Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | February 19 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 2 "Sanity"

Alcoholics Anonymous | February 19 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 2 "Sanity" | "the gift of acceptance and the gift of desperation…" My new life in recovery, all about the gift of acceptance and gratitude to be sober first and foremost, so that the rest of my life can work: emotional and spiritual, where feelings fit the reality of now and I can cope, and if I cannot cope, I ask for help… I had no gift of desperation, maybe I just had the gift of emptiness and a realisation without help I was going to die sooner or later in a pickle and pickled…

Video For Today:

Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Gift Of Acceptance"

I feel the gift of desperation assumes that I wanted to live. I was way past that, and I don't know that it is helpful to suggest that driven by fear, or a thousand forms of fear, actually made the difference. Looking back, I am uncertain, and it is hard to work out whether the gift of desperation has much meaning for me these days. Driven mad by drink, my feelings were fearing being alive, rather than fearing being dead. Alive, the journey back to reality was going to be very difficult and it was only when I realised that it was okay to be unable to stop drinking and not being able to stop without help, that it dawned on me that life could get no worse. Sobriety proved the assumption wrong, initially life did get worse, simply because all the suppressed feelings from over the years erupted, coupled with homelessness and abject misery and total powerlessness… A friend remarked recently, the last six months of drinking and the first six months of sobriety are a make or break situation, he was right…


Being restored to sanity, simply implies that we got to a place of insanity. And that's true, because it is insane to drink yourself to death. Either slowly or quickly, a living nightmare, where addiction takes over and all we want is oblivion and the pain to stop. And realising that I was going to face really tough times and I had to go with the flow of not drinking and then living the horror of those early days. We tend to make light of just how horrible recovery can be in early days, so that? I don't know why we do, maybe we don't want to put people off trying, when we share about it, or we just feel unable to live the story again. Odd, for most people, if we are lucky we forget the pain and we emerge into a place of acceptance of reality one day at a time…


The gift of acceptance: every single day we are faced with life on life's terms, which means that we continually encounter the good, bad and ugly daily. And then what we do about it, sober first and then the freedom to be a human being living a human existence. Acceptance of life on life's terms does not mean we are downtrodden and servile, it means we can make the best of what we have when our needs are met and our feelings and our thinking and our actions are more clear, making the best choices that we can determine. And when we are unsure, we can ask for help, and realistically, sometimes we get it, and sometimes we don't. Acceptance, is a continual rollercoaster where our feelings are rising and falling. Depending on the issues we are dealing with, sometimes feelings are extreme, sometimes feeling quite serene, sometimes feelings are deeply loving and of course the opposite can be true in the world of acceptance. Feelings are real, what we think next and the actions we take are the choices we make today. Today we accept some of the time we can do things and some of the time we cannot do things and our wisdom to know the difference is growing daily? Only if you are checking on your sanity being restored one day at a time…


Common ground in fellowship! A desire to stop drinking and help others in the same boat, one day at a time. Depending on your personal beliefs, and please develop your own personal beliefs and opinions about how the steps work for you, you are adding your own understanding to how the twelve steps work in your life. By sharing experience strength and hope, the common ground is fertile with many ideas, beliefs and opinions. It will always be the many ideas, beliefs and opinions which help me be restored to sanity and the freedom to choose the actions I can take to improve my emotional and spiritual living. The morality that each person develops is their own journey and how they apply themselves to life needs to be a personal journey. I always resist joining anything in the hope that I might adopt and become like you. I don't want to be like you, I don't want to change what you are becoming and if anyone is strong arming you into being something you are not tell them to fuck off and mind their own business. Every single day!


I don't know why. Somebody said it to me yesterday, that I needed to go to anonymous fellowships, because in their opinion I had not attended any. And this is the judgement that is often handed down by those who peddle the notion that they speak for God and Jesus. A bit like fellowship, there are no leaders, and we are trusted servants, and when people judge others as defective because they don't hold the same opinion and beliefs, I suggest the defects of the peddler are very obvious in the mirror, ego sanctimony and piety dripping with righteousness. Every bloody day! Those who believe in God and Jesus 99% of the time offer the best advice and suggestions about my welfare, 1% however have taken it a bit too far in my opinion… And they are definitely not sane today? I don't know and I don't need to know about the 1%...


I am allowed to be angry, I am allowed to share my experience, strength and hope about people who keep on telling each other what to do. And the irony is that some people in fellowship forget there are no rules or regulations to undermine and cause power struggles. Everything is done through the group conscience, and sometimes these can get hijacked by malfeasance and ideology. There is nothing in the fellowship, suggestions or traditions, which suggests that anyone ought to adopt any ideology, AA is for sobriety, and that is its primary purpose, and when individuals bend it their way, in time, it will spring back to being common ground and a common purpose where people can have their own views and opinions, and not be told what to do. Or I would be dead by now…


So I don't mind anyone believing in anything particularly, as long as you keep working the twelve steps and sharing how they work for you, that is perfect! And as other people being restored to sanity on a daily basis, they too can have their freedom of choice in beliefs and opinions on all matters. I do believe in a higher power, and I do believe the higher power works through people, 99% of the time people working together provide solutions bigger than themselves. God does not work in mysterious ways, most people who believe in God, work very hard at learning the truth, how to love and how to be loved back and learning the wisdom of life. And I have the utmost admiration and seek help often from those who believe and understand things far bigger than me…


As the Rolling Stones, said, "hey you get off my cloud" and the same applies to me, I need not get on your cloud either! Love one another and encourage learning and humility, how to be open, honest and willing to change, living to the truth, love and wisdom of now seems to be a good way forward. One day at a time…




Alcoholics Anonymous | February 19 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 2 "Sanity" | Today's AA daily: "I'm not different." And yet inside I considered myself very special and different because I was not like you, the real alcoholic. Looking back, in my early days I didn't want to be like them and I sat in meetings judging other people as they shared their experience, strength and hope of their recovery… I knew I could see why they were alcoholics, and I had yet to admit and accept I was really an alcoholic and so similar to everyone else…


Video For Today:


2009 - 2012


Even now if I don't remind myself that I need to listen to the similarities and not differences when I'm in meetings, I can easily start to judge and think badly about those sharing and equally badly about me not being good enough even as an alcoholic. If I do listen to the similarities and the solutions I start to feel right, as my emotions settle and I can listen to the wisdom being shared. If I feel right, I start to think right and so my actions tend to be focused in the solution rather than judging the problem, and the problem is usually me…


Our societies are not equal because of history and because? It doesn't matter when it comes to recovery, we have the similarity, a desire to be sober one day at a time and work together in unity service and recovery. As we remind ourselves that we are a "Fellowship" and a society of equals, each with our part to play, there is no exclusion by those who understand the real gift of Fellowship and included we all keep sober one day at a time…


It is a beautiful Sunday morning here in London UK, it has been a difficult week with many challenges. Initiating routine medical tests for type I diabetes which includes blood tests, eye tests etc., following up on dental requirements and dealing with the effects of a flu jab. Who would've thought a flu jab would impact so detrimentally I could not function for a few days… But this morning, a blue sky and sunshine, being able to eat food and feel simply okay makes all the difference, and with a meeting I will become closer to being restored to sanity on a daily basis…


DonInLondon 2005-2011


I cannot consider myself “different” in A.A.; if I do I isolate myself from others and from contact with my Higher Power. If I feel isolated in A.A., it is not something for which others are responsible. It is something I’ve created by feeling I’m “different” in some way.


Today two meetings, "Just For Today" this morning all about what is on our minds today. A lot of happiness, a lot of grief all wrapped up together inside each of us. Life is no longer one dimension, so many elements to evoke joy and sadness in every moment, no wonder we get confused!

And tonight, "Courage To Change" where I meet friends from early days, including the chair. Always enjoy sitting with friends and listening, seems we change regardless in recovery, the steps our toolkit, leaning on fellowship and learning gradually that the action is always in the now and we are very human humans...


We are not special and different, we are unique and authentic in our journey ~ John F. Kennedy "When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses." Diversity is spiritual, another one of life's rocks..


Fellowship all about the similarities and not the differences ~ Hillary Clinton "What we have to do... is to find a way to celebrate our diversity and debate our differences without fracturing our communities." -/- From the boardroom to the gutter, it did not take me long to get there..


We need respect others and their peaceful living ~ Malcolm Forbes "Diversity: the art of thinking independently together." I can say yes to what is good for me, and with courage say no to that which hinders or is not my path today...


Compare and despair, a key to insanity ~ Edward T. Hall "How man evolved with such an incredible reservoir of talent and such fantastic diversity isn't completely understood... he knows so little and has nothing to measure himself against." Value our outlook, let go what hinders, let in good which works and develop our authenticity..


Courage to be ourselves in our similarities and human endeavour ~ Maya Angelou "It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength." Acceptance of life today, people places things and the choices we have are ours to explore ..


Ernest Istook ~ "My father was the son of immigrants, and he grew up bilingual, but English is what my father taught me and what he spoke to me. America's strength is not our diversity; it is our ability to unite around common principles even when we come from different backgrounds."


AA Daily Reflection: I'M NOT DIFFERENT ~ FEBRUARY 19, In the beginning, it was four whole years before A.A. brought permanent sobriety to even one alcoholic woman. Like the “high bottoms, ” the women said they were different; . . . The Skid-Rower said he was different . . . so did the artists and the professional people, the rich, the poor, the religious, the agnostic, the Indians and the Eskimos, the veterans, and the prisoners. . . . nowadays all of these, and legions more, soberly talk about how very much alike all of us alcoholics are when we admit that the chips are finally down. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 24


I cannot consider myself “different” in A.A.; if I do I isolate myself from others and from contact with my Higher Power. If I feel isolated in A.A., it is not something for which others are responsible. It is something I’ve created by feeling I’m “different” in some way. Today I practice being just another alcoholic in the worldwide Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.


"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity"






Just For Today, and every day cherish always...


AA Official Online Site: Daily Reflections


AA Official Online Site: Big Book And Twelve And Twelve


January 2013 | Step One Reading Video Link:

Step One Alcoholics Anonymous Reading

January 2013 | Video Reading How It Works:

How The Twelve Steps Work

January 2013 | Video Reading A Vision For You:

January 2013 | Playlist About Step One:


don@doninlondon.com |

"music for airports" By Brian Eno | http://www.enoshop.co.uk/ |

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