What is the importance of a home group?

Is the concept of a Home Group dying? What is a Home Group anyway? Talk about it here.

What is the importance of a home group?

Postby FullFlightKY » Sun May 17, 2015 10:29 pm

I have been in and out of AA for the last year and a half. I have never participated in a home group even tho the program I went through last year basically made it a requirement that we find one that we like and join. I didn't but only bc of my insecurities dealing with other people. I have a select few people that I mingle with in the fellowship bc of that, tho I don't avoid contact with others I still only feel comfortable dealing with my own little support group. I don't like reading in meetings, I basically like to sit in meetings and hear their message and if I have any questions or feedback I approach individuals after the meeting. I have a huge fear of public speaking btw and I know it's something I will have to take steps to work on lol. I just wanted to hear some input on your opinions of the importance of a home group and does the Big Book mention anything about a home group? (bc if so I completely missed that piece). Thanks
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby positrac » Tue May 19, 2015 3:14 am

First and foremost it is a means of continuity, responsibility and place you are seen by others who may want what you have and can get it. This means step work, meeting and greeting and doing the stuff that you may think you are beyond doing such as kitchen duty, toilet duty, mowing the grass and or other needs of that hall that is your home group may need help with. I might seriously suggest pacing yourself with the amount you take on as this task has led some to go out because of not being able to say HELP or I need some of the load removed. See it is you or someone else who opens the door at times when you'd rather be doing something else that matters to the one who still suffers.

I had two home groups at one time and I mainly made my meetings of choice Big Book and or some other literature because anyone can chair open discussion; but knowledge is in the books as to find peace and charity of our disease.

I hate shaking hands and greeting although I made myself do it because I needed character in that area and now I am not fearful of pressing flesh when I meet someone in public for the first time. So little things do come from having a home group and i hope you'll consider that your work can save lives because it is our testimony that has the power and not us as we are the vessel.

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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby PaigeB » Tue May 19, 2015 10:57 am

I copied and pasted your post and added 2 lines about home groups after each statement:

I didn't but only bc of my insecurities dealing with other people - A home group helps with that!
I have a select few people that I mingle with in the fellowship - A home group is like that!
I don't avoid contact with others I still only feel comfortable dealing with my own little support group - A home group is like that!
I don't like reading in meetings - A home group helps with that!
I basically like to sit in meetings and hear their message - A home group is like that!
if I have any questions or feedback I approach individuals after the meeting - A home group is like that!
I have a huge fear of public speaking btw and I know it's something I will have to take steps to work on - A home group helps with that!

You don't get married to your homegroup... just pick one that you like and is at a good time for you to attend every week. Pick up a job or 2 in the group whenever you feel ready. Or not. I am not even sure you have to tell them you picked them, just tell yourself and stick to going to it.
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby positrac » Wed May 20, 2015 3:51 am

I am surprised this hasn't grabbed more traction because this is a valid question and the feed back from others can be a mixed lot. I believe the community service that a home group can provide is detrimental to good sobriety and overall growth. I used to take a meeting into a 30 day dry tank and I did that for six months weekly and on holidays. I saw a lot of retreads in that period and they always asked why I came every week and this was new years eve when my meeting came up. I told them I went to any length to drink and doing this was my way of going to any length to stay sober. I thanked my home group for my time in that position as it made me see even more the damage our disease will lead us and I gained some inside humility by going every week. My girl friend at the time was pissed because as she said that AA was more important than she was and, you know I stayed in AA and she left and I am still sober today. go figure :roll:
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby desypete » Wed May 20, 2015 5:04 am

join a home group and find out for yourself how important they are would be my advice, the group gave me conferdience i never thought i could have, from making the tea to being group leader i never thought i could do those things and i grew from the experience

i have to face my fears head on these days, and the home group gave me a good place to start and to practice

i never knew just how important it was for me to give back to aa, if people all over this world dont give there time and effort to keep the meetings open then were would aa be ?

did we all go to an aa meeting to find help ? are we lucky that there was a group open for us to go to ?

i never had a computer when i came into aa as i sold everything i ever had to booze, i didnt go to a rehab, i didnt have a partner who could pay for everything, i had nothing, and no one, except for the aa meetings that are open and kept open by the loving people in those meetings who pay back to aa for what its given them

i do the same today and pay back as aa has given me so much back

i guess there not so important if you have so much left in your life, you will not need them as desperate etc
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby PaigeB » Sun May 24, 2015 12:22 pm

Having a home group helped me acquire smart feet.

At first my defect of pride made me go cause I didn't want people to think I was a slacker.
Then some integrity set in and I went because I said I would.
Then I had a job to do, so like it or not, I had to go.
At one point in there I realized I had something to offer back so I went to give back what was given to me.
Now I go because I love them all.
And I continue to go because I need them more than they need me.
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby tyg » Tue May 26, 2015 1:00 am

For me, I had to practice opposite behavior and do things differently than what my brain thought I should do. It was my thinking/knowledge that got me drunk and an unmanageable life. It was necessary for my growth to do things that I wasn't comfortable with and, do things "I" didn't see a good reason for doing in AA.

Post by desypete » Wed May 20, 2015 3:04 am
join a home group and find out for yourself how important they are would be my advice


This reminds me of one of my favorite AA quote:
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance---that principle is contempt prior to investigation. Page 568

This passage comes to mind when I am in unfamiliar territory, want to try something new or determine a course to take (in and out of AA). This has helped me just "Do" it and "experience" the results for myself. My mind can talk me out of doing so many things. Sometimes listening to people's experiences/opinions have stopped me from doing something too. It is nothing they did, or their fault, it is me... were my brain had me believing that my venture would be similar to theirs. I have limited myself so many times by not doing something and discovering the outcomes for myself.


Here is a link off the AA.org web site. It's an AA Pamphlet on the AA Group and has some info on the home group too
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-16_theaagroup.pdf
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby desypete » Tue May 26, 2015 7:52 am

tyg wrote:For me, I had to practice opposite behavior and do things differently than what my brain thought I should do. It was my thinking/knowledge that got me drunk and an unmanageable life. It was necessary for my growth to do things that I wasn't comfortable with and, do things "I" didn't see a good reason for doing in AA.

Post by desypete » Wed May 20, 2015 3:04 am
join a home group and find out for yourself how important they are would be my advice


This reminds me of one of my favorite AA quote:
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance---that principle is contempt prior to investigation. Page 568

This passage comes to mind when I am in unfamiliar territory, want to try something new or determine a course to take (in and out of AA). This has helped me just "Do" it and "experience" the results for myself. My mind can talk me out of doing so many things. Sometimes listening to people's experiences/opinions have stopped me from doing something too. It is nothing they did, or their fault, it is me... were my brain had me believing that my venture would be similar to theirs. I have limited myself so many times by not doing something and discovering the outcomes for myself.


Here is a link off the AA.org web site. It's an AA Pamphlet on the AA Group and has some info on the home group too
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-16_theaagroup.pdf



i agree with you about the practising of opposites, you have the same head as i have lol

although it more than what my head tells me as well its also i have come to find its how i feel, if i dont feel like doing somthing i would not do it so i had to go against how i felt and just do it, like cutting the grass i never feel like doing it but when i do it i feel much better

if i dont feel like going to a meeting what do i do ? sit there and moan and feel low or get myself off to a meeting that i dont want to go to and then find my mood changes for the better

all the way through my recovery its been that way, the only difference is these days i am more experienced at seeing the signs, if i am feeling fearful i have to face whatever it is and the sooner the better for my own peace of mind, as sitting with a problem for me is just not on any more if i have to do something then i have to do it as i dont want to sit in fear or have that spinning head or feel ill at ease.

i have just started a new job and for the last 4 days my head has been full of negatives that i have had to ignore and try to picture positives, i was worreid about the trainer telling me what to do and how i would react and tell him to f off or feel like telling him to f off
this sort of image was there in my mind of how it might be when i started

of course nothing like it happend and the first day was great, the trainer guy just said to me you have been around here a while i dont need to teach you most of the stuff and he shown me some things i was unsure of and then just left me alone to get on in the job

it was perfect :D

i just come to point in life now where i can laugh at myself and how my head works but it still doesnt mean i will be any different in feeling its just i have this belief things will not be as bad and that if i just go there and try it first and then see how it turns out

same with joinging a home group i would tell anyone just try it and dont let there head put them off
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby Duke » Tue May 26, 2015 8:25 am

Welcome FullFlightKY

In one word, the importance of a home group for me is accountability.

My life before the program was characterized by isolation. Even when I was with people, I kept them out. I didn't want anyone to know the real me. It's impossible for me to do that with my home group members. They help keep me honest with myself.

There's lots of other good reasons that others have articulated, but that's the main one for me.

Good luck to you.
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby Tommy-S » Wed May 27, 2015 3:31 pm

Welcome FullFlightKY

There's been a lot of good stuff shared already.

When I hear the new person worried about home groups or sponsors, I think about the way I was drinking.... I would show absolute faith in a complete stranger IF he was buying the drinks. I could convert to whatever religion someone was selling or believe anything they wanted me to believe IF they provided more booze. I'd be whatever they wanted me to be without question as long as the Alcohol kept coming.

I could trust these strangers & weirdo's to help me kill myself, and balked at the help AA's offered freely... and made up reasons (excuses) which, in my head, seemed to make sense.

The old timers helped me to see that this was The Drink working on me, as King Alcohol doesn't like to let us go.

You said it yourself, you haven't gotten a home group and haven't stayed sober.

Those of us who shared Do have home groups and Are staying sober... If it worked for us, it can work for you, too!

Thanks... Tommy
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby FullFlightKY » Thu May 28, 2015 11:02 pm

Thank you all! I greatly appreciate the advice. All very good advice and I will be finding a home group very soon because I need all of the above. Fear is a big thing for me and as much as I pray on things that I am fearful of it only helps so much, I need to take more action. I love this forum and read it on a daily basis, all very good stuff. If I could make this a home group I would but I can't isolate behind this keyboard forever.
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby Sean R. » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:58 pm

I've been sober for just over a year now and I realize I have no home group. However, i have been the Secretary at a 6 am meeting for 5 months, been going to that meeting for almost a year 5 days a week and do fellowship and what have you. So is that my "Home Group"? And if my schedule changes and I can't go to that meeting anymore am I without my home group (which is my current situation)?
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby Brock » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:13 am

Welcome to e-AA Sean. Sometimes new posts and good questions like the one you asked go unnoticed when the site is busy, and particularly when the topic is a little “dated.”

Something very similar happened to me, I went every Tuesday morning to the group I felt most comfortable with, after a couple of months I started helping just washing up the coffee stuff, and with nothing being said the other members just assumed I had joined their group, I went on to hold other service positions. So I expect your group also considers you a member, and that is your home group.

I have seen people change home groups but usually when they disagree with the direction the group is taking, us alcoholics often still suffer with a “if things aren’t done my way I am taking my bat and ball and leaving” sort of attitude. But in a case like yours of a schedule change, unless you will never go back to the old schedule it shouldn’t matter, but if you miss the commitment of a service position or just enjoy service there is nothing stopping you changing home groups.

The only thing you did not mention is group conscience meetings, since you were the secretary for five months one assumes you attended those, which makes you a member, thanks for the question and please stick around, this is a vibrant AA site.
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby Niagara » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:04 am

Hi Sean and welcome

My experience is a little different from Brocks. Where I am in the UK, I had to have a chat with an existing home group member, to be considered a home group member, if that makes sense. Sobriety date would be taken, and chips awarded via the home group. Service positions/group consciences seem to work exactly the same though.

Hope to see you again!
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Re: What is the importance of a home group?

Postby Sean R. » Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:08 am

Thanks, that's helpful. In my case i think i will officially switch groups; my new schedule allows me to be a part of a pretty vibrant "group" - versus meeting, per my sponsor. This group seems very active with a running club, ski retreats (my first addiction, not trying to recover :D ), And other outings. I figure i'd be happy to plan an AA powder week(s); I know I could use some sober guys to chase storms with!!!
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