Thursday, December 31, 2009

The zeroes...

It has seemed like I've wanted to post something about the decade or at least the year so I've been noodling about it some - I can't seem to get any clear direction.  I also have another article I need to write but I'm still waiting for that story to come to a clear transition point.

That might just summarize the past decade - in fact, a significant part of my life - in a nutshell: great plans, many distractions and, with God's grace, small bits of progress/growth.

It seems indulgent to write here about Auld Lang Sine when Mary in Africa is already well into the next decade...

I never thought that, better than 1/2 way through my 3rd decade of sobriety, I would be here.

I don't remember much of the past decade too fondly.  Though there were some wondrous, positive moments, I bet I could match them 2-for-1 with negatives.

All the negatives are circumstantial: money, jobs, titles, stuff, etc.

Among the positives are: good health, relationships, new lives, etc.

And, I can't imagine any other possible path that could have got me from there to here.

And here, tonight, is just damn near perfect.

Blessings to all on this most perfect of beginnings for what I trust will be a wonderful year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pray for me...

I got a call last night from Little Greg.  You probably have a Little Greg around some of your meetings.  He now has over 11 years of sobriety in AA but he's been around over 25 years.  He's put the touch on most everybody over the years in his several "careers."  He's been (off the top of my head) a truck driver, an actor, in charge of maintenance, a deliveryman, a store manager, a baggage handler - a long list of attempts to re-invent himself and get into a new life.  I can remember at least 5 times when he's had a car, a nice place to live, everything was going his way and then, suddenly, it all falls apart.

It's not his fault.  Ever.

He is a victim.

Greg lived with us for a couple of months 2 years ago.  He was in the middle of rebuilding his life one more time and it was great to see that it was all going so well for him "this time."  We finally had to set a time for him to move out (before he could afford it...) but, well, we were just done with him.  And, it seemed like several things had conspired to make this a good time.

He has as strong a grasp of the AA program as anyone I know.  He's been sponsored by men I consider heroes in AA.  He can cite chapter and verse about selfishness and self-centeredness,  spiritual awakening and service.

Last night, Little Greg was standing in the cold in the line to get into the homeless shelter overflow in Denver.  We both knew he was only about 45 minutes away from my house if I chose to drive down and pick him up and bring him home to one of my warm, empty, beds.  He didn't ask to come to my place.  He did ask if he "had anything outstanding for which he needed to make amends" - I thought hard (and prayed hard) and said "no - I think we're current."

We talked for about 30 minutes.  I noticed that he'd been able to get his cell phone turned back on (it'd been shut off earlier in the month) but I didn't mention that.  He complained extensively about how someone with 11 years and 8 months should not be living like this.  How he'd been put in this place by an injury and a medical system that wouldn't meet his needs.  About how long any sort of disability assistance would take to get in place.  He complained a lot.

I felt really bad for him and I shared that with him.  I assured him that I had no answers for him.  I shared the experience of a guy I sponsor who's living in a homeless shelter and where he's found opportunities to be of service there to those people.  I shared as openly and as honestly as I could.

At the end of the conversation, he said "I have a really selfish request of you." I held my breath - in the past, what has followed is a request for money or something else.  What he said was: "Will you pray for me?"

That was interesting.  I wasn't prepared for it but I got that it was the entirely appropriate request and the entirely appropriate thing for me to do.

...and, something I forget to do as often as I might...

I hope he's OK...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


OK - after the sugar coma subsides a bit and then the general malaise returns, why is it that, instead of doing the dozens of things that I think I need to be doing (and am really interested in and find enjoyable), I find myself playing Freecell endlessly - surfing mindlessly - in the same sort of trance I watch my g'kids playing video games and watching movies in?

Suddenly, it came to me - hypnosis!!!  That explained where the precious hours I've needed have gone these past few days and weeks.

I am a believer in hypnosis.  I've seen it work wonders in some peoples' lives.  Even some heavy drinkers/alcoholics - allowed them to turn behaviors around and solve major problems.

It just didn't work on me - or so I've thought until today.

Yes, I've had a therapist really try to access and work on my subconscious using hypnosis.  It really wasn't that different than what you've seen in the goofy movies and cartoons.  He would talk me into a trance of sorts, plant ideas and suggestions in my little brain, talk me back out of that trance and we'd both watch and wonder as I marched back out and did the same bad habits and wreak the havoc in my and others' lives over the same behaviors repeatedly.  After a few months (and many $$$), we both decided hypnosis just wasn't working for me.

I would have told you, until today, that I was just one of those on whom hypnosis did not work.

Today, I watched myself seek out the trance of denial one more time.  Where I was avoiding doing what was next by, well, using whatever was in front of me to avoid what is next.  The similarity to the mind numbing that I sought using booze was jarring.

Finally, I closed the game and other distractions and decided to write this article.

By God's grace, I may be able to get to what's next after this.

I'll let you know...

Sunday, December 27, 2009


OK - as I remember, it only takes a day or 2 for this food hangover to be over, right?  I certainly hope it's no longer than a week. I'm so sick of rich food and sweets that I crave peanut butter and a hamburger.

So, it didn't help that breakfast this morning was a big piece of pumpkin pie.

This morning, we put the last of the kids on an early plane and came home and took a 4-hour nap.  I think I'm more than a little spent.  It was a wonderful holiday and I'm glad it won't happen again until next year at the earliest.

I wrote an email to someone yesterday about something completely unrelated but it caused me to think about the small miracle of learning the principle of "restraint of tongue."  If there is a "theme" for me for this holiday, I'm very impressed on how little really needs to be said (by me) at these family gatherings.  I'm hoping I can learn the same thing in my AA circles.

I'm sure my wife would disagree (we seldom have the same holiday experience together), but I can't think of a single time where I needed to correct her - if I did, it was certainly a small fraction of the times that I thought of something that would add accuracy or perspective to the conversation and had the discretion, lacking in the past, to not offer it.  Sometimes, what I would have shared came to the conversation another way.  Sometimes it didn't.  In no case was anything missed by my not having said what was in my mind.

You have to understand just what a jerk I've been around this "errant member - the tongue" (as Dr. Bob related it in his farewell address in 1950).  My ego is generally so tightly wound up in needing to not only be right but have everyone else know it that it looks like a matter of life or death that I get you to "understand" me.  In some sense, it has been about life and death.

This holiday was different.  The 5-second conversation with my brother-in-law was perfect.  The silence was perfect.  The sharing was greatly improved from other years - by my actively seeking times where I could not have to speak.

And, still amazing to me, I am sober.

Tomorrow (12/28) is my birthday.  I feel like, in the past week, I'm finally learning something about being responsible and authentic.  Not bad for someone only 57 years old.

Thank you God!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


This year, more than most, I've greeted people with "Happy Holidays."  I was making no conscious effort to be cute or politically correct or anything.  It just seemed like the right thing to say this year.

Several times, people have corrected me to say "Merry Christmas" or commented about (criticized?) my greeting.


Are we just more sensitive this year?  Am I just being more sensitive this year?  Does anyone really give a flying fig?

Probably not...

Anyway, with all the sincerity I can muster, I truly wish for each of us a Happy Holiday time.  As I've written here in the past, this is a tough time for me (and, what, tens of millions of other drunks?) but I feel especially blessed to have found (been led to?) this blogging community this year.  I love you all and truly wish you each and all a new beginning and a wonderful day - this and every day.

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Favorite things...

First, I'd like to thank Mary Christine for the tag of my favorite things.  I think.

Mary doesn't know that one thing I hate about going out with my wife is when she asks me at a gallery: "So, what's your favorite piece?" or, after a concert, "What was your favorite part?" or, well, you get the idea.  I had a therapist who I made completely insane (I don't think this is an exaggeration) with my inability to commit to a favorite color, favorite movie star, favorite car - anything I would choose a selection, I would rationalize conditions where I would prefer something else.  I really, really, really hate to pick "favorite things."  But, it's not that big a deal, really.  ;-)

Seriously, I'm grateful to MC for remembering me and including me in this rotation.

So, here's what comes to mind for 5 favorites tonight:
  1. Mountains.  I live in the foothills of Colorado's front range and, if I can't get to the "real" mountains every 2 weeks, I feel withdrawals.  My soul is fed best on a tundra just a bit above timberline where we've got 360 degree vistas of craggy peaks.
  2. The ocean.  I love beaches.  I enjoy snorkeling and SCUBA dives. I sense power and strength in the oceans of the world.
  3. AA.  I think I've found a home and a family.  It's every bit as imperfect and perfect as any family I know.  I owe it my life so why would I not have and hold it as one of my favorites?
  4. Marriage.  A good friend said at her husbands funeral - at the end of a eulogy where you kind of got it clear that they had fought a lot and she might still think that he was something of a s---- and that they'd fought a lot - but she'd declared the marriage "perfect": "If I could wish for anyone, I would wish them a 'perfect' marriage - as forged through the crucible of commitment."  I spend many of my days personally frustrated, disappointed or, lonely.  I am absolutely clear that my marriage is the greatest blessing and learning opportunity God has given through his grace.  I only wish I could do it better.
  5. A child's laughter.  There's something so infectious in listening to my g'kids laugh.  It just feels like the world will all sort itself out when I can hear their peals of laughter.
And, as with every time that I do this exercise in a gallery or a museum, I know I could put many things in this list.  Maybe life is OK after all...

As to who gets this next (I really don't know where this has been so far and, again, I could choose many): Mary, Syd, Lou, Prayer Girl and, Doc-in-Alanon.  As they're tagged, so let them enjoy the choosing as much as I do.

Life, on the whole, really is good.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Conversations with God...

My 14 year old granddaughter and her family came to town last night and is staying with us through Christmas.  She has lived her life in Seattle so it's a treat to have her around.  Through various dramas of her family and due to the distance, we've never been close so this morning when we were alone in a car together headed to her cousin's soccer game, it was probably a unique situation in our lives.

I have grieved some  as our g'kids have gotten older in that none of them are particularly close to me.  I had so very much wanted it to be different but, well, for whatever the reasons (and I acknowledge the fault is wholly my own), I'm watching them grow up and away from me more each year.

We talked some about the weather here and in Seattle and then, well, what do you talk about next?

me: So, what do you want for Christmas?

she: (after some careful thought and reflection) That's a hard question to answer.

me: I understand - if you say something small, it's dishonest.  If you say something expensive, you come off greedy.

she: Yeah, I guess so.

me: So, I guess it's uncomfortable visiting with Santa?

she: (inserting I-pod) Yeah.

me:  I guess you could just answer "world peace" or "the Broncos do well in the playoffs" or something equally impossible.

she: (laughs a little) Yeah - I think I'll answer that next time.

We start where we start when we can.

I hope she has a happy Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I have a saying that I doubt I invented but I really can't remember who I might have stolen it from.  As I remember, it just came out one day when one of my long-term sponsee types was whining about one thing or another in his life.  I asked him:
What exactly would you have to give up to call this moment perfect?
I don't know if he's ever thought of it again but I think of it quite often.  It just seems to be the perfect rejoinder to the constant state of malcontent that my spiritual malady seems to conjure for my head many times a day.

The truth, as best I can get to it today is that God is in charge and that God is bigger than any and all of my various challenges - real or imagined.

So, my life is about moving from one surrender to another.  The ultimate surrender in this moment is that I lay aside all my prejudice, expectations, judgments, attachments - all those things that keep me from embracing this as the most perfect of God's precious moments for me today.

And then, all that's left, is perfection.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

AA Renewal

I'm reluctant to post this here but it seems like I need to at least mention this on this blog for, well, I don't know - integrity?

There is a minority of folks in Alcoholics Anonymous who feel that AA may be sick as an organization and, perhaps, as a fellowship.  We are not sure what, if anything, could or should be done about it but we see symptoms of this illness in our meetings and our AA business endeavors (e.g. our service commitments).

We are not among those who feel the need to bash AA or that AA as an institution is actually harming people.  To the contrary, all of us involved in this thus far feel we owe our sobriety, our very lives to AA as it existed when we found it in that it led us to accept the grace of God and become spiritually awakened as a consequence of AA's program of recovery.

We are convinced that, if AA is to change (a big if), it will change as a consequence of people talking about what changes might be made at coffee around our meetings, at our groups' business meetings, at our assemblies and our General Service Conference.  What a few of us realized this past fall is that we wanted to have an area where we would be able to brainstorm and collaborate about what AA could do to fix what we feel are fundamental problems in our organization.

Or, perhaps what we know as "AA" today should just be allowed to disappear and that the next organization (if any) to come up will be born anew from the ashes of that old organization?

I don't know the answer.  I don't think anyone who's participated in this effort so far feels that we know all the answers.

What I do know is that, for me as a member of AA today, if AA were to pass into obscurity by, in part, my lack of action, I would wonder if "I should have done something..."  So, I am participating in this new site where we hope to be sorting out some of these thoughts.  Again, this is not a new "movement" or a set of folks who want to do anything other than seek some clarity about the hard issues we need to face and deal with as a fellowship.

Or deliberately decide not to.

So, if you care, check out  Participate and/or register if you want to.  Mention it to others if it seems useful.  Ignore it completely if it seems irrelevant or against your principles of participation in AA.

All that said, I think what I've generally been doing on this blog is completely separate from my participation on the site.  While I might share my experiences as a sober member in both places, what I see is that this blog is only a reflection of my personal experience trying to apply the AA principles in an imperfect life.  That other space is a place we're trying to improve an organization we think is imperfect by applying these principles.  Related but not the same.

But, I thought some readers here might want to know something about where my head has been at when I'm not writing here...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I was not going to write this article but here it is anyway...

I sobered up on 12/3.  It's a really bad plan to sober up just before the holiday.  So bad that, for better than a decade, I'd each year made a plan to really look at my drinking - maybe taper back some - after New Year's.  What happened for me in 1983 that was different from all those other years can only be explained by the grace of God.  Really.

But, what remains: the holidays are a really hard time for me to be sober all the time.  Some days still.

I've always probably been about the most selfish person I know.  From my earliest memory until today.  As much as it gave me pleasure to give my wife and kids nice things for Christmas, I always wanted people to give me wonderful things.  I want stuff.  A lot of stuff.  All of it.

I have more "stuff" than most people I know.  Most of it sits unused, year after year, so that it's become a burden.  In a very real and a very direct sense, the case can be easily made that my stuff owns me more today than I own it.

Yet, I'm embarrassed on each Christmas morning that I have to stifle my own pouting and sour attitude about not getting all the stuff I want - even while I watch our kids masterfully teach our Grandkids (now ranging 2-16 years old) all about sharing and appreciating what they've been given.  I gotta tell you, it's humiliating when the Grandpa pouts and sulks more than the 4 or 5 year-old.  And, that happens almost every year.  I wish I'd learned those lessons as a kid.  I wish I could learn those lessons now.

I'm also selfish in giving.  I always wanted my presents to be the biggest and the most appreciated.  I wanted all the holiday events to be at my house.  I wanted to be known as the source of all good things.

As our financially situation has deteriorated through the past 8 years, this has been relieved some out of necessity but it's still possible to detect some resentment from others at the lack of the grand, dramatic gestures I've been able to put out in the past.   I hate how it feels to not fight someone for the check at dinner or to insist we provide all entertainment at our house.  I guess we all get to grow...

The best the holidays have been for me in sobriety is that I've occasionally fought back to a position of detached neutrality where I can watch people do whatever they're going to do and appreciate the "good" in all of it and understand and forgive the "bad."

We've had holidays where the "goose hung high" - I got everything I wanted (yeah, really!) and my efforts were truly appreciated.  That seems to be as perilous a place  for me (perhaps more) as the times when I only got presents I really didn't want and I felt I should have been absent, thus causing the joy meter to rise 100 degrees in the room.

So I might see you this holiday at a party.  Even if we don't know each other, you will recognize me as the one who is looking for chairs to put away, dishes to be cleared or, best still, a newcomer to ask how he's planning to get through his first holiday season.  While we're talking, on a good day, when you ask me about me and my life, I will get you to tell me more details about yours.  On a really good day, you will be convinced that I really care about every little detail of your life and your problems.

And then, before we know it, the holidays will be past.


P.S. - Mary Christine's birthday is today - happy day to her!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009


We returned from Tucson last Friday.  Last Thursday night, we were working at my wife's cousin's house near Tucson and, as I was putting ladder away, I noticed the tail end of the sunset and grabbed this picture.  It was just hand held with a cheap camera leaning against their garage wall.

Almost every time I'm in Tucson, I'm treated to several of these sunrises and sunsets.  Almost every day.  It's hard to take.

I've not been able to blog as frequently lately.  I've become distracted with another project I'll write about later this week but I hope to, eventually, get back to a regular contribution here.  I've really been commenting on others' blogs and, well, it just feels selfish to not put anything back into the blogging etherspace.

On the other hand, Saturday morning my mind woke me up at 2:30 a.m. and reminded me that "something has to change in my life by 1/1/10."  I'm at the end of my rope and a little further financially so, well, God has to do what God does.  That (most likely) involves:
  1. I am directed to someplace I can contribute something
  2. Somewhere, money will come as a consequence of that
It really is just that simple, I think.

I'm looking in want adds.  I'm "networking" (gawd, I've come to hate that term).  I'm telling the truth about our needs and desires.  I'm more open to new adventures that I think I ever have been.  Here, there, anywhere for anything.

Mostly, I'm in just sort of a state of amused anticipation of what could happen next.

But. that morning the committee in my head was having none of what I'm trusting will work itself out in the next 2 weeks.

I know I'm not alone - either with my challenges or with the itty-bitty-s---y-committee between my ears.

Exciting, no?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My plans and perceptions...

On Monday, we left Colorado for Tucson and where we are staying was supposed to have wireless but, well, those were my plans.  I finally got connected to the internet yesterday and we've been trying to be of service and present for what we're here for and, well, it's been interesting.

We came into Tuscon to unseasonable cold weather.  The high yesterday was in the 50's.  We went to the Air and Space Museum and there was a volunteer hunkered down over a heater with her parka on.  She had no humor about how it was below zero in Colorado.  It was just irrelevant information to her in that she thought she was too cold to ever warm up.

I've blogged here before about my preference of cold over hot but, secretly, even with the cluster-f- that are a part of how we do things in our family, I'm glad I'm here instead of back where it is so bitterly cold.  I'm-a-guessing that, as I age, the more temperate climates will appeal to me more and more but I am just glad to be where I am today.

It just works out better that way...

Saturday, December 5, 2009


My sister gave me a gift when she was in town last summer.  I've delayed posting a picture of it because I keep thinking that I will drag out my lights and take a proper picture of it but, well, I just am not getting to it and probably won't any time soon.  So, I will take a better picture later but the quilt on the left is her design and represents 100's of hours of work on her behalf.

The colors are not quite right in the photograph (much richer in person) and, per my earlier comment, the picture just doesn't do it justice.  When you stand really close to it, you can see that each feather of each crane has 3 perfect rows of stitching outlining it and, well, the detail is staggering.

It hangs over our fireplace in our front room and you can't help but notice it  - it was designed by her for that space.

I have a funny relationship with gifts in general.  For 15 years, I've been embarrassed in my family because it is really bad form when you're more moody around getting stuff at Christmas than your grandkids.  I've noticed throughout my life that I've always wanted what I didn't have and, then, when I get it, I'm generally not satisfied with that stuff or it disappoints me or I just move on from it and the stuff just accumulates.  Page 76 in our 12x12 outlines the constant struggles of my life.

So, how does one "get" recovered from this selfish attachment to my wants and demands?  I think, as outlined in aforementioned 12x12 passage, it's an inside job where my most difficult part of the process is to surrender all my old ideas and accept God's grace that's offered.

I was truly awestruck when my sister unfolded this quilt in my house last summer.  Even though I knew she was working on it, nothing prepared me for the incredible amount of time and talent that she had invested in it.  You can trust me that NOTHING that I have done in my relationship with her could have made me deserve this from her.  And, nothing that I own or could build or could do would repay her for what she did for me in this demonstration of love and generosity. 

Yet, as I write this, there it hangs.

I still hope I had the ability to say "thank you" appropriately.  I think I did.

I think it's a lot like that with God's grace and my healing from my character defects.  Sometimes I fail to thank God for the grace shown to me this day and for the path that got me to this day.  Sometimes I think my problems, wants and demands require just a little more cleverness and manipulation.

But, on a good day, I can remember to say "thank you" and accept the incredible gift as the universe's perfect expression for my life in this day.

That is a better day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New day...

First and foremost, thanx and more thanx for all the acknowledgment yesterday of my (our) AA milestone.  I am blessed beyond words to have received encouragement from all over the globe - especially for all my blogging AA compatriots.

A few years ago (before I'd warmed to the idea of AA participation on the internet), someone (still not sure who) registered my email address with one of the several services where members send greetings to you on your AA anniversary.  While it seems self-serving and corny and every year I think I must track it down and unregister myself, I am jarred each year when, this year starting in early November, I get dozens of greetings from AA's I never have and never will meet from all over the globe.  Some just starting out.  Some with 4 decades or more of sobriety (seems to be protocol to include your own sobriety date with each greeting you send).

OK - so it really is little more than just automated spam and lord knows I get enough of that.  But, when I was discouraged last month and opened the email from the clown (literally) in NZ or the good folks all over the world who wanted nothing more for me than to acknowledge of the gift God has given me, well, I was touched.

But, by none more than this lovely blogosphere - from South Africa to Texas - I mean - really!!!

Thank you...

I've been amused by the blogging of those of us going through winter and summer.  It always seems amazing to me that we (humans - way beyond the AA community here...) are so surprised every year that, due to the axis of the tilt of the earth and the rotation around the sun on that axis that we have these seasons where the temperatures and weather related stuff dominates our experience.  I believe (I'm sure somewhere these statistics are tracked) that more than 20% of the "news" on any given day is consumed with weather and weather related stories.

So, it was ~5 degrees when I got up this morning and into the 30's in Texas.  I've been in Houston when it's below freezing and, trust me, I'll take my 5 degrees any day for comfort.  A few years ago, I was pursuing an interest in outdoor photography.  Some of that pursuit must be accomplished outdoors.  Outdoors when it can be cold.  I was in a seminar with a famous professional photographer about 15 years ago and he said: "...with the technology that is available today, there is no such thing as being too cold outside.  It is only and always a function of being dressed inappropriately."

That's been my experience.

I've got to tell you that part of the reason that I live in Colorado today is that, this time of year (and it does come every year about this time), I need to learn to dress differently.  I've also been in Houston when it is over 105 degrees with greater than 85 percent humidity.  I know from personal experience that you can't remove enough clothing to get comfortable in that heat.  So, the only choice for comfort there is to NOT be outside and, for me, I can only do that option for short periods of time.

So, for now, Colorado and I are better suited for each other.  In fact, I've grown to dislike the cold more since I can't play out in it as much as I once did.  But, for now, I think it's where I belong.

And it's nice to feel like you belong somewhere...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A number...

On December 1, 1983, I flew home from an awful week in Las Vegas.  I'd been there at a trade conference and, when I reflected back on my behavior that week, I could feel nothing but shame and embarrassment for the previous week.

 As soon as the drink cart came, I ordered 2 drinks and made sure that the bottle I'd stashed (you could never trust them to get back with those damned carts when you needed them - especially on a 1-1/2 hour flight!) was easily reached and just felt awful.  To the core, awful.

I then had what I now know of as 2 moments of clarity:
  1. I just wanted to step out of the airplane at 30,000 feet and step into oblivion.  I'd failed at previous suicide attempts but I just completely abhorred who I knew myself to be.  I reflected on my family, my business, my church, my business dealings, my life - and, I just couldn't think of a single situation that would not have been improved if I were removed from the picture.
  2. I'd been involved in intensive family therapy, marriage counseling, personal counseling, and various other forms of therapy for a number of years.  I'd read every self-help book that I could find.  Several times the suggestion was offered that I moderate my drinking - maybe just for a little bit of time. While it might have been true that, as I always argued (pretty convincingly), my drinking was not the problem, it was equally and undeniably true to me in that moment that it was not part of the solution to the myriad problems I had going on in my life.  If, in fact, it wasn't part of the solution, it was curious to me (just that) how strongly I argued for my "right" to be able to drink.
I landed and I don't remember getting home (not unusual) but I do remember talking to my then wife about going to a meeting the next day before I passed out for the night (I was long past ever going to sleep w/out passing out).  She had been in the program for a few months at that time.

The next night, shaky, feeling awkward and dressed in my best 3-piece suit, I showed up at a meeting at a club house.  It certainly lived down to my expectations but that night, for the first time, I went to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous and admitted I was an alcoholic (it seemed like what they expected me to do...).

That was December 2, 1983 and, by the grace of God, expert sponsorship and the wonderful program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I've not had a drink of alcohol or taken anything that's affected me from the neck up since that day.

Thank you for 26 amazing years...

More work...

Well, the meeting on the 12th step didn't go the way I'd expected last night (seldom does) but it was perfect as it happened.

However, it left me with this great passage from our BB that I didn't get to share there.  So, I thought I'd share it here today.  It's really the close of the chapter that I led with yesterday:
"Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helpful. You should not hesitate to visit the most sordid spot on earth on such an errand. Keep on the firing line of life with these motives and God will keep you unharmed.

Many of us keep liquor in our homes. We often need it to carry green recruits through a severe hangover. Some of us still serve it to our friends provided they are not alcoholic. But some of us think we should not serve liquor to anyone. We never argue this question. We feel that each family, in the light of their own circumstances, ought to decide for themselves.

We are careful never to show intolerance or hatred of drinking as an institution. Experience shows that such an attitude is not helpful to anyone. Every new alcoholic looks for this spirit among us and is immensely relieved when he finds we are not witch-burners. A spirit of intolerance might repel alcoholics whose lives could have been saved, had it not been for such stupidity. We would not even do the cause of temperate drinking any good, for not one drinker in a thousand likes to be told anything about alcohol by one who hates it.

Some day we hope that Alcoholics Anonymous will help the public to a better realization of the gravity of the alcoholic problem, but we shall be of little use if our attitude is one of bitterness or hostility. Drinkers will not stand for it.

'Nuff said...