Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby Noels » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:40 am

Thanks EZ :D I didn't know there was actual literature on this subject. I just went with what comes naturally - an overall feeling of love and connection to all that is. Its good to know though that AA actually do have a stand on this particular matter and even better that it seems to be in accordance with my beliefs anyways.

Another thing that I don't fully understand is the "anonymity" issues as I quite honestly give a flying hoot who knows or do not know that I am an alcoholic in recovery. As a matter of fact, BECAUSE I'm pretty open about it we've had the opportunity to support a few clients already who we would never have known was in addiction recovery and struggling at certain times?

I also don't understand how any person can truly accept and love themselves exactly as they are if they are not open and honest about being an alcoholic?

I agree that we don't spill our entire history the first time we meet someone but surely we open up more to each other as the relationship grow? How else will trust ever develop? By "relationship" I mean every relationship we have - with ourselves, our partner/s, friends, co-workers, staff - very much almost every person actively involved in our life on a day-to-day basis?

So when I think of the "anonymous" issue - apart from where TV and movies are concerned, it comes through to me as "being embarrassed about being an alcoholic in recovery?"

Any ideas on this welcome

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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby Layne » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:28 am

Gossip exists. Gossip can be detrimental to a small business in a small community. This was one of my concerns when I, as a small business owner, first considered walking through the doors of AA. What if someone saw me walking in? Right, wrong, valid, baseless, etc, it didn't matter those were stumbling blocks to me before even walking in. Once inside, I was concerned with the same scenario upon leaving, not to mention who would I see once inside; and them me. It was poor thinking on my part, but my thinking hadn't been exactly brilliant up to that point, which is how I wound up there in the first.

Anonymity protects members but it also serves the purpose of protecting the group from small minds that gossip. A few years into recovery, I went to a town hall meeting because there was a heated topic being discussed in the community about a proposed recovery facility that was hoping to open up. Small minds were there in abundance talking about those people that would be drawn into our edenic community(what an oxymoron). I am not embarrassed about being an alcoholic, but small minds do exist so I usually defer from openly being a source of potential ammunition for their gossip guns.

I was able to talk about how "those people" were everywhere and if we were honest about "those people", we would probably discover family members, neighbors, kids, members of the business community, spouses, church members, etc etc that qualified to be in the group of "those people". I did it by never mentioning that I was one of "those people". not because I was embarrassed, but because it might close off some of the small minds before they could hear my complete thoughts. Mentioning it would have served no real purpose because my speaking cleared up any doubts and put a face to "those people", so to do so would have only served some subconscious selfish reason.

Anonymity also has a part in my spiritual development on a group level as it helps to divert any drive I might have to be "better than" and keeps me more just a simple "part of". One of many, which protects the group unity.

I have lots more thoughts and opinions but basically try to remember that anonymity is a cornerstone of attraction rather than promotion that seems to be working pretty well so far.
Last edited by Layne on Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:22 am

surely we open up more to each other as the relationship grow? How else will trust ever develop? By "relationship" I mean every relationship we have - with ourselves, our partner/s, friends, co-workers, staff - very much almost every person actively involved in our life on a day-to-day basis
I am very private, especially at work.
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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby Brock » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:33 am

Yesterday at 9.32 AM, I posted the link to what I called “the AA official guidelines on this subject,” followed by extensive quotes from the document which is called - A.A.® Guidelines - Cooperating with Court, D.W.I. and Similar Programs. In the afternoon someone else posted what they called the “official AA position" with the word official in bold, and gave a general leaflet on how we cooperate with officials. I am not here to argue which one is more 'official,' the one I used does quote sections of the other, and it's title alone “A.A.® Guidelines - Cooperating with Court, D.W.I. and Similar Programs,” should indicate that this is an official stand on how best to handle the DWI problem.

I then explained one of the solutions the document suggests, basically one or two AA group members address DWI offenders in separate meetings, I said then - “Simple and straightforward, you get to know about AA and alcoholism, without upsetting the real alcoholics who choose to seek the solution in the regular meetings.” And this is something the courts agree with, the document says they often provide rooms in the courthouse if we want to hold the meetings there. Then everybody is satisfied, those who are afraid of their anonymity being broken are protected, and the offenders get to know all about AA and alcoholism, so any among them who can identify or admit their problem, finds out what AA has to offer. Those just trying to jump through a hoop to please a judge can go elsewhere, and like I listed in the original post, there are several other programs the courts approve for these folks to attend. Even in my little backward country this is what we do, it's a win win all around.
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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby Brock » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:55 am

From P-47 – Understanding Anonymity.
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/understanding-anonymity – a couple quotes from the document with some emphasis added -
At the personal level, anonymity provides protection for all members from identification as alcoholics, a safeguard often of special importance to newcomers. 

Some questions and answers about anonymity 

Q. If relatives, friends, and business associates comment on my improved appearance and functioning after I become sober, should I tell them I’m in A.A.?
A. Members of the immediate family and close friends are usually pleased to learn about an alcoholic’s membership in A.A. As for business associates, it might be best simply to say that you’ve stopped drinking and postpone decision about disclosing your membership until after you have been in the Fellowship for several months. 

Q. What should I do if I meet old acquaintances at A.A. meetings?
A. You need not ask them to protect your anonymity; they are there for the same, or similar, reasons. They will generally respect your privacy and you, in turn, should respect theirs. 

Well the answer to the last question might not be as they say it is, if the room is half full of DWI's.
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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby Noels » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:25 pm

I then explained one of the solutions the document suggests, basically one or two AA group members address DWI offenders in separate meetings, I said then - “Simple and straightforward, you get to know about AA and alcoholism, without upsetting the real alcoholics who choose to seek the solution in the regular meetings.” And this is something the courts agree with, the document says they often provide rooms in the courthouse if we want to hold the meetings there.

I actually re-read your post today and having a meeting especially for the court appointees (perhaps with some long sober members of AA for questions, answers and support) is not a bad idea. I can live with that :D

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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby Noels » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:32 pm

Thanks Layne, Spirit and Brock so far for your responses regarding the "Anonymity" issue. Hehehe I find here on our side almost every alcoholic battles to pronounce the word "anonymity" - me included :D so we dread the reading! NOT a good word to give to South African alcoholics :lol:

Im not quite satisfied with the anonymity side yet. Need to roll it around in my head a bit more. If you have anything else to add please feel free. My eyes and ears are open :D

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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby Noels » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:48 pm

I was able to talk about how "those people" were everywhere and if we were honest about "those people", we would probably discover family members, neighbors, kids, members of the business community, spouses, church members, etc etc that qualified to be in the group of "those people".

This is actually a good response as it doesn't deny being an alcoholic but gives the "feel" of "knowing/understanding" without admitting anything. I'll play with this a little bit :wink:
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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:16 pm

Its good to know though that AA actually do have a stand on this particular matter and even better that it seems to be in accordance with my beliefs anyways.


I agree. Mine too.

Another thing that I don't fully understand is the "anonymity" issues as I quite honestly give a flying hoot who knows or do not know that I am an alcoholic in recovery. As a matter of fact, BECAUSE I'm pretty open about it we've had the opportunity to support a few clients already who we would never have known was in addiction recovery and struggling at certain times?


That is my experience too. My son was 8 years old when I first began attending AA meetings in 1974 and he was so ecstatic when I told him where I had been going every night, i.e. meetings, he told EVERYBODY in the neighborhood that his mommy had stopped drinking and joined AA! I've never really experienced anonymity or worried about losing it. Never had it lose.... :lol: My understanding has always been that AA members who are concerned about protecting their anonymity can simply attend closed AA meetings where non-AA members are not allowed instead of open meetings in which everyone is welcome.
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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby D'oh » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:38 pm

Sounds like someone should chair that meeting. Are you going to this Saturday AM? Carry the message. Yes a Challenging Crowd, but a Crowd none the less. You will stay sober if nothing else.

Wait till the end of the meeting and Don't sign their slips, say "They owed you one" or something. Carry the Message, even if one hears it, might not be this Saturday, but someday they might.

Everything happens for a reason today, it is not always ours to judge, but to pass what has been granted to us.
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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby Layne » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:53 pm

it doesn't deny being an alcoholic but gives the "feel" of "knowing/understanding" without admitting anything.
I wasn't concerned with admitting to my alcoholism. nor was I interested in hiding the fact. I will readily admit to being an alcoholic. I simply took this approach because I didn't see that an announcement of my own alcoholism would add anything to the conversation and would only serve an ulterior motive of my ego.

Also not publicly announcing my self as a member of AA, relieves me from the burden of being on my best behavior at all times. :~) For example, if someone cuts me off in traffic, I can flip them the bird and not worry about how it reflects upon AA. Anonymity protects AA from me and my actions. AA never has to admit that I am a member. :~)
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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby tomsteve » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:55 am

Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer. We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become convinced that he cannot recover by himself. To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy. One of our Fellowship failed entirely with his first half dozen prospects. He often says that if he had continued to work on them, he might have deprived many others, who have since recovered, of their chance.
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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby Noels » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:30 am

Layne wrote:
it doesn't deny being an alcoholic but gives the "feel" of "knowing/understanding" without admitting anything.
I wasn't concerned with admitting to my alcoholism. nor was I interested in hiding the fact. I will readily admit to being an alcoholic. I simply took this approach because I didn't see that an announcement of my own alcoholism would add anything to the conversation and would only serve an ulterior motive of my ego.

Also not publicly announcing my self as a member of AA, relieves me from the burden of being on my best behavior at all times. :~) For example, if someone cuts me off in traffic, I can flip them the bird and not worry about how it reflects upon AA. Anonymity protects AA from me and my actions. AA never has to admit that I am a member. :~)


:D :D :D I understand :D :D :D
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Re: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:01 am

Everybody has their own preference. Its like having liquor at home/serving liquor. Some do some don't. I have seen people nudged by the judge sobering up most don't. Thats the disease. I don't worry about by anonymity but respect others. I do sign the sheets but in meetings I go to, we sign at the end of the meeting. So, atleast the person may hear something and get lit.
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: Nothing but Nudge from the Judgers

Postby Doddering Moron » Sun May 07, 2017 5:46 pm

Unfortunately for the sick and suffering, the insurance companies took over AA many years ago. AA should have nothing to do with police or courts. AA is an intelligence operation. We want to know about you that we may help. Your drinking is but a symptom. What is your problem or issue? We want to know, we care. We don't care what run-ins you've had with the blue system.
The sick and suffering cannot open up, cannot heal in an Alano environment of shame and Alanon black belting. Get the conversion therapists, the tattle tales out of the club -no copping. Remember, we deal with (alcohol -or whatever symptom). We don't call the cops on the people we're given to help. Look Ma, no handcuffs. Sober since 10/22/07. It is by grace, not works that we stay sober.
I don't chair meetings anymore.
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