- Mythbusting

Mythbusting




Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery

Mythbusting

Postby GeoffS » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:42 pm

I wonder if it might be interesting, maybe humourous and helpful to put a list of all the various "rules" that get put about in AA meetings. Then we can match them up to where it suggests them in the book called Alcoholics Anonymous, which I've been told is central to our recovery.

I'll get the ball rolling:

1. You need six months up to Step 4
2. Don't make any major decisions for a year.
3. Don't get into a relationship for at least a year
4. You can't take a commitment with less than 90 days
5. GSR's must have 2 years - I love these ones...
6. Sponsors should have a minimum of 4 years...WTF?

ok over to everyone else to add/discuss/ignore at your leisure.
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Postby DiggerinVA » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:08 pm

Well back when they were doing the beginner's meetings. Such things were not an issue about major decision, relationships etc. They let God be their guide. Lets see people also were sponsoring on the second or maybe third cycle of those beginners meetings. If you go back to the early stories of the 12 step call. Two came, one was the sponsor and the other was the sponsee. Many times on the next trip out the sponsee from the 1st trip took the guy they 12 stepped.

The solution is simple, it is called the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. As Nike says "Just Do It." The sooner the better IMHO.
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Re: Mythbusting

Postby Susan68 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:25 pm

GeoffS wrote:I wonder if it might be interesting, maybe humourous and helpful to put a list of all the various "rules" that get put about in AA meetings. Then we can match them up to where it suggests them in the book called Alcoholics Anonymous, which I've been told is central to our recovery.

I'll get the ball rolling:

1. You need six months up to Step 4
2. Don't make any major decisions for a year.
3. Don't get into a relationship for at least a year
4. You can't take a commitment with less than 90 days
5. GSR's must have 2 years - I love these ones...
6. Sponsors should have a minimum of 4 years...WTF?

ok over to everyone else to add/discuss/ignore at your leisure.


Are YOU craZY? Have you not been lurking around these parts recently and seen how testy folks get when you do this kind of thing?

Actually, I've heard some of these. I volunteered at my home group to bring the pastries on Sunday morning and serve as a greeter. Folks looked at me with a concerned expression -- the leader said, questioningly, "Sue (not my preferred call-sign), you're going to do both?" Then a few mumblings from around the room. I started laughing and said, "I swear to the almighty this'll be the easiest I have to do all week!" Then I got ditto sheets with the instructions and they both said "minimum 90 days" of which I fall short.

I can kind of understand; if you have someone in there a short time and they make a commitment to bring the doughnuts and then bag out, well, I can see folks getting upset! :wink:

Anyway, I must've looked genuinely committed because the LET ME DO IT (and I also brought the anniversary cake last week, which was HUGE).

Some things do bemuse me about this phenomenon known as AA. :wink:
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Re: Mythbusting

Postby GeoffS » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:44 am

Susan68 wrote:Then I got ditto sheets with the instructions and they both said "minimum 90 days" of which I fall short.

I can kind of understand; if you have someone in there a short time and they make a commitment to bring the doughnuts and then bag out, well, I can see folks getting upset!


I was taught that an aspect of my disease is it makes me never feel part of anything...why would we perpetuate that feeling and put barriers up for newcomers??

If someone with a commitment disappears, and there are enough people left to complain about it, then there is someone there to do it next. Simple.

Also if you guys have donuts at meetings I need to get over there to visit!!!
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Re: Mythbusting

Postby Susan68 » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:05 am

GeoffS wrote:
Susan68 wrote:Also if you guys have donuts at meetings I need to get over there to visit!!!


Well, they're going to have them now, at least for the next 90 days while I'm in charge of that task.

Actually, some of the meetings only have those, you know, Shoprite brand striped shortbread cookie with the hole in the middle (that's the hootenany meeting on Mondays). My home group goes a little more "out" -- at least since I've been going there they've had coffee cake from a bakery and mini bagels.
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Postby Dallas » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:12 am

Here I go again... :lol: :lol:

Starting a sh@tstorm with looking at the other side of it... :lol: :lol:

Here is a rule that bugged the heck out of me... when I was 28 days... I couldn't get a chip that said "1 Year" on it!


:twisted: :twisted: Barriers to newcomers! :twisted: :twisted:

While many rules -- like laws -- can be totally absurd... some are practical and good for structure and discipline... Structure and discipline are two things that most alcoholics that I know -- prefer to stay away from, or have little regard for -- but, they are essential for happy living, long-term comfortable sobriety, and living an efficient and productive life (as in re-creating our lives).

Not being able to wash the cups and ashtrays... for me... until I was "sober enough to do it"... without breaking them... was an incentive for me.

I got to pick up the chairs, sweep and mop the floors, and take out the trash.... then, I was able to work up to kitchen and dishwasher detail.

Our meeting didn't have a cookie lady or a donut person... and the other meetings did... so I appointed myself as "cookie lady and donut man!" And, it was appreciated. But, being Secretary of the meeting was out of question... I hadn't been sober long enough for that.

"Who's the drunk guy greeting our visitors, members and "other newcomers"... do you think the newcomers will want... what the drunk guy has? Or... could the drunk guy become a barrier to them?

Staggering and falling down... he greets them with "If you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it...come out to my car for a minute (or... my bush, as would be appropriate in some cases :lol: ).

Yet, the young lady, still shaking after 5 days sober... standing at the door greeting newcomers with "Hi! I'm Jenny! I've got five days sober today! Welcome to the meeting!" (especially if other girls and guys that have been sober longer are there with her) can be a powerful and positive impact upon other newcomers that are just coming in! Wow! Jenny has 5 days! How the heck did you do that Jenny? I can see that you're like me... but those Old-timers with 32 days standing with you? Ahhh they're probably not real alcoholics anyway... if they can go 32 days without a drink! Talk to me Jenny! How'd you do it?"

Sometimes the rules come about by "Group Conscience." We don't like the rule, we believe that it is absurd, and it is absurd... but... that's what the Group decided. Once again, my Ego has to bow to the desires of the Group, and the structure that the Group decided... even when it wasn't doing it "my way."

I am convinced that some things in AA are purposely devised just to irritate the heck out of us!!! And, it might be a good thing after all... to become irritated with it. It shows us the areas in ourselves that "we need to change" to get along with others. Relationships. Society. Family. Friends. Etceteras...

Did you ever stop to think... as you're observing a beautiful pearl neckace... that each one of those beautiful pearls... wouldn't be there... if there had not been "irritation!" :lol:

A grain of sand worked it's way into the Oyster's shell... and irritated the Oyster... and the Oyster continued to work on the irritation... until it became a beautiful pearl!!!

Then, some goof goes over with a hammer... shatters the Oyster... and steals the pearl to make some lady a beautiful necklate! :lol: :lol:

Conficts and irritation... how can we make progress without them? They are Nature's Stimulus Package!

I was learning about responsibility, accountability, doing things someone else's way -- instead of defiantly plowing my own way through life.

Okay! You can beat me now!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Dallas

BTW: When I go to a meeting... you'll still see me looking for the broom room... and grabbing a broom, or bag of trash to take out, or picking up or straightening chairs... wiping up spilled coffee... or starting a fresh pot, or greeting the people... at a meeting that I've never been to before!

I remember that those things were important for me to "achieve my sobriety" that I enjoy today... So, I keep doing them. Besides, the newcomer with 4 hours sober that's helping me to take the trash out... may not feel such a barrier if he realizes the guy helping him take out trash has been around for a while.

And, I just noticed that I was spelling pearl as in pearl -- with perl as in perl -- the software language! Guess you can tell where my head was at! :lol:
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Postby Susan68 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:08 pm

Hmmm, I kind of viewed volunteering to commit to do some of these things as a humbling experience. Like, I have to be honest, last thing on my mind was making coffee for the group. Seemed to me volunteering for these everyday, mundane tasks made you accountable, engaged in some very basic service to another and basically says "I'm a member of this group, otherwise I wouldn't be assigned a task."

But I get what Dallas is saying.

Some days it's just too much mental masterbation (am I allowed to use such a term on here, btw?). I don't speak in meetings. It took me a few good weeks to decide to commit to this group of fellows sufficiently to actually assume the responsibility for getting the nosh and shaking hands at the door. There is actually this very nice guy who has about a year sobriety; he's very much standing next to the newcomer, sharing in these responsibilities (greeting, making coffee, etc.). It's all good (for today).
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Postby gunner48 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:42 pm

I am so glad no one told me not to make any major decisions in the first year. Heck I quit drinking, retired from my job, moved and left a bad relationship. I was told anything I put in front of my soberity I would surely loose.
I was a door greeter on day 2, Made coffee (I knew how), set up tables. What I didn't do was tell people how to stay sober until I knew how. I believe the more involved a person is in the group the better their chances are. Remember the wilderbeast that got eaten by the lion is the one on the edge of the herd not the one in the middle.
There are duties a new comer should not do. I dont think I would make them treasure of the group, Gsr or chair. It might overload them.
If you grab the new comer and walk side by side with them you might be amazed at what they can accomplish.
My sponsor was at my side showing me what needed to be done not sitting on his back side barking out directions.
Its OK to be a Elder Statesman. No one likes a bleeding decon.
About rules . Rule 69 applies. If you don't like it then change may be on the way
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Postby Dallas » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:54 am

Thanks gunner! I really appreciate what you shared!

Dallas
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Re: Mythbusting

Postby Jim W » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:07 pm

GeoffS wrote:I wonder if it might be interesting, maybe humourous and helpful to put a list of all the various "rules" that get put about in AA meetings. Then we can match them up to where it suggests them in the book called Alcoholics Anonymous, which I've been told is central to our recovery.

I'll get the ball rolling:

1. You need six months up to Step 4
2. Don't make any major decisions for a year.
3. Don't get into a relationship for at least a year
4. You can't take a commitment with less than 90 days
5. GSR's must have 2 years - I love these ones...
6. Sponsors should have a minimum of 4 years...WTF?

ok over to everyone else to add/discuss/ignore at your leisure.


I've heard in these parts to wait a year or until you feel better before you take the steps. If that was the case I'd have been feeling better on a barstool.

I have also heard that thing about having to have a certain amount of time before we sponsor. Baloney. I've had guys with ninety days or less out working with others because they had experienced the steps from the Big Book.

But is true that two years of sobriety is recommended to be a GSR. There is a reason for that. Most are not spiritually ready before then. I also think it's a good idea to take the steps before getting into general service. I see a lot of GSR's with a year or less. God bless 'em for stepping up to the plate, but what a terrible thing to thrust them into that arena before they are ready for the responsibility.
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