Thursday, March 18, 2010

What is my part?

Something tells me that we're doing something wrong.

I'm not too sure though.

Here's the story. I was just standing there minding my own business when a I saw a friend from High School. I smiled and waved as I approached him. When I got close enough he kicked me in the nuts, stole my wallet and ran off with my Wife.

OK, it could happen to anyone. One day I got a letter in the mail stating she had a baby and I was responsible for the Hospital bill since we were still married.

I called a Lawyer and he said it was true and that I would have to pay for the bill. This tidbit of bad news also cost me half a weeks pay.

Now I'm officially pissed. It's not fair. This is Bullshit. So I stewed over this for years. I was hurt, betrayed by a buddy, raked over the coals by a wife. Then when the divorce was final I lost the house and half my 401k but in return I got all the bills. So I stewed some more. I fumed and I held a full blown resentment. I had a right to this resentment and I would drink it away.

Of course I'd drink it away. I'm an Alcoholic.

Then the day came where I couldn't drink. I had to face the fact that I'm an Alcoholic and I was powerless.

What better way to quit than go to Alcoholics Anonymous.

I Took Steps one two and three with a Sponsor and then comes the dreaded Step 4.

I don't know why it's dreaded, but it is for some reason. I think it's a continuing legend passed on by generations of people that never took a 4th step

So my sponsor sits me down and tells me to write an inventory.


I guess you have to read the book to understand this one.

List my resentments! Huh? I tried

I talked to my Sponsor about my wife, my best friend and me financing their honeymoon.

So my Sponsor says, "What was your Part"

My part? I was just standing there and got kicked in the nuts by my friend and he ran away with my wife. I don't have a part.
"Of course you have a part retorts the Sponsor!
No I don't.
"Ha Ha Ha, you Pigeons are funny. We all have a part."

Where does this come from?

Why all the insistence that we always have to have a "Part" ? Can't I just be the victim and consider myself entitled to my resentment?
I don't want a part, I don't need a part, and I don't need to be told I have a part.
Now I'm getting another resentment.
The Book asks, "What was my part" but it isn't crystal clear as to whether I really must have a part at all. I don't.

So I can only assume that if we hear it in AA and it's not in the book it must have come out of someones ass. Somebody pulled it out of their ass because they didn't read the book.
In the rooms of AA it falls upon the ears of a newcomer and they swallow it.

Don't swallow something that comes from someones ass.


This story is fictional and any resemblance's to any story by any real person is purely coincidence.


  1. Why doesn't that fucktard just turn his hat around?

    I do 3 column inventory so, even if you know your part, you don't want to tip your hat to your ego needlessly. Your ego knows full well what your part is...and hides it to where you're the angel and the bitch and your friend are the devil.

    Sometimes our part if saying "I do" or "pick me!"

  2. Wow, this sounds like an anti-AA rant.....lol !!

    Okay, I will be the ass hole, cranky, bleeding deacon old timer.

    "The Book asks, "What was my part" but it isn't crystal clear as to whether I really must have a part at all. I don't.

    Assuming you are a victim of circumstance (and you very well may be), then your part is to get over your hurt feelings without falling into the resentment trap. What the anti-AA's fail to see (because they love the warm familiar feeling of sitting in their own shit), is that at some point fairly early in the game negative emotions stop being useful and start to hurt 'you'. At that point you need to learn how to deal with negative events without internalizing them and becoming a negative person yourself.

    For some reason AA's like to feed their negative emotions and this leads to all kinds of emotional turmoil and, often back to the bottle.

    So, it isn't a matter of being 'right', it's a matter of not indulging yourself with whatever pleasure/power/rush you get from those festering resentments.

    BTW, I heard a sermon not to long ago on the concept of 'Why do bad things happen to good people'. And the short answer from the preacher was "they don't". The point being God is good but humans are only human. We fall short on our best day. So, as much as we like to see ourselves 'in the right', upon close examination we usually have done something or other wrong. And in AA we look for that little part and use it to grow spiritually and emotionally.

    Anti-AA's don't need to do that because they assume that 'they' are right and the rest of the world is wrong. It works for them although, they don't seem like a happy go lucky bunch to me. But...what-ev.

  3. A three column inventory? Is there anything else?
    Sure we could add a 4th column. But why? It's my inventory. The whole thing is about me and "My Part".
    In the situation described I could have become untrusting and fearful of relationships and friendships.
    This was a direct result and not the cause.
    Here is the truth
    "Though a situation had not been entirely our fault, we tried to disregard the other person involved entirely. Where were we to blame? The inventory was ours, not the other man's. When we saw our faults we listed them. We placed them before us in black and white. We admitted our wrongs honestly and were willing to set these matters straight".

    Key word was "When" we found our faults...
    This doesn't imply that there had to be a "Fault" on our part.
    If we did find one we listed it. If we didn't find one, so be it.
    A recent "Sponsee" told me about the times his Uncle molested him as a child. Time and time again his last Sponsor kept asking
    "What was your part"? or "Where were you at fault"?
    Christ!!! He was ten years old when this happened.
    Now he's feeling guilty, confused and wondering what AA was all about.
    Guilt and Shame. Just like the Catholics I guess.
    Need I mention that he found his last Sponsor at an Alano Club? You probably could have guessed that though.
    By the advise of a couple members of our group he shit canned this "Sponsor" and we moved on.
    I had him writing an inventory in a month and he has a couple amends left after 4 months.
    I allowed him to set aside any responsibility he had in this act that his last Sponsor left him to feel he should have.
    Our part is not an absolute must although they do exist more often than not.
    My personal belief is that a test on the book should be a requirement for full blown membership.
    Until then you should be a prospect.
    Just like the Biker Gangs.

  4. That whole deal about "My part" and "Your part" is bullshit. No where in the book does it say anything about the other guy having a part. It does say something about putting aside the wrongs others had done and resolutely looking for my own mistakes, though.

    As long as I believe that you still have a part, I will never get free. It is all my part. Because it is my fucking resentment, not the other guy's.

  5. I understand it the same way Jim does.

    That doesn't mean that there is no such thing as bad sponsorship. If the sponsor doesn't understand why the AA needs to focus on 'his part', then a scenario like the one you mentioned is possible. The sponsor should have explained it like Jim or (if I may be so bold) like I did above.

    Recovery is less about morality and more about getting rid of those negative emotions that justify and even kick off the compulsion for our drinking. (imho)

    Two things, I had a similar situation as your sponsee. I was innocent, of course, but I also held onto the shame/guilt/pain and used it to drink with. I needed to let it go if I wanted to stay sober and live a contended happy life.

    Also, when I looked at my selfish sexual conduct I realized that I don't have a right to hold onto anything. If there is a God and he's loving and just, he's going to judge me by the same standard he's going to judge the people who have harmed me. This is just my opinion, of course, but it does say in the book 'we all fall short'.

    There is a process by which we heal. I think the average AA has never learned that process.

    Of course the AA philosophy assumes that there that loving God. If you reject that, then you're on your own. Still, spiritual laws are testable. We can start small and safe and do a proof of concept before we let go of any major pain.

  6. If you're going along with your inventory and can actually see where you set the ball rolling or see your own fault, for God's sake, write it down! This can be taken to your 7th step and perhaps 9th step. But before you do that, you have to remember that the son of a bitch or the bitch did something to you that you're resenting and we have the opportunity to forgive them.

    Sometimes we look back at that 2nd column and if it's true, we see that they are bastards or they are bitches, but we are holding on to them with this resentment. The problem is, who is holding who? We get free of them when we forgive them... whether they set the ball rolling or whether we did.

    But some people use that 4th column to call themselves names, or to just jot down some words, like fear, selfish, dishonest, self-seeking.

    I take my 3 columns to whom I'm 5th stepping with and I read it. Once I read that in another's presence and in God's presence, I have a chance to see more clearly what's going on. It is usually there that I find things to jot down to the right of that 3rd column.

    I hear a lot of antiAAers say, "So, God decided to wait until 1935 to save drunks?" This must have been started by one idiot named Agent Orange and perpetuated by his minions. The simple answer there is that we choose God. God doesn't choose us. Once Bill W. got the notion that he could "choose his own conception of God", even in his drunkeness, something clicked.

  7. One problem here is that a lot of sponsors merely mimic what they were told by their sponsors etc. etc. etc. There's a pervasive idea in the program that whatever shit happened to us and whatever resentments we hold, we had some part in it.

    Another problem is that this is usually true. Sure, there are some cases where we're just victims, but that's pretty rare. The thing I try and stress with my sponsees is to be totally honest with themselves. It isn't a case of beating yourself up or calling yourself names, it's a matter or recognizing that bad shit happened and they probably had something to do with it.

    Once they get to the core of the issue, then they can resolve the problem, get rid of the resentment, and move on. And in those instances where they didn't actually have a part in it, then as Tony said, get over it. Forgive the asshole who screwed you. Life's too short to let shit hang over us all the time.

  8. Karl:

    So... Mr. Karl... aka Cuda. How does it feel to lose your virginity? You're with the rest of us now... banned to the dark side of the cyber world.

    Join thoust Dark Side. We've got candy!

  9. That's funny. Now we have the "Dark Side" and the "Not so Bright Side"
    Looks like someones taken our spot over there.
    Maybe they'll send him our way.

  10. I feel a disturbance in the force, Obi Dowg.....