- Are we allowed to discuss *other* 12 step programs?

Are we allowed to discuss *other* 12 step programs?




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Are we allowed to discuss *other* 12 step programs?

Postby PeaceJoy » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:55 am

I don't want to step on toes so I wonder what the etiquette for this forum is, regarding discussing Al-Anon or any of the other 12-step programs. My sponsor is cracking the whip and DEMANDING.....okay not demanding.....suggesting I go to at least 1 Al-Anon meeting per week. I wholeheartedly agree that I need that program in theory. I am live-in caregiver for my end stage alcoholic chirrosis mother 3 -4 days per week. I have a husband who has addiction and I am an alcoholic myself. It's everywhere, man! :roll: I have gone to 3 or 4 Al-Anon meetings and I'm just not feeling the vibe. Their literature is great. The concepts and steps are much the same as AA. But any time I open my mouth there I feel like I am being shut down for going against protocol. "We don't discuss specific issues or ask for advice." "Can you talk about that after the meeting?" "Get a sponsor." "Don't talk about your AA program." In that case I then asked if my AA sponsor could also be my Al-Anon sponsor or if they should be separate. I was told "You can talk about that privately." I leave the meetings (and I've tried two different groups) scratching my head and saying "wtf was the point of that meeting? I should have gone to AA" It's frustrating because I know I need Al-Anon. But I get the impression that the Al-Anons are there for themselves and are burned out from helping alcoholics, which is understandable. I can understand that! But I'm annoyed with it and wondering what to do. I wish there were meetings that somehow worked for both. Sometimes I really need to talk about my issues with the addicts around me. ARGH~

PeaceJoy~
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Postby Dallas » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:03 pm

I don't like to say anything that might go against a sponsors suggestions. So, whatever I write -- if it goes against what your sponsor suggests -- listen to your sponsor instead of me. :wink:

I've been told by people living in small towns that it's difficult to find a good Al-Anon meeting. And, I've recently noticed in an Al-Anon Meeting Directory -- that some of them appear to mixing it up with Co-dependency literature and ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics). The CODA AND ACOA approach is very different than the 12 Steps of AA, and Al-Anon literature and the approach to recovery. The original Al-Anon program is identical to AA, in regards to their Program. The difference is in their Fellowship and how they apply the 12 Steps to their experience.

Whenever I suggest to one of the people I sponsor to attend a few Al-Anon meetings -- unless I've been to the meeting myself -- I don't know what they are going to find. I don't even like to suggest AA meetings to them, where I'm unfamiliar w/ the meeting and haven't attended it -- unless it's a long-distance relationship with a sponsee -- where it's nearly impossible for me to have previously attended one of their local meetings.

Either way, I suggest that they attend Al-Anon Open Speaker Meetings instead of Al-Anon literature or discussion meetings. And, if they do attend an Al-Anon literature or discussion meeting -- I suggest to them, that they simply listen and observe -- rather than share in the meeting. It's also suggested that if they discover some other AA's that are also members of Al-Anon in the Al-Anon meetings -- try to gravitate towards and get to know the AA's there, and try to meet w/ them outside the meetings for discussion.

Perhaps, the best idea would be to discuss this w/ your sponsor, and make sure that your sponsor knows that you're following their direction, and you're experiencing some difficulties or confusion. And, ask your sponsor for suggestions on what to do to overcome the difficulties and confusion.

I was lucky, in the sense that I got sober in Southern California, and the AA Fellowship worked very closely with the Al-Anon Fellowship. Many of the men and women that were sponsored by my sponsor, their wives or husbands were in Al-Anon. So, I had an inside-contact for which Al-Anon meetings to attend and which one's to avoid.

If your sponsor isn't sponsoring others that also attend Al-Anon meetings, then check to see if your sponsor's spouse is an Al-Anon, or if some of the others that your sponsor sponsors -- if their spouses are in Al-Anon. If you hit a dead-end there -- ask some of the members at the AA meetings that you attend, if their spouses are in Al-Anon. If they are, then perhaps you can have them personally introduce you to their spouse, and get an escort into Al-Anon. And, they can show you around and introduce you to some people that they would recommend getting to know.

From reading your message above -- I get a feeling that you may have also attended some NA meetings. If you attend NA as well as AA, you may want to check out Nar-Anon (the NA equivelant of Al-Anon). I've never attended Nar-Anon, but I have some close friends that are members of Nar-Anon, and they speak very highly about their Fellowship. If that's the case -- your sponsor may be in agreement to you checking out the Nar-Anon Fellowship.

I hope that helps.

Dallas
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Postby PeaceJoy » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:31 pm

Thanks Dallas. I have never attended NA and had no idea there was a group NarAnon! Awesome. Prescription abuse isn't my area of addiction but someone near and dear to me has a problem that affects me a lot. I will look into that. I've been talking with my sponsor about the Al-Anon issue and she is encouraging me to keep trying. I think I will try just listening and not sharing. Hmmm........whatta concept! :oops:

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Postby Rain » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:26 pm

I had experiences much like yours.......except for an Al-Anon group in Washington that saved my hiney a couple of years ago.

Are you anywhere near Gig Harbor?
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Postby PeaceJoy » Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:19 am

Yes, I'm near Gig Harbor! Is there a good one there?

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Postby Rain » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:12 pm

Excellent. Saved my hinney in '07.

Let me see, do you have a meeting schedule? I am pretty sure it was a noon meeting.

You might give the intergroup a call- should be Tacoma's, and see if you can't get someone to tell you ALL the rules BEFORE you get to the meeting. :roll:

Hate the "gotcha" element. I think it is what comes of attending meetings before being 12th stepped. No prep means finding out the hard way, and in public. Ugh.

Best Wishes.
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Postby PeaceJoy » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:29 am

Thanks Rain. I'm looking into it.

PeaceJoy~
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Postby Toddy » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:58 pm

So, AAs going to Alanon, and vice versa is OK?

Had a fella last night that showed up expecting an alanon meeting, (relocated), but stayed for the AA meeting. He was not an alcoholic,

I thought, what a great idea!

Whats the scoop on this cross meeting idea.

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Postby Pebbles » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:25 pm

With my own personal experience (I was in Alanon for 2 years) I found that AA basically covers the same thing as Alanon, and vice versa. We are both powerless over alcohol, and people places and things. I found that working the steps and going to meetings and working with sponsees and talking to my sponsor, helps me just the same as it does in Alanon.
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Postby Jim W » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:35 am

Pebbles wrote:With my own personal experience (I was in Alanon for 2 years) I found that AA basically covers the same thing as Alanon, and vice versa. We are both powerless over alcohol, and people places and things. I found that working the steps and going to meetings and working with sponsees and talking to my sponsor, helps me just the same as it does in Alanon.



From observation, this is true. Originally, The AFG's used The Big Book and the steps just as AA did. From what I hear,nowadays in some Al-Anon meetings, mentioning the Big Book will get you shut down.

While I have learned much from my Al-Anon friends, I believe that for an alcoholic, Alcoholics Anonymous is in and of itself sufficient. I hear a lot about "co-dependency in ASA meetings when co- dependency is just a fancy term for self-centerdness.

I've only been to one Al-Anon meeting in my life, at the invitation of an Al-Anon friend. At that meeting there were a lot of the so-called double-winners. Several of them talked more about their recovery from alcoholism rather than their experience with loving an alcoholic. One guy was going on and on about his alcoholism. One older Al-Anon lady got up and quietly went to the literature rack. She took out a pamphlet called "Al-Anon Spoken Here" and gave it to him. Shut him right up. Quietest way of shutting someone down in a meeting that I've ever seen.

Personally I agree with the Al-Anon's here. I think it is extremely selfish for an alcoholic to go to Al-Anon. It diverts Al-Anon from its primary purpose of being a place where the loved ones of alcoholics can go and find the fellowship they seek. Also, from what I've seen, many AA members go to Al-Anon meetings to avoid doing the work in Alcoholics Anonymous.
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