Sunday, May 17, 2015

AA Bootcamp

.... on the Road to Recovery

                                                      AA Bootcamp

As you may know, I recently published a book titled "Under Construction - 25 Life-Building Tools for Addicts in Recovery."  Background information on the book is readily available through the links on the right side of this blog. The book can be purchased through on-line book retailers, including and

The positive feedback I have been getting from many individuals is way beyond my greatest expectations. I have had newcomers to AA, "long (old) timers," and family members tell me the many ways the book has helped them in dealing with recovery. 

Another unexpected highlight was when I was informed that the book is being utilized by counselors in local recovery treatment facilities. I regularly thank God for inspiring and guiding me in writing the book. Without Him, it would not have happened.

And the inspiration to write about recovery has hit me hard again... 

In response, I am writing a new book for those who want to learn more about the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is intended to serve as a basic guide for recovery from alcoholism through AA.  Although it is geared toward newcomers, it will serve as a useful resource for AA members with any length of sobriety as well as their family and friends. It will also provide specific information for professionals, e.g ,counselors, psychologists, lawyers, etc., who want to understand the fundamentals of the AA program.

Although things change when doing a book project, the draft title for the new book is:

AA Bootcamp - A Basic Training Guide for Newly Recovering Alcoholics (and Those that are Not so New)

I will be keeping you updated on the book via posts on this blog.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Recovery from Alcoholism- Worry is Playing God

....on the Road to Recovery

                                                Worry is Playing God

Do you spend a lot of time worrying about the future? How things will turn out? Imagine lots of negative things that may happen in the future?

Isn't this really assuming the role of God for your life?  

I am human so I am going to worry at times. That's the human condition. However, when I worry continually and excessively, it is clearly my attempt to control... not trusting in the true God, who has helped me for so many years. 

The more I can trust God to take care of me and the future, the more peace I will have and the less I will worry... get angry... engage in addictive behavior... and so on and so on.

Do you ever catch yourself playing God?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Recovery from Alcoholism-A Power Greater than Yourself

....on the road to recovery

                            Recovery from Alcoholism - A Power Greater than Yourself

Heard this at a meeting the other day... A person new to recovery was having a major problem understanding the idea of a Higher Power. Someone explained this simple thought through the following dialogue:

When you started drinking, who was your higher power? 

Meaning, whom did you look to for guidance and direction? Answer - I was my own higher power. I did what I thought I should, what I wanted to do, all the time.

Ok. What became of your higher power after you became addicted to alcohol? 

Meaning, what drove your priorities, your ways of living, the types of things you did and didn't do? Answer - Alcohol. I pretty much did what it drove me to do all the time. I followed its direction, blindly and without care for myself or others.

Conclusion - Ok then. We need to find a different Higher Power. One that is greater than ourselves and alcohol.

... and so the journey begins.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Recovery from Alcoholism-Faith and fear...together?

....on the Road to Recovery
Faith and fear... together?

I've heard this so many times, have you?

Fear can't live in the same house as faith... fear knocked at the door and faith answered... you can have fear or faith, not both.

I strongly disagree with all of these sayings. I absolutely believe you can be fearful and, at the same time, have strong faith. It happens to me all the time. I'm fearful of doing something, going somewhere, of the unknown future, of circumstances out of my control...

But I have faith... faith that if I ask my God for help, He will be along side me as I face the fear... to help and guide me; to walk right beside me as I face the challenge. I can think of Him as I go forward, of how He has protected me so many times in the past...

I once had to address the board of directors of a major company and I was extremely anxious... yes fearful...  It was a career-impacting presentation. I was told by my sponsor to bring God right in the room with me. When I entered the room, all seats were taken except the one I was to sit in... and one empty chair directly across from me. I asked God to sit in the chair and help me. I immediately felt some peace and relaxed a bit. During the presentation. I would glance over at that chair for a moment of calm... and I got it.

Presentation went well. I was told that I seemed very calm and professional.

Thanks,God, for being with me when I am fearful.

What do you believe about this issue of faith and fear? What has your experience shown you?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Recovery from Alcoholism-The pin that holds the good lives of our recovery together

....on the Road to Recovery

                                  The pin that holds our good lives of our recovery together

Heard this at a meeting the other day...Think of our sobriety as a pin that is attached to the ceiling. The ceiling represents our Higher Power and the AA Program. The pin, attached to the ceiling, represents our sobriety.  

Coming down from the pin is a series of strings that represent the good things that we have in our lives as a result of our connection with God and the Program...

Our families, our jobs, our health, our friends, our self-worth and any other positive thing in your life you can think of.

Pull the pin out of the ceiling (go back to drinking) and all of the strings (the good things we have) go crashing to the ground as we disconnect from God and the Program.

Is you pin securely fastened to the ceiling?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Recovery from Alcoholism-Was it a relapse or a pause?

....on the Road to Recovery

                                                    Was it a relapse or a pause?

Over the years, I have heard people come back to the Program and announce that they had a relapse or they may label it a "slip."  They may stay sober for a few months, or many months, and then relapse again... and again...

I don't want to judge these hurting people because who am I to say why some people "get" it the first time and others struggle and may never "get it."

However, a comment about this story of continuing relapses that really caught my attention went like this:  "Oh, that person didn't hurt enough to hit bottom; he just paused drinking until the pain passed, then went back to doing what he was doing."

What do you think about this?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Recovery from Alcoholism- "Many segments in a day's time"

....on the Road to recovery

                                           "Many Segments in a Day's Time"

When someone asks you, "How is your day going?"  how do you respond?

For me,  it's a general reaction based on how I'm feeling about the cumulative results of my day's thoughts, activities, challenges, successes,  failures, etc.

Lately. though, I have been thinking something different.

A day is a long time. Lots of things happen in a day's time. I make progress in some areas, make mistakes in others... interact well with some people, not so well with others... My defects of character emerge strongly for a period of time and fade as I take corrective action that I learned in AA. I may feel very connected with God in the a.m. and lose contact when I get angry or fearful later in the day.

I see it clearly now:  a day is a series of segments - some brief,  some longer - and what I am just beginning to see is that, when you look at a day as a series of segments, it takes away the attitude of I either had a good day or a bad one.

Instead, I can experience a whole series of smaller segments that allow me to enjoy the positive moments fully,  and, on the other hand, assess, change and move forward from negative experiences. In other words, I can start over many, many times during the day.

I guess that translates to living an hour at a time, or a segment at a time, instead of a day at a time.

Looking at a day in this way allows me to enjoy, reflect, adjust, accept and move forward,
instead of getting stuck in a singular pattern of thinking and action.

By the way, how does this relate to alcoholism?

My immediate response to this question is that I now reflect on positive things like the subject of this blog - as opposed to laying in bed, sick,  hungover, dreading the day and wondering how I will get through it with not drinking... or maybe having just one drink??? Right, sure.

How is your day of segments going?