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Post by mebill »

I'm glad to have found this forum today. I have a very similiar feeling. I call it, "DON'TFITINITUS" LOL! It's not really funny though. Basically I think I have always felt this way (or at least when I was sober). Drunk, I felt I fit in anywhere, but as we all know, I was just DRUNK! I guess that I basically feel that if I give it enough time, believe in the program of AA, things will be revealed to me if I keep at it. Life ain't easy, Life is Life :) When all else fails, I have my sobriety and I am thankful for that today!
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Post by Steven F »

Hi JulieH,

Unfortunately, by what you write, this sounds like a case of untreated alcoholism to me. Let me be quick to say that is not your fault, and that the solution is around the corner.

Think about it - our sanity is restored by us taking the steps and letting a higher power into our lives. You are now at step 3, which basically means you have spent a year looking at the problem. No wonder you are restless, irritable and discontent, or haven't seized fighting everyone and everything.

Especially if you feel that God (read: a God of your own understanding) is a distant being who will only help you if you pray in the right way, at the right times, and with the right intensity. I can assure you: my God doesn't care how I pray to him. He tells me things, and my job is to listen to what he says. In order to listen, I need to get quiet. But there is no magic formula, and no penalty for drifting. Maybe the God of your sponsor's understanding has all these restrictions. But it is about your own understanding - not hers.

Please read page 58 to the top of page 64. Every word, and with attention. Is there something in there you don't believe or don't understand? Do you feel resistance? Do you have a reservation when you get on your knees and say the prayer on page 63? Do you believe and mean every word of that prayer? Honesty is the key here. Everything else is built on that.

If not, please don't hesitate to ask questions in here.

If yes, congratulations! You are now ready for step 4. Time to get free!

I'm sure someone here can help you with the mechanics of step 4 (if you PM me your normal e-mail address, I will be glad to send you some worksheets and instructions you can use). And on this forum, you can discuss whatever you wish to discuss.

Sounds too easy? Nothing I write here is in conflict with the big book (http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/).

Many (not just some) I know have taken the steps in a matter of weeks or a few months. They are happy and sober, and continue to work on their sobriety. There is no end-point to the steps, but there is a point where you get free of the obsession and the spiritual malady. I urge you to get to that point as soon as you can. With this I am not at all criticising the people who have worked at a slower pace. I am only conveying what I read in the book: swift, rigorous action. Listen to those who urge you to be accurate, thorough, precise - honest, open and willing. But don't let anyone attach a "minimum time to spend on a step" to that. What is needed for each next step is described in the book. Nobody can tell you when you are convinced you are ready.

I'm confident that you can write your inventory in a week or so time (maybe use the time you would go to meetings otherwise - this here is way more important). After which you need someone to take step 5 with. Whether or not you want to go to your sponsor for that is up to you. It depends if she is open to hearing it. From what you tell me, I would personally seek someone else (perhaps one of the ladies here is available, or someone from another group in your home town). Step 6, 7 and 8 can easily be done alone - just you and God, and from there you are in step 9 and amazed before you are halfway through (see the bottom of page 83 for what can happen to you then).

I can imagine that you hesitate at this advice. Maybe it is a good idea for you to pray for an open mind and an open heart, and to re-read the book. Maybe you will be able to read it without notions of dependency upon a sponsor, or doubts if what you are reading is actually what is meant. All you need to do is turn statements into questions, and apply what is written to yourself.

Please remember that the big book was written at a time where there were not many AA meetings, and not many sponsorship options. It is meant to be read and to be followed, by an individual, without the need for outside help (except in steps 5 and 10 - and even then the other person does not need to be a member of AA). AA meetings and sponsors must therefore be seen for what they are: a great asset as a network of friends on the same journey, but no replacement for the programme as it is described in clear-cut instructions in the big book.

Gratitude lists, by the way, while great instruments to initiate quiet time, are not part of the programme of AA.

It's a bit sad that anyone would tell you you are "not ready" to get relieved of your problem. I do add to that that you need to be willing, open, honest - in other words, convinced of your first step. Only you can answer that in all honesty.

We can - and will - listen, but we can't do anything in your stead.

I hope you can see this advice for what it is - a reflection of practical and personal experience by the members of this forum. Some have taken swift action, some have taken their time, but all have followed - and are following - the programme of AA. Not the personal ones of our sponsors.
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Post by Marc L »

JulieH wrote:I have a little more than a year in AA. I still don't fit in. I am trying to look at myself. I can't say that a few people have not been friendly, but more often than not I do not see this. I try to be friendly to people,(and my sponsor has said that I am friendly and approachable but I do have this self consciousness about me) and most of them are not friendly back...I know some are sicker than others, but I just can't understand this and it is really bringing me down. I look around the room and others seem to have no problem conversing easily...even the people I try to talk to, they are like completely different people with others. (For example I was trying to help put the 12 step books away and when I asked the girl who was doing the committment where they went I got a very cool response from her...she told me, but no smiling, no feeling of welcomeness) It does make me angry because I think wow thats not really doing the next right thing now is it? I don't even want to bother trying anymore.

I have not spoken to my sponsor in 2 days. I feel like whenever I say something, she makes me feel stupid for saying it. Sometimes I can't hear her and she gets annoyed when I ask her to repeat herself, but when she has me on speaker phone it is really hard to hear her. I do know she has some stuff going on with her job that is making her miserable... She really was the only one I connected with at the beginning and called me which was a nice thing to do because it can be very intimidating getting a list of numbers and calling people you don't know. I have to tell you lately after I get off the phone with her I feel worse than when I got on. I feel crappy about myself enough and I don' really need to be condescended or talked down to or yelled at At the same time the people that I have tried to connect with have not called or texted me lately. I just feel like everyone is blowing me off at the same time.

I cannot even express to you how miserable I feel right now...I have been wallowing in my self pity for 2 days...but I really feel like there must be something wrong with me. I have taken a coffee comittment, I am on step 3 and I am stuck on it because I really lack discipline in praying, and I tend to drift when doing this, and my sponsor says she does not think I am ready to go any further. I call other alcoholics and text them and a lot of times they do not call me back...I don't tell them I need them to call me back, but I get the impression from them that they have enough of people in their lives and if you have a problem they will call you back, but otherwise they are not looking to have a friendship with me, or there is something wrong with me. I have done the grattitude lists, but much of the time I have to take stuff off because I will say well thats not really happening anymore so I cant be grateful for that...I was going to 5 meetings a week and brought it down to 3 after my year...my husband is seriously ill and I am trying to spend more time with my family.

I have family that is very supportive of me, and a couple of friends outside of AA. But for whatever reason, I feel like this fellowship can't be bothered with me...and they tell me its the "we" of the program....but I feel like it's a them and a me. I know I am hear to recover and not make friends, but really having friendships (or at the very least people who are friendly to you) seems to be important in this program...It would make me feel a part of...and I really don't think it is my thinking...I am really trying to be objective here...I will stand outside with people and no one will be saying any thing and I will at least make an attempt at conversation, where no one else will. If I am standing with a couple of people talking I always try to widen the circle if someone else looks like they want to talk next to us...I try to be inclusive...I do not understand why most of these other people do not....Can someone tell me where I am going wrong? It is really starting to devastate me.
Hi Julie;

I once was where you are now feeling like a square peg trying to get into a round hole.
I finally realized I needed to qualify to gain some acceptance from others. I wrote my story and shared it and I also determined if I was an Alcoholic by doing step one. As a result of doing this bit of work the radius of the circle increased and I slid in with room to spare.
Good Luck;
Recovery won't just happen by Osmosis. You gonna' have to work at it some.
12th Step work ain't just a job... It's an Adventure.
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Post by musical099 »

Hello there. I think I understand exactly what you are feeling. I returned to AA after a relapse. Generally, people have been nice and I have attained at least some "AA friends". There is a psychopath at my Hi-Noon meeting (Worcester) who is thoroughly pissing me off. I am ready to crack this guy in the head, it has gotten so bad. Because of him alone, I am ready to leave.

I don't know why anyone in AA doesn't want to do things with me. It brings back those old "childhood feelings" which are the reason I've started doing drugs and drinking in the first place. An AA friendship is exactly that: very shallow. Believe me, I have tried and tried over the years but to no avail.

I fear an altercation with the above guy because of my criminal record. I have an Assault 1 conviction because of an accident. I just show up as a dangerous person. I am 64 years old and want no altercation with anyone. I just want to get along peacefully.

After all this bullshit, I have decided to leave AA once again. Just can't take it anymore.

Oh yeah. I have learned to talk to people and everyone sees me as friendly. But that's all I have been able to make: AA friendships. I hate what this has become.
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Post by avaneesh912 »

Because of him alone, I am ready to leave.
And go where? You are going to find people with whom you may never be comfortable. What are you going to do about it?
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Post by Brock »

Welcome to e-AA musical. As you can see from the others in the thread you posted in you are not alone in your feelings, I have also seen newer posts which come up here from time to time, it is not uncommon for us to have a hard time fitting in at some of the groups out there.

Like you I came in late in life at sixty, and that was seven years ago. I personally find at this age it's not as easy fitting in with a new bunch of people. We become set in our ways and expect certain behavior from others, I also don't have much patience with younger people if they are rude. But AA has a way of mellowing us older fellows out, and teaching us patience and tolerance if we stick with it, and most importantly if we do the steps they suggest.

Those 'childhood feelings' coming back is common and dangerous to the alcoholic, we need to put the past behind us to live a contented life. It may seem like a strange byproduct of doing those steps and living the way they ask in 10, 11 & 12, but it does happen. We get to a stage of leaving the past in the past, and not worrying about the future too much, and then not only do we not think about drinking, we are happy as well. So maybe you can keep trying to develop that patience, and ask someone who looks and sounds like they know the program to take you through the steps, I promise it really changes our outlook about everything, best of luck.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Post by Needed support 2 »

I sometimes feel like that after I share and no one comments on it in the zoom meeting. I tell myself I definitely earned the right to be here and truly admit that I am powerless over Alcohol and I am definitely a alcoholic. I have 13 months of sobriety and attend meetings daily, have a sponsor, work the steps to the best of my ability yet it has to be something wrong with me and my self worth so I need to turn it over to my higher power which is God. Its nice to have friends in the program but I was always someone that didn't have many friends. Now sober I do want caring people in my life. I just keep coming back because I believe not only others can help me, I can help others and if they don't want to comment it's ok.
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Post by PaigeB »

Needed support 2 wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 8:57 am I sometimes feel like that after I share and no one comments on it in the zoom meeting. I tell myself I definitely earned the right to be here and truly admit that I am powerless over Alcohol and I am definitely a alcoholic. I have 13 months of sobriety and attend meetings daily, have a sponsor, work the steps to the best of my ability yet it has to be something wrong with me and my self worth so I need to turn it over to my higher power which is God. Its nice to have friends in the program but I was always someone that didn't have many friends. Now sober I do want caring people in my life. I just keep coming back because I believe not only others can help me, I can help others and if they don't want to comment it's ok.
Welcome to E-aa Support2! YOU ARE HELPING! Here's how I see it... I KNOW that others are helping me when they talk at a meeting and that I have to trust my brain to remember what they said because all the details all the time are quite beyond my conscious thought. But I know they are helping me. So therefore, it is only reasonable that I am helping them in the same way! And even after I speak I can't remember exactly what I said (because it comes from deep inside). It is rather embarrassing after a meeting to be thanked for a share and not remember what I said!

But listen to this ~The phenomena of which you speak is the Spiritual Anonymity that is the very basis of our program! It seems odd to us because we, in our days of drinking, are so tuned in to getting praise in order to feel good. Anonymity is really a service concept. I like to think of it as For Fun & For Free. We really have to give it away to keep it. That means I have to speak and give away my Ego about how it is received!

Looks like this is working for you! 13 months was a shaky time for me! I thought, "Hummm ~ maybe I overestimated this thing. AA seems like a lot of work too." Well, I had to DOUBLE DOWN on my AA contacts. Get some face to face time in meetings and some one on one time with my sponsor. I NEEDED to work the Steps of this program if I was going to get anything like long term sobriety. It worked when I worked it. And it still does. I just got 13 years of sobriety in August. I am continuing to work the Steps to stay somewhat sane. Right now I am facing the paperwork of a deep dive 4th Step on my domestic violence past. It is scary, but I know it works.

That is my personal experience AND the experience of those around me who have shared their joy and pains of this program.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
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