An Absence of the Intent to Deceive

Much of this program defied my understanding at first. I could read the Big Book and understand all the words, but how to apply them? Words like honesty, faith, humility and serenity seemed wonderful goals, but were so distant. I didn’t know how to begin. I heard people say that all I hand to change was “everything you think and everything you do” and that was of little comfort. I’ve also heard that whatever my first thought is, I’m probably better off doing the opposite. Yeah, sure. Whatever that means.

One day I heard a definition that has changed my perspective on many of the actions I take in Alcoholics Anonymous. The topic was honesty and the definition was Continue reading “An Absence of the Intent to Deceive”

I’m an alcoholic and a …………

In more and more meetings today, people announce themselves as being an alcoholic and then whatever their second addiction may be: i.e. “I’m an alcoholic and a drug addict,” or “I’m an alcoholic and cross-addicted,” or “I’m chemically addicted and an alcoholic.”

This identification process, which originates in treatment centers, has slowly crept into common usage at our meetings.  There is nothing especially wrong with the idea here, but is it really necessary that we announce our secondary afflictions and maybe more to the point, should we allow it?

Thank God for the treatment centers that are sending so many newcomers to AA, as we surely want and need these people.  However, we do not need the treatment center practices that they bring with them.  Treatment centers generally consider alcohol to be Continue reading “I’m an alcoholic and a …………”

Character Defects…

How often I will find myself stuck in the middle of a defect, self-will, resentment, fear, anger, which all stem from my spiritual sickness and lack of trust and faith in God – I think to myself how did I get here? As if I didn’t I would be surprised when I can feel myself going to that place – but my ISM steps in and says – you can figure this out, don’t worry about talking it over with your sponsor – she is too busy for this petty crap – just pray about it, it will go away if you pray.

The problem is, I need action in addition to prayer, not just prayer. Haven’t I heard this before? If I’m HOW (Honest, Open-Minded and Willing) I will be okay, right? Saying and practicing that principle are so different. I can say I’m yep, I am an honest person because Continue reading “Character Defects…”

The Grinch

     My mind was wandering when it shouldn’t have been.  It was hot in the room. Sweat ran into my eyes, trying to pool there, as I strung the wet, sticky, drywall tape onto the ceiling joints.  I’d contracted a drywall job, probably twenty sheets or so, near my parents’ house. It was a room addition on the back, south side, of the building.  The three walls were crowded with large glass windows and sliding doors, as if the owners’ idea was to bake anyone who entered on sunny days.  If that were the case, it was working.

     As I stood on the scaffolds’ top level, I could see the surrounding neighborhood through the highest window.  A single house, in particular, stood out from the rest. It was a still bright yellow two-story dwelling.  I knew it almost as well as my parents’ house, just up the street, where I’d lived as a child.  The longer I looked at it, the more memories rushed back to me, the more distracted I became.

     It was where the Long family had lived, and Mitchell Long had been my best friend.  Even after twenty some years, my best memories of that chapter in life were connected to Mitch’s house, his family, and him.  Then suddenly, a darker thought, a most unpleasant memory entered the room.

     I remember how ugly it felt as the shame rushed over me.  It was disturbing enough that I Continue reading “The Grinch”

The Tough Road of Sobriety

I have been sober now for just over 10 years.  I am finding as I trudge the road of happy destiny that, it gets tougher the longer I do it.  Most things you do get easier the more you do them.  Sobriety though is a just the opposite.  They say the path gets narrower, and that is a true statement.

My desire to drink and use left me in the first few months of sobriety, and I am grateful for that.  I don’t even think about it now.  Every once in awhile the thought of a drink, or smoking a joint Continue reading “The Tough Road of Sobriety”