Am I Welcome?

New to AA? Got questions? Here's the place to ask. Note that no one person speaks "officially" for AA. AA meetings in your local area are always the best source of information. Note that anyone may post and reply to messages in this forum.
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Tosh
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by Tosh »

@Lee, That's what us British call the Royal 'we', but in reverse. Delete 'we', insert 'I'; apologies.

:mrgreen:

Okay, I accept, for some, maybe a deity does do it all for them; I don't know, but for me, my experience shows me that it's me that's got to do the hard and sometimes difficult work; no deity does this thing for me, and I quite like it that way. It means I have to be responsible for my own actions. I've just been Christmas shopping with Mrs Tosh, and I only got briefly tetchy once - despite having very little sleep because my dog is ill and I was up till 5.00 am with him; progress, not perfection. I really had to watch myself closely; seriously; Christmas shopping through a prism of sleep deprivation and grumpiness is a good time to learn patience and tolerance.

How I think it works is we have these character defects that all stem from selfishness, self centredness, and a deity doesn't really remove them, what happens is we keep 'em under tabs by practising Steps 10, 11, and 12. From an experiential point of view, that's how I think it works.

@Hitch, welcome to the forum. You'll find some of us disagree in some areas, but we try to remain agreeable; and we'd be a weird lot if we didn't disagree with each other occasionally. But we're fairly unanimous with regards to our common solution; the 12 Steps. Seriously, whatever your religious or non religious view point, these are vital to a quality sobriety. They don't look much, they look weird, they look like they don't work; but keep an open mind about this stuff. I'm from a secular background but I gained faith in the steps just by hearing people talk at meetings, and because I was in a tough spot, I did them. They do solve the drinking problem, and a lot of other stuff too.

I'm pleased you feel welcome; you are. :mrgreen:
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)

Sally
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by Sally »

Hitch wrote:Thank you all so much for your feedback. I do feel welcome. :)
Excellent!! you ARE welcome in AA-
when i got here to AA --i had no idea what i actually believed- and i was horribly
embarrassed because i couldn't verbalize what i thought or felt-
my Dad had a severe hatred/fear of the Catholic Church for reasons i never knew-
so *religion* was never talked about in my childhood--- til i got to college-- and learned
a ton from my Jewish friends- not in class- in the dorm-
but i came to AA 10 years later a blank slate- and i was very welcomed.

i *came to believe*- in a higher power- a power greater than myself- here in AA-
and the best piece of my experience i can offer is what was taught to me in my first
home group- i don't have to explain myself to anyone- in AA or outside-
my belief is mine- it isn't right or wrong-

i was told to give wide berth-politely of course- to those who preach-
*you better believe in God or you won't stay sober*- i have heard that many times
in my adventures- that is their belief- not mine.
I am a very happy camper today- in AA.- and i am glad you found us.
Sally

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PaigeB
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by PaigeB »

Hey Hitch! You ARE welcome indeed! Funny thing about recovering alcoholics that I have met, both face-to-face (f2f) and online, is we are entirely ready to tolerate almost anything from a drinking drunk who really wants to get & stay sober.

This whole "god-thing" gets talked about a lot, but keep coming back! I have found that we - as in I, the "Royal We" of the UK, are as desperate to help you as you may be desperate to not drink! Sometimes that desperation rears it's ugly head in the form of anti-atheism, but I trust that there is a human out there who will be a good and appropriate sponsor for you! I found one! Look for someone who talk a lot about the actions of this program and who talks about the Steps & Traditions! Glad to have you aboard!

BTW - This is a we program, let some human alkies help you! :wink:
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Todd M
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by Todd M »

Welcome... Everyone... we Get Sober, and STAY Sober, Together...

I am Todd, I am an Alcoholic.
and "That", MyAlocholism, will NEVER change, I get to learn how to Cope, there is no "Cure".
One Drink, the First Drink... will set in motion an uncontroled cycle of drinking.

to me, a power greater than myself, is bigger than Anything i will ever fully understand.
"Keep it Simple" a solgan we often hear around AA, works well for me.

and WE all seem to agree, we Stay Sober, One Day at a Time. :!: :wink:

Love ya ALL... Happy Sober Holidays :D :lol:
There is Hope, Todd M
Keep it Simple

The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link:
http://www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php

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ann2
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by ann2 »

Tosh wrote:my experience shows me that it's me that's got to do the hard and sometimes difficult work; no deity does this thing for me, and I quite like it that way. It means I have to be responsible for my own actions. . . . our common solution; the 12 Steps. Seriously, whatever your religious or non religious view point, these are vital to a quality sobriety. They don't look much, they look weird, they look like they don't work. . . .
Also called "the most drastic action any alcoholic can take" as heard in meetings.

Welcome, Hitch, of course! Have a cuppa.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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leejosepho
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by leejosepho »

kettle wrote:i was told to give wide berth-politely of course- to those who preach-
*you better believe in God or you won't stay sober*- ...
I would say something similar, and the applicable principles are shared in our book of experience:

"Assume ... that father has, at the outset, a stirring spiritual experience ... a different man ... religious enthusiast ... unable to focus on anything else ... talk about spiritual matters morning, noon and night. He may demand that the family find God in a hurry, or exhibit amazing indifference to them and say he is above worldly considerations. He may tell mother, who has been religious all her life, that she doesn't know what it's all about, and that she had better get his brand of spirituality while there is yet time.
"... Many of us have experienced dad's elation ... indulged in spiritual intoxication ...
"If the family cooperates, dad will soon see that he is suffering from a distortion of values. He will perceive that his spiritual growth is lopsided, that for an average man like himself, a spiritual life which does not include his family obligations may not be so perfect after all. If the family will appreciate that dad's current behavior is but a phase of his development, all will be well. In the midst of an understanding and sympathetic family, these vagaries of dad's spiritual infancy will quickly disappear." ("A.A.", the book, pages 128-129)

But actually, the "get God or die" folks seem to me to have missed this in our book of experience, strength and hope:

"If he (the recovery prospect) thinks he can do the job in some other way [than through spiritual means], or prefers some other spiritual approach [than the one we suggest and share], encourage him to follow his own conscience." (page 95)

Some things in today's AA definitely did not come from our book of experience, but that does not mean deviants must be lashed.
Tosh wrote:Okay, I accept, for some, maybe a deity does do it all for them ... but for me, my experience shows me that it's me that's got to do the hard and sometimes difficult work; no deity does this thing for me, and I quite like it that way.
That would be a misunderstanding of what is shared in our book. We all know "we must work to eat", so to speak, and that God does not squeeze hotdogs through keyholes. The thing God does for all of us that no human being can do for himself or herself is to provide "a design for living that works" (page 15). We agnostics might not yet know the origin of that and the atheists might think mere men dreamed it up, but God is still the provider of and for all.
=======================
"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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Tosh
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by Tosh »

leejosepho wrote:
Tosh wrote:Okay, I accept, for some, maybe a deity does do it all for them ... but for me, my experience shows me that it's me that's got to do the hard and sometimes difficult work; no deity does this thing for me, and I quite like it that way.
That would be a misunderstanding of what is shared in our book.
The thing with books as authorities is that you can go to another authority (book) and find conflicting information; therefore the ultimate truth can only be my own experience; and it would be silly to ignore my experience in favour of what's written in a book; even the Big Book.

And you've got to remember, the Big Book is not holy scripture; it is not the A.A. Bible; even Bill W didn't like it called that, he said the guys who wrote it were far from Biblical.

So what I've shared may not be in full agreement with the Big Book, but it's my experience, and that cannot be classed as a misunderstanding of what's in our book. I partly think that some of this - treating the Big Book as Holy Scripture - thing is cultural and probably more prevalent in Christian backgrounds, rather than what it would be for someone with a secular background. I mean, just because some areas of the book don't accord with my experience does not undermine the fact that the Big Book is a life saver; I wouldn't want it changed at all. I also wouldn't chuck out the baby with the bathwater either.

I look forward to your thoughts, Lee.
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)

KathyAnne
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by KathyAnne »

My sponser is staunch AA litature. Personally if it wasnt for Hazelden lit i wouldnt have understood much in the BB. I find the language/terminalolgy difficult to understand sometimes. She wont read any of it which is a shame,it helps to be open minded sometimes. I do understand each to there own.

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leejosepho
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by leejosepho »

Tosh wrote:... what I've shared may not be in full agreement with the Big Book, but it's my experience ...
No problem there, just do not call it "A.A.", eh?! ;) (But of course, "AA" seems open to including just about anything.)

A.A. has only one "experience, strength and hope" to share: We were dying of chronic alcoholism, we abandoned ourselves to "God as you understand God" (page 164) ... and now we are no longer dying of chronic alcoholism.

Other books might suggest some other way/s some other alcoholics have recovered (or even just stay sober with no plan for actual recovery, like in "Living Sober"), but we have only our own actual and singular "recovery path" to share with others in need.
=======================
"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)
=======================

Jaywalker Steve
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by Jaywalker Steve »

leejosepho wrote:Other books might suggest some other way/s some other alcoholics have recovered (or even just stay sober with no plan for actual recovery, like in "Living Sober"), but we have only our own actual and singular "recovery path" to share with others in need.
+1 None of those books are entitled 'Alcoholics Anonymous' which is considered our Fellowship's basic text. Besides, the Big Book contains the 12 Steps which many consider to be the most reliable method of recovery.
Every group has men and women who put too much thought and effort into their daily sobriety and not enough of themselves into their daily living. - Ed B., Akron, OH

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leejosepho
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by leejosepho »

Jaywalker Too wrote:
leejosepho wrote:Other books might suggest some other way/s some other alcoholics have recovered (or even just stay sober with no plan for actual recovery, like in "Living Sober"), but we have only our own actual and singular "recovery path" to share with others in need.
+1 None of those books are entitled 'Alcoholics Anonymous' which is considered our Fellowship's basic text. Besides, the Big Book contains the 12 Steps which many consider to be the most reliable method of recovery.
Sure, but where all the "other ways" used to be outside of A.A., they (or at least some of them) are now tolerated, welcomed and/or even promoted within today's AA.
=======================
"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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johnd
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by johnd »

Hey Hitch, We' are not asking you to beleive in anything. You don't have to beleive in God Or Universal Spirit you can always subistitute God for Group of Drunks or if you'd like say your HP (higher power) could be your Hitchin Post, where you can put your concerns and fears. We welcome anyone who has a desire to get sober and stay sober. A A has been around for over 75 years and we have had all kinds here so you are not so uniqe so welcome continue to attend meetings and stay on line we love having you John D Grateful alcoholic :D
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans- Anonymous

kstars
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by kstars »

PaigeB wrote:[ Prayer is a rather positive meditative state, so I meditate on positive things. I heard folks in meetings and my sponsor say things like, "This is an action program." and "Get busy doing service to another human being." Surely I am capable of doing these things.

Thanks to the AA Program & Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous I haven't found it necessary to take a drink since August 1, 2009 and for that I am very grateful. This thing works.

In the 'spirit' of the holiday I say: Be good for goodness sake! :wink:

Great response!
kstars

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yfrog
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by yfrog »

leejosepho wrote:Sure, but where all the "other ways" used to be outside of A.A., they (or at least some of them) are now tolerated, welcomed and/or even promoted within today's AA.
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change" ~Author unknown
It's not easy being green

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leejosepho
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Re: Am I Welcome?

Post by leejosepho »

yfrog wrote:
leejosepho wrote:Sure, but where all the "other ways" used to be outside of A.A., they (or at least some of them) are now tolerated, welcomed and/or even promoted within today's AA.
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change" ~Author unknown
Great quote there, and I can see how that can fit across-the-board!

Thanks.
=======================
"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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