Burning Desire to Share
I had a similar experience from an AA meeting a couple of years ago. I was all psyched up about being sober and went in and heard a bunch of people talk about helplessness and others laugh and joke about their drinking days and when I left I was so dissappointed, I felt that there was no place for me to go for the moral support that I needed. I didn't want to feel helpless, I want to feel empowered. I don't find anything funny about some of the things that have happened in my life as a result of drinking.
I've since attended other meetings but I try to keep an open mind about it and just enjoy the company of others with the same problem as me because on some level they understand me. I attend several different groups some big some small. I have met some people who are successful in their sobriety and that gives me hope.
I also would like to just have wine with dinner in Paris without it sabotaging my sobriety or a Bloody Mary just at the beach, but so far that has not been my track record. I just don't want to drink everyday ever again and total abstinence seems to be the only way to guarantee that for me.
I don't know how helpful this is but I know that you don't have to go through it alone.
One thing that really blows my mind is how many people are affected by alcohol. I always see new faces in AA meetings.
I have some phone lists and talk to a few people outside of meetings.
I wish you success, if there were more I could offer to help you I would. You've quit before, you know how to do it or how to let God do it. Just set your mind to it again and do it.
Take care. Alicia in Ala.
I've quit so many times to just end up back drinking, I know I can't do it like normal people. I hate it . I do want to stop but the cry me a river mind I have makes it hard
Only one way to stop drinking is to,stop drinking! The first drop always got me drunk. I don't what cry me a river means.Alkys don't react to booze like other folks. We have a physical compulsion to drink more, the book talks about an allergy that I have.
To quit drinking it takes a H.P like police, Spouse, sponsor etc, but to really stop it takes an abandonment only to God !!
Get away from liquor. Don't go near it or anyone drinking it. Can you take a drink and stop after one or two? If not
you are probably an alcoholic. The physical craving leaves
after a few weeks. But it always returns if we introduce
the body to alcohol again. I probably don't have to tell you that. By now, you know. Don't give up trying. Can you
"go away" somewhere to be separated from liquor one last
time? Give us another chance. Sooner or later we will
get it right. Search and find a meeting where you feel
comfortable. Go to that meeting on a regular basis and
listen. We need you to listen to us. That is how we stay
sober. We learn from you what not to do. You will eventually learn what TO DO by listening to what we did.
It is really that simple. Go slow, day by day, and give
yourself a break. Many of us have been where you are now.
We are sober today. You can be too. ANONYMOUS
If you want to quit that is the best start you can make. I honestly feel I had to take every drink I took to get into AA and get sober. The unfortunate part is many of us are in a race--get sober or die---which will come first. You may be a person who has to let their bottom come up and hit you!
Have you honestly tried everything that was suggested to you or were you lacking??
Read the Big Book, go to a meeting every day, prayer and meditation, work with a sponsor, work the 12 steps, talk to another alcoholic every day! If you want to be sober you will keep trying and the miracle will happen for you! We need you so don't give up on yourself!
Well, what I am hearing is you are saying because you stayed sober 10 years, (you did it on your own), that you can stay sober on your own. Well it really didn't work. Yes you had 10 years but you did drink again and to drink again for a "real" alcoholic it is a death sentence. It doesn't matter that you aren't drinking as much as before it is only a matter of time and you will be. Strangely enough when I first came into the program I got some urges to drink when I read the Big Book but I just set it down for a minute and said a prayer or talked to someone. If you get an urge to drink in a meeting talk about it in the meeting or to your sponsor, (I'm sure you had a sponsor the first time right?), or to another alcoholic.
If you read the book, work the steps , go to meetings, talk to your HP, help another alcoholic, and talk to your sponsor you will be fine. Do you think you can do those things??
Jesus Christ man how about just hanging tough and just not drinking today! Them MAYBE you will TRUST IN GOD then clean house rather than be told like a kid or adult in someone else institution. Let go let God - run from diversions of that like your ?
I am grateful to be in recovery for almost 4 months. Two friends have become hugely interested in the 12 Steps, but neither is a drinker. One is suffering acute depression and anxiety and the other feels her life has gone in the wrong direction. Both have come to AA meetings just to hear more about this way of life. They are eating it up! (But I'm not taking them any longer.)
We alcoholics are blessed (my words) to have the steps, but does anyone have any suggestions for my friends? Haven't heard of any 12 step groups outside of addictive behavior (although a person can surely become addicted to fear.)
There is a 12 step program for non addicted family and friends of alcoholics called Al-Anon and it was started by Dr. Bob’s and Bill W.’s wives Anne and Lois. I’m sure your friends would be most welcome to join or start a new meeting, and with them they’ll bring much experience, strength and hope to the fellowship. Worth trying to see how it goes. Al-Anon Website: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/
Drunks drink to lose control and others love to control, God help us all.
HA - that was an excellent post - you made my day! Especially the "God help us all" part - He's the only one who can!!!
Research online or have them start their own group btw themselves!
I went to my morning meeting today. My former sponsor told me that she needed not to be a part of my individual life for now and I could see her at meetings but not to call her. I find it very difficult to meet people in AA. I have always been a very private person and this I believe has made me sick.
Please read the bottom of p 66 top of p67 in the BB.
It may be your sponsor who is in a bad place not you.
Also, if you practice reaching out it will become easier and easier.
There is an old poem that goes something like this, "I went out to find a friend and there weren't any there. I went out to be a friend and friends were everywhere!"
Hang in there and try a little harder. You will be fine.
It is certainly compassionate of you to want to share the beauty of AA with those you care about. My Mother is not an alcoholic and does not have a desire to stop drinking, thus she is not a member. But loves to come to open meetings with me and see the wonders of this program. I have explained the 12 Steps to her as I understand them and she tries to apply some of the principles to her own life.
Thanks for the photo. No liquor and no faces.
I remember listening to one of our old timers describe how he had been struggling with AA members going back out. He thought "why can't they get this, what is wrong with them". Then he remembered that he'd been through treatment 9 times before finally sobering up. He expressed gratitude that the door was not shut at 5 or 7 or 8 and that if it had been, he might have missed his now 40 years of sobriety.
The message to me was that people are ready when they are ready. It is not for me to judge. My job is to be there for them on their 9th or 50th or 100th try to extend a hand, welcome them back and share my experience, strength & hope. I need to remember that this is a chronic disease and they are powerless.
i was going to meetings ""for support"" for my s/o" would come home and drink i just wasn't ready. She stayed sober and even left this drunk and got a life became happy and whole, that was fuel for my demise i was free finally i wouldn't have regret or remorse for my drunken actions and behaviors..
i drank and drank, happy times.. well one hot July day in 2010 i found myself drinking myself sober...wow that never happened before . and i realized i didn't want to drink anymore but i had no way to do it .. i couldn't stop thinking about drinking and i would drink finally in August after trying to white knuckle stopping i realized i was alone and without help.. there on a spot i decided it was the end i wanted to die if i couldn't stop but i was too chicken for that plus i had to cats that were always there for me.. i was crying i looked up and there was a blue book in corner of my room and i said god if there's a number to call i will do it "help me". In the front cover was the only phone number i ever wrote down it was from AA's CENTRAL OFFICE.. i called that number i was told when a meeting would be in my area it was 6 hours later then i was asked by the man on the phone a question i realized saved my life "can you stay sober until then?" i broke down and got honest with him and me and i said "i don't know" this was the first real honest thing to ever come out of this drunks mouth... well i made that meeting and I've stayed sober i got a home group sponsor and even found friends. i have since gained a few 24hours and shared this message with others I am not special i am just like you i don't have the answers but if i look i can find the solutions... thank you aa sincerely DBM, Tonawanda NY
Just saying hello. Here from Texas
I believe there are 3 main things that will help lead to recovery. I did not know them when I first came in but I know them now. 1). "We had to concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholic, this is the first step in recovery". Believing we are alcholics and admitting it. Not just admitting it. 2). Surrender. "We stopped fighting everything and everybody". Quit fitting the fact you can't drink like a so-called normal drinker. Accept what you are. 3). Action. Get to meetings. Read the book "Alcoholics Annonymous". Get a sponsor. Work through the 12 steps as honestly and thoroughly as you can with you sponsor.
If you want to get sober and are willing to do anything to get sober it will work for you as it has worked for me!
This would have been a wonderful message, great advice,
if you had not made the demands (suggestions) in the last
three sentences. He/she has already done the first three
steps. Why complicate it? It really is not that complicated.
These demands are not required for sobriety or membership
in Alcoholics Anonymous. I try to just share what I did
and leave it at that. Let the newcomer decide for herslf/
himself whether they want to follow our path.
These demands (suggestions) create shame and guilt,
which are capable of creating the need for a drink.
I relapsed after 18 years. I was out for 8 years. There is only 1 (one) reason for my relapse failure to improve my spiritual conditioning. I stopped praying and meditating. I stopped relying upon God as I understand Him. I began to hold onto secerts and stopped asking for the removal of my shortcomings. I held onto resentments and insanity returned and I was off to the races. The active alcoholism returned and it progressed. It never got better it only got worse. I am back now and as soon as I became willing to rely upon God and live the program recovery began to evolve. I got a sponsor and attended a meeting a day to help keep the obsession away. I worked through the steps again and through willingness the door to God slightly opens a little more each day. I ask God for help and he heals everday living problems. I hope no one has to go through what I did. Relapse is not required. May a lovging and caring God and the saving grace of AA be a stepping stone into a way of life wort living. With unconditional love.
I relapsed after being sober for nine yrs. I wasn't working any steps or anything like that- i was just staying sober. Fear, loneliness and self-pity got the best of me. After awhile i just stopped trying.
Now that i am back in AA,i am quick to listen rather than speak. And i now follow the steps.
Look up on line an artical by Dr. Silkworth entitled
" Slips and Human Nature"
When I read someone say they lost 18 yrs I feel sad. I can't say I relate because I've never slipped...yet however if do ever slip, I wont be so presumptious, so self unaware as to think I would have the faintest proof or a closed mind that made me think I could ever be positive exactly why I slipped...correction. I would know...ITS BECAUSE I CHOSE TO DRINK. The only reason I could ever slip. Its a choice. God didn't get me drunk and god wont get me sober. So much spewing of thinly veiled christianity polluting the last refuge of the suffering alcoholic...Alcoholics Anonymous. We are a program that believes in reliance upon a power greater than ourselves. Not voodoo sobriety where if I shake a stick or chant a chant I will stay sober. Its not a science, its a crapshoot, some make it and some don't. Having a sponsor and praying to the east at 5 o'clock every day, meditating, hail marys, they may relieve stress this way, and that can keep you more mentally stable. A good thing, but barber shop haircut quotes , sick as your secrets quotes and other misdirected sayings are not the key to sobriety or staying sober. It doesn't matter what you say or what you ask god to remove. It matters what YOU DO about it. Don't drink or use and you will not slip. Grow up act like a normie and take full responsibility for your life. It is the only thing you have total control over you are not powerless in this respect.. good luck.
Can you hear me clapping, 18 Years and NO Relapse?
So glad to hear someone speaking the truth on here - BRAVO!!! The truth will always be the truth...
At first read I thought your comment somewhat harsh, but you are absolutely right!
The only way to not relapse is to not drink.
If people remember what inspired their decision to quit in the first place, that alone should squash any desire to have even a little drink.
When the pain got greater enough i became willing tto change, After 19.5 years in and out of institutions,jails, other fellowships, recovery houses, twice in AA and non existant to reality, self centered. selfish sob had to get my right size with more pain
Thank God I understand the disease concept of alcoholism. If I could have stop drinking just by sheer will power, I wouldn't be an alcoholic. I know this because I tried for years to not pick up a drink. The only thing that worked for me was the program and fellowship of AA. Service work, prayer to a Power greater than myself, mediatation, and step are are fundamental to my sobriety. I've also been coming to understand that humility is huge. The moment I think I am in control of this disease is the moment I am headed toward serious danger. Be well!
I attend two Language of the Heart meetings. Recently
a member who has been sober 29 years stated that he had
never heard if the book. This book is LOADED with information about Alcoholics Anonymous and its history.
Making these writings by Bill available by ebook is
sure to increase the readership. Of course the real
history book, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, is also
of great importance, but AACA is owned by a separate inc.
In my opinion, there are several books of equal importance to the Big Book and the 12&12,in addition to The Language of the Heart. PASS IT ON, and
DR. BOB AND THE GOOD OLDTIMERS. Another wonderful book
is BILL W. a biography of Bill by ROBERT THOMSEN. This book is not conference approved, although it was sold by GSO
for several years. Thanks, Grapevine, for the continued
effort to increase readership. I am personally still
attached to the printed page and have a box of Lang books
including the large print. Change is slow for me. ANONYMOUS
I am a member of AA. What I was taught early on was I stole enough from my employer while drinking and that now it was time to work when I was at work (i.e., limited personal calls only when absolutely necessary, not doing personal things such as paying bills, etc., showing up on time). Now I sit next to a long time AA who spends much of her day on the phone with other AA's and spends a majority of her time doing personal things while being paid by the company. Can anyone share their experience with this. It just rubs me the wrong way period while I'm working, working, working -- this person is a holier than thou AA -- I know it's my side of the street I need to worry about, and I'm praying all the time on this, but some days are harder than others.
That is an interesting question about work. I find myself spending quite a bit of work time on personal things and often feel guilty about it but also rationalize it. It probably would be good to only work while at work but, and here come the buts, but I am so busy with family at night that it is hard to resist paying a quick bill or making an appointment or whatever.
If you're spending so much time listening and judging her then you are not putting all your attention on your job either. May I suggest that you Live and Let Live. It's not about you.
I had my last drink on 8 Feb 1970. It was a Sunday afternoon
and I was nursing a hangover after a month long drunk. Prior
to the last drunk, I had been alcohol free for a four month
period. I had gone to an AA meeting in Dec 1968, but
continued drinking until Oct 1969. I went to my second
meeting and stopped drinking. I picked up liquor again
just prior to going to the Super Bowl Game in New Orleans.
My "plan" was to drink in New Orleans and stop again when
I returned home. After a month of trying to stop, I just
resigned to the fact that I was just going to be a drinker
and would live out my life that way. I left the bar that day
after only about eight bottles of beer. Due to a set of
circumstances, still beyond my understanding, that was my
last alcoholic drink. Alcoholics Anonymous became The Way
Out for me. In AA I found what I had been searching for
in the botttom of a liquor bottle, a place where I felt
I belonged, a fellowship of men and women, the fellowship I craved. Thank God and AA for a sober life. And I am still
living it. ANONYMOUS
So glad for you! Posts like this make my day -- AA does work, if I work it --
Your comment has been queued for moderation by site administrators and will be published after approval.
May times I find it not - as many were not offensive but the chosen moderators defensive !!!
Last Friday evening, I attended a relatively large, one hour meeting. There were a number of newcomers. I consider myself a newcomer: I had eighteen years, then crashed and burned for seven years. I was close to two years and stumbled for two months. By the mercy and grace of God, I now have five and a half months.
Only six or seven people shared at the meeting, including myself. A man at the meeting was the last to share – we were going around the room, not even sure his turn was next, and - Blast! His sharing was a bombastic explosion – Arms raised while he fiercely chastised the group for their failings. I offer a paraphrasing of his sermon: He was fed up, sick and tired and pissed off about all these people who keep coming in and out and can’t get their sobriety straightened out… ( Like him.) If they’d just do the f**king steps and get into action… (Like him.)
SINCE 1985, I HAVE ATTENDED COUNTLESS MEETINGS IN MANY AREAS - I HAVE NEVER HEARD ANYONE SAY SOMETHING LIKE THIS – NEVER.
Am I being overly sensitive or dramatic? No.
It felt like a dagger pierced my chest. A feeling struck me that due to my heinous fall from grace, even in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, I didn’t fit or belong. What to do? Am I strong enough to do this on my own until I have acquired the appropriate amount of time and growth - and then come to meetings and show how together I am? This brief feeling passed into extreme anger. I told a man sitting next to me that my idea of action was taking the guy outside and plowing his face through the dirt parking lot. No one at the meeting refuted or added anything to this man’s admonishment – nor did I - I felt too raw and stunned with anger and feared I would not be able to restrain myself physically. Note: I did not hold back due to a sense of moral compunction or the fact that I am female and fifty-eight years of age.
Several people approached me after the meeting concluded and expressed appreciation for my sharing. As I walked towards the parking lot, a young woman in her early twenties also thanked me for sharing – she was in tears – she had had sixty days, went out and now had twenty-four days – and was just informed at an A. A. meeting that she, her desire and effort were, essentially, worthless.
DID I VENT MY FEELINGS AT THAT POINT? OH, YEAH. I told her under no circumstances to listen to what the creep had said – she had every right to be at a meeting – any meeting, any time – no matter what. I repeated what the program states and encouraged her not to be swayed by some twisted jerk’s shameful, hurtful comments and to stay sober and feel good about her progress. I also said a number of things I will not put into print. She mentioned that the guy had been nice to her before – well, not too difficult to figure that out.
This guy claims to have twenty-four years of sobriety. I have heard him lead meetings. He is quite boastful regarding his character defects and ongoing struggles as an enthusiastic participant in the 13th Step. His remarks invariably include, in one way or another: “cheating on my wife.”
Have I been personally approached by him? Yes. His pseudo-solicitous modus operandi was obnoxious. I have since revised my opinion: I believe his pretentious, malicious behavior, words and actions are a dangerous threat.
When the guy walked out of the back door of the meeting that night, I heard the tail end of a comment he made which, naturally, included a reference to “cheating on my wife.”
I am fortunate to have years of exposure to the A.A. program. My grateful commitment to a program of sobriety is firm. Will I continue to attend meetings for support and guidance? Absolutely. Will I continue to welcome newcomers with kindness and respect? Absolutely.
Will I say something to the guy from the meeting? Yes. I will strongly suggest that in order to stop the further spreading of his malignancy, he immediately cease and desist from preying on newcomers, in particular, and others, in general; that he strike from his legend in his own mind repertoire all references to his alleged program and, most definitively, cheating on his wife; that he see a psychiatrist regarding his obvious confusion about which side he truly wishes to butter his bread on, and lastly, should the world be blessed by his absence – he will not be missed.
- Ice Queen
What seems to work for me in a case such as this is to follow the instructions found on page 552 in the BB.
I met this fellow you describe, this vocalized hater of the serial slippers. Many of us have met those harboring radicalized malevolence regarding the struggle of others. In my case, it was a fellow who'd come to an open meeting hosted in a treatment center I was attending. He spoke with such ill will of those who'd failed and failed again to find an anchor in sobriety. Offered to buy them their first drink. And of all places he'd chosen there, in the presence of many in desperate search of that center. It was awful, and I exploded on him at the meetings conclusion. Afterwards, though, I wondered as much about my own reactionary behavior, and its testimony about me. In my own pursuit, I seek equanimity – that air of personal contentment that I admire in others with more experience than I, calm and confident not just in their sobriety, but in themselves. I'm still a long way off, but very happy in my journey.
Like so much in AA, this falls to our simple slogans: tend to our own side of the street, and “keep coming back” – the latter so much more than a friendly parting, it’s in the soul of our fellowship, and it saved my life.
Please remember that in AA meetings we always have two things:coffee and sick people and at some meetings we don't have coffee.
The people who judge don't matter and the people who matter don't judge.
Please don't let the actions of a sick person stop you from comming to AA.
Is the outside sponsorship system killing A.A through there personalities - Personality is simply another persons reality not always Gods.
Does the outside system undermined the 3 pertinent ideas of A.A. itself? LOUD YES
Does the outside system undermined the promises of A.A. to intuitively handle situations? LOUD YES
Is the outside system miss used inside A.A - Take a closer look victims.
What is the outside sponsorship system? I have been in AA for less than a year and have never heard mention of such a thing.
I am not the poster of these messages. I can only explain how I understand the messages he/she is writing.
In today's AA, new members are told to get a sponsor and
work those steps at their first meeting. Instead of turning
my life over to the God of my understanding, I am told to
turn my life over to a sponsor. Some meetings actually
assign a sponsor at a member's first meeting. Really, who
do we think we are? No member of AA is any farther away
from being drunk than one drink. That makes us come together as absolute equals. We need the newcomer as much
as he/she could possibly need us. The true AA message
(go ahead and snicker) reaches the newcomer when we
simply tell her/him what we did (exactly) and exactly
what happened to us. Who are we to tell anyone what
to do? We only share our own experience. We can offer
the 12 suggested steps (they are suggestions). Bill W.
left instructions on practicing the steps. We let God
do His work in His own time. If a new member has difficulty reading, a weekly step meeting where the steps are read will be helpful. Todays concept of sponsorship is so
distorted, I believe the label "sponsor" should be abandoned. But suggest that to today's sponsor, and be
prepared for an intense battle. You are asking him/her
to give up their power. But they are not wholly to blame.
They have been taught this method. Admittedly, this method
works for some. Hundreds of thousands of others don't
return every year because of the demands made of them.
We know what those requirements are: Get a sponsor, 90 in 90, work those steps, and hold hands with us, as we pray for you and all suffering alcoholics in and out of AA.
Maybe the poster of these messages would correct any errors
I have made. I do try to understand them. ANONYMOUS
Quote: "SINCE 1985, I HAVE ATTENDED COUNTLESS MEETINGS IN MANY AREAS - I HAVE NEVER HEARD ANYONE SAY SOMETHING LIKE THIS – NEVER."
IT'S NOT WHO RIGHT
IT'S NOT WHO WRONG
IT'S WHO'S LEFT
Just because some people knows A.A. works and others think it's in the outside sponsorship system is all our faults.
Back in 1986 I was court ordered to attend AA meetings. I was 36 at the time. There was a man in one of the meetings I remember who did the exact same thing. I'm wondering now that perhaps had that not happened, I could have had all these years of sobriety - maybe not but it was scary and deeply disturbing. All that matters is I have a great support group now and 40 days sober living. Thanks for sharing!
I am truly saddened when I read and hear messages like this. When are we going to develop the courage to insist on
group conscience meetings to discuss and do something about
these issues? Much too often I listen to someone share that
they came to a meeting in the 1980's or 1990's and were
turned off and away by strong, loud mouth personalities.
For each one who returns, there are probably hundreds
who never return. There are many things customs, rituals,
in today's AA which turn, push, alcoholics away and out of
the last place they have to go for help. Many of these
mistakes, blunders, changes have been posted numerous
times. I often wonder how many are turned away by our
"hold hands and pray", ring around the rosy, closing. How
many newcomer alcoholics would be turned off if we
simply stood by our chairs and closed in a manner
decided by a fully informed group conscience? I personally
find holding hands with strangers repulsive. Praying ought
to be done at church or on one's own time. Not on my dime.
We should/would/should have eight million members in
Alcoholics Anonymous by this point in time. We had almost
two and a half million members two decades ago. We have
lost half a million members after growing continuously
for 57 years. We continue at almost zero growth today.
We are "spinning our wheels" at two million members,
How much time would these folks have had if they would have quit drinking in the 80's or 90's. Just like typical alky's always looking for someone else to blame! If they were down on their luck and were panhandling for a drink would they stop at the first person who turned them down?? Hell no. But they stopped at their first meeting?
Some folks just aren't ready. I do wish for some changes in AA. The early timers need to speak up more and encourage the traditions but I am getting tired of AA being blamed for all the people who are not getting sober! There are so many other outside possibilities. Just think for a minute of all the things happening out there! Follow the steps, traditions, read the books and pamphlets and be a good edition of the big book and everything will work out! If I can get sober and stay sober anyone can if they take the suggetions the program offers!!
"it works if you (really) work it"?
"you stop when you (really) want it"?
if aa is not to blame, then who/what is? we are told in the literature that our sobriety is due to the gift of grace (something we dont deserve and havent earned). no gift? no grace? just for today ill try not to blame the victim.
"How much time would these folks have had if they would have
quit drinking in the 80' or 90's". About 20 or 30 years. Do
the math. And think about the many others they could have helped. Manny Q.