Desperate for advice

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.
Spigs
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 11:14 pm

Desperate for advice

Post by Spigs » Thu May 05, 2016 11:32 pm

Hi,
I'm six months sober and am loving my sobriety. I have got sober in a very small regional town, my home group has 6 members. I'm a high school teacher, and love my job and working with kids.

Another member of my group is a single parent. She has been in the rooms for almost 10 years. Recently she bought her daughter to our meeting. While she doesn't join in, she is in the same room, just to the edge. We sit around a table. She can hear what goes on. Her daughter is in the year level that I teach at school. I was shattered because I value my anonymity. A few other members approached this member after the meeting to see if she'd thought about the fact I teach her daughter. She just shrugged it off.

It happened again 2 weeks later. I could barely function in the meeting. I spoke to my sponsor about feeling like I've been walking on a knife edge. I'm not embarrassed about my alcoholism. I am fearful of sharing my stories or thoughts in front of a student.

We decided to put it on the agenda of our conscience meeting. It was last night. The member lost her temper, blamed the whole thing on me. Even though every other member had expressed reservations about a young adolescent being present. The member, while screaming told me to not come to the meeting anymore, I should travel to the ones in our next town. She was trying to intimidate me. She ended the night by screaming "F you all" and leaving. It took all the power I had not to retaliate in anger.

I've gone over the events in my head (over and over and over) I'm trying not to let the resentment towards her build.

I guess I just need some advice, what to do next, if anything. What advice could you give our home group? How do I stop the anger building today?

Thanks
Spigs

User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
Posts: 5025
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by avaneesh912 » Fri May 06, 2016 3:40 am

Man its a touchy issue. But what is the recovery like? Is it just going to bunch of meetings or working the 12 steps and having a spiritual awakening?

You said you are fearful of facing the kids? Where you a closet drinker? Even then once a while you would acted crazy in public right? Actually you could be a great role model for the students right? Its all about fear. And if you tell the other woman not to bring her kid, she is going to start whining about how she can't afford money for a baby-sitter. Its all about selfish self-centered conduct. Sometimes dealing with un-consciousness we got to pay some additional alertness, else, you will be sucked into the drama.
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)

Spigs
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by Spigs » Fri May 06, 2016 4:41 am

Thank you for your reply.

My recovery is a miracle. Simple as that. From the moment I stepped into my first meeting, I knew I was broken, no fight left. I knew I had 3-4 weeks max before my next drink. It's the longest I'd ever gone. I listened to story's and just knew I had to get a sponsor and work the steps. I just didn't have time to try and white knuckle sobriety. I fact I'm 6 months sober is a plain and simple miracle. There is no other way to explain it, other than my higher power is working.

I'm not too embarrassed if the kids at school found out. I guess I'd prefer them not to, but like you said, I could turn it into a positive for the kids. However the age I teach is junior secondary. 12 and 13 year olds. My issue is sharing in front of a young adolescent. Some things about how I used to drink, and the situations I was in. The road to being so broken, I'm just not comfortable saying that in front of the child. I am worried that those aspects of my drinking will get around school.

I teach in a community 25mins away. And most my drinking was done at home or friends houses. I'be only lived here for 7 years, so my public drinking has been at a minimum.

Spigs

User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
Posts: 3824
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by Brock » Fri May 06, 2016 4:45 am

Welcome to e-AA Spigs. We have had queries about children in meetings before, but usually it's very young ones who are unruly and distract the members. I disagree completely with my friend avaneesh on this, perhaps when the young lady is a mature woman she may remember these meetings, and view you as a good role model, but right now she is more likely to have a giggle with her classmates, about 'sir' being an alcoholic.

Being fearful about sharing in front of certain people is quite understandable, I am from a small community myself, and sometimes my niece attends. In front of her I also don't speak of things I normally might, I imagine a student teacher arrangement would be much worse than this.

What I noticed in your post was that the 10 year 'veteran' lost her cool, and you at six months managed to hold out without doing the same, normally it might have happened the other way around. But then I have observed in AA, that quite often years of sobriety doesn’t necessarily mean the person has attained the level of selflessness, and thoughtfulness about the needs of others we would like to see.

I assume your home group has open meetings, it's the only way her daughter would be allowed in the same room, and even then it states the requirement is a desire to stop drinking, but most groups allow someone offering 'support' to the alcoholic to attend, and her daughter doesn’t really qualify there either.

I hope she will see the error she has made and make other arrangements, also apologize to the group membership. But at any rate, I believe any right thinking person could not possibly fault you for your stance in the matter, and it sounds crazy but as the book says, just a short word to whoever you believe your higher power to be, asking that she might find a solution and wishing the best outcome for her, seems to help us dissipate our own anger and resentment. I wish you the best in this matter, as you probably know everything in AA is a learning experience, you will grow spiritually and emotionally from this, all the best.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

Spigs
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by Spigs » Fri May 06, 2016 4:54 am

Thanks Brock.

I travelled to another meeting tonight. It's cleared my head somewhat. I spent all day with it just churning me up. Our funny alcoholic brains right :)

Mrs Spigs

User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
Posts: 5025
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by avaneesh912 » Fri May 06, 2016 5:38 am

I spent all day with it just churning me up. Our funny alcoholic brains right
Yeah, we do that quite well. I remember a guy cutting me of on my way to work, we both got on the highway, he was on the the left, I on the right, flipping bird at each other all the way to my exit 10 miles after. And the whole day being miserable. Today I don't have to be like that. I can let the guy in. What a big difference. The mind has a incredible momentum. If we don't observe and tame it we are doomed. And the 12 steps helps us be in the moment.
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)

Noels

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by Noels » Fri May 06, 2016 10:51 am

Hi Mrs Spiggs welcome :D this is a tough one. Im not worried about possible embarrassment, I'm more worried whether it could affect your job should it come out. Will you be in trouble or does the headmaster know that you are a member of AA?
the kids we can deal with but the parents also could make life difficult should it become common knowledge. I would take it outside the rooms and discuss with the principal if she /he isn't aware at this stage.
That is why the founders stressed the importance of anonymity I'm sure.
Love and light
Noels

User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 2072
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by ezdzit247 » Fri May 06, 2016 4:13 pm

Hi Mrs. Spigs and welcome.

Congratulations on 6 months sober!

This:
We decided to put it on the agenda of our conscience meeting. It was last night. The member lost her temper, blamed the whole thing on me. Even though every other member had expressed reservations about a young adolescent being present. The member, while screaming told me to not come to the meeting anymore, I should travel to the ones in our next town. She was trying to intimidate me. She ended the night by screaming "F you all" and leaving. It took all the power I had not to retaliate in anger.
definitely sounds like you and the rest of the members of your meeting group followed our AA traditions and attempted to deal rationally with someone who is obviously in an irrational dry drunk state of mind. My ESH with dry drunks tells me the best course of action is to pray for them, leave them alone until they decide to snap out of it and start working their program again.... or they get drunk and ask for help. Hopefully she does the former and not the latter, but either way you and the other members of your group are not responsible for her behavior. The way to short circuit your anger towards this woman and keep it from becoming a resentment is to acknowledge that she is as powerless over her alcoholism as you are over yours and pray for the willingness to forgive this sick woman for her sick behavior towards you. That's what always works 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

D'oh
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 823
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:51 am

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by D'oh » Fri May 06, 2016 9:26 pm

A tough one. Ask in your meditation Selflessly for the right thought or action. The right answer will come.

Remember everything happens for a reason, weather we understand it at the time or not. More will be revealed

Spigs
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by Spigs » Sat May 07, 2016 6:22 pm

Thank you all so much.

You've no idea how powerful your advice has been for my recovery. I spent last night praying for her, and asking my higher power to work to remove my resentment and anger towards her. I woke this morning with a clear and refreshed head.

I then listened to a bit of my big book study. And WOW. This is it! This is what is meant by spiritual recovery. 6 months ago I would have been a mess. I would have poured my self into several bottles of wine, all the time getting more and more worked up. Today I have a calm that feels god given.

This is what you all mean by working the program!!! I think today I fully get it. My personality change is monumental!

Thank you all again for your support. Without people like you all, this wouldn't be possible.

Much love
Spigs xx

User avatar
PaigeB
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 8066
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by PaigeB » Sun May 08, 2016 11:26 am

My home group is a women's meeting and we do not provide child care. We are also a closed meeting and have talked about children in the meetings. Cute babies can be cute & fun, but they are a distraction. Young kids and almost adults who are usually not old enough to be alcoholic are not allowed at closed meetings.

So even as a women's group our GC is "No" to all the kids of all ages. Some think that is backwards for a women's meeting. We don't throw women out if they bring their kids, but as a home group member we are knowledgeable about meetings that have childcare or are open. There are other options too, like finding childcare which we also might be able to help with. If a woman really needs a meeting and has a disruptive kid or a kid at that age where they are too young to be alone, but old enough to recognize a teacher (we have at least one teacher in our home group) one of the home group members will offer to sit out of the room with them for the meeting - one time. After that, mom's need to get childcare, just like they do if they want to go to the bar or to the movies or whatever.

AA is serious business. To thine own self be true.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 2072
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by ezdzit247 » Sun May 08, 2016 1:57 pm

Spigs wrote:....This is what you all mean by working the program!!! I think today I fully get it. My personality change is monumental! ....
Precisely. I think you get "it" too, Mrs. Spigs. Congratulations! What a paradox, huh? Through surrendering to my powerlessness over alcohol and becoming willing to work this simple AA program to stay sober, along the way I discovered a power greater than myself, a power greater than anything I could ever imagine, and, best of all, that it was a power I could tap into 24/7. Nifty, 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: 2072
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by ezdzit247 » Sun May 08, 2016 2:14 pm

PaigeB wrote:My home group is a women's meeting and we do not provide child care. We are also a closed meeting and have talked about children in the meetings. Cute babies can be cute & fun, but they are a distraction. Young kids and almost adults who are usually not old enough to be alcoholic are not allowed at closed meetings.

So even as a women's group our GC is "No" to all the kids of all ages. Some think that is backwards for a women's meeting. We don't throw women out if they bring their kids, but as a home group member we are knowledgeable about meetings that have childcare or are open. There are other options too, like finding childcare which we also might be able to help with. If a woman really needs a meeting and has a disruptive kid or a kid at that age where they are too young to be alone, but old enough to recognize a teacher (we have at least one teacher in our home group) one of the home group members will offer to sit out of the room with them for the meeting - one time. After that, mom's need to get childcare, just like they do if they want to go to the bar or to the movies or whatever.

AA is serious business. To thine own self be true.
I agree on every point.
“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
“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

D'oh
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 823
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:51 am

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by D'oh » Sun May 08, 2016 4:50 pm

ezdzit247 wrote:
“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
But "Our primary purpose is to carry this message to the Alcoholic who still suffers."

There is nothing about Race,Creed,Age,Sex or anything other than another suffering. The GC is the only authority other than the Higher Power.

User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 2072
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: Desperate for advice

Post by ezdzit247 » Sun May 08, 2016 4:57 pm

D'oh wrote:
ezdzit247 wrote:
“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
But "Our primary purpose is to carry this message to the Alcoholic who still suffers."

There is nothing about Race,Creed,Age,Sex or anything other than another suffering. The GC is the only authority other than the Higher Power.
Don't understand what your point is in this post or how it relates to protecting AA members' anonymity ???
“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

Post Reply