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depressing AA meeting

Old 07-03-2011, 01:38 AM
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depressing AA meeting

I went to my first AA meeting in a few weeks last night (Saturday). It felt quite depressing compared to the other few meetings I have been to. Everyone there had a lot more sobriety than me (9 weeks). There was about 8 people there and all of them seemed quite down in the way they spoke. Also talked about how it is tougher now being sober. Is this common in AA meetings? I am only 9 weeks in but I am already feeling more positive and would like to be around positive people!

Its tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel when some of the people there have years of sobriety but still seem quite down.

does anyone have any ideas on this? Do you think maybe because it was a saturday night meeting the people there have nothing else to do?
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:10 AM
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No, definitely not because it's Saturday night. I just came from my regular Sat night meeting, tonight it was about 75 people so full crowd (avg. is 60-80).

The message was hope, living life sober and loving it, and the joy of helping others make their start as well.

I have, however, attended meetings where I've gotten this feeling that instead of embracing sobriety people were more sorta "huddled together in fear of relapse".

I just avoid those meetings, I drop back in from time to time to see if the atmosphere has changed but mostly it's to the point where I find the meetings that are filled with people that I want to learn from and attend those.

AA is huge. There's going to be a fair amount of messages that maybe aren't as beneficial as they could be. Then again, I wasn't there so I can only speak to what I've experienced.
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:48 AM
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It may have simply been an anomaly. Holiday weekends can be really hard on just about everyone. Lots of family dynamics, coupled with the parties and normal stressors.
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:52 AM
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I imagine it's a variation like so many things we deal with. I don't go to AA meetings, but I hope you continue to seek the support you need. I have been coming to SR for many years and I never fail to find something inspirational here. That's why I love this place.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:57 AM
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Don't make judgements based upon one meeting, go to some other meetings.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:08 AM
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Not every meeting is going to be the same. The feeling will vary from group to group, from meeting to meeting... Try out some other meetings! Even within the same group some weeks will be more positive than others. Hang in there!
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:34 AM
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For whatever it's worth, I've heard "shares" from people who say that their lives are great, everything is good, everything is beyond their wildest dreams, etc., and they sound very convincing. Then you get to know them outside the rooms. Turns out they sit at home alone watching TV all day every day chain smoking cigarettes.

I wouldn't put too much stock in what people say unless you get to know them.

Just my 0.02.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:52 AM
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Although I don't believe it is a 'holiday' down under, please remember no one can be upbeat and happy all the time, and sometimes when one person in a meeting is down, others will zone in on it and report their 'worst' also.

You did learn something though. How NOT to be, lol How you don't want to be. How even though there were folks having a hard time or feeling depressed, they DIDN'T FIND IT NECESSARY TO TAKE A DRINK. There is a message in every meeting as far as I am concerned.

Keep checking out different meetings until you find some that give you encouragement and hope.

Love and hugs,
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:16 PM
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Some meetings are 'dark tunnel' meetings because there is no light at the end of it. Meetings focused on the problem, instead of the solution, tend to be full of the misery that is untreated alcoholism, whether or not the people there are physically sober.

Find an AA meeting that stays in the solution, and you'll find a lot of light, with recovered alcoholics walking the walk.
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:11 PM
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Meetings are like people, we have our good days and bad days.
A group of people who have had a diverse collection of experiences during the day, ranging from awful to so-so and maybe to great, can't always put together a rockin' meeting.

If I have been to a dud meeting, I think that well, maybe the next one will be better.
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:17 AM
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Yea like it was already said different days and different meeting just like people were all up and down. But I would say the majority of the meetings I attend we definalty get to smile and laugh.

Go around to others you'll find it

Peace,Dylan
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:50 AM
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The day before 4th of July. I would think it would be down because of the holiday and people want to drink but can't. Meets are different from town to town. It all comes down to the people who goes there regularly. I always found AA meetings to be depression in general and I have been to many of them. It's the nature of how things work. People who have problems then start using alcohol or drugs then tries to recover with AA. People will talk about their problems with alcohol/drugs.

As long as you want to be sober then that's the only thing that matters.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:45 AM
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A lot of times the person who starts the topic can set the tone for the whole meeting. Something you can take away from that experience is knowing that time under your belt isn't everything. There's a reason those people keep going to meetings. Sobriety does get easier over time, but everyone still has the cravings every now and again. I find it refreshing knowing even the "old timers" are human and still struggle at times.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:06 PM
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Some meetings are better than others. Nevertheless, I'm not sure I've ever been to a bad meeting. Whenever I've found one intolerable, it was more about what was in me than in the meeting.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cairns87 View Post
Its tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel when some of the people there have years of sobriety but still seem quite down.

does anyone have any ideas on this?
IMO it is not life that gets better after recovery, it is more a reduction in perceived suffering that gets better.

In my life there is more financial stress than ever before. Part of it is due to the consequences from my drinking years. However, a lot of it is due to the job market being the weakest it has been in 5 or 6 decades.

The good news is - thanks to the coping skills that I have picked up in recovery, I don't perceive it as suffering.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by laurie6781 View Post
Although I don't believe it is a 'holiday' down under, please remember no one can be upbeat and happy all the time, and sometimes when one person in a meeting is down, others will zone in on it and report their 'worst' also.
This is good and I had to learn this time around that it is OK to have days that are down. Those days that I am not feeling as spunky as normal are the days that I learn more on how to live within myself. For me, I thought I should be happy, joyous, and free all of the time. In reality, though, this wouldn't be human. Of course than again, I think that we are spiritual beings having human experiences but than again what do I really know.

There is a rummer here where I live that there was about 5 people at a meeting one time that were all down. And after the meeting they all went over to the bar and got drunk. I am not too sure if that is true or not. We can always take action to try and change the situations that are around us
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:58 PM
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I've experienced my fair share of depressing AA meetings. Not everybody in AA is using the solution as laid out in the Big Book. I heard sad in the rooms as being trapped in the problem wile the solution is being ignored.

Time to find those that know how to recover from alcoholism. Rather than those that remain sober and stuck with the symptoms of alcoholism.
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback everyone! This forum is awesome!
I am in New Zealand so we don't celebrate 4th of July. We are still
joined to the crown! It is however the middle of winter here and that
can get a lot of people down I guess.

I will give some other meetings a go. I must have just picked a bad day or
a bad meeting. I guess thats why there were not too many people there!

Cheers Everyone!
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:06 AM
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No cravings are physical

Originally Posted by Clearhead View Post
A lot of times the person who starts the topic can set the tone for the whole meeting. Something you can take away from that experience is knowing that time under your belt isn't everything. There's a reason those people keep going to meetings. Sobriety does get easier over time, but everyone still has the cravings every now and again. I find it refreshing knowing even the "old timers" are human and still struggle at times.
The phenomenon of craving is only a physical phenomenon. Our book is very clear on that. After 3 or 4 days, when the alcohol is out of your system, you will no longer have a craving. The mental obsession is another issue but it is not accurate to say that all old timers have them. Many find, as I have, that the obsession to drink has left them and never returns.indeed, that is one of the 10th step promises! Don't sell our program short!
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:09 PM
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Hopefully, people in that AA meeting were expressing their truth as they experienced it that day. Being sober for a long time does not make one's life necessarily great every day -- just better than it would be drinking. And to get better, we need to tell our truth. Sometimes we feel lousy and think life sucks. Hopefully, over time that happens less. But remember: you are dealing with people who ran k a depressant poison for many many years. Recovery can be slow.
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