February 21, 2008

Came to Believe

In shame and despair, I went to my first AA meeting. By some minor miracle, I was able to suspend opinion, analysis, judgment, and criticism, and instead to listen and hear. I heard someone say that AA works for those who work it, those who put action into the program.

For me, at that time, action consisted of simply showing up at an AA meeting and following the suggestions I heard. I heard that I should forget about yesterday and tomorrow and instead concentrate on today and staying away from the first drink today -- now. I tried it, and it worked.

The first step in the process of "coming to believe" had been taken.

c. 1973 AAWS, Came To Believe . . ., p. 42

Thought to Ponder . . .
I came; I came to; I came to believe.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A B C = Acceptance, Belief, Change.

AA Thought for the Day (courtesy AAOnline.net)

February 19, 2008

Me, Irrational? That's Not Rational

Few indeed are the practicing alcoholics who have any idea how irrational they are, or seeing their irrationality, can bear to face it. Some will be willing to term themselves "problem drinkers," but cannot endure the suggestion that they are in fact mentally ill. They are abetted in this blindness by a world which does not understand the difference between sane drinking and alcoholism.

"Sanity" is defined as "soundness of mind." Yet no alcoholic, soberly analyzing his destructive behavior, whether the destruction fell on the dining-room furniture or his own moral fiber, can claim "soundness of mind" for himself.

c. 1953 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 32-33

Thought to Ponder . . .
Many things can be preserved with alcohol. Dignity is not one of them.

AA Thought for the Day(courtesy AAOnline.net)

February 18, 2008

Alcohol is Poison to the Alcoholic

Alcohol is poinson to the alcoholic. Poison is not too strong a word, because alcoholism leads eventually to the death of the alcoholic. It may be a quick death or a slow death. When we go by package stores and see various kinds of liquor all dressed up in fancy packages to make it look attractive, we should always make it a point to say to ourselves so we'll never forget it: "That stuffs all poison to me." And it is. Alcohol poisoned our lives for a long time. Do I know that since I'm an alcoholic all liquor is poison to me?

from "Twenty-Four Hours A Day" -- ©Hazelden Foundation.

February 13, 2008

a Mustard Seed

Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

"'You can, if you wish, make A.A. itself your "higher power." Here's a very large group of people who have solved their alcohol problem. In this respect they are certainly a power greater than you, who have not even come close to a solution. Surely you can have faith in them. Even this minimum of faith will be enough. You will find many members who have crossed the threshold just this way. All of them will tell you that, once across, their faith broadened and deepened. Relieved of the alcohol obsession, their lives unaccountably transformed, they came to believe in a Higher Power, and most of them began to talk of God.'"

© 1952, AAWS, Inc.Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pgs. 27-28

February 02, 2008

the Disease Concept and Moral Responsibility

"Some strongly object to the A.A. position that alcoholism is an illness. This concept, they feel, removes moral responsibility from alcoholics. As any A.A. knows, this is far from true. We do not use the concept of sickness to absolve our members from responsibility. On the contrary, we use the fact of fatal illness to clamp the heaviest kind of moral obligation onto the sufferer, the obligation to use A.A.'s Twelve Steps to get well.

"In the early days of his drinking, the alcoholic is often guilty of irresponsibility. But once the time of compulsive drinking has arrived, he can't very well be held fully accountable for his conduct. He then has an obsession that condemns him to drink, and a bodily sensitivity to alcohol that guarantees his final madness and death.

"But when he is made aware of this condition, he is under pressure to accept A.A.'s program of moral regeneration."

--Bill W., from a talk given in 1960, from As Bill Sees It

Really Real

“In the Big Book, it says that ‘most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics’ [p. 30]. When I hit my bottom, I was broken in every area. A.A. gently, slowly removed the garbage from my spirit—the hate, the resentment—and then began to heal my heart with real love, real respect and real trust.”

from Box 459, the GSO bi-monthly bulletin of Alcoholics Anonymous