I don't want to feel complacent but I do

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I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby KrisF » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:41 am

Hi fellow AA's. I have been sober 19 years. I have a home group and a sponsor, plus I'm married to a 28 year sober alcoholic. In beginning, it was meetings, meetings, meetings. As I got better , it became less meetings. I do want to mention I also go to an Adult child of Alcoholic mtg once a week and I have 1 life group/bible study a week. I also have a counselor I see maybe every 2 months or so. That being said, I find my enthusiasm for AA meetings has declined. I find the meeting boring although the beginner mtg before it does help me with my gratitude. When I compare myself to my husband, who is extremely passionate about AA still after 28 years, I feel like a loser. Why aren't I more grateful for all AA has given me? How do I stir up the passion again ?
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow's a mystery, and today is a gift, that's why it is called the present"
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby positrac » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:10 am

I think I can speak to this and clearly identify with your points and from my experience some lines cross over. I've been clean and sober since 1989 and for the first nine years it was meetings 95% of the time 7 days a week. I had two home groups in which one was BB study, and the other was 12X12 study and I also went to jails, 28 day detoxes and whenever someone needed a person to chair I'd do it.

I reflected a while back and it stemmed from my late grandmother who had over 50 years sober at her death and she was a pioneer in the rooms as women in the 1950's weren't around. But she told me in my early sobriety that we were meant to live life and not just veg in the rooms and that one day I'd understand what she was trying to imply. My meeting attendance in person is hit and miss these days and I don't feel complacent because I am aware of my situations and I also keep my last drunk in my mind in case I need to remember what it was like. My desire is not an issue; yet I have been hit with urges over the years and once I think that through from start to finish it goes away as quick as it came to me.

If we were all cut from the same cloth then you and I might be losers for not being in a meeting today. But we are different and what works for me might not for you and so on. You have other outlets to work and speak to and so that is a plus as we are growing and outside of going to another community for a meeting what else could you do different?

I am sure your inventory is called out at home and so you have a outlet and so changing up things and or prayer on what you are missing might be in order. Maybe as I am reminded if I don't take myself so seriously I'd see I am in good places in my life.

Stepping back and looking at it can yield the details you might of overlooked.

Have a great day.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby Brock » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:36 am

Welcome here Kris.

From time to time the matter of meeting attendance comes up on these forums, and from what I have seen you are not alone in backing off. I believe, and say, at the one or two meetings I do attend, that while it's important before the steps are done that we attend as many as possible, it's not a life sentence.

I had many 'tries' at AA before staying, and one of the main things which put me off was that I didn't enjoy the meetings, and I believe very few if any nervous newcomers do. Nobody said I could make meetings more or less optional, after I did the work and lived in the solution, so I try to say so now. It encourages the new person to get on with the steps, and lets them realize they will not need to warm the chairs in meetings for life. With all respect for those like your husband who attend religiously, (and I know a few), I find they never mention that you can back off, and the new person seeing them at every meeting, concludes that they will have to do the same, I hope they are not put off unnecessarily by that as I was.

Also I used to listen to several different AA speakers on you tube, I once heard someone I think it was Clancy, say, 'I don't go to meetings to stay sober, and I am sorry for those who do,' music to my ears, he went on to say that we have a duty to help new members when we can, my one or two meetings a week now is primarily for that purpose, and also I have come to quite enjoy those I choose to attend.

Sorry you are feeling complacent, but I don't believe you should, I believe God blesses equally those good souls who like and attend many meetings, and those like ourselves, who practice our recovery in a slightly different way.
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby PaigeB » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:08 am

Why aren't I more grateful for all AA has given me?

I have found that Gratitude and Humility are sisters; where you find one, you will find the other.

Sometimes we just have to go back to basics. I don't suggest you go back to jail or the mental institute, but you could take an AA meeting in there! No expectations, but maybe you need to get some steady, committed Service Work to get you into that humble & grateful mindset again. You might be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the entire AA community this year or starting a new tradition of a fall AA picnic. Ask in your morning meditation what opportunities are for you and ask for willingness to take on even the dullest and behind the scenes jobs because THOSE really pay in humility.

You can also seek Gratitude but doing an A-Z Gratitude list everyday for two weeks (or until that service job comes along). A is for Alcoholics and tomorrow for Anonymous, B is for Buddies in AA and tomorrow for Bill ... you get it. I am saying you need to get back to work! Get back to what you were doing when you came in all those 24 hours ago!

I have found this thing works IF I work it. The work comes first and the feelings will follow. Sounds like you worked your way into complacency so you gotta work your way out!

Good luck and good work!
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby Duke » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:15 pm

Hi Kris. Thanks for sharing.

What I've found in my years in the program is that there is no one answer. In other words, sometimes what I need to raise my spirits is to increase my meetings. Sometimes, it's to get more exercise. I'm not being flippant about it. I'm completely serious.

Meetings are not a panacea and are certainly not required for sobriety. But, they can be very helpful to turn my attitude from blah to hopeful. Today, if the invitation and opportunity to attend are present, and I have no legitimate reason to decline, I go. Sometimes that means upwards of three a week, and sometimes it means none for several weeks.

The key for me is whether the life I'm living is focused on practicing the principles in all my affairs or not. I've found that if I keep an open mind and heart, the opportunities to be of loving service are multiple and obvious. If, instead, I find myself waiting for answers, my malaise will only increase.

I know you'll find what you're looking for. Best of luck to you.
"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: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:07 pm

Why aren't I more grateful for all AA has given me? How do I stir up the passion again ?


Here's my story. Between my 18th and 25th years, I hardly went to any meetings even though I lived a short ways away. I moved to Texas and did not go to any meetings even though I did know there was a club close to my house. I didn't feel I needed them.

With my job, I went on a business trip to Germany. On the trip, we had a banquet in a chateau and they were pouring wine. I didn't have any and didn't mind not having any. At one point, I went into a fancy bathroom in the chateau. I looked at my self in the mirror in the fancy bathroom and flashed back to a young me in another fancy bathroom at another business function ONLY drunk on my axx. As I remembered that young drunk me I said to myself, "I am so freaking glad I'm sober."

When I came home, I immediately went to a meeting. That was 7 years ago now. I go to about two meetings a week. I don't think of myself as one of those wise old timers but for some reason, the people in the meetings like it when I talk. I don't sit on the porch so I don't know the gossip. I don't go out to eat or have more than about 2 friends. But I value my sobriety and I value AA. I know without a doubt that without AA, my story would be like the carpet slipper guy in the BB; who was bone dry for 25 years, drank and died.

I share this story so you'll be aware when the moment comes when you suddenly realize how grateful you are for sobriety.

I might also add an intuitive thought I have about you: Your sobriety is too fused with your husband's sobriety. You need to differentiate yourself, release your husband from being your higher power and find the love of AA on your own. Also, you may be near menopause and that situation kicked my butt.
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby Rockyroad2 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:43 pm

I'm new to recovery, well recently came back into rooms. ALL of the above messages are paramount to my recovery. For me keeping that last drink front and center in my mind allows for me to enjoy the seat in The meeting I so graciously earned. Thank you all for posting. It brings much needed reflection for me. Thanks.
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby Roberth » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:18 pm

Hello KrisF, My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. I think if I just when to meetings I would go nuts. I discovered there was two more sides to the Triangle. Beside recovery there is unity and service. I got involved with GS (General Service) 17 year ago and it had been a great. My first Delegate told me he went a bit crazy at 7 years and again 14 years so he decided to do something different at 20 years and got into GS. Since I had had the same experience at 7 years I did the same and got involved with GS and it worked, I didn't go nuts at 14. It also taught me it wasn't about what I got out of the meeting but what I could bring to it. I also got involved with a Skid Row group that takes meeting into a park in Los Angeles' skid row for the homeless because someone I met in GS. Life has been anything but boring for me since I made use of all three sides of the triangle.
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby Reborn » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:54 pm

Life has been anything but boring for me since I made use of all three sides of the triangle.


Yes...the three legacies for me are contribute, belong and learn. Contribute is service...belong is unity...and learn is recovery where I uncover, discover and discard that which is blocking me from the sunlight of the spirit. As long as I sit in the middle of that triangle the more I feel wanted, needed and loved in all areas of my life. So if something is missing start by looking at the triangle...just as honesty, open mindedness and willingness are essentials of recovery and are indispensable...without these three legacies I am not working the program to the best of my ability.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby JohnDaniels » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:16 am

positrac wrote:I think I can speak to this and clearly identify with your points and from my experience some lines cross over. I've been clean and sober since 1989 and for the first nine years it was meetings 95% of the time 7 days a week. I had two home groups in which one was BB study, and the other was 12X12 study and I also went to jails, 28 day detoxes and whenever someone needed a person to chair I'd do it.

I reflected a while back and it stemmed from my late grandmother who had over 50 years sober at her death and she was a pioneer in the rooms as women in the 1950's weren't around. But she told me in my early sobriety that we were meant to live life and not just veg in the rooms and that one day I'd understand what she was trying to imply. My meeting attendance in person is hit and miss these days and I don't feel complacent because I am aware of my situations and I also keep my last drunk in my mind in case I need to remember what it was like. My desire is not an issue; yet I have been hit with urges over the years and once I think that through from start to finish it goes away as quick as it came to me.

If we were all cut from the same cloth then you and I might be losers for not being in a meeting today. But we are different and what works for me might not for you and so on. You have other outlets to work and speak to and so that is a plus as we are growing and outside of going to another community for a meeting what else could you do different?

I am sure your inventory is called out at home and so you have a outlet and so changing up things and or prayer on what you are missing might be in order. Maybe as I am reminded if I don't take myself so seriously I'd see I am in good places in my life.

Stepping back and looking at it can yield the details you might of overlooked. Have a great day.


Excellent words Positrac. Our stories are similar and our grandmothers were both very wise, almost speaking the same words to us.

Reborn - Yes there are 3 basic needs we all have when we are born, to be needed, wanted and loved. I believe those are instincts that will never change. And for folk's like us without the 3 legacies of AA something is missing. In my life it was service. It was an empty hole that was filled when I became involved in AA service at the area level.

Peace
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby kdub720 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:05 am

You all responded so well. I live far away from meetings, I drove an hour to the closest meeting in my early recovery. Then a man at the meeting questioned my attendance and my participation. I never went back, I was completely turned off. We are not all the same, what works for you may not work for me. Since I have started here and reached out to brain injury counselors and It works. Do not let anyone say you have to go to meetings. It is just not for me.
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby desypete » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:07 am

its one of the puzzles to me in the fellowship is in how very little many aa members do within aa
they come to the meetings, get sober then what ?

there are plenty of people who might need our help is what. if we all stayed away from aa meetings like many do then who on earth would be there for the new comer ? typical that people seem to leave it to others to do the donkey work
i was told to always remember where would i be today if there were no aa members attending aa meetings willing to help me out ?

just where would any of us be ?

for me i owe aa and the people in it everything i have in my life today. its the most wonderful fellowship in the world and its aim is simple to help but guess what ?
it can do nothing without people. if only there was a god that would open the meetings and do all the work but in the real world sadly god is not that powerful and it needs us to do it

there are plenty of jobs going in aa that need filling, every group will always need a helping hand, to run it, make the tea, put the seats out etc oh and of course being a group leader but there are no shortage of people willing to do that job lol

for those who are really keen a trip out to an intergroup could be a good course of action and maybe take on a role of a liaison officer. there are many jobs at inter group all needs willing volunteers to help

but anyway if people dont wish to help and dont wish to carry on attending aa meetings that is there choice, aa will always i hope be there for any of us should be ever need again, thanks to all those people all around the world who really work there steps and there 12th step
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby Brock » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:10 am

...and of course being a group leader but there are no shortage of people willing to do that job lol

I agree with Desy on that. Four years of being early to arrive late to leave, coffeemaker and treasurer and responsible for everything in between at my home group. Asked for volunteers to relieve me many times and no takers, but when they say who volunteers to be chairperson hands shoot up, it's the old ego that likes being in the 'top job.' But service at 'lower' levels, we see people saying here all the time is more rewarding.
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby desypete » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:45 pm

Brock wrote:
...and of course being a group leader but there are no shortage of people willing to do that job lol

I agree with Desy on that. Four years of being early to arrive late to leave, coffeemaker and treasurer and responsible for everything in between at my home group. Asked for volunteers to relieve me many times and no takers, but when they say who volunteers to be chairperson hands shoot up, it's the old ego that likes being in the 'top job.' But service at 'lower' levels, we see people saying here all the time is more rewarding.


yippeee we argee for once brock =biggrin

its the same all over the world, when it comes to people getting into service work, sponsors in the olden days used to insist people did have to work there 12 step when they got there and it would mean going out looking for people to help around the rooms which is how i got started, i always needed a boot up my backside or pain before i would give something new a try
my head would tell me not to do something as i believed i knew what was best for me, and a night infront of the tv ranting and raving at the news or something like that was a great way to live a sober life isnt it ?

what is the alternative ? getting off my lazy backside and getting along to an aa meeting and making the tea ? just who in there right mind would want to do that =biggrin

all i can say to anyone is just give it a try and see what happens

thats all my sponsor ever told me was to just try somthing before i make my mind up and how right he was, i have lost count of the things i would refuse to do because i thought they would not do me any good and then trying them to find its great and does do me good

once i find i try something and i like it i carry on with it but the trick is to get to the stage of trying, and for those who have done and do service work regularly will know just what it is we do get from it all

i keep promising to keep my posts short =biggrin
i will work on it
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Re: I don't want to feel complacent but I do

Postby Soberguy27 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:50 pm

I undersrand where you are at. I've been sober for over 27 years now. In the beginning I went to a lot of meetings. Now after 27 years it has gotten down to one to two meeting a week. Everyone is different. I still use my sponsor and sponsor 4 guys right now which keeps me in the big book and the 12x12 a lot. I didn't get sober to spend my life in meetings. Meetings are only an hour long. Ther are 23 hours left in the day when I get have and live my life to be a productive member of society. I have this life because of AA and give back as much as possible but not to the point where my life is going to meetings. One to two meetings for me works just fine. I would suggest picking up some new sponcees. Not only will you be helping them and yourself but will be staying connected to the fellowship. Once I told my sponsor years ago that a meeting I was going to was boring and I wasn't getting anything out of the meeting. He just smiled and said, maybe you should think about what you're bringing to the meeting more so than what you are getting out of it. Haven't been to a boring meeting since.
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