Monday, December 23, 2013


I just got back from a really good 9th Step meeting tonight.
We talked about our experiences with making amends; with or without sponsors direction/guidance, with or without using the word "sorry", with or without staying on your own side of the street, with or without getting clear on the harm, with or without making a huge production out of it, with or without describing the spiritual nature of the visit, etc.
Some of the most helpful items discussed in the meeting for me was finding ways of getting clear on the harm. Some of us use Sacraments of Pennance in our 8th Step to help of find the harm we caused and we also use it to find it in us to have a contrite heart if we are to follow through with the amend. But if we're not clear on the harm, we are all pretty much of the belief that we don't make the amend. Another suggestion is to place yourself in their shoes. How would you react to that person if they treated you the way you treated them? Another suggestion is to just ask the questions, "How did you fuck them?" and "How did you try to stick it to them/ retaliate?"
I've been bantering with a person on a forum I frequent, someone who hates A.A. and has an axe to grind with A.A. folks as her husband seems to not have done too well with the Program. She suggests that we alcoholics, drunk or sober, are self-absorbed assholes all of the time and to run away from some assholic A.A.er trying to make an amend to you because they are victims looking for a way to stick it to you again, and twist the knife while it's in. She says we duck responsibility and that's pretty much that.
I told her that her description of alcoholic seems to be a sociopath or a psychopath who just so happens to drink again. She said how her ex blacked out, abused his children, etc., then in the morning, said that he didn't feel the least bit bad about what he might have done the night prior because he can't remember it so he is thus off the hook.
Drunk or sober, I feel like shit the next day after I cause someone else harm, and you?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Snow is Racist.

How dare snow be always white. What is a poor black kid to think about always seeing snow depicted as white and clean and pure? Someone needs to reprimand FOX News for snow not ever being brown or black or yellow... oh, another story for another day. Next week... Why not a Jewish Santa Claus?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A.A. and the 12 Steps

A.A. did not create the plan of action we know of as the Steps, nor did Bill Wilson. Nor does Bill take the credit for that.
. . .
He wrote a chapter and the other sober drunks at the time helped write the rest of it.
So where DID the steps come from? The Oxford Groups which tried to help a number of folks in need of help. . . . . Oxford Group folks were just practicing non-denominational 1st Century Christianity.
Bill couldn't get drunks to respond to his Blue-Light Special experience, so he was fine with leaving the God-Talk out of it... until Lois told him, "Don't you dare forget Whom got you sober! You'll be drunk again! "

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Little Brown Mouse...
It was Thanksgiving Day and a little brown mouse sit busily working alone in her house…
The little mouse children had gone out to play with the brown mouse’s children just over the way…
She put on her apron and went to the shelf, and said to herself, “I’ll just help myself.”
She cooked and she sliced and she brought out the cheese, and then she exclaimed, “a tart if you please.”
The little mouse children came in from their play… they nibbled and ate, not a crumb did they leave on the table or plate.
And I heard them exclaim, as they ran out to play, “It’s the loveliest kind of a Thanksgiving Day.”
- RIP Aunt Lela and Cousin Linda

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dr Bob on "Cultivating Tolerance"

From the editorial column of the July 1944 A.A. Grapevine
During nine years in A.A., I have observed that those who follow the Alcoholics Anonymous program with the greatest earnestness and zeal not only maintain sobriety but often acquire finer characteristics and attitudes as well. One of these is tolerance. Tolerance expresses itself in a variety of ways; in kindness and consideration toward the man or woman who is just beginning the march along the spiritual path; in the understanding of those who perhaps have been less fortunate in education advantages; and in sympathy toward those whose religious ideas may seem to be at great variance with our own.
I am reminded in this connection of the picture of a hub with its radiating spokes. We all start at the outer circumference and approach our destination by one of many routes. To say that one spoke is much better than all the other spokes is true only in the sense of its being best suited to you as an individual. Human nature is such that without some degree of tolerance, each one of us might be inclined to believe that we have found the best or perhaps the shortest spoke. Without some tolerance, we might tend to become a bit smug or superior - which, of course, is not helpful to the person we are trying to help and may be quite painful or obnoxious to others. No one of us wishes to do anything that might act as a deterrent to the advancement of another- and a patronizing attitude can readily slow up this process.
Tolerance furnishes, as a by-product, a greater freedom from the tendency to cling to preconceived ideas and stubbornly adhered-to opinions. In other words, it often promotes an open-mindedness that is vastly important - is, in fact, a prerequisite to the successful termination of any line of search, whether it be scientific or spiritual.
These, then, are a few of the reasons why an attempt to acquire tolerance should be made by each one of us.
That's what Dr Bob said. I'm a Dr Bob fan myself.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dee74, why did you shun me?

What did I do to you? Personally? At one time, you used to talk with me, converse with me. Then after I was banned, nothing. You turned on and shunned me. You punish those associated with me. Why?
It wasn't my treatment of CarolD. Actually, we had spoke and were going to meet for dinner and a meeting. I couldn't make it, but she offered. She repeatedly warned me about my behavior at SR and suggested I try someplace else, from the beginning. I understand that. I understand SR was not for me. I had to be shown the door too.
But what did I do to you? Oh, best not answer that. It's best to "ignore" the likes of me.
Well I'll get free of it, somehow. But hope you do too. If that "ignore" ever stops working for you let me know. We'll rap about it.

Finally done with that damned 4th Step

I was a month behind, due to a work thing. But I'm just now finished and will 5th Step it tonight at 7pm.
Time is short. Must be done with amends by Thanksgiving.
I did not see the need to write down some positive things about me. To be honest, I spent most of the time writing about y'all and your grosser handicaps. But I did take the gloves off and write about me... and God.
For those of you who don't believe in redoing a 4th step, call it a written 10th step then. I wrote it down and found it necessary to discuss it with someone else... at once. Or at 7pm tonight.
I'll be glad when it's done. But then it's on to more action...

Yet Another 4th Step Question at SR

A current post at SR. The OP, an admitted nonAAer, wants to rewrite the book because he/she doesn't think the book is correct. Don't write a 4th step. Just don't do it.
If I can't get to the place of I'm right and they are wrong, aka I'm God, aka high self esteem, then I have no resentment and wjy write one?
The op should make a list of all yhe good things she has done, write a daily journal, make a gratitude list, take two aspirin, and call me in the morning.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Poor sponsorship and the 12 steps... a good thread at Sober Recovery

It's a great thread because it shows how some newbie, namely one SoberHal9, can come into the forum and rip off a thread and some experience in A.A. and it totally rips the covers off of the bunch of them MOTRs.
The first person to remotely agree with Hal's stance is one pmv... until he agrees with Robbyrobot.
The next person to show credence to Hal's post is Leadfoot.
Hal basically says that his first sponsor sucked, held him back, etc. His next sponsor took him through the steps promptly, it worked out great, then he noticed what a bunch of whiney wussy bitches hang out in A.A. and that most folks in A.A. aren't even real alky.
Then everybody at SR pretty much got all butt-hurt.
Why? Because it hit home! They are a bunch of MOTR whiney bitches, the lot of them!
Great thread, newbie!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Alcoholics are not addicts

... nor is alcoholism an addiction.
. .
Doctors and therapists and healthcare professionals can afford to use sloppy language with us but we cannot.
. .
For us, alcoholism IS life or death. Maybe I'm wrong and they are right. You'd better find out the truth for yourself. Is alcoholism the same as smoking, overeating, cocaine addiction? Find out. Don't let no one hustle you into believing, including me.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm writing a 4th Step inventory again

That's right. Doing the steps again. Why, because that's what the book says to do. I also agreed at the beginning to go to any length for victory over alcohol.
So what do you one-time-through live-in-10-11-and-12ers think of that?
If it pisses you off, it's because you must defend your stance. If it doesn't piss you off then you're doing fine and don't need to worry about it.
I saw a guy at our convention this last weekend. I talked about doing another set of steps and his head turned purple as he told me how that was bullshit.
I did not defend nor get a stir. But I wished I'd have posed this question... Did you get something out of your first time through or last time through the steps? If so, then why in the fuck would you deny yourself that experience again? Has your ego not rebuilt? Mine has snd I aim to get to the bottom of it. Hope to be 5th stepping this soon.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Relapse? Here's something to think about.

So I dared venture over to SR and ask a question. It went like such:

How long do you have to quit before you can relapse? I quit at least once a week. By the end of the day I was drinking again. If I wasn't drinking by the end of the day it was a sign I was dead serious about quitting. I could drag it out to two days. But just like clockwork, there I was. Drinking again. There's times I managed to throw in a continuous week. These weeks were sincere hardcore attempts at quitting too. So the question is, what's the difference between relapsing and having never quit in the first place?

Some of the responses lead me to believe that we have some concerns as to what relapse is or isn't. Then some lead me to believe that some people can't read. Go scope out the responses I got and give me input as to the responses as well as the question I posed. I personally don't see how anyone gets sober using that resource.


Friday, October 4, 2013

A.A. meeting shares

What and how do you share at meetings? Should you share? .
. I think you should share at a meeting any time you're called on especially in a closed A.A. meeting. . paragra
. You should never share if you're not alky. .
. I always share where I am in the step mostly associated with the topic or the tradition. From that place, you can contribute whatever is needed in that meeting or that group. .
Paragraph .
If you just spit out the truth you've got nothing to worry about. You don't have to remember anything, you don't have to memorize anything, etc. Share where you're at or your most recent and relevant experience and you can't go wrong. . paragraph . If you do steps yearly, all the better. This way you're well versed with fresh experience and you have something to offer. I don't go to a meeting to vent or lay any shit on a group. This is what lunches or after meeting talks are for.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Spiritual Life...

You need not roam to serve. You may serve where you stand. A pointed intention is far reaching.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Is A.A. controversial at the Group/meeting level or just on the internet?

This is a topic that I'd seen recently develop on a recovery forum.
It's been my experience, currently and long-term, that A.A. has none of the controversy that I see discussed on the internet.
Court-slips, I've posted a topic on this a few posts ago that I think answers these issues. Inside of meetings I've been to, if folks need those papers signed, we just do it. Those folks rarely seem to come back after a while. Once in a great while, someone hangs around and of those, some become the next sober miracle.
God, not-God, religion, cult, etc. These topics seem to be more of an internal thing that individuals are able to hash out for themselves in f2f (face-to-face) meetings, but this is an ongoing battle field for the A.A. detractors.
Identification, aka Step 1. This in my mind is the single-most downfall of most meetings/groups I've been to. If you're not clear on the first step, what it is to be a real alcoholic, and a subsequent decision to do A.A. or not do A.A. as outlined in our book, then meetings/groups just leave themselves open to what many of our detractors find to be wrong with A.A. Now, on the other hand, a good group who can point you to finding out if you're real alky or not and get you to the decision of whether to do A.A. or not, can do some real good for A.A. as a whole and will form a meeting place/group that will thrive.
The second step. What about God? What about atheists, agnostics, Christians, Spiritual but not religious people? This to me has always always been an internal battle. I've many times gone to folks in A.A. for guidance on this. I've begged folks to tell me the answers. What is it? Is this church? Is God this or that? What's your concept of God? Can I get to a place where I can find this God y'all speak of? Why church? Why not church? What does the book say? Oh yeah. Deep down within all of us is the fundamental idea of God. Just become willing. Seek. Can I do religion and A.A.? Do I need both? Do I need one or the other. In any case, this battle is between my ears and no one elses. That's my experience within A.A. Only on the internet do they, the detractors, make this another battle ground and reason to hate A.A.
Third Step. Just a decision. This is what makes us immune to a lot of the crap that our detractors try to hang us for. Turning my will and life over to God is NOT ducking responsibility. It's quite the opposite. And I DO decide. I have to decide for myself if I need this and if I will do this. Do I need God? Can I keep myself sober without God. Can I be free of selfishness and can I manage my own life successfully without God? If so, then don't do A.A. Period. It's not as if we don't look at the option. I was not coerced into, hustled into, conned into A.A. What about you?
Four through nine. Anti/XAers don't know shit about the middle-work and it's evident to me. This is how I can spot them a mile away. You can't bullshit yourself into this. Knowledge about the steps is the stuff MOTR is made of. We that have done the work can just spot it instantly. If our detractors had actual experience in the middle-work they wouldn't be detractors. They would have gotten this and wouldn't be bitching, pissing, nor moaning about it all. That's what I think.
10, 11, and 12, a direct result of 1-9. It can be disected, lampooned, shot-down, mocked, etc. But these are the fruits of our labor.
Traditions and Concepts, our detractors have tried to pry our stated purpose apart with these very spiritual concepts, saying we use them to duck responsibility, protect ourselves, etc. It's my understanding and experience that if A.A. is going to be taken down, it will come from within, not without. Only we can damage ourselves. But the mere practice of these principles work to keep us from "Lousing this thing up" as Dr Bob would say.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Adult Child?

What the hell is this? There's no such thing as an "Adult Child". I call bullshit.
And what about "He got in with the wrong crowd. Bullshit. He's an asshole criminal and he found other asshole criminals to hang out with.
Sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'd like to puke on the next person's face who says this.
You're only as sick as your secrets. Orly, you nosy fuck?

Monday, August 26, 2013

3rd Step, what does this mean to you?

To me, it means I am responsible.
Why? Because I've decided in. I've decided that there is a God who can remove the obsession from booze from me if I follow a few simple rules. All I have to do is realize my place in the Universe and realize that my troubles are of my own making.
Are your troubles of your own making?
If not yours, then whose?
The book says any life run on self will cannot succeed. Is this true for you?
The book talks about how the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run-riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Is this true for you?
Oh, another thing about the third step... it's but a decision. Nobody forces you into this. Is this true for you?

Thursday, August 15, 2013


In 1942, members from San Francisco brought the first A.A. meeting into San Quentin Prison at the request of Warden Clinton T. Duffy. This example led to A.A.’s cooperation with court systems, including direct communications with judges and parole and probation officials. The sole purpose of this Twelfth Step work, then and now, was to carry A.A.’s message to the still-suffering alcoholic. To fulfill that purpose, A.A.s have learned how to share A.A. information within court systems.
Probation and parole officers, as well as judges, often require people involved in alcohol‑related offenses to attend A.A. meetings. Some A.A. members find it difficult to accept this “outside” policy in light of our Third Tradition, “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.” Perhaps it’s helpful to remember that our Traditions apply to us, and aren’t affected by the regulations established by outside institutions—we cooperate without affiliating. By adhering to all Twelve Traditions, many groups welcome each newcomer regardless of how they got to the meeting.
___________________________________________________ Oh, so we were asked to bring A.A. into these entities. OK. And we do not affiliate with the courts, but rather cooperate with them. Oh, and we do not violate our own traditions by allowing those slip signers into the meeting. Our traditions are guidelines for us to follow, but cannot be demanded of those from outside of A.A. Hmmm... makes sense to me. But to the radical atheist/A.A. hating treatment center professional trying to make a killing on the suffering alcoholic and addict by lining their pockets with the poor sick and suffering alcoholic, it's anti A.A. fodder.
Next topic for discussion, What is A.A. to do about all those nasty criminals being sent to A.A.? Can A.A. screen out the hardened criminals from it's realm? Can any institution do this?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

If not A.A. then what... again?

So after almost 4 years of some of us going back and forth with these anti/XAers, where are they now? When we were mixing it up with them, it started off that they were smart rational thinkers and we were stupid culted koolaid drinkers.
Then when we presented rational and reasonable arguments for A.A., they got mad at us and tried the holier than thou approach and tried banning some of us.
Now, they're still there and they are all on this A.A. is full of rapists and murderers witch hunt.
OK fine. Gotta fix A.A., or take that sucker down.
But whatever happened to growing up better methods again? Where's AVRT? Where's Rational Recovery? Where's SMART? Where's Moderation Management? I hear you say you've got a TV program and you have such and such famous actor plugging it. But where can I go to an other-than-A.A. recovery program in a town near me?
It seems to me like you anti/XAers are about 98% resentment/fear and about 2% inginuity and action.
I'm burnt out on waiting for something to happen. I think I'll go kill an hour in an A.A. meeting and go paint a house. Y'all? Want to join me?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

MA says to our very own Tony J...

M A Says:
Quote by Tony J:February 28, 2010 at 11:56 pm For the record, oh exalted cult leader, I worship Jesus Christ. The second person of the Holy Trinity.
Actually, you follow two scriptures: AA and the Bible. I had asked you before if you could ask your priest next time you see him if worshiping a group of people or a tree is heresy. And again, make sure you ask him after he finishes and zips up, or he will tell you what you want to hear.
MA, you've got to remember one thing... there's a difference between kneeling and bending over.
Oh, then ftg weighs in on poor Tony J;
friendthegirl Says: March 2, 2010 at 9:41 pm Yeah thanks for the ankle-bite, you petty twat. If you were smart, you’d have noticed I wasn’t talking to you.
Then MA goes after TonyJ again;
M A Says: March 2, 2010 at 11:46 pm Why are you quoting us your scripture like that means anything, Tony? That shit doesn’t mean anything to anyone who isn’t brainwashed by that nonsense. You may as well quote the Koran or Book of Mormon.
Then MA on TonyJ again;
M A Says: March 3, 2010 at 12:20 am Why are you making up quotes, Tony? Tony, when you are lying to us, are your pants really on fire?
Then TonyJ responds to ftg and MA after a number of stabs in the side from them;
Tony J Says: March 3, 2010 at 2:30 am
FTG : When did I get my ass handed to me ? I missed it.
Oh yeah, all the mind numb anti-AA can do is declare victory. I forgot. .
MA : You are so pwnded you can’t even think of anything to say. But that doesn’t stop you from writing foolish comments, does it ?
What a sad sack.
Oh well, I guess since cuda’s taking a break I don’t have anything left to do here.
You guys can play with yourselves for a while.

Stinkin' Thinkin' "tags" McGowdog

This here is a sort of best of at Stinkin' Thinkin' McGowdog style. http://donewithaa.wordpress.com/tag/mcgowdog/ Enjoy.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Think before you go to Stinkin' Thinkin'

I tried to go read those posts over there and keep getting kicked off. Not sure if it's safe on that site or not._____________________ Please don't go over there and get nasty with them. Diablo did and someone acused him of stalking and/or death threats. It was my understanding that this is why the site was taken down. Truth or the newest liberal debating technique? Idk.

Stinkin' Thinkin' Reincarnated

Hmmm. Guess I missed this, but it looks like Stonkin' Thinkin' is back up. Stinkin' Thinkin'

Friday, August 9, 2013

Stinkin' Thinkin' archived

I found this on a google search. It looks like MA and FTG turned their site loose and it may have been all archived, idk. It's good to see it from the beginning... for some of us ex and current Sober Recovery folks anyway, and a good history as to how this blog started. Enjoy! Stinkin Thinkin

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Adage for the Month

Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Father of a Columbine Victim to the House Judiciary Committee during a special session of Congress

Guess our national leaders didn't expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Little...ton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful._________________________________________________________________________ They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript:_______________________________________________________________________ "Since the dawn of creation there has been both good &evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers. "The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart._________________________________________________________________________________________ "In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.______________________________________________________________________________________ I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Your laws ignore our deepest needs, Your words are empty air. You've stripped away our heritage, You've outlawed simple prayer. Now gunshots fill our classrooms, And precious children die. You seek for answers everywhere, And ask the question "Why?" You regulate restrictive laws, Through legislative creed. And yet you fail to understand, That God is what we need! _______________________________________________________________________________________________ "Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. __________________________________________________________________________________________ "As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. __________________________________________________________________________________________ To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"___________________________________________________________________________________________ - Darrell Scott

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Adage for the month Part 3

Don't bend over for a Christian. -Frank Zappa, interview with Larry King

Friday, July 26, 2013

Adage for the month part 2

You're all worthless and weak! Now drop and give me 20!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Adage for the Month! July 2013!

I'd rather have a bottle infront of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Uh oh, I'm at it again...

Quoting Sober Recovery, that is. Paw, could you do me a favor? Ask Kathleen if I can quote her Big Book quote for 7/22/13? It's a good one, the one on page 123 of the 1st edition. I also like how she answered the poster who questioned it. She said it was above her pay grade! True that. But she gave a great response. Hopefully more to come. If she wants me to not quote her here, I won't.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

So I'm the enemy of A.A.? Really? I'm the one breaking traditions? Huh.

Here's an example of the work put out by the folks who were the cause of me putting this blog up in the first place. They taught me everything I know about going into forums and and making a mockery of their postings... to follow after these 11 paragraphs;___________________________________________________________________________________________ I'm sorry about the dashes, but my editor sucks right now;_________________________________________________________________________________ I was once like you folks and just one poster over at Sober Recovery. I was never popular from the get-go. I was banned with another bunch of folks, namely Jimhere, RobB... who would appreciate it if Artsoul or some other mod would delete his profile and pic but SoberRecovery won't although against his adamant requests..., Ago... a hot-headed atheist who I didn't get along with but came to respect as someone who could show other atheists how to still use 12-Step recovery to get get over drinking... and a few others, some of whom were allowed back to SR.______________________________________________________________________________________________________ We were innocently posting along at SR like y'all are now, then these folks over at Stinkin' Thinkin'... aka Leaving A.A. ... started cutting and pasting our posts... the most Hardlined of us at SR. The folks within Sober Recovery... secular anti A.A. posters, and secular anti A.A. mods alike, got a kick out of it.__________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I tried to defend myself on Sober Recovery and got threatened to be banned for it. We in the 12-Step subforum were given a very tight leash inside and outside of the forum. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ But guess what? Our United States Constitution is the highest law of the land. But, if the private entitiy which is SR, the Mulligan Group or whatever group they are, has their own rights. And you must follow them.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Fair enough, right? But make no bones about it, you Sober Recovery A.A. purists are amongst your enemies there. Good luck with that. For example, just try and start a thread in the 12-Step subforum about "Censorship". Not only will your thread be locked down like a rogue prison ward, but you too can get banned... freed, and come join me here. Ha Ha. Imagine that?_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ I created my blog so I could battle it out with anti/XAers on my own turf. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Try and delete my posts and comments.___________________________________________________________________________________________________ If you want me to leave you alone, no problem. I'm a gentleman, really._______________________________________________________________________________________________ But in order for you to stay right and sick, I have to be wrong and you have to be right. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Have a good day now._______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ -Patrick_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Posting from Leaving A.A., formerly known as Stinkin' Thinkin' and in cahoots with Agent Orange aka Orange Papers... and imo a bunch of you sickos over at Sober Recovery... including the mods... don't believe me? Go research the exit of folks like Miscommunicat etc. and folks who voluntarily left Sober Recovery after "we" were banned from there...;___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________As seen on Leaving A.A._______________________________________________________________ AA is Deemed Highly Religious Already in 25 states. Know Your Rights! Attention DUI …___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Posted on July 17, 2013 by massive _________________________________________________________________ Join Massive and Bob Warner who sued the state and won back in 1996 for a 1 hour show on Religious meeetings….AA ….ICYPAA ….young people getting indoctrinated into AA so young. How can we stop this?________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Who do we need to educate. Parents! Lawyers! Therapists! Teachers! PTA! Doctors! www.blogtalkradio.com/saferecovery____________________________________________________________________________________________ A.A.- How Alcoholics Anonymous Steals Your Soul: Indoctrinating America in 12 Easy Steps [Paperback]__________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Mr. Robert Howard Warner (Author)________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1. suntime on July 17, 2013 at 7:06 PM said: __________________________________________________________________________________________________ The worst part of this whole AA sham is the teens and young men and women that are forced to go, imo. Massive how about contacting some teen right agencies/attorneys, letting them know everything your work has found. Then maybe parents, therapists, doctors won’t be so gung ho about sending their children there. Look at what is happening in the troubled teen industry. It is soooo disgusting. Lots of the ppl that work in those treatment centers are AA members. Check out the book, help at any cost I’m sickened….______________________________________________________________________________________________ Reply ↓ 2. AntiDenial on July 17, 2013 at 7:18 PM said: When?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

To those at Sober Recovery that are new to cyber-recovery...

Thanks Mark. Some folks think I'm a stalker and have venom. I guess I can work on that._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ But in the meantime, I like how Mark put it;________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hmmmmmm I always kinda enjoyed Patrick's irreverence for MOTR AA. And he is as hardcore AA as anyone I have ever had cyber dialog with. And I think he was very helpful to me early on. I think, I hope, Patrick will choose to just leave you alone. You don't get where he is coming from and if he is making you a special project of his on his blog, that is certainly not going to help you "get it". He won't hurt veritas, unless you let him... The whole clusterf*#%^ that happened a few years ago was regrettable and changed SR in a very real way. Let it go... It is in the past... One day at a time, remember?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Someone at SR giving advice to a newbie who wants his sponsor to quit fucking around and get him through the steps

Thanks Mark. Some folks think I'm a stalker and have venom. I guess I can work on that._____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ But in the meantime, I like how Mark put it;________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hmmmmmm I always kinda enjoyed Patrick's irreverence for MOTR AA. And he is as hardcore AA as anyone I have ever had cyber dialog with. And I think he was very helpful to me early on. I think, I hope, Patrick will choose to just leave you alone. You don't get where he is coming from and if he is making you a special project of his on his blog, that is certainly not going to help you "get it". He won't hurt veritas, unless you let him... The whole clusterf*#%^ that happened a few years ago was regrettable and changed SR in a very real way. Let it go... It is in the past... One day at a time, remember?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Anonymity via Tradition 12

What say you about Anonymity as the principle we use in A.A. with respect to using it in a spiritual way? Not just uttering the phrase "Principles before personalities", but to consider how God would use it and have us use it.

I believe God uses anonymity in His dealings with us so as to enable us to be autonomous in our lives and to prevent our heads from exploding. Example, in dealing with our enemies, we get the opportunity to either amend our behavior with them, to forgive them, to be forgiven from them, or even to just leave them alone and pray for them and watch a miracle overtake them.

When's the last time you prayed for an enemy or the last time you pulled an unselfish act on an enemy? If it was recently, then you can attest to the Power of God. If not, then you are a sick and sad sap and you ought to try it sometime.

I believe that God helps us fix things from our past when we are ready and let's us suffer (grow) when we are not.

Oh yeah, our detractors... aka anti/X-A.A.ers/radical atheists etc., would have you believe that A.A.ers use anonymity to duck responsibilities. H8ers. I say we should get together with them at some park sometime and have a BBQ and discuss it. I'll pick the time and the place. Any takers?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

4th Step and Institutions

In my cyber-loneliness, I've decided to borrow one of Paw's posts from SR and post it here. It's my understanding that we list people we were hurt threatened or interfered with, not in fear of... that comes later. I don't have a BB handy, but anywho. Music's post was condescending and useless. Tom's post was sterile and goodie-goodie. My experience is how do I react when I get a letter from my bank? VISA? Master Card? Water Bill? Gas Bill? Phone company? Verizon? How about junk mail? Spam? I don't have to be a criminal thief or have bad credit to have a resentment against an institution. But if I owe them money, that's an easy fucking amend. Pay back the money. What about credit card debt? Pay it off? Well no fucking shit. East to say from a keyboard, hard to do. Something to put down in the fear column too. More about this in the comments hopefully soon.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A.A. meeting format?

I saw a thread on SR started by our very poster UncleMeat aka Paw about this topic.

My meeting/group has it in our group conscience to do steps yearly... starting on about September 1st and having amends all done by Thanksgiving ... and so we share our experience on where we are in the steps as our topic.

We have the other 9 months of the year to live in steps 10 11 and 12, so the bulk of our topics is on those three steps.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Too Much Recovery - a borrowed post from SR

A poster from SR:

          Too much recovery?

I want to pick some brains here.

I have just over two years in the program. It's been life changing, amazing and has brought me to places within myself and out that I never was able to access before. I owe it to AA, the fellowship and my HP. My first year was really about doing the work, focusing on getting well, etc. This past year has really been about doing more footwork - working with others, carrying the message, etc. Nothing bad about all that.

What I am finding (and have been noticing for a while now) is that outside of work, and family, recovery is the only thing I do. I do what I have been told I need to do - go to meetings (about 2-3 a week), work with others (have a few sponsees), meet with my own sponsor, welcome the newcomer, pray, meditate, etc. But I also do a whack of other recovery related stuff - I am fairly active on SR and other recovery sites, I blog regularly on recovery and 12 steps, am very active in the blogging community as well, I write for my treatment center newsletter, am on the alumni committee, speak as often as I can there as well. My books are all recovery related - haven't read a fiction book in years. I have listened to hundreds (literally) of speaker tapes, have a backlog of CD's, books and magazines that I don't have time to read - all recovery / spirituality. I don't have a proper commitment at my homegroup because my work schedule changes every single week (literally). And I feel a lot of guilt over that. If I could make my group, I guarantee I would have a commitment. Any videos or shows or docs I watch are recovery related. I see maybe 2-3 fictional movies a year.

Now, I realize I have no balance in there - it's obvious.

Problem is that I don't have any interests or hobbies. I didn't have more than one or two before my drinking and during, but they got put away pretty quickly - drinking was first priority. My wife has been warning me about using recovery as another "reach". I am inclined to agree, but the strange thing is that I feel I am not doing enough! Mad.

I was visiting an oldtimer friend in the hospital the other day - he was having heart problems and had been there for a week or so. I told him about what was going on with me - everything I just typed out here so far. He lay on his bed, telling me about how he had too many commitments going on, how he was building resentments, how he had too much on his plate re: recovery, and was burning out. He was convinced his health problems was a result of him overextending himself. I nodded. He then looked over his glasses at me, in his retired school principal way, and said "are you listening to this, Paul?".

His cautionary tale didn't go unnoticed.

I guess what I want is a time where I am not thinking of recovery 24/7. It would be nice to get to a point where I know recovery is a part of my life, an important and vital one, but is not my entire life. I didn't go to AA to hide in AA. My work and family life are great - no problems there. I just want to feel that I can "break free" of my own recovery box. I need a balance, but fear the unknown.

So, I guess the question is - has anyone here gone through the same thing early on in their journey? Is there any words of advice that can be given in terms of getting out of this unbalanced attachment to recovery? it's not that I want to get away from the program, but I want to be able to balance it out throughout the rest of my life. And yes, I have spoken to my sponsor and some oldtimers (like above) about it. I just wanted to cull from a greater pool of experience here at SR.

Thank you and forgive the lengthy post.
So... you think you may have made too many recovery commitments... and all you're doing is?;

I do what I have been told I need to do - go to meetings (about 2-3 a week), work with others (have a few sponsees), meet with my own sponsor, welcome the newcomer, pray, meditate, etc. But I also do a whack of other recovery related stuff - I am fairly active on SR and other recovery sites, I blog regularly on recovery and 12 steps, am very active in the blogging community as well, I write for my treatment center newsletter, am on the alumni committee, speak as often as I can there as well. My books are all recovery related - haven't read a fiction book in years. I have listened to hundreds (literally) of speaker tapes, have a backlog of CD's, books and magazines that I don't have time to read - all recovery / spirituality. I don't have a proper commitment at my homegroup because my work schedule changes every single week (literally). And I feel a lot of guilt over that.

Wow.  I think I can help this person's cause... but this advice is coming from a guy who believes in yearly inventory... a topic that pisses quite a few off, namely those who do steps once and live in 10, 11, and 12 till they die.

So, stop doing what you're told.  Grow a set of nuts and live your own life.  Two to three meetings a week is too much. Go to one for a while.  Then if you get crazy bored, go to a second meeting in a week and leave it there.  This way, you can't bitch about not having enough balance.  Stop working with others.  Take all of your pigeons and say, "Tag, you're it!  You're free!  Go and sponsor others yourself and get sponsor-free like me!  Then when your pigeons get recovered, set them free and tell them to go tag someone else."  [tell me this is NOT what Bill W did]   This is exactly what Bill W did in the very beginning; get someone else recovered then tell them to do likewise with others.

I don't understand why folks hogtie their asses to their sponsors.  Do a set of steps, get recovered, then walk.

Oh, where was I?  Welcome the newcomer.  Oh yeah, this is a toughie.  "So, what brings you here?  What makes you think you're a real alcoholic?  Tell me, what exactly did/do you drink like?  If it turns out that you ARE a real alcoholic, are you done drinking?  Are you ready to quit for good and all?  Are you willing to go to any lengths for victory over alcohol?  Have you ever heard of SMART or Rational Recovery?  How about that Marty Mann Test?"  Do this and there will be time to meet newcomers AND take that wife out to dinner!

...pray, meditate, etc. ... On awakening, When we Retire at Night yada yada...

But I also do a whack of other recovery related stuff ... really?  Like what?

I am fairly active on SR and other recovery sites... Oh, well that's easy.  Get kicked off!  It's a kick and frees you up some time.  Just go tell a mod that censorship lead to the attempted exermination of the Jews and is otherwise nasty and against the United States of America Constitution.  That should get their panties in a wad.

I blog regularly on recovery and 12 steps... Oh really?  I do too!  Wonder what you think of my blog here.  Stop on by sometime!  Oh, but you're so busy!  I understand.

am very active in the blogging community as well... Well there's a huge waste of time!  Oops.  Did I say that?  Not like anyone really reads this shit, right?  Ha.

I write for my treatment center newsletter... Oh boy.  On your next entry, I'd like to see an article discussing the price that should be put on guiding someone through a 12 Step program with the goal of achieving a spiritual experience, and should the facility take Century/United Health Care?

am on the alumni committee... Oh brother.  And your wife loves you, you say?  She doesn't hang out with the mail man or the milk man, right?  Oh, and what's that sponsor of yours up to when you're doing this treatment center stuff?  Just sayin'...

speak as often as I can there as well... So, what's that take?  An hour?  You speak like what?  Weekly?  You're like a Treatment Center Circuit speaker then right?  No waste of time there!

My books are all recovery related - haven't read a fiction book in years.  Over-rated.  Listen to our detractors... the anti/XAers.  According to them, we've been reading a fiction book, A.A. all along.  

I have listened to hundreds (literally) of speaker tapes... there's a literal waste of time right there.  Did Mark Houston get you sober?  What part of him justifying his continued smoking and his bragging about how his doctor telling him that his lungs looked like a school girl's vagina appealed to you most?  Joe Hawk?  Couple of pill-poppers those dudes were, and they're both snuffed now.  So what Speaker Tapes do you listen to?  Try Frank McKibbon from my link down there at the bottom of this page sometime.  He's got something to say.  Better yet, put the speaker tapes down and take your wife to a Foo Fighters Concert.

have a backlog of CD's, books and magazines that I don't have time to read - all recovery / spirituality... There's a shit-time waster.  

 feel a loI don't have a proper commitment at my homegroup because my work schedule changes every single week (literally). And It of guilt over that... Don't.  It's a waste of time.  Besides, that's not guilt, it's shame.  An even sicker game than guilt, that which others put on you.  You can't guilt yourself, but you can shame yourself.  Shame is for losers, right there one step above suicide.  If you want to be free of depression and suicidal tendencies, get a life and find a purpose... meaning.  It's really that simple.   Oh... Here's what I do;  I do steps.  Plain and simple.  We start in September and race to a finish.  Some of us take three months to do them and some of us get them done in a month.  Then guess what?  That leaves the rest of the year to live in 10, 11, and 12!  

I'm trying to learn how to sponsor people OUT of A.A.  How about that?  I see so many folks in A.A. talking about how they do anything but the steps and continue life sober.  So much work to be done in A.A., huh?    What I really love is how folks don't want to talk about the 4th step, except to say, "You're as sick as your secrets", nor do they want to talk about the 5th Step, the 8th and 9th step... but they want to talk about gratitude and fear.  They want to talk about how easy sobriety is now... how things get better and better and better.  

Oh, so you must be living in 10, 11, and 12 now, right?  Well, let's talk about that 10th Step.  "Well I think I'll pass tonight.  I'll just listen."  Ok, then how about Step 11?  Oh, let's see..."Upon awakening..."    Wrong!  It's "On awakening" morons!  Look and see!   12th Step!  Ah, immunity from drinking.  Insurance from drinking!  Well guess what?  Fuck insurance!  Insurance sucks and is a ripoff. 

God removed the obsession from booze for me so there!    I don't need to be feared into staying plugged into A.A.  Fear does not overcome fear and leads to more fear!   After about page 103 that books goes downhill fast for me.  You can read it if you'd like, just don't bitch about wasting your life away, k? 

I don't mean to be brutal.  You ask a good question.  But realize this...   Our troubles are of our own making.   This is the perfect statement of hope for you and for me.  If it's not true, then we are truly fucked.  Right?  I can choose the A.A. that is right for me and I can create the fellowship that I crave.  Do you have non-A.A. folks in your world?  I sure hope so.  I hope you have your job and your family, friends, hobbies, etc.  But guess what?  You can put all of these things into "The Stream" of life.  Not the Main Stream, or the Side stream... but the Stream of Life.  It's all connected. 

But you can't cram A.A. shit in places where it doesn't belong.  Do a set of steps.  Then... go read a fucking book.  Read Steven King.  I like spiritual books myself.  A guy from our group reads out of the bible every day.  Play a mindless video game.  Take your wife fishing.  Ride bicycles with her, but don't pop wheelies.   

As far as sponsoring folks, if that's your thing, great.  Do it.  But how long does it take them to do a set of steps?  Should they be dependent on you for the long haul?  Do you like keeping them under your thumb?  Do you really need to call your sponsor every day?   We all have to live our own life.  We all have to break our own bread.    I did steps with a sponsor and now I'm sponsor-free.  That goes off like a fart in church because in A.A. meetings you're supposed to have a sponsor until death do you part... in sickness as in health... no wait!  That's called a marriage.   

These damned people who talk about what the A.A. program is but so much of it is not reconcilable with the book to begin with.  So what's that tell me?  Some stuff seems to have been added as we go along.   They seem so knowledgeable about every aspect of life... except for an experience in hearing 5th Steps.    I want to tell them, "Don't let your alligator mouth overload your humming bird ass."   Do a set of steps... again, go to a meeting a week and see how much time you freed up.  What are you afraid of?  You might miss something?  Someone will drink while you're gone?  God forbid.    

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

God- How has your concept of God evolved to what It is now?

I chaired the meeting last night unexpectedly.  The chairperson who was supposed to do it managed to get "Stuck in a snowstorm in Denver"... again.

But I'd gotten a text from a friend from the Denver group that started ours and he said he'd be at our meeting, so I decided to chair for his sake if nothing else. 

So I wanted to bring a good topic if I could.  I got some ideas from the guy who was supposed to chair, and I also got some ideas from Paw here.  They both pointed to the same thing in a way... we would be talking about God.

Throughout life and my life in out and around A.A., how has my concept of God changed?  Has it broadened, has it become narrower? 

For one thing, I don't worship A.A.  I'm not here to make the argument for or against being able to walk away from A.A. and to be sober and happy.  This thought will certainly get brought up in our meeting last night.  I'm talking about where I stand with A.A. now, how I go about living life and how I incorporate A.A. into my life now, and where does God fit into all of this?

Back when I was a kid, before booze become manifest in my life, I was nothing but confused or oblivious to God and religion.  My folks spent more time nursing a hangover on Sunday morning rather than going to church.  We rarely went to church unless we were with family who did so.  But my parents declared us Catholic.  I guess I was baptized as a baby, but I don't remember it too well.  I'm recovered Catholic today.
I say that to say this... I once tried to contemplate a concept of God, Heaven, Infinity... and I felt like I was burning a hole in my brain.  It scared the living fuck right out of me and I went running to find a way out of my own mind. 

I'm not going to lie.  I took to booze like a fish to water.  It took me to a place of awe immediately.  One small bout with booze at 10 years old would set the pace for me in years to come.  But, there was something else to my being besides my relationship with alcohol.  I really didn't have much of a relationship with God, much of a concept, no damnation and hellfire, no guilt, etc.  I was into finding fun, mischief, and once in a great while, your approval.  I'd come home from school one day with a report card and it wasn't too impressive.  Some d's, c's... that was about it.  My brother Mark looked at it and said "This is shit.  What the hell is up with this?  You can do better than this?"  I was thinking to myself, "What the fuck?  You dropped out of high school, asshole.  Who are you to judge me?"  But it stuck with me.  I was shamed.  I was ashamed of myself over it.  I remember one summer riding a bike with my friend Gary around Chatsworth High School, and Gary said, "Let's get straight As next year in school."  I said, "Cool.  Let's do it."

So, that next year at the conclusion of our 5th grade year, on the last day of school, I went to the front of the class to get my report card, and in front of the whole class, our teacher Mrs. Pratt kissed me in front of the whole class.  She gave me my report card and I had 8 Bs and 8 As.  The only thing I can really remember of that school year was having the desire to get good grades, letting fellow students show me how to do homework in certain subjects and do a little extra credit, my mom helping me on three heavy self-picked biography reports, I was already talented at math and science... I just needed a boost of confidence and a sprinkle of intent.  Oh, and at some point in that school year, my friend Dario and I went and raided his mom and dad's liquor cabinet after school and got just shit-faced.

My good grades would carry on throughout middle school, high school, and into college.  My aunt Lela was my inspiration to do good in school once we moved to southern Colorado,  sports (wrestling and football), and band.  She took me to church now and again.  She told me not to take communion because she knew my parents were Catholic.  My dad claimed he didn't go to church because he didn't agree with most of those preachers and they weren't qualified to preach to him anyhow.  Besides that, when my mom and dad married, the Catholic church wouldn't marry them because my mom had been divorced and had three children, a 4 year old, a 10 year old and a 12 year old when my dad came into the scene.  I was born about a year after they had married and they're together still today.  Old as dirt they are, but married, actually remarried in the Catholic church now.  Evidently, if all of your ex-spouses die off, you can have ex-marriages annulled, pay a bunch of cash, and the Catholic Church will bless your marriage. 

Anyways, I didn't give much thought to God, religion, nor church.  My aunt Lila, Lela's twin sister, introduced me to my first taste of Self-Help.  She gave me a book called Psycho Cybernetics.  I thought it was fantastic.  I soon found myself in college, without a drivers license because I had wrecked my car and gotten a dui, but I had a red-license, and I was starting to think about how some people in the world have their shit together and how I do good for a while, then become a stupid fuck-up.  I wanted to turn back the hands of time and undo some shit.  I started to think about God.  I asked God for some shit and He blatantly ignored me or denied me, so I became pissed off at this God.  So fuck it.  I'd been sober from booze after my first bout with dui, detox, treatment, and A.A., but stuffed all the drugs into my face that I could find, mostly weed, acid, mushrooms, and some coke and speed.  They didn't do much for me.  They were somewhat interesting, but nothing too world-shattering.  I didn't feel myself.  So I drank again... mainly with the guise that I could handle it and life would be cool.  Life was cool.  I'd been through a couple of relationships sober, in fact, I met a gal in treatment that I dated for about 4 months.  She had weed, the Playboy Channel, and a Camaro.  She was 26.  I was 18.  After a while, I just wanted to go hang with my friends and get wasted.  So, after two weeks of drinking, I wrecked my next car and wanted to die. 

So, a high school buddy of mine who was living in McLean Virginia invited me to come live with he and his parents so I could go to work with them for a summer, building a mansion for a famous heart surgeon who lived in Falls Church.  I didn't need a license to get to work and it might be good for me.  The work was good, I got in shape, and we had a blast.  We drank a lot and worked and booze almost got me fired after my first week there.  We had a party at the job site one night and I went into a blackout and had a guy named Bruce by the neck.  He would later become my boss and carpenter mentor.  About mid-summer, I had a drunken blow-out and was soon to be fired.  I swore off booze one night, stayed up all night long and did some sort of soul-searching God-seeking ritual and went to work the next day knowing that I was going to stay sober and be a good boy.

It worked.  I would somehow manage to remain sober, gain the commendation of the work crew, go back to Colorado and back to my college in Denver and get straight As that semester.  The Dean sent me a letter of commendation and asked what I'd done to turn my scholastics around so drastically.  If I'd have answered him honestly, I'd have said, "Hit a bottom with booze, got my license taken away for a year, rode the bus to school and since no license and since I'm sober, got no time nor money but to go home, do homework and study."

Soon, I would meet a gal at a bar in between drunken benders, get drunk with her, marry her, and become a full-fledged Catholic.  Being Catholic is great because you can drink like a fish.

Aside:  I'm sorry for being so wordy here and it's not my intent to lay down my drunkalogue here.  I'm trying to establish some of the events that have lead to my experience of and attempts at a God-centered life.

As far as Catholics go, hey, if it works for you, great.  Just tell them preachers to stop raping boys.  I have more respect for Jimmy Swaggart than them.  At least he screws hookers.

Now, I fucked up again, wound up in A.A. in 1994, and did pretty well with it and she left me.  I got drunk again, got inspired to bitch God out again, and God answered.  I was "touched" by some Godly figure and fell into a state of peace that words do no justice.  I got back into A.A., got sober again, and started onto a path of seeking God and becoming ever confused about God, A.A., religion, etc.

What I know of God now is that I can go to God and He will meet me wherever I am at.  God is a gentleman.  God does not intervene unless it becomes absolutely necessary, then He'll rip whatever it is that I'm trying to kill myself with out of my bloody paws.  I could have and should have killed myself many times over, usually not by accident.  But tell me I'm in danger and I would have laughed at you.  It's my experience that God wants us to be happy and to glorify Him by doing what we were intended to do.  Be the best whatever-it-is that you were put on this earth to do.  This can be sometimes hard to discover.  I like to look at eastern religion for truth, Native American teachings, Christianity,Judaism, whatever form of truth that there is. 

Folks have mocked me for it relentlessly, but I tune into the likes of Charles Stanley, Rick Warren, CS Lewis, the first 103 pages of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, Carlos Castaneda, David R. Hawkins, and all of Jesus.

David R. Hawkins does the absolute best job of describing the whole of the Universe to me, states of consciousness, God, us, and our place together despite all of the controversy of it all, all of the conflicting religions and messages, and what's really important.  The way I see it is this; the real reason Jesus left the earth was merely because He ascended this realm of being and just had to go.  His humanly body would have just burned out and disintegrated had He have stayed.  The rest of the stuff... story... is secondary. 

I'm a follower of Christ, but where I part is the point where I hear Christians say that you must become a Christian and eat Christian-only-Pie to get to Heaven, and if you don't, you are doomed to eternal hellfire and damnation Hell.  So if you're a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Taoist, a Jew, etc., then you are wrong and you are going to Hell.

I just can't buy that shit.  Hawkins describes things in such a way as to make it all seem true, it's just that some things are hard to understand and even describe if not in the right context ... aka state of consciousness.

So the meeting went well.  I heard some good stuff.  We had some good questions in Crossfire too. 

One of the questions that got brought up was, Does your concept of God include everything in the universe?  Have you ever tried to live a God-centered life away from A.A.?  Have you ever thrown in the chips and just cussed God out and demanded answers?  That one was modified to the question, "Have you ever tested God and/or asked Him for an answer?"  What are you doing now to further seek and to obey this God of yours?  Some things that came up were, prayer and meditation, reading a passage out of the bible every day, getting back to daily meditation with the inclusion of an intent for my life, family, career, community, etc. 

The atheist even got brought up.  A guy in the meeting said he worked with a hard-nosed atheist who said all he did was took the word God and added an "O" to it.  He said that he couldn't find himself to worship God, but could worship Good all day long.

What else got brought up was the specific act of leaving A.A. in favor of joining the Church for sobriety and a continued successful and happy life.  We have seen some folks do that; some with success and some with failure.  Most of us in our group are of the belief that we stay plugged into A.A. no matter what and all else can be added.  Christians are great people and can live a wonderful and God-centered life.  But at the end of the day, when they stub their toe, they don't drink.  A.A. is God-talk for drunks, imo.

How refreshing.  An atheist who lives a happy and useful life rather than sitting around bitching at and arguing with those of Faith.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

How do we know if we're alcoholic or not?

I was inspired to do this post from a fellow poster at a forum I frequent.  Paw is our new member and welcome here!

So, how do we know which one we are?  Is there a continuum across the different types of alcoholics?  Does that continuum, if it exists, cross the line from hard drinker into alcoholic, or is there a wall between them... a line that cannot be crossed?

I have my current beliefs on the matter and they probably came from the book Alcoholics Anonymous, my experience with the matter in my life, and what I've heard and seen in A.A. meetings.

I'm aware of other definitions.  Many I disagree with.

The A.A. definition as I understand it is simple; an alcoholic is one who cannot control the amount of booze they drink once they start... AND they cannot stay stopped... aka stay away from the first one, for very long.

I like this new "program" I developed that's even simpler;


This is one way to determine whether you belong in A.A. or not;

Do you want to quit drinking?

If no, then don't go to A.A., keep drinking and jump to END, else jump to LOOP.

LOOP: want to quit? -Yes, then quit.

If your life gets better, stay quit and don't go to A.A.

then jump to END...

else go to A.A. and find someone who can show you how this "Program" works.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Whatever happened to Tradition Three?

Whatever Happened to Tradition Three? Here are some thoughts on why Tradition Three is at the heart of the currently debated issue. AA used to work very well. It grew by leaps and bounds and had an astonishing recovery rate by any comparative standard. There has never in recorded history been anything as successful or as long lived as AA, and we weren't the first kid on the block.

In the first 16 years of it's history AA produced a recovery rate in excess of 75%. By 1975 it had declined to about 65%. Today all estimates put it at less than 10% (many as low as 2 or 3%) and overall membership has actually declined in the last couple of years.

By all accounts the "New and Improved AA" is "better" that the old more religious, more rigid, more dogmatic, more exclusive AA of the past. What happened? How can something that is said to be so much better work so much worse?

Could it be that the early members hit upon the keys to success and that subsequent "improvements" that were well intentioned were in reality the literal curse of death.

The founders were clear that they had a solution to the alcoholic dilemma and they were offering it freely to those who wanted it. If a prospective member didn't want what was being offered they went looking for someone else who did.

They didn't beg anybody to join and they didn't coddle the ones who balked at the rigor of their program. They figured the ones who didn't stick would drink some more and if they lived they would get them later. They expected the grave nature of alcoholism to force compliance with our spiritual principles.

They expected those who outright refused to follow the program to end up drinking their way to an open mind. Little did they know.

The long form of Tradition Three begins with the statement: "Our membership should include all who suffer from alcoholism." This statement implies that the potential member must be alcoholic. The more commonly stated short form:

"The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking." Is not a substitute for the long form. It was never meant as a "loophole" for a non-alcoholic to gain membership. There were very good reasons for excluding non-alcoholics at closed meetings, and excluded they were.

Here are some examples of how the early groups interpreted this principle before Bill wrote in down as such.

Definition of an Alcoholic Anonymous:
An Alcoholic Anonymous is an alcoholic who through application of and adherence to rules laid down by the organization, has completely forsworn the use of any and all alcoholic beverages. The moment he wittingly drinks so much as a drop of beer, wine, spirits, or any other alcoholic drink he automatically loses all status as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

A.A. is not interested in sobering up drunks who are not sincere in their desire to remain completely sober for all time. A.A. is not interested in alcoholic who want to sober up merely to go on another bender, sober up because of fear for their jobs, their wives, their social standing, or to clear up some trouble either real or imaginary.

In other words, if a person is genuinely sincere in his desire for continued sobriety for his own good, is convinced in his heart that alcohol holds him in its power, and is willing to admit that he is an alcoholic, members of Alcoholics Anonymous will do all in their power, spend days of their time to guide him to a new, a happy, and a contented way of life.

It is utterly essential for the newcomer to say to himself sincerely and without any reservation, "I am doing this for myself and myself alone."

Experience has proved in hundreds of cases that unless an alcoholic is sobering up for a purely personal and selfish motive, he will not remain sober for any great length of time. He may remain sober for a few weeks or a few months, but the moment the motivating element, usually fear of some sort, disappears, so disappears sobriety.

TO THE NEWCOMER: It is your life. It is your choice. If you are not completely convinced to your own satisfaction that you are an alcoholic, that your life has become unmanageable; if you are not ready to part with alcohol forever, it would be better for all concerned if you discontinue reading this and give up the idea of becoming a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

For if you are not convinced, it is not only wasting your own time, but the time of scores of men and women who are genuinely interested in helping you. (A Manual For Alcoholics Anonymous published by the Akron Group in the early 40's)

The pass key to the door of understanding of alcoholism, as we members of ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS understand the problem, is the recognition and the admission on the part of the prospective member that he is an alcoholic.

If he is not alcoholic, our group has nothing to offer him.

If he is, an observance of our program will eliminate the alcoholic problem from his life. We have nothing to offer the controlled drinker. (page 2 Impressions Of AA published by Chicago Group in early 40's.)

MANY PEOPLE can "drink like gentleman," hold their liquor and feel no after-craving for a drink.

Alcoholics Anonymous has nothing to offer these drinkers. There exists no liquor problem for them, and we can only say, "More power to them; may they always be able to control their drinking."

This message is directed only to those too whom alcohol has become the BIGGEST problem in life…the true, heart-weary, egoinflated, defeated Alcoholic. (Who Me pamphlet published by Original Salt Lake Group in Early 40's)

You may ask what could be the problem with being a little more inclusive about our membership? Didn't Bill say that our way of life has it’s advantages for all? Why not let them all in. Bill addressed these questions in a Grapevine Article that was later reprinted into a pamphlet called Problems Other Than Alcohol. In it he states the following:

Now there are certain things that AA cannot do for anybody, regardless of what our several desires or sympathies may be.

Our first duty, as a Society, is to insure our own survival. Therefore we have to avoid distractions and multipurpose activity. An AA group, as such, cannot take on all the personal problems of its members, let alone the problems of the whole world. Sobriety - freedom from alcohol - through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of an AA group.

Groups have repeatedly tried other activities and they have always failed. It has also been learned that there is no possible way to make nonalcoholic into AA members. We have to confine our membership to alcoholics and we have to confine our AA groups to a single purpose. If we don't stick to these principles, we shall almost surely collapse. And if we collapse, we cannot help anyone.

To illustrate, let's review some typical experiences. Years ago, we hoped to give AA membership to our families and to certain nonalcoholic friends who had been greatly helpful. They had their problems, too, and we wanted them in our fold. Regretfully, we found that this was impossible.

They couldn't make straight AA talks; nor, save a few exceptions, could they identify with new AA members. Hence, they couldn't do continuous Twelfth Step work. Close to us as these good folks were, we had to deny them membership. We could only welcome them at our open meetings. That’s the problem with open membership. There is no identification .

As our book states on page 18:
But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.

The problem is that they can't reach into our alcoholic world and make us believe they understand us and we can't hold drunken misery and death over their heads to entice them into practical application of our spiritual principles. It is a very inefficient system of mutual aid when none of the important motivational factors are shared.

The real tragedy of the situation is that only the alcoholics die. Why are they dying? They are dying because they aren't doing anything.

The first three chapters of our book and the Doctor's Opinion are summarized on page 43 as follows:

Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.

That’s what the promised spiritual awakening is for. It is the only thing ever in recorded history to reliably fix real alcoholics. It worked and kept working until it generally fell out of favor within the fellowship. How did this happen you ask? This slippery slope began in the mid-seventies with the proliferation of clinical treatment options for alcoholism and many of the less severe emotional dysfunctions.

An alcoholic algebra developed where if you drink at all and it causes you problems you are a problem drinker and that's as good as alcoholic in a fellowship where all you need is a desire to stop drinking. They sent them in droves. Rehabs, courts, mental heath facilities, probation departments, concerned wives and parents, employers and many others sent us drinkers of all kinds and descriptions who were under the impression that they were alcoholics.

Some members I know personally stated that they were told by various outside agencies that they didn_t have to be alcoholics to attend meetings or become members under the only requirement is a desire to stop drinking clause. So we had a situation where a outside agencies send us their clients who erroneously informed us as to our traditions, and we welcomed them.

We welcomed them because AA worked and these people deserved to experience the same benefits as the existing membership had. The problem occurred when these less-hopeless drinkers could not identify with the deadly drinking patterns described by the real alcoholics and opted out of working various parts of the program because they didn't seem necessary to them.

Turned out they were right. Non-alcoholic drinkers learned to their satisfaction just what Bill had written on page 39:

That may be true of certain nonalcoholic people who, though drinking foolishly and heavily at the present time, are able to stop or moderate, because their brains and bodies have not been damaged as ours were. But the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge.

This is a point we wish to emphasize and re-emphasize, to smash home upon our alcoholic readers as it has been revealed to us out of bitter experience.

Well, they learned the first part anyway. That second part where self-knowledge wouldn't fix the alcoholic problem, seemed to escape them. At least that is the impression that is conveyed by what they say at the meetings. I just don't drink and go to meetings is a program of will power and self knowledge. Nothing else. The idea that I have frequently heard that "you can stay sober on Step One for the rest of your life and the other steps are for straightening out your life" is also based solely on self-knowledge as the cure.

The next time you have a headache see if goes away by telling yourself you have a headache. Sounds kind of ridiculous doesn't it?

Why would it be any different with alcoholism? That's a program that will only work on drinkers who are not alcoholic by definition.

When we allow them membership and they share their legitimate experience of not drinking and not working the program, they cannot help the real alcoholic who is the only one we are supposed to be concerned about.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

90 meetings in 90 days...

... is for losers. One good meeting a week is good for anybody, including newcomers. If a newcomer gets bored or scared, they'll be forced to get a job and do steps, then the world will become a better place.

But for the Grace of God, there go I...

Translation: I'm glad I'm not that effing Schmuck!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A.A. Tradition 2; Trust, Service, Leadership, Wisdom...

Our A.A. experience has taught us that: (Long Form)

2.—For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.

...and now, the short form which is actually longer... than the long form...

2.—For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

So... the short form makes mention of the "twisted serpents"... er-"trusted servants".

And so I found something about this tradition in that service manual;

"Hence the principle of amply delegated authority and responsibility to "trusted servants" must be implicit from the top to the bottom of our active structure of service.This is the clear implication of A.A.'s Tradition Two".

From the 12 and 12:

"Where does A.A. get its direction? Sole Authority in A.A. is a loving God as He may express Himself in the group conscience. Formation of a group. Growing pains. Rotating committees are servants of the group. Leaders do not govern, they serve. Does A.A. have a real leadership? "Elder statesmen" and "Bleeding Deacons". The group conscience speaks".

Check it out yo check it check it out...

So who's the boss around here? Is it Bill? Bob? Well... no. They're dead, for one thing. But I'd bet some would like to pin leadership on them. But they can't. Are they like the teflon Dons'? There again; perhaps our detractors would like to think that. God. A loving God is the "Ultimate Authority". And why? Because... A.A. as it has spread across the land came about as necessity and you would literally have a founder trying to rule every town... when it is obviously best to use delegation and rotation for leadership and to keep the politics out of it... from what I can understand.

Any thoughts/comments on this? Is this not what Bill W. was getting at in the 12 & 12? "Servants, not Senators". I like that.

This whole thing was tested when Charlie Towns from Towns Hospital told Bill W. that he could use an office in his building to work as a therapist and earn some bucks because... it was common knowledge at the time, Bill and Lois were "hard up" for money. He brought the idea to the group and they told him... if they sell out to anything like that... they for one thing would be tied to a hospital... and although that may be good, it's not good enough. Another thing is that the group would be divided. The book quotes the line, "the good can be the enemy of the best". They said Bill could never become a professional.

So... the group conscience spoke. And Bill heard it... and followed it. Thank God.

In my home town, there's this cool annual event called Ocsoberfest. It takes place in the Convention Center in about the second week of Ocsober...er October and it's funny how it started. Some dude was the treasurer of the CSO and the seed money or whatever you call it got stolen by him. He disappeared from the scene or something. Somebody ponied up the difference or a collection was taken up for the difference. People weren't so upset by the guy doing that. They weren't happy about it, but they were worried about him and didn't want to see him go get drunk over the thing. He came back and had the money to return... for restitution. By then, it was water over the bridge. They didn't know what to do with the money. So thus the start of Ocsoberfest. It is now a yearly event. They don't run Ocsoberfest when the State Convention is in Pueblo.

Not necessarily a Tradition 2 example directly, but I'm sure they had many a call for Ultimate Authority in dealing with this situation.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A.A. Tradition 1: Unity...Our experience has taught us that...

A.A. Tradition 1: Unity... Our experience has taught us that...

I've been wanting to start a list of threads that cover the traditions, not so much to state my experience in them, but rather to just put them out there and get feedback about them so as to learn your experiences in them.

Our A.A. experience has taught us that: (Long Form)One-Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.

From the 12 and 12;

"Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unit."

Without unity, A.A. dies. Individual liberty, yet great unity. Key to paradox: each A.A.'s life depends on obedience to spiritual principles. The group must survive or the individual will not. Common welfare comes first. How best to live and work together as groups.

Within that 12 & 12, it goes on to say, "No A.A. can compel another to do anything; nobody can be punished or expelled. Our Twelve Steps to recovery are suggestions; the Twelve Traditions which guarantee A.A.'s unity contain not a single 'Don't'."

Why is A.A. NOT anarchy? Because of Tradition 2, more on that later, but also because... "If he deviates too far, the penalty is sure and swift; he sickens and dies."

So although we're not forced to follow these principles, we really need this way of life in order to stay sober and have a chance at life. Or as Paul Martin said, "Once I get what I need, I find that it's what I wanted all along".

It goes on to say that some individuals cannot recover unless there is a group. Tradition 3 defines the A.A. group as "two or more...", so... "By faith and by works we have been able to build upon the lessons of an incredible experience."

I'm seeing how this tradition and all the other 11 work in harmony to give the individuals a place to meet, as a group, and do this program and offer service to those who are yet to come.

In Paul Martin's lead, I heard him speak of an experience while listening to Bill W. give a pitch himself; Bill said, "Imagine if all of you here didn't come to A.A. for another 10 years from when you did..." Then there was silence for a while ... as people in that room contemplated the hell their lives would be if they were to drink for another 10 years. Well... that's the reality for those who have not found A.A. as of yet and we may be the ones who have that opportunity to bring some of them in.

I think that's sort of what unity is about.


Some more info on Tradtion 1 to follow:


“Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.”

Some ideas about the Traditions based on observation and experience:

I can tell you all I know about them in about two minutes.

-They are ideals for a society in which love is the only law. Great suffering and great love binds us together.

-They are living principles. I experienced them before I knew about them. I was welcomed and accepted as I was where I was.

Some myths and misconceptions about the Traditions:

-Most often, our experience with both Steps and Traditions are based on the short forms that we read before our meetings and put on the walls of our meeting rooms. This has lead to widespread misconception and fallacies in today’s A.A. There is much more to the Traditions than what we find in the short form. The short form of both the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions will be found in our book. The long form of both the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions will be found in our book.

-It is helpful to know the history of Alcoholics Anonymous when looking at the Traditions. Most were arrived at after trial and error, by making mistakes. Some were born out of fear in our early fellowship. All were born of the necessity to preserve our society for future generations and to protect it from forces, both within and without which could destroy it.

-The Traditions are not rules, but living principles that I live by in a society in which there are no rules.

-Another myth: that the Traditions are only for people who are in service or who are sober a long time. The statement “The Traditions are to the group as the Steps are to the individual”, is not true. This leaves a whole set of principles that can be practiced in the home, business, society, etc. They are merely extensions of what is found in the Steps.

The Traditions are about unity and preserving our fellowship for future generations. Without unity, we can’t survive as a fellowship. The Twelve Steps are a unifying experience. My recovery depends upon my unity with you and your unity with me. The Steps get rid of what’s in the way of me being in unity with you. The Traditions help keep that experience alive. A true fellowship is a gathering of like- minded people. If there is sponsorship and recovery going on within a group, there will be unity, and there will be service. Unity means a lot more than being in a room full of people with the same problem.

-one principle not spoken of often in A.A. is stewardship. It means to take care of what we’ve been given. The fellowship is about having a place where recovered alcoholics can carry a message to sick alcoholics. If the old-timers have no place to carry their message, they wither and die. If the sick alcoholic has no place to come to see and hear a message, he will wither and die.

The First Tradition, wherein each of us is but a small part of a great whole, is the foundation upon which all else rests. We must hang together or die alone. Like the First Step, it addresses the problem. Like the First Step, all else comes back to it.

The First Tradition addresses the problem-comply or die. Comply not to human rules, but with spiritual principles. Compliance means conditions-the condition is life or death, change or die.

Most alcoholics feel as if they are separate and alone when they get to us. Stay separate, stay alone, die alone. Or recover together. Unity means being a part of the whole, rather than apart from. A spiritual experience is a unifying experience that joins me to myself, to other people, and to God. A process of becoming whole and complete.

-the First Tradition can work backwards: If my personal recovery depends upon the unity in the group, is it possible that unity in the group can hinge on the recovery of the individual within the group? If the group members are practicing these principals, there will be recovery, and hence there will be unity.

-does my recovery bring about unity around me? Or am I a producer of confusion rather than harmony?

-although my recovery depends not so much on your unity with as on my

unity with you, it does depend on unity within the group….

-watch the company you keep. You can stay sick in A.A. and have plenty of company. Or you can get well in A.A. and have plenty of company. You just have to pick the company you want to hang with.

-it takes all of us to make up the body of the Christ. If one of us is missing, we are not whole.

-the best way to belong to a group is to participate in what that group does.

-a true group is a gathering of like-minded people.

-the whole group participates. If there is not an informed group conscience, the group will die or become something that is not A.A.

-the principle of anonymity applies. I am one of many, a member of A.A.

-a guiding principle for the individual in a group: is it selfish or not?

-a principle common to all truly spiritual communities is that the group comes first. I set aside my need for recognition, prestige, and power and put the needs of the group first. My needs are automatically met if I help to see that needs of the whole are met.

-a principle of good living is sacrifice, the giving of my very best to God and to the group. The word sacrifice comes from sacred-that which is holy, the very best. If it’s not worth giving up, it’s not a sacrifice.

-Trust as a principle: can I trust my group? Can I trust myself to behave as amember of the group?

-our message should be one of continuity, of common experience, of profound change (BB, p. 17). Brotherly and harmonious action. I set aside my opinions and differences to join in a common effort.

-principle of unity before personalities. One myth-that the “newcomer is the most important person in the room”, isn’t true. Nobody is more importantthan anyone else.