I started a Web Site in 1999 when I came back into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Tripod decided to block me a few years ago , so I stopped writing, posting. SO I decided to take the posts I had there and put them here. Plus new ones I found on the net and shares of my own. Take what you need and pass on the rest! Blessings ds♥

Thursday, December 25, 2014

AA Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the halls;
not an alkie was drinking or eating rum balls.
The children were happy, their folks were serene,
Asleep in their rooms dreaming Christmastime dreams.
The sponsees were nestled all snug by their phones;
Hoping their sponsors soon would be home.
Papa in his bathrobe, and I in my gown;
Were grateful to be home, not stumbling ’round town!

When out in the driveway I saw some headlights;
Who was coming to my house at this time of night?
Away to the window I flew at great speed;
I wanted to see what these people would need.
The night it was late, didn’t they know?
I would go downstairs quickly, and tell them to go.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear?
But a lawn full of drunks, and not one with a beer!
With hope in their hearts, anxious looks on each face;
They were scoping the town, for their next meeting place.

I opened the door, to let my friends in;
The Christmas Eve meeting was about to begin!
On coffeepot, cups, and some sugar and cream,
Old-timers, newcomers, and those in between.
“In my home you are safe!” “Come on in!” hear my call
Now sober drunks, sober drunks, sober drunks, all!
As dry drunks before a meeting do cry,
when they meet with the “obstacles selves” they deny;
So into the kitchen, the alkies they flew,
With a room full of feelings, some joyous, some blue.

And then in a moment, the meeting did start;
A gratitude meeting, sober living…and heart!
As we went ’round the room there were stories of woe,
Descriptions of lives only alkies would know.
Stories dressed all in booze, from beginning to end,
that “drink” was a gut-wrenching, fair-weather friend.
A bundle of pain, each drunk slung on her back;
The road was quite bumpy! The deck had been stacked!
Relationships, crumbled, our finances, weary,
Our souls were like vacuums, our eyes always teary.

Each drunk bared their soul, and shared through the hour;
Of recovery held dear, and a new “Higher Power”
The fellowship gave, new life to each face;
All sober men and women, with dignity and grace.
A desire to stop drinking, is all that’s required,
A way out, a way up; new lives to inspire!
It was time for the meeting to come to an end.
Alcoholic brothers and sisters and friends.

The Serenity Prayer was then said as we held hands and prayed,
Electricity, wonder and magic displayed.
We did “clean up” and chattered and when saying good-bye
Embraces, well wishes, and not a dry eye.
I sprang to my bed, and thanked God for this night.
I snuggled under the covers; and all felt so right!
But I heard them exclaim, as they all drove away,
“Thank God for A. A. and each sober day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

12 Principles of Alcoholics Anonymous


In recovery, we try to take the opposite of our character defects/shortcomings and turn them into principles.
 The 12 Steps of AA ARE the Principles of the Program that we practice, as listed on BigBook pages 59 and 60! Over the years many lists of virtues that correspond to each of the Twelve Steps and their underlying spiritual nature have been printed in local area AA newsletters and on pocket cards.

1. Honesty: fairness and straightforwardness of conduct; adherence to the facts

2. Hope: desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment; expectation of fulfillment or success; someone or something on which hopes are centered

3. Faith: allegiance to duty or a person; loyalty; fidelity to one's promises; sincerity of intentions; firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust;
something that is believed especially with strong conviction. Re. religion: belief and trust in and loyalty to God; belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion

4. Courage: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

5. Integrity: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values; incorruptibility; an unimpaired condition; soundness; the quality or state of being complete or undivided

6. Willingness: inclined or favorably disposed in mind; ready; prompt to act or respond; done, borne, or accepted by choice or without reluctance; of or relating to the will or power of choosing

7. Humility: the quality or state of being humble.
Humble: not proud or haughty; not arrogant or assertive; reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission; ranking low in a hierarchy or scale; insignificant, unpretentious; not costly or luxurious

8. Brotherly Love: "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

9. Justice: the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments; judge; the administration of law; especially; the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity; the quality of being just, impartial, or fair; the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action; conformity to this principle or ideal; righteousness; the quality of conforming to law; conformity to truth, fact, or reason

10. Perseverance: the action or condition or an instance of persevering; steadfastness

Persevere: to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counter influences, opposition, or discouragement

11. Spirituality: This one was hard because almost all of the definitions relate to religion, and not as we know it: "Religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for people who've been there."

12. Service: the occupation or function of serving; help, use, benefit; contribution to the welfare of others; the act of serving; as a helpful act; useful labor that does not produce a tangible commodity. 


A search on the web brought up this site, BareFoot's World, with lots of interesting historical references and more discussion of the principles. I include it here because it gave me food for thought on the topic and I appreciated having the principles connected to the steps.

Bob's opinion is:
"The 12 Steps of AA ARE the Principles of the Program that we practice, as listed on Big Book pages 59 and 60! Over the years many lists of virtues that correspond to each of the Twelve Steps and their underlying spiritual nature have been printed in local area AA newsletters and on pocket cards. The origins of these lists are unknown, although they are used by many Twelve step members."

AA Principles and Virtues

Honesty | Step 1 We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. (Surrender: capitulation to hopelessness.)

Hope | Step 2 Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. (Hope: Step 2 is the mirror image or opposite of step 1. In step 1 we admit
that alcohol is our higher power, and that our lives are unmanageable.
In step 2, we find a different Higher Power who we hope will bring
about a return to sanity in management of our lives.)

Faith | Step 3 Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him. (Commitment: The key word in step 3 is decision.)

Courage | Step 4 Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. (Honesty: an inventory of self.)

Integrity | Step 5 Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. (Truth: candid confession to God and another human being.)

Willingness | Step 6 Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. (Willingness: choosing to abandon defects of character.)

Humility | Step 7 Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. (Humility: standing naked before God, with nothing to hide, and asking that our flaws – in His eyes – be removed.)

Brotherly Love | Step 8 Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. (Reflection: who have we harmed? Are we ready to amend?)

Justice | Step 9 Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. (Amendment: making direct amends/restitution/correction, etc.)

Perseverance | Step 10 Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. (Vigilance: exercising self-discovery, honesty, abandonment,
humility, reflection and amendment on a momentary, daily, and periodic

Spirituality | Step 11 Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out. (Attunement: becoming as one with our Higher Power.)

Service | Step 12 Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs. (Service: awakening into sober usefulness.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thought for the Day 12/23/14


Thought for the Day

We have definitely left that dream world behind. It was only a sham. It was a world of our making and it was not the real world. We are sorry for the past, yes, but we learned a lot from it. We can put it down to experience, valuable experience, as we see it now, because it has given us the knowledge necessary to face the world as it really is. We had to become alcoholics in order to find the A.A. program. We would not have got it any other way. In a way, it was worth it. Do I look at my past as valuable experience?

Meditation for the Day

Shed peace, not discord, wherever you go. Try to be part of the cure of every situation, not part of the problem. Try to ignore evil, rather than to actively combat it. Always try to build up, never to tear down. Show others by your example that happiness comes from living the right way. The power of your example is greater than the power of what you say.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may try to bring something good into every situation today. I pray that I may be constructive in the way I think and speak and act today.

New ideas

“We reevaluate our old ideas so we can become acquainted with the new ideas that lead to a new way of life.”
Basic Text, p. 94

Learning to live a new way of life can be difficult.  Sometimes, when the going gets especially hard, we’re tempted to follow the path of least resistance and live by our old ideas again.  We forget that our old ideas were killing us.  To live a new way of life, we need to open our minds to new ideas.

Working the steps, attending meetings, sharing with others, trusting a sponsor—these suggestions may meet our resistance, even our rebellion.  The NA program requires effort, but each step in the program brings us closer to becoming the kinds of people we truly want to be.  We want to change, to grow, to become something more than we are today.  To do that, we open our minds, try on the new ideas we’ve found in NA, and learn to live a new way of life.

Just for today:  I will open my mind to new ideas and learn to live my life in a new way.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Take Action


I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
--Edward Everett Hale

We once heard someone say, "Knowing doesn't keep you sober, doing does." We got the point. Our actions, not strictly our knowledge, will help us stay sober. Recovery is a program of action, of doing something that will contribute to our recovery today.

All the knowledge in the world won't help us recover if we don't use what we've learned. Like good intentions, knowledge is only the beginning. Next, we must do - and not do - the things we've learned will help us make progress in recovery.

It's up to us to put the Steps to work in our lives today. We are responsible for eating right and exercising, going to meetings, finding a Higher Power, and praying or meditating to continually strengthen our spiritual lives.

Knowing what we must do is a good first step. Putting that knowledge into action, one day at a time, will bring us the joys of real recovery and a new life.

Today I pray that, through Your power, I have what I need to take action for my recovery.

Monday, December 15, 2014


From "'Suggested' Steps"

"I remember my sponsor's answer when I told him that
the Steps were 'suggested.' He replied that they are 'suggested' in the same way that, if you were to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, it is 'suggested' that you pull the ripcord to save your life. He pointed out that it was 'suggested' I practice the Twelve Steps, if I wanted to save my life."
1990 AAWS, Inc.; Daily Reflections, pg. 344

Renewed life


All of my life I been like a doubled up fist... poundin', smashin', drivin' - now I'm going to loosen these doubled up hands and touch things easy with them.
--Tennessee Williams

Everyone has many sides. Some sides are highly developed and other sides aren't at all. We need not fear turning to a new side and exploring it. This recovery program has enabled us to pursue sides of ourselves that were closed before. When we were lost in our narrow world of codependency and addiction, we had fewer options. Now we have far greater access to our strength and our self-esteem, and we find new parts of ourselves.

Many of us have found relationships, which were never possible before, job choices we would never have had, and the pleasure of greater involvement in life. It is reassuring to see that we don't always have to give up one side of ourselves to add new ones.

Thanks to God for the many options opening up to me in this renewed life.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Learning stamps you with its moments.

We never stop learning. We absorb information every waking moment. And while we sleep, we process what we encounter during the day. The conclusions we reach about these daily lessons will likely be based on the perception that dominates our lives. Do we perceive our experiences as for our good or for our undoing?

Since learning is ongoing, we are fortunate to have a more positive context within which to interpret our experiences. Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as other Twelve Step programs, offers us a set of guidelines to live by, which helps us interpret every moment.

We can anticipate what lies ahead, or we can dread it. What we learn from each experience reflects our attitude. Our commitment to the Twelve Steps determines it.

I will soak up the day like a sponge. My education is within my control. How lucky I am to have this program!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Show Business

"The first requirement is that we be convinced
that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.  
On that basis we are almost always in collision
with something or somebody,
even though our motives are good. 
Most people try to live by self-propulsion. 
Each person is like an actor
who wants to run the whole show;
is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet,
the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. 
If his arrangements would only stay put,
if only people would do as he wished,
the show would be great. 
Everybody, including himself, would be pleased. 
Life would be wonderful."

c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 60-1

Thought to C
onsider . . . I can't do His will my way.


P R I D E =  Pretty Ridiculous Individual Directing Everything

Fear Of Change

"By working the steps, we come to accept a Higher Power's will.... We lose our fear of the unknown. We are set free."
Basic Text, p. 16
Life is a series of changes, both large and small. Although we may know and accept this fact intellectually, chances are that our initial emotional reaction to change is fear. For some reason, we assume that each and every change is going to hurt, causing us to be miserable.

If we look back on the changes that have happened in our lives, we'll find that most of them have been for the best. We were probably very frightened at the prospect of life without drugs, yet it's the best thing that's ever happened to us. Perhaps we've lost a job that we thought we'd die without, but later on we found greater challenge and personal fulfillment in a new career. As we venture forth in our recovery, we're likely to experience more changes. We will outgrow old situations and become ready for new ones.

With all sorts of changes taking place, it's only natural to grab hold of something, anything familiar and try to hold on. Solace can be found in a Power greater than ourselves. The more we allow changes to happen at the direction of our Higher Power, the more we'll trust that those changes are for the best. Faith will replace fear, and we'll know in our hearts that all will be well.
Just for Today: When I am afraid of a change in my life, I will take comfort from knowing that God's will for me is good.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


“I started to imitate some of the things the winners were doing.  I got caught up in NA (AA or SH)  I felt good...”    Basic Text, p. 153
We often hear it said in meetings that we should “stick with the winners.”  Who are the winners ?  Winners are easily identified.  They work an active program of recovery, living in the solution and staying out of the problem.  Winners are always ready to reach their hands out to the newcomer.  They have sponsors and work with those sponsors.  Winners stay clean, just for today.

Winners are recovering addicts who keep a positive frame of mind.  They may be going through troubled times, but they still attend meetings and share openly about it.  Winners know in their hearts that, with the help of a Higher Power, nothing will come along that is too much to handle.

Winners strive for unity in their service efforts.  Winners practice putting “principles before personalities.”  Winners remember the principle of anonymity, doing the principled action no matter who is involved.

Winners keep a sense of humor.  Winners have the ability to laugh at themselves.  And when winners laugh, they laugh with you, not at you.
Who are the winners ?  Any one of us can be considered a winner.  All of us exhibit some of the traits of the winner; sometimes we come very close to the ideal, sometimes we don’t.  If we are clean today and working our program to the best of our ability, we are winners!

Just for today:  I will strive to fulfill my ideals.  I will be a winner.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


“This ability to listen is a gift and grows as we grow spiritually.  Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift.”
Basic Text, p. 107

Have you ever watched two small children carry on a conversation?  One will be talking about purple dragons while the other carries on about the discomfort caused by having sand in one’s shoes.  We sometimes encounter the same communication problems as we learn to listen to others.  We may struggle through meetings, trying desperately to hear the person sharing while our minds are busy planning what we will say when it’s our turn to speak.  In conversation, we may suddenly realize that our answers have nothing to do with the questions we’re being asked.  They are, instead, speeches prepared while in the grip of our self-obsession.
Learning how to listen—really listen—is a difficult task, but one that’s not beyond our reach.  We might begin by acknowledging in our replies what our conversational partner is saying.  We might ask if there is anything we can do to help when someone expresses a problem.  With a little practice, we can find greater freedom from self-obsession and closer contact with the people in our lives.

Just for today:  I will quiet my own thoughts and listen to what someone else is saying.


"There is a solution.
Almost none of us liked the self-searching,
the leveling of our pride,
the confession of shortcomings,
which the process requires for its
successful consummation.
But we saw that it really worked in others,
and we had come to believe
in the hopelessness and futility of life
as we had been living it. . .
We have found much of heaven
and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension
of existence of which we had not even dreamed."
c. 2001AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous (Fourth Edition),  p. 25

Thought to Consider . . .

The solution is simple. The solution is spiritual.


H O P E =  Happy Our Program Exists

Monday, December 8, 2014

Calling a defect a defect

“When we see how our defects exist in our lives and accept them, we can let go of them and get on with our new life.”
Basic Text, p. 35
Sometimes our readiness to have our character defects removed depends on what we call them.  If misnaming our defects makes them seem less “defective,” we may be unable to see the damage they cause.  And if they seem to be causing no harm, why would we ever ask our Higher Power to remove them from our lives?
Take “people pleasing,” for example.  Doesn’t really sound all that bad, does it?  It just means we’re nice to people, right?  Not quite.  To put it bluntly, it means we’re dishonest and manipulative.  We lie about our feelings, our beliefs, and our needs, trying to soothe others into compliance with our wishes.
Or perhaps we think we’re “easygoing.”  But does “easygoing” mean we ignore our housework, avoid confrontations, and stay put in a comfortable rut?  Then a better name for it would be “laziness,” or “procrastination,” or “fear.”
Many of us have trouble identifying our character defects.  If this is the case for us, we can talk with our sponsor or our NA friends.  We clearly and honestly describe our behavior to them and ask for their help in identifying our defects.  As time passes, we’ll become progressively better able to identify our own character defects, calling them by their true names.
Just for today:  I will call my defects by their true names.  If I have trouble doing this, I will ask my sponsor for help.

He who helps a friend in woe is like a fur coat in the snow.

We came in from a very hard life when we came into recovery, kind of like coming in from a blizzard in Siberia! The old life was dangerous, cold, and lonely, and it forced us to use all our energy just to survive. Sooner or later it would have killed us. We were definitely in woe.

Someone - a family member, a friend, a boss, a probation officer - offered us a chance to get sober. That person saved our life, as surely as if he or she walked out into a blizzard and wrapped around us like a fur coat. Thanks to our Higher Power, we accepted the help this time.

In the future we will have the chance to help others who are still out there freezing in the blizzard of addiction. We can offer them the kind of help that saved our life. We can't make them accept our help though. We just keep it handy, like a fur coat, in case they reach out to accept it.

Prayer For The Day

Higher Power I am willing to help another addict. I will be ready when You put someone in front of me.

Today's Action

Is there an alcoholic or an addict in my life I wish I could help? I realize that my example is the best way to show them recovery. I will talk with my sponsor about this person and how I am best able to help him or her today.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Nobody entirely escapes temptation

People who have had a slip are ashamed of themselves-sometimes so ashamed that they fear to go back to A.A. They develop the old inferiority complex and tell themselves that they are no good, that they have let down their friends in A.A., that they are hopeless, and that they can never make it. This state of mind is perhaps worse than it was originally. They have probably been somewhat weakened by their slip. But their A.A. training cannot ever be entirely lost. They always know they can go back if they want to. They know there is still God's help for them if they will again ask for it. Do I believe that I can never entirely lose what I have learned in A.A.?
Meditation for the Day

Nobody entirely escapes temptation. You must expect it and be ready for it when it comes. None of us is entirely safe. You must try to keep your defenses up by daily thought and prayer. That is why we have these daily meditations. You must be able to recognize temptation when it comes. The first step toward conquering temptation always is to see it clearly as temptation and not to harbor it in your mind. Dissociate yourself from it, put it out of your mind as soon as it appears. Do not think of excuses for yielding to it. Turn at once to the Higher Power for help.
Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be prepared for whatever temptation may come to me. I pray that I may see it clearly and avoid it with the help of God.

Meeting Our Needs


Other people can't meet our needs if we don't tell them what our needs are.

We need tenderness and caring from our families and friends. We need their acceptance, understanding, and support. Sometimes we need their criticism and forgiveness.

Whatever our needs are, other people will probably be involved in getting them met. If we expect those close to us to read our minds and know exactly what we want without being told, we will probably be disappointed. Being honest and candid about our needs and feelings is an important goal of recovery. True, the other person may say no, but being able to make a reasonable request raises our self-esteem and opens the door to communication.

Today, I will take the risk of asking someone directly for something I want.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


"The rewards of sobriety are bountiful
and as progressive as the disease they counteract.
Certainly among these rewards for me
are release from the prison of uniqueness,
and the realization that participation in the AA way of life
is a blessing and a privilege beyond estimate --
a blessing to live a life free from the
pain and degradation of drinking
and filled with the joy of useful, sober living,
and a privilege to grow in sobriety one day at a time
and bring the message of hope as it was brought to me."

From the new Fourth Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous
AAGrapevine, December 2001, p. 47

Sobriety is a choice and a treasure.

G I F T S =  Getting It From The Steps.

God’s will, not ours

“We know that if we pray for God’s will we will receive what is best for us, regardless of what we think.”

Basic Text, p. 46


By the time we came to AA, SH, or NA, our inner voices had become unreliable and self-destructive.  Addiction had warped our desires, our interests, our sense of what was best for ourselves.  That’s why it’s been so important in recovery to develop our belief in a Power greater than ourselves, something that could provide saner, more reliable guidance than our own.  We’ve begun learning how to rely on this Power’s care and to trust the inner direction it provides us.

As with all learning processes, it takes practice to “pray only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.”  The selfish, ego-driven attitudes we developed in our addiction are not cast off overnight.  Those attitudes may affect the way we pray.  We may even find ourselves praying something like, “Relieve me of this character defect so I can look good.”

The more straightforward we are about our own ideas and desires, the easier it will be to distinguish between our own will and our Higher Power’s will.  “Just for your information, God,” we might pray, “here’s what I want in this situation.  Nonetheless, I ask that your will, not mine, be done.”  Once we do this, we are prepared to recognize and accept our Higher Power’s guidance.


Just for today:  Higher Power, I’ve learned to trust your guidance, yet I still have my own ideas about how I want to live my life.  Let me share those ideas with you, and then let me clearly understand your will for me.  In the end, let your will, not mine, be done.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Big Book Step 12

Donna S alcoholic.....

I cant help everyone, it is sad some don't get it..but i was told they are my reminders of what is still out there. I  never give up though, i let them know i am here for them and my door is always open ( cell phone as well).  I remember when i was new and how hard it was... not know what to think, how to act, and all these people saying different things, read this read that do this do that argggg slow down please!! I learned a lot though from those people.
The main thing i heard is don't take it to heart as everyone has an opinion and we all know what that means. lol My sponsor told me, if u don't like what someone says, it means YOU need to hear it!!!  It took  time for me to get that message, but i did over time.
I've seen people come and go over the years that I've been in recovery. Some passed away sober, some not. The book says we not only help the alkie who is suffering but we can be of service to there family.  I have been there for the spouse  of the people I sponsored, suggesting Alanon and explain that pushing them wont make then get better. Explaining how it is a family disease and that we all need to get healthy and if that alkie in ur life isn't getting better you can!! I've taken a wife of a sponcee thru the steps. She came to all the open meetings with us. He couldn't read well, so he did the steps differently and he past away sober. It feels good to help others and it takes the focus off me! Funny how that works! They don't have to be new.....i have had people with time talk to me in length about something there going thru and all they needed was an ear to bounce it off of. I learned people don't always want me to reply, they just want me to listen, give them a hug, let them know i care and here for them.
Its hard getting sober and harder when u relapse i know I've relapsed so I try to share that with those who r struggling with coming back, but then i let them be...Sometimes they just want to be left alone and i pray they come back and stay and listen.  I cant save any one! Something i tried to do when i was active as i was was one who always try  to help others but i never helped myself. I have a son who is like that and I SEE how it is hurting him, so i pray!! Family are the hardest to help..and i backed off of trying and i just pray and be an example.
  I try to explain to new people after a bit, when the fog clears about the mental part of this disease and how it plays with our minds telling us it is OK to have a drink. I know my disease was talking to me all the time and when i would give in to it and pick up, that physical craving got stronger and i couldn't stop!  I found when i finally wanted to stay sober, that i had to fight those mental urges. I had to reach out and tell on self, call someone, get busy doing something , and get to a meeting. As time goes on and i start working the steps, that mental urge got less and then working with others really seals the deal!!!