Ask: How can I declare myself an alcoholic when I am a holy child of God?

I've been in a 12-step program for many years. I’m no longer comfortable declaring myself an alcoholic because I know from A Course in Miracles that I am a holy child of God. But I have benefited from the program and part of me wants to continue in it. I’m in conflict and don’t know what to do. (August 9, 2013)

Your mind is an extension of God’s Mind (Truth). God within your mind (child of God/Christ) is one with God. But your mind is split and God is not all that is in it. You also have a self and a thought system about the self in your mind. The self (body/personality) with which you identify and its thought system (ego) are not part of God. These are ideas completely apart from God. They do not come from God and they will never be one with God. And it is the self that has the disease of alcoholism.

When you stand up in a meeting and say, “I am So-and-so and I am an alcoholic” you are simply stating a fact about the imperfect self. You can state this while knowing that God within you is eternally perfect and unchanged by the imperfect self. God within you is the Power greater than the self the awareness of Which “restores you to sanity”.

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Comments

Mark said…
This is brilliant and perfect. Thanks, Liz. Mark F.
will said…
I was an intense alcohol (1/2 gal. gin every 24hrs). When I hit bottom I went into my bedroom and knelt by the bed and asked for help. I had no convictions at that time about God. When I woke in the morning the compulsion for alcohol was gone. The main spiritual experience in my life. No spiritual voices or lights or anything, I just woke up and it was over. But I knew that it was a gift, I didn't earn it and if I was going to honor the gift I had to do my part just like you. You are very fortunate to like 12 step, very few get there. Go have fun, stick with your friends. I'm always alcoholic first then a child of God second.
30 years sober.
Anonymous said…
I stumbled onto this aspect of "God" as a result reaching the end of my rope in my "sober" life and of the 12 steps of A.A.as described out of The Big Book in 1990. I did the usual things that were suggested i.e. prayer and seeking a sponsor when that occurred, only to end up at a Big Book step study group that slyly took you through the steps because the ego is so sly and resistant to God. When I got a quarter of the way through the 9th step, I "confessed my former ill feelings" as said in The Big Book to a woman whom I thought was a "bitch" and she forgave me as well. I left the meeting to go outside into the patio when I started to feel a wet spot in the pit of my belly that shot down to the bottoms of my feet and back up through my entire body removing every fiber of fear leaving nothing but the purest feeling of Love I had ever known. It was dumbfounding and very shaking because I had never experienced anything like this...ever. If this was "God" it was way beyond my "understanding". I basked in that experienced for something like 20 minutes or so, then got up to drive home with a little hesitancy because I was wary of driving safe in that space, but I made it. I ended up taking a nap wondering if this would still be going on when I got up, and sure enough, it was. I went back to the club where I was going for meetings to share what had happened and as I listened to everybody share, and it was quite packed, the things that were coming out of people's mouths had nothing to do with the God that had found me, like "belonging to A.A. is like belonging to the mafia" with lots of anger behind the tone of people's sharing. There were one or two that talked about their current problem and I could tell that it was rooted in issues like co-dependency or just plain powerlessness. There was one woman at the meeting that the second she opened her mouth I knew she knew what I knew and had encountered, because there was a peace and a glow about her that was unequivocally from God. Life had changed for me. Some of which I have been posting here, like time slowing down and no longer being "linear', the Claire-audience incidences. One morning i woke up with a warm spot in my chest in the shape of an eye where my heart chakra had opened, and days of blessed silence where I would just go through the motions with no mind chatter at all, just serene bliss. After a while of being involved with A.A. I felt that there was something not quite spiritually right in there. Much like the "man behind the curtain" in The Wizard Of Oz. After that it became like living in The Truman Show with no spontaneity and just robotic responses coming from other A.A. members. Finally there was a situation that arose between the Big Book group that I was involved in and other A.A. members pushing them out where I had no choice but to move on and so did the members of my Big Book group that I considered my home group. I had been back to visit other A.A. clubs and meetings and when I got honest with them they insinuated that I was "lying" and "politely" pointed out that I should go back to my "home club" and "face the music" as it were, but it such an ensconced existence that I was treated as "unwelcome" and a "new comer" and it was also "politely suggested" that I go on medication. I finally saw no point in going back anymore and fired the "Group Of Drunks" in 2010.
will said…
It is not possible to find meaningful answers and help while you are still drinking. But you know that and this post isn't about that. As an alcoholic myself I would suggest you keep drinking until you have had enough and are serious about quitting. Drink more rather than less. You get to the bottom quicker.
Anonymous said…
@will; My "sobriety" is no longer about having a drink or drug. That became a non-issue in 1990. Your post only verifies and solidifies what I said because your typically programmed response. Robotic and automatic. My experience as the result of the steps . Anyway one night I was sitting on the patio of an A.A. club that was going through an upheaval and I just decided to pull a Truman Show move and just "walked off the set": as it were, took a "red pill" and left. After that experience I knew that A.A. was not the "end all be all" it subtly claims to be. Like Siddhartha Buddha I knew there were more answers to be had and known and I found out eventually that I was right because just down the street from me is a Unity church where half it's members are 12 step and half A Course In Miracles and out of all that I interviewed the Course members were FORMER MEMBERS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS!!! They had simply outgrew the meetings and left!!! And they lead full and productive lives!!! I was no saint by any means. But I I lived life and got happy because I deserved it after living life with a control freak alcoholic father that died by his own sword.

"They" say that because I'm an "alcoholic" and an "addict" that I'm supposed to miss getting drunk and high. The fact of the matter is that I don't. I don't miss committing suicide on the installment plan Who in their right mind would TRULY "miss" that???The alcohol poisoned "hangovers", puking in the bowl and taking drugs to face the day. I don't miss the wrecked cars and jail time. I love being free and clear brained. I can't even say or type the word "sober" anymore because beyond that word there is "God" Eckhart Tolle is right. So was Jiddu Krishnamurti. I wish everybody would question what they have been "told". Whatever it was...don't believe it. Belief systems are meant to be broken and yours is no longer valid. Have a wonderful holiday.
Anonymous said…
I found out about A.A. as the result of the court system A big "no no" in the fellowship and it wasn't about some traffic offense. I ended up in rehab and as a result of the group therapy I started to experience a total cessation of emotion and almost all thought with no identification of "me" at all.

I didn't know what this was at the time so I began to ask my therapist about it and he had no idea what I was talking about. I also asked the inmates there if they were experiencing any like symptoms and they said no and that they too didn't know what I was talking about.

I know now that this was my ego "dying" and of course, it fights very hard for it's survival so I panicked because I thought it was some type of" mind rape" as a result of my staying there and left.

I also attended my first meeting while I was staying there at a Catholic church where I picked up a white chip and won a Big Book in a raffle I consider that incident a preview of what was to come. But if it wasn't for that incident I would've never known about A.A. being there.

Many years later after much more drunken escapades and reaching a wall with that I finally turned to A.A. to put a stop to things as for the rest well I'm still the anonymous person that been posting my experience with A.A. and my end result with the steps and what subsequently happened after that.

Now all I find I can do is question and criticize A.A.'s thought/belief system because you're right there is no "I" in God just like there was no awareness that "I" was an "alcoholic" or even my given "Christian name" one of the reasons I post "anonymously" here

Moreover after looking over your posts on your site here well they resonate with me more than anything in A.A.. I can't go back because they'd ask for a sacrifice by saying I "need to drink more" or some such gesture or action which I will not do.

After much research on A.A. reading your posts and sorting things out I think being "ousted" like I was, was the best thing that could happen. All events lead right where you need to be. I just don't what to criticize the anymore and send only love and close that chapter. Story over.

Thank you.




will said…
Good to hear from you.

AA saved my butt and changed my life. But having said that I am aware of the things you are talking about. It goes on all the time. We alcoholics are very ill by the time we reach AA but we can't see it. So you have a group of people getting together to meet a common goal and it's in pretty close quarters. People are touchy and opinionated who are trying to recover. Alcoholism is a very serious mental illness. Almost no one recovers, maybe one in a thousand actually makes it. AA is what is in the AA literature not what people say at meetings. If they could follow what AA is saying they would have no need to be there. None of us can in the beginning. You can't be kicked out of AA, it doesn't work that way. There is no preferred way to come to AA. Any way you get there is the best way. What people are saying to you has no bearing on what AA is about. Unfortunately when we come to AA we are often our own worst enemy. We need to keep our focus on ourselves, our behavior, the things we say to others, that kind of thing. AA is an extremely difficult program, but alcoholism is a very difficult illness.

Luck.
Anonymous said…
@ "will"; "Luck" as far as I'm concerned has nothing to do with it. As I said before ALL events lead you to EXACTLY where you need to be and you may not be "kicked out" but you will be ostracized for not thinking "their way" and talked about in a negative way as "someone to avoid". A subtle form of hostility and attack.

As the result of my experience with the steps I started thinking about Jesus in a different way I also wondered if what happened to me was the way Jesus felt and Buddha as well because "Heaven" seems to be awfully synonymous with "nirvana"

Another thing that happened was that I was given free will which isn't necessarily a good thing to have in A.A. "You can't say 'no' " the first time i utilized free will I was asked to "do the chips" and quite frankly they had become a meaningless piece of plastic to me.

So I politely said "no" when asked and the woman asking said the "programed" response "You can't say 'no " to which I replied firmly but gently "Yes I can, no!" I had no freedom when I was chasing after a substance to placate my dis-ease and my ego. The Buddhists are right the ego is sensation oriented and it's a living entity.

When "they" say that "we go to meetings to get our 'medicine' it's really just placating their ego which is the real problem. "The drinking was a symptom and the bottle a symbol" ~ The Big Book. Some also flee into guilt big time. My final judgement and experience said "Acquitted"

I knew a man in A.A. whom "Ill identify as Gorge A. He was an ex-pharmacist that had an n.d.e. as a r4esult of a drunk driving incident. He never went into detail about that, but he shared against the grain at meetings a lot. The fellowship saw him as kind of a threat too because of that and George also identified himself as a recovered alcoholic as opposed to "recovering"

He also came into A.A. after his experience and went straight into his 4th step and his amends which is really frowned upon too. He used to like to say "What if Alcoholics Anonymous closed it's doors and there was no meeting to go to?"

I didn't put a judgement on it at first but I get what he was saying now. I often wonder where he's at today. I also sat next to him after my experience with the steps and people started to shake their head and frown that I was and backing up what he was sharing.

I found out that the reason the fellowship is so "difficult" is because a great majority of them have an inured and frozen thought system instead of a liberated one which is really at the crux of their "difficulty" and the more I pore over Liz's posts the more I say "Ah-ha" because they point to a great deal of things I resonate to which has really nothing to to with A.A. and everything to do with Real Recovery instead of an inured, frozen thought system.

By it's very nature The Course would be considered a source of "controversy" in A.A. as well it should be because it's very threatening to any belief/thought system and the way things are going the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous are going to have to deal with the human race's growing spirituality and change their thought system and accept whatever "consequences" that come with that.

Meantime, you have a chance to change some things there, if you dare. I hope can and do because now we know that this isn't the Jesus the fellowship "boo and hiss" about but someone and something totally different.
will said…
As you say in your post "ALL events lead you to EXACTLY where you need to be." With that philosophy you have nothing in your life to be upset about. I envy you.
Anonymous said…
If A.A. ended tomorrow I wouldn't care because all there IS is the present moment. That's all there ever was and that's all there ever will be. Unflappable, indisputable and permanent. It is said in A.A. that if they offered "sobriety" in a pill I wouldn't take it. Well now they have "the red pill". In my experience so-called "sobriety" is really about enlightenment and joy and not some belief system that you have to "work". It's just there.
will said…
Anonymous, always remember why you went through the hell of getting sober and staying that way. Remember why you went through that. Things must have been really bad. Remembering that is your "firm foundation." The alcoholic mind is what got us in this mess. It never goes away. It's always waiting for an opening.
Anonymous said…
I am a student of the Course and I've spent some years in meetings also. Now I feel that whenever I hear anyone talk in meeting speak, It's like my brain is literally ripping apart. I mean, like the first response to any divergent thinking is well, maybe you should drink more. Drink yourself to death, and maybe if you're lucky you can crawl back, and of course we will mercifully forgive you your sin of disagreeing. Uh, I don't know if I'm the only one seeing this. I've seen this happen a lot, and also I've had the misfortune of seeing a lot of suicide and overdose, and what I considered to be well some murder in the rooms.

I won't go into to much detail, but the idea I just mentioned goes hand in hand with the idea that no one can stop drinking without AA. People do, many do. In fact the success rate of people quitting drinking in the rooms is about even with people who have no treatment at all. Actually the most effective treatment is a short intervention by family and friends.

Really I love AA, I mean I like the people there. I'm sort of resentful that I can't go without buying the lies. Revise that book.


Anonymous said…
Also, Fear is not a firm foundation for anything
will said…
Anonymous,
You say that when you hear someone talk in meeting speak it's like your brain is ripping apart. I guess that means you don't like what they are saying.

The next sentence you say they don't like what you're saying,(ie. divergent thinking).

So let me see if I've got this right. You don't like what 'they' are saying; They don't like what you're saying; Then you say you love AA but your resentful at AA and they need to revise that book.

Then you go into how "they" are saying "that no one can stop drinking without AA."

Then "I love AA."

Then your 'resentful that you can't go without buying the lies', which I have no idea what that means. Your resentful at yourself?

I wish I had a dime for every time I've heard an alcoholic say the same things always thinking it's original, that they are the first ones to have these thoughts. I'd be rich!!
Anonymous said…
99.9% of 12 step members are object identified as in chips, "Group Of Drunks" wall postings, whether it's slogans, 12 steps and traditions early A.A. paintings/portraits and the object/goal of The Course is to "find a 'God'" that's beyond them. I would consider a person "studying" and applying the lessons either in a transition or they are caught in a duality while being grateful and therefore faithful to one belief system i.e. A.A.'s or whatever 12 step group you belong to because there will come a time where you will have to go deeper and beyond your pain to get to the crux of things and few people are blessed enough to find it, hence the people going to meetings "still suffering and always will be". After studying The Big Book when I got "sober", I began to realize that the first 162 pages was not written by the first members as a whole but simply one person's experience on getting sober. Bill Wilson's. Yes with the exception of the alanon chapter, To The Wives by Lois, the majority of the thing was a rehash of Bill's Story. The result of which is that everybody in A.A. started to buy into Bill's "truth" as "fact" and thus the "robot began replicating itself into it's own likeness" hence ; "The Group Of Drunks". Enlightenment means among other things the end of suffering, being recovered from alcoholism/addiction should, be the same thing, but it's "keep coming back", the old back pat staple. Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain, that's why the word God has lost it's flavor in churches, and unfortunately in 12 step groups. That's why Real Awakening/Recovery is so rare. There has never been anything else other than the present moment. The past cannot survive in your presence. It can only survive in your absence. Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible. Surrender is the letting go of mental emotional resistance to what is. It also becomes a portal into the Unmanifested.
will said…
Your looking to pick a fight but no one wants to fight with you, we're busy getting on with it.
Anonymous said…
LOL Thank you for my early morning laughter.

"Pick a fight."

Wow!

I'm simply stating what I've discovered on my journey through all this. But hey, thank you again for giving credence to what I've come to know.

I AM responsible for how I see things.

Love And Light on your journey.
will said…
OK, your not looking for a fight. So what is your point?
Anonymous said…
Before I got "sober" it was the "group of drunks" then the bottom fell out of that concept and became Great One Doing

Doing for me what I could not do for myself

The Holy Spirit

The Link to God

Jesus The Christ the one "the fellowship" is so frightened of.

I accept The Atonement for myself, rather the ego's belief system of sickness

Love will not "need a drink on It's death bed" which only the guilty can want or need because It transcends all.

The ego never wants you to Know because it fears you will leave it behind and fears it's death

There is no "death".

You were never born, so you will never die, It’s only your illusions that destroy you. Behind the noises is a silence, blazing like a billion stars to keep away the darkness. If you, have come to know this, you; have already died.
Adrian. said…
My name is Adrian and I belong to God. A.A.'s projectional belief system has not killed me, and never will. So rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
Adrian. said…
Will: I would suggest you review lesson 39: My Holiness Is My Salvation

If guilt is hell then what is it's opposite?

Sincerely: Adrian.
Anonymous said…
will said...OK, your not looking for a fight. So what is your point?

The point is dear will that AA and NA members do not want to know they're in an extension of the prison planet concept/idea because their "gratitude"has turned into a sly case of Stockholm Syndrome. If 12 step people REALLY knew that it was total illusion from the chips, the "group of drunks" to the signs on the wall and a Real Awakening/Experience occurred as described in The Course, the need for meetings would be abolished. I suppose you've never heard of Dr. Hew Lin that cleared out a whole asylum for the criminally insane by looking over their records with minimal contact with the inmates using a technique called Ho’oponopono. If someone applied the same thing to peoples 4th steps in 12 step fellowships 12 step groups as we know them would be abolished, and there is most certainly valid proof of this in ACIM

No my dear will people will most assuredly be seeking for The Truth in The Course and the "truth" in 12 step groups, and they will find that right here on this thread, all they have to do is "Google" because the Fact Is that The Course is a direct threat to the 12 step egoic mindset because it's all about Freedom rather than a sly ego trick of imprisonment.
Anonymous said…
AA says it doesn't want to be involved in controversy, well I got news; God IS controversy!

Get over it!
Anonymous said…
Can this be traded for a bit of trifling advice (Don't drink and go to meetings) about a problem of an instant s duration? God answers only for eternity.

From The Song Of Prayer

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