Weekly Grapevine Readings

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Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Thumper » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:43 am

Hi everyone. Dale here; an alcoholic and your Grapevine Representative. One benefit of having a Grapevine subscription is access to exclusive stories. As a reminder, our September contest for a free subscription is still going on. You can find the entry form here: http://www.e-aa.org/form_gv.php. PLEASE ENTER NOW!!

Also, wouldn’t be awesome to have an e-AA member’s story published? You can be next. Just connect with them here http://www.aagrapevine.org/share

The Grapevine is approved AA and e-AA literature. It is copyrighted by Grapevine Inc. and is reprinted with permission.
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Finding Love in all the Right Places
You don’t find a spouse with every service commitment, but sometimes being in the right Area Assembly at the right time works out quite nicely.

I started drinking as a freshman in college when I joined a sorority and my high school sweetheart joined a fraternity. I was 20 years old and I had just become the life of the party. I quickly learned how to drink with the guys. I was finally getting the attention I had longed for my whole life.

Needless to say, the high school sweetheart didn't stick around long.
The sorority became a distraction from my partying and I quit. I managed to graduate on schedule. Some people graduate with student loan debt, but I graduated with a $10,000 bar tab—and very little in the way of self-respect. I fumbled around for a year after college, before finding myself broke and living back at my parent's house. This definitely put a cramp in my partying, but I still managed to keep up it up on the weekends and received my first DWI at 25 years old. My parents helped me through the whole ordeal and I continued to drink the way I wanted to, the only way I knew how. After I got off my first DWI on a technicality, I decided I wanted to go back to school and become a nurse. I worked hard, partied hard and graduated from nursing school with my second DWI. Again, my parents helped with all the fines and fees since I wasn't making any money yet. To thank them, like a true alcoholic, I decided I needed a geographical change.

With my new nursing degree, I moved out of my parents’ house and progressed into my alcoholism. Now, I could drink the way I wanted, without feeling my
parents’ loving judgment. Three years later, I received my third DWI. After being released from the drunk tank and sleeping the entire day, I called my mother and said: “I need help. Please come get me.” My mother and father drove three hours to pack up my apartment, help me resign from my current position, hire a lawyer, and take me home to prepare for the consequences and the legal ramifications of a DWI-II charge. I walked into my first open AA meeting at 30 years old with my father at my side. This meeting was filled with retired men and women with 20-50 years of sobriety. I can’t be an alcoholic, I thought. I’m too young. How will I ever have fun again? How will I get married and not toast my husband with champagne? (Never mind that there was no man in my life nor had there been anyone serious in years.)How will I date sober? How will I talk to guys sober? How will I make new friends if I can't meet them after work for a drink?

These were just a few questions that plagued me in the beginning of my journey. However, I quickly learned how to smile and laugh genuinely again, how to have fun without drinking, and even how to face jail time related to my DWI with grace and peace due to the love and support of my family and friends in the program.
I was just under a year sober when I was “tricked” into being GSR of my Newcomer's home group. I was nominated and elected as the alternate GSR and sent off to our state Area Assembly. As I was learning the ropes of my first service position and thinking I could squeak by as the alternate, I filled out the form to notify the Registrar of my new position. He noticed I left the GSR information blank. He asked me who our group GSR was and when I told him we didn't have one, he laughed and said: “Then that makes you the GSR!” Sneaky old-timers!!
I accepted my newfound role and jumped right in. I was given a committee meeting to attend and though I had no experience with treatment or real interest in the treatment committee, I was taught to take suggestions and I went to my meeting. I signed in and took out my notebook to take notes, trying my hardest to look like I knew what I was doing. I listened and when I tried to voice my opinion, I was cut off by another member in the group. Still somewhat shy and self-conscious in my early sobriety, I didn't stand up for myself.

Then, there he was. “Becca, did you have something to add?” said the guy sitting on the couch. I did and I shared my opinion. I don't remember to this day what I said and probably neither does anyone else in that meeting, but I did learn to respect others when they are sharing. The man that rescued me became my service crush and I looked forward to the next Area Assembly. (Hey, whatever it takes to get excited about service!)

Three months later I attended my second Area Assembly. I so hoped he would be there again and he was. I was not going to wait another three months to make my move, so I chased him down the hall after our committee meeting and struck up a conversation. After exchanging pleasantries and basic information about each other he gave me his business card and left. I took a chance and emailed him the next night. His response started a month long email and phone relationship in which he discovered I only had one year of sobriety (he had seven) and I had only worked the first three Steps. He told me he could not date me until I had worked all the Steps. He had dated in the AA before and knew the difficulties that could come up for me without a solid program in place. This seemed a little harsh, but I took this to my sponsor. She explained to me the importance of working through the Steps fully: Before bringing someone else into my life, I had to clear away the wreckage of my past.

What happened next is only what I could explain as the Promises coming to life as a result of working all the Steps. We dated for ten months, completed a half-marathon where he proposed to me at the finish line, and were married six months later. We toasted with lemonade surrounded by our families, both blood and program.
I have been given so much more than I could have ever expected in this program, and know that by taking simple suggestions I have found a life beyond my wildest dreams. I don't promise a husband with every service position, but I can promise that when we place ourselves in the position to be of optimum service to this program, amazing things happen.
I just celebrated my three-year sobriety date and he celebrated his nine-year sobriety date. We are both active in service and our home group. We work our own programs in our lives and in our marriage. When I get on my knees every morning and every night to pray to my Higher Power, I thank him for allowing me to be an alcoholic and for letting me be one of the lucky ones that got it. I heard someone say once: “I don't think the members of AA opened the doors of heaven and let me in, but I know they opened the doors of hell and let me out.”
Thank you for letting me out.

Rebecca R., Alexander, Ark
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby PaigeB » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:06 am

Thanks for your service Dale!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Brock » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:17 pm

Yes thanks Dale. This is the first time I have noticed one of the weekly stories being put up, and I expect that if us the readers make any comments, some members probably believe that these should be complementary only, 'lovely story I enjoyed reading it' sort of thing.

I hope if we make comments, which are uncomplimentary about the way the person worked the program, but also point out a common failure of today's AA, it would be viewed as possibly being helpful to other new members.

To that end I will quote a section, which demonstrates what is reported here from time to time -
...he discovered I only had one year of sobriety (he had seven) and I had only worked the first three Steps. He told me he could not date me until I had worked all the Steps... I took this to my sponsor. She explained to me the importance of working through the Steps fully: Before bringing someone else into my life, I had to clear away the wreckage of my past.

So what a great sponsor! This lady in our program one year and up to step three, and it seems only getting any further, because it's important to clear away wreckage of the past, before bringing someone else into her life. And we see this all to often, sponsors who perhaps because they could take their cool time getting through the required work, inflict the same on others, the alcoholics I know wouldn't have lasted anything like a year.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Spirit Flower » Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:07 pm

I wish she had discussed working the steps and how that changed her.
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Thumper » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:42 am

The awesome thing about e-AA is that we have different venues we can play in. Some people like forums, some people like chat, some people are perfectly happy with the variety of email meetings we have.

As the Grapevine Rep (GVR) I have to at least give every venue the same chance to win the subscription contest, get exposed to what the Grapevine is all about, and provide the value of what I see from "our meetings in print".

I expect a certain balance of "complementary" responses vs. real discussion of the information and GV stories that I might share. Discussion is healthy, most of it happens here in Forums. However, we must caution ourselves against taking the other person's, or their sponsor's in this case, "inventory" based on couple hundred words published in a magazine.

Rule 62. 8)
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Brock » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:23 pm

However, we must caution ourselves against taking the other person's, or their sponsor's in this case, "inventory" based on couple hundred words published in a magazine.

Welcome to the forums Dale, thanks for your service as the GVR. I would mention that the pseudonym you use “Thumper,” pretty well describes a few of us here. Anytime something is said that goes against the instructions in the first 164 pages, we find it very difficult to keep quiet.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby PuppyEars » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:55 am

I hope if we make comments, which are uncomplimentary about the way the person worked the program, but also point out a common failure of today's AA, it would be viewed as possibly being helpful to other new members.

:?:

I am confused. Why would this be the place to put a magnifying glass over aa's failures? How is it helpful to a newcomer to sort through frustrated mumblings from old timers? Learning what not to do may have its practical applications here and there, but experience is the best teacher.

No?
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Brock » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:28 am

Why would this be the place to put a magnifying glass over aa's failures?

The Grapevine prints someone's story and it is reproduced here, it gives the impression that it's OK to linger on step three for a year, what other place should we point out that this is a dangerous approach.
How is it helpful to a newcomer to sort through frustrated mumblings from old timers?

Newcomer visits our site, reads story, thinks it's OK to linger on step three for a year, reads next post and sees someone saying that is not the way to do our program, and you want to know how that is helpful!
Learning what not to do may have its practical applications here and there, but experience is the best teacher….No?

So it's best we say nothing, newcomer learns from experience what sometimes happens to those lingering on step three, newcomer dies. Still confused!
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby PaigeB » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:39 am

However, we must caution ourselves against taking the other person's, or their sponsor's in this case, "inventory" based on couple hundred words published in a magazine.

I don't think we should do it in any case. There are too many variable and too many way to interpret for us to be so cock-sure. The name Thumper is also a name for a bunny in the Disney book Bambii.

But anyway Brock your disdain has been noted.

Being wrong or right is up to interpretation and not the purpose of this thread. Take the arguments elsewhere.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby PuppyEars » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:00 am

Hey big guy where in the big book does it say not to linger on ANY step?

You dont own aa man. You talk from this throne and play God a lot!

Sorry Paige I cant resist this clown
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby PaigeB » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:34 am

Ironically - a good day to read about Unity.
16th September Daily Reflection

WE STAND—OR FALL—TOGETHER

. . . no society of men and women ever had a more urgent need for continuous effectiveness and permanent unity. We alcoholics see that we must work together and hang together, else most of us will finally die alone.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 561

Just as the Twelve Steps of A.A. are written in a specific sequence for a reason, so it is with the Twelve Traditions. The First Step and the First Tradition attempt to instill in me enough humility to allow me a chance at survival. Together they are the basic foundation upon which the Steps and Traditions that follow are built. It is a process of ego deflation which allows me to grow as an individual through the Steps, and as a contributing member of a group through the Traditions. Full acceptance of the First Tradition allows me to set aside personal ambitions, fears and anger when they are in conflict with the common good, thus permitting me to work with others for our mutual survival. Without Tradition One I stand little chance of maintaining the unity required to work with others effectively, and I also stand to lose the remaining Traditions, the Fellowship, and my life.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Thumper » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:49 am

Brock wrote:
Welcome to the forums Dale, thanks for your service as the GVR. I would mention that the pseudonym you use “Thumper,” pretty well describes a few of us here. Anytime something is said that goes against the instructions in the first 164 pages, we find it very difficult to keep quiet.


Thanks for the welcome Brock. For the most part, I don't spend much time in Forums, not my preferred venue. However, as GVR I have to recognize that my Trusted Servant role extends to all of e-AA, not just my preferred sandboxes.

My handle, "Thumper" was given to me before my 1st drink and outside of AA connotations. However, I do recognize the AA implications regarding the moniker. I hear it in live and in recorded speaker AA meetings. "Just for you 'thumpers' out there..."

I am responsible. I will post the e-AA GV subscription contest notices to this forum under it's specific heading so all venues are covered and have an opportunity to participate. I may, like this time, also bring some of the benefits of being a subscriber and post stories. The discussion is left to "The Forum".

Thanks again for your participation.

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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Brock » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:18 am

Being wrong or right is up to interpretation and not the purpose of this thread. Take the arguments elsewhere.

I was not the one arguing, I was accused of “frustrated mumblings,” for pointing out something which could potentially lead a new person astray, I will answer one more question and then let the matter rest -
Hey big guy where in the big book does it say not to linger on ANY step?

Well I was talking about step three, the one the person in the story was 'lingering' on, so let's see what it says at the end of that one “Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal housecleaning...This was step four.” Anyone who does not know that the word “launched” indicates movement and not lingering, should not start an argument as you have done.

Note to moderators – I am sorry that this has occurred, however it is not easy to remain silent, when someone takes a quite innocent observation about a story, and stirs the pot by calling it “frustrated mumblings,” and asks pointed questions about why the post was made. The same person who on Wednesday, interjected this line in a conversation he was not a party to - “He is a pretentious douche that has it all figured out.” And now says - “You talk from this throne and play God a lot!...I cant resist this clown.” I have not said anything inflammatory to him, and am surprised that his behavior is not being moderated.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Thumper » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:06 pm

Note to Monitors.
This is a venue where personalities vs. principles prevail. We are all alcoholics and have, what I hope, is a an opportunity to express our experience, strength and hope (ESH) regarding discussion topics. Disagreement is to be expected. Personal attacks and name calling should not be tolerated. Fix it.

Back to business. What was quoted by Brock is correct. Pg 63-64. "We launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal housecleaning...This was step four.” However, it does not necessarily apply to the pieces of the reading I originally posted:

“I need help. Please come get me.”
"I have been given so much more than I could have ever expected in this program, and know that by taking simple suggestions I have found a life beyond my wildest dreams.“
I don't think the members of AA opened the doors of heaven and let me in, but I know they opened the doors of hell and let me out.”


Forum. If you wish to continue receiving the Grapevine Weekly posts for discussion, please advise.

Dale B. (AKA Thumper) Your Trusted Grapevine Representative.
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby PaigeB » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:09 pm

Brock you were first and fast to argue with the reading itself.

After THAT it was all downhill.

I no longer need to hold my not-so-humble thoughts. It is NOT easy. But it is doable and I SUGGEST that you hold yours. Try harder man. Seriously, you do not own this message - not even the message slant that you beat to death. If a person takes a year to get to Step 4 so be it! AMEN! At least they got there.

Spout off somewhere else, personally I am getting very very sick of it.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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