- Importance of Literature based meetings - staying on topic

Importance of Literature based meetings - staying on topic




Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery

Importance of Literature based meetings - staying on topic

Postby Bern » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:24 am

Tonight I will attend our monthly responsibility meeting. I'm not sure how to present my "issue".

Our group has a step 1 discussion table, an alternating step 2/3 discussion table, a rotating step 4-12 discussion table and an ongoing big book discussion table. This format has developed over the 40 years that this group has existed. I have been coming around for 6 years, sober for almost 5.

I always sit at the 1,2,3 discussions to listen and share. That is where I met my sponsor who had 13 years at the time. He was always at step 1 for the newcomer.

The chairperson has a simple consise meeting guide to read. It doesn't say anything about "tell us about your week" or "let us know what is bugging you today" (talk about encouraging negativity).

I can handle people mentioning that they have a crisis going and I want to be as supportive as possible but to suggest that you may "talk is bothering you" doesn't agree with the idea of a literature based meeting. It encourages moaning, whining and complaining about things when we could be talking about the solution and how we have grown.

I would like to point out tonight that the guide/format is the how the meeting should be conducted. It is the result of the collective wisdom, experience and group opinion. That it is group conscience and that adding to it is a deviation from what our group has deceided.

I don't want to start an arguements or long drawn out debates. I just want the chairperson at these discussions to stick to the format and not ad-lib.

Any suggestions on how to present this would be appreciated. I will pray about it and try to be diplomatic and tactful.
Thanks
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Postby Bern » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:33 am

The responsibility meeting went well last night. I suggested that we stick to the meeting guide because it represents our group conscience. Someone pointed out that we can't control what people say, that was met with agreement and it was pointed out that all are trying to do is promote on topic sharing, not dictate what people share. It was agreed that the chairperson should read the chairperson meeting guide as it is and not add to it.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:32 am

Sounds like a Tulsa, meeting! :wink: Their format may be a little different but it's very similar. Good structure and discipline.

When I was working for employers -- they had a job description. I'd read the job description and carry out my job. If I didn't do that -- they found someone else to do the job.

All throughout the real-world (outside of AA), we have guidelines for conduct. Alcoholics have a problem w/ structure and discipline. Recovery must have structure an discipline -- or, we don't recover.

Regardless, if they want to refer to it as a "dictator" in charge at an AA meeting -- if this is the way that the Group conscience set it up -- so be it. It's simple. Alcoholics that can't conform to the meeting format are free to go find another meeting -- or, to start one on their own... somewhere else.

Having structure and discipline in the AA meeting and sticking to a planned format -- is generally the most effective and productive use of the meeting time.

My idea of the purpose of the meeting is to learn how to live comfortably while sober -- outside the meeting. While the message is carried in meetings, I find that it's best to inform the new people and the others of the purpose of the meeting. And, then, let them know, that if they have a problem that they need to discuss, that's not related to the topic -- "please see us AFTER the meeting. We will do what we can to help you."

We're not there to do Group Therapy. We are there for the purpose of recovery -- through the tools and methods of Alcoholics Anonymous.

You're going to have whiners and complainers regardless of what you do. I notice that the biggest whinners and complainers are either the revolving door sobriety-on-the-installment plan, here a little sober, there a little drunk, newcomers complain... second most... to old-timers that have never done the work. If they got complaints -- send them to the business meeting to talk about their complaints -- but, don't express them in the meeting.

Best wishes on a continued good meeting!!! It will stay that way "if" you maintain some control w/ it. Control???? Yep. Our leaders are "trusted servants" ... carrying out the will of the Group... which has been guided, by their informed Conscience... through a Loving God. Somebody has to do it -- or, you might as well close your doors and head out to a sick-o meeting. And, after 40 years of hard work... it would be very sad, to see that happen.

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Postby GeoffS » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:07 pm

G'day all,

Its difficult sometimes to listen to people share when they get off topic. The BB generally guides us to talk about what it was like, what happened and what it is like now. Also we are encouraged to share our experience strength and hope. Now for me sharing ESH can include problems and ups and downs. BUT doing inventory from the floor etc. doesn't help anyone, neither does the old 'my boss is getting to me, my dog's sick and the wife's run off with the postman.' However, is it useful to hear how someone dealt with these problems or their management of these problems using the AA program? I'd suggest it is...If the problem is shared and dealt with, then doesn't it come under the practising these principles in all our affairs bag? AA program doesn't exist in a vacuum, we need affairs to practice it in.

Just my experience :-)
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Postby Bern » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:47 pm

...it was pointed out that all are trying to do is promote on topic sharing, not dictate what people share.


During our responsibility meetimg (this is not made up) someone asked "What if going bowling is the only thing that is keeping someone sober, shouldn't he be able to talk about bowling?" Another member suggested maybe that person could talk about bowling during pre and after meeting fellowship.
Last edited by Bern on Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:57 pm

If bowling is the only thing the alkie is doing to stay sober -- he/she will probably be out bowling and will not be in the meeting. If bowling is what's keeping them sober -- and the rest of the group is not bowlers -- you might suggest that they start a Bowlers Anonymous group.

I've learned that I have to be careful about rigidity. I can get so rigid -- that I break.... and will have a tendency to break others, as well. I have to remember Rule 62. And, that it's one thing to be hard on myself -- and not a good thing to be too hard on others.

A meeting that lacks structure and disciplined effort towards recovery through the AA program -- for me, is a meeting that's a waste of my time. If the meeting lacks structure and lacks discipline -- it's best to have those kinds of meetings in parking lots or coffee shops, "after the regular meeting." And, sometimes -- I can get more out of the unstructured and undisciplined meeting after the meeting -- than I got in the meeting.

For me, AA is about learning to live sober. It's good for me to hear from the bowler -- because if it's 3 am in the morning, and I'm disturbed, and nothing seems to be working, and I can't find a drunk to work with -- then, hopefully, I'll try going bowling instead of reaching for a drink. :lol:

I try to find some value in anything I hear shared. The value may be something I might want to try in the future. Or, the value may be that it shows me what NOT to do! :lol:

I prefer speaker meetings over discussion meetings. Discussion meetings have a tendency to get off track as alkies try to impress themselves and others -- with themselves and their thinking. :lol:

When it comes to Literature discussion meetings, I prefer BB Study, or AA History (as in AA Comes of Age, or Pass It On, or Dr. Bob & The Good Old-Timers). My experience has been that 12 & 12, Daily Reflection, or As Bill See's It type meetings most often turn out to be mental masturbation. :lol:

Experience = "what I did" and "what I do." Not, "what I think about something", or "what I know." What I think and what I know, most often prove, over time, to be wrong, or only half-the-truth. And, it isn't important to me or anyone else "what I think I know." The only thing that has value to me or to others is "what I do" or "what I did." The value for me is: it either kept me sober or it didn't. The value to others is: identity.

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Postby Jim W » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:06 am

Most of the meeting in this town are open disgusting, er, I mean open discussion meetings.

That is why my home group's meeting is closed and structured.
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Postby lenny » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:49 am

i sometimes go to a meeting ,and it is as bill see's it.not a damn soul stay to the the topic,until i raise my hand and throw them for a loop,and stick to the topic.why how rude of me. :P
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Postby Dallas » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:19 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I understand!
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