Disturbing member

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Disturbing member

Postby PowerOfNow » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:50 am

We have a disturbing member in my homegroup in Stockholm. Many members quit my group becauce of him. Every meeting he share the same thing that can be very confusing for newcomers. He says the big book is wrongly translated from english to swedish. Its about our threefolded decease, physical, mental and spiritual. In the swedish big book we read that also our souls are sick but this member goes on and say its not the soul but the spirit. I think a newcomer is not helped by this discussion, they come becauce they need help and dont care about translations. Also its boring to listen to same story everyday and its also told in a very "preaching" way. Any suggestions how to handle this situation. This guy is also very hard to talk to, very stubborn and can easily get agressive. Many good members get bored and go to other groups but this group have been my home for 7 years and its sad to see how one person can do so much harm.
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Re: Disturbing member

Postby ann2 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:09 am

Hi PowerOfNow,

Love the login name!

I'm also in Stockholm. Welcome to e-AA!

This member's shares do sound negative. Has this issue been discussed in a business meeting? It can be addressed in a impersonal way, i.e., talking about how to help the newcomer best, how to deal with negativity against AA in shares, etc.

Anyway, I hope you stick around and enjoy our board a bit, it's a nice break from the limits of geography :)

Ann
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Re: Disturbing member

Postby JohnZ » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:23 am

Ann is right, in my opinion. A group conscience is probably in order. Take it up at a business meeting and see what others have to say about it.

I've also known long-time members that are stuck in broken-record mode. Usually people criticize the Big Book because they are afraid of actually working the Steps, which is a fear many of us have had as newcomers. But long-time members can also get stuck - many people have been told to just not drink and go to meetings, and sometimes this two-stepping method "works" for many years. It works in the sense that they don't imbibe alcohol, but it doesn't work to alleviate the resentment, fear, and remorse we've all suffered from.

So if there is any discussion of this member at a business meeting, the needs of newcomers have to be considered, but it also has to be remembered that this individual is a sick and suffering alcoholic who is simply venting his fears. He needs as much help from the program as the newcomers.
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Re: Disturbing member

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:50 am

not the soul but the spirit.


Soul, Spirit... we need to go beyond words, like Eckhart Tolle would say.
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: Disturbing member

Postby Layne » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:38 am

Over the years, I have definitely encountered people of a similar vein in my home group as well. When I notice them stirring things up, a good action plan for me is suggested on page 64, chapter 5, How It Works, in the big book
Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.

Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four.

That coupled with the serenity prayer is usually good to get me pointed in the right direction.
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Re: Disturbing member

Postby GaryD » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:18 am

I don't know anyone who enjoys a disturbing member in discussion meetings, especially one who has the ability to drive others away through their weaknesses. Where I live we have whole sects like this. They come in to a meeting and you can hear a sigh because others know they are about to dominate the discussion floor with the same thing they have been saying in every meeting they have gone to for the last 2 years. What is a sober member of AA to do?

Remember why I ended up here:
Ch. 5 How It Works wrote:... This is the how and the why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn't work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most Good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.


I am here because I have the innate desire to control everyone and everything in life as a natural part of my person. Over the years of active addiction I developed a twisted and sick pleasure out of judging and criticizing everyone I see. I had assumed the role of God and needed to quit playing God before I could get any relief from being disturbed by everyone else's personally perceived poor behavior.

Tradition Two— wrote:For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.


The keyword here is 'leaders'. I always had difficulty understanding what it meant to be a leader. In any group setting there ought be people who have proven track records of possessing the ability to stay sober and live out the AA way of life regardless of any individuals who find their way into the group and begin to be disruptive in some way. A good leader leads and by their proven ability to succeed others place their faith in the leaders ability to lead and choose to follow. A good leader has no need to seek to govern the group. They influence the group by their participation in it. A good leader will recognize that God governs the group and will place his faith in God to lead the group as God sees fit through the intuitive thought life of its members influencing one another through the sharing of their experience, strength and hope. Not by sharing what they 'think'.


12&12 Step Ten, p.90 wrote:It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.


I came to AA disturbed by just about everything and everyone. I learned that my problem was that I did not care about people, especially those who I perceived as bad people because I was a selfish and self-centered egotistical madman driven by 100 forms of fear, self-pity and self-delusion. I was maladjusted to life, in full flight from reality and an outright mental defective. Should I expect any more from others in the program of recovery?

Over time I began to change as I worked the steps. I began to lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in my fellows. Immediately I began to understand that their were those who had grave mental and emotional disorders that were pretty disturbing and fear gripped me because I didn't know how to help them!


Ch. 11 A Vision for You wrote:... Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.


I had to learn that it was my responsibility to go to God and ask him what I could do to help. I was promised that the answers would come but only if certain conditions were met. My house had to be in order. In other words, I had to be in good spiritual condition lest I be the one who is still sick and in need of help thinking that it is everyone else who is sick instead of me. Plus, I had to have that which was needed to be given. I could not give away that which I did not possess. I can't give grace if I have none. I can't give mercy if I am merciless. I can't give serenity if I am disturbed. I cannot help others see if I am blind. I must first remove my own blindness so that I can see how to teach another to remove his own.

So what do I do when some still sick disturbing individual comes into the meeting repeatedly who is clearly disturbed and sharing is disturbance with others who readily receive it and become disturbed themselves causing division rather than unity? I seek to recognize what is wrong with them by looking at my own personal past history that I do not wish to shut the door on because I have seen how it can be useful to others and I share 'what I was like', 'what happened' and 'what I am like now' in hopes that the sick one might be able to receive the healing I did when someone else loved me enough to do the same thing for me.

Inner peace is from God, once you have it you can spread it out to those who are willing to receive it but it is a skill that is developed through patient practice of the steps. May God bless you and keep you through your struggle.
By the grace of God using the fellowship of AA and the twelves steps I have not picked up a drink since October 6th, 2002.

Gary D.
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Re: Disturbing member

Postby JohnZ » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:39 am

Another wonderful post, Gary. I've copied your insights into my AA journal, because this sort of situation arises from time to time, and I've been to several business meetings during which the discussion centered around individuals that were misleading newcomers. If the matter should arise again, as I know it will, I'm going to reread your post to remind myself of the proper perspective.
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Re: Disturbing member

Postby GaryD » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:52 am

JohnZ wrote:Another wonderful post, Gary. I've copied your insights into my AA journal, because this sort of situation arises from time to time, and I've been to several business meetings during which the discussion centered around individuals that were misleading newcomers. If the matter should arise again, as I know it will, I'm going to reread your post to remind myself of the proper perspective.


Hi JohnZ! God is good isn't he? Once I was able to understand that we are merely servants who are guided, or misguided, through our mind and emotions, I was able to humbly begin to sort out and seek out those thoughts that lead to sound decisions rooted in fact rather than seeking comfort from uneasy feelings or fears.

We have a couple choices when dealing with people. We can impose our will upon others in an attempt to control what they are doing in an attempt to benefit the whole or we can seek to convince others that they would be better off if they chose to behave in a different manner. There is a time and place for each method. Sorting out when to do what is why we have progress rather than perfection.

Wayne B shared in his lead of an experience he had 4 1/2 years in recovery. He says that he was still drinking and attending meetings. His sponsor, Barney, had told him "you know this program works better if you don't drink?" And at that moment something in Wayne's mind snapped and he drew his gun from his ankle and fired a round off at Barney's head. If Barney were six inches taller, he would be six feet under. According to Wayne, other members of the group then gave him some good old 'AA group therapy' and he was covered in bruises when he came too in the psyche ward the following morning. He said "it worked! I never did that again". Here is an example of what I perceive to be the best use of the will to control what another is doing at an AA meeting. I believe the 'group conscience' was to immediately suppress the threat and bring things under control quickly.

The second method was applied by Barney the next morning as he visited Wayne in the hospital, Wayne in 6 point restraints. He showed up and told Wayne that he wasn't sure if Wayne was simply a psychopath or not but that he was sure that he could recover from his alcoholism if he would work the steps of recovery. He never mentioned Wayne's poor behavior from the day before. That was what struck Wayne the hardest as living proof of the program of recovery. Barney had loved him unconditionally without berating him for his actions. He accepted that Wayne was spiritually sick and did not expect Wayne to act right unless he could begin the treatment process though the steps.

It was another six months before Wayne took his last drink and stayed continuously sober after that. He did not deserve that which he was given and that is why it is called grace. I am effectively in pursuit of receiving the grace, mercy, love, peace, joy, patience, meekness, gentleness, goodness and self-control of our God so that I can freely give them to others and bring healing to the whole. Without God I am nothing but through him I may be able to have the discernment necessary to understand when to implement the proper method to enact change in another for the purpose of edification. But I must work to hear his 'voice' when he speaks.


Ch. 1 Bill's Story wrote:... I was to test my thinking by the new god-consciousness within. Common sense would thus become uncommon sense. I was to sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my problems as He would have me. Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness to others. Then only might I expect to receive. But that would be in great measure.


May we both continue to grow in effectiveness in our pursuit!
By the grace of God using the fellowship of AA and the twelves steps I have not picked up a drink since October 6th, 2002.

Gary D.
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Re: Disturbing member

Postby Service » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:06 pm

PowerOfNow wrote:We have a disturbing member in my homegroup in Stockholm. Many members quit my group becauce of him. Every meeting he share the same thing that can be very confusing for newcomers. He says the big book is wrongly translated from english to swedish. Its about our threefolded decease, physical, mental and spiritual. In the swedish big book we read that also our souls are sick but this member goes on and say its not the soul but the spirit. I think a newcomer is not helped by this discussion, they come becauce they need help and dont care about translations. Also its boring to listen to same story everyday and its also told in a very "preaching" way. Any suggestions how to handle this situation. This guy is also very hard to talk to, very stubborn and can easily get agressive. Many good members get bored and go to other groups but this group have been my home for 7 years and its sad to see how one person can do so much harm.



Sounds like the #1 killer in A.A the commonly labeled sponsors, - nothing new here principles not principles before personalities - a personality is a sponsor who has his own PERSONAL REALITY!
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Re: Disturbing member

Postby Tosh » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:38 pm

Service wrote:Sounds like the #1 killer in A.A the commonly labeled sponsors, -


I would think alcoholism - drinking - is the No 1 killer. We recently had a local lady who came to A.A. for about a year die because of her drinking.

She never did get a sponsor and do the 12 Steps.

Very sad; I know her daughter - it was her who told me.
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: Disturbing member

Postby ann2 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:34 am

Thanks, Tosh. I missed this post when I was trying to remove Service's anti-sponsor diatribe. For the record, it's completely acceptable to talk about specific problems with sponsors, or general feelings related to sponsors, but to come here time after time and slander all AA sponsors is not going to be tolerated. Why? Because this board is a venue of the e-AA group, and the group conscience is solidly behind sponsorship.

It's part of our 5th tradition responsibility to share what we believe is true of sponsorship, and part of that sharing involves what appears here, naturally. I have nothing against personal expression, but this site is operated by the e-AA group for its primary purpose, that is, carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

The message is, "You are not alone. We want to help. The steps are the way to freedom." And having a sponsor works with these things.

ann
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Re: Disturbing member

Postby PowerOfNow » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:54 am

When I use google translater for "spirit" into swedish it says both spirit and soul.
So I ask you englishborn members if its much wrong in translating "spiritual sick"
as being sick in your soul ?
My "teacher" Eckhart Tolle says the spirit or the "I am" is always unchanged and
cannot get sick but the soul can. So please tell me what you think about this
translation. Isnt it a bit academic hairsplitting like we say in Sweden ?
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Re: Disturbing member

Postby becksdad » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:25 pm

This is all a little too deep into an intellectual labyrinth for me.... :D . But I know for sure that as, if, and when I try to put spiritual principles from the steps into daily life, I feel better right down to my soul!!!!... :D

Thank you all,

Ed
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Re: Disturbing member

Postby Squawking Hawk » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:17 pm

I've enjoyed reading the shares on this thread. I too have been to my share of meetings with "disturbing members." Sometimes the best thing for me to do is to say a silent prayer and after saying my silent prayer I often find that I can listen and not get involved in whatever the disturbance is. Most of the time the disturbance is verbal so this works.

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Re: Disturbing member

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:34 pm

Isnt it a bit academic hairsplitting like we say in Sweden ?


Yes. But why are you still splitting hairs? Let go dude. Whatever it is, the new comer needs to see that something is working in us, so he/she could also start working the 12 steps and experience the power. If you are going to 'split hairs' on some terminology, he/she is going to be lost.
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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