Saturday, 8 February 2014

Alcoholics Anonymous | Feb 8 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 2 "Sanity"

Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | Feb 8 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 2 "Sanity"



February 8 Video


DonInLondon February 8, 2014: step two month: "came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." In recovery, on any given day, the current conditions may be good bad or ugly. Dealing with the good, bad and ugly of life with our emotional and spiritual outlook is about surrendering to the absolute truth of now. I don't know the truth of now until I check it out, by asking myself to challenge my own beliefs and opinions, and challenge my own beliefs and opinions with the help of people with wisdom and experience of similar events in their lives. Working with others, means I get a better perspective of what the truth can be today.


Imperfectly perfect in the ever present moment of now. We all make progress towards truth, love and wisdom in the moment. When I try work things out on my own, I am simply utilising my own experience strength and hope. When I work things out with everyone who is involved, the combined experience strength and hope is far bigger than my perspective. Step two: restoring myself to sanity on a daily basis often means I let go whatever notions and imagination has put in my head since waking up this morning.


A friend of mine called me early, things going on which are unacceptable in any society today. And sometimes we are challenged by situations which are way above our levels of authority to sort out. When we are challenged by other people who are doing bad things, in recovery we are often trying to make up for lost time and try to resolve all the issues we face, because that is what we feel we must do. One of the most powerful parts of learning for me in recovery is that I cannot sort out everything, even if I know the answer? Indeed, the answer is that it is not my job, even though it is my concern and I am weighed down by an issue, it still is not my responsibility to put things right. Even when those who are responsible to put things right, do nothing, my part in matters is to express what I know to the right people in the right place, and hopefully able to do the right thing. So it is not a battle of wills, it is trying to find the truth and what is right to do next. And often what is right, is what is possible just for today.


Having found myself in conflict and quite angry over the last few days, I don't like it, I don't like the feelings which seemed to be evoked, pride, ego and fear. Prideful and egotistical, because I'm not being listened to and fear of doing harm to myself and other people. Doing harm to other people is not my way. And actually it was never my way to inflict harm on others feelings. At the same time I know that anger and resentment, caused by my feelings being hurt, made me hurtful with words and behaviour alien and unfamiliar in how I would have wished to have conducted myself over the years. Self-justification, self-righteousness does no good, we just make matters more conflicted and eventually more harm done. Forgive everything, including ourselves, try start afresh each morning and the likelihood is we will do less harm to ourselves and other people, even if we are right in our argument, there is no pleasure and no happiness in being self-righteous or right. And forgiveness is really important, or conflict is never resolved, and a greater harm is done in the world.


Nobody said recovery was easy, they may have said "easy does it “in order that I could make time for myself to heal and find forgiveness for becoming unwell. Anyone who believes that alcoholism and addiction is a choice, fails to understand the nature of human beings. If everybody were logical and adapted in a logical way to their circumstances, and behaved logically and ethically as a consequence, I don't know how much progress we would have made, evolution would have been quite dull and unproductive. We are highly developed emotionally or rather we have the potential to develop into emotional and spiritual beings from the moment we are born, and somehow the immense risk in all of this? The risk is all part of evolution in a lifetime, and evolution as a civilisation.


In various parts of the United Kingdom, stormy weather has caused great hardship. At first, there seem to be sympathy and understanding, then alarm as matters got out of hand. Local government, and government and individuals have been embroiled and vilified for their lack of foresight and planning. The stormy weather has been uncharacteristically bad, and the reaction to it, characteristically predictable. Denial by government that they were not remiss in their foresight over the last few years, and angry people hurt over and over again by the language of spin and denial. When government says: "we did plan and there is more money coming to overcome the crisis," how does that play out in the head of someone seeing their house being washed away? We could observe the plan and money and work ill spent, and the blame starts, and the outcome will be as insane and useless as the last time someone attempted to hold back the waves of nature. Step two helps me gain perspective only in my life, not in the lives of other people and those with power to take action.


All the steps work in the current conditions of the day. How I respond to the current conditions depends upon my emotional and spiritual well-being, which can be undermined by current events. And we are all human, I hope this is so. And everybody's limited by their own level of experience strength and hope, so we are all going to be making mistakes, and we are all going to be making progress one way or another. In which direction the progress goes, can be influenced by our own actions. And sometimes I know my actions need a little bit of help, or they go in the wrong direction, rather than the right direction towards progress and not perfection. The first casualty of conflict is truth.


DonInLondon 2004 - 2013


Alcoholics Anonymous | February 8 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 2 "Sanity" | "Lest We Forget..." One of my favourite meetings in my area is called, “lest we forget." A turbulent and difficult meeting on a Sunday night, where we get every type of personality you can imagine, from all over the world because its London, and they know the meeting is called lest we forget. And because local people are forgetful, most of the locals who go to the meeting, have forgotten the name of the meeting, if you ask them what the name is, and even the secretary will have forgotten. Some of the time we are forgetful of what will happen in the insanity which can happen on the way to drink…


Years ago, I was offered a place in a rehab, St Luke's mission, in Kennington, it has been closed for years, some people liked it, and other people hated it, like me. A recycled building with many past uses: including a morgue where I used to do relaxation therapy as part of my internment. Somehow it lost its way. Dealing with people in recovery, the way it was managed and the therapeutic processes were very unclear, both management and councillors were at odds with each other, and their disruptive behaviour and attitudes did more to scar the inmates than help them. When I was there for a few months, it was shocking from the start, and then just got worse, each day a lesson in incremental torture. It seemed to me to be the opposite of fellowship, where fellowship is about love, rehab was about hate. I endured the madness of rehab to my term, and then was told I needed to stay longer to get better. If ever there were a regime designed to encourage relapse by the inmates, St Luke's mission achieved the job with alarming success…


Lest I forget! St Luke's mission: a rehab, which encouraged hate and confrontation versus the fellowship of AA, which encourages love and inclusion. At all costs: When I was in the rehab, I went to meetings of AA, meetings of NA, Coda, anything which was about recovery, love and inclusion. The more I went to fellowship, the more I saw the terrible difference and wounding of people in St Luke's. If St Luke's was designed to ego puncture, and encourage humility, the twisted therapists and counsellors harmed the already insane inmates. One day at a time…


I self-discharged from the rehab, St Luke's mission, and went straight to a market and bought the only thing which would bring me oblivion from the pain, alcohol. I have never been a person of hate, and I could not comply. And the good news in all of this, even though I relapsed, which was very common and expected was made worse by the steady stream of newcomers always available. And they were always in hell. And then for me, homeless and without a voice, a long time, hiding and isolating until that fateful meeting with the Prof of psychiatry, who said he couldn't help and I ought to go to AA. It made me angry, but I hadn't forgotten just how helpful all the people in fellowship were and they had love in their hearts, well maybe love most of the time…


Lest I forget, the insanity of doing the same old same old: a definition of insanity, "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." I was so traumatised by rehab, I needed respite from the cure they offered, I needed oblivion, and then an opportunist moment of clarity by the professor reminded me, I had become homeless person, and needed, simple nurturing one day at a time. Would I have made it, if I had stayed in the rehab? By all accounts, and by the reckoning of medical minds far superior to me, I would have perished. I don't forget those ugly times of horror. And with the kindness of people in the homeless unit in my local area, they eventually found me a roof over my head and I hit the meetings as often as possible, simply to be in the company of people in recovery, who loved me enough and accepted me enough to be back on the road of recovery, always one day at a time...


When I look back at the roof over my head, it was in a squalid rundown hotel, full of people like me. I had a bed, a fridge, and a wash basin, and friendly mice for company. And the meetings all around me, the fellowship of AA. Recovery is as hard as it gets without all the other stuff going on, so I don't forget where I came from and where I am today. Years of hiding and isolating, years of pretending to the world that they couldn't hurt me. I had no idea who they might be, it turned out the "they" I referred to were all the people who wanted to help me make it into recovery and they did the best they could with what they had... And oddly, I am one of them now… Free to make my own personal choices, live the life which is possible, simply by being sober today…


And St Luke's mission and in my opinion, the hateful people who ran it, they mistook humiliation for humility. And even though I was so isolated for long time, I learned in fellowship that if I were to stay alive I needed to ask for help, and the help would be as good as it could be based on reality, the cost of a roof over my head, even though it was squalid was enough for me back then. And in fellowship, love and inclusion, a way forward with enough just to keep going one day at a time. I saw many go back to drink, and I lived with them for a long time, I kept sober with the help of fellowship and like-minded souls. As I made friends in fellowship, simply people on the same journey, same path, and same day… The insanity of drink and not being able to stop is so lonely and dreadful and seeing it sober all around me, I will never forget those times, and sadly those times are still around me today…


That was years ago, and still I can recollect many moments of torture, not about me drinking, simply not being able to help others in my predicament on my own. In fellowship. It is the many voices of people who share their experience, strength and hope, who make the difference today. Eventually, by listening to everyone, and hearing the wisdom flying around me, sometimes so profound, and then other times, so wrong! Wrong for me, and yet right for others. And this is how it works, we find like-minded people sharing experience, strength and hope which we understand in our own way. And there will always be people we do not understand, and others who do. We find out what works one day at a time. And then we work it, because we are all worth it today…


It took me a while to realise that it was okay to be me. I had an affliction or malady which led into me being an alcoholic. We don't know we are addicted until it is too late, and the impact? So many say how many die, statistics are unreliable and recovery for each individual is as reliable as it can be for one day. To experience new living, a new way of coping with reality and being able to make choices freely to the good of living. I never imagined I would ever be free and have the freedom to work out what I can do, what I cannot do and keep on learning the wisdom and the difference one day at a time…



Alcoholics Anonymous | February 8 2013 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 2 "Sanity" | Today's AA daily reflection: "all about Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde." We could also say, "Mr Wright and Mr Wrong, Ms Wright and Ms Wrong." And yet we know there is no right and wrong in recovery, simply endeavouring to be open honest and willing to change. Dr Jekyll, the good in us, Mr Hyde the bad in us. Mr Hyde with all natural instincts distorted and confounding! Even those of us who are good have a little bit of bad depending on the situation. And those who are bad have a little bit of good depending on our situation…


When I understand I can be restored to sanity by higher power, I try to keep it in the context of now and what is happening today. I can be restored to sanity as my situation and circumstances allow and help me. Contingent on asking for help at the beginning of the day, the process can be less painful and less chaotic. Because in the moment when Mr Hyde comes out to play, I can recognise it and ask the help, and in my case it is usually a telephone call or face-to-face discussion or getting to a meeting where I can share what is happening today…


And that inner voice which can be hostile to the outer world we live in. When we are hurt, we can hurt people… Hurt people, hurt other people in retaliation and upset. When we are not loved, we cannot feel love for other people. When we are able to hate, we can hate other people. I need my morning meditations, of checking how I feel, why and what to do. And always remind myself of step one, powerless and unmanageable, step two that I can be restored to sanity and step three, let go and let good into my life today…


And when things are going well, be grateful because there will be times of equal measure when things do not go my way. And unlike the past, where I would say to myself "my way or the highway" I can respond looking at the big picture, "where are my choices and why my freedoms right now?" There are always choices to good outcomes when I look for them, and bad choices when my expectations are far beyond reality…


"Expectations are resentments under construction"


"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity"


DonInLondon 2005-2011


We are a complete package when we are born and we don't have an instruction book attached... If we can open up to learning without feelings of shame and guilt and laugh at what we do not know, every day we have a chance to let go and let in the good there is for today...


School of Hard Knocks becomes the University of Living Now ~ Pete Seeger "Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't." -/-


And the Wisdom to know the difference? Just For Today!


AA Daily: CONVINCING "MR. HYDE" ~ FEBRUARY 8, Even then, as we hew away, peace and joy will still elude us. That’s the place so many of us A.A. oldsters have come to. And it’s a hell of a spot, literally. How shall our unconscious-from which so many of our fears, compulsions and phony aspirations still stream-be brought into line with what we actually believe, know and want! How to convince our dumb, raging and hidden “Mr Hyde” becomes our main task. THE BEST OF BILL, pp. 42-43


Regular attendance at meetings, service and helping others is the recipe that many have tried and found to be successful. Whenever I stray from these basic principles, my old habits resurface and my old self also comes back with all its fears and defects. The ultimate goal of each A.A. member is permanent sobriety, achieved One Day at a Time.


Step Two Video 12 And 12

Step Two Video 12 And 12



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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