Heard At Meetings
There you are! I wondered where you were. I was concerned that you were lost in the transition to the new I-SAY FORUM.
It took me a few weeks to find it. If AA had continued to
grow at an acceptable rate, the rate of the first 57 years,
we would have eight million members in AA today. Most members know that today our membership is estimated at
two million. Where are the other six million? Most are
still sick and suffering. Many have died because we have
failed them. Have we failed them by telling them that the 12
steps are not mandatory? I really don't think so, in fact
I believe just the opposite. They have approached us in
desperation looking for help and we have shoved the 12
steps at them as the answer. The problem is not the 12
steps; It is the shoving. The demands are just overwhelming.
Get a sponsor, 90 in 90, find God and find Him now. Hold
hands with us while we pray. You are correct. Alcoholics
all around us are dying unnecessarily. We are all to blame:
Those who have changed Alcoholics Anonymous from a fellowship (lower case f) of men and women, to a twelve step
PROGRAM (only one of many). Those of us who stood by
silently, allowing personalities to overtake principles are
equally to blame.
The solution seems to be a secret. What really works is
one sober alcoholic telling other alcoholics exactly how
he/she got sober, without demanding, or even asking for anything in return. We are not to offer any advice or directions. We only share our own experience.
I suspect that many of us have such deep religious
convictions that the phrase "GO EASY ON THE GOD STUFF"
is offensive. The gospel churches that I have attended
seem to say You must find God and find Him today. The
alcoholic just needs a little more time and love or
suffering, whatever she/he chooses.
Alcoholics Anonymous is failing many alcoholics and
their families. Everyone seems to know that except our
prideful members. What do you think is wrong? I have
studied the history and sincerely believe I found the
answers, beginning with the "cart before the horse",
idea offered to Bill in the spring of 1935. The grave
mistakes we have made at the group level in the past three decades are covered in the I-SAY FORUM. ANONYMOUS
Thank you Bob H
Our early sober members spent many days and nights to
convince the early group members to lable the steps as
suggestive. They wanted the door left wide open for any
alcoholic with a desire to get well. To lable any member
as sick, silly, shitty, and stupid is harmful and drives
suffering alcoholics from our rooms. You can take both
hands off the wheel and applaud yourself, if your purpose
is to destroy our fellowship. ANONYMOUS
"you can do it now or you can do it later, but sooner or later you will do it" An old timer told me that.
Hello Very funny post...
Did you ask your sponsor if you can think? Talk about weird
It's Not who's right
It's NOT WHO'S WRONG
IT'S WHO'S LEFT - your ego or the spirit of A.A.
What is this? I met someone and am marrying him. For over a year & a half my life has been connected, healthy & sober, but I keep being told rumours that 13 Stepping is basically breaking the AA law. I have read all literature that I can find, and there is nothing that opposes this. Apart from 'unwanted romantic advances' in the traditions checklist. I understand there are predators and vulnerable people out there, and this fortunately does not apply to me. I am being ostracised, and while it doesn't affect my sobriety, it affects those who were very friendly and excited for us and were coming to the wedding and have now decided not to, and refuse to give an explanation. How would you deal with this. It seems so sad and wrong.... perhpas we will find out more in time....
Confused yet hopefull
Only a sponsor would bring up their own reality - Principles before personalities - Personality is simply a sponsors reality who love to use fear calling it helping you!!!!
Trust in God and Clean house and you'll be OK with or without
Read a Vision for you in the Big Book. It does mention people find love or marriage in the rooms.God of your understanding and your will in his care. If you found love in the rooms and your honest in your motives good for you!
There is a reference. Look up "boy meets girl on AA campus.". Sober people refer to "bar behavior". Why are u at meetings? Check your motives. Keep the focus on yourself is an AlAnon phrase, useful in their recovery and ours. You want a deep, fulfilling relationship? Find the right sponsor (do they have what u want? For starters...).
Did you ever notice? Those who keep repeating Women stick with the women and men stick with the men are the same
members whose mates are in the program. But on the other hand maybe they are trying to give us advice from their
own experience. I have seen several relationships and
marriages between members go sour. I believe Bill W.
left us some good advice in the big book about this
kind of question. Easy does it. Take your time. ANONYMOUS
First, I want to wish you congratulations on your impending wedding. You have found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, and that is fantastic!
As to relationships when fairly newly sober, there are of course no rules in AA. However, sometimes when we are fairly new to sobriety, our judgment may not always be the best -- just a lot going on in the head and it can be difficult to have clear perspective. Not sure how long your fiance has been sober -- I'm sure the two of you have talked about how your marriage and your sobriety will fit together. If you have also discussed things with your sponsor and other trusted friends in AA and prayed and meditated about it (preferably not just once but for a period of time) and your fiance has done the same, and you both still feel this is the right decision for you, then in my opinion there is no reason to hold back. (If on the other hand you have not done these things, then those are suggestions you might want to consider.)
As to others in the program who may criticize your decision, if there are among them those you love and respect, I would suggest you ask their opinion and take the time to talk with them about it in a private setting. My feeling is that if they are truly worried about your welfare and your prospects for a long term relationship, they will offer their honest opinion in a loving way, and in the end they will still love you and support your decision, whatever that happens to be. I think friends support friends even when they think their friend is making a mistake. If they act otherwise (not willing to talk, overly critical, thinking they know better and expressing that in a negative fashion, etc.), then it indicates something about the lack of depth of their friendship.
Whatever you end up doing, I wish you all the best! And sobriety no matter what.
Cheers / Love.
You go to AA because you're f'd up, why would you bother with a relationship if you can't bother to fix yourself first? Or the people you've hurt, money you owe, etc. You should go to AA to get SOBER, build relationships with people to stay sober by talking.....not dating. 13 Stepping seems to be another denial of fake sobriety so you don't have to do the work yourself. But what do I know, I'm still trying to stand up......
ps - I will add this to my lists of amends, I am full of self loathing and self pity.
Read page 119 in the 12&12.
You will find your solution there.
"The prospective partners need to be solid A.A.'s and long enough acquainted to know that their compatibility at spiritual, mental, and emotional levels is a fact and not wishful thinking. They need to be as sure as possible that no deep-lying emotional handicap in either will be likely to rise up under later pressures to cripple them."
When I put relationships (or anything else) over sobriety, I am setting myself up for rejection and will eventually lead to relapse. My sobriety comes first.
Talk to your sponsor and/or do a 4th Step on it.
Heard at a meeting, several years ago:
"If you're new...there's good news, and there's bad news.
The good news is, there's hope. The bad news is, we're it!"
Submitted by - The Original Earthmom
Heard today at a meeting:
One woman shared that she had recently read on someone's Facebook page a different take on this slogan: "LET GO OR BE......DRAGGED!".
Many times that's how it is. I was dragged to my first AA meeting and many times it takes the pain to finally let go of people, places and situations.
Alcoholics don't let go of nothing - Their hands just give out!
In agreement with that.
Few months back at a mtg, few hard working and passionate program working aa's were sharing about letting go. We all had something to say. The last guy to share said, I can't let go; if I could, I would, but I can't. So at step 3, when it talks about turning my life and my will over (aka letting go), instead of trying to let go, I remind myself to finish what I started: continue all the other steps, and continue to help other's through all the other steps.
I can't change what my mind goes to, but I can continue finishing what I've started: a style for living that really works, even when I don't think so!
I was dragged to my first AA meeting too. Yesterday was the
37 1/2 year anniversary! They always say that there's an exception to every rule, and I thank God that my friend decided to break the rule of "Attraction rather than Promotion." I think it's usually -- almost always -- true, but I would be dead a long time ago if he hadn't taken matters into his own hands.
I will never cease to be grateful to him, to my sponsor, and to this wonderful Program.
I wasn't dragged to my first 23 years of meetings but directed there by a Power greater than myself who I addressed as "Your Honor". I also never went to a meeting sober. I then found myself in a treatment center where I went because, again, I had to. So I never did "come to AA"; you came to me. And for that I thank you all and God for doing for (to?) me what I could not do for myself. Because of that experience I became willing to follow some suggestions and have now been sober 10 1/2 years. In a row! bootom line? I don't know what's good for me and neither (I assume) do most newcomers. So I abide by what a friend calls perhaps the most spiritual words ever spoken in AA: "Shut up and get in the car!"
The first thing you put ahead of your soberity is the second thing you’ll lose.
"The first thing you put ahead of your sobriety is the second thing you'll lose," - Dennis D.
THANK YOU for this post. Last night was my first meeting in 5 years. Although I've kept a lot of what AA has tought me in mind throughout those years...this is something new and a HUGE eye opener, because that's exactly what I've been doing. Always putting something, or someone (mainly someone), ahead of my sobriety.
I feel like I've been on the worst bungee jump of my life, hitting rock bottom, then coming back into the air, and nose diving into the rocks again, and again, and again. Not putting myself (physical, mental, and spiritual being) ahead of everything else has truely been my issue.
Thank You, again, for putting this into perspective for me.
If God knocks one needs to open the door, there are a lot of people who have no door knobs to open the door - Just ding dongs sponsors to let them know something maybe going down.
If you have one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow all you can do is pee on today...so get both feet in today.
If I have one eye on yesterday and the other eye on today,
THEN RIGHT NOW I AM COCK-EYED!!!
Nearly all Independence Day disasters start with the following phrase: "Hey, hold my beer and watch THIS!"
Thw most important thing my first sponsor said to me was: Do you see that young man over by the coffee pot? I think he is new. Would you go over and talk to him? He never asked
me what step I was on. He did often ask me to sit in the
back seat. We were going to an open meeting and his wife
was joining us. He died at 13 years sober and to my knowledge never "worked" the steps. I know he never pushed the steps on me, although I eventually took them of my own
volition. The steps are suggestions. The Big Book is meant
to be suggestive only. Why do we cram and pound?? Anonymous
The only way that I will know that the 12 steps will work for me IS BY WORKING THEM! Then I will experience the 12 promises on page 83. It is the quiet example of sober men and women that encouraged me to try to PRACTICE THESE PRINCIPLES IN ALL OF MY AFFAIRS.
The folk who helped me in AA are those who lead by their good example, THEY DID NOT NEED TO CRAM AND POUND!
Why doe we cram and pound? awesome, I think it could be that some people are legends in their own minds and others just live the steps one day at a time doing the best they can, " never take yourself to seriously" I love that one.
You are so right! The steps are merely a suggestion........ then too a rip cord on a parachute is merely a suggestion. M.
Dear M. The steps are truly suggestions. I have used the
example of the cord on a parachute many times in the past
years. I called the steps D---ed well betters. But when I
found out that our fellowship was diminishing I did some
research. I know today that I was part of the problem. I
beg of you, read the history. This "problem" was solved
seventy years ago. We push alcoholics away by telling them
at their first meeting all that is contained in the first
two and a half pages of chapter five. I am grateful that
I finally pulled my head out of the sand, and looked around. Believe me, it has cost me dearly. But every time
an AA member tells me: NOW I UNDERSTAND!, it makes it
worth it. ANONYMOUS
" Why do we cram and pound?" What does that mean?
Bill W. wrote on page 8 in Language of the Heart that we do not cram the steps down anyone's throat. Yet we do it all the time at almost every meeting. We do this by reading the
steps to the newcomer at his very first meeting. Reading the
steps and telling the newcomer to find God and Find Him NOW
is harmful. The cart before the horse IDEA from Dr. Silkworth explains all this. The steps are not mandatory
and are only suggestions offered to those who wish to use them. We ought not push them on any AA member. The Big Book
was meant to be suggestive only. Yet we thump and pound the
book as if it were the second Bible. Bill and his friends
were frantic to get the book printed. They made several
last minute changes which were vital. Bill spent the rest
of his life explaining and clarifying the meanings. One of
the last minute changes had to do with following our path
and not our directions. Yet we spout directions all the
time telling newcomers and others what to do. To be
effective I need to only tell the newcomer EXACTLY what
I did and EXACTLY what happened to me. If we can stop
cramming the steps and thumping the big book, maybe we
can return to an accepted rate of effectiveness and growth.
In case you didn't know, we have lost 20% of our
membership in the past two decades, after 57 years of
continuous growth. These figures are provided by our
General Service Office. Our blunders can be reversed, but
first we have to recognize them and admit them. Anonymous
I am one of the 20% i will not go to meetings anymore as they make me so frustrated, for all the same reasons that where given with the person that brought up cram & pound.I only went to meetings for the first 4 months and that was enough for me! if I had of kept going I would not, now have a year of sobriety.There are more than a few members that think they are helping, by calling you or every time you see them, that is all they talk about.Even weather there may be others around that don't know that you have had or still have a problem with substance abuse.I do not believe with the 30 meetings in 30 days or big book meeting where some try to dissect what Bill means with every word he says!I do believe the program does help people but there are also other ways of giving it up.Will power and a will to live! See a counselor on addictions. AA is not the only path to follow to get the results you are looking for.
I am an Irish Alcoholic, and we have a saying in Ireland which in my opinion is a gem. LISTEN TO THUNDER AND AVOID LIGHTENING!!!
Oh, and by the way, I listened to a lot of cramming and pounding in pubs too!!!
If our fellowship can ever attain enough grace and
humility to once again offer the steps, the whole
program in a suggestive manner, our fellowship of
Alcoholics Anonymous will recover. Most A.A. members
have no understanding of how to offer the solution
in a suggestive manner. Bill explains the method on
page 70 in A.A. Comes of Age. Many members have never
picked up A.A.C.A., or even heard of it. Not all is
in the Big Book or the 12 & 12. Thanks for the message.
We gained 875 members in 2013. Shameful. ANONYMOUS.
Acceptance is an inside personal job. Surrender is an out side job that gives up. If one's acceptance is true to thy self it is impossible to surrender, unless of course your sponsor became your God.
"The elevator to sobriety is broken....you need to take a cab instead."
"The elevator to sobriety is broken. Please use the steps...................
I found this comment amusing. it brought a chuckle. I find so little to smile about these days. Take a taxi to a meeting. I had never heard this one. Hopefully you will find sobriety there. But not always. Anonymous
Take a cab? This makes no sense whatsoever.
What is the difference between God and me? God never thinks he's me.
I love that and it is so true. One of my favorites is I'm just another bozo on the bus that God drives!
Andrea B. - New Mexico
I am subject to change without notice, I am working to be subject to notice without change.
"God never gives me more then I can handle...I just wish he didn't think so highly of me!"
Steps keep us from killing ourselves, Traditions keep us from killing each other.
"Some days you're the pidgeon - other days you're the statue"