My name is Oliver and I am an alcoholic and drug addict active in a 12-step program. I have used the revolving door of our meetings since 1995, and that is why I use this icon as the default picture of my persona online. ‘Half Measures Room’ was created when I had accumulated 6 months of sobriety this time around. My sobriety date is 12-3-2007, and for that I am truly grateful. This is the longest I have ever stayed sober, and I owe it all to a loving God whom I have found in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. There have been many people along my journey (too many to mention) that have attributed to this spiritual awakening and consciousness of the Spirit. I believe the Holy Ghost resides in us all and implore everyone who suffers from this disease and other maladies of the spirit to tap into this ‘unsuspected inner resource’.
The story of my drug and alcoholic past is not unique. I began using and drinking in early adolescence. Even then it was ‘no mere habit’. After experiencing the immediate relief and comfort of that first drink and drug, I wanted to do it again and again, every chance I could. I do not know much about the scientific properties of alcoholism and drug addiction. Every indication points at the possibility that this disease is handed down through generations. I haven’t researched the genome of the alcoholic/addict enough to make an informed statement here. However, if I wasn’t born a drunk, the first time I picked up a drink an alcoholic was born. What I do know is that I did not suffer from the mental obsession to get loaded, nor was I afflicted by the physical compulsion until I first picked up. Which tells me that I react ‘much like normal men’ when I am no longer putting these substances in my body.
Absolute Abstinence is the only solution for a drunk like me. Through repeated experimentation and tragic mistakes, I have found that I have lost the power to control and enjoy my drinking and drug use. Since I started, I have never been able to put more than a couple days dry behind me without the help of a spiritual solution. All too often I have returned to the booze and dope over resentments, desperation for change, and an overwhelming desire to satisfy an obsession and craving beyond my mental control. The one common denominator in all the times I have returned to that former life of slavery to ‘King Alcohol’ is this: I stopped working the one program that has worked so well for others. First it is the meetings. I stop going to them. Then it is the sponsor. I stop calling him. Lastly, it is always prayer. I quit contacting the one force that can relieve me from the perilous obsession to change the way I think, feel and behave.
Taking all this into consideration, ‘Steel on Steel’ has become a fundamental part of my 12 step program. It is my aim to provide a comprehensive outline on how to start your own group. Let me make it clear, this is not something I have created myself. It has been passed on to me from those that have done it themselves and reaped many benefits. I think you will find nothing here will be objectionable if you are honestly practicing the way of life that is the 12 step program. In fact, if followed diligently, I think you will see it will enrich your 12 step experience. It basically takes everything we ought to be doing and brings it to the forefront of our minds, hearts and souls. Something my sponsor always speaks of is when the principles of these Steps move from ‘our head to our heart’. When we internalize the ideals behind these 12 proposals, we experience a freedom from the bondage of self we never were before able to accomplish. We are ‘rocketed into the Fourth Dimension of existence’. If you have any further questions, comments or concerns, feel free to contact me.
I want to thank Joseph G. from Rum Radio for asking me to write this series on ‘Steel on Steel’. It is an honor getting to contribute to this wonderful website. I know that Joseph and I have a mutual agreement in providing good information about 12 step recovery to those who seek it on the internet. In addition to these pieces, I have written many blogs and continue to maintain an online radio show involving 12 step recovery every Wednesday @ 9 pm CT. Please follow the links below to my website and live podcast. Trust God. Clean House. Help Others. Dr. Bob’s three basic instructions for those seeking refuge in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. If we keep this thing simple, we never have to complicate our lives again. I think that ‘Steel on Steel’ is one way to simplify a program that so many misunderstand and convolute. Our literature is meant to be read literally, not allegorically. It is not a figure of speech, but a clear, concise set of instructions. Sure, it is ‘meant to be suggestive only’. And no, it is not a religious program. However, it has been my observation that the people in the program that stay sober the longest practice this 12 steps religiously.
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