How young is young?

For the younger AA generation, some experience, strength and hope.
Abraham Lincoln
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Re: How young is young?

Post by Abraham Lincoln »

Started going to meetings at 14. 21 now. In my area, group conscience at a few meetings is "young in recovery" equates to getting sober under 25 (for the purposes of young people's speaker meetings).
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Re: How young is young?

Post by Oliver »

Thanks all for sharing -- it's got me looking back to my first meetings. It's been a real journey. My first meeting was at 16, and after that I made several re-entries to the Fellowship before managing to get some lasting sobriety in my early twenties. I was always super-conscious of being the youngest person in the room (usually by upwards of 50 years), and did sometimes feel that I wasn't being taken seriously. That was mostly in my head. The rest of it was because people rightly sensed I wasn't really ready for recovery, wasn't desperate enough to throw myself on the programme, hadn't truly made a first step admission. I didn't have the desperation that, thank God, I did have when I came back in for (so far) the last time. Anybody who saw me that night knew that I was beaten.

Talking with older fellows I've found a couple of reactions -- on one hand there's the "you're so lucky getting sober so young", on the other hand there're those who say "it's more difficult staying sober at your age". Both of them are true to some extent, but there's more to the picture: God gives us the experiences we need to get into recovery (however painful they may or may not be, listening in shows that alcoholism is no respected of age), and I've tended to find that recovery is about as hard as I want to make it (it's the power that I get into contact with via the steps that does the real work).

So in the early days as a teenage AA I found myself, from time to time, earning my place, or justifying my being in the rooms. Waste of time. Being an alcoholic, for me today, doesn't mean a certain amount of libation imbibed, or a certain number of horrendous experiences ticked off a bucket list, it just means what's described in the Big Book as I understand it: (1) mental obsession; (2) phenomenon of craving; (3) spiritual malady. Our stories are just the unique ways we found to live out those three things in our lives and the lives of others.
"In exchange for bottle and hangover, I have been given the keys to the kingdom."
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Re: How young is young?

Post by flip »

hey, i'm 26, i started drinking when i was 13, just fun with friends, this continued as i got older, never really figured out the social drinking deal. Maybe its my age, maybe its just my family, but for the longest time when i would drink excessively people seemed to just look at it as "just hanging out with the guys". I didn't drink everyday, but when i did it was almost always to excess. I have a hard time relating to anyone these days, any of my friends just wants me to come over for drinks or meet them at the bar, i'm not even comfortable around my own family, they're aware of my problem and although i don't believe they have problems with alcohol they usually have more alcohol on hand than some liquor stores in my area, so i generally try to avoid going there. Its kind of a lonely spot to be, feel free to pm me anytime.
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Re: How young is young?

Post by Lexi_L »

Well I'm 15 years old and im the youngest at my home group, so I think you are still young haha. :D I am called the "baby" by everyone at my group. Techincally speaking though The males mind is fully developed from the ages of 25 to 30 so you are still technically have an adolecent mind but what do I know I'm 15. :lol:
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Re: How young is young?

Post by chefchip »

53 here. The average age of my home group members would be mid 20s somewhere. Since they are the age of my children they are all kids to me! But seriously, I have quit tallying the things I have learned from them. Most of them have had much harder lives than me. They have had experiences I hope never to be able to relate to. Even though I often think my sobriety was hard-won, I marvel at what they had to do to get theirs. And to keep theirs. In short, to my mind age is irrelevant. We all have something to offer to and learn from someone else.
The only constant in life is change.
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Re: How young is young?

Post by TonyWARMS »

I went to my first AA meeting at 21. Thought it was a joke. Went, and got good, and wrecked for 15 years, went back to AA. Went back out for 7 1/2 years, and here I am today. (Don't worry about the math. I'm older than that sum, anyway. :lol: )
It would have been nice to realize my situation younger, but it is what it is.
I always try to tell young people who are usually much smarter than I am, that they shouldn't get intimidated in any way by us old fogies.
We need to hear you, and what got you here. Your age doesn't matter one bit.

Peace, Tony

P.S. Lexi, it sounds like you know a lot, and keep filling up that mind with as much sobriety as you can get. Keep coming back.
"Nothing comes to stay. Everything comes to pass".
(I don't know where I heard this)
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