HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

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HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby Patsy© » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:05 am

Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS


A member said in part one of this thread -

So may I ask "What is shared in a room full of Recovered Alcoholics, if no one is allowed to speak of their day? Just What we were like, What happened, and What we are like now?

I think I would be back drinking after about the 10th time hearing it.



Quote Lali:
I can't imagine someone needing to go back out drinking from hearing the E,S&H of others in the group. If one needs to talk about their day, that is what the meeting before and the meeting after the meeting is for. Or talk to a fellow alcoholic over coffee. If you have a sponsor, talk to your sponsor. Meetings (where I live) only last an hour. How selfish it would be if a member used that time to talk about THEIR day!


Thank you so very much Lali for your post, because THAT is the simple truth!
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby Reborn » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:18 am

Too often meetings are used as group therapy. I don't go to a meeting to air my dirty laundry or talk about my cat...I go to carry the solution. That is what meetings are for...anyone who takes up time in a meeting to go on and on about some bullsh!t is being very selfish. AA has one primary purpose and that is to help the alcoholic who still suffers from alcoholism...not everything under the sun. While I do believe that the spiritual principles presented in the Big Book can help me in all areas of my life I must remember why I'm sitting in an AA meeting.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby PaigeB » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:37 am

We read the Closed Meeting Statement which states...
"...our problems... as it relates to alcoholism."

In treatment folks are encouraged to "talk about their day" so when they come to AA, they are not sure what to share. We have a treatment center walking distance from my home group and often get new gals, but we always make sure that we get them our phone numbers and by sharing the solutions during the meeting, hope they also learn to share the solution.

So I can talk about my cat, quickly, as I tell you it was really hard to leave her at the vet today. I left and while I was waiting at a stoplight I saw the flashing neon signs of the bar and thought, "Wouldn't that be nice?" But then I was like "WHOA! I need to call Jill!" and "I need to get to a meeting! so here I am."

I think it is really important that if you have 20 days or 20 years of sobriety and you find out your husband has terminal cancer, that you have been at the hospital 18 hours a day the last few days, took some time off to take care of things at home, made a common errand to the drugstore and suddenly find yourself in the alcohol aisle a pretty damn important discussion of how your day was. Thank you for sharing these extremely hard life difficulties... Now I know I can make it through them too. (just be sure you share how you made it through and allow us to help you).

Too often I have heard people say that thoughts like, "I shouldn't be thinking about a drink!" kept them from telling the truth about where they were and eventually led them back to thinking that ONLY a drink will help them feel better.
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:01 am

Reborn wrote:....AA has one primary purpose and that is to help the alcoholic who still suffers from alcoholism...not everything under the sun.


I agree. My ESH is that sometimes helping the alcoholic who is sober but still suffering from alcoholISM involves patiently listening to "emotional vomiting" about loss, grief, trauma, etc. Other times, it involves tolerating some alcoholic's angry, self-righteous rants about other members not working the program "their" way, i.e. the "right way". I am willing to do both not only because (A) I'm humbly mindful of the fact that although I may be in a good place today, tomorrow I may not be and may need to get back some of what I've given. And, (B) I know that the process of human growth and learning requires that we talk about our issues with people we trust, i.e. "get it out", "dump our crap", "drop the rock" etc. When some alcoholic does that in a meeting, it means they are giving the gift of trust to the other members in the room in faith that they are worthy of that trust. Hopefully, we are.


Reborn wrote:....While I do believe that the spiritual principles presented in the Big Book can help me in all areas of my life I must remember why I'm sitting in an AA meeting.


I sit in AA meetings to save my own ass. Why do you sit in AA meetings?
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby Reborn » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:09 am

Quote Lali:
I can't imagine someone needing to go back out drinking from hearing the E,S&H of others in the group. If one needs to talk about their day, that is what the meeting before and the meeting after the meeting is for. Or talk to a fellow alcoholic over coffee. If you have a sponsor, talk to your sponsor. Meetings (where I live) only last an hour. How selfish it would be if a member used that time to talk about THEIR day!


Thank you so very much Lali for your post, because THAT is the simple truth![/quote]

I could not put it any better...while I have empathy for folks who are having a rough go of it...and I even see benefit with sharing some of it if it relates to alcoholism...but too often(in my experience)when someone shares about day to day life problems it seems to open pandora's box...and pretty soon everyone is talking about problems instead of solutions. There is a big difference between showing that life happens and we don't have to drink...and "I'm going to selfishly unload all my S*** right here right now so everyone else can enjoy it too."
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby Reborn » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:14 am

ezdzit247 wrote:I agree. My ESH is that sometimes helping the alcoholic who is sober but still suffering from alcoholISM involves patiently listening to "emotional vomiting" about loss, grief, trauma, etc. Other times, it involves tolerating some alcoholic's angry, self-righteous rants about other members not working the program "their" way, i.e. the "right way". I am willing to do both not only because (A) I'm humbly mindful of the fact that although I may be in a good place today, tomorrow I may not be and may need to get back some of what I've given. And, (B) I know that the process of human growth and learning requires that we talk about our issues with people we trust, i.e. "get it out", "dump our crap", "drop the rock" etc. When some alcoholic does that in a meeting, it means they are giving the gift of trust to the other members in the room in faith that they are worthy of that trust. Hopefully, we are.



This is all good stuff but most of that can be shared with a sponsor or another alcoholic outside of the meeting. Not everyone in AA is well...I've seen some share some really personal stuff in an open meeting and it hurting them because anonymity was not practiced.


Reborn wrote:....While I do believe that the spiritual principles presented in the Big Book can help me in all areas of my life I must remember why I'm sitting in an AA meeting.


ezdzit247 wrote:I sit in AA meetings to save my own ass. Why do you sit in AA meetings?


I sit in a meeting to carry the message which in turn saves my own ass. Listen I'm not saying that people should not share what they are going through...I'm just saying that an open meeting is probably not the safest place to do so.
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby clouds » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:20 am

Well, thats a different thing altogether.

An open meeting makes me feel much different about what I share than a closed one for sure.
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby Patsy© » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:27 pm

I attend AA meetings so that I may stay sober myself and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety, while continuing to learn how to live life on lifes terms.
At AA, I was given the gift of Sobriety and Recovery and all that was asked of this drunk, was to please....Pass It On. I can not keep it, unless I give it away and I can not give away what I do not have! So passing on the message of Hope is not about My Day, My Way. Its about helping an untreated alcoholic to get through this one day without a drink. Passing on the message of Hope is about where I came from, how I got here and what its like now. What its like now is the most vital thing that I have to give away, one step at a time.

Sitting at AA meetings and listening to drunk-a-log after drunk-a-log doesn't help anyone to stay sober, no matter how long we have been coming. I certainly couldn't fix my own sick mind.....with my own sick mind, that's for sure. This is a Program of Action, I needed to hear what those people DO IN Recovery, how they managed not to drink on a daily basis.


I agree that if one has a problem and it relates to alcoholism or how to stay sober through it, then share it and then LISTEN. The recovered AA's at that meeting will then share experience, strength and hope of how they may have got through that similar problem with the help of this Simple Program.. If its really personal, then it ought to be shared privately before or after the AA meeting or with a Sponsor.

Listening to someone go on and on and on moaning about their landlord, their job, their bills, their boss, or their marriage, meeting after meeting.... is not there to get help to stay sober, they are there to moan and groan, not to change the person they brought through those doors of AA by taking Suggestions.

When I first came through those doors of AA, it was strongly suggested to me, that I needed to sit and listen, and I am so deeply grateful for those AA's who came before me, they shared with me that my way wasn't working and that this AA group was sober and had a solution that worked.....so perhaps I needed to take the suggestions... one of which was......Do The Program, not my program, The Program! Because if what I was doing was working for me....then I wouldn't have needed AA.

They shared that if I wanted what they had, and I was willing to go to any length to get it, that they were willing to go to any lengths to help me. I learned that AA has a program for those who want it, not necessarily for those who need it.

Thank you God for putting those Recovered Alcoholics right into my life... I will be forever Grateful!
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby Reborn » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:32 pm

Amen Patsy!!
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:27 pm

ezdzit247 wrote:I sit in AA meetings to save my own ass. Why do you sit in AA meetings?


Reborn wrote: I sit in a meeting to carry the message which in turn saves my own ass.


When I sit in a meeting, I am "the message".... :wink:
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby D'oh » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:10 pm

So that's it then?

What I was like, "I drank like a fish, fell down. lost a job and family.
What happened, "By the Grace of God I found AA"
What it is like now, "The plug is still in the jug"

I know that is extreme, but not anymore extreme as labeling Addict involvement as the only reason AA Meetings fail.

Just this Sunday, I went to an Open Meeting that reads from Daily Reflections. I thought about the day's reading many times throughout the day which was.
TRUE TOLERANCE

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 139

I first heard the short form of the Third Tradition in the Preamble. When I came to A.A. I could not accept myself, my alcoholism, or a Higher Power. If there had been any physical, mental, moral, or religious requirements for membership, I would be dead today. Bill W. said in his tape on the Traditions that the Third Tradition is a charter for individual freedom. The most impressive thing to me was the feeling of acceptance from members who were practicing the Third Tradition by tolerating and accepting me. I feel acceptance is love and love is God's will for us.

and how it had affected me when I came back in. I was Crazy, I had the shakes so bad. I was ashamed for having drank away what was so freely gifted to me Years ago.

I wanted to share that night how my first meeting back (stone sober) I couldn't think, talk, even hold a coffee but I went. The next night I had a drink before going so that I was more coherent, and not shaking so bad. I wanted to share how ashamed that this made me, but I always had a Desire even an honest Desire to stop drinking. From my understanding of the Tradition, this was all I needed.

Before the meeting I started to read this thread Part 1 HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLDTIMERS. Others views of the Traditions and how if it wasn't for that word Desire, I may not be here or alive today.

So at the meeting a Non Hyper or Conservative Ole Timer spoke before me. He said many things but the one that I heard was "The only thing that we have to do is Not Drink"

Well my share that night was finished. I went home puzzled and thinking even deeper. Do I owe an apology? Should I talk to someone at once, Do I deserve this Program? I asked for guidance and woke wondering what all of the fuss was about.

Then I find Part 1 again, and start reading that Day to Day life is not part of meetings? The What we are like Now has everything to do with Carrying the Message.

So sorry for rambling, but at least it wasn't about my Boss or Landlord.
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby Patsy© » Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:07 am

Page 174 in the "Twelve and Twelve"
Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles.

The same stern threat applies to the group itself. Unless there is approximate conformity to A.A.'s Twelve Traditions, the group, too, can deteriorate and die. So we of A.A. do obey spiritual principles, first because we must, and ultimately because we love the kind of life such obedience brings. Great suffering and great love are A.A.'s disciplinarians; we need no others.





The following is from the "AA Service Manual combined with Twelve Concepts for World Service"

Each group is as unique as a thumbprint, and
approaches to carrying the message of sobriety
vary not just from group to group but from
region to region. Acting autonomously, each
group charts its own course. The better informed
the members, the stronger and more cohesive
the group—and the greater the assurance that
when a newcomer reaches out for help, the hand
of A.A. always will be there.
Most of us cannot recover unless there is a
group. As Bill said, “Realization dawns on each
member that he is but a small part of a great
whole. . . . He learns that the clamor of desires
and ambitions within him must be silenced whenever
these could damage the group. It becomes
plain that the group must survive or the individual
will not.”



"Our A.A. group conscience, as voiced by the
General Service Conference, has recommended that
"family" meetings, "double trouble" and "alcohol and
pill" meetings not be listed in our A.A. directories. The
use of the word "family" might also invite confusion
with Al-Anon Family Groups, a fellowship entirely
separate from A.A.

The primary purpose of any A.A. group is to carry
the A.A. message to alcoholics. Experience with
alcohol is one thing all A.A. members have in common.
It is misleading to hint or give the impression that A.A.
solves other problems or knows what to do about drug
addiction.

There has also been a recommendation by the A.A.
General Service Conference suggesting that no A.A.
group be named after any actual person, living or dead,
A.A. or non-A.A. That is one way we can "place
principles before personalities."
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby D'oh » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:34 am

Page 174 in the "Twelve and Twelve"
Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles.


Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery

Or, Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us.

Sorry, but my Higher Power is not a Hyper Conservative Oldtimers, that walks out of a meeting because of some of it's attendees.
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby Brock » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:38 am

So that's it then?

What I was like, "I drank like a fish, fell down. lost a job and family.
What happened, "By the Grace of God I found AA"
What it is like now, "The plug is still in the jug"

I know that is extreme, but not anymore extreme as labeling Addict involvement as the only reason AA Meetings fail.

I find you use a sort of shorthand to make your points, like a magic trick a slight of hand, slight of keyboard perhaps. Nobody suggested even hinted that addict involvement was the only reason, a reason perhaps, one of many. But it is irresponsible, (remember we are responsible), not to try and correct every shortcoming which the traditions and guidelines warn us can lead to downfall.

On the question of drunkalog. I agree entirely, that some members do share the same story week after week and it is boring to me, but when I first heard it I gained something, so I must now allow new members the same opportunity, while at the same time learning to make my own contribution a little more interesting. I believe that we were each given certain gifts in life, some are good singers some good at sports and so on, and some good at speaking, good orators. Not all of us can be the ones who record speaker tapes, and travel to various places to give AA talks, although our ego sometimes might suggest that we could be. It may sound unkind, but some members just don't have the education and exposure to working in an environment that develops confident thoughtful speech. To these we show tolerance, and if we are fortunate to have had better opportunities we thank God for that.

The problem in my view with allowing everybody to talk about 'their day' is related to this, a clever person may give an example of an incident which happened in their day, and very nicely show how AA practice was used to advantage in overcoming adversity, this is fine. But then the not so clever person, or the person who just does not get out enough to have things of interest happen in their day, is going to talk about the sick cat or the lawnmower that wouldn't start, and we can't tell them not to, because they will say we didn't complain when someone else spoke about what happened to them. If we were all professional race car drivers maybe the speed limit could be safely raised to 100mph, since we are not we must put guidelines in place for the good of all, and while AA does not have 'rules' it is fair to suggest guidelines, like try to speak about your ES&H. And the clever speaker mentioned above, usually finds a way to put their ES&H over in a way that never gets stale.
TRUE TOLERANCE

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Both here and in the first installment of this thread, reference is being made to the rights of members under tradition 3, things like this were said - “But Tradition 3 also declares that the only thing I need is a desire to stop drinking. It doesn't even have to be an honest desire, it can be Court appointed or such.” I copied that among other items from the first thread when they were posted, but to me the tradition speaks about the requirement for membership, and to those we show true tolerance. When GSO asks local intergroups to help with a membership survey, I don't think they go to meetings and count heads, it's how many members each group has, because it's imagined that every person who has a desire will join a home group. The drug addict or court appointed DUI is quite likely not a member in the way I believe membership is considered, and any tolerance we show them is because we are nice folks.
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Re: HYPER CONSERVATIVE OLD TIMERS - PART 2

Postby Lali » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:43 am

I previously posted this:

I can't imagine someone needing to go back out drinking from hearing the E,S&H of others in the group. If one needs to talk about their day, that is what the meeting before and the meeting after the meeting is for. Or talk to a fellow alcoholic over coffee. If you have a sponsor, talk to your sponsor. Meetings (where I live) only last an hour. How selfish it would be if a member used that time to talk about THEIR day!


Having said that, I should add that at the beginning of each meeting, immediately following the readings, the chair asks the group "Is anyone having anything going on that is affecting their sobriety"? If someone has something to share, they are encouraged to, but the unwritten rule is that we allow others to share on this for only about 10 minutes; then the chairperson turns the meeting to the book study if that is the designated format for that day. Often what happens after the meeting is that a few people will reach out to the person who is struggling and talk with them about their struggles.

Additionally, 5-10 minutes before the meeting ends, the chairperson will ask if there are any last minute burning desires, then state that if anyone did not get an opportunity to share something they have on their mind, they should "grab someone" after the meeting to talk to one on one.

I think this is a good solution for encouraging a struggling newcomer to share what they have on their mind that may lead to a drink, while allowing the entire group the benefit of a book study.
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