Sharing Experience

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Sharing Experience

Postby Greywolf » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:34 am

I'm not smart enough to know how to quote the following by Brock in another thread but I was astounded to read what he shared without so much as a "In my opinion."

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, (the problems they had with alcohol), strength (the strength they received from working the steps and having a spiritual awakening, not from just attending meetings), and hope (especially to have all newcomers leaving with hope for their own recovery by doing the steps), with each other that they may solve their common problem and help other to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.

I've been attending AA meetings and haven't had a drink or substitute since July 5, 1963. I've been to meetings in Mass, NH, Vt, NY, Ct, Va, NC, SC, Ga, Fl, Tx, and CA that I remember and this is the first time I've ever heard
the sharing of "Experience" from the Preamble cited as "(the problems they had with alcohol),.

In every instance of sharing experience in discussion meetings has been about experience with the topic, be it a step, slogan, or other topic.
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Re: Sharing Experience

Postby Brock » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:42 pm

...but I was astounded to read what he shared without so much as a "In my opinion."

Please keep in mind, that my ‘modified’ preamble came after you said this -

“When did AA cease to be a fellowship and become a program? THE PREAMBLE was introduced in the June 1947 issue of the AA Grapevine magazine.”

You then quoted the preamble and said -

“These steps were once suggested as a program of recovery. There seems to be a misunderstanding that AA is a program and these steps constitute that program.”

Well I was trying to counter that statement, because I absolutely believe that AA is a program, and the steps constitute that program, and you are saying I am one of those suffering from this so called misunderstanding. So I took the same preamble and put in red what I believe those who wrote it had in mind, and your main grouse seems to be this -
I've been to meetings in Mass, NH, Vt, NY, Ct, Va, NC, SC, Ga, Fl, Tx, and CA that I remember and this is the first time I've ever heard the sharing of "Experience" from the Preamble cited as "(the problems they had with alcohol),.

In every instance of sharing experience in discussion meetings has been about experience with the topic, be it a step, slogan, or other topic.

Either you didn’t understand, or you are lucky that every meeting in all those states was a discussion with a topic, the way I wish all meetings were. Surely after all these years, you have been to countless meetings where the chair just calls a name to share, without any specific topic being mentioned, probably 90% of the meetings in my area are like that. And that is why I say the sharing of experience is about problems with alcohol, unless like some folks you support the modern idea, of sharing experience about a sick cat, or a bad day at work, the type of sharing which I believe is killing AA today. From your other posts I don’t believe you do support that idea.
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Re: Sharing Experience

Postby tomsteve » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:58 pm

in my opinion, i have absolutely no idea what this thread is about. :D
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Re: Sharing Experience

Postby tomsteve » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:05 pm

Brock wrote:

, unless like some folks you support the modern idea, of sharing experience about a sick cat, or a bad day at work, the type of sharing which I believe is killing AA today. From your other posts I don’t believe you do support that idea.


oh lordy what a flashback!
i stopped into a meeting i hadnt been to in a while. a woman had returned from another trip back to the bottle. she went on about people at work, the dog stealin her teeth of the nightstand and chewing them up.....on and on for 10 minutes about problems. i spoke up and asked if this had anything to do with the topic or recovery.
" we allow people to do that because it helps them stay sober" is what the chairperson said.
ummm...someone comin back again from a drunk rattling on about nothin helps them stay sober. ummmm.....
i stopped going to that meeting because it was nothing but problem based.
and a great reason why newcomers should be listening instead of talking for the first 30 days. :)
they dont have much more than problems to share with the next sick and suffering alcoiholic.
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Re: Sharing Experience

Postby Layne » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:38 pm

When shares about sick cats, bad days at work, what is killing AA today,etc. start to drive me crazy, I figure my higher power is sending me a message that my self will is running riot again. I mean after all, I do know best. If only other people would just listen and follow my lead everything would be hunky dory. Oh wait, this has already been covered on pages 60-61 of the big book. Never mind... :~)
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Re: Sharing Experience

Postby No Bovine Scat » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:59 pm

Brock wrote:
...but I was astounded to read what he shared without so much as a "In my opinion."

Please keep in mind, that my ‘modified’ preamble came after you said this -

“When did AA cease to be a fellowship and become a program? THE PREAMBLE was introduced in the June 1947 issue of the AA Grapevine magazine.”

You then quoted the preamble and said -

“These steps were once suggested as a program of recovery. There seems to be a misunderstanding that AA is a program and these steps constitute that program.”

Well I was trying to counter that statement, because I absolutely believe that AA is a program, and the steps constitute that program, and you are saying I am one of those suffering from this so called misunderstanding. So I took the same preamble and put in red what I believe those who wrote it had in mind, and your main grouse seems to be this -
I've been to meetings in Mass, NH, Vt, NY, Ct, Va, NC, SC, Ga, Fl, Tx, and CA that I remember and this is the first time I've ever heard the sharing of "Experience" from the Preamble cited as "(the problems they had with alcohol),.

In every instance of sharing experience in discussion meetings has been about experience with the topic, be it a step, slogan, or other topic.

Either you didn’t understand, or you are lucky that every meeting in all those states was a discussion with a topic, the way I wish all meetings were. Surely after all these years, you have been to countless meetings where the chair just calls a name to share, without any specific topic being mentioned, probably 90% of the meetings in my area are like that. And that is why I say the sharing of experience is about problems with alcohol, unless like some folks you support the modern idea, of sharing experience about a sick cat, or a bad day at work, the type of sharing which I believe is killing AA today. From your other posts I don’t believe you do support that idea.



Brock, I agree discussion meetings are the best. I go to a 12 and 12 every week for the last 5 year. I can damn near recite te book verbatim. But at least 8 out of 10 meetings I hear something either I missed before or never heard. That's how I learn.

But I do go to at least one lead a weak. I do that as a reminder of what I was and what I can still be if I choose to drink again. Plus, the meetings I attend do not discourage people from talking about their drug usage. I myself am just a drunken idiot who qualified for the label of "alcoholic". But I still need to hear about drugs either in leads or discussions. They are a good reminder that although I was never an addict, that person can still be me.

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Re: Sharing Experience

Postby Brock » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:19 pm

When shares about sick cats, bad days at work, what is killing AA today,etc. start to drive me crazy, I figure my higher power is sending me a message...

Lucky thing nobody said it was driving them crazy, but just two pages prior to 60 it suggests how we might speak - “Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now.” It’s easier to ignore the fact that some prefer instead to speak about life’s problems, and just say nothing about it, rather than run the risk of someone hinting that our self will is running riot. But somehow I feel those who speak out, about what they perceive as drawbacks to the newcomer getting the AA message at meetings, are acting more responsibly than those who say nothing.
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Re: Sharing Experience

Postby Layne » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:56 pm

There are times that shares and people drive me crazy, as I admitted to previously. Usually when that happens, it is my self that is will raising it's ugly head. How I react after that occurs, provides me with valuable input about the level of my humility, as long as I stay open minded and don't get misled by my ego.
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Re: Sharing Experience

Postby Greywolf » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:58 pm

Brock wrote:
Surely after all these years, you have been to countless meetings where the chair just calls a name to share, without any specific topic being mentioned, probably 90% of the meetings in my area are like that. And that is why I say the sharing of experience is about problems with alcohol, unless like some folks you support the modern idea, of sharing experience about a sick cat, or a bad day at work, the type of sharing which I believe is killing AA today. From your other posts I don’t believe you do support that idea.

I've been mostly to one meeting a week for the last 30 years that meeting we all drift off the topic but there is a topic. My 1st home group was a men only, closed discussion meeting in Woburn, Mass nearly 55 years ago. The chairman was ready with a topic. Topics were easier then because the range of topics was so much greater when the primary purpose was to stay sober and help another alcoholics achieve sobriety. So, no I don't remember there not being a topic. May have been meetings without topics at meetings other than my home group then but if there were, I don't remember them. I was single and going nearly every night. I cut back to 4 or sometimes 5 meetings a week when I met my first wife. =biggrin

One other thing. When a meeting is going on a non AA tangent. I step up and subtly put it back on track. Old-timers can get away with that. :wink:
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Re: Sharing Experience

Postby Brock » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:36 am

One other thing. When a meeting is going on a non AA tangent. I step up and subtly put it back on track. Old-timers can get away with that.

Thanks for the information about your meetings, I am afraid where I live there is just one meeting a week with a topic, it’s a Sunday morning step study and is my home group.

I have the greatest respect for old timers with the sort of experience you have, there was one fellow Joey with years in AA similar to yours, he was too old to drive but his house was on my route to a Tuesday meeting he enjoyed. For a few years I took him to and from that meeting, and our informal AA chats during those drives is where I learned a great deal. He was one who also had the ability to get meetings back on track.
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Re: Sharing Experience

Postby JungianRecovery » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:33 am

It's fine if members want to discuss problems, just do it in a certain way:

1. mention the problem
2. your reaction to the problem; how it feels
3. take responsibility for the feeling
4. be thankful you're doing something about it; after all you are at a meeting.

Employing a plot structure to our shares allows us to share about anything while helping other people with the share.
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Re: Sharing Experience

Postby Brock » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:01 am

If newer people who don’t know better want to spill out their personal problems, a little of that is reasonable to allow, often a good chairperson would mention that we will help them with that after. To my mind the damage is caused by those who say I am X years sober, and then complain about life's problems, where is the hope in that for the newcomer. In the early days of AA they recognized that new members might want to do this, and in the chapter ‘A Vision For You,’ they mention setting aside one meeting a week for it -
Aside from fellowship and sociability, the prime object was to provide a time and place where new people might bring their problems.
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