Monday, November 9, 2009



At a meeting this morning, I heard a new member say she wished she could have at once a lot of knowledge about AA and how AA works.  She just "wanted to know more", in order to stay sober.

I sat there thinking back to my early days in Alcoholics Anonymous. I wanted to read everything I could, to immerse myself in the program.  I soon owned a collection of recovery literature.  "AA Comes of Age", "The AA Way of Life" (Later to become "As Bill Sees It"). In our library at home was a complete set of vinyl recordings of talks by AA's first alcoholic priest, Father John Doe (Ralph Pfau).

I really thought that more knowledge would help me stay sober. WRONG!  In fact, how could reading a book help me?  I would read one short paragraph, and the plague of my life would take hold. 10 seconds later I could not recall a thing about that paragraph. So reading, and listening were not to be the way to sobriety for me.

At the very end, I was mentally incapacitated and physically burdened, so that I was ordered by a counselor to drink one (no more, no less) pint of Vodka every 24-hour period, just to stay in survival mode. (Notice--I still capitalize the word Vodka.) And I did that for several weeks.  So getting sober was not so bad after all, right? --grin!

For some time, I really thought that consumption of one pint of Vodka every day WAS sobriety! Because it SURE didn't make me drunk, since I was used to several pints a day simply for maintenance of my stuporous condition.

Back to the real point of this post--I discovered that what they had said to me was correct. GETTING this program was not a series of lessons learned from reading books or listening to talks.  It was NOT "Don't drink and go to meetings!" GETTING the program of Alcoholics Anonymous required DOING things, not turning pages in a book. I had to do what I was told.  My first job was cleaning ash trays, and I became very good at that, they sparkled. In fact, I would gather ash trays during a meeting, empty and wipe clean...

My first meeting was a Step Study, as were the next dozen or so, except for a few speaker meetings.  I never heard "Meeting Makers Make It" until I was sober 20 years. I never heard a LOT of the crap that is bantered about now, until I had been sober many years. I DID hear "Help another alcoholic who is suffering." 

And that is where my program IS!

I was so fortunate to be surrounded by some wonderful, helpful, loving, long-timers, who took me along with them on this wild ride.

And I am blest today, this very day, to have been surrounded with some wonderful friends who love me, and I them. At tonight's meeting (Monday) I was made to feel like, well...someone special, ya know what I mean? Thank God this does not happen often --grin!

And I am simply honored today, these past 16 months, to be surrounded with you AMAZING Peeps online in this part of the blog world. Almost all of you are extremely honest, forgiving, fun and funny, truly non-fake spiritual Peeps.  

We all want to share, and do so with integrity (trying to not hurt others) our experience, strength, and hope. We are ALL trying, as best we know, to do the will of a Power outside of ourselves, to grow. We all pray, meditate, and help one another in these endeavors.

When all is said and done, THIS blog-world is a great part of my sober life, where I learn (sometimes the hard way --grin!) by reading, writing, and commenting. All is well in my world at this time, many thanks to many of you!

I am SO grateful, and I LOVE you all, and wish you the PEACE of untroubled mind, the PEACE of being wonderfully sober and connected with the universe.


Gaia said...

Steve this is hilarious. I love reading your post, so creatively cynical. Hey my grandma drank herself silly and everyone thought she was killing herself. But guess what she lived till 100 on the dot. lol and she was strong as an ox. That made us think if we should drink too. oh btw she smoked too... cigars. kekeke.

Secretia said...

I think you're working for God and for people.

Nessa said...

I love reading your point of view and your picture made me dizzy ; )

Blast from the Past

Shadow said...

me for one, cannot learn if i do not do... sound right? i think so...

Gin said...

Much love and peace to you too my friend.

Gledwood said...

That picture reminds me of my LSD days!

Scott said...

I am glad you GOT the program sir... and I am glad you're passing along to us :-) and isn't Vodka and Tequila and Beer, and Rum all supposed to be capitalized? They are in my world, still lol. That way I noitce them better lol.

Syd said...

I think that the blog world is pretty neat too. Glad to be part of it and have you be part of the same.

Tall Kay said...

Funny, I did the same thing! Read every book I could get my hands on to learn the "secret". All that did was wear me out and make me even more confused. But in hindsight, I realize those books gave me hope, so I kept doing what I was told to do, and I stayed sober! There are no mistakes! Your peace and love shows!

Dulce said...

I love your words>> conection with the uneverse... lucky me i'm here as well .)

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Oh, did I say thank you?


I love you my friend!

You are one of the bright lights!!!

I'm so glad for all the bright lights!!!

Inky said...

gotta love your writings each day. serious but full of fun and to the POINT.. we have to do and do and do.

I think when I place my angel on top of my xmas tree this year I am going to name all the peeps that warm my heart and make me smile and feel special.
ALl my Blogger peeps. Forever U steve,. blessings

kberman said...

My first job was cleaning ashtrays, too. After 32+ years, I've graduated to getting the treats out for coffee.

"We learn to listen and listen to learn" is what an old-timer reminds us from week to week. My home group of 45 people has over 500 years of sobriety.

But we keep coming back because we don't ever want to think that we "have" the program. The program has us.

I am starting a study of addiction and reparenting. I have need of reparenting links at

Thanks, Kathy

Gabriella Moonlight said...

What a true post if ever there was one; I think that helping the alcoholic who still suffers is key. I add to that those who across my path as I can. Thank you for the reminder as always Steve you are a one of a kind and I love you!

DreamDancer said...

Awwwww, I feel much the same way... inspired by so many others here, it's an awesome experience! Thanks, Steve!

Just Another Sober Guy said...

Thanks for sharing this Steve. I have trouble with the reading part but I do enjoy the audio stuff greatly. I learned so much in my first year just by doing as I was told early on... 'take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth'.

Today my program is about service and helping others when I can. Of course living the steps to the best of my ability each day is the foundation of that. Working on spiritual growth has become my most recent area of focus or... the area I have noticed to be most lacking.

Anyway, great stuff here, thanks!