Forward to the first edition

You can find a virtual copy of the Big Book Here. This is the chapter I provided notes for today.

  1. AA was more than 100 members at the time the book was written.
  2. Precisely– being exactly that and neither more nor less
  3. Alcoholic is a very sick person
  4. Our way of living has its advantages for all. (See the chapters to wives and the family afterwards.)
  5. Anonymous– of unknow name, whose name is witheld
  6. Avocation– a minor occupation, a hobby
  7. Anonymity is requested on AA’s when speaking publicly and in the press.
  8. (AA preamble and Tradition 11 probably come from this source.)
  9. Signed by the Fellowship, not Bill W.
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Medical problems please stand by

Due to the summer heat and severe migraines I will be cutting back posting to a couple of times per week until my Doctor can help me find a solution. My apologies.

Please review the archives if there is something you are interested in. I am heartbroken, as I have so many topics I want to write about. 

Thank you. 

Justanotheralcoholic 

The only Big Book some will ever see

I confess that I pull these topics off the top of my head most days. Sometimes, I am able to tie them to other topics I have shared on, usually, it is just random thoughts. This is another one of those random thoughts.

I heard, when I first came to AA that I needed to behave as I could be truly the only Big Book that someone would ever see. I’m still confused by this, especially since most people do not know that I am an alcoholic, let alone in recovery. Yes, close family and friends know, as does my medical team. Yet the broad public does not know and does not need to know.

So breaking down this phrase a little bit more, I take it as if I am supposed to behave as if God is my new Employer. I am to behave as if God is my director. I am to be helpful to others if I am able, and to pray for those that I am not able to help.

If I am requested, on those rare occasions that it happens, to help another alcoholic outside of the rooms, I am to give the information and to share my experience strength and hope with others, especially alcoholics.

I try, when working with strangers, to keep my alcoholism off the topic list, and yet to act with the best manners I can. This is a huge change from years ago. I was an entitled brat. The world owed me, or so I thought, and I was to be catered to.

Ironically, as the daughter of a hard-working man and woman, I was owed nothing. I had contributed nothing to society, and yet…

By working the steps, especially step 3, and changing my will and life, I don’t believe that anymore.

Today, I am just grateful to be alive.

That’s all I have for now, may God be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit.

Problems other than alcoholism and the fellowship

I’m one of those alcoholics with problems other than alcohol. I qualify under Tradition 3 to attend more than one fellowship for recovery. For the most part, I attend only AA.

Here is what I do.

In meetings, 90% of the time, I identify only as an Alcoholic. I speak only about alcoholism, or alcoholic thinking or actions.

Outside of meetings, in my own step work, I bring up all of my problems other than alcoholism. I work as hard as I can and do the best I can with what God has given me. I try to maintain fit spiritual condition. I pray and keep praying that God gives me the grace and strength to get through each day clean and sober.

With problems other than alcohol, the first step is the same. Just substitute the words for alcohol. I covered all my problems in step one.

As far as sponsoring others in recovery? I just do the best I can. I am not an expert. And these articles and essays are not written by an expert by any means.

My apologies for a short post. It is about 4:30AM and I’m feeling a little ragged. Take care, may God be with you in the fellowship of the spirit.

Surviving without meetings

Now that I have braved the battlefront of surviving without a sponsor, it is time to talk about surviving without a meeting.

I know a couple of alcoholics in sobriety who do not attend AA. They are former members, not current members of AA.

How do they do it? Why do they do it? Huh?

Let’s break down the reasons why these two former AA’s do not attned meetings. For reasons of their own, after working the program and being heavily in service, their attendance dropped off slowly. One of them went to out of state meetings only for awhile, then finally quite going to meetings at all. The other popped a resentment, had had enough, and walked away.

Both are excellent members of society, and they work very hard. They are generous, very kind people. They are a joy to be around.

Wait a minute? What about the 90 in 90 I talked about in the last post? What about keep coming back it works? What about …..?

Breathe. Both of these individuals had over 10 years of sobriety when they walked away from AA meetings. Both of these individuals work the program. Both of these individuals had successfully worked all 12 steps several times before walking away.

There are times in my own history, when I could not physically attend meetings for months. I was stuck in bed and very ill. Here is how I survived.

I joined some online email meetings. I worked the steps, and I did a 5th step with my priest. When I was able to get out of bed, I tried attending meetings to the best of my ability. I also kept in touch with my sponsors and worked as hard as I could.

I was miserable, and lonely.

Again, I do not recommend this for anyone. It is not easy being in recovery, but not getting support and reinforced by other alcoholics. I sunk into a deep depression.

Now, just to let you know, I do attend at least 3 meetings per week. Some times, I attend 3 meetings per day. Most of those are online, due to finances and geography. I do the best I can to get to AA on a face to face level.

That’s all I have for now. May God be with you today and every day.

Going solo without a sponsor

Considering what I have been writing lately, it is time to discuss whether or not it is possible to go without a sponsor in recovery.

I do not recommend this, on any level. The few times I have done it, I have had more problems than I ever had before.

Is it possible? Absolutely. I know several members who have considerable experience and time who have survived the death or drinking of a sponsor and stayed sober. I also know one or two people who have never had a sponsor, who survived sobriety. They eventually fell away from meetings, and I have not seen them since.

Now, how to go about it?

I would recommend hitting both the books and meetings as hard as you can. 90 meetings in 90 days is not a joke. In other words, averaging at least one meeting per day when you do not have a sponsor is ideal.  If for example there are only two meetings per week in your area, then supplemental meetings will be necessary. If nothing else is available, I would hit online meetings as hard as I could in addition to face to face meetings.

Hit the books, work the steps, and live the program. By hitting the books, I mean studying every aspect of the program. I mean putting everything you can on paper, and learning as much as you can. Study meetings can fill in some of the blanks of your education.

I will repeat, it is possible to survive without a sponsor. It is possible to stay sober without a sponsor. Yet, again, it is so difficult to do so, that I cannot suggest any other means of staying sober.

Why can I say this? I have survived without a sponsor at times in the last 20 years. It was pure unmitigated torture. I did not grow, and I did not thrive. However, it is what it is. That’s all I have for you, may God be with you in the fellowship of the spirit.