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Some Old Time AA

Posted on April 18, 2015 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

 Alrighty Then. The topic is Alcoholism.  Yessiree. 

Health versus Habits

Posted on April 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Being an alcoholic and checking [x] No, means that I'm a winner today. :)
Sometimes life is as simple as yes or no.  
Sometimes there are other variables in the picture. 
You know what? 

"What is good for one man is not for another, but to the fact that some can rise under a weight which will crush others." 

A TREATISE ON A SOBER LIFE.   Luigi Cornaro(1467-1566), A Noble Venitian.

" Health is so necessary to all the duties, as well as pleasures of life, that the crime of squandering it is equal to the folly;

and he that for a short gratification brings weakness and diseases upon himself, and for the pleasure of a few years, 
condemns the maturer and more experienced part of his life to the chamber and the couch, may be justly reproached, 
not only as a spend thrift of his own happiness, but as the robber of the  public, as a wretch that has voluntarily disqualified 
himself for the business of his station, and refused that part which Providence assigns him in the general task of human nature."
Dr. Samuel Johnson. 1750

"It is a thing past all doubt, that custom, by time, becomes a second nature, forcing men to use that, whether good or bad, 
to which they have been habituated: nay, we see habit, in many things, get the better of reason.  This is so undeniably true, 
that virtuous men, by conversing with the wicked, very often fall into the same vicious course of life.  The contrary, likewise,
we see sometimes happen; viz. that, as good morals easily change to bad, so bad morals change again to good.  For instance: 
let a wicked man, who was once virtuous, keep company with a virtuous man,  and he will again become virtuous; 
and this alteration can be attributed to nothing but the force of habit, which is, indeed, very great."  L. Cornaro. 1548
I had a dangerous drinking problem.
I will not deal with the irreversability of it alone.

2014 Round UP Beach Meeting in Cape May N.J. Photo (Waiting for the 2015 photo.  Surely similar to this 2014 photo.  Just imagine
the people are one year older ok.)

Spring into Spring in AA

Posted on April 5, 2015 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Anytime of the year is a good time to get sober.  Anytime.  For me, when the weather started getting nicer and my life was getting worse and worse, I would then think about getting sober.  Once upon a few times, when I eventally needed to get sober because my alcoholism was so bad, it was Springtime.  Getting sober for real involves traveling around town to some easy to find AA meetings.  There, I learn from people just like me.  There are so many meetings.  I can just search the word spring and all these meetings and events have the word spring in them.


Address: Somerton Springs Swim Club, Bustleton Ave & County Line Rd.

Neighborhood: FEASTERVILLE


Day/Time: Sunday at 8:45 am

Type: OS

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Additional Info: only Sept thru Apr



Address: St. Kevin's Catholic Church, 200 W. Sproul Road

Neighborhood: SPRINGFIELD


Day/Time: Sunday at 8:00 pm

Type: OD

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes



Address: Princeton Presbyterian Ch., 933 Baltimore Pike & Church Rd.

Neighborhood: SPRINGFIELD


Day/Time: Sunday at 8:30 pm

Type: OD

Wheelchair Accessible: No



Address: St. Matthew's UCC Ch., 2440 Conestoga Road



Day/Time: Monday at 7:00 am

Type: C

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Additional Info: Daily Reflection -Effective 9/15/14 meeting begins at 7 AM



Address: Zion Lutheran Ch., Rt. 724 & Bonnie Brae Rd.

Neighborhood: SPRING CITY


Day/Time: Monday at 7:00 pm

Type: OBB

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Additional Info: 1st, 3rd, 5th Mon-BB, 2nd-4th-Step Mtg



Address: St. JosephChurch 3640 Schuylkill Road

Neighborhood: SPRING CITY


Day/Time: Monday at 7:00 pm

Type: CL

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Additional Info: meets in Parish House



Address: Spring City United Methodist Ch., Church & Broad Sts.

Neighborhood: SPRING CITY


Day/Time: Monday at 8:00 pm

Type: CD

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Additional Info: Last Mon.-Open Spkr. Disc. Mtg.



Address: Church of the Redeemer, W. Springfield & Hillcrest Rds.

Neighborhood: SPRINGFIELD


Day/Time: Monday at 8:00 pm

Type: CD

Wheelchair Accessible: No


Meeting: SAFARI

Address: Princeton Presbyterian Church, 933 Baltimore Pike

Neighborhood: SPRINGFIELD


Day/Time: Tuesday at 7:30 pm

Type: CS

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Additional Info: Speaker/Step Meeting



Address: St. Matthew's U.C.C., Route 401 & St. Matthew's Road



Day/Time: Tuesday at 7:30 pm

Type: CBB

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Additional Info: Big Book



Address: St. Kevin's Catholic Church 200 Sproul Road

Neighborhood: SPRINGFIELD


Day/Time: Wednesday at 8:00 pm

Type: OSD

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Additional Info: next to Springfield CC



Address: First Presbyterian Church, 356 Summit Rd

Neighborhood: SPRINGFIELD


Day/Time: Thursday at 6:30 pm

Type: OST

Wheelchair Accessible: No



Address: St. JosephChurch 3640 Schuylkill Road

Neighborhood: SPRING CITY


Day/Time: Thursday at 7:00 pm

Type: CST

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Additional Info: meets in Parish House



Address: St. Matthew's UCC, Rt. 401 & St. Matthews Rd.



Day/Time: Thursday at 7:30 pm

Type: CD

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Additional Info: Topic



Address: Royersford Baptist Church ,452 S. Lewis Rd.

Neighborhood: SPRINGFORD


Day/Time: Thursday at 8:00 pm

Type: OD

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Additional Info: 1st Thurs.-Disc. Mtg.



Address: St. Francis of Assisi Conway Hall, 112 Saxer Ave

Neighborhood: SPRINGFIELD


Day/Time: Thursday at 8:30 pm

Type: CD

Wheelchair Accessible: No



Address: Princeton Presbyterian Ch., 933 Baltimore Pike

Neighborhood: SPRINGFIELD


Day/Time: Friday at 7:00 pm

Type: OT

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Additional Info: All are welcome



Address: St. Matthew's U.C.C., Route 401 & St. Matthew's Rd.



Day/Time: Friday at 7:30 pm

Type: CS/T

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes



Address: St. Matthew's UCC, Rt. 401 & St. Matthews Rd.



Day/Time: Saturday at 7:30 pm

Type: O

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Additional Info: Discussion

If I could ever get myself out of town, I could attend AA meetings or events around the world.

Ecuador has nice Spring weather year round, perpetual Spring and there are some AA meetings there.

AA Meetings in English (Cuenca):  There are English speaking AA meetings in Cuenca at noon every day of the week. The meetings are at Borrero 7-68 between Sucre and Presidente Cordova, Second floor, room facing the street. call 098-656-4887.

There are big Springtime AA events in Arkansas, Florida, in PA and at the New Jersey Shore.

The 38th Annual                                  


April 16, 17, 18, and 19 , 2015

Best Western Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center

Eureka Springs, Arkansas


THEME:    "...Willingness, honesty and open mindedness..." .


A Conference for Women in Recovery

 Reservations Are Open

 Reservations for the 2015 conference at the Day Spring Episcopal Conference Center, Parrish, FL will be done on their website: http://www.sisconference.com/

The Annual Spring Cook Forest Camping Weekend has been scheduled for May 15 – 17. More information will be coming, but gather your gear and mark your calendars now!

District 43

P.O. Box 912

Lemont, PA 16851-0912  Info@District43.com

Local AA Hotline (814) 237-3757

April 10, 11 and 12, 2015:  SEPIA ANNUAL ROUND UP

Grand Hotel of Cape May, 1045 Beach Avenue, Cape May, NJ   

Send check payable to "SEPIA Round Up" and registration form to:


444 N 3rd St Ste 3E

Spring Garden, Northern Liberties

Philadelphia, PA 19123

For more information contact: Fred S. at 484-238-8468, Cindy R. at 267-467-9620, , Elaine J., Nancy K., or April H. at the S.E.P.I.A Office- 215-923-7900215-923-7900. vicechairperson@sepennaa.org or Manager@sepennaa.org

AA Fellowship People, AA Fellowship Places and Things, One Spring Day at a Time.

It's already better.

More proverbial wisdoms set sail on yesterday's wind,

Posted on April 5, 2015 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

― Lao Tzu

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

― Lao Tzu

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”

― Lao Tzu

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

― Lao Tzu

“The best fighter is never angry.”

― Lao Tzu

“Stop thinking, and end your problems.”

― Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu is pronounced  Loudzuh 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  

"Our Deepest Fear" ~Marianne Williamson

Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don’t do it. ~Author Unknown

Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy. ~Author Unknown

Cleanliness is next to impossible. ~Author Unknown

The meal’s complete when the kitchen’s neat. ~Author Unknown

They’re sure housework won’t kill you, but why take the risk? Author Unknown

 This mess is a place! ~Author Unknown

I like hugs and I like kisses,  But what I really love is help with the dishes! ~Author Unknown

Please don’t feed the dust bunnies. ~Author Unknown

Law of Window Cleaning: It’s on the other side. ~Author Unknown

If the shelves are dusty and the pots don’t shine, it’s because I have better things to do with my time. ~Author Unknown

"Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house."  ~Alcoholics Anonymous, 1st. Edition,  Working With Others, pg. 98

AA is a Great Program

Posted on April 3, 2015 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)


The Foreword to the Second Edition Big Book claims: “Of alcoholics who came to AA and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way, 25% sobered up after some relapses and among the remainder, those who stayed on with AA showed improvement.”  

 Is this claim true now or are success rates much lower now than the confirmed success rates of 1955? 

Let's analyze: "Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Recovery Outcome Rates, Contemporary Myth and Misrepresentation", January 1, 2008.

The data in the Figure C-1 below seems to show a dismal 5% success for people trying AA for 12 months.

The tendency of some observers to offer a pessimistic view of AA today is based on a misreading of the graph shown above.  It has been extracted from a summary in a 1990 internal GSO report on AA Triennial Membership Surveys. The misreading of the summary report has been circulated widely.  

The title of the misquoted graph is "% of those coming to AA within the first year that have remained the indicated number of months.”

The hand-written graph above is at the center of erroneous assertions that contemporary AA has a 5% success rate outcome.  The sequence of percentages at the bottom ends in 5% above month 12 of the x-axis of the graph.  This 5% value has been erroneously interpreted as the percentage of candidates who stayed a full year and it is a completely inaccurate interpretation of what the 5% value actually represents.

The data plotted in Figure C-1 represent a subset of the overall survey sample populations.  The population subset reported a year or less since their first-time-ever attendance in AA.  The x-axis of the graph shows intervals of time for the first through 12th month of attendance in AA.

The Figure C-1 graph data were NOT retention percentages as has been frequently misinterpreted and erroneously reported.  The reasoning is as follows:

Each Triennial Survey is a cross-sectional study, a snapshot at one point in time.  Assume that the same number of new people have been attending their first meetings every month. That is how many will be in their first month when the observation is made.

The ratio of the second month people in the survey to the first month people is the retention rate between the first and second months.  In that same way, it is possible to find the retention between any two sampled months.  If there were perfect retention for all twelve months, then 8.3% of the first year people would be found in each of the twelve months. That is not the case but it shows how a retention calculation can be done. 

In the actual data presented:

Month 1 = 19 does NOT mean that "81% (i.e. 100% -19%) dropped out in a month as some sources claim.

Month 3 = 10 does NOT mean that "90% (i.e. 100% -10%) leave within 3 months and

Month 12 = 5 does NOT mean that "95% (i.e. 100% -5%) stop active participation in AA inside of a year.

Instead, what the data does show is that for every 100 people surveyed with under a year since first attendance:

19% of that population were in their first month.

13% were in their 2nd month.

9% were in their 4th month.

7% were in their 6th month.

6% were in their 8th month, etc.

We see in Fig. C-1 that half of those coming to AA within their first year (of not-drinking) were in their 5th-12th month.  We are not sure if they "remained that way". 

The confirmed claims of 1955 are:  “Of alcoholics who came to AA and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses and among the remainder, those who stayed on with AA showed improvement.” 

 Do these 50% + 25% claims only pertain in the years 1938-1955?

With furthur logical assumptions, Fig. C-1 reveals that roughly 50% of those in the third month ("really tried") were still in AA at the 12th month and roughly 25% reached month 12 in AA after some relapses.


1. "remaining in AA" means not-drinking.

2.   The data patterns are similar for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc... time attenders (relapsers) in AA. (Why would they not be?  “For I am the Lord, I do not change."  Malachi 3:6)


When we add the x-axis percents, the total is 102 instead of 100 on Fig. C-1.  We have a 2% margin of error in the results due to the rounding of the percents on the x axis.

The chart reveals 19% of the attenders were in month one, 10% in month three and 5% in month twelve.

To show that the first claim of 50% is true from 1977-1989, look at 100 people which started going to AA and were at some point in the time of their first year.  Five were in the 12th month and ten were in the 3rd month leading us to conclude that 5/10 or 50 percent of the 3rd month people ("really tried") continued on to month twelve.

For the second claim of 25%, take any 19 of the original 100 people who relapsed and started over in AA (1st month).  Five of those 19 relapsers made it to the 12th month.  5/19 or 26 percent of the relapsers that started over at month one reached month twelve. ("after some relapses").  We can assume similar results for a range of relapse occurances.  (Why would we not? “For I am the Lord, I do not change."  Malachi 3:6)

50% + 26% is 76%.  With a 2% margin of error, Fig. C-1 clearly shows a 74-78 percent AA success rate over various 12 month periods of time between 1977 and 1989 supporting the original Big Book p. xx claims of 1955.

See the 1938-1955 confirmation of p. xx at:  http://hindsfoot.org/recout01.pdf

It's already better.

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 enunciate their specific concerns ( “What’s it all about boy, elucidate!” ) 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. ( “I say, boy, pay attention when I’m talkin’ to ya, boy” )

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 Foghorn Larry 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.   ( “That’s what I’ve been – I say, that’s what I’ve been telling you, boy!” )

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.

( “You’re way off, I say you’re way off this time son!” )

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.