May 2017 Online Exclusive

Current topics and news from The Grapevine.

May 2017 Online Exclusive

Postby Thumper » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:34 am

I am an alcoholic, and your AA Grapevine Representative. My name is Dale. Two quick reminders:

(1) E-AA totally supports the AA Grapevine. We have an entire page dedicated to it http://www.e-aa.org/grapevine.php
(2) A FREE Grapevine subscription is available to those who choose to enter the contest. Just fill out the form. I will take care of the rest. http://www.e-aa.org/form_gv.php


This is a Grapevine Online Exclusive. It is only available to those who have online subscriptions. I share it with promo privileges
Given that travel is part of my job, and that in the online community, we may be in the same boat, I thought I would share this story. It hit home for me.

Published May 2017.
Traveling To Sobriety
Her job takes her around the country, but wherever she lands, AA is there


One mile high and 3,875 days from a drink, I sat in the Denver airport reading a story from the Grapevine app about an impromptu meeting of Alcoholics in the Airport. And I was having a spiritual experience. For me that often starts with light tears welling up, a complete sense of relaxation and a connection to my Higher Power through fellows in Alcoholics Anonymous, even ones with whom I have not yet met. But I didn't get to this place overnight.

My journey in AA started in Geneva, Ill. on a Wednesday in January when I had nowhere else to turn. I had tried controlling my drinking by only drinking two drinks no more than two times per week. That experiment yielded results proving that I could not enjoy my drinking when I controlled it and I could not control my drinking when I enjoyed it. The kind people I found in the church basement smiled at me and told me to get sober by living one day at a time, just don't drink, go to meetings and work these 12 Steps. Oh and about that Higher Power, choose a concept of your own understanding; it'll come to you if you work it.

I had been working as a restaurant manager running a bar at a casual dining chain. I went to meetings almost daily and tried to practice these principles (that I didn't yet understand) in all my affairs. I worried many times during that first year if I should quit my job because surely I couldn't stay sober around so much alcohol. But the old timers told me to "take it easy" and "put first things first." They told me not to jump in or out of anything and that when or if it's time to leave the restaurant business, it would be clear and apparent from my Higher Power.

So I stayed. And I learned how to be kind, patient, tolerant, and considerate to my employees, guests, and coworkers. Some days work was tough, some days it was a total and complete joy. All the while I went to AA meetings, grew in my understanding of my Higher Power and forged friendships and relationships that I had only imagined while drinking.

I was transferred from one location to another while working in that job. I prayed to my Higher Power each morning through journaling, often times repeating a key meditation for the day and then asking for the strength, sanity and courage to go out and do God's will in all my affairs. For a time I wrote out the Prayer of St. Francis found in Step Eleven of the Twelve and Twelve. I asked daily to be a channel of love, forgiveness, truth, hope, harmony, light and joy. At work I was recognized for my ability to give away my work experience and teach and lead others. I was asked to travel on a regular basis. I went to meetings in Texas and was greeted by wonderful AA's there who helped me harness my understanding of the Big Book. I later traveled to Virginia and Tennessee where I met kind people who reminded me of why I stay. When a business trip took me to Key West for three weeks, the AA club on Duval Street ensured that I wasn't alone anymore.

So as I sit here in Denver airport on a business trip I can reflect on all that has transpired in sobriety. I've changed jobs two times, moved across two states, bought and sold houses, and gotten in and out and in relationships. I've discarded many of my old ideas and I've traded them for the new ones of love, serenity and peace. I've reconnected with family, lost a few friends, and made many new friends in the fellowship.

For me today, it's the little things that are spiritual experiences. A friendly smile from a stranger when I need it most, the beauty of the mountains or the sunset over the lake in Michigan, and especially feeling accepted and loved for exactly who I am (by God, by others and in my heart). I have AA to thank for keeping me clean and sober one day at a time through teaching me how to trust the care of a loving and powerful God of my own understanding.

Elizabeth N., Commerce, Mich.

Peace and Sobriety,
Dale B.
E-AA Grapevine Representative
Thumper
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:40 am

Re: May 2017 Online Exclusive

Postby Thumper » Mon May 08, 2017 8:17 am

Here is another May 2017 online exclusive.
I am an alcoholic and your Grapevine Representative. My name is Dale. Every month e-AA offers a free gift subscription to the Grapevine. To enter the monthly drawing for a free one-year Grapevine subscription, send your name and address to: http://www.e-aa.org/form_gv.php

The winners are drawn at random at the first of each month, so keep registering until you win! Our "Meetings in Print" (or online) rock
every month. Whether you want it in print so you can give it away to your home group, or you want it online for personal reflection and the extended online exclusives, jump on a subscription, free or not. The GV also is offering a 7-Day trial so you can try before you buy.

Everything Grapevine can be accessed right here at e-AA: http://www.e-aa.org/grapevine.php

Good luck!

For now, please enjoy this Online Exclusive. If you have an on-line subscription you will get a weekly ESH bonus like the one below.

Grapevine Online Exclusive
Published May 2017.
AA Has Never Lied To Me
Night, after night, commitment after commitment, he found that giving the gift of service led him to a new life

When I first came to my home group, I was welcomed with open arms. They asked nothing and demanded nothing of me other than that I have a desire to stop drinking. They gave me a place to rest when I was restless. They gave me food when I was hungry. They gave an ear to my fears. They gave unconditionally. You might say they gave me the keys to the church and later the keys to the Kingdom itself.

We met at parking lots and all piled in for the ride to the next commitment, telling our experience, strength and hope, night after night. All I seemed to hear was get in the car, Ed. When some time passed and the fog lifted, there was a desire to share with those who were as hungry, angry, lonely and tired as I was.

I kept just getting in the car and heading to another commitment.

Every month, we met to discuss our group’s business in carrying the message. We had reports from entities with names like General Service Office, Grapevine, District Committee. I knew nothing of these. As I stayed, I was asked to be a greeter. What a fearful day that was—and then a voice spoke up and said I will show you the ropes and suddenly the fear was gone. The gift of giving lay in action, unconditionally.

As the Big Book states: “We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics.” The Big Book taught me more and more as time went on. One day at a time, I was changing ever so slowly and my eyes began to see beyond the neck of a bottle. My sponsor was there to guide me and there were no fees or obligations.

There were times when life events took over and I was unavailable, and yet others came to help share the load. After a long time in sobriety my health failed as I finally diagnosed with Hepatitis C and liver cancer and ultimately received a new liver. I could not repay the debt I owed for all the help and support and for that I am extremely grateful. As a result of just doing the next right thing I was given a second chance at life with a new liver. My group and family carried my wife and me when no one else could. I could not go to meetings due to my health so I read day in and out on AA history and developed a deeper appreciation for those who have gone before us.

Since I first stepped into a meeting, AA has never lied to me. I have been rocketed into that fourth dimension of sobriety through service to others, through the gift of giving, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Ed M., Gig Harbor, Wash.

Peace and Sobriety,
Dale. B.
E-AA GVR
Thumper
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:40 am


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