RetreatBlogBannerImage.jpg

John MacDougall

John MacDougall is the Spiritual Care Coordinator at The Retreat.
His book, “Being Sober and Becoming Happy” is available from Amazon.com

Recent Posts

We’re As Sober As Our Driving

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 6, 2019 12:37:42 PM / by John MacDougall posted in Recovery, things, myself, someone, situation, don, willingness, talk, feelings

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

“I don’t mean driving under the influence of alcohol, I mean driving under the influence of anger, resentment, and ego. “You’re in MY lane!” “You’re in MY way!” “You cut ME off!”"

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Celebrating My Freedom on Independence Day

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 3, 2019 2:17:50 PM / by John MacDougall posted in Recovery, things, myself, someone, situation, don, willingness, talk, feelings

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

“What has God done for me, that I could never do for myself? On Independence Day, 2019, I get to celebrate 30 years of continuous sobriety in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous."

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Becoming Self-Supporting

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 5, 2019 11:21:11 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Recovery, things, myself, someone, situation, don, willingness, talk, feelings

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

“Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.”

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

The Grouch and The Brainstorm

[fa icon="calendar'] May 1, 2019 7:32:17 AM / by John MacDougall posted in anger, Recovery, boundaries, meeting, retreat, alcoholics, something, steps, need

[fa icon="comment"] 2 Comments

Most weekdays I work at The Retreat as the Spiritual Care Coordinator. Most of the time I am meeting with men and women who have already identified themselves as alcoholics and addicts who need recovery and want recovery, using the Twelve Steps and the Big Book of alcoholics anonymous. They understood that what The Retreat has is a thirty day immersion into the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. What The Retreat does not have is radio, television, computers, cell phones, and much in the way of entertainment. We take people who need recovery, put them with people who have recovery, and let everyone benefit from shared experience.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

“That’s How You Get To Be An Old Pilot!”

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 2, 2019 6:00:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in god, thing, condition, maintenance, pilot, steps, gate, step, scaffolding, agent

[fa icon="comment"] 6 Comments

 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 27, 2019 6:00:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in god, drink, cookies, craving, mind, chocolate, desire, temptation, thought

[fa icon="comment"] 1 Comment

 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Reflections on the coldest night of the year

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 30, 2019 8:03:10 AM / by John MacDougall posted in AA, retreat, forecast, night, below, anyone, tonight, everyone, alcoholics

[fa icon="comment"] 2 Comments

It’s Tuesday afternoon at The Retreat, and it’s cold. Right now it is 6 degrees below zero. The forecast for tonight is 26 below. Tomorrow’s forecast is 15 below in the daytime and 29 below at night. The all-time low was 32 below, set on the evening of February 3, 1996.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Friends of Bill W. Meet In The Stuyvesant Room at 4:00 P.M.

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 3, 2019 5:54:32 PM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, AA, AA meetings

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

I just returned from a Christmas cruise with a family group of nine people on Holland America’s new ship, the Niew Statendam. Our group of nine included my wife and myself, our two daughters, two sons-in-law, and three grandchildren. We all get along well.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

It’s Ok to Be Sad at Christmas, If We Have Something to Be Sad About

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 30, 2018 6:12:23 PM / by John MacDougall posted in Christmas, Holiday Season

[fa icon="comment"] 3 Comments

This month, there are a lot of “service pieces” in magazines and newspapers with helpful advice about how to not be sad at the holidays of Christmas and Hanukkah. These well-meaning columns have suggestions on how to change our moods and move away from sadness. However, I have a theory that having feelings that match reality is mental health, not mental illness.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

“If I Recover, Who Will I Be?”

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 14, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, addiction, recovering alcoholics, Recovery, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

I never asked this question when I was getting sober, but I have heard other people ask it. I thought they were raising unreasonable objections to getting sober or expressing resistance to recovery. Over the years, patients at Hazelden and guests at The Retreat have spoken of their reluctance to recover by saying that they are afraid to recover, because they are afraid of who they might be if they stop drinking or drugging. What will happen, they ask, if they get sober and don’t like themselves, or don’t like who they have become?

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Subscribe to Email Updates

Lists by Topic

see all

Posts by Topic

see all

Recent Posts