NOCCO: Anonymous Times Newsletter - December 2021 Issue

Newsletter Archive

Volume 21 | Issue 12         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 

December 2021 Issue


The 12 Days of Sober Christmas: What Recovery Gave To Me

Everyone who has ever started a sober journey does because they are sick and tired of being tired and sick – they want something better than the desperation, dysfunction, and despair that accompanies the disease of addiction.

The first time we walked through the doors of an alcohol or drug rehab facility or attended a 12-Step fellowship meeting, we were reassured that no matter where we have been or what we have done life will get better with sobriety.

In fact, we are PROMISED wonderful things if we will only work our recovery.

This Christmas, let’s reflect each day on the gifts we have been given since we got sober:

Recovery Gift #1 – “Hope, Instead of Desperation”

This precious gift represents everything that we needed and desired when we began recovery—a way up and out from the pit of addiction. Being re-introduced to something better makes us believe that it is possible for us to enjoy the same good things in life that others have.

Recovery Gift #2 – “Faith, Instead of Despair”

Where we once were trapped in darkness, we see the light of a new and better life. We have learned to trust in our own personal conception of a Higher Power, and we believe that our life will turn out as it should.

Recovery Gift #3 – “Courage, Instead of Fear”

Addiction is fueled by fear – fear of others, fear of pain, fear of both the known and the unknown. Now that we are in recovery, we no longer define ourselves by that fear or relinquish our will to it.

Recovery Gift #4 – “Peace of Mind, Instead of Confusion”

Every day in active addiction is chaotic, and the uncertainty that this chaos brings pulls us down even further into addiction. In recovery, we live a much more serene and stable life, and we have learned to step back and slow down.

Recovery Gift #5 – “Self-Respect, Instead of Self-Contempt”

Addiction breeds guilt, remorse, and overwhelming feelings of shame, which we try to numb with even more substance abuse. In recovery, we unburden ourselves of those negative emotions, and, thus free, we learn to see the value of ourselves just as we are.

Recovery Gift #6 – “Self-Confidence, Instead of Helplessness”

When we were actively drinking and drugging, we were beaten by our addiction. It had gone beyond our control and stolen our life from us. Now that we are in recovery, we have learned to trust in our own ability to meet any challenge before us. We have reclaimed our lives.

Recovery Gift #7 – “The respect of others, instead of their pity and contempt.”

Our addiction-control behaviors sabotaged every relationship. We lied, broke promises, and hurt others, with no regard for the consequences. We could not comprehend our own worth, and our actions colored help others saw us.

Now, we strive to be the best we can be, and we measure our worth by how we feel about ourselves. And, by trying to live in accordance with our own principles, we have ironically become worthy of respect by others.

Recovery Gift #8 – “A Clean Conscience, Instead of a Sense of Guilt”

One of the basic tenets of recovery is our willingness to make amends for the harm we have caused others in the past. When we sincerely and personally apologize, try to directly make up for any wrongs we have done, or at the very least, make sincere efforts to do so, we wipe our slate clean and begin afresh.

Recovery Gift #9 – “Real Friendships, Instead of Loneliness”

While we were actively addicted, we probably had many drinking buddies who were always willing to “party” with us, but in most cases, these weren’t real friends.

Sometimes, the only thing we had in common was the addiction. We could not trust them to really love us and want the best for us. It’s not their fault – they were just as sick as we were.

In recovery, we make or rebuild relationships that are based on mutual trust, respect, and affection. We give of ourselves willingly, instead of as a means of manipulation, and in turn, we receive the same.

Recovery Gift #10 – “A Clean Pattern of Life, Instead of a Purposeless Exist”

On any given day, active addicts bounce from one high or one drink to the next. Their every action is compelled by the need to seek more substances.

In recovery, freed from that overpowering need, we are able to honor our commitments – our families, our jobs, our relationships, our service, and our other obligations and responsibilities. We are then able to enjoy the life that we have built.

Recovery Gift #11 – “The Love and Understanding of Our Families, Instead of Their Doubts and Fears”

When we were actively addicted, we routinely let our families down – when they would try to help us, we would twist that health to something that enabled us to keep drinking and keep drugging. Our own actions taught them to lose confidence in our promises.

It may have taken a while, and in fact, we may still be trying, but eventually, our new honest, stable, and sober life will demonstrate to our families that they can love us without fear. They understand that we have a disease and that we are doing everything our power to manage how it impacts our lives.

Recovery Gift #12 – “The Freedom of a Happy Life, Instead of the Bondage of an Addictive Obsession”

Addiction hijacked our brains, to the point that we were slaves to alcohol and other intoxicants. Our wills were not our own, and all of our actions served to feed our addictions.

True freedom from addiction means that we have the RIGHT to be happy. We have the RIGHT to those things and form those relationships that are in our best interests.

When we take the time to reflect upon and appreciate the gifts of recovery, we come to understand the value of the work we have done and that we continue to do. In other words, we reinforce the message to ourselves that we work at our recovery, the promises we were made are kept, and the rewards ALWAYS come.



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


Long Form

We of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of Anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all.


Long Form

General Warranties of the Conference: in all its proceedings, the General Service Conference shall observe the spirit of the A.A. Tradition, taking great
care that the Conference never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle; that none of the Conference Members shall ever be placed in a position of unqualified authority over any of the others; that all important decisions be reached by discussion, vote, and, whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that no Conference action ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy; that, though the Conference may act for the service of Alcoholics Anonymous, it shall never perform any acts of government; and that, like the Society of Alcoholics Anonymous which it serves, the Conference itself will always remain democratic in thought and action.


Twelfth Step Prayer

Dear God,
My spiritual awakening continues to unfold.
The help I have received I shall pass on and give to others,
Both in and out of the Fellowship.
For this opportunity I am grateful.
I pray most humbly to continue walking day by day
On the road of spiritual progress.
I pray for the inner strength and wisdom
To practice the principles of this way of life in all I do and say.
I need You, my friends, and the program every hour of every day.
This is a better way to live.

North Orange County Intergroup presents

Ugly Christmas Sweater Comedy Night

Santa talks about the naughty and the nice, but what about the ugly? To find out which of the three lists you’re on, come to our ugly Christmas sweater comedy night.

Buy Comedy Tickets Here & Don't Forget Your Ugly Sweater!

The Era of Publicity: Attraction of Limited Control

Limited control.  One of the first pragmatic discoveries of Wilson and Smith, and one clearly inspired by the "primitive Christianity" approach of the Oxford Group, had been that - even using Silkworth's understanding of alcoholics - to require "don't drink ever again" was unrealistic.  It was unrealistic because it was too difficult, and therefore, it frightened away some who needed the program.  Or it was unrealistic because it was too facile for others whose paths to alcoholic bottom were strewn with broken pledges.  In either case, it didn't work.  So Bill and Dr. Bob began to present their idea as the "Twenty-Four Hour Program," the "Day at a Time Program."
"You can do something, but not everything" became the basic message of Alcoholics Anonymous to alcoholics, drinking and sober.  This message served simultaneously both to protect against grandiosity and to affirm the sense of individual worthwhileness so especially important to the drinking alcoholic mired in self-hatred over his failure to achieve absolute control over his drinking.  Further, this sense of limited control soon became the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to itself.  Already in the Big Book Wilson had written, "We have no monopoly on God", and now, in the period under examination, explicit expression of its obvious corollary quickly emerged.  "We have no monopoly on the treatment of alcoholics."  Both message continued to develop and to deepen in meaning.
The clearest statement of this sense of limited control, for the individual as well as for the fellowship, came in the statement and history of A.A.'s membership requirement.  Set forth first in the "Foreword" to Alcoholics Anonymous, it ran: "The only requirement for membership is an honest desire to stop drinking."  There was no imposition of nor even request for any action, not even the negative one of not drinking alcohol.  No one who presented himself or herself as wishing help could ever by challenged on the right to be there.  The fundamental for A.A. membership could thus never be under the control of any other person.  Nor need it - nor could it - even be under the complete control of the alcoholic, for the "honest desire to stop drinking" could surely co-exist with a desire to drink - something to which many even long sober alcoholics could readily testify.
Kurtz, E. (1979). Prelude to Maturity: October 1939 - March 1941.  Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous (pp 105-106). Hazelden.

NOCCO By Laws - Full Document

2021/2022 NOCCO Service Board

Wes M.* - Chairman of the Board

Mark E. - Alternate Chairman

Cheryle D. - Treasurer

Christina W. - Secretary

Randy L.* - Outreach Committee

Paul S.* - Outreach Committee

Don H. - Events Committee

Scott N.* (alternate) - Events Committee

* Live email links embedded as permitted by NOCCO Service Board members


These articles appeared in the main Cleveland newspaper, the Plain Dealer, just five months after the first A.A. group was formed in Cleveland. The articles resulted in hundreds of calls for help from suffering alcoholics who reached out for the hope that the fledgling Alcoholics Anonymous offered.

The thirteen reliable members of the Cleveland group handled as many as 500 calls in the first month following the appearance of Davis’ articles. The following year Cleveland could boast 20 to 30 groups with hundreds of members.

Read 1st Article
Read 2nd Article
Read 3rd Article

Alcoholics Anonymous Makes Its Stand Here
October 24, 1939 Cleveland Plain Dealer

In two previous articles, Mr. Davis told of Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization of former drinkers, banded to overcome their craving for liquor and to help others to forego the habit. This is the third of a series.


The ex-drunks cured of their medically incurable alcoholism by membership in Alcoholic Anonymous, know that the way to keep themselves from backsliding is to find another pathological alcoholic to help. Or to start a new man toward cure. That is the way that the Akron chapter of the society, and from that, the Cleveland fellowship was begun.

One of the earliest of the cured rummies had talked a New York securities house into taking a chance that he was really through with liquor. He was commissioned to do a stock promotion chore in Akron. If he should succeed, his economic troubles also would be cured. Years of alcoholism had left him bankrupt as well as a physical and social wreck before Alcoholics Anonymous had saved him.

His Akron project failed. Here he was on a Saturday afternoon in a strange hotel in a town where he did not know a soul, business hopes blasted, and with scarcely money enough to get him back to New York with a report that would leave him without the last job he knew of for him in the world. If ever disappointment deserved drowning, that seemed the time. A bunch of happy folk were being gay at the bar.

At the other end of the lobby the Akron church directory was framed in glass. He looked up the name of a clergyman. The cleric told him of a woman who was worried about a physician who was a nightly solitary drunk. The doctor had been trying to break himself of alcoholism for twenty years. He had tried all of the dodges: Never anything but light wines or beer; never a drink alone; never a drink before his work was done; a certain few number of drinks and then stop; never drink in a strange place; never drink in a familiar place; never mix the drinks; always mix the drinks; never drink before eating; drink only while eating; drink and then eat heavily to stop the craving — and all of the rest.

Every alcoholic knows all of the dodges. Every alcoholic has tried them all. That is why an uncured alcoholic thinks someone must have been following him around to learn his private self-invented devices, when a member of Alcoholics Anonymous talks to him. Time comes when any alcoholic has tried them all, and found that none of them work.


The doctor had just taken his first evening drink when the rubber baron’s wife telephoned to ask him to come to her house to meet a friend from New York. He dared not, his wife would not, offend her by refusing. He agreed to go on his wife’s promise that they would leave after 15 minutes. His evening jitters were pretty bad.

He met the New Yorker at 5 o’clock. They talked until 11:15. After that he stayed “dry” for three weeks. Then he went to a convention in Atlantic City. That was a bender. The cured New Yorker was at his bedside when he came to. That was June 10, 1935. The doctor hasn’t had a drink since. Every Akron and Cleveland cure by Alcoholics Anonymous is a result.

The point the society illustrates by that bit of history is that only an alcoholic can talk turkey to an alcoholic. The doctor knew all of the “medicine” of his disease. He knew all of the psychiatry. One of his patients had “taken the cure” 72 times. Now he is cured, by fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. Orthodox science left the physician licked. He also knew all of the excuses, as well as the dodges, and the deep and fatal shame that makes a true alcoholic sure at last that he can’t win. Alcoholic death or the bughouse will get him in time.

The cured member of Alcoholics Anonymous likes to catch a prospective member when he is at the bottom of the depths. When he wakes up of a morning with his first clear thought regret that he is not dead before he hears where he has been and what he has done. When he whispers to himself: “Am I crazy?” and the only answer he can think of is: “Yes.” Even when the bright-eyed green snakes are crawling up his arms.

Then the pathological drinker is willing to talk. Even eager to talk to someone who really understands, from experience, what he means when he says: “I can’t understand myself.”

Outreach Corner

Meeting Guide
Virtual Newcomer Packet
Read Big Book Online
Read 12x12 Online
Speaker Meetings
ASL | Deaf Meetings
Click Here to Sign Up for the Monthly Anonymous Times Newsletter

The NOCCO meeting database is now linked to the “Meeting Guide App”, a free of charge meeting finder for iOS and Android that provides meeting information in an easy-to-access format.  If you don't have the app, you can get it on Google Play or download from the App Store.

Progress Report on Meeting Guide App

The App team launched the third major application upgrade since App development. The App team has received positive feedback regarding this latest release, which included features requested by our users and entities, as well as code updates.

A customer outreach initiative to improve the accuracy of meeting listings was carried out. The upgrade, App v.3.8.21, includes:

  • New features: a new news visual indicator, sharing of daily Quote or News item via email or text message, inclusion of meeting information when contacting entities.
  • Inclusion of the relevant meeting name into emails that are sent to entities from a meeting detail contact screen (this was requested from our entities).
  • Code update to address sporadic Location issues caused by an update to Google Play Store.
  • Google Analytics code added – this will provide App usage statistics.
Check your Meeting Listing

On The Road Again

On a recent trip to the Redwoods, I was able to locate open meetings and ZOOM meetings by clicking into the Meeting Guide app. The app informed me of the Living Sober meeting which was directly across the street from my Mom's house.  Very convenient!

The Meeting Guide app uses GPS location technology to return exacting details on meetings near you.  The data comes from the local meeting guides from Central Offices around the country and the data updates several times a day.

No more excuses when we are in someone else's home town.  Taking action just got easier!  ~Faith B.

App Store

NOCCO Hotline - (714) 773-HELP (4357)

We are available 24/7.  All calls are confidential.  Phones answered by sober volunteers.

Sobriety Tokens

Tracking your sobriety is both the most important and least important part of the journey


Aluminum Chips

Our colorful collection of aluminum chips, 24-hours, every 30 days to 11 months, also an 18 month version.

$1.00 + tax

Bronze Chips

Traditional bronze chips start at 1-year, 18-months, and each anniversary through 60-years.

$2.00 + tax

Bi-Plate Chips

A beautiful gold and silver tone chip, classic and timeless.  We try to carry a few in each year.

$12.00 + tax

Tri-Plate Chips

NOCCO currently stocks a variety of colors, patterns and styles ranging from 24-hours, and 1-year through 62-years.   

$18.00 + tax

Ask just about any sober person, and they’ll most likely be able tell you exactly how long they’ve been clean, or the very date their abstinence began. Tracking the duration of one’s sobriety has been part of recovery since at least 18th century temperance societies, which handed out medallions to those who swore to stop drinking (probably after incoherently crashing their covered wagons into the local tavern a few too many times).

In the late 1930s, Alcoholics Anonymous caught on, inspired by Sister Ignatia, who gave out ornaments to pathological drinkers as they took the pledge, and companies began manufacturing the traditional AA chips. Now, we have an endless selection of recovery apps, where a gal like me can see she has 7.96 years, or 95.64 months, or 2,912 days, or 69,875 hours of sobriety (as of this printing).

Many of us see this number as a testament to our journey. “Having it there as a milestone gives me hope, and celebrating it reminds me that I chose life over the fractured existence of active alcoholism,” says a NOCCO volunteer.  “It’s a reminder that on the darkest day of my life, I could choose recovery, and as the days and years go on, I can make that choice again and again, one day at a time.”

~ Faith B.


NOCCO's Neighborhood Notables

December Birthdays

It Works If You Work It, One Day At A Time.


Cathy B - 12/01/2013

Mark E - 12/04/2008

Faith B - 12/17/2013

Jerry L - 12/18/1976

Cristy G - 12/21/2011

Billy Q - 12/23/2014

Dale - 12/24/1988

Jim H - 12/24/2002

JoNita - 12/13/1999


We want to start acknowledging yearly milestones in sobriety each month.  Email with your month and date and we will add your annual birthday to our list.

Faithful Fivers

Thank you for your November contributions of $5 to NOCCO.  To join the Faithful Fivers club, go online to  Every time you buy NOCCO a cup of coffee, an angel gets her wings! - (or something like that).

December 2021
Ugly Christmas Sweater Comedy Night
Buy Comedy Tickets Here

In Loving Memory



February 14, 1929 to December 2, 2021

Do you have something special to report for our monthly neighborhood notables?  Please email birthdays, celebrations, sober activities and other odds and ends to


InterGroup Meeting -  Dec 8 @ 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.  

Click Here to Join the InterGroup Meeting


Group Contributions 

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 Reports


Statement of Financial Position

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 Profit and Loss Reports


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

Mail Checks To:

North Orange County Intergroup Association (NOCCO)

1661 E Chapman Avenue - Suite 1H

Fullerton, CA 92831


General Service  Announcements

Area Delegates

Mid Southern California Area 09 of Alcoholics Anonymous

Ed L. - Panel 70

Mitchell B. - Panel 72


Southern California Area 05 of Alcoholics Anonymous

Lauren A. - Panel 71


Central California Area 93 of Alcoholics Anonymous

Karla Y. - Panel 71

Follow Grapevine and LaViña on Instagram

Breaking News:  Group Treasurers Take Note
GSO is excited to announce that a separate post office box has been established for Seventh Tradition Contributions only.  This change will enable us to process contributions much more efficiently and at a significant savings to the Fellowship.

Effective immediately, please send contribution checks to:

Post Office Box 2407

James A Farley Station

New York, NY 10116-2401

The Grapevine Half-Hour Variety Hour

Each week Don and Sam will interview a different member about their experience, strength and hope, in a casual "meeting after the meeting" manner.  Special features will enhance each episode.
A new podcase episode will be available in English every Monday
Listen to the Podcasts Here

The CFO expressed concern that the monthly contributions have declined from $940,632 in July to $762,965 in August to $736,734 in September. In order to meet the budget, it is hoped that monthly contributions might average $861,118 over the last three months of the year.

Orders placed by Intergroups and Central Offices, total gross sales are $1,997,247. Compared throughout years 2019-2021 IGCOs’ orders during the same timeframe from 2019-2020 there was a 14% decrease ($203,478) in gross sales, 2020-2021 there was a 65% increase ($784,731) in gross sales. IGCO orders increased during the shipping pilot.

From January through October, the Archives staff responded to approximately 605 inquiries. Staff is currently aiding two International A.A. entities with their research inquiries. Italy has reached out to us for information about the start of A.A. in Milan and Japan has contacted us for materials on the history of A.A. in that country for their archives. These are extensive and time-consuming projects.

Member and Customer Service
The Member and Customer Service Department launched June 28, 2021. The department has since been renamed Member Services ( As of October 20, the department received and responded to 9,850 emails. As of September 30, the team received about 1,000 phone calls. Since the launch of Fellowship Connection December 14, 2020, area registrars made 13,375 updates directly into the portal; the Member Services associates made 8,490 Area and Group updates in NetSuite.

Grapevine Editorial Calendar
Grapevine magazines currently in production and on schedule:

  • DEC 2021 (Remote Communities & Holidays),
  • JAN 2022 (Day Counters/Beginners),
  • FEB 2022 (Getting Through Tough Times),
  • MAR 2022 (Emotional Sobriety);

Fast-tracking COVID-related stories to keep magazine current and relevant; More stories are now being used and uploaded on YouTube.

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, 2024, North Orange County InterGroup Association of Alcoholics Anonymous Groups, Inc. • 1661 E. Chapman Avenue - Suite 1H, Fullerton CA 92831


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