Heard At Meetings
Sponsorship is a choice and an agreement by both parties. The sponsor being more experienced would, (I hope), be the main guide in this journey. There is very little said in the Big Book about sponsorship specifically but How It Works and Working With Others gives us a pretty good Idea. If a person is too busy or isn't in a good place or can't give away something because they don't have it they probably should not
sponsor someone. Two weeks, two months, two years. Whom is to say how long it take to work through the steps?
I do thing procrastination is an enemy of the alcoholic but two weeks to do a fourth and fifth step and to understand why we do it and then to make amends sound a little short to ME. I never went into treatment and I was still detoxing the first two weeks. Today I barely remember them.
A sponsors main job is to walk you through the steps. I the relationship goes on from there and you become
friends that is just a little extra gift. It was important for me to have someone that new me inside and out.
I would suggest the brochure, "Questions and Answers on Sponsorship". I think you will find it helpful and please, read the Book Alcoholics Anonymous. Ray C.
My goodness! I had ROAD RAGE before ROADS WERE INVENTED!
There has been lately quite a few problems lately in the meetings where I'm from. I just wanted to share that despite the group is going against some traditions, and the fact that they don't care about how this could affect AA as a whole, and that I'm singled out and being treated as an outcast. I had no choice but to leave. It is not worth going to an AA meeting and then end up feeling worse than when I went in to begin with. This is a we program, and I see that the we are not working together, there's too much big shot ism, there's too much authority or if you will too many chiefs not enough Indians. I was rather hurt one night, and left before a meeting started because they were allowing people who were not there to sober up, but were there to "support their buddy." The entire group wanted that individual to stay, so instead of creating a huge argument that I knew was going to get me nowhere, I left.
I have come to forgive these people, as well accept them. Acceptance is the answer, as it says in the big book. Also forgiveness was something I meditated on. I read in a book, "forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you." I'm glad I didn't push an argument in that meeting, because that is immature as well a bad image in front of the newcomer. With 3 years sobriety, I can say I'm blessed to have humility, as well courage. Thanks to AA, God, my sponsor, and especially those who really piss me off, because I have learned from all.
God bless you all out there who are struggling from this similar experience, because it means you are meant to gain wisdom from it,
I heard a man share he only sponsors people for two weeks just long enough to show the steps.Dependency was mentioned as a bad thing. I came into the fellowship 9 mths ago did the steps in 6 mths with my sponsors guidance as written in the big book and practice them every day, but should I consider not having a sponsor now? And use my friends in .the fellowship as communal sponsors I am happy with my sponsor and I believe he is happy with me as his sponsor. Confused.DavidC Norfolk UK
A Sponsor, in my opinion is an AA member whose sobriety I admire. I WANT WHAT HE HAS!!! A sponsor tells me what he did on the AA programme. I am then free to do in life, what he did in his life. I have many sponsors. If I hear a speaker share some problem that he has, and if he tells me what he did about it, then I will discuss my problem with him! A sponsor does not tell me WHAT TO DO, he tells me WHAT HE DID.
I had a similar situation some years back. I heard a person share that after they worked the steps their sponsor cut them loose and left them to their OWN devices to work the program.
When I heard that my "stinking" thinking kicked in, I wanted the same...no sponsor (or person) to be accountable. My brain was trying to get me to stop being honest, accountable and let self-will take over.
Something possessed me to research our literature and validate being rid of my sponsor. I read, AA comes of age, Dr. Bob and the good old timers, passing it on and studied the big book.
In the end I concluded I needed a sponsor and not just one. I need people in my life with good sobriety. Those who have taken the steps and consistently work steps 10,11&12.
I have many friends in the fellowship today but most importantly, I have a handful of people who I consider my sponsors because they will tell me the absolute truth. I trust them, their judgment and they live the 12 Steps. I am accountable and honest to them. They involve me in 12 step calls, study the big book, 12 traditions & 12 concepts. I believe it takes a village for continued growth and one person is not enough for me.
So yes, I think having a sponsor is very important. I cannot do this spiritual journey alone and stay recovered without the help from another alcoholic.
Dear confused David C,
We are not alone, and if you look at the AA symbol; it means unity, service, recovery. If dependence was a bad thing AA would never have grown. We need each other, sponsors, the rooms, alcoholics, 12 steps, 12 traditions, etc. Some have drank for many years, others not so many. It takes awhile to do the work, and don't do it alone. That is what a sponsor is for. I'm over 3 years sober and still have my sponsor, even though I did the steps with her, I will always have a sponsor. I hope to sponsor someone someday.
Leeanne S., Canada
Congratulations on completing the steps so quickly. Thank you for bringing this up. I've wondered this once or twice myself. I'm still relatively new in the program so feel free to take this with a grain of salt. I have a good relationship with my sponsor as well. I asked some people in the rooms a while back and what they said made a lot of sense.
For example, I don't trust many people, but someone who has my absolute trust is my sponsor. So I enjoy being accountable to the person that knows my common pitfalls and can call me out on it. Plus, I definitely get resentful at people in the rooms. So in those times where I feel totally different ideology from people in the rooms, I know my sponsor would make a solid effort to understand my side and then suggest a solution, which means more to me than i care to admit.
God bless my friend.
-Daniel C. (Peachtree City, Georgia)
Dr. Bob sponsored 5000 people in 15yrs. Do you think he was getting 5000 phone calls a day? :() If you have worked the steps, then you should have a new sponsor named 'God' right? "He provided what we needed, provided we stayed close to him and performed his work well." If you worked all the steps then you are at the 12th step so you should, be working with others, working on 9-11 everyday, and using your sponsor to help you guide others to their own awakening.
I am a little concerned that you said you took 6 mths to work the steps? Now this is a little bit of a red flag for me personally. To be clear, there is a ton of bad sponsorship going on in AA, so please don't blame anyone even your current sponsor, it is not common knowledge how bad a job AA is doing today. Sponsors are doing only what they think is right, but so many just don't have a message that helps others recover very well.
Was it you or your sponsor that delayed the process? If it was indeed your sponsor who had you wait, then you should consider finding a new person to work the steps with. I find that sponsors that have people wait, don't have faith in the steps. They will either use worksheets, or do the 4-5 steps as a sort of 'confessional'. Unfortunately we have to confess the 'exact nature of our wrongs', not the 'wrongs' themselves, this is the key to the step being effective in solving alcoholism and causing the spiritual awakening. So just reading the resentment isn't sufficient enough to effect the change necessary to solve alcoholism.
I hope you understand, the 12th step says "Having had a spiritual awakening...". If you are not sure of this 'awakening' then do yourself a favor and consider another way of working the steps. Please, Don't sponsor anyone until you are sure you know what the 'message' is. If you are under the impression that the message is 'don't drink and go to meetings, one day at a time', then you could kill someone.
We as members of AA need to help other alcoholics like ourselves get sober. We need to take responsibility to know what the 75% success solution is vs. the 95% failure solution.
I tell my guys to fire me as a sponsor if they don't have a Spiritual Awakening by step 7 or 9. The book promises by step 9 that we will have an awakening. So if someone can honestly say that they have not had this experience, it should be our number 1 goal to achieve in sobriety. Of coarse, then we have to find a way to give it away, and not by going to meetings only, but by working the steps with someone that is as hopeless as we were.
I need an interesting topic or reading for my meeting tomorrow. I want it to do with ONLY GOD KNOWS THE OUTCOME. Tomorrow is a huge day for me and I have the job opportunity of a lifetime I really really would be so grateful to get this job considering I have done nothing right in the past but screw up my life because of drinking my interview is right after my meeting so I feel like my meeting will really help me if i could find the right reading
honesty... experience/strength and hope.
First, sincere best wishes on the job. I well remember
sitting in an interview for the dream job. It was a dream
and it came true. I was able to retire after 32 years.
An AA meeting may not be the best place to seek advice.
I would recommend certain episodes of Seinfeld or Friends.
And, don't drink if you don't get the job. Go to a meeting
and mention it, without demanding to be the center of
attention. Jobs come and go but sobriety is for a lifetime.
I have heard many people say that "I definitely have another
drunk in me. But I may not have another recovery in me."
My doctor told me "You might have recovery in you. But if you
relapse, you are going to die."
Pretty easy for me to understand.
YOU CANNOT TELL PEOPLE HOW TO RUN THEIR PROGRAMS !
I do not tell people how to run their programmes rather I share with them how I run my programmes!!!
I tell Alcoholics what happened to me!!!
Then I share with them WHAT I DID ABOUT what happened to me!!!
"I'm 75 years old and have maintained my sobriety 33 years. I always remember that I have a lot of relapse in me. But if I do I may not have enough recovery."
10 minutes to 4am..Just got back from a night club..am new in AA and AA helped put me back on track to self discovery..almost 5 months now..But am so lonely..am like a new born baby coz everything that i cherished or lived has been crashed..alcohol made me likable and social..got a a job in another country so i had to move leaving everyone that i knew and family back home..i love music and partying so i once in a while try to go out and make new friends but i suck at that and i have no friends here coz the sober me cant even say hi to anyone..Plus people treat me unfairly and i sometimes wish i could express my true feelings but i cant coz i dont know how the other person is gonna take it..am just conscious like that..i have a sponsor but we are not so close like friends our relationship seems to be the kind of a student teacher sort of relationship...so am here feeling so depressed contemplating suicide/tattooing my self or cutting off my hair..something that can help me learn to live my new life happily..i feel guilty too coz it seems iam being ungrateful to God for the gift of sobriety but all i can say is am soberly not happy..dont know if i did the right thing to post such stuff on this platform but i tried to read the grapevine and had to subscribe yet i dont have that money plus am debt ridden now and i gotta take care of that..i just wanna be told this is normal coz i feel my life is an un-pleasurable experience
You're in a very rough place right now. You think you're a victim. There are no victims. Everything you see in your life you had a hand in bringing into your experience. Victims do not stay sober. You seem to be running on self will. Why don't you lower your ego and let G-d in? Let G-d do the driving. Did you finish the steps? STOP feeling sorry for yourself.
victims don't stay sober great comments
Buddy it's very common we must suffer before we get better and finally come to the revelation of an higher power not friends money or all these worldly possessions and usually the number 1 escape sex this is really helping me I just figured why they call it an escape even the name let us know we can never have it for what we escape escapes us i have no funds also like you we both must focus on what we want not what we don't have to have what we want I struggle with that as well right before I get that breakthrough bipolar thinking brings the worst scenario instead of the best scenario I pray that we both focus on God and important things in life and not so much where we Are but are guarannted beautiful ending by following the Spritual Path instead of the. Psycho Path
MayGod Bless All Amen
Drink did not drown my troubles, it just irrigated my troubles!
Change is PAINLESS
Refusing to change is PAINFUL.
Many times we need and want to control our situation but let go and let god. I read the other day you see the miracle unfold when you become the empty shell and let God fill you up hold on dont give up.
Thanks for sharing, it made me think. What did I do in the bar scene before I chose sobriety? Toward the end – drink. I couldn’t participate in anything, I just drank. Before that? Conversation. Either meaningful or trivial. When it was meaningful was I contributing or just a hanger-on expecting to be entertained by the others. To contribute, I needed to be DOING something to talk about. My alcoholism had progressed until I wasn’t DOING anything besides going to the bar and drinking. On the other hand if I was just going to the bar wiling away the hours in idle conversation it really wasn’t much of a life was it? I guess I had all of that going on to some degree. Yes, I needed new use for my time.
I don’t know how to tell you how, but I did. I had lived my life with no plans after thirty. For some reason my alcoholism caught up with me at thirty and I was put in your shoes. Thirty five years later my life is interesting, exciting, fulfilling and joyful. Every day I need to choose from a long list of desirable activities yet I don’t golf, our TV is on about four hours a week, I’m not interested in sports and have no grandchildren to brag about. Others enjoy them and that’s fine with me but there are a million other things to choose from. Life on this planet is exciting. Nothing but my attitude controls how I participate in it.
Today it was using a homeless, penniless, afoot young man I found on a Craigslist ad to help restore a settlers’ barn occupied with dozens of swallows. He was broke but anything but boring and I was pleased to provide him some work. Hope we get to a stopping place by September because my wife and I are off for thirteen days in England and Wales.
Sounds like you're living in your head too much! Stop thinking. Thinking got you where you are today. Our thinking is the problem. Stop going to the problem (our thinking), looking for a solution. It will get better, just give it some time. And try getting out of "yourself" and be of service to someone else.
My question is how does a person STOP thinking? I have often said I wish there was a switch where I could turn off the thoughts in my head that run like a hamster on a wheel. Any suggestions welcomed. I just found this site while looking up the hotline number for a friend just out of the hospital. I have always had issues with alcohol but am once again trying to figure out whether or not I fit an "alcoholic" or whether I am a problem drinker. Either way, I do have a desire to stop drinking.
Buddhism and the practice of meditation can help you learn to stop the ceaseless internal chatter we AAs have (and many other people). Meditation is hard work and requires practice, but the rewards are amazing. Peace at last-even if only for a few minutes. If you can't sit still, try running or swimming, anything repetitive to allow you to clear your mind. Our thoughts are our enemy, especially if we have that mean inner voice that self critisises all of the time!
As far as if you are an alcoholic, only YOU can answer that. And if you are asking, I hate to say it, but you probably are. But it is not so bad, it is very very freeing once you get sober. Life has never been better-not perfect by any means, but NOTHING is better drunk than sober!
There is no chapter in our Big Book called INTO THINKING!!!
There is a chapter called INTO ACTION!!!
THINK, THINK, THINK was not one of the original
three slogans. Go to meetings; don't drink, and don't think.
Too much thinking can lead to drinking. Try to help
someone else in some way. And you don't have to Find God
right NOW! Stick with First Things First; Live and Let Live
and Easy Does It. ANONYMOUS
Please read big book page 86 concerning thinking. It gives directions for the condition where you can use your faculties with assurance. After all, God gave us brains to use!
The first year was tough for me stay close to the program hit meetings everyday journal your feelings write pros and cons before making decisions. Write 3 things daily your grateful for in the morning then evening. One day at a time got me 12 years now went through all that you have going on in your head the first few months of sobriety. It was not easy but it's worth it. Work the steps in order with a sponsor. Hope you made it through it's does get better guaranteed!!!
This may be hard to hear but you SHOULD feel lonely. Up til now, your whole life centered around the alcohol scene and the only life and people you knew was that. Bite the stick hard and hang on. You will discover new, REAL friends, I guarantee it. I suffered through the same period and it's now so much better.
Remember, alcohol made you THINK you were likeable and sociable. It also is giving you those terrible thoughts right now. Hang in there, you've gotta do it for you.
Lastly, going to nightclubs at this point might not be so wise. I was taught to change people, places, and things that might tempt me to stray, at least until you have your sobriety legs under you better.
Many people feel exactly the same way as you do in new sobriety. Think of all the positives in your life then think of those terrible hangovers and lack of self respect. You have come a long way in 5 months xx
I, Penelope W., NM have 33 years clean and sober. May I suggest you stay away from any trying to travel outside of yourself to improve your life. One day at a time, one hour at a time helps. Relationships don't help. Go to a meeting a day wherever you are. Try to stay in one place for at least a year. Love yourself, not judging yourself. Thank all you do have. More comes that way. Get ahold of a longtime sobrietor and get suggestions, try them out. Stand up for yourself and own your condition giving your name for 30 days! It helps.
Only you can do this for yourself! I'm serious. If I had done it, you can tooo! God bless your soul.
hey ben there 1years hard but the more i stop trustin my though an calling my sponsor and going meetings and telling on myself just for that day in the morning i read on awakein an 24hour so u are tellin your feeling but if u put in work aint nothing going to change
Early sobriety is tough. Go to lots of meetings. Get involved. Join a group. PRAY. Ask God for help EVERY DAY. Thank God every night. Also believe it is going to get better (Faith).
If you do these things, I promise you it will get better and better and better and when you think it can't get better than that, I promise you it will get better again.
If you only go to meetings and pray, you will probably get drunk or be at least very misrible. I don't think this person is intentionally trying to hurt anyone with this advice, but this is not the solution to alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a 3 part problem, physical, mental and spiritual. There is a 3 part solution physical, mental and spritual. For physical you go to meetings, the mental and spiritual are solved by working the steps and working with others. The problem with just praying, well you can't see God until the mental part is fixed, so you need to find someone that knows how to do the steps effectively for you. I found that the best way to do the steps is to find a sponsor that helps you see the defects, or pulls the defects with you as you read each resentment. This teaches you that everytime you are restless or iritable, there is something wrong with you. It also give you a list of stuff you agree should be removed at step 6 and 7. This produces a spiritual awakening in most people I work with and the rest of the steps keep this spiritual awakening going. I only go to meetings to find newcomers to give this program I just outlined, to someone else and watch their lives change.
I grow spiritually everytime I have a new person sit in the chair on my porch, he reads his resentments and one by one I help him see his part. He stands from the chair a few hours later a new person. The disease is your defects, god is found in living in the opposite of your defects. If an alcoholic can learn to never hold a resentment, he can never hold a drink. The disease can actually be removed this way, and it works the same almost everytime.
People who say to just go to meetings, don't know how to work the steps effectively like I just outlined. Many of them are not at fault, they are only doing what they heard a lot of aa-oholics preach to them. An AA-oholic is simply someone who swaps addictions from alcohol/drugs to AA. They are seat fillers and coffee makers, and I am grateful for them as they keep the lights on for meetings. There is a solution to alcoholism, it is in finding a higher power that allows us to be free of this disease, gives us courage to do things we could never do on our own, and shows us when we are free of the bondage of self, and live to serve others, we are given a life we never could have planned or dreamed of.
Love it thanks
I understand your feelings. I have them often myself. I am back in AA after a three year relapse but this time I'm a widow and I live alone. I moved so I have few friends. I go to a meeting almost daily and I've already made a couple friends - and I've only been here two months.
But forgive me for the Big Book thump but - if you read the bedevilments on page 52 (4th ed.) of the Big Book - starts with "We had to ask ourselves -" and go on through that paragraph. That's Me! You describe many of those issues too. So the solution? Well, keep reading how the God idea works.
Your sponsor staying in teacher mode is a gift. Do not question anything. You will make a lot of friends but very few spiritual teachers so let him do his thing. Trust. Be Open Minded, Honest, and willing to do whatever it takes. . Increase your meeting life and follow directions and I PROMISE YOU. This will get better and better. Hang in there. Know.. you are NOT alone.
When I withdrew from alcohol, my feelings were not sedated as they used to be.
My feelings seemed to me to be like awkward cousins from another continent!!!
I was in the same boat in early sobriety. Sounds like you have a good start on a 4th step. You are looking at yourself and examining how you relate in the world. Make it official. Get with someone who has worked the steps and put in a good effort.
The biggest and most unexpected gift I received in AA was as a result of working the steps, especially the 4th, where I learned to identify and deal with all those things you mention. I also learned to "reframe" the situation and think about how much fun it was going to be to learn how to socialize sober, date sober, have a relationship sober, have sex sober and to become the person I was meant to be. I have to say, it was a fun journey that continues.
Going back to alcohol to deal with crap always just brought on more crap. Choosing the steps & sobriety opened up a whole new world.
I don't know if this will help you at all, but I feel your anguish. I will sometimes find myself in a situation or two that will envoke some of the same emotions you are expressing. This is a truth that I hang on to, and it has made a world of difference for me. STOP LOOKING FOR HAPPYNESS!!! We are told that the key to life is happyness. when you do well in school, you could be happy. when you do well in school you could get a good paying job, and that could make you happy. If you get that good job you can get married and that could make you happy. If you have a good job, and a spouse you could have children and that could make you happy. If you have children you can get a good home in a good neighborhood with the new car and that could make you happy. If you have done all that you could retire to an exotic and warm place, and that could make you happy.
That is a hard recepie to follow, and what if I'm not that good in school? Do I have to forget about achiving happyness? Most of us, when having trouble with the formula for happyness will seek happyness some other way. It could be at the bottom of the next bottle, or some drug, or food, or an inapropreate relationship with someone. However with the alternative forms of happyness AND the formula, happyness is always fleeting and never sticks around for that long.
When I came to recognize this I simply stoped persuing happyness and focused on learning to be content. When I am content in relationships, sobriety, fellowship, work, and life in general I seem to experiance a sence of joy that I didn't expect. Even more suprising to me was that the happyness that was always so fleeting started to persue me! I find happyness around every corner, almost like happyness seeks out joy. Today I saw two children with their mother at a burger playground (inside the resturant type) and it brought me great joy. The mother sparked up conversation, and I was happy to speek with her. I now have a new friend, and my wife and I can be of service to someone else.
I don't know how helpfull this will be, but give it some thought. It seems it can't hurt.
I constantly hear in meetings..."Meeting makers make it" That certainly hasn't been true for me nor for most people I have watched come in and out of the rooms the last 14 years.
Alcoholism is a progressive illness; we never get better, only worse. When the Alcoholic has LOST the POWER of choice and control regarding the drink (or any addiction), we are beyond human aide. Unless we experience a complete physic change there is very little hope of our recovery (BB p. xxviii). How do we get this "complete physic change?"
The Big Book has "precise" instructions how and this means finding a God through taking the steps and doing extensive work with other alcoholics. Experience has shown me that willpower, humans, fellowship, meetings are not enough for permanent sobriety and a happy, contented life. HOWEVER, meetings, fellowship, service and humans are a VITAL part to recover from this illness because we "Must" carry the message to the alcoholic and help those who want to recover to KEEP the POWER to stay sober and learn to practice these principles (the Steps) in our affairs.
The good news is we can recover!! Provided we take certain steps...
As I understand "MEETING MAKERS" in the above context; they are like folk who enter their local bank daily, wave and exchange courteous words with the bank manager, but do not lodge a single cent. Their bank capital does not grow at all!
But when the above bank visitor lodges cash frequently his bank balance grows.
Ditto with "MEETING MAKERS", when they get a sponsor, study the recovery programme and try to practice the 12 steps daily, these actions help the MEETING MAKERS get to experience the 12 promises which result from practising the first 9 steps of the programme.
I attended my local group in Ireland recently and heard a man share this.
On July 28 of this year I and my friends in AA will celebrate my 30 year of soberity! I am one of countless meeting makers that make it! My friends with weeks or countless decades of soberity are also meeting makers!
I started hearing this meeting makers do not make it about 8 years ago and at that time I thought it was false true and still due! I have been to meeting in 36 States and continue to have fellowship with meeting makers
There are a bunch of tough love, ego driven, self centered (and I am not going to say more) members of AA that continue to beat up on new comers that are not yet ready to admitted their complete defeat. You folks that say meeting maker don't make it need to revisit your past for a while!! This is Ron "Gilly " at Point Iroquois Lighthouse in Brimley MI
Perhaps more people would "Make It" going to meetings if people would give examples and talk more about what alcoholism actually is: a spiritual malady, an allergy of the body and the obsession of the mind. Then include the things done to recover from that hopeless state.
Sharing mess & war stories of the incomprehensible demoralization and humiliations doesn't help anyone understand the true nature of alcoholism.
The thousands of speaker discussion meetings I've attended 95% speaker shares are about the drama, not alcoholism and only 5% is about what steps were taken to recover.
I don't like what I need to say were is GOD in what you say. Just keep going to meetings I did that and went back out for 20 years. Meeting makers make it if GOD is first service unity steps ALL that is in the BOOK then you will make it. Maybe that is what you mean RON. I see meeting makers go back out all the time. The ones that do make it are the ones that are doing what is in the book.