90 meeting in 90 days

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90 meeting in 90 days

Postby Marty » Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:53 am

Hi All,

90 in 90:

When I was new this was recommended and I went with it and it worked for me.

My question is, should this be prescribed to all new people.

Some of the new people that i meet have jobs, wives, kids and other stuff. I'm beggining to think that it may be over kill in some cases. Causing more stress then needed.While in my case, no question, I had no where else to go and I wasn't exactly going to be missed at home or work.
What do you think? thanks for any input.

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Postby Dallas » Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:45 am

Hey Marty!!! Great to hear from you!

I wrote a reply to this one... and then, I started thinking about it. :oops:

The nice thing about messages is -- I can always go back and edit them! :lol: If I can keep my feet out of my mouth... I don't have to worry about walking on my elbows! :wink:

Heck. I don't know. I guess it would depend on why the guy is going to meetings. Why is he going to meetings?


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Postby Zanthos » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:49 am

Hi Marty. Good question. Kind of a tough one since a lot of newcomers I know also seem to have a problem with 90 in 90 for the reasons you mentioned.

Since I did at least 200 in 90, I find it a little hard to relate. But like you, I had nothing else going on. I didn't even have a job, which in retrospect was a luxury.

At the same time, I'll bet most people who have a problem doing 90 in 90 easily spent more than one hour a day drinking! And I'd be surprised if on the days they "can't make a meeting" they aren't spending more than an hour watching TV or otherwise not doing much at all.

I know it's a bit more complicated than that due to meetings being scheduled at specific times. But more than anything else, my guess is that doing or not doing 90 in 90 is an indication of willingness.

I was told that one of the keys to recovery was to stop following my own thinking and to stop directing my own life. I was also told to make 90 meetings in 90 days. Those two things seem very closely related. If I wasn't willing to follow the suggestions of the program, then chances are I wasn't ready or able to starting learning what the program offers.

I genuinely feel sorry for people who are "too busy" to give themselves completely to the Program. I don't understand how anything -- family, work, whatever -- can come before recovery. Intellectually, it would be interesting to know how many people who can't make 90 in 90 end up putting together a year of sobriety or achieving any real quality of life. I don't see how I could have if I had been to busy or distracted to make a lot of time for AA, and if I had kept running my own life by deciding how to best allocate my time and what priorities to maintain.

Hopefully, my view is a narrow one and there is plenty of opportunity for those who "don't have the time" to find a place in the Fellowship and place themselves squarely on the path to recovery.


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Postby Dallas » Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:56 pm

Hey Zanthos! Thanks for the share!

When I first came to A.A. and dried out... It was on a 4-day New Year's Alcho-thon... and I didn't leave... so, I had about 28 meetings in my first 4 days. Then... for the first 90, I was going to at least three meetings a day. Then, I slacked off -- and only went to two meetings a day for the next two and a half months. I think that worked out to 498 meetings.... in my first five-and-a-half months... and, guess what? I was drunk within 13 hours after my last meeting.

Maybe I went to too many meetings? :oops: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I had been going to the meetings because I wanted to stay sober. I guess for some of us... no matter how many meetings we go to... meetings can't keep us sober!

AA meetings couldn't keep me sober... any more than PTA meetings could make me a parent! :wink:


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Postby Zanthos » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:26 pm

Dallas wrote:I think that worked out to 498 meetings.... in my first five-and-a-half months... and, guess what? I was drunk within 13 hours after my last meeting.
Hmmmm. Well don't tell that to newcomers! :)

I'm reading Chuck C.'s "A New Pair of Glasses" for the first time. What is it he says? "I couldn't hear until I could hear, couldn't see until I could see." Something like that.

So yeah, meetings won't get you or keep you sober. But can we get or stay sober without meetings?

What I'm really curious about, Dallas, is what you first wrote and then deleted! :)

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Postby Dallas » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:17 am

Hey Zanthos!!! As always... Good to hear from you again!

Zanthos wrote: Hmmmm. Well don't tell that to newcomers! :lol:

Actually, I believe that we should be telling that to every newcomer! :lol: And... I do... every chance I get. :wink:

Okay... just for you, Zanthos, I'll post what I edited out of my message above. :lol:

Dallas wrote: The very first time that I came to A.A. , I remember hearing someone say... "90 meetings in 90 days" and "Just don't drink, no matter what". I was really determined to get my six month chip :lol: ... and I was a sore loser... with a very competitive nature... so, I was going to about 3 meetings a day for the first 90. I had came in to A.A. on a New Year's Alcothon -- which lasted four days... and had about 28 meetings for my first four days! So, for my first 90... I figure I had attended at least 298 meetings my first 90 days. :lol: :lol: And, for about the next two and a half months... I was going to at least two meetings a day... so that would be another 150 meetings... which figures to 448 meetings for the first 5 1/2 months in A.A.!!! :lol:

And, guess what? .... I started drinking within 13 hours of the last meeting that I had attended!!! :lol: I had been feeling good. No big deals going on. Money in my pocket. Business going well. No intention of drinking. Was being very carefull. And, I didn't even buy the first drink for myself... I bought it for a non-alcoholic lady who was going down to Mexico with me, to spend a couple of weeks R & R, and to get a nice golden tan so I would look real good in my white shirt when I picked up my six month chip!!! And, I only took a sip of one of the cans of beer that I had bought for her! I had even told the guy at the counter in the store where I bought it... "Oh! These aren't for me! I'm a sober member of A.A. and I don't drink!" ... and, when I handed them to her... I said "These are for you! I don't drink anymore! I'm a sober member of A.A.!!!" I was real proud of myself and my AA sobriety!!!

So... what does all that have to do with your question... of "90 in 90"?

I think it has a lot to do with the question! You see... I became convinced, that what the real A.A. program was... "just don't drink and go to meetings!" And, "why read some old out-dated book that was poorly written by some guys who were already dead... before I even got sober?" And... the 12 Steps? Why bother to even read them? And, a sponsor? What the heck did I need to call him for? To me... 90 in 90 had me convinced that the only thing I needed to do was to go to meetings!

I almost died drunk after I started drinking again. I couldn't get sober. I couldn't sit in a meeting sober... and I tried! For almost five more months... day after day after day after day...I was going to A.A. meetings... and it was taking everything I had... just not to drink during the meeting! Sometimes... I couldn't do it... so, I'd leave the meeting early to get outside to have a drink!

What was my problem? Had I gone to too many A.A. meetings... and that got me started drinking again? And... after I tried over and over and over again... to get sober... why couldn't I just not drink for the hour-and-a-half, for the meeting? I was going to meetings. Why couldn't I stop drinking? :lol:

So... that's what I think about "90 meetings in 90 days!" :wink:

If the only thing an alcoholic is going to do... for 90 days... is go to meetings... then, why even bother to go to the meetings? If the alcoholic is an alcoholic of my type... all he will be doing is keeping the seat warm for the next guy who comes in! :lol:

Heck! I like to have fun! I like to make life busy! :wink: My thinking would be "I'm important! I've got a life!!! I got a wife! A job! Business! Responsibilities! Why even bother wasting my time going to meetings?"


I believe that we do the newcomers a huge harm by not telling them the truth about alcoholism. It's a deadly, progressive and often fatal condition that not only destroys the alcoholic... but it destroys their family, friends, other loved-ones, and even strangers (like the family driving down an Interstate Highway... and an alkie drives up the exit ramp... hits them head on and kills the family). It would be no different than a doctor telling someone that had cancer... that if they'd only attend some cancer awareness meetings... they would be cured.

Alcoholism demands to be treated. It will either be treated by alcohol, or by an actual recovery program that works. And, going to AA meetings is not the AA program of recovery.

The Preface to the Big Book... paragraph 2: "Because this book has become the basic text for our Society and has helped such large numbers of alcoholic men and women to recovery, there exists a sentiment against any radical changes being made in it."

The Doctor's Opinion (Big Book, page xxiii) "We of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the reader will be interested in the medical estimate of the plan of recovery described in this book." -- That means, that there really is an AA Plan of Recovery... and it's described in "this book" (Big Book).

In the 12 Steps... there isn't a Step that says "Go to meetings." And, "if" going to A.A. meetings would successfully treat alcoholism... then we could throw away the Big Book and the 12 Steps... and replace it with a one step program of "Go to meetings and you'll recover."

When the book was published, there were only a few meetings. If an alcoholic didn't live in New York or in Ohio, there were no meetings that they could attend. They heard about or read an article... wrote to New York and ordered a book. The book was mailed to them. They didn't have a sponsor. And, they didn't have a meeting to attend. :lol: :lol: Some of them read the book and followed the instructions in the book... and... they got sober!

The A.A. program of recovery... for it to work... as described in the book... means that the new guy who gets sober reading the book and following the instructions in the book... "must" find another alcoholic to help (especially, if he want's to stay sober and get better!). That resulted in two and three alcoholics... that the new guy helped... and then, they started having their own meetings.

In some meetings today... a newcomer gets the idea that all he's got to do is go to a few meetings and then he'll be sober, sane, happy joyous and free. He thinks he has an "alcohol problem" rather than an "alcoholism problem".

If the guy (or girl) just has an "alcohol problem"... or they are a "problem drinker" and "they are not an alcoholic"... all they have to do is stop drinking to solve their problem. They don't need to go to any meetings to do that.

Sometimes "the alcoholic" ... shows up in an A.A. meeting... and they get treated like a "problem drinker"... and told to "just plug the jug and go to some meetings!" (Which will work for the non-alcoholic, who just has an alcohol problem). Unfortunately, "the alcoholic" dies in his/her disease.

A good way to become aware how serious the problem is... I would suggest that an A.A. member start volunteering to work their local A.A. hotline, helpline, or Intergroup/Central Office. It's amazing how many
"alcoholics" -- "think" they tried A.A. -- and it didn't work for them, and they continue to drink until they are locked up or covered up.

When you ask them "What did you do or what did you try in A.A.?" They always say "Well. I went to the meetings and it didn't work." They have become convinced... that A.A.'s program of recovery... is just "going to meetings."

Sorry for the long post --- :lol: --- that's why I edited the message the first time! :lol: :lol:


Oops!!! I better edit this again :lol: YES!!! Meetings are very important! I attend at least 5 meetings each week and I talk to at least a few A.A.'s every day - about recovery.

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Postby Zanthos » Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:04 am

Thanks for all that, Dallas.

If I hear you correctly, you're saying that the emphasis should be on working the program of recovery presented in the BB and contained in the 12 Steps, and that the oft-stated "don't drink and go to meetings" doesn't communicate the what the AA program of recovery requires (suggests! :) ).

Well that makes so much sense. Especially to someone who didn't drink and went to meeting for over 3 years, but didn't get a sponsor or work the Steps. And then I drank for another 7 years. :cry:

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Postby anniemac » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:53 pm

YES!! Right on, Dallas. I get nervous when I hear "just don't drink and go to meetings". Now I understand that in some cases, by not drinking and going to meetings, one can find a sponsor and learn about the Steps and the BB, and get launched on the wonderful program of living that is offered to us. However, that is not always the case.

I know a few women who have some time and who are unhappy. One has 1 1/2 years and has done NO step work yet. She is the same woman that she brought in to the rooms, sans alcohol. Another woman has over 3 years and has not done a 4th Step. There's a woman with over 10 years, who is filled with fear and insecurity; she has not formally gone through the steps.

I'm not trying to take their inventory; however what I see is untreated alcholism via the school of "don't drink and go to meetings".

So, to the topic at hand: 90 meetings in 90 days.

I don't find that anywhere in the BB. There were so few meetings when the BB was written, yet those men stayed sober. So are meetings necessary for sobriety? No, I don't believe so.

Are they helpful? Absolutely. I hear helpful tidbits at meetings, the experience of those who have come before me, that I wouldn't get to hear otherwise. I get reminders from newcomers of how horrible the disease of alcoholism is. And I am able to connect with other alcoholics to be of service if possible. Plus, for me it's akin to what going to church is for others - I feel "plugged in" and connected to the Universe when I'm at a meeting.

I did not do 90 in 90 as an intentional practice. Some weeks I got to 8 or more meetings; other weeks I got to 4 or 5. I don't presribe it to others; I just suggest that they get to a lot of meetings.

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Postby chinook2 » Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:37 am

Hello All - logged in to spend time with the members - enjoyed this topic greatly.

Can't speak to the necessity of 90/90 - my experience was not of being given a mandate - just a suggestion. And....after the first couple of meetings - I was hooked on the difference in the experience in a place where respect was afforded generously to a newcomer, and where I was invited to share my thoughts/feelings without feeling threatened.

Imagination and the stories from the original days being all I have to go on, I wonder if the original members weren't in many cases so far to the bottom that they had few other choices. The "crusty" (tough love?) attitude conveyed by those original stories seems wonderfully applicable, but I'm failry sure that although I was REALLY destroyed by loss at the time - I'd have interpreted the mandates as manipulative. And...if anything has become clear to me it's that my alcoholism is tied closely to an egomaniacal inferiority complex - I'll resent and run in an instant.

I guess the only thing I can hang my hat on for the discussion is that I cherish greatly the feeling of the rooms of AA, where I felt just one of the human race - and wanted to come back and find peace and hope with "ya'll".

Hitting that many meetings, and working the program imperfectly - I was in a year more excited about the possibilities than I'd been in a long time in life, and still respect its members above any other group/process in my experience.

Highest goal I can think of is to help a newcomer (or an oldcomer) feel comfortable and cared about so that there's time and opportunity for magic to go to work.

Thank you all for the sharing, and best wishes for a good day tomorrow.

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My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Thu Apr 26, 2007 6:14 am

PTA meetings could *make* you a parent?? What the heck ya doin' at those PTA meetings? :lol: Just kiddin', man.

What I have heard is that it is a suggestion...the point: to get 'cha in the habit of comin' around, gettin' comfortable in the rooms, get to know a person or 2, get your butt in one of these chairs instead of a pub chair...and get sober. The 90/90, though, from what I gather, is prompted more so from the treatment centres and recovery houses. This is only what I've learned and heard. It's been my experience and observation that a person can go to a thousand meetings and might end up drunk, or a person who can only get to one meeting a week because that might be all that's available to that person...that person might stay sober. Willingness...if I'm willing to go to any length to get it, then I might be ready to take certain steps, and some of those steps are the ones that lead to a meeting room--and not a pub.

Here's a ha-ha, though--in lieu of the mention of PTA meetings. I went to one once. Yes...once. When the "meeting" carried on for 45 minutes, with no end in sight, of how to sell hot-dogs (no word of a lie), I looked at the clock, it was 5 minutes to 8, and I thought...to heck with this, I'm going to an AA meeting where people are normal :wink: . There was one word I thought of about that PTA meeting...insane :P . I thought, it's a good thing I don't drink, cuz if I did--that meeting would-a caused me to have a good swift belt upon walking outta that place. Good thing I'm in AA. Wonder if PTA could use the 12 steps to figure out how to sell hot-dogs? :roll: :twisted: .

Keep on keepin' on, kids 8) ,
Anne M.

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