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Old 01-14-2011, 09:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Having a hard time speaking at AA meetings

Hello all. Im 8 months sober and until aprrox a month ago I would talk at AA meetings and tell some of my story, etc. I felt real comfortable speaking and sharing with the group. About a month ago I stopped sharing because i feel uncomfortable. maybe its pride or fear. It seems like my brain isnt working right and I might say something dumb?

Is this normal to go through waves of not wanting or feeling uncomfortable speaking in meetings?

I want to get it back, because I use to enjoy it and I think it helps my recovery.

Thanks,
Michael
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Turn the brain off and the heart on. Our mind is where the problem lies, the solution...well...it's somewhere else.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a smilar problem and it is really hard for me to deal with. When I speak in front of groups I become super nervous to the point that I can barely talk. This happend long before AA but it makes it hard to speak my mind or even at all and I hate it. Even if they ask me to read the preable I started stuttering and turning red and completely loose it! It's funny because my close friends describe me as an extrovert as I am a social butterfly in small groups or one on one. Yet put me in front of like 10 people and I just can't do it. Then what blows my mind is my friend who considers herself an introvert and is very shy can speak in front of people at meetings with no problems at all, in fact she looks like a professional speaking. I guess everyone is differant, just wish I could talk better in meetings or any kind of group for that matter....
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I did find that I shared a lot less in meetings after about 6 or 8 months, primarily because I'd gotten most of what I was struggling with off my chest. Are you worried about repeating yourself?
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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About 8 months in, the same happened to me. I think my HP was telling me to sit still and listen.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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One practice I've found that helps when I'm struck with the "oh sh_t, whadda I do or say now" paralysis is to simply give it the attention it is due. I own it. Right there in front of God and everybody. Ever try to change something you deny having? That's what you are trying to do when you tell yourself not to be scared. "Hi. I'm Uncle Lushwell. I've spoke before, but lately I find I'm uncomfortable speaking and I need to own that, so it doesn't fight for center stage. I'm worried that I may not have anything useful to share. That my experience might not be useful. I really only have one thing to tell, and that is that I found a way out of where I once was, and have managed not to go back to that lifestyle. It is my truth, and I want to report how that happened, in spite of my fear and discomfort. Please bear with me as I take that fear on."

And I report my truth. It has never failed me. If the discomfort / fear returns, I own it. It is a progressive growing experience. It is an irrational fear that we can confront and overcome. I found that my discomfort evaporated when I focused on telling the truth as I saw it, and see it today, rather on a unique delivery method that had entertainment value. Sometimes it helps to examine our motives. AA speaking allows us growth in areas we may never have reason to address otherwise.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZworldontheweb View Post
I did find that I shared a lot less in meetings after about 6 or 8 months, primarily because I'd gotten most of what I was struggling with off my chest. Are you worried about repeating yourself?
Maybe I am worried about repeating myself, however, I dont think thats the main issue.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lushwell View Post
One practice I've found that helps when I'm struck with the "oh sh_t, whadda I do or say now" paralysis is to simply give it the attention it is due. I own it. Right there in front of God and everybody. Ever try to change something you deny having? That's what you are trying to do when you tell yourself not to be scared. "Hi. I'm Uncle Lushwell. I've spoke before, but lately I find I'm uncomfortable speaking and I need to own that, so it doesn't fight for center stage. I'm worried that I may not have anything useful to share. That my experience might not be useful. I really only have one thing to tell, and that is that I found a way out of where I once was, and have managed not to go back to that lifestyle. It is my truth, and I want to report how that happened, in spite of my fear and discomfort. Please bear with me as I take that fear on."

And I report my truth. It has never failed me. If the discomfort / fear returns, I own it. It is a progressive growing experience. It is an irrational fear that we can confront and overcome. I found that my discomfort evaporated when I focused on telling the truth as I saw it, and see it today, rather on a unique delivery method that had entertainment value. Sometimes it helps to examine our motives. AA speaking allows us growth in areas we may never have reason to address otherwise.
Thanks Lushwell, great stuff!
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You might try and make yourself focus
on what you're afraid of
as being
something that is NOT happening in the 'here and now'.

Afraid of messing up
afraid of being embarassed
afraid of being laughed at

all these things are imaginary future things
are not where our hands are.

They're not here in the now.

Maybe saying that to yourself
until it kicks in
(and it will kick in)
wil help?

You're where your'e supposed to be
you're in a meeting.
YOu don't have to be Abraham Lincoln
look what HE got for his trouble anyhow.

Hope something in here helps!
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I can certainly relate to this so I don't think you're alone. When I get stuck I take an inventory to find what the real problem is. Almost always comes down to ego, pride and/or fear. When I realize it's me and not something out there, it's much easier. And it's easier when I realize that most people have a tough time sharing in meetings.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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michael35209, It's normal to be uncomfortable about talk about your live to others. It's more so when your addicted or alcoholic. If you feel like you need to talk to someone about whats going on day by day. Do it here or get a cousolor.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Totally normal.

I've been in sales and marketing for most of my life, lot of talking and expressing ideas for a long time, but as soon as I got sober and into AA, I "clammed" up BIG time.

It's crazy, BUT...I treat the rooms of AA like practice. I want my confidence and public speaking back and I think practicing, by speaking and expressing myself, at AA meetings is perfect. It helps keep me sober, maybe it'll help someone else, and I'm getting better at speaking in groups (I think...).

In saying all of that, I also don't force the issue. I don't talk at every meeting and that's ok too.

Do you ever chair any meetings? That's a great way to get involved and all you have to do is read a script. It'll help with your sobriety too.

Kjell
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I can totally relate. I found that my conscious contact with a Higher Power was lacking and all sorts of fears set in. It wasn't just sharing in meetings, though that's where it began. It soon cropped up in every area of my life. Pride is indeed a killer. Kept me drinking for a long time.

The Third Step Prayer helps me tremendously. Always. Sobriety is precious. Keep it number one in your life.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Totally normal.

I've been in sales and marketing for most of my life, lot of talking and expressing ideas for a long time, but as soon as I got sober and into AA, I "clammed" up BIG time.

It's crazy, BUT...I treat the rooms of AA like practice. I want my confidence and public speaking back and I think practicing, by speaking and expressing myself, at AA meetings is perfect. It helps keep me sober, maybe it'll help someone else, and I'm getting better at speaking in groups (I think...).

In saying all of that, I also don't force the issue. I don't talk at every meeting and that's ok too.

Do you ever chair any meetings? That's a great way to get involved and all you have to do is read a script. It'll help with your sobriety too.

Kjell
Thanks for the information. I havnt chaired a meeting yet. I was all pumped up to start chairing a few months ago, however, my home group likes people to have 6 months clean and I was right there and when I got 6 months I clamed up and got fear of chairing. Im at 8 months clean and sober now and Im going to make myself chair one in the next few weeks. I know it will do me good. Thanks for all the great replys. It's helped me soooooooo much,
Michael
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I had a really hard time sharing at meetings as well. I brought up a topic one time about my having such a hard time sharing at meetings, and how fearful I was. The response I recieved was overwhelming... I'm certainly not alone in feeling this way!

I continue to bring up topics, listen alot, and it's getting easier and easier to share once in a while.

I also try to do more readings during step meetings or during the opening of a meeting. It breaks the ice, and gives me my voice while the nerves seem to melt away.
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