LIVING ITThe spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 83When new in the program, I couldn’t comprehend living the spiritual aspect of the program, but now that I’m sober, I can’t comprehend living without it. Spirituality was what I had been seeking. God, as I understand Him, has given me answers to the whys that kept me drinking for twenty years. By living a spiritual life, by asking God for help, I have learned to love, care for and feel compassion for all my fellow men, and to feel joy in a world where, before, I felt only fear.
Start at the Top
When we think of making amends to someone, the first on our lists should be wives or significant others. In my experience and exposure to women over a very long time, I find that almost all have similar complaints and assessments of their gender counterpart.
The first is Men lie. I lie. About the innocuous but also anything to avoid any confrontation. For example, my ex might ask “What are you doing?”
“I’m very busy trying to get all this stuff ready for work”, I say.
Truthfully, I’m reading the box scores from the NBA Summer league in Vegas. Could be worse. I could be in Vegas reading the box scores with some other woman in a room at Caesars.
However, there is nuance to life. Does a woman really want men to ALWAYS be honest. Take this question.
“What do you think of this dress?” Or the ever so dangerous, “Does this dress make me look fat?”
After all these years, I don’t really care. Upon scrutiny, I might think the dress is okay. And who has not added a few pounds. But to SAY that… it’s like drinking and smoking and walking into a garage full of gasoline. Sure, I might survive, but with what quality of life? Why chance it? Is it not better to reply …
”You look fantastic! Everything looks good on you but especially that dress.”
“I was just going to say, you look a little thin. Have you been eating enough?”
Another common complaint I hear is that I don’t talk. Honestly, I am thinking of something else. Where to get something like a good or service and whether or not that item is on sale is not part of most my dialogue on a local to international level. If I need something, there’s Amazon.
Of course, if I try to explain anything political or use a calculator to make my point, I am told to be quiet. That I talk too much.
Additionally, I am told that I do not have any emotions. Again, my mind races about a lot of things and while I might say, ”Well, look at that” when my young grandson stacks the four jars of Playdough, I’m not likely to jump around and proclaim in high pitched tones that he’s a prodigy genius.
I must remind myself that it’s not like I am a piece of deadwood. I can be emotionally pissed over any number of sports outcomes, political speeches or market volatilities.
Overall, I think most women are offended that I still breathe. I suppose, the ones I know anyway, I cannot blame them. My ultimate deception, lack of caring and either hiding or verbose treatments were markedly worse when I was drinking.
For that, I must remind myself to cut them some slack, hold my tongue, agree or disagree and strive to be a positive thing to make up for all the other times when I wasn’t.
I have said this before and I will say it again, because I believe it. The AA program is not just about stopping drinking, it’s about changing our lives to the better. I use the damage I caused to be the catalyst of making myself better. If that makes any sense.
Contributed by John M.
First Wednesday… August 3rd
Come join a review of Step 8 on August 3rd (First Wednesday). “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
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!
August Birthdays… IF They Make It!
August 6th… Steve B. celebrates 16 years
August 9th… Ryan F. celebrates 6 years
August 9th… Mike D. celebrates 5 years
August 12th… Jeff E. celebrates 37 years
August 25th… Craig G. N. celebrates 7 years
August 27th… Rudy R. celebrates 19 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.
“Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.“
“Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional. We define professionalism as the occupation of counseling alcoholics for fees or hire. But we may employ alcoholics where they are going to perform those services for which we might otherwise have to engage nonalcoholics. Such special services may be well recompensed. But our usual A.A. Twelfth Step work is never to be paid for.“
Paid Staff Help Make 12 Step Work Possible
The eighth tradition makes it clear that A.A. may employ professional secretaries and other professional staff members. Their job is not to DO Twelve Step work; but to make Twelve Step work possible. “Our Twelfth Step is never paid for, but those who labor in service for us are worthy of their hire.” (12×12, Page 171)
There is a difference between doing twelve step work for pay and working for a master’s degree as a counselor in the field of alcoholism and being of service in a hospital where more and more newcomers first find sobriety. Professional counselors do their counseling job and THEN go to A.A. meetings and carry the message “for free and for fun” just like the rest of us. Their job is not a substitute for working an A.A. program.
We must always remember that we cannot do the work of carrying the message to the still suffering alcoholic if we don’t have people in our various service centers assisting us in the logistics of US carrying out our primary purpose. We see that our few paid workers are performing only those service tasks that our volunteers cannot consistently handle. Primarily these folks are not doing Twelfth Step work. They are just making more and better Twelfth Step work possible.
We give freely what has been given freely to us.
The spiritual principle behind the eighth step is “willingness and love” to work the steps. The eighth tradition takes that idea one step further and teaches me that to have good relationships with other people, I must be “zealous” in carrying the message. Otherwise my message is suspect. In our meditation, let us examine the sate of our “zeal” in our relationships with God, A.A., mates and work. Let us begin with the state of our “zeal” in carrying the message to the sick and suffering alcoholic.
From an idea by George T.
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 strictly “clinical”. Write what you want…you might have enjoy writing it!
The Literary Corner:
“Talking to a drunken person was like talking to an extremely happy, severely brain damaged three year old.”
― John Green, Paper Towns
Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,
That you do lie so late?
’Faith sir, we were carousing till the second cock: and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.
What three things does drink especially provoke?
Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance: therefore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him; it sets him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and disheartens him; makes him stand to, and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him.
― Shakespeare’s Macbeth the “Porter” scene. The Porter is often portrayed as being drunk or hung over.
“After the first drink, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”
― Oscar Wilde on absinthe (grain alcohol)
A.A. member Dave Mc. curates a few selected readings from a variety of A.A. related publications each month.
What is courage anyway? A quick look at the dictionary will tell us.
We have courage when we face and deal with anything that we think of as difficult, dangerous, or painful, rather than withdrawing from it. Courage means being brave; having spirit. So what is courage, really? Courage is an attitude, one of perseverance.”
“Perseverance” Just For Today Chapter Six
“From experience, I’ve realized I cannot go back and make a brand new start.
But through A.A. I can start now and make a brand new end.”
Alcoholics Anonymous 4th Edition “Safe Haven” pg. 457
Contributed by Dave Mc.
July 2022 Zoom
Our Trusted Servants are Updated:
The current Step 2 Men’s Group meeting schedule is Monday, Wednesday & Friday at Tim’s (3809 J St), Tuesday & Thursday online, Saturday in the park is “Daily Reflections” and Sunday is our Rogue meeting in the park. Each gathering is one hour and starts at 11:30am. Great job men!
- Monday: Tim C.
- Tuesday: Mark W.
- Wednesday: John M.
- Thursday: Brad W.
- Friday: Jon B.
- Saturday: David K.
- Sunday: Mark C.
Want to add your name to the “Back-up-Help-Substitute Secretary List”? Just contact Group GS, John M., Treasurer Mark W. or any of our other Secretaries 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 ‘GSR’ John M. for “Start at the Top”, Thanks to Dave Mc. for “Mouse’s Corner.”, Mark W. for Literary Corner and to Tom W., John M. and Mark W. for the ‘Funny Pages’. 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!