STEP 2 MEN’S GAZETTE
May 1, 2020 Vol. One No.31
The GSR Says!
Alcoholics Anonymous District 24 met online April 8.
Most of our discussion was about how groups were adjusting to the online formats. Only one GSR out of the 17 groups represented at our meeting reported that their group was not meeting in any form.
Finances were discussed and most of the groups had suspended their rent payments, and as of our meeting, none of the groups had received requests for payments from their rental spaces.
The majority of groups had gone to using VENMO for collection of 7th Tradition funds. Surprisingly, groups found that their donations were up compared to the previous months. Several groups were planning to keep the “virtual basket” available as an option in the future.
Overall people felt that members were grateful for the opportunity to plug into so many meetings from their homes. There was concern, however, that newcomers, people who were needing to find their way into their first AA meeting were less inclined to make their first AA meeting an online meeting. So, while we were grateful to have our regular meetings available to us, we felt pretty much cut-off from the world of the still suffering alcoholic. How to address this? We were not sure, but there was hope that AA would find a way to adjust to the world’s changing circumstances; what we could do today was to keep our groups strong and our personal sobriety strong so we would be ready to meet with and be of service to the newcomers of the future.
Thank you for allowing me to be of service.
Contributed by George T.
Mark Your Calendar…Monday, May 4th!
This Monday, May 4th…our own “celebrity-alcoholic” Tim C. hosts a special Monday meeting. Take a peek “behind the canvas” as we visit Tim’s studio live! How does the artist work? What is he working on now? Maybe he’ll work as we meet? Find out Monday!
It could be a lot of fun and a lot of funny…thanks Tim C. We’re looking forward to it!
Pass the Basket…please?
As we enter fifth week or so without meeting in person…there’s a big elephant in the room! You guessed it…revenue from our contributions. Our trusted servants, Step 2 Men’s Group Treasurer Dan Mc. and General Secretary Tom W. are asking our help.
In fact, we’re all asking each of you and us…to make a contribution to the group. Please make your check or money order payable to “Dan McKinley” and mail direct to: Dan McKinley P.O. Box 221756 Sacramento, CA. 95822.
While an amount of $50 is ideal, we understand this may not be possible for all or even desirable. Any amount is much appreciated, any amount is thoughtful. As always, it is an entirely voluntary contribution. There will be no judging! Well…not much anyway. Just kidding, no one share whether or if you assisted.
Please give what you can. Our group remits a great deal to Central Office, St. Francis Church (both rent & causes) and other expenses. Thank you in advance all of you…you guys are awesome!
DAY 77: 6 hours 37 minutes
Ground Control to Major Tom…Ground Control to Major Tom… I’m floating in the most peculiar way. The Stars look very different today. My concrete reinforced space ship condo is still functioning, hurling through space, searching for safe landing and eventual debarkation. Fuel has remained steady.
Alcohol based replenishments have continued to be avoided however; the engines can’t seem to stay out of the kitchen. They desperately need the gyms to reopen; they’ll feel thinner knowing that they can use them, even if they probably won’t. Communication is inconsistent. Data received per the electronic screen units is confusing. Some data received is encouraging and hopeful but have found that changing the micro frequency channel finds contrary data of doom and gloom.
Alien encounters each evening at 19:00 PST Tijuana when I hear them howl at nothing in particular. I Roger “CAN’T PARK THERE!” mildly amused at their reactions.
I find being annoying is replacing my needs for live sports. How many YouTube reruns can one watch of the Pete Carroll led Trojans dominating college football?
I call my ex-wife and tell her I have no more money. I tell my liberal friends, Trump is the greatest President I tell my conservative friends that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is an economic genius. I hide the remote controls from myself. I walk around Downtown in a Lakers jersey with the name Ponds on the back. It’s all good therapy. I recommend it. There have been repercussions to isolation in space…I am getting bored with Netflix and Prime… there I said it…I know… this has to stop. Take your protein pills and strap your helmet on tell the control room I have very much appreciated connection to other remote locations in the universe at 11:30 PST Tijuana seven days a week. I did not stop the insanity… but … I think it slowed it down. This is Major Tom to Ground Control I’m stepping through the door. Roger that. Over and OUT! One more thing…Hang in there!
Contributed by John M.
THE LITERARY CORNER: ALCOHOL IN LITERATURE
“As a man gets older, his regrets changes. Especially when he’s gotten into the Scotch.”
― Robert Crais, The Forgotten Man
“I soaked up the drink and it, in return, absorbed me.”
― Martin Pond, Dark Steps
“Any connoisseur knows you’ve got to be drunk to really enjoy a good romance.”
― Osamu Dazai, Blue Bamboo: Japanese Tales of Fantasy
“Alcohol. It sucks the life out of a face and replaces it with its own dumb shine of inanity. It’s up to you. If you want to lose yourself, have a drink.”
― Kevin Brooks, Martyn Pig
“Alcoholism is a choice… not a life sentence.”
― David Norman, Alcohemy: The Solution to Ending Your Alcohol Habit for Good–Privately, Discreetly, and Fully in Control
“Hit the bottom and get back up; or hit the bottle and stay down.”
― Anthony Liccione
“However much I booze…there ain’t no way out.” Pete Townshend
From an idea by George T.
OUR TRUSTED SERVANTS CONTINUE TO BE:
The current ‘Step 2 Men’s Group’ meeting schedule is Monday through Sunday at 11:30 AM. All meetings are online for now until further notice. The Thursday meeting is a ‘Book/Step Study’ format. Each of the M-Sunday gatherings are one hour. Great job men!
Monday: Tim C.
Tuesday: Dick M.
Wednesday: John M.
Thursday: George T.
Friday: Dan Mc.
Saturday: David K.
Sunday: “Guitar Dan” T.
Want to add your name to the “Back-up-Help-Substitute Secretary List”? Just contact Group GS, Tom W., Treasurer Dan Mc. or any Monday through Sunday Secretaries and let them know!
We’ve been enjoying great attendance at our online meetings, every day of the week.
It’s great to see faces from the past like Jeremy B and Rory, recently thought missing like David M and Keith, and new members Marv, Ken H, Chris and anyone else I might have missed! And thanks to David K and Danny T for picking up the new weekend duties!
Google tracks everything so we might as well use that data. For the time being, here’s a pie chart showing how we connect to our meeting.
At first “calculation” it looks like our online meeting is averaging a dozen members a day with a monthly record of 19 set on April 22. Our all-time record of 20 was set on March 30.
If we’re still online this time next month, come back for more exciting data visualizations (hopefully better than these)!
Contributed by Mark C.
NEW COLUMN: “Mouse’s Corner”
A.A. member Dave Mc. curates a few selected readings from a variety of A.A. related publications each month. Dave is a life long friend of the editor and has been sober 34 years. His childhood nickname was “Mouse!”
“It’s worked for quite a few days now, so I think I’ll try it again tomorrow.” Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book 4th edition, pg. 337 ‘Cross the River of Denial’
“Action is not always visible. Sometimes in order for us to move forward we must stand very still. Meditation can be hard because it can be so uncomfortable to be quiet with ourselves, to simply stand in the moment and be present. But this is where we ask for help, listen for answers, look ourselves in the eye, and see who we are, where we are, and how we are. When we can be still and observe without judgment, we are given the clarity to see what is right for us and what is not.” Living Clean, pgs. 31-32
“Just how and when we tell the truth…or keep silent…can often reveal the difference between genuine integrity and none at all.” As Bill Sees It
“A.A is a synthesis of all the philosophy I’ve ever read, all of the positive good philosophy, all of it based on love.” Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, 3rd edition, pg. 542. ‘He Who Loses His Life’
Contributed by Dave Mc.
First Wednesday…May 6th
John M. reviews the 3rd Step on May 6th (First Wednesday). “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” PHEW! Tall order…I only drank too much didn’t I?
John reviews the step corresponding to the number of that month on each first Wednesday. It’s a rewarding meeting with John outlining the step of the month, how he was challenged by it and how we tackle it ourselves, with and without success! Look for his monthly contribution in this edition!
THURSDAY ‘Book & Step Study’
George T. takes us through the Twelve Steps and Big Book portions to start the meeting every Thursday. Each missive is packed with fine prose, fascinating insights and challenging reading. Following the read (about 20 minutes)…the floor is open to everyone’s thoughts on how they may have been influenced or impacted by that writing. It’s really fun to be a part of and members are enjoying it.
Get on in here and show George support and contribute something to the newcomer. Every Thursday at 11:30.
April Birthdays …IF They Make It!
Dan T. May 16th…Dan celebrates 4 years!
Steve H. May 17th…Steve celebrates 31 years!
David K. May 18th…David celebrates 14 years!
Dan Mc. May 19th…Dan celebrates 32 years!
Jeremy B. May 23rd…Jeremy celebrates 14 years!
If your birthday has been missed….there are TWO ways to get included:
* PLEASE ‘reply’ by email now…OR…log-on to step2mensgroup.com with…
- Your First Name w/ Last initial
- Your “AA’ Birthday (ex.8/1/18)
We really want to celebrate your AA anniversary because your birthday made ours possible!
Thanks everybody and apologies to you if you were missed or incorrectly noted.
Alcoholics Anonymous ‘Daily Reflection…’
HEALING HEART AND MIND
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 55
Since it is true that God comes to me through people, I can see that by keeping people at a distance I also keep God at a distance. God is nearer to me than I think and I can experience Him by loving people and allowing people to love me. But I can neither love nor be loved if I allow my secrets to get in the way.
It’s the side of myself that I refuse to look at that rules me. I must be willing to look at the dark side in order to heal my mind and heart because that is the road to freedom. I must walk into darkness to find the light and walk into fear to find peace.
By revealing my secrets – and thereby ridding myself of guilt – I can actually change my thinking; by altering my thinking, I can change myself. My thoughts create my future. What I will be tomorrow is determined by what I think today.
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
I was sooo sick when I was new…at one point I asked another guy in my home group if I could copy his Fourth Step! Luke T. Kentucky October 2003
An anonymous drunk was heard to say, “I feel sorry for A.A. members. They feel just as good when they get up in the morning as they’re going to feel all day!” Rocky B. Tulsa, OK 1991
“ The lush sat drinking at his kitchen table, complaining to his wife that his bartender didn’t understand him.” Dan K. Hamilton, Ontario February 1977
Sent From a Friend: “I’m giving up drinking for a month. Sorry. That came out wrong. I’m giving up. Drinking for a month!” Dick M. Step 2 Men’s Group April 2020
Have you heard about alcoholic Alzheimer’s disease? You forget about your resentments! Byron T. Spokane, WA June 1999
“It’s the first drink that gets you drunk. It’s the last one that gets you sober!” John R. Bronxville, NY August 1959
“The Joke Box” features narratives, anecdotes and jokes from the AA publication “A Rabbit Walks Into a Bar”. Available at the AA Central Office, it contains the best material from the historic AA Grapevine. You can learn more at aagrapevine.org. Thanks to Anthony S. for picking up a copy and suggesting it!
My First Meeting
Please be “of service.” If you’ve never contributed a “My First Meeting”, please help to keep this column going…we need you! What do you remember most of your first meeting? It can be one sentence; it can be up to two paragraphs. Could be funny, poignant or strickly “clinical”. Write what you want…you might have enjoy writing it! Here’s how our Jeff E. remembers his first one:
On a Saturday in August, my boss had me come to the office and said that either I go to Starting Point which was at the Roseville Hospital on the following Monday or do not come back.
Reluctantly I went that Monday. I checked into the hospital and that night was my first AA meeting. I immediately looked around the room and saw a few very good looking women and knew that I was in the right place. Someone got up and started the meeting and people talked. I had absolutely no idea about what they were talking about or the subject matter, but seemed to be pretty happy and content. At the end of the meeting, we formed a circle and again found a very good looking woman to stand next to, and held her hand. They asked me to lead with the Lord’s Prayer of which I had no idea, but did bluff my way through.
The next meeting was on Friday and after almost one week of not drinking felt my better. Again, I have no recollection except the same woman was there. They did not ask me to lead in the Lord’s Prayer, but I did get to hold her hand!
Contributed by Jeff E.
Memory Lane…Remember the FUN We Had?
Step 2 Men’s Group Believes…
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
We’d never presume that the 12 Steps are not clear. Nor would we imply that they need ‘improvement’. However…for purposes of assisting to keep the meeting pointed in an important direction each day, the ‘Step 2 Men’s Group statement is read as follows:
Step 2 Men’s Group is founded on the belief that spirituality is essential to our sobriety. Our group is non-religious, but we do not oppose anyone’s religious beliefs. We believe that respect for others and their beliefs are essential to our spiritual development. Accordingly we ask that avoid criticism of others or of their religion or lack of religion, their race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, physical appearance, trade or profession, length of sobriety, or personal beliefs. Our goal is to further our spirituality, our sobriety and our personal development, not to confront or belittle others. Always remember to be kind to others.
SPECIAL THANKS DEPT:
Thanks to our ‘GSR’ George T. for “The GSR Says”. Thank you John M. for “Day 77”. Thanks to Mark C. for your contributions in making our online meetings a reality, managing our secretaries and guiding members through the process. He also wrote “Step2mensgroup.com.” Thank you Jeff for “My First Meeting.” Thanks to Dave Mc. for “Mouse’s Corner.” Thank you Anthony S. for the ‘Joke Box’. Thank you Dick M. for the joke. We’re still waiting for YOU gentle reader…Why YOU don’t contribute a short “something?” Any length, most any AA related topic. Reply now and it will get included next month!
On a serious note…the sender’s email address [email protected] has been created specifically for this newsletter. The ‘inbox’ may not be reviewed often. Every effort will be made to NOT share your email address with anyone w/o express written permission from you. You may ‘opt out’ at any time from this newsletter by simple reply…” Stop sending me this junk”! Please suggest columns, advice…ideas. Your comments are always welcome.