AA recovery meeting are Stigma Free Zones. Al-Anon recovery meetings are Stigmata Free Zone. SCREW GUILT!
My name is Timothy and I’m a grateful Double Winner (in AA & Al-Anon).
Shakespeare wrote in Othello, “Thou hast not half the power to do me harm, as I have to be hurt.”
In May of 91, the person who gave me my nine-month AA medallion suggested that I investigate Al-Anon meetings. Sure, I had a habit of turning around the toilet paper rolls in bathrooms so would be facing the right direction, but did that really mean I needed Al-Anon? Perhaps she noticed some behaviors in me that signaled her intuition. Ironically, Al-Anon has helped me better understand Alcoholics Anonymous.
Just a thought: If you are an Alcoholic and Sponsor someone in AA, then you have an alcoholic in your life. Consider Al-Anon meetings.
One day in an Al-Anon meeting many years later, I was talking about the Alcoholic that was in my life; someone in that meeting said that my ‘picker was broken’. She said I could pick ‘em. Surely, I could walk into a room of 500 women and instantly pick and fall in love with the sickest one in the room. Thank God for Al-Anon, this is no longer true in my life.
One of the slogans in Al-Anon is, Let Go Let God, which means we get out of our own way in order to have Conscious Contact with the God of our understanding. At a Gopher State Roundup some years ago, I heard an Al-Anon speaker say that the only time she was unhappy was when God or someone else wasn’t doing things her way.
There is no such thing as reality, there’s only perception. Another one of our sayings is a quote by a president Lincoln that folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Yes indeed, one of our Core Values reflects that we can be happy whether the alcoholic is drinking are not. Sometimes,’ alcoholic drinking’ serves as a extremely hard push to birth this truth. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel known as the Three Cs. I didn’t Cause it, I can’t Control it, and I can’t Cure it. We have to get out of the way and Let Go and Let God. We take our own inventory, be the best person we can be, and leave the outcomes up to God as we understand God.
We have to let go with love. We refer to it as detaching with
love. Like barnacles that attach themselves to the hull of a ship, life happens. From time to time, oceangoing ships must be pulled into safe harbor for barnacle removal. Large teams raise up the ships so they can remove thousands upon
thousands of pounds of barnacles from the hall. If they didn’t do so, eventually, the ship would sink. The same is true of our lives. We come into Al-Anon to remove mental, emotional, and sometimes even spiritual barnacles from our lives. We either have to detach with love from the barnacles, or they must detach from us, or we will sink together. For AA’s, it is similar: SEE THE BIG BOOK APPENDICES (red arrow).
At the Gopher State Roundup one year, I heard an Al-Anon speaker relate a metaphor of a dung beetle to recovery. She pointed out that a dung beetle will find some camel dung in a desert and make a ball out of it. The dung beetle will keep rolling that ball until it becomes quite large. One the ball is large enough, the dung beetle will climb on top of it and drill a hole to its center, then crawl inside the dung ball and make it its home. She said metaphorically an alcoholic nearing their bottom is like a dung beetle. She said that in Al-Anon, if a person is not in recovery, they will have horrible boundaries and follow the dung beetle into the center of that ball and make their home there along with the dung beetle.
A different Al-Anon speaker said the only time that she has ever been unhappy is when God or someone else isn’t doing things her way. Another woman in Al-Anon told me that the mother of the child that I killed while driving drunk had a right to be as happy as she makes up her mind to be. It took a while to wrap my mind around that idea.
Once upon a time in a lifetime ago, my Al-Anon Sponsor told me that the alcoholic that was in my life was desperately clinging to the bottle and it was pulling her down into the ocean to drown. My Sponsor also said I was holding onto her hand to save her from drowning. She warned me that if I didn’t let go (DETACH WITH LOVE) from the Alcoholic’s arm, we would both drown. Without the help of Let Go & Let God, I would have committed suicide. That is to say, had it not been for practicing Step Three, the Fellowship of Al-Anon, meetings, and Sponsorship, I was able to let go of her hand. Sadly, she drank herself to death. She died alone. But I didn’t die with her. I wrote a poem during this period of my life that I now call the dark night of the soul. At first, I called it ‘Broken’. But after writing the final stanza, I retitled It ‘Phoenix’. It literally took me 3 ½ years to write this poem.
RBA Board of Trustees Minutes
Monday July 11th, 2022
Meeting Opened at 7:05pm
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:
Joe R., Roger B., Bill M., Cherisse K., Jeff S., Norton L., Trunette
Jerry Z., Maintenance
2. Building & Maintenance Report (Jerry Z.):
Jerry updated the board on maintenance items. He pulled weeds around the building and is working with John K. to ensure the lawn is mowed regularly. In the kitchen, Jerry fixed the clogged drain for the coffee pots and some of the drawers in the cabinets. He heard some noise coming from the AC units and had Wenzel inspect; nothing was found, and all is well. He fixed the drinking fountain to increase the strength of flow. Jerry plans to replace ceiling tiles in the men’s restroom in coming weeks. He was also asked to contact the vending company about the dollar bill changer not working correctly on the candy machine.
3. Financial Report:
The financials for the month of June were approved unanimously. RBA recovered the entire cost of the annual banquet. Expenses and revenues for the month were in line with expectations. Board members were reminded to ensure they submit receipts and invoices when requesting reimbursement for club expenses.
4. Old Business:
The minutes from the June board meeting were approved after a brief recap of key items.
5. New Business:
The upcoming annual picnic was discussed. Cherisse is distributing raffle tickets to be sold, and she is in the process of purchasing prizes. Bill has agreed to provide a count for purposes of planning food purchases. A sign-up sheet has been posted at the club for members to volunteer to help with this event and list the food items they plan to bring. Members are encouraged to bring games to play at the picnic.
Roger provided a recap of the banquet. He also asked board members to let him know what went well and what needs to be improved for future events. Feedback was provided stating the speakers were excellent. Members enjoyed the trophies that were provided by Darryn for the one-year honorees. People enjoyed the venue. The food was great. Coffee and refreshments should be available during social hour, so that will be noted for next year. The board discussed adding the sobriety count down back to the schedule for next year’s event.
Jeff discussed preparation for the annual meeting in September. Five board members will be vacating. The meeting will take place on September 25, 2022. Ballots will be prepared, and Jeff will post notice of the meeting in coming weeks.
The meeting adjourned at 7:40 with The Lord’s Prayer.