51 Did I get involved in “quick money” deals like the stock market or races/gambling?

12×12 p.51 Did I juggle charge accounts?

12×12 p.51 Did I manipulate the food budget?

12×12 p.51 Did I gamble?

12×12 p.51 Was I irresponsible with money?

12×12 p.51 Was I wasteful with money?

12×12 p.52 What financial situations have caused me anxiety?

12×12 p.52 What financial situations have caused me bitterness?

12×12 p.52 What financial situations have caused me frustration?

12×12 p.52 What financial situations have caused me depression?

12×12 p.49 Did I eat, drink or grab for more of everything than I needed?

12×12 p.49 Did I fear I would never have enough?

12×12 p.49 Was I lazy?

12×12 p.49 Did I loaf and procrastinate?

12×12 p.49 Did I work grudgingly and under half steam?

12×12 p.52 Do I lack the ability to accept conditions I cannot change? If I am able to change something, am I willing to take the measures necessary to change them?

EMOTIONAL SECURITY

12×12 p.44 Did I make demands on others for too much attention?

12×12 p.44 Did I make demands on others for too much protection?

12×12 p.44 Did I make demands on others for too much love?

12×12 p.43 Was I determined to depend completely upon a stronger person for guidance and protection?

12×12 p.43 Did I fail to meet life’s responsibilities with my own resources?

12×12 p.43 Did I fail to grow up?

12×12 p.43 Was I disillusioned?

12×12 p.43 Did I believe myself helpless?

12×12 p.53 Did I insist upon dominating the people I knew?

12×12 p.53 Did I habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires?

SOCIETY (COMPANIONSHIP)

12×12 p.44 Did my pursuit of prestige result in my trampling upon people who happened to be in the way?

12×12 p.43 Did I attempt to rule my fellows?

12×12 p.44 Did I impose my instincts unreasonably upon others?

12×12 p.43 Did I become a recluse and deny myself both family and friends?

12×12 p.47 Did I play the big shot?

12×12 p.47 Did I harbor grudges?

12×12 p.47 Did I plan revenge?

12×12 p.49 Did I covet the possessions of others?

12×12 p.49 Did I lust for power?

12×12 p.49 Did I become angry when my instinctive demands were threatened?

12×12 p.49 Was I envious when the ambitions of others were realized?

12×12 p.53 Did I develop hurt feelings or a sense of persecution?

12 Step Call

Today I went on the first real 12th step call I’ve ever been on, and it was so very sad.  I always wondered what that would be like. It was not glamorous at all.

An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature.
-BB p.16, Bill’s Story

She reeked of alcohol.  There were bottles everywhere.  We threw them away.  One – a vodka bottle – still had vodka in it.  It made me thirsty!  How can I be witnessing such horror and still have a mental pull towards that poison?  (Clearly, the answer is that I am an alcoholic!)

We told her we loved her.  We told her about the solution.  We took her to a hospital.  She almost wouldn’t go with us. I told her I believed her only other choice was to stay here and die an alcoholic death.

To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face.
-BB p.44, We Agnostics

She is on suicide watch.  The back story I will not tell here.  But oh, God, how sad I feel.  This disease is so horrible.  What it does to us is so, so very tragic.

I suspect this won’t be the last time I am a witness to the terrible reality of alcoholism if I am to stay sober.  It made me think of all the people I have seen come in and go back out of my home group in the last couple of years.  So many people…where did they go? What will become of them? Are they alive? Why do some people get to stay and others have to continue this battle they will never win?

He begged the doctor to tell him the whole truth, and he got it. In the doctor’s judgment he was utterly hopeless; he could never regain his position in society and he would have to place himself under lock and key or hire a bodyguard if he expected to live long. That was a great physician’s opinion.
-BB p.26, There is a Solution

Please pray for D.

AA Woodstock of the South

20111203-174552.jpg

I think the rest of this conference, I’m going to find Sandy B. and follow him around. Be a Sandy B. groupie.
But first dinner with sponsor and friends. This is the good life!

Drunkards “Cured” in 1901

While researching my family tree, I came across an advertisement in the October 15, 1901 Atlanta Constitution that I found fascinating! The ad (pictured below) reads:

Drunkards Easily Cured

Miss Mary Roberts Wants Every Lady Reader of This Paper To Know How She Saved Her Brother.

Used an Odorless and Tasteless Remedy in His Food Quickly Curing Him Without His Knowledge.

Trial Package of the Remedy Mailed Free To Show How Easily It Is To Cure Drunkards.

The terrible evil of drunkenness has at last found a conqueror.  Miss Mary Roberts, of 1033 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, Cal., tells how she saved her brother from ruin and her words burn with a new hope to every woman who would rescue a son, brother or husband from the scourge of drunkenness.  She says:

“Yes, it is true that my brother is now a reformed man.  For years he drank only occasionally but at last he got so bad that to be sober seemed a living death to him.  After a spree he would tremble and shake and act as if he were going insane.  He would then drink sparingly, but in a few days would start off again, and I wouldn’t see him for a week.

I saw a notice in our home paper that there was a remedy called Golden Specific to be given secretly in tea, coffee or soft food and that they would send me a free trial.  I wrote for it and gave it to my brother early one morning in a cup of coffee before he had a chance to go out to get a drink.  The effect was wonderful and seemed to brace him up.  He went out and came back quite sober for him.  In the meantime I had sent for a regular treatment of Golden Specific and after using it my brother was a changed man.  Day after day, I watched and prayed and it all seemed too good to be true.  His whole manner changed.  I said nothing about the remedy I had been giving him secretly and did not talk of his being cured, but I would often tell him how happy I was and what a noble man he was to stop drinking.  He, of course, knows it all now, but his new life, prosperity, new friends and self-respect have long ago forgiven me for the way in which I saved him from a drunkard’s grave.  May every mother, sister or daughter learn from my experience is my devout hope, and in thus making public the story of our private misfortune and subsequent blessings it is my earnest desire that ever woman read in my words the way to happiness not only for herself, but for the man who is struggling with the curse of liquor upon him.  Dr. Haines, who discovered Golden Specific, is deserving of a woman’s homage, and I am glad to know that he will send a free trial remedy to every woman who writes him.

Send your name and address to Dr. J. W. Haines, 1783 Glenn Building, Cincinnati, Ohio, and he will mail the remedy to you in a plain package and thus you can begin the cure at once.  The remedy is odorless and tasteless and you need have no fear of discovery.”

So what became of this Dr. Haines and his remedy? Further research lead me to this website, where he is described thus:

In 1917 the American Medical Association denounced his remedy (by then known as “Haines’ Golden Treatment”) as “a cruel humbug.” On analysing the powders, they found them to comprise “milk sugar, starch, capsicum and a minute amount of ipecac.”

In theory, the ipecac holds promise as a cure – bung it in the guy’s whisky bottle and he might be violently sick whenever he takes a drop, thus he begins to associate drink with sickness.

There wasn’t, however, enough ipecac to make an impression beyond the normal effects of alcohol, and even if there were, the advert advises putting the remedy in the patient’s coffee – so at best it might put him (it’s always a him) off coffee.

There is something particularly sad about the fact that this remedy wasn’t aimed at alcoholics but at their families, who might invest in it a quantity of both hope and money that they could ill afford.

Other interesting links:

Dr. James Wilkins Haines ~ Quaker Physician, Minister, Educator and Spiritualist (1849-1893)

Haine’s Golden Specific

If you’re looking for a quick fix, I’m sorry to report that you can no longer get a sample of Golden Specific.  But if alcohol is your problem, not your solution like it was in my case, you are in luck!  There are still doctors looking to cure your alcohol problem:  DrinkLessNow.com.  If you’ve got a living problem like I do, I think your best bet is to get with the program.

Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet.

Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going to believe they are in that class. By every form of self-deception and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule, therefore nonalcoholic. If anyone who is showing inability to control his drinking can do the right-about-face and drink like a gentleman, our hats are off to him. Heaven knows, we have tried hard enough and long enough to drink like other people!

BB p.31, More About Alcoholism

One last thing:  Does the quote from one of the testimonies on DrinkLessNow.com make any other alcoholic out there laugh?  This sounds like a living hell!:

Alford W.’s Story:

I hadn’t gone into a bar without getting drunk for 10 years. After only three weeks of Sobrexa, I couldn’t finish a second martini… and I wanted to! I haven’t had a problem since.

Perhaps we should keep Alford W. in our prayers.

Now and then a serious drinker, being dry at the moment says, “I don’t miss it at all.  Feel better.  Work better.  Having a better time.”  As ex-problem drinkers, we smile at such a sally.  We know our friend is like a boy whistling in the dark to keep us his spirits.  He fools himself.  Inwardly he would give anything to take half a dozen drinks and get away with them.  He will presently try the old game again for he isn’t happy about his sobriety.  He cannot picture life without alcohol.  Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it.  Then he will know loneliness such as few do.  He will be at the jumping-off place.  He will wish for the end.

–          BB p.152, A Vision For You

When Love Is Not Enough

Tonight another alcoholic and I drove to Legacy at Lake Lanier Islands for AA Woodstock of the South and were delighted to see the Christmas light show on our way to the conference!

At the conference, we heard Bill & Bernadette B. of S.C. tell their alcoholic/alanon stories.  Bill told about the collection of interviews he did with Lois Wilson, whose story is told in this movie.

Bill said that Lois told him that Bill Wilson always felt like he was a failure at everything. Ha! Doesn’t God have a wonderful sense of humor?! I need to remember that next time I feel down on myself.

I had a bad drunk/relapse dream last night – I suspect as a result of my AA anniversary coming up in a few days – and had been feeling disconnected from my higher power today.  Bill B. said exactly what I needed to hear to bring me back:  Bill’s mother-in-law would annoy him when he was drinking – every time he came home drunk, she would be in the dining room with her rosary beads and prayer cards and bible.  One time he even yelled at her.  But then, after he got sober, she sat down beside him and said, “You know, when I read the bible and think about all the miracles God has performed, I’ve often wondered what it would be like to witness a miracle like that.”  Then she put her hand on his shoulder and said, “And now I have.”

Who knows what God has in store for this one of His many miracles!

Are you a miracle too?  Let me hear from you!!

I Need A Miracle Every Day!!

In the early 90’s, I was a budding druggie alcoholic junkie who frequented Grateful Dead shows.  I remember guys, sporting dreadlocks and smelling like patchouli, walking around calling, “I need a miracle!” which apparently was code for “I need a ticket!” although at the time for some reason** I thought it was code for “I need a hit of acid!”

Too much of everything is just enough
One more thing I just got to say

I need a miracle every day,
I need a miracle every day,
I need a miracle every day, (got to be the only way)
I need a miracle

-Grateful Dead, “I Need A Miracle!”

**I thought we were all tripping on LSD and that my life was normal!

“The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false.” –BB xxviii(xxvi), The Doctor’s Opinion

I was going through the Doctor’s Opinion with a sponsee recently and was reminded of the “I need a miracle” calls when I got to this paragraph:

“We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics, but its application presented difficulties beyond our conception.   What with our ultra-modern standards, our scientific approach to everything, we are perhaps not well equipped to apply the powers of good that lie outside our synthetic knowledge.” -BB xxvii(xxv), The Doctor’s Opinion

I stopped, looked at my sponsee and said, “I think he is saying we need a miracle – what do you think?”  Fresh off the heels of another relapse, she quickly replied, “Yes!”

I listened to a Sandy B. talk recently where he describes the words used in the 9th step promises, such as “disappeared”, “slip away”, “intuitively”, and “materialize” as “magician’s words.”  It is magic I need – and I need it every day.

“What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”  BB p.85, Into Action

Dr. Silkworth mentions the scientific approach in the passage above.  I’d like to address that by referencing a book I once skimmed through called When Skeptics Ask.  I found the chapter on miracles interesting.  The book says:

“A miracle is divine intervention into, or interruption of, the regular course of the world that produces a purposeful but unusual event that would not have occurred otherwise.  By this definition, then, natural laws are understood to be the normal, regular way the world operates.  But a miracle occurs as an unusual, irregular, and specific act of a God who is beyond the universe.  This does not mean that miracles are violations of natural law or even opposed to them.  As the famous physicist Sir George Stokes has said, ‘It may be that the event which we call a miracle was brought on not by a suspension of the laws in ordinary operation, but by the super addition of something not ordinarily in operation.’  In other words, miracles don’t violate the regular laws of cause and effect, they simply have a cause that transcends nature.”

I read somewhere that the scientific method says something must be observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable.  By their very nature, miracles are a one-time, unrepeatable occurrence, and therefore, cannot be proved by the scientific method.  But then again, with the estimate of the number of people recovering in AA from a “seemingly hopeless state of mind and body” being around 2,000,000, maybe miracles can be proved just by looking around the rooms of AA.  Maybe we are witnessing miracles every day.

I am fascinated by the fact that scientists were looking to something other than science to heal alcoholics.  “No human power could have relieved our alcoholism,” says our literature.

If you get a chance, I highly recommend Chapter 24 of Pass It on, which includes a letter from Carl Jung to Bill W.  He writes about his treatment of an alcoholic named Roland H. who would later get sober in AA.

“His craving for alcohol was the equivalent on a low level of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language:  the union with God…The only right and legitimate way to such an experience is that it happens to you in reality, and it can only happen to you when you walk on a path which leads you to higher understanding…Alcohol in Latin is spiritus, and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison.  The helpful formula therefore is:  spiritus contra spiritum.”

“spiritus” = breath, breathing, air, soul, life; also Alcohol, as in spirits

“contra” = against, facing, opposite; weighed against; as against; in resistance/reply to; contrary to, no in conformance with; the reverse of; otherwise than; towards/up to, in direction of; directly over/level with; to detriment of

Whoopee party’s translation:  Spirit against spirits!

To end his book God and the Astronomers, Robert Jastrow, a NASA scientist, astronomer, physicist and cosmologist writes:

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream.  He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquest the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

How to find your miracle is explained here: 

Triumphant Arch

Hat tip to Friends of Bill W.  for pulling all of this together.  Early on, I became fascinated with the metaphor (I think it’s a metaphor) that runs through the Big Book relating to the construction of an arch.  I looked everywhere for this picture, Friends!  Thank you!  Thought I would share my embellishments on your work!

 

First Things First

At some point in my first week of sobriety, my sponsor had me make this list of the things I must do today to stay sober.  I like that she made it really simple, although I did not find these things to be easy.

*  Pray – on my knees! 

  • Ask for help in the morning to relieve the urge to go back to my old lifestyle of drinking and drugging
  • Thank God at night for keeping me sober that day

*  Go to a meeting

  • 90 meetings in 90 days
  • Go to a Big Book meeting and a Step meeting every week
  • Share what is really going on with me at the meeting

*  Call my sponsor

*  Call 5 sober members in recovery of the same sex

*  Help another

  • An anonymous nice thing
  • Service work at the meeting such as making coffee, wiping down counters, cleaning ashtrays
  • If someone picks up a white chip, give them my phone number and tell them how I felt on day one

*  Read literature and work steps

  • Starting with “The Doctor’s Opinion”, read the first 164 pages of the Big Book and highlight what I can relate to or what jumps out at me

*  Read Daily Reflections meditation in the morning

*  Take care of yourself!

  • Take a shower
  • Brush teeth
  • Wash face

Boat Ride at 58th GA Prepaid

20111022-133545.jpg

20111022-133643.jpg

20111022-154147.jpg