About Me

My photo
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 02, 2007

Untreated Alcoholism: 'Stinking thinking". The STEPS are the answer. NOT Self Knowledge, or Will Power.

"Stinking Thinking leads to Drinking"

This is for those of you who are new, and have not yet got a Sponsor, and started working through the Steps, as laid out in the Basic Text of AA. (The Big Book)
I remember I had to hear AA members repeat this SO !! MANY TIMES before I really HEARD it. That's why I'm spelling it out here. !

Lets say you have reached a point after starting coming to meetings where you are just beginning to see that instead of being a 'nice person'. Or a 'victim of circumstance', that actually, you have a little more 'stinking thinking' than you first realized. (!!!)
That actually you are a bit ! selfish.
That actually you have about as much gratitude as a gnats chuff.
That actually people annoy you quite a LOT.
That the general conversation, 'washing machine' thoughts that rumble around in your head, ARENT ACTUALLY THAT !!!! POSITIVE.

Well at this point it is tempting to think, that what AA offers is something 'educational' or 'self aware'. A bit like therapy perhaps. This is not so. Not entirely anyway. Self knowledge plays a PART, but not a very BIG part. The 'meat and potatoes' is in the STEPS. Well that's what I've found anyway.
Right. So regarding those negativities or mental 'defects' that you have started to spot..
"Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power."

"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 marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly."

"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."

And regarding any thoughts about drinking you may be experiencing..
"Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense MUST come from a Higher Power."

"No human power could have relieved our alcoholism." (Doesn't say, "except for Mary, Joan, or Bridget')

So if the problem isn't ''selfishness' (or any other 'stinking thinking" ) as such. What IS the problem?
"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 this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem."

So how exactly am I supposed to " find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem."?
"Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery"
"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps"

So. There's your answer.
The STEPS will restore you to sanity.
Which will enable you to have a mental defence against alcohol. See page 84.

(After step 9) regarding alcohol:
"We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. WE react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality—safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid."

And will provide you with the 'needed power" to do many things which until now have been beyond reach. Such as to act in keeping with the " moral and philosophical convictions galore" which you have, but are unable to live up to. Eg selfishness etc.

But to do the steps, you will need a sponsor. The more contented the better, the more peace of mind the better. Find the best available woman in your neighborhood and ask her to take you through the first nine steps. After that its just maintenance.
But most importantly,
"the (drink) problem has been removed. It does not exist for us."

Which is why we all showed up in AA in the first place, lets face it!

So happy hunting! And I hope you find a good un!


Shadow said...

good stuff there!

Anonymous said...

Exactly. But in my experience, few people want to hear the truth. Recovery ain't for sissys.

The Patient Connection said...

Can you help with a new research project about alcoholism?


We are running a research blog into the diagnosis, treatment and lifestyles of people who have been diagnosed with alcoholism.

We are really interested in the story of you or a friend’s or family member’s diagnosis. It would be really great if you could spare a few minutes to have look and share your thoughts


Please remember that all responses are completely anonymous and this study will help shape new research into this area.

Email me if you have any queries about this project.


The Patient Connection

johno said...

"That actually you have about as much gratitude as a gnats chuff."

yeh thats about my experiemce too, for ages. NOW its about the size of a sperm whale, or even a shoal of them

Useful post as always :)

molly said...

Thanks for sharing the post. I have 2 potential sponsor names and numbers on a torn piece of paper in my car - guess it is time to pick up the phone :) Have a blessed day.

Namenlosen Trinker said...


Anonymous said...

Good brief and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

Anonymous said...

You have tested it and writing form your personal experience or you find some information online?

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Hi anon, I do not look up online information in order to write posts as it happens. My introduction at he top of the blog explains what I post here best. ie:

"Ongoing posts to explain my personal interpretation, and preferred method, of recovering from Alcoholism, using the Basic Text of Alcoholics Anonymous as a template. Based on 20yrs sober life experience. I just add bits when I remember something."

Anonymous said...

Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

No anon, I do not employ copywriters either.