My mind is very scattered with thoughts of what to write about. Looking at the search terms that brought people here is often hilarious, sometimes mystifying, and always humbling. I hope that the search that ended here helped at least one person maintain or achieve sobriety.
- What is an alcoholic’s gratitude list? In AA we are often encouraged to formally write down things we’re grateful for, or to consciously bring them to mind in tough times. Drinking, I took for granted pretty much everything good in my life, starting with the fact that I was alive and encompassing a home, people who cared about me, good health if I would stop drinking, opportunities, pets, democracy and good weather, and on and on. Sometimes in sobriety, if I feel like drinking or just forget, a gratitude list can bring me back to the joy that is here, today. Because without being happy and joyous on a long term basis, I will drink. My formal gratitude list is here, but in truth it could stretch on forever.
- AA 12 and 12 the spiritual axiom. This is the idea, found in Step 10, that anytime I am disturbed it is because there is something wrong with me. This points me in the direction of changing what I actually can change, which is my own attitude and my mind. My post is here.
- Disruptive behavior in AA meetings. I wish I had an answer for that one, but I don’t. I will say AA isn’t and shouldn’t be seen as a “safe” place. When someone threatens the safety of others, we have to call the police to protect ourselves. Short of that, it is a heart-breaking dilemma, and I’m sure groups disband because disruptive people. In my own little AA world, I have seen the attendance of groups suffer greatly because of disruptive behavior, and that by long timers who think they’re being funny. It’s a sad thing.
- AA Yets. These are things that haven’t happened to me “yet.” When I arrived at AA at the age of 16, I hadn’t “yet” been to the hospital because of alcohol, but since I didn’t stop drinking, I did eventually make it there. Anything I hear someone say has happened to them can and will happen to me if I drink. It just hasn’t happened “yet.”
- Don’t drink today. Just don’t. In this way, you will become a old-timer, like me. It can be daunting to think about going the rest of my life without alcohol. I can give up now because I’m an alcoholic and just cannot imagine living sober forever and ever. AA taught me while I surely can’t remain sober forever, and I can remain sober today. And since I’ve done that for so many days, I had the privilege to know people who died sober, in sobriety. It can be done, I can do it if I don’t drink today.
- Alcohol I don’t want to die. I’m trying to imagine the person who entered that into a search engine. It’s easy for me to imagine him or her because that was me and that was countless other people I’ve met and come to know, at least through their AA stories. When we mean it, really mean it, and when we get to AA and when we click with AA, we are among the very very few fortunate people who have the chance to escape the alcoholic death. Alcohol is powerful and AA is hard. It has to be, to beat that formidable foe. But for me, once AA gave me the ability to actually live, it also gave me a life so worth living that if there was a cure for alcoholism, I would not take it. I want to keep it today, because it became the best thing in my life, the thing that enabled every other good thing.