Sunday, 24 February 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | February 24 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 2 "Sanity"

Alcoholics Anonymous | February 24 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 2 "Sanity" | "sober or drunk, we are still having an emotional and spiritual experience, it's just the quality of the emotional and spiritual experience we might question." The quality of life, the quality of our experience in the moment, all contingent on our ability to make free choices and with as little impairment of truth as possible? A letter from a friend recently, saying I had no choice but to be sober, and they still have the choice to be drunk and be happily so, today and any day…

Video For Today:

Alcoholics Anonymous DonInLondon "Spiritual Sober Or Drunk"

The letter from my friend about their choice and sobriety… They are far away and not part of fellowship today. Their free choice to as they put it, "enjoy being pissed and enjoy the conviviality and joy of company of people drinking to confusion and letting go their fears and tribulations…" Sometimes I can be irritated when people say I have no choice but sober, because I have already made up my mind that sober is best on a daily basis. They do site my other ailment. Type I diabetes is a reason not to drink. And the consequences if I did would be startling and disastrous. Type I diabetes is not a reason to stop drinking for somebody like me, if I were inclined to drink, other chronic ailments would be a good reason to drink? As an alcoholic, hardwired to be drinking, something and usually the higher power restores me to sanity first thing in the morning, or I would be taking a morning top up on the road to hell. Freedom of choice in recovery, means I don't drink one day at a time and reality and the emotional and spiritual experience will be as good as it gets just for a day…


Freedom! If we have a desire to be sober and be in recovery and attend Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship meetings, we become part of the higher power. It doesn't really matter what you understand of God as long as your understanding of God is yours. And how the higher power works, be it God, the higher power of many people with experience strength and hope about recovery will work if you can work with what you have. On day one, being in recovery and having made a decision to let go my self-will, I started to contribute and be part of a power greater than me. Even though I felt inadequate, it was my inadequacy which was helping everyone else remember what it was like to start living sober one day at a time… In our most negative and highly volatile state as a newcomer, we make a difference by being part of something bigger than ourselves, the growing and ever-changing wisdom available in fellowship one day at a time…


The collective experience, strength and hope which helps everyone with their emotional and spiritual awakening is available one step at a time in recovery. First, recognising that I was powerless over alcohol and if I took a drink life would start back on an unmanageable track, and it was okay to recognise just how difficult it was to stop, by admitting and accepting my situation on a daily basis meant that life improved gradually, one day at a time. And there will always be emotional and spiritual upsets which can make life good, bad or ugly, usually romance and finance, and that is where fellowship works if we are working at sober first, and the rest of life following on. My absolute priority is sober first and then I can learn the truth of now, how to love people and be loved back by people and keep on learning wisdom of what I can do and what I cannot do. There is no disgrace in sobriety, there may be disgrace and ego, when we judge others in their actions. And when they judge us with prejudice, our self-prejudice can be inflamed and very undermining...


I don't want to be like my friend, still holding on to the old life of grudge and judgement. Judging me as unfit to be a drinker again, which is absolutely true, and their reasons are not my reasons for being sober today. If I thought like them and behave like them, I would have started drinking again, and then a speedier end to life than the one I'm living. So I need forgive and understand that there are two elements to my friend's dilemma, first self-prejudice run riot, and second, prejudice against fellowship which failed miserably. He forgets how we implored him to be careful with himself and to do what he felt was right, and find the right answers, which worked for him. The whiff of any judgement of his behaviour evoked a rage against fellowship. The strength of desire, the strength of lust over love, the strength of and attraction to power, evoked every vice, rather than virtue. And even people trying to be helpful and close to my friend also relapsed over the years, they came back to fellowship after a relapse. And still my friend is out there, still alive, raging and kicking, still alive and I have gratitude his constitution is still strong and there is still hope today…


Why does fellowship work for me today? I really began to understand what emotional and spiritual means and what it means in fellowship. Understanding how my head works as a human. Emotions and mood will always impact on the way I think in the moment. So if I know what my mood is, what my feelings are, I then realise how my mood impacts on my feelings. And I have been relating about mood: good mood, more likely to think positively and then behave and act in a positive way. Bad mood, more likely to have negative thinking and behave negatively and act in a negative way. Ugly mood, likely to think ugly and behave and act in an ugly way. And worse, when life is a mixture of everything, good bad and ugly, our thinking will be mixed up and our actions are very likely to be very mixed up! Knowing the way my head works: emotions and feelings impacting on my thinking and then the actions I take, it makes me able to see where I can do things well or make situations worse by my actions. Asking myself how I feel helps me understand why my thoughts can be very good, very bad or very ugly and then the actions which follow might be good, bad or ugly. Very rarely do humans really understand why they do things?


You might be asking yourself sometimes, "why on earth did I do that?" And you cannot find an answer. Other than maybe justify bad behaviour with a good excuse? So often we ignore our feelings and suppress them in order to achieve an advantage or not lose face. Or a thousand and one reasons, because we ignored our feelings. I have often heard in the fellowship that fake it to make it, which means pretending to be something you're not helps a person be sober. I wonder if life would have been easier had we been able in fellowship to stop judging each other so no one felt the need to fake anything. And the same is true of life, in loving relationships, breakdowns happen all the time. And the more breakdowns that happen in the moment, the more likely resolution in the moment of now. What makes things go wrong? Simply and most often we just don't recognise or want to recognise our emotional condition, because we fear the truth of our feelings. And then the monstrous deception of disowning feelings as unreal! Feelings are very real, and when we become more emotionally aware, our choices become much more open and truthful in the moment. Emotional and spiritual: experiencing my feelings, understanding why I think the way I do and the actions that follow in the moment is crucial in being able to face reality today. If I hide my feelings, my thoughts are hidden and my actions are easily misunderstood.


Denial of the truth is a very necessary coping mechanism. When the truth is too hard to digest in one go, we do say to ourselves, "I don't believe it, it cannot have happened." And yet it did and it takes time to understand. Human beings were not designed to live at extremes all the time, which is why we can deny the truth of now. And the length of denial is as long as we cannot cope with what is going on. And the reality of what has happened through grief and trauma and stress. So is it any wonder that most of us find it difficult to become emotionally aware, in the moment of now? Give yourself a break, be a human, being human, learning how to feel right, and putting some effort into understanding yourself so your feelings work, your thinking improves and your actions most likely fit in the moment of now…


How am I feeling today? I am more geared towards the can do in my life and the cannot do in my life and learning the wisdom to know the difference. I feel okay, I feel like there is so much more to learn and not enough time. And that is a good thing in recovery, provided I am following my path with truth, love and wisdom inside and outside me, inside fellowship and outside of fellowship, just for a day. And there has been difficult news to digest, about matters going back many years, about denial and mistrust which impacted on me. When I was broken, advantage was taken by some. And this has come to light, and yet the interpretation and the truth serve no one? The truth serves everyone, even when the hurt runs deep…


Alcoholics Anonymous | February 24 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 2 "Sanity" | Today's AA daily reflection: "understanding emotional and spiritual life" when I forget that the twelve steps are all about my feelings fitting what is going on in the moment of now, I am lost in my history or often dreaming of the future. Whoever "they" are, they often say, "look back don't stare" and "keep it in the moment" and simply know the only place where sanity can be restored is today…


Video For Today:


2009 - 2012


In recent meetings, many references to knowing we cannot control the way we feel, at the same time our thinking and actions are quite a different matter. Feelings are always developing about our situation and sometimes and hopefully often they are the wonderful feelings that life is good. Then in a split second, feelings can go up and down as life throws new information, people places and things evoking anything and everything. From heart stopping and heart thumping joy to heart stopping and heart thumping sadness. And anything in between! Our feelings impact on how we think and act and that is where we have choice moment by moment…


And the AA daily reflection, all about an attitude of gratitude, can be a challenge in itself. Being able to feel what is going on in my life in the moment of now, is a revelation. I used to walk away from situations and then feel good or bad about them because I had suppressed my feelings for so long. Even when life is painful I do have an attitude of gratitude, because I feel the pain and learn from it, usually what I can and cannot do and the wisdom to know the difference more or less in the moment of now…


Last nights "after eight" meeting, sensational for me! Why? Listening and hearing the truth about recovery, what it is like after eight years and more. At the same time a one day programme for people living one day at a time. A crowded room of one day people living in one day with a background of least a thousand years of experience, strength and hope and wisdom of what we can and cannot do just in one day… Now that is a higher power helping me and restoring me to "sanity" and freedom of choice and action each and every day…


DonInLondon 2005-2011


Happy today? Me, a type 1 insulin dependent injecting diabetic, with clinical depression, diabetic neuropathy in back and limbs, broken bones in foot not healing, had lumps in groin now healing and nearly gone, tinnitus, insomnia, two slipped discs L4 & L5, a trapped nerve and left foot drop. I am happy, sober and living reality today!


I’m alive, I’m sober, and I’m a Fellow in Alcoholics Anonymous. I try to live an “attitude of gratitude” experiencing reality. A fellow in fellowship helps me live life on life's terms, know how I am feeling, why and what I may do. Freedom of choice and changes are possible, just for today


The state of being grateful; warm and friendly feeling toward a benefactor; kindness awakened by a favour received; thankfulness


Attitude of gratitude - is in our daily actions, feelings and behaviour ~ John F. Kennedy "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -/- Lest we forget, actions speak louder than words..


Grateful for now, grateful for another step in potholes and puddles.. ~ Brian Tracy "To develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to us, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than our current situation.!" -/- Splish splash splosh..


Fellowship friends help us through the dark times and lighten our burdens ~ Albert Schweitzer "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." -/- Sharing experience, strength and hope, a gift of providence..


All living is a two way street, we need include to be included, share and share alike ~ William Arthur Ward "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." give freely, expect nothing and forgive everything..


AA Daily Reflection: A THANKFUL HEART ~ FEBRUARY 24, Try to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 37


My sponsor told me that I should be a grateful alcoholic and always have “an attitude of gratitude”-that gratitude was the basic ingredient of humility, that humility was the basic ingredient of anonymity, and that “anonymity was the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” As a result of his guidance, I start every morning on my knees, thanking God for three things: I’m alive, I’m sober, and I’m a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Then I try to live an “attitude of gratitude” and thoroughly enjoy another twenty-four hours of the A.A. way of life. A.A. is not something I joined; it’s something I live.


"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: |

"music for airports" By Brian Eno | |

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