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Posted by on in Alcoholism

It's coming hard and fast. Building momentum in the past say 10 years. Pushing. Huffing and puffing at the door. Will it finally get inside? Will abstinence be overthrown? Replaced with a six gun filled with magic recovery bullets?

 

Do no harm. I get it. Nobody I know anyway wants to harm anyone. Intentionally anyway. We've seen pain, we've lived the suffering of untreated alcoholism. We feel pain and fear whether it's ours or someone else's. Many of us like myself are co-dependent. I live others lives as a hopeful alternative to my own fragmented realities. Sometimes there is short term relief. It's difficult to measure. It's more like seeking security in the familiar. I do what I believe or at least think others want and they're going to be happy so in turn I'm happy. That whole like me so I can like myself chestnut.

Then again, nobody I know lives by the Hippocratic oath. It's not an AA requirement. We're generally not doctors, healers, hell we're not even missionaries. We're alcoholic men and women who have found recovery in the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. In my world? The Big Book 12 Step world? This suggested program of recovery begins with a admission of hopelessness. There is no selfie stick and book on positive affirmations offered. Just the admitted loss of reasoning needed to simply take a drink of alcohol or leave it alone. A powerlessness. That is my ticket. My winning ticket. 

Seemingly we are a doomed lot. The fellowship offers opportunity. A comfort zone for those of us who find a new beginning through kindly acts every night at the AA meetings. Camaraderie, emotional security offered to those of us who's lives have been ravaged in the grips of alcoholism. So yeah. We're damaged people. We don't want to hurt anybody anymore than we already have. We have been rescued. AA is our safe place and for once? We are not afraid when people are kind. There is nothing to steal.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

It's about giving, I get it. Giving freely, learning to give freely I should say. Willingness. Sharing myself, my abilities, my sober benefits, without expectation. Grace. 

 

It's easier to give at Christmas, most everybody's doing it. Christians anyway. I'm more than not Christian myself. Enough to not show "full frontal" in the Garden of Eden anyway. So it's my time of year to move freely. I can give a little or actually give a lot more. Awareness is high. I could give everything I have away and get away with it so Yeah! I'm ready to get in line and give freely of what I have found..

I found a new place to give this year. (((THE NURSING HOME))). It's a heavy place really. Mostly emotionally torn up roads that detour or close and end here.. On any given day the people coming in and out are struck with emotion coping with their elderly and sick. Family members putting their axes down for a hour visit in peace. The old man walking back to his car five times to check on himself. Lost and alone while his wife lays in her room waiting for it all to end. What do you do here? What do I have to offer here? Everything I have cannot measure up to the needs of these people.

In years past the family shelters, halfway houses and such. They were easy in comparison. Not that there's anything easy about a battered women shelter of Family holding shelter, no. Absolutely not. I mean wrapped winter hats and gloves, mittens and puzzles well, It was a easy fit in comparison for me. Me, not them. I could buy a pile of seemingly good stuff and wrap it all up and drop it off at the shelter Christmas eve. Done.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Important Points Regarding Amends & Restitution

Excerpted from the Big Book’s explanation of Step 9, pages 76 - 83

 

Amend type (a) – The people we hated / resented (page 77:1 – 78:1):

It may be some have done us more harm than we have done them. With a person we dislike, we take the bit in our   teeth. It is harder to go to an enemy than a friend, but the benefit is greater.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I'm referring to one of my experiences with the 7th Step of the program of recovery as it is laid out in masterly detail in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was not about the conception of God anymore really. That is pretty clear. I have my personal beliefs in a spirit underlying the totality of all things. I'm good. Nobody can talk me out of or around it. This is about the process of surrender to this power that goes back to the beginning with my willingness to put down the booze. Actually a time I didn't think mattered really in light of what was to come next.

The willingness to believe turned commitment to my own sobriety has varied over time from the Heavenly Father, Mother earth and sky, to Quin the Eskimo, and back again and again.  It's the process, the willingness to take action I can now see in others who value their own conceptions that may be quite different than my own. I am no longer alone yet have my own beliefs. I am not afraid as there is nothing to defend, nothing to steal.

It's the willingness that binds us. The willingness to give freely. The freedom from self centered fear.  We can be vulnerable, we can take a risk with the emotional security offered through our willingness. I begin to live in the new world as if born again into the old. Step 7 is my second chance at life. The whole new pair of glasses thing. It's all just not about me anymore and well? I am relieved..

The Big Book Step 7 is short reading. I can assume it is also short in understanding. Limited in it's content. It isn't, there's a lot there. It just appeared that way as I still remained at times under a heavy fog of new found recovery. Unable to grasp the magnitude of the Big Book 12 Step process. It is a summary of my sobriety to this 12 Step halfway point with questions like, reviewing the first five proposals is my work solid so far? Yes. Am I cutting corners with my own selfish arrangements? No. Am I in fear of losing my emotional security if I let go of people or emotional enablers? Sort of still so I pray for willingness.. Are their any obvious half measures? No. Am I making mortar without sand, forcing my way through this whole 12 Step thing? No. Am I willing to serve my God and fellows who may or may not be suffering. Yes. This is who I am now, this is my purpose. My willingness is strong. The Book says it's indispensable and I agree. I see it now. The willingness is indispensable. I get it..

Now Steps 8 and 9. I will need room to move if I am to serve this purpose so it's time to clear up my street. I am sober yes and willing yes but still outside my AA safety net is a world of selfish bondage that chokes me, limits my movement. But I have seen myself in my 4th. It was me mostly. I am accountable.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Well? Detox is hopefully behind you. You're finally sober and going to AA meetings everyday. Some days it's a life or death mission and others you're simply going along with the gag still unaware of what it is to be grateful. There is a difference now between happy joyous and free and impending gloom and doom. The one dimensional view,  trying to kill yourself has changed. It's now a full feature movie with lots of rewrites creating a new you that comes and goes with each daily curtain call. You're a participant in a fellowship of empowerment with it's positive affirmations.

The old you just a harmless shadow in tow around the halls. You're safe for now as another shining AA beacon of hope. A room full of people as a buffer between you and your past. They like you, they really like you and with that? You like you.. Sober and strong, you tow your self around easily engulfed in camaraderie and fellowship. As if the past has not gone away but it's not here either. For today. It's one day without one drink, get to a meeting, and repeat while everything else is circling at the mile marker. No pressure here, You have plenty of time to clear the runway. Some even say do a Step a year although that doesn't seem right..

Yes you're weird but it's no secret. It's not a bad thing, right? Everybody is weird. It's just with the alcoholic like you claim to be? The extremist? When you said your name at the meeting and you were actually alcoholic? You have to wonder. Is there more to it? 

Life is a baffling ball of confusion you seem to always pick up and take home right? Right? When whatever it is becomes too much? Or you seem to use up all the weird in the room so others are all seemingly normal? You quit and retreat to some point of emotional security. Usually the nothing. The nothing, where denial reigns. Neither a happy or sad place really, just nothing. Booze or no booze. 

Blame is the defensive weapon of choice with it's justified feelings of betrayal. Selfishness and fear on all sides brought on by others you're sure. It's them, they broke the connection. They've abandoned you, you're on your own. Again with the people! With blame you fight back as the underdog. Alone now, shielded in self-pity you win. You are validated in the self, the nothing... You're ok now in your familiar hurt, for a while anyway. Whatever it was or is? It's everyone else's fault. When delusion is all you know well, you welcome the security of it. It is safe, familiar.   

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