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current weekly topic FAITH NOT FEAR Sunday 7pm topic

alan 19 03 2018 5:11 pm (sent from my mobile)
Alan alcoholic. For me the exercise of humility needs perpetual attention. However nowhere is God nearer to help me than in our Step Three. Therés another thing about the step I was advised to do; "fake it until you can make it". When I heard that I decided to take the leap rather than letting my denial have an excuse to prevent my progress in recovery.

alan Friday, 9 March 2018 12:33 pm
Alan alcoholic.

"We are not saints", we read in the AA Preamble from Chapter V P60. So the handing over of my will to the care of God is never expected to be perfect. A great thing in the AA programme is that I'm just required to do my best and not asked to attain perfection.
If the question of perfection does come up as a problem I will be creating it myself and can try to work in that area by, for example, decreasing my expectations.

Andrea Saturday, 3 March 2018 9:39 am
Andrea alcoholic

With respect to handing my Will over to God….I believe that to be impossible to do in its’ entirety. Even a Saint would find it difficult to completely let Ego go….and to completely understand what Gods’ will was for them.

This is how I am trying to work through each day – I make a conscious effort to ‘hand’ my will completely over to God for certain time periods, for example when I am writing, studying and want to ‘share’ something. I say a small prayer before I begin, thanking God for where I am today and I hand my will to God and I ask that I might serve….this way I might be inspired to say something that will help another. I ask that my heart, mind and soul be filled with His light and love...and that it guide everyone one of my actions and thoughts. I am doing this every day.

When I do that consciously, make that effort, the rest of the day seems to move on its’ own with perfect synchronicity. Something that I might be curious about and want to mentioned by another without prompt. I might think of a friend….and then they call. I cook and it was just what someone fancied eating...all sorts of little things like that, perectly timed. far and so good but how does that get us through our life problems? And how can we find the ‘wisdom’ to know which things we should just ‘accept’ and which things we can ‘change’. The answer is really in living each day, one at time – just living and dealing with ‘today’. As alcoholics we’re already beginning to do this...we stay sober one day at a time..we tell ourselves that drink we might want is available tomorrow….but tomorrow never arrives because we’re always practicing ‘today’.

Fear and worry are closely linked and both are actually about the future. We worry about something that might happen. Why? It’s not happening today, it hasn’t happened yet...why worry about it? If it was something that happened yesterday….it’s in the past now, why worry about it? Learn from it yes but don’t worry about it. Okay you say, I have a problem that I’m worried Ask yourself, can I fix it today? Yes? Fix it – no worries. No? can’t be fixed..why worry?

Accepting the things that we can’t change today I believe is us living by the will of God. If we can’t change must be something that we’re meant to go through, experience and learn from – it’s one of the ways that we grow and evolve spiritually. So, it is perhaps better to say ‘accept..until change comes or can be brought about and until I have learned from this experience’.

Living for ‘today’ and letting your fears and worries float away is YOU letting God move your life in the directions He would like it to go for you. You are giving your will over to Him. In realising that I would then say that we have to have FAITH and TRUST in Him to keep us safe.

alan Thursday, 1 March 2018 6:50 pm
Alan Alcoholic.

I changed the weekly topic to FAITH NOT FEAR as we are now on Step Three.

Turning over control to God required some faith on my part as I was fearful about giving in completely. Then I was in a meeting where it was read from somewhere "replace your fear with faith".

This showed me yet again how there are actions I can take to further my spiritual progress.

alan Friday, 23 February 2018 12:50 pm
Alan alcoholic. regarding LETTING GO OF MY OLD IDEAS

I believe Nietzsche once said "the only thing worse than ideas is opinions".

Ideas are after all composed of many elements from many places such as CONDITIONING for example. Is someone who has been conditioned by past environment and treadtment really voluntarily holding ideas or opinions which have been foisted upon them as in islamic fundamentalism?.

Ideas may be, after all, only the tip of the iceberg, the visible manifestation of underlying currents which may be beliefs or just instincts. The composition of such currents must be a complex stack of circumstances and conjunctures, as anyone who has tried to understand why they or anyonme should have the urge to drink to destruction.

What Nietzsch might have been saying is that mere pragmatism is often best avoided and intuition, faith and spirituality favoured. That's the view I tend towards in any case.

Chad Monday, 19 February 2018 12:27 am
Chad, alcoholic.  Thank you for the helpful topic and shares, Alan.  Earlier this month, an old idea came to me that I believe I need to let go:  "it's self-centered of me to get mental health help, because I need to be focused on my mother's mental health."  Like maybe all of the old ideas I've needed to let go, I wasn't conscious of that one, but it surfaced with what I believe is a sense of truth. 

Either way, the old idea that nearly killed me, from 1991 to 2001, was the one that I needed to be able to drink normally, and maybe also the one that I needed to do whatever drugs were being done by the crowd I was in or near. 

The first time I swore off alcohol, I was maybe 14 years old--it was shortly after I had gotten blacked out drunk for the second time, and maybe my spirit knew at that point that there was no normal drinking for me.  But that great obsession, like the Big Book talks about, would not let go, even after I had nearly died, had lost everything that seemed even faintly meaningful to me, and had lost a lot of time in blackouts. 

The gift of surrender to this program, that came into my life in 2001, I don't get any credit for; like you, I found myself broken down and the willingness came.  Grateful for the wonderful daily reprieve I've gotten since then, through the 12 Steps of our program!

alan Saturday, 17 February 2018 10:14 am
Alan alcoholic.

I changed the weekly topic to LETTING GO OF MY OLD IDEAS.

My old ideas got me into a bad state so surely I ought to be willing to listen to a way to break the deadlock? It's surprising, on being honest, how much reluctance I had to take certain steps...

alan Monday, 12 February 2018 11:08 am
Alan alcoholic.

ME? INSANE? In Step Two what seems like an affront kicks dust into my face.

When I think about it, however, I can come up with any number of examples of my insanity while actively alcoholic and even a few in recovery up to present day. The current ones I'm addressing are nothing like the past instances and they tend to hurt me or put me, rather than others, in danger.

The classic case, usually cited, is that thousands of times I vowed to never take another drink and yet did so - a pretty good definition of insanity if ever there was one...

Once I came to admit these things awich I professed not to see then they came in series. Sometimes it's scary or painful to look back at the scrapes and situations I got into and I remember frequently being labeled as "mad" although I used bravado as a cover-up. I had to come to see and to believe that there was a way other than that I practiced stubbornly on my own terms. But my terms drove me to the wall and made me hit rock bottom.

I'd be interested to read any helpful examples others can give of crazy behaviour related to their alcoholism. We are not often asked to relive our crazy moments so here's a chance, without making a "drunkologue" out of it.

alan Friday, 9 February 2018 11:03 am
Hi all Allan alcoholic.

Firstly, thanks Robbie for your chair in January and thanks to those who keep coming and sharing which helps me to stay sober and also carry the message.

I've (belatedly) put my name in as chair for February and remain grateful to have the opportunity to serve an work the steps in this way.

On the monthly topic I set it to WHAT HIGHER POWER? so we might discuss 1. ways of seeing and defining that power and 2. what might prevent me from "coming to believe" in such an entity.

Where 1 is concerned, my personal definition is "someone who isn't me" as I feel that it's the most helpful in keeping me away from thoughts which are preventing me from letting go of the desire to control - to be THE POWER myself. This (being the power) is, of course, the goal society generally might give me as the key to success in business or other walks and, whilst for a non alcoholic this may fit, for an alcoholic it inevitably leads to disaster.
I would myself avoid any polemic about powerlessness and concentrate on the powelessness which KEEPS ME DRINKING as THE MOST IMPORTANT one. Once I get into recovery I will discover many instances in life where my desire to be that power has been leading me into trouble. This might be seen as a case of "first things first".

2 is really about my ego standing between me and my goal a classic case of where an individual sets himself up into a catch 22 dilemma - basically asking for help and then refusing it. This is where the co-relation between the two things my work in the first step made me examine: Powerlessness over alcohol; life unmanageable. If I have not set that foundation properly then I'm sure to have trouble with step 2.

It's not rocket science but alcoholics tend to apply rocket science to the waggon wheel!

alan Wednesday, 31 January 2018 4:33 pm
Alan, alcoholic.

I'm glad to have the arrogant world thrown into the humility equation, it's the whole point really as all the qualities we seek need to be practiced "in the field" so to speak.

If I rationalise, I would say that the arrogance of others is their problem and I am powerless over it - or am I? It may also be that, through setting a good example, I may be able to bring a good influence to bear on others; the cardinal example of this is the "turn the other cheek" as written in the Bible but I'm not sure that I would go to sech extreme lengths.

The famous plaque on Dr Bob's desk brings me clues though:

Humility is perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.

There's enoughof a lesson for me in there regarding humility in this world, I just need to follow it and the only action seemingly required from me is to kneel in prayer.

Chad Wednesday, 31 January 2018 8:22 am
Chad, alcoholic.  Thanks for the helpful topic and shares.  It hit me earlier that my sponsor shows humility by, as we go through the 12 Steps, encouraging me to seek out other sober AA members for their experience, rather than only relying on his.  Don M talked about needing to sponsor in a way that doesn't put the sponsee's problems on him, and humility seems like a wonderful tool for that, the way I believe my sponsor practices it.  

robbieJ Saturday, 27 January 2018 9:24 pm
Hi all. I have changed the topic of the week to HUMILITY IN AN ARROGANT WORLD, which some may find worthy of thought beyond sobriety.

We need a chair for February for the topic/step meeting.

Show you care with a share

Best Robbie

alan Friday, 26 January 2018 9:00 am
Alan alcoholic.

A little off topic but I just wrote to Harry, who has had a nasty bout of flu while in Spain, and the following was part of my mail and I thought I'd share it.

Resentment will always be in the background, like a sleeping volcano and I think I can almost apply the "pickle and cucumber" analogy in that there's a fault line or crack created by past hablts and which will, IF I DON'T TAKE CARE, send red hot resentments spurting into the air. Of course I'm directly underneath so most of it falls directly back on my head.

Many people live under the threat of catastrophic events; the Dutch with their finger in the dyke or those nations on tectonic fault lines making them susceptible to earthquakes. Once you take every known precaution then it's up to HP. What is stupid is to cut corners and blind oneself to the possible consequences, afterwards playing the victim when trouble comes, whining and blaming others.

I appreciate honesty in AA, it's helped me so much in the past and I want to pass that on so, yes, Resentment is the number one offender so I'd better be on damage alert, a day at a time.

alan Monday, 22 January 2018 8:02 am
Hi all Alan alcoholic.

Harry has just sent me the following which I'm posting for you:

Hello all,

Just a quickie to let you know I'm still on vine if not in  the loop.

I'm in Spain STILL waiting to get over the flu. This is the first time I had internet access in a couple of weeks and the energy to write.

Never had anything like this before and I'm keeping well out of its way.
Last I heard, it killed 15 people in the U.K. (2 weeks ago)

At MY tender age, I'm not taking anything for granted.
Have no strength or clarity of thought, impatient, intolerant, judgemental
and frustrated........ Seems like God is telling me to just shut up and keep out of trouble, so that's what I'm gonna do.

Lots of promps from people wondering about the daily thoughts, but I haven't had the energy to go through em, the  sense to know whats apropos to send and again..... an internet signal to send them.

This too shall pass and when it does, I'll be back in touch with everyone.
I'll be back in France 1st week in February, but I certainly hope this debilitating
illness will have let go its grip before then.



alan Sunday, 21 January 2018 10:47 am
Hi, Alan alcoholic.

Keep it simple is my favourite topic - one good reason being that my tendency to complicate things can get me into such trouble. What I may WANT is my usual complicated view of things whereas what I NEED is to simplify. One way to achieve this is through keeping my mouth shut and exercising restraint of tongue. Whatever the solution is, I will never cease to need directives and those directives  need to be listened to daily.

In answer to Robbie's propsal regarding how elevating simplicity reduces complexity I would say that alcoholism may drag me towards the problem therefore I need to concentrate my energy on the solution (in this case simplicity). There's another spin about simplicity that comes to mind: helping other alcoholics will teach me to concentrate on recovery rather than the disease; I need to pass on recovery in the simplest form I can - no easy matter!

robbieJ Sunday, 21 January 2018 10:30 am
A smple programme for complicated people is how AA has been described. How then do elevate simplicity reduce complexity?

Keep coming back,

Robbij alcokolic.

alan Monday, 15 January 2018 9:12 pm
Alan alcoholic. Thanks Robbie for the topic RESENTMENTS

I thought at o,e time that there might be a permanant fix for the resentment problem.
Later I found that the subject had to be dealt with like all the others; a day at a time. What I've got is a daily reprieve which is contingent on not drinking a day at a time and keeping up with work towards spiritual progress. If I let up, problems will come back - including resentments.

Chad Sunday, 14 January 2018 8:21 am
Chad, alcoholic.  Thank you for the helpful shares.  Resentment always helps me to read, hear and share about, since I'm told it's the most dangerous to me, and starting with my first 4th Step in 2003, I began to be shown that I'm not qualified to spot my resentments alone, with just my alcoholic mind.  The boss at my last job, who let me go in June, I didn't see any resentment toward, but a co-worker who I was "explaining" the boss to told me "anyone would have that resentment," and after the firing, my former sponsor Tony L suggested I try praying for her for 2 weeks, like one of the Big Book stories suggested about resentments.  The God of my understanding helps me wonderfully that way, often through synchronicity or God-incidence, I believe--two or more of my AA friends/family who don't know each other personally will tell me the same thing.    

robbieJ Saturday, 13 January 2018 10:39 pm
Hi all, no apologies for the new week's topic. Just the worst enemy for anyone in recovery.
Many years ago I heard an AA tape by a sceen writer called Bob. The crucial line was:
The "innocent" guy went home to make love to his wife, while I, with my resentment went to buy indegestion tablets!

Keep coming back,
Robbiej alcoholic.

Harry Saturday, 13 January 2018 6:50 pm
Harry, recovered from alcoholism, but am still recovering from the Spiritual Malady (Causes and conditions) behind my illness.
I'm reminded that "This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for a lifetime." Bingo, full stop. page 84.

I know myself well enough to state without a doubt, that I won't have enough time remaining in my present life to fully address my "spiritual malady". Improve on them? YES. Completly recover from them? NO.
I didn't fully realise how sick I TRULY am untill I started to get a little better. Theres just to much to learn. It's o.k. I believe as Bhudda said I'll keep returning back to learn and be given another opportunity to learn the lessons I missed this time

In 1960, Bill Wilson described Step one in a Grapevine article he wrote "precisely" this way.
The bold text if from him I added the definition to describe how it related to the pograme he was talking about when he wrote the book.

Much of Bills writings yeilled their truer meaning in his own later writings and essays.

"BEING COMPLETELY DEFEATED BY ALCOHOL"(complete deflation, game over, we're done)
"CONFRONETD BY THE LIVING PROOF OF RELEASE" (What the newcomer observes and is attracted by what they see...("Bear witness to") the way and life changes that have occurred by those who came before them, by simply following the clear-cut directions on how to recover, outlined in our book.(Found in the 3rd step prayer)
"AND SURROUNDED BY THOSEWHO CAN SPEAK TO US FROM THE HEART" The power of a strong home group supported within a strong fellowhip who can "ABOLUTELY agree on finding a "Common Solution" to the way out"
"WE HAVE FINALLY SURRENDED" (Welcome to step one)
"AND THERE IT IS" The last three lines pertain to the "entire
psychic change" Dr. Silworth refered to in "The Doctors Opinion"
and what Carl Jung told Roland Hazzard in "There is a solution".
Doctor Silkworth said "Unless this person can experience an entire phychic change, there is very little hope of his recovery"

Its that simple, but is often dicounted completly when we simply skim over it and don't think about the seriousness of that statement. This really is Life & death)

In the first printing (and every subsequent one) of our Big Book.we were provided only two statements and one "test" for an individual to diagnoss for themselves if they're an alcolcoholic". There weren't any long questionaires.
The test can be found in "More about Alcoholism" Last paragraph on page 31 & first paragraph on page 32.

The statement can be located in the first Paragraph, in Chapter 4 on page 44. "If when you honestly want to........"

There were no 10 or 20 questions asked to see if your an alcoholic. They came out later in the form of pamphlets, (As did Hanley Hazelton" and the Minnisota model" TREATMENT programs in 1948.)

They aren't particularly hellpful. In one pamplet I'm told if I Answered "yes" 3 times on a ten question sheet, I probably had a problem with alcohol and was an alcoholic. Not true for me. I lost many jobs and many oportunities more out of fear and laziness than my drinking. other people who are non alcoholic are also misled into thinking they might be alcoholics because of a DUI, domestic assault or other behaviors they did after drinking.

I'm simply saying we all have deep seated issues that are not alcohol related unless we add the great "uninhibitor" which might bring those behviours up.

As I said in an earlier post, I can fill out a 20 page questionaire and score 100%. I can accuse myself of being an unfaithful, disgusting, criminal slob because I was an alcoholic, but that wouldn't be honest, I was all those things due to my "spiritual malady", the topic not talked about much.
I just happened to be all those things and many more who also happened to drink.
God bless,

alan Friday, 12 January 2018 4:14 pm
Alan alcoholic

On ACCEPTANCE IS THE KEY I suppose I was lucky, in a way, to have drunk alcoholically since the age of13. Although I didn't know what the problem was, an still don't, the admission came easily that I was alcoholic once I got into AA and was told that alcoholism is an illness.
Until I came to AA I could, at times, many times, admit that my drinking was abnormal and that it was out of control. However, invitably came the moment when there was a drink to be had and I was determined to have it - I conveniently "forgot" my resolve of five minutes previously.
The first step, written and never finished being written, was a turning point and a release from a long series of self imposed failures: I could finally commit to the acceptance of powerlessness and turn that into action.

Chad 12 01 2018 1:28 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Thank you for the helpful shares.  Grateful I can pray for acceptance, rather than will it!  With the serenity prayer, I get to do that.  One thing I cannot change:  I will always be alcoholic.  It's in my family genes, it's in me, and that's wonderful today, because of AA.

alan Tuesday, 9 January 2018 12:50 pm
Alan alcoholic; My comment is being moderated, meanwhile, here it is:

I've a lot to thank Charles Vetter for, including the first words this ex Hollywood script writer spoke to me on receiving me in his office - "this is the most important job you'll ever do". This was right at the beginning of ACCEPT, mid to late seventies, I don't remember the exact year but I've fond memories of the centre. The experience taught me that I could manage to not start again - for a time - and then relapse came again. I later got sober in 1997 and still am, a day at a time.
Anything which enables you to live with your addiction is OK, I see complementarity rather than competitivity and I wouldn't vaunt any particular way although I do quote statistics at times - under 5% of those who seek help in AA achieve lasting abstinence - by which I mean still not drinking ten years on.

Abstinence and sobriety are different, the latter is worked towards in AA through using methods outlined in the Big Book OF Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps. It enabled me to change my thinking on many issues, achieve serenity, and to address my character defects which were messing up my interaction with others. I continue in AA because it continues to get better after twenty years sober and drug-free. There are those who don't drink without all that and they are welcome wherever they are. My own mind is open, that's what's important to me.

Alcoholics, when actively drinking, have very closed minds but when they stop they become amazing people. There's no cure and the disease is progressive, even in abstinence. There is plenty of medical an scientific proof for this. Acceptance of the disease is the key, the same word Charles chose for his treatment centre so we're not so far apart.

Meditation, Ayurveda, Church, Buddhism and other philosophies, Alcoholics Anonymous, all these are important to me today and ACCEPT and it's founder hold a particular memory slot in my affections; too bad they have disappeared today.

AA is still with us, thank God, and I'm ever grateful for that!

alan Tuesday, 9 January 2018 9:29 am
Alan alcoholic, re my last share, I did some gooling and found a reference to ACCEPT here:

If you read the article on ACCEPT and click the bar at the end labled COMMENTS you can read mine!

alan Sunday, 7 January 2018 10:02 am
Alan alcoholic.

I totally relate to ACCEPTANCE, my first forray into recovery was at a detox run in a disused ward of a Chelsea hospital by a certain Charles Vetter, an ex Hollywood script writer who had stopped drinking and evolved a method to help others.

The name of the detox was "ACCEPT" and everything flowed quite naturally from that word. I sometimes think AA could benefit from such logic rather than having anonymity at the heart of the matter. It may, at times be like, do you want to be right or happy or, do you want anonymity or sobriety?

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