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

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:
Self-esteem/fear 
Ambition?
Security 
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:
https://zoom.us/j/520966195

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:
Self-esteem/fear
Ambition 
Security 
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:
Self-sabotage?

Thanks!

alan 11 June 4:33 pm
Hello all, Alan alcoholic.
I've enjoyed reading you, I've been going through some health issues, nothing serious now that it's being dealt with.

I wanted to say how much I'm finding good relief, mixed with a little pain, in working Step Four and Five. The fourth step inventory is particularly liberatin,g as an "avant prèmiere". I had a good suggestion from somebody who said that writing down the good stuff with the bad was a good idea. Change is coming with this, never easy and some pain has to be accaepted.

I think fear of self and non respect of self is par more damaging than what any third party could do to me. This is a new deal for me and quite a game changer. I thought my proress had stalled and there is God helping me to do what I can't do for myself. As long as I do the required actions and stop meddling things will be fine.

Chad 11 06 2019 3:46 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and I believe Mel B might call that synchronicity--I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2016, then a therapist said it might be the complex kind, and I was helped with writing a trauma timeline maybe 6 months ago.  Then it seemed, unfortunately, like that therapist was triggered and even abusive to work with, and I was able to go back to a therapist who responded to the timeline with compassion and concern.  Codependency is a character defect of mine, I believe, that has recently become more clear as well.  Grateful I can pray for the willingness to have them removed, along with all the others!  And grateful for my sobriety!  

David 8 June 3:27 pm
Gratitude list three things I'm grateful for today. 
Grateful for me sobriety
Grateful for my health
Grateful for my adventures and travels

David 4 June 9:08 am
Professional Victim, one of my favorite character defects, and coping, and my childhood survival skills have now become useless. Alot of my recovery has been dealing with trauma and the damage caused from trauma. There's nothing more destructive than complex post traumatic stress disorder. Another character defect that I've had most all my life, is being made to feel responsible for things which are completely out of my control. Another character defect is learned helplessness and the feeling that there's nothing I can do about it. Another character defect is comparing myself to other people, and blaming other institutions and people, poor me, everyone is out to get me, boo hoo. 

Chad 03 06 2019 12:23 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and thanks for the helpful shares.  Yesterday, I slept a lot of the day, and was awake through the night, and now my mind is locked up on the question of whether to start my day with prayer and meditation, since it is 6am, or to do something else.  Sloth is another name for the defect of procrastination in the 12 and 12, and my staying on this weird schedule for so much of the last 3 years might be that defect in action.  Grateful I can pray for the willingness to have it removed, like the Big Book says in Step 6! 

And truly grateful I'm not staying up all night because of drinking and drugging's slow suicide; I tended to have to keep a strict schedule in active alcoholism, to try and stay paid, and I get great freedom in sobriety.  

David 3 June 12:05 pm
I'm resentful at:

Myself
My x girlfriend
At my parents
At the monetary system
At fake people
At Johnny Liu, Johnny Wu
At Tropic Helicopters
At my sister
my x wife
At jovi

Most all of these I have felt in one way or the other have tride to control my life, make decisions on how I would lead or live my life, or take something from me that wasn't there's to steal. 

Which effects my, pride, self esteem, and financial security, and I resent myself for allowing certain people to treat me in an unacceptable way

I'm resentful at the concept of consequences, and given life circumstances, you know when life gives you what you never asked for and takes from you what you enjoyed. 

effects my self esteem self worth and sense of safety and security and well being.
COncerning character defeats, for me, the top of the list is
1. perfectionism
2. Self righteousness
3. Justifiable resentments and anger
4. Self pity
5. Stinginess 
6. Pride
7. Arrogance
8. Close mindedness
9. Prejudice 
10. contempt
11. Self will run right
12. Boredom
13. Self loathing/hatred
14. Self centered fear
15. Stubborness

All of these defects seem to  go away but thenthey all come back stronger than before. 

alan 31 May 10:13 am
Alan alcoholic.
Use of inventory is powerful in the 4th/5th step and also at any time. Daily checkout is a form of inventory into which I can invite God to inspire a new point of view. Sometimes that consists of not doing rather than doing, if I can eliminate some negative actions or thoughts then new fresh positive events may happen.
It may be that, through negativity, I am missing out on some obvious truths which are too simple for me to see. Keepit simple, amen!!!
***Who would care to consider taking chair for this group, say just for next month (June)? We'll be working Step Six and some new ideas would be great! ***

Chad 30 05 2019 6:27 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and that going back over the inventory prayerfully in 5/30/19, I was shown another resentment.  

I'm resentful at:
Marc H and Mark V

The Cause
Each one, when he was newly sober, was nice, asked for my help, and we did some fun things together.  Then they turned into passive-aggressive a--holes, laughing at my attempts to work Step 12, being disrespectful, and treating me like I don't exist.

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

My part/mistakes 
Dishonest--not a coincidence that Mark is my father's first name and I'm staying in his house.  Maybe I've been trying to get approval from other versions of him.  

Self-seeking--in the 12 and 12, Bill wrote about that urge to become possessive of newcomers who are doing well, and I believe I've been doing that with them.  In the now years that I've seen others come and go, including maybe 20-30 sponsees, those two have stayed sober.  And my ego says how my sponsees are doing is how I'm doing, like performance-based pay (which may be how I was raised to seereality--a just God, etc).  And that's my pride,i.e. me playing God, maybe by way of Codependency.  

Frightened--I fear having friends who are peers, I fear how those newer guys will do if and when I'm not around, I fear not being in control, I fear that the truth is that I'm actually gay and attracted to them, I fear that they've figured out I'm basically abig nothing in a Chad mask, I fear being blessed in ways they're not, I fear God will punish me for failing to fix them, and I fear my real God/Higher Power is showing me that I'm  truly free, at depth, of unhealthy dependency. 

How I retaliated-- passive-aggressive behavior, teasing with barbs, +?

Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!  

Chad 30 05 2019 5:12 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and grateful that the end of day written inventory that I'm finally doing more on after 3 days is, after prayer, showing me 2 resentments that I get to inventory here. 

Though I share them here partly because I doubt any of you will ever meet these people so you won't be harmed by this inventory, it helps me also, always, to remember and share that these resentments are lies made by my mind, where the disease is.  They're not actual facts.  The real people are wonderful, fellow imperfect sober alcoholics who have helped me tremendously. 

I'm resentful at:
Brett W

The Cause 
He becomes anti-therapy and anti-feelings right when I fucking most need a sponsor to share with from my scarred, scared heart, so I get his asshole persona that's an abusive one that could kill us both.  

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

My part/mistakes
Self-seeking--Brett's been my sponsor since around the time I seemed to get the mental obsession to drink returning in 2016, and his simple suggestions, "work the Steps, work with others," have been vital.  He's not God, and he's not my therapist, but my mind tries to give him a God sized role so I can play that part myself, including in my sponsor's life.

Dishonest--meanwhile, the actual God of my understanding, my Higher Power, has continued to bless me with a very good, a beautiful sober life like He/She/? has since on or before11-1-1, one day at a time, and so I ought to maybe be overwhelmed with gratitude, all the time, or at least more of it!

Frightened--i fear not being above or below any other human being, really experiencing partnership in my daily life.

How I retaliated--people-pleasing, self-sabotage, +?

I'm resentful at:
Brian O

The Cause 
He seemed like he might really help me with my childhood trauma, having shared about his own and taken time with me one on one briefly, but then I get the backlash of "get a job," "talk to your sponsor," and other passive aggressive shit, as he tries to hide in this image of a normal middle class Christian that my presence challenges.

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

My part/mistakes 
Self-seeking--again, I've been putting divine expectations on a fellow imperfect sober alcoholic; meanwhile, other long time sober friends have been appearing, by my HP/God's g race I believe, for me to share with about childhood trauma, mostly online which might be the safely detached, grounding approach I need while I don't have a trauma-trained therapist.  

Dishonest--also, I believe I envy Brian.  He has tattoos and I'm too pain-averse for those, he has a fairly attractive wife and I'm staying with my parents, he has a job and I'm unemployed, he seems confident and I'm not.  Then there's the other side--I feel bad for having it better than him in some ways, including in this mysterious willingness to keep reworking the Steps, in my nurturing relationships with old timers, and in my being free of his obligations.  And meanwhile,  maybe most importantly, we're both sober (I am, most importantly for me!), involved in our home group, and friends.  

Frightened--I fear that God's not doing things right in my relationships, that I'm going to get smote by divine wrath, that I'll only encounter more depression and tension in my attempts to grow closer to others, and that my path isn't up to any human power.

How Iretaliatedd--people-pleasing, withholding, +?

Thanks!

Current fear:  that doing this will delay my finishing the written inventory from May29th to May30th, so I'll have to change the date and go over it again.  "Isn't it nice to have luxury problems?"--my sponsor Bill L 

alan 24 May 6:13 pm
Hello my friends in recovery, Alan alcoholic.

In a little over half an hour we are due to have an online Zoom video meeting working Step Five at 7pm Paris at https://zoom.us/j/6907802229

MarkB 24 May 3:54 pm
Good afternoon all, Mark, alcoholic/addict.  Apologies but can't make the Step 5 Meeting tonight, I've been asked to perform service (Lead Share) at local meeting.  Admission of my wrongs to myself, another alcoholic and/or group has allowed me to feel free, to face my inner demons and not be controlled by deeper secrets which weighed me down for many years.  Yours in fellowship, Mark.

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