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personalities in the rooms

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:17 pm
by cpr123
Trying to get sober again. Live in a small town and only one group available which is fine most of the time. Thing is, after sharing my experience a couple of folks seem to try and "out alcoholic" or make it seem as if I shouldn't be there. I am not looking for validation that i'm an alcoholic, I've got a bad liver and doctors for that. I just don't want to hear these people tell me I wasn't as bad as they were. I don't care. I just don't want to hear it. I would challenge them to a 1/2 gallon of rum, hell I've only got 26 days, but I don't think they would go for it. Most of the time when I leave a meeting I feel better, but when this s**t happens I get agitated. Then I want to drink. Sponser said to let it go and just remember some have the right to be stupid, but it is bothering me. I left AA 3 years ago and I believe this stuff had something to do with it. I remember that after a while these jerks were undermining everything I said. I didn't quite make a year before I went out last time. Problem is that on my own I cannot get past 2 days when I try and quit or slow down. I have tried for the past 3 years on my own and have failed. Now just as I'm starting to think I can put some time between me and my last drink these f**ks are making me want to leave. If I wanted to be told I was wrong every time I opened my mouth I'd go visit my dad. I cannot share much about strength and hope but when I am talking about how my mind convinces me over and over again that I am not a drunk I believe people other than myself can see where I am coming from. Should I confront them outside the meeting or just let them pick me apart every time I share. I don't think a meeting format is the place for me to hash this out just not sure how to approach this or if I should.

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:07 pm
by Layne
I used to get agitated and wound up by other people all the time. I found my relief from the stupidity of others after I worked the twelve steps.

Oh sure, I still start to fall into to old behavior on occasion and get agitated, but since working the steps, I recognize the process starting and am able to nip it in the bud without resorting to drinking.

Now days, the end results of such occasions wind up in a much more peaceful and serene place than they ever did in the past. What a blessing! The work it took to get here is small compared to the rewards.

Thank you AA and all the other people who came before me (even the stupid ones, they might actually be owed the biggest thanks because they give me the most opportunity to "practice these principals" in all my affairs)!

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:26 am
by leejosepho
cpr123 wrote:...after sharing my experience a couple of folks seem to try and "out alcoholic" or make it seem as if I shouldn't be there.
Welcome to e-aa, and I am certain you will not encounter any of that kind of nonsense here. Also, I like the story I once heard where some old rum hound had said to the new guy, "Young man, I have spilled more booze than you ever drank!" Without a single wince or flinch, the new guy responded, "I never spilled a drop, my fellow, and you might have gotten here sooner if you had been a bit more careful." Let no one despise your early wisdom.
I remember that after a while these jerks were undermining everything I said.
As best you can, just ignore them. People like that thrive on making others squirm...and I have learned to *never* dance when the cowboy shoots at my feet. If he was actually going to harm me, he would have already done so.
If I wanted to be told I was wrong every time I opened my mouth I'd go visit my dad.
I once said that to a psychiatrist and he was civil for the remainder of that session...but then the next day I had to just dismiss him altogether.
I cannot share much about strength and hope but when I am talking about how my mind convinces me over and over again that I am not a drunk I believe people other than myself can see where I am coming from.
Some can and will, but some either cannot or will not. Many of us here are in that first group and we welcome and encourage you to embrace the strength and hope we all share together. All of that can be yours just as surely as it has become ours.

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:22 am
by AAPJ
Perhaps this will help you to better tolerate others who annoy you. Years ago I was frustrated with a vendor at work for not delivering what was promised. I was venting to some of my co-workers and one of them simply said something like this:

Just remember that by definition half the population is below average. You can't avoid them. Don't let below average people drag you down.

At least for me this has helped me deal with people who frustrate/annoy me.

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:34 am
by Niagara
The first thing I thought when I read this, is a quote I heard from Actress Helen mirren

“‘At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words ‘f*ck off’ much more frequently,”

Not terribly spiritual, sorry.

But I get where she's coming from.

The type of situation you describe, I internalize too. I try to ignore it, and rise above it, and 9 times out of 10 it just keeps on coming...leaving me with the choice of say something or distance myself. I'd end up distancing myself. But why? Who are they? I didn't get sober so people can keep on putting me down....heck, I can do that well enough myself, without their help.

Now, I'm not suggesting by any means you walk in there and tell a crowd of them to go forth and multiply, but you can certainly do that in your head. As you say, you don't need their affirmation for whether you're an alcoholic or not.

I rarely share about how much I drink, what I drank etc etc...all I see happening when people do that is the battle of the drunkalogues. I share instead on the spiritual malady, how I don't live sober well, the mental obsession, the physical craving, and how I recovered. The only people in a meeting who can't relate to the powerlessness which leads us to the first drink, maybe shouldn't be there.

I don't get it. I really don't. I can't glorify or use my drinking as a tool to undermine someone else....how nuts is that? It's not a competition. This disease is killing people and all that matters to some is 'I drank more than you'. Alcoholism is a way bigger thing than how many units someone drinks.

My mind used to tell me over and over I wasn't a drunk too.....alcoholism is the only disease that will tell you you don't have it. The last thing I needed was someone saying 'hey, I drank more than you, or a different type of drink, so you can't be alcoholic'. That's total b*llocks.

Alcoholism - physical craving - once I start, I find it real hard to moderate or stop. That one or two I'd intended to have ended up in blackout/passout, most of the time. I couldn't control my drinking once I started. Now, when I try to stop, I just don't feel right. I'm irritable, restless, and discontent. I don't cope well with life. Everything gets on top of me. My mind will tell me, over and over take a drink, it'll relax you. It's the only way I know how to feel better. I know I shouldn't, but sooner or later I forget the bad stuff that happened last time I drank, and feeling ok again is the only thing that matters. That's all my mind will tell me...and whether I want to or not, I somehow end up getting drunk again. 'I'll just have one.....' Obsession overrides common sense. At the end, that fight didn't last long at all....and then I can't control my drinking when I start. Merry go round.

Through getting spiritually fit via the steps, that obsession has been removed. If the obsession has been removed, the physical craving never comes in to play. That's the cycle I need to identify with, not drinking competitions, not dui's, not jail time, or bar fights. All of that stuff is just the result of the physical craving, and isn't the actual problem that needs to be addressed.

If you'd like any further reading on what I've roughly outlined above, you can access the big book online, if you don't have a copy. The chapters 'the doctors opinion', 'there is a solution', and more about alcoholism are where you'll find the information about your disease. link below.

http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous

Try not to get drawn in to the battle of the drunkalogues. Easier said than done, but resentments are not good for us alkies. If you already know you're alcoholic, what or how much you drank is moot point, anyway. Look at what's underneath it all. Why do we keep going back to it?

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:37 am
by avaneesh912
Thing is, after sharing my experience a couple of folks seem to try and "out alcoholic" or make it seem as if I shouldn't be there.
Thats ego driven shares. You find it all the time in AA. I got 8 DUIs, I went to so many jails and institution. We call it the war stories. If they only turn to the big book and discuss what alcoholism is: The queer mental twist, the spiritual malady, then the craving piece and the solution "4th dimension of living" it will help the new-comer much.

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:40 am
by Brock
I myself left AA a couple of times due to personalities that rubbed me the wrong way, also drank after meetings to 'cool my head' after listening to the crap I figured they were talking, I payed dearly for doing that and ended in very bad shape.

I think the first response that you got which was from Layne is spot on, while we feel at first the reason for AA is to stop drinking, after doing the steps and living the life that's recommended, we come to realize that the program does far more for us. We are given power over everyday life annoyances, and become pretty much immune to other peoples BS, as Layne said - “The work it took to get here is small compared to the rewards.” Do those steps you can't go wrong, and best of luck to you.

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:50 am
by Tosh
In my early days, when some certain types of guys heard I was an ex-soldier, for some weird reason they would tell me about their fights in pub car parks and other tales of 'derring do'.

I just humoured them. :lol:

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:45 am
by whipping post
When I first came in there was a guy that I couldn't stand at all. Pretty soon I knew why. We were a lot alike.

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:28 am
by cpr123
Thanks everyone for the comments. I have calmed down and believe it is not a good idea to confront said persons during, before, or after a meeting. After writing to the board I read through a few of the newcomer boards and a few of the others on recovery page and realized this is almost as good as a face to face meeting. I calmed down and went to sleep without thinking of drinking. I'm glad I found you guys.

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:49 am
by PaigeB
We are glad you found us!

Like any face to face meeting, there will always be people who annoy us. I am glad that the BB tells us
Love and tolerance of others is our code
and
We ceased fighting anyone or anything even alcohol.... (pg 84)

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:15 pm
by Lali
In any event, what you describe, is horrible. I hate hearing things like that. That's not AA. It's certainly counter productive.

As Layne said, the 12 steps worked for him in dealing with that kind of thing. In fact, it works for everything!! Is there anyone that could guide you through the steps? If not, you could work them on your own - many do this. You will only eed help with step 5 when you will need someone trustworthy to listen to your step 4. It does not have to be someone in the program.

By the way, please do not let others' behavior turn into a resentment for you. The BB tells us that "Resentment in the number one offender. It destroys alcoholics more than anything else." (Read P. 64-67, Big Book, for more about resentment.)

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:34 pm
by 2granddaughters
Principles before personalities..

My sponsor told me not to let anyone keep me from the meetings. He was a wise man.


All the best.

Bob R

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:06 pm
by ezdzit247
cpr123 wrote:Thanks everyone for the comments. I have calmed down and believe it is not a good idea to confront said persons during, before, or after a meeting. After writing to the board I read through a few of the newcomer boards and a few of the others on recovery page and realized this is almost as good as a face to face meeting. I calmed down and went to sleep without thinking of drinking. I'm glad I found you guys.
Glad you found these forums too, cpr123.

Also glad that you decided not to confront the members who offended you. Good decision. I have come to understand the AA slogan that all of us are here because we're not all there. I have also come to believe that we're all doing the best we can with what we have to work with. That may or may not actually be true, but keeping that in mind when I hear something from someone in a meeting that I think is BS, helps me big time and protects my serenity. My sponsor also told me something early on which was very helpful. She said every time I went to a meeting, someone at some time during the meeting would say at least one thing that resonated with me and that, if I listened carefully, I would recognize the message when I heard it. She was right, of course, as always. Ironically, sometimes the message would come from some AA member who normally said things that really pissed me off and when that happened, I learned something else: God, as I understand God, has a weird sense of humor.... :wink:

Re: personalities in the rooms

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:17 pm
by avaneesh912
We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful.
The late Don P would talk about AA being a big family but you got to know your kith and kin and hang out with them.