AA Thought for the Day
February 24, 2019
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When he sees you know all about the drinking game, commence to
describe yourself as an alcoholic. Tell him how baffled you were,
how you finally learned that you were sick. Give him an account of
the struggles you made to stop. Show him the mental twist which leads to
the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in
the chapter on alcoholism. If he is alcoholic, he will understand you at once.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, (Working With Others,) pp. 91 - 92
Thought to Ponder
How we treat others is a consequence of the depth of our own spirituality.
P R O G R A M = People Relying On God Relaying A Message.
A Member Shares:
I'm Bev and I'm an alcoholic. It's always a good time to make the next right choice, to make decisions to be sober, to work towards improving life goals, etc. These are obvious philosophical generalizations that may not necessarily be helpful or useful in and of themselves as quippy, convenient slogans when improperly used. Especially for newcomers and those who still suffer. Before you get the wrong idea about what I'm saying, understand that I support and am grateful for the wisdom in these slogans; however, the clock and heart in each alcoholic's life is different from our own. The manner in which we provide suggestions, (paired with the context of other alcoholic’s emotional and spiritual state) can be really impactful, unique, hit or miss, sensitive, delicate, and sometimes even harmful. For example, during my first 30 days, I was excited and pushed someone close to me to go to AA meetings. They were not interested at that time. I continued pushing. I believe I contributed to, if not created, this person’s aversion to AA as a program. Aversion to treatment of a progressive, deadly disease is serious business. I could have put the nail in the coffin for her. Today, (no thanks to me, and by the many graces and blessings of God) she is attending meetings, in treatment, and is very dedicated to her sobriety. Timing is important. If we proctor a test about quantum mechanics to a kindergartner, they won’t get it and might go on to develop an aversion to physics! It's too soon! If we wait around all day for the right time and don’t do our chores, life is a big mess! I have seen people using way too much haste when talking through complex concepts, and/or impatiently responding with convenient, quippy slogans when it was not appropriate or helpful to the listener. Affect is important. If we approach other struggling alcoholics and come off as busy, absent-minded, impatient, callous, controlling, too high on our pedestals to care, with inflexible thinking and behavior, the alcoholic is more likely to miss the memo! We have been given the gift of a wonderful program that helps us to better adapt to and navigate life's problems. It worked for us. We have to be intuitive with each alcoholic we speak to, and *always* strive for our personal best when adapting to and navigating the timing and manner in which we share insight with others, so it can work for them too. I have heard a figure, that one in three alcoholics "have success in sobriety." I sometimes wonder how this figure would be impacted if, magically, all AA'ers were more mindful about when/how they share information. After all, we are dealing with people’s lives. A little mindfulness could go a long way.
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Thanks to all of you for sharing so generously of your experience, strength and hope in carrying the AA message.
Grateful to serve,
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