Moment of Clarity
this is true, you are right in what you say. and for some reason I want to say "sir". I don't know why but I feel like you're a man. You need to look at the man in the mirror and realize that it was you who did what you did, and you can pull yourself out of it, with the Help of God. Yes, He is there, He is alway with you. God bless and may you see the promises of A.A. in your life. Thanks for reading, Heather
I am a big book recovering alcoholic and I love this thought.
THE WILL OF GOD, ONCE FOLLOWED, WILL NERVER LEAD ME TO A PLACE WHERE THE GRACE OF GOD WILL NOT PROTECT ME.
Iam living that right now as my whole sober life got turned around and I landed in a place thats safe, 15 minute walk to an AA group called good morning god. Miricales happen even if you dont ask for one.
I live here in Northwestern Pa. I looking for real AA meetings, Not these Drug and Alcohol meetings that are in this area. So please help. Z
The first meeting I attended almost 34 years ago included people identifying themselves as having problems with drugs other than the drug ethanol. Same with the last meeting last week and almost every one in between.
What exactly is it you think you will gain?
Great News for You.
GSO will be happy to send you a package to start whatever kind of pure AA group you want. Just add a coffee pot and you are set. That's exactly how the 64,000 plus groups in the US and Canada did it.
Z. I am looking for the same thing here in Connecticut.
When you find one, post the address here. I am willing to
I am a "pure and respectable" alcoholic. As such, I have nothing in common with the "addict" or "drugaholic," at least in terms of how my alcohol addiction manifested itself, and other minor details regarding the path and rate of my descent. The solution, however, is the same once I am able to put down the drink (or drug): I go to meetings to be reminded not to ingest anything that allows me to escape from life, from my troubles, from my emotions, as well as to learn how to deal with life on life's terms. I therefore find meetings not based on whether there are "others" besides alcoholics present, but rather based on whether the people there talk about the solution: how they get through the day without getting drunk or high regardless of what curves life may throw their way. As my favorite quote suggests: "We cannot tell what may happen to us in the strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us - how we can take it, what we do with it - and that is what really counts in the end. How to take the raw stuff of life and make it a thing of worth and beauty - that is the test of living."
ardest thing i did was yesterday.
ahhh i like that!! you're an overcomer! Heather
The pink cloud changed into real feelings. The steps helped me to walk through those feelings.
I’ve noticed the ever growing number of cupcake stores. Anyone else? Seems like they are on almost every corner. I’ve finally learned why and of all places on this message board! They are the home of the New AA Lite. When groups take out the objectionable material like the steps and big book beating and that God business, that’s what’s left, cupcakes! Eat up!
The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, the entire program, is offered to those who suffer.
It is offered in a suggestive manner. A suggestion is only the introduction of
an idea: a hint. We offer it. If they want it, they are welcome to try what worked for us.
Most of the drinking alcoholics I have met have a rebellious nature. So we do not give them anything to rebel against. Offer the new prospect a copy of the Big Book, and if they have any
interest they can read it. Don't tell them they must read it. Don't tell them they have to
read it to get sober or to join A.A. There are no musts in A.A. I believe if we can study
and employ this method, we can restore A.A. to an acceptable success rate. Our success rate
for the past twenty years has been zero. What do we have to lose? ANONYMOUS
While reviewing how to carry the message, particularly in meetings, I highlighted thirteen sugggestions in the chapter Working With Others.
You seem to suggest one is enough. I think the newcomer is worth all thirteen. Perhaps you could read what AA has found that works before trying to write your own.
Another benefit of this study revealed to me that your zero success rate is really "Rarely have we seen a person fail.."
Fortunately for me, I was able to obtain a college degree before my alcoholism sent me running to AA. I’m not willing to write off the thousands less fortunate with difficulties reading by telling them here it is and throwing them a book. There are some very smart people that have difficulty reading. Our delegate from a few years ago told how an in depth big book study retreat gave his recovery a tremendous boost simply because everything was spoken aloud. He was able to deal with his reading problems AFTER he got sober.
Thankfully your speaker knows what he is talking about ! Many people have learning disabilities, and deserve recovery just as much as other people. Remember too that it was the one on one contact, a close community, and verbal communication of the steps that got the first real members of AA sober. They did not have a book - nor did they need one. Many people today find that weekly attendance at Big Book and 12 and 12 meetings where the books are read out loud made ALL the difference !!! Please support literature meetings- and invite newcomers to meet you there !!!
It seems to me that there is almost an overemphasis on using the Big Book these days. When I came to AA I couldn't read, was homeless, and had been committed to an institution. My sponsor told me to go to meetings and listen. When I tried to read my mind was so darkened and confused that by the time I got to the end of a sentence I would forget the beginning. I didn't know how to spell alcoholic.
Gradually I cleared up. I read the big book. I now work as a teacher and have a Masters degree. The Third Tradition states that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. I get the sense from some members (the recovery Taliban) that we are also required to study and apply first 165 pages of the BOOK to our lives just as they do. According to their standards, the 29 years of sobriety God and AA have given me don't count. In humility, love, and hope I believe they do.
I got sober with an AA group that was very strict about using the BIG Book as a guide and diligently undertaking and continuing the steps. I feel unbelievably grateful that I was instructed by people who would might strike you as the AA Taliban. We called them, affectionately, Big Book Nazis. Being part of AA requires only a desire to stop drinking certainly. But the most powerful part of the program is the transformation that people undergo, and the only way to do that is to rely heavily on the Big Book and take the steps seriously. The transformation at first is from a drinker to non-drinker. As time passes, AA members who follow the Big Book and the steps change from unquiet, troubled, deeply anxious and often destructive people into happier and more loving souls. That's the part you miss if you use AA just to stop drinking and not to change, and it's why the hard part of the program -- the book and the steps -- is so important.
We have a great group of diviservied alcoholics who get to meetings in small town collaborations. Unfortunately there are some who have stomped all over the rest of the majority with Big Book steps that seemed troubled and defiant of the others to just be there, even without their books. This has aileniated the communications to be open and fruitful. We all know the steps are important and follow the long journey with multiple meetings a week. Yet these isolating individuals are a thorn, making some previous groups now uncomfortable to be with.
lets remember it's the message, not the messenger.
what has happened in AA is strange. when did using the book alcoholics anonymous from which the fellowship took its name become wrong? what's even stranger is other fellowships are having great success using the big book as their program. google cocaine anonymous, all addictions anonymous, eaters anonymous, or opiates anonymous. those fellowships are all using the big book as their basic text. why has the big book become taboo in AA? My guess is there are members of AA expressing opinions about the big book without having experience with using the big book. My home group uses the big book as the basis for the meeting. the group is sucessful, meaning newcomers come, do the work because we are, and become happy, joyous, and free. we would be fools not to follow the books design for living.
Personally, I consider the book Alcoholics Anonymous to
be the second greatest story ever told. I have not heard
or read any messages that anyone has labeled the Big Book
as taboo. I consider it a story book. You say it is a
work book. We each have the freedom to use at we please.
I do not push it on anyone. But our difference is that I
offer the Big Book in a suggestive manner. We don't seem
to have the same understanding of the meaning of suggestion.
I find that alcoholics have a defiant nature. If we do not
offer them anything to reject, they will stay with A.A.
If we make demands of them they leave and may never come back. Suggestions are not directions.
How successful are those other twelve step programs?
Really? IMO, the solution offered to Bill W. by Dr. Silkworth will work when all else fails. ANONYMOUS
in the spring of 1935
Yes, there are those of us who have been sober a while in AA (20+ years) who have never been all that much of a worshipper of the Big Book (12&12? Yes. Big Book? Not so much.) I find your statement "the only way to do that is to rely heavily on the Big Book..." a bit extreme. Only? Sorry, not my experience. I have a bigger Big Book and it's called the Bible - works for me just fine.
When I read the words "There is a Solution" - my Hope turned into Faith. That Faith has sustained me for 26 years.
I new to the world of sobriety, I have 27 days sober today!!! What a day to remember as it means to you, I was sitting around in the detox center three weeks ago, homeless and beat. I was wondering what has become of my life? Is this what was meant for me? I never wanted to be an alcoholic. but somewhere I was consumed in the whirlwind of this mental defect.
But it occurred to me that no one was putting me here but me. No one told me to drink all that I did for so many years. I decided to let god into my life. that day, I kneeled down and gave myself to the will of god. and I heard a voice say to me " what took you so long" I was neglecting my will. god wasn't punishing me for the sin I had been living, we was welcoming me back into his will,
So today I sit in a rehab sober and grateful.
your comment was very uplifting to read, as i am now 30 days sober. I still cannot believe I could ever go for any stretch of time without force. My sobriety is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I am finding strength I never knew I had, as I have been faced with the near death of my husband--and still maintained my sobriety. Letting go and letting God has changed my life into a miracle.
9 years 8 months of total sobriety...ain't it great!!!
I've had more moments of clarity as the years of sobriety accumulate.
The latest? Well, after being laid off in 2009, I experienced intense rejection and hate toward me as I struggled with so many different jobs at my age.
I started to retaliate and was angry for quite some time. But now, I've had a moment of "clarity". Since it feels so terrible to be rejected and hated, what good does it do to spread that virus around? It does nothing to solve it, make me healthy, or create harmony. So, I've decided in a moment of lasting clarity that I will simply not hate or reject anyone.
I may disagree with them, but I will NOT hate or reject them.
These moments of clarity are not restrictive, but rather liberating.
And liberation is what gives us true inner freedom.
So, sometimes we must suffer to have a moment of clarity followed by liberating thought and action.
Nuff said: Sounds like you are getting a glimpse of
that vital ingredient, humility. Stay away from alcohol.
Stay real close to the fellowship. There are millions
in the same boat, alcoholics and non alcoholics. As difficult as it is to believe, God is still in charge.
I have a friend who is waiting for a lung transplant.
He was baptized last night. He says that he is not
dying, but wants to be ready. He is at peace. He made my day brighter. ANONYMOUS
Hi, I'm fairly new to the program, almost 7 months in. I've been working on letting go of some issues and resentments from my childhood. I was abused and mistreated and have held on to the resentment and anger for decades. I have not been able to forgive or forget the way that I was treated and I feel living the victim role has played a big role in my alcoholism. In working the steps and participating in the program, I've made a lot of progress. I'm also discovering my spiritual side, which was pretty much in a coma. I had an aha moment, where I thought of the movie, the Labarynth, with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. Towards the end of the movie, Sarah, played by Jennifer Connelly declared to the Goblin King, played by David Bowie that "you have no power over me", therefore defeating him and taking away his power, gaining victory and her Brother's safe return. The moral to the story was that it was all in her mind and soon as she realized this and cast him out, declaring he had no power over her.... He no longer did. I guess it was a moment where all of the work I've been doing became so clear and simple. The people that hurt me in my childhood have no power over me anymore. I choose who I am now and how I live my life and that statement is very liberating and freeing! AA has really opened me up to a spiritual side of myself that I've denied for so long and I'mextremely thankful.
Wow. You told my story. I am only a few weeks off alcohol and struggling with prescription meds still. I had a moment of clarity when I realized the people who abused me don't care and I have sabotaged my entire life trying to be believed and understood. I just turned into a bratty victim. Thanks for helping me put this into words.
Moments of clarity are nice, I hope they are glimpses of what life is going to be like once I have constant clarity. I empathize with you regarding false powers holding people back. They seem like legitimate reasons of why things aren't going your way but the future isn't written. Just because life sucked because of it it doesn't mean it has to keep ruining things.
forgive: to give up resentment of or claim to requital for
resentment: feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury, ew-living anger.
I'm now quick to deal resentments. Why would I provide free rent in my head for people I dislike?
Forgiveness does not mean I need to start liking the person, although I may. Nor does it mean trusting some who have proven untrustworthy.
Welcome and it sounds like you're on a good track.
I had ridden everything in my life to the edge of a cliff, job, finances, legal problems, out of friends, etc. I had spent six weeks reading the Big Book, going to meetings, and drinking. I woke up after a brutal, blackout weekend too sick to go to work. I stood in my dirty apartment and told myself, "My life sucks, and it is just going to get worse if I keep on drinking." Detox and AA recovery followed. The idea of the progressive nature of alcoholism, and personal powerlessness, finally sunk in. That was my moment of clarity.
Bill:Did you hear about the about the recovering alcoholic that went back to law school?
Bob: Ya, I heard he just passed the bar.
After 18 years in these rooms I often dont see the same AA I knew. The ' bottoms' of many are a joke. In Palm Beach their bottom was the 2 million they lost and only had 5 million left in their trust fund, please. The rooms seem to be populated by lightweights today- if you swear or speak bluntly they look at you like your the anti christ. I had a guy brag to me he had 2 years sobriety and had been on antibuse the whole 2 years- whats that? It aint AA- but he gets a clap on the back and a ' group hug' Thank God there are still ' cottage meettings ' out there
Many bottoms,are different.My 6 dui was not my bottom.Only when i lost my SOUL.It can be lost with 5 million in your pocket.
Hardest things for an alcoholic to do - admit he needs help and two ask for help.
Easiest thing in the world to do - stop taking a pill.
Someone wants to take antibuse to help combat those out of nowhere impulses (Bill's Armistice day drunk) more power to them. When he is sharing the road with my kids or anybody elses kids or anybody, I don't care how he keeps sober as long as he does.
You don't like meetings in Palm Beach go to Detroit, they didn't put glue in your chair did they?
Good judgment comes from experience, and experience....well that comes from poor judgment.
Great quote! I'm wondering why my judgment remains questionable since I've had lots of "experience", i.e. poor decision-making!!! Oh, wait, I've got an alcoholic mind. Still do after many years in recovery.
"...that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself that will solve your problem."
Alcoholics Anonymous p45.
Instead of the religious war mongering H.P by way of surrendering advisers imposes on others , I found within a loving and caring God that I “FREELY ACCEPTED”. Thank God that he himself is an un interpreted version. Acceptance and surrender are opposites, Take a closer look you don’t have to be bludgeoned into it religiously again
I surrender to the fact that my way doesn't work the twelve steps do. God provides acceptance.
If I had the capacity to simply dial in as much acceptance as I please I never would have felt the urge to escape into oblivion.
Towards the end of my first year sober I took a job at a ski resort and did a lot of outside physical work in a mountain environment. An old friend who worked at an outdoor clothing company heard about this and offered to send me a sampling of their latest gear if I'd try it out and report back. I was particularly looking forward to putting their state of the art rain jacket and pants to the test.
A box arrived about a week later filled with everything I had requested except the rain pants. I began to wonder (obsess might be a better word) did she not have my size, was there another box on the way, would it be bad form for me to call and ask why no rain pants.....during a run later that day in a place known as "Bum Jungle" with those thoughts still running through my mind, I had the sudden realization that I was thinking not about the 10 things I'd received but about the one thing that was missing. I realized that this was how I'd always thought and this was how I lived my life, in a constant state of want or need; always focusing on what was wrong or what was missing instead of what I had.
This realization hit me like a bolt of lightning and I fell to my knees right there in Bum Jungle. I thanked my HP for all of the gifts I'd received including my new job and the clothes and vowed to focus on and be grateful for the gifts. This was a major turning point of my sobriety. Once this pattern of thinking had been revealed to me, it became much more difficult to give it power.
I should mention here that I doubt this realization would have hit me if I had not already made a habit of taking inventory through the steps. I believe that the practice of the steps helped open my mind to this awakening and helped me see it as a gift of sobriety.
#13 "Again the 24 hour book" from January*
Yes,Kudos ! This person is 100% correct.Don't read non A.A. literature/books included, at A.A. meetings!
Since the 70's I've attempted to bring this point out a few times. Hot heads attacked me. I was weak. Healthier and stronger and more mature now, thank you to A.A.years of growth....This person has me ready to broach and pursue the campaign again. THANX !
At a meeting recently the non-conference approved
literature and books were displayed on separate tables
from approved material.
They see nothing wrong with that. The group conscience
(I don't know how informed they were) approved it. Is it
wrong? Doesn't every group have the right to be wrong?
For me it gets a little confusing. IMO, non-approved
material ought not be displayed at all in an A.A.
meeting room. ANONYMOUS
Each group is autonomous...meaning, it's ien sovereign entity. Beholden to none, but it's members. Furthermore, the term "conference approved" simply indicates that AA World is the publishing house that produced that piece of literature. It is not, as many mistakenly think, an implication of the existence of "dis-approved" literature.
That moment came a long time after getting sober and "coming back" for a while.If your new to this way of life,stick around for a while and see what happens. Don't leave "before the miracle happens". It took a while before I understood what " you can't think your way into better living, you have to live your way into better thinking" means. Maybe i'm slow , but slows good sometimes. Where else is a drunk like me got to go?
GRAPEVINE-The problem and solution “As Elliot sees it”
The Grapevine has been part of my life since I entered an inpatient treatment center 25 years ago and read some of one while sitting in a chair detoxing in the social area. It again showed up on a table at the AA group I started to attend at 40 days sober. I read more and have continued to enjoy and use the Grapevine to help me maintain my spiritual condition. My home group now has 5 subscriptions plus the 1 where I work and now the one I get where I live serve to keep me current with the stories, Victor E. and all other categories of information.
I have also read the 7 articles Bill W. wrote for the Grapevine about the Grapevine in Language of the Heart and he makes quite clear what his vision for “our meeting in print” is. In June 1944 he wrote “now comes another lighted lamp-this little newspaper called the Grapevine. May its rays of hope and experience ever fall on the current of our AA life and 1 day illumine every dark corner of this Alcoholic world.” In July 1945 he wrote “the Grapevine is self supporting now and should be kept that way always, rather than be dependent on subsidies or gratuities to insure its continuity, quality and service.” In 1946 he wrote “Dr. Bob and I hope that AAs everywhere will feel it to be their newspaper…that the Grapevine will presently take its place in the minds of all AAs as one of our essential central services….”. In 1950 he wrote “This is a plug for the Grapeviners and all their works. May they live long and prosper.” In 1957 he wrote “What do you think the Grapevine and all their works would like from you and me? Of course pieces contributed, sure, send them in, they chorus. Subscriptions? Here they brighten way up and say “Brother, now you’re talking.” In June of 1959 he said on the Grapevine’s 15 anniversary, “on this happy occasion I send my warmest affection to Grapevine readers and staff alike. May GOD prosper the Grapevine always.”
I have been disappointed to see how the Grapevine continues to lose money, except for last year, and have often wondered what the problem could be. I have read with interest many explanations and all seemed reasonable until I started to really study its history.
Whenever I study the history of some aspect of AA I first go to the Advisory Actions and there is where I began to see what the problem is and what the solution could be. The 1st thing I noticed is beginning in 1954 an Advisory Action started:
1. The Delegates on their return incorporate in their report on the Conference the suggestion that each group appoint a Grapevine reporter who will be responsible for subscriptions and bulk orders and who will encourage members to submit articles and stories.
2. That each delegate contact those groups in his Area which do not have the Grapevine available at its meetings and draw their attention to the importance and advantages of obtaining copies for the group either through monthly or yearly bulk orders and
3. The delegates emphasize the value of the Grapevine to the individual member.
The essence of this Advisory Action was restated in 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1988 and then there is no mention of the Delegates focusing their attention to and on the Grapevine until 2010 when a survey was recommended in order to reach the broadest spectrum of the fellowship on the Grapevine.
In 1972 the Advisory Action stated “Retiring delegates continue their service to AA by acting as Grapevine Reps in their Areas “ and in 1977 that “Delegates be responsible for establishing Area Grapevine Committees using the Area and District service structure to achieve the goal of a Grapevine Representative in every group.” In 1990 and 1991 I observed our Area 25 Delegate choose an Area Grapevine Chairperson who followed the Grapevine Workbook suggestions from the outset and increased subscriptions about 1500 in 2 years.
I am also aware that one of the duties of the Delegate, (pg. S48), is to remind GSRs to inform groups and individuals about the AA Grapevine and conference approved literature and also that Past Delegates be responsible to urge more widespread distribution of Conference approved literature and the AA Grapevine. ( pg. S47).
When I was new in AA, problems concerning our fellowship would come up and some members in response would come up with some great idea to solve same and then a long timer would stand up and say “My experience is that the solution is communication and all we need to do is make a concentrated effort by all involved to let people know of the problem” and they will come through” and I have seen this work over and over again.
I brought the last 2 items up to a Trustee and he inferred the “Delegates don’t take older Advisory Actions seriously and there is not a Guideline for the Grapevine because some feel the Grapevine is not AA. I was at the SW Regional Forum in Oct. of 2011 and listened to a Past Trustee blame the DCMs for the lack of Grapevine support. Yet if you read the Service Manual there is nothing stated in the DCM duties that he should be sure to have an active District Grapevine Rep nor does it state in the GSRs duties that they should have an active Group Grapevine rep. I was happy to see that this might be changing with respect to the GSR but what about adding similar language to the DCM duties so we have some consistency throughout the structure. *
So, as in most cases the problem is selfishness as it applies to any past Delegate who is not following through on the Advisory Actions that they voted on or his duties as described in the Service Manual and the solution is to take the actions suggested. If 93 Delegates and Past Delegates would do this it is my belief and experience that the Grapevine would always be self supporting and could pay for any losses still being incurred by La Vina.
I was asked to be the Grapevine Rep for Area 25 District 10 and I plan to follow the wonderful Grapevine Workbook we have, all 80 pages of it, and we will see what happens.
Yours in the Spirit of Sacrifice
*I was happy to read in the General Service Conference Final Report-2012 the recommendations and suggested considerations from the Grapevine Committee as stated on pages 57 and 58.
I am a snow bird in Fl attending over 300+ meetings annually for a few years. I am curious as to the defination of "a member of the group" and who is included and how one joins. I do have a sponsor in each location and have a home group. I do attend the monthly business meetings where all are welcome,speak,chair,greet, participate,sponsor,etc. Thank you, Don
In my experience and the third tradition, you're an AA member if you say you are, and your home group(s) are your home group(s) if you say they are as well. There are no qualifications or approvals to be met other than the desire to stop drinking... and to be a "part of"
I had turned to drinking/ drugs so early in life that I didn't learn to let the shock of a problem move through me and subside long enough to realize that it wasn't the end of the world. I had forgotten how to function without it. Oddly enough the challenges that used to turn me to escape now strengthen my resolve & run me away from danger. My former "fiancee"(5 years) wouldn't accept my new found strenghts and was really close to inspiring a relapse by seeing my former old helpless 1st step person when I may look the same but I'm different. He'd say go run out and get drunk, that's what you do, thanks to the 2nd step, No, I don't! Thank you very much, AA! I'm not the helpless victim, & I haven't been for 1 year and 2 1/2 months. I know that I can still be tempted but I distance myself from those who need me in a state that's easier to control or more comfortable to them for whatever reason. The urge to show him & prove the newer, healthier me is being replaced by the desire to be the newer & better person. And, of course, the desire to help someone else's recovery.
I have been quite pleasantly surprised by something that was hurled as an insult becoming a moment of clarity in the end of a strange realationship that was just as self-destructive as drinking.
Today, I don't automatically drink & for me it's escape from a horrible trap.