NOCCO: Anonymous Times Newsletter - May 2021 Issue

Newsletter Archive

Volume 21 | Issue 05          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 

May 2021 Issue


Step 5

"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."

Tradition 5

"Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers."

Concept 5

Throughout our world service structure, a traditional "Right of Appeal" out to prevail, thus assuring us that minority opinion will be heard and that petitions for the redress of personal grievances will be carefully considered.


A Fifth of AA:  

It would be either a fifth of booze or...

I ASKED Bill, the newcomer I'm sponsoring, "Is your Fourth Step written and pretty much completed?"

"I think so."

"Let's get together after tomorrow night's meeting."


I got to my own Step Five by telling myself that it would be either a fifth of booze or a Fifth of AA. The AA Fifth started me on a road to freedom I'd sought in the other kind of fifth and not found. With Step Five, I came into the spirit of AA.

For me, holding back on Step Five was like my experiences at birthday parties when I was a kid. I didn't feel comfortable there; the group was intimidating somehow, and I felt I didn't belong. The other kids were laughing and having a grand time. When someone's mother would encourage me to join in, I would plead, "I'm feeling a little sick."

Read More

Twelve Suggested Points for AA Tradition

An Essay by Bill W.

Published May 6, 1942 in the Grapevine


Nobody invented Alcoholics Anonymous. It grew. Trial and error has produced a rich experience. Little by little we have been adopting the lessons of that experience, first as policy and then as tradition. That process still goes on and we hope it never stops. Should we ever harden too much the letter might crush the spirit. We could victimize ourselves by petty rules and prohibitions; we could imagine that we had said the last word. We might even be asking alcoholics to accept our rigid ideas or stay away. May we never stifle progress like that!

Yet the lessons of our experience count for a great deal–a very great deal, we are each convinced. The first written record of AA experience was the book, Alcoholics Anonymous. It was addressed to the heart of our foremost problem–release from the alcohol obsession. It contained personal experiences of drinking and recovery and a statement of those divine but ancient principles which have brought us a miraculous regeneration. Since publication of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939, we have grown from 100 to 24,000 members[1]. Seven years have passed; seven years of vast experience with our next greatest undertaking–the problem of living and working together. This is today our main concern. If we can succeed in this adventure–and keep succeeding–then, and only then, will our future be secure.

Since personal calamity holds us in bondage no more, our most challenging concern has become the future of Alcoholics Anonymous; how to preserve among us AAs such a powerful unity that neither weakness of persons nor the strain and strife of these troubled times can harm our common cause. We know that Alcoholics Anonymous must continue to live. Else, save few exceptions, we and our brother alcoholics throughout the world will surely resume the hopeless journey to oblivion.

Almost any AA can tell you what our group problems are. Fundamentally they have to do with our relations, one with the other, and with the world outside. They involve relations of the AA to his group, the relation of his group to Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole, and the place of Alcoholics Anonymous in that troubled sea called Modern Society, where all of humankind must presently shipwreck or find haven. Terribly relevant is the problem of our basic structure and our attitude toward those ever pressing questions of leadership, money and authority. The future may well depend on how we feel and act about things that are controversial and how we regard our public relations. Our final destiny will surely hang upon what we presently decide to do with these danger-fraught issues!

Read More


Last month, we celebrated the contribution of our NOCCO volunteers and Intergroup representatives who continue to carry the message of sobriety through our 24-hour hotline, book studies, online and physical meetings, events, and other resources that bring hope to Alcoholics Anonymous and it's members.
Throughout the past year, our volunteers have created and helped spearhead some of NOCCO's most robust activities and programs.  This effort lead to the financial solvency of our little bookstore and hotline services during one of the toughest economic downturns in history.
We couldn't be more grateful for your dedication and passion for the responsibility we all play in carrying the message of sobriety to those still suffering.
Mark, Wes, Cheryle, Christy, Don, Laura, Jennifer and Randy
2019-2021 NOCCO Board of Directors


Overcoming the 5th Step Fear


AA’s twelve step program is built on a foundation of spiritual principals, including surrender, willingness, courage, trust and honesty. Step five strengthens this foundation and reaffirms your commitment to recovery.


Learning to See the Ridiculous

THIS PAST winter, I drove down to our little park when there was a lot of snow on the ground. Some teenagers began throwing snowballs at my car. One hit my windshield hard. I burst into a perfect rage. I almost ground my teeth as I stopped the car. The kids must have seen that I was furious. How gratifying! I got out of the ear, and I can't tell you what my intentions were. Was I going to kill all the little darlings and chop them into small pieces? The absurdity of the thing hit me, and I began to laugh. I made a couple of snowballs and threw them at the kids. They threw a few at me. A good time was now being had by all.

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Reap the Rewards of the Fifth Step

I AM PRESENTLY twenty-five years old and have enjoyed a little over three years of reasonably contented sobriety. In the past, I was never contented. In fact, I was not even certain why I was staying sober. I paid a lot of lip service to the benefits of sobriety then, but I didn't feel the feelings as I do now. I assumed things would rub off on me. Some did, but spirituality didn't. For me, this takes some doing--work.

I hadn't been drinking or ingesting anything that was mood-altering. I read "How It Works" in the Big Book, went to meetings, did some outside speaking, attended other AA functions, made the effort to carry the message and practice these principles in all my affairs, and had taken one Fifth Step. So how come no "reasonable contentment"?

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Humor The Sixth Sense

Way back in the late 1950s when I was a young lad, one of my favorite TV shows was The Three Stooges: Larry, Curly, and Moe. Moe was the serious one, Curly was the dunce, and Larry was the fall guy, always caught in the middle between Curly and Moe. It was a curious comedy act, looking back on it after all these years, yet there was an important lesson to be learned that would surface many years later when I finally got sober.

What made me laugh so hard watching the show was the way these three stooges screwed everything up and then blamed each other and beat up on each other.

Read More




in Contributions

All proceeds benefit North Orange County Intergroup Association of Alcoholics Anonymous Groups, Inc., a California nonprofit corporation, which is organized and operated under Internal Revenue Code Section 501c3.  All operations of the North Orange County Central Office are consistent with the 12 steps, the 12 traditions, and the 12 concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous.


The Struggle is Real

A few days after the end of our CHANGE for CHANGE drive, a friend in the program showed up at Central Office with a jar full of loose change, a few dollars and other goodies.  This had been happening for a few months and we were happy to accept the gift.  However, this gift came at a cost.

His name is Chase.  He was an alcoholic who struggled in and out of the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Chase had an insight into his problem but also had the ability to lie to himself and others about the depth of his problem.  Behind a semblance of normality, alcohol had become a permanent crutch.  It was likely the first thing he thought of in the morning and the last thing he thought of at night.  But alcohol abuse took its toll on him in March and he died.  It was an unthinkable end to such a promising life.

In going through Chase's belongings, his sister Kim S. (a member of our program) came upon this coin jar.  Amidst the coins were dozens of aluminum sobriety chips acknowledging his desire to stop drinking ... the action of a man seeking honesty, open-mindedness and willingness in the throws of his disease.  The family wanted NOCCO to have this gift and to share his story.

We honor this special contribution from Chase, Kim and the family.  The $199.51 in coins and the newcomer chips will be passed on along with the experience, strength and hope of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

We Are Responsible.

Faith B. | NOCCO Executive Director

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
NEW! LIVE Meetings NEW!
Online ZOOM Meetings
Speaker Meetings
ASL | Deaf Meetings

NOCAA Women's Banquet 


Saturday, June 26th 2021


5:30pm to 10:00pm


Phoenix Club - 1340 S. Sanderson Avenue, Anaheim, CA - Held outside under the Tent.


Banquet is sold out.  If you bought tickets or tables for the 2020 Banquet, your tickets will be honored for 2021.  


Jennifer P (714) 882-9059

Kristin H. (562) 313-1038

Cathie R. (714) 310-1562

Karen M. (714) 356-0736


Fun Facts for May

05/12/1935:  Bill W. and Dr. Bob meet for the first time in Akron, Ohio, at the home of Henrietta Seiberling.

05/27/1948:  The AA Grapevine reports $2 sent to the General Service Headquarters of AA in New York, asking "...for a bottle of ... Alcoholics Anonymous."

05/29/1980:  Dr Bob and the Good Old-Timers, an AAWS biography of our co-founder and a history of early Midwest AA, is published.


May's Feature Book


A New Pair of Glasses

by Chuck "C"

What do the names Bill W., Dr. Bob and Chuck C. have in common?  All three are instantly recognizable by AA members without the reference to their last names.  Chuck is still, almost 37 years after his death, arguably the most quoted person in AA.

Our Founders included personal stories at the end of the Big Book, presumably in recognition that while we alcoholics share a common problem and solution.  "A New Pair of Glasses" is a transcript of Chuck sharing his story with other alcoholics, just a longer story than those at the back of the Big Book.  Chuck's story is a comprehensive compilation of many of our experience, expressed in words relatable to each of us.

$10.00 each plus tax

NOCCO offers Shipping as well!

Call us at (714) 773-4357


My Name is Marie

Hello!  My name is Marie and I’m an alcoholic!   AND… I AM A MIRACLE!!!  And guess what, you are too!!!

ALL of us who have any time of sobriety are miracles.  That goes for those of us who have five minutes, five hours, five days or five years or more.

I got and stayed sober late in life.  I’m 74 years old now and finally have several years of joyous sobriety behind me. Thanks to my “higher power and AA.”

And still, it’s forever, “One Day at a Time.”  They say “time heals all wounds.”

But being an alcoholic in recovery, I view time in a different way.  When I was starting my recovery, time meant seconds, minutes, hours or even days’, time was measured in very tiny bits and nibbles of not drinking.   Each second, minute, hour, etc. meant I DIDN’T pick up a drink. I had started my very long and challenging transformation to becoming a “miracle” and I didn’t even know it.

All of us, no matter how little or even a lot time we have for our hard-fought sobriety makes us MIRACLES.  The real truth is, that any of us who get and stay sober for any length of time, is a miracle.  The odds are really against us getting and staying sober.  The success rate of our long-term sobriety is measured in a very small percentage of those who try to get and remain sober.  This is a good time to quote our AA saying: One day at a time! I easily remember the

agony of those horrible first SECONDS, MINUTES, etc. that I did not drink. My journey of constant sobriety was almost impossible, or so I thought.  How could I ever NOT DRINK FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE??   Nobody stays sober that long.  It can’t be done!!  Don’t you know I HAVE TO HAVE MY BOOZE!!  I can’t live without it!!

BUT and this is a big BUT, we can and do stay sober.  Many, many of us around the world have proved WE CAN DO IT.  That is, if we have a close relationship with our own Higher Power and really, really follow the guides and lessons of AA.

There’s a saying in AA I like.  “Don’t quit before the miracle happens.”  We all start out with a few bits and nibbles of getting sober.  Tiny increments of time that we would have been drinking are replaced with those tiny increments of sobriety.

Eventually, those small categories of time, can add up to a lifetime of renewed blessings of all kinds in our lives.

This is what I meant when I said we are ALL MIRACLES!!  For the newcomer who puts down the bottle for the first time.   Or for those of us who have longer periods of sobriety, we all started our journey to become full-fledged miracles by putting down that first or last drink. 

Our pathway to becoming a miracle can start by going to an AA meeting, calling someone to help or even praying to our Higher Power for guidance.  Our individual journeys are unique to each of us, the alcoholic. But we can do it!!!

That’s why, right now, this very instant, this minute, this hour, that we are not drinking, we are each our own MIRACLE. 

“Don’t Quit Before the Miracle Happens.”

You never know exactly when it’s your turn to become a miracle for life!  Come; join me, in my journey on becoming and staying to be a MIRACLE each in our own rite.

Marie W. | NOCCO Volunteer


InterGroup Meeting - May 12 @ 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:  May 12, 2021 via ZOOM

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


Group Contributions - April 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 - April 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

An Altered Course


The power that AA has had to alter the course of so many individuals is nothing short of miraculous. Self-centeredness, self-righteousness, self-aggrandizement, conceit, pride – such lovely traits! In the day-to-day course of events, in the meetings with the fellowship and the readings we faithfully declare, these character flaws get weaned away in AA.

I thought (still do) about myself all the time. I was self-centered. I did not realize how bad it was. Whether I was working or playing, I was the key. I had to get compensated properly (nothing wrong with that - yet!), all thoughts of gain for me – only me! I have heard it stated, do what ever you do as if you were doing it for God. WHAT? What about me? Could I work as if the God of my understanding was watching me?

When playing, I was not a “good sport”. I understand Vince Lombardi’s statement about winning being the only thing. Since this article seems to be a lot like Step 4, I admit I had to win. If I didn’t win, I would hold somebody responsible (not me!) for the loss, I should have been in a position to win, his fault. I wasn’t given the opportunity to score. That coach is stupid! My whole life is altered because he didn’t put me on the mound! You think I’m exaggerating?

Today I would like to see many people become winners. AA has been teaching me this. I walked into AA saying I am NOTHING like these people. Today I realize I’m just like them.

What went though my mind when helping others? Me. How can I be recognized for the help I’m giving to this needy person? I put reward before service. No reward? Fine! No service! A friend shares in his email signature a quote “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Gandhi

That’s quite a challenge for anyone but huge for the alcoholic. I needed to stop putting myself first (and only) and practice step 12’s.

I hope your course has been altered and will continue to stay true. I’m not one to guarantee but I think it’s a very low risk for me to say your course will lead through many new pathways, many thoughts you never entertained before, new vistas and new people from every walk of life – some a challenge, some who challenge you. Quite a journey ahead.

Tony G. | 6AM SOLUTION MEETING, Fullerton

NOCCO Appreciates Your 7th Tradition Support

Even though meetings, 12-step services and operations have shifted to a hybrid environment, expenses continue as we navigate the re-opening of meetings, 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.

PayPal or Credit Card
Venmo: @nocco-aa


Alcoholics Anonymous: Concerned About a Drinking Problem?

April 21, 2021

Attention: Journalists, Producers, Editors, News Media

Subjects: Alcoholism and Addiction, Health and Wellness, Recovery

We hated to admit that we could never drink safely. But in A.A. we finally gave up trying to control our drinking. What once had felt like a “solution” to our problems had become a “problem” beyond what we could ever have imagined. And often we were the last to know.

We discovered that we had an illness called alcoholism- often referred to by the medical community as “Alcohol Use Disorder.”

We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt, loneliness and hopelessness that we did.

We decided to get honest about what alcohol had done to us. And we shared our experience, strength and hope with others. And we have recovered by helping others do likewise. Without expense and never as reformers, we offer our experience only to those who want our help.

We in A.A. believe alcoholism is a disease that is no respecter of age, gender, creed, race, wealth, occupation, or education. Our experience shows that anyone can be an alcoholic. And, beyond question, anyone who wants to stop drinking is welcome in A.A.

Our sole object in publicity is to offer alcoholics who still suffer from this baffling malady a chance to get well. Individually, on media platforms at the public level, we are an “anonymous” group. We prefer to share about the program of A.A. rather than the “personalities” of the people who may be in it. Understanding that, newcomers are less reluctant about approaching us. If an A.A. member is identified in the media, we use first names only (such as Sofia M. or Ben T.) and only nonidentifiable images. This helps to provide members with the security that anonymity can bring.

Whether in person or online — if you have a drinking problem — A.A. may be able to help. (There are no dues or fees.)

For more information about Alcoholics Anonymous visit And download the Meeting Guide App.  For shared experience of A.A. members finding and maintaining sobriety, visit AA Grapevine


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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