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January 21 2008 DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Benign Anarchy

Freedom In AA

Many people who try the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous will encounter all types of suggestions to keep sober. Always the suggestions are simple, there are twelve simple and yet ever changing steps of living to good conscience. And twelve traditions which in essence are timeless principles for the fellowship to survive what we alcoholics may try do in our anarchic way day by day.

Benign Anarchy? Can there be such a thing?

People Are People

Wherever we are in our daily living we will meet all types of people with all types of backgrounds. AA, Alcoholics Anonymous is no different. Or maybe it is. With large numbers living sober a day at a time and with a disease which can be a killer, its not surprising that everyone is in a constant process of change. Some becoming more sober and some becoming more insane as time offers little respite from a plague of other torments we all may have to deal with on a daily basis.

Suggestions and forgiveness count for a lot as shattered lives are slowly evolving into? Well the truth is we don’t really know. Many come to AA and do our level best to make life work. Some also come to make life work and still they can be nasty with it. Or just not our cup of tea. Like life imitating life, AA is no different from any other reality, there are good people and some bad people.

We learn the difference - Good & Bad

And sometimes we are the bad people through and through because of a disease which not only manifests in alcohol, it manifests in general demeanour and general outlook to the bad of living.

We may take a person on face value, we need however remind ourselves that not all people are living to the good of suggestions and principles in AA. Common sense as it is restored makes us realise that in most cases people do work to the good of good conscience and some never will.

We simply learn as we go how to understand this fellowship and recognise the good, the bad and the ugly. Just like life in general.

Temperament

As time passes we recognise those we like, those we trust, those who give us misgivings and those who will never redeem themselves or be liked by us. Its life on life’s terms.

Today has been good, interesting and quite a revelation in some ways. Indeed, the last few days has helped me resolve a few issues I hope. And also my integrity has been questioned too. And that is ok by me. And quite right.

Powerless we are over people places and things. And its easy as this world is crowded with opinion that old fears manifest in some of us and old attitudes, from our family backgrounds still haunt and persist.

A Question to Self - My Heritage

How often do I behave like my father, my mother? How often do I look and sound just like them when I hear my voice and the words I share.

How much of me lives and mimics old ideas, beliefs opinions, anger, resentments of the years. How am I judging the world? Am I judging with fairness of am I judging as the world has treated me and made my life the way it is today. Not just questions for me. I reckon we all need take a closer look at how we behave with each other, the boundaries we have and the way we share and conduct ourselves. I need step ten myself everyday, or I miss the opportunity to find me and my identity.

Step Ten Inventory

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

For Me [ from the big book bunch]

Steps one through nine have sensitized us to see the truth about our own behaviour and the manner in which the rest of the world, especially people, respond to our actions.

Having developed this awareness, we come to see, during each moment of each day, what is really going on. In other words, we are living in the truth of the moment. We have, in addition to a new awareness, also developed some measure of ability to actually control our actions.

No longer are we simply sleep-walking under the direction of old habits—habits, the way we think and act when we are not thinking about what we are doing, and our elaborate delusions.

The process of exchanging good habits for destructive old habits is, unfortunately, laborious, and we don't always respond in accordance with the principles of A.A.. (In fact we never do get perfect—at least not in this lifetime.) But here are some of the ways in which the spot-check inventory works:

Just as we begin to render the digit of disgrace to a "lousy" driver while driving, we become aware of what we are doing. We also recognize that lousy drivers don't deserve our preoccupation, they will not be improved by deprecation, and we have better ways to behave in the presence of the unwashed. We discover more and more that we do not render the sign at all, and when we do slip, we don't respond to his finger with a shaking fist and a red face. We either break off the escalating exchange or we force out a smile—even if it is not a sincere smile. Responding with grace, incidentally, is one of the most perfect ways of "winning" an argument.

The daily review. Most of us try to set aside a time every day for meditation. One constructive activity just prior to meditation is the daily inventory.

...we believe we can make some definite and valuable suggestions. When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflections, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken. [Big Book, page 86, line 3]

There is no need to embellish upon this direction. One point of interest, however, is that the topic in our mind when we drift off to sleep tends to remain in the unconscious mind during the night. Here are some things to avoid thinking about prior to sleeping: having a big fight with a co-worker, taking revenge upon the ex-partner, having wild sex, being persecuted or victimized, performing destructive or unlawful acts, and the like. These ideas will keep us fighting, exercising or suffering all night. When we wake up we will be demoralized, bereft of the sunlight of the spirit.

So Tonight I have my head and hands rather full, until tomorrow…




January 21st 2007

Problems and Solutions

Seems like this is part of recovery. The basic building blocks. When we get into the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous we start at a desperate place most often and we are a walking disaster area. Not surprising you might think and feel. For indeed how many rock bottoms have we really had along the road of ruin?

Lives thick with problems, created by our own chaos, some of us get to AA by our own determination, some of us with a hefty shove from desperate families, not sure what to do. Yet whichever route if we can just stay long enough to let something stick. We are nearer to the solution as we realise our true situation.

Is it any wonder as life has by this time fallen into disrepair and most likely near to disrepute?

So often as we are taught to be brave, we hide our true and appalling dilemma, to confess and adjust, or deny and carryon hoping that our self will may come to our rescue.

As we are reminded nearly every time we go to AA, the disease is one of denial, because we are realising we must give up that which helped us most likely forever, and now has become our downfall and near to deathly enemy.

I am so glad, I was both pushed and encouraged, threatened and eventually of my own volition to get to Alcoholics Anonymous. I know my denial was so strong it made me a complete liability, and indeed my old friend booze had got me in the end and was without doubt killing me.

Now

Now I know and have been a regular fellow of AA a few years, too few in my opinion, yet I am in it now! And thanks to everyone who got me in. And thanks to having some sense shared, some wisdom offered and a daily routine which enables me to be sober just for today.

Disease

Alcoholism is a disease, of the mind and body. The adapted mind and body can turn and recommence drinking with the blink of an eye and without even missing a heartbeat we are plunged into the abyss again. How can we ever stop this return to certain defeat?

Simple, keeping close to those we know have good recovery. Sharing our daily situation in meetings or with a friend or a sponsor, and writing our understanding of where we are now. We have daily routines to keep safe and be vigilant. Isolation is our danger, self will our worst enemy and forgetting for a moment that a drink will surely lead back to insanity.

Dreams

A dream so vivid last night made wake with a start. A drinking dream where out of nowhere I am chugging back a slug of hard spirit. I can even taste it now, after hours of being awake as if it were true. it’s a good sign, the nightmare, and a need to get to a meeting, so I will soon..

Just for Today

I will continue my vigilance and be careful and find what is on my mind which offers a regular nightmare of drink and being possessed by insane thoughts of oblivion…

Not easy to be an alcoholic? Easier than dying with the stench of obsession trailing me to the grave. Just for today…

January 21st 2006

Time Out For Maintenance

We might do some personal maintenance sometime. Or we might be so busy doing, we don't do much else but live to the beat of the day. When we do this, we are often stuck, mad busy and mad at ourselves for no time.
We need time to let ourselves into our lives and let go parts of our activity which yields nothing for us or anyone! Try doing that alone and surely we will go mad. Find yourself a mentor out there and have an argument, we know you know.

January 21st 2005

Beware mirrors of truth...

-/-




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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.





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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.




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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.










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