Congratulations on going through R.A.'s Step Presentation.
1. It is important for you to understand that you are not at the end.
2. You are at the beginning of a "new way of living and thinking."
3. In order to become and stay recovered, you must continue to live in Steps Ten, Eleven, and especially in Step Twelve for the rest of your life.
4. When you do this, the pioneers' promise that, just like Bill, you are going to "know happiness, peace, and usefulness, in a way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes."
5. The pioneers assure us that you are going to have a "powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness."
6. However, there is still much that needs to be done.
7. For example, if you have not already done so, you need to complete your amends.
8. In R.A., at this point we suggest that you close the door on your Ninth Step, and make any remaining amends as part of your Tenth Step.
9. Within R.A., you will need to continue following the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" from R.A.'s Multilith Big Book.
10. Within R.A., you will need to continue developing your conscious contact with your Loving Creator. You can do this by continuing your prayer and meditation as part of your Daily Quiet Time.
11. For example, please turn to page 38, in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. Please read the fifth paragraph. In it the pioneers give some of their "clear-cut directions" for the Tenth Step. They say:
"This thought brings us to step ten, which suggests you continue to take personal inventory and continue to set any new mistakes right as you go along. You vigorously commenced this way of life as you cleaned up your past. You have entered the world of Spirit. Your next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for your lifetime. Continue to watch yourself for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, ask God at once to remove them. Discuss them with someone immediately. Make amends quickly if you have harmed anyone. Then resolutely turn your thoughts to someone you can help. Love and tolerance of others is your code."
12. In R.A., we suggest that you read DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. On page 150, in the bottom paragraph, it says, " 'Here in Los Angeles, they now emphasize meetings,' said Duke P, who used to live in Toledo and was one of the pioneering members there. 'I guess that's because there are so many of them. When I started, they stressed morning quiet time, daily reading, and daily contact. They also told me I had to do something about my alcoholism every day.' Duke remembered taking a poll of 'slippers' in the early 1940's and finding that they had all stopped having their morning quiet time. 'Now, after 38 years, Katie and I still have our quiet time and morning reading,' he said."
13. If all of those early members slipped after stopping their Daily Quiet Time, why would anyone want to take the risk of stopping their Daily Quiet Time?
14. Of course, attending meetings, having a daily reading, and being in daily contact with other R.A. members, are also important parts of living a spiritual life.
15. Next, in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, please turn to page 40, and read the first paragraph. In it the pioneers give some of their "clear-cut directions" for the Eleventh Step. They say:
"As you go through the day, pause when agitated or doubtful. Be still and ask for the right thought or action. It will come. Remind yourself you are no longer running the show. Humbly say to yourself many times each day 'Thy will be done.' You will be in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. You will become much more efficient. You will not tire easily, for you will not be burning up energy foolishly as you did when trying to arrange life to suit yourself."
16. Probably the most overlooked, and yet the most important part of the recovery process, is "intensive work with others."
17. If you are not already doing this vital spiritual activity, you must start now.
18. Please turn to page 7 in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, and read the first paragraph. In it, Bill Wilson shares his experience. He says:
"My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of my demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Particularly was it imperative to work with others, as he had worked with me. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that."
19. Please notice that Bill says it is "imperative to work with others." He did not say it is nice to work with others. He did not say it is suggested to work with others. He says it is "imperative to work with others."
20. People often come up with reasons why they should not work with others, or why they are not ready to work with others.
21. None of these reasons are new. Therefore, the pioneers address them throughout their literature. We are now going to share a few of these passages.
22. In R.A., we also suggest that you read A.A.'s Twelve and Twelve. On page 109, starting in the bottom paragraph, the pioneers share, "Even the newest of newcomers finds undreamed rewards as he tries to help his brother alcoholic, the one who is even blinder than he. This is indeed the kind of giving that actually demands nothing. He does not expect his brother sufferer to pay him, or even to love him. And then he discovers that by the divine paradox of this kind of giving he has found his own reward, whether his brother has yet received anything or not. His own character may still be gravely defective, but he somehow knows that God has enabled him to make a mighty beginning, and he senses that he stands at the edge of new mysteries, joys, and experiences of which he had never even dreamed."
23. The pioneers were very careful about what they wrote. If they had wanted to just say, "even a newcomer finds undreamed rewards," then that is what they would have said.
24. Instead they specifically say, "the newest of newcomers." They knew that "the newest of newcomers" did not, could not, have any recovery of their own to give away.
25. In DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, Chapter XX, starting on page 251, has many stories of how newcomers were introduced to the program. For our purpose here, one stands out. It is the story of what happened when a newcomer named Duke attended his first meeting.
26. In DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, on page 254, starting in the bottom paragraph, Duke says, "And of course, you know we hadn't been there five minutes, and we were on a first-name basis. I even did a Twelfth Step that night. They brought a new man over, and we sat on the front porch. He was nervous and excited, and I began to talk — me, a veteran of 36 hours! He said, 'It's all right for you people because you've known each other so long.' He couldn't believe that I was an absolute stranger, the same as he was."
27. The fact that this was not a unique experience is shown by what Bill wrote years later in his essays in A.A.'s Twelve and Twelve.
28. On page 150, starting in the last two lines on the page, Bill shares, "The unique ability of each A.A. to identify himself with, and bring recovery to, the newcomer in no way depends upon his learning, eloquence, or on any special individual skills. The only thing that matters is that he is an alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety."
29. Someone's ability to work with others "in no way depends upon his learning, eloquence, or on any special individual skills."
30. Bill goes on to share, "The only thing that matters is that he...has found a key to sobriety."
31. Everyone who has gone through R.A.'s Step Presentation has now found the "key" to recovery.
32. The "key" to recovery is that anyone who uses the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" from the Big Book, to "thoroughly follow" the pioneers' path, and work all Twelve Steps, can also find the recovery that the pioneers found.
33. That is why, in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 75, the pioneers were able to say, "though you be but one man with this book in your hand we believe and hope it contains all you will need to begin."
34. In A.A.'s Twelve and Twelve, on page 151, in the top paragraph, the pioneers also share their experience. They say, "It is the great paradox of A.A. that we know we can seldom keep the precious gift of sobriety unless we give it away."
35. Therefore, perhaps the most important thing you need to do is to start intensively working with others. Of course you need to also continue practicing the programs' spiritual principles in all your affairs, in every part of your life.
36. So, now you "have entered the world of Spirit." You are growing in "understanding and effectiveness." You know that this "is not an overnight matter," and that it "should continue for your lifetime."
37. Sometimes, at this point, some people begin to think that life will now be a bed of roses. They are surprised when this is often not the case.
38. Let's look at Bill Wilson's experience.
39. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, please turn to page 7 and read the second paragraph. In it, Bill says:
"My wife and I abandoned ourselves with enthusiasm to the idea of helping other alcoholics to a solution of their problems. It was fortunate, for my old business associates remained skeptical for a year and a half, during which I found little work. I was not too well at the time, and was plagued by waves of self-pity and resentment. This sometimes nearly drove me back to drink. I soon found that when all other measures failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day. Many times I have gone to my old hospital in despair. On talking to a man there, I would be amazingly lifted up and set on my feet. It is a design for living that works in rough going."
40. So, "for a year and half," after Bill had his "wind on the mountaintop," "blinding light," "spiritual experience," and stopped drinking, he was still "plagued by waves of self-pity and resentment."
41. These "waves of self-pity and resentment," "sometimes nearly drove [him] back to drink."
42. When this happened, Bill "soon found that when all other measures failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day."
43. Now let's look at Dr. Bob's experience. Please turn to his story in the Personal Stories section at the back of R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. In the Personal Stories section on page 6, please read the third paragraph. In it, Dr. Bob says:
"Unlike most of our crowd, I did not get over my craving for liquor much during the first two and one-half years of abstinence. It was almost always with me. But at no time have I been anywhere near yielding. I used to get terribly upset when I saw my friends drink and knew I could not, but I schooled myself to believe that though I once had the same privilege, I had abused it so frightfully that it was withdrawn. So it doesn't behoove me to squawk about it, for after all, nobody ever used to throw me down and pour any liquor down my throat."
44. So, Dr. Bob, who had the more gradual, educational type of "spiritual awakening," also did not have an easy time of it. He says he "did not get over [his] craving for liquor much during the first two and one-half years" of his recovery.
45. In DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, on page 282, in the fourth paragraph, it says, "Dr. Bob said that even then, it wasn't 'Easy Does It' for him. 'In the morning, when I get up and put my feet on the cold floor' [evidently, they didn't have wall-to-wall carpets], 'I have a battle all day to stay away from that drink. You know, Dan, there were times in the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous when I passed those saloons that I had to pull my car over to the side of the curb and say a prayer.' "
46. In other words, Dr. Bob had to "battle all day to stay away from that drink." He had to pull his car over and "say a prayer," if he passed a saloon.
47. In R.A., we also read an A.A. pamphlet titled, "THE CO-FOUNDERS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS." Starting on page 15, Dr. Bob shares, "The fact that my sobriety has been maintained continuously for 13 1/2 years doesn't allow me to think that I am necessarily any further away from my next drink than any of you people. I'm still very human, and I still think a double Scotch would taste awfully good. If it wouldn't produce disastrous results, I might try it."
48. On page 16, Dr. Bob continues by saying, "I said I was quite human, and I get to thinking every once in a while that this guy Bob is rather a smart individual. He's got this liquor situation right by the tail — proved it and demonstrated it — hasn't had a drink for over 13 years. Probably could knock off a couple, and no one would be the wiser. I tell you, I'm not trying to be funny. Those thoughts actually do enter my mind. And the minute they do, I know exactly what has happened."
49. In the next paragraph, Dr. Bob says, "Just as soon as that idea that I could probably polish off a couple enters my mind, I think 'Oh-oh. How about the boys in the ward? You've been giving them the semi-brush-off for the last few days. You'd better get back on the job, big boy, before you get into trouble.' And I patter right back and am much more attentive than I had been before I got the funny idea. But I do get it every once in a while, and I'll probably go on getting it whenever I get careless about seeing the boys in the ward."
50. So Bill and Dr. Bob both had difficult times after they recovered.
51. However, we can all learn from the fact that they both found that intensive work with others would save the day.
52. If Bill and Dr. Bob's experiences have not convinced you of the importance of working with others, we don't know what will.
53. Does this mean that you are also going to have problems? You may, or you may not.
54. Remember what we just read. Dr. Bob says, "Unlike most of our crowd, I did not get over my craving for liquor much during the first two and one-half years."
55. When this is turned around, we can see that "most" of the people who went through this process, did get over their craving. Dr. Bob was an exception. You may be an exception as well, or you may not.
56. However, why would anyone want to take a chance? Why would someone take the risk of resting on their laurels, of skimping on their Tenth and Eleventh Steps? Why would anyone face the real danger of not intensively working with others?
57. Working with others is vital to finding recovery and to staying recovered.
58. It is also important to note that the pioneers share that "work and self-sacrifice for others" was essential for them to be able to "survive the certain trials and low spots ahead."
59. In other words, the pioneers' experience is that, even after we go through this process, it is "certain" that we are going to have "trials" and "low spots" in our life.
60. Bill, Dr. Bob, and the other pioneers often did not have it easy, even after they recovered. We believe it is unreasonable to expect to get off easier than they did
61. Within R.A., thoroughly following the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" is designed to produce a permanent recovery and a contented, useful life.
62. Therefore, you will need to live in Step Ten, Step Eleven, and especially Step Twelve, for the rest of your life.
63. This means you will need to begin working with others within R.A. by doing exactly what was done with you.
64. All of the instructions for working with others in R.A. are on pages 21, 22, 23, and 24 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. Always make sure you and your newcomers have and use the latest version.
65. Take the time to go over the instructions on pages 21, 22 and 23 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook with your R.A. sponsor until you are comfortable with them.
66. Then go over all of the other pages in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook with your R.A. sponsor until you are also familiar and comfortable with them.
67. Next, go over the entire www.RA-Steps.info website with your R.A. sponsor. Make sure you understand how the website is designed, and the importance of the information it contains.
68. You need to understand that each R.A. newcomer you work with has to read or listen to all the vital information that is in "Section A—Do This Before Starting R.A.'s Step Presentation." They will need to do this in order to understand how R.A.'s Step Presentation is going to work.
69. If you are not comfortable with what to say after each paragraph in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book is read, you can read or listen to all the pages on the www.RA-Steps.info website until you are familiar with this information.
70. Then, so you can become comfortable working with others, we suggest that you role-play with R.A. your sponsor or another experienced R.A. member.
71. Your R.A. sponsor or another experienced R.A. member can pretend to be a newcomer. You can then practice using R.A.'s www.RA-Steps.info website, R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, and R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, to take them through a sample R.A. Step Presentation.
72. You should continue practicing until you have enough confidence to actually start working with others within R.A.
73. Then, you can find someone to work with by following the suggestions in R.A.'s Finding New Members Guide. This guide is also inside R.A.'s Start A Group Kit. However, you do not have to be ready to start an R.A. Group to follow its suggestions.
74. If you have not already done so, you can also contact R.A. and offer your services as an R.A. primary sponsor. You can do this by going to R.A.'s website at www.R-A.org and clicking on the "Contact Us" button.
75. Volunteer to work with others by phone and over the Internet using "The Original Way Out Revealed: R.A.'s Annotated Multilith Big Book," R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, and R.A.'s www.RA-Steps.info website.
76. Once you have an R.A. newcomer to work with, we suggest that you introduce yourself and our program by telling the newcomer your story as detailed on page 8 in R.A.'s Sponsorship Guide.
77. Do not forget that you will not be working with others by yourself. You will have the support of your R.A. sponsor, as well as the support of all the other R.A. people you talk to and work with.
78. Therefore, it is important to bring your newcomer into the R.A. fellowship. Suggest they attend R.A. meetings. Encourage them to talk to as many other R.A. members as possible. Get the newcomer's permission. Then ask the other people you are talking to, and working with, as well as your R.A. sponsor, to call the newcomer and welcome them into R.A.'s fellowship. Ask everyone to share their story, and the results they have received from working R.A.'s program, with the newcomer.
79. Within R.A., it is important to remember that this newcomer is doing you a favor by giving you the opportunity to share R.A.'s program. No matter what their problems or behaviors may be, "Love and tolerance of others is your code."
80. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, please turn to page 27, and read the first paragraph after the Twelfth Step. It says:
"You may exclaim, 'What an order! I can't go through with it.' Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection."
81. You can also do service by attending R.A. meetings.
82. You can find the location of R.A.'s face-to-face meetings by going to R.A.'s website, clicking on the "R.A.'s Meetings" button, and entering the three numbers of your U.S. or Canadian telephone Area Code, or the U.S. or Canadian telephone Area Code of the location you would like information about, and then clicking on the search button.
83. You can also find an international meeting by using the "Click to find an International R.A. Meeting" link.
84. If an R.A. face-to-face meeting is not available near you, please consider starting one. R.A.'s Start A Group Kit is available as a free download from R.A.'s website: www.R-A.org
85. Even if you are not ready to start a new R.A. meeting, you can still find people near you to work with by following the suggestions in R.A.'s Finding New Members Guide. This guide is located inside R.A.'s Start A Group Kit.
86. You can also attend R.A.'s phone meetings. Please go to the R.A. website, click on the "R.A.'s Meetings" button, and then click on the link that says, "Click for Information about R.A.'s Phone Conference Call Meetings."
87. Doing this will let you know when R.A.'s phone meetings take place, and how to call into them.
88. If you have not already done so, we suggest that you download and read R.A.'s Newcomer Guide, and R.A.'s Meetings Guide, for information about R.A.'s fellowship and R.A.'s meetings.
89. You can also enhance your recovery, and help others, by sharing, leading, and perhaps taking a service position at R.A. meetings.
90. If you have not already done so, please Join R.A.'s Mail List. Not only will you get R.A.'s informative free E-newsletter, but we will be able to let you know when a new R.A. meeting opens near you.
91. Recoveries Anonymous is a program of attraction. Therefore, another way for you to do service is by helping people to find R.A. You can do this by visiting various Twelve Step program related forums, websites, and blogs, etc. that accept comments from program members.
92. Once there, you can post positive experiences you have had while in R.A. Each post needs to mention Recoveries Anonymous by name and include a link back to our website: www.R-A.org
93. The more posts you can make, the better. Posts like this are vital to attracting people to our fellowship. They can then follow the pioneers' "clear-cut directions," go through the Twelve Steps, and recover.
94. Even spending just an hour a day doing this, will be tremendously helpful to you, and to R.A.!
95. You can easily find places to make these posts by typing something like "Twelve Step program forums" into search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., and then looking through the results to find appropriate places to make your posts.
96. Please remember that R.A. is a program of attraction, not promotion. This means not making negative comments about other programs in your posts.
97. One of the most important ways to do service is to financially support R.A. Please remember that there are no dues or fees for membership in R.A. According to our Seventh Tradition we are self-supporting through our own contributions.
98. If R.A. is helping you, please make a contribution to support our efforts to carry our message of hope, sanity, and recovery to those who still suffer.
99. You can do this by visiting R.A.'s website and clicking on the "Contribute to R.A." button. We suggest that you make an automatically-recurring, or a one-time contribution, to Recoveries Anonymous.
100. If you remember, at the beginning of R.A.'s Step Presentation, we asked everyone going through this process to make a Seventh Tradition contribution to R.A.
101. We said that while you may contribute as little as $1.00, or as much as you wish, we suggest a one-time tax–free contribution of $50.00 if you are going through R.A.'s Step Presentation. If you have not yet made your contribution, you can make it now.
Please click here to make a contribution to R.A.
102. Your contributions now, and in the future, will support all the vital functions that are necessary for the continued growth of our Fellowship. Please try to give in proportion to the recovery you have received, or hope to receive, from working our program.
103. Now, if you have thoroughly followed the pioneers' "clear-cut directions," they tell you what to expect.
104. Please turn to page 38 in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, and start reading with the last sentence of the fifth paragraph. Continue reading all the way through the sixth paragraph. As the result of working the Twelve Steps, the pioneers promise:
"Love and tolerance of others is your code.
"And you have ceased fighting anything or anyone — even alcohol. For by this time your sanity will have returned. You will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, you will recoil from it as you would from a hot flame. You will react sanely and normally. You will find this has happened automatically. You will see that your new attitude toward liquor has been given you without any thought or effort on your part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. You are not fighting it, neither are you avoiding temptation. You feel as though you had been placed in a position of neutrality. You feel safe and protected. You have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for you. You are neither cocky nor are you afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition."
105. R.A.'s experience is that as the result of working all Twelve Steps, these promises will also come true for you. This is how you will react so long as you "keep in fit spiritual condition," "through work and self-sacrifice for others."
Please use R.A.'s Questions and Answers Forum to ask any questions or make any comments about any of this.