SRS progress thread

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by undirected, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. undirected

    undirected Guest

    My last one was closed. I have an inkling as to who closed it, and all I can say is that while I was pretty livid when it happened, now I just hope that the person who did so can get over himself, because what he did was wrong

    This is technically my third attempt at getting and staying sober. I've got 9 days as it stands right now.

    I've been attending AA meetings regularly and trying to assimilate back into the program, it hasn't been quite as smooth as I would have liked it to be, but that's life. I'm trying to find somebody who really has what I want and ESPECIALLY (if possible) somebody who once was or still is an agnostic or atheist. (I am the former.)

    I get the steps, I know how to do the deal, but the thing I have not been able to wrap my head around since originally being introduced to AA in early 2007 is the concept of spirituality. Obviously spirituality isn't inclusive only to AA by any stretch of the imagination, but believe it or not, as an agnostic the only time I had ever really approached any sort of a spiritual relationship with what may or may not have been a higher power was after I completed inpatient treatment and was living in a halfway house. I still never got that far with it during my first stint in sobriety, but I at least was trying. Now I'm having a hard time even getting started with approaching some sort of spiritual enlightenment.

    I'd really like to hear from some people who were agnostic or atheist before they entered the program (or those who still are especially) as to how I might be able to get started with this aspect of my recovery

    thanks
    mike
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2008
  2. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    It's not a big mystery. There is one mod in this sub forum. Your thread was closed by I Killed Tupac whether he chose to make a "closed" post or not.

    Regardless of our interactions in that thread, I never would have closed it even if I had the power to do so.
    Congrats. I wish you the best.
     
  3. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Thanks Cootie

    I wanted to apologize, not for having beliefs outside the norm of AA, but for trying to fight you so hard when all you were trying to do was help me figure things out. I know what I need to do -- always have -- but I'm still at a lost for the most part as to how to do it, and maybe I do need somebody who's a hardliner AA to get it in my head this go-round rather than looking for the "easier, softer way"

    Thanks
     
  4. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    You're more than welcome.
    Well thank you for the apology and I too want to apologize for cursing. My reason for doing so was to shake you up a bit. Not because I get off on that sort of thing but because I was trying to get through to you. I'm convinced that I'm dealing with life and death issues here and I take this sub forum very seriously.

    It's hard to convey to newcomers that what they think is so unique about their particular circumstances is actually quite common. When you've been around AA as long as I have, certain things just stand out like gigantic red flags .....especially when I used to believe similar things. And I usually don't ever hold my tongue when I think what I have to say will benefit someone else.

    I'm also glad you realize that my whole purpose was to help. It's difficult in this medium (text) to convey everything behind my words.
    For me, I never would have been able to get and stay sober if I didn't have a strong personality with whom I could really thrash about. What I mean is, I question EVERYTHING!! I ask questions that many people don't and I think a LOT.

    So when I got to AA I needed someone who was smart enough and strong enough in their own recovery so I could work through many of my issues and concerns. I didn't want someone who would say, "Well that's just the way it is....get over it."

    I needed someone that could help illuminate all the different ways I lied to myself. Keep in mind, when I got to AA, I didn't think I lied to myself at all, except little justifications here and there but nothing major. Boy was I wrong. I was constantly amazed at all the different ways I was lying to myself. There were many different ways and it was very difficult for me to see them and quite honestly, I didn't believe when someone said I was lying to myself. Most times, they were right. :(

    But the good news for me was, AA can handle all that shit and I can actually answer the great majority of my questions. Maybe not all of them but certainly a LOT of them.

    Anyways, keep comming back. :wavey:
     
  5. undirected

    undirected Guest

    :wavey: Thanks man
     
  6. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Went to a fantastic meeting tonight where I brought up the subject of spirituality and got some great responses :h5: Also met another agnostic, probably the only agnostic in Hickory AA :mamoru: Went to ask him to be my sponsor but asked how long he had been sober first and since he was only a few months in I decided to wait and look for somebody with some more time. Still will DEFINITELY keep in contact with him though, I liked what he had to say. He said he'd be on the lookout for others with similar beliefs that might be able to ease me into the concept of spirituality rather than pushing me in headfirst, if ya dig it

    Heading to one of the two meetings I hit the first night I came back to AA this go-round tommorow, should be a good time

    peace all
     
  7. O'Fuck

    O'Fuck Guest

  8. undirected

    undirected Guest

    how about you? How's the spirituality gig coming along? (if you don't mind sharing)
     
  9. undirected

    undirected Guest

    I would tend to disagree...somebody with more sobriety and who is willing to sponsor almost invariably will know more about the program and have more to offer than somebody with less sobriety.

    I've always heard AT LEAST a year and this time around I'm going to pick somebody with at least 5 years I think.
     
  10. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    I don't agree.

    Sure one can make the argument that to get 20 or 40 years of sobriety all someone does is live one day at a time. Sure but you ask anyone and they'll say there's a big difference in what they know now than what they knew 10 years ago. For most people, it's quite dramatic the difference. This growth in knowledge is very valuable.

    I've seen people that get into trouble no matter how much sobriety their sponsor has so from that perspective, we can all find examples. For me personally, I needed someone with long term sobriety because that person was more secure in his sobriety. He wasn't all caught up with the idea that HE was keeping me sober (something that those with less times can easily fall into. I did.). My staying sober didn't stroke his ego like I see it do so many sponsors with less sobriety.

    I do agree the sponsor is there to help you work the steps and hold one accountable for that. IMO someone with one year of sobriety may not be the best choice here. Why? Well I would argue that someone with 10+ years of sobriety has seen, worked and been around the working of the steps for more time and has more exposure to them than someone with 1 year. This exposure has value.

    Anyways, for me, I needed someone with long term sobriety if only so I could tell my mind to shut up and just listen to that person.
     
  11. O'Fuck

    O'Fuck Guest

    Man I've been doing wonderful :)

    For about the last two months... I had cut my drinking to just once a week.

    By these last couple weekends... it was almost as if I had to force myself TO drink. I just didn't really feel like it but... I figured.. oh, its saturday night, thats what I do. But each time it wasn't any fun. I'd just get that 'fever' where I had to keep drinking more and more to reach that magical place where I felt okay. And of course that never came. Even though I drank, at least I was mindful of it.

    And I just regretted the drinking so much. Not because I let myself down so much as because it just fucked up my health kick, which has me feeling SO much better.

    This weekend will be my first time to not drink at all on a weekend. I don't think I've ever done that in my 17 years of boozing, that I can recall. Its exciting.

    I feel so fucking good now. My AA buddy just signed up and should be in here shortly. I know... I broke rule #1 :mamoru: We're actually going to a sober bar tonight after our meeting. (you okies been to Club Soda yet?)

    Besides just feeling fucking amazing... its feeling really good to be a decent influence on a great friend of mine who is deep into the coke and booze. Me and him always talked about how bored we were with fucking ourselves up. But now I can kinda be a little bit of a light and show him that the other side isn't some drab and boring life. Its actually LIVING. He has a daughter now, and he knows he can't keep destroying himself anymore. If I can play even the smallest part in him cleaning up... that would be the best thing I can imagine.

    I'm getting chills now just like I did when I made my first post back here :)
     
  12. O'Fuck

    O'Fuck Guest

    Oh, as for the spirituality aspect...

    Before I got so deep into the booze, I was a practicing Buddhist for many years. There's a sober Buddhist named Noah Levine... the son of one of my favorite authors Stephen Levine. He wrote a great book called Dharma Punx, and his website has a pretty cool little Buddhist/Recovery forum. A lot of them just reflect on their original Buddha nature as a HP. Which essentially is our core self before life piles all the shit on top. The One, and all that.

    So thats basically what I'm reflecting on. My head has been so muddled with the drugs and booze for so long... I don't have it totally ironed out yet... but thats the general direction I'm going. I really missed spirituality during all these years of being anything but spiritual.
     
  13. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Cool deal man, glad you have something to work with there. Keep us updated.

    I'm doing okay in AA as of lately, still haven't found a sponsor. I do want to touch base on something that has been REALLY bothering the hell out of me lately and see if I'm the only one who has a problem with it.

    Is it just me, or does the long-winded, egotistical ramblings of a long time AAer go completely against what the program is supposed to teach? Shouldn't we be learning as we grow in the program that we really aren't important in the scheme of things? I know that "alcoholics love to hear themselves talk," but FUCK, isn't there a limit here?
     
  14. O'Fuck

    O'Fuck Guest

    I've been switching around a lot, but the club I've been enjoying most lately has SOOOOO many fucking people each night that they tend to ask people to limit talks to a few minutes. Works much better that way.

    Cause ya... sometimes you'll have that one person that just goes on forever... often about things unrelated to the program. And they do seem so wrapped up in themselves that it doesn't enter their mind that they are keeping others from sharing.
     
  15. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    As I read this, I was thinking of a Floyd saying again. He says this all the time. "Nothing is worse than a head full of AA and a belly full of booze." :rofl:

    Thankfully, I've never experienced that. I hope I never do.
    THen I read this part and went, Oh ok...so he's working on all sorts of things. Cool....glad you're feeling better and turning yourself around, no matter how you do it. If it's working for you and making you feel better, awesome! I wish you the best.

    I haven't been to club soda...not even sure where it is. But I used to go to a sober night club. There was one down by NW Classen HS and it was cool. I'd go with sober friends and we'd dance and hang out. Bad thing was, they let in teenagers also so it was kinda lame at times....but still....good times.
     
  16. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    I remember being really pissed off at some old timer for taking up literally like 1/2 the meeting with his boring ass shit. I was just like, STFU old man, I have something I need to say!!

    Then they asked if anyone had a burning desire to speak and I kept my mouth shut. Then I bitched to my sponsor about how the old timer took up the whole meeting.

    My sponsor just smiled and said, "Next time they ask if anyone has a burning desire, speak up." He went on to explain that we are all in AA to get and stay sober. He told me that I didn't know what that old man was going through, I couldn't possibly know how tough his life had been that day and there was no way I could know how close he was to drinking.

    He said maybe I should stop being a victim and realize that A) I had a chance to speak but didn't and B) that old man may have been clinging to sobriety with the tips of his fingers. Like he might have been talking for so long because he was literally desperate to stay sober.

    He said, "Maybe he had to say all of that so he wouldn't drink tonight. Wouldn't it be OK if that was true?" And when I thought about it like that, I thought, "Yeah....in fact, FUCK YEAH!!!" That's exactly what I want AA to be. A place where we can come and do what we need to do to stay sober.

    There are still times that someone rambling on and on will drive me crazy. Then I hear someone compliment them on what they said and I think, "Hold on....did you hear the same speech I did? It sucked!!" Guess what....alcoholism is a disease of perception and my perceptions can get all fucked up.

    Anyways....try not to be so harsh with the ramblers (myself included). We're all just trying to stay sober one day at a time.
    Actually when I'm chairing a meeting, I'll let people talk as long as they stay on topic. They can take up 30 minutes or the whole hour. I also remind newcomers to stay afterward if they need to talk to someone because we are here to help them also.

    Funny thing is, very few stick around afterwards.
     
  17. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Yeah when that happens when I'm chairing a meeting, I make sure to speak up if they've been going on for awhile. It's funny because it's like some people don't even realize they're doing it till you say something. If I'm not the chairman, I don't usually speak up. I just quietly leave and either hit up another meeting or call my sponsor.
     
  18. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Been a while since an update, still hanging in there. Working on 3 weeks as of Monday

    Some days I feel really confident and happy with where I'm at and where I'm going, some days I feel like total shit and wonder if I'm ever going to get out of the rut I'm stuck in. It's pretty much a toss-up as of lately.

    Talked to a few of the folks from Greensboro with whom I used to attend meetings back during my first run in the program. One of them, who I was in a halfway house with for a while and also did some contracting with after we both got out of treatment got a year and then relapsed last week, but he's back in and said he was glad that I called him. It was nice to talk to some of them, although my old sponsor never returned my message. :hsugh:

    Speaking of sponsors, I picked up a temporary one just to bounce some ideas off of. He's one of the younger dudes in the program around here (in his 30's) and is a high school teacher with a really good attitude about the program for being so young in sobriety (a little over a year, he actually went to the same treatment program as I did, only about a month later...and he actually stuck with it)

    I'm still looking for a more permanent sponsor with a good amount of years but frankly, I want nothing that any of these crusty, megalomaniacal old bastards have
     
  19. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Congrats.

    But I've got to say, you seem to be want to repeat your past experience in AA. An experience which didn't work. This should be a HUGE red flag to you. I realize it's nice to connect with someone you used to know in the program but it's also really easy to fall back into old habits....habits that lead you back to drinking/using.

    I know, I know...this time it's going to be different right?

    Is it really that surprising that you don't want what the old timers have? I mean you've been resisting AA from the very start. You've been resisting pretty much everything from the start. IMO this is just more of the same.

    I mean since you started posting, you've been continually looking at the differences. How you are different, how I'm wrong, AA is wrong, everyone is wrong/different than you.

    I mean if you don't want to get and stay sober, then why are you in AA?

    If your answer is, you just want to stop hurting....then look at those old timers, are they hurting? Well if not then THAT is something that they have that you want.

    You don't marry your sponsor for life. Stop making this so difficult. Find someone with 10 years of sobriety and do the following:
    1) Ask them to be your sponsor.
    2) Tell them you want to work the steps
    3) Ask them to teach you what they did.
    4) Do what they suggest

    Now that's just a suggestion, you're obviously free to try things yourself but why not just follow this suggestion....completely?? I mean if it doesn't work, find a different sponsor.

    Very rarely do I see people get into trouble in AA because they worked the steps too soon. However, I've seen TONS of people get into trouble because they simply didn't want to work the steps. THe primary job of a sponsor is to help you work the steps. Someone with 10+ years of sobriety has much more knowledge/experience in working the steps. That experience can really help you.
     
  20. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Dude, it really isn't that. Yes, I still have some very strong reservations, justified reservations at that. When I say I don't want what a lot of these old time AAers have, I don't mean that I don't want their length of sobriety. I don't want to be another person whose life is AA and for whom AA is their life. I understand that what they did worked and still does work, but can you not understand my reservations when every single one of the old timers (in this area, at least) all say the EXACT same things, act the same way, objectify women the same way, gossip the same way -- they do all these things that I want no part of, except for the sobriety portion of their lives.

    It might seem like I'm fighting this and only looking for the differences, and you're certainly entitled to your opinion about that. But frankly dude, I'm 19 years old. It comes with the territory. So if you want to break it down, yes, I want to get and stay sober, but no, I guess I'm not willing to do ANYTHING in order to do so if that "anything" includes becoming another brick in the wall.

    I am treating AA as an enhancement to my life and not a replacement for it. Is that wrong?
     
  21. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Actually I can because I had the same reservations. Here's the good news, none of that matters. Everything you described are outside issues and have nothing to do with getting and staying sober. You don't have to act like these guys, you don't have to hang out with them, you don't even need to like them.

    It is totally possible to learn an astounding amount about yourself and the program of AA and still not "click" with them. It does, however, require that you recognize that there's a difference.

    Think of it like this, do you always have to like and hang out with everyone you work with? Of course not...it's just a job and you go there to make money day by day. Your life is outside of work. However it's something you do to survive and many people spend a lot of time on getting very efficient at work regardless of the personalities involved.

    Reread my posts about my first sponsor and perhaps you'll start to realize that I thought exactly the same as you and I was confused when I heard from other AAs to "Find someone who has what you want." Noone had what I wanted because I didn't want to get sober. I honestly didn't think a sober life and anything that I wanted.

    I just knew I couldn't continue doing what I had been doing. I knew that if I kept going, I would eventually be fucked for life by something I did during a drunk. I didn't want to get to that point but I could see clearly my life was seriously fucked up and it was getting worse. I just didn't realize it had anything to do with drinking.

    So when I got to AA, there was a very small part of my brain that wanted to get sober. For me, it was more a realization that others in the rooms of AA had lived the life I was currently trapped in. They said that they worked the steps and their lives got better adn they were able to straighten out a lot of the things that used to fuck with them. THAT is what clicked with me and I figured the dude with 10+ years of sobriety was the best one to teach me about this new life.

    It's almost as if your acting like they will brianwash you and you'll then be powerless over how many meetings you go to and how big a part of your life AA becomes. There's no brainwashing going on and you'll still have your ability to choose a different path.....yes, even after 10 years of sobriety.

    Well if you had asked me when I was new to AA to abandon everything that I knew and understood and immediately adopt this new lifestyle RIGHT NOW and 100% and without any questioning.....I would have turned around and walked out the door.

    I'm not saying that at all. But you've been in AA before and it didn't work. To repeat those previous patterns is VERY alcoholic. WHy? Because most of us have said, "This time it's going to be different"...when we're drinking.

    What happens tho, it usually isn't different....we end up doing the same things over and over again. That's why I posted because I read that same sort of thinking in your post only you're doing it in AA.

    Why not try something different because your previous methods didn't work?
     
  22. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Good points all around here...

    Fair enough.


    Ah...but there's the rub. AA did work for me before, for nearly 5 months in fact. I simply wasn't ready to quit using drugs. I was too young to be an alcoholic/addict, too smart for this affliction, too prideful to fully admit defeat...or so I thought. I MADE THE CONSCIOUS DECISION to start using again. In fact, I still remember that moment like it were yesterday. I was at a home group speaker meeting, hearing a guy named Boyd speak for the third time in two months after already hearing his story probably 50 times in meetings and through face to face discussions. I started focusing on my resentments against the program and people in it, especially the long-winded, egotistical assholes who talked a big game but didn't actually play it. I walked outside, sat under a big oak tree, lit a cigarette, and called my old using buddy Steve to inform him that I was giving AA the big "fuck you" and moving to an apartment where I could get high with no consequences.

    Looking back, this was absolute insanity, but then again, what about my previous life WASN'T insane? I was working the program, I was helping others, speaking at detox facilities, doing service work, making coffee before the meetings and cleaning up afterwards -- shit, I was even PRAYING on a daily basis, even though the prayers were directed to "dear whoever the fuck you are."

    My life was better than it had been in years despite the fact that I was living in a grimey-ass halfway house and I still wanted more than my fair share. I got cocky, and that's that.
     
  23. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Isn't this what your "update" post was doing because it sure sounded like it to me....perhaps I'm wrong.

    Perhaps you just forgot to mention it but I didn't see mention of the steps. However, I think you said you worked them in treatment. Did you work them, with a sponsor, outside of AA? The reason I ask is because by working the steps is where I started to get real relief from the disease.

    I quit having to fight to NOT take a drink. I started to experience real peace and I was feeling much better. It took time and there were varying levels of these feelings but the main thing was, I got relief and didn't have to fight my drinking at all and it came as a direct result of working the steps.

    Those other things are great but not if they keep you from working the steps.
    I can appreciate that. I was just highlighting something I saw as a red flag. It's quite possible I was mistaken.
     
  24. undirected

    undirected Guest

    :eek3: Good point. I'm a bitter son of a bitch, and I do see a repeating pattern here.

    Well when I said "working the program" I was referring to working the steps.
     
  25. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    :hsd:
    Sometimes my greatest growth has come simply by recognizing a pattern of behavior and investigating it.

    Very often, my investigations lead me to a much greater appreciation and love for myself.

    And it's been my experience that any amount of time I spend in investigation helps me recognize it in the future and choose a different path.

    I hope you have the same experiences.
    Great!!
     

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