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 .
When I first saw the steps, 3 in particular, I thought it a list of Dos and Don'ts. Robbing me of my freedom. Making me 'stupid boring and glum'.In the years since they have been the gateway to my true self. Individuality and freedom have actually increased as I apply these principles in all my affairs.
When I arrived to AA I tried impress to the people. I tried said a very important things and said a very intelligent things. All this made that I did not start my recover for several month. When I talked about my experience with the alcohol, my family, my work, I started my recover.
When I talked with a sponsor about my defects of character, I discover that I had a lots of fears, that I did not know dealing with people. I cost a lot dealing with people, but I don´t injure people now. I have fears but I try don´t be afraid.
When I stated to make service without to impress to anyone I discovered that I can made a good service. When I stated to give a answer without impress anyone I discovered that I can give a answer.
I love this saying, it reminds me that when I focus on the goodness of God, every fear and doubt disappears as a byproduct. So I don't fight my alcoholism, I just focus on God and the drinking problem is removed as a by product. This is why Bills answer to everything is always "more spiritual development". 12x12 page 114 P3. But when we are wiling to place spiritual growth first--then and only then do we have a real chance.
I make mistakes every days and now I can rectify and say "I´m sorry". I try rectify my mistakes when I know that I made it. When I was a drunk I think that I didn´t make a mistake, and when anyone made a error I was never a guilty.
When I drank too the barman was the guilty because he lived for drunks. When I didn´t go to school, the teacher was the guilty because he hated me. I drank because my family misundertood me, I drank becuase people didn´t want stay whith me. I drank to celebrate that I pass the course, and I drank becouse I had had a problem at the work, but I was never the guilty.
when I was three years in AA I made the eightth step I said I´m sorry to same people that I had damaged them. Since this moment I have tried rectify my mistakes when I know that I made it.
I can say nonsense for two hours, but that does not get the message. when people hear me say things consistent, I see me behave properly and dress looks good, then I'm taking the message.
The things that Bill writes is the way he keeps things simple.
I only can resolver my troubles today. I can´t resolve yesterday´s troubles because yesterday is not here yet. I only can resolve tomorow´s traoble when they came. I should resolve today´s troubles.
For years I and my family remember the yesterday´s problems, sametimes circunstances of several years ago, but we achieved only suffer further, I must learned to forget.
For years I thinking abaut future´s problems but sametimes the problems don´t came, and sametimes the problem was easier than I think, but always I couldn´t make anything before the moment whith the problem came.
When I meet AA I Recived any more important than a word, I recived a hope menssage. I have a solution for my trouble if I want use it. I met people who could practice this solution and had a new life.
"I do not agree that the newcomer is the most important member at any meeting ... Equally important are those old-timers who showed me the way, and any middle-timer who may be today suffering. If newcomers are indeed the lifeblood of AA, old- and middle-timers are its skin and backbone."
New York, N.Y., June 1970
From: "Fifth Tradition"
I Am Responsible: The Hand of AA
Here Here!!! I am in agreement with this quote. When I was new, the old-timers said to me, "Take the cotton out of your ears and stick it in your mouth." This is part of my story, and although I was not to happy with hearing that, I got the message to listen. After all, my best thinking got me here.
I agree that the newcomer should listen & learn. I also agree that the only wrong question is the one unasked!