Walked out of two meetings this week

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Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby michmjon » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:07 am

On Tuesday I went to my regular 9AM group- not three minutes into the topic, one of the men went off topic and started in on politics. Almost immediately it turned into a shouting match. I requested that we stick to the topic and keep politics out of the meeting to no avail and ended up just walking out the door. This morning it was more of the same- the meeting disintegrated into a political back and forth between three in the group. Again, I pleaded to keep politics off the table and stick to the topic at hand and again, I ended up just walking out when it didn't stop- and this time I was leading the meeting! It's always the same three people. Any suggestions on keeping things in reign and keeping politics out of the meeting would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby PaigeB » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:01 am

Escort them out the door.

Talk about the problem before the prayer and ask that anyone who cannot stay off politics cannot stay in the meeting.

If it continues have a group conscience meeting to discuss keeping them out of the meeting. Greet them at the door, if you have a Group Conscience decision, and tell them they need to take a break from the group - new comers lives are at stake. They can talk politics at the bar.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby positrac » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:27 am

Get a show of hand at the beginning of the meeting if anyone will go off topic about politics and if necessary call out the people who cause the problem. If they agree they will act like idiots then adjourn the meeting and do something else.


I think you should start your own meeting and see what kind of folks show up as these regular meetings aren't going so well for anyone it seems.

I get burning desires and when people have needs and the current political climate is not a reason to use for drinking!
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby Noels » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:44 am

Heya Mitch :D oooh I would have loved to be at your group! I would have had so much fun stirring :lol: What I would do in this particular situation - I would print 2 signs, one saying "Alcoholics Anonymous" and the other one saying "Political discussions". The "AA" sign I would put up where the AA meeting takes place and the "Politics" sign I would put up with an arrow leading to the gents/ladies bathrooms. If these cronies still don't get it and start politics in the AA meeting I would gently "point them in the right direction".

Have fun bro! At least you never have a dull moment :D

mwah xxx
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby Layne » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:42 am

Other than the normal announcements about staying on topic, etc. I would windup by saying that if some individuals feel the necessity to steer the discussion into political shouting match, you will notice that I get up and walk outside, any other members of the group who wish to discuss alcohol and their recovery are free to join me outside where we can carry on the discussion in a manner more in keeping with the twelve steps and traditions.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby Duke » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:43 am

A much milder version of this happened at a meeting I attended some time ago. I called for a group conscience meeting and we worked it out. It hasn't come up since.

If the group's important to you, make the effort. You never know what will happen. Just be prepared to accept the result.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby tomsteve » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:26 pm

Noels wrote:Heya Mitch :D oooh I would have loved to be at your group! I would have had so much fun stirring :lol:


glad I wouldn't do that!!
maybe just say something like,"im dam greatful this is a politics anonymous meeting because im tired of people bickering about politics and want to find a solution for it. and to top it off, can ya believe theres this AA thing tryin to help people stop drinking- they want to help people stop destroying lives????" =surprised
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby Blue Moon » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:47 pm

Yes, have a Group Conscience. There, you can bring up Tradition 10: Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy. These individuals need to take their own inventory, and stop using the group as they are.

Does your group have a GSR? That individual should be bringing them to task, and chairing the Group Conscience meeting to discuss it.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby Brock » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:50 am

Some good suggestions have been given that might work perfectly well with a group in many parts of the country, however, given the description of the depressed area and uncouth behavior of the members towards women, blacks and homosexuals, which you have described in the past, any gentlemanly approach or call for a group conscience will probably be met with contempt. I also live in an area, or actually a small country, where people of varying levels of education, and greatly varying opinions of what constitutes common decency attend meetings. One person who consistently upset everyone else had us trying all these suggestions, he stood his ground and said you can't stop me coming, and you can't tell me what I can or can not say, and our research showed that he was more or less right. We did find AA literature, supporting the idea of calling the police to eject a person who was overly disruptive, but in my area the police have better things to do, and I am sure the same applies in Detroit. However after showing him the literature he did cool down a lot, and is no longer as badly behaved.

I remember you were strong in your opinion when describing the Big Book as 'suggestions,' because some old timers at your other meeting were in your opinion being too rigid in it's interpretation. I am not saying this to ill speak you in any way or cause confrontation, but the pendulum swings both ways. And you called them a few choice names for cult like adherence to what they interpreted as the way the program should operate, here we have some members who don't agree with the way you think the meeting should operate as well. On one hand ill speaking our founder in a meeting, because of certain evidence found that he was a 'dirty old man,' and sidetracking a meeting topic with politics, are I believe equally against the best interest of AA in general, and newcomers in particular.

Topics like politics are fleeting, people get less interested with time. We have the American networks on our cable here, and already the news in less and less dominated with political developments. When I was newer to the program I would probably not have had even the patience you are displaying, now I have come to appreciate the great virtue that patience is, (another reward of a spiritual awakening). So I would lead by example and stick to the topic, ignore what others say or do, it's hard, but the rewards of this type of discipline and patience are spiritual growth.

Best of luck in finding a solution.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby michmjon » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:31 am

So yesterday they started in again- this time on healthcare- and I immediately interrupted the "debate" and said that if anyone was interested in discussing alcoholism and not politics, I would be upstairs (the meetings are held in the basement of an old church converted to an Alano Club) and I headed up to the big meeting room. I sat there alone for about ten minutes then left for home. As Brock stated, given time the political discussions will play themselves out and cease but until then I will be no longer attending my usual 9 AM meetings. For now, I am taking a month off or so from attending any meetings. I just need a break to refresh through meditation, readings and checking in on this forum occasionally. To tell you the truth, for the past couple months I have been getting nothing from attending meetings and frankly, it has become a chore rather than a growth experience. I feel like I am dragging myself to meetings rather than attending willingly.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby positrac » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:38 am

You need a car or transportation and get to real meetings because these gathering seem to be more of a gossip session than quality AA. It isn't fair and thus is life and this is why you can change for the better instead of hanging in the funk.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby tomsteve » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:00 am

ya know mich, that sounds like an alano club I used to go to now and then up by Pontiac. there were some crazy meetings there.
walked in to a meeting there once and a barfight broke out!
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby Layne » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:46 am

AA meetings are but a microcosm of the real world, that is the reason I love them despite their faults. They are my practice sessions for participating in the real world. After and while at a meeting I can receive much feedback about my spiritual condition. When I was drinking, I isolated my self from the real world more and more because it didn't go the way I deemed best. I don't want to repeat that mistake in sobriety.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby michmjon » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:22 am

positrac wrote:You need a car or transportation and get to real meetings because these gathering seem to be more of a gossip session than quality AA. It isn't fair and thus is life and this is why you can change for the better instead of hanging in the funk.


Oh, I am not in a funk at all! I'm just in need of a break from AA meetings- a vacation of sorts. Just time away to regroup, much like one needs a vacation from work every once and a while. This is something I've been criticized for by members of the groups I attend- that I'm not there every single day and that on occasion I will take a week or two off. When faced with such criticism (usually it's "You'll just relapse" or "You NEED to attend meetings to stay on track") my standard reply is that I have no desire to drink, nor have I for a long time, and that sometimes a long walk or reading a good book provides me with a certain clarity of thought that I just don't get by sitting in meetings every single day of my life.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby tomsteve » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:05 am

mich, something from the big book you can point out to those that say you need to attend a meeting to stay on track:

None of us makes a sole vocation of this work, nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased if we did. We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs. All of us spend much of our spare time in the sort of effort which we are going to describe.

people that need meetings to stay on track and/or to not drink again, haven't worked THE program- there is either some fear or an addiction kikin...MOST of the time.

what keeps me recovered when I don't go to meetings for a while?
cant be any simpler than this:

It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee - Thy will (not mine) be done." These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.
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