Where do all the professional people go?

Old 03-14-2017, 10:27 AM
  # 61 (permalink)  
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There are a couple of doctors, a lawyer, and a fairly well known celebrity at one of my meetings.

I think it boils down to the demographics of the town, for sure,
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:23 PM
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I am a professor in a mental health-related field and completely understand the reluctance to just be super open about my history in public meetings. I went to meetings, different kinds (AA, SMART, Refuge Recovery). I personally liked SMART best and actually enjoyed the diversity at most meetings because my everyday social circles are far more homogeneous. I like SR for the same reason. Anyhow, I don't think anyone is pushed to interact or reveal stuff we don't want and if someone initiates it, there is always the option to say 'no' or to set limits. I never attended meetings very regularly for long periods but found them very helpful at times. I did a lot of individual therapy, that's confidential. Also spent some time in a private rehab far from my residence once. I've met a few highly educated professionals in most of these environments and also connected with like-minded people who did not have much formal education, based on simple human values and shared interests.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:28 PM
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I have been to meetings in better neighborhoods and in the inner city. Sure the people in the better neighborhoods are dressed better, have better cars, etc. and are better educated but in the end we are all alcoholics - we all have that in common.

I get the same end result in every meeting I go to.
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:09 PM
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I am a psychologist (in England) and a semi-trainee physician and I have never met a psychologist who buys it before but I don't buy a lot of what AA says. I have met lots of physicians who do buy it and have done well.
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:23 PM
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i dont buy it either,james.
i live it
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:40 PM
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OP I go to a community center for coffee sometimes, and its the same thing. Most all young adults are white "gangsta's", and the only thing they'd ever read is texts on their phones. And of the older generation with drug/alcohol problems, very few seem the educated type of addict/ex-addict.

IDK where they all go, but its not there, except me and maybe 2-3 others.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:01 AM
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I go to neighborhood meetings where I live and a few meetings in the inner city.

Like, Doug 39, I get the same message and result.

I like them all.

I go to the local lawyers in recovery meeting to try to support it, but my heart is in AA.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:26 AM
  # 68 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Someguy23 View Post
I'm a few months away from getting a PhD in pure math, does that qualify me as a nerd?
Yes indeed it does.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:55 AM
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I was, a so called (professional/academic) but the alcohol took me.

Alcohol doesn't differentiate. But when I joined AA I could find few folks who had my history. Most were, I drank a bottle of wine a few times a week, for a few years I thought .....really? I drank a couple of bottles of wine every day, then more, for over twenty years:so I couldn't relate.

But, since leaving AA and researching and understanding the mechanism in everyone's brain; I've understood addiction can affect everybody, no matter who they or there drinking patterns.

I found freedom from addiction through following the advice in the posts in the Secular Connections section of this site. I learnt Rational Recovery AVRT and the rest is history: I'm now a non-drinker!
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:21 PM
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its a humbling feeling when you sitting at the table with the ones mamma warned you about as a child and your now one of them.

put all our corpes in to a field and the vultures wont care about our crudentials as they pick our bones clean.

But I know i felt a bit out of place at my local AA i;m like ok that guy is like a young ganster type. that guys a really rough and tough type and is out on parole dunno if he woud like me. Ok that guy is a total biker dood witha great sense of humor and i'm this computer nerd type but i could see howi coudl toally get along with him but what if is too busy for me. That ones too old. That ones not my type.

I dunno sometimes i wonder how much of is some issue iwth the thers in the room and how mcuh of it is just my own BS. its probably a little bit of both.

tho over the years some of my best friends have been what many might consider the trash of society ::shrug::
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:36 AM
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Stephen King said something I really liked about alcoholism in an interview I watched. He said "We're all the same when we're puking in the gutter."
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
Stephen King said something I really liked about alcoholism in an interview I watched. He said "We're all the same when we're puking in the gutter."
This is so true, I thought long and hard before replying to this thread (which I felt divisive) particularly because I lost that 'so called' professional career due to drinking, but prior to that career I was employed in jobs I loved. At the time of the loss of career I made excuses, it was his, her fault. But no, it was my fault, nobody can function at 100% capacity whilst drinking daily.

In fact, the more I think about, since stopping drinking for good last year, the more I don't want to return to my career, and instead, perform one of those previous employments that I really did enjoy, received satisfaction from. I disliked my profession, it's not all about money, satisfaction can be life-affirming, if finances are controlled.
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:00 PM
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Tatsy I think we all spend way too much time at work to not like what we do. I'm a middle class person with a good union job and I love it! I have fun everyday at work, I laugh so hard some days that my face hurts. I know other people with the high prestige jobs who hate going to work and are under constant pressure and stress. I don't know, if you are lucky enough to be in a position to make a choice about where you go back to work then I vote for working at the one that you can look forward to showing up for work in the morning and can leave it behind when you're done for the day. But hey different stroke for different folks!
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:32 PM
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Thankyou, Zenchaser, it matters hugely to me that you understand. I've considered embarking upon some more training for the jobs I enjoyed, whilst learning the 'corporate career ladder'. I'm glad to leave that so called career ladder behind me. It was never a good fit. I'm more of a people person, not a pounds and dollars person.
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CactusJill View Post
I am asking this seriously - no intention to categorize people or offend.

I have been in and out of AA meetings since 2004, and one thing I have had difficulty with is the fact that in nearly every meeting, the people there tend to have hit a very, very low bottom and I never meet anyone in my line of work or with my level of education. There is nothing wrong with that and I definitely don't have a superiority complex (my long term bf is a server in a restaurant).

But I am curious. Where do all the nerds like me go? I am a professor, and I have never, ever met anyone that was highly educated, or business owners, or anything like that in any meeting I have been to. And I have been to many, many meetings in 2 different states.

It may be possible that there are professional, educated people at meetings who just don't talk about it, but in my experience most people in AA are completely open about their jobs and almost everything else.

I like SR because I meet a much greater variety of people here than I do in f2f meetings. So please don't take my question personally. I know many people here are very educated or are very professionally successful. I just don't see that in f2f meetings.

Any ideas?
And you spoke to every person in the room and asked them about their education and work history?

The point is, many of them may have been successful before they sought help for their drinking.

These aren't social clubs or ways to network. These are people who are in a real bad way.
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:51 PM
  # 76 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bunny211 View Post
There are a couple of doctors, a lawyer, and a fairly well known celebrity at one of my meetings.

I think it boils down to the demographics of the town, for sure,
Right, like if it's a university town you'll have more people with advanced degrees. And those folks can afford the really good shrinks' hourly rates.

And let's be honest, most of us would probably run in to our attorney's at an AA meeting and be like "Good to see ya" You wouldn't take so well to seeing the doctor who is scheduled to do your mom's surgery next week. Not to be judgmental but I'd have my reservations because alcoholism is what I know.
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Old 03-17-2017, 05:31 AM
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I think the reason this thread keeps coming up is that this issue matters, but is so rarely discussed.

I have rarely met professionals at meetings. So my sponsors were a retail clerk, a construction worker, and office workers.

They were intelligent and caring people. But I found it hard to follow their direction on my career because they just did not understand how things go in my line of work. They became frustrated with me and I became frustrated with them.

I think I would have done better in the program if I had been able to get a sponsor whose experience was more like mine. I would certainly been able to trust his direction on career stuff more.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:19 AM
  # 78 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by miamifella View Post

They were intelligent and caring people. But I found it hard to follow their direction on my career because they just did not understand how things go in my line of work

I would certainly been able to trust his direction on career stuff more.
The spirit of anonymity means that all social and professional status is checked at the door. In AA there is no status, only spiritual equals. It has nothing to do with career planning or any other life issue, simply a spritual solution to alcoholism.

Whe I joined AA, unbeknownst to me, the first people to great me were the managing director of New Zealands largest company, two doctors, a very famous architect, and a lawyer, among others. They were just George, Phil, Barney, Bill and Ashley - alcoholics. I looked like the wild man from Borneo, but they treated me as an equal, and showed me a great deal of love.

Since that time, skid row bum with a head full of scrambled eggs, I have had a wonderful work life, a career from trainee to senior management, and been moderately successful in business

Yet in my AA work with alcoholics, I stick to the program of recovery only. I would never presume to direct anyone in what they should do career wise, or relationship wise, or anything else other that the 12 steps, and the AA 24 hour plan, which suggests we all turn to our higher power for guidance on such matters. I might suggest trained professionals to advise on such issues.

AA has never been a direct help to my career. That is not it's purpose. AA got me sober and showed me how to live successfully in this world. My career advancement was due to my new found ability to get on in life because I was sober, not because I was able to get career guidance in AA.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:25 AM
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My therapist, who has multiple advanced degrees including substance abuse counseling is also an Alcoholic and a long time AA participant and sponsor. The co-worker that introduced me to AA ( and took me to the hospital during withdrawals ) has an advanced degree in the technology field and has held high-ranking positions for multiple decades. I've been to Smart meetings in my area too and there were plenty of "white collar" attendees there too. And I live in a very blue-collar part of the country.

I could keep going down the list but bottom line, there are lots and lots of professionals who are alcoholics who participate in not only AA but other recovery programs. Alcoholism affects all segments of the population and really doesn't care how much you make, where you live or what color/religion you are.

Where "professionals" choose to "go" is kind of irrelevant to me - what's important is where I choose to go for MY recovery.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:00 AM
  # 80 (permalink)  
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Being as this thread is still being discussed I'll chip in briefly.

The people you meet in AA entirely depends on which meeting you go to. There is a meeting or two in Mayfair (incredibly affluent region of London) which is held in an oak-panelled old fashioned board room. 80% of the regular attendees are CEO level execs from what I have seen/heard. Joining them are the occasional chef/cleaner/homeless Street drunk. All are in the same boat.

Alcoholism does not discriminate...people discriminate and they choose which meetings they go to. Or they choose who to speak to.

Any doubters out there, try time you are sitting in a "low bottom" meeting, make conversation with the guy next to you. You may be surprised to discover you're speaking to a doctor/lawyer/Management Accountant.

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