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Joe and Joy

Posted on November 6, 2016 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)


It was Friday afternoon and Joe was leaving work.  His wife Joy was home preparing a nice dinner for herself and Joe because they had worked hard all week.


On the way home, Joe met an old drinking friend who offered to buy Joe a beer at the corner tavern.


Joe said, "Why not, I deserve it.  I worked hard this week."  Joe quickly polished off the first beer,  then bought another round, then had three more cold drafts,  ordered shots and another beer.   He was feeling fine.


Time passed and Joe looked at his watch. "Oh man, I'm late for supper, the wife is going to be mad."  Joe thought for a minute and decided to order another shot and a beer while he thought of a good excuse.


Soon Joe got caught up in some excitement and forgot about going home.  He just kept on drinking. 


One thing led to another and after a long blackout, Joe arrived home early Monday morning , still drunk and a complete mess.  There was no way he could work.  Joy was furious.  She called Joe's workplace and told the receptionist that Joe would be out sick for a few days.  Joy spent the better part of the next three hours yelling at him.  She nagged and nagged.  "You're disgusting and you stink."  She cried and cried.  Finally, hoping to elicit some guilt she said, "How would you like it if you didn't see me for three days."


Joe thoughtfully responded, "What would be wrong with that?"

Well, then after Joe's answer he awoke on Tuesday.


All day Tuesday went by and Joe didn't see his wife.


Then Wednesday came and went, still he didn't even get a peak at his wife.


Then all day Thursday passed and still no sight of his wife Joy.


Finally, Friday rolled around and the swelling around his eyes had gone down enough that he could just barely see Joy out of the corner of one eye.


Eventually, after several more disasters, Joe finallly admitted to himself that he was an alcoholic and tried to quit drinking.  However,  by then, Joy had left.  In fact, everything Joe once had was gone.


In utter desperation, Joe went and got some help at AA meetings.  He sometimes drank between meetings.  Then a miracle happened and he learned to not reach for or pick up a drink.  Joe is now sober and less "accident prone" every day.

Anonymity

Posted on November 5, 2016 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion;

we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level

of press, radio and films.

“Alcoholics who have recovered through our program are themselves the strongest

attraction that A.A. has. When people are asked what led them to seek A.A.

help, the answer given most often is: “An A.A. member.” Their chances would

have been slim if all of us had remained completely in hiding. But many of us have

chosen to tell our friends, neighbors, employers, co-workers, doctors, or spiritual

advisers that we are in A.A.—and when we do so, we are not breaking our anonymity

in the meaning of this Tradition.

Suppose a sick alcoholic never has the good fortune to meet an A.A. How is such a

person going to find us? The search will be difficult if the local group thinks it

should be anonymous, too. The Tradition is talking about “personal anonymity,”

remember? Alcoholics will not be attracted to A.A. if they don’t know that it exists

or if they have distorted, unfavorable impressions of its members or its program."

(From the book Twelve Steps

and Twelve Traditions,

pp.176-177,Copyright ©

1952 by Alcoholics Anonymous

World Services, Inc.)


Prayer from Vian 2010

Posted on October 9, 2016 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)


In addition to Serenity, Courage and Wisdom, what other things might I pray for?  I have added three stanzas to the Serenity Prayer which I would like to share with others in recovery:

 

Prayer to my Higher Power


Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference

 

Grant me the humility to embrace my place in the world

The pride never to humiliate myself or others

And the wisdom to know the difference

 

Grant me the willingness to acknowledge my shortcomings

The perseverance to overcome my defects of character

And the wisdom to know the difference

 

Grant me the joys of an awakened spirit

The pleasures of a happy and successful life

And the wisdom to know there is no difference


Vian – 26 October 2010.

A Combination of Complications

Posted on September 10, 2016 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)


Alcoholism is a condition whereby people gradually drink themselves to death regardless of any means or powers to stop them. Alcoholism is clearly and simply identifiable by anyone in association with an alcoholic.  At the same time, each case of alcoholism is unique and complicated. My conclusion or revelation as a resut of the self experimentation and trials and tribulations of experience, as well as all the Alcoholics Anonymous exposure is this.  Alcoholism is incurable.  The only successful means of treatment is Total Abstinance from alcohol.


I suppose that given the fact that alcoholism is incurable, it matters not what we call the condition so it is up to the reader to decide.


Disease: Alcoholism is a disease is the popular opinion of the masses in AA and treatment places. There are arguments that alcoholism is not a disease.  The argument is based on the fact that the solution to alcoholism is spiritual and not medical.

"But when the broker gave him Dr. Silkworth's description of alcoholism and its hopelessness, the physician began to pursue the spiritual remedy for his malady with a willingness he had never before been able to muster."  BB Foreword to Second Edition, p.xvi


Illness:  Not well describes the alcoholic whereby alcoholism can be called an illness but perhaps not.

Alcoholism, the consequence of excessive drinking can be confused with excessive drinking itself.  Excessive drinking is not an illness. Calling alcoholism an illness because of the different illnesses associated with it such as DTs or cirrhosis is similar to saying football is an illness because football is associated with concussions, contusions and broken bones.


Health Disturbance:   Alcohol can slowly or quickly screw up your health while alcohol masks the pain and makes you think that "everything is fine". Most health disturbances like the common cold or a rash go away when the bodies natural healing mechanism fights them off.  With alcoholism, complicated as it is,  the body fights off the effects but that is a quick temorary band-aid.  The alcoholism progresses in the background, fooling the mind and body of the alcoholic.  Eventually not having a drink becomes an extreme health disturbance for the alcoholic.


I do not know which category to place alcoholism.   Alcoholism isn't any one single problem but is the result of a combination of physical, personal, and psychological factors which exist in different people.   It's a combination of complications.

Candle in the Wind

Posted on August 27, 2016 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (2)

One of Elton John's famous songs.

He sung it about Marilyn Monroe.

He sung it at the funeral of Princess Diana in England.  


It is about being someone who is quite fragile in life and vulnerable to life's storms and is blown out. Diana and Marilyn Monroe were snuffed out at quite early ages. The threat of wind putting your light out, and the constant flickering due to the wind symbolize ones constant fight against odds and a restless spirit that keeps fighting to stay alive. The wind can be the harshness of life, the twists of fate, the blows life throws at you. The candle is the light of life that is constantly thriving to hang on and light up the darkness of life.  If the candle is the Mariyn or you then her soul is the light, and Elton John, the singer is referring to her as the candle and indirectly referring to her troubled soul and how she could light up people's lives.


Or, a candle in the wind is all of us. Whether your life is long or short, it is remarkable that our little flames burn on in spite of the wind, or the challenges of life. The miracle is that we all keep burning. You would think that a little candle in the wind hasn't got a prayer, but what about the times it kept burning in spite of the odds? This is not unlike each of us where a day doesn't go by that we don't experience some kind adversity, and yet we keep on burning. Not only do we keep on burning, totally solitary and fragile, but we do so with incredible power. Just as a tiny flame has the power to dispel darkness in a room a million time larger than itself, so do we possess unimaginable power to change the spaces and places in which we live for the better. Sometimes we never know who to cling to when the rain sets in, but like all flames there is belonging, there is family. Collective flames burning together. 1


1. Random people written in "Yahoo Answers"

If you made it to AA on Aug 15, 1966...

Posted on August 15, 2016 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (0)

This would be you today...

Congratulations on your 50 years of sobriety.  On the front of the coin is the Roman Numeral fifty and on the back is the Serenity Prayer.


Happy Anniversary !!!


Abrasive Personality is a Character Defect

Posted on August 6, 2016 at 5:30 AM Comments comments (0)


Like the porcupine, an abrasive person seems to have a natural knack for jabbing others in an irritating and sometimes painful way. But that knack masks a desperation worse than that of those who receive the jabs, namely, a need to be accepted.  He has other characteristics which, combined with that need, create the behavior others find so offensive.


He tends to want to do most things himself,  finding it difficult to depend on others who he feels will not do things properly. On a one-to-one basis he is often genial and helpful to acquaintances outside his group. He would disagree, but he is usually not good in groups of people. Frequently, they feel antagonized when they have to compete with him. Also, the abrasive person’s intense rivalry with others often leads him to undercut them, even though he himself may not be aware of doing so.


When his competitive instincts overwhelm his judgment, an abrasive person will sometimes crudely raise issues others are reluctant to speak about, leaving himself a scapegoat for his own forthrightness. In groups he tends to be dominating when possible, treating all differences as challenges to be debated and vanquished.  He will often suck all the happiness out of a room.


Though often in imaginative pursuit of great achievements for which he will be bestowed accolades, he may well leave those around him with no sense of having any input in their business at hand. He moves so fast and ranges so widely that even when he has good ideas, others will tend to tune him out fearing that if they give an inch, the abrasive one will take a mile. They dissuade or put down the abrasive character, protecting everyone from any waves that may be created if his abrasive ways go uncontained, the backlash from which could harm them all.


Once reined in by the group of others, the abrasive person feels that he has been let down, that his efforts have been in vain. Feeling unjustly treated, he becomes angry because he was trying so hard to participate and found no acceptance. Thus, it did not end well. Therefore, he reasons, he is being penalized because other people are jealous, rivalrous, or do not want to undertake anything new which he has offered. Seeing others as people to be outflanked, rather than as people whose step-by-step involvement is necessary, he shows insensitivity to others needs and problems and often righteously denies the need for such sensitivity.  


Although others perceive him as both grandiose and an emotionally cold jerk, the abrasive person has a strong and very intense emotional interest in himself. He loves himself and finds himself entertaining. Needing to see himself as extraordinary, he acts sometimes as if he were a privileged person, as if he had a right to be different or even inconsiderate.


To inflate his always low sense of self-worth, he competes intensely for attention, affection, and applause. At the same time, he seems to expect others to accept his word, decision, or logic just because it is his. When disappointed in these expectations, he becomes enraged and at the same time more alienated from the rest of his fellows. 


So yes, having an abrasive personality is a character defect.


Good Meeting vs. Bad Meeting

Posted on July 23, 2016 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (2)


All of the AA meetings are good for me and when I go to a meeting, I stay for the whole meeting.  All the AA meetings which I've been to are organized using an AA kit of materials, a format to read from and all but three had a coffee pot.  95 percent of the time, the door to the meeting place was unlocked and the meeting started on time.  95 percent of the time, their were no conflicts or scenes of confrontation during the meeting.


I have observed and I have heard shared some reflections about the promotion of order and harmony in AA meetings:


It was not harmonious when those speaking were in a competition to see who the biggest, baddest alcoholic in the room was.


It was not harmonious when their was one all star person in the room with all the answers and whose authority and popularity was the goal, the topic and the focus of the meeting.


Folks in the meeting spoke of recovery and working the program as it's laid out in the BB, talked of a HP, sponsorship, steps, fellowship, service work and carrying the AA message.

 

Folks in the meeting realized that they need each other for sobriety.

 

It was not harmonious when the topic was "drug of choice".

 

It was not harmonious where people were freely walking about, coming and going and walking outside prior to the 7th tradition and when those outside were selling things from their car, or those with no car were asking for handouts or rides.

 

It was safe to sit and talk in the meeting and all people were welcomed in the meeting regardless of their differences.


Affiliated vs. Unaffiliated

Posted on July 15, 2016 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Recent generations of Americans are more likely than previous generations to be raised outside of a religious tradition. In addition, those raised with no religion are increasingly likely to have no religious preference as adults. Given their growing numbers, individuals raised with no religion are welcomed, and accepted in A.A. . The adult religious preferences of these individuals provide evidence of modern social change, evidence of a shift in socialization and social influences experienced by those who have grown up with no religion. Compared with earlier generations raised with no religion, more recent generations have had more secular upbringings and tend to be more secular, liberal, and wary of organized religion as adults. They are also more likely to have a religiously unaffiliated spouse, if they marry at all. This trend explains some of the recent differences in the likelihood of remaining unaffiliated with religion as an adult.

The AA tenth tradition:

No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside controversial issues—particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever.

Primary Alcoholic

Posted on May 28, 2016 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)


This week I learned some information from Australia whereby I can relate to being a primary alcoholic.  A primary alcoholic, as odd as this may seem, early in life is introduced to drinking and immediately drinks into blackouts.  I can relate.  That's how it was for me. Oddly enough, shortly after being totally drunk and hungover, I would start drinking again.  I had to have it.  Once I got it, couldn't get enough of it.  Powerlessness from the first drink at a very young age.


I can not relate to anyone who shares why they drank.  All the different reasons ad-infinitum were irrelevant.  I drank the intial drink, I needed to get more until I was inebriated.  


The primary alcoholic in Australia is different than a secondary alcoholic. The secondary alcoholic has a slow progression and builds up tolerance to alcohol over many years.  They get to the point where they feel as bad when they drink as they do when they aren't drinking.  I can also relate to that.  I have heard this type of alcoholic say that they could not get drunk anymore.  I can not relate to that.


Australian AA:  Rip-snorter for anyone full as a boot, with jumbuck in their wellies or up a gum tree.  Ta / tar.

http://www.australiatravelsearch.com.au/trc/slang.html ;

Kneeling Routine

Posted on April 9, 2016 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (0)

           

Daily Reflections ~ Stepping Into The Sunlight

 

But first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 10

 

Sometimes I think I dont have time for prayer and meditation, forgetting that I always found the time to drink. It is possible to make time for anything I want to do if I want it badly enough. When I start the routine of prayer and meditation, its a good idea to plan to devote a small amount of time to it. I read a page from our Fellowships books in the morning, and say Thank You, God, when I go to bed at night. As prayer becomes a habit, I will increase the time spent on it, without even noticing the foray it makes into my busy day. If I have trouble praying, I just repeat the Lords Prayer because it really covers everything. Then I think of what I can be grateful for and say a word of thanks.

 

I dont need to shut myself in a closet to pray. It can be done even in a room full of people. I just remove myself mentally for an instant. As the practice of prayer continues, I will find I dont need words, for God can, and does, hear my thoughts through silence.

Daily Reflections reading November 9th

The Keys to The Kingdom

Posted on April 2, 2016 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)


"And then, in the spring of 1939, a very remarkable book was rolled off a New York press with the title "Alcoholics Anonymous." However, due to financial difficulties the whole printing was, for a while, held up and the book received no publicity, nor, of course, was it available in the stores, even if one knew it existed. But somehow my good doctor heard of this book and also he learned a little about the people responsible for its publication. He sent to New York for a copy, and after reading it he tucked it under his arm and called on me. That call marked the turning point in my life.

Until now, I had never been told that I was an alcoholic. Few doctors will tell a hopeless patient that there is no answer for him or for her. But this day my doctor gave it to me straight and said, "People like you are pretty well known to the medical profession. Every doctor gets his quota of alcoholic patients. Some of us struggle with these people because we know that they are really very sick, but we also know that short of some miracle, we are not going to help them except temporarily, and that they will inevitably get worse and worse until one of two things happens. Either they die of acute alcoholism or they develop wet brains and have to be put away permanently."

He further explained that alcohol was no respecter of sex or background, but that most of the alcoholics he had encountered had better than average minds and abilities. He said the alcoholic seemed to possess a native acuteness and usually excelled in his field, regardless of environmental or educational advantages.

"We watch the alcoholic performing in a position of responsibility and we know that because he is drinking heavily and daily he has cut his capacities by fifty per cent, and still he seems able to do a satisfactory job. And we wonder how much further this man could go if his alcoholic problem could be removed and he could throw one hundred per cent of his abilities into action. But, of course," he continued, "eventually the alcoholic loses all of his capacities as his disease gets progressively worse, and this is a tragedy that is painful to watch; the disintegration of a sound mind and body."

Then he told me there was a handful of people in Akron and New York who had worked out a technique for arresting their alcoholism. He asked me to read the book "Alcoholics Anonymous," and then he wanted me to talk with a man who was experiencing success with his own arrestment. This man could tell me more. I stayed up all night reading that book. For me it was a wonderful experience. It explained so much I had not understood about myself and, best of all, it promised recovery if I would do a few simple things and be willing to have the desire to drink removed. Here was hope. Maybe I could find my way out of this agonizing existence. Perhaps I could find freedom and peace and be able once again to call my soul my own.

The next day I received a visit from Mr. T., a recovered alcoholic. I don't know what sort of person I was expecting, but I was very agreeably surprised to find Mr. T. a poised, intelligent, well groomed and mannered gentleman. I was immediately impressed with his graciousness and charm. He put me at ease with his first few words. Looking at him it was hard to believe he had ever been as I was then.

However, as he unfolded his story for me, I could not help but believe him. In describing his suffering, his fears, his many years of groping for some answer to that which always seemed to remain unanswerable, he could have been describing me, and nothing short of experience and knowledge could have afforded him that much insight! He had been dry for two and a half years and had been maintaining his contact with a group of recovered alcoholics in Akron. Contact with this group was extremely important to him. He told me that eventually he hoped such a group would develop in the Chicago area, but that so far this had not been started. He thought it would be helpful for me to visit the Akron group and meet many like himself.

By this time, with the doctor's explanation, the revelations contained in the book, and the hope-inspiring interview with Mr. T., I was ready and willing to go into the interior of the African jungles, if that was what it took, for me to find what these people had.

So I went to Akron, and also to Cleveland, and I met more recovered alcoholics. I saw in these people a quality of peace and serenity that I knew I must have for myself. Not only were they at peace with themselves, but they were getting a kick out of life such as one seldom encounters, except in the very young. They seemed to have all the ingredients for successful living. Philosophy, faith, a sense of humor (they could laugh at themselves), clear-cut objectives, appreciation—and most especially appreciation and sympathetic understanding for their fellow man. Nothing in their lives took precedence over their response to a call for help from some alcoholic in need. They would travel miles and stay up all night with someone they had never laid eyes on before and think nothing of it. Far from expecting praise for their deeds, they claimed the performance a privilege and insisted that they invariably received more than they gave. Extraordinary people!

I didn't dare hope I might find for myself all that these people had found, but if I could acquire some small part of their intriguing quality of living—and sobriety—that would be enough.

Shortly after I returned to Chicago, my doctor, encouraged by the results of my contact with A.A., sent us two more of his alcoholic patients. By the latter part of September 1939, we had a nucleus of six and held our first official group meeting.

I had a tough pull back to normal good health. It has been so many years since I had not relied on some artificial crutch, either alcohol or sedatives. Letting go of everything at once was both painful and terrifying. I could never have accomplished this alone. It took the help, understanding and wonderful companionship that was given so freely to me by my "ex-alkie" friends. This and the program of recovery embodied in the Twelve Steps. In learning to practice these steps in my daily living I began to acquire faith and a philosophy to live by. Whole new vistas were opened up for me, new avenues of experience to be explored, and life began to take on color and interest. In time, I found myself looking forward to each new day with pleasurable anticipation.

A.A. is not a plan for recovery that can be finished and done with. It is a way of life, and the challenge contained in its principles is great enough to keep any human being striving for as long as he lives. We do not, cannot, out-grow this plan. As arrested alcoholics, we must have a program for living that allows for limitless expansion. Keeping one foot in front of the other is essential for maintaining our arrestment. Others may idle in a retrogressive groove without too much danger, but retrogression can spell death for us. However, this isn't as rough as it sounds, as we do become grateful for the necessity that makes us toe the line, for we find that we are more than compensated for a consistent effort by the countless dividends we receive.

A complete change takes place in our approach to life. Where we used to run from responsibility, we find ourselves accepting it with gratitude that we can successfully shoulder it. Instead of wanting to escape some perplexing problem, we experience a thrill of challenge in the opportunity it affords for another application of A.A. techniques, and we find ourselves tackling it with surprising vigor.

The last fifteen years of my life have been rich and meaningful. I have had my share of problems, heartaches and disappointments, because that is life, but also I have known a great deal of joy, and a peace that is the handmaiden of an inner freedom. I have a wealth of friends and, with my A.A. friends, an unusual quality of fellowship. For, to these people, I am truly related. First, through mutual pain and despair, and later through mutual objectives and new-found faith and hope. And, as the years go by, working together, sharing our experiences with one another, and also sharing a mutual trust, understanding and love—without strings, without obligation—we acquire relationships that are unique and priceless.

There is no more "aloneness," with that awful ache, so deep in the heart of every alcoholic that nothing, before, could ever reach it. That ache is gone and never need return again.

Now there is a sense of belonging, of being wanted and needed and loved. In return for a bottle and a hangover, we have been given the Keys of the Kingdom."

 

"THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM" Sylvia K.

 

Big Book

2nd

Edition

Personal Stories


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