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Thu Jun 6, 2013, 12:54 PM

 

What's my "higher power"? Science!

This is not to disparage the theists and those who have other higher powers, but for me, KNOWLEDGE is the only thing keeping me going.

Science tells me the WDs will pass after 72 hours

Science tells me that my body is readjusting itself to life without alcohol

Science told me that when I quit opiates, the reason I felt so shitty was because I had thousands of false opiate receptors craving opiates, and thus my body was not producing the needed amount of endorphins

Science gave me Ativan, so that when I quit drinking I wouldn't get a heart attack and could sleep

Science gave me Kratom, so that stepping down off Opiates would be less painful

That's MY higher power

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply What's my "higher power"? Science! (Original post)
Taverner Jun 2013 OP
libodem Jun 2013 #1
Taverner Jun 2013 #2
libodem Jun 2013 #7
Taverner Jun 2013 #11
TommyCelt Jun 2013 #3
Taverner Jun 2013 #6
progree Jun 2013 #4
Taverner Jun 2013 #5
NMDemDist2 Jun 2013 #8
progree Jun 2013 #10
NMDemDist2 Jun 2013 #12
tavalon Jun 2013 #9
Stuart G Jun 2013 #13
charin Jun 2013 #14
NMDemDist2 Jun 2013 #15
nerdorkins Jun 2013 #16
Taverner Jun 2013 #17

Response to Taverner (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 01:05 PM

1. Yes

It is an individual's own idea of what ever it is, outside of our own ego, that we can allow help to be received. Even the phone pole that we grab to keep from falling down drunk, if that is what it takes.

I'm so glad you are in recovery!

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Response to libodem (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 01:06 PM

2. Thanks

 

Now, I am not going to PRAY to science anymore than you would pray to your grandmother's dinner roll recipe...although I'll bet those are some damn fine rolls.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 02:49 PM

7. Actually

I have a good one from the ex-mother in law. My dad was a hard core atheist and spent his last 30 years sober in AA. He worked his program and did his steps with out the sky father concept of a higher power. I'm interested in spiritually as a way to turn things over and let go, not a grand creature to reward or punish me.

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Response to libodem (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 10:29 PM

11. That's another thing about AA that doesn't jive with me

 

The 12 steps

I feel no reason to apologize, and I am going with the one step method

Don't drink!

But if the 12 steps work for you, more power to you

I just know it's not for me

I am in control, as long as I know what is going on

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 02:23 PM

3. As far as recovery goes...

...I am 100% a pragmatist. Whatever works. You do what you need to do, and follow whatever set of beliefs (or lack thereof) in order to stay clean. Kudos on your sobriety!

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Response to TommyCelt (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 02:25 PM

6. Thanks - I am of the same mind

 

If speaking in tongues keeps you dry, then speak in tongues

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 02:23 PM

4. I'm wondering what science says about staying quit / abstinent, or moderating

Seems like there's not much there except some drugs that are somewhat helpful in reducing cravings ... Naltrexone, Nalmefene, Acamprosate ... or Antabuse to ensure abstinence but have a lot of issues. Psychological / cognitive therapies? I haven't heard much good about their effectiveness.

Anyway, seems like that's the most difficult leg of the journey, the staying abstinent for days, weeks, months, years, decades. And not much that science offers for this. I'm sure one day it will solve the problem, but probably not in my lifetime. Just wondering.

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Response to progree (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 02:24 PM

5. Agreed. Of course there is always the "kick in the nuts" solution

 

"Man I really wish I could have a drink!"

"You do? Just take your mind off it."

"How?"

---kicks other guy in nuts----

"OWWWWWWWWW!!! WHY THE FUCK DID YOU DO THAT?????"

"Well, you're not thinking about drinking now, are you?"

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Response to progree (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 08:06 PM

8. Doctor Silkworth had a bit to say about that

http://www.silkworth.net/silkworth/slipshumannature.html

I'll except the important bit

It happens this way: When a tubercular patient recovers sufficiently to be released from the sanitarium, the doctor gives him careful instructions for the way he is to live when he gets home. He must drink plenty of milk. He must refrain from smoking. He must obey other stringent rules.

For the first several months, perhaps for several years, the patient follows directions. But as his strength increases and he feels fully recovered, he becomes slack. There may come the night when he decides he can stay up until ten o'clock. When he does this, nothing untoward happens. Soon he is disregarding the directions given him when he left the sanitarium. Eventually he has a relapse.

The same tragedy can be found in cardiac cases. After the heart attack, the patient is put on a strict rests schedule. Frightened, he naturally follows directions obediently for a long time. He, too, goes to bed early, avoids exercise such as walking upstairs, quits smoking, and leads a Spartan life. Eventually, though there comes a day, after he has been feeling good for months or several years, when he feels he has regained his strength, and has also recovered from his fright. If the elevator is out of repair one day, he walks up the three flights of stairs. Or he decides to go to a party - or do just a little smoking - or take a cocktail or two. If no serious aftereffects follow the first departure from the rigorous schedule prescribed, he may try it again, until he suffers a relapse.

In both cardiac and tubercular cases, the acts which led to the relapses were preceded by wrong thinking. The patient in each case rationalized himself out of a sense of his own perilous reality. He deliberately turned away from his knowledge of the fact that he had been the victim of a serious disease. He grew overconfident. He decided he didn't have to follow directions.

Now that is precisely what happens with the alcoholic - the arrested alcoholic, or the alcoholic in A.A. who has a slip. Obviously, he decides to take a drink again some time before he actually takes it. He starts thinking wrong before he actually embarks on the course that leads to a slip.

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Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 10:10 PM

10. Oh, and a little bit of whiskey in milk doesn't make whiskey healthy (scientific observation)

[font color = blue]NMDemDist2>quoting Dr. Silkworth "Obviously, he decides to take a drink again some time before he actually takes it. He starts thinking wrong before he actually embarks on the course that leads to a slip".<[/font]

This from one draft annotated version (mine) of the Big Book, p. 35-36 (Chapter 3):

"Our first example is a friend we shall call Jim. .... Yet he got drunk again. We asked him to tell us exactly how it happened. This is his story: "I came to work on Tuesday morning. I remember I felt irritated that I had to be a salesman for a concern I once owned. I had a few words with the brass, but nothing serious. Then I decided to drive to the country and see one of my prospects for a car. On the way I felt hungry so I stopped at a roadside place where they have a bar. I had no intention of drinking. I just thought I would get a sandwich. I also had the notion that I might find a customer for a car at this place, which was familiar for I had been going to it for years. I had eaten there many times during the months I was sober."

Fine fine bulletproof thinking so far. I always eat in a bar in case a prospective customer might come over to my table (sneak preview: )

"I sat down at a table and ordered a sandwich and a glass of milk. Still no thought of drinking. I ordered another sandwich and decided to have another glass of milk. "

How healthy! And he's not sitting at the bar, so no problem.

"Suddenly the thought crossed my mind that if I were to put an ounce of whiskey in my milk it couldn't hurt me on a full stomach."

No quarrel with me -- an ounce of whiskey is much safer on a full stomach than an empty stomach, I always say.

"I ordered a whiskey and poured it into the milk. I vaguely sensed I was not being any too smart, but I felt reassured as I was taking the whiskey on a full stomach. "

Again, much better than on an empty stomach. This is the *Principle of Harm Reduction*.

"The experiment went so well that I ordered another whiskey and poured it into more milk. "

Yes, the scientific principle of cautious experimentation.

"That didn't seem to bother me so I tried another."

More data collection. More hypothesis testing. Checking one's results over and over. Not hurrying into publication prematurely.

"Thus started one more journey to the asylum for Jim. "


HUH! I don't get it.

===================================================================
[div style="display:inline; font-size:1.37em; font-family:monospace; white-space:pre;"] and patient

[div style="display:inline; font-size:1.37em; font-family:monospace; white-space:pre;"]... cunning, baffling, powerful^! -- BB p. 58

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Response to progree (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 03:09 PM

12. LOL!

good job

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 09:33 PM

9. I strongly believe in the concept of the higher power

and each of us must create that for ourselves, elsewise, it's just somebody else's higher power. I think there is a more omniscient me and an everyday me. The everyday me slogs through life, but when the temptation to use my drug of choice comes up, I turn to my higher power. I hand everything over to her, because while my everyday me, is a mere mortal, my higher power is made of stronger stuff. She does the right thing every single time so I trust her with my life.

Now, the times when I forget to let her drive, well, those are times I end up creating new situations that will require amends. No fun.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 09:34 PM

13. I got a higher power...the kindness of my fellow members, and....

I see that kindness and strength as being greater than me. Sometimes people reach out to me, and help that help is what it is, especially if it helps me get thru the crises I am dealing with. cause guess what...I don't do so well alone..............end of rant........Stuart......

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Jun 9, 2013, 06:17 PM

14. An atheist long sober ...

...said once, "But you better choose something you believe will keep you sober."

I use a fairly traditional concept of God. I've known AA Buddhists, Humanists, Catholics, Agnostics, all sober many years. But all of them have depth to their spirituality.

The Atheist/Agnostic/Humanist crowd I've seen put great store in the power of AA, and tend to their program very strictly, feeling they must be "all in" if AA is their Higher Power.

One Atheist said he believed there was nothing after this life, so he better make the most of it. That impressed me. I've learned a ton of AA from "non-believers" as it seems they need to WORK AA, not rely on God to fix everything for them. They take actions to get better.

Enjoy the journey, however you may trod.

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Response to charin (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 9, 2013, 06:41 PM

15. yup

all the faith and belief in the world NEVER takes the place of the actions of changing our behaviors and beliefs.

AA tells us that "HP) will do for us what we CANNOT do for ourselves" but everything else is up to me. So i need to get moving, get changing and start living better to the best of my ability ODAAT

welcome charin!!

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:56 AM

16. A challenge to the powerless/higher power model

We end up in recovery rooms beaten and bruised, we feel powerless, our unmanageable lives look like those of a person who is powerless. Its not hard for any person to be convinced of the Powerlessness, But are we really powerless or just lacking the ability, the knowledge, and the informed choice to stop our addiction? The only reason so much fuss is made about a HP in recovery is that step 1, if such a Powerless position is as absolute as the step tells us then Higher Power is the only solution. So for the free thinking atheist who values skepticism and critical thinking like myself, the challenge is towards the fallacious "powerless position" in Step 1.
I am not saying Will power is the answer, perhaps the word POWER should be removed from the discussion. Seeing the arguments mainly from the sinful flawed human presented in christianity its not hard to see what the 12 steps are modeled on. Its like the indoctrination of children, your powerlessness is presented to you as an absolute, you genuinely feel flawed, fearful and hopeless, this coupled with "nice feelings" and presented as spiritual experiences become a very seductive mix, if you look at any cult throughout the world the same pattern exists. When you are presented with a challenge to your position (perhaps like this post is doing to some) you dig in and start to defend, self justification and one liners keep you in delusion, But the evidence is most people return to their addiction and all that is ever said "you did not surrender or accept step 1" and the process you were indoctrinated to is never questioned "its a sacred cow".

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Response to nerdorkins (Reply #16)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:03 PM

17. The thing is, Science actually IS a higher power

 

Can you decode a human genome? No - you are powerless in that respect

However, there are scientists who can

AND, there are scientists dedicated to addiction science - the whys, the hows, and how to treat those bruises that we have

Science is a double edged sword, however - there are scientists trying right now to make food more addictive

But it IS a higher power

What kept my anxiety at bay during WDs? Benzidiazapam.

What will make me feel better? Science tells me not drinking.

But yeah, I agree with you

POWER is never a good thing

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely

The same applies for every political movement, religion and sadly, sports teams

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