Burning Desire to Share
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.
Being new to AA, I am just learning how to do the steps, the 12 & 12, the 5 alive, the traditions and the principals. I have been without alcohol for 33 days today. I dont really have the desire to drink. But I am feeling a profound sense of isolation from my old life. For example, today my internet provider was out, so I could not work until it came back online. I stayed in bed. I tried to read the Big Book, but found myself distracted by the random thoughts congesting my brain. After a few hours, I just gave up and even though the internet came back online, I didnt work. I stayed in bed all day. I didnt go to my meeting at 6PM. I felt immobilized. It is like a deep depression. A big black hole that I step into some days. I found the Grapevine tonight and listened to an audio and it helped me to write this. I am hoping someone out there is listening. I am feeling alone, and it is late. I dont want to call and wake my sponsor, because I am not having a desire to drink. Is that the only time to call a sponsor? Or can I call if I am lonely and afraid. My brain is all screwed up, I have come to discover. I know I should have made myself get out of bed and work. But how do I do that. Prayer? Prayer for the strength to get up and get moving? Thank you for being there and listening to me tonight.
I have those days myself. I've suffered with depression for years. It gets the better of me sometimes, and those racing thoughts that are associated with it keeps me up at times.
You might ought to seek help, if it sticks around for too long. I can tell you from experience that it can and will lead you back to drinking, if left untreated.
Unfortantantly some of us suffer with mental illness, as well as alcoholism.
Please excuse me if I seem to be nitpicking, and please excuse my ignorance, but what is the 'five alive'?
Yes, what is the five alive?
Yennayee, I have been in the program since 1995. I live in a suburb of Chicago.
That big black hole you refer to I like to call Satan. Satan doe not want to see you succeed. In fact Satan wants you dead.
I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me in my life.
Whenever I get in these moods, I go to a meeting, or pick up that 300 pound phone and call someone.
Believe me, youull be glad you did.
Hang in there.
Hi, I guess I'm just putting this out there, mostly because I need an outlet for my sick mind, and because I've been obsessing and obsessing and obsessing over stuff that I know I have absolutely no control over, but I entered AA because I wanted my ex back, and it absolutely enrages me that she doesn't want me back. God, it sounds terrible, writing these words. How selfish and self entered I am... How do you deal with the emotional wreckage that accompanies your very possible spiritual awakening? How do you know if you have has a spiritual awakening? Some days i think ive gotten it, and some days I think I haven't. I just celebrated nine months of sobriety, and I'm still an emotional mess. When does the pain stop? When does the healing begin? I want a guarantee on this thing, or I'm really scared I won't make it. I fled from life for many years, and my ex was my shelter from the rain and upheaval of life, I felt safe with her, and she left me because of my using. How can I make it up to her? When does this all begin to feel better?
Hi, i am a love addict. You might want to look into that addiction too. An addiction usually does not come alone. For me, having a girlfriend was like the solution to all my problems in life. I was always caught in fantasies about having a girlfriend, sometimes when a girlfriend was leaving me it felt like I was dying. I needed a girlfriend to be whole, because I felt empty inside. This was really killing me. Having a girlfriend (or most often making fantasies about it, in my case) was my addiction. I needed it so badly, it is so difficult to describe. As you say, there was something selfish in that. But it is really difficult to see it for some people. I go to sex and love addicts anonymous meetings. There are usually several people who are also alcoholics at these meetings. And meetings work for that too.
But this is just a possibility. I don't know you. But it never hurts to learn about something.
And for your question, I have been in the program for 3 months now. And I already feel so much better. But don't mistake "feeling better" for "feeling no pain at all". Because the latter is just in our dreams. Nothing gets perfect, for anybody. And learning to accept it is part of the recovery. Just don't give up.
My experience is that if I turn these types of things over to God, he will take care of it. First you have to trust God. His will for you will take you down the right path. The more you do this the more you will see what God can do for you. You will see your trust in God grow and then you will be open to seeing how God is working in your life.... AKA... spiritual awakening.
After all is it not your will that got you where you are today? Let go and let God. Do not resist change. Let it happen. If it is Gods will that you are to be in this relationship it will come back to you in time. Your actions are the only thing that will bring her back.....if it is Gods will. But regardless if she come back or not your actions will shine a light that others will see and will attract the person you are meant to spend the rest of your life with.
Let go and let God.
You have alot of questions - all good - and are clearly in pain. You've raised many issues. First though is: Are you an alcoholic? You say you entered into AA "to get the ex back". Leaving that mission aside for now, as the results may have nothing to do with your sobriety/AA etc, was your life manageable while drinking as you were?
Could you connect many/most of your problems to your excessive drinking? And once you have had a drink is it difficult to control it from becoming excessive?
My hunch is you have had, and are having, a spiritual awakening - the evidence is that you are trying, ever so hard, to remain sober.
Spiritual experiences need not be entered into with a specific, tangible outcome. That's more the realm of our drinking/using days when we controlled the input and outcome. Once we recognize that jig is up, we are moved often to more adult notions of acceptance of any outcome, serenity with less-than-perfect results in a given situation.
You are still a newbie, like me. I gotta trust the wisdom of those with alot of time and those outside the program that simply get this way of living. You have every reason to have confidence that, while you can't CONTROL everything, you can MANAGE anything that comes your way, so long as you are sober and and willing to accept the simple gifts that life affords, and AA illustrates so well. js in nova
Sometimes they return. Many times they don't. Relationships
are our greatest problems, in and out of the fellowship. But
I have known MANY who have stayed sober regardless. Some
find others, some live alone. Some just stay in relationships although they are unhappy; There are worse
conditions than being alone. To me, when you use the word
"using", I assume you are also addicted to drugs.
We have many addicts today who are trying to stay clean.
Make an effort to understand them and help them, on a
one to one basis. You can help where no one else can. That
is how Bill W. stayed sober for the first six months,
by trying to help other alcoholics, Even though Bill was
using the wrong approach, and helped not one, Bill stayed
sober by trying to help others. We are not preachers, teachers, or advisors. We are fellow sufferers who need each other. Our aim is to help each other, not for any
personal gain. ANONYMOUS
You ask, "How do you know if you have has a spiritual awakening?"
I don't know what your program has consisted of in the nine months you've been in AA but I know what mine was. I had my spiritual awakening "...as the result of these steps."
I didn't get it by doing ninety in ninety, I didn't get it by calling a sponsor every day, I got it by doing what someone suggested, I used my Big Book and a Higher Power. That gent didn't tell me to read the book or to study it, or even have someone interpret it for me, but to use it. My suggestion to you is to try that.
A friend of mine told me when ever I realize any truth about myself, it is a type of a spiritual awakening, sounds like you might be in the middle of one right now my friend. Welcome to Alcoholics Anonymous.
I think it was finally agreed that there may be as many
types of spiritual awakenings as there are people who
have had them. Some are immediate upheavals, but most in AA
are of the gradual progressive type. And it seems to make no difference how it happens. I believe that most AA members would be unable to pinpoint the exact time and place of the spiritual awakening. Their friends may be able to see the change more easily than the individual
Yes, welcome to Alcoholics Anonymous, God's greatest
gift to the alcoholic sufferer and her/his family. ANONYMOUS
One of my pet peeves is hearing the lecturn called "the podium." As you can tell from the root of the word, "pod," it has something to do with a foot. You stand on a podium. You put your elbows on a lecturn. This is just a small grammatical point of order. It's OK to be literate in AA. Not all of us are stuck in street-talk. And by the way, I'm working on know-it-all-ism in my sixth and seventh steps. So now you know it too.
Sorry to annoy you. I suppose head table would be more
suitable. In my dictionary the #2 definition of podium
is "lecturn". Much like spiritual and religious; They
both share the same meaning. Did you ever read the
description of humility on the plaque Dr. Bob kept on his
desk? When we have reached absolute humility, we will
no longer be vexed much by mundane annoyances. I suppose
we both have a long way to go. ANONYMOUS
I choose to call my HP GOD. And today i ask HIM to do for me what i can't do for myself. All of last night i tossed and turned, angry at GOD and humanity,to the point of almost being sick. This mornings meditation was on helping others. The topic in the noon-day meeting was on 12th step calls, which is also helping people. And the readings at aa meetings states that self seeking and pity will slip away, if we help others.
So,today i ask my HP to do for me what i can't do for myself, and that's to think of others above me.
I believe if I can ever get to the point where I can
place my concern of others above myself, I am gaining in
humility. I am convinced that the best thing we can do
for an alcoholic is to take the time to listen. Listening
not only helps them. It also is what I believe to be
a means of reducing my own EGO. I don't hear it much
any more, but EGO deflation at depth is the solution to
addiction. Drinking again is the most selfish, self-
centered thing that an alcoholic could do. ANONYMOUS
An article written for the June issue of the Grapevine,
titled PRECIOUS INK, contains an error which concerns me.
Bill W. prettymuch wrote the Big Book, except for the Doctors Opinion and the stories in the back of the book.
Dr Bob wrote his own story of course. But the book had not even been considered until much later, maybe 1937, or 1938. I have found nowhere that Dr. Bob collaborated with Bill to
write the first few chapters. It certainly did not take place when Bill stayed with Dr. Bob and Anne for several weeks. When the work was being done to print the book,
Bill collaborated with his friends in New York and
"faxed" copies to Dr. Bob. It was probably
snail mail. I just had a burning desire to share, and
do not see how to introduce a new topic. This is not a reply to A Power Greater than Myself. There are many
powers greater than me. ANONYMOUS
I agree with what you say and share your concern about this inaccurate information. The museum of Dr. Bob's home is not Alcoholics Anonymous, it is a separately incorporated outside enterprise.I don't think this outside enterprise, or the misinformation it provides should be confused with Alcoholics Anonymous. (Tradition 6). There seems to be a lot of myth and misrepresentation of AA history around in these days. I'm concerned that people seem to be getting their misinformation from outside websites, literature etc; instead of AA literature. AA history is published in "Alcoholics Comes of Age", "Pass it On", "The language of The Heart", "Dr. Bob and the Good Old Timers" and pamphlets such as "AA Tradition How It Developed" and "The Jack Alexander Article".
Please, don't use it! Profanity is the language of the streets, the bars, the jails. We are supposed to be "in recovery". What kind of examples are we being when our sharing is peppered with profanity and it always seems to be worse by the members professing how "spiritual" they are. Using God and the F-bomb in the same sentence is not my idea of a serene, spiritual program. Many of our meetings are also held in churches. We are guests of that church. Yet there are those of us who seem to not be aware of this fact and spew vulgarity all over YOU, ME, OUR GUESTS and THE CHURCH we are guests in. It's really embarassing and offensive and has kept me away from the meetings that tolerate it.
I agree, it is better to try to talk; and keep others in mind, I have slipped up now a lot less then I did in early sobriety! I was blessed with people that let me know that there are many words we can use in the English language, to use! Even with long term sobriety, I have slipped up, thanks for bringing it up!
If it bothers anybody, the best thing to do is still to say it politely during the meeting, whether they are part of the meeting or if they are outside arranging stuffs. It surely can't be bad to talk about it. Maybe vote about it.
I am also bothered by the profanity. Not for me personally, but I know it makes some people feel uncomfortable. Not every new-comer walking through the doors are coming from a profanity filled bar, prison, rehab, etc. like many of us.
For someone coming from a different background that may not include profanity laced rants, a meeting with that included goes from being uncomfortable and scary to downright unbearable.
I came into the rooms with a foul mouth and had a sponser who had a foul mouth. I related with him because he spoke my language. But he also taught me that it is all about the newcomer and meetings are not the place for that type of language because it may cause many to feel uncomfortable. It took some effort and I still slip sometimes, but you will rarely hear me cuss anymore (even outside of meetings).
Mutual respect is the key to our usefulness profanity lacks mutual respect and that's what it's here for !!!!
for some people this is how they speak with their heart. This is their natural language I guess, this is their way of being honnest and speak with the words of their feelings. I don't like it either and I prefer if they make efforts to avoid that. But usually I hear that from only one or two persons in the meeting. I don't enjoy it but it doesn't make my ears "dirty" and nobody is wounded. I tolerate it as long as it does not happen every ten seconds and as long as it is not used in any sentence. I tolerate it when it is used to show anger when no other words come to the person's mind, because of a lack of vocabulary or because the word is the one that really describes the best their feeling.
As far as the Church thing goes keep in mind that Jesus sought out the lowest sinner to minister to not the Pharisees.
My home group meets in a church basement and one of the many signs we have hanging reads "No was ever offended by a lack of profanity" This said my home group is also one in which most of us wouldn't normally mix. We have men fresh out of prison, woman who have lived under the bridges along with lawyers, newspaper editors, and just every day run of the mill drunks. My point is that locker room language is a part of life for many of us. That's how they express themselves in their pier groups in the sober houses and in the barracks so how can we reject them for being who they are in a meeting. Remember Principles before Personalities.
Recovery is about change. Change of habit. Change of talk. Change of actions. The way we talk, act, and the things we do, can lead to a relaspes.
If i am not willing to change, then i am just sober. And my life is just as unmanagealbe as when i drank.
We ought to be welcoming to any alcoholic who has a
desire to get well. The first tradition guards the
individual AA member's right to think, talk and act as
he wishes. I believe we have a better chance of helping
newer members if we listen to them, rather than trying to tell them how to talk. Hopefully they will learn to clean
up their language if we can hold on to them. I believe
more alcoholics are pushed away by a self-righteous or
patronizing attitude than are repulsed by profanity. Did
you ever ask those men and women who were in prison, or
slept under the bridges, if they came to our rooms on their
way down to the bridges and prison. Did we push them
away and further down by the use of profanity? Or did
we fail them by preaching to them? ANONYMOUS
This seems to be a problem with alot of meetings in my area too. I would suggest that you bring up the profanity use to those that are using it so much and not let them take away your serenity. Sometimes if we talk to someone one on one it works better and they seem to listen more. Just a suggestion and yes I have taken my own advise about my meetings and things went very well. The most important thing to remember is your sobriety and you keep that first.
…. “That was my first A.A. meeting. I went back to that mattress and I lay down and I said, ‘I’m gonna get drunk and go out and kill that bastard. I’ll kill his wife, then kill him. No. I won’t. I’ll kill the whole damn A.A.”… Norman Y. (Extract from Dr. Bob and the Good Old Timers p 183)
I’m not sure which is worse; spewing profanity or spewing pious indignation. A.A. is not a church, it’s a room full of spiritually bankrupt drunks and ex drunks handling their resentments as best they can, trying to stay sober one day at a time. I used to get wound up in meetings at what I heard, but then I realized maybe some alcoholics got wound up when I opened my mouth. That was when I learned what tolerance was; for me to be able listen to what I found was intolerable in others, without judgement, without resentment. I needed to correct what was wrong in me, not others. We claim spiritual progress, not perfection. Some of us have further to come than others. It is not for me to judge another alcoholic’s spirituality when I can’t see my own. However, too much spewing profanity does offend, so maybe you could suggest holding a group conscience on how you feel and perhaps suggest the group reads The Language of the Heart p 252-253, where Bill W. talks of alcoholics being turned away from AA by “spiritual cocksureness, pride, and aggression” “rank aggression in the name of spirituality.” I’ve seen these things come from all sides, and I think it does turn alcoholics away.
The article Bill wrote for the AAGRAPEVINE, April 1961
issue, GOD AS WE UNDERSTAND HIM: THE DILEMMA OF NO FAITH,
ought to be required reading for all AA members. The following chapter in Language of the Heart, Humility
for Today, June 1961 should also be read. Read and
study the whole book. Bill covers most of what is wrong
with today's A.A. in this book. Bill tells that we
failed perhaps half a million suffering alcoholics in
the first twenty five years, many because of our spiritual
cocksureness, pride and agression. Bill calls it unconscious arrogance. (I believe Bill is talking
about religious aggression). This aggression had already
crept into AA tradition and is entrenched in the AA
meeting of today. Most of the reason for this is the
reading of How It Works and the 24 hour book from the
podium (lecturn) at A.A. meetings. ANONYMOUS
Let me see if I get this right; those who get upset by profanity in AA meetings are showing spiritual cocksureness, etc and rank aggression in the name of spirituality, but those who are upset at reading Chapter Five, holding hands, praying, etc. are concerned that the newcomer is being chased away?
Apparently the quote from page 183, "Dr Bob and the Good Oldtimers" is supposed to back up claims that profanity is acceptable. Yet on page 224 of the same book I find, "And if he was sitting at a meeting and a man used bad language, Dr. Bob would say, 'you have a very good lead, Young Man, but it would be more effective if you cleaned it up a bit.'"
Thanks for describing me so well. At least I was that way
for years. You are right. We are in the church building,
usually in the basement. But A.A. was never intended to
be a church or a religion. If any member wants to attend
church, go upstairs. Bill W. explained so much of this
stuff, especially in Lang. At a couple of my meetings the
format reads; Please avoid the use of profanity at this
meeting. That is the end of it. No one is called on how
they share. One poster reminded me that page one of
Tradition one guarantees the individuals right to think,
talk and act as he wishes.
Thanks again for writing this reply so well, not just
copying from someone else. (not that there is anything wrong
with that). ANONYMOUS
Religion has nothing to do with whether or not we use profanity in an AA meeting. Respect has everything to do with it. If we meet in a church, respect for the building at our disposal. Respect for those of us who are forced to listen to us. And self respect (as opposed to self esteem).
Most of our local meetings are held in churches, in whatever room the church makes available to us. Across the hall from a Tuesday night meeting, two of the rooms are use by Girl Scout troops at the same time, and next door is a bible study. On Thursday in another church the Boy Scouts share the building. I don't know of many local meetings where AA has the entire church to itself.
One Monday night the speaker described anything and everything that didn't suit her as being "f...ed up" Just outside the door several ladies were rearranging the church bulletin board, and Tuesday afternoon the group was notified that their presence was no longer welcome in that particular church. Another group has been evicted from at least two churches due to the behavior of those who attend.
I'm sure some would argue that the members of those churches are narrow minded and intolerant. This is supposed to be a program of attraction, isn't it? How attractive is AA to those folks?