NOCCO: Anonymous Times Newsletter - February 2021 Issue

Newsletter Archive

Volume 21 | Issue 02          Web version


Anonymous Times

Published by North Orange County InterGroup Association of Alcoholics Anonymous Groups, Inc.

(714) 773-HELP

 1661 E. Chapman Avenue, Suite 1H

Fullerton, CA 92831 

February 2021 Issue


Step II

"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Tradition II

"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."

Concept II

When, in 1955, the A.A. groups confirmed the permanent charter for their General Service Conference, they thereby delegated to the Conference complete authority for the active maintenance of our world services and thereby made the Conference - excepting for any change in the Twelve Traditions or in Article 12 of the Conference Charter - the actual voice and the effective conscience for our whole Society.


Step Two:  The Power of the GOOD


THERE WAS a time when I blitzed through the Twelve Steps because I wanted to get well in a hurry. I reasoned that if these Steps were the program for recovery, well, I'd just recover that much sooner and stop hurting.

That was several years ago. I still feel despondent and hurt from time to time. I also still have my moments of insanity, during which I seem deliberately to do each one of the items on my checklist of no-nos, even though I know better. For instance, I take myself far too seriously, try to change the things I can't, try to do everything by yesterday, believe I can do it alone, hang on to resentments, put first things last and generally procrastinate, seek out and dwell on the negative aspects of events or persons, expect too much, and accept too little. You get the idea.

Read More: The Power of Good


“Learning is the very essence of humility. The two walk hand in hand.”

February 2009


A Letter to the Mother

of an Alcoholic

Written by Bill W. - December 1944

Dear Mother of “J.”:

I cannot tell you how poignantly I am stirred by the letter you wrote the Grapevine about your alcoholic son.

Just ten years ago my own mother, after years of frantic bewilderment, lost hope.  Long a chronic problem drinker, I had come to the jumping-off place.  A very good doctor had pronounced the grim sentence: “Obsessive drinker, deteriorating rapidly – hopeless.”  The doctor used to talk about my case somewhat like this: “Yes, Bill has underlying personality defects … great emotional sensitively, childishness, and inferiority.

“This very real feeling of inferiority is magnified by his childish sensitivity and it is this which generates in him that insatiable, abnormal craving for self-approval and success in the eyes of the world.  Still a child, he cries for the moon.  And the moon, it seems, won’t have him!

“Discovering alcohol, he found much more in it than do normal folks.  To him alcohol is no mere relaxation; it means release – release from inner conflict.  It seems to set his troubled spirit free.”

The doctor would then go on: “Seen this way, we normal people can picture how such a compulsive habit can become a real obsession; as indeed it has, in Bill’s case.  Once he arrives at the obsession point, alcohol overshadows all else.  Hence he now appears utterly selfish.  And immoral.  He will lie, cheat, steal or what have you, to serve his drinking ends.  Of course, those about him are shocked and dismayed because they think his actions are willful.  But that’s far from being so.  The real picture of Bill is that of a bankrupt idealist: one who has gone broke on vain, childish dreams of perfection and power.  Victimized now by his obsession, he is a little boy crying along in a dark strange room; waiting agonized for mother – or God – to come and light a candle.”

I must confess, Mother of “J.,” that I may have put some of these words into the doctor’s mouth.  But that’s the alcoholic’s life as I have lived it.

Did I, an alcoholic, have a defective character? Of course I did.  Was I, an alcoholic, also a sick man?  Yes, very.

To what extent I was personally responsible for any drinking, I don’t know.  Yet I’m not one to take complete refuge in the idea that I was a sick man only.  In earlier years I certainly had some degree of free will.  That free will I used badly, to the great misery of my mother and countless others.  I am deeply ashamed.

As one who knows me a little, you may have heart how, ten years ago, a friend, himself a liberated alcoholic, came to me bearing the light which finally led me out of the toils.

There will come a day like that for you and yours – I’m so confident!

As ever,  Bill W.


Wilson, William.  The Language of the Heart.  New York: AA Grapevine, Inc., 1988. Print. Reprinted.


Do You Have Extra Change Weighing You Down?


NOCCO is hosting its inaugural COIN DRIVE to help support the continuing operations of its 24/7 Hotline services.

Collect the loose change (or bills) that pile up around the house.  Bring in a handful, a baggie, a coffee can and drop your change into the Lemonade Jar at NOCCO.  

We offer curbside pickup!

We offer home pickup!

Let US help YOU to help OURS!

Every penny counts!

Click Here to Support Coin Drive

Captured Quips from California Jack

February 2021

The wit and wisdom of Bill and Bob's friends.

From the “Big Book”of Alcoholics Anonymous , Pg.44,

”To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face.”

  • “God, please get in my head before I do.”  Nancy N.

  • "We can't change the direction of the wind. All we can do is adjust our sails.”  Daniel R.

  • “If I forget what I am, it doesn't matter who I am, I'm done.” Steve M.

  • “Be careful what you pray for because you will be tested on it.”  Brown

  • “I think "I don't need God. I am god." That thinking turns my life into a dumpster fire.” Eric

  • “I think that hitting the bottom means that someone comes to the end of themself.” Liz

  • “You know it's a bad day when you call the suicide hotline and get put on hold.” Gene.

  • “I was told that God takes care of fools and alcoholics and I had double coverage.” Donny.

  • “I have a prayer and I'm not afraid to use it.”  Paul

  • “Alcoholics judge everything because they are looking for the exit sign.” Robin

  • “God should be used as my steering wheel not as a spare tire.” Blaine

  • “Things get really bad and then I ask myself "Why haven't I called in the big guns? Why haven't I prayed?" Ken T.

  • “Don't tell God that you have big problems. Tell your problems that you have a big God.” Lindsey

  • “If God scares you out of these rooms don't worry, alcohol will probably kick your ass back in.” Tom T.

  • “If God was small and simple enough for an idiot like me to figure out, He wouldn't be God.” Moustache John

And just for fun: - Black Hills Signs of the Times.  (Forgive me)

  •  I never finish anything. I have a Black Belt in Partial Arts.
  • When you said that life would get better after June, Julyed!
  • Monsters don’t like to eat ghosts because they taste like sheet.
  • The girl in the middle of the tennis court is Annette.

Do you have a quote that you think should be added to the list?  Send it to California Jack at

Outreach Corner


NOCCO Hotline

(714) 773-HELP (4357)

  1. We are available for calls 24/7.
  2. All calls are confidential.
  3. Phones answered by NOCCO volunteers ready to support those still suffering.
Virtual Newcomer Packet
Read Big Book Online
Read 12x12 Online
In-Person Meetings
Online ZOOM Meetings
Speaker Meetings

The new SoberCHAT feature on the NOCCO website ( exists to encourage and support anyone with a desire to stop drinking, and to create an online space where the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous can connect and carry the message.  Manned daily by a team of SOBER Volunteers, we answer questions, find meetings, provide online resources to AA literature, and share our experience, strength and hope between alcoholics.  Read an exchange below:



Alcohol, The Greatest Disability of All

He realized that living life as an alcoholic was a lot worse than living with the disability of having only one arm


It's depressing to think that your greatest achievements in life happened when you were a senior in high school, especially when high school was 30 years ago. It was the last football game of senior year, in front of the home crowd, and up until then, I had been riding the bench all season like I had nearly every year since the 5th grade. Nobody expects much from a one armed kid, but they always say they admired my efforts. That night, the coach sent me in. I had my play. I was wide open and the quarterback threw the ball at me. To everybody's amazement, including mine, I caught the damn thing. I could hear the crowds in the stands cheering. I still get goose bumps thinking about it sometimes.

A few hours later, after I got off from my shift at a local fast food joint, I got a ride to the kegger from my best friend. As usual, my parents had taken away my driving privileges. Drinking had become a big part of my life. I often drank until I got sick on the weekends.

When you grow up with one arm, it is sometimes difficult to convince others that your greatest handicap isn't necessarily the one that they can see, but the one you fight on a daily basis in your mind. Trust me; if I had a say in the matter, I would much rather have a missing body part than to be afflicted with alcoholism. People are more impressed with the things you can do despite a physical handicap than they will ever be for overcoming an addiction that most of them see as a weakness rather than a disease, but it is much easier to be engaged in a physical battle than a mental one. Being handicapped is easy; playing "Otis the town drunk" is hard. Learning how to do something with one hand, while normally not a cake walk, is more like putting together the pieces of a puzzle: you know the outcome you want, whether it be a tied shoe lace, a shot made on the basketball court, or a wall built, and the task is simply how to achieve that desired outcome with the tools you have been given. On the other hand, dealing with life in general without the chemical crutch you have used since high school is like going on a road trip without a map: you'll eventually end up somewhere, but chances are better than average it won't be anywhere near where you had planned.

I'm pretty sure I was an alcoholic from my very first drunk at about age thirteen, but it took another 35 years of practice to finally admit it truthfully, and have some small grasp of what it really means. I have spent the better part of the last three decades trying to get back that feeling I found in those early days. When I drank I was suddenly ambidextrous; for a while there I was just like everyone else.

I grew up around alcohol. I have old home movies showing my parents giving sips of beer us as toddlers; it's kind of shocking even to me to see it today, but back then it was just the way it was. I am beyond blaming genetics, family, or the environment I grew up in for my disease . While I am sure that I may be predisposed, it was still me that pulled the trigger. My brother and many others went through many of the same things I did, and for the most part turned out fine. Whatever the reason, excuse, cause, the fact remains that in recovery or not, I am an alcoholic.

I managed to screw up everything that mattered to me in life: jobs, my marriage, my relationship with my kids, school, sports. I barely graduated high school because I would rather party than study. I dreaded every testing season because every year I would get the "why don't you apply yourself" lecture. I have always blamed dropping out of college on the job I had at the time, but the truth is I was only working more hours to pay for more booze. I could have gone to the National Championships and possibly even the Olympics for handicapped skiing, but I convinced myself that I couldn't afford it when what I couldn't afford was to not buy booze.

Every time I worked my way up at a job, I blew it by allowing my work to deteriorate, showing up smelling of booze, or just flat out showing up drunk, period. Up until the last couple of years, I've always made pretty good if not excellent money, but I have always been behind on my bills, from rent to child support and taxes, because I would rather spend it all on drinking than responsibilities. When I was younger, If the laws were as severe as they are now, I would have gotten my felony DUI 25 years ago. The first time I proposed to my wife was when I was in a rehab unit trying to stay out of jail. The stay-out-of-jail-thing worked, and so did the proposal, eventually.

For a long time, I was what they call a functional alcoholic: I had the beautiful family, the good job, and good friends. There really isn't a specific instance I can point to and say that's where I crossed the line into complete chaos; I'm sure my ex could tell me, but I've been afraid to ask. I'd like to say that I woke up one day and it was all gone, but nothing that dramatic happened. It was more like a process of circling around the toilet bowl of life waiting for the big cosmic flush. In AA they teach you about taking care of the wreckage of your past, but not a day goes by that I don't wish that I either couldn't remember the past, or that I had a time machine to go back and change the last 25 years or so. I will go to my grave trying desperately to fix the damage I have done to my kids, my family, and most importantly and the hardest to finally realize—to myself.

It has cost me my wife and children, my freedom, every decent job I've ever had, and most importantly my self-respect. Up until about a year ago, no one including myself would have ever thought that I would be a college student now, especially a sober one. If you had asked me then where I would be today, I probably would have told you in prison. I was awaiting re-sentencing on a felony DUI; re-sentencing because I had been sentenced earlier to probation, and eleven days later showed up to my first probation appointment smelling like a brewery. When my probation officer asked me how much I had drank the night before I was semi-truthful when I told him only a couple. However, it was a good thing he didn't ask me how many I had had for breakfast that morning. Why the judge didn't just ship me out to the state penitentiary, I will never understand but be forever grateful for. Instead, he sent me to a six-month treatment program at the North Idaho Correctional Facility up at Cottonwood. Like I said, I will never understand why I went there instead of just being warehoused south of Boise, and I probably won't ever be able to put into words what finally "clicked" while I was up there, but the one thing I am certain of is that the judge more than likely saved my life.

I will soon celebrate my first year of sobriety, Lord willing, and for the first time in a long time I don't hate myself. I am actually proud of some of the things I'm doing for a change, and hopefully some of the wounds are starting to heal, especially with my children. I have goals that don't revolve around my next day's supply of beer and how to afford it, and I don't dread talking to my kids anymore. I'm a 48-year-old, unemployed college freshman and I kind of like it.  

By Russ K | Nampa, Idaho


“Alcohol, The Greatest Disability of All”.  2011.  6 Jan 2021

February Pre-Order Sale


A Vision History of Alcoholics Anonymous:  An Archival Journey

Lavishly illustrated, this lively tour through AA's history is told in hundreds of iconic images never before published in one volume.  Illuminating descriptions walk us through powerful moments in our shared history - from the people, places and things integral to AA's early growth, and forward to today's vibrant, international Fellowship.  4.75" x 3.75", 416 pages.

$19.95 plus $1.55 tax = $21.50 each

This is a limited edition publication of a new book from AA World Services being released in February, 2021. 
Click to Pre-Order from NOCCO


InterGroup Meeting - Feb 10 @ 7:30pm

Please join us at the next NOCCO InterGroup Meeting.  InterGroup Meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm.  

Next Meeting:  February 10, 2021 via ZOOM

Meeting ID: 860-4109-6976 | Password: Serenity


Group Contributions - January 2021

To help support local essential services, the General Service Conference suggests that individual groups, through an informed group conscience, adopt a specific contribution plan.  Click below to see all of the Group Contributions from last month.

Click for Group Contribution Detail


NOCCO Profit & Loss - January 2021

Each month, NOCCO provides accounting detail of income and expenses to indicate net profit or loss over the last month.  This information is available to any group or member.  Click below to see the financial detail from last month.

Click for P&L Detail

NOCCO Appreciates Your 7th Tradition Support

Even though meetings, 12-step services and operations have shifted to a virtual environment, expenses continue to accumulate during this crisis, which underscores the importance of practicing the Seventh Tradition. We still stock literature, handle 12-step calls around the clock, and assist those with a desire to stop drinking. Your generous support is critical and appreciated.

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Venmo: @nocco-aa

I am Responsible. 

When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. 

For that, I am responsible.

Thanks to all contributors who support NOCCO.  

© Copyright, 2021, North Orange County InterGroup Association of Alcoholics Anonymous Groups, Inc. • 1661 E. Chapman Avenue - Suite 1H, Fullerton CA 92831


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