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Repeaters

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:21 am
by michmjon
I'm probably picking nits here but I'm going to bring it up anyway. I attend meetings regularly - not daily, usually 2-3 a week and not the same group every time. I've noticed that no matter what group I attend that there are always a few people who repeat the same story every single meeting. I actually have one of these stories memorized verbatim! "But for the grace of God, I am sober 17 years...." and the story goes on for a minute then he's done and the next person speaks. I really don't mind it at all and it sort of makes me laugh! It also seems like these few spend the rest of the meeting just sitting there in a daze not really paying a bit of attention to what everyone else is saying or they are spending the rest of the meeting looking down at their cellphone. They seem to be creatures of habit, just attending meetings day in, day out because that's what they've been doing for years... God bless them for coming and remaining sober but are these few really getting anything out of the program anymore?

Re: Repeaters

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:46 am
by clouds
I hope so. Maybe just doing the next right thing works, and if they do ever have a problem, someone in the meeting will say the exact right thing they need to hear. I hope so.

Re: Repeaters

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:04 am
by avaneesh912
You will have these kind every meeting. Surprise Surprise, you wont find them in Big Book study or other other literature based meetings.

Re: Repeaters

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:10 am
by Layne
I don't know if they are getting anything out of the program anymore or not, but I sure am by their being there.

My reactions to other people and situations, hold valuable information as long as I pay attention. My reactions are great starting points for personal inventory. I can get good insight into things like my level of humility (or lack of), compassion (or lack of), the list goes on and on.

Many times I wish everyone at meetings were more like me, then reality sets and I am glad they are not (boy am I glad). If I were in a room full of me, I wouldn't learn anything and my intolerance would go off the charts.

Early in recovery, I heard look for the similarities. The similarities kept me coming back. The differences keep me learning.

Re: Repeaters

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:57 am
by michmjon
The gentleman whose speech I can quote verbatim brings up another issue- preaching versus speaking. His little speech is purely a "mini-sermon." I see this a lot in meetings where there are certain members who somehow feel compelled to preach the word of their God instead of relating their stories of how alcohol has affected their lives and the steps they have taken to overcome their addiction.

Another thing I see is the consequence of the format of the meetings- you speak in turn, going around the table, and interrupting or speaking out of term is strictly verboten. You are allowed to speak again only after everyone else has spoken. Then there is the "remain on topic" rule- the topic being the reading or a suggested topic by someone at the beginning of the meeting. I would really like to attend a meeting where there is back and forth conversation- true dialogue. Unfortunately, these meetings don't happen in the particular club I go to. Such a meeting would require a strong leader to head the dialog and ensure that no one is interrupted before they have had their full say, to chose who is to speak next and to ensure that no one is hogging the floor.

Re: Repeaters

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:19 pm
by PaigeB
I would really like to attend a meeting where there is back and forth conversation- true dialogue.

As far as I know, only treatment centers have that kind of meeting.

IMO, cross talk impedes openness. It also encourages arguments. And you really can't argue experience anyway. AA is about sharing our experience, strength & hope. Take it or leave it, but you can't really "dialogue" it :wink:

Re: Repeaters

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:38 pm
by Brock
When you first came here you mentioned that your meetings are held in a depressed area, and the behavior of many members was that usually demonstrated by people of little or no class, and I expect equally little education. Such an area will attract members, who are unable to express themselves much more than just giving a drunkalog war story over and over again, they can't help it. This can be seen as a drawback, but the longer we stay in the fellowship, and the more we develop spiritually, the less this bothers us.

Those who are blessed with better communication skills, can use these to set an example by giving the sort of message we ourselves would like to hear, some experience of our drinking to let others see we are indeed alcoholics, what we did about it, and most importantly a message which indicates how much better life is now, a good dose of hope for those who perhaps need some.

Thanks for this topic and the other one you started on mouthwash, the discussion board has been a bit 'dead' the last few days and needed this.

Re: Repeaters

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:51 pm
by Spirit Flower
One way to increase patience and charity is to sit in meeting and listen to people you don't want to listen to.

Re: Repeaters

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:33 am
by michmjon
Brock wrote:When you first came here you mentioned that your meetings are held in a depressed area, and the behavior of many members was that usually demonstrated by people of little or no class, and I expect equally little education. Such an area will attract members, who are unable to express themselves much more than just giving a drunkalog war story over and over again, they can't help it. This can be seen as a drawback, but the longer we stay in the fellowship, and the more we develop spiritually, the less this bothers us.

Those who are blessed with better communication skills, can use these to set an example by giving the sort of message we ourselves would like to hear, some experience of our drinking to let others see we are indeed alcoholics, what we did about it, and most importantly a message which indicates how much better life is now, a good dose of hope for those who perhaps need some.

Thanks for this topic and the other one you started on mouthwash, the discussion board has been a bit 'dead' the last few days and needed this.
It really doesn't bother me- as I said I find it somewhat amusing. I was just questioning if the "repeaters" were really getting anything out of the meetings. I equate it to my parents forcing me to go to church twice on Sundays and every Wednesday evening as a kid. Yeah, I was physically there but mentally I was somewhere else, and that's how it appears to be with the repeaters. They say their little speech then sit there in a blank-stare daze the rest of the meeting.

Re: Repeaters

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:14 am
by Brock
They probably get very little out of it, and the analogy of forced church attendance is a good one. This ties in with the topic of the phone and checking on whether people are actually there, because they don't want to be there in the first place.

It's not just the court sent people either, many feel that AA is a support group in the vain of cancer or other illness support groups, and you hear the rally cry “meeting makers make it,” when in fact they only make meetings nothing more. It is rather more a school, where if we want to we can learn how to recover. Once we have recovered we don't need the meetings other than as a means to give back. Like the church, if we just warm the bench and listen to someone quote the bible waste of time, take our own bible and study it and try to live by it's teaching, no longer a waste of time, and the big book is our bible.

Re: Repeaters

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:53 am
by tomsteve
"God bless them for coming and remaining sober but are these few really getting anything out of the program anymore?'

welp, mich, I think maybe, just maybe, you have a misconception of why those people, like myself that starts by saying:
greatful for the program and the choices its given me, the greatest choice being whether or not I pick up that next drink."
are there.

they, like myself, aren't there to get something out of the program. WE are there to carry the message to the next still and suffering alcoholic.

keep comin back and work the program. youll want to carry the message,too!

mich, have you happened to read the chapter 'working with others?"

To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends - this is an experience you must not miss.