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The World Needs Less Junior Therapists and More Spiritual Mentors
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Four Letter Words in Alcoholics Anonymous | 冒涜 ・酒 不明 | Vulgar Lingua in Filiolus Regnum

Giving Hope to the Newcomer...

...Should Not Require You to Have Your Mouth Washed Out with This.

"...but for the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.If we were to live, we had to be free of anger.

The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison..."

-Alcoholics Anonymous P. 66

"We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him. If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning. That being so you have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself."

-Alcoholics Anonymous P.71

|...day 81/90 at a close and the peace is indescribably wonderfulI am going to miss them in ways I fear that most shall never understand. Each person in that room has been my perfect teacher; some have taught me what works, some have showed me what doesn't, and others, well, I just plain feel sorry for. 

White-knuckling sobriety might sound brave and macho when you're a kid, but it get's old real fast.  Notice the how hard bitten the slippers over forty look; the lucky ones still have some of their teeth. I was thirty years old the last time I had a drink and I barely escaped with all my body parts intact. 

I honestly hope that every newcomer that makes their way into that clubhouse is lucky enough to find a teacher who'll have the courage and fortitude to take them through the work - they deserve it.  Everybody does; God's grace falls equally on everyone. Never have I heard anyone say they prayed in vain, nor have I ever heard anyone say their stepwork was in vain. If you figure an average of five meetings per week over roughly twenty years that's roughly 5,000 AA meetings - nary a complaint that the steps don'e work.  So - why all the caterwalling against them?  On what logical basis is this contention based?

However, the next member of Alcoholics Anonymous that comes along with a message of hope and a Book under their arm will probably get the short shrift, also.  That is their choice, and suffering in ignorance is their right;  the fourth tradition gives them the right to be wrong.  Me, I don't care;  I've had two white light experiences and am very underwhelmed by the crotchety and clueless;  most people are much more sensitive, I fear.

The tragic pathology that appears to continuously play out in that AA clubhouse is never quite so in evident as when a newcomer pronounces so convincingly that step work is unnecessary or futile because he's been 'encouraged' by some sad unfortunates to 'take it easy', 'not rush', 'physical sobriety only (whatever that means)', etc.  The newcomers deserve better, they really do.  I pray and hope that they find the peace I have found.

One of my guys got 90 days today, and never have I watched a newcomer work so hard in the short time I've been graced with sobriety  - his story brought me to tears.  He fought the AA program of action tooth and nail, and it was worth every ounce of energy spent helping to illuminate his path just a bit.  I'm under no illusion that I changed his life;  God just let's me hold up a lantern every once in a while is all, and for that I am extremely grateful.

Because of a loving sponsor and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, he has a shot of being everything he ever wanted to be when he was growing up, which is more than most people can say, drunk OR sober.  I know I've already way outpaced my genetic potential - I am living on God's grace, and God's grace alone;  which is why the thought of ever putting my name up on a wall to celebrate an anniversary fills me with such a deep sense of antipathy.

The only people I have ever heard put down the actual program of Alcoholics Anonymous are the people who haven't actually 'let go absolutely'; they don't know what that means, and are afraid to admit it.  That is what makes going to that clubhouse such a trudge for me - suffering is needless and pointless in AA.  Pain will come and go, but the suffering is optional.  All I had to do was let go absolutely to get out of my pain - again.  This time, it was to that room for 90 days.  Last time, it was inventory.  Next time?  Well, that's up to God.  For me, AA has become 95% surrender, and 5% surrender some more.

Could you stay sober without God and the steps?  I suppose so - but why on earth would you want to? Think about it - when was the last time you heard somebody say:  "I just finished my ninth step, and I feel like such an idiot?  WHAT WAS I THINKING"? 

Like my sponsor says:  "...nobody has ever gotten drunk from working the steps too fast, but every day, thousands die because they are not working them fast enough".

Get busy living, or get busy dieing.  That's God-damned right.

God bless us all, every one.  Love is in middle.  I am going to miss that room.

Yours in love and service,

COG, 1st Cl.|


  1. To borrow something you said in another forum, "Not to spuriously be self aggrandizing...", I wrote an article on a similar view at:

    Blessings and aloha...

  2. Ed-

    Thank you for the indentification and support. Truly, your blog is inspiring; I am beginning to feel like Dr. Silkworth a litte: '...as one who has labored long and wearily in the field of alcohol rehabiliation..."...

    Seriously, it's hard to try to be a power of example, and I appreciate your support. Also, your blog appears to be an outstanding example of great traditions observervance - with your permission I shall add it to my blog as an AA Realted resource.

    God bless you and good luck on your journey.

    COG, 1st Cl.

  3. Michael Englmann ( iambigbang )May 27, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    With every action there is a reaction of eqaul and apposing strengh. In science both are esential in understanding the big picture. Never think of learning experiences then as wrong or right, because both are necessary to understand the truth of our individual existence. This will help us figure out what dirrection we don't want to go.

  4. Michael-

    Thanks for your input. While at the time I would have felt differently, today I agree with you. That room has really helped me to grow and accept my brothers and sisters exactly as they are, perefect in time, on their own journey.

    Though I am sure I will fall back into again, judgement is a very painful business; but today, just for today, they are doing jus fine; and as no small consequence, so am I.

    God bless you and thanks for stopping by!

    COG, 1st. Cl.


Welcome as a witness to a fools journey out of the darkness. I welcome all tidings - you are all my teachers on this path toward a meaningful and purposeful sobriety.

COG, 1st Cl.