Moment of Clarity
Ever had an "ah-ha" moment in your recovery in which something suddenly become clear? Share it here!
The custom of reading HIW began in the New England area around 1980. It was the final result
of a custom begun by Mort J. in Los Angeles 1940. Mort insisted on a reading from Chapter Five
at every session. He was the boss. He paid the rent. I do not believe that the first two and
a half pages were read. The preamble had not been accepted and Mort simply used a reading from
chapter five as part of the meeting format.
This custom of reading HIW aloud at meetings has severely diminished the effectiveness of our
fellowship. We would not feed a newborn infant a meal of steak and potatoes. We give them a much
different formula which they can digest. Mostly we give them love and tolerance, and breast milk
if they are lucky. We save the Truth for later on. And we offer it with Grace. The fact that Bill
placed HIW in Chapter Five ought to qualify this as more than just my opinion.
Numerous messages have been posted concerning this issue. An article appeared in the AA Grapevine
about three years ago. Has anyone had any experience or success at deleting this reading from
meeting formats? ANONYMOUS
I'm not a hugger, but lots of people sort of expect it so I used to just go along with the others. As time went on I became old and fragile. I worry about catching colds from folks who like to kiss on the mouth. At the last meeting in my home group, I got so many enthusiastic hugs and kisses that I became dizzy and felt slightly bruised. I never went back. That was over a year ago. Now , I go to meetings where no one knows me, so I won't get hugged. If there are old folks in your group, please be gentle.
During my 23 years of drinking I was isolated from people in general as my husband never allowed me to have friends so I became a loner. He was a very controlling and mentally abusive man. When I started going to meetings a couple years ago after leaving the cruel and abusive marriage I was in, I had a very hard time with getting close to anyone, let alone being hugged. The hand shakes even made me wonder why anyone would like a drunk like me and want to welcome me with such open arms. Now I have a circle of friends that are just unbelievably wonderful. Always there with a kind word, a cup of coffee and just a listening ear. I am in my 60s now and have a very good life and once again a very confident woman and not living a sheltered life anymore.
A greatfull recovering alcoholic
Through the 1970s decade there was very little hugging
as far as I remember. We did a lot of hand shaking. We
shook hands with members we saw every day. The hugging and
hand holding became common in the 1980s. When I look at
the 1990's decline in membership, I believe this is one
of the reasons. I believe that we can be firmly bound by
the spirit of unity, without the physical holding on to each other.. All of the changes combined has diminished AA's effectiveness to near the point of collapse.
please let me know. thank you
Something tells me you are the same guy that posted at
6:14 6:21 6:25. If you are - good. And welcome.
Usual format is question and answers, sometimes somebody gets on a soap box and give us a stern lecture. Perhaps they try to herd cat too.
All posts are reviewed by GV staff (not me) and I guess really objectionable material is not posted but they are really flexible.
There is a lot of good material here. You can read back a long time. Sometimes I think "this post is really old" but alcoholism and recovery from it hasn't changed much since the Big Book Was written so information is still current.
It can take up to 3 or four days to get a response so not a good place for 911 emergencies. Some other online forums are as fast as a tennis game back and forth but I think this one has some unique ideas. Try several. Use several if you want.
Click under messages you want to reply to or start a new thread by clicking at the top of the page. Sometimes we see a post "I couldn't agree more" but it isn't clear what they are responding to so it's important to spell it out.
Welcome and enjoy.
Life is going really good but I find myself...........almost going to put far to much on myself and i know where that goes why do we do that? thank you
My greed and unthinking ambition to work and do had me loading myself up beyond the beyond. I had to treat overloading myself as any other character defect that the higher power could remove if I did the step work honestly.
things are going so good do i want to put more on my plate and become overwhelmed??
I can't speak for anyone else but here's my experience. I'm an alcoholic. I like to FEEL GOOD RIGHT NOW. Alcohol used to do that for me until it didn't. Progression. Had horrible consequences for the solution I chose but denial kept me coming back still demanding to FEEL GOOD RIGHT NOW. Joined AA and learned how not to drink. Feelings got worse. I was the same guy with the same empty feeling that demanded that I FEEL GOOD RIGHT NOW. Food, sex, SPENDING, goofing off, what ever I could replace it with. Those have their own consequences. I needed to be somebody without that empty need demanding to be filled. The twelve steps have done that like all those who shared the program with me. I hope you give it a try and enjoy the same results.
my ah-ha moment came as I journaled (4th stepped) a resentment. A long respected member of my home group has gone rogue. Instead of drinking, he is character assassinating my best friends. I am trying to bring my HP into my awareness with this. But a man who I previously respected is hurting my friends. Last night he yelled through a business meeting. He looked and acted drunk but I think what he has is worse than drinking.
So my ah-hah is that we have the opportunity to pray for a brother that is lost. At the same time, I get to see up close what happens when someone chooses a lower power over a higher power. At the meeting he was clearly being powered by his rage. He stepped on all of us, this man I have loved for 20 years as a trusted servant in AA, and as a friend. It is heart breaking to see a long time sober person descend into this terrible, rageful, hurtful, mean spirited person. We had to abort the meeting because he wouldn't stop shouting. I have been searching for articles but can't find any on this topic. HELP!
My best refuge for the painful changes in other's behavior is first that prayer on the top of page 67, and the prayer suggestion on page 552 of the Big Book. I can also say "Thank you that isn't me today! Thank you for the serenity you give me!" And I can reach out to others in the group in agreement that each of us will pray for God's will and highest blessings possible for the person....taking care not to tell God what those blessings should be,
I always have to do my own inventory and make sure somebody else's behavior isn't an excuse for me to act on one of my character defects.
At the very least, when this episode has run it's course, I may get to welcome the person back.
I want to remain watchful for opportunities to do God's will and help others. I pray "What would you have me do now?"
I went through the same thing as the person you're describing. The most widespread response from my fellows, in the homegroup and out, was to scorn, judge, and ostracize me. There's a lot of really young people in my area. And they tend to respond to life with a "personalities before principals" approach. Somehow they don't even realize it.
At any rate, what happened for me was that I continued to decline until, with no desire to drink, until I attempted suicide. I'm 2 weeks from my 43rd birthday, and 3 weeks from my 9 year sober anniversary. And this last year has been the loneliest, most self-pitying year of my entire life. And ice not had an easy go of it prior to aa. My sponsor likes to refer to me as a "chronic last gasper".
All of this could very well have been avoided by my fellows responding with compassion ... I don't blame them for the way they did respond...but if the experience is worth anything, its right here in sharing it with you!
Thanks for bringing up this issue. It made me think. I am in no position to diagnose this person but wanted to share a thought. Former athletes are opening up about problems with CTE or brain injury due to repeated head trauma. The symptoms include changes in memory, anger, mood swings, depression...
During my active alcoholic and athletic life, my brain took a pretty good beating. I doubt I'm the only one. In addition to CTE, there could be issues with meds, mental illness, dementia and, of course, plain old dry drunk.
Whatever the reasons for this person's change, you and your group are left to deal with the behavior and set some boundaries. My home group business meeting can be tense enough when we're all on our best behavior.
Alcoholics Anonymous has been declining in effectiveness
for two decades. Many of todays early timers see our failure
and lose hope for AA's future. We are sober, and somewhat
safe in our own recovery, but why are we not attracting and
holding new members? It is very easy to just rebel and walk
away. Denying the truth that we have become a failure in
helping others is common. Most of today's members think AA
is "alive and well". But we are really just "churning", only
holding enough members to replace those who walk away.
Personally I became "rogue" about five years ago when I
discovered our decline in membership. It has been agony to
have become that terrible, rage full, hurtful, mean spirited
person you describe. My relief came when I finally researched our history and found the causes for our failure.
Bill W. warned us of mistakes that we might make. IMO,
we have made all of them. Bill called them blunders. These
mistakes will not be found in the Big Book or the 12 & 12.
The blunders I found have been listed here. They are only
understood by those members who open-mindedly try to
understand them. I am truly grateful for the forum as
a vehicle to post my concerns and observations. ANONYMOUS
Mr(s) Sad: this is the first time I've been in the forums.
I don't know what failures and blunders U are seeing.
This is day 709 for me. AA and God are AMAZING!
I had absolutely NO IDEA life could be this good for this long.
I had moments , days, even a few weeks when life would be good.
But not this good. Today, I thank God for His Process and Progress.
One crucial part of the process for me was when I gave up my EGO - Driven role as "Concerned Citizen". In that role, it was my God - Given Responsibility to point out (and correct) the defects of others.
"OTHERS" included everything and everyone. Friends, Family, CoWorkers, Church, Waiters, other Drivers!!!!, my Boss, Leaders, my Kids, my Wife!, the Government, Etc, Etc, Etc, Etc..... "LISTEN to ME, EVERYBODY! I know what's wrong!!!" "We gotta fix this thing, or we're gonna crash and burn." "Why won't anyone listen to me?"
One day, God put a 2x4 in my sisters' hands and hit me right smack dab in the face of my ego. Best thing that ever happened to me. It drove me to AA. I found Serenity. I found Acceptance. I found out this journey through life is a Process. I found out "I'm not in charge".
I found out I was in denial - not about my alcohol use, but that life was better than I thought it was. If life is better than I think it is, what do "I" do? "I'm" suppose to be the one who makes it(you) better. Now what?
Today, I THANK GOD I'm not that person anymore!!! I no longer want to be in charge. We're here to SUPPORT one another, not FIX another. When I say "I Love You", that doesn't mean I have to fix you.
I am sincerely happy for you. Thank God for your sister(s).
At 709 days I could have written your message. At thirty
years I was happy with A.A. I considered A.A. to be the
best thing since sliced bread- and boy, do I love bread.
I lived a life that I never thought possible.
Today's A.A. works great for some alcoholic sufferers.
Their families are happy and life is good. Be grateful that
you are one of those lucky ones. It is obvious that you are. Alcoholics Anonymous in its Oxford Group form was too restrictive. It worked for Bill W. But it didn't work for
Dr. Bob. Study Dr. Bobs story. Using advice from Dr.
Silkworth, Bill W. was able to share his sobriety with
Dr. Bob, and the sum became greater than the total of
A technique (method) was developed of spreading the
message to other alcoholics on a wholesale basis. It
has very little to do with sponsoring or twelve stepping.
The method may sound strange. It has to do with attraction
not promotion. We don't cram the steps down anyone's
throat. Bill once wrote that the only thing that we
require of the alcoholic approaching us is the desire
to get well. We have no other requirement for AA
membership. We make no demands.
At meetings I attend, demands are constantly being
made by members. Get a sponsor, 90 in 90 and work those
steps. Your message does not come across as anything
but attraction. You are not promoting anything or
telling anyone what to do. You are only sharing your
experience, strength and hope. Welcome to the Forum.
I will continue to "sound the alarm" as long as I
possibly can. I doubt that I will ever see any
correction of mistakes we have made in the past thirty
years. I would like to see one correction in my
lifetime. I would like to see the reading of "How It Works"
deleted from meeting formats. This was a tragic blunder.
I don't know how your comment relates to a Moment of Clarity. I see you posting the same information on all of the other forums. You have been shot down on each occasion, especially on the forum "Burning Desire to Share," 9-30-2013. Membership estimates from the G.S.O. are not the tell-all for A.A.'s effectiveness.
I encourage you to share something relevant to recovery on any of these forums. I wonder if your comments are helping anyone at all other than your own ego. Stop fighting and join us as we trudge the road of happy destiny!
If you truly believe what you say, then go out and make a change: reach out to the still sick and suffering alcoholic; then share your results with us.
My "Moment of Clarity" came about five years ago when
I first saw the membership list which I had requested
from GSO. I had suspected that our fellowship was failing
when I noticed that the meetings I attended were diminishing. It seemed that the same chairs were filled
but the faces were constantly changing. Few seemed to
stay with us for long. Then there were more and more empty
chairs. The membership list shows the sad truth. We lost
about 600,000 members in the mid nineties. We have fewer
members in AA today worldwide, than we had twenty years
ago. Something is horribly wrong. We ought to have at
least eight million AA members today. We have just over
two million. I fear greatly that the solution by our
trusted servants will be to stop counting. They have
already deleted historical numbers from the list. The
membership list has been revised to give us the current
numbers only. Thus there is no way of comparing one
time period to another. We should always grow. There
is no lack of suffering alcoholics to help. Today,
we are only helping ourselves, as Bill did in his first
six months of sobriety. Bill stayed sober, by TRYING to
help other alcoholics. He was using what I call the
"How It Works" approach. Using Bill's words, he was
spectacularly unsuccessful, although he used "violent
exertion". Bill worked with others for almost six
months. Dr. Silkworth chastised Bill for the way he
was working with others. Bill approached Dr. Bob with
a complete change of mind and heart. There was no spiritual
arrogance or pride. Bill was there to save his own skin.
That is the method which worked. That method will work
today, "IF WE WORK IT". We have forgotten that method,
or never learned it in the first place.
In 2007 when I learned about AA's failure, I felt that
I had been betrayed. Why didn't someone say "something".
I had my head in the sand thinking "all is well". Nothing
wrong here. Then I found that many others had been aware
of our failings for years.
It is very late; maybe too late. But we have to try to
restore Alcoholics Anonymous to an acceptable rate of
effectiveness. These are reversals which must be done at
the group level: Stop reading "How It Works" aloud at meetings; Stop all chanting, completely; Remove the 24hr.
book from AA rooms; Lose today's concept of "sponsorship";
Stop making a spectacle of newcomers; Stop allowing
newcomers (and old timers) to make spectacles of themselves
(allow equal time for everyone to share); complete our
original goal of supporting AA at all levels with funds
from our own pockets.
These are my own observations over the past four decades,
"as Joe sees it". Details and additional opinions are
posted all over this Forum. I am truly grateful to have
been able to share them. Becoming an alcoholic and finding
Alcoholics Anonymous was by far the greatest thing that
ever happened to me.
If you consider that "AA is alive and well", please
reconsider. If you have ideas for improving our effectiveness, please share them here. Be specific.
My suggestions are only reversal of changes I have seen
taking place since 1970. ANONYMOUS
So you think the big mean Big Book thumpers are such meenies that the fragile little newcomers are scared away? They didn’t scare me away. The life of a drunk is a hard one. I was used to hard. I wasn’t used to the love that they showed me but I sure didn’t mind that. But it was tough love. It went something like this: “You’ve spent a lifetime avoiding anything that caused you any pain. We did too, until it nearly killed us. The AA program is simple but it is not always easy. We love you enough to give you what you need instead of what you want. Get frustrated by us, get angry with us, stomp out. We think alcohol will drive you back; or you may die. It’s unfortunate but we’re dealing with life and death here. Keeping an appetite for feeling good satisfied didn’t fix our alcoholism and we don’t think it will yours. Come back, warm a chair. We aren’t going to jamb anything down your throat but what separates the winners from the losers is written on that sign hanging on the wall. If you want to be one of us, you are looking at the price of admission.”
Thank God I didn’t run into ego trippers trying to fill chairs. Those who thought substituting sugar water for the program was the way to make it palatable.
“We ought to have at least eight million AA members today.”
And frogs ought to have wings so they wouldn’t bump their little bottoms on the ground, too.
AA has some effectiveness with alcoholics WHO WANT TO STOP DRINKING and are unable to.
There are not eight million alcoholics who want to stop drinking but are avoiding AA like the plague because of some lack in finesse in our sales technique.
Others have gotten in the sobriety business – churches, treatment centers, court programs the VA.
Do they work? I don’t know but they are still getting a lot of recruits that we aren’t.
You are seeing empty chairs? I look at the arrest reports in the local newspaper. Two to three low level drug arrests for every alcohol related arrest. For many the drug of choice for those of us who really need to stay stoned has changed from alcohol.
What about all those who attend AA for a while, get what they need to stay sober and move on? I’ve seen lots of them over the years. Is their success in leaving an empty chair behind counted as a failure for you? It’s good that some feel a need or desire to stick around and carry AA’s message but I haven’t noticed a shortage of them.
Maybe if you availed yourself to AA’s program of recovery and became a good example of the transformation it can accomplish someone might follow you instead of being driven away by your constant gripeing.
Amen...............Many Alcoholics do recover - many go on to live life in a full and meaningful way - no failure there!!!!
Along the same lines - look at what is happening in society today - ethics have changed over the years, you do definitely see a younger group of addicts and alcoholics who have not yet experienced much of life - they have so few tools to live life, they have not learned that they can commit to anything. Many of our youth today don't stand much of a chance, there may not exist much hope.
The need for "instant gratification" is dominant and has influenced the increase in addiction in the younger population. The brevity of the disease has not hit home yet. Drugs definitely are more and more prevalent and seem to be the choice today for the younger folks. Many cannot relate to us AA's.
Our AA responsibility lies in modeling a better way of life and setting a good example. We must try to ignite a spark of hope whenever possible. I do not feel that AA is failing - it is still there for those who are willing.
Service Material from the General Service Office
ESTIMATED WORLDWIDE A.A. INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP MEMBERSHIP
members groups year
1,400 50 1940
12,986 556 1945
96,475 3,527 1950
135,905 6,249 1955
162,037 8,615 1960
232,105 12,444 1965
311,450 16,459 1970
533,590 26,456 1975
574,318 29,352 1976
612,876 31,587 1977
627,456 33,241 1978
868,171 39,964 1979
907,575 42,105 1980
937,705 47,797 1981
1,065,299 53,576 1982
1,191,946 58,576 1983
1,351,793 62,860 1984
1,445,999 67,019 1985
1,556,316 73,192 1986
1,617,296 76,184 1987
1,734,734 85,270 1988
1,793,834 87,696 1989
2,047,469 93,914 1990
2,148,757 96,500 1991
2,489,541 89,215 1992
2,062,380 90,155 1993
1,790,528 89,239 1994
1,726,341 86,449 1995
1,959,829 96,997 1996
1,967,433 97,568 1997
1,989,124 98,710 1998
1,995,804 99,020 1999
2,160,013 100,766 2000
2,215,293 100,131 2001
2,092,460 103,768 2002
2,066,851 104,589 2003
2,082,980 105,294 2004
1,867,212 106,202 2005
1,996,935 106,477 2006
2,044,655 113,168 2007
2,085,125 116,773 2008
2,103,033 115,773 2009
2,057,672 107,976 2010
the numbers didn't copy perfect, but you get the idea. in 2012 AA membership was back to 2.4 million and down some last year. you can see approximate membersip peaked in 1992. if you where around then you will remember many treatment centers closing their doors. I believe it was the end of the hughes act from 1971 or so. you can do a little research, google hughes act or iowa senator hughes and read for yourself. I think the decline over the last 20 years has more to do with insurance copanies not paying treatment centers to had over drunks on a silver platter.
It seems to me that the closing of treatment centers would
send more alcoholics to AA, not less. I believe that most
alcoholics are introduced to us before they reach the
treatment centers. We push them away and further down by
the way we conduct our AA meetings. ANONYMOUS
Sorry, i do have some brain damage! I said 70,000,000 books instead of 40,000,000 books. I mixed up the 70 languages the book has been translated to with the 40,000,000 copies sold.
the hughs act of 1972-1992 made treatment centers profitable and readily available. I see a corrilation between the hughes act and the boom of aa from 72-92. treatment sends everyone to aa. Large numbers coming to AA as part of a treatment plan, not because they want to stay sober. millions are bused to meetings and are required to attend during the aftercare program. when that slowed and stopped in most areas in 1992 we saw the decline or stagnation in AA membership.
in 1973, the 1,000,000th copy of the big book was given to president Nixon. in 1973 there were approxiamatly 500,000 members of AA. 2 books for each member and vertually no treatment centers. forty years later we have 2,000,000 members, 70,000,000 books in curculation and countless treatment centers giving a book to everyone who walks through the door. 69,000,000 books have been baught and given to probably 60,000,000 people since 1973 who have walked through a treatment center. I personally see whatever decline we have in aa due to AA giving up 12 step work to treatment centers and non 12 step based God less recovery from alcoholism - just my opinion. Look around at your local meetings. I have witnessed the further we get away from using the big book and a Higer power at our meetings, the further we've gotten away from the program and recovery from alcoholism. again, just my opinion
I'm rogue now not drinking, but rogue from meetings, did rehab, 9090, gotta get back shake it up!
I recently heard something you might be interested in. I heard a speaker say nixon signed a bill in 1971 that made insurance companies pay for treatment. he said in 1971 AA had 500k members. he said AA exploded until 1993 when treatment centers started to close. I think. he called it the "hough " or huff bill. anyway maybe what you think happened. in AA was really treatment centers pumping drunks into AA and the decline started when treatment centers declined. the timeline makes sence.
does anyone have first hand knowledge of such a bill?
After a bad drinking spell, I would often quote Nixon's
"This is my last press conference". And I would quit. But
Nixon later became President. And of course I would always
In 1992 we had almost two and a half million members
in AA. (Estimated). I believe that the move into the
Rockefeller subsidized building in New York created a
great division in Alcoholics Anonymous. I suspect that
many members understood this move to be a serious
violation of Tradition Seven and wanted nothing to
do with it. Personally I see it as a serious blunder.
Rockefeller had refused to give any further financial
assistance to AA. Yet we accepted space in a building
subsidized by him.
That collapse in 1993 was something I knew nothing
about until around 2007. I asked for and received a
membership list from GSO. It contained numbers from
1935 to 2007. That information has been deleted, and
is now in the vault with the salary numbers paid our
trusted servants. I challenge you to try to obtain
that complete list, OR SALARY FIGURES. ANONYMOUS
I have membership estimates up to 2010 from gso on my computer. I'll post it next time
Do you have the complete list with numbers from 1935?
A friend printed a bar graph and a line graph with the
numbers up to 2008. The graph makes our decline very
clear. I saw a lot of changes in the 1980's. Those
changes (I now consider them blunders), combined with
the move in 1992 to the Rockefeller subsidized building caused our
near collapse in 1993. I do appreciate your messages,
although we don't always agree. I do try to keep my
mind open, and believe I have a glimpse of humility.
It's easy for us to be lulled into a belief that there is an expiration date on "Cunning, baffling and powerful". Many are satisfied with remission until alcoholism's progression catches up. Recovery doesn't expire.
You've just shown an example of why al-anon's first step is the same as ours - "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol..." whether its clouding our minds or someone else's. Groups that I have been a member of have needed to have a group conscience decision and policy of what to do with disruptive people. It's sometimes warranted to have the police remove them. It is our responsibility to provide an atmosphere where AA's message can be carried. The disruptive person needs to be held accountable for their action. Many of us believe that there is no conflict with anonymity. We don't need to tell the police that the person is a member or an alcoholic. They are simply disrupting our work and need to be removed. Police like what we do and are willing to help.
Added to the damage of alcoholism, it is not unusual for many of us to engage in other unhealthful habits that promote dementia and we see the results at times. The Big Book and 12 & 12 have a number of things to say about the misbehavior of others and, more importantly, how we react to it. Your articles are there.
sounds like a mental illness surfacing.
God NEVER changes his mind. WE DO
I am an alcoholic that is clean and sober. I nearly had a spirital awakening, but my free will took over. I had the chance to awaken with my higher power and pride got in the way. I feel let down. Free will sucked me down and it hurt my chances to stay sober. God cares about me though there is some reason why there is a blockade. If I could just stop being the rebel punk rock upstart, and choose faith over stubborn ego, I might just survive. I come to meetings and belive in what A.A. is about. The seed is definately set. I just need to belong to the "We" in recovery and worry less about self importance and fighting everyone in society.
this is true, you are right in what you say. and for some reason I want to say "sir". I don't know why but I feel like you're a man. You need to look at the man in the mirror and realize that it was you who did what you did, and you can pull yourself out of it, with the Help of God. Yes, He is there, He is alway with you. God bless and may you see the promises of A.A. in your life. Thanks for reading, Heather
I am a big book recovering alcoholic and I love this thought.
THE WILL OF GOD, ONCE FOLLOWED, WILL NERVER LEAD ME TO A PLACE WHERE THE GRACE OF GOD WILL NOT PROTECT ME.
Iam living that right now as my whole sober life got turned around and I landed in a place thats safe, 15 minute walk to an AA group called good morning god. Miricales happen even if you dont ask for one.
I live here in Northwestern Pa. I looking for real AA meetings, Not these Drug and Alcohol meetings that are in this area. So please help. Z
The first meeting I attended almost 34 years ago included people identifying themselves as having problems with drugs other than the drug ethanol. Same with the last meeting last week and almost every one in between.
What exactly is it you think you will gain?
Great News for You.
GSO will be happy to send you a package to start whatever kind of pure AA group you want. Just add a coffee pot and you are set. That's exactly how the 64,000 plus groups in the US and Canada did it.
Z. I am looking for the same thing here in Connecticut.
When you find one, post the address here. I am willing to
I am a "pure and respectable" alcoholic. As such, I have nothing in common with the "addict" or "drugaholic," at least in terms of how my alcohol addiction manifested itself, and other minor details regarding the path and rate of my descent. The solution, however, is the same once I am able to put down the drink (or drug): I go to meetings to be reminded not to ingest anything that allows me to escape from life, from my troubles, from my emotions, as well as to learn how to deal with life on life's terms. I therefore find meetings not based on whether there are "others" besides alcoholics present, but rather based on whether the people there talk about the solution: how they get through the day without getting drunk or high regardless of what curves life may throw their way. As my favorite quote suggests: "We cannot tell what may happen to us in the strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us - how we can take it, what we do with it - and that is what really counts in the end. How to take the raw stuff of life and make it a thing of worth and beauty - that is the test of living."
ardest thing i did was yesterday.
ahhh i like that!! you're an overcomer! Heather
The pink cloud changed into real feelings. The steps helped me to walk through those feelings.
I’ve noticed the ever growing number of cupcake stores. Anyone else? Seems like they are on almost every corner. I’ve finally learned why and of all places on this message board! They are the home of the New AA Lite. When groups take out the objectionable material like the steps and big book beating and that God business, that’s what’s left, cupcakes! Eat up!
The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, the entire program, is offered to those who suffer.
It is offered in a suggestive manner. A suggestion is only the introduction of
an idea: a hint. We offer it. If they want it, they are welcome to try what worked for us.
Most of the drinking alcoholics I have met have a rebellious nature. So we do not give them anything to rebel against. Offer the new prospect a copy of the Big Book, and if they have any
interest they can read it. Don't tell them they must read it. Don't tell them they have to
read it to get sober or to join A.A. There are no musts in A.A. I believe if we can study
and employ this method, we can restore A.A. to an acceptable success rate. Our success rate
for the past twenty years has been zero. What do we have to lose? ANONYMOUS
While reviewing how to carry the message, particularly in meetings, I highlighted thirteen sugggestions in the chapter Working With Others.
You seem to suggest one is enough. I think the newcomer is worth all thirteen. Perhaps you could read what AA has found that works before trying to write your own.
Another benefit of this study revealed to me that your zero success rate is really "Rarely have we seen a person fail.."
Fortunately for me, I was able to obtain a college degree before my alcoholism sent me running to AA. I’m not willing to write off the thousands less fortunate with difficulties reading by telling them here it is and throwing them a book. There are some very smart people that have difficulty reading. Our delegate from a few years ago told how an in depth big book study retreat gave his recovery a tremendous boost simply because everything was spoken aloud. He was able to deal with his reading problems AFTER he got sober.