The GSR Says!
GENERAL SERVICE REPORT FOR MAY
This month I would like to share some questions from a Traditions Checklist. Over this past year, in conversations with members of other groups in our Area there has been a renewed focus on the Traditions. It is not surprising, given all the changes the COVID pandemic has brought to our AA experience. Just as the 12 Steps guide us through our living sober journeys, the Traditions guide our groups. I hope each of us to takes some time to consider the questions for Tradition Five (since this is May, the fifth month).
Each group has but one primary purpose–to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers
- Am I willing to firmly explain to newcomers the limitations of AA help, even if they may get mad at me for not giving them a loan? Or dating advice? Or help with a job?
- Have I ever imposed on any AA member for a special favor or consideration simply because I am a fellow alcoholic?
- Am I willing to Twelfth-Step the next newcomer without regard to who or what is in it for me?
- Do I help my group in every way to fulfill our primary purpose?
- Do I remember that AA long-timers, too, can be alcoholics who still suffer? Do I try both to help them and learn from them?
- Does our group ever use money from the basket for dinners events or for memorials or members who have passed on?
Thank you for allowing me to be of service.
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.
FIVE STEPS IN ANY DIRECTION
Okay, my ADHD was really kicking up today but I know there is a point here.
I had a hard time finding a guy who wanted to hear me take the Fifth Step.
The first guy, my second sponsor, held my type written nine page tome in his hand like it was used Charmin and told me I was not ready to do a Fifth Step. I wasn’t ready, he said, I was not quite finished with my First Step.
Hung my head and regrouped.
The second attempt was with my third sponsor, an attorney, who told me to put the by now 14 page treatise aside and just tell him my story. I started in and after about 3 minutes, he pulls up a yellow pad, checks his watch, and writes the time and date on the top of the yellow pad. Was he gonna charge me?
About 20 minutes in to my dissertation, I noticed he is starting to nod off. He awoke when I tried to slip the yellow pad out from under his hands, and said, “That’s mine”. He turned the pad over, and we concluded a tortuous 30 minutes later.
Oh, come on, you’re exaggerating. Maybe a little, but not a lot. And he dropped me as a sponsee within a month.
My fifth sponsor was a guy I knew for a long time and safe to say, “He was there”.
Throughout my struggles with addictions, dependencies and abuse there were many times he was one of the guys there and he had the same root problems of addictions, dependencies and abuse. So, that has worked out.
As I have said many times in our meetings, I do not feel I have finished all the Steps. They are ongoing. I keep a file in a Microsoft Notebook on my computer and my Fourth Step is on there, always being corrected, annotated and added to.
And I think my Fifth Step with my current sponsor is ongoing too.
He knows, sometimes personally and other times of the people in my resentments. He certainly knows of all my guilt and self-recriminations and does his best to tamper them down. F.B . – those are his initials, instills in me one thought about life, “You Cannot Play Yesterday’s Game Over”.
Whatever I do. Whether its AA related or anything else in life, there are no replays, only recordings.
So it’s a good idea to plan some for our day ahead. When I say, that the Big Book and the 12 Steps and Traditions, are not just about drinking but changing my lifestyle, I say this is where the authors were genius.
I am no meditator. I am not a swami any degree. But if I take some time and put it aside to reflect and a little more time to plan, I think things go better. Not to discount all spur of the moment incidents, they have their purpose too. But taking some time in addition to.
There is an old Richard Pryor clip on You Tube. Back in the day, Pryor was a god to me and the Entourage. Profanity regulations restrict me sending along a link here and if you blush at cussing then it may not be for you. But it entails former NFL great Jim Brown going to Pryor’s house for an intervention. Pryor suffered greatly from addiction and he was as addicts are greatly resistant and obstinate about getting better. And Jim Brown keeps asking him, “Whatcha gonna do?” and Jim Brown asks it over and over, until Pryor eventually relents and heads to rehab.
And I often think about that clip in a lot of different circumstances. Because usually know what is the right thing to do but its not always easy. We’ll get into that in another column. In the meantime…
Whatcha gonna do?
Contributed by John M.
THURSDAY ‘Book & Step Study’
Bob R. 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 Bob support and contribute something to the newcomer. Every Thursday at 11:30.
We’ll try to make readings available ahead of time on the website.
May Birthdays… IF They Make It!
This month, our old friend, Dan Mc, would have celebrated 33 years! Out of respect to him we have chosen to “retire” his sobriety date and display it in perpetuity. Dan most certainly Made It!
May 16th… Dan T. celebrates 5 years!
May 17th… Steve H. celebrates 32 years!
May 18th… David K. celebrates 15 years!
May 19th… Dan Mc. would celebrate 33 years!
May 23rd… Jeremy B. celebrates 15 years!
If your birthday has been missed…. fill out the birthday form.
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.
First Wednesday… May 5th
John M. reviews Step 5 on May 5th (First Wednesday). “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
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!
Pass the Basket… please?
AS OF THIS DATE, OUR GENERAL SECRETARY TOM W. HAS RECOMMENDED THAT WE PAUSE OUR SEVENTH TRADITION DONATIONS UNTIL WE ARE ABLE TO RETURN TO OUR OLD DIGS.
I started tracking bills in March of 2005 after receiving a marked bill at a gas station. It serves no purpose other than being generally interesting at times. This bill started out in the 7th tradition basket at 1 of 3 possible meetings in Sacramento. I’ve no idea where it traveled in between but a year and half later it was found in a pile of leaves on the other side of the American River.
(I’m sure its electronic counterpart was transferred to AA Central Office where it did some good.)
AA Quotes and Assorted References
Weekday Meeting Numbers
(I don’t think Google can track us in the park on the weekends)