Today is 31 days in AA and 35 meetings (I think!). I am struggling though. Not with sobriety, but how to share in meetings. If we are sharing our strength and hope, how come I can't think of anything else to share except my problems? I know that I have some positive things since sobriety, do I focus on those? Do I mention the bad things in the meeting or do I only share that with my sponsor? AYE.
his roots grasped a new soil
one is one too many and one more will never be enough
faith has to work twenty four hours in us and through us or we perish
I don't want to go back to that life. Ever.
The rule of thumb I gave my sponsees about sharing at a meeting was:
Share if you have actual -EXPERIENCE- with the topic, like how acceptance helped you that day etc
Ask for help for something THAT IS IMPORTANT
I didn't tell them what I was told (repeatedly) which was why didn't I STFU until I had a year of sobriety and had worked the steps, it was also suggested I STFU until I was 30 since men are idiots until they are 30 anyway, but the age 30 rule wasn't enforced
thing was I was a "know it all" that wouldn't shut up, I was in my mid 20's so once when I had about 30 days I was sharing my vast wisdom with the group when my grandsponsor (who got sober in 1942) made this awful disgusted noise, lurched to his feet and came stomping across the room, grabbed me by the ear and dragged me outside mid-share and started sputtering like a tea kettle an making these great funny noises as he "gently" (talking to me using language that construction workers, naval officers and longshoremen were taking notes since even they hadn't heard some of these terms) in a voice that could be heard 3 blocks away explained to me what a meeting of alcoholics anonymous was for
to carry the message to the alcoholic that still suffers, not to tell my opinion, not to give advice, not to talk about my problems, and certainly not to talk out of my ass, which is what he called "sharing outside my experience"
He asked me "you have been around for 30 days, you have heard these peoples drinking stories, can you teach ANYONE in that room how to get drunk?"
Can you teach ANYONE in that room how to stay sober? bearing in mind that the 50 people in that room have been sober anywhere from 1 year to 45 years?
"Then why are you speaking at a meeting of alcoholics anonymous? If you can't teach even ONE person how to stay sober or how to get drunk, what gives YOU the right to hold 50 people hostage while we are stuck listening to your puerile ramblings?"
this happened frequently as I'd sneak off to share at meetings I knew he didn't attend, but I'd get ratted out, his asschews of me in that courtyard are the stuff of legend now, terrified newcomers cowering in their chairs while listening to him tear me a new one and sponsors glared at sponsees as if to imply they'd get the same treatment if they were so stupid as to follow my example.....
I was and am quite a bit gentler, but I agree with him
we can share two things in meetings, problem or solution, I was asked which did I want to be part of, and was my share problem or solution?
I did always tell my sponsees and any other newcomer it is ENTIRELY appropriate, NAY, RECOMENDED STRONGLY to ask for help in a meeting, that's why they are there, but listening to the puerile drivel of people hold the entire meeting hostage to their idiocy and sickness talking about their problems or their day and hearing others think that is what meetings are for (ask someone about the traditions soon) does ....bore me
so sharing is simple
what is was like
what it's like today
I did this and got this result (failure) then by working this step or using this tool I got success
it's not the change that's painful, it's the resistance to change that is painful
Just a suggestion but i want to say dont worry about what you are sharing. Just share from the heart, honestly about whatever is going on for you. You dont have to speak about solutions if you are strugglying. Listening to newcomers helps keep me sober, I listen to what they are strugglying through in the early days and it reminds me how hard it was at the start for me. It keeps me sober.Just share honestly, u dont have to have any answers, all the answers or anything. I like to remeber aa is not a social club if i cant be honest there then i cant be honest anywhere. i dont have to impress anyone. Sometimes I just need to get my problems out of my mouth so i dont take it home with me. I agree somethings i dont share in a meeting,somethings i told a counsellor indepth about, not even my sponsor was/is equipped to deal with certain outside problems. other stuff, things i didnt need a counsellor for i told my sponsor and less deeply personal things i share in meetings. If I am upset, sometimes i cry in meetings sometimes i am all emotional. If I dont share whats going on then I get sicker. I do try share about solutions but if I am in a bad way I wont gloss it over to sound good.
Hi Chelsea...thanks for the topic.
I would share honestly, candidly and like my life depended on it, because it does. I would share briefly on my experiences and mostly on my recovery. I would never allow my message to linger on past the allotted time. That's how resentments start. I usually choose my words wisely and keep it simple. The last thing I want to hear is a long drawn out Drunk-A-log. It tends to convolute the message.
Topics...are touchy subjects too. So, I suggest you pick a topic that everyone can relate too, or whatever subject matter you need feedback on. I would always leave enough time for any burning desires and would never allow the message to go unnoticed. I hope this helps...
Sharing your message of hope is of utmost importance. So, give it all you got. The hopes and dreams of many still rely on this message and we all know you're the messenger that can deliver on that promise.