Heard At Meetings
I had the misfortune of being in a serious automobile accident in January of 2001.
I had a head injury also and did all i could to aviod medications and was able to do it.
I had a very serious concussion and at times the dizziness from it was so bad all i could do was go home and lay in bed until the dizzy spells improved to a point i could stand up without feeling as i was about to fall down.My head was spinning so terrible inside and it took over 4 years to stop completely.
My trouble at one meeting i was going to happened the week before Christmas 2001.I was sober over many years at the time (I'm still sober today)and i was chairing a meeting in the basement of a building that had a day care on the top floor and it was an old building.In the winter moths it was cold in the basement of that building and when ever i was in a place that was cold for at least the first two years after the accident it just made the dizziness that much worse.
When i first walked into the basement i was all right and was asked to chair the meeting by a memeber of the group (It is an OSD meeting)and i said yes.I started off the meeting feeling the same amount of dizziness i normally was feeling at the time,but as the meeting went on the coldness of the room was setting in and i was getting dizzer fast.
About 15 to 20 minutes into the meeting i was so dizzy from the cold in the room (one of the simptons i had from the injury) i couldn't remember anyones name and other problems.It was noticeable by the others at the meeting and next thing i knew i had others there making comments on "Some people stop drinking, but stll do drugs and want to chair meetings!" And other not so kind comments as i sat there feeling like i was going to fall out of my chair and on my face.
As much as i had commented i was having problems from the head injury and trying to ask for some help to finish the meeting my comments fell on deaf ears.
The people making the comments most of all were A.A. members many (20 years+) years sober.I was able to make it through to the end of the meeting and left the room quickly.
Getting somewhere warm always made the dizziness better when i had problems with the cold in the winter.Also rain and dampness gave me problems as well as changes in the weather.
I showed up at another meeting two days later mostly attened by the same group of people (A Big Book meeting) and once the reading was over and time came to decuss the reading a few of the same persons thatmade comments at the meeting where i had trouble started to make comments on it agian.
I sat there said nothing and when the meeting ended i left and i have ever returned to either one of the meetings since then back in December of 2001 (Today is July 21 2013).
I will never forget that experience for the rest of my life!
I just loved how the very people that like to tlak about all the things they do to help others had a grand time taking my inventory and kicking me when i was at one of the lowest points in my sobriety!
What is an O. S. D. meetings please?
IN MY WONDEFUL AA DISTRICT --OUR SCHEDULES HAVE SYMBOLS FOR THE TYPE OF MEETING.
O=OPEN [ANY ONE CAN ATTEND -FAMILY,FRIENDS ,STUDENTS,ETC.] C=CLOSED[MUST HAVE A DESIRE TO STOP DRINKING TO ATTEND.] SM =SMOKING IS ALLOWED. S=SPEAKER
D= DISCUSSION BOOK STUDIES ARE-- BS[BOOK STUDY]- BBS[BIG BOOK STUDY]- 12+12[STUDY]- SS=[STEP STUDY].
ISN'T IT GREAT TO BE AN ALCOHOLIC IN RECOVERY!!!
... the finger th@ points has no business to. a a makes perfect sense - all the sense in the world. we learn in a a th@ we must place principles before personalities. those th@ criticize or doubt or gossip are not hurting you, really. you know in your heart where you are. of course you would like to tell the people in question "just where to get off". maybe even @ a one on one situation. you are correct to say th@ unity of purpose is paramount. we must look into our own hearts & know what is best to do. tho others may discourage or misunderstand or even falsely "judge" us, we must allow th@ to flow off of our backs as water does on a duck. the "how important is it" question is relevant. it is difficult to take slander - those th@ feel for you - who know the truth shall stand with you. many years ago, a very estute & "wise" person said to me - "god bless those th@ wish me well, them th@ don't - may i wish them well". actually the last part was, those th@ don't can go to hell. i adjusted it to keep MY head right. enough from me. know why you are in a a. let the other person just be. let live to live - so to speak. otis
I know gossip at meetings suck, but guessing by the sounds of it your probably in a group from a small town or village. Despite the gossip we are human and it doesn't matter if you work at a high professional job or live in a small community, people talk. I don't worry about what people say about me because I know who I am, and if it did bother me I would go directly to the person myself and find out why they spread lies. Just a few weeks ago someone in my neighbourhood was spreading around I'm mental. I said wow, I'm getting popular around here, and then I said they must have a real bigger problem within themselves because they have to go talking about someone else. Let go and let God, life's too short to let someone else rent spac in my head. I hope this helps you.
Here is a little parable.
Jack wanted help with his DRINKING PROBLEM very badly. He put the following ad in the local newspaper.
"MY NAME IS JACK. I NEED HELP WITH MY DRINKING PROBLEM! RESPOND TO BOX 119.
A few days later he got the following reply. " I CAN HELP YOU JACK, signed. GOD.
Here is the ensuing interview. God is sitting across the table. Jack is facing him and has a writing pad ready.
1st. Question. "What is your name. Reply, "My name is God."
2nd. Question, "What do you know God? Reply, "I know everything."
3rd. Question, "What can you you do God?
Reply, " I am almighty. I can do everything."
4th. "Can you speak many languages?
Reply, "I can speak all languages, especially the language of the human heart!"
Jack. "That is a fantastic reference God. Can you help me with my drinking problem?
God. "No problem at all Jack. But there is one condition?"
Jack. "What is the one condition God?"
God. "You must agree to DO IT MY WAY!!!"
Jack goes into a silent reflection, then clearing his throat says.
"I'll tell you what God. Let me think about it, and I promise you that I''ll be back to you."
"IF I REALLY NEED YOUR HELP!!!"
I know this is not done but here goes I have been sober for 29 years and I can no longer take going to meetings and hearing I was brought up Catholic but now I've seen the light ect on and on .Every kind of pregedice spoken and people laugh I say my truth about my faith experience and they contradict what I say .I have never heard something bad said about any other religion ever! Why is this OK? I have not gone to a meeting in 4 weeks very sad I do forgive but don't have to take this any more ,mary t
Regarding this notion of anti-catholic bias: perhaps you are misreading the reaction to statements about your religion. Perhaps the people in question are rightly pointing out that this is a spiritual and not a religious program. I always bristle when people in the rooms profess a belief in "the one true god, Jesus" or other such statements of specific religious belief. This program is based on a higher power of your own choosing. There is no need to state what or whom your higher power is. Just a few nights ago at a meeting someone shared that People who claim to be following this program are can not truly honor their higher power if they are not attending church regularly. Of course this statement did not go over very well with many people in the room. The bottom line is that everyone is entitled to believe in a higher power of their own choosing, and when you impose your higher power on them, you are tacitly saying that their higher power is wrong. Perhaps the more beneficial tactic is simply to refer to your higher power as your "higher power" or simply "God." In any case, keep coming back and keep praying to your higher power for guidance. It works if you work it.
Take what you need and leave the rest.
Please keep the faith. I get a little angry about that too at times. The one I love (and I've said it myself) is...."This is a Catholic disease cured in the basements of protestant churches." But the truth is this is an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY disease. And faith is a journey. I'm a "revert" and after God saw fit to send my best friend home from Viet Nam in a casket I told God to shove it! 17 years went by before I reconciled. We're all on a path. What I say (away from tables usually)is, "Preach the Gospel everywhere you go....and only has a very, very last resort.....use words!" Kapish??? ~~ Paul P
I often hear, "I WAS FULL OF CATHOLIC GUILT!!!"Never heard, "I am full of Protestant guilt, or Jewish guilt, or Buddhist guilt or Muslim guilt or agnostic guilt or any other kind of guilt!!!
I'm Irish and I heard that "AA is a spanner that fits every nut that walks into the room!!!
Our preamble states that "we are not allied with any sect,denomination,etc.". We don't mention these things at all during the meeting. We talk about "what it was like, what happened and what we are now." Please go back to AA meetings Mary, you have 29 years of membership behind you.
And here is another useful Irish statement, "Listen to Thunder and Avoid lightening!!!"
Any Alcoholic who works the first 9 steps, will experience the 12 promises, that is the light,in my opinion, that is worth SEEING!!! God bless.
Quite a lot of AA meetings occur in buildings belonging to the Catholic Church!
Remember we're in a Church and not at Church!
You know this bias stuff going around is what we are taught in the bible. I don't mean to go all religious but remember its darkest before the dawn. There will be a time pretty soon when things will turn around. Remember something great is about to happen. It always does for me, and I pray for those who persecute me or judge me. AA and God has taught me to be loving, kind, and tolerant. I trust in God everyday, and if I don't there is something wrong with me. Of course it hurts to have others laugh at what we believe, only if we alow it. Don't stop going to meetings just because of them. I did this too before and realized that now I go to meetings for me and the still suffering alcoholic. God places these people in our lives to make us stronger, not weaker. Use your program or religion, you know God gave us tools. Pat yourself on the back, and be proud and keep fighting in what you believe in.
I sometimes share in meetings the fact that I had a wonderful Catholic upbringing. My mother worked at our Catholic school so the priests & nuns were like family to us. One of the priests, who was also our athletics coach, was my hero. He helped we inner city kids, no matter our background or color, get involved in a variety of sports including speed skating, snow/water skiing and track & field. I stayed in touch with him for years and asked him to speak at my mother's funeral when I was 10 years sober.
I sometimes share that nearly everything in the steps was offered to me through the Catholic Church. The goal of my church & school was to "build character" but instead I became a character. It was not the Church's fault that I ultimately rejected what I was taught. In the long run and through the program of AA, I returned to a way of life that builds character and I am grateful to everyone who tried to shape my character as I grew up.
Though I took my 5th step with a Jesuit priest, I have not returned to the church as an active member. I tried but decided my time and efforts were better spent helping alcoholics in AA. That said, I never shy away from sharing my positive experience with Catholicism. I have been fortunate to not receive negative feedback.
Every religion has its "idiosyncrasies" that may receive a few chuckles during a meeting. I've heard people share about being raised Methodist, Jewish, Muslim, Baptist...and they always manage to get a few laughs about how they were raised. The predominant religion in my area is Mormonism and that religion seems to generate the most chuckles at meetings here. On the other hand, I don't know anyone in my AA group who would fault a member for actively participating in their church of choice to broaden their spiritual life.
I have found that most Mormons out here have developed a wonderful self deprecating sense of humor when it comes to their religion. I have come to admire that ability and have tried to cultivate that trait in myself.
What are your choices? You can leave religion out of it. What if there were a newcomer there who got the idea that AA IS religious by people even mentioning it at all?
Alcoholics tend to need something to gripe on or about. It's either gossip, or some warped, negative idea. It's not necessary to even mention what truth you follow, is it? Not everyone needs to know you're an AA, and not everyone will understand your religious choice, either.
Please, don't make it to be more than it is. Or you can find/or develop your own meeting. If you like. Even if someone's "truth" is warped, that doesn't reflect on you, AA or Catholicism, either. Does it? Don't let anyone's comments bother you or hold you back.
Bashing of any kind is a form of soul sickness. Remember that some are sicker than others. Mary please don't stop going to meetings. You can change your meetings just like in the beginning you changed people places and things. I am 30 years in AA and did stop going for about 10 years. I didn't relapse but my thinking became sick and I was not there to put out my hand to others and help the next person. Please stay, God can resolve this within you and the others. Pray for those who speak hurtful things. Bless you. Liz K, New Jersey
In the AA Preamble that we ared read at our meeting, we find that, AA IS NOT ALLIED WITH ANY SECT, POLITICS, ORGANIAZATION OR RELIGION.
We do not discuss Any Sect, any Politics, and Organization, and Religion. These topics can be divisive and take our attention from the purpose of AA which is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. As we say in Ireland YOU CANNOT WHISTLE DANNY BOY AND DRINK TEA AT THE SAME TIME!!!
Being alone in my own head with my own thoughts is like wandering around a dangerous neighbourhood after dark!
A member was 17 years sober. He was helping a young man who was just 17 days sober. The older man said, "Come with me now to make a 12 step to a young man who rang me for help!"
The younger man protested, "But what good can I do? I am only 17 days since my last drink?"
The older man replied, "You are ideal for this call. He will identify more with you than me!"
""Why will he identify more with me than you?"
The older man replied, "I am 17 years since my last drink, you are 17 days since your last drink. SO YOU WERE LAST AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT!!!"
I would like to thank all the people who gave me praise and praises me for making it out of the burned down building I burnt down , How can I repay you? – Thank you
A member of AA carried the message to me.
I can repay him by carrying the same message to others.
A member of AA carried the message to me.
I can repay him by carrying the same message to others.
Are you an "And uh" or just an "uh"?
better than "ya know what I mean"
This is the only program I know where people come in and admit that their lives are unmanageable, but want to tell everyone else how to manage their lives!
Here us a parable. Mike got news one morning in the Seminary that his Dad died suddenly during the night. Pat. the senior student visited Mikes' room. "I know exactly how you feel Mike, my dad died during the night seven years ago!" Mike said, "No Pat. You don't know exactly how I feel. Please leave me, I want to be alone."
Pat went to the Dean of the Seminary and told him of his experience with Mike. "I had the same experience as Mike. I know how he feels." The Dean replied, "Listen Pat, Mike was right, you don't EXPERIENCE how he feels. Mike's Dad had not spoken to him for years!" But Pat said, "But I do know how Mike feels I had the same experience as he had!" The Dean replied, "Pat you did not have the SAME experience as Mike, but you had a SIMILAR experience!!!
"You could not have the same experience as Mike, because you are Pat and you are not Mike!!! You do not have Mike's experience of Mike's emotions, but you do have experience of your own emotions! That is why I say that you did not have THE SAME experience, but you did have a SIMILAR ONE!!!
This story taught me a lot! When I heard an AA tell his or her story, I assumed that I knew how he/she felt. Intellectually I understood what they said. But the story teller had the experience, in the totality of his or her being, in their bodies, their minds their spirits, their emotions and in the deepest caverns of their hearts. I do not feel as they feel, only they themselves have access to those deep dimensions of their hearts. I do not have direct personal access to those dimensions of their being. I have SIMILAR experiences to theirs but I do not have the SAME experiences and I need to remind myself again and again about this distinction. This helps me to pay greater attention to his or her story, and learn how they applied the 12 steps in the particular incident they are sharing. Today is the 10th. day in the month of June. It is the 78th. Birthday of A.A. Happy Birthday to ye all.
If you are waiting to be made fearless, ask for patience, lots of patience.
If it is courage you want, the wait is over.
God get inside my head before I do.If it be thy will.
I heard in a meeting that an individual's sponsor insists she quick taking her meds for severe clinical depression in Step 4. I believe that is ludicrous, it is the only way she can function in society. This individual is two years sober and doing well as a service member and her family life is finally coming together for her. Why would a sponsor insist upon something like this?
Because the sponsor is an idiot. Not following a doctor's advice is self-medicating - plain and simple.
Page 133 is very clear than we "...good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward."
Is there something elusive in "afterward" that I and not aware of?
A sponsor is in my life to show me what he did. He is not there to tell me what to do. I do not discuss my health issues at an AA meeting, neither do I discuss what medicine I have been given by the competent medical authority.
Keep it simple!
When I go to see my doctor, I do not read the AA preamble or Chapter 5 to him or her!
I go to discuss my health to him, and take his guidance and direction, because he trained and qualified to do so.
Some alcoholics have the delusion that they (personally) can do all things for another, including diagnosing diseases and perscribing medication or telling them not to take it. I am a Type 1 diabetic (being treated by an endocrinologist with insulin) and am being treated by a Psychiatrist for clinical depression (with an SSRI type antidepressant). I have had several "nutcases" tell me that I didn't need either of those medications! I thanked them for sharing their opinion, asked them where they got their Medical Licence, then suggested that they should call my MDs and tell The Doctors, not me, what they thought. I then told them that MY SPONSER had told me that the big book specifically states that there are good Doctors out there and we should be honest with them and follow their instructions. If I break my leg, I'd first want someone to take me to the hospital, not a meeting.
We are not doctors
Some of us are!
Sponsor is a
Sponsor is a
" Dang it Jim, I'm only an alcoholic!" ~~ Dr. McCoy
We are not doctors. We don't give advise. We share our.ourexperience. if you don't have experience it's good to listen and send then to a power greater than you the doctor.
Because the only requirement for membership is being nuts. That's why everything important (like we are not doctors) is written down.
Think of any business or organization without any established standards, checks and balances. Now put someone in charge of it who may or not be crazy at any given time. Get the picture?
I was once at a meeting where the word "desire" was discussed; as in "The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking." Nothing there says you're excommunicated if you aren't able to stop yet.
Knowledge never made anyone relapse in AA. It's failure to practice the answer known.
What you don't know never made anyone relapse it’s what you think you know that is not so that causes the trouble.
Let go and let Joe - LOl
I was complaining to my Sponsor about how constantly busy and frazzled I am. She said "if you are over-whelmed it usually means you are under-surrendered." I silently growled, but I knew she was right . . .
Did anyone ever meet anyone who was just simply WHELMED!
I often hear folk say "I AM OVERWHELMED!"
I am in my 75th. year and I have yet to meet someone who was just "WHELMED!!!"
... i can identify with th@ - & - may be able to keep it in mind - next time i get the same way ! otis.
God is not looking for people to surrender he gives the courage and is not interested in cowards
God is interested in everyone therefore he is interested in cowards!!!
I am in my 75th. year now and my Sponsor is older.
He told me that a 20 year old asked him,"HOW DO I BECOME AN OLDTIMER?"
He replied, "Don't take the first drink, work the AA way of life, and by the way PLEASE DON'T DIE."