New to AA
Hi, I'm an alcoholic that's been trying on and off to quit for years. This go around I started back in Jan 2013 after my husband gave me an ultimatum. I found a good home group, got a sponsor, went to meetings. Sober for 2 weeks than drank when my husband went out of town for the weekend. He found out and was extremely upset with me. Went back to AA and tried harder, another 2 weeks of sobriety and then screwed up again. Confessed to my husband and begged for forgiveness. Prayed and really put my heart into succeeding. He even started going to Al-anon meetings. Got to 23 days and was feeling really good. Planning and looking forward to getting my 30 day chip. Drank again while out of the house, came home drunk. Needless to say my husband is more than disgusted, he's at the end of his rope. Says he won't go to Al-anon anymore because he says by my actions I don't care and am just blowing off all the help and support I've gotten thus far. Went to a meeting with my sponsor the next day and am now on my 3rd day of sobriety. I really want to succeed, I know alcohol is poison to me but I'm so scared my husband is going to leave me and I don't know what to do except keep trying one day at a time. Can anyone give me any advice? How to explain to a non-alcoholic the insanity that says "I can handle this" even thought you know intellectually that you will be disappointing all of the people who love you. I will be grateful for any help or advice. Thanks, Mary
Mary, here is an example of putting "principles before personalities."
This bickering... so silly. Especially because you are new, especially because "one alcoholic helping another alcoholic" is the tenant AA is based on. Not fighting.. and certainly with a newcomer.
I'm sorry Mary. Most meetings you would NEVER see this. What you will see, feel, and hear is SUPPORT.
I believe relapse is part of recovery too, for some. Some get it right away (stopping drinking) and some it takes a little longer. So it's part of recovery until it's not. For a lot.
That said, I was in a meeting the other day where a man with 26 years went out (drank) and after a number of months of drinking, came back into the program. And this ain't the first time I've seen this. And it won't be the last, unfortunately.
None of these people can say they'll never drink again. It's not the way we look at it. But there's a very good chance many will not drink again, and a chance some will. Again, I've seen it alot, even the "old timers..."
Mary, I understand how hard stopping is. I agree it does have to come before your marriage, or anything. It has to be #1. That kept me from getting sober for a long time.
Make it #1, Mary. Pick up the phone instead of that drink (also something I struggled with for a VERY long time.)
My other advice is, when you see bickering start like this - run. Go to another Board, post, or better yet a meeting. Or call your sponsor. i KNOW how hard this is Mary, it's exactly how I felt.
You can do it, Mary. I believe in you. :-)
It sounds like you're now using "it's a disease" to justify you continually going out. If you don't want to quit now..that's up to you. I have a disease. I am not responsible for having the disease, but I AM RESPONSIBLE to Manage it and are accountable for my behavior.
I also have the ISM, which qualifies me for our sister fellowship. I am responsible to take care of that as well.
You can both get well, but each needs to want it for themselves.. That's my experience.
part of recovery is relapse. Your husband has to understand,
and love you enough to see that. You really must also
come to realize that your sobriety is primary important for
yourself, not anyone else. Good luck, I am fighting for my
life right now, and I am doing it for ME.
Steer Manure!!! Saying relapse is part of recovery is like saying drinking is part of sobriety.
First off, you can't lose something you don't have. Any wino who gets locked up on Friday night and has to wait until Monday to go to court will get a few days dry time. And simple dry time is not sobriety, so drinking after doing nothing but going to meetings is't relapse.
Perhaps you might try getting a Big Book and doing what the founders recommend. As it says on page 39 in the 12&12, "More sobriety brought about by the admission of alcoholism and by attendance at a few meetings is very good indeed, but it is bound to be a far cry from permanent sobriety and a contented, useful life."
"part of recovery is relapse."
Oh really? And is drinking part of sobriety? This is another of those sayings from the treatment industry that untreated alcoholics grab on to. It gives every alcoholic permission to drink again, and possibly die or kill someone else.
"...This is another of those sayings from the treatment industry that untreated alcoholics grab on to..."
And did blaming come from the treatment industry too?
"And did blaming come from the treatment industry too?"
Just what are you trying to stir up? The saying, "Relapse is part of recovery certainly didn't come from any AA literature I've read. Who else is responsible for such an outrageous statement besides someone in the treatment industry?
You, or someone else using the name 'Anonymous,' feels free to put the blame for what he/she sees as AAs decline on chips, medallions, holding hands, praying, reading, hugging, etc. etc. etc.
If AA is actually declining it is because we embrace idiotic sayings like this, simply because some 'professional' says they're true. They are as true as the statement, "But Officer, I only had two drinks."
Those who have resentment for treatment centers seem to tar them all with the same brush. My experience and others sharing their experience with different treatment centers has shown a tremendous diversity. From my own, with all recovering alcoholic staff running a boot camp- like supervision of steps 1 through 5 to someone else with bible studies and working on a farm tending cows to another playing tennis with movie stars. I even remember a young nurse receiving aversion therapy in the early eighties. The only thing they have in common is not being affiliated with us. Any other generalization about them is certainly suspect if not something to be shoveled by the fellow on the farm.
Somehow the part in the forth step that tells me that “…we had drop the word blame from our speech and thought…” has stuck with me as a principal to practice. I’ve learned that blaming is un-necessary, adds nothing and renders me less than I can be. I got nailed and good preparing my fourth step, saying that I felt angry when my brother was late in get-togethers with me. It was pointed out to me that I was not the grand time-keeper of the universe or my brother’s parole officer and if I had half a brain I might change my expectations based on past experience. It worked. I expect him when I see him and am grateful for our time together whenever it gets started. I like to be punctual. Not everyone does. It may cause them problems. It’s their life.
“Relapse is part of recovery” is not part of AA, period.
Not satisfied? OK? “Rarely have we seen a person fail…” IS a part of AA and says exactly the opposite. Just like “Half measures availed us nothing…” is the opposite of “fake it ‘til you make it”. Over thirty years and I still concentrate every time How It Works is read. Important stuff in there.
Relapse is NOT part of recovery! It is part of useing.
I feel your pain. I had "one foot in one foot out" first three months. I am looking one day at a time 30 days on Sunday. I have new levels of acceptance that I think came from daily meeting & morning prayers/writing. Just keep doing the right next thing.
what we really have is a daily reprieve contingent upon the maintenance of our spiritual condition. don't think about trying to make 30 days, just stay sober TODAY. Stop trying to stay sober cause your husband will live you, how about, stay sober, because if you don't it will kill you. Do it for yourself, trust in God, then days will turn into months, and so on
Hi Mary, Make as many meetings as you can a day. I had to. I went to 4 sometimes 5 meetings a day. My family stood behind my efforts. I worked the steps with a very good sponsor. I don't know when I quit working the steps and they started working me. Who do you call when you want to go out and drink? You have a list of home group names and phone numbers of people who can help. That's if you're serious about quitting. Keep going to those meetings. Go when you don't want to go. Get a good sponsor who you can feel comfortable with to share your problems. Turn to page 112 in the big book and read the first 3 words. Then DO it.
I hope captdeep6 meant 4 or 5 meeting a WEEK not a day. I started with two a week and stayed with that for the first couple of years. My sobriety is a byproduct of being responsible and I had a lot of catching up to do. Work, home, financial and I rewarded myself with whatever non-drinking enjoyment I could think of.
I suppose a person could avoid an epidemic by staying in quarantine, I took the vaccine called the twelve steps.
I read Step 1 in the 12 and 12 every day for 10 days in a row. It changed who I was. All the steps do. You have a disease that is killing about two hundred people a day in the US. Words have completely arrested this disease in millions of us. Words. You have been told this before. Is this any indication of the condition our minds are in? Words. Read them,listen to them, believe then, say them, write them down. Repeat.
"Words have completely arrested this disease in millions of us. Words. You have been told this before. Is this any indication of the condition our minds are in? Words. Read them,listen to them, believe then, say them, write them down. Repeat."
Not so!!! We can read, listen to, believe, say, write down and repeat every word in a cookbook, but unless we do what those words tell us we can starve to death. The Big Book has an entire chapter titled "Into Action" but none on "Into Words."
Original word guy here.
“We admitted we were powerless…
I started listening to your words. A lot of your stories weren’t like mine. Then I began to notice that a lot of your stories STARTED like mine and then the disease progressed much further. If we started at the same place and headed in the same direction what would stop my progression? Maybe you quart for breakfast guys are my future.
Through years of drinking, I had developed a knee-jerk reaction; such-and-such happens so drink. I wrote down the history, the progression of this. My intensions, the unpredicted results. Time after time after time. Concentrating fifteen years of insane drinking into less than a fifteen minute synopsis. Just the drinking, nothing else. Looking over this insanity, I was no longer the thirty year old Joe Cool that shuffled into an AA hall to get a quick tune-up for his drinking that had gotten a little out of hand. It had always been out-of-hand. It had always been crazy. If I could think my way out of it, I would have done it long ago.
Came to believe…
If I could trust the God of my understanding I wouldn’t have gotten in to this mess in the first place. I needed a higher horsepower Higher power. I went to a lot of step two meetings. I listened to you guys talk about your idea of God. I read “Religions of the World”. I tested a couple of churches. Watched Joseph Campbell’s “Power of Myth” series. Read “Conversations with God”. Without alcohol to kill the pain of dealing with life’s problems I had never learned to deal with, I was ready to explode. I came to believe.
And so on. Words.
In addition to alcoholism, I also have heart disease. Words won’t fix it. My second sponsor died of cancer. Words wouldn’t fix it either but the work we had done on our alcoholism gave us the courage to face the challenges of life and death with dignity and serenity. We are promised this by the time we are halfway through step nine. Making amends – words…
I must be missing something. Words spoken have certainly
saved alcoholic's lives. Words from some members have
pushed prospects away, before the real message is heard
and understood. Words, spoken and written are our greatest
assets. (tools). Sharing and listening are the fellowship's main ingredients. Writing is also helpful. I honestly do not understand what you mean when you say you use the Big Book, if it is not to read, understand, believe and to speak(words) to other alcoholics? That is how I have used it
for over four decades. Please, take a few minutes to
explain "How Jim Sees It". ANONYMOUS
"Please, take a few minutes to explain "How Jim Sees It". ANONYMOUS"
How Jim sees it? Do i detect a bit of animosity here? A resentment perhaps?
In parochial school each of us wanted to be an altar boy. This was 'back in the day' when the Roman Catholic mass was said in Latin. So to serve mass we had to learn the responses. We read then, heard them and memorized them until we could give the proper response at the proper time. But very few of us took the time or made and effort to learn what the words meant.
There's a local gent who could recite Chapter 5 from memory before he had three months in the Fellowship. Knowing the words didn't keep him sober, though it did make him popular at meetings before he slipped.
Words are only as good as the use we make of them. Early in my sobriety I got transferred to an area where there were no meetings and no known sober alcoholics. My last live AA contac suggested (promised) that If I used the Big Book and a Higher Power I'd be all right. If you'll notice, he said 'use,' not read, not study, nor memorize but use. Isn't that what a textbook is for?
No resentment, no animosity. I never wanted to be an
alter boy. I went to public schools. I am grateful that
we have stayed sober all these years. There are so few of us left. I appreciate your service to our country in your
early sobriety. Alcohol helped me get through the two
years in the Army. I did not have A.A. I was not quite
"ready". Thanks for your service to our fellowship,
and for your responses. We are both in the same book.
Hopefully someday we will be on the same page. ANONYMOUS
I know this isn't FB but super like your comment!
Sounds like you are an alcoholic of my type. Early on I could only stay sober for short periods by attending meetings and talking to my sponsor. I have observed this again and again over the years. Alcoholics staying dry on the fellowship for months, sometime up to a year. They seem to want to want to stop.
When I hit bottom, I told my sponsor I was ready to do whatever it took to stay sober. He said ok, now your going to do what I do and that’s live the program of AA as outlined in our book “Alcoholics Anonymous”. Until I was willing to do what I had not done up to that point there was nothing anyone could do to keep me sober. He took me through the first 164 pages of the program of AA in the big book the way his sponsor had done with him 10 years earlier. I have not had a drink since and my life is now the best I have ever known.
There is even a couple chapters in the big book for your husband, to the wives and the family afterward. You should read them also.
Good luck to you. Remember you can go to meetings and read until your blue in the face. Take the actions our literature suggest to some, but are directions for those who want to recover.
Just curious, Mary, in all the years you've been 'trying on and off to quit' have you ever tried taking the steps?
I am a beginner and have been sober for two months. I am so thankful for AA in general and for my group specifically, but I am having a problem that has seemed inappropriate to bring up at meetings yet. In case it helps, I am in my mid-fifties, a diabetic, and my choice of poison was red wine. Here's the problem: my sleep patterns are all messed up, and I don't know what to do about it. I am exhausted during the day and often end up taking two to four hour naps. Then, of course, I can't fall asleep at night, and when I do, I have terrible and often frigtening dreams. I can't wait for five or six o'clock to roll around so I can finally get up and get ready for work. I have tried praying, reading, getting up to do something, etc., all to no avail. Sedatives and/or sleeping pills are out of the question for obvious reasons. If you have any experience with this, I would love to hear your advice. Thank you in advance!
You must have a perfect job if it lets you take naps during the day. Step eleven did the trick for me. Meditation helped me tremendously. Lying in bed I learned to relax, clear my mind, start with my toes, go to my legs, up my torso, arms, fingers totally relaxed and comfortable. Nothing rubbing, pinching, or cutting off circulation. Covers not too confining, pillow set just right. I concentrated on my breathing.I took deep breaths. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Keeping my mind clear and breathing this way put me in rem sleep faster than any thing I knew. It's like I hypnotized myself to sleep. I have a very busy schedule most days. I have learned that I can't take tomorrow to bed with me.It's my time to rest and let the world turn.
Another thing on insomnia from the GV
TURN THE FACE OF YOUR ALARM CLOCK TO THE WALL. The day after a night troubled by insomnia you will be as tired as the amount of sleep that you KNOW that you lost. If you don’t know, because you couldn’t see the clock and keep track of it, you will not be tired. I’ve done it time and time again and it works for this alcoholic but it like everything else, you have to ACTUALLY DO IT.
Hang in there
Thanks for trusting us and posting here. Small world. Early in sobriety I also had sleep problems. Considering our the change in diet, is it any wonder? A piece from a Grapevine helped me. Quoting an Army study, it was shown that a great deal of sleep is required but adequate rest is. ie It won't kill you. Little comfort eh? I know. So get plenty of rest however you can. Don't fight with it. Do whatever you need to do to meet your responsibilities and accept whatever's left. Getting sober, you are doing a great (although sometimes difficult) thing for yourself. Reward yourself in any safe way you can. You'll have time enough to straighten out your whole life later (as needed). Take it easy.
Great thing about AA is that we can choose as much quality of sobriety as we are willing to work for. I've seen better sobriety in people at six months or two years than some have at thirty. If alcoholism responded to a solely spiritual program it would have been solved thousands of years ago. If it could be outsmarted by thinking about it enough that would have been done by now too. It is a program of action. Meetings are a room full of screwed up people, that's why the solution is always on the wall. When doing a step I was taught to read a step ten times from the 12 & 12. Worked for me.
Trouble sleeping would be perfectly appropriate for any face to face meeting I go to. I frequently find that someone else is having the same problem, whatever it is. It's learning how to deal with broken shoelaces not solving the threat nuclear war that keeps us sober.
My young adult son (23) told me he went to AA last week. He lives in another state. I'm thrilled, because his father had a drinking problem, and I've suspected as much for my son, but he hides it well. How can I be supportive from a distance? I have just found an Al-Anon group in my neighborhood that I will go to next week, but thought others might have some ideas as well?
Thanks for this service - it's so valuable to find information one needs, online!
I have been active in AA and sober for 33 years and have learned very little about dealing with alcoholism from your end. And for the alcoholic, I am worthless unless he wants to quit.
Sounds like you were married to an alcoholic, perhaps raised one and that's not usually the start of an Al-Anon story. The difference between the drinker and his partner is that we get a lot of anesthetic to kill the pain and escape from the problems for a while. You never get a break. That's why you get crazier. Sorry for the bad news. Al-Anon is the good news.
We both recover by doing not by thinking. Do it sooner, be more helpful to your son. Wait 'til later?
Give the gift of Grapevine magazine. Subscribe your son. He will think fondly of you as each issue arrives.
Consider to subscribing your son to the Grapevine Magazine. He will think of you fondly whenever he receives an issue.
After attending meetings the past few months, I can't help thinking AA is religious. People seem over-the-top with God, prayer and miracles. "Stick around to the miracle happens" I'm a Christian and still became an alcoholic so how is God going to help me? One man said I have to obey the 12 steps or else I will die. Another guy told me, "You know what the difference between spirituality and religion? Religion is for people trying to stay out of hell and spirituality is for people who have been there." I thought "How stupid and arrogant is that? I'm religious so I've never been in hell? Only people in AA have been in hell?" My father was mugged six years ago and was left to die. He now has brain trauma and is limited to a bed. I've cared for him because he doesn't have health insurance and the bills are pilling up. The man who abused me to no end and I am taking care of him. Everytime I look at him I have flashbacks of violence. Is this not hell? But he is my father so I choose to love him. Alcohol used to help erase the memories but, when it wears off the memories always come back. When alcohol stopped working for me, I came to AA for help. I'm not angry with God, Job went through worse. If AA is only about God and miracles why can't I just go to church? Don't know if this makes sense to anyone. Thank AA
Alcoholics can come up with some strange and crazy things to say at meetings. I've got some good news for you though. They mean well. For we are people who would not usually mix. I drank to forget as well. I admire your fortitude in helping your father. You can go to church. The big book tells us to be willing to see where religious people are right. If you go to AA meeting you may hear God speak through another suffering alcoholic. After all you've been through wouldn't it be a blessing to you to have a sponsor to tell your troubles to? AA is a spiritual program and makes no tie with established religions. You must find that answer within yourself. I believe you have the courage to see the truth about yourself. This quote is also in the big book in one of the stories in the back. "It's easier to Act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting."
Thanks for sharing. I sponsored a priest once and after a few years I was curious to why he asked me being I am a atheist.
He said, "I know all about God but you know how to stay sober and I needed to learn how to stay sober". Eventually, I moved out of state and he went on to run a retreat for alcoholics. There is magic in the rooms no doubt. Some say it comes from God others say it comes from human beings. I've always been in the camp of the latter. Just don't pick up the first drink or switch addictions and you will be okay. Although the road ahead is difficult the path is easy. I wish you the best. Anyone who has the strength to take care of his father under those conditions certainly can teach me something about life.
Although, I've been sober for many years, today you were my guide a true light. Thank you.
Yours are questions that I have asked myself for a long time, seems to be no answer to them. One of my best friends in AA is a Nun who prayed incessantly for 50 years to little avail before, as she says, finding God in the smoke filled rooms of AA. Go figure.
The process we refer to as the steps has been around since time began we in AA did not invent them, but they are laid out in such a manner that we who are alcoholic seem to respond and in time they become an outline for living that provides some joy and freedom that was unattainable in any other venue. Maybe it is due to the "language of the heart" we understand one another like no one can.
Spirituality has been discribed as having the abilty to see, do and feel what I could not see, do nor feel on my un-aided will. May the God of your understanding Bless You, Ray
AA is not a religious organization, although through group autonomy, each group can run it’s affairs as it sees fit, provided they have a singleness of purpose of teaching and practicing the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous. We have a book called “Alcoholics Anonymous” after which our fellowship is named. The program of AA is outlined in the first 164 pages of that book. If you want to learn about AA I would suggest you read it. We have another book called the 12x12. It was written by one of our co founders. Bill W was the sole author of the 12x12 and he wrote 24 essays of his view of the 12 steps and 12 traditions. In the 12x12 Bill wrote that the 12 steps are principals, spiritual in nature. If practiced as a way of life can expel the compulsion to drink and make the sufferer usefully and happily whole( or something close to that). The 12x12 also says that the big book is and still is the basic text for AA.
The 12 steps are a program to help an alcoholic find a higher power that will relieve the alcoholic’s powerlessness over alcohol. If you are not powerless over alcohol, I believe you don’t need the 12 steps to overcome drinking. If you are not powerless over alcohol, I don’t believe you are an alcoholic.
If all alcoholics had to do was go to church, there would be no need for AA. If we could apply the spirituality of the church to our lives we would not have become alcoholic. The program of AA teaches us a spiritual way of life that will enable us to believe in the higher power of our choice and we can grow from that point. It is impossible to practice self-examination, restitution, meditation, prayer, and service to others and remain the same. To me AA is the 12 steps. The meetings, fellowship, and sponsorship is just the atmosphere around the steps.
I hope I have been helpful to you. Remember, when in doubt, find your answer in AA conference approved literature. AA as a whole has recognized that literature as AA.
Good luck to you and God bless you
Thanks for sharing. AA is not a religion. Read the Preamble.
We are a diverse group of individuals who have a common problem. The new term I believe is brain disorder-Whether it is that or a disease I cannot say however, when I drink I can't stop. I wind up in bar fights, DUI's, jail and out on the street. I have blackouts and the shakes to no end. My liver has become permanantly scarred and when I came in the rooms I was at an emotional and psychological level of a teenager. Okay, the tone of AA reflects the area the meeting is in and to answer your question people do say stupid things in AA. I personally returned to the Catholic Church but, I keep that separate from AA. My sponsees have no idea of this and its not important for them to know it. AA is about saving butts, religion is about saving souls. Its honorable of you to take care of your father. The person that can reach inside and find that kind of love can surely stay sober for one day. Even though I am a Catholic I like Agnostic and Athiest meetings because they focus on more humanist ideas. They stay with logic and reason. Also its fashionalbe in the rooms to knock religion But, church helps me feel closer to God in a way AA can't. AA helps me feel love and compassion for another human being. It teaches me things the box on Sunday can not. If it was up to me AA should eliminate all the god parts and leave that up to churches. Good Luck and Easy Does It
I just had my 1 month anniversary of sobriety. I woke up Sunday morning and was getting ready for church when my wife said she had something for me and made me close my eyes.
Sha put a 1-month coin in my hand. It was a shiny red coin and it brought me to tears. My wife told me how much she loved me and how proud she was.
I am just getting started, but I can tell you that this coin will remain with me forever in my sobriety. Getting an anniversary coin from a sponsor or a fellow alcoholic is great, but having come from your spouse means so much. I am inspired and motivated to spiritually change my life and my relationships with so many caring people that we often don't recognize but are all around us if we just look, reach out and believe in ourselves.
In this one month I have sparked my relationship with my wife and have remembered how beautiful the mornings are.
I hope this passage helps someone who might be struggling with alcoholism.
One day at at time!
“Stick around to the miracle happens?” Miracles? “Let go let God” “Turn it over to God” “But for the Grace of God” “God doesn’t close one door without opening another.” “God does make garbage” This is the kind of stuff that confuses people and associates us with a religious God. The earlier members were religious not spiritual and AA arose from a religious God. The spiritual language came afterwards to soften our religious underpinnings thanks to atheists and open-minded people. The main problem is the god of the big book is certainly a religious god and this can’t be rearranged into spiritual language. Does anyone know if there is an agnostic and atheist pamphlet available? Has this issue ever been addressed seriously? To me, the problem is not with the foot soldiers but the generals. Until the general clarifies this issue the foot soldiers will continue to remain alcohol canyon fodder.
You can sit in meetings and listen to some pretty strange things. This program would not be here but for alcoholics truthfully and faithfully working the steps to find A God and believeing in A God of THEIR understanding.Do you get that? A God of THEIR understanding. Not your understanding of God, but their own. Would you deny that several million people have turned away from drink and drugs to live purposeful lives because they found, through AA, a god of their understanding? Even if the group conscience is their god of understanding? Have you found one yet? If not, please go back and read step 3, work it and work step 4 truthfully and admit every thing you can think of that you have a resentment for. Tell these things to someone you trust. Maybe to another alcoholic who may have been where you are. Step five is when you give all these resentments to the God of your understanding and forgive yourself while you're at it. For clarification, get on your knees and pray to the GOD of YOUR UNDERSTANDING truthfully. If you have a good relationship with him you will get your answer.Sometimes in a way that will give you pause to think about miracles. Maybe a spiritual awakening will happen for you. There are chapters to the agnostic in the big book. Turn to page 112 and read the first 3 words. Then Do It! Ask your group secratary about the pamphlets. They should be available from your district office. As for me, I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I took a 35 year drinking vacation away from him. He loves me and has never left me. He has forgiven me and is teaching me how to forgive, to love again and help other suffering alcoholics. I was lead to this program by him. I just didn't want to see it at the time. I ask God each day to guide my heart and my thoughts and then turn my will over to him. I'm grateful for the removal of the obsession and compulsion to drink.In the words of the good doctor: " If I keep thinking what I'm thinking and doing what I'm doing, I'll probably never drink again."
Reading the AA pamphlet "The AA Group" will dispel any notions you have about generals and solders. Armed with this understanding, you might consider a study of all the traditions.
Our general clarified these issues. He wrote that the Big
Book was to be suggestive only, and that more would be
revealed. Our foot soldiers need to read and understand
the book. We could start by developing a true understanding
of definition of suggested, suggestion.
Don't quit before the miracle. If a member relapses he
is told he/she quit just before the miracle. The miracle
we seek may never happen. But I am convinced that no matter
what happens in life, drinking is not an answer for the
alcoholic. Trying to help a brother or sister alcoholic
to not drink for a day may be that answer.
Bill W. also wrote a vast amount of information in
later years. He warned us about becoming a religion,
and how this would be unfortunate To A.A.'s future. The
future has come, and we have ignored Bill's warning.
And A.A. today is basically a failure. This is obvious
from the outside. Our present membership are in complete
denial. They chant "A.A. is fine, see nothing wrong here".
Bill's Grapevine writings are filled with warnings
about the future of A.A. He writes about blunders we
might make. One by one we have made all of them. ANONYMOUS
Is e-AA an official on line forum associated with AA or Grapevine?
The following was taken from the AA conference approved pamphlet-A brief guide to AA
How does AA help the alcoholic?
Through the example and friendship of the recovered alcoholics in AA, new members are encouraged to stay away from a drink “one day at a time,” as the AAs do. Instead of “swearing off forever” or worrying about whether they will be sober tomorrow, AAs concentrate on not drinking right now-today.
By keeping alcohol out of their systems, newcomers take care of one part of their illness- their bodies have a chance to get well. But remember, there is another part. If they are going to stay sober, they need healthy minds and healthy emotions, too. So they begin to straighten out their confused thinking and unhappy feelings by following AA’s “Twelve Steps” to recovery. These Steps suggest ideas and actions that can guide alcoholics toward happy and useful lives.
To be in touch with other members and to learn about the recovery program, new members go to AA meetings regularly.
I havn't heard this for a while. I thought we could use a short refresher on AA as stated in our liturature. Enjoy!
I feel fewer people are recovering in AA,and a more appropriate topic should be "How is AA not helping the alcoholic?" If we really cared about the newcomer instead of over exaggerating our accomplishments maybe, we could help more people and increase our dismal recovery rates.
To me, the problem lies in the zealots of recovery who are stuck in 1930's. If we could bring AA into the 21st Century then we could help more people. I care about the fellowship very much. This is not a professional study but, last year, I counted all the new people who showed up at my home group. Out of the 479 newcomers that entered only 12 stayed. Of course, there are many factors evolved but, we should care for and question why the 467 left and not simply washing our hands by saying "They didn't want what we have"
I know from the groups I attend and my own behavior that we can certainly improve our end and you might be surprised how pertinent the information in “Working With Others” is in today’s meetings. I also think that there is another influence in the low “staying” rate. I see many newcomers sent by somebody because their drinking is generating problems, frequently big problems. However, alcohol is still working for them. It’s giving them a feeling that they like, an escape from their problems. I had horrific problems from drinking, some in the very beginning but just like the stories in the big book, it didn't stop me. And, like them, I didn't have the motivation to change until alcohol stopped working.
You are right - anecdotal evidence such as you present is just that. If yours is the only meeting with 30 miles, maybe the 467 decided based on their experience with your group that AA wasn't for them. Maybe they were court (or spouse) ordered and really didn't want to be there in the first place. As I have not been to meetings wherever you are, I can't comment of the tolerance and open-minded of the "trusted servants" who chair meetings. Dr. Bob preached "love and tolerance," though I wonder whether he could have tolerated yet another atheist-agnostic besides Jim B. So while his approach might have turned me away, it might have helped the next person through the door after me. The longer I am around, the less I know about what works for which person, so best I can do is share what worked for me while adding that I wouldn't recommend my program to anyone.
By sharing what worked for me I am offering a suggested
method of recovery. I do not recommend my program to
anyone. No A.A. member recommends anything to anyone.
(in theory of course). We only share our own experience
and allow every member to decide what they want or choose
to do. Bill wrote that the Big Book in its entirety was
meant to be suggestive only. We all know that the steps
are but suggestions. Our real problem is that we do not
know the meaning of suggestion. To say that the steps are
free: the only ones you pay for are the ones you do not
take, distorts the meaning of suggestion.
I certainly would recommend what worked for me. I have
seen it work often enough to know that it works. But at
an A.A. meeting I do not recommend it to anyone. I only
offer it as a suggestion, an idea, a thought to consider.
Your calculations sound about right. 2.5% is shameful.
Numbers and messages like yours are why I keep trying to return our fellowship to its most effective state. I
believe that at its best we could have held on to at
least 300 of those suffering human beings. ANONYMOUS
Our most effective state was early in Cleveland Ohio where they had a recorded 93% recovery rate. How was that done? It is documented that in Cleveland they used personal sponsorship along with the big book to indoctrinate newcomers to the program. It worked so well that many thought AA started in Cleveland instead of Akron or New York. Each prospective newcomer was admitted to a hospital and assigned a sponsor who then took them through the big book is a short time. Then they were brought to the meetings, not before they worked the steps. Read for yourself in AA Comes of Age pages 20,21, and 22. If you want more information search “how it worked” for more information.
Hi Corey, how has AA helped you? You were kind to bring up the topic but never expanded on it. If one is going to take the role of a chairperson here perhaps it would be helpful if they disclose a little bit more about how AA helped them and what their life is like today.
What gives in your recovery? Don't go stingy on us :)
Sincerely, Janielle S. Nevada