Welcoming the newcomer

For recovery discussion

Welcoming the newcomer

Postby cdogg556 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:12 pm

At almost every meeting, or actually at every meeting when someone shares one of the first things they say is, "I would like to welcome the newcomers! Keep coming back!" I am not saying that it is bad by any means to welcome them, but I would also like to thank the "Long Timers" that keep coming back! I go to 4 meetings a week and when I see a person that has many years of sobriety it reminds me that if I want to keep this that I need to keep coming back and stay in the middle of it, So thank you to all the "Long timers" that keep coming back! You are also some of the most important people (in my opinion) in the meetings! :D
"If you want something different, do something you've never done"
cdogg556
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:50 pm
Location: Sacramento, Ca.

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby KathyAnne » Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:46 am

I totally agree with the above comments. Seeing people with long term Soberity gave me so much hope & still does. It shows me this stuff works long term if we remain willing and keep coming back.
KathyAnne
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:13 am
Location: England

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby Sleddog75 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:51 am

Meetings are essentially only a place to meet newcomers. I don't go to meetings to stay sober. I get to experience some fellowship, but mainly it's a place to meet newcomers so that you can take them through the steps and bigbook. I think that's why people always say "welcome to the newcomers" at every meeting. I agree, thank you to the longtimers who come all the time. Meetings are a place to provide hope to newcomers, and that's it. Anyone who hangs their hat on meetings to stay sober, in my humble interpretation, probably missing some of the spiritual foundation behind all the steps!
Sleddog75
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:34 am

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby Spirit Flower » Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:37 pm

AA is a spiritual fellowship. Meetings are just the physical part of the spiritual fellowship. If I didn't go to meetings, not only would I not meet new comers, but I'd not know any of the other people either.

And when I retire and have more time, I see nothing wrong with going to more meetings and enjoying the people even more. With 31 years, I enjoy meetings. I laugh. We have some incredibly funny people at our fellowship.
...a score card reading zero...
User avatar
Spirit Flower
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1748
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby Roberth » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:37 am

Thanking the old timers is wonderful but don't forget to ask them if everything is okay. Time doesn’t mean we don't have problems any more.
Robert
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!
User avatar
Roberth
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 630
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:53 pm
Location: In The High Desert of California

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby cdogg556 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:12 pm

Roberth wrote:Thanking the old timers is wonderful but don't forget to ask them if everything is okay. Time doesn’t mean we don't have problems any more.


Good point, it's very easy to forget that, thanks for the reminder!
"If you want something different, do something you've never done"
cdogg556
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:50 pm
Location: Sacramento, Ca.

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby Brock » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:27 pm

Meetings are essentially only a place to meet newcomers. I don't go to meetings to stay sober.

I hope the newer members will take note of this statement, because some of the replies indicate that in seeing the old timers there, you are taking it to mean that we need to keep coming back to stay sober. There is no harm in those who find it necessary to keep attending for the purpose of sobriety to do so, but it should not be 'advertised' to newcomers as something they must do. Heaven knows we don't enjoy meetings at first, it gives more encouragement to do the necessary work, if people understand that meetings are not essential once we do.

Also, we see reports here that the welcome some people give newcomers puts them off of AA. This nonsense of saying if you don't stay after the meeting you might die, as reported in another thread yesterday, and crowding of a new person by over enthusiastic members with no respect for boundaries, reports of things like this are common.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3168
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby cdogg556 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:30 pm

Brock wrote:
Meetings are essentially only a place to meet newcomers. I don't go to meetings to stay sober.

I hope the newer members will take note of this statement, because some of the replies indicate that in seeing the old timers there, you are taking it to mean that we need to keep coming back to stay sober. There is no harm in those who find it necessary to keep attending for the purpose of sobriety to do so, but it should not be 'advertised' to newcomers as something they must do. Heaven knows we don't enjoy meetings at first, it gives more encouragement to do the necessary work, if people understand that meetings are not essential once we do.

Also, we see reports here that the welcome some people give newcomers puts them off of AA. This nonsense of saying if you don't stay after the meeting you might die, as reported in another thread yesterday, and crowding of a new person by over enthusiastic members with no respect for boundaries, reports of things like this are common.



I see this happening at all the meetings I go to, people almost fighting over who gets the newcomer first, I am not into chasing people down to try to get them to ask me to sponsor them, I figure that if they want what I have then they will ask!
"If you want something different, do something you've never done"
cdogg556
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:50 pm
Location: Sacramento, Ca.

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby D'oh » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:36 am

Meetings are essentially only a place to meet newcomers. I don't go to meetings to stay sober.

[quote="]
I hope the newer members will take note of this statement, because some of the replies indicate that in seeing the old timers there, you are taking it to mean that we need to keep coming back to stay sober. There is no harm in those who find it necessary to keep attending for the purpose of sobriety to do so, but it should not be 'advertised' to newcomers as something they must do. Heaven knows we don't enjoy meetings at first, it gives more encouragement to do the necessary work, if people understand that meetings are not essential once we do.

Also, we see reports here that the welcome some people give newcomers puts them off of AA. This nonsense of saying if you don't stay after the meeting you might die, as reported in another thread yesterday, and crowding of a new person by over enthusiastic members with no respect for boundaries, reports of things like this are common.[/quote][/quote]

I also have, Drank Away nearly 15 years of Sobriety, because I didn't think I needed Meeting and New Comers, and After Meetings. I thought I knew everything and was tired of hearing the Same Old Stories again and again. That I had all of the answers of the Program, that I didn't need the Fellowship of it anymore.

Today, I look at the Program as a Gift, Everyday. That I may enjoy the rest of my Life. But this Gift is only Granted to me I do not Own It. I have to be willing to pass it along, the more I do that, the More I get to use.

Just making my little note.
D'oh
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 721
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:51 am

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby Brock » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:00 am

I have to be willing to pass it along, the more I do that, the More I get to use.

Yes, and that is why I started my post with a quote about meetings being a place to meet newcomers, and never said I stop going entirely, although I believe I could if I no longer enjoyed the couple I go to each week. There are several other ways and places we may carry the message including right here, you may not get the benefit of seeing their 'face light up' when something you said strikes home, but messages are carried in more ways than face to face.
I also have, Drank Away nearly 15 years of Sobriety, because I didn't think I needed Meeting and New Comers, and After Meetings.

Of course you know best why you went back to drink, but I humbly suggest that in turning your back on meetings you also turned your back on your spiritual maintenance - “Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done. These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.” If it were not possible to do this without meetings, those who can not attend because of physical reasons, illness or location, would be in a lot of trouble.
I am not into chasing people down to try to get them to ask me to sponsor them, I figure that if they want what I have then they will ask!

I like this point cdogg made, some members were talking about this as sort of an aside to the topic on another thread, and it seemed to be a mix of those who thought we should make the approach, and those who thought the person should choose us. I like the idea of new members having a list of those who are willing to sponsor, then if I see a name on the list and am impressed by that persons knowledge and look; no point asking someone who looks unhappy and ill at ease; the approach would be easy to make. Otherwise I think people stand a higher chance of ending up with a sponsor who doesn’t suit them, because it is kind of hard to say no when someone offers themselves, even if we really want to.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3168
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby cdogg556 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:46 am

I like this point cdogg made, some members were talking about this as sort of an aside to the topic on another thread, and it seemed to be a mix of those who thought we should make the approach, and those who thought the person should choose us. I like the idea of new members having a list of those who are willing to sponsor, then if I see a name on the list and am impressed by that persons knowledge and look; no point asking someone who looks unhappy and ill at ease; the approach would be easy to make. Otherwise I think people stand a higher chance of ending up with a sponsor who doesn’t suit them, because it is kind of hard to say no when someone offers themselves, even if we really want to.


Thanks Brock, :!: I went to our annual pot luck Saturday and we had a speaker from out of town and so my sponsor chose me to be a reader, that meant I had to wear a tie and nice shirt, get up on stage, etc....Anyway I was really early to help set up and I met a guy that I just happened to sit next to whom was very new, like 5 or 6 days new, so I talked with him, got his number, etc...when the meeting was over I was talking more with him and he told me that another member was going to sponsor him, I never asked him about sponsorship at all, I just talked to him about what I have done to stay sober, obviously the other guy was a little more aggressive on the subject. :shock: I feel like I stated before, if he would have wanted me to sponsor him then he would have asked, I have his # and saw him last night at another meeting so we are still talking so you never know, there's nothing wrong with just being there to talk to, sometimes I get more out of that than anything else. :wink:
"If you want something different, do something you've never done"
cdogg556
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:50 pm
Location: Sacramento, Ca.

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby PuppyEars » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:12 am

True true brock, the temporary sponsor list on a board idea is always nice to have but rarely have I seen anyone read it nor anyone ever jotting down numbers. Not in my homegroup anyway. I am the knucklehead type and surely not the only that needed someone to grab my ear and say look you little s.o.b. see this book? Get involved or die. This flares up people's nostrils because I now see that that approach was coming from a place of love. Someone cared enough to ignore how I felt -about some bs boundry or any other walls I might of had up. Whereas, I have found on this particular website, the approach that helped save my ass, is an absolute turn off to those that visit here.
Could be a beauty is in the eye of the beholder deals. Good stuff.
1488
User avatar
PuppyEars
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:39 pm

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby cdogg556 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:26 am

I absolutely know what you are saying puppyears, but is there not a balance, I mean sometimes I feel like some of us are doing it more for their own sobriety instead of the person being sponsored, I hear it all the time, "I need to get me some more sponsee's" I am not saying this is always the case, but we are a bunch of alcoholics and at one time or another we have been all about "me!" I used to think, oh wow look at all these sober people, they must all be here for the right reasons, well unfortunately I have found that not to be always true.
"If you want something different, do something you've never done"
cdogg556
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:50 pm
Location: Sacramento, Ca.

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby D'oh » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:26 am

Yes, and that is why I started my post with a quote about meetings being a place to meet newcomers, and never said I stop going entirely, although I believe I could if I no longer enjoyed the couple I go to each week. There are several other ways and places we may carry the message including right here, you may not get the benefit of seeing their 'face light up' when something you said strikes home, but messages are carried in more ways than face to face.


Very True, But also Receive the Message. "We claim Spiritual progress, not Spiritual Perfection" So yes I do attend meetings to carry the message, but also receive the message. As I have said many times. "My HP has never once called me on the phone, and if he did, I would suspect a Prank Call and hang up"

No my HP comes from the meetings and through the People in the rooms as well as Meditation. And as I have turned everything *good and bad) over to the care of my HP. That is where I must be.
D'oh
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 721
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:51 am

Re: Welcoming the newcomer

Postby Reborn » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:27 am

Any alcoholic seeking sobriety has a choice...usually I present folks I talk with a Big Book and tell them to read up to page 43...look for the simularities and let me know when they are done. This is not forcing sponsorship nor is it accepting the role of a sponsor just because someone new is talking to me. I'll give you an example...last week a guy came back after a long relapse and asked if I would sponsor him...I asked him "do you still have your book?" He said he did so I told him what I said above and off he went to read those pages. I saw him the next day and asked if he had read those pages he said yes and we started talking about what he read. A good friend of mine in recovery was sitting there...lately he has been stagnant in his program and was feeling irritated in general. The relapser told part of his story which included going to prison multiple times...I have not had experience with this...my friend in recovery has. Long story short the relapser and my friend started talking and now they are working together. This was God's plan all along...now my friend has a renewed outlook on AA. I do alot of reaching out to newcomers and alot of introducing newcomers to oldtimers...its about being humble enough to step aside and let God work his magic.

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.

Although I agree that sponsorship is a big part of this program...the above passage says "intensive work with other alcoholics"...to me that means talking to newcomers, oldtimers, relapsers and everyone in between..."it works when other activities fail."
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
Reborn
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 501
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 6:20 pm

Next

Return to Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 6 guests

cron