- AA Meetings and the Sober Life

AA Meetings and the Sober Life




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

AA Meetings and the Sober Life

Postby garden variety » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:01 pm

Hi friends,

I was reading a few posts here and there and got little confuzed...I didn't know what was happening where, or who was mad at who, and thin skin getting frazzled - so I wanted to really get you all going.

Now there was some things mentioned about meetings and the need to go to meetings, and how living the "AA Life" can get out of hand because of personalities taking priority over principles. I seen this happen time and time again around these here parts of Ohio, where AA has a very strong following, and it comes in so many shapes, sizes, and forms. I have seen how sponsors can and do get into unhealthy things that maybe even form "militant" gangs of highly opinionated alcoholics. There are also some folks that live in fear and insist on having a sponsor to tell them everything. Certain sponsors get off on power, and this leads to co-dependent and unhealthy relationships between fellows (that would include women "fellows" too).

I put the book in front of everything else, because that's the only single thing that is needed to recover from alcoholism. It's been sent to places where there were no meetings at all, and folks in those remote and desolate places stayed sober just by using the book alone. So I think the "Big Book" is a necessity to staying sober.

Now I go to meetings. The reason I go to meetings is that I have a need to identify with people that have the same malady as me. My malady of alcoholism is something that has given me a "peculiar mental twist" which I know means that the way my mind works is notably different when it comes to alcohol than the mind of a soical drinker. One of the "peculiar" symptoms of my alcoholic malady is that if I take my mind off the malady, that "queer mental state" can bring about some pretty "peculiar" thoughts which can translate into actions that can put my sobriety at risk.

I LOVE SOBRIETY! Loiving sober has given me a second chance on life that has brought me moments of joy and emotions so intense that words can't describe it. Some of the things that I used to do drunk have been rocketed to some 4th dimension for sure. That includes, well heck, SEX. Now this isn't just about sex, but for example, the best sex I ever experienced has been while I'm sober. I didn't need viagra or any other artificial "enhancements". I never knew the intensity and feelings existed before, and now I lived 40 years not knowing this way of life. Well let me just say it's been like re-living "intamacy" for the first time. Now there's other examples of other feelings and activities too, but what I'm saying is that sobriety has opened the doors to truly living and loving and experiencing every single breath of life. I son't ever want to give this up for anything.

So I go to meetings (not for SEX!) to get reminders of this alcoholic malady. My "peculiar" mind needs to be reminded that it is peculiar and will always be peculiar when it comes to alcohol. My fellows are the ones to remind me about this because that pitiful and demoralized state of existance of addiction to alcohol is long gone from me.

So if I stop going to meetings, my peculiar mind might get some fancy idea that drinking alcohol wouldn't be "all that bad". Before too long, I might get away from daily Hazelden devotions, or reading the book, or even praying on my knees. But when I go to meetings, I get those reminders. My fellows speak and share about what we were like, what happened, and what we are like today. I'm reminded that it's a good thing to help another alcoholic, and it's a great life to be living today - better than it ever was. I learn how to fellowship like "normal" people fellowship. Then I also learn about what real friendship is, too. Because I have best friends in this fellowship who will be friends for all time that I can depend on for love and help in any situation if I need it.

I don't have to go to meetings. I'm not a "AA Zombie" that has to be told how to tie his shoes by his sponsor. I know that God "gave us brains to use" and that I can think and act in a good way because that's how I was taught, and that's what I'm reminded about at meetings.

I live life to the fullest. Buddy let me tell you what - I take some chances, too. I take risks, I make myself vulnerable, and I do things that a lot of folks would shy away from. I also do some things that aren't always too bright, and I fall and stumble sometimes and skin my knees, too. I live through happiness and tears. All I can say is that I'm so very grateful that I can do all of these things without the need to pick up a drink - never again do I need to do that.

Well that started somewhere friends, and that was in a room full of alcoholics in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. If that meeting wasn't there some ten years ago, I sure would have missed out on the best life I've ever lived today. I respect AA, and it's founders, and it's meetings, and Ihope everyone that I come into contact with.

What I got from you all is priceless.

Thanks for loving me and letting me be your friend.

Paul
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Postby sunlight » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:54 pm

Can't post long now, just want to say, that if you ever leave us, Paul, I will pass the basket & we will hire that bounty hunter guy to track you down! :lol:

More on meetings later...
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Postby Dallas » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:50 am

A long time ago, an idea in the Big Book jumped out at me. It was "our guiding principle becomes giving rather than receiving."

I thought a lot about that. And, one day I connected it to the idea of Step 12, and about... recovery taking place as one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic.

Then, I said to myself... "What if... the only reason that I go to meetings is to be available to give... rather than to receive anything."

So, I started doing that. I went to meetings NOT because I was to "get anything for myself at all"... but because I was to give what I could give.... my time, my money, my help... to help someone else.

It began to rapidly change my entire life and my thinking.

No longer was I going to "get anything for me"... I was just going to "give me" in whatever way may be wanted by someone else.

Then, one day, my head said to me... "maybe... that's what 12th Step work is all about... giving with no thought of receiving." And, maybe... that's the way that "MY Creator" wants me to live.... Giving without expectation or for the motive of receiving.

Suddenly... my life got full of Sun Light and all kinds of good stuff.

What I had always spent a lot of time in "trying to get" for the "reasons that I needed to get it".... and would never get enough... or the right flavor of what I wanted to get... so I'd try to get it with a bigger hammer... or by driving bigger nails! And, it was still never enough... or not the right kind.... all of a sudden... it seemed like just enough and the right kind of stuff started coming my way.

Each day, I've discovered that my Life gets better and better and better... when I put down my hammer... and try to find His Hammer and drive His nails rather than my nails... to allow Him to build what He wants instead of what I want.... and it turns out, that it seems to me, that what He wanted to build with me... was much greater than anything I imagined me building for me!

Life is good.

Dallas
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Postby ccs » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:16 pm

WOW !! Dallas you are A wise man that was just what I nedded to hear today thank you for giving!!! and I thank GOD for what he is building in you

I am your Grasshopper :wink:

Luv Ya Cessie
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Postby Jools » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:18 pm

This is great stuff you guys!

And a great big hug to you all, I've certainly missed being here. You guys have been so beneficial in keeping this ole alkie sober.

Ya know, when I started having trouble with the second sponsor I kind of backed off of meetings. Looking back over what has been going with me has put some perspective on why. I think deep down inside I said "screw it", my life is good now, I'm not hurting anymore, I'm not jonesing for a drink, and sponsors suck. I have a new sponsor but I'm not really into trusting one right now, so I haven't called her much.

Then I noticed that I wasn't making as many meetings and the fact that I just wasn't willing to open up to another sponsor after the last two I've had. I called her and told her that. I told her that I was less desperate to do the steps too.

I should have just kept my mouth shut cuz now she wants me to call her every day and call three other women in AA. Y'all know how hard THAT is...to cold call three complete strangers???? HA! Tonight I'm setting up the meeting and I'm the greeter.

I know I need AA meetings because I remember how miserable I was for the 9 yrs I was dry. I was an emotional wreck. I want to grow up. I want to live a life without all that craziness going on up in my head.

Thanx for letting me share.

Jules
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Postby ccs » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:45 pm

hey julie so good to hear from you I know what you mean about that trust thing and I have trouble picking up the phone theese days to call anyone even poeple I know and love but thats a whole different topic its just really nice to hear from ya miss you too
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Postby Jools » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:38 am

(((((((((Cessie)))))))))))))

Well lets start a topic about that, what do ya say?


:P
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Postby sunlight » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:28 pm

I love meetings, and that was instilled in me from my first one.

I was in the parking lot of the meeting place, still blitzed from the night before, & I saw a man go in, dressed in a powder blue suit jacket. I wondered - you gotta dress up for this thing? (here I am in my fishing clothes)

I stumble down the stairs, plop in a chair & look around to see all men. I ask the man in front of me, "Are there any ladies?" He said, "Well, there's a lot of women, but very few ladies" :shock: I had to laugh! And, I relaxed.
The first thing I heard when the meeting began was, "I don't take myself very seriously, but I take the disease of alcoholism VERY seriously." Say what? I knew nothing of AA or alcoholism.
Those men 12th stepped me to the wall, explaining that I had a fatal, progressive disease & there was no cure, but there was a spiritual solution. I asked what it was & they just said, "Keep coming back & see." No quick fix, no instant answer, just, "Come see."

My 2nd meeting was all bikers. They were laughing & goofing around & I wondered if this was AA. It was! Just with a biker flavor.
At about 30 days, a biker woman told me, "I love you" , and something inside me opened up that had been closed for a long time.

I've never been afraid to bring what's going on with me to a meeting, no matter how embarassing. I was dying, & these people knew & understood & helped me find the lifeboat to living sober. But, it was made clear, that I was expected to grow up & be responsible for my sobriety & my life. But, I didn't have to do it alone.

I've always wanted to be a among people who are real & share from the heart & who don't put on a polite pretence & say, "Have a nice day" through gritted teeth. I've found them at meetings.
We learn together, grow together, cry, encourage, challenge & help those who are struggling. We can laugh at ourselves & be content with another day sober in the service of God & others.

Plus, where else can you find such entertainment? I hear things at meetings that are funnier than any comedy show! Two nights ago this guy passed me a note that said, "I can time travel." OK! This is special! Just when you think you've seen & heard it all, there's something new at a meeting! :lol:

Then, at the end, when we all join hands & pray, it's like this circle of love, given & received. And it seems, on some level, we know that God is here, His power & love connecting us to Him & each other. Takes my breath away.

I still go to a lot of meetings, & dress nice, & am still a lady, & offer a smile & words of love, & carry the message of recovery & I'm still sober! What a gift! :D
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Postby Dallas » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:43 pm

Great sharing above! Thanks to you all!!!

Sometimes Sponsors are difficult to deal with. They're human. And, kind of like taking vitamins... we don't always want to take them... but it does us good if we do it even when we don't like doing it.

Sometimes, it's the new people that are difficult to deal with. They're human... and we might not like dealing with them, but it does us more good than it does them... if we continue to keep in contact with them.

Sometimes, meetings are hard to go to... they have Sponsors, Old-timers, Newcomers... and, they're all human!!! So... even when it doesn't feel good to go... we go anyway... and usually, not always... we feel better after going.

Sometimes, it's me... that's a difficult person to deal with. Regardless, if it's you or others trying to deal with me, or if... it's me trying to deal with me. :lol: :lol: That's because I'm human.... and there are going to be times... that I'm just not up to all that I could be.

One of the greatest lessons I learned in Sobriety, has been: "Get used to doing things that you don't like to do -- and do the things that you don't believe will work for you -- because invariably... it's not necessary that you like it, want it, or believe in it -- for it to be good for you."

For me, sobriety and the Good Life... comes as a result of doing the things that I don't want to do... and doing the things that I don't believe will make a difference.

Dallas
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