Sunday, May 3, 2009



One the whole, our trip to Cocoa Beach FL for a roundup, was an eye-opening experience for me. Other than the speakers, it was the peeps which made it all worthwhile. Not to take away from the scheduled 'circuit' speakers--I believe they have a place in AA--but my own favorite meetings were the 7 AM beach meeting with just 60-70 peeps.

So beautiful--the ambience: Atlantic Ocean--and so spiritual, and so familial (NOT misspelled!). Immediately, we "morning people" became as one extended family, and I felt as if I had know all these no-longer-strangers all my life! The meeting topics were not, as I'd expect, "Gratitude" e.g., but the all-important SPONSORSHIP! For, in our Big Book, and even before that, I am admonished to "give this thing away, or I shall not keep it". "Give it away, what has so freely been given me."

And when I said "I cannot sponsor anyone yet. I don't feel I am 'ready'", I was told, "You begin passing on this message to another, or you will DIE!" And, dear Peeps, this is my message to all of us. Please do not let the treatment facilities take over ALL of our functions. I--and you--are the ones to lead another alcoholic in working these precious life-saving, life-giving steps. We cannot explain our steps or teach them...they can only be learned by DOING them! The experience IS the teacher!

Lately (years, now?) I have noticed people coming into our AA rooms, and they have already taken the "Treatment Center" version of AA's steps up to, and including Step Five. Many of these new sobers have not had to invest a dime in their early recovery, and the rate of staying sober for twenty consecutive years is about 1 out of 18,000 who somehow walked in the door to "try it out". A Dallas TX Intergroup (year 2000) chip sales log shows--non-scientifically-- Desire chips sold 21, 296. One-Year chips sold, 1,446 with the question: Where are the other 19, 850? (If ya Email me your fax #, I'll send you a copy of the Dallas chip sale sheet.)

Point is, I must get out there, grab a new member, take them through the steps, because....that's the only way I'm gonna get the full benefit of our AA fellowship, and program.

About our trip, it was GREAT until the ride home. First I tripped on my clogger sandals, and did some damage to my left hand--very much not good for violin players. I can tell you that. Looks infected already. Oh, well. I can always play the trumpet!

Second, driving home about 75 mph (or more?), I fell asleep at the wheel, went off the road (I-4) scared the hell out of Prayer Girl--and me, too!-- and fortunately God (or "It"?) kept the van from rolling over a few times, and doing more damage than just a few body jerks. But SCARY, folks...scary! Actually, I'm ready to die, but I'd hate for my death or PG's to occur because of something stupid, like my ZZzzzzzzzzz! And I'd sure not like to lose some limbs, or some of the remaining brain cells, etc.

But it is a Happy Day!

Love y'all.
Good Night!
Sober Monday to all of us, OK?
Steve E


Ed G. said...

Steve - thank God you're ok!!! My prayers for your quick healing.

I'd guess you're tired and I don't like to offer corrections in comments but your math is a little off - I think the ratio you're directing us to is about 1:18 which still makes your point plenty emphatically.

I've spent the past few weeks coming to realize that AA (as we found it) is in no small amount of peril. The answer is exactly as you state - sponsorship with a clear program of recovery.

Thanx for your post and please, take care...

Steve E. said...

Ed, sorry...but it IS EIGHTEEN THOUSAND PEOPLE have come through the doors of AA for each ONE who has stayed sober for TWENTY YEARS. That is a GSO statistic, don't remember the year, probably about 15 years ago.

The stat (I REALLY hate stats!) you referred to is the one-year sober stats. If you read carefully, you'll see what I mean. If you STILL see error, please let me know. Thanks!

Akannie said...

Hey Rollitover'oroni !!!!

You be careful now, you hear???
That PG is precious cargo, and so are you.

I had a huge buck jump OVER the top of my car Friday night!! I thought it was running into the road from the little hillside, instead it kicked it's back legs out and saiiiiiiillled right over the top of me!!!

Glad you guys had such a great time at your round-up!


Findon said...

Jeez. You got to start being more careful Steve. Slow down a bit maybe. I agree about the rehab, treatment center programme. The people who come in from these places, talk about the treatment as though, they've had a professional version and therefore better version of the programme. They rarely stay around and if they do very little changes.

Just Be Real said...

Stevie! Glad all is well and that you both did make it home in one piece with God's protection. Get that hand tended to dear one.


Joe said...

Be careful out there.

Lou said...

I believe the stats. Either way one does the math, it can be rather dismal. Keep spreading the word, Steve-0-Lucky-To-Be-Here.

Gin said...

I'm glad you had a great trip. I have fallen asleep at the wheel once for about 2 seconds. I hit those little bumps on the side of the road and from then on I was as awake as if I had downed 100 Red Bulls. Scary stuff! Glad you made it home safe. Can't wait to hear some more about your trip!

Prayer Girl said...

I know you are ready to go - you say so often enough, BUT:
1. I'm, not ready to go and
2. I'm not ready for you to go
(We've got work to do including cleaning up this place before we go anywhere...grin!)

It was a great weekend and I am grateful to God that He was present - inspiring the speakers and us AND keeping us safe on our trip.

With love and gratitude,

dAAve said...

Glad you and PG remained upright.

And I don't understand why so many newbies are relunctant to learn about the steps. Why are they here?

Banana Girl said...

You just scared the hell out of me! I have been through the "Asleep at the Wheel" Moment! See previous blog from December 08. Goodness you must know to a certainty that the angels you serve were serving you in that moment. In talking with pharmacist, found out that hubby's sleep assist meds actually lay down pathways in the brain that allow us to get up in the morning without waking up! Perhaps....whatever. We are now moving to a different sleep aid to try to get him off of them. Bad stuff. I am so grateful your violin did not become an orphan!

Shadow said...

whaaaaaaat! thank goodness you are both safe. don't! do! that!

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Just please be safe...we need you here on the blogosphere indeed!

The statistics are amazing,not alarming or unexpected...and yes we all do need to extend our hands as soon as we arrive.

Thanks for the reminder!


Cat said...

Next time be well rested or let PG drive when you get tired Steve!

I am so glad you are both A OK!

Atiyanna said...

I am soooo happy that you are both ok!! A little shaken I am sure, but safe nonetheless. Hmmmm...another appropriate post for our recent emails back and forth. Wadda ya know!!
Lots of Love

Queenneenee said...

you scare me with your close calls, knock it off dude!

Gwen R said...

That is a scary. I am glad your both OK.

Have a great week!

Indigo said...

I'm glad you made it home safe hon. You scared me falling asleep at the wheel. Just delighted no one was hurt, just shaken up a little. (Hugs)Indigo

Syd said...

Steve, glad that you are okay. I pull over when I start to get tired. I don't push through. We shared the driving yesterday for 10+ hours. It was hard at time with pouring rain. We pulled over and slept for about an hour and a half and felt refreshed. I'm really glad that you didn't have a serious accident.

Rainbow said...

WOW Steve...be careful! sheesh...we just met you! don't know much about AA, though "one" of "us" did go for about a year...kinda fuzzy.....
hopeyour hand is better...