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current weekly topic STAYING FOCUSSED Sunday 7pm topic

David Sunday, 24 March 2019 2:00 pm
thanks for everyone's shares, one thing that helps combat my perfectionistic ego based thinking, is a higher powers grace, a old saying I've heard lots of times, but for the grace of God there go I, today i don't have to be perfect anymore, i dont have to have all the answers either, and most of all I don't know it all, a sense of accomplishment is just taking it easy and not treating myself like total shit, over the days and years of my sobriety is the fact that more will be revealed, as the onion keeps getting pilled back, layer by layer of beliving suddle lies. To thine own self be true, discovering, discarding false beliefs, delusions, and re-establishing my life on the truth, I'm not more than, and certainly not less than, but just equal to, balance and being grateful to what has happened so far in my recovery. I still remember getting a txt message from a friend in Kona Hawaii years ago, it read, "message from God I will be handling all your problems today and will not be needing your help."

Chad 20 03 2019 2:36 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Thanks, Alan, I believe I'd be lost without Step 3, and new evidence of it working in my life is the resentment inventory I'm blessed with being able to share here.  I'm resentful at:  my abusers. The Cause--none of them has ever acknowledged the harms they did to me, leaving me to believe that I'm crazy, that I deserved it, that I asked for it, or all of the above.  Which is evil.  Affects my:  Self-esteem/fear, Ambition, Security, Personal relations, Sex relations.  My part/mistakes--Self-seeking--I imagine people should act perfectly as God, because my ego/disease saysI'm God, and evidence that we're sick and imperfect reminds me or it that I'm a sick human being like every other one.  Dishonest--I haven't looked at the limited apologies I've gotten for the gifts that they are, gifts from the God of my understanding, because they show both some acknowledgment of wrongdoing and that inability to see the whole truth that I get from blackouts (I still can't remember a lot of what happened in my active alcoholism).  +?  Frightened--I fear the gifts of honesty and humility plus other progress that I need and may need to pass on to others; and I fear accepting that all people are sick, and what that might say about God, evil, +?.  And I fear accepting the help of my God/Higher Power at the level of intimate personal relationships.  How I Retaliated (Grateful my friend Tom A, 50+ years sober!, suggested this 5th column):  Withholding, sarcasm, negativity, people-pleasing, being controlling, +? in relationships.  Thanks! 

alan Tuesday, 19 March 2019 11:35 am
Alan alcoholic.

Thanks Chad for that helpful share.

It helps me a lot to know that I may suffer doubts and hesitations at any moment, whether or not I've made the decision in Step Three. Ithink it's useful to know that it's OK to hand things over to the care of God whilst still remaining capable of harboring doubts.

Doubts are really quite healthy when seen in the right way, they may be helpful to me in digging deeper into what I NEED to understand rather than what I WANT to comprehend.

What's important is that I go into action rather than sitting on the fence which is dangerous for me. There are great riches in the unknown did I but know it and I just need faith to access them. After all was my way better? I know not!

Chad 18 03 2019 6:36 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and for these helpful shares.  Right now, I'm obsessing about what to text back to a possible landlord in St. Louis about 2 and 1/2 hours from here, where I might move to look for work while finishing school. 

A friend, Don M, has often talked about taking the next stitch rather than trying to see the whole picture, and that helps me to remember--while fearfully, inwardly jumping from one possibility to another, I prayed and found something that might be more important:  a house where I did some harm when I was drinking, shortly after my divorce in early 2001.  No idea how to get in touch with the man, or maybe couple, who owned it at the time, but if that needs to happen I believe it will.  

It also comes with intense emotional pain and anxiety/fear; I get to turn that over too, thank God.  My long timer friend Jerry D (celebrated 30 years on Saturday!) said Step 3 is "Thy will be done."  

alan Sunday, 17 March 2019 9:24 am
Alan alcoholic.

It seems appropriate to post today's AA Thought For The Day as it refers to what is happening in Step Three:

AA Thought for the Day

March 17, 2019

~ Scroll Down for Share ~

If He Were Sought
Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our
personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.
Being convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to
turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him.

- Alcoholics Anonymous, (How It Works) p. 60

The words we might want to consider are "if He were sought". It's a clear suggestion that, if we are to be relieved from our alcoholism, we will require His help, generally meaning the "God of our understanding" to quote that much used expression.

Supposing that I agree that I'm not the best choice to control my will and my life then, depending on my beliefs, I'll need to identify Who is the specific identity (higher power) as that entity will look different for an agnostic to the pure God version a devout christian may hold.

Acceping that only a power greater than myself can help me I'll need to call my bluff on the God question and be more affirmative as to what that actually is. If I balk at this stage, the result will probably be nil.

George Thursday, 14 March 2019 8:48 am
Georgina, alcoholic in continued recovery, one step at a time.

I remember when Step Three 'landed' for me. Before this, I was of the mind that I had faith. While I have always believed in GOMU I had a block in that I feared handing over my life completely. I was afraid of guidence to an unknown path - the path that He had in store for me. I was still trying to manage my own life and every time I asked Him for help, it was help to do MY own bidding. This chink in my 'faith' was preventing me from really letting go. 

The change came about three years ago: I was lying on my sofa sick and tired of feeling so sick and tired, derranged from fear, anxiety, depression, and stress (as was my usual demeanor 24/7 and had been for at least a decade) when an undeniable realisation came into my mind. It was like a gentle thunderbolt - if there is such a thing - and it was nothing that I hadn't heard over and over again in my life.
I suddenly realised that I had to put down the fear of trusting God with my path. I suddenly realised that I hadn't put both feet into the actually embracing faith. I suddenly realised that I was talking the talk, not walking the walk.  

At that moment I let go. From that moment I let God. From that moment my life started to get better. And it hasn't stopped getting better. Sure, I have the usual life worries - but I only have them on my own shoulders for as long as I keep them there. There's still an electricity bill to work out how to pay, there's still working out how I am going to buy food each week etc.... But as soon as I hand over even these earthly life worries, God takes over the situation gets resolved. 
Step three is amazing, wonderful, makes me smile, makes me want to thank God each day, makes me feel carried, guided and supported. Without this program I would not be here to write this, I would have died years ago. I am a hugely grateful alcoholic in continued recovery, one step at a time. Thank you.

alan Wednesday, 13 March 2019 9:24 am
Alan alcoholic.
When it comes to handing over control, anything that's spiritual, emotional, or which affects my feelings in any way, is difficult to this alcoholic.

I may happily depend in other areas such as depending on public services to run on time or that electricity be always available but the emotions are a different matter. I've found that here lies the crux of my disease and my problems as well as the most difficult areas where I'm prone to denial.

Like many alcoholics I'm touchy on anything which affects my inner self but there was one thing which helped me immediately when I first came to AA - the discovery that I was not alone, that my fellow alcoholics have just the same emotional problems as me and the observation, over time and listening in meetings to other alcoholics, that those who were doing well had given up the fight and handed over control. Inversely, those who were doing badly and were slipping in and out of abstinence were hanging on to the old idea that "I" am in charge of my own life.

Another thing I noticed was that those who thought they were most in control were actually neglecting simple every day things in their lives such as money or administrative matters. I think that part of the problem for such people is that they have not yet admitted that their lives were unmanageable, the second part of Step One. It made me want to put the cart behind the horse and for the horse to be a power other than myself.

I put my stubborn nature aside and made my decision to turn over my life and will based on the above simple observation and thinking and stopped the secret worrying about my emotional turmoil. The amazing thing is that my emotional suffering has subsided over time and that God has truly done for me what I could not do for myself.

alan Tuesday, 12 March 2019 8:55 am
Alan alcoholic

Thanks for your shares regarding the decision to turn my will and life over.

I sometimes think it almost looks better written like that, without the word "God", it's true that many do see that turning over differently, independent of any religious meaning and why not if that works for them?. The important thing is that I stop trying to control everything (impossible anyway) and accept that the higher power is not ME. .

A lot of times just doing nothing, where I might have commited the irreperable, will keep me out of trouble and a better solution will appear as though by magic, better at least than my arrogant actions would have led to basesd as they were on faulty thinking.

The dilemma of "why does God let bad stuff happen" is a frequent reason cited for not accepting the turning over to His will. I believe that this is another example of life on life's terms or, putting it another way, an opportunity to practice our credo of progress not perfection. It's a viable alternative of the scorched earth extremes of an active alcoholic's life - where the baby and the bathwater go out of the window together.

Service to other alcoholics is a panacea, a real Godsend which will, among all the other benefits it brings, help to keep me out of mischief and will help me whatever step I'm trying to work. The lunatic has stopped trying to drive the bus and instead begun doing something useful: distributing tickes to sobriety.

Chad 12 03 2019 6:37 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be starting a new sober day--it's shortly after midnight here.  Your helpful share is reminding me that in the last couple of years I've been realizing that I haven't been trusting the GoMU with close personal relationships; I simply haven't had them.  That is progress, even from earlier in sobriety, when I would get a woman to take over my life and use as a kind of human shield against the world--that defect of codependency that I believed was intimacy.  It's been helping me to go back through the 12 Steps, and see that I have childhood trauma that I need healing from, then to hear from long time sober friends who've done that (most or all of them with professional help, I believe).  

David Tuesday, 12 March 2019 6:26 am
When I come to step 3 for me it's all about power, I think for me I have or possess personal power, and for most of my life I it's extremely difficult for me to trust that there is a good Power Greater than myself. Growing up, anyone in authority or positions of power, ie my parents were cruel and mean and abusive, so to trust that there is a power greater than myself and that power is good and that that power has my best interest at heart, it's truly a fearful concept. I remember listening to joe and charlie once state that their belief was that most people who find AA have some sort of belief in a power greater than themselves which usually isn't our problem, it's trusting that power, God it's a terrifying idea, but through my life in recovery I've experienced more freedom than ever by surrendering to that power greater than myself, I can't God can, I think I'll let him. I heard a AA speaker once share, God is like a gentlemen, He never goes where he's not wanted.

Chad Tuesday, 12 March 2019 3:42 am
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober and thanks for the helpful shares.  

A great meeting on getting rid of self reminded me of the great example Mel B set for me.

It was maybe January 2017, when he'd been sober 66 years and maybe 9 or 10 months, and I called him.

He told me he'd been in the hospital, but was convalescing.

That might have been one of the conversations when he told me the story of our fellowship starting, with Bill meeting Dr. Bob. He may have also shared then from conversations he'd had with Bill. I don't remember him saying he might not live much longer, though he would pass maybe a month later.

He shared with me as a friend, and invited me to visit.

David Tuesday, 12 March 2019 3:00 am
consequences, when I first started drinking, all the consequences were positive, I felt better, I felt relaxd and calm, I could focus my attention on what people were talking about during a conversation and actually feel engaged instead of disengaged. I could laugh and most of all I felt total freedom from all the anger, and fear I seemd to carry through each day of my life. If I had a major business meeting that involved large sums of money and large amounts of responsibility and liability, I'd have some drinks prior to the meeting that seemed to calm my nerves down and help me accept or shoulder the responsibility a big project carries. If I was going to the beach on my Harley, nothing mattered but stopping at the store buying some cold beer, and loading up my saddle bags and then going off into the sunrise, the bliss of it all, the carefree feelsings being drunk and caring less, alcohol seemed to grant me consent or permission for once in my life, just to be me and to be free, that was the positive consequences, but as my drinking got worse and the disease took control, drinking started becoming a daily chore. I'd wake up, having to searching for a cold beer in the fridge or make a bee line to the store and buy something cold to drink first thing in the morning, you could call this the alcoholic meditation or medication for the morning hours, it was the only way I could stop my arms from shaking in the morning, the unbearable terror we are all so aware off I'm quite sure if you drank like me. Obliviou become the only category of drinking that existed for me, drink to oblivion, no other form of drinking even entered my mind. The negative consequences of my drinking involved me beating my wife once, it involved me throwing my wife physically out of the house, it involved me nearly shooting one of my childhood friends in the head, the bullet just barely missed his head, of course it wasn't from a fight or disagreement between us it was just a stupid drunk handing a firearm while drunk.  The police were called out on the gun shot but luckily at the time I was able to. I felt stuck in a loveless marriage, a living hell per say, the one thing alcohol that had at one time brough me so much positive consequences had suttly over the years shifted to create more problems than it solved. Out of desperation, I turned to AA, honestly having no clue what else to do with myself other than shoot myself, go to a nut house. the Jackal and Hyde guy, the version of the myself that hid in the shadows and the fake false persona I constantly projected on the  external world, the house of cards per say. I'll never forget meeting my first alcoholc in AA, for once in my lifeI actually felt like someone was talking with me instead of at me, if your a real alcoholc I'm sure you will identify with this aspect of our disease, people or our loved one's wil lecture us, we should do this, you should do that, pointing out all our flaws and twists of character, pointing out all our short comings for us, after all that's exactly why God put them in our lives right? To point out all our mistakes and errors and shortcomings. A grave emotional and mental disorder that was me the bewildered one, and even until today my mind can work me over.

David Tuesday, 12 March 2019 1:39 am
Lies, irrational thinking, beliving lies, and acting upon lies, somewhere along my path of life very young in life I believe, that alot of my life began on lies, as a young kid I believe I began forming erroneous conclusions and beliefs about reality, about the world at large and about myself, it took enormouse pain from alcoholism before I began waking up to these truths. I believe alot of my beliefs on lies were subconscious, they were rooted in the shadows of my mind. ONe of the moments I realized I was lying to myself and that I wasn't even a honest human being with myself, let alone with anyone else, was during a ride on my Harley cruising up the Highway on the way to a biker bar and having a conversation with myself that I would only stay in the bar till midnight, and only drink three beers and one shot of techiquila, of course it never happen that way, once midnight came around I talked myself into staying until the bar closed and then trying to convince my drunk friends that I wasn't as drunk as they all thought I was, it's only by God's grance I didn't kill myself on that motorcycle that night or that someone else didn't run over me. This was only one night, I have had countless night and times like this over the years of my drinking, I was ful of erroneous assumptions, and conclusions, thse sweeping assumptions, life is like this, or erroneous conclusions that based upon my experience everyone was like this or like that, cut and dry, but this is all complete crap, my mind seems to be one of my best friends at times, but when I get into my alcoholic insanity my mind turns into this very twisted warped sick organ, it's hard to describe really, but if your alcoholic I think you'll understand, your mind can take you to some really strange mental realities, twists and turns, I mean we can mentally take any situation we experience and make ourselves the victim no matter what really went on, They say the trouble with us alcoholics is the inanbility to form a intimate relationship with another human being, we don't know how to do it, and for most of my life I always wanted to feel apart of, but always felt apart from, always felt disconnected and misunderstood, I've also heard alcoholcs never stand up for themselves, but I dont know if that's true, I'll be honest here that when it comes to step 3, there's so much confusion, because there were certain events happen in my life as a kid, that truly made me feel honestly abandoned by God, when I needed God the most, and when I was at my most vulnerable, God ignored me, or at least this is how I felt in those times, there's alot of fear for sure, and I believe I drew some false conclusions about a higher power but to be honest one thing which confuses me the deepest, is innocent people's suffering and a all powerful all loving Higher Power, how can both exist together? I feel most of my life I've lived without a conciscous and feeling cold hearted or heartless in alot of ways and unempathetic, but in another way I feel this is a false persona, deep down inside I don't want to be this kind of human being. anyways this is enough about myself, this mental fixation on myself is sick in itself, I hosted a meeting the other night and I felt pretty good about being of use to other people, it's not so much the acknowledgement of my service but just the experience itself that seems to give it value, maybe it was my way of trying to be a little less of an asswhole than usual. 

Chad 10 03 2019 6:00 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and thanks for the helpful shares.  Serving as IGR has been a helpful part of my recovery for, wow, maybe 2 years now.  Wondering if I need to rotate out so someone else can have the opportunity.  Either way, it's been a wonderful help to me, as have all of you.  This topic definitely helps me too.  Mel B said that Chauncey C was "active" in AA "till the very end," if I remember right, and that was at over 60 years of sobriety!  Dave P, my sponsor 2014-15, set a wonderful example for me with all he did in AA, and he shared this prayer I hope to get back to saying daily:  "please grant me the willingness to take whatever action is necessary to stay sober today."  

David Saturday, 9 March 2019 11:01 am
When I come into recovery, one thing I felt like was going on, involved emotions, my negative emotion volume setting was turned all the way up, my positive emotional volume setting was on mute, i hated my guts, when I found recovery, I thought my life had become void of passion, but working through the steps awareness started taking hold, awareness of reading people the wrong way, realizing the only passion I had in my life was self loathing or self anger or hatred, besides this, I had no passion in my life. I would come into a meeting and try to judge and read other people, and boy did I judge myself and other people ruthlessly, this rigid mental frame work, i had no boundaries when i come into AA, zero. Raw to the chore, I had no ability to deal with my own feelings and emotions or those of anyone else.I love the reading in the big book about treating other people as sick people. I was always getting drawn into other people's madness and chaos, I felt like a small boy trying to grow up in front of other people, i had no clue how to dela with life on lives terms, and I hated basically all emotions good or bad, recovery in large part has been unlearning, and re parenting myself and getting positive affirmations, i felt empty and hollow walking into the rooms. THis rigid perfectionism, I had no idea how miserable and angry i was, acceptence is the key to all my problems today, acceptance is the key to all my feelings, all my emotions, all my ideas, all my guilt and shame, all my plans, full of toxic emotions, I had stuffed down all my feelings and all my emotions for years on end, washing them away a glass at a time. Relax, I had to get relaxed, i had to learned how to form boundaries with other people, i had to learn how to stand up for myself, i had to reprogram my brain, and do the counterintuitive course of action, and I had to break down the walls of fear and condemnation, it's an inside jon as they say. The program helps me change my behavior, not other people's behavior, AA helps me engage the world at large in a entirely different way, perceptions had to go, new fresh perceptions and new attitudes had to go and stopping the anger. Angry, irritable and discontented someone once said is where most of us alcoholics live day to day. However, the healing process, the whole new way of living, has been really a weird journey in certain ways, but thank God I haven't been alone through it. Hang in there David, it gets different before it gets better, and there's no personal problem your faced with, that a drink want make worse. I felt so fake and phony and dry and empty in AA, getting sober breaks us free from all of that a little at a time. Prayer, we should always try but if that doesn't work, find another alcoholic and get to work.

David Friday, 8 March 2019 1:15 am
Good morning, very powerful shares and thanks for everyone's contributions, one of the most powerful phrases I heard once shared in my early sobriety, was "let us love you, until you can love yourself" alot of character defects could be labelled coping or survival skills learned or acquired as a kid, but those same survival skills now, only create or serve to product more pain and suffering in my life in sobriety. As a kid I was held responsible for things that were not honestly my responsibility. Working the steps, helps me remove out of my recovery path those issues that are not my responsibility and reveal those things which are my responsibility. For many years in AA, I felt like a living contradiction, or a double standard, a standard for everyone else, and a standard for myself, a exception to the rule. Areareness of distorted reality and faulty logic has been a big part of my growth in recovery, becoming sober minded and leaving behind the distorted thinking. Trust worthy, sense early life alot of key people in my life were not trustworthy and learning the concept of trusting others has come slowly, a new freedom and a new happiness is very appealing to me, not a fake happiness or a impulsively generated freedom and happiness but a freedom and happiness from living, feeling, thinking, acting sober. Validation was something completely absent in my life for many many years and finding validation in AA has been quite life changing for me, in fact it's been a brand new life experience in alot of ways over the years. Life isn't fair, so I will just learn how to control other people or manipulate people in a way to get what I want, I'm reminded, that my best ideas, my best thoughts, my best plans, my best life driven by a hundred forms of fear, self delusion and self pity, landed me luckily in the 12 step program of AA. I'm reminded that I'm not a bad person attempting to become a good person, I'm a sick person in the procress of becoming a healthy person, a day at a time. This morning I attended a meeting the topic was self pity, which I built a swimming pool all the way around my life, so when I wake up I can dive off in any direction and swim around in self pity for the early morning, an attitude of gratitude, last night I wrote down a gratitude list and there's so many things I'm deeply grateful for today, first is not jumping off into black or white thinking, all or nothing thoughts, and not running off to extremes, I want it all, or F it all. We have to stop playing God, trying to control everything, everyone in the world is here to play the part I assign them and if they will do that, everyone will be happy, sounds grate right, but it never works out like I wanted it to, and of course people rebel against it. Until I got in AA< I never knew how much of my time and energy is consumed maintaining resentments, and how much energy it takes projecting a false persona to the world, and the internal need to have certainty in life and the need to have uncertainty in life, I can't, God can I think I'll let Him, it's like a vacation from your problems when we surrender it all over to our higher power, whatever the outcome whatever happens it's up to the Higher Power, my sponsor once said, at least a idiot is no longer in control of your life. The lust for power, lust for control, lust for women, lust for pretty much anything in the external world that will make me feel less empty on the inside world is deeply ingrained. Letting go of that fear of loss, I always was scared of step three, because I thought if I let go of control I'm scared of not getting something I want, but the truth is, letting go has always opened the path for way more than anything I ever could imagine for myself, in fact limiting myself to what I want, only serves to do that, limit myself, and I usually sell myself short every time.

alan Thursday, 7 March 2019 9:31 am
Alan alcoholic.

I changed the weekly topic to STAYING FOCUSSED

Step Three meeting will be held on Zoom tomorrow Friday 8 March (2nd and 4th Fridays as agreed) at 7pm.
The link is, as ever,

Willingness is the key to Step Three, this an area I might benefit from revising; my willingness can be a moving target and I need to stay focussed to maintain course.

Like many things, my willingness can waver and once things get better, there may be a tendency to rearrange what I previously resolved and this may put me in danger.

My own desire to control can come back to haunt me, especially if the word "God" is daunting, and I can easily forget what a disaster I "thought" myself into. That's when I just need to follow the simple suggestions, to let go and let the God of my understanding enlighten me as to what's good for me. That's the focus I need to maintain and willingness (suggested topic) is required.

alan Tuesday, 5 March 2019 3:03 pm
Alan alcoholic

Thanks so much to chad for faithfully and meticulously doing this IGR Internet service as well as regularly posting such interesting shares.

Although we don't have perfection in AA your example does show that service makes progress!

Chad Tuesday, 5 March 2019 1:31 pm
Chad alcoholic.


Happy start of March to all!  Was hoping to have this in on the 1st, but I've been procrastinating a lot of things this year so far.  Grateful this is a program of progress, not perfection, and grateful to be able to serve as IGR!  

Last month, the group had two forums active.  One was the Step forum, focused on the Step of the month, and the other one was the Beginner forum.  
In the Step forum, focused mostly on Step 2, the topics were "Unmanageability," "My life was out of control," "The wool over my eyes (and ears)," and "Acting my way to sobriety."  There were both the ongoing, text-based forum and video meetings via the zoom app.  While I wish I'd gotten to participate in the video meetings and hope to this month, I got to take part in the text-based forum, and it was wonderful.  

In the Beginners' forum, there were three topics in February--"Letting Go," "Humility," and "Principles Before Personalities."  Again in this one, I wish I'd gotten to participate in the video part, but there was definitely solid participation on the text side, and I believe there was via video, too.  Both familiar names and new ones appeared there.  

All are welcome to join us at, and I'm grateful for your part in my sobriety today!
Chad, alcoholic

alan Monday, 4 March 2019 9:07 pm
Alan alcoholic
We're now on Step Three, Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Having made a decision to abandon my self willed approach and letting God take care of what I'm unable to do myself. I'm much better at everything if I act out His divine will for me but have I really decided to make this a daily sustained effort?

I may be firm in my conviction at the start when I've hit the bottom and have nothing to lose but what about later in sobriety when I feel tempted to try things "my way".

If the arrogant self will can just be tempered I can allow a much better way of thinking to flow into the vacated space although it's progress, not perfection. Sustained conscious effort has been what has worked best for me and an ounce of practice is worth any weight of theory so it's actions, as ever, which can get me along the road to spiritual health.

I wonder it we migh, between us, make a list of what actions would be helpful in working Step Three, I'd be interested to read you!

Chad Tuesday, 26 February 2019 11:04 am

Thanks, Alan, what you shared fits beautifully for me with what I was getting to share in a couple of AA facebook groups earlier--

What Mel B believed early AA members learned from Emmet Fox:

"If you would change your life, change your mind first."

--from Mel B and George T's talk on the early history of AA

My friend and hero Mel B reached over 66 years of sobriety before he passed! (Pretty sure he passed with about 66 years and 10 months, maybe a month after our last phone conversation.)

Mel also gave me a copy of his book "Three Recovery Classics," which includes "As a Man Thinketh," and I hope to find it in the mess I've made in my parents' guest room, or in the move out of it, soon.  

Nice, I found a web site where I should be able to get a free e-copy of it.  We'll see if it worked :).  

Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

alan Tuesday, 26 February 2019 9:24 am

"Nothing can stop the man

with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal;

nothing can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."

~Thomas Jefferson


The admission of insanity is a great step forward for me, once I stop thinking that "this doesn't apply to me" and give up self justifying explanations for my behaviour, past and present, things become much simpler although still not easy...

"We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness" it's said in our promises, but only if we work at it and work means action not thinking. Part of the madness was too much thinking and this was keeping me from important unattended matters. "Worry is not an action" I was told and this has stuck with me.

Less is more, I like to think, and a lot of my recovery consists of replacing negative thoughts with positive (meditation, serenity prayer, practice of unconditional love). I'm aiming for a better mental state, obviously for my own comfort, but also so that I can be of some use to others. By some simple act of kindness or helpfulness, I can in some small way fit in with a divine purpose in life (Dharma to the Hindus) and be touched by the spiritual entity.

For those bemused by the question of spirituality, a simple willingness to change the way of thinking may be the beginning of the answer and, as always, there's action involved.

Chad Tuesday, 26 February 2019 6:24 am
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and thanks, David, for the helpful shares.  For sure, I can identify with those fears, including the fear of abandonment.  My friend Tom A (50+ years sober!) was sharing with me earlier that he has to look at where his defects come from, and maybe in a similar way, I can see the fear of abandonment coming with a lot of abandonment in my childhood. 

My father was often gone, my mother in her mental illness maybe abandoned us kids, and we moved often, so I had my world abandon me from time to time.  As always, the goal for me in sobriety is not to try and undo those things, but to accept them, including how my parents were/are sick too and couldn't really help doing what they did.  Grateful the 4th Step has made that possible. 

And maybe Step 2 was the start of me abandoning myself to my God, like it says in the Big Book--only a Power greater than myself, which is not any other human being, can keep me sober.

And since sobriety is every instant of every day, that's not a Power that can or will ever abandon me.  My crazy alcoholic mind might say otherwise, like this week, when I'm not getting the job news I've been obsessing about, but the fact that I am sober shows that I'm being given this gift of sanity about alcohol and drugs, every blessed instant, like Bill and Bob and millions of others since them.  Grateful!  

David 26 02 2019 1:20 am (sent from my mobile)
Self pity, fault finding, blaming others, pointing out the faults in others, pointing out everything wrong in the world, constantly complaining and projecting a false persona onto the world, the jackal and hyde, I want what I want and I want it right Freaking now and if I dont get what I want, when I want, how I want, I'll sulk, I'm like the little boy on the play ground that got  pissed off and is holding and crossing his arms standing in the corner sulking and hoping someone will give him some sympathy and attention, get over yourself per say, get on with it, over the years some of my resentments that I've noted are just pure childish and stupid crap, untreated alcoholism, another character defect, working through the steps helps me realize how certain mental patterns of thought, feeling, and how certain fears seem to control or dominate my life the fear of abandonment is perhaps the worst, fear of rejection, and fear of the unknown, these three fears are the deepest and darkest and seem to control my feelings, my thoughts, my actions my behaviors, and the mind set of perfectionism, some of this stuff I feel are products of the way I was raised and what values were projected upon me as a small kid, but alcohol seemed to beat me into some measure of reasonableness to be ready to look at things in an entirely different way, I justified my drinking for years because of my fears, I drank deliberately, i drank because of loneliness, i drank because of confusion, i drank because of anger, and i never went out to drink one time intending to get in trouble or cause trouble, i always went out drinking with the best intentions, but reality hit me in the face, my drinking was anything but fun or pleasurable, it was sickening. the steps helps us untangle the wires that are crossed on our insides, i look at my insides as this tangled pile of electrical wires, some of them are arching, some wires are broken, some wires are disconnected and it's one big mess, spiritual malady is something i still feel bewildered about, well thats enough out of me, 

David 26 02 2019 12:56 am (sent from my mobile)
Good Morning, my alcoholic insanity wakes up with me every morning, the stinking thinking, the racing thoughts, the bewildered one, this would be me most of my life, completely bewildered, some phases of my life I've felt intense focus, drive and engaged, but then the road gets rough or the fog moves in and you can't see the road anymore and I pull over and stop until the fog clears, whatever my external circumstances are or whatever situations are given to me that A day late, and a dollar short, behind the eight ball, sometimes I feel like life is like setting in a restaurant where you ordered a sirloin steak, and they bring out to you a pigs head to eat, just something off the menu and something you had absolutely no desire for, this is what life seems to offer up at times, something you never wanted and something your not interested in at all, but you get it anways. Three things this morning I'm grateful for are the beautiful women in my life, they are super amazing I'm grateful for my lawyer, and I'm grateful for my work, today AA offer's my life an entirely different reality than anything ever experienced before, I find sometimes my need to have certainty stops me from reaching my full potential in life, throughout my life this toxic presence of fear seems to corrode every facet of my life, and staying connected to my heart seems to be the greatest challenge of all, I've learned in AA the language of the heart, or connecting to our true self, to thine own self be true they say, sometimes I feel I've spent years beliving my own lies, and telling myself more lies instead of waking up to life for how it truly is instead of how I desire it to be. 

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