AA Tolerance

For recovery discussion
John Calpe
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:52 am

AA Tolerance

Post by John Calpe » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:28 am

I am an occasional contributor to a FaceBook AA group. Even after many many years in AA (groan) i was surprised to read some strident postings from proponents of a "12 step / no meetings" approach. They base this on the theory that since "attending meetings" is not mentioned in the Big Book, it is not AA.

If there are any other old-timers out there who've heard of this, or have an opinion, please PM me as I hold the view that AA is a "broad church", but also that newcomers should not be exposed to some contentious discussions.

User avatar
avaneesh912
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 5167
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by avaneesh912 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:10 am

Bill W uses the word "recalcitrant" in one of the articles he wrote in Grapevine longtime ago. Thats what we are. I read in recent Grapevine, somewhere in LA they changed the first step to say

"We are powerless over alcoholism that our life have become un-manageable"

And the author was livid.
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)

User avatar
Brock
Trusted Servant
Posts: 3959
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by Brock » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:47 am

...but also that newcomers should not be exposed to some contentious discussions.
Well said, and welcome to e-AA John. If the discussion becomes something that in the opinion of moderators could be damaging to the casual web surfer looking for help, it will be moved to 'Registered Discussion,' so only registered members will have access to it.

Just this morning on another thread, the fact that the web brings up both what is good and bad in AA was mentioned. Quite a few people come here also wondering if meetings are really necessary, it is a part of AA which seems to put many new prospects off. But our members here are very much in favor of meetings, it is a subject we have discussed a few times.

But some like myself are also very adamant that the meetings are not what keeps people sober, we even sometime quote one of the first members who said he does not go to meetings to stay sober, and is sorry for those who do. So while I would agree that those who say meetings are not necessary are spreading the wrong information, by the same token we must inform the new person, that after the steps are completed and they are living in the solution, going to meetings becomes more of a way of working step 12, and less of a need to remain sober.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

Reborn
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 501
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 6:20 pm

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by Reborn » Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:37 pm

Lali wrote:To the OP: Meetings aren't mentioned in the BB? Are you kidding? They met at one another's homes. Have you read the book? The wives were often present as well which is what I believe led to Lois starting Al-Anon. Though it may not have had a name back then.

I hope you will continue to "contribute" elsewhere. AA saves lives and it people like you that make it confusing to newcomers.

Misinformation kills.
Probably want to reread the OPs post. I got that he is concerned about people saying meetings aren't metioned in the book so therefore not necessary. I always like to refer to this passage in the book...

page 89...

Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very ill.

Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends - this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.


What better place to enjoy the bright spot of our lives than in the fellowship of AA. Anyone who says meetings are not part of AA are not going to any length for the newcomer. That is why I attend today to carry the message.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

John Calpe
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:52 am

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by John Calpe » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:17 am

Thanks for the replies folks. I wasn't going to get into a debate with the guy on an open forum with lots of Newcomers about to read it. Unity is all.

I asked him to contact me by a Private message and heard nothing. I expect that says it all.

For the record, my own view is that, as a big fan of "Back to Basics", newcomers should be assigned a sponsor at their first meeting and they should be take through the steps as soon and as quickly as possible, using the "Dr Bob" method. Here in Europe far, far too many are slipping through the cracks or drinking again as they wander aimlessly and bewildered without guidance looking for a mentor.

John Hardy (May 1985)

Stepchild
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by Stepchild » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:05 pm

John Calpe wrote:For the record, my own view is that, as a big fan of "Back to Basics", newcomers should be assigned a sponsor at their first meeting and they should be take through the steps as soon and as quickly as possible, using the "Dr Bob" method. Here in Europe far, far too many are slipping through the cracks or drinking again as they wander aimlessly and bewildered without guidance looking for a mentor.
I agree...And don't think that problem is limited to Europe.

Lali
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 4296
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by Lali » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:50 pm

Reborn wrote:Probably want to reread the OPs post. I got that he is concerned about people saying meetings aren't metioned in the book so therefore not necessary. I always like to refer to this passage in the book...
Oh gosh, yes, you are right. My apologies to the OP. In my defense I just woke up from a nap. :| I'm going to delete my other post because of the bad tone,
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

John Calpe
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:52 am

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by John Calpe » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:24 pm

I am heartened by these replies. I have felt more and more like some kind of "Bleeding Deacon", forever bemoaning the state of modern AA.

However, it seems to me that meetings have turned into social gatherings here, spouting all manner of drivel and misinformation. Rock the boat at your peril. Tribal approval swings in with swift and terrible efficiency. An Old Timer, who is involved in National AA in the UK and was virtually ostracised and driven out last winter for seeming to critcise the status quo.

I have given up on changing things from the top down and have taken to trying to grab as many newcomers as I can and move them through the Steps in the old manner, thus, hopefully, enabling them to pass this on and perhaps change things from the bottom up. I have also started taking a few through online.

Interestingly, I'm sponsoring a guy online in India and the groups in his area were operating in just the same sort of way. Perhaps it's entropy.

I hope I haven't come across as a hand-wringing old whinger, but it has been very hard for me, feeling increasingly isolated.

Thanks all.

John Hardy 1985

Reborn
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 501
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 6:20 pm

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by Reborn » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:49 pm

John Calpe wrote: I hope I haven't come across as a hand-wringing old whinger, but it has been very hard for me, feeling increasingly isolated.
Well John I believe we need more like you...I believe today's AA is watered down bullsh!t...and the fact that we have someone out there fighting for what AA really is gives me hope...welcome to the forum sir!
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
Posts: 8334
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by PaigeB » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:11 am

I asked him to contact me by a Private message and heard nothing. I expect that says it all.
Facebook has a spam folder for mail rec'd that is from people not on our friends list. I believe they call it "other" ~ mine is always full of spam and seldom anything I want, but I have found important stuff there.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

Stepchild
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by Stepchild » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:57 am

John Calpe wrote:An Old Timer, who is involved in National AA in the UK and was virtually ostracised and driven out last winter for seeming to critcise the status quo.
That's amazing...And very sad. It's great to have you with us John Hardy.

John Calpe
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:52 am

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by John Calpe » Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:34 am

I helped a Sponsee online with his Step 9 this morning.

He's well on the way and so am I. God bless you all for the feeling of support I have got.

JH (no electric soup since 1985)

Tom S
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:02 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by Tom S » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:12 am

Just my observation over the past wee while that my ego loves isolating me.
And that there is a communion of like minded souls in an AA meeting sharing a common solution to a common problem.
In my personal experience this has prove to be a very good thing indeed.
Personally, I have plenty of challenges with the perpetual reemergence of Self; I cannot afford to go it alone, nor can I afford to not give it away.
Grateful for the Gift

User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1322
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by positrac » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:20 am

Tom S wrote:Just my observation over the past wee while that my ego loves isolating me.
And that there is a communion of like minded souls in an AA meeting sharing a common solution to a common problem.
In my personal experience this has prove to be a very good thing indeed.
Personally, I have plenty of challenges with the perpetual reemergence of Self; I cannot afford to go it alone, nor can I afford to not give it away.
Grateful for the Gift
Indeed.

Seems everyone has gotten too smart for the good of the basics and because AA has history it must be out dated. I believe I have a responsibility to pay it forward as it was paid to me so many years ago. I may be harsh on some aspects because I had to learn to step up and engage the issues of my problems and not make excuses on why I couldn't for example.

BB is a mere guide on the experiences of others and we have to learn to live one day at a time and grow along the way.

If by some chance there is a "better" way then rock on. But I know for me alone that the original AA format is what works for me and it has for many 24 hours and as long as it works it ain't broke.

Cheers.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

User avatar
aaforever
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:38 pm

Re: AA Tolerance

Post by aaforever » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:06 am

I think that even if you dont attend any meetings that it is still AA, but some people might say that the whole point is to get a sponsor and hear other success stories and to help others who want to live sober. Meetings help me more because if I were to just read from the books that I have no one to relate to. But whenever I'm unable to get to any meetings that I just go to the forums, its not as good as a meeting but it is something that I can do while I'm not at a meeting.
Live and Let Live!

Post Reply