A CHANGED OUTLOOKOur whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84When I was drinking, my attitude was totally selfish, totally self-centered; my pleasure and my comfort came first. Now that I am sober, self-seeking has started to slip away. My whole attitude toward life and other people is changing. For me, the first “A” in our name stands for attitude. My attitude is changed by the second “A” in our name, which stands for action. By working the Steps, attending meetings, and carrying the message, I can be restored to sanity. Action is the magic word! With a positive, helpful attitude and regular A.A. action, I can stay sober and help others to achieve sobriety. My attitude now is that I am willing to go to any length to stay sober!
Don’t Pass, Roll the Six
Every time I look at Step Six and contemplate my position in the Galaxy, I shrug, think about the Higher Power and say to myself, go ahead and have at it.
It takes a considerable effort to let go of many of our defects. Procrastination about getting started is safe. One cannot make mistakes if they do nothing. Other than the mistake of doing nothing. Damn, there is this circle of good and evil to everything. I just wanna watch this game. Wait, the Dodgers are evil. And even if they are vanquished this year, they will still be around next year. So too, procrastination. It’s always around, so my first step to this Sixth Step is doing something. In most cases, that is… STOP.
I got another defect. I know, it confuses me that I could have more than one.
I don’t call them foul moods, just grumpy. Like there is some aspect of my life, take the nutritionally challenged kitchen I am responsible for and could, save for procrastination, do something about. Or the mood swings of “The Market”, the Dow, the Nasdaq and the S & P, where I have no responsibility, and can do nothing about, yet watch daily as it torments everyone.
There is that and so many other incidents of life where the general response and mood is, “Well, that sucks”.
Ah, the wisdom of the Prayer. Change what we can, accept what we can’t.
Once I decide that there are some things I can fix and some things I cannot, I find I have this other imperfection. Impatience and frustration. You know, when you make an effort and the results are not immediate.
Like when I tell others that I quit drinking and drugs and am no longer an A-hole, and they look at me with skepticism, disbelief, and non-comprehension
Or I quit drinking and drugs and those repetitive ads on TV or the radio that just won’t stop. Why can’t these things go away?
Ah, the wisdom of the Meetings.
I have come to realize that I find strength in numbers, soul mates and strangers. From the newcomer to the seasoned vets of AA, I realize that although the issues may be different, my fellow drunks and addicts face the same problems I do. Procrastination. Intemperance, and Impatience.
That helps me.
Contributed by John M.
June Birthdays… IF They Make It!
June 6th… Mark Q. celebrates 2 years
June 10th… Brian B. celebrates 8 years
June 16th… Jeremy R. celebrates 2 years
June 21st… Matt E. celebrates 7 years
June 24th… Mark W. celebrates 38 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.
For all of our new members, for any of our old-timers…
Pick up the phone.
You know there are many online meetings with easy access available to you,
including our own Step2mensgroup.com.
But if you can’t or if you won’t…please, please call anyone you know in A.A.
BEFORE you decide to quit going to meetings.
Call anyone you know in A.A. BEFORE you take that first drink.
If don’t know anyone in A.A. call me…
Call me 24/7/365 BEFORE you decide. Please.
Mark W. 916-601-6864
A.A. member Dave Mc. curates a few selected readings from a variety of A.A. related publications each month.
“Not all large decisions can be well made by simply listing the pros and cons of a given situation, helpful and necessary as this process is. We cannot always depend on what seems to us to be logical. When.there is doubt about our logic, we wait upon God and listen for the voice of intuition. If, in meditation, that voice is persistent enough, we may well gain sufficient confidence to act upon that, rather than upon logic.”
As Bill Sees It. Pg 202
Contributed by Dave Mc.
The GSR Says!
GENERAL SERVICE REPORT FOR June, 2023
Just one item from this month’s newsletter.
The Business Office Manager is looking for volunteers to be of service at the Central
Office. There are many ways to be of service at the main office or even from the comfort
of your home. Some of the service opportunities are working on the newsletter,
answering phones, volunteering in the bookstore, and 12 step call work.
If you are interested in getting more information about these and other service positions, please
call the Central Office at 916-454-1771.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!
“An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.”
“Problems of money, property, and authority may easily divert us from our primary spiritual aim. We think, therefore, that any considerable property of genuine use to A.A. should be separately incorporated and managed, thus dividing the material from the spiritual. An A.A. group, as such, should never go into business. Secondary aids to A.A., such as clubs or hospitals which require much property or administration, ought to be incorporated and so set apart that, if necessary, they can be freely discarded by the groups. Hence such facilities ought not to use the A.A. name. Their management should be the sole responsibility of those people who financially support them. For clubs, A.A. managers are usually preferred. But hospitals, as well as other places of recuperation, ought to be well outside A.A.—and medically supervised. While an A.A. group may cooperate with anyone, such cooperation ought never to go so far as affiliation or endorsement, actual or implied. An A.A. group can bind itself to no one.”
We Keep It In-House and Remember T5
Would you be surprised if I told you that I found the solution to my worries about financial problems by working the sixth tradition in my life? When I was drinking my primary purpose was pursuing sex and finances. In my early sobriety I did the same thing by devoting my energy to acquiring “money, property, and prestige.”
I was a bankrupt idealist. “We are all perfectionists who failing perfection, have gone to the other extreme and settled for the bottle and the blackout.” (“12 & 12”, Sixth Tradition, p. 156). The areas that affected my “money, property and prestige” and sex were the areas I gave all my perfectionist energy.
Without realizing it, I was losing my dedication to sobriety from my primary purpose: carrying the message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
It never occurred to me that God would take care of financial and relationship concerns a day at a time if I would let go of them and trust his plan with the same patience he had waited for me to come to him for sobriety. By devoting time and efforts to pursuing relationships and finances I was endorsing these things as my primary purpose by lending my name to their pursuit.
The first half of Tradition Six will likely never occur if I stay focused on Tradition Five. The more I stick to carrying the message, the less worries I have – a wonderful paradox. Bill Wilson comments in “A.A., Comes of Age”, (p. 109) on a similar paradox concerning the fellowship, “The more A.A. sticks to its primary purpose, the greater will be its helpful influence everywhere.”
The sixth step poses the question, how can I become entirely ready to have my defects of character removed? The answer is in the sixth tradition. In fact the sixth tradition describes my main character defects: the problems involved from seeking money, property, and prestige. The sixth tradition contains the solution to my problems of money, property and prestige: the more primary in my life carrying the message becomes, the less problems of any kind I have!
Therefore, observing the sixth tradition in my life by placing my primary purpose of carrying the message first, and not problems of my property, prestige or worthy outside interests, keeps me sober.
Things Can Change
As many of you know, my last DUI was March 26, 2019. Granted, I was arrested out of the backseat of someone else’s car but that’s a story for another day. The focal point here is that my son was with me. It was 5 days before his 14th birthday.
I awoke in jail and only had vague recollections of what had happened over the previous 2 days. When they had drawn my blood, I was over 5 times the legal limit. As I walked home from jail in the rain that morning, Henry was on a flight back to Idaho. I wanted to die. Two days later I checked into rehab, only slightly less drunk than when I’d been arrested.
Away from rehab, after my first court appearance, the first thing I did was call Henry. His mother said he “wasn’t ready” to talk to me. I received a letter from him shortly after that telling me that he just wanted me to get better. More day passes from rehab for court, more phone calls, more refusals to speak to me. I thought for sure he’d want to talk to me after I’d spent two months in rehab “bettering” myself. I was wrong.
I sent him an A.A. chip with a card each month, telling him about my sobriety, A.A., and all the meetings I was attending. I texted frequently to let him know how much I missed him and that I was trying to change. 9 months later, on Christmas Eve, Henry texted me. Excellent! I was sure things would start returning to normal. They did not.
But the texts continued. I was hearing small details about his life. It was an improvement. I got up the nerve to call his cell phone on his 15th birthday (thanks Mark W) but he didn’t answer or return my call. Holidays passed. More birthdays passed. I stopped trying to call. But the texts continued.
Then on March 5, 2023, I got the mother of all texts – “do you want to come to my graduation up here?”. My heart skipped several beats while I typed “I’d love to!”. The next two and a half months everything seemed better. I finally had something to look forward to. I’m not saying there was a spring in my step, but you get the idea.
I tried to keep my expectations low. The invitation was the big thing, the first big step. While trying to figure out how long I’d need to book a hotel room, I was picturing him showing me around town – where he worked, where he got his first ticket, that sort of thing. Then I got a text that told me he’d have time for dinner the night before graduation but would be working all week and had plans on the weekend. It’s cool, I told myself. It’s more than you had yesterday. Roll with it.
I arrived at the hotel on Tuesday afternoon. We decided on a place for dinner over texts and Henry said he’d text me when he got to the hotel. Instead of a text I got a knock on the hotel room door. I was ecstatic to realize I had nothing to hide – no booze, no pills, not even any cigarettes. We shared a somewhat awkward hug, and I stood there staring up at him, not recognizing his grown-man voice. It was wonderful.
During dinner I’m afraid I rushed it. I was about a minute into fumbling through some amends and noticed he’d stopped eating. I tried changing subjects, but it was too late. He told me he didn’t want to rush me, but he had somewhere to be. I didn’t fight it. I tried to roll with it. We got boxes for our food, and he drove me back to the hotel. I told him I’d see him at graduation the next day. He thanked me for dinner, and I thanked him for coming.
My night with Henry was over. I was trying to not let it get me down. I’d seen my boy and heard his voice; two things I hadn’t done in 1,519 days. Perspective. I drove to Albertsons for a 12 pack of Coke and some chips, and settled in for a long, depressing night. Then I got a call from my oldest friend. His wife had just filed divorce papers. We talked for a while, and when were done my situation didn’t seem so bad.
Wednesday morning, I got to see another face I hadn’t seen in a while. George T picked me up and showed me around Camel’s Back Park, Camel’s Back Trails Loop and the Boise River Greenbelt. I had a great time and George really helped me keep things in perspective. Thank you George!
After the ceremonies I managed to find Henry, my ex-wife, and the rest of their family. He asked his mother to take a photo of us with my phone before telling me he was taking off with his friends. Another hug, another handshake, and that was it.
I lost track of how many bars I drove by on the way back to the hotel. What I didn’t lose track of was the fact that I had absolutely no desire to drink. I felt like shit but that was okay. I made it back to the hotel and the world didn’t fall apart.
I kept my mind occupied on the drive back to Sacramento but once I was home, things started getting tough. I no longer had the graduation to look forward to. I didn’t have a week’s worth of great memories hanging out with my boy. We didn’t have plans to meet up anywhere over the summer. All I had was the realization that everything I’d been holding onto was gone and that I’d wasted so many years, and so many opportunities because of my drinking. I was seriously regretting the past. I felt sick, and empty.
I called my pal Jeremy, and we hung out. I didn’t talk about feelings, and he didn’t push. But I felt remarkably better after that. And the next day I felt better after chairing a meeting. It felt good to be home. What do you know? Turns out I do know how to make things better!
Was it the reunion I’d dreamed of? No. Would I do it again? Absolutely.
Would this have happened without A.A. and Step 2 Men’s Group? Absolutely not.
Are bigger and better things ahead? As long as I don’t drink today.
I want to thank each one of you for helping to make this reunion possible. You guys are the best.
Gratefully, Mark C.
Our Trusted Servants Continue to Be:
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. Great job men!
- Monday: Tim C.
- Tuesday: Mark W.
- Wednesday: John M.
- Thursday: Sean F.
- 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!
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!
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 “Don’t Pass, Roll the Six”, our GSR Mark Q, Dave Mc. for “Mouse’s Corner” and our Treasurer Mark W. for all your contributions. 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!