Posted in Sharing

H.A.L.T.

The “rule” of H.A.L.T. is a reminder that can help us all along the road to recovery – The Essence of AA

AS ADJUNCTS to AA’s spiritual program and meetings, there are clichés, systems, gimmicks, and a myriad of other tricks that have been used by AA members down through the years to maintain sobriety. I, for one, strongly uphold the application of the foremost of these, the “Rule of HALT,” not only for the new member, but for the old-timer as well. Further, I sincerely feel this simple rule to be too often ignored or passed over lightly.

In the beginning, new members, as we all know, are usually confused and completely without direction. Some are sincere to the very bottom of their souls, while others arc only lukewarm in their desire to “put the plug in the jug.” Both sorts look to us for answers explaining how, and all too often they are disappointed. (This is understandable, for how many of us know how AA works?)

We have precious little to give our “babies” save encouragement, fellowship, and living proof that the program works–at least for us. Why not, then, pass on whatever practical information and instruction we can to each newcomer, to make his beginning more palatable and to enhance his chances of success should he choose to follow these instructions?

We are certain that most members of AA are aware of the “Rule of HALT,” but to what degree we cannot be certain. To scrutinize the rule briefly may be helpful to the reader and will certainly be so to the writer, who has proved in reality that violation of it in part or in toto can, and often does, lead to relapse. Here, then, is the meat of the rule:

H

Don’t get too Hungry. For a reason we cannot explain, there seems to be in the alcoholic, a peculiar psychophysiological relationship between hunger and the urge to drink.

On some occasions, we would eat a big dinner and then find that it had literally destroyed our desire to drink afterwards. Conversely, and eventually more often, we avoided eating because we knew it would interfere with our drinking.
Years ago, my sponsor told me that if I had a physical urge to take a drink, I should go out of my way to drink a milk shake. If this didn’t work, he said. I should drink another. And another. I can testify that if you can drink liquor on top of two or three milk shakes, you aren’t an alcoholic. You’re nuts!

And so, when you are hungry, eat. Simple and important. (This writer eats little at one time, but may eat something as many as five times daily.)

A

Don’t get too Angry. Wow! Of all things to tell an alcoholic! But we don’t have to be on the program very long to realize that anger, righteous or not, is better left to those who can handle it.

Borrowing from Father John Doe: “Let the other guy get mad! If somebody calls me an SOB, either I am or I ain’t. If I am, so what? And if I ain’t, why should I make myself one by getting mad about it?”

We can’t afford to get angry–especially at people. Kick the wall or the TV if you will, but “Let the other guy get mad!” We know too well where anger leads: to resentment. And brother, do we know what resentment brings!

Rule of thumb? Well, as the young folks say in this age, “Cool it, baby. Cool it.”

L

Don’t get too Lonely. Nonalcoholic members of the psychiatric profession tend to equate loneliness with boredom, and we are inclined to agree. If there is any one thing that must be included in the alcoholic’s life before he can once again become a whole man, it is worthwhile activity. This may be Twelfth Step work, his vocation, his avocation, or anything else. But we feel such activity must be present in order to fulfill his existence and eliminate loneliness.

We must also consider the loneliness brought about because the newcomer lives alone. But this is easily rectified. It takes only a phone call or a visit to an AA-oriented social club. Or, for the AA Loner, far from other members, the Big Book or a letter to an AA pen pal may suffice.

Under any conditions, loneliness is the mother of self-pity, and the ultimate end is resentment and drinking.

The rule of thumb? Do something!

T

Don’t get too Tired. In its effect, the last ingredient or direction in our rule is not too different from the first. Physical fatigue will affect both our bodies and our minds adversely and will thereby lower our defenses against the urge to drink if there is any possibility at all of such a desire being present, consciously or subconsciously.

And here the rule of thumb is: “When you get tired, put the body down!” (How many times have we read and said Easy Does It?)

So there it is: HALT–Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. This rule, when coupled with meetings and living our day-by-day lives according to AA principles, will make things much easier, not only for the newcomer, but for the old-timer as well. Once we recognize that these four conditions are dangerous if succumbed to, we should avoid them as carefully as we would that first drink, for any one of them could be the first step to a drunk.

Dr. John
San Diego, California

Posted in Events

The deal that God makes with us Alcoholics

A drunk is walking home, feeling sick and hurt. He is at that magic moment of surrender.

On his way he sees God and notices He has something in his hand. The drunk asks “What’s that?” God responds “This is sobriety”. The drunk said “Oh man, I need that! Geez, I need sobriety. How much does that cost?” as he only understands buying things. God returns with “How much do you have?” The drunk says “I have about 20 dollars.” God responds “All right, for you, sobriety costs 20 dollars.” The man, trying to back out of says, “If I give you all twenty dollars, I won’t be able to buy any gas for my car.”

God responds “Oh! so you have a car? I’m sorry, but sobriety is going to cost you your car.”
“Whoa, whoa!” Says the man. “If I give you my car, how am I going to get to my job?”

“You have a job?!” Exclaims God. “No, no, no. Sobriety is going to cost you your job.”
The drunk responds “But, if I give you my job, how am I to pay for my house?” House!!

You have a house!?” God says with surprise. “I thought you lived in a cardboard box under the bridge! Your file is completely out of date! Sobriety is going to cost you your house.”

The man responds “If I give you my house what about my wife and kids?”

“A family! That’s right, you have a family! Yes, yes. Sobriety is going to cost you your family.

The drunk responds “But if I give you all that, what good is my life?”

God states “That’s right. Sobriety costs you your life.”

The alcoholic, because he is at that magic moment of surrender is willing to give his God his money, and his car, and his job, and his house, and his wife and his kids, and his life and for that God gives him sobriety.

Then God looks him deep in the eyes and says:

“All right. I’m going to give you your money back but, it’s not your money anymore, it’s my money. I’m going to let you spend it for me.”

“I’m going to give your car back but, it’s not your car anymore, it’s my car. You get to drive it for me.”

“I’m going to give you your job back but, it’s not your job anymore, it’s my job. You get to work at it for me.”

“I give your house back but, it’s not your house anymore, it’s my home. But, you get to live in it for me.”

“I give your family back to you but, it’s not your family anymore, it’s my family. You get to take care of them for me.”

“I give your life back but, it’s not your life ever again. But, you get to live it for me.”

That’s the deal a loving God makes with us in the 3rd step.

Posted in Sharing

Important information pertaining to the use of AA:

Important information pertaining to the use of AA:

AA is an allergy relief program commonly used to treat and inhibit the use of alcohol and the common defects caused by alcoholism.

AA is designed to reduce the symptoms commonly associated with alcoholism.

When taken as directed AA is known to substantially reduce the negative side effects associated with alcoholism such as :
• Misery
• Depression
• Despair
• Remorse
• Guilt
• Shame
• Physical
• Mental and Spiritual maladies
• Mental obsession
• Physical allergy commonly known as alcoholism

We do not recommend that you use AA unless you are capable of being honest and completely willing to give yourself to this simple program. AA is available for use by those who have a sincere desire to stop drinking.

CAUTION: AA will impair your ability to consume alcohol. If you are using any other substance such as alcohol or any other mind-altering substance we suggest that you discontinue use immediately, as this will cause a substantial reduction in the effect caused by AA.

Some of the most common side effects associated with AA are:
• Honesty
• Hope
• Faith
• Courage
• Integrity
• Willingness
• Humility
• Brotherly love
• Justice
• Perseverance
• Spirituality
• Service

A spiritual awakening and a psychic change have been reported in most cases.

If you are experiencing a resurrection lasting more than four hours, you needn’t seek medical attention, as you may be experiencing the initial effects of AA.

AA has no negative side effects on pregnant women or women who are nursing.

To reduce your risk of chronic relapse, a lifestyle change may be recommended. In 9 out of 10 cases practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.

An increased risk of recovery and long-term spiritual effects have been associated with AA. Consult your Sponsor immediately when changes do occur.

AA should be taken with plenty of open-mindedness and willingness. Do not take AA alone. Independent studies have shown that AA is most effective when working with others.

Always remember it is important that you use AA only as prescribed:

  1. Trust in God
  2. Clean House
  3. Help others

WARNING: Do not skip doses or discontinue use as severe reoccurrence of fatal allergy symptoms may occur.

AA is recommended for long-term daily use. Prodigious results have been found in those who continue long-term use of AA. As with all allergy relief medications, some results may vary, sometimes quickly sometimes slowly.

For more information and to learn more about the AA 12-step program of recovery and alcoholism we suggest you contact your local AA community directly, retain a sponsor, and read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Gordon R.

Posted in Sharing

Inner Peace

The feeling that cannot come from any person, place or thing. It is not in the world or of the world. It cannot be purchased, given or taken away.

I can’t get this from approval of another person, gratification of anyone or anything. It must come from within.

I must acquire this gift from within myself before I can truly love myself; love life and truly love other people.

I cannot be dependent on attachments or demands of others to feel Peace; True Love; Love of myself; for who I am, and what I am.

Emotional Peace that is dependent on anyone or anything is a false or worldly expectation. These feelings are not true Peace, but barriers to real Peace.

I must divorce myself from selfish, self-centered and self-seeking motives and actions before I can acquire Inner Peace.

Anonymous

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Remember The Good

We hear it all the time about the ways to stop a slip
Call your sponsor, go to meetings, don’t take that first sip
Bring to mind your last adventure, how it ended up
They all help you stop from picking up that fatal cup

But remembering how bad things were is not the only way
To strengthen your resolve to make it through another day
There is another path you can consider, and you should
It helps you face temptation by remembering the good

The good we’ve gained through AA living comes in many forms
The first is when we wake without a headache every morn
And not having to apologize for what you did last night
Or not worry that you didn’t keep your bottles out of sight

Those things are fine reminders, how you’ve freed yourself of pains
But even better are the thoughts, reminders what you’ve gained
You’ve mended your relations with you family and your friends
Forgiven for wrongs you’ve done from making your amends

You’re driving in your car and then a cop pulls in behind
But you’ve no need to worry, does not even cross your mind
Respect you’ve gained from colleagues and from members of AA
And most of all the self-respect you’d lost along the way

These benefits seemed out of reach as you approached your bottom
Yet they had all come true, be ever grateful that you got’em
Hold on to them, keep doing all those things you know you should
And when temptation comes begin remembering the good

Larry R.