- Going over the "line" at a meeting.....

Going over the "line" at a meeting.....




Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery

Going over the "line" at a meeting.....

Postby RD1angel » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:53 am

This is my first post here, and I would like to thank all of you for all of your posts! I have learned alot !!

I am going to try and keep this short and to the point........ but, I am an alcoholic ! :roll:

I had six years of very good solid recovery, and then was informed that I was being "too harsh", needless to say, I changed the way I "shared" at meetings, and 4 years later ended up drunk! It took me 7 years of brutal research and terrifying new bottoms to get back into the program. There are several factors as to why I needed more research, and not doing what I was supposed to do, on a daily basis was the biggest reason. I have always been very much TOO THE POINT, keep it simple, and let it go, and want to live in the solution and not the problem.

I have concluded that by changing my way of expressing myself in meetings, and trying to be more "supportive" that I essentially handed myself a gun.

I am having difficulty knowing what is "too tough", I do feel that meeting in this area are so filled with fear of hurting someones feelings, that people tend to coddle one anothers "issures", either that or everyone talks about their own crap, and nothing relates to anything. I walk away from these meeting feeling like nothing was accomplished, and it was a total bitch session.

I am now 9 months sober, and have shared with others, to please not coddle me, don't worry about my feelings, as you might be saving my life. I have discussed this with my sponsor, and she tells me that I am doing just fine. Yet, when I speak at meetings, their are times when one individual will get up and leave, or make rolling eyes. I am not there to be a part of a popularity contest, I just feel like, I know what I am dealing with, and I have a disease that is trying to killing me. Cunning, baffling and powerful.

As an example: this one individual was talking all about the problems in his life, and how things are going well, etc... This fella is strong in the program and has help me tremendously in my past. I stated that I have been told, read the big book, talk to my sponsor and work with another alcoholic and that those "isms" will diminish. I admit I am not very tactful, and I told him, that he was so full of himself. Now this person knows me, and took what I said for what it was..... to help, to prevent this disease from killing him.

But their was another individual who stated to me, after the meeting, that I didn't need to be so brutal, and who was I to shoot someone down in a meeting like that??????? Yet, I had someone else ask me for my phone number?????

I don't know alot, but I do know that I am not willing to become "soft, full of daily encouragement to those who are swimming in the problem" I tried that once and it almost killed me.

Is there a line between being too harsh and being supportive.? I don't think so, but if I am not seeing something, please give me your 2 cents, and don't spare my feelings! PS.... what happened to the "cents" icon on the key board???? :?
RD1angel
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:55 pm

Postby garden variety » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:26 pm

Hiya RDIAngel,

Welcome to the forum. I'll clock in on your question.

Maybe a fine line? Maybe not. If I go "back to the basics", I can hopefully be steady. The "basics" for me is the "H.O.W." of the program: Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness. I also need to be calm. If I'm not calm, the chances of being "too harsh" get higher. Being calm will always help me find the opportunity to help anyone, in or out of the fellowship. When I try to "help" another man or woman, that means that I'm taking an action that I hope will make their lives braver and happier.

I know I will make mistakes - but I want to try and avoid as many as possible. For me there is more than one "line" that you talk about - I call those lines "boundaries". As I make spiritual progress, those boundaries become clearer and grow stronger. Boundaries are the first sign of getting my sanity restored. Boundaries are everything between "we don't crawl before anyone" (see page 83 in the book) and "we have ceased fighting anything and anyone" (see page 84).

Maybe the answer is right there between those quotes from the book: "Love and tolerance for others is our code"

Those are very powerful words to me. When I see something like this that says "our code", to me it means that I have to do it so regular that it becomes second nature. I try to practice the principles in all my affairs every day whether I want to or not - or whether I like the idea or not. It's always my choice, because I never have to do anything I don't want to. But if I'm honest with myself and really do give willingness a shot, I'll do things that I don't want to do. For me if I do this over and over again, then I will "intuitively know how to handle things which used to baffle" me. That means that the principles in the 12 step really have become "my code" and I do them "automatically".

Now that might sound like a bunch of gobbly gook to you. So maybe something simple?

We all have more in common with each other then we have different. But each one has got a soul created in the image of God that is different. Each of us has different strengths and weaknesses. That's why tolerance is important. I found out early on that "being too tough" means that I can't use a "cookie cutter" approach to everyone. I need to be tough to some and soft to others. It can be different as night and day.

So if you want a suggestion that is tough and might hurt your feelings, but is to the point: DON'T BE LAZY! That means you might need to work harder at being nice instead of being tough. The hardest part of not being lazy is LEARN HOW TO LISTEN TO OTHERS.

The most work I've ever known at times is listening to another person - especially if I don't particularly care for them or like them. But if I learn to listen, I am giving that person the best gift I can ever give them. What all this means, my friend, is that you can't get out of WORKING A PROGRAM by choosing a single "style" to communicate. You can be the hardest working bricklayer or roofer in Kentucky, but if you don't know how to comfort your 2-year-old daughter with a smile, a gentle touch, and soft words when she hurts herself, you're being lazy. Just like you would help a little girl like that, you might have to be the same way with some big ugly drunk. That's because all of us hurt on the inside the same way, and sometimes being "tough" doesn't help.

God bless my friend and thanks for helping me.
garden variety
 
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm
Location: Ohio

Postby Dallas » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:08 pm

Hello RD1Angel,

First off – I’d like to welcome you to the site and I hope that you find something here that is useful enough to make you want to keep coming back and inspiring enough that it will make you want to continue your participation with us.

Secondly... I hope you soon realize that it had nothing to do with being hard on yourself or soft on yourself that cost you your previous sobriety. You drank alcohol. Period. Drinking alcohol terminates sobriety. Sobriety Lost It’s Priority to you. You were taking actions – that did not keep you sober. So, rather than look back at the actions you took or didn’t take – do something different. Right now -- is the only thing that is important. ;-)

Reading your message sounds like it came from the play-book of my past. I can say that I believe that I unequivocally understand your concerns.

Being too soft on an alcoholic simply softens the dirt to help them keep digging their grave – and codling them with niceties helps push them into the grave that they are digging.

Some of us understand that, all too well. We have watched friends and family die – as they continued to live their lives waiting for someone else to come to their rescue when what they needed was someone to tell them the truth.

However, from what I have observed, by the time they finally encounter the person that is willing to tell them the truth, and tell them what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear – it’s too late. They are set in their ways and it appears that nothing less than divine intervention will reduce their fate of hopelessness. And, even knowing this – it doesn’t seem to help us much, unless we’ve learned it as a result of the observation and reflection of our own experience.

1. Most people do not comprehend or understand how sick an alcoholic is. (Big Book, Forward to the First Edition).

2. We have found a “way outâ€
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby RD1angel » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:56 am

Thank you both for your response! I knew something was sitting right when I left the meeting that day and when I was getting ready for sleep, what I had said during that meeting really bothered me. That was my first clue that told me I needed guidance. And that is progress for me!

I do realize that my relapse was not the result of the type of responses I got from meetings. Both of you have really hit the nail on the head, and I couldn't see it. Cunning, baffling and powerful.

GV, you right, I am getting lazy, I have stopped doing the daily things that I need to do in order to stay in recovery. I didn't realize this until after I read both of your post. I to busy trying to shove the message down my sponsee's throat and everyone else's throats. This is exactly what I did that last time I was in recovery.

Dallas, I really like how you were able to get your point across without being "tough" I need to forget about trying to be tough, or I will drink again.

So, I have some amends to make, I have learned something from this experience and I thank you both. I will try to post regularly so that I can pass on my experience, strength, and hope the "right" way. And to be redirected again, as I realize that this situation of control, and shoving the message is a very powerful way my disease gets ahold of me. Thank you
RD1angel
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:55 pm

Postby Dallas » Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:33 am

Hello RD1Angel,

Thank you for sharing your experience and your adventure with us. We help each other with our sharing. :wink:

Thank you for reminding me of some of my own difficult past-times -- that fortunately, I've learned a new way to deal with. Hopefully, the memories will continue to remind me to always be thoughtful in regards to others.

What's good for us -- and, what's best for us -- are not always the same. And, it's our hind-sight that often shows us the difference. :wink:

Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby garden variety » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:28 pm

Hi again RD1Angel,

Thank you for sharing your insight, and for showing us how to reach out to the fellowship when we have "situations" which may be "baffling". That's what this fellowship is all about - one alcoholic helping another alcoholic. Right from the beginning!

Yesterday I suggested that you be "calm" in situations that might bring out a harsh reaction. I believe that Higher Power has a great sense of humor. In making that suggestion to you, I was reminded about the very same thing last night. I "lost my cool" and should have been following the same suggestion I gave you :roll: . So today we sail in the same ship! :wink:

Also, thanks for showing me the magic of "willingness". Willingness to listen to the fellowship and sponsors - that shows us, especially the newer members, how things that seem "overwhelming" can be transformed into the simple beauty of spritual progress.

We have it good, don't we?

God bless and thanks for helping me.
Paul
garden variety
 
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm
Location: Ohio

Postby Coffeebeing » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:31 am

I love this!

[quote]Once we “get itâ€
Coffeebeing
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:30 am
Location: Long Island, NY

Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:59 pm

Coffeebeing!!!!

Where you been being?

We've missed you!
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:31 pm

Great thread....thanks for helping me stay sober.

In the Spirit of the fellowship,
Anne
musicmode
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:11 am
Location: alberta

Postby Coffeebeing » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:42 am

Working...LOL...Can't always get in here to post.

Dallas wrote:Coffeebeing!!!!

Where you been being?

We've missed you!
Coffeebeing
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:30 am
Location: Long Island, NY


Return to A. A. Meeting Topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests









.








12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Going over the "line" at a meeting.....



cron