Sharing at meetings

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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby positrac » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:28 am

Lali wrote:Where I live, meetings are only an hour long and 20 minutes are spent on readings such as How It Works, the Promises and the Daily Reflection. Another several minutes are spent at the end or the meeting for Announcements and prayer. So that leaves about 30 minutes when the floor is opened up. If we spend those 30 minutes ragging about how life has given us a bad rap, or their 's current work problem, etc., when do we get to talk about the SOLUTION. That's what meetings are for - to share the solution. What is a newcomer going to leave a meeting with if he hasn't heard the solution? Where is he going to find hope. Dumping ones problems should happen before the meeting or after the meeting or with one's sponsor. 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. It's always a disappointment when one or more persons "use" the meeting to talk about themselves, disregarding others who want to share their ESH.



A good point mentioned and it is easy to lose sight of the "solution" Maybe the person leading the meeting in those open discussions could add that point as a reminder that whine sessions don't include cheese. :roll:
I have been guilty of whining and not putting the solution in action and other times I reveal the day and what I learned and to me that is a solution. It is so much more that not drinking.

Lali thanks for that post it was actually very good.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby Brock » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:07 am

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

Anybody with a little common sense, would support a long time member, (or any member), of AA speaking about his loss. The problem comes with those lacking sense who then talk about their sick cat, or the neighbor they don't get along with. And when someone points out that what they are doing doesn’t help anyone else, they say 'well you let the old timer talk about his deceased wife,' Judge Judy says something about 'beauty fades, stupidity doesn’t.'
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

I think you Desi don't read much of what others write, unless it's to pick holes in their contributions. The person avaneesh to whom you address this, will probably be too humble to speak of the other AA outreach he does and meetings he attends. But I will let you know that he has helped some of us here find big books at a cheaper cost, since he researched where these were available, in order to carry them to the weekly prison meeting which he leads.
"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 avaneesh912 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:37 am

Thats the disconnect I already mentioned. The book talks about dependence must be on God. If a wife, or other external stuff is going to keep a member sober, then we have totally missed the point. End of the journey, we have to go alone.

Edit: I usually encourage people to read stories like Me an Alcoholic, He sold himself short to get a grasp of what this program is about. Its just not about going to meetings and whining about the problems. I can always do that over the phone with close confidants.
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 avaneesh912 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:18 am

Below is from that story, it will be more powerful if people use the meeting to convey how they overcame their personal tragedies, instead of trying to getting temporary relief from sharing in the meeting. Some of our friends here will never understand that.

My story has a happy ending, but not of the conventional kind. I had a lot more hell to go through. But what a difference there is between going through hell without a power greater than one's self, and with it! As might have been predicted, my teetering tower of worldly success collapsed. My alcoholic associates fired me, took control, and ran the enterprise into bankruptcy. My alcoholic wife took up someone else, divorced me, and took with her all my remaining property. The most terrible blow of my life befell me after I'd found sobriety through A.A. Perhaps the single flicker of decency that shone through the fog of my drinking days was a clumsy affection for my two children, a boy and a girl. One night my son, when he was only sixteen, was suddenly and tragically killed. The Higher Power was on deck to see me through, sober. I think He's on hand to see my son through, too. I think He's on hand to see all of us through whatever may come to us.
There have been some wonderful things, too. My new wife and I don't own any property to speak of, and the flashy successes of another day are no longer mine. But we have a baby who, if you'll pardon a little post-alcoholic sentimentality, is right out of Heaven. My work is on a much deeper and more significant level than it ever was before, and I am today a fairly creative, relatively sane human being. And should I have more bad times, I know that I'll never again have to go through them alone.


When he talks about "never again have to go through them alone" he is not btw talking about dumping it in the meeting. He is talking about walking with his personal Friend.
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 Chelle » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:23 am

I shared about my cat :cry: My first stop after the vet was a meeting at my home group. I had not been sober very long, but long enough that people could tell I was not myself. Two others were going through the same thing with elderly pets and we spoke after the meeting. I would not have known that had I not shared that IN the meeting. I have gotten drunk over a lot less than putting my 17 year old cat down. Sometimes putting an issue out there allows some more experienced members share their own experience strength and hope with me...the newcomer. The most important one in the room, I hear.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby Brock » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:32 pm

I shared about my cat ...I had not been sober very long...Sometimes putting an issue out there...

In my earlier post I was the one who made the reference to 'cat stories.' Just to be clear, I don't believe anyone would object to someone maybe in their first year doing this for their whole share, or to someone with years of experience mentioning it, sort of 'not feeling myself today, my cat is very sick.' That puts it out enough for people with experience of the problem to help after the meeting, while not taking away much from the primary purpose of being in the meeting.

The literature speaks of attending meetings to see what we can bring to others there, not just what we can take away, because that would be selfish. The person chairing our Sunday morning step meeting a couple of Sundays ago, devoted her entire contribution on step seven to her internet and cable being out for several days. Nobody raised an eyebrow that she would do this after years of 'sobriety,' and nobody would suggest to her that this is wrong, no one wants to be in her 'bad books,' so the nonsense continues.

So for the newer person we should understand, but when you have completed the steps your job is to pass the message about the steps, not about vets, cats dogs or lack of cable TV.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:31 pm

I remember one of the nooners a woman started chirping to show how she was searching for her birds which flew away and how all her neighbors came to her help and even firefighters showed up at the door step. We were all so happy that she could share her feelings and happy she didn't get drunk.
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 desypete » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:01 am

Brock wrote:
I shared about my cat ...I had not been sober very long...Sometimes putting an issue out there...

In my earlier post I was the one who made the reference to 'cat stories.' Just to be clear, I don't believe anyone would object to someone maybe in their first year doing this for their whole share, or to someone with years of experience mentioning it, sort of 'not feeling myself today, my cat is very sick.' That puts it out enough for people with experience of the problem to help after the meeting, while not taking away much from the primary purpose of being in the meeting.

The literature speaks of attending meetings to see what we can bring to others there, not just what we can take away, because that would be selfish. The person chairing our Sunday morning step meeting a couple of Sundays ago, devoted her entire contribution on step seven to her internet and cable being out for several days. Nobody raised an eyebrow that she would do this after years of 'sobriety,' and nobody would suggest to her that this is wrong, no one wants to be in her 'bad books,' so the nonsense continues.

So for the newer person we should understand, but when you have completed the steps your job is to pass the message about the steps, not about vets, cats dogs or lack of cable TV.


my friend you just done see it do you ?
you mention the cat story in a way that means the cat is a worthless thing in your eyes
yet to the person who had lost there cat it might be just as valuable as a son or a daughter or a partner, the pain that person might be going through might be huge to them, i did all the things you do i used to go around to my sponsor moaning about others in aa etc and my sponsor would point out to me things that i could never ever begin to think about like how the person might really be feeling as i just didn't care about how they would be feeling
the point was i was only interested in what i wanted to hear in the rooms,

so i have learned now yet another lesson where i have to keep my opinions and my big gob shut even if i am right !!!! :D
today if someone is in pain even if i dont like them i will just offer out my hand of friendship and give them my time as its not all about me these days or what i want to hear in the rooms of aa today its about how i can help which might all sound all saintly well i am far from it but its just i have accepted a new way of life and try to live that way each day many times i dont succeed but its ok as i just keep on trying. for example i had a run in with my girlfriend not long ago and for 2 weeks i was stubborn and in control and there was no way i was going to say sorry i wanted the girl to feel the pain i was feeling ( which is not real love is it ) anyway thanks to how i live my life sanity returned, i had to swallow my pride, i had to say sorry to her even though i was right and she was wrong but i was sorry for how i had reacted, she had hurt me and i wanted to just hurt her back which is not the way to go but the wisdom of my sponsor and other aa memebers was able to get me to come to see the problem and it was me again.
i have never met anyone yet in the fellowship who is immune to what life can throw up to them but i have met many in aa who believe there protected from life or those who believe that should trouble come there way that they could handle it all and be happy joyous and free

all i know is for me that whatever trouble or pain has come my way i have not picked up that first drink and for that i will always be grateful for aa and the people in aa who made me that promise when i first shown up in the rooms they told me i may never need to drink again and how right they have been and all i have done is followed in there footsteps and i still do as its not done me any wrong and only good for the last 11 years so i will stick to it as it works or i should say for me its the only thing that has ever worked
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:03 am

Sometimes putting an issue out there allows some more experienced members share their own experience strength and hope with me...


You admit that you drank over trivial issues. Thats what alcoholics do. On the other board, a woman was cleaning her closet and saw an empty Vodka bottle and felt bad for her husband and went an bought another Vodka bottle and filled this one and had little left in the new one. Can't figure out how, but thats her story. She drank the little and then the whole bottle. We share solution, how to get over the peculiar mental twist. We also have fellowship to share with. Sponsors, close friends. Agreed as a new comer we share everything that goes in our head.

Here is the interesting story. A guy shared how a humming bird somehow got into his sun room and how he would try his best to guide her out, it will still go around the room scared. And all it had to do was go up couple of feet in its trajectory to find the whole at the top. He was sharing this metophorically how we alcoholics get caught in this vicious cycle while help is just few steps away. It was a powerful share but then few of them started talking about how 2 birds got into their sun-room and celebrated their wedding. There are people who get it and those who don't. Thats ok too. We are here to teach each other. How best to carry the solution.
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 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:44 am

my friend you just done see it do you ?
you mention the cat story in a way that means the cat is a worthless thing in your eyes


Did you read his post? Look there is no problem with a new person coming in a whining and crying about their problems...but the folks that have recovered through the steps should remember the primary purpose...carry the message. We all have problems but imagine if every person in AA came in and selfishly dumped their problems in the meeting...turns it into a poor me pouting session instead of a solution rally cry. I know an oldtimer who recently lost his wife...he shared this and more importantly he shared how he got through it by practicing the principles of the program. He said "I share this not for sympathy but to let you all know that it is possible to use the prinicples of AA to stay spiritually fit when the bad times come because they will." AA gives me choices today...I can choose to wallow in self pity or I can practice these principles...get out of MYSELF and bring a SOLUTION.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby PaigeB » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:55 am

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...

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

Thanks Desy. That is the reason I keep going back to meetings and hanging with other alcoholics. We can get textbook stuff from professionals - in AA we get the real thing and we know it is gut honest real. Yeah, some might seem to go on too long, but I have often clarified myself by my own ramblings. I can't imagine how long it would take me to get a drink if they threw me out and said I could not talk about what was troubling me. Luckily, I am not troubled everyday all the time anymore. Most of the time I live in the solution and share that. But this week I got a blow to the stomach and I had to tell the details a bit to let others know what was going on with me. They truly care about ME. Now, there wasn't anything anybody could DO, but they were then able to offer me some REAL life experiences and offer to be on call if I needed to talk further.

Thanks for sharing. And thanks for letting me share.

PS - I have 7+ years. I am not a newcomer. I have an issue I have never been through before. All I could say about the solution was that I knew (from listening to others) I would get through this. I am okay with us disagreeing because I know it takes all kinds. We can each help someone, if we are honest, open-minded and willing.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:02 am

he shared this and more importantly he shared how he got through it by practicing the principles of the program.


Cool beans.
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 D'oh » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:31 pm

"We may never have to deal with Drinking again, but we have to deal with Living, everyday"

Alcohol was but a Symptom of our disease, Life and Living in our Self Centeredness, was our problem. If that means listening to a Cat Story, Job or Relationship problems, So Be it. That is Life. What I hear today may help me through a Tomorrow, or help me Help another through a Tomorrow.

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'?"
BTW, possibly my favourite quote in the BB. Thanks for Posting it.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby PuppyEars » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:15 pm

Alcohol was but a Symptom of our disease, Life and Living in our Self Centeredness, was our problem. If that means listening to a Cat Story, Job or Relationship problems, So Be it.

Absolutely. What's worse than cat stories? Hearing people b!tch and moan about having to listen to cat stories over and over.

Take your whining ass somewhere else and start your own meeting.
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Re: Sharing at meetings

Postby Lali » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:43 pm

I am glad to see that the majority here gets that there is a time and place for whining about personal problems. How unfair to those who are there to talk about recovery! One could speak one on one with their sponsor, one on one with another member or seek the help of a psychotherapist, but prefer to hijack a meeting.

What my home group does is: immediately after the readings, the chairperson will ask if anyone has anything affecting their sobriety. This is the time where people are given the opportunity to vent. After hearing the person out and allowing a few people to offer their opinion (about 10 to 15 minutes), the chairperson steers the meeting to where it is supposed to be, i.e., a Book Study or whatever. Often the person who shared their problem will have members come up to them after the meeting to offer more advice and/or to show empathy. I think if more groups did this, it would help with the problem of having an entire meeting hijacked.

Then about ten minutes before the meeting is set to end, the chairperson will ask if anyone has any last minute burning desires. If there is not enough time left for this, the chairperson says instead, "If anyone has any last minute burning desires, please grab someone after the meeting; don't take it home with you." Works well for our group!
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