Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Alcoholics Anonymous | Jan 21 2004 - 2014 DonInLondon | Step 1 "Powerless" |

Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Jan 21 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 1 "Powerless" |


January 21 Video

January 21 Video


I feel very grateful this morning, to be in the company of so many people in recovery. In the meeting this morning, I thought it was going to be a small meeting and it turned out to be a very large one with people so diverse, it was beautiful. The reading for the meeting was all about the authenticity of each and every individual on their own path of recovery. The word unity was included in the reading which started the meeting. In unity we are in recovery with every single person finding their own authentic path today. And all about finding that inner voice of kindness, which we share with newcomers and old-timers alike. Profoundly felt and very meaningful for this person, me of course. And the gift of all these very very wonderful people sharing their truth about today.


January Step One Month: "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable." It was suggested to me when I first made a real attempt at trying to get sober, why not sit at the front in the meeting so you can hear what is being said by the speaker or "chair person." I did not, I sat at the back and still judged a lot of what was going on, as chief critic in the group. As I was busy judging people, I'm not sure if people were judging me too. In the end, I found sitting at the front far preferable to being at the back where the chief critic would come to life in my head.


DonInLondon January 21, 2014: in the moment of now, everyone is doing the best they can based on what they know and how they judge situations. In the moment of now, depending upon my current mood, my mood will impact on my thinking, and the reactions and actions which follow, will have the emotional impact of that inner voice in my head. Listening today, somebody said that they hoped they were able to listen to the kind voice in their head, to give themselves a break from being the critic and so, try to be kind to everyone they encounter today.


Sometimes when we wake up in the morning, we don't wake up with an attitude of gratitude, we wake of grumpy, cold and desolate. It is part of being a human being to be grumpy, at the same time it is part of human nature to be grateful to be alive at all, when great forces have come to bear which make life extremely difficult. I was grumpy this morning because of other ailments which made it difficult to sleep well overnight. And a phone call, a meeting changed everything, no longer grumpy this morning and maybe for today.


I was able to share a few words in the meeting, and what was illuminating for me was that many new people really understood their inner voice: "the chief critic, the judgemental critic and the critic which will judge ourselves as not worthy." If we can be so harsh on ourselves, without thinking about the consequences, we can be very judgemental and critical of other people in our lives, and especially people we encounter moment by moment. As we have judged ourselves unworthy, very often we judge others exactly the same. We have to find that kind voice inside ourselves, the one which understands why we are the way we are today. The forgiving and kind voice is hardest when we are used to the darkest and most desolate thoughts of what has happened and what we did and what other people did back in the day.


It is an attitude of gratitude, very Buddhist in orientation, and very important in all religious faiths. There needs to be an inner voice of kindness towards ourselves, thankful for being alive even after great torments, and then dealing with the truth of now. And often the truth of now is darkened by what has happened in the past. I did "get grateful" and have gratitude as time went by, understanding my part in all matters was the best I could be at the time, with limited information to work with and the same was true of those around me who I felt for many a year were against me. Actually they were not against me, I was stuck in my own desolate depression which altered the way I looked at the reality of my situation for many a day. Thankful I can surrender to the truth of now and find love unconditional is around us all if we could but see it.


If we can find out how to be kind to ourselves, it opens the door to being kind to other people. If we can let go the pride, the ego and the fear and the extremes of behaviour which go with it, we open the door to having courage to change, faith in next right actions and confidence to make mistakes and try try again. Never give up searching for that kind voice which exists in anyone's soul on this planet of human activity. Emotional and spiritual well-being is the aim on a daily basis in recovery: where feelings fit the moment of now and we cope with reality. And sometimes reality is dealing with the good, bad and ugly we have experienced over the years which forms are starting point to any given day where we prefer sober over the insanity we have experienced in the past.


DonInLondon 2004 - 2013

January 21 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 1 "Powerless" | Alcoholics Anonymous | "everything is working at full capacity in the moment of now... emotionally and physically!" Boredom is an agitated mind trying to find something to do. Everything is working at 100% in the moment of now, you may not be aware of it, even when you think you are idle, your feelings are working, your thinking is working and physically even at rest, your body is working automatically…


Active and living in the fatal malady, life is crowded, we don't recognise the mood we are in, and our thinking is shaped by our drinking. And physically, we are impaired and unable to function, and keep in the moment of now. On every level, we are not functioning in the moment of now, because we are hardly present and able to function at all. If we are not thinking about the next drink or the next fix, our emotions and mood is agitated, and physically, the body craves something missing. Still working at a hundred percent of capacity, the mind and the body are continually distracted by the need to fix something elusive. I desperately sought peace of mind and a way to shut off from everything, usually work and the fix was a diversion into oblivion, for as long as possible one day at a time…


In some way or other, back in the old life, all our faculties, emotions and senses, thinking and projecting into a fantasy, and physically disabled, our bodies don't work overtime, they try to cope with the stresses and the impact our fix has from moment to moment. There is no rest in active addiction, simply oblivion and exhaustion as the fatal malady runs its course. We don't evade, or stop the progression and exhaustion caused by drink and fixing. All this energy, having to cope with the extra stress, something is not happening naturally any more, finding a resting place, where energy is utilised to restore the body and the mind, the energy in fixing, and the mind and body, not able to cope with reality…


At any one time, with the body, working at 100%, and the mind working at 100%, if we are diverted into fixing, there is no growth, there is no energy being used to learn how to cope in the moment of now. If we can focus in recovery, on learning, being open, honest and willing to live in the moment of now, our energy is 100% focused on reality. And living in the moment, means we don't really have energy for the old life, the lethargy brought on through tiredness and the anger at ourselves and self-harm being done. Trying to get out of the old attitudes and behaviour which were working at 100%, and into new attitudes and behaviour which need to work at 100% means something has to give in order to move on to a new life. This is why the twelve steps help profoundly and help us with new living principles which work in any conditions at any time… As long as we can pause long enough and respond rather than react as we did in the olden days…


Asking ourselves to stop the old attitudes and behaviour which work at 100%, letting go these attitudes and behaviour to make room for the new hundred percent in sobriety is a really difficult adjustment for any human who has ingrained and well-worn ways of living in the world. Taking away our drug of choice, in my case alcohol, meant all the old feelings and behaviour came out without being hindered by drink. And this is the stage of being a dry drunk, where we are still stuck in the old attitudes at 100%, and there is no room created for the new hundred percent. In other words, if we do not change our attitude and behaviour, if we do not do the twelve steps and understand them, and start learning them on a daily basis, we are likely stuck in hell 100% of the time...


We cannot move easily from one way of living into a new way of living without help and support to reinforce the change we need and we want to make, once we have a taste of freedom from the old familiar feelings and slavery to fixing. It does start with step one, which some call the 100% percent step, because we can achieve sobriety one day at a time. And then letting go that hundred percent of the old ways and starting a hundred percent of the new ways is not achieved overnight. The spiritual experience, is living from day-to-day in the moment and coping with reality and developing a new way of life. Developing this new way of life, in fellowship, we have meetings where we share the experience, strength and hope of sobriety, all of it, the good the bad and the ugly...


When I started in the fellowship, as I started to understand that I needed to let go, 100% on the drinking and fixing, there seemed to be an enormous gap inside me, which I could not deal with. In early days, my mind wandered to and fro between wanting to be well and wanting the old life back. So whilst I had created a gap for new attitudes and behaviour to form, my mind raced in all directions and clouded not only my judgement, it meant I felt like I was going mad each day as the old life was being resisted by me and the new life just didn't make any sense, it just felt stark, and reality was full of depression and a head full of noise. I realised the emptiness and the gap was being filled with a racing mind, looking for the angles, looking for a way out and desperately wanting to get past the early stages of recovery. Looking back now, I was in a rush to be right, to prove myself. And I read everything I could find about recovery. I had all the theories in my head, and yet my mind and body would find it hard to keep on track and find the pace at which I could learn this new life. The more I was able to give to new ways of living, and putting them into practice was the real way forward. And progress would only be at the pace at which I could go and let go the old, and there was no fast-track in recovery, each at their own pace, and never a race or competition…


How am I feeling today? Actually I feel rather good in the moment of now and I have been thinking at 100% and everything has been 100%, and my outlook is been quite positive about living in the moment of now. Why? It is the things which don't bother me in the old life, don't bother me now, I am not looking to fix myself with a drink, I am not looking for the next drink or where it is going to come from, I am not working in the way I used to, emotionally and physically, and still I work at 100%. How much of the old life is impacting in my attitudes and behaviour today? It would be hard to put a figure on this, which would be meaningful. Actually I didn't think about fixing at all yesterday, but some of the old life, probably popped into my head for about 10% of the time and the other 90% was simply living in the moment of now, without the need to be worried or fearful or looking over my shoulder about something which might be fearful. Every day, the old life will impact in some way or other, because I am reminded of it within, and at meetings about how it used to be. And every day, like does take on new meaning, because I do see reality as it is. And the possibilities are profoundly better in reality one day at a time…


So where is this leading? Even though we don't know it, the twelve steps as living principles, the principles help me understand that every day is a learning day, that experience, strength and hope comes from living reality and coping with reality. And when I cannot cope, humility is profoundly helpful, I can say I don't know the answers, and can be content to find out and ask for help. If I'm in the right place with the right people, asking and not demanding, asking and not expecting, asking without entitlement, in other words, simply being a human being, without contempt, and without prejudice against other people. I do not control what other people do when I ask for help, because it is their choice to be helpful, and at the same time I can share my appreciation and gratitude in the moment when something happens and helps me. I also show appreciation and gratitude, when people have to say no and they cannot help. People have to say no, when they feel they cannot help and I appreciate that, because there is nothing worse than somebody trying to do good when they haven't got a clue, except fantastic fantasies about their ability to be helpful. And I can include me in the latter category. If I forget I am one man and one voice amongst many who can help in their own way today and any other day… Not my way, seek the best way, or as is suggested, "Thy way…" And it would change the song quite dramatically. If it was, "I did it thy way…"


When we start to do something new, we have to let go of something else. When we start something new, and need to develop understanding, skills and practice, we really do need to let go of something else. We need enough depth in a new way of living in recovery, and this is only achieved, if we let go of old ways. The same is true of any endeavour, when we start something new, we have to let go of something to make room to grow in another area of living. Yes, it is true, we all multitask all day long, and at the same time, we learn we need to put effort into particular endeavours to be successful and become practised in new attitudes and behaviours. The same applies to family and work, the more we practice the new principles of living, and the better we get at them on a daily basis. If we have a frame of mind which is about learning and changing, then we will change, even from ingrained old habits, we need to change and stop fixing life, simply living a new life with humility and with integrity. It is always easier to slip back into old patterns as we start something new, and we need to grieve for the old life as the new life starts to form. So simple and yet so complicated for a human one day at a time…


January 21 2012 | Daily Reflection | Two meetings yesterday: morning "just for today," and in the evening "courage to change." Living in the moment of now where everything happens is not easy for any human being. Memories of the past and future dreams can impact on what we do today. If fear grips me, step six and defects may rule my actions and outlook. With faith in the next right action and consultation, step seven improves my outlook. At sixes and sevens is not unusual for anyone even in recovery…


AA daily reflections: "humility and weakness." Over the years I have come to recognise that humility is not necessarily a weakness. Humility is openness to keep learning and be even handed in our relationships. Indeed humility and vulnerability have become part of the bedrock of strong sobriety…


Service to others: all about being supportive and helpful, reminding ourselves what it is like in early days. There are no rules laws or regulations to govern anyone in our fellowship, we are all equal. We may violate each other's sensibilities by our behaviour as newcomers and old-timers, at the same time we all have a right to learn and live sober one day to time…


In a meeting recently, a phone goes off in the newcomer’s pocket. They answer as somebody else is sharing, and the phone conversation starts with "hello mum," and an old-timer says emphatically "take it outside!" The sharer, the phone call from mum, and the "take it outside" comment almost unhinges the meetings serenity… We all learn humility? I imagine some of us do…


Why a one-day programme? So we can handle our situation "right sized." Right sized in the day, where our feelings fit with reality, happy or sad as we are, accepting our feelings. Feelings impact on our thinking and actions. Feeling good, thinking good and actions likely to be good. Feeling sad, thinking sad and our actions likely to be sad… Feelings never lie, our thinking on the other hand does as denial of reality often occurs…


DonInLondon 2004 - 2011


Recovery and Forgiveness ~ Bob Marley "Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you're riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your feelings; put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!" -/- Just For A Day!


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


AA Daily: SERVING MY BROTHER JANUARY 21, the member talks to the newcomer not in a spirit of power but in a spirit of humility and weakness. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS COMES OF AGE p. 279


As the days pass in A.A., I ask God to guide my thoughts and the words that I speak. In this labour of continuous participation in the Fellowship, I have numerous opportunities to speak. So I frequently ask God to help me watch over my thoughts and my words, that they may be the true and proper reflections of our program; to focus my aspirations once again to seek His guidance; to help me be truly kind and loving, helpful and healing, yet always filled with humility, and free from any trace of arrogance.


Today I may very well have to deal with disagreeable attitudes or utterances - the typical stock-in-trade attitude of the still-suffering alcoholic. If this should happen, I will take a moment to centre myself in God, so that I will be able to respond from a perspective of composure, strength and sensibility.


Step One Video 12 & 12

Step One Video 12 & 12


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

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


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

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



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

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



AA Big Book Video | Chapter 4 | We Agnostics |

AA Big Book Video | Chapter 4 | We Agnostics |



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

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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