When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

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Ken_the_Geordie
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When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by Ken_the_Geordie »

From what I've learnt, a share that carries a strong message will focus on the recovery; and not 'war stories' as Chris R (of speakertape fame) calls them.
A member here also gave some good advice, which I follow about sharing about the phenomenon of craving, the mental obsession, and the spiritual malady. I will also always try to use the BB in my shares, for example how applying an area of it to a situation has actually worked.

I also try my best to get my ego out of the way and share honestly, and to carry a strong message, but I'm sure it could be improved, so I would like to hear your views on how to 'carry a strong message'.

Thanks.
I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)

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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by joey »

War stories are an important part of the share , they help addicts identify with the bottoms that the person sharing has gone through and that is what gives them the courage to get sober. After all if the speaker was in the same boat that the listener is and could get sober, then the listener can as well.

When I went to my first meeting I didn't quite believe that it would be possible to ever not drink again. I sat through the meeting and to be honest I did nothing to change that belief. After the meeeting however, a gentleman came up to me and introduced himself and said he had 11 years sober. THAT made be believe that maybe sobriety was indeed possible. After I liostened to the shares of a few other people over the next 2 meetings I was convinced of 3 things that I probably would have dismissed a month ago.

1) That Alcoholism is a disease
2) That I was alcoholic and
3) The solution had to include complete abstinence forever.

At that point the solution did not seem very appealing but I was however fully convinced that there was no way in the world I could ever drink socially again.

I believe that war stories are an integral part of the share , however they should not be the focus. Too often at F2F meetings, there are those that use their share to brag about how much liquor they could hold, how they never got hangovers, etc.
Joey

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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by Mike O »

"War stories" are important as long as they are told with the intention of helping another alcoholic.

If they're told just for the sake of telling them they are of no use I feel.

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Karl R
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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by Karl R »

The directions for sharing our stories are on p. 58
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now.
cheers,
K.

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Marc L
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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by Marc L »

Shoot straight... :lol:

Marc
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12th Step work ain't just a job... It's an Adventure.

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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by hazel4 »

Hello Ken

Just a personal opinion, but, for me, ESH. means exactly that. Experience (war stories) Strength (the way out of the gutter) and Hope (If they can envisage a future anyone can), but each of these reported, not indulged in.

For me the strongest message was and is, a quiet share from a person who has, equally quietly, passed through the gates of Hell - or whatever the worst scenario in their belief - and emerged stronger for the experience. I do not need an orator, only a person who has found that spiritual je ne sais quoi that still eludes me...but if they can do it...perhaps I can borrrow a little of their hope.

You appear to be walking the walk and talking the talk. Why try to improve with unnecessary semantics?

Peace
Hazel

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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by walkshaw »

Karl R wrote:The directions for sharing our stories are on p. 58
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now.
cheers,
K.
Thanks Karl for this quote, as this is what I was taught & believe should be done in meetings. I was told that we share enough of what we were like for the sole purpose of helping another identify with the hopelessness we felt, the phenomenon of craving, insanity of that first drink, and the progressive nature of our spiritual malady (illness); however, the focus of what I should share when telling my ES&H is on "what happened" (the action of taking Steps 1-9), and what I'm like now (living Steps 10-12 daily). The message of HOPE is what got my attention in early sobriety, and remains vital today for newcomers & old-timers alike :) Had I come into AA and only heard "war stories" & "doom & gloom" of those unhappy in sobriety, I most likely would have headed for the nearest exit! I've noticed many folks only share "war stories" because they haven't taken the Steps & don't have any true experience in sobriety to share with others. When I first came in, I was told to listen & learn - which I did. I only knew how to generate more "war stories" & unhappiness, as I hadn't yet taken the Steps & learned a spiritual way to true inner peace & happiness.
With gratitude, hugs, & prayers... Patti

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Karl R
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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by Karl R »

"in a general way what we used to be like"

and then....

"what happened" (the defeat where step 1 became a reality combined with the hope that sanity might be restored combined with a decision...etc...etc..)

and then

"what we are like now" (after the pathway of the steps has become a reality in our lives)

without having taken the pathway one can't share on anything but the first third of the triad. :-)

thanks Patti. :-)

cheers,
Karl

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ronin
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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by ronin »

When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

From what I've learnt, a share that carries a strong message will focus on the recovery; and not 'war stories...
As for my 'war story,' I take a cue from the BB, where one out of twelve steps mentions the problem, and the rest deal with the solution. So I try to keep my history down to no more than a twelfth of my allotted time.

What makes a particular person's message a strong or weak one, for me, is heart. If the person is speaking from his/her heart, using their own words, and sharing their personal ESH in the program, that has a lot more impact on me than someone who is sharing what they've read or what their sponsor has said, or the person who has a too polished and witty delivery, or any of the myriad ways folks seem to find to talk the talk, with or without walking the walk.

Great question, Ken.

Ron

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Ken_the_Geordie
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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by Ken_the_Geordie »

It's interesting to read your views guys. I've invited a guy to share at my homegroup, whose a real hardcore AAer; he's well known (though not by me); and the guy whom I did my Step 5 with, whose got 38 years sobriety said to me to let him know when this hardcore AAer visits, so he knows not to turn up.

So I asked 'why?', and the reason given was that this guy doesn't talk about his drinking, just the steps and BB.

It's easy to get some conflicting messages in our Fellowship isn't it?
I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)

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Karl R
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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by Karl R »

Yeah....at times we can become preachers rather then teachers can't we?

All three parts of the triad are important. Identification for the newcomer with our story. The "what happened" of defeat, surrender, and hope. And, of course, the wonderful what it's like now. :-)

The problem, the admission to the problem and belief that there may be a solution, and the solution which is outlined in the BB and actuated through the steps.

In reading through Dr. Bob and the Good Old Timers it's interesting how they were concerned with adapting their stories for the best effect. And finding the right story and the right story teller to hook each newcomer whom they put into a hospital bed. Those guys spent some time thinking about just this topic Ken.

In one way one can never get far from the message of AA if one shares one's ES and H in the light of the problem and solution depicted in the BB and solvable through the steps can one? After all, that's why those guys put the book together wasn't it?

cheers,
Karl

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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by Marc L »

Amphetamines, Barbituates, Narcotics and Opiates are not a part of my story.
In a Drug Addict's eyes my experience with alcohol would not have much value...
Alcoholics and Drug Addicts are different animals.
Girls with the girls and boys with the boys kind of thing.

Marc
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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by Ken_the_Geordie »

When I share and I don't know if there's newcomers in the room or not, I try to avoid using terms like 'physical allergy' unless I'm going to explain them; being an ex-soldier, we were taught that when dealing with the public to avoid using military jargon; it just confuses the civilians; and I think the same applies to AA. I remember sitting in a meeting in the early early days and a lady said she knew she was an alcoholic because she had the physical allergy, the mental obsession, and the spiritual malady, and I remember thinking 'Eh? I'm an alcoholic because I cannot stop drinking and it's killing me!! What exactly is her problem again?" So I will either avoid using or actually explain AA jargon. I also think by explaining what can be strange sounding phrases, it makes us less 'secret cult' sounding; I'm just a bloke off the street at the end of the day.
I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)

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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by ann2 »

It's been awhile since I shared in a meeting, but for me the important thing is to allow myself to be used by my higher power. And letting myself be vulnerable. So, I generally talk about Finding recovery over a long period, how it took me 17 years to expereince serenity, what changes happened in my life thanks to simply following the directions. So I mention the idiotic things I did bfore. My "war stories" are really too personal to share in public, so I refer to them generally, saying i had reached a point of utter desperation. I talk about how much I rely on AA and people in it, and how I have come to believe in a power greater than myself -- because even though I "believed" I never applied that knowledge to handling my life.

What's a "strong" message? Maybe someone needs a regular-sized message. Who knows? If one person is helped, I am more than rewarded. At any rate, I try to share for my own sobriety, and keeping the steps in the forefront helps me.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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Re: When sharing your ESH, what carries a strong message?

Post by Marc L »

When I share openly at a meeting I keep it simple.
This is who/what I am and this is what happened.
If you want your life to get better then do this...
And I provide examples or a relevant topic for discussion. Daily reflections are often useful for that sort of thing.

Marc
Recovery won't just happen by Osmosis. You gonna' have to work at it some.
12th Step work ain't just a job... It's an Adventure.

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