12/7/08 BB The family afterwards p 125 (Gossip/loose tongues

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS

12/7/08 BB The family afterwards p 125 (Gossip/loose tongues

Postby Karl R » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:12 am

Good Day,

"God, I offer myself to Thee--to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.

May I do Thy will always!"


Yesterday's topic addressed our greatest asset in recovery when we wish to help the still suffering alcoholic and family; our past-our story.

Today's reading (below in red) warns us against gossip within and without the rooms of AA. We should stick to our own stories. Gossip within a family-and gossip within a group kill. That simple. We are called to live in our own present-not someone else's past.

Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning gossip or loose tongues within a family, within the rooms of AA, or outside the rooms? Value of the traditions of AA in relation to gossip/anonymity?

have a great day everyone,
Karl


We families of Alcoholics Anonymous keep few skeletons in the closet. Everyone knows about the others' alcoholic troubles. This is a condition which, in ordinary life, would produce untold grief; there might be scandalous gossip, laughter at the expense of other people, and a tendency to take advantage of intimate information. Among us, these are rare occurrences. We do talk about each other a great deal, but we almost invariably temper such talk by a spirit of love and tolerance.
Another principle we observe carefully is that we do not relate intimate experiences of another person unless we are sure he would approve. We find it better, when possible, to stick to our own stories. A man may criticize or laugh at himself and it will affect others favorably, but criticism or ridicule coming from another often produces the contrary effect. Members of a family should watch such matters carefully, for one careless, inconsiderate remark has been known to raise the very devil. We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time to outgrow that serious handicap.
Last edited by Karl R on Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Oliver » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:35 pm

Just some thoughts.

(1) "Sticking to my story". When I first came round I wanted to be one of the funny speakers, and would repeat things that I'd heard others say that sounded good or got a laugh from the meeting. The problem with this is that others have been around much longer than me and can spot BS a mile off. The other problem, and a more serious one, is that if my share isn't authentic, from my own experience and my own hope and strength, then it may not convince the newcomer. It may also be depriving somebody of the truth of my story that I hope one day might help somebody else.

(2) "The tongue". I was told on my arrival at AA to take the cotton wool out of my ears and put it in my mouth... it was probably good advice. There's a lot of damage to myself and to other people that I have done with careless use of the tongue. I once heard some advice that, in difficult situations, I should say 10 words to my HP for every word I say to the person. Obviously, I don't count, but I do find I need to control my tongue. I applied that through my Step 9s.

(3) "We alcoholics are sensitive people." I still find myself very sensitive to throw away remarks and criticism. Too often I give people permission to adversely affect my emotional sobriety. For me, this sensitivity is just another symptom of my ego and pride - I try to ask for the grace to move through my upset as a growth or learning experience.

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Postby Karl R » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:43 pm

#'s 2 and 3 above Oliver--absolutely great thoughts!

I know that I spend a certain amount of angst in being overly sensitive. 10 words to HP for every one to someone here on earth. What a great concept.

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Re: 12/7/08 BB The family afterwards p 125 (Gossip/loose ton

Postby leejosepho » Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:15 am

Karl R wrote:Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning gossip or loose tongues within a family, within the rooms of AA, or outside the rooms? Value of the traditions of AA in relation to gossip/anonymity?

Each A.A. group is to be autonomous, and that means the members of any A.A. group may conduct their own meetings and such in any manner of their own choosing and whether or not I might happen to understand, like it or agree...and now here is where the matter of "gossip" can become somewhat tricky: The ways things were done where I got started were not the same as where other A.A.s I later met had first started, or should I say the ways other A.A.s first got started were not the same as my where I first got started? Today still others might ask something like "Well, what were the differences?" Should I answer with something like "Well, let me tell you!" or should I have never said anything at all?

Everyone knows about the others' alcoholic troubles... We do talk about each other a great deal, but we almost invariably temper such talk by a spirit of love and tolerance.

As I have heard Avaneesh observe, at least some of us seem to be inclined toward voicing opinions about everything. And then, of course, we even have opinions about opinions...and sometimes onward we go, one-meeting-or-thread-at-a-time.

...we observe carefully...that we do not relate intimate experiences of another person unless we are sure he would approve. We find it better, when possible, to stick to our own stories...criticize or laugh at [oneself]...watch such matters carefully, for one careless, inconsiderate remark has been known to raise the very devil. We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time to outgrow that serious handicap.

As at least implied in our text, there are times when "sticking to our own stories" is not always possible while trying to be helpful to others even though some of us (such as myself at times) may have yet outgrown the seeming "serious handicap" of being sensitive. Paige recently posted something along the line of "I pray for my humility and your own" without having directed that toward anyone in particular, and I am fairly certain she would not mind at all if even we sensitive types might join her in that kind of prayer. Doing so would certainly seem better for all of us than my own first thought.
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"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
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