Monday, March 19, 2018

The Real Problem

What a beautiful program Alcoholics Anonymous is. Not only does it relieve our uncontrollable use of alcohol but is applicable to each and every problem in our lives.
We come to A A because we desire to stop drinking alcohol and are unable to do so on our own.  Alcohol severely impacts our lives, our minds, and our bodies.  We discover through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous that alcohol, of itself, is not and was not the problem - it is but a symptom of the problem.  The real problem with us as alcoholics (and addicts of any and all types) is self-centered fear. We are afraid we will not get what we want... and afraid to lose what we have.
When any of our human instincts are threatened we overreact until we make the decision in the Third Step of the program to turn our thoughts and our actions over to the care of God. Once we do this we are on our way to a serene and peaceful life.  The integration of the remaining steps into our lives leads us to a life in which we are praying and meditating on a daily basis.  When praying we ask only for the knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out. Remaining in that present state of mind, in the will of God, we do not drink. In God's hands all of our problems are solved.

God is the solution to the real problem. Once we are in His will we do not overreact when we think that our human instincts are threatened as we are trusting in His safety and serenity. May you find Him and his comfort now.

Written By Armand

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Trust Is The Key Component Of Belief

Part of the definition of belief is to Trust.  Trust is the key component of belief.  When I was a teenager I broke my relationship with God. It was a relationship that had developed through the early religious training I received in Catholic grade school.  The fact that I broke my relationship with God did not change that I had always believed in God.  I believed in God even while I was living the life of an alcoholic -- in utter pandemonium. My behaviors had nothing to do with my belief in Him.  It was my lack of trust in Him which led me astray from a relationship with Him for so long. Trust, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is "assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something"

To have such certainty for the Supreme Power requires humility, exactly that which the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous gives us.  The incorporation of the steps of such a program into our lives begins the break down of our egos, so that humility (and all the many benefits from it) can seep into our lives. After some time we actually develop a hunger for it.  I have learned in my experience with the program of Alcoholics Anonymous that humility is the key which unlocks the door to the grace of God.  It is only through this grace that we remain sober and recovered from our addictions and the manifestation of our character defects.  Our egos must be deflated and our human desires subrogated to the will of God.  Belief is necessary but trust is essential.  


Written By Armand

Monday, March 12, 2018


   Serenity is the absence of conflict in our thoughts.  We who have committed ourselves to the program (the Twelve Steps) of Alcoholics Anonymous have deemed that it is the program itself which must come first in our lives. Alongside such a commitment comes a personal relationship with a supreme power.  In the chapter How It Works in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it says " that One is God, may you find Him now. . Living by these honorable ideals ushers the blessings of serenity into the stream of our lives - no matter what transpires.
              In the Alcoholics Anonymous literature, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, such a paragon way of living is elucidated:  "We are no longer frightened and purposeless.  The moment we catch even a glimpse of God's will, the moment we begin to see truth, justice and love as the real and eternal things in life, we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human affairs.  We know that God lovingly watches over us."
             By integrating the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous into our lives in such a way that they become our lives, and by manifesting the principles of those steps in our behavior, we have the opportunity to have safe and serene lives. Remembering that joy is not the absence of sorrow, but the presence of God … experience serenity we will.
Written By Armand

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Moral Psychology

 Featured in "The Doctors Opinion" of Alcoholics Anonymous is a letter from Dr. William D. Silkworth, the Medical Director of Townes Hospital in New York City (a renowned hospital during that time for the treatment of alcoholics). One of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and primary author of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W., was under Dr. Silkworth's care on three separate occasions there. In Dr. Silkworth's letter he states, "We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of  moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics ... unless [the alcoholic] can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope for his recovery."          
          Dr. Silkworth and his colleagues believed that not only did the thought processes of the mind need to be completely transformed but the source of what powered these thought processes altered as well.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines psychology as "the science that deals with mental processes and behavior" and it holds the word moral synonymous with the word virtuous. Therefore, what the experts formulated was that the thought processes of the mind had to become virtuous.  In order for this to occur the mind of the alcoholic could no longer be propelled by its own human nature or instincts but rather by the will of God through inspiration. As the latter part of the 11th Step bids, "...praying only for the knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out."                    
          The psychic change is the very core component of the solution to alcoholism - to any and all addictions, really. Through the grace of God (the source that powers the thought processes), a transformed and virtuous thought process is possible and it is real. If one experiences such a change they can recover from this disease of alcoholism and to any and all other vices, habits and addictions this disease encompasses.

Written by Armand

Monday, March 5, 2018

Forming And Sustaining Relationships

        The chapter on the fourth step in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions describes our dysfunctional relations well: "But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we failed to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being."
          I went through my entire life unable to interact with others on an intimate level. I was incapable of allowing others to experience me as I truly was and I was unwilling to allow others to share with me their own true self.  I would present to the world what I thought the world needed to see about me so I could feel good and safe about myself.  In the past, the relationships I did have were of the type which, when I was done taking that which I wanted from them and them from me, the relationship was over.  I was incapable of FORMING AND SUSTAINING RELATIONSHIPS in an honest and caring way with other human beings.
          The greatest gift I have received from developing a personal relationship with God is the ability to interact with other human beings at an honest and true level - therefore forming and sustaining relationships that are caring and loving, loyal and trust-giving. My landing on such soil from which these relations sprout was done simply, but not easily, by going through the twelve steps of the program of AA. This can occur for any who return to the being God created and meant for them to be. When this does occur, human potential is maximized and becoming a recovered, unbroken being is completely possible.

Written by Armand

Thursday, March 1, 2018


At first, I had no idea that to possess the qualities that many of the members of Alcoholics Anonymous had took a degree of humility - a characteristic I had not a scrap of. I was extremely prideful, but I began longing for this trait of humility as I made my way through the program.
          In the book Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, in the historic visit to Bill W. from his boarding school pal Ebby T. (a man nearly committed for alcoholic insanity), Ebby outlined the precepts of the Oxford Group. One of the precepts applies to this notion of humility. Practicing the giving of oneself to another is a true act of humility. Ebby told Bill W. to practice giving, as in, the giving of himself to somebody.
          Personally I have learned that it is true humility which unlocks the door to the grace of God.  In order to grow in humility I must begin to let go of my selfish desires and begin to have a faith in God. This eventually blossoms into a complete trust in God. Trust in God was difficult initially, as through the entire course of my life I had used my instincts and my intellect to propel me through. But, when I was faced with a self-imposed crisis that I could not overcome with my human power, I had to rely on a higher power.
          As the Big Book states, "We trust in infinite God rather than finite self." Today, in this day and in this time, I trust in God. The development of this trust in God leads to a caring of others that was impossible for me before.  An alcoholic who is humble enough to trust in God knows that the GIVING of self to the helping of others is a crucial tool of recovery.

Written by Armand

Monday, February 26, 2018


In the chapter "Into Action" in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it is written,

"In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for INSPIRATION, an intuitive thought or decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle.  We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.       

What used to be the hunch or the occasional INSPIRATION gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of INSPIRATION. We come to rely upon it."
        It is in conscious contact with God that INSPIRATION may be received.  It is where a recovered alcoholic lives.
        INSPIRATION is defined in the dictionary as, "the thoughts of God implanted in the mind and soul of man."  When the thoughts of God are received in our souls we don't need to run them by our intellect, as we know immediately that they are the Truth. The question becomes, has our human nature surrendered to the will of God in this moment so that we are capable of receiving God's thoughts OR are our thought processes propelled by our human instinct?  A recovered alcoholic lives in and through INSPIRATION as their thought process is propelled by the will of God.

Written by Armand