The GSR Says!
GENERAL SERVICE REPORT FOR DECEMBER
GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS! A few things I overheard at the last Area 07 Assembly was that there have been at least six separate agenda items submitted to the General Service Office for consideration at the General Service Conference in 2022 requesting that the wording change to the Preamble be removed and that the original version (the one we are most used to) be restored.
Interesting to see how this will play out over the next few years. There is a vocal portion of alcoholics who feel strongly that all the words that have been around for the past twenty years at least were somehow divinely inspired and channeled to Bill W. as well as the anonymous authors of newer editions. Thankfully, this is the fellowship of AA and since it is mostly a collection of lunatics, rarely ,if ever, are the most strident of the lunatics able to prevail. I know because I have tried numerous times to impose my lunatic will, only to be rescued by the more sane group conscience. There will always be people who prefer to remain anchored in whatever placid waters they have found themselves in, but as alcoholics we need to pull up our anchors in life and seek out deeper, more equitable, and often turbulent waters to reach the alcoholic who is still suffering.
And so I say farewell as my duties to this group as your GSR. It has been a humbling and educational experience. I will continue to be involved in general service ( I will be serving as the District 24 Registrar for the next two years) so from time to time I might forward service related information to the group. Otherwise, I will be retiring this column.
Thank you allowing me to be of service.
ANONYMITY IS THE SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF ALL OUR TRADITIONS, EVER REMINDING US TO PLACE PRINCIPLES BEFORE PERSONALITIES.
- Why is it good for me to place the common welfare of all AA members before individual welfare? What would happen to me if AA disappeared?
- When I do not trust or agree with AA’s current servants, who do I wish had the authority to straighten them out?
- In my opinions of and remarks about other AA’s, do I imply that membership requirements go beyond the desire to stay sober?
- Is my brand of AA attractive to that other drunks might want it?
- What does anonymity mean to me?
- What does “principles before personalities” mean to me?
“SUGGESTED” STEPSOur Twelfth Step also says that as a result of practicing all the Steps, we have each found something called a spiritual awakening… A.A.’s manner of making ready to receive this gift lies in the practice of the Twelve Steps in our program.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 106-07I remember my sponsor’s answer when I told him that the Steps were “suggested.” He replied that they are “suggested” in the same way that, if you were to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, it is “suggested” that you pull the ripcord to save your life. He pointed out that it was “suggested” I practice the Twelve Steps, if I wanted to save my life. So I try to remember daily that I have a whole program of recovery based on all Twelve of the “suggested” Steps.
WHY, YOU LITTLE DICKENS
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Everyone.
‘Tis that time of year again. The Twelfth Month. Time to reach out and carry the message …..
Think of it as my gift to all of you. All those fruitcakes and bunny suit pajamas from Aunt Martha don’t look so bad now, do they?
I remember the days in my youth, when I would be so excited between the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve when I would be beside myself in anticipation.
Then as a young adult, although not acting like one, I would screen the lady candidates I would see at the Christmas Parties and contemplate strategies to not act like a fool and be cool. While drinking with no limit. Somehow, I had this theory that everyone would be as drunk as me.
Later, when I was married and with young kids my drinking excuse to get through the Christmas party was coping with Jim, Jeff, Bob or whatshisname, bragging about how little Steffy, Tiffy, Sean, or Jagger was tearing up the 10 and under league and loved being in Ms. Waymaker’s class.
My kids, of course, hated Ms. Waymaker, were not that athletic but through none of my help were pretty smart. Smart enough to voice enough opinions to get me into a couple extra teachers conferences a year.
Aw, such fun.
Now in my sober seniority, God help me, I just want it over before it even starts.
The thing is, if you have to go to something this year, you may run into the same situation, albeit with different subjects. And I have the same advice as last year. Keep your opinions to yourself and make sure you have an escape plan to get out of wherever you are. If you find yourself looking at the bar, and you’re muttering under your breath, “Ah, this is bullshit” …….trust me… its time to leave.
Well, be nice.
Here is one of my other tricks to get through the holidays.
You might have done this in the past too, when you were drinking, but now, you are not going to stop at those favorite bars anymore because why would you? None of those friends are there anymore. If they are, they don’t remember you. If they do remember you, they probably hate you.
So be safe, but also, be the first volunteer to go to the store or pick someone up at the airport. But go directly to the destination and get the job done. People will love you and you don’t have to hear the blather.
Remember to smile a lot and be complimentary. AA is all about honesty but at this time of year its okay to say, “You look great, is that a new dress?”
“I’m sorry I missed your birthday, what one was it … your 29th?”
Even though you know the person is 50.
It’s even okay to say, “I saw you throw up behind the drapes, you know, if you want to talk about the flask in your back pocket and mixing wine, beer and tequila in two hours .. you can call me”.
Anyway, you will all figure it out.
Be safe. Don’t drink or use. Not even an edible. For heaven’s sake, try to relax and have a good time. And keep going to meetings.
Yeah, I know.
Contributed by John M.
THE LITERARY CORNER:
“Talking to a drunk person was like talking to an extremely happy, severely brain-damaged three-year-old.” John Green
“As an alcoholic you will lower your standards quicker than you can violate them.” Robin Williams
“In my lowest moments, the only reason I did not commit suicide was that I knew that I wouldn’t be able to drink any more if I was dead.” Eric Clapton.
“Frankly, I was horrified by life, at what a man had to do simply in order to eat, sleep, and keep himself clothed. So I stayed in bed and drank. When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat.”
― Charles Bukowski, Factotum
“The fruit of youth or of the grape, the transitory magic of the brief passage from darkness to darkness – the old illusion that truth and beauty were in some way entwined.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned
“Right, what’s there possibly to worry about?” she said. “Just some surgery in the garage with a drunk doctor.”
Little miss,” said Doc, pointing a finger at Cass. “I’m drinking. I’m not drunk. There’s a difference.” He took another sip from his cup. “But in another ten minutes or so, that might change, so you should stop stalling.”
― Gregg Rosenblum, Revolution 19
“So he was always in the town at one place or another, drinking, knocking about with the men he knew. It really wearied him. He talked to barmaids, to almost any woman, but there was that dark, strained look in his eyes, as if he were hunting something.
Everything seemed so different, so unreal. There seemed no reason why people should go along the street, and houses pile up in the daylight. There seemed no reason why these things should occupy the space, instead of leaving it empty. His friends talked to him: he heard the sounds, and he answered. But why there should be the noise of speech he could not understand.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers
“I know an alcoholic is the worse, but sometimes I wonder if it’s better to have a drinking father that lives at home, or a drinking father, that never comes around.”
― Anthony Liccione
December Birthdays… IF They Make It!
December 1st… Tim K. celebrates 5 years
December 8th… Erik L. celebrates 3 years
December 25th… Tom W. celebrates 14 years
December 29th… Keith D. celebrates 10 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.
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”!
I understand that during the course of my life I will be required to make many decisions, such as where I want to live, whom I want to live with, where I work, how much fun I have, and how I spend my money and time, including how much time I spend waiting for things to get better and people to change, and whom I choose to love.
I understand that many events that occur will be out of my hands and that there are inherent dangers and risks in all decisions I make. Life and people have no obligation whatsoever to live up to my expectations; I have no obligation to live up to the expectations of anybody else. Life is a high-risk sport, and I may become injured along the way.
I agree that all the decisions I make are mine and mine alone, including how I choose to handle the events that are beyond my control. I hereby forfeit my right to recourse as a victim, including my rights to blame, complain, and whine or hold someone else responsible for the path I choose to take. I am responsible for my participation – or lack of it – in life. And I take complete responsibility for the outcomes and consequences of all decisions I make, understanding that, ultimately, it is my choice whether I become happy, joyous, and free or stay miserable and trapped.
Although people may voluntarily nurture and love me, I and I alone, am responsible for taking care of, and loving, myself.
Contributed by Dave Mc.
First Wednesday… December 1st
Come join a review of Step 12 on December 1st (First Wednesday). “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
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!
Our Trusted Servants Continue to Be:
The current Step 2 Men’s Group meeting schedule is Monday and Tuesday at 3809 J St, Tuesday and Friday on Zoom and Saturday is “Daily Reflections” at McKinley. Each of the gatherings is one hour. Great job men! (more info)
- Monday: Tim C.
- Tuesday: Mark W.
- Wednesday: John M.
- Friday: Brad W.
- Saturday: David K.
Want to add your name to the “Back-up-Help-Substitute Secretary List”? Just contact Group GS, Tom W., Treasurer Mark W. or any Monday through Sunday Secretaries and let them know!
Step 2 Mens Group Online
November, 2021 Zoom Meeting Data
There’s a lot less info to share now that we’re only meeting online twice a week.
Here’s the connection info for joining the meeting, in case anyone missed it.
Contributed by Mark C.
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 is 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.
Extra Special Thanks Dept:
Thanks to our ‘GSR’ George T. for his final “The GSR Says” and all of his previous service, and thank you John M. for “Why, You Little dickens”. Thank you Mark W. for your myriad contributions. Thanks to Dave Mc. for “Mouse’s Corner.” Thank you Anthony S. for the ‘Joke Box’. We’re still waiting for YOU gentle reader…Why don’t YOU contribute a short “something”? Any length, most any AA related topic. Reply now and it will get included next month!