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Integrity

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 11, 2018 9:01:01 AM / by John D. posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 step program, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, Recovery Program

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Recently during the U.S. Open a professional golfer swatted at his golf ball while it was moving. He knowingly did this in violation of the rules that govern golf. In a subsequent tournament another professional golfer took a drop with a golf shot that was controversial at best and which some of his fellow players characterized as cheating. Both of the situations were unfortunate and sullied the reputation of both players. It is said that golf doesn’t build character – it reveals it.

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Resting on Our Laurels

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 13, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by John D. posted in 12 step program, AA meetings, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, Recovery Program

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She sat next to the bed. I hadn’t touched her in months. She didn’t seem to notice - she didn’t say a word. I felt guilty. I felt ashamed. I felt like I had been unfaithful.

There had been so many excuses. “I’m too busy. I’m too tired. I’ve got more important things to do”. Excuses all...

Finally, I reached over and gently brushed off the dust from her jacket. I started my daily readings – again.

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Rehab Is Something They Do to Us. Recovery Is Something That Happens Among Us with God and Our Fellowship

[fa icon="calendar'] May 30, 2018 12:33:57 PM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, Sober Housing, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, Recovery Program

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I worked 20 years in Rehab, and for a long time, I saw it do a lot of people a lot of good. As rehab has evolved over the years, it has moved from an introduction into the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous into a medical, medication, and mental illness model of treatment. The old model was “one drunk helping another over a cup of coffee.”   I remember when there was a sign at the admissions entrance of my old rehab that said “AA Members Always Welcome”. I remember when my first morning staff meeting would tip the phones off the hook so they wouldn’t ring. We would shut the door and spend 20 minutes in prayer and meditation for the spiritual well-being of the unit. We would read from “Twenty-Four Hours a Day” and “As Bill Sees It.” The unit supervisor used to say “The patients will always reflect the spiritual well-being of the staff” and “They won’t get better than we are.” We thought of our unit as one recovering community.

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Formulas for Sobriety

[fa icon="calendar'] May 10, 2018 10:34:19 AM / by John D. posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, substance abuse, Sober Housing, AA Big Book, Recovery Program

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When I first came into the program I stumbled upon a few formulas for sobriety. Now I’m not a numbers guy and I’m really quite math-phobic, but this was simple math that made sense to me. My first formula was - put as much time into your recovery as you did into your addiction.

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We Don’t Need A “White Light” To Get Sober

[fa icon="calendar'] May 2, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 step program, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, Recovery Program

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I have had a misunderstanding about Bill Wilson’s “White Light” experience in Towns Hospital in 1934. I got my impression of that evening from watching a movie with an actor portraying Bill W’s experience. In the movie there is a supernatural experience, complete with a blinding white light and a rushing wind, a combination of a science fiction movie and a horror movie in its special effects.

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TRY HARDER

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 18, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by Kevin J posted in 12 step program, AA meetings, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, Recovery Program

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I always learned that the cure for any hurdle was to “try harder.” Struck out in Little League? TRY HARDER next at bat. Low grade on a test? STUDY HARDER next exam. Didn’t close the sale at work? TRY HARDER next customer. The message was to keep doing what you’re doing…but TRY HARDER! Can’t stop drinking? TRY HARDER. When I tried as hard as I could to stop drinking and using drugs and found that I could not on my own will, I tried harder in other areas of my life. Surely success in those areas would offset my utter failure to control and enjoy my drinking! That logic seemed unbeatable. But experience taught I am not. And thus the great paradox of recovery reared its beautiful head in my life. To make progress, to find sobriety, to find happiness, I had to STOP TRYING. (WHAT??)

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Recovery Is Not Sexually Transmitted

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 28, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Sober Housing, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, Recovery Program, help group

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Every morning at The Retreat I look at the in-house email. It tells me who has the day off, the lunch menu for the day, and any special events. It tells the number of admissions and discharges at The Retreat, and how many guests we have. It also lists the number of openings in the six sober houses that The Retreat owns and operates in Saint Paul. Usually the number of openings is “0”.

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Top Five Things About Getting and Being a Sponsor

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 7, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by John D. posted in AA meetings, AA Big Book, Recovery Program, help group, Support Group

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Top Five Things About Getting a Sponsor:

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Becoming God-Conscious

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 28, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 step program, Sober Housing, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book

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One of the great opportunities of living the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is our ability to become “God-Conscious.” Because our alcoholism is a brain disease, our brains reset themselves every night in our sleep to “alcoholic”. I find that I need to set my brain back every morning to “sober”.

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A New Year’s Inventory

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 3, 2018 8:00:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, Recovery Program

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The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous makes promises on pages 83 and 84. At the New Year, let’s see how these promises are coming true. We can all take inventory of these promises.

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