I remember the panic I would often feel when I reached for the bottle of vodka in the middle of the night only to realize that it was empty. The liquor store would not open for hours yet. Such dark times those nights were.
Why does Refuge Recovery exist? Why is there SMART? SOS? Addiction counselors? Women in Sobriety? Secularized versions of AA's 12 Steps? Why is there an Alan Carr book on quitting drinking?
The chairperson asks that we close the meeting with the Lord's Prayer. We stand, we hold hands and I do as I have done for years – I do not say the prayer. I stand there patiently, waiting for it to end. I look around. I see other people doing what I am doing, feeling uncomfortable; out of place. To me that prayer is a Christian prayer and if AA represents no religion, then why is it said? Am I wrong?
Many January reflections align with various versions of Step 1 of 12. Most speak of ‘acceptance’, ‘surrender’, ‘letting go’, and for me the most troubling of all ‘admitting complete defeat’. T
In Secular Recovery it can become possible, while never completely losing sight of it, to relegate our primary purpose to a secondary position while debating the future of the organization.
No Longer Hiding in the Dark began as three separate poems written over consecutive days. One was biographical and two were autobiographical. After a conversation with a friend (he was reflected in the biographical poem), I realized that the three poems were part of the same story and that they were biographically autobiographical.
While AA as such has always made a point of including all who suffer from alcoholism, there have been instances where the inclusivity hasn't always worked well, either because of human limitations of our members or because of some aspects of our program which may not serve certain subgroups as well as it was intended.
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are a time of reflection for me. My morning meditation often invites personal introspection in quiet moments throughout my day. My dreams too, vivid, windows and mirrors where past, present and future meet in my subconscious and greet me with the light of day.
I'm glad I shaved this morning. I feel more civilized - nicer. I had an older AA friend named Dick who’s been dead a good while now. Before I knew him he roamed the country for years, in and out of trouble. He said he used to visit his mother sometimes during a binge and she'd say to him "Clean yourself up, son - you'll feel better." She was right.