12th Step Work

Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment
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Postby DebbieV » Wed May 13, 2009 1:26 pm

Thank you Dallas and Scott. I think Dallas is right, the are lucky to have a sober Debbie, last time I lived her I was still drinking, they are lucky I didn’t burn the town down. :lol: :lol:
Its nice to be here sober.


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Postby Dallas » Wed May 13, 2009 6:01 pm

Great work Debbie. Keep moving forward with your plan and remember to keep a daily "To Do List" to help guide you. I'll write more later. I'm surprized you haven't got more feedback here on this topic.


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Postby GeoffS » Thu May 14, 2009 3:19 am

Sorry haven't written sooner on this. Here's a quick idea that might help.

My home group does group visits to other groups around who may be struggling for numbers/finances etc or just started up. Basically a bunch of us go to a designated meeting once a month.

Maybe you could contact groups in other nearby towns and invite them to come over either all at once or different dates, say hi and boost up numbers for a bit. This gets you local contacts and possible assistance and cooperation and importantly alcoholics in your town may be more likely to attend if there are a a bigger number (easier to hide, we all remember that right?).

Just a thought, glad to hear you are taking the actions to carry the message, if you achieve keeping you sober then goodonya, if you help others along the way, what a bonus. I'm sure you'll have a thriving AA community in Silverton very soon!!! Must look up where that is?

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Postby Jools » Thu May 14, 2009 7:20 am

Hiya Debbie,

Thanx for sharing your experience with us. I've enjoyed reading this post and have learned a lot.

Keep up the good work, girl!!


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Postby DebbieV » Thu May 28, 2009 10:55 pm

This P.I/12th step work has really been an experience. I hope with all my heart that at lest one of you out there has been doing some, I am still waiting to hear.

I got sort of down last week with doing all of this, I can’t even began to know what our founders of this wonderful program went through. The lack of support got to me the most, I was disappointed in the fellowship of AA for a few days. I had done everything but get on my knees and beg for help at the meeting I go to in the next town, I only have had one person come and support the meeting. So, for my own sanity I had to look at myself, why was this upsetting me so much? Was it pride? Was it ego? Was it not getting the pat on the back? So, I sat down and put pen to paper like our book tells us and did a mini-4th step.
What I have learned through this process is not only that 12th step work keeps me sober, but I got back into reading the BB, working on some steps and understanding that because I get hyped up on doing something does not mean the rest of the world will. This was a journey I took for me, and I think in time it will help others in this small little town but, in the mean time it help me like I would have never thought.

What a smart sponsor I have. “Just get in there and do it“, be responsible“, “work for your sobriety“, “ help someone“, “ make your life count for something“, and my favorite always…“DO IT ANYWAY!! “ That is just some of the advice I get. :D

My journey is not over, I have done all that I can for now, but there will be going back to the police dept, all the hotels, B & B’s, Library, visitor center, and yes even bars and giving new materials and what ever else they may need. My responsibility to the Saturday night meeting will remain till the next person comes along, sobers up and has a sponsor tell them to get off there butts and do something. :lol: :lol:

Thank you guys for letting me share my experience, strength and hope with you.


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Postby Dallas » Fri May 29, 2009 3:10 pm

When you're feeling down or sorry for yourself... and feeling like "what's the use? I've failed! No one wants it! No one wants me! No one wants what I have to offer! It's all useless and vain!".... REMEMBER... "it's OUR JOB and our responsibility to Carry the Message... it's not our job for them to receive it, to like it, or to appreciate it!"

We're doing what WE need to do -- and that is all that is important. We have a new Employer. He shows us what to do and our job is just to do it. And, when we do it well... we stay sober... and all of our needs (not always the same as our wants) seem to just appear for us.

Some of the most wonderful meetings I ever attended... was me, God, the Big Book, the spirits of our Pioneers and Founders... teaching me, guiding me, inspiring me, Fellowshiping with me... as I waited for a drunk to stumble through the door hoping that they would ask "What's happening here?" :lol:

You see... I had been praying and asking for Wisdom to know the Traditions. And, what a way to learn them!

When Bill W. was about five months sober... he was standing in his kitchen feeling sorry for himself. "Lois! No one wants it. What's the use? I'm wasting my time. No one is staying sober!!! It doesn't work!"

His wife Lois, turned to him, and said "That's not true, Bill." And, Bill had the moment of clarity at the same moment that Lois continued with "You've stayed sober, Bill."

For me, that was the actual moment of AA's birth. Bill discovered the key to sobriety. He discovered the Principle that never fails... even when all else fails... intensive work trying to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety... will keep the alcoholic sober. And, in some real weird and strange way... we seem to end up happy and getting all of our needs met.

That was the message that Bill carried to Dr. Bob. The perception of the problem of alcoholism, as was passed on to him by Dr. Silkwork, and the intensive work trying to help other alcoholics.

You see... Dr. Bob already had God. He had spirituality. He had religion. He was a Charter member of the Oxford Group in Akron.... But, he couldn't get sober... or stay sober! :wink:

When Bill carried the message to Dr. Bob, Dr. Bob said "Well. We better get busy trying to find some drunks, if we're going to stay sober!" :wink:

He didn't say "Well! We better get to an AA meeting!" He didn't say "I better call my sponsor!" He didn't say "I better see which Step I need to be working on!" He didn't say "I better start praying more!" He said "We better get busy trying to find some drunks, (to help) if we're going to stay sober!"

It's not our job if anyone else gets sober or stays sober. That's none of our business. Our business is that we stay sober. And, we stay sober by offering what we have... to the alcoholic that still suffers..

Trust me. You've got some wonderful memories and experiences that will be coming your way -- as a result of your efforts. It will totally amaze you. But, it doesn't amaze you now -- because the experiences haven't happened yet. They come down the road.

Keep up the good work. That's all we have to do.


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Postby sunlight » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:32 pm

Sorry to be the slacker posting on this! :oops:

Sometimes, it isn't all peaches and cream in the city either!

The AA club that I sobered up in has very few women. It started 36 years ago as mostly a good ol' boys club. There used to be a few good AA women, but most of them have passed away. From what I can figure out from the others who are still with us but go to different clubs or meetings, the men drove them away by their rude, crude behavior or malicious gossip. I have invited many to come back, or have asked them to speak at a speakers meeting, but they refuse.

My home group has only one other woman, and we take turns attending so that at least one woman will be there for the newcomer. We also work the coffee bar on alternating shifts, to answer 12 step calls from women.

This can be lonely, frustrating work. But I always keep in mind that it is God's work and some days that might just be me staying sober that day.
The club is in a very bad part of town and most women are afraid to come there at night. ( This evening the police were across the street because someone got shot with a machine gun! ) But just when we want to throw our hands up & quit, a woman will stumble through the door and we get to carry the message - "You can recover!" I have given away scores of big books and phone lists and meeting books. Some women actually return and become members of the club. Some ask me to sponsor them as they take the steps.
Most of the time the other woman and I spend our time teaching the men manners! :roll: :lol:

I take flyers out to anywhere that will let me post them. Also. I put them up next to garage sale signs and posters for concerts. Lots of places have public bulletin boards. You never know where you may reach the one who wants sobriety.
I also go to rehabs and detox, but those are stories all their own!

God bless your efforts! What a gal!

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Postby garden variety » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:42 am

Hi Sunlight,

Put away the stick. I've been told by a pretty reliable Source that "as a man (or woman) thinketh, so he is." I don't think for a minute you're a "slacker".

I understand your point. Unless A.A. as a whole begins to address and accept there is a problem in the ways newcomer women are treated, A.A. will soon become a sober men's club. The problem you speak about, and what Anja spoke about in another thread is epidemic. There is a problem with the small amount of women who come to us and stay. And guess who has just a teensy bit to do with it? Perhaps MEN?

I've found the problem is so widespread and profound, that I've decided to write a book about it. I've been gathering women together and listening to their stories to include in this book. I've heard some absurd, incredible, and tragic things that have happened to new girls trying to get sober in the rooms of Cleveland and Akron A.A. Let me add that strong female sponsorship has also been lacking, and what happens is that more than a few female sponsors backlash at the men, and the groups have chasms where there is anger and disgust based on the sexes.

In my opinion, many men in the fellowship have a problems with respecting and understanding women. Women in A.A. are not bimboes that look "hot" in tight jeans! For God's sake roll your tongues back into your mouth and plug your eyeballs back into their sockets! This isn't Junior High. Alcoholic women are leaving meetings to die because of the lack of self-control and excess testosterone. :shock:

From the perspective I've been hearing from women in recovery, and taking notes on, is that women are walking away untreated from the fellowship, more often than men. That means alcoholic women are not given the hope they need to recover. Alcoholic women are not being served in a "Godly" way. That means that alcoholic women are leaving meetings to go out and die of alcoholism.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's what I've seen and heard here in the "cradle" of A.A. in northeastern Ohio. If you think I'm exaagerating, I'll let you know when I complete my manuscript.

For men, I'm not saying every man is a pig. But what women percieve is there is a majority of men that apparently seem unwilling to help other women alcoholics stay sober and to achieve sobriety without some kind of sexual motivation or innuendo. I've been in situations where I nearly get chased away with sticks and stones because trust with women has been breached and betrayed so much.

Sorry Dallas if I'm not being positive. But if we continue to deny that women are treated differently than men, we're not seeking the truth. If we don't seek the truth, then falsity will soon overtake us. I think all men in the fellowship owe it to ourselves and to our women fellows, at the very least, to take a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves to see if we are either being a part of the solution or a part of the problem. If we see we are wrong then we promptly admit it and ask God for the strength we need to change.

Sunlight, if you want to help more women then the one or two "strays" that come to your club, perhaps there are more meetings in the Denver area where there are more women to serve that you could attend regularly. Maybe it's time to change home groups? In Cleveland, its divided by a river - east side and west side. There are more "mixed" meetings that are truly mixed say 50/50 on the east side of Cleveland. The west side has the reputation of being male oriented.

I wish you well, and my heart goes out to you.

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Postby sunlight » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:18 am

Thanks for the stick eraser, Paul. :wink:

Oh I do go to other meetings and sponsor women there, but, for right now, I believe I am supposed to be in the home group that I am in. And just tonight, two women came in needing help. To me, there's no higher high than sharing the good news that we have a way out that we can absolutely agree on, and that there is a solution! The only thing better is guiding a woman throught the steps. I want to be there for them.

I also go to two womens' meetings ( yep, I'm a meeting maker. I DO have a life outside AA too :wink: ) and hear a lot about men. But, in all fairness, woman are not all entirely innocent! I don't think I need to go into detail about that. One thing I will mention is, unless you're a hooker coming in for your 1st AA meeting, please don't dress like one! I see so many women dressed like they're for sale and then they wonder why they're attracting so much "unwanted" attention from the men. Point made.

Not to diminish the real problem you're talking about, Paul. I suspect that's why womens' meetings are more comfortable for most women. And why many women have left the club that I belong to.

Is it idealistic to think that if we really practice these principles in all our affairs, this problem wouldn't exist? If I've entered the realm of the Spirit, can I really justify behaving like an animal? Does this have to do with the two different fellowships - social & spiritual?

You got me thinking brother! :mrgreen: Thank you.

Time for my nightly inventory!

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Postby Dallas » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:24 pm

Sunlight! You're always so positive and uplifting! I understand what you're doing. You and DebV have some things in common. I remember when she went to a club that hardly any women would attend -- and she helped women there and a few of the men, too. Like you, she was an inspiration for change and a walking example that we can lift ourselves up and help others to reach for higher ground. How can men learn to act like gentlemen -- if they don't have a woman, to teach them? The women in AA were some of my most powerful influences when I got sober. They taught me the things I needed to know -- that I didn't know. They saved my life and helped me to learn to trust the men. So, thank you! And, thank all the ladies in AA!

When I hear things like women getting ran out of AA -- I think of all the active AA women that I know -- that AA might be dead in their locals if it weren't for them! They keep the lights on. The doors open. And, they get things done in AA! We are blessed to have them!

I hope all is going well for you and that life is treating you well!


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