Heard At Meetings

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Anonymous
SUCCESS.

The only place where SUCCESS comes before WORK is in the DICTIONARY!!!

Anonymous
We share our experience

Have been chairing a “As Bill sees it” meeting for a while. A few times I took someone quietly aside after the meeting and tried to explain the difference in sharing our experience from analysis, advice and other material found on the ground behind male cows. I finally printed out cards with the following information and left one with each book around the table. I can’t duplicate the format here but the word experience is BOLD and the quotes that aren’t experience are strikethrough.

After the meeting I offered one of the worst offenders a copy to take home and he smiled and showed one already in his shirt pocket. I’m sure an intelligent man, a retired air force officer but he just didn’t understand “sharing experience” until it was spelled out. I’ve made hundreds of such mistakes myself. A big part of AA, explaining a few simple ideas in enough ways so we all finally “get it”. If you have chronic advice-givers or over-thinkers in your group feel free to copy this and pass out some bookmarks.

__________________________________________________________
We share our experience –

“What I think…..” Your thinking
“I think what we do……” Your analysis
“I think what people should do…” Your advice
“What I should do…” Your uncommitted speculation
“What they told me…” Who knows?
“What I do is….” Your experience
“What I have done…” Your experience
“When … happens, I feel….” Your experience
“What I read in the Big Book….” Our recorded experience
__________________________________________________________

Anonymous
Reading your mind

I told my counsellor that I could read people's minds. SHE SAID, "YOU ARE SITTING IN A ROOM WITH ANOTHER PERSON. YOU ARE BOTH SILENT. YOU SAY THAT YOU CAN READ THEIR THOUGHTS! I REPLIED, "YES. I CAN." SHE SMILED AND REPLIED, "WHEN YOU ARE IN THIS SITUATION, THE ONLY MIND YOU HAVE ACCESS TO IS YOUR MIND AND YOUR THINKING!!!"

THEN YOU MAKE A NECKLACE OF YOUR OWN THOUGHTS AND MENTALLY HANG IT AROUND THEIR NECK!!! AND SAY THAT THEY ARE THINKING THOSE THOUGHTS!!!"

I THINK THAT THIS WAS A LIGHT BUB MOMENT FOR ME, I REMIND MYSELF OF THAT MANY TIMES EACH 24 HOUR PERIOD. COME TO THINK OF IT, IF WE COULD READ EACH OTHER'S MINDS, WHAT NEED WOULD THERE BE OF HUMAN LANGUAGE?

gunnre
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Joined: 2012-07-22
reading your mind

Awesome.... My wife and I had a nice little discussion of this last night. 31 yrs of marriage we have been 'reading each other's minds' a lot lately. Assuming we know each others thoughts, intentions, reactions. Truly errodes the peace of mind. Thank you. Seeing this over my morning coffee/quiet time must be my topic for prayer and change today :)

Anonymous
The wreckage of...

A sponsor advised me,"FOR GOD SAKE STOP RIGHT NOW THIS VERY MINUTE, TRYING TO CLEAR AWAY THE WRECKAGE OF YOUR FUTURE!!!"

That is still good counsel!

gunnre
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Joined: 2012-07-22
reading your mind

Awesome.... My wife and I had a nice little discussion of this last night. 31 yrs of marriage we have been 'reading each other's minds' a lot lately. Assuming we know each others thoughts, intentions, reactions. Truly errodes the peace of mind. Thank you. Seeing this over my morning coffee/quiet time must be my topic for prayer and change today :)

Anonymous
Big Book Study

This was read at the beginning of a Big Book Study:

Searching for Humility in a Big Book Study
401 AA Group – Saint Joseph, Missouri
April 4, 2013

We come together every Thursday at 5:30 for a Big Book Study. There is a reason we do this study. There are people who are called Big Book Thumpers. The term is often used in a derogatory manner, suggesting that the Big Book Thumper is a rigid person who only accepts their interpretation of the Big Book. Most of us know someone like that. Our purpose in this Big Book Study is to read a couple of pages from the Big Book and to collectively search for the wisdom. We are here to hear what others think. Our purpose is not to convince others that our interpretation is the only true interpretation – our purpose is to learn from others.

I ask myself, are we communicating and learning – or are we just taking turns talking. We have an opportunity to learn, to understand, to grow in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. The authority of AA does not rest in the wisdom of a few old timers – the authority of AA rests in the Big Book. We hear people say, “I once heard an old-timer say…” as if that qualification makes the statement an absolute truth. We sometimes hear people say, “I have 20 years sober and I say…” as if their sober time affirms their wisdom. Sometimes we hear people say, “Well, I was always told…” as if having been told something makes it wise and true. People with many years of recovery possess their own unique wisdom – but the true wisdom is collective – it is the voice of many, not of one. The wisdom and authority of AA resides in the Big Book.

Each of us comes to this table with a bias. Each of us has a preconceived idea about what the central message of AA really is. That bias, or preconceived idea, is the wall that prevents more learning. We cannot learn and grow if we listen only for the words that affirm what we already know. The purpose of a Big Book Study is to put aside our own ideas and to listen closely to others.

Every time we read this book together something new is revealed – but only if we are open to listening and learning. We only learn from others when others share their insight into the reading. There is an old adage: When you know you know that is when you don’t know.” We have learned to laugh again, but AA is a serious program for serious people. None of us is here to show off our wisdom – we are here to remain humble as we search for the true wisdom of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Remember, God liked his first AA Meeting so much He has not missed one since.

Anonymous
Big Book Study.

Great sharing from you on this topic. I go to a Big Book Study here in Glasgow in Rose St. every Saturday morning at 10.00 am.

We go from page one until the end of a VISION FOR YOU. We study and share on one or two paragraphs at the time.

It is an excellent study group for me.

Good luck to you all.

Anonymous
bi book study

thank you. i am sober 42 years. i need to hear what you said--so i can learn to listen again and lose my big shotism.

Anonymous
Humility...

I heard that the English word HUMILITY is from the Latin word HUMUS, which means the GROUND!!!

Anonymous
RE Big Meeting

I believe that God is present at every meeting, He
sits at the head table. I don't have to point to Him and
say: That One is God! May you find Him NOW. Let God be God
and do His own work in His own way. He is worthy and capable. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE RE Big Meeting

"I believe that God is present at every meeting"
why wouldn’t he be, if he is everything or nothing? He does not want to miss out on a laugh !!

Anonymous
BB at the 401

Good message beginning to end. Thanks. Been sober since my second meeting at the 401 in 1979. Sounds like good stuff going on there still. Think I'll tread across those parquet floors again soon.

Anonymous
RE: big book study

Bill W. was a gifted man. He was the author of the Big
Book. I consider the third edition of the Big Book the
second greatest story ever told. If Bill was given the
wisdom to write such a book, why do we ignore his other
books and writings? He wrote the Big Book at five years
sober. Collectively all of Bill's material offers us a
way to get sober and stay sober, and to transfer this
"way" to all alcoholics who need and want it. After
writing the Big Book, Bill spent the rest of his life
developing that "way". Half measures avail us nothing.
If we continue to ignore Bill's later writings and
warnings, we will kill the goose that laid the golden egg. Why focus entirely on the Big Book and
ignore the rest of the message? In future writings
Bill explains and simplifies many of his previous writings.
I continue to learn. Just this morning I read in concept XI
about the importance of electing qualified leaders. I
believe that too much of our fellowship/program has been
turned over to the white chippers. I do not fault the
newer members. We are all to blame for our failure.
I have heard that as long as there is doubt or a chance
of being wrong, I will always be conflicted. When I am
100 % certain that I know what I know to be correct, then
I can find peace. I have heard that it can also be a sign
of insanity. I write what I believe to be the truth, the
whole truth and nothing but the truth. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
What I have read today

The name of the website, is: "AAGRAPEVINE: The International Journal of Alcoholics Anonymous." The title of this page from the website, is: "Heard in Meetings."
I got on the site today looking for some topic ideas to use in upcoming meetings. To my dismay, I found heated debates and arguments similar in format to what is seen on Facebook. I'm not angry, hurt or disgusted; I'm greatly disappointed and concerned. Did any of you accomplish anything? Mature and healthy discussions about opinions would be understandable, but destructive, selfish, judgmental, and finger pointing agendas are dangerous and ineffective.
What if I were a newcomer wanting to locate reading material or learn about the "Grapevine" and found these "discussions?"
For my initial search, I'm certain I will receive better information from my HP and from tonight's meeting.

Anonymous
AA Meeting Topic

Step One: Since I am powerless and my life has become unmanageable doesn't it make since that I need a manager with power? Suggestion: Read pagers 60-63 in AA "Big Book" from standpoint of "this is how I live my life without Alcohol and without the 12-Step program of recovery.

Anonymous
re: what I have read today

And our visitor's inventory taking is different, how?

Anonymous
Meeting protocol

At a meeting recently a non-member non-alcoholic stood up to make a statement at an open AA meeting. The moderator shared that only members are allowed to speak at our meetings but we were glad she was there and he would be happy to visit with her after the meeting. Some of the members booed him. I was appalled. It was my understanding that only members were allowed to speak at meetings: open or closed. Is there any written information on this?

Anonymous
Re:Meeting protocol

Our literature suggests that AA members should have an opportunity to speak before any non-members a provided time to speak. Each group (4th trad.) decides how they want to handle their meetings (2nd trad.)

AD010416
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Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Meeting Protocol

What can a non-alcoholic know about staying sober? For years non-alcoholics told me all I had to do was quit drinking. They had no idea of the obsession, and the craving for more after the fist was totally beyond their understanding.
Bill W. got through to Dr. Bob because they both spoke the same language. That's what has made AA successful over the years--as an oldtimer often said, in AA we don't tell, we share.

Anonymous
re meeting protocal

Yes there is. The pamphlet "The AA Group" and traditions 2, 4, 12.

af72475
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Joined: 2013-03-22
my 1st aameeting out of rehab 3 years 4monthago

A old timer with 55 years came up to me after the meeting and says"I loveyou and god does fo. I sooneeded to hear that and stilli play that tapeback in my head during a bad day.

Anonymous
chips

I love old chips.My old friend and sponsor Jack had a bag full of them when he Passed away. His beautiful wife gave them to me and I have hung on to one to remember him, and given the rest to different meetings to pass out.I think Jack would have liked that. k.

Solutions
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Joined: 2011-06-07
Chips

Who would have thought that something as trivial as a length of sobriety chip, could cause so many resentments. Petty self absorbed posturing only distracts us from our primary purpose which may I remind you all is to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Anonymous
Re-Chips

Also We're did chips come from?
Because it blows our: One day @ a time..

Anonymous
Where the chips came from

Sister Ignasious..at the Towns hospital..worked dilligently with alcoholics..I could be wrong about the hospital but it was with Dr.Bob...when an alcoholic was discharged,she gave them a coin to return to her if they felt the need to drink.
I have been sober for 1 year..2 months..personally I looked forward to getting a monthly chip..I was told it helps a newcomer see some HOPE..and others with more sobriety said it helps them to remember early sobriety..it helps to see who to have a hand out to.
the last few months..people knew me..they were happy for me.
I felt uncomfortable being the center of attention when I celebrated my 1st anniversary. I was told it is a celebration for AA.. It is a way to show gratitude for the fellowship

Anonymous
I struggle with the "great I am"

See "I AM not very much" but "I AM always on my mind"

Anonymous
I had to quit playing God.

I quit playing God by resigning my divinity and joining the human race!!!

Anonymous
The Door to AA swings both

The Door to AA swings both ways!!

Anonymous
you know

you know, it's not what you don't know that will kill you in AA. It's what you know for sure, that just isn't so!

AD010416
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Joined: 2012-01-18
Chips and Length of Sobriety

Many people don't like to see people celebrate lengths of sobriety simply because it reminds them that they never seem to acquire any length of sobriety.
For those who resent any observance of anniversaries:
Founders Day in Akron every June;
Bill W.'s annual birthday dinner held until he died;
This, from AA history Lovers "Original message from xxxxxxxxx
It was recently reported at the Old Timers Panel during the Kentucky State Convention that the years sobriety will be bumped to 50 to be selected to speak at the Atlanta AA International. Our delegate confirmed that it has been "board approved."

Anonymous
Chips and Lengths?

ADO10416; None of these things have anything to do with
making a spectacle of a newcomer, or allowing a newcomer
to make a spectacle of him/herself. How can we best help
the suffering alcoholic approaching us? Because I was
allowed to just blend in as an equal, I believe it to
be the best way. It worked for me. And I believe that
EGO deflation at great depth is necessary for recovery.
Telling a newcomer she/he is the most important person
in the room is hardly deflating. We all know that the
new person is the most important person in the room (besides me). But it is harmful to tell that to the newcomer. Think about it. And get that membership
numbers info from GSO, please. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Chips and Marking time

"Many people don't like to see people celebrate lengths of sobriety simply because it reminds them that they never seem to acquire any length of sobriety.

I don't congratulate people for staying sober X amount of time. At the beginning of every meeting I hear "Probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism and God could and would if sought" so I don't congratulate the person marking time. If I'm put on the spot to say something about someones anniversary, I sometimes look up and congratulate their Higher Power for keeping them sober. Otherwise I thank them sincerely for joining us. Also, because of the progression of recovery a person has done more in staying sober his 30th day than his 30th year. Chairs are full of people counting time instead of making time count. Story after story after story in the Big Book or from the podium tell us that sobriety does not cause more sobriety. Only a program of recovery causes more sobriety.

Enjoying the gift of sobriety since 1979 if it matters to anybody and still haven't been awarded a PHD in being un-drunken.

AD010416
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Joined: 2012-01-18
Re:Chips and Marking time

Old joke:
Every day a gent out for his walk passed an empty lot that was overgrown with weeds and full trash. One day he decided to take a plastic bag with him and pick up some of the trash. Then he brought his wheelbarrow for the tires and other heave junk Soon he had the place clean and began cleaning out the weeds and planting shrubs and flowers. By mid summer he had turned an eyesore into a small park. One day a minister passed by while he was working and said, "Sir, you and God have surely transformed this patch of ground. The old gent replied, yep, but you should have seen it when God was doing it by Himself."
Of course I couldn't have gotten sober without a Higher Power. But until I did a lot of work He couldn't help me, either.
In my forty+ years of sobriety I've seen many who stay sober without doing anything but sit in meetings and complain about chips, prayers, readings, etc. etc. etc. to all who will listen.

Anonymous
Old Joke?

Jim: Have you really seen many sit in meetings and complain
about chips, prayers, readings, etc. etc. etc? I don't ever
recall hearing those complaints at meetings I attend. And I go to a meeting almost every day.
I am convinced that members who are bothered by these
things do not return. If our fellowship is not attractive
to them, they do not and will not stay. If they are court
ordered they will serve their time. There are some who
will choose prison time over reading and praying with
us. Pray on your own time in a place of worship or a
place of your own choice. An A.A. meeting is not the
place to pray. We are a fellowship, not a prayer group.
Do we still agree that chanting is stupid and must be
eliminated? Do you agree that the alcoholic and addict
fellowships must be separated? Do you ever hear these things discussed at meetings? Are you still able to get
out to meetings? ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Only in A.A

Only in A.A can you find people to clap and cheer one on for surviving and making it out of a burning building that they themselves burnt down !!!!!!

Anonymous
RE: Only in A.A.

We stop being a drain on society by changing our behavior,
and expect praise and applause for doing so. We have lost
all humility. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Item for At Wits End

A drunk on the street asks a fellow for $10 'til payday. He responded "When's payday?" Then the drunk says " I don't know, you're the one who's working."

Anonymous
Item for wit's end!

Brilliant story--- the alcoholic knew which of the 2 were working!

Anonymous
item for wit's end!

...MOVE A MUSCLE...CHANGE A MOOD!!!

Anonymous
EXCELLENT!

Finally, a funny submission!

webeditor
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Joined: 2011-04-20
Your Joke Submission

Grapevine may publish this in the magazine but before we can, can the person who sent it in contact us at webeditor@aagrapevine.org

Thanks you.

Anonymous
Item for At Wits End

A drunk was brought before the Judge, who said "You've been brought before me for drinking." "Okay, says the drunk, let's get started."

webeditor
Offline
Joined: 2011-04-20
Your Joke Submission

Grapevine may publish this in the magazine but before we can, can the person who sent it in contact us at webeditor@aagrapevine.org

Thanks you.

Anonymous
Item for At Wits End

A couple was sitting at a table at his High School reunion. He kept staring at a drunken lady sitting at a nearby table. His wife asks "Do you know her?" Yes, he replied, she was my old girlfriend and she took up drinking right after we broke up and hasn't been sober since. "My God" says the wife, "Who would think that a person could go on celebrating that long."

webeditor
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Joined: 2011-04-20
Your Joke Submission

Grapevine may publish this in the magazine but before we can, can the person who sent it in contact us at webeditor@aagrapevine.org

Thanks you.

Anonymous
Birthday Chips in AA

Just a suggestion....the personal story in the Big Book called, "A Drunk Like You" talks about a man and his experience with sobriety, the Steps and a "token" in his pocket. I like it, you might as well. Mary Anne B.

Anonymous
RE: Birthday Chips in AA

Showing is better than telling any day yet superstition works well also ask any sponsor rather than ?

mroger
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Joined: 2011-10-24
Re birthday chips

http://www.barefootsworld.net/aachips.html
You may find this interesting.

Anonymous
working steps off the wall

If you work the steps off the wall, you have an off the wall program!

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