Not sure

Want different titles on these forums? Got some other good ideas? Talk about them here.

Not sure

Postby positrac » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:16 am

In this life we have a lot of opinions about just about anything that comes up. I have some views on AA and the purpose as I have some back ground on this view. My grandmother came into AA in 11/1955 and back then women weren’t a common sight and hence the 13th step kind of came alive. But my point is that she died sober with over 40 plus years and she stopped going to meeting after 10 years of continuous sobriety.
When I became clean and sober I was able to speak with her about this new life and at the time I was clueless of all of the jargon she spoke of. As time went by the new life wasn’t so new and I had learned this new life and like I said it was ok. I was quite awkward because people my age were still partying all night and doing what young folks do and I was out of that life style. So after a lot of service work and lessons in giving back I felt more at home with the concept and the way of life in which I had chosen. One point was I felt that I wasn’t to stay in AA forever as I went to meetings daily and had my BB, 12X12 and O/D in place and I rarely took time away from the rooms. I am not sure if I burnt myself out or if this was my calling to live without having to find approval in the rooms. I mean living without the drink has many sides to it from a positive side to the negative white knuckle. I do however know that one thing did lead to me leaving and it was personalities over principles as few people to me became points of disruption in the meetings and I knew it was easier to walk away instead of having a long resentment about them as they were clueless of what the issues was in the first place. The serenity prayer tells me this and so I opted to leave and not make amends later
I stopped going to meetings fulltime and I found I grew up as some people I knew were decent and were living and semi walking the talk and weren’t totally being mushrooms. But I found I gapped myself into a whole other arena and I wasn’t better than they were I just grew into a different person. I had not forgotten my last drink and I sure knew I wasn’t a person who could drink as I tried so many times before and failed.
So what I found which is the hardest part of life on life’s terms is when I live my life in a closed circle it never fails I get bite right dead in the butt! Someone or something will jam me up and I get angry and frustrated as they have tread into my little world. I think AA kept me more flexible to those kinds of personalities. See when I was taking meetings into jails I had to briefly endure those kinds of personalities and they had forgotten that I didn’t have a stupid sticker on my forehead as I had the experience they lacked as they were in jail and I had my freedom.
So recently I fell victim to what I call is the Bill W. portion of early AA life with hustlers and scammers taking advantage of the goodness of a person. I allowed this person to stay with me and as a requirement they had to keep working, get some legal stuff addressed and answered by a specific date. For the most part that person did achieve those requirements and it was not with some drama and BS and disrespect. I had to verbally reprimand this person on 3 different occasions because of some un-necessary BS they started. The other night it came to head that they weren’t coming back and so I packed their belongings and set it outside. Was I angry? Yes because I failed myself as I wanted some success more than they did. I mean this person had lived for 29 years in the “been done wrong” side of life. I had to ask to be notified if they were not coming home as I wanted to ensure they weren’t in jail. I believed that is a fair request, and or I had to say here is the towel so you can shower as a hint to use the rain locker and knock the funk off…. Seriously? So at the end of the day I like the person I just don’t like the attitude and the outlook they have. I clearly explained myself and it was the fight that was more important than the self-truth they heard.
So I’ve made a decision that I will no longer allow myself to be treated like a door mat because it is convenient! I don’t need to drink over this and outside of the mental rent free portion I feel better than I did after this stuff went downhill. Life has a lot of “coined phrases” and it is hard sometimes.
For me what I took from AA and what I need from AA is good intentions and yet keeping it honest. I am sure some of the experts on here might jack me up for all of the things I am not doing-----or not explaining I am doing as a means to have mental stability. In which I would reply that I may take under suggestion.
I don’t have a fan base like many folks who need that kind of life to feel complete. I stay to myself and I rarely get out because of that. I have a classic car and so I go out and show it and drive it about and it does generate a certain amount of attention. I meet and greet and have fun and then I go home and do my thing.
Sorry for the long read.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Not sure

Postby PaigeB » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:40 am

Welcome positrac. Glad you found us! I am sure that you will find many people here who do not go to the Face to Face meetings and thrive here in online AA. Look around, say hello, check out our online and email AA venues too.

I am reminded of how lucky I am to have a great AA community which I attend 3-4 meeting a week, less when the snow falls... but I am here daily! Keep coming!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 10391
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Not sure

Postby ann2 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:32 am

Hi and welcome. I'm Ann, alcoholic and I'm glad you posted here. Something about your story made me think about how we alcoholics often try to fix others. This is why a group is useful -- if we take these opportunities to someone else and they agree to help, then we know it's not our ego managing the show.

I understand what you're saying about problems in groups. But i think that further application of the steps is the answer, not avoidance. Sure you don't have to attend meetings. The solution is in the Big Book. The thing is, meetings are like a free card, they are a place where we meet problems that come up later in the "real" world. It's happened to me again and again. I will encounter a situation in an AA group that is terribly difficult to me. Because I want to stay in the group, I will find the way forward. Once that meant two years of reading my spiritual literature and avoiding another person. It worked, and then, oddly enough, the same situation popped up in regards to my daughters' school. If I hadn't gone through what I did in AA, I never could have behaved well in circumstances that frankly were much more important.

I am not trying to get you back to meetings. In fact, IMO you are back in a meeting. This online group is a wonderful resource and serves as my AA contact admirably. I do service here, sponsor and run into personality conflicts right and left :) very useful.

Another thing about online AA that I in particular meshed well with was the fact that I can understand what people say better through text. I often misinterpret, based on my not understanding the people themselves, but for me it works better because I am no longer trying to filter out their confusing facial expresssions and other f2f distractions.

Most people miss those things of course :wink:

So anyway, welcome! Glad you found us and I hope you take a tour around and get comfortable. Give a shout if you have any questions.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
User avatar
ann2
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 8687
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: Not sure

Postby positrac » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:09 am

PaigeB wrote:Welcome positrac. Glad you found us! I am sure that you will find many people here who do not go to the Face to Face meetings and thrive here in online AA. Look around, say hello, check out our online and email AA venues too.

I am reminded of how lucky I am to have a great AA community which I attend 3-4 meeting a week, less when the snow falls... but I am here daily! Keep coming!

Thank you for the support.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Not sure

Postby positrac » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:26 am

ann2 wrote:Hi and welcome. I'm Ann, alcoholic and I'm glad you posted here. Something about your story made me think about how we alcoholics often try to fix others. This is why a group is useful -- if we take these opportunities to someone else and they agree to help, then we know it's not our ego managing the show.

I understand what you're saying about problems in groups. But i think that further application of the steps is the answer, not avoidance. Sure you don't have to attend meetings. The solution is in the Big Book. The thing is, meetings are like a free card, they are a place where we meet problems that come up later in the "real" world. It's happened to me again and again. I will encounter a situation in an AA group that is terribly difficult to me. Because I want to stay in the group, I will find the way forward. Once that meant two years of reading my spiritual literature and avoiding another person. It worked, and then, oddly enough, the same situation popped up in regards to my daughters' school. If I hadn't gone through what I did in AA, I never could have behaved well in circumstances that frankly were much more important.

I am not trying to get you back to meetings. In fact, IMO you are back in a meeting. This online group is a wonderful resource and serves as my AA contact admirably. I do service here, sponsor and run into personality conflicts right and left :) very useful.

Another thing about online AA that I in particular meshed well with was the fact that I can understand what people say better through text. I often misinterpret, based on my not understanding the people themselves, but for me it works better because I am no longer trying to filter out their confusing facial expresssions and other f2f distractions.

Most people miss those things of course :wink:

So anyway, welcome! Glad you found us and I hope you take a tour around and get comfortable. Give a shout if you have any questions.

Ann

Ann you said a lot and iappreciate the feedback and it was nice not to be overly judged by another as we can snap at anything or at least I can. I didn't want to bear my soul although you mentioned "try and fix others" and you are right. I left home when I was 11 to live in a boys home and it wasn't a pretty picture all of the time. it made me strong, and I hold a nd keep a lot of boundaries up because of trust. Yet I want to provide to other opportunities I didn't have as I had to work my ass off for what I have.

I am so glad I am sober and I am glad the God of my understanding took the need for the drink away from me and he needed to keep me humble by allowing my character of defects to thrive! :roll:

About meetings I would agree that had I just re-evaluated things I might have over come some issues with me. I do believe that AA had/has a proper place in my life and others and I also believe we need to live life outside of the rooms in order to mature more and to become socially attuned to life. I believe the world doesn't care that I am sober as much as they care that I am not the problem..... that one can be spun any which way and for me I would rather not be the burden. In the rooms we are told over and over that we'd love you/them until they could love themselves and that is hope that I can make it. One piece of useless trivia about AA in Australia: They almost didn't get the concept as they couldn't control the urge to keep drinking as AA came to Australia many years after it got started in the US. My point is that through hope those folks down under were able to overcome this vise so powerful to our well being. That came from the anniversary addition Australian Big Book (Red Cover) I bought in 1995 in Darwin NT. If my memory serves me it was $50.00 aust dollars back then which was a fair penny. First 164 pages were the original BB and the stories were in the rest from all parts of Australia.

So thank you for the honesty and welcoming as it is nice to belong.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Not sure

Postby ann2 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:07 am

Hey there! Thanks for responding. I did hear stuff about Australian AA that reinforces your experience. As someone who has dealt with Swedish, Finnish and Estonian AA, I can say that "translating" AA to other countries is not without difficulties!! :roll: On the other hand, I got sober in the US without being overly impressed with the need to take the steps. So for me the online experience was both eye-opening and incredibly helpful.

I found that once we meet here, citizens of whatever country DO in fact agree on the necessity to take the steps as outlined in the Big Book. At least, that's what impressed me about this online group. I ran into AA members from all over the world with many different stories about their f2f AA groups, but eerily similar stories about what happened to them once they took the steps. Eeeeeeeerily (as it is almost Halloween).

That was truly the deal-maker for me. I went forward with the steps and now I'm one of those AA members with an eerily similar story :D

Much to my delight.

Great to have you aboard,

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
User avatar
ann2
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 8687
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: Not sure

Postby positrac » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:25 am

Most difficult suggestion I ever had to accept and swallow was forgiving myself for my actions via working the steps. I felt as if I had something to prove being stiff lipped and it wasn't about me and yet I couldn't get out of my own way. sheesh! My grandmother inspired me as she was able to achieve sobriety in a male dominated program called AA and she was a wonderful support and she called me on my stuff more than once although in a loving manner unlike what I was used to. My gift from her was her 24 hour book dated 1957. She read it every day and was spiritual in her own rights and I was honored to have known her. Sadly I didn't get to know her until I was 18 and I got sober when I was 23. I didn't burden her with AA stuff out of respect although our topic would lead into sobriety and mental freedom from our disease and I didn't fully understand all of her points back then. She has been gone since 2003 and I have been given glimpses of her wisdom over the years. It hits me much later as I reflect and I mostly chalk it up to this: I am dingy and so I have to be hit a few times for it to sink in and yet on the professional side of my life I am always vigilant and spot things others would overlook.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Not sure

Postby positrac » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:28 am

Oh yes one other thing I'll try and not be one long sentence as I have horrible writing skillz. I think I slept through english classes and so winging it is my only means. :shock:
be well all.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Not sure

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:29 pm

Hi, positrac

Thanks for sharing your experience, strength, and hope. I can identify with and relate to everything you posted, including taking a long time-out from AA meetings when I was about 10 years sober. What led me to that decision also involved a personalities over principles thing. Over a period of a few weeks, three female AA members in my local groups died suddenly while trying to follow very bad directions from a couple of self-appointed AA gurus with a cult like following. I had known two of these young women very well; the other was a newcomer I'd never met with 24 hours of sobriety. They were single divorced mothers with a total of six young children who were orphaned because their mothers were willing to go to any lengths for their sobriety and trusted some very sick, twisted, delusional AA control freaks who thought they were smarter than everybody else, including these women's doctors. I was still in shock, still trying to process what had happened when I went to a meeting and heard these guru's brain dead followers rationalizing that these women's deaths must have been "God will" in meetings. That was it for me. I am very very fortunate and grateful that the woman who 12 Stepped me and became my sponsor was a font of wisdom in general and AA wisdom in particular. She taught me that the AA program always works but that AA people don't always work the program. So, while I left the fellowship part of AA behind, I kept the AA program and continued to work the steps daily as always. That worked for me and I learned a lot of neat stuff during the years I trudged the "Road of Happy Destiny" into one exciting new sober adventure after another, living life's terms. Later on, when it seemed indicated by my HP, and I began to attend AA meetings again, I found a fun group without any AA gurus or follower-types looking for a guru, and that's been working for me for many years now too. So far, so good....

Glad you found this forum and really enjoyed reading what you shared.

Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: Not sure

Postby positrac » Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:35 am

We can screw up anything if allowed and thankfully I didn't experience that kind of deal of death in the rooms. I've met some guru types and I can say now I could see why one might get hard over on rules and lifestyle as this is a life or death decision for those who are too lite minded. Fine lines on playing god and so I know where the door is because of my own time and experiences.

I met my wife in the rooms and so we tried not to be that other 13th step couple as I had my places I attended as she had hers and we'd meet in the middle. She has been sober like 18 years now and we never knew each other on that other front and this is good because I'd been the one to ruin that deal at the height of my drinking.

The rooms along with the original literature have some great suggestions on coping with our lives at all stages of sobriety and for me it is good to know I am not cured and I am one drink away from screwing it all up if I am not mindful of the risks associated with alcohol and drugs.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Not sure

Postby Stepchild » Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:14 am

Interesting reads.....I guess I continue to go to meetings for the newcomer....Could you imagine if we all just got sober and left because we didn't like something someone else said or did?....This program would collapse. I came to my first AA meeting and there were people there that probably didn't need to be there....But they were there. And they gave me hope. Something I had none of. What better place to carry the message to a hopeless alcoholic than an AA meeting?....Principles before personalities....Steps before people. That's what keeps me coming back.
Stepchild
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1437
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: Not sure

Postby ezdzit247 » Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:59 pm

positrac wrote:We can screw up anything if allowed and thankfully I didn't experience that kind of deal of death in the rooms. I've met some guru types and I can say now I could see why one might get hard over on rules and lifestyle as this is a life or death decision for those who are too lite minded. Fine lines on playing god and so I know where the door is because of my own time and experiences.....


Unfortunately, I don't think the tragedies that happened in my area were an isolated incident. At the time I thought they were, but later discovered that AA's GSO had published a new pamphlet addressing the dangers of AA members giving out medical and psychiatric advice to other AA members. Live and learn, huh?
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: Not sure

Postby ann2 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:11 am

Hi, are you referring to the pamphlet The A.A. Member — Medications and Other Drugs http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-11_aam ... edDrug.pdf ? It's not new, but it was revised in 2011. I'm not sure what changes were made.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
User avatar
ann2
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 8687
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: Not sure

Postby ezdzit247 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:20 pm

ann2 wrote:Hi, are you referring to the pamphlet The A.A. Member — Medications and Other Drugs http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-11_aam ... edDrug.pdf ? It's not new, but it was revised in 2011. I'm not sure what changes were made.

Ann


Yes. I just checked the copyright date of this pamphlet and it's 1984. I assume it was also published sometime that year and was already in circulation at least 2 years before the incidents I described involving the deaths of the three young women in my area.

One of the stories in the revised pamphlet states this:

"...Because people in the A.A. program now knew I was taking pills, there was constant harassment from that day on to “stop using a crutch,” to “gethonest” with myself, and to “get away from the shrink — A.A. is all you need.”

What is described above is similar to what what happened to the young women in my area. One of the women had called AA for help and the three AA women who visited her on the 12 Step call told her she had to stop taking her prescription meds as well as not drink if she wanted to get sober. She followed their directions, didn't drink or take her pills and died six hours later from cardiac arrest during withdrawals. She was about 26 years old. The two other women were a few years older, had been sober for several years, and were also taking prescription meds. They were basically bullied and harrassed by AA members in meetings into stopping their medications. One of these women had severe allergies, asthma and emphysema and any kind of stress affected her ability to breathe. She stopped taking her pills and stopped breathing. The other woman had a history of seizures and was taking meds to prevent seizures. She stopped taking her meds and died during a seizure. The circumstances of their deaths were shocking enough, but when I heard their deaths rationalized in meetings as "God's will", that kind of pushed me over the edge. It took a great deal of time and effort for me to finally process, learn and grow from this experience. What I learned about was healing and the role forgiveness plays in that process.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California


Return to Suggestions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests