May 26 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 5 Admit And Accept | Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "turning negative to positive…" The Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous suggests a twelve step approach to improving our spiritual and emotional growth through understanding our experiences of life and learning from them. Spiritual: living in the moment. Emotional: understanding the feelings we have and how they impact on our thinking and actions…
Learning from adversity and difficult times! The emotional and spiritual value of any experience is what we learn from it. And I guess the question is how do we measure success? Emotional and spiritual well-being has been written into constitutions of countries for example, "the pursuit of happiness." And in my life knowing the difference, what it is to be happy and what it is to be driven mad by extreme behaviour, somehow serenity is not just a word to describe something, serenity happens at the extremes of life good or bad and somewhere in the middle each and every day…
Acceptance of life on life's terms? And acceptance of where life has got to, knowing my situation by getting a reality check, a personal spot check inventory, phone a friend to get perspective, get to a meeting to hear another share experience, strength and hope. Greeting reality, when it is grim and also having gratitude for surviving tempests and storms. And the bliss of happiness and a peaceful interlude where we feel love and are able to love back in the moment…
"Turning negative to positive" comes from the book, as Bill sees it. And he was writing about the learning we may have got from a slip or relapse back into drink. And no matter how long the relapse, which is not unusual, it’s what we learn over and over again that life will not improve with a drink in hand. The horror of blackout and oblivion a stark reminder about what we don't want to do, just for today…
How am I feeling today? Well yesterday was excellent, writing to quite a few people, on the phone with some more and then a happy hour or two with a beautiful friend who dropped in. And the sun shone brightly and I went out and took photographs of people playing and children playing in the Duke of York square, and a chat with a pretty girl… A siesta and some food. Then up all night with a dodgy tummy. All in all a very good day accepting the positive and the negative just as it may be day by day…
Sober first so we can experience truth, love and wisdom. Truth, love and wisdom is the essence of life for me today. I may be an agnostic, an atheist or believer in god as life experience teaches me and I am teachable when I am sober. I have the humility now to say "I don't know the God of your understanding, but I do know the one which works for me." Respectful of your belief always...
Letting go self prejudice... Twelve steps for personal development, open honest and willing to change. Caution always as we live in a world where open, honest and willing to change is not part of daily life, where fear and suspicion prevail, keep faith with our path, be aware, judge not...
Ego driven, simple truth gets complicated. If we can be fair minded, keep to courage, faith and confidence then our side of the street is easier to walk. Real life always a challenge when needs are not met, we rely on the unreliable... Progress not perfect as we learn from others...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "TURNING NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE... Our spiritual and emotional growth in A.A. does not depend so deeply upon success as it does upon our failures and setbacks. If you will bear this in mind, I think that your slip will have the effect of kicking you upstairs, instead of down. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 184
In keeping with the pain and adversity which our founders encountered and overcame in establishing A.A., Bill W. sent us a clear message: a relapse can provide a positive experience toward abstinence and a lifetime of recovery. A relapse brings truth to what we hear repeatedly in meetings — “Don’t take that first drink!” It reinforces the belief in the progressive nature of the disease, and it drives home the need for, and beauty of, humility in our spiritual program. Simple truths come in complicated ways to me when I become ego driven."
May 26 2007
A Good Long Friday DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’
We pay a price for what we do. In my case today, the dividend of good weather made it a long day and good in so many ways. I have been chopping and changing things around on the web site. It’s good to change and keep things a little more accessible and fresh.
Copy and Photo’s
More photo’s today, I met with a friend for a chat this morning and while talking about the Steps of the AA fellowship, I was able to take snaps of passersby in Earls court Road. For some it may seem a peculiar thing to be doing just taking photos of people I don’t actually know. And it’s fun to watch the slideshows. People are fascinating. I love people and there are so many from every walk of life just ambling by.
My imagination and what they are about? Not sure I get that deep into why and what they do these days.
My living used to be about working out how to help people. And it seems with the discussion of step two, all about being restored to sanity with the assistance of a power greater than me.. Well these days I am happy there are plenty of powers greater than me, and that my ego is pretty much deflated and put out to grass. Yet we all know we have ego as well as esteem and the ego comes out when fear is about. Fear today was low. And I in good company with a friend this morning.
I was distracted by everyone tramping past, some quick some slow, some so bent over they could hardly make a step. We value our living when we realise it’s pretty darn short. Indeed life can be made so short if like me we end up not able to make any sense of it and fall into a dark and moribund place of self harm. As this is some years back, sitting in the meeting tonight, I realise it’s over ten years since the breakdown took everything away, and nearly me with it.
I am not surprised really to have had so many thoughts over recent days of times past and the life now, well and truly changed. Living and working was everything as the final days drew me close to that awful end of a career and prosperous times.
What was the point of it all?
Indeed I have pondered where I have ended up, and don’t really have an answer. That life turns out as it may if we live with that gnawing fear, that desire to excel and do well. To be highly principled and gradually see everything sliding into chaos as the company kept all those years ago in a career which was killing my inner being so well and so all-consuming I never realised just how low down I had become. And then I broke
If you have ever experienced a mild panic attack or a panic attack caused by some accident or traumatic event, then you know that feeling of free fall, where there is nothing to catch you. As the anxiety grips and the free fall is complete and fills every corner of reason with mad fear. Mad fear that goes on for months relentless and dogged, weighing every part of the psyche down with a dead weight tearing every element of sanity away. Gripped so for the best part of a year, then emerging and pretending to all I met that I was put right and fixed, and yet the unending black of black dog, every nerve shot and red raw. Numbed to sleep by a concoction administered by medical support. And still driven mad with insomnia. Exhaustion and demon dreams screaming at me as I would wake with a jolt and covered in cold sweat and nurse myself through the long hours till daylight. That was life ten years back. I was mad back then, raging and I did not know it was rage or madness.
I did not drink for most a year, and relied on pretence and tried every cure known to man. And a few more, including all therapies I could find. A broken heart and a broken mind are not easy to glue back together. And I could not.
When nothing worked and I could not work, the madness was driven home as everything was lost. No income, nothing and selling up made me feel pride and ego as all was given back and the world was paid. Except of course that one last job. And that hurt most as every scrap of me could find no way to make those last days work.
It’s no wonder I ran away. And then I drank myself to oblivion and wished for it to end somehow soon and for everything to be gone and forgotten and most of all me.
Memories can be Harsh
How to share those days, it’s hard enough and sends a shiver through me now. And yet somehow with all my best intent at first to get myself right. And I could not. Whatever I did the pain was so immense I could not rest in peace as every moment felt like torment.
I came back and lost the plot some more.
Yes all these things come into my mind’s eye, every element as if I would wish to remind myself of those harder times, well memories will come and go as they will. And today as normal outlook feels peculiar and still quite odd and remarkable. Ordinary normal. Yet trauma lurks and is stubborn to let me go.
To meet and share some time with a friend, to take some photos and share some calm moments. To see people who are still in the land of the living. And still it’s hard to reconcile almost a decade made more mad with drink. Lost and still alive, a living hell as nothing could break the grip and failure I hoped would lead to an end of any kind, so long as it was over.
I don’t recollect I ever shared how mad and lost I was, I guess as my pretence was lost and nothing could stop myself destruct. That moment of clarity.
Do you know the moment of clarity seemed to me to be that most debased place, where nothing worked as it may. Wreckage and barely human. Not quite dead, I realised it could get no worse than that moment then. And whatever I might try, I could not stop drinking or make sense of one moment to the next.
I called Eva, and said I could not make it work at home. She got me into a detox unit for three weeks. Eva was pragmatic and knew where detox led, if I could just accept the help.
And still I drank again, a madman and lost indeed. It’s some years back but those times do jolt me more than I might wish and so when there is day where calm and peace are somehow possible, there still remains that cold grip inside and reminds me how far I have come. And at what cost for everyone along the way.
A rocky road. More maladies along the way to this long good Friday and I am home safe. A fellow in a fellowship, my story is not that different to any fellow I may encounter day by day. Reclaimed and still a part of life. Just for today and some courage to keep on changing, with help and good conscience restored as it may. It was worth it for today.
I see myself in others not yet found and lost in dark places in dark doorways. Mad and unloved I often talk to those who no one wants to know. I am one of them.
"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