In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

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In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby Noels » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:44 am

Hi everyone, hope you all having a good Friday so far and that it will only get better. Since our words in front confirms that we can "vent a bit if necessary in the "if it doesn't fit anywhere else forum" and I do try my utmost to refrain from moaning and groaning in general I will appreciate it greatly if you'll bear with me this time. I - like many alcoholics am a loner so the only conversations I really have wherein I discuss things that bother me or affect me really deeply is with myself and although those conversations are 98% fruitful i do need to "get it out" occasionally. This is one of those rare occasions.
I took my son (and myself) to the doctor this morning since he finally and with great pain and difficulty confessed to his dad and me that the nonsense ive been going through this year have affected him to the extent that he is in depression and need help. (some of the Moderators know what I'm talking about since they removed my posts/shares in this regard to consider whether it is appropriate to re-post and I haven't heard back from them with regard thereto yet) Apart from that life in general haven't exactly been easy with me moving in and out of the "common home" which is not really my home anymore since we got divorced on 11 August 2017 and also the changes taking place here in sunny South Africa at the various universities. Strikes, boycotts, demands, .... the Lord alone what all since i don't follow news. I don't need to. I see it in the lives of the people on the street, in the cars, in the grocer ...... Anyways, this term alone the University under which my son study / write exams have changed, re-changed and re-changed the exam schedule/table 4 or 5 times already. They're starting exams on Monday. Because of the state that he's been in he's going to "pass" the Monday exam, start on the anti-depressant and write the Monday exam hopefully the following week. If the tables doesn't change again.
Whilst sitting in the doctor's waiting area i looked around and apart from everyone looking sick its as if there is this quiet "acceptance that life is shaitz" on their expressions - apart from some looking worried, as if they're trying to figure out an answer which lies beyond their capacity but is very relevant in their lives..... like sheep just walking, chewing, walking, chewing, KNOWING the path that they are on is one step closer to the slaughterhouse but they still carry on walking because there is nothing else ? All they know is about walk, chew, walk, chew and eventually .... die...
On the left where my son was sitting in the waiting area a seriously thin, tall, clean-shaven man was waiting for his mother to come out of the consulting room when a cute, short Asian lady came to sit on my right. She clearly "knew" the man since she asked him how he was doing. Not good. Third time unemployed. The company he was working for this time also closed down ....

I looked around me once again after hearing this and i wondered ..... How can this be happening around us / in front of our doorsteps so to speak since its visible everywhere .... at every robot, every big stop street, every big intersection, every single place you park your car - whether it is in town in a sidestreet or outside Spar to buy bread and milk - there is a carguard for every row of cars - sometimes 2 carguards for one row of cars - trying to earn a R2-00 by looking after your car ....... and we "hear that person's suffering", offer our condolences, tell him to "hang in there cause its gonna get better" and move on to do whatever it is we're doing for that day. Never giving that person one thought again .....

Ive sat in AA meetings and please remember i love AA. As far as I'm concerned Bill was Divinely Guided when he wrote our beautiful 12 step program - that is why there is so much Power in our 12 Step program..... but ...I have sat in meetings and listened to others carry on about their drinking - how the alcohol ruined their lives until they became "recovered" if i may use that word for the lack of a better one and ive wondered to myself ...... now that we've found our HP and are living life on life's terms according to our spiritually guided 12 step program, wouldn't it be better to start helping and making a difference in the lives of "normal people" outside our rooms still suffering - like this man who is unemployed yet again for instance? Isnt there a way that "recovered alcoholics" can DO MORE to bring about change for the better - for the world and everyone and everything living in it - rather than attend an AA meeting every day???

Looking at life around where i live and how it has affected and still is affecting every person - male, female, child, animal, sitting in a room full of sober alcoholics "hoping" for one newcomer to turn up so everyone can "pound" on that newcomer for their own "sobriety's sake" just seem really pointless to me in the grand scheme of life.

Thank you for reading and for your time. Please feel free to share any thoughts you may have ...

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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby PaigeB » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:26 am

... now that we've found our HP and are living life on life's terms according to our spiritually guided 12 step program, wouldn't it be better to start helping and making a difference in the lives of "normal people" outside our rooms still suffering - like this man who is unemployed yet again for instance? Isnt there a way that "recovered alcoholics" can DO MORE to bring about change for the better - for the world and everyone and everything living in it - rather than attend an AA meeting every day???

YES!

I gave a 4 year chip to the gal that I sponsor (we don't meet weekly anymore). She only goes to one meeting a week most of the time, but she is VERY active in the community helping homeless women and volunteering at the nature center among other things. She sponsor at least 2 women who are currently going through the Steps.

I am more the person who busies myself with AA service and meetings, though I am in a women's community action group that meets once a month. I am also going through the Steps again.

I think it is a matter of personal choice and what we are Called by the Divine to do. WE ARE to practice these principles in ALL our affairs - which I understand to be as meaning go be a person in my community. Service to others can definitely be working or volunteering in making a difference in the lives of "normal people".
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby Brock » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:55 am

Isnt there a way that "recovered alcoholics" can DO MORE to bring about change for the better - for the world and everyone and everything living in it - rather than attend an AA meeting every day???

I agree with what Paige said, and know a few AA members who volunteer at non AA charities. Apart from that, we follow the direction in #12 to practice these principles in all our affairs. There are various ideas of what the principles are, but all more or less cover the same topics, here are eight of the twelve from Cleveland AA -
HONESTY – Fairness and straight forwardness of conduct: adherence to the facts.
INTEGRITY – The quality or state of being complete or undivided; soundness.
WILLINGNESS – Prompt to act or respond; accepted and done of choice or without reluctance.
HUMILITY – Not proud or haughty; not arrogant or assertive; a clear and concise understanding of what we are, followed by a sincere desire to become what we can be.
LOVE – Unselfish concern that freely accepts another in loyalty and seeks his good to hold dear.
DISCIPLINE – Training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character; to bring under control; to train or develop by instruction.
PATIENCE/PERSEVERANCE – Steadfast despite opposition or adversity; able or willing to bear; to persist in an understanding in spite of counter influences.
SERVICE – A helpful act; contribution to the welfare of others; useful labor that does not produce a tangible commodity.

If I am following these in all my affairs; which is sometimes a tall order; them I think I am doing good for every person I meet, especially the love and service ones, it's about the welfare of others not just fellow AA's.

So maybe those who don't do these things are not good examples of what AA is all about, the ones who think a spiritual awakening is not necessary.
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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:29 am

Isnt there a way that "recovered alcoholics" can DO MORE to bring about change for the better - for the world and everyone and everything living in it - rather than attend an AA meeting every day???


Yeah true altruism is that. Unfortunately there is prevailing fear around where I live that if we don't go to meetings everyday we are just a foot away from a drink. Also its very hard to find volunteers for jail meetings for some strange reasons. My pal moved to Florida, now we are struggling with just one member at the correction facility. But there was a gentlemen who voluntarily came forward to go. His paper works are in the process.
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: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby Blue Moon » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:22 am

Yes. AA itself has various committees to help with community outreach. For example, Cooperation with the Professional Community help judges, lawyers, doctors, employers etc. understand what AA is or isn't.

Beyond AA, as individuals we can each decide how we'll spend our time. Will we spend it hiding in the basement at 14 AA meetings a week, pretending to be "better than" yet slapping their God in the face? Or will we go out there and put our personal recovery into action without having to mention AA or alcoholism at all?

All I would suggest is not to forget our roots here. I come back to AA, stay active here. It's just not the be-all and end-all as too many would have it.
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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby Patsy© » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:24 am

Quote Paige:
YES!

I gave a 4 year chip to the gal that I sponsor (we don't meet weekly anymore). She only goes to one meeting a week most of the time, but she is VERY active in the community helping homeless women and volunteering at the nature center among other things. She sponsor at least 2 women who are currently going through the Steps.

I think it is a matter of personal choice and what we are Called by the Divine to do. WE ARE to practice these principles in ALL our affairs - which I understand to be as meaning go be a person in my community. Service to others can definitely be working or volunteering in making a difference in the lives of "normal people".


I absolutely agree with you Paige!

This is a letter which Bill Wilson wrote in 1959 explaining why we should take our rightful place in society again.


CITIZENS AGAIN

Each of us in turn - that is, the member who gets the most out of the program - spends a very large amount of time on Twelfth Step work in the early years. That was my case, and perhaps I could not have stayed sober with less work.

However, sooner or later, most of us are presented with other obligations - to family, friends, and country. As you will remember, the Twelfth Step also refers to 'practicing these principles in all our affairs.' Therefore, I think your choice of whether to take a particular Twelfth Step job is to be found in your conscience. No one else can tell you for certain what you ought to do at a particular time.

I just know that you are expected, at some point, to do more than carry the message of A.A. to other alcoholics. In A.A., we aim not only for sobriety - we try again to become citizens of the world that we rejected, and of the world that once rejected us. This is the ultimate demonstration toward which Twelfth Step work is the first, but not the final step.

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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby positrac » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:25 am

there is prevailing fear around where I live that if we don't go to meetings everyday we are just a foot away from a drink.


That point could be subjective because of personal fears and uncertainties of individual strength. I am of the opinion that I am one drink away from a drunk and it is a real reminder of where I came from and where I could go and I feel great and have self confidence and do fine in life today.

Volunteers to take meetings to jails and in-patient facilities I used to take meetings into both facilities and now it is harder because of schemes people pull when they are supposed to be providing a message of sobriety to those who are still suffering. It takes a lot of time and energy to maintain those commitments.

I believe the best we can do is have faith, act as an example, stay quiet about our selves because of discrimination and fear from others like us still using and the rest is totally out of our control.

be well all.
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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby Noels » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:08 am

Hi Posi, been wondering if you finally got the message in my last PM :D

I agree with everything you said except for stay quiet about our selves because of discrimination and fear from others like us still using

How would that be "helping others"? Perhaps I'm reading or interpreting this wrong but I thought our purpose was to verbally share our experiences? The way I'm reading it is that you're scared of active drunks acting out on you for sharing your experiences in sobriety?

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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby positrac » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:52 am

Noels wrote:Hi Posi, been wondering if you finally got the message in my last PM :D

I agree with everything you said except for stay quiet about our selves because of discrimination and fear from others like us still using

How would that be "helping others"? Perhaps I'm reading or interpreting this wrong but I thought our purpose was to verbally share our experiences? The way I'm reading it is that you're scared of active drunks acting out on you for sharing your experiences in sobriety?

Noels

I guess via email, nope haven't received anything. The reason I mention being quiet about our disease is I have been discriminated in various forms because I was no long a "team player" And from my experience most people don't care about my problems and just care if I can perform and do my work or whatever. Recovery folks are different and the ones still abusing and using are really different because we threaten them even if we do nothing, say nothing and just mind our business. Facts are we are clean and it hinders them and on the job it can get mighty difficult to work if some have issues with our sobriety and our "holier than thou attitudes" (because I am sober I am now different than I was before) Ya think? But not holier than thou.

So I am careful on what I say because one never knows, I was passed over for a promotion on the job at one period because someone else had no qualifications, skills and or give a crap attitude to actually accomplish the job and I knew I needed to find another job and I did.
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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby Brock » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:43 pm

The way I'm reading it is that you're scared of active drunks acting out on you for sharing your experiences in sobriety?

I also don't share my experience unless asked to in a genuine way, we should be able to tell if someone is interested in sobriety or just gossip. It says in the literature that when we first try AA, we tend to want to come in the door shouting the good news. After some experience with that, I came to believe the place to speak about sobriety is meetings, or groups like this one, generally 'active drunks' is a waste of your voice, and as positrac said I have met some who take it the wrong way.
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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby Noels » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:51 pm

Thanks to you both for clarifying. I must say that I honestly don't understand? 1. We were ALL active drunks at some stage before we saw the light? , 2. Step 1 is 'honesty. If I'm not sharing the truth about myself and my experiences what's the point of feeling proud for living the 12 step program? If we can't even get step 1 right. ..... how can you possibly move on to step 2 never mind LIVING 10, 11 and 12? Honesty is honesty surely? In ALL our affairs and doings and not just the 'chosen ones? 3. This IS a site where people with addictions come to for guidance. Firstly they can't 'see' how you live to 'get the example ' and secondly - by 'lying ' about your shares and experiences you are putting that desperate persons life at risk? If you look and read through the posts you'll clearly see the desperation in some of the newcomers posts? I seriously feel it's shameful that a recovered alcoholic 'over 2 years sobriety ' would even 'think ' like that - not being truthful about their experiences - let alone 'live it ' and then proudly claim to be 'helping ' the still suffering alcoholic?
I recall words I've read and heard so many times. ... 'I can only keep my side of the street clean ' , 'I can only control my actions '..... how is being false honouring not only our spiritual program, honouring our Higher Power, honouring those still suffering and seeking, honouring those who weren't so fortunate to get a second chance and probably most important of all. .. Honouring yourself?
I'm sorry gents. I am who I am. I am what I am and I'm proud to be every bit of me. I am Noels. A proud and grateful alcoholic who, by the Grace of MY God as I understand Him is sober, whole and complete. I share my truth in the hope that it may help someone still suffering. If a dishonest false or 'plastic ' person take it up the wrong way well. ..... I can only keep my side of the street clean.

Noels
Last edited by Noels on Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby Brock » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:08 pm

This IS a site where people with addictions come to for guidance. Firstly they can't 'see' how you live to 'get the example ' and secondly - by 'lying ' about your shares and experiences you are putting that desperate persons life at risk?...

I don't think you understood what was said, of course we share it here, it's the main point of the site. We were both speaking about sharing our experience with people who are still drinking, who haven't asked for our help and experience. Here's a part of my post highlighted -
After some experience with that, I came to believe the place to speak about sobriety is meetings, or groups like this one, generally 'active drunks' is a waste of your voice,...

In other words, if someone doesn’t ask for your help, we have found speaking to a drinker doesn’t work, and sometimes breeds a resentment, 'who do you feel you are, telling me about drinking?' kind of thing.
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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby Noels » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:29 pm

Therefore the suggestion that someone isn't sharing honestly BECAUSE this is a site for assisting alcoholics shouldn't even have been raised in the first place. THAT'S why I responded as I did and I stand by what I said. I have seen your kind requests on other threads where we go off topic to please stay on topic. THIS topic had nothing whatsoever to do with anyone being dishonest with sharing today start off with.
I apologise for questioning your sobriety. I realised directly after I posted that I was out of line there and edited my post as you can see.
Are you now going to 'ban ' me again for being honest and telling the truth or possibly for 'being aggressive '? Which one will it be this time?
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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby Brock » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:56 pm

I am sorry but you have me a little confused. I didn't see anyone speaking about not sharing honestly on a site like this or in a meeting, we are talking about trying to help those who haven't asked for our help. Which is exactly on topic, with you asking in the original post, how we might help people not in meetings.

The other thread was a newcomer asking about taking medication, the forum guidelines say this - “A thread, particularly one advising a newcomer, should stay on point. If we wish to change the subject we can start a new thread, or accept that moderators may move the post or the entire thread.” So when the posts changed to type of medallions, and how long we must be sober etc, I reminded members 'nicely.'

Please Noels, we take pride in moderators getting involved as little as possible on this site, let's not make a mountain out of a molehill.
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Re: In the Grand Scheme of Life ...

Postby Blue Moon » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:16 pm

Noels wrote:If I'm not sharing the truth about myself and my experiences what's the point of feeling proud for living the 12 step program?


Much truth is subjective. You could have 2 people in a car accident describe the honest truth about what they believe happened, yet hear 2 completely different accounts. Yet the real truth is probably somewhere between those accounts.

Speaking truth also needs to be tailored to the audience. I've sat in meetings with murderers, sex abusers, etc. If your sharing causes distress to the extent that the listener feels unable to stay long enough to hear the recovery bit, you've lost your audience and aren't helping anyone.

I'm not suggesting to lie. But the whole truth would need you to fully understand the meaning of words as I describe them. AAs can't even universally agree what "alcoholism " is, let alone things like God, what to do, etc.
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