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12 Step Study for Limerence - Session 1 - Preface and Forwards

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Pandora
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12 Step Study for Limerence - Session 1 - Preface and Forwards

Post by Pandora » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:04 pm

Information

Today we're starting an informal 12 Step Study for limerence. We'll be using materials freely available online so there is no financial hindrance and so that anyone can jump in immediately if this study is of interest to them. We'll also be using AA materials, since this is the foundation of all 12 step programs, except we will discuss 'limerence' rather than 'alcohol' and 'limerent (person)' instead of 'alcoholic'. The step study is available here:

https://www.12step.org/tools/workbooks/

The Big Book of Alocholics 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

We've decided to post in this forum so that people can join in whenever, or pop in and out and they see fit. However working the 12 steps can require discussing very personal, private and sometimes identifying information that many of us would not want available on a public forum. If you have something you'd like to discuss privately, please feel free to contact me or another person on these threads to set up a method of private communication that both parties would feel comfortable with. If you have a sponsor or friend in another program you'd feel comfortable doing the work with, that is another idea as well.

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 only discuss 12 step material on these threads (and feel free to discuss material from any 12 step program - SLAA, SA, NA, OA, GA, etc).

When responding to the threads, you may do it piecemeal (one part of the homework at a time) or in it's entirety. Whatever works for you.

This thread will be 'current' for a week - from Friday, September 14th, 2018 to Thursday, September 20th, 2018. However if you've just decided you're interested in the study or just joined the forum, feel free to post your own work/thoughts whenever. Also, since we're flying by the seat of our pants, let us know if you have any suggestions.

This week - Session 1 - Preface and Forwards

The first session is available here: http://stepsbybigbook.net/show_docs.php?Type_ID=1

Choose whether you want the document available as a .doc or .pdf and click on the relevent link. A box will come up asking you if you want to download the document or just view it. I will also cut and paste the part we are working on below.

From the Step Study:

SESSION 1

Preface and Forewords

A wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.
(47: 2)

I: ON YOUR OWN: STUDY – What did the Big Book authors say?
READ Read the Table of Contents, Preface, and the Forewords to the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Editions of the Big Book. Many will read the Foreword to Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (12&12) as well.

WRITE Consider the focus questions relating to the readings, and write reflective answers to them, as you see fit. Cross off the bulleted comments as you take them in. Include your own questions and observations, and explore your doubts as well as your certainties in detail and in depth.

TALK Talk with your sponsor and/or buddy about the process you are about to undertake.

II: WITH THE GROUP: PRACTICE
What does the Big Book say to me about my practice of the 12 Steps?

We discuss the purpose, plan and session format of this Steps by the Big Book group course. Consider that each member is expected to not only talk about but to do each of the Steps and, if possible, to attend every session with the team.
This is a commitment, a team effort. Together we can do it!
We discuss how the Big Book readings influence our own recovery process.

Points of Focus and Reflection
1.) Contents -A repeating mighty purpose and rhythm (10: 3) of the Steps and of the Big Book can be seen even on the Contents page (Consider page v).
‘The Problem’ is set out in Doctor’s Opinion and Chapter 1. [See 17: 1; 19: 3]
‘The Solution’ is introduced in Chapters 2, 3 and 4. [See also 17: 3; 25: 1]
‘The Program of Action’ is described in Chapters 5, 6 and 7. [See also 9:6; 42: 2]

2.) 1955 Foreword to Second Edition (Consider pp. xv: 3-xvii: 2; xix: 1; xxi: 0)
What do the Big Book authors mean when they say that, this is but a beginning, only the augury of a much larger future ahead? (xv: 2)
How am I part of that future? What do I know about the story of AA?
What were the tenets of the Oxford Groups? (xvi: 0) [See also 263: 0]
What is the message of AA? (xvii: 3; xviii: 0; xxi: 0) [See also xvi: 2; 17: 3; 45: 2; 60: 0; 77: 0; 89 :1]
What are the principles by which the individual alcoholic could live? (xix: 1)
What are the principles by which AA groups and AA as a whole could survive and function? (xix: 1)
What is the alternative to the high road? (xxi: 0)
Desire is a state,
a state of ill repair.
It's ill prepared to cope,
it's ill prepared to care.

Pandora
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:29 pm
Canada

Re: 12 Step Study for Limerence - Session 1 - Preface and Forwards

Post by Pandora » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:43 pm

Alright, so my thoughts:

Coming from another 12 step program that has its own 12 and 12, for a very long time I despised the Big Book thumpers. They seemed to be having a borderline orgasmic experience while claiming that the Big Book was written by God and claiming that every single piece of literature in any 12 step program written after that was worthless and no one would recover without the original text. I really liked a lot of the literature that my program had created, and I like the AA 12 and 12, and I figured anyone in the 21st century who had read 'To the Wives' should know it wasn't written by God.

Fortunately, I have lately been able to set aside my prejudices and appreciate the Big Book more. This will be a more in-depth undertaking than I've experienced before with the Big Book, so I'm excited for it.

My general thoughts on the readings:

In the forward to the first edition of the Big Book, it describes what would later become one of the 12 traditions: The only requirement for membership is an honest desire to stop drinking. However I was at an AA meeting once chaired by a hilarious woman who said "You know, I've never met someone in AA who wanted to stop drinking. What we wanted was for people to stop saying mean things to us, like 'You're fired', 'You're being evicted', 'I'm leaving and I'm taking the kids.' Drinking itself was fine, it was the rest of it that sucked."

So I have to ask myself, with respect to my limerence: do I have an honest desire to stop limerence for it's own sake? Or do I want to keep the highs and the feel-goods I associate with limerence while just trying to minimize all the negatives that come with it? On some level I think I want both. I think 'I'm tired of having my days wasted either basking in the glow of limerence, or laying wasted in pain that comes with it.' And sometimes I think 'Fuck, why isn't my LO contacting me? I just need a little hit right now. Just a little something to get me out of this slump.'

In the preface to the AA 12 and 12 it says: Many people, nonalcoholics, report that as a result of the practice of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, they have been able to meet other difficulties of life. They think that the Twelve Steps can mean more than sobriety for problem drinkers. They see in them a way to happy and effective living for many, alcoholic or not. This is very important to me. I remember getting abstinent in my 12 step program for food, and having absolutely no idea how to live life. I didn't have an interests outside of food, very few friendships, and when I wasn't constantly obsessing about food or eating, I realized that there were 24 hours in a day and I had no clue how to fill them. I didn't know how to have relationships, how to be a good friend and partner, how to handle criticism, how to have a life. They say that you're stuck at the emotional age when you started using your addictive substance, and I needed to learn how to grow up. I've done a lot of growing in my other program, and I'm hopeful that I can continue to grow while working through limerence.

I'll answer the questions in the step study a bit later.
Desire is a state,
a state of ill repair.
It's ill prepared to cope,
it's ill prepared to care.

Pandora
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:29 pm
Canada

Re: 12 Step Study for Limerence - Session 1 - Preface and Forwards

Post by Pandora » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:51 pm

My answers to the questions posed in the study:

What does the Big Book say to me about my practice of the 12 Steps?

The steps are to inspire a psychic change in me. Nowhere in the steps does it say 'Stop your addictive behaviour'. To me, the steps are about changing myself as a person, and the cessation of addictive behaviours is an outcome of that change. Most importantly, I am to become useful. The BB is very adamant that unless we give away what we have, we cannot keep it, and thus we are called to be of usefulness to other addicts. However, this also applies to my personal life. I cannot keep my marriage if I don't give of myself, I cannot keep friendships if I never give anything in return.

What do the Big Book authors mean when they say that, this is but a beginning, only the augury of a much larger future ahead?

In the quote they're specifically talking about the future of AA, but I am selfish so I'm going to talk about me. Again. This sentence speaks to me about a growing number of people who have found something in the 12 steps that has changed their lives. So many people have walked this path ahead of me and found something worth the time and effort and energy, and it's a sign to me that my life will begin to change if I work the steps.

How am I part of that future? What do I know about the story of AA?

There's a quote I really like in the Overeaters Anonymous 12 and 12 (which is probably paraphrased from something in AA). It goes:

'Those of us who live this program don't simply carry the message, we are the message. Each day that we live well, we are well, and we embody the joy of recovery which attracts others who want what we've found.' It goes back to the 'attraction, not promotion' part of the traditions. If I work the steps and find recovery, I could be part of the recovery of other people. Together, walking hand in hand towards a brighter future and all of that.

What do I know about the story of AA? The basics. The start from the Oxford groups, meeting in people's homes to start off with, infighting and the traditions, etc.

What were the tenets of the Oxford Groups?

1. The need for moral inventory.
2. Confession of personal defects.
3. Restitution to those harmed.
4. Helpfulness to others.
5. The necessity of belief in and the dependence upon God.

What is the message of AA?

That there is a solution.

What are the principles by which the individual alcoholic could live?

The 12 steps and their associated principles, as listed here: https://www.aacleve.org/twelve-spiritual-principles/

What are the principles by which AA groups and AA as a whole could survive and function?

1. No one with a desire to stop drinking could be excluded.
2. Our leaders could serve but not govern.
3. Each group should be autonomous.
4. No professional class of therapy.
5. No due or fees, expenses to be met by voluntary contribution.
6. There must be the least possible amount of organization.
7. Public relations were to be based on attraction rather than promotion.
8. All members were to be anonymous at the levels of press, radio and films.
9. AA was not to endorse anything else, make alliances or embroil itself in public controversies.

What is the alternative to the high road?

The low road - a lack of freedom, being enslaved to impulse.

On a personal note, part of me hates step studies like this. I'm always afraid I'll have the 'wrong' answer and people will cluck their tongues and shake their heads and go 'She's clueless. God help her.' I'M A PHONY!!!
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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David
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Re: 12 Step Study for Limerence - Session 1 - Preface and Forwards

Post by David » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:35 am

I really like this idea.

In my early days of LE i looked at going to a SLAA meeting and for some reason always resisted. I didnt see myself as a sex addict and felt limerence was whilst similar to love addiction, still different.

Who knows, perhaps you will initiate a new 12 step movement purley for those grapplimg with limerence? There are enough of us out there in need.

Wishing you every success and i’ll follow along as there is always more to learn.
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

For Professional Coaching / Therapy see http://loverelations.co.uk/limerence

Male 58

Pandora
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Re: 12 Step Study for Limerence - Session 1 - Preface and Forwards

Post by Pandora » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:48 am

Thanks for the support David!

I did attend SLAA for a while, but always felt like I was spinning my wheels. I'm not sure why - limerence was discussed, if not by name, in a lot of the readings and by others there, but I never really grabbed a strong foothold there. Plus, I met an LO there and had a PA with him, so I decided I'm probably not healthy enough at this point to be around other people. I think online meetings work very well with the kind of addictions that involve other people (although nothing is foolproof).

So fingers crossed the 12 steps can work as well for limerence as for other issues!
Desire is a state,
a state of ill repair.
It's ill prepared to cope,
it's ill prepared to care.

User avatar
David
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Posts: 3009
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:22 pm
Location: London UK
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Re: 12 Step Study for Limerence - Session 1 - Preface and Forwards

Post by David » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:15 am

Pandora wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:48 am
Thanks for the support David!

I did attend SLAA for a while, but always felt like I was spinning my wheels. I'm not sure why - limerence was discussed, if not by name, in a lot of the readings and by others there, but I never really grabbed a strong foothold there. Plus, I met an LO there and had a PA with him, so I decided I'm probably not healthy enough at this point to be around other people. I think online meetings work very well with the kind of addictions that involve other people (although nothing is foolproof).

So fingers crossed the 12 steps can work as well for limerence as for other issues!
I am aware some relationships have started here too. No where is safe for us addicts =)) =)) =))
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

For Professional Coaching / Therapy see http://loverelations.co.uk/limerence

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Maddie
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Re: 12 Step Study for Limerence - Session 1 - Preface and Forwards

Post by Maddie » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:37 pm

wanted to comment on the alternative to the high road, which is the low road like Pandora said, which for me is:
- continuing to live only a partial life or maybe an existence
-Missing out on my family, growing in my career
-A loss of hobbies, recreation (limerence is time consuming !)
-Interference spiritually
-shame
-unavailable to others- can't be of service to God, others
*now, why again do I still pursue LO??
Maybe the steps will help me untangle from the destructive relationship
39, F
LO, 50 , M
Mental health is an ongoing commitment to reality at all costs-- (M Scott Peck)

Pandora
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:29 pm
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Re: 12 Step Study for Limerence - Session 1 - Preface and Forwards

Post by Pandora » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:39 pm

David wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:15 am
I am aware some relationships have started here too. No where is safe for us addicts =)) =)) =))
We're incorrigible, I tell ya! 8-}
Desire is a state,
a state of ill repair.
It's ill prepared to cope,
it's ill prepared to care.

Pandora
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:29 pm
Canada

Re: 12 Step Study for Limerence - Session 1 - Preface and Forwards

Post by Pandora » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:04 pm

Maddie wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:37 pm
wanted to comment on the alternative to the high road, which is the low road like Pandora said, which for me is:
- continuing to live only a partial life or maybe an existence
-Missing out on my family, growing in my career
-A loss of hobbies, recreation (limerence is time consuming !)
-Interference spiritually
-shame
-unavailable to others- can't be of service to God, others
*now, why again do I still pursue LO??
Maybe the steps will help me untangle from the destructive relationship
You know, I'm not super fond of the SLAA text for my own purposes, but I remember there being a quote around step 1 that I really liked. I can't remember it verbatim, but it talked about the slow, spiritual suicide that sex and love addiction brings, and what could be more poignant than walking around as a zombified shell of a human being, alive but not living.

Your response reminded me of that, so thank you!
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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