Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Bob,
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000458A
00:01 It is estimated 10 to 20 percent
00:03 of the world's population
00:05 has an obsessive-compulsive disease called "Alcoholism."
00:10 Join us today on Issues and Answers
00:12 as we discuss this OCD,
00:16 and we discuss how we can give God all the glory
00:21 because He gives us victory.
00:54 Hi, I'm Shelley Quinn,
00:55 and we welcome you again to Issues and Answers
00:58 where we will be discussing a problem that faces humanity,
01:03 and what the Bible has to say as an answer.
01:06 Today, we're going to do something a little unique.
01:09 Our guest, our special guest is name Bob,
01:12 but we are not going to give you a last name,
01:15 and we're not going to show you his face entirely.
01:18 He will be in shadow
01:20 because he is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous
01:23 and we want to honor his anonymity.
01:27 But this is a gentleman who has an amazing testimony.
01:33 But mostly it's a story that gives God glory.
01:38 So let me introduce you to our special guest Bob.
01:41 Bob, we're so glad that you're here with us today.
01:44 And you know, usually we come out here,
01:46 we have some idea of where we're going.
01:49 And I have this little blank sheet of paper here,
01:51 I have no idea where we're going.
01:53 But I invited you to be on this program
01:58 because recently someone close to me
02:04 who I know was saved.
02:07 God offered them salvation.
02:09 I know they overcame their addiction,
02:12 but they never got beyond
02:18 letting go of this symptomatic thing,
02:21 the way they were trying to numb their pain,
02:23 the pain remained.
02:25 And you and I had discussed this,
02:28 and I wished I had known a little bit more about AA.
02:32 So welcome to the program.
02:34 We're going to give you free reign,
02:36 but I wish you would start by just telling us
02:38 a little of your story.
02:40 Well, first of all, thank you, Shelley,
02:42 it's a pleasure to be here.
02:43 And thank you for helping me
02:45 respect the tradition of AA of anonymity.
02:49 It's important that we don't bring attention to ourselves
02:52 as members of Alcoholics Anonymous.
02:55 We prefer to have our friends recommend us.
02:58 We don't promote AA aggressively through the media,
03:02 through celebrities and those types of things.
03:05 And really has everything to do
03:07 with putting the brakes on people
03:09 who would gain personal notoriety or possibly fame
03:13 or personal gain from their affiliation with AA.
03:17 So AA says, let's be humble about this,
03:20 let's carry the message without focusing on the messenger.
03:25 And for me personally, it's a way to keep my pride
03:28 from getting out of hand from overcoming, you know,
03:32 the message and then helping me to think that I'm all that.
03:36 And eventually getting me back into a drink
03:38 which is what happens to people
03:40 if we let our pride get in the way,
03:43 we have no need for God.
03:45 It's really a story all about God.
03:48 And let me tell you a little bit of my story.
03:50 I've been sober since 1989.
03:53 That's 26 years at this point.
03:56 And it all started for me,
04:00 my drinking started when I turned 18.
04:04 I was raised in a good Christian home.
04:06 I have wonderful parents
04:08 who modeled Christianity for me
04:11 every day of my life growing up.
04:13 But at 18 years of age,
04:16 they had moved to another state
04:18 and I was in the college
04:20 where drinking was not allowed actually.
04:24 But there was an underground kind of gang of guys and gals
04:28 that would sneak off campus and find ways to get alcohol.
04:33 And on my 18 birthday,
04:35 it was finally legal in the state
04:37 that I was in to drink,
04:38 this is how many years ago it's been I guess.
04:41 And so I went on my birthday,
04:46 my 18th birthday, my friends,
04:47 my party friends as I call them,
04:49 took me to a bar and I had my first cigarette,
04:53 my first joint of marijuana, and my first drink,
04:57 all on the same night.
04:59 Now what happened when I took that first drink was of course,
05:03 I didn't care for the taste of it,
05:05 but I drank several drinks in quick succession.
05:09 And all of a sudden,
05:10 the alcohol traveled to my brain,
05:14 and when it did, I felt a euphoria, a freedom,
05:19 that's hard to describe for people
05:21 that have not had that experience.
05:23 All my life, I'd grown up
05:25 feeling like I was on the outside looking in.
05:27 I never felt good enough to be in the company of my peers.
05:31 I always felt like there was something wrong with me
05:34 that I was, you know, either...
05:38 I don't know it's a feeling of inadequacy,
05:40 you know, that a lot of people can relate to growing up.
05:44 And many people grow out of that,
05:45 but I never had, you know.
05:47 And alcohol allowed me to act the way I wanted to.
05:51 It made me 10 foot tall and bulletproof.
05:54 It made me good looking.
05:56 It allowed me to carry on conversations comfortably.
06:00 And that very night I drank to excess.
06:04 I drank so much that
06:09 I threw up several times that night,
06:12 I recall.
06:13 It was embarrassing, but honestly,
06:14 I didn't care because it just meant
06:16 that I could go back and drink more.
06:18 And that's not normal drink.
06:20 Most people have that reaction when they have a few drinks
06:24 that, you know, they get a little queasy
06:26 or their head gets a little light and they're done.
06:29 They want no more to do with it.
06:31 But for me, it was like, I want a lot more.
06:34 And I didn't care what price I had to pay.
06:37 I fell in love with alcohol that first night
06:39 and I promised myself
06:41 that I would do anything for this feeling
06:44 if I can feel like this all the time,
06:46 I will do whatever it takes.
06:48 Now, Bob, you were saying some things.
06:50 Let me just back up a little bit.
06:53 I've heard a number of people
06:57 who have the disease of alcoholism.
07:00 And we are going to call it a disease
07:02 because it is an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
07:05 This is not just somebody that is a moderate drinker
07:10 or partier or a heavy drinker.
07:11 I mean, people can be heavy drinkers
07:13 and not be alcoholics.
07:15 For the alcoholic, quite often, it is...
07:19 I mean there's two types.
07:20 We've discussed this before, there's two types, one who...
07:23 the first drink they take, that's it.
07:26 That's right.
07:27 It's just, they're hooked.
07:29 Others who have, it's more of an...
07:32 it's kind of like the difference between
07:34 type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
07:36 Others, it's something that over a some span of time,
07:41 their heavy drinking turns into a physical and mental problem.
07:45 But why do you...
07:51 before we go into any further, I want to explain
07:54 why we're talking about Alcoholics Anonymous.
07:59 I want you to explain what Alcoholics Anonymous is
08:03 because there are some Christians who think
08:05 any 12-step program that you're talking about
08:08 or Alcoholics Anonymous is void of God.
08:13 So you had this problem and we'll talk about it.
08:17 Various times how you disintegrated essentially.
08:23 But what is AA, and why did you finally choose AA?
08:29 Okay, I think I can define Alcoholics Anonymous best
08:34 by reading what we call our preamble.
08:38 Which is a brief paragraph that explains
08:40 what AA is if you let me.
08:41 It says Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women
08:46 who share their experience strength
08:48 and hope with each other
08:49 that they might solve their common problem
08:51 and help others to recover from alcoholism.
08:54 The only requirement for membership is a desire
08:57 to stop drinking.
08:58 There are no dues or fees for AA membership.
09:02 We are self-supporting through our own contributions.
09:05 AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics,
09:09 organization, or institution,
09:11 does not wish to engage in any controversy,
09:14 neither endorses nor opposes any causes.
09:17 Our primary purpose is to stay sober
09:19 and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
09:23 There's a lot packed into that paragraph.
09:25 But it's a good definition of what AA is.
09:30 Every group in AA is autonomous.
09:33 We do not have a president who tells us
09:35 how to run our meetings or how to do things.
09:38 We have joined together with a common solution.
09:41 We have found that our solution is and must be
09:45 a power greater than ourselves which most of us call God.
09:49 So to say that it is the void of God is really unfortunate
09:53 that anybody would think that
09:55 because they obviously have not gone to an AA meeting.
09:58 If they would go to a meeting, I guarantee you,
10:00 they'd have a whole different perspective.
10:03 Because if I have no power,
10:06 our premise in AA is that we are powerless over alcohol,
10:10 that our lives have become unmanageable.
10:13 Our very second step is that we came to believe
10:16 that a power greater than ourselves
10:18 could restore us the sanity.
10:20 And in the third step,
10:21 we formally with the prayer to God, ask Him,
10:26 while we turn our will and our lives
10:28 over to the care of God.
10:29 Every step in AA is designed
10:32 to help us establish that contact with God
10:36 who is the one who keeps every one of us sober.
10:39 However, we conceive of God, our concept of God,
10:43 just like any Christian must evolve.
10:46 We need to grow to know Him better.
10:48 In fact, one of our steps specifically talks about God
10:51 and says in step 11,
10:53 we seek through prayer and meditation
10:55 to increase our conscious contact with God.
10:58 That means to talk to Him more often,
11:01 to speak with Him about everything,
11:03 to share every moment with God.
11:06 as the Bible says, pray without ceasing.
11:09 That's the whole point of AA, because if there is no God,
11:14 there is no solution.
11:15 We are beyond human aid.
11:17 There is no human power that could possibly
11:20 restore me to sanity when it comes to alcohol.
11:22 But God does and did with me and does every day of my life,
11:27 I see those miracles happen.
11:29 You know, I think some people have...
11:33 there are Christians who will say,
11:36 AA refers to a higher power and that somehow bothers them.
11:41 I just want to share a quick story.
11:43 We had an engineer who...
11:44 my husband and I had an engineer
11:45 who worked for us,
11:47 he was in our employ and wonderful man.
11:50 And then I found out he, you know,
11:52 every day, he left early for lunch.
11:55 And I found that he was going to AA meetings.
11:57 And he'd been "clean and sober" for something like 12 years.
12:01 But the point is that he was telling me
12:05 because I always thought that AA was not based on God.
12:12 I just heard stories.
12:14 But he told me that yes,
12:15 they've started talking about the higher power.
12:17 He said if he thought it was religion,
12:21 he would have never gone to a meeting.
12:23 But they told him, "You've got to have a higher power."
12:26 He said, "I chose tree as my higher power."
12:29 He said, "And I was kneeling before
12:30 that tree one day praying," and he said suddenly,
12:34 he heard the voice in his head that said,
12:37 "My name is Jesus Christ and I am your higher power."
12:42 That was very fascinating to me and since that time,
12:46 maybe I've become more sensitive.
12:49 I've met so many people
12:51 who were not brought up in church like you,
12:55 who had not been introduced to the Lord
12:58 until they went to AA,
13:02 and that's where they found God and eventually Jesus Christ,
13:06 His Son and as their Savior.
13:08 So would you agree
13:12 that the 12-steps of recovery
13:18 that AA promotes
13:22 are all Bible based steps?
13:25 They are based in a variety of things,
13:28 but every one of them has Christian principles in them.
13:31 They follow the principles that are set out in the Bible.
13:35 And honestly, many other religions also have
13:38 some of those principles.
13:40 But if you look at the total literature,
13:43 if you look at the program of recovery,
13:45 the 12 steps of recovery, they're based on honesty.
13:49 The first part is to admit our powerlessness
13:52 and that requires honesty.
13:54 Open mindedness, if you don't believe in God,
13:56 at least open your mind to the possibility
13:59 that there might be something out there.
14:02 Step two, came to believe that a power greater than ourselves
14:04 could restore us the sanity, does not require belief,
14:07 it requires a suspicion.
14:10 I suspect there may be something out there
14:13 and that little wedge is all it takes
14:15 for the light to shine through.
14:17 Because God is eager to show us that He is real.
14:22 He is...
14:24 if you will standing on his head
14:25 to try to get us to notice him.
14:27 And suddenly, when we stop saying,
14:30 I will never believe in God to, well, I don't know.
14:34 Maybe there is, maybe there isn't,
14:35 that's all it takes.
14:37 Because AA says, we can start working from there
14:40 and eventually you will see so much evidence.
14:44 You know, I don't...
14:45 we have many agnostics that come to AA
14:47 and a lot of people don't understand that term.
14:50 There are believers like you and me that believe in God.
14:53 We believe, it can be proven.
14:55 We are proof that God exists.
14:57 There are people who are unbelievers
14:59 who believe they can prove there is no God.
15:01 And then there's the agnostic.
15:03 And I'm sure you know all about it,
15:05 how the beginnings of agnosticism started,
15:07 but the bottom line is an agnostic simply says,
15:10 "Well, there seems to be evidence that God exists
15:13 and evidence that he doesn't."
15:15 But there's not a preponderance of evidence
15:17 on either side that it won't tip
15:18 the scales all the way.
15:20 So the easiest thing for me to do,
15:23 so that I'm not constantly arguing
15:25 if there is or isn't in my head is to say, it's unknowable.
15:29 You can't possibly prove it either way, so it's unknowable.
15:33 Well, that's not true either.
15:35 And AA works a lot with agnostics.
15:37 AA says, "Okay, look at the evidence.
15:41 Let's look at the evidence."
15:42 And when I sit in an AA meeting as an agnostic
15:45 or even an atheist,
15:46 it doesn't take long before I see the miracles happening.
15:50 I see people changing right in front of my eyes.
15:53 And every one of them
15:54 in some way or another will attributed to
15:57 in the beginning a higher power,
15:59 if they don't believe.
16:00 And eventually call that higher power God.
16:03 And many times, I've heard people in AA meeting say,
16:07 you know, "I'm so grateful to Jesus Christ
16:09 who is my higher power."
16:11 I've also heard people say,
16:13 "I'm grateful to nature who is my higher power."
16:16 Well, if you look at the book of nature long enough,
16:18 you're going to find God.
16:21 And AA does not concern itself with what religion you are
16:24 or have been, what your beliefs are,
16:27 even if they're a little off the wall.
16:29 We don't care, because we believe
16:31 that God will work with you.
16:33 If you're sincerely looking for God,
16:35 He will make sure you find Him.
16:38 He doesn't have to find us.
16:40 He knows where we are.
16:42 But eventually will discover God and,
16:45 you know, I think the hardest part for Christians
16:48 to understand is that if you go to an AA meeting,
16:53 you will see miracles every day.
16:56 Every day, I hear new people coming in.
16:59 And within a few days and weeks,
17:02 people that use the name of God
17:03 only to swear are now calling on Him for help.
17:07 Amen. Amen.
17:09 I had the experience, I have to share this.
17:10 Last night, I'm working with a young man
17:14 who is an alcoholic definitely and also a heroin addict.
17:19 And he's been sober and clean now for about, I think 55 days.
17:25 And last night, as it always happens,
17:28 you know, we got on to the topic of prayer.
17:31 And I asked him his background and he says,
17:33 "Bobby, I don't know how to pray.
17:35 I was raised in a Godless family.
17:38 I want to, I'm starting to like say,
17:41 God please take these thoughts away
17:42 and they seem to be going away.
17:44 But I really don't know how to pray."
17:46 And I said, "Well, you're not alone,
17:48 many people have come into AA that don't know how to pray."
17:51 And I said, "I just speak to God like I speak to you."
17:55 And by the end of the conversation, I said,
17:57 "Would you like me to pray
17:58 so that you can hear how I pray,"
18:00 and he said, "Yes."
18:02 And so from a man who is facing court problems
18:06 and a lot of anxiety over all of that.
18:09 I prayed and I ask God to give him peace.
18:12 And by the end of that prayer, he says,
18:14 "Wow, I feel that peace." Praise God.
18:18 This is weird, and I thought, there you go,
18:21 that's all it takes is a little bit of evidence.
18:23 And I said, look at the evidence,
18:25 look for the evidence.
18:26 If you're looking for God, you are sure to find Him.
18:29 The Bible promises us that,
18:32 "If you will seek Me, you will find Me.'
18:35 And just trying to pray, you know,
18:36 one of the most beautiful things I ever hear in AA
18:39 is somebody's first prayer.
18:42 And I've had that privilege over and over and over.
18:45 And, you know, the reason we wanted you to come today
18:49 or specifically I will say, it was me who invited you
18:53 is that we want to show and believe that
18:59 we absolutely know God is the one who heals,
19:02 God gets all of the glory.
19:05 This program is based on Christian principles
19:08 or you'll find Christian principles in everyone.
19:11 What I like about the 12-steps is that, you know,
19:17 from what I've heard about it from you.
19:20 There is accountability, but also as you...
19:24 I mean there's just surrendering to God,
19:26 yielding to God's control.
19:28 There's this accountability, but also that the program
19:32 then puts you into discipleship if you will.
19:35 You take your testimony,
19:37 now you start working with someone else
19:39 which is what you call a sponsor.
19:41 So I think all the way around, this is something that
19:46 Christians sometimes will say, I don't want to go to AA,
19:50 'cause I know God can heal me.
19:52 And somehow, I've seen some people
19:57 who may be have quit drinking, but they're dry drunks.
20:03 And I'm not saying that you have to go to AA,
20:04 there's other programs,
20:05 but there's a beauty in these 12 steps.
20:07 So explain what I just said about the dry drunk,
20:10 so people will understand where we are?
20:13 A dry drunk by our definition is simply
20:15 somebody who does not drink, but still acts like they were.
20:20 In other words, the dishonesty, the meanness...
20:23 The resentments, the anger, the fears,
20:25 all of those things are unmitigated because...
20:28 and actually worse because they don't have
20:31 the numbing effect of alcohol.
20:34 So now you're left with...
20:35 I'm left with all my character defects
20:38 that started me drinking in the first place.
20:40 And I want to make it clear that alcoholism is a symptom of
20:43 what's really wrong with us.
20:46 AA says, "Selfishness, self-centeredness,
20:49 fear, resentment, shame, guilt, anger,
20:53 those are the things that are wrong with us.
20:55 And those are spiritual maladies.
20:58 AA deals with a spiritual solution to a physical,
21:01 and mental, and spiritual problem.
21:03 So alcoholism is a spiritual, physical, and mental problem.
21:08 Absolutely, illnesses.
21:11 It's a malady of those three things combined.
21:14 So how does it become...
21:16 I can see where it's spiritual.
21:19 I can see where it's mental.
21:21 How does that become a physical problem,
21:23 I mean a physical disease?
21:25 You started the program by talking about OCD
21:27 and that's a good model that we can use.
21:29 I'm not sure that the psychiatric world
21:32 uses that term per se on alcoholism.
21:35 But it starts with, you know, running the show ourselves.
21:39 In other words, we play God, that's obvious.
21:42 Every person who knows an alcoholic,
21:44 they're making their own decisions,
21:46 they will not allow anybody else to help them,
21:49 they will call all their shots,
21:51 especially if their drinking is in question,
21:53 they will guard their drinking carefully.
21:55 I'll call my shots when it comes to that.
21:57 And I'm trying to run my world and it's not working very well.
22:00 So I retreat into alcohol as a crutch,
22:04 as a way to calm my anger,
22:06 as a way to forget about my problems, whatever it is.
22:09 So in that way...
22:11 Self medicating. Yes.
22:12 It's self medicating, exactly.
22:16 Let me start with the mental part.
22:18 Alcoholics, every one of us has this peculiar mental twist
22:24 that allows us to believe that this time it will be different.
22:29 If I'm trying to control my alcohol
22:31 and I didn't do so well last night.
22:33 Well, today is a different day.
22:34 Today, I won't take so much money with me to the bar.
22:37 Today, I'm not going to drink whiskey,
22:40 I'm only going to drink beer.
22:42 Today, I'm only going to, you know,
22:44 have two drinks and I'm walking away, what.
22:47 There's this obsession, like you said, with alcohol.
22:51 I'm always thinking of alcohol.
22:53 When I'm not drinking,
22:54 I'm either remembering the good times I had
22:56 or I'm thinking about the good times I will have
22:59 or I'll think about the different route I'll take home
23:02 so I don't get in trouble with the police.
23:04 Every thought of an alcoholic is centered around alcohol.
23:08 That's an obsession.
23:10 We are obsessed with alcohol, we think about it all the time.
23:13 And then we fall for the little lie that says
23:16 this time it will be different.
23:18 And once we start drinking,
23:20 the physical part that you asked about,
23:22 we trigger a compulsion, a physical compulsion.
23:26 AA calls it a physical craving for more.
23:30 So once I put any alcohol in my body whatsoever,
23:33 it sets up that physical part and my body says,
23:36 okay, we're going to drink.
23:38 And then when I have two or three drinks,
23:39 my head says, "Stop," my body says, "No."
23:44 And then pretty soon, my head is screaming,
23:46 "You can't do this, you're spending the money,
23:50 you need to pay for rent or your car payment.
23:52 Why are you doing this, stop, please stop."
23:55 And our bodies take over and say,
23:56 "We're not going to stop until we're locked up
23:59 or pass out or run out of money or whatever."
24:03 We have to physically be released
24:06 from the compulsion part by stopping drinking
24:10 before that compulsion will stop and then,
24:13 you know, unfortunately our brains get us to do it.
24:15 Generally, the next day
24:17 or the next week we start up again.
24:18 We have incredibly short memories.
24:20 We cannot remember the pain and the suffering
24:23 of even a few hours ago.
24:25 Because this time it will be different,
24:27 that's the lie that happens, that's the mental illness.
24:31 What kind of person would stick their hand
24:32 on a hot stove every day
24:34 saying it's not going to burn me today?
24:36 So about how long did you drink?
24:39 I drank for 11 years.
24:41 And how bad did it get?
24:45 Well, I got to the point where
24:51 I couldn't imagine living another day
24:53 with or without alcohol.
24:55 I was desperate, I was hopeless,
24:59 I wanted to die,
25:00 I tried to end my life more than once,
25:04 I was in real financial straits.
25:09 I had no friends left in the world.
25:12 My job was hanging by a thread,
25:16 and I didn't know what was wrong.
25:18 That's the sad part.
25:19 What kind of physical effect...
25:20 we only have about a minute or two left,
25:22 but tell me what was the physical effect?
25:24 I had gained a lot of weight.
25:26 I hadn't gotten to the point where I was,
25:28 you know, in trouble with my liver or anything yet,
25:31 but it wouldn't have been much longer, so.
25:35 So you finally reached that point.
25:40 Now you already knew God. Yes.
25:43 I mean, you have a very godly family.
25:47 And not just somebody that's speaking it,
25:50 but somebody that walks out.
25:53 They walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
25:55 So how did you end up at AA?
25:59 How did you end up...
26:01 I mean you cried out to God,
26:02 who directed you to AA?
26:05 Well, I think God did obviously.
26:07 I had one friend that I had just met at a party
26:11 if you can imagine.
26:13 And I didn't know he wasn't drinking alcohol.
26:15 He was the life of the party,
26:16 he lived down the street from me.
26:18 And one day, I stopped by and started talking to him.
26:20 And I asked him to go out drinking with me
26:22 and he refused.
26:24 And finally I just kept pressing him saying,
26:26 assuming he didn't have the money to go drink
26:28 and I said, "I'll buy it tonight,
26:30 and he says, "No."
26:31 And he says, "I need to go to a meeting,"
26:32 and I said, "What kind of job do you have
26:34 that takes you back into work at night for a meeting."
26:37 He says, "I thought you knew.
26:39 I'm an alcoholic, I go to AA meetings."
26:41 And something inside of me,
26:43 I don't even know what, except God
26:45 put the words in my mouth, I said,
26:46 "Well, that's cool, can I go with you?"
26:48 And he said, "Sure."
26:50 That happened to be a young people's meeting.
26:52 They talked about these awful things
26:54 that had happen in their life.
26:55 The car crashes, and wrecks,
26:57 and the police, and all that other stuff.
27:00 And I compared myself right out the door
27:02 because they'll say it's not happened to me.
27:05 But it planted the seed in my head
27:08 which eventually got me to the point where
27:12 I don't know if I can tell the whole story
27:14 in just a few seconds,
27:16 but that planted the seed in my head.
27:18 And alcoholism was a topic on my mind
27:22 for the next few months
27:24 until I found my way to AA through
27:26 a very strange set of circumstances
27:28 that we can talk about next time.
27:29 All right.
27:31 And now we are so excited
27:32 that you are going to come back.
27:33 Thank you.
27:35 Because 26 years of sobriety is something to celebrate
27:39 and it is something that
27:40 not only have you been clean and sober,
27:43 'cause that's only one half of the first step.
27:46 That's right.
27:48 To be clean and sober doesn't mean
27:50 you've been healed.
27:51 What you've experienced
27:53 in these 26 years is a true healing on the inside.
27:58 And I happen to know Bob fairly well
28:00 and I see him growing day by day,
28:04 year by year, throughout the years
28:07 and it's really amazing.
28:08 So we hope that you will tune again next time with us
28:12 so that you also can know
28:16 how to share this information
28:19 with someone you love or someone who needs God.
28:23 Thank you for joining us.