Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Alcoholics Anonymous | Jan 11 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 1 "Powerless" |

Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Jan 11 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 1 "Powerless" |


January 11 Video

January 11 Video


January Step One Month: "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable." To admit and accept that I am powerless over alcohol, and do this on daily basis is really good relapse prevention. The opposite of admitting and accepting the truth, is denial of the truth. And it is true that I am an alcoholic in recovery one day at a time. This means I acknowledge the truth of my condition, "alcoholic in recovery," just for one day. Admitting and accepting is truth, anything else would be denial?


DonInLondon January 11, 2014: Experience, strength and hope is on offer everywhere. Experience, weakness and depression is on offer everywhere. I'm not suggesting from moment that weakness and depression go together, indeed they don't because sometimes we need more courage, more faith and confidence when we are feeling our lowest emotionally and spiritually. If we feel weak, we may turn back the clock to look at the past where fear, pride and ego kept us travelling in all the wrong directions.


Sometimes we can hear people who are stuck in something or other, when we are stuck in something or other, it is usually a place of security and in some instances where life was okay and we felt okay with ourselves. And then there is PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, where we might be reliving nightmare events which destroy any chance of peaceful existence in the present. We can be terrorised by the past and as a consequence have abnormal reactions to the present day. When pride and ego cover fear, the rush to judging others as delinquent in some way, or just more commonly evoke dislike and hate, the personal injury done to the person who is hurting and therefore hurting another person, must have been considerable. It never justifies continuation of the hurt. And nature feels cruel, when people feel competitive and very often chasing the same prize. Romance and finance are the arenas of love and war. Because I am not looking at life in areas of romance and finance particularly in my fellows, I often miss what is going on in the present moment. Until of course I turn my attention to what is going on under the surface around me. I am neither looking to control or manipulate, or be controlled or manipulated. So I can often miss the agendas of other people around me.


What other people think of me is none of my business? Absolutely true, I haven't got time for it. And then sometimes, I do need to tune into the dynamics and interactions of people around me. Not join in and pick sides ever, because whatever side somebody thinks we are joining, you can guarantee that the other side is probably as misguided as the other. If we start with a foundation of unity, service and recovery, you might imagine we are all in the same boat? Highly unlikely until we get to grips with our primary purpose, a desire to stop drinking and help other people wanting to get into the lifeboat of recovery and out of the ocean of drugs and alcohol. Good news: emotional and spiritual is knowing our feelings in the moment of now and hopefully coping with reality. Better news: wherever we are in recovery, today provides the opportunity to be the best we can be. The best news: we are all learning what it is to be spiritual and see how our feelings fit with reality. The bad news: not everybody is working in unity, service and recovery. The ugly news: some people positively dislike each other with an intense passion so ugly, they feel justified in their ugly behaviour. And then of course, we all want to love one another on the surface and underneath there are war strategies being formulated. If you're looking for a particular outlook in recovery, you will find it.


I am rarely drawn into other people's arguments, I find that people can be very argumentative with me and I do mind. After all I don't want to live in ignorance, and all I have is the truth I have learned so far, a part of the truth which is based in my opinion and beliefs. And of course we will make judgements all day long and quite rightly because we need to be aware of the dangers in front of us and around us. Ignorance is never bliss, ignorance feeds the intellect which powers ahead to convert belief and opinion into concrete truths manufactured to cultivate prejudice. So I feel quite happy sometimes to not know anything, then find out ways to improve my overall knowledge. The most important knowledge to me is knowing how my feelings are, because feelings are the foundation of thinking and action. When a person shares truth with me which is absolutely riddled with prejudice, I do take time to reflect on what to do next. And people who are riddled with prejudice are very tough customers because they are like the three monkeys of resentment, closed down and doomed to ignorance.


I do find it quite extraordinary that in a Fellowship where people have been written off by the rest of the world, or rather if you want to be prejudiced the rest of the world have written us off, why on earth would people behave badly towards each other? Simple: pride, ego and fear still drive many into negative situations, still have entitlements expectations beyond reality, and face resentments because being stuck and sick feels more normal than open and healing one day at a time.


I like and love people, and if I would hate their behaviour constantly, I would fall out of love and dislike myself and everyone. And in those periods of gloomy past where I had no like for myself and no love at all to manifest, I really hated myself with passion and was bent on self-destruction. I don't want to do that to other people, it was very self-destructive to myself in the past, and having made it into recovery, the very last thing I wish on anyone is to pile on personal dislike of a person on top of their own passion for self-destruction. Pointless beyond belief and yet it can happen, and usually comes in the form of gossip masquerading as the truth, thinking and expression of prejudice masquerading as a loving act.


Learning how to love people, starts with understanding the basics of feeling and thinking and actions happening in the moment of now. That is a complicated thing to do, because most of the time people won't tell you the truth about their feelings, because they don't know what they are. Most people really don't know how they feel, they seem to miss this part out, by speedy thinking and speaking quickly to get out their personal opinion. And the worst thing is that some people can go on and on and on, and never seem to run out of steam. But they do eventually, and by that time most of the world has walked away and stopped listening. Recovery is a really difficult business for any person with a desire to be sober.


DonInLondon 2013 - 2005

January 11 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 1 "Powerless" | Alcoholics Anonymous . Somebody said yesterday they hated the word "vulnerability" I can understand why this might feel like the right thing when we are fearful. Step one of the twelve step program, it taught me that I am powerless over alcohol and if I drink life is unmanageable. I could not be more vulnerable in that state. Powerless and vulnerable when we are sober, can lead to humility and then vulnerability becomes a strength, because we know we need to ask for help to keep sober and to cope with reality. One day at a time…


I love going to meetings of the fellowship, I learn about what it is like to be me at different stages in my recovery. Being a newcomer, like an urban terrorist entering a meeting where serenity and peacefulness has been established by old timers, and then causing chaos by being disruptive and uncooperative. Still mad as a Hatter and full of agitation, needing a drink to calm my nerves and take the edge off, and knowing I had to stop, it was no consolation in those early days to hear people talk about the wonder of sobriety. It was a white knuckle ride on a rollercoaster of extreme emotion in those early days. I needed to get to meetings, as many as I could a day for as long as I could. The agitation about drink stopped, then it was an agitation to get to my next fix, another meeting! And now nothing seems to fix me in the old way, I simply cope with what is going on. Living reality. And knowing what my feelings are in the moment of now is always the starting point, then it becomes what next? And I don't know till I get there…


Last night at after eights, the meeting starts at after eight, but it is about later sobriety. After eight years. What is it like to be sober? And what is the difference between when we started and eight years later? A wonderful honest share from somebody just over eight years. The most important part of any sharing is being as honest as one can be about what happened, and what is happening today, and what makes the difference. It is all like the serenity prayer, accepting the things we cannot change, having courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference just for one minute, hour, day and not for a lifetime…


The person sharing first last night, almost the same amount of recovery time, and twenty-four years younger than me and female. I fell in love immediately, I always do when I hear the truth and I hear a person dealing with powerlessness and vulnerability in recovery, because it makes them strong inside, strong enough to ask for help and eventually never feel scared to tell the truth about now. A gruelling story of childhood and early adulthood and driven to find oblivion from reality. Just like me, our lives were completely different in what we did for a living and background, and completely similar in the way we felt and dealt with hardship and extreme feelings with no middle ground. And the sharing back, the similarities that everyone feels growing up and trying to make it into adulthood, and be as good as the next, and in some cases trying to be better than everyone around to make a splash in life…


As the meeting was ended, I was able to say to the person sharing first that I really appreciated everything that she had said. The words I use when I hear the truth, it's all about being a very human, human being. And I also said that she would find herself in wonderful times with the right people, indeed, she is with the right people, and she will meet the right people by being herself. I hope that wasn't too patronising and I hope it was taken in the spirit that it was meant, unconditional love, and I may not see her again for quite a long time as we move around the locality in different meetings. And other conversations before the meeting with men and women coming into the meeting, and conversations which went on for half an hour after the meeting when I really needed to get home because my blood sugars were getting very low… A large amount of pasta to put things right, and a shot of insulin…


You don't have to be "Superwoman," because you are a super woman. You don't have to be "Superman" because you are a super man. The last person I talked to on my way home, absolutely scatty and trying to be someone, and something. This is where the phrase Superwoman or Superman popped into my head, because people have been ground down so far, their reaction in sobriety can be to overcompensate and try to be not only normal, but to be over the top towards perfection, and in trying to be normal, and worthy, we end up being abnormal and driven backwards by our own lack of ability to be perfect. Or indeed we just get buggered up trying to be the person we think we ought to be, and we go into thinking frenzy trying to prove to ourselves that we can make life work and proved to everybody else just how worthy we are. In other words we are driven mad trying to be perfect in sobriety. Don't be a Superwoman, be a super woman, don't be a Superman be a super man…


Romance and finance, the very essence of where things can go awry in recovery. Last night was a good reminder that when things seem to be going right, we can self-sabotage. We get worried when we are in a romantic relationship or even in a close relationship that things are not quite right. And maybe the other people or the other person spending too much time away with other people. Your paranoia goes off, the old feelings of envy and jealousy kick in and it can be something very simple, like seeing other people who are friends and not being with the one who feels we ought to be with them and close them all the time. There is always balance to be made and conversations to be had about boundaries, unconditional love and all the things which make us fearful, and all the things which make us feel safe. The number one element when it comes to romance and finance, work, family, community, society, all those aspects of life is to find the truth of now about our feelings and how we are doing, not only on our own, with other people, by sharing not only our concerns, sharing the absolute feelings we have inside…


If I'm trying to fix romance or finance, and predict outcomes, just look at all the examples through history and the present day. Finance markets, living delusions and governments printing money under the title of "quantitative easing" which just means printing money when you haven't got any and borrowing more, at low rates which are contrived by risk takers and have no justification, based on assets. And romance! Papers and gossip magazines all full of tittle tattle. Journalists with expectations of disaster, or imagining the greatest love story since our last greatest love story, or the fictional love story we had in our own imagination and the truth of our own romantic story was it was full of shit and lies and deception. But then that's what gossip is. When we look at the love stories we've had ourselves, we were doing the best we could with what we had. And we didn't know very much and now we do know more. The fundamental, is truth in the moment of now, and sharing it, and life gets better. We will not solve the world's problems, and we will not solve the old romantic relationships that we had, which might have been full of the fantasies, or full of pain. Unconditional love is something we learn in the moment of now. Some people suggest let go and let good happen, and it will, it just might not turn out the way we expected. Just for today…


Truly important in recovery in my own personal opinion, to stop imagining what other people are thinking and ask them what they are thinking. To stop imagining how they feel, and ask them how they are feeling. To let go being right, to let go, thinking the outcome before the events have happened. Stop trying to be perfect, stop trying to live up to something which does not exist, the fantasies of you in the future. The future is always with us now, and it is the steps we take to understand our current spiritual condition: "our feelings in the moment of now and being able to cope," which will lead into a future which has not yet been determined. Let go self-will and self-determination based on fiction, let the world open up as you open up to the possibilities of today…


January 11 2012 | Daily Reflection |

We need laugh sometimes, powerless over my wisdom tooth, infected and needs extraction by a specialist or life will become unmanageable...


Today’s Daily Reflection is about step one, the 100% step. A good reminder that step one is also contingent on me being vigilant and calm in the face of adversity. I need not fear what will happen, nor be put off by dental surgery required at the hospital because of other health conditions…


Accept that antibiotics and other prescriptions are necessary to my overall wellbeing. AA is for sober living so I may take advantage of professional help from other quarters, deemed necessary by experts in their field…


Accept that my proper computer has finally broken down and life will not end because of it! And trying to fix it on my own is a bad idea! Let go and let good things happen instead, I don’t know what they are yet, but that’s okay….


DonInLondon 2005-2011

Step ten “chair” today, brilliant. Reminded me that step six defects can overload me with fear, a brave face and brittle ego, or step seven can improve my approach to life with courage faith and confidence.

Step six being resentful or seven having gratitude. Psychic change and freedom of choice today…


Step One Video 12 & 12

Step One Video 12 & 12


AA Big Book Video | Chapter 1 | Bill's Story |

Chapter 1 | Bill's Story |


AA Big Book Video | Chapter 2 | There Is A Solution |



AA Big Book Video | Chapter 3 | More About Alcoholism |

Chapter 3 | More About Alcoholism |



AA Big Book Video | Chapter 4 | We Agnostics |

Chapter 4 | We Agnostics |



AA Big Book Video | Chapter 5 | How It Works |

Chapter 5 | How It Works |


Alcoholics Anonymous Videos, AA is for Alcoholics, AA 12 Steps, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

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