Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment
ccs wrote: what are some things that really got to you when you first started going to meetings?????
I have a tendency to read verbatim.
I have been going to meetings for 14 months now. Some things have been resolved. And most importantly what bothered me then may not bother me as much now because of maturity obtained from turning my life over to my higher power, God, or from my continuing Sobreity or have been replaced by other things.
I am blessed
and I am Sober,
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all those things that really got to me when I first got here only sometimes get to me now I hope that means I`m maturing cause I`m still very young and childish (emotionally)
I`ve heard it said in meetings that you have the emotional capacity of what ever age you were when you started drinking I started at around age 10 so I`m only 14 1/2
I mean I`m not afraid of the coffee anymore
I have learned al ittle bit about tolerence since I started going to meetings and true there are different things that get me going nowadays (thats because I know so much more
) NOT!!!! and I have bioled over almost every thing that every one else has written
but when I reflect on what it was like when I first got here (I mean can you imagine an angry 10 yr old in a meeting of A.A
) and what its like now well it just blows the mind I thank GOD for A.A.
and the fact that I can look back at what a nut I was and find some Humor
cause now I`m a well behaved 14 1/2 yr. old NUT
ok sometimes well behaved
thanks to the program(12 steps of A.A.) I now have a tool box with a wrench that fits all NUTS
and thanks to all of you!!!! Luv-2-All
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Some of the things I hated!
1, a guy and a gal just can't stop hanging and kissing on each other. GET A ROOM! My God, I can't drink, my sponsor says no relationships and I have to sit here and watch you.
2, this is not Christian or a religion. they were right, it is a wrench that will fit any nut.
people talking non stop. Criticizing everything another person says.
I can probably think of some more but it might take me some time.
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This is adding up to make a great list!
I'm thinking of printing it out to pass around at the next A.A. meeting!
I wonder if it would be helpful?
Two things that still get under my skin are:
1. Someone that says that have long time sobriety (like 30 years or more) and they still act childish doing many of the things posted above -- in the meeting. Seems like they could have at least mastered self-restraint-for-an-hour -- during all those years!
2. Those that start rumors and gossip about other members of the Fellowship -- and those that repeat the rumors and gossip.... and then, they share about how spiritual they are since joining A.A. and the importance they place on having God in their life and the 12 Traditions !!!
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This topic reminds me of a Back to Basics class that I was attending when I had about 7 months. I REALLY like Back to Basics and think that it teaches the heart of AA. I loved this class and couldn't wait for each Monday night when I would get to attend. The thing that I liked most about the class was the woman who conducted it. She is my Sponsor's Sponsor and I want to be just like her when I grow up in AA.
One Monday night this newcomer came in. After a while she started sharing about all of her problems, which had alot to do with experience but nothing to do with strength and hope. I sat there and got angrier by the second. Finally, the woman who was conducting the meeting headed the newcomer off and got the meeting back on track. In the week that followed I found myself building a resentment against this newcomer and really marveling at how my Sponsor's Sponsor handled the situation. The next time I saw my Sponsor's Sponsor I told her how I felt and asked her how she was able to handle the situation with such serenity and grace. She told me something that I will never forget and think of today. She said that you learn two things from the way that people act--you learn how TO act or you learn how NOT TO act. She went on to say that we learned how NOT TO act from that newcomer but that the newcomer was a precious child of God for whom we should pray. She also told me that these meetings did not belong to AA but to God. Those words have helped me to be patient with different meetings and know that God is there despite how I may feel and how others may behave.
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There ain't much in an AA meeting that can raise the temperature of my blood, let alone make it boil. Most things roll off me like water off a duck's back.
I try to focus on the big picture and let the small irritations, which can become like a sliver in my happiness, stay small and remember that I'm there to help others achieve sobriety and to maintain contented and grateful sobriety myself.
One of the slogans at the end of Chapter 9 of Alcoholics Anonymous ('The Family Afterward') is Live and Let Live. An appropriate reminder about my attitude toward my immediate family and my AA family.
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I feel compelled to offer my full attention to those who are sharing....for me, listening is also a form of participating.....use of a cell phone...be it reading messages or text messaging is not acceptable. I look at it from the perspective of the message the newcomer gets when this occurs. Then I ask myself why am I letting this annoy me so much? Am I being self-righteous? Covering up a bad motive with a good one? All of this to some degree? Should I be annoyed at all? I get a yes and no answer to all these questions...maybe I shouldn't keep asking my self why so often. Yet then again by asking myself why I understand myself and am able to improve my ability to apply this program into my life.
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I'll ring in, too.
I think it is pretty much natural to get "annoyed" at someone at a meeting who does things that are "annoying". Bottom line is, in the world in which we live, there are certain "expectations" that are put in place by "powers that be". And to run against those expectations brings about actions or "enforcement" of expectations. That's what happens in a "civilized" society.
At work, if I do something that is disruptive to others, you can bet your bottom dollar I will get "written up" - that is to say "Disciplined". Same goes if I use a cell phone while driving in the Cleveland suburb of Brooklyn. I will get pulled over and cited. I'll be expected to pay a fine or show up in court.
So the "bigger" the annoyance, the greater is the expectation to not do it while in public.
An alcoholic that gets annoyed at meetings because someone is annoying is not something unusual. I don't think it's always something that comes about from having the "alcoholic tendencies". Getting annoyed is something that happens to everyone and there are laws against certain kinds of annoying behaviors.
It's what I do with my own "being annoyed" that makes a difference to me and others. Where I came from, the longtimers pointed out my annoyances and rode my behind until I learned. I get easily distracted, so if someone is talking while someone is sharing or comments being made, and it's too much of a distraction, I just get up out of my chair and ask them to be quiet. In my opinion, it's completely OK to ask anyone who is disrupting a meeting to stop. I was taught this by a longtimer in my support group. He just said, be calm and polite, and walk up to them and deal with the issue. I think it was because he knew that my height and size could be intimidating enough to shut someone up - and I did just that more than once at my other home group.
But it also was doing a favor for others at the meeting - I think it goes along with being an active home group member. If I want my home group to be a certain way, then I need to start by looking in the mirror. This is all stuff I been taught.
If I can do that without letting the feeling of "being annoyed" turn into anger or resentment - then I'm making progress. There are folks in the fellowship that can quiet a distractor with "grace and dignity". God beless them. That is the mark I want to shoot for. If I can replace anger, resentment, or any strong negative emotion with a reaction or response that shows "grace and dignity", then I am learning how to better serve God and those around me. In my opinion, "quieting a distractor" qualifies as helping other alcoholics.
On the other hand, there are also times when certain longtimers don't use their best graces. I've heard tell of throwing folks out of meetings - literally by the collar. I've heard that folks have been threatened with violence or death if they didn't shut up. I can't say if these repsonses are "right" or "wrong". I just know they are out there, and have happened in my own home group.
I don't have to let my blood boil if I get annoyed at another person. And being lazy as I am sometimes, I don't want to make my prayer list longer by adding another resentment. Somewhere, sometimes in front of my eyes, there are positive and dignified ways to respond. It does me best by looking for them.
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Since I'm new and still so sick I'll pipe in here.
1. people talking during the meeting. That happened last night and they were sitting right next to me. I would turn and give them "the look". Finally, I said.......shhhhhhhh! And they did. One of them was the woman I was talking about in another post who keeps going in/out, in/out and I thought, no dang wonder! I'm looking forward to the day I can be more like Tim, but right now I feel like I'm there to save my life and I need to hear what other people share about how they stay sober today.
I'm the forever people pleaser, unfortunately. So, if I do what Paul does, I'm afraid people won't like me. Typing that just made me feel childish.
2. This ONE guy who does that thing someone said, tries to quote the big book and screws it all up. He ALWAYS comes in the meeting late.
3. People who apologize to the new comer for people sharing about God. Isn't this program all about a loving God?
4. People who think a seat is "their" seat because they usually sit there.
5. Generic answers like..."I worked the steps", go to meetings, call my sponsor. Well HOW do you work them in your life today, thank you very much!
6. Cell phones, of course.
7. And ALL those daggum readings that no one listens to. I remember when they only read How it Works and the traditions. Now there is As Bill Sees it, 24 hours a day, daily reflections, the promises and THEN the meeting starts.
8. An alanon member at an AA meeting
9. Those who say, I'm such and such and I'm an addict. Then go to NA meetings. What happened to singleness of purpose?
It's all about me ya know
Gee, I already started my 4th step.
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thanx_2hm wrote:I'm the forever people pleaser, unfortunately.
That's an interesting comment.
Recently, while spending a long visit with a long-time old-timer that has been much help to me over the years -- and a very "active" member of our Fellowship made this comment:
"Funny how we'll hear so many people say that they are or have been people pleasers -- as if it were a bad thing -- when --what happens to us, as a result of taking the Steps -- is that we become People Pleasers!"
For me, my people pleasing "before the Steps" was just another manipulation tool to selfishly get what I wanted from them!
Now, I'm a People Pleaser -- just because that's what the Steps have done to me. It's a characteristic of "who I am. and what I am" People seem to naturally get pleased when I'm treating them kind, respectful, thoughtful about their interest, and attempting to be of service -- without trying to get something from them in return.
In regards to "boundaries"... I read some stuff that was written for some other sick people -- and I thought it sounded good to me and I started doing it. Then, some long-time AA's took me aside, and shared with me their experience with "boundaries"... and "rights"... and, it convinced me to give up both of them -- boundaries and rights. They pointed out to me that "there is a best way that's usually always better than just a better way."
Now, my stuff is not my stuff -- It's God's stuff -- and He just shares it with me and lets me use it. And, instead of "rights" I gave those up for "privileges and opportunities." And, boundaries for me... is just another form of limitation on my living-ness. In My Father's house, and in My Father's world -- there are no limitations because anything and everything is possible. I would rather experience a life of possibility thinking and possibility living. Boundaries... for me... shuts me out of possibility living. I like the Carpenter's idea... that "all things are possible."
One of the fastest ways that I know of -- for me to get angry -- is for someone to mess with "my stuff" invade or cross my "boundaries" or screw around with "my rights."
I had to find a way to live without anger. And, that's one of the biggest ways that I was able to do it. "Healthy anger" may be the dubious luxury of "normal folks"... but, I'm not a normie!!!
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