RBA Dry Sheet: August 2021
RBA is looking for someone willing to coordinate content for the monthly Dry Sheet publication. The Dry Sheet includes articles written by our club members about AA related topics as well as videos about the steps and traditions. We also post the minutes from monthly board meetings and sobriety anniversaries for club members. The coordinator would be responsible for asking AA members to write articles each month, gathering videos, and finding other fun content for our readers. All content would be sent via email to the person in charge of the website, and they will post the Dry Sheet on the first day of each month. The current content coordinator spends about 1 1/2 hours per month on these tasks. This person has been providing content for a year now, and would like to offer the opportunity to someone else.
The September 2021 Dry Sheet content would ideally be compiled by August 20th, 2021. For this reason, please reach out soon if you would like to take on this opportunity. No further editions will be posted until this service opportunity has been transitioned. If you are interested or have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Featured Post: The Step of the Month
“Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”
Having realized we are powerless over alcohol, established a relationship with a Higher Power to whom we’ve turned our life over to, we made room for that Higher Power to help us clean out our internal defects of character, it is now time to look outward and focus on how these defects impacted others by our actions. We’ve cleaned the inside of our house, now it’s time to work what’s outside. We look to Step 8 to start that.
Step 8 says “Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”. Like 4th Step, it can feel daunting, sometimes frighteningly so. We may even feel more vulnerable because we have come to feel peace and safety with our Higher Power running the show, and our faith in that Higher Power has grown. Now we have to face the outside world and the people we have harmed.
The good news is our Higher Power is still with us! HP still has our back. If we have worked the previous steps to the best of our ability, have been honest, open & willing, our Higher Power will see us through this too. Here we can rely on our sponsor as well since she or he has been through it too. S/He’s faced similar feelings and bested them. Lean on the wisdom they bring. We are not alone!
Really it is a simple task. The first half of the step is easy anyway. We make a list. That’s it. Sure, it’s a list of people who we harmed, but it’s just a list. We don’t have to think beyond that right now. Fortunately, we already have at least one list we created previously from our 4th step. Chances are good there are some folks from that list who we can grab quickly and that’s a start.
For me, I had started with my 4th Step list. I reviewed, and from that, I picked people I’d harmed right from there. After that, I was rolling. There were plenty already but knew there were more. I then kept pondering my life and thought of a few more. I even added a family dog in my list which my sponsor reminded me it’s a list of “persons” we had harmed, but I left her in anyway. It’s about how I feel. Cleaning my side of the street of my wreckage I dropped along the way.
Some of the people on my list were no longer living, mom & dad specifically. My sponsor said that was ok. We can handle that in Step 9, so keep them on the list. He was right and in my list they stayed.
Now getting to the part about being willing to make amends…. That was the harder part. But prior experience in the steps had taught me a few things. I’d already learned to ask my Higher Power for willingness, or at least the willingness to be willing. I learned to act as if. I also took to our literature and found a method I could work with. I used a “Now”, “Someday”, “Never” method. So, after a little prayer, I ran through my list of people I’d harmed and grouped them into those three columns.
Honestly though, the “Never” list bothered me. I didn’t feel comfortable that I had people in my “Never” list. I mean, the second part of Step 8 says became willing to make amends to them all! To me that suggested I must still have a resentment toward that person, right? Clearly, I haven’t let go of the hurt or “damage” they did to me. I am still angry so how do I make amends if I’m still angry? I’d heard shares from other members in meetings that if we feel lingering resentment, to pray for the person. So, I did pray for the people on my “Never” list. Lo and behold, I found the willingness to move them to the “Someday” list and one even moved to the “Now“ list.
So, what of becoming willing to “make amends”?? What are amends? I had to understand that before I could become willing. Is it another “sorry”? I’d said I was sorry plenty of times about this or that thing I did as a result of my addiction to alcohol and drugs. I had at least a couple of people who would not want to hear “sorry” again. This is how Webster’s Dictionary defines “amend” – to put right, change or modify, to alter. I needed to have a plan of how to make it up to them, how to change or make right. It was easier to become willing when I understood what “amends” meant.
It was shortly after that I felt willing to make amends. May the same come for you.
-Doug R, Squad NA1
RBA Board of Trustees Minutes
Monday July 12, 2021
Meeting Opened at 7:06pm
Opened with the Serenity Prayer and AA Traditions One and Two. Our mission is to manage the property, finances and 501C3 for the RBA.
1. Members Present:
Norton L., Joe R., Jeff S., Lori W., Dana Jo., Roger B., Isaac S., Bill M.
Jerry Z., Maintenance
2. Building & Maintenance Report (Jerry Z.):
Jerry has been busy. He has been researching requirements and costs related to purchasing a new steel door for the back of the building. Jerry knows the specifications needed and has been quoted a price of around $1,400. No additional costs will be incurred for installation as Jerry can complete this task. The board voted to table this purchase for future months, and Jerry believes this will not be an issue. He is also planning to contact the asphalt company for information regarding our warranty requirements. Jerry remembers someone mentioning we need to sealcoat the lot periodically, and he is curious as to how often. He will get estimates if sealcoating is required.
Jerry and Joe have arranged for John K. to help the club by mowing the lawn throughout the summer. The board supports this and any other members who wish to help around the club.
3. Financial Report:
Jeff discussed the financial report for the month of June. RBA spent more cash than we received in donations again in June, but the board is satisfied with our cash flow considering annual pledges will be received in a few months. Jeff mentioned the club covered $1,400 in unreimbursed costs related to the annual banquet, which is the primary reason for the negative cash flow during June. The June financials were approved.
Our bookkeeper is on leave due to personal issues, and Jeff has agreed to take on these responsibilities for the near future.
4. Old Business:
In June, the board voted to open the abandon cabinets throughout the club to determine if they are serving any purpose. Locks were removed from five cabinets, four were removed. None of the items removed were of any significance, so nothing will be missed. One cabinet contains meeting materials for the Monday AM Al Anon meeting, so a new lock has been attached and Joe R. has the keys. Should this squad decide to begin meeting again, these members are welcome to pick up the keys and keep the new lock.
The board was asked to donate $50 to the facilitator of an upcoming NA presentation during the June meeting, and at that time the board tabled the motion. A vote was taken during the July meeting and the board agreed to decline this request. The trustees believe their role is to use the funds donated to RBA for paying bills and maintaining the grounds. Occasionally we authorize other expenses, but not in this case. The board is happy this event is being held in our building as it will help many people. We fully support the squad leader’s option to pass a basket to collect donations from the attendees to benefit the facilitator.
The minutes from June were approved.
5. New Business:
Joe provided updates on the website. Board members were asked to encourage squad leaders and treasurers to learn about the online donation option on rbaaa.org. Some members have had issues understanding the functionality and believe the system is not working properly. These members should feel free to ask questions, but they should know the system is tested regularly and used successfully by many people each month. The board is seeking a new content coordinator for the Dry Sheet. Responsibilities for this are listed on the July edition on the website, and they will be posted again on the August edition. The August Dry Sheet will be the final edition for which Joe R. will be coordinating. If no members show interest in taking over, then August will be the final edition for the time being. The Dry Sheet coordinator should have the September content ready to be published around August 20th, so if anyone is interested, they should contact the board soon.
Gopher State was discussed. Joe has volunteered to coordinate this. Dana Jo and Kate M have offered to post a signup sheet for volunteers who wish to help with hauling items to the club, setting up, cleaning up, etc. We have a member who is happy to assist with food prep for the event. The board authorized a check to be issued for payment of the room and table/chair rental, and this has been mailed to the appropriate contact. Gopher State will be held on Labor Day weekend this year.
Roger discussed lessons learned from the annual banquet. In coming years, the board should ensure tickets are available during each meeting. We also need to revisit the price we ask for banquet tickets being as the amount we have been charging has not kept pace with the increasing costs of paying for the venue and food. Everyone enjoyed the venue we chose this year, so there should be no issue increasing the ticket price. Roger also recommended tracking raffle costs and receipts separate from banquet sales to ensure we understand what is driving our costs.
Bill M. discussed the upcoming summer picnic event. Signs with details for this event have been posted throughout the club. Raffle prizes have been purchased, and raffle tickets are on sale now. See a board member if interested. Signup sheets have been posted for those willing to help with the event. The picnic will be held on August 14th at 1:00pm at Bush Lake Park, pavilion number two.
A motion to adjourn was passed at 8:29pm. The meeting was closed with the Lord’s Prayer.
-Joe R, Secretary Board of Trustees
8th Step Worksheet
Below you can access a template to get you started on your 8th Step list. Many other formats are available, so feel free to find one on the web that seems most helpful to you.
The annual Gopher State Roundup will be held on Labor Day Weekend this year. RBA will have a hospitality suite at this event in which we will serve refreshments throughout the weekend. RBA will be in room 216 at the Doubletree in Bloomington. This is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship, and many wonderful speakers are scheduled for that weekend. This is also a great opportunity for us to meet people from other clubs and share with them what we love about RBA. For this reason, we will be posting a signup board at the club to staff the event with greeters and setup/takedown assistance. Please sign up for this service.
The annual picnic is coming up on August 14, 2021 at 1:00pm. This event will be held at Bush Lake Park in Bloomington, pavilion #2. Signup sheets have been posted at the club for members to list which food items they intend to bring. You can also sign up to help with the event as there are many tasks required to make this a success. Raffle tickets are also on sale now; see a board member for details. There will be many nice prizes so please purchase tickets in advance to offset the costs incurred.
8th Step Insights
Reflection on Step Eight
Before I found my way into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, I was quite convinced that I was a victim of my circumstances. I believed on some level that people just could not understand me because I was unique and of superior intellect. Furthermore, my head was full of memories from times when people had violated my trust or mistreated me in some way. I eventually isolated myself so nobody could have an opportunity to hurt me again. I felt like the only relief valve I had for the pressure that stemmed from my lack of connection to the world around me was alcohol. I felt comforted by the idea that all I had to do was take a few shots and 20 minutes later my head would be clear. Alcohol turned out to be only a temporary solution to my problems, and it made my troubles worse in the long run. After drinking myself sober and finding some recovery, I began to realize the problems I carried around all my life we largely of my own making. I learned that blaming my circumstances and the people close to me was my way of avoiding the work I needed to do on myself. After an examination of how my character defects affected my life, I came to understand these same defects had injured many other people. The harm I had caused others was a source of shame and guilt that I needed to shed if I wanted to live in God’s grace. Part of cleaning up the wreckage of my past meant making amends to those I had harmed, and making a list was the beginning of this process.
In the tradition of being rigorously honest about my recovery, I will mention that a few years had passed between the work I had done on steps 1-7 and my first 8th step list. I carried around a lot of fear that paralyzed me when I thought of having an intimate conversation with anyone, let alone a conversation about how I had wronged them. I would hear people share in meetings about making amends with loved ones, and this would make me think about having to do the same. Unfortunately, each time I considered having these conversations my mind would jump directly to how the people in my life had harmed me. I felt as though amends should only be required for people I had harmed without reason, and I was convinced I did not have anyone in my past who fit this description. Thankfully, I had a good sponsor who was able to finesse me into moving forward with my list. My sponsor helped me realize that I was getting too far ahead of myself, and I needed to focus on the 8th step before even thinking about making amends to people. Working Step eight meant making a list of all I had harmed and did not mention anything about how others had harmed me. My sponsor made it clear that I was to work my own program of recovery, and any wrongs that had been perpetrated against me were outside of my control.
I also learned the importance of forgiveness while working step 8. Although I understood the importance of not discussing wrongs committed against me while working steps 8-9, I struggled to get past the feelings that consumed me when preparing myself for these steps. Having a sincere discussion about my wrongs felt awkward while also remembering painful interactions between myself and my family and friends. Making my list and completing these steps meant I needed to let go of this pain and be ready for a new beginning. The Big Book reminded me about the importance of forgiveness, particularly when we are holding resentments towards people who are sick like we are. I also recalled from my fourth and fifth steps how my resentments were of my own making, and my higher power would give me strength to overcome them. I soon became comfortable with the idea of forgiving the people in my life who I needed to make amends to. After doing so, I learned some surprising lessons about by 8th step list.
When God gave me the strength to follow through on my list, I followed a template that had been passed around my home group for some time. I made three columns; one for those who I felt an immediate need to make amends, another for those I planned to make amends to when circumstances permitted, and the last column was for those I believed would be harmed by my amends. One surprising fact about my list was that every person whom I had ever cared about was on it. I noticed I had been carrying around memories of the harm I had done to every single person who ever meant anything to me. This fact helped me realize the seriousness of my disease, and just how powerful the program of AA is with regards to starting a new life. I then discussed the columns with my sponsor, and he recommended I revisit my list periodically to determine which of the people could be moved from the right columns to the left column. This meant that I should consider making amends to as many people on my list as possible regardless of how I felt about each at the time of making the list.
Working step eight was a pivotal transition in my recovery. Before this step, my recovery work and been focused inward and discussed with other alcoholics. The 8th step prepared me for sharing my program explicitly with my family and friends outside of the rooms of AA. This was a humbling notion to me because I had spent years convincing my loved ones that they were the cause of many of my problems. The thought of making myself vulnerable to them and being honest about how I wanted to change was somewhat overwhelming. Thankfully, I had established a connection with my higher power that allowed me to push through this fear in hopes that the promises of AA would come true in my life. Our program has always helped me understand the importance of taking the right actions for the right reasons and has also taught me the most difficult steps in my recovery lead to the most significant rewards.
-Joe R, Squad 5C
Speaker of the Month
Recent and Upcoming Sobriety Anniversaries
Please join us in congratulating the following people on their sobriety milestones!
Colleen P. (07/11/92) celebrated 29 years in July!!!
Stacie L. (01/03/21) celebrated six months in July!!!
Steve P. (7/XX/12 celebrated nine years in July!!!
Kelly O. (07/30/19) celebrated two years in July!!!
Marcia A. (07/17/12) celebrated nine years in July!!!
Josh S. (04/05/21) celebrated three months in July!!!
rbaaa.org thanks you for visiting the Dry Sheet. Please feel free to submit content for the following month by email to email@example.com . We welcome and enjoy all submissions. rbaaa.org would also like to thank those who submitted items for the current month's edition. These articles will help many on their journey in recovery.