Issue 9 - June, 2002

Issue 8 of the MOM Journal finishes up publishing material that was submitted 2 years ago when we last tried to revive the Journal.  It also includes some newly submitted material.  Hopefully we will continue to receive submissions so we can publish the Journal on a regular basis.   

Please forward material to journal@aa-mom.org   

Jokes, personal stories, one-liners and poems are appropriate. 

Twelve Step Poem

I like to Hike
Year 31 The Gift is in the Giving
What Happened To My Youth The Rock
P.U.S.H. The Circle and the Triangle

Twelve Step Poem

I took Step One, began to moan
I can't do this one on my own.
I took Step Two, began to pray
Restore me God, please now, today.
I took Step Three, gave up my will
Maybe God could love me still.
I took a Fourth, I looked inside
Nothing more would I hide.
And on the Fifth, I said aloud
I've done some wrong, and I'm not proud.
I took Step Six, and got prepared
To lose the defects, I was scared.
Now I'm at Seven, take them away
My God, for this I do pray.
And on Eight, the list was long
Amends to make for all the wrongs.
I took Step Nine, put down my pride
Amends made, I will not hide.
Step Ten I take, each day I pray
I make amends along the way.
And on Eleven I pray to know
Each day His will, which way to go.
I take Step Twelve, I'm like a bird
To others now, I spread the word........

(Author Anonymous)


31st Year

What does is feel like to chair a meeting on your thirty-first anniversary of
sobriety?

Today I found out.

After reading the preamble of AA, and introducing myself, I asked for a
moment of silence to use as you wish. I asked the God of my understanding to
speak through me, to use me in a way that would be useful to the people in
the room.

I told the story of my drinking prior to coming into AA.

I told how alcohol had brought me to my knees, to the point of suicide.

I told how a daughter had walked into the room when I had a carbine up to my
mouth.

I told how two weeks later I came up with an idea of getting rid of myself in
a place where no person would walk in and stop me. How I had felt a sense of
relief at that point in my life when I felt my family and friends would be
better off if I were gone.

And on that Easter Sunday morning I remembered a meeting list book I had
gotten from someone a couple of years prior...and I called the minister of
the church and asked if there was an AA meeting that day...there was...and I
went to my first meeting.

Thank God, I saw the connection between being powerless over alcohol and my
life being unmanageable...Accepting the powerlessness over alcohol was no
problem...but to get the vital connection to my life being unmanageable
opened the doors that led to this day, a day at a time.

I told the group about how important it was for me to go to meetings, to help
out making coffee, to be active in many ways, and to get into the literature
and the steps of the program...simply because I saw this direction working in
my life.

I told the group that I had been around for maybe a couple of months, sober,
and that I had been a daily drinker, and it dawned on me that I hadn't even
thought of a drink for at least the last month...and that gave me the faith I
needed to come to believe that a Power greater than myself was helping me to
handle my life.

I told the group how the steps had helped me to live with the new conscience
I had developed, and was developing so that I was comfortable with the life I
had and that I was comfortable with the world around me.

So, to those who may read this, I told the group that this beautiful program
works if you follow the directions.

And I tell you today, that I work the program a day at a time, the same as
you do, and I intend to work it...because it works if you work it.

Bob C.
South Shore, Mass. USA


The Gift is in the Giving

Beyond the expectations of sobriety,
we found love.
Beyond the awakening of our senses,
We found feeling.
Beyond the losing of self,
We found friends.
Beyond the inner turmoil,
We found serenity.
Beyond self doubt,
We found commitment.
Beyond the graveyard of our addictions,
We found hope.
Beyond the endless days of torment,
We found one day of peace.
Beyond the emptiness in our soul,
We were filled with our higher power.
Beyond the clinging of the past,
We learned to let go.
Now there is light,
Where darkness once existed.
Now there is a breath of life,
Where once there was gasps.
Now there is a quiet of soul and mind,
Where once resided only chaos.
Can you feel the song now,
The breeze, the sun.
Can you rest, wings folded,
Feeling life around.
May your serenity surround you.
May God bless your day.
May your spirit be filled with grace, and
May you find your way to the home within your heart -
Wherein resides your family and your God.

JG


I like to hike.  

Many of the hikes I do are in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and specifically in the Franconia Notch area. 

On one recent hike I had climbed up Cannon Mountain on the trail that leads to the area where the famous profile of the Old Man of the Mountains is.  When I arrived at a spot that overlooks the notch and leads to the Old Man I became aware that in my climb I had not met another person, that I was alone on the mountain.  I sat down on one of the many large rocks that populate this part of the trail and silently watched the scene before me.  I thought to my self, ďThis is a time to share with the god of my understanding, my understanding god.Ē  It was an excellent moment.

As I shared the silence and the view with my inner self I became aware that the silence was being invaded by the sound of a plane.  I immediately got a raging resentment and wanted very much to find THAT plane and send very bad thoughts to the pilot.  How dare he or she disturb me and what I had worked so hard to achieve.  I had climbed the mountain for this! Why, why, whine.

So I scanned the skies above me, looking first to the West behind me and then East, then North and then finally South.  I had my head cranked all over the place looking for THAT plane. 

Finally in utter frustration I sat down and said the serenity thing and in the process I looked down the valley.  There quite a ways below me was this little single-engine plane laboring up through the Notch.  I was reminded of the Little Engine That Could.  The resentment disappeared and laughter replaced it.

This was like many of my questions.  I thought I knew where to find the answers; after all when you hear a plane you look up!  Well apparently not.  Like many of my solutions, the answer came when I made some attempt at getting out of myself and into some state of calmness.

David


What Happened To My Youth

Hi my name is Jill C. and I am an alcoholic. I was asked to write a short article for our online group. I 
thought to myself what could I write about? What do I have to offer? On my way to work I was thinking 
how my older sister also in this wonderful program was telling me about how she regretted not finishing 
her degree in art and possibly not being able to receive a promotion because of this. Well, this was when I 
knew what I would write about. I missed my youth from 12 years old to the age of 20 when I was fortunate 
enough to receive the gift of the program one-day at a time.

So, here it goes with my brief story. I was raised by two active alcoholics along with 3 older sisters was 
one that always felt different and had a very low self-esteem. I just felt like I was separated from myself 
and that everyone just knew how different I was. I can't really remember my first drink but, I do know that 
at age 12 I was well on my way to trying out anything and everything I could get my hands on. I use to 
drive in the car with my dad to the bars when I was about 4 years of age and remember holding onto his 
bottle to make sure it would not spill. I do think I tasted it then. From the very start I drank and used drugs 
purely for the most escape I could find from life. I have never known what it was like to drink normal nor 
will I. By the age of 17 I was a maintenance drinker. The funny part was I hated the taste of all liquor but 
still continued to use it. I look at how insane that really is in comparison to if I don't like a particular food I 
certainly don't continue eating it! 

When I mention that I missed my youth I mean I never went through my teens with having to deal with life 
on life's terms and I can honestly say I have no clue how I manage just graduating from High School. 
There were many days I was high or drunk through classes. I never did anything but use. I missed out on 
dating, going out for sports, attending sports, or any other normal activities at school. When I was 17 I was 
sent to a physiatrist for my addiction. I still used till 20 years old and was finally beaten down enough to 
admit that I needed help. I will not go into details but, would like to say to the new comer that you need to 
hang in there and give life a chance without using. 

I have been sober now for almost 23 years. I have two children and have been in the same marriage for 22 
years. I love my life good and bad. I can be crazy and have fun without using. I have progressed in this 
program and I have grown up in it. What I missed in High School I have found so much more since I have 
been sober. Everything I was looking for in the drink is right here in the program if I choose to work it. 
No, I would not change a thing in my past because to do so would not have me be who I am now. 

I now know how to deal with life on life's terms with the help from the people in the program, working the 
steps, and working with my Higher Power. I hope and pray that you all will find the love that I have found 
in life.

Love Jill C.


The Rock

A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared.  God told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. God explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this the man did, day after day.  For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might.  Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. 

Since the man was showing discouragement, the devil decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind:  "You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't moved."  Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.  These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.  The devil said, "Why kill yourself over this?  Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough." 

That's what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to God.  "God," he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong?  Why am I failing? 

God responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done.  Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it.  Your task was to push. !And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed.  But, is that really so?  Look at yourself.  Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown; your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard.  Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have.  True, you haven't moved the rock.  But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom.  That you have done. 

Now I, my friend, will move the rock." 

At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him.  By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves the mountains.   

Anonymous


When everything seems to go wrong ... just
               
P.U.S.H.!

When the job gets you down ... just
               
P.U.S.H.!

When people don't react the way you think they should ...
               
just P.U.S.H.!

When your money is "gone" and the bills are due ... just
               
P.U.S.H!

When people just don't understand you ... just
     
          P.U.S.H.! 

                P= Pray
               
U= Until
               
S= Something
               
H= Happens

Anonymous


The Circle and the Triangle

             Two weeks ago, it occurred to me that the AA group in which my father sobered up in 1956 might still be in existence.  If so, it should be found in the AA Western directory.  I dropped in at my local AA Central Office in Albuquerque and picked up a copy of the directory.  Sure enough, I found an AA group there in the right town in the mountains of Colorado.  The groupís service number was remarkably low, suggesting that the history of the group had to reach back at least into the early 1950ís.

            I called long distance, and John, the groupís primary contact answered and we discussed my desire to visit his group and the personal reason for the visit.  He confirmed the long-standing nature of the group and that it was extremely likely that the founders had, indeed, been the folks who had helped my father.  He filled me in on meeting days and times and gave me excellent directions to the meetinghouse.  I decided that Monday night would be the night I would go, and he promised to tell the groupís elder statesman about my visit. 

            It happens that I work in Denver, Colorado occasionally, so on the appointed Monday night after work, I drove up into the Rockies, arriving in this alpine hamlet at dusk, about thirty minutes before the meeting started.  John and the elder statesman were there along with seven or so other members.  The meetinghouse is a delightful place.  I was told that it was once a mountain cabin, and was moved onto the little lot just off main street in 1956, the same year my father got sober. 

            As it happened, my father was twelfth-stepped by AAís in a neighboring community and driven to this meeting.  I can recall my own sense of relief when he quit drinking, and how much better our family life immediately became.  He never really talked about his experience in AA, but it was apparent that it worked for him because he celebrated his first anniversary in the spring of 1957.  I can remember his return from the meeting that night.  He was euphoric! 

            Unfortunately for him and our family, he died suddenly a little over a month after this celebration.  At the time I was fifteen, about two years away from my first encounter with alcohol, a habit I had sworn I would avoid given the difficulties it had caused our family. 

            Twenty-two years later, when my own chronic, active alcoholism had fully blossomed, I knew where to go.  My fatherís year of sobriety had shown me that something had happened to him that totally turned his life around.  Because he had said so little about it, I assumed that I would just show up at an AA meeting, and be ďstruck soberĒ somehow.  It took me a number of false starts, slips and setbacks before I heard the message of recovery.  Once I seriously tried putting the steps in my life on a daily basis, it worked for me too! 

            And here I was, on a Monday night, forty-six years later, at the very meeting where my dad first heard that same message of recovery.  I found the group extremely congenial and welcoming.  On my way up I had thought a lot about what I would say when it was my turn to speak.  As frequently happens, events come about differently than expected.  A young person with a little boy in tow showed up at the meeting, forty-eight hours past a slip.  My planned commentary was out the window!  The meeting took place, as it should, focusing on recovery through the Steps of AA. The newcomer was encouraged to surrender to the program of recovery.  There were no lectures and no criticism, just empathy and a lot of personal stories that demonstrated the effectiveness of AA when it is embraced. 

            I felt I had come full circle.  A strong group had helped my father many years ago.  Itís robust service ethic caused it to survive and continue to carry the message for all these years.  Its example, as demonstrated by my fatherís year of sobriety, led me to AA.  And now, contact with my local service center, and the use of literature produced by our national office led me to John, the groupís primary contact.  What did we do on that Monday evening?  We carried the message to a newcomer. 

            I left that meeting with my heart full.  A powerful sense of belonging to something greater than myself flowed through me.   The circle of fellowship, and the central core of Unity, Recovery and Service prevails, along with a profound sense of continuity with the beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous.

T.T.


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