Moving On

I’m a step further to getting my 12 Step Podcast up and running. I’ve secured my own domain with bandwidth enough to host the audio files. From now on this site will be hosted here. Please come and visit.


12 Step Podcasts

About nine months into my sobriety, I found podcasts of AA speakers extremely helpful. I could listen to someone’s experience, strength and hope at work, on the bus or while cooking dinner. At that time there were two good podcasts neither of which seem to be up and running these days. As a means of doing cyberservice, I was thinking of starting up a weekly podcast. I have both the MP3s and the bandwidth. What I lack, is the know how. Does anyone out there have any insight into how to do podcasting within WordPress? If so, please e-mail me: cdv (at) chrisdellavedova (dot) com.

Blog negligence and gratitude

Well, my goal of maintaining two blogs – a personal and a recovery – has failed miserably with the sobriety blog bearing the brunt of the failure. It is a shame, as I have so much joy in my life to share. My biggest source of gratitude for the day:

My son, born on my second AA birthday. Every morning I pray that God relieve me from the bondage of self. Well, for those of you that are parents, what better way to be relieved!

I’ll endeavour to be a better recovery blogger.

8 & 9

I’m doing a pretty poor job of keeping up on this blog. But like a lot of things in recovery, I turn to it when in need. It’s been great to get a few comments – all of which have been very helpful!

Today – Steps 8 & 9 – my nemesis steps. It’s been over a year since I did 4 & 5, my two year birthday will be September 12, but I’m just stuck here looking up at 8 & 9. I pray for willingness, but there’s still a massive amount of fear and pride keeping me from taking action. Arrrgggghhh.

I’m off work today and my goal is to do Step 8 – this should be the easy one of the pair. I’ve got the Big Book and 12 by 12 and am ready to go – I guess this post is just another way of stalling.

I did Step 4 before a long trip back to the States as I was afraid I would drink if I didn’t do it. I don’t have that kind of fear any more, what’s driving me is the Promises. What I’ve been told can happen for me in AA has happened so far. Since I came in to the fellowship, the promises have sounded like what I want. It’s just these two damn steps in the way now! God, grant me the willingness….

Misery is optional?

I’ve a friend in the fellowship who’s been sober for a long time and seems very solid. On the way back from a 12 step call last week we got to talking about our jobs. My job has been a real sore point in my recovery. My life has gotten so much better in the couple of  years I’ve been sober, but I’m still really dissatisfied with my job. It’s fear of economic insecurity that prevents me from making a change.

Anyway, on the trip back my friend started talking to me about how he changed careers in sobriety using the tenets of the program. He said that the same steps that we used to get sober we can use to find the career of our dreams. He pointed me to a website called Misery is Optional. In a lot of ways its standard by-the-book AA, but there is a section about careers. Here is the opening paragraph:

“None of us makes a sole vocation of this work, nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased if we did.”{p19} This sentence tells us that God’s vision for us includes our AA work, but it also includes more. Certainly, the carrying of the AA message to alcoholics must be our primary purpose, for without sobriety we have nothing else. But we have other vocations. Now that we are trying to live lives that are obedient to spiritual principles, we are free to seek God’s will for us and to participate in His expansive vision for us. Great things can come to pass.”

Now I’ve nbeen told to pray only for knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry it out. Is this type of stuff pushing that too far? Or is it OK to extend AA in this way? I’d love any feedback as I’m keen to make some changes in this part of my life.

Ends justifying means

    Tonight a friend and I will go to the Tuesday night Witney meeting to meet a guy we twelve stepped last week. It was a controversial 12 step call as he was referred to AA by his probation officer. I got the call from our probation liason – a new intergroup service position – and as I’ve been told to do said yes when asked to go and talk to him. One of my closest AA friends, a fellow I’ve 12 stepped with before said he couldn’t go along because he felt that this type of service ran contrary to the traditions. He made the analogy that if a wife phoned asking for a 12 step call for her husband, we wouldn’t go – that is true. But it seemed to me that being referred by your parole officer, is similar to being ordered by a court to attend AA. Neither of these are great ways of going about it. But my argument was that the ends justify the means.

How many people really got to AA for the “right” reason? I went to my first meeting to save my relationship. So did my sponsor. So did the friend I was arguing with. For me, the magic happened at that first meeting and I don’t care any more about how I got there. I figure if we can get people through the doors, they have a chance for that magic to happen for them.

We met with this guy at the probation office in Oxford. He was surly, probably a little bit drunk and not particularly responsive. We shared our experience, strength and hope. I told him about “a new freedom and a new happiness”. And by the end of it, he wasn’t completely against going to a meeting. He said he’d think about it and give us a call.

I got the call yesterday afternoon and we’re going to pick him up for a meeting tonight. So this fellow’s got his chance. Tell me, do the ends justify the means?

12 Step Podcasts

    I’ve always loved my iPod. It’s great to be able to plug in and tune out on the way to work or long airplane trips or when going for a jog. I’m a big music fan and have been an iPod owner for nearly five years now.

What endeared me even more to my iPod was when I discovered a way to use it in my recovery. About nine months sober, I discovered podcasts.  This sort of radio on demand was fantastic for me. I’m an American living abroad and was feeling a little homesick. Podcasts allowed me to keep up with my favorite American radio programs.

And, then I found AA podcasts. There are little things along the path of my recovery journey that really changed things for the better. I discovered AA podcasts just when I needed to, just when I needed a strong influx of the message. With these podcasts I could plug in for an hour in the middle of the day. Get a meeting at lunch even on days when there wasn’t a lunchtime meeting. Because most of the speakers that I found were American, it also helped with that homesickness.

I still listen to them today and if I’m in need of a boost and I can’t get to a meeting, I’ll turn on a Clancy, or a David A., or a Johnnie H. Here are the ones I know of, and I’d love to hear about more:

12 Step Podcast


Bullingdon Prison Blues

This was originally posted on my personal site, with some obfuscation to protect my anonynmity:

It’s funny where life takes you. I spent yesterday afternoon at Her Majesty’s Prison Bullingdon doing some volunteer work regarding drugs and alcohol, forgive me if I’m not more specific. But if it was good enough for The Man in Black, then it’s good enough for me. And, no it wasn’t court ordered… READ MORE

Wednesday gratitude

My gratitude list for today.

  • My lovely partner S. and her eternal patience
  • Baby DVD on the way
  • Our resident bat that I see flitting around the backyard in the evenings
  • AA friends, especially Peter K, Peter Q, David C and Flora
  • Sinead O’Connor’s album “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” – starts with the serenity prayer.
  • The rainy British summer.
  • Cycling to work in the rainy British summer!
  • Blogs


I’ve been blogging for about a month now. I started with the imminent arrival of my partner and I’s first child – a gift of sobriety. But, because my site includes my full name in the address, I’ve been hesitant to talk much about sobriety, except in sort of veiled language. While, I’m pretty open with family in friends about my recovery, for professional reasons, I choose to maintain my anonymity on the public site.

All that being said, recovery has been such a joy that I feel like sharing my journey, and that’s going to be the goal of this site. So in less than a month, I’ve gone from no web sites to two. Alcoholic behavior?