Burning Desire to Share
To me, the whole question is pointless. Does going to meetings everyday make someone "In" AA? In my experience, a person can still be "Around" AA even though they think they are "In" AA. Its easy to believe one is "In" AA by memorizing and quoting the Big Book or their sponsors. By going to step meetings everyday and impressing the new person with empty words heard long ago one may think they are "In" AA. Even someone who is sponsoring tons of people can still be "Around" AA. Everyone is either "In" AA or everyone is "Around" AA. In my opinion, if I have to spend time wondering who in my group is "In" AA or "Around" AA than I am avoiding looking into my own darkness and facing the demons there. I imagine its easier to point our fingers at the "Around" people than to look at the things we need to change.
An old grapevine article explained being in AA and around AA perfectly. The author compared it to a ham and eggs breakfast. The chicken was around and the pig had another level of commitment!
For me, I feel I am in AA. I have worked the steps out of the big book with my sponsor and continue to apply the steps in my daily life(I’m really getting better in that respect). Those I sponsor, I take them through the steps as my sponsor did with me. On Monday nights I either chair a jail meeting or go to a big book meeting with some guys I sponsor, on Thursdays my sponsor and I take an AA meeting to our local detox, and on Saturday morning I attend my home group meeting and I am the group secretary until someone else is willing to take the job (I am willing to let the newer members take those positions). When I attend an AA meeting, I always look for the newcomer and make sure I offer my phone number and a message of hope. I make myself available to go on 12 step calls with wet drunks or any other 12 step work that I can do. That may be making coffee and setting up chairs, giving rides to meetings, speaking at our local treatment center, or simply going to AA meetings while out of town to see how AA works in other areas. It seems like a lot, but really isn’t. I just try to put at least half the effort into AA as I did into drinking.
I think the most important way to be in AA is to know the facts about myself as an alcoholic and to be able to carry the message of AA through my own experience to those who still suffer.
I am also thankfull for those around AA. They often come to meetings after a relapse to tell us it gets worse not better. I have yet to hear anyone stop by to say " hey, I've been drinking again and it's really getting better!"
Thank you for suggesting the topic!
I was around AA for 6 weeks before I hit a bottom. I went to a few meetings, and read the Big Book. That's all.
August 14, 1990, I came in AA. I became willing to do the things outlined in the Big Book. That first month, I attended 5 meetings a week, started on the steps, got a sponsor and a Home Group, and started reading the Big Book and 12x12 in earnest. I began developing the most honest relationship I could with my Higher Power.
Today, I continue to work steps, still have that sponsor and the same Home Group. I'm the treasurer. I've been an area officer, been part of a prison meeting, made more coffee than I'll ever drink, and tonight I gave another AA member a ride to a meeting. I continue to read the literature (like my online Grapevine subscription) and I have a morning and an evening program. I do more than just meetings.
The feeling of being part of AA came to me heavily after Step Five, many others have shared that experience. Right now, I'm looking for the willingness in Step Six to overcome sloth...progress, not perfection. I will always have room for spiritual growth.
Why don't you expand a bit more and talk about your thoughts on the topic? You brought it up after all. We would enjoy reading you take on it and sharing ours.
Maybe the Grapevine editor or an archivist can help. What I have heard is that between September of 1956 and February 1957 the AA Grapevine published one slogan per month on the inside back cover of five issues and the last one was "Think, Think, Think." Again, it would be great if the Grapevine could validate.
For me early in AA, I asked my sponsor what the slogan meant. It did seem contrary to what I was hearing in meetings. He said it means to think drinking through. If I drink well then what? I’ll be drunk. Then what? I’ll loose my job again. Then what? My wife will through me out again. Then what? I will be homeless. Then what? Ect. I think he was right. Being alcoholic, I have a built in forgetter. I can walk out of a jail and think it’s ok to drink, I can walk out of a treatment center and forget I just spent 6 weeks and thousands of dollars and get drunk on the way home. So think, think, think definitely has it’s place in my recovery.
Just for fun I looked up how many times think is in the big book and 12x12 at www.164&more. It came up 130 times!
Personally, I read big book pages 84-88 as part of my daily 10th & 11th step. On page 86, the second paragraph should put the thinking issue to rest. It says, “On awakening let us think about the 24 hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking………Under these conditions we can employ our faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.
So if your not thinking, your not working step 11 as outlined in the big book. To me that means you are working your program instead of AA’s program and that is your business, not mine.
By the way, AA is celebrating 78 years today! Amazing! When AA was 58 years old my sponsor taught me the steps in the big book, when AA was 48 years old his sponsor taught him out of the big book, when AA was 38 years old his sponsor taught him out of the big book. This method goes all the way back to Cleveland where they used personal sponsorship and the big book to work with newcomers with a 90% success rate!
Feel free to stay sober any way you want, that’s your business. For me, I am going with the high percentage play, the one that started it all 78 years ago today.
Good luck to you and God bless you,
Some people in A.A think their thinking got them here so they get institutionalized through the outside sponsorship system
People of A.A know their drinking got them here and when DRUNK had trouble thinking and asked God for help.
Think before you take the first drink
Think where you have already been
Think where it will take you
Your past is your greatest asset not someone who was not even their !!!
Corgey said, "Feel free to stay sober any way you want, that’s your business. For me, I am going with the high percentage play, the one that started it" Go for it! However the recovery rates are much lower than you think! 90% is not evidence based but hearsay. We can do much better. Many groups have caught up with the times but, there are a few that still think its 1935. I personally like 21st century AA which offers smoke free rooms and a healthy air of love and tolerate not the 20th century kind which still smells of cigarette butts and close minded people. But you keep doing what you are doing and we'll meet at the end of the AA rainbow one day. Thanks
If you have something that works better than the 90% rate that was documented in Cleveland,let us know, we will change what we are doing and do it your way if your sobering up better than 9 out of ten.
since last fall, I have taken 4 sponsees through the steps in the big book. One had been going to meetings since 1983 and couldn't stay sober longer than 90 days. He has over 9 months now and doing well. Anyway, In my little corner of the AA world 4 out of 4 hopelss drunks sober this year is 100% not hearssay. In fact, I don't recall anyone who I have gone through the steps with as outlined in the big book relapsing. On the other hand I have seen a steady stream relapsing doing it the don't drink and go to meetings way.
Please elaborate on this 21 century AA, I would like to hear more!
90%? I’m all for offering the newcomers hope but let’s at least be honest. I’ve been attending big book meetings and sponsored many people for years and I can attest this figure of yours is not accurate. I’ve seen people study the book at our meetings and work the steps and still drink. The books and steps are a good start as any and a safe-base for the newcomer. But you can’t stay on the base forever. There is more to recovery than sitting in a room and reading a book. Eventually, for me I had to make a run for it and face life on life’s terms. In doing so, I learned more about recovery than I ever could by sitting in a big book meeting studying about how someone got sober in 1935. I never put any alcoholic on a pedestal even the founders. I’ve doubled Bob’s time and nearing Bill’s. Isn’t the wisdom I’ve accumulated over the years just as important to the newcomer as theirs? Or should it be thrown out because it was not written in the book? “Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know a little,” and then they added the “God will constantly disclose more to us” This tells me the first members were humble enough to realize they didn’t know very much and had the foresight to see their ancestors would one day. And we have. Living in the AA past does not show much progress. “Progress not Perfection” Are we still trying to perfect something written years ago or are we advancing the founders vision by sharing our wisdom obtained by staying sober one day at a time? I choose progress, Hence, the 21st century as you or someone termed it.
To be frank, if your not getting the 90% results, your simply doing it wrong! I have yet to meet anyone in 21 years who drank while working AA’s steps. Anyone who is working step 10 from the big book is well aware of our “daily reprieve”. I am sober today based on actions I take today. Someone once posted on this site that you can starve reading a cookbook. The same thought applies to the big book. If I read and study it, I will get some knowledge, but I have to apply that knowledge to gain sober experience.
Take a moment and read the rest of page 164. If you’re working with newcomers and not getting the results they had in Cleveland, remember obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. I am amused with your talk of humility after stating you’ve been sober longer than Bob. Good one!
I especially enjoy the summation Of AA’s steps on 164. Abandon yourself to God as you understand God(2&3). Admit your faults to Him and your fellows (4,5). Clear away the wreckage of your past(8&9). Give freely of what you find(12) and join us.
I like the out of context “progress not perfection” quote. For someone who doesn’t seem to like big book talk, you sure like to misquote it! Take a moment and read page 60 where the quote comes from. “The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection”. This comes after the 12 steps are listed. None of us can work the steps perfect. They are spiritual principles. That’s why I will never outgrow them. How can I outgrow daily surrender, self-examination, restitution, meditation, prayer, and helping others? The day this drunk thinks he’s outgrown those steps is the day my humility is gone and my ego has returned and my next drink or dry drunk is right around the corner.
I have yet found it necessary to fix what isn’t broke. Over the last 20 years every single sponsoree of mine that has worked the steps out of the book is still sober today, that’s 2-4 a year. In my small world that’s a whole lot of recovery. The ones that drank usually were unwilling to take step 4, 5, 9, or didn’t see the importance of working 10,11,and 12 on a daily basis. That’s repeated recovery for those that worked the steps and lots of drinking and death for those that didn’t. That is my experience, not theory.
Please elaborate on this 21 century sobriety. What are the results of those doing it, whatever it is and how do you apply it? Have you helped one person a year for thirty years get and stay sober? That's only 30. I have two friends in AA with 35 plus years of sobriety. neither sponsor or have a sponsor but have been dry a long time. neither have sobered up anyone in all those years. whatever they are doing works for them but kills whoever has tried their way. If my son came to AA I would not suggest he do it their way, I would suggest the big book way.
Great! Sounds like you are on top of things. I too have a 4 out of 4 record. I've sponsored 1 agnostics and 3 atheists throughout the years and they are still sober despite my beliefs! All came into the rooms in the late eighties and early nineties. So go figure. This demonstrates the beginnings of 21st century AA thinking, which is all-inclusive, open-minded, flexible and tolerant of others beliefs or non-beliefs. We nod our heads and salute the founders but, today we have learned a lot more about addiction and recovery. The fact that we know it is not necessary to believe in God to experience the joys of sobriety was foreign to them or else they would have done a better job with the “We Agnostics” chapter. For me, I was given the freedom to shape the picture of my recovery and I allow others the same freedom. I don’t have to get bent out of shape because the member sitting next to me is an atheist or a big book thumper. They have the same right as I do to figure out what will lead them down the path to recovery and to experience its many joys even if it’s not the suggested one. And that’s okay in the 21st century. I will never tell a member to get lost because I do not approve of their recovery. It was suggested to me years ago to not judge members or take their inventory.
Yesterday at an Area quarterly business meeting, our Grapevine subcommittee Chairperson encouraged all members & officers of the area committee to come to this portion of the web site and post. So, here I am. Thanks to the wonderful service Grapevine provides in many ways.
It is a wonderful morning for gratitude as we celebrate the 78th year of our Fellowship. Having just attended the Northeast Regional Forum, my sense is that our General Service, A.A.W.S. and Grapevine, Inc. are in good stead. So, here's a shout-out to all who help carry the message or make it possible, "THANK YOU!" and may our Higher Power continue to bless us so long as we remain in humble service to the next sufferer who needs us.
I found NERF rather disheartening. The GSB & their numerous supporters from NY & NJ rather aloof & the clear questions raised not so clearly answered.
From what I learned about AA finances,I think wew should move out of NYC to a more reasonable clime.
I wonder how much money is spent on Forums. I see that
the extra one is being deleted in a couple years. Would it
not make more sense to pay a little more to the churches
where we hold our meetings? Do the Forums serve any real
purpose? They do create business for the town where they
are held. I do wonder what this NERF cost us. Ned P.
What does it mean write five qualifying questions of; on page 46 in the Big Book under "We Agnostics",the 2nd paragraph:1) lay aside prejudice and express 2)willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves,we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which God. 3)Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. 4)we admitted the possible existence and 5)those who seek Him.
It doesn't mean much to me but, I guess it’s the cat’s meow with assignment giver. It's okay to say no and find another member to talk to. You don't have to accept this and drink over it. We can go at our own pace. I’ve seen a lot of hare’s race through recovery and out the back door while the tortoises stay in for years. Look for someone that walks the walk. Big talkers are plentiful. If you are an alcoholic than I would think the important thing is to not pick up the first drink for one day. You have already demonstrated this ability. Some people turn AA into another obsession or addiction by spending their whole lives in the rooms. But to me, the secret to recovery is to be found in the real world not hiding under a book; a coffee pot or tray of donuts. Take a break. If you can stay sober for one day than you know as much as anyone. Some members like to talk with angels and the gods while others enjoy conversations with their partners, children, neighbors and co-workers or some no one at all. Good Luck
Who gave you this assignment? It doesn't sound like anything I've ever seen in AA literature. Maybe your counselor can explain it to you.
This was helpful to me when shared by my sponsor years ago.
He said the "We Agnostics" Chapter was not written by agnostics and atheists and it is likened to a conversion chapter. It doesn't reflect the agnostics and atheists who have reminded agnostic an atheist. He said it was not necessary to believe in god or a higher power for some members. AA has come along way since its early days when the members didn't know very much. They even acknowledged this. They believed only God could save us. This is fine to think but, its not true. We can be positive active members of AA whether we believe or not. If we put our hand out to the newcomer and share our experiences all will be well.
Beats me but I've only been around here for 25 years. Ask whoever assigned it to you. Maybe they'll know.
My sponsor fired me the other day not because I have a desire to stop drinking but, my undesired ability to believe in God. He said, “You can float around like a butterfly but eventually you have to sting like a bee” Does anyone know what he is talking about? That sounds silly. I have not touched a drop of alcohol for seven months and he’s harassing me to believe in God. He also said, “I let you get away with the not-god thing long enough. It’s time to grow up and get with God or die.” My heart tells me he is wrong to say that but, I am outnumbered in my group. It’s like 50 to 1. I’m glad I came to this site because there is a lot of support for members who are like me. In my group, I’m treated poorly. When I share some people shout, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in God, because God believes in you. Someday you will get down on your knees and beg for his mercy.” I leave meetings sometimes feeling insulted and humiliated. I thought I was supposed to feel love and hope. I really wish there were more people like the ones on this site at my group. I wish there was a pamphlet to allow me to be the way I am so I can show those guys and tell them to back-off but there isn’t. If there was I wouldn’t be treated badly. I’m not going to drink because of them. I accept the fact that I have a medical condition, alcoholism. That means I am sick and my brain is wired for pleasure. Alcohol will kill me; my non-belief in God won’t. That’s crazy. I know I’m new and stupid. You can ask my ex-sponsor who belittled me to no end. What I’m saying is I am grateful for all the points of view here. If all of AA was like my group then AA would be a scary place. But, thanks to i-Say I feel I belong to something wonderful and I can see that AA is more with it than the impressions I get from my group.
He did you a favor. Don't worry about the higher power/God stuff. It's quite alright to be a non-believer in AA. I actually became a non-believer after 6 years in recovery and that was 24 years ago. As long as you don't pick up the first drink everything will be okay. Unfortunately, there are unhealthy god people that will come after you. Many of the people that attacked me are not even sober today but, here I am years later. You don't have to be Mister Popular in AA. I bet you any money there are people like you looking for people like you. Things are different now in the rooms however some folks aren't open to it.
In A.A. sponsors are for people who believe in God but cannot rely on him - I think you quailfy
Hi, thanks for commenting on my post. Can you be more specific? Your comment is not clear to me and it may be helpful. Thanks again
Tried with no luck !
You're in the right place and just keep doing what you're doing. It is not my place to judge your group but we have to be accepting of everyone b/c we've all been in that hole we call alcoholism by ourselves until we found the fellowship. Your Higher Power is whatever you need it to be today to keep you sober and that's truly what's it's all about. Everyone's journey is going to be different and you're definitely strong to just listen and let it go.
Take care and happy travels through sobriety one day at a time.
“You can float around like a butterfly but eventually you have to sting like a bee”
It was Muhammad Ali's stated strategy for a particular fight. A fighter can dodge around for a while but he eventually he needs to start boxing to win a fight.
When I took an honest look at my drinking and unmanageable life, some of my very best thinking resulted in my car smashed on a utility pole. I was smart enough to make it through engineering school with a BS ME without much effort but trying to deal with everyday life sent me to the bar for solutions. Then that solution caused more problems. With a drinking history written out, I could see that I needed something or somebody else running my life. It’s a program of action. Saying yeah you’re probably right does not get results. Writing a first step got results. It was a somehow different man looking at step two then.
If I try to sponsor someone who rejects the steps for month after month I simply have to tell him the truth. I don’t have anything to help you. Thanks for helping me stay sober but stop wasting your time with me. We both need to move on.
I don’t have a crystal ball and without one anyone is on a fool’s mission guessing who will stay sober and who won’t and why. I am a recovered alcoholic who has been alcohol (and drug) free for 33 years. I read Working with Others in the Big Book frequently to avoid the mistakes you report. Carrying AA’s message correctly is certainly contrary to the first thing I think someone needs.
The thing that really stands out in your post is how really important that not believing in a higher power is to you. Not a word of “I have really tried but get nothing”. AA’s program is one of action, a program of changing ideas and attitudes. I have read the chapter “How it Works” and the 12 and 12 many, many times about step two. I strenuously resisted steps two and three when I entered AA but AA changed me. I finally noticed that step three did not require that I become a missionary in a leper colony the worlds worst hell hole salaried at a dollar a year, praying on my knees all day on my day off. It simply tells me to take a moral inventory next. I did that. It was an eye opener. I became willing to read it to a Chaplin that swore like a sailor and said he didn’t believe much that was written in the bible. Six and seven started to look a lot better. Today the steps are useful tools to solve everyday problems.
You are completely anonymous online. Why not spell out why resisting any kind of faith is so important to you? If you aren’t willing to do even that, I don’t see that AA has anything to offer you but bad coffee and more frustration. Good luck.
I guess what he's trying to say is, when you look in the mirror hopefully the image that's appearing is not God.
I ask people who claim AA membership who reject God and/or the twelve steps what exactly do they practice. What is their message? I haven’t received much of a response. Some have said sharing. Sharing drinking histories is certainly important to remind us what we don’t want to return to and provide a picture to newcomers that they may relate to. If that works, then what? He knows he has a problem, what’s the solution? Go to meetings? Why? A replacement for the bar, a safe house? Cure a deadly, progressive disease by going to a neutral corner for an hour a night for the rest of his life?
Say it is a mythical magical meeting – no God stuff or praying, or chanting, hand holding, advice giving, Big Book beating, down-the-throat-jamming or steps. What goes on in there? If you say sharing experience, strength and hope, you need to spell it out for me. I’m dense. What happens in that hour? Please don’t bother with an argument with one of the words I have chosen to use or some other evasive rant. That’s all been recorded here before. The question is - What happens in that hour?
Thanx in advance and have a great day.
I feel it’s important to mind our own business in recovery and not worry about how someone else is getting sober. I haven't detected the same hostility as you. Why not share your experience and have an open mind. Occasionally, I read a few aggressive and immature posts on both sides of the spectrum but, the majority show great love for the fellowship. What I gather from the reading the posts is there are some member who have an “Outside the 12-Step Box” recovery that want to be treated as equal members. I’m like most members who like traditional AA, the one you seem to be passionately defending. Are our recoveries that fragile that a few members will bust our peace of mind up? Honestly, AA doesn’t need any defending by the way. It’s bigger than you and I. A few posts here and there supporting different points of view will not bring it down. My sponsor is an atheist sober about three decades but, the majority of members in our group have no idea. He gets a kick when people say he’s the most spiritual person they have ever met! Are these kind words to him invalid because he doesn’t get sober like you or me? Think, Think, Think.
Each meeting I attend has its own "sense," as the Quakers might say. Meetings without those attributes you think are what make an AA meeting typically involve just what the preamble suggests, members sharing their experience in staying sober a day at a time while learning to "live life on life's terms," with or without belief in supernatural power. As Bill W. noted, when all else failed, work with another alcoholic helped keep him sober. Today, that work for me often consists of just showing up for a meeting. Last time I checked, there was no requirement that I accept or reject your god or anyone else's god to be a member.
We share honesty and freely without fear of judgment. We
care enough to actively listen. It IS mystical and magical.
We certainly do not reject God or the twelve steps. We
embrace them. We share about them, without pushing them
on each other, or anyone else. Dr. Bob advised us to keep
it simple. How much more simple can I put it. I hope to stay in that neutral corner, where it is safe. ANONYMOUS
I am only 8 months sober and am grateful for having found AA. I am having a problem with "sponsorship". My dear friend has been sober 2 yrs. and her sponsor insists that she must quit taking the medication for clinical depression that is prescribed for her. May I also add that she has been institutionalized more than a couple of times. Her life is finally coming together, family has forgiven her and she can hold her head up and shoulders squared and be proud of her sobriety. She is so awesome with the newcomers, the reason many ever step back in to the meetings. Most in our home group treat the newcomers as an annoyance. I find this ludicrous that a sponsor is attempting to play doctor. I love my friend and do not want to go back in to that dark hole she has struggled so hard to climb out of. Am I way off base? I guess I just don't understand.
Listen to your God given instincts and develop them in the fellowship before you get diverted by the followship as you are warned about them in the Traditions and 3 pertinent ideas of A.A’s ABC’s Glad you are here my friend
I agree with you...leave medication to a doctor!
Those who need to hear AA’s message are not limited to those just walking through the door. None of us get the whole message until we graduate and thirty three years hasn’t gotten me there yet. The sponsor, playing doctor, needs more of the message and needs it now. Not unusual. Sponsorship is not a one way street. I’ve enjoyed the education provided by numerous tour guides but I never heard one claim having all the answers. (And many of them are licensed!) A sponsor, a tour guide for AA, shouldn’t be held to a higher standard. They don’t need to be, after all life is and open (Big) book test.
Wow - sounds like that is one rough home group you have there, if what you're saying is true (do you think it could possibly be your own perception, thinking the home group members see newcomers as an annoyance?) If ANY folks in AA tell you or anyone else to stop taking their meds, then find another group. There is not a person in the program who should be giving advice on meds - WE ARE NOT DOCTORS. Tell your friend to find another sponsor - and stay on her meds, if that's what her doctor is telling her to do. Just hang in there and find another home group - and please don't leave...
I am not about to leave! My home group is within walking distance and many fellow alcoholics who are my dear friends live close and do not drive presently either. I am getting a lot of mixed messages, but I find myself on this site reading and studying every day to keep my head clear of some of the "nonsense" I hear and it works! I also attend meetings at other locations to learn more about alcoholism through others experiences and about myself. I know I am doing the next right thing, they cannot shake my sobriety or take away the peace and tranquility I am feeling. I try to love all, but have discovered not all are lovable regardless. And yes, some of the longer sober ones seem to take a sick pleasure in watching us newbies struggle, but we prevail!
Recently, I was at a meeting and a man said, “If the brain is engaged then God is disengaged” That was just too much. The sad thing was everyone was nodding their heads. My first sponsor said, “You can’t think your way out of a bottle” I disagreed and that was 29 years ago. Is thinking a bad word in AA today? Is there not a slogan “Think, Think, Think”? In my area, many of the meetings don’t even have this slogan on their walls alongside the other ones. I often hear, “My best thinking got me here!” That just is not true. Who was the unwise originator of that turn of phrase? The way I see it, my worst thinking got me here, which was a thinking compromised by my addiction to alcohol. I was not capable of making sound choices as long as alcohol was in my body. Just to go along with the phrase, yes if I made a decision to come to AA for help I believe that was thinking at its best but, as it is really implied not very helpful. I used to hear I over E (intelligence over emotion) There was once an importance placed on learning to use your mind in a healthy way and to start making healthy choices. At my first meeting I heard, “Think through the drink.” People talk of emotional sobriety. To me, this will only happen if the brain is engaged. What is there to fear? It’s popular to hear, “Faith without works is dead” Well, I must think in order to keep the workings of faith alive.
People who think their thinking got them here the Big books talks about, some are mentally disordered incapable of being honest with themselves, knows very little, maybe even nothing about alcoholism they can’t think right? So they join the outside institution around A.A for comfort and lime light. . I am glad I have a reason for being here alcohol got me here and my thinking keeps me here.
Think! Thanks so much for the post and the old reminder of I/over E. I agree re-using the brain in a healthy way is the first step into taking responsibility for our situations and our individual journey’s into sobriety. We must learn to think to determine if we are alcoholic or not; if we are powerless or not. Was an angel going to slip away from heaven and deliver a note to me saying I was powerless over alcohol? Every person in my life was doing that just fine but, I couldn’t see it. The white light fever thing with rapturous gongs never happened to help convince me I was sick. It took time. After a lengthy withdrawal period and attending meetings 2-3 times a week for a year, I could clearly see what the first step meant and the importance of thinking. It’s easy to read the first step once and move on to bigger and better things but, to fully grasp what alcoholism is and the ramifications if I pick up again took much longer. On the surface the first step is an obvious thing but to fully meditate on it is another. Although my thinking is far from perfect today, I have enough of it to take healthy choices thereby having the ability to stay sober for one day.
"Faith without works is dead". Works without faith can also
be dead. Many AA members think that the solution to alcoholism is a mechanical procedure. Sit an alcoholic down
at a table with workbook, pencil and a sponsor and work this
thing out. Work the twelve steps and you will be well. I
wonder just how many alcoholics do get sober this way. There
are some. Maybe one out of a hundred or one out of a thousand?
Alcoholics Anonymous offers a technique, method, which
rarely fails. Faith is the main ingredient in that recipe.
The steps are an adjunct, which we offer in the form of
suggestions. When I looked closely, I could see that I
had taken steps one, two and three upon entering A.A. The
rest of the steps have helped me over the years.
When "working with others", we do our part by sharing
our own experience, strength and hope. We have faith that
God will do His part, if we stay out of the way.
Sure, the steps work for some, but Dr. Silkworth's
IDEA rarely fail. Attraction, not promotion. First we need to make sure our own house is in order. ANONYMOUS
We've got to quit admitting members based on their liabilities.
Thank you for the reminder of the “Think, Think, Think” slogan. I rarely see this slogan on AA walls anymore. Perhaps this is a visible sign that “thinking” has become a bad word in AA today.
Some of you may recollect the film “Days of Wine and Roses,” from 1962. In the middle of the film, there is an AA meeting attended by Joe, an alcoholic who gets sober in AA. It’s Joe’s first time at the podium, saying “I’m an alcoholic” to the group. Joe’s figure on either side is framed by four big one foot by two feet posters. In big letters, one of the posters on his left says “THINK.” The other posters surrounding Joe say “EASY DOES IT,” “LIVE AND LET LIVE,” and “FIRST THINGS FIRST.” This film portrayal of AA’s walls in the 50’s and 60’s seems remarkably different from how AA walls look today.
In the rooms, I too hear the phrase “my best thinking got me here.” I always respond by saying “my worst thinking got me here.”
First Things First, Easy Does It, and Live and Let Live
were A.A.'s first slogans. The three are listed on page 135
in the Big Book Fourth Edition. When was Think, Think, Think
added. Was it really in the film in 1962, or was that
movie up-dated? Corey, where are you? ANONYMOUS
Easy Does It But Do It!
Can you tell me where to find this in A.A. literature?
But Do It! negates Easy Does It. Think, Think, Think.
If Joe does not state his name, does the group yell
"WHO ARE YOU"? Keep in mind that membership doubled
in that decade. Think, Think, Think. I think the introduction of chanting into A.A. was a horrible
blunder. I makes us look ridiculous, IMO. ANONYMOUS
No comments on my typing blunder? I really need to pay
more attention to Preview. ANONYMOUS
When Joe says "I am an alcoholic", does the crowd yell
Hi! Joe!? Something to THINK about. ANONYMOUS