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12 Step Study - Session 3 - Step 1

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Pandora
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:29 pm
Canada

12 Step Study - Session 3 - Step 1

Post by Pandora » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:24 pm

Preface

This is a step study around limerence based on the texts of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of AA. While there is material from more applicable 12 step programs available (such as SLAA), we chose to use AA material because it is freely available on the internet and poses no financial limitations to people who want to participate. We'd like to keep this study focused on the 12 steps. While there are many other worthwhile resources out there for limerents to consider, please keep the focus on 12 step material on these threads (and feel free to discuss material from any 12 step program - SLAA, SA, NA, OA, GA, etc).

The step study is available here:
https://www.12step.org/tools/workbooks/

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is available here:
https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous

The 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of AA is available here:
https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/twelve-s ... traditions

When thinking about your own experience, replace 'alcohol' and 'alcoholic' with 'imerence' and 'limerent person' (or whatever terms you'd like to use). Some of the questions posed in this study might not have a direct correlation with limerence, so if you're not feeling a particular question, that is OK. If there are very personal things that are brought up for you that you don't want to discuss on a publicly available message board, please feel free to PM me to discuss them or discuss them with anyone else who might understand limerence/12 step recovery. And finally, there are a lot of questions and readings, so feel free to post answers piecemeal rather than doing the entire thing at once. Of course, if you want to answer it all at once, that is fine as well.

SESSION 3

STEP 1 Bill’s Story

Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Upon a foundation of complete willingness…. (12: 4)
…the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. (92: 0)



Step 1 written inventory

ON YOUR OWN: STUDY – What did the the Big Book authors say?
READ Chapter 1 Bill’s Story, pp.1 – 16. Read in the Big Book how in 1934 one of AA's founders, Bill W., learned of the problem, the solution, and the program of action to recover from alcoholism.

Available here: https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt1.pdf

1. The Problem: From Dr. Silkworth, Bill learned of the medical problem of alcoholism as both a mental and a physical illness. (7:1; xxv-xxxii)
2. The Solution: From Dr. Carl Jung, (through Roland H. and Ebby T.) Bill learned of the spiritual solution to the problem as a necessary vital spiritual experience. (27: 5; see also 9: 6; 567-8)
3. The Program of Action: From the Oxford Group (through Ebby T.), Bill learned of the discipline of practicing a step by step program of principles and action that opens one to the necessary vital spiritual experiences. (27: 4) [See also He Sold Himself Short, 263: 0]

WRITE Write down how the matters set forth in Bill’s Story reflect your own life.
Cross off the bulleted focus and reflection comments as you consider them.
Continue writing your Step 1 inventory about your powerlessness over alcohol and how your life is unmanageable.

TALK Speak with your sponsor and other group members about the study group and the Step 1 readings.

PRACTICE DAILY RELAXATION WITH MEDITATION / PRAYER


WITH THE GROUP: PRACTICE – What does the Big Book say to me about my practice of Step 1?

We review selections from Bill's Story together.
We each consider sharing our own writings and personal Step 1 stories with the group.
Rather than 'yes' and 'no' responses, consider answering in detail and with examples.

Points of Focus and Reflection (Consider 2: 2; 3: 2; 5: 4-6: 1; 8: 1-9: 6; 12: 2-14: 6)

1.) The Problem (17: 1)
What did Bill mean by, I commenced to forge the weapon…that one day would turn…like a boomerang and…cut me to ribbons? (2: 2)
Was there a time for me when liquor ceased to be a luxury; it became a necessity? (5: 1)
Did I think I could control the situation? (5: 1)
Did I ever wonder, Was I crazy? (5: 5)
How does an appalling lack of perspective relate to sanity, honesty, or humility? (5: 5) What do sanity, honesty, and humility mean to me? [Optional: 12&12 pp, 48: 0; 58: 1; 72: 2]
In what specific ways did I feel the remorse, horror and hopelessness of the next morning? (6: 1)
Did I ask, Should I kill myself? (6: 1)
In what ways did I seek oblivion? (6: 1)
In what ways have I felt fear? (6: 2, 7: 0)
What are my reflections on Dr. Silkworth's proposition that we have been seriously ill, bodily and mentally? (7: 1)
Did I see that I could not take so much as one drink? (5: 4)
Did such self-knowledge (7: 2) of the problem of the insanity of that first drink (8: 2) alone keep me sober?
Bill describes taking Step 1 by admitting, Alcohol was my master. (8: 1)
In what ways has alcohol been my master? (8: 1)

2.) The Solution (17: 3)
What is my understanding of the simple religious idea? (9: 6)
What was my reaction to’ religion’, ‘the church’, and ‘God’? (10: 1)
How do I react to the suggestion, Why don’t you choose your own conception of God? (12: 2; 46: 2)
Bill takes Step 2 when he understands that, nothing more was required...to make my beginning than being willing to believe. (12: 4)
Note that Bill was instructed to sit quietly and to test [his] thinking by the new God-consciousness within. (13: 4)

3.) The Program of Action (9: 6)
What is my understanding of the practical program of action? (9: 6)
How did this derive from the non-alcoholic Oxford Groups of that day? ( xvi: 0; and see 263: 0)
What are the essential requirements, as I understand them? (13: 5 - 14: 0)
How do I understand, It meant destruction of self-centeredness? (14: 1)
What were the revolutionary and drastic proposals? (14: 2)
Note that Bill essentially takes Step 3 through Step 12 at this time while still in the hospital. [Step 1 (8: 1); Step 2 (12: 4); Steps 3-11 (13: 2-4); Step 12 (1st part 13: 5; 2nd part 14: 5, 6)]
Desire is a state,
a state of ill repair.
It's ill prepared to cope,
it's ill prepared to care.

Pandora
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:29 pm
Canada

Re: 12 Step Study - Session 3 - Step 1

Post by Pandora » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:39 pm

The Problem

What did Bill mean by, I commenced to forge the weapon…that one day would turn…like a boomerang and…cut me to ribbons? (2: 2)

The line talks of the ' alloy of drink and speculation'. I interpret it to mean that the combination of the mind-altering effects of alcohol and his own ego-based fantasies created the perfect storm to fuck up the rest of his life. He believed that he could become a wealthy man, that the sacrifices he and his wife made would result in him triumphing in financial matters.

Was there a time for me when liquor ceased to be a luxury; it became a necessity? (5: 1)

Yes. Especially in my previous limerent relationship, the ups and downs were so bad that I couldn't break off contact with LO, and when I did I sat there drinking and crying and wound up reaching out anyway. I couldn't function without the limerence, and ironically I couldn't function with it either. I felt better when engaging in limerent behaviour, but I was still unable to handle basic life.

Did I think I could control the situation? (5: 1)

When limerence made me feel good, absolutely. I would be flying on the limerent highs, and I'd think 'I could always choose NOT to do this, but it makes me feel great so why would I stop?' And then in the lows, I'd think 'Get a grip. You're too old to be this pathetically lovestruck.'

Did I ever wonder, Was I crazy? (5: 5)

Yes. Absolutely.

How does an appalling lack of perspective relate to sanity, honesty, or humility? (5: 5) What do sanity, honesty, and humility mean to me? [Optional: 12&12 pp, 48: 0; 58: 1; 72: 2]

My addiction tells me that either I am the greatest, most marvelous creature to grace God's green earth, or that I am lower than pond scum. Both are forms of hubris, and neither are reflective of reality. It makes me unable to take an honest look at myself, and most importantly it prevents me from being part of the human race. I am always better than or below people I meet, and it makes me disconnected from everyone around me.

In what specific ways did I feel the remorse, horror and hopelessness of the next morning? (6: 1)

I don't really get 'morning remorse'. For me, the regret comes in the evening. 'Another day where I did nothing but fantasize about my LO, where I got nothing done, where the to-do list kept building up. I am pathetic.'

Did I ask, Should I kill myself? (6: 1)

Yes. I get into funks where I go 'Why would LO ever be interested in you?' And then I start thinking about all the horrible things about myself that I hate, and the thoughts spiral from there.

In what ways did I seek oblivion? (6: 1)

By going deeper into limerent fantasy, by losing myself in the hope that LO would contact me, by ignoring life and all of it's pressure and slipping into my limerent thoughts and habits.

In what ways have I felt fear? (6: 2, 7: 0)

A lot of fear comes from my unmanageable life. I fear everything that I have not done because of limerence, it builds up and I engage further in limerence to overcome the anxiety. I fear that I am not good enough for LO, and why even bother participating in life if I can't get what I want? With my previous LO, I felt fear that his wife would find out about our affair and ruin my life, with this LO I feel fear that I will have an affair that will ruin my marriage. There's a lot of fear to go around!

What are my reflections on Dr. Silkworth's proposition that we have been seriously ill, bodily and mentally? (7: 1)

Once again, with limerence I'm not sure I buy the 'allergy of the body', but I'm open to being proved wrong on that. But mentally, yes. I never learned how to cope with life, so I escaped into this fantasy world.

Did I see that I could not take so much as one drink? (5: 4)

Being totally honest, some part of me still thinks 'What harm is having a little crush? Why is it bad that the mere presence of someone can make you so happy? Wouldn't most people kill to be so enthralled by something so simple?'

I guess I'm also a little unsure of what counts as 'the first drink' in limerence. Is it thinking of LO at all? Is it making/responding to contact from LO? I think it's hard to corral the thoughts. But perhaps in terms of fantasies, there is a different between acknowledging 'My mind has gone there, I'm now going to try to disengage myself and focus on something else' and sitting there and purposely engaging in blissful fantasy.

Did such self-knowledge (7: 2) of the problem of the insanity of that first drink (8: 2) alone keep me sober?

Oh no. Not at all. The 'first drink' is such an interesting space to be in. It's this space of amnesia, almost unconscious action. I can't remember all the pain and misery limerence has brought, all the fear and apprehension it gave me. It's almost like a mild hypnosis, where I just react without a second thought.

Bill describes taking Step 1 by admitting, Alcohol was my master. (8: 1) In what ways has alcohol been my master? (8: 1)


Limerence has warped my mind and my perceptions. It has made the unacceptable in my life common place, made me selfish and useless, obsessive and unable to live life on life's terms. It has made insanity normal, and life without limerence an unbearable thought.
Desire is a state,
a state of ill repair.
It's ill prepared to cope,
it's ill prepared to care.

Pandora
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:29 pm
Canada

Re: 12 Step Study - Session 3 - Step 1

Post by Pandora » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:18 pm

The Solution (17: 3)
What is my understanding of the simple religious idea? (9: 6)

I may be wrong, but I think in modern parlance the 'simple religious idea' would translate more to 'spirituality' rather than 'religion', at least the way it is used in the 12 steps. The Oxford Group, from what I remember, was definitely more religion-slanted.

What was my reaction to’ religion’, ‘the church’, and ‘God’? (10: 1)

I have my own set of religious beliefs, albeit I don't follow an organized religion so the concept of 'the church' is one I have trouble with. I have no problems with the concept of God or a Higher Power, but the 12 steps did change my relationship with my concept of God.

How do I react to the suggestion, Why don’t you choose your own conception of God? (12: 2; 46: 2)

Ehhh... personally, I'm not such a big fan of that concept for myself. But it has worked for so many people that there is a definite power in it!


The Program of Action (9: 6)
What is my understanding of the practical program of action? (9: 6)

The 12 steps: a concrete way to take back our lives from what has troubled us.

How did this derive from the non-alcoholic Oxford Groups of that day? ( xvi: 0; and see 263: 0)

As said in the book:
Though he [Bill] could not accept all the tenets of the Oxford Groups, he was convinced of the need for moral inventory, confession of personality defects, restitution to those harmed, helpfulness to others, and the necessity of belief in and dependence upon God.
What are the essential requirements, as I understand them? (13: 5 - 14: 0)
Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements.
I like how the sentence doesn't mention anything about desire, or wanting to do things. I just have to be willing to do the work.

How do I understand, It meant destruction of self-centeredness? (14: 1)

To me it means that I accept that all things are in HP's hands. The good, the bad and the ugly. Tomorrow every good thing I have in my life could be gone, or everything bad could be washed away. So I stop worrying about it, stop obsessing over what I want and how I want things to go and people to be, and simply live in the moment. It reminds me of a saying by a Zen master, where he asks 'What is lacking in this moment?' And when I look at this exact moment in time, I lack nothing.

What were the revolutionary and drastic proposals? (14: 2)

That I should stop worrying about the future. That instead of driving my life, I would let HP drive it for me.
Desire is a state,
a state of ill repair.
It's ill prepared to cope,
it's ill prepared to care.

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