February 13: Alternate topic – Principles before Personalities/Practice these Principles in All of Our Affairs 

Topic for the Week

Principles before Personalities/Practice these Principles in All of Our Affairs

This last week I have been doing a lot of reflection, meditation and writing on this topic.

I guess for me its really easy to get caught up in all the gossip and rumours that goes on in the place where I live. For those of you who don’t know me, I have MS, and when I developed a very rare symptom of MS, because I have a particularly large lesion of MS on my brain stem, although I was still a very much functioning person, because of this symptom I ended up in a Care Facility, and have been here since Dec 2007.

As a consequence of this I have a revolving staff every day through a 24 hour period. Hence the source of gossip and rumours, although the same is true of AA whether its  f2f, email, Zoom, FB, Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, phone in etc meetings. Gossip and rumours run riot through these meetings, secret backchat can be easier to arrange and so on it goes. The worst part of all this is ease of which it can be to become involved.

The reasons are very easy to justify, “I just want to be informed” or “I should be able to make an informed decision” etc, and so I can become involved.

Recently we got a new Manager and she began the week of Xmas and had to then get her head around a complicated AIN/DSW roster as well as a resident calendar, since she, Karen, a lovely Irish woman, working in an Australian world, mixed with many different nationalities, each with their own version of the Australian work effort of “she’ll be right, mate”, a certain kind of Australian way of saying “easy does it, mate”. Which is a basic principle of we’ll get it done eventually in the “never-ending-tomorrow syndrome”.

In this climate it’s easy for gossip and rumours to get carried and to become involved with, as this is the stuff I need to make informed decisions about or I need to know about etc.

So I duly got involved in this gossip etc, because I needed to make an “informed” decision about Karen our new Manager, but then I found other thing became interlaced, which of course became a “priority” too, just as what happens when I begin with this activity.

Then it was pointed out to me what was happening and I listened to some old time recovery on Podcast and these two principles began to be discussed in general and in particular.

I’ve since changed my attitude but I learned a hard lesson through this process, most of all the need to talk to other  members of this program sober or not, new, first day sober or old-timers.

Life as a sober alcoholic no mater how long you’ve been here is about talking to another sober alcoholic, speaking it out, getting rid of my self-centredness, selfishness, self-seeking and dishonest ways. I haven’t had a Sponsor for a number of years and I haven’t been in regular contact with GROW, AA or any individuals for the same length of time. I’ve been a drifter, firstly because I’m not such a great fan of social media and, secondly, because I’ve been very unwell physically for over 5 years.

I’m returning now to GROW, regular Zoom meetings, and finally picking up that 10kg phone again. This helps me enormously. I’m coming back. And I’m getting back in the saddle with interpersonal contact before and after the meetings, however I attend them. Getting back to f2f meetings is a little more tricky but I’m hoping all will work out by the end of March.

Thank you for allowing me the honour to lead the topic this week.

Please share on your experience with this topic and I look forward to reading your Experience, Strength and Hope with being on either side of Principles before Personalities/Practice these Principles in All of Our Affairs.

Yours in sobriety, hugs to all