- What to do? Help.

What to do? Help.




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Postby november6 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:54 pm

Wow.. :!:

When I first started coming around AA as a member I remember having a longing to be accepted by the elder and longstanding members. And I wasn't. Not by the 30+ members I came across. I did here the "put the cotton in yr mouth" saying and the group of us young members who were all seemingly really serious about being sober, the steps, history..yadda yadda - we all felt a cmmunity spirit and disdane for the oldtimers who had commonly snubbed us, corrected us after sharing and who never welcomed us to coffee or dinner or said much to us. One guy actually said "I spilt more than you drank!" the funny thing?? He was 39 years sober but had sobered up at 21! Really??? We had long running jokes about the oldtimers (and i cant speak for my friends but i secretly "hated" them because I wanted them to like me, and they seemed not to - simply because I had had (then) sobered up in the 90's instead of 60's). Then I moved to a different community that had WAY more oltimers than where I lived before. And did I get put in my place from time to time? yeah. I threw a cup at an after mtng bbq at an oltimers house w 15 or so ppl watching me get harshly told they were done with how whiny I am when I ask for things) BUT.. I was at a bbq I was welcomed every week to. The oldtimers (30-50 yrs these guys/gals had) , almost as a rule, got their hands durty with us newbies and youngsters before they opened their mouths about little things like how I acted in public. I was welcomed to be involved with them constantly. They came to our young peoples meetings. They were open-minded to our stint in Buddist meditation. They took me into their homes and cars and showed up when I spoke. Their were guys I knew with 40 years in their 80's who were open to learning how to text or email because it was keeping in the AA spirit of growth and open-mindedness and is a new way to be of service with us younger folk. And yeah did I sometimes look up to them more than I needed to, or crave attention I felt I didnt get enough of from those oldtimers? yep. Though not because I wasn't welcomed. Some of it is cuz I didnt have a dad and I try to make people my parents when they don't care to be. And some of it is because I am self-centered and want credit that I don't earn. Some of it because I still at times can't refrain from worshiping tangibal Gods, incase God isn't real (yeah that one hits me often as a result of NOT practicing 10-12). I had a real introduction to oldtimers for years as a stand for the way AA was and should be - and the message I either heard or got is that the old way is the only right way. Then I got a new message or understanding which does have a tendency to love and respect the "old way" but, now the "old way" has been introduced as an open-minded and ever changing spirituality and honor of whats working today. Today, being open to an online meeting IS in honor of the spirit of the way things started.
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Postby Rain » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:27 am

november6 wrote:Wow.. :!:

the old way is the only right way. Then I got a new message or understanding which does have a tendency to love and respect the "old way" but, now the "old way" has been introduced as an open-minded and ever changing spirituality and honor of whats working today. Today, being open to an online meeting IS in honor of the spirit of the way things started.


I don't know what this means.

Is there a "new" way of doing AA?
When did this happen?

Does the "new way" include the first 164 pages of the big book?
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Postby november6 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:56 pm

Ha, no reference to a "new way" actually.. I have never even heard of a new way.. but I sure as heck have heard a lot about "the way things were", "the way things started" and how today doesn't live up to it's standards. because of it, and my attachment to getting optimum results, in my first year I pretty much memorized books like AA Comes of Age and, yes, the Big Book as well, which I can recite most of with my eyes closed. Unfortunate for me, there were some times (and still are some times my sponsor used to say) that the knowledge memorizing those things gave me were another hammer from my "self-knowledge" toolbox that I used to beat people up with in the rooms of AA. What I thought was a lot of great knowledge for newcomers and ailing dry drunks was in reality a way I went from a "sorry a** drunk" to "self-ritous a**" and I attended meetings and pointed out all of the flaws and misuses of quotes and AA history. Which is fine to point out. I enjoy learning of it all, it moves me. But I was dying because it wasn't out of service to others that I used that knowledge and I very slowly made everyone around me, in my eyes, screwed up and AA had gone to hell in a hand basket. The "new message" I referred to wasn't "the new message of AA" it was my own new understanding of the same information, same BB pages, same words same history. I still have all of the knowledge and memorized words, they just got delivered from a different group of people at a different time of willingness and what it did was teach me to use all that info about "the way things started" in AA to be of service and to have a full AA life instead of being in self and separating myself from those around me.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:26 pm

november6, what a beautiful explanation -- of my own story! :lol: :lol:

I wasn't -- like I don't believe you really were -- intentionally trying to beat anyone up over it, or... try to impress anyone... I think what it really was: we were motivated by love and by fear. Fear, that the purity of the AA program was getting lost, if not already lost. We studied the book and the history -- because we knew our lives depended upon it. And, the message that we discovered was so exhilerating -- we wanted to share it. And, we had a desire to help others. And, love -- because we discovered the Power of the undiluted message in the Book, and our history.

Am I wrong???

Many years ago -- I used to read of missionary Christians, that studied the Bible to commit it to memory -- because of the circumstances that they faced in their daily living. Their Bibles banned and burned. Prison. And, they were convinced to "write the scriptures into their hearts and burn them into their minds through memorization." Based on fear or reality?

I believe the same in our case. A combination of fear and reality.

For about 5 yrs -- I got involved into some adventures that taught me first hand about the Traditions. Things were really getting screwy and problems were popping up everywhere -- over some well-meaning and well-intended actions. Seeking and searching for answers, I had to search for everything I could find on the Traditions. What I discovered, was that Bill and the early Pioneer's had already faced these same problems, and fortunately... they left a paper trail and speaker-recordings to pass on their experience.

It was clear what the end message that I got was: They were primarily fear-full -- of the demise of AA. I thought, "Wow! Look how many years before I experienced it -- that they experienced the same! And, AA endured and lasted!"

I see some things that I consider to be "Divine Intervention". Every time Bill sought to copyright the basic text... first 164 page & Dr.'s Opinion... he screwed up! :lol: As a result, the BB basic text became 'public domain literature'. No, I'm not a religious guy... but that almost seems to me, to be self-evident, that our Program of Recovery -- was a gift from a Higher Source. AAWS, GSO, and many in the Fellowship have made countless attempts to "re-write" the BB. Outside of minor words being changed -- the only section that has changed is the stories in the back of the book.

AA, the Original... has been preserved for all of us that want it -- regardless of whatever happens in the future. We will always have access to the Original text, the original program of recovery, and it has always been up to us, individually, to 'create the Fellowship that we crave'.

Dallas
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Postby PeaceJoy » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:13 pm

Could part of this also be that many of us alcoholics are also perfectionists.......black and white.......all or none type of people? I know I am. Everything I get interested in I jump in full force and try to learn everything there is to know and memorize everything. I never do anything in moderation. This can be an asset but it can also be a major character defect in my opinion. Alcohol was like that with me too. I don't just have "a drink". It's all or none baby!


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Postby Dallas » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:30 am

Good point! Absolutely true. At least I know that it's true, for me.

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