Heard At Meetings
Many of us make mistakes in spelling when posting on
I-SAY. Personally I do not know how to use spell check
on this forum. Spelling errors are miniscule, when compared
to the tragic blunders we have made in A.A. at the group
level, over the past thirty years. Did you mean "Clicks" or cliques? Also, and is not spelled amd, thats ought to be that's, cant ought to be can't. I may be a high school dropout but Bud made me wiser. I sincerely apologize, but
I just could not resist. Manny Quinn.
Yes, you're right Bill W was a flawed human being Just as was Martin Luther King and JFK. Their sexual indiscretions can be pointed to as major defects of character thus proving their humanity or they can be used as a teaching point as to why we now suggest that men sponsor men and woman sponsor woman. Remember we don't profess spiritual perfection only spiritual progress. Please don't dismiss the message just because the messenger was flawed.
Thanks Dennis, for saying so much, in so few words. Rose
I did not come into AA looking for God. I am glad that no one, at my first meeting, told me I had to find God and find Him now! I came for help to stay sober. The first medicine I had to swollow was that I could never drink like normal drinkers again. A spiritual awakening, a belief in God, was a side effect. As in the second step, I came to believe. What a wonderful gift! ANONYMOUS
Every minute I spend resenting you I DEPRIVE myself of 60 seconds of happiness!!!
If an alcoholic ever drinks again "MORE WILL BE REVEALED!"
Here is a story. An alcoholic in a treatment center, called a nun with this request, "Sister Veronica, will you pray for me?" She smiled and replied, "Why don't you pray yourself Mick. God loves listening to strangers." Mick smiled at that response.
In Ireland as a newcomer I heard, "There is no graduation day in A.A."
"There are no medals for yesterday's sobriety."
"Things do not get better. Things remain the same!!!
When I pick up the tools of the AA recovery program and apply them to my own life, on a daily basis,I get better. When I get better then I see the same things differently!
P.S. I heard someone say once, "HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO SUCCEED AT SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE NOT DOING!!!"
"I cannot think myself into right living! I can live myself into right thinking!"
I was at a meeting about three days ago.I try to arrive early so I can hear How It Works, been doing this now for a few 24 hours and sometimes I hear new things or my mind is just not as open as I think it is.I heard At some of these we Balked.People in the meeting started Barking Like Dogs. I was like what is this turning into.I know that's not what that means but the New Person will Pick this up like a new Drink.
Wow never heard that one before. Different groups do all different things. That one is potentially damaging, the newcomer could be scared off by it. Some groups are sicker than others.
Jason M, Newington CT
We are responsible to carry our experience, strength,and hope.Not to turn a meeting into a freak show.
At some of these we barked? Just when I thought I had
heard everything, up comes something more absurd. Listen
at meetings when the group members chant Hi! Joe, when
Joe admits in front of others that he is an alcoholic. That
sometimes sounds like barking. At some meetings it is shouting, yelling, hooting and hollering. "Oh, we are just
trying to be friendly. We are not a glum lot". My opinion
is that is just plain stupid, and makes us look like jerks.
Yes, new people, especially drug addicts jump right into
this nonsense. ANONYMOUS
Im afraid Alcohol is a drug,all Alcoholics ARE DRUG ADDICTS ! Why do some alcoholic can be so arogant to think that there better then ? Maybe these Alcoholics could for once crack the book titled "Alcoholics Anonymous", One of the most popular parts of the Big Book is now named "acceptence was the answer" was written by a self professed drug addict. The original name of this was Doctor Alcoholic Addict !
Where did you find that definition of Alcohol? Honestly where? anonymous
It comes down to 12 step work plain and simple.
If I am on a 12 step call to someone who has only drank alcohol, when I 12 step him, I tell my story and if he relates i then turn the conversation to the hopelessness of alcohol and describe the mental obsession and physical allergy to alcohol.
If I am not an alcoholic, I cannot fully partake in 12 step work and therefore I can't fully work the program of action as outlined in our basic text.
This is my experience only,
While people use the tomato as a vegetable, it is actually a fruit. Most tomatoes are fairly round, most are red, they are juicy, contain seeds, and can be eaten raw or cooked.
The apple is a fruit. Most are round, red, juicy, contain seeds, and can be eaten raw or cooked.
A fruit is a fruit, right? Next time you bake an apple pie, try adding a tomato or two and see what up come up with.
Or how about this? A doctor is a doctor, so go to an ophthalmologist with your next toothache.
And finally, if all else fails, read the pamphlet "Problems Other Than Alcohol." Then ask yourself why you insist on AA changing to suit you, rather than you making a few changes.
I certainly do not think alcoholics are "better than"
any other person who has an addiction; just different. I just do not identify with the drug addict. True, the
recovery process is exactly the same, identification
with each other. AA and NA work best parallel side by
side, alcoholics with alcoholics, drug addicts with drug
addicts. The supply for both is abundant. If you are
doubly blessed, just respect the meeting you are in. It
is really not that complicated. I suspect that is why
the title Doctor Alcoholic Addict was deleted. ANONYMOUS
RULE 62...just saying! When I go to a meeting, we carry the message with humor- with 'But trusted', AA as "A Whole", "special workers" and a few others you cant help to laugh. In my first 30 days I went to a group thats Hit the table durring smashed in more about alcoholism. As long as we are sharing our experience strength and hope does it matter how funny it is or isn't?
I "get" the first two. but don't understand the humor
in "special workers". Sometimes I am not too "swift". How about: We are not saints. The group chants "What's the point? The point is..... Bill once wrote Republican or
Communist 12+12 page 147. I find humor in that. I suspect that Bill W. was a Republican.
Bill wrote that we cannot be a vaudeville circus. We
are working on a serious illness. Hopefully we can come
to laugh at ourselves sometimes, while always keeping the
new person and public relations in mind. We certainly do
not want the general public to look upon AA a some kind
of joke. Manny Q.
Thanks for sharing your insightful observation. It is very important that meetings are orderly. Newcomers are affected by what is done and said in the rooms.
How many years have you listened to HIW at meetings? After
listening to it read aloud at meetings for twenty years, I
started arriving at meetings late to avoid it. Too much
exposure spoiled it for me. It became a waste of my time.
Today I believe the introduction of reading How it Works
at the beginning of AA meetings was our worst mistake.
The first two and a half pages of chapter five is a
beautiful reading. But it has a special place. That place
is in chapter five, after chapters 1,2,3, and 4. Think about
it. To understand this, an understanding of Dr. Silkworth's
IDEA is necessary. Most AA members have no idea what this
IDEA is about. Bill wrote that without this idea from Dr.
Silkworth, Alcoholics Anonymous could never have been
born. The effectiveness of our fellowship has diminished
by our ignorance and ignoring of this IDEA. ANONYMOUS
I heard this used at a recent workshop on Sponsorship and mentioned to a friend in the program that I didn't subscribe to that belief. He responded, "It makes perfect sense. Next time your house is on fire, call a milk truck. After all, a truck is a truck, right?"
I've never really subscribed to that little saying of, "A drug is a drug" because that would mean also that a sickness is a sickness. I contend with the disease, dis-ease of alcoholism not let's say, diabetes. If I took the drugs used for diabetes and expected it to heal or cure my alcoholism I'd surely die. What I am saying is: the right applications for the right issue. We all suffer in someway from some kind of addiction, but regardless of what the addiction is we all suffer from a spiritual malady.
Comment from a newcomer at a recent meeting:
"I wish you would stop telling me to keep coming back. It sounds like you're giving me permission to go back out."
"WHEN YOU TELL ME TO KEEP COMING BACK" TO ME IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE TELLING ME "TO KEEP COMING BACK!"
it works if you work it. and only if you work it.
I keep coming back daily.
When we say "keep coming back it works if you work it" it's a positive affirmation not a permission slip.
Regular attendance at meetings hooks you into a network of solutions, experience and hope.
"It works it you work it" affirms that, by doing the steps to the best of your ability, the obsession to drink will be lifted lessening the likely hood that you might go back out.
I don't want to sound like I'm taking your inventory but if "keep coming back" sounds like permission to go back out, you might want to check where your head is focused. It sounds like you're looking back over your shoulder rather then looking at today.
Don't let the life AA's given you get in the way of your AA life.
If you don't want to sound like you are taking my inventory,
then I suggest you don't take my inventory. Rose
When we say keep coming back, it works if you work it, that leads to the group chanting: it works if you work it,
so work it you're worth it, I die if I don't work it, etc,etc,etc. At a Northern Virginia meeting I attended,
they hold on to your hands and pump arms up and down,
while they chant. This may be a pleasure to the members
already here for a while. But the general public and new
prospective members may think this is weird. It makes us
look like a cult. The holding hands and praying before makes us look like a religion. "Keep coming back" by the
group is chanting and chanting does not belong in AA. Who
are we concerned about, the alcoholic approaching us, the
alcoholic who is considering approaching us, or the satisfaction of our own clamors and desires. Are we are still self-centered in the extreme? I think yes. ANONYMOUS
We got tired of hearing "Keep coming back" for the exact reason you stated. So now we've been saying, "STAY - i works much better." It has taken a while to catch on but now that it has it seems to be helping all.
Chanting is a response by the group. Chanting of any kind has no place in AA. Religion and cults chant. Chanting
makes us look foolish in the eyes of the public. Just
sit quietly and listen as each member shares experience,
strength and hope. ANONYMOUS
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.
There is a website called It ain't in the Big Book. I found it insightful and it helped me a lot.
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
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.
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.
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.)
Today I have a choice: Do I want to be BETTER or BITTER!
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!"
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.
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
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.
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....
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 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.)
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 !
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)