Question on esteemable acts ?

For recovery discussion

Postby Blue Moon » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:25 am

dennis wrote:No one here is qualified to diagnose that some person is or is not a real alcoholic.


I haven't seen anyone here even trying to do this.

But if you are a real alcoholic and want to get well, what I will say is that I hope and pray that you find a real alcoholic who's recovered who can help you, amidst the membership of AA.

I feel that the suggestions that people who don't follow some rigidly defined path to sobriety are either "not real alcoholics" or their sobriety is of some "low quality" or is not "true sobriety" are particularly unfortunate.


I suggest you read the book "Alcoholics Anonymous". It makes very clear distinctions between the "hard drinker" and the "real alcoholic".

The problem, and it is a problem, is that much of AA fellowhip has been taken over by a majority of "hard drinkers" who express a mistaken belief that the "real alcoholic" can "just don't drink and go to meetings"... a message which directly contradicts the message of Roland H, Bill W, Dr Bob, Bill D, Jim S, Clarence S, and others from the first 40 or so who had to find a spiritual solution to recover from alcoholism and hence not drink alcohol as a result.

I once sat in a meeting where two members were discussing another case ... "he didn't do one of those 2 things - he kept going to meetings, but he didn't not drink". Those guys, despite being "dry" for some time and sitting in an AA meeting, had no clue how to help a suffering alcoholic to recover using AA's program... yet it's the slippery newcomer who gets blamed for this collective ignorance.

If I could "just don't drink" why on earth would I even want to attend meetings, let alone take some other actions which were contrary to my old thinking and nature?

AA was not supposed to become a petting zoo. If you want to quit drinking, AA was founded on a method that really works. It's called "Steps" in today's language. It has worked for thousands over many years now. Broadly speaking, it's based on the premise of one alcoholic, having found a spiritual solution through taking certain actions to effect a beneficial psychic change so he's no longer cursed with having to think about / obsess over alcohol, carrying that recovery message and program of action to other alcoholics who were still bedevilled with that same obsessional thinking. They can then recover and offer the same message and recovery process to others.

If you find another method to stop drinking, that's great! But why on earth seek to replace or even water-down AA's "Steps" with it? I believe it's because people, having quit drinking on a non-spiritual basis, then feel a need to satisfy that "social instinct" gap that arises as a result. They can't hang out at the pub with their old mates, so they hang out in AA meetings with new mates instead. I don't have a problem with that. Hence there are now 2 types of AA: the meetings, and the program. But when they then start misrepresenting the program, such as "don't bother with the Steps until you've been sober at least a year", any member who's used AA's program to recover from alcoholism should be speaking out against the practice.

And the fact that a lot of people in AA seem to be doing it doesn't make it right.

Does speaking out against it make me unpopular? If so, I'd rather live with that than with the knowledge of staying quiet whilst alcoholics die because even AA seems hopeless, as I once nearly did.
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Postby Jim 725 » Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:32 am

Hence there are now 2 types of AA: the meetings, and the program.

Perhaps it might be more accurate to say, "There are now two types of AA members: those who use the meetings and those who use the program." There is still only one type of AA.
Jim S.

"Alcoholics Anonymous is a program based spiritual entity, not a fellowship based social entity."
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Postby dennis » Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:22 am

The majority of AA members aren't alcoholics?

Well I'm glad to find that out! Darn, I never knew that.

Just out of curiosity - where did you find that intresting fact at?
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Postby Blue Moon » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:01 am

dennis wrote:The majority of AA members aren't alcoholics?


Nobody said that either.

Why not stop claiming that people said what they did not say? My sponsor referred to it as "read the black bits".

Here's a little "factoid" for you: it's possible for an alcoholic to be "dry" for years in AA meetings without working any recovery program. My sponsor did - after about 7 years, he was angry, miserable and just about ready to die because he knew he couldn't drink, before he finally got on with the program. Another old-timer I knew was sitting in meetings after over 4 years of dry time, planning his next armed robbery, before "life" finally bit him on the rear sufficiently hard for him to either undergo the actions for change or spend a long time in jail.

You think they were sharing a recovery message before? No, they were sharing much of the same old BS that got them in here in the first place. And that's not my opinion - it's theirs!

Some just get miserable, many eventually drink again. I believe the 12&12 refers to it as "two-stepping". Always "just 1 drink away from a drunk", that's not how I want to live, and it's not what AA's recovery program offers.
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Postby trent » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:08 am

"The problem, and it is a problem, is that much of AA fellowhip has been taken over by a majority of "hard drinkers" who express a mistaken belief that the "real alcoholic" "
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Postby marietta » Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:32 pm

Dear Bickersons:

Where's your tolerance? Where's your serenity? Why scrutinize what everybody else is doing? I'm always reminded not to take anyone else's inventory. If your meetings are crappy or your Bill W.-endorsed AA Glossary is getting bent, go within your channels to fix it. And, like it or not, AA is an evolving entity. Here's your ground-floor opportunity to kindly, empathetically guide the process. Hey, I'm a drunk: I understand fury. All I'm saying is, take the energy that's all balled up in beating back the wolves and apply it where you can make a difference. Meetings, sponsorship, visiting the jails; start new meetings, if you need to. If you're not getting what you want or need from your AA meetings, take action. If nothing changes, nothing changes. Group Conscience, anyone?

Who cares if somebody is a low-bottom drunk, a high-bottom drunk, an obviously saturated drunk, a maybe-alcoholic, a multiply-addicted alcoholic, sent by the courts, sent by a spouse - the message is the same, isn't it? Either they want it or they don't, right? It's not up to us to do God's job. We just serve Him by carrying the message.

Do the best you can with what you've got. But let the other guy do the same. We are not the Stepford Drunks: if we were all alike, wouldn't somebody have developed some kinda "cure" for us by now??

"DING!" Back to your corners, Bickersons.

I love you all. You keep me sober. Be well.
"There can be nothing more frequent than an occasional drink." ~ Oscar Wilde
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Postby Bill F » Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:40 pm

Just want to weigh in to say that I have not experienced any meetings here in Tennessee that do not have a sufficient amount of members who have worked the program and make sure that it is talked about in the meeting.

When I find myself in a meeting where the message is not being talked about, I find it my obligation to talk about it. After all, the newcomers don't know any better, and that makes it my responsibility to say something.

If, on the other hand the people in that meeting do not want to talk about the program of AA - then I wish them luck and go find another meeting. There are plenty out there.
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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