Too many meetings

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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Ravensgrl » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:56 pm

My sponsor doesn't tell me what to do, but when I talk to her each day she asks me if I've gone to a meeting. And if I haven't I feel the urge to blabber out some excuse like I had to work late or whatever. I think she really does want the best for me and I am her first sponsee. But this weekend my sponsor was out of town. I talked to her on the phone for a couple minutes on Friday night. She said she'd call me back but never did. I didn't call her at all Saturday or Sunday and I've felt guilty about it, but also a little put off that I was feeling so much guilt when she didn't reach out to me either. Today I went to a meeting at noon. It was a great meeting. I called my sponsor afterwards, since I felt I could safely answer the did I go to a meeting today question. But it went to voicemail and that was 3 hours ago. It's weird for her not to call back, but now I'm overthinking it like maybe she's pissed I didn't call her this weekend. I'm now in conflicting feelings of guilt that I'm not doing the program right and feeling upset that she rarely reaches out to me.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Feeya » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:14 pm

Hey Ravensgrl!
My sponsor has never called me! She says I am free to call her whenever I want and sometimes requests me to call on specific dates, but she NEVER calls! She says it is not her job to run after me and that I need to learn to reach out if I need to!

Don't over think, maybe just send her a text, ask her to call you back as soon as she has got the time to do so?! And don't feel guilty! Learn from the experience! And I also think that you should be one hundred percent honest with your sponsor! Don't lie to her and don't make up excuses! Tell her how you feel and what you are going to do!

Best of luck,
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Tosh » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:46 pm

oldhipster wrote: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.


Neither does it say we should go to meetings (the only time meetings are mentioned is in the forewords of the editions after the 1st one). I fully understand why this is.

Bill writes plenty about sponsorship in the 12x12 mentioning it 14 times in total.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Spirit Flower » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:47 pm

The last thing anybody needs is a freaking co-dependent relationship with a sponsor
...a score card reading zero...
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Stepchild » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:25 pm

Spirit Flower wrote:The last thing anybody needs is a freaking co-dependent relationship with a sponsor


Agreed.

I sometimes wonder if the quantity of meetings gets placed ahead of the quality these days. What are we learning there? I came into AA looking death squarely in the eyes...This stuff was killing me. I spent a lot of time learning about my condition
...Which was pretty clearly described in the book. I found people that had succeeded in this program...And that's who I hung out with. I found myself in a lot of Big Book and Step meetings...Strengthening my understanding of the book. This was vital for me.

When I see or hear things like this...

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.


I have to wonder where that falls in line with what I've learned to be true for me....

The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.
pg 24

If I don't believe that this fact holds true for me....I don't think it would have mattered how many meetings I attended or who my sponsor was...I needed that defense against the first drink....That came with taking those steps.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Ravensgrl » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:00 pm

I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how I want my story to go from here on out. I'm trying to figure out what works for me, it's a lot of trial and error. I've learned a lot in AA and some of the meetings are invaluable. I'm working the steps and I plan to keep with it. But I hear a lot of talk from people in AA that it is just the most amazing thing in the world and they attend meetings daily and can't imagine it any other way. It's overwhelming to me to spend my whole life thinking about AA and getting to meetings. Hell, I didn't even spend this much time thinking about drinking! Unfortunately for me, I don't have it in me to jump into anything without questioning it. I came to AA so that I can have a better life outside of AA. But now I leave my house at 6:30 am, get home at 6:30 pm, hit a meeting at 7 and that's 5 days a week. Half the meetings I go to I'm zoning out because I'm so tired. I'm neglecting other things in my life, I don't make it to the gym and I eat like crap because I don't have time to cook. This has turned into kind of a rant, sorry.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Lali » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:23 pm

Balance is important, for sure. I don't know many people who attend meetings every day. However, I do know that without AA all of those things that I want to be doing outside of AA, will be lost.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:24 pm

But I hear a lot of talk from people in AA that it is just the most amazing thing in the world and they attend meetings daily and can't imagine it any other way


You hear a lot of stuff in the fellowship. You got to be careful where its coming from. There are hard drinkers who totally rely on meetings. They get re-charged seeing the struggle of the new-comers. They keep it green by going to many beginers meeting. But an alcoholic cannot. He/she needs to work the 12 steps and have a spritual awakening every day.
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 Stepchild » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:46 pm

I'm glad to hear you are working the steps Ravensgrl...It's good to hear from you. I know some oldtimers that are retired....And they go to meetings everyday...It's their social life. It's what they do. I don't. This program is a design for living....Not a design for attending meetings. I go to some....Not because I have to....But I like to give back. You'll get there....Keep doing the work.

None of us makes a sole vocation of this work, nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased if we did. We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs. All of us spend much of our spare time in the sort of effort which we are going to describe. A few are fortunate enough to be so situated that they can give nearly all their time to the work.
Pg 19

You have to remember when they wrote this book there were no meetings....People could follow the directions and spread the word. It worked....Today there are meetings everywhere. It would be nice if more of them stuck to the solution.
Last edited by Stepchild on Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Stepchild » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:49 pm

Ravensgrl wrote: I came to AA so that I can have a better life outside of AA.


If I didn't have that....I know where I'd be.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby ezdzit247 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:46 pm

Ravensgrl wrote:.... I came to AA so that I can have a better life outside of AA. But now I leave my house at 6:30 am, get home at 6:30 pm, hit a meeting at 7 and that's 5 days a week. Half the meetings I go to I'm zoning out because I'm so tired. I'm neglecting other things in my life, I don't make it to the gym and I eat like crap because I don't have time to cook. This has turned into kind of a rant, sorry.


Hi Raven

Good for you! If cutting back to three AA meetings a week gives you more time to take better care of your own personal needs for adequate rest, healthy food, and exercise, go for it! Sounds like a very sensible plan. Hope you're having a fun 4th of July!

Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby D'oh » Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:31 pm

Hi Raven, and Congrats on 3 1/2 months.

First off I don't wish to sway you in anyway. But here is where I came from.

The first time I sobered up I had 3 jobs and meetings 3-4 times a week. I only thought that I needed to work that much for bills and stuff, the truth was I worked that much to keep out of my own head. Long enough to get well into the Steps, and Promises. (Perfect Peace and Ease).

Losing rip on that Perfect Peace and Ease, was part of what got me back to the bottle. So today I am very careful who comes first on my list. Money is near the bottom, and only on the list to provide things for my Family and Myself. They are near the top of my list, under my HP and Program. For with out those 2 I would have nothing.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby 4thDimension » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:02 pm

Hello Ravensgrl,

I think 3-1/2 months is great! You're still relatively new in the program, however.

Going to a meeting everyday can burn one out. There are things you can substitute for a few meetings, like reading the Big Book. Take 30 minutes to an hour and read the Big Book without being at a Big Book meeting. Highlight important text (even if you've already highlighted). As you do this over and over, your Big Book will become fireworks of color on all of the most important pages.

How about substituting a meeting with listening to a speaker tape/cd. There are a plethora of great speakers / subjects out there, take advantage.

How about calling a drunk. Call some of those folks that gave you phone numbers - they'll be glad to hear from you.

I think you get the idea. Keep your recovery fresh and green. You don't have to go to a meeting everyday. But until you have a well developed "belly-o-meter", which tells you how you're feeling, what you are or are not doing, and what you need to be doing, stick close to your sponsor, keep going on the steps. It takes time to take off the training wheels. And I think we need meetings as give and take, the rest of our lives.
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby Noels » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:28 pm

Good morning Raven :D nice to hear from you again and well done on your sobriety :D I understand what you are saying as too many meetings eventually made me feel irritable.
What I remember members here saying many times stuck with me - meetings is not what keeps us sober. Spiritual growth does.
I'm 10 months sober by the grace of God and guidance of AA and the fellowship.
I attend 1 meeting a week and recently went through a 5 week period when I was ill that I didn't attend any meeting for 5 weeks. I'm still sober.
Having said that, 3.5 months is a danger period from what I hear and see in the rooms as you feel great, look great and think 'you've got this thing' so cutting back to 2 meetings a week should be sufficient at this point provided you will be honest with yourself and pick up the phone or go to a meeting when you feel the need?
Honesty is the first lesson on our journey of sobriety. Honesty with yourself AND your sponsor. So lying to her about the amount of meetings you attend is in contradiction with what we try to achieve. It is YOUR sobriety. YOUR journey. Your sponsor is not there to keep you sober. She is simply there to guide you on your journey to sobriety UNTIL you are able to trust and rely completely on your Higher Power.
Our tests and trials are not in the rooms. It is out in the world in our daily life. Meetings are there to strengthen and rejuvenate us for our life outside.
So make your decision, be honest. with yourself AND your sponsor and enjoy your life as a sober, active and contributing human being.
Love and light
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Re: Too many meetings

Postby positrac » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:38 am

Ravensgrl wrote: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.


I get that you are kind of burnt right now with OT and meetings. Here is one way to look at your situation:
1) reduce meetings and keep doing over time and when you get stretched out beyond your mental means you might drink. You could lose your job and then you have nothing to fall back on and have to worry about survival and other living expenses.
2) Work hard on the desire to stay sober and keep your job, keep OT and not wake up hung over and feeling all crappy.
3) take your concerns to your sponsor and see what advice they might have on this entire subject.

Lastly I know you should of gone straight to your sponsor first instead of putting us in something we don't need to be involved in. I won't give you the easy out because this is about survival----Life and Death and so it all weighs on your shoulders. AA got me sober and saved my life and for that I would never want any active member to go the easy way because easy way out is what got most of us into AA in the first place.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
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