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Grapevine : May 2011
I’ve come to believe that, then and now, I tend to surround myself with people who provide me with what I need. That used to be drinking buddies, who provided familiar company and substances. Now, it’s you guys in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings who provide solutions to problems and demonstrate how to live life on life’s terms. In working my Ninth Step, I apologized to several former employ- ees and made living amends to three by continuing to employ them under very different, much improved condi- tions. I (mostly) keep my temper and (mostly) allow them to work out their issues amongst themselves, rather than butting in. Where I used to take advantage of friends, I now try to en- gender an advantageous workplace that is beneficial to us all. Today, I have a home-away- from-home group in ridgecrest and a mobile-home group at the 6:30 p.m . men’s stag, “It’s a Better Deal,” in Yucca Valley. Twentynine Palms is still a favorite eastern destination. In fact, I just had a business meet- ing there the other day at 10 a.m . I left at 4:45 a.m. and fellowshipped with alcoholics at the Joshua Tree Fellowship Hall at their daily 7 a.m. Attitude Adjustment meeting. on my way home at 5:30 p.m., I made happy hour at the HUG (Hesperia Umbrella Group). on any given day, there are dozens of meetings in the 30 miles between Lucerne Valley and Wrightwood, including Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Victorville. This is where I’ve spent some of the happiest hours of my life. An antiquated, traditional spiri- tual says, “I’m using my Bible for a road map. The Ten Commandments tell me what to do.” In truth, for me these days, “I’m using my meeting schedule for a road map. The Big Book tells me what to do.” Ed L. Wrightwood, Calif. Discussion topic D inner often in- cluded a six-pack (or two), a bag of corn chips and a candy bar (or two) for dessert,” writes the author of “East to Joshua Tree,” recalling his desperate, hard drinking days. Today, he says, his life is much better since he joined AA. He loves going to his favor- ite meetings in the Mojave area, where he spends “some of the happiest hours of my life.” How much better has your life become since you stopped drinking? How has your diet changed? You may use this topic at a discus- sion meeting or share your experience on i-Say, www. aagrapevine.org. aagrapevine.org 21 GRAPE_18-21.indd 21 4/4/11 1:08 PM