Burning Desire to Share

2369 replies [Last post]
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.


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.

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.



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.


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.

Joined: 2013-04-29

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.

Joined: 2013-01-10

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.


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


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.


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?


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?

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.


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


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


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

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!

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!

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.


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.:


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

Jim R.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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
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

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.

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.

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Burning Desires

Arsonists have burning desires.

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

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,

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.

"More spiritual growth"

"More spiritual growth"

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.

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.

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.


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

RE: Numbness and Thanks

This is my experience. I felt numbness many times and found just praying and working the steps wasn't doing it for me. The initial rush of hope in my early recovery years waned fast and I realized the founders didn't have much experience after that. The Big Book provided a band-aid ray of hope but, I came to understand it was more of a beginner’s manual. Seventy years later we know more about addiction and brain disorders then the founders could have imagined. I’m not taking anything away from them and their noble acts, but the facts are the facts. My recovery was not blessed by angels. Even though I was not putting alcohol into my body and working the steps and praying regularly, I had that numbness too you talk about. I couldn’t care about anybody or anything. I discovered the numbing agents behind my glum. I was still jacking my brain up with caffeine, nicotine and sugar. When I finally quit smoking and reduced caffeine intake to one cup of tea while eliminating sugar completely, I tail-spun into the deepest depression imaginable. At first I thought, “This too shall pass” But it didn’t. I sat through business meetings and AA meetings and felt like a zombie. My face was tight and I started to be consumed by hatred. After my first five years of misery I sought professional help. This lowered my status with the old-timers but, I wanted to experience the joys of sobriety. As so many others have discovered in AA, I also had an underlying mental disorder which was not being relieved by prayers and good intentions. I can’t tell you how many times I swept the floors and made coffee waiting for the miracle to happen. In my case, I couldn’t wait around anymore. I got profession help. Initially, I took medication for my illness. A few years after that, I discontinued the meds and found other alternatives. Today, I have a true joy in recovery and that new freedom promised. One last thing, I too felt numbness when my father died years ago, but today thanks to receiving the proper care, I am still grieving the loss of my mother who passed last year.

Numbness and not alone

Wow! Thank you so much. Its always reassuring to know there are many members with similar sobriety stories. Not all members can relate to what you may have said but, I do. About my fifth year in, I was ready to jump off the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Its an easy jump as jumps go, the height of the rails are about 4 feet and the drop about 600 feet. I was going to 4-5 meetings a week. I prayed in the morning and at night. I worked the steps and was a good husband and father but, one day something came over me. I drove to the bridge, walked to the center and meditated before the leap. Just then, a biker drove by and screamed "Its a permanent solution to a temporary problem brother" and disappeared. I was startled out of my funk and returned to earth. I've heard that many times in AA and thought about my wife and kids. I ran off that bridge and drove home hugging them as I rushed in the house. When that man yelled, something clicked in me "I need to see a doctor" It's been a few years after treatment and there is a new joy and happiness again in my life. With the proper care I am experiencing the promises today in AA. One day I hope I cross paths with that biker to thank him for saving my life.
Mannie, New Mexico

RE: Numbness in Recovery

My heart is with you and your family. My parents passed on of natural cause in sobriety as words could not touch its reality , I sat quietly in a meeting not wanting to talk to anyone nor be told anything as I need to be around my kind as I heard the music around the people instead of a sorry. In time I picked up my head for my parents thanking them for doing the best they could – Time was the only healer and I am glad I had a place to go to and hear the music. If a wish could help consider it done, hang in there my friend.
A weird thing I realized growing up my parents never said good by they always said SEE YA.


Try reading page 52. I truly believe this is the only thing our program can really help with

re numbness

I fit your general description of yourself, male, long sobriety, lost both elderly parents in the last six years and I have certainly felt everything you are feeling. In my experience there is no “right” way to feel grief. In fact there is no “right” way to feel anything. Akin to “I can’t think my way to good living but I can live my way to good thinking”. What I DO will result in the best outcome despite what I think or feel. There is usually levity during grief. Experts likely have a reason. I just know that there is and it seems normal. When we’ve just been close to the big one (life and death) people sharing complaints of cats that won’t behave do tend to fade by comparison. In some cultures, haven’t we seen that mourning is officially required to last a year? All black and all that? Excessive by my standards but Dr Tebot nailed us with his description of self centered, impatient, and a low tolerance of frustration. Any time I feel dis-ease, I can quickly trace it to one of those. I can’t click my red shoes together three times and make it disappear but I know it is my alcoholism doing the thinking for me and as long as I do the next right think it will go away. I bet it will for you too.

numb time

Dear Numb, I know how you feel; I've felt the same and wondered if I was a pyschopath. In you, I recognize patterns I too have had, prior to a relapse. When I set myself as different, and are unable to relate to others in the program, I am headed down a precarious path. I must force myself to relate to my other alcoholics, or I will get drunk. For me to get back on the path, when I can't stand the thought of relating to others, I have to pray. And I pray, not because I believe it will work (because deep down I don't), but rather I pray because doing so makes me feel better. Maybe just a self-imposed time out is what I need. Talk to a sponser, pray, try to do a good deed, go to another meeting, and most important don't drink, even when your brain tells you it will be different this time: it won't be, that's just your arrogance and ego lying to you. Good luck.


Pray for a mini miracle; pray for any sign that you are connected with a higher power, the miracle may come in time or it may arise suddenly. It will show you the way.

General Service Conference

Our Annual General Service Conference will take place next week. Bern Smith's "why do we need a
conference" will be read. When Bern Smith gave that talk, much of alcoholic population may not have
heard of Alcoholics Anonymous. That is simply not true today. Practically everyone in the world
has heard of A.A. Is a conference still necessary? I think yes. I believe this conference to be
even more important than past conferences. Our area representatives (delegates) have a vital
decision to make regarding our tradition of self support. We are further away from obedience to
Tradition Seven than we have ever been. We have always had a goal of being self-supporting at all
levels. Group and individual contributions are to be our only source of income. Todays GSB has
added profits from our book and literature business as a legitimate source of income. The
"In 1986" paragraph has been removed from the current service manual. Page S74 in the 2009-2010 manual.
I am deeply concerned that this is one step closer to accepting contributions from all sources. Most
of todays A.A. members do not understand the value of Tradition Seven. And this ignorance will not
cause any immediate danger. The danger is to future generations. Future generations of suffering
alcoholics will pay dearly for our mistakes.
To shorten this message I will give three reasons for our policy of poverty. To prevent any
interference with our affairs. Selling books and literature at the cost of printing makes information
about our fellowship affordable to everyone. We want the general public to look at our fellowship
favorably. They say "The irresponsible have become responsible". These alcoholics insist on paying
their own expenses out of their own pockets. They won't even take outside money when it is offered.
In the 12 & 12 Bill wrote that many members wanted to "take that ten thousand dollars" Let's take
it and take all donations in the future. "The groups may never send enough to support our Headquarters".
Tradition Seven came out of that discussion. Today we don't even talk about it. The future of our
precious fellowship is in the hands of our General Service Conference. It is still needed even if
it does cost close to two million dollars for the week. A.A.'s future is in your hands. ANONYMOUS
Note: If we sell books and literature without profit, new and unecessary material will not be published.
We do not want to print new material just to make money.

GSC literature

I attended a regional forum in about 1980 in Kansas City. Much talk about literature sales supporting AA. Same concern you are expressing today. I haven’t seen one iota of evidence that any outsiders “contributing” by purchasing AA literature have had any influence on its content. Have you?

I accept that it is an important concept; I don’t want outsiders influencing our organization either. I just don’t see that anybody outside of AA has much interest in our literature and the few that do certainly haven’t attacked like corporate takeover raiders.

RE: GSC literature

"I accept that it is an important concept"? It is not a
concept. It is our Tradition Seven that I am writing
about. We have twelve steps, twelve traditions and twelve
concepts. The traditions and concepts are more important
than the steps. The steps are suggestions. But if we
continue to ignore the traditions and concepts, our
recovery fellowship is in danger of collapse.
We have been selling about a million books a year
for the past few years. The price of a Big Book contains
considerable profit. An individual who wants to donate
an excessive amount to A.A. could just buy, say a thousand
books, and just give them away or burn them.
You really have to fully understand the history of
our tradition of self-support. I believe that most A.A.
members today could care less where the money comes from,
to run our headquarters, as long as it is out of someone
else's pocket.
We need to sell Books and Literature at the cost of
printing, and fully fund operations from group and member's
donations. It is nearly impossible to alter the Tradition.
It is fairly easy to ignore it. ANONYMOUS

More on GSO's budget

OK you supplied us with a rant about the poster using the word “concept” generically, which according to my dictionary, fits the idea:
A broad abstract idea or a guiding general principle, e.g. one that determines how a person or culture behaves.

Other than that, you didn’t supply anything additional to dispel the idea that the organization has stayed and is likely to stay free of outside influence because it keeps all of its money in one pocket. AA and our little budget and publishing efforts are such small peanuts, why would anyone bother trying to influence it? Wasn’t happening in 1980 and isn’t happening today unless you have some new facts you would like to share. The chief operating officer of some silly enterprise called Facebook pulled in $821 million last year. Somebody wants to buy influence? There’s somebody to target.

Worry is the interest you pay on problems you don’t even have.

early days of the founders

I hope im doing this righ I just got a question: its truth that aa members used to go to bars to help members stay sober?

re: early days

Great question!

I doubt if there was ANYTHING that some members didn't do, and still do, and will continue to. On the other hand, if we want to be effective in helping others stay sober, the "how to" is spelled out in great detail in our literature, particularly the chapter "Working With Others" in the Big Book.

In my experience people go into bars to start drinking. AA is for those of us who want to stop drinking. I'm not helpful for those who don't want help.

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