Thursday, February 08, 2007

"A Shout Out to the HNT Crowd"

A couple weeks ago I celebrated my second AA birthday at a big Saturday night speaker meeting. The meeting is recorded and my plan was to get a CD and post my share here, so you all could have the benefit not only of my wise and inspiring words, but my resonant baritone, as well. I missed the next week's meeting and didn't get the CD, so, like almost all my plans the past two years, this one didn't pan out, either. I trust that, as with all my other foiled plans, it will work out just fine to type it. :)

It was a great birthday, by the way. A lot of my friends came to support me -- even my pastor showed up! My son was there, and so was my Qualifier -- er, estranged wife.

Here's roughly what I shared:

Phil, alcoholic. I'm grateful to be here tonight, grateful to be sober two years! (pause for wild cheering and applause)

You know, when the good oldtimers wrote in the Big Book that the alcoholic has a "spiritual malady," they were talking about me. Because I have a birth defect. I was born with a God-shaped hole in my soul.

Until I came to these rooms, it never occurred to me I might have this problem. Oh, I knew I had problems. I was besieged by problems. It seemed I was always out of work. My marriages kept collapsing. I was always buried in debt. Everything and everybody were my problems. Everything except alcohol -- everybody except me.

Today, my life is a lot simpler, and my problems look a lot smaller. Thanks to you guys and a few simple suggestions you gave me. The same simple suggestions the good oldtimers handed down to all of us. (gesture meaningfully at 12 steps poster)

You showed me a way to have a better life -- a good life -- a life I want to have.

You showed me a way to finally let go of my futile, endless attempt to fill up my hollow soul with beer.

You showed me a way to let God into my life -- a power outside of my own will, bigger than me, who loves me and meets me wherever I am -- a God who nourishes and enriches my spirit extravagantly.

Thank you for these gifts -- thank you so much!

Thanks especially to my brothers at Progress House -- you guys are awesome. My brothers and sisters at my Friday night group -- you're the lifeblood of my recovery. A shout out to the HNT crowd*. I love all of you.

God bless everyone here tonight -- God bless the millions in our fellowship -- and God bless the alcoholic who still suffers.

I'm an alcoholic, my name is Phil. Thanks for letting me share.

*Yes, I really did say that. It was my way of thanking all of you in this marvelous recovery community in blogtopia (whether you actually participate with naked pictures or not!) Who knows, maybe some of you were there. :)


At 2/09/2007 04:22:00 PM, Blogger dAAve said...

I would have loved to have been there to watch and listen to your experience, strength and hope. Too bad about the CD. I am so damn happy that you've made it 2 years now, Phil.
Another example that we are all mircales.

At 2/10/2007 03:47:00 AM, Blogger Grace said...

Congratulations Phil, you've come soo far and post the CD if you get a copy, would love to hear that.

More wild cheering and applause from me :-)

At 2/10/2007 04:49:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

congratulations, my friend... yours was the first recovery blog I ever read and so I thank you so very much for introducing me to the power of blogging in recovery. My entire program has changed and grown and I have been blogging for a smidge over a year. Thanks for the warm introduction, sir!

God Bless!

At 2/10/2007 05:07:00 AM, Blogger Scott W said...

Way to go, Phil! Now you're in your third year!

At 2/10/2007 05:33:00 AM, Blogger NMAMFQLMSH said...

Happy AA Birthday to you
Happy AA Birthday to you
Happy AA Birthday Dear Phil
Happy AA Birthday to you

I miss you buddy.

At 2/10/2007 07:15:00 AM, Blogger recoveryroad said...



Very many, many, many congratulations on two years. I'm so pleased for you, mate!

At 2/10/2007 09:14:00 AM, Blogger Big Sky Mack said...

Thanks for sharing the miracle with us.

At 2/10/2007 09:44:00 AM, Blogger lushgurl said...

Hey, ya mean I missed having cake??? Seriously though, I feel like I was there to witness yet another miracle in recovery. Thanks for sharing your 2 year birthday with me...Standing Ovation!

At 2/10/2007 01:21:00 PM, Blogger Mary Christine said...

Happy Happy Happy Birthday Phil. Into the third year...

At 2/10/2007 03:10:00 PM, Blogger Pam said...

awesome post...happy birthday.

At 2/10/2007 05:30:00 PM, Blogger Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

Am I too late? But the oldtimers assured me, better late than never!

Happy birthday, Phil. Love your speech.

Don't blame me. Blame dAAve. He sent me (lol!)

p/s I've gone ahead and added you in My Sacred Links.

At 2/12/2007 01:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I am late... Wow Phil... Two years congrats!

I think what amazes me more is that fact that you remembered what you said... any time I say anything in a meeting from the moment I sit down I couldn't tell you anything that came out of my mouth, I don't have a clue.

However you said it with grace & humility. Thanks

At 2/12/2007 02:30:00 PM, Blogger Phil said...

You are all so kind! Thanks for celebrating with me.

Blue, the reason I remember (roughly) what I said was because I prepared and practiced. Yeah, yeah, I know, the idea is that we should share what comes into our hearts at the time. Here's my excuse: the meeting has a time limit for each birthday share, no more than two minutes. It is virtually impossible for this alcoholic to hold the floor extemporaneously for two minutes without starting to tell lies. So I opted to be a cheater rather than a liar, and I prepared ahead of time.

At 2/16/2007 04:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil that sounds like a very smart idea! :)

At 2/22/2007 08:25:00 PM, Anonymous Sober Chick said...

Saweeet! Happy Sober Birthday!!!! Will you be posting this on your blog. Hope so.

At 3/12/2007 02:46:00 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

Greetings Phil
I wonder if this might interest you:

The 12 Steps Down To Hell

I imagine 12 Step recovery programmes are a slow slide into the jaws of Satan. I was involved with this evil “satanic cult” for over 30 years but was saved through the power of Jesus Christ. He directed me to a therapist who was into “real” recovery, not the mind destroying, soul destroying, cult, which is AA. I have met two Steppers recently & I imagine they are completely devoid of any emotion or insight. I feel pain because both these men are decent human beings but AA has destroyed their indivuality & they have no idea how to relate apart from expounding AA propaganda. I imagine Hell to be a continuous flow of AA meetings without any light at the end of the tunnel because one never recovers'. I beg you people who are in 12 Step programmes, to get out before it is too late.

How does one recover when one is handing one’s power over to AA. The 12 Steps were written out of Wilson’s head, he certainly didn’t get his guidance from the Bible. I imagine he was an agent of Satan & he & Smith’s “cult religion” has filled millions of Steppers with their anti - Christ propaganda.

Step Three of AA is "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him." While many in the Oxford Group placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, there was much leeway given. Shoemaker, a leader of the Oxford Group, says, "The true meaning of faith is self-surrender to God." He further explains:
Surrender to whatever you know about Him, or believe must be the truth about Him. Surrender to Him, if necessary, in total ignorance of Him. Far more important that you touch Him than that you understand Him at first. Put yourself in His hands. Whatever He is, as William James said, He is more ideal than we are. Make the leap. Give yourself to Him.
Aside from capitalizing the "H," which Christians do to refer to the God of the Bible, "Him" could refer to any god of one’s own making.

Can you see what is happening to you? Ask Jesus to take control of you lives, read the Bible & instead of 12 Step groups go to Bible study groups. Burn your Big Book or use it as toilet paper. Can you see the difference: With The 12 Steps, you never recover but with John 3:16 you are guaranteed Eternal Salvation. The “ball is in your court” Get out or you will end up insane, like Bill Wilson!!

Peace Be With You

PS: I am a recovered alcoholic with over 21 years of sobriety

At 3/25/2007 05:27:00 PM, Blogger Trudging said...

Congrats Phil

At 3/27/2007 05:33:00 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Message From Noor
I'm sorry, Michael. I'm in a Cyber Cafe in town right now. I can't get access to my Internet since last Friday's night. I guess my CPU was struck down by lightning. I forgot to take out the telephone line and I pay dearly for my carelessness.

I can't always go to my friends' house just to use their computer and this Cyber Cafe are using, most of them are using dial-up connection and it took ages for anything to get loaded. I didn't get the chance to visit all my Recovery Friends' blog and I hope you will spread the words around about my predicaments whenever you visit them.

I'm reaching out for your help to tell them all. You can use My Sacred Links to visit and leave a message on their blogs.

I don't know when I shall be online again. Still waiting for their technician to repair my PC. I was told it may take at least two weeks before I shall be online again.

Oo boy, how can you live without your beloved PC for two long weeks?

Please Michael, I'm counting on you. See you in two weeks time. Bye for now...

At 4/05/2007 09:20:00 AM, Blogger thejunkyswife said...

Thanks for sharing your recovery. 2 years is a long time! Congratulations!

At 4/21/2007 06:26:00 PM, Blogger ASGadminMatt said...


I just launched a site I've been working on for people who suffer from a variety of
different addictions. I have been striving to get this project off the ground after
working at a teen treatment center over a year ago. I think keeping a journal or blog is
a great way for people to stay on track.

I'd really appreciate if you could check out my site Feedback or advice would be great! I'm trying to build the site into a place where people can
share, read, learn and connect with people who can relate to their experiences. I really
hope it grows into an online community that will help people get better.



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