This is the third issue of the Journal, which was published as a text document and distributed by email. Rather than revitalise it with snazzy graphics we thought we'd show some respect (for a change) and reproduce it entirely in its original format. Enjoy!
------------------------------------------------------------------------- |o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o| |o o| |o o| |o M M EEEE EEEE TTTTT III N N GGGG o| |o M M M M E E T I NN N G o| |o M M M EEE EEE T I N N N G GG o| |o M M E E T I N NN G G o| |o M M EEEE EEEE T III N N GGG o| |o o| |o o| |o OO FFFF o| |o O O F o| |o O O FFF o| |o O O F o| |o OO F o| |o o| |o o| |o M M III N N DDDD SSSS o| |o M M M M I NN N D D S o| |o M M M I N N N D D SSS o| |o M M I N NN D D S o| |o M M III N N DDDD SSSS o| |o o| |o o| |o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o| ------------------------------------------------------------------------- THE ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF THE MEETING OF MINDS GROUP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS O O O O /\ O O / \ O O / \ O O / \ O O / \ O O ---------- O O O O O O ISSUE 3 -- NOVEMBER 1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Alcoholics Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women, who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organisation or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses not opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. Reprinted with the permission of the AA Grapevine Inc. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ New Meeting Place On The Electronic Highway From Spring/Summer 1994 publication of AA NEWS Members of Alcoholics Anonymous with computers and a way to access Internet now have a meeting they can attend any time day or night, every day of the year. Started last August (9th) as the brainchild of a group of Scots active in AA, the Meeting of Minds group (MoM) has spread it's electronic web across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to include members from Japan to both coasts of the US and all points in between in an electronic fellowship that would no doubt bewilder the founding members of Alcoholics Anonymous. The nearly 60 current members keep in touch by means of electronic mail (E-mail) on their computers. Operating much like a live AA meeting, a member volunteers each week to lead the group in a discussion of one of the 12 Steps. Other members respond to the original E-mail post and a lively collection of messages spans the globe by week's end for all to read and respond to. Nearly all current members of MoM are active in their own AA community as well, but view this means of electronic fellowship as a valuable tool for recovery. There is something about sending a written message to other alcoholics via E-mail which enhances the recovery process. Friendships have formed, and several members who first met through words exchanged on a computer terminal have met each other in person or are arranging to do so. MoM is a closed meeting of AA, and is available to any alcoholic interested in recovery and who has access to a computer and to the Internet. Sending E-mail to email@example.com,Internet will start the process. Members have just begun to experiment with a meeting in real time via the IRC (Internet Rely Chat) feature of the Internet. The MoMcafe is a place where members can sign on and chat with each other in real time as they tap their keyboards and look at their terminals. While not unique as an on-line recovery group, MoM is the first electronic AA group to be given official recognition by the General Service Board in the UK, and possibly the first such group to be truly International in nature. The MoM group has a meeting room on the Eclipse BBS (Bulletin Board System) where the Sysop (System Operator). If you have a computer and modem then the BBS number is 0141 334 3566. # Grant, USA # ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Ultimate Top Table Joe, an alcoholic sober in AA for over 20 years, is laying in his hospital bed seriously ill. As he ponders his life he prays aloud: "God, I know I've had a wonderful life in AA and I'm grateful for all of it. I know it's my time to go and I don't mind. I do have one question, though, that I'd like to have answered before I die: Is there AA in heaven?" A few minutes later Joe notices a bright, warm glow and a booming voice fills the room. "JOE!" "Who's that?" Joe asks. "THIS IS GOD!" Joe thinks about it for a second. "Well, what's the answer to my question?" "WELL JOE, I'VE GOT SOME GOOD NEWS AND I'VE GOT SOME BAD NEWS..." "What's the good news?" "THE GOOD NEWS IS, THERE IS AA IN HEAVEN." "Then what's the bad news?" "YOU'RE SPEAKING TOMMORROW NIGHT! # Mark C. # ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fear Of The Unknown When I was in the throes of alchoholism I always, or nearly always had a fear. A fear of what, you may ask? I don't know!. I don't know even now after nearly two decades without a drink.It is only after trying to face up to, and come to terms with my fears, that I find that my fears are and always have been groundless. When I stand my ground and look my troubles in the eye, my troubles don't seem to have the courage to look me in the eye. I came across this little story which i think illustrates what I feel about my erstwhile fears and what I can do with them with the help of AA and my Higher Power who has given me thstrength, ability and will to scale what used to be for me unnatainable heights. The little boy, Miobi, had come to a village where the people did nothing else but moan and wail.The fires were not lit, the goats were not milked all because all the villagers were expecting to be eaten by the monster on the top of the mountain. This monster had the head of a crocodile and the body of a hippopotamus and a tail like a very fat snake and smoke came from his fiery breath. But Miobi said "I wil go up the mountain and challenge the monster." There was the monster sure enough, But as the boy climbed and came nearer, the monster looked definitel smaller. "This is very curious indeed", thought Miobi. "The farther I run away from the monster the larger it seems, the nearer I am to it, the smaller it seems." When at last Miobi reached the cave, he found no monster - but a quiet little thing as small as a frog, which purred; and he brought it home as a pet. When the villagers saw him return, they wanted to make a hero of him for killing the monster, but he explained just what had happened and how he had brought the monster home as a pet. "What was its' name?" The monster answered, "I have many names. Some call me famine, and some pestilence: but the most pitiable of humans give me their own names." Then it yawned and added, " But most people call me What Might Happen." May the presence and blessing of your God give you the courage to realise that nothing can ever be as bad as our panic-driven, groundless fears. # Big A, Scotland # ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- VOW OF NON-HARMING From this breath forward, I undertake a vow of non-harming From this breath forward, I will bring no harm to myself or others Through my thoughts, through my words, or through my actions. From this breath forward, I stop the war. And I vow to seek what is true through kindness and mercy and gentleness. I will harm myself no more. I will harm myself no more. However I have suffered, however others have brought suffering to me, From this breath forward I undertake a practice of non-harming. To heal what needs to be healed And to listen most carefully to what is deeply true to my heart and my body. I will not push or criticize or hurt myself in any way. I will treat my wounds with kindness. I will hold my weakness with kindness. I will watch my clumsiness with kindness. I will walk on the earth with kindness. And I will do myself no harm.I will harm no more. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AA IN THE BUSH In early 80's I started to get some warnings about problems in my drinking. After a long experience of driving after drinks I was involved in a minor accident and a breath test was required. I did not think that I would have anything to worry about. I was coming home after a lunch in the pub where I only had couple of beers. The reading was .211! I don't expect I need to explain why. About twelve months later I got rowdy in a party with workmates and their families. It was very embarrassing, and I had no idea of how it had come about. Yet another twelve months later my wife said one day that I had a problem with alcohol, that I couldn't stop drinking if I tried. I couldn't accept that so the next few days I went without drink to prove I had no problem. At the time we lived in a small community built around a huge alumina operation in the bush of Northern Territory, in Australia's wild north. Six months later I reluctantly admitted, to myself, that all was not well with my drinking, and started looking for answers to questions I didn't know how to ask. Our township had the services of a catholic church community worker who had the role of a counsellor among other things, but when I approached her, I found that she didn't really have any answers to my questions. Not that my questions were so well formed either. All of my drinking life I had been switching channels or turned the pages away from any discussion about problems to do with booze. I was so unbelievably ignorant! The community worker got back to me later and told me about a service she had found in Darwin, the territory capital. It was an alcohol dependence treatment unit attached to the major hospital in Darwin. I was astounded. I was not - whatever it was they were dealing with - alcohol addicted, or something! But, I didn't have any other way of finding out what in the blazes was going on! A few weeks later I took some leave from my job and went to Darwin. Getting into the ADT Unit, they even took away the Serapax that I had started using in the last few months. How was I going to sleep now? It was all very confusing, and I guess I was frightened out of my skull. Perhaps mostly about what I would be discovering there about myself. Something in me had gone seriously wrong, and I didn't know what it meant. Was this the end of me? As you may guess by now, I discovered that I was an alcoholic! I had to get my system clear of alcohol over the next ten days before I was allowed to take part in a session organised by the local AA groups who sent a couple of their members to speak to the "clients" in the Unit about Alcoholic Anonymous. The next week I attended an AA meeting in one of the bigger Darwin venues. Some 50 people there as far as I could see. Were ALL these people alcoholics? I found it hard to believe at first. I came away from that meeting with a feeling that I had got close to the end of the line, but that there still could be something left for me in this life. I didn't know what, but I had been given Hope! There's a lot more about AA in Australia, just the same as anywhere else in the world. Because I was born in Finland, it has often crossed my mind that I wouldn't mind attending an AA meeting in that country. What mostly seems intriguing to me is how the language works there. I mean, I learned a new language in AA in Australia. How would all those slogans and prayers and such translate to that very different language? I still had to go back home, to my little town in the middle of nowhere. What was my alcoholic life going to be like there? I was given a phone number of a member of AA in my hometown! Wow, I had no idea that they were even there! In fact, it wasn't quite as simple as that. The ex-drunks in our town were small in number, low on sobriety too, and, I think all, excepting one, were shift workers. A meeting was set once a week on a Wednesday night at a room in the small local hospital. After coming home and ringing the contact number, I was lucky to find that two members were actually having a meeting the same week I got back. It all was very new, things were confusing, and I was tentative, in all ways. I was five weeks sober. These guys were talking about fishing and the weather! After that night I wasn't sure I wanted to go back. But of course I did. What else could I have done? Meetings usually took place when two or more of us were not on shift, working. To me it worked out like an average of one meeting per month. I didn't stay sober for very long. I had my next drink about three months later. And I kept dropping back to drink over the next 18 months, time and again. I had to get out of there, I had to find AA as I had seen it in Darwin. I had a major disagreement with my wife about moving out of that place. I think I'm lucky that she eventually agreed to our move. I just had to go, I was so helpless. At least I had my family still with me when I finally reached my sobriety in the small coastal city of Gladstone in central Queensland, on the eastern seaboard of Australia. I still had one major break into boozing in Gladstone but, drying out at our local hospital I had all the help of the local AA members, counsellors from the health department and what not, who helped me to find my feet. I even had my AA friends there take me to the hospital, sick and drunk, when I phoned them from my home. One of them was my sponsor, a quiet man of some unbelievable 18 years of sobriety! Eight months later, with six, totally sober months under my belt and feeling a completely transformed man, I did my Fourth Step with that man. I had made it! I still came to lose my family, in sobriety no less. Until then I had just assumed that it was one of those things that happened to us while we were drinking. Later I learned that it wasn't as exceptional as I had imagined it to be. Some of the spouses are the kind that naturally gravitate to marry a sick person such as an alcoholic. My ex-wife conceded to me afterwards that she thought I was an alcoholic the first time she met me. She claimed to have told me that long before the time she challenged my drinking in 1983. If she did, it must have passed me by just the same as any other information about booze problems I kept turning away from in my days of active alcoholism. Our split happened in 1990, three years after I gained my sobriety. After a severe grieving where my AA friends were instrumental in helping me to hold on to my hard fought sanity, I made the move to Brisbane. I had been planning this move for a long time. My Higher Power had been calling me to get into service, and still demanded more. It has been a process of my Higher Power leading me, almost like a blind person, to the study that I'm doing now. First, I thought it meant that I was to become a counsellor. Now I believe it is more than that. I still don't know where exactly it is leading me to but I'm happy to follow. Whatever it is, it sure beats where I've come from. # Paavo, Australia # ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MoM's 1st Birthday It was August 1994 the Meeting of Minds Group - "MoM "- celebrated its 1st Birthday on the Electronic Highway. Guided by the experience of the established "Lamp-Lighters" we sallied forth into the unknown - Cyberspace - not knowing what to expect, only with hindsight can we say, 'it was, perhaps, just as well that we didn't know.' However, I can safely say, the experience to date has been beyond my wildest dreams. It has been a revelation for some of us who could never have envisaged having friends to share our ESH with in so many countries around the world, bringing joy, hope, everlasting fellowship and love right into our own hearts and homes. Miracles are happening every day, it is doing the impossible that takes just a little longer. # Ralph, Scotland # ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TWELVE STEPS OF A RELAPSE Hi Gang, here is something I picked up. You might enjoy it. 1. I decided I could handle any emotional problems if other people would just quit trying to run my life. 2. I firmly believe that there is no greater power than myself and anyone who says differently is insane. 3. I made a decision to remove my will and my life from God, who didn't understand me anyhow. 4. I made a searching and thorough moral inventory of everyone I know, so they couldn't fool me and take advantage of my good nature. 5. I sought these people out and tried to get them to admit to me, by God, the nature of their wrongs. 6. I became willing to help these people to get rid of their defects of character. 7. I was humble enough to ask these people to remove their shortcomings 8. I kept a list of all the people who had harmed me and waited patiently for a chance to get even with them. 9. I got even with these people when ever possible except when to do so would get me into trouble. 10. I continue to take everyone's inventory and when they are wrong, which is most of the time, I promptly make them admit it. 11. Sought through the concentra tion of my will power to get God, who didn't understand me any how, to see that my ideas were best and he ought to give me the power to carry them out. 12. Having maintained my emotional problems with these steps, I can thoroughly recommend them to others who don't want to lose their hard earned status, but wish to be left alone to practice neurosis in everything they do for the rest of their days. # Herm # ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Dublin Report Hello, group. Got back from Dublin early yesterday evening, but went to bed for a couple of hours immediately. That was my first time flying in over twenty years, but after the initial what- happened-to-my-stomach feeling I found I quite enjoyed it. Did NOT like looking out the window when the plane was banking--well, maybe I did, kind of. Had a ball with Laura and Jack playing at tourists. You should have seen us draped in cameras and camcorders, trudging round wet Dublin. We took a tour bus and discovered that all the statues of famous folk have nicknames. The statue of James Joyce is known as "the prat with the hat" (or "the pr*** with the stick"); Molly Malone is known as "the tart with the cart" or "the dish with the fish". There's a huge modern sculpture of a reclining female in the middle of O'Connell Street which normally has fountains, but they've been turned off for the duration of the world cup to stop the drunks cavorting. Oh, the statue's known as "the floozie in the jacuzzi". Went to a meeting on Sunday night with Laura while our spouses went home to bed (separately). Great meeting, but the taxi driver really didn't want to let us get out. Seemed like we'd picked a really rough area with severe drug problems, where unsuspecting tourists get assaulted and robbed. Across the road from the meeting place was a catholic church which houses the remains of the Blessed Matt Talbot. I know about about him because there's a shelter in Glasgow run by the Talbot Association which gives a mattress on the floor to derelict drunks and derelicts. There's a meeting in the Talbot Centre that is the first meeting for some of AA's greatest miracles in this part of the world. Laura's got several more days in Dublin before heading off to explore some of the rest of Ireland. She'll be offline a couple of weeks and although she says it'll be a nice rest, her husband isn't convinced she won't have withdrawal symptoms. This is her longest spell away from email and electronic recovery for a number of years. She sends love to all you guys and promises a full report on those Irish meetings.E-hugs all. # Eddie # ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "EARS" A BAR ROOM TALE A man with no ears walks into a bar for a couple of drinks. The bartender, walking over to get his drink order, realizes the man has no ears. He stops immediately and just stands there staring at the man with no ears. Paranoid as he is, the earless man quickly barks at the bartender, "What are you staring at?!" The bartender snaps out of his trance and says, "Sorry! I was looking at your beautiful teeth. And, you should take care of those teeth so they don't fall out like mine." (The bartender takes out his teeth to show the earless man.) The earless man then notices a man at the end of the bar staring at him. Once again, the earless man quickly snaps, "What are you staring at?!" The man at the end of the bar says, "Sorry! I was staring at you beautiful hair. You should take care of your hair so it doesn't fall out like mine." (The man takes his hat off to show the man his bald head.) Then a few minutes later, a drunk staggers up beside the earless man and begins staring at him. And for a third time the earless man barks, "What are you staring at?! The drunk says, "Sorry! I was staring at your beautiful eyes. You should take care of those eyes. 'Cause if you don't you sure as hell can't wear glasses!" # John B. # ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Station Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are travelling by train. Out of the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls. But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our life will come together like a jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the isles damning the minutes for loitering - waiting, waiting, waiting for the station. "When we reach the station, that will be it"! we cry. "When I'm 18". "When I buy a new 450sl merc!"When I get the kid through college. "when I have paid off the mortgage!". "when I get a promotion." "When I reach the age of retirement I shall live happily ever after". Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us. "Relish the moment " is a good motto, especially when coupled with psalm 118:24 "This is the day which the lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." it isn't the burdens of of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today. SO stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, laugh more often, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough. # by Robert Hastings # ==================================================================== /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ ==================================================================== S A N D I E G O ÒÒÒÒÒÒÒÒÓÓÓÓÓÓÓÓ International Convention Alcoholics Anonymous Theme: "A. A. E V E R Y W H E R E ´ A N Y W H E R E" JUNE 29 Ü JULY 2 1995 San Diego, California ´ ´ ´ AA's 60th BIRTHDAY ´ ´ ´ Registration: 1995 International Convention, P.O. Box 3258, Ventura, CA 93003-7797 ==================================================================== /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ ==================================================================== COMPUTER BULLETIN BOARDS A Support Network For Recovering Alcoholics/Drug Addicts. Did you know that 4 million people in this country are "wired"? That memberships in commercial on line services such as CompuServe, Genie and Prodigy are currently growing at 30 % per year? Or that computer addiction is a serious, real, if not yet widespread problem? (Miller, 93). These facts and others are part of explaining what computer bulletin boards (BB's) are and how they are being used by recovering drug addicts/alcoholics seeking to enhance their recovery. My experiences as a recovering addict/alcoholic who now uses a recovery BB regularly is set forth as a case study. For recovering drug addicts/alcoholics, the therapeutic value of these BB's is tremendous. Addicts/alcoholics consistently leave notes indicating that they feel the care and concern of fellow BB members, and that this assists them in their efforts to remain drug free. Today, approximately 10% of Americans use their personal computer for communications, and that number is growing at 30% per year. Fifteen million people in 50 different countries are connected to electronic information networks. The Internet is a network of networks, providing worldwide, personal communications and data transferal, between thousands of regional networks. It is growing at 15% a month. Within this vast, incomprehensible system of information exchange, there are 3,500 BB's. (Miller, 93) These BB's are formats where people read and write notes on a subject, for all interested parties to view. Common interest groups form new BB's every day. This results in the feeling of being supported by people familiar with and experienced with that particular ailment. People seek others experience with these various medical problems in order to feel better prepared to face them, and because being supported by others who have had similar problems increases a person's confidence that they can cope with the problem. The extent of the population of recovering drug addicts /alcoholics who participate worldwide on these forums (local and national) is unknown, but it is extensive and growing rapidly. From newcomers to people with many years drug free, addicts with computers have discovered a means of support and a way to exchange information that compliments their meeting attendance and other recovery tools. As a common interest group among others on these networks, the drug addict one is unique in that recovery from drug addiction requires peer support for it to be successful. Addicts/alcoholics exchanging stories and emotional support are not just engaged in an adjunct to therapy, that is their therapy. What addicts/alcoholics receive for their participation in these electronic support groups (ESG's) is "24 hour availability, selective participation in entering and responding to messages, anonymity and privacy, immediate and/or delayed responding, and recording of transmissions" (Sparks 93). This is different from meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), where members share only once, or not at all, during the hour they are together as a group. Sometimes members volunteer to post selected daily readings from recovery affirmation books to the ESG, thus providing additional positive support material to be shared by all. My use of the recovery ESG on Prodigy began a little over a month ago. The excitement of making new electronic friends who are also in recovery, my desire to do research on this population, my own need for support and my desire to help others, and personal involvement's that have come out of my BB participation have all combined to keep me glued to the keyboard. I have learned how this new electronic forum offers addicts an approach to therapy that works for many. There are advantages and disadvantages to the sharing of recovery tools and experiences this way. Among the advantages I have experienced are the thoughtfulness of the replies to issues that recovering addicts face in common. Writing is different from spoken conversation in that thoughts can be formed more slowly and edited more carefully. The experiences and personal triumphs, as they are expressed in written form, often seem more powerful and clearer than similar messages shared in person at a meeting of AA or NA. Words on a screen also allow people to communicate without any barriers due to prejudice based on appearance or age. However, this same sense of anonymity can create a problem. "Because the nuances of facial expression, body language and tone of voice are missing, it is also easy to misunderstand intentions, and to be drawn into a heated argument that would have never happened in a face-to-face conversation" (Rhiengold 93). Guides to proper BB etiquette refer to this phenomena as "Flaming" and warn BB users to not react when they think that someone is being challenging and rude. An example of the "flaming" phenomena was a recent post in which someone stated they were tired of newcomers complaining. This was interpreted by many to be a strong criticism of a particular new person. A heated debate began, in which some members got their feelings hurt. Apologies were later offered and accepted, and a discussion of how easily motives are misconstrued in this forum was generated by this. Participating in an exchange of written words feels like a conversation and one tends to forget that the readers have none of the normal clues to detect off-hand remarks or sarcastic wit or rhetorical questions. To avoid this, experienced BB users will insert what are called emoicons in to their writing to convey the mood in which to set the words against. An example I've encountered frequently is
which means very big grin, and tells the reader that the writer is trying to be funny. The ESG on Prodigy offers a means for the regular members to keep each other informed of the progress of their recovery. It is listed on Prodigy under the medical support section. There is also an alcohol abuse ESG on Prodigy in this same section. Some recovering addicts are participants in both forums. The Alcohol Abuse BB is much larger than the Drug Abuse one. This follows the pattern in the world today, where Alcoholics Anonymous is much larger and older that Narcotics Anonymous. In one recent 30 day period, there were 473 different notes posted on 82 different subjects and 3,179 replies posted to these notes. A participant may choose to only read notes, to reply to a note on a subject, to reply to a reply, to start a new note on that subject, or to create a new subject. Other times someone may start a new subject to request advice on the meetings in Houston, TX where they plan to go on vacation, and will generally receive a few replies. Attendance at meetings of AA and NA function to provide the recovering addict with contact with others who have experienced the struggle to stay off of drugs. A close support group and a lot of sound advice is available. The therapeutic value lies in the undeniable hope that the newcomer receives. When face to face with people who have recovered, it is not likely that someone can fail to see how this is possible for them too. Older members gain from this exchange, and grow to rely on each other for assistance to stay on the path of recovery. The therapy inherit in the exchange of experience, strength and hope on this ESG is real, valuable, and in many ways, unique to this format. # Storm # List of sources: Miller, Michale W. "Contact High" Wall Steet Journal. Rheingold Howard "Cold knowlege and Social Warmth", Newsweek. Sparks, Susan N.,"Exploring Electronic Support Groups," American Journal of Nursing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HONESTY IN ALL OUR AFFAIRS? At my home group on Tuesday past, I heard the chairman make reference to 'honest in all our affairs' This reminded me of a tale told to me as being true- which means it probably isn't- and it goes.....This man sharing at a top table was talking about honesty but explained that as he was now retired and his old banger of a car needed tyres he may be tempted if something came along his way. He continued at great length to explain how *he* worked his programme and does *try* to be honest in all *his* affairs. Provided he can live with himself and put his head on the pillow at night and sleep with *HIS* conscience then *he* is comfortable. At this a note from the body of the hall was passed to him saying, "what size of tyres do you need". In How it Works it states, "spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection". # Peter # ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What Did You Do Today? So you've been around for quite a while, helping to spread AA. You've worked like hell since you first came in but what did you do today? I heard your pitch, it was kind of long, you really told them how. You worked the Steps in '56 but how are you working them now? Do you still get up from your soft warm bed when someone is in trouble? Do you grab your hat and your AA book and get there on the double? Or have you forgotten the early times when you were sort of new. Maybe you've been around so long that AA is old hat to you. Maybe you're one of the senior saints, sober and satisfied, and you've forgotten when you were sick and when you damn near died? Maybe I shouldn't bring it up, maybe you're too blase. But just for the hell of it Mister, what did you do today? Have you been around so cock-eyed long you leave it to Harry or Sam. Cause you're not your brothers keeper and you just don't give a damn? Maybe tonight the fights are on or you're going to the old ball game. So what the hell if the guy is sick he has only himself to blame. Well, Mister, you have a perfect right to work your own AA, and I know you'll do it your way no matter what I say. But tonight before you go to bed just look in the glass and pray that you and the Lord know the answer to WHAT DID YOU DO TODAY? # Anonymous #