Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Fountain of Youth/Life

Yesterday at my home group, I had the great fortune to celebrate my 11th A.A. birthday with all those to whom I owe my life, and who just keep loving me no matter what.

This year's celebrations were international when I was blessed to receive wishes from members around the world. How grateful am I to be a "small part of a great whole" (12&12 p.130). Amongst the many global members that sent those emails, there was one special gentleman by the name of Bob from PA. His words truly convey the miracle of Alcoholics Anonymous. He said, "I have found the 'Fountain of Youth'. A cup of AA coffee every day that I am able. They told me to keep coming back, and it worked. I've been to over 300 meetings a year for over 31 years. I became 90 yrs young last July, one day at a time." It's member's like Bob that keep the doors of A.A. open for me. Thanks.

If you're interested in sending birthday wishes to A.A. members around the world, you can find anniversary dates at

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


The other night I opened the door to the first floor hallway and was mystified to see what appeared to be a fog floating through the air. I called a frend and we discussed possible causes. Finally she asked me, "Do you think it could it be your furnace filter?" I sat there for a minute and thought, "furnace filter... what's a furnace filter"? I mean really, it was like I was totally clued out. Back downstairs I checked the filter and confirmed that this was definitely the culprit. It was so dirty that it looked as though it had been in there since the beginning of time (or more precisely since October). The dust was actually being pushed back up out of the vents. It took less than 15 minutes to dash off to Canadian Tire and return with a new filter which I promptly installed.

Now, I've lived in this house for twenty years and have changed a lot filters in that time. I can't explain how this monthly routine skipped my mind, nor am I sure what lesson I've learned from it all. I can only say this,

"if you're inside your house and you've got fog, you might actually be in one!"

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Drawing Near, the Purest Form of Art

For the longest time, I thought that the first part of Step Two read, "Came to believe in a power greater than ourselves..." instead of "Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves...". That first part of Step Two was not about my believing, right there, right then, in a celestial being (which is why I got stuck on this step forever!). It was about opening my mind to the fact that there was a power greater than me.

That simple (?) admission was all that was required to move forward. At this point I wasn't expected to know who or what that power was, I didn't even know who or what I was. The only way I had a chance of figuring it all out was by working through the rest of the twelve steps (aka drawing near). In the Big Book it says, "When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us! (We Agnostics, p.57, last line).

If I continue to draw near to Him (aka working the steps), who, and what else will disclose themselves to me?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

United We Stand

I'd be hard put to decide on a favorite tradition, but I am quite fond of the first one. Tradition One, "Our common welfare should come first, our personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity."

There it is in black and white. My personal recovery depends upon my uniting with other alcoholics. Its the solution to all my problems. Its how the miracles happen. Its why members say, "Don't drink and go to meetings". In eleven years I've never heard anyone say, "Dont drink and stay home." For me its simple. I have to stay united to stay sober (physically, emotionally and spiritually).

When I was a kid I always wanted to be Maid Marian. I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do than be with Robin Hood (aka Errol Flynn), Fryer Tuck and all the Merry Men (and women). I guess in some way I've gotten my wish. I'm very grateful to have made it here alive, and to be part of this miraculous, "erratic band of alcoholics." (12&12 p130)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Read all about it!

Today was the first time I'd forwarded my blog to one of my friends and it was with great trepidation that I hit the SEND button. In the last month or so, the excitment of being able to combine my love of writing, recovery, gardening and photography, was replaced with the fear of what others might say about my little blog. The fear was stopping me from sharing myself, and that isnt who I want to be.

I am grateful for the moments of awareness where I am able to see how pride and fear really do evoke a "soul-sickness" (TSTT p49) within me. My Higher Power continues to provide opportunities for me to see how easily I can be "driven by a hundred forms of fear" (BB p62).

Someone I admire once said, "I used to be a fearful person, this morning I had a fearful moment." I can relate. I just wish the moments didn't last so long.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Mending Fences

Fortunately, I've never bought into the idea that I can make an amend for past behavior by simply improving the way I conduct myself today. Not only would I be cheating someone out of an apology, I'd be cheating myself out of the opportunity to practice humility.

Treating people with respect and love is their right, it is how we are supposed to treat them. Behaving decently does not in any way repair the damage we have caused and does not fall into the realm of making amends. Step Nine says "made direct amends", it doesn't say, "made indirect amends". It also indicates that "it requires an admission and correction of errors".

When it comes to the wreckage of my past (or present), the only way I can make amends is by admitting where I've been wrong. In Step Nine, "acting as if" won't cut it.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

More Favorite Quotes

1. If you don't call your sponsor, then you don't have a sponsor.
2. The problem with isolating is that you get such bad advice.
3. It's really hard for God to guide you if you keep running out ahead of Him.
4. People who don't go to meetings aren't there to see what happens to people who don't go to meetings.
5. Stinking thinking leads to drinking.
6. You don't get drunk by making mistakes. You get drunk by defending them.
7. Switching from one compulsion to another is like switching seats on the Titanic.