Eighty years ago today, a proctologist in Akron, Ohio, took his last drink of booze. As a result of his having gotten sober with the help of another drunk, a businessman from New York, Alcoholics Anonymous was born. More here.
It would be interesting to know how many people owe their lives and the sanity of family members to that happy coincidence, via the rooms of AA and its sister organization Alanon. We will, of course, never know. We can surmise that the figure is in the millions, but there is no real way to tell.
There’s a bunch, though. I know a few myself. Happy Birthday, AA!
I was at a meeting tonight, and when they were handing out chips the guy presenting them had another fellow helping him by selecting them ahead of time and handing them to him when needed. Unfortunately, two or three people complained that they’d gotten the wrong color chips.
After about the third one, the guys conferred briefly, then the presenter said, “I asked my friend to help me because I’m color blind. Now he tells me that he’s color blind too!”
My wife and I picked up medallions at a meeting last night. We’ve been celebrating with that group since we got out of treatment 25 years ago, with the exception of a couple of years a few years back. My anniversary was the 14th, and hers is today. Although we don’t get to that meeting very often, the group is special to us because it was the first 12-step meeting we attended outside of a treatment facility.
It was great to see old friends and listen to the things the other celebrants and attendees had to say. I couldn’t help but think, as I often do, about the incredible importance of those folks’ support, and the support of many who are no longer with us. There is no question in my mind but that I would have relapsed without it, because my arrogance had me convinced – for much longer than it should have – that I could handle recovery on my own. Continue reading →
When we first came to recovery we already had a Higher Power. We worshiped it, followed its every command, and spent many hours a day in its service. It was the first thing we thought of in the morning, and the last at night. We were faithful to a fault — and usually beyond a fault. We obsessed on our Higher Power to the exclusion of family, faith, common sense and self-preservation. Finally, after it failed us one time too many, we ended up at the end of the line: treatment, the rooms of the recovery fellowships or whatever refuge we were able to find from our devotion to our addiction.
So why do so many of us have this problem with “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” and the other references to a higher power “as we understood” it in our twelve step fellowships?
The principle behind the Second Step is hope, not religion. It says “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” [Emphasis mine] If I believe that the only power greater than me is God, then I’m really a sick puppy. If we wish, the “God” in the program can be considered metaphor for the people in the rooms, our support system, and the program itself — surely all higher powers than we, for purposes of recovery and learning a new way to live (and how other people choose to think of it is none of our business).Continue reading →
A craving is a feeling that we want to get high — to forget who we are, what’s happening, what happened in the past, things that worry us, family problems and so forth. There are times when we’re unable to think about anything else, and others when the cravings are fleeting and easy to ignore…. Handling Cravings