Contract for Sobriety

Today at the 12:00 PM Noon SA Phone Meeting, I suggested the following reading from Practical Recovery Tools – “A Contract for Sobriety”.  During introductions, I picked 3 readings and asked the group to decide.  This is what we read – CLICK HERE and the KINDLE version directly from Amazon.

Evidently, it was a big success and I decided to start another Contract myself, starting immediately.

Incidentally, a few years ago I also came across this reading in the same book – “Lust Based Decisions” CLICK HERE.

Lastly, as some members shared, the DAILY SOBRIETY RENEWAL is very much like a Daily Contract – CLICK HERE.

Mantra

Hinduism. a word or formula, as from the Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer. an often repeated word, formula, or phrase, often a truism: If I hear the “less is more” mantra one more time, I’ll scream.”

“GOD has a plan for me.  It is hidden within me, just as the oak is hidden within the acorn, or the rose within the bud.  As I yield myself more fully to God, His Plan expresses itself more perfectly through me.  I can tell when I am in tune with it, for then my mind and my heart are filled with a deep inner peace.  This peace fills me with a sense of security, with joy, and a desire to take the steps that are a part of the Plan.

God’s Plan for me is a perfect part of a larger Plan.  It is designed for the good of all and not for me alone.  It is a many-sided Plan and reaches out through all the people I meet.  All the events and people who come into my life are instruments of the unfolding of this Plan.

God has chosen those people He wants me to know, to love and to serve.  We are continually being drawn to one another in ways that are not coincidental.  I pray that I may become a better instrument to love and to serve and that I may become more worthy to receive the love and service of others.

I ask the Father within me for only those things which He wants me to have.  I know that these benefits will come to me at the right time and in the right way.  This inner knowing frees my mind and heart from all fear, greed, jealousy, anger and resentment.  It gives me courage and faith to do those things which I feel are mine to do.  I no longer look with envy at what others are receiving.  Therefore, I do not cut myself off from God, the giver of all good things.

God’s gifts to me can be many times greater than I am now receiving.  I pray that I may increase my capacity to give, for I can give only as I receive, and receive only as I give.

I believe that when I cannot do those things I desire to do, it is because God has closed one door only to leave ajar a better and larger door.  If I do not see the door just ahead, it is because I have not seen, heard, or obeyed God’s guidance.  It is then that God uses the trouble of seeming failure which may result to help me face myself, and see the new opportunity before me.

The real purpose of my life is to find God within my own mind and heart, and to help my fellowmen.  I thank my Father for each experience which helps me to surrender my will to His Will.  For only as I lose myself in the consciousness of His Great Presence can His Plan for my life be fulfilled.” Matt Talbot


If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent, you will be free.  If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free.  Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free.  Even when you don’t really want it for them, and your prayers are only words and you don’t mean it, go ahead and do it anyway.  Do it every day for two weeks and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love. Big Book pg. 552


Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.  Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.  Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making.  They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so.  Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness.  We must, or it kills us!  God makes that possible. Big Book pg. 62


And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes. Big Book pg. 417

Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations.  I must keep my magic magnifying mind on my acceptance and off my expectations, for my serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance.  Big Book pg. 420

It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.  If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also.  But are there no exceptions to this rule?  What about “justifiable” anger?  If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad?  Can’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folk?  For us of the human race these are dangerous exceptions.  We have found that justifiable anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it. Twelve & Twelve pg. 90 When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot.  One unkind tirade or one willful snap judgment can ruin our relation with another person for a whole day, or maybe a whole year.  Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen.  We must avoid quick-tempered criticism and furious, power-driven argument.  The same goes for sulking or silent scorn.  These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Twelve & Twelve pg. 91


Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!  I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see. John Newton

I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be. Thank God, I am not what I used to be.


MAN IN THE GLASS
When you get what you want in your struggle for self And the world makes you king for a day, Just go to a mirror and look at yourself And see what THAT man has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife Who judgment upon you must pass; The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people may think you a straight-shootin’ chum And call you a wonderful guy, But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest, For he’s with you clear up to the end. And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life And get pats on your back as you pass. But your final reward will be heartaches and tears If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.


 

JUST FOR TODAY
1. Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life’s problem at once. I can do things for 12 hours that would appall me if I had to keep them up for a lifetime.

2. Just for today I will be happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is from within; it is not a matter  of externals.

3. Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my licks as they come and fit myself to them.

4. Just for today I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, nourish it, not abuse or neglect it, so that it will be a perfect machine for my bidding.

5. Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.

6. Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out; I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests, just for exercise.

7. Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, criticize not at all, nor find fault with anything — and not try to regulate or improve anyone.

8. Just for today I will have a program. I will write down what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it all exactly, but I will have it. It will eliminate two pests: hurry and indecision.

9. Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself and relax. In this half-hour sometimes I will thank God, so as to get a better perspective of my life.

10. Just for today I will be unafraid, especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.


YESTERDAY–TODAY–TOMORROW
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension. One of these days is YESTERDAY with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. YESTERDAY has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back YESTERDAY. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said…YESTERDAY is gone.   The other day we should not worry about is TOMORROW with its possible adversaries, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. TOMORROW is also beyond our immediate control. TOMORROW’S sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds- but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in TOMORROW for it is yet unborn.   This leaves only one day…. TODAY. Any man can fight the battle of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities…. YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW that we break down. It is not the experience of TODAY that drives men mad– it is remorse and bitterness for something which happened YESTERDAY and the dread of what TOMORROW may bring.

LET US, THEREFORE, LIVE BUT ONE DAY AT A TIME!

AA History Flowchart

I recently came across the following article below… 

It’s very easy to spend hours on the Internet these days digging up tons of historical references regarding Alcoholics Anonymous.  My mission today is start logging chronologically the events in Sexaholics Anonymous history (e.g. Wiki)

                Flowchart of Events of Interest to Members
                Of The Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous
                                  by Miles M.
                             
 
                        William Griffith Wilson
                        born Nov. 26, 1895, in a
                        small room behind a bar in
                        East Dorsett, VT., to Gilman
1901 - Professor        and Emily Wilson.
William James lectures
at University of 
Edinburgh, Scotland.
Lectures published as
The Varieties of 
Religious Experience
in 1902.                Bill's father, Gilman, deserts                 
                        the family.
 
                        Bill's mother, Emily, moves to
                        Boston and becomes an Osteopathic
                        Physician.  Bill and sister
                        Dorothy live with maternal grand-
                        parents, Fayette and Ella
                        Griffith.
 
                        Bill's first "success" making a
                        boomerang - "a fitting irony".
 
                        @1907 - About age 12 Bill "leaves
                        the Church" over a required 
1908 - Oxford Group     temperance pledge.
begun as A First Century
Christian Fellowship.
Frank Buchman, Founder.  
They espoused the Four
Absolutes:  Honesty,
Purity, Unselfishness
and Love.  They         1909 - Bill begins secondary
practiced the princi-   education at Burr & Burton
ples of self-survey     Academy.
confession; restitution;
and service to others.                                  1911 - Ebby Thatcher
                                                        and Bill first met.
 
                        1912 - Bill's "first love",
                        Bertha Bamford, dies after
                        surgery in New York.  Bill
                        began a three year depression.
1914-1918, World War I
                        1914 - Bill enters Norwich
                        University - a military college
                        with strict discipline.
                        
                        Bill meets Lois Burnham, 
                        daughter of New York
                        physician Dr. Clark Burnham.
April 6, 1917 - U.S.
enters World War I.
                        Summer 1917 - a Second Lieutenant
                        in the coast artillery at Ft.
                        Rodman, Mass., Bill takes first
                        remembered drink - Bronx Cocktail
                        - feels a miracle - relaxed and
                        free.  A profound experience he
                        recalled vividly more than 50
                        years later.
 
                        January 24, 1918 - Bill marries
                        Lois Burnham.
 
                        Summer 1918 - On way to France, 
                        Bill visits Winchester Cathedral
                        and is stirred by a "tremendous
                        sense of presence".  Reads
                        epitaph on headstone of a 
                        Hampshire Grenadier.
Nov. 11, 1918 -                                         January 16, 1919 - 36
Armistice signed,                                       states ratified 
World War I ends.                                       constitutional
                        May 1919 - Bill returns home.   amendment for 
                                                        prohibition.
                        1920 - Bill enters Brooklyn
                        Law School.
 
                        1921 - An investigator for U.S.
                        F & G and also works around
                        Wall Street.
 
                        Christmas 1923 - Bill vows to 
                        stay sober one year - Lasted
                        only 2 months.
 
                        1925-26 - Bought motorcycle and
                        became (First?) "Market Analyst."
                        Disease progressing.
 
                        1926 - On Wall Street full time.
                        Disease progressing.
 
                        Late 1928 - Early 1929 - Bill 
                        crosses "invisible line" in
                        his drinking.
Oct. 1929 - Stock
Market collapse.
                        Nov. 1929 - Bill goes to Canada
                        for a job with Dick Johnson.
 
                        1930 - 31 - Back in Brooklyn and
                        Wall Street.  Living with Lois's
                        family - unemployed. Disease
                        progressing.
 
                        Spring 1932 - Bill's business   1931 - Rowland Hazzard
                        deal in New Jersey - drank      sees Dr. Carl Jung
                        Apple Jack and drunk three      in Zurich, Switzerland.
                        days.  Contract cancelled.      Told no medical or 
At Towns Hospital, Bill                                 psychological hope for
meets Dr. William                                       an alcoholic of his
Silkworth on second                                     type; told the only
admission.  "The Little                                 hope was a spiritual or
Doctor Who Loved        1930-34 - Bill in "An Alcoholic religious experience
Drunks."                Hell".  1933-34 - Bill in Towns or conversion.  This
                        Hospital four times.            considered "the first
                                                        in the chain of events 
Dec. 5, 1933-                                           that led to the
Prohibition ended.                                      founding of A.A."
                        Bill resumes drinking after
                        each admission.  Disease
                        progressing.
 
Dr. Silkworth           Summer 1934                     Rowland Hazzard
pronounces Bill a...    "HOPELESS DRUNK"                return to America and
                                                        becomes involved in
                                                        Oxford Group.
1934 - Emmett Fox
publishes The Sermon
On The Mount.
                        Nov. 1924 - Ebby T. carries     Aug. 1924 - Rowland
                        message to Bill at home.        Hazzard and Cebra
                        Tells his story. "One           persuade court to
                        Alcoholic Talking To Another."  court to parole Ebby
                                                        Thatcher in their
                        Bill starts attending Oxford    custody.  Ebby sobers
                        Group at Calvary Church,        up at Oxford Group at 
                        Bowery Mission.                 Calvary Episcopal 
                                                        Mission, Sam Shoemaker.
                        Bill drinks again - Back to
                        Towns Hospital.
 
                        Dec. 1934 - Bill has "Hot
                        Flash" spiritual experience
                        at Towns Hospital.  NEVER 
                        DRANK AGAIN.
Dr. Silkworth assured
Bill he was not crazy;
rather a "psychic                                       The next day Ebby
upheaval" or "conversion                                brought Bill a copy
experience."                                            of William James'
                                                        Varieties of Religious
                                                        Experience.
                        Bill reads Varieties of Religious
                        Experience, an explanation of 
                        need for Pain, Suffering, Calamity
                        and "Deflation in Depth" and the
                        "Simultaneous Transmission of 
                        Hope."  The two "Halves" are
                        joined into a "Whole."
 
                        Bill returns to Oxford Group and 
                        works with other alcoholics, also at 
                        Sam Shoemaker's Calvary Mission and
                        at Towns Hospital, emphasizing his
                        "Hot Flash" spiritual experience.  
                        He noted they "seemed to do better"
                        talking of their common problems,
                        but no success in sobering up others.
                                                        Bill develops belief
                                                        that alcoholics are
                                                        resistant to the 
                                                        "Four Absolutes" of
                                                        the Oxford Group.
                        1935 - Bill, still sober, but no
                        success yet in helping others. Still
                        frequents Wall Street. Went to Akron
                        Ohio for proxy fight.  Lost proxy
                        fight.  Bill at Mayflower Hotel.
                        Very discouraged and afraid he might
                        drink.
                        May 11, 1935 - Bill reached reali-
 Rev. Walter Tunks      zation of: I need another alcoholic.
        .               "He starts making telephone calls.
                        *The final founding moment
Referred to Norman       of A.A.*
Sheppard
                        May 12, 1935 @5:00 P.M. - Bill  Robert Holbrook
Referred to Henrietta   meets Dr. Bob.  Bob still       Smith.  Born August
Seiberling, an Oxford   drinking.  Bill tells Bob of    8, 1879 in St.
Group adherent.  She    his experiences with alcohol    Johnsbury, VT.
arranged a meeting the  the hopes, promises, failures   Dartmouth College, Pre-
next afternoon at the   told of the obsession, compul-  Med at University of
Seiberling Estate with  sion, and physical allergy;     Michigan.  M.D. at
Dr. Bob Smith.          told him of Ebby's visit and    Rush Medical College,
                        simple message, "show me your   Chicago, IL.  Intern
                        faith and by my works I will    at City Hospital, 
                        show you mine."                 Akron, OH.  Procto-
                                                        logist.  His wife,
                                                        Anne was a friend of
                                                        Henrietta Seiberling.
                                                        They brought Dr. Bob
                                                        to Oxford Group meet-
                                                        ings for 2-1/2 yrs.
                        Dr. Bob understood with sudden  and he continued to 
Bill had presented Dr.  clarity - the difference with   get drunk regularly.
Bob four aspects of one the Oxford Group.  "The spirit- 
core idea:              ual approach was as useless as
(1) Utter Hopelessness  any other if you soaked it up like
(2) Totally Deflated    a sponge and kept it to yourself."
(3) Requiring Conversion The purpose of life was not to 
(4) Needing Others      "get" , it was to "give."
 
                                  June 10, 1935                             
                              Dr. Bob has last drink    
                              _______________________
                                  ALCOHOLICS
                                   ANONYMOUS
                                     FOUNDED
                              ------------------------
 
                        June 11, 1935 - Dr. Bob
                        suggests they both start
                        working with other alcoholics.
 
                        June 28, 1935 - Bill and Dr.
                        Bob confront Bill Dotson, 
                        first "Man on the Bed."  
                        Bill D. was a prominent
                        attorney in Akron.  The 3rd
                        A.A. Note:  Bill D. had a
                        spiritual experience without
                        familiarity with Oxford 
                        Group principals.
 
Henrietta Seiberling    Summer, 1935 - Bill stayed in        
supplied them with      in Akron.  He and Dr. Bob worked
"Infusion of Spirit-    with alcoholics and attended weekly
uality" mainly through  Oxford Group meetings and received
Paul to Corinthians on  spiritual nourishment.
"Love" and James on 
"Works" if faith is to
have meaning,           Fall & Winter 1935 - Back in 
                        New York on Clinton St.  Hank P. 
                        and Fitz M. got sober.
 
                        Mid 1936 - a small but solid    Bill's efforts with
                        group developing at Clinton     alcoholics receiving
                        St. in New York.                criticism from 
                                                        Oxford Group.
 
                        Charles Towns offers Bill a
                        job at Towns Hospital.  Bill
                        wanted it.  The question
                        presented to the Group and
                        rejected because - what they
                        had, the "thing" that bound
                        them together and those 
                        feelings could not be bought
                        and paid for.  The only 
                        authority was the Group
                        Conscience and all decisions
                        were to be made by the
                        Group.                          1937 - Beginning of
                                                        the split from the
                                                        Oxford Group.
                        Residents at Clinton St.
                                Ebby T.
                                Oscar V.
                                Russell R.
                                Bill C.
                                Florence R.
 
                        Nov. 1937 - Bill and Dr. Bob
                        meet in Akron and compare 
                        notes.  Forty cases sober and
                        staying sober.  More than
                        twenty sober for more than
                        one year.  All had been
                        diagnosed as HOPELESS.
 
                                        +
 
                        A meeting of the Akron
                        Group to consider Bill's ideas
                        for a book, pamphlets and
                        how to expand the movement.
                        Presented but only narrowly
                        passed by a majority of 2.
Feb. 1938 - Rockefeller
gives $5,000 and saves
A.A. from professionalism.
                        May 1938 - The Alcoholic
                        Foundation established as a
                        trusteeship for A.A.
 
                        May 1938 - Beginning of the
                        writing of the book
                        Alcoholics Anonymous.
 
                        Dec. 1938 - Twelve Steps
                        written.
 
                        1939 - Membership reaches
                        100.
 
                        April 1939 - The book
                        Alcoholics Anonymous
                        published.
 
                        Summer 1939 - Withdrawal
                        from association with Oxford
1940 - Bill meets       Group complete.  Oxford
Father Ed Dowling who   Group renamed "Moral
becomes his "spiritual  Re-Armament."
advisor."                                               "Rule No. 62."
 
March 1941 - Jack Alex- Feb. 1940 - First World Service January 1944 - Dr.
ander's Saturday Even-  Office for A.A.                 Harry Tiebout's first
ing Post article                                        paper on the subject
published and member-   June 1944 - The A.A.            of "alcoholics
ship jumped from 2000   Grapevine established.          anonymous"
 
The Washingtonians in   1946 - The Twelve Traditions
the 1840's failed, due  of A.A. formulated and          
principally to failure  published.
to adhere to "Single-   
ness of Purpose," and   June 1, 1949 - Anne Ripley
this failure influenced Smith died.
the development of the
A.A. Traditions.
                        July 1959 - First international
                        convention of A.A. at Cleveland,
                        Ohio.  Twelve Traditions
                        adopted.
 
                        Nov. 16, 1950 - Dr. Robert
                        Holbrook Smith, co-founder
                        of Alcoholics Anonymous died.
 
                        June 1953 - The book Twelve
                        Steps and Twelve Traditions
                        published.
 
                        Oct. 1954 - The "Alcoholic
                        Foundation" becomes the 
                        "General Service Board of
                        A.A."
 
                        July 1955 - 20th Anniversary
                        Convention at St. Louis, MO
                        Second edition of Alcoholics
                        Anonymous published.  The three
                        legacies of Recovery, Unity
                        and Service turned over to the
                        movement by its oldtimers.
 
                        1957 - Creation of first overseas
                        General Service Board of A.A.
                        in Great Britain and Ireland.
                        A.A. Comes of Age published in
                        October.  Membership reaches
                        over 200,000 in 7,000 groups in
                        70 countries and U.S. possessions.
 
                        1959 - A.A. Publishing, Inc. became
                        A.A. World Services, Inc.
 
                        July 1960 - 25th Anniversary Convention
                        at Long Beach, CA
 
                        1962 - Publication of Twelve Concepts
                        for World Service written by Bill W.
 
                        July 1965 - 30th Anniversary Convention
                        at Toronto, Canada.  Keynote adopted,
                        "I Am Responsible."
 
                        1966 - Change in ratio of trustees
                        of the General Service Board; now
                        two-thirds majority of alcoholic
                        members; the A.A. fellowship accepts
                        ütop responsibility for all it's
                        future affairs.
 
                        1967 - Publication of the book The A.A.
                        Way of Life now titled As Bill Sees It.
 
                        Oct. 9-11, 1969 - 1st World Service
                        meeting held in New York with delegates
                        from 14 countries.
 
                        1970 - 35th Anniversary International
                        Convention at Miami Beach, Florida.
                        Keynote: "This we owe to AA's of the
                        future.  To place our common welfare
                        first; To keep our fellowship united.
                        For on A.A. Unity depend our lives, and
                        the lives of those to come."  Bill's
                        last public appearance.
 
                        Jan. 24, 1971 - William Griffith Wilson,
                        co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, dies
                        at Miami Beach, FL.
 
                        Oct. 5-7, 1972 - 2nd World Service meeting
                        held in New York.
 
                        1973 - Publication of Came to Believe.
 
                        April 1973 - Distribution of the book
                        Alcoholics Anonymous reached one
                        million mark.
 
                        1975 - Publication of Living Sober.
 
                        1976 - Publication of 3rd Edition of
                        Alcoholics Anonymous.
 
                        October 5, 1988 - Lois Burnam Wilson died.
 
 
                        ==========================
Sources:   Bill W. by Robert Thompsen
           Not God. A History of Alcoholics Anonymous by Ernest Kurtz
           Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, A.A. World Services, Inc.
           Pass It On - Bill Wilson and the A.A. Message, A.A. World Services
           The Language of the Heart, The A.A. Grapevine
           Dr. Bob and the Good Old-Timers, A.A. World Services, Inc.
           On The Tail of a Comet, The Life of Frank Buchman by Garth Lean
           The Washingtonian Movement, by Milton A. Maxwell, Ph.D.
           A.A. The Way It Began, by Bill Pittman