Monday, March 15, 2010


I’m reading a new book about AA called “Undrunk”. It’s about being a newcomer and what happened in the first year. Funny to those of us who have been around a bit—all those impressions and misperceptions: Cult, God talk etc. But one great part of the new book is the description of the slogans: one by one he walks thru: “One Day at a Time”, and “All you need to know about God is that you are not it”. Some I have not heard for a while like, “Nobody ever got sober confessing the other guys sins.” (That is a help with my “her” work.)

But tools: literature, phone calls, sponsorship, working the steps, service. They are tools, and like the other kind you have to pick them up and use them. Some we’ll use more than others, we’ll have favorites and ones we prefer. But it helps to have at least a little bit of experience with all of the tools. I like the saying that comes also from the business world: “If your only tool is a hammer then every problem will be a nail.” We need to develop skills with tools.

But we also need to use them and to practice with them.

Recently I heard the artist Larry Poons speak and he was talking about using artist’s tools and the tools of any kind of creative work. “The creative process means”, he said, “that you trust your reactions with the tools in your hands.”

Also true in recovery. First get a well stocked recovery tool box. Then trust your reactions with the tools in your hands. That too is a creative process.

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