week 161) 29 January 2015 12 Step Study Big Book All Addictions workshop
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Big Book page 64 last paragraph: Resentment is the number one offender. It destroys more human beings (alcoholics) than anything else.
This process taught Stephanie that she is responsible for everything that happened to her in her life- by her reactions. We can have reactions of selfishness, self-pity, and fear which lead to resentments. Al-Anon teaches to put one’s intellect over one’s feelings in order to get a rational, healthy life. Feelings are a gift from God; they make us lovable and likable. But they are not the facts. … Suggestion: In the Set-Aside prayer at this point, we can be asking God’s help to set aside everything we think we already know ‘so we can see a new way of looking at our past, our present and our feelings’.
Resentment is fueled by fear. Fear of not being loved, liked or respected. And not getting what we want. Basically everybody wants to be liked loved and respected. Then we lust for material things, for the physical. Lust doesn’t just mean sexual. I lusted after food, alcohol to get high. All the things that we get resentful about because we can’t have them. I want that big house, swimming pool or that Gucci bag. I can relate to all of that can you? And when you don’t get it feel resentment. What you are doing right now is writing on resentments and the turnarounds. The reason we do the effects is to see how serious one resentment is. It affects our self-esteem, how we look at ourselves and our value in the world. Pride. Seeing ourselves as other see us.
Ambition. Want to be more loved and respected more than everyone else. Be top dog. We need to see how we affected we were and how these wants and desires ran out lives.
Personal relationship. If you have a resentment against someone because they are not doing what you want them to do it will affect every relationship and often end them. I ended up all alone or co-dependent where either I was bossing them or they were bossing me. Always ended badly.
Lived in total fear of everything. I did not have any personal security. Why? Did not have God. All I had was the closeness of the resentment I had of the self=pity, no room for God. God can’t come into our heart when all about me, self-pity, resentment. Where can God fit into a heart like that? Did not come into my life until I did this work. After my fifth step had my first spiritual experience then less than three years later had a huge psychic change and God really took over my life. Now am doing God’s will not mine. It is a process.
Sex relations and pocket book. Those two always affected every resentment. How can you look at yourself in the mirror and feel good about yourself as, say a woman in the world, when your heart is hardened by resentment, un-forgiveness and self-hatred. When you have a hardened heart, also have a hardened attitude towards yourself. It is all about you, you you. Learnt in recovery that we who live in resentment have big egos and no self-esteem. With all that garbage going on how can you look in the mirror as a sexual being to offer the world, a marriage or bring to meeting somebody and getting into an exclusive relationship?
Stephanie says: ‘In any relationship male or female I never brought my whole being, i.e. a person who felt good about herself. The majority of my life I wanted to be a boy. Talk about not feeling good about your sex relations! Did not want to be transgender. I had no voice, felt so powerless. Thought it was because I was a woman but it was my hardened heart’.
Pocket book. Never had a well-paid job. I was an under-earner.
Write this: Turnarounds are the only way for me to see the TRUTH and become recovered.
It is only the second half of the turnaround that really gives you the truth about yourself and the situation. You will not necessarily learn the facts and motives about the other people involved. You are going to find out your own motives: how you reacted on your feelings and how these created a chain reaction with people and situations. Once have figured it out, when you are next in these situations you may be able to head off the selfishness, self-centered behaviors, lies and fears.
Fear is a reality. Thank God for fear. When you step off the curb and a huge oil truck is coming down the road, it is good to be in fear and get back on the sidewalk. Fear with your Higher Power can be an absolute asset. A very bad use of fears is to create resentment, uncertainty and instability with our feelings and the fear of ‘I am not going to get what I want so I had better start manipulating’. Fear can be a healthy red flag and if you do the rest of the process on the situation and get to the facts.
Similarly with angry resentful co-dependent people. If entering a situation where that is the type of person you are dealing with, it can be helpful to feel fear and give them a wide berth. As Al-Anon suggests: be courteous to everyone; we don’t have to invite them home to tea.
Selfishness has two parts a) What is the selfishness? b) Why? i.e. your motive for wanting something. What do you want from the person or the situation?
I want…. and write on what you want.
Need to remember to ask yourself: Why do I want it? Might be as simple as I want them to be my friend, to love, like and respect me, to give me their attention.
Need to know your motives. The situations where you are selfish will change but your motive is basically the same.
“For most of my life I was resentful because people didn’t want to hang out with me. I felt that without the validation that they wanted me in their life I did not feel valuable. I did not want a million of dollars, I just wanted their attention. I realized even when people gave me their attention it was never enough. Just like with the food, alcohol, it was never enough.”
Self-seeking: The behavior you (not they) did to get what you wanted.
Most of the time it has some sort of manipulative flavor. I gossiped, flattered, lied to you. I wanted attention. I couldn’t stand to be alone. I pretended I was a friend.
Direct Lie. I’d like to be your friend. Let’s hang out together and get to know one another.
If asked, Do you believe in God? I’d reply whatever you believed.
Do you want a drink? I would say OK (while going to AA).
Lie of omission. All the things we did not say to bring honesty to the relationship.
e.g. I can’t drink I am in AA. Can’t eat because I’m in OA and that food makes me sick.
I would like to but I can’t give you the money. Instead of making sure they knew it was my last dollar I was giving them.
Lie I told myself. The foundation of my dysfunctional life was that I was afraid I was not loveable and did not deserve respect. If they really knew me they wouldn’t want to be friends. Afraid of their opinion. Am not a worthy person to be in relationship with anyone. Not until God came into my life did I realize that God cares about me so I am a worthy person.
A human being who takes no regular inventory usually goes broke.
If you have a lot of feelings and not facts, redo the resentment to try to get to the truth.
If you are still pointing a finger or caught up in the feelings, Stephanie suggests taking each resentment to Quiet Time and asking God to open your eyes: What do you want me to see about this? God will not lie.
And be aware: people we meet can be angry and manipulative. Be courteous to everyone and polite. But you don’t have to invite everyone home for tea. Stephanie is not intimate with everybody but she’s real with everybody.
Intimacy – in to me see; reserved for those who have shown they deserve to see into us.
Al-Anon teaches: Share a little and check what comes back. Never give away the whole loaf. If
what comes back resonates with you, share a little more. If exchanges keep resonating and you like the other person and they like you, then keep building up a functional, healthy relationship.
See BB p.64 para1 sentence 2:
“A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke.”
So Stephanie asks us to take our five most major resentments, do inventory on them, and then
take them to God and ask our HP: God, what do You want me to see about these?
We want to be a light of help/recovery to others. Recovery is about not being a victim; it is being sober, being a former addict.
Big Book Page 64 last paragraph:
Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more human beings (alcoholics) than anything else. From it stems all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only been mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick.
That is the only direct information you will ever need. If you are not motivated to do this inventory by what Stephanie says, this sentence shows you why inventory is so important. We have not only been mentally sick (the third paragraph of the Big Book tells us) we have been released from the physical and mental obsession to use our drug but we have been spiritually sick. ‘Spiritually sick’ means living a life totally thinking about yourself, the selfish self-centeredness that brings on a desire to lie and be co-dependent.
When the spiritually malady was overcome. We straighten out mentally and physically.
You will only be able to get well spiritually with a fact finding and fact facing process. This is why we write out our feelings on the back. Bring them to God: help me to see the truth. List the person, the cause, the effects and pray to God to show you how it affects every area of your life.
Recovery is not being a victim.
Your sexuality is holistic. It is not about being in bed having sex with a man.
I couldn’t trust other people and I could not trust myself (e.g. I was always picking up the food after I told myself I would not). Fear: I can’t trust anyone.
Not being trustworthy creates a one-down situation in a relationship and puts it under a lot of strain.
Writing and then reading out the feelings on the back gives the listener insight into what is going on and also give you insights. All the words that our minds use to divert us because deep down our minds are afraid that the truth will kill us.
When Stephanie did this process she could not believe she had been so petty; the lies she told herself over and over again doing mean things to herself while she stayed in delusion and denial and kept pointing a finger, blaming others.
Self-seeking: Acted out with boys, overate, got drunk, etc. The more you expand about how you reacted the more you can take responsibility for the behavior. Then when you do any of those behaviors again you can say: OK this is an old pattern I did with, say, my mother. How am I putting this person in my mother role? What’s really going on here? I am afraid of… That will really help you to understand. You used these behaviors to cope whenever you were blamed and were afraid you were not loveable.
Very helpful to know how our coping mechanisms run our lives. At age four Stephanie picked up food to cope. Now she knows when she starts getting into unhealthy situations she is afraid.
When we tell somebody something and they get burned up, sore, or ticked-off, it’s because they’re living in fear and holding their victimhood very close, like a blanket. They’re afraid that
uncovering their Truth will kill them, so they want to stay in denial and delusion. They need us to not disturb their blanket.
Finally, see BB p.65 para3 sentence 1: “We went back through our lives.” Stephanie does not live in her past; she inventories. She does not wallow in or rerun her past mistakes. She is not a victim of her past. Once she has given her mistakes to God (Step Five) and asked forgiveness (Step Nine), she lets them go with no beating up on herself.
And if someone has the guts to say to Stephanie that Stephanie hurt and insulted them, she will quickly inventory her deeds and apologize.
We may say: I did not intend to hurt you but I’m sorry you got hurt.
Stephanie’s wisdom to us: The older I get, the more depth the Serenity Prayer has for me.
Now she realizes she’s asking God to grant others the serenity to accept the things they cannot change and to change her.Says Stephanie: “Prayer is my salvation.”
P.S. Words are a diversion from the truth, used because of fear that uncovering the truth will kill us.
But NO – the truth will set us free!
Just/But, first, it will make us (very, very) angry.
Our live phone meetings are every Tuesday at 8:00 AM EST. The phone number for these live meetings is (712) 775-7031, and the meeting ID number is 714744988#.
P O Box 531
North Pembroke MA 02358
You can listen to our recorded meetings at (641) 715-3900, pin 95666# for our Tuesday Big Book Step Study workshop. You can also hear our Thursday Big Book Study recordings at (641) 715-3900, pin 298913#. These meetings can be accessed at any time.