October 24 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "universal human rights! Freedom of faith and self-determination are key in life." And by faith, and by works we find our path in life. The whole world is changing day by day, individuals, family, friends, community and society. Sometimes we experience a huge step forward on any level of human activity. As the world changes, so too the fellowship changes. The guiding principles of the twelve steps however, universal principles, the steps offer: open, honest and willing endeavour which changes each of us. The traditions offer: unity, service and recovery. Twelve steps and twelve traditions are timeless principles which offer growth and change on an individual basis, and the group conscience keeps the fellowship on track one day at a time…
Video For Today:
Trusted servants not leaders: In the spirit of unity, service and recovery which are timeless principles within the fellowship, applying the same principles to life in general helps me understand my part in all human activities. I feel the spiritual path for any individual need be based on truth as it is each day, that truth can change every day as we learn more and life develops and what makes everything tick develops. Coping with these changes and being able to keep on finding the truth and be able to cope with life is my spiritual path. I've come to understand I do have a right to be here and be heard and be a part of life, and equally you have the right to be here and be heard and be a part of life. And we all need to work together with truth and integrity in our minds eye each and every day…
I do feel it's a good question to ask of oneself, what is at the core of spiritual life? And the answer is probably based on simplicity rather than complications. When people suggest keep it simple, simply the truth will be a guide for me. Every moment, every event, every change is better experienced with our eyes and all our senses open and not closed down. So if we are equipped spiritually, to experience everything and not shut ourselves into a complicated set of rules and regulations which close us down, and be able to develop our understanding of life and cope with it day-to-day, then everything simply changes as we keep on living…
The God of your understanding? Yes it must be of your understanding and how it works in your life. And I know I've said it before, I need respect anyone's religion, anyone without religion and each person's understanding of God for them. The connection for anyone with regard to their beliefs is how it develops for them and for myself as well. In my experience never judge another person's understanding of God. And truly important in my case is separation between religious belief and spiritual beliefs. Everyone is spiritual, finding the truth day by day as life unfolds. Everyone has conscience and develops their own moral principles of life. These are the anvils of experience and we hammer out the truth and what works every single day…
I love the expression, "anvils of experience," and the notion of hammering away at life to an extent. Most days for me, learning about peace and serenity it is less hammering and more enquiring and asking for help. At the same time with all the hammering around us of everyone driven by the moment, experience is going to keep on happening and the anvil will be at work inside, and with the emotional spiritual principles, we deal with the good of life, the bad of life and plain ugly of life one day at a time…
“I had a desire to stop drinking.” If I say I am an alcoholic, I am an alcoholic. If you judge me and say I am not an alcoholic of the kind in the big book and that you are of the kind in the big book, you don’t understand unity, service and recovery. A “real alcoholic” is responsible and understands the AA pledge…
Am I the problem or the solution today?
Contingent on the day I ask for help, my step six inventory can lead me to doom. Extremes: of fear, putting on a brave face and ego covering my ignorance, shame and guilt. My step seven shortcomings, short on faith, courage and confidence. Asking for help is humility, and learning follows as we find out what we can do and cannot do, and wisdom to know the difference today…
October 24 2010 ~ Life works with our primary purpose to be sober today. One day long is all we need remind ourselves, or ego can replace humility and our ability to learn, grow and be enriched on our spiritual path. Spiritual, the ability to cope with reality today and sober we are connected to truth love and wisdom as it manifests daily...
October 24 2010 ~ every human need realise we can be right and can be wrong in our outlook, that is how we learn. If ever we become so entrenched we cannot listen to experience, strength and hope shared with us, we lose sight and feeling for truth, love and wisdom in fellowship and society. Change we can today...
“Anvils of Experience” vs. “Anvils of Expedience:” I like tradition ten; indeed I like all the traditions. Here are a couple of views on tradition ten, "Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never to be drawn into public controversy." At the same time every fellow in the fellowship is brimming with personal opinions and long may it be so!
Tradition 10: An Oxymoron?
In theory it is a wonderful Tradition. In reality, there are many controversial issues and opinions that Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (AAWS) becomes involved in.
As the old saying goes, by not making a decision you are making a decision. The same goes for not having an opinion. By not taking sides, in theory, AA cannot put itself in a position other than that of neutrality. When neutral, there is no right or wrong nor is there a chance of problems diverting AA from its primary purpose of helping alcoholics recover if they (the alcoholic) desire to do so.
This Tradition is also some sort of oxymoron. Take 10 alcoholics and ask their opinions. You will probably get at least 12 opinions. All alcoholics have opinions, most of them strong ones. Controversy is what makes AA grow and prosper in a spiritual sense. It has been that way ever since AA began. All one needs to start a meeting is resentment and a coffee pot.
AAWS itself goes into the public courts litigating to protect property. By doing so, AAWS violates the confidentiality and anonymity of individual AA members and thus incites public controversy.
AA the Fellowship and AAWS the business and publishing empire are different entities. As a Spiritual Fellowship, AA members, meetings and groups help carry on this Tradition as it was intended by our founding members. As a business, AAWS has often violated this Tradition and places AA in jeopardy. Just a personal opinion... Mitchell Thankfulness that my "Anvil" is good for a day!
Tradition 10: Keep it Simple
AA could do nothing but die if it was not for this tradition. AA cannot "officially" hold opinion on various issues outside the program that could serve to alienate members who disagreed. I have heard many misinformed folks refer to AA as a cult, if not for tradition 10 it could develop into just that with policy set in New York and the rest of us expected to mentally follow. We would be like a political party.
I believe this tradition is important for individual AA members as well. On many an occasion "opinion" or treatment centre jargon is passed off as “AA lore.” Things like "anyone who smokes cigarettes isn't really sober" or when we attempt to be untrained Medical Doctors dealing with other members health and medication issues. I even read in the most recent Box 459 about a member whose sponsor told her she had to take a new sobriety date because she had surgery and had to have pain medication.
These sorts of opinions can get passed on to newcomers like important parts of the program when in fact they are outside issues. I feel that it is important for me to keep tradition 10 in mind when I share in meetings, the man or woman with the least knowledge of what this program is about is after all the most important person in the room.
AA Daily Reflections ~ "“BY FAITH AND BY WORKS” On anvils of experience, the structure of our Society was hammered out... Thus has it been with A.A. By faith and by works we have been able to build upon the lessons of an incredible experience. They live today in the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, which - God willing - shall sustain us in unity for so long as He may need us. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 131
God has allowed me the right to be wrong in order for our Fellowship to exist as it does today. If I place God’s will first in my life, it is very likely that A.A. as I know it today will remain as it is."
24th October 2006
[from XXXXX] Hi Don,
You mentioned a young sharer. I feel really sad when I see someone not much older than my son, having to face this (or any other) illness. But then you put the positive. That they are coming to terms with sobriety and freedom so quickly. Hopefully the rest of their lives will be enriched with an understanding of themselves that maybe some never find. As long as they can take it a day at a time.
It's nice to hear of your light hearted mood. To me, this really comes across in your posts. Not just the words, but the flow
When you mention that you hope 'Providence and Nature let me hold on to the mood and frame of mind a little longer'. I remember in a previous post you mentioned that, looking back you had no real understanding just how severe a depression you had had for so many months. So now with understanding...just a thought. And I guess I know that’s not how it works with clinical depression. Maybe I'm just hoping that’s how it might be for you, today
Anyway I have posted early as I am taking my son to Cambridge. A CD and red footy socks are on his shopping list! Hopefully it will be dryer than yesterday!
I hope you have a good day Don, XXXXXxx
[from me Don]Thanks XXXXX,
Actually the person who shared and is young, is very together I suspect and matured in many ways given their experiences. There were a lot of similarities about my early life, not all, enough though to give me uneasy recollections.
I am pleased the severity of depression has lifted for now. It is a difficult time in between the differing cycles it goes through and I experience. And today is flat, and I am knick knacked, more a reflection of busy days. There were things I needed to do to help a friend, and now they are done, hopefully a separation in our association will follow on and friendship will get back on track. I am happy to be a friend and as to other matters connected with their life, I need be divorced from them. Fellowship requires an even playing field and not associations outside this which are not based on friendship. There is a potential for misunderstanding and over reliance about in this particular scenario, wisdom favours keeping the friendship and not being involved beyond. Sorry if this is oblique, well it is but needs be left there.
I have found the rain rather pleasant over Sunday, this all over grey though is oppressive on me today. Not good.
Also XXXXX I have been studying the twelfth Step for my own reasons, and actually found its very helpful in separating issues and sorting things out in my own brain box.
For all the meetings I have attended, and the steps, there is nothing like really studying something thoroughly and the words of wisdom in what we call the 12 x 12, well they do give real guidance to living with comfort and ease.
Seems it’s all about practice and action, and not actually about studying, but the study was needed for me, I need to be soaked in something to truly make it work.
South London - News of my Rehab Centre
I go down to Camberwell for reasons not of fellowship but economy where things are more in line with my budget. My old rehab is closing so I am told.
A newsagent told me, and you know what I thought of it. This confirmed the news from a friend of mine who had similar disastrous experiences there. And another friend related the numbers who had not made it recently gave me more grist for my mill. So with half sad and half relief its closing. I am sorry it will not survive and get more able to do its job. But times and outlooks and budgets have their impact. Odd really as my resentments about the place have been put behind me by following the step one powerlessness, step four and five, knowing my part in it all, six and seven about defectiveness and nine and ten about present and future, then eleven and twelve on being reflective and with the programme of AA making my life work and being present with people in it. For the uninitiated it means I don’t give a flying banana about the rehab being open or shut down as there are far better ones out there to help people.
So old angers ebb away and although a visit down memory lane did bring up great black venomous thoughts and feelings in the past, I wonder where they have gone? Certainly not in my Noggin now.
Oh well I am tea boy again tonight, have got the milk already. So I hope your trip to Cambridge was ok XXXXX, a place of learning, smiles its been a long, long time since I went there, to visit and go disco at their campus, about 27 years ago. It was too posh for me back then… Times how they change us, and equal all things out!
Now where are those tea bags…
[from XXXXX] Hi Don,
That was nice to see another post from you. The trip to Cambridge was a success, socks and CD purchased as well as a couple of other treats. I think I can empathise a bit with the 'dogs' tonight
I like your quick flit through the steps. Maybe you could rap it and put it on You Tube And as to your rehab, it's good to feel free. Maybe mine was a good one.
Well I hope your tea boy skills are up to scratch this evening. Do you get a choice of Earl Grey or normal in Chelsea?
Take care XXXXX xx
Don, I hope my joke about the steps hasn’t upset you. I did understand that because of the steps and your AA meetings you have been able to move on in life. XXXXX xx
[from me Don] Hi XXXXX,
no problems here as you know from my email…
How to be Myself
Odd for me to be wondering about this question? Well about last night and making tea…
It was tipping down with rain last night, and I held off as long as I could to see if it would stop so I could cycle down to the meeting on the bike.
During the Day
I had a day of things not being quite the way I intended. And like you XXXXX my "dogs were barking like mad". Diabetic neuropathy! And my feet felt like two hot coals. It was a trip to Camberwell, going by tube, and I have to walk, evenly then slowly as the burning starts. Anyway I went. And on the way back stopped to see if I could use the local pool at the reduced rate they advertise. Anything now to do some exercise and keep the circulation going is necessary in my estimation. I don’t want to lose a limb through inactivity and bad blood sugar control.
In the end after taking the wrong identification stuff I ended up going back twice. And a surprise was with my current health status I can swim for free at the municipal baths. Which was more than I thought as I understood it to be reduced. A good outcome but I had gone as far as nature and medication allowed.
So Last Night
I really favoured using the bike to get me and the supplies to the meeting. I hadn’t eaten properly either so my sugar levels were a bit out and my digestion not right. But the rain came down so I had to walk or be late and keep people standing outside as I have the key.
Brolly, bag of stuff and supplies and walking as it tipped down unrelenting. Sort of all the things to make a person feel like this is the last thing to be doing tonight. But no, even as my "dogs were barking" and the text message to enquire if I was on the way as people were gathering, I trundled there.
I have the key for the hall where we meet so not going was not even a consideration for me.
And I felt ok about getting there. Adversity, a trait we all seem to deal with well, when the noggin is not being, molested by the dark inside…
Tea and Speaking Out
So on arrival, I opened up the hall. Our secretary of the meeting asked if I was able to do the step share tonight, step eight. And my initial reaction as always is default set to NO. Smiles I said no and then yes. Because yes is the right answer. Its part of the programme to be involved and be a part of, and be good about it. And having spent hours reading up on step twelve, which is all about doing our part in the fellowship and doing what is needed to make things work. What else could I say. Other than can I please talk about step twelve, I’ve just done my homework. But it doesn’t work that way. Eight was next and eight is what I needed to share about.
Was a blinking good thing, out of the blue requests are easier to say yes to as stress is minimised and the effect on my blood chemistry is not so pronounced as having time to think about it and get stressed. So making tea and chomping down biscuits to keep my sugar levels up, and the stress could do what it may. A bit high on sugar levels is ok, too low and I am passed out on the floor. A hypo.
Anyway I made tea and spent the time with my co tea maker. Which was the best preparation as she is very calm and collected and made all the right supportive comments. It does not stop the nervous or stressed feelings but I felt better for the support.
I don’t tell people openly my situation
No I don’t usually, I don‘t hide it or fear them knowing. I just don’t go on about all the things I do as well as recovery. It really takes too long and we are there for recovery and not the allied things which we get too, or are we?
Any I do my Chair
The chair is simply me speaking about the relevant step in recovery and the experiences I have of the fellowship. Step eight is,
"Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. "
Between a nervous feeling, which went as soon as I sat Down in front of everyone, I felt tense but ok. And when the introductions and readings from the fellowship books had been done it was for me to speak, unprepared and completely unrehearsed. Not something that appeals to me. And yet I just spoke for twenty minutes about me and step eight and where I have come from, and where I am today.
If you asked me what I said, well I don’t know I could tell you because I have forgotten or left it somewhere in an inaccessible place in my head.., If you asked what people said back to me, I could tell you word for word. But I can’t because its anonymous! And this is frustrating because it was good to hear what everyone said and how they are doing and how their recovery is working or not as the case may be.
Shucks what a bugger, and quite rightly other people’s stuff is their own stuff. Overall though the process it to help everyone get honest and confront old demons and old truths of what we have done, and in this step, said we are truly sorry for our part in things that happened.
What have I done so far?
I have made amends as I can and where I can, it can only be done without harming others by doing so, but to be willing is the key. And to make the list means I am aware of what and when, who and why, and my part in the whole picture. Whether we are forgiven is another thing. We may not be, but still being willing to make a clean sweep is good cathartic and rightful process, to get on with today, and being better able to own our crap in the future.
It is in fact work in progress
Yes indeed it is just this, a work in progress, the steps become part of living and an action centred way of living a life in good conscience. I suspect my fellows who are also good conscience minded and less God oriented probably understood my outlook, that I am responsible and most definitely accountable for what I do and have done. The appeal to those with a faith in God sometimes confuses the issue for me, as to have a God forgiving me does not help me here in the day. I need to be conscious of what I do, and be accountable for it, a day at a time.
Living and behaving in good conscience is my way forward. So as Nature and Providence has afforded me a conscience I do believe accountability is in the present and not to be a final judgment after I have expired!
We all have them and making amends is fine and especially when one can without causing further harm in the process. And ultimately I do answer to my good conscience and the collective conscience of all humans and how they judge the world. A big small thing for me.
Some were pleased, and some I don’t know. But I came back home with a friend and we had tea and they went home pretty late, which is why this post is late today. Well only a little..
My bloody blood sugar was up and down last night, at one point nearly eleven and then down to five. It goes like this, sort of aftershocks from stress related situations. So I am really very tired this morning and have hydrotherapy and exercises to learn on the agenda. I ache from the walking, and it will ease off in time I expect. Meds can just do so much and then not enough to be normal, but able to do more than I would otherwise.
This came up, as I did share all three elements of my condition, type 1 diabetes, clinical depression and recovery. All three impact on me. And as some shared back this one thing about their depressive episodes, they can be managed through therapy and positive talk, and sometimes with some medication, back to proper normal for humans. As to me and some who don’t get that opportunity, we know clinical depression and other types of depression more severe, they just do what they do and we compensate and make best we can of any tools to keep it at bay. And with clinical depression and more severe types of depression, they just run their course and we get better when we can.
And that’s life.
One of my friends came back last night and we talked till late. And put his world and new girlfriend into perspective. He wants me to be in a relationship too as he is healing through his. I have an open mind. My feeling is healing is working with the fellowship and then we shall see where life takes me, simply and just for this day. Smiles.
Just For Today And Every Day, Cherish Always...
Step 10 "Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time factor does distinguish one from another. There's the spot-check inventory, taken at any time of the day, whenever we find ourselves getting tangled up. There's the one we take at day's end, when we review the happenings of the hours just past. Here we cast up a balance sheet, crediting ourselves with things well done, and chalking up debits where due. Then there are those occasions when alone, or in the company of our sponsor or spiritual adviser, we make a careful review of our progress since the last time. Many A.A.'s go in for annual or semi-annual house-cleanings. Many of us also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.”
October 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory
Alcoholics Anonymous | Step Ten Reading Video Link:
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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
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