New to AA

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Nursing student.

Some AA members are uneasy with outsiders in attendance. So
please get all the information you can when you call. We
have an unusual number (perhaps 15) students who have
attended our Monday 5:30 meeting, in a two year period. possibly because it is early evening and the beginning of the week. There are two nursing
schools in the area. Usually they attend in pairs. One
nursing student identified herself initially as a nursing
student. During the discussion she took the first step
and admitted she is an alcoholic. No one yelled: Hi Sue!
We have done away with that nonsense. We simply listened
as she shared her problems with alcohol.
A speaker discussion meeting would probably be best.
Don't limit yourself to the one meeting. Spend the time
and effort to go to six meetings, at least one N/A and
an Overeaters Anonymous. We have an epidemic of obesity
in our country and you need all the information you can
gather for your profession. I believe this is equally
important to reading vital signs. ANONYMOUS

Type of Meeting

Not an unusual request at all and as a nursing student and caring individual I believe it's great that you want to learn more about the disease of addiction. Meetings that you can attend are open meetings. You can look in the phone book for Alcoholics Anonymouse (AA) make the call and explain that you are looking for an open meeting and why.
I'm confident the person you talk to will be more than helpful. God's Grace.

Type of AA meeting

If you choose AA rather than NA I strongly recommend you find a speaker meeting rather than a discussion or a book study. The best thing to do is call your local Intergroup/Central Office. They can point you to the best meeting for you.

We are chosen

When I came to this program I couldn't believe that my God could have chosen me to be sober. He has for many years, around these tables and mtg. rooms, for his own reasons not mine. Keep coming and the miracle will happen for you, also.

Joined: 2012-02-25
Potential Alcoholics

I have been going to AA now since January 4 of this year - almost 5 months ago. I have not had a drink since then which is pretty amazing since I was a daily wine drinker for the last 20 or so years. If I didn't have any wine in the house, I would go & buy some or go to a restaurant & order a glass or drink a beer instead - if I had any. I always had a nagging voice telling me that I might be an alcoholic but because I could stop after a few glasses, I concluded that I could not be an alcoholic - that only people who cannot stop drinking until they pass out are alcoholics. I became more aware of alcoholism about 10 years ago when I started going to Al Anon. Sometimes I wonder how much I would be drinking if I had not become involved in AlAnon. I have decided to continue going to aa because I do have a desire to not drink again and my life has been better without the daily wine.

Joined: 2012-07-01
In the same boat

I am only on day 2 of not drinking, but did also drink wine every night.. From 1-4 glasses. Some days I did only have one... But I did feel like I needed at least 1. Are you thinking that this means I may not be a an alcoholic?

Joined: 2012-05-30
re in the same boat

Alhcoholics have a mental obsession coupled with a physical allergy to alcohol.

to see if you are an alcoholic our big book of experience suggests you try some controlled drinking. Have a drink or two then stop abrubtly. Try it more than once. If you find you cant stop that means you have the physical allergy to alcohol, the inability to stop once you start.

Our big book also suggest leavinig alcohol alone for one year. If you can leave booze alone for one year you may only be a hard drinker or a potential alcoholic. the experiment of leaving alcohol alone for a year tempts our mental obbsession with booze. I think its when I think it's ok to drink just before I drind regardless of what the consequences might be.

I would suggest purchasing the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" and reading to see if you are one of us. If not, go about your business, is you are, then welcome.

Joined: 2012-04-21
Finding the right fit

I have been in the program of AA for about nine months and during this time I have had three sponsors. None have been the right one. My first sponsor and I did well until our schedules did not match up anymore. She suggested a different woman to sponsor me and that did not work out. I then was continuing to go to meetings and try to get another sponsor. I have had trouble with staying sober. I would be sober for a week or two then go and drink again then I would do good for longer and then bam, back to the bottle. I abtained another sponsor and she stayed with me for almost three months but she said that me going back out and messing up again and again was afecting her serenity. So we decided it would be best to go seperate ways. I then picked up a male sponsor who I looked up to and had a connection with. This did not work out because my husband wants to take the steps with me. I am fine with this idea and actually excited about it since he has done a 180 degree turn from when this all started. I have been with him for tweleve years and he is my best friend. So my dilema is that I am having trouble finding a sponsor that understands. My husband wants to come to meetings with me, he wants to work the steps with me,( he even bought himslef a big book of his own ), and he reads my daily reading with me and even without me. I don't know how to find a sponsor that is for me and I am getting frustrated because I am ready to work the steps. I am working them on my own though and I will continue to do so. If anyone has any advice I would love to hear any. I am lost and trying to stay sober one day at a time. Help please.

Finding the Right Fit

You've got a lot going on, but Keep on Keeping On! I did my 12 steps with my first Sponsor, then we parted company and I had to get a new sponsor; she said, "We're going to do Steps 1 thru 12 in order." I replied, "I already did that." She said, "You didn't do it with me." So we did the Steps.

She got her hours changed. I got a new Sponsor; she said, "We're going to do Steps 1 thru 12." I replied, "I already did that." She said, "You didn't do it with me." So we did the Steps.

She moved. I got a new Sponsor; she said, "We're going to do Steps 1 thru 12." I replied, "I already did that." She said, "You didn't do it with me." So we did the Steps.

It was good, very good. Would your husband be equally willing to go to Al-Anon? If not, why not? Is he controlling in other areas of your life? Have you earned his trust? I got sober going to six to eleven meetings a week for the first 7 years. Then I cut back a little to go to college. If you make a lot of meetings (being on time means being 15 minutes early - you deserve to get the "meeting before the meeting" AND "the meeting after the meeting") you'll have more opportunity to hear a woman who has what you want. Every potential sponsor is not necessarily available to sponsor, but maybe she has a sponsee who is capable and available that she would suggest to you. If a woman says "no", realize that is about HER, not about YOU.

Your husband can take a parallel journey - it's great to get sober together! But he cannot take YOUR journey. The Steps are an intimate experience - between you, your HP, and your Sponsor; no room for 4th parties. You would never get thru a 4th step with Husband looking over your shoulder; it violates the DO NO HARM principle of Step 9.

25 Years Sober in South Jersey

RE: finding the right fit

Is it not obvious that what you are doing is just not
working? Stop trying to find a sponsor. Step away from those
AA members who tell you to "get a sponsor and work those
steps!" Find an open step meeting where the steps are read
and talked about. Not a "step study" where the steps are
"worked". Attend with your husband each week.
Find an open Big Book meeting where the book is
read and discussed, not where it is being "taught" by
a self-appointed guru. Attend with your husband. It
is wonderful that he has such an interest.
Keep it simple. When you state your name at an
AA group, admitting that you are an alcoholic, that is
the first step. Admitting that to others is the fifth
step. Eventually you may want to practice the rest of
the steps as you learn about them in the step group.
Stay away from liquor in any form. Do not take that
first drink. If there is liquor in the house, get rid of
it. If you have parties to go to, cancel them for now.
Stay away from "friends" who do not understand and may
try to encourage you to drink. Examine the events leading
to the relapses. These things may not be easy. You can
be one of the few who stay in AA and stay sober.
In the meetings I went to in the 1970's (mostly speaker
meetings) many spouses attended with the alcoholic. What
better way to spend an evening out. ANONYMOUS


EXCELLENT ADVICE ! Thank you . Steve in Boston

Caution! Danger Ahead!!

First things first, you need to be willing to do this for yourself. Not for your sponsors approval of your husbands or anyone else. If you can find Dr. Bob’s article concerning the nature of slips it might be a big help to you. Secondly you didn’t say if your husband was an Alcoholic or not, just that he wanted to go to meetings with you and to do a set of steps with you. If he is not an alcoholic he should (and maybe you should too) check out Al anon. Either way I think you both should do your first set of steps alone with your separate sponsors or closed mouth friend. Maybe go to a step study together but keep your own separate, private journals and do your 5th step separately and read chapter 6 (Into Action) carefully and repeatedly. Then and only then, after having cleared away the wreckage of your singular pass, should you attempt a set of steps as a couple (and even then there is great danger). If you decide to go ahead with it I would advise you to find another AA couple to work with, meeting together and separately male to male and female to female as needed.
Good Luck and Keep Coming Back
Dennis D



I am 6 days sober and I am going to my first AA meeting this week, but I am very young and don't really know what to expect. I know I need to go, but every time I think about it, I have this irrational image of what the meetings are and who is there, which scares me. I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance and some guidance from people who have actually been about what the meetings are like. I'm afraid of being the only 19 year old college student there. Any advice would be very helpful. I know I can't go on in the direction I'm going.

Joined: 2013-07-01
Don't wait another day !

I started drinking at age 15, really heavy from 16 to 20. I'am 49 now wish I had the courage at 19 that you have. Started going to AA 6 weeks ago, on July 13 I'll be sober for 2 months, going to meetings makes me feel better than anything. My regret is that I didn't go to AA at 19 or so like you are about to do. You will be amazed how much your life will change in all areas, and the goals you will be able to reach. Best of luck on your new life!

To Scared

I came in very young (14 the first time I got sober), as well. Some colleges have meetings for students (mine didn't, but my grad school did), and some larger cities have young people's meetings, where many people are young like you. There are still times that I feel a little awkward about my age when I'm the youngest in a meeting, but it goes away pretty quickly when I realize that we're all in it together and have the same disease--whether 20 or 40.

Hi, I am also a newcomer to


I am also a newcomer to AA and went to my first meeting last friday. I promise you - it's not as scary as our minds can make it up to be. Everyone is there for the same reason and I personally felt welcomed. There wasn't pressure to speak up or explain yourself - I just listened but I could relate to a lot of what people were saying.
The hardest part for me was just getting myself there - anticipation always gives me anxiety - but once I got there all you do is sit down and listen. They go over some rules (confidentiality) and eventually they ask if anyone is new so you just raise your hand, tell them your name, everyone says "hi" and the meeting goes on.
I was told by a friend of my Mom's that if the first meeting isn't a good fit, just try another one. I don't know where you're located but I believe some AA groups are held on college campuses. Maybe ask Student Life at your school? I promise you're not the first or only one.
I commend you for your bravery and strength. You'll feel clearer and better about yourself/stronger once you just go, get it over with, and reflect on what you thought/felt during the meeting.

I wish you have a great experience.

re scared

I sobered up 20years ago at the age of 18. i was surpised that there were other young people at meetings. if you dont meet people you can relate to at your first meeting, try other groups until you find one right for you.
Good luck and God bless you.

Joined: 2012-05-26
New again

I do not need that first drink, but God if I have it, wreckage follows.
I've had periods of not drinking up to 5 years.
Stopped after my 2nd dui.
Thought I was in the clear, thought I was safe.
Alcoholics have such short memories,
Started drinking again and was fine for about a year drinking, never got out of control, then something snapped and I was back where I started.
Maybe worse
Just got my 3rd DUI last night.
I have to figure this out, I have no desire to drink, can take it or leave it, till I have the first one, then I cannot control it.
Going to my first meeting tonight in like 9 years.
I'm really going to try this time.

Scared of myself!

I Quit drinking for three years. It was the best most productive three years of my life. I did it with the help of AA. I met a man who knew I was an alcoholic without much arm twisting on his part I was back to drinking with him. Our relationship fell apart and I was hardcore drinking again. I had a DUI before I went to AA and quit drinking the first time and I had another DUI felt remorse went back to AA quit for a month that time. I am in a very dark scary place right now I feel frightened of myself and when I drink I am a completely crazy lunatic I never know what I will do next one drink never is enough hell one bottle isnt enough... I need help and I know it.

Similar experience

I just got my 3rd DUI last Saturday not. I convinced myself I was not an alcoholic and despite p
Easing from my wife and kids I kept on. I really have screwed up and am scared to death, not for me, but more for what I have done to my family. I hope God helps us. The pain in my souls is unbelievable, but I have a weir feeling that is goo about finally admitting I am an alcoholic.Maybe I can now heal. I feel like crap.

Good luck to you. Hope all is ok

day 1

i drink everday.i need to got the shakes

Joined: 2012-05-31

I understand what you are going through. I got my first DUI 2 months ago. I didnt stop drinking until a month later. Now being 32 days not drinking, I am thinking I can conquer this. I am in control of everything. I am scared my alcoholic mind will forget. I know what will happen if I take that first drink. So I think I will not drink today. Or this hour. And I will remember that I am not in control of any of this. Only God is in control. I am powerless over alcohol. I too have no desire to drink. I can take it or leave it, until that first one...I think this is a really scarey place to be. We get a false sense of control. All we can do is pray, and live one day at a time, or one minute at a time. Thank you for sharing your feelings with me. I know I am not alone. And you are not alone.

RE: RE: Spiritual Help

On page 252 in Language of the Heart, Bill writes about the high cost
of spiritual pride. Bill Writes. "So we AAs failed them. Perhaps more
often than we think, we still make no contact at depth with those suffering
the dilemma of no faith." Bill has previously written that although
300,000 have recovered in AA in twenty five years, maybe half a million
more have walked into our midst, and then out again.
Perhaps someone could "copy and paste" more of that page in Lang.
I believe that is what we are doing in AA today. Enough alcoholics
stay to support the belief that AA is "alive and well". Sure 30-40
new members a day is good. But I am convinced that it is not the
best we can do. If every group in the US and Canada helped and held one
new member PER YEAR this would be increased to 120-160 per day. I
believe that is the minimum we ought to accept at this time, this
period in the life of Alcoholics Anonymous. ANONYMOUS

"The Dilemma of No Faith"

The language you quote is from an April 1961 Grapevine article by Bill, in which he describes his own spiritual arrogance and how it had turned many a drunk away from AA. It should be required reading for anyone before they attempt to "carry the message." Google "The Dilemma of No Faith By Bill Wilson, AA Grapevine, April 1961" and you will have access to the original article printed on a number of different sites. If there are 5 million sober people in AA, there are 5 million and one ways to get and stay sober in AA. I keep coming back because what I am doing today to stay sober may not be enough tomorrow when whatever malady, real or imagined, besets me - thus I always have to be on the lookout for the 5,000,001st way to stay sober.

i agree with you it gets better

While I only have 41 days sober I go to meetings 5 days a week I take weekends off to try to spend time rebuilding my marriage of 32 years I have lost 2 out of 3 children du to drinking and a lot of friends who still drink and want no part of me and at 60 years old it is hard to relate to the people that are much younger wish they had a over 50 group . Dave in Michigan

God, Booze and Food

I stopped drinking ten days ago, attended a couple of meetings, and now I'm feeling depressed and frustrated. I'm attending a meeting tonight, but at this point, I'm just listening and trying to get my bearings and the right kind of meeting. I realize that more than one group can help, but I'm reluctant to embrace a strong religious approach. I understand the idea of a higher power and I know I'm powerless over alcohol, but falling on my knees and praying to Jesus (and I'm sorry if I'm insulting some of you) isn't for me.

Any advice?

And, unfortunately, I've been replacing booze with food, but that's just adding to my plummeting self esteem. Please advise and many thanks.

Joined: 2012-05-25
god, booze and food

I was the same. it takes time, you didn't get sick over night , so you won't get well over night. this too shall pass. IT JUST TAKES TIME i reckon. i also am not into the god stuff, but find the serenity "prayer" great a difficult times as a newbie. sort the god stuff out later, meetings and meditation breathing are the road to go. as for food, we didn't worry about it when drinking, did we? natural response. check out . your are doing well, asking for help. hope i didn't add to the confusion. all the best, harry

Joined: 2012-05-25
god, booze and food

I was the same. it takes time, you didn't get sick over night , so you won't get well over night. this too shall pass. IT JUST TAKES TIME i reckon. i also am not into the god stuff, but find the serenity "prayer" great a difficult times as a newbie. sort the god stuff out later, meetings and meditation breathing are the road to go. as for food, we didn't worry about it when drinking, did we? natural response. check out . your are doing well, asking for help. hope i didn't add to the confusion. all the best, harry

reply to God, Booze and Food

My only advice is to keep in mind that with any newcomer (esp those that have been "at it hard & long" such as me) our bodies are going through incredible shock, adjustments, chemical alterations. Part of our body is the brain, which despite the fact that we humanoids tend to poeticize what are brains are responsible for - substituting "my mind" "my heart says..." "In my guts" etc, it is chiefly our brains that regulate emotions, sense of well-being or not. Just as we may have damaged our livers, stomach linings, name your weakspot, our brains are certainly an organ that took a hit during our period of abuse.
Hopefully, your physique, like so many of us, will prove to have been a forgiving, recreating vessel, but short-term you are only normal if you are not "feeling yourself". Our use distorted what "normal" was, and now we need time to return to, and appreciate the "new, real and improved normal".
"God?" Certainly not for me in my early days. "Higher power?" With me, I COULD get my head around that, as it was clear to me from my well-earned bed in detox's (yes plural, sadly) that there was no LOWER power than me in that pathetic state. So sound medical treatment was my first version of an HP. Those folks at least went to college a few more years than me in a harder science:)
Group of Drunks/Good Orderly Direction were new phrases to my ears that subbed for GOD/Jesus, as again, it was irrefutable that AA-folk and following basic advice was a better plan that I had going on in my addled state.
I don't believe AA literature is in refute of such an approach, as props to medical science and arriving at "God of your understanding" abound in the lit.
They embraced science/medical field as well as spiritual tenents. On the science front we know so much more than we did in 1935, in terms of understanding value of excercise and nutrition to our emotional well-being. Conversely, we also know intuitively that life and happiness are not a Six-sigma LEAN excercise where we can always predict output X, because we input Y. (Not sure if that metaphor is even apt, but ya get my drift:)
That is where my spirituality has been reinforced in its OWN time, by being around the program, IN the program and eventually LIVING the program however imperfect my journey has been. Give yourself some credit and a break. Feeling down is the new normal perhaps, but it needn't last long-but do seek medical advice if it persists or worsens; they don't kick you out of AA for being a good steward of your temple!....Good luck, John

No one says

No one says you have to fall on your knees and pray to Jesus. Your higher power is defined by you based on your understanding. No one says you have to go from zero to 100mph in ten days. An open mind is all that's required. Be patient with yourself. The emotional roller coaster you're on will level out over time. It's your brain chemistry correcting itself.(PAWS) The higher power part of the program is important but take it in small steps if you can't take large ones.

You won't find Jesus mentioned in the Big Book

No one should be asking you to pray to Jesus or Ala or Jehovah or anyone's religious concept of a higher power. You don't need to be on your knees either. You will not find Jesus mentioned not even once in the Big Book and the reason no specific Deity named is, so as to be inclusive not exclusive.
My morning prayer take me less then 30 seconds with my eyes wide open over my first cup of coffee. " God show me your will for me today and give me the strength and courage to obey" and the evening it's "thank you for another day of sobriety and I'll try to do better with the Your Will thing tomorrow". This and a dozen times a day a 10 second acknowledgment of Gods presents in my life keeps me spiritually fit.
Please remember that the function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
One of the most powerful things I heard early on was " you don't have to believe, you only have to be open and willing to the possibility of a Higher Power working in your life. If you are willing he/she will show you more and more.
In chapter 5 "How it Works" it points out on pg. 64 that. " Our liquor (and now your food consumption ) was but a symptom, and we had to get down to causes and conditions. If you haven't allready please get a Big Book, read and re-read the first 164 pages, find a sponsor and apply a set of steps to both your drinking and your food intake and most importantly find a home group and keep coming back it works if you work it.
Dennis D.

RE God, Booze, and Food.

Sounds about right. you have made a good start. The only step that we have to get right is the first one. Sounds like you have. the unmanagable part, I think is we don't know when we will drink, and once we start we don't know when we will stop. How could our lives be anything but unmanagable.

About half our origional membership was athiest or agnostic. our experience shows you need not be worried about it. Your understanding will come to you in time, if you are willing and have an open mind.

If your self esteem is plummeting, take action. self esteem doesn't just appear, it comes from doing esteemable action, ie- living to good purpose. If you still have trouble with GOD, do what I did. I called it good orderly direction, and that worked for me, at least since 1992!

One last thing. Avoid hysterical thinking or advise.

Good luck.

re: god, booze, food

I did not worry about the higher power thing until later - my initial concern was only to not drink between meetings, and by going to meetings, I got enough reinforcement (positive and negative) to help me not pick up a drink. Six years later, I still haven't embraced the higher power thing, at least in the Christian sense. I found a good book on Buddhism and AA that was very helpful. And I have discovered many folks in AA who share my areligious views and yet are happy & productive people again because they kept coming around to meetings and didn't drink in between them. For those who got sober by dropping to their knees, god bless them - I am happy that worked for them, but that does not imply that their way works for all. Good luck.

Joined: 2012-03-04
re: God Booze and Food

Welcome to A.A., the fellowship of ex-cons, vagabonds, tramps, thieves and last but not least, con-men and con-women. My suggestion to you is to go to a lot of different meetings on your area to get as many of the diverse opinions in AA as you can. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do. Make up your own mind about the program and in your own time and manner.
There’s a lot of myth and misrepresentation in and outside A.A. at the moment, so form your opinion (in good time) about A.A. from a general consensus of opinion and from Conference approved literature. Having seen and heard what I have these past few years, I’d avoid those meetings and AA members that use interpretations of the AA program in outside published literature; eg, step and sponsorship guides by Joe McQ, the Purpose Group of AA (Dallas) Big Book Study Guide, Wally P’s Back to Basics Beginners classes, Wayne D's Step ‘n’ Ahead Into Emotional Sobriety etc.

If you can find meetings that operate something along the following lines, then I’d go along to ones like these:

An observation of New York meetings 1939:
“They were structured to the extent that there was always one speaker and Bill- maybe half an hour each - and then a long coffee session, a real get together. We were often there till 12 o’clock, started at eight” She also said, “At that time, we did not go into Step work. Didn’t have 90-days requirements. No birthdays – no recognition was made if you were sober a week or a year. If you felt you would like to speak in a year or in a month or two weeks they let you get up and speak, and they didn’t throw you out if you were drunk, either. They felt it was encouraging, hoping some word would stick.” (Ruth Hock, Secretary, New York General Service Office. Extract from Pass it on page 219)

An observation of the fellowship numbering about one hundred in 1939:
“The fellowship is entirely indifferent concerning the individual manner of spiritual approach so long as the patient is willing to turn his life and his problems over to the care and direction of his creator. The patient may picture the Deity in any way he likes. No effort is whatever is made to convert him to some particular faith or creed. Many creeds are represented among the group and the greatest harmony prevails. It is emphasized that the fellowship is non-sectarian and that the patient is entirely free to follow his own inclination. Not a trace of aggressive evangelism is exhibited.” ( Extract from “A new approach to psychotherapy in chronic alcoholism” Dr. W.D Silkworth M.D. Journal Lancet, July 1939. A.A. Comes of Age, appendix E:a, pages 304)

The idea that you have to pray on your knees in AA is a misconception found in Non AA published literature. AA rejected the suggestion of praying on your knees back in 1939. As AA co-founder Bill W recalled:

“When this document was shown to our New York meeting the protests were many and loud. Our agnostic friends didn't go at all for the idea of kneeling. Others said we were talking altogether too much about God. And anyhow, why should there be twelve steps when we had done fine on six? Let's keep it simple, they said.
This sort of heated discussion went on for days and nights. But out of it all there came a ten-strike for Alcoholics Anonymous. Our agnostic contingent, speared by Hank P. and Jim B., finally convinced us that we must make it easier for people like themselves by using such terms as "a Higher Power" or "God as we understand Him!" Those expressions, as we so well know today, have proved lifesavers for many an alcoholic. They have enabled thousands of us to make a beginning where none could have been made had we left the steps just as I originally wrote them….” (Bill W. Extract from “A Fragment of history: Origin of the Twelve Steps” The Language of the Heart p 201, AA Grapevine July 1953)

AA is not a religion,nor is it allied to any religion so you work the program in your own time and manner.

“…How well we shall always remember that AA is never to be thought of as a religion. How firmly we shall insist that AA membership cannot depend upon any particular belief whatever; that our Twelve Steps contain no article of religious faith except faith in God--as each of us understands him. How carefully we shall thenceforth avoid any situation which could possibly lead us to debate matters of personal religious belief." (Bill W. Extract from “We Came of Age” The Language of the Heart p 122. AA Grapevine September 1950)

“Any concept of the Higher Power is acceptable. A sceptic or an agnostic may choose to think of his inner self, the miracle of growth, a tree, man’s wonderment at the physical universe, the structure of an atom, or mere mathematical infinity. Whatever form is visualised, the neophyte is taught that he must rely on it and, in his own way, to pray to the power for strength.” ( Extract from The Jack Alexander article about AA page 19)

“Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religion, nor is it a medical treatment, nor does it profess expertise in respect of unconscious motivations for behavior. These are facts all too often overlooked.” (Bill W. Extract from “Responsibility Is Our Theme” The Language of the Heart p 332. AA Grapevine July 1965)

I hope this info helps.


Thanks! I am glad someone is still awake. ANONYMOUS

Joined: 2012-03-04
re: Info

Thanks for your reply. Actually I was fast asleep; heard a few alarm bells, then woke up. Just to correct a couple of typos: The extract from Dr. Silkworths’ observation contains an extra ‘is’, it should have read “…No effort whatever is made to convert…” The “Purpose Group of AA (Dallas)” should have read the “…Primary Purpose Group of AA (Dallas)…” This illustrates one reason why groups ought to stick to Conference approved literature; when left to our own devices the tosspots like me just can’t seem to print things right. I’d also add Dick B’s guides to early AA groups/AA history to the list of literature to avoid. Poor fellow seems to be a tad mixed up with his timescales and personal religious beliefs.

Mustn’t forget the Washingtonian movement collapsed because they didn’t have an overall public relations policy with authority and centrally edited standard literature; and traditions which all members were willing to follow. Public orators stepped forth, groups diversified, formed affiliations, the public got confused and all of it is history. Same thing could happen to AA anytime we allow.

Newly Widowed

My husband of 16 years passed away right before this past Christmas. He was an alcoholic (not admitting it) and drank
every day. In the beginning of our marriage we enjoyed 1-2
cocktails after coming home from work. Over the years he developed chronic COPD but he said the drinking made him relax. We retired to Florida 10 years ago and the drinking
started earlier in the day. We would go out for lunch, have a few, then come home and have a few more. I was becoming very dependent on alcohol and loved that europic feeling I got. Before long I had to drink more and more to get to that feeling. We had a stocked bar in the house, and the friends we had drank as much as we did. I have had
many blackouts over the years, and many falls in the house.
I have embarassed myself, and hurt my children and grandchildren from my stupidity. Now that I am alone, I do not have anyone in the house to tempt me to drink, but know I must give up some close friends and hope they will understand. I am 66 years old and would like to find an AA
meeting with an over 50 group. I also would like to know myself and why I started drinking. It's only been 5 days without a drink and I do believe in the higher power (GOD)
and I pray around the time my body clock is looking for that first, but not last drink, that I can be strong. Thanks for listening, and I am grateful I found this web site. Reading and listening to the stories has helped.

Joined: 2011-08-26
It is only natural you want members your own age

I will be 65 in 4 days and a widower for some time. When I first came to AA, I worked as a licensed plumber and sought out meets where I had heard plumbers went to. I didn't want to go to meetings where the younger crowd hung out. At that meeting I didn't like those plumbers but God found me a friend that was an electrian .. LOL

I would ask around where the retired folk go (meetings) and preferrably where there are women only meetings to get you feet wet.

When I came in almost thirty years ago, I still had my wife and a job. My pain came mostly from my remorse. I then studied to be a real estate agent thinking that, that was what I wanted to do for retirement.

God had other plans for me as I now go to beginners meetings and work with the younger crowd. Fifteen years ago I started the local AA website to post meeting times and locations. I took an interest in it and am a self employeed web-developer who got all my ideas from the young crowd.

For the first 90 days just go to meetings and try not to drink between meetings and see what plans God will have for you through this great fellowship of ours. Hugh from Canada

Joined: 2011-06-07
The good news is there is hope the bad news is we're it

You might want to stop blaming your husband, your friends, the stocked bar, the time of day, Florida and retirement for your drinking. Did anyone hold you down and put a funnel in your mouth and start pouring the booze down it? Your preconditions on the type of group you want to go to is also troubling. Bill W. observed "We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful"(pg 17 of the BB). To deny yourself of this experience by limiting your exposure to a group of , only this age range, only woman, only my social-economic level is to deny yourself of the experience, strength and hope of the diverse tapestry of the AA family. Forgive me if I seem to be taking your inventory but it seem to me you might need Al Anon as much as AA.

Over 50

I came into AA at 50 and am now 55 and still won't utilize a sponsor! I am getting burned out at meetings and I know that I still want to drink away reality. But alcohol brought me to near death and isn't an option anymore. I am embarrased about being an alcoholic and feel stupid in mtgs where the young people hang out and laugh and have it all together. I feel like a non-entity

re; over 50, mtg burnout

I am the same age but find myself in meetings where I am one of the younger folks present. I think the advantage to a "mature" group is that members are less likely to take their sobriety for granted, maybe figure they may not make it back if they don't stick around. At least that is how I perceive it. I appreciate meetings where folks share not of all the problems they are having in life but rather what they are doing to stay sober, keep the faith, in spite of those problems. And encourage others to work through their own problems as well. I have found myself in occasional meetings where the whine levels are extreme, and/or the pontification levels are off the chart, and I either walk out and/or don't go back, find a different meeting. I need to find and stay on my own path, and find others who can give me a boost when I stumble or falter (sponsor or not). Guess I am not embarrassed by my alcoholism, rather it is what it is, and my awareness of being an alcoholic - and reminding myself of that fact through daily readings, meetings, whatever it takes - helps keep me sober for today.

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Over 50

Quote: "I came into AA at 50 and am now 55 and still won't utilize a sponsor!"
Okay, so you don't utilize a sponsor, so what? I came in to AA at age 35 and am now 76, and I've never utilized a 'sponsor' as sponsors are known today. At slightly over three months sober I was transferred to a location where face to face AA contact was unavailable. I was told that if I used (not just read) the Big Book and a Higher Power I would be okay. I still use (not just read) my Big book and a Higher Power, and I pay attention to all who have something I can use. I'm not ashamed or embarrassed about being an alcoholic, I enjoy life without the desire to drink and I'm comfortable at the few meetings I still attend regardless of the age, race or gender of the others present. Why not give the Steps a try? You might just start enjoying sobriety.

re over fifty

I was at an AA meeting last night where the young people were in there 50's!


It might be a little easier to forgive you for
taking my inventory, if you would stop doing it.

Florida meetings

Use this link from AA website to find group close to you, call that group to find out about meetings in your area, including ones with a more "experienced" crowd. I suspect you will encounter a lot of people with the same story you have.

RE: Newly Widowed

I would like to suggest if you want to quit and stay quit that you find an AA meeting, any AA meeting. As you progress you can find a special meeting or a meeting that you feel special in. Being Florida, (where a very good friend of mine got sober), there are many meetings with people over 50. Also you may be able to find a meeting that is held in a retirement community. The folks there would most certainly be over 50. Most of my friends in AA are over 50 so you won't have any trouble finding people your own age. I do want to say that I have learned from everyone in AA not just those over 50!! Good luck and keep coming back!

Ray C.

Outside Sponsorship

I am a new comer to AA and have 33 days clean and sober. I am currently doing an outpatient treatment program as well as going to AA meetings. Last night i finally asked a woman to be my sponsor (i was terribally nervous) and she said yes. She has 36 yrs sobriety and will be walking me through the Big Book. Is she an "outside sponsor"? If not, what is an "outside sponsor"?

Joined: 2011-08-26
An outside sponsor can be one of two

Those in jail have outside member visitors to their meetings and some become outside sponsors. If the sponsor was also an imate he would be an inside ssponsor. - The same goes for treatment facilities.

Hope this helps.

What's an outside sponsor?

This hurts me deeply to say, but I don't know what an outside sponsor is either!
That being said, sponsorship in AA to me is a very mutual relationship. At first we went through the steps as written in the bb. That way, my sponsor said the book would protect me from him. I didn't know what he meant at the time, but now I understand. If we followed the program of action as outlined in the BB I would be protected from any or his big ideas of how this program should work.
After he taught me the program from the book, I was to do as the book says and bring this message to other alcoholics that needed it AND wanted it.
Now after 20 years of sobriety, I have two sponsorees that i am taking through the steps in the bb, and a group of ten that are taking the steps together in a big book study.
I don't know if all twelve will stay sober, but I sure will if I continue to practice these principals as best i can and continue to realize I have learned more from any sponsee than they have learned from me!

Starting Over

Since 2005, I have been a part of the fellowship of AA, but thought I didn't really need it. One day,while visiting my mother back home in Chicago, she gave me a book called Came to Believe. At first, I thought to myself: "Great! Now my own mother thinks I'm a drunk."

Little did I know how valuable that little book changed my life. I have now almost two years of sobriety, have a wonderful home, and am the LR of my home group. It has not been an easy journey for me. I was stuck on doing my fourth step for a long time, but since December of last year many wonderful changes have happened and I am happy to say that I do not have the desire to pick up a drink.

Starting over in the program gave me hope for a better future and for any newcomer who is doubting whether or not to try this wonderful way of life, give yourself a chance. We all deserve it.

Patty B.

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