Burning Desire to Share
I'm starting to realize AA is a living thing. As a living thing it is subject to evolution. If a living thing doesn't evolve it will slowly die out. As a group conscience I think we're evolving with the times. Without change we can't grow. I'm starting to also realize some people are still fear driven they think that if there is any change, AA will die out when in reality it's the opposite. Thanks for your making me feel loved and like one not different then. Love can conquer over fear every time THANKS for your love.
If you think you are on the same track as Doctor Bob, great, just stay on it. Open your home as a free halfway house for those like yourself with drug problems as well as alcoholism. You'll likely get the wonderful results he did after a few years.
Don't worry sorry some people take longer then others to get the program.
Maybe I should it's what Dr Bob would have done and look what he accomplished. Remember what he said in his last speech love and service.
What's your point sounds like a jab. Where did they say anything about what your talking about.
I guess you've already opened your house to people in the program since you suggested it. Stop with the negative innuendos towards people. Why don't you say what you mean or would that put in in an unfavourable light. I'll say a prayer for you love not hate.
I recently hit my 365 day mark in the program. I have been feeling very isolated though. I have not been contacting my sponsor due to resentment I am having. I have not been going to meetings. I feel more alone and scared than my first day. I know that I am feeling this way as a result of not going to meetings, being of service and working the program but every time I feel like I should get up and go to a meeting I just make an excuse or crawl back into bed. I realize I have to be the driving force behind my own sobriety but I just don't where my willingness went and how to get it back. At the end of the day I am not drinking which I know is what I need to be doing but I just want to find some peace and serenity. I don't just want to be "dry"
If you are able to pray, you might want to consider asking God to be the driving force behind your sobriety. You also can ask for willingness to do whatever is necessary to stay sober.
I get to feeling the same way every 6 - 18 months, and I have been sober for over 25+ years. It somewhat natural to go through this feeling at the one and give year point, and I base that on what I have heard share at meetings or from the fellows I have sponsored.
I can only tell you my experience. Once I have found myself feeling that way, I think what were the things I did when I felt great in this program. Then I start doing those same things again. Like going to enough meetings, or spending time with my sponsor, or making a set time each night to read the B B or 12 + 12 or back issues of the Grapevine .......or when all else fails, start working with a newcomer. Like Dr. Bob would say, "You have to keep in touch with those fellows on the ward" (that being the ward in the hospital)
Now after 365 days, you have most of the tools, you just have to use them.
I'm patrick, I've been sober for 22yrs, I understand what you are saying, just know that you are dealing with fatal and progressive disease that is out to kill you and you are supplying the ammunition by isolating, get busy by getting involved in a home group, resentments are a waste of time that we can't afford, stop hiding out, there is nothing to fear, I had to pray for willingness to have a sponsor that would tell me what I need to here, not what I want too hear, get out of that bad neighborhood Your Mind, Do Not Isolate! Easy does it ! Get up Now
Congrats on achieving a year sober and for being honest about your situation Thankfully there is a forum such as this where you can get some help. I've seen lots of great comments here. I'd just say we all struggle with ups and downs in regards to meetings, sponsors, work, relationships, life...The key for me is to do what you've done here and be honest about what's going on and share that with my Higher Power and with others. There is tremendous power in that act and it tends to relieve the isolation. I learn that I am not alone; that many others have experienced what I'm going through.
It sounds like you know what you need to be doing but are having trouble doing it. Early sobriety for me was full of mood swings, depression, anxiety...I had to learn to use every tool available to navigate the minefield. This included everything in AA...prayer, meditation, Big Book, meetings, steps, sponsor, service.
I also had to learn how to live with a new body/mind that was no longer anesthetized. I could actually feel things again in an unfiltered way. This presented new challenges. Diet and exercise began to play a critical role in how I felt. SLEEP became and remains hugely important. I treasure a good night's sleep and how it revitalizes me and clears my mind.
There are tremendous gifts in sobriety. But I need to keep walking one step at a time hand hand with my brothers & sisters on the road to happy destiny to discover them.
Thanks again for sharing so honestly.
Muster all the strength you have, call your sponsor and tell them what you told us. If the resentment is about your sponsor, don't worry, they have enough sobriety to be your sponsor so they can handle whatever you have to say, it's about you anyway, right?! :-) Getting humble gives me the energy I need to ask for help...
Maybe a little depressed?
There have been many times when I have had to pray for the willingness to do the next right thing in my AA step and meeting life.
Resentments got velcro on them. They stick in my head and mess up my thinking. The old timers told me that 3 things lead to a drink...resentment, fear, and insane thinking about relationships. The only time I have wanted a drink since I got sober, was on a blazing resentment....on top of a bunch of old blazing resentments.
Doing steps 4-9 repeatedly is necessary for me to deal with my angry way of life. It made me feel very crazy to try to change my ways. But my life settled down quite a bit. At 24 years sober, I have mostly stopped shooting myself in the behind with my behavior. But, I'm a rascal, and have to be vigilant. I have wanted that daily reprieve from the insanity, and have been given the willingness that I ask for.
I woke up this morning feeling much the way you describe.
I went back to bed.
At about one year in the fellowship, I felt very much the
way you describe. I had a personal commitment to an AA
member and decided that after that commitment was completed
I would go back to drinking. I guess I had forgotten what
my last drunk was like.
The chore was done by someone else, but by that time
the decision to drink was gone. The funk had lifted.
Bill W. wrote about being depressed. He wrote about
being under emotional strain since AA started. On page
274 in The Language of the Heart book Bill wrote: quote
"I had a neurotic depression that lasted from 1943 until
1955, one from which I never fully surfaced. About three
years of this was suicidal. But the release from alcohol
had been so thorough that I was never tempted during this long siege to resort to drink. end quote.
I am grateful to Bill for writing that message for the
May 1962 issue of the AA Grapevine for us. I am grateful to you for reminding me of the article.
Bill did not drink during those years. He trudged along
and actually wrote the 12 & 12 and set up the General Service Conference in those years. I did not drink and hope to complete my 44th year on Saturday.
Bill wrote that resentment is our number one offender.
Try to remember that all of us are ill in some way. If
you are a believer of the Christian faith, you could try
praying for the person who bothers you.
In your year in the fellowship, hopefully you have a
couple of phone numbers of AA friends. If not, try to
connect with a sober member at your next meeting. Develop
a friendship. Someone you can really talk to. That is what
I did and it worked for me. Eventually I developed a network of friends. I look forward to seeing them at meetings, and in the supermarket. Don't put too much faith in sponsorship. That concept is just too limiting.
I am still looking for more peace and serenity. I don't
want to be just "dry". But I am convinced that dry is
better than wet. ANONYMOUS
Your post contains both the problem and the solution, so you simply need to do what you realize you need to do. When I get into a funk (aka depression), I recall Bill's story about fighting his depression, noting that when all else failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day. But if that solution is not enough, outside help may be appropriate, as AA is not a cure for clinical depression - in my experience.
I read in the Grapevine this month about health problems with smells like perfume and after shave etc. No where in that article did I read that the person had thought of starting a new, smell free, meeting. I think they should think about that as most of us will continue to use after shave and hair tonic with smells. I have become me and part of me is to use things my father and grand father used. These hair tonics and after shaves are part of me. This person has to learn that you cannot control others and needs to turn it over and then find ways to solve the problem like starting a new meeting and not trying to change people. Neil V. S.
"I have become me and part of me is to use things my father and grand father used."
Big Book, page 62: "Selfishness - self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles."
My father drove an automonile with no seat belts, an AM radio, manual transmission and no turn signals. He Lathered his face with a shaving brush and soap and shaved with a straight razor. Do you suggest I buy and antique auto and shave the way he did?
A frien lives in an area with a small AA population and only three meetings per week, all of them smoking meetings. She has resperatory illness and can't stand smoke, so she can't attend the meetings. and there aren't enough non smoking AAs there to start another meeting. What's your answer for her?
Some of the local meetings have started announcing at the end of the meeting that those who wish to smoke please move into the parking lot and not congregate near the door. There are those who defend their right to smoke whenever and wherever they please and 'those who have probles with smoke (or scents) can start their own meetings.'
Rather then attack others we must admit we are powerless. No way no how is everyone going to stop using hair tonic and after shave or smelly perfume. Please don't even mention the smelly coffee lately which iterates me.. Starting a smell free meeting is the only real answer. You just can't control people.... I've learned. I might even try the smell free meeting but it would be difficult.
Dear Neil V.S. If the perfume or after shave is making
another AA member uncomfortable, to the point where that
member could possibly stop coming to meetings, would
you come to meetings smell free? Personally I would.
I think we all should be considerate of everyone else
and love them enough to care for them. Note: I do not
use any aftershave. Most of those products contain alcohol
and I don't want that poison on my skin. ANONYMOUS
Yes I would consider going smell free but I guess my real point is it is easier to start a smell free meeting then to change a couple million alcoholics. We are powerless after all. No smell on my clothes from dryer sheets, no hair tonic, no after shave and I noticed lately some very strong smelling coffee at meeting. Really bad.
"Yes I would consider going smell free but I guess my real point is it is easier to start a smell free meeting then to change a couple million alcoholics."
since 1935 AA has changed more than 'a couple million' alcoholics.
It may be easy to start a smell free, or any other type meeting, in those localities with large numbers of sober alcoholics. But contrary to popular belief, there are many who don't have that luxury. Example: A friend lives in a large city with three meetings per week, all smoking meetings. She has resperatory problems and can't tolerate smoke so she can't atend those meetings. She started a non-smoking meeting which soon closed due to lack of willing alcoholics to give up their tobacco for an hour.
So I repeat, "Selfishness - self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles."
Dear noduis, Every meeting I attended in the seventies
and eighties were smoking meetings. I would leave my
clothes in the garage when I arrived home. It seemed that
I was the only non smoker in A.A. After developing a second
hand smoker's cough, around 1990, I started a non smoking
meeting. It was a small meeting with less than a dozen
each week. I found it ironic that most of them were
smokers. They just smoked outside the building.
Our state of Connecticut finally passed smoking
restrictions, and all of our regular A.A. meetings became
If your friend lives near you, I would ask you to
please consider helping her to re-start the meeting or
help start another smoke free meeting. Would it not be
wonderful if Alcoholics Anonymous could become
the altruistic society it was designed to be? Bob H. Seymour, Ct.
I remember some of the things we tried, half room smoking other non smoking breaks and I must admit even saying people wont come if we stop smoking years later AA still alive and well!
I have always felt that AA coffee is the best in the world.
I describe it as a "quality never before tasted". ANONYMOUS
I would like to see AA return to being an altruistic
society, where we were more concerned about our fellows
than about ourselves.
Hello I am fairly New to the program and recently there are some folks that have been in the program longer than myself(6mos) this Month. Every meeting I go to this 1 person seems to be saying the same things about thehigher up Ppl and conventions and Granted I think the conventions are Great idea. But is it necessary to mention gsr's and meetings closing and all it takes is 9 dollars a year from every single person to support our Groups? I know this is a program about sobriety, and there are no dues or fees. I am unemployed and have been for the past year or so and I kind of feel like this is a stab towards myself. I attempt to say hello to this person and get no response. I help out whenever I can and I share in the meetings. Sometimes I have to bite my tongue and not say anything in the meeting because it really gets to me sometimes.I clean up every meeting and I feel that this is my contribution to the facility and the group. Any Thoughts?
One of the greatest things I learned from the meetings is to not take things personally. Right or wrong, that person is sharing for them self. When I take myself out of it, I am able to hear what they (really) say and it might make sense. I try to get something out of every share - perhaps if you look for something positive this person wont upset you so much :-) I have grown to love people who at first really drove me crazy!!
I once spoke with a newcomer who had hit the bars nearly every evening after work. She was avoiding AA meetings because there were a couple of people who talked too much and said the same thing at every meeting. Having spent a bit of time in bars, I asked if everyone she encountered in the bars was pleasant and glib and a joy to be around. Of course not.
AA is full of personalities. Some we like and resonate with and others we don't. It helps if I focus on what's good about a meeting, what I get out of it and what I can add to it.
That is the result of sharing by "show of hands". Thirty
members can share in an AA meeting using what I have heard
called "Round Robin". When we ask "anyone got a burning
desire?", the talkers will talk and talk. Simply go around
the room. Advice from a real "Know It All".
I found out that the Higher Power isn't going to fix all the jerks so that I will be comfortable. Bummer..that would have made things so easy!
I have to be available to HP to be fixed and protected from drinking. The prayers on the top of page 67, and on page 552 do work in dealing with my lack of tolerance of other people's habits. They change my own energy. Also I have to be humble enough to sincerely receive the answers about what I am supposed to do in any situation. Sometimes I am not particularly grateful for the answers until after I do the footwork.
All you can do is keep your side of the street clean. Just remember that we all have so many character defects and his may just be showing thorough. You are doing a lot to help and contribute. It doesn't have to be just money which your not able to right now and that's ok. Know that you are doing your part. Hope this helps.
is this your home group? you need to find a place that is willing to listen and has that great after meeting. You can stay or go. if you decide to stay then turn it over to the god of your understanding and keep up with the service. Someone will come into your life. just don't drink and go to meetings. good things will happen, if you turn it over and let it go. This is a great vehicle to meet people. Take care, Karin
AA's membership represents a cross-section of personality types, and thus our membership includes folks who are holier than thou. The "12 Steps and 12 Traditions" describes some manifestations of those who have been around a while, including the "bleeding deacons." I try to keep in mind that whoever got up earliest this morning has been sober the longest. However, I have found meetings frequented by those on whom the steps have imparted a little humility, a lot of gratitude, and a lot of tolerance - may you find such meetings yourself. The meeting I first walked into had monitors that would typically say as they passed the basket, "Throw a buck in if you have one; if you don't, keep coming back and someday you will." That was just a small part of the hope they gave me.
Read “Tradition accountability” posted in Traditions on this site. Excellent information.
Nobody in AA is bigger than that sign on the wall which tells us among other things:
Tradition 3 “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.”
So is there a requirement for paying dues? No.
Are you a member if you say you are and have a desire to stop drinking? Yes.
Is your GSR required to be recovered, friendly, well, polite or even sane? No. In fact, if you think about it, all of us are here because of our shortcomings not our assets. Aren’t we? “Yeah, but he should…” just like frogs should have wings so they don’ bump their little butts on the ground but they don’t. If we admit that we can’t manage our own lives we sure can’t manage his. If we take his viewpoint for a minute it is easy to see a room full of people who have been spending thousands every year to stay drunk that have it but won’t spend a few bucks to get what they need to stay sober. In general, that’s true. If he can’t see the occasional exception them he’s got a problem. Leave it with him. He could be mad because he used to have hair like yours before he went bald. How are your mind reading skills in the rest of your life?
Maybe when you get to your fourth step, and hopefully soon, you will take a look at being oversensitive. You are willing to hurt yourself with a growing resentment because you think someone has unrealistic expectations for you. We are told on no uncertain terms that’s something we can’t afford.
June 10, 1935 is considered the birth date for A.A. That was the day of Dr. Bob's last drink.
Personally, I would consider that AA was born in mid December 1934. That is when God relieved
Bill W. of the compulsion/obsession to drink. That was THE gift. God instilled the belief in
Bill that this Gift could be carried to other alcoholic sufferers. After nearly six months of
what Bill called violent exertion and repeated failures, a method was found which became the
accepted method of transferring that message of recovery to others. That method is described
in detail on Page 70 in the Brief History of AA, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age. In weakness
and with humility, a successful method of carrying the message was discovered. The idea for
that successful method/technique came from A.A.'s great, friend Dr. William Silkworth. Bill several
times, simply called it the "cart before the horse idea". Bill W. wrote that without that IDEA,
A.A. could not have been born. Today we have the cart in front of the horse. We stumble along,
moving at a stagnant pace, all the while holding in our hands the solution to sobriety for
the suffering multitudes. ANONYMOUS
I’m sure that most of us have encountered someone who had or perhaps thought they had a charismatic experience that changed their life. Sinner to saint overnight. If not personally then we’ve seen fringe religious venues filled with them. If we are in a good frame of mind we try to be kindly tolerant. If not in a good mood that day they can quickly pull the worst out of us. They don’t give up easily. Nothing could be more real to them; what it was like, what happened and what its like now. We in AA don’t have an exclusive on that triad, it’s being repeated in storefront churches, missions and mega churches in finest suburbs every day. The single charismatic experience is completely out of proportion to any mundane, problem solving plodding that they might have done. Anything except THE BIG THING is forgotten. The logic of their outreach isn’t particularly faulty. You were alike; they asked and THE BIG THING happened to them, it can happen to you if you simply ask for it.
Someone with some education in the subject and some professional distance can see the rest of the story, so to speak. All of the unlearned lessons from all the misbehavior were really learned. Denied, buried, but still there. All of the unconnected pieces of all the attempted solutions were there. Somehow the missing pieces were added that tied all of the solution together. BANG. THE BIG THING.
That was Bill Wilson in 1935 in Townes hospital. The White Light. Bill wanted everyone who had suffered as he had to have it. He tried his best to give them the formula “Just ask God free you from the alcoholic obsession!” For six months he failed dismally. Enter Dr William Silkworth. Knowing the psychology, knowing Bill’s history, detox, Silkworth’s beating into him the hopelessness and disease concept; he knew many of the pieces of the puzzle behind Bill’s spiritual experience and Bill’s follow-up work in the Oxford Group keeping him sober. He saw Bill desperately telling drunks “Just ask, like I did.”
Silkworth told him in effect “Bill, God’s intervention was the cart that carries you. Everything else was the horse that pulled it. If you are going to help alcoholics, help them find the horse.”
And that boys and girls is the Doctor Silkworth’s story of the cart before the horse.
There seems to be an abundance of posters with a "just one thing" solution for alcoholism that is AA's message.
"Just don't pick up that first drink."
"Just throw out reading How it Works"
"Just listen to what Dr. Silkwoth said.."
Oops, is that going to fix “our liquor was but a symptom”
or "They are restless, irritable and discontented.." So all you have to do is walk around feeling like that for the rest of your life.
or how about a quote from the all-knowing Dr. Silkworth, "We physicians have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics..."
Raise your hand if you like that one true message.
I had to smile when I read this one. "just one thing" is
being criticized, and then the "one true message" is offered. My hand is down. ANONYMOUS
I am having emotional issues, stressed about my job and just plain feeling unhappy. I know Not drinking or smoking pot is the way to handle this, but obviously I am not used to handling my emotions without it as it was the way I handled things before and wish I could get out of the funk. My head is really messing with me.
All I can share with you is I understand and it will get better. My emotions were all over the place and I didn't know how to handle them. Talking about it and realizing this is what happens to recovering addicts will help. You are not alone!
You can come out on the other side a stronger person. I've learned to accept my occasional emotional roller coaster as just a part of living in this world. I've learned that non AA people have issues also, I just feel lucky I've learned how to talk about what's going on with me and finding solutions. Meetings right now are so important for you. I talk at every meeting I go to, even if it is just to say... My name is Lisa and I'm happy to be sober. I do that because if I'm ever really in a bad place, I know where to go and am comfortable talking about it in a room with people who know my story and care. Good luck ;)
Have you gotten a sponsor??
In Bill's Story, he says when all else failed, work with another alcoholic would save him from his depression and despair. It was similar for me: I found that attending meetings got my mind off my own pain (real or perceived), as did doing whatever service work I could. Basically, the more I immersed myself in AA, the less time I spent inside my head. Over time, things got better, or even when it didn't, at least my ability to handle things sober did. Still working on living in the present moment as opposed to inside my head, still working on handling those emotions stark raving sober, but everyday it gets just a little bit better.
The feelings that you are experiencing are perfectly (although painfully) normal for an alcoholic trying to live without alcohol.
"They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks -- drinks which they see others taking with impunity."
The Doctor's Opinion, Alcoholics Anonymous
The solution, as well as the problem is also outlined. A hint, it is not "just go to meetings and don't drink in between".
Don't worry that is a good place to be getting into touch with your higher power. Read the big book, talk to a sober friend of Bill & Bob's, go to a meeting or have a cup of coffee,tea,pepsi or a chocolate icecream. The best thing I know is that getting out of self is the only way it works for me. Most the time I am hurting or upset or just feeling a lot of anxiety I have to focus on the aa stories or page449 I guess that has changed in the new version I think it is on 417. However this page of the big book talks about acceptance, there are times when I do not want to accept things in my life that I feel I should have "done something more or different with my life" or go into the "If only's";2 main things I need to remember is; 1)- I am just where god wants me to be.(even if I cant see why.)
2nd)-Past is unchangeable and tomorrow never comes, so I must focus on my today or this hour or this sec or minute at a time to get through to another 24 hours. Believe me it is not easy but it can be done and I have 14 years of sobriety and I need to write this out even for me tonight. I have had a lot of "life on lifes terms" as of late and all I want to do is crawl away and just fade in the "background" and I want some magical wand or something to make me "feel" better, Well sometimes the only thing that will make me feel better is changing me,either my attitude or take a shower or a long bath.read a book get out of myself. I want to thank-you for helping me to stay sober tonight also.
I don't know about anyone else but I love being sober. There is so much joy in my life. Thanks to AA the glass is half-full and I experience the sunny side of recovery everyday. For several years I was stuck in the darkness but, I can see the light everywhere in life. I used to be attracted to the negative forces in the rooms. Today, I focus of the goodness. People would say "Stick around until you feel the love!" But I never felt any love and I blamed AA. Then I realized AA wasn't the problem, I was. I wasn't capable of feeling love because hate was my game. Today, I can see and feel the love in the rooms and that has given me a new lease on life. The biggest gift I think I received is not only the ability to feel love but, to love.
I remember holding hands at the end of my first meeting and joining the group in prayer. The comfort and joy I felt coming to me through the hands of the two people on either side of me was so strong, so nourishing that I can feel it even now, eight years later.
I am glad that the "holding hands and praying" at your
first meeting was a pleasant experience. If you had found
holding hands with strangers uncomfortable or even repulsive, you may not have returned, after that first
meeting. That is my concern. If members had not formed
a prayer circle and held hands, do you think you would
have returned? I believe you would have continued. Our
first tradition of unity has little to do with physical
contact with each other. I believe this ritual reeks of
religion and cultism. Of course this works for some. AA
has something much better to offer, which rarely fails.
I no longer "hold hands and pray". I simply stand
alone, as we did in the decade of the 1970s. Others are beginning to understand and have joined me. ANONYMOUS
It's all about finding a balance for me. When I was drinking everything got out of balance. I became like a black hole, take, take, take not even love could escape. Now with the program of AA I'm learning to give. To get that balance of give and take that healthy happy people have. Now I'm like a Sun shining out my loving light. It's so much better to give the take.
the wheels in my head are spinnin so fast today Im waiting for smoke to start comein out of my ears. I am fresh back in the rooms for a little over a week now. I have no idea what to do with these overwhelming feelings that are being thrown at me on what seems to be a minute to minute basis. feeling very lonely, irritable, and definitely discontent.But I have a willingness to stick this out for the eventual outcome. how do I ease this mental suffering in the meantime until the obsession is removed?