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Recovery Resources & Articles on the Pink Cloud Sobriety Blog

Pink Cloud isn’t just an awesome app to find meetings and track your sobriety. We also have an awesome blog for tips and resources to help you stay sober. Consider it another free tool in your sober toolbox from Pink Cloud. Stay tuned for regular articles that will help you on your road to recovery. Don’t forget to share your favorite articles with your sober friends.

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Tradition 3

The third tradition states, “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.” There is only one requirement for AA membership. You don’t have to be a male or a female. You don’t have to make a certain amount of money. Your race does not matter. In short, everyone is welcome as long as they have a desire to stop drinking.

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Tradition 2

The second tradition states, “For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.”

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Tradition 1

The first tradition states, “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on AA unity.” The three pillars of the program are Unity, Service and Recovery. Two of these pillars appear in this tradition. It is also listed as the first tradition so it must be important right? You are correct.

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Step 12

Step Twelve, like the other steps that begin with a one, can be practiced from the moment you walk into a meeting. You’ve only been sober for two days and don’t think you have anything to offer? Well there might be a guy who’s only been sober for one day and he can relate more to you than to the guy with ten years. As a newcomer you can even help those with more time than you by some of your observations and dedication to working a program and changing your life. Plus, by receiving help from those with more time, you are helping them work their program and in an interesting twist working the twelfth step in your own way. All of this is to say that any time we are engaging with another alcoholic to talk about the program of recovery we are working the Twelfth step.

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Step 11

In Step Eleven we are encouraged to improve our conscious contact with God through prayer and meditation. The second half of the step also notes to only pray for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.

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Step 10

Phew! Done with all those amends and it feels so good. So glad I never have to do that again. Wrong. Welcome to Step Ten.

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Step 9

It’s finally here. The moment you’ve been waiting for. Not really. You’ve actually probably been dreading it. But you know it’s going to be good for you to get it over with. You’ve heard lots of stories. You don’t know what to expect. You’re nervous. You’re excited for how you’re going to feel afterwards. You wonder if it’s going to hurt you or the other person. It’s time for Step Nine. Let’s jump in.

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Step 8

Step Eight is a step that also seems really daunting at first. But it’s quite simple. Two parts. 1. Make a list. 2. Get ready. This is also one of the steps that you probably had some inkling about even before you set your foot in your first Twelve Step meeting. Most people have heard about the amends process or seen it depicted in popular culture. It’s not uncommon to become laser focused on Steps Eight and Nine when checking out the shade with the Twelve Steps on it during a meeting.

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Step 7

Step Seven states that we humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings. Some people say, at this point, wait, a second ago we were talking about character defects and now we’re talking about shortcomings. What’s the difference? There’s no difference. The authors of the book were just trying to mix up their language a bit. Remember when your teacher told you not to reuse words in your essays. Same deal. Some people get hung up on that. So we think it’s worth nothing. Shortcomings and defects can be considered the same thing. Moving on.

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Step 6

If you’ve written a thorough Fourth Step and completed the Fifth Step with your sponsor you have most likely identified a number of character defects. In the program we understand that these defects are the primary blocks between us and God, between us and our fellows. So Step Six helps us to become ready to have them removed.

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Step 5

Ok so now you’ve got your list. It’s time to share it with someone. This part can be pretty scary for a lot of people. But don’t worry it’s not that bad. Most of us have experienced that things seemed much worse in our heads than they actually were when written down on paper and shared with another person.

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Step 4

Step 4 is an inventory. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is also searching and fearless. But’s is also just an inventory.

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Step 3

Step 3 - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him. This step is a tricky one for a lot of people. If you’re thinking ok you’ve told me that I’m powerless, my life is unmanageable, and I’m crazy and now you’re starting to talk about God I’m out, you wouldn’t be the first. There’s a lot of people out there, some of us included, that had a lot of preconceptions about God coming into the rooms.

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Step 2

Ok great so now you’ve told me that I’m powerless and that my life has become unmanageable. You better give me something quick otherwise I’m going to be in trouble.

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Step 1

This is the first post in our series of a deeper dive on each of the Twelve Steps. So, naturally, let us start with Step One.

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How Long Will It Take To Do All Twelve Steps?

If you’re just getting started you might be wondering how long it will take to do all Twelve Steps. A panel of scientists recently concluded that the average time is 8 months, 9 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes and 27 seconds. Just kidding. But I bet if you’re like most alcoholics or addicts you were already measuring your self-worth and ego against that number. But we digress.

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Managing Expectations

We’ve all been there. Anniversary night. Some old timer with starry eyes is impressing upon us how life just keeps getting better and better beyond their wildest dreams. We have about five minutes sober. It’s intriguing. It’s enticing. Hey it’s even, dare we say, intoxicating. It’s all good stuff. And here’s how it can also be a setup if you’re not careful.

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I Don't Believe In God, How Can I Do This?

A lot of people who come into the program have a hang up about the God thing. It’s a real thing. Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

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H.A.L.T.

You might have seen it on one of the cards up on the wall at the meeting but what does it mean? H.A.L.T stands for “Hungry”, “Angry”, “Lonely”, “Tired”. As in don’t get too either one of those…

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Resource: Dr. Gigi Langer

A resource we’d consider adding to our toolbox is Gigi Langer, PhD who has been sober 34 years. She also has a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford University. She was a professor at Eastern Michigan University, where she won several awards for her teaching.

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Resource: Dopey Podcast

If you’ve read one of our blog posts, you were reading our original content, written by someone on our team with over 15 years in the program. We hope our posts help you or someone else. This is our first post about other resources that could be a part of your sober toolbox.

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What Is A Dry Drunk?

You may have heard the term dry drunk talked about at meetings. Maybe someone has called you a dry drunk. But what is a dry drunk?

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I'm Still Using Something - Am I Sober?

You’re using something that you’re not feeling so great about using and wondering if you’re still sober. That’s definitely a tricky one. Let’s break it down.

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Is It OK To Fire A Sponsor?

We’ve all had that feeling. We call up one of our sober friends because we’re just so mad about what our sponsor said to us. Can you believe what he said? I can’t believe him. Can you believe what she’s making me do? She’s so controlling. A lot of times our friend will try to calmly reassure us that maybe they have our best interest at heart. But if we’re starting to feel like maybe our sponsor isn’t a good fit anymore. What if we really don’t think that their advice is helpful, productive, or even safe anymore. Can we fire them? The short answer is yes.

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Progress Not Perfection

The literature tells us that we practice progress not perfection. What does that mean exactly? Alcoholics like to be in control. That’s one of the main reasons that we drank. But now that we’re sober there’s a tendency to try and maintain control through perfectionism.

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What Are Resentments?

We talk a lot about resentments in the program. While this might be a word that you’re familiar with, the context in terms of sobriety might be a little bit new for you. In this article we’re going to talk a little bit about resentments.

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What Is Fellowship?

Here’s another term that you might hear people talking about at meetings and be like what are they all talking about? It’s Fellowship. Like many other slogans and sayings in AA it has a kind of old-timey and folksy feel. But what it basically means is hanging out with your new sober friends.

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When Your Addiction Changes Form

In early recovery, just focusing on not drinking or not doing drugs is almost all that we can handle. However, once we get a little time under our belt and we no longer have the constant obsession to drink or use or addiction can take different forms and sometimes appear like a multi headed beast. These different addictions or pseudo-addictions can show up as different types of compulsive behaviors.

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I'm Too Young To Get Sober

People are joining the ranks of 12 step recovery at much younger ages now. But many of those people are still thinking to themselves I’m way too young to get sober. There’s even an AA pamphlet about it. We get it. We’ve been there. And we’ve felt that way too. Until we realized there was no other choice.

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The Characters of AA

We’ve all run into some characters at an AA meeting. Here are some funny ones that we’ve encountered throughout the years.

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Keeping It Fresh With Long Term Sobriety

If you’ve been sober for a while you know that it can sometimes be a little tough to keep things fresh in your recovery. You go to meetings, and you see the same people, and sometimes it sounds like you just hear the same things over and over again. You want to stay sober and you love AA. You certainly don’t want to drink again, but it’s getting a little boring and it’s getting a little old, too. So here are some ways that you can mix it up and make sure that you keep your recovery fresh while maintaining solid sobriety.

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My Partner is Sober Now But Something Still Feels Off

Many people, often those who are new to the Alanon fellowship, think that the holy grail of the program is that “that” person in our lives will get sober. While this is often a wonderful breakthrough for that person, those of us who have been around for a while realize that it doesn’t solve our problems. In many cases, new problems can arise.

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What Is Al-Anon?

You can find a bunch of different kinds of meetings on Pink Cloud. But recovery isn’t just for people who have issues with alcohol and drugs. There are also recovery meetings for the people who are affected by those people. This is the Alanon fellowship.

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Making Amends

If you’ve been to a couple of meetings now and had a chance for it all to sink in you’re probably experiencing something we’ve all experienced: getting laser focused on the fear and/or anticipation of making those amends.

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Somone Told Me I'm Not Sober Because I Take Antidepressants

Pink Cloud would like to preface this post by saying that we are certainly not medical professionals. It’s not uncommon for alcoholics to have what is known as a “dual diagnosis.” A dual diagnosis refers to not only suffering from alcoholism but also additional mental health issues. These could be things like depression, bipolar, anxiety and a whole host of other conditions. And because of those conditions, there are very real and solid reasons that someone might need to take medication. There are however, some people who believe that taking something like an antidepressant means that one is not sober.

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Relationships In The First Year

What’s the deal with no relationships in the first year? First you told me that I couldn’t drink anymore. And now you’re telling me that I can’t even date or have sex? First of all, no one is telling you anything. These are merely suggestions. But really it’s for your own good. Allow us to take you on a little voyage of the mind. Go back to the last time that someone really broke your heart. Like really broke your heart.

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I'm Sober - When Will My Partner Forgive Me?

Have you been sober for a little while now but your partner or significant other is still giving you the cold shoulder? You wouldn’t be the first. It’s common to think that if the main problem in your relationship is related to your actions and attitudes when you were drinking, that stopping drinking will solve things. Wrong answer. Stopping drinking only stops the creation of additional wreckage related to drinking. It does not undo the hurt or rebuild the trust that has been lost.

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Finding A Home Group

If you’re new to the program, you might hear people talking about a certain meeting being their “home group” and not really being sure what that means. A home group is like your home base of meetings. It is a meeting that you attend on a regular basis, where people know you, and ideally where you have a commitment.

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What Are The 12 Steps?

Most people have heard about twelve step programs. However, not a lot of people know what the twelve steps actually are. So here is a quick primer on the twelve steps.

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What Is A Sponsor?

What is a sponsor? Do I need to get one? How do I pick one? Should they pick me? These are all questions people new to the program of AA ask. A sponsor is simply a member of the fellowship, who has more sober time than you, ideally has completed all twelve steps or at least completed the fifth step, who will help guide you through the twelve steps.

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Staying Sober While Staying Home?

So you’re telling me that I have a disease that’s chronic and incurable. And I have to go to meetings for the rest of my life? And now you’re telling me that there’s this other disease that’s spreading across the world that’s making all those meetings that I’m supposed to go to shut down? That’s right we’re talking about some pretty unprecedented circumstances in the recovery world. And everywhere for that matter.

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What Is Service?

I hear everyone talking about “doing service” or “getting a service commitment” at meetings. What does that mean?

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What Are AA Meetings?

Unless you’ve had experience with AA meetings in the past, you very well might be asking yourself what are AA meetings? Great question! In this post we’ll break it down for you and give you some of the basics.

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What If Someone Recognizes Me at a Meeting?

If you’re a little bit concerned about running into someone you know at an AA meeting, you’re not alone. Almost all of us have had this thought. Some of our fellows have even gone to such lengths as attending a meeting in a different city or town to avoid this possibility early in their sobriety. After some time though, they realized that running into someone that you know at a meeting isn’t that bad after all. And that’s because we’re all here for the same reason!

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Am I An Alcoholic?

Are you an alcoholic? Good question. The only answer we can honestly give is we don’t know. That is a question that you are going to have to answer for yourself. You may have had a friend or a loved one tell you that you are. Sometimes you might think you are and sometimes you might not. Sometimes you might try to convince yourself that you’re not even though you might think you are. Other times you might try to balance the opinions of people who you think you are with those who assure you that you’re not. It’s enough to make you crazy right? If any of the above statements sound like you it’s probably worth taking a deeper look. The last thing that anyone wants to admit is that they are an alcoholic. There is a list of twenty questions, that you might see and often come from a variety of sources. These questions are designed to help you understand some of the issues that may be stemming from your drinking. Two popular lists are the Johns Hopkins list and the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test. Affirmative answers to any more than a few of the questions are said to indicate the strong possibility of alcoholism.

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Is AA a Religious Thing?

You may be taken a little aback by all of the mentions of God in the steps. That’s totally normal. Many of us were as well. It is not uncommon to listen to all of the great stories, experience, strength and hope in meetings only to wince a little bit when people start talking about their Higher Powers. Experiences with religion for people who come to AA, and people in general, are vast and varied. Some are great. Some are not always positive. You will see God, Higher Power, and spiritual experience mentioned various times throughout AA literature on the shades containing the steps and traditions. However, AA is a spiritual, not a religious, program. As the preamble states, “we are not allied with any sect, denomination, organization or institution. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

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How Many Meetings Do I Have to Go to to Get Sober?

Meeting attendance is a bit of a tricky topic. And there is not a one size fits all answer for everyone. What we do know for sure, however, is that attending as many meetings as possible early on is a good plan. Many sponsors and alcoholics with long time sobriety will strongly recommend doing a “90 in 90,” which means 90 meetings in 90 days. To some this may seem extreme. And, yes, it does require a commitment. But, bear in mind that you’ve most likely been making it to drinking on a daily basis. So, think of the time you’ve spent there. So, laying a solid foundation of both the principles of recovery and a network of other sober people that you can lean on for support is crucial to establish early on.

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What Do I Tell My Friends or Family About Why I’m Not Drinking Anymore?

Making a commitment to stop drinking is a decision that not only affects us but also the people closest to us. First, take a moment to honor yourself for committing to getting healthy and improving your life. Great job! Choosing whether or not to disclose your decision to stop drinking and/or work a program, and who to disclose it to, is ultimately your choice. We have found that that consultation with other members of the program and our sponsors to be helpful in this process. Their experience, strength and hope can provide you with some insights as you navigate your decision.

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Do I Have to Stop Drinking Forever?

Forever feels like a long time, doesn’t it? That’s why one of the most important slogans in the program is “One Day at a Time.” If we focus on not drinking one day at a time, rather than thinking about not being able to have a champagne toast at our granddaughters wedding, it’s a lot more manageable.

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How Do I Go to Social Functions Anymore Without Drinking?

Social functions as a newly sober alcoholic can be a little tricky. So it’s important to utilize a number of the tools of the program to make sure you are successful. Just because you are sober doesn’t mean that you stop being social or stop living your life. However, it is important to acknowledge our own motives as we make decisions around attending social functions. Attending your sister’s wedding and staying sober is much different from watching the ball game at the bar with your friends and pounding seltzers all night. Early on it’s a good idea to run these decisions past a sponsor or other people with experience in the program.

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