Burning Desire to Share
Ah yes, another voice crying out to call AA "Assorted Ailments."
Before Alcoholics Anonymous found me I knew for a fact that whatever I did, everyone else did. I drank to excess, so everyone else drank to excess. I was unfaithful to my spouse, so everyone else was unfaithful to their spouse. I was a liar, cheat and thief, therefore everyone else was a liar cheat and thief.
Somehow the twelve steps taught me that while many people shared the same character defects I did, not everyone else did.
Insisting that AA change to suit me is a perfect example of the selfishness and self centeredness the Big Book talks about. Hiding one's selfish motive behind the curtain of helping all who suffer is simply another alibi to cover up one's selfishness, And those who use others' weaknesses (smoking, overeating,sex, etc.) are doing nothing more than proclaiming themselves better than the rest.
If your group has taken on the multipurpose activity you have described, you must not call your group an AA group. You can continue to hold your meetings and follow your group’s conscience, however if as a group you are dealing with these other issues, you must not call yourself an AA group. Our literature is crystal clear on this matter. Your group is clearly violating tradition 1,3, and 5. For clarification please read the AA pamphlets “the AA group” and “problems other than alcohol”. They can be downloaded at the link below.
Alcoholics Anonymous deals only with alcohol and recovery from alcoholism. That is why in my opinion, AA continually grew until 1992. In 1992 AA had 2.4 million members worldwide. 20 years later AA has 2.4 million members worldwide with 2.5 million people dying annually from alcohol worldwide, If we truly want to help alcoholics in this century, we must cleave to our singleness of purpose.
I do not intend to offend anyone, I only wish to share a message vital to the survival of AA since we are responsible when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, we want the hand of AA to be there and for that we are responsible. We can twist that up to mean multipurpose activity, or we can juxtapose that statement with our tradition of unity, having to at least have an alcohol problem to be a member, and our singleness of purpose- traditions 1, 3 , and 5.
Please read our literature so you can have a truly informed group conscience.
The NA World Services Board of Trustees certainly agrees- having published NAs position on this in their Bulletin #13, found in the ‘Members’ section of the NA World Svcs website. Here’s an excerpt from NA Bulletin 13:
“Both fellowships have a Sixth Tradition for a reason: to keep each one from being diverted from its own primary purpose. Because of the inherent need of a Twelve Step fellowship to focus on one thing and one thing only, so that it can do that one thing supremely well, each Twelve Step fellowship must stand alone, unaffiliated with everything else. It is in our nature to be separate, to feel separate, and use a separate set of recovery terms, because we each have a separate, unique primary purpose. The focus of AA is on the alcoholic, and we ought to respect that fellowship’s perfect right to adhere to its own traditions and protect its focus. If we cannot use language consistent with that, we ought not go to their meetings and undermine that atmosphere. In the same way, we NA members ought to respect our own primary purpose and identify ourselves at NA meetings simply as addicts, and share in a way that keeps our message clear”.
That sure sounds quite clear to me.
I used to feel the same way....I also went to na...but the more I had time to think about where it all started , it started with a drink...thats where it started....i now do aa ...not na....so I respect aa when it comes to only speaking of a drink...
First you should listen when the AA preamble is read at meetings. It says says we share our experience, strength and hope so that we may solve our COMMON problem and help others recover from ALCOHOLISM.
Then you should read the long form of Tradition Three on page 563 of the Big Book.
Find a 12&12 and read what it says about the Third Tradition, especially the anecdote which starts at the bottom of page 141. Pay attention to the last sentence, "Never did he trouble anyone with his other difficulty."
The essay on Tradition Five begins with the cautionary statement, "Shoemaker, stick to thy last."
Another thing you should read is the pamphlet, "Problems Other Than Alcohol."
I was told in the beginning, "Identify, don't compare." I've never smoked pot, snorted coke, shot heroin, popped pills or did any of the other popular drugs, so when you talk of doing those things I have no way to identify. You may not believe this, but there are many like me who did nothing but drink. You're telling us that the letters A. A. now stand for Alcadictions anonymous, or maybe Assorted Ailments.
You wrote, "I'm a recovered alcoholic and drug addict and wanted to say that there were some times that some addicts had no where to go because there are no NA meetings near here, and to tell them to leave you mind as well say go die." If you're truly a recovered drug addict why don't you start an NA meeting?
You said, ""Identify, don't compare." I've never smoked pot, snorted coke, shot heroin, popped pills or did any of the other popular drugs, so when you talk of doing those things I have no way to identify." I disagree. So you can't identify with hurting your loved ones, having actions that against everything you believe in, waking up in strange places with strange people, abusing friends, being fired, living in despair, being homeless, living a false life, suicidal thoughts, lying, cheating, stealing, withdrawal, police activities, paranoia, depression, desperation?
These are not alcohol specific characteristics that are characteristics of all addictions. If you can't identify with these you must have the most unique alcoholism on the planet. Consider love and compassion for anyone that suffers
ive been in and out a.a and n.a , walked into first a.a meeting about 20 years ago , have had some sucess , 2 years ssemed to be max time id last , im 58 now , alcohal ive been able to stop for afew months at a time , but have quite a few medical issues that im treated with pain med , and antidepressentsb , ect , for me staying away from the alcohal is my sober . ive been through 3 rehabs , and have heard different opinions about ppl on presacribed meds , ive even walked away and try staying sober from alcohal on my own , it edoesn t last though , im feel ive run outta time , health is makeing it alot harder to attend a meeting even if i get the desire , guess bottom line is id like to hear another opinion about haveing to feel guilty cause im on pain meds , thanks L.S
I've been clean and sober for over 33 years using the program of recovery suggested by Alcoholics Anonymous. I've skipped meetings for years at a time but I was not in and out of my AA program. That's how powerful it is when done as suggested. I've been prescribed and used antidepressants and painkillers at times. I use doctors that know addiction. I don't need to ask anybody if its OK.
If you zero in on AA's program of recovery, you will have the answers to your questions.
Are you taking the medications as prescribed or to get a buzz? If you're not abusing the meds don't pay attention to the amateur doctors who tell you not to take them.
You don't have to tell anyone you're taking them, you know.
I am floundering, I am going to the meetings and got a new sponsor because I live in a new area. My old sponsor passed away, she was a real witch she was like a drill seargent and I needed that. In my area I have not found a by the big book type of woman who won't put up with my BS. I travel around to meetings on Sunday nights to try different meetings. I am floundering. HOw can a person not stay sober after having a good life with the promises coming true?
This is how people die during relapse. With not a taste of alcohol for 14 years and then dipping and dabbing for a few months I ended up in ICU for 10days. I understand why people go out and never make it back. I do not want to be one of them. I am crying at meetings because it is so hard to come back and start over. It has been 6 months since my last drink, I signed myself into detox because I knew I could not stop. Life is so compicated. It is going to take work, lots of work to gain any peace of mind. Going out has taught me not to trust myself.
My sponsor said we are going to start working the steps. I feel like a fish out of water but I know the reward waiting for me if I keep doing this one day at a time. I want to hurry it up but it is not the way it works. I go through the motions, I stated to pray, I do my meditaiton, I do whatever is suggested. I do not like starting over and that is why people die from this disease. I am going to keep on the path of sobriety but it is goig to be one big fight. It is a holiday and I am going to my meeting tonight in case hardly anyone else shows up and I need to be there for me and in case a new comer needs AA.
Glad you are back.
I never like to hear "Starting over." There's too much emphasis on marking time. Nothing takes away many of the things you have gained and learned during years of sobriety. Sounds like you were missing a few pieces of the puzzle that need to be discovered and inserted in your program of recovery.
Alcoholism progresses - drinking or dry. I don't think we need to keep increasing our effort to combat it but we do need what those first one hundred men and women who RECOVERED from alcoholism had.
I don't like to hear WORK, WORK, WORK much either. With the right attitude the steps of the program of recovery are a set of wonderful tools that simply need the gift wrap taken off and put to use.
I hear more and more that 7 to 14 meetings a week are best. I've had good luck with four if two of them are at home with Bill so I can see who is blowing smoke at the other two.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Has anyone else noticed that the only time AA got it right was when the Great (your name here) started? Not before when Bill had that three day puke and purge at Towns Hospital or after when it all went down the drain. Myself, I remember the day I started like it was yesterday. I walked through this field of buttercups past the big rock candy mountain, coffee was better than any Stabucks…
Bill and Bob started to write the Big Book in 1938 close to three years after AA started. Let’s just not a lot of recovery experience to bank upon. Do you know anyone with three years of sobriety who has it all together? No and neither did Bill and Bob. In the “A Vision for You” they wrote something like “Our book is meant to be a suggestion only; we admit we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and us” What were they saying? Bill and Bob were humble enough to admit they didn’t know very much and the only thing they could think of at the time was salvation through God. And that would be just about right for that period in history. To me, people who kidnap the Big Book from its “Suggestion” status and place it up on a holy pedestal with angels and saints are doing a disservice to AA. AA members from all walks of life have accumulated 75 years of experience strength and hope beyond the initial three years of information presented in the book. This is no disrespect to our humble founders but, my recovery is largely based on the 75 years of additional wisdom that followed their great start and not the first 3 years. We know today that it is not necessary to follow the same path as the founders and many people have not. Following a different path is not rejecting the founders or rebelling against them. Their experiences are still relevant today but, so are all the other members who have added their experiences to the recovery field the past 75 years. For some in the rooms, God does not have to disclose anything to them. People can obtain sobriety without God. To discredit the 75 years of additional wisdom is to insult all the loyal servants of AA throughout the years and all their loving deeds and acts of kindness when they offered their hands to anyone who had reached for it.
From time to time I hear comments of AA having only 3 years of experience when the big book was written. Recently I even read a humble post on the “what’s on your mind” forum from an alcoholic who surpassed Dr.Bob’s sobriety time and was closing in on Bill W’s.
I think it was nothing short of a miracle that the big book was even published, let alone became the basic text of AA.
I would like to see you and 40 of your pigeons put a plan of recovery down on paper, get funding to publish it, then start your own publishing company, sell stock in that company, publish the book, then buy back all the stock, pay back the hospital that loaned you some money to keep the book alive, then sell some +30 million copies to date and about 1 million annually while allowing the book to be 100% free online while offering AA’s experience to hundreds of 12 step groups, free of charge.
Even though Bill was only 3 years sober at the time the big book was written, the spiritual principles in the book have been around a long time. The idea of deflation at depth came from William James in 1902, Carl Jung in the 1930’s, and Dr. Silkworth, a neurologist who had worked with around 40,000 alcoholics. Self-examination, meditation, prayer, confession, restitution, and helping others is as old as any religion. Bill simply laid those spiritual exercises out in the big book in a way that resonates with alcoholics of my type.
I look forward to reading your book. If it works, I will add it to my collection.
You mentioned "the spiritual principles in the book have been around a long time." There's the rub. So what is it about AA that works? It's the human connection. One drunk talking another drunks language. Is it a crime for some members go directly to the originators of such spiritual sources in AA and bypass the big Book? I don't have a problem with it do you? Maturity is a good thing in AA.
Hey ur car broke down? Yeah mine to. It's really tough when your car brakes down, I know what you're going through. Good luck, just keep going to meetings and talking about broken down cars.
When you get tired of walking, if you care to, I can show you exactly how to fix your car. I have the tools, garage, and the exact part. I would be more than willing to do it for free because someone once did it for me.
Replacement car mechanics with alcoholism and you have how AA works best in my opinion.
You said, "I look forward to reading your book." Wow! Did I say I was writing a book or have rejected the Big Book? I don't believe you were following my post exactly. To me, for Bill and Bob to say they knew just a little is a very humbling statement. Is it not? To mention that the Big Book should remain “suggested” well I was quoting them. You have to concede that not everyone in AA reads the Big Book or finds it helpful and that is alright with me as it would have been with the founders. Are we not free to choose our own spiritual paths in AA? People who find comfort in other teachings can still be vibrant and passionate members of the AA Fellowship. Groups can restrict literature and books at the table which I support, but they cannot restrict higher powers of choice or an individual’s spiritual path. I hope you agree with me on that because it is very important and basic AA. The majority of people I know who do not read the Big Book are not against it. They are instead against the few close-minded members who spend the majority of time trying to re-program others to follow the “Correct and Only Way Program” My position as a sponsor has never been to force ideas on anyone. Throughout the years, some people I sponsored embraced the Big Book while others left in on the literature table. AA as a whole is an open-minded organization, however some of its members feel they are more important than AA. I personally do not read the book today. Does this anger you? It shouldn’t. When you get a few decades of recovery perhaps your mind will change. May I ask you a question, “Why do you care if someone gets sober differently then you?” We are all equals in AA with a common illness and a common goal of lending the hand of AA to alcoholics that suffer. Someone might reach out for your hand, while another might reach out for my hand.
Let’s let their HP or no-HP decide which hand to reach for. If you hope its yours where is the humility in that?
Sometimes when people don't share their experience it leaves me wondering. It would be nice to think that those entering AA and benefitting from its rewards would a least give the founder’s methods a try. Someone demonstrating your dislike for promoting the twelve steps must have found a real obstacle. Do you mind sharing what it was?
So, when is your book coming out?
Sorry pal, you can write any kind of fiction you want but don’t sign Bill W’s name to it.
“This is why sobriety-freedom from alcohol- through the teaching and practice of the A.A.’s Twelve Steps is the sole purpose of the group. If we don’t stick to this cardinal principal, we shall almost certainly collapse.” Bill Wilson Letter 1966 reprinted p79 “As Bill Sees It”
Bill had all the time in the world to re-tune AA's message and went to heroic efforts to pass AA on to new generations in a form that continues to work today. It appears that those who think enough of AA to do the heavy lifting in service work (not me, by the way) must use AA's program of recovery as written. They continue to review, debate,rehash and keep the original focus the same. Others try to hold court at the office water fountain on tuesday mornings and tell us what the quarterbacks should have done.
Sorry pal, you can write any kind of fiction you want but don’t sign Bill W’s name to it.
“This is why sobriety-freedom from alcohol- through the teaching and practice of the A.A.’s Twelve Steps is the sole purpose of the group. If we don’t stick to this cardinal principal, we shall almost certainly collapse.” Bill Wilson Letter 1966 reprinted p79 “As Bill Sees It”
What are you saying exactly? Thanks
If your question is about the original post, I have simply observed that members have had a strong tendency to believe that AA was perfect when they got sober. Pretty normal reaction considering what AA did for them. Easy to zero in on the wonderful people and meetings and AH HA's and forget all the oysters that didn't yield pearls.
Although no part of AA, a similar phenomena with treatment centers. I know two medical professionals (among lots of others) that credit some treatment center with some miracle that got them sober over a decade ago. What was this miracle? Same as we all got; detox, education, experienced helpers who can read us alki's like a book. Same as we get at a mission meeting on skid row but it's just human nature to connect the exact time, place and faces with the miracle.
My two cents worth.
One line of How It Works makes it important enough to be read often. “there are those too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders”
Alcoholics Anonymous was barely four years old and had only one hundred members when this was written. Members with these problems were already prevalent enough to be specifically identified in one of the most important parts of our handbook, “Alcoholics Anonymous”.
A warning. Expect to find these people in AA, diagnosed or not, treated or not. They don’t hug and kiss trees or dress like Napoleon or act like some character out of a B movie. They are apt to be intelligent, articulate human beings who may be functioning at a high level in society. I have employed some and counted several among my close friends during my life. For some reason their thought processes or emotions are different (for lack of a professional sounding word). They may perceive a simple concept of the AA program we take for granted much differently. Then there are us “Regular” alcoholics described by a Dr Harry Tebot in “Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age” as “a narcissistic egocentric core, dominated by feelings of omnipotence, intent on maintaining at all costs its inner integrity.” WOW! There’s a curriculum vitae for a life coach.
I learned early that if I want to recover from alcoholism I need to listen to the experience of people who have recovered. I also learned, and re-learned and have been warned frequently that I need to exercise caution. Just because a member has, or claims, long years of sobriety, can quote from a large storehouse of chapter and verse or is just an over-all good Joe doesn’t mean he or she has a ligament motive or a grasp on the AA program. On the other hand our literature, written, reviewed, and updated as needed doesn’t suffer from our individual character defects. A balance of face-to-face, online and in-print seems to give me the balance I need.
Happy, joyous, and free today
That line helps remind me that though I may share a common disease and program of recovery with my AA brothers & sisters, that there may be other conditions we do not share in common. It helps me to be less judgmental and more understanding.
I probably could have been diagnosed with multiple conditions if I sobered up today instead of 28 years ago. Anxiety, depression, OCD, bulimia, ADD...During early sobriety and through the process of working the steps, I was able to name my conditions, especially the depression & anxiety, and slowly work through them. Thankfully, I was able to do so without medication.
The program of AA was effective for me in dealing with problems other than alcohol and I am truly grateful for that. However, I am in no position to judge someone else's condition. All I can do is share my experience honestly and with love.
Page 133 in the Big Book is the thing that finally got me to understand that AA is not the solution for every problem. I suffer from mental disorders that I would consider pretty grave when I'm suffering a black night of the soul or a completely fear driven day.
I do go to a psychologist and a psychiatrist. They both know that I am a sober alcoholic but they exclusively treat my mental disorders, not my alcoholism.
I don't make a secret of my mental disorders in meeting because I know that there are others that may be present that are also suffering, but maybe suffering in silence.
In all of this, what I have found is that the doctors help keep me sane enough to be able to be a member of AA, keep a handle on my emotional swings (mostly depression and anxiety) and let AA do the rest. AA has taugh me how to be a completely different person through the process of ego-deflation, working the steps (getting rid of those dark secrets being a big one for me) and learning to ask others for help instead of trying to do everything on my own.
I would not consider myself damaged or dangerous, just a little broken and trying my best to keep it all together. Isn't that what every alcoholic in AA is trying to do? I just have a few extra issues and am active in seeking extra help to handle those issues.
I had a lot of grave mental disorders pretty much my whole life including anxiety, depression, and ADHD. However after I did the steps like 4,5,6,7 I lost all anxiety and depression. I don't suffer anymore, which is a blessing. This didn't happen overnight, but its possible. my higher power took it away, and has taken away things that were destroying my life.
I don't say this to mock you, I say this because I know that there is hope. If you want more help, buy the book called, "Hope and Help for Your Nerves," by Dr. Claire Seekes. life does get better, just keep working hard and you will get it.
Thank you for sharing. Like you, I too have, extra issues such as you describe. I am slowly finding the path God wants me to take and listening carefully for his will and not my own. I was made to understand that if I believe I can be a vessel of God's love, power and way, my fellows are that as well. I am working on trust and emotional issues so I can better serve and strengthen what is pure and good in every way. I also believe that there is reflection of God in everything and everyone. I just need to act upon his spirit's guidance in my life and trust God's plan It will not happen overnight but I do know it will happen for someone or something that requires God's attention and I am happy to be a part of that process. I wish you well and have hope for you on your spiritual journey.
".... he or she has a ligament motive ....."
"ligament - definition of ligament by the Free Online Dictionary ...
Anatomy A sheet or band of tough, fibrous tissue connecting bones or cartilages at a joint or supporting an organ. 2. A unifying or connecting tie or bond."
OK "legitimate" then.
336 words and you found a mistake.
Congratulations for zeroing in on the very heart of the matter.
Jim, You may be elderly, but you are quick. My comment
will be that we ought never announce up front that any
member might be incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. We who are
here may need to know that, but should we tell that to
the newcomer? I am convinced that HIWs needs to be returned
to Chapter Five where Bill placed it. ANONYMOUS
Trust me. If you have to date, date with AA friends, AA fellowship. The winners. They are the true friends to date. Life will be changed. Involve yourself with AA activities, do service in the group. Serve tea, coffee. Welcome new comer. Wipe out his sweat with your T-shirt. Share your life story with him. Listen to him with compassion. The false dependency will disappear.
Love and hugs
Seriously, are saying this dating stuff just to hook up with someone? There's a time and place for everything and the rooms are not a place to find a date. I did this once, and the person went out and drank, and I left. The second person drank only a few days after I dated for a few days. so life lesson learned for me. Don't be a dunce like me because it hurts, especially when the person may die.
You shared, "Trust me. If you have to date, date with AA friends, AA fellowship. The winners. They are the true friends to date." To me, this is awful advice. My suggestion would be to focus on your recovery in AA and to avoid dating any addict period. Because when that cute cuddly person relapses you will loose all your belongings, your computers, your electronics, your credit cards, etc. A person in relapse will do anything to get to their next drink. You've just become nothing but a means to end for someone else. I see it all the time in the rooms. For a few moments of pleasure people in the rooms throw their whole lives away. Once you get healthy enough to date, look for someone outside the rooms. I came in to AA to learn how to not pick up the first drink; not to learn how to pick up women. The rooms are full of sick damaged people with deep dark secrets and traumas pretending to be sober. The rooms are our medicine not our playgrounds with feel good toys. Real recovery is outside the rooms.
you wrote "The rooms are full of sick damaged people with deep dark secrets and traumas pretending to be sober."
Actually, we are sober. Now we are trying to get mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Why were you expecting something else?
You said, "Actually, we are sober. Now we are trying to get mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Why were you expecting something else?" Well, that's my point. People searching for salvation from their misery is not the healthiest place to look for dates. I come to AA for my alcoholism and not my social outlet. If you find comfort with the field of damaged people great. I rather spend time outside the rooms with the company of healthy people. To me, many people in the rooms have a narcissistic element to their recovery. I've met the most selfish-self-centered people in the rooms that think the world should stop and give them a medal because they quite drinking. People should spend the time in the rooms putting their hands out to the newcomer instead of chasing dates and making plans to go bowling. The rooms are big enough for you and me. I don't have to agree with your opinions and you are free to delete mine anytime you like. Live and Let Live
Alcoholics Anonymous ought not advertise or promote in any way. Why would we need to promote
the gift of a new life for relief of suffering. Most of the world today has heard of A.A. What
they have heard about us may keep suffering alcoholics from approaching us. That image has to
change if we are ever going to return to an acceptable rate of effectiveness. We can change it
if we begin now. In a few more decades it may be too late. It may already be too late, but we
have to try.
Our leaders seem to think that we need to spend more money. The reversals which will restore
A.A. will not cost us any cash. A few simple changes can head us in the right direction. Stop
all chanting at all A.A meetings and functions. Stop all "praying" at meetings. Pray elsewhere
on your own time. Simply open A.A. meetings with the Preamble and the serenity prayer. Close
meetings with the Lords Prayer, according to the dictates of the fully informed group conscience.
Bill W.'s Dear Russ letter offers an explanation of the use of the Lords Prayer. But the Group
must make the decision, not just a few members. The coercion to
join in the ring around the rosy circle has to end. Holding hands
has ruined the whole thing. Stop making a spectacle of the newcomer.
Stop allowing the newcomer to make a spectacle of himself/herself.
EGO deflation is vital. Delete today's role of sponsorship. The
real sponsor will reappear. We all come together in Alcoholics
Anonymous as complete equals. We must learn A.A.'s definition
of suggestion. Again, attraction, not promotion. Study that special
technique (method) of carrying the message, (which is the
responsibility of the A.A. GROUP). How could any suffering alcoholic
refuse the offer of a new life. We simply lay the tools at their
feet. Allow them complete freedom to pick them up. Don't tell them
if they don't pick them up they will die. Let the Big Book tell them
that. Allow John Barleycorn be the enforcer. These are only a few
of the blunders we have made over the past thirty years. ANONYMOUS
the only blunder I see is your comment about opening and closing with a prayer then saying stop praying at meetings! Only in AA will you read something so funny! Remember rule 62, don't take yourself too Damn seriously!
"Stop all praying" but open and close meetings with a prayer.
Makes perfect sense to me.
Stop all group prayer. An A.A. meeting is not a prayer group. The decision of how a group opens and closes its meetings ought to be made by the group's fully informed
group conscience. The kindergarten "ring around the rosy", holding hands in a circle has to cease. We began this
ritual around 1980 in the Northeast. How well has this
served us? Just one of our blunders. Dogma and distortion
have all but destroyed Alcoholics Anonymous. You might
say that spiritual pride has brought A.A. to its knees.
Many will remain in denial. I am grateful to see that
some members are waking up. ANONYMOUS
Regarding your new and improved AA (or will you call it AA Lite?). I hope you can exercise a little restraint. Seems like those who want to purify an organization sometimes get a little carried away by their success. Take the Puritans in Salem, Mass who became so pure that they ran up a body count that made America’s serial killers of the last two decades look like Boy Scouts.
Groups are free to develop their own format if it doesn't hurt AA as a whole. Some groups have formats heavy on the religious and ritual side and while other groups have formats without prayer and the god stuff. Ours is in the middle. We saved 15-20 minutes of the meeting by eliminating all the rituals and readings because our group grew so much and there wasn't enough time for people to share. Are you afraid of diversity in the rooms? Most people aren't. If a group has a different format then ours then this doesn't mean they are bringing down AA. We have to be flexible and AA is not fascist organization. Its hard to believe that at one time this was never an issue with members. In the current AA era there seems to be a radical element trying to protect and defend how AA used to be. And the funny thing is, AA was never like the fantasy picture of AA they are trying to defend. How weird is that?
All you need is a coffee pot and a church basement. As soon as word gets out that you’ve opened perfect AA without all the embarrassing, difficult, demanding, praying, and chanting detritus word will spread like wildfire and you’ll need your own personal general service office to take care of business.
I totally agree with you about the chanting-praying-holding hands in a circle (for those who wish ? ). It does make us look like a sect , worse in a convention where this circus is repeated over and over in a span of a few hours.
Quite the show for all the people we invite as guests , professionals and all.
This is sobriety? What about a moment of silence at the beginning and end of meetings?
Then we wonder why AA has not grown in the past 20 years or so in north america.
One day we also will have to really upgrade the Big Book .
I have been told that someone should not date during the first year of their sobriety. I am working on my first year again, but i have been single for well over a year and minus the last 4 months i was sober. I feel like i am ready for a relationship but am confused on how to go about that and where to look. I have tried online dating before but that hasnt worked out at all. And im just not sure how to go about this or if i should continue to choose not to date or any of that jaz...
What I'm about to say is my opinion. the reason why they say don't date the first year or two years is because the individual is sick. How can a sick person whom doesn't know who they are look for a date? When your looking for someone, ask yourself what do I want in a relationship? What am I looking for in a person that I want? What do I like, dislike, expect, don't expect, and boundaries? I learned the hard way that I can't depend on someone for happiness aka co-dependent. If I'm unhappy, it means there's something wrong with me. I've been in to many relationships before I found out that happiness had to come from within not what's out there.
hi Gg. I had 3 relationships in my first year of sobriety. After being sober for a little more than a year, I decided to try to do God's will with my love life, not my will. I am getting outside help for my relationship issues. Samuel
Getting sober with AA is a great opportunity to start a new life. I learned to socialize sober, dance sober, date sober, make love sober, ski sober, bike sober...basically, live life sober. The greatest thing was that for the first time ever, I could follow my heart because I was in touch with my heart. I worked at a ski resort for my first 10 years sober and had a blast. I took up bike riding, then racing, then building race courses and hosting races. It was a dream come true. Through all of these activities, I remained an active member of AA. It was my rock. I also made the best friends of my life - male and female. I met and hung out with healthy AA members and normys and eventually dated. These were the best relationships I'd ever had and I learned something from each one. Eventually, at 12 years sober, I met a gal in AA who became my wife. It's great having a spouse who understands and works the program. On top of that she is fit, fun and funny. A true gem. Thank God & AA for giving my new life.
Everyone says "Don't get involved in your first year," but then everyone does anyways. Just like are parents who said "Don't drink and smoke," while they were drinking and smoking in front of us. How about the people already in a relationship or the ones married? The important thing is to not pick up the first drink no matter what crazy fixes the desires have gotten us in to. If you are a man try and think with the head on your shoulders and take a lot of cold showers after meetings. If you are a woman ask another woman. I can't give advice on that one.
My experience in dating in AA is as follows.
A few quick flings during the first couple of years, with associated agony and ecstasy
A good marriage to a woman I met in AA who was in Alanson
Which lasted 14 years and finally fizzled
Then in my early fifties three dates over the next two years (seriously) that couldn’t have felt more awkward generating questions like you have now.
Meeting a wonderful lady through our mutual AA network
Resulting in twelve wonderful years of marriage so far.
Have seen many AA’s do the same with AA or non AA spouses, many with excellent outcomes, some not.
I think Dr Tebot’s characterization of untreated alcoholics as being self centered, impatient, and having a low tolerance for frustration is the perfect formula for bad relationships. AA’s twelve step program of recovery solves that. Just EXACTLY like we are promised.
You follow the recipe, you get the cake.