Loneliness…

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I believe that I am not the only one with feelings of loneliness. There are many “seniors” struggling with depression, loneliness and isolation.  I know that I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep an attitude of gratitude, pray to God that I may get out of “self” and work to be of service to others – be they in or out of the Program.  Sometimes, I get very mixed up about what I want in my life. It is those times when I turn to the Program, and suggestions are made by others when they relate their experience, strength, and hope in recovery. We all need each other, and I am no exception to that rule.

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Taking It

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I believe in the power of the Steps, particularly as they relate to the Spiritual Principles.  When I work Step One, I am admitting that I am powerless over my disease, which brings me back to honestly admitting to myself that I am an alcoholic.  Reading Step One chapter in the 12X12, reminds me that I have a disease for which I need help with.  I cannot do this alone, but with the help of the Program, there is a chance I can.  My utter defeat is needed before recovery can begin.  I pray for surety and honesty from deep within.

Its Just Me

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I also believe that I am not the only one with these feelings, there are many “seniors” struggling with depression, loneliness and isolation.  I know that I need to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep an attitude of gratitude, pray to God that I may get out of “self” and work to be of service to others – be they in or out of the Program.  Sometimes, I get very mixed up about what I want in my life, it is those times when I turn to the Program, and suggestions are made by others when they relate their experience, strength, and hope in recovery – we all need each other, and I am no exception to that “rule.” 

Take A Step

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Step Three is about making a decision to believe in a power greater than me, that brings my focus to releasing my “death grip” on my disease.  I make a decision to turn my life and will over to the God of my understanding.  I pray for the willingness to do so.  Working the Steps has helped me numerous times to come to an understanding and acceptance of the power they can have in my life.  My sobriety is about working the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous – and my faith in my Higher Power, God.  The Steps are the pathway to recovery.  I need to sit still, have faith, and work the Program – this means reading the A.A. literature, prayers, and remaining willing to do whatever it takes to stay sober.

Protection For All

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At the personal level, anonymity provides protection for all members from identification as alcoholics, a safeguard often of special importance to newcomers. At the level of press, radio, TV, and films, anonymity stresses the equality in the Fellowship of all members by putting the brake on those who might otherwise exploit their A.A. affiliation to achieve recognition, power, or personal gain.
“UNDERSTANDING ANONYMITY,” p. 5

Attraction is the main force in the Fellowship of A.A. The miracle of continuous sobriety of alcoholics within A.A. confirms this fact every day. It would be harmful if the Fellowship promoted itself by publicizing, through the media of radio and TV, the sobriety of well-known public personalities who became members of A.A. If these personalities happened to have slips, outsiders would think our movement is not strong and they might question the veracity of the miracle of the century. Alcoholics Anonymous is not anonymous, but its members should be.

Active Guardians

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To us, however, it represents far more than a sound
public relations policy. It is more than a denial of
self-seeking. This Tradition is a constant and practical
reminder that personal ambition has no place in A.A.
In it, each member becomes an active guardian of our
Fellowship.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 183

The basic concept of humility is expressed in the
Eleventh Tradition: it allows me to participate
completely in the program in such a simple, yet profound,
manner; it fulfills my need to be an integral part of a
significant whole. Humility brings me closer to the
actual spirit of togetherness and oneness, without which
I could not stay sober. In remembering that every member
is an example of sobriety, each one living the Eleventh
Tradition, I am able to experience freedom because each
one of us is anonymous.

Attraction Not Promotion

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Through many painful experiences, we think we have arrived
at what that policy ought to be. It is the opposite in many
ways of usual promotional practice. We found that we had to
rely upon the principle of attraction rather than promotion.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 180-81

While I was drinking I reacted with anger, self-pity and
defiance against anyone who wanted to change me. All I wanted
then was to be accepted by another human simply as I was and,
curiously, that is what I found in A.A. I became the custodian
of this concept of attraction, which is the principle of our
Fellowship’s public relations. It is by attraction that I can
best reach the alcoholic who still suffers. I thank God for
having given me the attraction of a well-planned and
established program of Steps and Traditions. Through humility
and the support of my fellow sober members, I have been able
to practice the A.A. way of life through attraction, not promotion.

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