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Grapevine : January 2011
32 January 2011 at meant there was hope for me. I could start where I was. I didn't need to wait until I got a better attitude. I could ask for one. Ninety meetings in 90 days? Read the Big Book every day? Both too boring! Guys would o er me their phone numbers. I said, "Get away from me; I don't want what you have!" But I did begin to pray every day for honesty, open- mindedness and willing- ness, an honest desire to stay sober no matter what and a genuine de- sire to go on living. To look at my drink- ing, I used index cards instead of a notebook, because new memories popped up in random order. Each card was for one drinking experience. At the top le I wrote my age, in the middle what I was drinking, and at the top right, where. Below that I wrote the details of that experience. Example: “14 • Whiskey • Home- town • We could have been shot to death doing burglaries, day and night, to steal whiskey • We got crazy drunk!" I sorted the cards by age.IsawwhyIhadal- ways had a life-and-death problem with alcohol yet never even had a DUI. I usually drank, got drunk, blacked out and passed out---all quickly. I saw that I would eventually drink because of the mental obsession, get drunk because of the physi- cal craving and die an alcoholic death because of the progression. I have used the same method with the men I sponsor. I say, " is 'gimmick' is not in the Big Book, but there are lots of good ideas that aren't in the Big Book, like '90 in 90' and 'HALT---Don't get too hungry, too angry, too lonely or too tired.'" I say, " is will be pain- ful, but it will help you to see the part of your drink- ing story that could lead you to a relapse unless you take an honest look at it---the part you don't see now---the underwater part of the iceberg that sank the Titanic." ey all complain, but they end up thanking me. I say, "Self-knowledge can't keep any alcoholic sober, but it may motivate you to go looking for something that can---the Twelve Steps." If my sponsees have also used drugs, it seems to make it harder for them to see what kind of drinking problem they have, since everything is mixed up. I suggest that they pull out the cards that deal with alcohol alone---perhaps very few. I suggest, " at's your drinking story. at's what you can compare with the stories in the Big Book to decide what kind of drink- ing problem you have: A. Can you quit and stay quit on your own without the Twelve Steps and AA meetings? B. Is lifelong involvement in the Twelve Steps of AA a matter of life and death for you?" Anonymous Denver, Colo. New memories popped up in random order. Each card was for one drinking experience.