How to have a good day

Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery
Site Admin
Posts: 4820
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm

Postby Dallas » Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:36 pm

Thanks for the awesome post, Debbie.

I mentioned in another thread, how alcohol damages the part of the mind that differentiates the true from the false in the alcoholic... in a way that it doesn't damage the mind of the non-alcoholic person.

That same area of the mind, that we were born with, is the part that instinctively tells us when something will be bad for us and harm us.

Ever been walking somewhere... in the dark, and instinctively seem to know to turn right or left... and later, when it's day time, or the lights are on, you look and see... that if you hadn't turned, you would have fell in a hole, or ran into something?

This is that instinct at work. Protecting us and helping us to survive.

This is also in the same part of the mind that gets damaged in alcoholics as a result of alcohol. Scientists do not know how much alcohol it takes to damage that part of the mind in the alcoholic. There is a difference in the level of sensitivity, kind of like the sensitivity with the allergic reaction to the crab legs. One allergic person might die 15 minutes after eating the crab legs, the next one 30 minutes, the next one hour, and perhaps the next one would just go into a coma. However, as with most allergic reactions -- the abnormal reaction gets worse... the one who went into a coma and eventually got better... will most likely end up in the group that dies within 15 minutes.

The crab leggers have a physical allergy. It affects their body. After a few close calls they just stop eating crab legs, remembering their last experience. It probably didn't destroy a working part of their mind.

I've never met anyone who was allergic to a food -- obsess on the idea of "well, I am allergic to crab legs but I love them -- and, if I try just eating crab soup, this time it will be different!" Or, "I feel like I have the flu! Surely, crab legs wouldn't hurt me. It will help my symptoms with the flu!" (However, I don't have a lot of experience with people who suffer eating disorders, so they may be out there!)

The alcoholic who has the abnormal physical reaction to alcohol -- loses the mental defense because he can't remember the severity of his last episode with alcohol. And, even when he/she does remember it -- instead of their mind instinctively warning them of the danger -- that part of the mind says to them "hey, it will be different this time. You can do it. It's okay." Or, they don't even think about it at all.

That's why it is frustrating to try to help alcoholics. And, it baffles their friends and loved ones. Non-alcoholics do not comprehend the severity and the nature of the mental damage that has taken place in the minds of the alcoholic. When the alcoholic is physically sober -- they look like normal healthy people. They appear sane. (And, most alcoholics do not comprehend the severity and nature of the mental damage. That's why it's tough to help them).

Sanity. The ability to know right and wrong. The ability to see the truth from the false. The ability to know... this will hurt me and hurt others... Or, this will help me and could help others. The inability to know the truth. The inability to make sound judgements.

The part of the alcoholic mind that gets damaged as a result of using alcohol -- is also the part of the mind -- that processes logic, in regards to "what's good for them" and "what's bad for them".

Ever wonder "why" you've made non-sensical decisions that end up harming you, especially when you have tons of previous evidence from previous experiences, should be saying "don't you remember those last times you did this"?

Ever make so many of those non-sensical decisions, that it causes you to think "Damn! Why can't I seem to manage to make better decisions than this!" ... Or, "heck... it would appear to outside observers... that my life is unmanageable!"

I believe that we learn the most about ourselves -- as alcoholics -- when we try to help other alcoholics. That's why when we're having discussions with a sponsee, we shake our head, and begin to think "do they have brain damage or something?" And, the answer is, yes! They do! So, we try to show compassion -- rather than try to talk sense to someone who cannot make sense. And, suddenly, a light bulb comes on inside OUR head that says "Oh crap!!! Now, I see the nature of my own condition as an alcoholic!" And, we become so grateful, to be one of the few, of the miracle that A.A. has wrought inside us. (Few, in regards to how many die without experiencing recovery).

This is why, I believe, that our trying to carry the message to another alcoholic works -- when everything else fails.

That means... there will be times when everything else fails!

There will be times when: Prayer will fail. Calling our sponsor will fail. Working all the other 11 Steps will fail. Just going to meetings will fail. And, it's this "working with another alcoholic to help them to achieve sobriety"... will be the ONLY THING THAT WORKS!

Step 12.

This is what we're attempting to do every day... right here... at Step 12.

Trying to carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous -- to the alcoholic who is suffering. (There are alcoholics who are in recovery who are suffering... just as their are alcoholics who are still drinking are suffering).

What is the message that we're trying to carry? Simple. Two words. "IT works!"

And, what is "IT"? A.A.

And, what is "A.A."? It's the recovery program in the book, AND it is the book, AND it is the 12 Steps, AND it is the Fellowship of A.A.

A.A. is the sum total of it's Program of Recovery (the book) AND The fellowship. That is what "IT" is. And, that is the IT that works!

We need the Fellowship just as much as we need the book. And, we need the book... as much as we need the Fellowship... and this is why it is imperative... that we "Keep coming back!" :lol:


BTW: non-sensical -- A word in the Dallas dictionary that means "does not make sense!" :lol:

Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:35 pm

Postby Danni » Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:30 pm

I like the Dallas dictionary. Where can I purchase one? :wink:

This is why none of it made any sense to me until I had reached Step Ten. It required a return to sanity and the personality transformation that came from taking Steps One through Step Ten, before I had a clue. After Step Ten, my perception changed and it was soon after that I could begin to see and understand with clarity.

Love and hugs,


Site Admin
Posts: 4820
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm

Postby Dallas » Sat Nov 17, 2007 6:39 pm

Precisely what I was referring to. :lol:

Talking to the alcoholic (regardless if they are in recovery or still drinking) about alcoholism and A.A. recovery doesn't make sense to them -- if they have not experienced the transformation that the Spiritual Awakening brings. It's like trying to describe what's on the horizon, to a blind person. They can't see it.

BB page 39:

"That may be true of certain nonalcoholic people who,
though drinking foolishly and heavily at the present
time, are able to stop or moderate, -- because their brains
and bodies have not been damaged as ours were
. But
the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception,
will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the
basis of self-knowledge. This is a point we wish to
emphasize and re-emphasize, to smash home upon our
alcoholic readers as it has been revealed to us
out of
bitter experience."

BB page 49:

"We, who have traveled this dubious path, (the 12 Steps, page 58... "Rarely have wee seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path ) beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion. We
have learned that whatever the human frailties of various
faiths may be, those faiths have given purpose and
direction to millions. People of faith have a logical idea
of what life is all about. Actually, we used to have no
reasonable conception whatever.
We used to amuse ourselves
by cynically dissecting spiritual beliefs and practices
when we might have observed that many spiritually-
minded persons of all races, colors, and creeds were
demonstrating a degree of stability, happiness and usefulness
which we should have sought ourselves

BB page 48:

"Everybody nowadays, believes in scores of assumptions
for which there is good evidence, but no perfect visual proof.
And does not science demonstrate that visual proof is the
weakest proof? It is being constantly revealed, as mankind
studies the material world, that outward appearances are
not inward reality at all."

BB page 164:

"Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we
know only a little. (1) God will constantly disclose more to
you and to us. (2) Ask Him in your morning meditation
what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. (3)
The answers will come, (4) if your own house is in order."

Four significant parts to that paragraph.

(1) It was an act of divine grace and intervention, "a moment of clarity" where we could see our condition.

(2). As the result of taking Steps 1 through 10, we have a new brain to use to understand and to solve our problems. Sanity has been restored. And, in Step 11, more is revealed...

(3) the answers to questions that used to baffle us... is a promise of Step 9. -- page 87 "What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind." (Step 10).

(4) "IF" our own house is in order.

How do we get our "house in order"? Steps 1 through 9. :lol:

How do we "grow in understanding and effectiveness" ? The answer: Steady, disciplined and continious trudging the road of happy destiny -- with Steps 10, 11 and 12.

Thanks for your help!

Understanding comes "after" certain actions have been taken -- and these actions have transformed out perception.


P.S. I'll advise you of the next printing of the Dallas dictionary!
:lol: :lol:

Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:11 am


Postby musicmode » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:31 pm


Hi Dallas,

My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic.

The last few days, I've discovered, at least in part, what has been blocking me. I've had the understanding (fully convinced to my innermost self), that I am an alcoholic. I have a disease. I accept that I have a disease. What I did not understand fully...I understood that alcohol, indeed, has done some brain damage, but that was as far as it went. I was not consciously aware of what this meant. The inability to differentiate between truth and false... :idea: . I knew that I had that problem,, but never connected that to be strung with alcoholism. A no-brainer, I suppose...I knew something was getting past me, but I didn't know what it was that I wasn't grasping. I've been "insanely" struggling seems as though I am unable to process logic...why??? YES...I have...many-many times...wondered why I've made/seem to keep making decisions that end up harming me...even AND especially with tons of experience/previous evidence; then beat myself up with: Why can't I manage to make better decisions?

Geeeshh!?? A whole new meaning to: By the grace of God. This is the kind of information I need spelled out to me...cuz I "know enough"...but don't know enough to even ask. I know I'm not "getting something", but...that's as far as the thought processes seem to go with me. I can see the absurdity in a classroom when a student says to the teacher: I don't get it, and the teacher responds with: What don't you get? If the student understood what they didn't get, they would then probably 'get it', and wouldn't be saying to the teacher: I don't get it.

THAT MY LIFE IS UNMANAGEABLE...I know this...but--what makes it that way? Yes, I'm an alcoholic. That much...I DO get...but how does being an alcoholic make my life unmanageable? See...NOW I know the question to ask--because now I understand, that it is because the part of my brain that is damaged is the part that processes logic...I know that I have difficulty differentiating right from wrong...because...this is the part of my brain that is damaged.

With your help and input...I've now "plugged in" to something that was the missing part of the puzzle that I could not find for looking. SANITY: the ability to know right/wrong; see truth from false; ability to make sound judgements; ability to know this will hurt me and others. I said from the get-go...first, I would need to know what sanity was, all I knew was insanity. I can see my wake, but I stand there wondering: how the heck did that happen? I see that I caused it...okay. Able to see my part in that wreckage these days. But how (and why) did all of this come about in the first place? On one hand, I know, right? I'm an alcoholic. It's like the left hemisphere of my brain, and the right side are disconnected from each other--but not completely...there's still one fibre of a wire that 'buzzes' . This has been an element of frustration for me--well--for 7 years. Wow!! How's that for slow to catch on :P . I sense, intuitively, that this (at least in part), has what has caused me to 'balk' somewhat at the steps. I was/am willing...but there's this hang-up, and it was in the 'understanding' part. In essence...I really don't know WHERE I am on the steps, in light of what I've just learned about myself? A part of me is asking: Now what? Which way do I turn? Where am I? Or, what about this: I'm still standing at the turning point...when...even a week ago, I might've told you something different about that.

Just sharing with you...a :idea: moment. I 'think' I'm awake...finally :P . 7 years in the program...5 years without alcohol, and mere months in comparison (coming up 2 years) straight/clean. I was still hung-up on the disease part of the equation. I was only being dishonest with myself in thinking that I'd moved past that.

Thanks for allowing me to bounce that off of you.

In the Spirit of the fellowship,

garden variety
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby garden variety » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:36 pm


I'm really thrilled at what you posted! Wow the light comes on just a little brighter. Don't feel bad about any of it. Your honesty in talking about where you are on the journey is beautiful. That will keep you getting well each day - always remember that all that is ESSENTIAL is those 3 ingredients: Honesty, Open-mindesness, and Willingness (HOW). It doesn't matter how much mental and physical damage happens to your brain, as long as you have the HOW of the program, life will get progressively better.

Just that discovery should give you some hope. I know exactly what it's like to have a damaged brain that can't differentiate the true from the false. It took me 5 years and almost going out a second time to understand that there alcohol had an abnormal effect on my brain. The mental part was hard for me to grasp - the light didn't go on. I thought I was retarded.

A buddy of mine just laughed. :lol: The last time I made that comment, he said No you're not retarded, you're just lazy. He was pointing out a character defect to a question I just asked. I asked him how come it takes me all this time to realize that its a good idea to keep my house clean. I mean normal people just inuitively understand that's the thing to do. But me, I can't figure the cleanliness thing out at all - I think I'm retarded. No - just was lazy.

I stopped when he said that and paused. I wanted to balk, like you said, but I couldn't. He just told me the plain and simple truth. Would I have liked it better if he said hell yeah you're retarded? No not really. So I swallowed a chunk of myself there and actually REALIZED that was the truth. I REALIZED that was a peculiar part of my alcoholic brain that had been damaged by the abnormal effect of alcohol. That same part that tells normal people right from wrong.

What your post just told me is that you just REALIZED a chunk of the truth about yourself! That means that you - now listen to these words and repeat as necessary - That means that you "have accepted as a reality in your life today". That's what it means to REALIZE something. It becomes a simple fact of your life each day. That's what it means to undergo that "profound alteration" in your reaction to life! You are profoundly changing right before our eyes! Your whole message speaks to the process of "profound change". What a miracle!

Are you ready for this, now? What you just posted told me you realized a certain truth about yourself and the peculiar and abnormal effect alcohol had on your brain. Guess what that means (this is something that should give you hope and joy)?

It means you are being restored to sanity.

Isn't that beautiful? I'm clapping my hands for you girl! God bless you. And thank you for helping me today.

Love and respect always,

Site Admin
Posts: 4820
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm

Postby Dallas » Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:42 pm

This is precisely "why" it's the best idea... to conclude, that "I want to make a decision to turn my ENTIRE will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand Him."

God loves you Anne! You are His kid. He wants to take care of you. He wants to help you by guiding and directing your thinking in regards to what's good for you, what's best for you, and what's not good for you.

He will not make your decisions for you. That is your responsibility. But, He WILL guide your thinking if you let Him! And, when He is guiding and directing your thinking -- you'll be making some pretty good decisions! :wink:

So, in Steps Three through Nine -- we allow Him to do brain surgery on us to remove the things that keep us from allowing Him the opportunity to "work His work through us."

It's kind of like our mind is similar to a radio -- and, He is broadcasting His message to us for us -- and there is static in the radio, and we can't clearly hear what He is broadcasting -- and Steps Three through Nine, gets us repaired, tuned-up and dialed in to His Frequency, so that we can clearly receive what He is broadcasting to us.

And, Steps 10 through 12, keep the radio on, and tuned-in, and dialed in to His Channel. As a result -- we begin to see that we are making different decisions -- automatically -- and we begin to recognize that it's though we now have a new part of the mind that is working for us.

As a result of that -- we actually begin to see and feel and know His presence. We discover that by keeping tuned-in to Him, we are walking Hand-In-Hand with Him -- and it Rockets us into a dimension of living that we had never even dreamed or imagined was possible!

The next Step -- is to seek Him, and surrender to Him, to keep surrendered to Him, and to allow Him to take care of you.

It's like He stands at the doorway of the path of life and says "Please allow me to offer my hand to help you." And, He loves us so much, that he always leaves it up to us to make the final decision... whether we take His hand, whether we hold on to His hand, or to let go of His hand.

If you read page 83 through 88, every day, for the next 30 days -- and precisely, to the best of your ability -- follow the instructions on those pages, I GUARANTEE YOU you will discover an experience of life and living -- that you had never even dreamed or imagined was possible!

And, the cool thing is: It keeps getting better and better and better and better and better and better .............


Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:11 am

My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:32 am

....roger-wilko :wink: :lol:

Thank you gentlemen...and ladies, too. It is only by means of how this thread unfolded in its entirety (in unity, as a whole), that the message was able to get through to me. A gate has opened.

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

One never knows just from where, or from who (whom?? :? ) that nudge forward is going to come from :wink: . I am slowly, but surely 'tuning in' to the frequency. It's ironic that you should use that analogy...I have held this visual in my mind...I have heard this analogy before...this...has had weight and depth. I remember the feeling more so than the meaning, as, when I heard this...I could not yet grasp the meaning; but, the feeling of the message was delivered to intensely. This is what I mean when I say: I want that/I want what that guy (or gal) has.

I-- ###, ####--have decided that I want what you have...and...I am willing to go to any length to get it.

More so than the willingness to get honest with myself...I had to uncover; discover;...REALIZE, just how, when, why, etc., RECOGNIZE, just how dishonest I have been...with myself. Even to the point of something as "unimportant" as going along with something as small as...if you didn't like red apples, then I didn't like red apples, and would convince myself that red apples were something I did not like...when prior, I maybe didn't give much thought to red apples. I not only need to be honest with myself...but's okay to be honest with myself.

Certainly a journey of discovery :wink:

Thanks for being there, and allowing me to share,

Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:35 pm

Postby Danni » Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:21 am

Anne, thank you for sharing and allowing me to watch!
Your experience is touching something very deep inside me.

Love & hugs


Site Admin
Posts: 4820
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm

Postby Dallas » Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:06 am

Ditto Anne,

Thank you for allowing me to watch, too!!!

I am feeling a movement inside of me, also.

It feels like "Wow! Something is happening here!!! Right before my eyes! Something is going on - and whatever it is -- I want some of it!"


garden variety
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Re: My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby garden variety » Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:55 am

musicmode wrote:...but's okay to be honest with myself.

Now isn't that a beauty! That creature I've been seeing popping up all over the place: Acceptance. You said it perfect, Anne. Thank you so much!

Another way I've heard this put in meetings is "your head has met your heart".

Anne - you've given all of us with such an excellent example of how step 2 works. What a great gift you've given to the new man or woman if they are paying attention. And you've helped me so much - you helped me come to believe today!

You came (to meetings)
You came to (you became conscious)
You came to believe (you trust the process)

The great part of this is you really can't turn back too easy. It's really hard to stop believing when you are convinced and all the evidence supports your belief, and so does your experience. It's like "gravity" - unexplainable, invisble, yet I am convinced, beyond any doubt, it is there. I guess what I'm saying is no man or woman can take away what you have - and that is the byproduct of step 2: faith. It's yours for keeps if you never again pick up that first drink.

Another way of saying this is "faith became vision".

It's nothing short of a miracle how something so completely mysterious and invisble manifests in everyone who truly comes to believe. And it's a completely unique experience for each one. Step 2 isn't a suggestion, speculation, superstition, or even "blind faith" to someone who has done it. It's just like gravity. What makes step 2 such a miracle is that step 2 is a fact: it's even more than that - it is a Great Fact.

"See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others."

Welcome to the 4th dimension! :D :D :D

Return to “A. A. Meeting Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest