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current weekly topic MY SHORTCOMINGS, CHECKING THEM OUT Sunday 7pm topic

alan 9 August 6:13 pm
Step meeting starting in 15 minutes at
We will be working on Step eight.
Guest speaker Chad from St Lois USA
See ya there!

Chad 06 08 2019 1:16 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and thanks, Alan, for the helpful share on Step 8.  My hero Paul M, 62 years sober when he passed!, kept a running 8th Step, and that's been helping me to do, too. 

Some names came to me, of people I had harmed in the workplace earlier in sobriety, with my must-get-ahead and also people-pleasing defects I believe.  and it was a real help to be able to add them to the saved email draft that's my running 8th Step.

Yesterday, I was listening to another sober alcoholic share about Steps 8 and 9--and having killed some people while driving drunk.  While I can't ever be positive that I didn't do that, because I blacked out so much, I am truly grateful that our 12 Steps daily save me from that horror, by keeping me sober.  

alan 3 August 8:25 am
Alan alcoholic.

The "willingness" seems once again to be the key. It may nonetheless not always be possible, for varying reasons, to make the desired amendment.

Based on an accurate self appraisal, it becomes clearer to me what is and what isn't possible interms of amends and there's also the all important question of my behaviour stemming from character defects and of correcting sais behaviour through taking action.

As I work this through I find some relief as the corrections I've been able to make bear their fruits in my daily life. It's very gratifying and comforting and, as I've just been told by an old timer, that's what it's all about: me becoming comfortable with myself and living with my own limitations.

Chad 28 07 2019 7:01 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober and for your helpful shares!  Can definitely identify with that bar being raised higher.  My fellow alcoholic older brother was maybe more of a parent than my dad was, and I seemed to never be sure what would get me his approval.  Also, I can definitely identify with economic insecurity--rent's due in 3 or 4 days, my phone and credit card bills are late (again), I also have a hospital bill, maybe three different therapists I owe, and I don't know how any of it is going to get paid.  Let alone what might happen with my taxes.  My fear/ego/disease says I'm doomed by all of the above, and also that God won't help me because I deserve negative consequences.  Grateful those are lies, and that I can use the fear prayer from Step 4 on them, like my dear friend Shawn D suggested.  Maybe my defect is in giving my mind's lies the benefit of the doubt.  

alan 27 July 7:28 am
Hi all and thanks Mark for your share, much appreciated!

I identifyt with what you're going through; I just feel lucky to have so few responsibilities, it's what I think I always needed in order to give my creative soul space to develope although, strangely, at times I have sought the opposite...Alcoholics may be considered as creatures of contradiction; time alone to meditate a step is good but so is making admissions in front of another and requesting help (in step 7 it's God I address).

The AA programme works because it caters to all sides of my character, leading me to accept and adopt compromises and take action in order to turn theory into practice.

I can only do my best but, in the end, it's God's will which will prevail and my vocation to find the humility and the will to ask His help to remove my shortcomings.

markb 26 07 2019 9:44 pm (sent from my mobile)
Good evening Alan, I do apologise I did not make tonight's meeting. Major National Infrastructure Go-Live this weekend across the UK after a 2+ year programme. Unfortunately put work above my sobriety tonight, which I would not recommend to newcomers.  I hope you enjoyed your alone time to meditate!  Mark

alan 26 July 8:02 pm
Hi all, Alan alcoholic.

It was quiet this evening so I did some reading on Step seven and the implication of humility as in all the steps.

The thought came to me that I need to gain progress with humility through the group, and AA as a whole, rather than on my own. I have increasinglyly realised that alone I cannot make grow in sobriety.

Have a safe and sober weekend!

David 26 July 4:50 pm
For some reason it want let me paste the link, but it's a video by Mark Passio The True self vs Pseudo self. One is based in love the other false self is based on fear. Shortcomings let me know i'm anything but perfect, but at the same time, My God or higher power loves me and totally accepts me just as I am, even though other people provide conditional love, God or the Higher Power provides a unconditional love that is very different than anything I've experienced in my life. I grew up with a very toxic poor model of love, love was always conditional with my parents, certain behavior = love. But if I behaved a certain way, the bar was always set a little higher than my behavior, thus you never recieved love because I never could obtain the mark or something weird like that. It was really more about controlling my life than truly loving me. AA has shown me another model of unconditional love that I never experienced growing up. 

David 26 July 4:44 pm
hello all, I haven't posted here for a few weeks now, just been spending time here in Manila with my daughter Sabrina and looking for employment opportunities all of which seem to be mostly in the US, which means I'll probably be leaving my daughter and girlfriend here shortly to return to the US to go to work. FInancially it's been very stressful lately, shortcomings that I seem to deal with constantly is self pity, mixed in with some anger, with a toping of fresh brand new resentments. Even in sobriety, I seem to form or create new resentments, but most of the time my resentments are ego based. Meaning they arise when I attempt to control other people's lives or manipulate other people to behave or act in specific ways that I deem suitable for the events in my life, when I fall back into the director role of my life this sort of shit comes up. There's a video I recent discovered in youtube, and this guy really seems to have the pulse on this self centeredness or self centered behaviors and how to distinguish between a healthy self identity and a sick unhealthy self identity I'll paste the link here if you care to take a few moments of your life to watch for yourself.

alan 25 July 10:02 pm
Alan alcoholic.
Tomorrow, 4th Friday in July, there will be a step meeting on the current step.

Step Seven - Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

The link will be as usual: Look forward to seeing you!

alan 20 July 8:40 am
Hi there! Alan aloholic.

It's wonderful to read so much, to have so much inspiration gifted to me.

I do humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings and I pray, at the same time, that I ge given the clarity to be able to see exactly what those shortcmings are. One example is my short sighted tendency (I do literally have that as well) in the metaphoric sense where I just ignore or refuse to see things I find difficult to accept.

Of course it's my ego, that old enemy, doing this and I need to look in the background to ascertain exactly what's wrong and what course of action to take, and prayer alone will not always work. Reading, listeniong, meetings, working with newcomers, writing lists; all this will help me to have a better perception of where I went, or go wrong.

Being prepared to is fine, getting into action with preparations to take action is even better.

"To know and say is good; to know and say nothing is better" (Confucious).

A good example for me as I've a long way to go in that - so much for my willingness!

Chad 16 07 2019 7:06 am (sent from my mobile)
One way maybe this GoMU has been working through a defect of mine in the last couple of days:  I got into arguments on Facebook that seemed to draw in 4 or 5 people I went to school with, who live in the city I just moved to.  And it got pretty intense, and my pride got into it, and I may have been alienating.  Hopefully I made  all needed amends where I did harm.  And here's the gift out of all of that, I believe:  there's now a boundary in place, instead of plans to dive into spending time with any of those people--while I'm helped instead to develop the relationships in AA that are vital for my life.  A few hours ago, I  got to join the archives committee.  Sponsor hopefully soon, home group hopefully soon, and hopefully sponsees too.  

Chad 16 07 2019 7:00 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and that I got to go to three Monday meetings here in St. Louis.  At the first one, the book "Drop the Rock," about Steps 6 and 7, got brought up, and reminded me of when I got to be part of a study of it before my home group, maybe in 2014, in New York state.  At the time, I was teaching creative writing, and I believe by Godincidence, there was a story in there from someone who taught creative writing!  My friend and hero Mel B might call that synchronicity.  That person was given a balloon, popped it, and found a flower inside--an image that has stayed with me, helpfully I believe, as a metaphor for a way I'm changed through AA's 12 Steps, definitely including 7.  

Chad 14 07 2019 10:03 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and that just as Alan just shared, I'm blessed with seeing a resentment that arose, and to be able to inventory it here:

I'm resentful at:
A woman I was involved with in 2002

The Cause 
She lied to me when we were dating, was drunk for part of it when I was in early sobriety, and may have cheated on me.

Affects my:
Personal relations 
Sex relations 

My part/mistakes 
Self-seeking--I was using her being in a convenient and vulnerable place as a placebo for the substances that had been removed from my life, rather than reconsidering getting involved with her, and getting the help I needed through the 12 Steps in avoiding that harmful situation.

Dishonest--I tend to carry brutally harsh judgments of myself and others below the surface, accepting abstractly that we're all sick like the 4th Step says, but not letting anyone be forgiven in my heart.  Meanwhile, we are all sick, and that's okay.  

Frightened--I fear dealing with whatever my obsession with her has been covering up for years--almost all of my sobriety now, I fear experiencing this wonderful relationship with my God/Higher Power emotionally rather than having obsession cover it up, I fear that I'm going to run into her here and bam alcoholic apocalypse will result, I fear not being driven to be anyone's caretaker, I fear having one day at a time replace an illusion of eternity in perfect romance, I fear what my creativity might do without her as muse, I fear that the obsession with her will simply stay in place, I fear how it makes my story like the stories of other alcoholics who got sober and got in a sick relationship early on, I fear what it says that both of us may have been abused as kids, I fear just how difficult this transition really is, I fear reality, and I fear that God will simply kill me off if I'm not playing caretaker (or playing God) for someone.  

How I retaliated:
People-pleasing, showing her a poem and telling her it was about her, being obsessive, +?

alan 14 July 8:18 am
Alan alcoholic.

Regarding my shortcomings, they are never far from mind whoch in itself is a progress. But continuation of that progress requires that I keep a check of what state I'm in. Today's thought helps:

Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear.
When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss
them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have
harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we
can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code.

- Alcoholics Anonymous, (Into Action) p. 84

Chad 11 July 9:41 am
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and able to share that I have a plan to move out of my parents' house, tomorrow or starting tomorrow, after over 3 years staying here.  Good, well-meaning, long time sober friends have been suggesting I do this for maybe over 2 years, and hopefully I haven't gone down the wrong path by staying this long. 

When I've prayed about it, that inner voice that I believe is my God has said that I've needed to see that reworking the Steps can get me through anything, not only sober but growing spiritually along the way. 

So, I got to go through them again with my sponsor Brett W, 2016-18, and hope to start at 1 again soon with my new sponsor, who I hope to have within a week. 

And with Step 7, I'm reminded that, if character defects have kept me in this situation, that can be totally okay with the God of my understanding, who removes the ones that need to go, not the ones that my mind says will make me look how I need to.  

Maybe the most helpful example of that from my story, that I'm benefitting from tremendously right now:  how I would use women for sex, earlier in sobriety.  In 2008, I did that again, for the however-many-eth time, and that was after I had specifically tried to decide to not do it. 

Because it had become clear to me that my "it's not hurting either of us" had rarely if ever been true.  The sex had been accompanied over and over by professing deep feelings, and that at least was dishonest and sick.  

Doing Step work again with my then-sponsor Sam B, I started to find myself miraculously showing restraint in that area.  It simply started to happen that, in situations where I would have started the manipulation machine in the past, I watched myself pass those chances up, really in justifiable awe, because I clearly could not do that on my own.  

One time when I was especially vulnerable to that defective behavior, before that point, was during times of higher stress or anxiety, like when a move was coming up.  And here I'm hopefully moving in 30 hours or so, and am not treating women like objects!  Grateful--especially because that's a kind of sobriety-threatening behavior specifically warned about in the Big Book.  

alan 28 June 12:11 pm
Alan alcoholic.

We are currently on Step Six and I just set the weekly topic to "AS READY AS I CAN BE TODAY". For me that sums up how it is, that's not a cop-out, just reality. Of course my readiness this morning may have improved by nightfall, I'm certainly willing for that to happen.

I just know that anything in our program will work for me, if I work for it.

For those who'd like to share/listen, tonight's Zoom meeting is at 7pm Paris time. (Step Zoom meeting every 2nd and 4th Fridays of month) The link is, as ever:

Chad 24 06 2019 4:52 am (sent from my mobile)
Also, about recovery from those traumas, I was told by my friend and hero Tom A, 53 years sober 3 weeks ago!, that with the help of the program, I will get through it.  Which helps me to not listen to those mental messages of doom, and focus on the beautiful truth instead--the God of my understanding, through AA's 12 Steps, is carrying me sober through more difficulties (and emotionally they may be the toughest ones in my sobriety so far), one day at a time. 

Chad 24 06 2019 4:37 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and for these shares.  David, I believe you and I have extremely similar pasts.  It has taken actually staying in my parents' house for over 3 years now for me to see the impact of childhood trauma on me, and my need to apply the Steps (which, for me, includes therapy) to those wounds, for who knows how long.  Because I have been diagnosed with PTSD, EMDR therapy has been suggested, and I hope to start it soon.  Have been procrastinating on that, I believe.  One of the unexpected things I'm finding is how my family relationships, in a powerful way, seem or feel like the most important thing about me.  Thankfully that's not the truth; the truth is that first and foremost I'm an alcoholic staying wonderfully sober one day at a time through the 12 Steps of AA.  Bob E's talks have been helping me, too.  (Bob Earll).  Grateful for your part in my sobriety today! 

David 24 June 12:48 am
One thing I've become aware off, is that I'm a human being, not a human thinking, or a human doing, or a human contemplation, or a human discussion, and for me I can do my best, but my ego always condemns me, always tells me your not good enough, or your not worth it, or your pathetic, or your toxic, whatever is negative my ego can through in my face. The feelings that your life doesn't matter, hopelessness I think, that whatever you say think believe or feel really matters to no one but yourself, feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted. One thing I have observed that literally terrifies me is intimate relationships, sense my relationship with my mom was one of violence and abuse and rejection and abandonment I seem to categorize all intimate relationships with these characteristics attached, breaking free from these concepts has been quite challengings, I might have attachement disorder, feeling unable to attach to anyone, because after all if they truly knew me they will reject me, they would abandon me and most certainly they will hurt me, the reward isn't worth the risk attached, but these old beliefs only serve to elminate the better things in life, this defensive mind construct, breaking down the mental walls I have created is where step four falls into place. Progress not perfection, but I'll be honest here, fear still seems to rule so much of my thoughts, feelings and inaction fear of making a mistake, fear of making the wrong choice, fear of saying the wrong thing, fear, fear of being alone, fear of not having companionship, fear of being hated by other's fear of not getting other's approval, fear of not measuring up to what other people might believe or think, fear of the unknown and uncertainty, fear of loosing someone I love care for and have spent alot of my life with, fear just seems to dominate every area of my life, and the dark deep feelings of always being alone in this world, which I have felt sense I was a young kid, feeling alone and rejected, depression has been something I've dealt with chronically, on only a few rare occassions in my life journey have I not felt depressed and even in those moments I was skeptical as to how long this would stay before the depression returned, it's like spending most of your life just beneath the surface of the water only to come up once in a while for a breath of air, One thing I have always felt like, when I speak, no one is listening and feeling ignored. Wounds, religious abuse, family child abuse, self condemnation feelings that I'm not enough, feeling like im not appreciated, or that other's take you for granted. Enough of my ramblings thanks for you all being here

David 24 June 12:34 am
Mirrors, one valuable asset AA, the steps and my sponsor help me to see my persona in a healthier perspective, I'm blind to my own psyche in certain ways, there's certain parts of my behavior and persona I cannot see clearly alone, much like trying to view my back, without the help of a mirror its virtually impossible to see my own back, or the back of my neck, this is where other people's perspectives, help me to see myself more clearly than I can on my alone, on my own all I hold are delusions and my little ego, my little ego wants to be someone special, it wants to present itself as real, and most of my fears are attached to my ego, and inventory, AA showed me there's absolutely nothing I can do about any other human being's inventory on this planet, the only inventory, that's mine is mine, and the only inventory I'm interested in, is my own, then to share it with other's for me this is the steps out of isolation and denial in a way it's like turning oneself inside out. Here in the Philippines we eat lots of sweet mangos, and the way you eat it, is to slice it into squares then roll it inside out, then it eat, my inventory. When it comes to trains of thought, perspectices, ideas, belief systems, i seem to get very clingy to the familiar, taking things personally, making false assumptions, saying things I don't mean, being greedy, being prideful, learned helplessness, emotional flashbacks, character defects remind me of how wrapped up in myself I can become with my disease, the -ism of our disease is still extremely real to me, guilt and shame and denial and self pity and self hatred, all come into play, over thinking, being frozen in my mind and looking for identity with my thoughts, and playing the professional victim all of these are character defects. The ego isn't real, its a false self in a way, it's every false belief I have of myself the world my lovd one's and of other people in the world, anyways, enough out of me, there's more work and more to be revealed for certain.

alan 21 June 4:24 pm
Alan alcoholic

This time round, my 4th step inventory has taken on a new feeling. There seems to more clarity and I'm able to develope more aspects of certain wrongs which had been clouded.

I'm suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, although at least the cause is now identified and being dealt with through various means I believe that the fatigue is even greater. I think it's due to the fact that I was denying the fatigue before and that now that denial is gone there has been release.

It's appropriate that I can feel relief and release throught 4th 5th and 6th steps and I'm as ever grateful top have a program which makes me aware of what I need and then offers me what I need when I'm willing to accept the suggested, I'd say required, actions.

Chad 19 June 7:51 am
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and that a list of character defects of mine that other AA members have pointed out has been coming to mind this month:

my sponsor Bill L--"be more assertive"

my sponsor Dave P--"you should exercise"

my sponsor Barry L--"you seem to think you're the worst"

my sponsor Leo S--"why don't you have any self-confidence?!"

my sponsor Kevin Q--"I think you overload yourself"

long timer friend Shawn D--problem with sarcasm

my sponsor Brett W--"shiny object syndrome"

long timer friend John V--"you think too much"

Grateful I can pray for the willingness to have them removed, like my sponsor Tony L helped me see in the Big Book.  

And I can remember what my friend and hero Bev D, 61 years sober last December!, told me:  "We're not perfect."  

Chad 17 June 8:07 am
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and thanks, Alan, for the helpful share; I just got to read it, and can definitely identify with fear of self and nonrespect of self.  Just now, I took an online test that was part of applying for a high school teaching job, and maybe got quickly obsessed with trying to say the right things in order to get the job.  Meanwhile, the questions are designed to see if the applicant is a good fit, rather than to see whether I'm a worthy human being or not, and the questions really showed that I might not be good at the job without a lot of training, and at this point I don't feel up to that.  

And I may have done that and other things in order to sabotage my progress in this degree program, which I seem to be making progress with in spite of my procrastination, backpedalling, and that kind of thing for the last couple of years.  There are two classes that probably had work due about an hour or two ago, and I'm already late in starting them.  

Procrastination is one of my defects that has been popping up a lot in the last 2 or 3 years, and I can see it working here.  

Thanks for making the PDF available of the Step of the month, Alan.  Looking at that, it seems like current defects of mine are jumping out at me--procrastination/sloth, gluttony, lust (those "imaginary sex excursions" maybe), and self-righteous anger.  Codependency is another one that I believe the GoMU has shown me I have, and it also helps me to see my mental illness, PTSD, as a character defect.  

One thing I don't really know if I know (if that makes sense :)) is whether I'm entirely ready to have defects removed.  Like, is that something I'll feel?  For maybe several years, I've been doing a blanket prayer, "please make me entirely ready to have You remove all my defects," which might be dodging part of Step 6, I don't know.  

Grateful to be sober, and for all of your help!  

Chad 13 06 2019 7:32 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober. And this forum has been such a safe space for sharing inventories that I hope it's all right if I share another one that my end of day inventory brought up:

I'm resentful at:
The principle of self-control

The Cause 
Since my 2003 spiritual experience, I've had a sense that it's an illusion, and my God calls the shots, but it's a crushingly persistent false goal that was reinforced in my childhood by a stupid Christian song that keeps playing in my head.  

Affects my:
Personal relations 
Sex relations 

My part/mistakes 
Self-seeking--my ego demands that everyone see things my way, which is playing God, i.e. pride, I believe 
Frightened--i fear I look at everything all wrong but it's too late for changes 

How I retaliated:


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