Feb 01: “Tolerance Keeps Us Sober”

“Tolerance Keeps Us Sober”

“Honesty with ourselves and others gets us sober, but it is tolerance that keeps us that way.

“Experience shows that few alcoholics will long stay away from a group just because they don’t like the way it is run. Most return and adjust themselves to whatever conditions they must. Some go to a different group, or form a new one.

“In other words, once an alcoholic fully realizes that he cannot get well alone, he will somehow find a way to get well and stay well in the company of others. It has been that way from the beginning of A.A. and probably will be so.”

LETTER, 1943
From “As Bill Sees It” page 312

I liked this reading and hope you do too. Honesty and tolerance – mmmm – always thought that I practiced those principles, but I’ve come to realize more and more that I haven’t been honest and tolerant all of the time – even in sobriety. I thought I was a pretty tolerant person, but really, I can be and have been selfish, self-centered, and impatient! This made my life unmanageable, and it really made others around me miserable – like my husband, children, co-workers, sponsors, friends, and other family members.

Through working the Steps (haven’t gone through all of them yet), going to meetings (f2f and online), lots of praying to the God of my understanding, working with other alcoholics, and working with a therapist, I’ve been able to change – to grow – and become the honest and tolerant woman that my higher power wants me to be.

I know that I cannot do this alone. I have missed meetings, because I don’t feel like going, and my disease tells me that I don’t need to go. Every time this happens, I feel like I am “okay” for a little while, and then the restlessness, irritability and discontent starts to creep back into my mind. Some of my old patterns of thinking and behaving start to come back.

I really need you ladies and other women in A.A. to keep me on the beam. I can do all of the exercising and yoga that I want, but it really comes down to the AA meetings – hearing other alcoholics and identifying with them. I have had to change my meetings, and I did form a new one. Many of you know that I only attend women’s meetings due to the fact that I had an affair with a man in AA. My husband and I continue to re-build our marriage, and I am still trying to gain all of his trust back. I also started up a new women’s meeting in the town that I live – a Big Book meeting which I chair.

If I isolate, it will not be good! I love that these meetings are 24/7. I try to attend at least 2-3 f2f meetings. I’m still trying to get better at picking up the phone and calling another woman in AA. Usually it’s texting 🙂 Anyways, I hope that you beautiful ladies got something out of this share! I am very grateful to be a part of GROW – I don’t always write a share, but I do read your shares!