Q# 1: Are we as a group fulfilling basic purpose to carry the message of recovery to alcoholics?


25 Responses

From what I have read in the forum, email 12x12 meeting, as well as chat I have seen many people providing compassionate guidance to find recovery in our literature and ESH.

There's the usual question about "what message are we really carrying?" but in the forums there's been a strong emphasis on Steps and a spiritual solution to a clearly defined alcoholic (rather than alcohol) problem. I've noticed the NB email meeting can seem a little less strong in this regard, both in terms of defining the problem and outlining the solution.

On womens and the forums, I feel there is focus on caring and the steps.
I will also add that many times there are some that think they are "better" and have confronted someone on the group and not personally.  I had considered leaving womens many times due to this.  I think that even those that HEAD the group CAN BE WRONG and need to be more careful and pointing fingers in public.
Newbeginning does not relate as much as I feel it is more of a sociable thing.

While the New Beginnings is somewhat informal, I think we are still carrying the message for the newcomers. I think e-aa in general is carrying the message.

I agree on this point. New Beginnings is pretty informal, but does seem to focus on recovery. There is just more fellowship on there, which is always a plus for recovery IMO.

As far as the Forums go, I think we are doing as well as can be expected. Everyone seems to focus on recovery without the program (steps/traditions) being too watered down. I know that I can always find something to read and relate to when I come here that will help me in my recovery and I hope that others would feel the same.

Yes, I think we do a good job.

I have discovered recently that online AA is becoming the newest outreach for alcoholics that can't handle the idea of going to a rehab or going right to a meeting.

Rehab's are so prevalent as the first choice in recovery anymore that twelve step lists and calls to Intergroup are being overlooked as a form of Twelfth step calls. I believe online AA is the next and most profound form of twelfth step work. I am particularly proud to be a member of the e-aa group. I have tried other groups, not for long but have found them to be disorganized and wholly unstructured. I think we are doing a great job of reaching out to new alcoholics.

Yes, I believe we are.

This forum is a little different than an AA group. However, in its own way it carries the message in a strong way. Many answers of questions are given here, but there still should be an emphasis on the old fashioned homegroup, and sponsorship. I have read where people are logging on here and not wanting sponsorship, and in some ways, the responses are negative toward sponsorship. There is nothing that can replace true sponsorship, and the homegroup. The fellowship can in no way be brought to this forum, because it is too informal. But, the message is carried in another way, and in effect, its own way.

yes, I think we are fulfilling this purpose.

I will speak only to that which I know either directly or through feedback on the members list.
Let's see. I am not a regular in the chat room, but I have gotten the impression that the chat room has been and continues to be a place where newcomers are welcome.
I think that the forums also server the newcomers well, or at least have the potential to. I am an infrequent user of the forums, but have noted posts from newcomers along with responses when I have been on the forums.
I can only speak to the 12and12 e-mail list where I believe we have some newcomers.

I believe we are carrying the message of AA , along with Traditions, straight throughout e AA, into each of the different formats within e AA

I was introduced to e-AA via the Chatroom which I sadly don't get to frequent much anymore. Great outreach is being done there.
I think each of us are different and finding the correct group with the right balance of people and personalities is important. Here on e-AA there appears to be something for everyone.
Just like in f2f groups, the basics appear to be here in each different format, but the "carrying on's" are different. AND THIS IS GOOD. I was taught that there was no "right" way for everyone. Some need structure and a taskmaster, some need freedom to find what works for them along with the basic guidelines supplied to us, and some need a combination of the two.
It does hurt my heart to see mean spirited comments being made when we are in discussion, and a lack of patience tolerance and understanding amongst our fellows. I know that this is done out of a genuine concern for the well-being of ALL OF US, but we sure don't practice what we preach sometimes. And I am as guilty of that as others and will take my part.
After quite the ramble, I think we are doing an excellent job in spreading the message and my heartfelt thanks to you all for being here for me when I needed a supplement to my f2f meetings.

I think we are carrying the message throughout e-aa very well.

e-aa has something for everyone. I have been going to the chat room a lot more lately and I like what I see. I am also on several email list and the message of recovery is there.

More and more alcoholics are using on line AA to check it out, so to speak, before they venture into f2f.

I think e-aa is doing an outstanding job.

Do we support the suffering alcoholic or we do we support AA exclusively? If we support the alcoholic, then we have a responsibility to direct the alcoholic to alternative sources if AA is not for them. I've noticed there is a hard core of long term members plus a revolving door of new ones who rapidly come and go.

Older members are very dismissive when new members question some of AA's basic tenants. The are also told that no question is a stupid one. Hence these members often leave even though they are needy. We should lighten up if we exist to support alcoholics. And we shouldn't terrify new members w/ the jail, institutions, or death speech if they do not follow our program of recovery. We should say people do become sober outside of AA. AA works for us, but it doesn't work for everyone.


Overall this group does an excellent job!!

We rock. Not much new age AA here.

Yes. I believe that we are doing a great job of carrying the message of recovery to alcoholics.
The door is open here, the welcome mat is out, the rest is up to the individual.

Yes...I believe we are. e-AA was my first introduction to AA and it was a great one!

I have been sober in AA for a long time and have been on e-aa for about 18 months. Never having been involved in any online AA, I don't have anything to compare with. The limited list that I am involved with, women, wl and ehn are definitely fulfilling the purpose of carrying the message.

Whilst I knew a little about AA my first real experience of AA was through these rooms of e-aa.
The support I received from the members of e-aa was immense, especially for someone who was fearful of being an alcoholic.
I must admit that I did get a barrage of the tough love at one point but there were others in the room you gave me the care that I required.
So yes I, from first hand experience, do think e-aa is doing the right thing.

We exist solely to carry OUR message of hope to the suffering alcoholic.

That suffering alcoholic needs to have two critical criteria met to benefit from what we do:

1. If you want what we have
2. and are willing to go to any length to get it.

Obviously, many people don't meet those two standards for what WE're doing and should seek some other venue.

But for the person who wants to recover from alcoholism, we absolutely rock. I'm proud e-aa is my online home group.

I won't pretend to have any sort of a handle on everything that goes on here at e-AA, but I'll share a bit about what I have found, and what I do utilize here.

I'm a chat user almost exclusively, and that is what I came here for. What I found was more. I used to spend all my time online at a different "group." I put group in quotes because there were no group conscience meetings that I was ever aware of, only a certain group of, "facilitators." That's the term they use. I guess what I'm driving at is this. I came here to e-AA and learned that an online group could actualy FUNCTION AS A GROUP, the same way a f2f group can, should, and does function.

Life in the chat room is amazing. The newcomers are there, and they are there in numbers. I often use www.anonpress.org/phone to point newcomers in the right direction. I tell them that if they'd like a couple AA's to come right to their door and 12 step 'em PROPER, that they too can have that, just call you local intergroup and ask.

Someone pointed out something that I've felt strongly about for awhile now. AA is not nearly so often thought of as the first option for the alcoholic. More often than not it's treatment centers. 12th step calls are way down around my neck of the woods, that's for sure. But the numbers of people I find coming online to find out what we're all about is amazing. I'm grateful that places like e-AA exist to fill that need.

I tell people, and see others tell people that service in their local groups is very important to gaining and maintaining sobriety, and is an experience not to be missed. Going to f2f meetings and getting a f2f sponsor is stressed regularly.

It's funny how things can come full circle. On page XVIII of the fourth edition of the Big Book, it says, "New groups started up and it was found, to the astonishment of everyone, that A.A.'s message could be transmitted in the mail as well as by word of mouth." Well, here we are some years later, and it's been a long time since it was so regularly necessary to use the mail as a primary form of communicating with newcomers, (aside from the Grapevine), but now here we find ourselves again communicating in a text format, just electronically. I believe whole-heartedly that it works, and I have seen people introduced, or RE introduced to AA in this setting that are sober today as a result.

As a member here, I certainly try to carry AA's message, as well as share my own experience strength and hope, and I believe that is done here very well. That's the long answer.

Now for the short answer. YES!

Somewhat - as a group, I believe we can sometimes be short sighted, particularly as it comes down to peoples limited to involvement in certain technologies. I.e. People with a chat focus will steer people to chat, forums people to the forums, etc. In saying that I believe this may limit the effectiveness of carrying the message.

One area - particularly in the email arena, where I feel when may not fulfil the basic purpose of carrying the message, is in the area of email list subscribers that are 'lurking' in the background and still drinking. I have no problem with them being on the list at all - but I am aware that they are often not thought about. Almost like they are deaf-mutes (forgive me if that is not politically correct) who everyone ignores because we don't know they are listening and because they don't talk we ignore them. It is not intentional - but perhaps there are lots of opportunities to get people involved, if we are persistent. It might be as simple as having a weekly 'call' email where we ask people to share, who are still struggling to put down or keep down the drink. We might very well occasionally get drunken messages, at the same time, we might just save a few lives as we become reminded that we are only one drink away in our difference.

Back to 2007 Inventory Summary