Personal Image

Personal Profile for foxman


 

My Progress Blog

1 2 3 4
 
The Blind Spot

Nobody talks about the blind spot the alcoholic encounters. The book Alcoholics Anonymous illustrates that "mental state" using 3 stories in the chapter "More  About Alcoholism".
 
The Man of 30, how he succumbs to the idea that he can safely drink after 25 years of dry period. 

Jim the Car Salesman who "suddenly"  thinks if only he can mix whiskey with milk and drink on a full stomach it wont hurt.
 
Fred the Account who had a wonderful day, it says not a cloud on the horizon, yet he thinks he could handle a couple.
 
All these are to illustrate, if we are not conscious, we will fall victim to these insane ideas.


2017

What changed? Pretty much nothing. Same job, same meetings. Have to carry my butt to work these days, can't work from home anymore, thats a bummer. Can't be on AHC at my will like before. But thats fine, I can always find sometime later in the evening.

http://e-aa.org/forum/index.php

e-AA forums is a great place to interact with genuine AAers with wide experience on how the 12 steps works. If you all wish to get answer, thats the place to be. As always there is passionate arguments about certain aspects of the program (thats the alcoholic trait that we dont seem to get over with) but generally if one wants to learn and get empowered thats a solid plac. Of course there is a saying when the student is ready the teacher show up. So if one is sincere about learning I strongly recommend that forum.

This is not to brag, but just wanted to share with you all a communication I had with a member on that board:

Hi, thank you so much for sending the Chris R talk link. I've been trying to quit for 12 years seriously and nothing has worked, so I joined this site because I can't attend AA a f2f meetings. I've always resisted AA , not liking the powerless bit - despite never having read anything about AA properly. Oh my, I've read this site since joining and the first step literature. and I've been such a fool in not finding it earlier. Chris R's talk topped my resolve to follow the 12 steps. I listened with either head nodding or tears streaming in recognition. I AM an alcoholic and no amount of pretending I can cut back or moderate will save me. I drink 3 bottles of wine a day and have recently managed to cut back to 2 bottles, as part of a taper - but I've been tapering for years. I've lost my career (not because of drink surprisingly, but because I stayed in that job and used alcoholic to combat the bullying and sexism and one day just walked out instead of dealing with the bullies. The so called cure of alcohol made me incapable of standing up for myself or seeking another position. That was a few years ago and I'm stuck in a rut, feeling worthless and without hope. My husband now supports me when I used to be the main wage earner. I feel useless and will lose his support shortly, because he doesn't understand. He doesn't realize how much I drink, but asked for Internet access to our bank account, so may find out. I HATE the person I've become and can't look in the mirror. My health is failing I know. But this site and your link have given me hope. I live in an unpopulated area and have no AA meetings, so this site is amazing. If you can help further, I'd be so grateful. Thank you

****-----****
Repeatedly we tell people, its not for all, this is for people who can relate to the experience that the book talks about. Even today in this age of medical advancement struggle with this condition. This was one in a remote area. But there are millions who live in the city, yet they are caught in the vicious cycle of alcoholism. Just because they have not lost their job, home, spouse doesn't mean they are not suffering. They think either about drinking or how not to drink. Its a constant struggle. It doesn't have to be like that, like the member above found out. If you have tried all the methods out there and still have not found peace, try AA. 

Vicious Cycle

We had a recent workshop to go through the internal and external un-manageability and the Mental and Physical part of the Powerlessness.

The material can be found at:

Beyond Human Aid!

Once in a while he may tell the truth. And the truth, strange to say, is usually that he has no more idea why he took that first drink than you have. Some drinkers have excuses with which they are satisfied part of the time. But in their hearts they really do not know why they do it. Once this malady has a real hold, they are a baffled lot. There is the obsession that somehow, someday, they will beat the game. But they often suspect they are down for the count.

How true this is, few realize. In a vague way their families and friends sense that these drinkers are abnormal, but everybody hopefully awaits the day when the sufferer will rouse himself from his lethargy and assert his power of will.

The tragic truth is that if the man be a real alcoholic, the happy day may not arrive. He has lost control. At a certain point in the drinking of every alcoholic, he passes into a state where the most powerful desire to stop drinking is of absolutely no avail. This tragic situation has already arrived in practically every case long before it is suspected.

The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so called will power becomes practically nonexistent. 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.

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.

The alcoholic may say to himself in the most casual way, "It won't burn me this time, so here's how!" Or perhaps he doesn't think at all. How often have some of us begun to drink in this nonchalant way, and after the third or fourth, pounded on the bar and said to ourselves, "For God's sake, how did I ever get started again?" Only to have that thought supplanted by "Well, I'll stop with the sixth drink." Or "What's the use anyhow?"

When this sort of thinking is fully established in an individual with alcoholic tendencies, he has probably placed himself beyond human aid, and unless locked up, may die or to permanently insane. These stark and ugly facts have been confirmed by legions of alcohoholics throughout history. But for the grace of God, there would have been thousands more convincing demonstrations. So many want to stop but cannot.


Alcoholics never recover control!

We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals usually brief were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.

########

I tried so hard to control my drinking. I could never put together 2 to 3 weeks of sobriety, until I reached AA. Today, because of the program of AA the 12 steps, I am able to live a serene life without a need for a mind altering substace.

Restless, Irritable and Discontented!

Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks-drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.
**------**
Everytime I put down the drink, I gotten into more trouble because I couldn't handle life, got frustrated dealing with people, especially the spouse, kids, work and the road rage was killing me. Then writing down the character defects, sharing them with others, so they can show the selfishness and self-centerdness around each of them I could work on addressing them. Then serenity was restored, started experience the peace. 

Main Problem of an Alcoholic!

We know that while the alcoholic keeps away from drink, as he may do for months or years, he reacts much like other men. We are equally positive that once he takes any alcohol whatever into his system, something happens, both in the bodily and mental sense, which makes it virtually impossible for him to stop. The experience of any alcoholic will abundantly confirm this.

These observations would be academic and pointless if our friend never took the first drink, thereby setting the terrible cycle in motion. Therefore, the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than in his body. If you ask him why he started on that last bender, the chances are he will offer you any one of a hundred alibis. Sometimes these excuses have a certain plausibility, but none of them really makes sense in the light of the havoc an alcoholic's drinking bout creates. They sound like the philosophy of the man who, having a headache, beats himself on the head with a hammer so that he can't feel the ache. If you draw this fallacious reasoning to the attention of an alcoholic, he will laugh it off, or become irritated and refuse to talk.


An Alcoholic will get drunk by whatever it takes!

I want to share an interesting part of the story "He sold himself short":

One time my wife decided to try this too. After finding every bottle that I had hidden around the apartment, she took away my pants, my shoes, my money and my keys, threw them under the bed in the back bedroom and slip-locked our door. By one a.m. I was desperate. I found some wool stockings, some white flannels that had shrunk to my knees, and an old jacket. I jimmied the front door so that I could get back in, and walked out. I was hit by an icy blast. It was February with snow and ice on the ground and I had a four block walk to the nearest cab stand, but I made it. On my ride to the nearest bar, I sold the driver on how misunderstood I was by my wife and what an unreasonable person she was. By the time we reached the bar, he was willing to buy me a quart with his own money. Then when we got back to the apartment, he was willing to wait two or three days until I got my health back to be paid off for the liquor and fare. I was a good salesman. My wife could not understand the next morning why I was drunker than the night before when she took my bottles.

I am sharing this because there is talk about spouse still drinking, or not storing liquor in the house, avoiding parties, friends etc... My experience is similar to this character in the story, when I use to get real thirsty, I somehow got booze. 

Remembering the Past!

Many don't realize that at times the mind doesn't remember the consequences. Its a cute thing people in AA frequently share "Don't forget your last drunk". Its so unfortunate even people in AA don' understand the 'peculiar mental twist' people go through. That is why the book says problem of the alcoholic centers in the mind. We have to go beyond mind for a solution, which is consciousness. One of the tools is the 12 steps AA, its geared to elevate the consciousness so when the thought comes through we can act sanely.

The peculiar mental twist!

TS believes that the examples does not potray the peculiar mental twist:

Perhaps I didn't give a complete background of the guy who took his whiskey in milk. 

The peculiar mental twist is not that he took whiskey in milk. Its the thought surrounding the incident, namely it won't hurt taking whiskey on a full stomach:

Leading into this, he comes back to work on Tuesday little irritated because he is working for car dealership he once owned (Spiritual malady) and had series of setbacks. And goes to a place where he has been before to get a sandwich. He orders one, then another, still no thought of a drink. But then the insanity strikes.

"Suddenly the thought crossed my mind that if I were to put an ounce of whiskey in my milk it couldn't hurt me on a full stomach. (The peculiar mental twist)  I ordered a whiskey and poured it into the milk. I vaguely sense I was not being any too smart, but I reassured as I was taking the whiskey on a full stomach. The experiment went so well that I ordered another whiskey and poured it into more milk. That didn't seem to bother me so I tried another. (Now the Craving kicks in)"

The other example, why would the person buy alcohol in the first place knowing well its going to make a dent on the relationship with the kids, the spouse?

I see this an affirmation to this fact:

The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so called will power becomes practically nonexistent. 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.


The Power To Choose!

What about all those people who, it seems, actually want to suffer? I have a friend whose partner is physically abusive toward her, and her previous relationship was of a similar kind. Why does she choose such men, and why is she refusing to get out of that situation now? Why do so many people actually choose pain?

I know that the word choose is a favorite New Age term, but it isn't entirely accurate in this context. It is misleading to say that somebody "chose" a dysfunctional relationship or any other negative situation in his or her life. Choice implies consciousness - a high degree of consciousness. Without it, you have no choice. Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present. Until you reach that point, you are unconscious, spiritually speaking. This means that you are compelled to think, feel, and act in certain ways according to the conditioning of your mind. That is why Jesus said: "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." This is not related to intelligence in the conventional sense of the word. I have met many highly intelligent and educated people who were also completely unconscious, which is to say com-pletely identified with their mind. In fact, if mental development and increased knowledge are not counterbalanced by a corresponding growth in consciousness, the potential for unhappiness and disaster is very great.

Your friend is stuck in a relationship with an abusive partner, and not for the first time. Why? No choice. The mind, conditioned as it is by the past, always seeks to re-create what it knows and is familiar with. Even if it is painful, at least it is familiar. The mind always adheres to the known. The unknown is dangerous because it has no control over it. That's why the mind dislikes and ignores the present moment. Present-moment awareness creates a gap not only in the stream of mind but also in the past-future continuum. Nothing truly new and creative can come into this world except through that gap, that clear space of infinite possibility.

As long as your mind with its condi-tioned patterns runs your life, as long as you are your mind, what choice do you have? None. You are not even there. The mind-identified state is severely dysfunctional. It is a form of insanity. Almost everyone is suffering from this illness in varying degrees. The moment you realize this, there can be no more resentment. How can you resent someone's illness? The only appropriate response is compassion.
**-----**
I like what ET talks about choice in his book Power of Now. For me when I surrendered to the fact that I can't safely drink no more (powerless/choicelessness), I received the power by work the steps to regain consciousness and thereby the power to go through life-situations without issues. 

Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys!

Here is a short BBC study video that talks about 3 different kinds of drinkers (vervet monkies) similar to how we have in human beings and the study connects the drinking pattern to the genes. Is alcoholism pre-disposed? Only further study can help us find out.

Addressing the causes and condition!

People who don't even understand how the program works comment about it. Shame on them. Thats the sad part. Because they are so identified with thier ego they don't see the beauty of the program. 

Looks like somebody just read the 12 steps off the wall and assume that they know all. How ego-centric.

The 12 steps is all about power and addressing the causes and condition:

Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.

Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four. A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke. Taking commercial inventory is a fact-finding and a fact-facing process. It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock-in-trade. One object is to disclose damaged or unsalable goods, to get rid of them promptly and without regret. If the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool himself about values.

We did exactly the same thing with our lives. We took stock honestly. First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations.

****-----****

Self-pity is one of the worst character defects. And with the help of our higher power we work at it to overcome that, unlike some mis-informed people think.


Most important question!

The most important question I had to ask myself is, "Do I have to walk on egg shells when in comes to alcohol" or follow the solution that worked for several people and empower myself and be a free man. Be able to walk through difficult life situations, celebrations at ease? Or struggle with this problem for ever. Asking people not to bring booze, not visiting parties where booze is served, not being able to go to a base ball game? Postponing drinking to a future date like someone suggests on this forum.

I am so glad I chose to work the 12 steps and have a spiritual awakening and go around places without fear.

 
1 2 3 4

Signature: