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Leaving Shame Behind? Really?

Posted: August 13, 2017, 8:16 PM
I just left an AA meeting. And everyone was talking about how they left shame behind in the program.

But after a decade of meetings I could not stand the bs. The program works through social pressure. If someone shares something that goes against the program they get shamed after the meeting. People who relapse have to go through the same that follows. There is even that beloved institution called the sponsor who is there to provide shame when you cannot do it yourself.

Where is honesty? Why not be honest about how the program works. It does work so I see nothing wrong in a little the shame. But why the pretense?

Posts: 243
Joined: August 18, 2016

Posted: September 24, 2017, 11:40 PM
I do understand where you are coming from. I also felt this undercurrent of shame running through the rooms and felt it was very detrimental to my recovery. I personally do not believe that shaming has ANY place in treating addiction. Recovery is about learning from and rising above shame! I personally found SMART recovery to be much more helpful. It is a very empowering program that shame has no place in!

Please do not mistake my personal preference as a jab at the 12 steps. Many people have found it to be vital to their recovery and I encourage everyone to do what works for them! There are so many outside influences that shame addicts and add to the stigma of addiction...let's not do that to eachother! Let's encourage everyone to find the path to recovery that works for them! (and then let's not make them feel their choice is wrong..after all, there is no wrong way to recover!)

Posts: 32
Joined: July 16, 2019

Posted: July 17, 2019, 10:35 PM
Can I trade with you? Around here the nonsense that passes for sobriety is incredible and would have the founders rolling in their graves.

You can choose anything including ash trays as your higher power despite the explicit Step Two caveat that this higher power has to have the ability to restore you to sanity.

The Third Step is simply about a decision despite the Third Step prayer where you give your will and life over to the “care” of your higher power. I argue that failing to follow through on a decision is what we always did, which gets you what you always got. The other argument is that without an action causing some beneficial change, the step is unnecessary; throw out the Third Step and leave us with only eleven, but that would be different from the Twelve Commandments, or twelve traditions, or twelve concepts of world services, we would once again be imbalanced!
The Fourth Step inventory is different from the Tenth Step because one is "moral" and one is "personal", despite the fact that the Big Book uses the term "personal" inventory when talking about the Fourth Step. Nobody has ever explained or offered to explain the difference.

The synonyms defects of character and shortcomings mean something different, though the Seventh Step prayer uses the Sixth Step term defects of character instead of using the Seventh Step term shortcomings.

This last one had Dr. Bob’s approval, so he isn’t rolling in his grave over this one. All the steps are equally important like the spokes of a wheel when it is common knowledge that no other steps can be worked until the First Step and its implied abstinence are mastered making it the most important step.

An alcoholic’s “shame” should be relieved when the Fifth Step is completed. If not, a thorough Fourth and Fifth Step was not undertaken.

Sanity is defined as soundness of mind and action. Either I am still insane, or all the others are still waiting to be restored to sanity. Maybe I should forget my Master's Degree and go back to school to learn reading comprehension. I vote for insanity, because all this nonsense makes me insane!

This post has been edited by SoberInMI on July 17, 2019, 10:40 PM
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