About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

How it DOESN'T work: 26 Methods that FAIL UTTERLY: Religion, Therapy, Will power, Self knowledge etc

Heheh. The poor bloke in the picture! Reminds me of some of my former Sponsees on a bad day! Or before they do the 6 things! should I say! Right, anyway..Back to the subject in hand..
These are things which I see as part of Step 1. Step 1 is EXHAUSTING. This is part of the education as to what recovery asks of us. What Is required to succeed. And why previous attempts have failed.
I think ALL my Sponsees were women who had failed at sobriety previously. Either because they could not stop drinking, or they were suicidally depressed and felt life was not worth living sober. Ie they were at the jumping off place.
Basically, they are people who have 'been through the system' and it just hasn't worked. Often they are disillusioned with AA, and the programme, and they expect to fail. Again. Part of what I do, is identify what was missing from their previous approach. This is not entirely necessary, but I have come to actually quite enjoy ferreting out the offending action, or inaction. This does not mean they choose to use the information immediately. Some do. Others are 'bludgeoned into humility by pain and unremitting suffering'. But anyway, this will hopefully give you an idea of what I have learned is no substitute for the AA programme, and in many cases impedes the programme when employed prior to being restored to sanity as a result of the steps.So here goes. This is a LONG one, so you may need a STRONG cup of coffee to get to the end! Heheh.

"If you want to hide something from an alcoholic, put it in the Big Book"

In my ? 'introduction' I say "I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's BEST KEPT SECRET a lot of the time. (In my opinion). "
The reason I say this, is because 99 times out of 100, the alcoholics I bump into in meetings are OBLIVIOUS to the points I list below, despite having read the big book MANY times, yet evidentially have FAILED to study adequately.
Studying something bears NO resemblance to READING something.
This is why I INSIST on Sponsees buying fluorescent markers and a FULL size hard backed copy of the big book, so that thy will haven enough room to DIFFERENTIATE these passages, and many others. Otherwise they stand NO CHANCE WHATSOVER of finding them again. Quickly and efficiently anyhow. And I don't know about you, but I have a LIFE to be getting on with. I do not have time to waste looking for passages again and AGAIN, instead of simply highlighting it once, or making a note in the margin. Life is TOO SHORT!
Anyway. Like I say, here are some EXTREMELY EXPLICIT INSTRUCTIONS from the Big Book that MANY alcoholics I meet HAVE NO IDEA EXIST. Which is a shame. But like every other thing in AA, is NONE OF MY BUSINESS.
90% of these points I learned from the "Favorite old timer" in my old home group. One of the things he used to say (That his sponsor told him) was:
"REALLY get to know the Big Book. Because you may be the ONLY walking Big Book you ever meet'
I used to think that was a bit melodramatic, and grandiose. I wish that were the case. Instead, I find many (!!) alcoholics are unaware of these, and many other EXPLICIT and UNCOMPROMISING STATEMENTS in the basic text. I would like it to be different. Because I would like the degree of suffering to be the minimum. But I am not 'running the show'. So instead I do my lousy best to pass on what I consider myself VERY lucky to have learned. If anyone picks it up and uses it, great, if not, well I never had any power over those people anyway, so it makes no difference.

Disclaimer:
Oh yeah, and if some of the things on the list 'shock' and 'horrify' you, don't take it up with me, take it up with the first 100 members!!
I happen to have found that the things that the first members documented have been true IN MY EXPERIENCE and the experience of others that I have observed using both the the same method as myself and different versions than the one I use. 20 years of 'unofficial' clinical observation, if you like.
I do NOT insist that you agree with me OR them. Because what you make of these IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS.
So make of them what you will. I list them here for your information. Nothing more.
Like most things in life, applying ANY principle without common sense or with the wisdom of an experienced assistant (ie sponsor) can end up with disastrous results. So don't blame me, If you apply ANY of these in an incredibly kack-handed way, and suffer as a result. That's what sponsors are for!
What I am NOT saying, is that these things have no value at all. Because that's not what the first 100 members said either. These methods fail as ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROGRAMME OF RECOVERY, not !! as a WAY OF PRACTICNG ASPECTS THE SUGGESTED PROGRAMME IN ITS ENTIRETY. But I'm too tired to explain that now. Enough! Another day!
Anyway, I'm waffling now. Here's the list.

How it DOESN'T work.
1. Religion.
2. Human power.
3. Therapy.
4. Self knowledge.
5. Humiliation (The memory of.)
6. Half measures. (As opposed to "Any lengths'.)
7. Holding on to your OLD IDEAS. (This is EASILY the TOUGHEST requirement.)
8. A Mental Defence.
9. Thinking. (As opposed to ACTION. i.e.: Trying to THINK yourself well)
10. Will power. (i.e.: White knuckle. Self will. 'Trying hard', Exerting oneself.)
11. Keeping on guard.
12. Avoiding temptation .
13. Moral and philosophical convictions.
14. Just not drinking.
15. Just going to meetings.
16. Kidding (deluding) yourself that you are enjoying sobriety when deep down you are NOT.
17. Having a "Befogged" brain.
18. Your conduct continues to harm others. (And you are not sorry.)
19. Self reliance.
20. Self Confidence.
21. Constant thought of SELF.
22. Indulging the 'dubious luxury" of anger, resentment, retaliation, or argument.
23. Trying to keep ego puncturing admissions to yourself (You are as sick as your secrets.)
24. An 'easier softer' way.
25. Being Vague.
26. Not COMPLETELY 'giving yourself' to THIS simple program.

(All Page references below refer to the Basic Text of Alcoholics Anonymous.)
1. Religion.
"Your prospect may belong to a religious denomination. His religious education and training may be FAR superior to yours. In that case he is going to wonder how you can add anything to what he already knows. But he well be curious to learn why his own convictions have not worked and why yours seem to work so well. He may be an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient." (p93)
"He interrupted: "I used to be strong for the church but that won’t fix it. I’ve prayed to God on hangover mornings and sworn that I’d never touch another drop but by nine o’clock I’d be boiled as an owl." (p157)
"Then he (the Lawyer) added, "He (God) sure didn’t do much for me when I was trying to fight this booze racket alone." (p158)
("Alone" here refers to without OTHER ALCOHOLICS as opposed to other similarly inclined religious people.)
"To be vital, faith MUST be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive ACTION." (p93)
"Though not a religious person, I have profound respect for the SPIRITUAL approach in such cases as yours. For most cases, there is virtually no other solution." (p43)

2. Human power.
(that includes therapists, Priests, etc as the last time I heard, they are STILL using human ones.)

"No human power could have relieved our alcoholism." (p63)
"Neither he nor ANY other human being can provide such a defense. His defense MUST come from a Higher Power." (p43)
"Our human resources, as marshaled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly." (p45)
"Something more than human power is needed to produce the essential psychic change." (pXXVII)
"There is NO doubt in my mind that you were 100% hopeless, apart from DIVINE help." (p43)

3. Therapy.
(ie Human power)

"Neither he nor ANY other human being can provide such a defense. His defense MUST come from a Higher Power." (p43)
"No human power could have relieved our alcoholism." (p63)
(Doesn't say, "except for therapists, or religious people")
"Something more than human power is needed to produce the essential psychic change." (pXXVII)
"He had consulted the BEST known American psychiatrists. Then he had gone to Europe, placing himself in the care of a celebrated physician (the psychiatrist, Dr. Jung) who prescribed for him. Though experience had made him skeptical, he finished his treatment with unusual confidence. His physical and mental condition were unusually good. Above all, he believed he had acquired such a profound knowledge of the inner workings of his mind and its hidden springs that relapse was unthinkable. Nevertheless, he was drunk in a short time. More baffling still, he could give himself no satisfactory explanation for his fall." (p26)
"There is NO doubt in my mind that you were 100% hopeless, apart from DIVINE help." (p43)

4. Self knowledge.
"The actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly any exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge. This is a point we wish to emphasize and re-emphasize, to smash home upon our alcoholic readers as it has been revealed to us out of bitter experience." (p39)
"Above all, he believed he had acquired such a profound knowledge of the inner workings of his mind and its hidden springs that relapse was unthinkable. Nevertheless, he was drunk in a short time. More baffling still, he could give himself no satisfactory explanation for his fall." (p26)
"Why was it, when these dangers were pointed out that they agreed, and then got drunk again immediately?(p107)
"I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots." (p42)

5. Humiliation.
(the memory of)

"We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink." (p24)
"The almost certain consequences that follow taking even a glass of beer do not crowd into the mind to deter us. If these thoughts occur, they are hazy and readily supplanted with the old threadbare idea that this time we shall handle ourselves like other people. There is a complete failure of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove." (p24)
"This time I had not thought of the consequences at all." (p41)
"Why was it, when these dangers were pointed out that they agreed, and then got drunk again immediately?(p107)
"Why could they not see that drink meant ruin to them? (p107)

6. Half measures.
(As opposed to "Any lengths')

"Half measures availed us NOTHING" (p59)
"We believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution." (p25)
"The result was NIL until we let go ABSOLUTELY." (p58)
"IF you have decided you WANT what we have and are willing to go to ANY LENGTHS to get it- THEN you are ready to take certain steps. (p58)
"Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to ANY LENGTHS to find a spiritual experience" (p79)
"Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to ANY LENGTHS for victory over alcohol." (p76)

7. Holding on to your OLD IDEAS.
(This is EASILY the TOUGHEST requirement.)

"Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and THE RESULT WAS NIL until we let go ABSOLUTELY." (p58)

8. A Mental Defence.
(ie: thinking in the form of reliance on ones thinking to 'save' you from temptation)

"We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink." (p24)
"neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power." (p43)
"The almost certain consequences that follow taking even a glass of beer do not crowd into the mind to deter us. If these thoughts occur, they are hazy and readily supplanted with the old threadbare idea that this time we shall handle ourselves like other people. There is a complete failure of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove." (p24)
"They prophesied that if I had an alcoholic mind, the time and place would come-I would drink again. They had said that though I did raise a defense, it would one day give way before some trivial reason for having a drink. Well, just that did happen and more, for what I had learned of alcoholism did not occur to me at all. I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. (p41)
"I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots."
(p42)
"This time I had not thought of the consequences at all." (p41)
"Why was it, when these dangers were pointed out that they agreed, and then got drunk again immediately?(p107)

9. Thinking.
(As opposed to ACTION. ie: Trying to THINK yourself well.)

"Outline the PROGRAM OF ACTION, explaining how you made a self-appraisal, how you straightened out your past and why you are now endeavoring to be helpful to him (p94)
"the spiritual answer and PROGRAM OF ACTION which a hundred of them had followed successfully." (p42)
"They had told of a simple religious idea and a practical PROGRAM OF ACTION." (p69)
"To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive ACTION." (p93)
"This is not all. There is ACTION and MORE ACTION “Faith without works is dead.” (p88)
"We pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or ACTION." (p87)
"We have then completed Step Seven. Now we need MORE ACTION, without which we find that “Faith without works is dead.” (p76)
Chapter 6 Into ACTION (p72)
"Next we launched out on a course of vigorous ACTION" (p63)
"The two friends spoke of their spiritual experience and told him about THE COURSE OF ACTION they carried out." (p157)
"You may suggest A DEFINITE COURSE OF ACTION" (p142)

10. Will power.
(ie: White knuckle. Self will. 'Trying hard', Exerting oneself.)

"Our so called will power becomes practically nonexistent." (p24)
"Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly." (p45)
"In alcoholics the will is amazingly weakened when it comes to combating liquor, though if often remains strong in other respects." (p7)
"The queer mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power." (p92)
"I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots." (p42)
"What has become of the common sense and will power that he still sometimes displays with respect to other matters?" (p102)
"The man agreed that no amount of will power he might muster could stop his drinking for long. A spiritual experience, he conceded, was absolutely necessary" (p155)
"Such codes and philosophies did not save us, NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE TRIED" (p45)
"Can you discard the feeling that you are dealing only with habit, with stubbornness, or a weak will? If this presents difficulty, re-reading chapters two and three, where alcoholic sickness is discussed at length might be worth while. (p140)
"How could they be so blind about themselves? What had become of their judgment, their common sense, their will power? Why could they not see that drink meant ruin to them? Why was it, when these dangers were pointed out that they agreed, and then got drunk again immediately?(p107)
"We had gone on drinking many years beyond the point where we could quit on our will power." (p34)
"His human will had failed" (p11)
"Oh no,” said my friend, “this chap is either through with liquor, or he is minus a job. If he has your will power and guts, he will make the grade.”
I wanted to throw up my hands in discouragement, for I saw that I had failed to help my banker friend understand. He simply could not believe that his brother-executive suffered from a serious illness." (p139)
"I felt I had every right to be self-confident, that it would be only a matter of exercising my WILL POWER and keeping on guard." (p40)

11. Keeping on guard.
"We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink." (p24)
"I felt I had every right to be self-confident, that it would be only a matter of exercising my will power and keeping on guard." (p40)
"Not only had I been off guard, I had made no fight whatever against the first drink. This time I had not thought of the consequences at all." (p41)

12. Avoiding temptation.
(without doing the programme of recovery.)

"Any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure." (p101)
"Nor are you trying to run his life so he will be shielded from temptation to drink. If he is conscientiously following the program of recovery he can go anywhere your business may call him." (p147)
"Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do." (p100)
"We meet these conditions every day. An alcoholic who cannot meet them, still has an alcoholic mind; there is something the matter with his spiritual status. His only chance for sobriety would be some place like the Greenland Ice Cap, and even there an Eskimo might turn up with a bottle of scotch and ruin everything!" (p101)
"Our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, if we have a legitimate reason for being there." (p101)

13. Moral and philosophical convictions.
"We found that such codes and philosophies DID NOT SAVE US, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn't there. Our human resources, as marshaled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly." (p45)
"Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to." (p62)

14. Just not drinking.
"We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough." (p82)
"Cessation of drinking is but the first step away from a highly strained, abnormal condition." (p122)
"Those who DO NOT RECOVER are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program" (p58)
"Half measures availed us NOTHING" (p59)

15. Just going to meetings.
(As opposed to COMPLETELY giving oneself to THIS simple programme)
"Those who DO NOT RECOVER are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to THIS simple program" (p58)
"Half measures availed us NOTHING" (p59)

16. Kidding (deluding) yourself that you are enjoying sobriety when deep down you are NOT.
"We smile at such a sally. We know our friend is like a boy whistling in the dark to keep up 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." (p152)

17. Having a "Befogged" brain.
"It is IMPERATIVE that a man’s brain be cleared BEFORE he is approached"
( pxxiv)

18. Your conduct continues to harm others. (And you are not sorry).
"If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, WE ARE QUITE SURE TO DRINK We are not theorizing. These are facts out of our experience" (p70)

19. Self Reliance.
"Wasn't it because self-reliance failed us? Self-reliance was good as far as it went, BUT IT DIDN'T GO FAR ENOUGH. (p68)

20. Self Confidence.
"Some of us once had great self-confidence, but it didn't fully solve the fear problem, or ANY other." (p68)

21. Constant thought of SELF.
"Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of OTHERS and how we may help meet THEIR needs." (p20)
"Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery." (p97)
"A kindly act once in a while isn’t enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be." (p97)
"Chapter 7 Working with others. Practical experience shows that NOTHING will so much insure immunity from drinking as INTENSIVE work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail." (p89)
"Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others" (p107)
"Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life" (p86)
"The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others." (p74)
"Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now." (p124)
"If an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the CERTAIN trials and low spots ahead" (p14)

22. Indulging the 'dubious luxury" of anger, resentment, retaliation, or argument.
"If we were to live, we HAD to be free of anger". (p66)
"The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison". (p66)
"Resentment is the "number one" offender. It DESTROYS more alcoholics than ANYTHING else". (p66)
"This business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is FATAL. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die." (p66)
"The more we fought and tried to have our own way, the worse matters got" (p66)
"It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness". (p66)
"These resentments MUST be mastered". (p66)
"From it (meaning resentment) stem ALL forms of spiritual disease". (p64)
"To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got. The usual outcome was that people continued to wrong us and we stayed sore". (p66)
"The world and its people really dominated us". (p66)
"God save me from being angry. Thy will be done. We avoid retaliation or argument." (p67)
"If your husband is trying to live on a spiritual basis, he will also be doing everything in his power to avoid disagreement or contention." (p118)

23. Trying to keep ego puncturing admissions to yourself
(You are as sick as your secrets.)

"Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost Invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else all their life story." (p74)
"More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a certain reputation, but knows in his heart he doesn’t deserve it."(p73)

24. An 'easier softer' way.
"Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost Invariably they got drunk." (p72)
"At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not." (p58)

25. Being Vague.
"It would be EASY to be vague about this matter. Yet, we believe we can make some DEFINITE and valuable suggestions." (p86)
"If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking-"What do I have to do?"
It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions SPECIFICALLY. We shall tell you what we have done." (p20)
".wants to recover and that he will go to ANY extreme to do so, you may suggest a DEFINITE course of ACTION" (p15)

26. Not COMPLETELY 'giving yourself' to THIS (!) simple program.
(NOT!! 'Mary's program', 'Frank's Program', or the 'Hazeltwig program'. THIS !!! program.)

"Those who DO NOT RECOVER are people who cannot or will not COMPLETELY give themselves to THIS (!!!) simple program" (p58)
"Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and THE RESULT WAS NIL until we let go ABSOLUTELY." (p58)
"Half measures availed us NOTHING" (p59)
"We believe there is NO middle-of-the-road solution." (p25)
"We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not." (p58)

Phew! Have a GREAT Sunday y'all. Time for my run!

11 comments:

Kathy Lynne said...

Phew is right! No wonder you need a run:) But this is really really good for me so thanks. I'll be printing this out and taking my highlighter to the Book. What color would you like to be??

johno said...

Gratitude in Action.

Passing it on, carrying the message in the 21st century.

I am always grateful when someone brings the big book to life, no matter how much I study it... theres always more

I am grateful :)

Have a good week

Shadow said...

i really enjoy reading your posts. it's like having a sponsor on-line. and appreciate it!

thanks!

molly said...

I haven't read your post for today but wanted to THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the information you posted for me on my blog. Did I say THANK YOU?

Have a great day :)
Lana

Syd said...

You must be the best sponsor around. Your knowledge is an inspiration. Thanks for another great post. I download and print most of what you write.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Thanks Syd, but 95% of what I learned, was from observing the example set by the 'Favorite old timer" I mention. The 'icing on the cake' was from the monks and nun types. They deepened what I first learned in AA, and confirmed the wisdom of the 'favorite old timer' and my home group. I am VERY lucky to have witnessed such a fine example of love and service in AA. I have seen nothing like it since. Just dribs and drabs. But nothing that comes close.
I might very well be dead were it not for the example I was shown. So the least i can do, is try to pass on the free stuff I was given.
Although I will never know for sure, I believe the 'favorite old timer' was actually rather special. The way some monks and nuns are. He was living the boditavvva vow, although he would not have known what that was because he wasn't a Buddhist. He was exceptionally skillful at helping others achieve sobriety. As a communicator, second to none. One of the wisest people I knew. Without saying a word, he took care of me by telling me all the things I post here in meetings. it is because I am unable to do that with the same efficiency as he could, that I have opted to try to do the same thing online. I am extremely grateful for his kindness and wisdom to this day. And the longer I am sober, the more valuable I realize what he taught me was.

Krista said...

WOW. What a great summary of the actions we need to take to stay sober. What not to tell ourselves... I have read the Big Book and I think its wonderful that you have taken the time like that to lay it all out, and note page numbers and such to reflect uupon. After I read the first half of that book, I was so pissed that I didn't highlight!! It is the exact thing a newcomer like me needs to hear over and over. Thanks for your complete comments on my blog, you're very helpful. Your strength and focus to this committment is something I look up to.

Texaco Star said...

You're simply incandesent. I'm guessing this hazeltwig is your regional version of the guru we call "boomer."

I'm always suspicious of anyone that's a big shot in an annonymous programme.

Excellent post. I'm stealing it. ;-)

One Drunk to Another said...

Thanks for this. I have had several sponsees with some years who switch to me and we start from the beginning, studying every paragraph of the Book. I am amazed at the things that they have never been taught (or didn't listen to?) even with a few years of sobriety.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Thanks ODTA, im pretty horrified when I find out what bad habits they have accumulated without realizing, and the missing links that are there that have somehow gone unnoticed. I try to teach sponsees how to figure out the 'missing link' in others that are failing pretty much as soon as I can. I am amazed at how quickly they are able to pick this up. It took me ! AGES to figure it out, but they seem to grasp it fairly quickly when I take the trouble to show them what I look for. I find there are some very distinct patterns. I also try to predict better and worse outcomes of others based on what they are doing now, partly to test the validity of my analysis and also to teach them to do the same. I can come in VERY useful when trying to determine the level of risk of relapse. Years? Months? Weeks? days? sort of thing. It helps me concentrate on the person who I see as being in the highest level of risk. Helps me prioritize who I speak to and for how long, as my free time is always very limited. Or so it seems anyway..

Ashley said...

Thank you so much for the page reference it is great. My sponcer is great working the steps with me but she does not always remember where it is in the book. I want to have things right there so I don't need to take an hour to show someonee where it is.

Finding this blog has been a blessing.

Thanks,
-Ashley