May, June & July: “Sex, Drugs & Rock and Roll”
by Editor David B. of Portland, OR
We put our heads together as a committee and asked: what do Portlandarea AA’s truly want to hear about? The answers, of course, were: sex, drugs and rock and roll! This month, we’re talking about drugs. Next month’s issue is about rock and roll and we’re seeking submissions. Here’s what we’re looking for:
July: “ROCK AND ROLL AND THE ARTS” *deadline 07/07/14
Music and the arts are famous for the alcoholics among their ranks, and Portland AA is bursting at the seams with talent. Did music bring you to your bottom or did it pick you back up from the depths? How did you deal with playing at clubs and bars after getting sober? Did sobriety reconnect you with your passion for art? Did your program convince you to go for your dreams and pursue a career as an artist? Did working a program give you the discipline you needed to succeed at your passion? We want to hear about it!
Just Two Pills
by Dave A
My name is Dave and I’m an alcoholic. My story starts out just like a lot of others in AA. I drank and did some drugs because that’s what we did coming out of High School. We partied a lot and it was pretty fun. Then one day it changed. I got up one morning, hopped in the shower and noticed that part of body had changed. Three days later I was sitting on an exam table listening to a Doctor tell me that I had testicular cancer and that I would need to have it removed the very next day. The tumor was removed and was found to be malignant which meant more surgery a very large surgery. They removed one of my ribs and 70 of my lymph nodes and the pain was unbelievable. I spent a month in the hospital on a lot of pain meds and then I went home. I had no idea how to cope so I drank. And I drank. And I did more and more street drugs. After about a year and a half, I just couldn’t do it anymore.
I went into treatment and I stayed clean and sober for 5 years. Then tragedy struck.
I lost a filling in one of my teeth. I called the dentist and went in to have the filling repaired. But that isn’t what happened. My tooth broke, which meant they had to pull the tooth. When they pulled tooth, they ruptured my sinuses, and before the day had ended, I’d been to a Dentist, and two different Doctors and had prescriptions for over a 100 pain pills.
I had never taken any of these drugs outside of the hospital, but I did on that day.
I took two and those pills set off 25 years of being in and out of the rooms of AA. When I read in the newsletter that Dave was looking for stories involving pain meds I knew i had
something to say. Chances are pretty good that all of us will get sick some day, maybe a surgery, or broken arm, bad tooth whatever.
The thing that will not happen: we will not be given advanced warning.
When I took those two pills, I had not been going to meetings. I did not have a sponsor. When the effects of those pills kicked in, I had no chance. They just filled that missing piece of me. I crossed that line on that very first day. No one knew. Just me.
To date, I’ve gone through 20 major surgeries, a couple of heart attacks, and a lot of stuff that just happens. Twenty months ago, I had relapsed again and I really thought that I just couldn’t do this again. But some how I was able to stop. GODS GRACE. I changed everything: meetings, sponsor, and started being honest with myself. I finally read and heard the second paragraph on page 30. “We had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics.” I just insert what ever else applies to that today.
Next, I told God that I was willing to do all the physical pain I was dealing with if he could just show me how. And after a number of days, I realized that a lot of people had
been telling to go try yoga. “What?” So this fat old man went to yoga and some very special people came into my life. Today I can tell you that I have 18 months clean and sober and I’m no longer a fat old man. I’ve lost 40lbs and just finished a 30 mile bike ride yesterday. I want you to know that God does indeed answer prayer.
We need to share our experiences with each other!! Its says in the Big Book that all we have is a daily reprieve based on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. I didn’t have a spiritual anything way back then. I do now! I will continue to share my story in AA and will always try to do that in a way that is respectful to the program that has saved my life.
The Solution is the Same
by Brooks B
My experience is that I for many years had trouble accepting my alcoholism due to the fact that I am a drug addict. I was also under the impression that I wouldn’t be accepted into AA even if I tried. The reality was that neither couldn’t be further from the truth.
For many years I was in and out of the programs until I decided to set aside my preconceived notions that I was unwelcome and actually try working the steps.
The fact is if I drink, I cannot simultaneously control and enjoy my drinking. Once I start drinking it inevitably leads to hard drugs and I have no idea how long my bender will last.
While the “this is not the place to discuss your drug problem” mentality may still exist in rural America, the truth is that in Portland at least half of the alcoholics I attend meetings with had problems with drug addiction somewhere in their story.
I now feel comfortable sharing about the fact that I am an addict as well. I try not to get to into the details when sharing in meetings about the depths of my drug use as I wish to
respect the rooms and meetings. I share in a general way as the book suggests.
Most importantly, I wouldn’t want to give a potential/undecided alcoholic an impression that they have to hit a low bottom with crack or heroin as I did in order to surrender and seek a spiritual solution.
The solution is the same no matter what the addiction: the principles surrender, hope, faith, honesty, willingness, acceptance, openmindedness and selflessness.
We were lucky enough to run across Jeremy K. last month at a meeting. He was drawing and writing down quotes as he does at every meeting. I asked him if he saves these quotes and he came back the next week and gave me the master list! I’ll be dropping these gems over the next couple months.
“Anger is fear turned outward. Depression is fear turned inward”
“SHAME: ‘should have mastered everything.’”
“Isolation is a darkroom where one can develop their negatives.”
“If you don’t have time for prayer and meditation, you shouldn’t have time for frustration and misery.”
“Today is a gift. That’s why they call it ‘the present.’”
“My head is like a bank robbery: I have two minutes to get in and two minutes to get out or I’m screwed!”
“Serenity and boredom are not synonymous.”
“Denying reality doesn’t change it”
“There are many ways to move forward but only one way to remain still.”
Monthly Business Meetings
For details about monthly business meetings, contact the PAI Office at 5032238569. Or
send your questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portland Area Intergroup (PAI): Business Meeting, 2nd Monday of every month, 7:00 PM, 3123 NE 24th Ave. (St. Mary Magdalene Church), Portland.
Portland Deaf Access Committee: Monthly, 2nd Sunday of every month, 6:30, The Alano Club, NW 24th & Kearney.
PAI CPC (Cooperating with the Professional Community)
PAI Web & Digital Committee: Quarterly meeting, next meeting: May 8th, 7:00pm, Portland Central Office 825 NE 20th Ave Basement conference room.
PAI Public Information
PAI Treatment Facilities
PAI Bridging the Gap
Dist 9: 1st Wed, 6:30 PM, 24th and Kearney, Portland
Dist 10: Last Mon, 7:00 PM, 12945 Beaverdam Rd., West Side Service Cntr, Beaverton Dist 11: Last Thu, 7:00 PM, “URS” Club, Portland
Dist 12: 1st Tue, 6:30 PM, 12×12 Club, 7035 NE Glisan, Portland
Dist 15: 1st Wed, 6:45 PM, 710 6th St., Oregon City
Dist 18: 1st Sat, 9:30 AM, 215 N 6th St., St. Helens
Dist 23: 1st Tue, 6:00 PM, Emmanuel Presbyterian, 19200 SW Willamette Dr., West Linn Dist 24: 1st Thu, 6:15 PM, 2800 SE Harrison St., Portland
Dist 26: 2nd Sun, 5:00 PM, St Charles Church, 5310 NE 42nd Ave., Portland
Dist 27: 1st Mon, 7:00 PM, 11631 SE Linwood Ave., St. Paul’s Methodist, Milwaukie
Dist 31: 2nd Tue, 7:00 PM, 937 NE Jackson School Rd., Hillsboro
Dist 34: 3rd Sat, 5:00 PM, 485 Portland Ave., Gladstone
Dist 35: 2nd & 4th Sat, 7:00 PM, 18926 SW Shaw St., Suite A, Beaverton
Dist 36: 2nd Thu, 6:00 PM, 2025 SW Vermont St., Portland
Dist 37: 2nd Tue, 6:30 PM, 29775 SW Town Center Loop East, Wilsonville
We have several committee positions available. Portland Area Intergroup needs your help. Working on a committee is excellent 12th Step service work. If you are interested in being on any Portland Area Intergroup committee, send an email to pdxaa.com with “COMMITTEE INTEREST” in the subject field. Or, just click on Service on the Intergroup website. Intergroup committees carry the message of recovery to the stillsuffering alcoholic. Please help yourself and others. Sign up. Thank you.
Cooperating with the Professional Community and Public Information: The two
committees are working together to bring the message of recovery to the public and to the professional community — healthcare, clergy, legal, educators, social workers, and others. For meeting details, send email to: email@example.com, Subject Line CPC or PI.
Bridging the Gap (BTG): provides a onetime temporary contact for people transitioning from
a treatment center to AA meetings. BTG meets the third Monday of each month at 6:30 PM at the Portland Intergroup Office basement, located at 825 NE 20th Ave, Suite 200, Portland. “We Bridge the Gap so alcoholics leaving treatment don’t have to walk alone across that scary gap between the beginning of recovery in treatment and the continued recovery in AA.” Please contact the PAI office via phone, 5032238569, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested.
Corrections: Our current focus is to carry the AA message to youths in the Multnomah County Detention Center. We need many volunteers to help bring AA meetings to the facility on a regular basis. Please contact the PAI office via phone, 5032238569 or email email@example.com, if you are interested.
Website: The Website committee is looking for members. Please contact the the central office via phone, 5032238569 or email WebServant@pdxaa.com, if you are interested. The next committee meeting is July 10th, 7pm, at the Central Office.
Newsletter (Sobriety in Stumptown): The committee for the very publication you are now reading is looking for members. Send an email of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events: The Events Committee needs committee members. Send an email to Events@pdxaa.com for more information.
Submit your article, poem, or artwork to Sobriety in Stumptown. Deadline: 02/28/14 Send articles of 1000 words or fewer to: email@example.com
“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character”
“An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.”
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
Reprinted with permission of AA World Services, Inc.
Camp Wilkerson Sober Campout
The 23rd annual Camp Wilkerson Campout is coming up July 1113 at Camp Wilkerson in Forest Grove District State Forest. The weekend includes an AA speaker, an AlAnon speaker, campfire meetings, games, activities for the kids, live music, and fun for the whole family. Meals are available.
You can register by going to the PDXAA.com website, clicking the “Events” tab, then clicking on the event. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
July 11-13, Camp Wilkerson, St. Helens OR
Frontline On the Fourth
“AA Speakers from all over America, young people’s speakers, a 4th step workshop, panel, a dance, and more!”
July 4th-6th at Saint David of Wales Episcopal Church, 2800 SE Harrison St, Portland OR Check their website for registration and details: www.frontlineaa.org
District 31 Picnic
District 31, covering Hillsboro and Forest Grove, is throwing a picnic, June 21st , noon4:00pm in Cornelius.
“Great food, fun and fellowship!” says the flyers. “Are you ready for softball? Bring your bats & balls for an exciting game!”
June 21th, 12:00-4:00pm, Harleman Park small shelter, 795 S. Heather, Cornelius OR