Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Alcoholics Anonymous | Jan 13 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 1 "Powerless" |

Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Jan 13 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 1 "Powerless" |


January 13 Video

January 13 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 13, 2014: our emotional and spiritual experience is the best it can be in the moment of now. I'm just back from the meeting, it was all about step twelve, which may seem a long way from step one which I try concentrate on in January. One step a month to remind myself about just how difficult it can be to be a human being, with humility to keep on learning from everyone and anyone who may speak about something which applies to me in recovery. Sometimes it feels very uncomfortable to be me doing what I do. And I get regularly challenged about sharing experience strength and hope about recovery and how to go about it. In essence most of the time, it is about finding the truth of now which relates to everybody or anyone I encounter today. If I am aware of my mood, and know how my mood is affecting my thinking and subsequent actions, I have a better chance of finding out how I fit in the reality of now. And of course life can be very uncomfortable, especially when I am uncertain and need help.


In the old days of drinking, when I encountered problems, I just kept on going trying to find a solution which would fit the situation I was living in, either at home, at work, travelling, you name it I would keep going to find a solution. It did not mean I was any better than anybody else in getting to the solution, it always seemed to include agreement and negotiation. I was really good at many things and I would go the extra mile to help in everyone being successful. And of course because I put more in than others, I just couldn't understand why they would stop and take a break. Very driven hoping for success. And I learned from my mistakes. But underneath all this success, it really didn't mean very much to me, I was quite a lonely person and had no one permanent in my life to share this success and appreciate the outcomes. When a person is driven, and has no balance in life, the emotional and spiritual path which makes living worthwhile, was filled with excesses, driven by career and work, that was an addiction, driven to be in the right relationship, and that was an addiction, and alcohol to fill in the gaps, and the emptiness and the loneliness. Fellowship was a big deal, out of isolation and into the brightness of other people learning the emotional and spiritual path of life.


Step twelve in the twelve and twelve book, the twelve steps and the twelve traditions. The step twelve reading offers a summary of how all twelve steps work in reality, and somebody mentioned just how beautiful the language is in this book with regard to the summary. And I had the privilege of reading it out loud, and I am so enthusiastic about this particular reading, I was excited and stumbling when reading, simply because of my enthusiasm for recovery. The twelfth step reading is very long, and in my experience reading just a few pages at a time, well it does take time to sink in, and in my case every time I read it, I see something new in my recovery because I am moving along and living the steps rather than just knowing the steps without practising them. Indeed it is practising, learning by mistakes, learning by the mistakes we make in real life: that is how I learn about my feelings in the moment of now, and how to cope with reality. I don't need to know the answers, I need to learn how to find the questions and ask people who might know part of the answer to the truth of now.


Being involved with people in Fellowship is very rewarding if we are able to be open honest and willing. And to realise that the twelve steps are about personal growth, a self-appraisal we learn as we go, and it is not to be applied to the people around us as an assessment of them. The power of the twelve steps is in living them, and not judging other people harshly like we do when we do steps one to step five, and then start to work on understanding our feelings and thinking and the actions which follow. We do come out of isolation in our first encounters with new people, and also what comes out when we come out of isolation, our feelings can be very extreme and very disturbing. I never knew what rage was, I never knew what anger was, and I never knew what resentment was until everything came out of once.


Learning how to be a real human being, with emotions, with all the experience of life we have, and then understanding why we are the way we are, is a very challenging and disruptive experience. And with step twelve, which in essence is about helping other people, sharing the truth of how we are through experience strength and hope, helps everyone understand just how difficult it is to get sober. After we stop drinking, we then try learn how to be sober, more able, learning new experiences which give depth and breadth to living.


DonInLondon 2013 - 2005

January 13 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 1 "Powerless" us "One Fellowship, One Purpose ~ Many Faiths, many solutions." Our ego demands and says we are entitled, "fix me now!" And hopefully we start to learn that humility asks without expectation, "can you help me please?" The old way of life; when our best friend, alcohol would fix anything and everything, putting the world to rights from the bottom of the glass. The new way of living; with nothing in-between me and the reality of today, and being able to cope in the moment of now. And if I'm not coping, I can always ask for help today…


What is the purpose of this wonderful fellowship called Alcoholics Anonymous? Its primary purpose is to help anyone with a desire to stop drinking, understand that sober we have a chance to live life on life's terms. And then the big one in fellowship is the tradition of unity, service and recovery being the three legacies. Getting my personal freedom back by being in a fellowship which is all about working together, helping others and everyone living in recovery just for one day. What we encounter in fellowship today, is as good as it gets, or as some say, "WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get." Sometimes, what we see can be very good and very helpful, very bad and very helpful, and very ugly and very helpful. We don't fix ourselves in recovery, we learn the solutions to our problems on a daily basis. Together in unity, service and recovery…


When I got my freedom back, to make the choices which were right for me on a daily basis, I was going to be influenced by many people who share their experience, strength and hope on a daily basis. Listening to the wisdom of others is fantastic, sometimes what I hear works not only for them in recovery, it gives me ideas and opportunities to try out new ways of living based on what others have found works for them. I don't feel like there is anything original to be said by anyone, anywhere, because it's already been said somewhere by someone else. At the same time, I have not heard it before, I have not heard it said like that before, and I didn't realise the wisdom might apply to my life. When I stop judging what other people are doing, and looking for the holes or get out clauses, I started to hear the whole story, and then be able to adapt many suggestions into my way of life. If there had been no personal freedom to be gained, if I had not got my personal choices back by being sober, I would have perished a long time ago…


Yes personal freedom based on fellowship principles of unity, service and recovery. Who would've thought it? Joining something, some thing bigger than me. A fellowship of wisdom shared. Fellowship, not in competition, the most diverse collection of people and we are not competing with each other. Today, I feel able to tell the truth of what is going on in my life, and a lot of the time, I hear what is going on in other people's lives too. As each person shares in a meeting, we develop experience of sharing and what it is to learn in the moment of now. It is an exciting and exhilarating process of gaining wisdom of life, and then putting it into practice. Today…


And what of the questions about independence? Independent in my own life with freedom, nobody telling me what to do in fellowship, at the same time, the suggestion is to listen to the wisdom, not only within the fellowship, listening to the wisdom available outside fellowship on a daily basis. It is not about coming up with the answers on our own to anything, it is about finding the answers to living life today. Yes, we become more independent and we keep our freedoms. And we try to be equal with each other, so that there is no power being exerted over anyone. Outside fellowship, we find we need deal with people with issues of power, and our own need to be compliant in some ways to the guidelines we have with family, community and society. Those guidelines are what we call the morals and principles of living with other people. Other people often play to their own rulebook, and that's okay, you don't have to join in with them unless it is your freedom and your choice to do so today…


One of the biggest elements in recovery that I have learned over recent years, is this element of interdependence. Everyone is interdependent in some way on other people, which is why the idea or the notion of: ego demands and feels entitled, and humility asks without expectation. When we set our expectations, with humility, we are not looking for anything we feel other than to be able to ask for help. And by asking for help from other people, we power them up to help us if they can. And if they are inclined to help us, we are starting a relationship with them. Empowering other people to be equal with us, empowers both, and starts a relationship. It may turn out to the good, it may turn out to the bad and it might get plain ugly, depending on what we do, and what they do. We will not always encounter good people, we will encounter bad people and very ugly people as well. The good news is, we get out of Dodge faster, rather than hanging around and finding ourselves in a bad situation for too long...


How am I feeling today? I have a dear friend, indeed my best friend who left a message on my phone answering machine. A very tired voice, and not always able to hear every word, as their phone has a faulty microphone! So I will have to call soon. I felt the tiredness and the strain and the need for sleep and relaxation. I wanted to call round immediately scoop them up and apply TLC, tender loving care, and try to fix them. Actually I don't need to do that, although it would be good to try, I need to ask them first what they would like to do, and not contrive a solution I would want to administer, they probably have already made up their minds to give themselves some TLC, a way to chill out and be happy for the rest of the day… Progress not perfection, one day at a time…


Old work habits die hard, I'm always awake around 4:30 in the morning, and that regime has long gone, yet the early rise seems one of those patterns which will not break, to be waking up when the rest of the world is still asleep around me, gives me time to hear the silence, to enjoy seeing the night turn into day and have time to reflect and meditate. To reflect that I am alive, and that I have freedom. To meditate? Simply to empty my mind of any thoughts and urgent demands I may be making on myself. I hear the world waking up, and enjoy the feeling of connection by listening, simply listening to silence and then the thrum of the city waking up. And then I can ask myself, how do I feel, why and then what to do next…



January 13 2012 | Daily Reflection


A brilliant chair at after eights last night. Newcomers and old timers and medium timers, and one day at a time timers! Our gift is each other, with news from the front line, reality of addiction, to agitation at decades sober, and serenity in the moment when we can live to truth of now and cope with it in the moment. Now how blinking brilliant is that?


We are not cured, we have a life worth living contingent on our spiritual condition… And its Friday 13th. Whenever I chat to my mother on the phone, she often ends the call with the remark “keep a sharp look out.” A very Yorkshire phrase, so I usually do keep a sharp look out, one day at a time…


All the steps are about living as well as we may today. Learning what we can and cannot do. The wisdom is learned all day long. And it is never about getting my way, it’s about the quality of everything that happens. Good quality “bad” feels as good as good quality “good,” because I get to learn from all elements of living in this one day at a time…


I expressed my feelings about pain and the broken wisdom tooth. The pain has subsided with antibiotics and I feel more able to cope with life, my spiritual condition was not impaired by the pain, it was a reminder not to procrastinate too long before seeking proper professional help on an issue the steps help me deal with on a daily basis. When I feel it, expression helps me make decisions in the moment, and not dally on false hope today!


DonInLondon 2005-2011


Absolutely brilliant meetings today: “newcomers” in Portobello and Kings Rd tonight. “Spiritual lunch” followed by “the nuts and bolts” tonight. When adults in recovery have children with the malady it is difficult. We know no single human can relieve us of this malady, yet parent or not we can forget step one so quickly…


Step One "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable"


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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