June 26 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 6 Spiritual Willingness Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "recovery, a gift growing with time…" For most normal folks drinking means conviviality? Normal people coping with reality don't need to drink, and most often normal people who are happy don't need to drink to change their mood, alter what they see and try fix their feelings to be happy…
I reckon for the long time that alcohol helped me be happy, blot out the horrible aspects of youth and early maturity. It also made me an achiever, fearful of failure and willing to go to any lengths to hold down a job and try fit in wherever I could. The court jester, the person willing to try do anything and everything to make life work. Superior skills in action all the way to rock bottom. Without the history, I would not understand the wonderful experience of reality today…
'Zeitgeist' is an exceptionally wonderful word, all about capturing the "spirit of the age." Currently, the global and local zeitgeist is being impacted by fear of economic insecurity which then follows into insecurity around relationships within family, community and society's generally. How is my Zeitgeist today? I am living and dealing with economic insecurity as best I can and need not fear whatever the outcome is. And I need not fear relationships I have based on truth, love and wisdom learned in the moment, my "spirit of the age," is good enough for today…
How do I get release from "care, boredom and worry?" I don't know that it is release from these concerns. What I have learned is to take care, be engaged and involved in life and worry enough to make sure I do look after myself, and help people around me as best I can. Somehow we all work at life and it is difficult. Being open, honest and willing keeps me on track and with unity, service and recovery always in mind, we can or I can be a part of life, life just as it is today…
A friend of mine asked me to travel to a meeting and share my experience, strength and hope tonight. I cannot go for two reasons, first it is expensive and my economy is stretched to its limit and second I have to be careful health wise today for retinopathy eye tests tomorrow. If I don't look after at myself, I have nothing to offer and although I feel I would have enjoyed my trip and being with others in fellowship, I need to be mindful of what I can and cannot do and keep learning the wisdom to know the difference. If I cannot do service in some way, the beauty of fellowship, is another person can…
AA Daily Reflections "A gift that grows with time: For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colourful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. [AA Big Book]
The longer I chased these elusive feelings with alcohol, the more out of reach they were. However, by applying this passage to my sobriety, I found that it described the magnificent new life made available to me by the A.A. program. It “truly does get better” one day at a time. The warmth, the love and the joy so simply expressed in these words grow in breadth and depth each time I read it. Sobriety is a gift that grows with time."
On many occasions I saw the impact of alcohol on my father. Explosive anger, and rage, and verbally abusive, on a rampage until he was exhausted and slipped into a dreamless sleep. Fearful, of what might happen next, home was never a sanctuary…
How am I feeling, why and what can I do today? Part of an assertiveness programme I attended many years ago. It opened up the door to exploring my true feelings and it hurt a great deal. I had denied my feelings for a long time and it was overwhelming…
How are we feeling, why and what can we do, part of an assertiveness training programme from the past. It opened up floodgates for many people I encountered and it was overwhelming and hurt for many. For some people it was their daily focus unlike me back then…
Grief, loss and sobriety... To love, be loved and useful is elemental. People, places and things change as we do, it is inevitable and we will feel grief and loss. Being human we need not forget, we learn to cherish the good of life, our history and present day. We can love and cherish always...
For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colourful imagination? When we are sober a while, we might wonder if this is true. Most "normal folks in normal life" do not drink as we did. For us, our sober life becomes "extraordinarily ordinary," real feelings happy or sad, today...
June 26 2007
Anarchy & Love - DonInLondon ’Day In The Life’
Anarchy and Alcoholics Anonymous go hand in hand it seems sometimes or all the time maybe. And it may be that we feel the heavy hand of old timers and sponsors who have strong opinion on how to get into recovery and then march us along pretty darn quick into a world of sober living.
I recollect my first meeting and how it was. I had no desire to stop drinking and self-medicating into oblivion. I felt death was some way more romantic an end, but these days I realise that is the stuff of fiction and denial. At the same time I realised it was probably the best place for me. But the thought of never taking another drink of alcohol, was as foreign to me as living on another planet with aliens. Yet billions in this world don’t drink and billions do. I preferred the billions who did as the others in this world who never drank did not seem normal to me..
Foolish Thoughts Indeed
To have any clue that I could either control or stop addiction once it’s there. And I thought I might be an alcoholic but dismissed the notion because it just did not fit with the person I thought I was. And the trouble by this time, was I had no clue who I was anyway.
On the way to rock bottom, the place of no return to normal living as a drinker that is, the warning signs had been around for an age and I took no notice as not only I but everyone would have preferred me not to be so weak willed and stupid as to become an addict.
Denial is a clever Friend
As depression was a factor throughout this time, and depression encourages avoidance of obvious truth, I can see clearly I was on a collision course with booze and any semblance of normality was fast fading away.
Isolation, Self Will and Desperation
As any good addict will inform us, the road to hell, it’s got a lot of twists and turns, the denial of warnings our body makes, the complaints we have, as hangovers disappear and another level is reached. And worse the effect of any drink is lost in the ocean we have drunk. And still we recoil as we may and stick to self-will, and willpower of course which really closes the door and a return to safe drinking.
As if there was ever a safe place for me and booze. Well there was a while as I ran from the me I had become. Fearful of life, as much as fearful of death. I had not felt this low in all the past bouts of depression to ten years ago. And then as if by some divine intervention, I got sick and worse than just emotional, it was a deep and persistent depression, which nothing could alleviate. And the pain then was not merely emotional, it was in every sense physical as my body rejected alcohol as much as it needed it to function.
Trial and Retribution
It did feel like this as the insanity got worse over the next few years and I was left a shell, with one single purpose to drink and keep a balance of drunken being so my wits would work just enough and keep this pretence of normal. An alcoholic who pretends to function, in my case a denial of truth, I did not function without a drink inside me.
I wonder where if ever there had been normal. And today has been a day of truth telling as I can and am better able.
Pretending to be ok kept me drunk a few years more and still it got worse. After the one visit to AA and the game being up? As it was the rest of the world quit on me I think, or did I quit on the world. All I recognise now is the torments got worse and the more I kept close to being sober on the outside, the worse I got inside.
Why is this flooding back just now?
Well in a day where I have had to present myself and share my truth to a medical examiner, it’s always a challenge, because I want to be ok and yet I know I am not, and there are things which have broken down and cannot be repaired. It’s true for us all as we get on, the sum of our parts work just as well as they may. And some parts are broken beyond repair.
Humility and Truth
The truth is freedom for me and humility and not defiance come into play too.
The truth of me a decade before, was someone on top of their game, able and resolute and working pretty darn to capacity. And then a crash, made possible by a predilection to depression, oblivion and then a harsh work regime I fought to win and lost.
In the end I fought myself and fought for the rest of the world and fair play, where fair play had never been the game. Always these recollections come back when I have to be examined by a GP on behalf of agencies operating to a set of rules I must observe and adhere to. And whilst I see them as right and proper, the way it’s done and the way a person is made to feel, is something until today I had always found a source of anger.
I have become more accepting of my truth and my human qualities, it’s taken years to get back to an honest outlook. And this morning has helped me understand what powerless is and actually being powerless informs me of my options today.
I told the truth, and it did not seem the issue. The issue behind the assessment is not really what bugs me, it’s how I feel I make a contribution to life, myself worth. And health issues undermine anyone when we are learning what we can and cannot do these days. My self-worth, is in part what I give to back to society, and make endeavours to life in general. These days I realise there are many ways and look forward to those challenges.
My ailments do impair me, and at my age it can be hard to see what next. Yet in a strange way I know already I belong somewhere, and that is AA. As things are I can do more as normalising happens, and the gift of this comes from these days of understanding what works and does not work anymore.
Today opens my eyes to possibility rather than limits I am measured for by the assessment today. There is more to do, and I need help to find my path.
Anarchy Kept me in AA
It did, and even now it’s the freedom to move and be myself in company which accepts in the main the rights of everyone to start again from scratch on any day we choose.
Comes in many forms, with anxiety and loss of purpose sometimes. These things are not new to me, but find when the depressions and other ailments leave me incapable of doing much of anything, I can still find a place where I am accepted in silence as much as in voice.
In the last few weeks I have seen marvellous turnarounds in the fortune of quite a number, as sobriety kicks in again, and also seen people founder when they have tried too hard to look right rather than be right.
Fake it to make it?
I am always troubled when I try to fake it to make it, and still sometimes my stubborn insides demand I pretend to be ok when I ain’t.
Better to excise my denial and be truthful when pain is in me and around me.
Some fellows like me, we get absolutely exhausted by just putting one step in front of the other some of the time. And then we push for another and another. Self-will hurts us when one day of recuperating can make all the difference and stop our mad intent to prove our worth.
In our fellowship we have help where we can find it and answer to many questions and how to live and get back to living life and free from that gnawing ache which alerts us to dangers and anxieties.
We all find love of self hard to experience as by the time we get to AA our self-worth is nil and we live on ego and into ego’s drift we go. Where we pretend and are very PC in our AA ways. This faking to make it, to keep on doing and not learning what we need do most of all…
Slow Down the Pace
And experience the process of life in its journey, and not a destination we might think we prefer.
Golden Rules in AA
There are none, but one suggestion I have which is to keep on coming back, no matter the slip or complication we feel we cannot overcome. We can in truth as truth unfolds and lets us in on the secrets of life. Just to be open to it?
And to other maladies
Nature and Providence, Science and Medicine all come from the same place we did. Utilise and make good life with an open mind and not one closed by dogma.
Anarchy formed the Universe, and helps us find our way. AA, anarchic and loving of all who have a desire to get sober a day at a time.
Love is like Spiritual
Real and best with truth, the truth is both joy and sadness, and are part of our spiritual life. Let go the notion that life is all about joy and pleasure.
With Enlightenment there is also Endarkenment. Ying Yang . Vices and Virtues, truth will set us free. A day at a time. And glad this one day has affirmed my anarchy as much as my compliance to a sober path to living. We live and learn as wisdom affords and is shared freely in our fellowship, long may it be so, for today!
Step 6 "Spiritual Willingness" Reading Video Link:
wrongs. Chapter 6, Into Action, Big Book From: Page 72 Thru: Page 75, the bottom of the page. 12 And 12 Step 5."
June ~ 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 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