office@alanoclubs.com

June 2016

The Magic of Alano Club

There are many routes to recovery, whether you’re addicted to narcotics, alcohol, or any other kind of psychological manifestation. The routes are numerous – one can enter detox, NA, CA, AA, but there is something that all of these organizations have in common, which is a general support system. Sometimes having family isn’t enough for addicts to get better – at times, the best treatment can be as simple as surrounding yourself with like minded people that not only want to have a positive, supportive environment, but also feel extremely comfortable due to the fact that they have all gone through the same experience. This experience is the devastating effects drugs, alcohol, or any other life-damaging behavior can create not only on the person using the substance, but loved ones around them as well.

Alano Club is essentially an amalgamation of what all these organizations have in common, which is a general support system that hosts educational classes and regular recovery groups as well as meetings that are not only flexible, but incredibly effective. Alano Club is known for having a high success rate, mainly because of its different approach to recovery. As mentioned earlier, the common denominator that all successful support groups have is the general feeling of togetherness as well as a positively welcoming environment – only with these two factors can the most important element, which is trust, be accepted by any addict trying to get better.

Alano Club utilizes these key traits through a casual, yet systematic approach. Most of it is done at a facility that provides fun recreational activities, social gatherings as well as nights that encourage bringing family and friends into the mix, intertwining both compartmentalized parts of the addict’s life so that the stigmatization of shame is drastically lessened. As mentioned earlier, all one truly needs to get better is a positive environment and the right as well as ability to trust those around them.

The Alano Club also happens to be a non-profit organization owned solely by the members that have funded the institution with their own funds as well as donations and online retail sales. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – call today and change your life.

long-term-recovery2

Feb 2016

Welcome to the February edition of the Alanoclubs.com monthly newsletter.

Perspective. Where the same moment can be experienced in so many different ways depending on how you look at it. What someone may call a loss, someone else may call a win and we can see this in our daily struggle with alcohol. It is personal perspective that allows us to recognize our own victories, however big or small. The perspective we’ve gained from experience also allows us to forgive ourselves for our mistakes. We know when slipping up is not the end of the world (and, conversely, when it is) because we have plummeted to the depths of our own rock bottom and we can see how high we’ve climbed since then. Perspective is the attitude. Perspective influences how we look at things. A change in perspective can shift how we look at things so we don’t let the negative build itself up. It’s not quite as simple as looking for silver lining in every cloud, but that’s a good place to start. Go for the Attitude of Gratitude. When I find myself feeling down, I try to keep in mind others who are in worse situations and able to keep on keeping on. With the perspective this gives me, I am better able to deal. Shifting your perspective, much like attitude adjustment, is a gradual process, but well worth it in the end. Enjoy the beginnings of Spring wherever you are, Alanoclubs.com readers, and remember to take it one day at a time.

The Laughter and Learning Corner

A boy is watching television and hears the name Jesus Christ. Wondering who Jesus Christ is, he asks his mother. She tells him that she is busy, and to ask his father. His father is also busy so he asks his brother. His brother kicks him out of the room because he doesn’t have time to answer his stupid questions, so he goes downtown and sees a bum in an alley.

He asks the bum, “Who’s Jesus Christ?”

The bum replies, “Well, I am.”

The boy, not believing the bum, asks for proof. So the bum takes the boy into the bar down the street and takes him inside. They walk up to the bar and the bartender exclaims, “Jesus Christ, are you in here again?”

Did You Know: Origin of the idea that the newcomer is the most important person in the meeting.

The statement is not quoted from the Big Book, but it’s a fundamental principle of our fellowship and our program of recovery (Tradition 5 & Step 12) and it’s implied in the basic text of the Big Book.
In speaking of the purpose of meetings on page 160 the Big Book says “Aside from fellowship and sociability, the prime object was to provide a time and place where new people might bring their problems.”
If the primary purpose of holding a meeting is to give newcomers a place to find help, it follows that the newcomer is the primary reason for others to attend a meeting; the newcomer is the one who needs to understand the problem and our solution for “real” alcoholics (p.21) who want to stop drinking (p. 24-29).

January 2016

I don’t know about you, Alanoclub.com readers, but I often find the grey days of January to be the most taxing of times to stay positive. Winter seems endless, as if nothing will be green again. Each day dawns as grey as the day before and it takes more energy to tolerate the petty grievances of the moment. It feels easier to take each day as it comes and shrug off little aggravations when the sun is shining and the world glimmers with possibilities. In winter, it takes perseverance to tough it out and keep on going. Perseverance and patience, patience with others and with myself. The grey may get us down but we persevere and remember that this too shall pass and to let go. Soon enough, the grievances give way to gladness, the grey gives way to green, and the winter gives way to spring. Enjoy your month, fellow readers, and remember to take it one day at a time.

The Laughter and Learning Corner
Two great white sharks, swimming in the ocean, spied a ship in distress.
“Follow me, son,” the father shark said to the son shark and they swam to the ship.
“First we swim around the people in the water with just the tip of our fins showing.” And they did.
“Well done, son! Now we swim around them a few times with all of our fins showing.” And they did.

“Now we eat everybody.”
And they did.
When they were both gorged, the son asked,
“Dad, why didn’t we just eat them all at first? Why did we swim around and around them?”
His wise father replied, “Because they taste better without the crap inside!”

Did You Know: The Origin of Calling It The “Big Book”
A printer in Cornwall, NY, named Edward Blackwell, had been highly recommended to Bill Wilson. Blackwell was the President of Cornwall Press. So Bill and Hank Parkhurst (author of the personal story “The Unbeliever” in the first edition of the Big Book) went to Cornwall to see Blackwell. There they were told that the book would probably be only about four hundred pages when printed. That seemed a bit skimpy for the price they wanted to sell the book at, and they were concerned people might not think they were getting their money’s worth.
They picked the cheapest, thickest paper the printer had, and requested that each page be printed with unusually large margins surrounding the text. This made for an unusually large book. Thus, the book came to be nicknamed the “Big Book.”

Dec 2015

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” Hal Borland

Welcome to the December edition of the Alanoclubs.com newsletter. And here we are, approaching the end of the old year, and starting a new one. ‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice, crowded malls, and warm clothes. For many, this is a time of resolution, a time to try new things and to recharge, to learn from the past year and start fresh. Taking time to reflect is always time well spent, but it’s somehow more profound this time of year. And for those of us armed with lists of New Year’s Resolutions, I think it wise, fellow readers, to remember that change is best sought in small doses, slowly shifting day by day towards whatever goals you may have in mind, be they large or be they small. We say it a lot here at the Alanoclubs.com office but it bears repeating, especially as we set forth on our path for 2014: One Day at a Time. It’s a new year, a time to send off the old era and welcome new beginnings. Celebrate in style and we’ll see you next month.

The Laughter and Learning Corner
A sponsor and his newcomer are at a meeting when the newcomer suddenly collapses, goes into cardiac arrest and falls to the floor. The paramedics arrive, perform CPR and bring the newcomer back to life.
“My GOD!” says the sponsor. “I thought we had lost you”.
The newcomer looks up and tells his sponsor, “I believe I was actually dead for a short time. I saw a bright light and felt myself basking in the light of my Higher Power. I’m sure it was Heaven. It was an amazing experience!”
“What was Heaven like?” asks the sponsor.
The newcomer smiles and replies, “Well, I got good news, and I got bad news. The good news is that in Heaven they have a huge speaker meeting every Thursday night. All the greatest AA speakers that have passed away speak there”.
“And the bad news?” asks the sponsor.
The newcomer looks his sponsor in the eyes and replies, “The bad news is that you’re scheduled to be the speaker next week”.

Did You Know: The Lasker Award In The Big Book AA
For those who wonder what the Lasker Award is that is mentioned at the back of the Big Book, an on-line search produced this Lasker Awards Overview:
“The Lasker Awards are among the most respected science prizes in the world. Since 1945, the Awards Program has recognized the contributions of scientists, physicians, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of human disease. Lasker Awards often presage future recognition by the Nobel committee, so they have become popularly known as “America’s Nobels.” Seventy-six Lasker laureates have received the Nobel Prize, including 28 in the last two decades.” (www.laskerfoundation.org/awards/index.htm 3/30/9)
In 1951, Lasker awarded a Group Award Citation to Alcoholics Anonymous “In recognition of its unique and highly successful approach to that age-old public health and social problem: alcoholism.”

Nov 2015

“Surrender to what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be.” – Sonia Ricotti, Motivational Speaker

Welcome to the November edition of Alanoclubs! Winter has finally arrived, the chill has set in and it sometimes seems like the entire world has gone into hibernation, slumbering through the dark and the grey until the first buds of spring unfurl. As tempting as it would be to follow suit, let us remember that even in the gloomiest, frostiest, bleakest times, light will shine through again. And I don’t just mean the twinkly lights of Christmas. I mean the light of Hope. And just as the spring surely follows winter, year after year, and dawn comes after the dead of night, so does Hope follow the darkness of despair. I take comfort in this when I feel as gloomy and grey as a winter night and I hope you do too, fellow Alanoclubs.com readers. Enjoy your holidays and we’ll see you next month.

The Laughter and Learning Corner
One night in a local pub, a man stumbled up to the only other patron in a bar and asked if he could buy him a drink. “Why of course,” came the reply.
The first man then asked, “Where are you from?”
“I’m from Ireland,” replied the second man. The first man responded, “You don’t say, I’m from Ireland too! Let’s have another round to Ireland.”
“Of course,” replied the second man. Curious, the first man then asked, “Where in Ireland are you from?”
“Dublin,” came the reply.
“I can’t believe it, ” said the first man. “I’m from Dublin too!” He continued, “Let’s have another drink to Dublin.”
“Of course,” replied the second man.
Curiosity again struck and the first man asked, “what school did you go to?”
“Saint Mary’s,” replied the second man. “I graduated in ’62.”
“This is unbelievable!” the first man said. “I went to Saint Mary’s and graduated in
’62, too!”
About that time, one of the regulars came into the bar and sat down. “What’s been going on?” he asked the bartender.
“Nothing much,” replied the bartender. “The O’Malley twins are drunk again!”

Health and Wellness – Paisley Hansen

Finding the Inpatient Rehab Program that is the Right Fit
When addiction takes hold of your life or the life of someone you love, it is essential that you seek help. There are a variety of
inpatien t drug rehab centers that can lead the way to a life of sobriety and long­term recovery. While outpatient therapy is an option, the most effective way to deal with addiction is through the intensive services that are provided during inpatient therapy.

The greatest benefits in an inpatient facility lie in the fact that the client is completely removed from sources of temptation and the strain of daily living.
A secure environment is provided in a safe haven where there is round the clock supervision. Trained staff members are always on hand to provide guidance and assist clients in the recovery process. Having a good understanding of the types of programs can assist you in choosing the best option for yourself or someone you care for who is battling addiction.

Gender Specific Treatment Centers
You will find that there are inpatient drug treatment facilities that are gender specific. In other words, some facilities will only take female clients and others only take male clients. This is highly recommended for any individual seeking treatment for addiction. When you go to a treatment center that treats a combination of men and women, this opens the door for complications. When seeking treatment for addiction, there should be a complete focus on the recovery process. The possibility of forming a relationship and having romantic interests can actually cause setbacks in therapy. Addiction treatment is not about developing one’s personal life. It is about achieving lifelong sobriety and nothing should get in the way of that goal.

Treatment Centers That Use Medication
Overcoming addiction is an extremely difficult process that begins with the detoxification stage. At this point, the victim is cut off from the source of addiction and toxins are released from the body. During this process, it causes extreme discomfort. It is common to actually feel ill, with shaking, nausea, sweating, and chills as common side effects of withdrawal. In addition, there are intense cravings and anxiety. Some treatment facilities will use medications to help relieve these problems. However, many experts believe that this can lead to new patterns of abuse.

Treatment Centers That Use Holistic, Natural Methods
You will find that there are other treatment centers that use a holistic and natural approach to treating addiction. They aim to address a client’s emotional, spiritual, and physical needs during the recovery process. Massage, meditation, and physical activity are common components in this type of treatment center. There is no use of medication to deal with the effects of withdrawal and abuse.
Rather, a strong support network is present, assisting clients through every phase of treatment, supplying healthy foods and a nurturing environment.

Christian ­Based Drug Treatment Programs
There are many different programs that are Christian­based, often revolving around a particular Christian philosophy. In many cases, these programs are free as well. If you practice in the Christian faith, this may be the program for you. You will find yourself turning to your beliefs and the support of others to help you through this difficult time in your life.

Government­ Funded Inpatient Therapy
There are many government­funded inpatient treatment facilities. These are the most common option for those who do not have insurance or have no place else to turn. These facilities usually have a waiting list. If you are desperately in need of treatment, or someone you love simply cannot wait, you will want to look for other alternatives.

Luxury Treatment Centers
For those who have the financial resources, there are many inpatient drug treatment facilities that are actually like luxury resorts, located in a beautiful setting with many amenities. If you are able to take this option, you will feel like you are taking a vacation from your life while dealing with your addiction.

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” -Mother Teresa

Oct 2015

Welcome to the October edition of the Alanoclubs.com monthly newsletter. Here at our offices, thankfulness and gratitude have been on our minds lately, coming up regularly in discussion and not just because we are preparing for the Season of Gratitude, a season marked by Thanksgiving and soon, by the winter holidays. While we try to make it a regular attitude all year round, thankfulness is particularly poignant this time of year, as the nights get longer and the grey days of November start to set in. So, Alanoclub.com readers, let us pause a few moments each day to breathe deep and give thanks for the blessings we have. Let us look around and truly see the gifts we have been given, and let us take the time to thank with words or with deeds those who have given to us. Take it One Day at a time readers, and we will see you next month.

The Laughter and Learning Corner
There was a lady who was a Southern Baptist, attended services, and taught Sunday School every week.
One Sunday an out of town acquaintance, a gentleman, was in the pew right behind her. He noted what a fine looking woman she was. While they were taking up the collection, the man leaned forward and said, “Hey, how about you and I having dinner on Tuesday?”
“Why yes, that would be nice”, the lady responded. Well, the gentleman couldn’t believe his luck.
On Tuesday he picked the lady up and took her to the finest restaurant in that part of South Carolina. When they sat down, the gentleman looked over at her and suggested, “Would you like a cocktail before dinner?”
“Oh, no,” said the fine example of southern womanhood, “What ever would I tell my Sunday School class?”
Well, the gentleman was set back a bit, so he didn’t say much until after dinner, when he pulled out a pack of cigarettes and asked, “Would you like a smoke?”
“Oh my goodness no,” said the woman. “I couldn’t face my Sunday School class if I did!”

Well, the man felt pretty low after that, so they left, got in his car and as he was driving the lady home, they passed the local Holiday Inn. He’d been morally rebuffed twice already, so he figured he had nothing to lose so he ventured forth with, “Ahhh … mmmm how would you like to stop at this motel?”

“Sure, that would be nice,” she said in anticipation.

The gentleman couldn’t believe his ears, and did a fast u-turn right then and there, and drove back to the motel and checked in.

The next morning, after a wild and passionate night of the most incredible love making imaginable, the gentleman awoke first. He looked at the lovely Dixie darling lying there in the bed and with remorse thought, “What the hell have I done?

He shook her awake and pleaded, “I’ve got to ask you one thing, what ever are you going to tell your Sunday School class?”

The lady said, “The same thing I always tell them, You don’t have to smoke and drink to have a good time!

Did You Know: The Original Six Steps AA History
In the early days of AA the fellowship operated under a loose set of spiritual principles borrowing heavily from the ideas of The Oxford Group. There was no single way of “doing AA.” Some people favored a plan focused on living “One Day at a Time” others were focused on prayer and “quiet time.” As the steps evolved there were various versions used at different times and in different places, with numerous examples found in AA’s literature and archives. For example, the July 1953 Grapevine article had an article entitled A Fragment of History: Origin of the Twelve Steps in which Bill W. describes the six steps this way:
During the next three years after Dr Bob’s recovery our growing groups at Akron, New York and Cleveland evolved the so-called word-of-mouth program of our pioneering time. As we commenced to form a society separate from the Oxford Group, we began to state our principles something like this:

1. We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol.
2. We got honest with ourselves.
3. We got honest with another person, in confidence.
4. We made amends for harms done others.
5. We worked with other alcoholics without demand for prestige or money.
6. We prayed to God to help us to do these things as best we could.

Though these principles were advocated according to the whim or liking of each of us, and though in Akron and Cleveland they still stuck by the Oxford Group absolutes of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love, this was the gist of our message to incoming alcoholics up to 1939, when our present Twelve Steps were put to paper.

Sept 2015

Welcome to the September edition of the Alanoclubs.com monthly newsletter. The days are getting shorter and the nights are slightly longer. This is the time of year, fellow Alanoclub readers, when cosy evenings in with good eats and good company begin to beckon and mornings start to nip with frost. It is the time for sharing in the fruits of the harvest with your friends and loved ones. As you gear up for the next few months of celebration – Halloween, Thanksgiving, culminating in Christmas and New Years – take time to reflect on how far you have come and how far you have yet to go, and be grateful for the moments that you have to share. Above all, don’t forget to take it One Day At A Time!

The Laughter and Learning Corner
An man walks into a bar in his hometown, orders three pints of Guinness and sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more. The bartender asks him, “You know, a pint goes flat after I draw it; it would taste better if you bought one at a time.”

The man replies, “Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in America, the other in Australia, and I’m back here at home. When we all left home, we promised that we’d drink this way to remember the days when we drank together.”

The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there. The man becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way: he orders three pints and drinks them in turn.

One day, he comes in and orders two pints. All the other regulars notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, “I don’t want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your great loss.”

The man looks confused for a moment, then a light dawns in his eye and he laughs. “Oh, no.” he says, “Everyone’s fine. I’ve just quit drinking.”

Did You Know: The Origins of the Slogan “One Day At A Time”

“One Day At A Time” is not in the main text of The Big Book. The phrase does appear at the very end of The Oxford Group pamphlet called The Four Absolutes. That booklet ends with this paragraph:

Remember our four questions, “Is it true or false?”, “Is it right or wrong?”, “How will this affect the other fellow?”, and “Is it ugly or beautiful?”. Answering these queries every day with absolute integrity, and following the dictates of those answers one day at a time, will surely lead us well on our journey toward absorbing and applying the Absolutes.

AA grew out of The Oxford Group and the pamphlet pre-dates the beginning of AA, so this would seem a likely source for the phrase.

“One Day At A Time” does appear in many personal stories published in The Big Book and appears in other AA literature as well. It can be found in As Bill Sees It and Twelve Concepts for World Service among other books and pamphlets.”

Aug 2015

Hello fellow Alanoclub readers! After those lazy hazy days of summer, we’re getting back into the swing of things at our office here. The end of summer is nigh and we can all feel the crisp beginnings of fall in the air. Whether you’re helping loved ones prepare for the beginnings of school or you’re determined to enjoy every drop of the summer heat, make sure to remember you gratitude attitude and take time for yourself. May the last of these summer days treat you well and remember: take it one day at a time!

The Laughter and Learning Corner
One night a slightly inebriated lady stumbles into a police station with a black-eye. She tells the sergeant that she heard a noise in her backyard and went to investigate. The next thing she knew she was hit in the eye and knocked out cold.
An officer was sent to her house to investigate and returned some time later with a black-eye.
“Did you get hit by the same person?” his sergeant asked.
“No” the officer replied …….. “I stepped on the same rake”

Did You Know: The Origin Of The “I am an alcoholic”
Introduction AA History Trivia presented by Alanoclubs.com
As with the origins of other customs in A.A., this is something of a mystery. However, there is a Box 4-5-9 article on the subject in the April-May 1987 issue:
“Who was the first to start a meeting or a qualification with the statement, ‘I am an alcoholic’? How did the worldwide custom begin? As late co-founder Bill W. used to observe, “Nobody invented A.A., it just grew.”

And so probably did its classic introduction at meetings.
‘Many members ask us these questions,’ says G.S.O. archivist Frank M.

‘Unfortunately, only a few of the early-timers are left, and not many of them are able to provide plausible theories. So we can only speculate.’
According to an early friend of A.A., the late Henrietta Seiberling, the expression dates back to meetings of A.A.’s forerunner, the Oxford Group Movement, which had its heyday in the early 1930s. Mrs. Seiberling, a nonalcoholic who had sought spiritual help in the Oxford Group meetings, introduced Bill to A.A.’s other founder, Dr. Bob, then struggling to get sober in the Oxford Group.

At small meetings, the members knew one another and didn’t need to identify themselves. But in the large, public meetings, where there was ‘witnessing’ along the lines of an A.A. talk today, personal identification became necessary. Chances are that someone at some time said, ‘I am an alcoholic,’ but Mrs. Seiberling wasn’t sure. Nor did she remember that the phrase was used at early A.A. meetings in Akron before publication of the Big Book. In fact, she said, the word ‘alcoholic’ was rarely uttered, at least in Akron. People referred to themselves as ‘drunks’ or ‘rum hounds’ or ‘boozers’ or other choice epithets reminiscent of the Temperance Movement that gained adherents during Prohibition.

An early New York A.A. first heard the expression as ‘I am an alcoholic and my name is…’ According to his recollection, that was after World War II, in 1945 or 1946. And it is a matter of record that, in 1947, a documentary film entitled, “I Am an Alcoholic,” was produced by RKO Pathé.

From then on, as Bill would say, the custom just grew.

July 2015

Welcome to the July edition of the Alanoclubs.com monthly newsletter. Alternating your life can sometimes seem like an incredibly complicated and tough thing. Especially if you feel like you’ve failed many times… But there is always hope.
It doesn’t mean you are better than anyone else, not more motivated or disciplined. One great piece of advice is to live a minimalist life. Appreciate the simple things. This can mean many things, but deep down it’s about becoming conscious about what we have in our lives.
We have limited hours in a day, limited years in our lives, limited physical space in our homes.
And we fill all that limited space up unconsciously, packing it to overfull without much thought to whether that’s the best use of our space.
Minimalism is about pausing, and asking what’s necessary. What belongs in this space, and what can we toss out? Is the fantasy we have in our heads, that’s causing us to fill things up unconsciously, really what we thought it would be?

The Laughter and Learning Corner
Two old timers and a newcomer were stranded on an island. After several months, one of them found a lantern on the beach, polished it clean, and out popped a genie. “In return for my freedom, I will grant each of you one wish”, announced the genie. The first old timer said, “I have a loving wife at home, my relationships with my children have been healed, and I have four beautiful grandchildren. I surely do miss them. I wish I were back home again.” Poof. His wish was granted.
The second old timer said, “I miss my family too. And before we were stranded, I had a wonderful career and a beautiful home. I wish to go home too”. Poof. His wish was granted.
The newcomer said, “My wife left me, my children hate me, I lost my house and job. I have nothing to go back home to. The only friends I had in the whole world were my two buddies here on the island, and they’re gone. I sure do wish they were here now.”

Did You Know: The “Four Absolutes” that were part of the Oxford Group
The Oxford Group, a Christian fellowship out of which A.A. grew, had four guiding spiritual goals that they tried to practice to the fullest extent possible. These ideals called for:
Absolute Honesty,
Absolute Unselfishness,
Absolute Love, and
Absolute Purity

June 2015

It is almost summertime and we at Alanoclubs.com are enjoying every last ray of sunshine and each degree of heat that this most sunny of seasons is bringing our way. Summertime is a time to get out of the house, visit old friends, make new ones, and connect with the world around you. As such, this issue of Alanoclubs.com newsletter is chock-a-block full of camp outs, round ups, conferences … basically any excuse to celebrate fellowship and enjoy ourselves. So what are you waiting for? Take it one day at a time and make the most of your sober sunny summer.

The Laughter and Learning Corner
A southern Baptist minister was completing a temperance sermon. With great emphasis he said, “If I had all the BEER in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.”
With even greater emphasis he said, “And if I had all the WINE in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.”
And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he said, “And if I had all the WHISKEY in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.” Sermon complete, he sat down.
The song leader stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, nearly laughing,
…….. “For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365, “Shall We Gather at the River.”

Did You Know: The First AA Meeting
Typically June 10, 1935, the day of Dr. Bob’s last drink is considered the day that A.A. was founded. When the first “meeting” was is less clear. At first it was Bill and Bob hanging out and looking for someone else they could help. Perhaps when they met with “A.A. Number Three”, Bill D. in his hospital bed on June 26, 1935 counts as the first meeting. According to the story “Alcoholics Anonymous Number Three” in the second edition of the Big Book, A.A. Group Number 1 of Akron Ohio, started that day with that meeting in Akron’s City Hospital.

Some might say the first meeting was when Dr. Bob first met with Bill W. According to Dr. Bob’s Story, they first met with Bill trying to help sober up Dr. Bob on Mother’s Day of 1935 which would have been May 12 at 5pm at the home of Henrietta Seiberling, a friend of Bob’s wife. This house has come to be known as “The Gatehouse” and is in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Bob drank after this meeting, but it was still the first meeting of two men talking about the program that was becoming Alcoholics Anonymous. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Bob’s Story:
“About this time a lady called up my wife one Saturday afternoon, saying she wanted me to come over that evening to meet a friend of hers who might help me. It was the day before Mother’s Day and I had come home plastered, carrying a big potted plant which I set down on the table and forthwith went upstairs and passed out. The next day she called again. Wishing to be polite, though I felt very badly, I said, “Let’s make the call,” and extracted from my wife a promise that we would not stay over fifteen minutes. We entered her house at exactly five o’clock and it was eleven fifteen when we left. I had a couple of shorter talks with this man afterward, and stopped drinking abruptly. This dry spell lasted for about three weeks; then I went to Atlantic City to attend several days’ meeting of a national society of which I was a member. I drank all the scotch they had on the train and bought several quarts on my way to the hotel.”

May 2015

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow Alanoclub’s Social Media: We’ve been working to improve our Facebook page, so as to ensure your access to our recovery resources is not only efficient but looks good to. Check us out! And follow us on Twitter @Alanoclubs for your daily dose of wisdom and serenity, direct to your homepage.

We are delighted to be able to provide you with a comprehensive directory of AA conventions, round-ups, ice cream socials, and even camp-outs from all over North America. Keep coming back for constant directory updates.

The Laughter and Learning Corner
There’s this juggler who’s driving on the way to a job when he gets pulled over by a cop for speeding. The cop sees three bowling bins on the seat next to him and asks him what they’re for. The juggler proceeds to take the bowling pins out of the car and begins juggling as he’s standing on the side of the road.
About this time, a recovering alcoholic drives by with his wife. Upon seeing the juggler standing in front of the cop juggling, the recovering alcoholic says, “Man, I’m sure glad I stopped drinking – Look what they’re making you do for a sobriety test now!”

Did You Know: Origin of the principle of being “self-supporting” AA History Trivia
The issue of “self-support” (ie that we support ourselves through our own contributions)is not expressed in the Big Book, it’s one of our Traditions. The Traditions were born out of the years of AA experience that followed the publication of the Big Book in 1939.
In the years between 1935 and 1945, there were many competing ideas of how things should be done in and among the AA groups sprouting up around the world. During his years of work establishing an AA office in New York, Bill W. received thousands of letters from individual AAs and groups seeking guidance; he worked with others to develop The Traditions that gave the AA fellowship a consistent, broad-ranging set of guidelines. The policy of declining contributions from outside AA was intended to keep AA independent from government, large organizations and the sometimes corrupting influence money can bring. The books “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” and “AA comes of Age” provide additional insight into the development of AA’s policies & practices.

April 2015

The cold and the slush around us begins to (finally!) give way to the smell of spring in the air. It brings a time for growth. Flowers start to bloom and buds emerge on all the trees. Instead of grey and brown all around, green appears, revitalizing the landscape. Growth, both physical and spiritual, takes time. We are not that different from the trees, which appear brown and inert but have so much going on beneath the surface, and suddenly burst to life at the first thaw. Much of our spiritual development happens unseen, with only the occasional moment of “bloom”, showcasing how far we’ve come. We can take a cue from the wildlife around us. Drink in the water and the sun, but let ourselves hibernate when resources are scarce. Above all practice patience – for ourselves and for others – because growth takes time.

The Laughter and Learning Corner

There’s this juggler who’s driving on the way to a job when he gets pulled over by a cop for speeding. The cop sees three bowling bins on the seat next to him and asks him what they’re for. The juggler proceeds to take the bowling pins out of the car and begins juggling as he’s standing on the side of the road. About this time, a recovering alcoholic drives by with his wife. Upon seeing the juggler standing in front of the cop juggling, the recovering alcoholic says, “Man, I’m sure glad I stopped drinking – Look what they’re making you do for a sobriety test now!”

Did You Know: The Origin of The Chip System AA History Trivia

People often wonder where the chip system in AA originated from. Sometimes referred to as coins, medallions or tokens, the practice of giving out a chip of some kind to mark a period of sobriety actually predates A.A. Well before A.A. began, organizations such as temperance societies, gave out medallions or coins to people who pledged to quit drinking or for marking periods of sobriety. This common custom was taken up by individual A.A.groups as each saw fit. Eventually private companies began to make “A.A.” chips and began selling them to groups. There is no codified system for giving out chips in A.A. What might be given out, how it is done and for what lengths of sobriety varies from place to place and even group to group. The periods of sobriety denoted by the chips are determined by their manufacturer. In most cases the medallions given out in A.A. are made by private companies who have no affiliation with A.A.

Footprints In The Sand
by Mary Stevenson (1922-1999)

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you Never, ever,
during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

March 2015

As always, the Alanoclubs.com office has been a hive of activity. This month, our focus was on cleaning up the Clubs directory and we are a-buzz with excitement! We’ve spent many nights and many days adding new entries and improving the information we had for those entries already collected. The result? The directory is now a comprehensive list of Alano Clubs located throughout North America, complete with contact information and websites you can visit where ever possible.

The Laughter and Learning Corner
There was a group of AA members driving to a conference in a distant city. About halfway there, they stopped for a coffee break. The restaurant was near a botanical garden, and they decided to walk around there to stretch their legs before going on. As they admired the beautiful beds of flowers, a sweet little old women approached them and asked, “Are you members of the Wild Life Society?”
“No ma’am”.. answered one. “We used to be, but then we joined AA”

Did You Know: The Origin of the Use OF The Serenity Prayer by AA
According to the AAWS book “AA Comes of Age” the use of the prayer in AA began in 1942 when a New York member named Jack saw it used in a New York Herald Tribune obituary. He brought it to the newly created GSO office in Manhattan. According to Bill W.’s recollection “Never had we seen so much A.A. in so few words.”
Then someone suggested that the prayer be included in all of the GSO’s outgoing mail. They contacted a printer in the fellowship in DC by the name of Henry S. and he printed 500 copies for free.
Bill recalled that “With amazing speed, the Serenity Prayer came into general use and took its place alongside our two other favorites, the Lord’s Prayer and the Prayer of St. Francis.”
As the fellowship has grown less inclined toward the Christian faith use the fairly “non-Biblical” Serenity Prayer has grown to surpass the other two prayers and become the standard prayer in AA.