Tag Archive: Big Book


A look at Causes of Relapse…

Causes of Relapse (as offered in AA meetings)
1. Failure to go to AA meetings.
2. Failure to take the 12 steps.
3. Involvement in an emotional relationship.
4. Association with the old crowd.
5. Failure to get a sponsor.
6. Failure to read the Big Book.
7. Desire to achieve oblivion.
8. They didn’t “want it” badly enough.
9. Etc.

I never really drank so I can not relate to all things that an alcoholic is going through.  But I do have an addiction to nicotine.  So I understand how relapsing can make you feel like a failure.  You want to blame others, blame things, blame situations.  We come up with all kinds of reasons as to why it happened to make it OK in our minds that we slipped up.

Here is a distillation of Big Book causes of relapse:
Causes of RELAPSE (according to the Big Book)
Count:
7….a. Failure to grow spiritually.
4….b. Fighting with or harming others.
3….C. Failure to work with other alcoholics.
2….d. Failure to take step 5.
2….e. Attempt to shield from alcohol.
2….f. Failure to make amends.
l….g. Selfishness.
l….h. Resentment.

~ I too can have a relapse back into my old ways.  I could go right back to letting my life be ruled by someone else.  I could go back to being sad, hateful, angry, lonely, with-out faith, with-out hope.  It is always there, ready to pounce.  I have to be active in my thoughts and retain my faith and turn things over to my higher power.  If I take my anger and turn it over – there will not be any negative soil for those nasty things to grow in.

~ I too can relapse back into the craziness that was my life for about 6 years.  Not knowing who I was going to get walking in the door when my husband got home.  I had no idea when he was going to be home and if he was already going to have some beers in him.  I had no way of knowing when he left work, where he stopped on his way home, if he was dead or alive.  I worried about him and feared him at the same time.

~ I don’t want to go back to that way of thinking.  It is getting better day by day.  A little bit at a time I am able to let go of those feelings.  It’s not that they might ever really go away – but it’s what I do with those thoughts and feelings that matters now.  I have to tell myself that I can control it, change it or cause it.

All I can do is pray and turn it over.  Everyone will have to face themselves in the mirror and that is the person who you have to deal with.  That person staring back at you from that shiny piece of glass.  Those eyes that show all your inner most feelings – can you look yourself in the eye?  I know that when I wake up in the morning  – I can do that.  I can face myself knowing that I have done the best that I can and that I am the only person who is truly responsible for my happiness.  I am still working on my 4th step, so I can be ready to move on to the rest – one step at a time.  Is it easy – NO.  But the right thing may not always be the easy thing.  Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing you will ever have to do so far.  One step – one day – one moment – one second – at a time.

 

Four horsemen…

Four Horsemen (American football)

Four Horsemen (American football) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BB p.151, A Vision For You:   Momentarily we did — then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen — Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair.

I have felt all of these, the four horsemen followed me around for a long time.  They would take turns trying to tear me to my knees.  I get a lot out of the AA big book as I do my Al-Anon daily reader.  If you have yet to read the To the Wives chapter, I highly recommend it.  I need to re-red it myself now that my head is ready to wrap its self around being in recovery.  I was not ready to embrace the concept of being in the desperate need of recovery myself.

I try to read items from both my Al-Anon books and my husbands AA book.  Going to the AA meetings and reading the big book has helped me understand who I am dealing with.  Just because he is sober doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have some of the same thoughts and feelings.  But what is changed is how we both react to those thoughts and feelings.  I can not change him in any way, what I can change is how I react to them.  I can only control myself, that is a full-time job as it is so I should not even dare to try to take on controlling someone else.  I think that is what happened, I tried to control so many other things that I had no choice but to give up the control that I had over myself.

Frustration still haunts me, I still have an issue with that one.  I get frustrated over things, but I try not to let it over take me.  If it is a valid frustration then I need to approach the matter with a calm head.  If it is something that is out of my control then I need to let go of the frustration, cause it is only effecting me at that point.  I need to stay calm and ask the person to stop doing something, or ask them to help me if that what I need.  People are not mind readers.

Cover of "Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story...

Cover via Amazon

 

my guiding light…

Sponsor – wow, I have been thinking about this more and more.  Who, where, how, when?  Who should I ask? Where should I ask her? How do I even ask her? When is a good time?  I have a few Ladies in mind from my home group.  One is much older and has been in program for a very long time.  One is a bit older and has been in program for quite a while.  The other one is closer to my age and has been in for a few years – she is also in a similar field of work that I am.

The last one I mentioned was a new comer into my list of possible sponsors, it just came to my mind in the meeting before last.  *sigh* this is very hard for me, I am not sure why.  Oh wait, it’s called a fear of rejection.  I have had this all of my life.  I even asked a boy out at one point, and he said he would think about it.  I asked him when it was just the two of us, well later while he was around all his friends he made it a point to very loudly explain that there was no way in hell that he would ever date someone like me.  Kids can be so mean.  I never really went for anything on my own after that.  My parents were always shooting down what I asked for as well, so why bother wanting anything.

It was not until I met my hubby that I started to get up the courage to ask for things again.  I pursued him!  Even in my marriage I am usually shot down on my ideas, so I just stopped.  Do I still have dreams yes, do I tell people about them, not really.  I wanted to do so many thing in my life but was always told the reasons why I shouldn’t.  Then I got the guts up to go for the Tech support job at my work, and wow wouldn’t ya know I got it!  They have been the best four years of my working experience.  Had I gone for some of the other jobs I had been thinking about this one might not have been available to me so i am glad it worked out the way it did.  And I guess everything happens for a reason, I just sometimes wish it didn’t come with such negative reinforcements.

When bad things happen I have to remember its cause I was not on the path I should be.  I would love to have someone who has been in program and who has worked the step help me walk not so blindly into this sometimes scary new experience.  I had hopped that my husband would have had a sponsor as well, but I can not wait for him to do everything first, I have to do my recovery pan for me.  Cause its my recover plan so i have to work it for me.  i am not here for the alcoholic but because of the alcoholism.  I am here to fix me, I am here to get me better, I am here to make sure tat I can go through life with the tools I need to carry on.

I love my new-found life with my husband, I love that our recovery plans have brought us to this spot where we can talk to one another again.  I feel that to go further in the program, that i need to get a sponsor.  I hear people talk about how they call their sponsor everyday at a specific time, or every other day or they meet up and get coffee…..I would like that.  I would like someone to hold me responsible in my recovery to.  I would like someone to share my milestones with who has been there and understands the struggles.  I hope to one day be able to offer that to someone too.  I have to get through my steps before I can think of that.  I have to live it one day at a time – one step at a time.

so – all I can do is pray about it and ask my higher power to please help me choose a sponsor who will be right for me.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

Free Online Audio Playback Of All Big Book Text

Hey guys, I was just doing some surfing online and I found a link that allows you to listen to the Big Book online at your own pace and preference, when carrying around the Big Book isn’t possible. 

It also has a link for you to download the Big Book on iTunes for 10.95!

http://www.recoveryzone.org/docs/bigbook.htm

Enjoy!

Missing Husband: Episode 4

On the last episode of missing husband I had just gotten back from my horrific trip to Boston and we were on the mend…

I had read bits of AA’s The Big Book and had not really given much thought to it.  I always asked him how the AA meetings went and he never wanted to talk about it with me.  Same with his classes.  I felt slighted and left out, but I was trying to stay focused on letting go of things.  We took a marriage 911 class and it seemed to really help.  Thanksgiving was here so fast and Christmas was right around the corner.  Ok so here comes December, the month where Hubby was going to get his Chip.  I had talked with him about going and he seemed excited.

We got there and I was a bit nervous, what had he told these people about me.  Had he told them all how horrible I had been.  So, I sat down right next to him and was so nervous I was not sure if I was even breathing anymore.  They went around the room “Hello my name is ___ and I am an Alcoholic.” Oh crap, I am not an alcoholic, what do I say!  I know Hubby and I had talked about this, but for the life of me I could not remember.  I heard my Husband’s calm steady voice ring out as he introduced himself and my whole body began to tremble.  Why the heck was I so damn nervous, these people all seems so nice.  Ok girl, get your crap together cause it’s now our turn.  I looked up and said as calmly as i could, “Hello my Name is Courtney, and I am the spouse of an Alcoholic.”  There I did it.  They all rang out with “Hello Courtney, glad that you are here” I got so many smiles and looks of happiness from the others in the room.

I let out a big sigh from the breath I had been holding and the man sitting to my right looked at me and smiled.  My husband had told me after I met this man that he was very nice and one of the people he was close to.  Good then I was sitting in the right spot.  After the meeting I met the Lady who ran the Al-Anon meetings.  She was so nice and so inviting, that I told her I would be back the next week for the Al-Anon meeting.  And I had truly meant it this time.  It was not like all the times that I had told my husband I was going to go one day.

The next week we went to the Thursday night meetings.  He went to AA and I went to Al-Anon.  He was going to the Sunday AA meetings but they were closed meetings.  With The holidays being on Sundays this year we decided to go to the Thursday night meetings together.  I was just as nervous for my Al-Anon meeting as I had been for the AA meeting.  But my nervousness was for nothing.  The second I sat down they welcomed me with hugs and open arms.  I had my Friend come with me cause I was scared to go alone.

So that pretty much brings this missing husband part to a close, I found my husband one night at a AA meeting.  I am sure that he will say the same thing, that his wife came back to him one night after a AA meeting.  We have both been lost.

It seems I really do have some readers.  I had two comments from people I don’t even know and a few of my polls have at least 1 answer on them.  I am feeling fantastic, empowered, ready to take on the day and ready to work on the Al-anon steps.  I must take them one at a time.  There is no way to do this all at once.  ok – so here we go!!

Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

What word stands out to you?  The word that stands out to me is Powerless.  “what do you mean I am powerless, I can take on the world.”  This was what I thought when I looked over the steps the first time.  My husband had been in AA for about 3 months and I was not interested in going to any meetings or learning about why he drank and blah blah blah – well boy oh boy was I in for a surprise.  I was sitting there in his AA meeting listening to all the stories and what was being read from The Big Book.  Then like a knowlage baseball bat hit me in the head, my light bulb went off.  Oh my God, this was also about me!  I had just as bad of an issue with the alcohol as he did.  I was powerless over the alcohol.  I could not stop him from drinking, I could pour it out but he would just go get more.  I could yell, scream and beg – but he would go right back to it cause now he was upset or angry.  Yes – I am powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable.  Now what do I do?  How do I move on from this point?  After hearing the stories in  my home group about how they all found step one I realized something, until you get step one, this will not really take hold into your brain.  Going through the motions and coming to meetings is helpful, but unless you admit it to yourself and your higher power, you will not get it.

I have a feeling that like the other poeple in my home group, the first three steps are gonna be my 1 -2 – 3 dance.

Think of it as the cha cha.  1, 2, ,3 cha cha cha… 1, 2, 3, admit, believe, decide.

This being the first month of the year I will be going over more about step one and admitting I am powerless.

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