- 12th Step Work

12th Step Work




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

12th Step Work

Postby DebbieV » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:49 pm

Hey everyone,

I need some help from you guys out there. Let me give you a little back story:

I just moved to a small town of 300 people and the nearest town is 60 miles away. There is one other member here and we ride together to a meeting every Monday night. We try to have a meeting here in town every Tuesday night. When he goes out of town we don't have a meeting because I don't have a key to the cafe where it is held and he doesn't want to move it. I am working on getting that one straight, and I should by next Tuesday.
OK, so I have been getting in touch with the GSO and New York to see what I could do to let the town know that AA is here and there are sober members to help if someone needs it.
I would like to here from you guys and thoughts you have on working toward this. I am trying to find a way to get cards printed out with my number and the local hot line number on them, to take to the police station, hotels ( we are a tourist town) library, fire station, churches, and the Dr's office... If any one could help with that one it would be great. I don't have a car and I am trying to do all I can. It was suggested that I ask for help... So any feedback would be appreciated.
I have been in this little town three months now and I love it. Its time I started doing some 12 step work.

Thanks,

Debbie
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Postby eastcoastscott » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:28 pm

Hi Debbie,

Wow, tough call and admirable position you are taking. My thought is that there is something to the "attraction rather than promotion" (trad 11). There is no doubt that people in the town need to know that AA is available to them, the question is, how. I'd love to hear what others here have to say.

scott
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Postby DebbieV » Sun May 03, 2009 8:53 pm

Hey All,

As I mentioned above I am a member of A.A. who lives in a small town and trying to do some 12th step work. It seems that the other member in town feels that I am over-stepping, stepping on his toes, not following traditions, seems a different thing ever day. After speaking with him today I went on a search for more information on Public Information and Tradition 11. Seems that trying to stay away from a developing resentment has caused me to learn more about this wonderful program we belong to.

So the following is some of the things that I have learned and wanted to share with all of you:

A.A.®Guidelines
from G.S.O., Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163

A.A. Guidelines are compiled from the shared experience of A.A. members in the various areas. They also reflect guidance given through the Twelve Traditions and the General Service Conference (U.S. and Canada). In keeping with our Tradition of Autonomy, except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole, most decisions are made by the group conscience of the members involved. The purpose of these Guidelines is to assist in reaching an informed group conscience
.
Public Information


For Small Communities and Foreign Language Papers or
Publications: P.l. committees may request that A.A. information be
included in the public service page or community bulletin board. The
committee offers a simple description of who A.A. serves and how to
obtain more information locally.


P.I. COMMITTEE SHARING
As part of P.I. shared experience, the following is a list of goals from
a district P.I. committee:
1. Be sure every public library has at least one Conference approved
book, e.g. the Big Book, Twelve Steps and Twelve
Traditions or Living Sober.
2. Let the Fellowship know how to reach out to the hearing
impaired.
3. Place a literature rack in every high school, college, police
station, library and hospital in the district and keep the rack
stacked with appropriate literature and meeting schedules.
4. Send a letter to high schools, offering A.A. Literature and/or a
presentation on A.A.—what we do and what we do not do.
5. Send a letter to convalescent homes, rest homes and senior
centers in the district offering A.A. Literature and/or a presentation
on A.A.
6. List open A.A. meetings in the newspapers in the district.
7. Place a small (paid if necessary) announcement in every district
newspaper around the holidays.
8. Work with the newspapers — anonymity, Traditions — generating
interest in our Fellowship.
9. Respond to speaking requests at non-A.A. meetings in the
district.
10. Place Public Service Announcements with radio and television
stations.
11. Put meeting schedules behind the front desks at every hotel,
motel and bed and breakfast.
12. Participate in district and state A.A. seminars and conventions.
13. Fight apathy within the Fellowship, find a co-chair and interested
people in order to achieve all the above, and most importantly,
keep your sanity and stay away from the first drink.


There is much more that I will post at a later time.
I hope this puts a thought in some other minds to do in there town.

Debbie
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Posts: 213
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Location: Silverton, Co

Postby Dallas » Mon May 04, 2009 11:47 pm

Thanks for posting this Debbie, it's vital info that needs to get out into the hands of every AA member. Our reaching out to help and offer to help alcoholics IS what we're all about. It is the substance of the primary purpose of our recovery plan. And, unfortunately, too many AA's think that 12 Step work is going to meetings.

Hopefully, by sharing your experiences here -- on the site -- will not only get some help for you, in regards to helping you get literature and things that you need to carry the message in your small town -- it can serve as a resource of help for other AA's in similar situations -- that are searching for answers and solutions.

From communicating with you -- I would say that you are currently the only AA member in the town that is willing to reach out and carry the message of AA to the community. We can be of service to you by sending you literature from our Central Offices or Intergroups -- since you have no funds to purchase literature from New York, and you have no transportation -- to go get it. :wink:

Keep up the good work. I'm working on putting together an "AA Care Package" to send you -- books, etceteras, that you can use and provide to others. Do you need coffee or coffee cups or coffee pot???

Sometimes, AA's just don't think about "if there is only one AA in town trying to bring AA to the town -- there is no such thing as a self-supporting group... other than the one self."

You are in for a rare treat of an experience. Most AA's will never know what it's like to Pioneer AA in a new Community... and the challenges that go with it... and the brused egos... and sensitive toes of others! :lol:

Hang in there. You're doing a good job. Be sure to post your daily "to do lists" of things that you are doing... like contacting the AA ladies in the nearest other-town, communicating with distant Intergroup Offices... etcetera.

I'll jump in here once in a while if I can be of help.

Dallas
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Postby DebbieV » Wed May 06, 2009 7:24 pm

As our co-founder, Bill W., wrote:
[i]Public Information takes many forms—the simple sign outside a
meeting place that says “A.A. meeting tonight;â€
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Location: Silverton, Co

Postby Dallas » Wed May 06, 2009 11:25 pm

I'll have the AA Care package out to you in a couple of days. Also, send me a list of any literature needs that you have. I can order them from the Tulsa Intergroup Central Office and they will send them to you direct. If you need money (the thing AA's don't like to talk about) let me know and I'll help financially support your efforts to get the message of AA carried to Silverton.

I'm excited for you. I look forward to making a trip up there in the future to see if I can be of personal help to you.

Good work -- and Best wishes.

Dallas

Note: Thanks for sharing the Bill W. quotes and the quotes from the World Services Public Information material!
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Bill W.'s Story and encouragement

Postby Dallas » Wed May 06, 2009 11:57 pm

When I was experiencing some of the same growing pains that you are experiencing -- the below words from the final pages in Bill's Story, Chapter 1, Alcoholics Anonymous, always gave me encouragement to carry on:

" My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Particularly was it imperative to work with others as he had worked with me. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that.

My wife and I abandoned ourselves with enthusiasm to the idea of helping other alcoholics to a solution of their problems. It was fortunate, for my old business associates remained skeptical for a year and a half, during which I found little work. I was not too well at the time, and was plagued by waves of self-pity and resentment. This sometimes nearly drove me back to drink, but I soon found that when all other measures failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day. Many times I have gone to my old hospital in despair. On talking to a man there, I would be amazingly lifted up and set on my feet. It is a design for living that works in rough going.

We commenced to make many fast friends and a fellowship has grown up among us of which it is a wonderful thing to feel a part. The joy of living we really have, even under pressure and difficulty. I have seen hundreds of families set their feet in the path that really goes somewhere; have seen the most impossible domestic situations righted; feuds and bitterness of all sorts wiped out. I have seen men come out of asylums and resume a vital place in the lives of their families and communities. Business and professional men have regained their standing. There is scarcely any form of trouble and misery which has not been overcome among us. In one western city and its environs there are one thousand of us and our families. We meet frequently so that newcomers may find the fellowship they seek. At these informal gatherings one may often see from 50 to 200 persons. We are growing in numbers and power.

An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature. Our struggles with them are variously strenuous, comic, and tragic. One poor chap committed suicide in my home. He could not, or would not, see our way of life.

There is, however a vast amount of fun about it all. I suppose some would be shocked at our seeming worldliness and levity. But just underneath there is deadly earnestness. Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish.

Most of us feel we need look no further for Utopia. We have it with us right here and now. Each day my friend's simple talk in our kitchen multiplies itself in a widening circle of peace on earth and good will to men."

Dallas
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Postby eastcoastscott » Sun May 10, 2009 10:18 pm

Fantastic stuff guys, I'm glad I saw this thread, thanks. Silverton is lucky to have you Debbie!
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Postby Dallas » Mon May 11, 2009 12:26 am

Yes! They are real lucky to have a sober Debbie!!! :lol: :lol:
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Postby DebbieV » Wed May 13, 2009 1:23 pm

Hey All,

Here is an update from the big town of Silverton, Co.

I got some pamphlets to the library and made sure they had a Big Book and a 12 and 12. The lady thank me for doing it like I have given her a signed copy from Bill himself. :lol:
:lol:
I got a meeting started on Saturday nights at a little church here in town. I really like the pastor of the church, a lady who knew about alcoholism and was more than willing to let us use the little parsonage next-door. She didn’t want any rent and I told her that it was part of our traditions and that I needed to do something. She is going to call me today and let me know what we will do about that part. She also took a pamphlet and said she was going to announce Sunday that she had one and that there is a meeting in town and let me know if she needed more. Not sure about the announcing part. What do you guys think?

I called the local newspaper and when the lady answered said she recognized my number from where I had put it in the local web site home page. So much for my personal anonymity… She thanked me also and told me she was very glad that we had AA in Silverton. :D

Everyone I have talked to from the churches to the newspaper has been so nice and wanting to do what ever they can. I have explained our traditions to them and try to stress the importance of tradition 11. Anonymity has been a little hard to keep, but I have made sure that my name or picture is not any place at the level of press, radio or film. I have a little bit of trouble feeling as though I am promoting AA, but I am follow what or co-founder, Bill W. has said, so I am going to keep plugging away.

Have you guys been doing any 12th step work on your end? I would sure like to hear about it. I think 12th step work comes in many forms, cleaning up coffee cups, leading a meeting, 12th step calls. Etc… I think we need someone to do all the jobs no matter how big or how small. Let the forum know what you guys are up to, you never know we may start a 12th step trend. :lol: :lol:

Thanks for letting me share.

Debbie
Last edited by DebbieV on Fri May 15, 2009 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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