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Old 04-06-2017, 10:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tired of the same old message.


Hi everyone, I'm new to this site. I always find information on recovery interesting, I've always been interested in the Behavioral Sciences recovery in particular. I've been sober for 28 yrs, I continue to go to meetings but not as faithfully as I use to, I started losing interest in them and AA for a long time now. what really bothers me is that AA has not improved it's message, program and does not lend it's self to research on it's primary purpose since 1939. Yet every other specialty in medicine and psychology has, to me that represents arrogance, pride and disrespect to the members that it was design to help. Further more it has left it self open to ridicule about it's ignorance from refusing to keep an open minded attitude to what's better in recovery, there for it no longer knows as much about alcoholism and addiction as much as Rehab programs that take advantage of new methods from the latest research. I use to love AA so much at one time, I even got my CASAC, really gave a lot of my time and energy to it, but for some time it has hurt me in ways that researchers are talking about from their research about AA's repetitiousness and rehashing old stuff constantly being harmful. At some point everyone should move away from that stuff after it has been worked out by the member through the steps and sometimes therapy. The program in my opinion has changed so much since my earlier days and not for the better. In recent times I started attending Alanon Meetings and I used AA as my qualifier and I kind of felt better, it had advanced so much since the earlier days, yet AA is still in the dark ages. I'd much rather be living my life away from the program than being cooped up in a meeting. It did what it said it would do if I allowed it, it bridged me back to life!!!

I'd really like to hear from you all out there, Thank you and God bless you!
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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AA is just people- volunteers who share their experiences and time to get and receive help. It is not, nor ever has been a professional organisation or a business. A bit like the bible. It is written and spoken words that helps- if people choose to learn from it. Be it god fearing or Bill- bashing. The message is - we are here to help people who want to stop drinking, stay sober and get on with life.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome Rphaire - congrats on your sober time
I'm glad you've found something you feel works better for you.

I can see you're new...just to let you know - we have a lot of recovery methods here on SR.

All we ask is that people respect the rights for others to have their beliefs...and that of course cuts both ways.

I'd much rather hear what works for you that what doesn't

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Old 04-07-2017, 03:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Rphaire,

here's the thing. You are responsible for the current state of AA that you find so unsatisfactory. You are no less responsible than any other member. If we want change we take it to our home group. If the group conscience agrees we can take it to area, to national, to world general service conference. (If the group does not want change, you can start your own group).

You even have the benefit of "right of appeal" expressed in the concepts to ensure a minority view is properly heard, if you find yourslef in a minority. This is because the concepts try to avoid tyranny of the majority, and it is known that being in a minority does not always mean someone is wrong.

The only group I ever started was to fill a percieved gap in the way our program is presented. It has been well supported and does good work. If you know some similarly minded people, you can make a difference that way.

Surely you know there is no high human authority dictating the way AA is run, or how its program will be. It is all run by the groups individual consciences.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think most things are 'open to ridicule'. I can't think of a single thing that isn't bashed by someone or another. Anyway - if AA is a problem for you, why dwell on it? Why not focus on your solution instead?

So, what's working well for you now? Are there some tips and inspiration for a happy healthy and sustained sobriety that you can offer to those on the forum struggling in their early days of sobriety?

Wishing you all the best for your sobriety and recovery. BB
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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"I'd much rather be living my life away from the program than being cooped up in a meeting."
theres a difference between the program and meetings.
but if ya want to walk away from the program- a simple set of prinicples we are to practice in all our affairs- go for it.


None of us makes a sole vocation of this work, nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased if we did. We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs. All of us spend much of our spare time in the sort of effort which we are going to describe.

any time ive been to metings and I started whining about them, its because I was lookin at what I could get out of them and not what I could put in.

nothing wrong with getting a pen, writing a book, and starting a new recovery program,too. theres plenty of room for it and much needed.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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AA could be 'dusted off', improved and altered. Over time, perhaps it will.

AA, after all, began with a few individuals who wanted to stop drinking and help others to recover as well.

AA has the ability to evolve, within its own structure, group conscience and overall conscience - though its very organization being a lack of formal organization means that's a process that will evolve very slowly.

At its core, though, the reason the message has changed very little is that Alcohol has changed very little.

Addiction is still the same beast it was back then. The context has changed. The particulars have evolved. But the central problem is the same as it ever was.

And AA still works. Perhaps not as well for some (those who are not willing or able to hear its message) - and for those other paths have emerged. Other reovery methods, viewpoints and ideas have been offshoots from or responses to AA.

In that regard, AA has served and continues to serve a broader evolution and a broader change. Perhaps AA will always remain just as it is, and the change you seek in your implication here is a change in the overall journey of recovery of humanity.

I encourage you to think not about what is wrong with AA, but about what continues to work for you in your 28 years - and to share that with abandon, doing the greatest service you can for your fellows....

Offering experience, strength, and hope.

Thanks for joining us.

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Old 04-07-2017, 04:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rphaire View Post
AA has not improved it's message, program and does not lend it's self to research on it's primary purpose since 1939. Yet every other specialty in medicine and psychology has, to me that represents arrogance, pride and disrespect to the members that it was design to help. Further more it has left it self open to ridicule about it's ignorance from refusing to keep an open minded attitude to what's better in recovery, there for it no longer knows as much about alcoholism and addiction as much as Rehab programs that take advantage of new methods from the latest research. I use to love AA so much at one time, I even got my CASAC, really gave a lot of my time and energy to it, but for some time it has hurt me in ways that researchers are talking about from their research about AA's repetitiousness and rehashing old stuff constantly being harmful. At some point everyone should move away from that stuff after it has been worked out by the member through the steps and sometimes therapy. The program in my opinion has changed so much since my earlier days and not for the better. In recent times I started attending Alanon Meetings and I used AA as my qualifier and I kind of felt better, it had advanced so much since the earlier days, yet AA is still in the dark ages. I'd much rather be living my life away from the program than being cooped up in a meeting. It did what it said it would do if I allowed it, it bridged me back to life!!!

I'd really like to hear from you all out there, Thank you and God bless you!
I highlighted a few parts of your message for a few reasons. As a dedicated AA-er and someone almost 14 months sober, here is my take on both my (and the) program and your comments.

AA doesn't need to change - note, you wrote in one part that it hasn't then later that it has, much to its detriment - because it works.

AA is not about continually rehashing the past - once you work the steps, living in 1, 10 and 12 is what I have seen modeled by "those who have what I want" and what I strive to do each day. I know plenty of people who have "done multiple step 4s" and such, and they have consistently said is that doing so helped them flesh out and flush out things that hadn't come up in previous versions; then those were put aside - we are not to be abject or genuflecting forgiveness seekers (paraphrase BB, 4th ed) nor continue to regret the past (not shutting the door on it doesn't mean to continually dwell on things but to take regular/as needed note so that we don't forget that "what it was like then" part).

For me, and for many I see, other things like therapy are excellent additions to my AA program, and I am a reader and learner and believe that all info is helpful. It doesn't have to counter, so to speak, a program that I know works for me. Whatever works to keep someone sober AND living a great life of recovery is fine by me. I use a toolbox, as my dr calls it, of meds, AA, therapy, religion and such to stay sober.

Many use the "old fashioned" and such accusations as one (of many) reasons to discount or not follow the AA program. THE program is what endures; I am just a person with my individual form of alcoholism. As far as exposure to ridicule - well, throughout eternity "systems" have been discredited mocked, ridiculed, etc and as far as AA goes- that isn't relevant to its primary purpose, to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers. As others have noted, individual group change can happen through the group conscious aspect- I believe that's why you find variations on the core theme in different mtgs (ex: my home group states "we don't read the 12 steps and traditions but we practice them" as part of its intro; the big clubhouse I go to does read "how it works," and the steps and traditions aloud at every meeting (OD, closed, womens, 12&12, etc). Worrying about current society's judgment just isn't germane to AA's whole mission.

Just my $0.02+.....lastly, I'd also say that it's super you have been sober so long. Why question what worked for you to get sober - so adamantly?
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I always find it interested with these types of posts, that the main reaction is to defend AA rather than to look deeper into the OP's issues. My dad has been sober for over 35 years, most of those in AA. He stopped going to meetings and also talked about how it had changed. What had changed was that almost all the friends he made had either gone back out or died. He had a great core group of friends in AA, but just happened to outlive them.

The other big "change" was that as he aged he felt further and further removed from the insights, "hits close to home", and epiphanies of those with far less time than him. He had heard and worked the steps repeatedly, and read the Big Book over and over. I think he honestly just struggled to find room to grow further, and he just didn't have it in him to make new friends again.
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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AA isn't the only recovery program out there and if you're finding it isn't for you anymore, there is nothing wrong with trying something else. SMART also has meetings and takes a more "modern" approach which you may find what you are looking for.
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I always find it interested with these types of posts, that the main reaction is to defend AA rather than to look deeper into the OP's issues. My dad has been sober for over 35 years, most of those in AA. He stopped going to meetings and also talked about how it had changed. What had changed was that almost all the friends he made had either gone back out or died. He had a great core group of friends in AA, but just happened to outlive them.

The other big "change" was that as he aged he felt further and further removed from the insights, "hits close to home", and epiphanies of those with far less time than him. He had heard and worked the steps repeatedly, and read the Big Book over and over. I think he honestly just struggled to find room to grow further, and he just didn't have it in him to make new friends again.

Holy Smokes...I didn't know I had a son in Wisconsin named Jazzfish!
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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.....
The only group I ever started was to fill a percieved gap in the way our program is presented. It has been well supported and does good work. If you know some similarly minded people, you can make a difference that way.
.....

Bingo.

And if you don't want to do that, it's fine.

Me, I go to about one AA meeting a year, near my anniversary time, and I go to the city detox and share my story and listen intently to their stories.

Almost any program, from 1939 to 2017, will work if you stop drinking. I leave the science, updated or otherwise, to the experts. The only expert I'm interested in being is an expert in not picking up that next drink.

I get what Rphaire is saying, but I, too, would be more interested in hearing about what works for Rphaire.
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It doesn't have to evolve or change. It works for some people. Nothing works for everyone. No one has to go to meetings. You've done just fine for yourself.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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AA saved my life. At least one group did. Unlike some other groups its members did not say that there was only one path to recovery, only one path up Mt. Fuji. And I witnessed the recovery of many in that group, not all but many. I stopped attending regularly after ten years and have now been sober for nearly 29. I have found that some of AA’s wisdom is not “new” but has been known for thousands of years, such as by Lao Tzu in China in 500 b.c.e. Also Buddhists in India, Tibet, Nepal and Japan, Sufi’s in Pakistan.
Although some who climb the Mt. Fuji of recovery may shout to others that theirs is the only way, my experience has been otherwise. Perhaps, when they all reach the top of the mountain, they can shake hands with one another and say, merely, “Welcome! We are so glad you’re here!”

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Old 04-07-2017, 09:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Again...Please Read! The Newcomers Forum is a safe and welcoming place for newcomers. Respect is essential. Debates over Recovery Methods are not allowed on the Newcomer's Forum. Posts that violate this rule will be removed without notice. (Support and experience only please.)
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
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sorry, it's hard to find a way to reply without getting into the debate piece. AA was there for YOU when you needed it and helped to create a foundation for 28 years of sobriety. so i'm not quite sure why all the negativity. that would be a bit like bashing the doctor who set your broken leg, right after you won the decathlon..........

perhaps in future posts, we'll hear more about you and what DOES work for you today.
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
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AA... did what it said it would do if I allowed it, it bridged me back to life!!!
And did for me and continues to do for so many. I like that meetings all over the world are consistently similar. When I walked in to a meeting in Denmark I was surprised to find a very comfortable luxury with fine furniture and percolated coffeee. Very nice. Very different from the old church halls back home. But the same books, message and people. Very comforting.
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