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“If I Recover, Who Will I Be?”

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

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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?

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Evaluating Our Own Sobriety

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 22, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 step program, 4th Step, 5th Step, 10th Step

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Alcoholism is a disease of self-deception. We can be taking all twelve steps, and still avoid the spiritual growth of the program. “Remember” the Big Book says, “that we deal with alcohol---cunning, baffling, and powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power—that One is God. May you find Him now!” (p.58-59)

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Garbage In - Garbage Out

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 8, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by John D. posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Twelve Step programs, 12th step

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There’s an old phrase in computer programming that goes… “Garbage In – Garbage Out”. In other words, if I program a faulty code, I’m going to get a faulty outcome.

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Resting on Our Laurels

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 13, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by John D. posted in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, spirituality, AA

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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, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, rehabilitation

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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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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 sobriety, Alcoholics Anonymous, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, bill wilson

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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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Becoming God-Conscious

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 28, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in faith-based recovery, god-conscious, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, AA

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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 AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, 11th step, 4th Step, 5th Step, sobriety, Holiday Season, alcohol addiction, alcohol recovery, recovering alcoholics

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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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A Miracle of the Season

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 13, 2017 10:00:00 AM / by John D. posted in Holiday Season, Alcoholics Anonymous, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, bill wilson

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On December 11, 1934, while under treatment at Towns Hospital for alcoholism, Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, experienced a profound and lasting spiritual experience. This intense and life-changing spiritual awakening left Bill with an overwhelming sense of well-being and freed him from his obsession and craving for alcohol. Bill said this about his “hot flash,” “I knew I was a free man”.

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My Behavior is My Prayer.

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 7, 2017 10:02:46 AM / by John MacDougall posted in spirituality, AA, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, god

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