Burning Desire to Share

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Joined: 2009-08-28

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Joined: 2014-03-31
Gratitude on Thanksgiving

Developing an attitude of gratitude was a huge part of the spiritual awakening that came to me through working the steps of AA. Learning how to take inventory and observe myself helped me see that I tended to focus on what I DID NOT have, what was wrong in my life and what I needed. AA helped me learn to see what I HAVE.

The awakening hit in my second year of sobriety when I was out for a run on a rainy day in an area known as "bum jungle". It was a spectacular trail along a lake that paralleled some railroad tracks. Earlier that day, I had received a box of foul weather gear from a friend who worked at an outdoor clothing company. She'd asked me to test it out and report back. As I ran, all I could think about were the rain pants that had not been in the box. I wondered if she'd forgotten them, if they didn't have my size...and I vowed to call her as soon as I returned home.

Suddenly it struck me like a shot of lightning. I was not thinking about or grateful for the 10 things I'd received; instead I was totally focused on the one thing that was missing. I fell to my knees right there along the RR tracks in bum jungle, admitted to my HP what an ungrateful clod I was and asked for help in being able to see and appreciate the many gifts I'd been given.

I wish I could say I've been forever grateful since that day. Unfortunately, I still lapse into my old attitude. Thankfully, because of AA, I am able to quickly readjust my vision and attitude when the blindness strikes.

My old sponsor, Big Bob, used to say that he never saw a grateful AA get drunk. It's been working for me. Thanks Big Bob and AA.

Joined: 2014-11-24
20 year retread

Hi folks.

New to the grapevine online, and once again back in aa.
In and out for 20 years. At one time I had 9 years of sobriety. Of course, I never got a sponsor, never worked the steps, never changed my attitude/behavior. Subsequently, I drank again.

I went back out in April of '06, and been back and forth ever since.
I hate this.

Even when I did get a sponsor this last February, I started to do the work, made some progress, felt a little better. That was good.

But when I feel better, I begin to forget the pain. So after 5 months I went out...again. Now I'm coming back...again. I've made plans to stay on the path, but that's all I've ever done was make plans (can anyone relate?).

I'm sick of this. I've been told by many folks in aa that I know what to do, but I never seem to follow through.

I just want to be well adjusted and live a good life.

Thanks for listening.

Chris c.
Leominster, MA

RE-Been there and appreciate the honesty

Well since you asked, “Sit down and shut up. Listen. Act like you don’t know anything. Please remember you just know a bunch of talk. The ego likes to talk; recovery comes from the wisdom obtained by wearing out our shoes.” Often retreads have mental and emotional problems that are beyond what we do in the rooms. Many alcoholics have childhood trauma or PTSD from military service. Seek a psych evaluation and be honest. If you have another addiction then face-up to it.
There is a reason why you are relapsing and it’s your responsibility to figure out why and when you do share it with a newcomer. I’d wish you luck but, luck has nothing to do with recovery.

Friendly reminders

The twelve steps were a guideline establish by some loving thoughtful people quite some time ago. Bill. W.

Those guidelines are there to help focus on a way of clearing out the guilt. Shame. And. Remorse for the actions of someone Under the influence of alcohol And those steps are there to.help a person Get on and create new traditions and customs that can create happy peaceful and contentment. In changing the traditions and customs you acquired from your parents friends or community. One of the added steps I would amend into the process of the twelve steps is to clearify the physical well being when you remove poison from your body after the body has been removed of toxins. (Detoxed). I have seen many come to. Aa. Who. Need. Extra guidance in establishing a permanent understanding that they do not want to put any poisonous substance that harms and killsThe organs in the body. Or harms them. I understand the confusion and why people go back to researching and exploring these customary and traditional practices advertised each and every way. Be thankful if your still breathing and all your body organs are intact and functioning or healing. As alcohol has taken. Too many humans and destroyed their rights of health. Happiness and peace.

Easy does it. But do it

So you say your an addict. And it's hard to quit And your life is full of confusion and sorrow as you struggle with the grip. And I say. Not true. And you say. But ...but . And I say tut tut. It's about time to come true. And listen. To what I have to say It might lighten the load you carry near , Of Guilt and shame that's hard to bear . YOUR TRADITIONS or CUSTOMS. might kill you today. Yea. Your traditions and customs might kill you today. Your traditions and customs might kill you today and leave those that love you in dismay. So. Stop and think before you step in line to copy your parents your family, your friends That have lost their Minds and follow traditions and customs galore that bring sickness And sorrow and so much more. Your traditions and customs might kill you today. Your traditions and customs might kill you today Leaving your loved ones in pain and sorrow hoping that some GOD doesn't take them tomorrow. Traditions and Customs Did not come from the heavens above where our satelites with cameras can now No they came from mankind , our neighbors, our friends with the hopes that someone might stop and share a moment of laughter and some good cheer. And sit in. But I tell u the truth. And truth u will know. That some of your traditions and customs it's best to let go And create some new ones that will help you live longer with the freedom from the guilt and the pain that some wise person tells you to dredge on in your addiction that is not really there . The pain that you feel , the tiredness too is your bodies way of telling you to Stop and rest from your practices you do , , change your consumption of things that are bad and kill the body organs and turn you blue. Traditions and customs. Might kill you today. So leave them behind. And start some. New. With love to all the confused , Broken. And unloved.
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Joined: 2014-03-31

Welcome back, Chris. Certainly working the steps and applying them in all my affairs is a key component to sobriety. But the goal of all that is to have a spiritual awakening. A big part of my spiritual awakening was learning to give back through service to others.

My wife struggled with relapse early on and found that adding a service component to her program did the trick. We both belong to an AA home group that hosts a noon meeting daily. That provides lots of opportunities for service (setup, coffee, snacks, money, H&I, CP CPI, GSR, Alt GSR, Secretary, Treasure....) We attend our group business meeting monthly and rotate through the service positions.

It's nice to be a part of something that can help save a life during lunch hour.

New and God Befuddled

Many people tell me recovery is about establishing a God relationship. I’ve already have had a continuous one since childhood and became an alcoholic anyways. My temp sponsor suggested I have the wrong God. That’s foolish thinking to blame my misfortune on the god of my upbringing. We aren’t puppets on a string. It’s difficult to sit in the rooms and listen to people describe “their” version of god. How many gods are there? I thought there was only one god. Some guy told me his god is a “Goya Bean Can.” Another guy said his god was “Group of Drunks” How can the god I believe in, the creator of the universe be reduced to a can of beans or a group of drunks? It seems silly to worship a bunch of beans or drunks. It’s confusing enough listening to people talk about their god like he or she is Santa Claus; or a loving god that forgives and leads me away from temptation reflected in the closing prayer. I don’t get it but, I don’t want to drink anymore. I’ve accepted that I have medical condition described as the disease of alcoholism and a brain disorder, which severely damaged my mind and organs not to mention family and job. And it’s clear if I drink again I will die. I was told to keep an open mind in the beginning but it’s not easy. It would be easier for me if people in my group would focus more on helping alcoholics and then twisting people’s arms to believe in Gods. I feel more people would be helped. Although I am new I see the revolving door of people that get turned off by the God stuff. They go out and I never see them again. I’m lucky because I don’t have that problem; in my case it’s getting used to be around too many gods and with bizarre origins at that. My new sponsor suggested I write this so I listened.
God Befuddled in Recovery-land.

That God thing

The 1st meeting I came to in AA was a "God" meeting. I wondered why they weren't talking about alcoholism. What did God have to do with this? Many times I would have to hold myself to my seat to keep from leaving as I was not interested in what people were saying, and possibly thought it had no pertinence to my situation. It didn't matter. All I wanted to do was quit drinking and quit being miserable. Turns out it was easier to do the former than the latter, and neither were achievable for me if I did not go to meetings. After about 6 months of not going to meetings and not calling my sponsor, I finally contacted her to share how miserable and depressed I was. She asked "Did you pray"? and all I could think of was that she had no solution for me either, and was throwing out the God thing just for something to say.

I finally learned that all I had to believe in was a power greater than me. It actually takes a lot of the pressure off of trying to always know the right thought or action at the right time. I do have a conception of "God" now although I just call it my higher power. It doesn't matter to me if it's even a reality but every time I decide that some undefinable thing can handle my problems better than I can, they go away and I find peace with the people and places around me. I had to stop drinking to do that, which in turn made it possible for me to believe that I do not have the power to control anything, or have all the explanations to events in my life, or the world, that I determine are just wrong. Depression still happens, but its no longer my life. It's just an infrequent part of the whole .

I understand where you're

I understand where you're coming from. I felt the same way when I was new. But eventually I "differenced" myself right out of the doors and right back into booze. It was hard for me (or I wasn't willing) to see that no matter what kind of God we all chose, we were ALL alcoholics trying to stay sober, one day at a time. I came back 15 yrs ago after being out there for a long time and even though I can find myself "eye rolling" and befuddled by what people say, I can not ignore focusing on what people are DOING to stay sober.

The Spiritual Path

As I have put together a few 24-hours, I now realize the wisdom in Bill’s suggestion that we are but a “spiritual kindergarten”. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. I believe that spirituality is a path, not an altar. I am grateful to be traveling that path.

God as you understand him.

Other peoples ideas or relationship with their Higher Power is none of my concern. I must be aware of and open to the power that helped me walk through the door of AA and into a sober life.I can learn from others experience, without becoming confused, as long as I remember, it's MY relationship with that power that helps me stay sober and serene.
Chris W.

Well said Chris. Jim L.

Well said Chris.

Jim L.

Tradition 3

The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. That is pretty simple for many of us who have no understanding of a power greater than our-selves.
We all have to start somewhere, even if it's in a can-o-beans.
I heard once that AA is not for folks who need it, but for folks who want it. How ever you stay sober in this fellowship is up to each one of us (thank God.(pun intended) I choose to take the steps, and follow the suggestions because I like the easier, softer way.

you're in the right place

I have found that A.A. is a spiritual solution to my problems with alcohol. Spiritual, meaning Our spirits, each one of us has one or we would be vegetables in wheelchairs. Our spirits unite on this common problem and solution, and it's a compilation of all those members belief in a higher power and doing the next right thing that makes it work for those that want it. It doesn't seem to work for those that can't accept that there is a power greater than themselves and look for the differences rather than the likenesses. The truth was for me, my best efforts had gotten me here, perhaps I should listen to these folks and open my mind to the possibility that I might not understand what they were trying to tell me.

Joined: 2014-03-31

Maybe it's like having a computer with an operating system and many programs. Sure, I have one, but how much of the power am I using; maybe 10%. If I need more "power" or capability, I can SEEK it out by exploring and learning.

AA encourages us to SEEK in regards to a Higher Power; God could and would if He were sought. Whether I come in to AA with experience as a Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic or whatever; I am asked to be honest, open minded and willing to seek the power I need to overcome alcoholism.

It's not that I didn't have a Higher Power when I came to AA; it was that I didn't know what my HP was capable of or how to tap into the Power or what the Power was for. (to love & serve my fellow humans, I believe)

AA helped me cast off my old limited notions of God and set me off on an exploratory journey that has continued for 28 years. I thoroughly enjoy the freedom AA gives me to SEEK and learn about my HP and to apply the Power in my life and the lives of others.

re-befuddled originator

I want to thank everyone so much for taking the time for sincerely sharing and helping with to my dilemma without ridicule.
I also want to thank the anonymous workers who volunteer on this site. It's a great thing to be able to have a place to share honestly. (Now not so much god-Befuddled but hopeful)

RE: New and God Befuddled

Thanks for the message. It is an important one. I wish
all our members would read it a couple of times and develop
an understanding of what you are saying. You are new and
are already questioning practices which I have been trying
to point out.
My advice to you, from a lifetime of AA experience, is
to search for a Third edition of the Big Book and to read
the entire book without any diversion. Develop your own
understanding. Read each page carefully. On page 164 Bill
tells us that the entire book is being offered in a
suggestive manner.
Today's AA is confusing. We have complicated a simple
solution to alcoholism.
Alcohol was a power greater than me. I needed to find
something more powerful than liquor. I turned to the
teachings of my childhood. They began to make sense to
me. A group of sober drunks is certainly stronger than
me. Call it a higher power if you want. Many of us
call it God. It has worked for me for 44 years. ANONYMOUS

New and observant (not befuddled).

Thanks for your post, a topic that is common and needs as much clarification as possible and frequently. I will celebrate 35 years of sobriety next week and have heard everything you have described ad infinitum. Fortunately I have also heard How it Works read several thousand times. They don’t agree do they? Since it’s Alcoholics Anonymous not Joe’s anonymous or Sally’s or Hank’s any information that is contrary to the information in “Alcoholics Anonymous” is likely incorrect or at least suspect or unproven. Why is there so much of it. Simple - the only requirement for membership. In addition to common alcoholic thinking which fills jails, bankruptcy and divorce courts, mental institutions and coffins there were already enough members after only three years with “…grave mental and emotional disorders” to earn a place in the most important section of all of our literature. Early on I heard a drunk trying to make fun of our spiritual solution for alcoholism by claiming a ridiculous object for a Higher Power. He was murdered. Stick around, see how it plays out.
If you focus on those who don’t follow AA’s simple program, you will find them. If you focus on the winners you will find them too. I just wandered through the British Museum and was able to see images of numerous gods men have known (or created) all over the world over the centuries. Like you I grew up with one. Over sixty years, within the same demonization of Protestantism, His official policy has changed considerably. It is unlikely that you have the one true vision of God nor do I or anyone else. Many of us were fed an image of God that was worse than unhelpful, it was detrimental. Until we can unlearn some of the unhelpful information a Good Orderly Direction or a Group Of Drunks (who can stay sober) are certainly a power greater than ourselves. It’s a start. AA’s program of recovery also spells out that it isn’t enough. Go to the source, read it yourself. While you’re at it, you might notice that there are about a hundred words following the third step prayer, expanding on it and then the words “Next we launch out on a course of vigorous action…” describing EXACTLY how we turn our will over to the CARE of God (as we understand Him) and it doesn’t say CONTROL, does it.
Does thirty five years get me a PHD is sobriety? Not quite. More like repeating second grade thirty four times. Listen, study, keep your eyes and mind open you will easily be answering instead of asking here in a couple of years.

RE: observant

I, too, have heard How It Works several thousand times.
I have read it aloud at meetings. I would sometimes stand
and read it loud and clear. I wonder how many alcoholics
I sent to their graves, with that reading.
Very few people fully understand how AA works. Yet we
read HIW claiming that we know. The miracle of our fellowship is that we do not have to understand it for it
to work for us. We only have to be obedient. There is a
method which works. Dr. Silkworth told Bill W. what to
do. (cart before the horse). Bill obeyed, not because he
wanted to, but because he had to, to stay alive. Somehow
the gift of sobriety was shared with Dr. Bob. and to us. I believe it was simply God's Grace, not by works.

Sent to their graves

So if an alcoholic chooses to ignore all of the symptoms of devastation in his life and continue to fuel the disaster with more drinking, the fault lies with AA’s reading a few paragraphs from “Alcoholics Anonymous” in meetings? I thought I was a world champion at blaming others for my problems but that takes the cake.

How I started 34 years ago

This worked for me.
When I wanted to drink I postponed it.
If it's such a good idea today it still will be tomorrow.
One day at a time.
I went to AA meetings regularly.
I read AA books.
I went to speakers meetings.
Today that can be supplemented on line. Search for AA talks.
There are hundreds.
Its not for entertainment. It is to get information that will save your life.
I have a lot in common with a teenage black woman and an eighty year old Indian
if I just listen. If I do what they did, I'll get what they got, good or bad.
I wrote a drinking history. Attempts to control it. The progression.
The money spent. The hangovers. Drunken behavior.
Step one starts with "We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol..."
If we collect a large amount of information about our own drinking
and the drinking and recovery of others and take an honest look at it
we're off to a good start.

how do I work the program

I have been going to aa meetings. Im going on 10 days tomorrow. I have a sponsor but she hasn't done anything yet. Getting down afraid I might drink. So can someone tell me how to work the program

How do I work the program

Call the. Aa central office and get a hold of the nearest aa step meeting. meeting and ask for an. Aa book. If you like to read start reading the book.go to the aa step meeting and look. Listen and learn. Also I suggest you get to the nearest nutritionist and start getting a diet plan that will help. Heal your physical body. Of the possible damage caused by the toxins. ( alcohol. Etc ) that may have you in a emotional and mental. Nervousness. It is very important to start on the right track of healing your physical body. From the condition that alcohol and other possible toxins may have done. This would be the first priority for me. Without physical health. No other goals. Take precedence because. If you neglect the body. Which by the way your brain and the emotions are mental capacity rely on your health and nutritional. Intake. You will not be able to focus on the other rewards of the aa program. First things first. You can have more than one sponsor. But what did was make my doctors appt. start a new tradition of planning my day around. Aa step meetings. And Not be so fearful. Anymore. I surrounded myself with. The healthy and happy people who had done the steps and found the peace conte net that I needed


If drinking today is a good idea. it will be a good idea tommorrow. One day at a time. Sometimes one minute. Hang in there

Joined: 2014-03-31
Work the Program

Glad you are here and glad you are sober. It takes a lot of courage to try AA and to ask someone to be your sponsor.

I wonder if you selected a sponsor who has actually worked the steps. That was important to me. My first sponsor, Tom, used to actually hold the steps in his hands when he shared at meetings. He'd hold his AA "holy card" or sometimes he'd grab a Grapevine from the literature rack to access the steps on the back page. At first I thought he was a nut. But I grew to understand that his program was built on the steps and that he had a solid solution.

Tom IMMEDIATELY got me started on the steps and gave me some instructions, guidelines and assignments based on what he, his sponsor and his home group did. Once per week, I'd attend his (later my) step study group where members urged us along and helped us address questions, problems or obstacles.

I'd keep my eyes & ears open for someone who is working steps or go to a step study meeting.

working the program

Call your sponsor. Go to a meeting and talk to people, about your feelings or just the weather. Call your sponsor again. Just don't drink. If you stay in meetings, stay with your sponsor, go to coffee after, then the answers will come.

How it works...

Do you really believe you are powerless over alcohol and that your life is unmanageable? If you can answer yes, than proceed to step Two. If not read the Doctors Opinion, Bills Story and There is a Solution in the Big Book. If you don't have a Big Book, go to a meeting and buy one, if you can't afford it "borrow" it and return it later. If you still are unconvinced you may not be "ready".

Step two: Do you now believe or are you willing to believe, that there is a power greater than yourself that can solve your problem? I'm not talking about God unless that is the power you think can do the job. Maybe it is AA or your home group. If not, read "We Agnostics". If you have difficulty with your concept of this "Higher Power" be willing to get a new concept, a new idea of this "Higher Power". Don't let this be what kills you. You may need to ask around for some other peoples ideas of where their Power comes from. Just remember, this Power cannot be you or you would have stopped long ago. Try not to get caught up in the details of this Power. When you are ready continue to step 3

Step Three: If we are unable to stop drinking on our own then we must have help. That help must come from a power greater than ourselves. Now we ask for that help. You are going to need your Big Book. Read pages 58 to the middle of 63 where it says, "We were now at Step Three". This is a prayer where we ask this Power to "take away my difficulties". This new found Power can do this because we are going to "offer ourselves" to this Power to "do with me as Thou wilt". I must trust this Power because from this point forward I will be directed by It. Read the paragraph containing the prayer as if you were reading a contract. Now read the paragraph below the prayer. It is a good idea to say this prayer with your sponsor or a close friend on your knees if possible. This helps to remind me that I have come to this point in desperate need of help and that we are willing to do anything for release from alcoholism. When you are read to turn your will and your life over to a Power greater than yourself, say the prayer.

If you have made it to this point and are willing to go further, come back here and let us know. If you do not feel that you can be honest with your current sponsor, start looking for someone that you can be completely and totally honest with. We wish you the best on this most amazing journey. Above all, no matter what happens, "keep coming back!"


I just read your post about the steps and I want to thank you. I have been away from the program for 3 months and Have drank. I will be going back to mmetings.

AA sponsers

I have been in AA for 15yrs. I know the sponsor will give you a phone number. So if u have been calling the sponsor and no reply...it is perfectly standard to look for another sponsor. Like anything else in life it my take a bit of looking to find the right fit. Good Luck!!

Joined: 2013-10-18
how do I work the program

Congratulations on 9 days of sobriety! And congratulations on getting a sponsor as well!
How do you work the program? First and foremost, go to meetings. Go to at least one meeting a day. Do this for 90 days. Early in your sobriety, it's more important that you listen than share at these meetings. Look for similarities rather than differences.
Have you called your sponsor? It's up to you to communicate with her. I was told to call my sponsor everyday and be honest about how I feel and let my sponsor know what I'm doing. So, call your sponsor and let her know your "Getting down afraid I might drink." If you feel your sponsor isn't giving you advice or direction. Tell her goodbye and get another sponsor. We go to meetings and listen to others share. If we can identify with someone, they might be the ideal sponsor. I believe Men should sponsor Men, and Women should sponsor Women.
Next, get a Big Book and start reading it. The first 164 pages are comprised of chapters. Read one chapter a day. The back half of the Big Book is full of stories from fellow AA members. Read one story a day. Talk to your Sponsor about the chapter and story each day.
The Big Book will talk about a Power greater than ourselves. Bring prayer and meditation into your everyday life. Find a Power greater than yourself and start talking to your Higher Power, and start listening to your Higher Power every day. Read page 86 of the Big Book to get an idea about a prayer routine. Research prayer and meditation. Talk to your sponsor other AA members about it.
Start working the steps with your sponsor. There are many ways to work the steps. follow your sponsor's suggestions.
Finally, Be of Service. Again ask your sponsor for suggestions.
This is just the beginning of AA and a new life for you. I wish you the best.

90 in 90

Does anyone know where the phrase "90in90" comes from? I don't recall reading it in the BB or any other literature. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I'm just wondering where it fits with the program Alcoholics Anonymous, which stems from the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous.

Joined: 2012-05-30
90 in 90

90 meetings in 90 days is in narcotics anonymous literature. it was never in AA conference approved lit until the 4th edition of the big book. it's in one of the new stories in the 4th edition, not in the description of the recovery program ( the first 164 pages)

I have felt the 90 in 90 is poor advice and irresponsible. why not try working a step a day for 12 days? Bill W did it in 5! try a meeting or two a week and getting together one on one with your sponsor to work the steps? the meetings are the fellowship of AA, not the program. I had a sponsee who had tried to get sober by going to lots of meetings. he was unemployed and living in a large city with meetings 24 hours a day of which he went to 2 or 3 a day for 90 days....still he was drunk after 4 months. on my christmas break, we did the steps out of the big book in less than 7 days. he continues to work 10,11, and 12, he has been sober and happy since. It's also worth mentioning he was in his late 60's and had been going to AA meetings for over 30 years but had never used the big book.

the irresponsible part is in smaller towns. If someone suggests 90 meetings in 90 days, the ought to make sure there is a daily meeting available!

90 in 90

It's not in the Big Book. I think it came from hell. If I ever heard "I went to 90 in 90" instead of "You go to 90 in 90" it might mean something. One is sharing experience the other is empty advise which we have already had a lifetime of that didn't work.

I went to 26 in 90. (That's two a week, Tuesday and Friday.) When I subtract the time I need for work, eating, sleeping, family and the other normal demands of life from 24 hours, I have very little discretionary time. I started using it to start chipping away at a backlog of years of neglect in every aspect of life. I wasn't going to stay sober living in the mess I had made of life.

We're world's champions at doing exactly what we want, whatever is comfortable, and labeling it "What I need, what's best, the right thing". It rarely is.

As much BS is passed off as AA in meetings, I need an hour meeting with Bill W (reading AA literature) frequently to know what has been proven to work and what somebody as sick as I am is making up on the spot.

Someone may very well need 90 in 90 but I don't know who they are and nobody else does either. If they listen to other's experience and choose to follow it, they'll likely have that experience too. If they listen to ill conceived advise, who knows?

So, did what I do work? Yes, my meeting schedule has changed as needed over the years but it's been working for 35 years this Thanksgiving weekend. A great deal to be thankful for.

Re How?...we can't tell you how but, share

We can't tell you how. Recovery is different for everyone. We share our individual experiences, strengths and hopes. It sounds like you are in a good place but a little impatient. In AA, we only get one day of reprieve in AA. “One Day at a Time” A crucial component in recovery is to be in the moment and not obsess about “Many Years at a Time.” It’s a foolish waste of energy and it really only serves unhealthy members who seek privilege and status in the rooms. Everyone is in the same boat. Although we arrive to AA from different neighborhoods; we have a common disease and that keeps us united. Forget the bozos who seek rank and position. There is no difference between you and the member with thirty years. Anyone who thinks otherwise is being deceived by their ego. Time in AA does not automatically award someone quality sobriety or instill in them all the inner miracles and wisdoms of the age. I've heard more spiritual insight at times, from the new person than some members with decades. Think of the founders of AA. Bill and Bob were not old timers when they created our foundation for recovery. They only had a few years of sobriety but with that humble start, coupled with an added seventy years of experiences, strengths, and hopes, AA provides a place where spiritual and humanistic therapeutics takes place. A moment of clarity will come to you and the importance of recovery will stick in your heart if you stay away from the first drink. Common adjectives which describe the disease of alcoholism are that it is insidious, cunning, baffling and powerful. Our brains are severely compromised in the beginning but, eventually it will heal and the desire will slip away and you will experience the sunny side of life again. Relax and listen

First things first, call your

First things first, call your sponsor daily. Read the literature.

Joined: 2014-03-05
How do I work the program?

A day at a time. Go to 90 meetings in 90 days. When you go to a meeting open your heart and LISTEN. Pray to set your thinking aside and to have a new experience. Ask for help. Read the Dr's opinion in the Big Book. Just don't drink today. Do it again tomorrow.

Joined: 2014-04-13
we have a basic text book 11 chapters, do what it says to do

these are expanded in the 12x12 and other literature available online and at most all meetings and libraries. contact the people near you and ask for help and get all your questions answered


When I was new it was frustrating for me because I was looking for a quick and simple solution. Turns out recovery for me has been all about discipline, something that alcoholics of my type resist. Some of the things that helped me in the beginning were these:

1. ask God for help in the morning to stay sober
2. go to a meeting
3. get a sponsor and use that sponsor
4. study the literature; learn about the disease and what we do to recover
5. before going to bed; thank that God for another day sober

Of course there's more, but these 5 simple daily disciplines will get you on the right track.

Joined: 2014-06-30
how do i work the program

My sponsor started me out on calling her every day. That was a big help, although difficult at first. I have 5 monthsof sobriety now. If you are not happy with your sponsor, I suggest you find another one. Some folks I know had to do the same thing. keep going to meetings and talk to other people. That helps too. Get a big book if you don't have one. The best resource for the program.

Re: How

Don't pick up the first drink no matter what. The pain you are experiencing will not kill you. It is typical. Keep an open mind and run with the stuff you hear in the rooms that make sense. Alcoholics are like and act like big babies when they don' have their bottles. Relief will come to you but not as fast as you would like. Sit with the pain and never ever forget it. Good luck.

Joined: 2013-09-05
Re: how do I work the program

Get a Big Book, download one until you can buy a had copy. Start at the beginning with an open mind. Follow the 'suggestions' given as well as you can. Remember, you won't be albe to do this perfectly but you shouldn't use that as an excuse to do it sloppily or not at all.
You're post is evidence that you aren't ignorant or learning disabled. Some AAs will try to convince you that you can't take the steps without a sponsor guiding you. Please don't believe them. If/when you have a question any honest AA member will be willing to help you.
Passing on what I was advised when brand new and unable to attend meetings or talk to a recovered alcoholic, "Use your Big Book and a Higher Power."

RE: how do I work the program

I would suppose there are many AA members (teachers/
preachers/sponsors) who will tell you what you must do
(how to work the program).
I had 9-10 days sober many times but it seemed that
the harder I fought the urge to drink, the stronger the
compulsion would become. And I would give in, knowing
that the consequences could be dire. I finally accepted
that liquor was an unbeatable foe. It had a hold on me
that I could not escape from. I had to find a greater
power, something greater than alcohol. I found it in
the rooms of AA. For me the main ingredient is love,
love we have for each other, and eventually for most
of us, love for God. ANONYMOUS

Working the program

Find someone/anyone - male/female that has a longterm track record of continuous sobriety VIA working the 12 Steps of AA with a sponsor and that currently is taking others through the 12 Steps using the Big Book. You may have to take a leap of faith asking for help and tell them (the group) about this message.

Scared & afraid to go to AA

I live in a small town & that makes it hard to trust. I know I don't want to drink anymore, however I've said that countless times over the last few years. I see a therapist weekly & yet I still manage to have a serious episode that lasts about a week now. Just this morning, I'm sneaking out another trash bag before it gets picked up. I went to rehab just over a year ago & felt so strong leaving there. Only today has my boyfriend really seemed committed that he won't drink anymore & I understand that's been diffult for me. After I'm sober a few days, I think I can handle just a couple of drinks, only to end up sick & in bed for days after consuming copious amounts that would freak other people out. Aside from AA, has anything worked for anyone? If AA is the best answer, I'm willing to take chance & go. I'm about over my shame, it's allowing me to contiue drinking myself to death. I want to love life & I have so much to be thankful for.

scared and afraid

we are alcoholic ninjas in that way. sneeking and lying.some of my best experiences happen afte the meetings when people meet and talk outside. i have been so sick after quitting that i made a bed in the bathtub. be strong.

scared to go to aa

there is no shame at aa. i have gone cold turkey and been sick for days. i made a bed in the bathtub. some of the best advice i got was after the meeting when people hang out and feel like real people. i understand the sneaking and lying. we are alcholic ninjas in that way.i had to go to several groups before i found one that fit for me. never give up

Joined: 2014-11-13
I encourage you to go to

I encourage you to go to meetings. Your behavior is not unusual. remember the big book says that we all live with the misconception we can drink like other people.

I too was just like you. I

I too was just like you. I used shame as an excuse, I used a small town as an excuse. If you figure you are down with booze, you have to do it for you not for anybody else. I understand copius amounts of booze only to not even get drunk any more but just to manage after work, pass out only to do it again. I use AA and have been sober for 127 days now for the first time since I was 11 and I am now 51. Don't get me wrong I didn't cross over to the land of no return till about 5-6 years ago and the last year has been absolutely awful to the point of quitting and wanting to stay that way.

Joined: 2014-04-13
ask and they will come to you

In most areas you can do the steps online and if you ask you can get people to come visit you or pick you up and introduce you to their friends in the program. Its easier for eye to eye contact in most cases to get through the steps as a way of life the first times. But with all the ways we communicate now, whatever you need to do can work. Of course meetings are the easiest way to gather and exchange ideas and use the program as a group to help others, that's why we have them.

reply to scared and afraid

I get drunk; WE stay sober. Trying to fix this by myself is like taking a knife to a gun fight; I've got no shot. When the pain associated with change looks like a better option than the pain associated with NOT changing; we change, its that simple. In my case I had to start taking actions that I didn't believe in, in order to save myself and for me it worked.....

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