Misconception of outside World

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Misconception of outside World

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:06 am

I wonder how many think AA is about not drinking one day at time, rest of the life and thats all there is. I was at a big book study meeting. Starting fresh from the cover. And a newcomer shared that one of her friends asked her "Does she consider staying sober one day at a time a success"? And that she felt belittled. Of course early in her sobriety she couldn't share the strength of the program and the fellowship. Of course people later shared that its not about not drinking one day at a time, its like living one day at a time.
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: Misconception of outside World

Postby positrac » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:28 am

I believe that the outsiders who do not have an addictive issues don't care about our issues as long as our issues don't flow into life as they might know it as they flow and we are bumps in the flow. So living one day at a time is like life in general and after a while it is not an issue hence why they can't see it like we might.

I have thicker skin and so some points that people make I dismiss and chalk it up to not being informed and or lack of knowledge in general.

Every sub-culture in life has misconceptions of the other(s) and it is not until things are brought to the table and spoken too is when we learn. Look at blind and or deaf people and how they live as it is totally unlike us and yet they seem to get on just fine as we do.

It might be all relative maybe?
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:55 am

I agree that prevails everywhere. I was watching the HBO gig on drinking in America, its on Youtube and looks like it was added just recently. Its appalling to see even the so called experts don't mention about a spiritual solution at all and they think an alcoholic has to be treated/counseled rest of his/her life. To them the solution is medication supplemented by counseling.
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: Misconception of outside World

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:04 am

My experience is that people think we go to meetings because we might drink. I've never been able to explain the spiritual side of the program to outsiders. partly because most outsiders have no spiritual life and while they might go to church, they don't have spiritual fellowship.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby Duke » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:47 am

I rarely discuss the spiritual nature of the program with those not in it. The few times I've tried have resulted from the topic of spirituality in general coming up first.

I do however, always share that the program is about living sober, not fighting alcohol. This has occasionally resulted in a more in depth discussion, but not often.

I don't know many in the program who believe it's about not drinking one day at a time, although things like that are said quite often. I think people say them most often to encourage folks to come back to a meeting instead of picking up a drink with the hope that they will assent to actually working it at some point.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby Oliver » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:42 pm

People who are close to me see the fruits if I'm sticking close to the fellowship, and see the opposite fruits if I'm not on top of my programme. In my experience people who question the value of it tend to be at a safe distance!
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:00 am

I don't disagree. How many don't even get to the doors of AA is the point i am trying to make. My brother in law was a example, he had been to treatment couple of times. It was the only gig in chnennai, india back 8 years ago. When I mentioned about AA, what he said was I know AA, its like group therapy and it didn't work for me. At the treatment center obviously they were exposed to AA meetings. Probably with the mushed brain all he heard was these cliches and people sharing their feeling.
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: Misconception of outside World

Postby Duke » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:38 am

It's a good point my friend. And, a reminder to me of how essential it is to working my twelfth step that I need to be the message by the way I live my life.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby Brock » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:01 am

Probably with the mushed brain all he heard was these cliches...

I am passionate about people knowing the 'strength' of the AA program, and often here I go on about my belief that meetings are not where that strength comes from, although it's where we are introduced to it, and may assist some of us in maintaining it.

It is fairly easy to speak in meetings and here, about the solution we have found being much more than a one day wonder. Unfortunately, in their good intention to demonstrate that alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful, we get AA members sometimes speaking about pushups in car parks, and fist one who woke this morning being sober longest. These sort of cliches are what add to the misrepresentation of what AA really offers. Yes we want people to be ever vigilant, that's what practice of the last three steps ensures, but AA as a whole, and alcoholics who might think of joining, will suffer, if the public perception is one day sober and then wake to fight another day.

At many meetings this is read - “Remember that we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power that One is God. May you find Him now!” And having found that one who has all power, and you may refer to it by any name you choose, once we stay close to this power, it doesn’t matter what is doing pushups or who is waking up first.
...and people sharing their feeling.

Well that's another problem, and it seems whatever is said about it, there are those who will strongly defend their apparent right, to use AA meetings as a support group for life’s little (or big) ups and downs. And I believe the two are related, if a person is plugged into the one mentioned above, who “has all power,” not only do they stop talking about pushups and waking up, but they also have their problems and worries soothed by that same power. I believe it is up to those who know of the power of this program, to pass that message at every opportunity we get.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby Duke » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:27 am

Brock wrote:Well that's another problem, and it seems whatever is said about it, there are those who will strongly defend their apparent right, to use AA meetings as a support group for life’s little (or big) ups and downs.


Defend? Not so much, but occasionally I will jump in on these comments about what "them" do because I think it's unproductive and gives the idea to those new to the program that those that "get it" are elitists who sit and critique what they say and do if it doesn't meet the elitists' standards for acceptable. To put it in program terms, I thought we were supposed to give up fighting anyone or anything and accept life and others as they are.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby Brock » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:09 am

I agree with most of what Duke said, the way I worded my post could have the effect of putting potential newcomers off, and that is something I 'accuse' others of, when I feel their posts do that.

I may not appear so 'on paper,' but I am quite tolerant and sympathetic when someone brings personal problems to a meeting. But on the other hand, some people I believe overdo this, “give up fighting anyone or anything and accept life and others as they are.”

I certainly don't believe in embarrassing anyone in a meeting or outside of one, but there are ways for the chair in a meeting to guide members contributions away from these things. I saw an entire meeting recently, devote itself to assisting a young lady with her problem regarding her living/boyfriend situation, there were newcomers present who could have used more AA related advise. So let's do nothing live and let live, no, maybe we suggest to the chairman that when this happens again, we gently say that members will help and advise on the problem after the meeting.

Accepting others as they are is all well and good, but we have a certain social responsibility to help others who are taken advantage of, and an AA responsibility to ensure that meetings do not all become support groups, for things other than alcoholism.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby kdub720 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:21 pm

It is crazy that one person would be belittled for their attempt at sobriety. I had a gentleman say something similar to me at a meeting once. And I shut down and never went back. I think everyday is a victory. Every choice is a victory. Just like dieting and not eating that one cookie is a victory against the constant battle. My mother struggles with eating and never has been a drinker. Yet we have bonded over the similarities of an addiction. She is a great example of the little day by day victories that we all must take pride in.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby positrac » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:33 am

avaneesh912 wrote:I agree that prevails everywhere. I was watching the HBO gig on drinking in America, its on Youtube and looks like it was added just recently. Its appalling to see even the so called experts don't mention about a spiritual solution at all and they think an alcoholic has to be treated/counseled rest of his/her life. To them the solution is medication supplemented by counseling.


When I came in to the program seriously I thought drunks were those homeless cats digging in the trash for half eaten snickers bars and hot dogs! Little did I know when I admitted I have a problem with alcohol.
The spiritual side will never be added as it is not PC in our world and because people need to "think" they control something or everything. Look at those commercials on TV about addiction centers that look like spa vacations! I'll leave that alone because my opinions are strong on that topic.

For me I stay quiet about AA and it is because most people would rather have that easier, softer way and I am old school hardcore do or die and it works for me and for that they can't handle the reality. And looking back neither could I. :roll:
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby Barbara D. » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:52 am

Not drinking one day at a time was/is the beginning, the foundation for the development of my spiritual condition. I have no problem with Newcomers or Outsiders thinking this is the overview of Recovery. I had to start somewhere! One day at a time was my first spiritual principle.

Early on and throughout my decades of sobriety, I have gotten the most out of ESH that covers a dab of a drunkalog, how your behavior changed by working the Steps, and how you apply your new belief system to individual living problems. As long as I don't go into minute by minute details, bringing a thinking or living problem to a meeting is part of my program. As a Newcomer or as an Oldtimer, I don't relate to folks who live on pink clouds. I still need to hear that you catch yourself trying to take charge all the time just like I do, for instance. =biggrin

I doubt I could pass judgment on how the Outside World views AA and other 12 Step Recovery Programs since I am only 1 Insider myself. I talk our spiritual principles in all conversations of depth. I have found that religious and non-religious folks, especially the older ones, can relate to our spiritual principles!!!

Thanks for listening. Barbara D. alcoholic
Last edited by Barbara D. on Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby Roberth » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:16 pm

Well it time to put the ego aside and take a real look at the so called outside world. The two most spiritual people I know/knew were not members. They applied a set of spiritual principles to their lives. Strangely enough the same principles we are supposed to apply to our lives. They fall short the same as we do. When they do they take responsibility for their actions just like we are supposed to. The world is full of people like them that are not alcoholics. It true they don’t truly understand us because there not.
I dated a Non-alcoholic therapist for a couple of years and intellectually she understood alcoholism. We had stop seeing each other but remains friend. She was diagnose cancer and called to meet with me so she could tell me what was going on. When she told me she had cancer, beside telling her that I will do anything I could to help, and I confessed to her since I have ever been told I have cancer I really don’t know what she was going through.
It finally clicked what people were telling her about alcoholism there is difference between knowing and having a disease.
She keeps a few of my cards in her appointment book for a client that many want help with our disease. I am happy to say she has been cancer free for over 5 years and is great friend of AA.
Maybe the why the book has us keeping our own side of the street clean.
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