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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

Intensive Work With Other Alcoholics

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 5, 2020 9:00:07 AM / by John MacDougall posted in substance abuse, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, Older Adult Recovery Programs, Drugs Adiction

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One of the difficulties I have with staying sober is that I like to drink. I also like my drugs: Valium, Percodan, and other opiates, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates. For me, drinking and drugging is forever natural. Being clean and sober is forever unnatural. Even though my sobriety date is July 4, 1989, and I have been sober for 11,173 days, a day at a time, sobriety has never become natural for me. I rely on the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous and I do what it says to do.

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How Treatment Becomes a Part of Our Disease

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 3, 2020 1:04:48 PM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovery, substance abuse, AA meetings, Sober Housing, alcohol abuse, AA Big Book

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Step One of Alcoholics Anonymous tells me that I am powerless over alcohol when I drink it. Step One of Al-Anon tells me that I am powerless over alcohol when other people drink it, or when other people want to drink it. Both treatment programs, and The Retreat (which is not a treatment program) are powerless over alcohol and addiction when the people in them want to drink.

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Gratitude and Resentment

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 5, 2019 8:00:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovery, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, Older Adult Recovery Programs

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            In the early 1970’s I drove a taxi in New York City. The fare meters were mechanical, not electronic. They were driven by two moving cables. One cable measured time, and the other measured distance. Whichever cable moved faster drove the fare. If the cab was stuck in traffic, the fare still went up, driven by the “waiting time”. If the cab was moving briskly, the meter went up, pushed along by the distance driven. That image comes to mind when I think of gratitude and resentment.

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“A Real Man in Beverly Hills”

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 7, 2019 6:00:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 step program, AA meetings, 12 steps of aa, Older Adult Recovery Programs

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It’s Friday, November 1st, and I took the day off. I flew with my wife, Priscilla to Los Angeles. This fall I joined “The Magic Castle” in Hollywood. It is a private club in a castle, located in the Hollywood Hills. I sponsor a 94 year old psychologist who lives in California, and he both introduced me to the Magic Castle, and sponsored me for membership.

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We’re As Sober As Our Driving

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 6, 2019 12:37:42 PM / by John MacDougall posted in Recovery, Sober Housing, alcohol abuse, AA Big Book, Alcohol & Health

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“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!”"

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Celebrating My Freedom on Independence Day

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 3, 2019 2:17:50 PM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, AA meetings, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book

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“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."

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Becoming Self-Supporting

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 5, 2019 11:21:11 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, Older Adult Recovery Programs, Men's Sober Residential, Women's Sober Residential, Drugs Adiction

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

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The Grouch and The Brainstorm

[fa icon="calendar'] May 1, 2019 7:32:17 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Sober Housing, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, Men's Sober Residential, Women's Sober Residential

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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.

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“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 Alcoholics Anonymous, Sober Housing, AA Big Book, Older Adult Recovery Programs, Recovery Program

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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 Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, AA Big Book, Recovery Program, Drugs Adiction

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