Jan 30

Everything Anonymous

“Though our decision (the Third Step) was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.”   AA BB .64

had a discussion in the chat box with a friend of ours a few days ago…she voiced a problem deciding whether or not she should switch Fellowship from AA to NA…being a drug addict (and not much of a drinker) she asked what i thought…i encouraged her to follow her own concious and reminded her that symantics aside, it’s the stepwork that is vitally important to our recovery, not the meeting itself…i find the Fellowship i am most comfortable with personally, is the one for me…in either Fellowship, we practice the same principles…alcohol and/or drugs are only mentioned once in the Steps themselves…and only in the First Step, when we admit our lack of power over them

i am poly-addicted myself, and would qualify for either Fellowship…i have attended both meetings before, but are sure to identify/qualify myself as an addict in NA meetings, or an alcoholic in AA meetings…i’m careful not to confuse the two…for if i share about my addiction to say Exctacy in Alcoholics Anonymous, i stand a good chance of not relating to a newcomer drunk who just walked in the door…same goes for Narcotics Anonymous…i do not go on and on about my drinking when i share there…to tell the truth, i try my best not to drunk or drug log at all in meetings…everyone there already knows how to loaded…why should i be reminding them?

switching gears for a second, i got really angry at work yesterday…things just didn’t go as planned, and i ended up having to stay overnight out of town, unexpectedly…it pissed me off for a number of reasons, and i was just hot by the time i left the job site…driving down the road in the direction of the hotel, i called a buddy of mine i had met in San Antonio a couple of months ago…”Man, i am in a pissy mood…was thinking of hitting a meeting…you going to one today?”…actually, he was at the group already and told me to come on over, that there was a meeting starting within the hour

by the time i got there, i had settled down considerably…during the meeting, i reflected some…i realized that back in the day, i would have stopped at the nearest convenient store and bought a beer…popping that top, i would have drained half that can with an exasperating “aaaaaahhh” in relief…i also realized that normal people CAN do that…i have lost that luxury today…i can’t drink or drug normally…i have lost the ability…normal people, when they get upset and say they ‘need’ that beer or joint, it stops there…not with someone like me

that’s just how i coped with things, by using…didn’t really matter what it was either…it’s just how i dealt with life…when things became bothersome, or i felt helpless, frustrated, irritated, angry, sad, fearful…any range of emotions…especially when to celebrate or some horrible tragedy occured…that was always the answer for me…sometimes out of sheer boredom i would get high, just because…after using like that for awhile, i depended upon the chemicals to make me feel better…then the addiction took over, and i got loaded to overcome the cravings…the uncomfortableness…the sick feelings in my stomach, head, and nerves…by then, it was too late…i couldn’t stop

that’s what sobriety is about for me today…going through life and actually experiencing it…i heard it said best in the meeting i went to last night…apparently an old-timer of the group had just passed…quite a few people shared about being there for him in his last days…this man had been battling cancer, and they were saying that although they knew he was in a great deal of pain, he didn’t complain once…he just walked through it and took it…he died sober, in a room full of sober friends and family who loved him…he didn’t do it alone…and that’s what it’s kind of like for me…i can get angry, lonely, tired, confused, sad, whatever…and i have to walk through it and take it…but, i don’t have to do it alone…and i don’t have to get high…i don’t want to anymore…and i have God, friends in the program, and family to support me and walk through it

Jan 30

The Jumping-Off Place

Episode #56:  We in the program who do our best to carry the message and put ourselves out there for the next suffering addict/alcoholic know what it is. What can be done for someone who is on the proverbial fence?  Why is it that some get this thing, and others fail miserably for years?  How is it that certain people never have to return to the drink or drug, and yet others die from this disease?  These issues/questions are especially hard on the family and loved ones.

Listen to internet radio with halfmeasuresroom on Blog Talk Radio

Jan 21

Recovery Connections w/Joseph D.

Episode #56:  Instigate, Agitate, Educate, and Liberate!  Joseph D’s “mission is to unite organizations,support groups, and everyone else who needs a helping hand.”  His blogs offer a interesting look into the impact that drug and alcohol addiction have on our society.  In this episode we speak with Joseph and explore the many different topics he has attacked through his efforts to carry the message of sobriety over the internet.

Listen to internet radio with halfmeasuresroom on Blog Talk Radio

Jan 10

readjustment of the family attitude

“Cessation of drinking is but the first step away from a highly strained, abnormal condition. A doctor said to us, ‘Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic. The entire family is, to some extent, ill.’ Let families realize, as they start their journey, that all will not be fair weather. Each in his own turn may be footsore and may struggle. There will be alluring shortcuts and by-paths down wish they may wander and lose their way.”   AA BB p. 122-123

one of the most important phrases, i believe, in this book is the one that talks about elimination of drinking being only a beginning…a much more important demonstration lies before us in our respective homes, occupations, and affairs…early sobriety is difficult for most…as a matter of fact, i can’t think of one person i have met and know that thought it was a breeze…much baggage and damage has been caused and accumulated over years of destruction and neglect…the extreme selfishness we allow to run our lives calls for much inattention to those that mostly need us and want us beside them…however, abusing alcohol and drugs demanded most (if not all) of our quality time…and the time we did spare for our loved ones was lacking in quality

i remember very clearly my first couple months without drinking and drugging…i was still emotionally vacant…the emotions i did display were still very abrasive and conflicting…i wanted my family to be patient with me as i assured them i would get better…i knew it wouldn’t be an overnight matter…for some reason, i expected everyone else around me to change as i did…but in most cases, that did not happen…families can become just as sick as the alcoholic/addict…just because we have decided to stop does not erase years of abuse and wondering if we are ever going to get it together…it takes time and repitition to build trust in those we have broken

for me personally, i am so grateful i have the oppurtunity to remain a father to my 5 year old daughter…although i practically single-handedly ruined my marriage (i’m not gonna take all the credit here…lol), i still have a vibrant and productive relationship with my child…it is one of the brightest spots in my life…and i am so thankful she may have been too young to remember just how bad i had gotten…although i am sure she has some recollection of unhappy scenes between her mother and I…another fact of my life that i am truly grateful for, as far as family goes, is that i have somewhat mended the relationship with my ex-wife…although our relationship has altered, we get along much better now that we only have our daughter to focus on…but, i still have to prove on a weekly basis that i am trustworthy, responsible and selfless enough to care for her and be a good parent…and it all began with not drinking and using drugs…without sobriety first, i would never have been able to be in their lives as i am today

so, things may change between our families and us, once we begin the process of recovery…but, no matter where this new life takes us, we can be assured that it will be infinitely better than anything we could have planned or created on our own…the way of life as we had been living it would surely mean disastor…we have a chance today to participate in the world and life as we know it…it’s all in the role we play that our Higher Power assigns us…if we perform that work well, many hard times and tough situation will come to pass…things may change, but most surely for the better…if the former life did not work for us and others, a new arrangement may be in order to continue on like we are


Jan 10

Returning to the Rooms

Episode #55:  after a two month long hiatus, the HMR internet radio show is up and running again…Oliver V. is your host tonight…we will be talking about relapse…going back out again has always been a talking point on this show, and tonight we will explore and discuss what it is like coming back in to the program

Listen to internet radio with halfmeasuresroom on Blog Talk Radio

Dec 18

back in action

i want to personally thank all of my readers and listeners for bearing with me over the past couple of months…  being away from this website and the radio show has bummed me out considerably, and i am so glad to be getting back to what i love to do on the internet:  carry the message of 12 step recovery

life has not slowed down for me, but my financial situation has improved…i start a new job in January, which is truly a blessing…i have acquired my drivers license, after being suspended a year (speeding tickets/invalid license)…i’m now working on a vehicle, so that i can commute back and forth to my new job

life is good and getting better all the time…i had a rough patch there for several months, but have held through with the help of God and those of you in the program who have shared His message with me…i celebrated 5 years of sobriety on December 3, 2007 and for that i am truly grateful!…none of this could have been possible without the fellowship and a power greater than myself, which i have found in the rooms

i still have a lot of work to do…i am still a very busy person with a lot on his plate…but, my resources are plentiful right now, so i will always make time to blog and conduct the radio show…next step is to get the blogtalkradio.com account back up and running again, which i plan to do today…i will look at my schedule and post an ad for the next show on the facebook profile for HMR

also, i am still working on the devotional books of archival blog material from Half Measures Room…there is still a lot of editing to be done before Alcoholics Anonymous GSO will give it their stamp of approval…as soon as that is done and receive the correspondence letter approving reprinting the copyrighted material, i will start looking at self-publishing over the internet…if any of you are familiar with doing this type of publishing, i would love to hear from you…just email me here at oliver@halfmeasuresroom.com

thanks again for all of your patience…God bless and i will be talking to you soon on the radio!

Oct 10

The Pride Barrier

Episode #54:  Actually, what is a bar against all information and never ceases to keep a person in everlasting ignorance is a person’s pride.  The most glaring and dangerous of all manifestations of self, pride is what kept us from accepting a solution to our problems.  Whether it be drugs, alcohol, money, or relationships, pride is what has stood in our way.  In order to finally recover from a disease of the mind, body and spirit, we had to swallow our pride and get honest with ourselves.

Listen to internet radio with halfmeasuresroom on Blog Talk Radio

Oct 10


i think that “i don’t know” is an acceptable answer…my mother used to ask me things like, “what the hell is your problem?”…or, “what is a matter with you”…i would tell her that i didn’t rightly know, and she would say, “yes you do”…or she would tell me that i just didn’t care…this really hurt me, but i think it had more to do with how i felt about myself…i did love her, but getting loaded was my number one priority…it was more important to me than anything else…and it came first in my life


“If hundreds of experiences have shown him that one drink means another debacle with all its attendant  suffering and humiliation, why is it he takes that one drink?…If you ask him why he started on that last bender, the chances are he will offer you any one of a hundred alibis.  Sometimes these excuses have a certain plausibility, but none of them really makes sense in the light of the havoc a drinking bout creates.” – Alcoholics Anonymous p. 22-23


all i knew was that booze and dope made me feel better…getting loaded made me feel good, and i didn’t know of any other way to treat my disease…on the outside people would say that i looked miserable, and i’m sure i did…extremely drunk or high people do not look healthy, by any means…they could point and say, “look at that miserable drunk and fucked up loser”


it doesn’t really matter how much i drank, or how often…however, what i do have in common with every real alcoholic and addict is that ‘utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish’...there were times when i drank way more than i had intended to…sometimes i would attempt to predict how much i needed to drink in order to get me where i wanted to be…but, more often than not i would finish that, and then go back to the store for more…it is a progressive disease…we get worse and never better


all the things i did to feel better about myself and get comfortable were extremely damaging to my mind, body and soul…and the steps on the wall did not look so attractive to me…why would i want to reveal my true feelings to somebody?…why would i want to repair the past and be accountable for the bad things i had done?…no, i wasn’t interested in any of that…i just wanted to forget and move on


paradoxically, that was the stuff that was going to heal me…it was truly spirituality i was seeking all along…i was looking for these experiences everytime i got loaded…only, those periods of serenity while i was high were short lived…i needed a permanent solution to my living problem…and the 12 step program is designed to treat that spiritual sickness…i suffered mostly from an illness of the soul…it was only when i was desperate enough to accept these drastic proposals that i honestly saw the terrible destructiveness of my own behavior…when working the program became the answer to save my life, i finally began to recover.

Oct 07

A Picture of Normalcy

Episode #52:  Before approaching a prospect for this program with the 12 steps, we must be armed with facts about ourselves.  What makes us alcoholics and drug addicts?  What is it that seperates us from the average, temperate drinker?  What does a normal drug user/drinker look like?  We explore these issues and more tonight as we discuss and describe our own experiences with this important topic.

Listen to internet radio with halfmeasuresroom on Blog Talk Radio

Oct 03

AA BB Prayer Index

Big Book Prayer Index

Understand that this index is meant to be for reference only.  There are numerous places in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous where it asks us to stop and pray.  This is an attempt to compile all those instances into one document.  You may say to yourself while reading some of these, “Well, that doesn’t apply to my specific situation.”  Let me assure you that if you substituted some of the verbage to fit your own life, it will fit perfectly.  This was meant to take passages directly from the source, rather than create new prayers for the steps or the principles behind them.  Remember, we shouldn’t let our prejudices deter us from asking ourselves what they really mean for us.

Bill W’s bedside prayer – “There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would.  I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction.  I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost.  I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing to have my new-found Friend take them away, root and branch.  I have not had a drink since.” – (p.13 Bill’s Story)


Bill W’s 8th Step prayer – “I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within.  Common sense would thus become uncommon sense.  I was to sit quietly when in doubt asking only for direction and strength as He would have me.  Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness to others.  The only might I expect to receive.  But that would be in great measure.” – (p.13 Bill’s Story)


2nd Step Question – “Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?” – (p.47 We Agnostics)


3rd Step Prayer – “God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.  Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.  Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.  May I do Thy will always!” – (p. 63 How It Works)


Anger Prayer – “This was our course:  We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick.  Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too.  We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend.  When a person offended we said to ourselves, ‘This is a sick man.  How can I be helpful to him?  God save me from being angry.  Thy will be done.’

We avoid retaliation or argument.  We wouldn’t treat sick people that way.  If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful.  We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one.” – (p.66-67 How It Works)


Fear Prayer – “We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator.  We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness.  Paradoxically, it is the way of strength.  The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage.  All men of faith have courage.  They trust their God.  We never apologize for God.  Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do.  We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be.  At once, we commence to outgrow fear.” – (p. 68 How It Works)


Sex Prayer – “In this way we tried to shape a sane and sound ideal for our future sex life.  We subjected each relation to this test – was it selfish or not?  We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them.  We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.

Whatever our ideals turned out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it.  We must be willing to make amends where we have done harm, provided that we do not bring about still more harm in so doing.  In other words, we treat sex as we would any other problem.  In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter.  The right answer will come, if we want it.

We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing.  If sex is very troublesome, we throw ourselves the harder into helping others.  We think of their needs and work for them.  It quiets the imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache.” – (p. 69-70 How It Works)


After Step Five Prayer – Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for an hour, carefully reviewing what we have done.  We thank God from the bottom of our heart that we know Him better.  Taking this book down from our shelf we turn to the page (p. 59) which contains the twelve steps.  Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall walk a free man at last.  Is our work solid so far?  Are the stones properly in place?  Have we skimped on the cement put into the foundation?  Have we tried to make mortar without sand?” – (p.75 Into Action)


7th Step Prayer – “When ready, we say something like this:  ‘My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad.  I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.  Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding.  Amen.” – (p.76 Into Action)


8th Step Prayer – “Before taking drastic action which might implicate other people we secure their consent.  If we have obtained permission, have consulted with others, asked God to help and the drastic step is indicated we must not shrink.” – (p.80 Into Action)


9th Step Prayer – “Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead.  We must take the lead.  A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won’t fill the bill at all.  We ought to sit down with the family and frankly analyze the past as we now see it, being very careful not to criticize them.  Their defects may be glaring, but the chances are that our own actions are partly responsible.  So we clean house with the family, asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love.” – (p.83 Into Action)


10th Step Prayer – “We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past.  We have entered the world of the Spirit.  Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness.  This is not an overnight matter.  It should continue for our lifetime.  Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear.  When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them.  We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone.  Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help.  Love and tolerance of others is our code.” – (p.84 Into Action)


Spiritual Maintenance Prayer – “Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities.  ‘How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done.’  These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.  We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish.  It is the proper use of the will.” – (p.85 Into Action)


Step 11 (Evening Review Prayer) – “After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.” – (p.86 Into Action)


Step 11 (On Awakening) – “We consider our plans for the day.  Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.  Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use.  Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.” – (p.86 Into Action)


Step 11 (Throughout the Day) – “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 a 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.” – (p.86-87 Into Action)


Meditation Prayer – “We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems.  We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only.  We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped.  We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends.  Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work.  You can easily see why.” – (p.87 Into Action)


Agitated or Doubtful Prayer – “As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.  We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many time each day ‘Thy will be done.’  We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions.  We become much more efficient.  We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.

It works – it really does.

We alcoholics are undisciplined.  So we let god discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.” – (p.87-88 Into Action)


12th Step Prayer – “God will constantly disclose more to you and to us.  Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick.  The answers will come, if your own house is in order.  But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got.  See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others.  This is the Great Fact for us.

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God.  Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows.  Clear away the wreckage of your past.  Give freely of what you find and join us.  We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.

May God bless you and keep you – until then.” – (p.164 A Vision for You)

Why is it, you think, that the authors of the Big Book capitalized certain phrases and words?  (i.e. Great Reality, Road to Happy Destiny, etc…)  Could it be that these words and phrases have to something to do with God? 

Here are a few other prayers commonly used in our program and at our meetings:


St. Francis Prayer

Lord, make me a channel of Thy peace.  That where there is hatred, I may bring love;  That where there is wrong, I may bring the Spirit of forgiveness;  That where there is discord, I may bring harmony;  That where there is error, I may bring truth;  That where there is doubt, I may bring faith;   That where there is despair, I may bring hope;  That where there are shadows, I may bring light;  That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.  Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;  To understand, than to be understood;  To love, than to be loved.  For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.  It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.  It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.  Amen.


Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;  The courage to change the things I can;  And the wisdom to know the difference.  Living one day at a time;  Enjoying one moment at a time;  Accepting hardships as the Pathways to Peace;  Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;  Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;  That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.  Amen.


Set-Aside Prayer

Dear God, please set aside anything I think I may know about myself, my disease, the Big Book, the 12 steps, the Program, the Fellowship, the people in it, all spiritual terms and especially you God;  So that I may have an open mind and a new experience with all these things.  Please help me to see Your Truth.  Amen.

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