- One letter away from danger

One letter away from danger




Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

One letter away from danger

Postby sunlight » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:23 pm

There seems to be an epidemic of angry A A's here. Mostly those with 20-30 years sobriety. It's in meetings, the "meeting" before & after the meeting, group consciences, & in board meetings for the AA club. :?

What is going on? Is it cuz Denver is a mile closer to the sun & it's easier to get burned up? :lol:

I'm talking vile comments, starting fights, throwing things, voices that would raise the dead, and fistfights. From our old timers! :evil:

They are frightening the new people, who don't see sobriety as very attractive if they're going to end up like that. I don't blame them.

Are they not happy with their sobriety? Do they need to take an inventory? Has the old alcoholic ego snuck back in?
I was told these people are called "flamers". Do I need to bring a fire extinguisher to meetings? Or, maybe a spray bottle! Those are very effective with animals. :lol:

I would appreciate some perspective on this, cuz I'm still in the single digits & hope to have many eons of happy, contented sobriety.

As a woman, I am able to get the men to calm down somewhat, but the women who are exploding are ready to rip my hair out. Come on! Cat fights are SO yesterday! :roll:

Time for a meeting....I don't want to waste my time being angry at the people who are angry!
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Postby Tim » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:13 pm

I've seen some of this over the years, but thankfully not too frequently.
What comes to mind is that this comes from emotional insobriety--a dry drunk--which can be as bad as a wet drunk, and with as wicked a hangover.

There are some who have developed a habit of going to AA meetings, but that's it. Or they started with an active AA program, and let it lapse. In a way, anger may be worse in those who are not working the steps and have lots of years of abstinence from alcohol.

Personally, I try to stay close to the Steps and the actions required. This helps to keep me contented and useful to others. I don't have long-term sobriety yet, but I know what happens if I don't do AA on a daily basis.

Length of sobriety is everything and it is nothing. I don't like the experience of a dry drunk, so that's the lash that drives me back to the Steps when one hits. I can often sense it coming on when I get into a cul de sac like resentment or a deadend emotion like self-pity.

I ran across a guy who wrote that dealing with dry drunks in AA is similar to working with wet drunks. The principles outlined in the Chapter on 'Working with Others' apply. He may be on to something.
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:04 pm

Great answer, Tim. You hit the rusty nail on the head with your answer! :wink:

Tim also wrote:I ran across a guy who wrote that dealing with dry drunks in AA is similar to working with wet drunks.


From my experience, I much prefer working with wet drunks instead of dry drunks.

For those wondering "What's a dry drunk?" ... It's an alcoholic that is physically sober... but is suffering from "un-treated" alcoholism. There are many in AA. They are physically sober, sometimes many years sober, but their alcoholism isn't being treated. They may or may not go to AA meetings.

Sunlight... why don't you get a few AA's together, who share your experience... and grab a coffee pot and a Big Book and start a new meeting?

First, you might want to ask those Old-timers "When can't you attend a meeting?" After they give you the times that they can't attend meetings... then tell them "Thank you. We want to start a new meeting that focuses on recovery and unity... and be sure that you wouldn't be able to interrupt it!" :lol: :lol: :lol:

I have a tendency to be a little too out-spoken when in circumstances like yours... I tell the new people... "See Ed over there? Yep. The old guy with a hundred years sobriety... Just hesitate on taking the Steps and you're guaranteed to end up just like Ed!" (Naturally... I make sure that Ed can hear me!)... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Actually... I don't do that as often as I used to do it. :oops:

If you'd like a more "human solution"... you might turn to page 83-84, and ask the dry drunks to share their experience with those experiences. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ask them to share with the group, how they achieved so much love and tolerance and peace and unity and how they developed an attitude of helpfulness?

Well... maybe... you won't want to try any of those things. :wink: It's often best just to "talk about it. rather than do it." Then, we can be an example of no-longer fighting anything or anyone. :wink:

Best wishes,

Dallas
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Postby sunlight » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:35 pm

Thank you for your inspiration & ideas. I took them to prayer, to my sponsor, then took it to the group.

These old timers are people we care about. They raised many of us up in the program, helping us with their experience, kindness & consistency. I call them my "godparents". And now, like with aging parents that have gotten sick, it feels like it's our turn to help them.

"Emotional insobriety", "untreated alcoholism": what's the solution? The steps!

I did suggest at a club board meeting that we all choose a sponsor & take the steps again. They looked at me like I was from Mars ( or is it Venus that women are from? )

But, how about turning it around & inviting them to vicariously take the steps, by asking them to take US through them? There's actually one taker so far! And, there's been some positive adventures already!

Plus, we've invited many to the workshop on emotional sobriety next weekend, & we're asking their help on a workshop our group will be hosting in the spring on relationships. We are hoping to get them involved in their own wellness! :wink:

I know that people often expect me, young as I am in sobriety, to be this stellar example of AA. How much more does someone with 20-30 yrs. feel this? Then, there's a tendency for me to pretend I'm not human & don't ever feel sad or angry or afraid. Boy, does that ever get me messed up! If I don't do something about it, it just gets worse & worse & then I REALLY don't want to tell anyone!

I know I can't change anyone. But, I can show up with love & tolerance & forgiveness, & see how I can be of service.

Maybe when I'm in those double digits & get mean & crabby, someone will help ME! :lol:
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Postby Dallas » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:53 pm

I hope that you took my suggestions above as in humor... :lol:

Could it be... that those old-timers could be right about something?

Perhaps... they see what's happening in their local AA environment to be threatening to the survival of AA.

Perhaps... they see that "What's going on"... is not "What will work"... to get 20-30 years sobriety?

We all know, from our experience of alcoholism... how tough it was to get 24 hours... without a drink. Now, multiply that 24 hours by 20-30 years and try to imagine how tough that can be.

Invite them out for coffee -- away from the AA club. Take a pen and paper and a Big Book. Ask them to share their concerns with you. Try to see the situation from their point of view. That may help you to better understand what's happening and why it might be happening.

Before we can solve any problem -- we need some detailed information about the problem. Then, we can see what the real problem is and be able to search for a solution that will work.

Best wishes,

Dallas
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Postby garden variety » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:51 pm

Dallas wrote:I hope that you took my suggestions above as in humor...


I see we still have our active "S/A Licenses". I was pretty impressed with your suggestions, bro. I'd also be inclined to say and do those things! :twisted:

I've seen the same things around here - maybe sometimes in spells where there seems to be a rash of irritability going around. For me it's not hard for my conduct to drift from "light-hearted smart-@ss" to being mean. So it's when I think I'm being "cute" that I start taking my inventory. Yes there's a lot of thin skin in the rooms, and it can be overdone sometimes, but I find myself asking "am I helping the situation"?

It seems like I'm always learning lessons about my behavior. I find that sometimes things in a person's life is where that "dry drunk" unmanigeability starts. You get into a argument with a loved one, or a loved one goes and gets arrested, or things of a negative nature happen - there is always some "fallout" that hits home no matter how "spiritually fit" someone thinks they are (yours truly included).

My running buddy has been having a time with his "new interest" that is his girl - and boy has he turned into a whiney madman with a vein in his forehead popping out. There are sometimes when I literally look at him, see that vein bulging out his forehead, and push it down right between his eyes. He knows that's my signal to him that he's getting "nerved up" as Dallas likes to say. He's got 29 years last week, but I guess it's my job to keep him in line sometimes like he does me. I start teasing him, which he lets me do, and after a time he might get to Rule 62. Lately he's been disturbed quite a bit. I just told him yesterday that I want to be just as spiritual as he is when I get 29 years - this was while he was whining about something. He just stopped and said "Now that wasn't too nice". I just laughed - then he laughed at himself.

But anyhow what I'm saying is that things that happen in a man or woman's personal life will get carried all over the place. And you can say what you do, and I can say what I do, and we can all talk that "perfect AA" talk, but when a person is feeling bad or feeling pain, it takes a time to put those principles into action. I'd be lying if I said, say my girl and me get into a disagreement for example, then within 20 minutes, I'll have taken my inventory, found the thing that was disturbing me, promptly admit my wrong, then I become "happy, joyous, and free." It just usually don't work out that way.

But when we're here online, and we got time to share our ESH, it looks so simple. "Well my newcomer friend, if you do what I do, you'll get over whatever's disturbing you just by using the spiritual tool kit!" Well, yeah, it does work, but on this board, you don't see the time factor it took in my ESH before I figured it out. Heck some of the things I share about took me many years to figure out. And that is a disadvantage of online recovery - somebody might be going through pain and suffering and it seems to them like they're doing everything right, which they probably are, but they still feel blue, or angry, or lazy, or depressed. But then we sometimes do them a disadvantage by talking about how wonderful the program has worked for us. Does that make sense?

I think it all goes back to "love and tolerance is our code" like the book says. I been having to love and tolerate my buddy with his 29 years of sobriety, along with his "relationship" unhappy butt-aches for better than a couple weeks now. Is he a dry drunk? Not really. He gets into action and works with others which has kept him sober. It's just lately he's turned into a pile of mush. But I know that he will figure out this deal for himself because he's been doing it a good deal longer than me. He'll ask me questions, and I go through great pains to keep from lighting into his butt. I know he needs love and tolerance, and not a butt-whoopin. So I don't do what I want to do.

Sometimes Sunlight, the best and only thing for me to do is to just meet the needs of the day. Then it becomes such a relief to get on my knees at night and thank God for those things I was able to act constructively about, and to know that I'm forgiven whenever I come up short. After that, the miracle of another day usually happens, and it's a new beginning which I know will be different than the day before.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:02 am

Paul, thanks for sharing!
I appreciate you!

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Postby Dallas » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:15 pm

Calling all Sunlight!!!

If you get some free time... would love to hear from you!

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