Question about being in a group

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Question about being in a group

Postby SWIT » Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:17 pm

Hello all,
I am a college student that is majoring in social work. I am also in the processes of working on a minor in addictions as that is the area I want to work in. In one of my classes I am learning about working in groups. Part of the class is about learning about being a member of a group. I wanted to ask anyone that is willing to answer this question. What do you find to be beneficial about being part of the group and how has it helped you? Like I said, I am learning and your answers will help me understand how to work with other members of a group one day when I am out in the field.
thank you!
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby leejosepho » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:34 pm

Being a member of an A.A. group and being a member of any other kind of group might or might not include the same kinds of opportunities or bring the same results, but giving me a sense of useful and acceptance among non-competitive equals is my own experience...

altruism (noun)
: feelings and behavior that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness
: unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others

SWIT wrote:...how to work with other members of a group...

"...constant thought of others and how we might help meet their needs." ("A.A.", page 20)
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby 4thDimension » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:01 pm

Well, it always lets me remember that I'm not alone, and that other people are there for me if I need them.

At meetings, there are people sharing their experience, strength, and hope. They serve as reminders of what I may or may not be doing to promote ongoing recovery. They have been where I have been, and we are all on the same journey. We faced the same problem, and are seeking the same solution. They are my friends as well.
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby ChancesAh » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:42 pm

I think if you break it down to the fundamental reasons we use groups simply because we are a social animals.
We thrive on social support, live in communities and families where we feel accepted or suffer depression if we are not and as humans we are the only animal that feels embarrassment. So groups for support, acceptance, self value and ego are in our DNA - In this regard a member of a charity is probably attracted by the same common attributes or group benefits as a member of AA or a bikie gang member. (although our drive or reasons for wanting to join may differ as do the group types) - EG all these groups are about self value/worth, support, understanding - ie we get to feel normal, accepted and valued/important.

If you read these forum's you'll see the same traits in here as in any group or outside in the world - true caring, compassion, arrogance and egotism. Indeed in AA you'll find loads of genuine people but also more arrogance and egotism as AA's set format and rules appeals to the 'ideas man' more than the thinker so they can get away with ignoring content in posts and just telling people they are wrong. (EG Many don't like you questioning the format or AA, the idea we are always alcoholics, always recovering but never recovered and as people fear change AA in general is extremely slow to consider it). In this regard that idea that we are always evolving and progressing is second to 'what the doctor said some decades ago'.
Ultimately as such if you want open minded debate you'd do a lot better using the soberrecovery forum.
Good luck
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby OnPoint » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:23 pm

In my case the answer is simple. The group functioned to supply me with things I could supply to myself. In order these things were:

1. They understood me when I couldn't understand myself.
2. They forgave me when I couldn't forgive myself.
3. They loved me when I couldn't love myself.

Inspired by their example I began to believe that it might be possible for me to understand, forgive, and love myself. When I reached that point I was ready to begin working the steps.
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby ezdzit247 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:33 am

OnPoint wrote:In my case the answer is simple. The group functioned to supply me with things I could supply to myself. In order these things were:

1. They understood me when I couldn't understand myself.
2. They forgave me when I couldn't forgive myself.
3. They loved me when I couldn't love myself.

Inspired by their example I began to believe that it might be possible for me to understand, forgive, and love myself. When I reached that point I was ready to begin working the steps.


That is a beautiful share, OnPoint. Thanks!
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby Larryp713 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:51 am

Best of luck on your studies!

For me, I tried to understand and mold the program to fit my life for many years, never fully buying in and working it the way it was suggested by those who had recovered. It was only when I dove in and really committed that it made sense to me.

From an academic standpoint, I don't know if it can be explained without mentioning the spiritual aspect of the program. When I took the "leap of faith" and followed the steps and suggestions outlined in the Big Book and from others in recovery, I felt a relief that I did not think was possible.

A recovered AA in my area always starts his Big Book study that with the statement that this Book "is intended to not only transmit knowledge, but to transmit a spiritual experience." For me, it was pretty clear. Prior to working the program to the best of my ability, I always lived with this ever-growing obsession and dependence on alcohol. But at some point very early (within the first couple of weeks) of working with a sponsor, the obsession was removed. I can't explain it. It wasn't a bright light or burning bush. It was a new instinct within me that no longer associated alcohol with comfort and ease, but started to depend on God and working with others for that. The association I have now with alcohol is all the trouble it has caused me. That is a sane reaction to alcohol, and something I completely lacked before.

Now that I am recovered, I need to keep working with others and sharing what was so freely given to me. That is another part I did not understand until I experienced it. I hate preaching about religion or politics because I think it is a waste of time unless somebody really wants to know your opinion, which few really do. But if somebody is dying from alcoholism, like I was, they tend to be desperate for any solution. When I share my experience with them, my gratitude is refilled and I feel closer to my higher power.

From a clinical point of view, I would just encourage people to attend meetings with an open-mind and get to know others in recovery. When they find a person they admire, they should ask that person to be their sponsor. The rest is about being willing and humble and letting the miracle happen. Good luck - Larry
Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny!!!
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby ann2 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:11 am

Larryp713 wrote:From an academic standpoint, I don't know if it can be explained without mentioning the spiritual aspect of the program.


Precisely. We're not here for group therapy. There's something that is here when we are together that helps me. In a meeting I probably feel closer to my idea of a higher power than anywhere else.

Ann
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:24 pm

The group is a manifestation of the "Fellowship of the Spirit"
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:34 pm

'what the doctor said some decades ago'.


Yes. Its true even today. We have the same obsession. They have not found a pill yet to get over the obsession. People are still cranky when they get off alcohol (atleast the real ones, not sure about the hard drinkers). And then when they drink they develop the craving part. And exactly like we have instances where the Car salesman/Fred hit the blind spot, we do too even today.

I have a friend who "not working the steps" just doing 90 in 90 went to a convention and told others at the happy hour that she has quit. And someone called her a pussy. Her ego took over and hit a blind spot just like old Jeff and Fred and she showed others that she is not one, by picking up a drink. She returned to the fellowship after 9 months. Luckily she didn't kill herself or anybody else. She now is a sober member by working the 12 step.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby Roberth » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:45 pm

Hello Swit......AA works a bit different from Group therapy see if this story makes sense to you. It explains why we can help when others can't.

The story of a alcoholic who fell into a hole and how he found his way out of a seemingly hopeless situation
A hopeless chronic relapsing alcoholic addict had fallen into a hole and could not find a way out.

Friends and family heard the alcoholic addict crying out for help in a sincere and despairing appeal, "I cannot go on like this! I have everything to live for! I must stop, but I cannot! You must help me!" So they offered the addict "frothy emotional appeals," bailed the addict out of trouble and gave the addict a ladder to climb out of the hole with, but the chronic relapser sold it to finance the next spree only to realize afterwards that the hole was now deeper than ever!
A doctor who was walking by heard the alcoholic addict crying out for help, stopping the doctor said, "Here, take these pills, it will relieve your pain." The doctor offered the addict methadone, suboxene, and a whole plethora of anti-depressants. The alcoholic addict took the pills and said thanks, but when the prescription ran out the pills ran out and the pain came back and the addict realized that he was still stuck in the hole.
A religious person happened to be strolling by and hearing the addict calling out for help stopped and gave the addict scripture, replying, read this scripture while I say a prayer for you." The addict read the scripture while the religious person prayed, but it the help was all faith and no works and the addict realized he was still stuck in the hole.
A renowned psychiatrist walked by and heard the addict pleading for help. He stopped and said, "How did you find yourself in that hole? Were you born there? Are your parents to blame? Tell me about yourself and your life in that hole, it will alleviate your sense of loneliness." So the addict talked with the psychiatrist for approximately an hour, then the psychiatrist said he had to leave, but he would come back next week. The addict thanked the psychiatrist for his time even though he was still stuck in his hole.
Finally a 'recovered' alcoholic addict happened to be passing by and heard the poor man's cries for help. Right away, the recovered alcoholic addict jumped into the hole with him. The suffering alcoholic addict said, "Why did you do that? Now we're both stuck here in this god forsaken hole!" But the recovered alcoholic addict said with a twinkle in his eye, "It's okay brother, I've been here before; I know the way out!"
Robert
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby OnPoint » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:57 pm

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost . . . I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault . . .
It takes forever to find a
way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall . . . it’s a habit . . . but,
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby PaigeB » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:37 pm

Here is a group of living proof that I can have a happy productive life.

It is something no counselor ever can or ever will be able to give me.

If I have to pay you I don't trust you.
You talk from the outside of my bubble and they talk from the inside.
They KNOW - you think.
You diagnose me then go home free, they go home with the same obsession I have.
Their very life depends on AA - I need them and they need me.

AA is the only thing that ever worked for me, not treatment and not counseling. No consequences mattered either. Once I found AA I had nothing more to talk about in counseling - I am free now.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby Robert R » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:47 pm

Social workers reduced the consequences of my drinking. Housed me when I was homeless. Got me benefits when I was broke. Got my debts annulled. The result. . . I could continue to drink with supposed impunity and get in exactly the same situation again, whereupon the Don Quixotes of the social services would ride to the rescue tilting at windmills setting me up to continue the insanity.
This cycle would have resulted in my death had not incarceration in a mental institution cleared my head enough to get to an AA meeting where others like myself led me to honestly look at myself and take responsibility for my recovery with the help of the group and a sponsor who led me through the steps. Almost 8 years on and living life as never before thanks to AA.
Don't know exactly where I am going but I'm on my way and it's already much better than where I've been.
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Re: Question about being in a group

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:16 pm

Robert R wrote:Social workers reduced the consequences of my drinking. Housed me when I was homeless. Got me benefits when I was broke. Got my debts annulled. The result. . . I could continue to drink with supposed impunity and get in exactly the same situation again, whereupon the Don Quixotes of the social services would ride to the rescue tilting at windmills setting me up to continue the insanity.
This cycle would have resulted in my death had not incarceration in a mental institution cleared my head enough to get to an AA meeting where others like myself led me to honestly look at myself and take responsibility for my recovery with the help of the group and a sponsor who led me through the steps. Almost 8 years on and living life as never before thanks to AA.

Thank you for sharing this bit about social workers.
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