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Old 05-31-2007, 11:05 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
soberinnyc
 
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I suggest other meetings......

I know I'm blessed to live in New York, where there are some 1500 AA meetings per week. And, no one shoves a religion down my throat....I wouldn't be here if I had to be a practicing Christian. I have my own higher power and my sponsor is an athiest (she has 21 years). I know several long time Buddhists (one practicing zen for 30 something years). I know several priests in AA: the church didn't keep them sober, AA did.

I try to always keep it simple: the only requirement is a desire to stay sober. Period.

That said, this alcoholic needs meetings because denial is always perched on my shoulder. Alcoholism isn't a rational disease!! The people who have gone out and come back all have one thing in common: they stopped going to meetings.

I recommend other meetings. Or, start your own meeting.
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Old 06-01-2007, 12:45 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Wow ---- I find it rather interesting, and rather sad, that there are only 1500 meetings a week in NYC; there are over 2000 metings a day here in Houston.....hmmmmm

I don't know if the original poster will return, but in case they do, I just thought I'd put my 2-cents worth in....I'm one of those who, along with getting a busy life through sobriety, I slacked off with meetings (this after 4+ years with at least one, and often more, meetings per day)..... At first, my slacking off was because I had a life.....but after a while, I just couldn't get into it any more....I had a life; a good life; I was happy, joyous, and free; and content.....etc. Oh yes, I heard all the snickers behind my back.....she's a relapse waiting to happen; missing 7 days of meetings makes one weak; meeting makers make; everyone 'I' know who went back out had stopped going to meetings.....I'm a firm believer in self-fulfilling prophesies, and if I'd believed all that stuff, I probably would have relapsed, BUT I didn't..... (o:

Now, don't get me wrong, I got sober thru AA, and I'm a firm believer in meetings in early sobriety for balancing ones life, and getting a good/firm foundation for the rest of ones life. But I didn't get sober to spend the rest of my life within those four walls (although, according to some, I was supposed to keep going to meetings until I wanted to go to meetings, and then continue going....forever(?)........hah, I don't think so; I didn't want to,and didn't see myself changing my position, and going to those meetings was making my life miserable....and taking up four hours of my day, including the one hour for the meeting--I'm sorry, but that was truly a waste of time) .....and for those who believe one must be in meetings to perform the 12th step, well, phooey....I've found many opportunities to share my ES&H without sitting in those rooms waiting for someone to come in; I went 'out' and found folks.... (o:

I'm a firm believer in the saying, "It's NOT the meeting we make, BUT the steps we take."

In my time I've known many who have gone back out; some had stopped going to meetings, but many/most were still going to meetings right up to the time they left a meeting and went straight to the club.....One thing they did have in commion was that when asked what step they were working on at the time, none of them could say.....hmmmmm just a thought y'all

My sponsor was, and still is an atheist; in fact, most of my sober/clean friends are atheists......and most of them don't go to meetings....their service work is found elsewhere, as is mine.....I believe we all have our servicework to perform; it just may not be in the same way or the same place.....for some their servicework (their 'giving back') may be in meetings, but that's not for all.....

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Old 06-01-2007, 02:28 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Be Grateful To Everyone

If we were to make a list of people we don't like--people we find obnoxious, threatening, or worthy of contempt--we would find out a lot about those aspects of ourselves we can't face. If we were to come up with one word about each of the troublemakers in our lives, we would find ourselves with a list of descriptions of our own rejected qualities, which we project onto the outside world. The people who repel us unwittingly show us the aspects of ourselves that we find unacceptable, which otherwise we can't see. In traditional teachings on lojong it is put another way: other people trigger the karma that we haven't worked out. They mirror us and give us the chance to befriend all of that ancient stuff that we carry around like a backpack of granite boulders.

--From Start Where You Are, by Pema Chodron

Something to think about when dealing with those titanic egos, and windy windbags. Thank you Ngokpa for posting it originally!
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:02 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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I appreciate this thread. I have been quite lost in my sobriety as of late. Although I appreciate the fellowship and community I have found in AA...lately, I have not found a sense of belonging there either. At not even six months of sobriety I realize I'm still an infant in the real world but I know all my answers and comfort and peace will not be found in AA ideology. I have TREMENDOUS respect for Bill W and the program...but it is simply not the be all or the end all for me. I too tire of the stock answers I find when I'm hurting or confused or questioning my very being and existence...read the Big Book, Do the steps, call your sponsor, Easy Does it!

I do believe that the void within...the one we try to fill with all sorts of outside things is only filled with love and some semblance of spirituality...whatever that may be.
Sobriety is hard...life is hard...and lately I'm truly wondering if I'm strong enough. I don't want to drink...I simply want to quit everything...thankfully, I lack the energy and courage for such a drastic alternative.
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Old 06-03-2007, 03:39 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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((nuu))
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:34 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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If AA is no longer useful to a person, it may be time to leave.

We are all unique; and, 'recovery' is unique.

The 12 steps meant nothing to me. I am not powerless; to say that I am is an act of despair. No thank you.

I have no higher power that appears sentient. I have myself.

I did not need 'soul surgery'; I needed to end a bad habit of habitual drunkeness. Mission accomplished.

It came right in the end.
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Old 06-07-2007, 06:09 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I can relate to what you shared

I've gone through periods when I got bored, fed up and angry at AA and other recovering alcoholics. What I've learned to do is focus on the collective consciousness of the meetings: "principles before personalities". AA doesn't need me but this alcoholic needs AA. I've also learned to pray for more tolerance and acceptance.
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:38 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I discovered it was not me that was the problem. AA was just not the program for "me". I started supplementing my meetings with SMART and before long I realized that SMART was helping me more.

Everyone is different, your mileage may vary.
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:05 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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weighing in on the "to AA or not to AA, that is the question" seems silly. the OP was asking different reactions to the 12 steps, AA, etc. it seems to me that posting that question on the secular board is going to bring about secular responses. but-i'm not an agnostic, and i'm here anyway.

i don't believe in organized religion. none of it. there will not be a day where i will be convinced that christianity/judaism/islam/buddhism/hinduism/etc. is the way to go. there is no "right" way. just like there's no "wrong" way. there are just different ways. i get that from AA. yes, the big book was based on christianity. it was written in the 1930s, when christianity was just about all they could base a spiritual program on. despite that, there are some remarkably open-minded ideas in the big book. no, you won't find them in the chapter "to wives" (i am not a fan of "to wives", to say the least), but they're there if you read it. "to agnostics" is my favorite part of the big book, because it's about being open-minded. nothing more, nothing less.

i respect the idea of not wanting to be powerless, in the traditional sense of the word. i can definitely sympathize with fringe AA kids who get skittered off by some blowhard going on and on about "God God God." but, the beauty of AA and AA meetings is this-the only requirement is a desire to stop drinking. that's it. you don't want to drink? you want to hang out with people who don't drink? the fellowship you crave is found in the rooms of AA. will that keep you sober? no, but if you're an agnostic or an atheist it doesn't matter 'cause you're keeping yourself sober, apparently.

here is my truth, about AA and the 12 steps and Bill and Dr. Bob and the whole shebang-it has saved my life, and it continues to help me save my life. i love AA. i owe more to my working an AA program than anything else. i am 22, undisciplined, egocentric, bumbling, selfish, silly, and disrespectful. because i meditate, because i pray, because i make my meetings, i learn how to be disciplined. i reach out to others and ask them how they are. i volunteer my time to serve others. i work on thinking before i open my mouth, and i know how to apologize and not repeat the same behavior. i got into AA through the book The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron and i love that she was quoted earlier... for me, this program has helped me let go, experience life on life's terms, and get by one day at a time. and that's my experience, strength, and hope.

one more thing-all the times i've heard things that didn't click with me, all the repeats and snoozy shares, all the offending statements... it comes back to the fact that they're here for the same reason i am-to quit drinking-and who am i to judge them? we're all trying to help each other, some more selfless than others, but they have as much right to be in the rooms as i do.

thanks.
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:09 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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you're 22?

I can't find a "hats-off" smilie................
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:19 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Emimily View Post
i don't believe in organized religion. none of it. there will not be a day where i will be convinced that christianity/judaism/islam/buddhism/hinduism/etc. is the way to go. there is no "right" way. just like there's no "wrong" way. there are just different ways. i get that from AA. yes, the big book was based on christianity. it was written in the 1930s, when christianity was just about all they could base a spiritual program on. despite that, there are some remarkably open-minded ideas in the big book. no, you won't find them in the chapter "to wives" (i am not a fan of "to wives", to say the least), but they're there if you read it. "to agnostics" is my favorite part of the big book, because it's about being open-minded. nothing more, nothing less.
'To Agnostics' is to most secularsts what 'To wives' is to women.

It's all about convincing us nonbelievers that it is irrational to not believe in some kind of interventionalist supernatural force.

From the AgnosticAA website:

Q. How do these groups make use of the Big Book?

A. Frankly, we don't use it very often. Most of our members find Chapter 4 ("We Agnostics") to be particularly condescending and not helpful to their sobriety. The A.A. publication we like the most is Living Sober, a work written from a more-secular point of view and offering much practical advice.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:03 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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If one decides to make use of a support group, external to to what one has, AA is not only one.
AA is, clearly, the organization most easily available. But, AA is not alone in this matter.

I regard 'recovery' -- getting shut of substance abuse -- to be an intensely personal matter. I regard it important for the person to take personal control of their own heart and mind; to investigate the options available. Then, to proceed.

If AA fulfills your needs and desires, proceed as indicated. If another venue is appropriate, proceed. One may always go to another, if it is appropriate.

Making choices under conditions of distress are difficult; but,changes are possible later on.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:08 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Making choices under conditions of distress are difficult; but,changes are possible later on.
Wise words. Equally, choosing to carry on with the choices made under distress is as valid as choosing not to. Particularly when we consider that the only reason that the opportunity was available to us was because people who were "recovered" continued to share their ESH for the still suffering alcoholic, even though they perhaps didn't need to to stay sober.
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:13 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Emimily View Post
it seems to me that posting that question on the secular board is going to bring about secular responses. but-i'm not an agnostic, and i'm here anyway.

While this may be true to a degree, most of the people who post on the "secular forum" have experience with 12-step programs, while the opposite can not usually be said. Additionally, discussions such as this, on the AA board, usually disintigrate rapidly into accusations (not always unfounded) of AA bashing. That is one reason this board was created. It is frequented mostly by secularists and more open minded members of other programs.

Heading to Wilmington in a month!! Jelous??!!! I can't wait, gonna get to spend a week and a half with my son. He want's me to teach him to ride his bike "on two wheels" and help him with his swimming lessons. Can't get here soon enough. Patience has never been one of my strong suits!! Take care.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:22 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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McRecovery!
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:53 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by paulmh View Post
McRecovery!
[whizzes right over my head] Hnnn?
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:33 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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People who don't like AA think it's a form of McRecovery - with a company manual treated like a bible from which deviation isn't accepted, quasi-independent franchises all over the world, an all or nothing mentality amongst some of the staff and a global agenda to wipe out competition. I was responding to Caz.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:08 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by paulmh View Post
People who don't like AA think it's a form of McRecovery - with a company manual treated like a bible from which deviation isn't accepted, quasi-independent franchises all over the world, an all or nothing mentality amongst some of the staff and a global agenda to wipe out competition. I was responding to Caz.

SOME people feel that way. There are as many reasons to dislike AA as there are reasons to like it. I have met AA people who DO treat the Big Book like a Bible, quoting it as if it were scripture. I guess if that's what works for them, that's cool, but it can be a big turn off to some newcomers. But, of course, that is not what "the program of AA" says, it is what some of the member of AA say. For newcomers it is often hard to seperate the two. TAke care.
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:10 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by paulmh View Post
McRecovery!
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:33 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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i think it depends on which quotes are read in the b.b. to newcomers... but y'know what? you're right, tyler, i haven't been through any type of recovery but aa. so really, you were right on to call me out about that.

i've been doing this meditation where when you inhale you say "i inhale and calm my body" and when you exhale you say "as i exhale i smile." there's a little more to it, but those two lines are helping me a lot these days.
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