Resumption of AA meetings good news

Saturday March 24, 2018 Written by Published in Virtues in Paradise

I was glad to hear that Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are starting up again in Rarotonga.


If it’s a rumour, I hope someone will step up and make it true. Personally, I’ve never had a drink of alcohol, with one exception, as it is a law of my Faith to avoid mind-altering substances.

The exception was when a date filled my ginger ale glass with gin. I took a throat burning, choking slug, as he laughed. That was his last laugh in my presence.

The Cook Islands has the sad distinction of being the binge-drinking capital of the world. A mama at one of the rugby games talked about the lack of practice of the local team. She said, “They practice all right. They practice drinking.”

Many families here suffer from the effects of excessive alcohol in the form of domestic violence and child neglect. Paradise could use some deep healing. 

AA is one of the most successful recovery programs in the world, whatever the addiction or compulsion, from gambling to sex addiction, overeating to codependence, which is the tendency to enmesh with others, allowing them to abuse us, and enabling their misbehaviors. We all have something to heal. So, AA and its 12 Steps can benefit all of us.

I have found the 12 Steps powerfully liberating, and each is based on virtues:

 1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable. Once we face ourselves honestly, recovery begins.

 2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. This requires humility. People focus on whatever higher power fits for them.

 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God. This requires the rare virtue of surrender.

 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. This step requires courageous self-examination. We identify areas of past regret, embarrassment, guilt or anger.

 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. With deep truthfulness, we confess our past poor behaviour.

 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. With trust and faith, we prepare to have our higher power remove our wrongs.

 7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings. Every person has character defects, whether they come in the form of impatience, anger, apathy, criticism or negativity.

 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. With accountability, we write down every wrong, from stealing to backbiting.

 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. With courage, humility and tact, we write them a letter or speak face to face.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. This step involves commitment to monitor ourselves for any behaviour that may be harmful to us or others and to clear it up immediately.

 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Step 10 requires commitment to some kind of spiritual practice. That practice includes prayer, meditation, or reading scripture.

 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The AA prayer says it all. “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.”

1 comment

  • Comment Link Caran Martin Friday, 06 April 2018 06:22 posted by Caran Martin

    This morning my thoughts turned to Rarotonga and the friends that I met when living there in 2011. I spent many.. ok all.. of my days drinking and my own disease progressed rapidly in a short period of time. It was easy there and did seem to be just the way of life for the locals... as well as many of the tourists.
    In recovery now I have wondered if AA had made it to the island, and I am so very happy to see that it well may be. I read in a different story from the 8th I believe that it shut down after the one person who was holding the meetings had stopped. I wonder if possibly someone ought to reach out to the World Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous for any help they could provide. Also... it should never be forgotten that AA began with only one alcoholic talking with another.. a meeting can be anywhere the members are. I would encourage those seeking recovery there to not rely only on one man or one meeting and to remember that they too can start a meeting from home even with zero money. All that truly is needed is a Big Book and willingness to be sober. The AA Big Book is available for free online in the App Store.
    I will do my part for my home here in Oregon in the USA by praying for the fellowship, and when I visit once again I will look forward to seeing the promises coming true for those recovering there. I can’t wait to come to a meeting on the beautiful island of Rarotonga.
    If it’s not too very much to ask... I would love to receive updates by email???
    Thank you and God Bless One Day at a Time!

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