Walked out of two meetings this week

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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby Noels » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:16 am

michmjon wrote:After a long talk with my sponsor (and long time friend) and another friend who is going through the program, I made the decision yesterday that AA just isn't for me. I see the great results that the program brings for others and the way that it has turned their lives around and the more power to them and the program. But- I am not a spiritual person. I am more a pragmatist and have been so my entire life. I left the church at an early age after realizing religion didn't give me any answers and I saw it as a path to accepting something that I just couldn't reasonably accept. I put my "faith" in science and the power of the individual mind rather than faith in a spiritual almighty being. For me, I remain sober because I want to remain so. To me, turning oneself over to someone or something else just isn't a path I am willing to follow. I've heard in meetings that I should use the group as a higher power. But I just don't fit in with the group- either in the Alano Club I was going to or the Church group I attended a few times. Sitting in meetings was giving me no comfort, no encouragement- nothing. The groups around here- and in this entire area- are made up of mostly blue collar types who have never ventured far out of the area and have lived here their entire lives. I have lived abroad for three years, lived in California for over 28 years and here for the past ten years. I have a Master's degree. Because of my greater "wordy" experiences I was leaving meetings more frustrated than anything else. So with I am calling this my last post and won't be attending any more meetings. I have not touched alcohol in a long time and plan on continuing my sobriety a long time. I have seen what alcohol did to me and I am unwilling to go down that path again.


Hi Mitch, i was just thinking ... i understand as best as i possibly can since I'm not physically in your shoes the frustration and possible disappointment you are feeling especially with regard to the "wordy experiences", having furthered yourself by obtaining the Master's degree and also having travelled and possibly experienced more of and in the world than the ones at your group. I even understand your reluctance to consider a Higher Power concept as i myself believe that a part of not drinking is my decision to not pick up that bottle. My HP and Creator don't have a problem with my belief and love and accept me exactly as i am. If my Creator did not wish for me to make decisions It would never have made me with the freedom of choice in the first place.

What i don't understand is that you seem to look at your experiences, higher education and better word usage as "exclusive" or "better than" and "separate from" rather than with extreme gratitude, realizing and accepting how blessed and fortunate you are compared to those who is not "listening to you".

With all our knowledge, degrees, fancy cars, homes and clothes we ALWAYS need to remember that at the end of the day we are all equal. When i die i die alone exactly the same as that person who had limited knowledge, lived in poverty and used foul language. My home, car, degree and finances will not ensure i go to a Palace whereas the other guy will be sent to the slums. At our core we are all the same. I am just exceptionally grateful that i had the ability to see opportunities rather than problems and had the courage and clarity to use them.

Lotsa Love
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby emeraldg » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:38 am

Noels wrote:
michmjon wrote:After a long talk with my sponsor (and long time friend) and another friend who is going through the program, I made the decision yesterday that AA just isn't for me. I see the great results that the program brings for others and the way that it has turned their lives around and the more power to them and the program. But- I am not a spiritual person. I am more a pragmatist and have been so my entire life. I left the church at an early age after realizing religion didn't give me any answers and I saw it as a path to accepting something that I just couldn't reasonably accept. I put my "faith" in science and the power of the individual mind rather than faith in a spiritual almighty being. For me, I remain sober because I want to remain so. To me, turning oneself over to someone or something else just isn't a path I am willing to follow. I've heard in meetings that I should use the group as a higher power. But I just don't fit in with the group- either in the Alano Club I was going to or the Church group I attended a few times. Sitting in meetings was giving me no comfort, no encouragement- nothing. The groups around here- and in this entire area- are made up of mostly blue collar types who have never ventured far out of the area and have lived here their entire lives. I have lived abroad for three years, lived in California for over 28 years and here for the past ten years. I have a Master's degree. Because of my greater "wordy" experiences I was leaving meetings more frustrated than anything else. So with I am calling this my last post and won't be attending any more meetings. I have not touched alcohol in a long time and plan on continuing my sobriety a long time. I have seen what alcohol did to me and I am unwilling to go down that path again.


Hi Mitch, i was just thinking ... i understand as best as i possibly can since I'm not physically in your shoes the frustration and possible disappointment you are feeling especially with regard to the "wordy experiences", having furthered yourself by obtaining the Master's degree and also having travelled and possibly experienced more of and in the world than the ones at your group. I even understand your reluctance to consider a Higher Power concept as i myself believe that a part of not drinking is my decision to not pick up that bottle. My HP and Creator don't have a problem with my belief and love and accept me exactly as i am. If my Creator did not wish for me to make decisions It would never have made me with the freedom of choice in the first place.

What i don't understand is that you seem to look at your experiences, higher education and better word usage as "exclusive" or "better than" and "separate from" rather than with extreme gratitude, realizing and accepting how blessed and fortunate you are compared to those who is not "listening to you".

With all our knowledge, degrees, fancy cars, homes and clothes we ALWAYS need to remember that at the end of the day we are all equal. When i die i die alone exactly the same as that person who had limited knowledge, lived in poverty and used foul language. My home, car, degree and finances will not ensure i go to a Palace whereas the other guy will be sent to the slums. At our core we are all the same. I am just exceptionally grateful that i had the ability to see opportunities rather than problems and had the courage and clarity to use them.

Lotsa Love
xxx Noels


Personally, my advanced degrees and world traveling didn't get me anywhere, because I wasn't sober to enjoy them. They may have actually helped lower my own bottom, being surrounded by hard drinking colleagues and parties, drinking in countries where consuming alcohol is illegal, being so inebriated I could have been arrested. And I was able to throw around a few dollars here and there in order to lower my bottom, buy some enabling and hold off on facing consequences I probably could have used to face sooner. Today I can go to work parties for short periods and travel and enjoy some material things, when I remember to place them in their appropriate place and put first things first. I chose to take on a lower paying job in sobriety that required less formal education than I had, so that I had the flexibility and time for family, good friends, my program and my HP. But everyone's journey is so different, and I've felt what Mitch is feeling.

There is another gentleman in my city in the program who talks about how he is more qualified than others to sponsor, because he has a teaching degree and every word and page number of the Big Book memorized. He hasn't picked up a drink, and I certainly hope he doesn't. He's on his own path that is between him and his HP. I see where you are coming from lovely Noels. I just have felt the way Mitch has felt, and am so grateful I kept coming back when I realized no one, including my HP, cared about my self important social status.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby ezdzit247 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:48 pm

Good luck, Mich!
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:28 pm

If the meetings I went to were as mich describes, I wouldn't bother going back either.
One time when I lived in a small town, I drove 50 miles once a week to attend a really good meeting in the city.
The problem with "no AA" is that sooner or later, most people try drinking again. If they are a real alcoholic, the experiment leads to disaster. Staying stopped is really important to the real alcoholic.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby D'oh » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:22 pm

If the meetings I went to were as mich describes, I wouldn't bother going back either.
One time when I lived in a small town, I drove 50 miles once a week to attend a really good meeting in the city.

I recall, (many years ago) My Counsellor and I talking how we would walk 10-15 miles to a Bar, but go to a Meeting without a ride? maybe a block or two. Pfft.

No, I have never attended a Bad Meeting (if) I am Honest, Open Minded, and Willing to listen. Two Ears, One Mouth.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby positrac » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:22 am

D'oh wrote:
If the meetings I went to were as mich describes, I wouldn't bother going back either.
One time when I lived in a small town, I drove 50 miles once a week to attend a really good meeting in the city.

I recall, (many years ago) My Counsellor and I talking how we would walk 10-15 miles to a Bar, but go to a Meeting without a ride? maybe a block or two. Pfft.

No, I have never attended a Bad Meeting (if) I am Honest, Open Minded, and Willing to listen. Two Ears, One Mouth.



The bad meeting point is kind of subjective to what we might be used to and or my expectations from travels throughout the world. I felt that when I was bored at a meeting and got nothing out two points were: 1. They were speaking to me (not directly) 2. I needed to listen because sometimes those moments when certain people just go over the same drunk a log every meeting got me turned off. I moved to a semi small rural farm community 20 years ago and in about two weeks I was ready to move to my next assignment because they didn't get me! Go figure..... I needed to get them before things could iron themselves out and I still live in this community and now it is an urban sprawl and many different personalities.

Like I had mentioned time and time again to mich- go to a place that is more welcoming instead of driving a nail into the one place that doesn't work as an excuse to bad mouth the whole concept of AA as the drama doesn't do anything except cause resentments.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:27 am

Bad meetings are where people just talk about consequences of drinking alcohol. While the book over and over talks about mind being the problem of the alcoholic. The new comers already know what happens when we drink. Maybe if we focus our attention on the main problem and the real solution of having a spiritual awakening, we can keep the new-comers with hope. All we do is in some meetings reiterate what they already know.
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: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby Brock » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:46 pm

Spirit Flower said – If the meetings I went to were as mich describes, I wouldn't bother going back either.

D'oh said - No, I have never attended a Bad Meeting (if) I am Honest, Open Minded, and Willing to listen. Two Ears, One Mouth.

The second answer is the one AA members usually give, we seem to be told from the start, that if we can't find the good in a meeting it's our fault.

It sounds so nice pushing brotherly love, we are all the same just alcoholics in the same boat, etc. etc., but really we are not. It's a great measure of spiritual maturity, when we can sit with people who have nothing new to offer when they speak, and pay little attention when others do so. And if we can do the spiritual thing, and realizing they may not have been given the same gift of intelligence, or had the educational opportunities we had, we can still treat them with respect and love, we are doing everything AA and God could ask. If we leave the meeting learning nothing, and realizing our own words fell on deaf ears, then it's a waste of time as AA meetings go, and it feels like we didn't listen to the man who said 'don't cast your pearls before swine.'

Those who say they have never been to a bad meeting, have just never been to a really bad meeting.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:28 pm

The bad meeting point is kind of subjective to what we might be used to and or my expectations from travels throughout the world. I felt that when I was bored at a meeting and got nothing out two points were: 1. They were speaking to me (not directly) 2. I needed to listen because sometimes those moments when certain people just go over the same drunk a log every meeting got me turned off. I moved to a semi small rural farm community 20 years ago and in about two weeks I was ready to move to my next assignment because they didn't get me! Go figure..... I needed to get them before things could iron themselves out and I still live in this community and now it is an urban sprawl and many different personalities.


My ESH is very similar. I moved from a very upscale, white collar Los Angeles area in southern California to a small rural farm community in northern California about 20 years ago. When I first started going to AA meetings up here, I experienced big time culture shock. At one point, when I had finally lost enough serenity and became uncomfortable enough to finally to do a 10th Step on what was disturbing me, I was finally able to figure out that the real problem was my own inability to take responsibility for my cranky, critical, judgmental, nit picking attitude. When I finally did, a funny thing happened. Everything about AA meetings up here suddenly, magically, "changed" without anyone or anything really changing except me. Haven't been to a "bad" AA meeting since.... :lol:

It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby D'oh » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:27 pm

Like I had mentioned time and time again to mich- go to a place that is more welcoming instead of driving a nail into the one place that doesn't work as an excuse to bad mouth the whole concept of AA as the drama doesn't do anything except cause resentments.


Much the same view. In "My" way of thinking, when I run the show, I could make winning a Lottery a Bad Thing. All those Tax Dollars I have to pay and all.

I am not saying it is what is happening, just of where I have come from and where I was. Before I opened my mind and Listened, looked, and accepted my fate. That I could no more "Think" my way out of the mayhem, than "Drink" my way to happiness.

"Complete Defeat" wasn't as big a step as I made it out to be.

Those who say they have never been to a bad meeting, have just never been to a really bad meeting.


Ok, I will ask, "Have you ever been to one?"

I can't help but think of last nights Meeting. Not getting too deep into details, but it involved a couple of New Comers, and an Intoxicated Person. Things should have been done differently. It got Bad from there, but there was lessons. And possibly growth for the Newbies. Even though I wished to be anywhere else but there after the first 3 words of the first share.

Had I left, I would not be reflecting on that tonight.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby Blue Moon » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:31 pm

Brock wrote:If we leave the meeting learning nothing, and realizing our own words fell on deaf ears, then it's a waste of time as AA meetings go'


But ... who's to say our words fell on deaf ears? How can I know? Maybe the mouthy git is beyond human aid, but what about the quiet member in the corner?

I find that if I'm expecting praise from my sharing (which I sometimes do), my ego is getting in the way. My job is to share my experience. It's not my job to have anyone else hear it, like it, or give feedback. Agreed, it's not always easy. Yet it sometimes surprises me how someone mentions weeks or months later something I once said in a meeting. Even here, I'm willing to bet that more people are reading our words than we'll ever know.

But ISTM Mitch is in a very different place, mentally. A place I once was, and sometimes slip back towards. I remember sitting in meetings thinking "none of this lot would care if I was even here or not". I was absolutely right. But I was not acknowledging the big invisible "Leave Me Alone" sign I had on my forehead. That was not my fault, but my alcoholism or any social ineptitude wasn't the group's fault either. I also wasn't cognisant of the fact that the very nature of alcoholism is to be self-centered in the extreme, even when physically sober. So of course nobody else would care if I was there or not ... they were all too busy either "sponsoring" or thinking nobody else would care if they were there!

As for education degrees ... I have a statistically higher IQ than at least 98% of people in the room, including those with Masters Degrees. Yet I came in with a condition called "alcoholism", for which intelligence and paperwork are totally irrelevant. It cares no more or less about my capabilities than a cancer would. I was unable to really comprehend a so-called "simple" Big Book, whilst reading programming manuals or financial journals to get to sleep. So I'm not "better" than everyone else (in fact, I believe intelligence can be very dangerous to the alcoholic who "knows everything"). But what I do get is to choose whether to make learning-ability a curse by reinforcing the "I'm different" mantra, or to make it an asset by putting an ability to good use.

Meanwhile, when I truly wanted to recover using AA's program, I always needed to seek out a bona-fide AA Group, not a convenient clubhouse passing itself off as one. Sometimes, being "willing to go to any lengths" has meant driving 5 or 10 miles to AA meetings despite having plenty on my doorstep (and occasionally not knowing if the clapped-out banger I was driving would survive the journey home).

Those who say they have never been to a bad meeting, have just never been to a really bad meeting.


I believe this is true. I've been in some doozies. On occasions I've walked away from an AA meeting feeling sickened at how others were behaving, cursing myself for lacking the courage to do more about it. Some of us seem to live in a bubble ... which is fine until we kid ourselves that everyone else is in the same bubble.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby D'oh » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:16 pm

I was unable to really comprehend a so-called "simple" Big Book

Beautiful! I was recently trying to bring this up at many Meetings.
Completely give themselves to this Simple Program

Failing to realize, that just because I previously over thought it, not everyone did/does. My early Sponsor, brought up many things in my early Journey, that only now or later made sense.

Much like "We tend to judge others by our own actions" (for we know no others). And "Unconditional Love has no Strings. Love people for who they are, not what "You" want them to be." These continue to gain a Deeper Meaning. Just as walking out of a Confusing Meeting, the message that needed to be heard, might come quite later on the Journey. Open Mind.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:28 am

New comers get frustrated to hear the same DUI/incarceration stories and looking elsewhere for solution. We think sharing the number of duis and horror stories after we drink will keep them here. Most court mandated folks already know what happens when they drink, they are here because they got a dui. And we tell them the same sad stories.

The book uses so many stories in the front and in more about alcoholism to show that knowledge and fear will not keep the drunk sober only spiritual growth will keep one sober.
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: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby positrac » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:27 am

I'm a no count on this topic I can see and so for what it is worth I can say that be it a new comer hearing DUI stories and whatnot is the same when regular meeting attendees hear the same ole drunk a log brain fried person taking money out of the 7th tradition basket at every meeting. I have to ask what is the difference? It is always something and I try to put myself in a situation of how I either react and or reply and what I can do mentally to find something helpful?

Funny thing is that ole mich is having a ball reading these replies and really this whole event with him could of been avoided by not going where he wasn't welcome. I was told this a long time ago that where more than one drunk is a meeting can be had.
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Re: Walked out of two meetings this week

Postby Doddering Moron » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:27 am

Newcomers? There are no newcomers. When you've had enough, you'll stop and stay stopped. AA meetings aren't available for the purpose of coddling the undecided and hungover. In fact, the barroom drama at the Alano Clubs could help wake you up. If not go home and sleep. What's the topic anyway? No crosstalk? Drunks been drinkin' and crosstalkin' for years now suddenly it's hold hands and candles? Maybe we should ring a cowbell instead! :lol:
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