Burning Desire to Share
I am new...again. What is the 24hr book and why was it rejected?
You must really be new if you do not know what the
24hr book is. Or you are in an area which really knows
and obeys the traditions. The Little Black Book of
shame and guilt ought not be read or displayed in an
A.A. meeting room. Many A.A. members use it in their
personal life. I have loved and used the 24hr book
most of my A.A. life, but it was wisely rejected in
the early 1950's. Bill and his friends rejected it
as being too religious for our fellowship. I
believe Bill was concerned that A.A. would look
too much like, and become just another religion. Bill wrote in "Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age", that nothing
could be so unfortunate for A.A.'s future. Bill
repeated that warning in "Language of the Heart" in
a 1963 issue of the AA Grapevine. Those are two
conference approved books in addition to the AAGrapevine.
The 24 hours a day book was discussed in great depth
on earlier I-SAY postings. Thanks to Our I-SAY team
these messages remain for you to read. Great reading,
in my, not so humble, opinion. ANONYMOUS
I should have used the word develop instead of discover.
Bill and Dr Bob discovered the solution to alcoholism in
1935, using advice from Dr Silkworth. They spent the rest of their lives developing that solution and leaving it for
us. The final answer is offered to us on page 70 in AACA.
Bill writes in italics "THIS WAS IT". And this mutual give-
and-take is at the very heart of all of A.A.'s Twelth step
work today. This was how to carry the message. Bill wrote
that message in 1957. How many of us today have any idea
what our co-founder was writing about?
I think you are in the minority. I travel with business and attend meetings all over the US. I can't recall one that God was an issue. Sure people struggle with the God concept. But this program is based on Christianity. Do the research.
The Oxford group was strict. Bill and Bob relaxed the strictness to a God of your understanding to get through to the people that struggled with this concept. But step 11 clearly is all about growing your spiritual relationship with God.
I have seen more new comers succeed by gaining belief in God then those with resistance. Resistance is the biggest issue with AA success. If you can't get through the first 3 steps how can the rest of the program work??????
In reply to psanchez (Tue, 2012-07-03 19:03.) The author of the post that you replied to may be in a minority, but he is certainly not alone in what he thinks. Concept V tells me minority opinion can often be right, especially if and when there is an apathetic, uninformed, misinformed or angry majority. It should always be noted.
I live in Great Britain in an area where there is disunity. It is not pleasant. I think there is a tyranny of very small minorities invested with absolute power in AA, and a minority speaking out against them. The majority is either uninformed about the situation, and of early AA history, Traditions and Concepts or it is being misinformed about them in outside published literature. AA wasn’t the Oxford Group, neither were the Twelve Steps drawn entirely from the Oxford Group. They were also drawn from psychiatry and psychology. The basis for Step One came from psychiatrists Dr. Silkworth and Dr. Carl Yung; Step Eleven from psychologist William James. There are many ways of interpreting step eleven; they need not necessarily be of a religious form. I don’t know what material you have researched to get that misguided and narrow impression of yours. If it is from the internet and outside published literature, then I suggest your broaden your research to “A fragment of History: Origin of the Twelve Steps, The Language of the Heart pp 195-202, “Dr. Yung, Dr. Silkworth, and AA” The Language of the Heart pp 281-286. “After Twenty Five Years” The Language of the Heart pp 297-298. From what you say about strictness I think you are uninformed, or misinformed. From what the author of the previous post says, I think he is well informed. I think a few can see the writing on the wall. A minority now perhaps, but I am reassured to see that this minority opinion appears to be growing. I suggest you research the AA Grapevine archive over the last twenty years and research items such as “Cult-like or Just Welcoming?” and “Is AA just for Christians?” There is a sizable minority opinion voicing similar concerns. Look at what is on this forum, the outside sponsorship system. Look at the regional reports on the GSO website. Join all the dots.
Extract from East Canada Regional Forum 2010, Final Report; p3, workshop report: “What Are We Doing to Keep Prospective Members from Coming Back?”:
“Some attendees said the problems that A.A. groups have in failing to connect to newcomers is a Twelfth Step issue. One attendee mentioned that detoxes and other treatment facilities have preempted a lot of Twelfth Step work formerly done by A.A. members.” http://www.aa.org/en_pdfs/en_rf_finalrep_sept17-19-10.pdf
.Extracts from Final Report, Pacific Regional Forum 2010, p 5:
“Outside Issues- Are We on the Precipice?” “On the third topic, the consensus was that promoting school activities is an outside issue, and that tapes such as “Joe and Charlie” along with books other than A.A. publications are outside issues.” “A.A. And Spirituality” “Many of those outside Alcoholics Anonymous view it as a religious cult, and what is needed is good P.I. to address that misconception, said attendees” http://www.aa.org/en_pdfs/en_rf_finalrep_aug27-29-10.pdf
Extract from Final Report,South West Regional Forum 2009 Ask-It- Basket Questions p 6:
Q. In many groups where I live, members have begun to chant in unison “we think not” after someone reads the text on the promises on page 84 in the Big Book. I find this offensive and want to know G.S.O.’s opinion on this? http://www.aa.org/en_pdfs/en_rf_finalrep_october9-11-09.pdf
In Great Britain our General Service Conference gave the following recommendation in 2010:
The Committee would like to draw attention to Conference
recommendation of 1995 which reads:
“that the practice of inviting speakers from overseas and paying their expenses is in breach of Traditions 4 & 12.” (AA Service News 143 Summer 2010) http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/members/index.cfm?PageID=98&Docum...
In 2011 the G.B. General Service Conference discussed reports of strained relations with some groups and their intergroups:
“This Committee found that strained relations between some groups and Intergroups can inhibit the effectiveness of our primary purpose.” (AA service News 147, Summer 2011, pp 21-22, Committee 4 Question 2 (Extract)
In 2012 the G.B. General Service Conference discussed reports of disunity:
“Reports of disunity in some areas of the Fellowship” (AA service News 149, Winter 2011, p 23, background to Committee 6 question Two (Extract) http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/members/index.cfm?PageID=98&Docum...
The big shot speakers from the USA are still being invited to Great Britain and still keep on coming. A couple of years I lost contact with a newcomer who had Buddhist spiritual beliefs and was doing well up until he went to a local AA convention spiritual meeting. They sang “Amazing Grace” and “One day at a time sweet Jesus.” After that he didn’t want to make contact and I haven’t seen him since.
In my area I noticed changes in AA about ten years ago. First came holding of hands at the end of the meetings with the chant “Keep coming back, it works if you work it” Then came reading of the promises instead of traditions, then came anti drunkalogue talk, as if talking about your experience of alcoholic drinking in an AA meeting is not something you should talk about. Then in 2009 came a new group that used non standard literature Joe McQ, Dallas Big Book Study Guide, Dick B. Then came complaints from newcomers, complaints from outside organizations dealing with homeless. I was PI co-ordinator at the time and personally wrote replies to these organizations answering their concerns. One had serious concerns about disturbing feed back they received from their clients they had referred to AA and who had gone to that group; about the group’s behavour and it being religious. The other attended their open meeting and stated in their letter “The pervasive religiosity put me off from returning.” I think the local and global situation can be summed up in these words by Bill W:
“Of highest importance would be our relations with medicine and religion. Under no circumstances must we get into competition with either. If we appeared to be a new religious sect, we’d certainly be done for. And if we moved into the medical field, as such, the result would be the same.” (Bill W. AA Grapevine June 1955, Language of the Heart p150)
“…How well we shall always remember that AA is never to be thought of as a religion. How firmly we shall insist that AA membership cannot depend upon any particular belief whatever; that our Twelve Steps contain no article of religious faith except faith in God--as each of us understands him. How carefully we shall thenceforth avoid any situation which could possibly lead us to debate matters of personal religious belief." (Bill W. Extract from “We Came of Age” The Language of the Heart p 122. AA Grapevine September 1950)
“Nothing however, could be so unfortunate for A.A.’s future as an attempt to incorporate any of our personal theological views into A.A. teaching, practice or tradition.” (Bill W. Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, extract from footnote page 232)
Like I say, Join all the dots. A.A. is a global fellowship in one multicultural world, of alcoholics with many different faiths and creeds and languages; essentially one large A.A. group in one world. Each is part of the whole. For better or worse each part affects another. We can work together in a single purpose regardless of our personal beliefs in unity, or we can selfishly pursue our own religious beliefs within AA and fall apart. The choice is ours. Then do as your conscience tells you.
Concept V, page 20 http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/en_bm-31.pdf
For 35 years, attending meetings on a regular basis, I
did not think of AA as anything other than the greatest
organization in the whole world. Like most members, then
and now, I thought AA was alive and well. Today I see our
precious fellowship as being on life support, barely alive.
We are churning, just gaining enough new members to replace
those who die or drop out.
Bill warned us over and over about the blunders we might
make. I believe we have made all of them. Sometimes I think:
Our membership would not listen to Bill. Why would they
listen to me? These blunders have been going on for several
decades. Many members before me have pointed them out to
us. It was the death of so many, and the near death of
my son, that finally got my attention. I lived through
the mistakes and although I did not like them, I just
accepted them. I did not want to be controversial. I
know today that the preamble means public controversy. I
wish it said public controversy. Our fellowship was
built on squabbles and we will hopefully always have
Most AA members are familiar with the steps. Many are
aware of the traditions. Very few have any idea what
the concepts are about. I don't believe that the steps
or traditions will ever be altered. I see the concepts
as having been changed. We don't know enough about them
to prevent them from being changed.
You may know that the design of the Prudent Reserve
Fund was changed. One simple change was from at least
one full year of operating expenses to a requirement
that we deliberately keep Fund less than a year. Three
months would be acceptable under the revised guidelines.
I am sure the intentions were good; why keep the money
in the bank when it can be used to help the suffering
alcoholic. By the simple use of a comma, The AAGRAPEVINE
was positioned under the umbrella of the Prudent Reserve
Fund, and became of equal importance of the GSO. At least
that is the way I read it.
These concerns that I have above the group level will
work themselves out. Self-correcting as Bill described it.
I am concerned with AA at the group level. That is where
the sick alcoholic either lives or dies. Most are dying
today as the result of the way our meetings and groups
At the conference level we must address this issue of
self-support. Using profit from the sale of books and
literature to operate our service center, is a serious
violation of Tradition Seven. This money may not be
public contributions, but in the service manual on page
S74 In 1986 the General Service Board called it dangerous.
It is clear to me that the General Service Board is the
only piece of AA with the power to remedy that concern.
I really appreciate your message and I-SAY for posting
it. I sometimes consider just throwing this keyboard out
the window. But I will continue. Some of my AA friends
are coming to an understanding of what I have been
caterwalling about. We are bringing some reverence back
to local meetings. Again, thanks for remaining. So many
have just walked away: my estimate is six million at
the least. In all honesty, I can't bring myself to
blame them. Who needs the aggravation? ANONYMOUS
Thanks for your reply. Please don’t throw your keyboard out of the window yet. I wish I could convey how much you are helping me. You give me a lot of hope and encouragement; though you might not have been aware of it up until now. You have helped pull me out of what was a low ebb at the time of me joining this forum. So thank you.
I found your reference to the 1986 General Service Board's request for special effort to be made to inform the fellowship of the dangers. It took me a while to find, because the page number had changed due to updating later editions. I found it on page S72 in my copy, in the section titled A.A. World Services Inc. I’m concerned that the paragraphs relating to this have been edited from the current 2011-2012 edition of the A.A. Service Manual. (See the online version; link below)
Because this is such a vitally important and ongoing issue for A.A. I think the references to the 1986 General Service Board’s request to inform the fellowship of the dangers and the subject matter relating to it should be re-instated in the next edition of the manual. I think we can’t afford to forget things like this. It might be worth putting this as a request to the literature committee or as question for conference by A.A. members living in the USA perhaps?
As you rightly say, they didn’t want to listen to Bill W. at first with the traditions; except those groups that were in dire trouble, but eventually the whole fellowship did because they knew they had to. I do think a lot of people are listening to you though, but you just have no way of knowing it. Keep faith, you have laid a path of experience on this forum for others like me to follow, and I think a very good and solid one at that. I wish I had more time to write, but thanks again for your encouragement and support; and please keep on tapping away. Go easy on yourself at the same time though, you’re only one in about two million and we should all bear the responsibility.
AA Service Manual online, (A.A. World Services Inc. pp S73-S74): http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/en_bm-31.pdf
When I got sober there was no asking for burning desires at the end of meetings. It was said--if you haven't had the opportunity to share and need to do so---ask someone after this meeting to talk.
Burning desires often turn into pity parties and then the person leaves never truely reaching out for--or open to -- a solution. I get my solutions IN meetings. Not running out and waiting for someone to follow me and save me! Am I hard core--or closed minded??? I believe in the steps. Steps 1-2-3 are not about dumping---they are about admitting and seeking! If someone wants sobriety, no person can give it to them. If someone wants to drink, no person can stop them. It must come from a higher power. I had to seek mine.
Thank you! That has been my experience, strength, n hope also that the oldtimers so freely passed on to me. I also ran to a sponsor's house or put a quarter in the phone n called for help. Yup, hardcore n willing to go to any lengths. NO MATTER WHAT!!
Now you're dating yourself! (ha ha) I remember those days.
There have been some times when that burning desire saved my butt though, but my tendency is agree with you both.
You said "when I got sober," but I think you probably meant "where I got sober." I think the practice in *some* meetings of asking at the end of a meeting whether someone has a "burning desire (to speak)" has been around a long, long time. (I'm talking decades.)
Where I'm from, a few meetings do it as part of their format, but most don't. But the few that do are quite emphatic about it and wouldn't change just because one person doesn't like it.
Like any matter of meeting format, this is something that a group conscience can address. There are always two sides to these discussions; you may not prevail. If you don't, then you will have to decide whether to 1) go along with the group conscience, 2) scheme to overturn it, or 3) go to a different group. All of these outcomes have a long AA history. But no matter what, don't drink.
Yes, this question is another of those intruding
rituals which has appeared in the past two decades.
At least at meetings I have attended in the Northeast.
When it first began, the question was "Does anyone have
any burning desires? I would raise my hand and say "I have
had a burning desire since I was about 12 years old".
If a meeting is properly conducted, there is no
reason a member, who needs to, has not had a chance to
share, unless it is a speaker only meeting.
I have a lot of opinions about lots of customs, and
this is another one I consider nonsense. ANONYMOUS
I am dealing with alot today. My emotions are a jumbled mess. I am tired.
You must be sponsored to not know your living it, try to let go and let God if you are not to far conditioned.
"I am dealing with a lot today. My emotions are a jumbled mess. I am tired."
Response - Welcome, I was tired too.
I can certainly identify. But it will all be
OK in the end. All will be well in the end.
If it is not well, it is just not the end. Rose
an old timer named bud told me that if i am dealing with alot and having urges and ready to give up read page 417 of the big book acceptance read it a few times it works !!!! our big book is the most wounderful tool teaches us how to live sober and how to deal with everyday occurances wow what a powerfull book
I have been in and out of aa for years, but still i don't fit in. I live on the streets and i have next to nothing. The only thing i have is a desire to stay sober. Sometimes i do feel out of place at the meetings,so mostly i remain quiet and just listen. I'm still sober,and i have along way to go on this road of sobriety. But just for today, i trust in my higher power to keep me sober.
Don't worry A.A. is tailored made to fit anyone these days !!!
Oh, you fit in! You need just one small beginning to increase your fitting in on a daily basis. Page 58,"....develop a manner of living..." That's it! Thanks, Corky S. 7-8-71
i once felt the same way as fitting in aa i was living in a run down hotel when i was introduced to aa i came in with my head hanging low i felt like everyone was better than me and that none of them had been as far down the scale as me. i later found out that it was my shame,guilt and remorse and i thought that people were looking at me and judging me for my past when after all it was me judging me for my past. how did i get past all this and learn to love myself and allow others to love this loner. i worked the steps and got into service work and finally found someone to trust and talk to slowly i started to come out of my shell and today i fit in at aa meetings because i am an alcoholic and just another drunk in a chair sharing my experience so that another alkie may find a way out of that deep black pit of alcoholism hang in there and put your hand out andsomeone will grab it
This is Byra esha from India and i am an Alcholic
Today i want to share that i am most resentful about my wife,because always she wants me to be perfect and away from alcohol, before coming to AA Program ie., in the year 2008 i didn't knew about the disease of alcoholism and the power of Steps which is very much useful for a person like me.
Here i say and share that first half of the first step is very much acceptable to me and clearly follows the next sentence that my life is unmanageable, i honestly accept this really 28 years of my drinking took me to great depths from which i was not able to getup and move. Many times even great Psychiatrist were of no useful to me, but aa did it for me for the first 15months i got out of my finance trouble.and also from my taxes. really after this one day my idiot way of thinking of my self will i took the first drink really it damaged me spiritually,mentally,and finally i got the best rewards is resentment,reservation,self centered,fellow.which was really not acceptable words to me. After 2 or 3 months repeatedly taking alcohol like binging for 10days or 15days.that made me to land up with criminal case against me with the local politician.on that when police called me i was not in a mood to accept my faults or mistakes but finally an sponsor who is in the program for past 22years made me to think.. think,, and finally i accepted i was freed without any penalty or without any punishment that day really GOD worked for me.after that i was sober for further 13months i relapsed after this incident i am frequently going for binge which is affecting my work my relationship,with brothers,especially wife and my son now i am working in remote area where there is no aa meetings but i can go through ishare which i was not tried today i tried and i am really feeling light as i started to type my sharing , really alchol played and won my life and i had become his pal really honestly,1000times i repeat that alcohol is most powerful,cunning, and baffling.
You have the courage to stay sober. God helps those who help themselves. Stay strong brother......by asking for help and doing whatever it takes to not isolate. Read page 449. Acceptance. Peace John W
You have the courage to stay sober. God helps those who help themselves. Stay strong brother......by asking for help and doing whatever it takes to not isolate. Read page 449. Acceptance. Peace John W
If you are thinking of drinking wait a short distance. Let time pass and the road to serenity take you by the coat tails. Buckle up, it's the law. Think before you drink. Your name some meaning to others. Have tried, no one knew to tie a shoe.
This is a first for me. I am excited to share some experience with you. I live in Central Minnesota in the United States. My last drink was august 15, 1992.
Sounds like you are started in the right direction. If you have the book Alcoholics Anonymous try to apply the directions outlined for our program. If you don't have it you can find it digitally by using a search engine of your choice.
Once you have the book, there is a chapter called to the wives. It lists 4 types of drinkers and also will help you and your wife to a better understanding.
Best wishes to you,
I’m done with AA. Anybody wanna talk me out of it?
I’ve been going to meetings for 2 months now. At first, I was very glad to be a part of a group that was just like me. These people were going to help me out of a 20yr long addiction to booze. I went meetings where they TALKED about being a family, they TALKED about how great the program is, they TALKED about how they have changed. I’m thinking they just like to TALK.
Nobody has helped me. Nobody has reached out to me. There is one guy who has called me, but it is because the old guy in the group has demanded that he “call me” as a part of HIS recovery!
What the hell???
I tried, I realized that I needed to reach out. I need to ask for help rather than just sit in meetings. So, I started looking for someone to be a sponsor, who can I reach out to? My 1st choice was someone who seemed to say things I thought was intelligent, so I watched as they said “who in here is willing to become a sponsor” – I swear he raised his hand until he saw me watching. Then he never raised his hand again at future meetings.
Undaunted (ok a little daunted), I started to look again (maybe a little more careful this time). I heard a few statements from a guy that I really related with. I got the feeling that he was someone that everyone in the group trusted. After much thought, I decided that I would ask this person to be my sponsor.
I planned on going to the meeting last night, but instead I got drunk. Just before the meeting time, I thought about reaching out. I found the phone #’s that I had received from my 1st meeting 2 months ago, I debated with myself on what I would say & respond with (until the point of time when the meeting started). I told myself I would call him when the meeting ended. I had his phone # right in front of me last night, but then decided that I shouldn’t try to talk with someone while I was drunk. They wouldn’t like it, and I wouldn’t remember it anyway. (my point is that I’m struggling, and trying)
This morning, I went to the store. Guess who I bumped in to? My potential sponsor! I thought it was fate – this is a sign, he’s going to help me! For a brief moment, I had hope. However, this guy who I had respected, totally dissed me (I will leave out details), but he basically walked away from me & told me to call him.
I was raised in church, but in my twenties, I stopped going. I was tired of the hypocrisy. I see the same in my AA group & I see no reason to continue. To sum up my feelings, every group, whether AA, church, or whatever, is made up of people. And people suck! I’m tired of being around people. I’m drinking again, and it feels good, it’s more comfy than the past few months.
Go to a different meeting, not all meetings are the same.
Reach out and ASK for help! You have to be an active participant in your recovery.
Start Reading the Big Book, look for BBSS meetings. Start with the Dr.s Opinion.
Don't take yourself or others so seriously. We all have issues, and some are better with out reach than others.
Do you know what Bill W. did when he found himself
wanting to drink after four months of sobriety? He sought
out another alcoholic to try to help. He was aware that by
trying to help other alcoholics, he had been able to remain
sober. Although Bill had been unsuccessful at helping
any other alcoholics to recover, Bill did stay sober
himself. Suppose Bill had just picked up a drink instead
of picking up that phone in the hotel lobby. AA may
have been started at another time or another place. Maybe.
Before Bill left for Akron, Ohio, Dr Silkworth had
given Bill some good advice about how to help another.
Bill wrote several times that without this advice AA
could never have been born. Dr. Silkworth advised Bill
to stop preaching to the alcoholic. You are pushing them
away by trying to tell them what to do, or telling them
what they must do. Just tell them what you were like,
what you did and what happened to you. Let the new
person know that your attempt to help them is how you
stay sober. And end it there, without making any
demands, recommendations, etc. Just share your
own story. Most alcoholics will respond to that
Bill W. had to search out alcoholics to try to
help. You know where to find them. At AA meetings.
There are usually new and old members who need help.
I have found that by trying to help others, many times
just "lending an ear", has kept the desire to drink
away for over four decades. You can possibly help to
save a life, which otherwise might be lost.
You may notice that I did not advise you to do
90 in 90, get a sponsor, work those steps or find God and find Him NOW. You may decide to do some of these things later. This advice may seem a little strange. Alcoholism
is strange. Why would anyone pour a liquid down their
throat, causing so much misery and death? And misery to
those around us. ANONYMOUS
Part of the problem that I read in your post is that you are still living with what most of us went through. Selfishness, self-centeredness, if everyone would just do as I wish, life would be grand.
My suggestion is if you have been drinking heavily for 20 years or more, you may want to find yourself a good hospital to detox. Once you have the alcohol out of your system in a medically safe environment, you may be more receptive to what you hear at the meetings.
I applaud those people who can go to AA straight from the bottle. For myself, I was afraid that I would have a stroke, a grand mal seizure, or countless other medical problems. From my rehab, I started going to AA because I chose to go.
I have 3-1/2 years sobriety and I drank for almost 37 years. I have never looked back. The steps brought me to a new understanding of God and myself.
Good luck. I hope that you can do it on your own, but for most, it is a road that is mostly unsuccessful.
sounds like YOU expect a lot from other people to keep YOU sober. what are YOU doing for YOUR own recovery! (P.S, it won't feel good and be comfy for long!)
Enjoy the comfy drinking---if you are honest with yourself and are "really" an alcoholic---it will not work for any time. The comfy feeling will pass soon and you will be even more lost than you felt in AA. Give yourself a chance. If you put half as much energy into being sober in AA as you give alcohol---you never have to--or will want to drink again. Be one who carries the message of hope. Not one of failure. NOBODY can make you sober......or drunk! It is up to you.
From the big book in the acceptance portion it talks about, once I began living in the solution, the compulsion to drink was lifted.
Remember: Half measures avail us nothing. We are constitutionally incapable of being honest with ourselves. Alcohol is but a symptom. I have a thinking problem as well as a drinking problem. My mind is out to kill me.
One can only lay these spiritual priciples at your feet. It is up to you to pick them up.
I work my own program, only, not someone else's. You'll have to work your own. Sounds like what you got ain't working.
Insanity is repeating the same thing over and expecting a different outcome. Why not try something else!
Nothing changes if nothing changes.
Hello, My name is Zeke and I am a Alcoholic, This program is for People who want it, and are willing to go to any length to get it, and hold on to it. Not everyone in AA is perfect, You don't have to keep your sponsor, you can fire him. But before you do that sit down and think about it, and talk to your Higher power about it, and read the Big Book too. Zeke
I stopped going to church at one point in my life also,I used the hyprocrisy thought process as well.so for twenty five years i got the opportunity to be "MY" higher power and what a mess that turned out to be. at first i thought i was doing a pretty good job,and as time passed and my drinking progressed (which it always does)things began to crumble loss of jobs(always someone elses fault)divorce (her fault after all she filed not me)strained realationships with my children (they don't understand me)i could go on,my point being as long as i am willing to blame everyone else for my problems,and i just want to sit in my warm dirty diaper and pout, drinking looks pretty good, and if it's more research we need that choice is ours as well.church is full of sinners and A.A.is full of sick people trying to get better.God is in both waiting for us,if we seek him with half the effort we seek self destruction.we soon find that he is there to heal us through people just like us.i sometimes think people suck and when i do God reminds me that i'm a people too!"seek and you shall find,knock and the door shall be opened!God Bless.
if and when you finally want something different an drinking no longer feels great. give aa a chance to work im sure i gave alcohol 30 yrs of my life and i was unwilling to give aa a chance to work even our cofounder struggled the first couple of years it was suggested to me to give aa two years with an open mind and some work and if i didnt feel better i could trade it back in for the misery i was living in. just give it a fair chance like you did the drinking. ( the only thing that will keep a man in everlasting ignoranceis contempt prior to investigation)page567&568 in big book. willingness is the KEY
Hey..we are a group of basically dysfunctional individuals, don't take it the wrong way if one person dys-ses you. people have good moods and bad moods, its awesome that even a few people were helpful to me when I joined as I was a cynical edgy person and those people had nothing to gain but they still reached out. Say some positive things about the program and ask a few people if they can meet for coffee sometime, and then ask them to be your sponsor if you feel you can get along or else ask them who else you they might recommend you ask.
Quote: "I’m done with AA. Anybody wanna talk me out of it?"
Why should anyone want to talk you out of it? You've already made up your mind, now it sounds like you're not asking for help, you're looking for an argument.
There's a line in the Big Book that says, "No probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism." Those alcoholics who get and stay sober (and enjoy it) haven't turned their will and lives over to a sponsor, they turned it over to what they understood as a Higher Power and they took the steps.
Carrol O'Connor once said, "Every alcoholic gets a sobriety date. For some it's written in icing on a cake. For others it's chiseled in granite on a tombstone."
I chose the icing.
Hi, I am not an alcoholic but I am definitely a big addict, without going into details. As an addict, I have strong biased beliefs about myself and about others. These beliefs, of course, include the belief that I am a bad person and that I don't deserve other's help. This is very frequent. I constantly think that people are judging me, I constantly feel attacked by people. This obviously comes from the relationship that I had with my parents, and it takes time to see these things and slowly accept to change ones mind, and accept that are vision of things is biased and just give up our judgements. I also have problems at work, my boss actually praises my work, but every day I worry to be fired, I worry that I am not as good as he wants me to be, I worry that he is nice just to push me to do better, well... this is totally crazy, and I suffer of anxiety from all these fears. I interpret every sign into an evidence that everybody is judging me. This is part of the suffering that causes me to seek for relief in my addiction. Another of these biased beliefs is that others are "perfection" and I am shit. Actually, nobody is perfect and nobody has to be perfect. Thinking that others are perfect and you are shit can lead to different conclusions : that you have to please them all the time and if they judge you they are necessarily right, or that if they make mistakes it means that they are bastards because they are perfect and thus necessarily controlling the outcomes of all their actions. But actually nobody does. People in recovery are not perfect, they are just getting better. "Progression and not perfection" as they say.
As for myself I have a sponsor. He is the first guy who told me "hi" as I arrived for the meeting, and he sounded helpful. He did not raise his hand when they asked for potential sponsors. But I liked him and I asked him anyway. He agreed to be a temporary sponsor. The reason why he did not raise his hand was not because he did not like the newcomers. He actually made a suicide attempt a few months before, he was just afraid of not being a good model for a newcomer and he also had already a lot of worries for himself and was probably afraid to care for someone else. But so far he has been awesome and I really have learnt a lot from him.
But I totally understand your point. Sometimes I have the impression that people are judging me even sometimes when they see me for the first time. And sometimes it is true, they are judging me (but most probably not as often as I always think...) and if they are it could be because of their own problems, because of their own biased beliefs. Because they are just like me, they are not perfect. And sometimes I do judge people myself, just like them.
As for your last point, you are right. The addiction brings pleasure. And it brings it now. This is the same for all of us. And it is after that that troubles start. And we choose recovery because the troubles make our lives unmanageable. And it always ends up making our lives unmanageable, and often the lives of our friends and families too. I promise that the shitty feelings that you feel when you start recovery, like the relationship problems with others, are nothing compared to the troubles that are waiting for you. But we automatically run away from these feelings. These shitty feelings of being judged are usually exactly the reason why we are addicts in the first place.
I wish you good luck and I hope you will go back to meetings. Most of the awesome persons that I have met there are just like you. Sometimes they went to meetings and had quit and went back to the addictions sometimes for some years, just to verify that their life would become even more unmanageable. That's what my sponsor did. And then they came back, and they continue to make mistakes sometimes, but these are the people from which I learn. They are just like me and you and they felt exactly the same as you and me.
Living life on life' terms is hard. If i'm to stay sober today, then i must learn to accepted the things i cannot change, and change the things that i can.
I feel about the sameway that you do. But i know that drinking only makes things worst--alcohol is never a solution, if you're an alcoholic, like me.
What i am learning to do now today, is to, examine my own motives and actions. Why do i do the things i do? Why do i feel the way i feel?
Keep coming. Remember that expectations are resentments in advance. You might need a new meeting. I am not sure where you live, but I am in Connecticut and we have 1800 separate meetings each week, just keep looking until you find one that suits you. A good way to meet people is to make coffee, simple and easy and gets you involved.
To summarize: There are many groups, find one that fits you, and I would strongly advise to discontinue drinking, because the disease does not weaker with time, it gets stronger.
The steps are simple clear how can we help you?
Need someone to convince you, your an alcoholic? Step1
Need someone to make you believe in God? Step 2
What are you coming to get here? A sponsor to be your mommy or daddy? What?
A.A. is not for people who need it, it's for people who want it and it's FREE, just trust in God and clean house who can do that for you? YOU.
Most alcoholics who approach A.A. today respond the
same way as you have. Many members may say, that is just an opinion, but I have seen too many alcoholics go back to
drinking after we fail to help them.
You are just one of the few who have the means to tell
us that we have failed you. And it is true, We have failed
to help you. It is not you who has failed. You came to us for help, and kept trying.
The reason for our failure is simply that we of A.A,
just do not know how to help you. Instead of helping you,
we have pushed you away by our ignorance. Most A.A. members
of today do not understand the method of helping the suffering alcoholic approaching us. This method is explained in detail on page 70 in our history book,
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age. The method of truly
reaching the heart of the suffering alcoholic is found
in Dr. Silkworth's "cart before the horse" IDEA.
At today's AA meeting a newcomer is told Get a sponsor!
The sponsor will show you how to "work" the program. Yet
the Big Book tells us that probably no human power could
have relieved our alcoholism. Many AA members today think
they can do just that.
This idea of asking at a meeting, Who is available to
be a sponsor, raise your hand, is just insane. Assigning
sponsors is a thing of the new cult religious PROGRAM.
We push alcoholics away by that method. This stuff has
been posted all over the I-SAY FORUM, THANKS to I-SAY
and the persistent "outside sponsorship" poster.
The new member ought to have complete freedom
to chose his/her own sponsor. But don't expect the
"sponsor" to save you. That is the job of the Higher
Power. I call Him God, but you are at liberty to just
use the Group. We sober members of AA just do not have
the power to save you. But little by slowly, I believe
that the group can "save you" and you will be able
to use your experience to help other suffering alcoholics.
You know what not to do.
Thank you for writing. Maybe some more of us will
wake up to the fact that the AA of today is just too
restrictive. One of our leaders who retired in the mid
1980's used the word rigidity. It had already started 25
years ago and has intensified. If you can't bring yourself
to return to AA, just do not give up on trying to become
sober. I am convinced that sobriety is better than living
as an active alcoholic. Especially if you have family
or others depending on you. Sure, liquor does bring some
periods of relief, but the price is too high. And being
progressive, the price gets higher. ANONYMOUS
Have you ever read chapter 5 from the big book? It says something to the effect of rarely have we seen a person fail who has thorougly followed our path.
When I hear that read I usually think, rarely have we seen a person "follow our path."
I have seen meetings where members talk the talk. It's easy to do. In fact when I started out I repeated all the catch phrases my sponsor said.
The meetings helped me stay away from the first drink. After awhile I started to feel horrible. Thats when I realized what the big book was talking about when it said alchohol is but a symptom. I drank because I didn't feel right inside. When I drank I temporarily felt ok. I just couldn't hold on to that feeling.
I found a sponsor who works the steps. we started working the steps in the big book. Shortly there after I started to attend big book meetings where the program, not the fellowship was discussed.
What happend is amazing. I started to lose interest in myself and gain interest in others. turns out my trouble all along had been that I always put myself first. Thats why my soul felt soooooo empty. I didn't try to be less selfish, It just came as a result of practicing the progam of AA as written in the big book.
There are a lot of different meetings and groups out there. Keep going to different groups until you find one that actually works and teaches the program of aa. If you read the AA pamphlet "the AA Group", it says the sole purpose of an AA group is the teaching and practice of AAs 12 steps.
It sounds like the meetings you have been to are not even AA even though they may call themselves that.
Get your nose into that book Alcoholics Anonymous and that will protect you from all the foolishness you see around you.
Good luck and God Bless you.
Why do you suppose that Bill W. wrote so many times
that the teaching and practice of AA's twelve steps is
the sole purpose of the AA Group. Why didn't Bill say
that it is the purpose of each individual AA member to teach and practice the steps? ANONYMOUS
Perhaps when your ready to stop, you will try again, but this time, call that number before you pick up that drink. There isn't much anyone can do to help another unless they are willing to put some recovery before the drink.
Perhaps the person you ran into knew you drank and is just waiting for you to be done ?
As for groups, if you don't like a particular group, you are not locked into only one group - you can go to another group. I went to many groups before I found one that fit me just right. Don't give up on yourself. You can do this.
I have met a lot of folks in AA who talk a better program than they work, and maybe it was for that reason I did not ask anyone to be my sponsor until 6 months or so into sobriety. Until then, I went to a lot of meetings and listened, and through that and through seeing which of the people actually practiced outside AA what they preached inside was able to find someone I thought was a pretty straight shooter.
But it sounds like you want to drink anyway, so a sponsor isn't going to do you any good at this point, other than to point out the obvious: if you want to stop drinking, don't pick up the first drink, find a meeting you are comfortable in and go as often as you need to to be reminded that taking a drink isn't a good idea for an alcoholic. And report back on how the drinking is going for you.
But sometimes people talk about the good in an attempt to convince themselves and make it easier. They just want to do things better, even if sometimes they don't do it right. But a 12 steps meeting isn't supposed to be full of perfect people. It is full of people in recovery, it is full of everybody's defects and qualities. They do as they want and you do as you want and everything is fine as long as nobody judges anybody. Just do your stuff, help others and get help and stay open minded about others and yourself.
Well, actually you don't need to stop drinking to start to recover. Stopping to drink will be necessary but you don't need to wait for it to start to recover. You can go to a meeting and tell all the mistakes you made the day before. Talking about it helps, "just" talking really does help. Most often, we come to meetings because we cannot stop drinking. If the solution was "obvious" that you just have to stop, if it was as simple as that, we wouldn't need any meeting.
We cannot wait for recovery to start to go to meetings. Some of us would wait forever.
The job of a sponsor is not just to tell you "it is obvious, you have to stop". "I just have to stop" is what we all tell to ourselves without going deeper in the problem. We assume we know the solution when we don't understand the problem yet, and this is why we are addicts and why we cannot stop being addicts.