I attempted to transcribe the video due to the poor sound quality below – the essence of truth was captured in this interview and it becomes more and more relevant everyday. Filmed February of 2020. To see the the video interview see our Facebook page at: hollywoodandvinecenter.
I know that with myself specifically with financial fear like all of my bills I have maybe $80.00 in my checking account and all of my income has officially been canceled. So, no weddings because I am in the service event industry and in Recovery I have faced my financial fear. Because I am powerless over it anyway and because I had already surrendered to a Power greater than myself I simply just have to follow directions so…I didn’t really have to do much.
The pain of my fears had been removed from me on step 6 & 7 so as I literally lost all of my income I was able to face that with the Power of ‘Okay God what would you have me do now?’ and then that pain of what used to be self pity and fear was kind of turned into determination and motivation to follow God’s direction, and God has been paying my bills the whole time anyway and God will continue to.
Well actually after, I was sharing with you some of the opportunities that was given to me just by coming into the fellowship. They were giving me opportunities to improve my education that was one part of it, the other part of it was in wanting to learn more about the program…I had sort of teamed up with some guys because it was more or less men, 95% of the program was men when I came into it.
So, we were studying but the idea I had was since we went to meetings morning, noon, and night that if we had a place we could get together then we could study this program more.
Because we wanted to learn as much as we could about what this book had to say and any other related information they had…we wanted to know it all. So uh, I didn’t have no finances to open a house…God gave me that idea because it had to come from God. Said to look in the paper and see [if you] can’t find a place or a residential facility that might be available. So I found this large big house. It was an estate I found so I said I am going to go over and see this place.
So, I called up the real estate company and they took me over to see this particular house and the guy that was showing it to me didn’t have the key. So I said well I am going to walk around the house and see.
So, I walked around the house and I looked at it and thought the house would be what I thought we need for meetings and….well mainly for meetings is what I thought. So the man said well I don’t have the key to let you in so I say well I’ll go with you to the office to get the key and we went to the office and I gave the him $3.50 for the key – and that was cause I had no money!
I had no money! I had no money for no house (chuckles) God told me to go look and I did. So I gave him $3.50 so I took the key and went back and opened the house and called up my friends and told them ‘look I got a place for us so we can have our meetings.’ So it wasn’t anything in the house, wasn’t no furniture. There wasn’t no electricity or nothing going on. So we took the house.
So that night we had a meeting. We had a candlelight meeting cause we had no electricity, and we raised enough money that night at that meeting to be able to go pay for the rent for that house – pay for the first, last, and security of that house. So, I didn’t have any money for that house and so I didn’t even plan that I was gon’ do this but God directed it and it happened. So I’m sayin’ I have followed the principals of this program. I have followed, surrendered to the will of God and actually everything I have ever done God has directed me for the past 62 years, and I have followed and I have had many houses, many programs, many vehicles, whatever you want. I have traveled – I have had whatever it was.
We have had big affairs…because God has…I don’t know where this music came from but I was interested in music as well although I don’t sing, dance or play any instrument. Through my desire for musical things we have had a lot of musical events with nothing but professionals and professional entertainers. We’ve had so many people in the movie industry. We had so much activity going on and I had an opportunity to work with people in congress.
The main thing that, the thing that impressed me the most and that is closest to my heart is I had the chance to work with Marty Mann. And Marty Mann was really the third person in alcoholic anonymous. The man laying on the bed was one of the sickest ones.
Marty Mann was the first woman that came to Alcoholics Anonymous, the first woman that stayed. And Marty Mann, she helped write the Big Book. She helped create all the literature and information, and she believed alcoholism being a disease and the whole concept of alcoholism being a disease was mainly developed through Marty Mann. Marty Mann actually created a program that is still in existence and that is the National Council of Alcoholism that still exist today – internationally it exist. I had a chance to work with her on the development of that program when it first started. So I feel so honored that I got to work with the first woman in alcoholic anonymous and had the chance to work on the development of programs in alcoholics anonymous because I have been able to develop the first programs for AA in Michigan and the first treatment programs and residential treatment programs in Michigan – they had none!
Then I went to Canada and developed some treatment programs there and those programs still exist and are still functioning today. So, I had no plan. I didn’t plan to do anything. So what I am trying to say is when you surrender to God and open yourself to God’s will – God directs you and takes care of you.
In my lifetime I have had millions of dollars at my disposal to use and to do with it what I want. So I am saying…God did that! I didn’t have no way of doing that. I have never called myself ever having a job and never thought about having no job. I work for God and God directs the whole program because I never considered I had a job, I never had one!
You have to surrender to God what you have done! I really believe – because a lot of people have asked me about Hollywood and Vine even (names omitted to protect anonymity) ____…..
I have had a lot of people ask me for Hollywood and Vine…but I never ever felt the desire to turn it into anybody else’s hand or trust that they would do the right thing. But God sent you in my life and I really believe when you start talking I really believe when you start talking that God has sent you and this is what it was supposed to be the continuation of what God wanted done – so I am just transferring the continuation of God’s will. God has given you the motivation and this is your will to do these things so.
You know, um…I know it takes faith. It takes trust and faith and a lot of that to believe and to walk out into the world and say I don’t have to worry about anything God will take care of me, but God will. But that takes absolute faith because most people will discourage you. If I had listened to folks I would have still been in nursing years ago and never did anything, anything differently. Back then there was no program, there was nothing you had to go on but following the will of God. You can’t listen to people.
People made it before there was treatment programs and there was nothing else to go on but following the will of God.
My name is Anneca Peoples, I certainly did not ask to carry on the Hollywood and Vine Recovery Centers history of healing, and I most certainly did not ask for the pain that led to my enlightenment, but I am most grateful for the direction that today I follow. Support and follow our organization as we re-open to Los Angeles bringing Arts, Healing, and God to heal the lives of all of those in peril, especially those in need of recovery from racial discrimination which God gave us the unique experience of understanding.
Printed and Posted with the permission and approval of Dr. Gloria Montgomery, a recovered alcoholic.
“You are not an alcoholic or an addict! You may be still suffering from the disease of alcoholism or addiction, but YOU ARE NOT A DISEASE!” – Dr. Montgomery
Dr. Gloria Montgomery, a licensed psychologist and recovered alcoholic with 62+ years of recovery today, often has to begin helping sufferers (in sobriety and those still suffering in the physical addiction of the disease) mentally separate their spiritual being from the disease afflicting their spirits. This acceptance is the first step to believing in and accepting the solution of Recovery. Today, the fear of change along with financial and economic insecurity is overwhelming and many spirits are suffering and feel forgotten, but there is a solution! Surrendering to a Power that allows us to follow divine and intuitive direction is the answer to ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS. An answer many are seeking during the current state of the world including those suffering with addiction, depression, anxiety, fear, financial terror, grief…we can increase the list ad infinitum.
Dr. Montgomery to the suffering: “If you are allergic to strawberries you don’t go around telling people that you are a strawberry, do you?”
“If you have lung cancer do you go around saying, ‘Hi my name is ________ and I am cancer?’ Well why are you going around talking about you’re an alcoholic?”
“How can you be a disease? You may be suffering from a disease or afflictions from a disease but you, my friend, are NOT your disease!”
Many have to identify as their disease in their fellowship meetings or they will not be accepted but for many out there the journey to spiritual elation, also known as Recovery, begins with the letting go of the shame, guilt, and responsibility for a disease that we are Powerless over. Followed by the acceptance of our spiritual malady (that is insanity) and coming to accept restoration of our spirit is possible with divine help – as we come to believe in the Recovery of those around us. [Hollywood & Vine has virtual Recovery groups as well as individual help so please begin with an email if you need help. This is not a sober fellowship, we have gone much further than abstaining from our addictions – we have recovered and been given the solution to our suffering – no matter what! email@example.com]
The responsibility of annihilating casualties in life as a result of the disease of addiction and insanity that plagues the sufferer, may be the shame, guilt, and responsibility that so many hold on to every time they affirm they are and always will be this disease. Sentenced to spending a lifetime “working” at the doomed mind and using tools to correct our intuition, staying busy as to never to trust our thinking again.
For those suffering, below are some clips of the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book” text that tells us we are not sentenced to a lifetime of alcoholic thinking and emotions. If drugs and alcohol are the sufferer’s problem then abstinence would be the solution. For most that simply is not enough. If those knew how an addict suffered spiritually (mind, body, and soul) they too would need a drink or a drug to feel peace. Seek Recovery – it is the solution – and hold on to the light when it get’s dark. You will be amazed before you are halfway through.
In the Forward (pictured above) when referring to Alcoholism the book states:
“All have Recovered. They have solved the drink problem.”
“But the ex-alcoholic who has found this solution…”
The words have been read many times, “To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book.” Why are so few people Recovering? and why is it so controversial in “recovery meetings” if you do?
Why does the fear of relapse encourage others to warn the recovered against following God’s direction?
Why do some not have a drink for 30 years but still are an alcoholic doomed never to recover? Why do some reject Recovery as described in the program?
Dr. Montgomery describes what has become of many AA and 12-step fellowships (not all) as becoming:
“… like a jail with open doors and guards saying to the prisoners, ‘YOU’RE FREE.’ With the alcoholic response of, ‘No, I think I will stay a while. You just don’t know how bad I had it and how bad I was…I will always be an alcoholic.’ ”
“The guard responds with, ‘You are free, there is a solution and people are recovering becoming ex-problem drinkers and ex-alcoholics all over the world. Read this book and see. You were not responsible for your disease and have been set free.’
And the prisoner (with the jail doors wide open) tells the guard, ‘There is no cure. You don’t understand I am going to die an alcoholic. I will be one for the rest of my life.'”
That is an analogy that can bring a chuckle through the tears that may fall when beginning to accept the long awaited freedom from a life-long sentence of suffering.
The text AA members follow in recovery goes on to discuss how they are suggested to identify which does not say as a disease.
“…designating himself instead as a Member of Alcoholics Anonymous.”
Recovery is real. Below are just a few of the many places throughout the book of Alcoholics Anonymous promising the freedom of Recovery from a disease which those suffering from are Powerless over and often succumb to.
This is what the fellowship and program used to be. Over the many decades changes have been accepted and spread exponentially, many are still suffering. You are not alone and you too can Recover when you are ready. You may never feel ready so may as well give it a shot today 🙂
While reading the title of this post is shocking I hope, even more shocking was the experience of it in real time. May those that sponsor newcomers strongly consider the experience of a former newcomer who was severely misinformed as to what the program of Alcoholics Anonymous was. May someone out there feel like they are not alone.
Joining the fellowship of AA (local to me and my experience and not by any means the entire global fellowship) led me away from and went as far as warning me against following God’s direction. Always out of love and sharing the only experience fellowship members could – this is not the program of Alcoholics Anonymous as stated in the text documenting exactly how to recover. I did find love and acceptance, no matter what, in most rooms and would do it all over again because it was all a needed part of the journey. If you have experienced the fellowship not a sufficient substitute for your suffering, there is hope and you are in a class to really help dissolve the confusion of sobriety being the ultimate goal of 12-step recovery, as our text states – “…alcohol is but a syptom…”! You do not have to change your sobriety date to begin life with a new surrender and you also do not have to suffer from the disease of addiction to suffer from a spiritual malady. Many members mental and emotional health disorders brought them to their knees seeking recovery from their spiritual malady not just alcoholics and addicts. Our most recent member is recovering from a paralyzing financial hopelessness.
When I came to AA, this time, I had begun working as a server. I got my first DUI during a fashion week when I was 21 years old that was my brief introduction to AA and I quickly learned to signed my own meetings and never looked back. Coming from being a successful model with disposable income from the age of 14 to my late 20’s – by the time I left jail crawling into the rooms on a court card, I had no work experience that was going to come close to the income and lifestyle that had been all I knew. Then God directed me to the bartending and service industry.
My therapist saved me from AA in the nick of time, I was about to quit my job! On bad days in early sobriety, the serving of bottomless mimosas during popular Sunday brunch gave me cravings. To appease the judicial system I had to pay for a therapist specializing in relapse prevention, and I thank God for her today. It was to Lori that I shared these cravings with and I did as she suggested and shared about them at my regular meetings. I was swarmed, people who knew so little about me, my financial situation, my relationship with God (and did not ask), advised me to make my sobriety the most important thing in my life by quitting my job and finding something that was not such a slippery place. I was given the phone number of someone who was a bartender and had to demote themselves because of their cravings stating how their sobriety was the most important thing to them.
I was scared. I responded to this fellowship and let them know I made more money in cash tips doing what I was doing than any other field I can imagine, considering the limited time and resources I had to work due to the all of the classes, counseling, and other court mandated obligations I was still fulfilling. At the time I was bringing home almost $4,000.00 a month paying off my dui debt, alcohol classes, probation fines, and rectifying all the financial wreckage of my past…I became terrified that this was a test or something and I was going to have to quit my job…there must be another way.
No other way I was told by many “old timers” in the program and then was warned that the first thing I put in front of my sobriety I would lose. I was scared I was taking steps backwards in sobriety. I do not even know what that means but I accepted it.God disguised as my therapist saved me from following that particular direction and told me that I was not having a craving but seeking relief. What a revelation!!
“Why would you be craving something as deadly as alcohol when you have accepted and believe you have the allergy that alcoholics are afflicted with?”
“Does that sound like insanity you just may need to surrender to?”
Lori asked me to consider if I was seeking was relief when my brain said I was craving a mimosa, a drink I never drank. I considered whether I was seeking relief from the pain and suffering that I had been “working” at my whole life, relief from the present reality my disease created and my physical sobriety awakened me to, and it was emotionally painful. I experienced the truth! I was not craving alcohol I was suffering in my emotions and seeking relief.
Lori educated me on the habit I created in my brain over the previous couple of years of drinking alcoholically. Any unwelcomed feeling told my brain it needed relief STAT! Until my brain created new habits they were just thoughts passing through that I did not have to give power to, there is One who has all Power and I surrendered to that Spirit of the Universe and did not have to be afraid. I had to trust God and watch God work. Cravings were a response to my spiritual suffering and became opportunities for me to surrender and accept the results.
What is a slippery place? I may be in a rare class but life was a slippery place for me. I lived next door to a liquor store, alcohol was in grocery stores often with the soda, at restaurants people drank happily around me, if a slippery place was something I had to worry about I would be drunk the rest of my life, silently suffering in a fellowship I felt I needed, or alone on a mountain avoiding slippery places and people until I die. I did not need to demote myself or quit my job, I needed to trust God and follow divine direction. Had that direction told me to quit, so be it, but I was never told to ask God and never did. My God was my fellowship because I did not trust myself or my thinking…long into sobriety. When people stopped recovering and began accepting a lifelong alcoholic sentence, they started giving sponsor directions instead of directing others to seek and follow God’s direction.
Lori reminded me that I had nothing to do with my sobriety anyway, so I did not have to fear losing it. As a matter of fact, I could not stop drinking on my own. Meetings did not help, the drunk-a-logs (stories shared by alcoholics that talk about what their drinking was like and never get to recovery) often flared up my cravings in the beginning. Getting on my knees and asking God to remove the obsession to drink is the only thing that worked after I had a full working knowledge of the disease I was afflicted with and accepted the truth. Sometimes I got on my knees to pray in public bathrooms I was so desperate for emotional relief. Bending my knees was an important action to bending my rigid human mind to accepting the spiritual solution offered to me.
Don’t Follow God, Follow the Fellowship
I continued in the fellowship for years got busier than ever doing everything I was told in meetings:
“If you want what we have you will do what we do.”
“Yes is the most spiritual thing a newcomer can say.”
I wanted to do whatever I had to do to clear away court issues, custody issues, financial issues, and the suffering that afflicted me for as long as I can remember and I knew that began with physical sobriety.
In surrendering to the fellowship, I completed 90 meetings in 90 days, got a sponsor, got commitments, got sponsees, went bowling when they bowled, laughed when they laughed, cried when they cried, and a bunch of other things I was told to do if I wanted to stay sober. Contrary action was a big one that I did for so long fighting God’s intuitive direction I’m pretty sure I became a liar. The social demands of sobriety were in direct conflict with my spiritual and biological makeup and I did not know what or who to trust. [A woman with decades of recovery and very dear to me much later told me about the liar behind contrary action once we have surrendered and been restored to sanity – I knew that had been me. Thanks Nancy 🙂 ]
I continued to followed a fellowship of sobriety that taught me to fear going too long without a meeting or “I would self-destruct.” My sobriety always had to come first and that meant always knowing what meeting I was going to next, staying in the middle of the herd, never taking a break from commitments and regular meetings, always sponsoring people, stay in contact with a sponsor…and many other suggestions or directions that had nothing to do with following God’s direction for my life and surrendering to intuitive direction. I was taught to work hard for my sobriety, then I accepted God given recovery. AA fellowship tried to force down my throat that I was never going to be well and always always an alcoholic. All of the references of ex-alcoholics and recovery and recoiling from alcohol as one would a hot flame were never talked about by the Old Timers but some of the sentences that lights up the eyes of someone suffering in their disease.
I could not speak at a meeting without verbally telling everyone in the room my entire being was the disease that had been in remission for more than 3 years. ” I am Anneca and I am an Alcoholic.” Every single time you open your mouth to read or speak you are supposed to verbally identify your being as the disease you are taught you are Powerless over and not responsible for. I often heard God say, “everyone knows why you are in a meeting of AA, if you are not suffering from alcoholism chances are you are not a part of the fellowship, what they do not know is how long I have restored you to sanity and that nothing you did worked, get in the book and speak the truth. Follow Me not the fellowship of people.”
A man 40 years sober at the time who has also recovered told me not to stop speaking the truth and said there is spiritual warfare in the rooms of AA and very little recovery. We are responsible to let God use us and I am so grateful for him even though I did not listen to God’s direction for some time to come. I remained a suffering and sober alcoholic, and busy!
My gut often told me to run in the opposite direction of the fellowships local to me, but I convinced myself it was my “stinking thinking” as I had been warned for so long. I had enough experience to know enlightenment and being rocketed into a 4th dimension of existence was possible.
I found a women with 40+ years of sobriety who sounded like she hated people as much as I hated myself and she was so revered that people with less time than her got up and moved for her to sit in what was “her seat” when she was present. I asked her to sponsor me.
This highly respected old timer told me my dreams were not realistic and everyone gets sober and wants to fulfill the many passions God gave me as a child. I accepted it was my ego and I needed to enroll in college. I needed to be self supporting and a job as a waitress was not going to cut it, she said. I needed to enroll in college by the next time we spoke. Just say yes and take contrary action I told myself. I was desperate.
I enrolled in college, again. I had been taking classes since I was 16 because a degree was going to fix me at one point. Community college and that women did not stick in my life. People told me I was sponsor hopping to find someone to cosign my bullshit, I was nervous but I could not take her anymore. When God directed me to take an action towards fulfilling one of many passions I shared in a meetings and with my fellowship I was told I had an overdeveloped since of justice and cautioned that would get me drunk. I told them I went to school with someone who had an overdeveloped since of justice and she co-founded #blacklivesmatter…to which I was reminded “you’re an alcoholic” “and to stay right sized.” I chose to accept these peoples fears .[ One of the first questions Dr. Montgomery asks people as they begin their journey is “what are the desires of your heart.?” This is how we know what gifts God gave us and once we shed the thoughts, opinons, and fears of others – we are free to fulfill our spirits purpose.]
I found another fellowship and found my people, I thought.
“I can’t wait to hear my sponsees 5th step…hahahaha” “F*@!ing Fa**ot”
I met my soulmate along my journey who found my design for living so appealing through all of the hell God was carrying me through in my first few years of sobriety, he toogot sober to seek a recovered life. A woman I had watched and followed for a couple years was about 20 years sober, and I thought I wanted everything she had so when she asked who was sponsoring him and I said I was guiding him through the experience of the steps, she told me I “…could not sponsor my friend.”
I was scared, again. I told her what the results had been thus far which were him coming to believe in a Power greater than himself in spite of the Catholic God his parents and Catholic school forced him to concede to which he denounced long ago. “ It doesn’t matter you can’t sponsor each other.” I was sad. I was sentenced to a life AA and with years of sobriety was always warned against following any intuitive direction. I reminded myself what I learned in AA meetings and fellowship – I think I know it all and want to control, manage, and direct things, so she was right. Everyone spoke in meetings about how this Sober Queen was a perfect example of the program and she had been sober well over a decade more than me…who was I to question her loving suggestion to save us from something I later found out she experienced. Must be my “stinking thinking” coming back I told myself.
It was suggested by someone who would be a good sponsor for my friend and it was the same guy using the word faggot among other derogatory, offensive, oppressive, and far from spiritual conversation and behavior. These people had sponsees and were spoken of in meetings by old-timers as “…great examples to watch in the program.” The casual use of racist and hateful speech used so casually may not be the worst thing I heard from this group – and I am a black woman who has been gifted an “overdeveloped since of justice” for all of humanity, enoys her sexuality, and my best friend is a gay male. The most disgusting thing I heard from one of the upcoming pioneers of the program was that he could not wait to hear one of his sponsee’s 5th step. Gossiping with people about what type of pain and agony this particular man was carrying around that would written about on step 4 of this 12-step recovery program. The pioneer spoke to others of his sponsor’s (at the time) sexual diseases and more I am sure was not meant to be shared in this capacity. I was shocked. Where was the honesty, loyalty, and spiritual commitment that is the relationship between sponsor and sponsee. My best friend and I were stiff as a board, confused, and waiting for the right time to back out of that hell. When we got into the car we decided to never fellowship with people from that group again and to welcome isolation – I continued to sponsor my best friend. Today, he is a recovered alcoholic and has gone on to show many the road he traveled – he lives free.
Don’t trust God, You Might Get Drunk!
At 3 years sober my worst nightmare/my biggest reservation/my biggest “what if,” happened to me and all of the work I had been so busy doing in my years of sobriety was not a sufficient substitute for this low spot I found myself suffering in. I made a habit of taking action to control my emotions God used to direct to get my attention. Rather than facing and growing through the pain I continued to run. When I felt pitiful I got into gratitude reminding myself feelings aren’t facts, when I did not feel well I got a commitment, when I felt worse I was told to get a sponsee and got into working more with others. I had a really heavy tool bag of tools to keep me distracted from a truth that never left. [ Funny side-note Dr. Montgomery knows someone with almost 30 sponsees who is still accepting more…lol]
I met Dr. Gloria Montgomery early on but her recovery was the exact opposite of everything everyone said in meetings so I stuck with the fellowship until I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I went to her house one day, exausted.
The obsession to drink had not returned in spite of me not because of me. All I wanted to want to do was die and this was many months after the event occurred. Right after the event occurred, I happened to be leading a meeting that evening and got a sponsee and got right into action. I stayed busy, got more commitments, wrote, read, meetings, new meetings I did it all. Nothing I was doing worked and I gave up. I felt so free.
I hated AA and everything the fellowship stood for. I flashed through all of the gossiping I questioned, the old timer men that grabbed my butt and called me a hot piece of ass as a newcomer, I thought of all of the cheating and affairs within long-term sobriety I watched profess from the podium to have open and honest relationships and sobriety dates, I thought of old-timers in the program telling newcomers these sexual predators (many have come forward since I began to speak out loud of my experience) were great examples of the program. I had traveled to meetings and fellowships all over Los Angeles County for months at a time seeking recovery and a new fellowship to surrender to. I had eaten myself to gaining more than 80 pounds in sobriety and health issues, I was so exhausted, and I finally surrendered to God.I left the fellowship pretty disgusted and the freedom was indescribable.
I walked out of a meeting with my best friend and we agreed we were never going back. I experienced the best time of my life when I hit that total spiritual surrender with a willingness I had never before been able to muster. I surrendered to God and it was painful! Dr. Montgomery calls it spiritual surgery but it hurt so good. I was recovering safely in God’s hands and had been given everything I needed. God had been telling us both to stop going to meetings for a while asking “ are you done yet?” we were done. We felt worse every time we left meetings and everyone else felt better, they shared. God began to guide us both individually from then on out as God had been, but now we ceased fighting, questioning, and seeking confirmation from humans around us.
God said I was going to do everything I had been fighting for so long. I laid on the couch and cried, I do not know for how long but I gave up. We watched movies and continued to enjoy our life while we both experienced recovering together. We asked for God’s help and did what we wanted. We talked, we laughed, we cried, we prayed, we worked, we went to magic mountain, and we healed following Gods direction the whole time. We got to know ourselveds and out Higher Powers and experienced the program working in our lives. I found myself with a pen and paper in my hand again and my hopes and dreams returning.
I went to the gym and started to blog about how losing weight had nothing to do with working out. Nobody in their right mind would eat themselves into an unacceptable weight or healthy state and an underlying problem needed to be addressed rather than dieting to treat the symptom of the real problem, and everything else including weight loss would fall into place. I documented my “journey to a flat tummy” showing others to trust God and not a workout plan and the results were real. I began to actually trust God and apply these principals to every area in my life. I accepted the experience of a set of spiritual steps and saw how they worked in my life rather than working so hard at the the program. I no longer feared alcohol or losing my sobriety but I did begin to accept responsibility for my recovery. My fear of alcohol became a respect, I was free. I started seeing old friends the fellowship told me not to see because it was slippery, and got back so much of the life I was taught to fear in AA meetings local to me.
I touched base with Dr. Montgomery to confess to her I left and hated meetings. She told me I was recovering and God was carrying me through the pain of my emotions. She told me I finally stopped relying on the fellowship and was starting to trust God.
I was going to start a bartending business. I shared with friends I was going to start a bartending business using my best friend’s mixology training and national bartending experience along with his business management degree. That experience and education in combination with mine and we thought it was a great idea, more warnings.
As business took off and we remained sober recoiling from alcohol as we would a hot flame. I got a part time job across the street from my house serving at a little coffee shop to supplement my income while business took off and I saw Sober Queen there. I was so happy to see her and tell her of how well I was doing following Gods will, I remembered her being the person whose direction I followed for so long hearing her speak often. I told her of my first sober orgasm….my first orgasm ever really. I told her of the 3 bedroom townhome my best friend and I were given by God. I was so excited to experience the new pair of glasses that was my new prescription and outlook in life I did not know I had until I saw someone from the rooms I left months before…she asked if I worked outside the place I was standing and when I confirmed, she said “good…I am so glad you got out of serving alcohol, you shouldn’t have been doing that.” I smiled, so grateful for my freedom.
Back To AA – Recovered
Dr. Montgomery guided me to how God would be my sponsor for the rest of my life. I stayed in touch with her over these few months but did not rely on her, I asked for Gods help and trusted I had been restored to sanity and accepted my recovery, I shared the results with her and we grew together. She had always thought I should stop following the fellowship and follow God’s direction and at around this time in life as I was recovering with, loving, and trusting God, she told me that I would be given the responsibility to share the truth about what God had done for me in my life. I was willing but not jumping at the chance. I HATED AA meetings so much…little did I know how deep into them God was going thrust me within 2 days of Dr. Montgomerys heads up.
There is a program out there, gifted to those afflicted with the disease of alcoholism, that is the answer to ALL of our spiritual suffering. One of the founders of this program, Bill W., had a spiritual experience and was then divinely directed to write the book-titled Alcoholics Anonymous-which has gone on to help so many recover. According to the founders of the program, those of us gifted with recovery are responsible to be there for all of those suffering-especially Alcoholics. One of the many direct contradictions newcomers to our program are experiencing….are there are not many recovered members or ex-problem drinkers left! Only those that can tell you exactly how to manage your physical sobriety with directions that did not come from the “God-consciousness within.” Directions like 90 meetings in 90 days, getting commitments, take a spot check inventory…anything and everything other than the program of Recovery as laid out in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Over the years, changes were approved to bring us even further from Recovery which is why I am so grateful, for the original text and foundation of the program.
This program of Recovery has been condensed down and outright overlooked. To quote Dr. Montgomery “People are joining the fellowship of AA and not surrendering to the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous.” Dr. Montgomery has a recovery date today that goes back over 62 years and having had the privilege of attending meetings and working with many of the 12-step recovery founding fathers, Dr. Montgomery continues to spread Recovery through the members of Hollywood and Vine Recovery Center.
One of the things I found hard to overcome was this feeling deep within my innermost self every time I had to identify as an alcoholic even after years of sobriety. You know how people do positive incantations and speak into the positive what they want…positive energy right? At meetings you have to say several times that you are an alcoholic, you have to identify your entire being as the disease that you are suffering from and never transition to verbalizing recovery. To go even further, those of us that have been gifted recovery as stated in the book are met with pitchforks at local southern California aa meetings if we do not say several times that we are alcoholic…told that we must never forget where we came from! What is that and where does that come from?! We are told to ignore what God has done and is doing for us and identify as the disease that is in remission. What fellowship are the newcomers supposed to be attracted to?
I did not know how much it was effecting me until I was brought on my knees in sobriety to the Hollywood and Vine Recovery Center’s founder looking for any relief from my suffering. I was sick and tired of working my program so hard I was exhausted.
One of the first eye openers was Dr. Montgomery notifying me that Bill W. (one of the founders of 12-step recovery) wrote a letter to central office of Alcoholics Anymous asking why people were starting to identify as alcoholics. He went on to state that this disease we are afflicted with does not define who we are and we are to accept the gift of recovery for those of us who had been granted such a gift.
This is a picture of the Foreward to the first edition…which in many ways is the same as the current Forewards being printed.
It was refreshing, I was not the disease that I suffered from more than I was the recovered mind and body that one day at a time I am gifted. It is okay to accept the recovery that is promised in these pages and to speak the truth when talking about your disease and this was so freeing for me.
I urge those who have had the spiritual experience brought on as a result of the 12 steps and that live the life of recovery as promised in the Alcoholics Anonymous book, identify in their recovery at meetings or at least as it states in the book with regards to identifying as “…a member of alcoholics anonymous”. Everywhere you go speak the truth of what God as done for you in your life rather than the disease you suffered from. You may want to go even further and look into exactly what recovery is defined as in the book and ask yourself if you are in fact, Recovered.
At least question whether you are suffering from the disease of addiction, afflicted with the disease of addiction…but you are not the disease of addiction! You are your recovery, and for that you are responsible!
Thus, Bill W. was speaking from the same spiritual place that created this spiritual program when he wrote the letter requesting we stop identifying as alcoholics, we do not have to remind ourselves of our disease every time we open our mouths to speak in a room of Alcoholics Anonymous. If that is your group conscience I hope you speak the truth of what God has done in your life more than you remind others of the disease that is or can be arrested as a result of a spiritual experience.
Alcoholics are not the only people who take life one day at a time as that is all any of us have-we live in the Eternal Now.
I hope if you find your spirit suffering you seek a spiritual remedy. I have personally experienced this spiritual program remove the suffering of suicidal adolescents, what some have considered outright mental defects, emotionally disturbed individuals, and mostly have seen many sober alcoholics as of recent surrender to recovery before succumbing to relapse. You do not have to find a spiritual solution….simply seek. You may find yourself on the journey the 12 steps will guide you on, a journey to a new freedom and self actualization most will never know.
If Social Media is a tool of yours, keep ot positive and know you are safe to surrender to a new freedom. Join a movement with those of us who are #recovered :). If you are looking to free your spirit from the pain and suffering triggering addictions, sick of medicating a pain you still seek relief from, and all of the fears and discomforts you have as of yet to solve. You are not alone while we #stayhome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
A member’s journey to Recovery in 3 stages, what it was like-what happened- and what it’s like now.
I ran from the pain of my Powerlessness and continued to manage and control my sobriety with all the “things” I was doing while teaching others to do the same-and was being praised for it within my sober circle as a woman with dignity and grace. I wanted to feel good and believe it was all actually working, but I was just as miserable as I was when I was modeling and everything on the outside was perfect. Once again I found myself screaming inside.
It was then I began to Recover. All things human failed me, left and right, and I found no relief from my suffering when I looked outward. I felt worse when I went to my local A.A meetings, therapists, my sober circle, my sponsor, more commitments, less commitments, I could increase the list ad infinitum and still there was no relief. I began a very personal surrender, conceding to my innermost self, and I ceased fighting everyone and everything. I stopped following everyone’s direction for my life and began to experience the suffering I never stopped running from all the years of my being.
I cried with a sober best friend, binged watched shows like Greys Anatomy, gained more weight than my body could comfortably carry, laughed until my stomach hurt, cried until the tears dried up for each event/feeling I mourned, I slept, trusted God, and talked about how I felt both to God and Spiritually Recovered people God had passing through my life during this journey. I simply continued to ask for help and followed intuitive direction from a Power that created me, loved me, and had the Knowledge and Power to fulfill the God-given desires of my spirit -once I was ready to accept them.
I received many messages from those that loved me in sobriety suggesting I get to a meeting as soon as possible or I was going to get drunk, but every day when I asked God “what next ?” the answer was “don’t you run and hide in a meeting” followed by another divine suggestion I followed. I had done everything everyone told me for many years; my mother and family that raised me, society, teachers, friends, agents, my fears guided me, sponsor direction, fear of relapse told me what to do, I could also increase this list ad infinitum. None of that worked when the low spots came. I never picked up a drink because God had removed the obsession from me so it was not a thought, but I was absolutely miserable, hopeless, and felt condemned to a life of working at my emotions with breaks in between. So, I was done.
I began to see the lack of recovery around me in meetings, but I remained to pray- it is all I have ever known praying to a God I may or may not have believed in at that point in my journey. I asked God for help and did what I wanted/was directed to do. I did not know that this was me experiencing Steps 1,2, and 3 rather than the intellectual knowledge of the steps I worked at acquired over the years, but I knew it felt different.
Following Gods direction brought me to Dr. Gloria Montgomery founder of the Hollywood and Vine Recovery Center, who with over 62 years of recovery, guided me through experiencing 12 steps spiritual in nature-in their original form. On this journey I safely experienced trusting and following the intuitive direction of the Power that had been taking care of me my whole life. I was recovering.
Accepting I was Powerless over my emotions, my sobriety, my recovery, my misery, my future, fulling my spirits purpose, my finances, my child, my child’s suffering, and everything else, was the first step. For me, this realization was pain that was unimaginable without the immediate relief of the Step that follows, a pain I love hearing Dr. Montgomery refer to as “Spiritual Surgery.” Coming to believe in a Power greater than me that could and would restore me to sanity that is Step 2. Experiencing coming to believe,again, as I was recovering did not feel like anything I had ever experienced before in sobriety.
I spent a lot of time with recovered spirits, those who knew without a doubt that everything they would go through in life they would not only be safely carried through but it was for their greater good. They were living examples of facing unpleasant emotions and circumstances with the peaceful Power of their Recovery, handling those situations that once baffled us with divine intuitive direction. I spent time while Coming to Believe (several years sober at this point) with those who shared with me their experience with holding on to the light in spite of how dark it gets, and experiencing all of this at a time when I was able to receive and accept the truth of the experience was a certain kind of coincidence only a Power greater than me could have orchestrated.
Once I Came to Believe in life, I experienced an exhale of so much pain and weight as hope was restored. I felt the pain of mourning my delusions of power and control begin to subside and I was then able to continue follow the intuitive direction I surrendered to on the next step, Step 3. For the first time in life I followed a direction that was not to accomplish some goal I expected to fix a problem, but a direction given intuitively from a Power within that I was happy but skeptical to trust. I began to experience that Power that works in us and through us, each and every one of us.
I continued to experience the Power that lies within each step, including the emotional recovery that happened to me as a result of experiencing steps 6 & 7, for those familiar with the journey. Living in the light of my recovery today is a gift from God through the Spiritual Experience that happened to me as a result of a 12-step experience I trudged, spiritual in its foundation. I have been safely carried through that painful place where I became entirely ready and you will too. I live a life of emotional recovery where the pain of my human emotions has been removed from me and as more is revealed every day, the same constant remains that God is not only carrying me through but everything (the good and the sometimes seemingly bad) is all for my Greater Good. My spirit is free. Although there may be many differences, if my suffering sounds like your suffering you can recover too. No matter who you are or why you hurt, you may be ready to surrender to The Truth of who you are and the desires of your spirit.
Email email@example.com for help.