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TOPIC/TRADITION welcome
current weekly topic Sharing experience, strength and hope Sunday 7pm topic

Chad 15 12 2019 2:20 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and to get to do service work and share in this forum.  The topic that came to me just now is "Sharing experience, strength and hope," because it helps me to be reminded how much it helps me to share all three, and to have them shared with me.  Talking to my friend, hero and possibly sponsor Mel B, I got experience--I heard how he had drank just like I did, just as alcoholically.  And I got strength--a sense of community or fellowship, "we're in this together and it's working."  And I got hope--he shared about having been sober over 60 years, showing me that this can work for the rest of my life (thank God, because the alternative is unbelievably hellish), one day at a time.  And maybe it's the same as what I've gotten to hear in AA talks, and share when I've gotten to speak and in other situations, including withmy new sponsee recently:  what I was like (dying of alcoholism), what happened (the 12 Steps of AA), and what I'm like now (living a very good sober life!).

Chad 13 12 2019 5:02 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and that the program keeping me sober gives me principles to live by in every area of my life.  My friend, hero and possibly unofficial sponsor Mel B (who reached 66 years of sobriety before he passed!) welcomed me into his and his wife's house in Toledo, where I experienced lovely hospitality, even though they had never met me in person before, on the first visit.  That might be the principle of open-mindedness at work.  And for me the word "home" has come to mean any AA meeting, where I hope to keep coming and practicing our principles for the rest of myl wonderfully sober life, one day at a time!

alan 4 December 9:09 pm
Hi, Alan alcoholic.
Thanks Chad, for service for sharing and for the topic.

Having hada spiritual awakening I have certainly tried to carry the message with varying results which is as to be expected. Perfectionism does not sit well with carrying our message, I have suffered much through my failures. There have been those who were seemingly beyond help...who have literally died on me.

Each time I feel my recovery has stagnated I've hung on, exercised patience and tried to do the right thing which is usually more step work, better listening, sponsorship both of others and for myself. I've had a spiritual awakening at each turn, contingent on the effort I put in, and have risen from the ashes to reach a higher level of spiritual awareness and my primary purpose remains to pass the message to other alcoholics - for better and for worse.

The problems along the way are not what it's abouty, even when the disease takes a suffering alcoholic away from us in spite of our efforts. It's about the answers wqe can find through the program giving us the will, the knowledge and the tools to forge a new way for ourselves. As long as we continue on all humility to do that we will be allright and may be able to pass that on, not always to good effect but knowing that sometimes is our best.

Chad 04 12 2019 2:21 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and to be able to share here.  Currently, I don't have the ability to call or send text messages, am behind on bills, don't know if the customer for my car will actually come through on Thursday, don't have any food in the apartment, am way behind in classes I need to finish if I'm going to take new classes next semester, am not sure what to do about the drug problem in this apartment building I'm staying in, and have been feeling overwhelmed and eaten up with fear about all that plus the holiday season plus just having moved to a new city about 4 months ago.  Yesterday, I got just what I needed at a meeting:  not money or other "solutions" my mind has been obsessing about, but a chance tdo so 12th Step work with Drew, who was there for his first meeting, saying his drinking was getting out of control again and he needed to do something about it.  He seemed to be in way more trouble than he could talk about--and that's how I felt!  So I could share with him about sponsorship, pages 86-88 in the Big Book, a time when I was dying of alcoholism in Springfield Missouri where he said he was from, and more.  Later, I got help  through Step 10 letting my fears go.  Grateful  

Chad 02 12 2019 11:50 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and thank you, Alan, for ths question about the prayer.  Maybe it's Godincidence that my sponsor, during my5thStep, gave me a prayer that asks for help being myself. 

It helps me to share today's topic today, since last week I got a sponsee but then my phone got cut off.  My mind/disease/ego says "he tried to call when his sobriety was in danger, you didn't answer, it's your fault that he's died and killed others and doomedhothers' futures too, you need to stop trying to work with new people,," and other nasty lies like that. 

Grateful that I got to work with him right when I needed it!   

alan 28 November 7:29 am
Alan alcoholic.
Maybe low self worth can be addressed through prayer? As I'm in Step Eleven, one thing comes out for me: that low self worth, for whatever reason, has been a big part opf my problem although I've refused to admit that, saying that it applied to others and not me.
Mixed with the work I've just done on Steps Four and Five coupled with the Step Eleven process, I seem to have got up a notch in the honesty stakes and I'm grateful for that. I'm able to better see a balance between what I can and cannot change and the question of low self worth seems suddenly important. I know it's a recurring theme with practically every alcoholic I've listened to over the years; to a greater or lesser degree of course.
I'm just wondering if anybody can suggest a helpful prayer with low self image/worth in mind?

alan 26 November 11:02 am
Alan alcoholic, thanks Chad for taking service and for the terrific topic!
Helpful (and useful) prayers I generally hear about from other members, one reason to keep my ears open which is, in itself, an action and that's why I added the word "useful" - to be used through an action.
First comes the visualisation and then the action. Where prayer is conberned it's obvious what the action is but less obvious when it comes to getting down on bended knee. As my great spiritual guide put it: "an ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory!"

Chad 25 11 2019 8:17 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober and to have the privilege of serving through Step topics (or subtopics).  The key for me in starting to stay happily sober has been awareness that the 12 Steps are what I need, so this service position is a terrific gift.  The topic of helpful prayers came to me during some moments of stress--Bill suggested finding prayer to help with that in the 12 and 12.  "Thy will be done," like I got to read this morning on p. 87 in the Big Book, is a lifesaver for me, and so is "thank You"--affirming gratitude helps me to have it.  And prayers my sponsor Dave P shared with me maybe 4 years ago, that it's been helping me to try to say daily:  "pleasegrant me the willingness to take whatever action is necessary to stay sober today," and "please help me to say what You want me to say, not say what You don't want me to say, and not regret what I say."  And one from Gene O, 58 years sober!, that i used to say more:  "Lord, I offer You this day / in all i think and do and say / reminding me of what was done / on earth by Jesus Christ Your Son."  Sharing that last one helped me pray it, thanks!  

alan 22 November 7:38 pm
MEETING IN  MINUTES AT 7pm STEP ELEVEN.
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God.


Chad 17 11 2019 3:28 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful for the topic still being "willingness."  Today, I got the gift of willingness to pray the prayer my sponsor gave me when I shared my 5th Step with him Thursday:  "God, Today please allow me to be Chad, neither better nor worse than anyone else, just to be one of many.  Please help me do your will today."  

alan 8 November 8:18 am
There will be a step meeting tonight... We start at 7pm Paris time at  https://zoom.us/j/6907802229
The topic is Step Eleven and I suggest we have a short meditation and look at some of the AA prayers including our serenity prayer.
 

Chad 01 11 2019 3:08 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful that in Step 10 in the Big Book, it's suggested that when resentment arises, I discuss it with someone immediately.  Because my emotions tend to hide (maybe through my character defect of repression and/or pride), I've been helped tremendously by doing an end of day (or days, or morning--procrastination is one of my defects too!) inventory, where I pray for the words like my sponsor Dave P suggested, including on resentment.  As I've been blessed to gently be shown more about my childhood trauma, maybe it's not surprising that, curled like a viper around one or more of those events, I find resentment at me.   

I'm resentful at:
Me

The Cause 
Was a soft, vulnerable target for abuse--didn't stand up, man up, toughen up, fight back, bring the wrongdoers to justice, or show my abusers the errors of their ways.

Affects my:
Self-esteem/fear
Ambition?
Security 
Personal relations 
Sex relations?

My part/mistakes
Self-seeking--my mind/disease/ego's sick misinterpretation of events has acted like a mask, numbing and feeling powerful to wear, rather than tune in more to the caring guidance of my God/Higher Power who allowed, continues to allow, and maybe always will allow bad things including abuse to happen 

Dishonest--carrying that insane message of self-hate has meant missing the gifts I've been getting in my recovery lately, including having maybe 10 long time sober friends who are also survivors of childhood abuse and whose names have come to me in start of day prayer and meditation, being blessed to practice self-care including by giving myself hugs, starting to use helpful tools on a traumatic memory in therapy, and having loving and caring conversations with these long time sober survivor friends where they  (and/or the God of my understanding through them) have helped me see that, in the words of one of them, "I deserve to live."  

Frightened--I fear this is too darkly tricky territory for me to survive, I fear I'm too lost in my own head to ever get the grounding I need for it, I fear what people will think of what I say, I fear my sexuality and other relationship tendencies are at root monstrous and predatory because of what I've been through, I fear being derailed from "first things first" in trauma recovery and dying of alcoholism, I fear I simply can't be a simple minded enough motherfucker to go to the God who for all I know has caused everything evil ever and say "Thy will be done," I fear what that last fear says about me, and I fear me.

How I retaliated (grateful my friend and hero Tom A, 53 years sober!, suggested this5th column for the resentment inventory):  at an early age, I began harming myself, most horribly and lethally through my compulsive drinking and drugging before I got sober 11-1-1.  

Grateful to have reached 18 years today!  

And grateful for your part in mysobriety today!i

Chad 30 10 2019 9:45 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and that I was just blessed with the willingness to apply Step 10 to fears that I had, by sharing them in a Facebook AA group and praying the fear prayer from Step 4 for each individual fear.  It works for me, to quote Paul M (who passed with 62 years of sobriety!).

Chad 28 10 2019 2:44 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and that I can work Step 10 by sharing fears here, then turning them over in prayer and turning my attention to someone I can help.  I fear that I'm going to fail this class I'm taking and won't be able to handle it, I fear I won't finish the incompletes that I need to in order to get the degree, I fear that I failed my friend Rod and others horribly by not showing up to do service when I said I would, I fear that I'm bipolar, I fear that I'm sexually deviant, I fear that it's too late for me to start addressing the alcoholic shit in my head how I need to so it will kill me, I fear that Mother and Meghan are doomed without me being there to save them, I fear working with other alcoholics and screwing them up, I fear a punishing God is keeping score and slowly closing in for the kill (maybe by my disturbed upstairs neighbor going on a shooting spree), and I fear my real, beyond-unbelievably-loving God/Higher Power/GoMU/? who has brought this alcoholic sober through 17 years 11 months and maybe 26 days carrying me into new adventures in surrender I can't give away or take any credit or control of.  Thanks!  Now to say the fear prayer from Step 4 on each fear, and turn my attention to someone I can help 👍

Chad 27 10 2019 1:08 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and grateful for the willingness today to write a fear inventory and share it by audio file with multiple friends in the program.  With that weight lifted, I believe I've had a much better day.  Looking forward to evening!  

Chad 25 10 2019 9:49 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and thanks, Alan, for this helpful share.  Currently, I'm in the middle of a 4th Step, hoping to do a 5th Step next week, and I believe it helps me with the 10th Step as you shared.  And I can identify with hiding things--from an early age, I automatically hid serious trouble in my and others' lives.  When horrible trouble came during my drinking, people finding out seemed like the worst thing that could happen.  In sobriety, thank God (as I understand God), I have no need for secrets--I can be completely known, always in every d etail by my Higher Power, and as much as I need by my sponsor and others.  Ray M, 50 years sober when he passed!, set a helpful example for me--he let his long time sober friends see him, and they could see how he was doing.  Maybe that's part of Step 10 for me, too--letting loved ones spend time with me.  They may see things my disease won't show me.  

alan 22 October 8:59 am
Alan acloholic.

Still on the subject of willingness, and regarding our current Step Ten, It seems easier to find that willingness when I have revised my 4th and 5yh steps as I recently did.

With more clarity, and at least some old denials swept away, I can see that I have been needlessly ignoring or "forgetting" some items on my defects and wrongs inventory which are much better not left there to rot. Why would I have wanted to hide anything anyway, especially from myself? - that's the question which comes to my mind.

There will be a step meeting on Friday being the fourth of the month... We start at 7pm Paris time at  https://zoom.us/j/6907802229

Chad 20 October 8:04 am
Maybe the prayer that's helped me most with willingness is the Third Step prayer.  Also, Dave P, my sponsor 2014-15, shared a prayer with me, "please grant me the willingness to take whatever action is necessary to stay sober today," that I believe I got to say earlier today, or now yesterday since it's after midnight here.  That prayer is written in pp86-88 of my Big Book, along with others that it helps me to say as I'm going through that 11th Step work to start the day.  If I did it every day, that would be great.  Grateful for every day I've been blessed with the willingness to do it! 

Chad 18 10 2019 6:29 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful that the topic is willingness with regards to Step 10--I haven't done the nightly written inventory faithfully in a while now, and I am always better off when I do.  Grateful I can pray for willingness!

David 12 10 2019 8:52 pm (sent from my mobile)
Willingness was something foreign to me coming in the program, today though. Im willing to read the big book a few minutes everyday, im willing to say a prayer even.though i often feel its a complete useless waste of time. I do it anyway. Im willimg yo write down a gratitude list. Im willing to share myself with others. Im willing to have new experiences in my recovery path instead of attempting to stay sober on old experienced in the program. Im willing to let people go in my life who want to leave im not going to beg them to stay even when i love them and miss them so much. Im willing to be alone today and be alright with it

David 12 10 2019 8:46 pm (sent from my mobile)
Willingness was something foreign to me coming in the program, today though. Im willing to read the big book a few minutes everyday, im willing to say a prayer even.though i often feel its a complete useless waste of time. I do it anyway. Im willimg yo write down a gratitude list. Im willing to share myself with others. Im willing to have new experiences in my recovery path instead of attempting to stay sober on old experienced in the program. Im willing to let people go in my life who want to leave im not going to beg them to stay even when i love them and miss them so much. Im willing to be alone today and be alright with it

Chad 12 10 2019 8:12 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and grateful that Alan's share helps me share here about fear.  I fear that it's my duty, toward someone who's not doing what they need to do  to treat their disease, to either persuade them to change or enable them.  Grateful for the4thStep fear prayer 👍 

alan 11 October 5:57 pm
Hi all, Alan alcoholic.
Tonight's step meeting is based on Step Ten:
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. click to read pdf of the steppdf download We meet on Zoom for an audio/video meeting every 2nd and 4th Fridays at 7pm Paris time. AT THIS LINK
Meeting starts in under an hour, look forward to seeing/hearing you!
" For the wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to admit and accept what he fi nds, and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong"

alan 27 September 5:49 pm
Hi All, Alan alcoholic.
It's the fourth Friday of the month so tonight at 7pm Paris time we have our Step Meeting.

Tonight's topic is: Step Nine - Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. click to read pdf of the steppdf download We meet on Zoom for an audio/video meeting every 2nd and 4th Fridays at 7pm Paris time. AT THIS LINK



Chad 26 September 1:11 am
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and that I get to share about the 9th Step this ninth month.  Saturday, at the Archives committee meeting, I was sharing with my long timer friend Rod about how I did harm through my writing when drinking, but may be able to help out with rewriting the AA history book(let) for this Area, eastern Missouri.  He said he could definitely see how that could be "an amend."  

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