BG Daily Post — Apr 21, 2019

April 21 — Eye Opener (1950)

The churches in their quarrels over purely sectarian issues have done much to divert attention from the primary purpose of religion, which is spirituality.

Some pastors take a more critical attitude toward the neglect of church duties than they do toward moral transgressions.

AA should be kept free of all controversial questions. We have but one purpose, and that is to help the suffering alcoholic. Ours is a way of life; not a way of worship.

Hazelden Foundation

April 21 — Big Book Quote

“For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG. 151

April 21 — Walk In Dry Places
The Good that I do
Action —

Why do we hold back when we’re offered the opportunity to help others or to do something unusually kind? Why is it that many people are reluctant to give of themselves unless rewarded with recognition or praise?

We may hold back because we do not understand that any good action always brings its own reward. Despite Shakespeare’s timeless saying, the good we do is not “interred with our bones”… it does survive, now and in the future.

We’ve learned in Twelve Step programs that it’s not really satisfying to work only for recognition and praise. There also has to be a confident feeling that our efforts are contributing to a large good with a worthwhile purpose. That’s what makes AA so special to people who are completely devoted to it… we know that anything done for AA makes the world a better place.

We should also know that those who can help others are fortunate, well-favored people. Others may want to help, but lack the tools. We have the tools to give the help that changes lives—- and the world.

“The good that I do today is a treasure I’ll always possess. I need not fear the act of letting my higher self take over and guide me.”

— Mel B

Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day 21
Twenty-First Daily Reminder —

After a few months of unhappy sobriety, a disgruntled AA member left his group and resumed drinking. He openly left his group and resumed drinking. He openly opposed certain spiritual parts of our program, labeling them “opium for the masses” and rowed that AA could not run his life. He won his point but by drinking lost his job, wife and home.

Daily Inventory —

Could he have been rebelling against the provisions of Step Six and Seven? With regard to self-discipline, what are the functions of these steps?

Suggested Meditation —

The sign of outward depression in an alcoholic is only the shadow of the real oppression within. He is a very sick person ruled by a strong obsession which says, “I want to be free. I want to think and to drink as I please. I refuse to part with my character flaws — AA or no AA.” Such freedom only adds to our alcoholic bondage. Such spiritual rebellion is mental drunkenness–another slavery for us.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, illuminate our defects of character. Help us to enforce self-discipline. Grant us a willing desire to fully accept Steps 6 and 7.

Daily Physical Audit —

Modern medicine emphasizes diet as a powerful factor of healthful living. It claims we eat too much bread, fats and sugar at the expense of proteins, carbohydrates, mineral salts and vitamins which support body growth and repair. Chemical reaction in the alcoholic’s body is impaired by lack of proper food. Our diet should be well balanced and fortified with ample vegetables, fruits and meat.

Hazelden Foundation


BG Daily Post — Apr 20, 2019

April 20 — Eye Opener (1950)

Your Area Headquarters can probably use some additional help on the desk or perhaps a receptionist to interview new people calling at the club for help. They probably have a pressing need for Twelve Steppers or people who have a car and are available a day a week. Maybe they could use some speakers or even chair setter-uppers.

How about your Group? It takes people to distribute and collect ash trays. It’s possible you might come in handy preparing or distributing refreshments.

Whatever your talents are, it is a safe bet they can use you. Then the Group will become Your Group. Don’t wait to be drafted – Volunteer.

Hazelden Foundation

April 20 — Big Book Quote

“Try to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG.133

April 20 — Walk In Dry Places
Avoiding emotional whirlpools
Serenity —

If we were rattling down a rough river, we would try to steer away from whirlpools and rocky rapids. Living each day requires the same alertness.

We’re asking for trouble if we drift into malicious discussions about other people… even those who seem to deserve it. We’re also sliding into rocky rapids if we get into supercharged arguments about political and religious issues.

How do we avoid touchy situations that can lead to violent arguments or terrible breakdowns in personal relationships? We can begin by recognizing that we’re not on this earth to judge, manipulate, or control other people. We’ll do well today to keep our own performance up to a good standard.

We can also respond correctly to people who seem hopelessly wrong. Borrowing an idea from one Twelve Step program, we can detach from such people with love, even if circumstances require continuing contact with them. At whatever cost, we must avoid emotional whirlpools and rocky rapids in life.

“Looking ahead at the things might happen today. I’ll adjust my thinking for situations that could be troublesome or destructive. I will try especially hard to avoid trouble with my fellow workers.”

— Mel B

Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day 20
Twentieth Daily Reminder —

The shortest route to a relapse in AA is to sober up without acquiring honesty, humility and a conscious contact with God. A good way to prevent this is suggested by Step Five. From it derive many essentials of recovery, such as: humility, freedom from fear, honesty and spiritual inspiration.

Daily Inventory —

Are we among those who have delayed taking Step Five? Is there a legitimate reason for holding off any longer? Why not arrange to take Step Five now?

Suggested Meditation —

Members frequently take their sobriety too much for granted. They forget that alcoholism is an incurable disease. They go to AA meetings, admit their weaker spots and mouth a few AA truths, yet cling tenaciously to some of their worst character defects. Their record of lip service is excellent, but their AA service is poor. Taking Step Five will uncover these facts. It keeps us humble and willing to serve.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, free us fro the doldrums of AA procrastination. Fill us with 12 Step enthusiasm. Give us the moral courage to take Step Five.

Daily Physical Audit —

Everyone has blood pressure. Some have it high. Some have it low. Some have it normal. High blood pressure damages the blood vessels and is the most common cause of heart disease for members. Its causes are unknown, but it is often associated with kidney disease, with functional disturbance of the nervous system, the endocrine glands and with overweight. We should watch our blood pressure closely and keep it within our normal range.

Hazelden Foundation

BG Daily Post — Apr 19, 2019

April 19 — Eye Opener (1950)

All things in life are relative. Without night, there would be no day; without evil, there would be no good; without sorrow, there would be no joy.

Drunk or sober, clouds will occasionally appear on the horizon, but most of them will blow away. Storm will sometimes break upon us but, if we are prepared, we can ride it out and the rainbow will follow giving promise of better things ahead.

Yesterday’s rain enhances our pleasure in today’s sunshine.

Hazelden Foundation

April 19 — Big Book Quote

“Having made our personal inventory, what shall we do about it? We have been trying to get a new attitude, a new relationship with our Creator, and to discover the obstacles in our path. We have admitted certain defects; we have ascertained in a rough way what the trouble is; we have put our finger on the weak items in our personal inventory. Now these are about to be cast out. This requires action on our part, which, when completed, will mean that we have admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our defects. This brings us to the Fifth Step in the program of recovery mentioned in the preceding chapter.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG.72

April 19 — Walk In Dry Places
Who pushes my buttons?
Personal Relations —

AA old-timers would be mystified today to hear program members talk about people “pushing their buttons.” (They can’t get your goat if they don’t know where it is tied) This expression wasn’t around when the early AA members pulled themselves out of the swamp and began their long journey to sobriety.

But they had their buttons pushed aplenty. Dr. Bob, treating alcoholics at St. Thomas Hospital; heard snide comments from other physicians who resented giving bed space to drunks. Bill W. struggling to launch a worldwide movement, took most every alcoholic, then and now, gets some heavy kidding from the world of drinkers.

What is the real problem in these instances? Are others pushing our buttons, or do we set ourselves up for this by being sensitive and vulnerable? Nobody could push our buttons if we didn’t have buttons to push.

We no longer have to worry about button-pushers if we accept them as they are, realizing that we don’t need their approval and can’t really be hurt by anything they do or say. Our serenity in the face of such problems may actually serve to attract people to AA.

“Nobody can push my buttons unless I let them. Today I’ll be serene and clam no matter what others say and do. Thanks to the program, I’ll not worry about certain individuals who try to get under my skin.”

— Mel B.

Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day 19
Nineteenth Daily Reminder —

A sincere group of newcomers, discussing the various merits of the AA program, agreed that without surrender an alcoholic could not recover from his illness. There was one dissenter who flatly condemned surrender as a negative mental attitude, branding it, “the cowardly act of a defeatist.”

Daily Inventory —

Who was right? Are we defeatists? Is surrender so vital to our recovery? What is it that we surrender? How do we go about it?

Suggested Meditation —

Foolhardy describes the behavior of a diabetic who, refusing insulin, gorges himself with sugar. Insane describes the behavior of an alcoholic who will not admit his illness and keeps on drinking. We do not ignore broken bones. We have them set. Alcoholism is like a broken bone for us. Asking God to set this alcoholic fracture is a mark of intelligence. Surrender, to be sure, but only to a constructive power.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, save us from intellectual folly. Elevate us above the hairsplitting of words. Show us the logic of surrendering our alcoholism to You.

Daily Physical Audit —

We cannot choose the body we start life with, but we are responsible for its daily care. There are members who do not seem to understand that God does not help us physically when we refuse to help ourselves. They vainly pray for help instead of calling upon a surgeon to remove an infected appendix, tooth or tonsil. We should not delay taking our health problems to capable doctors with whom God has so abundantly supplied us.

Hazelden Foundation

BG Daily Post — Apr 18, 2019

April 18 — Eye Opener (1950)

It has always been a source of amusement to observe how belligerent people get in religious controversies, and it is usually true that the less religion they practice, the more they are prone to argue about it.

A convert is anyone who deserts some other form of religion and accepts yours or mine, while a renegade is one who deserts either yours or mine. Your convert may be my renegade.

Those who have the real spirit of the Golden Rule don’t have to fight over religion for they have it, they know they have it and they know no one can take it from them.

Hazelden Foundation

April 18 — Big Book Quote

“Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG.76

April 18 — Walk In Dry Places
Mistakes are for learning
Personal growth. —

One sign of an alcoholic’s immaturity is revealed in responses to personal mistakes. We take each simple mistake as further proof of our inadequacy. As one person observed, “I can handle a general catastrophe, but running my nylons can ruin my day.”

Some of us may feel we’re victims of past conditioning… a parent, for example, who berated us when the slightest thing went wrong. But we’re at fault if we continue to let ourselves be victimized by such experience. We should give no person.. past, present, or future—the right to set the level of our self-esteem .

Properly viewed, all mistakes are for learning purposes. We often have to make a few mistakes before we can learn anything. Sometimes a mistake can occur simply to teach us one basic lesson… that we are human and cannot be perfect in everything we do.

Above, all, we should never condemn ourselves for the countless mistakes that occurred while we were drinking. Our alcoholism, a terrible mistake in the sight of many, led to the deep learning we find in AA. Nothing that brings us this far can really be a mistake in the sight of God.

“In sobriety, I’m learning tolerate the shortcomings and mistakes of others. I will extend the same grace to myself today if I make a simple mistake.”

— Mel B.
Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day 18
Eighteenth Daily Reminder —

Vindictiveness is a stumbling block to recovery for many members. They go to meetings and talk the program but reserve the right to suspect and hate–also the privilege of revenge. They are the advocates of justified resentments. They miss contented sobriety and wonder why AA fails to work for them.

Daily Inventory —

Why is revenge so disturbing to an alcoholic’s peace of mind? Is resentment justified? Do hatred and revenge bar our chances for contented sobriety?

Suggested Meditation —

Our revengeful attitudes are indicative of reservations to the AA program. They oppose a great fundamental principle which requires us to forgive before we can be forgiven. Resentment and vindictiveness are forms of mental drunkenness which AA never justifies. Revengeful alcoholics are of their 12 Step base. Prayer puts them back on again. We should try praying for those we hate. It pays well.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, alert us to the future drunkenness which lies in attitudes of hatred and revenge. Help us to overcome them by praying for those we hate.

Daily Physical Audit —

How often do we meditate upon the value of a healthy body to help arrest our alcoholism? Not enough, to be sure. What a shame to wait until some illness disables us before we realize the positive necessity of good health to our recovery. We need observe only a few simple rules to keep well. Systematic living habits which give us adequate exercise, fresh air, sunlight, food and rest are essential to a healthy body.

Hazelden Foundation

BG Daily Post — Apr 17, 2019

April 17 — Eye Opener (1950)

Loneliness drives more people to the Gin Mill than almost any other single factor – perhaps even the compulsion to drink.

In the old days when our society was objectionable to all our old friends, we would from sheer boredom go to the bar just to talk to someone. Anyone’s conversation was preferable to our thoughts. The drink was frequently an incidental.

Boredom is still one of our worst enemies. If you have an AA club, there is always some guy you can try to help. Regardless of your effect on him, the experience is bound to help you and will relieve you of your blues.

Hazelden Foundation

April 17 — Big Book Quote

“But he had found God – and in finding God had found himself.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG. 158

April 17 — Walk In Dry Places
We can’t go home again
Living here and now —

Despite all evidence that we must live for today, some of us persist in trying to recapture the past. We may be holding a few good memories that we would like to bring alive today. More likely, we may also be re-fighting old battles in the hope that this time we’ll come out winners.

But since change is taking place everywhere at every moment, we can never return to any previous place or time. Time does march on, and we are part of the parade. Whether we were winners or losers in the past, we can live only in the here and now.

The good news is that we can retain any lessons from the past and put them to use today. If we have scalding memories of twisted relationships, we can remind ourselves that growth and understanding now place us out of harm’s way. And if we remember the things that did turn out right even in the confused past, we can reflect that even greater good is possible today.

Our home is never in the past. It is in the time and place where we are today. As we make the best of it, all of our future homes in place and time will improve, for “in God’s house are many mansions.”

“Accepting the value of all of its lessons, I will close the door firmly on the past, knowing that I must devote all of my interest and energies to the present moment.”

— Mel B.

Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day 17
Seventeenth Daily Reminder —

An old member got drunk but stopped drinking before any serious trouble developed. His group was none the wiser so he never told them of his relapse. He rationalized it as a minor slip and brazenly resumed old relations with his group. Uncertainty and fear dominated his progress, causing future relapses.

Daily Inventory —

How serious is a relapse? Should he have confided with the members of his group? What made him drink? Does AA forgive the slipper?

Suggested Meditation —

All slips are serious–some are fatal. Those called minor are unfinished drunks. They will be completed later. Dishonesty in some form is the basis of a slip. This member should have confessed to his group. As AA patients, our minds are still alcoholic. We think in terms of drinking if we cannot be honest with ourselves. Slippers are ill. AA cannot forgive the illness, but it can help sick members to get well.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, we pray for help to become strictly honest with You and with ourselves. Free us from fear, dishonesty and relapses.

Daily Physical Audit —

Is there an aspect of dishonesty in abusing the body which God has entrusted to our care? Are we honest with Him, ourselves, our group, and the alcoholic “who still suffers” if from tension, overwork and physical neglect we are too ill or exhausted to contribute to the welfare of our group, or “carry the message” to the alcoholic who needs our help? Think it over. Perhaps this obligation has not occurred to you.

Hazelden Foundation

BG Daily Post — Apr 16, 2019

April 16 — Eye Opener (1950)

Man is the only animal that smiles, and he is the only one that has need of it. Not that God provided more for the animal kingdom than He did for us. But man, through the stupid misuse of his willpower and his other advantages, has brought misfortunes upon himself that would be unendurable but for the healing balm of smiles and a sense of humor.

No man is completely beaten as long as he can smile, and we know from past experience that we can wade out of most of our messes on the stepping stones of good-humored grins.

Hazelden Foundation

April 16 — Big Book Quote

“Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!”

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG. 100

April 16 — Walk In Dry Places
Fix the Need
Taking Inventory —

Recovering users have a saying: “Need a fix? Fix the need” It’s great advice, if we combine it with our daily inventory.

In good behavior and bad, we’re always trying to meet our needs. As compulsive people, we have lots of experience with destructive ways of meeting them. Driven by nameless hungers, we tried desperately to combat boredom, to raise our low self-esteem, to find companionship. What we actually did was place more distance between ourselves and the true satisfying of our needs.

On the new path, one way of fixing needs is to come to terms with them. Maybe we had a need for success that was really a frantic effort to “show others” that we were all right. We should want to succeed, but let’s begin by exchanging any false goal for one that’s right for us. Maybe we have other needs that are based on defective principles and immature hopes.

What do we rally need? All of us need self-honesty, self-worth, friendship, and purpose…. all available in the AA program as part of sober living. Finding these, we’ll gain insight that will enable to sort out and understand other needs,….. and perhaps find those that correspond to our heart’s desire and bring real happiness. It’s something we can turn over, because God knows our needs before we even ask.

“I’ll remember today that my needs exist to serve my way of life, and that I must never be a slave to them.”

— Mel B.

Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day 16
Sixteenth Daily Reminder —

Remember the old saying, “A chain is no stronger than its weakest link?” Alcoholism is the weak link in our chain of life and most confusing, too, for it embraces three weak links in one. They are the physical, mental and spiritual illness of alcoholism from which AA offers the best chance of recovery.

Daily Inventory —

Good? Better? Best? Plain sobriety or contented sobriety? Which shall it be? Shall we kill or improve our AA opportunities?

Suggested Meditation —

We joined AA to end the insanity of alcoholism and to live happy, sober lives. We admitted our illness and agree to get well–not to get half well, Lack of self-preservation in AA seems like a new sort of insanity. Having made fair progress with our physical and mental health, we should not refuse to grow up emotionally and spiritually. Recognizing this fact we should work for greater AA maturity.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, keep us aware of the fatal nature of our illness and the insanity of alcoholism. Help us mend the weak links in our personality chain.

Daily physical Audits —

Budget your energy. Plan you activities for the day. Avoid emotional excitement. Set up daily periods for relaxation. Remember that your recovery should be physical as well as mental and spiritual recovery. Physical fitness aids mental and spiritual recovery. We need to conserve our energy by heeding the feelings of fatigue which signal that our activities have become excessive. The result is a saving in energy which makes for better health.

Hazelden Foundation

BG Daily Post — Apr 15, 2019

April 15 — Eye Opener (1950)

Men may call themselves atheists, agnostics, unbelievers or what have you. But the fact still remains that man must believe in something.

If he thinks his own presence here on earth is simply an accident in the forces of nature, then he must believe that the forces of nature are able to create him with all his delicately adjusted organism. To do this, the forces of nature would need to have intelligence in a very high degree and, in addition, there must be a tremendous creative force to carry out the dictates of that intelligence. He, himself, could not do this, so this force of nature is superior in a vast degree to himself. Bingo! He has found the God of his understanding; let him call Him what he may.

Hazelden Foundation

April 15 — Big Book Quote

“We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic EVER recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals – usually brief – were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG.30

April 15– Walk In Dry Places
When Things are Not humanly possible.
Facing Difficulties —

This fact about our alcoholism also has broader application to the general conditions of life. There’s an almost endless list of conditions that are not humanly possible to change. Some of these conditions apply only to us; others, such as war and disease, cruelly afflict all of humankind. Looking at this sorry picture, many of us wish we had the power to apply Twelve Step principles to all human problems.

While we don’t have such power at the moment, we do have the power to take a spiritual view of all seemingly hopeless conditions. This includes trying to do whatever we can about any problem, while recognizing that the real solution must eventually come from a Higher Power. We must never lose hope that God will cork with us and through us to create a better world. In a small way, we can help by sharing what happened to us in our recovery from alcoholism. No human power could have relieved our alcoholism, but God could and did.

“Though I live and work with people who may be frightened and cynical, I’ll hold to the idea that a Higher Power is working ceaselessly to improve the human condition in general. There is no reason why the miraculous healing power that relieved my alcoholism should not apply to other problems in my life.”

— Mel B

Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day 15
Fifteenth Daily Reminder —

At times our vitality is low. Being restless and jittery, we have the urge to drink. Irritable, unhappy and self-centered, we work back into our favorite spot — the driver’s seat. Resentment, worry and intolerance cloud our thinking. It is hard to pray. We miss meetings and neglect helping others.

Daily Inventory —

How do we account for our rundown and jittery feelings? Why these urges to drink? Why is it so hard to pray? What can we do about it?

Suggested Meditation —

A run-down physical condition makes an alcoholic jittery and creates an urge to drink. Overwork, lack of rest and wrong diet foster resentful attitudes of self-pity and intolerance. Such attitudes insulate us from God. They kill our peace of mind and end in drunkenness. We must recognize these symptoms and remove their causes. To eat, work, rest, play and pray intelligently helps to attain this end.

Spiritual Condition —

Our Father, teach us the meaning of “first things first.” Endow us with sufficient common sense to maintain a healthy physical body.

Daily Physical Audit —

The road to recovery for our members is beset with pitfalls, some of which are physical. Alcoholism often depletes our nervous energy. Members who continue to overtax their nervous systems are courting trouble. Our minds cannot function apart from our bodies — nor can they function soundly in sick bodies. Obviously, it is to our best interest to rebuild physically.

Hazelden Foundation