Heard At Meetings

825 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Crosstalk

In today's AA it seems that "crosstalk" means whatever the individual member says it means. When I first heard it many years ago it meant switching from sharing to going one on one with another member during the meeting.
I wouldn't worry about the newcomer not coming back if he or she feels singled out. According to many of the posts on I-Say newcomers aren't going to come back anyway, because we pray, read, hold hands, greet them, ignore them, chant, etc. etc. etc.


There you go!! You finally get it!! I believe cross talk
is talking to an individual member instead of to the group,
unless it is a speaker discussion. Then the sharing is
directed at the speaker or the chairperson. Cross talk is
also commenting on another members sharing. I may hesitate
to share if I am concerned that some other member will
comment, correct, or edit my sharing. All other members ought to remain silent while each person shares. Save the
AMENs for church services. And talking to another member
while someone is trying to share is just plain rudeness.
Just my views. ANONYMOUS

Joined: 2011-11-03
First time on message board

Working my AA program is keeping me sober a day at a time. AA is also teaching me to cultivate greater compassion for myself and others. I have never read any messages on this board until today and I find myself grateful for the positive messages that I am reading...and aware of my own judgments of the messages that strike me as negative or quibbling.

I am attracted to sober AA's who seem serene and accepting of others. I want what they have and have found much wisdom through learning about their recovery, both in what they share and in the meeting after the meeting.

Pay Attention.

I said to the guest speaker,"I don't listen at meetings!!"

He said, "You do listen at meetings. You listen to yourself thinking about what you imagine the speaker is saying! The speakers words are like sunlight flicking through the moving spokes of a bicycle wheel!

So I said, "Gee, I am like that. Now what do I do about it?"

I was holding my breath waiting for some magnificent insight! He said, "You do exactly what the teacher told you when you were 4 years old. PAY ATTENTION, and remember no one among us was able to pay perfect adhere to this advice!

An open mind.

Before you make your mind up OPEN IT!!


"I lost everything during my drinking. I finished up living in an AA settlement house. I went to 3 meetings a day for a full year.

I said to my sponsor one day, "Why do we waste time reading chapter 5 at every meeting!"

My sponsor aid to me,"What is Chapter 5 about?

I said, "Gee, I don't know!"

My sponsor said, " SO you heard Chapter 5 read 1,095 times! You did not listen to it even once."

AA member's comments.

"When Danial left the lion's den, he did go back for his overcoat!!!"

"I am a contented Alcoholic, no longer demented!"

13th steppin

Uh your prince Bill W actually was the king of 13th stepping. He invented it. Program people do your research, look up Helen Wynn.

13th stepping

Worry if you are working the program. Keeping our side of the street clean is important. It is natural for folks living in denial to continue cleaning others back. Anyways I am sober today. Thanks to you.

13th stepping

Worry if you are working the program. Keeping our side of the street clean is important. It is natural for folks living in denial to continue cleaning others back. Anyways I am sober today. Thanks to you.


We have no real way of knowing since Bill has died. You call Bill "our prince" seems like you a resentment about something with that comment. No one worships Bill that I have ever known. I do know that this "man" never stopped trying to share the solution he found and his passion to help other suffers created AA. For that I am eternally grateful because without his efforts I would not have the 19 years of sobriety I have today.

RE: 13th Steppin

Bill may have had affairs, a mistriss, whatever. In the BB he says he had no real infidelity when he was drinking. As far as sober maybe he did. Remeber a lot of jealous people spread terrible rumors about Bill. Hank P thought Bill told Lois not to marry him and got a terrible resentment and went around saying Bill was a liar and theif. That he stole money from AA. Bill kept meticulous records and was able to proove he didn't steel money from AA. No one says Bill W was a God but it doesn't mean he wasn't inspired by one. Many people have issues other than alcoholism. I am just glad I live in a time when there is a solution to alcoholism that worked for me. I don't care how "bad" the person was that came up with the idea. I love AA.

Ray C.

Terrible Rumors

Some of this information can be found on page 193 in
A.A. Comes of Age. Bill does not "name names", but I remember reading about this elsewhere. Ruth H. had been
secretary to Hank P. in New Jersey. Bill insisted on moving the headquarters to New York. Bill took Ruth with him. Bill W. was not a saint. I don't believe he ever claimed to be.
I love A.A., too It saved my life and made life worth living. Bill W. may not have been Christ-like, but for me he was Heaven-sent. ANONYMOUS

Terrible Rumours

Thank God our co-founders were not perfect! If they were, AA would not exist today. And I, for one, likely would not exist today either.

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: 13th stepping

Ray C. wrote,"Hank P thought Bill told Lois not to marry him and got a terrible resentment and went around saying Bill was a liar and theif."(sic)
Why would anyone think Bill told Lois not to marry Hank P. when Lois was already married to Bill?

RE; 13th stepping---Man did I blow that one!!

Sorry! That's what happens when I get in a hurry!!
I meant to say Bill's Secretary, Nell! Nice catch!
And thank you for calling me on it!

That's how mistakes can be costly or hurt people. Especially if it is something important!

Ray C.

13th stepping

There was a woman named Ruth H, who was Hank's secretary and who typed the original manuscript as dictated by Bill She is the woman in question who spurned Hank. There are books of AA history with the facts and names. Steve in Mason city

Ray C-Reply to comment-13th Stepping

AA has many zealous leaders,and some think that they are the AA Police.Some become very judgemental amd thats when many"Clicks"form within the groups,and that turns away many people.We should aways examine are behavior and be careful not to offend others.And with that said,Ray C,check your spelling.I always use spell-check on my cell phone when I type anything on internet,because like you,I cant spell very well-lol-Its ok,but people will take what you say more seriously when your spelling is correct.Don E

Don E.

Many of us make mistakes in spelling when posting on
I-SAY. Personally I do not know how to use spell check
on this forum. Spelling errors are miniscule, when compared
to the tragic blunders we have made in A.A. at the group
level, over the past thirty years. Did you mean "Clicks" or cliques? Also, and is not spelled amd, thats ought to be that's, cant ought to be can't. I may be a high school dropout but Bud made me wiser. I sincerely apologize, but
I just could not resist. Manny Quinn.

Joined: 2011-06-07
Human and flawed

Yes, you're right Bill W was a flawed human being Just as was Martin Luther King and JFK. Their sexual indiscretions can be pointed to as major defects of character thus proving their humanity or they can be used as a teaching point as to why we now suggest that men sponsor men and woman sponsor woman. Remember we don't profess spiritual perfection only spiritual progress. Please don't dismiss the message just because the messenger was flawed.

RE: Human and flawed

Thanks Dennis, for saying so much, in so few words. Rose

How it Works

I did not come into AA looking for God. I am glad that no one, at my first meeting, told me I had to find God and find Him now! I came for help to stay sober. The first medicine I had to swollow was that I could never drink like normal drinkers again. A spiritual awakening, a belief in God, was a side effect. As in the second step, I came to believe. What a wonderful gift! ANONYMOUS


Every minute I spend resenting you I DEPRIVE myself of 60 seconds of happiness!!!

More will be revealed!

If an alcoholic ever drinks again "MORE WILL BE REVEALED!"

Heard at a meeting

Here is a story. An alcoholic in a treatment center, called a nun with this request, "Sister Veronica, will you pray for me?" She smiled and replied, "Why don't you pray yourself Mick. God loves listening to strangers." Mick smiled at that response.

As a newcomer I heard...

In Ireland as a newcomer I heard, "There is no graduation day in A.A."

"There are no medals for yesterday's sobriety."

Does AA work?

"Things do not get better. Things remain the same!!!

When I pick up the tools of the AA recovery program and apply them to my own life, on a daily basis,I get better. When I get better then I see the same things differently!


"I cannot think myself into right living! I can live myself into right thinking!"

Dictionary or BIG BOOK

I was at a meeting about three days ago.I try to arrive early so I can hear How It Works, been doing this now for a few 24 hours and sometimes I hear new things or my mind is just not as open as I think it is.I heard At some of these we Balked.People in the meeting started Barking Like Dogs. I was like what is this turning into.I know that's not what that means but the New Person will Pick this up like a new Drink.

That's a New One

Wow never heard that one before. Different groups do all different things. That one is potentially damaging, the newcomer could be scared off by it. Some groups are sicker than others.

Jason M, Newington CT

Joined: 2012-02-01

We are responsible to carry our experience, strength,and hope.Not to turn a meeting into a freak show.

Chanting, Barking

At some of these we barked? Just when I thought I had
heard everything, up comes something more absurd. Listen
at meetings when the group members chant Hi! Joe, when
Joe admits in front of others that he is an alcoholic. That
sometimes sounds like barking. At some meetings it is shouting, yelling, hooting and hollering. "Oh, we are just
trying to be friendly. We are not a glum lot". My opinion
is that is just plain stupid, and makes us look like jerks.
Yes, new people, especially drug addicts jump right into
this nonsense. ANONYMOUS

Especially Drug Addicts ?

Im afraid Alcohol is a drug,all Alcoholics ARE DRUG ADDICTS ! Why do some alcoholic can be so arogant to think that there better then ? Maybe these Alcoholics could for once crack the book titled "Alcoholics Anonymous", One of the most popular parts of the Big Book is now named "acceptence was the answer" was written by a self professed drug addict. The original name of this was Doctor Alcoholic Addict !

RE: especially drug addicts

Where did you find that definition of Alcohol? Honestly where? anonymous


It comes down to 12 step work plain and simple.
If I am on a 12 step call to someone who has only drank alcohol, when I 12 step him, I tell my story and if he relates i then turn the conversation to the hopelessness of alcohol and describe the mental obsession and physical allergy to alcohol.
If I am not an alcoholic, I cannot fully partake in 12 step work and therefore I can't fully work the program of action as outlined in our basic text.
This is my experience only,

Joined: 2012-01-18
Especially Drug Addicts ?

While people use the tomato as a vegetable, it is actually a fruit. Most tomatoes are fairly round, most are red, they are juicy, contain seeds, and can be eaten raw or cooked.
The apple is a fruit. Most are round, red, juicy, contain seeds, and can be eaten raw or cooked.
A fruit is a fruit, right? Next time you bake an apple pie, try adding a tomato or two and see what up come up with.
Or how about this? A doctor is a doctor, so go to an ophthalmologist with your next toothache.
And finally, if all else fails, read the pamphlet "Problems Other Than Alcohol." Then ask yourself why you insist on AA changing to suit you, rather than you making a few changes.

RE: Especially Drug Addicts?

I certainly do not think alcoholics are "better than"
any other person who has an addiction; just different. I just do not identify with the drug addict. True, the
recovery process is exactly the same, identification
with each other. AA and NA work best parallel side by
side, alcoholics with alcoholics, drug addicts with drug
addicts. The supply for both is abundant. If you are
doubly blessed, just respect the meeting you are in. It
is really not that complicated. I suspect that is why
the title Doctor Alcoholic Addict was deleted. ANONYMOUS

RULE 62...just saying! When I

RULE 62...just saying! When I go to a meeting, we carry the message with humor- with 'But trusted', AA as "A Whole", "special workers" and a few others you cant help to laugh. In my first 30 days I went to a group thats Hit the table durring smashed in more about alcoholism. As long as we are sharing our experience strength and hope does it matter how funny it is or isn't?

Rule 62

I "get" the first two. but don't understand the humor
in "special workers". Sometimes I am not too "swift". How about: We are not saints. The group chants "What's the point? The point is..... Bill once wrote Republican or
Communist 12+12 page 147. I find humor in that. I suspect that Bill W. was a Republican.
Bill wrote that we cannot be a vaudeville circus. We
are working on a serious illness. Hopefully we can come
to laugh at ourselves sometimes, while always keeping the
new person and public relations in mind. We certainly do
not want the general public to look upon AA a some kind
of joke. Manny Q.


Thanks for sharing your insightful observation. It is very important that meetings are orderly. Newcomers are affected by what is done and said in the rooms.

How it Works

How many years have you listened to HIW at meetings? After
listening to it read aloud at meetings for twenty years, I
started arriving at meetings late to avoid it. Too much
exposure spoiled it for me. It became a waste of my time.
Today I believe the introduction of reading How it Works
at the beginning of AA meetings was our worst mistake.
The first two and a half pages of chapter five is a
beautiful reading. But it has a special place. That place
is in chapter five, after chapters 1,2,3, and 4. Think about
it. To understand this, an understanding of Dr. Silkworth's
IDEA is necessary. Most AA members have no idea what this
IDEA is about. Bill wrote that without this idea from Dr.
Silkworth, Alcoholics Anonymous could never have been
born. The effectiveness of our fellowship has diminished
by our ignorance and ignoring of this IDEA. ANONYMOUS

"A drug is a drug .."

I heard this used at a recent workshop on Sponsorship and mentioned to a friend in the program that I didn't subscribe to that belief. He responded, "It makes perfect sense. Next time your house is on fire, call a milk truck. After all, a truck is a truck, right?"

Joined: 2012-02-25
A Drug is a drug.... hmmmm

I've never really subscribed to that little saying of, "A drug is a drug" because that would mean also that a sickness is a sickness. I contend with the disease, dis-ease of alcoholism not let's say, diabetes. If I took the drugs used for diabetes and expected it to heal or cure my alcoholism I'd surely die. What I am saying is: the right applications for the right issue. We all suffer in someway from some kind of addiction, but regardless of what the addiction is we all suffer from a spiritual malady.

"Keep Coming Back!"

Comment from a newcomer at a recent meeting:
"I wish you would stop telling me to keep coming back. It sounds like you're giving me permission to go back out."

Keep coming back.


keep coming back

it works if you work it. and only if you work it.

Joined: 2011-06-07
I come back daily

I keep coming back daily.
When we say "keep coming back it works if you work it" it's a positive affirmation not a permission slip.
Regular attendance at meetings hooks you into a network of solutions, experience and hope.
"It works it you work it" affirms that, by doing the steps to the best of your ability, the obsession to drink will be lifted lessening the likely hood that you might go back out.
I don't want to sound like I'm taking your inventory but if "keep coming back" sounds like permission to go back out, you might want to check where your head is focused. It sounds like you're looking back over your shoulder rather then looking at today.
Don't let the life AA's given you get in the way of your AA life.


If you don't want to sound like you are taking my inventory,
then I suggest you don't take my inventory. Rose

Keep coming!

When we say keep coming back, it works if you work it, that leads to the group chanting: it works if you work it,
so work it you're worth it, I die if I don't work it, etc,etc,etc. At a Northern Virginia meeting I attended,
they hold on to your hands and pump arms up and down,
while they chant. This may be a pleasure to the members
already here for a while. But the general public and new
prospective members may think this is weird. It makes us
look like a cult. The holding hands and praying before makes us look like a religion. "Keep coming back" by the
group is chanting and chanting does not belong in AA. Who
are we concerned about, the alcoholic approaching us, the
alcoholic who is considering approaching us, or the satisfaction of our own clamors and desires. Are we are still self-centered in the extreme? I think yes. ANONYMOUS

At our meeting we say....

We got tired of hearing "Keep coming back" for the exact reason you stated. So now we've been saying, "STAY - i works much better." It has taken a while to catch on but now that it has it seems to be helping all.

Keep coming back!!

Chanting is a response by the group. Chanting of any kind has no place in AA. Religion and cults chant. Chanting
makes us look foolish in the eyes of the public. Just
sit quietly and listen as each member shares experience,
strength and hope. ANONYMOUS

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