About

About Bill

About-Bill-VineyardBill Vineyard is a husband, father of four, Kansan, and pseudo-philosopher.

His discovery of faith is based on a lifelong journey of recovery – first working to confront his own personal war against addiction, and then through a life devoted to helping the local suffering alcoholic and addict.

“Which is more difficult, to awaken one who sleeps or to awaken one who, awake, dreams that he is awake?”
– Soren Kierkegaard. Works of Love. 1847.

From the platform of a family-owned alcohol and drug rehabilitation center, Bill worked for 35 years as a LAC conducting a myriad of group sessions from step work and cognitive activities to the complex nature of role plays and psychodramas. Over that time, he completed more than 30,000 drug and alcohol offense-related evaluations and met with thousands of outpatient and inpatient clients.

The Common Man’s Champion

Bill now works one-on-one as a friend and peer in recovery for those in need, especially those who have nowhere else to turn. He believes that within each of us, below the many masks and scars we acquire throughout our troubled lives, there still remains the core of our true self – our most natural and pure state of God-given talent, spirit, and expression.

Bill is an advocate of traditional 12-step recovery. He cherishes the Big Book and has one of the most complete and dynamic Søren Kierkegaard libraries in the nation. He enjoys front porch musings with his family, down-home organic cooking, and watching the time and the wind blow change across the Kentucky Bluegrass prairie surrounding his home.

“I have found that the process of discovering who I really am begins with knowing who I really don’t want to be.”
–Alcoholics Anonymous

His Pillars of Cool include Elvis Presley, George Jones, Blackbear Bosin, Harley Davidson, and anyone who practices the art of plumbing. When he’s not reading philosophical texts, he morphs into a history buff – a Cliff Clavin of sorts. Some of his favorite areas of study include Greco-Roman spirituality and civilization, the history of the world, psychology, and health solutions based on an organic lifestyle.

The Recovery Effect

The Recovery Effect was designed as an expressive platform for my personal studies, work experience, and spiritual mission. It is my intention to bring honest and faithful guidance to any person starved of the comfort and resolve one finds in living a life of recovery.

But by the grace of God…from my personal “trip” through life and addiction, I’ve grown to understand the alcoholic and addict quite well. I’ve also come to understand the necessity of a devout and loving recovery community. For any of you who are in immediate need, you will certainly find immediate help and love within the walls of an AA or recovery based meeting.

Please take the hatred elsewhere. If the topics presented in this blog offend you in any way, thoughtfully consider why they offend you. I am not here to impose my principles on anyone, or debate them. I merely aim to extend a helping hand to any neighbor in need. With the right mindset, you might just walk away with something useful to chew on.

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
-Romans 12:3

GET MORE INSTAGRAM INSPIRATION

  • “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol— that our lives had become unmanageable.” Who cares to admit complete defeat? Practically no one, of course. Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness. It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such an obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it from us. 
No other kind of bankruptcy is like this one. Alcohol, now become the rapacious creditor, bleeds us of all self-sufficiency and all will to resist its demands. Once this stark fact is accepted, our bankruptcy as going human concerns is complete. 
But upon entering A.A. we soon take quite another view of this absolute humiliation. We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built. 
We know that little good can come to any alcoholic who joins A.A. unless he has first accepted his devastating weakness and all its consequences. Until he so humbles himself, his sobriety—if any—will be precarious. Of real happiness he will find none at all. Proved beyond doubt by an immense experience, this is one of the facts of A.A. life. The principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat is the main taproot from which our whole Society has sprung and flowered.
  • For us, the process of gaining a new perspective was unbelievably painful. It was only by repeated humiliations that we were forced to learn something about humility. It was only at the end of a long road, marked by successive defeats and humiliations, and the final crushing of our self-sufficiency, that we began to feel humility as some- thing more than a condition of groveling despair. Every newcomer in Alcoholics Anonymous is told, and soon realizes for himself, that his humble admission of powerlessness over alcohol is his first step toward liberation from its paralyzing grip.

So it is that we first see humility as a necessity. But this is the barest beginning. To get completely away from our aversion to the idea of being humble, to gain a vision of humility as the avenue to true freedom of the human spirit, to be willing to work for humility as something to be desired for itself, takes most of us a long, long time. A whole lifetime geared to self-centeredness cannot be set in reverse all at once. Rebellion dogs our every step at first. 
Step Seven
  • Those who look closely soon have the key to this strange paradox. The A.A. member has to conform to the principles of recovery. His life actually depends upon obedience to spiritual principles. If he deviates too far, the penalty is sure and swift; he sickens and dies. At first he goes along because he must, but later he discovers a way of life he really wants to live. Moreover, he finds he cannot keep this priceless gift unless he gives it away. Neither he nor anybody else can survive unless he carries the A.A. message. The moment this Twelfth Step work forms a group, another discovery is made—that most individuals cannot recover unless there is a group. Realization dawns that he is but a small part of a great whole; that no personal sacrifice is too great for preservation of the Fellowship. He learns that the clamor of desires and ambitions within him must be silenced whenever these could damage the group. It becomes plain that the group must survive or the individual will not.
  • When we reached A.A., and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was tremendously exciting. We thought the isolation problem had been solved. But we soon discovered that while we weren’t alone any more in a social sense, we still suffered many of the old pangs of anxious apartness. Until we had talked with complete candor of our conflicts, and had listened to someone else do the same thing, we still didn’t belong. Step Five was the answer. It was the beginning of true kinship with man and God. 
This vital Step was also the means by which we began to get the feeling that we could be forgiven, no matter what we had thought or done. Often it was while working on this Step with our sponsors or spiritual advisers that we first felt truly able to forgive others, no matter how deeply we felt they had wronged us. Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all-round forgiveness was desirable, but it was only when we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly knew we’d be able to receive forgiveness and give it, too. (12&12 Step Five)
  • Just as firmly bound by obligation are the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, who have demonstrated that they can help problem drinkers as others seldom can. The unique ability of each A.A. to identify himself with, and bring recovery to, the newcomer in no way depends upon his learning, eloquence, or on any special individual skills. The only thing that matters is that he is an alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety. These legacies of suffering and of recovery are easily passed among alcoholics, one to the other. This is our gift from God, and its bestowal upon others like us is the one aim that today animates A.A.’s all around the globe. 
There is another reason for this singleness of purpose. It is the great paradox of A.A. that we know we can seldom keep the precious gift of sobriety unless we give it away. If a group of doctors possessed a cancer cure, they might be conscience-stricken if they failed their mission through self-seeking. Yet such a failure wouldn’t jeopardize their personal survival. For us, if we neglect those who are still sick, there is unremitting danger to our own lives and sanity. Under these compulsions of self-preservation, duty, and love, it is not strange that our Society has concluded that it has but one high mission—to carry the A.A. message to those who don’t know there’s a way out. 
Tradition Five
“Each group has but one primary purpose— to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.”

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