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Living Sober Title Page and Forward

Posted by Dayzed on March 28, 2015 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (0)

About That Title...

Even the words “stay sober”— let alone live sober— offended many of us when we first heard such advice. Although we had done a lot of drinking, many of us never felt drunk, and were sure we almost never appeared or sounded drunk. Many of us never staggered, fell, or got thick tongues; many others were never disorderly, never missed a day at work, never had automobile accidents, and certainly were never hospitalized nor jailed for drunkenness.

We knew lots of people who drank more than we did, and people who could not handle their drinks at all. We were not like that. So the suggestion that maybe we should “stay sober” was almost insulting.

Besides, it seemed unnecessarily drastic. How could we live that way? Surely, there was nothing wrong with a cocktail or two at a business lunch or before dinner. Wasn’t everyone entitled to relax with a few drinks, or have a couple of beers before going to bed?

However, after we learned some of the facts about the illness called alcoholism, our opinions shifted. Our eyes have been opened to the fact that apparently millions of people have the disease of alcoholism. Medical science does not explain its “cause,” but medical experts on alcoholism assure us that any drinking at all leads to trouble for the alcoholic, or problem, drinker. Our experience overwhelmingly confirms this.

So not drinking at all— that is, staying sober— becomes the basis of recovery from alcoholism. And let it be emphasized: Living sober turns out to be not at all grim, boring, and uncomfortable, as we had feared, but rather something we begin to enjoy and find much more exciting than our drinking days. We’ll show you how.

Why 'not drinking'?

We members of Alcoholics Anonymous see the answer to that question when we look honestly at our own past lives. Our experience clearly proves that any drinking at all leads to serious trouble for the alcoholic, or problem drinker. In the words of the American Medical Association:

Alcohol, aside from its addictive qualities, also has a psychological effect that modifies thinking and reasoning. One drink can change the thinking of an alcoholic so that he feels he can tolerate another, and then another, and another. . . . The alcoholic can learn to completely control his disease, but the affliction cannot be cured so that he can return to alcohol without adverse consequences.*

And we repeat: Somewhat to our surprise, staying sober turns out not to be the grim, wet-blanket experience we had expected! While we were drinking, a life without alcohol seemed like no life at all. But for most members of A.A., living sober is really living— a joyous experience. We much prefer it to the troubles we had with drinking. One more note: anyone can get sober. We have all done it lots of times. The trick is to stay and to live sober. That is what this booklet is about.

* From an official statement issued July 31, 1964




Keep It Simple 2-05-15

Posted by Dayzed on February 5, 2015 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

We must believe the things we teach our children. — Woodrow Wilson

It may be easy to say the words and phrases we've heard without really meaning them. Someone says something at a meeting that sounds good. Our counselor has a favorite saying. We may say these words, but are we taking the time to ask the question, Do I believe what I'm saying? Step Two speaks of, “Came to believe....” By really believing in the Twelve Steps, we let them become part of us. The more we believe in the Steps the more we turn our lives over to them. Hopefully, over time, the Twelve Steps will guide us more and more. We'll speak to our family with the respect we've found in the Twelve Steps. Our spirit must truly believe. Then we can work the Steps.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, believing is something that lasts a lifetime. Give me the power to believe even when doubt creeps in.

Action for the Day

My beliefs are changing. Today, in my inventory, I'll ask: Do I believe what I said today?

 

Twelve Step Sponsorship:How it Works pp. 56-57

Posted by Dayzed on February 1, 2015 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (1)

SOME EXPECTATIONS TO CONSIDER IN SPONSORSHIP

1. Ethics

2. Confidentiality

3. Mutual honesty

4. Working the Steps

5. Meeting attendance

6. Sponsor availability

7. Frequency of contact

8. When and where to call

9. Sponsor replacement

10. Spirituality

 

Working the Steps

The Steps form the basis of every Twelve Step recovery program. Other program activities (meetings, sponsors, and Conference-approved literature) are designed to support us in working the Steps. Since our primary function as sponsors is to help our sponsees work the Steps, we should emphasize their importance from the beginning. My expectation for each of my sponsees is that he will be willing to work the Twelve Steps, and I ask for that commitment before agreeing to sponsor him.

Starting the Steps is a priority for program newcomers.

 

Meeting Attendance

For newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous, the suggested meeting attendance is ninety meetings in ninety days. Such a rigorous meeting schedule gives newcomers a firm grounding in program principles and establishes a new behavioral pattern based on acceptance of their alcoholism. It also represents a commitment to sobriety and to the work it requires. Ninety meetings in ninety days can also be recommended for other Twelve Step programs to help newcomers reduce their loneliness and sense of isolation. For these reasons and more, many of us have the “ninety-in-ninety” expectation for our sponsees and make that commitment a condition of sponsorship. I encourage my newcomer sponsees to include as many speaker meetings as possible in their ninety meetings. Speaker meetings help newcomers identify as alcoholics, addicts, or compulsive individuals . Speaker meetings also show newcomers that they can recover in a Twelve Step program and that they can be happy and successful. In speaker meetings, they get a full hour of experience, strength, and hope relating to recovery.

Speaker meetings are especially good for newcomers.

 

Keep It Simple January 29

Posted by Dayzed on January 29, 2015 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

An alcoholic spends his life committing suicide on the installment plan. — Laurence Peter

None of us woke up one morning and found we had suddenly turned into an addict. We got to be one by practice. And we practiced often. We ignored our families—we left work early—and went drinking and drugging. Daily, we chose chemicals over anything else. Likewise, getting sober is no accident. We use the Steps. We work the program. At meetings, we're reminded to help others. We all get sober on the installment plan. A day at a time. We got sick one day at a time; we recover one day at a time.

Prayer for the Day

Today, with my Higher Power's help, I'll be happier, more honest, more sober. Sobriety is like a good savings account. Higher Power, help me to put in more than I take out.

Action for the Day

I'll go over my Step One to remind myself it's no accident I'm an addict.

 




 


Living Sober #13 First Things First

Posted by Dayzed on January 22, 2015 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's an old saying that has special, strong meaning for us. Simply stated, it is this: Above all other

concerns, we must remember that we cannot drink. Not drinking is the first order of business for us,

anywhere, any time, under any circumstances.

This is strictly a matter of survival for us. We have learned that alcoholism is a killer disease,

leading to death in a large number of ways. We prefer not to activate that disease by risking a drink

Treatment of our condition, as the American Medical Association has noted, "primarily involves not

taking a drink." Our experience reinforces that prescription for therapy.

In practical, day-by-day matters, this means we must take whatever steps are necessary, at whatever

inconvenience, not to drink.

Some have asked us, "Does this mean you rank sobriety ahead of family, job, and the opinion of

friends?"

When we view alcoholism as the life-or-death matter it is, the answer is plain. If we do not save our

health—our lives—then certainly we will have no family, no job, and no friends. If we value family,

job, and friends, we must first save our own lives in order to cherish all three.

"First Things First" is rich in other meanings, too, which can be significant in combating our

drinking problem. For instance, many of us have noticed that when we first stopped drinking, it

seemed to take us longer to make up our minds than we liked. Decisions seemed to come hard—on

again, then off again.

Now, indecisiveness is certainly not limited to recovering alcoholics, but perhaps it bothered us

more than it would others. The newly sober homemaker could not figure out which of many cleanup

jobs to do first. The businessman couldn't decide whether to return those phone calls or dictate those

letters. In many departments of our lives, we wanted to catch up on all the tasks and obligations we

had been neglecting. Obviously, we couldn't take care of them all at once.

So "First Things First" helped. If any of the choices before us involved drinking or not drinking, that

decision deserved and got priority. Unless we held on to our sobriety, we knew, no cleaning would

get done, no calls made, no letters written.

Then we used the same slogan in ordering our newfound sober time. We tried planning the day's

activities, arranging our tasks in order of importance, and never making the schedule too tight. We

kept in mind another "first," our general health, because we knew that getting overtired or skipping

meals could be dangerous.

During active alcoholism, many of us led pretty disorganized lives, and the confusion often made us

feel unsettled or even desperate. Learning not to drink is facilitated, we have discovered, by

introducing some order into each day—but being realistic and keeping our plan flexible. The rhythm

of our own special routine has a soothing effect, and an apt principle around which to organize some

orderliness is—yes, "First Things First."


Sponsorship

Posted by Richard Rothman on August 2, 2014 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi, my name is Richard_R511 and I am willing to be a sponsor for newcomers. I have a sponsor and a Grandsponsor. I have worked the steps several times as written in the Big Book. The program of AA is the first 164 pages of the Big Book. You can PM me here or on ITR.

What's this for?

Posted by Greg Richards on June 10, 2014 at 6:20 AM

Hi family

This area is for blogs relating specifically to the 12 steps, your interpretation of them and how you apply them in your lives.