Burning Desire to Share

2357 replies [Last post]
RE: Re: Introducing Yourself

I believe that by the late 1960's and early part of the 1970's, the stigma of being an alcoholic had become somewhat less. An AA friend who came in in 1968, said there
were some meetings where names were not stated by all members. It was not implied that anyone must give his/her name. No one yelled "WHO ARE YOU? like they do today.
I personally believe there was about a fifteen year period when AA was at its finest. The general public view
of AA was better than its actual character. I believe that
the changes made at the group level in the 1970's and the
early 1980's led to our near collapse in the 1990's.
Those changes have been listed in the old I-SAY forum
and the new I-say forum. The incessant chanting makes us
look foolish in the public view. Other blunders have been
listed over and over. Welcome to the new FORUM. CVHeather
Note:Two articles have been printed in the AAGRAPEVINE about the reading of How it Works at meetings, and Why are we shouting? Of course the rebuttals are also there.

Introducing yourself

It is really comforting to know that there at least three of
us (posters) are still here after forty years. I know I would have been dead decades ago if I had not found AA and
stopped drinking. The pitiful life I would have led if I
had continued to drink, is not a pretty thought.
Bill did not begin his talks with My name is Bill and I
am an alcoholic. That is only in the movies. In 1970 at
meetings we made the statement "My name is Joe and I am an alcoholic". There was no chanting of Hi Joe! I have been
told that chanting began in California and moved east. This
statement was never meant to be a greeting or a salutation.
It is parts of step one and step five, admitting that I am an alcoholic and admitting it to others.
Personally, I think the chanting, which is actually
yelling, hooting and hollering in some meetings is just
plain stupid. The member who shouts the loudest gets
the most attention. The alcoholic EGO is powerful.
Chanting has no place in an AA meeting and is actually
very harmful. It makes us look foolish in the eyes of
the public, and harms the AA member by inflating the
EGO. Some of the mistakes we have made in the past
three decades have been subtle, but this one is obvious. Incessant chanting is
distracting and annoying to many of us. But we are just
too polite to say anything controversial. The price we
have paid for this blunder is human suffering. We push
alcoholics away, newcomers and oldtimers by this ritual.

RE: introducing yourself

And the most popular of the gurus get the loudest response.
The chanter seems to be saying: Look at me! I'm here, too.
Hardly EGO deflation at depth. Manny Q.

I am an alcoholic

I believe that I am saying this,as with anything else I do in AA,{amends,5th step etc) for me,not for anyone else. It is a statement that reminds me----- WHO I AM,WHAT I AM and WHERE I BELONG.

I am an alcoholic

When I came back to AA (never understood the program my first time around) the first thing I noticed was that I could say my name..but could not say "and I'm and alcoholic". That was when I realized..I 'did not get the program' before..because I had not even accepted the fact that I WAS an alcoholic. I have 52 days of sobriety and I am grateful for thinking I had to say that statement..it really is optional..remember..every thing in AA..is but only a suggestion.

re i'm an alcoholic.

How about "I'm alcoholic?" To me, saying I'm alcoholic is the same as saying "I have a medical issue."

Saying "I'm an alcoholic" makes it sound like you're still practicing drinking.

Or, "I'm a recovering alcoholic" tells others you are in recovery.

Hope these help.

I am an alcoholic.

I remember the first time I made the statement: My name is
Joe and I am an alcoholic. I was sitting around the table
in a well lighted room, with about thirty men and women.
I describe the feeling I had, in one word. Reverent. The definition of reverence is: a feeling or attitude of deep
respect tinged with awe. I was admitting in the presence of
others that I am an alcoholic. Today I understand that
statement to be part of steps one and five. And no one
chanted Hi Joe! We sat in silence while each member shared
her/his experience strength and hope. Some may think or
say: they must have been a GLUM LOT. ANONYMOUS

identifying as an alcoholic

"I have a built in forgetter" as the oldtimers used to say.
My alcoholism is a disease that will kill me. Remembering that is a good thing..as is encouraging others who have the same fatal disease. It IS a disease not a failing.
There is not a day coming when I won't be an alcoholic.
There is not a day coming when it will be safe for me to drink. I identify as an alcoholic at meetings so that I can stay on focus for meetings, so newcomers will see that it isn't the end of the world.
Many mornings when I say my prayers, I remind HP that I am an alcoholic who needs help to stay sober. The day that I say "I am not an alcoholic any more." is the day I am in BIG trouble. May that day never come! I am an alcoholic who can only stay sober one day at a time....and I am sooo grateful that those days recently added up to 22 yrs!

I am an Alcoholic

I find it amusing that at the point where we admit that we are alcoholic and no longer drink, the general public often says You can't be an alcoholic, why, you don't even drink.
Before that time while we are still drinking many others are
aware that we are alcoholics. We say, I am not an alcoholic.
I can stop any time I want to. Personally, I did not really know what an alcoholic was: a person who cannot drink
safely, and cannot "not drink". A strange disease indeed.

id alcoholic

nice response, i think whateva works lets not tinker with
I'm on the fence and about to jump back into the program because my tinkering is not doing anybody much good.
I'm not a wheel maker so I will no longer attempt to re-invent one. Here's to sticking with the program and if that included declaring you are an alcoholic so be it. Tanks,Mr. B

Joined: 2011-05-09
organization of comments

Has anyone else out there had difficulty in finding posts on this site due to their not being in chronological order? I have to search and search to find the most recent posts!

Question to webeditor.

The old I-Say forum had a running total of the number of times the site was opened. Just before it was revised the site was opened more than 700 times every day. Is there a
running total on this new forum? I am basically computer
illerate so maybe I just don't know how to find it. The last total I found on the old site is 1,392.352. I would like to know how many readers we have for I-SAY. Anonomous

Joined: 2011-04-20
These numbers are not

These numbers are not available publicly on the website, however, I can tell you that we this Isay section received between 600 and 900 views per month. (It varies within that range from month-to-month.)

The numbers you are referring to in the past were wildly inaccurate because they also counted spiders and other "automated" visitors.

- the editors

Joined: 2011-04-20
Organization of Comments


The comments are in fact ordered chronologically within the different subjects. However, of course, replies are posted beneath the original message and therefore may appear to be out of order.

The Editors

Joined: 2011-05-09

I had asked about this weeks ago, but the answer I rec'd then was not as clear to me as yours. I'll find the site more useful now. Keep up the great work!

re: introducing ourselves

If you read more about the disease concept of alcoholism, starting with "The Doctor's Opinion" in the beginning of "Alcoholics Anonymous," you may gain some insight into why identifying one's self as an "alcoholic," a "drunk," an "addict," or s someone with "a desire not to drink" is no different than a diabetic identifying herself as such. While I do not buy into the disease concept entirely, it does serve as a useful analogy that helps many understand why it would be a bad idea to pick up a drink. I will never fail if I don't pick up the first drink, and for me, identifying myself as an alcoholic reminds me why not to.


I am not sure if AA is right for me. I have embarrassed myself and my family and friends while drinking (probably almost once a week). On other days, I have nothing to drink or sometimes 1 or 2 beers. Once I get to that buzzed feeling, I never want to stop and no one can make me but if I stop before being buzzed, I am fine. Do I stop drinking altogether or just try to control it?

Welcome to A.A.

Welcome to A.A. - A.A. works and works good for alcoholics
what a great start to see sit around and watch the circus, won't take long to decide.
A great self discovery program A.A. can be.

Happiness without drinking

For the first time in my life I have found a place that has taught me to be happy without putting something in me(drink or drug)to make me that way.If you are still seeking all it means is that you have't found it yet in AA.It is here in AA.Just look the way we suggest and do not give up.You will find everything you are looking for.I have found it and it is'nt what I thought it would be.It's better!

Joined: 2011-11-30

Don't drink. Or putting it in better words for you, give up drinking altogether. I have had talks with non alcoholic people in the drinking business, club owners, etc. It is an "all-or-nothing" thing. I am in AA. I could not choose, my drink date is 01/03/1970.

Boy, Oh, Boy

That is forty two years of continuous sobriety. That is
remarkable. I was given the gift shortly after. Do you recall exactly what AA meetings were like at that time.
Rooms everywhere full of smoke. Old men smoking cigars sitting next to you. I just loved it. I felt like I was
up there with the big boys, one of them. Almost like
sitting on the first bar stools. Seriously what changes
have you seen in AA over the four plus decades? Do you
think that AA has gotten better. I think it was Bernard
Smith who said each generation should leave the fellowship
in better shape than when we found it. Do you think we
have done that? A lot of the messages seem to say that
we have failed that goal. Could you give us your view
from your observation over the years? ANONYMOUS

Getting Buzzed

My name's Lisa and I'm an alcoholic.
Embarrassing fiends and family weekly, even though you don't want to...Life has become unmanageable

If you are trying to control your drinking and cannot stop once you get a buzz...Powerless over alcohol.

If you read Step One of AA's Twelve Steps,
you may find that you are not alone and there is a solution if you're willing to follow a few suggestion.

Good Luck,
Lisa I.

Where Else?

Where else can you find a group of people that cheers one on as the make it safely out of a burning building they burnt down?

Do you have a burning sensation ?

1 or 2 beers?

Take this strangers advice and STOP! I was (and to a point still am) a "social drinker". I dont want to stop once I get that buzz but if I only drink 1 or 2, I am still thinking, "what a waste". I am an alcoholic who has been struggling with "not being sure AA is right for me" for 25 years. I have been in and out of those doors so many times that sometimes I think I created the term 'revolving door'.
Please do yourself a favor and STOP. It is only going to get worse if you dont. God speed on your decision and may you have a blessed life without the use of alcohol (or any other mood altering vice).

Joined: 2011-10-28
my experience

stop! thats what I would say. But you proably are asking well how do I do that. Dont worry you dont need all the answers. also what i have found that when I think I have something totally figured out I really dont have it figured out. Take all your skeptisism and doubt and questions and just trust. trust whom? listen to the stories talk to others and follow your heart. I can relate to the feeling of not belonging!! I was going to meeting with lots of country folk and well I am a gay male. Talk about uncomfy. But I went. Eventually I found lamda in houston. trust the process

My Experience.

Hello My name is David and I am a Alcoholic.I have been sober for 5 years now.
One of the many tools l have to stay sober is l rember my pastwhen l was drinking (which wasnt good at all)and the guilt l carried.
I rembered the Hell l inflicted on people all in my Family,my Mother had the Police around every time I was drinking and the Hell l was going through myself,l was on a slippery slope and didnt top until l had assalted my Mother then l stopped and went into Detox and five years down the track Im 5 years sober.
If I have no reason to go near a Drinking Place I stay right away.
Thank You and god Bless.

RE: my experience

Whats great about A.A is that even a bad example can be good.
Things in A.A are not learned there developed and if we hadn't already learned from our past go out and develop it.
It's as simple as, that no human power can relive us and ONLY but for the grace of God there goes my human sponsor.

One suggestion is to stop

One suggestion is to stop drinking entirely for awhile & go to AA meetings; maybe a variety of meetings in your area. You can always go back to drinking later. You might also find people who have had experience similar to yours.

I had an experience similar to yours. At some point it occurred to me that once I reached a certain point in my drinking, I couldn't stop.

Is AA right for you..

It is said that if you are seeking AA, there is a high likelihood that you may have a problem. Nobody but you can determine if you have a problem with Alcohol. For myself, I thought the same things that you do.. I did not lose my job or get DUIs or anything like that but I did feel deep inside that my drinking was unmanageable. I have almost 90 days in the program and I am so happy that I have my AA family. I encourage you to attend a local meeting and find out more about the program and yourself. Thank you for sharing :)

not going to meetings

I've found myself out of place at meetings before when I hear people speak in "we" terms when they are not speaking for me, they don't even know me.

Also, once I tried a group where some really full of himself
guy jabbed me really hard in the back because I wasn't turning around to face him as he very longwindedly described how much he knew about life, AA, and everything in the world. What he didn't know is that I have severe damage to my vertebrae and discs in my neck any I can't twist around like, I was just patiently listening. I went there for help and support but not for anyone to lay a hand on me because their ego required my full attention. Also, at meetings I have to walk through a sea of smokers just to get to the meetings, and the smell of coffee gives me a headache and always has, I must be allergic to it, 'cause everyone likes the smell except me.

I really do need a support group to help me through this, I have tried numerous groups over the years. Why is smoking and drinking coffee so prevalent? Aren't they addictions, too? It's keeping me from being able to partcipate and get the help that I need. I want a healthy lifestyle... period. Not just apart from alcohol but apart from as many carcinogens as possible.

This chatroom is so much better than sitting uncomfortably around strangers, some of them really scary looking people. Some of these posts are written by very insightful people, and I can really appreciate that.

I'm gonna try another group today, this time at a Catholic Church that I've been to several times, maybe they don't allow smoking on the church grounds. I know they have nice handicapped parking for people like me. Maybe this will be the group with more reverence.

I still wish I had told that guy to keep his hands to himself, but I was the newcomer, it was a room full of men, only one other woman and she was in a swimsuit with a cover-up. Not the group that I felt comfortable in at all. A horrible experience, exactly what I didn't need.

Response to "Not going to Meetings."

I have been sober for 14 years now and in the beginning I found everything wrong with every meeting I went to. Not every meeting works for everyone, but I had to realize that something was wrong with my thinking also. My negative attitude was a big part of the problem. I was told to look for the similarities and not the differences and to shop around for other meetings. Eventually I found a Home Group and a place for myself in AA. As I began to heal my thinking, which Alcoholism is a "thinking" disease as well as a "drinking" one, then the smoke, peoples ego, etc. didn't bother me as much.I began to realize I needed AA like I needed air itself. Keep looking around and don't give up because you had a bad experience.AA does have a solution in the steps, a good sponsor is important also. Keep the Faith and keep coming back.

I miss it tooI

I am sober through the grace of God a little over 28 years and I have to admit the quality of sponsorship has declined over the years. In the 80's we could tell who was new simply by their language, the way they dressed, and the general lack of respect and manners. You could see progress when a person began to clean up their language a bit and that they actually showered and dressed for the meeting, or the actually cracked open their wallet and brought their own Big Book or 12 & 12 to the meetings.

My sponsor told me during that first year that since I wasn't drunk anymore it was time that I stopped talking, acting, and dressing like one. Apparently this doesn't happen anymore.

I begin the question the validity of the program when I hear that someone just keyed her boyfriends car - but she didn't drink and she still has 5 years of sobriety! Or a man that looks like I should cross the street to avoid him talks about the 15 years he has.

I believe that we have to change if we are to learn to live a sober life. Behaving badly while stone cold sober is not an improvement for me. I am about living sober. I want peace and serenity in my life and I want to give peace and serenity to those around me.

Good luck to you! Perhaps the person who suggested that you register as a loner has something there - combining AA online with sober correspondence could be just the answer for you.

I dont need a hug!

My name's Mike, I'm an alcoholic.
I've put together many 24 hours. I've watched people force handshakes & hugs on members for years. I want members to know that its ok to hold up a hand & say, STOP, PLEASE DON'T TOUCH ME. I am an athlete. I race on asphalt. When I train, sometimes I'm not wearing the leather suit I race in. My injuries mostly consist of road-rash. Please respect my space. Thanks.

A.A. a simple program

A.A. is not a simple program for complicated people that CANNOT intuitively handle situations that still bother them.

Joined: 2011-10-16
valid point

I have been in sobriety for about 4 years now(do not have that much time sober though) and still do not have a good intuition on helping or even talking to others. I am an only child that is also an isolating alcoholic.
I tend to be the person that scares the newcomer away still. Even in regular conversation I tend to make others feel awkward. I have a better understanding today then I did in the beginning of having regular conversation. Something you think would come naturally right. No I am still learning social intuition.

You know how in the Big Book it says,"We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us."
'Intuitively' is not the correct word here. The word they are looking for is clairvoyance. Intuition is more something that you can learn in school or through trial and error. If you look up clairvoyance in a dictionary you will see that clairvoyance is like seeing the world through Gods eyes and being able to handle every situation in that way. The past will only be seen as a stepping stone for a better future.
This God is what your after...if God exists.

RE: valid point

Intuitive is the correct word if we are talking about God not a sponsor. I had a friend ask after six years around the program when this is going to happen, Being six years sober and still not able to see we are living it surprised me.
I think they had one to many sponsors diverted and incapable of being true to there self's.

Trying to Understand

The ideas of A.A in the A,B,C's, I TOTALLY agree with
The purpose of the Big Book to introduce me to God, I TOTALLY agree
The promise to intuitively handle situations that use to baffle me has happened
I have a tremendous amount of friends I talk with today caring how things are.
The non understanding part seemingly undermining A.A's principles, promises and idea's is
the outside sponsorhip system thing that is not in the Steps nor Traditions or in the 164 pages of the program
The only sense it seems to make is helping one that knows NOTHING of A.A. to it's doors, after that, it seems very very harmful and destructive to both parties involved and opposed to A.A. And the people already here.
I guess loneliness can take a person to some strange place but why be lonely with all these nice people around in A.A? Trying to understand that with God I 'm never alone and around friends I am never lonely and understand it's not about me or you but the message of A.A.– Why all the craze about getting a outside sponsor already her inside? where did it come from if it opposes A.A.'s ideas principles and promises ?

Not going to meetings

Wow! The coffee stinks, the people don't look right, someone might touch me because I don't have a 'hands off' sign, Etc. Etc. Etc.
All very good reasons to stay away from meetings.
I needed help to get and stay sober. One very good reason to go to meetings.
Why not try following the suggestions in the Big Book? And contact LIM as a Homer?

The day I walked into a

The day I walked into a womans mtg after coming back I fell apart at the seams and if it wasn't for the kindness of a hug by many of these woman I may not have stayed.

RE: Not going to meetings

"I needed help to get and stay sober. One very good reason to go to meetings."

If you Go to give and not get - they will all be afraid to even touch you no sign will be needed.

An atheist program

I don't know why AAs have such trouble with atheists. The notion in AA's Big Book - "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?" - is a concept that practically no organized religion would accept (there are a few, but most wouldn't). A lot of the AAs I know don't go to any church or accept any kind of creed. So when AAs say "God," it's like when AAs say "jackpot." It's a word that other people use, but it has a completely different meaning in AA. We talk about God in AA because it's good cover; the truth is that a lot of AAs don't believe in any God other than "their own conception." To me, that's a working definition of an atheist. So lets stop giving atheists such a hard time.

RE: An atheist program

We are all atheists chasing the spirits in Alcohol, In the big book it states the whole purpose of the book is to introduce you to a higher power that can intuitively handle situations that us to baffle us - There are only 3 "PERTINENT" ideas of alcoholics anonymous in the A,B,C's other clubs in and around A.A. have pertine-eer ideas of their own.
Not about who's right
Not about who's wrong
It's about who's left

If an institutional outside sponsorship system works for an atheist so be it - I like A.A. myself

RE An atheist program

I personally do not understand how any organized religion could possibly accept the concept of every person choosing
his or her own conception of God. That is one reason why AA
works so well, and one reason why Bill W. leaves us with a stern warning about trying to start a new religion. This warning is found on page 232 in AA Comes of Age 1957 and on page 345 in Language of the Heart, April 1963 issue of the
AA Grapevine. Bill W. writes: "Speaking for Dr. Bob and
myself I would like to say that there has never been the
slightest intent, on his part or mine, of trying to found a new religious denomination. Dr. Bob held certain religious convictions, and so do I. This is, of course, the personal privilege of every AA member." Bill goes on to write: "Nothing, however, could be so unfortunate for AA's
future as an attempt to incorporate any of our personal
theological views into AA teaching, practice or tradition.
Were Dr. Bob still with us, I am positive he would agree
that we could never be too emphatic in this matter."
I believe that most religions help addicted members
to get well by using their own church beliefs. I have met
several of them. They don't label themselves as alcoholics,
but when they "witness", their stories reveal that they
fit the role. But these methods are very limited.
Alcoholics Anonymous offers any alcoholic a way out of
the alcoholic dilemma. All that is asked of the alcoholic
approaching us is a desire on his part to get well. There
is absolutely no other requirement for full membership in
Alcoholics Anonymous, written, implied or otherwise. No
member's religious beliefs should even/ever be an issue.
We have a technique for helping alcoholics which rarely
fails. As with other special things in life, if we do not
know the proper technique, and are unable or unwilling to learn it, we will seldom get the desired results. The successful approach to reaching a suffering alcoholic was left for us by Bill W. and Dr. Silkworth. It is basically the "cart before the horse idea" offerred to Bill by Dr. Silkworth in the spring of 1935 just prior to Bill's leaving for Akron, Ohio. Bill writes several times in our literature that without this advice, AA could never have been born. In a nutshell, it was this: Stop
preaching to suffering alcoholics. They want to get well
but can't swallow all the God Stuff. Just share your own
story (EXACTLY), what you were like and what happened. STOP
If we study and understand that part of our AA history,
Alcoholics Anonymous can be restored to an acceptable
rate of effectiveness. The success rate for 2010 is just
shameful. Only one group out of four could count ONE new
member for the whole year. (US and Canada) ANONYMOUS

Religion in aa

I am early in sobriety and have a question with regards to religion in aa...I think the idea of using "higher power" is creative and allows folks from different religious backgrounds (or none at all) the ability to identify with a "God" of our understanding, however, although I am a Christian, I don't know how appropriate it is to recite "The Lord's Prayer" which is a Christian centered prayer and based on a sermon Christ gave to followers, at the close of meetings. The Serenity Prayer is one thing...God could be Higher Power, Jah, Yahweh, Buddha, etc., but I don't think it's fair to impose that prayer upon others if they are not of that faith. Please share your comments...that's how I'm learning and staying sober one day at a time (90 days on January 1st). Thanks, and I will 'keep coming back."


Hi guys & gals, I’m Jack!

I’m new to the forum and just saying hello.

Joined: 2011-07-29

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG I have 7 years today...woot!!!! How could this have happened??? Oh yeah...It was the program of Alcoholics Anonymous as outlined in the Big Book! :)

Joined: 2011-11-21

WELL! There you go.It works!
I am still a kid at 15 years.
This program saved my life.
There is no other program equal to Alcoholics Anonymous!


WELL! There you go. It works! Thanks for that simple vital
message. Without any conditions such as, "It works if you work it, so work it you're worth it, I die if I don't work it, etc, etc, etc. Alcoholics Anonymous saved my life and made life very much worthwhile. I believe that Alcoholics
Anonymous has no equal yet. Dr. Silkworth and Bill W. left
us with a wonderful gift: A gadget, technique,device, method, which rarely fails the alcoholic who has a desire to get well. I am no longer a kid, but I had 15 years 26
years ago and am still sober and active in AA. Enjoy!!

Great job. Thank you for

Great job. Thank you for sharing.

grateful to be sober today thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous

I am grateful to be sober today thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous. I'm grateful for the 12 steps and that God is showing me how to live today in accordance with his will. I am grateful that I have a God of my understanding. I am grateful to be a student in AA. I am grateful for the AAGrapevine. I am grateful to be a member of AA today. --- grateful member of AA in the United States of America

Post new comment