11/5/08 BB Into Action pp 82-83 (Amends at home)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS

11/5/08 BB Into Action pp 82-83 (Amends at home)

Postby Karl R » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:30 am

Good Morning,

"Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love."


Yesterday's passage looked at domestic amends. Again, the principles of no further harm, thinking through amends, and not being hasty were reinforced.

I love today's passage (below in red) for a variety of reasons. It reinforces with me that "just being sober" is not enough. In the 9th step there is often a tendency to rest on our laurels when the tornado temporarily stops blowing. This passage reminds me that there is still much work to do. Just telling my family "I'm sorry" was not enough. I had to be active about the reconstruction. Sober mornings with my family were sometimes difficult until I learned to incorporate the short prayer at the end of today's reading into my morning meditation.

Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning amends to family?

have a wonderful Wednesday everyone,
Karl

If we have no such complication, there is plenty we should do at home. Sometimes we hear an alcoholic say that the only thing he needs to do is to keep sober. Certainly he must keep sober, for there will be no home if he doesn't. But he is yet a long way from making good to the wife or parents whom for years he has so shockingly treated. Passing all understanding is the patience mothers and wives have had with alcoholics. Had this not been so, many of us would have no homes today, would perhaps be dead.
The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, "Don't see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain't it grand the wind stopped blowin'?"
Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead. We must take the lead. A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won't fill the bill at all. We ought to sit down with the family and frankly analyze the past as we now see it, being very careful not to criticize them. Their defects may be glaring, but the chances are that our own actions are partly responsible. So we clean house with the family, asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love.
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Re: 11/5/08 BB Into Action pp 82-83 (Amends at home)

Postby leejosepho » Thu May 17, 2012 7:37 am

Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead. We must take the lead. A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won't fill the bill at all. We ought to sit down with the family and frankly analyze the past as we now see it, being very careful not to criticize them. Their defects may be glaring, but the chances are that our own actions are partly responsible. So we clean house with the family, asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love.

Today is the beginning of my wife's and my 32nd year of marriage (including a period of divorce beginning at about two years), and we never could have survived and arrived here any other way. At about three years sober, I finally realized I had been treating my two daughters, my former wife and even my current wife like hostages rather than being a true husband, father and provider even while sober. So rather than running away once again and causing even more havoc in the lives of still others, I went to work trying to learn how to actually become and display what I had requested at Step Three:

"Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life." (page 63)

Not all of my family has since embraced all of that, and at least partly because I am not yet perfect ... but at least now I know that is not because I have not at least tried to do my own part.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 11/5/08 BB Into Action pp 82-83 (Amends at home)

Postby PaigeB » Thu May 17, 2012 12:44 pm

We ought to sit down with the family and frankly analyze the past as we now see it, being very careful not to criticize them.


This was the sentence that stuck out to me early in sobriety (because I peeked to see what these latter steps had in store for me!). I think that, especially to close family, I had already said, "omg I am truly sorry about all that drinking". A simple & remorseful "sorry". This sentence saying - that was not enough - scared me a bit...no, it slugged me in the gut and filled me with shame & terror. I had no idea how to "frankly analyze" the past and how I could possibly go over 17-30 years of drinking, some of which I had only vague recollection.

Again, my patient sponsor to the rescue. First thing she told me was that the Steps are worked in order for a reason - and though I had heard this before, this is where it began to make sense to me. The words say. "...as we NOW see it." She told me that "more will be revealed" and that by the time I got to direct amends, I would have a better idea of what to do and how to do it.

She was right. When I did my direct amends I did them with grave intent - it was hardly an off the cuff "Yeah, sorry about that" kind of deal. This was a life or death mission. If little else, I had worked hard to define what could be said and what should be said. I was terrified that my reactions would screw everything up and I would veer off into their faults.

I really had to trust the process of the program here... Take a deep breath and make a private appointment with close family members (they knew something was up). I took into consideration the opening words of Step 9 in the 12 & 12 which says, "Good judgment, a careful sense of timing, courage and prudence - these are the qualities we shall need when we take Step 9." I actually rolled those words in my head as a mantra or prayer as I centered myself to begin. In my head I said, "I am Paige and I am an alcoholic" then I just started to tell my story as it related to them personally.

It is of no issue what the outcome was. My next right thing was to move forward with this:

...asking each morning in meditation...the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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