Burning Desire to Share
When I was a newcomer I attended an out-of-town meeting where no one made an effort to make me feel welcome. I did not like this and I don't believe any one else would either. I put this on my shoulders and I now say hello to every person at every meeting I attend. When any one shows up at my home group all of the members make sure they have welcomed that person; even drunk drunks. This easy action helps tremendously in relieving one of one's self and it gives encouragement to those attending. Do you have a message you wish to share with someone else? Have you found this program to have worked in your life in a way that makes you burn to see it manifested in another suffering drunks life? I myself want to shout it from the mountaintop that I am free of addiction ridden life and that I have found a way to live that is incredible. I welcome all people to these principles that can rocket them into the fourth dimension of existence. Try this at your next meeting and continue to do it until you see it spread like wild fire! It is only a continuation of that little talk between Ebby and Bill.
If Alcoholics Anonymous is not attractive to those
of us who are already here, how can we possibly attract
and hold new members?
Frustration often was the cause of my drinking. Do
not let this happen to you. Much of my frustration was
due to wanting things to change, but not knowing how
to effect those changes.
I see many alcoholics walking away from A.A. I have
been sober for many years, and often wish I could just
It is this forum that finally offered me the vehicle
with which to take action. I believe we can make A.A.
attractive again. My generation made a lot of mistakes,
Bill W. called them blunders. Studying A.A. history,
I find that Bill warned us many times of the mistakes
we might make. I believe we have made most of them.
Initally I was excited about getting sober and
finding A.A. but things became routine, after a
One of the things which helped me was taking a good
look at the steps, especially the fourth and fifth steps.
Doing those steps helped me and others have stated that
these steps were helpful to them.
Are there any particular practices which you are
aware of other than not having effective greeters. We did
not have "greeters" in meetings I attended, until the
1990's. The group collectively greeted newcomers, without
aggressively pushing them away. The group ought to be
warm and welcomeing.
I have found found several particular customs or
rituals which bother me. It may be members like me that
annoy you at meetings. When I complain about chanting at
meetings, some say," well it is a good way of remembering
names, and we're just trying to be friendly." I feel that
it is a cult ritual and is just plain stupid. How does
that make you feel? (I am not a counselor)
Sometimes the sharing at meetings is dominated by
certain members every week. Sharing by "show of hands"
invites this. We all come together as equals and ought
to be given equal time. Round Robin, going around the
room usually is a solution.
I ask you to share here,exactly why you are becoming
discouraged. With two plus years you have a lot to
offer. What better gift than to offer a suffering
alcoholic a new life, simply by talking or writing
Easy Does It comes to mind. Make an effort to attend
some new meetings. I went to an early morning meeting
today, and it was one of the best ever. We all need all
the help we can get, groups as well as individuals.
The effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous has diminished
over the past twenty years. The causes began about thirty
years ago. We may not be able to turn the tide, but I
am convinced that we can turn our ship around. The
effectiveness of our fellowship can be restored. You
can be and will be part of the restoration. ANONYMOUS
Yes, in my area it seems our primary purpose is to see who is going dancing or bowling after the meeting. Our group stopped greeting and the last person people want to talk to is the newcomer. It gets in the way of the thirteeth step. However, in many areas the reverse is true. The rooms are full of warm, sincere and loving people. I've personally developed lasting friendships in these places. I try and remember I have to due what I have to do to stay sober.
I'm currently looking for a new group. People who focus on other things then recovery get their "Just
Desserts" sooner or later. You can count on that.
People who focus on other things than recovery are not
the people who suffer or will suffer. The high price of
A.A.'s failure is paid by the millions who are pushed
away from their last source of hope. We have a solution
for the alcoholic, and the family of he alcoholic, which
rarely fails. But we are not using that sledge hammer
left for us which drives the message home.
Stop preaching at or to alcoholics. Stop telling
alcoholics what to do. Let the big book be the teacher.
Let the group do the teaching.
Let us as recovered, or recovering alcoholics talk
to those among us about our own recovery, what we were
like, exactly what happened, and what our lives are
The first and most important task is to remove the
reading of "How It Works" from A.A. rooms. This reading
drives newcomers away and becomes redundant to the
members who remain. It loses its value after hearing
it read day after day for a thousand times. Return HIW
to chapter five in the Big Book where it belongs.
Remove the 24hr book from A.A. rooms. The reading
of this book has turned A.A. into a religion. Bill
W. wrote that nothing could be more harmful to A.A.'s
future. And stop all chanting and praying at A.A. meetings.
Chanting is stupid and members should pray on their
own time, not at meetings. ANONYMOUS
You shared, "The first and most important task is to remove the reading of "How It Works" from A.A. rooms. This reading
drives newcomers away and becomes redundant to the
members who remain. It loses its value after hearing
it read day after day for a thousand times." My question is how can a reading drive newcomers away? I would bet its their alcoholism/addictions/brain disorders that are being untreated which drives them away. Last time I heard, each group is autonomous and the group conscious decides meeting formats. If you are bored with the reading, it may be you need to change and not the group. Or perhaps in my case, we started a new group that doesn't pray, read "How It Works" or hold hands. Our objection to "How it Works" was not all members followed the path of god or prayer as dictated by "How It Works" We felt by reading it, it sends a wrong message to the newcomer that there is only one way of getting sober. An earlier poster stated AA is about action. That's why we stopped whining and started a new group. After 3 years there are 40 members. Some people see AA as a fixed institution, others as a growing changing fellowship willing to adapt.
You asked me the question and then answered it yourself.
How can a reading drive newcomers away? Answer: Because We
felt by reading it, it sends the wrong message to the newcomer that there is only one way to stay sober.
If a reading is sending the wrong message, don't you
think it should be eliminated? I certainly do. I think
the reading aloud at meetings is the most tragic blunder
we of Alcoholics Anonymous have ever made. We started
that reading in Eastern states in the early 1980's,
and by the mid 1990's our membership had diminished
by half a million members. Add the 24hr book and we
became a religion. Obviously there are many who share
my concerns, if you have 40 members in the non-praying
non-hold hands group, where you have axed HIW.
My goal is to remove that reading from every A.A.
meeting, and have it removed from our GSO literature
catalogue, as a stand alone item. We push newcomers,
suffering human beings, away from what may be their
last glimmer of hope, by reading "How It Works" to them.
It seems to me that you just ran away from what
is a problem which must be addressed. ANONYMOUS
I agree. There are members who will just whimper and complain until no end. My sponsor told me early on that recovery is about growth through action. He said "Change" can be a scary word for addicts. "I'd rather stay here in my misery than do something about whats causing it."
"What does it take to start an AA meeting?"
Answer, "A resentment and a coffee pot."
Our group conscious voted to stop reading, "How it Works"
We just read the Preamble and open with a few notes about turning off the cell-phones, clean-up and parking. Why waste twenty minutes through rituals and reading? This is what the original poster was sharing I think. If you are reading this than I'm sure you are not the only in your group that is equally bored. If your Group Conscious won't budge maybe you can get the people who feel the same way to start a new group. We are responsible to the newcomer to provide a space where they feel comfortable enough to stay for at least one day.
I have hoped that some day I would go to an A.A.
meeting and hear that the reading of HIW has been
deleted. There are two reasons for not reading it.
You stated one good reason. At meetings where HIW and
the 24 hr book are read, toward the end of the meeting
I think: Two or three more members could have shared
if we just read the preamble.
But there is a more important reason. As written in
an article published in the AA grapevine, this reading
is in direct conflict with Dr. silkworth's" "cart before
the horse idea". Bill wrote several times that without
that advice, AA could never been born. Bill warned us
against trying to cram the steps down alcoholics
throats. See page 8 in Language of the Heart. Reading HIW with the steps to all and sundry
including a demand that they find God and find Him now,
certainly sounds like cramming.
Why waste 20 minutes through rituals and readings? That
is one of the questions I frequently ask. We are at the meeting to share with each other, not to read to each
other. With a lot of meetings reduced to an hour, why
waste time reading HIW over and over. ANONYMOUS
Usually when I walked into a gin mill the only one who greeted me was the bartender, and the usual greeting was, "What'll it be?" or "The usual?" Lack of hellos and handshakes never kept me from going back.
I live far away from most of my family, I keep in touch somewhat, but not good enough, I know. It is part of my program to call and write some, but I keep myself very busy. I just learned that one of my sons is in trouble in his family because of his drinking and because he has not really grown up yet. I know a lot of his problem was caused by me having similar problems, but I am sober now and learning to be different. He used to go to church, but has apparently given that up. He knows about AA some, but not from his own experience. I don't know if there is anybody around him to help him. His wife used to go to Alanon, but not any longer, I suggested she get back to the meetings. But I don't know what to say to him, when I call him soon. His wife said, "don't yell at him or tell him what I said." I know enough to not do any of that, he's not 5 years old anymore and I am not a distressed single mother of small children any longer. I don't yell at anybody anymore, that is part of what the program did for me. But I need to say something, I want to help him, not try to control him. I know he is hurting. He's tried to make me believe he is fine, holds no grudges against me, but now I learn he was probably drinking every time I talked with him, on the phone. So what do I say, any suggestions? Thanks
I strongly believe that no-one is going to stop the insanity of drinking until THEY are ready. However, I also strongly believe that praying for him, or anyone else you know that has any addiction problem, hits a soft bottom that will wake them up to the realization that their life has become unmanageable, and they are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
It makes me happy to know that he has someone close in his life that will be there for him and know exactly what to do to try and help him when he asks for help.
Many children of alcoholics eventually pick up and
often become as bad or worse than the parents they had
observed while growing up. With my first drink I understood
why my father drank. I always wondered why he would do
such a thing time and time again. In ten years, I was
as bad or worse than my father.
My son has been battling addiction for about five
years. He is currently in another treatment "program".
I try to be a good example. I did not drink while he
was growing up, but I can see that I made mistakes.
As a mother, I can only imagine the pain that you
are going through. Try not to yell at him or anyone
else. Love him as much as you can. So far my advice
has not worked for me as far as helping my son.
Maybe it will eventually work for both of us. I have
found I am better being calm and loving. ANONYMOUS
I had a father who died with a marijuana joint in his pocket and that was because he couldn't drink alcohol anymore. I cried at his funeral for the father I never had and the shame I felt because he died an Alcoholic/Addict. I vowed to honor his death with the promise that I would not disgrace my children that way. Needless to say, my grown ups drink and smoke marijuana and I find myself at a loss of words (definitely can relate) so I say nothing as well. We don't control anyone but ourselves and I have learned there really are no magical words that can be said until a person is ready to listen. I believe you have may have said more than enough so he knows you love him. Let go, let God is my advice.
Here is something I wrote for all of you that are struggling I hope you like it. When your dream's seem shattered and you can't see beyond the broken glass remember you have a future not only a past. Although your past mistakes are haunting you,there's still room for your dream's to come true. Hold on to those dream's and dont let go,for one day you will see no more broken glass below. My prayer's are with you all,Arlene.
I just talked to a freind. He drank again after 4 months on going to daily meetings and not working the steps. I have seen this over and over. In my experience it seems that most newcomers make it about 3 months by going to meetings. Newcomers who have gotten some dry time in treatment seem to make it up to about a year.
The newcomers that hit bottom and read the book Alcoholics Anonymous and try to apply what it says, seem to get and stay sober as long as they apply the steps day by day.
This is just my observations over the years, Have any of you witnessed this?
There is no magic formula in AA that I know of which will quarantee sobriety although there are a lot of snake oil salesmen in the rooms that will claim to heal the sick. Recovery is an individual experience. As members we are responsible to help the sick and suffering alcoholics, but we can only share our experience strength and hope. The only person I can keep sober is me. Its often said in AA, "What keeps one sober might make another drink."
I've watched the biggest of big book thumpers and the holiest of holy rollers pick up a drink after many years and have watched members labeled, "Most Likely to Drink Again" stay sober for many years. Even 12-Step gurus have relapsed. Alcoholics have damaged brains and many other complicated factors that impair judgement and lead one back to the bottle. I'm one drink away from a drunk not 30 years away. I can offer a new person this...if they do not put alcohol in their body today than they will be alcohol free today. I hope each newcomer discovers whats inside them to make that happen.
I don't think there is a magic potion or formula in AA that works for everyone equally. Of course, there are a lot of members selling snake oil. I feel we didn't drink the same way and we don't get sober the same way. I often heard in the rooms, "What keeps me sober might make another person drink." I believe its the responsibility of each member to find a path that works for them. The only person I can keep sober is me. I found what works for me today. Tomorrow, my recovery needs may change so its important I remain flexible. I avoid rigidity and dogma. I've observed Big Book thumpers relapse and the member "Most likely to drink again" stay sober by doing nothing. I've learned that people may give the illusion of being sober in meetings by being active in the group but, there just might be a time bomb ticking inside.
you are 100% correct that there is no "magic formula". There is however a "spiritual formula". On page 14 of the "aa group" it says "Because the 12 steps are the foundation of personal recovery in AA, many groups devote one or more meetings a week to the sudy of each step in rotation.
Regardless of my personal opinion, the fact is that the 12 steps ARE the foundation of persoal recovery in AA. However some not so far advanced problem drinkers may be able to stay dry without the 12 steps. I say more power to them.
In the forward to the 4th edition to the big book it says "While our literature has preserved the integrity of the AA message,.......I want to read and hear the AA message. It is proven to work. The individual's message may or may not work.
I am not saying that whatever each individual member has done will or will not work, I'm just saying for me, the AA message as written in our big book for sure has worked for me and countless others like me. When I say like me I mean a hopelss alcoholic, who had lost the power of choice when it came to alcohol. Unless I was locked up I continued to drink until I was led to use the 12 steps as presented in the book Alcholics Anonymous.
Thanks for reading,
From my observations over the past years, most newcomers
stop attending A.A. meetings after a short time. Is it because they have not hit bottom and have not read the Big
Book? I personally feel that an alcoholic who is at a high
bottom has a better chance of permanent sobriety than
someone who has lost everything. In the gutter, an alcoholic's only comfort may be a bottle of liquor.
I personally feel that we are trying to pass on a message without the knowledge necessary to effectively
pass that message. We may have recovered, but we do not
know how to pass that message on to others. We try to carry the message to others (in all sincerity), but our pious attitude and spiritual pride prevent the message from being
transferred. What is missing is humility.
I believe we can help and hold a greater number of
suffering human beings by only talking about ourselves,
whether at speaker meetings or group discussions.
Simply give the newcomer a copy of the big book (third
edition if you can find one). Suggest that they read
some of the stories in the back of the book. Do not tell
them to fast forward to chapter Five. There are no
short cuts. Keep the horse in front of the cart. Do not
push or prodd in any way. We may think we are encouraging.
We want every one to find what we have found. but I observe
that alcoholics have a rebellious nature. If we do not
give them anything to rebel against, how can we go wrong?
We offer our own story and thank the new person for listening to us. That is what helps me to stay sober:
continuously carrying the message. Let God be the
missing piece of the puzzle. He will help the new
person if we will only let Him. My hope is that others
will eventually understand what I am talking about and
they can in turn help others to understand. ANONYMOUS
I am going on two years with no hard liquor.i have tried to drink beer n wine, but couldn't go thru with it.do I have sober time?
I think you already know the answer to your question. Maybe you are looking for justification. If you are implying you tried... meaning that you consumed a little then you did not maintain your sobriety.
Are you sober today? That's the only question that matters. Take one day at a time. The rest will work, if you work it. I found that putting the plug in the jug was the easy part. The hard part was working the steps with a sponsor. There is relief from your desires, if you are willing to follow the steps. Read the beginning of chapter 5...first word in bold...RARELY have we seen a person fail. All you do is show up with a willing heart and the program does the rest.
If you show up with a willing heart; If you are willing to follow the steps; The rest will work, if you work it.
Why do we put so many conditions, when the only requirement
for A.A. membership is a desire on his/her part to get well?
The method of passing our message to others is sharing
our own story of recovery with them. Then thank them
for listening. That is how we maintain our own sobriety.
This concept is very complicated and difficult to
understand and follow. But it is very simple and easy,
with a little knowledge and self restraint. ANONYMOUS
Tried? But couldn't
I had that experience, but with vodka. I wanted to want it ( tried to drink it) , but I put the glass back on the counter without taking a sip ( or taste)(couldn't go through with it). I certainly consider myself sober (21+)(this happened at 5). If what you mean by couldn't go through with it is that like me you didn't drink, taste or sip, I'd say you are sober. On the other hand if you took a swallow or two and tossed it never to try again...I personally may be good with that, but the real test is how your sponsor and home group feel about it. My sponsor...and my group...well I'm not sure and don't want to find out....
North Hills, Ca
but if you have learned your lesson, it may have been well worth it. There is always that if for many of us until that last experience which really shows us who and where we are in our sobriety so I, personally commend you. It is what it is and who is taking your inventory. Good luck.
"I am going on two years with no hard liquor.i have tried to drink beer n wine, but couldn't go thru with it.do I have sober time?"
I have been in n out of aa four years.i still have not drank liquor,but in my groups imet a lot of people who know my medications and only until recently have cut these down to the prescribed levels.eleven mos. ago we were eating out and I had a margarita.i took a couple sips and said that is it for me.i had tried beer a few times but still have not gotten drunk in 23 months.have I had any continuous sobriety,just not being in blackouts or waking up not being in jail and not knowing how I got there.
Provided i stay sober tonight(which is my plan), i get to celebrate 20 years of continuous sobriety starting at midnight.
I don't have words to properly express my gratitude to Alcoholics Anonymous for the life given to me. Thank you for keeping this message and passing it on to me. Thank you for all the service work, the literature, the phone calls you've answered, the assemblies, gsr meetings, regular meetings, the guidance given to my home group, the coffee, the hugs, and most of all thanks for the love. I have a God because of you, and I'm still sober because of that. Thank you.
I went to 2 AA meetings a couple weeks ago. I blamed it on loneliness but I am now again lonely and drinking by myself, thinking it will fill the gap that I have felt since moving out on my own 3 months ago. I believe that my main reason for leaving was not the things that I did not agree with but more that I was drinking secretly, making the things that I did not agree with more difficult to work through. There were things said to me that were not excusable, I will say that. I did not leave for no reason. Now, I am having feelings of regret about leaving. I miss many things about it. Even my dog suffers from the unfamiliarity. I have been struggling, the opposite of what I thought it would be like to finally be free. I question my thoughts. Is it logical to miss someone who made me feel so unhappy or how much of that unhappiness did I create? I cannot help but believe that drinking is ruining it all right now. It is easier to admit that when I am in the throes of it, like now. Not so easy when I am sober.
and you sound like you are in pieces. Start picking yourself up one piece at a time, one day at a time. It will be better, every day you are sober, it will hurt less and less. Trust me, I have been there and I don't think much of it anymore because it was a part of my alcoholism/addiction. I, alone created that hell, starting with my alcoholism/drug addiction and then trying to be in a relationship....total insanity. I got sober, got my life in order, and found someone sober like me. Thanks to AA, there is a happy ending waiting for you, make it your beginning. Your friend in AA.
Dealing with a disease that tells you you don't have it is difficult. The question is do you want to be right or do you want to be happy. Get off the self pity pot, go back to AA, sit through the whole meetings, listen for the similarities not the differences, get a sponsor ( someone who seems to have what you want), do what they suggest (which more than likely will involve going through the steps), and you will be amazed at how everything in your life changes for the better.
Or you can just keep on doing what you've been doing, be right in your opinions and wait as things continue to get worse. Which I guarantee they will.
your honesty is very touching. i feel your pain, so you are not alone. yes, getting sober and trying to live life and all the difficult things in it definitely make you want to run for the hills! it is hard to be lectured from someone who is no different then us, but they know where we are because they have been there and believe it or not sometimes we are only lying to ourselves and that is what makes us so defensive and bothered by the advise. i have been sober for a very long time (left after 1 year in AA) and have recently started going back to NA and AA and if there was a place for crazy ass b@*$s i would be told to go there too. you can wait for many years in and out of addiction but you will miss out on life....believe me i am 50 years old. i started drinking and smoking at 12 years old and got sober in late 30's. don't sweat the small stuff....but remember if Nothing changes, nothing changes.
I hope you are sober today. It is never easy in the begining.I remember well my first meeting everything I complained about the response was --Dont drink and go to meetings"--go to meetings every day and as many times a day as you can and bring your dog, your best friend.
Thinking while drinking always leads to stinking things. It's done,so move on. AA can cure loneliness,it did for me,even before I left.
Initally, drinking was fun. If I could have held on to
that way of drinking, I would still be enjoying myself with
liquor. But I reached a point where, although drinking was
no longer fun and began to cause me grief, I could not seem
to stop. Alcoholics Anonymous offered me a way out. I
was not alone any more.
Order the book "Experience, Strength, and Hope" from
our General Service Office. Read some of the stories and
try to identify with other alcoholics.
Some of our actions are not reversable. Maybe you
made a mistake moving out. I believe that some serious
decisions ought to be postponed, when first trying A.A.
Be as honest with others as you can. Don't let pride
keep you from admitting making a possible mistake.
Go back to the meetings. Go to a variety of meetings.
You may have to search but it will be worth the effort.
Some A.A. meetings can be "off the wall". We can be
sick, drunk or sober, but please give us an honest try.
You can best care for your "best friend", by being
sober and responsible. ANONYMOUS
Hi Can someone direct me to a good book on enabling? I have a daughter with 2 DUI's and enough history to know she is going to have 3 DUI's soon. My parents who are wealthy and two sisters went behind my back shortly after the first DUI and gave my 20 year old enough money to replace my financial support. When my daughter Sara received the first DUI I told her she was cut off unless she went to treatment. She went to my family who has been enabling her for 4 years now. Sara didn't need to listen to me when she had these 4 to pay all her bills.
She is out of nursing school now and the licensing board has not allowed her a license. I think they may not give her one at all. Sara has been partying 4 nights out of 7 and doesn't seemed too concerned about ever working.
Breaks my heart.
My parents are ticked at me for trying to hold Sara accountable (these people are intelligent and my grandfather was an alcoholic!) when I asked WHY they continue to enable they give me the latest feel sorry for Sara story.
I am almost completely ostracized by my own parents over this. I am making one last attempt and then I am through with all of them. Is there a good book on enabling or family members who enable? Thats everyones Christmas present.
I tried what I could with Sara, she is done with me so I am letting that go. If a tragedy happens at least I know I did everything a mom could and thensome.
Just need the book to end this sad chapter in my own life.
I remember what it was like, young, going to college, and I did not have a care in the world. I was on the verge of flunking out of colllege and my parents arranged for me to see an addiction counselor, but my choice was NOT to go.
A few months later I did flunk out of college. I finally decided to call a treatment center one night when my life passed before my eyes. I thought to myself this ALCOHOL is going to kill me.
There is not a thing my parents or family could do to make me stop drinking. I could only stop drinking when I wanted to stop. Alcoholics are cunning, baffling, and powerful. We con, lie, cheat, manipulate all for are own gain. Call it enabling or whatever you want. Our society likes to use labels.
I could not get help, until I was ready for help. The treatament center, the halfway house, the loss of job was not enough of an eye opener. I had to experience what I did, on my own.
Spirituality and prayer are powerful. I am only one drink away from my first DUI? Living sober one day at a time in Americas Heartland since July 26, 1988. Someday the "ISM" just takes over and I have to turn it over to GOD, my higher power.
I had been sober for 9 months when my wife informed me that she wanted to separate. I was 8000 miles from home, alone in a hotel room when she gave me the news. Instead of picking up a drink, I instinctively reached for my Reflections book then I got down on my knees and prayed. I had not prayed On my knees for many years. But that evening I stopped playing god. That evening I finally embraced step 3.
I read in the reflections book that prayer does not change God's attitude toward me; rather, it changes my attitude toward God. That night I had a major attitude adjustment and turned my will over to the care of God.
It's truly a great day to be sober!
I am truly thankful to A.A and very grateful to God for it!!!
I am glad I know who to really thank today instead of a parol officers around A.A.
Similar experience, married 28 years, sober 18 years and my wife has a change of life style that didnt include me. With the help of God and all the great people in AA I didnt drink.
For this and so much more I am eternly greatful AA. Life is truly beyond my wildest dreams.
never did I believe the pain of a divorce or break up could be fathomed without a drink and I too cling to the daily refection as a method of huge support especially when I cannot get to a meeting at a given moment, thank you for sharing...
i admire that! i read the reflections book as well. i need the fellowship but cannot bring myself there.
i need help.
Thanks for sharing that todda. I am counting my blessings and taking step 3 as we speak! ValS
At a Fall Assembly recently, I listened to a talk given by one of our 21
Trustees. It was mostly a plea for more money. The birthday plan was described
as a way to increase funds. He indicated that if every A.A. member paid his/her
fair share, thirteen million dollars would be raised every year, using the birthday plan.
This Trustee is also a director in one of our corporations. I asked if he
received a salary for the position as director. He indicated that he was not a
I asked if we have employees in our A.A. structure who earn a quarter of a
million dollars annually, plus benefits. He said he did not have that information
I have been trying to get information on salaries for the past couple
of years. The only information I have been given is the salary range up to
$250,000. I have been asked why I am asking the question. I believe I have
the right and the responsibility to know what I am paying to employees who
work for me.
Salary information should be transparent and available to anyone who
drops a dollar in the basket, or sends in a contribution. It seems that this
information is locked in the vault.
Our 21 Trustees have absolute total legal control of all of A.A.'s
finances. They control the money. If a trustee does not know what we are
paying our employees, then who does?
Is Concept Seven the only leverage we have as A.A. members? Personally,
I will not send in any more money, until I get some acceptable answers.
The General Service Office Operating Budget shows that we are planning to spend $5,586,500 on salaries for the year 2012. I found that information in the 62nd Annual Meeting of the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous 2012 Final Report. Your GSR or DCM probably has a hard copy. The report breaks the numbers down by service activity, but I didn't see a breakdown for each individual position. Did you email GSO? You can find the contact information on the website.
Thankful to see all of you here.
“THE ABC’S OF A SOBER LIFE”
Attitudes must alter for your new journey to succeed
Belief in a Higher Power is the key that opens closed doors
Clarity brings understanding to the discovery of our wants and needs
Determination moves us forward on the path to living a life with joy
Evil thrives on anger, depression and self-doubt
Fear destroys all hope and feeds the roots of our desperation
Gratitude conquers the needs of the Ego
Handle your life with respect and love, sharing with all by example
Ideas and creativity flourish in a mind free of restraints
Justify your self-worth by using the gifts you’ve been given
Knowledge can heal – but you must be a listener to learn
Loving oneself is the recommended daily requirement
Moderation’s role is of balance; it’s a concept rarely understood or used
Negativity is the cancer of mind, body, soul and spirit
Only we can change ourselves, but we must be willing
Perception dictates reaction
Quiet your fear, for help is just a prayer and phone call away
Responsibility for ones’ behavior is the most important step toward maturity; blaming others is the cheater’s way out
Serenity surrounds the Soul that is sure of itself
Thoughts are like chameleons…forever changing to fit their environments
Untried courage breeds cowardice
Voices of insanity scream in your brain to silence truth’s whisper in your heart
Words contain great power and should be used with caution
Xpect Your Zones of comfort, clarity, patience and love to expand…a zest for life will soon follow
I've been sober since the early eighties but, find it difficult sitting in rooms listening to versions of recovery which are much different than the one which keeps me sober today. A few years ago I moved to a very "Christianized AA area" and the meetings were challenging to sit through. I can stomach 2 times a year. To me, theres a certain degree of rigidity and a fashionable painting by numbers approach to recovery which dominates the discourse. When I first moved here, I was excited about meeting new people, but I found myself being attacked for sharing my experience, strength and hope. I remember a guy hollering out, "You aren't sober if you don't believe in God and you don't belong in AA." Driving way from this incident I thought, "What AA hell is this?" Fortunately, not everyone here is as passionate as him. Although I experience a since of "not belonging" in the rooms today, I do belong in the world outside the rooms. I have loving wife, a wonderful family, a great career and most importantly I have zero debt. I've always held the belief that recovery is what I do outside the rooms and not necessary how I look inside the rooms.
There are a lot of preachers and teachers in A.A. today.
Where else but in A.A. can a drunk who just got out of
detox or prison become a sponsor, preacher, teacher or
advisor. We promote the alcoholic's EGO and it is killing
The "hold hands and pray" closing practically forces
every member to join in the Lords Prayer. I believe the
start of that ritual in the 1980's was a serious blunder.
When I came into A.A. in 1970, we simply stood by our
chairs and cited the Lords Prayer. We did not hold hands
in what I today call the "ring around the rosy" circle.
Ending this ritual can be done, but not without a
lot of hard work. At many meetings I am the only member
not holding hands. But my home group of about fifty
members, about a dozen who meet every day, no longer
hold hands. We do close with the Lords Prayer, as
accepted by our group conscience. If the "flavor" of
the group changed and the majority objected to the
Lords Prayer we would change the closing.
I attended a meeting last evening with five members.
One long sober member wanted to hold hands when closing.
He had to hold hands with himself. No one would hold
hands with him. We must remove this custom from our
A.A. meetings. It will not be easy. ANONYMOUS
The Lords Prayer is said at the close of most of the meetings I attend in my area and I go to a variety of meetings. At each meeting before the prayer,the chairperson says, "For Those Who Will", let us join hands and say the Lords Prayer. It is not mandatory. If you do not feel comfortable with it for any reason, don't do it. You do not have to justify or explain your reason.
We have ceased holding hands to say the Lords Prayer at my parish. It is for hygienic reasons. Flu, elderly, children etc.
There are some younger and some newer members who want it stopped all together. The smugness and know-it-all attitude is turning people off. Stepping on toes causes resentments and members will retaliate over this.
Myself, I say it at church and at home. Will it bother me if it is not said? No. However, I know I want to stay sober, and grace fills the rooms when we are gathered there and share. I will take all the help I can get. We need not hold hands to do it. In fact I would prefer that we do not.
Last night at a meeting I was hugged and hugging some fellow members. Someone thought they should get in on the act. I didn't like that either. So back to hand shakes for me.