Member: KimM
Location: Pompano Beach, FL
Remote Name: 64.118.240.97
Date: 21 Mar 2004
Time: 10:30 AM -0500

Comments

"Hi, I am KimM and I am a grateful reovering alcoholic." What I mean is,that there is an element of gratitude for my disease since it has served as a key to my spiritual awakening. Having received healing and spiritual renewal, I can retain them only as I offer them to others. By practicing the 12 Steps "in all my affairs", people will begin to observe it in my relationships, financial life, community life, sexual conduct and my list goes on. My transformation will be apparent in all arenas of my life. I must remember that growth is a process, with one of the growth directions being toward God. Healing my disease was not the only goal of my recovery. Rather, it was the starting place.


Member: Karen S.
Location: Alaska
Remote Name: 209.165.150.195
Date: 21 Mar 2004
Time: 05:32 PM -0500

Comments

Hi, I'm Karen, alcoholic. My first sponsor Pam always told me that this step promised a spiritual awakening if I did the steps. She was right! I always knew that God was the One who brought me to AA and who kept me sober through His grace. By admitting my alcoholism, my unmanagability, all of my defects, and all of the ways I brought harm to others, I was able to give all the ugliness to God for Him to fix. I also turned over the good. I asked Him to do with me as He will...to use me. So, I had to make amends to people and then maintain a spiritually fit lifestyle. I have been very happy in sobriety by practicing step 12. I have also been very miserable by not practicing the principles in all of my affairs. I just recently found myself doing that again...and am glad to say that I am climbing up out of it by praying, doing a daily inventory, and sharing my experience, strenth and hope with other alcoholics. I know all the way to the core of my being that I must share my sobriety with other alcoholics in order to stay sober. I must also practice all of the principles of the program throughout my entire life or I risk losing my mind, my happiness, and all of the good things that have happened to me in AA.


Member: Sue T.
Location: Pennsylvania
Remote Name: 68.233.126.78
Date: 21 Mar 2004
Time: 06:11 PM -0500

Comments

I am not at step 12 officially but I found that I have been doing step 12 since early soberity. It is true that you have to give it away to keep it.


Member: Stephen C
Location: North Stratford,N.H.
Remote Name: 64.91.166.13
Date: 21 Mar 2004
Time: 07:00 PM -0500

Comments

hi karen,sue and kim and thanks for sharing and ive ben told that to be able to have growth so have to share it,to be able to have more room to bring in the good and start to fill the cup,because to have it full all the time isnt good and so i have made it to chair a meeting yet and im working at it and hope to get to the point someday soon and so if anyone needs the hand of A A im here and responible and you can reach me at fruitbomber20027@hotmail.com


Member: melissa u
Location: mesa az
Remote Name: 152.163.252.133
Date: 21 Mar 2004
Time: 11:08 PM -0500

Comments

I have not gotten to this step yet this time around anyway but I definatly give back where I can and have had many blessing when I am doing the foot work and Listening for GODS will in my life!


Member: Craig L (Dogmanor@yahoo.com)
Location: Aloha, Oregon
Remote Name: 65.102.61.160
Date: 22 Mar 2004
Time: 09:02 AM -0500

Comments

My sponsor and I met every Wednesday evening and read the first 164 pages of the Big Book together one paragraph at a time. He read one then I read the next aloud. It took us about 3 months and at the end he had shared with me how he practiced all the steps. When we closed the book that last night he said, „well Craig, now it‚s your turn to help someone elseš. I didn‚t know it at the time, but I had had that spiritual awakening. Since then I have started the same process with many, completed it with few. Every meeting I attend I ask God to let me be of service here. All of my „littleš problems have a solution in the 12 steps; all of my Joy is a direct result of the 12 steps.


Member: Julia
Location: N.D.
Remote Name: 216.129.246.49
Date: 22 Mar 2004
Time: 10:51 AM -0500

Comments

The 12th step... To me, it simply states that as a result of the prior 11, we will have a spiritual awakening...a new life, if you will. Having that new life, we'd like to share how we got that life by passing on this message of hope to others, and practicing what we've learned in all areas of life. In my early sobriety, I just didn't 'get it'. How could I stay sober, how could my experience help another, let alone others? Well, after working some of the steps, I began to see that...I began to see how my sponsor,and so many others with quality sobriety lived...by working the steps on a continual basis, working toward perfection, yet knowing they would never achieve it. Progress...they all grew in understanding, grew in 'letting go' of resentments, grew when they made amends, ad infinitum. And, those with that quality sobriety I so desperately wanted, were sharing how they got that with me, wanting nothing in return. Then they said that to keep growing, to keep recovering, that it was necessary for them to share their experience, strength and hope with others, like me, so that they, too, could have a better life. That's what was meant by 'to keep it you have to give it away'. In short, not just tell someone how to 'get it', but SHOW them, by doing it yourself. It's what the 'program' of AA is all about. Life isn't perfect to me today, but it sure is a whole lot better than it was when I was 'out there', wandering around in the mire of alcoholism, always looking for everything I wanted in the wrong places. I am not perfect today, but am getting better at living life on life's terms. And in working these steps, the promises are coming true. I no longer fear waking up to another day. I no longer fear nearly everything and everyone I come in contact with. I love life today. Thankfully, because of a Higher Power I found through Alcoholics Anonymous, and those who were there before me, before my sponsor, etc.


Member: AZbill
Location: azbill1172@cox.net
Remote Name: 68.231.160.24
Date: 23 Mar 2004
Time: 02:22 AM -0500

Comments

HI Bill here, Alcoholic from Arizona. Been sober all day. Like those who posted before me. The spiritual experience is a result. If we do our work well we will get it, whether we want it or not... It is a promise. The explanation of this Spiritual experience or Spiritual awakening is found in Appendix II. If you are working these steps out of the Big Book, the early chapters send you to this Appendix II twice. A spiritual experience or awakening is nothing more than a change. The day I sat down my last drink, I walked out of that barroom and have never returned to a barroom again to drink. That was the first of many spiritual experiences to come. A psychic change if you will. My life began to improve from that very moment. And has continued to improve over the years. Oh yes I have had some set backs, but always it was two steps forward one step back at times, only to be followed by two steps forward. I call this thing change, it is also a God consciousness. We suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Thanks, love ya all, Bill


Member: Chris W.
Location: Key West, FL
Remote Name: 68.223.163.12
Date: 23 Mar 2004
Time: 08:26 AM -0500

Comments

Hi everyone. Chris, an alcoholic here. For a long time I tried to practice the first and then the twelfth steps. That didn't work. For years, I thought I was a 'spiritual' person. I wasn't. For years, I thought that simply not drinking and being a nice guy would be the answer to all my 'prayers'. That didn't work either. For years I looked for burning bushes and lightning bolts. I never found them. I became very discouraged, ready to check out, and just knew there was something wrong with me, that I couldn't get anything right no matter what I tried. Something happened.(The lightning bolt?) Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of WORKING THESE STEPS... If I was to survive, sober and free, then I had to work ALL of the steps. One step at a time. I finally got a sponsor and a put aside my arrogance or independance (which actually turned out to be a cleverly hidden form of very low self-esteem) and started at the beginning. The promises, after the ninth step, say sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.Today,by practicing all of the steps on a regular (sometimes daily) basis, then the twelfth step has become a working reality for me. There's lots more but I tend to ramble so I'll leave it at that. Questions? chrs548@yahoo.com. God Bless you all. Peace and Love from Key West.


Member: ymon33
Location: Houston
Remote Name: 204.235.232.68
Date: 23 Mar 2004
Time: 01:28 PM -0500

Comments

ymon-alcoholic: I am really relating to the faith at this time in my life. Some of my wreckage has come due to be paid that I put myself through with the drinking. I am resolved not to pick up, and I am getting yet another chance to let God be God. I do want to remain sober and living better. It hasn't really manifested yet, I am still cleaning up my messes. But I am thankful not to be making it worse. I suppose I am feeling anxious because I want to see some good happen. Right now everything is still and that is a new feeling- peace- is a new feeling for me, knowing that the outcome is REALLY up to my HP. THANKS


Member: Cecil H.
Location: Prestonsburg, KY
Remote Name: 206.28.62.190
Date: 24 Mar 2004
Time: 09:42 AM -0500

Comments

Hi everyone - I'm Cecil also glad to be a recovering alcoholic. Also strangely enough, alcoholism has been a good deal for me. I grew up in the problem, and very quickly found all kinds of problems; all without alcohol. I was an emotional basketcase BEFORE I started to drink. As the priest told Bill W., his problem (alcoholism) was also his great blessing (because he had to find God). The promises for me happened very slowly, as I was full of my old ideas; and the results were pretty much nil (nothing but I DID stay alcohol free) until I let go of those old ideas and became willing and teachable. This painful process took 5 years, when I experienced some kind of spiritual experience/wakening. This was during a much needed 4th step, and the feeling of being close to God lasted for quiet a while. My personality changed from a person who was continually negative and down on myself, to someone confident who had accepted his defects and was working on improving. I have had several dry drunks/depressive episodes since as a result of not working the steps/dropping out of meetings; but I always knew my HP was there. I only had to become willing, and start to work the program. The times I feel closest to God is usually after a meeting. See, I really have to give it away before I can keep it. Meetings (for me) are all about the 12th step. We are constantly 12th stepping each other from the newest member to the oldtimers. We need each other, and the power of the 12th step never ceases to amaze me. Sadly, I'm not very good at working with other alcoholics on a sponsor/sponsee basis although I'm always looking for ways I can share with other alcoholics. I was pretty much unsponsorable, when I got here. The only way I knew to communicate was to get drunk! Today, working with another alcoholic helps me in all kinds of way; and in turn I can even use those communications skills with normies. I've been sober longer than I drank (I drank 10 years), and it's still getting much better. I needed those depressive episodes/dry drunks to show me how much I need HP/AA. I love you all.


Member: Adam H.
Location: New York, NY
Remote Name: 64.232.156.194
Date: 24 Mar 2004
Time: 10:11 AM -0500

Comments

Hey everyone. Adam, alcoholic. The best thing that ever happened to me in sobriety was waking up to the realization that I could be (and in fact, was) happy living sober with the 12 Steps as my principles. It is the direct opposite of how I felt about AA and sobriety when I showed up at my first meeting in 1996. Back then I felt like having to show up in AA at the age of 21 was the meanest trick God had ever played on me, and today I know it was the greatest gift I was ever given. That I can have a change in attitude and perception like that is evidence of a spiritual awakening in my life...and all Alcoholics Anonymous asks me to do with that experience is to pass it on to the newcomer. Tonight I am going to Newark to speak at a meeting out there, and tomorrow I'm going to be speaking at a rehab in Hell's Kitchen, and I'm actually looking forward to those speaking engagements...simply because there's nothing like seeing a person's face register some interest and hope when you show them how you walked away from being the person you have been all you life to become something and someone entirely different. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Tracy
Location: Little ole England
Remote Name: 62.255.64.7
Date: 26 Mar 2004
Time: 06:19 AM -0500

Comments

I relise that without any intention on my part..that I am 12 stepping my family...and friends..it has become such a big part of my life that it comes natural...Its great carring THIS message to others in life that may not be alcoholics but need just as much LOVE and FAITH


Member: Kathleen
Location: Florida
Remote Name: 165.247.75.251
Date: 26 Mar 2004
Time: 04:52 PM -0500

Comments

Hello everyone, Kathleen here, alcoholic. There has been times in my sobriety where I have had wonderful spiritual highs, and felt close to God. Those were the times that I was living the steps. And I found that those times came even before the 11th step. I certainly found a new freedom after going through steps 4 and 5. During step 11 was a wonderful awakening. Step 12, carrying the message, gets me out of myself and hopefully helps another alcoholic. I too, like Cecil, have had "dry" periods throughout my sobriety and it's usually because I'm not as active as I should be in the program. Here lately, I've been going through a rough time, physically, financially, spirtually and emotionally. I also noticed that I somewhere along the line lost that "conscious contact" with my hp. So now that I have figured out the problem, it's action time. Because I know that if I don't take action, I will die, either by alcohol or my own devices. I have been in a deep depression and it's time to get out of it. Thanks for all your shares. ((((Bill))) Kathleen Floral City,Florida ramblerkat@earthlink.net


Member: Gage
Location: swamp
Remote Name: 152.163.252.133
Date: 26 Mar 2004
Time: 11:48 PM -0500

Comments

I'm Gage and I'm an alcoholic. Is there anything more wonderful than to be able to look a shaking, scared, confused and pitiful alcoholic in his eyes and tell him that there is hope for him, knowing that it's true? Is there anything brighter to see than when the fishscales fall off his eyes and his face becomes full of hope? I love AA. Thankyou so much for bringing this message of hope to me, and then helping me learn how to carry it to others.


Member: jimr
Location: chicago
Remote Name: 69.3.220.107
Date: 27 Mar 2004
Time: 12:34 AM -0500

Comments

Either God is or isn't. A 50-50 chance of recovery. What was my choice going to be. I thought I could hedge this bet by spitting 0-00. So I sat on the fence for years in the program, staying undecided, wanting to believe, but always second guessing myself... placing my money on black, then red, then back to black again. Then one day, when choice was not an option anymore, I finally surrendered, betting everything I had left on the color of God. I took a leap of faith, and in doing so, I triggered the willingness to do the work. The work, as promised, payed off in a personality change sufficient to recover from alcoholism. As long as stayed spiritually fit and did not drink alcohol anymore, I found that I could recover. In order to sustain this new spiritual experience (drinking was my old spiritual experience) I was driven to help others. And through this new perspective of love, found myself recieveing something I never expected. And that was a purpose in life. I looked around me and knew how to help, knew how to love for the first time in my life. If you got it, please pass it on. Best wishes to all


Member: Morgan T.
Location: Del Mar, California
Remote Name: 4.13.163.33
Date: 27 Mar 2004
Time: 01:14 PM -0500

Comments

Howdy y'all, I'm Morgan, alcoholic. I have not had the opportunity to finish all the steps but I just want to add to all of the wonderful sharing the fact that I am so incredibly happy to be sober today. God bless this program and it's founder Bill W.


Member: Peggy E
Location: Salem, Oregon
Remote Name: 67.164.52.213
Date: 27 Mar 2004
Time: 04:30 PM -0500

Comments

Hi! I'm Peggy, I'm an alcoholic. I began working with others when I was a week sober and living in a detox. I was terribly sick kicking an 8 year Valium addiction along with alot of drinking - lived there 9 months. I couldn't catch up with the others recovering - even those coming in after I did. So I cried and told my sponsor (director of the detox) I wanted to kill myself. She threw me into action immediately with assignment of helping others in the detox and setting up meetings with Coffee, ash trays, chairs, etc. I had the "butt patrol" = crawling around picking up cigarette butts on the ground. (I was all ready on the ground because my balance went off as I detoxed - hit my central nervous system). My sponsor said "You can't keep it unless you give it away. Your primary purpose is to stay sober and help the alcoholic who still suffers." This was 26 years ago and I still do all of the above and sponsor people too. I am truely grateful for Alcoholics Anonymous and the primary purpose that came my way at a difficult time.