Sunday, 13 May 2012

May 13 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 5 Admit And Accept | Alcoholics Anonymous

May 13 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 5 Admit And Accept | Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "the easier softer way…" "Secrets keep us sick, or as I like to say secrets keep us stuck." My little secrets became big secrets when the game was up. Fear and putting on a brave face covering up my shame and guilt about drink becoming my best friend…

Step five, all about sharing how my little secrets became big secrets, that emotionally and spiritually I had gone to the very extremes from moment to moment. I had lost sight of the truth, if there had been any self-love or likeability, it had turned to self-hate and living a “nightmare and a daymare.” I needed to let out all the pain and suffering and try find a path back to being open and honest and willing to live life just one day at a time…

In the end, when I realised not only was the game up when it came to drinking, any semblance of hiding the problem had completely gone. All those years when I thought drink was not ever an issue, when I look back and think I had kept it under wraps and nobody knew, I feel it was a self-delusion and everybody knew something was up. My way of coping to pretend everything was okay when I was not okay in any shape or form…

Truth, being open and honest and willing to change on a daily basis is key in recovery. Step five a new beginning by sharing the horror and the consequences in my emotional degradation. My feelings were either at extremes or numbed and completely degraded and the best I was half living and half dead in the moment of now…

The good news, if I share what is going on for me emotionally and spiritually in the Fellowship of AA and also with friends and family, not only do I know what is going on for me, I get a reality check from those who know me and love me. And it is a wonderful feeling when I hear people say to me, "I love you" and I can say, "I love you too" and have an inkling and deeper understanding of what it is to cherish and love and wisdom grows moment by moment and day by day…

DonInLondon 2005-2011

It took me a while to realize there are no real short cuts to emotional and spiritual living. Knowing that today I am feeling life, life sized, no more, no less and in the moment. I needed to share my life story, the good, bad and the ugly, to let go old feelings and attitudes to make room for today, real feelings right now!

Easier softer ways? Recovery is a day to day lifetime process. We change every day, keeping the good and making room for new experiences. Step 5 sharing our history, letting go and making room. Our gap inside is there for a reason, serenity in change and growth!

Being able to appreciate today, I was sorely pressed for decades living in shadows from the past and seeking oblivion in work, people places and things. Lost for a long time, now living in today, present, learning, wondering... Aware of now, less fear, more faith, balance in instincts

Daily Reflections ~ "THE EASIER, SOFTER WAY... If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 72

I certainly didn’t leap at the opportunity to face who I was, especially when the pains of my drinking days hung over me like a dark cloud. But I soon heard at the meetings about the fellow member who just didn’t want to take Step Five and kept coming back to meetings, trembling from the horrors of reliving his past. The easier, softer way is to take these Steps to freedom from our fatal disease, and to put our faith in the Fellowship and our Higher Power."

May 13 2007

Hard Times DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

Sometimes when we listen to others and their experience strength and hope about life, we can be overwhelmed and wonder how some of us ever cope with life at all.

I guess part of continuing to get on with a life with so much anguish, torment and absolutely ghastly horror, to be alive at all is some form of testament to resilience. And also when we have faced dire consequences for actions which happened under the influence of alcohol or drugs, well we might wonder if we would ever get close to being sane again.

If my consequences had been as described tonight I realize it would have taken me as long if not longer to find some form of recovery. Not because I less than or more than another, just simply I can see it would take a lifetime understanding and find a way to forgiveness for everything. And that is something I need do for me and anyone I have wronged or been wronged by in some way or other. And it is simply a day at a time...

My last twenty four hours has been difficult again because sometimes I know I can say yes to helping when in fact I need to say no. And today, this morning I did email someone to share the no. No is small and significant word we all need use selectively and carefully. As Gandhi suggested

“A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”

The magnitude of times past is as bad as it may be for me, and has taken the best part of a decade to make sense of these days. The truth for me and my living is as it may be. Being in harm’s way and under the influence of drink in my case was a form of hiding and denial of reality for many a year. To realize this and admit it is just one part of the recovery process.

Recovery is not a one way Street

And I mean this is more than one sense. We don’t just let go old stuff; it takes time and a lot of iterations to get stuff we harbour out in the open where we can deal with it. And sharing the worst of our experiences and the best of our experiences helps us get some measure of balance. This iterative process is a constant feature of our fellowship as we share what we were like back then “in the day” and how we are today. This form of therapy does work because the more we share it, the more likely we get honest. And tonight it was obvious to me that our chair had been through the absolute horrors anyone faces with the knowledge of life lived and consequences as dire as they can be. And of course we contend with our denial of reality daily!

Life Changing Moments

We all life defining moments, I turned my back on one partner many years back and had no forgiveness for her or me as things had turned out. I realize I had been deluded and left to suffer at my own hand. I smile somewhat as I write because when we are hurt to the core, we look not only to blame ourselves in some way, for failing to spot the signs, we heap blame elsewhere too if we don’t know any better. And it took me a long time to realize we can be loved and unlovable as we strive for perfection and not simply progress. And of course failing to see the truth as soon as we may. Another lesson in denials for yours truly. Me.

Life defining moments where we don’t see love or loving from either ourselves or others leads us into very sad and often dangerous behaviour.

Values and Principles of Living

We all think we have a code which we believe is right and often we have formed our opinions on what we know and how others behave towards us and how we behave to them.

And the trouble is as we distort our truth to fit our purpose we can make others the scapegoats as much as ourselves.

Human Beings are as they Develop

If I had been born into other circumstances or another country, I might have perished long ago. This applies in the times we live where we have help and support. One of my ailments was nicknamed the silent killer, as it is not really apparent and if untreated or badly managed will finish me off in quick time. One mistake and the game can be over for me. So I do tend to be more careful these days.

I have a friend or rather an acquaintance who sees my recovery as easier than theirs because the consequences for me if I were to relapse and resort to drink would be more life threatening than their situation.

The truth is actually the reverse, because a person feels they can afford to go out drinking when they know their dependence on drink is there, leads to serious and life threatening consequences simply because they put themselves in harm’s way and believe its ok to be out of control.

I have heard on numerous occasions what people have done in blackouts. Those times when we cannot recollect what we have done. Sometimes these blackouts are to the good and humorous as anecdotes, but talk to someone who has been harmed or harmed themselves in blackout and we become truly aware of life consequences and in fact death. From driving cars to falling in front of them. From meeting and being overly intimate with someone and recognising the lack of safety, for we are likely to meet more hazards drunk than when we are sober!

I am not a moralist or killjoy these days

But I do know the consequences of some behaviour I had in the past before the world became more dangerous with diseases. Well I have no moral leg to stand on. And would only encourage safety even when merry with company and drink.

People are as they can be, driven by natural forces and often out of control with a little help of drink. Always my failing? Nearly. And the consequences well for me not really that bad in this context. Yet for others it’s as dire as can be. And for me now I have the knowledge and can be a work in progress these days and face my consequences.

My consequences?

Well I know my background and living led me all over the UK and other countries too. And along the way, in a career, to good living and to outward glance it all looked very OK. Inside though I probably never found what I wanted or needed. Until recently. And much of my time these days is simply keeping going as my health allows.

There have been interesting and odd conversations all day long today. With a friend over a coffee, to discussions in markets. To a meeting tonight which helped me see the full impact of where drink can take a person and deprive them of so many years of living and fulfilling whatever their potential might have been. At least with recovery time allows better choices and understandings of living. We serve as examples as much as we live our lives as we may and to the good.

Finding our path

Well for me tonight I am heartened that I am just learning each and every day what is possible and not possible. The outcome is not the issue, the journey in recovery is all important.


More so tonight when we hear the hardest of stories ever, and consequences, I am firmly of the opinion that anyone and everyone can find redemption. And at the same time it can take decades to find peace and harmony in living. This is why I am so keen to suggest it takes what it takes, and somewhere we can find a glimmer of light to find our way.

I am learning over and over, that to carry burdens forever is not the key to making life work. We need to let go and find a process to change ourselves and the outlook of others as they encounter changes and different living.

This view has nothing much to do with my fellowship of AA; it has to do with my values and principles. Some of us have taken years to develop our outlook and work with what we have learned through decades of experience.

Young Life Lost

Indeed with reflection of how my early days left me with many fears of life, I realize much of my living was always about how it looked rather than how it was. Somewhere I got lost along the way, and never quite found the key. Much fun and sadness along the way in my life story, much love and love lost too.

I am grateful for every encounter I have experienced and accepted outcomes and consequences as they are today.

In some way or other I hope the same place of peace is found each day with some practical and simple steps. And you may guess those are the steps of AA.

For others there are journey’s which will take time and much application to find some level of peace from their torments. This is something fellowship enables as time passes and we work hard at living in the moment and understanding our living today.

We do not forget our life experience, we utilize and gain wisdom which we share and in so doing offer hope and practical measures to help anyone on the road of recovery. Not easy, for we must live it and experience to make it work.

There is no fixing or short cut to our spiritual path. We need work it a day at a time, for the journey shared is certainly worth it. -/-
AA Official Site Reflections ~ AA Official Big Book And Twelve And Twelve Online ~
"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Chapter 6, Into Action, Big Book From: Page 72 Thru: Page 75, the bottom of the page. 12 And 12 Step 5."
May ~ All About Step Five:"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs"
Step 5 "Admit And Accept" Reading Video Link:

May ~ Video Reading Chapter Six Into Action Link:

I do not speak for Alcoholics Anonymous I speak for myself. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of unique and authentic people who speak for themselves where they will to share experience, strength and hope about recovery on a daily basis. Anonymity affords sanctuary to find how to live sober and be open, honest and willing to learn life day by day. For me "truth," "love" and "wisdom" offer the best spiritual experience by living reality today. Into the fabric of recovery from alcoholism are woven the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions, steps to be open, honest and willing to learn, traditions to live unity, service and recovery.
Spiritual principles ~ Forgiveness Acceptance Surrender Faith Open-mindedness Honesty Willingness Moral-inventory Amends Humility Persistence Spiritual-growth Service

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