The Full Story
The Precisely How We Have Recovered group open for participation as a registered group of AA on March 4, 2014.
The visionary and founder of the PHWHR Group (acronym for Precisely How We Have Recovered) Jimmie Speed moved from Southern California to the Sacramento area in 2010.
Coming from a strong lineage tracing back to Bill W., Jimmie was concerned with the quality of recovery he was met with in Northern California.
Here, prominent members, professing substantial sobriety time were openly selling prescription drugs to newcomers. Furthermore, marijuana cards and usage were flashed as approved AA sanctioned acts inside of meetings. A Sponsee of Jimmie’s soon fell victim to this scheme.
That is how the PHWHR Group was formed, to create the fellowship Jimmie craved and saw was so desperately needed.
AA is a suggested meeting, and measures were taken to alleviate non-alcoholics or people who really didn’t want help and were only sent by the court systems. The meeting was a closed, no court card, meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. PHWHR attendees honestly want to attend.
PHWHR is unique and moved by the Spirit. Timers and sign-in sheets are non-existent. Cross talk is allowed, and the group is encouraged to ask speakers questions, comment or share at any time.
The PHWHR Group stands by the long version of the 5th Tradition which states, “Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose-that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.”
On January, 12, 2014, Jimmie Speed held a meeting with his Sponsees at Coffee Garden, located at 3910 Franklin Blvd. Those in attendance were Jimmie Speed, Jamie Wilson, Doreen Marcel, Danny Ramirez, Rennie G., Brian C., Haley D., Joey F., Tim Kane and by phone via text messages David Trujillo.
That day, Jimmie presented the meetings format with the distinct approach to the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous. He combined ideas from past meetings he had started. The meeting was to start with the 3rd Step Prayer and every single person identifying with their first name and as an alcoholic.
Several potential meeting locations were presented to Jimmie, one in particular had great significance because it once housed a well-known local group in Sacramento. That place was 3940 E. 60th St. Tallac Village. After the meeting closed in prayer he drove straight there.
While perusing the old plaza, Jimmie saw the “Winners Church” which reminded him of the old AA phrase “stick with the winners”. The pastor waved him in.
Pastor Josh Bueno and Jimmie Speed were immediately drawn to each other. Although there was an Al-Anon meeting held there, the pastor wanted to help the community with an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
The following week a group conscious was taken and PHWHR voted this location as its official meeting place. Rent was $30 per week for a 1 ½ hour podium meeting.
The meeting format would be as follows:
The 1st week a Speaker will share about a word, line or paragraph from the Big Book for 30 minutes, and then have questions and answers from the group for 45 minutes. Those in the process of recovery are welcome to share their experience, strength and hope as it relates to the Big Book. The Leader shares for 5 minutes.
The 2nd week is a Big Book study presenting the 1st Step. This is from the Title page to Page 43 of the Big Book. After a few paragraphs, the speaker shares for 30 minutes. Those working the steps may participate with sharing, comments and questions. The Leader shares for 5 minutes.
The 3rd week in its present form is an Open Participation Podium Topic Meeting but initially was an invitation for those with 10 years or more to gather to share bringing their Sponsees to simply listen. This idea actually was seen as negative by those in the Sac area with 10 years or more and has been revised to its current format
Currently anyone can share in the 3rd Week but must pull a topic out of the basket and share on it as it relates to the process of recovery outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and their experience, strength and hope. If the sharer veers off of the topic, the leader or the Secretary will help guide them back to the solution as outlined in the Big Book. The Leader shares for 10 minutes
The PHWHR Group was created so the newcomer may find the fellowship they seek and a sponsor to help them find a solution to their problems with alcohol.
The 4th week is a 45-minute speaker followed by our birthday celebration or open participation if no birthdays. Note that we only give chips for annual birthdays and only annuals may speak from the podium during birthday celebrations. If you are celebrating a milestone please state your first name and identify yourself as an alcoholic only.
If there is a 5th week it will be Open Participation with the leader sharing for 10 minutes.
One year to the date of its origin, the original PHWHR group lost a few of its members due to life upon life changes.
Needless to say, its original founder, carried on through countless workshops, speaking engagements, chairs, and sponsorship holding true to the idea “that each group should be autonomous”.
The idea instilled in him that when you recover, it was your duty to present the fruits of that labor with a meeting/group to show precisely how you have recovered.
This bore fruit again in March, 2018 with new Sponsees and their Sponsees gathering for committee meetings at IHOPS and Starbucks to once again present to the public, a meeting that matched the work being done in their lineage.
Although there were many present at the 6 committee business meetings to jump start the PHWHR Group again, the founding members are those who manage to STAY and were presented at the 1st PHWHR meeting on May 8, 2018, at the Sierra 2 Center in Room #10. They are Jimmie Speed. His Sponsee Evan Schroeder, his Grand Sponsee Mark Graziano and his Sponsee Lisa Stanley.
The Precisely How We Have Recovered Meeting was initially designed for our lineage to have a place they could recover according to the 3 Legacies of AA. We use the Big Book to trace exactly the same path to recovery that was blazed by the earliest members of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Looking around the room today, you can see the fruit which comes from that strenuous work, one alcoholic with another in the group here at PHWHR.