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What do you do in this situation?

Old 10-29-2009, 07:25 PM
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Arrow What do you do in this situation?

I just got back from an AA meeting at my home group and this guy who never says a damn word spoke up to share tonight. Well go figure he was drunk as hell. He was sitting right next to me, the alcohol rolling off of his breath and I just didn't know what to do. Do I say something to him, do I say something to someone else? I was just....well I don't know....not really shocked but...i don't know. I know it could happen and atleast he got drunk and he still came to a meeting...right? I am just so confused at what someone should do in this situation.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:26 PM
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AA lets people in even if they are still drinking. You have to have a "desire" to quit is all I believe.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:30 PM
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I know that, that's why I wasn't shocked that he was drinking. I just don't know if you are supposed to reach out to that person (I wouldn't because I am new to recovery) but you would think that someone should do something. Not call him out or anything but maybe just take him off to the side and say something to him, ask if he needs anything, something. Hell I don't know.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:31 PM
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Oh. Didn't know you realized that. I see where your confusion lies now. I'll let the people that currently attend AA respond. Sorry.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:30 PM
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ashlee, I guarantee others knew he was drinking. I can smell booze from all the way across our fairly large meeting room -- and usually know what kind of alcohol someone is drinking. Most sober drunks are pretty sensitive to the smell.

I do hope one of the men approached him after the meeting.

Peace & Love,
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:32 PM
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one of the few aa meetings I attended, the same thing happened. Guy next to me, drunk as hell.. and I asked around here too afterwards, how this is typically handled. I was directed to talk to the person chairing the meeting with any concerns I had, or to my sponsor.

no idea if that's the right advice or not tho
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:44 PM
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ashleek - I'll tell you something I heard a spoinsor telling his sponsee one night.

put your hand on your nose. the palm of your hand. on the end of your nose.

now:

everything that happens from the back of your hand - out....
is what you have no control over.

everything from the palm of your hand ... in
... is what you can control.

meaning -
I'd have probably moved if the smell bothered me.
but people come into meetings in all KINDS of states.
I had to learn early on
the my recovery
is the only one I am responsible for.

We've had people come in
and have to be walked out by 'oldtimers'
becasue they were SO drunk
no one else could share.

it's the ugly reality of the disease.

I know of another guy
claiming twenty two years sobriety
and he smokes pot every single day.


another guy 0-
I was a year sober and did his 12th step call with three others.
he piped up the other day
that he has FOUR YEARS sober.
-?-
is he counting DOGGIE years or what?
I 12 stepped the guy and *I* have only three years!

when I catch myself getting bothered about that ...
or them ...when their claims get on my nerves,,,

it's directly indicative of my OWN spiritual condition at the time.

the problem is me. the problem is always me.

hope that helps!

you're doing great!
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ashleek View Post

... but you would think that someone should do something. Not call him out or anything but maybe just take him off to the side and say something to him, ask if he needs anything, something. Hell I don't know.
I know that this may sound cold or apathetic but - those of us who have tried talking to "active" alcoholics have learned that it is best to leave them to the police or paramedics who can radio for reinforcements if the situation turns ugly.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:49 PM
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i'm SO SORRY for all the typos - this keyboard sticks something cruel.... (spoinser-LOL)

and ashleek - thing is - someone may HAVE pulled them aside? or maybe this isn't even the first time for them?
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:18 PM
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It happens... Its always really an encouragement for me to strengthen my sobriety... I mean really how much pain do you have to be in to go to an AA meeting drunk? In our group the person is allowed to share... but if they ramble on someone will tell them to talk to one of us after the meeting... We try to be respectful... but the fact of the matter is you really can't say anything to help anyone in that state... you gotta wait till they sober up... its basically about showing our support... but who knows thats just what I would assume, maybe someone here is still sober from a meeting they went to drunk 20 years ago...
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:37 AM
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It happens. There is a guy struggling in my home group and I am pretty sure he is actively drinking. One of the old timers tells the story of the first time he chaired a meeting. He was sitting between two guys who were roaring drunk. His take on people going to meetings while drinking is that if we call them on their drinking during the group discussion, they might not come back.

At my International group, the chair always says "If you had a drink today, please talk to me at the break". I think the correct protocal is to talk to them and address their drinking, but to do it one-on-one, during break or after the meeting and not discuss it with the group.
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:55 AM
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good thread


what a balancing act for the AA guys

on one hand you have people who have stopped drinking and are tryng to stay stopped i would imagine judging by my own feelings being near people that are drunk ,been drinking ,smelling of drink its really not nice

and on the other hand how can these AA people turn a brother away who has the disease in full flow and is crying out for help

i'm glad its a choice i dont have to make ,if the drunk guy you turned away and died of drunken ghastly death or if one of the sober guys left the meeting and then turned to drink

damned if you do damned if you dont
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:09 AM
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You dont do anything at all to the guy, especially as you are a woman...if one of the sober guys wants to say something like i liked your share hope to see you next week, keep coming back then great...

There are a couple of people that come to my home group that are sometimes half cut, they do have a desire to stop drinking so its always good to see them...they will generally form a group afterwards of them and people who are serial relapsers to discuss how to stay sober? When they want help to get sober they will reach out...or they will stop coming...and hopefully come back when they are ready...

Lead by example, no words are necessary...you doing great:-)
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:27 AM
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I had to be half cut to get up the courage to go to my first meeting. I was made welcome and at the end asked if I wanted to share. No one judged me they all said just keep coming back, we know how tough it is.
Had a drink the next morning to settle the shakes and have not drunk since, and go to 4 meetings a week. I just got 6 months up earlier this week.
If I was made to feel unwelcome I am sure I would not have gone back to AA and I would still be drinking
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:28 AM
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I can so relate.
I went 2 my first AA meeting half lite. (about 16 years ago) Was not compeletly drunk, but 'under the influence' all the same. No one said anything, but the guy who took me 2 this meeting that I asked him 2 told me, "You have the desire to stop drinking" and that so helped me. That was the beginning of my recovery.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:48 AM
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I'd have reached out to the guy, he's obviously looking for help. Maybe too shy to approach the first meeting sober?
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:12 AM
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ash, like a few that posted,

i too went to meetings in the beginning boozed up, and i have to say, a few times plastered! hic!

i dont remember too much, though i do remember a lot of people handing me cards with phone numbers on them,

i still have all of those cards, almost seven years later.

looking back, yes, a few did get up and move away from Mr Stanky,

and a few mentioned, Bub, talk to someone after the meeting...

ohoh, i remember one day i was sharing something stupid about Garlic and Sweet Potatos in regards to

"Eating something sweet"

ah, you have to love the alcoholic insanity! lol

ash, i had that desire to get sober.

grateful to all those people that understood!
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:30 AM
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Ebby Thatcher sat at Bill Wilsons kitchen table while Bill was drinking ( and quite drunk). Bill did not get sober that day but the seed was planted. If it worked in the 30's why not today?

Oh and Ebby was only 2 months sober when he carried the message that started the fellowship that you and I are a part of.

You can talk to a drunk, wouldn't it be ashame if someone reached out for the hand of AA and no one responded?
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:59 AM
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Well my first meeting I ever went to I was DRUNK on my butt! I had been drinking all day, the wife was POed!!! So to get her off my arse I told her I was going to an AA meeting!

I was not ready to stop, had no interest in it, I was just getting the wife off my butt for a few. I stopped at a 7-11 and bought a 6 pack on the way and killed 3 before I even went in the meeting, I was positive I was going to see a group of broken down old men drinking coffee, smoking, and whining about they wished they could handle thier drinking!!

It was a speakers meeting, it started at 7PM, I went in at about 6:58PM, a guy welcomed me, showed me where the coffee was, I grabbed a cup and took a seat. The only thing I got out of the speaker was that Germany was a great place to get drunk and have a good time!!

Well after the meeting several guys including the speaker came up and spoke with me, the speaker gave me a hard covered BB and I got the hell out of there, I still had 3 cold ones in the truck!!!

What did I get out of that meeting? Well I learned that the folks in AA were not a bunch of broken down old men, the people in AA were ALIVE, they were friendly, the ones who spoke to me after the meeting did not care that I was fall down drunk, the people were of all ages, men and women, they seemed happy, they were from all walks of life.

It was 5 years before I went to my second meeting, I was in detox then and even though the meeting was miles away from that first one, the people were the same as they were when I was drunk!!!

The biggest difference was I was ready to stay stopped and I was able to see they had what I wanted!!! I wanted to be able to smile, have a twinkle in my eye, to be able to laugh without being drunk, I wanted to live life like they did.............. SOBER!

I have seen 2 wet ones show up at meetings that were being disrespectful and LOUD, a couple of oldtimers took them out side the meeting and they spoke, the old timers did not throw them out, they simply spoke to them, let them know that they were welcome any time, drunk or sober, they just told them to be more respectful of others and that was it.

I saw this one guy come to meetings every day drunk as a skunk, when he shared it was hard to understand him, but there was a desire there that was tangible..... he did this every day for at least a month.......... Then I did not see him for a while... Well he showed up at a meeting, bright eyed, clean, and smiling............. he was SOBER!!!

I have spoken to a few wet drunks in my little over 3 years, but usually the old timers are speaking to them before I get to.

Does a wet one bother me? Heck no, he reminds me of where I was at, seeing that fear/anger/frustration in their faces help me to see what I could go back to by just taking that first drink.

You ask what you should do? Well the best thing you can do is do what your heart/HP leads you to do, hard to go wrong there!
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:56 AM
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I went to my first meeting on a 44 week court card. I would go to meetings intoxicated. I would get intoxicated after meetings. I am a alchoholic. If I pick up I will drink till I hit bottom. Eventually I hit bottom, on my knees puking in the shower. Three days later once I recovered, I went to a meeting and have been sober since. 46 days, one day at a time. Feeling great. Best regards. Dan
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