Too many meetings

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Too many meetings

Postby Ravensgrl » Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:44 pm

I'm starting to feel a little burned out going to so many meetings. I work a lot of overtime, which I can't stop doing because I need the money. So going to 5 or so meetings a week on top of working overtime is a lot for me. I'm about 3 and a half months sober. I don't have the desire to drink right now. I hear a lot of people tell me that they drank every day so they have to go to meetings every day. Well I drank maybe 3 or 4 times a week. I feel like I could handle going to 3 meetings a week, but I'm afraid to tell my sponsor this. Also, I'm getting tired of feeling like I'm a sick person, which it seems AA is always trying to tell me that I am. For someone with a high bottom, I came to AA for a better life but I can't make myself believe that AA is saving my life. I want to feel empowered by being sober, not burdened by it. Just want to know what you all think before I mention this to my sponsor.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Brock » Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:19 pm

I believe most people will say it depends on where you have reached in the program, how far along in the steps. Once you have done as much as you can for the present time on #9, and are living the way the other steps say we should, in my book you become a recovered alcoholic, and meetings are mainly a means of helping others. I go to two per week, and know very many who don't go as often.

You should be able to judge for yourself at this point, 3 or 4 a week fine, I wouldn't even tell the sponsor, but if you feel you should then do so, if they don't agree, well all I can say is nobody should be able to tell you what to do like that. In my mind risking burnout from too much work and meetings, and not enough time for yourself may do more harm than good.

As far as people saying we are sick, more incentive to get through those steps, then you can say I am sick no more. Also I haven't heard that term used often in my area, and am one of those who don't like it as well. All the best to you, it will get a lot better even if you can just get past #5, you will find the rest pretty easy, and for most of us the promises of the program start materializing at that point, (after #5).
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby ezdzit247 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:39 pm

Hi Raven

Good to hear from you. Congratulations on 3 1/2 months of sobriety! You're doing great!

Contrary to what you may hear from some AA members in some AA meetings, the AA program doesn't have any rules or regulations to conform to. Everything written in the AA Big Book, everything written in AA literature, every tool offered in AA's spiritual tool kit--such as going to meetings--is offered as suggestions only and we all have the freedom to choose what works best for each one of us. If one thing doesn't work for us--like meetings every day--we are free to try a different approach or a different tool. Whatever works for you is whatever works for you and that becomes part of your own experience, hope, and strength. One of the most important suggestions I heard in the rooms from older AA members when I finally got sober is H.A.L.T.--an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. It was easy to remember and a good reminder to me to take responsibility for my own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health every day, one day at a time. With that in mind, I see work and meetings but no play activities in your present schedule. What are you doing just for fun?
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby PuppyEars » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:09 pm

Ravensgrl wrote:High bottom

Does this mean you really didn't do much damage when you were getting loaded? Never heard this term and it makes me curious.

Ravensgrl wrote:I want to feel empowered by being sober, not burdened by it.

This is a normal reaction around the time you have. Wanting the skies to part and a single ray of sunshine beams ever so elegantly upon your pretty head reminding the world how far you have come. Well, that's how I felt any way. I have not yet ran across any official literature that says we feel empowered as a result of doing anything. However, one of the first words I seen was 'Powerless'. The closest I have felt to being empowered was working with someone 1 on 1 and seeing the light come on in their entire aura.
But I once brought this exact question to a sponsor and the answer I got was "so try 3 meetings a week" in a real nonchalant manner.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Reborn » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:36 pm

Like Brock mentioned...where are you with the steps? I would not suggest that you pick and choose which "suggestions" you use. At 3 1/2 months sober you are just beginning your sober journey. So I wouldn't be so concerned with the meetings you miss but the actions you are taking on a daily basis. I remember feeling this way when I was about 3 months sober but today things are different. When I have free time I absolutely enjoy going to meetings and giving back to AA...today I build my life around AA not the other way around. When I say that I don't mean that AA runs my life but it gives me a way to live life happy and sober.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Troy M. » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:16 am

I went to 5-7 meetings per week for the first 2+ months and then slowed down to 3-4 per week as I progressed through the steps. I now attend between 2 and 4 per week as I continue on with step 9 and transition into steps 10, 11 and 12. I'm coming up on 9 months sober. My sponsor has never told me how many meetings I need to attend. I typically hit 2 meetings on Friday/Saturday/Sunday and then 1 or 2 others during the week.

Just make sure you are focused on the 12 step program and reading your Big Book. Talk to your sponsor and others as needed. Friendships with other alcoholics can help you continue to work through your sobriety.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:12 am

There are people who hide in the fellowship. They can't function without it. As said, we get well by working the 12 steps. The serenity prayer? We can fix only us! Do the best what is good for you. Yeah try 3, if you get squirely add more. Its all about balance. Its total insanity when people say how much time you spent on looking for booze. Well, I didn't, I bought booze on the way home, like pouring gas/picking groceries. Perhaps they had to drive a long way to get their fix. Sorry for them.
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: Too many meetings

Postby Duke » Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:33 am

If I hadn't been free to test my limits regarding regular contact with other alcoholics, including in meetings, I would never have figured out for myself what my comfort level is. And, as with all aspects of the program, if I'd have had anyone telling me what I had to do, I would probably be dead or drunk.

I'm not going to grill you or advise you. Just share with you that I've accepted the very simple proposition that when I'm starting to feel restless, irritable or discontent, a meeting always helps.

Good luck.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby PaigeB » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:51 am

I started to feel empowered when I started to look for how I was helping others. I was high bottom too, I suppose. Anyway, I still had my car and drove women from the treatment center - they needed me. I got on the Public Information Committee of my district and now I reach out to those who have no idea AA is alive and well. I got a job in my home group so that I had to be there every week to unlock and make coffee... by the way, I recently took the key again! I am happy to have the opportunity, but also the obligation and the challenge of practicing integrity in my life.

I am no longer sick, but I am challenged to practice this in my daily affairs AND to help those who still suffer. Even if I am just sharing the solution in meetings.

Get busy! :wink:
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Ravensgrl » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:54 pm

Thanks everyone for the posts, this has been very helpful. I don't want to sound like I don't appreciate AA, everyone has been really kind and I wouldn't have been able to get this far without them. But I don't want it to be my everything. I just have to find a balance. I know myself, I can easily burn out and quit altogether. I'm gonna try to hit 3 a week. And I'm pretty good about getting to a meeting when my anxiety starts creeping up and my mood starts plummeting. I feel great today, but I know from experience that I can easily sink back into depression. There are warning signs and that's when I'll pick up more meetings. I believe that I can be powerless after the first drink, but also feel empowered to choose not to take that first one. The first drink is a choice, the second one not so much.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby PaigeB » Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:44 am

Sounds like a good plan. One of the benefits I found of going to a lot of meetings early on is that I found one I liked for every day. I haven't been to a meeting on Wednesday in years, but I know where to go if I need one!

:mrgreen: Rock on girl!
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Spirit Flower » Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:03 pm

When I got sober, I got off work at 2:30 or 3 pm, so most days, a 6 pm meeting was possible. I liked the meetings. On Saturdays, I went and cleaned the hall with another guy. On Friday nights, after the speaker meeting, many of us would go to dinner. Generally speaking, I became a part of the fellowship. It wasn't just meetings but a fellowship.

Now, I go to about 2 meetings a week. I've been going to the same club for several years so people know me even if I don't go that much. I wish I had time for more.

But focused spiritual activity takes place morning and night.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:32 pm

I believe that I can be powerless after the first drink, but also feel empowered to choose not to take that first one.


Yes we empower ourselves against the 1st drink by growing spiritually. Today I feel like I have a choice but that will easily be taken away if I get spiritually sick. Thats why its a 3 part program. The fellowship, the steps and the service component. All 3 keeps me spiritually fit.
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: Too many meetings

Postby oldhipster » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:15 pm

The first 167 pages of the BIG BOOK is the program. I'm in my 43rd year of AA and I still can't find where it says I need a sponsor. There are a couple of places that talk about finding a closed mouth FRIEND. Someone who listens and don't demand, don't judge, doesn't become ANGRY, and always asks "what do you think" before offering a suggestion; not advice. A suggestion is offering choices. The word "BLAME" has to be out of our vocabulary. Step 3 says I turn my will and my life over to the care of GOD; not sponsor. I wasn't very good at choosing friends. !ST I had to get honest with MYSELF. 2nd. I had to become willing to learn. 3rd I had to become willing to go to any length to get the steps incorporated into my life. 4th I had to understand why I thought and acted the way I did. 5th I had to find someone who could give me the right information on the 4th step. There's a million ways to do that step but only 1 right way. Study the example in the big book and pay close attention to the word ANGER and FEAR. It's your life GOD gave it to you. You make your own decisions and if you stumble admit it and find out why. don't blame others. The 12 steps taught me how to take responsibility for my life; no one else's.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Brock » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:43 am

Welcome here oldhipster. Sounds like you are not afraid of doing a little book thumping, you will find a few of us with the same inclination.

We have discussed sponsorship and the sponsors role here many times, and as you say suggestions should be the rule, and anyone who gets annoyed if the person does not follow their suggestion, should disqualify themselves from sponsoring others.
The 12 steps taught me how to take responsibility for my life; no one else's.

I am afraid some in AA feel empowered by controlling what others do, instead of just being a friendly ear to offer advise. I saw someone write here about needing to ask their 'service sponsor,' before they could accept a position at their home group, and it makes me sad.
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