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Old 08-01-2006, 08:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Rules for AA

I have now gone to three meetings, and I feel awkward because I don't know the rules. I learned that questions are saved for the end, and that the prayer comes at the very end. There seems to be a lot of jargon that I don't understand, and I would like to know the "rules" before I slip out of line without knowing it and being embarrased about it. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Each group follows these...

The Twelve Traditions


OneOur common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.

TwoFor our group purpose there is but one ultimate authoritya loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

ThreeThe only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

FourEach group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.

FiveEach group has but one primary purposeto carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

SixAn A.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

SevenEvery A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

EightAlcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

NineA.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

TenAlcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

ElevenOur public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.

TwelveAnonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Just relax, Kali Ma. There's not very much you could really do "wrong". Don't pick up that first drink, one day at a time. Learn to listen, and listen to learn.
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As you see...each group has it's own format and guidelines.

In my home group..we do not save the questions until last.
We also say the Serenity Prayer in the beginning
Close with the Lords Prayer.
We also smoke...have requirements for chairing..and use
chips.

Relax...you are doing great!!
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Why don't you ask another lady who has been sober awhile there? Different groups from all over have different formats. The bottom line is that we are there to help ourselves and others get/stay sober.

The only rule is not to take yourself so darned seriously. Anything other than that is routine and/or suggestion.

Jen
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think the biggest rule I can think of is protecting eachother's anonymity inside and outside of the rooms of AA.
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Rules ??

And really there are not "rules" - they are only guidlines and suggestions.
Each group has thier own guidlines to help the meeting run smoothly..
The best suggestion is to chum up with another female and talk with them before and after a meeting and just listen during the meetings and talk with
some of the women afterwards..Most meetings have coffee and people stick around and chat..Somee meetings there is even a group of folks that go out for a bite to eat and/or coffee..(the meeting after the meeting)
Another good way to meet people and ask questions.

In most meetings they ask at some point if there are any Newcomers..If you stand up and introduce yourself at that time..people will come to meet you after the meeting - that makes it easier to meet people...

You'll do just fine - just keep going to meetings....

Janni
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow - Smoking - We can't smoke in meetings anymore..have to sneak out 1/2 way thru if there is no break..lucky you !
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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2 that seem to be popular these days are don't crosstalk (talk to someone else during the meeting as opposed to the whole group) and keep that cellphone quiet!
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by upanddownjj
Wow - Smoking - We can't smoke in meetings anymore..have to sneak out 1/2 way thru if there is no break..lucky you !
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the US, outranking drinking by about 3:1.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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And thank God I am on day 3 without the horrible things. One of the hardest things I have ever had to quit, far, far harder than alcohol.
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I was looking around for a dictionary of 12-Step terms, but couldn't find a free one. I did find an interesting entry for 'twelve-step' at Answers.com. It has everything about 12-Step programs you can think of; definition, characteristics, history, acceptance of a Higher Power, relation to religion, literature, and more.

Carol, are all of the meetings where you live smoking? That would be tough on me, as I'm allergic to nicotine. I'd have to wear a gas mask. LOL.
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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He he knob. how weird would that be? sat there with a big glass face.
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kali ma
I have now gone to three meetings, and I feel awkward because I don't know the rules. I learned that questions are saved for the end, and that the prayer comes at the very end. There seems to be a lot of jargon that I don't understand, and I would like to know the "rules" before I slip out of line without knowing it and being embarrased about it. Any suggestions?
The only "rule" I know of is rule 62. "Don't take yourself so seriously." Just keep going to meetings and asking questions. Let people know you're new and are trying to learn the ropes. Like jlo suggest, find a woman you feel comfortable talking to and talk to her.
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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forget the rules
just go
you will get to see the format

get a temp sponsor
he'll explain
other than that
just listen
and
if you hear something you identify with
share about it

it's an hour where you can be safe
with other people who have the same issue


best
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
FourEach group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
That incldes smoking or not in my group.
There are other non smoking groups easily available.
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Old 08-01-2006, 07:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Our group also has all smoking meetings. Towards the end if we don't open the door it looks like a bar after the lights have been turned on LOL!!

I am beginning to cut down on smoking in preparation to quit and I'm afraid that being in the meetings will be temptation but I love my home group and the people there so I'll get through it.

Back on topic. Each group is different so I wholeheartedly agree with those that say to pal up with someone as well as watch and listen.

In our group the chair person reads the preamble, we say the Serenity Prayer, we ask if there are any newcomers or visitors, someone reads How It Works from Chapter 5 of the BB, then we ask if anyone has a topic or a problem that they might drink over. If not then we'll read something out of the BB, the Daily Meditations or the 24 Hours a Day meditation book and go from there. We then pass out chips, give announcements and end with the Lord's Prayer. Questions are encouraged throughout. We do ask that cell phones are put on vibrate and that there is no crosstalk and that if you share that you're not drunk, otherwise we ask that you listen only or talk to someone one on one so as not to disrupt the meeting.

Hope this helps!
Kellye
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks to all for your post. I guess I just have to relax and chill out.
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Old 08-02-2006, 04:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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There are no rules. The only requirement for membership is that you be alcoholic (and only you can determine that) and that you have a desire to stop drinking. The are some requirements to be met in order to recover, but these are along the lines of conforming one's will & life to spiritual principles, not man made rules. And you are free to conform to these principles or not.

Many find that they cannot maintain a contented sobriety, or even maintain sobriety at all unless they conform to the principles embodied in the Twelve Steps. Once again, you are free to take the steps or not. My advice would be to talk an AA member who seems to know what they are talking about when it comes to the steps. Best wishes and hope you find your truth.
Jim
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Old 08-03-2006, 04:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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((kali ma)) Just kick back, relax, and listen. I think as long as you are not disruptive, you will be fine!!

I do remember one of my meeting early on. I walked in a little late because I thought I'd go drink instead of going to the meeting. Well, I didn't drink, but when I walked in, the chairperson looked right at me and said, "Does anyone have the desire to drink?"

I said, with tears in my eyes and my head on a friends shoulder, "Yes, does anyone want to go with me?" LOL You should have seen the looks on peoples faces. I don't recommend asking that, not a rule, just a suggestion!! LOL
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