GOAL: SANITY“. . . Step Two gently and very gradually began to infiltrate my life. I can’t say upon what occasion or upon what day I came to believe in a Power greater than myself, but I certainly have that belief now.”
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 27“Came to believe!” I gave lip service to my belief when I felt like it or when I thought it would look good. I didn’t really trust God. I didn’t believe He cared for me. I kept trying to change things I couldn’t change. Gradually, in disgust, I began to turn it all over, saying: “You’re so omnipotent, you take care of it.” He did. I began to receive answers to my deepest problems, sometimes at the most unusual times: driving to work, eating lunch, or when I was sound asleep. I realized that I hadn’t thought of those solutions—a Power greater than myself had given them to me. I came to believe.
Football is Life
I write this the morning of the NFC Championship Game between the Rams and 49ers. Think of it …. we have all thought about this game from time to time. From makeshift stadiums in someone’s front yard to bar stools we will talk about later, to couches where we watched the Game with neither team in it.
But today it is happening.
I am more mature than I was when I got addicted to watching football. I was 8, Green Bay -New York Giants Ice Bowl. And in the 61 years since, my memories are bittersweet. On the one hand, I am grateful I can remember the glory but on the other, so many degenerate acts of spontaneous futility that accompanied … Championship Sunday.
I am reminded of the year of The Catch. Dallas was a bitter rival of the 49ers too.
That year me and eight others had saved money up because if the 49ers got into the Super Bowl, we were going to freezing Pontiac Michigan to be there. The night before the NFC championship game between the Cowboys and 49ers one of the guys said, “lf we had any balls, we would bet all the money for the trip on the Championship Game, and then go to Pontiac for free. If the 49ers lose we won’t need the money anymore.” Since we were all about six Fish Emporium cocktails down, this logic seemed impeccable.
So we find a bookie. An East Sac wild child Chris F. agrees to find a way to lay off a bet that is like$ 3 grand a piece, so roughly $27,000. Two of my co gamblers on this thing were my cousins, Mike and Steve.
I am sure you all know how the rest went. Clark makes an impossible Catch, the 49ers go to Super Bowl XVI and we do too. Now loaded up with cash. I cannot deny, it was really a fun time. There are like another 49 stories that go along with that trip.
There are however, some other stories after.
For whatever reason, I like gambling but in extreme moderation. I made that Dallas bet because I was drunk and high. Most of the time, I have to have a really strong argument on why I think things will go my way or I am making the bet with house money. Which is a misnomer because house money is also my (Your) money.
For my cousins, Steve and Mike, it did not work out that way. Now that Steve, the older of the two, had a bookie, he did not stop and neither did his intake of Coors beer and the logic that follows the
combination. Quite a few years later and after a couple of weeks of not seeing him around, someone
checked his apartment and found him dead. Tout sheets and empty bottles all around and his blood had .22 percent of alcohol.
A couple of years later, my cousin Mike was found in his house in almost the exact same way. Except his blood alcohol level level was a slightly less .18.
In going through their things’ postmortem, cancelled checks were found to a couple of Reno casinos for amounts greater than most of us make in a year.
What was sad was that these were good guys. And to this day, I have only met a few that had their level of math skills. In fact, despite their gambling and debauchery, they made surprisingly good money. It’s just they wasted so much and although I could only hang with them in spurts, I miss them.
Now, my point.
You see, these histories, brought on my football games, remind me that there is a higher power and it somehow saved me. For what, I am not sure. And I could still die alone.
And maybe I haven’t racked up the cash like they did, I know also they were tortured by their alcoholism. My cousin Steve couldn’t start his day without that beer. I remember that burden.
And I know I do not want that. Not now. Not anymore.
I pray we all enjoy this Game, win or lose, safe and sober. Feel free to cuss all you want but stay safe and sober.
Contributed by John M.
For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
(The foundation of this inventory is from the A.A. Tradition’s Checklist first published in the A.A. Grapevine)
- Do I criticize or do I trust and support my group officers, AA committees, and office workers? Newcomers? Long-timers?
- Am I absolutely trustworthy, even in secret, with AA Twelfth Step jobs or other AA responsibility?
- Do I look for credit in my AA jobs? Praise for my AA ideas?
- Do I have to save face in group discussion, or can I yield in good spirit to the group conscience and work cheerfully along with it?
- Although I have been sober a few years, am I still willing to serve my turn at AA chores?
- In group discussions, do I sound off about matters on which I have no experience and little knowledge?
- Why is it necessary that a healthy relationship be one in which the members are equals?
- How do you feel and react when someone tries to or dominates in your relationships?
- Do you have an inherent tendency to dominate people around you? How can you correct his defect of character?
- Are you someone who is always willing to allow someone else to take control and then complains because you don’t like what was done, yet were unable to make a decision yourself?
- What is the difference between suggestions, advice, and guidance?
- Is God or a Higher Power the only authority in your relationships? How does this Higher Power express Himself to you when making any decisions?
- Why is it necessary to give the minority opinion an open-minded evaluation in a group conscience?
- Why is humility a necessary ingredient in applying Tradition II to your relationships?
First Wednesday… February 2nd
Come join a review of Step 2 on February 2nd (First Wednesday). “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
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!
THE LITERARY CORNER:
“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”
― Charles Bukowski, Women
“It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
“We were not a hugging people. In terms of emotional comfort it was our belief that no amount of physical contact could match the healing powers of a well made cocktail.”
― David Sedaris, Naked
“I think the warning labels on alcoholic beverages are too bland. They should be more vivid. Here is one I would suggest: “Alcohol will turn you into the same asshole your father was.”
― George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?
“To alcohol! The cause of… and solution to… all of life’s problems”
― Matt Groening
It’s a five minute walk from my house to the bar. It’s a 35 minute walk from the bar to my house.
The difference is staggering.
Not AA Related but Thanks Yung P!
A friend recently called to ruminate and reflect (often called trying to get the answer you want to hear?) on something he was struggling with.
While listening patiently (okay maybe not patiently, but listening!), I was already beginning to form my response and voice my thoughts on the nature of the challenge before him. I tried to artfully articulate how I viewed the situation, believing I saw it accurately and probably largely, I did.
But, words were failing me as to fully outline his dilemma and most importantly, an appropriate path forward. I tried nonetheless and I suppose we both agreed where he was in his “situation.”
The following day I received a meme texted from my friend reading thusly…
3 Things To Remember When Your Mind is Full of Turbulence:
Do not trust the way you see yourself.
Do not create assumptions about others.
Wait until you feel better to make final decisions that have long term effects.
The “3 Things “ was noted at the bottom to be written by Yung Pueblo.
The simple meme said exactly in just a few simple words, what I had struggled to grasp the night before and frankly, struggled to practice myself many, many times. I was reminded that there is almost no decision on earth that must be made at any given moment in any given state of mind we find ourselves in.
“Wait”, say the those three things. Wait. Let time assist. Allow the passage of time to be a tool, an ally in solving what we might struggle with.
I’m not touting Mr. P. as the next Bill Wilson, I know nothing about the man. But Yung P. certainly offers some ‘timely’ advice. At least for me!
Diego Perez is a writer and speaker who is widely known in social media networks through the pen name Yung Pueblo.
Contributed by Mark W.
February Birthdays… IF They Make It!
That’s right. February is our only month without any birthdays.
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.
In order to eliminate any possible confusion about our website address it can now be accessed via https://steptwomensgroup.com as well as https://step2mensgroup.com. Well, at least it should help. I don’t know about you but I look at that first URL and all I see is womensgroup.
January 2022 Zoom Meeting Data
Here’s the connection info for joining the meeting, in case anyone missed it.
A.A. member Dave Mc. curates a few selected readings from a variety of A.A. related publications each month.
“Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are and the people about us as they are. This is to adopt realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitability practice every day of our lives.”
“Circumstances” As Bill Sees It, Chapter One
“ To be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves. None of us is perfectly good or perfectly bad. We are people who have assets and liabilities. Most importantly, we are human.”
“Good” Narcotics Anonymous, Chapter Eight
“When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.”
How It Works, Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, pg. 64
Contributed by Dave Mc.
Our Trusted Servants Continue to Be:
The current Step 2 Men’s Group meeting schedule is Monday and Wednesday at 3809 J St, Tuesday and Friday on Zoom and “Saturdaily Reflections” at McKinley. Each gathering is one hour and meets at 11:30am.
- 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 our GS John M., Treasurer Mark W. or any Monday through Saturday Secretary and let them know!
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 General Secretary John M. for “Football is Life” and Mark W. for “Not AA Related but Thanks Yung P!“. 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!