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Old 11-25-2018, 02:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How do you call people from AA?


This may seem super obvious, but I have no idea how to reach out to people from AA. I have been sober 5 days and been to 2 different meetings in those days. I got call lists from both, and, having joined one, a list of temporary sponsors. The first problem is that I don't know who most of them are by sight, but I am not sure if that really matters.

There are also some people I would really like to call who really spoke to me in meetings, who aren't temporary sponsors. I guess I am just not sure what the general etiquette is around this- is texting okay? I am also not sure what to say when I get on the phone. Do I just introduce myself and assume they will be the ones asking the questions and doing the talking?

I am really wanting to give AA real shot this time. I had been to 3 meetings before this, sporadically, and never even thought about committing to the program. But I am afraid of what will happen if I don't make it stick this time, and willing to do whatever it takes, put sobriety first, and all that. I guess I'm also just shy haha
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Old 11-25-2018, 03:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi emsee - I'm not in AA but lot of SR members are so I'm sure you'll hear from them soon.

Welcome aboard

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Old 11-25-2018, 03:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome! Great job on getting started sober - and as an AA person (who ultimately committed after years of no-good-reasons for balking), I'd suggest a few things.

I found getting numbers a little awkward too - I slowly started just by nodding and smiling or saying hello to folks whose faces I began to recognize and especially those whose shares I got most out of for where I was - just starting out! That's a great reason to take people up on the suggestion to do 90 meetings in 90 days. I hit 82 I think - and I took my time sharing. Some people find getting a sponsor immediately is the way to go- I knew I was committed to AA but I waited till day 97 to ask someone (again, a person I'd listened to awhile and "who had what I wanted" as I heard people say) to sponsor me.

In your area, there should be an AA hotline- it might be 24 hours but usually is at least 12 a day. Google AA and your city (ie for me it is aaatlanta.org) and find it.

In meetings here, people with a year or more of sobriety who are willing to sponsor are usually asked to raise their hands at the end of a meeting. I'd suggest even approaching someone just to talk after a meeting, or meet for coffee.

I say that people often give out numbers if they really want you to reach out - most people, like me, with at least some sober time (I just passed 2 yr 9 mo) will wait for YOU to contact us because we want to know if you are indeed ready. Remember that everyone is busy and has their own stuff- including their sobriety and program- going on, so not responding is 99% of the time NOT about you.

My experience was the more I went to meetings and listened, and "kept coming back" the program sunk in and the people there started to make sense.

Newcomers or 12 Step meetings should be listed in the meetings section of that local website I suggested, so look for those indicators and maybe try those meetings in particular. Finally, getting in the habit of going to the same meeting/time of day - ie noon weekdays is what I started with- will usually give you familiar faces pretty quickly.

Stick with it and us!!
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hello, emsee, glad you're hear and glad you're giving AA a shot. My experience with the handed out numbers is you just call them. At least in this area, those telephone numbers are for you to be able to reach out and hear a friendly, understanding voice when you need one. I did make some calls, and it felt a little funny calling what was essentially a complete stranger, but think of those numbers more as hotline numbers to help you when you're struggling and need to talk. That's how I treated them.

My actual sponsor that I have I got by going to meetings and listening to what people had to say, hearing a little bit of their story and experiences and attitude. Finally, I just asked someone if they had a minute after a meeting and asked him if he was interested in sponsoring someone. Bill is 34 years sober, was about the same age I am now when he got sober, and has a similar outlook on life. It's been a good fit, at least thus far. Good luck and keep coming back!
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My personal experience here. I really did not call folks much early on. I just went to a lot of meetings. I took a bit of time to get to know people well enough to call them. Also, yes texting is fine.

This is important too:

August252015
"Remember that everyone is busy and has their own stuff- including their sobriety and program- going on, so not responding is 99% of the time NOT about you."
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi there and congrats on five days! I started AA before texting was really popular, but I'm sure either is ok. I found it really helpful to call people if I was struggling or just feeling like I needed to connect to someone sober. I wouldn't have recognized those people that I called by sight necessarily, but it didn't matter. They were an alcoholic that I could talk to. I had a few sponsors over a period of time and they were amazing.

I gave out my number, too, and most of the time people don't call. When they do, I was always thrilled. It always felt good to be able to talk to someone and know we were in this together and helping each other. Because when other women called me, they were helping me as much as I was helping them.

I'd usually say something like, "Hi, I'm Cup of Joe from AA and you gave me your number/your number was on the call list." Sometimes the person is chatty, but if not, I'd say something like, "I'm just struggling or just wanting to talk to someone or whatever." Then conversation follows.

I'm super shy, too, and so are many other members, so don't take it personally if it feels awkward. I'm really, really awkward, but I always like talking to people, even if I can't get it across easily.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm in a different 12 step program as I'm not alcoholic. My experience with the phone lists is similar as CupofJoe. Calling helps both the person calling and the one who's called. Praying before calling, asking Higher Power for guidance, and trusting things to work out helps me accept things being okay. Sometimes that's 5 phone calls made, with voice mails left for other people just to say hi, to say something positive or let people know I'm struggling. Sometimes I don't hear back from anyone. Sometimes, as I pray, I feel the gut urge to make one more phone call and the other person picks up.

This teaches me to keep reaching out for help. This is an important recovery skill.

Congratulations on your recovery. One day at a time.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had always wondered this too, thanks for asking!
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Old 11-25-2018, 11:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Congratulations on Day 5 and I'm glad you're feeling good about AA.
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Old 11-25-2018, 12:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'd just open the call by saying that you got their number and wanted to know if it was a good time to chat. If they're busy, call the next number on your list. They gave their numbers so must be willing to help.
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