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Old 01-18-2011, 11:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to tell your story in AA

AA doesn't have a pamphlet for everything. Most things we have to figure out on our own, with the help of other AA's.

The only guidelines of which I am aware are are that our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now.

When I speak now, I try to focus more on my recovery ( using the 12 steps) than my alcoholism( obsession plus physical complusion) and more on my alcoholism than external details. It wasn't that way in the beginning . In the beginning I thought the better the war story, the better the story. I quickly gave up on that, as I realized I could not top some of the war stories I heard. I also figured out that wasn't what I should be trying to do anyway.

Anyway, that's my take.
I'd like to hear what other have to say, hoping this will be useful to newcomers lurking on this forum.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Telling people about my day wont get anyone sober, nor will trying to impress people with BS about how great my program is.
What have I struggled with and how has the program helped me overcome these struggles is a good way to go.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When i first dragged my ego into AA, id spew my latest war stories or "my drinking was worse than yours".BS.
It was hard work because someone always had more jail time or a deeper hole..

Sad.......but fact for this sick drunk.

Today i talk lots about god doing for me what i couldnt do for myself.
How he solved my problem and how my mind has been renewed.
How that relationship started and how it continues and deepens.

I tend to talk alot about experienced solutions and very little of the mess.
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I tend to talk alot about experienced solutions and very little of the mess.
I like the term experienced solutions, so much to tell in our journey in recovery. What worked.. What didn't work. How we came to believe as we did the steps. How our lives have changed.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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we have a man in one of our groups who i really respect, although we often disagree.

But one time after a speaker meeting (which his group has every week..often local which i think is important) I talked to him and he said...Alison...it isn't about how well they express the big book, or how they stay on topic...speakers come and speak from the heart..thats what I hear, thats what matters...

I knew in that moment that this very ridgid AA "got it" it isn't about a formula or doing it right...you speak and tell your story...sometimes it's very structured...sometimes we go all over the board and get off topic....it really doesn't matter...if you speak from the heart that is what touches the newcommer. That is what allows the miricle to happen.

The "professional" "circut speakers" never touch my heart the way that your garden variety alchoholic trying to express what his or her expereince is...even though it isn't "exactly big book" .... The ones who stand up in front of a group of drunks and just be as honest as they can...Thats what keeps me coming back.

Despite my struggles, it is the people who actually talk about the reality of where they are today and the challenges they faced today and how they worked through that...thats the jewel...thats the key to this program. We have a program, but we need to hear about not just how wonderful it is, but also about how people even with time in, struggle to "get it".

Our sponsors or spiritual advisors help us work the steps. Speakers help me realize we are real people, struggling and not always perfect. If your story is, I got sober and good....I match the bb, you don't help me so much as if you say...I'm in AA, I work the steps, I struggle with this that and the other even though I know this is the answer...WOW...you just inspired me to stay on this road!

Just my take
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I love to speak at meetings. I frequently tell my "war stories" because it helps the newcomer to identify. It also proves that I belong in AA. I'm a real alcoholic who went from a nice condo to a dumpster in an alley with rats the size of cats! I also talk about how AA never worked for me until I started doing service work on a daily basis. Answering the AA hotline, making coffee, chairing meetings, organizing sober activities, handing out my phone number ect....
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I try to cover as many of the mistakes I made in recovery just in case there's someone in the audience just as dumb as me.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice posts! For me, I keep it to what is was like (for identification); what happened (my moment of clarity) and what it is like now (how the 12 steps changed my life). I have a relapse in my story after many years of sobriety and I talk about that as well for those who think they are immune due to quantity of sobriety.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I try to cover as many of the mistakes I made in recovery just in case there's someone in the audience just as dumb as me.
I'll take the over there .
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My experience has shown that it is harder than I realized. I was asked to stand at the podium for the first time not too long ago...and I swore to myself I wasn't going to tell war stories all night. Well, it wasn't horrible, but reflecting back on it...I spent more time talking about the problem than I intended to do. I spent about 30 minutes on my background/war stories, 10 minutes giving some nifty advice on my little in and out trip with the fellowship, and about 10 minutes on the solution. Most definitely an opportunity for growth. I have a new found respect for speakers, it's not easy. Would I do it again in a hearbeat??? Damn right I would! One of the coolest deals in the world, plus my ego likes having 40 sets of eyes on it, lol.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I enjoy giving leads in front of large crowds. I am asked to give leads so often I think I'm getting burned out.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I find I only say meaningful things when I speak from my heart based on my experience.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomvlll View Post

what we used to be like,
what happened, and
what we are like now.
I now think of it as;

I lost the power of choice
I had a spiritual awakening
I experienced the promises
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i meditate before i speak, i invite God in and ask Him to allow me to be a channel so I can help someone who needs it...

I am speaking on the 1st Step this monday at a "Just dont drink for today and you're a winner" meeting....should be interesting, but in all honesty I love commitments like that--i feel that in my homegroup where the AA Message is being used I am of less use than I am at "one of those" meetings.

God Bless You All...
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Tom,
I try to reach the newcomer by relating some of my past failures drinking and living.
I remember how bad I felt and how I felt I never could make it,and I try and send hope to them and I do hope they can relate to my bad feelings,screw ups,and drinking problems.I throw out some of today's good stuff,of mended relations ships,of finding happiness in life and I hope that appeals to the hurting newcomer.
I remember picking up my last white chip

Penny L spoke
she was a little grey haired lady,and before she was done,I had related to her drinking and she said she was a alcoholic...when I could relate to a alcoholics drinking and life failures,it made me feel more at home and convinced me more than ever that I was in the right place.

those old drunk a logs serve a good purpose,to connect with the newcomer and help them see a connection with us alcoholics plus it helps us remember how it was
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