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Well here I am at 3 years, maybe the best 3 years of my life! I have been looking forward to this with caution, but not fear. I call the 3rd year my “banana peel birthday” because I have had 2-3 years two times in the past. However this feels different. I am older and I would like to think a lot wiser. Unlike the past failed attempts, this time I am doing a lot of service work and being a sponsor! This have given me such great joys of sobriety. My one sponsee celebrated 2 years and after he was drinking for 40 years is quite a feat but I love it because I take no credit for it! I gave to him what was so freely given to me! I pray for the other 6 or so that I tried to help but I think they were not ready. I think I gained more wisdom from them then with the successful one. I get to see the lying, manipulation, appeasement, pleas, compromises, anger, fear, and all the problems that come with trying to get sober which reinforces that I do not want to go back. I remember what I was like trying to get sober. I was the guy that was turned away from the liquor store at 9 am for being drunk. I had the shakes so bad that when I rolled over on the bed on top of my arms it was moving my whole body. The cold sweats, mental and auditory delusions no more.
What a year also. I got married for my first time to a wonderful, loving, young woman from the Philippines. She does not drink and understands what I am going through. We have been blessed with conception of our first child and with God’s blessing the expected due date in August. I have been going to a lot of meetings before & after my anniversary and have heard some great things. Many told me to enjoy our “sober baby”. WOW, that is so cool. I will get to be there for the entire baby’s “first’s” and remember them all. I will get a chance to raise a child in a house with no alcohol in it. Another thing that I heard was what a great sobriety birthday before the 4th of July. “Independence Day” not only for our country but for me from alcohol!
I hope to be back next year to tell more about the wonderful life I get to live. For the grace of God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous I am sober! Take care all and God bless.
In ending I usually like to quote the big book however I would like to print something I found on the internet. I do not know this man but that he was dying sober in Phoenix AZ. and had this to say and a poem he would read:
As we travel the path of recovery, we are sometimes overwhelmed by a feeling of how much we lack. It rises within us as a feeling of inadequacy, emptiness, or loneliness. We are in pain because we feel like such beginners. Now we need to discard our competitive thinking, our drive to be on top, and accept another, wiser, way of seeing. The big difference is in being on the path of recovery rather than lost on some diversion, as we have been in the past. It is not important how far along we are or who is ahead of whom. The important thing is that we are on the path and experiencing the process.
In recovery, wisdom comes with staying a beginner. Then we remain open to further learning. In some sense this program and our mutual powerlessness are the great levelers. Once on the path, we are all equals.
Today, I will appreicate my vulnerability. It keeps me spiritually alive and growing.
took one step, began to moan
I can't do this on my own
I took two steps, began to pray,
Restore me, GOD today
I took three steps, gave up my will
Maybe GOD loves me still
I took a fourth, I looked inside
Nothing more would I hide
And on the fifth, I said aloud
I've done some wrong, and I'm not proud
I took six steps, and got prepard
To lose the defects, I was scared
Now I'm at seven, take them away
GOD, for this I do pray
And on eight, the list was long
Amends to make for all the wrong
I took nine steps, put down my pride
Forgiveness asked, I will not hide
Ten steps I take, each day I pray
Make amends, along the way
And on eleven, I pray to know
Each day his will, which way to go
I took twelve steps, I'm like a bird
To others now, I spread the word......
Posted On 07/06/2009 03:48:24
What a 2nd year it has been. All that has happened both good and bad.
My friendships that have developed in AA has been a tremendous help but that also comes with a cost. For the first time ewver in my past AA life I had 2 good friends pass away in the program (sober). This made me realize to love everyone like it is the last time you may see them. Even more important is to not postpone an amend you may have to make because the opportunity may only come once. Besides my sponsor I have friends that I fit into categories. I have what I call a BB thumber, and ego buster, and a spiritual guide that I use all depending on what i need. Also this year I finished my last and final amend. This was my hardest step and if I had kept with the saying "keep it simple" I may have done it sooner. Now all I have to do is keep up with my 10th step and not cause more wreckage. I got passed over for a promotion that I was overly qualified for but instead I got an opportunity to practice these principles. That was a HUGE resentment that took a long time to get over but it did work itself out and I learned a lot about myself. I have also got married to a wonderful young woman from the Philippines who is a normy and introduced to me from a friend of mine. I really feel this was a blessing from God. I am 39 years old and never married and once God saw me developing into a man that could finally take care of myself he answered my prayers and gave me someone to take care of. I have been able to work on my house that went through 10 years of drunken abuse. I have fixed a roof, painted, built a storage shed, and fix may problems that I would used to just drink over.
My program have continued to get better. I am deep into service as Dist 2 Area 92 CPC Chair and I have 3 other members helping me that I am grooming to take over my position at the rotation. I had a sponsee celebrate one year. I have also finally found some gratitude which I did not have my first year. At my birthday I have been remembering my last drunk which I will contine to do so I know what will happen if I go back out. As my sobriety continues to evolve I find BB quotes change too and this year I have a new favorite. "We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee - Thy will (not mine) be done." Pg. 85
I hope for future success and want to thank this website for being here when I really needed it. I could not be in a meeting for 24 hours in my early sobriety but I was able to be online at this site for days on end.
Take care and God bless,
Where do I begin and how can I begin to express my gratitude to you all?
This site saved my life. When I was in the first few months of sobriety I was on this site every day for hours. If I was not in a meeting I was here. I want to thank first of all ANIMAL the MUPPET for turning me onto this site. He will be with me when I celebrate my 1 year at my home group later in the month along with my mother. Then there are those that were always on line too that helped me through this tough time back then (in no particular order) projoe, lovelife, daddysgirl, powerwave, godluvsall, disgruntledgurl, denniss. I wish I could give you all a big Chicago Bear hug! The administrator for creating this place for the osmosis of knowledge and all the time you spend working on it making go. Last but not least all the rest of you. Just some of the words of wisdom that I came across that kept me coming back!
What worked for me so far?
** WORKING THE STEPS **
I have been delt some bad cards over the year including surgery, diagnosed diabetic, passed over for a promotion, and lost 2 friends in the program that died sober.
There were some great successful times too! My cousin's wedding (open bar), not killing anyone when I did get passed over for that promotion, a high school reunion with beer, whisky, pot, and coke, becoming the CPC for area 92 district 2, and lets face it, just not drinking on a daily basis.
If there was one thing that I could put my finger on that got me through was the idea of "making a deposit every day" It did not matter what account it was in. Spiritual, emotional, steps, service, reading, prayer, meditation, or action. The point was that when the sh*t hits the fan and I needed to make a withdrawal there was something there and I did not find my accounts empty (emotionally bankrupt).
I want to wish you all the best. Live for today because it is a gift, that is why they call it "present".
All of my love,
To those I can't make amends to directly, I pray & ask for forgiveness. The things and behavior that I did wrong, make people feel uncomfortable, pain I caused, hearts I broke, I pray for their well being. To the managers, co-workers, and employees in my past that I treated wrong, I will not treat the same way to those in my future. I pray to have an opportunity to help others to make up for my wrongs. I promise to treat others with respect, and to be a good friend to those that I have. I pray for strength & guidance to be able to do this. Lastly the best amend I can make is to remain sober today. AMEN
So there has been talk of the Chinese New Year. Last night after the meeting some of us went to the bar for coffee and we were talking about this. Now I, and I only speak for myself, believe the horoscope & this is just voodoo crap and should be used for entertainment only. I got curious & looked it up. This is what I found and pretty much exact to me. I found it interesting also to look at it as part of my recovery & see my defects of character and shortcomings too.
People born in the Year of the Rooster are deep thinkers, capable, and talented. They like to be busy and are devoted beyond their capabilities and are deeply disappointed if they fail. People born in the Rooster Year are often a bit eccentric, and often have rather difficult relationship with others. They always think they are right and usually are! They frequently are loners and though they give the outward impression of being adventurous, they are timid. Rooster people¡¦s emotions like their fortunes, swing very high to very low. They can be selfish and too outspoken, but are always interesting and can be extremely brave. They are most compatible with Ox, Snake, and Dragon.
Ok, up to the 9th step I have been on a pink cloud. I had no problem listing my faults, fears, resentments, and sex issues. No problem telling God & someone either. I had heard some struggle with this step but I was fine. I now see my nemesis is the 9th. I am an only child and I hate to depend on anyone. I alwys did things on my own. If I could not, I would figure out how I could. I hate asking for help and don't need it. It seems I would rather fail at something alone they bring others in with me. Other people have always let me down because of my expectations. I can only trust myself.
Now my sobriety depends on others. I have to say to these people I am now aware of what I have done and my sobriety depends that I let them know. (I refuse to use the word sorry because I have used it to much.) So far I have only told this to my boss. I have about 10 other people and I just hate it. My sponsor tells to pray for strength & opportunity. Tomorrow I will try to make amends to my 2 neighbors. One of which I will go in the morning & hope that they are not drunk yet. This one I almost put a flower pot through their front door window. Oh well, I have done worse & harder things so I can look back on this and maybe realize that I dont want to do it again which will be a deterrent. This program has saved thousands of lives and so I know I have to do what it takes. I want to help others and I know I have to do this so I can. Funny how I dont want to depend on others but i want them do depend on me. WTF is that all about? Crazy "ism" thinking I guess. Anyway besides that all is going well and I hope it is with all of you too. Take care & God bless, J
Wow, What a weekend. I have to share, but don't expect me to share my 5th step again with all of you! lol My 5th (pun intended) took 12 hours over 4 days spread over 3 weeks. Some of this was due to time constraints with my sponsor. He also said that crap like this should not be done all at once because it is a huge pill to swallow and that worked for me. I had about 12 legal tablet pages to go over and by far this was the most detailed I have ever done, well ok more than my last one.
What did I learn? There was a simple common thread through all of it. Simply put:
I HAD BEEN PUTTING MYSELF IN BAD PLACES, ASSOCIATING MYSELF WITH UNSAVORY PEOPLE DOING THINGS THAT WERE ILLEGAL, UNETHICAL AND IMMORAL.
As my sponsor said now that I am sober and done with my 5th step this should not be a problem. I would have to agree with him, but I do have to keep my guard up. I still may get myself into an unhealthy relationship. Thanks to a special woman on this site that I have met, I feel comfortable and have talked to her about women I have met at meetings. She has given me such great advice that is so valuable on relations with them. Such great foresight and genuine caring from her I can't even start with my gratitude.
Anyway all I can't say how important it is to WORK THE STEPS. I asked my sponsor how great I feel that old timers (25+ years) have befriended me. I asked him why? He said he thinks they see me working the steps and it is working for me, and their not going to waste their time with bullshytters. That over their many years in AA they have seen & dealt with many of them.
What I have done is I see people in meetings that have what I want. Those are the people that I talk to and ask questions. I choose to stick with the winners in my future and not hang with the losers, like in my past.
Good luck all and may God bless us all! Thanks you for my sobriety.
Ok, I am not some dream freak but this was wild.
During the day I was at a Washington State U. Cougars football game. I was tailgating with some friends & a few vehicles down a truck had the tailgate down. There was one of those "Texas liters" of Jack Daniels that was half full on the back. Those freaks did not touch it and I could not stop focusing on it. I was saying to myself "do I have to go over there & show those wimps how to do it?" Well all was good & I went to the game. THAT NIGHT: I dreamed I was driving around, going to meetings with that bottle in my truck and I was just wasted. I pulled into a muddy parking lot spinning my wheels spitting mud everywhere. The lot was full but I found a tight spot on a hill and pulled it in. I opened the door and fell out in the rain & mud. I was able tried to hide the bottle and go inside. After the meeting and all the rain I was stuck because I had high-sided the rig on the dirt mound. I slammed it into reverse, floored it, and just spun the tires. Other cars were stuck and getting help from a tow truck. I was so pissed so I took a big swig, and threw it into 4x4 and I was still stuck. Mud was flying all over & I started rocking it back & fourth. Then it budged and I pulled it out looking out my back window. AH HA! I turned around to put it into drive and there I saw them. A bunch of the members from the meeting (covered in mud, head to toe) were there waiving at me good-bye. I did not realize that they had pushed me out.
I woke up with a feeling of being hung over, with what seemed like whisky on my breath. It took me 10 minutes to brush away the cobwebs and realize I got back from the game & went right to bed. I had not gone back out.
Then I came to believe and understand that the members or AA could do for me what I so stubbornly tried to do for myself. Even when I am not aware of it, they are helping me!
Thank you all!
So we all hear of how important new-comers are to the world of sobriety. We hear from men/women with decades of sobriety and how they are a reminder of how we all are 1 drink away from ruining our lives. Last Friday night was an eye-opener. I had always seen this beautiful young woman in a wheelchair at meetings. She always had a beautiful smile and was helped by people there to get around, coffee, etc. I was grateful that there are meetings that had access for the disabled. She never shared and I always wondered what her story was. Well, we all found out Friday night. She said she does not share because she always feels like crying. She said she hates being in a wheelchair. That it is a daily reminder of her choice to drink & drive and that is what put her there. Wow. I always felt that those that chose to drink & drive and had killed themselves got out easy. a few years ago there was an accident where a mother (at 10 am) was drinking & driving with her 2 small kids in the car. She was killed & the kids lived and I thought how she got off easy. What would it be like if she lived & had killed her 2 kids and that cross she would have to bear. What is God thinking? Why do some live & some die? What is his will when it comes to the young woman in a wheelchair at an AA meeting? Well that one I can answer & I think we all can figure that one out.
I have decided to give this courageous woman this week time in my daily prayers for strength. Maybe you all can do the same for all disabled addicts. If God is good, then I can guess why he chose to do with her. If her in a chair can be a reminder to us of what can happen and save our lives, then so be it! Take care all. Jeff