Burning Desire to Share
Go to step 2 and find the two words that sum up this step.
Why would you drink the poison koolaid anyway?
Yes. It is a relapse. If you knowingly picked up an alcoholic beverage and drank it then it is a relapse.
Maybe you weren't sober for 3 months, maybe you just had
a period of "not drinking" for 3 months.
Why don't you let this be an opportunity for you to show you
we alcoholics have truly lost our choice to drink or not drink and an alcoholic will always drink again unless they
surrender, admit to their innermost self that they are alcoholic, become willing, take action, work the program and remain teachable. If you do all the things people in the
program tell you to do you can get your alcoholism in remission, not have to drink again and only need to get sober one time! Good Luck.
Thanks for you reaction. I am for 6 years in AA but i can't "feel"the surrender and i think that's the reason that i many times relapsed.But i am still struggle with step one.I go the meetings and working my programm.I don't give up!
Greetings from a member off aa nederland
I stayed sober in the begining because I was told I would die if I drank again. I stayed sober for almost 21 years, one day at a time.
Than my husband & adult son left 7 said they were starting
over up north. I found a bottle in the house & drank it. I was hanging out in casinos where there was liquor. I was very overwhelmed with that lifestlye. They came home after 3 days.
I was very suicidal & was just put on lithium. I could have killed myself. That's when I got serious with Aa. I got a new sponser because mine disapeared. I started going to meetings again.
Just tell God, I can't you can, I will let you. I just came home from a bigbook meeting. They help. My sponser is treasurer there. I love AA now. I have 11 years again.
Write everything down that bothers you & talk to your sponser or at least God. Jesus is my helper. Trinity Broadcasting helps me also. I hope this helps. Lynn
A big problem with alcoholism is the unpredictable results of drinking. One of the reasons we think complete abstinence is required. A large percentage of inmates in jails and prisons were drunk or stoned when they got caught doing whatever it was that got them there. Do you suppose a single one of them predicted the outcome?
It’s troubling, though not uncommon, to see someone in relapse more concerned with how it looks than what it means. The good news is that there is a solution.
Thanks for reaction!
It's your business not mine whether you drink or not. AA recommends complete abstinence from alcohol. I have heard a number of members talk about the anguish they went through being dishonest about their sobriety date and finally got honest about it. Why go through the misery then fess up anyway?
When you call yourself stupid for drinking, you are calling several million of us the same. If you drink like I did, you have a disease that compels us to drink, smart or stupid, young or old, black, brown or white.
All of us have a good REASON to stay sober, AA provides a METHOD to achieve that. They are different.
Thanks for reaction.I know now that's not stupid! It's the disease who's tell me:pick up a drink. I know there are a several million of us/me who suffered from relapsing.
But i don't give up!
I have been clean off of heroin for 10 years. When I lost my Dad to Cancer, I relapsed and drank. Poor decision. I picked up 6 months and then relapsed again and drank. Then I went back to AA and have been sober for 9 months as of June 28th. I have a great sponsor and friend.
I've been sober for about a month and half. I'm 53 and have pain in my joints. This started about a week ago. I don't know if I've had it all along and alcohol was masking it, or if it is some type of withdrawal. I would be interested in hearing from others with a similar issue. Thanks, Julie
I'm 2 years sober and I'm 26 years old, and I have a lot of arthritis. Which is what you possibly have. Hard to say what you did to your body in all the years you drank. I've had more pain the last 2 years and learned to suck it up. I had seen myself in a wheelchair from terrible back pain, and last year I could barely walk because my foot hurt so bad. The doctor told me its arthritis, and it can spread everywhere in your body in different joints. I used to go in a closet at work and cry from the physical pain, but these 2 years of my life have been the best because of my sobriety. I don't have pain so much anymore because I keep active. Beleive it or not, but exercise has prevented a lot of joint pain.
You could just be old. I'm 55 and experience various pain levels everyday and I've been sober for many years. Honestly Julie, it could be any number of medical conditions. The body does weird things during withdrawal. The joints become dehydrated and full of uric acid crystals from alcohol abuse. Water, proper diet and exercise were the best medicines for me as well as, avoiding heavy caffeine drinking, processed foods and sugar. Have you had a physical exam? This would be an important thing to have done. We must take care of ourselves at this age. Mary
I finally got enough wear and tear to go to a orthopedic surgeon to check it out. Exam, x ray. Good to KNOW instead of having the committee that meets in my head forecasting doom. Gave me some tips on engaging in various work activities and prescribed the best non mood altering over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pills.
I've also had depression manifest itself as physical pain so bad that I thought I would never work again. I've dealt with it successfully too.
Welcome and good luck.
I can relate to your post. I was 55 when I showed up in the rooms of AA. In my case the joint pain showed up after the first 30 days and only lasted several months. It was suggested to me that I drink lots of water and very closely watch what I was eating.
It also helped me a great deal to start walking everyday. At first it was all I could do to walk a few blocks, but very quickly I was getting some relief. So in true alcoholic fashion, if a "little is good a lot is better" I started walking 30 miles a week and did that for the first couple of years. It help the joint pain and also decreased my waist size and improved my self-esteem.
Keep coming back, everything gets better with a solid program and without the alcohol.
I didn't sponsor for many years for many reasons, but I wanted to be sure I was armed with the facts of self. The good the bad and the ugly and indifferent. Now I have a few ladies on the go and one thing I dislike is when they call me and say how good things are going. ( I don't care how good they are going) My job is to help you work the steps use the principles work the traditions. I want to be able to tell you how to over come your character defects and become a useful member of society. I want to hear your bull so I can help you see the truth about yourself. I want to help you become humble and use God on a regular basis. I like to cut to the chase and be assertively nice about it.
Kamloops BC Canada
Messages like this one from Kamloops BC Canada reaffirm
my belief that today's concept of Sponsorship needs to
be eliminated from our fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
To point out that it is cultish is putting it mildly.
Following this practice of sponsorship makes A.A. a cult.
Telling a newcomer to turn to another human being, prevents
that member from finding a Higher Power of their own
understanding. The Big Book tells them that probably no
human power can help them. Then we tell them "Get a sponsor.
But try to get today's "sponsor" to give up the power
and prestige and you have a battle on your hands.
Sure, cults work for some; religion works for some.
Bill W. and Dr. Silkworth left us a formula (technique)
which rarely fails. Let's return to that method. ANONYMOUS
Having a sponsor or someone to reach out to helps. It's this attitude that needs to be eliminated.
are you board certified as a counselor?
I think the Grapevine is a fantastic publication. Anywhere I am, I can pull out, or access any story online. I am very proud to be the Grapevine Rep at one of my home groups. At my other home group last night, it was announced that readings from the Grapevine will no longer be allowed at our meeting. Further, it was announced that only "appproved AA material would be allowed. This was from the group conscious meeting that to my knowledge was not publicized. Two weeks prior, I had read a story from the Grapevine ("Get into the Boat", an awesome short story February 2013), and our most senior old timer could not understand the story and was verbally abusive about the reading.
Can "The Grapevine" be barred from meetings?
It’s the group that’s being talked about in Tradition Six. The literature that is read at the beginning or end of the meeting is pre-selected by the group and therefore represents the group. Many groups use only literary material published by AA (conference-approved) as their pre-selected reading material, in order to conform to Tradition Six.
A reading from non-AA literature at the beginning or end of a meeting is a form of endorsement by the group for that outside enterprise. Therefore many groups avoid a weekly reading from the bible or from the 24 hour a day book at the beginning or end of their meeting, since these are published by outside sources.
Individuals do not represent the AA group, nor AA as a whole, when they participate in a meeting. Individuals may voice their opinion, without it being interpreted as the opinion of the whole group or AA. For instance, someone could say they found a certain passage in the bible or a chapter in a Hazeltine book to be very helpful to them when they are working a certain Step. In this case, they are certainly endorsing outside literature. But are they breaking Tradition Six by sharing this information? Of course not. They are not representing the opinion of the whole group or AA.
The group could take a group conscience and decide that they do not want meeting participants to ever mention any outside literature. But that would be simply a preference of the group, rather than a conformance to Tradition Six.
Instead of simply talking about the passage in the bible, the meeting participant could actually read the passage from the bible itself. Or read the passage from the Hazelton book. Similar to talking about a passage, reading it in no way constitutes the opinion of the group or the opinion of AA, but just the opinion of the individual, who is sharing that the passage was helpful to them.
The group may decide that not only don’t they want individuals to talk about outside literature, but they also don’t want them to read any passages from it. But this is a group preference rather than a Tradition Six issue.
I believe Grapevine articles are a special case, in that AA publishes them, but they are not technically conference-approved, since it would be difficult to achieve that approval every month. It’s really up to your group whether they want to pre-select Grapevine articles to be read at the beginning of their meeting. And similar to readings from literature not published by AA, like the bible or Hazeltine books, it’s up to the group if they want to allow individuals to read from them during the meeting as an expression of that individual’s opinion.
I have held the belief for many years that the
AA Grapevine is conference approved material. Was not this
decision made in the past? A comment made at our recent
NERF indicated that it is really not conference approved
I personally do not understand or agree that it ought
to be approved automatically. The contents are the views
of very few individuals.
Another question for Corey, or maybe someone from GSO.
on the inside cover of the latest issue of the grapevine it states;conference advisory action,1986:"since each issue of the grapevine cannot go through the conference-approval process,the conference recognizes the AA grapevine as the international journal of alcoholics anonymous
Technically the Grapevine is conference approved. I don’t have a current issue in front of me since I usually read the Grapevine digitally. Inside the Grapevine front cover in the lower right hand corner is a statement that says, “Conference Advisory Action, 1986: since each issue of the grapevine cannot go through the conference- approval process, the conference recognizes the AA grapevine as the international journal of AA.
I feel the grapevine is our meeting in print. I think it is the pulse of AA as a whole where everyone who cares to write has an opportunity to be heard. Just like anyone in AA, nobody speaks publically for AA as a whole, and articles written in our journal don’t either. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy the “what’s on your mind format”. I am exposed to views and opinions that otherwise I wouldn’t have.
For anyone interested I will post part of a letter I received from GSO regarding other literature. Read it if you want and use the information as you choose!
“Thank you for your question about Twenty-Four Hours a Day, which is not an A.A. publication.
The group conscience of each A.A. group determines what literature is appropriate to have in its meetings, keeping in mind our A.A. Traditions and experience. The pamphlet “The A.A. Group” shares about the informed group conscience on pages 28-29 and is attached and available at the following link: http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-16_theaagroup.pdf on G.S.O.’s A.A. Web site.
The General Service Conference, the closest thing we have to a group conscience for A.A. throughout the U.S. and Canada, has suggested “that A.A. groups be encouraged to display or sell only literature published and distributed by the General Service Office, the A.A. Grapevine, and other A.A. entities.” Attached please find a service piece that describes A.A. literature and the Conference-approval process. Individual members, of course, have always had the personal choice of using whatever materials they feel best enhances their spiritual lives, including religious books and periodicals.
The understanding of this office is that the Conference had the intention of keeping the focus of the A.A. meeting on the A.A. message as expressed in our literature rather than outside material. However, we know of A.A. groups that use literature such as Twenty-Four Hours a Day that has not been published by A.A.
Regarding whether this type of decision within a meeting affects A.A. as a whole (i.e. bumps up against Tradition Four), Bill W. shares the following in his essay on Concept XII, which can be found on page 70 of The A.A. Service Manual combined with Twelve Concepts for World Service:
Then, too, a great many of these difficulties with the Tradition are of strictly local concern, there being no serious national or international implication. Many of them represent honest differences of opinion as to how the Tradition should be interpreted: whether a lenient or strict observance would be the better thing. Especially when operating below the public level, our experience with the Tradition reveals gray areas, where neither white or black interpretations seem possible. Here the violations are often so debatable and inconsequential they are hardly worth bothering about. Here we [the General Service Conference] usually refrain from offering suggestions, unless they are insisted upon. We feel that these problems must be solved chiefly by the local people concerned.
As to your question about the Conference decisions regarding the Twenty-Four Hours a Day book, I have attached a history of the correspondence between the author and this office regarding the publication rights. This history was compiled by the Archives department in 2005 for a Staff member replying to a question to yours. The Twenty-Four Hours a Day book was written by Richmond W. and was published locally in Daytona Beach, Florida. In the early 1950s, Richmond W. offered the publication rights to A.A. Publishing Co. The General Service Conference (U.S./Canada) discussed his proposal in 1954 and decided not to accept the offer, partially because of its religious tone. After this decision, Richmond W. offered the rights to Hazelden (publisher since then). In 1972 the Conference discussed the book again, and it was decided not to Conference-approve the book.”
I apologize for the long post,
The Big Book was not conference approved.
who cares whether the big book is conference approved or not. Really are you this ignorant? the big book is one of the things that saved many peoples lives, especially mine. Everything I say or you say in a meeting is not conference approved, so what is your problem that this is a big deal to you?
The great thing about AA is we don't have to read anything. Our group had a problem where Bibles, Christian feel good pamphlets, Buddhist Texts and new-age books were being placed on the literature table. Even ads for meditation groups and yoga. Although one is free to choose their own destiny in recovery, we cannot endorse such things. Our group is very strict when it comes to that. I do know people that never read any of the approved stuff but have found comfort and support in books not approved by AA. I really liked the "This is A.A." and the "Sponsorship" pamphlet as well as, the Living Sober book in the beginning. All kinds are in the rooms looking for a way out of their misery. Not everything speaks to everyone equally. I have found out what works for me and others are welcome to find out what works for them. Even if I do a Scooby Doo huh?
Once again some folks in AA labor under the misapprehension that "conference approved" equates to "nihil obstat and imprimatur." It was never intended to be viewed in that fashion, rather it originally merely indicated those books and pamphlets that AA wanted to restrict itself to publishing (not wishing to lose sight of our primary purpose by getting into the publishing business). That is why the 24 Hours a Day book was passed on, not because it was considered offensive. (I should add that I never liked the book, and thus would have personally rejected it if I were the "Most High Inquisitor and Grand Censor.")
But to your question, each group has the right to read whatever it wants. Perhaps you should call for another group conscience where the whole meaning of "conference approved" can be discussed. IF the group decides it wants to be rigid, find another group or start your own.
The last meeting I monitored regularly I made a point of reading something from basic AA literature as well as something complimentary from non-AA material, which ranged from Over-eaters Anonymous to NA to 5th century Christian to Buddhist to Sufi writings, just to emphasize that the same lessons were to be found from many different sources. When this very question came up, I received a lot of help from AA's all over, especially Mel B, who has remained open-minded throughout five or six decades of sobriety. The "child's mind" is an open mind, and it is to that I aspire.
"The last meeting I monitored regularly I made a point of reading something from basic AA literature as well as something complimentary from non-AA material, which ranged from Over-eaters Anonymous to NA to 5th century Christian to Buddhist to Sufi writings, just to emphasize that the same lessons were to be found from many different sources."
Wow, why didn't I think of doing that? I have "The Lost Weekend" and "Days of Wine and Roses" on DVDs, maybe I'll take one of them to a meeting so we can view and discuss it? I'm sure someone could get something from it. Or how about "Come Fill the Cup"? Not AA, but alcoholics get sober in the movie, and Sheldon Leonard's character does mention AA once.
"An AA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise...." Using religious materials in an AA meeting is a form of endorsement, as is using material from any other outside source.
"Using religious materials in an AA meeting is a form of endorsement, as is using material from any other outside source." I think you have misread that tradition. I recommend reading the 12 x 12 chapter dealing with it.
Years ago I read Marty Mann's essay, "Twice I sought Death," which had been featured on Edward R. Murrow's program "This I Believe." It can be accessed online. I was rather taken aback when someone approached me after the meeting and cautioned me that it was not "conference approved." That group later decided by group conscience not to allow readings that were not conference approved. I abide by their choice, though I wonder about the wisdom of it. Interestingly, that particular group has more "AA fundamentalists" than any other in town, many of whom are quite vocal in their literal interpretation of the chapter "We Agnostics." I suspect that kind of intolerance has driven more people away from AA than a reading from a Hazelden published book of daily meditations.
Jim, It is comforting that we old "oletimers" can find
some common ground. I am still mobile and am able to
get to meetings every day. I hope the same is true for
"Each GROUP has the right to read whatever it wants", not
one or two members. You are not the group. The GROUP, in
a proper fully informed group conscience meeting, decides
what is to be read at an approved A.A. meeting.
(not wishing to lose sight of our primary purpose by
getting into the publishing business). Works Publishing
was vital in the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Doesn't anyone else recognize this? Where are
you? Corey, Jim, Mike, Dennis. ANONYMOUS
The 24 hr. Book: You never liked the book? Personally,
you would have rejected it? And you do not think it was
rejected because it was considered offensive. Bill and his
friends refused to accept the book when it was offered to
A.A. in the early 1950's. Many A.A. members wanted it approved and brought it to the conference after Bill died.
In my opinion, Most alcoholics approaching us are just
not ready for that kind of religious teachings. Many
have already tried religion and it has failed. When
they see that A.A. is just another religion they
quietly walk away. Unless they "get a sponsor" and
join the cult. Stop reading the 24hr. book at meetings.
Stop reading "How it Works". Thanks for the platform. Anonymous
And where do they quietly walk away to? I tried AA. I tried no AA. I learned I could go to AA or drink.
Mel B. was the writer of an article in the Grapevine
a few years back where he wrote that about two million
members are all we ought to expect. If he is still with
with us I wonder if he still holds that view. That
opinion certainly did not come from an open-minded AA
Take a good look at the "AA Thought of the Day" and
the daily meditations in the 24 hr. book. I love that
book and always have loved it. It was given to me at
my second A.A. meeting in 1970, not by the group, but
by an individual member who thought it would be helpful.
I have kept it near and dear for over four decades.
YET: I consider the acceptance of the 24 hr. book into
A.A. meetings to be a serious perhaps fatal mistake. I base my belief on the simple IDEA offered to Bill W. in the
spring of 1935 by Dr. Silkworth. Bill wrote several times
that without that IDEA, A.A. could never have been born.
It took me thirty five years to "figure it out". My mind
was not just closed, it was locked. I thank God for
opening it, as painful as it has been. ANONYMOUS
YOU made a point of reading something... That does
not sound like a GROUP CONSCIENCE decision to me.
"ANONYMOUS YOU made a point of reading something... That does
not sound like a GROUP CONSCIENCE decision to me."
So does each reading need to be approved by the group before it is read? No, each group can decide whether it wants to restrict readings to certain AA published books or not. If they want to allow reading the 24 hour a day book, great. Mel B's "101 Meeting Starters," that is their choice. My current favorite meeting has no reading at all - rather we simply have a topic, from acceptance to gratitude to one day at a time. I sure hope these topics are okay for discussion, that they would be "AA approved" topics, as we surely wouldn't want to commit any doctrinal error.
Ask the bleeding deacon to show you a list of unapproved AA material at your next meeting.
Simple: Any material not on the conference approved list would be unapproved. Otherwise what would be the point?
It is really not that complicated. Rose
Iam sober three months and could not have wished for better health, enjoying simple things and loving waking up in the mornings, but why do i repeatedly hear " be careful you will soon come down from your fluffy cloud"? Am I not allowed to feel this way? Dont get me wrong i have my bad days, but my life was such a sad one that i can only feel joy in my sobriety!!
The pink cloud is mentioned in the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions book. It refers to those who work step 1 and are so excited about finding the AA group, they jump straight to Step 12 and start evangelizing. They don't work steps 2 through 11. They soon fall off the "pink cloud" because they have no depth of understanding. They haven't done the work. (They are referred to as "two-steppers.") The pink could phrase/concept is wildly misused and misunderstood today. It does not suggest that we must expect to have negative consequences when we stop drinking. (Reference the promises.)
My understanding of the pink cloud is a state of surrender. When I took step one and really meant it, I had an incredible feeling of release. I know I had finally surrendered because I suddenly had the willingness (defined as cheerful readiness) to take the remaining 11 steps of AA. I didn’t know it at the time, but those 12 steps are ego deflating. Practicing the 12 steps has kept me in a state of surrender for almost 21 years. The pink cloud you are experiencing ends when our ego returns, we begin to think this world owes us, we get frustrated and even if we don’t drink, we go on emotional benders also known as a dry drunk.
Those who warn you about falling off the pink cloud are those who surrendered and stopped or never did work our steps. I know, because I had a few pink cloud( surrender only ) sobrieties before I found continued sobriety through AA’s 12 steps.
I hope that helps,
Good luck to you and God bless you!
I was so happy to find sobriety and a new life. I wrote
joyous letters to my family who lived in a distant state.
I had never been a happy person, and they were surprised.
Some thought I sounded a little balmy. But I was happy
and I am still happy. Admittedly, some times have only
been reasonably happy. Someday I hope to be supremely
I did have that three month pink cloud period of
grace, although not every alcoholic has that "high".
I believe that is the way it had to be for me. I needed
that three months to settle in.
We do have to be careful, always. But not in the
fear that this is going to be taken away from me. One
drink and it will be taken away. Or do I chose to give
it up? Not today.
I have heard that anyone who is always smiling is
either on something or up to something.
Become responsible, face reality and live a sober
life. I found a life beyond anything I had ever hoped
for. I love that movie "It Can Happen to You". It
has happened to me. Better than any Lottery. ANONYMOUS
Thanks for sharing, good topic.
Many of us used alcohol to take care of feelings we didn't know what else to do with.
Early sobriety can certainly bring the rewards you mention (and will continue to).
On the other side of the coin, what do I do when I feel scared, or lonely or tired now that I don't rely on alcohol? Most of us don't have a collection of good tools to deal with them, in fact we have a lot of experience doing the opposite. Such as "I don't like talking to people. I don't want to bother anyone. I never did that before. In my family we didn't do that."
For many of us these unresolved feeling mount up. Thirty days, ninety days aren't unusual for an eruption. Then we really have something to deal with we never had before.
The good news? This is exactly what AA's program of recovery is all about. Learning to deal with life on life's terms. I've never seen it come automatically for anyone. It is learned behavior. Revelation and repetition.
AA's book "Living Sober" is one of the best places to start in addition to "Alcoholics Anonymous" and "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions". I see on online forums and face to face meetings a stream of misinformation passed off as AA. Why wouldn't there be? The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking insanely. That's not much of a resume. To get it right, I go to the source.
Welcome and good luck.
I'm looking for feedback on the topic of Being In AA and Not Around AA..... what does this mean to you ?
It's was said in Doctor Bobs LAST letter as he thanked the people IN A.A and Those OF A.A - Many people in A.A belong to the religious outside sponsorship system that has to administer A.A's free gift to them, these are people IN A.A - The people OF A.A relies on God ONLY BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD THEIR GO I and taped an unsuspected enter resource that intuitively handles situations that use to baffle them and need no religious person IN A.A to administer it to them as they truly Let Go and Let God and are part of a true fellow ship not followship. I am OF A.A most of my friends are in A.A.
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 !!!