Burning Desire to Share
Hi Mike! I have been sober for almost 6 months. I have been told to share(even when I don't want to) or not to say anything the first year in recovery. The advice is often different from person to person. I don't know how long you have been sober but for me my brain is still a jumbled mess. I may know in my head what I want to say but have difficulty getting it out. Everyone processes things differently and I believe some AA's have an important message but need time to get it out. I find it very uncomfortable to share but feel that when I feel this way, then I should push myself share. For me, my recovery depends on doing things that I don't always want to do. I have also been to those meetings when know one has anything to say and you can cut the silence with a knife. I think this is just the way it goes sometimes. I may be way off base with my response but just wanted to throw it out there anyway. Who knows maybe someone will relate. SS
This awful at some meetings. I believe it started when we went to random discussion instead of going around & giving everyone a chance to pass. If there is time I have no problem going around a second time or more.
I have never been able to understand how a moment of silence at an AA meeting ever helped an alcoholic to get
sober or remain sober. I believe silence can be a real
turn-off to many newcomers. Silence and meditation ought to be practiced in religious surroundings,and have no place at an AA meeting. A friend went to a morning meeting in Boston. She said that at the meeting, the lights were turned off for five minutes for meditation and reflection. If my first meeting had been like that, I probably would have felt around for the nearest exit door. I know tradition reads that each group is autonomous. THAT IS ONLYONE THIRD OFTRADITION FOUR. Sharing by a Show of Hands often leads to periods of ackward silence. Simply going around the roomallowing every member to share is what we did in the 1970's
when our membership was doubling about every ten years.
Anyone look at our membership numbers since 1992? anonymous
Why must our antediluvian members always point to AA's present day numbers as a validation to their every argument. Would CV have us still reading and writing in Edwardian script as Bill W. did ?
There are three parts to every verbal transaction. The transmitter, the receiver and the message its self. As the transmitter and the receiver has evolved from the depression era babies to the boomers and now the Gen-Xer's and Gen Y the message of AA has evolved as well, always inclusive never exclusive. This is why so many different group types have evolved as well. Not just open and closed meetings but men's group, woman's group, gay friendly, meditation, step study, discussion groups, morning noon and night groups.
If AA's numbers are down since 1992 maybe that was when CV's generation dug in their heels and said NO MORE CHANGE FOR YOU!
Interesting reading. Especially the numbers down since 1992.Numbers are likely down to the increase in treatment centres, the diluation of the message through these centres.i.e drugs. Our group has expanded dramatically since its inception a number of years back. We encourage alcohol only discussions.
sherrie, I WENT TO MY FIRST MEETING TODAY IN ALONG TIME. AT 2:30, IN ABOUT TWO HOURS FROM NOW I'LL HAVE 24 HOURS. IT'S BEEN A GREAT DAY. I SHOULD BE SLEEPING BUT I'M HAVING A HARD TIME SLEEPING TONIGHT. CAN't WAIT TO GO TO ANOTHER MEETING TOMORROW NIGHT AT 8:00. I'M SO HAPPY TO BE BACK WITH MY EXTENDED FAMILY. LOVE YOU GUYS SHERRIE ALCOHOLIC, ADDICT.
Dear Dennis D.
Since you were allowed to post your messages in two categories, I will try my try to get another response
approved. ANTEDILUVIAN: belonging to the period before the
Flood; antequated or primitive. a person who lived before the Flood; a very old or old fashioned person.
I also looked up the definition of DIVERSION: A Feint
intended to draw off attention from the point of
You are basically correct. Most if not all of my concerns are based on the numbers. If we had eight million
members in AA today, I certainly would have no reason to
be concerned. I could ignore the numbers and keep my head
in the sand, but my heart just won't let me. Alcoholics
Anonymous was the turning point in my life and I refuse
to let it diminish without trying to save it. "SAVE IT"
usually brings a snicker from someone.
I may be old but I am not blind. I know what I have
seen in AA over the past four decades. One observation
was that meetings in my area were getting smaller. We
seemed to be helping and holding fewer and fewer members.
When I wrote to GSO for membership numbers, and first
saw them I was not really surprised.
But the numbers give me justification for my concerns.
Many members today acknowledge our stagnation. Our GSO
manager and the chairman of the board of trustees have
voiced their concerns.
When I first saw the numbers, I remembered all of the
changes I have seen in AA during the last three decades.
There are less than ten major changes that I am aware of.
AA may have retained some effectiveness with one or two
changes. But all together they have all but destroyed AA.
And as Bill W. feared and warned us, It has all been from
within our own membership. Although many benefit from our
failure, no effort has been needed to cause our demise.
We have all but destroyed our own inheritance.
I saw the changes as they were taking place. Although
I silently questioned them, I did not want to cause any
controversy. So I remained silent. I believe there were
many like me who not only remained silent but just walked
away. Thos changes have cost us dearly in human suffering.
We not only fail the alcoholic. We have disappointed their
friends and families.
The changes are reversable. Our leaders will have to
get involved. The members who see what AA has become
will have to be persistant. Don't let strong personalities
silence you. Stand up and speak out. Alcoholics Anonymous
can be restored to an acceptable rate of effectiveness.
The I-Say Forum contains the means to do this. CV
I have been reading your posts about the changes to AA and the membership numbers. Quite informative. I never knew about these issues before but I am going to take your suggestion and begin to read up on it. I am 247 days sober.
Regarding reciting the Chapter 5 paragraphs, perhaps instead of the usual, "I have asked Betty to read from Chapter 5 from the Big Book" and then she reads it, perhaps there should be more of a preamble. "A note to all newcomers, these are words on a page and merely suggestions of how an alcoholic can get and stay sober based on the experiences of the two alcoholics who wrote the book Alcoholics Anonymous".
These particular words are harsh and quite religious in nature, and could be a complete turn off to some newcomers. To me, I needed the harshness and I was raised Catholic so the admonishment, "May you find Him now!" was no big deal......until I read your post.
BTW, is this reading an AA requirement? or just something that started and took hold?
I personally wouldn't mind if all the readings were skipped. Maybe open the meeting with the AA Preamble and get right to the shares of experience or to study the BB.
The chanting always amused me.....until I read your post. It is kinda weird but a word of welcome from the group to the newcomer feels right to me. And repeating to the group that I am an alcoholic every time I speak is redundant but also serves as an important reminder to myself that I am and there is no shame in admitting it.
The prayers at the end I can take or leave. The fact that one is not given a choice is disturbing upon reflection. So if in doubt, wipe it out. A silent 60 second reflection on the main purpose of the AABB would suffice. It would allow those who want to pray to say a prayer and those who don't to reflect on how they may now or someday show other alcoholics precisely how they have recovered which is "the main purpose of this book".
Anyway, these are simply my experiences/reflections based on your experiences/reflections :)
Thanks again for your shares. Jim R.
It is a process. It is good to think before we talk so besides meditating; it is good as a device to go into ourselves for find our real feelings on what is being discussed.
easy solution: make the meeting a literature study and take turns reading and sharing the message of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Thanke you i am ok
Silence at meetings I've found both akward and then again sometimes quite comforting-The silence is in the timing of what is happening at the meeting.Sometimes it can be a silent bathe in reflection of what someone had just eloquently shared,or it can be a tense stare-down at "who's next" and that for me at least makes me draw a blank on what to share.Timing ,and also I believe acceptence of what the "tone or vibe" the meeting is giving off has impact on the silence.I guess thats why people find meetings they are comfortable with .Principals over personalities ,and find your comfort zone.Then share.
It's been my experience that I can't be lonely for long if I am reaching out to help another. And if I have done the secondary recovery work that I need to do. There may be moments of stinking thinking. Working at not letting my mind get hijacked...it is all in this alcoholics perspective. If I feel lonely I can call someone and see how they are. I can now go anywhere by myself and know that I am part of the world again. I am never alone. I can go to a book store or or or...so that I am not isolated. So many tools...I had to find the ones that worked for me. We have a lot of happiness factor going on in the media and the web...I have to stick with perspective otherwise I can buy into what I think others think happiness is...yikes. Contentment rates very high on my happiness scale. I wish you nothing but the very very best in finding your way. I hope that one day you will walk into that sunlight of the spirit.
Thanks. I often feel alone in AA. submitted by Lonely in NEPA
Hi we are never alone and God is always there as a constant companion.
An AA group can be the loneliest place in the world.
As a newcomer I was taken to some meetings and then started going on my own. I was young and attractive then and rarely alone for long. I was welcomed and drawn into the group.
Many years later I am still sober and go to meetings whenever I can (which isn't often because I don't have transport).
But when I do walk into a meeting these days I notice a distinct lack of welcome. Ok, I know I look less like an attractive new 'prospect', but I am still a human being AND a recovering alcoholic. Ageism rules in AA alas.
I know what you mean about loneliness. I think sometimes we go to those meetings because we are lonely. I know that is what drove me to my last two. But, I digressed and did not go back and now I know I should have kept going. I talked myself into believing I didn't need to go because I didn't really have a problem. I hide it well. I stay away from people when I am drinking or hungover and try to act normal even when I feel like crap. I applaud you for staying sober. It takes a lot of strength to get there and stay there. I think people at the meetings are sometimes feeling uneasy and lonely too, so just remember it is not personal if you don't feel welcomed. Everyone wants to feel welcomed, that is just human. It is most important to be open with your story and your feelings and then they will welcome you. I did not feel that ageism ruled in the meetings I went to. I think maybe it depends on where you go. Don't give up.
Well for me I am always welcomed at meetings but maybe that is because I put myself out there and say hi first so people get to know me and my face so when I do return to meetings I am greeted by lots of my sisters and brothers in the meetings. maybe try saying hi first and extending your hand and see what happens there. if that doesn't work, try some different meetings or try to find the positive about being there and what can you do to help someone else that may be feeling the same way you do. just a suggestion.
I always feel alone at meetings People say they find a home. I don't even find a welcome. No one talks to me and when I ask for a sponsor no one offers. I know it is partly because I am old shy a woman poor and handicapped. So what? Thanks loads AA is all I've got to say.
Hello, pinklady. I am old, female, pour oops! POOR and handicapped (mentally,definately) with also more than one physically debilitating problem; but because of a gift called sobriety I am extremely aware of my negative attitude at times and mindlessly (occasionally) think I might be better off drunk. But I must add that if I was drunk (drinking delicious pink ladies) I wouldn't really give a poop who acknowledged my presence while I was going broke trying to buy my friendships. Perhaps (suggestion)a different meeting instead of going where you feel rejected or lonely might help unless of course you are contemplating a ((good reason)) to just get loaded. I love you and appreciate you honestly sharing how you feel right now. This too shall pass, but I sure wish you would consider sticking around for the miracle will happen.....but for the Grace of God there go I. Love and Peace, Tonya