Blogs


Notices

Value of Group Meetings

Old 03-10-2009, 08:59 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Guest
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 28
Value of Group Meetings

As a newcomer to this site and sobriety in general, I have been struggling with a dilemma regarding face to face group meetings. I live in the buckle of the bible belt, and have at least two dozen AA meetings to choose from each day, some with as many as 100 people, but have found only one other type of meeting, SOS.

After 2+ weeks of exploring at least one meeting per day (5 different groups) I found I simply cannot endure AA. Not only do I not buy into step one, I don't buy into AA's mantra that I shouldn't dwell on this, as it will eventually happen. I am going to make damned sure it doesn't happen. I am in charge of my drinking and sobriety, and refuse to turn it over to a higher power even if one exists. This BS that a higher power can be anything...such as the group, is cute, but the idea that a group of other human beings has the power to control my sobriety and remove my defects is nuts.

I recently found the one and only secular recovery group (SOS) here, and have gone to 2 meetings (they only have 2 a week). I was one of 4 people at the first one, and one of six at the second one. At the second meeting, when I mentioned AA, I found that 4 of the other 5 attendees attended AA meetings regularly, saying the SOS group allowed them to go to AA and "Take what I need, and leave the rest". For me, doing this would mean taking...well...nothing.

I think I've found a group of "meeting addicts" and am beginning to wonder if I am exposing myself to more potentially harmful than helpful information, even in the SOS group. I don't see what it is that I am supposed to take from these meetings. I'm not looking for new friends. I'm not about to go hang out with other attendees outside of the meetings. I don't want a "sponsor" or whatever the SOS version of that is. I don't need anyone to call when I feel I want to drink.

I welcome your feedback. I'm especially interested in hearing what others feel they gain from the in-person group experience. Even if you are a fan of AA, feel free to speak up. I'm not here to bash anyone. I'll do that behind your back.
Roadhunter is offline  
Old 03-10-2009, 11:13 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 26,407
Blog Entries: 1
well... i will have to think on this one....but it does sound to me like you don't need/want any of the things that a group can provide...so maybe you simply don't need a group.

I do wonder though...what do you get from SR....for me I get the same thing from SR that I get from AA/NA.....only thing is SR gives me a little more depth and f2f can give me some of the hugs and smiles and stuff that internet doesn't provide....course i don't have a close family group and am not exactly finding alot of friends just poping out of the woodwork...so if you have a number of close friends and relatives...maybe those physical presense things aren't missing from your life.

just intiial thoughts...will try to think it through more later

Glad you have been willing to really check out these differnt things and look hard at what works for you...that bodes well for your likelyhood of finding good solid and comfortable sobriety
Ananda is offline  
Old 03-10-2009, 11:27 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Resident
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 4,150
I have never been to any meetings and the whole idea of being part of any group does not appeal to me.
As far as I know both AA and SOS have some kind of step program so if you are so inclined I can see how they could aid in working the steps and if someone needs that I would encourage it but if you don't see any need to work their steps I see it the same way as you. It is just another club.
Having said that I do come to SR everyday for contact with others in recovery and it does help me keep from being bored but the commitment doesn't seem that huge. You can come and go and nobody is going to miss you that much, after all there are 50,000 members.
Fubarcdn is offline  
Old 03-10-2009, 11:53 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Big Idiot Man Child
 
windysan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: La
Posts: 5,664
I have a face to face 4-Step group meeting this weekend.

1. go fishing
2. catch fish
3. clean fish
4. eat fish

I enjoy the fellowship of speckled trout and redfish.
windysan is offline  
Old 03-11-2009, 09:12 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Guest
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 28
I have been fishing a lot lately as well. We now have a pond stocked with trout less than 1 mile from my office, so I get to fish during lunch. I clean them and toss them in the office freezer until I have enough to take home for a meal.
It will be bass fishing time soon. Unfortunately, where I bass fish, I'll be surrounded by binge drinking friends. The drill used to involve waiting for the store to open at 6am so we could each get out own 12 pack of beer, which would usually last us until noon, including a couple for the drive home.
I guess fishing from a boat without beer will have one advantage: not having to **** off the side of the boat so often.

Originally Posted by windysan View Post
I have a face to face 4-Step group meeting this weekend.

1. go fishing
2. catch fish
3. clean fish
4. eat fish

I enjoy the fellowship of speckled trout and redfish.
Roadhunter is offline  
Old 03-11-2009, 09:21 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Guest
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by ananda View Post
well... i will have to think on this one....but it does sound to me like you don't need/want any of the things that a group can provide...so maybe you simply don't need a group.

I do wonder though...what do you get from SR....for me I get the same thing from SR that I get from AA/NA.....only thing is SR gives me a little more depth and f2f can give me some of the hugs and smiles and stuff that internet doesn't provide....course i don't have a close family group and am not exactly finding a lot of friends just poping out of the woodwork...so if you have a number of close friends and relatives...maybe those physical presence things aren't missing from your life.
I think I already knew this before, but reading your comment reinforces my thoughts. That is, whether or not I need a group is one thing. I'm still trying to figure that out. I know, however, that I do not want to have anything to do with one. My shrink says "That's just your disease talking." I think he sees alcoholics as people who have been possessed by demons or something else that controls our minds to the point we can no longer think for ourselves. If alcoholics really are incapable of rational thought, then perhaps I'm either not an alcoholic, or I'm delusional.

As for a close family group, I have a wife and 3 year old. They are the only two people in this world I need. Perhaps what I get from SR is the ability to talk to others, to listen to them, but to always have that "easy out" of being able to not reply or bail out entirely. I learned long ago to quit making future plans with people while I was drunk. No matter how fun it sounded at the time to plan to get together with someone at a later date, I always regretted it when I sobered up. I'm a lot happier now that I don't socialize other than politely at the office.

In reading what I've said here, I know I must sound miserable. Perhaps I really am. After all, "unhappiness" is why I went to the Dr. in the first place (the Dr. who sent me to AA). I know that if I tell him I don't see socializing with others as a way to become happier, he'll tell me, again, that it's my disease talking. Perhaps he's right. After all, I haven't socialized with anyone outside of work for 20 years without alcohol in my system.
Roadhunter is offline  
Old 03-11-2009, 09:25 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Rob B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Posts: 746
Blog Entries: 5
Originally Posted by windysan View Post
I have a face to face 4-Step group meeting this weekend.

1. go fishing
2. catch fish
3. clean fish
4. eat fish

I enjoy the fellowship of speckled trout and redfish.
I would have reckoned you stalked the legendary finless brown.
Rob B is offline  
Old 03-11-2009, 11:35 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Big Idiot Man Child
 
windysan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: La
Posts: 5,664
Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
I would have reckoned you stalked the legendary finless brown.
I'm an inside man but occasionally go out to the rip for some tuna. I'd much rather fish for reds and specs on a bay boat inside and not have to fight the waves. I can't wait for my boat to get outta the shop. Dang mechanic is ripping me a new one.
windysan is offline  
Old 03-11-2009, 12:08 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Knucklehead
 
doorknob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Davenport, WA
Posts: 4,005
Originally Posted by Fubarcdn View Post
As far as I know both AA and SOS have some kind of step program so if you are so inclined I can see how they could aid in working the steps and if someone needs that I would encourage it but if you don't see any need to work their steps I see it the same way as you. It is just another club.
Just FYI, SOS and LifeRing do not have a prescribed program.

Having said that I do come to SR everyday for contact with others in recovery and it does help me keep from being bored but the commitment doesn't seem that huge. You can come and go and nobody is going to miss you that much, after all there are 50,000 members.
Unless, of course, you are a legend... lmfao.. you know I don't believe that for a second, Yeahgr8.
doorknob is offline  
Old 03-11-2009, 12:10 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Knucklehead
 
doorknob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Davenport, WA
Posts: 4,005
RH, what are the SOS meetings like?
doorknob is offline  
Old 03-11-2009, 01:59 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Resident
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 4,150
Thanks for the info DK. I have read about your experience with Lifering but I wasn't too sure about SOS. I thought it was a step program but that wasn't based on anything. I find their site quite confusing so I just gave up on it.
Thinking isn't my forte.
Fubarcdn is offline  
Old 03-11-2009, 02:17 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 26,407
Blog Entries: 1
Fubar.....thinking is not your "strong suit" cant you get the lingo right

yeah ok, i'm still stuck on the wrong side of the bed
Ananda is offline  
Old 03-11-2009, 02:35 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Guest
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
RH, what are the SOS meetings like?
SOS meetings are SMALL. I have been to 2 of the 3 that have been scheduled since I discovered them here. The one I missed only had two people in attendance. Even if I'd been there to be number 3, I wouldn't call that a "group".

The disappointing part is the number of people there who also feel AA is valuable, and the high percentage who have admitted to having been institutionalized for mental illness (schizophrenia, personality disorders, etc.). The founder of the group used to think he was Elijah Mohamed (he's actually a fat bald guy).

I think the meeting structure is OK (other than the 15 min. wasted each night reading the same damned thing every time, just like AA does).
The problem is that the group is so small, and it's the only one, so I can't shop around for other groups, nor can I choose to pay attention to some people, and ignore the others. There just aren't enough of them there.

Lastly, I have learned the hard way that I can't talk openly, especially about family issues that have gotten me where I am today. My dad is a highly respected law enforcement officer who is also a functioning alcoholic. He's a morphine addict as well. Even when he was in charge of drug rehab for one federal agency, he was doing more drugs and booze than many of the people he was counseling.

In such a small town (3/4 million, but it seems small), and in such a small group, the anonymity doesn't last long. People figure out who you are, and a surprising number of them have turned out to make connections that led them to figure out who my dad is, who my wife is, etc. Dad because he put some of them in jail at one time or another, and my wife due to her being so prominent in the small secular community here.
Roadhunter is offline  
Old 03-11-2009, 07:27 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 165
I suggest you check out SMART RecoveryŽ | Help with Alcohol, Drug, and Other Addictions for information on an alternative to AA, they have daily meetings online and a chat room.

Best wishes for dogma free sobriety!
AnthonyV is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:29 PM.