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.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

How to tell if you are RIGHT. About your 'ideas' of how to stay sober. Or anything else for that matter..

If you are right
The thing you are doing or talking about WORKS
I mean REALLY works
Under ALL conditions

If you are WRONG
The thing you are doing or talking about DOESN'T work

It fails
It comes to an end
It stops delivering
It breaks under the strain of extra weight
It fails to satisfy explanation under a range of new conditions
It P**SES people off
You do NOT get the prize at the end of the rainbow
You do NOT achieve the desired result

You are WRONG!
You have FAILED to identify the correct solution

Wrong !! answer!
Go back to the drawing board
Try again
Try a bit harder next time
Pay attention at the back of the class
You snooze you lose
Come back to me with your new solution and lets see if THIS one works

Why am I saying this?
Because of the human (and largely alcoholic) capacity to DELUDE oneself about the degree of success of the strategy we have knowingly (or unknowingly implemented.

EVERYBODY has a strategy at any one time. For all things.
Just most are largely unconscious of what strategy they are using

Insanity is doing the SAME thing
Over and OVER and expecting a DIFFERENT result

What makes you think it will be different THIS time around? ?

99% of the problem is IDENTIFYING THE SOLUTION
99% of the solution is IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM

Wise people learn from their own mistakes.
SMART people learn from OTHER PEOPLES

When trying to decide if the method you are using is working
For ANYTHING really
Dealing with depression
Getting a job
Building a social life
Losing weight



What is it telling you?
What are the RESULTS of your efforts telling you
About the METHOD you have implemented to achieve those ends?

Is it working?
At all?
Is it working MORE when you do 'x'?
Is it working LESS when you do 'x'?
Does doing 'x' move you CLOSER to your goal?
EXACTLY how much closer are you?
Or are you DELUDING yourself about your 'progress'

Rome wasn't built in a day.
But that's NO EXCUSE for the " Insanity is doing the SAME thing
Over and OVER and expecting a DIFFERENT result" Brigade.

This is why you need OTHER PEOPLE to help tell you if you are full of SH*T about your 'progress' or not
Not easy. Well !yeah. Tell me something new!

This form of reasoning I go over at Step ONE
I call it
As opposed to
IDEAS led reasoning

I judge the validity of your approach (strategy/reasoning) by the RESULTS you get from using that approach
Nothing more
Not by how 'CLEVER' your approach sounds
Not by how ENTHUSIASTIC you are about that approach
Not by how much FAITH you have in that approach
Not by how much you WANT to use that approach
Not by how many degrees you have
Not by your impressive job title
Not by the number of years you have been alive
Not by how intellectual or seemingly un-academic you are
Not by how new or old sober you are

All I care about is

HOW WELL does it work?
REALLY well?
SH*T HOT well?
Kindof slow, but you get there in the end", kindof well?

Or do you not get 'there' at ALL?
(In which case I do not rate your 'method' at ALL.)

So there you go
That's what I call

Can be summarized by

Do more of what WORKS
Do less of what DOESN'T

Have a nice Thursday!

(If I knew how to do SHORTER posts I would post more often!! Dang!)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

How to deal with Praise and Blame: "Breaking into a million pieces" "Ah so"

I was listening to a talk by Ven. Ajahn Amaro today at work today called 'Ah so" (A talk given on September 1st, 2007) and is has a seriously great information about how to deal with both praise and blame. A very 'cool' unreactive response. Plus some great observations about how MUCH the mind LONGS for approval and how much it RECOILS from criticism. Even when its deserved.
He calls the reaction to rejection "Breaking into a million pieces" which I think is BRILLIANT
Because it REALLY FEELS LIKE THAT INSIDE when we are rejected.

In my mind I used to see painful rejections like some kind of splintered glass. Like when splinters radiate outward from a point at which a stone hits a car windshield. You know the way that kind of glass cracks? Like that. Like a spiders web or something. Except it isn't restricted in size to that of a car window. It sort of radiates out from ones solar plexus. The solar plexus is the nexus of the splinter impact.
Well that's how I see it in my minds eye. Transparent, but fractured into a million tiny little pieces.
Which is why I LOVE his description.
Obviously this describes a more 'obvious' version of rejection.
But lesser rejections (to me) feel like a reduced version of the above. Like its a weaker version. Like weak tea, instead of strong tea.
Anyway. Its a GREAT talk.
..Yes I am STILL addicted to Ajahn Amaro's talks..
Its what the ipod was invented for!

Have a SUPER Friday!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

There must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol

Step One requirement:
"There must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol"
(p33, AA Big Book)

I find Step One the most exhausting of all the steps. Step 5 second most exhausting. Step 8 third most tiring.
Just ONE of the MANY reasons why step one is SO draining is because I consider my work unfinished until the Sponsee has 'got' this Step one requirement.

I will not move on to Step 2 until this requirement has been satisfied.
Its hard work!
ESPECIALLY when I am dealing with an alcoholic who is "early in our drinking careers" (p32, AA Big Book). Ie quite young and not very far progressed. (alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a PROGRESSIVE illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better. p30, AA Big Book)

So basicaly, even if they have trouble controlling how much they drink ONCE A YEAR, my job is to keep working with them untill they have "no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol" (p33, AA Big Book)

Tough? Yep!
But if I get this part right its saves me a LOT of GRIEF later. So it is worth it.
Just thought I would share that..

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

'Fit SPIRITUAL condition'. NOT 'fit PSYCHOLOGICAL condition'

"That is how we react so long as we keep in fit SPIRITUAL condition."
(p85, AA Big Book)

What IS 'Fit SPIRITUAL condition'? (p85, AA Big Book)
That's another post.

'Fit SPIRITUAL condition' (p85, AA Big Book) MAY or MAY NOT manifest as 'fit PSYCHOLOGICAL condition'

But many unconsciously read this sentence as MEANING
'fit PSYCHOLOGICAL condition'

Which it is NOT (!!!) saying.
Think about it.
Its SO !! easy to UNCONSCIOUSLY MISINTERPRET what the big book is saying VERY !! directly to us

I'm just drawing your attention to this (what I see as) IMPORTANT distinction.
I will !! TRY (!) to explain what 'Fit SPIRITUAL condition' is another post. (Difficult !!!! or what!)

For now, just remember that the big book does NOT suggest we aim to achieve 'fit PSYCHOLOGICAL condition'. Meaning the aim is not to become more PSYCHOLOGICALLY ADVANCED.
Not to increase our Psychological knowledge, proficiency or expertise.
Certainly not as a primary goal.
It may (or may not) occur as a fortunate !! BY PRODUCT of having a spiritual awakening as a result of the steps, (p60, AA Big Book) and thereafter keeping in fit SPIRITUAL condition. (p85, AA Big Book)

Whatever. Just thought I would mention that if you haven't already spotted it.
Basically recovery has VERY LITTLE to do with PSYCHOLOGICAL GOALS, but has a GREAT DEAL to do with SPIRITUAL GOALS.
Which are distinctly different to the former, (in my perception anyhow.)
That's my experience. Make of it what you will. For all I know ? this is glaringly ! obvious to you all already..

Have a great Thursday!

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

Can therapy or counseling get you sober, or keep you sober?

..As a substitute for "a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps" (p60, AA Big Book)

"Neither he NOR ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power. " (p43, AA Big Book)

That includes Therapists, counselors, people who work in treatment centres, psyciatrists, sponsors, me, you.
ALL !!!! humans unfortunately..

This is why I do not get Sponsees to do therapy or such (if ever) until AFTER step 9. Ie when the spiritual malady Is overcome (p64, AA Big Book) and they are no longer in danger of drinking PROVIDED THEY STAY IN FIT ***SPIRITUAL*** CONDITION. (p85, AA Big Book)

Anyway. That's how I do it. That's how old timers did it when I was new. And that's what I saw working again and again and again.
So that's what I pass on. That's my experience.
Thankfully it seems to be the same as that of the first 100 members. (re first quote from p43, AA Big Book)
There's another reason, but ill explain that another time. Theres more to this, but I'll split it over a few posts.

Have a great Thursday!

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