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Meetings

Discussion in 'Narcotics Anonymous' started by Sluggo, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Sluggo

    Sluggo Well-Known Member

    received this in an email from a friend of mine....just wanted to pass it on...it appeared in 'The Grapevine', which is a publication from AA general services.


    SHARING OR WHINING!


    "So, if, aside from fellowship and sociability, the prime object of meetings in early AA was to provide a time and place where new people might bring their problems (as it says in the Big Book), and, if that has not changed, then why is it that problems are not what needs to be shared in a meeting?" What problems can be taken to a meeting? What constitutes a problem? If it is whining, well, whining is not a problem at all. It is feeling sorry for one's self. How to deal with a living issue is a problem. Sharing all the tiny details of that issue is not a problem. That is all smoke and mirrors.

    The problems that were taken to the meetings long ago were problems of living a sober life. Dealing with life on life's terms. They were not problems of getting a knot in my shoe lace and then I was late for work and my boss was upset that I was late yet again. Darn shoe lace. Whining! The problem is that I did not get up in time to make sure that if something happened, like a broken shoe lace, I could take care of it and still have time to get to work.

    Yes, we bring our problems to the meetings. Not the whining. They are the problems of how can I live a sober life and what am I doing to live a spiritual life. The newcomer has no idea of what to do to stay sober or live a spiritual way of life. The newcomer has to be taught. Those old-timers back then did to their newcomers just what my sponsor has done to me. (My sponsor was taught by those old-timers from back in the early days.) I was told by my sponsor that I knew nothing about how to stay sober so I had nothing to share because everybody there already knew how to drink. That is all I knew when I got to the fellowship. I knew how to drink. My job was to learn how to listen and learn what the spiritual principles were and how to apply them. When I had a problem, I took it to my sponsor, who just happened to be at that meeting.

    In my opinion, nothing has changed about what meetings are for. What has changed is the understanding of what should be shared in a meeting and what should be shared with a sponsor. It is clear to me that when someone is whining, they are either new or don't have a sponsor or have not been taught what belongs in a meeting and what belongs with a sponsor.

    It is my sponsor who tells me when I am whining. I usually catch this myself these days. I take my thinking to my sponsor, I don't take it to the group. The group does not need my thinking. The group needs my experience, strength & hope, of living in the Solution in a general manner. The group needs to know that I stay sober on a daily basis and apply spiritual principles and the 12 Steps to deal with life, no matter what. That I am an example and that anyone can see that I live my life the way I share my life. Obviously each of us needs to be there for the newcomer. It is carrying the message to the newcomer that is a big part in what keeps us sober. Without them, we would be very boring people and we would have no one to come over to the house to cut our grass or to wash our windows (just kidding).

    Please take note, meetings don't keep us sober. Meetings are not there to keep the newcomer sober. That's what the 12 Steps and practicing spiritual principles are for. Meetings are there only as a gathering point to share some information and gain some knowledge of the fellowship and the 12 Step way of life. The problem comes when the group members, secretaries and the leaders don't keep subjects on track. That is why some meetings make us want to go to other meetings. The "group therapy" that gets thrown in is in my opinion simply poor meeting management and bad sponsorship.

    Unknown
     
  2. Bonita

    Bonita Well-Known Member

    SLuggo... Love it. I have to say I grew out of the whining meetings.. why. I hated the whining. Not what I needed to hear. I did that enough while weaning/detoxing. I want to learn what to do to stay clean. Not hear how this persons son took this out of the house or how one cant pay a bill, how much dope one took or how much Etoh they use to drink. Don't want to hear how someone was mistreated at work that day.

    I want to unlearn that behavior... unlearn the whining. I want to learn how to enjoy life again, be funny and grow up spiritually. Learn what foods are best, maybe how to help sleep return to normal.. what is normal sleep. Not "damn, another sleepless night" but, "I found that if I exercise too late it might keep me awake".

    I hear folk say... I stop going to meeting so I relapsed. ? Like that meeting is what keep you clean? I want more in life. I want fun, happiness, freedom, LOVE myself, love others. I want meaning to my life. Hell.. if I run a fever then whine.... I love life today... I am still work in progress for sure. I don't have all the answers to my own question. What I do love is when I think of dope today, I get nauseated. I dont think of dope to tell the truth. Just not part of my life now. I think about vacations, summer, how good life has been the last two yrs... Whinning is for when one has nothing positive.. I WANT POSITIVE.
     
  3. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    That's a great little read, and I hear it. Bringing up issues is great, it's when someone starts to go on about what other people (or institutions) did, and how f*cked up the circumstances are.. that's when I fold my hands, and bow my head a little in a meditative position .. heh.
     
  4. Sluggo

    Sluggo Well-Known Member

    (recent article about Charlie and his aversion to AA)


    Charlie, you can't "blink" and cure your brain.


    You can't "close your eyes" and make it so with the power of your brain. It doesn't work like that. You know it. I know it. And every other addict and alcoholic who has made a serious attempt to stop drinking and drugging knows it. Deep inside that addict brain of yours is a little voice you hear when you're lying in bed the morning after -thirsty, sweaty and shaking -smothered by a horrific hangover. Your mania is taking a nap, and you are able to hear that voice. It tells you that you are a rotten father, husband, son and friend. You have to quit drinking and drugging. This has got to stop.


    Nothing will ruin your drinking and drugging career like that little voice and a dose of a 12-step program. For now, Sheen's raging mania has silenced that little voice. But he can't avoid what he learned during his foray into the world of Alcoholics Anonymous. Sheen knows that the biggest threat to his addiction right now is the 12 steps. That's why he pulled out The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous during his Today show interview and ranted against the program. "I was shackled and oppressed by the cult of AA for 22 years . I finally extracted myself from their troll hole and started living my life the way I want to live it. It's vintage, outdated and stupid and it's followed by STUPID people." "They suffocated my soul, they hijacked my brain, they brainwashed my friends and my family. Now I hate them violently, and I will use every soldier in my army to defend myself against them, 'cause they will come at me. They will come at me with all of their doctors and their talking heads and all their other freakin' loser clowns."


    Sounds like a man who feels threatened to me. But abstinence may not be his biggest fear. It's working the 12 steps. Twelve-step programs are as much about changing behaviours and thoughts as they are about not drinking and drugging. Alcoholics and addicts are very selfish. Like Sheen, we believe we are misunderstood victims.
    The fiascos that grabbed headlines were blown out of proportion; it wasn't like that, he argued. The media twisted things around. You're only hearing one side of the story. If he wasn't the "rock star" that he is, no one would have cared what he did. We are egomaniacs disguising our massive inferiority complexes. To get better, we need to stop using drugs and alcohol AND change the way we think and behave. Doctors and therapists call it cognitive behavioural therapy.


    There are other abstinence programs besides the 12 steps, and they have successfully helped addicts and alcoholics get clean and sober. Although Sheen did not share details, he said he used a program "not contaminated by AA" in his home, which he dubbed the Sober Valley Lodge.


    Working the 12 steps is very, very hard. It is about taking a personal inventory of your entire life and admitting the exact nature of your wrongs. It is about looking at your role in all resentments you have ever harboured, rooting out your character defects and putting them on paper. You make a list of ALL people you have ever harmed and make direct amends to them whenever possible. It means repaying debts, apologizing to exes and admitting wrongs. It takes excruciating honesty and sincere humility to do all 12 steps.



    Obviously, Sheen is not ready.
     
  5. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    Meh.

    I saw this rant against 12 steps coming weeks ago. The guy is completely predictable and painful to watch, and I don't watch him. There is real catastrophe happening right now in our world. Charlie Sheen? No comment.

    I do like that this article equates 12 step work with CBT, cause that's basically what it is.
     
  6. Sluggo

    Sluggo Well-Known Member

    that was my point in posting this....not a narrative about Sheen...but about the steps.

    the reality is....the steps ARE hard work, and most don't do them. Folks will walk away saying 'AA doesn't work' simply because they didn't do the work required. I was one of 'em. I remember 'The Promises' (actually the 9th step promises) were read at meetings and after 4 years dry, I said to myself, 'well, those promises never came true in my life, so really...AA doesn't work anyway', and I quit going. I relapsed a coupla years later. Because I never did the work, nor really read the Book, I never saw the part before those promises which states 'At this phase of our recovery....'. Ahhh, that means I've done the work up to this point. check.

    sitting in meetings isn't recovery. reading the steps off the wall isn't recovery. Real recovery/real change occurs when we actually find a great teacher that brings us through the work...and then we GET TO turn around and give back what was so freely given to us.

    That was a real turning point for me....the realization that I GET TO do this stuff. I don't have to...I get to....daily. its simply a fantastic way to live.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  7. Sluggo

    Sluggo Well-Known Member

  8. spring

    spring Administrator

    I tried the link. It looks like you have to create an account in order to read the article? Care to copy and paste? (making sure to give the credit to the author for legal reasons).

    By the way, what you said above is worth repeating
     

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