Heard At Meetings
My friend was sober for many years in AA. He had a serious car crash. He escaped with a few scratches but the car was a wreck. He had a miraculous escape, but his brain was affected.
He worked in a nearby hospital for mentally handicapped adults and children.
Sometimes he left the hospital and went to pray in a nearby church.
One day he told me,"Do you know what I thought while praying in the church?
I replied, "No. Tell me what you were thinking about in the church."
He answered, " I could see that AVOIDANCE was DANCING IN A VOID!!!"
Cut her some slack, as you said, she has no trust in you and why should she. Since you have a broken neck, she is or has probably had to take care of you and may be bitter about that as well. You need to let time take time. Ask your sponsor if he will bring a meeting to your home if you cannot get out. Get a list of AA men's phone numbers and call, call, call. You can have a mini meeting on the phone and us AA er's are usually more than willing to come to a home for a one on one, or better yet a two on one. Read your Big Book, "To the Wives" and "The Family Afterward"
It will get better if you work the steps and the program.
Hi: I have found that trust is something that is earned and I am sure you will earn it if you hang in there. One day at a time. A sober friend in NY State. Hugs.
trust will come..dont drink and go to lots of meetings...
trust will come..dont drink and go to lots of meetings...
I sympathise with your need for a friend to talk to ,and to understand what you are going through. It will take a while for your wife to come around as she has been burned before.give time time,know that the best ears and support will come from other people in the program who have shared the same things you are going thru.you are doing the right thing by sharing on this site.it will be your sounding board and we will be the friend you are missing for now.
Very good advice here!
I agree with Trust.friendship and lonliness comments It's nice to read direct and encouraging advice, When looking for a AA meeting look for one with this kind of a tone!
Accountabilitie yet supportive. Keep coming back it works when we work it.
Here is a wonderful Irish saying!
"When all is said and done, there is more said than done.
And just because a thing is easy said, it is not easy done!!!"
Read your post carefully and see if you haven't answered your own question.
"My sobriety date is June 1, 2013, and this is my dozen or so time battleing this drink,"
There's an old saying, 'fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.'
I'll go out on a limb here and guess that each of those dozen or so times you promised something like, "This time I mean it," or "I'll never do it again." How anxious would you be to trust someone who has made a habit of breaking promises?
"I have a sponsor, but sometimes that's just not enough."
That's never enough. You make no mention at all of the twelve steps. Today is my AA birthday, my sobriety date is July 25, 1971. I did not reach this milestone by turning my will and my life over to a sponsor or by making a lot of meetings. I did it by following a suggestion given me when I had three and a half months and was in an area with no meetings; Use my Big Book and a Higher Power. It worked then, it worked while I was an Internationalist and it's working now.
Give it a try, and good luck.
Thanks for a very honest share. Well done.
You asked for someone with time. My time in AA...more importantly...in Recovery is 26 yrs by the Grace of God. Here I go..I will talk to you as I would as if you were my sponsee. Our disease of alcoholism(drugs...same..thinking processes), attracts folk with similar thinking and behaviors-even if they don't drink. Women (and I am one), are prone to pointing fingers and laying blame. Men do as well, but not as much as women. Trust is very hard to earn once it is broken..but it can be ganined through consistency. I speak from experience in my own life. There is a process in learning how to live our lives in recovery and the process involves getting a sponsor whom you respect for the recovery behavior, and then working the 12 Steps. It is through this process that we begin to understand our disease and how it affects others. It is not easy to be sober and trying to live in Recovery when you are constantly being bombarded by negativity. The caution I would give is that others who have known you as a drug/druggie are used to a specific groups of negative behaviors from you. They learn how to deal with themselves and you and the world from that perspective...you being a drunk/druggie. When you take steps to get clean and live in recovery..it can be threatening to others who do not know what to expect from you. They are out of their comfort zone. And most importantly...they cannot control your new behavior...it's about control. Sometimes, I have known the others to directly sabbotage the person trying to stay clean because they just never can get comfortable with a different relationship that they can't predict and control. Also, it is easy for the other person to remain a victim of your bad behaivor and continue to point fingers at you. Your job is to quit whining about the situation that you created and get your butt into more meetings. Find a healthy meeting (healthy being noone hitting on anyone either sexually or for money.) Find a meeting where there is no whining...find a meeting where the folk share experience (very little sharing in this topic), strength and hope. Find a sponsor you can trust...a man...NOT a woman...and get to work on yourself. Change you...do not try to change anyone else. Read some of the Big Book and the 12 steps everyday. If you haven't turned your life over to a Higher Power yet, find a sponsor or someone you trust in AA and have them help you get through Steps 1-3 FAST...the plow into 4-7....then move onto 8-12. Do the steps as fast as you can. Do not delay. Once done...go back and do them again...in more detail and depth. I cannot tell you your wife will change, but I will tell you that I took these steps 26+ years ago and my husband followed me into the rooms of AA and from the wreckage of our past lives...we are committed and still married to each other. My you find your Higher Power, whom I choose to call God and join us on the recovery road.
Thanks for the post. Members like yourself sharing gives me hope. I am in the first year of recovery. Almost 10 months and am facing similar issues with the family trust situation. I am following the steps with my sponser and making changes in myself. The road is long and I will say not always that smooth. But with the grace of God as I understand him and my fellows in AA I so see hope.
Thanks for sharing your experiance.
Trust is one of those things that can take a lifetime to acquire and a few seconds or a bad decision to through away. I had to finally admit step one, both parts and made the decision to take this program as suggested to me by my sponsor. It took five years to gain the trust of my wife back and we have now just celebrated twenty seven years together and the last thirteen have come to be the most precocious of all the twenty seven. We are the very best of friends and trust is what love is all about for the both of us today.
You have millions of friends and people just like you that will stand by you if you put forth the effort to improve yourself by not taking that first drink. The program as outlined in the BB works if we take the information it has as if it's a life or death situation, because it is.
Your Fiend in sobriety..
How long has it taken to program her distrust?
I...I am lying
"I have a sponsor, but sometimes that's just not enough."
Good. A sponsor should not be enough.
When I started I was crazy. I picked someone for a sponsor who was crazy. I still can't find anything wrong with that logic. Of course it didn't work but fortunately for me he was the one who died from alcoholism.
I use AA literature to learn how to get and stay sober. The Big Book and 12 and 12. The answers to your specific questions are in there.
Just wanted to see if you met some guys to hang out with yet ? It takes time - but going early and staying late after meetings can really help. I too need people and can't be happy otherwise- so I go to lots of different meetings and remain open to many kinds of friends. It's hard at first, but keep practicing and it will become a skill.
It is said...within that mirror is one's OWN self...never able to hide from...
It is said...where one ( many ) puts a question...God puts a period...
Many years have since passed when I cried out for HELP...only by the grace of God...
I found Alcoholics Anonymous...Amen...step #1 opened the doors for this new life of mine...
Now years have passed with this renewed life of mine...Praise God!
Not for myself to judge or analyze the BB...it is said...question not the wisdom of God...Amen...
My experience...strength...an hope are the results of step #3...Amen...
So 72 years have come an gone...yee haw! my spiritual life came to light some 14 years ago...
Thank God for Alcoholics Anonymous...my sponsor and a sober life...Amen...
In God I trust...all others have a choice of their Higher Power to be...
Within this one's OWN self...of the Holy Spirit for communion of God's will to be done...
This is known to be...I am you...you are I...Amen...
For is it not within one's OWN self...the Serenity Prayer is powerful!
'Bingo'...Believe I Need God OK!
In Shakepeare's Macbeth are the following lines.
"THERE IS NO ART CAN FIND THE MIND'S CONSTRUCTION FROM THE FACE".
i noticed my daughter was needing a.a. twelve years ago, but could do noting until she finally accepted she had a problem thank the fellowship and my hire power, she is now about two months sober. being a member of the fellowship and getting sober showed her that if her mother could get sober then maybe it could help her.
if it was not for the a.a.fellowship i would never have managed to stay sober over the last four years. and through example my daughter has now followed me into the fellowship, so i would like to thank all a.a.members for there help over my journey to soberiety.
"When Daniel left the lion's den, he did not go back for his jacket!!!
... i hope to keep this "brief". yah, good luck ! of course there are many references made through - out "our" literature to the first drink. 't ain't the caboose 'n' all th@. there is also the classic example as described as the "jay - walker" in the big book. somehow through - out the years, the page in the big book (153 or now 154) is as close to the scenario as the hair on my arms can stand up to, if ya get my drift. the first drink - onto - what preceeds the first drink : the set - up ! now, i am very sincere in this posting, yet with a quip of sarcasm. ok, here goes : the fella said to me - ok - i have two questions for you. 1 - how do you set yourself up for the first drink? 2 - how do you set yourself up, to feel bad ? think about th@ for a bit. i myself have done many a set - up, unfortunately & stupidly. so i speak from experience with th@ "whole" self deception territory. the territory is in the mind. the disease is in the mind. alcoholism can be said to be a disease of the attitudes. so to answer my own question - dishonesty is the key to setting "myself" up to feel bad & then the first drink, again. so with high hopes & sane thinking - it may not be necessary to conduct experiments (i could not list the # of words th@ mean stupid),again. so maybe dishonesty is the # one killer. & the antidote is stamped upon one side of the coin i carry. "to thine own self be true". thanks all ! otis.
... there has never been, in my life, anywhere like a a. the quick concise & wise sayings are uncanny. i was told many years ago th@ a a is divinely inspired. we speak of the people of a a. we also know & feel th@ the guiding light of all who choose to realize : "god" is behind the fellowship. the coin sez - "to thine own self be true". this sez most all, we need to know & feel ! i believe. otis.
I can't hold it together.
Well, then let it all fall apart.
please rachellu do not let everything fall apart, your hire power knows you are worth saving, trust him get to a meeting and share what is troubling you. you are a fantastic person you have come far, dont trow in the towel of the support of a.a. keep away from the first drink and share how you are feeling at the next meeting you go to and i am sure you will get all the support you need to continue on your journey to sobieriety, you are in my prayers, keep up the fight and get what you deserve and new way of life and soberiety
I tried to hold it together myself and I failed (step one)
I was at step 2. I looked around the room and saw folk who were serene. They could not achieve serenity alone with their own ideas and they told me that.! So they put AA programme first, got a sponsor, and got into action. I did likewise and it was the best move that I made in my life. I pray for you and yours my friend.
You don't. Have to work the 12 steps unless you want to stay sober.
I have not gone to certain meetings in months because certain people lied about me and said I wasn't sober when I had a head injury. "Let there be no gossip or criticism among us." We will be destroyed from within rather than from without. As I'd heard.
Gossip will always be a part of this world no matter where you go, it's up to the individual to accept people, places, and things the way they are. I can't change someone else, especially if their sick. it's simply their way of concentrating on others rather than themselves. Remember the serenity prayer.
Listen to thunder.
So sorry for your situation . It's hard, but eventually i had to accept that people have their own fears they are dealing with. People also project their own dishonesty onto others without realizing it. Move on in faith and expect good people to come your way. ODAAT
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.
I love that saying:
"Listen to Thunder,
and avoid Lightning!"
That to me is the embodiment of AA and NA...
I told my brother to come to a meeting. My brother is not an alcoholic or drug addict, but if there is one thing I believe, we at AA meetings have at our disposal a fellowship that many search for in churches but don't find. I am not saying we should neglect church, but if you can't find a congregation that understands your problems or your god as you understand him, at least AA gives you an outlet from which you can express and receive a necessary social bond with others who also struggle in this life.
Many of us become servants to these substances because of a loss of management of the many issues that overtake us in life. Whether at a young age or an old age, stresses in life often find a way to drive us into self-defeating, even suicidal behaviors. We search for relief in any number of places, but the answer is never any one place or as simple as just one suggestion. Yes Church helps, but there are many alcoholics hiding in those pews! The military has helped many a man and woman achieve control of a life of turmoil, but many also have lost their grip in that very same institution.
I say all this to come back to the original quote; we in AA and NA may not have ALL the answers to life, but neither do any other place where answers may be found, but what we do have in AA and NA is experience with the burns of "lightning". We come to meetings and speak out about our experiences with passion and conviction. Nowhere else is the "Thunder" louder than an AA and NA meeting about the dangers of NOT avoiding the lightning.
We have already been burned, but a Jamaican saying goes such, "Once bitten, twice shy". We have been once, twice, thrice bitten, so we shout out to others to shy away from the mistakes we have made.
Come to AA, come to NA, because it is the best place to "Hear the Thunder and Avoid the Lightning!"
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!!!