Feedback during a call

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Re: Feedback during a call

Postby leejosepho » Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:18 am

Alex1 wrote:...after I spoke to him he went to a meeting. Then he went home and got drunk.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I guess a mixture of irritation, disappointment and frustration. I don't want to dwell on it though, it's not my fault.

Dwelling on it as if we might in any way be to blame is certainly not necessary, and we can really only guess at what might have actually happened there anyway. Although I would tend to doubt this, maybe someone at that meeting had suggested he go try some controlled drinking. Or maybe...or maybe...

But what we do know is this:

"The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink." (page 24)

"...assuming, of course, that the reader desires to stop...[maybe] he has already lost the power to choose whether he will drink or not...a tremendous urge to cease forever...impossible...the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it - this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish." (page 34)

Some people do try just not drinking one-day-at-a-time to try to get past that at Step One, and that is actually one thing that has helped some of us finally take all of it.

a. We had no control over our drinking while drinking;
b. We could not keep from drinking after we had stopped;
c. We could not manage our own lives out of that mess.

If any or all of that has ever been your own experience, hopefully you might get yet another opportunity to share it with him.
=======================
"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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Re: Feedback during a call

Postby Alex1 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:25 pm

Update:

The fellow I mentioned is now about 2 weeks sober, he's still calling me sharing a lot of messed-up thinking, including resentments, self-centredness, self-pity, etc. He shared all this and then said he was going to ask his HP for help. I didn't tell him anything, I just wanted to suggest that he does so with pen and paper, but before I could even get the words out, he said "Alex, you can't fix me so don't try. It's only gonna hurt me and it's gonna hurt you. I'll call you in 2 hours."

Now I'm torn. On the one hand he's right, I can't fix him so I should just listen and thank him for sharing. It did irritate me to be cut off mid-sentence though, I have to admit.

On the other hand if he's calling me to tell me all this but is not receptive to feedback then he's just whining. Self-pity. And then he puts down the phone and pats himself on the back that he took a positive action by calling another member. So in a way he's using me to enable his disease.

So I'm not sure how to handle this. My thinking is that I should not take his calls or listen to his voice mails, so that's probably the wrong thing to do. Maybe I should just listen and thank him at the end (that way, but for the grace of God, go I), even if that enables his disease, cos at least that way he's still part of our group and can call me if he ever wants to start taking real action.

How would you guys handle this?
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Re: Feedback during a call

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:17 pm

How would you guys handle this?


You should encourage him to find a sponsor who is a real-alcoholic, because there some hard drinkers who dont understand the relief comes from working the 12 steps quickly and tend to encourage the new-comers just to go to 90 more meetings in 90 days.

Once he finds such sponsor, he could work on understanding the powerlessness and un-manageability by writing inventories of his drinking experiences and other life situations that is baffling him (like now). if he doesn't want to drink like couple of weeks ago, this is the best thing you can do for him and then pray that he takes your help.
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: Feedback during a call

Postby leejosepho » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:27 pm

Alex1 wrote:...before I could even get the words out, he said...

How would you guys handle this?

Agree with anything you possibly can, and I never compromise my own beliefs or practices in order to do so. Just agree wherever possible, never disagree or argue and then just answer questions. An example:

him: Lee, do not even bother...
me: Okay.
him: God alone can fix me.
me: I agree.
him: You cannot fix me.
me: We agree.

At some point he will likely ask why you are not saying much or why you are being so agreeable or whatever, and then be absolutely certain your response does not include the word "you" anywhere. Just put yourself in his place and only say things you would want to hear if you still had a mindset like his...and I did not just suggest you should tell him whatever he wants to hear.

Study chapter seven.
=======================
"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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Re: Feedback during a call

Postby Alex1 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:46 pm

The fellow has a sponsor. I am a little sceptical of the relationship because his sponsor lives in a different continent, and my friend keeps relapsing and his sponsor hasn't fired him. I wonder if he's very comfortable with a sponsor from 3,000 miles away who isn't hard on him, and this enables the disease. I wouldn't know because he doesn't talk about his sponsor at meetings.

I think part of the problem is that my friend had over a year sobriety at one point, which is much more than me, in fact more than everyone in our home group. He slipped about a year ago and hasn't got sober since. I, on the other hand, have been a chronic slipper and have only recently felt the program working for me. So I'm not in a position to give much advice anyway. I gave him the number of a long-term sober member who really helped me and he thought it was a good conversation, but it hasn't changed anything. I want to tell him to fire his sponsor and get one from nearby but there's no way I could take responsibility for that advice.

We're a strange group in some ways. We don't have long sobriety, but we're a young group, about 7 or 8 months old (I knew this guy from a different group we both go to). Some of our group seem to be doing quite well and getting sober while others are slipping like crazy. Almost every week someone slipped. Bear in mind there's only 8 of us. I don't know why it frustrates me, I just want us all to recover together as a group, but I am powerless, it's up to God.

Weird thing, this very fellow who doesn't want advice over the phone, asked if we could hold a check-meeting for him. As secretary I said we're too young as a group and can't do it, besides which if he needs advice he should ask his sponsor. Go figure.
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Re: Feedback during a call

Postby Alex1 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:49 pm

Thank you Lee, that sounds challenging but I'll try my best.
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Re: Feedback during a call

Postby leejosepho » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:22 pm

Alex1 wrote:Weird thing, this very fellow who doesn't want advice over the phone, asked if we could hold a check-meeting for him.

I have never heard that term, so maybe describe that a bit, if you wish, and here is what I have in the back of my mind:

"...scarce an evening passed that someone's home did not shelter a little gathering of men and women, happy in their release, and constantly thinking how they might present their discovery to some newcomer." (page 159)

Your fellow is not literally a raw newcomer, of course, but look at the principles there. Those people were talking about prospects by name and "putting their heads together", so to speak, as to how to try to be helpful. They were not taking the man's inventory or anything like that, just sifting through their own overall experience or combined experiences while pondering an approach that maybe only one or two of them would actually make or something someone might share at the next opportunity.
=======================
"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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Re: Feedback during a call

Postby Alex1 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:33 pm

Yes, that's what I meant.

I feel that although we are a young group we all have sponsors so that ought to be our first port of call. At the same time if one member calls another with a problem we ought to be able to help each other see things as they really are.

He just called me back and I listened without comment. In short he's blaming his wife for a lot of things and said "it can't all be my fault, some of this must be her." I didn't respond. I hope he calls his sponsor tonight.
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Re: Feedback during a call

Postby leejosepho » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:44 pm

Alex1 wrote:In short he's blaming his wife for a lot of things and said "it can't all be my fault, some of this must be her."

Please only ever say whatever *you* believe best, but I would have "agreed" by saying something like "Yes, some of the blame does sometimes come from or belong to the other party." Then at that point I would just listen to see whether he would run with that or ponder the fact of his own blame...and then go from there.
=======================
"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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Re: Feedback during a call

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:57 pm

At the same time if one member calls another with a problem we ought to be able to help each other see things as they really are.


The best thing is to help him find the power with which he can live a peaceful life. If you look at the book, the messages are all over the place that the alcoholic is beyond human aid:

When this sort of thinking is fully established in an individual with alcoholic tendencies, he has probably placed himself beyond human aid, and unless locked up, may die or to permanently insane. These stark and ugly facts have been confirmed by legions of alcohoholics throughout history. But for the grace of God, there would have been thousands more convincing demonstrations. So many want to stop but cannot.

Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.

If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.

Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power that One is God. May you find Him now!
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: Feedback during a call

Postby Patsy© » Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:22 am

Alex1 wrote:UPDATE:

The person in question told me today that after I spoke to him he went to a meeting. Then he went home and got drunk.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I guess a mixture of irritation, disappointment and frustration. I don't want to dwell on it though, it's not my fault.

He does have a sponsor. He can't get through to him that often since he lives in another country. I do think he should get a local sponsor but it's not my place to say.



Hi Alex,

Lets keep this real simple....... did you stay sober? If so, then feel Grateful, because we are not there to keep anyone sober, we are there to stay sober ourself and to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. So this alkie has a sponsor, who is out of the country and can't be reached very much......how convenient! lol

I am not sure why you think its not your place to say to this alkie that he needs to get a local sponsor....why not? His way certainly ...isn't working.

Alex, this alkie wanted to drink more than he wanted to stay sober, and no matter what he did or didn't do.......YOU got to walk away sober! Sounds really good to me!
Failed 12 Step Call? Not if we walk away sober!
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