ESG News & Events

Posted in Sharing

Alcohol’s Grip

You keep calling my name
But I know it won’t ever be the same
Once you made me feel on top
Then came the day I could not stop
Hands a tremblin,covered in sweat
Till once again we met
Days and nights all a blur
That’s just how things were
Try to stop, life I could not face
So off to oblivion I would race
Friends and family I did not care
You left me with no feelings to spare
All I wanted was sweet sweet relief
In return you took all of me like a thief
Of course the time came you gave relief no more
You had nothing left for me, yet I wanted more
I begged stop the pain
As my tears fell like rain
What could this be but pure insanity
Ask for help, what about my vanity
Where do I go from here
Which way do I steer
So full of fear
I want outta here
Don’t wanna live don’t wanna die
Feels as if its all a lie
Tired of the fight
Just ain’t right
I must stop just give in
Is the only way to win
Surrender my will
Peace I’ll feel

Bill D.

Posted in Sharing

Fellowship

A meeting that I go to every Sunday with-out fail
Is filled with good sobriety, the make up only male
We recited the preamble, stated our names and meditated
From there the meeting’s open, no set topic designated

I’ve found in meetings just for men their shares are much more private
To tell us things about their lives in this securer climate
We talk of marriage, jobs and kids, reveal our inner feelings
Then hear that we are not unique, this knowledge aids our healing

And in this meeting, there’s a man, our Sunday morning guru
He has more sober time than most, he’s one we all look up to
The wisdom that he shares each week helps each of us to think
That we still have a lot to learn about what made us drink

A statement that he’s often made at first, I thought was strange
He said he disagreed with how we signified AA
Most often we used program when referring to our plan
But prefers a fellowship, an alcoholic clan

I had not joined AA to be a part of any club
I only came to learn how I could stay out of the pub
I was not looking for new friends, associate or buddy
I needed to see how this worked, twas only here to study

My plan had not work out that well, I had to change my thinking
I’d gone to meetings for some time, yet I continued drinking
I told this to another guy that asked me if I had a sponsor
I told him no, I did not have one, he said that’s why you wonder

This journey does not start with I, instead it starts with WE
To combat old John Barleycorn and finally set you free
You need to join the fellowship to keep your hopes afloat
The best way is to get into the middle of the boat

I asked that he explain to me exactly what that meant
These sayings that you fellows use confuse to some extent
Imagine that you’re on a boat, the waves start to collide
Your chance of staying safe is if you sit on the inside

The same hold true with alcohol, when you go it alone
The bottle’s there to pick you off, sobriety is blown
You need the help of other drunks to make sure you don’t slip
There’s something there to help you out, it’s called the fellowship

A light went on, and from that day, I made the choice to act
To get a sponsor, make some friends, become part of the pack
Meet with them outside the rooms, for lunch or football games
Get numbers when I need to call for times when I feel strained

A program is a set of steps you take to reach a goal
And I need that to keep me safe, secure and in control
But more than that, I need to know, before I lose my grip
I have a most important gift, the AA fellowship.

Larry R.

Posted in Sharing

My 1st Year of Sobriety

My first year of Sobriety was the hardest yet best year of my life. I started the year in a mentally defeated position. I hated you, I hated everything around me and most of all I hated myself. I couldn’t look in the mirror and not think about what a piece of trash I was. I thought I wasn’t worthy of anything I had accomplished. I got advanced in the military; there must have been a clerical mistake. I got a degree; but it took me 14 years and at the end of the day, felt no smarter. The only time I could bear to look at myself and not think terrible thoughts was when I was drunk.

Towards the end I was getting out of hand. I was blacking out every night with vodka or whiskey. My wife would make promise I would “only have 2-3 glasses” tonight. So I would find the biggest mug and fill it to the brim with vodka and add a few splashes of Mountain Dew for flavor. I mean, I did what she said, I only had 2-3 drinks (until she would go to bed before because I wasn’t done and would make one or two more), but I still continued to black out nightly. I thought to myself “ You should just switch to beer so you don’t keep blacking out and have terrible hangovers”.

So beer had now became my drink of choice and for a few weeks that was fine. I started with some domestic brews but I had to drink so damn much to get that buzz and that feeling where I could tolerate who I was. I thought of a new solution, “I will start drinking IPAs” because you can only drink a six pack and still get that amazing buzz I had been missing. Before long, I was headed to the liquor store and shopping up and down each aisle, only looking for the strongest of beers. I found an IPA that was 13%. “That will do the trick”, so I thought. Before long I would drink that in 2-3 hours and ask the wife to take me to a gas station so could have a few tallboys to finish off the night. I was waking up with splitting headaches and would be sick and grumpy all day. Each time I would swear, “Im never dinking again”, only to do the exact same thing a few hours later that same day.

Eventually the booze were not enough to keep me from looking in the mirror and hating what I saw. I had gotten to the point where I didn’t expect or even care if I lived but maybe a few more years. I thought it would better for my family. Life would be better and easier for them.

I woke up on April 28, 2020 and new it had to stop. I had tried quitting so many times and couldn’t make it past 3 days. But, I knew if I didn’t quit, I would die. My kids and wife deserved to have a Dad around. Not only physically, but emotionally.

I reached out to an old shipmate of mine who I knew had gotten sober and he pointed me in the direction of AA. I didn’t care what it was, but I was willing to do whatever it took to get my life together. I went to an AA meeting later that day. Then I went again the next day. This was at the beginning of global pandemic and the brick and mortar rooms were still open. It was great. I went to a meeting, and continued to make it through the next day for my next meeting. The people in the rooms were so full of joy. So kind and caring. I couldn’t understand how they were so happy. I made it to 30 days sober for the first time in 15 years. However, I was miserable. I was looking at myself for the first time without that crutch of alcohol and it was not a pretty sight. The rooms were shut down due to COVID

I knew I had to get into meetings or I wouldn’t make it any further. I was looking online and stumbled across a local room called Early Sobriety Group. I knew this was the perfect meeting for me. It was an amazing meeting and I learned so much. The host of the meeting was a man named Christopher G.. He was someone I could tell right away was by the Big Book. I went to other online meetings all week and was excited to go back to the Early Sobriety Group the following week. Chris G. was speaking again and I stayed after the meeting to talk. I liked the way he hosted and he had a lot of Sobriety so I knew he would probably be a good fit as a sponsor. I asked him to be my sponsor and after a few questions, he said yes.

I spent the next 90 days reading from the Big Book and the Twelve and Twelve for a couple hours a day, with my sponsor. We started to work the steps together. I was finally starting to get that relief that I so desperately wanted. I started my fourth step. It was the first time I had ever taken a true look at my life. It was my first moral inventory. I had 2 weeks to complete the assignment as thoroughly and brutally honest as possible. I did. Then my fifth step came. I had to share my fourth step with another person.

I left my wife and kids at home and drove to his house. I was so nervous and couldn’t believe I was about to tell someone the darkest parts of my life. I had started feeling the relief and joy that the Big Book promises so I knew I had to do it. I told him everything. I cried more than I have ever cried. As I said those things out loud, they lost power over my life. In fact, some of them sounded silly say them out loud. It was hard to imagine I held all that hate and resentment in for so long. I left his house after about 5 hours and headed home. I had a headache and was emotionally exhausted. My wife and kids saw me and said I looked ten pounds lighter. Like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. The lines and stress on my face had lessened. I felt elated.

We continued to work the steps. I thought it couldn’t be any better after I worked my 5th step. I was wrong and the promises continued to come true as I worked the steps and the program. Steps 6 and 7 had me looking at all my character defects. I took a drop the rock workshop and realized that yes, I had many defects; I also had many great qualities. My life had begun to have real value again.

Now it was time for another list. I had to list anyone I had harmed. That list was long but the most awesome thing was that I would get to start making amends for those wrongs. The feeling of freedom after an amend is something I could never have expected. I still have some amends to make but I am well on the way of shortening that list. I am actively practicing steps 10, 11, and 12 everyday. I am able to do so much more with my life now. I know my life has value. I know I can deal with life as life happens. I don’t have to do it on my own anymore, because I literally can’t. I’ve already proven that. However with the rooms, my sponsor and God (My Higher Power), I can do anything.

I sit here, one year later in my hammock rocking back and forth from the motion of the seas. My daughter turned 14 years old today and I couldn’t be there to celebrate. I wish I was there but there is nothing I can do about that. I could be sad and upset, but instead I sit here grateful. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful my family never gave up on me and I am grateful to my sponsor and God. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for all of them and the rooms. I end my first year of Sobriety happier than I have ever been. The promises of the Big Book absolutely come true if you are willing to put in the work. I will be gone a lot for the year with deployment looming but I can truly say I look forward to this next year of life, in Sobriety.

Dustin S. April 27, 2020.

Posted in Group Updates

ESG Business Meeting 6/12/21 @ 10:45am

Our monthly business meeting will be next Saturday after the regular meeting.

Early Sobriety Group Trusted Servants

(As of 6/5/2021)

GROUP STEERING COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES

  • Chairperson: NONE AT PRESENT
    • Secretary: NONE AT PRESENT
    • Treasurer: Christopher G. (term ends in Dec 2022)
    • Phone/Reading List/Steering Committee Chair: Dustin S. (term ends when he is deployed)
    • Webmaster – Christopher G.
    • Group Members: Joel D., Perry S., Christopher G., Dustin S., Tania M., Jodi S., Clarence S., LA, Mary, Georgiana A.

DISTRICT & AREA COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES

  • General Service Representative: Perry S. (term ends in Dec 2022)
    • Alternate General Service Representative: NONE AT PRESENT

INTERGROUP COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES

  • Intergroup Representative: Joel D. (term ends in Dec 2022)
    • Alternate Intergroup Representative: NONE AT PRESENT

DISTRICT & INTERGROUP COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES

  • Archives Representative: NONE AT PRESENT – First meeting was 5/9/20
    • Corrections Representative: NONE AT PRESENT
    • C.P.C./P.I. Representative: NONE AT PRESENT
    • Grapevine/La Vina Representative: NONE AT PRESENT
    • Literature Representative: NONE AT PRESENT
    • Treatment Representative: NONE AT PRESENT

MISC. GROUP POSITIONS

  • Greeter: Georgiana A.
    • Dictionary Steward: NONE AT PRESENT

Posted in Sharing

Compound Interest

Financial people tell us that to have your savings grow
Letting interest compound is the better way to go
By keeping funds invested will increase total return
And add to your investment by the money that you earn

Recovery from booze and drugs is not an easy task
But neither was the life we lived in our addicted past
Mired in our misery from alcohol or dope
We found a room with folks like us to finally give us hope

They told us of their struggles, stories where we could relate
Of how they reached their bottom, feeling lost and desolate
But somehow, they had managed to recover from despair
And learned just how to live again, an answer to their prayer

To reach their goal, sobriety, required certain steps
A list of things they’d need to do to regain self-respect
Admit defeat, commit to do whatever it would take
And join the AA fellowship, its practices partake

When we arrived, we were confused, unsure of what to do
But as we kept on coming back, we started to accrue
The answers to the task at hand, a proper way to live
Not just release from alcohol, to get we had to give

This lesson was not one we alcoholics understood
Our lives been lived, consumed with self, not for a common good
Yet, we were told we had to change, assist our fellow man
Through service work and sponsorship, that’s how AA began

For some of us it took a while to fully comprehend
The effort we would have to make to help ourselves to mend
We thought a meeting twice a week should surely keep us straight
Then wondered why it did not work, old ways reactivate

We’d heard the words but did not act, results had been the same
Back at the bottle once again, with just ourselves to blame
We’d try again, but this time we would do what they suggest
And change our lives by all the time and effort we’d invest

We’d make a meeting every day and call some AA friend
Do service work, be ready with a helping hand to lend
And as we did, we realize we had found the best solution
To battle our addiction and remove our destitution

To work the program properly we needed to invest
By doing what’s suggested, be a member, not a guest
The more we are committed to our AA way of living
We add another chapter to the gift that we’ve been given

We put away some money, get the interest, let it grow
Sobriety’s the same, more we invest the more we sew
We compound our investment every day that we commit
To do the next right thing, day by day and bit by bit

Larry R.

Posted in Sharing

What Humility Means To Me

In the opening paragraphs of the chapter devoted to step seven in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Bill Wilson emphatically states, “the attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of AA’s twelve steps.” The legendary alcoholic goes on to claim that, “…without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all.”  This can be a daunting task in modern day culture, where humility is often associated with weakness, or an almost passive mode of existence.  Society puts so much emphasis on external accomplishments, appearance, and arrogance that even a small display of humility can make one feel like a drowning man coming up for air.  Like many alcoholics, I struggled to define this quiet virtue.  How can I begin to live by these principles if I can’t interpret them myself?  At the suggestion of Bill W. and my sponsor, I set out to find my own meaning.

All too often, alcoholics set out to seek humility by thinking less about themselves when in reality they should be thinking about themselves less.  By following these guidelines, I have determined that humility means that you are secure enough not to need to be reassured by others.  It means that you don’t feel you have to prove yourself by showing that you are more cleaver, smarter, more gifted or more successful than others.  You are secure because you live in God’s love. For he has faith in you even if you do not.  You do not need to compare yourself to others.  You have your task, they have theirs, and that leads you to co-operate, not compete.

This means you can see other people and value them for what they are.  They are not just a series of mirrors at which you look only to see your own reflection.  Secure in yourself, you can see value in others.  Confident in your identity, you can value the people not like you.  Humility is the self turned outward. It is the understanding that it is not about you.

If you set yourself on human approval, you’re controlled by the people you want to please.  I was a walking example of this and this is why I drank.  You become overly concerned with what people think of you and begin to shape your behavior around gaining their approval.  The result is that you lose your sense of who you really are and you start compromising your principles.

So I challenge you, free yourself of the stronghold of society and find your own definition of humility.  Let’s walk this road together!

Stephan B.

Posted in Sharing

What’s Inside MUST Come Out

What comes out when you squeeze an Orange? Orange juice of course, and why’s that? Because that’s what’s inside the Orange.

When we act out in anger and rage and frustration during the course of the day – the reason we behave that way is because that’s what’s inside us.

If we meet a person who is at peace and calm accepting things as they are regardless of what happens it’s because that’s what’s inside them.

So the question becomes how do we get good stuff inside? The answer is we put it there.

And how do we put it there? We read spiritual material, pray, meditate, go to meetings, meet with our sponsor or sponsees, and put good data in our minds so that when something happens we respond in a positive way.

We do not listen to negative things, be around overly negative people, read or watch violence, good data in, good data out. bad data in, bad data out.

Clardy S.

Posted in Sharing

12 Steps In Reverse – Road to Relapse

12= Having detached ourselves spiritually as a result of ignoring these Steps, we let our fellow alcoholics fend for themselves and practiced these principles sporadically.
11= Let our conscious contact with G-d as we understood Him lapse by praying only in emergencies for our will to be carried out.
10= Slacked off on personal inventory and when we were wrong, denied or hid it.
9= Reasoned that no one had been hurt by us more than we had been hurt by them and called it even.
8= Made a game of rationalizing the harm we had done others.
7= Sang “I’ve Gotta Be Me”.
6= Decided that our defects of character were too much fun to give up.
5= Denied to ourselves, to G-d and to everybody else that we had ever done anything harmful.
4= Quickly cast a weak flashlight over our moral inventory and decided it was more fun to take yours.
3= Made a decision to keep our will and our lives totally in our own control.
2= Came to believe that since our troubles were of our own making, we would have to solve them without outside help.
1= We decided that we could control alcohol, that our lives were manageable after all.


Anonymous