- What Alcoholics Anonymous -- means to me.

What Alcoholics Anonymous -- means to me.




Alcoholics and Addicts sharing their personal recovery story with us to help others who want to recover.

What Alcoholics Anonymous -- means to me.

Postby Dallas » Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:01 pm

What Alcoholics Anonymous -- means to me.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my most favorite days of the week.

On Thursday – I get to speak with my sponsor and spend some time checking in and letting him know about what’s going on in my life, how I’m doing, whether or not I’ve had any problems, whether I’m facing any problems, and I get a chance to listen for some bits of wisdom that’s going to roll out of his mouth. Sometimes – it feels like I’m a little kid waiting for the next Christmas-on-Thursdays to come! I feel so very fortunate to have the opportunity to have a sponsor who causes me to feel that way. I have a sponsor that I can look at – and honestly say in my heart and soul – that he is the best example in all of A.A. , that I want what he has, I want to do what he has done and do what he does, and to be what he is. It’s pretty awesome for this little kid to have a real-live-action Hero that I look up to.

As I think about my sponsor and all that he has done for me – it reminds me of how I need to watch how I live my life, to be thoughtful of what I do, to be careful of what I say, and to try to live my life as the best example that I can be – because someone might be looking at me.

And, when I think about all that Alcoholics Anonymous has done for me – and done to me – and is doing through me – sometimes, it brings those tears of gratitude to my eyes – as I recognize how truly lucky that I am to have had this awesome opportunity – to be a member of A.A.

As I survey my own transformation – of thoughts, and attitudes, and living, and life, and actions – that has been brought about by the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, and a Loving God, and a wise Sponsor who lives his life as an example for me to follow – and as I survey the transformations that A.A. brings about in others – I feel like the highest achievement that I could ever have achieved in this life – is that I am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I’m proud of A.A. I am proud of all that A.A. has done and is doing. It has saved the lives – and given new lives to hundreds of thousands of suffering alcoholics – who were at a hopeless place of either being locked up forever, killing themselves, or drinking their lives to the point of insanity and death.

I’m proud to be a tiny little particle – a molecule – of the goodness and rescue and remedy and solution, and an answer to millions of prayers – of the non-alcoholics whose lives have been afflicted by the alcoholics and their alcoholism. The mothers and fathers. Brothers and sisters. Husbands and wives. Lovers and companions. And, all the little children in the world – who have suffered not because of anything that they have done – but simply because they have been affected by the lives of practicing alcoholics who have not yet found recovery. And, also the little children who are to come in the future -- those that have not been born yet – that their parents, and brothers and sisters and neighbors, and future teachers – and all of those who will affect their lives – will have had the same opportunity that I have received – to become a sober and sane member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

There is a solution – and we have it. We, of Alcoholics Anonymous have a real solution. A solution with a solid foundation and history of over Seventy Two years of success. A solution that has brought new life and a new hope to every single continent on the planet. A solution that has not only helped to save the lives of individual alcoholics – but a solution that has touched the lives of world leaders – Presidents, Vice-presidents, First Ladies, Senators – Congressmen, and Judges who rule the highest courts of our Land.

We have a solution – that has brought new hope to employers who’s businesses have been negatively affected by the alcoholics and their alcoholism – and we have sent them replacements – by sending them sober and recovered alcoholics – who most often – do the work of several employees – simply because they are practicing the principles of recovery in all of their affairs.

We have a solution – that has brought about new hope and new life in communities, in churches, in hospitals, and doctors and professionals – in organizations, not to mention – the “otherâ€
Dallas
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Postby DebbieV » Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:39 pm

I thought about what to say on a reply for about 2 hours on your post Dallas.

You left me 'speechless'.

All I can say is:

THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL.


Debbie
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Postby garden variety » Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:10 am

Yup...just beautiful.

I don't even have to open my trap - you said it all.

God bless,
Paul
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Postby Dallas » Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:32 pm

:oops: :oops:

Thank you.
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Postby Don G. » Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:19 am

Dallas, I have been sitting here balling my eyes out after reading your article above about what A A means to you. I think New York would do well to print this one in the Grapevine. My key board is covered in tears of appreciation and pride.

I remember the day about 22 years ago when you walked into the old Radford Meeting in North Hollywood. Alabam had just left. It was about two hours after the end of the noon meeting. The San Fernando Valley Convention Planning Committee was meeting in the back. You were drunk and looking for the noon meeting. We were all laughing our butts off at you and told you "You would get more out of the meeting if you came to it on time and sober". You aplogized for being late and promised you would never do it again and you were afraid Alabam would see you drunk again.

I don't remember if it was Jack M. or Irene, or whoever asked you if you would help them with the convention. They were trying to 12 step you by getting you to join the committee figuring that maybe they could get you involved and you would get sober. You were embarrassed because you had been trying to hideout from them so they didn't find out you were drinking. #### everyone already knew you were drunk again and couldn't get sober. I understand where you were coming from. You didn't want to admit you failed A A. Haha!!! When you were asked if you wanted a cup of coffee or something to drink you said "I've got one in the car." Haha! Haha!

Then someone told you that they needed your help on the Convention and you thought we were asking if we could nominate you to run for President of A A. Haha! You said "I would really like to help you guys out but do I have to be sober for this job?" Haha! Haha! We about all fell off our chairs laughing. Haha haha! You have always amazed me.

When are you going to be in California again? Did your mom pass? I'm very sorry to hear of it. Your sponsor and A A sure has worked a miracle in you. I remember how much your sponsor used to scare the hell out of you when he walked into a room you were in after you did get sober. Now he's your sponsor and I bet he still scares the hell out of you! Haha Haha Haha!

Keep up the good work buddy. As Jimmy G. used to tell us "Stay away from the sauce!!!" I love you man.

Don G.

OK Dallas. I accept your amends and I took your sponsors name our of this article. Dont let them mess with anything that I say again because I say what I want to say and I dont give a damn if someone likes it or not.
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Postby Dallas » Mon Sep 03, 2007 2:45 pm

Don,

Thank you for your kind words and for the help that you were to me when I had came to believe that I was hopeless. It used to break my heart to see you and Alabam, and others who wanted me to be sober as much as I wanted to be sober – and I just couldn’t get it. I guess that just shows – that had there not been some sort of Divine Intervention – along with – Alcoholics Anonymous, and a decision on my part, I was doomed.

I still have difficulty accepting any sort of compliments – and I feel that the true credit for my sobriety and my life today – goes to you and the countless others in the Fellowship of A.A., that helped me, along with my Sponsor, God, and Alcoholics Anonymous.

My Sponsor reminds me – that regardless of how much everyone else was trying to help me – it was me who had to take the actions and do the work. The entire Fellowship, even with God’s help – wouldn’t and couldn’t force me to do the things that only I could do. Of course – credit should also be given to the whiskey – which stood over my head as a constant reminder, that I could follow instructions and take the Steps and make changes in my life – or my alcoholism would force me to drink again.

I see this today – in those that I try to help. I can’t force them to make the changes in their lives that they must make – however, their alcoholism will force them to drink again – without making the changes – that only they can make.

A.A. provides the method – and we must take the action.

Thank you, once again, Don. Your help has been most appreciated.

Dallas B.
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Postby DebbieV » Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:28 am

Just wanted you to know Dallas, when I get a little pissy or have those days I dont want to work my program the way I know I need to, I can come on here and read your post. It always picks me up again. It sure sounds as if it came from the heart.

Thank you again,

Debbie
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Postby littlemiss » Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:10 am

Dallas,

I think I'll print your post out today...thanks.

I'm on Day 6 today & can TELL I'm on Unsteady ground/thinking...I'm going to my regular 12 Step A-non ladies' group this evening...& I shared w/ one of the ladies there about my drinking issues last week...she's been in A.A. for a LONG time...She's concerned that I might be trying to DO TOO MUCH TOO SOON...& that perhaps I ought to work my A-non 12 Step program 1st...as my pain/turmoil from my H's other addiction is really tough for me even though we are both in counseling, etc. & my H. is doing well...

Any thought here? Should I just go to some A.A. meetings & see what speaks to me anyway?

Tomorrow at lunch there are 2 A.A. meetings I can choose from...I think I need to go...I'm praying my older daughter can watch my younger daughter...as my H. will be working.

~I guess my Ultimate ? is:

HOW/WHEN did you just KNOW A.A. /abstinence was the only answer? Dallas, you went to meetings drunk...so WHEN did you just GET you needed to get sober?

Thanks...Ann Marieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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Postby Dallas » Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:19 pm

Hey Littlemiss,

Nice to hear from you. Not nice to hear that you're having a tough day. But, I'm glad to hear from you -- especially, if you are having a tough day.

I would suggest getting to an A.A. meeting A.S.A.P.

Your other A-non program is good for you and it would be good for you to continue with that. While I was never a member of the other fellowship -- members of the other fellowship helped me with the help that I needed, before I could find that help in A.A. I am extremely grateful to the other fellowship for their help.

However, in your situation -- if you've become alcoholic, you'll benefit best by taking the 12 Steps sober. (Even if you do the 12 Steps in the other fellowship... as an alcoholic, plugging the jug... is the First Step.)

When I got what I needed to get sober? It was when I started drinking again -- and couldn't get sober, after having gone to A.A. first, and hearing what they had said about alcoholics! :lol: That's what convinced me that I was alcoholic. Not being able to leave alcohol alone, with or without A.A. help -- convinced me that I was alcoholic. And, that I was going to need all that A.A. had to offer me -- a Higher Power (which later became a God that I could understand), a Sponsor, the 12 Steps, the Big Book, the other A.A. members, the A.A. meetings, and to get into the actions of participating in A.A. (which was to participate in my own recovery).

Once I was convinced that I was alcoholic -- I knew that I was screwed. Doomed to die an alcoholic death -- drunk or sober. I would either eventually drink myself to death, get into some horrible accident while drinking, or.... go mad... insane... from not drinking.

Either way, drinking or not drinking.... my alcoholism was going to kill me. Not much hope, huh?

I made a decision -- that if the alcoholism was going to kill me either way, then I wanted to be physically sober -- so that when I died, my kids would have never seen me drunk or drinking again -- and they could say "at least he was sober when he died."

I didn't believe that I could stay stober... and I didn't believe that A.A. would work for me. And, I didn't believe that God was going to help me... unless there really was some sort of twisted God, who had a weird sense of humor... that enjoyed helping the drunks in A.A.! :cry: And, if there was their weird twisted God that did help drunks in A.A. -- then, I had better get my butt into A.A., IF I was ever to have a chance at having that God help me.

I later discovered that I was right on about all those conclussions.
1. I couldn't stay sober on my own (that's Powerless)
2. I couldn't manage to stay sober on my own. (that's Unmanageable).
3. I came to believe that there must be some kind of Higher Power, that has something to do with A.A., because... even if it didn't work for me, it was working for other alcoholics in A.A. They were staying sober -- and, I wasn't
4. Since I had nothing else to lose -- I decided I better plug the jug, and get back to A.A. and do whatever they told me to do -- because whatever I was doing wasn't working for me, and ...A.A. wasn't going to work for me -- so, I had better work for A.A. to work for me.

When I went back to A.A. after making a decision that I wanted to quit drinking for good -- forever -- I started looking for every job I could find to do in A.A. Like, going to the meetings, emptying the trash, wiping off the tables and chairs, emptying ashtrays, washing cups, washing the coffee pot (they didn't trust me to make the coffee), stopping to buy cookies and doughnuts for the meeting (before the meeting), standing at the front door, looking goofy... sticking out my hand to welcome people to the meeting (even at meetings that I had never been to before), sweeping and moping the floors, cleaning up spilled coffee, picking up cigarette butts in the parking lot (to throw them away :lol: ) ... and reading the Big Book, and asking the other A.A. members if I could go to the coffee shop with them after the meeting, asking for phone numbers... and forcing myself to call the numbers with regularity... talking and checking in with my sponsor... and willing to do anything that they would let me do to participate with them -- (among other things).... and, not drinking even when it felt like it was going to kill me to not drink!

I didn't know that the craving to drink was ever going to go away. I didn't think the crazies from being sober were ever going to go away... I didn't know the mental and emotional pains of not drinking was ever going to go away -- I thought I was going to be stuck with that, for the rest of my sober life. And, I made a decision -- that if that was as good as it was ever going to get for me -- then, just plain, painfull and miserably physically sober -- was enough. I became willing to accept it.

Much to my shock and surprise.... working for A.A. -- eventually made it possible for A.A. to work for me. And, that's why I try to keep working for A.A. today -- so that it will continue to work for me today. And, it has worked for me in ways that amaze the heck out of me -- and amazes me beyond my wildest dreams.

My life today is nothing like it used to be. It's a good life. Life is good. Sobriety is good. I'm sober and happy. And, now, I feel like there is even a good me, that's able to do good most of the time. :lol:

That's how I got to where I needed to get to -- so that I can stay where I need to be -- so that I can stay sober and happy wherever I am.

And, I hope that something in my experience will help you to discover how to get to where you need to get to -- so that you can stay where you need to be,... so that you, too, can be sober and happy wherever you are.

Remember.... we're all here to help you!!!!! We've all been down the same alcoholic path. And, we are here to help each other to stay on the sobriety path... because there is so much good that awaits you and us... beyond sobriety.

Dallas
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Postby littlemiss » Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:39 pm

Ahem...Happy Sunday!

I'm off in a bit to a Speaker A.A. Meeting...I've never been to one of those...Not sureWHAT the format is...bUT, I'm GOING!!!!...:)
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