Burning Desire to Share

2030 replies [Last post]
Anonymous
going crazy

I’m constantly surprised by the people attending meetings who have had severe restrictions put on their lives as a consequence of their alcoholism and don’t make any practical changes to compensate for it. Of course I know little about your situation but it sounds familiar, living in a location that absolutely requires transportation by personal car without one. No access to work (or even finding it), AA or basic life necessities in some cases for years. Using the program of recovery offered by AA changed my attitude which allowed me to make practical changes that improved my life. First a little money saved by not buying alcohol and a longer productive workday. Completion of a small business venture that had slowly ground to a halt. A basic eight to five job to replace delusions of self employment. A modest, but better vehicle. Repayment of business loans that I had misused. I gradually rejoined society where I fit and the place I fit improved. Eventually back to self-employment on a firm footing this time followed by retirement before sixty. Life improved until all of the promises in the Big Book came true. Their fulfillment is a perfectly normal part of life today.

Have watched a fellow come in with typical problems a couple of years ago. Moved into a halfway house close to work opportunities, meetings, and other essentials. A typical house with guys needing transportation and guys with cars needing gas money. First time I met Paul, I hired him to do yard work, picked him up, bought his lunch, took him home, paid him daily. Two years later, he’s president of the halfway house, works steady, has a sponsor, is a sponsor, has his license back, has a car, high on life volunteering on a women’s halfway house rehab. Another grew from worst drunk in the bar to best grandfather on the block. Another from drunk on the railroad to chaplain at a treatment center.

This is not a How to Make a Million without Really Trying just call 1-800… post. This is about real people finding out about alcoholism, themselves, and a God of our understanding using the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, a 201 word instruction sheet that changed our lives.

To some of us AA is not a head-in-the-clouds-wait-for-the-Word-of-God-just-keep-coming-back-venture. It’s putting one foot in front of the other with baby steps that put the tortoise at the finish line long before the hares we thought we were get out of jail.

Anonymous
re going crazy

"Through it all I'm still not drinking.."
"I drank some vanilla extract yesterday.."
Only one or the other can be true.

Alcoholism, for me, didn't mean I was physically addicted and had to drink morning to night every day. It did mean that I could not predict the outcome of taking a drink. I never decided ahead of time that I would get really drunk and get behind the wheel of a car, but I did. Lots of times. Prisons and cemeteries are full of people who think just like me.

I've read "Alcoholics Anonymous" cover to cover and each chapter of the 12 and 12 numerous times. I got a sponsor. I attend meetings regularly. (but I don't live in them) I have done the steps. Numerous times. I have had a spiritual awakening, as promised. All of the promises are true in my life today. About two million people can say "Me too".

What exactly do you expect us to do and what exactly are you willing to do?

Anonymous
re been staying in room

There is 1001 ways to get and stay sober. You can read about them all over this forum or at countless AA meetings around the country. I only know one way from personal experience.
When I came to AA 20+ years ago my sponsor with 10 + years at the time said he would take me through the steps out of the big book the same way his sponsor had done for him 10 years earlier. That’s what we did. We read the black part and when the book gave the directions for taking the steps, he helped me take them by relating his experience of how he used the book to take those steps.
I am 20 + years sober, my sponsor is 30+ years sober, and my grand sponsor is 40+ years sober. Using the formula from the big book I have personally sponsored 1-5 newcomers annually through the steps in the big book. Every single one of them that has continued to work 10, 11, and 12 has stayed sober. Not to mention the countless others my sponsees, sponsor, and grand sponsor have taken through the steps.
Like I said there is 1001 ways to get and stay sober. I simply stick with the one way that works for all who put half the effort into the program as they did into getting another drink.
If you feel you don’t know what to do, do what I did. Get a sponsor, work the steps out of the book with that sponsor, and join a home group that meets at the same time and place every week and only miss that meeting for funerals- your own!

Anonymous
RE-to 1001 funerals-your own

Thanks for sharing what helps you and congratulations on your recovery. You said, “Get a sponsor, work the steps out of the book with that sponsor, and join a home group that meets at the same time and place every week.” This has been a fashionable rule since the event of rehabs and one will hear at some meetings today, which has nothing to do with what the AA Fellowship is as stated by our Preamble. Love and tolerance is our code. We demonstrate recovery in our sobriety by our examples not by orders. You finished with “...and only miss that meeting for funerals- your own!” To me, this is not based on evidence. It is a fear tactic which does not scare anyone. I don’t think it’s healthy for us as a fellowship to have this mentality, “If you don’t get sober exactly like us, then you will die!” When we start bullying members in the fellowship then we fail to understand the true essence of the founder’s hopes. The spiritual nature in the rooms is much bigger than you and I, than any rule, ritual or dogma. If you did these things great! This is what helped you but, please be open minded and flexible to have the understanding that there are members in the rooms who do not get sober like you or me. This is all good.

clu1992
Offline
Joined: 2012-05-30
re re 1001

I didn't get a feeling of scare tact from the message. It sounds like experience., strength, and hope of sponsorship, homegroup membership, and working the 12 steps. You should try those suggestions. It'll help you get over your sensitivity to others sharing their experience and help to learn and show the love and tolerance you spoke of while being intolerant yourself.

Anonymous
Came to “not” Believe

I never had a problem with the god stuff when I entered the fellowship because I was a believer but, I also had a true compassion for the members struggling with a concept of one. I was not angry with God; never thought he was punishing me for stealing vinyl records or loitering outside the state stores asking adults to buy me liquor. About my sixth year in the sobriety, something surprising happened. I became a non-believer or atheist. My journey in sobriety led me to a place where I did not believe someone was listening to my prayers or something mystical would happen to me after death. I also discovered it wasn’t necessary to believe in God to be a member of AA or to get sober. For me, the thing that kept me clinging to the god idea was my fear of death. I used to have nightmares about waking up in coffin buried alive. I find it interesting for me the shoe is on the other foot now and I feel that hostility and bias, which non-believers put up with on a daily basis. Believers in AA never have to deal with people telling them not to believe on their journey in sobriety, but non-believers on their journey have to deal with agitators telling them they will drink again unless they believe. I’ve never attacked non-believers or agnostics but, here’s the rub, I unfortunately learned that support from some members comes with conditions attached. You will be loved and accepted only if you believe. On a positive note, the majority of members mind their own business and welcome all because our primary purpose is the help the sick and suffering alcoholic and not convert people.

Anonymous
re Came Not

Are you familiar with SBNR (spiritual but not religious)? It is virtually impossible to grow up in the western world and not combine Christianity and spirituality. If a person chooses to, he can bail out of church; avoid the bible and other Christian literature and their outreach efforts. I did this long before AA and I continue today, over thirty years later. Those efforts alone have little change on ones thinking. The idea is already solidly planted there. Our laws, customs and values are all based in biblical teachings therefore our thinking is unless we do something about it. Our brains aren’t set up to replace something with nothing. What we perceive as better ideas will easily trump old ideas. Replace a flat earth with a round one with gravity and we never go back. Some thinkers have gone beyond flat earth spirituality and are we are never going back. Search the net, library unless contempt before investigation gives you all the answers you need.

Anonymous
not

It sounds like members of your group are encouraging you to move on to step two. In an organization that offers a spiritual solution for alcoholism, that is support.

Chances are that the words WE ARE NOT SAINTS are read before every meeting you attend. You have at least heard it numerous times. This is a group of people who feel it necessary to issue that warning often. Can you see that your six years of procrastination in completing step two of a twelve step program might be straining their patience?

Have you read “The Chapter to the agnostic”? It offers a path not a destination.

If you aren’t interested in the Spiritual Path to recovery offered by Alcoholics Anonymous you might check for other solutions. I was going to refer you to one of them but I just checked and they don’t have meetings. Their website says they have made meetings obsolete! None of that God stuff to put up with but they don’t have meetings and aren’t free like us but you can’t have everything.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the only organization I can think of where some people confuse the requirement for membership with the actions of membership. When I was a kid I wanted to be a Boy Scout. The requirement for membership was to be a boy at least 11 years old. After I joined, it was learning about tying knots, pitching tents, cooking outdoors and so on. Of course I couldn’t stay where I was coming in the door, just joining and calling myself a scout didn’t make me one. I’m sure it’s the same for the Lyons club, the DAR or about any other group.

Anonymous
re-not re-not

Not sure if you understood my post entirely or just selected certain words to motivate yourself to share a different point of view, which is your right of course. In my experience, I have found that spirituality and religion are not necessary ingredients to obtain sobriety or even be a member of the fellowship. You said, "Some people confuse the requirement for membership with the actions of membership." And from this I imagine you feel “your actions” are the “correct” ones. And what are our actions? Our actions as stated by the Preamble are “… who share their experience, strength and hope with each other.” Do you feel if a member has a different perspective on recovery that they are “incorrect” and do not belong. I think you said I should go somewhere else. Just to let you know there is no “correct” way of getting sober and where is it written that we have rights to tell any alcoholic to go somewhere else because they do not think like us. The “correct” way you are thinking of is only a suggestion. We are free in AA to adopt this suggested path if it suites us or not. AA is not a fascist spiritual or religious cult who bullies people into the “correct” way of recovery; although many members think they are more powerful than our traditions. We are a diverse fellowship made up of its members who share individual recoveries. Members share what helps them. I share what helps me. I do not share what helped Bill W. If there was only one way of getting sober than there would only be one person sober. There is a distorted lens of thinking I have found and that is; if someone is not accepting the suggested path then they obviously are doing nothing, are against us and will drink again. This thinking is far from the truth. I’ve seen non-believers with a truer sense of spirituality do more for this fellowship, than say the fanatical and narrow-minded big book thumper. One slogan is "Live and Let Live"

clu1992
Offline
Joined: 2012-05-30
live and let live

Great quote strait from the big book, page 135.

Anonymous
re

It sounds like the version of Tradition Three you have says The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking and then I can make up whatever I want and call it AA.

Anonymous
Thankfully, the only

Thankfully, the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking...there is always a chair for both a "believer" and a "non-believer"...hopefully, we leave our judgement at the door.

Anonymous
Thanks for the Came "not" to Believe Post!

I appreciate what you shared very much because it is similar to my experience. I used to hear “Fake It to You Make it” and “Stick Around to the Miracle Happens” But after many years of faking it and waiting for the miracle nothing happened too; unless one considers me finding the Agnostic AA groups a miracle. Recently, I moved to a new area and heard a man at a meeting share about these approved “We Agnostics” groups in AA. He said there were four in the area alone. I started to attend them and what a breath of fresh air. A person opens the meeting with the reading of the Preamble and then the discussion starts. When it ends we quietly put the chairs away. It’s exactly the thing I needed because what I wasn’t finding at some of the mainstream meetings was a sense of true compassion and maturity. The agnostics meetings are low key and everyone is treated as an equal. I believe the “We Agnostics” groups truly reflect our founder’s vision and our Preamble that, AA is a Fellowship and all we are asked to do is humbly share our experience, strength and hope. People share real stuff from the heart. I just got to a place in my recovery where I did not need to hear page numbers or endure the spectacle of rituals, readings, preachers, gods, gurus, and clichés as well as, members treating me like I was an outcast. I also discovered that “We Agnostics” groups are growing considerable and I find them an incredible addition to the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous as we reach the hand of AA out to the still sick and suffering alcoholic. It doesn’t take much to start a “We Agnostics” meeting; just the Preamble and another drunk.

Anonymous
Came to "not" believe...

Thankfully, the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking...there is always a chair for both a "believer" and a "non-believer"...hopefully, we leave our judgement at the door.

Anonymous
Sponser

I have had a sponsor for about a week. At the first meeting I was told to call everyday, which I did. Every time I called all I got was an answering machine, with no return call. Do I need a new sponsor.
"T"

Anonymous
Get what you need

In the BB a sponsor is referred to as a trusted friend. Personally, I don't keep friends who don't have time to return my calls.

Anonymous
yes

yes

Anonymous
re sponsor

If anyone asks me to sponsor them, first I say "Probably, when would you be available for an hour or two to sort each other out?" If that can't be at least scheduled on the spot, I'm done. I want to know who the sponsee is and he needs to know who I am. He needs to know my expectations and me his. Phone times, reading material. We both need to review the AA pamphlet "Questions and Answers on Sponsorship". I re-read "Working with Others" in the Big Book. It's not Joe's Anonymous or Sally's Anonymous so I don't need to dream up a program for the guy, I need to brush up on the one that has already been tried and proven.

Anonymous
Sponsor

I'm not comfortable telling you what you should do, only what worked for me. My original sponsor, now passed away, told me that for the first 90 of my sobriety I needed to go to 90 meetings and he went to each and every one of them. Afterwards we went out to coffee to talk about the meeting. For the next several years, we went to at least 4 meetings together every week. Interestingly, he told me that he was sponsoring me not to help me stay sober but to keep himself sober.

I have used this model with everyone of the people I sponsor and it has been amazing how it helps me keep sober by being a sponsor. Thanks for letting me remember my original sponsor and keeping me sober.

Crout
Offline
Joined: 2013-04-29
Sponsor

Perhaps your sponsor wants to test your resolve with what seems like a futile assignment. I suggest you continue to call and leave messages until you can meet face to face and ask for clarification.

AD014589
Offline
Joined: 2013-01-10
"old"

I've been attending AA meetings since early 1990. I know, a long time: You'd think I would have figured it out by now. No way---this is pure (distilled) alcoholic behavior, as I''ve come to know it. And it's not that I haven't been trying. I'd like some advice on this---maybe from someone over 60 years of age, better yet, between 70 and 76 years.---My problem and my question is this: Is there a place in AA, especially in meetings, for a person (a man) who is 76 years old and counting? Here's the real problem, and I know that it's my problem and not yours, not AA's. I go to meetings---at least ten per week. I don't do it out of obligation--I tend to get something from each one; and I still after-all-this-time feel good to be part of something. That is new for me. I have had relapses since I first found AA, accidentally, in 1989. My first experiences with AA were not good, probably because I'd sought solutions, many times, oh lo, those many times. It's hard to listen when you're my age (maybe this is because for us, every second of every minute counts).

Here is my problem: I try to stop drinking. I really try. I have every book on this issue. Books don't help; this is not a problem of understanding; it's a matter of feeling, feeling something else. At meetings I often feel invisible, maybe because of my age. A typical alcoholic, I've always felt "less than."
The meetings I go to are attended by people in their twenties, or maybe their thirties, and they appear to have their own agendas. They are heavily involved in their attached electronic devices, and with each other. I do not have a functioning cell phone. I also don't watch television or listen to the news.

During and after the meetings I meet many enthusiastic people, and all are eager to "help me with my problem" After the check-in at the meeting(s) the secretary will customarily ask if there are any there with fewer than 30 days. "This is not meant to make you feel singled out, or otherwise bad." So we know we're not singled out, and the response is heartfelt, and it was alright in the beginning, before my relapse became extended. Now it is weighing on me. It's very hard and I seem to be involved in a vicious cycle of relapse---feel guilty---guilt reinforced by people in meetings,---and so on. This is a critical time for me: My impulse is to leave the program and live my life alone, in my cabin in the mountains,

Earlier this year, after 30 days in a good rehab center, I accumulated 87 consecutive days sober. which was a great experience! I was ecstatic, and all my attention became fixated on that magic number 90, which would qualify me for being a secretary. In effect, it would qualified me as a normal (?), card-carrying human being. Then the relapses began, without letup. I obviously, have been doing something wrong. So, I'm back where I started: alcoholic thinking.

Anonymous
old

“Books don’t help”
You can starve to death while reading cook books.

Anonymous
re

Does alcohol still work for you? I’m sure that all of us had horrific consequences from our drinking, some of us from the very start. But it didn’t stop us because it worked, it filled some emptiness. It finally stopped working. Only the combination of horrible consequences and alcohol’s failure got the rare few of us to the point to do something.

If alcohol still works for you, I’m sorry, I have nothing to offer. If it has stopped working and you really want to stop drinking then it’s time for action. Read step one in the 12 & 12 every day for ten days. Write a drinking history, an admission of your powerlessness over alcohol. Write about how it worked. Write about the consequences. Write about what you missed because of your drinking. Write about how it stopped working but you insanely kept repeating your behavior expecting different results. Write about all the times you got different results than you planned or expected (unmanageability). At your age, twenty or thirty pages wouldn’t be out of line. When you think you have finished ask someone in your group to go over it with you. See if you are ready for step two.

Anonymous
old

If you went to the pool and watched people take swimming lessons ten time a week, do you think it would it make you a swimmer?

Anonymous
old

If you went to the pool and watched people take swimming lessons ten time a week, do you think it would it make you a swimmer?

Anonymous
re old

You’ve given us a lot of numbers here:

since early 1990. over 60 between 70 and 76 years.--- 76 years old and counting? at least ten per week. 1989. twenties, or maybe their thirties, fewer than 30 days. 30 days 87 consecutive days sober. that magic number 90

Someone early on told me “Don’t count time, make time count”. You look like living (or dying) proof that he was right.

Anonymous
old

There was no mention of God or the steps in your post.

"Well that's exactly what this book is about. It's main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem." Alcoholics Anonymous p45

Anonymous
"Old"

Dear friend,

I am a 72-year-old female member of AA, and felt very moved by your story.

By reaching out to share your pain, you have already taken a courageous step towards alleviating it.

Old habits die hard, especiallythe deadly ones: we are our own worst enemies: want to get sober, but missing the mark and setting up that drink-guilt-drink cycle. Add to it that greatest enemy of alcoholics---ISOLATION.

And forgive me, but you sound pretty cut off: no cell phone, TV, newspapers. And you're talking about hieing to your mountain retreat?

My earnest suggestion: come back to us. Forget about your age, put your relapses behind you, get involved with us--- we who know who you are.

You don't mention having a sponsor or taking the 12 steps. Surely in one of those 10 meetings you will find a man whose program you admire---regardless his age. Ask him to help you with the steps. And begin with step one.

You might also attend some different meetings, where you are likely to find some folks closer to your age. In my home town, no metropolis for sure, some groups are 55+, many others comprised mostly of 50-80 somethings.
A friend in my home group is 85 and just got remarried!

My magic magnifying mind enlarges whatever I put into it: fill yours with the Steps, the Fellowship, and 24 hour Sobriety. If you also need professional help to oil those rusty hinges of self destruction, seek it!

Dear friend, you may think you are too old to change, but we both know that is untrue. Throw yourself into your recovery like a zealot! You will live to be amazed and never alone again.

Old, Happy and Sober

Anonymous
"Old"

Dear friend,

I am a 72-year-old female member of AA, and felt very moved by your story.

By reaching out to share your pain, you have already taken a courageous step towards alleviating it.

Old habits die hard, especiallythe deadly ones: we are our own worst enemies: want to get sober, but missing the mark and setting up that drink-guilt-drink cycle. Add to it that greatest enemy of alcoholics---ISOLATION.

And forgive me, but you sound pretty cut off: no cell phone, TV, newspapers. And you're talking about hieing to your mountain retreat?

My earnest suggestion: come back to us. Forget about your age, put your relapses behind you, get involved with us--- we who know who you are.

You don't mention having a sponsor or taking the 12 steps. Surely in one of those 10 meetings you will find a man whose program you admire---regardless his age. Ask him to help you with the steps. And begin with step one.

You might also attend some different meetings, where you are likely to find some folks closer to your age. In my home town, no metropolis for sure, some groups are 55+, many others comprised mostly of 50-80 somethings.
A friend in my home group is 85 and just got remarried!

My magic magnifying mind enlarges whatever I put into it: fill yours with the Steps, the Fellowship, and 24 hour Sobriety. If you also need professional help to oil those rusty hinges of self destruction, seek it!

Dear friend, you may think you are too old to change, but we both know that is untrue. Throw yourself into your recovery like a zealot! You will live to be amazed and never alone again.

Old, Happy and Sober

Anonymous
RE old

It sounds to me like you have attending AA meetings confused with working the program of AA. I have yet too personally meet a late stage chronic alcoholic who can stay sober longer than 3 months on AA meetings alone. I have met a few that are not as far advanced that stay dry a year or longer. I’m sure in the 2.4 million members of AA around the world there are exceptions to this rule. I have just never met a single one in person.
I will suggest to you what was suggested to me 20 plus years ago by my sponsor who was 10 years sober at the time and still is. Join a home group that meets at the same time and place, only miss that meeting for funerals ( your own), get a job in that home group, get a sponsor in that home group who has worked the steps out of the big book of AA, and have that sponsor take you through the steps out of the big book.
FYI, I have a sponsee who is 76 years old who has worked the steps with me out of the big book. God willing, if he keeps doing what he has been doing, he will celebrate 18 months soon.
Please remember that AA is open to anyone who thinks they have a problem with alcohol. Not everyone who attends AA meetings is an active member of AA who is working the 12 step program.
If you continue to relapse without applying the 12 steps in your daily life, that is as it should be. until AA came along with the 12 step program for recovery, most alcoholics were doomed and that has not changed.
Good luck to you and God bless you!

bbqwiwi
Offline
Joined: 2013-03-26
Whats on my mind...

I have been having a hard time sharing at my home group meetings. I have racked my brain to figure out why after 8 years of sobriety the I become nerves when its my turn to share. My partner comes to the same meetings and started at the same time, I thought maybe that was making me nerves? So I went to other meetings when I could get to them for I dont drive, this just added to the why I was feeling at my home group.New meeting,new people and some faces, I knew from my drinking days but this change did not help! I decided maybe it was not the meetings or the people attaining them, maybe the problem was me? I went to see my doctor and she suggested that I was developing nerves problems from being isolated,and not talking to people as much as I once had. I was a very social person and enjoying having a girls day or night out once or twice a month was fun until I stopped getting invited,but in the last 8 years I have moved from town to the country away from other,I dont drive and really the only people I talk to on the phone our my kids and my sponsor. I am sure that some of us recovering from alcoholism have noticed that the group of friends we had when drinking changes when we quit drinking. In my case not one of my old girl friends talk to me anymore, so really the only socializing I do is Wednesday nights from 8pm to 9pm at my home meeting. And that is just fine with me, but when it starts effecting my only real place I feel comfortable thats a problem! Now at meetings I feel scared to talk about anything so I do a lot of listening.I dont know why I am feeling this way,but if anyone else has been at this point in there sobriety and can give me some suggestions......I willing to try about anything right now!

Anonymous
Hi and Low bottoms

I just love that expression "you don't have to ride the garbage truck all the way to the dump, you can get off anytime." Never heard it before and have to remember to use it (on me). I got off the truck in 1985, never been back on. Fortunatly/unfortunatly, have had to deal with me and my defects all these years, thank God for AA. It is so plain spoken, and so essential for staying straight. All the therapy and all the psychitrist's in the world can take years to help you and you may never really get the message, but AA is straight on. You can always come get in touch with the 100 feelings you have after you get off the booze.
Thank you so much for listening.

Anonymous
RE: HOW IT WORKS

To The Gentleman With Major Concerns about Reading HOW IT WORKS at every AA meeting and it's power to scare away newcomers with problems with God.

I post this everyday for one of the online AA groups I belong to:

Note: Not suggesting we change the BB in any manner whatsoever....

Subject Field:

Remembering Why We're Here....

Personal preface: At this juncture in the Big Book if we have listened, we have learned more about alcoholism, discovered there is a solution to it and that we all need a power higher than ourselves to get and remain sober, a God of our understanding. Whatever that God is to each and everyone of us, He/She/It is available, free and easy to find.:

"Remember,

that we deal with alcohol-

cunning, baffling, powerful!

Without help it is too much for us.

But there is One who has all power-

that One is God.

May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing.

We stood at the turning point.

We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

1.. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2.. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3.. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4.. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5.. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6.. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7.. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8.. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9.. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10.. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11.. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12.. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we
tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Alcoholics Anonymous
Page 59
HOW IT WORKS

Jim R.

Anonymous
RE-HIW ...Jim R.

Hey Jim, the most misunderstood element in AA is the reading of "How it Works" at the beginning of meetings. The more accurate and important choice of reading would be our “AA Preamble.” Members assume AA is the Program suggested in The Big Book when in fact, AA is a Fellowship as defined by the Preamble and the experiences, strengths and hopes of its members. When “How it Works” is read, it confuses and misleads the newcomer into shaping an inaccurate picture of what everything Bill W. hoped for us. “How it Works” dictates certain religious points of view which does not reflect the diversity of recovery experiences happening in the rooms today. Because all members do not get sober the same way, reading HIW creates an unhealthy fragrance of dogmatism, which in turn leads to recovery pecking orders, snobberies and aggressive acts towards independent thinkers, atheists and agnostics. When I hear, “I got sober by the Book!” I hear a person saying they are more important than our principals. Not everyone gets sober by the book today in AA. Today’s members are slowly waking up to the fact that being extremely rigid and dogmatic is never the path to a new freedom and a new happiness.

Anonymous
13 step

sounds like fake it until you make it but is doesn't... The 13 step and the 13 tratidion is like the 13 floor on building... but it doen't because it does not exist

A.A meeting
1409 ponce de leon
Rio Piedras Puerto Rico

Anonymous
Burn out and tried of fighting.

This is my concern, I have been retired for over three years now. I have tried getting more involved with the fellowship in my area. Due to I have a lot of free time on my hands. I have been to many monthly GSR meetings. But, to no avail. What can I do. Zeke

didboi
Offline
Joined: 2013-04-26
re: burn out and tried of fighting

Not sure exactly what you are asking.

Do you want to become a GSR?

You haven't said how long you sober for. I only ask as some positions the guidance in the handbook details he recommended length of sobriety.

Even if you can't get elected yet there is usually no shortage of stuff for you to do. I don't know your area but there is always service work to be done. If you not elected to GSR you can still help with intergroup tasks if there are vacancies like Prisons, Probation, Public Information, 12 step Co-ordinator, Telephone Service the list goes on and on. Just stick your hand up and it'll be snapped off.

Its usually a problem of people not wanting to do service.

If you struggling to find some service work ask an old timer or two. :O)

As for readings: AA Comes of Age. Dr Bob & the good old timers, AA manual/hand book. AA concepts essays. Language of the Heart. I am assuming that you are already versed in the traditions that are in the 2nd half of the 12 and 12 the bits they most people ignore. ;op

Have fun.

Anonymous
Burn out and tired of fighting

You could start a new meeting(s), volunteer to go to AA Meetings in prison. Get a few like minded AAs together and do a Big Book study... Learn about and host a Back to Basics seminar. There are guides on the Internet. Good luck.

Anonymous
To Burnout

Zeke, The GSR meetings in my area are an hour and a half of
noisy nonsense. Members are elected to positions, get the
applause, and then don't show up next month. I still go
as it is only one night a month. I find the major attraction
to be the food served before the meeting. I also find
it to be a major distraction. Thirty years we had cookies
and coffee. (cheap cookies). But we got the work done.
Alcoholics joined A.A. by the hundreds of thousands every
year.
I ask you to find two books and read, study them.
AA comes of Age and Language of the Heart. Language of
the Heart is a bit easier reading. Start a LOTH meeting
reading a chapter a week. Read Bills warnings to us.
I find the articles facinating, and many are joining
me in studing the history of A.A.
Keep writing for the "What's on your Mind" FORUM.
You seem to have a lot on your mind. ANONYMOUS

bingopajamas
Offline
Joined: 2012-11-20
Burning Desires

I swear the next time asks "does anyone have a burning desire" run. I will come after you and strangle you! You got a "burning desire"? BORE YOUR SPONSOR WITH IT, BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR BAD DAY.

Anonymous
May I suggest you read

May I suggest you read something else then? These sites are for people (AA's) to get things off their chests, as you just did. God Bless.

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Burning Desires

Arsonists have burning desires.

Anonymous
Numbness in Recovery

I've been sober for many years and find a certain numbness has taken over me. My father died this week after 10 days without food and water in the hospital. I was with him the whole time; held his hand and whispered kind memories in his ear. But, looking down at him I couldn't care less. I felt nothing. When he died, the only thing I thought about was I just wasted 10 days. When something tragic happens in the news I feel blank unless I laugh out loud. My wife is concerned about this new apathy that has entwined itself into me. Has anyone else felt this way? I don't feel depressed. I still eat right and exercise.
But even meetings are a drag. I listen to people share and think "Who cares or So what" Sometimes I even laugh to myself as members pour their hearts out crying. I'd appreciate if someone had a similar experience. I don't feel like drinking I just don't feel anything. Thanks

Anonymous
To: Numbness in Recovery

Wow! I don't know what to say exactly! I might suggest first
that you see your medical doctor. Make sure there isn't an organic reason for your feelings. If that checks out OK maybe a complete 4th and 5th step to see if you have any deep seated anger. Bill W. said we had to get to the root of our problems.
I actually have brief moments where I get similar feelings as yours but I try to remind myself that I am not responsible for the first thought that comes into my head but I am responsible for the second thought.
I try to remind myself I am a very, very selfish person.
My time is all that counts.
When I get these thoughts I know I need to change my thinking.
Do you take a quite time in the mornings? Do you reflect on
your feelings and how important it is to put the other person first?
Hang in there and don't drink. Go to meetings, maybe a men's group and let them know what is going on with you.
Talk to your sponsor. See your doctor.

Bless you,
RC

Anonymous
i'm going on 31 years of

i'm going on 31 years of sobriety, and like the other respondent, i found that other programs really helped me. when i was 3 years sober i found children of alcoholics and coda meetings and they changed everything. aa saved my life, coa and coda meetings got me happy. even with those, i've still gone through periods of complacency and emotional detachment. if i REALLY want to get out of it, i pray that god will give me a growth opportunity; but, be prepared. i've always gotten tremendous challenges that enabled some major growth, but it moves me to a new level of appreciation, acceptance, and sense of wonder at god's grace in my life. i can look back and literally see how god's plan unfolded. god will give you what you need when you're ready for it. so, if you're ready, have a conversation with god.

Anonymous
"More spiritual growth"

"More spiritual growth"

Anonymous
RE - numbness in recovery

I would just like to say that its great you reached out as its sounds like can at least recognize this numbness. I am over 30 years in the programme , married in sobriety , had two great kids, a senior management role in a global company, I did regular meetings service at group and regional level, prayer and went to church regularly. I felt I had done the programme to the best of my ability but inside i started to deteriorate and feel more and more empty after about twenty years sobriety. It got worse, no one seem to have the answer. I went to my Doctor who said he thought I was showing signs of clinical depression. To cut to the quick I ended up in another programme Codependents Anonymous (CODA) which has helped me greatly. Today I have both fellowships and the reason I felt nothing was that I had spent years giving myself to others (not just in AA but outside) until there was nothing left in me . I am not saying its your situation , just my experience. Having come through it I sometimes see others (not everyone) in AA exhibiting the same and the answer is not more service. Incidentaly I never stopped praying throughout. Hope you find the path through.

Anonymous
RE: Numbness thanks

I want to thank the members who shared honestly and sincerely on numbeness. A giant weight has been lifted.
The numbness was building up inside and I started to sink like a rock. It won't go away overnight but, I've made appointments with the appropriate people. Drinking was never an option for me but, strangling the guy who cut me off in traffic was another story.
Thanks for being real and not preaching hot air. The real stuff always brings me back to reality.

Anonymous
re numbness

I hear what you are saying but cannot identify. I was told in 1992 to join a home group and get a job in that group, get a sponsor who has worked the steps, that attends that home group,and take the steps with that sponsor out of the big book.
I have been usning that formula for a happy and contented sobriety ever since. And yes I have had many ups and downs in my life, everyone does. the difference today is they don't happen to me, they happen to everyone.

Anonymous
i FEEL FOR YOU

WOW...you really touched my heart...I feel for you. I had 10 years and 8 months sober and felt about the same way then I stopped going to meetings and then one 4th of July I drank again. That was in 2007. Now it's 2013 and I am desperate to get what I had back. I think I stopped being grateful for AA and I really didn't know how wonderful my sober life was. I will do anything to get it again and keep it. Thank you for sharing. K

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