636 replies [Last post]
RE: RE: Caterwalling/Caterwauling

Some day you will see. Just never give up the enthusiasm you have for our fellowship. I didn't understand it until I was thirty five years sober. Please don't wait another 15
years. I see that everything has its proper place in the
big book as well as in the 12+12. The proper place for
How it Works is in Chapter Five. Bill placed it there
for a special, timed effect. Read pages 159 and 160 in
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age. Bill wrote: The
backbone of the book would have to be fitted in right
here. This problem had secretly had worried the life out
of me. end writes. I am still amazed that Bill had the
insight to place it there. Bill W. had insight which
I believe beyond human. Dr. Silkworth and Bill developed
this unique technique of reaching the still suffering
alcoholic. All we have to do is follow the path left for
us. To do that we must understand that following a path
is not the same as following directions.
And thanks for the new word, however it is spelled.
It certainly describes me for over five years now. My
cat eventually gets my attention, by not giving up.

when it really works

when an alcoholic is relieved of his/her obsession with dry drunk behavior the insane mind that led to the first drunk to begin with....

I am powerless over alcohol, people places and things.

The alcoholic mind has trouble following directions. Whether sponsoring or being sponsored, willingness to follow directions brings success.I can't change how other people think or act or mess with the complicated processes outlined in the steps.Many people sent to AA by outside entities have not had the experience of desperation or made the cry of the soul that led me to AA and the willingness to follow directions.It is a waste of my time to criticize how "they" do it. I can't pass on the lifesaving messages and criticize at the same time. I have to ask HP to direct me and give me the focus and willingness just to help others according to the Divine Will. Thank you HP for 8,084 days of sobriety!

I am powerless over alcohol, people places and things.


Some are mentally disordered and need the outside sponsorship systems help if they cannot be honest with themselves and surly God.


I get so tired and sometimes amused by those who feel their way is the only way to work the program and others ideas are simply not worthy of consideration. When I came to the fellowship, thank God there were those around me who offered love and understanding despite of my early fumbling words. They allowed me to say what I felt at the time and helped me find a way to stay sober without the constant critizisms I see and hear from those who are so sure theirs is the "only" way to stop drinking. I was allowed to "grow" at a pace instead of being told how to do things anothers way which may have gotten me drunk. I was told by an "old timer" to get honest, I WAS honest at that time and was sad to hear that the same"oldtimer" died drunk doing things his way and not listening to anyone but his own voice. Thank God for those who listen and allow others to grow at Gods pace, not theirs.

Why do people have to be told their alcoholic?

Why does the outside sponsor system insist you have to take the steps with them?
Step 1Cannot person willingness see they are alcoholics/
2Does one have to be tricked into believing in God by another?
3connot one turn there life to God without an in between interference?
4 How can someone help another with there past when they weren't even there?

Surly an outside system around A.A. that diverts most and encourages the sick, sober.

Why do people have to be told they are alcoholic?

Step 1: WE admitted WE were powerless over alcohol. I did not know what was wrong with me. When I came into AA I was full of fear, afraid that I was going crazy. I was very glad to find rooms of people that felt and acted similar to me and I came to the conclusion that I too am an alcoholic after reading the Doctor's Opinion by the time I was half way thru reading the Big Book.

Step 2 does not mention God at all. All I had to do was come to the conclusion/belief that there was some type of power greater than myself. I do not cause the earth to orbit the sun. I cannot make it rain. I cannot avoid paying taxes.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God (your higher power) AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM. The decision is mine to make and mine alone. NO ONE can MAKE me do this.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. My guide in the program helped me see myself thru my own bullshit. Yes, I was still trying to bullshit even myself. My guide in the program helped me to see patterns in my behavior and thinking and helped me to to dig deeper to find basic traits such as self-centeredness, jealousy (to name just a couple) that was common in several of my 'events' in my life.

My sponsor helps me by freely giving me their experience, strength and hope. My sponsor helps me by giving me SUGGESTIONS in how to work the steps.

I SUGGEST you find a guide/sponsor to help you find answers to these questions that you posted. All I have done is give you my experience with the first four steps.

RE: Why?

"The dicision is mine to make and mine alone". I will copy a paragraph from Language of the Heart Page 8, written by our co-founder Bill W. Quote: Ultimately these truths govern his life and he comes to live under their authority, the most powerful authority known, THE AUTHORITY OF HIS FULL
CONSENT, WILLFULLY GIVEN. He is ruled, not by people, but by principles, by truths and, most of us would say, by God. end quote.
None of us ought to cram the steps down anyone's throat.
The reading of How it Works aloud at meetings does just that. The freedom to work the suggested steps must again become the individual's decision. The general public
must be assured that we are not some kind of strange religous TWELVE STEP PROGRAM. The effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous can be restored, if we study and
understand this. ANONYMOUS

RE: This is AA

I am glad there are a few alcoholics who have remained, despite the incessant chanting and praying at the AA meeting of today. Add the redundant readings day after day and today's concept of sponsorship and I am amazed that anyone stays. After twenty years of listening to HIW and the other readings day after day, I am surprised that anyone
remains. Even Bill W. wrote that there are as many varieties
of spiritual experiences as there are people who have had them. In my region many of us are christians and we express our beliefs when we share. If a nonbeliever can
love and tolerate us, we can love and accept anyone with
a desire to get well. AA was never meant to be a TWELVE STEP
PROGRAM. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship, as defined in
AACA in the chapter "A friend looks at Alcoholics Anonymous.
When and if we ever understand this, maybe AA effectiveness
can be restored. I personally fear that we are headed down
a dead end road of self-destruction. ANONYMOUS

"AA was never meant to be a

"AA was never meant to be a TWELVE STEP PROGRAM. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship, as defined in AACA in the chapter "A friend looks at Alcoholics Anonymous"."
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship which has a twelve step program of recovery.
One can find fellowship in churches, service organizations, or any gin mill in town.

RE: "AA was never meant to be a

"Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship which has a twelve step program of recovery. One can find fellowship in churches, service organizations, or any gin
mill in town." REALLY? That is not what OUR preamble says.
Manny Q.

Sorry chap. There is only one

Sorry chap. There is only one way to work the program; by doing the steps out of the Big Book with a sponsor. There is no timeline, Just action and more action for the rest of your life.

Sorry chap. There is only one

Sorry chap. There is only one way to work the program;
who is this out of control freak menacing force? some poor sponsor who can't understand the Big Book so they interpret it so they can impose on others. There are many ways, without God fear drives one to people, place and things. there are many substitutions for faith there is none for God. keep coming back

Sorry chap. There is only one

Sorry chap "There is only one that one is not a sponsor - that one is God may you find him now. Trust in God and clean house and share with anyone who understands not pretends or delusion-ally conditioned to ignore the pertinent ideas of A.A.
What step what Tradition are people in A.A. talking about when a sponsor is a requirement to take the free steps? Take a closer look at the uninterpreted A.A. version in the 164 pages of the book - The word is not even their YET.

RE: Sorry chap

It is this kind of belief that has caused the near collapse of our fellowship. Comments like this still make my blood boil. I estimate conservatively that we have failed six
million suffering alcoholics in the past two decades with
this kind of thinking. Plus their friends and families.
The Big Book was meant to be suggestive only. The 12
steps are for those of us who choose to use them. They are
but suggestions. To push them on any new member is harmful.
Bill W. leaves us vital information on page 8 in Language of
the Heart.
There are many who think like you. It is frightening.

Re: Sorry Chap

A common misconception by those who have never actually read thee Big Book but repeat what someone else said: "The 12
steps are for those of us who choose to use them. They are
but suggestions."
The Big Book actually says,"Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a PROGRAM OF RECOVERY." Look up 'suggested' in a dictionary and you'll understand that the steps are offered, in their entirety, as a means of getting and staying sober not as a list of some things we might do if we feel like it.
As for the quote, "The Big Book was meant to be suggestive only." Another sentence taken out of contest by someone who refuses to follow AA's program.
The next sentence says, "We realize we know only a little."
When the book was written AA was three years old. Until then there was no 'Twelve Step Program.' By admitting they knew only a little they did not come off as saying AA was the only way to get sober. Oddly enough, three quarters of a century later science still hasn't come up with a more successful method.

misconceptions, suggestions, and misc semantics

The book Alcoholics Anonymous is not the Truth with a capital "T." You can interpret it and the steps outlined in it and the 12 & 12 however you want, you can even believe that your interpretation of both is as "divinely inspired" as you believe these texts are. But I know many happy and content alcoholics who have been sober for decades without belief in a Judeo-Christian "god," and some without doing the steps at all, others without doing them in a fashion that most Big Book thumpers would view as being per Hoyle. They too are members o AA by virtue of the 3rd tradition. I happen to believe that working the steps as I understand them has helped me stay sober and relatively content, but I would never presume to tell anyone that they have to work the steps, nor what the steps mean (other than what they mean to me), nor how they should work them. If anyone asks, I merely tell them what I have done, what worked for me and what didn't.

RE: Re: Sorry Chap

I believe that the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous was the greatest gift to the alcoholic since the beginning of
The Washingtonion Society, a decade and a half ago. The Washingtonions almost had the solution to the dilemma of the alcoholic sufferer. But it slipped away because of blunders that they made. I have heard estimates of up
to half a million members. They collapsed after 10 years.
The mistakes were not intentional, but they were fatal.
Bill W. writes on page 345 in Language of the Heart that
AA's principles, EVERY ONE OF THEM, has been borrowed from
ancient sources. The 12 steps have been around for centuries, although not written as they are today. This is
the approach of religion and has always worked for some
alcoholics. Bill W, acting on the advice from Dr. Silkworth,
aided by Bills own desperation, developed a new technique,
or method of approach. This method, after being hammered
out on the anvils of experience, proved to be effective
for the wholesale recovery of alcoholics. Alcoholics
anonymous membership grew continuously for over five
decades, until we started making blunders of our own.
These blunders have been listed on the I-SAY forum many
On page 68 of Dr. Bob and the Goodtimers I will copy
a paragraph defining his meeting with Dr. Bob.
Describing their talk as "a completely mutual thing" Bill said, I had quit preaching. I knew I needed this alcoholic
as much as he needed me. THIS WAS IT. And this mutual
give-and-take is at the very heart of A.A.'s Twelth Step
work today. (In theory). We ought not be cramming the
twelve steps down anyone's throat. Bill W explains this
on page 8 in Language of the Heart. ANONYMOUS

Re: Re: Sorry Chap

Anonymous writes, "We ought not be cramming the
twelve steps down anyone's throat. Bill W explains this
on page 8 in Language of the Heart."
Granted, the first sentence in that paragraph states just that. But it goes on to state that "Yet we powerfully unite behind them because the truth they contain has saved our lives. ....... Our experience tells us these universal truths work."
On page 223 of the same book Bill wrote, "Sobriety - Freedom from alcohol - through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of an AA group."
Note "teaching and practice" and "sole purpose".
Big Book, page58:
"If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it - then you are ready to take certain steps."
In other words, if you aren't ready to take the steps you must not be willing to go to any lengths, which means you probably don't really want what we have.

The Washingtonions

The Washingtonion Society, a movement akin to Alcoholics
Anonymous, almost found a solution to alcoholism. It began
in 1850, over a century and a half ago. Bill W. and Dr.
Silkworth developed a technique (method) which worked for
about fifty years until the alcoholic EGO began to take
it over. Investigate the "cart before the horse IDEA,
offered to Bill W. by Dr. Silkworth in the spring of 1935. ANONYMOUS

re: Washingtonians

I just love revisionist history based on perceived Truth - it is so cute.

Joined: 2012-03-04
re: Washingtonians

The Washingtonian Movement is very much part of AA Tradition. It would only take one AA generation not to pass on the experience of AA history, Traditions and Concepts to the next, a period of perhaps 40-50 years, for AA to diversify and disintegrate like the Washingtonian movement. Maybe this is beginning to happen now, but I believe it’s never too late to turn around.The Washingtonian Movement can be found in the following AA publications:

The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions: Tradition Ten
Pass it On pp 325n 354, 366-7n
The Language of The Heart pp 4-5, 7, 11, 43
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age pp 77, 124-125

Revisionist history??

Could you explain exactly which part of this history has
been revised? If I have been in error, I certainly would
like to know. I need to know so I can correct my mistakes.
The Washingtonion movement was studied by Bill W. He
mentions this in one of the traditions. Why would you consider it to be perceived Truth? And I see nothing
to be considered cute. The Washingtonions vanished. The failure of AA is no joke. (at least not to me) ANONYMOUS

RE: Sorry chap

Take a closer look at the uninterpreted A.A. version in the 164 pages of the book trusting in God and cleaning house.

Quote: "It is this kind of belief that has caused the near collapse of our fellowship"

Only one way?

Really? "The awareness that every AA member has an individual way of working the program permates the pages of Grapevine ..." (Statement of Purpose) "Every AA the privilege of interpreting the program as he likes." (As Bill Sees It, page 16).

RE: Only one way?

Who besides a sponsor is arrogant enough to say there is only one way and it's with them?

Sponsorship is not a marriage!

I was told to ask the Higher Power to draw my spirit to the person that was to teach me. I do not need or want a supervisor. My choices on my own didn't work out so well. But that prayer did. I needed someone to teach me how to live and work the steps. That is how I sponsor also.
We can change sponsors whenever we want...even without talking to the one we are leaving if that is how we choose to do it. Just stop calling and go to different meetings.
Running someone else's life is inappropriate and has nothing to do with a sponsor's role in AA. My sponsor has 31 years and I am coming up on 22. I ask her advice from time to time, I do my 5th step with her and we pray together. She has done the same with me on occasion.


This sounds like a simple friendship. I am really happy that you and your sponsor have long term sobriety. I am just wondering who told you to ask the Higher Power, etc.
"Just stop calling and go to different meetings?" That
does not sound very grown-up or practical. The more I see and hear, the more convinced I am that the title "sponsor"
ought to be thoroughly reevaluated or just abolished. I do not believe that proper sponsorship exists in today's A.A.
But perhaps there is a trace. Your relationship sounds close. ANONYMOUS

Sponsorship is not a marriage!

Sponsorship is not a marriage it's a sick dependency!

A.A. is not something taught it's something you develop inside an inside job.

Joined: 2011-10-22

I have yet to find any reading that insists I should have one and only one sponsor. I find myself very fortunate in that I have more than one sponsor. Several weeks after my first meeting (March 6 2011),and after much "I am going to find a sponsor someday" I hooked up with a gent that I had some grown to respect, who could "tell it like it is". We talked before meetings, after meetings, traded phone numbers. He and my group are very much a part of my daily recovery program.
Two months into the program I was on my way to my summer vacation spot in a Northern Ontario - Trailer Resort where happy hour is every day at 4:30. My sponsor really help me through this and made sure I had a list of meetings in the Peterborough area and wanted me to make sure I called him "before not after". We kept contact all summer and I made sure I made it to my home meetings when back in town. We joked that we would have to share "signed permission slips " between himself and the norhtern groups, "Dave did not attend the home group because he was attending the northern groups, Or Dave did attend our group meetings on these dates.

As scared as a kid going to a new summer camp - I found that there were all kinds of meetings in the smallest of towns and villages near my summer place. The closest, a tourist town with a general store hardware store and boat ramp was one such meeting local.

My first meeting this "small town village meeting" I was greeted like I was the best thing that ever happened to the group. By the second meeting I felt like I had been a member for weeks. However someone gave me a tip about one member who could be a "bit of straight shooter". Could tend to rub some the wrong way cause he "liked to tell it the way it is" -

Well I truly believe my greater power sent this gentlemen to meet me. Several weeks later I informed him that he is like it or not my "Up north Sponsor". He was forever after me for not calling before, but somehow "calling me" when I needed him the most ( likely because when he asked me what my plans were for the upcoming week - he took note - read the warning flags and knew when I was going to be in need of a ""meeting") We spent a lot of time together. We drove to many meetings sometimes a 40 minute drive each way. Went for coffee - His motto coffee time is any time. He shared CD's. Constantly lectured me, opened up discussions, and most importantly listened real well. We took several trips - did some step twelve work. One particuliar day really opened my mind up to the workings of the fellowship.
W. and I were in the local intergroup office when W read a notice on the bulliten board that Jim ? was in the pallative care ward in the local hospital. He had not (after nearly a month) had a visit from someone in the fellowship. W. read the note out loud and asked If I wanted to do some step twelve- want to go visit this "guy". I didnt know him and I dont think W. knew who he was for sure. What a visit - what a spiritual awakening. Turned out Jim ? remembered W. was that straight shootn guy from 25 years ago. What a great feeling. J. turned to me and looked me straight in the eye - and said " Do you know what you are doing right now - Your doing probably your first step twelve work! Good for you. How's it feel?? (goose bumps,and shivers)
W. called two days later to tell me J's wife called and J had passed away. She thanked us for the visit.
I'll never forget the gift that W. and J. gave me that day
The opportunity to work the steps, the gift of experiencing the fellowship.

Four days after ariving moving north for the summer I attended another group meeting in a nearby city. ( I was living alone and was doing everything to keep myself away from the happy hours at the trailer park). About 4 minutes into sharing a sort of older gruff looking gentleman farmer with a brush cut, who resembled my old grade school principle, looked down the table at me and very tersly informed me, "I want to tell you sir that" "You are an Alcoholic" - Made me feel like the game show where the English Women exclaims" YOU ARE THE MISSING LINK" WHO DOES THIS GUY THINK HE IS!!!
Must be one of those sponsors that could be refered to as "My portable nag"

As it turned out J. is another who tells it like it is, but didn't wait as long as W. did - Whenever J speaks - he speaks with wisdom - and care - and he earned my highest respect as I watched him work with (excuse my early opinionated conception) a real couple from the streets. I watched this man and wife change and accept a two month madalion before I returned to my home town- talk about a spiritual awakening -One evening I shared some serious resentments and dealing with them, I was really angry - This is how I "fell off the wagon last summer" J. opened the Big Book and read a few paragraphs about acceptance and shared about holding grudges, live and let live.
Later in the summer months J. was the first to incourage me to "tell my story". Some thought it was too soon with only 6 months in the program, but J was sure it would be good for me. OH was ever up on my pedalstall - did I ever have a story to tell. I "told" M. and W.what I was about to do - very proud of myself. They both thought it that it was a really good idea.
Thanks to J. It forced me to sit down and begin to put to paper, do the steps, the moral inventory, write it down,list the resentments, I ended up with hours of one very long disertation. The came the best advise of all.

Through the paper away - your not getting paid to tell your story - speak from the heart!!! What happened, How did you get here and what is it like now - ( I climbed down off my pedalstall.

Now back at home for the winter with my home group my sponsor and I are planning to organize "meeting trips" group meetings out of town. Some of which a few members would not be able to attend because of the distance. Just a great opportunity to get out and hear another take on sobriety.
And does my home sponsor know whats going on in my life - you bet'cha ! Back at our home group he said "Hey Dave" there is a really great speaker at the Border group why dont you meet me there tommorow. The followng Sunday evening "Hey Dave my brother and I are going to a diffent meeting tonight, Just around the corner from our home group and we would like you to join us. M coached me in the first months especially in handling those early - situations. He knew that I wanted to attend my company retirment party honoring myself and several others. On his advise I took my own soda, in a large bottle, and kept it full - which allowed me to turn away several - already opened offers. And on his advise, it was the first time I took my wife to one of these retirement dues.

I owe so much to these men. I consider the three of them my sponsors, because they are always there for me - They are AA and all it stands for. I respect their opinions and respect their anonymity, as they do mine. I dont play one against the other. I dont have to - they seem to know whats on my mind before I ask the question. There is no need to share their opinions, except to share and pass on that which each teaches me. I look at having sponsors this way -- If you have three coins to stack, there are three ways to stack those coins or "2X3=6 or 3X2=6" "Same ideas, sometime require different ways of expression, to get the same results.

The distance was the necessity, and the solution was given to me by my greater power. I didnt ask for it, He laid it out for me. I felt really volnerable in the earliest months and if it wasnt for these three gentlement, I wouldnt be reading the grapevine today. And for this I am a Gratefull Alcoholic.


It's the outside sponorships job don't you see it?


There are some good commits here. I will not analize the Fellowship and certainly we are slowing in pace. Many have turned away from us and their spirituality may have found a new Fellowship. Of course the Steps and good guidance through those Steps is vital. Myself, I played around for seventeen years before becoming willing. But in God's time I have turned that around with nineteen years of sobriety. My service is best when I am behind the "walls". Willingness takes on a new meaning there.

As for those that think sponsorship is about controlling anothers life, then I suggest ALANON Family Group.

I possibly could point a finger at what I beleive to be AA's failures over the years but in reality AA has stayed the course. Have I changed over the years? Yes, I am no longer without a roof of my own over my head, I have been employed long enough to retire with a good pension,family and friends are near, and most important dependable and trustworthy. Not that way nineteen years ago. broke, homelss, unemployed and afraid.

I did have a man help me understand the Steps and many more that encouraged me to be of Service to preserve AA's ways with a understanding of the Principles we call Traditions.

Has AA stayed the course?

How can we say that AA has stayed the course? We were certainly successful for the first 57 years until the
early 1990's. Growth was steady and continuous. If we
are truly fulfilling our responsibility of helping other
alcoholics, our membership would always grow. We claim
two million membership today. We had two million members two
decades ago. That is worldwide. We have thirty million
alcoholics in the US today I believe. What happened in the
1980's to cause AA to lose its effectiveness? We started
reading "How it Works" at meetings to all and sundry. This
was our worst blunder, followed closely by the introduction
of chanting. The acceptance of the 24hr book into AA
tradition has been a serious mistake. This book has been
rejected twice by the General Service Conference. It is
simply too religious. Bill w. had great insight in the
rejection of this book. The Hold Hands and Pray closing
makes us look like a religion. Sharing by "show of Hands"
and todays concept of sponsorship have almost finished
destroying our fellowship. Not Fellowship. ANONYMOUS

off course RE;

What's stopping you from starting a meeting with no prayer,or hand holding hands. As far as I know all you would need is one big book and another drunk.Conduct the meeting with whichever manner you choose.Be creative have some fun give away what you have. Open your meeting The Forward and start the disscusion, book study whatever you like KISS

off course RE:

Dr. Bob left us this message: Let's keep it simple. We have
changed that to Keep it simple, stupid. Maybe it should
be: keep it stupid, simple. That is how I would describe
much of what goes on in AA today. Manny Q.

Growth of Alcoholics Anonymous

We have 62,873 AA groups reported in the US and Canada. In
2010 we gained 14,802 members. We are responsible for helping other alcoholics recover. Only one out of four
groups could count ONE new member last year. Is this the
course we want to stay on? This is disgraceful.
Hundreds of thousands of suffering alcoholics are still
approaching us every year. We push them away by the way
our AA meetings are conducted. ANONYMOUS

growth of Alcoholics Anonymous

Any membership statistics for Alcoholics Anonymous are unscientific and completely unreliable. All we can do is take the 12 steps as outlined in the first 164 pages the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, follow the 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts and carry this message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

RE: growth of Alcoholics Anonymous

If the outside sponsorship system could just get out the door and help people in, instead of out, I think A.A. would do better without an outside system inside it's doors.

RE: Growth of Alcoholics Anonymous

Our chairman of the board of trustees recently wrote in The
FINAL REPORT NORTHEAST REGIONAL FORUM, concerning the membership numbers: counting numbers is challenging, they
have been developed through scientific based surveys and are
certainly valid for comparison from one year to the next.
He writes that when we look at longer period of time, the
lack of growth in membership is clear.
Even though it is clear that our fellowship has lost
over half a million members worldwide since 1992, and
is stagnant at about two million, most AA members come
up with reasons that satisfy any concern. I find that most
alcoholics are good at denial or justification.
The truth is that Alcoholics Anonymous has changed at
the group level over the past three decades. Unless we
reverse these changes we will continue to spin our wheels,
failing hundreds of thousands of suffering alcoholics
every year.
We have 12 steps, 12 traditions, 12 concepts, and
6 warrenties. The BLUNDERS we have made in AA number
about 10. To correct these mistakes would cost us
nothing in real cash. Our pride is what we must give up.
The alcoholic EGO is powerful. I believe it is AA's
greatest enemy. The mistakes (all which are reversable) have been covered on I-SAY over the past two years. I
will not repeat them here. ENOUGH ALREADY!! ANONYMOUS

24 hrs a day, growth, "the course"

I had not realized that there were so many practices by AA groups driving people away from AA, nor that anyone had conducted a world-wide study involving detailed interviews with those who came in and left as to what those practices were. Our traditions suggest that if I am unhappy with my local group's practices, I can call a group conscience to see if others share my concerns; and if they do, we can change how we do things, from what is read before meeting, to what is read during meeting, and whether we hold hands and say the Lord's Prayer at the end of the meeting. If the group does not agree with my views on the way a meeting should be conducted, I can vote with my feet. Personally, I am not a fan of chanting, holding hands, or the 24-hours a day book, and take every opportunity to share at meetings that I do not believe in a "god of anyone's understanding," but I recite the Serenity Prayer, the Lord's Prayer, and the Prayer of St. Francis when I find myself back at the center of a universe revolving around me. I might suggest reading the Traditions and a bit of other AA history to anyone who thinks they have "the answer" for themselves or AA.

My Sponor is very hard on me.

My Sponors watches me constantly in meetings, she tells me not to wear certain clothes, not to get in my purse, yells at me all the time. She says, I can't trust my thinking or my emotions.she will not let me clean up after meetings or put my name on the new comer's phone list. I try so hard not to make a mistake,but I always do something wrong. I am on the second step and I keep asking her to help me move forward and work/do the 4th step. She tells me no! I have 14 months of soberity and I feel worse everyday...I do not want to drink. Thank god for that!!! I am afraid to call anyone else in the program because I do not want to gossip or say anything that would hurt her or anyone else. I am so isolated...what should I do?

I hope everyone here is!

My Sponsor is very hard on me.

It's not the task of a sponsor to be hard. Who has appointed your sponsor judge and jury? Your sponsor is their to help you, encourage you, and support you in your sobriety. Personally, were I in your shoes; I'd waste no time looking for a new sponsor. How you got this one I do not know. Perhaps what you need to do is sit and ask the person you choose some questions concerning how they act as a sponsor. If they have the same attitude as your present sponsor - keep looking.
This present sponsor sounds like she'd drive anyone to drink. For your sake please get a new one. You owe her nothing and you owe yourself your sobriety. Good Luck!

Joined: 2013-01-08

We are always free to get a new sponsor. I was told to pick a sponsor who "had what I want". The first one I picked had a solid AA program and he worked and lived the program. He helped me build a strong foundation on the steps. Today, many years later, my sponsor is a bit different. He's not as dogmatic about the program but is a solid member of our group and a great family guy with a well rounded life who practices the principles in all his affairs.

Joined: 2012-01-14
My sponsor is very hard on me.

My understanding and experience has been that a sponsor's primary "duty" to a sponsee is to help them learn, practice and pass on the 12 steps of AA. Any other aspect of the relationship is optional. I hope you find a sponsor that is at least putting an effort into this program and is willing to share their journey with you. There is an old saying in AA that we are all sick people and some are sicker than others.

Get a new sponser.

WOW. If I had a sponser like that I would ask two questions. Do I want to be like her and is what sobriety is ALL about. NO. We have sought the rooms of AA because Alcohol didnt work for us anymore. If it did we wouldnt be in the rooms of AA. I always say if you want to see who has been to hell come to an AA meeting. We are not always going to be happy , joyeous and free. Yet we want a different way of life. I pray for you and your controlling sponser. The fellowship is progress not perfections. There are no rules. Only a desire to stop drinking. I found sobriety through the doors of AA. I seek serenity on a daily basis, which without I am back to square 1. MISERY

I was told to choose a

I was told to choose a sponsor because I admire their sobriety- their way of life. please find another woman to talk to about your situation. i had a similar experience in 1995,(my first meeting/sponsor) After many confused and tearful conversations, i finally lost it and fired her. That Saturday at homegroup, the other ladies told me they wished they had warned me about my ex-sponsor's personality disorder. I wish they had too- by the grace of God, I didn't drink but sobriety is so much more than mere abstinence. You deserve a helping hand, not a scolding. i hope you find happiness ASAP!

Discuss with your sponsor

It sounds like your sponsor is trying to give you tough love. It would not be my way of sponsoring but I guess everyone is different. I would suggest you sit down and talk with your sponsor in a private setting, describing how the things she does make you feel. Then you can evaluate the answers you hear back.

You are not obliged to stay with the same sponsor forever. The idea is that your sponsor has something you want (a good program, a good working knowledge of the steps, serenity, etc.) and can help you get there. If you have a sponsor who does not seem to have those things, then perhaps it is time to find a sponsor who does. I would recommend not dropping your current sponsor though until you find another one. If you go to an assortment of meetings, it shouldn't be too difficult to find another woman who you respect and who has something positive and helpful to offer.

Take care and all the best!

My sponsor is hard on me

Where does it say you need a sponsor to take the steps? If you can read and write well enough to share here, you can read well enough to use the Big Book. (USE, nut just read)
Dump that so called sponsor before you get drunk.


This is not proper sponsorship. This is dictatorship. Get
away from her and all others like her. You are fortunate
to have more than a year sober. Hopefully yout head is
clear enough to make your own decisions. "Sponsors"
like this are a big cause of the lack of growth in AA
today. We push members, new and old, back out into the
darkness, using this approach. With 14 months sobriety,
find a newer person to help. You have learned what not
to do. Remember, you need that newcomer, as much as she
could possibly need you. Yes, try to stay away from gossip.
But speak up when necessary. God grant us the courage.

Joined: 2011-07-29
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

I am so grateful for the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I was deserate for help as a newcomer and the directions for the 12 steps in the first 164 pages saved my life. I'm thankful that the first 100 men and women gave me a path to follow and I will continue to follow that path today.

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