Meeting Summaries 2019

1/6/2019 #107. This week we read and discussed the book You Can’t Make Me Angry (YCMMA) by Dr. Paul O. up to 62:0.

The information was so rich that we decided that next week, we will all pick a section that we like and share on it.

Going forward, we will not read necessarily read a whole chapter each week but pause at each subchapter and open the group up for sharing before continuing with the rest of the chapter.

1/13/2019 # 108. This week, we reviewed and discussed what we read last week in the book You Can’t Make Me Angry (YCMMA) by Dr. Paul O. up to 62:0.

1/20/2019 #109. This week we read and discussed the book You Can’t Make Me Angry (YCMMA) by Dr. Paul O. up to 74:Responding. We discussed communication: different levels of communication and negative ways of reacting when emotionally triggered by another person.

1/27/2019 #110. This week we read 2 handouts on Crosstalk and getting the most out of meetings. We discussed changing the group format to prevent crosstalk and encourage open-minded discussions.

2/3/2019 #111. This week we read and discussed the book You Can’t Make Me Angry (YCMMA) by Dr. Paul O. up to 80:0.  We discussed more basic communication techniques: responding, validation, active listening, feedback by paraphrasing, the role of silence and the formula:

I feel ____________ (state your feelings, not your thoughts.)

When you do _____________ (don’t be judgemental or sarcastic.)

In such and such a situation ____________ (give a precise time and place.)

We also read the handout recommended from last week on Taking Suggestions by Jeremy B.

Next week, we will continue with the book.

2/10/2019 #112  This week we read and discussed the book You Can’t Make Me Angry (YCMMA) by Dr. Paul O. up to 96-0.  The topic was “Motivation.”

Notes from the author: Nothing is more destructive to living a life of emotional independence that being a victim of one’s resentments.

When we play the role of victim, we do not have to take responsibility for our feelings and we spiritually chain ourselves to the person we feel victimized by.

My favorite quote: “My life is my responsibility. The circumstances of my life do not determine the quality of my life; the quality of my life is determined by my reaction to circumstances.” (87-1)

2/17/2019 #113  This week we read and discussed the book You Can’t Make Me Angry (YCMMA) by Dr. Paul O. up to 112-0. The topic was techniques to maintain emotional sobriety.

Notes:

Acceptance is ultimately the answer. My emotions do not have to be dependent on others.

What is the goal? Is the goal to get the other to admit they are wrong and you are right? Or, is your goal simply to feel better?

Pray and ask for guidance, and be clear about your motive and leave the results up to God.

Live the program, not the problem.

3 Questions:

Is it important? Is there anything I can do about it? Is it any of my business?

2/24/2019 #114. This week we read and discussed the book You Can’t Make Me Angry (YCMMA) by Dr. Paul O. up to 129-0.  The topic was “More techniques” to practice emotional independence.

3/4/2019 #115. This week we read and discussed the book You Can’t Make Me Angry (YCMMA) by Dr. Paul O. up to 148-0.  The topic was “Still More,” techniques” to practice emotional independence.

3/10/2019 #116. This week, we completed our discussion on the book You Can’t Make Me Angry (YCMMA) by Dr. Paul O. up to 148-0.  The topic was “Love and service” and that the primary emotions that drive us are “love” or “fear.”

Next week we will begin Step 12.

We will be reading and discussing:the AA Big Book, the stories in the AA Big Book, the OA 12 & 12, and Unpopular Studies In The Last Three Steps.

If there is interest, I would also like to include The Little Red Book.

We will read only from 1 book at a time, and when we complete one section, we will read from the stories in the AA Big Book before moving onto the next source of literature.

So far, everyone seemed to really enjoy You Can’t Make Me Angry (YCMMA) by Dr. Paul O. and 1 person requested that we read it again as a group.

3/17/2019 #117. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed 2 stories  out of the AA Big Book:  We read A Vision of Recovery and Gutter Bravado.

Next week we will begin our study of Step 12. We will start with reading out of the AA Big Book.

Here is the link to the page on the blog of the various documents on Step 12.

3/24/2019 #118. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed Chapter 7 Working with Others in the AA Big Book.

Next week, we will read Step 12 in the Little Red Book. (Each word is linked to a different online site if you would like to buy the book. Here is a pdf of the chapter.

3/31/2019 #119. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed Step 12 from the book  written by Lawrie C. Next week we will continue reading on Step 12 and some of his comments on “carrying the message” pages 66-78. I would like us to skip certain sections, as appropriate.

After that, we will read Step 12 in the Little Red Book. (Each word is linked to a different online site if you would like to buy the book. Here is a pdf of the chapter.

Do we want to cancel our meeting cancelled on 4/21/2019 & 4/28/2019 in observance of Passover & Easter? Next week, we can discuss it.

4/7/2019 #120. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we continued reading and discussing Step 12 from the book  written by Lawrie C up to page 70 #10. Next week we will continue reading on Step 12 and some of his comments on “carrying the message” pages 70-78. I would like us to skip certain sections, as appropriate.

Lawrie mentioned the importance of doing a group inventory (each word is to a different link to the same information) to assess “How well is our group carrying the message of recovery?”

We agreed that we would like to do this exercise as a group.

At what point during our study of Step 12 would we like to do this?

As a group, we will read Step 12 in the Little Red Book. (Each word is linked to a different online site if you would like to buy the book. Here is a pdf of the chapter.

Step_12

4/14/2019 #121. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we continued reading and discussing Step 12 from the book  written by Lawrie C. up to page 73: “amends to self.”

NEXT WEEK, April 21st, OUR MEETING IS CANCELLED.

Our homework for the next 2 weeks is to write on:

How do you define the God of your understanding?

What is the difference between religion and spirituality?

Can you be a religious person without being spiritual or spiritual person without having a particular religious faith?

The following week, April 28th, we will have an off topic meeting as many people are unable to attend.

I would like us to read and discuss a very interesting article that I have wanted us to read for a long time: GRESHAM’S LAW & ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR CUP OF TEA? STRONG? – MEDIUM? – WEAK?

Lawrie mentioned the importance of doing a group inventory (each word is to a different link to the same information) to assess “How well is our group carrying the message of recovery?”

We agreed that we would like to do this exercise as a group once we complete Step 12.

4/28/2019 #122. This is the link to the mp3. This week was an off-topic meeting.  We read and discussed the article GRESHAM’S LAW & ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR CUP OF TEA? STRONG? – MEDIUM? – WEAK?

Our question for homework is: Can you be a religious person without being spiritual or spiritual person without having a particular religious faith?

Next week, we will continue reading and discussing Step 12 from the book  written by Lawrie C. continuing where we left off on page 73: “amends to self.”

5/5/2019 #123. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we continued reading and discussing Step 12 from the book  written by Lawrie C. up to page 75: “Service.”

We read and discussed the homework questions:

  • How do you define the God of your understanding?
  • What is the difference between religion and spirituality?
  • Can you be a religious person without being spiritual or spiritual person without having a particular religious faith?

We read and discussed the homework questions:

  • Amends to yourself?
  • The difference between Step 10 and Step 11 and
  • “If you are not a normal weight, are you credible?”

5-12-2019 #124. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we continued reading and discussing Step 12 from the book  written by Lawrie C. up to page 77: “How to talk to someone who is still suffering.”

We read and discussed:

  • The issue of service
  • Constantly judged in meetings because of weight
  • The importance of face to face meetings

After we complete that section, we will read Step 12 in the Little Red Book. (Each word is linked to a different online site if you would like to buy the book. Here is a pdf of the chapter.

5-19-2019 #125. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we completed Step 12 from the book  written by Lawrie C. (The first link is to the main website, the second link is a direct link to the pdf of his book).

After that, we began reading Step 12 in the Little Red Book. (Each word is linked to a different online site if you would like to buy the book.) Here is a pdf of the chapter.

We read and discussed the following questions on a spiritual awakening:

  1. Did you have a spiritual awakening?
  2. Was it vital to your recovery?
  3. When did it take place?
  4. Can you define it?

As a reminder: we will be reading next from the OA 12 & 12, (please note, this is a link to the 2nd edition. OA is no longer publishing the 1st edition) After that, we will read and discuss Step 12 in the Unpopular Studies In The Last Three Steps.

We will conclude our workshop by doing a group inventory (each word is to a different link to the same information) to assess “How well is our group carrying the message of recovery?”

As a group, we will also need to decide: do we want to start another ES&F Step Study Workshop? If so, what would we like to use as a guide for our format?

If we decide to do the steps again, I would love to use this wonderful document on taking a sponsee through the steps: A Step by Step Guide for Sponsors: A Companion to AA Big Book and 12 Steps and 12 Traditions.

More will be revealed!

5-26-2019 #126. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed Step 12 in The Little Red Book. (Each word is linked to a different online site if you would like to buy the book) up to “Sponsorship.”  Here is a pdf of the chapter.

6-2-2019 #127. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we completed Step 12 in The Little Red Book. (Each word is linked to a different online site if you would like to buy the book). Here is a pdf of the chapter.

We discussed: how do you sponsor others in program?

NEXT WEEK: OUR MEETING IS CANCELLED.

We will be reading next from the OA 12 & 12, 1st edition.

Please note: there is now a 2nd edition of the OA 12 & 12, and it seems as through the 1st edition will no longer be published by OA. Both editions are good, and I hope that OA World Service will consider having both available in the future. That is not the case right now.  If you do not yet have the 1st edition, I highly recommend obtaining one ASAP, while they are easily available.

6-16-2019 #128. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed Step 12 in OA 12 & 12, 1st edition.

Next week, we will read and discuss Step 12 in the Unpopular Studies in the Last Three Steps.

Before we conclude this workshop, we agreed that as a group we would like to read and discuss the following books:

  1. There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O.
  2. A New Pair of Glasses by Chuck C. There is a more expensive text of the same book also available on Amazon. I am not sure how to distinguish one from the other.
  3. “Living Clean – The Journey Continues” which is published by NA. It addresses many of the topics that we discuss during our group.

We will conclude our workshop by doing a group inventory (each word is to a different link to the same information) to assess “How well is our group carrying the message of recovery?”

6-23-2019 #129. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed Step 12 in the Unpopular Studies in the Last Three Steps, up to page 85-1.

The book describes Step 12 as “compassionate action.” It is the natural progression derived from practice of Steps 10 and 11.

According to the authors of this book, the practice of the last 3 steps includes: watching (Step 10), praying and meditating (Step 11) and concludes with serving and doing for others (Step 12).

When Step 12 is described as “compassionate action” it becomes the natural progression of the practice and discipline of created by Steps 10 and 11. In Step 10, we surrender our ego. In Step 11, we ask through prayer and meditation for God’s guidance. Then in Step 12, we act on that guidance.

As it says in the AA Big Book:

Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people around us. (p 77)

6-30-2019 #130. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed Step 12 in the Unpopular Studies in the Last Three Steps, up to page 93-1.

We also discussed that the group might be interested in reading: “Living Clean – The Journey Continues” which is published by NA. It addresses many of the topics that we discuss during our group.

7-7-2019 #131. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed Step 12 in the Unpopular Studies in the Last Three Steps, up to page 105-0.

7-14-2019 #132. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we completed Step 12 in the Unpopular Studies in the Last Three Steps!

We are read and discussed the story in the AA Big BookEmpty on the Inside.

Here is a link to a YouTube video of the author, Beth Hartley, from Cincinnati OH.

I was also able to find an mp3 of her speaking at an AA Convention in Niagara Falls in 2010.

Since we are completing Step 12, I came across this mp3 on sponsorship that some people might be interested in.

Next week, we are beginning the book There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O.

Enjoy!

7-21-2019 #133. This is the link to the mp3. This week, our group was very small! We began the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. up to page 20:2. It is an excellent book and really addressed emotional sobriety, the primary focus of our group.

The topics addressed were: “Is alcoholism really a disease?” And, “why do alcoholics drink?”

The quote introducing this chapter is: “For physical sobriety, I had to give up drinking.”

7-28-2019 #134. This is the link to the mp3. It was so wonderful to all be together!  This week, we read and discussed the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. up to page 35:0.

8-4-2019 #135. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we read the entire chapter on “Mental Sobriety Thinking” in the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. We read up to page 67:0, but unfortunately, we did not have time to discuss what we read.

The quote introducing this chapter is: “For mental sobriety, I had to give up letting my mind control itself — and me!”

NEXT WEEK, OUR MEETING IS CANCELLED.

Please read over what we read today.  We will discuss the chapter next time that we meet.

We also discussed the book, “Practicing these principles” by Ray A. Do we want to read the book when we start the workshop again? The first book covers steps 1-3.

8-18-2019 #136. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we discussed the chapter “Mental Sobriety: Thinking” that we read during our last meeting in the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. We also began the next chapter “Emotional Sobriety: Feeling.”  We read and discussed up to “We All Have Boundaries” page 74:2.

The quote introducing this chapter is: “For emotional sobriety, I had to give up letting others control my emotions.”

We began the group by reading this quote from Just for Today

August 5                                The shape of our thoughts

 

“By shaping our thoughts with spiritual ideals, we are freed to become who we want to be.”

Basic Text, p. 105

Addiction shaped our thoughts in its own way.  Whatever their shape may once have been, they became misshapen once our disease took full sway over our lives.  Our obsession with drugs and self-molded our moods, our actions, and the very shape of our lives.

Each of the spiritual ideals of our program serves to straighten out one or another of the kinks in our thinking that developed in our active addiction.  Denial is counteracted by admission, secretiveness by honesty, isolation by fellowship, and despair by faith in a loving Higher Power.  The spiritual ideals we find in recovery are restoring the shape of our thoughts and our lives to their natural condition.

And what is that “natural condition”?  It is the condition we truly seek for ourselves, a reflection of our highest dreams.  How do we know this?  Because our thoughts are being shaped in recovery by the spiritual ideals we find in our developing relationship with the God we’ve come to understand in NA.

No longer does addiction shape our thoughts.  Today, our lives are being shaped by our recovery and our Higher Power.

Just for today:  I will allow spiritual ideals to shape my thoughts.  In that design, I will find the shape of my own Higher Power.

N.B. In between each book, we will read some of the stories  out of the AA Big Book.

To discuss: do we want to have our meeting on the following dates:

9/29/2019, 10/13/2019, & 10/20/2019?

8-25-2019 #137. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we read in the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. We read and discussed up to page 89-0.

9-1-2019#138. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we read in the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. We read and discussed up to page 116-2. We are now discussing Interpersonal Sobriety and Communicating.

Dr. Paul’s pithy quote for this chapter is: “For marital sobriety, I had to give up trying to change anyone but myself.”

9-8-2019#139. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we read in the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. We read and discussed up to page 133-0 and we completed the chapter on Interpersonal Sobriety and Communicating. Next, we will discuss Spiritual Sobriety—Feeling Guilty.

9-15-2019#140. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we read in the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. We read and discussed up to page 151-0 on the topic Spiritual Sobriety—Feeling Guilty.

The quote introducing this chapter is: “For spiritual sobriety, I had to give up feeling guilty!”

Next, we will discuss Spiritual Aerobics – Fantasizing.

Please note that we will be having an off-topic 3 session workshop on the traditions September 29, 2019, October 13, 2019 and October 20, 2019 during our regular meeting time.

9-22-2019#141. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we read in the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. We read and discussed up to page 171-0 on the topic Spiritual Aerobics – Fantasizing. We concluded the meeting with the reading from Twenty-Four Hours a Day, which was totally applicable to what we read and discussed during our meeting.

I thought I would post here what was read:

Meditation For The Day

There should be joy in living the spiritual life. A faith
without joy is not entirely genuine. If you are not happier
as a result of your faith, there is probably something wrong
with it. Faith in God should bring you a deep feeling of
happiness and security, no matter what happens on the surface
of your life. Each new day is another opportunity to serve God
and improve your relationships with other people. This should
bring joy. Life should be abundant and outreaching. It should
be glowing and outgoing, in ever widening circles.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my horizons may grow ever wider.
I pray that I may keep reaching out for more service
and companionship.

The quote introducing this chapter is: “For further spiritual sobriety, I had to give up my my old belief system.”

Next week, we will be starting our off topic 3 session workshop on the traditions. We will be reading Traditions 1-4 in the AA 12 & 12 and use the worksheets provided on the blog to help guide our discussion.

I am very excited as this is an often overlooked topic for many in program.

9-29-2019#142. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we had our first off-topic traditions workshop. We read traditions 1-4 in the AA 12 & 12 and used the worksheets provided on the blog to help guide our discussion.

We ran out of time to read the worksheets on Traditions 3 and 4. As a group, we can decide if we want to read them during our group next week, or to read them on our own independently.

Next week, we will continue reading the book There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. We will read and discuss the next chapter SPIRITUAL PHILOSOPHY – Accepting. 

10-6-2019#143. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we read in the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. We read and discussed up to page 187-0 on the topic SPIRITUAL PHILOSOPHY – Accepting. 

The theme of this chapter was: “For continuing, comfortable sobriety, I had to learn that acceptance is not approval, it’s a challenge!”

I found this wonderful blog post on acceptance that I would love to share with everyone. Enjoy!

For the next 2 weeks, we will be continuing our off topic 3 session workshop on the traditions.

Next week, we will review the worksheets on traditions 3 & 4 and then read and discuss traditions 5 – 8.  We will be reading in the AA 12 & 12 and use the worksheets provided on the blog to help guide our discussion.

I am very excited as this is an often overlooked topic for many in program.

Following our “off-topic” workshop, we will resume reading the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. The next chapter is MEDICATING SAFELY –MedicatingTo quote: “For chemical sobriety, I had to give up mind-affecting prescription drugs.”

10-13-2019#144. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we had our second off-topic traditions workshop. We reviewed traditions 1-4 and read traditions 5-8 in the AA 12 & 12. We used the worksheets provided on the blog to help guide our discussion.

The traditions are a rich and overlooked area in program. I would love to read more of the literature on the traditions in our group!

10-20-2019#145. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we had our third and final off-topic traditions workshop. We reviewed traditions 5-8 and read traditions 9-12 in the AA 12 & 12. We used the worksheets provided on the blog to help guide our discussion.

10-27-2019#146. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we returned to reading the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. We read and discussed up to page 209-0 on the topic of medicating safely for chemical sobriety.

It was a lively discussion on a topic near and dear to my heart on the appropriate use and potential misuse of psychotropic medications and addiction.

11-3-2019#147. This is the link to the mp3.  This week, we completed reading the book, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking by Dr. Paul O. The topic today was on applying the 12 step model of recovery from addiction to the problem of insomnia. We also read and discussed the story Another Chance  (p. 526, 3rd edition, page 531 in 4th edition.) from the stories  out of the AA Big Book.

According to what I could find online, the author of the story is Bertha V., from Louisville, Kentucky.

“Poor, black, totally ruled by alcohol, she felt shut away from any life worth living. But when she began a prison sentence, a door opened.”

Bertha arrived at A.A.’s doors in April of 1972. She was the daughter of a clergyman, but had sunk low because of alcohol. She had served time in prison for killing a man in a blackout. It was in prison that she accepted A.A., having rejected it earlier. She only served three years of a twelve-year sentence.

She was a poor African-American woman from an area where there were very few African-Americans in A.A. And they didn’t get involved much in A.A. activities. She thought some African-Americans were afraid to go to other meetings, but she wanted them to know that “there are no color bars in A.A.” She talks movingly about how she was not discriminated against in A.A., nor made to feel different in any way.

Unfortunately, I was not able to find any more information about the author.

Next week, we will begin reading “Living Clean – The Journey Continues” which is published by NA. It addresses many of the topics that we discuss during our group.

11-10-2019 #148. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we read and discussed a new book, “Living Clean – The Journey Continues” up to page 11:0.