Sunday, June 14, 2009


Over the years many meetings have started with the topic "acceptance". I used to think acceptance meant being a doormat for others to wipe their feet on. Or acceptance meant giving up. Of course it means giving up -- my self will, that is.

Acceptance doesn't mean I approve of the thing or that I even like it. It just means that I now am willing to accept the thing as it is. I am willing to let go of my agenda.

M. Scott Peck who said that we as alcoholics are lucky to have alcoholism because in recovery we are led to a sacred life. He called alcoholism a sacred disease.

Today, my life has meaning and purpose because I have been given a gift that enables me to help others. I have a new life, a new attitude, a recognition of the many blessings in my life, and a desire to seek and do God's will. More and more I see that my purpose here is to bless and heal, to offer love and service. It's NOT the life I had in mind when I was downing tumblers of scotch, snorting coke, smoking joints, and chasing women.
But God had another plan! Thank God! He picked me off the ash heap, got me sober, and taught me how to like myself and love myself. Coming to AA was not my idea so I can't take credit for it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Be-Attitudes for the Recovering Person

  1. Blessed are the addicted persons who are Powerless, for they shall No Longer Support Their Habit.

  2. Blessed are they who have Come To Believe, for they have Hope.

  3. Blessed are they who Made a Decision, for they shall Find Recovery.

  4. Blessed are they who Search within themselves, for they shall Taste Freedom.

  5. Blessed are they who Admit their Wrongs, for they shall have the Miracle of Forgiveness.

  6. Blessed are they who Ask God to Remove Their Defects, for they shall have Humility.

  7. Blessed are they whose Shortcomings Have Been Removed, for they shall have New Life.

  8. Blessed are they who Made a List of those they have harmed, for they shall have planted the Seeds of Change.

  9. Blessed are they who will Make Amends whenever possible, for they shall Regain Their Integrity.

  10. Blessed are they who Continue to Take Inventory and admit when they are wrong, for they shall Continue to Grow.

  11. Blessed are they who Pray and Meditate, praying only for knowledge of God’s Will and the Power to carry it out, for they shall find Direction.

  12. Blessed are they who Carry the Message of Rebirth, for they shall have Sobriety.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Drunken Driver Has the Right Of Way

The Drunken Driver Has the Right Of Way
by Ethan Coen

The loudest have the final say,
The wanton win, the rash hold sway,
The realist's rules of order say
The drunken driver has the right of way.
The Kubla Khan can butt in line;
The biggest brute can take what's mine;
When heavyweights break wind, that's fine;
No matter what a judge might say,
The drunken driver has the right of way.
The guiltiest feel free of guilt;
Who care not, bloom; who worry, wilt;
Plans better laid are rarely built
For forethought seldom wins the day;
The drunken driver has the right of way.
The most attentive and unfailing
Carefulness is unavailing
Wheresoever fools are flailing;
Wisdom there is held at bay; The drunken driver has the right of way.
De jure is de facto's slave;
The most foolhardy beat the brave;
Brass routs restraint; low lies high's grave;
When conscience leads you, it's astray;
The drunken driver has the right of way.
It's only the naivest who'll
Deny this, that the reckless rule;
When facing an oncoming fool
The practiced and sagacious say
Watch out -- one side -- look sharp -- gang way.
However much you plan and pray,
Alas, alack, tant pis, oy vey,
Now -- heretofore -- til Judgment Day,
The drunken driver has the right of way.

Last lines suggested by Michael G.

Until that driver hits the gas;
Into a tree we see him crash.
That driving fool had self will galore;

Now he has the right of way no more!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Great reading today in Courage to Change. The message was simple. To paraphrase, when I am distressed by someone's behavior, or conflicted, uncertain as to how to proceed, or when I do not know how to respond to a person, I can fall back on being kind. If nothing else, I can remember to practice courtesy and respect.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Not fighting with myself

It continues to surprise me that when I am at peace with Jack, that is, when I am not warring with myself, I can be at peace with others. If I don't feel stressed, chances are I won't make any one else feel stressed. If I am not beating myself up over something I did or said, I won't be so inclined to beat up others for something done or said. If I don't make unreasonable demands upon Jack, I won't be making unreasonable demands on people around me. And vice versa. If I am smiling, I can spread a little joy around. If I am laughing, I find others will laugh with me. If I am kind, others show me kindness.

This morning I asked God to lift the fears, anger, and intolerance from me and replace those character defects with tolerance, kindness, and love. I have to ask for help often if I want to stay on His track.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

E-mail to my sponsor Ed: March 15, 1985

Dear Ed,

It seems like a long time since I last heard from you. How are you sir? Well, I hope. I am in the midst of readying the final draft of my BASIC manual. I have two 6-hour meetings with the developers coming up next week to go over their extensive comments on the second draft. In short, I have mucho to do and not much time to do it. I am trying not to get too stressed out about all of this. I'm going to meetings and asking for help. Being the guy that I am, I have a propensity to pop a few springs here and there, to short circuit occasionally as a result of overloaded circuits. I have to be careful and remember not to take any of this work business or myself too seriously, but take sobriety seriously.

I picked up a guide for doing my fourth step at a fourth step meeting the other night. The guide is thick and full of memory probing questions. It reminds me of the guides they used to hand out in graduate school for people wanting to write a dissertation.

So I'll be writing my "dissertation" soon. At least I want to make start. A lot of people believe the fourth step is not something to be taken lightly. I hope we can do our fifth step together, as you promised, when I get the fourth step done.

I learn a lot from the steps. Patience, love, listening, understanding... Life ain't so hard on me when I practice the principles. I'm less likely yank myself around then I live life according to the wisdom layed out in the 12+12 and Big Book. Oh don't get me wrong, I still get resentments, I still yell at my son on occasion, think about divorcing my wife everytime she doesn't do what I want her to, and I still have stinking thinking. But I'm beginning to realize that I can't go on living with the fears, the anxiety, and the crazy emotions, even if they only crop up at a tolerable frequency. I have to recover, if only to get on with the joy of living, right?

God bless Ed. Write soon.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

E-mail to my sponsor Ed on July 8, 1983

Dear Ed,

I had a mind-opening experience last night.

Thomas my nephew and I drove to Spencer and attended a beginner's Al-Anon meeting. There was no Alateen, so we went to this meeting instead. There were about 6 of us, and Rita, a 65 year-old woman chairing the meeting. She was terrific, Ed. So much experience, so much wisdom, she addressed each person and listened to their problem, and spoke with humor, compassion, and deep understanding. Bless her heart. I listened, and Thomas participated, describing the anguish of living with his grandparents, and of being tossed around between sets of grandparents, and his mother. Of being badgered by his grandparents when they are angry, being badgered about everything. Of stuffing his feelings and hiding in his room. Rita gave him a 12-step Alateen book. Thomas was told that there is hope for him. That he needs to go to as many meetings as he can get to, and that he needs to take care of Thomas.

The meeting last night reminded me how common my problems really are. Because I am an alcoholic, I am not unique. The pain and misery I inflicted on members of my family is no different than that which has been experienced by new members at this AL-Anon meeting last night. One woman spoke of how her husband, sober 9 months, constantly berates and criticizes the kids at the dinner table. I thought she was talking about me! Another spoke of her husband's fanaticism about meetings... etc. The meeting was so good for me. I went in there with the big EGO, thinking, I'm a member of AA and these people can learn a lot of from me... but after I listened for a while, I started coming down to size. I needed to hear where these women were coming from.

It's a bloomin' miracle the way God weaves his strands of love and hope into our lives, creating a fabric to keep us and watch over us.