Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Am grateful...
a missing AA dude, texted me
sponsee getting feisty
Gods words not mine
patience & tolerence
better to understand than to be understood
the only person we can change are ourselves
often only with Gods help

giving things ago
Old timer in home group yesterday
"you dont take the credit if your sponsee gets it
you dont take the blame if they dont"
another newcomer does his first chair
further evidence the steps work
text off prison AA for my chair date
call of another prison AA about another prison

my calm flat
clean bed
good food
no-one home
quiet bath
getting home in the sunshine
a quiet journey home
talking with family tonight
trying to be of max helpfulness

trying to sort out a banking mix up I have
trying not to bury my head in the sand
recognising how disabling fear really is
step 10's cos they free me up
prayer cos its comforting and safe

doing some clearing up
grateful I have a direction and a purpose
grateful for progress NOT prefection
grateful to be trusted
grateful that I am not God
grateful i made my bed before blogging
grateful for AA its the best
grateful to be tired

grateful I can tell ya I need to take inventory
grateful to be honest.. am fighting inventory
grateful to feel blocked & be aware of it
grateful to know the solution

am lovin it

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Took inventory
spoke with newcomers
read the instructions for new TV box thing
just plugged into a source of another 50 odd channels
flicked through the channels mindlessly for a while
ate and went to bed
no nightmares
less wired

Am grateful for all of that
having a job
pay day tomorrow
standing listening to the River Thames in the sun this lunchtime
walking down cobble streets to work
fresh air
a cool bath
fresh food
another chance for R&R and early night tonight
progress not perfection

see ya

Dear Mum

Bit sad this week
done some crying
thinking of mum
specifically she isnt here
to see my recent progress (in a few life areas)
all selfish self centred
self seeking reasons for wanting her here
bottom line approval seeking

Yeh am easier on myself in reality than I sound
but I have to be honest

Losing a parent or anyone is big stuff
Grieving is an ongoing experience
as far as I can see there is no cure
for Mum, sometimes the knot is tight
and the crying, deep crying from within releases it
mostly nowadays its, almost invisible
it comes, it goes
Am grateful for the memories I have
yes there are some good ones & for those am grateful
sober memories

Also on a lighter note
would like to tell her have bought some new clothes
nice quality different stuff, tailored trousers
havent been interested in improving my wardrobe for years
didnt have much in common with mum before either...
would love to tell her I went shopping in M&S
checked out some great trousers last week, thought about them
went in again this week, tried on, still liked & bought them
they are NOT JEANS!!
I have stuff to go with already
Not a shopping fix
I have the money and the need
Can I afford it ? yes
Am I worth it ? yes
So Mum if your on the big blogger in the sky
now you know
Love ya

Ps told you it was all about me!!
self seeking
no mention of how are you mum ?
how are you enjoying it up there?
what have you been up to?
just me me me me me

Thank you God for giving me
the willingness to get the trousers
for me
cos i liked them
can afford them
I want them
and need them
they fit me
i wil wear them
and the ability to be honest & say
I know I look pretty damn fit in them aswell
without waiting for someone else to tell me

Its true, I found myself

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I am Grateful

I caught myself self diagnosing my symptoms this morning & stopped
I got up and went to work instead of listening to me
I call up & went to GP today to see whats up with me
That I dont have something serious wrong with me (quelle suprise)
I Just have a virus
Am not infectious
That he told me to take it easy!!

I could still go to my home group with knowledge I wasnt contagious
sponsor that tells me to take inventory
sponsor that tells me there is no perfect sponsor
sponsor that tells me am full of fear
that I will take inventory, even though I THINK my sponsor is wrong!!
(dont you know who I am!?*)
Deep down I KNOW my sponsor is right (rarely wrong)
sponsee making progress
I am making progress
its all happening like inch by inch

(feels like am moving a great big heavy tanker along with my little finger
and at the same time I just noticed its like its moving slowly on its own
even if I dont push it, am starting to feel this is God doing it not me)

having a laugh with my Dad tonight
getting my work done today
Laughing at work
dressing becomingly
someone doing my work yesterday when I was laid up
Seeing how irresponsible overdoing it can be
Seeing how doing too much even when I THINK its ok
has led me to take a day off sick
this doesnt feel comfortable
I feel wired
Grateful to know how I feel & know that I can change

Evenings in, step 11, quiet time
I have these often and so enjoy them
Doing the opposite for the last 2 weeks
AND experiencing the consequences of NOT taking time out
has made me appreciate today
a) how how essential it is
b) that I can actually do this quiet time nowadays
c) that it is part of recovery
d) its God Will (not always mine)

Stop running round like a teenager
progress not perfection
cinch by the inch hard by the yard

Going to take inventory
Let God

Good night
God thank you keeping me sober, safe & healthy today

Monday, May 21, 2007

Easy does it -but do it NOT OVER DO IT!!

The truth was highlighted to me
by a complete stranger in a call centre
he asked me what I had planned for the rest of the day ?
I said I was staying in cos am knackered
I have been working full time
and out everynight for the last two weeks

Its true I have been working full time
and out every evening, doing AA and other stuff

lifes good, easy, THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM

The guy on the phone who sounded
about 10 years younger than me said
God, you have a better social life
than i do, even i dont go out that much

Have to find balance again
staying in and early nights
spending time with myself
are something I can do these days
So I must do it

Also I can say no to going out
something else will come along

Grateful that I finally seen the bleedin obvious
just for today

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thank God for the ordinary

no nightnmare
no drama
no big deals

feeling drained
Be good to yourself
Easy does it
But do it

back to basics for me
suggestions and steps 10,11,12
Do my best
Its enough
am grateful

thats all for now
see ya

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Willing to go to any length ?


Taking this 12th step work a day at a time
it feels like the most natural thing to do
I have very little fear
my prides not big or small
Its all alright, feels ordinary really
Keeping it all very simple
Hour by hour
little expectation of self and other as possible
Letting God in on it all
keeping the channel open
paying attention
day/hour/minute at a time

Remembering my early experiences with my sponsors
Yeh I have already heard stuff I came out with,
said to me this week
and I am ALREADY coming out with stuff,
that each of my sponsors suggested to me in response OMG
Am grateful I paid attention, was willing, honest,
and openminded however limited!!
Had that gift of desperation
and was scared to death of going back

am grateful for the patience, pity and tolerence, tough love that
sponsors and the AA fellowship gave me
and continue to
Its true I am not special & different
And it has worked for me too
Thank you

Its official, step 12
Subconsciously, ie sleeping
Nightmares have started
I forgot about them until they started up again
Started working with a sponsee "Tuesday"
Nightmares 3 out of 4 nights since
Past experience shows
Step 12 am on the journey from my head to my heart

My fear has lots of time to play around when am asleep
I am powerless over my mind when am asleep
oddly, getting slashed badly with a stanley blade
and having a gun held to my head and being shot
were both on my fears list
this was my nightmare last night
none of this I have experienced in real life

Then I woke up and it was Saturday
The sun was shining
Had that lay in
and had a fab day
Met up with sponsee
Am grateful
Now am tired

What does tonights have in store!!
its like having my very own internal Blockbuster Store
ha ha

Good night
love ya God

My imagination is well and truly on fire!! Clearly

We have shown how we got out from under.
You say, "Yes, I’m willing.
But am I to be consigned to a life
where I shall be stupid, boring and glum,
like some righteous people I see?
I know I must get along without liquor,
but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?"
Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more
than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous.
There you will find release from care, boredom and worry.
Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last.
The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. P152

Its true :-)

AA Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous

Prison Service - will I fit ?

Have been "thinking" about doing prison service

.....since I was 2 years sober

That was nearly 2 years ago!!

This week I got the prison contacts from

our intergroup service workshop

I have signed up for a chair in a local prison next month

At a meeting the next day they wanted people to do

chairs in another prison... I put my name down

There are no coincidences

Service keeps me sober & gives me inner strength

Staying sober & doing service gives me opportunities

get out of my Comfort Zone

grow into new comfort zones

Natural progressions

Growth with a real purpose P77

Tradition 5

Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum

service to God and the people about us. P77

How will I know where I fit ? By giving it a go

Getting into the middle of the AA bed

I wont know if I fit til I get in or out and about

with the people about us

Your job now is to be at the place where you may

be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never

hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helpful. p102

No hesitation this week

Get In There!!

AA Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous

I am grateful..... for Living Sober

am sober
I am well
am happy
am unafraid
am clean
I have a great haircut
I cleaned my teeth
had a bath
clean clothes
I have a conscious contact with God
I have a sponsor
a home group
having a commitment in my home group
did a full days work
got a call from a sponsee
AA literature
I am not God
There are no rules
did service

had 3 meals (in the right order)
promptly banked a cheque (which received only today)
Took a walk along the River Thames in the sun
Listened to my sponsor
excersized restraint of tongue and pen
Didnt get tied up in someones drama
Didnt give advice
Prayed lots

a letter from my gran
a pack arriving for a course
freedom of choice
having an openmind
freedom from paralysing fear
that I can have a lay in tomorrow
Freedom from alcohol
Freedom from obsession
The speed of which I let go is becoming faster
Having fun
not picking up a cigarette
having a mental defense

Enjoying my guitar
Having a fab teacher, with a sense of humour
Practical, hands on learning
can now play Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
and others
Have to sing along to get the rhythm
having to practice most days to keep up
(Step4 gave me this discipline)
try to do a bit each day
even when you want to throw it out the window
even when my fingers are all thumbs
(step 4 & 10 hammered home this discipline)
Singing!? my singing sounds well in tune
(in my opinion ha ha)
Keep on Keeping on

Planned a lay in tomorrow
Recovery Rocks dudes!!
Bring it on

AA's Living Sober is not one of my most read AA books
However, I let go of an old idea lastnight
Seriously bent its spine and read of a few chapters
It has some really good practical suggestions
Suggested to sponsee - look out for it at next meeting

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Get over yourself

Glad I was taking someone newer than me
It was their first AA dance
My second
anyway my fears were nothing compared to theirs!!

Got there and did a meeting
Great chair... perfect for the dance
"everyones scared about what everyone thinks of them"
"Everyones pride kicks in"
"Everyone feels like a woodentop dancing sober"
Its true AA has given me the tools to deal with everything
everything it seems except to get straight on the dance floor!!

Once I knew everyone feels like me, its was easy
Left the meeting, grabbed my friend
And boogied on down until it closed
Have to say
the music was not my taste
my dancing style was not that flamboyant
infact simple steps really
but it was me, what i could do

i spent most of the evening watching how everyone else
(not taking inventory, just seeing how it works)
how they were doing it
i noticed most people were just doing their own thing
no real fancy dancing
no one really in the groove
most people also just doing simple steps

most people were just like me
same old....
just in your own time, in your own way
there were a few minutes when...
I danced like no one was watching... now thats a miracle
If you shut your eyes its easy

So once again
turning up and seeing what happens
worked again

Woke up this morning
Telly still on, central heating on
I had fell asleep knackered last night
Whe I tried to get out of bed
I Couldnt move, every muscle ached

I really need to get out more!!!

I had such a good time
Didnt sit down once or stand on the edge
No standing with my back to the wall
no envy of those on the dance floor
yeh I have moved on, yeah grew abit last night

first sober AA dance A BAD NIGHT
second sober AA dance YAY!!

lesson is
as always
Keep coming back
it gets better

PS the other person, really had a great time
danced like no one was watching
and couldnt believe what a cheap night out it was!!
(obviously my excellent company did it :-)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I really believed it would never work for me...

and yet
last night my sponsor said...
I think its about time you looked at sponsoring!!!!
Oh my God
Its a miracle
I love being wrong

Even last year trudging through a step 5
of the previous year
I had thoughts of a conspiracy theory
that I would never get to this point
that something else would happen
and i would have to start again
or i would drink or something!?!?

Now I am very grateful
I keep welling up, tears of gratitude
I feel responsible
I also feel that I have a responsibility
I also also feel willing

God has never given me more than I can handle

Ps Going to an AA dance tonight,
one of those growth things
doing something I dont want to do
........just for excersize (see Just for today card)
and for fun!! no-one said I have to dance
just turn up and see what happens

Social life in and out of AA is maxed out
having to say no to stuff is essential
hectic is not something that feels comfortable
and its not what was passed on to me
watching the clock prevents me staying in the moment
learning to let go of social opportunities
and trust that more will come along
Step 3 stuff

so am looking at balance
and learning how to say, I have to leave now
... and then leaving

Also TRYING to bed early more regularly
result is, am waking up a little earlier
(this doesnt mean that I get out of bed
just means i wake earlier)
even getting cuppa tea and breakfast before leaving home
instead of when i get to work!!

some progress being made
am happy with that

ps. just had a thought, which could be mistaken as quite innocent
"i need to eat before i go out" (dancing Saturday night)
or its just proof that my old thinking
crops up at the strangest of moments haha
I will eat anyway :-) and pray

Mother nature is amazing

This is my first attempt at posting a picture on my blog, its an African penguin, taken recently on Robben Island, South Africa. I really did get this close, well 6 feet away, it was laying under a walkway out of the sun.

And this is on top of Table Mountain at sunset. Breathtaking.

Link for these & other World Heritage Sites

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Faith Without Works is Dead P14,P76, P88

Another lesson

Went away two weeks
make amends
take a holiday

read 3 books
(this is huge progress, as could read a paragraph
a few years ago, without mind wandering)
lots of prayer
lots of meditation
developing that vital sixth sense P85
all moving in the right direction

BUT self obsession kicked in after about 10days
Went to a meeting, shared
talked after with someone new
i felt, lighter

came back did usual
extra meetings, on the "hunt" for new people
gave lots away
now I feel like nothings touching me

Have moved up a gear
wings have streamlined

While away...
Had the Faith, did the prayer, meditation
Lots of answers came, as they tend too nowadays
But No-one to give it away to
no purpose...
I forgot Tradition 5 & Preamble

Lesson is, I did nothing "wrong"
I simply learned a truth by experiencing BOTH
Faith without works is dead P14, P76, P88
and Faith with works is very much alive
Nothing is in the big book by accident
Its in the book for a reason
Its NO coincidence its in there 3 times
Everything in the book was written by recovered/ing
for recovering alcoholics

To duplicate, with such backing, what we have accomplished is only a matter of willingness, patience and labor. P163

Now I know

Keep on Keeping on

page refs Big Book Alcolholics Anonymous

Ps I had the best holiday
which included
24hours away with my brother
this included
Table Mountain
Robben Island
the brother time was so special
we have never, ever been away just the two of us
This was such a gift

the gifts just keep coming
Thank you

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

We are sure.....

We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free

Its true
have been blessed with a happy heart

Thank you

Amends, well over half way through

before I started them, i felt like just amazing

now I feel stronger INSIDE
Like there are NO LIMITS

You said over and over and over and over that
"It doesnt say anywhere in the AA literature that it works for everyone except me"

how long ago was that ?

you told me the truth

Blind faith has turned into an unshakeable Faith

What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved
to be the loving and powerful hand of God.
A new life has been given us or, if you prefer,
a design for living that really works.

Honesty willingness and openmindedness

No longer spending time in the brace position, waiting for the plane crash!!

Good night

page refs - Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous