IT WORKSIt works—it really does.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 88When I got sober I initially had faith only in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Desperation and fear kept me sober (and maybe a caring and/or tough sponsor helped!). Faith in a Higher Power came much later. This faith came slowly at first, after I began listening to others share at meetings about their experiences—experiences that I had never faced sober, but that they were facing with strength from a Higher Power. Out of their sharing came hope that I too would—and could—”get” a Higher Power. In time, I learned that a Higher Power—a faith that works under all conditions—is possible. Today this faith, plus the honesty, open-mindedness and willingness to work the Steps of the program, gives me the serenity that I seek. It works—it really does.
Our friend and Step 2 Men’s Group member, Anthony S. has passed away.
Anthony died on Friday, February 4th, in the presence of most of his family, in a local hospital.
He was born in Sterling, Colorado in 1946, growing up on a small family farm. He reminisced about those early days occasionally with us. After graduating high school, Anthony joined the US Army. He completed college after that, graduating with a PhD in chemistry. This lead to a career as a radiation exposure consultant and his move to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and ultimately to Alcoholics Anonymous!
After some period of time, and sobriety, he came to Sacramento where he owned a recording studio. Anthony was a quite proficient guitar player and singer as well, for most of his adult life! His claim to fame was playing the baritone guitar, unfamiliar to most players.
It should be noted, our friend did a lot of “H & I” volunteer work throughout his 38 years of sobriety. Anthony was a valued member of our Step 2 group and he treasured having discovered us. He was modest, self-effacing, and absolutely credited AA for saving his life and giving him a future of hope.
He is and will be missed so greatly.
Anthony leaves his adoring wife, of eighteen years, plus two daughters and a son with his first wife.
Anthony S. thank you for sharing some time with us.
Contributed by Dan T. good friend and part time collaborator
Former Step 2 GSR Nears Sobriety Milestone!
Ronald Reagan was president, Whitey Herzog managed the Saint Louis Cardinals and Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” was the number one song in the US. It was a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away…
The year was 1982. A young man decided he needed to change his life…well something like that! Our own George T. got sober that year, though we think he was introduced to AA sometime later.
This next April 4th, 2022, George will have reached 40 years of continuous sobriety! A wonderful achievement anyway you slice it. George served as the Step 2 Men’s Group General Service Representative of course for three years and did a fine job.
The pressure on him in these next thirty plus days is likely to be enormous. Please keep George in your thoughts. We’ll be starting a “phone tree” in the coming days, volunteers are needed. We want to keep him encouraged to make that April 4th date!
Monday, April 4th, 2022. We’re very much hoping to see George T. accept his 40 years of sobriety chip AND chair what would be a very special meeting…IF he makes it!
A God as I Misunderstood Him
…a God as I understood him…
Has that changed over the years.
I had this Charlton Heston vision of God in my youth and then came April 8th, 1966 when Time magazine asked, “Is God Dead?” and shot that all to hell. I had just finished the first 8 of 20 years in Catholic School. Confirmation was on the time horizon. My Christian Soldier induction papers had arrived. It was time to start some research.
These were turbulent times too. Viet Nam, Cypress, Israel, Egypt, all pissed off. And at home, Watts, Newark and Cleveland were extraordinarily hot and angry, especially at night. My father seemed to be more and more distant and annoyed with me so he sent me to boarding school. Globally, nationally and locally seemed like things were going completely nuts.
The days were dark. Heston was now General Charles Gordon in the snoozer Khartoum, and the Giants traded Cepeda. I was a still believing in God, 13 year old, but more and more my prayers began with, “ WTF Man, lighten up, if only you were more like Heston.”
On to Catholic college a few years later and my theology was supplemented by experimental drugs and massive amounts of alcohol. I remember someone said that if you were to measure our solar system to the rest of the Universe, it would barely fit on the head of a pin. So then like Earth is a molecule. California is an atom. And I would be a quark? If there is a God, there was too much to monitor. Talk about the need for some asset
Around 1975, I had an incident in the desert outside Phoenix during Spring Training and the NCAA Regionals being held at ASU. On the second day I met Diana, a brown eyed beautiful Sun Devil. She and her gorgeous friends took me and my degenerate buddies out to the Sonora Desert National Park to get spiritual in many ways and eat some peyote. It was crazy and beautiful.
And a theory was postulated that became in effect my belief in God and higher powers.
There had to be supernatural forces of good and evil, positives and negatives, supernatural and subhuman. There was evidence in two sleeping bags zipped together and outside them too. But it had to be that neither was as intelligent as advertised and certainly neither side could be that deliberate.
This was the world I lived in at the time. Exposure to beauty beyond my deservedness but internally, I was in the turmoil of uncertainty and so displeased with the world around me. To drink and use the way I was at the time, a person would need to be incredibly confident in their skin and doing it for fun. I wasn’t. I was doing it to impress and for courage. Dangerous reasoning that was determined to derail me at some time. But right then and there.. screw it ..I was in the desert with the Sun Devil.
So where are we in all of this some thirty some odd years later. I have wrestled with staying sober and being productive the entire time. I think I am coming up on 10 years sober … this time…. From making a commitment to AA. That means following the Steps. But Step Three, turn my will over to the care of God as I understand him. I don’t understand him.
I think most days we’re here on the head of this pin and way, way the heck on the other side of the Milky Way is the God as I understood him back in the day and he is very busy. Obviously, God seems to have done some wonderful things.. but do I want to give him my keys and say “Watch the car ”.
So what do I turn my will over to.
My last rehab was in a 30 day residence. Lots of self-reflection. It occurred to me one night staring at the stars that when I was sober, and doing the right things, good things happened to me. And when I was out using and drinking bad things happened to me. And I was tired of that. I wanted the bad things to stop and I didn’t care if it was me or others who caused them. I would gamble that they would stop if I did what I knew was right and come on ..I knew what was the right thing to do.
So that became my Higher Power for all intent and purpose. So that’s where I turned my will over to. And so far, so good.
Contributed by John M.
March Birthdays… IF They Make It!
March 10th… Brad W. celebrates 2 years
March 14th… Paul T. celebrates 6 years
March 17th… Tim C. celebrates 14 years
March 18th… Sean L. celebrates 19 years
March 28th… Larry G. celebrates 1 year
March 29th… Mark C. celebrates 3 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.
Step 2 Men’s group editor Mark C. reports a startling event we wish to clarify.
Some almost three weeks ago, a group of Step 2 men, gathering informally at McKinley Park, were confronted with an inquiry. These men, and it is largely unknown who they were, had been seated near the front entrance to the “garden building”, a spot familiar to most of us. While gathered, a passerby, not a youngster herself, asked the group a question. “Is this a senior citizen’s home?”, she uttered.
While, given the advanced age and appearance of the men, it was a legitimate and serious inquiry, we wish to set the record straight. The informal Sunday gathering at McKinley Park, near the “garden building” is in fact a “senior citizen meeting.” Have you seen those guys for crying out loud? However, the building itself is NOT a senior citizen facility.
We hope this clears up any misunderstandings.
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!”
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
Alcoholics Anonymous 4th edition, pg. 568 Spiritual Experience
Contributed by Dave Mc.
Well here I am sitting outside my house taking it easy, and my neighbor that I’ve had the misfortune of having a run in with comes walking by. This woman is the mother of Beelzebub. Needless to say I’m not fond of this woman.
We haven’t talked for a couple years or so. I don’t have her on resentment list nor do I think about her often. She’s been dead to me ever since our falling out.
We happened to run into each other waiting in line at a local store. She started making small talk with me, and I wasn’t having anything from her. This was the ideal time to bury the hatchet but being an alcoholic, I dug my heels in and ignored her.
So yesterday when se walked by (her mask was on covered face thank God) I jumped to the opportunity to make an amends for being rude. I asked if she could spare a moment and she gave me the cold shoulder and kept walking.
So what is the point of my story? Step nine states to make amends. The step doesn’t say it will be accepted. Making amends is for you. Not the person who you offended.
“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.“
Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.
This simple notion has become such a defining principle of AA that it is even stated in the “definition of AA” read before every meeting. It may seem at first as if the Third Tradition has little in the way of a deeper meaning. On the surface, it is little more than a mere description of AA’s membership, and it isn’t a definition that would take a rocket scientist to figure out. But the 12&12 actually goes a little bit deeper.
This Tradition is packed with meaning. For A.A. is really saying to every serious drinker, ‘You are an A.A. member if you say so. You can declare yourself in; nobody can keep you out. No matter who you are, no matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications—even your crimes—we still can’t deny you A.A. We don’t want to keep you out. We aren’t a bit afraid you’ll harm us, never mind how twisted or violent you may be. We just want to be sure that you get the same great chance for sobriety that we’ve had. So you’re an A.A. member the minute you declare yourself.
The relationship of the third tradition to the third step is a profound one. The third step poses the question: What do I need to do in order to turn my will and my life over to the loving care of God as we understand him? The tradition answers the problem posed in the third step. The only requirement I need to fulfill in order to turn my will and my life over to God’s loving care is a desire to stop drinking. It is unbelievable that all the power of the universe is available to care for me if I only have one desire: to stay sober.
- In my mind, do I prejudge some new AA members as losers?
- Is there some kind of alcoholic whom I privately do not want in my AA group?
- Do I set myself up as a judge of whether a newcomer is sincere or phony?
- Do I let language, religion (or lack of it), race, education, age, or other such things interfere with my carrying the message?
- Am I over impressed by a celebrity? By a doctor, a clergyman, an ex-convict? Or can I just treat this new member simply and naturally as one more sick human, like the rest of us?
- When someone turns up at AA needing information or help (even if he can’t ask for it aloud), does it really matter to me what he does for a living? Where he lives? What his domestic arrangements are? Whether he had been to AA before? What his other problems are?
First Wednesday… March 2nd
Come join a review of Step 3 on March 2nd (First Wednesday). “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
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 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 for “A God as I Misunderstood Him” and thank you Mark W for all your 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!