June 16: Three Choices

Topic for the week:

For this week’s topic I am borrowing a topic from a recent meeting I was not able to hear all of it. The leader read from As Bill Sees It page 327, 

“Three Choices: The immediate object of our quest is sobriety–freedom from alcohol and from all its baleful consequences. Without this freedom, we have nothing at all.

Paradoxically, though, we can achieve no liberation from the alcohol obsession until we become willing to deal with those character defects which have landed us in the helpless condition. In the freedom quest, we are always given three choices.

A rebellious refusal to work up on our glaring defects can be an almost certain ticket to destruction. Or, perhaps for a time, we can stay sober with a minimum of self-improvement and settle ourselves into a comfortable but often dangerous mediocrity. Or, finally, we can continuously try hard for those sterling qualities that can add up to fineness of spirit and action–true and lasting freedom under God.”

I remember when I was new, I wanted to find the shortest cut to achieving what I saw in others. I was always trying to find the angle, the key, the way. That unknown quality that would make me whole so that I could be good enough for the right man, the right job, the perfect friends. If only, then my world would be perfect. Coming into AA wasn’t different, I heard what they said in meetings, I worked with my sponsor, I tried working with others, but I was hardheaded, and I didn’t follow all the instructions. It took years for me to be where I thought I should be, and now that I am here, I realize it is the simple things that are important:

1.    don’t drink no matter what (call one of us first)

2.    read the big book (Alcoholics Anonymous)

3.    Find a woman sponsor to work the steps with

4.    go to as many meetings as you can

5.    watch out for 13th steppers (men will pat you on the ass, women will save your ass)

Read the big book, continuously so that “more can be revealed.” Get a sponsor, the true reality check with I get crazy. Go to as many meetings as you can, I always learn new things at meetings, meet interesting people and expand my horizons. Watch out for people with ulterior motives.

After you’ve been in AA a while, get into service: Make coffee, clean the meeting room, chair meetings, volunteer in the office or your local intergroup, attend group conscience meetings–no matter how strange they seem, remember “place principles before personalities.”

No matter how much time you have in this program, character defects do pop up, and just like everything, if you apply the principles in dealing with the problem, your life will get better. This is a spiritual program for living.

Thank you for the honor of letting me chair this meeting. The floor is now open. Have a Blessed week.