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Live and Let Live

Posted on March 21, 2015 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)


Let Them Share

Posted on March 14, 2015 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in theory is a safe environment where members can go and talk about their recovery as well as any problems they experience along the way.  The sharing can be highly therapeutic to all individuals including those that communicate their thoughts in ways that may seem a bit incoherent or off topic to those that communicate in a more formal manner.  Some individuals do not have rhetorical charisma or may take a long time to communicate their specific concerns and may be judged there at that time to having an unsuccessful recovery.  The judgementalism is felt and it hurts. 

If the individual doing the talking communicates in ways which conform to normal Alcoholics Anonymous recovery standards, they then at that time are judged inspirational.  They apparently are building a successful recovery.  To inspire and be inspired is one of the main reasons why people continue going to the meetings.

The portion of the  AA meetings devoted to sharing is limited. The members get an opportunity to speak and share that time.  At most of these gatherings it is appropriate to discuss personal worries and concerns, but there can be some limitations on what the member should talk about such as the step meeting topic or a portion of the Big Book, a discussion topic or one speaker may be designated to share at the podium about their life before, during and after Alcoholics Anonymous.

A non-conformist to the protocols usually gets cut off while making the effort to share her legitimate concerns and feelings in her own unique or perhaps innovative style.  Oh yes.  She is judged and she is cut off.  Next!!

Chairpeople, please stop cutting off the people that you deem strange.  Listen.  Be there and listen.  You know that Harry in the corner will share next anyway and repeat what he has said a thousand times.  Did you not hear the first 999?  I would rather hear twenty more minutes of the ramblings of the guy from the carboardaminium or from the lady from the shelter.  Other folks in the room are probably listening to the accentric sharer.  She gets cut off when she is close to getting to her key points and when her story is just starting to make sense.  We can learn in Alcoholics Anonymous to be non-judgemental and not deem folks as " sicker than others".  The some are sicker than others stuff is fuel for resentments.  Oh yes, I have learned in the steps not to harbor resentments but how dare I fuel resentment in another person by claiming "some are sicker than others." Shame.  Shame.  Shame.  Judgemental.  Judgemental.  Judgemental.  Let them share and share for as long as they want to.

Enough is enough. 

If this is all deemed to be an outside issue, I disagree.  It is an inside issue.

Proverbial Wisdoms

Posted on March 7, 2015 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Our AA meetings are full of proverbial wisdom.  The slogans are many.

AA is not the only place where proverbial slogans are used. 

I have made a short list of proverbial sayings that are not heard in AA.

A drowning man will clutch at a straw". Originates from the 16th century, and refers to a desperate situation (i.e. drowning) and using any chance, even if it is hopeless, to get oneself out of it (i.e. grabbing [clutching] a straw).

A house divided against itself cannot stand, Abraham Lincoln, 1858

A new broom sweeps clean, but an old one knows where the dirt is.

Better late than never.

Birds of a feather flock together.

Do not spoil the ship for a ha'pworth of tar.

Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

History repeats itself.

Home is where the heart is.

Honesty is the best policy.

Hope springs eternal.

Enough is enough.

Proverbial sayings in Hausa, an African language, with Explanations

Yawa shi kan sa zarre ya ja duchi.

Quantity makes the cotton draw a stone.

Unity is strength.

Na dumka riga babu wuya, Avonda ya yanka

wuva shi sa ma kainshi.

I have sewn a ricja without a neck, let him who

cuts a neck for it put it on.

The riga is a shirt with a hole at the top for the

head to be put through : if made without this

wuya or neck, one would have to be cut before

the riga could be put on.

If the cap fits put it on.

Rigaya zua fadda ba slii ne samu'n sariki


"First come to the council" does not always

"catch king."

First come is not always first served.

Though a man may have been in the king's service a

long time, it does not follow that he will always

have the king's ear.

Ba domin tsawo akanga wata ba.

The moon is not seen because of great stature.

It is by no merit of yours that you have done that.

Any one can do it.

Fawa biu tana bata hankali'n kuda.

Two pieces of meat confuse the mind of the fly.

To hesitate between two things, two courses, &c.

Zakarra a-rataye ya yi koatuh ?

Can a cock slung by both legs peck at corn ?

Kotu or koatuh, the pecking action of hens eating


Can I do it in my present position ?


lya rua fidda kai.

He, who can swim, can save himself.

Fidda, a contraction of " fita da."


Da kura tana da magani'ii zawo, da ta yi

ma kanta.

Had the kura the means of curing itself of zav:o

it would have done so.

Kura: hyena/ coyote,  Zav:o being killed

Physician heal thyself.

Sai anbatta akan nemi mashiggi.

One only seeks a guide when one has lost the


Mashiggi, a guide.

Babba juji ne, kowa ya zo da shaara sai ya


The chief (or head of the family) is like a dust-heap,

every one comes with his sweepings and

deposits them.

The master is the recipient of all complaints and troubles.


Dauda'n gora achikki akan sha slii.

The dirt inside a gora is drunk inside.

Swallow your wrath.

Gora, a water-bottle ; note that it is pronounced

differently from gora, a male bamboo.


Sai kwarri ya chikka, saanan akan yi zagia.

Only when the quiver is full do you make a zagia.

Don't give anything away until your own wants are


Zagia, when a quiver is full it is usual to pull two

or three arrows out a little so that they may be

easily got at if suddenly wanted ; this projection

of arrows is called the zagia.

Komi ya ke chikkin dan kaza, shafu ya

deddi da sanninslii.

Whatever there is inside a chicken the hawk has

been familiar with it for a very long time.

There is not much that you can teach me about that.

Salt laughs at mai'n liadde while the sun

shines, but when rain comes it hides its


Mai'n kadde, shea butter.

He laughs best who laughs last. 

Ganni ya fi ji.

Seeing is better than hearing.

To be able to say that you have seen a thing with your

own eyes is better than only to know by hearsay.

The full formula is — Q. Ka ganni? A. Xa ganni.

Q. Ka ji ? A. Na ji.

The questioner now says — ganni ya fi ji — seeing is



Zamma dubara, ta ii karifi.

Stratagem is better than brute force.


Na yi maka dubara.

I give you a bit of advice.

Kadda ya yi cbikki, ya haifu wuya.

Don't let him conceive and bring forth trouble.

Don't do something that you will be sorry for after-


More Hausa Proverbs


Ganni ba chi ba ne.

To see is not to obtain.

To see a thing does not necessarily mean that you will

obtain it. Chi, literally to eat, often means to



Yo da gobe magani'n wata rana.

To-day and to-morrow are the cure for wata


Wata rana signifies an indefinite time, — Sai wata

rana, — we will meet again some day.

Tilas ba ta rassa daki'n kwana.

Compulsion does not lack a house to sleep in.

Necessity knows no law.

Da wutta da sebbi ba su zamma wiiri daia.

Fire and cotton cannot live in the same place.

Sebbi, cotton in the fluffy state before it is carded.

Da kwoi da duchi ba su gamma wuri daia.

Eggs and stones will not stay in the same place.

Madaki shi ya san enda rua ke zubar mashi.

The ownner of the house knows from where the

water drips on him.

Every one knows his own business best.

Mutum da bunu a gatto ba shi gudumowa


A man with grass on his qaito does not help (to

put out) a fire.

Idan ka ji '^ marhaba " ka ji " a issa lafia."

If you hear " welcome," you will also hear

"May you reach home in safety," i.e., the

guest will not stay for ever.

Banza ba shi kai zomo kasua.

"Do nothing" does not bring a hare to market.

Nothing can be done without work.

Wonda ya clii zomo ya clii gudu.

Whoever catches a hare has to run for it. 

All Encompassing Conditions

Posted on February 28, 2015 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

On Tradition Three

“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking."

Editorial by Bill W.

A.A. Grapevine, February, 1948

"Our membership ought to include all who suffer alcoholism.  Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover.  Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity.  Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."

This is a sweeping statement indeed; it takes in a lot of territory.  Some people might think it too idealistic to be practical. It tells every alcoholic in the world that he may become, and remain, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous so long as he says so.  In short, Alcoholics Anonymous has no membership rule.


 Why is this so?  Our answer is simple and practical.  Even in self protection, we do not wish to erect the slightest barrier between ourselves and the brother alcoholic who still suffers.  We know that society has been demanding that he conform to its laws and conventions.  But the essence of his alcoholic malady is the fact that he has been unable or unwilling to conform either to the laws of man or God.  If he is anything, the sick alcoholic is a rebellious nonconformist.  How well we understand that; every member of Alcoholics Anonymous was once a rebel himself.  Hence we cannot offer to meet him at any half-way mark.  We must enter the dark cave where he is and show him that we understand.  We realize that he is altogether too weak and confused to jump hurdles.  If we raise obstacles, he might stay away and perish.  He might be denied his priceless opportunity.

So when he asks, "Are there any conditions?" we joyfully reply, "No, not a one."  When skeptically he comes back saying, "But certainly there must be things that I have to do and believe," we quickly answer, "In Alcoholics Anonymous there are no musts."  Cynically, perhaps, he then inquires, "What is this all going to cost me?"  We are able to laugh and say, "Nothing at all, there are no fees and dues."  Thus, in a brief hour, is our friend disarmed of his suspicion and rebellion.  His eyes begin to open on a new world of friendship and understanding.  Bankrupt idealist that he has been, his ideal is no longer a dream.  After years of lonely search it now stands revealed.  The reality of Alcoholics Anonymous bursts upon him. For Alcoholics Anonymous is saying,"We have something priceless to give, if only you will receive.  That is all. But to our new friend, it is everything.  Without more ado, he becomes one of us.

Our membership tradition does contain, however, one vitally important qualification.  That qualification relates to the use of our name, Alcoholics Anonymous.  We believe that any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.  Here our purpose is clear and unequivocal.  For obvious reasons we wish the name Alcoholics Anonymous to be used only in connection with straight A.A. activities.  One can think of no A.A. member who would like, for example, to see the formation of "dry" A.A. groups, "wet" A.A. groups, Republican A.A. groups, Communist A.A. groups.  Few, if any, would wish our groups to be designated by religious denominations.  We cannot lend the A.A. name, even indirectly to other activities, however worthy.  If we do so we shall become hopelessly compromised and divided.  We think that A.A. should offer its experience to the whole world for whatever use can be made of it.  But not its name.  Nothing could be more certain.


Let us of A.A. therefore resolve that we shall always be inclusive, and never exclusive, offering all we have to all men save our title.  May all barriers be thus leveled, may our unity thus be preserved.  And may God grant us a long life --and a useful one!

Bill W.

The A.A. Grapevine, February, 1948

Isaiah 40:3-5 King James Version (KJV)

 3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

 5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

 Luke 3:4-6 King James Version (KJV)

 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

 6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.


I Have a Dream

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

 This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.


With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.  With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.  With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

 And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

 My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

 Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

 From every mountainside, let freedom ring!


And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.


But not only that:


Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.


From every mountainside.  Let freedom ring.

When we allow freedom to ring -- when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last!  Free at last!

Great God a-mighty, we are free at last!

Martin Luther King, Jr.

think Think think

Posted on February 21, 2015 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

The AA  9" by 12" cards in the meetings are "Live and Let Live, Easy Does It, But For the Grace of God, think Think think, and First Things First, printed in Olde English calligraphy using red and black ink. They are familiar in AA rooms everywhere and part of literature kits for AA groups.  Some groups arrange and display the cards in this order, making a sentence with the first words on each card; Live easy but think first.  Sobriety or sober or recovery or recovered or AAized has alot to do with living and thinking... and gratitude too.

Occasionly, I have seen the think Think think card displayed upside down.., whadahay?

Where did the think THINK think come from?  My searching Searching searching of origin of the slogan think Think think resulted in nothing certain. 

I have found and heard this possible history of think Think think.

In the 1940s, IBM was using the word THINK as a motto/slogan/logo for advertising and an AA member in New York decided to have Think printed at the bottom of some cards he was mailing to AA groups.  When he received his order back from his printer the word Think was printed upside down three times on the cards. He liked the way the mistake looked and mailed the materials the way they were.

The slogan caught on.  Think Think think was the AA slogan featured on the inside back cover of the February, 1957 Grapevine issue and became one of the 9" x 12" slogan cards in AA meetings.

All of this sounds plausible. :)

The Serenity Prayer was published in early Grapevine issues, which helped usher its use into the AA fellowship. The Serenity Prayer has been a regular part of the Grapevine magazine's format since July, 1967.

Coincidently, there is a story similar to the think Think think one above about the Serenity Prayer and it's AA origins at aa.org.

"Q. What are the origins of the Serenity Prayer?

A. It was debated for years who wrote the Serenity Prayer, and its origins are still somewhat murky, but it seems most likely to have been written by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, a well-known theologian who served for many years as Dean and Professor of Applied Christianity at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. G.S.O.’s Archives can provide more information about this prayer’s historical origins upon request.


Alcoholics Anonymous became aware of the Serenity Prayer in 1941, when it was discovered printed in the New York Tribune newspaper. Ruth Hock, AA’s first secretary and a non-alcoholic, was immediately taken with it. The headquarters staff thought of printing the prayer on a card to distribute to AA members.


On June 12, 1941, Ruth wrote Henry S., a Washington, D.C.-based AA member and printer by profession, saying:


“One of the boys up here got a clipping from a local newspaper which is so very much to the point and so much to their liking, that they have asked me to find out from you what it would cost to set it up on a small card, something like a visiting card, which can be carried in a wallet... here it is...would appreciate it if you would let me know right away.”


Henry answered back immediately and enthusiastically:


“...Your cards are on the way and my congratulations to the man who discovered that in the paper. I can’t recall any sentence that packs quite the wallop that that does and during the day shown it to the A.A.’s that dropped in and in each case have been asked for copies. I sent you 500 copies in as much as you didn’t say how many you wanted. If you need any more, let me know. Incidentally, I am only a heel when I’m drunk, I hope, so naturally there could be no charge for anything of this nature.”


Ruth responded again on June 17, and wrote:


“Your generous response to my request for the little cards is certainly much appreciated by us all up here. Glad so many of you down there liked it too, for it backs me up in my feeling that it really has ‘something.’"

As it turns out, the origin of the Serenity Prayer is also uncertain... :)

Back to the think Think think, right side up or upside down, what does it mean?

Here is an explanation that I like, by soberjulie. (located at a soberrecovery.com forum page)

"Have you ever sneaked a couple of thinks?

Im laffin like a crazy girl over here.

This slogan, for me is simple.

The first think(a small one on the slogan poster) is allowed for yesterday....I pull out that think and use it to help others, when I need a remember when, I dont go back and marinate in yesterday...but sometimes I 'need' a small think in that department, lest I forget what got me here.

The last think (also a small one on the slogan poster) is for tomorrow. Yeah, I live in the moment, just for today and all that....but I have a mortgage payment due on Friday. Its okay for me to think about that and make sure the money is there. It is totally ok to make plans and set goals for myself that are not in today.

The middle think (the biggest one on the slogan poster) is for today.

It reminds me to live in the moment.

Today is all I really know that I have.


Just my interpretation."

Thanks soberjulie.

The Big Book, page 86, the second paragraph should also put the think Think think issue to rest. 

It says, “On awakening let us think about the 24 hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day.  Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonesty or self-seeking motives.  Under these conditions we can employ our faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use.  Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives."  1

"God.. Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

and Wisdom to know the difference."  Amen

from: ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS(The Big Book) The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered From Alcoholism - Third Edition - New York, 1976. Chapter 6 "Into Action", Page 86.

It's already better.

"Staying One Step Ahead of the Authorities"

Posted on February 14, 2015 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The reason I make it to AA meetings is not to be around and involved with people.  I came into AA with a fear of people as it says in the AA promises.

I then kept coming to the meetings regularly, every day for quite awhile.  I was convinced there was a solution in the program because I was not drinking.  My higher power was helping me accomplish what seemed extremely unlikely.  I was not-drinking.  It was getting easier day by day to not-drink.  Without the meetings and the reminders of my alcoholic nature I struggle more.  I start living a day at a time struggling to stay a step ahead of circumstances that could lead me to a drink. 

There have been times when it seemed easy to just live life as it is and stay sober.  There have also been times when I have felt overwhelmed by stress and circumstances and I am grateful to whatever means there are that have kept me sober through these times.

I have much less fear of people as I once had.  I assumed that the promise "Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us." meant I would like people more.  I have not found this to be true.  I have found that sober, I am better able to stay one step ahead of the authorities.  By that, I mean you people, my people and those people.  I feel more confident that I can get by, that I can survive.

Occasionally, I find an acquaintence, companion or co-worker on this journey that is not one of those people.  Those people that won't hold the elevator for a few seconds, those people that are constantly changing their tune to antagonistic, those people that demand.

As I am reminded of my alcoholic nature, I stay one step ahead of those authorities by accepting them, with serenity and love.

Keep a-goin'!

Posted on February 7, 2015 at 5:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Keep A-Goin'! by Frank Lebby Stanton

Ef you strike a thorn or rose,  Keep a-goin'!

Ef it hails, or ef it snows,  Keep a-goin'!

'Taint no use to sit an' whine,

When the fish ain't on yer line;

Bait yer hook an' keep a-tryin'—

Keep a-goin'!

When the weather kills yer crop,  Keep a-goin'!

When you tumble from the top,  Keep a-goin'!

S'pose you're out of every dime,

Bein' so ain't any crime;

Tell the world you're feelin' prime—

Keep a-goin'!


When it looks like all is up,  Keep a-goin'!

Drain the sweetness from the cup,  Keep a-goin'!

See the wild birds on the wing,

Hear the bells that sweetly ring,

When you feel like sighin' sing—

Keep a-goin'! -

I don't have to  travel around the country to round-ups and conferences and conventions unless I really want to. 

I don't have to move up the ranks of AA service hierarchy unless I really want to.

I don't have to go to four or five meetings a day unless I really want to.

I don't have to wear all sorts of AA clothing or jewelry or put AA slogans on my car bumper unless I really want to.

I don't have to put myself in stressful, depressing, unhealthy situations unless I really want to.

I don't really want to ever take the first drink.  I don't really ever want to take the first drink,  You know.

Some times it's hard to decide what I really want to do.

I am 100% sure that I do not really want to ever take that first drink.

Groundhog Day again

Posted on January 31, 2015 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

It just might be our core dilemma.  We might be caught in our own individual Groundhog Day, repeatedly repeating the same habitual habits, asking ourselves, “What happened last night?” It seems that it takes a lot of repeated repetitions to begin to finally convince us that our search to reclaim some past euphoria is never, ever going to happen.  We might be clenching and clinging to our old patterns with such tenacity because we believe that we are somehow normal in our drinking habits and that life would be unbearable without alcohol.  Lacking any real connection to a Higher Power, self provides the only ground and the only hope we have.  We don’t give up easily.  Around we go on the wheel of life and death.  In that situation, where is there any freedom, any real selfhood?  We are desperate to get out of here.  We try bad relationships, cars, trips, pills or potions to escape our doom.  We might try sobriety, but are not able to handle the normal stresses of life while sober.  Nothing seems to work because as they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, “Wherever you go, there you are.”  Even so, as days and days and days go on, the insanity and the frustration begin to wear ourselves down and just giving up is a consideration.  We can just surrender and begin to find freedom.

And the next morning Phil wakes up (once again) to Sonny and Cher, but now he is beginning to change.

"And the publican, standing at-a-distance, was not willing even to lift-up his eyes to heaven, but was striking his chest, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’"

Meetings For Saturday January 31, 2015

10:00 AM

 Almost Prefect Group

DRMC Hospital-East — Maple Ave. DuBois, PA

Open Discussion Meeting


8:00 PM

 Big Book Group handicap accessible

Grace Lutheran Church — 406 Pine Street Curwensville, PA

Big Book Study Meeting -

NOTE: From late spring till early fall this meeting is held at Bilgers Rocks.

Groundhog Group

The Presbyterian Church — 106 East. Union Street Punxsutawney, PA 15767

Open Discussion Saturday, Big Book Study Wednesday

Subtle Foe

Posted on January 24, 2015 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Expectedly or unexpectedly, here comes the idea that it would be nice to have a drink of alcohol.  The Idea is not a good idea.  Taking a drink is an insane, terrible thing to do.  The idea is a terrible idea.  The idea goes away when I get to an AA meeting.  That is why I like being at AA meetings.  It is a good idea to get to an AA meeting.  I must be vigilent about ideas. 

The Big Book describes alcohol as a subtle foe.

"It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels.  We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe.  We are not cured of alcoholism.  What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.  Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities.  "How can I best serve Thee - Thy will (not mine) be done."  These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.  We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish.  It is the proper use of the will.

Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration, and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power.  If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us.  To some extent we have become God-conscious.  We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense.  But we must go further and that means more action.

Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation.  We shouldn't be shy on this matter of prayer.  Better men than we are using it constantly.  It works, if we have the proper attitude and work at it.  It would be easy to be vague about this matter.  Yet, we believe we can make some definite and valuable suggestions.

When we retire at night, we constructively review our day.  Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid?  Do we owe an apology?  Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once?  Were we kind and loving toward all?  What could we have done better?  Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time?  Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life?  But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others.  After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day.  Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.  Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use.  Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.

In thinking about our day we may face indecision.  We may not be able to determine which course to take.  Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision.  We relax and take it easy.  We don't struggle.  We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while."

Alcoholics Anonymous  pp.85-86

Any Lengths

Posted on January 17, 2015 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (0)

One popular European legend had it that a white stoat would die before allowing its pure white coat to be besmirched.  When it was being chased by hunters, it would supposedly turn around and give itself up to the hunters rather than risk soiling itself.

Malo mori quam fcedari.  Better die than be sullied was the motto on the ermine.  The old fancy was that if an ermine were surrounded by mud it would rather suffer itself to die than defile it's fur.

Once, a long or short time ago, a hunter while hunting located the small hole opening of the den of the Stoat ermine.  Being a smart hunter, he set his hounds on the scent trail of the white weasel and covered up the hole location with various manners of filth. 

The ermine was out sunning himself on a rock when he heard hounds approaching.  He scurried off to his lair as the hounds began to chase.

The weasel made it quickly to his doorway but stopped at once, encountering the filth and stench.  Immediately the ermine turned and fought against the hounds to a vicious death.  The ermine weasel chose death before letting his beautiful fur to be desecrated.

He was willing to remain pure at all costs.  He went to any lengths.

What Is Sponsorship?

Posted on January 10, 2015 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I was analyzing and picking apart AA one day and the thought came to me that since the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking and I'm already stopped that i don't need to belong to AA anymore.  When I analyze and justify things, I'm told "call your sponsor."  Working with others is in the book but not sponsorship, I analyze and justify that.  I find that its all very simple if I simply take suggestions and follow directions.  It's not  about rocket surgery or brain science.  It's all about staying sober, being a good person, not a disgusting wet drunk burden on society.  I do not want to be that. 

Anyone can belong in AA and anyone who worked on the steps and has willingness can sponsor others.




AA began with sponsorship.  When Bill W. was only a few months sober, he was stricken with a powerful urge to drink.  This thought came to him: "You need another alcoholic just as much as he needs you."  Bill W. found Dr Bob, who had been trying desperately and unsuccessfully to stop drinking, and out of their common need, A.A. was born.  Dr. Bob in turn safeguarded his own sobriety by sponsoring countless other alcoholics.  In AA the sponsor and sponsored meet as equals, just as Bill & Bob did.  The process of sponsoring is this: An alcoholic who has made some progress in the recovery program shares his experience on a continuous, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety through AA.  We need constant & close support as we begin to "live sober" lives.



We select an AA member with whom we feel comfortable about sharing our struggles and ask him to be our sponsor.  This is generally someone further along in recovery and willing to help others.  A good sponsor probably should be at least 6 months away from his last drink - & should be enjoying their sobriety.  Our sobriety is greatly strengthened when we give it away.  Men should choose men as sponsors & women should choose women.



The main activity of a sponsor is to help the newcomer to stay sober.  They do this by sharing their own personal experience.  They are not doctors or professionals.  The sponsor will often suggest that the newcomer begin to work on the 12 steps of AA beginning with seeing that they are "powerless over alcohol" and that their lives are unmanageable.  They can not stop drinking by their "own willpower".  The sponsor encourages and helps the newcomer to attend many AA meetings and introduces them to other recovering alcoholics.  They do not impose their personal views on the alcoholic.  They may help the alcoholic understand triggers for their slips.



An alcoholic that has remained sober for at least 6 months and has a desire to spend time and help a newcomer get started in AA and recovery.  Generally it is someone who has worked through at least the first 5 steps of AA.  They are volunteers who are not paid.



They get together at least once a week, often before or after an AA meeting for tea and whenever there is a special need.  The sponsor shares parts of their own story that will help the newcomer.  The sponsor does not demand or control the newcomer.  The single purpose is to help alcoholics with their drinking.  It is not to develop social friendships and to do social things together.  The sponsor does not lend money nor need to help the alcoholic to get a job.  The sponsor does not impose their beliefs on the alcoholic.

Tea?  This description of sponsorship suggests tea. 1.

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world. T’ien Yiheng

A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards. A.A. Milne

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea. ~Bernard-Paul Heroux



Posted on January 3, 2015 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)


In this state, the liquor stores were once called State Stores but are now called Wine and Spirits Shoppes.  I notice these stores sometimes but I don't think I should even notice them or the Beer Stop at all.  Why is liquor called "spirits"?.  I don't really want to know why but this specific topic was discussed at the alcathon on Thursday.

A non-alcoholic person may figure that it is called that because it puts you in "high spirits" if you have just the right amount.

So what does the internet have to offer about the etymology of spirits this week?

Alcohol comes from the Arabic "al-kuhl" which was the name of a body-eating spirit.  This is basically what is felt, a numbing of senses when drinking.  And as you are being numbed, your insides are being eaten away slowly i.e, the name "rot-gut" for cheap liquor.  "Al-ghawl" is the origin of ‘ghoul’ in English, said to be another word for spirit.  Ghouls,(now called zombies) were also folkloric monsters that ate human flesh.

When Arab alchemists' ingested alcohol their senses deadened and they named the substance according to its "body-taking" qualities.  Knowing this, European speakers who understood its etymology coined the use of the term "spirits" for alcohol.  Alcohol is able to numb the body somewhat so that an olde-time doctor could amputate or remove a bullet after a patient took a long draw from a whiskey bottle.  Alcohol can in greater quantities produce blackouts.  That's when the control of your mind and body are completely taken away.  Blacked out or not being able to recall anything that happened or what you did when you were drunk or why the bed was wet because your brain and body were out of control is the general unrecalled experience.

Then in a few years perhaps blood starts appearing in the bathroom without any apparent reason other than the fact that a solvent is eating away at your internal organs  They are not reacting normally due to all the alcohol that youv'e poured down your throat for years and years. 

Spirit comes from Latin ‘spiritus’ which means breath, then meant the essence or non-physical part.  A distillation scientist might say it's called this because distilling mash into strong alcohol releases the "spirit" or essence of the beer or mash and condenses it into strong alcohol or spirits that evaporate if you leave the bottle open.  When making spirits the fermented product is boiled because the ethyl alcohol (ethanol) boil at a lower temperature. This process separates it as a vapor. The process is repeated for liquor that's distilled multiple times till the desired alcohol by volume is reached. 

What of the etymology for the word yeast?  Yeast is from the Old English/Dutch/German (Saxon) word 'gist' or 'gyst'. Meaning 'visitor', and sometimes 'unseen visitor'.  We also get the words ghost and gas from 'gyst'.  The first beer and wine makers may have had no idea that the micro-organism yeast was the cause of fermentation and attributed the fermentation to ghosts and spirits rather than the wild yeast in the air that usually caused the desired results.