Burning Desire to Share

2247 replies [Last post]
truthiness
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Joined: 2011-07-29
RE: Christianized A.A.

I try to respect the group conscience of whatever group I am visiting even if I don't agree with it.

Anonymous
truthiness

If you are visiting a group, how would you know what the
group conscience is? Have you ever taken part in a truly
informed group conscience? Just because everyone else
chants and holds hands and prays at meetings doesn't
make it any less wrong. These rituals are repulsive to
some of us. Would you suggest that we just stop attending?
I prefer to just not chant and stand alone. You would
not believe the number of members who have joined me.
An earlytimer just last evening approached me saying
"now I understand why reading HIW at meetings is wrong".
He has been reading about Dr. Silkworth's advice to
Bill W. Bill wrote many times that without this advice
from Dr. Silkworth, A.A. could never have been born.
Bill wrote that he almost ruined the whole thing by
his preachy approach to helping other alcoholics. Yet
we tell alcoholics every day "That one is God! May
you find Him NOW! We are failing hundreds of thousands
of suffering alcoholics every year by this practice.
ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Re: group conscience

Usually I can get a pretty good idea of the group conscience of a meeting I'm visiting by listening to the script that the chairperson reads. In addition, I can ask questions to the home group members who attend the business meetings and group inventories.

Anonymous
Who needs meetings?

For a long time I have known that it's the AA Programme that I need, not meetings. Some so-called "AA" meetings seem a long way off the AA programme. It was, and is, practising the AA programme that got and keeps me sober.
I try, as a sober AA member, to practice the AA principles in all my affairs. So I guess it is my responsibility to carry the AA message wherever I go, and particularly at AA meetings. It doesn't make me popular though!

aerocat7
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Joined: 2012-11-01
Paranoia or Real Concern?

I have been sober for 37 years and have run into all kinds of personalities, and observed all manner of oddball behaviors. And there is no question I have been guilty of thinking and doing some strange things. But, until recently, I have never been genuinely afraid of someone. There is an individual who turns up at most of the meetings I attend. He claims to have had 20 years of sobriety at one time, but left and now has about 4 months. He talks at meetings about having violent fantasies, the most recent one involving the use of a chain saw. I have given him rides to meetings several times, and he has told me that he enjoys talking to me. He has shared things with me that I really do not want to know about him. But, more and more, I find myself keeping my distance. Others think his tales amusing and laugh at his stories, but I have actually become frightened of him. Anyone ever run into this sort of situation?

Anonymous
Paranoia

AA is and always will be about anonimity. We should not be afraid of sharing in a meeting with the fear of what we have have shared inside the walls of AA, will be brought to the publics eye.

aerocat7
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Joined: 2012-11-01
Re: Paranoia

I'm not sure how this addresses my concern. No one's anonymity has been compromised.

Anonymous
RE:Paranoia or Real Concern

I'm in my third decade of recovery and I think you have a real concern. There are a different breed of alcoholics coming into the rooms. Safe estimates suggest 75% of alcoholics have an underlying mental illness. The healthier I become the crazier people seem. Despite the majority of sincere people in recovery there are sociopaths, severe mental cases, voyeurs, rapist etc. The group I've been involved with weeds out these individuals tactfully. We have a responsibility and an obligation to make the rooms safe for the newcomer which is our primary purpose.

newstart
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Joined: 2011-09-29
THE THIRD TRADITION

The Only requirement for membership is a disire to stop drinking. The practice of the 12 steps depends on the individual. It seems to me that those who accumulate time in AA and do not study and practice the steps, are in the process of relapse. Maybe not drinking, but in the character defects section. The Dry drunks are of the worst kind. They start to critizice the new members, or start doing inventories of other AA Groups. The best advice I have for Every member, including myself is to look first at the man in the Mirror. Only then, can I see What, or how should I change my own Personality.

Anonymous
Suggestions not the Rule

You shared, "It seems to me that those who accumulate time in AA and do not study and practice the steps, are in the process of relapse. Maybe not drinking, but in the character defects section." First of all, what evidence do you have to pronounce such a claim? The steps are suggestions. Many members have found a peace of mind and spirituality without the steps. They are helpful to some but, not a magic potion. The steps will not cure an AA member with mental illness who's behavior may be miscontrued as being on a "Dry Drunk". There are many paths in recovery that will help one achieve sobriety. I've seen members find sobriety in diet, church, exercise, counseling, medication, yoga and love. Who am I to judge others recovery? I try to keep an open mind and focus on the things I need to do to stay sober for one day.

AD010416
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Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Suggestions not the Rule

"The steps are suggestions."
False! Popular idea but false. the steps are a suggested program of recovery, just as a recipe is a suggested method of cooking.
While 'suggested' in many forms is used often in our literature, the idea is stressed throughout that they should be followed in their entirety.
A few examples from the Big Book:
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path," (Those don't know the definition of the word 'thoroughly should find a dictionary."
"Half measures availed us nothing."
"We beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start."
"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."
:Obviously you can't transmit something you haven't got."
And from the 12 & 12:
"A.A.'s Twelve Steps are a set of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life,can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole."
"More sobriety brought about by the admission of alcoholism and by attendance at a few meetings is very good indeed, but it is bound to be a far cry from permanent sobriety and a contented, useful life."

Anonymous
Keep an Open Mind

Apparently, you are passionate about your ideas, however what works for you may drive another to drink. Its helpful to keep an open mind in the rooms and "Live and Let Live"
We are not in the business of selling spirituality or bullying and controlling others. AA is a fellowship not a program. Suggestion is defined in the dictionary as
"An idea or plan put forward for consideration."
Not all AA members consider the big book or steps.
Anyone who does not consider this way is not inferior to me because we are all equals in AA. And not to break you heart but, many people who haved worked the steps or read the book haved relapsed.

Anonymous
I am here to say hello to each one.Pleased to join you hear.

I am here to say hello to every body.
Glad to meet you here.

Anonymous
Self Support Tradition Seven

I believe that our fellowship should be entirely self supporting at all levels by funds
contributed by A.A. members. One local group was offered meeting space in an old school
owned by the town. At a town meeting our group was offered the space free of charge.
The First Selectman and the town leaders appreciated the work we were doing.
Our group insisted on paying an appropriate rent and was directed to send the rent
money to a town function. Sure, some members wanted to accept the free rent and use
the money for other purposes. But the group conscience decided what I consider obedience
to Tradition Seven.
Our GSO headquarters, moved to 475 Riverside Drive, in 1992, and remains
there today. Are we accepting support from outside our fellowship, by using rental
space at a reduced rate "because we are A.A."? I do not claim to know the details
but I was told that is the reason we stay in New York city. John D. Rockefellow Jr,
refused to donate any substantial money because he felt that money could spoil
this thing. He insisted that we support ourselves, although he could have
given us vast amounts of money.
Is our headquarters today (and for the past 20 years) violating the
seventh tradition? Are we indirectly accepting that outside help
from Rockefellow, although he refused to help us over seventy years ago.
Using membership numbers from GSO, I see that our membership numbers
took a dive in 1992, and today remains below the level of two decades
ago. I will add this to the list of reasons Alcoholics Anonymous membership
has remained stagnant over the past twenty years. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE: Self Support Tradition Seven

TO ANONYMOUS; I told you once before: John D.'s last
name is Rockefeller, not Rockefellow. Rose

Anonymous
Rent

We had same problem. Was a cabin behind the church. Pastor refused any money, and the cabin was empty anyway. We figured the water,gas,electric, ext. for 2 hours per week x's 4. A fairly good guess plus a little extra in case we goofed and were low.Came to very little amount. It did not cost the church for our meetings, we were not beholding. Still he did not want it. Late after a meetings at night we would put it in his mail box or the house door slot and leave signing it only Anonymous. He may have known where it came from not, hoped it just appeared from heaven someway, didn't care where it came from, we didn't care where it went. Everyone was happy. Don't know if the church made money on us, could care less. We knew they did not loose money on us, nor paid for us to be there. Also I think he preferred not to know where it came from, hope he felt good for his generosity. Ta,Ta,

Anonymous
self-support

Many share your concerns about our self support or lack there of, mine centers around the fact that contributions fall far short of what our services cost,only about 42% of groups contribute at all, the shortfall is made up with profits from our literature sales a goodly portion coming from outside the fellowship.
As to the building in N.Y.it is my understanding it is indeed owned by a foundation that provides rent to non-profits(we are one of many occupants)at cost. That is whatever the total cost to operate the building might be that cost is simply divided equally among the tenants. We are given no special consideration just because we are AA. We qualify to share the space due to our "non-profit" status. Thank you for your concern,Mike

Anonymous
"non-profit"

How do we qualify as a non-profit, when we earn million
of dollars annually from our Book and Literature sales
business? These materials should be sold at the cost
of printing, without profit. Manny Q.

Anonymous
might be wrong help me out might be right too

4th edition chapter 6 into action Promise step 11 page 86 staring at On Awakeing I found this Promise 11 start at p86 Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance for after all god gave us brains to use . our thought-life will be place on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind.Nevertheless;we find that our thinking will as time passes be more and more on the plane of inspiration.. we come to rely on it as we go though the day we pause when agitated or doubtful and ask for the right thought or action .We constantly remind ourselves we are no long running the show humbly saying many times each day THY will be done" WE ARE THEN IN MUCH LESS DANGER OF EXCITEMENT'FEAR'ANGER'WORRY'SELF-PITY' OR FOOLISH DECISIONS.we become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily,for we are not burning up energy FOOLISHLY as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves. my frist sponsor use this with me would have me read it that way evertime i saw him he has past on now and i have 10yrs sobrirty i have had to write this down many time for it fades in my billfold but has help me though many times of weak spots LIFE i call them i have cents past this on to guys i sponsor for the most i just ask to give it a try for a week 5 times a day !!!!!@ you know i now have 7 guys that can use step 11-10-12 in all our affairs...pray and medititation has been the conner stone of my sobrirty i feel pray and medititation has help be stay inn balance with the god of our understanding

tommybob
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Joined: 2012-10-13
Coming up on 24 years, one day at a time

I spent 21 years of my almost 24 in Memphis, 200 miles away from where I got sober. Those were 21 relatively happy years, but I felt all alone in AA because my father had the most sobriety of anyone in the area. I never managed to sponsor anyone who stayed sober, but I did. I smoked for a long time and was diagnosed with emphysema. I prayed that God would relieve me of the desinre to smoke (just as I had with booze). He took away the desire. I developed prostate cancer; again I prayed that His will, not mine, be done. I was cancer free for several years.

I moved back to the city where I got sober and found many of the people I got sober with were still going to the meetings I had gone to years earlier. Old friendships were renewed. I began to sponsor men who needed help and found a greater love of AA. The cancer has returned and I went back to my Higher Power for help. I am receiving the help I need to help me either live with the cancer or have it cured.

All this, I owe to the simple things I learned in AA. Dont drink, go to meetings, read the book, work with a sponsor, work the steps, and pray. These are the things my first sponsor told me at my first meeting. I added several to his list. Get a home group to grow in; get involved in service work; start sponsoring others and showing them the path. This is the most rewarding 2 1/2 years of my sobriety that I have experienced. I can give back to others what was so freely given to me.

Anonymous
Best To Your Health Tommy Bob

Congratulations on the 24 years by the way. I got sober when I was 25 and I find myself approaching 60- I have had similiar living challenges as you. However, I've also received two Masters degrees, obtained steady employment, and live debt free and have the best of friends. I am getting married for the first time in 8 days. I find drinking is never an option. If I don't pick up a drink today then I will have one day sober. We get one day in the rooms that's all. My life didn't turn out the way I expected it to but, even better than I could have imagined.
Thanks for sharing your experience strength and hope.
Theres enough wisdom in the rooms to help anyone stay sober for one day if they choose to do so. Best to your health.

Anonymous
Marine needs help

I'm writing this because I do not know where else to turn. Myself and my best friend are both United States Marines and he is an alcoholic. He quit drinking on his own and has not had any since but he's afraid of what might happen if he goes near it. His command literally teases him and makes fun of his disease and he can not do or say anything about it because it is his senior leaders doing it. I can not speak my mind because I'm not in his command and all I've been able to do is support him. He is trying very hard to go home to see his mom because she is sick but they are denying that because he must attend the Marine Corps Ball. If you have never seen one it literally is peer pressure to drink at it's most extreme. Officers and Senior staff non-commissioned officers will force drinks into the hands of Marines and as they are drunk themselves will not take no for an answer. Age restrictions will even typically go out of the window at this event and even 18 year old kids who are new to this will be forced to drink. I have devoted so much of my time and life to helping him overcome this and he's done an outstanding job but now I am afraid it will all go down hill. On the 26th he is ordered to start the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program and he is trying hard to spend one last Thanksgiving with his family as he has not in many years. His faithful service has been completely disregarded and his command has literally said they do not care. This event will occur on November 16th and I'm hoping I can get him out of this event but as of now they will not budge and his attendance is required. I don't know if anyone can help but I'll be watching and listening for advice or support.

Anonymous
RE:Marine needs help

Looking for help? Trust in God and clean house - God is bigger than all the warmongers put together in the world, seek it !!!!!

aerocat7
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Joined: 2012-11-01
Marine Needs Help

Your friend should be given compassionate leave to be with his ailing mother. You might want to contact the Chaplains Office. They are able to exert quite a bit of influence and can work miracles (pun intended.) It also sounds like there are some UCMJ violations here.

cnosek731
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Joined: 2012-11-16
Marine needs help

My heart goes out to you, i hope he made it.

jencoloney
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Joined: 2012-07-24
Prayers for your friend

Seems to me there must be somoen else that won't drink..maybe not, but try & find out somehow & hang with that person all night. good luck!

Anonymous
Marine needs help

Anonymous...I have attached a web link to our AA pamphlet about AA help and the military. It may help some..plus it has personal experience I have also sent an email to an individuall who is very active in an online group for military folks who attend AA meetings online. Hopefully one of them will contact you and your friend. I do not have the experience, but this is a start!

Here is the link to that online AA group: http://aa-intergroup.org/directory_specialty.php?code=mil

AA and the Armed Service, P-50
Personal stories tell how men or women in the military—any rank, any age—can beat a drinking problem through A.A.http://aa.org/lang/en/catalog.cfm?category=4&product=67

Anonymous
Marine needs help

I hope that you have found some support for your marine friend. I know a lot of service men who are sober now. I wish I could be of more help and service to you. I am responding because I want you to be commended not only for your service to our country, but for your service as a friend. The support you give him is life saving too. I wish there was more I could do, but know that I will pray for you and your friend.

Anonymous
RE: Marine needs help

Marine needs help or friend needs help?

Anonymous
One Day At A Time

Hello Friends, Just taking it one day at a time, enjoying sobriety.

Anonymous
thank GOD

Im sitting here with over 24 years sober,been crying all day.Ive watched my sister for the last 2years slowly die from enfisema.after years (like me)running away from a.a. she got sober a little over 5 years ago. Out of three childred all of us landed in a.a. and have been BLESSED by the gift of soberity. all three of us have walked in the SUNLIGHT OF THE SPIRT,and for this I THANK GOD FOR THIS SOBER DAY

samuel3456
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Joined: 2011-12-02
grateful to be sober in AA

My name is Sam and I am an alcoholic. I am grateful to be sober today thanks to AA. Today I woke up without a hangover. Today I am not sick to my stomach. Today when I got up I drank some water and not an alcoholic beverage. Today there is food in my fridge instead of alcohol. Today I got up early and didn't have a headache. Today I got up and was not dehydrated. Today I have a little cash on hand because my money didn't go to booze last night. Today I woke up at home instead of in a hospital. I used to go on drinking benders, drink for a week and eat little, then be on the rocks and check myself into a hospital mental ward. They would try to put me back together but only AA can keep me sober from alcohol. I am grateful to be sober one day at a time.

Anonymous
grateful

Thank God I am still a drunk and do not have AA members stealing my stuff.

AD010416
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Joined: 2012-01-18
grateful

Thank God I'm an alcoholic who has been restored to sanity. I'm no longer a drunk. I'm no longer afraid of the word alcoholic.

SuzieQ
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Joined: 2011-06-27
Sharing

When I was new to recovery we shared by giving everyone a chance too pass as we went around the table. This gave the new ones a chance to say pass or to share even if they think they are stupid about what we are discussing. Now we went to random instead of going around the table in rotation. I need to hear from everyone even if they pass. It seems AA has gone the way of group therapy that started in Treatment facilities. My heart goes out to those who come & don't even get a chance to pass.

galljc
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Joined: 2012-04-22
Random Vs Rotation

I too don't care for the random type meetings. But i'm sure there are those who love them who hopefully voted on the decision in a group consciounce meeting. Generally I just don't attend those with the random format, once in awhile i'll be in one when traveling or catching a one off meeting. I don't dwell too much on it, I just chose a home group that has a format that fits my preferences. I've even been in meetings which are not only random but they read and someone interrupts and shares anytime something inspires them. Like I said nothing wrong with that as i'm sure those who voted in the format love it. For me its just too chaotic and like you I like everyone to just go around in order. Call me OCD :) I always tell new people, meetings are like dating, some you'll love, some you'll be neutral on and some will bug you. You just need to try new ones until you find that meeting you have "chemistry" with and make that one your home group. Then you won't take the others so seriously.

Anonymous
Suzie Q Sharing

"Your heart goes out to those who come & don't even
get a chance to pass." That sympathy is not going to
help anyone. This topic will take action and may not be easy. Share your concerns at the group level. Very few
A.A. members know that this forum exist, so this information
often goes nowhere. Initiate discussion at the group level
at group conscience meetings. Change the meeting format
to read: We will simply go around the room for sharing.
Speak up! Many members may agree with you. Do not be
intimidated by the ever-present power driver. Again, this
will not be easy. It takes courage and character to
speak in spite of the fear you may have. I am convinced
that we will help and hold more sufferers by going
around the room. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
around the horn

Around the horn [table] for 36 years we go every Thurs. But there are not many of these, but enough to get us by. Only suggestion is let the newcomer know that it is no problem to pass. No big deal. Thank them for coming. Some times I wish old farts like myself would pass more often. When you get a lot of years and get older hopefully you realize you really do not know very much at all. Some may call that serenity.

God Bless
"not big on Power People either

Anonymous
RE: Sharing

As I remember, in the decade of the 70's we always went
around the room for the sharing part of the meeting.
Going by "show of hands" opens us up for all kinds of
EGO problems. Notice me!, Look at me!, Listen to me!
is rampant in today's A.A. meeting. The drug addict fresh
out of rehab is usually the first one with a hand up. That
is what they have been told to do at the Treatment center.
The person who has a desperate need to share, may be
the last person to put her/his hand up.
If I raise my hand I feel I ought to have something
profound to say. Going around the room, if I say something
that is "weak", then that is OK. I personally hate having
to raise my hand to share, but I usually have a desire or
need to share, so I go along with the charade.
While chairing a meeting, I sometimes will ask if there is anyone present who does not want to share. I have had only one no, and one undecided. I am convinced it is just
better to go around the room, even if it is a large
gathering. As I have written many times in the past
our A.A. membership tripled in the 70's decade. I
believe that our growth is related to the way our
meetings are conducted. Membership has been stagnant
for twenty years.
Thanks for the message from another earlytimer. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Arround the table

I am so glad you brought this up. I am going to recommend this for my home group at the next meeting of home group members. I had forgotten, and I have been in AA for quite some time. Thank you.

Anonymous
Loneliness in AA

I have been bored and mistook it for loneliness, and I have been lonely as well, in, not around AA. But I had to learn that my feelings are, and to feel them as feelings. They are but a state of mind, which can be changed at any moment as long as I am in recovery and not drunk. I have that option today, toward change instead of the endless cycle of drinking wheteher it be in the day, a week or longer. Change is a requirement, growth is optional. I aim toward growth as a daily goal. But one thing is constant, HP, as long as I have an HP in my life I am never lonely, alone maybe, but not lonely. Constant vigilance and contact with the fellowship and the program make a spiritual connection which will give a daily reprieve from drinking and then I have the opportunity to be alone, lonely and bored. When I drink, it is slow suicidal drinking and, may have a smaller range of feelings; depression as alcohol is a depressant, anxiety-I will look for the next drink or withdraw and anger possibly...I love AA! It lets me feel human and be, just that be, wow, we are truly miracles to be here on earth at the same time, in and out of AA, alive and not as the living and walking dead! I lost soul, with no spirit, now that is lonely, as I once looked on the mirror, at dead looking, spiritless eyes and thought I was the devil herself come up from the grave-now that is lonely.

Anonymous
How It Works?

Is there anyone out there who understands why the reading of "How It Works", aloud at A.A.
meetings, has been so devastating to our fellowship? ANONYMOUS

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: How It Works?

I didn't know it was so devastating, but then, I'm fairly new to AA.
My sobriety date is July 25, 1971, and I remember someone reading it at my first meeting. At that time there were 31 meetings/week in this locality covering seven cities. Today there are roughly 300. Is this devastation? Looks like growth to me.
Personally, I think the only problem with reading How It Works is with those who for some reason resent it.
Jim S.

Anonymous
Re: How it works & devastation

I hear people with similar complaints about the serenity prayer and Lord's prayer being recited at meetings. As a non-believer, I have found in each a form of prayer to myself to be at peace with others as well as myself, to be accepting of whatever life brings whether I like it or not, to forgive myself as readily as I forgive others, in short to be less selfish and more inclined towards compassion for others. I read a nice daily reflection from a sister program concerning rote recitation without thought of the serenity prayer. It was a good reminder to think about it, about the Lord's prayer, about the preamble, about how it works, in other words to listen to them each time they are read lest I forget the important reminders they provide and think I have all this sobriety and spirituality figured out.

Anonymous
RE: Re: How It works?

Let me re-phrase the question: Is there anyone out there who understands why the reading of "How It Works" aloud at
A.A. meetings, has been so devastating to our fellowship?
ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
I feel disappointed in aa

I feel disappointed in aa specifically the women from my former homegroup. When life on life terms happened, they vanished didn't care and were very cold and insensitive. When my husband lost his son to a drug o.d. one woman said to me after the funeral, "that's finished with already" I was visibly upset and that,s what she says to me with a grin. Other people were just as cold get over it and all that nonsense. Losing a child is not funny. What were they grinning at. My husband had no one to talk to people he thought were friends some many years turned their back on him. I was very discusted and we both left the group. We have a new group, but we have lost our passion for aa from this. I see good people in aa but this was just heartless, I want to be able to move on from this I have new network, but don,t want to be close. I had to deal with my husbands pain on my own no one would help they didn't care to hear about it I stopped talking about it even in new homegroup I,m having trust issues that,s why I wrote to you guys. I need advice on how to get past this praying didn,t help I wish I could forgive but this feels unforgivable

Anonymous
Dear Disappointed in AA

This obviously is a very challenging and painful time for you and your husband. I have had a lot of close people to me pass away, including the lose of a child, and have experienced similar reactions from others around me. Oftentimes if people don't understand, they can say and do a lot of stupid and heartless things. I do know that AA is not a cure all and sometimes we have to get help from others outside of the program, maybe a grief support group or the like.
Anyway as far as AA goes, I definately recommend to keep coming back and keep praying to meet up with the right people and the right group. We cannot judge AA by some of it's people and their own inability to face these challenging life circumstances. Eventually someone may come into your life that has gone through a similar situation and you will be able to help them when no one else can.

Anonymous
As you grow in the program,

As you grow in the program, you learn, as I have that we should be able to take care of our own problems with the help of God or whoever your HP is. That is what the program is about to me. Work the steps and remember that no human power could relieve us of our alcoholism and that God could and would if he were sought.

We are a fellowship, but we obtain our growth as individuals, not to lean on someone else for our stregnth, but on that of your higher power.

Don't give up. The program works, if you follow the steps and find that concept of God as you understand him.

Anonymous
I'm so sorry about your experience in that group.

I have found that many people -- in AA and out of the rooms -- just do not know what to do when someone is suffering grief. They become uncomfortable, they'll try to do whatever they can to shut you up so they no longer feel uncomfortable.

Sadly, this can often be hidden in AA, hidden under the guise of "good ol' AA tough love" which, in my experience, is neither good nor love.

My hope for you -- that you will be able to separate these broken members from your overall experience of AA. I have found the most wonderful people that I've ever known, anywhere, in the rooms of AA. I have also found some of the looniest loon-birds on the planet; I've learned to keep my guard up until I know the person, know them on a deeper level than what they might spout at a meeting. I often remind the guys which I sponsor -- and remind myself, too, if/when I'm thinking clearly -- about what Wilson wrote, last line of first paragraph of Working With Others (p89) "Remember they are very ill."

What happened to you in this situation is forgivable. It is not forgettable though; I think as I write of that quote of JFK "Forgive your enemies, but remember their names." If you do not forgive them, you will be the one who suffers. Correction: suffers more. Suffers longer.

Please, find a person in AA -- they are here, I promise you -- find a person in AA to listen lovingly, carefully, as you tell them what happened to you If they are a true friend, they will guide you back to the text -- not beat you with it but guide you to it, and through it -- find someone to stand there with you as you find your way to forgiveness. And as you find your way to new fellowship, also.

Be open to the experience of guiding someone else through what has happened to you also; this has happened to me many times, I hear coming out of my mouth words that *I* need to hear. In early recovery I ran everything past my sponsor and leaned heavily upon him, in these later years it works differently.

As in, I went through a remarkably painful breakup, was truly lost and broken, and of course another guy I knew well in AA was worse off than I, so broken and lost that he checked himself into a hospital for fear of suicide. He asked that I stand with him and I sure did, I knew I'd be getting far more than I was giving; again and again I told him what I needed to do. I don't always like this but it's happened a lot, enough that it's A Thing in my recovery.

Please don't leave us, please don't leave AA, you've so much more to give to offer, and so much more to get for you, too, now that you know to look out for the good ones in AA, the deeply loving people who will have your back.

I wish you peace.

Stephen
Austin Texas

Anonymous
re: disappointed with aa or those within aa

Bill W. wrote about true tolerance, by which I think he meant that with practice we could better approach the ideal embodied in the so called Prayer of St. Francis, that is, develop understanding, compassion, and love for our fellows within and without AA. And yet I hear over and over in meetings that folks won't get sober until they want to for themselves, that the disease kills, and so on, which can tend to induce complacency and apathy when it comes to helping others and dealing with death. That complacency and apathy, if unchecked, can lead to callousness, which is what it sounds like you experienced. In the same writing on tolerance, Bill discussed how we come to understand that others, like us, are sick, that we must recognize that and not feel ill will towards them, lest our resentments lead us back to the bottle. Easier said than done, so you can always meditate on the serenity prayer and pray for acceptance.

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