Big Book Step Study Soul Work; Thursday November 29, 2012
Page 32 Beginning of paragraph 1 – Page 33 end of paragraph 1
1) ‘Keep your eyes on your own recovery’. Write about what that means given what Stephanie explained about moderate, problem and real alcoholics.
2) “We have heard of a few instances where people, who showed definite signs of alcoholism, were able to stop for long periods of time because of an overpowering desire to do so”.
Put your story into this. Have you put something down and resolved to not do it again?
3) When you have an overpowering urge to do something, what is your plan of action going to be?
4) Take the story on page 32, paragraph 2:
6) Do you see the parallel nature of grace and psychic change?
7) Do you believe that will power can be used for recovery?
8) How do you use your will power? Do you use your will power?
9) Where are you today? Explore the question of will power in order to explain to your sponsees.
10) What does it mean to have a particular mental twist already acquired? (Middle pp 33:2)
11) How are you doing on your Quiet Time?
(46) 15 November 2012 Big Book Step Study Workshop
More About Alcoholism reviewing last paragraph on page 31:
‘We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition.’
There is no workshop on November 22nd, Thanksgiving Day. (There will be workshops on December 27th and January 3rd).
Q1. After Stephanie’s introduction explaining about the website and what being recovered means to her, what does recovered mean to you? Who is running your show? Are you still trying to run your show or are you able to sit back and say: ‘Thy will God not mine be done.”
Q2. How do you help a confused newcomer to come to the realization of what they are addicted to and what they need to do to be God-honoring to themselves?
Q3. Look up integrity.
Write the word ‘integrity’ in large letters across the top of page 32.
How do you rate your integrity?
a) I like the way I am. I feel I have integrity.
b) I am not quite where I want to be but I know God will help me.
c) I am not where I want to be and know that this process will help me.
d) I don’t have integrity, God please help me.
Where are you on that continuum?
It may be worth a bad case of the jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition.
Q4 What is the fully knowledge of your condition?
Soul Work for week beginning November 22nd, Thanksgiving Day.
While there is no workshop that week, this is the soul work for the buddy group and buddy meetings.
For anyone new:
Your assignment is to go to the website 12stepstudyworkshop.com and listen to three or four early recordings of the workshop.
Listen and take some notes and bring them to the Sunday group that meets 10-11am EST(712-432 0800 587213#). Share your writing on what you gleaned from the workshops with your buddy group.
Call people from the members’ list to find a buddy.
For those who have been here from the beginning this is a review:
Return to the Foreword of the first edition.
1a. What is the spiritual we?
1b. What is the purpose of the Big Book?
2. Return to the Doctor’s Opinion. What is the doctor’s opinion?
3a. How is Bill’s Story like your own story? Be as specific or general as you want.
3b If you really want to do some digging go into Bill’s Story and see your similarities
Chapter 2, There Is A Solution
4a. What is the solution? Be as specific or general as you want to be.
4b. From the Foreword until top of page 32 look up the words that you have got definitions for and share with the group any words that you know you need to bring up.
(week 45) 8 November 2012 Big Book 12 Step Study Workshop
More About Alcoholism page 30 from beginning of last paragraph: ‘We are like men who have lost their legs; …’ until page 32 end of first paragraph: ‘It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition.’
look up: remedy, exception, self-deception, experimentation, solemn, oaths, ad infinitum, diagnose.
We are like men who have lost their legs; they never grow new ones.
1. Take this sentence and write out everything you are powerless over.
In some instances there has been brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse.
2 Have you tried every imaginable remedy? Do you want to try any new remedies?
Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics, are not going to believe they are in that class.
3. Circle real alcoholics – because if you’re not a real alcoholic may not need this type of recovery.
It is vital to know where you are and what you have to do. And how you have to be in this recovery of ours.
4a. Where are you today?
Next to God recovery is the most important thing in Stephanie’s life. God is the most important relationship and working with God is the most important action. Without that she won’t work on her recovery. But then her recovery has to come next. God and recovery are the most important in her life today. Stephanie believes that she is in the class of a real alcoholic so she will go to any lengths for her relationship with God to stay vital and for her disciplines around her recovery to stay in place.
4b Where are you with all of that?
Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going to believe they are in that class. By every form of self-deception and experimentation they will try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule, therefore nonalcoholic.
5. Do you have any self-deception? Are you in any form of experimentation?
5a Do you do think you are an exception to the rule and therefore not a real alcoholic? (For alcohol substitute your addictions).
6. If you don’t know whether or not you are a real alcoholic, do you have somebody with whom you can follow the Big Book’s suggestion and be gut-wrenching honest? Do you have accountability person who will stand beside you? (A lot of sponsors in recovery will not give you this leeway).
Stephanie emphasizes don’t try this on our own. She doesn’t say the word don’t very often. Do this with somebody you can be 100% honest with.
If you don’t have somebody you can be gut level honest with write to Stephanie and tell her what you want to do and she will witness it and will write it back.. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some of the methods we have tried…
7. Add to this list anything that may not have been mentioned e.g. hypnosis, EMDR, acupuncture etc.
8. A newcomer is very confused about what they are addicted to so where in the Big Book (what pages) would you take them to? How would you help (not tell) them come to a full realization of what their condition is?
To be on the members’ list and ask for a buddy, contact sue7263@aol.
A Sunday buddy group is open for everybody. It meets Sundays 10-11am EST 712 432 0800 pin 587213#. For further information about the group contact Raket email@example.com
12stepstudyworkshop.com click on ‘Thursday’ for all the workshops since January 5th 2012. There are also handouts there.
Soul Work Thursday 11/01/2012 Chapter 3, More about Alcoholism – page 30 paragraph 1- thru paragraph 3.
Words: Vain, Persistence, Illusion, Astonishing, Fully Concede, Delusion, Pitiful, Incomprehensible, Demoralization
1) Why isn’t my Quiet Time a way of life for me?
2) What is the resistance to having a QT?
3) Do you believe that having a relationship with a God of Your Understanding is what the 12 Step Study process is all about? 4) Are you willing to admit that you are bodily different than others?
4 a) Are you willing to admit that you are mentally different than others?
5) Do you still obsess that someday you’re going to be able to go to …ex. a party and drink a fancy cocktail, or buffet and eat without weighing? What is your great obsession?
6) What are you obsessing about? … putting your time and energy into?
7) Can you relate to the story I just told you? Identify and own where you are at? About holding resentments, gossiping, 10th step, hangover, and living in recovery by sharing our experience.
8) Are you in delusion about what you can handle in any behavior, people, or substance?
9) What was the last delusion you were in? Write it out. How did you or how are you resolving it in a healthy way? How did it affect your food, sobriety, sleep, etc. …
10) Was your illness progressive? Write out your story.
(week 44) 1 November 2012 Big Book Step Study – notes on the workshop
More About Alcoholism, page 30 from start of the chapter: ‘Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics…’ until end of 3rd paragraph: ‘Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.’
Stephanie encourages us to go to the handout page at: www12stepstudy.com and read ‘slips’ by William Silkworth – AA conference approved literature. Dial 641 715 3900 pin 95666# if you cannot make the live workshop.
Third Step Prayer. Set Aside Prayer (see website for handout of the Big Book references for this).
As Stephanie has been saying every week since this workshop began in January, Quiet Time is vital.
Q1 Why isn’t my Quiet Time a way of life for me?
Q2 What is the resistance to having a Quiet Time?
Q3 Do I believe that having a relationship with a God of my understanding is what the Big Book Step Study workshop is all about.
If you are having trouble with a Quiet Time see the website for the 12-week Trust and Rely workshop. Call 641 715 3900 pin 97200#. Each week a new led Quiet Time half hour is available. You can do it with Stephanie until you get on your feet and it is part of your life as it is today for Stephanie. It took her a long time to see that having a relationship with God could replace one with the dysfunction of addiction. In Stephanie’s opinion that is the Big Book’s answer.
Recommend listen on the playback (same phone no. + pin 95546#) for Katie speaking about a higher power and Step 10 at last Tuesday’s Big Book meeting. The live meeting is Tuesdays 3-4 EST on same tel.no. and pin.
Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics
This means you are unwilling to admit that you need God to stop your addiction. There are many people who say they are an alcoholic but they think that going to meetings and doing the tools will keep you sober. They may not drink but will be a dry drunk. Stephanie doesn’t want to be a dry drunk. She wants to live so that she can be happy joyous and free and have others ask “what the heck do you do. You don’t drink and you’re happy?”
A real alcoholic is willing to admit that they cannot stay clean of their addiction and they cannot have the joy of living by just going to meetings and working the tools.
Stephanie says just about every week how important going to meetings and working the tools are. She does this on a daily basis as she is not cured, but she does not just rely on that. She has Quiet Time and bringing God into every area of her life. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows.
If you are a real alcoholic are bodily and mentally different. Accepting that is part of the first step.
Q4 are you wiling to admit you are bodily and mentally different than others. (including even other people in the 12-step rooms who don’t need a spiritual experience and making God everything in their life).
Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.
Look up vain Most people think vain is looking in the mirror all the time. This is not what this says. Vain means attempts that don’t work.
Q5 Do I still obsess that some day I am going to be able to go to a party and be receive red enough to have a cocktail with a fancy umbrella? Some day when I am down to my goal weight I will be able to go to a buffet and just eat whatever I want. For Stephanie it would to be without her scale. She is not only powerless over certain foods she is also powerless over quantity.
Stephanie wants to be God-honouring. Thinking about ‘I can’t wait to get to my goal weight, go to this party, dance and eat and drink’ that is not recovery for her. She wants to go to a party and talk to people and share a little bit about herself and what they will share about themselves. Big Book says go to a party and see what you can bring to it by way of recovery. Stephanie brings recovery by just being friendly. She is very hard of hearing even with her hearing aid. If anybody is nearby she will ask them if they are having a good time. If they do not want to talk she does not hold them hostage.
What is your great obsession? Stephanie’s is how can she can to bring to people recovery/a relationship with God. That is what her work is today. She has two websites: www.12steprecovery.com and www.bible4recovery.com These two areas are her purpose in life, not whether she is going to fit into size 4 clothes. She has given away the majority of her size 4. They were such a badge of honour. Size 4 always had spandex in. She has gone up a size, not gained weight. Now more comfortable and does not have to think How do I look, is anybody looking at me. ‘Neat and clean so I can really be present in my relationship with people.’ She doesn’t want to be thinking about her hair. So now can throw a headband on and she just does not need to be concerned. All her clothes are hanging and she does not have to waste her time. She does go to Clutterers Anonymous (not CLA) on Saturday mornings, if you are interested. It has helped her so much to keep it simple.
What are you obsessing about/putting all your energy into?
Stephanie used to spend way too much time on clothes which took up three closets and now she has the equivalent of one. She has to be really careful re. food, diet books, romance novels, television, how she looks etc. She is glad that she is very open about what she can become obsessed about. She really does not feel she has any secrets today and is pretty much an open book which does help with relationships. She is willing to open up and that helps others and then there can be an intimacy. She does not watch the news, read newspapers, watch game shows or sit coms. She does not read anything except non-fiction. She cannot talk small talk. This past hurricane she only knew what the weather was in central Massachusetts. Her husband told her what she needed to know. She is a depressive person and can get all whipped up and obsessed ‘really, really easily’ if she does not keep filling herself with positivity.
She had a slip this week-end when she gossiped to her husband and her son about her father’s estate. Her father has been dead over 2.5 years. She did a tenth step immediately making amends to her husband and her son and told them both ‘you did not need to hear my old baloney’. She didn’t pour the booze but poured the selfishness. She had a hangover because of getting into the ISM (I Self Me) of the disease so she encourages all of us to be careful.
‘You can change drinking to thinking. The idea that somehow someday I will be able to control and enjoy other people is the great obsession of every abnormal person’. Stephanie thought she could control it if she bought up her resentment again and shared it with her husband and son and could change the situation. ‘Of course I could not’. The thinking is 24/7 and she has to be careful that her thinking does not go into obsession. To get into an obsession over a person, a situation or a substance she is then abnormal: not in her normal recovered mind. It is a playground for the disease – a dangerous area. “It is awful”. She does not want to be there. She is only getting right today and she did this on Sunday. Her mind is just getting back. And she has already told us what a frustrating morning with her breakfast all over the floor, which she had taken a lot of time and energy to make and then could not have it. She thanks God it happened today not Monday or Tuesday.
Q. Can you relate to the story that Stephanie just gave us about bringing up an old resentment and then gossiping or talking to the wrong people about it? And then realizing and doing a 10th step and then having a hangover.
When Stephanie takes time to share something with us she wants us to look at ourselves. Everything is for a purpose: for us to own where we are at. Can we identify and prevent something. Stephanie went into this week-end for us as part of her sole purpose in showing up every Thursday and sharing her life with us as our sponsor. Then we can take what we like and leave the rest.
The persistence of this illusion [that we can control our drinking] is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death
persistence look up. In Big Book draw a square box around each word she asks us to look up. This is so that when we are taking someone through the steps whenever we see a boxed word will know to ask sponsee to look it up.
look up illusion, astonishing.
Stephanie must have written on the issue many times and yet her abnormal brain thinks it must change if she brings it up. And all it did was make her miserable and she is then negative with her husband and son. She wasn’t drunk on alcohol but was drunk on resentment and that affects her family.
We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.
look up fully concede, delusion. delusion is the ISM I am deluded in thinking one way, my way. When I align my thinking with God’s way I come out of delusion. God is the truth. Stephanie will lie to herself (that is delusion) that she is like other people. Other people can bring up a resentment and not have a hangover. Others can do and say things that she cannot. She has to stay this side of the positive line. She cannot go into negativity in any way shape or form or the disease takes over. That is what she has learnt about herself. She is either positive or she is sick and that is why she protects herself. Why she does not watch TV, listen to radio station, read newspapers, do a lot of things that others can do. She does not begrudge them. Her husband can do these things. She bought him excellent headphones and she does not have to listen to the TV or listen to anything she does not want to listen to. So she can still be in the same room with him which is important as a couple and they can both do their own thing.
Q. Are you in any type of a delusion about what you can handle? Are you dabbling in television when you know you cannot, caffeine, a food substance, alcohol, medication? Are you dabbling with the delusion that it is OK? It has to be smashed. Deep down you know. She is trying to help us get gut level honest with ourselves. Are you in any delusion about any behaviour any person, substance in your life? Now is the time to get those delusions out before you start writing your fourth step so that when you start writing the fourth step you won’t have to break through the delusions. It is going to be hard enough to look at the past and see the lie that you will have built up around these things in the past to protect yourself. And that’s what keeps coming up: a lie about her dad. It’s a very heavy duty lie that keeps coming up that her dad was not being honoured. His memory, his wishes are not being honoured. “I am in delusion about that”. Her husband knows the truth as is the executor of the estate and he sat her down and told the facts again and now she feels she is finally out of delusion that her father’s memory is not being respected.
“This one is really, really deep. The delusion is the disease”. The disease wants to keep her in delusion about this and keep her tied up in resentment and fear and all this emotionalism. And it’s another ploy – a dysfunctional ploy – to keep her father alive. He is dead. It happened differently with her mother. With her mother she could not let go of her clothes and her shoes. Stephanie could not move for her mother’s things in her bedroom (her mother had many clothes). Stephanie could not let it go. That was how her grieving worked. Thinking if she let those things go it would diminish her life. She feels it is the same thing with this estate business. She thinks she has come to the point where she is able to let go. All that remains are her mother’s pearl necklace and wedding ring which she always wears. Everything else she has given away. Feels today she can let go of this estate business. She eventually told her husband she does not want to know anything about it. She got triggered as someone called her. Just as no TV and no romance novels, similarly she has the ‘no talk’ attitude about this. She will not talk about it and if someone mentions it will say she is not involved. So she feels she has really grown through this situation.
Q. What was the last delusion you were in? Write it out (as Stephanie just told us). How did you resolve it or how are you resolving it in a healthy way? Go into all the areas of your life. How are you with your food, your sobriety, your sleep? (It affected her sleep). She wants us to see how the disease affects all the areas of our life. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed. Don’t you just love that analogy? Taking something and smashing it on the top and getting rid of it, sweeping it up and putting it in the wastepaper basket.
Instead of drinking Stephanie has understood that she is powerless over her thinking. That is why she needs God. She cannot even be thinking on her own without bringing in God. She is a depressive (anger turned inwards), so she gets angry and very negative.
We are going to see people in our step one fellowship who have control. They come in, get a sponsor, food plan. She realised she had to have a Quiet Time to have God in her life 24/7. She cannot afford to not have God in every area because she is incapable of living in this life. She was a mess: could not keep a job, relationship, supporting herself.
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. Look up: pitiful incomprehensible and demoralization.
If you are going to know that you are powerless you have to know what being powerless brings out. If Stephanie helps somebody and they say it is too much, and they don’t want to do all this work she wishes them well. Some come back. Why? Because real addicts. They think that they have regained control. Having a sponsor, a food plan and doing the tools they feel like they are in control. Then over time the disease leads them into pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. No condemnation from Stephanie, she herself did it for years. Used diet pills. Thank God only used them for six months. She thought she had regained control and was high as a kite. Then the downer she experienced after she could no longer get them. She experienced such pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. This time she had messed up her body so badly with the speed she was the worse she had been in her life. She did not want to live.
Q. Was your illness progressive? Write out your story (if you want) It was during that time that Stephanie came back to the God of her childhood. Everything has a reason. She is glad to remember how bad she was back then.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Thy will not mine be done.
Our live phone meetings are every Thursday 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 Thursday Big Book Step Study workshop. You can also hear our Tuesday Big Book Study recordings at (641) 715-3900, pin 298913#. These meetings can be accessed at any time.