Wednesday, 31 October 2012

October 31 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous

October 31 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "fellowship controversial… No!" Experience, strength and hope is what we share about sobriety and how it works on a daily basis. I know every single person in the fellowship has personal beliefs, views and opinions about everything and long may it be so. These are our differences which make society so diverse, and fundamentally a melting pot of ideas, imagination and the drive to be a part of something so much bigger, humanity…

Video For Today:

Reluctant Sober Student

A wonderful meeting last night, all about the spiritual experience of life and what it might be. The reading from the big book, appendix II tries to share about what a spiritual experience might be. Some people in recovery found God, and became more God conscious. Some people found that the spiritual experience is more of an educational variety. As all living is educational, some improve their outlook with good conscience and the principles of the steps: open, honest and willing to keep learning life and the traditions: in unity, service and recovery. We work together to be sober, and the rest of life happens as it may, and as the opportunities unfold…

Hearing people relate how the spiritual experience happens for them is wonderful. And it is often quite different and unexpected. For example, many people mention step three, let go and let God, or let go and let in the world and listen to the people in the world and how life is working for them. Fellowship is never about becoming a clone or finding the answer to life and how to live it. Each and every day the spiritual experience is happening moment by moment. The more we let go of old ideas and old ideologies around people, places and things, the more we open ourselves up to the whole world of all the people, all the places and all the things we can experience today…

I find life more open these days, and I can be open to all the experiences that may be on offer, the more I let go of old ideas and old behaviour. The old ideas and old ideology of drink and celebration of being the best needed to be let go, because they were based on old notions of fear, brave face and ego to show the world I could make it on my own and prove it over and over. The new ideas and less of the ideology is simply having the courage to change as life is changing, having faith in doing the next right thing and if not sure asking for help, and develop confidence by making mistakes and learning and having the humility to keep on learning in the moment, the imperfectly perfect moment of now…

A religious leader in my country was asked this question: "what is spiritual?" He needed no time to answer it, he simply said, "spiritual is the ability to cope with reality." Although I am not a religious person, I understood exactly what they were saying. And it proved to be so helpful to me in my recovery. When I became a member of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and started to understand it was an emotional and spiritual fellowship, I stumbled when it came to an understanding of God, throughout my life I feel like I wanted to believe in God, but could not, then at times felt like an atheist, and settled on agnostic, because I just didn't know the answer. And today, I don't need to know the answer, although my views are similar to what Gandhi said, "God is truth and God is love." And if this is so I am happy that God works through people who share the truth and understand how to love, and be loved back in the moment of now…

DonInLondon 2005-2011

The fellowship aims to “AVOID CONTROVERSY:” by having one primary purpose, sobriety. Thank you founders and so good we can all have our own opinions on outside matters. We hear them, we share them, and we get quite heated about them, all the issues of life today. And still we are sober, one day at a time …

Great meeting last night, a chair which made me realise the importance of the steps, living principles to keep sober. The newcomer, how crucial it is to include them and support them and then fantastic sharing of life stories. And then a group conscience, which worked and made good suggestions to keep the group safe and secure by doing virtually nothing!

Question asked several times from all over the world about how to help a person deal with their own addiction. Highly intelligent people often try think their way out of the problem, just like I did [me average intelligent with a big ego back then]. Believing I had the power to cure myself and others. Now I understand It does take a village to raise a child, and a fellowship to keep me sober…

DonInLondon 2005-2010

October 31 2010 ~ my head used to be full of judgments I would share on others’ lives and their problems. I learned the seal of confidentiality the hard way in my early twenties, and still broke the seal a couple of times along the way. Harm done immeasurable back then, always I endeavour to let go judging others and work on my conduct today...

October 31 2010 ~ I need never be ashamed of being in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, the fellowship saved my life when I could not find a way to be sober today. I can say I am in AA that is my business to share if I choose. AA for sobriety, so I may live a unique, authentic and ordinary life, challenged daily like everyone else...

Sunday Bloody Sunday ~ olden days and internal battles as work loomed. I never seemed to be able to switch off and enjoy my weekends during heady career day’s back then in the insanity of trying to be everything all the time. And that song Sunday bloody Sunday, summed up the war in my head of trying to do the right thing all the time. Thinking and planning, problem solving, always a full brief case and a diary full up months ahead…

A happy Sunday today, with an agenda, an open honest willing outlook and a day with plans. Completely flexible and subject to change as the day can change, it has been another busy day. I started my day with a dear god, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.

An exhortation or request to a higher power, to be able to learn what I can do, and cannot do today because there are limits. I have a lot to do and cannot do everything I might wish because I am human. And with the outlook of progress not perfection, I have a better chance of good outcomes as my good conscience suggests, give myself a break for being human and not superhuman. To be able to give and take, go with the flow, all good reminders. As the clocks went back an hour here in London, I was up at four rather than five this morning. And busy with things to do.

Morning reflections as I share in my head or out loud, step one and powerless over people places and things, step two is sanity restored daily contingent on my connection to a power greater than me, that is wisdom of others who can help me and I can help them. And step three letting go of self will and self-obsession, so I can be influenced and learn from anyone today.

I can be open and learn today, I don’t have to be right, I need humility and welcome change as learning is forever. As we learn more, we see we do not control, we experience life as it is and have choices.

A visit from a friend, laughter and funny moments shared with coffee and croissants. All too brief an encounter! And some editing of yesterday’s photographs until lunch with family close by in a beautiful restaurant Bibendum - "The most consistently excellent restaurant" also known as the Michelin Building. I live right next door. And it was a wonderful experience, and beautiful company.

Family always ask me if they were right to let me alone in my drinking days at the end. And an emphatic yes, because if I could not stop, how could they stop me. All the way down to rock bottom. And only by chance did I get the moment of clarity, I could not break my alcoholic behaviour without help, which came from those who knew how, and shared their path into sober life.

Attending a meeting tonight, where I am temporary co-greeter, and temporary co-treasurer and now temporary literature person whilst another is working away just for a while. All temporary until the posts are filled in good time. Unity service and recovery, all part of the life we lead today. People need time to make their minds up, always suggestions and never edicts from anyone to anyone else.

It was a great, to laugh and to feel sad as stories of today and other days are shared. When a meeting can share decades of wisdom and we are open to hear everything, listening is definitely a skill we need practice every day.

And finally a phone call to share the day and hope for calm with a friend. And upload some photo’s, write a note, and so to bed. Step ten done, gratitude for a day full and an empty head just now, with room to sleep and dream…


AA Daily Reflections ~ "AVOIDING CONTROVERSY October 31 All history affords us the spectacle of striving nations and groups finally torn asunder because they were designed for, or tempted into, controversy. Others fell apart because of sheer self-righteousness while trying to enforce upon the rest of mankind some millennium of their own specification. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 176

As an A.A. member and sponsor, I know I can cause real damage if I yield to temptation and give opinions and advice on another’s medical, marital, or religious problems. I am not a doctor, counsellor, or lawyer. I cannot tell anyone how he or she should live; however, I can share how I came through similar situations without drinking, and how A.A.’s Steps and Traditions help me in dealing with my life."

October 31 2007

DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Matters Emotional Spiritual and Physical

With a little help from my friends

Do we need anybody? We need somebody to love. Love starts when we look in the mirror and can accept who we see, as we are, with what we have.

Letter to a friend

Hi [xxxxxx],

always good to hear from you, I still have the Starbucks Coffee credit card ready to be utilised on your return to the world of Chelsea and all its foibles.

I have to smile when last in residence at the hospital my regime, once I was allowed to leave my hospital bed, meant that a nurse had to inspect much of what went into me and out of me. There were no sophisticated manuals with types of empties from me! So it was a confusing time. I know other civilised societies inspect what goes in and out of a person as routine and usual. We in the UK seem more bashful and unable to share these normal daily functions. I blame the Victorians as there are few about these days..

So I am glad you are on the mend.

When we spoke last I was just moving in and you mentioned how long it takes to make a home, and that I would need a long time. I see you are right as usual. Because we start to get normal living nearer a day at a time, we forget so quickly how much we have endured.

The years of homelessness for example, and never feeling quite right or with anything to hold on to, except maybe in our lucky break to find fellowships. It seems we have to recognise the shift from living in the problem to living in the solution.

If only it were that simple!

Problems to Solutions

I realise I can be full of rhetoric about how life changes, yet it is the rhetoric which keeps me going. that inside plot of mine has definitely changed. I need the solutions, not the problems. yet the problems are manifest and its easy for me to show up, and maybe underemphasise the hard and difficult path which I tread daily.


In finding the truth of recovery if feels really right to emphasise this horrible yet absolutely wonderful truth, that everything is for a day. And my recovery wanders forwards and backwards, then a lot of times recently its been in a balanced place of manageable choices and right sized steps.

All this really means is I recognise where I am today. And many might want to run away from what I need face daily. Recovery and addictions, Type 1 Diabetic and Clinical depression take a lot of basic and one step in front of the other type behaviour.

So I say this with a happy head this morning, I am glad you understand what it takes for me to keep this going one day at a time. And know it’s because you too have equal if not a myriad of more issues to contend with daily too. And I recognise the faith and courage that takes.

You and I, well I feel we are both good at helping others and somehow get this as part of our way forward, our path, to be consistent and supporting people we meet on our ever changing living.


I know this is something I do, I help others often and don’t dwell on me or my pain. And as we both know pain is emotional, physical and spiritual, we know we can push ours away for a while when we get busy supporting others.

Like you, every time I was in hospital, and this is before and after I found recovery in fellowship, I was out of my hospital bed doing things for others on the wards. Blinking good in many ways. Yet always it seems it was a good way not to feel bad about being ill. Or indeed just feel ashamed and guilty I was not a perfect specimen of humanity.

For Me and Chronic Conditions

My Step Uncle, a man I have admired and loved for decades as a real parent, as well as my own, he has had chronic medical conditions all his life. He is not a stoic person, he is a man who knows how to accept and get used to how things are and then make the best of them.

I realise at last that my chronic conditions will not go away and they leave me with lots to do just to put one foot in front of the other sometimes. And other times I need take advice and do as I am told.

It’s another day today. My Brother is going for a check up on health matters. He may be ok or not, we shall have to wait and see. At least he is doing the right thing, and I know having done one or two tests on him that no big damage has been done so far if he has what we suspect. It’s good to have to testing equipment for my bodily functions daily, as routine or my routine life might expire through neglect very quickly.

Brave Faces, Vocations and Recovery

I am a mixture of these things these days. I have three rather difficult chronic conditions. Which will never be cured, yet I am satisfied I have them and can do what it takes to deal with in a one day recovery mode. Acceptance of this is my key, they will be there forever, and it’s not my opinion, it’s a medical truth today.

Just for Today

We know it so well. We in recovery that is.

Justifying our place on this planet!

We do feel this ‘less than good enough’ pull to make ourselves feel guilty and shamed by society and worse by ourselves as we sit as judge and jury on ourselves. We sensitive types who swing from impossible highs and success and then dive like leaden objects into dreadful slumps..


As I need insulin, I take it as my tests daily indicate what measure is required. As with my physical conditions as nerve damage progresses and leaves me in pain so acute sometimes I fear I may not stand it, I take my medication for that too.

As my level outlook is conditional on finding serenity, that is a level place where sorrow or happiness can be experienced as normal people do, I take my medication for that too.

Judge and Jury - specialist support

I can judge and be my own jury in recovery, and analyse and get feedback from people who know me well. Family and friends, doctors and specialists.

I heed their advice, I stop the debate on ‘less than thinking and feeling’ and do as I am told.

I want to be free as the song goes. And freedom to feel ok, think ok, and be ok are all part of my recovery programme, and actually most of it is about keeping safe and being well enough to squeeze the goodness in a day into me.

The Debate and Committee in My Head

I have given up the notion that recovery and fellowship require me to be a pure person when it comes to living. There is no pure path to recovery, and there are misguided people in life as well as fellowships who feel they know better than we know our own experience. ‘Do Gooders’ or as we know them often ‘Bleeding Deacons’ and ‘Visioners‘, not yet touched by human maladies, except for addiction of course. And they in their insane way judge others less fortunate than them.


Many fellowship people have purged themselves and made good their lives with a body chemistry which allows for living well and being ok as nature intends. So lucky they are, and so dangerous to some like me who have a life with chronic conditions managed by nature and nurture, and a first class set of specialists.

Yet the ‘purged’ face health issues as do others. Often those with faith in a God which is perceived as a deity find it harsh when they get struck down by illness and often die in their ignorance sooner rather than later. Waiting for god to mend them in their good living, rather than realise the truth.

If I had purged myself, then I would be dead as a door nail years ago on the purist’s fast track to healthy living!

Living and Acceptance

Is getting the best advice from sources who know, have studied and have professional outlooks. As well of course from the purists too, who live conveniently well in their delusions about how to judge others and their health needs.


Is all around us as we see this mad world heed and then deny truths so obvious it makes us more mad and more depressed.

Not Me!

Well not this morning anyways, where I listen and heed advice, go and seek professional support. And I am glad you do too. Yet a lot of people fear the exposure of their conditions and live in utter denial and pretend to be ok

Fake It To Make It

Means we do things to feel and look right. I have done this in the past and it served to put me in denial all over again and again.

We want and need to feel as best we can. So the best for me is advice where sourced and truth can be found.

Spiritual - Ephemeral Truth

I know truth is out there. And often I or me, that denial can cloud my frustrations and make me do things to my detriment. Courage and faith help me strive and find boundaries, and then exceed those boundaries as recovery affords. Some boundaries and milestones for me are done in my living. I need not deny them, I need find them and make good my life as life is for living. Truth is my anchor, my key to acceptance and not some mumbo jumbo from eons back where mankind learned to manipulate and speak opinion as truth.

Truth is Spiritual

In the moment of now. Reality is not wishful thinking, reality is best embraced and denial falls away.

Truth may be my God

And actually my God I understand today is truth [thanks to Ghandi] in this moment, not anything else but, Truth. When we heed the truth and make good, we get the spiritual of now. That is the God of my understanding - Truth absolute in the moment of now. We cannot negotiate truth, we can deny it though. We can make life work as best we can with what we have and good support along the way.


For me is dependent on listening making good on the good there is from others and the god of my understanding. Forever changing as life informs me what next and my direction, Just For today

[ the context of this post was in a letter to a friend I admire and hold in high esteem. A friend with as many issues as me and more no doubt, as they are fortunately at least a decade younger than me and so have more time to find happiness and sadness as life deals. Glad they do too..]

Just For Today And Every Day, Cherish Always...




AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections

AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve


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:

October 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:

October 2012 | Video Reading Into Action :

October 2012 | Playlist All About Step Ten :

Step Ten Playlist

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


About Psychosis And Depression:

Psychosis And Depression

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