Alcoholism Support Group

Alcoholism is the continued consumption of alcoholic beverages, even when it is negatively affecting your health, work, relationships and life. If you think alcohol is causing you to lose control, it's time to seek help. Our group is a safe place to vent, check in, get back up if you fall, and reach sobriety.

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Bondage of self...

I never understood my self centeredness until it was explained to me that it stemmed from fear. I totally get this.

I want this "freedom from the bondage of self" that I hear people talk about but I have so much fear still that I feel kind of frozen.

Can anyone elaborate on how they overcame this?

How do you live your life free of this self centered fear. What do you do that is in service to others? How do you give of yourself?

I am thinking i can pick something small every day to do. I just have to get better at noticing opportunities.

Thanks.
Anna

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

As it implys in the 3rd step prayer we are prisoners of the only way of thinking that we have ever known.Those alcoholic self centered self serving ways of thinking is how we learned how to manipulate people places and things to do what we wanted them to do. We had to break that bondage of self by learning to surrender. Not only did we have to surrender to the power that alcohol had over us we had to surrender our self to a power greater than ourselves,We had to admit to our innermost selves that we were alcoholic and that our lives had become unmanageable. So in effect we had to retrain our brains to be another kind of person. We had to put others before ourselves especially when it comes to being of service. We had to surrender to the possiblity that others just might have a better idea on how to live life than we did. So in the course of surrendering our self will we found that we learned the true meaning of Humble. Greg
deleted_user
deleted_user

I try to be there for people just to lend an ear and share my own experience with whatever is troubling them. Just knowing that life ain't all about me frees me from the bondage of self. Putting others' needs ahead of my own.

It's not just about good deeds. It's about right thinking. It's daily effort for me but necessary.
Taradactyl
Taradactyl

So what do you DO, Greg?

What is your service? How to you put others before yourself?
deleted_user
deleted_user

I have done nothing but do for others for years and it brought me to burn out. I'm selfish and loving it right now.
Taradactyl
Taradactyl

Tiff's post "act as if" got me thinking. I am working on changing my mindset but I feel like I need to DO some deeds to get me over the hump. I need to start acting unselfish. Chris - You gave me some ideas the other day. Wanted to see what other people do too.

I actually think I am a pretty good friend to other people as far as listening and "being there" but other than that... I struggle.
deleted_user
deleted_user

There's a fellow here in my neck of the woods who's been sober a year longer than I have. He's one of those oldtimers who refuses to believe that there's no rank of bishop or professor emeritus in AA, and his idea of service is "carrying the message" to as many people as possible. He's an AA evangelist or crusader 24/7, and I've even heard him chew out a sponsee who, in his opinion, didn't put enough money in the basket. He's frankly contemptuous of any other sober member who doesn't treat him like a saint, and when he "shares" at meetings it's usually a tirade against what the rest of us are doing wrong.

Yet in point of fact, old Bob does more sponsoring and real-time service than any ten of us put together. My only question is, does this mean he's not self-centered and is he really helping anyone?
deleted_user
deleted_user

Anna I sponsor 3 guys hold bookstudies at my house I do H&I work and I'm on the board of directors for a 88 bed recovery center. Thats my AA service stuff. I am the best man i can be today is my God service. Greg
deleted_user
deleted_user

bwf,

Pray, but how? The 12 & 12 book has some definite ideas about that:

"Of course, it is reasonable and understandable that the question is often asked: 'Why can't we take a specific and troubling dilemma straight to God, and in prayer secure from Him sure and definite answers to our requests?'

"This can be done, but it has hazards. We have seen AA's ask with much earnestness and faith for God's explicit guidance on matters ranging all the way from a shattering domestic or financial crisis to correcting a minor personal fault, like tardiness. Quite often, however, the thoughts that seem to come from God are not answers at all. They prove to be well-intentioned unconscious rationalizations. The AA, or indeed any man, who tries to run his life rigidly by this kind of prayer, by this self-serving demand of God for replies, is a particularly disconcerting individual. To any questioning or criticism of his actions he instantly proffers his reliance upon prayer for guidance in all matters great or small. He may have forgotten the possibility that his own wishful thinking and the human tendency to rationalize have distorted his so-called guidance. With the best of intentions, he tends to force his own will into all sorts of situations and problems with the comfortable assurance that he is acting under God's specific direction. Under such an illusion, he can of course create great havoc without in the least intending it.

"We also fall into another similar temptation. We form ideas as to what we think God's will is for other people. We say to ourselves, 'This one ought to be cured of his fatal malady,' or 'That one ought to be relieved of his emotional pain' and we pray for these specific things. Such prayers, of course, are fundamentally good acts, but often they are based upon a supposition that we know God's will for the person for whom we pray. This means that side by side with an earnest prayer there can be a certain amount of presumption and conceit in us. It is AA's experience that particularly in these cases we ought to pray that God's will, whatever it is, be done for others as well as for ourselves."

"Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions," pp. 103-4
Taradactyl
Taradactyl

Greg... "I am the best man i can be today is my God service."

I am serious, what does that mean?

I was chatting someone who suggested I put some quarters in parking meters. Another person said to pay the tab for the person behind me at a fast food drive thru. Another person said they smile and ask how are you to the gas station attendant. Another person said they pick up trash when they pass it on the sidewalk.

I am getting ideas.

Pray? When I do that lately, I feel like God looks at me like I am an idiot because I know what I am supposed to do. That is why I posted to get ideas and because it is inspiring to hear what other kindness people do.

I am in a shitty place.

I understand "bondage of self" in the way I understand alcoholism. I can relate. I think I also hide it pretty well.

Ok. I just need to start doing stuff.
stickywick
stickywick

Great question. I have yet to be freed of the bondage of self, but at least now I'm somewhat more aware *of* the bondage of self. Self will is a good thing, in measures. When its the only thing that drives us, and its fueled by a gazillion forms of fear, its a disaster.
Fear of asking for help, fear of intimacy, fear of the unknown, (which for me == living out of the moment and future tripping), and so forth.
I say the prayer alott. I pray for the guidance to do the next right thing. I'm hopeful that will eventually lead to less self centeredness.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I try a little of what everyone says. I start with prayer. A moment alone with God. Its when I ask him to help me be aware of the opportunities to free myself from my old ways.
My life is full of bad choices. So its taking time to build that one-on-one with God. I make sure to ask him everyday to guide me in His ways not mine.
I feel you though. The eagerness to get out there and DO SOMETHING. Sometimes a do what feel right. What I really love, something that moves me. Other times I pick something new. I even go as far as doing what I dont like at all or what Im not goog at.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Tara...there are tons of opportunities each and every day to pass along an act of kindness...keep your eyes and heart open. Take TIME to slow down enough to see who may need a boost or some help. I may not "do" AA "service" work but I know if I see someone in need and I have something to give to help them.....I will. If you have a willing heart you will see.
deleted_user
deleted_user

oh...and "small" is HUGE! :D
deleted_user
deleted_user

Anna, good topic.

I think you will discover this in time. No matter how many quaters you put in meters, peoples meals you buy behind you, smile at a stranger, etc.....it all takes time, and or practice I think.

I have done all the above and then some. Then I start to think, why am I doing all this? Is doing the services self-centered? Does it give me a sense of superiority, or does it humble me?

I have no clue right now.

I think it comes down to right, wrong, comfortable and uncomfortable. We know what is right by use, we are all wired different. Being ok doing something, that others don't agree with is what gets me.

I dunno, I may just be ramblin, but this post got me thinking. It's been a rough few weeks.

No matter how many cancer patients I took to treatment, no matter how much money I threw at my problems, no matter how many meals I picked up for strangers, no matter what I do, doesn't make me feel any better being me......and it scares me