Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

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Blue Moon
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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:49 pm

marymary wrote:Any thoughts? Thanks!
When I was drinking, there was little you could have said to convince me there was a problem.

As ex-smokers can be the bane of smokers, ex-problem-drinkers can be the bane of drinkers.

So I wonder about your agenda. If you're trying for alcohol reform, it hasn't worked in the past. So unless you're trying something different, you're indulging insanity - doing the same thing yet expecting a different result.

IMO the only true way to reform alcohol consumption is with education. Yet, as a group, we have no opinion on such issues. Our focus is on helping alcoholics to recover. To prevent is better than to cure, but prevention of alcoholism is well outside our realm of expertise.

And for you personally, I'd suggest you take a step back and ask yourself why the situation bothers you so much that you feel compelled to ask for suggestions in an AA forum.
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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by marymary » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:54 pm

I always learned in AA to speak for myself, sharing out of my personal experiences and not use the word 'you' too much (if ever). I do this. I did that. This is how I handled a similar situation. etc. etc. Although I appreciate your time to respond I question your need to call my motives out of order or, that I am practicing insane behavior.

I'm not trying to change drunks. I'm trying to change laws around how alcohol stores and bars sell with impunity - resulting in enormous amounts of DUI drivers, very serious injuries and deaths. I could also be changing laws about the width of toilet seats and have concerns about my competitors telling the world I'm an alcoholic. The story isn't as important as my feelings and last I checked it is still suggested to bring concerns to both my higher power and my other sick friends in recovery so that I can handle tough situations with the grace and dignity a recovering alcoholic in AA works to carry. Also, throwing in the towel isn't my bag. Laws are intended to be adjusted to accommodate society. If they weren't many of us would be walking around in stockades because we hadn't paid our bills. Putting my head in the sand is not an option as I am skilled in the elements I contribute along with a small team of community volunteers.

For the record I do not represent AA and did not mention that the words AA was what people have been gossiping. I'm just another sick drunk asking for some advice because the question will come and I now have a better understanding of how I can handle that situation. In the end, I merely asked a group I've trusted my life with for advice on a personal issue - that of being badgered in public about an illness I have. The people causing the problems happen to sell alcohol. They could be selling donuts for all I care. The point is I asked for personal advice for a personal feelings-related issue and for that I do not enjoy being questioned as to my motives.

Finally, when I get too worked up about someone else's program, which I hardly ever do anymore, I like to take a deep breath and question why is it I feel have to do so. Do I carry a special AA badge that helps me identify problems in another's program so that I can whip it out and dispense my advice? I also like to imagine what someone would do if I were not there. Would they handle it? Would they make it through the situation without my questioning them? Would my other AA comrades be able to fill in? Could they do without my wisdom? Sure they will. Power of the group right?

Thanks.

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Blue Moon
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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:07 pm

Uhm...

you asked for opinions. So why complain when you get what you asked for?

If your sensitivity to responses in the field is even close to the sensitivity you've portrayed to some well-reasoned responses here, I would not be surprised at you being "outed".

When I suffer from being overly sensitive, I take a step back and consider the situation. So the suggestion is based on my own ES&H.
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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by marymary » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:57 am

I'm not complaining. Just pointing out a practice I learned long to speak about myself and if the other person can relate great. If not no problem. :)
Last edited by marymary on Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by Steven F » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:16 am

hazel4 wrote:I deleted my posting, as I have so often before, in my personal understanding of a set of unwritten rules that, at the end of the day, are only the opinions of certain members with longer sobriety than I.
Hi Hazel,

It is not always easy to see what is "outside" and "inside". Especially if it is about stuff one has an opinion on (and for me, that is just about anything). The answer to where that is written, and whether or not it is an enforced opinion of some old-times, is in the traditions. I encourage you to start a thread under the "traditions" chapter of this forum, where you can ask all your questions about this openly and freely. Understanding (and perhaps even agreeing) where the borders are seems much better than to risk cultivating a grudge.

On this subject: somebody asking for guidance on how to deal with a problem relevant to her sobriety (in this case a possible conflict between being in AA and outside life) seems to me an inside topic. It has to do with how we partake in society, and with the question how to be a member of it without having to have the delusion that we need to control everything and everyone. In other words: there is a problem and we apply the steps to it. How do we practice these principles in all our affairs? How do we live sober?

The topic on what exactly is in that outside life contains would, for me, be an outside issue. I could discuss here how I best deal with a resentment I encounter in my business life, or how it is done to keep the fact that I am an alcoholic out of that business life. I should however not discuss what kind of business I do, and certainly not enter into debate whether that business is moral, legitimate, helpful to other alcoholics or whatever. Simply because even with non-controversial stuff, I am sure to get critical as well as "confirming" opinions. None of which will help anyone with applying the programme of AA.

There. As you see, this simple view alone may very well give material for refinement or debate. It kind of helps to make a mental distinction between what can and should be shared in a meeting, and what belongs around the coffee table fifteen minutes before and as long as you want after the meeting.

Please do me a favour: don't delete posts. If you must retract what you posted earlier, please just edit it to blank and perhaps state why you edited it. The forum gets very messy if we have to read discussions where elements are missing...

And is everyone happy, joyous and free? The ones I know who work the steps and apply the programme to their lives are - which is not to say they are trouble-free; just not gloomy, depressed, kill-joys, fanatic, neurotic, ... Even online, not seeing the faces of people, I could tell after a meeting or three or four who was normally happy and who was faking it or falling to pieces inside. I simply did what those first guys did, simply because they told me I could get what they wanted by doing it also. Works for me ;-).

*Edit* - I got the "At least one new post has been made to this topic. You may wish to review your post in light of this." message. Why is there a need to be so defensive? Insanity is not an insult. It is a part of our condition called alcoholism. It is something to watch out for - Ian even offered a definition to that word. No use throwing it back without exploring what it really means and why it seems to mean more derogatory things to me as a reader.

Mary, you asked the group for input on something relating your recovery. As far as I see it, the answers were relevant and hopefully helpful pertaining that. I for one am not going to give you my opinion on what exactly it is that you are trying to do. That would be an outside issue, and you probably wouldn't be interested anyway.

The only thing I would submit (and you can take that as you want) is that you also have a look at in how far your problem right now is not of your own making (second half of page 62). I don't want an answer to that; certainly not a reasoning why they are not or a debate how they might be. It is just a question everyone with issues needs to ask himself or herself, and I am only pointing out the question. Which is by the way also how I read the posts that seem to give offence.

This is not a chatbox, it is a forum. Stuff that is posted is not meant to give offence. It is meant to give food for thought. Shall we all proceed along that same line?

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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by marymary » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:26 am

Will do. Got the book off my shelf. Thanks Steven.

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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by FredG » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:55 am

My name is Fred and I'm an alcoholic

I belong to our local PI/CPC committee and It's our job to get out into the community to inform them of who we are and who we are not.

Perhaps your own local PI / CPC committee needs to be a little more active, or needs more members to help out. I don't know your district's situation so I'm just making assumptions here and I apologize for that. I just sounds to me like the community at large isn't as aware of the effects of the alcohol consumption as you are.

From following the thread though, I see another issue as well. If I read it correctly what started this is your job, is this correct? If so where is your employer in this ? It sounds like your community is attacking you personally for doing your job and your employer should be stepping up to the plate in your defense.

Either way, let go and let God. He'll pull you through any adversity. He has for me for 32 year

hazel4

Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by hazel4 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:11 am

Steven requested,

Please do me a favour: don't delete posts. If you must retract what you posted earlier, please just edit it to blank and perhaps state why you edited it. The forum gets very messy if we have to read discussions where elements are missing...
.........................................................................................
This is the first time anyone has found and responded to a post I had already deleted, therefore was unable to recover. Thank you for pointing out the correct procedure.

Thank you, too, for various other 'lessons' under this and other topics. Again, as on another topic, sincere apologies to anyone offended. I wish I could say it will not happen again !

Peace
Hazel

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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by marymary » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:05 pm

Hey Fred. Thanks for the message. I didn't think about asking my PI/CPC committee because it's not so much an AA issue as it is a local law issue. They must be aware of the problem as we're in the paper every day and the entire community (prevention community as well) knows our area is party-central.

Also, this isn't related to my job - just my volunteer work in the community.

I appreciate everyone's advice and wrote out a little prayer card for myself to remind me to:

Consider my day ahead asking God to
direct my thinking and give me inspiration,
That I be divorced from self-pity, dishonest
or self-seeking motives,
That He show me the next steps to take
while giving me whatever I need to do so
and that I may have freedom from self-will

So, thanks for the reminders.

M.

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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by ann2 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:34 pm

Dear M., hope you stick around and air other issues as well as respond to others in their problems. Great to meet you.

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

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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by Chris S. » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:57 pm

Hi Mary,

I think I see and understand what you are trying to do. And I agree that protection of the community is law enforcements #1 job. I can see that you are frustrated, feel persecuted, and are a little resentful over the way things are going with your movement.

The good, and sometimes bad, thing about our system of government is that we govern ourselves. The sales of alcohol in your community is really simple supply and demand. The sales are high because people are buying the stuff. So, consumption of alcohol is a personal choice and no one is going to change that. That is acceptance. Perhaps your target is in the catagory of things you cannot change. So what is it that really needs to change? Perhaps your local governments view, perception, and concern over the problem of drunken driving? Okay, good, that's a societial concern and not a personal one. So, the question is this, "How do I make one concerned over something they are not concerned about?" Well, in American politics, it all comes down to majority rule. Or in your communities case, perhaps "mob rule". But it basically comes down what does the majority of people in your community want? And if what they want is unjust, wrong, or harmful, how do you make them want something different?

The first thing you need are facts, and perhaps you already have these. It starts with public awareness. How many dui's are served per capita in your community vs. other communities in your state? Vs. similar sized communities in the United States? How many traffic accidents? Fatalities? Hospitalizations? Property damage? In other words, how much is ignoring this problem costing your community in terms of human life, security, and tax dollars? If in the collection of these facts, you can produce concrete numbers that demonstrate an undeniable dysfunction in your community, this will no longer be your personal crusade based upon your personal opinion. At that point, whether you are a recovering alcoholic or not becomes a moot point. You are now just a concerned citizen. With these facts, you will arouse the concern of fellow citizens, who feel as you do, but stay silent. This is where the majority begins to shift and politicians begin to take notice. Now, realize that many politician's campaign are funded by these purveyors of alcohol. Therefore, attacking the industry is not going to get you far anytime soon. You're target must upon the issue, the problem, which is the lack of enforcement, the lack of your elected officials attention to their primary responsibility, to serve and protect their constituency. Leave the bars, liquor stores and drunks alone. Focus strictly on the issue of drunk driving and it's cost to the community. This singleness of purpose, combined with undenialble facts, will create a community voice that elected officials will have no choice but to address. In summary, focus on the real problem, educate your community, and let them speak for you. And if they do not speak for you, you will have to give it to God and let Him/Her make them ready to listen, in God's time. Just be ready to speak when they are ready to listen.

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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by joey » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:31 am

Hi Mary,

This is Joey from India.

May I ask why you feel it is important to get the alcohol situation in your comunity under control ?

If I understand correctly, the bars and pubs are making money at the cost of people and it is doing a lot of damage. AS you know Alcohol is bad for an alcoholic, howver alcohol in itself is not bad. Should this not be issue of people who are suffering ? I think it is the families of those that are suffering that should be coming to you for help.

If I get a disease from eating too much meat, does that mean I go around trying to shut down slaughterhouses all over the country ?

I am not condoning those that are in your opposition but I'd like to ask, what is the real motive behind you going all out to speak up about the problem ?

P.S: I'm not questioning, just trying to understand.
Joey

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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by Lali » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:47 am

Didn't we determine that this is an outside issue? (Yawn)
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

hazel4

Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by hazel4 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:48 am

lisar wrote:Didn't we determine that this is an outside issue? (Yawn)
.........................................................

Agree Lisar - although the yawn was unnecessary and, to me personally, showing a total lack of empathy that beggars the question, why did you bother to post in such a boring situation?
...........................................................
Steven reminded,
"This is not a chatbox, it is a forum. Stuff that is posted is not meant to give offence. It is meant to give food for thought. Shall we all proceed along that same line?"'
............................................................
Ian stated. "you asked for opinions. So why complain when you get what you asked for?"
............................................................
Food for hought, Steven? I feel that reading previous posts will accomplish that, though maybe not in the way intended !!
............................................................
Chris...thank you for actually addressing the problem.
...........................................................
I came back to delete the post, but remembered Steven's instructions, so have edited severely. Hope acceptable.

Peace
Hazel

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Re: Outed as recovering - for political reasons: How to Handle?

Post by Steven F » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:36 pm

Dear all,

I feel responsible only for my own posts. I hope that's ok :wink:.

Hugs,
Steven

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