Heard At Meetings

822 replies [Last post]
harryw123
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Joined: 2013-12-23
The first year was tough for

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!!!

Anonymous
???????

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.

Anonymous
You are not alone

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

Anonymous
Addiction and using chemicals.

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.

Anonymous
keep goin forward

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

croughr
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Joined: 2013-07-03
hang in there

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.

Anonymous
Don't just hang in there

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.

Anonymous
Love it thanks

Love it thanks

Anonymous
I understand

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.

Anonymous
Feelings!!!

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!!!

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
new in sobriety

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.

Anonymous
Not feeling to happy?

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.

Anonymous
Meeting Makers DO NOT Make it

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...

Anonymous
"Meeting Makers!!!

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.

Anonymous
meeting makers do.make it

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

Anonymous
Meeting Makers DO NOT Make it

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.

Anonymous
sorry ron

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.

noduis
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Joined: 2013-09-05
Re: meeting makers do.make it

Wrong word at the end of the sentence. The truth is, meeting makers make meetings.
Read pages 39 and 40 in the 12&12: "More sobriety brought about by the admission of alcoholism and by attendance at a few meetings is very good indeed, permanent sobriety and a contented, useful life. That is just where the remaining Steps of the A.A. program come in."
At three and a half months I was stuck in a location with no Meetings and no sober AA members. It was suggested that if I used my Big Book and a Higher Power I'd be all right. The Big Book and a Higher Power kept me sober (not just dry) for the two months I was there.
At eleven months I deployed to the Western Pacific aboard a US Navy ship with one other sober AA aboard. Our different working hours prevented us fro getting together very often, but again the Big Book and a Higher Power kept me sober for the entire ten months, including visits to my old drinking ports. On my first birthday we made port and I met a sober alcoholic who had been sober without meetings for eight years.
If I make it another forty-six days I'll celebrate forty-three years of unbroken sobriety in AA. The closest I have been to drinking was at nearly ten years when I was going to two meetings a day and three on weekends. I too heard and believed 'meeting makers make it' so I stopped doing what the Big Book advises to do on page eighty-six, and after a meeting one afternoon I flipped a coin to see whether I was going back to the AA club or to the liquor store. Fortunately my Higher Power interfered and I did neither.
I haven't been to meetings in thirty six states, only five. And three foreign countries. And while you are coming up on thirty years of sobriety by going to meetings, my father, also an admitted alcoholic, died with thirty-six years sobriety and never attended an AA meting in his life.
I'm Jim, on the East Coast.

clu1992
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Joined: 2012-05-30
re ron

Hi ron, glad ur here.
At a noon meeting last tuesday, the chair gave a 6 month chip, on Friday he was drunk. Last Tuesday I went to our weekly detox meeting. The girl there drank after 9 months. The 6 mother was on step none while the girl never finished step 5, both went to several meetings a week.

Anonymous
RE: re ron

clu1992 You are saying that these members are relapsing
because they have refused to do the steps. Could it be that
they are going back out because of the pushing and prodding
that goes on in AA today? We try to cram the steps down
everyone's throats. We have morphed from a "fellowship of
men and women" to a TWELVE STEP PROGRAM.
The steps and Alcoholics Anonymous in its entirety are
Suggestions. They are to be offered in a suggestive manner.
Try offering them with love and tolerance and thank those who
attend your meetings for helping you stay sober. Don't tell
anyone in AA what to do. Just tell them what worked for you. Stop saying "Well, if you want what I have, you will have to do what I do, or did. Or worse, what I tell you to do. Read "Arrogance and its Opposite" in As Bill Sees It.
Page 199
You may not see yourself there, but they do. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Re.Re.Ron

You do realize AA went from 75% success rate going to 1 meeting a week in 50s-70s to a 95% failure rate going to meetings everyday? The problem is the misinterpretation of the steps. The first step is worked by going to a meeting, you admit you have a problem. A person has to admit there is a problem before they can change it, kind of a weird deal, but they have to accept the problem exists first.

The biggest mis-translation is the 4th-7th steps, which are not a 'confession' to those of us who know how to work the steps effectively. To us they are a 'design for living' that relieves the alcoholic from the obsession to use alcohol. So we are not 'craming' the steps down throats, we are offering to save someones life, by offering the solution to their problem, or the 75% successful way to stay sober vs. the 95% failure way.
When people don't have faith in the steps, or don't know how to work the steps effectively, they place the Fellowship as the spiritual base of the program instead of the steps. So the spiritual malady is never overcome and they never become truly sober and stay insane. So that is why you hear people like yourself always say, "well He/She stopped going to meetings and went back out." Yes they may have also gone back out because they did not have a solution to their problem, which is found in the 'design for living' version of the steps.

With a 95% failure rate, it might mean that 95% of the people in some AA rooms don't know what they are talking about. And if someone has long term sobriety by just going to meetings, and not getting much out of the steps, they are either not real alcoholics, or they are very much full of resentments like you just showed. They never learned how to be free of anger, by discovering the 'exact nature/defects of character' from the resentments, which then they asked to be removed like the design for living versioner's do. Being able to see the exact nature, then asking god to remove the things on this list that are tied directly to the resentments, causes the 'spiritual awakening' for 90% of the people I sponsor. If it doesn't happen at 7, they have the, the slower awakening which will be had by the 9th step.

Meeting Makers typically for steps 4-7 'confess' the worst things they did to others, which will not relieve the obsession unfortunatly. It will however, get them to believe that the steps should be delayed until someone is 'Ready' to 'confess'. So they say things like '90 in 90', 'easy does it' (which is the family afterward, or after the steps)

I pray if someone has the strength to read this post for what is written, and see where they may have been going wrong in recovery, even if it has been for years, will find the courage to change their ways. I pray you all find sobriety and happiness, and take it easy on yourselves.

clu1992
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Joined: 2012-05-30
re anonymous

Yes, they are relapsing because they are not working the steps. Why would AA have 12 steps and not suggest working them? It’s the same old broken record, treatment, halfway house, and meetings. They usually get drunk between 3 months and 1 year without working the steps. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, it’s just what I’ve witnessed over the years. On the other hand, I have yet to personally meet anyone in AA who has started drinking while actively working the 12 steps as described in the big book with a sponsor. You may have, but I havn’t and that includes the half dozen or so alcoholics I have worked with annually.
Of course the steps are suggestions. That being said, we definitely should suggest taking the steps!
“Don’t tell anyone in AA what to do”- gotta love you for telling me what to do and having the self-delusion to tell me “don’t tell anyone in AA what to do. That’s just priceless!!! Maybe you should suggest reading as bill sees it page 199 to yourself? While reading as bill sees it, turn to page 105 where bill writes “our chief responsibility to the newcomer is an adequate presentation of the program” of course the program is the 12 steps and the meetings are the fellowship. Alcoholics of my description need both.

Anonymous
Unimaginable

Heard a guy talking about how he heard someone misread the first step. The guy read"we admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unimaginable". Sooo true!

Anonymous
mis quote

I also heard a guy say, "Admitted we were powerless over alcohol because our WIVES had become unmanageable. HA!

Anonymous
mis quote 1st step

A women at a group meeting in french could not see the word «unmanageable (incontrôlable)» for a long time, she would always read : «insupportable» wich translate into «unbearable»

Anonymous
Keeping and Giving It Away

Always heard that "You've got to give it away to keep it." But a few years ago I heard someone put a slight twist on that old saying that made me sit up and take notice.

"You can't keep what you're not willing to give away," the man said.

I still get goosebumps when that memory pops up. I've never forgotten that night.

Anonymous
RE: Keeping and Giving it Away

I consider my sobriety a gift from God. Unlike other gifts
this was one I had to ask for. And it came with conditions.
In order to keep it I had to give it away. I share the gift
by telling other alcoholics about it. Strange, the more I
share, the more I get to keep for myself. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
F2F vs On line

We meet in groups regularly to help the new person find the fellowship. That's paraphrased from the Big Book. I can't believe I'm a Big Book thumper now. Wow.
I...this is for me.. think that when I am looking for an easier, softer way to do something -especially a meeting - it's a fear that has me trapped. I understand the fear as a new person, like me (retread) hasn't worked any steps and may not have the relationship with a Higher Power that will lead them through any fear, insecurity, grief or pain. My HP makes me do a TON of things that are not on my agenda. The longer I am back in the meetings, the more intuitive thoughts I seem to get. What's so great is that they are clearer than ever.
Today I went to a GREAT meeting in the morning. There was a speaker's meeting tonight and I really didn't want to go. My intuitive voice was not even negotiating. I had to go. I'm SO glad I did. It was important that I was there. He shared about being in the middle of losing a spouse to cancer and how he is dealing with it sober. I lost my spouse a year ago from cancer and it was just affirming to share that experience with another member of the program.
So God knows so much better than I of what is good for me. My thinking keeps me drunk. It truly does. Only doing on line meetings for me would be like on line dating without ever meeting anyone. It just feeds the ego but there is nothing really happening. This is not a judgment, this is my experience for me. My opinion.. for what it's worth.. is that if that is all another person is WILLING to do then it's better than nothing. I just hope that person is open to move through that when the time is right.
Be well.. :)

Anonymous
Fear

I agree that all this picking apart of ways to alter or adjust the program are fear based. We do what we do and if you want solid, joy-based sobriety.. just do it! All of it. Fear manifests in resistance and our alcoholism loves that.
I, too, lost my spouse to cancer a year ago. It's tough. I'll keep all of the widow's and widowers in my prayers. thanks for your share. Vegas Pam

Anonymous
Coins

Coins mean time sober. When people pick up (it really happens) it is an embarrassing thing. It has the power to kill-that illusion of owning time. Waste of time. Humility

Anonymous
Coins

I recently watched a friend of mine go through the process of having to pick up a 24hr coin after 18 months of sobriety.

It was devastating to have to go back up after all that time successful to admit failure. I was told if I wasn't there as a support, the relapse would have lasted longer, especially since the thought that all that time had already been wasted, why not just go all out in the relapse!

I agree that going up for a "relapse coin" is or can be a major deterrent to coming back to meetings. If a strong support or an active, caring sponsor is not available, making it back to a meeting after losing all that time can be extremely difficult.

Taking responsibility for a relapse is required to move on and grow or at least learn from the experience, but if I were to suggest any change to the current operating of the tradition of coins, I would say coins should be issued as an award from a sponsor to a sponsee. It ensures that the sponsor is taking a personal role in the life of the sponsee, as well as makes the sponsee feel a further sense of fulfillment when they are being awarded a medal from a person in their life that they have chosen as a confidant and friend. There should be a mutual agreement that an award will be given, as surprises should be avoided in my opinion, but also, a sponsor should encourage their sponsee when relapses happen to make the durations shorter and shorter until there are no relapses at all.

The relationship between a sponsor and their sponsee is as important to the sponsor as it is to the sponsee. It should be taken seriously by both members, and like any relationship, should not be taken for granted.

Anonymous
Coins and sponsors

I did not want to get up to receive my intial coins. My sponsor convinced me, and I now agree. It is NOT all about me. I can suck it for five minutes, get red faced and uncomfortable as I accept my coin. In turn, I give hope to new comers in the room. We have to pay it forward every single. So very very grateful to my sponsor and my fellowship. Go get that coing and look at the love in people’s faces as you receive it. Very cool indeed :-)

Anonymous
re: coins

Your group's practices are much different than those of groups/meetings I attend in the midwest, where coins are pretty much up to the celebrant and his/her sponsor or close friend(s). But as to the humiliation you describe, coming back after a relapse and having to admit to that relapse, to me the whole purpose of the fellowship is to find the encouragement and support I need to deal with life on life's terms, and how can I receive that support if I am not honest about my struggles, whether to stay sober or to practice humility and find a little serenity. A non-AA daily reading yesterday discussed how necessary falling and humiliation are for personal or spiritual growth: "As Carl Jung put it so well, 'Where you stumble and fall, there you find pure gold.'"

Anonymous
RE: Coins

I have come to believe that the issuance of coins, chips
etc. is harmful to A.A. as a whole. Gratefully accepting
a medallion and then relapsing is embarrassing. It is easier
to just not return.
What seemed to be a good thing years ago, has proven Bill's
statement that sometimes the temporary seeming good can be
the deadly enemy of the permanent best.
Instead of spending money for coins, groups ought to
reassess their position on self support. Donate the money
to the church, etc. which allows us space to meet.
Calling a new member to the front of the room to be
praised for normal behavior, is hardly ego deflating.
Alcoholics coming to our meetings ought not be made a spectacle of, neither ought they be allowed to make
spectacles of themselves. Everyone is an equal. Middle
of the road is best, in my opinion. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
There is no middle of the

There is no middle of the road solution

Anonymous
coins

good thoughts.

however, our group in oshkosh wi value them as a prized gift from God. we are proud yet humbled by given another 24 hours that add up thru the years.

as a former hs teacher, amny thoughts comprise the whole, and all are worth evaluating.

Anonymous
Coins

I was told by my sponsor early on that I get up to receive a chip because it shows the newcomer that it is possible to get and stay sober. Relapse is not a Requirement. It does happen.

The process of getting a new chip & but for the Grace of God go I, need ever do it myself, is I believe a process of letting people know that, okay, yes you slipped / relapsed but you are not giving up. People in the rooms can than reach out to you as they know you have or are struggling.

Any time you spent sober, was never wasted time, you learned valuable things.

grateful girl

Anonymous
God's Plan

Great advice I find myself coming back to over and over again when I am feeling like things in my life just haven't gone the way I thought they would...

"The best way to make God laugh is to tell him YOUR plans."

One day at a time I am learning that my Higher Power won't give me anything I can't handle, whether it's what I expected things would be like or not.

So grateful to be sober today. xox

Anonymous
Thank you for that post .

Thank you for that post . Been struggling lately and haven't been "feeling" it . You wrote just what I needed this morning . God Bless you !

Anonymous
Drunk in a Hole

Does anyone know the author of Drunk in a Hole?

Anonymous
Confidentiality at Meetings

I have heard a lot of good stuff in meetings that I think would be beneficial to those who think they might have a drinking problem as well as those in AA. I would like to put those wisdoms in a book and give it away. I would not attribute what was shared to names. I have concerns that the the " who I see here and what I hear here, leave it here" would be violated. Yet I see in this forum that people are repeating what they heard at meetings. I'm confused. Please help.

noduis
Offline
Joined: 2013-09-05
Confidentiality at Meetings

The "Anonymity Statement" is read at the end of many of our local meetings. I have no idea when it started or where it came from, but I do know it doesn't make sense to me. I certainly agree that I have no right to tell anyone who I see at a meeting, but 'What you hear here, let it stay here'? If we learn something in a meeting that helps us stay sober, why should we forget it as soon as we're out the door? Anyone can stay away from a drink in a meeting, it's out in the world that I need to use what I learn.

Anonymous
Who you see here and what you hear here, let it stay here

Just a quick comment on that line. That little card that shows up from time to time on the tables of AA is actually printed by our sister fellowship, Al-Anon. It's not an AA saying at all. (Read the fine print at the bottom of the card.)

Our Big Book is the best guide. It says, "Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now." p.58.

It also says, "We do talk about each other a great deal, but we almost invariably temper such talk by a spirit of love and tolerance." p. 125.

It's foolishness to think that people will keep whatever they hear to themselves. We tell the stories we hear, being careful not to criticize, and in most cases, not to mention names, unless we're sure that person would not mind. We also don't share them outside of AA, of course.

To expand on that last quote (earlier on page 125) it says, "We families of Alcoholics Anonymous keep few skeletons in the closet. Everyone knows about the others' alcoholic troubles. This is a condition which, in ordinary life, would produce untold grief; there might be scandalous gossip, laughter at the expense of other people, and the tendency to take advantage of intimate information. Among us, these are rare occurrences."

I think it's clear that "what is said here" does not "stay here." That honestly would be a shame—to have so much that we could use to help ourselves and others, and not be able to use it!

The far more important point is to know what is APPROPRIATE and what is NOT APPROPRIATE to share in a meeting. A good sponsor can help us sort those things out!

There's not a way in the world where it would be a violation of any kind of tradition to compile the things that you've heard into a book. Especially if there are no names, and no way to identify the person who said them...
And come to think of it, I doubt I've heard anything terribly original. Someone's probably said it before! LOL

Anonymous
Who you see here, what you hear here...

I agree. I frequently come home and share stories, wisdom, and sayings (without names) with my husband who is not in the program. He loves them. When he meets my "Friends with Bill" he almost invariably says, how intelligent and clever we are. He has seen first-hand what these meetings do to me and loves all the clever saying. On the other hand, he has used them against (?) me when I am off the beam. I love him and AA.

Anonymous
K.I.S.S.

My sponsor really has to literally tell me to stop thinking and Keep It Simple Sweetness...when I had the same concern, she explained that there is no need for anonymity in the rooms and with one another. Then she "suggested" I hit some traditions meetings and read the Traditions (from 12&12). Good luck Sweetness...and Keep It Simple :)

aabrad
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Joined: 2011-05-01
Confidentiality at Meetings

I have heard some really good stories, shares of personal experiences and people over coming their urge to drink, fear of going back to college, making amends and so on.
I have retold some of the stories I have heard in an AA meeting, hoping to help another AA member with his particular problem or perhaps add something to the meeting topic or discussion.
There is stuff said at meetings that is just the speakers opinion or experience. Is what the speaker said in line or can it be found in the Big Book? Does it relate to the Steps? or Traditions?
Example, Just go to meetings. If I just go to meetings, will I have a spiritual experience? will I possibly not recover? Will the promises mentioned in Big Book materialize?
I applaud your wanting to help others and doing what is suggested on page 20 (top of the page).
While Clancy I or Bob C say some funny things and tell a good story but will it keep me sober?
Brad

Anonymous
Confidentiality and The Bog Book.

Here is an excllent webise:

"it ain't in the Big Book."

cmackin1
Offline
Joined: 2013-05-18
Anonymity

My experience is that stories are just stories unless in their telling a specific person place or thing can be identified back to an individual. I often tell sponsees that the details (especially about drama) are of lesser importance than the principles behind our actions or statements. So retelling someone's story exemplifies the principles of AA. The person involved like the nitty gritty details are of lesser importance. If they are, they become gossip, not the underpinnings of sobriety. At least that's how it works for me.

Anonymous
Confidentiality at Meetings and Anonyminity

I agree with your comment that "stories are just stories unless in their telling a specific person, place or thing can be identified back to an individual." Attending meetings is part of our 'experience' and sharing with other AA's about what went on in a meeting is perfectly acceptable if it is intended as a way to help others.

Anonymous
confidentiality/anonymity in and outside of A A Meetings

Good idea. i'll think it over and respond at a later time. Mabey if we can define each , it will help us understand more fully. How about confidentiality/anonymity after someone dies?...... I seem to remember a flyer " Anonymity in Memoriam. thanks for getting me thinking. joe h pa

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