Thank you for the wonderful meetings these past 2 weeks! I am so grateful to all of you.
The telephone conference numbers for our group are:
Telephone conference number: (712) 775-7031 Access Code: 397-681-282
Playback recording number is: (712) 775-7029 Access Code: 397-681-282#
Playback reference number: 58 Here is the direct link from the conference line.
Playback reference number: 59 Here is the direct link from the conference line.
Participants can also download the meeting directly from the conference line. The link will only be available for a limited time.
To listen to past recorded meetings, please go to the Recordings tab on the blog.
Our meetings are stored on Media Fire, a cloud storage service.
As a reminder, our group takes place on Sunday mornings at 5:30 AM EST.
Please join us as we “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” (AA Big Book 164:3)
Both of these stories are incredibly powerful, and a true testimony that there is always hope, and we should never give up.
Here are some of my notes:
“I knew if I stayed, my anger at my wife for taking those children away from me would get me into more trouble than even I could handle, so once again I set off. I left with my hatred, my resentment, and the clothes on my back. This time for good.”
One of the things that struck me about this story is that the author never took responsibility for his behavior nor for how he responded to what happened to him.
The author was understandably very upset that his mother was murdered and that his family was broken up. But, he responded by being angry and blaming everyone around him for his inner feelings of turmoil and pain.
There is nothing outside of me that can fix the pain inside of me.
The author was then furious at his wife for leaving him. But, he never accepted responsibility for the fact that it was his excessive drinking drove her to that decision.
As human beings, we have free will and we are responsible for our actions, and for the consequences of our actions. Even when my feelings are “justified.”
One of the most powerful lines is the story was:
“My sponsor told me if I wanted to form a relationship with my Higher Power, it would be necessary for me to change. At a meeting one night a member said, “It’s not how much you drink, it’s what drinking does to you.”
This is a disease that an individual must decide for herself if she has a problem. As food addicts, the question becomes, “it’s not what I am eating, it’s what is eating me.” And, “how much space is food and how I eat renting space in my head?”
Before I joined program, I wasn’t willing to accept the consequences of how I was eating. I really just wanted to be able to eat the way I wanted to eat and still be thin.
“Finally, after all those years of wondering about my family, my Higher Power had acted through my friend to undo the tangled circumstances and allow me to make amends to the people who had been hurt by my bitterness. I believe that I am living proof of the A.A. saying “Don’t give up until the miracle happens.”
It is fascinating that it never occurred to the writer in all his years of recovery that he should try to find his family and make his amends. In the depth of his despair, it never occurred to him that anyone was hurt by what HE DID, that he was loved and missed by his family. He was too full of self-pity and anger.
This demonstrates to me how we all lack clarity in this world. Whatever we think we know, we are probably wrong. Life is a lesson in learning to have humility and not believing everything we think.
It also shows how much everyone has their own journey. We can only know what we need to know, when we need to know it. Until then, we just don’t know.
These are the notes and quotes from He Lived Only To Drink.
“I had been preached to, analyzed, cursed, and counseled, but no one had ever said, ‘I identify with what’s going on with you. It happened to me and this is what I did about it.’ ”
“I also learned that alcoholism, as an equal opportunity illness, does not discriminate—is not restricted to race, creed, or geography.”
One of the characteristics of an addict is that we believe that we are terminally unique. We have a sense of separateness from others, which mirrors our disconnection from God.
Program works by fostering an identification of one addict with another. We heal through listening and sharing our stories with each other.
I had to separate my sobriety from everything else that was going on in my life. No matter what happened or didn’t happen, I couldn’t drink. In fact, none of these things that I was going through had anything to do with my sobriety; the tides of life flow endlessly for better or worse, both good and bad, and I cannot allow my sobriety to become dependent on these ups and downs of living. Sobriety must live a life of its own.
Food is not my problem. It is my maladaptive solution to my problem. I am reminded of the slogan: “I put my food in one hand and my life in the other, and my hands don’t clap.”
Over and over again, the stories exemplify the important of acceptance, surrendering to God, and living life in the moment, — as it is — not how we want it to be. I need to live life as it is, right here, right now. I cannot live in the past, which leads only to resentment. If I live in the future, I will be governed by fear.
This week, we began Step 10.
We read from the AA Book, and began reading one of the handouts from the blog on Step 10. Below are links to the various handouts from one of my favorite sites, First164.blogspot.com.
Next week we will finish the handouts before starting to read the OA 12 & 12.
We are now starting the heart and soul of emotional sobriety: living in the solution, seeking conscious contact with the God of our understanding and carrying the message to those who still suffer.
Thank you all for sharing your experience, strength and hope. I am so grateful we are sharing this journey together!
“Together we can do what we can never do alone.”
In love and service,