Misconception of outside World

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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby PaigeB » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:08 am

Well said positrac! =geek =ugeek
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby Duke » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:37 am

Thanks positrac. Like you, it's hard for me to separate my early sobriety from my meeting attendance. I'm glad the thought did not occur to me in my early years to question whether I really needed all those meetings or not. The squirrel cage was active enough without chewing on that one.

On the other hand, I don't know anyone who equates meeting attendance with sobriety either inside or outside the program. If they're in it, they quickly learn there's lots more to it. If they're outside, they either don't think of it at all, or have no opinion since it's not part of their life.

I've been at this for a long time and certainly understand that the goal is to live the principles in all our affairs. I see nothing inconsistent with that goal and continued regular attendance.

There have been times that I've been so busy with other worthy activities my life has led me to that my meetings have gone by the way for a time. I've never been tempted or fallen away from my spiritual program solely because of that. But if I ever think that getting up from a new cable series I just have to see to go to a meeting is a sign of an incomplete program, I guarantee you it's my ego making that less than loving decision.

The way I like to think of it now is that I live an integrated life. I do what life leads me to as lovingly as I can. For me, that still involves regular meetings when time and circumstances allow.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby positrac » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:58 am

Duke, like what you said and I think for myself the tools I have can always be shined up and thus growth and it is how I use them that matters.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby D'oh » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:37 am

After the book appeared we all became very busy in our efforts to save all and sundry, but I was still actually on the fringes of A.A. While I went along with all that was done and attended the meetings, I never took an active job of leadership until February 1940. Then I got a very good position in Philadelphia and quickly found I would need a few fellow alcoholics around me if I was to stay sober. Thus I found myself in the middle of a brand new group. When I started to tell the boys how we did it in New York and all about the spiritual part of the program, I found they would not believe me unless I was practicing what I preached. Then I found that as I gave in to this spiritual or personality change I was getting a little more serenity. In telling newcomers how to change their lives and attitudes, all of a sudden I found I was doing a little changing myself. I had been too self-sufficient to write a moral inventory, but I discovered in pointing out to the new man his wrong attitudes and actions that I was really taking my own inventory, and that if I expected him to change I would have to work on myself too. This change has been a long, slow process for me, but through these latter years the dividends have been tremendous.


Jim B actually sums it up in Vicious Cycle. Very simply put.

Jim is usually given credit for the third tradition, that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. He also is credited with the use of "God as we understood Him" in the Steps. (Jim, an agnostic, was militantly opposed to too much talk of God in the Big Book, but he said later that his agnostic stance had mellowed over the years.)
As Ron L Cali. put it
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby Brock » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:18 am

Jim B actually sums it up in Vicious Cycle. Very simply put.

Let's keep in mind that at this time in his recovery Jim says - “all of a sudden I found I was doing a little changing myself. I had been too self-sufficient to write a moral inventory...” Certainly if someone hasn’t even done the 4th step inventory, meetings and surrounded by fellow alcoholics is the best place to be.

I like what Positrack said about his Grandmother -
She had her issues and yet held firm to the 12X12 principles in her life and read her meditation literature daily and had spirituality. But one thing she told me is that she gave up meetings regularly at her 10 year mark and she said she believed that the founders of AA wanted us to go out and be part of society and use the tools of the rooms in our lives daily.

Absolutely, maintain spirituality, keep the tools AA gave you sharp, and there are very many avenues to do this in day to day life.

The whole point I thought this thread was trying to put across, is that the misconception many people outside of AA seem to have, that we stay sober one day at a time, or stay sober by attending meetings, is not only false, but does a great disservice to a very powerful program, and makes it look weak.

If we were able to advertize AA on TV, and in one add we put Positracks Grandmother, speaking about her life of contented sobriety, and spirituality without meetings, in another add we have one of the other members saying meetings are a must for life. Only a fool would deny, that the Grandmothers add would not only make AA look more powerful, but also attract more people to the program.

The times AA is shown on TV and film, in shows like those I mentioned previously, with the 'boo hoo hoo, you said something that got me upset, I am going to call my sponsor and go to a meeting,' go to a meeting or else what? I guess have a drink! And that is just what outsiders viewing such rubbish would guess as well.

We have something very powerful, we keep the power up by using premium fuel from God's gas station, only those who use the wrong fuel find themselves making pit stops every night. Hopefully at some of those they will hear of the power others have found, from someone who pulls into the pits once or twice a week, only to speak of how well and powerfully his program is running, thanks to God his mechanic, and spirituality his fuel.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:26 am

This change has been a long, slow process for me, but through these latter years the dividends have been tremendous.


sometimes quickly sometimes slooooooowly! Thanks Jim B for all the great work!
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 PaigeB » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:37 am

I am slooooowwww like Jim. I celebrate 8 years in the program on August 1, but get my chip at my homegroup the 7th. I finished the 12 Steps at about a year and a half. I decided to do "90 in 90" because I remember that phrase from back in the 80's when I used to attend meetings but never worked the Steps. I got drunk right around 3 years.

Tis time there was nearly zero emphasis on the 90 in 90 - even some disdain for it as being "a treatment thing". I had purposefully skipped any kind of treatment coming in in August 2009 and I wasn't quite sure I trusted you people, so I set my sights on it anyway. By the time I got 60 days I had found at least one meeting a day that I like and met A LOT of good AA's. ALL of them stressed sponsorship through the Steps as the key to long term recovery. I moved to about 4 meetings a week (I am retired & drove people to most of those meetings) I got a sponsor and started the Steps.

Today I have 3 meetings a week I like to go to. My Homegroup, my best friend's homegroup and a meeting close to my home that needs support. I still go because I love the people at each meeting. I miss my friends at one meeting I used to attend as my 4th of the week, but my schedule changed and it is no longer "easy" to get to... I could still make it if I wanted to/felt like I needed a spiritual boost.

We are reaching the end of 5 pages - and need to wrap this up. :wink:
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby Chelle » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:58 am

I attend 3 or 4 meetings a week. I like them very much. I find I am not very concerned with what the outside world thinks about AA. I find the television show rather humorous, but not much in line with the meetings I attend. I hope people see the ladies enjoying a good life on the show and having fun and perhaps lose their fear a bit.

When I tell my sister I'm going to a meeting she says "have fun ". She's not one of us and has no idea.

I was never told I had to go the rest of my life, and have never heard it said. Thank God for the ones that do. I need to hear how they have managed to get 50 years sober, =wink.

Thought I would add my 2 cents before it gets locked up.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby Mike O » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:09 am

I'm not so sure it's important what the "outside world" thinks of the fellowship.
However, it's vitally important that those coming in know exactly what does the job, and it's not just meetings.
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Re: Misconception of outside World

Postby positrac » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:13 am

PaigeB wrote:I am slooooowwww like Jim. I celebrate 8 years in the program on August 1, but get my chip at my homegroup the 7th. I finished the 12 Steps at about a year and a half. I decided to do "90 in 90" because I remember that phrase from back in the 80's when I used to attend meetings but never worked the Steps. I got drunk right around 3 years.

Tis time there was nearly zero emphasis on the 90 in 90 - even some disdain for it as being "a treatment thing". I had purposefully skipped any kind of treatment coming in in August 2009 and I wasn't quite sure I trusted you people, so I set my sights on it anyway. By the time I got 60 days I had found at least one meeting a day that I like and met A LOT of good AA's. ALL of them stressed sponsorship through the Steps as the key to long term recovery. I moved to about 4 meetings a week (I am retired & drove people to most of those meetings) I got a sponsor and started the Steps.

Today I have 3 meetings a week I like to go to. My Homegroup, my best friend's homegroup and a meeting close to my home that needs support. I still go because I love the people at each meeting. I miss my friends at one meeting I used to attend as my 4th of the week, but my schedule changed and it is no longer "easy" to get to... I could still make it if I wanted to/felt like I needed a spiritual boost.

We are reaching the end of 5 pages - and need to wrap this up. :wink:

Good stuff Paige as I remember entering AA back in 1986 and thinking WTF is this insane stuff? <----- Insane stuff! I am the one who can't function normally without a drink to feel accepted. I am the one who has been sent to mandatory meetings and I am judging insane stuff!

As liberal as California is they weren't liberal about sobriety and the rules to successful and long-term mental stability back when I took AA serious and surrendered. Great post because it reminds me of my past and the fears of the unknown and that it did happen to ME as I tried to blame shift. So those who think it can't happen to them I have a news flash: Alcoholism/addicts doesn't discriminate as it is an equal opportunity disease.
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