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Second Al-anon meeting!

Old 11-01-2010, 09:47 PM
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Second Al-anon meeting!

And I really LOVED it! Everyone was so sweet and it made me feel hopeful. I enjoyed the messages they shared. Everything went well until the point where we had to pair off to do a worksheet. I got paired with a man who shared that he was a "double winner." I told him I was too. So the whole time we were supposed to be going through our worksheet he wouldn't stop talking about AA. He was circling meetings in the where and when, talking about sobriety etc. I asked him if we could please stick to what we were supposed to be concentrating on and he kept cutting me off and telling me not to worry about it, or "these people" and that I need to make my sobriety number one. He said I shouldn't be there and that usually people only do one program at a time. Like work AA THEN go to Al-anon after or vice versa. Is this true? Should I not be active in two programs at the same time? This man really frustrated me. I was enjoying my meeting and wanted to keep it geared towards Al-anon, and he just wouldn't let me. He did not give me good vibes.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:59 PM
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Aw, that's too bad.

Some people suggest you focus on what you perceive to be the biggest problem at the moment. But there's no rule that says you can't work both programs at the same time. I think his point probably was that by staying sober, yourself, it will enhance your ability to focus on the Al-Anon program.

Still, it was inappropriate for him to be talking about that DURING the Al-Anon meeting.

I'd suggest you find a sponsor for one or both programs, and run it by her. Or simply ask opinions of other people with good recovery in either program.

Don't let it put you off the program, though. You have every right to be there and to your recovery.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:18 PM
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Thank you. It just seemed that he was really bad mouthing the Al-anon group calling them self righteous and just pretty much being really disrespectful and dismissing the importance of the meeting so that he could ramble on about AA. Personally, I feel excited to be working both programs and find that they both are helping me even if I've only been to two of each. I did try to ask one of the ladies there if she thought it was a bad idea to work both and she didn't really know what to say, but she said she thinks it could work.. Sooo hmmm... maybe I'll find someone else to ask? I feel like if I ask anyone from AA they are going to tell me to just do AA.
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:00 AM
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Good on you!

I'm glad you are taking care of yourself and getting face-to-face support. I think you did a great job of speaking up when your assignment got side tracked.

I agree with Lexie that you can benefit from both programs, and you should focus on what seems to be your biggest concern.

I am a double winner.
I did not use AA to achieve my sobriety. However, I do support the program and attend some open meetings.

After I became sober, I was still living with an active alcoholic spouse. I realized I was making myself crazy with trying to control the uncontrollable. I was failing at setting healthy boundaries and I was failing at maintaining my serenity. Alanon has helped me keep my focus on myself.

:ghug3

Keep doing what works for you!
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:11 AM
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He doesn't sound much like a double winner to me. Ugh.

You keep doing what you're doing, dear.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:56 AM
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We have LOTS of double winners in my Alanon mtgs. and most of them actively work both programs.They offer really different things and it sounds like you feel you could benefit from both. I have found people in Alanon to ABSOLUTELY NOT be self righteous.In fact it is on the DON"T list. I'm kinda wondering why this guy is there if this is how he feels.Ignore.Delete from memory.IMHO
I have heard alot of people say AA saved their life, but Alanon taught them how to live..both sound pretty good to me.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:43 PM
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Thank you all. I can't decide which I think I need to focus on more. Struggling not to drink was never a daily struggle, where as struggling not to strangle my dad, or XABF was, lol. I plan on going to two meetings for each every week. I don't know how working the steps for both will go, can I work the same steps at the same time for each one? Like just start on step 1 with both? And continue? I just love Al-anon it gives me more of a feeling of peace than AA does, AA makes me feel like I'm not being judged but because I didn't get as bad as everyone there I sometimes feel out of place. I'm trying a more women oriented meeting thursday though.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:42 AM
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You were just very unlucky to be paired up with such a, may I say it, dweeb. There are always people in both programs, and I have met them, that say things that are opinionated and . They think they know all. If I got frustrated at them or listened to them I would not be where I am today. Find a sponsor or sponsors for the programs bounce things off of...I agree with AA got me sober and alanon is helping me learn life..Thanks Scott
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:46 AM
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Double winner here. I got sober by the grace of HP long before I was "sentenced" to AA by a CPS judge during our final custody battle, small price to pay for custody!

I do not struggle with my sobriety, ever, thank God. But my "emotional sobriety" is totally another story, and THAT is where my priority lies.

In our opening we ask that those affiliated with other 12 step programs keep them to themselves, as to not interfere with the "Alanon" meeting at hand. We also have a lot of double winners.

I'd avoid Mr. AA, take what you like and LEAVE the rest.

Good for you for going, a big step in the right direction.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:22 AM
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You don't have to choose one over the other...

His behavior was completely inappropriate and reflects the attitude some, but not all, alcoholics have towards Al-Anon which is it is an Us vs. Them dynamic. Al-Anon is percieved as the enemy because it teaches the enablers to not enable, and some alcoholics feel threatened by that. You were paired with just such an alcoholic, and a controlling one at that. You would have been within your rights to stop working with him immediately. When you sensed something was wrong it was. You were correct.

When in an AA meeting, the focus is AA and Al-Anon talk is inappropriate. When in an Al-Anon meeting, the focus in on Al-Anon and AA talk is not appropriate.

When you feel like an Al-Anon meeting, go to one. When you feel like an AA meeting, go to one. They are not mutually exclusive.

Take care,

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by missb89 View Post
Thank you all. I can't decide which I think I need to focus on more. Struggling not to drink was never a daily struggle, where as struggling not to strangle my dad, or XABF was, lol. I plan on going to two meetings for each every week. I don't know how working the steps for both will go, can I work the same steps at the same time for each one? Like just start on step 1 with both? And continue? I just love Al-anon it gives me more of a feeling of peace than AA does, AA makes me feel like I'm not being judged but because I didn't get as bad as everyone there I sometimes feel out of place. I'm trying a more women oriented meeting thursday though.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:34 PM
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for going back to a second meeting missb! Here is my feedback on your situation. Please take what you like and ignore the rest

I think you should trust your gut on this one and not doubt that you are EXACTLY where you need to be. Look back at the words you posted:

I asked him if we could please stick to what we were supposed to be concentrating on and he kept cutting me off and telling me not to worry about it, or "these people" and that I need to make my sobriety number one. He said I shouldn't be there and that usually people only do one program at a time. Like work AA THEN go to Al-anon after or vice versa. Is this true? Should I not be active in two programs at the same time?
Listening to this guy made you second-guess yourself. He ignored your request to stick to the exercise (he discounted you) and then told you what you needed to do (a complete stranger by the way). Recognize that you allow people to tell you what to do and may even look to others to tell you how to live your life. Start telling yourself that ONLY YOU know what is best for you and that you are completely capable of evaluating these things on your own and making your own decisions. (Please know this is exactly what I have had to tell myself and just am repeating those words for you here; I am not judging you).

This man really frustrated me. I was enjoying my meeting and wanted to keep it geared towards Al-anon, and he just wouldn't let me. He did not give me good vibes. ...
Trust your instincts about other people. Notice when they make you feel uneasy. Respect yourself and your gut feelings. Notice when people disrespect you and ignore your requests. You do not have to remain with someone who does not respect you or who ignores your needs.

I just love Al-anon it gives me more of a feeling of peace than AA does, AA makes me feel like I'm not being judged but because I didn't get as bad as everyone there I sometimes feel out of place.
Trust those feelings. There is no right or wrong choice, there is only what works best for YOU. Not what someone else tells you is right for you.

Keep going back. I am so happy you are going!!!
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:11 PM
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Thank you all I really appreciate it. I will avoid this man from now on. I go to Al-anon to for the purpose of an Al-anon meeting, not a "let's sit in Al-anon and talk about AA meeting." The weird thing is when we were being paired off by drawing numbers I looked around the room and I just KNEW that I was going to get him for some reason. Then sure enough! I was uneasy about him before we even spoke lol. Anyway I can't wait til Monday for my next meeting!
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:53 AM
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I've never saw/experienced a "them v us" vibe from anyone in AA or Al Anon.

I've been to quite a few AA meetings and I was always welcomed as an Al Anon member.
When I went to my ex's home group, the people there were very encouraging that I go to Al anon.

There are also MANY AA/Al Anon conventions where participation is welcomed by both members. I think in this case, this is just one person being a pain in the a&&!
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:32 AM
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perhaps pair up with a woman next time?

i've run into trouble in open AA meetings, with men who use that as a doorway to get to talk to me. and they go on and on about alcohol, won't shut up really, but the underlying vibe is very different.

perhaps people here will bash for sharing that and say that it has nothing to do with what missb experienced...maybe not...but i find it best to stick to same sex in these meetings.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:44 AM
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Naive, since there are so few men in al anon, I would think it would be difficult to pair up a man with another man.
Perhaps the male in the group should pair up with the group leader.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:26 PM
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There was a basket with numbers 1-8, each written twice, so you drew a number then you were paired with whoever else had drawn the same number. If I could've chosen I wouldn't have been with him lol.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:12 PM
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On another note, I am feeling some anxiety. I went to my third AA meeting tonight, and I just don't feel comfortable there. I did not get as bad as everyone else there, which I know by no means implies that I don't have a problem, it just means that I can't really relate on the same level with them. They are all so much older and mostly men. I don't get that good peaceful feeling that I get when I am in Al-anon. I guess I am being judgemental and I apologize, but some of the people there even freak me out. I may have already asked this in a different way, I'm not sure. Do you think that I could only attend Al-anon meetings, while simutaneously (sp?)working on my sobriety. For example say we work the steps and I apply step 1 to being powerless over MY alcoholism, and everyone else's as well as people, places, and things. It is the same program, so to me it seems like that should work for every step? Please respond. I feel like alcohol is a part of my struggle, but my main struggle and the thing that holds me back in life and relationships is my codependency. Although a lot of people disagree, I think that it is much harder for me to abstain from those behaviors than it is to abstain from alcohol. Much love.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:10 AM
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You do what works for YOU!

If you feel tempted by an alcohol craving, you can come here or attend some AA meetings to get back on track. I would come here and read in the Alcoholism/Newcomers forums. I would read about their struggles with cravings, out of control behaviors, replases and daily struggles. It reminds me of my own struggles. It is referred to as "keeping it green". It gives me the strength to make it one more day.

Getting the support you need, along the way, will help you keep your focus. Only you can deteremine where your needs are at this time.

(((hugs)))
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:32 AM
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There is a man in my group who is an alcoholic that has been sober for a couple of years. He and his wife come to our meeting. They have two sons who are adddicts. He never went to AA...that's just how it worked out for him. He adds a lot to our meetings and I really look forward to his shares.

You probably have a good feel for what you need and what works for you. And if it's not working they tweek it until it does.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by missb89 View Post
On another note, I am feeling some anxiety. I went to my third AA meeting tonight, and I just don't feel comfortable there. I did not get as bad as everyone else there, which I know by no means implies that I don't have a .
IDENTIFY don't compare. Seems that you are working two good programs albiet Al-Anon harder from what I've heard and am now experiencing.
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