Recovery Notes

What we thought was a flimsy reed, revealed itself as the Mighty hand of GOD

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Alcoholics Anonymous Chat Rooms, Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

Alcoholics Anonymous Chat Rooms, Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

Roger Ebert's Journal: Archives

Roger Ebert's Journal: Archives: "My Name is Roger, and I'm an alcoholic
By Roger Ebert�on August 25, 2009 7:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (374)
In August 1979, I took my last drink. It was about four o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, the hot sun streaming through the windows of my little carriage house on Dickens. I put a glass of scotch and soda down on the living room table, went to bed, and pulled the blankets over my head. I couldn't take it any more.

On Monday I went to visit"

Tuesday, June 09, 2009





Here is the story about Irma Livoni. Each year around this time I try
to tell this true story about what happened not just on Dec. 7th, 1941
(Pearl Harbor Day) but what happened to one of the few women who was
in AA at that time and about a letter she received in the mail on
Monday Dec. 8th, which virtually kicked her out of AA.

In Dec. of 1984, I had been sober for 2 1/2 years, and working with my
sponsors Bob and Sybil Corwin since Jan. of 84. Sybil had gotten sober
in March of 1941 and at the time she was 43 yrs sober. We were driving
home from a meeting and she asked me the date (to her it was just
Sunday). I told her it was Dec. 8th, and that yesterday (Dec 7th) was
the anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. She said "Matt, have I ever told
you about Irma Livoni?" "Nope, who is she?"

She said, "Well, when we get back to the house, come in for coffee and
I will tell you a story about AA history and some of the reasons we
have tradition 3. Oh, and by the way Matt, did you know that the
literature specifically protests 'queers, plain crackpots and fallen
women,' and since you and I are at least two out of those three, we
should be especially grateful for tradition 3. I'll show you it when
we get home."

I laughed out loud, as Sybil had a great sense of humor, and she had
been a taxi dancer, back before she got sober, you know one of those
"10 cents a dance" ladies, and she was divorced twice, and was a
single mom, as well as an alcoholic back then, so the term fallen
woman" was something that hit close to home.

She had told me that it was very different back in the 30's and 40's
for a woman to be an alcoholic. Sybil said it was a time when women
wore hats and gloves, and "respectable women" were not usually found
in a bar or at "whoopee parties."

Our Thursday night step study had voted to not cover the traditions
after we got to step 12, so I figured they must not be very important
and thought I'd probably be bored with the conversation, but she got
my attention telling me that "queers, crackpots and fallen women" were
mentioned, so I agreed to come in for coffee.

Besides Sybil had been sober longer than I had been alive. I didn't
argue with her very much.

Sybil got down her copy of the big book. She said, I want you to find
the traditions in there, and read me tradition 3. It was a 1st edition
Big Book. Thicker than mine.

I said, "Is this why they call it the Big Book?"

She said, "exactly, Bill had it printed on big paper, with big margins
around the type, so that people would think they were really getting
something for their money."

I looked in the back of the book, where I thought the traditions were,
but couldn't find them. "I can't find them, Sybil."

"Exactly. That's because we didn't have any traditions back in 1941
when I came in, and Matt, AA was in mortal danger of destroying
itself, which is why we have traditions now." Then she had me find
them in my 3rd edition and in my 12x12. I didn't read it all, just the
caption heading, and then she started telling me the story of IRMA

Irma was a sponsee of Sybil's. She also became a member in 1941, just
after Sybil. Sybil took her into her home. (Sybil told me that many
people's bottoms were very low then, no home, no job, no watch, no
car, nothing). Sybil said it was different then for a woman to be an
alcoholic, That most of them had burned all their bridges with their
families, and were looked down upon, even more so than male
alcoholics. Sybil said she watched AA help Irma get sober, watched AA
help Irma get cleaned up, watched AA help Irma get her first apartment
in sobriety.

Then she said that on Dec. 5th, 1941 a self appointed group of the
members signed a letter to Irma and mailed it 2 days before Pearl
Harbor, on that Friday, Dec. 5th. Here is a copy of the letter.

Post Office Box 607
Hollywood , California

December 5th, 1941

Irma Livoni
939 S. Gramercy Place
Los Angeles , California

Dear Mrs. Livone:

At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Group of
Alcoholics Anonymous, held Dec. 4th, 1941. It is decided that your
attendance at group meetings was no longer desired until certain
explanations and plans for the future were made to the satisfaction of
this committee. This action has been taken for reasons which should be
most apparent to yourself. It was decided that, should you so desire,
you may appear before members of this committee and state your

This opportunity will be afforded you between now and Dec. 15th,
1941.You may communicate with us at the above address by that date.

In case you do not wish to appear, we shall consider the matter closed
and that your membership is terminated.

Alcoholics Anonymous, Los Angeles Group
Mortimer, Frank, Edmund, Fay D., Pete, Al

I was stunned. "How could they do this Sybil?" Because we didn't have
any guidelines, any traditions to protect us from good intentions. AA
was very new, and people did all sorts of things, thinking they were
protecting the fellowship"

Sybil then said to close my eyes and imagine my being in the following
setting. Sybil explained that Dec. 7th, 1941 was Pearl Harbor Day (a
Sunday). She said that on that Sunday night everyone in LA was afraid
that Los Angeles would also be attacked and bombed. There was a
citywide blackout, people were so terrified. She said that on Monday
Dec.8th President Roosevelt gave the speech that talked about "the
date that will live in infamy" and that we were now at war with Japan
and Germany .

She said, that was the day that Irma received her letter. There was
only one meeting in the entire state of California when Sybil came in,
in 1941. By December there may have been 2 or 3, but Irma had nowhere
else to go, no one else to turn to, no other group in California that
she could ask for help.

Sybil said, "Imagine only 1 or 2 meetings in your entire state, and
being shunned by your family and by society and by the only group of
people who were on your side, your AA group. Imagine them shutting the
door on you and sending you such a letter."

I shivered at the thought of it, It was Christmas time, the stores
were decorated and now poor Irma was all alone, I thought about how it
was in 1984 with 2000 meetings a week to choose from in Southern
California , and then I imagined having no other help for a hopeless

Sybil told me that Irma never came back to another meeting, left AA
and died of alcoholism. She wrote to Bill about the incident, and I
cannot tell you that is the reason that the following is a part of the
3rd Tradition, but it certainly seems to apply.

From Tradition 3, page 141: ...that we would neither punish nor
deprive any AA of membership, that we must never compel anyone to pay
anything, believe anything, or conform to anything? The answer, now
seen in Tradition 3, was simplicity itself. At last experience taught
us that to take away any alcoholics full chance was sometimes to
pronounce his death sentence, and often to condemn him to endless
misery. Who dared to be judge, jury and executioner of his own sick


I remember looking at those words again and again. They seemed to get
larger and larger.


I hadn't really noticed Executioner when I had read it the first time
at my 12 & 12 study group. Again I felt so bad for this poor lady.
Wow, those words really had a different meaning than when I had read
the traditions before, So here it is , 23 years later, and each Dec.
7th & 8th I always think about Irma Livoni, and how lucky I am, that
we have traditions now, I also think of how lucky I was to have met
Sybil and so lucky that she appointed herself my sponsor.

Years later I realized how everything she ever taught me was like
gold, but in 1984 I had no idea who Sybil really was or how lucky I
was to have her as my sponsor. She was like a piece of living history,
but I really didn't realize how valuable that was in explaining WHY we
do some of the things we do (like the story she told me about how they
never said "Hi Sybil" and no one said "Hi my name is Matt and I'm an
alcoholic" back then).

Besides being one of the first women in AA,. Sybil was the first woman
west of the Mississippi . She also became the head of LA's central
office for 12 years, and she became close friends with Bill and Lois.
She and Bob even used to go on vacation with them. She used to tell me
all sorts of stories about Bill Wilson and things he said to her.

He was very interested in how AA would work for women, as there were
very few women worldwide in AA back in 1941. Marty Mann came in before
Sybil did, but very few stayed sober.

I learned that night that no one can get kicked out of AA. We can ask
a disturbing wet drunk that he needs to settle down or we might have
to ask him to step outside for that day, but we don't vote to kick
anyone out forever . And we don't shun people because our guidelines,
our traditions tell us that no one has to believe in anything (they
don't have to like me) and they don't have to conform to anything,
they don't have to dress a certain way, or have no facial hair, or pay
anything .) Even if I get drunk again, I am still welcome at any AA

So that's the story about Irma Livoni. Feel free to pass this along
to anyone you know who might be interested in knowing a bit about how
and why the traditions got started. I think it sort of puts a face on
Tradition 3: the face of a woman I never knew, who got kicked out of
AA. Who got drunk and died.

Thank God for Tradition 3 and thank God for all of you. I truly
appreciate and cherish all the people in this group.

Best AA love to you all.

(An email from mark y)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Twitter / Home

Twitter / Home: "Resentment is not getting my way in the past;
anger is not getting my way in the present;
& fear is not getting my way in the future

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Knees, Chest, and Chin Yoga Pose- Ashtanga Namaskara Yoga Pose

Also known as: Salute with Eight Limbs
Type of pose: Backbend
Benefits: Increases the flexibility of the spine.
Knees, Chest and Chin is usually done as part of the Sun Salutation vinyasa sequence. It is can be done as an alternative to Chaturanga Dandasana in the sequence for beginners.
1. From Plank position, drop the knees to the floor.
2. Bring the chest and chin forward and down to the floor, placing the chest right between the hands.
3. Keep the elbows hugging into your sides.
4. The hips should stay high.
Beginners: This pose is like a half push-up, and will help you build the arm strength necessary to move onto Chaturanga Dandasana
Advanced: You may want to include Knees, Chest, and Chin in your first few Sun Salutations as you warm up before going on to Chaturanga.