Dr Sleep and AA

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Jim M

Member
Jan 15, 2014
6
27
75
Is it possible they refer to it differently depending on the region? Steve has a personal knowledge of AA that he has made public so don't feel I'm giving anything away to say that he may know it by a different name and that's been his experience of it. Honestly don't know that much about AA so just a guess on my part.
The book Alcoholics Anonymous lists the 12 steps and 12 traditions. These are universal based on the book.
Certainly there may be regional differences in meeting procedures, or customs, however the Big Book is the same regardless of where it is used.

You can check the steps and traditions on line if you are interested in checking it out.

Jim M 33 years sober.
 

Christiane17

Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2010
835
893
71
Quebec, Canada
I just want to add that the Big Book is indeed the same not matter what part of the world you stand, but sometimes people with different mentalities and ways of thinking could see things different ways. Another thing, some folks are reluctant of mentionning God as their higher power, but that doesn't mean they think God doesn't exist. The power could be within yourself and it's the faith you have in your own willpower that makes the difference sometimes, just saying. Anyway, whatever is the power you believe in, the important thing is that you feel that there is an existing power, and that you use it when ever needed.
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
60,239
232,646
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I just want to add that the Big Book is indeed the same not matter what part of the world you stand, but sometimes people with different mentalities and ways of thinking could see things different ways. Another thing, some folks are reluctant of mentionning God as their higher power, but that doesn't mean they think God doesn't exist. The power could be within yourself and it's the faith you have in your own willpower that makes the difference sometimes, just saying. Anyway, whatever is the power you believe in, the important thing is that you feel that there is an existing power, and that you use it when ever needed.
You got that right. I had a job with a family that was evangelistic one summer. They were always saying "Praise Jesus, Hallelujah, Amen" etc. out loud at their church which I found weird, being raised Catholic.

I asked why did they always have to go on and on about Jesus being the Son of God. I said "That is like saying the sky is blue, or the grass is green".
 

Chuggs

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2012
3,777
6,423
Arkansas
I think that for a lot of people, the AA references are going to be a point of contention with this novel (probably already are--I only read one review, and was irritated that the person writing the review had clearly not read the novel. I review for publication, and the 'tells' were all there, sadly enough). Dan's journey to sobriety is a strong subtext to the story, meant, I think, to recall Jack's failure and the consequences of that action--it brings the stories together. It draws a parallel between the two protagonists, but then sharply divides them.

For many people, though, AA and the religious underpinning of that organization is troublesome, or it's become a joke to them. Mr. King obviously believes in its value, but not everyone thinks the same way. The references were so pervasive, I think, that in the hands of a lesser writer they might have become tiresome and strident. I suspect there are those that became frustrated or irritated and dropped the book because of them. Their loss.
I don't under stand why someone would care one way or another about AA's religious underpinning, so long as the thing works. People need to get over themselves. Help is help.
 

Chuggs

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2012
3,777
6,423
Arkansas
I'm not a member and haven't had much to do with AA. I wasn't put off by the references and didn't feel them to be tiresome or intrusive. I think because I knew of Jack's history I actually welcomed Danny's involvement with AA... because I just wanted to see him well again and I guess not having any preconceived (negative) notions with the organisation, I hoped that he'd be able to find help there.
I agree with you, I was not put off at all. And I mean hey, characters are like us, not perfect at all. Some drink too much, or cuss too much, or are perverted. Anything that is in us is in them.
 

AnnaMarie

Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2012
7,067
29,549
Other
I don't under stand why someone would care one way or another about AA's religious underpinning, so long as the thing works. People need to get over themselves. Help is help.
If an atheist is an alcoholic who wants the help of AA to stop drinking, it would matter a great deal to the. If they are atheist (or agnostic or Jewish, or anything other then Christian) they do not want to feel pressured to either be Christian or pretend to be.

You got that right. I had a job with a family that was evangelistic one summer. They were always saying "Praise Jesus, Hallelujah, Amen" etc. out loud at their church which I found weird, being raised Catholic.

I asked why did they always have to go on and on about Jesus being the Son of God. I said "That is like saying the sky is blue, or the grass is green".
While reading this I suddenly flashed on a memory of Nick Wallenda crossing Niagara Falls. He talks almost non-stop, and there was a lot of "thank you Jesus" but sometimes he would suddenly say "Oh God! " in a way that sounded more like swearing than praying. (I do think he was saying it as prayer, but it just for a moment sounded more like he was swearing.)
 

Jim M

Member
Jan 15, 2014
6
27
75
I just want to add that the Big Book is indeed the same not matter what part of the world you stand, but sometimes people with different mentalities and ways of thinking could see things different ways. Another thing, some folks are reluctant of mentionning God as their higher power, but that doesn't mean they think God doesn't exist. The power could be within yourself and it's the faith you have in your own willpower that makes the difference sometimes, just saying. Anyway, whatever is the power you believe in, the important thing is that you feel that there is an existing power, and that you use it when ever needed.
Hi Folks,

I don't want to turn this into an AA meeting but I thought I would offer some further thoughts on the " Higher Power "
AA does not require or insist that one has to believe in anything. It is suggested through the 12 steps that one will find a power greater than him, or herself.
The second step says that we "came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity". For some folks that power is the AA group that they belong to. For others it is the God they grew up with. For still others it can be nature, a force for good in the universe, or what ever they happen to be comfortable with.

I personally found a concept of a higher power that works for me. My concept may different than anyone else on the planet, but it works for me and that is all that matters.

" The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking "

Jim M
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
60,239
232,646
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
If an atheist is an alcoholic who wants the help of AA to stop drinking, it would matter a great deal to the. If they are atheist (or agnostic or Jewish, or anything other then Christian) they do not want to feel pressured to either be Christian or pretend to be.



While reading this I suddenly flashed on a memory of Nick Wallenda crossing Niagara Falls. He talks almost non-stop, and there was a lot of "thank you Jesus" but sometimes he would suddenly say "Oh God! " in a way that sounded more like swearing than praying. (I do think he was saying it as prayer, but it just for a moment sounded more like he was swearing.)
I know - at work I was saying "Jesus!" but it never occurred to me that some might think I was swearing.

I was also talking about the Queen once and a Filipino girl said to me "Which Queen is this that you are talking about?" (she had recently immigrated).

It is hard sometimes to communicate when you get a lot of girls in one room from the Philippines (which is the case where I work). They all start talking Tagalog and you feel sort of left out.
 

Chuggs

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2012
3,777
6,423
Arkansas
If an atheist is an alcoholic who wants the help of AA to stop drinking, it would matter a great deal to the. If they are atheist (or agnostic or Jewish, or anything other then Christian) they do not want to feel pressured to either be Christian or pretend to be.



While reading this I suddenly flashed on a memory of Nick Wallenda crossing Niagara Falls. He talks almost non-stop, and there was a lot of "thank you Jesus" but sometimes he would suddenly say "Oh God! " in a way that sounded more like swearing than praying. (I do think he was saying it as prayer, but it just for a moment sounded more like he was swearing.)

From what I understand (granted, I've never been to AA so don't know much) they want to help people stop drinking, not convert them to one religion or another. To me, anyone who uses the religion excuse for not getting help, doesn't really want help.
 

Chuggs

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2012
3,777
6,423
Arkansas
Hi Folks,

I don't want to turn this into an AA meeting but I thought I would offer some further thoughts on the " Higher Power "
AA does not require or insist that one has to believe in anything. It is suggested through the 12 steps that one will find a power greater than him, or herself.
The second step says that we "came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity". For some folks that power is the AA group that they belong to. For others it is the God they grew up with. For still others it can be nature, a force for good in the universe, or what ever they happen to be comfortable with.

I personally found a concept of a higher power that works for me. My concept may different than anyone else on the planet, but it works for me and that is all that matters.

" The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking "

Jim M
Thanks for the info Jim!
 

Chuggs

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2012
3,777
6,423
Arkansas
From what I understand (granted, I've never been to AA so don't know much) they want to help people stop drinking, not convert them to one religion or another. To me, anyone who uses the religion excuse for not getting help, doesn't really want help.
Ok, I admit that this quote of mine is a bit unfair. This would be the case if they weren't other similar organizations, at least it could be. Peace!

Live and let live, love and let love!
 

Chuggs

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2012
3,777
6,423
Arkansas
I know - at work I was saying "Jesus!" but it never occurred to me that some might think I was swearing.

I was also talking about the Queen once and a Filipino girl said to me "Which Queen is this that you are talking about?" (she had recently immigrated).

It is hard sometimes to communicate when you get a lot of girls in one room from the Philippines (which is the case where I work). They all start talking Tagalog and you feel sort of left out.
I had the same issue when I used to work around a lot of Hispanics. They would be talking part English, part Spanish, and it was very hard not to feel left out. On the other hand, it was kinda neat hearing another language so close up. (BTW, I suck at learning languages--guess my brain's just not built for that--but think knowing others would be cool.)

:)
 

Dana Jean

Moderator
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
51,350
224,496
Thornfield
I had the same issue when I used to work around a lot of Hispanics. They would be talking part English, part Spanish, and it was very hard not to feel left out. On the other hand, it was kinda neat hearing another language so close up. (BTW, I suck at learning languages--guess my brain's just not built for that--but think knowing others would be cool.)

:)
My aunt lived in Germany as a young woman. She was standing in line at a grocery store and I guess apparently was tagged as an American quickly by two German women standing in line behind her. They started talking very badly and loudly about her in German, saying really awful things about her weight, hair, clothes etc.... When it was her turn to pay, she started talking to the checker really loudly in fluent German. And then she looked at the German women and smiled. I guess the looks on their faces was just one of total shock.
 

Tiny

RECEIVED:Annoying Questions award
Nov 25, 2009
1,869
2,864
51
Wilmington DE, strange little place.
I have a question for those who have BTDT.

At the end,
when Dan shares about stealing the money, he thinks everyone will be shocked and disgusted. But they just eat their cake and carry on. Is that a regular thing at AA? Where the person sharing feels that what they did is so horrible, and guilt is eating them up....and everyone else doesn't see it as that horrible? I don't mean that they simply accept without judging, which is easier said then done. I mean, what seems horrible to the person who did it, seems unforgivable to him/her, really does not seem "that bad" to other people.

Oohh yes/ thats just how it is for many. Most people 'get over it' very quickly though.
Dan 'held on to it a long time" compared to most.

drunks tend to make mountains out of molehills and
molehills out of mountains

everything in their minds is bloated and distorted like a fun house mirror.
this effect can work as a defense mechanism or a 'killer'... bloated ideas
of 'guilt' can kill a person.
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
60,239
232,646
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Jim M

While a lot of what SK describes about AA is accurate there is an error on Page 107 where he refers to the 12th step as dealing with anonymity. Actually it is the 12th tradition. The 12th step is about practicing the 12 steps in all our affairs and carrying the message.

Aside from that he pretty much gets it right.

Jim M 33 years sober.

Welcome to the SKMB @Jim M

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"I just finished the book. What a trip. He did it again.
Jim M"
 
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