Thinking on Meetings

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Thinking on Meetings

Postby Angry1541 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:17 am

Hey -- Chris, alcoholic.

So, I was thinking, in reading in the "Newcomers" section about going to meetings and not relating and such, about own experience.

I was thinking how early my experience in life made it more difficult to quit maybe -- and this my personally -- not a generalization.

i tried 3 times formally -- treatment and meetings -- and countless times on my own.

Early on (in my 20s) I couldn't do meetings because I was SOOOO much younger than others there. I didn't feel I fit in -- ppl there talked about family and stuff relating to more advanced stages in life from myself. NOTE: Advanced in this context doesn't have a positive or 'better' connotation -- I just mean further along in life stages.

In my late 30s, things in meetings made more sense to me -- being in more advanced stage in life. I think also, I could relate more because the 'rock bottom' stories were closer to myt own experience -- or they were told by people like me (30-40 somethings) Whereas when I was my 20s, I didn't get it, even though I was very much an alcoholic/addict.

What were your experiences? What do you think about how meeting are different for different generations? If you were in your 20s, would an old-timers meeting really be relatable, if you put yourself back in your 20 year old self?

Just something I am thinking about when trying to better talk with new comers as a 40 something.
~Chris

Just for today...

I am going to stay sober.
I am going to a meeting.
I am going smile and laugh.
I am going to refrain from taking my anger out on other people.
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Re: Thinking on Meetings

Postby Spirit Flower » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:26 am

I got sober when I was 26, no family. I though the old timers were incredibly wise and I loved hearing them talk. I always felt so much better and so inspired.
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Re: Thinking on Meetings

Postby tblue818 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:06 pm

I was told that if I wasn't identifying with those in the meetings, those meeting were concentrating on the *outsides* instead of the *insides*. Regardless of the age of someone, the *insides* of alcoholics are across the board: Hopelessness, despair, belief that I couldn't 'do life' without alcohol, using alcohol to 'reward' myself for a host of things, drinking over emotions, etc. Consequently, I'm not a fan of drunkalogs that don't include the misery of alcoholism.
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Re: Thinking on Meetings

Postby Brock » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:15 pm

Angry1541 wrote:What were your experiences? What do you think about how meeting are different for different generations? If you were in your 20s, would an old-timers meeting really be relatable, if you put yourself back in your 20 year old self?

Just something I am thinking about when trying to better talk with new comers as a 40 something.

My experience was very similar, in and out of AA over a period of years, each time using the ‘excuse’ that I wasn't as bad off as these old fellows. Always had a good ear for the differences, I had to drink after work every day, heard those who said they had to drink at lunch, out I go for a few years. Came back because I couldn’t get past lunch myself, I went to a few meetings until I heard some say they had to drink first thing each morning, great another excuse, I’m not that bad after all, and turned a deaf ear to those saying some ‘nonsense about yet.’ Well finally back with a story to beat them all, the fool who drinks from a plastic tube each morning, because his hands shake too badly to hold a glass or bottle.

And I think that story like yours, is fine to tell those newer and younger ones, but also with strong words about wishing I had listened to the ‘yet’ idea, and stopped when I first had the opportunity, the wasted years and pain I could have saved myself from. If you get them to believe the progressive nature of the disease, you can keep them coming, and get them willing to do the work.

tblue said -
Consequently, I'm not a fan of drunkalogs that don't include the misery of alcoholism.

Absolutely, people have to believe we visited hell, or something close, we are asking them to give up something which they usually feel they can’t live without. Unless we get them to believe that that something leads to a terrible place, we are unlikely to succeed.
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Re: Thinking on Meetings

Postby DesignatedDriver » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:12 pm

I stopped drinking two weeks before my 35th birthday. Even then I was still the youngest person at my first meeting. But I got enough identification from the stories in the room to feel that I was in the right place. My experience was usually that I wouldn’t indentify with everything that one person said, but I’d identify with one thing that every person said.

Would it have worked ten years ago in my mid-20s? It’s a question I’ve asked myself a lot since getting sober and I think the answer is “no”. But I don’t necessarily put that down to not having the experiences at that age, I put it down to not developing the mental and emotional resilience required until my 30s.

I couldn’t face life sober back then and for me getting sober has been all about learning to live with the madness, something I personally just didn’t have the tools to do when I was younger.

That’s just my experience though, everybody’s different.
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Re: Thinking on Meetings

Postby tomsteve » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:05 am

If you were in your 20s, would an old-timers meeting really be relatable, if you put yourself back in your 20 year old self?


depends.
if im comparing, no.
if im relating,yes.

one thing i had to do is realize them odtimers became oldtimers by doing one thing- they got sober.
they werent always old farts. MANY of them enteres AA at a younger age than i did.
blown away when i saw a guy get a 40 year coin. he was 58 years old.
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