confusion

Got an issue with someone or something? Want to whine a little? Here's the place to do it, or to get to know folks, or ask those questions that don't fit anywhere else.
User avatar
Jackstraw
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:27 am

Re: confusion

Post by Jackstraw »

recovery is not a competition and no one get a cookie for be the hardest drinking drunk. That whole attitude is so frustrating. AA is about recovery through a spiritual awakening and support of the fellowship to stop drinking and reclaim a life worth living. Talking about who drank what and how much is just ego feeding bullshit. Sorry, that touches a nerve. When you are new to the program it is scary and confusing. The fellowship is to support and serve. When I meet that population in meetings who instead puff themselves up for attention it makes me frustrated beyond belief. But then I read page 67 this AM in the big book and I got some perspective. I would post it here, but I don't know how to. It is the part that starts with: "We realized the people who wronged us......
Last edited by Jackstraw on Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
And I know how sweet life can be
If I keep myself free from the wah-wah
G.Harrison

catcar
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:16 am
Location: Chicago

Re: confusion

Post by catcar »

I found meetings where people only talked about their drinking and I never went back. I also found meetings where people focussed on recovery, gratitude, and living their best life. The second ones I kept going back to. Keep looking for better meetings that speak to you the way you want to be spoken to.

User avatar
Barbara D.
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 141
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:21 am
Location: Tennessee, USA

Re: confusion

Post by Barbara D. »

Thanks, Brock. Right on! Huh? What happened? Brock's post is gone! Never mind. It's a few posts back. Sigh. I better take a nap.

User avatar
Brock
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 4157
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: confusion

Post by Brock »

Jackstraw mentioned a section of the BB which applies to how we may feel about those who wronged us, for me it also shows that even in AA not everyone is “on the program.”
We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick.
Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were
sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would
cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, "This is a sick man.
How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."
We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn't treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our
chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take
a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one.
He also mentioned not knowing how to put up these little quotations from the book, I didn’t until some tips were put up a couple of years ago. I am far from a computer expert but these are a few things I found useful, perhaps they will be useful to other newcomers.

We can Google both the Big Book and 12 & 12, some versions like those from AA.org will not allow us to highlight and copy sections we want, but it is not hard to find ones that will. Also we can Google Big Book concordance and 12 & 12 concordance, and perhaps Google “search quotes from the AA Big Book,” there we get another type of concordance. I put shortcuts to these on the desktop; the concordance allows us to search for any word in the books alphabetically. Since some words appear many times, the other concordance in which a part of a sentence or phrase is entered is useful, so once we remember a few words we can find where in the book the passage is, these things are very useful in general AA study.

So we find what we want to quote, we open word and reduce the size and pull to one half of the screen, reduce the BB on the other half, highlight what we want, then copy and paste it to the word document. At the top of the box we post in, one of the tags says “quote,” we click on this and separate the brackets a little, then copy the section from the word document and put it in there. Boy reading this over I realize I suck at giving instructions, of course we could have just copied and pasted it straight to the box we post in, but for me doing the whole post as a word document makes good sense, the spell check is better and we can just leave it half done at any time if called away for a smoke or whatever. Hope these tips as badly explained as they are may be useful to someone.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

User avatar
ann2
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 7938
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: confusion

Post by ann2 »

Well here's my Big Book quote on the topic:
To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time nor take the quantities some of us have. This is particularly true of women. Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years. Certain drinkers, who would be greatly insulted if called alcoholics, are astonished at their inability to stop.
(page33)

That's what I read when I came to AA at the age of 26, a female, someone who first identified herself as a pot smoker. Turns out I'm a real alcoholic. I can see the progression of the illness in the stories that everyone shares, no matter where he or she ended up with their drinking. I know that if I don't come here and get help, daily, I will qualify for those experiences as well.

My sponsor told me Y.E.T. -- "You're Entitled Too"

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

Lali
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 4296
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: confusion

Post by Lali »

Jackstraw wrote:recovery is not a competition and no one get a cookie for be the hardest drinking drunk. That whole attitude is so frustrating. AA is about recovery through a spiritual awakening and support of the fellowship to stop drinking and reclaim a life worth living. Talking about who drank what and how much is just ego feeding bullshit. Sorry, that touches a nerve. When you are new to the program it is scary and confusing. The fellowship is to support and serve. When I meet that population in meetings who instead puff themselves up for attention it makes me frustrated beyond belief. But then I read page 67 this AM in the big book and I got some perspective. I would post it here, but I don't know how to. It is the part that starts with: "We realized the people who wronged us......
Jackstraw, I am curious as to what prompted your post. I recall your having said you have only been to one meeting since moving into your new home. So was it something you read here? It is not uncommon to hear things in meetings (or even here) that we disagree with. The portions of the BB posted here by Brock and Ann talk about how we need to treat certain people as we would a sick person. We certainly should not let it get under our skin to the point that we get a resentment. I would say pray for these people and move on with your program. Don't let someone's nonsense get in the way of your recovery.

BUT I would like to add that there is nothing wrong with raising your hand in a meeting and in a calm way suggest that the meeting seems to be getting off topic or getting away from discussing recovery and then adding your own share about recovery.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

User avatar
Jackstraw
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:27 am

Re: confusion

Post by Jackstraw »

Hi Lali,
I totally own that my frustration at others is my problem and not theirs. Which is why I quoted (well, tried to)
"We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick.
Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were
sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would
cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, "This is a sick man.
How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."
We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn't treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our
chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take
a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one."
But to answer your question, I think I am still in the early stages of recovery and I have a defensive posture around new people coming to meetings. My first meeting was a miracle. It was loving, welcoming and everything you could ask for. But I have seen people coming to their first meting and be lectured or corrected. I was so afraid to come to a meeting, I guess I feel protective of other new folks.

The other day I sat down next to a woman who I felt was new to meetings. She seemed a little nervous and uptight. Before the meeting got started, she walked out. And I sat there and worried that she may have just walked away from her first reach for help. Later I began to feel like I should have gotten up as well and gone after her, at least to let her know it would be ok if she stayed.

I am definitely still learning to navigate the "social" aspects of the fellowship.
And I know how sweet life can be
If I keep myself free from the wah-wah
G.Harrison

User avatar
Brock
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 4157
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: confusion

Post by Brock »

Jackstraw wrote: My first meeting was a miracle. It was loving, welcoming and everything you could ask for. But I have seen people coming to their first meting and be lectured or corrected. I was so afraid to come to a meeting, I guess I feel protective of other new folks.

Very well said, sometimes I think we forget what it was like coming for the first time ourselves. Unfortunately the behavior of others towards newcomers is something we have little control over; we can only try to make them feel comfortable, which sometimes also entails apologizing for the deeds of others.

Someone from Australia who hasn’t posted here for a while, once said that in his area the windows are built low to the ground and left open, and at meetings you would often see folks looking in from the outside, and then at a future meeting you may very well see the same folks now sitting inside, absolutely marvelous and to my way of thinking just how AA should be. It is one thing for a chairperson to softly ask if any newcomers are present, this helps direct the meeting format, but if someone raises their hand to indicate they are new then just say welcome and leave them alone. Instead I have seen all sorts of foolishness which only makes the person more nervous and self conscious, chairperson saying come and sit in the front or you are the most important person here, for heaven’s sake they sat in the back for a reason, and being the most important person is the last thing they want. We also see what seems like a competition to give the newcomer the goods after the meeting, bunch of do-gooders crowding him, if you see someone talking to the new person common sense should tell us to leave them alone. This is something we should be encouraged to discuss at group conscience meetings, so all members are on the same page.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

Post Reply