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If Life is a Game, These are the Rules

The Simple Approach to the 12 Steps!

  1. There’s a power that will kill me.
  2. There’s a power that wants me to live.
  3. Which do I want? (If you want to die, stop here. If you want to live, go on.)
  4. Using examples from your own life, understand that selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear control your actions.
  5. Tell all your private, embarrassing secrets to another person.
  6. Decide whether or not you want to live that way any more.
  7. If you want your life to change, ask a power greater than yourself to change it for you. (If you could have changed it yourself, you would have long ago.)
  8. Figure out how to make right all the things you did wrong.
  9. Fix what you can without causing more trouble in the process.
  10. Understand that making mistakes is part of being human (When you make a mistake, fix it, immediately if you can.)
  11. Ask for help to treat yourself and others the way you want your higher power to treat you.
  12. Don’t stop doing 1 through 11, and Pass It On!!
    –Author Unknown
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Twelve Warnings

The book Alcoholics Anonymous contains a series of propositions and proposals, the successful outcome of these depends upon the actions of the reader.

The book directs us as to what we must start doing, what we must stop doing, what happens when we fulfill the propositions and proposals and what will happen if we fail to fulfill them.

These are the Twelve Warnings as to what will happen if we fail to heed the directions.

  1. For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. (p14)
  2. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined. (p17)
  3. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness, we must, or it kills us! God makes that possible. (p62)
  4. Though our decision (Step 3) was a vital and crucial Step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face and be rid of, the things in our lives which had been blocking us. (p64)
  5. It is plain that a life, which includes deep resentment, leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and with us to drink is to die. (p66)
  6. Concerning sex. Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is only a half-truth. It depends on us and our motives. If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned a lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. We are not theorizing. These are facts about our experience. (p70)
  7. If we skip this vital Step (5), we may not overcome drinking. Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. (p.72)
  8. We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them. (p78)
  9. We feel that a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. (p.82)
  10. It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. (p.85)
  11. Our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, if we have a legitimate reason for being there. That includes bars, nightclubs, dances, receptions, weddings, even plain ordinary whoopee parties. To a person who has had experience with an alcoholic, this may seem like tempting Providence , but it isn’t. You will note that we made an important qualification. Therefore, ask yourself on each occasion, “Have I a good social, business, or personal reason for going to this place? Or am I expecting to steal a little vicarious pleasure from the atmosphere of such places?” If you have answered these questions satisfactorily, you need have no apprehension. Go or stay away, whichever seems best. But be sure you are on solid spiritual ground before you start and that your motive in going is thoroughly good. Do not think of what you will get out of the occasion. Think of what you can bring to it. But if you are shaky, you had better work with another alcoholic instead! (p.101)
  12. The head of the house ought to remember that he is mainly to blame for what befell his home. He can scarcely square the account in his lifetime. But he must see the danger of over-concentration on financial success. Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always followed spiritual progress, it never preceded. (p127)
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No More Fun

When I first joined the fellowship, I had a few concerns
Not knowing much about AA, was fearful when I learned
That if I wanted what they had, I’d really have to change
And rid myself of my old ways, completely rearrange

The first thing I heard someone say, I did not comprehend
He said that they had found a way to never drink again
Not ever, ever drink again, that’s not why I came here
To get the wife off of my back and moderate my beer

The next thought that caused me to fret, enticing me to run
If I could never drink again, a life with no more fun
Life would be dull, enjoyment gone, the good times never more
For life without my alcohol, I’d turn into a bore

I’d think about the many times where drinking was a part
Those fishing trips and football games, a drink the way to start
Or sitting on my favorite bar and drinking with my friends
I’d miss all that and think of how I wished it would not end

But while I sat and reminisced about those fun filled days
Some other thoughts came in my mind and real concerns were raised
Like when I went to watch a game, some guys I went to meet
When half time came, I looked the fool, passed out there in my seat

I thought about another time, a fun time at the bar
On my way home, I hit a tree and ruined my new car
Police arrived, they checked me out, I knew they could not fail
To see that I was very drunk, away I went to jail

It took some time for me to see and finally realize
That what I thought was having fun was trouble in disguise
And at that time, a light came on, and then I understood
My drinking I could not control and knew I never would

Back in the rooms I took to heart what others had to say
Keep coming back, put in the work, get on your knees and pray
And before long, to my surprise, things did begin to change
The stuff that once had baffled me now did not seem so strange

I came to see a different way to live, my life at peace
And with that came a benefit, my troubles start to cease
Now when I’m at a football game or fishing on the sea
I’m there to just enjoy the day, sober, calm and free

When I think back to those first days, I find myself amused
No fun, I thought, but now I laugh, how I was so confused
It’s not the booze that made times great, the good times just begun
Enjoy each day, the things you do, a sober life IS FUN.

Larry R.

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The Power of The Pause

We hear about a kit of tools to help us to get by
When life decides to intervene, our peace to nullify
A tool that is most useful, no matter what the cause
Is one that we have learned to use, the one that’s called the pause

While drinking most of us rejected turning from a fight
Weather physical or verbal since we knew that we were right
Our first instinct was to lash out and make them understand
That we were right and they were wrong, we made it a demand

The bad part of this action was it always made things worse
Tempers flared, bad things were said, we’d yell and start to curse
Then walk away and carry a resentment in our brain
And drink to help forget our way of thinking was insane

Once we turned the corner and our drinking days were through
We started to think differently, a better path pursue
When faced with situations that would cause us to react
We stop and think, before we speak, some words we can’t take back

By pausing when confronted by a person, place or thing
That sets us up to lash out, makes us want to take a swing
We take the time to contemplate and let our minds rehearse
If striking back will really help or only make things worse

This does not mean we must accept what others do or say
But we have learned, most times it’s best, to put those thoughts at bay
Restrain the natural impulse to avenge what we conceive
An offence directed towards us or insensitivity

By taking time to let things cool we often realize
The thing that had upset us melts away, desensitizes
Refusing to engage what would had been an altercation
We did not add to feelings that would harm future relations

A friend or spouse just sometimes may be having a bad day
Makes a careless comment, hurts our feelings, cause dismay
They may not have meant to say it, we decide to let it pass
We think of other times when we’re the one that was the ass

So, taking time to pause before we jumped into the fray
We avoided confrontation with our defect on display
Pausing gives us power just to do the next right thing
Practice what we have been taught, serenity is king.

Larry R.