Heard At Meetings

822 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2009-08-28

Share those gems of humor, wisdom, beauty or strangeness picked up a meetings.

View all topics

You don't have to drink even if you want to?

I have heard people say this at meetings and i wonder where they get this idea. I guy i know with long term and in my view, quality sobriety said it was in the Big Book and he could show where. I don't remember this anywhere in the first 164. I will ask him next time i get the chance but does anyone know about this?

As Dr. Silkworth said: "Bill,

As Dr. Silkworth said: "Bill, don’t preach, said the sermons have never recovered one. Why don’t you tell them your experience and what you learned about alcoholism? "
Paternalism is a way to authoritarianism, I guided with my experience, I command and command for the sake of these people who don’t know the fellowship; as if they don’t know work as better as I do.
Paternalism is a bad attitude to engage people in service. We must not put ourselves above the newcomers; they are not children who need our protection; or our subordinates. We must stand by your side to help them, as they did with us. With us you will not be put above us but our height, nor stood in front of us but with us.
Paternalism is an interested attitude, I care you and you support me in my conflict. I have a companion, Manolo, who always offers new and veterans, including the physician, but in reality he is looking for affect, consciously or unconsciously. Another fellow, fellow José, who always gave advice and encouragement to the people, always took every opportunity to speak first, getting people loyal to him outside.

Do dogs have a drinking problem?

I've been to a couple of meetings in my area, and there was a dog in both meetings. Since I am new to the neighborhood, I don't know what to do about it. I am highly allergic to animals, and I sat through these meetings anyway, sneezing and sniffling. After three days, I could go back to work.

There is always a big crowd in my Allergist's office, so it can't just be me.

Why on earth are dogs allowed at meetings? I am sure these pet owners can sacrifice one hour without them.

What is a person like me to do? Help!

Joined: 2014-03-31
Pets at Meetings

My experience is that any pet issue must be addressed with great care. Getting between a pet and its owner is fraught with trouble. It is a very personal issue filled with emotion for the owner. Our group's solution was to involve the church that hosts us. We cite the church's policy on pets and that was the end of it. We are guests of the church and ask our members to be on their best behavior.

Might be worth exploring if such an option is available to you.

Joined: 2013-07-01

I feel the same as u do about having dogs at meeting unless it's a seeing eye dog. You might be persecuted & hung on a cross but I know someone else that was put to death for telling the truth....

no dogs

No dogs are generally allowed in meeting unless it is a service meeting.The alcoholic comes first.I would suggest you say something to a board member because not does it bother those with allergies ,the aa facility could be held liable if the dog were to harm someone.

no one's in charge ...

there are no "board" members in AA -

There certainly are board

There certainly are board members as well as trustees. Who do you think owns the company?

no dogs

I love pets. I have three of them and they have helped me through my difficulties in sobriety. I do not feel it is right or fair for someone (other than service animals) to bring their pet to an AA meeting. My old sponsor would occasionally bring her cat to meetings!! So inappropriate. Last week a woman brought her Chihuahua and its doggie stroller. She held the dog most of the meeting or passed it around to her friends. How should we deal with this to end this problem?

Heard at Meeting RE sponsorship response

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.

Free download books

Situation with outspoken books in search download

Free download books

Situation with outspoken books in search download

Road Rage.

My goodness! I had ROAD RAGE before ROADS WERE INVENTED!

Problems and being singled out

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 suppose it all boils down to whether or not the meeting was an open meeting or not. If it is a closed meeting then it should be for AA members only. If it is open then anyone can sit in.

Problems and Being Singled Out

Group Conscious ?

Group Conscious

Group Conscious

heard at meetings re sponsorship

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

Joined: 2014-03-31

I find that words can have different meanings to different people. The word "God" is one such example.

Sponsor is another powerful word. In the old days, it meant you vouched for someone; you attested to their character or vowed that you would keep an eye on them. Early AA's sponsored people to get them out of jail or an institution.

In AA today, a sponsor is generally a person who guides us into the program and through the steps. But there are many different flavors of this. There is a strong and dictatorial type of sponsorship (my way or highway) as well as "laissez faire" sponsorship (take what you want and leave the rest) and everything in between.

I have probably experienced every type of sponsorship during my journey through AA and believe I find what I need when I need it.

Early in AA, I went to a meeting nearly every day and sometimes 2-3 per day. I don't do that today; although I may again some day. In the same vein, I had a very strong directive sponsor early in sobriety. When I moved to a small town, I found they didn't do it like that and that was ok. My tough old sponsor even encouraged me to follow their way.


we all work our own program! I get so tired of people in aa playing Nazi sponsor. You do whatever works for you and let that other person work their program. God made us all different


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.

Joined: 2014-06-29
Dear Confused

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.

Heard at meetings Re sponsorship

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

heard at meetings re sponsorship

Hello Friend,
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)

Re Heard at meeting re sponsorship

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 did my steps over a twelve month period, workshopping them one at a time; and yes, worksheets were used. So what? I am 11 years sober; to me there is no set way or period, we adjust to our own needs. In our Group this has been very successful. Regards all, Joe P.

Chairing a meeting

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.

RE: Chairing a meeting

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.

A doctor's opinion. . . .

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.

AHEM !!!!!



You cannot tell people how to run their programmes!

I do not tell people how to run their programmes rather I share with them how I run my programmes!!!

Run your programme!

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


1st time going to AA, and I am scared.......
Your words have taken some fear away,,,,,thank you and God Bless you...
It is raining out and cold,and I am trying to find excuses not to go......
But I will...........because I need this....

Self Pity

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.


Joined: 2014-10-10
Look in the mirror

People get depressed, Tom. Even Bill W. did. Don't chastise someone for being honest about feeling low. Sobriety is full of lows, highs, and everything in between. You are the type of judgmental, self-righteous AA that makes newcomers want to run for the hills. You are the one who needs to lower his ego.

self pity

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 and drowning my troubles.

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

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.

Joined: 2014-07-21
Too much thinking

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.

Alcoholic verse problem drinker and how to stop one's thinking

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.

Stopping the monkey chatter in your head

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!

Too much thinking!

There is no chapter in our Big Book called INTO THINKING!!!
There is a chapter called INTO ACTION!!!

RE: Too much thinking

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

Joined: 2012-05-30
3rd 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!

Post new comment