Those Who Don’t “Get” It


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Since August 2009 I have seen three people come in, get a chip, get a book, do the work, feel better and stay. One a year. I have seen hundreds of people come in, look around feebly, get a chip,
share at length about their last drink, and the one before that, complain, not call, go back out, come back in, repeat and DON’T come back. I have seen a few die out there. Struggling, hurting, needing, wanting dying.

Every day I see people who do stay and choose to do nothing and suffer. I look around a room sometimes and cringe. I know some of them are going to die, I know some of them will stay and suffer. I don’t know what is more painful to watch. Perhaps the ones who stay and suffer. The ones with so much stubborn ego whom share a message of a less than complete program, an easier, softer way, whom then “sponsor” another drunk that is desperate and dying to work it the same way. An incomplete, misunderstanding of our literature and principles.

 

If they are lucky enough to keep on, they then sponsor another drunk the same way. The cycle of blasphemy and misconstrued antics continues until we have rooms full of dying, useless drunks.
Maybe that’s a bit harsh and exaggerated. It’s the way I see it today. I know few people who get this program and utilize it on a daily basis properly, getting the desired results.

 

My heart is breaking. I want them all to want what I received. I want everyone to be as desperate and willing as I was. I want their hurt to hurt so bad that it shows when they come in.
And I can’t make them hurt more than more alcohol can. More than ignorance and stubbornness will achieve. I can’t do anything but offer guidance, my phone number, a ride, an experience
while I sit and squirm and hurt for them.

 

I was there once too. What saved me and let the others go? Was it self-realization, pain, anguish and a moment of divine inspiration? Was it years and years of self-inflicted pain and denial? Was it 13 years of meetings and lectures and watching other recover?

 

Dammit, what IS IT?

 

Can I bottle it and hand it out at the door?

 

No. Today all I can do is squirm while I offer my hand. My example, my experience, a book, my number, a ride. I will continue to do so no matter how many don’t want it. I will watch more come in and die. I will witness others continue to carry a diluted message. There will be people whose only message is “90 in 90”, “don’t leave five minutes before the miracle”, “meeting makers make it”, and all the other adages that enable drunks to hang.

 

But I will still make coffee, show up early, leave late, give out my number, buy a book, drive them to meetings, have coffee, and share my message. Not only because it keeps me alive, I know I must for that reason, but I truly love all of them and believe they all can get it. Some just won’t. And if three can, more can. And I want to be part of that. I will continue my trudge. My hope will never parish, my message will always be the same, my solution will not change, my desperation will not waiver. I got it. They can too.

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Love & Tolerance Anyone?


I took a small hiatus from meetings. Like three months. I’ve been back for a couple of months now, after an awakening of humble perceptions.

I had attended a meeting in which the chairperson informed us the meetings topic would be “Whatever you wanna talk about; how your day was, whatever!” I stayed for about 8 minutes until the ramblings of a sick drug addict consisted of her frustrations with her doctor not writing her a prescription she needed.
I made a very dramatic departure. My patience with these type of meetings and people was at its breaking point.

It turned into an ego-driven-soapbox-holier-than-thou resentment for roughly three months. I wouldn’t go to meetings. My argument to my sponsor being that meetings don’t treat alcoholism.Which is true, they don’t. I had lost sight of our primary purpose completely, blinded by my ego, self-righteousness and entitlement. All went well for a time, BUT I FAILED TO ENLARGE MY SPIRITUAL LIFE. I took this all for granted. I was rested assured that without meetings, I could do all of the other things which are required of me to achieve serenity, maintain spirituality as well as stave the mental obsession. All this would have been a perfect plan… had it not come from me. I was doing all the things I was supposed to be doing. And was pretty damned miserable.

I wasn’t doing my part. I had nothing to do with other alcoholics. I was not carrying any message except for I was going to be just fine doing things my way. One night after feeling particularly pouty and whiny, I, on a whim, decided to stop by our club for a late night meeting. One of my great heroes was there.
We chatted. Time ticked on. No one showed up for the meeting. I sat for an hour trying to convince this person that I had figured it out and meetings were overrated.
I left feeling ridiculous. Ashamed. Committed once again to fighting the good fight the best way I can. I was awakened by those around me who loved me enough to not be nice and reveal that I was messing up,
that I wasn’t doing the right thing, and that I could do better with a little tolerance.

My realization was this: if the meetings are so sick, so bad, so toxic that I cannot attend them without getting angry, there must be a change made.

There is a right way to do things. We whom have recovered have a duty to those who have not. It is my responsibility to show them how. I have a message to carry. If no one ever speaks the truth in a meeting again, I can.

I have the ability in a small way to make a difference. One person at a time. I can help when others can’t. It was shown to me that if I do NOT, then I will suffer greatly. For a long time. Until I take a drink.
Now I did not take a drink in this time, and it hadn’t crossed my mind once, but I was on my way. The mental obsession had a way in. And I know it would have shown up one day when I least expected it to.
And there I would have been done for. For me, it is a matter of balance. I can do many different things to the best of my ability, however, if I neglect other consequential principles, I fail and I die.
And I am humbled by that. Man it is easy to get off track and forget. But I do have a fail-proof method available to me all day every day. It is up to me to implement it. Today I can attend a meeting and pray for others, offer guidance, and speak the truth.
There are those who don’t like it, who aren’t living it, and think I’m ridiculous or obsessed or brainwashed. I just know what works for me. And I have a duty to share with you.

And the Red Sox are freaking pathetic. Deuces, Valentine.

Meeting Makers DON’T Make It…


Step Takers Do.

Slogans kept me in a dark, dry, sick abyss for 15 long months. Unwilling to surrender and set forth on the real journey into recovery. I wanted to not have to drink anymore. I wanted what the people in the rooms had. Smiles, laughter, apparent happiness and comfort. But I was unwilling to do any work. I took what I wanted and left the rest. I never got a sponsor. I sloganed my way, alone and suffering, to another drink.

I knew in every meeting I attended, which was three a week, that I would drink again. I thought A.A. just wasn’t working. I had heard “Meeting Makers Make It” and “One Day at a Time” and was doing the best I could with this theory. None of the slogans suggested a sponsor or rigorous step work. None of the women who attended this meeting were willing to sponsor anyone. (And from what I know now, I may have ended up worse off if they had) And I knew I wanted that drink again. I just had to stay dry long enough for it to count. Maybe the people in my life would back off and I could drink again. And they did. So I did. For two agonizing years I was out there, drinking to escape, not trying to drink normally. Dying. Cursing A.A. and their slogans and books and meetings and snobby sober members.

When I was ready, when I had a moment of clarity and spiritual loneliness and vulnerability, I thought of those AA’s and what they really were offering. I knew I was half-measuring the program and not doing what it said.

So I went back.

I did everything they said. I had a spiritual awakening. And now I get to help little feeble drunk women like myself come to know the freedom this program has given me.

And I never tell them slogans.

I never make them go to 90 in 90.

For today I know the answer to the riddle, the solution to the spiritual malady is not in the fellowship by itself.

“90 meetings in 90 days” can kill someone.

Our instruction for the solution is in the book. It tells us to do these steps and work vigorously with another alcoholic and a bunch of other stuff I never knew. Meetings have a place in my life today. I go to offer a solution to the still suffering alcoholic, even if what I say may irritate some, the truth is icky, and I must not sway from that which saved my life. Someone may want what I have and ask me how to get it and I have a duty to be there and to take them quickly through the work.

Today I take this seriously for it is a life and death matter. I am hard-core about Alcoholics Anonymous, I may be a Big Book Thump-er, but I may also have a solution to a murderous obsession.

And it isn’t some corny slogan.

Spiritual Awakening


“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Somewhere during these steps, we are going to have a spiritual awakening. Get them done. Do them. Right now. There is no reason to not do them. And it should not take 6 months!!! If we are properly sponsoring folks, they are immediately starting these steps, and getting them done within a couple of weeks, and having the spiritual awakening.

There is no reason we should sit around DYING from untreated alcoholism while the solution sits right in front of us. We have a responsibility, a duty to ourselves, and the newcomer to carry this message to alcoholics. Once they do the work, they WILL have a spiritual awakening and be able to carry the message to the next drunk. Within a short period of time-this should not take very long at all. We don’t have a lot of time to waste, we have a mental obsession that will kick in VERY soon and we will drink again.

It is imperitive to the future of this fellowship that we get these people through the steps so they can have the spiritual experience and begin working with other alcoholics.

We are promised a spiritual experience. How COOL is that?! We are also gauranteed two options for our future. Drink and die, or accept spiritual help; accept spiritual help and recover.To not be the way we are any longer. To be new. And the bonus is, we won’t want to drink anymore. Thats a gaurantee.

Shitty sponsorship is killing alcoholics. Slogans are killing alcoholics.

The book, Alcoholics Anonymous & the 12 Steps are saving lives. Proper sponsorship are giving our fellowship a chance. Recovered alcoholics who have had deep and effective spiritual experiences have a message to carry and have a place in Alcoholics Anonymous.

There is work to be done before the spiritual experience and we need good sponsors who are able to guide folks throguh that correctly. If you feel you don’t know how to sponsor someone, you may not have had a spiritual awakening. If I am to help another alcoholic to have a chance, I need to be sure I have done the work properly myself and had the necessary experince the book tells me I am to have.

Accountability


Today I have the ability to be a better version of myself. I do not have to hide behind the masks of self-hate, fear, illusion and distrust. I have a chance today. To be better.

I realized this through another rigorous 4th and 5th step. I have character defects that I am allowing to make up who I am. I am creating a self-sabatoged existance and calling it recovery. When I have more than enough ability to be a better version of myself.

I can do the right thing when no one is looking. Because it is the right thing and that is what I do. It feels good, and has benefits. I have nothing to hide today. I can sweep and mop the floors at work when no one is looking because I am supposed to. Without resentment. That is a huge change in who I have been in the past.

I must be accountable and responsible. Because it is the right thing to do, it is what I am supposed to do, and it feels gooood. The other way will kill me. I never imagined I would be saying any of this. I gave myself plenty of rope to hang myself and plenty of excuses as to why I behaved a certain way and accepted certain behaviors.

They may be small things, but I am growing into a responsible and trustworthy person day by day. My recovery from alcoholism is more than not taking that first drink. I have defects in my personality that discourage me from being the best version of myself. The fact that I know now that I have the ability to be GOOD is astonishing. I am floored. I can be a better person! Better and better every day that I wake up and remember that I do not deserve this life that I have, that I should be locked up somewhere for things I have done, or dead. Ths is not the life that I chose. I chose self-loathe and disgust and pain and hate. I just didn’t want to drink another day. I had a desire to be a responsible person when I came into the fellowship, and it is slowly happening. I just had to do the work. The real work. A few times in fact.

Today my recovery is getting better, and is consisting of more options. And I am grateful. And humbled. Overjoyed at this life. Thank you God. Thank you.

Samantha M. 3rd Tradition


http://www.xa-speakers.org/speakers/aa/single-speakers/samantha-m/samantha-m-thirdtrad200532.mp3

 

Samantha is a true-blue drunk who has recovered and is obsessed with Alcoholics Anonymous! She is my absolute favorite speaker I have ever found. She has helped in changing my thinking, my set ideas and concepts of this program. She has fully opened my mind to another way of thinking.


In All Our Affairs


“Each of us in turn – that is, the member who gets the most out of the program – spends a very large amount of time on Twelfth Step work in the early years. That was my case, and perhaps I should not have stayed sober with less work.

“However, sooner or later most of us are presented with other obligations – to family, friends, and country. As you will remember, the Twelfth Step also refers to “‘practicing these principles in all our affairs.” Therefore, I think your choice of whether to take a particular Twelfth Step job is to be found in your own conscience. No one else can tell you for certain what you ought to do at a particular time.

I just know that you are expected, at some point, to do more than carry the message of A.A. to other alcoholics. In A.A. we aim not only for sobriety – we try again to become citizens of the world that we rejected, and of the world that once rejected us. This is the ultimate demonstration toward which Twelfth Step work is the first but not the final step.”

——Bill W., Letter, 1959

 

We take what we are taught, and we rejoin the world, doing as much as we can to be of help. This is reassuring to me, that I am able to do my best for others outside of the rooms as well.

Ebert is One of Us!!!!!


Ebert is One of Us!!!!!

Lengthy but awesome account of Roger Eberts own blog post about his alcoholism and recovery.

Joe and Charlie Book Study


Who were Joe & Charlie?

2 recovered alcoholics who met at a convention and shared the same viewpoints about exactly what our Big Book is conveying. They started meeting with other alcoholics in small groups discussing the points and intentions of our literature, rapidly growing into a national demand. They eventually started to tour the U.S. together doing seminars and Big Book studies.

Soon the studies became so popular that they were listened to on tape allover the world. Joe & Charlie have been incredibally influential in the lives of many recovering alcoholics and continue to bring hope and understanding to alcoholics allover the world today.

Get the entire Joe & Charlie Big Book Study here.