BG Daily Post — Nov 15, 2019

November 15 – Eye Opener (1950)

We alcoholics were accustomed to look at the world through whiskey glasses and, consequently, what we saw of the world made it appear as one big case of DT’s.

Sobriety corrected our vision and the world took on a more ordered appearance. The world hadn’t changed – our viewpoint had.

If the world still doesn’t look good to you – probably you are still looking through your old glasses.

Hazelden Foundation

November 15 — Big Book Quote

“We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics, but it’s application presented difficulties beyond our conception. What with our ultra-modern standards, our scientific approach to everything, we are perhaps not well equipped to apply the powers of good that lie outside our synthetic knowledge.

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG. xxvii

November 15 — Walk In Dry Places

Many alcoholics are vigorous defenders of free choice. We have to concede, however, that our choices are not always limited by the tyranny of others. Our own actions can take away from freedom of choice.

Recovering people in AA have learned that taking even one drink will result in the loss of choice, and it is not just a temporary loss of sobriety that one faces. It’s always possible that the person who drinks again may never recovery sobriety.

In the same way, other actions represent loss of choice in our lives. other actions represent loss of choice in our lives. A person who cheats, for example, may learn that he or she has no choice over the unpleasant outcomes that follow.

We can protect our freedom of choice by deciding only to take actions that will strengthen such freedom in the future. At no time should we make any choices that rob us of our precious right to choose.

“Every action I take today must help me keep favorable options open in the future. My right to choose was restored by AA, and I must help protect it.”
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

BG Daily Post — Nov 14, 2019

November 14 – Eye Opener (1950)

It is one of the peculiar characteristics of the alcoholic that he almost invariably shows the worst side of his disposition to those people for whom he has the highest love and respect.

Many of us were Jolly Good Fellows in the bootleg joint but Hell on wheels at home and in our relationships with those we loved.

If your disposition is so lousy that it isn’t fit to be brought out on the street, then it isn’t worth exhibiting in a house room.
Fortunately, sobriety usually cures this.

Hazelden Foundation

November 14 — Big Book Quote

“We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication will be necessary. we think this account of our experiences will help everyone to better understand the alcoholic. Many do not comprehend that the alcoholic is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our way of living has its advantages for all.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG. xiii

November 14 — Walk In Dry Places
Carrying the message

As human beings, we have to realize that some people are more attractive to us than others. Even in AA, we will likely be more interested in a person who has qualities we admire than one who annoys and repels us.

This is a snobbish attitude that we ridicule when we see it practiced by others, but we may be practicing it in our own way by seeking out only those members we find interesting and attractive. Without realizing it, we can be making AA a popularity contest, which it’s not supposed to be.

We can compensate for such tendencies by making a special effort to express friendship to everyone at the meeting. This can even become a spiritual exercise. It doesn’t hurt to admit that one has snobbish tendencies that can violate the spirit of AA.

“Just as alcohol is no respecter of people, so it is that the program should be open to all. Today, I’ll try to make AA a welcoming haven for everyone.”
Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day 14
Fourteenth Daily Reminder —

Many of us have stumbled over the term spiritual awakening. By confusing AA with organized religion, we have encountered trouble with the spiritual angle. By trying to define God and to interpret AA according to religious creeds, we have experienced frustration and ineffectual AA living.

Daily Inventory —

Are the objectives of AA and organized religion the same? Is our objective to save souls? Are there signs which identify a spiritual awakening?

Suggested Meditation —

AA offers a 24-hour program borrowed from medicine, religion and psychology by which we arrest alcoholism, an incurable illness. It utilizes physical, mental and spiritual help to maintain 24-hour periods of contented sobriety. It suggests a daily contact with God as we understand Him. AA is not a religion. We see in honesty, sobriety, forgiveness, amends and love signs of a spiritual awakening.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, we recognize the latent spiritual power within us and ask Your help to develop it. Awaken us to our spiritual possibilities.

Daily Physical Audit —

There is no written tests to pass in AA. How we recover is a matter of our own choice. We may either sink or swim. But swimming requires good physical health. So does satisfactory recovery from alcoholism. We ought to recognize this fact and live to improve the quality of our health and thus enjoy life to its full capacity. AA members are most effective when in good physical condition.

Hazelden Foundation

BG Daily Post — Nov 13, 2019

November 13 – Eye Opener (1950)

You not only pass through this world but once but you live this day but once. The opportunities this day presents to do good are lost opportunities tomorrow unless you grasped them in passing.

Your greatest personal loss in your drinking days was not material but rather it was the loss of many hundreds of opportunities to do those things that make life worth living to you and those about you.

Those opportunities are gone forever, for you will never live those days again – but you are living today.

Hazelden Foundation

November 13 — Big Book Quote

The mind and the body are marvelous mechanisms, for mine endured this agony two more years. Sometimes I stole from my wife’s slender purse when the morning terror and madness were on me. Again I swayed dizzily before an open window, or the medicine cabinet where there was poison, cursing myself for a weakling. There were flights from city to country and back, as my wife and I sought escape. Then came the night when the physical and mental torture was so hellish I feared I would burst through my window, sash and all. Somehow I managed to drag my mattress to a lower floor, lest I suddenly leap. A doctor came with a heavy sedative. Next day found me drinking both gin and sedative. This combination soon landed me on the rocks.

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG. 6-7

November 13 — Walk In Dry Places
Acceptance and Patience.

All of us have times when we don’t enjoy our sobriety as much as we feel we should. Though we’re still grateful, we sometimes feel bored and depressed.

What we have to remember at such times is our bleak history of using alcohol as a quick fix for boredom. However ruinous and false it proved to be, alcohol did temporarily bring the miraculous change we sought.

We thought of alcohol as a means of uplifting our mood. We were very surprised to learn that it’s really a depressant. Maybe it lifted us up by depressing our self-doubt and self-criticism.

Whatever the nature of our drinking, we need to stay sober while fighting our battles with boredom. We can do that by accepting a bit of boredom without succumbing to it. Meanwhile, we can look for ways of easing boredom that don’t get us into trouble or lead back to the bottle.

“I’ll not feel guilty or unworthy if boredom strikes me now and then. Today I’ll help manage my long-term boredom tendencies by practicing acceptance and patience for twenty-four hours.”

Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day 13
Thirteenth Daily Reminder —

The virtues of anonymity are many and far reaching for our older members. For the newcomer anonymity has a special meaning. Its strong appeal is secrecy. A hideout in which to recover without publicity or blame. Anonymity is our privilege to use but also our obligation to protect.

Daily Inventory —

Have we realized the true value of anonymity? What are some of its spiritual values? Is it our obligation to protect the identity of other members?

Suggested Meditation —

Anonymity is vital to an AA group. Helping another person anonymously is a spiritual act — the very lifeblood of AA. There should be no breach of anonymity. Secrecy is a part of alcoholic thinking. We tried to conceal our drinking and told lies about hangovers. Nobody could believe them. Anonymity did not work for drinking, but it does work for our recovery. It lets us work with others, also.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, we thank You for AA. Help us to live its program, to understand its principles and to learn the spiritual values of anonymity.

Daily Physical Audit —

There is nothing anonymous about a member’s poor physical health. It can be detected by his fuzzy thinking, his lack of enthusiasm, the sweaty palms of his hands and his inaptitude toward normal daily recovery. Poor physical health causes nervousness and irritability at meetings. It leads to intolerant and resentful thinking. It can get us drunk. Members are not blamed for being ill, but they owe it to ourselves to get well.

Hazelden Foundation

BG Daily Post — Nov 12, 2019

November 12 – Eye Opener (1950)

No one ever became noble simply by being moral. The great characters who have had their ennobling influence pass down through the ages are those who lived, labored and died for others.

Nothing endures that fails to serve a useful purpose and man, individually or collectively, is no exception. We must be of constant service to humanity or we are useless members of society

Hazelden Foundation

November 12 — Big Book Quote

“We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. we are not fighting it, neither are avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality – safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG. 84-85

November 12 — Walk In Dry Places

In praising their success with AA, people sometimes overlook the importance of maintenance. AA not only helps us achieve sobriety, but it can also help us maintain our sobriety for a lifetime.

Members often touch on this matter when they admit that they were able to sober up hundreds of times, but didn’t know how to stay sober. It is staying sober that makes all the difference between life and death for us.

Our tools for staying sober — for maintaining our sobriety — are the simple ones that put us back on our feet in the first place. We continue to admit that we’re alcoholics and need the help of fellow members and our Higher Power. We also continue to attend meetings and to carry the message. We remind ourselves that we’re never out of the woods permanently, no matter how much our lives improve.

“I’ll take the routine steps today that are needed for the maintenance of my sobriety. Doing this will help protect me from the terrible consequences of returning to drinking.”

Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles – Day 12
Twelfth Daily Reminder —

“Made a decision.” How easy it is to partly fulfill each of the 12 Steps. But how hard to decide that we are sick enough to “turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.” How hard to seek our understanding of God’s Will. How easy it is to mistake half-hearted lip service for decision and surrender.

Daily Inventory —

Are we in AA for the ride? Have we decided that we need God’s help to live soberly? Are we sincere about it or are we just giving lip service?

Suggested Meditation —

There is no middle of the road course for a drinking alcoholic — he is either wet or dry. AA represents a similar case in the 12 Steps vs. John Barleycorn. Since we cannot drink and live, our choice will be AA. With our lives at stake, we can ill afford to depend upon lip service for protection. Recovery from alcoholism, is a serious matter for us. We need both the 12 Steps and God’s help to recover.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, deliver us this day from defiance, doubt and indecision. Teach us the value of obedience. Stabilize our thinking according to our need.

Daily Physical Audit —

Man is a creature of many habits. Alcoholics have formed bad eating and drinking habits which are not conductive to good health. Some of us become overweight from taking more food than our bodies can assimilate. This throws an extra burden on the heart which increases our blood pressure and shortens our lives. We should watch our diet to guard against coronary disease, apoplexy and other ills associated with overweight.

Hazelden Foundation

BG Daily Post — Nov 11, 2019

November 11 – Eye Opener (1950)

You are born at every sunrise and die at every sunset. Sleep is temporary death, which fortifies you for your rebirth in a new tomorrow. Every day is an entire life in itself and all human experiences can take place within its span.

You, yourself, are not the same man you were yesterday or the man you will be tomorrow. The world, too, changes with every revolution around the sun. One human being lives a day and another a hundred years, yet each is a complete life.

Today is the only life you surely have. Make the best of it.

Hazelden Foundation

November 11 — 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

November 11 — Walk In Dry Places
Seeking the truth.

“The punishment of the liar is that he cannot believe anyone else,” wrote one shrewd philosopher. This is another way of saying that we reap what we sow, or that we tend to judge others by our own actions.

But when we decide to be completely truthful, we are not immediately given the ability to discern whether others are lying or not. It’s more important for us to realize that others’ lies don’t have the power to hurt us permanently if we persevere in the program.

Some people would argue with this, pointing to lies that have hurt innocent people in the past. But having no way of knowing all the facts of these cases, we cannot be the judge.

In our own experience, we’ll find that God alone is the source of all truth and will give us the protection and care we need if we seek truthfulness in everything we do. Any fear of being victimized by lying, we’ll learn, will melt away as we follow this conviction.

“I’ll be as discreet as possible today, but I’ll also be truthful. I’ll find that this alone will lessen any fear of being victimized by a liar.”

Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day 11
Eleventh Daily Reminder —

We have often wished for help and peace of mind during the throes of our hangovers. We have prayed for help but seldom prayed for permanent sobriety. We wanted alcohol’s narcotic effects without its penalties. But our prayers always failed. Some barrier seemed to separate us from contented sobriety.

Daily Inventory —

What was this barrier? Were we unconsciously praying for some form of controlled drinking? Is an inventory in order? Must we list our defects?

Suggested Meditation —

AA forces no “musts” upon us anymore than drinking would force a drink down our throats. Alcoholics do as they please, either in or outside of AA — that’s why we are here. “Musts” are voluntary. Wise members, recalling the torture of their drinking days, list their character defects. Those awful hangovers were not just nightmares. They can recur. An honest inventory might prevent them.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, keep us open-minded and ready to earn the greatest help possible from living the 12 Steps. Help up to write an honest inventory.

Daily Physical Audit —

Thousands of people who have heart trouble live long and productive lives by calmly admitting their illness and cooperating with their doctors in treating it. The great hope for prolonged life among those affected with heart disease is to live within the functional limits of the weakened organ. The chief prescription is rest. Things to avoid are fatigue, overeating, infection, obesity and emotional upsets.

Hazelden Foundation

BG DAILY POST — Nov 10, 2019

November 10 – The Eye Opener (1950)

We are all subjects to the habit of imagining a lot of needs and desires that we would not actually want if we stopped and gave the matter some thought. List those needs sometime and then think them over carefully. A yacht would be mighty nice in the summer, but it’s a pest in the winter. A fat bank account takes more thought and hard work to keep than it ever did to acquire. It is much nicer to just let your friends have these things and you be their guest.

Hazelden Foundation

November 10 — Big Book Quote

“If a person has cancer all are sorry for him and no one is angry or hurt. But not so with the alcoholic illness, for with it there goes annihilation of all things worth while in life. It engulfs all whose lives touch the sufferer’s. It brings misunderstanding, fierce resentment, financial insecurity, disgusted friends and employers, warped lives of blameless children, sad wives and parents – anyone can increase the list.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG. 18

November 10 — Walk In Dry Places
Admitting wrongs.

A good fifth Step in the program means being entirely hones with at least one person about the nature of our shortcomings. “A burden shared is a burden cut in half” is the principle behind this action.

We can feel relieved that the 12 Step program specifically limits this sharing to “another person”___ though we can obviously add to that if we choose. However, we must be sure to share honestly with that one person, being careful not to gloss over this important Step.

What is the result of this honest sharing? At the very least, it helps us lose the fear that people might know us as we really are. It helps us face the world with confidence and perhaps new humility. Moreover, it can strengthen our ability to stay sober. All these gains are certainly reward enough.

“If I haven’t been honest with at least one other person, I’ll reread the Fifth Step today. This is something that should be done for my own future safety and well-being.?”

Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day Ten
Tenth Daily Reminder —

A “water over the dam” policy of dealing with our past drinking behavior is the only basis upon which we can rehabilitate ourselves. By living AA we learn how our drinking has affected the lives of others. We feel remorseful, but that does not repay the injury done. AA suggests that we amend it.

Daily Inventory —

Are we trying to rehabilitate our lives? Have we a list of the people whom we have harmed? Are we willing to make proper amends to them?

Suggested Meditation —

Yes, we are trying to rebuild our lives to conform with 12 Step principles and to live in contented sobriety, but not at the expense of others. Live and let live — that is our motto. The water over the dam is forgotten, but not the injury done. We need forgiveness to recover from our illness. To accept it without return defies all spiritual law and threatens our sobriety. Amends are good for our conscience.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, forgive us the harm we have done to others. May we become forgiving. Fortify our minds with willingness to make proper amends.

Daily Physical Audit —

From medical science we learn that the main causes of death are related to our blood and its circulation. Heart trouble ranks high under this category. Alcoholics are not exceptions to the rule. Many members die needlessly because they ignore the warning symptoms of heart trouble and treat it too late. Pain and numbness in the arms, fatigue, labored breathing after mild exercise, heartburn and water in the tissues are symptoms our doctors should diagnose.

Hazelden Foundation

BG Daily Post — Nov 09, 2019

November 09 – Eye Opener (1950)

It is a most comfortable feeling for us alcoholics to know that there is a vast host of friends in AA who are standing by. We pray to God we will never need them for an emergency and, with our new-found faith, we don’t think we ever will, but it helps a lot to know that they are available if needed. It gives you a feeling of security akin to catching the fourth ace.

Hazelden Foundation

November 09 — Big Book Quote

“Though the family does not fully agree with dad’s spiritual activities, they should let him have his head. Even if he displays a certain amount of neglect and irresponsibility towards the family, it is well to let him go as far as he likes in helping other alcoholics. During those first days of convalescence, this will do more to insure his sobriety than anything else. Though some of his manifestations are alarming and disagreeable, we think dad will be on a firmer foundation than the man who is placing business or professional success ahead of spiritual development. He will be less likely to drink again, and anything is preferable to that.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, PG. 129

November 09 — Walk In Dry Places

We are sometimes mystified when people come into AA program, respond to its message for months or years, and then disappear, seemingly without a trace. Later, we may be shocked to learn that they’re drinking again.

While we have no way of knowing the real reason, on possible explanation is that they were practicing compliance without really accepting the program. The danger of compliance is that it may simply be an outward show of working the program while leaving one’s real thoughts and feelings unchanged.

At the same time, we often urge people to practice what is really only a form of compliance. We tell them, for example, to “bring the body” to meetings in the belief that the heart will follow. This does little good if one’s heart does not follow!

The only solution is to continue the difficult but rewarding search for honesty in all things. When we examine ourselves honestly, we will recognize when we are truly accepting and when we are merely complying.

“I’ll remember today that the real success of AA is not in the number of people who show up at meetings, but in how we truly accept the program.”
Hazelden Foundation

Stools & Bottles — Day Nine
Ninth Daily Reminder —

Reservation, doubt and fear assail the minds of newcomers and impede their recovery in AA. Salesmen doubt their ability to sell without the aid of alcohol. Some fear that their identity will be disclosed. Others wonder how to avoid bars and drinking friends or what alibi to offer for their sobriety.

Daily Inventory —

Can we hold reservations and live the 12 Steps? Is fear a sign of future failure? Do we avoid drinking friends? How does AA answer these questions?

Suggested Meditation —

The book Alcoholics Anonymous holds the answers to all of our recovery problems. From it we learn that distrust and fear are dangerous mental attitudes for alcoholics to hold. It suggests that our security and sobriety will come from faith in God and practice of the 12 Steps. It explains our future conduct with drinking friends and the reason we give them for our abstinence. See your Big Book.

Spiritual Contact —

Our Father, replace our reservations and fear with faith, courage and AA understanding. Inspire us with an honest desire to succeed in AA.

Daily Physical Audit —

After varying periods of sobriety we often complain of physical fatigue, vague pain, arthritis, gastric disturbances and insomnia. We contribute them to the sober lives we are leading and reach for a box of pills or some patented elixir. There are better antidotes for health. Perhaps we should lower our daily cigarette and coffee consumptions, stop living on coffee and dessert and try sleeping eight hours every night.

Hazelden Foundation