So Far, Disappointed

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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby Kaliare » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:46 pm

This happened to me every time I went out to bars. Funny thing, I didn't quit going to bars.


It certainly happened to me in some bars, however there were some slight differences.

a) I was with my friends who could and did both deter and defend me from predators.
b) I was drunk and therefore belligerent enough to stand up for myself (not saying this was a good thing).
c) There were bouncers if the guy was too persistent.
d) I could walk to a different part of the club or bar and not be considered rude, entitled and resistant.
e) Often, if a guy got in my personal space and I was clearly intimidated, another guy would intervene.
f) I could walk out at any point without ruining a thing I keep being told is essential for my health and well being.

And really, if 'less safe than a night club' is the standard for AA meetings, y'all need to raise your standards.
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby PuppyEars » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:53 pm

Kaliare wrote:If you think setting boundaries, looking after yourself and your safety is 'entitlement' then you are exactly why I avoided AA for so long.

We have house cats roaming the jungle with panthers.
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby Kaliare » Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:05 pm

I went to a womens' only meeting today and was feeling a lot better about it all. I got my first chip, felt welcomed, the room was nice, the meeting was small.

However some of you have very clearly illustrated why people hate AA. It disturbs me that in your view, being nervous, introverted and a SA survivor with *gasp* familial responsibilities makes me an entitled, lazy backslider who is not committed to sobriety. God forbid a person should fit recovery around everyday life. It's not like a person could derive any self worth or joy from their partner, hobbies or job, or that those things could help them retain sobriety.
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby Kaliare » Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:14 pm

You know what, PuppyEars, whenever I hear someone talking about how boundaries are bullshit it's because they want to violate another person's boundaries. Maybe you should reconsider your own behaviour in meetings and online rather than trying to gaslight newbies into thinking that their perfectly rational fears are just their disease. Goddamn you creep me out.
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby PuppyEars » Sat Jul 23, 2016 4:08 pm

But what about the real alcoholic? - the rest of the book is for that type which is clearly not you.
Maybe you should light some candles and relax in a hot tub to fix your drinking problem. You could even switch to a "lite" beer on weekends. Try swearing off of it. I bet you could do it.
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby Noels » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:41 pm

Good morning Kaliare :D nobody should feel unsafe in the rooms. What I have learned so far is that standing up for ourselves in the rooms is part of our progress. If you think about it, the person in the rooms is the person who was in the pub before so it is possible that he /she still carry some of the traits /defects they had from before getting sober.
Walking into AA doesn't automatically make us /them better and changed people. THAT comes with working the steps honestly and vigorously and continuing to practise 10 -12 on a daily basis.
So I would tell this creepy man in a nice but firm way that I'm not interested and don't like people standing closer to me than 1.5 metres.
Regarding the ladies - I experienced the same thing and as my family was important to me even while I was drinking I simply told them thanks for your suggestions abd concern but I spend time with my family on a weekend so I don't do weekend meetings. I will phone if I need to. If they bring up the 'but you could drink on a weekend ' card simply tell them - that was then. This is now and I'm not drinking am I.
It is important for you to listen to your 'gut '. Not only in AA but with everything and rather than feel uncomfortable and starting to get resentments against the people and AA be honest and stand up for yourself.
Good to have you here :D
Love and light
Noels xxx
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby Feeya » Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:49 am

Kaliare wrote:
I did have one guy try and pressure me into going on a date, but after telling him very clearly that I was not interested he left me alone.
Did you do that? Stated a very clear no? Made your boundaries clear? Because I thought by not replying to his texts I was stating my no, but he did not understand that. He needed me to say it, in order to understand it!


It didn't get that far. He got in my space, I felt intimidated, It was near the end of the meeting so I left. I'm a bit confused by this idea that a lot of you have that it's totally cool for creepy guys to be creepy and it's my fault - in my first meeting - for not screaming at him to back off.

I sometimes tell myself that I don't feel safe at meetings, that the people are weird, that I can't relate, that everyone is forcing me to do things I don't want to do, that I am being pressured and that people are taking something away from me. At the end of the day that is just my alcoholism trying to come up with an excuse to go back out and drink.


That's your truth, and that's great. I think I don't feel safe because it's a random meeting anyone can attend, and because there is no medical oversight or standardisation. I think I'm feeling pressured because I'm being pressured. I can relate to some people there and not others, some are weird, some aren't, that's life.


It is absolutely not your fault and it is absolutely not okay for him to do that. I was just trying to explain that sometimes, that is what it needs. Sometimes people there need a very clear no, to understand no, because they are sick... that is why they are in the rooms I guess.
Talking to another lady about that is a great start... maybe even talk to them about feeling pressured and feeling unsafe, see what they have got to say about that!
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby Kaliare » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:50 am

Thanks Feeya, sorry if I over-reacted. Certain other posters were upsetting me.
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby Kaliare » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:56 am

Thank you Noels - lovely response and your answer actually echoed what one of the ladies in the meeting said. Another was like "i'm sure he was just trying to help," and another lady wryly said, "Yes, but he could help from a foot back just as easily."

Thanks again.
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:32 am

Perhaps you could share something like you have a sheriff brother or a husband. Some may break from what they are doing, but sometime predatory people may never stop. You may have to avoid such groups.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby Reborn » Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:52 am

You will learn if you hang in there with AA that not all the folks who attend meetings are well. Some are sicker than others...and honestly I don't see this being "fixed" anytime soon in AA. It sounds like you found a good women's group...next step is to find someone who thoroughly follows this path and work those steps out of the Big Book. There are some truly wonderful folks in AA willing to help you find your path to freedom. It really bothers me when I hear and see this kind of predatory behavior from the sick a**holes in the rooms. When I see it happen I say something...I don't give a S***...AA is a place for people to get well...NOT for perverts to pray on the vulnerable newcomers. Hange in there Kaliare...I hope you find someone to help you through the steps...taking action in the steps is what changes our lives. Don't listen to the nay sayers here..like I said some are sicker than others.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby ezdzit247 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:42 am

Kaliare wrote:I went to a womens' only meeting today and was feeling a lot better about it all. I got my first chip, felt welcomed, the room was nice, the meeting was small....


Hi Kaliare

There ya go! You took the initiative to find another AA meeting that was the right fit for you and found one. Good for you! That's what I did when I finally got serious about staying sober and that worked for me too. And, congratulations on getting your first sobriety chip. Outstanding!

Kaliare wrote:....However some of you have very clearly illustrated why people hate AA. It disturbs me that in your view, being nervous, introverted and a SA survivor with *gasp* familial responsibilities makes me an entitled, lazy backslider who is not committed to sobriety. God forbid a person should fit recovery around everyday life. It's not like a person could derive any self worth or joy from their partner, hobbies or job, or that those things could help them retain sobriety.


The co-founder of AA, Bill W., wrote a chapter in the Big Book entitled "Working With Others" and I would suggest that you read it for your own benefit. It's been my experience that the vast majority of AA members follow the directions and suggestions Bill laid out for carrying AA's message to newcomers--and this is AA at its best and most effective--but, as you yourself have experienced, both in live AA meetings and on internet forums, not all AA members are good at following directions. When I was new to AA and had been going to meetings for about a month, my sponsor sat me down and enlightened me about the AA fellowship. She told me the AA program ALWAYS works but AA members don't always work the program. It wasn't what I wanted to hear but it was and is--unfortunately--very true and now you know it's true too. I went to a lot of meetings when I finally got sober and found the ones where the AA "winners" were hanging out. Those were the meetings I kept coming back for to grow and learn, one day at a time. That's what worked for me.

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
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby alf » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:35 pm

hi kaliare.

i think you raise some very legitimate concerns regarding the some of the meetings you've attended and the people that you've encountered in AA.

The fellowship is a place where people should, preeminently, feel safe. No one has the right to make you feel insignificant nor intimidate you -regardless of their intentions or the length of their sobriety. We often repeat among ourselves that "the new comer is the most important person in the room." but it's easy to forget that. We're supposed to be ladies and gentlemen, not just men and women. However, as you've discovered, some of us, as individuals, still posses flaws, short comings and, well, require a restoration of sanity. Yet, don't judge the whole on the few that you've encountered. And hopefully, we're all working on that -because that's sort of what it's about.

Out reach to people coming in who are still in the early stages of getting sober is important. we've all had to make that difficult walk through that door. Some of the people that seem to be pushing themselves on you might simply be trying, in their own flawed ways, to make you feel welcome. Some of them. Sadly, others might just be trying to satisfy their own sense of importance, or like the guy you've mentioned trying to get in your pants.
Not everyone is at the meeting for the right reason. As the manager to my liquor store said about some wacky customers: "When the door is open to the public, anyone can walk in. And then keep in mind, we're talking about alcoholics." Some people are trying to beat court, or jail, or get their licence back, or make their boss happy, or meet a lady, or kill boredom, or, in winter, get a free cup of coffee and a few cookies in a warm room.
Not everyone is like that, the majority isn't like that, but if we're honest about who shows up at meetings, we have to admit this happens. We hope they pick up our ideals of service of others along the way, of course.

The second thing I noticed in your posts is that feeling: "I seemed to have joined a cult, when all I wanted was to do something about this drinking thing." I've been sober for 13 years, and there are definitely days i think this -especially when someone seems very aggressive about pushing the party line slogans and cute gems of wisdom on me, when really, i just need some one to listen. Granted, There are times we need advice that might be unpleasant, but there are times when you just meet a plain, old fashioned, jerk. or a good person that's acting like a jerk and doesn't know it.

First off, it's not a requirement to believe everything that some alcoholic says at a meeting. Why would you? If they're talking about their story, chances are it's true, but if they're giving out opinions and advice, use your own capacity for reason. measure it against your own experience and the values of your faith tradition if you have one.
Secondly, yeah, the Higher Power stuff. The steps. The program. The inventories. The resentments. The "did you consider your part in this?" The amends. The promises. The conscious contact with a Higher Power. The prayer at the end of the meeting. True. There's alot of this. Right at the center.
However, take comfort that the guys who first did this weren't over the top religious nuts. [Well, not all of the them were, anyway. :D ] They were pretty non-conformist and experimental. In the sort of basic AA textbook there is a chapter called "We Agnostics" The AA program is intended to work with your own personal beliefs. whatever they may be. You don't have to pray in public if you don't want to. You can walk off to the kitchen or the bathroom, or just stand quietly to the side, as long as your respectful and not disruptive of the people that are praying.
Thirdly, fellowship stuff. "Get a commitment." "Come to this meeting with me." "Would you like be the speaker at the next meeting?" People can try to push a lot on you. Especially early. The best intention is that you get involved, don't feel left out, and get the help you need. However, you're an adult. you've got stuff to do. I'm in AA so i can have a life, not so it can take over my life. Things like duties to employers, feeding the neighbor's cat while he's on vacation, and fulfilling family obligations are important -and every AA person should respect that; God knows plenty of us have blown it off in our day for a drink.

If you check out several meetings, you'll hopefully encounter different people, with various perspectives. Look for the people who are sensible and are willing to hear you out. Look for the people who've been around a while and have it together -but also try to find some other new people. It helped me alot when i was first starting out that there were 4 other new guys at my morning meeting, who had a couple months in, that i could talk to about what was going on.

It's pretty standard to tell a new comer "get a sponsor" - and believe me, you'll hear a lot of that. The reason is for instances like what you're describing. You don't have to pick the first person who asks if you need one. But do get some phone numbers of women who seem reliable and sound. Give them a call. The thing about having a sponsor is you've got someone whose been through it that can be a guide. Someone you can share your stuff with.

The other thing you might consider: checking out the actual book "Alcoholics Anonymous" which AA people often call "the big book" because the first edition was printed on paper that was slightly too large for the size of the columns of text. (hey, they got a deal. it was cheaper that way). it was written in the 1930s, so the writing style isn't current, but the underlying ideas are pretty much the same. It's not intended to be a catechism or a sacred text. It's a discussion of, or a manual for, some of the "spiritual" stuff you hear people mention.

Have you sought any aid with being a SA survivor in another place? I hope so, or that you will. Just something to consider, if you're trying to grow and be well.
Anyway, Don't let anyone bully you. Even if they think they're being helpful. You don't have to report to them, chances are, they're not God. Stick in there. The first few weeks of sobriety can be rough, but it does get easier. Hopefully, you'll find yourself with in some great people, keep away from a drink, and find some deserved serenity.
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby D'oh » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:52 pm

I am failing to see where anything anywhere that says there are more wierdos per capita in AA than in a New Bar or some After Party we never thought twice about attending while we were drinking.

What is true is most Newbies are attending AA without a crutch of Alcohol. My Sponsors experience with the guy signing How Dry I am, he still talks about after over 30 years how uncomfortable it made him. It meant nothing more than I have been there myself.

There is a Great Fear when we first arrive, but most of that fear is that Someone might find out who We really are. The truth is most of us already know this the minute the New Comer walks in.
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Re: So Far, Disappointed

Postby Kaliare » Mon Jul 25, 2016 6:28 am

I am failing to see where anything anywhere that says there are more wierdos per capita in AA than in a New Bar or some After Party we never thought twice about attending while we were drinking.


Wasn't what I said at all. I said that at bars and nightclubs there are safeguards in place because they know they are dealing with intoxicated people who lack judgement. And that I have had certain experiences that have led me to pretty wary of EVERYWHERE. I no longer go to bars, or after parties (tbh I haven't gone to an after party since I was 22) or even to particularly busy restaurants.

My issue was that a sober, daytime fellowship OUGHT to be safer than a nightclub, and going "Well, you used to put yourself in danger while under the influence LOLOLOLOL" IS UTTERLY RIDICULOUS.

Of course I did. That's one of the many reasons I want to get sober. Knowingly putting myself in danger when my judgement is sound would be beyond disease and into insanity.
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