I would like your input on 12-step meetings


#1

i have gone to 12 step meetings in the past that made me feel worse than b4 i went... Then i have been to some that lifted me up and i felt better than b4 i went.. Hate to say it, thoug, but it seems the former is usually the case, not the latter.

since i have gotten more into my Catholic faith, i don't feel the "need" to go there very often anymore, if at all..

Have you gone to a lot of 12 step meetings?

i wish i could find a Christian one, preferably a Catholic one, but there dont seem to be any within 100 miles... :rolleyes: (if there are any Catholic ones at all).

anyway, i feel selfish not going to them anymore because i feel i am supposedto share what the Lord has done in my life iwth others... :( but i can't stand the bad feeling i sometimes get... i know part of it is that many there do NOT want to hear about catholicism... or any kind of christianity..

anyway... just wondering if you can relate to any of this & wht you have done about it..


#2

I have been to many twelve step meetings - 21 years clean and sober thanks to the grace of God and the help of A.A.

There are over 100 different types of 12 step meetings. All of them are based upon the model Bill Wilson developed for Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill based A.A. from his experiences in the Oxford Group. The Oxford Group was a group of Christian men. Their goal was to help Christians become better Christians, one man at a time. Bill and other founding members of A.A. wisely realized that many Alcoholics were adverse to preaching. They also had developed resentments toward organized religion. He constructed A.A. so that it could help its members have a spiritual experience without a church setting. The thinking (right or wrong it seems to work) was that alcoholism was actually a subconscious search for spirituality. By helping people to have an actual spiritual experience, it relieved their other pursuit.

The twelve steps of A.A. are firmly based in the bible. If one looks into most any other religion, they are also there. They are universal truths. There is a Christian group, Celebrate Recovery, which is growing nation wide. They are Christians who utilize the twelve step process and recognize Christ as their "Higher Power".

I have met Catholic priests, ministers from various denominations, and also a Rabi. At first I wondered why these scholarly, deeply, religious people would come to A.A. meetings. The reason is because they have to. Recovery is not contingent upon religious practice.


#3

Yes, I have gone to a lot of 12 step meetings. My sobriety date in Alcoholics Anonymous is 24 February 1984.:slight_smile:

Now, I am not sure how you may have shared at those AA meetings. By and large, the use of “God”, Higher Power", and other generalized terms is OK, but specific mentions of The Trinity and Jesus will put backs up. AA is not supposed to be allied with any sect or denomination.:frowning:

As a Catholic in AA, I simply accept this, soft peddle my devotion to Mary and the Saints, and just use the term “God”.

Now, are they any non-AA groups in your area thyat my help? Well, I do not know where you live, but try and GOOGLE “Calix Society”, “Matt Talbot Groups” and “Alcoholics Victorious”. These are small, struggeling groups, unable to be announced at AA meetings and ignored by most Agencies.

JUST THIS WEEK, I learned of a a “Christian Recovery” group at a church 15 minutes away. It may or may not have been around the last 20 years I have lived in Torrance, but I first heard of it last Sunday. I will be going to my first meeting there tonight.

Non-AA groups are around, but it takes time and effort to find them

calixsociety.org/

alcoholicsvictorious.org/

And the Alcoholics Victorious website has pages of links that might help you

alcoholicsvictorious.org/sites.html


#4

[quote="distracted, post:1, topic:183201"]
i have gone to 12 step meetings in the past that made me feel worse than b4 i went... Then i have been to some that lifted me up and i felt better than b4 i went.. Hate to say it, thoug, but it seems the former is usually the case, not the latter.

since i have gotten more into my Catholic faith, i don't feel the "need" to go there very often anymore, if at all..

Have you gone to a lot of 12 step meetings?

i wish i could find a Christian one, preferably a Catholic one, but there dont seem to be any within 100 miles... :rolleyes: (if there are any Catholic ones at all).

anyway, i feel selfish not going to them anymore because i feel i am supposedto share what the Lord has done in my life iwth others... :( but i can't stand the bad feeling i sometimes get... i know part of it is that many there do NOT want to hear about catholicism... or any kind of christianity..

anyway... just wondering if you can relate to any of this & wht you have done about it..

[/quote]

I have attended many 12-step meetings in my life, not AA, but Al-Anon. I have also attended a umber of AA meetings as a visitor. There is no doubt in my mind that God used the 12 Steps to bring me into a relationship with Him, and to start living in a rational, sane manner. When I began to work those steps seriously, God reached out to me, and I had a powerful conversion experience. But that is my story. There is not one thing in those 12 steps that cannot be embraced by a Catholic or any other Christian. They are basic, solid spiritual principles that lead to a change in one's life.

I have never felt any conflict in going to 12 Step meetings and sharing how God has worked in my life, personally, and how following the Steps greatly changed my life. I can mention that I am a Catholic, and others accept that, but I would not use these meetings to evangelize others to Christianity, nor share specifically my religious beliefs and practices. That is not their purpose, and it would drive away people who need help and would benefit greatly by living by a set of sound spiritual principles and overcoming their addictions and other problems rather than continue in their chaotic and insane way of living. I personally know priests who go to 12-step meetings, they've shared that with me. And they are extremely grateful to God for them. They see no conflict whatsoever, and they've been able to get the help they need in an anonymous and confidential environment.

I also think it is important to remember that the primary purpose of such groups is to help yourself stay sober, or whatever, not to help others. When you share your experiences or reach out to others, that is what keeps you on the road to recovery. if you can't take care of yourself first, you can't help others. Go to the meetings for yourself, not others, or you'll lose focus on why you are there in the first place, which is your recovery.


#5

One more internet web site for non-AA recovery

christianrecovery.com/wordpress/


#6

Update at midnight, 15/16 January.

This evening, I attended the local Christian Recovery meeting at Rolling Hills Covenant Church. I also found their website.

saddlebackresources.com/en-US/CELEBRATERECOVERY/CelebrateRecovery.htm

For some strange reason, the website does not list where all the CR meetings are held.

I can give you a report of the local CR meeting I attended, if asked.


#7

thanks… i have gotten a lot out of 12 step groups myself… but as stated, the stronger i got in my Catholic faith, the less i felt the need for them… i used to go anyway, to share my experience, s & h… but again, i began to feel… uh… Want honesty??? the presence of the evil one. sometimes it was very strong!!! it was actually scary… so i stopped going, but again, i sometimes feel guilty about that… and wish i could find a Christian group. i doubt there is a Celebrate Recovery group in my area, but… may look into it. they should have an on-line group… :slight_smile:


#8

Let me add also that the 12 steps of AA are based upon the spiritual exercises of St Ignatious. The roots of AA are in fact quite catholic and it even states in the Big Book that the Catholic Church does support AA because it makes us hopefully "better Catholics". As stated previously, religion had to be taken out of AA, so others who are suffering can recover as well. Alcoholism is also a spiritual disease. I tend to believe like others in the rooms that God's presence is quite profound and the wisdom and absolute humility that comes out of the mouth of some drunk living one day at a time is certainly a testament to that.
I also consider many of us in the halls of AA to be the modern day lepers and I think often of the lepers who were healed by Jesus and only one went to thank Him. Gratitude to God is key..just as Jesus said to that leper..your gratitude will make you whole.

I have found the 12-Steps to be Catholicism for dummies..meaning me and following the program of AA and the 12 steps have also been a major force in my conversion.

I often hear from both sides of the coin: one saying I am a recovering catholic and wants nothing to do with the faith they grew up with and the other..AA's are not Catholic and are anti catholic. God has been quite good to me because I treasure both and both are connected. I realized that my thinking had also affected my interpretation of my faith and my thinking was faulty..and can also be faulty on the other spectrum as well..because we have to give it away in order to keep our sobriety..which is very Franciscan and notice the saint whose prayer that AAs say..the prayer of St Francis another example of Catholicism reaching beyond its faith and into other faiths..it all makes perfect sense to me.


#9

[quote="distracted, post:7, topic:183201"]
thanks... i have gotten a lot out of 12 step groups myself... but as stated, the stronger i got in my Catholic faith, the less i felt the need for them.. i used to go anyway, to share my experience, s & h... but again, i began to feel... uh... Want honesty??? the presence of the evil one. sometimes it was very strong!!! it was actually scary... so i stopped going, but again, i sometimes feel guilty about that... and wish i could find a Christian group. i doubt there is a Celebrate Recovery group in my area, but... may look into it. they should have an on-line group... :)

[/quote]

You need to be quite careful..that is your disease talking. I had at one point in my life 6 years of sobriety and stopped going to AA and followed my faith intensely: I said 3 Rosaries a day, went to mass all the time, always wore dresses and became more & more withdrawn from life..soon my disease manifested itself in other ways. Alcoholism for me is a profound sense of shame (which I thought was humility) and encompassing fear, dread and negative thinking. You have to be completely honest with yourself and watch out for traps..although something may appear to be Godly or evil...we really have to question our perceptions..because our perceptions are quite distorted..at least mine is anyway.


#10

thanks…

yes, i always thought the 12 step program was very Catholic-sounding…

i hate when someone says he is a recovering Catholic… i was visibly irritated once when someone said that… tried not to sound irritated, but i know myself… :o:shrug:

anyway, i defended the faith but don’t recall HOW…

now i kinda see the guy’s point because i have seen a LOT of really unkosher and hypocritical things in the Church!! over the years :eek:

i have to remind myself continously that it is only my OWN hypocricy that i will be held accountable for… (more or less… i think i AM accountable for calling people on THEIR hypocricy… just becuase, well, they may not see it… or may not see how it affects their soul and all that…)…

anyway… i can understand being mad @ the Church in genereal… but cant understand throwing the baby out with the bathwater…
i can understanding thinking of such a thing… but uh… that’s about it


#11

don’t mean to sound rude but i DO definitely know the difference between my own negative thinking and evil presence… definitely

sometimes just speaking of the Church to peple who don’t like the Church, have been raised to believe weird things about Her… um… well, apparently that brings out the devil in people.

just my reality here…

i am not syaing i always experience such a thing, but when i do… i can’t deal with it. it is THAT bad… some pepole really do have an antiChrist spriit… and the devil walks in when that is the case.

the devil walks in whenever there is sin… so get a group of 20 sinners together :eek::eek:and uh… not hard to figure out why i had that sense of evil…


#12

something that somewhat complicates things is that i am not and never have been an alcoholic… although i have often used alcohol to feel better, but never in excess, to speak of…

i have always had a bad habit of getting addicted to humans… who are NOT healthy for me one way or the other… I’ve been celibate/alone for many years so i see how Jesus can save a person from this thing… and it was no small thing he saved me from either because… well, i think it is far easier to be addicted to a person (relationship ) than a substance…

for another thing, a substance will stay put down when you put it down… a person … can’t always say that… I’ve been addicted to some real sickos… :eek::banghead::hypno::ouch::ouch:


#13

[quote="MtnDwellar, post:2, topic:183201"]
I have been to many twelve step meetings - 21 years clean and sober thanks to the grace of God and the help of A.A.

There are over 100 different types of 12 step meetings. All of them are based upon the model Bill Wilson developed for Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill based A.A. from his experiences in the Oxford Group. The Oxford Group was a group of Christian men. tice.

[/quote]

is there an Oxford for women?


#14

There isn’t even an Oxford for men in anymore - that I know of.


#15

Hi I went to a AA meeting for a time as part of my training in counselliing. I found it very down putting in others re telling their story that (is some cases) some were saying "hi I’m …and I’ve been an Alchoholic for 20…23…10 years??? I could not see the sence in going since I thought AA was suposed to as the bible tells us…“set people free”/////// I never went back. I believe that you tell your sin to a priest go to Jesus (on your own) and tell Him that you nail your former life to the cross and now leave your actions at the foot of the cross of Jesus.
You then invite the Holy Spirit to take the place of the former life and ask Him to help you and then…join a group in the church who can “through the Holy Spirit” assist you in staying free. For ears I was in the Charismatic group …very good and free setting because the thought there is to invite the Holy Spirit think praise and sing joyful songs of praise to God, and then I sort to do works for the church, and the sick etc. I now am a 3rd order Carmelite and enjoy the prayers each day and inter-action with others who set you on track.

Hope that helps
Godbless
littleone.


#16

#17

Regarding the statement by Lainey63 "… that the 12 steps of AA are based upon the spiritual exercises of St Ignatious," Bill W, co-founder of AA and writer of the 12 steps, with input from others, was unaware of the Ignatian spiritual exercises until a few years later when he met non-alcoholic Fr. Edward Dowling, S.J., who pointed out the parallels between the steps and exercises.


#18

Regarding the statement by Lainey63 "… that the 12 steps of AA are based upon the spiritual exercises of St Ignatious," Bill W, co-founder of AA and writer of the 12 steps, with input from others, was unaware of the Ignatian spiritual exercises until a few years later when he met non-alcoholic Fr. Edward Dowling, S.J., who pointed out the parallels between the steps and exercises.


#19

Sweet! To me that proves God’s hand was guiding this program.


#20

[quote="CB_Catholic, post:4, topic:183201"]
I , but I would not use these meetings to evangelize others to Christianity, nor share specifically my religious beliefs and practices. That is not their purpose, and it would drive away people who need help and would benefit greatly by living by a set of sound spiritual principles and overcoming their addictions and other problems rather than continue in their chaotic and insane way of living.recovery.

[/quote]

**i have always resented this kind of attitude. **

**it is Christ & His Church that is my "experience, strength & hope." i don't believe any program can keep a person sober if he does not have Jesus.. I know that Jesus (the Church) is the only thing that worked for me (emotional additction) **

am i supposed to put my "light under a bushel basket" when i go to an AA meeting? :mad:

at a lot of them, that's exactly what i felt was expected of me.. and i resented it... I am already persecuted in the rest of society... do i have to undergo ths kind of thing @ AA also? that's why i don't go anymore...

**this is wrong because i have a story of victory to share w/ others.. i think it is wrong to presume that others there will hate my religion & wnat me to shut up. there are always those who will do that... but not all pepole are like that. some are open-minded... **


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