Tag Archives: AA

2015 AA International Convention

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OH MY GOD I MADE IT!

When I got sober in 2009, I heard about AA’s International Convention coming to Atlanta in 2015 and thought, I wonder if I’ll stay sober that long.  I am grateful, blessed, and thoroughly excited to report that I am still sober and I have a ticket to the convention starting tonight!!

I will want to remember every moment, which is much easier to do these days now that I am sober.  I will try to write a little about the experience, but no promises as these days I have a BIG FAT LIFE!

God bless you all and see you in Atlanta!!

News stories from Atlanta:

AA convention adds to active July 4th weekend downtown 

AA Celebrates 80 Years Of Helping Alcoholics Stop Drinking

July 3, 2015

My husband and I traveled down to the city on Marta from our home north of Atlanta.  We arrived at the World Congress Center and were greeted by some excited volunteers who said, Hi!  You made it!  We’ve been waiting for you!, which I thought was cute.  Certainly they are aware of the alcoholic’s large ego!  The congress center is huge and sprawling.  There were so many people, but you are just going to have to trust me on that because it’s important that we don’t post pictures of peoples faces in order to protect their anonymity.

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We followed the maze of people into a large – really large – room with long lines of folks picking up their badge holders.  Luckily, we managed to reach the end of the line before they closed and were able to pick up our packet, which included a Program of Events, an order form to purchase CDs of the convention meetings, a reminder to purchase a panoramic convention photo, and a bookmark listing all of the convention cities going back to 1950.

Next, we found the volunteer room, where my husband was happy to see some friends from his old home group.  We picked up our lime green volunteer shirts with the emblem you see above – pretty!  We will volunteer on Saturday before the big meeting as greeters.

By then, we were both ready to find some coffee and a smoking section.  We found both!  We also found an old sponsee of mine and had a great time catching up.  All along this journey we met people from Canada, Hawaii, Florida, Virginia, and some more places I have forgotten.  People were friendly and happy to be there.

I am really looking forward to today when the meetings start.  I’ve picked out three for every time slot and will have to decide on one!  After last night’s two-hour journey to get home on Marta, I’ve decided to sport tennis shoes today.  If you are out there, please say hello.  I’ll be wearing my turquoise “We are not saints” shirt!

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July 4, 2015

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Step 2

Atheist – denies the existence of God

Agnostic – does not rely on or know if there is a God that will work in personal life

“If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago.  But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried.  We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn’t there.  Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly.  Lack of power, that was our dilemma.  We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves.  Obviously.  But where and how were we to find this Power?  Well, that’s exactly what this book is about.  Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem.” – BB, p. 44-45, We Agnostics

I must see my own powerlessness and insanity before I can buy Step 2.  “If I have difficulty with the HP concept or a belief in some kind of God in step 2, it may be because I am still clinging to the idea that I have power…I might need to go back to Step 1 and make sure I haven’t overlooked something critical.

2012-08-11 16.16.58

Some of our alcoholic readers may think they can do without spiritual help.  Let us tell you the rest of the conversation our friend had with his doctor. – BB, p. 27

Whether such a person can quit upon a nonspiritual basis depends upon the extent to which he has already lost the power to choose whether he will drink or not. – BB, p. 34

The Missing Piece: The Spiritual Malady
by Mike L., West Orange, NJ
We often hear people say something like, “I have a three-fold disease: body, mind, and spirit.”
 
“an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind” – that once I put any alcohol in my system whatsoever it sets off a craving for more alcohol.
 
It is agreed that the “mental obsession” is the part of our “disease” which leads to the first drink; and it’s the first drink that triggers the “phenomenon of craving.”
But, what about the part of my “disease” that triggers the mental obsession in the first place?
 
Why is it that people who have remained abstinent from drinking in Alcoholics Anonymous for 1 year… 2 years… 5 years… 10 years… and in some cases even 20 years or more, go back to drinking?
 
We know the physical craving does not cause these people to drink because it’s been medically proven that after a few days of not drinking the alcohol is processed out of the body. And, if you’ve been in the AA Fellowship for a while, for most people, the mental obsession dissipates. So why is it that after a long period of sobriety many people in our fellowship return to drinking – EVEN WHEN THEY DON’T WANT TO? What is the third fold of our illness that triggers the mental obsession – WHEN NOT DRINKING – HAVING BEEN SEPARATED FROM ALCOHOL FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME?
 
Through closely examining our Big Book, along with much experience and practice with our Twelve Steps, as well as vigorous work with other alcoholics, the “missing piece” of Step 1 appears to be what is referred to on page 64 as the “spiritual malady.”
Now, let me attempt to discuss the second half of Step 1: ” – that our lives had become unmanageable.”
 
For a long time I thought my life was unmanageable because of all the crazy insane things I did while drinking – like the car accidents, hurting people when I didn’t mean to, failed relationships, loss of jobs, family dysfunction, jails, asylums, etc.
Finally, someone explained to me that those things are not the insanity that the Big Book talks about; nor are those things why the alcoholic’s life becomes unmanageable.
 
Of course those things can be classified as “unmanageability” – but they are external unmanageability. The unmanageability that the 1st Step is pointing to is the INWARD unmanageability of our lives – the restlessness, irritability, and discontentment that most alcoholics have even BEFORE they ever picked up their first drink. There are many names for this “inward unmanageability”. Some refer to it as “untreated alcoholism.” Others use the term “bedevilments”, which comes from page 52 of the Big Book (which I’ll be discussing in a moment). Page 64 simply refers to this “inward unmanageability” as “the spiritual malady.”
 
Our book promises us that “When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” The mental and physical factors of alcoholism are put into remission AFTER the “spiritual malady” is overcome – which means I’m still in danger of drinking until I have a spiritual awakening – whether I think so or not.
Two key points I’d like to focus on from this point forward:
 
  • What really is this “spiritual malady” and how, if left untreated, can it drive an alcoholic back to drinking? 
  • What is the remedy for it?
 
 
(By the way, our Big Book answers both of those questions in masterly detail in Chapters 4 – 11.) What is this “spiritual malady” we alcoholics suffer from and how can “untreated alcoholism” cause an alcoholic to return to drinking – EVEN WHEN HE/SHE DOESN’T WANT TO?
 
Imagine three layers. The first layer is our bodily reaction to alcohol when we ingest it – the physical craving. Under that is the second layer: the insanity of the mind just before the first drink – the mental obsession. Under that is the third layer: the inward condition that triggers the second layer, which in turn triggers the first – the “spiritual malady.” Symptoms of this “third layer” as described in the Big Book include:
  1. being restless, irritable, and discontented (page xxvi),
  2. having trouble with personal relationships,
  3. not being able to control our emotional natures,
  4. being a prey to (or suffering from) misery and depression,
  5. not being able to make a living (or a happy and successful life),
  6. having feelings of uselessness,
  7. being full of fear,
  8. unhappiness,
  9. inability to be of real help to other people (page 52),
  10. being like "the actor who wants to run the whole show" (pages 60-61),
  11. being "driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity" (page 62),
  12. self-will run riot (page 62),
  13. leading a double life (page 73),
  14. living like a tornado running through the lives of others (page 82), and
  15. exhibiting selfish and inconsiderate habits.
Page 25 tells us, “There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings, which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at out feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.”
 
This “fourth dimension”, which we find out in the 10th Step is the “world of the Spirit”, takes us beyond the physically, mental, and emotional dimensions of life – and eliminates the selfishness (ego) of the “spiritual malady.” The term “spiritual malady” does not mean that our “spirit” is sick. It simply means we are spiritually blocked off from the Power of God, which enables us to remain sober, happy, joyous, and free.
To conclude, it’s not my body – my allergic reaction to alcohol – that’s going to take me back to drinking. It’s really not my mind – the mental obsession – that is the underlying root of what will take me back to drinking. It’s the “spiritual malady”, as manifested by my EGO (selfishness-self-centeredness), that can eventually lead me back to drinking or sometimes even suicide.
 
On pages 14 and 15 Bill W. writes, “For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that.”
 
Thankfully, the “spiritual malady” is no longer a “missing piece” of Step One for me. It is a reality of my powerlessness and unmanageability and enables me to see why I so desperately need to seek a Power Greater than myself. And unless this malady is recognized, and a course of action (the Twelve Steps) is taken to enable God to remove it, the root of our alcoholic illness can lie dormant and burn us when we least expect it.
 
www.Barefootsworld.net

Questions for Journal/Working step 2

Starting with page 44 – 1. What does living life on a spiritual basis look like to you today? How has it changed from before you were sober and how has it changed while you have been sober? p.45&46

Look at areas you might not be comfortable admitting (agnosticism).

2. Do you have any honest doubts and prejudices about God or spiritual terms?

3. Do you have a particular idea of God that was impressed upon you in childhood? Did it help or hinder your belief system? Do you apply it today in your relationship with God, or did you have to abandon the idea for a new one?

p.47 – 4. What is your conception of God today? Is this different from where you started out when you got sober? Were there old ideas or prejudices you had to lay aside?

5. Have you been handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, or unreasoning prejudice when it comes to God?

p.51 – 6. Has your spiritual beliefs been fettered (hindered/held back) by superstition, tradition, or fixed ideas? (Now or in the past).

p.52 – 7. Have you relied on self sufficiency to solve your problems in the past? How did that work? How does it work relying on God to solve your problems? Are there any problems you still try to solve on your own? Are there any problems in your life you feel God cannot solve?

p.53 – 8. God either is or He isn’t. What is your choice?

p.55 – 9. How has your relationship or access to God been limited by calamity (chaos), pomp (ego), and worship of other things?

p. 55 The consciousness of your belief is sure to come to you & p. 57 He has come to all who have honestly sought Him

10. How has God revealed himself to you and how have you honestly sought him? (What is your step 2 experience)

we agnostics 4

What if God is nothing?

What if that voice in the back of your head that tells you there is no God is right?  The only thing you will ever have to help you through life is whatever power, knowledge, experience, will, etc. that you can muster up on your own.  No God.  No AA.  No power to move you beyond where you are right now except you.

What if God is everything?

What if God is everything and you miss an opportunity to tap in to an immense power that will help you with everything in your life?

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In the 1930’s, NAPOLEON HILL wrote a book called THINK AND GROW RICH.  In it, he talks about something he calls the sixth sense and he says:

“Understanding of the sixth sense comes only by meditation through mind development from within. The sixth sense probably is the medium of contact between the finite mind of man and Infinite Intelligence, and for this reason, it is a mixture of both the mental and the spiritual.  It is believed to be the point at which the mind of man contacts the Universal Mind.

Through the aid of the sixth sense, you will be warned of impending dangers in time to avoid them, and notified of opportunities in time to embrace them.  There comes to your aid, and to do your bidding, with the development of the sixth sense, a “guardian angel” who will open to you at all times the door to the Temple of Wisdom.

Whether or not this is a statement of truth, you will never know, except by following the instructions described in the pages of this book, or some similar method of procedure. [Whoopeeparty suggests the Big Book of AA’s 12 steps!]

This much the author does know-that there is a power, or a First Cause, or an Intelligence, which permeates every atom of matter, and embraces every unit of energy perceptible to man-that this Infinite Intelligence converts acorns into oak trees, causes water to flow down hill in response to the law of gravity, follows night with day, and winter with summer, each maintaining its proper place and relationship to the other. This Intelligence may, through the principles of this philosophy, be induced to aid in transmuting DESIRES into concrete, or material form. The author has this knowledge, because he has experimented with it- and has EXPERIENCED IT.”

I had to stop fighting, step off the cliff into the unknown and CHOOSE to believe there was a God.  Every time a little fear came into my head and said, there won’t be enough, you won’t make it through, you will die alone, etc…I pushed it out of my mind and said something like, “I choose to believe that God is everything.”

This was like what you hear in meetings “Fake it ’til you make it.”  I really felt like I was having to fake a belief that God is everything until eventually I really believed God was everything!

If I can tell you who and what God is, then it is not big enough to help me.  I like the description given in a book called The Shack.  Like a mother would do her child, God wants to get down on the floor and color in the coloring book with me as I babble nonsense.  God wants to experience life with me.  God nods and says “Yes!  Very Good!” every now and then to build me up and encourage the relationship.

we agnostics 5

Miracles!

Three parts of step 3

p. 26  First, AA does not demand that you believe anything.  All of its 12 steps are but suggestions.

Second, to get sober and to stay sober, you don’t have to swallow all of step 2 right now.  Looking back, I find that I took it piecemeal myself.

Third, all you really need is a truly open mind.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

4th Step Questions

SEX

12×12 p.49 Did I lust for sex?

12×12 p.43 Have I ever placed the sex desire above everything else?

12×12 p.43 Did I threaten my chance for material security?

12×12 p.43 Did I threaten my chance for emotional security?

12×12 p.43 Did I threaten my standing in the community?

12×12 p.44 Did my pursuit of sex result in my trampling upon people who happened to be in the way?

12×12 p.50 When, and how, and in just what instances did my selfish pursuit of the sex relation damage other people and me?

12×12 p.50 What people were hurt?

12×12 p.50 How badly were those people hurt?

12×12 p.50 Did I spoil my marriage?

12×12 p.50 Did I injure my children?

12×12 p.50 Did I jeopardize my standing in the community?

12×12 p.50 How did I react to these situations at the time?

12×12 p.50 Did I burn with guilt?

12×12 p.50 Did I insist that I was the pursued and not the pursuer, and thus absolve myself?

12×12 p.50 How have I reacted to frustration in sexual matters?

12×12 p.51 When denied, did I become vengeful?

12×12 p.51 When denied, did I become depressed?

12×12 p.51 Did I take it out on other people?

12×12 p.51 If there was rejection or coldness at home, did I use this as a reason for promiscuity?

12×12 p.52 What sex situations have caused me anxiety?

12×12 p.52 What sex situations have caused me bitterness?

12×12 p.52 What sex situations have caused me frustration?

12×12 p.52 What sex situations have caused me depression?

12×12 p.52 Do I lack the ability to accept conditions I cannot change?

MATERIAL/FINANCIAL SECURITY

12×12 p.43 Did I hoard money?

12×12 p.43 Did I become a miser?

12×12 p.44 Did my pursuit of wealth result in my trampling upon people who happened to be in the way?

12×12 p.51 What character defects contributed to my financial instability?

12×12 p.51 Did fear and inferiority about my fitness for my job destroy my confidence and fill me with conflict?

12×12 p.51 Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by bluffing?

12×12 p.51 Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by cheating?

12×12 p.51 Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by lying?

12×12 p.51 Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by evading responsibility?

12×12 p.51 Did I try to cover up those feelings of inadequacy by griping that others failed to recognize my truly exceptional abilities?

12×12 p.51 Did I overvalue myself and play the big shot?

12×12 p.51 Did I have such unprincipled ambition that I double-crossed and undercut my associates?

12×12 p.51 Was I extravagant?

12×12 p.51 Did I recklessly borrow money?

12×12 p.51 Was I a pinchpenny?

12×12 p.51 Did I refuse to support my family properly?

12×12 p.51 Did I cut corners financially?

12×12 p.51 Did I get involved in “quick money” deals like the stock market or races/gambling?

12×12 p.51 Did I juggle charge accounts?

12×12 p.51 Did I manipulate the food budget?

12×12 p.51 Did I gamble?

12×12 p.51 Was I irresponsible with money?

12×12 p.51 Was I wasteful with money?

12×12 p.52 What financial situations have caused me anxiety?

12×12 p.52 What financial situations have caused me bitterness?

12×12 p.52 What financial situations have caused me frustration?

12×12 p.52 What financial situations have caused me depression?

12×12 p.49 Did I eat, drink or grab for more of everything than I needed?

12×12 p.49 Did I fear I would never have enough?

12×12 p.49 Was I lazy?

12×12 p.49 Did I loaf and procrastinate?

12×12 p.49 Did I work grudgingly and under half steam?

12×12 p.52 Do I lack the ability to accept conditions I cannot change? If I am able to change something, am I willing to take the measures necessary to change them?

EMOTIONAL SECURITY

12×12 p.44 Did I make demands on others for too much attention?

12×12 p.44 Did I make demands on others for too much protection?

12×12 p.44 Did I make demands on others for too much love?

12×12 p.43 Was I determined to depend completely upon a stronger person for guidance and protection?

12×12 p.43 Did I fail to meet life’s responsibilities with my own resources?

12×12 p.43 Did I fail to grow up?

12×12 p.43 Was I disillusioned?

12×12 p.43 Did I believe myself helpless?

12×12 p.53 Did I insist upon dominating the people I knew?

12×12 p.53 Did I habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires?

SOCIETY (COMPANIONSHIP)

12×12 p.44 Did my pursuit of prestige result in my trampling upon people who happened to be in the way?

12×12 p.43 Did I attempt to rule my fellows?

12×12 p.44 Did I impose my instincts unreasonably upon others?

12×12 p.43 Did I become a recluse and deny myself both family and friends?

12×12 p.47 Did I play the big shot?

12×12 p.47 Did I harbor grudges?

12×12 p.47 Did I plan revenge?

12×12 p.49 Did I covet the possessions of others?

12×12 p.49 Did I lust for power?

12×12 p.49 Did I become angry when my instinctive demands were threatened?

12×12 p.49 Was I envious when the ambitions of others were realized?

12×12 p.53 Did I develop hurt feelings or a sense of persecution?

AA Woodstock of the South

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I think the rest of this conference, I’m going to find Sandy B. and follow him around. Be a Sandy B. groupie.
But first dinner with sponsor and friends. This is the good life!

Drunkards “Cured” in 1901

While researching my family tree, I came across an advertisement in the October 15, 1901 Atlanta Constitution that I found fascinating! The ad (pictured below) reads:

Drunkards Easily Cured

Miss Mary Roberts Wants Every Lady Reader of This Paper To Know How She Saved Her Brother.

Used an Odorless and Tasteless Remedy in His Food Quickly Curing Him Without His Knowledge.

Trial Package of the Remedy Mailed Free To Show How Easily It Is To Cure Drunkards.

The terrible evil of drunkenness has at last found a conqueror.  Miss Mary Roberts, of 1033 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, Cal., tells how she saved her brother from ruin and her words burn with a new hope to every woman who would rescue a son, brother or husband from the scourge of drunkenness.  She says:

“Yes, it is true that my brother is now a reformed man.  For years he drank only occasionally but at last he got so bad that to be sober seemed a living death to him.  After a spree he would tremble and shake and act as if he were going insane.  He would then drink sparingly, but in a few days would start off again, and I wouldn’t see him for a week.

I saw a notice in our home paper that there was a remedy called Golden Specific to be given secretly in tea, coffee or soft food and that they would send me a free trial.  I wrote for it and gave it to my brother early one morning in a cup of coffee before he had a chance to go out to get a drink.  The effect was wonderful and seemed to brace him up.  He went out and came back quite sober for him.  In the meantime I had sent for a regular treatment of Golden Specific and after using it my brother was a changed man.  Day after day, I watched and prayed and it all seemed too good to be true.  His whole manner changed.  I said nothing about the remedy I had been giving him secretly and did not talk of his being cured, but I would often tell him how happy I was and what a noble man he was to stop drinking.  He, of course, knows it all now, but his new life, prosperity, new friends and self-respect have long ago forgiven me for the way in which I saved him from a drunkard’s grave.  May every mother, sister or daughter learn from my experience is my devout hope, and in thus making public the story of our private misfortune and subsequent blessings it is my earnest desire that ever woman read in my words the way to happiness not only for herself, but for the man who is struggling with the curse of liquor upon him.  Dr. Haines, who discovered Golden Specific, is deserving of a woman’s homage, and I am glad to know that he will send a free trial remedy to every woman who writes him.

Send your name and address to Dr. J. W. Haines, 1783 Glenn Building, Cincinnati, Ohio, and he will mail the remedy to you in a plain package and thus you can begin the cure at once.  The remedy is odorless and tasteless and you need have no fear of discovery.”

So what became of this Dr. Haines and his remedy? Further research lead me to this website, where he is described thus:

In 1917 the American Medical Association denounced his remedy (by then known as “Haines’ Golden Treatment”) as “a cruel humbug.” On analysing the powders, they found them to comprise “milk sugar, starch, capsicum and a minute amount of ipecac.”

In theory, the ipecac holds promise as a cure – bung it in the guy’s whisky bottle and he might be violently sick whenever he takes a drop, thus he begins to associate drink with sickness.

There wasn’t, however, enough ipecac to make an impression beyond the normal effects of alcohol, and even if there were, the advert advises putting the remedy in the patient’s coffee – so at best it might put him (it’s always a him) off coffee.

There is something particularly sad about the fact that this remedy wasn’t aimed at alcoholics but at their families, who might invest in it a quantity of both hope and money that they could ill afford.

Other interesting links:

Dr. James Wilkins Haines ~ Quaker Physician, Minister, Educator and Spiritualist (1849-1893)

Haine’s Golden Specific

If you’re looking for a quick fix, I’m sorry to report that you can no longer get a sample of Golden Specific.  But if alcohol is your problem, not your solution like it was in my case, you are in luck!  There are still doctors looking to cure your alcohol problem:  DrinkLessNow.com.  If you’ve got a living problem like I do, I think your best bet is to get with the program.

Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet.

Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going to believe they are in that class. By every form of self-deception and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule, therefore nonalcoholic. If anyone who is showing inability to control his drinking can do the right-about-face and drink like a gentleman, our hats are off to him. Heaven knows, we have tried hard enough and long enough to drink like other people!

BB p.31, More About Alcoholism

One last thing:  Does the quote from one of the testimonies on DrinkLessNow.com make any other alcoholic out there laugh?  This sounds like a living hell!:

Alford W.’s Story:

I hadn’t gone into a bar without getting drunk for 10 years. After only three weeks of Sobrexa, I couldn’t finish a second martini… and I wanted to! I haven’t had a problem since.

Perhaps we should keep Alford W. in our prayers.

Now and then a serious drinker, being dry at the moment says, “I don’t miss it at all.  Feel better.  Work better.  Having a better time.”  As ex-problem drinkers, we smile at such a sally.  We know our friend is like a boy whistling in the dark to keep us his spirits.  He fools himself.  Inwardly he would give anything to take half a dozen drinks and get away with them.  He will presently try the old game again for he isn’t happy about his sobriety.  He cannot picture life without alcohol.  Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it.  Then he will know loneliness such as few do.  He will be at the jumping-off place.  He will wish for the end.

–          BB p.152, A Vision For You

When Love Is Not Enough

Tonight another alcoholic and I drove to Legacy at Lake Lanier Islands for AA Woodstock of the South and were delighted to see the Christmas light show on our way to the conference!

At the conference, we heard Bill & Bernadette B. of S.C. tell their alcoholic/alanon stories.  Bill told about the collection of interviews he did with Lois Wilson, whose story is told in this movie.

Bill said that Lois told him that Bill Wilson always felt like he was a failure at everything. Ha! Doesn’t God have a wonderful sense of humor?! I need to remember that next time I feel down on myself.

I had a bad drunk/relapse dream last night – I suspect as a result of my AA anniversary coming up in a few days – and had been feeling disconnected from my higher power today.  Bill B. said exactly what I needed to hear to bring me back:  Bill’s mother-in-law would annoy him when he was drinking – every time he came home drunk, she would be in the dining room with her rosary beads and prayer cards and bible.  One time he even yelled at her.  But then, after he got sober, she sat down beside him and said, “You know, when I read the bible and think about all the miracles God has performed, I’ve often wondered what it would be like to witness a miracle like that.”  Then she put her hand on his shoulder and said, “And now I have.”

Who knows what God has in store for this one of His many miracles!

Are you a miracle too?  Let me hear from you!!

Triumphant Arch

Hat tip to Friends of Bill W.  for pulling all of this together.  Early on, I became fascinated with the metaphor (I think it’s a metaphor) that runs through the Big Book relating to the construction of an arch.  I looked everywhere for this picture, Friends!  Thank you!  Thought I would share my embellishments on your work!

 

First Things First

At some point in my first week of sobriety, my sponsor had me make this list of the things I must do today to stay sober.  I like that she made it really simple, although I did not find these things to be easy.

*  Pray – on my knees! 

  • Ask for help in the morning to relieve the urge to go back to my old lifestyle of drinking and drugging
  • Thank God at night for keeping me sober that day

*  Go to a meeting

  • 90 meetings in 90 days
  • Go to a Big Book meeting and a Step meeting every week
  • Share what is really going on with me at the meeting

*  Call my sponsor

*  Call 5 sober members in recovery of the same sex

*  Help another

  • An anonymous nice thing
  • Service work at the meeting such as making coffee, wiping down counters, cleaning ashtrays
  • If someone picks up a white chip, give them my phone number and tell them how I felt on day one

*  Read literature and work steps

  • Starting with “The Doctor’s Opinion”, read the first 164 pages of the Big Book and highlight what I can relate to or what jumps out at me

*  Read Daily Reflections meditation in the morning

*  Take care of yourself!

  • Take a shower
  • Brush teeth
  • Wash face

Boat Ride at 58th GA Prepaid

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