Notices

At today's AA meeting

Old 01-13-2017, 12:22 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,095
At today's AA meeting

At today's AA meeting the lead person was a 57 year old woman that came from an alcoholic family and drank abusively for 40 years; starting at age 13.

She crashed 7 cars, went through 2 divorces, 16 detox/rehabs/psycho wards, lost countless jobs and ended up homeless all because of alcohol.

Before she was homeless she lived in a trailer for 3 years, drinking 24/7 and only went out to buy liquor.

What really drove her story home was the stories about getting the DTs, hallucinations and vomiting up blood - one time for 3 days straight. She was on death's door but rose up and got clean.

Her story really helped me see what alcohol can do and reinforced my desire to stay sober.
Doug39 is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 12:47 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
12 Step Recovered Alcoholic
 
Gottalife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 6,613
Most of us have much more mundane stories. I wouldn't relate all that much to a story like that. In fact it is the stories that seperate us more often than not. We all have different stories.

The thing I have in common with that woman is the loss of control and choice, and the miserable internal condition that all alcoholics suffer. I'd I went by a dramatic story alone, I could well feel that I am nowhere near that bad. Can you imagine the housewife closet drinker identifying with a story like that at their first meeting? She would be thinking "I never vomited blood, never crashed a car, never lived in a trailer, never got divorced, never got the dts... I am not like you"

It was a powerful story and a miraculous recovery, but its effectiveness is not as a fear based incentive not to drink, but in identification with the loss of control and choice that was at the bottom of it. Hopefully she spent some time on the solution.
Gottalife is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 12:56 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,095
Originally Posted by Gottalife View Post
Most of us have much more mundane stories. I wouldn't relate all that much to a story like that. In fact it is the stories that seperate us more often than not. We all have different stories.

.
I was thinking the same thing. It even crossed my mind to maybe start drinking again cause I was no where near that bad!

I was also glad my wife didn't hear this story - she would never give up drinking because she also has nothing in common with this woman's story.

Point being anyone could get this bad if the alcohol abuse gets out of hand.
Doug39 is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 01:14 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Trudgin
 
Fly N Buy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 6,348
Early on I heard many speak of very hard bottoms which was different as others have noted, than our experiences. I heard the acronym YET = you're eligible too, and it stuck with me.

I identified with the section of stories in the Book entitled They Stopped In Time.

Sponsor commented it use to be if one still had a watch and gold tooth they were ready for the program. I am grateful for the others who shared their very difficult circumstances so freely, thus potentially saving myself and others from having to continue that spiral.

Your thread reminded me of a post from one of our friends here - I looked it up as it is remarkable......

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...got-sober.html
Fly N Buy is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 01:20 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
FBL
non-drinker
 
FBL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 13,835
I find that comparing bottoms is a waste of time. Mine was bad enough to get me sober and that's what counts.
FBL is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 01:25 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 928
I was thinking about this the other day. At times I feel like AA meetings are like pissing contests for people to brag about how "bad" of an alcoholic they were, to feed their ego. It gets to me. I prefer solution meetings myself.
bluedog97 is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 01:38 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 936
Originally Posted by bluedog97 View Post
I was thinking about this the other day. At times I feel like AA meetings are like pissing contests for people to brag about how "bad" of an alcoholic they were, to feed their ego. It gets to me. I prefer solution meetings myself.
I agree. At first, I found people's stories interesting and helpful for identification. But then I realized a lot of people were using it to feed their ego or looking for attention. I also prefer solution meetings. My favorite step speakers nowadays speak very little about the problem and mostly about the solution.
Centered3 is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 01:40 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,095
Originally Posted by bluedog97 View Post
I was thinking about this the other day. At times I feel like AA meetings are like pissing contests for people to brag about how "bad" of an alcoholic they were, to feed their ego. It gets to me. I prefer solution meetings myself.

Speaking of pissing contests, their is this guy in my neighborhood that seems to go to every AA meeting in town. I have been trying different meetings it order to find the right "fit" and this guy - he has been in AA 38 years - tells the same rambling story every time. I have only been to 5 AA meeting and I have already heard the same story 3 times. I can tell other people are fed up with him and some have probably been dealing with his story for years - but they still politely let him ramble.
Doug39 is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 02:01 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
tomsteve's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: northern michigan. not the U.P.
Posts: 15,281
there are many people in AA that have gone to further stages of alcoholism then me, such as this woman, when I look at the thinking, I was right there with em.

alcoholism is an equal opportunity destroyer.
tomsteve is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 02:17 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
24hrsAday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Living in Today!
Posts: 3,944
Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post

alcoholism is an equal opportunity destroyer.
yes it is...
it's still kicking ass and taking names..
24hrsAday is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 02:18 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 304
I relate to her as much as I relate to the lady isolating in her house with her bottle of vodka . I was like neither of them. But I need to be supportive and supported by those people . I have not wanted to have a drink since the day I went to my first meeting 2 months ago. I don't know what will happen tomorrow but I think I'll just keep going back and listening to those stories.
pooky is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 06:23 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 319
I call them the dreaded "not yets". Before I stopped drinking about 212 days ago, I spent over 20 years on a binge justifying my behavior because I hadn't hit the absolute bottoms of homelessness, hospitalization, isolation, or prison to name a few. I had many other bottoms such as DUI, jail, destructive behavior, promiscuity, and later on really bad health, more drunk driving, embarrassment bordering on absolute horror at my behavior, fighting, verbal abuse etc. etc.

It became very clear to me towards the end that I was spiraling head first to those dreaded not yets, the kind that you don't always get to walk away from.

I believe alcoholism is progressive and what seems impossible today could certainly become possible at any time as long as we continue to drink. A young man I know recently went on a bender and hit a 24 year old woman head on when he ran a stop sign, on his way to get more booze. He killed her and is in prison now. I'm sure before he left that night he never anticipated that a "not yet" could happen to him.

I can't even adequately describe the sense of relief I feel these days. I am not gloating over the misfortunes of others, I am just incredibly grateful to have been able to stop when I did.
HopeandFaith1 is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 06:30 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,095
Originally Posted by HopeandFaith1 View Post
I can't even adequately describe the sense of relief I feel these days. .
I know what you mean. It is wonderful to be able to drive where I want, when I want without the fear of getting pulled over for drunk driving. Not to mention what would ever happen if I got in an accident with liquor in me.

My life revolved around getting that next drink for over 27 years - it feels so good to be out of that insane rut.
Doug39 is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 06:37 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
JeffreyAK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,183
Originally Posted by Doug39 View Post
I was thinking the same thing. It even crossed my mind to maybe start drinking again cause I was no where near that bad!

I was also glad my wife didn't hear this story - she would never give up drinking because she also has nothing in common with this woman's story.

Point being anyone could get this bad if the alcohol abuse gets out of hand.
Interesting, reminds me of the guy in my rehab and his effect on me.

I was already thinking I was Mr. Exceptional, the one guy who could find a way to keep drinking but without all the consequences. One day, a new patient started in my group, or re-started. He had been a county prosecutor, a lawyer with a wife and kids, usual trappings of success, before he lost it all to alcoholism. By the time he started in my group, he was homeless and looked it. And smelled it, he lost control of his bowels and sat in class crapping his pants, so no one sat anywhere near him. He shook constantly, and was unable to string together a coherent sentence, so I only knew his story from the counselor who told it to us as a warning. I presume that's the only reason he was in my group, since he was much farther down the hole than the rest of us - perhaps lost, I would be surprised if he is still alive now.

Did I take that as a solemn warning of what could happen? No, I thought, "THAT'S an alcoholic, I'm nowhere near that bad, so I guess I'm ok to keep drinking".

Crazy thinking. At the end, four months later, I wasn't so very far from being that guy.
JeffreyAK is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 06:52 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 319
Originally Posted by Doug39 View Post
I know what you mean. It is wonderful to be able to drive where I want, when I want without the fear of getting pulled over for drunk driving. Not to mention what would ever happen if I got in an accident with liquor in me.

My life revolved around getting that next drink for over 27 years - it feels so good to be out of that insane rut.
True words right there Doug! Congratulations on escaping that rut. I wish for you many years of peace and sobriety!
HopeandFaith1 is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 11:21 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,775
Originally Posted by FormerBeerLover View Post
I find that comparing bottoms is a waste of time. Mine was bad enough to get me sober and that's what counts.
So true and at times the stories are embellished. We've got one guy who regularly upgrades (or it downgrades?) his bottom.

The last time he shared all serious-like about being so drunk that he pissed in a church pew thinking it was a urinal which caused another member to burst out laughing.
Ken33xx is offline  
Old 01-13-2017, 11:29 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
Done4today's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: CA
Posts: 1,060
Everyone's bottom is where they put the shovel down.
Done4today is offline  
Old 01-14-2017, 05:05 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
G-Woman
 
shortstop81's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Mississauga, ON
Posts: 979
I've heard hundreds of stories in the AA rooms, with varying degrees of severity. I can see where the AV could get sneaky when listening to the really awful stories, telling someone that they really aren't 'all that bad'.

These days I find value in them all. The especially bad cases I see as potential warnings - that's what I COULD have become if my disease kept progressing unchecked.

In my experience they don't come off as bragging or attention-seeking, because every speaker spends equal amounts of time talking about their SOLUTION. How they have been able to utilize AA in their recovery, and what their life is like NOW. I agree that comparing 'war stories' would be very limiting in their usefulness in recovery.
shortstop81 is offline  
Old 01-14-2017, 05:32 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 8,674
The specifics of my story are largely for personal consumption and private sharing with trusted and valued individuals. And for my memoir, which might involve a nom de plume.

I try to stick to the ESH model- so sometimes specifics of my story come up when I speak- but my focus is on what I learn from something or how to find the answer when disturbed or.....

And that's what I get most out of when others speak.
August252015 is offline  
Old 01-14-2017, 11:28 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
12 Step Recovered Alcoholic
 
Gottalife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 6,613
When we read the chapter about working with others -12 stepping, we will find that this is the place where our stories are of the most uses. We find out all we can about our prospect so we know how we would like to be approached if we were him. Later we share parts of our story the new person might identify with and encourage them to talk about their own experiences. The point of it is the we show the new guy we understand exactly what alcoholism is like. Armed with these facts about our selves we can usually win the confidence of the new man quite quickly, then we can present our solution. This is the approach that worked with me.

The problem today is two fold. We try to use the meeting as a 12 step call substitute. It is no where near as effective as one alcoholic working with another. The other comes from the just drink and go to meetings approach. That approach does not lead to the AA solution, and when someone doesn't have the solution, the only thing left to talk about is the problem, or maybe the traffic or some other trivia.
Gottalife is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:54 AM.