Selfish?

For recovery discussion
Post Reply
User avatar
Brock
Trusted Servant
Posts: 4033
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Selfish?

Post by Brock » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:58 am

An AA lady I like, said in front of others at a meeting, that I was selfish for not carrying a phone around with me. They know I keep one in the car, and believe that’s where they belong, but according to her it’s selfish because someone may be trying to contact me.

I brushed that off as her trying to justify her own phone habits, however, my wife and myself sometimes wonder if it’s selfish or just a product of age, to miss family gatherings, or politely refuse invitations to certain functions or outings, simply because we don’t enjoy them. The days of going along to please others, and smiling even when you are not having a good time, are over for me, and I sort of justify that by thinking that acting is something practicing alcoholics do, like in the chapter ‘Into Action’ -
More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see.
So now that we are recovered, is it OK to politely turn down invitations, even if it’s to some family gathering or outing, (even AA), which we don’t enjoy? I think there are few ‘musts’ in life, and having to act like you are having a good time, is not one of them.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
Posts: 8467
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Selfish?

Post by PaigeB » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:49 pm

I almost NEVER engage with other alcoholics socially... maybe a chip celebration, but then again - mostly just at meetings. I continue to be invited to Friday night potlucks and the like, but I never go. People know that about me. I do enjoy women's retreats - large & small... but I prefer total Spirit based interactions - things that are scared between the prayers or one on one coffee times.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

User avatar
Spirit Flower
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1475
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: Selfish?

Post by Spirit Flower » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:25 pm

I don't like restaurant food or small talk; and I have work outs that need to be done. So you won't find me going out very often. I don't celebrate Christmas and so don't go to any parties. But then, I don't watch TV, go to movies, eat meat, participate in religion, or many other so called normal things.

I think turning down invitations has more to do with being your own person than a recovering alcoholic.
...a score card reading zero...

User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1338
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Selfish?

Post by positrac » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:06 am

Brock,
This obsession is a product of age and addiction! I have a phone and it rarely rings unless it is a family, a few friends, and maybe work. I rarely text as I am old school and like to talk. When I was driving I used it more to break the time up and boredom and it has its purpose. I keep my phone at home and or in the car most of the time and unless I know I have some engagement I'll carry with me.

I remember life before cells and I wonder how we survived?

Lastly addiction------people can not even talk at the table anymore as they text each other! Seriously? nuff said.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

User avatar
avaneesh912
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 5241
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Selfish?

Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:00 am

Everybody gonna have some opinion about it. I too sometimes feel I should leave the phone in the car because I sometimes start checking quotes/mail and sometimes even press the wrong button and Siri goes what can I do for you. Its all upto to your higher power guidance. Even few decades ago there was a age where there was just landlines, people survived. There is a place for everything. That one hour in a meeting, should be just for that.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

tomsteve
Forums Contributor
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:25 am

Re: Selfish?

Post by tomsteve » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:27 am

the only time i leave my house with my phone is when im heading out for at least overnight. the rest of the time i try and keep it in the same place- on the kitchen counter?.selfish?nope. if someone calls needing help, they can call someone else.
my first sponsor used to carry a phone with him. one day he realized that in a years time he had 2 calls from alkies that were wanting help. he stopped carrying the phone with him.
some people havent realized they just arent that important.
my sponsor today made it plain and clear to me and i do it to others: i dont know all the answers and am not always available to answer a call so have other numbers to call.
i decline invitations regularly. selfish? dam straight. im not gonna go somewhere that isnt going to be enjoyable and/or just a gossipfest.

Brock wrote:An AA lady I like, said in front of others at a meeting, that I was selfish for not carrying a phone around with me. They know I keep one in the car, and believe that’s where they belong, but according to her it’s selfish because someone may be trying to contact me.

I brushed that off as her trying to justify her own phone habits, however, my wife and myself sometimes wonder if it’s selfish or just a product of age, to miss family gatherings, or politely refuse invitations to certain functions or outings, simply because we don’t enjoy them. The days of going along to please others, and smiling even when you are not having a good time, are over for me, and I sort of justify that by thinking that acting is something practicing alcoholics do, like in the chapter ‘Into Action’ -
More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see.
So now that we are recovered, is it OK to politely turn down invitations, even if it’s to some family gathering or outing, (even AA), which we don’t enjoy? I think there are few ‘musts’ in life, and having to act like you are having a good time, is not one of them.

User avatar
Spirit Flower
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1475
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: Selfish?

Post by Spirit Flower » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:56 am

I leave the phone in the car during meetings unless I am expecting a call; like the plumber or something.
...a score card reading zero...

DesignatedDriver
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:20 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Selfish?

Post by DesignatedDriver » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:58 am

I think selfishness can be pretty subjective and the ones who make the accusation are often the most guilty of it. My selfishness as a drunk cost me a lot friends and no less personal honour. But in sobriety I've also drifted away from a lot of people because a lot of the time I'd just rather do my own thing than be encumbered by other people's whims and fancies.

Before I became a drunk I was a loner and an introvert. During my 18 years as a drunk I was a people-pleaser with a false sense of confidence that was all just for show. In the last year or so since I got sober I've become more like the loner and introvert that I was before drink but I've learned that that's just who I am and there's nothing wrong with it. I can cope in social situations well enough, I'd just prefer not to most of the time. I've learned to live with myself and to accept myself and I think I'm the better for it.

Db1105
Forums Contributor
Posts: 301
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:32 am

Re: Selfish?

Post by Db1105 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:15 pm

I remember when I was first getting sober was to make sure I had a few dimes in my pocket along with a list of phone numbers when leaving the house in case I needed to call someone. There were phone booths everywhere. Sometimes I had to make several calls because no one had answering machines. And, I had to actually dial the phone. I don’t know how we survived. ;) =wink

User avatar
Blue Moon
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3676
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Selfish?

Post by Blue Moon » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:25 pm

Brock wrote:An AA lady I like, said in front of others at a meeting, that I was selfish for not carrying a phone around with me.
Maybe she needs to mind her own damn business. I wonder how on earth did alcoholics sober up when they had to walk to a phone booth and dig around for a coin?
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

Frihed89
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:23 am

Re: Selfish?

Post by Frihed89 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:03 am

Brock wrote: So now that we are recovered, is it OK to politely turn down invitations, even if it’s to some family gathering or outing, (even AA), which we don’t enjoy? I think there are few ‘musts’ in life, and having to act like you are having a good time, is not one of them.
The good times I had as an active alcoholic were all about alcohol. When I chose to take alcohol out of my life that left me with 0 opportunities to have a good time in recovery. It happened, by accident or by following God's will. I was asked to be the coach of a T-ball game in which my son was participating. I didn't want to do it at all, but I accepted anyway. In the last inning we were behind by 1 run. The next player up to bat was a little girl who could never even come close to hitting the ball. I thought about sneaking in a ringer to hit for her, so we could win. I decided not to. On her first swing her bat barely touched the ball and it dribbled off the T a few feet to the right. Everyone on the other team, didn't move. They had no idea what to do. My girl on first started to running. My guy on second just stood there. He didn't know what to do. Their coach started yelling angrily to the catcher to throw the ball to second base where my two players were standing. The catcher looped his throw into center field. My batter figured she should run to first, and did. The other two took off and scored. We won.

For the first time since I had stopped drinking, I felt this sudden feeling of happiness flowing over me. I was having fun, and I knew instinctively I needed more of this.

The next week, I took my son to a theme park. We had a gorgeous time. And so on....

OP, try to have some fun, even if the feeling is alien. Seek out fun. It's right in front of you.

tomsteve
Forums Contributor
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:25 am

Re: Selfish?

Post by tomsteve » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:33 am

Blue Moon wrote:
Brock wrote: I wonder how on earth did alcoholics sober up when they had to walk to a phone booth and dig around for a coin?
or even earlier when meetings werent worldwide. when the BB got out just after the jack alexander article and people were getting sober with nothing more than the big book. having to send letters back east and wait for a reply!

User avatar
Brock
Trusted Servant
Posts: 4033
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Selfish?

Post by Brock » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:34 am

Frihed89 wrote:For the first time since I had stopped drinking, I felt this sudden feeling of happiness flowing over me. I was having fun, and I knew instinctively I needed more of this.
That was a lovely example of how enjoyment can come from unexpected sources, even when we weren't keen to do it in the first place.
OP, try to have some fun, even if the feeling is alien. Seek out fun. It's right in front of you.
Thanks, but I was speaking about turning down invitations to things I don’t enjoy, and how that might be viewed by some as selfish, and am happy to see that others here don’t think it is. There are many enjoyable things I do because I want to, my sober life is great.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

User avatar
Roberth
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 702
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:53 pm
Location: In The High Desert of California
Contact:

Re: Selfish?

Post by Roberth » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:58 am

Hello Brock I wouldn’t read too much into the statement the women told you. If I am relying on only one person I would be in trouble. With that said let me really get your mind going. Please know that the following it not what you should do but only what I have learned on my journey that works for me.
What I was taught was:
1. I use my full name in meeting
2. I have a listed home phone number (most didn’t have cells back then)
3. I add my number to the call list at Central Office
4. I always pickup or return called regardless of the time.
I have answered a lot of calls at 1 AM, some from people in recovery having trouble, and some just a lonely drunk wanting to talk but the funny part is in 26 years I have not had to make a 1 am call for help. I keep doing these things so I don’t have to make that 1 AM call. I wonder if that woman would call me selfish.
Robert
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!

Post Reply