Tuesday, 20 June 2017

JUN 20, 17 .. A POST FOR JOHN.

Hi John. 

I know what you must be thinking. I know because when I was young in the program I thought the very same thing.

"What can an old man like Cap offer me? IF I was as old as Cap is I wouldn't drink either!"

Had we two gotten together I would have begun with..

"John, I am going to share some things about myself. I am going to share some things that I learned that really have helped me over the years. I am NOT going to take-your-inventory. You see John, you are helping me here much more than I am going to help you."

The one best thing that I ever did was to get a sponsor. My first sponsor was second to no other member that I have ever met.

The one and the only thing that we can share with the founding members was this: The Magic of One Alcoholic Helping Another Alcoholic.

My original sponsor (now long ago passed on) suggested to me that I get, and that I read, each and every book that A.A. has published. And that I do the same with each and every single pamphlet published by A.A.

I did as he suggested. One day I was walking through the San Francisco International Airport (SFO). I was pulling a suitcase-dog behind me, with a garment bag over one shoulder and I was reading the A.A. book titled, 'Pass It On'. I got to pages 120 and 121 of the book.

I was stunned at what I read. So I sat down right out on the concourse of SFO and I studied how Bill Wilson (one of our co-founders) got sober.

John, Bill Wilson (read 'Pass It On' pages 120-121) saw God. Bill Wilson saw the 'God of the Preachers'.

John this was vital to me. This, in the blink-of-an-eye, explained to me why GOD IS MENTIONED SO MUCH IN THE A.A. BIG BOOK.

Like many new members, I had some 'issues' with all of the God-Stuff in the A.A. Big Book.

Our co-founder, our leader-of-the-pack, saw God and God struck him sober. God was his only-trick John.

Now let's talk about one word: Alcoholic 

John, IF you are, in any way like I am, and this battle within my mind has gone on in my mind for all of three and parts of two other decades (I got to A.A. in the 1970's)..

I have been obsessed with the idea that I am NOT an Alcoholic.

A lady in Elko, Nevada, named Ruby M., told me ..

"Cap, you are asking yourself the wrong question when you ask yourself IF you are an Alcoholic."

"The one and the only question you need to ask yourself is this: 'Do I want to not drink today?' "

"Our Third Tradition tells us that the only requirement for A.A. Membership is that we have a desire to NOT DRINK."

I can sit here today, right now, and convince myself that I am not an alcoholic. This is not relevant. What is relevant is the fact that truly I DO NOT WANT TO DRINK TODAY.

I was given another monumental gift in the program John.

In my humble opinion, the very best definition of the word Alcoholic is:

I am an Alcoholic because I can not guarantee what I will do after I take a drink of alcohol. 

Carl K in Detroit gave me this great gift.

Now a word-or-two about the 12-steps.

I speak in many foreign countries. I am often asked the following question by foreign members.. 

"Do I have to work the 12-steps?"

Because I have read, because I have studied the history of A.A. I can reply..

"No. You do NOT have to work the 12-steps. They are suggested but there were no steps when Bill Wilson was struck sober by God."

A.A. is a way to sobriety. It may be one of the very best ways. However it is by no means the only way people stop drinking.

A.A. is a design for living without alcohol.

"Bill Wilson got sober when he saw God in Towns Hospital in New York City on / about November 12th, 1934. He penned the 12-steps when he wrote (with the assistance and input from the other A.A. members) the A.A. Big Book, between April of 1938 and April of 1939. Then, the A.A. Big Books that were printed, sat idle in a warehouse until the early 1940's. All early members were getting sober without the 12-steps and without the A.A. Big Book."

So how can I tell anyone they MUST work the 12-steps?

I myself had not taken a drink of Alcohol for over sixteen years when I found A.A. Like Bill Wilson, I too had a God moment when I came out of a paralyzing alcoholic seizure.

As a quick aside here, while they did NOT work the 12-steps specifically as we have them today, they did the many things that are included in the 12-steps.

They admitted they had a problem, they needed help and were willing to get help (Steps 1-3). 

They took inventory of themselves (Step 4) and shared this with another person (Step 5).

They were willing to work on their personal defects of character (Steps 6-7). 

They made amends to those they had harmed (Steps 8 and 9).

They continued to do what was working for them (Step 10).  

Their quiet time in the morning was the most important thing in their day (Step 11). 

They worked tirelessly with others (Step 12). To Feel Good, Do Good.

Do I ever want to pick up a drink? Oh My YES. Read the below Post I published.

John I wish for you the very best.

Smiling ..  Cap