Sharing at meetings

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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:03 am

IMO a person who uses the meeting to dump their problems needs to take their own inventory and see how this behavior is self-centered.


Unfortunately there are so many out there, who don't understand the 12 step process. They encourage people to do this. Thats the disconnect. We have a fractured institution. There are some great recovery based groups and then there is group therapy kind of meetings where they think they can fix the alcoholic by allowing them to share their grief. He/she will but eventually like others pointed out, when the S*** its the roof he/she wont even be in the rooms but drinking.
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: Sharing at meetings

Postby Brock » Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:42 am

From How It Works -
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now.

Some people express this as ES&H, which is fine, experience strength and hope. First what we used to be like (experience), drunken bum or whatever. What happened, we came to AA and got a certain message which gave us (strength), and finally what we are like now, happy joyous and free, (hope).

So we hook the person by showing them from our experience we were in a hopeless position, they may then listen because they see we are the real deal alcoholic, not some weekend warrior. We explain how we got well, finally and most importantly a good dose of hope, so he may go home thinking there is a possible bright future in continuing to come to AA. Those who have no hope to offer kindly shut up.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby Stepchild » Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:54 am

when i crawled into the aa meetings in my early days i had lost everything that i loved, my kids taken away from my care and put into foster home, my business gone, my wife gone, my home gone, and all my money gone, i was a drunken bum
i came to the meetings and shared my heart out, how bad a person i was how i hated myself, how scared i was trying to get through a day without a drink
i was told to keep on coming back, i was given a big book as i had no money to buy one myself, i was given kindness by the memebers of aa and some took me under there wing and just helped me, as they to had been where i was they understood
they didnt ever preach to me, they listened to my anger in my shares as i was blameing everyone and everything else for how it all ended up so badly and they slowly and wisely offered up little tips to help me
they got me around meetings they came and sat with me to keep me company as they knew i would be alone with my rotten head going around and around in my fog and madness

some how i managed to get through a day then a week then a month and my mind stated to clear i was given hope, and love by the people in aa which sadly is not being done as much in today's aa which seems hell bent on turning meetings into some sort of worship room where we have preachers not members trying to show off how much they have read so they can get a pat on the head by whoever is there ringleader guru


I don't look at people that understand the book as gurus. I also don't look at people that come into meetings and dump their problems as helpful to anyone else either. If you have read the book....They actually address this in the last couple paragraphs of the basic text...

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. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.

Pg 164

Now while there will be some that will grab onto the line..."Our book is meant to be suggestive only."....Which it is....Here is what we suggest...Take it or leave it. I think I'm more drawn to line...."But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got."
Give freely of what you find....Not...Take down the whole meeting with where you were.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby ezdzit247 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:51 pm

Some AA friends and I started a new topic discussion meeting on Saturday afternoons at our local park. Like most new meetings, attendance was a little sparse in the beginning--5 or 6 regulars--but someone suggested that we choose the topic of next meeting at the end of the present meeting and announce whatever the topic was going to be when meeting announcements were made at other meetings. We did that and attendance for our little park meeting started to increase. A few weeks later, the group chose the topic of "relationships" for the next week's meeting and we announced it at our other meetings. The following Saturday, 84 AA members showed up for the meeting to talk and listen to what others had to share about relationship problems and solutions. We went an hour over our scheduled time of 1 1/2 hours and everyone agreed it was one of the best AA meetings they'd ever attended. What I learned from this particular meeting is that the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is a family, a very caring, loving family that freely shares its experience, hope and strength to help the alcoholic who is still suffering and that sometimes the alcoholic who is still suffering isn't a newcomer.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby kdub720 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:44 am

I hate sharing at meetings, people pretending to care, then ask all about your personal life. Not for me. I like it here where I can share my story, discuss and learn with others without having to go9 put my heart on the line to strangers.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby Stepchild » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:46 pm

The following Saturday, 84 AA members showed up for the meeting to talk and listen to what others had to share about relationship problems and solutions.


Every meeting I've attended we read this at the beginning...

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

There is a reason for that.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby ezdzit247 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:32 pm

Every meeting I've attended we read this at the beginning...

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

There is a reason for that.


Yup. It's been read at every AA meeting I've ever attended, too, along with the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, More About Alcoholism and the Promises from A Vision For You. Great stuff! So is the topic discussion part of an AA meeting and "relationships" are a great topic for recovering alcoholics to discuss.

"Ch. 6, "Into Action"

"...The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept he home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, "Don't see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain't it grand the wind stopped blowin'?" Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead. We must take the lead. A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won't fill the bill at all. We ought to sit down with the family and frankly analyze the past as we now see it, being very careful not to criticize them. Their defects may be glaring, but the chances are that our own actions are partly responsible. So we clean house with the family, asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love."
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby Brock » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:23 am

So is the topic discussion part of an AA meeting and "relationships" are a great topic for recovering alcoholics to discuss.

Maybe one on one if you are having a particular problem, but when topics like these are put forward for open discussion, yes they attract a crowd, a crowd of the same people who believe that AA meetings are places to discuss personal problems, rather than the solution.

The quote used to justify this sort of thing from “Into Action,” is where step 9 is discussed, and yes it does speak about mending broken relationships, but of course we know very well that if you had passed the word that the meeting topic was step 9, it would have been a relative 'bust.'

Of course your group is free to do as it pleases, I only give this opinion, because I believe topics like these, will encourage those who believe AA is some sort of self help outfit. Somewhere to discuss all of life's problems, perhaps like a Dr. Phil open house, and some of us believe that this is detrimental to those coming in, and to AA as a whole.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:09 pm

D'oh wrote:By the Grace of God, I may never have to deal with a drink ever again. But I have to deal with life every day.

My illness, Alcohol was only a symptom, The Ism, (living life in my own skin) was the problem. So if that means listening to someone's daily troubles in a meeting, then that is my path. Just as if a Power Greater than myself, might believe I need to hear what is being said.


Precisely. Well said, D'oh.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:11 pm

if people need to share there heart out who the hell is anyone in aa to say they can not ?


Even with people with long term sobriety? Of course the new-comer wouldn't know the power of the program, what it can do for them. I would think we would allow them to share their problems. Like one barged into the rooms yesterday and asked "Are you all sober"? The whole room erupted with laughter. The meeting then shifted to a 1st step meeting and of course everybody started sharing how much they drink and how may duis they got. The new-comer went home with no answers.
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: Sharing at meetings

Postby Reborn » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:34 pm

My illness, Alcohol was only a symptom, The Ism, (living life in my own skin) was the problem. So if that means listening to someone's daily troubles in a meeting, then that is my path. Just as if a Power Greater than myself, might believe I need to hear what is being said.


Nope...if I'm sitting in a meeting and hear someone talking about "daily troubles" especially if they have been in AA for any amount of time...I say something. If a newcomer starts talking about "daily troubles" I say something...that something is the solution straight out of the Big Book. Here's what happens when someone goes into day to day troubles at an AA meeting...someone shares they are having relationship problems...then someone clues in on this and shares their relationship crap...then person number three says to themselves "Well I'm having trouble at home" and unloads their crap. Pretty soon the meeting has nothing to do with AA and everything to do with some selfish people unloading and expecting to hear something to make them feel better. Selfishness and Self-centeredness that we think is the root of our troubles. So because I have respect for the program that saved my life I will always do my best to protect the message that AA is supposed to carry. I will not just sit there and say to myself "well I guess God wants me to hear this bullsh!t...acceptance is the key...live and let live." Nope...not this recovered alcoholic...not today...I will carry THIS message to alcoholics that still suffer...I will not buy into the bullsh!t...and that is all it is.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:56 pm

I was in a meeting not too long ago where a relatively new guy talked about his wife leaving. This is an issue someone could drink over. The other guys gave him alot of program stuff, but they also helped him know he was not alone. We might have saved that guys axx and I was happy it all went down.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby PaigeB » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:34 pm

I like to live in the solution and share about the solution too. If I pass in my home group it usually causes folks to gasp in disbelief that I have nothing to say LOL - kidding but not kidding. I was taught to share about the solution by that home group that I can share "in a general way" what my problem is without morbid detailing. Like, "I had to put my cat to sleep today. He was old. He & I been thru a lot." BUT! And this is a big but... I have to stop short of telling the whole story about how I chose his favorite blanket and called my high school girlfriend cause she loved him too and...

Skip that and tell them how I managed to get to the meeting without drinking... "I prayed and I called my sponsor and she told me _____ so I did _____" or maybe "I really don't have anything to add except that it will be nice to get to the Step you guys talked about in the reading." OR "I am looking for a sponsor." or "Can any of you guys go to coffee afterward? See me - I'll be in the kitchen washing coffee cups."

But I rarely say nothing at all. It is good practice for telling the truth later when it might be really hard - "My name is Paige and I am an alcoholic. My mother is in hospice - so I didn't hear the reading. I have to leave here and drive out of state. I will be alone in my head for a couple of hours. I thought by coming here I could hear your voices up there instead my own. " Thank Goodness I haven't had to say that ~ Yet.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby desypete » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:13 am

avaneesh912 wrote:
IMO a person who uses the meeting to dump their problems needs to take their own inventory and see how this behavior is self-centered.


Unfortunately there are so many out there, who don't understand the 12 step process. They encourage people to do this. Thats the disconnect. We have a fractured institution. There are some great recovery based groups and then there is group therapy kind of meetings where they think they can fix the alcoholic by allowing them to share their grief. He/she will but eventually like others pointed out, when the S*** its the roof he/she wont even be in the rooms but drinking.


and you know this how ? you do seem to be able to know exactly what will keep everyone else sober.

there is a guy who has been sober for over 40 years and has had a good life, now this guy was a hard nosed book fan but a lovely man and he has helped countless people over his time, sadly recently he has lost his wife of over 50 years and the guy is struggling to cope with life on his own, can you imagine what its like to go home to an empty place or empty bed after having his partner with him for 50 years
do you think you can just say a prayer on it and yippee you will be happy joyous and free ?

according to you the guy shouldn't use the rooms to try to find some comfort or strength to get through another day

you have no idea what is going on in peoples lives so if i was you i would learn to keep my opinions to myself and not think i know what is good for everyone else in the fellowship of aa

happily we all come into aa at different levels
some come into aa still with a partner, a home, a family, a job they still have so much to lose yet to listen to them you would think they can understand what its like to have nothing left, yet its impossible for them to understand as they have never experienced it
this is why aa works for all and not just the down trodden drunks who end up with nothing left, but sadly some of those who come into aa in a lot better shape than others do try to become gods in the fellowship or masters of the 12 step program or co authors of the big book

its all just ego and self importance and of course control
all the signs that someone is still living in self

i will remind you that aa is for everyone anyone who has a desire to stop drinking its there for good times and more importantly anyone who is going through hell, its doors are open fully to drunks, to tramps, to anyone

i think your hanging around in your own little circle of aa so your just breeding what is all around you, try and get to other meetings and listen to some of the pain some people cope with in there lives and yet they still dont pick up that first drink
its quite amazing and it also passes on strength

anyway that's enough of my own self importance or me thinking i know what's best but all i say is leave aa as aa is
aa was there before any of us came along and it will be there after us, we are not important to aa its the other way around aa should be important to us as its the place we all come to in order to find a way out
i can only thank my lucky stars that the founders in aa had the wisdom to protect aa from its own members with the traditions
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby desypete » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:31 am

Spirit Flower wrote:I was in a meeting not too long ago where a relatively new guy talked about his wife leaving. This is an issue someone could drink over. The other guys gave him alot of program stuff, but they also helped him know he was not alone. We might have saved that guys axx and I was happy it all went down.


that is exactly how aa works in the meetings we will never know what is going on in someone else life unless they open up and tell us and believe me if anyone is anything like me in my early days i would put on a fake smile, pretend everything was ok i would rather sit on my own in my flat with my head torturing me rather than except anyone else's help

i had to learn from others how to open up, how to get honest its all down to the others in the rooms who shared there own expereince there own strength and there own hope, they didnt share someone elses experiences from a book, they shared there own
i can remember an old timer many years ago who came to the fellowship broken in bits crying his heart out as his wife had died they had been childhood sweethearts and together all there lives and the guy was in his 70s i remember it as i only wished i could of taken that poor mans pain away
all i could do was give him my time and my ear and let him talk about her as long as he wanted to and of course i could keep the tea flowing
but what that man passed on to me was invaluable as when i had to care for my sick son and watch my lad slowly die i to could turn to aa and people in it for my own help and strength, i was lucky i had aa to go to in order to help me cope my poor son who was dying had no one and nothing in the world to turn to except me and i was powerless to save my sons life.
he had to accept he was going to die at just 16 years old, he had to slowly wait coping with all that fear that your about to die can bring, yet me i had aa to run away to for my own peace of mind and it worked for me sadly i couldnt take my own sons fears away or ever tell him it will all be ok as he wanted to live and not die.

i never once thought of a drink and i never once took a drink and that is exactly what i was told when i first came into aa, i was told i may never again need to drink no matter what goes on in life there is a way out.

other peoples experiences in life show us that it can be done and when the crap hits the fan in life we can remember them in our own hour of need
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