Posted in Sharing

Twelve Qualities of Sponsorship

  1. I will not help you to stay and wallow in limbo.
  2. I will help you to grow, to become more productive, by your definition.
  3. I will help you become more autonomous, more loving of yourself, more excited, less sensitive, more free to become the authority for your own living.
  4. I can not give you dreams or “fix you up” simply because I can not.
  5. I can not give you growth, or grow for you. You must grow for yourself by facing reality, grim as it may be at times.
  6. I can not take away your loneliness or your pain.
  7. I can not sense your world for you, evaluate your goals for you, tell you what is best for your world; because you have your own world in which you must live.
  8. I can not convince you of the necessity to make the vital decision of choosing the frightening uncertainty of growing over the safe misery of remaining static.
  9. I want to be with you and know you as a rich and growing friend; yet I can not get close to you when you choose not to grow.
  10. When I begin to care for you out of pity or when I begin to lose faith in you, then I am inhibiting both for you and for me.
  11. You must know and understand my help is conditional. I will be with you and “hang in there” with you so long as I continue to get even the slightest hint that you are still trying to grow.
  12. If you can accept this, then perhaps we can help each other to become what G-d meant us to be, mature adults, leaving childishness forever to the little children of the world.
Posted in Sharing

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)
Posted in Sharing

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.