Monday, 27 January 2014

Alcoholics Anonymous | Jan 27 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 1 "Powerless"

Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Jan 27 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 1 "Powerless"


January 27 Video

DonInLondon January 27, 2014: I am back from my early morning meeting, via the bakery, via the dispensing chemist for my necessary medications. One of my necessary medications is to types of insulin for type I diabetes. You would have thought that if a dispensing chemist received a repeat prescription from the Doctor, it would include the most important ingredient: insulin. Unfortunately no insulin for me, fortunately I keep a weeks’ worth in reserve because of this frequent incompetence. Step one is important, even though everyone may have the best of intentions, sometimes there is incompetence and it can be very disappointing. Being let down by other people is all part of life. And I have let people down in the past.


I need to go see my doctor and change some of my prescriptions, I have decided to be clear and not to take one or two of them. And I have enough to be going on with some other medications. And a need to do this because apparently we ought to be in partnership with our Doctor, to ensure we get the right medications at the right time and be aware of costs, because if there is a cheaper version of something, I am quite happy to take it. At the same time some replacements really do not work. I can tell the doctor, at the same time, he has the right to veto anything and everything. Time will tell how this will work out, and I need keep an open mind or I might fall into the trap of resentment becoming real if I cannot have what I know works.


This is a busy week for me and it is good to be reminded of step one. Powerless over people places and things is also part of my morning mantra, because if I feel I have power over other people, I know I face resentments, because people just won't do what I want them to. And indeed I don't really want people to do anything beyond their capabilities. I realise I also have limitations to what I can and cannot do. I can influence and make life more manageable, I cannot make life just the way I want it, because that is completely unreasonable and absolutely unmanageable.


Writing these words helps me to gain perspective on simple matters which make life work: by seeing my doctor and adjusting the prescription for the next two months is quite easy to do. And I have results which need to be fed back to me on x-rays and other scans, and to inform him that other scams are continuing. These are simple matters, but I do feel sometimes why bother sharing this information with the Doctor, when he has it in his computer if he chose to follow up. And I need him to follow up in all matters or things will remain unmanageable. I have to play my part in this even if I feel it can be a complete waste of time. Of course it's not a waste of time, I just need to do my part in order to encourage a good outcome rather than a pile of resentment under construction.


The daily reflections today is all about taking the word "blame," out of our vocabulary. After many years of never getting the right prescription from my GP, you might expect me to feel an element of blame and incompetence can be attached to the GP practice. If I do this, I fail to recognise my part in matters and my inclination to let go and not bother the GP more than I have to, will lead to real unmanageability. Better to go and have an appointment and prod the GP rather than sit in resentment over and over again. After all a visit to the GP every two months to do a medication review is not so bad? I guess it's not. Letting go self-will and letting go the expectations that things will just go right because they are supposed to. In this difficult world, it's not such a bad thing to be in touch and in communication with those who dispense necessary lifesaving medicine to me.


So there we go, I can be irritated and feel resentment, want the world to work as it should. But that is not how the world works, because humans are allowed to be human and make mistakes, even doctors make mistakes over and over again. Medical staff are all human, doing the best they can with what they have. And that is life. I know people are often bewildered when they go see medical people, even if it takes time, it is always good to have a summary of necessary information very handy in bullet points, because my medical practice seems to have a revolving door when it comes to medical staff and the doctors who are often locums who really don't want to be there.


Step one: I am powerless over alcohol, and if I take a drink, life will be unmanageable. I am also powerless over people, places and things, because if I try to control outcomes just because that is the way it should be, I fail to realise the risk assessment and the outcomes. Step one is not about accepting the unacceptable. Step one is about getting to a place of acceptance, living with the truth as it is and then deciding what to do. Can do: try relate and understand the possibilities and discuss them, cannot do: I cannot expect a complicated set of medications to be understood by the staff or the Doctor writing the prescription when they don't know my full medical history. And of course even if they knew my full medical history, they cannot commit it to memory and the amount of space on the computer in that little window does not relate all of my conditions to the reader of the screen on any given day. Forgive and forget? Not bloody likely! Forgive and make an appointment every two months so I can guide them when necessary and I feel able to survive one day at a time.


"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable." In this morning’s meeting we read step one from the Fellowship book the twelve steps and twelve traditions. Reading a bit of the step and then passing it on to someone else. We get the chance to speak a little, which is always good, and then listen to the entire step and then share if we choose about our experience, strength and hope about powerlessness and unmanageability. January is always a reminder of the first step and each month thereafter all the steps through the year.


DonInLondon 2004 - 2013


January 27 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 1 "Powerless" | Alcoholics Anonymous | "we all have deep waters" "Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man's mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. “We all have deep feelings, and we all have the capacity to think deeply. How we feel about life and people, places and things will impact on our thinking in every moment, and then our actions follow which can be to the good, to the bad, and to the ugly, today…


I work at living one day at a time. A meeting yesterday, a beautiful share about tradition one, "our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA Unity." Fellowship means a great deal to me, because it is based on emotional and spiritual well-being with a toolkit of twelve steps which help me find my way, one day at a time. It can be easy to misunderstand the first tradition because it emphasises unity and common welfare, without the other bit, the bit which kept me in fellowship, "no AA can compel another to do anything: nobody can be punished or expelled." Emotional and spiritual, learning to live life with freedom as an individual, and at the same time developing knowledge of how unity, service and recovery work in parallel with the twelve steps… This whole thing, twelve steps for personal well-being and how to grow and change as life changes, twelve traditions which are suggestions and not laws ever! Ensuring we have enough unity, service and recovery, embedded, just for today…


For the first time in many years, not because of any prejudice, just because I haven't seen it, I saw "the Power Hour," on the TV this morning. I like to listen and become aware of how many people make sense of emotional and spiritual living, which is at the very core of everything; "Experiencing and feeling life as it really is right now, where if we are coping, we are okay, if we are not coping, we can ask for help and the direction of asking is still the choice we make today." For example, I would not ask an active alcoholic to perform brain surgery on me today. I would go to the professionals, qualified and not active in alcohol addiction. The Power hour was absolutely right for me this morning when a speaker shared about, "emotional intelligence, and thinking intelligence," and how it is rare to find a balance of both emotional and thinking intelligence going on in one person, in the moment of now… Unless of course, they are aware about the balance of emotional and thinking intelligence and the impact one day at a time…


Emotional, is all about my feelings, thinking is all about getting a job done? So if I know how I am feeling, and how I'm thinking, the actions which follow can be very good, very bad, and simply ugly. If something is out of balance, feeling bad equals thinking bad equals actions likely to be bad. If I feel good, I'm probably thinking good and so the actions that follow are pretty good. If my mood is ugly and dark, my thinking is likely to be ugly and dark, and the actions which follow can be very ugly, today… And there is an imperative here, checking out the feelings, the thinking and the actions of people around me in family, community, fellowship, work and society as I encounter them today…


And also in the Power hour, the speaker shared how important it is for any individual to know their feelings right now, and how they impact on thinking, and the actions which might follow. Knowing oneself is half the story and shows where we put the emphasis on our actions and outcomes. Some people want to know and discuss the emotional impact, some people are so focused on getting the job done, they take no account of feelings at all. And in all the situations of life, family, work, community and society, the emphasis on our emotional depths will change. Deep waters with those we love, and shallow waters, with those with whom we are superficial and indifferent. Anyone can be superficial and indifferent, and not aware of their impact on others, we can be very forgetful about people, places and things. And the fact that we are probably powerless to control, but we are not powerless in influencing and connecting with everyone we meet. I feel we need to be aware that sometimes we can be running rough shod over those we cherish and superficial and indifferent not realising the impact we have in the moment of now…


What a puzzle. It is difficult to work out what our feelings are in the moment when we haven't given any particular emphasis on feelings. And in the fellowship, which is all about emotional and spiritual, the notion of deep waters, and looking at our feelings is a horrible prospect because in early days, every feeling seems to hurt and be felt right down deep inside, where everything is hidden and suppressed. The one emotion that counts above all is love, and how we are able to express our feelings of love, and darn it, how we cope when people express their love of us. When somebody said they loved me the other day, I did feel it all the way down into the deep of me, and I was able to share that I loved her too, without conditions and without reservations. Deep feelings of love, help us understand how to cherish and express what is going on in the moment of now. And then what to do? There needs to be joined up feelings with others, empathy in the moment and then thinking what to do next is also joined and connected…


I knew all of this many years ago, because it is based on work done with many people utilising the work of Isabel Myers Briggs: the Myers Briggs type indicator is a questionnaire indicating your personality type, where feelings and thinking traits are determined to see where the dominant trait may be. Those who are dominant in their thinking, have maybe got a less developed way of feeling about life. And those who have emotional or feelings as their dominant trait, are less likely to be focused on the thinking and practical logical side of life. We all have these traits and there is nothing wrong with being a feeling type or a thinking type, it is about how we develop a balance inside ourselves, and how we relate with other people who are balanced differently to us today…


Emotional and spiritual, who would've thought I, who had all the answers in the thinking department could not work out why I drank myself nearly to death on many occasions, simply I just didn't understand addiction, that the substance was simply covering up much emotional damage, and I had no way to restore myself on my own. The healing process of fellowship, constant support on any given day was the answer. Constant support of many people, many people sober and not trying to pin my hopes on just one person. One person in recovery can help another person in recovery, in the moment, for an hour or two, but not on their own all day long, without the help of others constantly available in groups, meetings, on the phone, on your network within fellowship, and although the fellowship does not sanction the utility of electronic connections, you will find hundreds of thousands are connected in this way. Nothing wrong with that, but the bedrock for me is always going to be face-to-face in meetings around me today. Thank God, that there are no rules in fellowship, there are no laws in fellowship, and nothing can be violated unless you personally violate the rights of another person in fellowship. Simply there are suggestions around unity, service and recovery. And there are suggestions for me and you in the twelve steps and learning how to experience our emotions, the emotions drive the way we think, and the way we think, will drive the actions we take today… If we are balanced in our emotional and thinking capacities, the outlook is about practicality, and feeling right, and coping right now. Now how brilliant is that? And why did it take me all these years to look at me and my behaviour, rather than helping others professionally, to resolve their emotional and spiritual issues day to day? Looking in the mirror was not my favourite activity on any given day. Now, however, just enough looking inwards, to discover my mood, my thinking and the actions to follow.


A key question. When it comes to being able to cope personally, and then wonder about what I might be missing when I am engaged in activities with other people. I know how I have great big blind spots when it comes to understanding situations in the moment of now, and they are based on old behaviour and old assumptions. Working out what is going on around me was a key skill and based on old knowledge. Working out the emotional and spiritual in the moment of now is a real eye-opener, I need humility, not to assume and to ask what is going on, ask my friends and fellows, family and people I love, "What am I missing right now about you and your needs?" When I can see a logical reason for doing something, and other people see the logic of it, they may agree to do something or we work together on something. If I don't check out how they feel about it, they may be very reluctant in their helpfulness and reluctant emotionally, because they probably have better things to do? I will not find out until I ask the questions…


So how am I feeling this morning, I really had no clue about my feelings this morning, I felt empty and rather flat. The meeting yesterday was absolutely fantastic, hearing many people share about the truth of life. And life does throw great big challenges about people we know, people who have died recently, and people are not very well. And we do relate to this, because as we are still here living, we all have grief, and in the fellowship we learn how to share about it, from the shock and denial to depression and acceptance. Most of us have realised that there is no closure to life and what happens, we are on a continuum of emotional and spiritual living. And we learn to cherish all the good we encounter where love flourishes, and we learn to deal with every other emotional experience moment to moment, minute to minute, hour to hour and hopefully we cope just for today… I was really glad to be at the meeting yesterday, I needed to be with people experiencing how life is for me and them and where we live. Complete connection, imperfectly perfect, in the ever present, present moment of now… A sigh of happiness, having written my daily reflection. I feel much better and happier in the moment of now…


January 27 2012 | Daily Reflection | AA daily reflection: "Freedom from guilt." When I read this this morning it reminds me of how I was back in the day and I am today, "that was then and this is now." We do live in a blame culture, just listen to politicians "they did it." Recovery is all about new living and being in the moment of now, learning what works now and coping with reality today…


Anyone can adopt the "blame angle" or live the "spiritual angle." The blame angle: all about finding fault and pointing the finger at ourselves or others. The spiritual angle: living in the moment and looking for the solutions and coping with reality. Our step six defects, keep us in the problem of fear and guilt. Our step seven shortcomings, not enough courage, faith and confidence can be developed as we look to the solutions each and every day…


The truth of now is always changing, around people places and things. What seemed cutting-edge solutions yesterday become redundant as life and society moves along. As we learn the truth each day of how life is, we develop an outlook of life changing always and never standing still. Going with the flow and moving along in the present moment offers hope day by day…


Sometimes we do get stuck in the past, or simply feel that life is against us. And probably it was. Realising the extent of what has happened in terms of tragedy or success, loss and grief or surprise and joy can take time. We do need to deal with our feelings about the past so we can live more comfortably in the present. Acceptance of life on life's terms, and acknowledging every feeling or emotion along the way means we keep on learning and developing a balanced outlook as we may…


"I can love a person and cherish them and still find their behaviour horrible and even hateful" I know we always get judged by what we do and sometimes anyone of us can fall short of ideal way of living. "I love you, but when you behave like that I cannot stand it" when we say it like that we don't undermine a person's self-esteem, we just tell them their behaviour is not working for us. People in love, keep learning love, people who've been hurt often keep learning to hurt themselves and others. Always progress never perfection… Forgive everyone everything!


DonInLondon 2005-2011


I am not my job, I am not my house, and I am not my car. How we feel about ourselves, our self-esteem is an inside job ~ Rita Mae Brown "About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won't like you at all."



Expectations are resentments under construction. As I start my day, I ask myself, how am I feeling, why and what can I do? And then step one, two and three. Powerless over, restored to sanity, let go and let in the world, serenity ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson "The years teach much which the days never know."



Acceptance of how I am today and the consequences of living longer… Gaining wisdom of life one day at a time, what is possible and not possible? Life is neither fair nor unfair. That hard work and endeavour is our journey with joy and sadness thrown together side by side, serenity always in the moment of now...


Every day I try start with an open mind, be honest and willing to learn ~ Socrates "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."



Always the more I know, the less I know... Wisdom is a daily learning experience and never knowing what is right for you!


AA Daily: FREEDOM FROM GUILT ~ JANUARY 27 where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word “blame” from our speech and thought. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 47


When I become willing to accept my own powerlessness, I begin to realize that blaming me for all the trouble in my life can be an ego trip back into hopelessness. Asking for help and listening deeply to the messages inherent in the Steps and Traditions of the program make it possible to change those attitudes which delay my recovery. Before joining A.A., I had such a desire for approval from people in powerful positions that I was willing to sacrifice myself, and others, to gain a foothold in the world. I invariably came to grief. In the program I find true friends who love, understand, and care to help me learn the truth about myself. With the help of the Twelve Steps, I am able to build a better life, free of guilt and the need for self-justification.




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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