December 19 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 12 Living Principles Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "just because you tell me I'm thirsty, doesn't mean I'll take a drink," Mr Ed “comedy horse.” Understanding my malady, for many a year I suspect I had some clue about what ailed me. I didn't feel right with the world and I certainly didn't like reality. I didn't feel right, and disliked having to cope in the moment of now. Plausible deniability, about being an alcoholic...
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In my family, community and society, drinking alcohol seemed to be normal and drinking alcohol to excess was very normal in my youth and formative years. Reality was so detestable most of the time, anything that took the edge of reality was deemed a relief. Grandad was always plastered, grandma always depressed and sober. Dad always plastered and mum joined in for a while and then thought better of it. I joined my dad, drinking to feel good, drinking to feel angry, drinking to feel anything at the extremes. And it took decades to understand my malady was simply finding reality disagreeable most of the time… Drowning my sorrows, twenty-four seven, an alcoholic, and a rebel without a pause…
Part of the malady for me, was believing that the natural laws of the universe did not apply to me. Drinking to distraction and oblivion would not impair my ability to cope with life, it would enhance it and make it okay. Like anything, if we keep on doing the same thing over and over again, we become dependent and if we are dealing with an addictive drug, and alcohol and behaviours, we are not immune, we are human and will fall foul of natural biological forces. The suggestion that a little of what you fancy does you good might be true, because it is just a little bit of what you fancy, when it comes to repetitive indulgence, humans are subject to natural biological dependencies… There is no shame in this, it is a question of what to do about it… Plausible deniability nearly killed me…
The problem for most humans becomes apparent when we are over reliant on willpower, self will and pretending to be all right when we clearly are not. Apparently, alcohol enhances social occasions and is a convivial activity. I know in the early days, it used to make me feel stupidly happy and very open and very convivial, took away my fears and helped me in the romance department. I might have been better served with better social skills, being able to interact truthfully and find conviviality without the need to fix my feelings. What a shock, fixing myself to be convivial and put up with things which otherwise would be unacceptable? Probably, usually and definitely in denial about a lot of things…
Part of understanding the malady, the repetitive use of people, places, things and substances to fix myself meant accepting that much of what I had done before was all about fitting in with what everyone else was doing. And having to give up the pretence and to start living life without a fix, really meant starting from scratch. Understanding it was going to be okay and starting from scratch every day is the real key, has made life more meaningful, seeing what I can do and what I cannot do and learning the wisdom to know the difference is now perfectly acceptable to me…
How do I prefer to be today? I am an alcoholic in recovery and a return to the malady, a return to drinking is not going to solve anything. All it would do if I were to drink would be to obliterate my ability to function. I prefer to learn daily what it is like to be open, honest and willing in my approach to living. I sometimes feel I fudge the issues when it comes to small things and find it hard to express my feelings in order to spare the feelings of others. Then I realise I am being dishonest, closed and unwilling in some way or other and have to take a few steps back to a place of honesty. Understanding my malady, makes me realise just how difficult it is to function perfectly. And I am far from perfect, every day in all respects, it is progress and sometimes I have to go backwards before I go forwards. And this can be done, providing I get to bed tonight without a drink. And I can only do this one day at a time…
In the world of fierce competition, work hard play hard were the touchstones. Wine women and song seemed to be the answer, until it turned into vodka, isolation and misery. Now in fellowship, loving and cherishing women and singing occasionally. Enduring friendships with men and women prevail and I never say never to one special love again. Open to life and open to love, be loved and… just for today…
Dear higher power, a friend of mine did the chair last night. He shared his journey, AA for sobriety and then the lid came off, what now? A journey: into mysticism, religion and philosophy by a great intellect. Enlightenment came; AA is for emotional and spiritual living. Feeling able to cope with reality, to love and be loved, useful for today. A whole day with freedom to choose…
When the game is up, the job is lost and those around us know, I don’t feel anonymity helps. It can keep us shut and locked into shame and guilt. Anonymity in fellowship is there to keep us safe long term yes, maybe? Sobriety is a key to unlocking the door to everything where outside help is often very necessary…
December 19 2010 ~ forgive everyone everything and then I can be forgiving towards myself. And yes there are consequences to everything I have done and may do. If I am unable to forgive myself, my self-prejudice will lead to prejudice against others. No blame, no shame keeps me sober and learning today, consequences always...
December 19 2010 ~ secrets keep us stuck in the dark, shame and guilt. Even now I can feel the need to bend the truth, elaborate on the mundane, make my story bigger or smaller to illustrate a point. If and when I do this, I feel the cold ice of fear creep into my bones. Courage, faith and confidence in truth keeps me on track today...
UNDERSTANDING THE MALADY when dealing with an alcoholic, there may be a natural annoyance that a man could be so weak, stupid and irresponsible. Even when you understand the malady better, you may feel this feeling rising. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 139
Having suffered from alcoholism, I should understand the illness, but sometimes I feel annoyance, even contempt, toward a person who cannot make it in A.A. When I feel that way, I am satisfying my false sense of superiority and I must remember, but for the grace of God, there go I.
December 19 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Shy Sharers And Cold Nights
A good day overall, just making sure I am warm and get over the cold. Some have come down with all manner of ailments this week from bugs to virus and infections.
Cold weather brings on the onset of things lurking in the shadows. And of course as the days draw in and dark manifests more than light, the inner being is challenged. Winter depressions for humans are like those in the weather. We don’t seem so good at coping as the cold grips. True for all humans in the temperate climate I feel. We don’t do “weather” too well.
For me though I have been busy trying to get up to date and realise maybe as the year ends I need look to simplify what I do in relation to my website and how it may be.
I do get a few hits now and then, not big numbers like commercial sites. I am not too surprised. Recovery and being in recovery from addiction does not get a wide audience in general. And really this site has been about me and recovery, it has been cathartic. As to what next and how much more there is to do in the current form? I am uncertain.
Whether and weathering. I am worn smooth some of the time and wonder how this may be roughened to have a better edge. Or is it as life becomes more understood and the recovery path has become established I am running out of material? Not really as human doings and life continues.
Kensington Shy Sharers
Always good for me as the people who go are a real mixture of years sober to days sober, and we all seem to know intuitively this meeting and any meeting is good for us. How many should a person attend? As many as a person needs to feel ok and comfortable in the day.
Shy Sharing and Truth Sharing most likely tomorrows topic for me..
Only for a Day
We might expect better results for our efforts and attendance at meetings. Yet it seems we humans can forget what is good for us on a daily basis.
If we were diligent and mindful people in this world, we would learn once and then respond to life appropriate to conditions and good sense. Or common sense, yet to me it seems as much as we have common sense we lose it as fast as we learn it. The World Evolves as each epoch moves along. Human kind have not been around for long on this planet, and our demise may be sooner than later as a race. And we race to consume our world as fast as we may.
So bent out of shape, can we ever put it right? Actually our world of humans has a finite time on this planet. We may have accelerated the demise of many by selfish national endeavours these industrialised years. The world however will go on with or without us.
Our Human World
As we live, so we the custodians for our lifetime, and we may find there is little more to it than that. We do however have a duty of care to future generations? I wonder how we care for those starving today, do we care or is it just too hard to contemplate and bring our human selves together and work to make less suffering and more improved living for us all.
So many conflicts, so many great causes we cannot often see beyond this element of self. Self-interest…
Acceptance of how life is today.. I am uncertain what we may do to make good life as we have come to know it. As we have, so others have not. Never ending.
A.A. Thought For The Day
The sceptic and the agnostic say it is impossible for us to find the answer to life. Many have tried and failed. But many have put aside intellectual pride and have said to themselves: Who am I to say there is no God? Who am I to say there is no purpose in life? The atheist makes a declaration: "The world originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere." Others live for the moment and do not even think about why they are here or where they are going. They might as well be clams on the bottom of the ocean, protected by their hard shells of indifference. They do not care. Do I care where I am going?
Meditation For The Day
We may consider the material world as the clay which the artist works with, to make of it something beautiful or ugly. We need not fear material things, which are neither good nor bad in the moral sense. There seems to be no active force for evil--outside of human beings themselves. Humans alone can have either evil intentions--resentments, malevolence, hate and revenge--or good intentions--love and good will. They can make something ugly or something beautiful out of the clay of their lives.
Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may make something beautiful out of my life.
I pray that I may be a good artisan of the materials which
I have been given to use.
As Bill Sees It
Rebellion Or Acceptance, p.293
All of us pass through the times when we can pray only with the greatest exertion. Occasionally we go even further than this. We are seized with a rebellion so sickening that we simply won't pray. When these things happen, we should not think too ill of ourselves. We should simply resume prayer as soon as we can, doing what we know to be good for us. A man who persists in prayer finds himself in possession of great gifts. When he has to deal with hard circumstances, he finds he can face them. He can accept himself and the world around him. He can do this because he now accepts a God who is All--and who loves all. When he says, "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name," he deeply and humbly means it. When in good meditation and thus freed from the clamours of the world, he knows that he's in God's hands, that his own ultimate destiny is really secure, here and hereafter, come what may. 1. TWELVE AND TWELVE, p. 105 2. GRAPEVINE, JUNE 1958
19th December 2006
Faith blah blah blah..
Its been a good day overall, some serenity, some contacts from the past and much to do. With a few limit’s the day has worked out pretty well. And more than good in the desire to spend money department. I don’t know what it is, but sometimes I feel the need to spend. Fortunately on a limited budget the feeling goes away as quickly as it comes these days. I am not attracted by big sign which suggests massive savings these days. The way to save money is not to spend it or consider a few quid spent now will somehow miraculously become available again.
I saw my mother this morning, always a delight and always interesting. At 75 years old, with what seems like a thousand years of knowledge readily available to her, she provides a lot of wisdom, and for me its an essential part of the family connection. A wiser and often overlooked wisdom in many families, simply because people are just too busy with their own solutions to living, and not necessarily thoughtful to find wisdom where it resides, in wise old heads.
It struck me today, that although I have made it past my sell by date, in the scheme of things being alive now is quite a minor miracle. With type 1 diabetes and other incurable maladies like clinical depression and alcoholism, well it is good to reflect today I am alive by virtue of modern science and modern understanding of courage and faith. Actually my understanding of courage and faith is as old as time and part of the story of nature and providence.
We are all living longer
Yes we are indeed as life expectancy has been pushed ever higher, the accumulated wisdoms of this world grow a little deeper with each day. Old ideas of other millennia, still haunt us as we try make sense of this present day, our history, the myths and legends of other times, and what living is all about..
Simply we are best able to make our lives work in the present moment. And as far as history goes, its full of lessons and consequences, in our own world and the real world of now.
Older wiser, more daft, and dafter?
Some of us do learn that as we make use of longevity, provided by providence and nature, we are more able to enjoy a few years more. We can learn more, understand more, or get more dogmatic and forget the plot more. It seems we have every opportunity to ossify, and fall on our faith, if faith is the answer. Yet faith is not that.
After making the trip to see my Mum, and a necessary trip to check out what I cannot afford, I was out of walking distance. Neuropathy courtesy of the progression in my diabetes disease, it means only walking so far, and I am done for. Walking through pain is not recommended in my opinion, it means the after effects of pain are much worse and much harder in time to get over.
Tonight was ok, I got down to the Bolton’s for the step meeting I attend with AA. And being Tea Boy, got the necessaries like milk. No rain tonight so able to get there on the bike. Riding a bike is not as painful as walking so I can get there reasonably ok, and now from standing the pain is pretty severe for me.
Tonight’s subject step two:” Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”
Now here is a subject for the contentious like me and others who have faith and courage. Many people who have faith, are able to understand their faith in humanity and for some this extends to there being a God, a higher power if you will, or won’t.
The nature of powers greater than us is to knock some sense into the addled alcoholic brain, that we are not the centre of the universe and we have taken little or no advice and ended up in the crap of being alcoholics. And actually by the time we realise we are in it, and others realise it is truly too late to reverse time, put back the clock and find a way to drink alcohol again. We are parched when we don’t, and thirsty when we do. And the idea of a higher power, it’s the opportunity to realise we don’t know what is good for us, as in our insanity we have no will to stop our self-harm through drink.
Now for me along the way by some years, in consideration of God, Nature and Providence. And having learned that there is more wisdom in this world than just me, I take advice from those I can trust, and from those who can help me stay safe and sober a day at a time. The idea that God chooses to help me, now I have utilised my addictive nature and got hooked, well it’s a bit of a stretch for me. I am actually an addict, and as addicts do, they go back to self-harm to seek oblivion from this world which hurts so much. Indeed addiction is only a self-maintenance task after all the pleasure is done and over. We cannot function without it, without being detoxed and sorted with sobriety. As to God and the role of a deity. Well I can accept there is more to this world than I know and can see. Yet to suggest God removes defects and drinking habits, actually I look to good conscience and people who with faith in themselves and unity provide a basis for recovery. God is best left to get with whatever God does. We know beyond a shadow of doubt anyone can be an addict. And for that matter anyone can be bad to themselves and others. And through providence and wisdom, maybe, just maybe they and I get over it, and I get over doing self-harming things to me too.
So a rather interesting share and then more connections made.
Alcoholism, Depression and other Maladies
So it seems there are many associated conditions besides the self-medication to oblivion to let go the world of hurts. As I have three and complications, I see my part in my downfall if you like. And I don’t need to understand that Providence or a God made this possible, I did. And like most who get hooked we have no will to stop and seek our needs as we may. It has little to do with a God. It has everything to do with making good on wisdom and behaviour learned and adjusted to good conscience and living. That is our way back to living.
And in all this much denial, much to do with faith, much to do with fear. And if we really get down to it, the way out and back to ordinary living whatever we feel that is, is through hard work, putting ourselves back together and utilising wisdom learned. No sane person can ever understand the insanity of self-harm, it makes no sense at all.
Yet for the bewildered like me, its easy to see, that a new path, a set of principles, and some higher power than me can activate the good and good conscience of me.
Some in the fellowship
Now some in the fellowship do relate all their life and maladies to being in remission simply through the power of faith in God. And for me it is truly their opinion and their outlook. Many have made their way to the AA fellowship and left because they don’t get this notion of higher power.
For me it is quite simple, lots of people have combined wisdom, lots of people have found a way back to modern living. Lots of people believe in God, and lots of people just don’t know. We do know that two heads are better than one. And when it comes to experts who are in recovery, and what to do, I defer to the combined wisdoms learned over decades in the fellowship.
As to other higher powers
Depression is something I have had all my life. A distortion from ordinary caused by a lack of chemicals which my brain needs to function to ordinary. And I need help to get to ordinary. When I don’t get the help, I slip back into the blackness where nothing ever feels right. And that’s a certainty. No power of another world or spirit of faith has ever lifted this condition. And it is not lack of belief in God which makes me ill. It is a chemistry set broken or in my case lacking some ingredients and manufacturing base inside me.
Health and diet can help. And to a degree cognitive behavioural therapy. Not unlike AA to make the best of what I have
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I then got diabetes, which in fact was acquired long after I was given a clean bill of health after I got into recovery. So there is no guilt or shame or wondering about being punished for my living. It was not of God‘s handiwork, it was a virus or shock to the system, from a tooth extraction most likely. And whatever the reason it matters not. I don’t mind if it was me, it matters not, just that I need treat it.
Some people believe that its all part of a deities plan to make us sick so we learn some humility and turn to faith will makes us better again. I don’t believe that for a moment. To be punished in some way. Actually I do believe in consequences. We live and get chances based on location, and time. This means we are subject to natural laws and Providence and Nature. We know some of us have long or short lives, and some get better starts and some get crap starts. Some never stand a chance and some never know what living is at all. Its all a bit hit and miss, happenstance and serendipity.
Its not easy to listen to someone suggest we are all God’s children and we are here to be thankful for all we receive. And actually it does not help me when its said by someone in rude health either. So the notion has some smack of piety for me.
Simply because it is plain and obvious to me that some people need more help than others to keep well. And anyone who suggests that addicts with other ailments are better to give up and not follow medical advice, well its plain madness. As if God wanted us to suffer. Nope not for me, we have a life, we are a growing civilisation, we make science work and we understand how to keep people alive with help and understanding and faith in humanity. The notion of purity, coming out of the insanity of alcoholism, that its down to God? Well I cannot rule it out, yet wisdom learned leads me other ways.
God - Good orderly direction - Good Conscience
If you believe in God, its none of my business. If you believe in God and suggest I am better in pure states without medical assistance you can get lost and shove it up your arse.
As to people in the know regarding spiritual progress. Its right here and now, where we learn to see reality without filters, without denials and without bunkum generated from piety.
We don’t need piety we need reality, good conscience a recognition of the perfectly imperfect moment of now. We don’t need half-baked oracles stuck up their own backsides full of twaddle and bull. We need some science, some faith, and an understanding of the Nature of this world and what Providence truly is. Some are shackled to their belief, some use their faith to be free.
The choice and belief, to good conscience, and faith to be courageous comes from humanity, fellowship and understanding the world as it is, not as we are led to defer, so we are never scared of the bogey man imagined in those nightmares and dreams. How is it that we are able to debate this at all? Because we are all growing in wisdom if we choose this path, and faith finds its place in our repertoire of living, just one day at a time..
Actually I do believe in God, just not the one in your head. And that is acceptance for me. May your god be with you…
December 19th 2005
God & Good are one in the same
The mind that rests only on the surface of things will be tossed about in every storm. Let me dive deep to where peace can always be found.
Sometimes we wonder why we seem to be tossed here and there, out of control, or running from one event to another. Along the way we pick up all sorts of ideas about what makes us happy, what we want from the world, what makes the difference.
We have some things inside us, our confidence and ego have a lot to do with how we feel and think. Sometimes I wonder if we make it all too complicated. That we make our lives worse by trying to make them better.
For a long time I have had problems with any form of organised approach to the meaning of life. Things like organised religion make me feel awkward, suspicious and rebellious before I have even opened a book or start a conversation with a 'believer'. I don't know why I should feel awkward or do I? The answer is I don't want to put a spanner in someone else's works, I don’t want to play down what works for others, for I have no monopoly on right. Yet anything, which has certain elements, makes me want to challenge and question.
When it comes to the spiritual, we enter this world alone and leave it alone. At least that is what I feel is true. A collective, a heaven and a place where we all become more enlightened or receive rewards for our life here on earth brings doubt into my mind. Yet there is no doubt in my mind that we do experience more than we might imagine, more than the five senses at our ready disposal, and we can feel connections where there is no solid evidence.
And the notion that one humans experience is either a template or a body of wisdom to idolise, well that makes me very wary. And when someone suggests God told them something, or God wrote a book, or God is watching me, I really do get very suspicious. God as far as I am aware has never uttered a single word. And as far as I know God has never put pen to paper. And as far as I know God, good is probably short for good!
We all have good in us. We all have conscience and instinctively we know good from bad. Our feelings make most of this abundantly clear. Where we get into a lot of heartache is around our interpretation, our distortion of most good we encounter. When we our out of balance with our good side, we use our thinking and intellect to bend our will and others to a point of view, usually our own view and our own self-interest. So nature in my opinion provided a template of good, that is nature provides for the good.
Our nurture has moved us along many strands of thought, society and culture developed on top of what we got from Nature.
Sounds plausible to me. So when others try to persuade me to a view, a way of living, it most certainly is well received when it is to the common good.
When others would suggest, after great thought and self-interest to join their belief system, not to the good of all, I tend to go my own way. Most religions turn me off. Most people I meet with good in their hearts are welcome, even if they are inside a group, because despite everything good comes to the fore eventually. Good is from nature. Good comes from our conscience. And so good conscience is usually consistent with my belief about God, and God is just a convenient abbreviation for everything we hold to the good. So when people say that God is love, I am very happy. You may have noticed that one emotion above all else is number one. Love. And from love every other emotion is derived. We have love, we have every emotion ever felt and ever described in each of us. Love certainly does conquer all, well eventually, its where we start and where we end.
December 19th 2004
When I inspire enthusiasm and confidence in those around me, my own self-esteem flourishes.
Our world can bring us much self-confidence, providing we are aware of those small doubts which undermine us. The gift of confidence may need to be the equal of doubt. It is that which enables us to change with positive feelings and the doubt is just a challenge to our feelings and thoughts.
There are many who will support us as we move with our lives, and others less certain, each with a voice.
Listen with care to the inner voice of your conscience, the voice of wonder and fulfilment. The voice of bewilderment too. Let go the negative as we move to the positive, keep clear your channel to the inner voice of enquiry, the voice of accepting the world as it is, and the changes we can make, if so inclined.
Wisdom rests on experience. Experience is our teacher, for good and life’s lessons. Let go the bad, and embrace the good, using experience as your compass and your inner voice for guidance. Embrace your life...
Just For Today And Every Day, Cherish Always...
“Awakening as the result of what? The result, or consequence of taking the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is a Spiritual Awakening. Please reflect that this step does not say the awakening comes as the result of taking steps 1 through 11, those preceding Step 12. On the contrary, the awakening comes as the result of taking these (all of the twelve) steps, including Step 12. (If you disagree, that is wonderful. Keep on digesting these steps.)” Big Book Bunch
December 2012 | Playlist About Step Twelve: Step Twelve Playlist
AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve
AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections
December 2012 | Step Twelve Reading Video Link:
December 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
December 2012 | Video Reading A Vision For You:
December 2012 | Video About Grief And Depression