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So I went to AA. I didn't have fun.

Old 08-08-2017, 04:46 PM
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So I went to AA. I didn't have fun.

Hello soberfriends.

I know a whole bunch of you swear by AA and I'm not meaning to insult you at all. I'm talking specifically about the meeting I went to.

It was awful, quite frankly.

It was angry and unwelcoming and honestly miserable. Perhaps I arrived on a particularly bad day I don't know. A few people argued. Who knows.

I think I will give another one a go somewhere else and see how that goes but man, that is not what I expected.
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Old 08-08-2017, 04:50 PM
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Perhaps another AA meeting will be better, or you could try smart recovery, good luck with whatever you decide
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Old 08-08-2017, 04:52 PM
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I wouldn't expect that, either, but in over 30 years, I've never experienced that kind of meeting. I'm glad you will try another. There are also other methods for staying stopped. Life Ring, SOS, Rational Recovery, AVRT, SMART, Women for Sobriety, Men for Sobriety, to name a few (they have their own websites).
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:28 PM
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it can happen sometimes at a decent meeting.but theres also unhealthy meetings.
glad youre gonna go to some others.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:39 PM
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I have seen some minorly unsavoury stuff in the rooms. Someone pointed out that "some are sicker than others'. Some are off their meds. or don't take any.
I'd try a different meeting if possible. If still no good there are online meetings I think. Or certainly other avenues....plus, you know, us 😉
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:51 PM
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I'm sorry that happened to you. :-(
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:16 PM
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Just remember that people float in and out, so there is often compassion fatigue. And people are dealing with major life problems.

So meetings are often not welcoming until you show your commitment by showing up a few times. And people are not always on their best behavior.

As someone once said, "When you go to a doctor's office, do not be surprised that people are sneezing and coughing in the waiting room."

Give it a chance.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:16 PM
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Yeah I think maybe I turned up during a particularly bad time, some members had fallen out. There was a particularly aggressive guy there who was obviously very hungover and a couple were visibly upset.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:29 PM
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The very first meeting I ever went to was TERRIBLE. It was in a very small house and there were maybe 8 people in attendance. The house was so dirty and piled with trash and boxes it was hard to maneuver through. The one hosting it said he had drug addicts and alcoholics who were homeless in the back rooms. He pointed me out and questioned me like I was on trial or something. I went back to my therapy group the next day and told them I didn't feel comfortable at all and refused to go anymore (we were required 3 meetings a week). They were floored at what I told them. They had me call the main AA office to let them know my experience and AA said I wasn't the first to complain and took that meeting off the AA list.

I went to more meetings after that that were really great, WAY different than the first. I'm very thankful I took the plunge and gave AA a second chance.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:31 PM
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I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but I hope you will continue to do whatever works to help you get and stay sober.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:42 PM
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And,

I have about 16 meetings in my 26 months sober.

I love the f2f. I haven't committed to the full system.

My meetings are in a nice strip mall area. They collect $2 for rent and coffee.

I always leave meetings w emotions. Good and bad.

Since I haven't committed I feel left out.

Many folks come and go together. I never get invited anywhere.

I won't drink over it.

Thanks.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:02 PM
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You have to remember, there's a lot of sick people in the rooms. Some meetings are sicker than others. I did 90 meetings in 90 days twice trying to figure it out when I was in the program. Some meetings are more upbeat than others. There are many different groups out there. Try a few more or find a different option. Find what works for you and stick with it.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:18 PM
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In the city where I lived there was quite a difference in meetings. There was one in particular where the conversation stayed very negative and problem focussed. People would get a bit cantankerous at the mention of the Big Book or 12-steps or sponsors.

I would suggest that you do give a selection of meeting options a go and find the ones that you feel comfortable in. The meetings marked 'Big Book' or with words like 'Study' in the name tend to indcate (to me anyway) that the focus of the meeting will be the program. General share meetings are lovely if they are a good meeting, but can also turn into general moan meetings if not.

If / when you find one meeting that suits you, have a chat with others there and ask which other meetinsg in the area they enjoy and would recommend. When you're feeling stronger you could always try that original meeting again and see (if out of nothing but curiosity) if that was the norm for that meeting or a one off.

I'm so sorry that was your first experience of the fellowship. It really isnt the 'norm' (in my area anyway).

Wishing you all the best for your recovery and sobriety.

BB
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:00 AM
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I am off to another meeting tomorrow afternoon so I will let you know how things get on =)
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:30 AM
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And,

I say this all the time, buy it feel it is worth saying all the time...

I always have to remember that my brain adapted to booze and needs the booze to feel normal and happy.

That is why I crave. The crave never fully goes away. That is why folks regret relapse after 10 or more years of sobriety.

It is all about dopemin, endorphins, and adrenaline. Meetings offer hope/happiness/sharing/helping etc. All these thing cause dopemin etc.

Sr can do the same as meetings. Exercise etc. Also do the same.

When I am freaking out, like I was yest over some nonsense, I remember...I am still healing. I am learning to cope with out booze.

I turned off the lights, layed down for 20 min., took a power nap...got up and felt amazingly normal for,a while.

That is my life.

Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Andagain View Post
I am off to another meeting tomorrow afternoon so I will let you know how things get on =)
Glad to hear it.

Like others have said, there are a slew of different kinds of meetings- as in, Open discussion, Closed, mens', womens', 12&12,etc- and "kinds" of meetings- meaning their makeup, attendee variety, all kinds of stuff.

One thing jumped out at me from your thread title - "and it wasn't fun." Well, AA isn't supposed to be fun. That's not the point. IMO and IME, it is a lot of fun NOW (at almost 18 mos sober) to go to my meetings, especially at my MWF homegroup, bc now I know these people to be awesome humans and there is a great comraderie. When I go to any random meeting, my expectation is never that it is fun, rather that it is useful, I am of service to others just by being there or by commenting, that it is part of my routine of recovery and therefore important consistency.....

Glad you aren't letting an initial experience turn you off. Your posts sound like one good reason people will suggest "90 in 90" (meetings/days) or even 30 in 30 - you can try different meetings, begin to learn about AA, and gain a comfort level....you don't have to share and IMO, you don't need to be "just like" the people in any meeting. Alcoholism is what we all have in common. I listened for a long time before I spoke up and in doing so, I was surprised to hear my story, or parts of it, spoken back to me by the others around me.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:33 AM
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Could have been a bad night for that particular meeting. Glad you're checking out others.

My rule of thumb is to give it 2 attempts. If the atmosphere remains the same I don't attend that meeting for a while. I give it a month or so, try it again and if it remains the same it's off my list.

It took me a good amount of time to find my home group and the other two meetings I faithfully attend. Meetings are not all about me but I won't sit in ones where the focus is consistently on the problem and not the solution.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:14 AM
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I'm sorry you had such a negative experience at that meeting. Not all meetings are a good fit for all ppl. I've had something like that happen as well, where the chair simply couldn't follow the 10th tradition. After not taking my sublte hints a few times I finally got up and walked out after telling them how I felt. I haven't been back, so there's nothing wrong with avoiding the meetings that don't help your recovery. I hope you find one that really works for you! =)
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:31 AM
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Hi, Andagain.
As a grateful Al-Anon member and one who relied on AA meetings a lot in early sobriety, I can tell you that I will take an Al-Anon meeting over AA every time!
I looked around a lot before I found an AA meeting that fit.
Keep going to different meetings. Each meeting has its own vibe.
Though I don't attend AA anmore, it really helped me when I got sober.
Good luck.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Andagain View Post
I think I will give another one a go somewhere else and see how that goes
Good for you.

I am not a 12-stepper, but I see a lot of people give up an AA after their first meeting didn't go so well. People should give it dozens of tries, at as many different meetings as they can before deciding whether or not AA is for them.
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