Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Alcoholics Anonymous | Jan 12 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 1 "Powerless" |

Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Jan 12 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 1 "Powerless" |


January 12 Video

January 12 Video


January Step One Month: "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable." Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives. Provided we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life into unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism, they can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional health and therefore spiritual progress can be built. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 44


DonInLondon January 12, 2014: I try to remind myself that every morning, that I need to accept my present circumstances as they are, accept that today, whether I am coping or not coping, today is the best I can be and everyone around me is doing the best they can too. It does not mean that the day is predestined in some way or that it is predictable. Indeed my day will only be predictable if I can control it and have some rules set which govern my behaviour, and everyone else is of like mind. Of course that is impossible, life on life's terms means that some of it is good, some of it is bad and some of life can be downright ugly. It's not about me being right or wrong, and it is not about you being right or wrong, it is whether we can find common ground and find some truth to work with today.


I don't mind challenge, I need challenge or I am likely to form beliefs and opinions which are erroneous. I do prefer to start with an understanding with myself every morning as part of my prayer and meditation. I do believe that I am powerless over alcohol and if I were to take a drink, it would not be enough and I would want more, and as a consequence life would become unmanageable. This is the truth of me. I don't have a drink on my mind, I don't desire a drink to function, I don't need a drink to be happy, I don't need a drink to cope with unrealistic and erroneous beliefs. At the same time I am a human being and if life becomes bad and ugly for long enough and I don't go to meetings, I am in danger of relapse. I am a human being, and I am learning the emotional and spiritual path of life just for today.


Every person I know in Fellowship, they are all human beings, and their ability to stay sober is contingent on the current conditions today. And when I say sober, it's not just about stopping drinking, it is about developing a new life in recovery today. We are all on the journey of life, and the way to live life as Bill sees it is to deal with are very first problem, "to accept our present circumstances as they are." And some truths we keep on learning about Fellowship, it will not save a person with a set of rules, it will not save a person by reading a book, it might save a person for the day if they can find Fellowship, can hear the truth, learn something from the experience strength and hope shared and most importantly find a home to learn about how to stop drinking and how to start living again. There is no mythical cure for any addiction, be it substance or behaviour, and at the same time I do believe there is a power greater than the opinions and beliefs of one person. I have always found the many voices in recovery, sharing their truths, sharing their experience strength and hope which illuminates the truth available to everyone: life in recovery is better than life in addiction if we can learn how to cope and when we cannot cope, ask for help.


When it comes down to being right with each other, in Fellowship we will not be right with everyone when it comes to background, outlook, culture, beliefs and opinions. In Fellowship however, if we can listen to many people, we start to patch together the truth of who we are and can identify with other people who are like minded and living in recovery. The guarantee is that if we are attracted to a great many people sharing experience strength and hope which makes sense to us, we have a glimpse of the possibilities of stopping our drinking or drugging or addictive behaviour, and learning how to live a life under all the current conditions of the day. It does not give us power over other people, it gives us the power to access help on a daily basis to help others when we cannot cope with the truth of now. There will be great disappointment if you see the Fellowship of AA as a guarantee to sobriety, freedom of choice and a good life, and never having a bad day in recovery. Life is good bad and ugly, full of natural happiness and natural sadness and we can cope with most of it with help. And here is the but, but if you think you have reached a level of spiritual awareness and emotional control that you can be immune to life, that would be delusional and unhelpful. I am not a guru, I just share truth I am learning today. And just because I have a good day today, it does not mean tomorrow will be the same, I can guarantee that life is full of surprises: good bad and ugly.


Accepting my present circumstances, is for me accepting the truth, that today is a new day and I need to check out how I feel emotionally, why I feel the way I do, what is the likely impact on my thinking and actions today as I wake up? And if I have a disaster first thing in the morning, how will I cope? Will I hide away in guilt and shame, or will I tell the world I am having a problem? I feel better when I share "I don't know the answers to anything particularly" until something is happening which requires attention.


Just in case you are concerned about my concerns which are to do with what Bill Wilson said, "are very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are and the people about us as they are." And this applies within and outside Fellowship. Telling people our truth as it is, sharing the experience strength and hope of now, being transparent in our behaviour without guilt or shame will help immensely in recovery. We find out who our friends are very quickly, and if you find people who look down on you for whatever reason, it might be good idea to find some new company, and this can be very difficult because prejudice starts inside our heads and works through to family, friends, work and society. So there are some conundrums which are faced daily about others prejudice and therefore our personal self-prejudice around the truth of who we are today. Fortunately in this respect, anonymity is really good, because within Fellowship and I mean within the Fellowship not outside it, we start learning how to be truthful just for one day, this one. And this is what attracted me to Fellowship: truth and love and learning the wisdom daily. And never having to pretend I am something other than a human being trying to learn life as life is happening today.


DonInLondon 2013 - 2005

January 12 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 1 "Powerless" | Alcoholics Anonymous "One Fellowship Many Faiths" when I realised the game was up with regard to drinking, I had trouble understanding that fellowship has one primary purpose, to help anyone anywhere with a desire to be sober, be sober one day at a time. Within fellowship, so many different faiths and beliefs, as many faiths and beliefs, as there are people in the fellowship. A believer, an atheist or agnostic, or all those understandings can be in one person. As life experience teaches, we come to conclusions about faith. I came to believe and have faith in sober people telling their truth as best they could, and I needed to listen to everyone and not just a few who might favour of my belief system at the time…


Over the years, sometimes I have felt "less than" other people in the fellowship who have a firm belief in God. And at other times, I've tried to believe in God because God seemed to be a necessary component of how the twelve step fellowship works in practice. And in the end I realised I could not define my own belief system, let alone anybody else's belief system because it is a very personal matter. I stopped trying to be like other people believing, not believing and or simply not knowing. I came to believe and have faith in the wisdom shared by many people, and with humility, I keep on listening to the many voices in the fellowship, as they share their experience, strength and hope about what happened, and what is happening right now, sharing about what is happening now, and I keep on learning who I am a little bit more on a daily basis…


Now about my daily meditation…Yes I do have a daily meditation in the morning, and I realise sometimes I'm forgetful unless I start writing something. Step one for me, it's very simple, I am powerless over alcohol, and if I take a drink life will become unmanageable again. No amount of drink will ever make reality in the moment of now any better. Indeed my reason for drinking was oblivion and not to feel inadequate. I don't seek oblivion today, I prefer reality. And as many spiritual people have suggested, spiritual is the ability to cope with reality as it is right now. So when it comes to fellowship and what it's about, emotional and spiritual: "knowing my feelings in the moment of now are about the moment and not history and not the future." And I cope most of the time, and when I cannot cope, I know my spiritual condition is not peace and serenity, and I can ask the help from anyone anywhere at any time. Help comes from within fellowship and the wisdom about being sober, and help comes because I have got the humility to ask for help. And then I power up people who can help me, by simply asking with good grace and not in a demanding way or with entitlement. "Ego demands; and humility asks…"


Yesterday was beautiful, I was able to do my morning reflections and share some words. My daily chant if you like is all about steps one, two and three, to kick off the day. Reminding myself about powerlessness and unmanageability, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and letting go the ego which demands and feels entitled to something, and reminding myself that humility is the key to unlocking the help around me, and in my own mind, accepting I am equal, no bigger or smaller than other people, at the same time people around me have vastly superior wisdom in many areas of life, which I have not encountered yet and may not, depending on what happens today…


A lunchtime meeting, it is called "just for today," where there is no principal speaker, so we simply share what is on our minds. I shared about my mum, who has only three more radiotherapy treatments to do, and then can just take the right medication for treatment of breast cancer. My mum's eighty-two, has her wits and lives one day at a time, not because she was ever an addict, she lives one day at a time and has acceptance around help and support from anyone anywhere on a daily basis. My sister is her principal carer, and my mother is very grateful. Although very tired, they both accept what they can and cannot do just for today. I don't fear for my mum, I love her and love my sister for what they do. And equally I love my brother and his family, although we are out of touch a lot of the time and I hope I can mend bridges with him and his family as life and circumstances permit…


Listening and sharing with others at lunchtime, feeling good and the sun comes out. Christmas and New Year, featured heavily in discussions in our meeting. I can only share the impact on me, that I enjoyed Christmas and the New Year, it was exciting to be sober, and it was also exciting to be in meetings of the fellowship. Some had fared really well over Christmas, and the New Year. Some found it profoundly difficult. And widening the view I have to all the meetings in recent times, newcomers are distraught and floundering as they start to listen to the wisdom of others. A lot of wisdom falls on deaf ears this time of year, but sometimes seeds are sown, some people grow very quickly into recovery, some like me might take years to make sense of what it might be like to be free to make the right choices based on reality and not some foggy fantasies of what life ought to be… It took me a long time to make sense of being sensible, acquiring my common sense again, and applying gumption, one day at a time…


What would I suggest at this time of year, for anyone who knows they cannot stop drinking, and the effect that it used to have does not work anymore? I feel the most important element when starting anything new is to develop humility, "Ego demands, and humility asks. Asking for help is the most difficult part of recovery because without it, that is the ability to ask for help and have humility or develop humility, we are probably on a fast road to destruction. The ruin for an alcoholic is happening one day at a time when there is no recovery, and there is no trust. And there is no integrity to be had when a fellow cannot stop drinking. Humility yes, and then hopefully the tenacity to keep on coming back. When all else fails fellowship can become a safe place for today…


Make friends in fellowship; be aware of yourself and your needs. Try to listen to as many people as possible about how they got sober and how they are sober today. Just being there in meetings can be enough in early days, and you can share as you like about your turmoil and how you feel right now. Don't forget when you are new you are helping people who've been around a while and forgotten just what it's like to be new trying to do something which has been impossible up to now. Fellows in fellowship will try help if they can, and the most important part to remember is, it takes many people in fellowship to keep one newcomer on the road of sobriety. Don't lean heavily on one person, one person will be pulled down. If you try to capture them and make them your saviour recovery is unlikely to work, no single alcoholic keeps sober on their own on the emotional and spiritual path, one voice in our heads is not enough. Equality, listening to the wisdom, learning about the suggested twelve steps and how they may help you, just for today…


Concerned about the weather; the cold and my intake of good food, not being so clever over the last few days, I did something which seems to be bad for me as a type 1 diabetic, I took some vitamin pills, which upset my stomach and stopped me going out for the rest of the day, and relating this makes me laugh, because I should've remembered what happened the last time I took some vitamin pills, vitamins C and D, and all the other vitamins rolled into one pill have an explosive effect which is not good and not to be repeated. So I am a bit dozy, and not quite myself this morning, but that's okay because I know why. Easy does it, and hopefully to a meeting later is all I need to be okay today…


January 12 2012 | Daily Reflection

"Accepting our present circumstances;" All about step one. Powerless and unmanageable! Yes, no and maybe come to mind, because I still want some of my own will to work on the rest of the world... Every time I try impose self-will over reality which may not be to my liking, my life becomes a loop of growing anger and resentment... Better to get a grip on reality and then see what my choices are today.


I can have a cunitbollockarsehole of a day when I feel angry and sorrowful about my plight, or I can have a more serene day accepting that the starting point may wind me up somewhat, computer buggered, wisdom tooth buggered, and having to wait for solutions? No! Do what I can, know what I cannot do, and keep learning the cuntibollock wisdom to know the difference...


Dear higher power, thank you very much for sharing how it feels to have wisdom teeth, and especially how it feels for others who have had to endure pain because of them. I have the greatest respect for my ancestors who jumped off high cliffs to their deaths as a result... tooth pain is not the touchstone of my spiritual growth today...


DonInLondon 2005-2011

Today all about page 83 in the big book, "the spiritual life is not a theory, we have to live it" In family, work and community, I know how I am feeling and what to do. I can be assertive, and still see the big picture of "thy will" taking account of everyone and how we are all feeling today... calm prevails with positive actions…



Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives. Provided we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life into unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism, they can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional health and therefore spiritual progress can be built. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 44


Step One Video 12 & 12


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


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



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



AA Big Book Video | Chapter 4 | We Agnostics |



AA Big Book Video | 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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