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TOPIC/TRADITION welcome
current weekly topic USE OF INVENTORY Sunday 7pm topic

alan 23 May 6:21 pm
Alan alcoholic.
Tomorrow 24/05 we are due to have an online Zoom video meeting at 7pm Paris at https://zoom.us/j/6907802229, we are currently on Step Five so that will be the topic.

Previously, on 10/05, we had some round robin reading from the step and there was sharing.

I want to ask Chad if he can chair tomorrow's meeting for us, using his experience strength and hope to help mark the way through Step Five.

alan 14 May 11:38 am
Alan alcoholic.

Thanks for that and the 4th step inventory is helping me prepare a Fifth Step, thanks to your suggestion Chad!

Chad 14 05 2019 9:32 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and that I can share inventories here, hopefully in keeping with the Step of the month.  Getting to the resentment part of the written inventory (wish I did it daily, first one in 4 or 5 days now), I expected 1 or more people to jump on there who I've argued with in AA Facebook groups in the last day or so, but with prayer for the right words, I found maybe my disease's favorite resentment coming up instead.  

I'm resentful at:
The God of my (mis)understanding 

The Cause 
With all the hostility in the natural world, He could have made people a lot more safe, loving, compassionate and nurturing.  Instead, we get Hitler and a bunch of other sick people, maybe including everyone, like the Big Book says.  And then we're supposed to experience divine love somehow, in the midst of all these mangled human examples.  

Affects my:

Self-esteem
Security
Ambition
Personal relations 
Sex relations 

My part/mistakes 
Self-seeking--I buy my mind's bullshit about how things should be, because I feel powerful in that act, playing God; meanwhile, imperfection makes for adventure, including in my relationships with other people
Frightened--I fear the wounds of abuse, I fear getting more of the same, I fear that any difficulties in my relationships really show trauma is coming, I fear not being able to save people, I fear who I am as one person among many, I fear who I am as the only me my God made, and I fear being betrayed.
Dishonest--while my mind rolls out its bullshit, and part of me stays mesmerized, I'm actually, miraculously, growing closer to others, my real God, and me, through the 12 Steps of AA.

How I retaliated--
Running from intimacy, people-pleasing, avoiding a non-obsessively-ritualized relationship with  my God that might be of the heart, +?

Chad 12 May 9:44 am
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and thanks, glad the meeting went well.  Definitely hoping to join the one on the 24th.  Happy to chair if needed, or not, if someone else is chairing.  No problem either way.  Yesterday (since it's now about quarter to 3am here), I was scheduled to speak at an evening meeting, and told my friend Robert who'd asked me that I had slept through a Friday AA commitment, alarm and all, and that I hoped and planned to be there but that he might want to have a backup.  And, sure enough, I missed that one, too.  Grateful that the program does allow me to make amends everywhere and in every way I need to, and that I even get help acknowledging what went wrong--in Step 5, among others.  The first time I did it, I had a deep expectation of being shamed, rejected, even hated, and then and since then have been greeted with the understanding of the person listening, and the God of my understanding.  Wonderful!  Grateful.  

MarkB 11 May 12:39 pm
Good morning, Mark, alcoholic/addict.  Just back from takign my son to RugbyTots.  We had a wonderful time.  No hangover to impact my moods, no bleary eyes to shy away from the sunlight.  It's great to be alive and sober.  Never mind Chad, we had a good meeting around Step5, no harm done.  There are plenty more in the diary if you'd like to join us.  Next one 7pm CET on 24/05/19, unfortuately I am a Lead Share that night in local meeting so will not be able to attend.  Otherwise see you 2 or 4th Friday each month.  Yours in fellowship, Mark.

Chad 11 05 2019 5:51 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and I owe amends for missing chairing the Zoom meeting earlier.  After setting two alarms on my phone, I fell asleep, but did not wake up in time, which unfortunately has been happening to me a lot in the last 2 or 3 years.  If I can chair another time, I'll be grateful for the opportunity.  Either way, I'm grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

alan 10 May 1:30 pm
Alan alcoholic.

Just to remind those interested that we have the Zoom Step Five meeting at 7pm Paris tome. You can log on here from 6:45pm.

One approach might be to look at how the 4th step inventory can be useful in Step Five.

We are happy to have Chad chair and share his considerable experience of the step, assisted by your trusted servant and webmaster.

See you later!
Alan

Chad 09 05 2019 7:13 am (sent from my mobile)
And my experience so far has been that simply reading the 4th Step inventory out loud in the 5th Step, I've had maybe a spiritual experience--connections have come to light, I'm given clarity, and am seeing without judgment or other ego distortion some simple things the God of my understanding wants me to see about my defects of character.  

Chad 09 05 2019 7:07 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and for the chance to share on Step 5.  Guessing I've gotten to work this Step at least 7 times, maybe 8, which has been just right for me--so much buried under so many layers, that couldn't all come up at once or only come up in the 10th Step.  And a lot of what I've been helped by, with the guys who have listened to mine, and what I've hopefully passed along when I've heard 5th Steps (maybe 4 so far), is listening--accepting what's being said, and maybe the person saying it at the same time.  

alan 7 May 12:31 pm
Alan alcoholic.

Thanks for your share Chad and fr all the inventory stuff you post which is really helpful.

There's a meeting on Friday Zoom 7pm Paris time (currently we do a video meeting on 2nd and fourth fridays each month).

I'm wondering if you would chair us for this coming Step Five meeting, your experience in the matter would be much appreciated. I will open up the meeting, you just need to log in from 6:45 pm (Paris) at https://zoom.us/j/6907802229

A suggestion would be to read a bit from the Step which opens when clicked at our web page  http://www.aaonlineen.fr/html/ChatmodEN.php#bottom.

Please let me know by private message or share here. Happy to back you up!

Alan

Chad 06 05 2019 9:25 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Lots of fear at the moment about the future, so it helps me to share great 5th Step memories here.  They remind me how things have kept working out for me in sobriety.  My first one was partly with my sponsor Tony who kindly shared something bad, or sick, he had done also.  My second one was with my sponsor Bill, who listened and told me I could be more assertive.  My third one was with my sponsor Sam; I told him I might cry during it, and he told me that was okay.  Then one with my sponsor Kevin, who suggested I go to Al-Anon.  Then with my sponsor Dave, who listened graciously.  Then with my current sponsor Brett, who suggested I be myself, not try to be anyone else.  Grateful! 

Chad 05 05 2019 8:02 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and thanks, Alan, for the helpful share.  It reminds me of how the inventory Steps have changed my view of myself, including by removing the need, or sense of a need, for shame.  Simply writing things down, I started to get a sense of how small they are compared to the apocalyptic spin my mind put on them, then by sharing them with another person, I started to get a terrific gift--that the stuff I had believed made me unacceptable is actually helping build positive relationships.  Wow.  

alan 3 May 9:08 am
Alan alcoholic.

Just to terminate current discussion on last month's step (4) I think it's been of benefit to one and all, we, us or whatever you care to call it, one reason being that it cuts to the heart of human relational problems and the existential dilemmas caused.

One word "retaliate" leaps out from Chad's share and seems to summarise the whole problem. Angry and warped thinking leading to resentment leading to retaliation, or even violence, completing the viscious circle of alcoholism.

In a world which is complex yet over simplified, we seem to have developed binary attitudes of plan A, plan B, push the required button to solve your problem whereas the true complexity of humanity so often escapes us as we try to muddle through. When things don't work out it's time for reproaches and, at the same time, self recriminating critisism and self loathing.

Luckily AA can offer a solution to break the deadlock, the question being whether the initial elan is carried forwards and motivation maintained for slow but sure personal growth; whatever that may be it needs to be away from the distrous state which brought us here. Using the word "we" or "us" in AA is risky and requires forethought but there is a we and an us where our common welfare comes first. This AA program is a day at a time where we try to live a life away from self obsession, a life without drinking or dependence on mood changers.

To stand on my own emotional feet is a long process and I will continue working the steps as I continue breathing, a day at a time. Meanwhile we move on to Step Five...

Chad 01 05 2019 7:04 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful this resentment came up in a written inventory, and I can share it here now, hopefully it still fits with the Step of the month:  I'm resentful at--my father.  The Cause--in so many different ways it's just a part of who he is, he's undermined, belittled, diminished and even spiritually bullied me for decades, to reinforce the system that keeps me, his youngest son, at the bottom of the family totem pole, and him at the top.  If he didn't, maybe I'd actually have a decent fucking life instead of being stuck in his guest room unable to get adulthood going.  Even his relationship with God blocks mine, eclipses it.  He needs me to be my mother's higher power like he was to his mother.  But he wouldn't ever get anywhere near the growth he'd need to see that in himself, let alone change.  So I'm a prisoner of his pride.  Affects my:  Self-esteem , Ambition, Security, Personal relations, Sex relations.  My part/mistakes:  Dishonest--from an early age, like Bill wrote about in the Big Book, I have worshipped people, maybe especially my father.  But no person has the power to block my God's help--my sobriety proves that.  And Godincidences keep showing me I'm where I'm supposed to be right now.  Self-seeking--I've been playing God since maybe age 3, imagining I know what's really going on with everyone and what should be, instead of turning it all over to my actual God, my Higher Power.  Which is the only sane thing to do.  Frightened--I fear how well this situation is going--me staying with my parents for 3 years now, I fear it makes me look like a target somehow, I fear God set it up this way because I or one or both of my parents will die soon, I fear who I really am, +?  How I Retaliated (Tom A, 50+ years sober!, suggested this 5th column or part of the resentment inventory to me):  Self-sabotage--maybe from an early age, I've been harming myself in different ways to "show" my father, instead of letting him see and enjoy God's design for my life.  Thanks! 

alan 27 April 5:14 pm
Alan alcoholic.
Looking forward to having Duncan with us tomorrow night at our Sunday 7pm (Paris time) on Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/6907802229
It's worth noting that our aaonlineen.fr google calendar can be found on our website at http://www.aaonlineen.fr/html/AAMembersShare.php#cal where you can consult all our meeting dates and times.

See you all tomorrow! 

Duncan 27 04 2019 1:36 pm (sent from my mobile)
Okay .... i just saw the time; 7 pm.
Bear with me, I'm still not always particularly observant. :)
Cheer --- Duncan

Duncan 27 04 2019 1:22 pm (sent from my mobile)
I'm Duncan and I am an alcoholic.  Good morning from Xcalak, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

First of all, thanks to all who share their thoughts and feelings on this site. 
I would be happy to join those who attend the Sunday night Mtg. tomorrow ....... and encourage those who don't attend to join us in fellowship.  My best understanding of the program is that the back bone and success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous is largely credited to "one alcoholic talking to another."  I believe there is a magic that occurs (I've long ago quit trying to understand or intellectualize it) which is a force for Good, when one alcoholic talks to another.

As it's been awhile since I have attended, and Heather and I are now in another time zone and Country, if someone would be so kind as to remind me of the time of the meeting I'd greatly appreciate it. 

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

Peace, Blessings and AA love to all --- Duncan

Chad 27 04 2019 12:44 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and to be able to share about Step 4.  My sponsor Bill told me it's about looking for patterns, which was a big turning point for me; I'd been ready to get into self-hateful "I'm the worst person on earth" wallowing with it.  My disease had been pulling me in that direction.  But patterns--that's detached, not overwhelming, absolutely doable.  Grateful 

alan 26 April 6:31 pm
Alan alcoholic.
Step meeting starting shortly at 7p Paris time.
https://zoom.us/j/6907802229

Chad 26 04 2019 12:31 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and that the 4th Step discussion plus written inventory have been showing me fresh resentments I get to share about here.  I'm resentful at:  Russ in my home group.  The Cause--he has that sanctimonious, "I love Jesus therefore I'm more sober than you" bit he gives me, in his eyes and behind the words he shares, and seems to go out of his way to show he disrespects me when he actually bothers to show up at a meeting.  So he's making it impossible for me to tell him I'm concerned about him, and making me look like a sick in front of the other guys.  And he's stupid, but thinks he isn't.  All of the above like my nonalcoholic do-gooder brother who I can tell deep down hates my guts.  Affects my:  Self-esteem, Ambition, Security, Personal relations, Sex relations.  My part/mistakes--Dishonesty--like with maybe all my resentments, these things aren't true--about Russ or my brother.  When I was in crisis in 2016, both took time to reach out and help me like I've gotten to do for them.  We have different personalities, and that's not okay with my insanely controlling fascist ego that says we all need to be the same.  Also, I maybe tend to resent anybody who's seen me at an especially vulnerable point.  Frightened--that maybe comes with a fear that they'll exploit my vulnerability, a fear that they'll tell others who will exploit it, and a fear of the vulnerability of being human, period.  Self-seeking--people who remind me I'm not God (thankfully maybe everybody does that in some ways since I got sober) collide with my pride; also, I believe I have envy--both of them seem to have respectably middle class lives with wives and kids, while I'm still unemployed, broke, mentally I'll in addition to the alcoholism, staying with my parents with no idea where I'm going ... then there's survivor's guilt, too, because I've been free to do more 12th Step work in the last 2 years than I ever did before that, and been blessed by my relationships in AA and so many other ways.  And my pride says I know how things should go.  Clearly, I don't.  Thanks! 

Chad 24 04 2019 10:42 am (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful a written end of day inventory, with prayer, turned up a couple of names for a resentment I get to share.  I'm resentful at:  Donny S and Bob J. The Cause--they go between seeming like the kindest, wisest, most helpful old timer friends around here, warm and open and helping me to be more that way, to being crazy, creepy, belittling, even abusive, so I have to back away and put boundaries up, and continue not getting close to anybody.  Affects my:  self-esteem/fear, security, ambition, personal relations, sex relations?  My part/mistakes--Dishonesty--my mind feeds me that crap, blowing some things about them out of proportion, and/or projecting shit on them that's mayb ed true about other people if at all, and  maybe connected with my self-esteem since I'm a lot like them.  Frightened--their honesty about difficulties with their thoughts and feelings sets an example I fear I need to follow after maybe decades of automatically stuffing things, but I also fear that at that level of my being I have no capacity for relationships with other people and will get into sick, sycophantic people worship with them and/or others; I fear they won't survive if I move; and I fear doing as much service in AA as they both do.  Self-seeking--it seems like a deeper part of me, maybe my heart?, buys my mind's bullshit, because the "I secretly know how fucked everything is" equals playing God, which feels good/bad.  How I retaliated--arguing with Donny and not communicating with Bob about his Step study after acting like I was going to participate, +? And I need to add that both of these men have helped my sobriety, and that the resentment is not accurate; it's my disease's sick spin, I believe.  Someone said Step 4 shows "the truth about the lie."  

Chad 24 April 10:35 am
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and thanks for these helpful shares.  Can't remember for sure, but it seems like Bill W mentioned the need to carefully look at relationships with other people maybe 3 or more times in the Twelve and Twelve.  And/or maybe that's just jumping out at me because I need to see it right now!  Recently, I've been helped to see that I have a lot of trouble disagreeing with people; my mind gets locked onto who's right, of course insists that it/I/we am/are right, and the other person becomes "the enemy," and other insanity like that.  Grateful to be shown also that that's playing God, which maybe goes back to the defect of pride.  And grateful that I have such "luxury problems" today, like my sponsor Bill L would say.  Saw someone whose face was badly burned from a car accident earlier, I believe because of this disease; that could be me, but not today or for 5,000+ wonderful days miraculously in a row before that, thanks to AA!

David 23 April 3:36 pm
still not getting the form to download, for some reason

alan 21 April 1:17 pm
Alan alcoholic.

Thanks to David for pointing out that the step4 form document, supposed to be fillable and saveable, was not fillable/saveable in Adobe Acrobat Reader. This has now been rectified (hopefully) and you can download here: http://www.aaonlineen.fr/LiteratureEN/4thStep/Step4saveable.pdf  NOTE: you will need to download and save the form to your computer. Any problems, webmaster would like to know.

On STEP FOUR:

Emotional Insecurity
The most common symptoms of emotional insecurity are worry,
anger, self-pity, and depression. These stem from causes which
sometimes seem to be within us, and at other times to come from
without. To take inventory in this respect we ought to consider carefully
all personal relationships which bring continuous or recurring trouble.
It should be remembered that this kind of insecurity may arise
in any area where instincts are threatened.
 

- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, (Step Four) p. 52

It seems to me, in my own work on the defects of character list in this step, that I need to understand that some listings are not character defects in themselves but the symptom or result of defects at the base level, usually warped thinking pertaining to different human instincts.

There's another helpful thing for me, it's the list which includes the opposite against each defect, in a way the antidotes to different aspects of my spiritual sickness. That list is here

We might refer to both these suggestions as the basis topic for the Zoom Step meeting on Friday 26th April.


Chad 19 04 2019 3:58 pm (sent from my mobile)
Chad, alcoholic.  Grateful to be sober, and that the 4th Step resentment inventory format keeps helping me when resentments drop up on my 10th Step inventory, like right now:  I'm resentful at:  the God of my (mis)understanding.  The Cause--no matter what I do, I seem to just be stuck, it's really painful, and no good option is coming up no matter how I pray and try to take action--like I've been forgotten, and/or God quit liking me.  Affects my:  self-esteem, Ambition, Security, Personal relations, Sex relations?  My part/mistakes:  Frightened--I fear Monday's job interview to teach in a prison-that the wrong thing will happen with it, I fear what emotional growth I might be needing that might be ahead, I fear leaving this place when I seem stuck in dysfunctional family dynamics, I fear dying, and I fear living.  Dishonest--I'm pretending I should be completely serene about a change of job, state where I live, sponsor, home group and more, when these are rated as really stressful things to do, and it's okay that I'm freaked out.  Self-seeking--I also imagine that my God is going to do something stupid with my life, buying my mind's insane bs.  How I retaliated:  sitting in  the suffering between my ears-- "I'll show You, I'll hurt me," maybe.  Thanks! 

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