Burning Desire to Share
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I feel your frustration and it may take a number of years before things change but some day they will. I had a brother with a similar issue with drugs and eventually got beat to death from a deal going bad. It was years before my sponsor was able to assist me and endless attempts at meetings before it was any comfort of acceptance. It is always better to have an endless amount of meetings to attend or choose. Unfortunately, this is not always an option depending on your living location. Where I live, I have an endless option of meetings to attend and this really helped. Be encourage and use each other until the presence of GOD shows up & shows out! We must always remember in AA, people come and they go, but AA itself will always be there. Don't give-up or give-in!
I wake up this morning and something clicks. I am going to be okay. I haven't been to a meeting since August 12th 2012. I relapsed on June 26th and it's the middle of October right now. I had almost 3 years and like I read on the posts on here, someone said they went back saw where they went wrong and did it differently. There is a meeting one block away from me at noon. I'm going to it.
Welcome back to the house of peace,i do believe in
the white 24 hour chip.good luck and god bless
I attended a meeting tonight and arrived early enough to chat with a few fellows before the noise became too loud for me to hear any longer. The meetings becomes three after the preliminary announcements and readings, and I always choose the steps meeting because there is a text that I can read along with the person who is reading, as we take turns around the table.
As I gathered up the 12 and 12 books to place them on the table, I noticed the new issue of the Grapevine there and picked it up to read while, as I said, the noise had become too loud to hear conversation, just before the meeting began.
The article entitled "Quiet Love" really resonated with me, because although not deaf, I am hearing impaired, and often feel isolated at meetings where people either sit far away from me or have a quiet way of sharing.
AA is primarily an auditory experience, and I was happy to see someone address how this fact can be a barrier to the solution for those who feel isolated by hearing loss. As the author stated, he retreated from society and into alcohol as a result of being forced into retirement and self-imposed isolation.
I was encouraged to read of how his group reached out to address his special needs and helped him achieve sobriety.
Bravo to AA, a spiritual place full of really sensitive folks !
I will be 18 months sober in a couple of day and what I dont understand is why im so Tired, unhappy, no motivation, cry a lot!!! i don't understand why? I have a sponsor, I love my home group and yes have worked all 12 steps! I pray to my HP every day, I do everything that is asked of me and more so can I please get some feed back because I don"t get it...sigh. I sometimes think I need a drink then I go into action, this of course helps get me off of me but I cant bring AA with me every minute of the day. I also have accepted that im poweless over people, places and things,just feel dead inside and I know this is very, very messed up...suggestions are welcomes ..thanks:)
I'm no expert but I have a theory that as we drink we also are medicating real other issues. Perhaps minor depression or who knows what else. When we sober up and take away our medication we may be left with some other real, undiagnosed issue beyond our known alcoholism. While the steps and meetings are helpful and god can do amazing things, it might be worth discussing what you are experiencing with a doctor just in case there is something else going on. Best of luck. I know as i've gained some sober time i've had to deal with changes in feelings etc but I had a friend who also felt tired and moody but not full depression. His doctor still was able to help.
First and foremost. Congrats on the 18 months. I too am approaching 18 months.
On thing that I learned early on is how to have fun without drinking. I like to go out and do things. I have season tickets for the San Diego Chargers, I like to play poker. I love to play golf. The problem is, like everything else in life I did all of those thing while drinking.
I have sober friends that I do those things with now. It's a blast. I also have friends that drink still. I now see where I was not a normal drinker and some of my friends are. Some are not but it doesn't stop me from going to a football game. I don't have the need to drink. This is an example for some but I don't push my sobriety on others. If they ask questions I answer them.
My life is so much fuller now. I have so much time to do what I should have been doing before. I fill my days with sober fun.
Life is great now. Good luck and keep up Gods work
On putting a significant amount of time together, and working the steps. I've heard that the best thing about getting sober is that I get to feel everything, and the worst thing about getting sober is that I get to feel everything. In my own experience, seeing people come back to life is amazing...and that includes the times where it doesn't feel so good. The good news is that it passes, and there are always solutions. I've been working up a sweat a couple times a week at the gym, and that is as much a mood changer as I need. Sometimes it's a good book, and sometimes it's traveling to a new meeting.
It will take a while to figure out what to replace that "dead inside" feeling caused by the whole left by your disease. Sponsors are great. certainly call before jumping from a tower. lol. inner reflection, meditation may help you find part of yourself worth improving. good luck.
Sponsorship gives you the daily opportunity to share your experience strength and hope, admitting you're an alcoholic to your innermost self, and accepting that you cannot do this alone. You need another alcoholic as much as he or she needs you. At least, go to meetings with the hope of greeting a newcomer.
Something is definitely missing, work the steps again. Trust your sponsor and if you don't trust them find one you can. When I am miserable in sobriety it is usually because of something I am missing or something I missed. Either way I get honest with my sponsor and the truth usually comes out.I trust my sponsor with my life. He believes in god and works an honest program. He helps me get connected with the program, god and life when I am struggling. When I. Am not struggling he is my friend. And he watches me walk with god. When I am alone and feel like crap i find it is my choice.
I am not a doctor, but if you need to see one please do. There are many good ones.
Welcome to the club! Two things that helped me to be happy, joyous, and free more often: 1. I need to get centered in my HP each morning and then pray to live according to his will just that day. 2. I printed and posted 4 words from the promises: "Sometimes quickly, sometimes SLOWLY!" I need to trust in God's ways and time; I can't schedule my recovery.
you sound like you need tradition three "the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking."
It sounds like eventhough you are "dry" in AA you are not happy. You do not have to be happy about your sobreity-you just have to go to AA meetings and do not drink inbetween.
It may take some time for you to get over drinking.
Go and find a therapist and have him/her take you thru those golden steps. Sponsors are sick alcoholics like the rest of us and sometimes are not available. If you are an adult child of an alcoholic who has found yourself to be an alcohol in recovery then that could be a reason for lots of depression.
Try getting into service and make more Big Book and twelve and twelve AA meetings. Do not isolate and do not try to spend your way into happiness.
A dry drunk is when we are not happy; grouchy, brainstormy, restless, irratable, geographic, retail therapy, still in a lot of anxiety and fear, still feeling terrorized...
You need steps 4,5,6,7.
Steps eight and nine require a consultation before making a list.
Remember, it was not your decision to keep drinking. Alcohol has you even when you are not drinking; defects of character-all of the dry drunk symptoms you described---negative feelings and apathy.
Remember you can only fix yourself with AA meetings.
A dry drunk is no fun and can be very dangerous, get help now...do not procrastinate get help with these steps.
Bill W. suffered from depression. The most important
thing he did was NOT DRINK. Alcohol may have offered a
solution at some time in the past. I used it many times
because I felt so dead inside. If you made it here,
there is one guarantee: There is nothing so bad that
drinking won't make worse.
Have you had a thorough physical? There could be
a medical cause for your low feeling. I went for several
medical exams, actually hoping at least find something I could blame for my depression.
At that time the doctors said that my test results and
numbers were better than their own.
I realized that I was living in a situation where I
was just miserable. I moved out into a room at a rundown
hotel at $15.00 a week. (it was a long time ago). I continued to go to meetings, and did another more
thorough fourth step and a fifth step. The steps were
far from perfect, but they helped me out of the
dark pit. I have had depression occasionally in the
last 40 years but never returned to that pit. I have
been offered anti-depressants by my doctors, but
never accepted anything on that route. I know some
members who have benefited from medications. I know
some alcoholics who have been further harmed by
medications. So use extreme caution with medications.
It took me a long time to get "it". If you are
looking for the "joy of living", I believe we can have
a lot sometimes, and sometimes a little.
If you need to make changes, pray for the courage
to make them. If situations cannot possibly be changed,
pray for serenity to accept them. Ask for the wisdom
to know the difference.
Investigate some new meetings. Read some of A.A.
history. All of these things have helped me to stay
reasonably happy. I hope to be profoundly happy with
Him in the next life. ANONYMOUS
I go to 3 or 4 different AA meetings aweek and I get something from all of them. I meet a lot of neat people that have amazing stories to tell. To me I don't believe in using medication other than aspern for achies and pains that come up now and then. The only thing that alcohol does is it makes you more depressed so search out different AA meetings and get to know others and share your stories it helps to talk about it. Say a prayer to you higher being and keep the faith. Good luck
6 years today! The book says working with another alcoholic works when nothing else seems to and there have been many times I turned to this solution. When there is a newcomer I always try and introduce myself. When it's same-sex I give my number but most importantly get theirs. Many times I am surprised at how little attention is paid to newcomers when we've all been there; scared, bewildered with this AA thing and trying to make sense of how it will help. I follow up when I get a number, see how they're doing, answer questions about meetings or whatever and invite the to meetings I attend (I live in a city so there is a lot of meetings of all different types) Offering myself as a temporary sponsor has been a wonderful experience. Many times they don't stick with AA but other times where it has turned into sponsorship or has helped lead them to someone they want to work with really keeps that spiritual awakening alive and growing.
My first year was so focused on staying sober and learning about AA, the second year seemed a little strange because the focus shifts to becoming more aware and putting it to work in my day to day life.
The whole journey of not drinking when your craving it will drive you crazy. Make sure that you are doing this for you. Groups are great help but don't forget about your family they can be great support as well. When I got my DUII I felt like I let everyone down and the first to help me out was family and close friends. I go to 3 to 5 different AA meetings and I get something out of each meeting. That may help you out as well. I have made a lot of different friends and I have learned a lot on my journey. I don't know if any of this helps but remember that you are not out there alone and God loves you. Hang in there and I will say a paryer for you. Good luck.
hi, my name is eddie p from the bronx, N.Y.- I could never ever repay what *AA* has given me ! I have almost 4yrs sober, my life has got"in better. Not perfect, but i"m not getting drunk everyday watching the world go by. I have real friends now ( 99% in *AA*)have a hp, and slowly getting my family back. I"m so blessed , got to remember that( have a built in forgetter )I"am eternaly grateful for this program. Living life on life"s terms. Eddie p.- bronx, n.y.
I am very grateful for A.A. behind the walls and a.a. grape vine.I got out two weeks ago and it sure is hard out here but i thank my higher power for the hot line and meetings. Everyone that does H&I are life savers, and angels. Thanks
and I'm grateful when I'm asked to be of service because it keeps me sober and grateful and that helps me to stay out of institutions myself. This is a fellowship that knows no boundaries, and that includes prison walls.
After 30+ years of progressively worse drinking ending with a complete loss of hope, I decided that I needed something, anything that could help me stop drinking. I reached out for AA and got the support and encouragement I needed. I became a person again, perhaps the one my higher power intended me to be. For 2 1/2 years it kept getting better. Then I crashed because I failed AA. One meeting a week, a quick brush with morning readings, no reflection at the end of the day, a lapsed relationship with my sponsor and no relationship with my Higher Power. But lots of confidence! The crash was pretty horrid mentally, physically and spiritually. I went back to AA and was embraced and helped to see where I went wrong. Almost one year later I am re-building one day at a time. What I have this time that I didn't have last time is a strong relationship with my higher power on a daily basis. I am deeply engaged in letting go and letting God. I am free from the grip of alcohol today. I am an alcoholic, but I don't need to drink today! Life is truely good indeed!
Idont know where to begin after be gone for awhile I hope my God can show me how to do this ,so I can keep coming back to grow and not starting over .
Ahhhh. Geographic move...I fled the country after losing my job and child. I did great for a while, now I am lost in the booze AGAIN! I just can't tell anyone this time. It's not pride as much as how much I will hurt my family that has been so good to me. I HATE this disease. I hate it. Why can it dominate me so much???
Dang! It's everywhere you go. I totally understand not wanting to worry people over this, I started a rsponse to you forever ago. I know you hate it I do to. I have almost 11 months. Tonight my fiancee spoke very disrespectfully to me. I used to medicate with alcohol, I used to be weak ,he could use a relapse to say "see, you're weak",or ," I thought you are a Christian" and I'd feel guilty, helpless and worthless and it was easy for him to manipulate. But as you know when you aren't drinking you are also growing coping skills just by giving your brain a chance to function sober. I can count on 1 hand the times I am tempted I ignore the temptation even when I'm hurt and I'm stronger.
It dominates you because it works on your body's blood chemistry. Then you have to grab ahold of yourself, and start back out of that dark tunnel toward the light again. I apologize that I am way sleepy right now. I'll look for your post again because I keep dozing in the middle of a word. May the miracle of sobriety hit you so quickly that you will feel empowered and well away from this trap in desguise of drinking. Bless you, just quit again, and even again until it leaves you alone. Love you so much, that's why I hate it so much. Take care, get and stay strong. Get and stay with the right people. Get busy helping others!!
One thing you can't do is run away from the problem you have to take one min, one hour, and one day at a time. One thing you will find is that even if you run the problem will alway excess. AA meeting will only help you by talking with others that are having the same type of issue too. You are not alone. I will say a prayer for you.
Everyone gets lost sometimes not just alcoholics. You can admit you are "lost in the booze again". No one is perfect. "we are not saints, but we are Willing to grow along spiritual lines". I think your family will be more hurt when they find out and they will eventually. Go to them tell the truth this is your first step back into a wonderful life. Pick yourself up, and Believe. I will keep you in my prayers. God Bless you.
Nothing beats a failure but a try. Get back on that horse. Reconnect to your Higher Power. Get back into the steps.. Go to meetings. Get a sponsor. Don't worry about self. God has your back.
It dominates us because it is simply bigger and more powerful than us....
After another incident of abusing alcohol I swore off drinking, however, I after 2.5 months I abused again last night. Each time I abuse, it gets worse. I get so angry. Usually at the men in my life. I fight and do insane things. My BF wont leave me after all the bad things I have said to him while I was drunk. But, told me today that I can never drink again and he is right. I am not sure if I can have a relationship and work toward sobriety. Is it possible? Any suggestions? We both had breakups and lost our family because of our spouses who cheated on us.
I am not sure if I am depressed, but drinking is not helping, but it is so hard to stay sober at this point in my life at 47 yrs old. I have quit for 9 mos and felt great, but relapsed again. I have to know this time that I can never have any alcohol. I will mourn it since its been a friend to me that turned on me.
I will pray for sobriety. I see others and am in awe that anyone can get through life without getting drunk to calm the nerves of bad feelings.
A wise man asked me one time if a person cuts you off in traific does that piss you off, and does that make you mad? I responded by saying yes. He said that he disagrees with me and the reason why is because everyone has and makes the choice of being mad, that person that cut you off did not make you mad you choose to be made. It makes me step back when I think or say that someone made me mad and think about what he had told me and some how it makes me step back and clam down. Just like the choice to drink step back and ask your self if that's what you really want to do, remember it is a choice. Say a pray when that pops up and I believe that will help you. I will pray for you and your sobriety.
drinking will never help it will only make is worse. you have to feel good about your self before it starts getting better. I went through a divorce and thought it was the end of my world but in reality it was a new begin for me. You will find that friend and family are life savers don't shut them out they can be great help they were for me. The pain will go away and you will see the sunshine again brighter than before. I will say a prayer for you.
We really aren't capable of relations with others of any substance for som time. It is recommended that we not date for a minimum of 1 year after entering into the program. We don't have anything to offer another until at least then and we owe it to our selves and others not to spread sickness.
Love how people speak their own reality as their small God is their sponsor.
I also am 47 and know I cannot drink, but find it not as seemingly easy as many others. I will certainly pray for you too! Try to get to as many meetings as you can. HALT is such a true acronym. Because, when I get hungry,angry,lonely, tired or all of them...that's when I am weakest.
Youre right. These things will sabotage our efforts if we don't take care of them.