Thank you very much, for visiting this website. I pray it finds you happy, healthy, joyous and well, and enjoying all the beauty of the God given, AA spiritual twelve-step way of life.
This website has been put together to help newcomers. To help them find and enjoy the beautiful free spiritual sobriety gift, that is available in AA, by working its life saving twelve-step spiritual recovery programme.
It came about, because I was recently asked, by our local AA archivist to write some articles about my time in AA, and how AA has grown in the Ealing area since 1996.
My sponsor then asked me to put what I wrote, onto a website, as it could be of some use in helping others. This therefore is it.
I pray, God willing, that it does contribute and help others, on their beautiful spiritual journey of AA recovery
Putting it together has been a joy. It has also given me the opportunity, to pass on in some small way, the joy, health, sobriety, and happiness that has come into my life, since I came to AA, a broken, broken man, over 17 years ago.
I have not had or wanted a drink in that time, and I know and appreciate, that this is all because of the wonderful simple spiritual programme that I have been shown in brilliant, life-saving AA.
When I arrived, I had no idea of how AA worked. I did not know that it was a very simple spiritual programme of action, involving steps, sponsorship, service, and smiles.
I did not even know that the word God would be used. At the time of my arrival, God was to me a nasty word, a word that upset me, a word that only brought bad memories, and nasty thoughts.
Yet it is only a word of three letters, and the same three letters make the word Dog, a word I had no problem with or with saying. How silly and stupid I was, some people may say I still am, that is their right.
When I came to the rooms, I was completely and utterly beaten. I had drunk for over 30 years. Alcohol had started as a friend. As time went on, I came to rely on it more and more, to help me over life problems.
However, by the time I got to AA, drinking only made matters worse. Whether I drunk or not, the pain in my brain, would not go away.
Lots of the thoughts I had at the time I arrived were suicidal ones. Suicide was something I had attempted ten years earlier, which had led to me being admitted to the local mental hospital for a period.
I now gratefully and sincerely realise that all the pain I went through was absolutely necessary, for it meant that when I came to AA, it made me humble enough to listen.
It also made me put into action, the simple spiritual suggestions, all taken from the wonderful Big Book, that were being put forward to me, by the wonderful people I was meeting.
I did not at that time, realise, that by doing these simple spiritual suggestions; getting on my knees morning and night, writing gratitude lists, doing service etc, would change my life so much.
Not only would they help me stop drinking, but by doing them, I would become cheerful, and start having a pleasant sober harmonious relationship, not only with those around me, but also with myself, and with a God or Higher Power of my own concept or understanding.
From that very first day, this previously arrogant and proud person, has got on my knees, morning and night.
At night to thank a Higher Power or God of my own understanding or concept, for keeping me sober that day, and each morning to ask that same Power to keep me sober that day, all so I could be of help to others, particularly my fellow alcoholics.
This is in line with what is said on Pages 12 and 13 of the beautiful Big Book.
On Page 12 it says, “”My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, ‘Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?” and Page 13, “Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness to others.
From my second day, I was introduced to service., I didn’t particularly want to do it, but I helped put away the chairs.
As time went on, I got involved in all aspects of service at meetings; opening up, putting up the scrolls, setting out the chairs, washing up, making the tea, tidying up, greeting people etc.
The more I did, the more I was enjoying life. I quickly realised that doing these things not only helped the meeting, but also helped me, for when I was doing something for someone else or for the meeting, guess what,I was not thinking of myself.
I soon got home groups, at which I did service. I was also advised that when ever I went to a meeting, I should always go with the aim of helping out, or pitching in where necessary, and always be looking to help the newcomer.
From my first day, this previously proud arrogant person was taking spiritual guidance, from the wonderful people I was meeting.I quickly found that when I did what they suggested, it worked.
However, I quickly realised that I also needed to get a sponsor. This I quickly did, and this wonderful man, quickly took me through the twelve beautiful, God given, life-saving steps.
This led me to doing even more beautiful service. After finishing step five, I started to do chairs, and share at meetings. I become a secretary. I also held treasurer and literature commitments at meetings.
Later I had the privilege of being a sponsor, the wonderful gift of freely passing on to others, the spiritual solution that had been so freely given to me. I still love helping out, doing service, helping others, sponsoring people, and God willing, long may it continue.
After some years I went on to do service at Intergroup and Region level. Later with my sponsor’s wonderful guidance, I was able, with others, to set up some more wonderful meetings in the Ealing area, the area of London, in which we lived.
This was all done, to help pass on the beautiful wonderful free, God given AA sober spiritual message that was so freely given to us. It was all done to help others particularly the wonderful newcomer.
We were blessed that Ealing happens to rhyme so beautifully with a number of words including healing, feeling, reeling, ceiling, and of course kneeling.
These were words that we were able to use in the naming of some of the new meetings that we were able, with God’s love, and the guidance of my sponsor, to humbly and happily start.
Meetings with names such as, ‘Great Feeling in Ealing,’ ‘Great Healing in Ealing,’ ‘No Longer Reeling in Ealing,’ ‘No Longer Looking at the Ceiling in Ealing,’ and of course ‘Great Kneeling in Ealing,’ were all gratefully started.
Titles or names that indicated how we now felt, and the sobriety, serenity and spirituality that AA had brought and was continuing to bring, and continues to bring into our lives.
I am so very, very grateful to AA for so, so many things. Not only for many years of sobriety, but for extra years of life, that I can only describe, as being happy, healthy, peaceful, blissful, joyous and free.
The ‘promises’ mentioned on Pages 83 and 84 of the Big Book, have all come true in my life. AA has also allowed me the great fantastic privilege of having my own beautiful connection with a God of my own concept or understanding.
I am so very grateful to all the lovely people I have met on my wonderful AA journey. These include of course my sponsor and all those lovely people I met on my first day, when I turned up knowing nothing, and who quickly got me involved in AA’s simple spiritual God given programme.
I find everyone and everything in AA wonderful and lovely. People all want to help, and they all want to pass on, this beautiful gift of sobriety to the newcomer.
I am also so very, very grateful for being alive, full of health, energy and vitality. I am also particularly grateful to AA for allowing me to find and develop this loving relationship with a God or a Higher Power of my own concept.
I still have the same wonderful sponsor, who has not only taken me through the steps, but with his guidance, I have also come to better appreciate and understand, the full spiritual beauty of our Big Book and Fellowship.
It has been said, that the Big Book, the spiritual source of our Fellowship, is truly our autobiography. In my own case I most certainly agree. It not only describes my drinking escapades, but also describes my mad self-centred, selfish, egotistical way of life, prior to AA.
I was a person who was basically only concerned with himself, who was invariably selfish, and self-centred. Of course when you put alcohol into such a person, he becomes even more selfish and self-centred, invoking even more retaliation from others.
The wonderful brilliant Big Book gives precise instructions, on how to get and keep sober. It so accurately describes what we are like when we arrive, and beautifully describes what will happen if we follow the twelve-step spiritual programme of recovery.
Each word in it, particularly in the first 164 pages, I can most certainly relate and agree with. They marvellously describe what I was like before I came to AA and what I am like now, since doing the twelve-step spiritual recovery programme.
I find it very difficult, in fact virtually impossible; to describe how blissful, serene and peaceful my life is now. Mere words cannot do justice to the feeling of calmness, joy, beauty, bliss, peace, and love that I have with me at all times.
Wonderful qualities that I could never have contemplated before coming to AA. This, all by doing the spiritual things suggested, and going through the steps, with the guidance of a sponsor, who also has a sponsor, who has a sponsor, etc, etc.
Of course the Big Book, on Page 25, describes much more effectively, how I feel, where it says, “We have found much of heaven and we had been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.”
Wonderful words, which I didn’t fully comprehend at the start, but with which, like so many, many others, I am very happy to say, I am now in total agreement. Thank you God, thank you AA.
Our Big Book, particularly the first 164 pages, is phenomenal. Everything in it describes me. For instance, I could talk a lot about my drinking, we all could, but Page 8 describes in a few lines and words, graphically, how I was the day I arrived.
It says, “No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretched around me in all directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed. Alcohol was my master.”
When I think of the wonderful welcome, people gave this silly self-centred alcoholic person on that first day, I can only be so very, very grateful. I pray that I act and always will act, in a similar beautiful, spiritual, fashion.
After the meeting they kindly took me for tea. Somebody bought me my first Big Book. I am so very, very grateful, for what they did.As we talked over tea, I was able to quickly identify with them, and they with me.
They passed on some very, very, simple spiritual suggestions, just as it says should be done on Page 93 of the Big Book. “Even though your protégé may not have entirely admitted his condition, he has become very curious to know how you got well. Let him ask you that question, if he will.
Tell him exactly what happened to you.Stress the spiritual feature freely. If the man be agnostic or atheist, make it emphatic that he does not have to agree with your conception of God.
He can choose any conception he likes, provided it makes sense to him. The main thing is that he be willing to believe in a Power greater than himself and that he lives by spiritual principles.”
This is exactly what happened. I really couldn’t believe that the people I was with were alcoholics. They all looked so well.
I asked them what they did to be like that, and they told me. As it says above, and taken from Page 93, they did “Stress the spiritual feature freely.”
They told me they got on their knees each night to say thank you to a Power greater than themselves, for keeping them sober that day.
Each morning, they said, they also got on their knees, and asked that same Power to keep them sober that day, all so they could be of help to other alcoholics.
They stressed or suggested that I should take the same action. That night I did get on my knees and again next morning and have done it night and morning since,
Guess what, just as they said, I found it worked, I have not had or wanted a drink since starting to do it, over seventeen years ago. In that time, not only have I been sober, but a cheerfulness, a happiness, and a joy has come into my life, that I have never before experienced,
The Big Book sums it up so well, on Page 8, where it says, “I was soon to be catapulted into what I like to call the fourth dimension of existence.
I was to know happiness, peace, and usefulness, in a way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes.” This describes perfectly how I felt, and how I still feel all these years later.
I am so very, very grateful for the people I met on my first day, and what they told me. They made it very simple for me to understand. For the first time in my life I met people who understood me. Who had gone through the same life problems.
People who had used drink to ease their problems. Who were forced through pain to come to AA. Who were then shown AA’s ‘spiritual tools.’ All they wanted to do was pass them on to me, which they so successfully did that day.
They are always in my prayers, for what they said and did that day. They not only saved my life, but they started me on a path, that led to a new beautiful happy spiritual one. Thank you wonderful AA, thank you lovely God.
They also said, I need never drink again, nor need I ever have a bad day again, if I followed these simple spiritual suggestions. I thought this a bit over the top, particularly the later statement, but now several years later, I found both these statements to be true.
Things will happen, life is, but I have been shown the ‘spiritual tools,’ to keep my body and spirit, sober, happy, healthy, joyous and free, no matter what takes place.
I am so very, very grateful to them, to my sponsor, to AA, in fact to everyone I have met, for passing on the ‘spiritual tools,’ the twelve steps of our spiritual programme.
This has allowed me to not only realise the beauty of our spiritual programme of recovery, but also to realise the beauty of this God given life. I also know, that provided I do spiritual things every day, then the wonderful ‘spiritual tools’ of AA, allow me to remain sober, happy, healthy, joyous and free, continuously.
AA is certainly not ‘just one day at a time,’ or ‘don’t pick up the first drink, or, ‘just keep coming back,’ it is a spiritual programme of action born out by the wording on Page 85 of the Big Book.
This says, “It is easy to let up on the spiritual programme of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism.
What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all our of our activities. ‘How can I best serve Thee- Thy will (not mine) be done.”
That beautiful sentence, “What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.” sums up our spiritual programme perfectly.
It tells us that daily we have to do spiritual things to maintain our sobriety. Things that I once thought strange, but I now find very enjoyable and pleasant to do.
Things such as, getting on my knees each morning and night, writing daily gratitude lists, phoning newcomers, reading AA literature, particularly the ‘Big Book’, reading and putting into practice the contents on the ‘Just for Today’ card, saying the ‘Serenity Prayer,’ doing service, having ‘home groups,’ these are just some of the very enjoyable and humble spiritual things I am advised to do each wonderful day, to maintain my spiritual condition.
Thank you for reading this, I pray it helps you and wonderful AA to happily and healthily spiritually grow and glow. Everything I have written is what I have so freely learnt or been given, in the beautiful healing rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I do know that whatever I write, or whatever I do, can never ever repay what God, AA and the beautiful people in it have given me.
Thank you God, thank you AA, thank you everybody I’ve met in the rooms, you’re all in my prayers, as I feel certain that I am in yours. In fact the whole world is in my prayers these days, lots of love, God bless all, Dennis, (Ealing.)
I had thought of using an alias when writing this, but it was pointed out to me that it would be more beneficial to the newcomer if I used my own name. Therefore, I have used it, and if I can help in anyway, please let me know.
Thanks once again for reading this and anything else on this blog or website. Please feel free to use anything I write, as you please, or see fit.
Do always remember that everything written here comes from a very silly, stupid, self-centred, suicidal, alcoholic idiot, who turned up in AA over 17 years ago. A person, who had drunk for over thirty years. Somebody who was, completely and utterly beaten, and basically, saw no purpose to life.
Somebody, who had to surrender to the spiritual programme of Alcoholics Anonymous, and by doing the steps, found a new wonderful sober way of life, a way of life that includes having a lovely God of his own conception or understanding. Thank you lovely God and thank you lovely AA.
I was certainly looking for and needed help very badly, the day I arrived. By the beauty of God, and the beauty of AA and the beautiful people in it, I was not only given another chance to live, but to do it in a happy, healthy, joyous, free, and spiritual way. Thank you wonderful God, thank you lovely AA.
I’d like to think I’ve changed, in fact I know I have, and I know it really has nothing to do with me. It’s all because pain forced me to AA, where I was shown the spiritual things to do.
As it says on Page 25 of the Big Book, “When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet.”
In other words, I met people, who knew that I had to do the same spiritual things that they were doing, and by doing them daily, I would not only remain sober, but have the same wonderful spiritual experience mentioned in the Big Book,
How can I ever, ever stop being so very, very grateful, for the beautiful free gift of sobriety, and the spiritual awakening that has been so freely given to me through AA.
I should be dead, instead I am not only alive, but through doing AA’s twelve-step spiritual programme of recovery, “I have found much of heaven and I have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which I had not even dreamed.” to paraphrase Page 25 of the Big Book.
Again thank you God, thank you AA, and everyone in it, I will be eternally grateful, God bless you all, your all always in my prayers, lots of love and gratitude, Dennis. Saturday 30/03/13