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it's not the change that's painful, it's the resistance to change that is painful
It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you got.BB
When all else fails - RTFM
Thanks H1 ... ... ... this IS a great thread ... hope everyone reads the whole posting ... Love ya and God Bless,Pappy
'Those who leave everything in God's hand will eventually see God's hand in everything.'
I think so too, Pappy. It has been one of the most difficult things for me to have to do when I went back. I had more sobriety time built up and not just a day, few days or months like before. While I don't expect sympathy, I think I was expecting empathy. I know that I have lost a lot of respect from some of the people in the rooms and they don't make a point of hiding it. I was bothered by this for the first few days and then I realized I really don't give a damn. They didn't get me drunk and they cannot keep me sober. The good thing is that there are some folks who have been very nice... consistent with the way they were before I went out and who I feel have been very supportive. So I am grateful for them. I think they really understand this disease and how any of us can go out and it is nothing to feel shameful or be shamed about.
hopefulone wrote:The good thing is that there are some folks who have been very nice... consistent with the way they were before I went out and who I feel have been very supportive. So I am grateful for them. I think they really understand this disease and how any of us can go out and it is nothing to feel shameful or be shamed about.
The good thing is that there are some folks who have been very nice... consistent with the way they were before I went out and who I feel have been very supportive. So I am grateful for them. I think they really understand this disease and how any of us can go out and it is nothing to feel shameful or be shamed about.
And because it is a disease, any of us who do go out don't need to be forgiven for it. That notion is simply not relevant.
People don't need forgiveness for getting diabetes.
The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover.
I was thinking last night if I had any other disease and had a relapse if people would avoid/ignore me. Probably not. Who knows? I think sometimes when we are struggling for any reason there are some who don't know what to say and may not want to put themselves in uncomfortable situations, so end up not saying anything. I remember when we lost our baby and I had relatives I saw shortly afterward who didn't say a thing to me in relation to our loss. My father--for one--although he was an alcoholic and stayed drunk most of the time. My brother and his wife didn't say anything. I was really close with a cousin --nothing. That hurt. Then I had people I barely knew who sent cards and came by or called who were very supportive. I still remember a card with a beautiful comforting handwritten message I received from one of them. That was over 20 years ago. I guess this goes back to the expectations of others thingie. I am learning how to lessen my expectations of others and if I can get to the point where those expectations of others are next to nothing, I'll be so much better in my recovery. If I take all the energy I have used expecting others to do certain things which are only self-serving to me, and put that energy into the expectations I have of myself and what God expects of me, maybe I can stay sober.
'Forgiveness' doesn't come into play for having any disease that you didn't contract on purpose ... or through reckless behavior ... 'Forgiveness' is viable for a diabetic that gorges themselves on sweets, knowing full well what the consequences will be ... it's simply a bad choice on their part ...
I honestly do not feel like I need anyone other than God to forgive me for my relapse. I didn't do anything to the people in the rooms to harm them. If, however, I did something harmful to someone, like yell at them or do something dishonest to an individual(s) when I was drinking, then I need to make amends. The group as a whole, I have done nothing to, that is except to lose some respect. While having others respect me would be nice, it is not necessary. And if I do things in my life to try for the purpose of trying to earn their respect I feel that is an ego-driven motive and is self-serving on my part. I need no glory or praise and to yearn for it, to me, is foolish. As long as I do what I feel is the right thing to do in all areas of my life, things that are pleasing to God, then I feel I am doing what my purpose in life is. Drinking is not one of them. I know that. I knew it when I was drinking. It didn't stop me. I let my emotions and depressions swallow me whole and one of the reasons I gave myself was drinking was because I felt like people didn't like me enough, I wasn't good enough, I was a loser. I no longer will allow myself to feel those things...or at least I am going to try and not feel them. Having others "approve" of me is no longer on the top of my list. In fact, I am trying to force it down to the bottom as much as I possibly can. If someone in the rooms doesn't forgive me for relapsing, I don't care. That's their problem, and I am not going to feel guilty or allow myself to make it my problem.
Pythonpappy wrote:'Forgiveness' doesn't come into play for having any disease that you didn't contract on purpose ... or through reckless behavior ...
'Forgiveness' doesn't come into play for having any disease that you didn't contract on purpose ... or through reckless behavior ...
Do you believe that "forgiveness" does come into play for an AA member who has a slip/relapse?
Pythonpappy wrote:'Forgiveness' is viable for a diabetic that gorges themselves on sweets, knowing full well what the consequences will be ... it's simply a bad choice on their part ...
'Forgiveness' is viable for a diabetic that gorges themselves on sweets, knowing full well what the consequences will be ... it's simply a bad choice on their part ...
So you believe that "forgiveness" does not come into play for diabetics who unintentionally obtain their disease due to insulin resistance and insulin production problems but that "forgiveness" does come into play for people who acquire diabetes by eating lots of sweets?
If this is your position how do you diagnose the two different situations?
Thanks for everything. Peace and Love on your journey.
Thanks Tasha ...
hopefulone wrote:I honestly do not feel like I need anyone other than God to forgive me for my relapse. I didn't do anything to the people in the rooms to harm them.
I honestly do not feel like I need anyone other than God to forgive me for my relapse. I didn't do anything to the people in the rooms to harm them.
You don't need it and it is not appropriate in AA. You didn't do anything to "forgive."
hopefulone wrote:I no longer will allow myself to feel those things...or at least I am going to try and not feel them. Having others "approve" of me is no longer on the top of my list. In fact, I am trying to force it down to the bottom as much as I possibly can. If someone in the rooms doesn't forgive me for relapsing, I don't care. That's their problem, and I am not going to feel guilty or allow myself to make it my problem.
I no longer will allow myself to feel those things...or at least I am going to try and not feel them. Having others "approve" of me is no longer on the top of my list. In fact, I am trying to force it down to the bottom as much as I possibly can. If someone in the rooms doesn't forgive me for relapsing, I don't care. That's their problem, and I am not going to feel guilty or allow myself to make it my problem.
Some people in AA attempt to gain power or status by emphasizing the difference between them and a person who has slipped/relapsed. We have all seen that. Granting "forgiveness" is a means to do that. But it is not an "AA principle" to "forgive" a fellow AA member for falling prey to the disease of alcoholism. There is nothing of the kind in the Big Book. We don't designate certain members to have the power of absolution for anything.
We are all equal. No AA member can legitimately lord his or her sobriety over another.
We have different paths. All equal. None granting authority over another.
Morn'n Kaz, ... (or evening there I 'spose) ... Humans will be humans ... some have the capacity for compassion, some don't ... and not all AA groups are the same, actually, they can be quite different ... but overall, most AA groups follow our 12 steps and 12 traditions ... most of us find it hard to 'let go' of the past, but we do if we are to be successful working the AA program ...you sound like you're do'n well ...How's the 'move' coming along ??? ...God Bless,Pappy
Good Morning, Kaz... I am so glad that you have been and felt welcomed back in the rooms. That is the way it should be. I remember going to a meeting a good while back and a woman who had years and years of sobriety shared she picked up again. I was sitting there with tears in my eyes, as I felt that she was really suffering with doing so. After the meeting I was shocked that there was only one person talking to her and supporting her. This particular meeting is fairly large. I went over and gave her a big hug. I didn't know what to say (I was fairly new myself) however, I did do that. I noticed that the folks who had been sitting with her at this meeting no longer did so. She had always had the same group of folks she sat with. She sat by herself and then eventually stopped coming to the meetings as much. Because I was pretty backward myself at that time, I feel badly I didn't go sit beside her. I think I thought that since she had so much more sobriety time than me, and we weren't really close that it might embarrass her to have a newcomer sitting beside her after that happened. (My mind has been good about filling in the blanks when I am not clear about something :(. I actually contacted her after this happened to me since she has been through it. I wanted to have coffee with her. She didn't want to meet with just me and wanted to meet with a group of people and I wasn't comfortable with that because I didn't want to take a risk of being with people who may ignore me or tell me how stupid I was for drinking again. So we didn't meet. There are like I said a few people who have been supportive. The meeting last night was hard. I am not sure how much longer I can continue to go there. It is almost like I have leprosy compared to what it was like before. As they say, this is not a popularity contest. After having some more time to think about it, I believe that there are those in the rooms who are afraid to face their own fears about drinking again...right now my relapse represents that "fear". I have noticed that several newcomers have been pretty nice to me. The ones with longer sobriety time not so much. There are a couple of folks who have answered my phone calls and talked....everything seems okay....that is until I see them in the meetings and they avoid me. I had one of them who came up to my guy friend, said hi and shook his hand...I was going to say hi to him and he avoided eye contact and walked away. He had always given me a hug when I would see him at the meetings. It hurts. He has years of sobriety time. (It is a lot like grade school when "friends" would want to be around you if it was one on one, and then when other friends were around, they would have nothing to do with you.).My mind tells me..."well, just ignore him....that will "show" him"-- or her I don't give a damn. I am a friendly person and it is hard for me to intentionally not speak or stop speaking to someone. I try to treat all people with respect. I guess it was the way I was brought up.
We have a guy in the room who has serious mental disorder(s) from all the drugs and alcohol. There are people who make fun of him...they laugh and poke each other during his shares. (Not loudly, just noticeable.) I never had and never will think I am "better" than someone else. That is one reason I also detest that slogan "Stick with the winners". I think we are all winners in the rooms. I just think that some of us are sicker than others (of which I am one...) and I think any human being who makes fun or treats someone else like that guy with the mental disorder and like I have been treated are the "sicker" ones.
I will say that it is not easy to go to the meetings. The compulsion to drink is very much alive and I think about drinking every day and especially after things happen during meetings which make me sadder. It will not take much to make me give in to it. So if going to meetings continues to make me feel worse instead of better than I will either drink or figure out another way. To some, I would be considered a "loser". Maybe I am. I don't care what they think....(keep telling myself that). They may be in my shoes one day and I will be one of the few who goes up to them, gives them a big hug, and tell them "I'm sorry this happened. I am glad you're here." (That is if I end up staying in myself).
-- Edited by hopefulone on Friday 16th of October 2015 07:42:31 AM
I Like to Continue to remind Myself - that .
I have only had 2 occupations.
1 Sailor in th Aussie Navy
2 Long distance Semi Driver.
I Ain't been appointed a Judge yet.
So I leave th judging to th Judges & th judges Will leave -
Th Trucking & Road Trains to blokes like me who are More qualified with Aussie Road Trains.
@ 37 I was too young & good looking to be an alkie.
still too young , still got th good looks. still n alkie.
Walking with curiosity.
Fyne Spirit, If I understand your post correctly, the treatment I am receiving from quite a few in my meetings, I deserve it because of my relapse? I had over two years of sobriety. During that time I immersed myself in doing service work. I could post all the different things I did to help other alcoholics. I have done so on this board throughout my sobriety. To do so now, I feel, would be bragging and to try and get you and others to "like" me or to gain acceptance. A wise woman on this board told me very early on pointed that out to me. I took issue with her doing so at that time...now I am grateful to her. She was right. I don't need to make a point to share that with anyone now. God knows. I will say this...I made AA my life and put service work before other things, like working at my job (I am self employed) trying to make more income. Although there are some that will find this hard to believe, I made more money when I was drinking, every year I was drinking, than I have in the years of my sobriety. I worked the Steps as best as I knew how to do during that time. Maybe I didn't do them good enough. But I did them the BEST I was able to. While I can appreciate your comments and understand the need for others to protect their own sobriety, it doesn't change the fact that it hurts to be treated the way I am. Because of this, I am thinking that instead of spending all that time trying to help others, including relapsers, I should have been spending some of that time trying to help myself and using the time trying to work harder in my business and get the cars that other AA'ers drive, live in a decent place instead of a "dump" and not have to go to thrift stores to get my clothes. Is that selfish on my part? Do I have a bad/sour attitude? Maybe, well, probably so and I am sure this is not the "way" the BB tells me I should be. Yes, your posting is "harsh"; however, it does seem to be the reality and sometimes the truth is hard to hear. Maybe in their minds, I do need to be "forgiven" for going out by those who want nothing to do with me now. Maybe I will never be "forgiven" for that sin. But I am having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that this is a spiritual based program (notice I didn't say "religious" although I do believe it is just that...we say The Lord's Prayer, The Third Step Prayer, The Serenity Prayer, and God's name is mentioned over 400 times in the Big Book. The principals we strive to adhere to are God-based in my mind because I am a Christian. I don't care what they are to others who don't believe in God--whatever keeps them sober is up to them. I truly believe that we should "do unto others, etc." and treating relapsers the way I have been treated is horrible. You can make excuses for those who do so. You can adopt this attitude yourself. Whatever floats your sober boat. I will continue to go to meetings and try and deal with it and you and those people who have that mindset can be the ones who make the coffee and do the other things to help others who are more "serious" about their sobriety. I will say that the ones who are treating me this way, the largest majority of them I have never seen make coffee, clean up or do any other service work. Their shares, if they share at all, are lengthy and full of themselves and ego-driven--wanting to just "talk" and "be heard". They are the ones who use "You, you, you's" in their shares and tell everyone how ecstatic and happy they are while walking around with frowns and look downright miserable. I really don't want what they have. Respect would be nice but I don't have to have it. I am glad you shared. Regardless of how "sour" I may sound, it helped, because I think what you posted is exactly what is going on. Sad.
hopefulone wrote:Fyne Spirit, If I understand your post correctly, the treatment I am receiving from quite a few in my meetings, I deserve it because of my relapse?-- Edited by hopefulone on Saturday 17th of October 2015 05:21:54 AM
Fyne Spirit, If I understand your post correctly, the treatment I am receiving from quite a few in my meetings, I deserve it because of my relapse?-- Edited by hopefulone on Saturday 17th of October 2015 05:21:54 AM
It is interesting that you think my post was about you H1. It wasn't and you did not understand it correctly. I posted about different effects of relapse on the relapser and the people around them. There were illustrations of positive effects such as those for Dr Bob and myself who applied lessons from the relapse, and an example of the type who slips again and again and is never willing to do anything different. I did not have you in mind at all, when I wrote that post.
I don't know your specific circumstances H1, but I don't think anyone deserves bad treatment/rudeness because of a relapse. To me that shows a misunderstanding of the disease. It assumes the relapser has a choice whether he or she drinks or not when, in my experience, we have lost the power of choice in drink. Neither does the book suggest rudeness as a response to someone who is not interested in our program. Quite the opposite, it suggests we remain friendly.
Relapse does not happen by choice to drink, it happens because we have no effective defense against the first drink. The question I had to ask myself after my last relapse was why did I have no defense? And the answer was that I made a choice NOT to go to any lengths, I had refused the steps, the God bit, to be honest with people, and I was not interested in doing more than two meetings a week. My last bender changed that attitude.
One element of your post reminded me of a young man I met in my travels. His sobriety had lead to a certain amount of success in business and of course he had kept out of trouble with the law. He said he was very proud of "his" achievements but very disappointed that his wife in particular did not share his view and was still inclined to criticise at times and did not show enough appreciation. He explained that he thought his journey with AA was like a contract. he had done his steps, he had done his service, and at the end of five years he felt let down that his life was not as good as he thought he deserved.
He didn't seem to be getting what I was getting and the only thing that seemed different was that he had a lot of expectations of AA, God and the people in his life, that I didn't seem to have. My surrender was unconditional.
Thanks for your post H1. The promises throughout the book, really meant nothing to me because they were all beyond my experience. It was only after taking the action and feeling the result that I began to see how the promises came true in my life. I suppose the material things would seem important, and we often talk about the good jobs, cars etc that come along as "rewards" of sobriety, but the real rewards are internal. The promises are all spiritual in nature. One of my favorites is from the fifth step - "we can be alone at perfect peace and ease" wow! what an experience! or from step three, our new employer will provide what we need. My life seems to have worked out quite well materially, especially in later years I have been given a lot of freedom. But my sponsor, who had the most amazing sobriety, worked nights a a cleaner for the first few years I knew him, before qualifying as a counsellor after which he worked with our youth justice system up till the day he died. His life seems to have been one of service to others. He set a very tough example for me to try and follow, but there was something about him that I realy wanted. Going back to my friend who had expectations of sobriety and AA, and reading your post put me in mind of a passage in the big book which might make very good material for meditation. "Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction from this life if only he manages well?" What could it mean?