My Sponsor Went to the Balloon Festival Recently…

An alcoholic is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a farmer down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: “Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?”

The farmer says: “Sure! You’re in a hot air balloon, hovering about 30 feet above this field.”

“You must be an AA sponsor,” says the alcoholic with just a hint of resentment.

“I am” replies the farmer. “How did you know that?”

“Well,” says the alcoholic, “Everything you told me is technically correct but it’s of absolutely no use to anyone.”

The farmer below says, “Then I’m guessin’ you’re an alcoholic. Am I right?”

“Yes,” the drunk replies, “But how did you know?”

“It’s easy,” explains the farmer, “You don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You expect me to be able to help. You’re in the same position you were before we met — but now it’s my fault!”

Twelve Step Work

            Like many of the people who find their way to Alcoholics Anonymous, I was broken; beat down, dying, miserable, hopeless with only one solution to drink and only wanting not to drink anymore.  Then, after coming around a few weeks, getting a fearless and loving sponsor and giving guys rides to meetings (before we started the steps), I took advice after getting from some nice people (my best friends and roommates today). 

            One friend, Nick B., always would answer a question, no matter what it was: to be of service.  I didn’t understand that at first.  It took awhile to feel accepted or like I fit in after doing what they did, which was give rides, fellowship, shake hands, make coffee, get a home group, get a position in that home group, set up, clean up and of course, talk to the new guy.  After a while of staying busy in Alcoholics Anonymous, things got good very fast.  I started to have feelings of humility and that I have a purpose to help out wherever possible, which in turn makes me feel warm inside doing the next right thing. 

            Well, its been a great ride and I never can think of turning my back on my purpose to help other alcoholics, being maximum service to my fellows and people in general and to show gratitude for God’s grace and the gifts of sobriety.

            Today, I am sponsored, sponsor, have two positions in my home group, and am in love with the program and fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Also, there are a few reasons I eagerly enjoy the twelve step.

            One, you can help and share the message from day one.  Two, actions in the program bring me closer to God and serenity.  Three, it’s a joyous pleasure. Four, sense of duty as a soldier to spread the message.  Five, repaying the debt to my sponsor for being my first trusting friend, guiding me through the steps, for the men who have shared their strength, experience and hope with me.  Six, whenever I share my experience or help another alcoholic, it insures me from the next drink. Finally, as my good friend, Bob M, told me twelfth stepping is like the good dope and I want some of that.  Grateful to be sober, of service and stepping out easy today.


Greg V.

Des Moines, IA 

The Beauty is in the Breakdown

I’ve been sober a little while. Nothing super fancy, but everyday I’m sober is one more day than I used to be and something to be grateful for. I don’t know where I got this idea that once I got sober everything was going to be perfect, no one ever told me that would be the case. I think some major defects come into play here and I think sometimes I still feel invincible. I work a lot harder on it today but a few months back some things began to happen Continue reading “The Beauty is in the Breakdown”

Sobriety: A Surprising Adventure

I hadn’t been sober long, when I asked my sponsor—a woman I worked with who had just celebrated 20 years—a question that weighed heavy on my mind: What if I get bored in AA? I had tried everything else I could think of before I got here and was convinced I had nowhere else to go. Knowing my reaction to boredom—and not being able to imagine how meeting with you all to read the Big Book and the 12 & 12 several times a week and hearing about how you worked the steps over and over and over again could not EVENTUALLY get BORING—I truly feared I’d be bored before long and head out for other horizons. She suggested that if AA got boring to me, that glass of iced tea I was drinking in her kitchen would, too, and before long I’d be Continue reading “Sobriety: A Surprising Adventure”

One Among Many

I would like to begin by thanking the program of Alcoholics Anonymous for the unforeseen gifts I have been given by this program.  The program has given me the tools needed to live a great life today.  When I got to the program all I ever wanted to be was happy.  I would have sold myself short very short if happiness was all I was after.
I was selfish and self-centered and whatever you did seemed to effect me somehow.  I was never out to see how I could help others it was always how everyone could help me or what I could get from you.  Through this program I get to see where I can add to.  What can I give instead of recieve.  When I am giving I am really the winner, it makes me feel like walking on a cloud by helping others today.  It is not only in the program but also outside the program.  Where can I be helpful?  Neighbers, parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, church; the list is endless really.  When I am helping you I am at my best.Sponsorship has been a key element in my sobriety.  Her guidence has been priceless in my life.  There have been times of course like any person that I have baulked at direction but in the long run it has only affected me and of course those around me.  I have done things for my Continue reading “One Among Many”

From Death to the Light of Alcoholics Anonymous

                 After a long bender of cheap rum and no food, I woke up again in the local ICU not having any recollection of the previous days leading to this except I drank because of an argument and wanted to take the pain away by having just a few drinks.  The hospital was no strange place for me; I’ve been there many times from numerous alcohol related situations.  I thought it was just another blackout where my family or friends were concerned and got me the the ER for another quick detox.  After awakening in the hospital, something was tremendously Continue reading “From Death to the Light of Alcoholics Anonymous”


  Before sobriety, my willingness to take action was almost always based on experiencing pain of some sort. This created stress in my life and everyone around me. I had no accountability, didn’t want any, and had my own agenda.

  When I came to AA, I was asked to come to meetings, get a sponsor, and keep in mind the similarities. For a short period of time I did those things partially, but, as the book says, half measures availed me nothing! Ready to jump in the middle of AA, I got super busy. Lots of meetings, regular contact with my sponsor, fellowship, service positions, and a homegroup.

  As I have gotten older Continue reading “Action”