What do you want from AA?

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What do you want from AA?

Postby trent » Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:36 pm

What do you want from AA? An oldtimer asked me this when I was new. To be sober, I guess. The best answer I could come up with, thinking it was a trick question. I don't know what I wanted really, except something better. I wanted to feel better. But I could not suffiently comprehend the possibilities because I was so far down in the sewer already.

I have more then I ever wanted from AA. When I came here I despised myself, hated myself, tortured myself. Felt worthless, all the time. Today I would not trade me or my life with anyones. It is cool to be me. I learned that God can lift a person out of the sewer.
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Postby whitmore_fan » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:44 pm

I want/wanted help, guidance and support from a collection of people who really understood my alcoholism - I have always received all three from AA.

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Postby beginningagain7 » Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:05 am

When I first went to A.A. what I wanted was a system to cut down my drinking. Of course that isn't what I found. All they talked about was quitting drinking.

It wasn't until I went to see a Doctor, who told me that my blood count was way out of line, and then ended up in detox, and ending up in a half-way house. It was that time in my life that I started thinking maybe those A.A.er's were right. So I started to get serious and went to A.A. to find another way of living my life.

Today I am grateful that I choose to live my life the A.A. way. Working and doing the program. My life is so much better.

Have a good day,
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Postby LucasM » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:09 pm

I just want to live what I consider a normal life without drugs or alcohol which has been very hard to get used to. I don't wanna make friends though. I just want to be left alone and get better.
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Postby BigBookGirl » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:38 am

LucasM wrote:I don't wanna make friends though. I just want to be left alone and get better.


I hope you don't honestly feel that way. Hopefully you were just being provocative and trying to stir up some replies. If that's the case, I hope you don't ever show up at a meeting in my town and try to spread that negative attitude. :?

Actually, now that I think about it a bit more, have you received any help from fellow AAers since joining the fellowship? Notice the emphasis on the word fellowship? Anyone offer help when you were a newcomer? Explain the Steps and how things work? Ever drink any coffee at a meeting that somebody made? Ever relate to another alcoholic's story?

You get the picture? Sorry if I sound a little brash, but attitudes like that are dangerous. And certainly do not represent Alcoholics Anonymous and the fellowship. The place and people that saved my life. And I do everything I can today to surround myself with sane, happy, eager to help people that I can relate to. I call them friends. You can do it on your own, I suppose, but again, without that element of fellowship, I'm not sure there is much left. It's a lot more than reading a book and sitting in a meeting.
~Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.~ BB pg.76
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Postby Bill F » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:30 am

BigBook Girl is right. It is an oxymoron to say "I just want to be left alone and get better". You will not get better on your own and you will not stay better without others, which is the whole point of AA.
Knowing you don't know is wholeness
Thinking you know is a disease.
Only by recognizing that you have an illness
can you move to seek a cure. - Lao-Tzu
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Re: What do you want from AA?

Postby ann2 » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:30 pm

What do you want from AA?


24 hours of sobriety. Tallest order in the world for this alcoholic. And A.A. comes through every day.

Ann (ann2)
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
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Postby Blue Moon » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:32 am

BigBookGirl wrote:I hope you don't honestly feel that way. Hopefully you were just being provocative and trying to stir up some replies. If that's the case, I hope you don't ever show up at a meeting in my town and try to spread that negative attitude. :?


If I encounter anyone suffering from alcoholism, I'll be sure not to point them in the direction of your town. Heaven forbid they should disrupt the happy clique.
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Postby Blue Moon » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:37 am

LucasM wrote:I just want to live what I consider a normal life without drugs or alcohol which has been very hard to get used to. I don't wanna make friends though. I just want to be left alone and get better.


Given that drinking alcoholically is a symptom, rather than the cause, of untreated alcoholism, the only newcomers who bounce happily into the rooms are the newcomers who are spreading bullshit as they bounce back out again.

In order to recover, one thing I needed to do was become willing to feel differently about what I really thought I wanted.
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Postby BigBookGirl » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:22 am

Blue Moon wrote:
BigBookGirl wrote:I hope you don't honestly feel that way. Hopefully you were just being provocative and trying to stir up some replies. If that's the case, I hope you don't ever show up at a meeting in my town and try to spread that negative attitude. :?


If I encounter anyone suffering from alcoholism, I'll be sure not to point them in the direction of your town. Heaven forbid they should disrupt the happy clique.


It's not about being a happy clique. But we are quite a happy and rambunctious group! Maybe I didn't choose my words as well as I could have, or maybe I shouldn't have responded at all to that post. I got sober in a group that heavily defends the traditions and the Big Book, and emphasizes the importance of fellowship, and sometimes I get passionate about comments that seem at times to outright "go against" what I have come to love about AA. And the last thing I want to do is come across as being superior or that I know all the answers, because I know I don't. That is pretty much my battle today, restraint of tongue and pen.
~Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.~ BB pg.76
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Postby Blue Moon » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:23 am

BigBookGirl wrote:I got sober in a group that heavily defends the traditions and the Big Book, and emphasizes the importance of fellowship, and sometimes I get passionate about comments that seem at times to outright "go against" what I have come to love about AA.


As one of the two requirements for working the Steps is "if you want what we have", my dilemma in those befogged early days was trying to work out whatever it was "you have" so I could then decide whether or not I wanted it.

From my perception, "what you have" was a collection of happy, clappy, selectively-huggy group of people who, if you didn't fit in, would opt not to include you in the happy, clappy hugs.

On that basis, I really didn't want "what you have" at all. I simply wanted to stop feeling so damn lousy within myself, and didn't know where else to go.

Almost like it was yesterday, I remember standing in the middle of a roomful of AA members after a meeting, knowing full well that this room was the loneliest, most miserable place on earth for me to be.

I was not drunk. It might have been easier if I had been.

Without recovery, at times it seemed that one of the worst places for this alcoholic to be was in an AA meeting! I used to sit in meetings, trying to work hard at the program, thinking "none of this lot would care if I was here or not".

The probability of my recovery only increased when I gave myself a mental kick up the backside with a stern "you're not here for any popularity contest!"

Since then, by sticking around, I never cease to be amazed at how many of the "happy, clappy, selectively-huggy" people seem to end up drinking again.

I focused my efforts on a) getting better and b) trying to help others who suffer from this fatal malady we call "alcoholism"... the only malady I'm aware of that seems to become exponentially worse prior to recovery when the primary symptom (drinking alcohol) is in remission.

I also came to understand that the "fellowship" the book is trying to describe is the fellowship of having done the work. Until then, anyone sitting in AA meetings trying hard to "fit in" and be one with the happy, clappy, selectively-huggy crowd is like the boy whistling in the dark described in the Big Book on page 151.

To any newcomer, "what we have" is freedom from alcohol, both physically and mentally. Whether you're happy, sad, glad, rich, poor, living in a cardboard box or multi-room mansion, freedom from alcohol is the deal in this AA town. Living through anything from the joys of a newborn child to the violent death of a loved one, AA-based recovery offers freedom from that awful mental need for alcohol to live through it all.

If you want that, and are willing to go to any lengths to get it, then you're ready to take certain steps.

And the outcome of working the recovery program is that you'll get to know and be able to communicate with a few like-minded folk along the way, and feel some good benefits from doing so. Maybe not today, but do these things and one day you really will want to pass along to others, so they may also feel the benefit of really living sober.
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Postby BigBookGirl » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:55 am

Blue Moon wrote: And the outcome of working the recovery program is that you'll get to know and be able to communicate with a few like-minded folk along the way, and feel some good benefits from doing so. Maybe not today, but do these things and one day you really will want to pass along to others, so they may also feel the benefit of really living sober.


That's exactly what I want. My life is so great today. I owe it all to AA. Even when I find myself struggling with something, I can remember the last time I struggled and how it worked out when I just did the right thing and didn't fight. Working with others is a pleasure for me today, and I love that I have that opportunity. Especially when both people learn from each other.
~Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.~ BB pg.76
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Postby trent » Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:35 am

"Since then, by sticking around, I never cease to be amazed at how many of the "happy, clappy, selectively-huggy" people seem to end up drinking again. "

You think it is different for the not so happy, not so clappy, not so selectively-huggy types? Your wrong.

Most quiet or bubbly people will end up drinking again. Does not matter which way their personality leans.

Me and my wife are very much oppisit personalities, esppescially in the rooms of AA. Her the loud extremely social with tons of friends that will give anyone a hug in the rooms regardless how well she knows them shares in almost every meeting. Me the quiet shy one with few people that I hang out with (I hang out with more active drunks lately then I do with recoverying ones, go figure) that shares only when I really have something I have to say and would rather go home and burry myself in a good book then go watch a game with the guys.

I don't need to change to be more like her or others, she does not need to change to be more like me or the other quiet serious ones. Change will come regardless, but I have never figured out how to controll that change or which way it will go.

Don't try to divide the rooms by personalities, don't worry about what cliques you do or don't fit in or judge what cliques are more or less likely to stay sober then others. Stay sober an enjoy your life.
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Postby LucasM » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:08 am

Going to AA is fine but I want to go and listen and leave. I don't want to get up and share my story. It was pathetic when I was drinking just like everyone else's story is. I'm not the type that went to the bar all the time to make friends and drink. I hated the bars and I hated the people there and don't want any part of it. I drank alone and I want to be alone. I hate making fake smiles and making stupid conversation that would make the average person sick. When it comes down to it someone can go to all the meetings and rehab and counseling in the world but in the end they basically have to do it all on their own. I've been sober for 37 days which is a miracle for me so I must be doing something right. I don't care if people like the way I'm doing it because I'm gonna keep doing it that way because it works for me.
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Postby BigBookGirl » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am

I want to give back what was freely given to me by the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I realized early on that going to meetings was not working the program, and would one day, as evidenced by many many stories, that showing up and unloading my "problems" and not doing any work would eventually lead to my demise. I love to go to meetings today, but also know if I never went to one at all I would probably be fine too. I work those 12 Steps, and I carry the message. That's what keeps me sober. Have made many wonderful friends along the way, and have learned so many great lessons.

One of the neatest things that happened to me was quite awhile back, when a fellow newcomer shared their story, and how relatively mild their experience with alcohol had seemed to have been. A bottom that didn't quite seem as horrific as mine. For some reason, I liked to compare bottoms, and tried to figure out who was really a drunk and who wasn't....lol. Then someone shared, that it is our common solution that binds us as Alcoholics, not how much we drank or how far down we had sunk before reaching out for help. That solution is what I want today, and what I want to pass along.
~Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.~ BB pg.76
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