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Old 10-23-2003, 10:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Double winners

Hi, my name is Deb and I'm new to Al-Anon, a little over a month, and I'm wondering about 'double winners'. I'm in a rural area and there are only two Al-Anon meetings a week. Recently, a group of double winners have taken over both meetings and straight Al-Anons are beginning to drop out. I realize we can't turn anyone away, but we are losing some hurting people. Can anyone provide feedback on this? I'd really appreciate it.
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Old 10-24-2003, 12:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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One of the meetings that I used to go to was a double winner meeting and I loved it,but the difference was that since I was in LA,there were tons of meetings to choose from and it sounds like you might not have this choice.
The meeting that I went to was NOT in the al-anon directory because they are not sanctioned(or were'nt at the time),by al-anon...Al-anon meetings are meant to keep the focus on al-anon issues and no identification with other programs is supposed to happen during meetings.
I would have a word with the secretary about being stricter about reminding people of this rule if people identify with other programs(any ofther programs,not just AA),during their shares.
One of my sponsors is a double winner and he's one of the people that I respect more than anyone else,but he is very careful to only identify from the al-anon point of view when sharing in al-anon meetings,
Good luck,I hope it all works out for you,Vampy
 
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Old 10-24-2003, 03:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Deb

Welcome to the forums. Maybe you could talk to the people that are dropping out and perhaps start your own meeting. I know you shouldn't have to do this but if so many people need help an extra meeting couldn't hurt in your area. They probably have information on the official al-anon website.

Good luck!
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Old 10-24-2003, 07:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My Question - What is a Double Winner?

Sorry if I digress from the original question, but I am new to Al-Anon and haven't heard this term before. What does it mean?

Thanks for your patience,

Petunia
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Old 10-24-2003, 07:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A double winner is someone who works both recovery programs of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon.
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Old 10-24-2003, 07:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Has anyone actually spoken to them. From what I hear the purpose of AlAnon is to help people so I wouldnt think they would conciously drive others away. Could be the newbies are uncomfortable around the doubles cause they show some of the same traits as the alkies they have at home. Pushyness etc.

I would give them the benifit of the doubt and discuss it with them. Tell them how some of the straight people are not comfortable with the new format. Tell them that youre losing some of the people who need help the most. And ask for their help solving the problem.

Point out that newbies are shy and skittery. Its not the doubles fault, make sure they know that. But since there are two meetings would they consider limiting themselves to just one of the meetings each week. If they need two they can start another for themselves or do a blended meeting for both groups.

Having insight into both conditions Icould see how they could be good guest speakers at an AlAnon meetng but I also can see where they could make the AlAnons uncomfortable. Too much of a reminder of the one you have at home that youre trying to get away from.
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Old 10-24-2003, 02:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback. I brought it up at meeting today because the readings really pertained. Newbies and long-timers, alike, felt the same. What it came down to, was that it's not so much a problem with the double winners but with one particular long-time double winner who just walked in and took over.

Our second meeting was started very recently because we needed it. Once a week is not enough for many. The group this week was so large that we counted off and split up so everyone would have a chance to talk. When it was my turn, the person in question walked out, interupted the other group to look for 4th step booklets, threw one on their table and said, "Here. You should be working on this." Then she came back and passed out booklets to everyone but me, apologized for the interuption and sat down. At this point I passed 'cuz I was a bit of a mess that day anyway, and by then my focus was blown. She literally came out of her chair, and very loudy and pointing her finger at me, said, "YOU need to do this, and YOU need to do that! SHE doesn't!" (pointing at another newbie) Um...I don't understand. The difference between me and the other newbie is I've got two more weeks under my belt and I don't cry through the entire meeting anymore.

I came to Al-Anon because I felt safe to learn and heal. I've been attacked all my life and I really didn't need it at a meeting. If I hadn't been dumbstruck by her attack I would have walked right out of there, but I was blown away. Hey, I can get that crap at home and save myself the trip.

I am not generally such a crybaby. But hey! This program really works! A month ago I would not have been able to stand up for myself, or even realized that it was inappropriate behavior on her part.

Apart from her usual bullying, this is the second 'serious' offense and according to WSO, two Al-Anons can approach her and ask her to cease and desist, or leave. The other double winners are fine when she isn't around stirring things up. Not a very good example of the program at work, especially for someone with 20+ years around the tables.

Again, thanks for your help. I sure hope this works itself out.
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Old 10-27-2003, 07:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Double Winner: Someone who "is" and "is involved" with one too. My sponsors says that in all 12 step groups, "Control should be an Olympic Event". Once sober or clean, everything is an "Al-anon" issue. There are abosolutely no mistakes in God's World so do what you feel is appropriate and learn from it. In my not so humble opinion I believe you are doing the footwork you need to do. Let us know where it takes you, of course, you might find some of us there.
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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For someone in your situation I can see where this womans actions could cause you some emotional pain. I dont see her going away so youre going to have to learn to deal with her.

"Im sorry you cant act like that in here. Thats alcholic behavior. We dont need that in our Alanon meetings. Our members come here to get away from that sort of behavior"

I used to have trouble with people like that until I saw the situation for what it was. An oportunity to practice speaking up for myself. The more you stand up for yourself the easier it gets.

I still have trouble with people close to me but strangers dont bother me at all now. And the nice thing about practicing on them is that you can walk way from them and never look back.


This woman is nothing to you. You could walk away from her and never speak to her again and it wouldnt bother you. Right? So the next time she does something unacceptable. tell her calmly that shes stepping out of bounds. No yelling. Youre practicing assertiveness not meaness. ;-)

The more you stand up for yourself the easier it gets. Pretty soon it becomes second nature and you dont even realize youre doing it.

Last edited by Cecilia; 10-28-2003 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 10-28-2003, 10:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wow- that's a lot of pain to carry. I'll pray for you Cecila

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."-William James

Take the steps and Live.

Blessed Be Well.
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Old 10-29-2003, 08:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Mogqua

Thanks for your support. But its been pretty settled around here lately. Actually its been fairly quiet. I think theyre finally learning. Quack at your own risk. Us quiet people arent pushovers. We're just quiet. LOL.

I think the dust is starting to settle. Actually Im pretty much at peace with it all. Ive made my decisions and Im just waiting for things to play out.
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Old 10-29-2003, 09:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Be careful Deb of what you take to heart and how.
Sometimes the best thing we can tell you is what not to do based on our experience of trying to keep our ducks in a row to acheive our own idea of peace and quiet.

Let Go, Let God Be God

Cecila:

In fear of the eggshells, the silent won't sing.
Fake it till you make it, but don't pass on the sting.
I won't waste my time, or annoy you any more.
It is by your own words that you'll find you are sore.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -William James

"To be helpful is our only aim"
"In love and service"
BBW & Hozho Qatsi
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Old 10-29-2003, 10:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Just Deb; Welcome to the s. r. site.....and welcome to Al-Anon
Every registered group should have a current service munal...It should be available to every member....It may help give you some clear guidelines to follow in this situation....also your group rep. should be able to help...The suggestion that you start a new Al-Anon group is a very good one....I love D.W. meeting when everyone is working the same program...BUT Al-Anon meetings need "good orderly direction" too

By studying and practicing the Steps, following the Traditions,and the concepts of service, you will find some real help ....You may also ask for a group concious meeting about the format....

As for double winners; my first sponsor was one of the best in the world.....she stuck strickly to the Al-Anon program when we 'd meet....I have been to quite a few meetings some regristered and some not....I always practice taking what I can use and leave the rest....

I know this has to be very painful for you...I know I would really have to work my program to keep going to a meeting where there is distendion....by practicing the principals of Al-Anon I have learn to use them in all my affairs....

Take care, I will surround you and all those meetings with love in the fellowship. Please post us back and let us know how you are doing...
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Old 11-10-2003, 10:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hi. Remember me? In regards to my initial post, I got over myself. "...other people's behavior belongs to them and I don't have to make it mine by reacting to it." (Hope for Today-November 7th) Hey, this program business really works! I guess a pissy streak can happen to anyone, she just happened to catch me when I was pretty low. Then I bucked up and decided it would be a better choice, for me, to attend both meetings ('cuz I need em!) and learn appropriate ways to handle such a situation, should it arise again. So far, so good. Most of the DW's are primarily sticking to one meeting so the timid newbies are reappearing at the other.

I love this program. I've only been here three months or so, but I can hardly believe the change in me! I began a spiritual journey about two years ago but spent much time 'in the desert'. I couldn't completely let go and trust even in God. I wanted to but kept tripping over old baggage and I didn't make that discovery until I crossed the street to Al-Anon. Consequently, I don't feel so urgently fragile and my spiritual life is blooming again. Did I mention I love this program? Thanks for all your input and support!
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Old 11-11-2003, 12:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Al-Anon membership is for those who have been affected by someone's drinking or sobriety. We do not worry about the affiliation with other 12-step programs. We do ask that all members remain anonymous about their other affiliations and that they try to relate to the family member's perspective.

That's our tradition. Those who leave a meeting because they are uncomfortable are, in effect, uncomfortable with our traditions. Hopefully, they will return.

A strong leader, secretary, or even a member of the group can and should remind people to leave outside affiliations.......outside. With the right atmosphere, this can happen the moment someone shares about their "other" program. It may upset the person......but they won't repeat that one anytime soon. Neither will others sharing.

All of these situations teach me to not avoid conflict when it's for the good of the group. I played the "runaway" game for too long in life. Today, I don't have to do it.

On the "heart" side.......I sponsor double winners and enjoy them immensely. I just couldn't figure out why they left me long messages about what they planned to do that day. *haha (That's an AA deal.....plan out the day. Al-Anons don't have to plan. We have too many plans!)

This weekend I will attend the 20th AA bd of my sponsee. She never fails to share that her life didn't really get fun and joyful until she came to Al-Anon. Today, she's a delight to anyone who meets her. This gal is the kind that even her boss says......."One day, I hope to heck you get MY job."

That's recovery!
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Old 07-02-2005, 08:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hello, I am new to this site. I would like to share a bit on the double winner thread. I have been in al-anon since november 1983. I have been in AA since Dec 1983. I belong in each 12 step group equally. Both dependencies have almost killed me in one way or another. I need both equally. The al-anon and Nar-anon meetings I have gone to welcomed me completely. They only asked that I did not share my AA and NA problems and solutions in their meetings and not to dwell while speaking on the fact I was and I will always be a double winner. I also can not hold any postions higher than chair in Al-non. I understand this. I was just so grateful to be allowed to be in the group. I was miserable and I was suffering from my "co-dependency" There are so many of us double winners that suffer from the ism and the alcohol traits.

When I am at an al-anon meeting or an Nar-anon meeting I am a grateful member of that group. That goes for other type 12 step meetings I attend. I love the traditions because I find they are the foundation for the groups as the steps are the foundation for recovery. . .any type recovery in the 12 step philosophy.

Thank You for allowing me to be a part of this web site.
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Old 07-02-2005, 11:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR, Misstea, and thanks for sharing!

I think you'll find support in several of our forums, from the sound of it.

Peace!
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Old 07-03-2005, 02:10 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Just Deb,these double winners that have taken over both meetings and straight Al-Anons are beginning to drop out sound scary! Why can't they start a new group called 'Double Winners AA' or something like that? Having these people come in and take over your meetings is something I couldn't put up with. I would probably get up, walk out and not come back.
I am looking to work on me,not to listen to some one tell me I am not working the right step or it should be one way or another. Even if I do not cry through an entire meeting! I am shy and nervous about going to a meeting,let alone having these type Double Winners come in and take over. Sorry I just find this disgusting and in poor taste. For those of us who are getting up the courage to go to a first meeting,hearing something like this puts me off the whole thing.
Had to vent my £1.00 worth.
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Old 07-03-2005, 07:26 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Hi there Wishstar,

I'm a double winner, actually a 4-way winner as I am a member in good standing of 4 different fellowships.

If you go thru a meeting list you will find that some meetings are marked as "closed". That means that only subjects pertaining directly to that fellowship are allowed. There are also meetings marked "stag", which means guys-only, or gals-only. And there are also meetings marked "double-winner" :-) I used to attend a "double-winners stag" meeting that was great.

If an individual of any persuasion is behaving in the boorish manner described in previous posts they should be taken aside and straightened out. That kind of behavior is not acceptable in _any_ fellowship.

Here in Las Vegas there was recently a similar problem, where a Al-Anon meeting of mostly elderly women was acosted by a male Al-Anon with ego problems. The ladies chose to relocate their meeting next door to a "Bikers only" AA meeting. When the offending male Al-Anon made his appearance the little old ladies went next door and asked the bikers for assistance. The problem was resolved in short order.

The little old ladies now bring cookies to the bikers. And the bikers now help the little old ladies with house repairs and such.

Mike
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Old 07-03-2005, 08:40 AM   #20 (permalink)
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"Here in Las Vegas there was recently a similar problem, where a Al-Anon meeting of mostly elderly women was acosted by a male Al-Anon with ego problems. The ladies chose to relocate their meeting next door to a "Bikers only" AA meeting. When the offending male Al-Anon made his appearance the little old ladies went next door and asked the bikers for assistance. The problem was resolved in short order.
The little old ladies now bring cookies to the bikers. And the bikers now help the little old ladies with house repairs and such".
DesertEyes,thanks for the illustration. Some times one forgets that not all the meeting are like the one described above. Would enjoy having bikers around.
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