Today I read the January 1 Grapevine which
made the important point that all are welcome
from all types of beliefs. I was pleased to see
a reference to Muslims but noticed the term
used was Mohammedans. This is not a correct
term because Islam is based on only worshipping
Allah (God) and Muhammad (peace be upon
him) is the the messenger of Allah. Islamic
teachings stress that we are judged by our
intentions and I know the intention is to
show the amazing inclusiveness of AA and
not to offend anybody. Inshallah (God Willing) many more Muslim alcoholics will find the help available in our
Quite a while back; A then, old timer said to me;" Colleen they call what your doing," playing sematics".
Explaining further to me;That I was focusing on"words" to keep myself from focusing on really important stuff like A.A.principles like steps,meetings,traditions,sharing sobriety stuff reading A.A. liturature etc.
I get it.I got it still. ( :
Yesterday (Christmas), I sat at a table loaded with good things to eat and said grace for my family . . . wife, Barbara, Step-daughter and two lovely step-grandchildren, ages 10 and 3. All of it; the table, the food, the ability to say a simple prayer, the wife, the children, are blessings of 27 years of living sober. I owe my life to AA's steps, traditions, and concepts. Thanks for the daily reminders of "what works."
Congratulations on those years of sobriety, keep it going.
At meetings I often use a borrowed statement regarding a new life in AA: "I walked through a door I didn't open." This is the reality of the program when we let go of "My Way" and seek God's way, following instructions from recovering people that have started their journey towards humility and hope.
Entering the doors of AA in 1986, I was grateful for losing the urge to drink but lacked the humility (substitute honesty) to fully appreciate the gift of sobriety and begin working the steps with my sponsor. I realized the AA folks around the table had a lot more going for themselves and others than I did. Gradually I started to relate rather than compare, picked up healthy thoughts and behaviors, and began to understand how the Big Book' phrase "exactly how we have recovered" applied to me. I needed reminders that this process wasn't all my doing like "I'm not the center of the universe any more," "I'm special," and "Me thinking about me!"
Early on, someone described a dark vision of sobriety as "a long, gray tunnel, having man holes along the way. Every year someone lowers a cake. You blow out the candles and, head down, continue along the tunnel." After 26+ years in the program, this has NOT been my experience.
Gone is the striving for success at any cost, baffling relationships, and fear of economic insecurity; plus a lot more. Although I'm an old guy, unable to function as I once did, I have hope for the future. Life is good!
If I do not bring to the hat, will be difficult to carry the message to faraway places that we can go as a group. If I do not bring to the seventh will be difficult to publish or edit our literature. If I do not bring to the seventh tough to relocate the message to hospitals, clinics, institutes, etc. It is difficult to go to distant cities where no AA groups. If I don’t bring the hat will be difficult to have an area office or an office of general services. It is too difficult to service free, but it is more difficult to service and pay the bill. I know it because my group didn´t pay the bill of the people who service into the town of Gijon.
So many of us skimp when the basket gets passed. I got sober in 1992. If I was giving a dollar then, is that still enough?......We think not. My first sponsor used to complain that he paid ten thousand dollars to a rehab to find out that AA is free. Alcoholics Anonymous is NOT free; there is no charge levied, but it does cost money to put on meetings and facilitate the service structure. If I could afford to put a dollar in the basket seven days a week when I was new, shouldn't I be putting at least 7 dollars per week in the basket now, even if I am only attending three meetings per week?
I found through research and going to Area Assemblies why I need to support my group, district, Area and the General Service Office. I also see the need for Intergroup and the services they perform. Self support is the only way to leave AA the way I found it. It expresses my gratitude in action. I believe we are not self supporting because we do not carry that message of the 7th tradition like we do 12 step work. I was totally uninformed. Thank God for Sponsorship !
I think that to talk to a newcomer and invite him to a coffe is more important than made a good speech. Last week a oldtimer said in the meeting that a lots years ago he shook hands and weeping newcomer, he told him "Don´t worry there is a solution" and the other man answered that He was crying because it was the first time in years someone was shaking hands.
Well after 8 years I relize that life will continue to create situations that require acceptance. From the people driving in the rain to the authorities in sports organizations that have their own hidden agendas. Today I believe that due to the fact I have experience with allowing people to be who they are and do what they do, life is a little easier. It seems that my initial reaction is similar to how I have always been, but I don't take actions of tongue and pen without pausing first. That is when I believe I allow God to help me thru.
Some would consider me with 28 years of sobriety an oldtimer in the program but today, I am back to basics. Steps 1, 2, and 3. I live with my eldest son Richard and his wife, Robbie. She died Dec 6 of AIDS and Hep C after 28 years of their life together. They met in their early recovery and married after she was diagnosed. He stayed with her through horrendous medical crisis and expense as she stayed with him through multiple relapses. They had a good marriage. She died after a prolonged struggle finally believing he might be alright as he had been back at daily meetings for about a week and made many promises to her.
Last night he bought a gallon of Jack Daniels and drank half of it. I thank God for my sobriety and a program of recovery that helps me understand that there is no way I can control his choices or his drinking. That the best thing I can do for him is to stay out of God's way as he works through this crisis, trusting the outcome, no matter what I hope for him. The program has given me the gift of disappointment in place of fear, compassion instead of anger, and trust in a process I will never fully understand but know in my bones works, if he will surrender to Creator's will for him. I feel grief for Robbie, sorrow, disappointment and compassion for him and great gratitude for all that the Program has given me to weather the Dark Days.
God bless you. Your comments will touch many today.
There have been dark days where a will infinitely greater than my own has been responsible for my sobriety. (Quote 7 Dec 2012)- oh boy is that true. In fact coming up for 12 years - I would say for a great number of those years/days it's only by God's grace I've got by - only recently have I realised the steps are not just steps to be done once, or even several times - but are a program for daily living!!! No doubt a slow learner!!! Geelong District (Victoria, Australia) recently celebrated it's 57th Anniversary with the theme A Way of Life - Steps 10, 11 and 12 - and listening to speakers at the main meeting, the message finally sunk in!! Maybe that's God's gift to me on my birthday (same day as Bill W - WOW!) - a daily program for living!! No doubt His will infinitely greater than my own will still serve me on those dark days when life seems to take over and I am so grateful for having God and this program in my life. For the first time someone last week asked me about sponsorship - how about that for an opening message to pass on to sponsees!!!
Although not an absolute, but individual and for the moment maybe, but the way worded in this "a ballerina"..."ever-changing" infers no foundation, no "sticking to the truth" or "this is what I believe to be the truth". A truth must sustain time, honesty and reliability.
Great comments. I agree. This was a senseless Grapevine comment. But at least it wasn't full of AA jargon; the person making this ballerina analogy was thinking creatively and originally. I don't agree this was aimed at PhDs. In fact, I wish there were more critical, original thinkers in AA.
confused more than ever. Did you ever hear ----"Keep it simple stupid" Todays quote must have been directed to PHD's
When I got here I was so dishonest that I didn't even know I was, even when I was trying to be honest. I would say to my sponsor I was confused. He said when you are confused you are being dishonest. My HP is the spirit of Truth ( another name for God)When any controversy, or decision comes up I Stop and ask myself What is the Truth. This has helped me eliminate confusion
Good point, connecting confusion with lack of truth and God as ultimate truth. Another reason to occasionally substitute "honesty" for wisdom in the Serenity Prayer.
Early in the program, I struggled with confusion for a long time. Now I realize unconsciously, I was refusing to recognize and deal with the truth. Someone told me confusion means I'm not ready to accept God's truth.
Simple but not easy. thanks this helps.
Like you when I arrived to AA I was very dishonest. My whole life was a lie, a fabercation, filled with deception and evil. It took a long time for me to make the changes as I journeded thru the steps. I was led by the greatest men in AA who showed thru example how to live the AA way of life. My life today is pretty much on AA auto pilot. When ever I have to pause to think, I always remember what I was taught--"What would the Master do or say"--My life today is filled with comfort, honesty, integrity a conscience and no handcuffs. All gifts of trying to live a sober AA way of life.
Thank you to all
Thank you AA
Thank you God.
My sponsor pounded into my head---gratitued is the attitude. Wow what a understatement. It works and keeps on working. I would like to thank all the people over all the years sober or not for all that you have contributed to my life. Every meeting, every person, every 12th step call, every retreat, every group anniversery, every AA International Concention, every bit of service work I have done even though I may not have liked it at the time. It all has contribited to my 35 years of soberity and a life so spectacular.
Thank You, All of You
If I do not want the same results, why do the same things? I was unable to drink moderately for seven years, why am I drink moderately tomorrow? I tried drinking moderately during the year and a half of my career as a drinker and not succeed. Surely I am no going to do it tomorrow, despite carrying eighteen years in the community.
I give thanks on Thanksgiving today. AA and God saved my life and for that I'm truly grateful.
I am trying but not having success...can that be success?
Hay Trying, just the fact you are trying is the miracle. Remember your worst day and look at today, thats progress. I sponsor a guy, Tommy, for a long time. He would get periods of soberity and even some times laughter. I often thought Tommy needed help beyound AA and encouraged him to see a mental health specialist. He found a good one knowledgable of AA and alcoholisem. Tommy is a different man now, every day is not a crises, life is happy and worth living.
Dont know how long you are sober or around AA but do know it is not easy in the begining. Its scary, its new, its a different world and takes time for change to be accomplished.
Speek to at least 3 alcoholics every day, make at least one meeting a day, pray every day and ask your God for the grace not drink today & do your morning readings. This is a perscription for soberity and recovery. It has been working for a long-long time, use it as perscribed.
If you want to be sober and make progress in recovery do what those who are successful and came before you did, not what you think you should do.
Good luck & God bless
Seventh Tradition represents, for me, the responsibility of a man who for the first time not devoted to order, love, affection, money, but for the first time in years, giving something. It also represents a generosity towards people who have helped me. Also represents responsibility to the group's activities.
Tradition Seven also represents freedom and independence. Freedom to make the group's services. Seventh Tradition allows us not to be outstanding from decisions of the person to give us, or does not give us a subsidy. It allows us to decide when we opened the store, if we were assigned in an institution, this is the one that decides when we open.
The seventh service allows us to do that without it we could not, if we might receive grants, would have to adjust costs to the grant that they give us, if we give it. Please give us subsidy we could not move to a neighboring town to make a public information meeting or an open meeting, we could not buy literature and would be very difficult to answer correspondence. Today, in times of crisis, there are many examples of institutions that no longer receive subsidies and reduced its activities. The amount contributed to the seventh is down, but we can be sure that while people can provide, we can keep doing our activities.
The seventh tradition is a act of responsibility of a man who was a irresponsable man for years. I usually looked for lots of things, money, love, attention. I gave for first time for years to anyone.
The seventh tradition is a garantee of freedom. It allows me make lots of services that if I depent of other people, I couldn´t made it. We can open the local from monday to sunday because we paid a rent, if we are in a local of other people we´ll made the meetings when they allow us. If we don´t practice the seventh tradition we are going several troubles to make PI because lots of people can´t going to other twon to made a open meeting or a PI meeting, and sameone aren´t going to want to do it because it is going to be too hard made it.
I drank alone because I didn´t support that anyone draw attention me because I drank too much. I like drank alone because nobody support my alcoholic way of drink. Now I am several years in AA,I have got several friends in AA and I speaks whith them every days,in the meetings and out of the meetings. I can be alone but I don´t feel alone, I can make a phone call to one of my friends in AA.
Hi my name is Mike & I am an alcoholic, I just read the article & totally understand what the person is going through. Although the big book was written by Christian people & the word God is used frequently in most AA literature. The most important thing is to remember that the big book was written by Christian people. My higher power I call God because it's easier to say then higher power. I have faith in AA & that the people here can help me stay sober & live a happy life without the use & abuse of alcohol. Sober since May 2003 seems to be working. God or Group Of Drunks help me.
Thanks for reading,
Mike N - Oshawa, Ontario
It is true. A.A.gives wisdom to know the difference between dream world and real world.
I once heard asked,"Who is more blind a blind person who can't see or a person who can see and is blind". I must have an open mind or become a blind rigid person sort of speaking. A.A. is the way to come into the now one day at a time. star
Once i realized that my way didn't work, once i looked back and saw i didn't want anymore the life i was living, the destructive life of an Alcoholic was i able to accept another way. The A.A way . Alcohol and drugs were not the answer to my internal emotional confusion and pain Alcoholics Anonymous was the cure. One day at a time i show up to grow up in the hopes of becoming a matured individual. jstar.
Machado said "the reality is what it is, even if one insists on the opposite." For many years I was determined to see things as I liked, did not accept that it is different from the way I looked. It was hard for me to assume that many of my ideas were wrong, that reality was not what I believed but something very different. I had to change a lot of my ideas that I had and that I had been useful.
"When I was drinking, I was afraid I was not achieving my potential. Now that I'm sober, I worry that maybe I am."
As I read this quote tears welled in my eyes because achieving my potential involved letting go of past relations and as I let go that old master fear wrestled with the freedom my higher power granted me through the 12 steps and the 12 traditions. Knowing my destiny and living my destiny are two different things - I took this quote from the MATRIX. The truth is I never wanted to reach my full potential because to me this meant being great and greatness is so short lived. I am greedy. I want more and more of a good thing. Suffice it to say I am moving further from self and closer to God as I understand God. I am experiencing progress, not perfection. Thank you AA. Peace
"We can, through broken anonymity, resume our old and disastrous pursuit of personal power and prestige, public honors, and money -- the same implacable urges that when frustrated once caused us to drink; the same forces that are today ripping the globe apart at its seams."
So true! This is a great message to anyone who still wonders why AA is still anonymous.
Thank you Grapvine for the daily quote and hope things are getting better for you all in New York.
Corey: You really do not seem to have an understanding
of the 12th tradition. This tradition has to do with
humility. It is not anonymity that is our safeguard. Bill
concludes that HUMILITY, expressed by anonymity, is the
greatest safeguard that Alcoholics Anonymous can ever
have. You seem to continue to preach humility. We ought
to return the practice of humility to our fellowship.
Using last names when sharing at an A.A. meeting
is to ignore this warning from our co-founder. Today's
Alcoholics Anonymous is a Fellowship of Spiritual Pride
and EGO. We must return to being a humble fellowship in
order to restore our effectiveness in working with
alcoholics approaching us. ANONYMOUS
Do we know Bill's last name? Do we know Bob's last name? Come on! Did they have no humility?
The quote is from Bill W not me. I agree that when our desires for public recognition are frustrated many of us drink.
I heard once and believe it to be true that as soon as I think I have humility, I no longer have it! You may want to meditate on that for awhile.
When Bill talks about HUMILITY, expressed by anonymity... he is talking about the level of press radio and films. If we where to be anonymous at the level of meetings, don't you think there would be a clear tradition? as stated in our aa pamphlets, each member choses for themselves how anonymous to be within the fellowship. That means you and I should not tell each other how anonymous to be(humility).
As Dr Bob is remembered saying in the AA conference approved book "Dr Bob and the Good oldtimers", the tradition states the exact extent we should be anonymous. at the level of press, radio, and films. the person who is anonymous below those leves is just a guily of breaking the tradition as the one who breaks it above.
Good luck to you and I wish you all the best in your sobriety,
Corey in Mn
Corey and ANONYMOUS,
I'm relatively new to AA (3 years), and I think we overreact to anonymity. It was perfectly relevant to Bill W. who was revered as God by some (still is). But today, unless someone is making a power grab to be a public spokesperson for AA, why is it such a big deal? The run of the mill member still will not use a last name, even on phone lists where it would be very helpful. I can understand anonymity in terms of not wanting to reveal to friends, co-workers, and family that we are alcoholics. But I think we go way overboard. Here is an example: I have a friend who is so invested in announcing her sobriety that her Facebook page is all about her involvement in AA. Violating the tradition? Dangerous? I don't think so, unless she names others who are also in AA and don't want her Facebook friends to know.
Laughter, indeed, is a gift, and so is this quotation on this particular day -- many thanks!
If you want to hear God laugh....tell him YOUR plans
I use that was not a sick man to apologize and apologize for all the mistakes and misdeeds that by and did when I drank. I use the excuse that it was an ill to be condescending to my shortcomings. All my mistakes are my responsibility because I was the one who was wrong and who was drunk. Now try not to hurt anyone or wrong, now I try AMEND when I'm wrong. Now I responsible when I do things.
love this quote...I would have to add "try to" give it to the best of my ability, because I am pretty sure I'm not that good.
Love is a state of mind, and to prove it we make loving gestures. Because "love isn't love until you give it away"!
I would like to recieve them
love the post today. It reminds me, and I need reminding, that those daily inventories keep me balanced, staying right sized, wearing life like a loose garment. Humility.
Thanks for being here!
I love the QOD from our good Doctor Silkworth!! I really get tired hearing people justify their behavior and feelings because they are an alcoholic! One point of the program is for us to change these things, not continue in our old ways. And in the end, we are humans, and will never be perfect. But let us not use our alcoholism as an excuse to not become better. We are not Saints, and neither are we unique to the human race. Thank you Dr, and thank you God. And thank you Grapevine for this wonderful forum.
Isnt that the truth!! Although I have learned that, for me, a small period of bitching time is needed to vent and get ready to accept, or change. Sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes 10 hours, but if I don't acknowledge that I feel it sucks, the action step takes twice as long, and rarely works. Notice it, feel it, then move on: that's my technique for life on life's terms.
IT IS HARD TO TO HAVE AN OPEN MIND WITH A CLOSED MIND. THOSE WHO SHARE CONSTANTLY MIGHT CONSIDER LISTENING MORE AND THOSE THAT ARE AFRAID TO SHARE MIGHT CONSIDER BECOMING VULNERABLE BY SHAREING A LITTLE. JSTAR
I FIND IT'S A BALANCE. YES HAVE AN OPEN MIND, THOSE WHO SHARE A LOT COULD CONSIDER LISTENING MORE AND THOSE THAT ARE AFRAID TO SHARE COULD CONSIDER LEARNING TO BECOME VULNERABLE BY SHAREING A LITTLE AT A TIME .