Heard At Meetings

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Joined: 2011-12-22
You never have to drink again if you don't want to

Whenever I heard someone say this, I used to think it was the stupidest thing I'd ever heard. Shortly before my second birthday I realized that just before I came to AA, I really had to drink and I didn't want to (and it only took two years to make this seemingly obvious discovery).

Today after working the steps, not only do I not have to drink, I don't need to or want to.

The fear, resentment, and the general discomfort that I felt just dealing with life are gone today. That is a blessing for which I am truely grateful. Thank you AA, I could not do this myself.

It ain't in The Big Book.

There is a website called It ain't in the Big Book. I found it insightful and it helped me a lot.

It ain't in the Big Book.


In my early days I heard these words at AA meetings! "WHEN MAKING A LIST OF THOSE TO WHOM YOU ARE TO MAKE AMENDS!!!PUT YOURSELF ON THE HEAD OF THE LIST" Those words are not in AA literature.

I also heard, "TAKE WHAT YOU LIKE AND LEAVE THE REST!!!" Those words are not in the Big Book.

"It ain't in the Big Book" is a very informative website.

If "it ain't in The Big

If "it ain't in The Big Book," it isn't the "insight" I'm looking for.

I am in total agreement with this statement

Once we are given the gift of sobriety, we have a choice to not drink. We get connected to the program, listen and learn.
No matter what happens in our lives, there is no good reason to drink again. It really is a choice. That is why it is no mistake when we go back out. If we look at what lead up to it,
usually the person stopped going to meetings. Stopped being connected to the program. Stopped being grateful for the gift
of sobriety.

Living a Balanced Life

To me balance is just another for control. put a broom on the end of your finger ans see how long you can keep it balanced. Notice that you have to move from left to right, forward and back to keep it balanced, sooner or later it will fall off your finger. Bottom line is we do what we want to do. So instead of balance set priorities, but learn to be flexible.


There are some strong opinions about this subject. Ive been amused and offended by some of them. But at the last meeting one person said "Religion is like going to church but only thinking about fishing, While spirituality is like going fishing and thinking about God.


Why do we call them pigeons? Because they crap on you and fly away.


Many of the early members of AA were from the WWI era. They used carrier pigeons to carry messages to the front lines which saved many lives. Hence the newcomer carrying the message of AA is also saving lives.

I agree!

This is an old timer with 3 plus decades of continuous sobriety. We always referred to the new ones as pigeon's for the reasons stated here about Dr. Bob. Why we ever let it get changed to Sponsee's I don't know - other than someone is trying to be politically correct. I still - to this day, call them Pigeons and they either love it or don't but it has worked for me for a very long time now. I'm not changing it. It is pigeon for this old timer.

Why did Dr. Bob call his sponsees "pigeons?"

Apparently, when he was asked this, he told them that he was training them to carry the message to the next alcoholic—like messenger pigeons.

And then he added, "If I train them well, somebday they'll bring the message back to me!"

(Never hated that term again. In fact, I understand that it's a term of endearment. I love my pigeons. And I love being someone's pigeon, too.)

I read this!

Today I have a choice: Do I want to be BETTER or BITTER!

Bitter or Better

AA taught me how to move from being Bitter to being BETTER. Here is what I learned, I go to AA meetings, I work the steps on a daily basis, I help other alcoholics, and I am and honest and open with a sponsor.

I keep doing that one day at a time.

In Ireland I learned that I can live ONE DAY AT A TIME or ONE DAY AT A WHINE!!

For me living the AA principles one day at a time, "is an easier softer way!"

Welcoming or not welcoming the newcomer?

I certainly do pay attention to new faces in a meeting. Whether the be new to AA or new to the Area does not make a difference. As a male I tend to be a little to assertive with females. I would like to say faternal caring. Even at 62 my eye can roam some and I need to be careful there. But my hope is to always extend a hand. "Mistakes" are made in our human behavior each and every day. I respect most when the person returns sober despite all my efforts (not knowingly) to derail them. THNAK GOD.

Anonymous somewhere

A moment of clarity

for my self the gem i heard was do you like what happens to you when you drink.
i had already passed the 44 ? no problem i was most surely not a drunk i drink i get drunk i fall down i get up no problem and i could quiet any time i wanted to i just did not see the need but i did not like some of the things that happened to me when i drank hell i ended up at a aa meeting nor did i trust any one but that thought hit me. it was on my mind for few weeks still going to meetings and drinking then two old timers asked me if i could make the noon meeting the next day with out a drink no problem i sad i no sooner got out the door and it hit me i shook it off i did make the meeting the next day with out a drink but it was hell to say the least i would like to say i never drank again but thats not true it took me a long time to learn i do not have to drink even if i want to i love aa and the fellow ship. and it works just great

Attitude of Gratitude Month

Attitude of Gratitude Month

As I look within I found myself always being a thankful person and would tell you thank-you to prove it.
It was not until I stumbled onto the free gift of sobriety that I did I even know what the common spoken word felt like.
I was thankful for my, Job, Family,Car, Boats,Houses, toys on and on then my drinking took them away. Later I found thankfulness had nothing to do with Being Grateful, as one had to do with things and the other God.
No mater what, Job no job, wife no wife, I am Grateful to God for the free gift he gave me, my sobriety, because no one can take from me, I would have to give it away and no sponsor deserves it.

Joined: 2011-08-13
I don't mind how much you drink!!!

Heard this today while discussing how to prepare for Holiday parties and other people asking you if you mind them drinking.....

Go ahead...drink all you want. The more you drink, the better I look!!

Made for a good laugh....

Joined: 2011-11-24
Funny Bone Anonymity

Apparently my close friend didn't figure out the meaning of ANONYMOUS when I shared with her my AA experience. At a recent gathering with a lot of drinkers a lady came up to me, slurring her words, and said "I hear you are in AA. Isn't that nice. So tell me, if you have a drink will you go crazy and start freaking out?" I was perturbed but with a dose of wit I calmly replied "No mam, if I drink I'll just start acting like you."

I'm wondering if the "close

I'm wondering if the "close friend" was in A.A. --- if they are, I would have a chat with them about anonymity. If they are not, they are not bound by A.A.'s Twelve Traditions (and if I'm concerned about my anonymity when sharing it with a close non-A.A. friend, I can ask that they keep the information confidential.)

RE: Funny Bone Anonymity

Quote" I was perturbed but with a dose of wit I calmly replied "No mam, if I drink I'll just start acting like you."

Maybe that's why you are here too !

Joined: 2011-07-13
meeting shares

we need to keep our recovery focused. Our sponsors are who we share our deep fears and insecurities with...during our shares at the meetings we need to try to share in a general way "what happened, what it was like and what it is like now" in regards to the topic or where ever we are that day. We should not be going into detailed rants about what has happened to us (how tough the world is on us, how nobody understands)


Asked a person in A.A who has already been here for a while WHY they still have a sponsor? they replied, "Because they have to take my call, when no one else will.

I could not help to think who is the sicker one between the two?

If I do not share with my sponsor!

If I do not share with my sponsor. If I stay away from meetings. If I isolate myself. Then I am going to get a lot of very bad advice!

Where else?

Where else can you find a group of people that cheers one on as the make it safely out of a burning building they burnt down?

Restless, Irritable, Discontent . . .

I believe a circuit speaker of great influence spoke of being "restless, irritable and discontent", and thus, people throughout the country have been repeating this phrase over and over again. However, sad to say, the folks that repeat this are using two adjectives and a noun. They should be saying "restless, irritable and discontented."

A nit, yes. Suggests however that the very same people haven't read "The Doctor's Opinion" in a while.

Restless, Irritable, Discontent

My friend, I am discontent with your suggestion. If someone were to to ask me "are you content?" I would not reply "I am contented" I would reply "I am content" as in to remain here, or there. Discontent is the antonym of "content, or state of satisfaction." An adjective also per M.W.Dictionary. You are saying "content" as in make up or ingredient or what may be contained therein such as in a book. That would be a noun. There is no "Discontent" as a noun only another adjective or verb- Empty! Folks seem to be knowing in their usage. ? (Not an English teacher)

Restless,Irritable, Discontent

Gee, I have never heard anyone try to be politically correct at a meeting or point out a mistake. I just assumed that you couldn't say anything wrong in a meeting.

Guess it is no the same in every "room".

My Character Defects can be Assets

I may be suicidal but at least I procrastinate!

Heard the Blue Springs Group, Missouri

My Character Defects can be Assets

Good for you, an impressive "defect"! Just curious, does it relate to "dying as I burn"? If so I know the feeling well and have to say thank god I procrastinate too!

Heard at a meeting

Friend,please tell me what you are thinking! You do not have a GLASS HEAD so I cannot read your thoughts!

heard at meetings

A young lady told this story at a meeting here. She visited a different country. She saw a sign "Friends of Bill Wilson meet here!"

She entered. She sat down. She was alone. 10 minutes later a young man came in and introduced himself to her. He sat down and they began to talk.

No one else came so he said, "What do we do now?" She was surprised and told him that it was a meeting of AA. He said, "I am not an alcoholic. I was curious when I read the sign outside and I came in to see Bill Wilson, shake his hand and meet some of his friends!"

That is a true story!

Joined: 2011-10-14
Too many years and not enough days

Folks with more than 20 years of sobriety are dropping like flies where I live. One of these people who relapsed after long-time sobriety came back to the fellowship (thankfully) and described himself as having "too many years and not enough days."

Joined: 2012-01-03
too many years and not enough days

Wow! I can relate to that. I had almost 8 years when I thought I knew it all, quit going to mtgs and calling people and in not too long a time, I ended up drunk. It took me several years to find the program and sobriety again. I am gratefully sober now 16 yrs and am reminded constantly that I must take it One Day at a Time.

Joined: 2011-05-21
Heard at Meetings

I say remember what you heard, forget who said it. When my sponsor told me stories about things that happened at a meeting it was always the same 3 people. Jane, John, and Ann that had done these items.

I just could not wait to meet these three! One day I finally asked their last names. Jane Doe, John Doe, and Ann O Nymous the irish drunk.

It was important for me to learn the lesson as I did not have the time to commit all the mistakes! Watch the others he said quite often. But always remember or you will make the same mistakes yourself, and that probably will not lead to a contented, useful sobriety.


When I got here, I was not a vision for you.


Principles do not apply THEMSELVES!

I was not a vision for you.

An excellent one liner. I will share that with my AA friends! Thanks a million friend!


I'm new to aa and this site,
Help me wrap my head around this.
I understand that its not ok to share things heard at meetings. "...whatever is said here, stays here,...here-here" Right? No?
Some one needs to set me straight. haha
No but really, seriously.
I dont get it. Why are we sharing?
Who decides what the exceptions are?
I f someone reads a post that was in attendance at the meeting post being shared in positive light or otherwise, it may attract local attention other A.A.s etc. coments replys to post.
The ramifications ya know? Coulod be ugly, even if our intentions were good!
The risk of precious sobriety being lost here?
NEVER worth risking!
Im falling in love with aa collectivly and well, already said too much.Im rabbling.
This post is prob too risky. In fact thinking bout it is the perfect example of what Im trying to understand/explane/share/say. Knowing there will be replys to this post with opinions.I ask to please try to kind.Honest, even firm, but.....any way....lol
Should we share what was said im a meeting outside of meetings or not?
Please keep it in the spirit of how intended.
If i have offended or exhausted a brain or two,i apologize.Certainly is not ever my intent.
Let me know if poss,
A friend of Bills North oregon coast

About anonymity...

Thanks for your post!

We share our most personal feelings and experiences at meetings. If you learn something from my sharing, it's not a problem to pass on what you have learned, but, with no names attached! I will protect your anonymity, and expect you to protect mine. I have a couple of cautions to add to that, however...

An AA meeting is a public place, and I have suggested to some AA friends that only their sponsors should know their most dangerous secrets. The self-confessed bank robber should probably accomplish her amends without going to prison.

On the other hand, if you tell me that you are seriously planning to hurt someone, or that you have certain knowledge of child abuse, I will be talking with *my* sponsor about calling in the authorities, in a heart beat. Those confessions are not privileged communications, in AA, or in any profession.

Best wishes to all of you!


"...whatever is said here, stays here,...here-here" Right? No?"
This is another of those cutesy-poo things that sneaked into the meetings from another fellowship. If 'what I hear here stays here' it wouldn't do me a bit of good outside the meeting. And outside the meeting is where I need to use what I 'hear here', not inside.
I profit from and sometimes pass on someone else's experience, strength and hope, but I don't pass on who I got it from.

re: hear hear

Actually I think that the ironic toast of which you speak dates back several decades at least, maybe further, and is not a product of treatment centers. But that is my own speculation. However, I appreciate the sentiment of those who respond to the statement, "Who you see here, what you hear here, let it stay here," in that fashion, even though I do not join in the utterance. All hearkens back to the 12th tradition (amongst others), which I highly recommend reading along with the chapter on same in the 12 & 12. The principles I learn in the rooms I take with me, but the identities of those who share, and the specific details of their lives that they may have shared in discussing a topic, I leave in the rooms. That is anonymity at its most basic and fundamental level.

re: hear hear -bringing you up to date

"Who you see here, what you hear here, no beer here,"

Your Questions are Important

Hi Friend of Bill,

No need to apologize there, we've all been there like you are, being unsure and questioning but trying not to step on toes at the same time! I'll try to give you my answers taken from others in the program... First, we share to help eachother. We do this by sharing our experience, strength and hope. We have the unique ability by doing this to save lives through the god of our understanding.

I think its ok to talk about meetings outside of meetings, and often the subjects are helpful and interesting. We try to stick to our own stories. We as people stay anonymous, and wouldn't want to possibly hurt one another by telling someone else's story and identity to others. There really is no one who decides what the exceptions about sharing are. There are no leaders, only trusted servants in our fellowship.

I don't really understand what your question is about the posts, but in all of our interactions we try to stay honest and thoughtful of others and their feelings. Of course mistakes are made, people get hurt. That's when the steps come in handy, lol!

I am glad that you asked these questions. Many, possibly all of us do. Once I walked around during a meeting handing little notes to people asking them to call me because I didn't understand what was going on :oP

I too have fallen in love collectively with AA. It is the best part of my life. Peace and love in yours,

A friend of Bills in British Columbia.

Hello SHHHH!

Yes you exhausted a brain or two, (certainly not offended).
Most alcoholics, if not all, love to talk drunk or sober.
Don't share anything at a meeting that you would not want
to be shared in another town, or another meeting. Who do you think we are? We certainly are not saints. AA meetings
are full of sick people. Imagine that! We share in a general way what we were like. If AA has helped us to change, we share that with other alcoholics. I don't believe
we are here to talk about "issues", other than the way they
relate to our alcoholism. HERE! HERE! is another cult like
chant, which groups have adopted or is it adapted? Simply remind the group to respect the anonymity of all other
members. Anyone who doesn't know the definition of anonymity, please see the chairperson after the meeting.
Tradition eleven and twelve concern anonymity. They are
not laws, because we have no AA POLICE to enforce them.
We are all individually and collectively responsible to
protect our fellowship. ANONYMOUS A friend of Bill W
from the east coast.

Joined: 2011-07-10
Reply to: SHHHH - What stays at the meetings

Think of the Golden Rule. Would you want someone talking about you behind your back?

That's what leaving what's said at the meetings, "at the meetings" is all about.

Use a little common sense if someone is planing or admitting to, or conspiring to do grave wrongs. I'm sure there is a line, from sharing at a meeting to a police matter. This forum isn't the best place to figure that out.

Re: Shhhh - What stays at the meetings

Meetings aren't supposed to be group therapy sessions, though that's what many have become. They aren't supposed to be public confessionals, though that's what many members have turned them in to. Meetings are where the older (longer sober) members teach the newcomer how to get and stay sober.
Anyone can stay sober in a meeting--it's outside that's tough. We need what we learn at meetings to live in the world, and we can't do that if we 'let it stay here, hear, hear.'


It seems to be a secret, but meetings are not classrooms where longer (sober members) teach anyone anything. Sober
members talk about how they drank and how they got sober
through coming to AA. If the new person gains anything
from listening to us that is wonderful. If not, we thank
them for coming and listening to us, because that is how
we stay sober. All members in an AA meeting come together as equals. We are not teachers, preachers, advisors. I
believe that the AA sponsor concept of today has become so distorted that the title ought to be abandoned. Todays
sponsor along with the incessant chanting makes AA a cult.
Even cults work for some. The other six million suffering
alcoholics have been pushed away. ANONYMOUS


I agree with you all the way BUT for me My Higher Power and the meetings which I attend keep me sober and sane. I can learn from the newcomer, listen to the old timer, and come away with a sense of peace and serenity. I do not have to participate in the chants, if I do not want to, because once I say Amen that is the ending of the meeting, for me. I usually clap after the meeting because it is my way to show my appreciation for the people there who have kept me sober one more day.

RE: Agree

Take a closer look - It is important to discover where and what the outside sponsorship system was for before it became an institution injected in A.A.- It was once useful outside
of A.A. before local spin dry's took over - Take a closer look


Dr. Bob was quoted as saying: Don't applaud me. Don't applaud any alcoholic. FROM: "Doctor Bob and the GOOD OLTIMERS" anonymous

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