Friday, May 30, 2008


Well, guess a little break from blogging was in order... Lots of time with mom lately (last weekend in hospital with a fall and spinal fracture... bah). Missed a bunch of meetings there as well, and actually have gotten pretty lousy at calling folks... Actually, didn't realize all that until I typed it out... Dangerous pattern there.

Since getting back in the swing have made three meetings (maybe two, I think three...). Today's topic was honesty... Much of this program is a contract between myself and God... And that honesty is imperative. So many dichotomies in this program: The desire for more integrity in my life brought me here, and my honesty in communication and action keeps me here.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Got to chair an online meeting last night, finally... Was fun, and left the meeting feeling very good about my program. My topic was "Step One: Complete Defeat." My biggest fear was that there would be no response to the topic, but, again, I was wrong. Seems like a lot of folks related to the "not yets".

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Follow-up to my side comment the other day arose at yesterday's lunch meeting:

"There is being sorry, and there is not doing it again. No doing it again is the repentance."
"The difference between thankfulness and gratitude is what you do with it."

This is a program of action.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Here is the text of my part of this morning's online meeting. What a way to start the day!

Hi- I'm *** I'm an alcoholic

ty for a wonderful topic. one that has been surfacing quite a bi in meetings lately. I'm grateful for that.

I'm onna list some stuff I'm hearing here, please don't think I'm crosstalking, or talking directly at anyone. here's my experience.

"Humble yourself in sight of God..."

"forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass againat us..."

I found myself in my abusers...

"humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings..."

My sober date was Jan. 1 2008

so I'm admittedly new to this... and have not yet worked my 4th step....

that said- I've not yet heard/ read anywhere that I need to forgive myself...

Thbis is my understanding thus far-

My job is to receive God's grace....

that is, the forgoveness and love of The God of my understanding....

In doing this, I can better forgive those who trespass, or misstep, against me....

and see God in them....

I don;t factor into this....

It's just not my job, or my place to forgive myself....

If I can find myself, my trespasses, in my 'abusers'..... I am practicing all parts of this principle....

and cannot help but ot feel better about who I am ... today....

My past has passed...

and there it goes again....

All I can do is let go of resentments, let God in, in all aspects of my life, and no drink. That's all I know to do.

God has forgiven me.... Hek, God forgave me before it happened!

If I trully acceot that grace, there is no need to forgive myself... am I above God?!

God has done for me hat which I could not do myself....

God has forgiven me where I could never begin to forogive myself....

God has done for me that which I could not do myself.....

I am immensly grateful for this program.... It took AA ....

ty GA

Add-on comment: "There is being sorry, and there is not doing it again. No doing it again is the repentance."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


No Tuesday night meeting last night, lunch at summit instead... The facilitator was a nazi- don't stand up, closed meeting, etc.... anyway.... Is good o have those examples of how old-timers still struggle with practicing the principles on a daily basis...

Morning online meeting today- "Okay to be me..." or something... Good message- More and more I am comfortable in this skin... Well, could lose a few pounds, but... :) I have noticed I'm laughing more easily these days, enjoying being around me ...

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Have been led more lately to find some service opportunities. This morning I signed up to help chair meetings at AAonline. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity as this was the first place I found myself. Maybe I'll see you there!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


RAGE = Real Angry Gut-level Ego

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Yesterday's lunch meeting topic was service. Here' s an area I could use some growth in. I've been gaining some confidence in reaching out to others on a limited basis, but I think it's a reasonable expectation that I pick a home group and work towards actively supporting it. Cleaning up after meetings, setting up coffee, facilitating... These all seem reasonable... Not interested in sitting on boards, etc... This quickly takes the charge out of the experience for me... Little too close I guess...

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Couple things today, and just a sec to get them down:

  1. H O W = Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness
  2. Got a phone call Friday from a chonic relapser who is strugglin g with a lot of stuff, and seems to be making this program more complicated than it is. I supported the best I know how, and this came from a follow-up discussion with the sponsor:
    • Hi A,
      My name is G and I'm an alcoholic. I've been exactly where you are
      today, and I want you to know that there IS a solution! Problem is, a
      lot of people are going to tell you to "just don't drink and go to more
      meetings." Problem is, if we could "just not drink", we wouldn't need to
      go to meetings. If we could "just not drink" we wouldn't be alcoholics!
      I was exactly where you are, but I've been sober and happy for a long
      time now, and I didn't get to where I am by just not drinking and going
      to meetings.

      I'm going to tell you a couple of things that you might not be hearing
      much, but they are SO important, I hope that you will read all of this

      You said, in your post, that you are in the midst of this crazy
      insanity, and you really hit the nail on the head there. It IS insanity.
      An alcoholic is in the grips of a disease that robs us of our will,
      leaving us utterly defenseless against the first drink. Without the
      PROGRAM of Alcoholics Anonymous, we're basically doomed. You notice I
      capitalized the word program. The reason I did this, is because there is
      a distinct difference between the program of A.A., and the "fellowship"
      of A.A. The fellowship is the meetings, the potlucks, the B.S. sessions
      with other alcoholics. The PROGRAM is in the book. The problem is,
      people genuinely think that all we do in A.A. to stay sober is go to
      meetings. If you really want to get sober and stay that way, then you
      need something FAR more important than just going to meetings!

      You said you're reading your Big Book and drinking at the same time.
      Crazy, huh? But guess what? Just reading the book isn't going to keep
      you sober any more than going to a bunch of meetings.

      Here's why. The Big Book is a set of instructions. In the forward to the
      first edition it says, " show other alcoholics precisely how we
      have recovered is the main purpose of this book." OK. Got that? But
      here's the trick. In order to get precisely what they got, which is
      recovery from alcoholism, you can't just sit there and read about have to DO precisely what they did!

      On the page with the twelve steps, it doesn't say, "These are the steps
      we read about", or "These are the steps we met and talked about". It
      says, These are the steps we TOOK. If you want recovery from alcohol,
      follow the directions in the book. Take the steps! Don't just read about
      them, or meet about them. Take them!

      OK. So here's the first question. Are you ready to quit for good and
      all, and are you willing to go to any length to recover? If the answer
      is yes, I'm going to tell you some things you might not be hearing in a
      lot of meetings. The reason you're not hearing a lot of what you need to
      do, is because many of these alcoholics don't fully comprehend the
      program as it was designed. They don't study the book, and they don't
      understand that this is a program of action, not a program of words.

      The next question is, how soon do you want to recover? The answer is, as
      fast as you can take the steps. You may hear things like, "take your
      time on the steps", or "Only take a step a month" or other nonsense like
      that. Read Bill's story and see if you can follow the timeline. He took
      the steps in about a week. Stayed sober his entire life after that. Dr.
      Bob...took the steps in a matter of days. So, I'm going to put some
      confusion to rest here. Be SOLID on the steps, but don't take your time.
      These steps are designed to be a sweeping event that results in an
      entire psychic change. These steps are the vessel which brings you in to
      conscious contact with your higher power and enables you recover.

      In the Doctor's Opinion, Dr. Silkworth states that this pattern of
      drinking, swearing off forever, and then drinking again "will be
      repeated over and over. And unless this person can experience an entire
      psychic change, there is very little hope of his recovery." So, he's
      saying, that unless we can experience an ENTIRE shift in our psyche, our
      fundamental way of thinking and behaving, we are going to continue this
      ugly cycle again, and again, and again. Unless we take the steps,
      designed specifically to bring about that psychic change, we are,
      essentially, doomed. We will keep going back out, over and over until
      we're locked up or dead.

      Grim opinion, but it's true.

      But in the very next sentence he says, "On the other hand—and
      strange as this may seem to those who do not understand—once a
      psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who
      had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds
      himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort
      necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules."

      OK. Steps one through nine are designed to bring about that psychic
      change. Steps 10, 11 and 12 are the "few simple rules" we use as daily
      steps to maintain and grow our spiritual condition.

      I'm going to run through these for you so you see how simple this is.
      Step one is the recognition of the problem. The stone cold knowledge
      that alcohol has literally kicked your ass. Powerless means we have a
      disease. We don't process alcohol properly. Unmanageable means that we
      can't manage our most sincere decision to not pick up that next drink.

      Step two is the solution to our problem. Plain and simple, On page 47
      you'll find the instructions for step two. Second paragraph: "We needed
      to ask ourselves but one short question. 'Do I now believe, or am I even
      willing to believe, that there is a power greater than myself?'"

      Steps one and two are nothing more than deep, internal realizations.
      There isn't a sponsor on this planet that can look at you and tell you
      that you have now taken those two steps. You have to KNOW those things,
      deep down inside. Steps one and two are described under the A., B, and
      C. following the 12 steps on page 60. OK? Read (a), (b) and (c). Are you
      ABSOLUTELY clear on those three pertinent ideas? Yes? Well, if so, read
      what it says next.

      "Being convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to
      turn our will and our life over to the care of God as we understood

      So, what step do you think you're on? If you're convinced of a, b and c,
      the book tells me you are on step three already! Did that take a couple
      of months? Probably not.

      OK, Step three sounds hard, but it isn't. It tells us just what they
      mean by that, and just what we're supposed to do. Read and understand
      page 60 up to the middle of 63. A couple of short pages describe exactly
      what that step is all about, and how to take it.

      Step one: the problem. Step two: realization of the solution to our
      problem. Step three: the decision to begin working toward that solution.

      OK. Well, if you're convinced of steps 1 and 2, and have made your step
      3 decision, you're already ready for step 4!

      Have you read anything in the book telling you to take your sweet time
      yet? Not likely.

      It says, on 64, "Though our decision (Step 3) was a vital and crucial
      step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a
      strenuous effort to face and be rid of the things in ourselves which had
      been blocking us."

      So we start on our inventory at once. Why? Because, in order to start
      fixing ourselves, we first have to learn what's broken, what can be
      repaired, and what needs to be cast out.

      So in Step 4, we go on a journey of discovery. We learn much about what
      has been holding us back. What needs to change. In Step 5, we go about
      the task of casting out the baggage that's been holding us back,
      starting out on fresh territory. Once we do our 5th step, if you follow
      the directions in the book precisely, we notice that we do steps 6 and 7
      the same night we do our 5th step! Don't believe me? Read page 75 and
      the top two paragraphs on 76. Believe me now?

      Then guess what it says...we already have Step 8 done! That's right.
      Read the third paragraph on 76. Tells us we already made the list when
      we listed our harms back in Step 4!

      So let's look at this again. One and 2: realizations. Three: Decision
      time. Step 4: Learn what's holding us back. Step 5: Cast that stuff out.
      Step 6: take an hour after step 5 to get ready to ask for step 7. Step
      7: ask. Step 8: Did it already. Step 9: begin to clear the wreckage
      from our past. 10, 11, and 12: Spiritual growth for a lifetime.

      OK, this was a long letter, but you are hurting, and it tears my heart
      out to see you getting advice that isn't designed to solve your problem.
      PLEASE, just do exactly what the book tells you to do. Get a sponsor who
      works out of the book. If he doesn't, get a new one who does. It's your are in control of your program. Demand a sponsor who
      guarantees he works strictly from the book. If you do that, you WILL

      "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our

      Do the work. Get through the steps and recover! If you hear any advice
      you can't reconcile somewhere in the book, well, that's just some
      alcoholic's opinion. Might be good, might be bad. But an opinion,
      nonetheless. The program of recovery is clearly outlined. The
      instructions to recover span about 22 pages. If your sponsor doesn't
      know that, find one who does, because that's where the instructions he's
      supposed to be helping you follow are located. He'd better know where
      they are!

      And don't let the gay thing hamper your sponsor search. I live in one of
      the most redneck of the red states (north Idaho) and I've experienced
      nothing but kindness, tolerance and love from everyone in this program.
      Gay is irrelevant to them. They just want to help a fellow alcoholic end
      his suffering, Just like what I want for you.

      I hope you're still reading this. If you want to know what it's like to
      recover, read starting on the last paragraph on page 85 through the
      first two paragraphs on 86. Sound like something you want to experience?
      You will, if you do exactly what this book says, without reservation. It
      always happens to those who do.

      Take care, my friend. And remember, it's not the meetings we make, it's
      the steps we take!


Thursday, May 1, 2008


Topic today at summit: Resentments

Lots of discussion around the 4th step, which I've not yet started (and not looking forward to that one a bit>>>) but here's what I heard: our resentments easily manifest as frustration, rage, grouchiness... These are the trademarkls of an alky... These will deprive us of our happiness and eventually, our sobriety.

As I'm still working through step 3, I'll not get into my resentments here... But I will admit, the first one that popped to mind was Queef... That motherfucker's hurt a lot of people, and his name's just resurfaced after a nice, long break without him. The guidance I hear is to pray for him for two weeks... grrr.... For now, I pray that he gets nothing short of what he's due... Whatever that may be... At least this keep me from speculating on his intentions. Maybe he didn't mean to cause pain. I believe he did, but...

Sidenote: A guy in the meeting was driving me nuts... arrogant asshole, joking his way through, side talk, the whole bit... Sponsor told me, "if you spot it, you got it." I could stand to minimize my deflection through humor bit...