Burning Desire to Share
Based on a long running series of posts on this forum it seems like several anonymous posters have a real resentment against GSO and/or the delegates to the General Service Conference. I wonder why?
A frequent complaint is similar to, "Yes, alcoholics are dying by the hundreds of thousands every year while we debate where to place a dash or a comma." As if hundreds of thousands of alcoholics didn't die before there was such a thing as a General Service Conference. There are web sites with short biographies of the authors of the stories in the First Edition of the Big Book. A fair number of them died drunk.
I wonder how many newcomers here or read of AA's failures and decide he or she doesn't have a chance so he may as well keep on drinking.
noduis. You wonder why? Our trusted servants in New York
continue to violate Tradition Seven by its continued use
of profits from the sale of books and literature to support
themselves. I understand our Tradition Seven to read:
Spend what we send; not a penny more.
In violation of the powerful tradition Bill wrote about
in Concept Four, they hire past trustees for paid jobs.
This should never be done. They have ruined our reputation
as a "refreshing spectacle" Enough? ANONYMOUS
Original poster here and the first time I have ever complained about delegate or GSO. I don't like hanging our dirty laundry out for newcomers to see but I felt like knowing and hiding it puts me in the same boat as the other dis-servers. It has always been pointed out to me that I am responsible for my behavior. I hold the delegates responsible for theirs.
New to AA? It has worked for me and hundreds I know. Are there problems in the organization? I think so but the news tells us that there are all kinds of problems with the government but my mail comes every day and my potholes get fixed when I call. Same with AA. The dash may or may not make it to the cover of a pamphlet but I think we can stay sober with or without it if we use what is available.
I have heard of this 'Pink Cloud" what does it mean, and should I be concerned?
I am 61 days sober which is amazing, and was unheard before a couple months ago. I am enjoying sobriety and AA members keep saying to be prepared for the Pink Bubble to pop. Everyday is still an up hill battle, but I excited and happy for my new life. I am not overconfident in my sobriety. I will never go to 'slippery places' because if you hang around a barber shop long enough you are going to get a hair cut..4
any thoughts on this pink cloud?
Pink Cloud means feeling so good that you don't think you have to do any work to stay sober. When it ends, you'll need all the AA you have under your belt not to drink.
THIS AS I UNDERSTAND IT IS IS THAT NEW WARM AND COZY REACTION YOULL BE GETTING IN THE BEGINING AND THAN ITS GONE AS QUICK AS IT CAME AND YOUR ALL ON YOUR OWN, GET USE TO IT, TAKE CARE OF NUMBER ONE, YOUR THE MOST IMPORANT PERSON DO IT FOR YOU.
hello, lil' newcomer, You go right ahead and Ride that Pink Cloud ! No sence or use in "worrys about " that feeling going away.... Life will happen, just enjoy, THE Joy of your sobriety. I believe the early taste of a' pink cloud' is merely a Preview of how it will be Later in Long term Sobriety...if YOU Decide to Jump OFF' your Pink Cloud" ( due to your reaction to what ever Life shows you.... It is perfectly OK for you to have MORE TRUST in God ,and JUMP back ON. the book says , we learn to Match calamity with SERENITY, ... and You Will.
the book also says, God wants us to be HAPPY , JOYOUS & FREE.......N O T , Fearfully ANTISIPATING Disaster..... when people inadvertently TRY To Scare You , or give you cause to feel insecure, smile at them, and know that some of us have been on a Pink Cloud SINCE WE GOT HERE To AA !
I feel the same way. Keep on that cloud. Do good things and help a fellow sufferer.
The "Pink Cloud" refers to when an alcoholic gets sober and starts to feel wonderful and life seems to get better but isn’t practicing a spiritual life; one not doing any of the work (the 12 Steps) to reconstruct (Steps 9–11th) the damage the alcoholic has created in their life and in others.
The words ”pink cloud” are not in the Big Book but, it talks about it. My favorite spot is on page 82 4th ed.
The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way
through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet
relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted.
Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in
turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says
that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who
came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home
ruined. To his wife, he remarked, “Don’t see anything
the matter here, Ma. Ain’t it grand the wind stopped
Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead.
We must take the lead. A remorseful mumbling that
we are sorry won’t fill the bill at all. We ought to sit
down with the family and frankly analyze the past as
we now see it, being very careful not to criticize them.
Their defects may be glaring, but the chances are that
our own actions are partly responsible. So we clean
house with the family, asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience,
tolerance, kindliness and love.
The spiritual life is not a theory.
We have to live it.
I hope this helps...
I remember loving my early sobriety and why not. I'd stopped killing myself and pouring poison into my body/brain in near fatal amounts. I was also surrounded by people who understood where I was coming from and who had a roadmap to a better place. It was thrilling. I was astounded at the level of honesty in AA and what people were sharing. They were openly sharing and even laughing about things I'd been hiding my whole life.
That said, early sobriety can be like surviving an avalanche; momentary relief that the slide has stopped is replaced by an urgency to dig out and clean up the wreckage. During early sobriety I somehow got the idea that because I wasn't drinking I was exempt from the problems of life. The pink cloud evaporated for me when I realized that as a sober member of AA, I was subject to all of the ups and downs and twists and turns of life. I also had to deal with it all sober.
Thankfully, we have a solution in the steps of AA that gives us effective tools for building a sober life that can be happy, joyous & free. It works if I work it.
Don't let ANYONE rain on your parade!! I have been on a Pink Cloud for 13 yrs. and the only way that cloud would burst is if I drink.Every day I wake up sober is a miracle worth celebrating
Hello ! I sober up since February 26 1987. I'm still very happy and excited of my sobriety ,I just got married again in Hawaii MAY 9 2014 . It was Awesome so Yes I am on pink cloud and loving it . Don't let the old dogs ruined the younger person dreams . AA gives hope which I lost at one time . Like it says in the book I couldn't see the beauty of the forest cause of a few broken branches .H o w it works is still even today at my age. Honesty open-minded and willing .
Pink Cloud is an elated feeling we usually experience early in recovery, filled with hope and improved perspectives. The pop they are referring to is when a challenge catches you off-guard and you find yourself restless, irritable and discontent. Then you will really find out how helpful sponsors are.
Many of us enjoy the immediate positive results of sobriety. On the other hand we have a long history of responding to life's challenges and the accompanying feelings by drinking. Without an escape or newfound ways of dealing with them they can build up until we are quite dissatisfied with sobriety. A crash is not inevitable and varies a great deal from person to person. It's just good to be on the lookout for new challenges.
"I am not overconfident in my sobriety. I will never go to..."
I've been at this for thirty four years and I don't have the confidence to say "I will never..."
I live with my boyfriend...he has gone thru issues of drinking by his x wife. Who failed to get sober, their marriage lasted only 4 months. OK..well I am in AA now..my choice as it was AS WE ALL KNOW..causing chaos. My issue is, my boyfriend is so angry all the time with me. Its like he is trying to suck out my inner peace, resents that I am happy, constantly finds fault in all I do. I believe it bothers him that I am going to meetings..keeping a daily journal and am finding peace. The fact that his X wife failed in her attempt is something that I believe he thinks will happen to me.He has such a sharp tongue and crass attitude. He constantly says he fears me leaving,I say I have no reason to. I also hear that people can detect happiness and it makes people more attractive, he thinks that men will be coming after me in droves. NOT?!Tonight he said I have other issues. I get chastised for doing to much..cooking dinner every night and keeping house in order. How do I make him realize that HE is the one angry that I stopped drinking. I believe he thinks he has lost control over me, all I am guilty of is being sober. I wish not to look back and regret I am sober, seems like this is causing problems. I believe he is angry at himself and he lashes out at me. What can I do? I have reached out to 3 sponsors...one says get ready to leave..I WONT..one says he feels like he wont fit into my "new" life. I don't feel its NEW, I just am making better choices. Please post any suggestions..sorry this "thought" is all over the place..but my mind is going bonkers. The partner is not home, he walked out (he owns the home) nothing says disinterest like walking out on me. I remained even toned and calm as he shouted,cursed and pointed his fingers at me,and pointed my flaws out.I am so sad and confused. Thank you..sad in NORTHEAST PA.
Not only are powerless over alcohol but also people,places and things. We have no control over what other people do. Sometimes there is so much anger and bitterness from the hurt from our drinking other people choose not to be happy. They may feel like they are owed something and maybe they are. The non alcoholic parter will give and give and get nothing in return. Eventually they will shut down and always be critical this is called negative sentiment override. until they can make peace with God and look at all the positive things in their life they will be miserable no matter what you do.
He seems like a very angry person. For what I can read. He may feel that you found happens as well as a new life you would walk away. No one should be take that from anyone. Keep going to meeting and spearing with your sponcer. Best of luck with hi and your new life.
“Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power? Well, that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem.” Alcoholics Anonymous p45.
If you haven't picked up on that in 21 meetings perhaps you need a different source for information.
In your post you refer to yourself and to a boyfriend (and why you call him that, I can’t fathom) more than fifty times and a Higher Power zero times. Alcoholics Anonymous had a solution for me when I was in your shoes but I had to try it their way instead of mine.
It happened last night. I had 18 months clean. Yesterday was a great day full of outdoor activities and no stress. While in the shower for whatever reason I decided I was going to drink. When I got out I laid on my bedroom floor wrapped in a towel crying about the back and forth voices in my head. I knew who I should have called to talk me out of what I wanted to do, but I didn't want to be talked out of it. Why? I consciously choose the outfit I'd wear to drink in, as if I were going on a date. I went to the liquor store and stood in front of the beer cooler for nearly five mins before choosing. I grabbed a six pack, and two shooters. Walked back to my truck and had an instant panic attack. Drove to a friends house who was not home and drank in my car. I think I was drunk after three beers but had to finish ever last drop. I laughed, cried, and then got angry. Today I've felt like garbage all day, guilt, shame, defeat. I will start over and I want to start over, but Im just not sure I want to count the days this time. Its as if I knew I were doing too good and needed to prove to myself yet again that I am a failure. Scared to go to a meeting.
Keep coming back. Alcoholism is cunning, baffling, and powerful. There are many of us that relapse and if you keep coming back you have a chance at making it. You are not the only relapser in the room. The people who make judgemental remarks have been gifted in not having the relapse experience and therefore do not understand it. Try to learn from it and yes work a little more on your steps. Everything they tell us really does work.
Alcohol waits patiently and maybe it won that round but hop back into the rooms and try again. Yes, some people will "shun" you but there will be plenty who won't, so hang with them.
I've seen people relapse after 18 years and, guess what, they weren't so judgemental when they came crawling back in.
We are all in this fight together and together we have the strength. Hang in there and start over. You can do it.
You might read the passage in "As Bill Sees It," I think at page 11,from a 1958 letter Bill W wrote to someone who had recently relapsed. It does not excuse the relapse, but rather points out how easily and naturally an alcoholic can return to old methods of coping with life, and how we shouldn't beat up on ourselves too much is we do relapse. I go to meetings daily to be reminded how easy it would be to drink, but that today I don't have to.
1. What has become the natural thing for an alcoholic to do in their life? Ans. DRINK
2. What seems to be the unnatural thing for an alcoholic to do? Ans. STAY SOBER
I have found over many years of staying sober ONE DAY AT A TIME, that my thinking is flawed. My methods of solving life's problems actually take me deeper into trouble. I had to find a CONDUCT OF BEHAVIOR which resolved issues instead of amplifying them. I also had to learn that I am fallible and so not capable of perfectly repeating changes in every case. I stumbled for 4 years before remaining sober. I learned with the help of many people in AA to change. To SLOWLY adopt new ideas and new actions. To love rather than fear. I'm 63 and was laid off 6 months ago. I hate dealing with GOVERNMENT AGENCIES (AUTHORITY) and so create my own difficulties until I surrender and follow the rules. I was welcomed into reality at AA.
Get to a meeting. They need you as much as you need them.
Try to follow directions. When in doubt check the Big Book.
And stick with the winners, usually those with long term sobriety.
Sorry to hear about your relapse but glad you are here sharing it. I hope you take it to a meeting. We are here for you.
You call yourself a failure but it seems you were successful in learning more about alcohol. It took me 17 years to learn that I could not control my drinking. I drank when I had decided not to and drank more than I'd intended or more than needed. You were drunk after 3 beers but finished it all off. I get that. Maybe only in AA will you find people who would see some fun in drinking a 6 pack of beer and 2 shots sitting alone in a car.
There is a solution in AA especially to the mental obsession part of the disease that lies and says it is ok to drink despite all that has happened before and all you know will happen if you drink.
AA offers a spiritual awakening through the steps that gives me sanity in regards to alcohol. I now see alcohol as poison to me; drano or battery acid. I don't see fun or relief but only problems. I am able to visualize my own personal beer commercial that ends with me passed out and puking with no car, no wallet and no idea where I am or how I got there.
I love those days you mention of fun outdoor activities with no stress. I have enjoyed many of them as a sober member of AA. Please keep coming back.
My friend it can be a real bummer having a Relapse : ( Don't give up! page 24 of the big book says we're powerless over the first drink. That means it's gonna keep happening till I find some power. That power is going to come from the steps and having a spiritual awakening.
Been there but didn't drink. A couple years ago I had the thought to drink, and I worked in a convenience store at the time that sold liquor. So I bought a case of beer, brought it home feeling happy no regrets. Until I put my hands on the case to open it, a sudden surge of fear came in, as well I started crying and wondered what the hell I was doing. I was sober over a year at that time. I phoned my sponsor, told her what I did, and decided I needed a meeting, so the next day I went with no thought of opening that case. I traveled 2 hours to get to the nearest and soonest meeting and 2 hours back. I listened to the big book study cd in my car there and back. I returned that case and got my money back. My higher power was there, my sponsor was there. But mostly my higher power gave me those feelings that took me away instantly away from that first drink. I'll never forget how I felt. It was like God punched me in the stomach, and hauled me away from that first drink.
What does this have to do with you, you wonder? Well fact is you didn't call your sponsor, your higher power and spirituality was not there, and it was when you least expected it. Remember constant vigilance, read it in the daily reflections. And most importantly, get in touch with the higher power, grow with it, swallow your pride, and go to a meeting. I slipped years ago, I was still welcome in the rooms, I swallowed my pride and here I am over 3 years sober. Big deal, you fell down. Now get up, dust yourself off and start again. It's up to you what you want in your life. If you don't like it change. Hope this helps.
I get that. I fell out the past two days. Feel like crap. My sponsor "hopes someday I take this disease as seriously" as she does. Sigh. I'll get back to a meeting. I want to get back to a meeting.
Same thing happened to me and I was so proud of myself for sharing my relapse at a meeting. Got the same response, "Hope you are serious about this. Hope you are ready." That did not help.
Go to your meeting, at the very first opportunity. Sit
on the sidelines, not in the limelight. Listen to others
without demanding to be the center of attention. This
may take a lot of self discipline. Do not even mention
that you drank after 18 months. Ask yourself some questions.
Did you unknowingly ingest alcohol in some way, even
a small amount? That may have ignited the obsession. What
medications are you taking? Could withdrawal from a
prescribed medication have created the craving?
Sadly, I suspect that a single phone call to a caring
friend would have prevented the relapse. I guess I believe
that, because I have seen it work so many times, and a
simple phone call and a short visit from a new AA friend
saved me in infant sobriety. (my friend was home)
Just recently I read about relapse in As Bill Sees It.
It can kick you upstairs instead of down.
Wade through the guilt, shame and defeat. This is just
further proof that you are in the right place. Try some
different meetings in addition to your usual ones. But,
most important, don't take that first drink again. Lay
on that bedroom floor all night if you have to. Daylight
will come. ANONYMOUS
I recently started experiencing some episodes of physical and mental discomfort. I was on vacation in Hawaii, but I barely left our condo. I rewarded myself with a trip to Ireland when I was sober six years. And I like traveling. But when I was in Hawaii last October I started to feel like I was going to die.
And that was in October, 2013. Since then I have gone to the doctor probably ten or 12 times, getting help to figure out what is wrong. But, the doctor thinks that it is anxiety. So, we are trying some medication to help me sleep. My suggestion of a topic is trying to figure out what is wrong with a person. I think there is a need for guidance in communicating a symptom to a doctor in a way that leads to a quicker diagnosis.
My case is that I can't seem to pinpoint what "hurts" and how. My wife tells me I don't focus. That may be a barrier between me and whoever I am trying to communicate with about whatever. So, I just like being sober and like this challenge. I have come to believe in myself, to confront issues that I get help identifying. But, I don't call my sponsor much. But I do have a home group. And I am the treasurer.
I have panic disorder diagnosed by a medical professional. I have numerous physical symptoms of no organic significance but they are real. Our program teaches us acceptance. I have found accepting instead of fighting my anxiety is much more effective. Also I pray to my higher power multiple times a day. I get relief attending meetings, reading the literature and talking to others. Another huge benefit is regular cardio exercise. It helps a lot. God bless, you are going to be fine. Nothing happens in God's world by mistake.
Was sober for ten years, quit smoking and got badly depressed. I didn't even know what depression was. Fortunately my family knew a good psychiatrist whose wife was in the program. I had listened to the "amateur pharmacists" and was really skeptical of any meds for the head but gave in and started on antidepressants. It was what I needed. As good practice dictates he took me off them from time to time to see if I was OK without them. I wasn't but the depression would return so subtly that I would be on the bottom again before I noticed. Physical as well as mental. I remember sitting in my recliner, hurting all over, believing I could never work again. Back on the medication, pain disappeared. It can be physical as well as emotional.
I've been on it for years, stay on it. I simply don't have the body chemistry to live a normal life without it. It doesn't make me feel good. It allows me to feel a normal range of emotions in sync with whatever is going on.
You phrase it as something wrong or anxiety. Anxiety IS something wrong and no small matter. "...the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to..." Hamlet nailed it. Life can be tough even when things outside of us are great.
I know what you mean that you can't describe it. All I can say is I found someone, the psychiatrist, who understands and is trained to pry it out of us. He takes care of his end. That isn’t enough. I’m a huge believer in AA’s twelve step program, exactly as written and I utilize it. AA is awash with people old and new satisfied with and promoting remission rather than recovery “Just go to meetings and don’t drink”. I want more, I’m willing to do more, I have more.
I Just finished reading an article in this Mays Grapevine by a man who is blind.Blindness scares me. I love to read and having that encroached upon by blindness is enough to make me cringe in horror. Yet this man was using his blindness to be of service to other alcoholics with special needs.That is the epitomy of courage.This man has Bowling Balls! I too am disabled.But I find courage and inspiration in people like the author of this months Grapevine article.It is easy to think that"nobody knows the trouble I seen".However,there are people among us that embarrass me for complaining because their burdens make mine look small.Most of all, they inspire me to go out there and help others. Whether people are disabled or not,we all have the "disability" of alcoholism. We all need help with that because it is a huge obstacle to living our lives in freedom.All of us need help to embrace dignity and honor.Thank God we have Alcoholics Anonymous to help us stand tall.In the last analysis, AA is what we make it.So it is important to give back what God and AA have given us.
You couldn't said it better
I have severe ME.am housebound and virtual bedbound .Havent been able to go to a meeting for a long time.
also have difficulties with online meetings.[because of my disabilty].feeling very lonely/alone and restless and discontent today.only able to write very short amounts at a time.thanks for this forum
giving me this space to share.
Keep fighting the good fight.
I hope we can become friends and communicate somehow. Is the phone easier for you?
no using the phone is difficult for me.but also i live in the u.k.am i right in assuming you live in the u.s.?
Hey pick up the phone and call someone over and get everyone to go where you live and have a meeting. Disability or no disability you can still communicate so call someone. I was bed bound for 2 weeks and I forced my body to get up and make a call. I could barely hold my body on 2 feet, I forced myself to walk and make a call. Even though I suffered excruciating pain for many months I did alright. I forced myself to go to work because I had to make money to live. Then I almost broke my foot which I was off for a week of work. And again This did not slow me down. I suffer now with only arthritis, however pain is something I've come to accept because there's nothing that will cure it. I live a happy life, and it's served me well to know nothing will stop me unless death from doing what I want in life and go to meetings. Stop the poor me's it is possible to still get meetings
Thank you for the response.
about using the telephone - i can have difficulty talking and i have severe cognitive problems which means holding an 'immediate' conversation is difficult,almost impossible at times.
I am not writing about my disability for sympathy.
i really hope I'm not feeling the 'poor me's'.
I really like 'thank god we have aa to help us stand tall'
from special needs .above.thank you for that.
Your welcome Alys, I know that at times our physical problems are difficult. But if we can pick up a bottle, we can pick up the phone. Don't forget HALT, hungry, angry, lonely, tired. I know if I'm lonely, I know where to go, I can make a call, invite someone over. AA has never let me down, it would only be me to let myself down. God bless you, there's a reason everyone is different, as much there's a reason there are people with the same problems. May you have strength not just physically but as well spiritually, mind, and heart.
hey brother, you and I have similar difficulties.I am not trying to compare but to say I too want to go to a meeting and find it harder than I want it to be. But we have a higher power. And each of us is a reflection of God.I believe when we reach out to another alcoholic we are manifesting that reflection of God within each of us.Be strengthened by the glory of God working through you when you aid another person who is sinking beneath the overwhelming waves of a harsh and tumultuous sea. Just by making a phone call or leaving a message as you did you are doing Gods work. You elevate yourself into a rarified atmosphere that so few of us ever experience.God bless you for showing us all the way we need to reach out.
Glad you reached out. Good to share by any means. I too am restless. I haven't slept for days. I am 8 months sober and working hard on staying positive while I clean up the mess I made at the end of drinking. Stressed out bit I am not drinking.
Its very normal to be restless, irritable discontented after we put the booze down.
Have you all been working the 12 steps? For me working the 12 steps removed the obsession and also helped me overcome the resltessness, irritability and discontentedness.
Restless is a typical withdrawal symptom. Drinking will not solve the restlessness but, increase the problems. As reported by the WHO recently, alcohol kills one person every ten seconds. Trust in the process of recovery. To state the obvious, you are not alone. Next time you are at a meeting look around and appreciate your new family. Every person in the room who introduces themselves as an alcohol can identify with what you are going through and can help. We aren't in the rooms for playing too much badminton. You proved you can stay sober for one day, well that's all we get in AA one day, not two three or more.
I wrote a grapevine article about this and not fitting in. You always read about how people finally felt like they finally belonged at AA after years of not fitting in. But maybe some of us are just a bit more loners than others, AA or not! Sometimes I just don't want to chatter. BUT, and it is a big but, when I do reach out and have the guts to join a group to talk afterward, they almost always open the circle to let me in. Like in life, I need to take responsibility to go after what I want. And those few times where I am not welcomed into the circle, well then, it may be them not me. Or they may just not like my attitude (not big on complaining or gossip). Ageism exists, no doubt (I am 53) and feel invisible sometimes to the world, but show them your wisdom and gentleness that our age brings and your empathy that coming from rock bottom gives us. Hope this helps.
I was wondering if the misprint on page 234 third and second last line repeats was an original misprint in the first addition or if it's a new misprint?
I have been finding it real easy to not make my meetings or talk to my sponser I mean life is good no real issues and I am so busy at work and at home with my wife and kids and I know I am making excuses I guess I just need to motivate myself
Don't let what AA gave you take you away from AA.
When I came to AA looking for help after awful experiences with alcohol I entered rooms full of people who were willing to share their experience, strength and hope to help me. I remain so grateful that there was a room with tables, chairs, AA literature, coffee and snacks. But most of all I am grateful that those chairs were full. Some attendees had many years of sobriety and full happy lives and yet they took time out of their busy lives to share the gift with me.
There are lots of reasons to go to meetings but one big one for me is to give back what was so freely given to me in AA. Though I can't make as many meetings as I'd like, I always hold a service commitment in my home group to make sure that there is a place where the suffering alcoholic can find help.
Keep coming back.