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					                                                    Conscious Contact
                                                 Information and Inspiration From District 10, NIA

                                                                      Twenty Years of Bumper Stickers

        Vol. 7 No. 8                                     Today is my twentieth anniversary. I drank for twenty years, and have now been sober
                                               for twenty years. It has not been that difficult. I submit that drinking is much harder work than
      September 2009                           the work that is required by A.A. Make no mistake, A.A. does require work. From the time I
 Written and supported by the                 started, I was seemingly bombarded by simple little sayings: “One day at a time”, “First things,
  District 10 NIA fellowship                   first”, “This too, shall pass”, etc., etc. For reasons I cannot fathom (the grace of God, perhaps), I
                                               took most of those sayings to heart, and wound up using them on an “as needed” basis. That old
 Available in color online in                 quip that A.A. was a program of “bumper stickers” made sense to me. I have found myself time
  PDF format, print version in                 and time again relying on some phrase I heard in a meeting, or a quotation I ran across in our lit-
  B&W at meetings                              erature.
 Contributions from any alcoholic
  are welcome. See the last page               Here, then, are some of my bumper stickers. Many of them have been with me since I started. If
  for details.                                 I actually know the source, I have given credit where credit is due.
                                               1.Put meetings in the bank. (Leo J. I used to attend meetings with Leo, and he always said have
Next deadline: Sep 23, 2009                    meetings in the bank in case I need one).
    Also in this issue:                        2. Don’t drink, go to meetings, read the “Big Book”, and don’t think
                                               too much. (I KNOW I heard this in my first month.)
          Transitions                      2   3. “Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen.” “12 and 12”
                                               page 91
          Reflections                      3   4. “It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter
        The Clipboard                      3   what the cause, there is something wrong with us.” “12 &12”, page
                                               5. “We found that God does not make too hard terms with those
 Be Part of Conscious Con-                     who seek Him.” “Big Book” page 46
                                               6. (Question posed by sponsor – on whatever self righteous topic it
  A.A. & District Contacts                 4   happens to be) “Is this the hill you want to die on today?”
                                               7. (Sponsor on the “Big Book”) “This is a unique book. You just read the black.”
                                               8. “Today, I have problems in areas, where I didn’t use to have areas.” Earl H., circuit speaker
                                               9. I have a tendency to judge my insides by other peoples’ outsides.
                                               10. Definition of humility: “To be teachable, and if that happy day arrives, to remain teach-
                                               able.” Sponsor
                                               11. “I will believe fundamentally that all is well.” “24 Hours a Day” January 4th reading.
                                               12. You might be alcoholic if you are losing body parts, e.g.: fingers, liver, teeth, etc.
 “I am responsible . . .                       13. An alcoholic is one whose drinking has caused life problems, e.g.: tickets, divorce, job loss,
 When anyone, anywhere, reaches out
 for help, I want the hand of AA               etc.
 always to be there. And for that: I am        14. (Whatever it is) DON’T MAKE IT WORSE.
                                               15. Sometimes, God’s answer is: “Not yet”.
   Northern Illinois Area 20                   16. “YET” means: You’re eligible, too.
   District 10, P. O. Box 854                  17. “KISS” means: Keep it simple and sincere. (You’ve beaten yourself up enough. Don’t call
    Libertyville, IL 60048                     yourself stupid.)                          18. (If you’re having trouble with gratitude) Be grateful for what you don’t have, that you don’t
  Answering Service:
     847-362-1811                                                Step Nine                                            Tradition Nine
                                               “Made direct amends to such people wherever                  "AA as such, ought never be organ-
  Opinions expressed herein are those
                                                                                                            ized; but we may create service boards
  of the authors and do not necessar-
  ily reflect the thinking of Alcoholics
                                               possible, except when to do so would injure                  or committees directly responsible to
  Anonymous, NIA, District 10 or the
  Conscious Contact volunteers.
                                               them or others.”                                             those they serve."
              Conscious Contact                                  September 2009                                      Page 2

                                              Twenty Years of Bumper Stickers (Con)
19.   The “HOW” of A.A.: Willingness, honesty, and open mindedness. “Big Book” page 568
20.   “Contempt prior to investigation.” “Big Book” page 568
21.   While I’m here being spiritual, my disease is out in the parking lot doing pushups and getting stronger.
22.   Poor me, poor me, POUR me another drink.
23.   “Just resign from the debating society.” “12 & 12” page 26
24.   “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down.” “Big Book” “Doctor Bob’s Nightmare” page 181
25.   Just drive my car.
26.   “We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.” “Big Book” page 84
27.   Try to keep my expectations reasonable.
28.   “They are restless, irritable and discontented, …” “Big Book” page xxviii
29.   It’s O.K. to ask for help.
30.   God does not make junk.

          It has been quite a ride so far. I am grateful to those people who taught me to listen, hold my tongue, and try to do the
next right thing. And, as I was told, if I don’t know what is the next right thing to do … I sure know what the next wrong
thing is.
Bob P.
         The past seven months of my recovery have consisted of many transitions. Something which I would not have
been able to get through without the help of my Higher Power. Throughout my entire life, I haven't done well with
change. A transition means a change. My most recent transition had me asking, "How much more can one person endure
alone?" But I knew the answer to that question. I wouldn't endure it alone. There was always somebody there for me,
and my Higher Power consistently by my side. My recover started with residential treatment. I learned a lot about myself,
and went through a lot of changes while I was in there. One thing that didn't change was my fear of transition. Although
I've had many internal transitions, that I've done okay with, life transitions still hit me like a brick wall. The internal transi-
tions weren't easy, because there's always something I want to hold on to. Something I don't want to change about my-
self. I've been afraid to do that because I would lose touch with what was familiar to me. I didn't want to become that
hole in the doughnut. I didn't want look at myself and not be able to recognize the person looking back. After some time,
I realized, there would always be something about me that was familiar. Just because I have to change everything about
myself, doesn't mean I have to get rid of the good. Holding on to the good things is the foundation t start molding myself
into the person I want to be. I realize I don't have to be perfect, and if I keep working on that, I'll be working on it for the
rest of my life. I will never be perfect. But, I will be progressive. These are all realizations when I left my three month
residential treatment. I left there to move into a transitional living environment. It was a three to four month program in
the shelter, and moves in stages. I was looking forward to moving to the next stage that would put me in an apartment,
but at the same time still being under the structure I needed.
         Unfortunately, when time came, there were no apartments available for the next stage in the program. I had to
move on my own. Before I jump ahead of myself, though, I will say that i began an IOP program while in the shelter. It
was one of their requirements. I was not happy about this, but I did expect it. I knew it was part of their criteria. All it
took was one day there to change my mind about being there. I came to really enjoy going. It was also a three month
program. When the time came to complete, I didn't want to let go. Completing is a transition, and it means discontinuing
something familiar. Before I came to the point of completing, though, I went through my transition of moving from the
shelter under a strict structure, into the absolute freedom of living on my own. It was a very difficult and stressful transi-
tion because I had lived on my own in four years. It was a scary thing. I'd been under structured living for two years, and
the transition into the real world was about the scariest transition. I'm finding out that transition is a major part of recov-
ery. Transition is important. Change is important. If kept the same routine in my life forever, I'd get bored, and it would-
n't be long until I would decide to "mix it up" again. I know I don't want that for my life. I would n't have been able to
go through these transitions if it wasn't for my support in Alcoholics Anonymous and mainly for my Higher Power. He
gave me the strength to endure the pain of change. He gave me the strength to hold on until I found that the end result is
what He had in mind all along. For that, I am grateful.
Aimee M.
         Conscious Contact                                 September 2009                                  Page 3

                                              Thought for this Issue…
 “ Do we lay the matter before our sponsor or spiritual advisor, earnestly asking God’s help and guidance—meanwhile
 resolving to do the right thing when it becomes clear, cost what it may?” Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg 86.

Today I bought a purple purse I saw a few weeks ago and had been thinking about ever since. When I first saw it I
thought I shouldn’t spend the money on something so frivolous. Today I decided life is too short so I bought it. Be-
sides, purple is my favorite color.
This was my first full week back at work. I was grateful to have my life return to some level of normalcy. Over the last
year I’ve become strangely appreciative of the mundane. When my personal life is swirling in chaos it’s comforting to
have something familiar and repetitive to distract if only for a while.
It’s amazing to me how life has unfolded over the last few weeks. I’ve cried harder than I’ve ever cried; laughed harder
than I’ve ever laughed and felt every emotion in between. In short I’ve been sober through one of the most horrible
things I’ve ever had to face and strangely feel glad to be alive.
After the initial shock wore off I started to notice the little things - the woman on the train who overheard me talking
on my phone and came back to console me; the young girl across the aisle who was traveling to Hart with her back-
pack and Ukulele who plucked out a few songs (and sang off key) just before we arrived in East Lansing; the moments
sitting outside cross-legged in the grass with the wind and sun, feeling deeper than I knew I could feel that Derek was
free and at peace; the story of my sister’s first day back at work meeting a new baby, Derek, on his very first day. The
list goes on and on…. It’s occurred to me that these are the things that make life worthwhile and while none of us
wanted or expected this to happen that we will all get it through okay and life will go on - just as it should.
I’ve found myself being a little more kind to strangers; a little more understanding of other people’s struggles and a
little more grateful to be healthy and sober. I didn’t know I was this strong, but it’s shown me that the peace and se-
renity that I have worked so hard to cultivate in my life runs deep. I didn’t get to specifically prepare for this event at a
time of my choosing or even get notice to prepare. I had to meet this as it happened exactly where I was with only the
tools I had at my disposal that Wednesday evening after work. I’m grateful I was more ready to weather this storm
than I would have ever thought.
Now begins the going forward. Getting back into the stream of life with a heart that’s a little more tender, wounded
and strong. I hope that as time goes on that we don’t get so caught up in the race that we loose focus of what’s really
important. The real tragedy of this event would be for us to forget that lesson.          Holly

                                                       The Clipboard
                                     Calendar for 2009— District 10, NIA 20
See information for these and other events at:
September 12, 2009: Northern Illinois Area 20, Fall Assembly, Church of the Brethren, 409 W. Bray-
ton Rd., Mt. Morris, 61054, District 73 Host.
October 10, 2009: 16th NIA Big Book Conference, Hemmens Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin IL
60120, District 22, Host
October 17, 2009: Fall Committee Meeting, Lord of Life Church, La Fox, Special Needs Committee,
November 13-15, 2009: East Central Regional Forum, Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007, Area 34, Host
January 22-24, 2010: Rt 66 Hotel, Springfield, IL—Conference & Alcathon— “The Journey Contin-
ues.” See Flyer for registration.

                      If you’d like to post something here, please contact
                Conscious Contact                                 September 2009                                                Page 4

                             Heard At Meetings                                                             Be Part of Conscious Contact
                                                                                            All alcoholics are welcome to contribute to Conscious Con-
“AA is not for people who need it, it is for people who want it.”                           tact. We’d be happy to publish your stories, poems, artwork
“If you decide to dance with a 800 lb Gorilla, it might not be over until the Go-           and cartoons as long as they pertain to recovering from
                                                                                            alcoholism. Maximum length is about 600 words. Send your
rilla says it's over.”                                                                      material to:
“I may not be much, but I'm all I think about.”                                    or to
"This isn't hunky-dory anonymous."                                                          P.O. Box 854, Libertyville, IL 60048.

                          Anniversaries!!                                                 Literature For
                                                                                           Our Troops
                          Bob – 6 years                                  We are in need of used or new A.A. Literature
                                                                                      to send to our troops in
                        Kam – 22 years                                           IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
                                                                    ANYTHING that somebody in recovery would read
                          Eric – 2 years                               Big Books, 12 and 12’s, 24 hours a day, Pass It On
                                                                        Daily Reflections, GrapeVines, Came to Believe
                          Les – 4 years                           As Bill Sees It, Living Sober Dr Bob and the Old-timers
        Carmela – 9 years                                                        ANYTHING RECOVERY RELATED
                                                                   There is a drop box in the front hall of Serenity House
        Steve – 15 months                                                       Or call Chuck D. @ 224-220-6455
                                                             Please if there’s anything you’ve got that someone else could use, please

                                                  A. A. Contacts
                                  District 10 answering service: 847-362-1811
  District 10 Treasurer: P.O. Box 854, Libertyville, Illinois 60048
  NIA Treasurer: NIA Treasurer, NIA Ltd., PO Box 246, Bourbonnais, IL 60914-0246 ,
  General Service Office: P.O. box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10164,
  AA Grapevine, Inc.: Box 1980, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163,

                             2008 District 10 Officers (Confidential—this information is for A. A. use only.)
      Every alcoholic is welcome at District 10 meetings, held on the fourth Sunday each month at St. Gilbert’s Catholic Church in

   Office                   Chair         Phone   Email Address                 Alternate            Phone             Email Address
   DCM                      Carmela R.                                          Matt G.
   Secretary                Mike M.                                             Brian B.
   Treasurer                Genevieve W                                         Kam S.
   Directory                Alan S                                              Bill H.
   Answering Service        Bill L                                              Chris M
   Treatment Facilities     Jay D                                               Steve B.
   Public Information       Rick S                                              Les H
   Professional Comm.       Robert M                                            Lisa B
   Grapevine                Kevin A                                             Joann H
   Literature               Dawn H                                              Gayle M
   GSR Contact              Pat R                                               Debbie G.
   Corrections              Paul G                                              Megan O.
   Newsletter               Scott S                                             Brian S

   Archives                 Kevin F                                             Selby H

   Special Needs            Jill G                                              Dianne W
   Events                   Gretta F                                            Gloria P.
   Web Site                 Cindy T                                             Mark D