Friday, May 30, 2008
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
Saturday, May 17, 2008
"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
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
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
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
- H O W = Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness
- 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
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, "...to 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
it...you 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
LIFE...you 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
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
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...