Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

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Brock
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Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Brock » Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:15 pm

My post varies a bit from that of EZ, but it is my experience.
I was preached at for years and lived by rules and regulations of the Church. I'm done with that. I really don't want to make anyone angry, but this just rubs me the wrong way.
No member of AA who has experience would get angry at someone who says that, most of us were a bit confused about these things ourselves.

The main writer of the book Bill Wilson, sent out drafts to the early members for their comments on what he was writing. One of the things they objected to was he used words like must, and directions, they said alcoholics don't like being told what to do. So they changed where these words were used to the word suggestions, so instead of asking us to follow their directions, it was about following these suggestions. But I have heard some people interpret that word suggestion, something like saying if you jump out of a plane, it is a good suggestion to wear a parachute. In other words it may say suggestion, but if you want to recover from this decease you pretty well look at it as a must.
Well, please explain to me why the 12 steps are a must. If someone doesn't do the 12 steps, they are a failure and they will start drinking again. I don't agree with that. Everyone needs to do things on their own, in my opinion.

Once again, many of us have tried to do it our own way, the book says we thought we could find an easier softer way, and we went back to drink. The experience of every alcoholic in AA who is no longer struggling, no longer thinking about drinking, and living such a peaceful life it is hard to describe, we all got there by having a spiritual awaking as the result of the steps. Anyone who says sobriety is hard in any way, either has not done them or has made a half arsed attempt, especially where 4 & 5 is concerned.
But, people here quote BB like it is scripture. That, to me, turns me off. I'm sorry. I was preached at for years and lived by rules and regulations of the Church. I'm done with that.
I do a bit of that myself, some people in AA call folks like us 'big book thumpers,' we don't mind. Perhaps as you go along you will come to appreciate why we do it. If you find yourself in a meeting, and some person is talking about their troubles at home, another old lady says her cat is sick, this sort of thing happens in meetings, people use it as a venue to tell others their troubles like some sort of self help group, just looking for a pat on the back and someone to say it will be OK. Well that sort of stupidity might get you feeling better about a sick cat, it sure won't keep you sober and happy.

Maybe you will take a listen to someone like Chris R who speaks about this sort of thing fairly often, go to you tube type in 'AA speaker Chris R' you will see many talks there.

I promise you if you do the steps and have the spiritual awaking, you will get to treasure every recommendation in the book as much as we do, and I wish you the best of luck in getting there.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

Noels

Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Noels » Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:47 pm

Good evening friends. Annette Imy also a newbie on this site and I understand what you are saying as I also find the many quotes from the big book annoying. Ive always preferred personal experience.
However, as there are so many different views and opinions and the good folks here don't want us to get confused or misled there is a common saying amongst aa members to not just believe anything were told. They say 'if it's not in the big book rather question it '
So Ive come to accept the quotes to be for our safety.
So when you read a message from a walking talking quoting living member smile and know in your heart that the member care so much about you that he or she took the extra effort to give you the proof that it's not a thumbsuck answer. That's how I approach it and believe me, their advice is good and solid. Have helped me plenty so far.
Looking forward to further communication with you.
Love and light
Noels

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Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Reborn » Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:29 pm

Annette222 wrote:I'm sorry, I think you missed my point, and no offense meant to you, but THIS is what I don't agree with:

In Alcoholics Anonymous there are no musts.

Well, please explain to me why the 12 steps are a must. If someone doesn't do the 12 steps, they are a failure and they will start drinking again. I don't agree with that. Everyone needs to do things on their own, in my opinion. But, people here quote BB like it is scripture. That, to me, turns me off. I'm sorry. I was preached at for years and lived by rules and regulations of the Church. I'm done with that. I really don't want to make anyone angry, but this just rubs me the wrong way.
The 12 steps is AAs only program of recovery...there are many ways people get and stay sober but in AA we work the steps that happen to be conveniently laid out in the Big Book for us to follow. I want to make it clear that you are not making me angry at all...I was just as contemptuous when I walked into AA. I was ignorant...not stupid just ignorant. You don't have to do anything...and you may stay sober...and that is great by me. I however could not stay sober on my own...alcohol beat me into a state of reasonableness...I became willing to give this thing a shot. There are around 103 "MUSTS" in the Big Book...those musts lead us into the sunlight of the spirit...to live a life happy, joyous and free. I'll say it again...no one has to do anything in AA they don't want to...however if you want the promises in the Big Book to come true for you...you MUST take the actions outlined in it.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

Noels

Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Noels » Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:01 pm

Just to come back to the 'quotations ' for me it created the feeling that I was being 'hit ' with the book the whole time which does come across as 'preachy '. Sort of like the older teacher staring down at me over his dark rimmed glasses waving his finger up and down. ... I know that's not the intention as I've read posts going way back to 2008 and saw the 'earlier newer members ' through the communications. AA back then was way stricter and more 'years of sobriety conscious ' by the looks of it. So I appreciate the teachings, the experience, knowledge and wisdom but above all I appreciate the care and the fact that I am allowed to ask questions and speak my truth as well. Maybe with the newer newbies just consider cutting back a tiny bit on the quotations and rather share experiences and wisdom obtained from such experiences? Like in the older days in your communications? Us alkies just loooove a good story with which we can relate to. Goes down like soetkoekkies and sweet tea.
Nite nite. Love and light Noels

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Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by avaneesh912 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:35 pm

I don't agree with that.
The beauty of this fellowship is you don't have to agree with anyone. Here we (most of us anyways) try to not deviate from the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, since it helped us overcome the obsession and live a relatively serene life. Early on, my sponsor said other people (gossip gossip) consider me an angry person. No kidding. Thats what happens when we stop drinking. The 12 steps helps us overcome that condition. And it did for me. So, I don't sugar coat the message. The message is the 12 steps.
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: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Reborn » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:03 pm

I'm a firm believer if you baby the alcoholic you'll burry him/her. Like avaneesh I don't sugar coat this stuff at all...This is not always gum drops and unicorns...this is a life and death errand. Maybe some have not witnessed or been a part of people who go back out and die...I have...and its heartbreaking. I'm just as compassionate and loving to newcomers as anyone else...but I refuse to pat people on the poh poh.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

Noels

Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Noels » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:50 pm

Good morning friends. I appreciate and understand what you are saying but maybe just think back to when you were 'new '. I remember very clearly when I made the decision to 'try ' aa and I'm a person who have had personal physical experiences with my Higher Power since the age of 13. I 'worked ' WITH and 'through ' that Higher power for many years so that gives me 'an advantage ' you can almost say over the new newcomer and believe you me. .... I was scared out of my wits for a while when I decided to 'try 'aa.
In hindsight I now understand the why's for being so scared BUT at that time I was hopeless and fearful. I had zero self respect, zero confidence and major guilt for 'losing the path ' despite my spiritual background and experiences AND to top it walked into a group where a dictator was in charge.
Today I understand that it was for my benefit -added experience - but you have NO idea how many times I felt likehaving a drink AFTER the meeting simply because of how we were spoken to. He was very fond of 'hitting ' us with extracts from the big book - many times twisted the meaning to suit his own ego and simply did it to make us feel stupid.
So think back to the days before you decided to join aa, think back to how you felt the first few months of not drinking and then you'll get what I'm saying.
Love and light
Noels
By t

Noels

Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Noels » Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:39 am

And one last thing - i don't know the big book as well as everyone else yet as I haven't read the entire book yet but from what I've read so far I don't recall Bill saying ANYTHING about 'hitting ' the newcomer with quotes from the big book. What I do recall is to share experiences, be loving and understanding etc etc.
I joined aa to be with like minded people. People like me who will understand me but at this moment I feel that if my Higher Power was not so exceptionally powerful with guiding and protecting me I would have been back to drinking with what I've experienced 90 percent with aa so far. And now we're probably going to move the discussion to registered discussions. ....

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Brock
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Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Brock » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:38 am

...you have NO idea how many times I felt like having a drink AFTER the meeting simply because of how we were spoken to.
That is something I know very well, and I acted on it and quit AA, but in retrospect I realize the person doing it was trying some 'tough love,' too tough in my opinion. Still now I think I used it as another 'excuse' for quitting, and until I really needed and wanted this program for myself, I had a lot of excuses.

Since then I have figured there are three pretty distinct types of helpers in AA, that tough love type, the middle of the road type who will give you the facts without sugarcoating, but still show compassion patience tolerance and humor, and lastly the type I referred to in a post here. The ones who think AA is a good place to discuss personal problems, to share their 'story' with the newcomer over and over, but provide little or nothing regarding the solution, they don't do as the book suggests on P. 92 - “Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree.”

I believe the last type is the worst for anyone wanting and needing to recover, they tend to be found in the same meeting places because they don't really approve of those in the first two types, but for someone looking for compassion and 'everything will be all right honey, just don't drink and come to meetings,' this is the group for them.
What I do recall is to share experiences, be loving and understanding etc etc.
If you look back at the responses in this very thread, you will see people sharing their experiences concerning the question asked, they have shown what not admitting lack of manageability in their own lives cost them, and offered compassionate suggestions on the way forward, I am proud to be one among such persons, we are not here to throw flowers around, unless they contain the solution.
..And now we're probably going to move the discussion to registered discussions. ..
Probably not, because it does not contain things which might put new people off, and is not argumentative. It started off probably in the right place, because it is about a new person chairing a meeting, but then the topic changed to what we are now discussing.

You have every right and are welcome to say how you think new people should be treated and told about the program, but I would like to suggest that since you have said more than once that you have not read all of the first 164 pages of the book, which is where the program is outlined, that you do so for a better understanding of what we are trying to say. All the best to you, and all the best to South Africa in the world 20/20 cricket world cup starting in India this coming week.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

Noels

Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Noels » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:14 am

Hi Brock many thanks for the response and many thanks for the good wishes for both me and our team. I must admit I'm not a great sports fan but will pass it on to hubby.
I understand more than you possibly think as I 'see ' 'things ', problems , answers etc immediately in 360 degrees . Simultaneously I 'feel ' the same 'things ', questions and problems WITH the solution in the same manner. I don't know whether you watch a program/series called 'limitless ' currently showing here in RSA but if you do - it's sort of the way I 'see ' and 'feel ' the person, questions, answers etc.
So I honestly understand. However it sometimes feel as if members with long sobriety periods forget that when we first consider the fact that we might have a problem we don't knowANYTHING about the steps, the book or being sober. All we know is that we might have a problem, that we have tried on our own to no avail and that we are worthless, our lives are in tatters, we are broken and hopeless. So before we can even GET to the door of aa to learn about steps and programmes and other very important things we need to hear HOPE and kindness and how it doesn't matter where we are right now it will change. Just get to the doors and start. THAT is what my posts are about.
Noels

Noels

Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Noels » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:51 am

You know what. Just disregard my entire post.
Love and light Noels

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Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by PaigeB » Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:47 pm

we need to hear HOPE and kindness and how it doesn't matter where we are right now it will change. Just get to the doors and start. THAT is what my posts are about.
Ditto! Thanks for sharing that!
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

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Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by ezdzit247 » Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:26 pm

Noels wrote:And one last thing - i don't know the big book as well as everyone else yet as I haven't read the entire book yet but from what I've read so far I don't recall Bill saying ANYTHING about 'hitting ' the newcomer with quotes from the big book. What I do recall is to share experiences, be loving and understanding etc etc.
I joined aa to be with like minded people. People like me who will understand me but at this moment I feel that if my Higher Power was not so exceptionally powerful with guiding and protecting me I would have been back to drinking with what I've experienced 90 percent with aa so far. And now we're probably going to move the discussion to registered discussions. ....
Good post!

Bill W. devoted an entire chapter in the BB about how to carry the message of recovery to others who are seeking a solution their own drinking problem. Chapter 7, "Working With Others" agrees with your understanding of how we are to carry the message of recovery. Bill specifically cautions against attempting to bully newcomers into recovery with hysterical dramatics and threats of doom, gloom, and death. In Chapter 11, he cautions every AA member with:

"...obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us."

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny."


Works for me....

Before the BB was published, Bill circulated his drafts of each chapter to AA members in Akron and New York as well as our then non-alcoholic supporters like clergymen, doctors, etc. and solicited editorial feed back for corrections, suggestions, additions, deletions, etc. so that the final draft of the BB came about as a result of a group effort and group consensus. The process is described in Bill W's 1954 Dallas speech "AA History And How The Big Book Was Put Together". You can find a copy of the transcript at Barefoot's World. It really is a hilarious read as well as very informative.
“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: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Annette222 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:49 am

Wow, I will say you guys are great. I was actually afraid to come back here to see responses. I figured I would be deleted or asked to go. I honestly didn't mean to hijack the tread. I apologize to the OP. Now, back to our original program.

Noels

Re: Young lady asked to chair meeting, what to make of it?

Post by Noels » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:43 am

Hallooo I'm so glad you are back. I was scared you WONT come back. Shows you - both our fears were just that - fears.
Hehehehehe once again I understand the feeling. If you read my post about my previous group youll see that I didn't talk for 6 months and now I talk so much the poor people here will have to shoot me to get me to shut up. (if I knew how to use these smilies on the side my post would have been full of smiley faces.
Anyways, we are all in this together my friend. So talk your heart out. Its helped me so much in the past 2 weeks my terrible headaches are gone and I feel that I'm on top of the world!
Love and Light
Noels

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