Member: Mark
Location: New York
Date: 7/20/2003
Time: 8:46:35 AM

Comments

O.K. How about hearing how people pray and there personal realtionship with God as the key to sobriety. Call it the 11th step if you want to, as I know I've been doing it every day since the beginning over 8 years ago and always wonder when people are on about doing the steps "in order." Absolutely incorrect as the St. Francis prayer and prayer in general is the number 1 priority in my personal sobriety now, and always has been. I believe that reason alone, namely that God did the real work of removing the desire, is the primary reason that I've had a very easy time not drinking this period of time. Of course I have other challenges in life and I pray about them as well, but not drinking and that all-encompassing urge to suck down brews 24 hours a day was removed practically immediately for me. Thank God, not AA, it was only one of many ways in which he works in my life and a mere vessle of His Grace, and for that I am eternally grateful.....


Member: Craig L (Dogmanor@yahoo.com)
Location: Aloha, Oregon
Date: 7/20/2003
Time: 10:04:56 AM

Comments

Craig here, another “real alcoholic” (page 21). At first I was way too smart for all that prayer and meditation BS, but I am terrified of drinking again, so I did what was recommended, which was to get on my knees and pray every morning. Throughout my recovery, my conscious contact has evolved; early on it was a “flimsy reed”, supported by bouts of false emotionalism. Today, I meditate everyday and ask for guidance to follow Gods will. I frequent many AA meetings, so I might be more available to help. Today I am at Peace... What I’ve discovered is when I don’t do those things, I become restless and irritable. I believe if I let that Godless condition go on for too long, life will not be worth living and I may choose to drink again.


Member: Mari S
Location: Indiana
Date: 7/20/2003
Time: 10:51:01 AM

Comments

For anyone who might remember John H from Indiana, who shared about once a week at this meeting, he died Thursday, July 17....sober. His death due to metastatic prostate cancer. John was 85, and his sobriety date was September 2, 1986. He often stated he did "not understand the God of my understanding".....but he prayed anyway. His favorite prayer, which he quoted often at meetings, was the Serenity Prayer. John continued to carry the message of sobriety until he died, and was considered by many of us to be a true 'elder statesman'. He will be missed.


Member: Carrie
Location: Los Angeles
Date: 7/20/2003
Time: 12:15:46 PM

Comments

I just did step 5 and 6 last night, have 6 months today, and right now I feel the true meaning of serenity. I have discovered that, like I am sure many of us, I have been seeking approval from others and now I am learning how to just seek guidence from God. I love getting closer to God, I never thought it could happen for me. This feeling is better than any drink or drug could ever offer me.


Member: L-RAY
Location: SCOTLAND
Date: 7/20/2003
Time: 12:24:12 PM

Comments

I pray every day -when i rise in the morning i ask god to guide me and that i will try and do his will for me, sometimes during the day when i have a spare hour i thank god for what i have and its worked for me -sometimes my day is shit but the good ones outdo the shity ones! i believe that any thing i have to face in front of me i can with the power behind me! Regards L-RAY


Member: Dennis K
Location: PA
Date: 7/20/2003
Time: 3:51:49 PM

Comments

I am celebrating 5 months sober today, and I think prayer is the main reason I've been able to stay sober. I've been through many "tests" the last couple of weeks, and have passed them all and stayed sober. The hardest was a very good friend dying 2 weeks ago after being diagnosed with cancer only 3 weeks earlier. She helped me greatly since she easily and quietly accepted her fate and was ready to meet her God. Another was being thrown together with the same group of people I was with when I had my last drunk - the 1st time we had been together in 5 months. The last "test" was meeting my daughter's boyfriend for the 1st time 2 weeks ago, and having her call 2 days later to say they are getting married in 2 weeks. They'll probably be fine, but they barely know each other and we know nothing about him. In the "old days" each of these "tests" would have been cause for a good drunk. But now, I start each day with a prayer thanking God for another beautiful sober day and asking Him to take over my life and my will so that I may do His will. I repeat the same prayer during the day, especially when I feel heavy stress, and suddenly the day does seem beautiful and the thing causing me stress much less important. I end the day with the same prayer, and go to sleep feeling that life is indeed very worth living - sober.


Member: David T.
Location: NC.
Date: 7/20/2003
Time: 5:31:40 PM

Comments

I've been clean and sober for three months thats a miracle. I humble myself before God every morning and ask for help and thank him every night for the miracle of sobrity. Thank God for AA and all the miracles there in.


Member: TomP
Location: NE Iowa
Date: 7/20/2003
Time: 6:21:31 PM

Comments

Tom here and alcoholic. When I first got sober my prayer and meditation included a lot of rolling around on my bathroom floor in emotional and mental pain asking God for relief. Today I sit quietly and go within and find what I understand to be my Higher Power. This relatively small amount of time is usually the very best part of my day. I also read several books of daily meditations in the morning to get my mind centered on the spiritual and away from whatever brain stuff is fogging me when I first wake up. My personal relationship with God today is the key to my physical and emotional sobriety.


Member: Cynthia H.
Location: Tx.
Date: 7/20/2003
Time: 10:42:06 PM

Comments

Hi to all, My name is cynthia, alcoholic. When I first got to AA I did not have a personal relationship with God and I sure didn't know how to pray. I belive when the student is ready the teachers appear and I was sick and tired of fighting and running from God so I said that one honest prayer which is God help me. Thats when he put alot of wonderful people in my life to show me what prayer could do. So I became willing to use prayer in my life daily, it worked then and it still works today. My relationship with God has grown as I have grown, and now it is like it says in the 12x12 I would no more do without prayer than I would food or water it keeps me right sized and in touch with the God of my understanding. It talks in the BB about a rebelion so strong I can't or won't pray I've been there many times the book says to do it anyway to the best of my ability at the time. I have had lots of days when I didn't feel like praying and did it anyway and God took what could have been a really bad day and turned it into something I could live with even sometimes something great. I am greatfull I don't ever have to be alone again so long as I stay close to the one who has all power! Great topic, thanks for being here for me God speaks to me thru people like you.


Member: Little Running Bear
Location: North Dakota
Date: 7/20/2003
Time: 11:25:10 PM

Comments

Mark [of the great state of New York], thank you for the topic and your excellent insight. Your observations are so correct and I wish more people who come to A.A. would see the truth in what you say. It is God who heals us from the curse of alcoholism, not A.A. The A.A. program is merely a tool which aids in the relief from our suffering. But only God can remove the desire to drink and restore us. As far as your question on doing the steps 'in order,' I also agree that the primary step that any of us can take is to place all of our faith and trust in God, and in my case, in His Son and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To me, the steps are not all that important. Of the people in A.A. that I know who have actually gotten clean and sober, only about half of them used the steps. On the other hand, I know of many members of A.A. who have 'completed' the steps one, two, three, or more times and can't get any actual sobriety. But, every one I know who has honestly placed her/his trust and faith in God has gotten clean and sober. I truly thank you for your topic. If more members of A.A. would put God first and foremost, A.A. would have a higher recovery rate than two percent (2%). God Bless You and each and every one out there. May the peace of our Father and His Son be with you this day.


Member: SJD
Location: NW
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 1:17:20 AM

Comments

Hello, I think prayer and sobriety go hand and hand. I know for me, it was a real struggle to admit that I had a problem, and an even bigger one to deal with it. I found that having other people pray for me, along with myself, giving up drinking and looking to a higher power for that help has been much easier. Therefore, I think it is very important to incorporate prayer into your sobriety, it sometimes takes time, but you will notice a a change.


Member: Carlc
Location: nm
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 1:22:09 AM

Comments

This is great that is all I can say, I love it when people speak from their heart, for anyone who is new and for everyone else this is why AA works people talking about their relationship with their creator. God could and would if he were sought. May GOD bless you all.


Member: sandy m
Location: nc
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 2:21:35 AM

Comments

Good morning, and God bless all of you kindred Spirits!! This is a wonderful topic, Spirituality and relationship with God. I was raised in what some of you would refer to as Holy Rollers and was terrified of God most of my life, later had a "non-relationship" with Him, then He spoke to me and brought me away from the jaws of alcoholic destruction and death. It still took time (this is one of the keys - time!) and the guidance of a loving, spiritual sponsor to help me build a relationship with the God of MY understanding, who is now my Father. I went through a lot of anguish to get where I am now, thank God, I now have serenity most of the time. Life continues to visit, but now it does not desroy like it used to.I quiet my insides by digging holes in the yard (also called gardening!) I find God in nature, and in the eyes of my fellow men, especially in AA. If you want to see God, look deeply into the eyes of another human being. He is there!! Take care, pray and give yourself time in the program....it works!


Member: Joe
Location: Northern Canada
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 6:12:54 AM

Comments

Joe here and Im an alcoholic. Just finished puking after reading some of the posts, So some of you want to change the order of the steps. Thats really rich. for the last eight years of my drinking if you told me I had a drinking problem I'd ask you what your problem was. Drinking sure wasen't mine if anything it was an answer. It was an answer to the fact that I had long before turned my back on God and I was now running the show. I had to first admit that I had a drinking problem and hang around with an open mind long enough to hear what others were doing about there problem. Don't think for one moment that I coulden't tell the down to earth members from the spiritual giants who I ran from like the black plague. The steps are in the order that works for all of us who have stopped playing God. I have been an active member of A.A. a long time, the other day I was paid one of the highest complements that any member with my amount of sobreity could ever be given, it was said to me quote " YOU DON'T KNOW NOTHING," that is much richer than what I hear comming out of the mouths of some of you intellectuals, It surely must be hard struting around thinking you know it all, even to the point of wanting to change the order of the A.A. steps. Thats just an opinion and of course what do I know eh.


Member: Gasman
Location: Southeastern
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 7:23:16 AM

Comments

Thanks Joe, my Canadian Brother!!!! Love and tolerance that's our creed, BUT, sometimes I have to go with what my sponsor told me "If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything" My dear friends in the fellowship. Please...please...please...if your a new comer or an old timer, let's not mess this thing up. We odn't need to change the order or the content of the steps. We just need to do them. Each and every day. Work the steps in order and get the results we've gotten. Prayer and meditation come after cleaning your house. Of course you need to ask for help each and every day from day one...but don't leave out the "vital" steps of recognizing your character defects, making yourself read to have GOD remove them, and making amends to those that you've hurt. I'm sure there's great scientific justification to saying that only 2% get and stay sober (believe what you want) MY book tells me that "50 % who come and really try" go sober and stay that way. Please folks, let's focus on the new guy and gal and just get them to try our way. It works it really does. Love in the fellowship...


Member: Kary L.
Location:
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 8:20:41 AM

Comments

My name is Kary and Im an alcoholic. boy Joe sure hit the nail on the head. I was once told I never knew anything by one of those geniuses each group seems to have, It made me feel so good knowing that I must have changed from a "know it all" to an elder statesmen. Nice post makes me want to keep comming back here knowing that down to earth members stop by here.


Member: Donna R
Location: Winnipeg. Can.
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 9:24:27 AM

Comments

This is a great topic. Prayer & meditation takes me from being sober to living and growing in sobriety. When I came into AA I thought I had no problem with the God and prayer thing. Of course through my drinking I used to prayer "God get me out of this jam and I will never do it again" Sometimes I got out of the jam and sometimes I didn't. When I got to AA I certainly didn't know how to pray and didn't even believe God cared about a sorry piece of work like me. Most of use who arrive here have a problem with God. There is a whole chapter for us 'We Agnostics'. That is where I found out that I didn't have to be a spiritual giant right out the gate. The object of the Big Book is to find our Higher Power. Certainly I prayed throughout the steps, but my mind was so cluttered and spinny in early sobriety that I certainly could not have meditated until I cleaned house and identified my defects. The prayers in the Big Book & 12 & 12 taught me how to pray. Some people go to the church and stay sober. I tried that and it didn't work for me. This alcoholic needs the AA program. That is where I reconnected with God. From the 1st step on I have always prayed. As I grew in the steps I learned how to meditate and open the channel to my Higher Power. I thank God for guiding me to AA and I thank AA for guiding me to God. Keep coming back, it really works.


Member: rb
Location: Indiana
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 9:57:28 AM

Comments

Hi I'm russ alcoholic. In aug of 85 i found myself strapped down, headed for a spych ward (or rubber ramada) a result of alcoholism. The police basically saved my live as i was a maniac in the streets. I was suicidal and homicidal- a typical alcoholic not in recovery. I spent the first couple days in lock down screaming into my pillow. This is where God found me , I guess He knew i had enough. I prayed to God at this point, was this step 11? who cares, it relived the pain and I couldn't have waited. My psychologist said you know you may be an apcoholic- I embraced this right away: step 1. when I got out of the psych ward i started going to meeting everday, not drinking in between meeting and working the steps in order as they should be - pray as often and in between of course. However I was still on several medications from the psych. Dr. stillpracticing I would call him, and i became suicidal in recovery. Where I really developed a personal relationship with God was at this point. The next day I felt led to go to the church across the street and there was a guest musician (Terry Talbot)there who sang a song called in the hollow of my hand. It was about a young guy like me who was at the 3rd step and was suicidal- hating himself full of guilt and shame. And in the song God say's I love you just the way you are don't take your life take mine. It was at this point I payed to god, accepted Jesus in my life. The obsession to kill myself and drink was removed at that point. May God as you understand Him bless you and lead you to the Truth.


Member: Melissa
Location: Canada
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 10:17:14 AM

Comments

Hmmm...I pray, that was the start of it for me, being desperate, out of options, and just asking for help. I don't know to what or whom I pray, although I do feel that the "God of my understanding" is so big that it's quite acceptable that I haven't recognized Jesus as my Saviour. I'm not sure, but something quite incredible happened when I asked for help from a Power greater than myself. And I prayed from the start, but I have to say that it is easier to pray with an uncluttered heart, and a more peaceful mind, and that came from working the Steps, in my case, in the order in which they are written. As surely as I know what worked for me, I do not know what works for others, but God bless all of us who are willing to try.


Member: Avid
Location: Lurker
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 10:42:47 AM

Comments

You're right about one thing Joe from Canada---It is just your opinion and doesn't really count for much except just that. While you're certainly entitled to such, you espouse not knowing anything and then proceed to tell us exactly how much you do know, it makes no sense whatsoever. Who's playing God? I'd say you are for yourself, but certainly not anyone with any sense. Keep stuck in that rut if you want, it's your life and if you want to be as miserable as you sound, that too is your option........


Member: Dave G
Location: NC
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 12:48:28 PM

Comments

Alcoholic named Dave here. Hope you all are doing well. I first want to thank each and every one of you for your recovery because without it I would not be sober today. It is truly a miracle that someone like myself (an alcoholic) can stay sober for 15 years! I spoke with a newcomer last night and he asked if staying sober was still tough for me. Isn't that what it is all about? There have been times in my recovery when prayer and meditation were probably the only things keeping me from picking up that drink. I have often thought that were it not for my God, I would not have found the program of AA and you all. I do know many people that have found religion and felt that either the steps and or the program were not necessary for them, and hey, our hats are off to them. I know that for myself the steps and the program are my lifesaver in the sea of life. Thanks for being here! Dave


Member: Mike H
Location: Jackson MI
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 12:48:40 PM

Comments

Mike, alcoholic. I used to enjoy coming to this site and reading posts and sharing too. The last few weeks it seems that everyone is getting on everyone else about their opinions, who is right and who is wrong, "my way is best", etc. I just share my opinions, strength,experiences, and my hope for another sober day. I pray and work the steps to the best of my ability each day. I try not judge anyone, and hope no one judges me. We are all alcoholics working towards the same goal= Sobriety. This does not make me "better than you" or "less than you". This just makes me "ME".


Member: Kathy F.
Location: Texas
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 1:13:51 PM

Comments

I'm Kathy, an alcoholic. On the beginning of the program, prayer for me was "help" and "thank you" cried into the wind, relying on other AAs belief in the existence of a Higher Power. Following that, I would repeat the Serenity Prayer and The Lord's Prayer without relating it to any religious affiliation, saying it only because my sponsor said I'd better. As time went on, repetitive prayers were added from the Big Book and the Twelve & Twelve. Upon practicing step 11, conversations with a Higher Power began. There are dark nights of my soul where I am once again unsure of the existence of a Higher Power. However, I am able to fall back on my beginnings and cry "help" or "thank you" into the wind and move along the trail from there.


Member: Pam B
Location: Daytona Beach, FL
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 1:44:09 PM

Comments

Hi All - I'm Pam - an alcoholic. I already knew a deep faith in Jesus Christ as my HP before getting to AA - & altho I had unknowingly lost any desire to drink or drug for more than a year when I 1st found Him several yrs earlier, I did not know that I am alcoholic so the 1st time I did have an innocent casual social drink - I was off & running w/it again till I did get to AA & found out that I am an alcoholic >>>>> I have no doubt that AA & the 12 Steps are a God-given GIFT that provides the needed knowledge as well as the "Knowledge with Wisdom" we are told to pray asking for, bringing us into a genuine relationship with Him IF we do work the Steps in the exact order as given >>>>> The single most important thing that God has taught me thru the 12 Steps is Surrender of my self-will-run-riot over to agreement w/His Will for me/my life >>>>> Until then I had been getting up each morning & giving God orders (this one needs this, fix that for that one - yada yada) I had been the 'god of my own understanding' with God as my "assistant" to run things the way I believed were right & best for all >>>>> in my arrogance I had never even looked at Step 2 because I already believed in God & assumed I was therefore all set on that one. Reading the text to Step 2 in the 12&12 shows me how wrong I had been in that . . . its talking about STOP figuring things out & thinking I know what I need & what's best for me & for everybody else as well - that is the delusional thinking of alcoholic insanity - when troubles come up for self or others, stay completely out of it & let God show me what HE can do instead. & He always clearly lets me know if there's any part involved that I'm to participate in what HE is doing. Otherwise - do nothing other than pray that God's Will, not mine be done. God already knows how to be God & is not in need of my assistance. God is God & I am not. My actions illustrate what my real faith in Him is - either I believe He is the One who has ALL Power - or I believe He isn't really quite capable unless almighty me has my hand in there too. >>>>> (LOVE Terry & Wendy Talbot BTW - please email me if you know where I can get their music. thanks. Sobergirl91@hotmail.com) Thank God for AA, these 12 Steps, this Program & all of (((YOU))). Pam


Member: Fred P.
Location: Tampa, Fla
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 4:32:44 PM

Comments

Hello Everyone, Im Fred an alcoholic with two years and seven months sober. Great topic and wonderful posts. I am thoroughly convinced that my God removed the obsession to drink from me allowing me to grow in recovery. It plainly states in how it works that no human power could have relieved our alcoholism but God could and would if he were sought. I realize we all have our own concept and belief systems regarding God and mine happens to be Jesus Christ who is abundant in Grace and Mercy. I especially love the scripture that says" I die daily yet i live, yet not I but Christ in me. Thanks for the site here that allows us to post and may we all grow in the understanding that God always has been and always will be the solution to our disease.


Member: Henri
Location: Texas
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 5:00:25 PM

Comments

Good topic, Mark and the rest of y'all who have shared. On the issue of doing the steps in order, I must first remember the admonition on page 164: "This book is meant to be suggestive only. We know very little. More will be revealed." (paraphrased). We are all free to get clean and sober any way that works for us. The end result is what matters. I have heard many members tell a newcomer that he/she must follow the steps perfectly in order - period. But, as has well been demonstrated in the discussion here, that is not always the best advice. If I'm at step six (ready to have God remove my defects of character) and I have a bad day and wrongly jump down someone's throat, my immediate thought should be to recognize my error and apologize to that person. But, for the 'steps in order only person,' that would be skipping to step ten and a no-no. Similarly, what if I'm at step six and my grandmother, who raised me and who worried over my drinking, is on her death bed and I want to make my amends to her before she dies and tell her how much I love her and how everything has changed since I got clean and sober. Should my sponsor tell me that that's not permitted because I'm not yet at step nine, knowing that my grandmother will have passed away by the time I get to step nine? Such strict structure is surely not correct. I find the same is true with Mark's original question. Should I refrain from praying for God's guidance until I get to step eleven? I think not. Prayer, and my connection to God, is of paramount importance - more than any of the steps. Please don't get too hung up on the big book. It is only a suggestion book. Let God be your guide in your life's journey and you will never go wrong. God bless each and every one of you.


Member: JuliaAnne
Location: Tacoma
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 5:22:10 PM

Comments

Well put, Florida Fred. You are absolutely correct in what you say and I agree with you that our Father and Jesus Christ provide the answer to our alcoholish and to every other aspect of our lives. In my years in A.A., I have heard members say "make a doorknob your higher power" or "make the group your higher power." Neither a doorknob nor the group are going to get anyone sober. Only God and his Son can do that. Anyone new to A.A. should place her faith and trust in God and Jesus first and foremost and pray for guidance each and every day. Please, please, do not wait until you get to the eleventh step to start this process. You cannot, as an earlier comment states "READ to have God remove your defects of character." You have to PRAY to God. Only then will you be freed from your alcoholism, will you be born anew, and will you "die daily, yet live." God bless everyone.


Member: Mark--Mike
Location: NY--Miss
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 5:28:21 PM

Comments

Man, you guys are good.........Thanks for all this wonderful stuff here lately!!!


Member: Ron L
Location: Winnipeg. Man. Can.
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 6:37:21 PM

Comments

Ron and Im an alcoholic. For the past three weeks the posts have been great, a lot of indepth sharing, without any swearing. When I first came to A.A. I use to think that Jesus Christ the son of God and the holy ghost, the Virgin Mary, all the Saints and them other guys could save me from self and alcoholism. Of course the priest told me that if I don't stop drinking Id go to hell, The Cops said if you don't stop you'll go to jail. the Doctor said I'd die. The Shrink said I'd go crazy, and some nut in A.A. said that my savior who had let me sink and suffer to the depths of despair would now help me. Some guy said find a power greater than your self as I understand him and the big book was written to help me do just that; been sober ever since. And you want to know what else.. I never became stupid boring and glum like some righteous people I see. Has anyone ever read any of the Personal Stories ( pioneers of A.A. ) boy back then they done the steps the same day they arrived. I have a prayer that I say and it goes like this." God please don't make me a saint the ones I know are so hard to live with.. thanks for your time


Member: Lynda
Location: small town Ontario Canada
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 8:18:20 PM

Comments

Hi, my name is Lynda and I'm an alcoholic. This is an interesting topic. I love to hear the different opinions of AA's. I, myself have never been told nor read anywhere that I cannot begin to pray and meditate before I get to step 11. However, I was told to do the steps in order...that is why they are numbered. And as for what is more important God or the steps...I see the two as intertwined. I believe God wrote those steps through Bill (and a variation of them through the Oxford Group). I don't believe that "human power" could have hatched a plan to arrest alcoholism...but God could and did because He was sought. Just my opinion. Another 24 hours to ya all!


Member: Michael'manure
Location: Deep South
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 9:29:05 PM

Comments

In your book, Mr. gasman from the southeast, the first 4 stories are all from people who drank again. Not to mention it was written in 1939 when maybe a few more stayed sober than now, either way it's unimportant. The point is my sobriety and all people's should they have it, is from God and without Him, none of us could be sober. Do the steps in any order you want, with whoever you want, any way you want, as the only "right way" really involves loving God and not drinking, the rest is cake my friend. I've prayed and hold your breath folks---yes--even meditated(not your standard Hindu or Buddhist type mind you, but Christian meditation) since day one over 8 years ago and have worked these steps as hard as anybody around, so that's proof enough for me. If anyone else needs that much structure to do only what some other human being tells them and follow their advice, so be it as I too have seen that work on occasion for people. Point being, there is no "right way" to do the steps and the book is merely a suggestive outline, NOT the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I've also never had much problem not drinking and it's because of my relationship with Him, not the people in AA meetings, they are but a minute part of my life although I love each and everyone of them. It's the tried but true aphorism, "I didn't trade my bar stool for a metal chair in AA." That's what the type of do it my way or no way thinking promotes and I do pray for saints to be in my life and they are not hard to live with. In fact, I don't think I'd be alive to write this without the one's I've had/have in my life. Peace and Blessings for all on our respective journey's.....Seek Truth......


Member: Natalie
Location: Tx.
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 9:35:26 PM

Comments

Hi! My name is Natalie and I think this is a great topic. I do not have even a month yet and I love reading everyone's stories. My mind is working on getting clear, and I do pray at night. However sometimes I forget to pray in the morning. Thanks for helping me understand the importance of praying in the morning and all through out the day. Especially when feeling in doubt. This has been a very hard week for me. I had to leave my boyfriend with my daughter while I am getting better and staying with my sponser till I grow stronger. Thanks guys, it is wonderful to now I am not alone and the importance of pray. One day at a time.


Member: Natalie
Location: Tx.
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 9:54:44 PM

Comments

Hi! My name is Natalie and I think this is a great topic. I do not have even a month yet and I love reading everyone's stories. My mind is working on getting clear, and I do pray at night. However sometimes I forget to pray in the morning. Thanks for helping me understand the importance of praying in the morning and all through out the day. Especially when feeling in doubt. This has been a very hard week for me. I had to leave my boyfriend with my daughter while I am getting better and staying with my sponser till I grow stronger. Thanks guys, it is wonderful to now I am not alone and the importance of pray. One day at a time.


Member: neil s.
Location: almost germany
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 10:46:44 PM

Comments

hey all, been a while, neil from england soon to be from germany, and no matter where, AN ALCOHOLIC, ""natalie fron tx"" go to the beginers meetings, and do not read, listen to or worry about those folks, like "avid" or anyone else that is having a "DRY" drunk all that matters is YOU, take it ONE DAY AT A TIME, PRAY, and DO NOT, DO NOT, take that first drink, even if you have to completely change your life, do it for YOU, my biggest problem was my wife still drinking, and a very good friend of mine (29 years sober) said "do it for YOU" you have to have the "WANT TO", make yourself have the "WANT TO" and we can all do it together, again don't worry about those who oppose what you and i are trying to do, as long as you have the "WANT TO" you will be just fine. see you over in the "newbie" section


Member: Kelly M
Location: NH
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 11:43:17 PM

Comments

Hi, Kelly an alcoholic, Great topic and great shares. This topic is near and dear to my heart because God has been talking to me lately. Well, not exactly talking but laying what I need practically in my lap. I have always loved God and Church and I think it is because of the good feelings I always got from it. I prayed every Sunday for God to take away my alcoholism and then I would go home and within a couple hours I'd be drinking again. I never got angry with God or felt forsaken by him but I wondered why he was not helping to remove my alcoholism. I now through AA learned that I never prayed rightly. My prayers were as selfish as my drinking. I was looking for a miracle instead of recovery. The day my obsession to drink was removed was the day I picked up the phone and asked for help in the form of a rehab. I always hated the saying, God helps those who help themselves, but that is how it happened for me. I was asking for help in the form of prayer but God waited until I took the action and from there one small miracle after another keeps happening. The main one is he completely removed my obsession to drink. Then peace came to me and the desire to work the steps. Now the Promises are coming true on a daily basis. I simply ask throughout the day God place in me the best understanding of his will that I can have for that day and the grace to carry it out. I must always keep in mind that in every situation I am responsible for the effort and God is responsible for the outcome. Peace. Kelly


Member: Becca
Location: California
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 11:57:32 PM

Comments

Hi Natalie, hang in there. You are doing great. I myself have 111 days. It's been a ride so far. I'm on step four. Taking my time, trying to be thorough. I do pray twice a day on my knees. Once in am and once in pm before going to bed. I still haven't an idea "who" my God is or what "power" it is that I pray to, but I try and faith that it's there and it stays close to be especially when I myself seem so far away, trying to get close. Anyway, my applause to everyone. One Day At A Time.


Member: Steve P
Location: Great state of TEXAS
Date: 7/21/2003
Time: 11:59:23 PM

Comments

I'm Steve and I am an alcoholic. I haven't had a drink since 12/7/92 by God's Grace. There is only one "wrong way" to work the steps... That is to think you have done it "right". The steps are a perfect ideals (search the 12&12) for that one. The only step worked to pefection is the 1st. If we haven't the will to do this we ask until it comes. All I really have to say is thank God for effective "sponsorship". Without a good good sponsor I could not have made it through the steps, with out the steps I could not have gotten the "GUARANTEE" of the 12th step (yes I said it "GUARANTEE")It says if you work these steps you will have a relationship with God. God bless you all and get a sponson...


Member: Cowboy Bill S. 1-1-91
Location: Houston,Tx.
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 6:08:15 AM

Comments

I for one can agree to disagree. There are several ways to work the program of A.A "Wrong".Those wrong way's are outlined in the big book.I.E. Half measures avail us nothing.Faith without works is dead.There is only one Program of A.A..It's not the proverbial your program or my program, but THE Program.It gives clear cut directions as to how it works.I have found it to work just fine.I can admit to my innermost self that I am Alcoholic and that my Life is unmanagable 24/7 but without a power greater than myself,and left to my own devices I will get drunk.Think that it does say I am never cured but do have a daily reprieve based on my spiritual conditioning.People want to talk about the "MUST" in the book..Try to look up all the "IF'S" They will usually be followed by the words of you,they,he(she).If you are to find GOD is must come from within. Therefore what I came to AA seeking I brought with me.For deep down inside every man woman and child is the basic fundamentals of GOD.THE Program is for what? Designed to bring into our daily living a conciousness of GOD, or a spiritual awaikening.The matter of sponsorship is also given in clear cut directions both to the Sponsor and the Sponsoree, it's called working with others. It's in the seeking that I find,and when I think I found God..I really have just lost him for I will quit seeking ..May God bless and keep you all till then..Honesty-Openmindness-Willingness are indispencible


Member:
Location:
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 7:54:53 AM

Comments

a brainwashed cowboy---see above


Member: Cass C
Location: Virginia
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 11:05:34 AM

Comments

Thank you all for sharing - some pretty good stuff. I am new to AA and have had a few relapses. I have learned something from each one though (not minimizing - because it has really been painful). The MAIN thing is that I HAVE to stay IN the program and have a good strong sponsor! I HAVE to do it consistently and regularly for it to work. I have experienced the peace and serenity that only GOD can give and I don't want to lose that. I felt so defeated when I relapsed and felt like a failure and after about 4 meetings, I realized that I need to forgive myself and love myself- just like God has loved me. Today, I feel hopeful and free again - but also cautious because this disease is so cunning and baffling. I believe that God is my salvation and the closer I stay to Him and this program the better chance I have of living the life that God intended for us to have. I feel like Satan (the devil or whatever you want to call it) is the bottle and when I stray from the program and from God, it will get me. Thank you for loving me and for being my stronghold even during times when I felt like I could not do this. God Bless Each of You through your journey and thank you God for your unending Love and Mercy. Sunshine (My husband called me that before and I feel like sobriety is bringing that nickname back to me again:)


Member: Kim D.
Location: Bridgewater
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 12:06:56 PM

Comments

Kim here, alcoholic. How it is NOW in my spiritual journey and how it was THEN in early sobriety differ greatly. When I first got sober, if someone had told me that only God could get me and keep me sober, I would probably be drunk (or dead) today. Instead, what was suggested to me was "keep coming back." So I did, and the first few months of sobriety my home group - Group Of Drunks - became my HP. Then, as I continued to put one sober day next to another sober day, Good Orderly Direction became part of my HP. Because I kept coming back - watched and listened to those with what I considered "good sobriety" - I began to hear about other's concept of God/HP and how HP was working in their lives. So, I began to ask for helpl in the morning and give thanks at night. Not consistanly, but it was a start. I didn't know to what I was praying, just to a power greater than myself. As my sober days turned into sober years, and I began to work on self and recognize that all human beings are faulty and defective in one way or another, I began to rely MORE on my HP - who I now choose to call God - than I did on people, places and things to help me stay on "true north." It's been a wonderful journey of widening understand and growing Faith in spiritual matters... and it's just the tip of the iceberg. So if you are new - welcome. If you don't believe in God - that's okay. Believe that we believe and just keep coming back. More will be revealed.


Member: Tracy
Location: Essex, England
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 12:41:17 PM

Comments

I have been feeling for a while that I am close to god, since my first AA meeting I got it. When doing my step 4 and 5 people said you will have a spiritual experience but I know in my heart I have it already. Yes steps 4 and 5 help me not to hate myself anymore, that is truely a miracle, to be able to look at my defects and not feel yuk, but just look at them. That is so truely liberating. But since my very 1st pray 6months 1wk ago I have handed my life over to god of my understanding. My pray everynight goes something like this: Dear God, Thank you for keeping me sober yesterday and today, Please remove my charactor defects as you see fit, so that I may serve you better,a nd thank you for being in my life. I also add anyone who needs a prayer or anyone who bothers me and I pray for them as well. My prayer hasn't changed each nite the same but it works, I can actually feel him when I pray. So really I had been doing step 6 and 7 from the off. Because I was aware of most of my defects before 4 and 5 but have thrown the ones in that I found about with these steps. What ever works keep doing I say. Thanks for reading.


Member: Ron L
Location: Winnipeg. Man. Can.
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 1:57:56 PM

Comments

Some guy posted that the first four stories in the Pioneers of A.A. section all went out and got drunk. The first story co-founder Dr. Bob The birth of our Society dates from his first day of permanent sobriety June 10, before that date there was no A.A. ( big book pg. 171 ) Unless Dr. Bob had a sober blackout... nah. The second story one of my favorate guys Never had a relapse. As a matter of fact he carried the message to the third guy. The third guy ends his story B.B. Pg. 209 " It has con't to work (A.A.) now for eighteen years. Unless you know or seen these guys drinking you should not go around saying they had a slip. even a beginner in A.A. knows that.


Member: Avid
Location: Lurker
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 2:45:59 PM

Comments

Ron L.---You are clearly the one who knows not of what he speaks. It's obvious you are ignorant to the original edition and only go with what others in AA tell you rather than let intellectual curiosity and truth stand in the way. In the original "big book" the first 4 stories were all written by men who subsequently got drunk, that is well documented and known fact, not mere conjecture. Your subsequent books have deleted the stories through the years making various claims as to why, but it's most likely due to the simple fact those individuals did indeed drink again, although noone likes to admit that. Believe what you want, those are indisputable facts and if you bothered to look into history beyond what AA will say about itself you'd have readily found that information. Doesn't not only newcomer's, but people who aren't even here yet know that?


Member: SHELAGH B
Location: ENGLAND
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 4:17:25 PM

Comments

sheila an alcaholic who is very nearly one year. When people to me to pray in the beggining I didn't know how, and whats more I didn't know if I wanted to . I came into AA to stop drinking and this GOD thing was not what I wanted to hear. I was one of the stubborn ones that was only paying lip service, then someone to me to pray for the willingness to pray, I didn't quite understand this but did what was suggested and you know what it worked. Since then I TRY to hand over my day to my HP and most days it works on bad days I may have to pray again so I can let go and give back the power to the GOD of my understanding. praying only works if I follow through with my own actions and believe in the power that those prayers have if I let GOD in his own time answer them. I often just talk through things with him as though he was there like a friend in fact that is what he has become my best friend and guide in life. Many times in my dark days i thought he had forsaken me but he was there all the time waiting for me to ask him for help and he is still giving it to me , each day I ask he will be there. without the prayers I would be lost I am truely grateful he never left me all together LOL sheila


Member: joe s.
Location: Michigan Rezdog
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 4:29:42 PM

Comments

joe s., alkie. "having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps ..." steps one through eleven. for today, i resign from the debating society and will not discount any effort made on the miracle of an alcoholic staying sober for 24 hours. this is a design for living that works for me. it may work for you ... if you are willing to go to any lengths. have a grateful 24. miigwetch!


Member: Gayle C.
Location: Taunton
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 4:51:30 PM

Comments

Hi, everyone My name is Gayle C. and I am an alcoholic. I am a member of the W. Bridgewater NOW Group in W. Bridgewater, MA. It is only But for and only by the Grace of God I am sober 11 1/2 years. I have learned through my own trials and tribulations, anger, rage. That HIS way works a whole lot better. I come from Catholic background, but spriritually does not come from a theological standpoint. It comes from the heart. For years I still was missing the point of the Third Step. I had a huge power struggle, you know "I got myself into this and I will get myself out it", problem was ME. Yes, today I ask for HIS help in the am and thank HIM at night, but for a long time I couldn't see. Talk about being self-centered, immature and still scared of this "Higher Power" think. BUT.... I was staying sober, but had not a clue about this relationship with a God who I did not understand. Today I do understand HIM. He kept me sober though a 4 difficult years. I though the 12 steps of Recovery and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous a personal God of my understanding who is Jesus Christ, he's the God that led me here to A.A. and has kept me here though it all. I would have never been able to endure the heartaches, loss and tradegies alone, isolated and drunk. I would be dead. For those of you who think that you can stay sober without 12 steps (in order 1, 2, 3...)only are making excuses not to change the person. You may never drink again, but why take the risk? How can anyone attain peace, serenity and a true sense of self without getting rid of the garbage? I am still throwing out the trash of a drunken past, yes in many ways I am not the timid, terrfied little girl, but a woman with dignity and hope. I alway say this at speaker meetings when asked to share.....I'm not dead yet.....I have a lot of living to do....THANK YOU JESUS that I never, never ever have to again feel that way when I first became sober. It is my choice and it begins on my knees. Remember GOD DOES ANSWER KNEE MAILS!!!! Peace to all


Member: Mike B.
Location: Texas
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 10:14:29 PM

Comments

Alcoholic Mike here. Pretty neat site. Thank you God. There seems to be some very good solid advise in these postings I have read tonight. Some thoughts on a God of my understanding and the 12 Steps. After 19 years of sobriety obtained through doing what the book said to do,having a loving,caring very hard ass sponsor and truly by the grace of God I have found that the simplest way for me to stay sober is by doing what the first 164 pages of the BB tells me to do. I solidly believe that the steps are written in a certain order and it is not for me to ask why or try to decifer why. It is only for me to work them as the book says. I believe that God helped write these first 164 pages along with the 12 Steps and who am I to question what He helped write and how He wrote them. It is only for me to do. God be with you all and Keep Coming Back. It really works,for I am living proof.


Member: Pierre
Location: Quebec
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 10:23:30 PM

Comments

Bonjuor, mon bon amis. Excellent discussion here tonight. It is so nice to see all the focus on God as the answer to our problems. I have been a member of A.A. for amost ten years, and I see two things that are not talked about near enough in A.A. The first is the complete importance of God, and in my case Jesus, in our lives. As has been said so well in these posts, it is God, and God only, that relieves us of our alcoholism. It is not A.A., it is not the group, it is not the steps, it is God. Other things certainly help, but only God can heal us from this malady. Second, as Cass so aptly noted, it is the evil one (Satan, if you will) that wants us to be addicted, because any addiction works as a barrier between a person and God. Alcoholism is but one drug addiction, however. We in A.A. do not talk enough about the fact that all other drug addictions from which we may suffer have the exact same effect. It separates us from God and it ultimatley kills us. Some people in A.A. are still popping pills every day. Others are on the marijuana maintenance program. And I think we all see the vast number of A.A.'s who are hooked on nicotine. We need to remind everyone that if you are still dependent upon pills, cigarettes, or any other drug, you are not clean and sober. You are still just a drug addict; just like a drunk on a different drug. You are harming your relationship with God and you are killing yourself, just the same as when you are drinking. I believe we would do everyone a favor - we will actually be saving their life and their soul - if we would put more emphasis on the importance of God in our daily lives and the danger of losing that relationship if we use drugs of any kind. Just my observations after many years in A.A. May God bless everyone and may you experience the truth. Bon noir.


Member: Ron L
Location: Winnipeg. Man. Can.
Date: 7/22/2003
Time: 10:34:59 PM

Comments

Ron L In my first post I refered to the personal stories pioneers of A.A. ( 7/21/2003 6:37:21 pm ) I also refered to the same topic in my last post.(7/22/2003 1:57:56) you can try to give me the run around, I don't think in the book you make referance to they had pioneers of A.A. story section and I am beginning to feel like a dog chasing it's tail. but its you that are crazy making and I don't play that game Even when your dead wrong you try to make the other person feel that your right, well that game is childs play to a pro like myself and I have no time to play childish games with you


Member: Jan BB
Location: Paris, France
Date: 7/23/2003
Time: 3:38:09 AM

Comments

Quite honestly, if I were a newcomer, reading this discussion, I would be thinking that I really would not need AA or the 12 steps, but allow Jesus Christ to do his work and trade my bar stool for a pew. When a topic like this is raised, the self righteous have a hay day, this week is no exception. I have been around, the compulsion has been removed, I too have a christian God, have worked the steps, do service for AA and have a rich full life outside the rooms, that is guided by the above in that order. I had to quit drinking and work the AA program to understand this. As pitiful as some would like to hammer the stats of AA sucess rate, or stories of early AA's going and getting drunk, there is HOPE in the halls of AA and a way forward by practicing the 12 steps, to be able to put down the drink and to start living life. One sober day next to another sober day.


Member: JuMP
Location: BC Canada
Date: 7/23/2003
Time: 3:49:46 AM

Comments

Thank you all for sharing, reading through all the posts in this discussion reminded me of how fantastically diverse AA truly is. Some of you're opinions I doubt i'll ever truly understand, but that doesn't really matter to me, reading the posts of a bunch of drunks discussing god and what that concept means to them is worth every second i spent doing it. Thanx again for making me think tonight :)


Member: DebLH
Location: WI
Date: 7/23/2003
Time: 11:08:49 AM

Comments

Debbie, recovering addict/alcoholic, the 11th Step is my favorite. I love meetings where people share on what God has done for them, I always leave feeling warm inside and higher than any drug or drink ever got me. There has been much debate here and taking what I can use and leaving the rest, my opinion is, if it works don't fix it. The 12 steps have worked miracles in the lives of millions of people and saved me and my recovering family from the disease of alcoholism. That's really all that matters to me. I love this sight. Thanks to everyone for sharing.


Member: Bob
Location: UK
Date: 7/23/2003
Time: 11:14:03 AM

Comments

Hi Bob - alcoholic. I'm not happy to be one but I have to accept that. That is for keeps. However I don't have to make it worse by drinking or by feeling sorry for myself. That's where the steps work for me. Some AA's seem to get the HP concept pretty quickly and I was lucky enough to find a working relationship with the God of my understanding reasonably quickly after I'd got my head round to honestly admiting to myself that I was/am/always will be an alcoholic. I think I started by seriously asking myself if I could honestly be so arrogant as to presume that I knew that God didn't exist. So then I asked for help with my burden - like 'I can't do this myself - so if you exist how about a hand, a sign, or something?' This went on for a while - My one sided dialogue. Then I was at an AA meeting in what must be the most depressing dump of a town in the country. There was a sign on the wall I'd never seen 'Religious people pray to go to Heaven, Alcoholics pray to stay out of Hell' Well the sharer that night was a young girl who had packed more Hell and misery into her short existence than I could have stomached in twelve lifetimes. And, you know what, she was happy - her life was still the pits but she was sober and she was happy. Sometime later that night, for the first time in my life, I felt what I can only refer to as 'the spirit of God' - I just KNEW I wasn't on my own anymore. So there, that's what it's like for me. I'm far from perfect and sometimes I get lazy and forget to be grateful but I'm human. I don't try to make deals with my HP I just ask for help now and again. Personally I find reciting the 'Look to the day...' poem in 24hrs and the 'serenity prayer' calming. Sort of renews my contact with my spiritual side. Anyway - that's me - taking it one day at a time. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Charlie Darling
Location: Key West FL
Date: 7/23/2003
Time: 2:07:15 PM

Comments

Hello Family Charlie Darling a very grateful recovering alcholic. Great topic, as the power of prayer it works it really does. Just by turning your life over to a HP is a great way to start the day. My prayer in the morning is God help me to realize nothing is going to happen that you and I can't handle, and it has worked now for me a few 24 hours. The 11th step prayer is one of my favorites, and I try to live by that everyday. Before we start on a road trip my partner usually says Charlie say the St Frances prayer for us, and we hold hands and I recite it by heart, and mean every word it says. I also have a girl at my morning meetings who in my eyes is the true meaning of the 11th step prayer. I truly believe that when I let God back into my life my whole world changed, and drinking does not cross my mind, any more. Thank you all for being here for all of us. I Love you ALL kwduke_1999@yahoo.com


Member: Marty G.
Location: Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Date: 7/23/2003
Time: 4:21:19 PM

Comments

Hi everyone,Marty here, alcholic! The first thing i did----was pray to my h.p. when i arrived at A.A., because I was sick of the way I was living. However, our co-founders started our program by doing the steps in the order they are in; even though they did"nt know it at the time: anyway thaths what i read in our "Big Book!!!! @A.A. comes of age. However, Iwas also told nothing is ever wrong or stupid to say at a meeting!!!! Thanks for my recovery. Marty G.


Member: Marty G.
Location: Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Date: 7/23/2003
Time: 4:24:39 PM

Comments

Hi everyone,Marty here, alcholic! The first thing i did----was pray to my h.p. when i arrived at A.A., because I was sick of the way I was living. However, our co-founders started our program by doing the steps in the order they are in; even though they did"nt know it at the time: anyway thaths what i read in our "Big Book!!!! @A.A. comes of age. However, Iwas also told nothing is ever wrong or stupid to say at a meeting!!!! Thanks for my recovery. Marty G.


Member: Michael B.
Location: AZ
Date: 7/23/2003
Time: 4:32:22 PM

Comments

Hi! My name is Michael, and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict, sober today only by the Grace of God and the Fellowship. Thanks for the sincere shares. Welcome newcomers! I have become aware during the past two years of my sobriety that my prayer life is becoming richer and more satisfying. Yeh, I have days when I have problems praying or I simply don't pray that much. But I accept that and just keep taking it one day at a time. One key element of my prayer life that I need to do daily but which has been troublesome for me is not forgetting to ask for knowledge of God's will for me and the Power to carry that out.


Member: bigg
Location: nevada
Date: 7/23/2003
Time: 8:18:18 PM

Comments

hey big here alky... it was suggested to me to do the steps in order... which is what i did... the result of that first time around were very spritiual in nature...my life did change... similar to what is described in "the promises"of the A.A. program... i started drinking at age 5 and stumbled into A.A. at age 33... hardly ever thought of god except for my old war cry "please get me out of this i'll never drink again"... i was willing to believe that if you did it i could ...today life has it's bumps and bruises ...the steps for me are to be worked in order ...but my inner peace is contingent on my relationship with my h.p. ....imust humble myself so that i/m even willing to come to believe that for the most part i'm wrong


Member: siobhan c.
Location: washington
Date: 7/23/2003
Time: 8:30:40 PM

Comments

siobhan, alcoholic. i have always had a strong faith, so praying was not new to me. however, when i first dried out, much of my prayers ran along the lines of "Please, God, let me....get me....etc." lots of begging and demanding and, believe it or not, bargaining. the more i begged, hoped,prayed (i use the term loosely) for God to change things to suit me better, the more angry, fustrated, and anxious i became. it was only when i started this program -AA- that i began to understand how messed up i had become. now i simply pray for strength and understanding to make it through each day. if i make it through the day successfully (read: without drinking or using), i say a small, but heartfelt, prayer of thanks. it took me a long time to give up hope of changing the world around me into something more appealing to me. now, i try, VERY hard, to focus my energy on changing myself into something more appealing. God has always been in my life, but now that i am sober, i am immeasurably more appreciative of the gifts i have been given. i am able to be content to live each day the best way i can, with His help. knowing that i don't know everything He has in store, i can let go of some (not all, yet) of my impulses to control everything around me. i think i am rambling, now. sorry. but thanks for letting me go on.


Member: D-flat
Location: ND
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 1:09:45 AM

Comments

its fun to read the arguments,,hehe,,im to timid to get involved, but prayer has been my life saver, God pulled me out of the heap of shit i was living in and set me on new ground and what i do with that is my choice, and today i tried to get to know him better and i had a great day.


Member: May
Location: Toronto Can
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 1:14:57 AM

Comments

My name is May and Im an alcoholic. The way I see it is, You can pray until hell freezes over and all you'll get is a big skateing rink, I find that faith without works is dead. I prayed to stop drinking had a good pull of the bottle and prayed some more, that never worked, so I blamed God for my drinking. Thank God for A.A. and the steps,


Member: mel c
Location: california
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 3:50:24 AM

Comments


Member: mel c
Location: california
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 3:53:08 AM

Comments

interesting how people are so different. some need help and guidance from others. some are in the place they are because of other people. the whole thing is what ever works for you to stay sober is the right way. and all the power to those and thier hp who can do it alone. god bless.


Member: Yvonne
Location: Scotland
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 5:05:07 AM

Comments

I didn't even know that there was a power greater than myself until I came to AA.The only time I really prayed was when I was in a drunken crisis and probably spent more time cursing God for not helping me. I needed to understand how powerless I was over alcohol before I could accept that a power greater than myself could remove the compulsion to drink. I had to learn how to pray and how to have faith. At my first AA meeting I was horrified and embarrassed when everyone stood in a circle and held hands to pray. It took a while to become comfortable with the idea of prayer and I needed to work through the steps to develop my own understanding of it. I can say thank you God nowadays but have to say thank you to AA for helping me to find my faith. I wouldn't have known to even look for it without working the steps.


Member: Joe
Location:
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 10:16:50 AM

Comments

Where's Bikerbabe?


Member: September
Location: FL
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 10:18:54 AM

Comments

I am new to the program. Today is day 5 for me. I have been in denial for so long. The funny part is that I didn't realize that was one of the stages that you go through. I finally realized that my struggle was only going to be healed by surrendering and asking God to help me, it was either that or no point in living this life anymore. I know it has only been 5 straight days but it has acutally been a process over this last year of ups and downs that finally brought me to realize that I have to surrender, and through God my life is good, without staying close to him everything just changes back to the nightmare I am running from. Believing that everything is as it should be and that God has a plan for me is my way of feeling at ease, no more worries, no concerns, just a sort of peace inside that things will work out as they should if only I stay close to God. I thank God for forgiving me for all of my sins, still being there after all the times that I said I hated him, for being there to pick me when I have ben at my lowest, for not giving up on me and staying with me until I finally could see that I needed to change, and I think him for loving me just the way that I am. For all of this, I know that God is the one that will carry me through each day and I have faith in him that he will add mre happiness and love to my life as I move through my days.


Member: sb
Location: kennewick
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 6:06:56 PM

Comments

I don't believe in prayer. It is nothing more than meditation and self-talk. But if it helps people get their heads together, fine.


Member: mikr
Location: hell
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 7:00:36 PM

Comments

mike here september sounds pretty good for day five huh guys?


Member: Jujube
Location: NM
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 7:53:11 PM

Comments

Thanks, Mark for the topic. I also enjoy hearing about how people experience God. I try to keep a running dialogue going all day and it has certainly helped me feel grounded. That, and meetings where I get to hear "God in a human suit" talk to me about the process of recovery. Thanks as well for this meeting today.


Member: JMH
Location: Michigan
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 8:34:03 PM

Comments

The meaning of the lord is not for him to HELP you in your wanting of sobriety, as he is just there to pat your back in the morning and at lunch and at supper time, for you haven't picked up a drink that day for whetever reason.


Member: Paulie J.
Location: Florida
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 11:02:32 PM

Comments

Pick up the BIBLE and see where Bill W.got all his knowledge.There is one GOD and one GOD only Romans10:9-10.Then the principles of A.A will be more clear GOD BLESS all you newcombers you are the primary purpose of A.A.


Member: Ronald T.
Location: Falmouth Mass.
Date: 7/24/2003
Time: 11:53:36 PM

Comments

hello my name is ron am 10 year sober now but i need still learning about 12 step book or go 12 step meeting i cant hear this meeting beacuse i am deaf use sign langauge... i like need asl inetp for meeting.. i will here meeting.. any q let me know...thank you


Member: Rich M.
Location: Miyazaki, Japan
Date: 7/25/2003
Time: 1:00:13 AM

Comments

Hi, my name is Rich and I'm an alcoholic. I feel sad when I read some of posts on this list today. Aren't we all just drunks trying to help each other stay sober? I think that if I was new I would be very confused and might mistakenly get the impression that AA was a "religious" organization, not a "spiritual" one. When I first came to AA over 25 years ago, I did not believe in God, but could believe in a power greater than myself. I feel that my Higher Power led me to this fellowship and over time my personal relationship with him/her has deepened and given me a tranquility I had not before experienced in my life. I pray by asking my Higher Power to show me his/her will for me. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: d-flat
Location: fargo
Date: 7/25/2003
Time: 11:06:37 AM

Comments

where is bikerbabe???? i miss her,,,do you know her joe?


Member: RICHARD M
Location: SARASOTA.FL
Date: 7/25/2003
Time: 12:51:04 PM

Comments

hello my name is richard and i am an alcoholic........Many times alcoholics are hesitant about the GOD thing because of past alcoholic experiences........that were not conducive to communicateing with god.........so the key for GOD AS WE UNDERSTAND HIM ................. is very simple ...................' NO ALCOHOL IN THE MOUTH....................where your formerly "wet" brain is going to lead you ........................WHO KNOWS.............and WHO CARES..............the main thing is " NO ALCOHOL IN THE MOUTH "..after that if you do not want to follow the confrence approved material..................it is anybodys guess as to how much you may continue to suffer..........if you doubt that ....go to meetings and listen to some of those with years of experience.......... unfortunatley all they have been able to do is not drink ........and that is very good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WE STILL PRAY THAT THEY WILL LET GO OF THEIR 'old " ideas.........and perhaps then they will begin to recover..........love , peace and happiness to all..............


Member: Dana
Location: Michigan
Date: 7/25/2003
Time: 1:42:39 PM

Comments

Hello to all, I am a newbie here.I guess that everyone has a right to think what they want to about God, and everyone here needs to believe that there is some higher power looking out for them. The bottom line is, you are going to have to stop drinking from within. God is not going to show up and talk you out of having that next drink. You and You alone are going to have to decide that for yourself. It is going to have to be a personal decision and that you have finally had enough of the problems associated with drinking-- be it health or legal problems. I am not so sure if dwelling on it everyday, as in these AA meetings, are the best way to go yet. Wouldn't it be better to just leave all the baggage behind and move on with your lives? Any thoughts?


Member: Les aka Stinkbutt
Location: San Diddlyago
Date: 7/25/2003
Time: 2:31:13 PM

Comments

AA introduced me to the Steps which, when I took them in the order presented, introduced me to God which keeps me sober. I need the AA Fellowship and God in order to stay sober as do most real alcoholics of my variety and personally as a recovered atheist I need all the help I can get. If anybody wants to do it any other way that is their right and I wish them luck. Have at it and let nothing but fear stand in the way of taking the Steps following the suggestions in the Big Book.


Member: Ryan
Location: Rotan
Date: 7/25/2003
Time: 4:54:18 PM

Comments

Thank you Paulie from Florida for your reminder that not only are God and Jesus the answer to all of life's problems, but that Bill W. got the majority of his ideas directly from the New Testament. One has only to look at the twelve steps to see that there are only two references to alcohol, but nine references to God. Unfortunately, A.A. does not put enough emphasis on thefact that our recovery is directly tied to our relationship with God. Thank you for this reminder. Also, A.A. fails to focus enough attention on those things that keep us from having a relationship with God, particualarly in the area of drug abuse. So many A.A.'s quit drinking just to suffer and die from equally dangerous drug addictions. Tobacco and pills are the main culprits for these still addicted A.A.'s. There's no difference between drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, popping pills, or doing other drugs on a daily basis, except for the name of the drug. They will all lead to misery and death, and they will all prevent you from having a true relationship with God. We at A.A. should put much more emphasis on the importance of God and the importance of being TOTALLY and ABSOLUTELY clean and sober. God bless each and all and may the peace of our Lord be with you.


Member: sue b
Location: texas
Date: 7/25/2003
Time: 10:14:25 PM

Comments


Member: Samantha
Location: Midland MI
Date: 7/25/2003
Time: 11:19:55 PM

Comments

Good topic and nice discussion. It's refreshing to see everyone talk about the importance of God and Jesus in AA After all, if we are going to end our meetings with the Lord's prayer, we should follow that same philosophy throughout our meetings. And Ryan is correct that we should all be true in our sobriety so that we can maintain our connection with God. Too many in AA are only partially sober. It serves no purpose to quit drinking only to die from another drug addiction. Good night all.


Member: Bob D
Location: Upstate NY
Date: 7/26/2003
Time: 2:25:25 AM

Comments

Greetings to all...I am a newcomer to AA having been told that I had to attend. I was very resistive at first, thinking that this was a bunch of religious zealots and fanatics, and I certainly wasn't going to allow that stuff to be crammed down my throat again as it was when I was a child. I've now come to realize that my struggle with this disease began in my late teens when I lost my faith. I found this site tonight by pure accident and it was like an answer to my feeble prayer attempts to this point. I have been 9 months clean and sober now, but still not really feeling very good about things. Most of the postings here have been truly inspirational, and I thank you for them. The negative postings may surely hurt some of us newcomers on our early journey, but as I've been advised, I'll take what I can use and leave the rest for others! Thanks Mark from New York for bringing up this topic when I needed it the most...


Member: John O'L
Location: DFW Texas
Date: 7/26/2003
Time: 9:26:28 AM

Comments

Good Morning to All - This is John O'L, a recovering alcoholic from Texas who has not found it necessary to take a drink since May of 1982. Is this due to my efforts alone? Not a chance, my friends, because I really didn't do such a great job of staying away from alcohol before coming through the doors of AA. I remember very vividly how, when I was a child, my religious instructors would tell me about what they considered to be the proper concept of God. To tell you the truth, I really wasn't altogether pleased with what I was told. There were several aspects of my parents religion and the official church teachings about God that I didn't like. What I like about our program is that we are introduced to the concept of the God of our understanding. I can relate to this concept.........and I pray to the God of my understanding to help me stay sober and to be of benefit to others, particularly alcoholics who are seeking sobriety in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. This has worked for over 21 years now, and it has worked very well. The God of my understanding is a God who wants me to be happy, joyous, and free from alcohol. The God of my understanding wants me to be of value to my community and those in it and to everyone on this planet. The God of my understanding has released me from the bondage of active alcoholism, and God has done for me what I was unable to do for myself, and what I firmly believe that no human on earth could have done for me...........If I wish to see God's works, I can look to the stars and to the majesty and beauty of what God has created, and I can look at the past 21 years that have been alcohol-free for me, and I can see the miracle in my life. I pray to the God of my understanding, and try to fulfill what I believe to be God's will in my life. Had it not been for the beautiful program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I would have been immersed in the misery, suffering, and heartache that all of us know only too well for these past 21 years instead of the steady progression of moving from being "Off the Beam" in my life to a life that is more centered "On the Beam. May God Bless all of you and may God Bless the program of Alcoholics Anonymous!


Member: ChrisH.
Location: Fla.
Date: 7/26/2003
Time: 1:49:08 PM

Comments

I'm Chris--I'm an alcoholic/addict...This is a great topic and a lot of great things have been said...I had a relationship with God before I got in the program..But the program of A.A. has helped me to realize that relationship more than anything religious I have ever been involved in. I think that I have finally felt forgiven for being flawed and not "perfect" ( not that I ever could be in the first place!). I was never able to admit my defects because I thought I had to be so good for God...and if I admitted them, that meant that I had them and that God was really ticked at me...Now through this program , I realize that we only need to make spiritual progress not spiritual perfection. I have been able to realize that I am no better ,no worse than the next guy. That be admitting my character defects , I can be forgiven and end the horrible isolation and guilt I always felt. That God loves me more than I can imagine, and that if I cn just keep my house clean and put this program into action , I will be alright. Thanks for letting me share!


Member: Maureen P
Location: Tucson, AZ
Date: 7/27/2003
Time: 1:45:10 AM

Comments

Hello, my name is Maureen and I am an alcoholic, grateful to be sober today. I remember back in 1975, when I first hit the doors of AA, I was willing to go to any lengths to feel better, not so much stay sober, I still wasn't sure about being alcoholic, but said I was so you wouldn't kick me out. I faked it til, I came to believe in a power greater than myself, God, had given me a gift unlike any I had ever gotten before, more priceless than the finest diamonds or greatest riches, it was sobriety, He had removed the desire to drink and gave me a chance at a new life. I heard at AA meetings to get down on my knees and ask God on a daily basis to please keep me sober, so I did. I also heard, that if I remained sober that day to say thank you that evening before I went to sleep. It's been 28 years now, and I can't get on my knees, too sore, but I do say thank you, sometimes several times a day, when I am able to get through some of life's challenges. I am, today, a grateful, recovering alcoholic and pray that I will never forget to remember when and to say thank you.


Member: jh
Location: tx
Date: 7/27/2003
Time: 3:00:20 AM

Comments

The program of aa is outlined in the bb. The steps are only suggestions to follow if you want the results that others have received from working them in order with someone else who has worked them. please remember that the most important person at this meeting is the new comer. when I was in the middle of crack town in a treatment center in 1996 they told me to pray. Guess what I prayed every morning and every night. Why did I follow their suggestions at that time. The answer is simple I had run out of answers for my life and I wanted what they had. It was pointed out that if I wanted what they had I might do what they did. thank you for sharing. j from tx 1-8-98


Member: Jeff B
Location: CA
Date: 7/27/2003
Time: 5:00:46 AM

Comments

Hi, My name is Jeff and I am an alcoholic. This is a great topic. ....long form Serinity Prayer, 3rd step, St Francis, 24 book prayers o' the day, 7th step, asking God to Make me willing, Make me grateful, and thanking God for keeping me sober. It has been over 5 years since I have taken a drink. Prayer really does seem to work. AA gave me the prayers I like - I found one in a rack on the wall, I copied a couple prayers from the big book on to cards, I got a great one from a speaker tape that I copied down (after several pauses and rewinds) - I cut and pasted one from this site.. there are good prayers are all over the place. Sometimes I pray as I go- that is good too, but very often I start wandering around in my prayer and need to get back to the old reliable ones. I would not want to mess with not praying for very long; it seems to be working since I started trying it. Thanks to all for being here.