Recovery experiences

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What's the REAL reason for this site?

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When I first achieved lengthy sobriety, I found that every word in the Big Book made much more sense to me. I thought I could get others sober by sharing the Big Book, word for word. However, I had difficulty getting others to see what I was seeing. I would speak with passion and confidence and verve and clarity—only to see their eyes glaze over with boredom. I have since discovered this is not unusual. Even AA co-founder Bill Wilson spent months of early sobriety going from bar-to-bar, trying to share his spiritual experience with other drunks. I had no better luck than Bill did.

I did not give up. I still worked with others. I encouraged them to listen to "The Big Book Comes Alive" study (see the "Who are Joe and Charlie?" link in the far right column of this website). Unfortunately, most newcomers were far too rattled to patiently sit and listen to these recordings. They needed smaller bites of information. 

I had recently been looking up some Big Book words in a 1930s Webster's Dictionary. Their definitions really brought the Twelve Steps alive in a way that my oridinary "modern day" definitions did not. I believed that those old school definitions revealed much about what Bill Wilson seemed to be saying. I made some personal drawings to help me remember each definition in case my memory faded. That plan worked, and many more drawings followed. They were very personal responses to the deeper meanings I found in the 1930s definitions AS THEY RELATED TO MY OWN TWELVE STEP WORK. (Sorry for the all caps, but I really want this point to be clear.)

I wanted to call attention to those 1930s definitions of Twelve Steps words. That's the REAL reason for this site

FAIR WARNING: This website is not conference-approved by any Twelve Step program. If you don't understand why, I strongly suggest you ask your sponsor or anyone who has long-term sobriety in your program. Conference approved literature has been carefully reviewed hundreds of times by countless sober people. The information is considered safe and sound for use in recovery work. By comparison, only one person has reviewed the information on this website. 

Please be wary of the information on this site or on personal sites like this. Common sense should tell you this. You don't know anything about me (the sole person involved in creating the artwork and writing). You have no way of knowing whether I am sober now or ever have been. I warn my sponsees that their desperation for recovery will cause them to latch onto ANY idea that sounds good to them. Worse, they will eagerly believe anything which reinforces their incorrect old assumptions, biases, sickness, etc.

So please do NOT assume that just because you find my pictures to be interesting or because you agree with anything written here, that you are headed towards sobriety. If you are not yet sober, I urge you to leave this site right now. It will only confuse you. I am very serious about this.

However, if you have become sober using the Twelve Steps as first outlined in the book Alcholics Anonymous (the "Big Book"), then this site may be of interest. My words and images are personal shares, comparable to someone sharing their experience, strength, and hope in a face-to-face meeting. 

If someone's share includes statements that are not found in conference-approved literature, everyone in the meeting should know to ignore that part of the share (e.g., If someone shares, "I could not get sober if I did not take a hot shower while chanting the Pledge of Allegiance before working the Steps every day." My reaction would be: "Good for you, friend. But that is not found anywhere in the Big Book so it is NOT necessary in order to achieve sobriety.") Please approach what I have shared here with that same caution.

I hope you find inspiration. I pray you find experience, strength, and hope. But you will only find sobriety through the grace of God as you understand God. And the most reliable path I know to that Higher Power is to 1) attend meetings, 2) get a sponsor, and 3) work the Twelve Steps daily and without holding anything back.

Once graced with sobriety, I invite you to come back here. Maybe what seemed mildly interesting during your first visit will become more meaningful with each new visit during your lifetime of recovery.



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