About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sticking with the Winners

there are LOADS of nutcases in AA.
Horse thieves, adulterers, 13th steppers, deeply nasty business people, out and out liars, dangerously violent, wife beaters, you name it!!

I chose a home group that was very 'by the book', very 'obedient' to the programme. Some might have called it a bit repressed. But I think when you're dealing with a lot of SERIOUSLY crazy people. And a lot of them were, (including my mad new self!), that a little repression is actually quite a good thing!!
Men stuck with the men, women stuck with the women. People just talked about the programme. They were very ETHICAL. We had it drummed into us the importance of being HONEST IN ALL OUR AFFAIRS. Etc.
Basically what I am saying is STICK WITH THE WINNERS. Choose meetings based on PRINCIPLES NOT PERSONALITIES. Ie NOT because they are your 'mates', but because they HAVE THE MAXIMUM BENEFIT OF THE PROGRAMME OF RECOVERY that you have found in your locale. I had many hundreds of meetings to choose from, but only 2 meetings seemed to be really 'well'. That's 2 meetings out of 600! Its different now! Thank god. But good recovery isn't very common or widespread. In my opinion!!! (meaning I'm not speaking as though what I'm saying is a statement of fact)
Now I don't care what other AA's do because I feel good even if I never go to meetings. But when I was new and my wellbeing was dependent on attendance at AA meetings, I always went TO THE VERY BEST meetings I could find. 'best' was measured by the CORRELEATION between what they were doing and saying, and what was in the aa programme. Meaning how 'HAPPY JOYOUS and FREE' they were. How RECOVERED they were. How much they KNEW THEIR SUBJECT. How COMMITTED they were to the AA MESSAGE, as opposed to the MANY other 'messages' out there. 'Hazeltwig' and such like...
So you have two choices. Either stick with the horse thieves and bite your lip, or find a meeting WITH A MUCH MORE SUCCESFUL PRACTICE OF THE LIFE SKILL OF HONESTY. Who essentially are 'practicing the principles in all their affairs'. I find most AA's very disappointing to be honest. But if you look around, you'll find some cool people and they are worth the effort of finding.
People who do a lot of service are always a good place to start looking. Look in the local telephone office. The volunteers there might be nice.
This is what's called 'sticking with the winners'. Its VERY important in my opinion. There's NO WAY I would have the recovery I have, if I had not been RUTHLESS about practicing this throughout my recovery.
It's not easy to do! It can feel 'boring' going to 'well' meetings as they all seem so meek and mild compared to the drama queens and stories of sufferance you hear elsewhere. But there is always one total loony in even the most 'well' meeting, so you never really escape the life dramas!


Anonymous said...

Interesting.That has a certian ring to it.Must be truth.I was given the pleasure of once meeting one of the early AA members(he has since passed).We traveled a long distance to the group that he helped start.I expected it to be a big meeting.There were only 7 people there,and they were very serious about the program.Its always been that way in my experience.Some of the best meetings for me have been small.Of course one on ones are pretty good for me also :-).

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

cool. i was lucky enough to know someone in my home group with an impeccable 'lineage' of sponsorship, although (as far as i know) i never got to meet one of the early members. peace of mind is very seemingly 'unexciting', but rich rewards hide underneath the placid surface. well thats what i've found anyway. thanks for sharing..

johno said...

All this stuff in your head! Thank God for blogging, a useful outlet for 21years of experience strength and hope! see this global, you are making a global difference and! it makes some storage space in that library head of yours for all this new information!

Keep on and good luck with the next few months ya ninja!!

Right i'm off to bed

Kathy Lynne said...

Finally had a chance to read this and yes it is very true. I think I have found a good mix of of "well" meetings. Trouble is there are some sick people that slip in. When you are new its hard to know who those people are. I think it is up to the "well" people to take a newcomer by the hand and protect them from the sickies. I am experiencing that now in a step meeting. We have one woman with "20 years" of sobriety who cannot stay on the step because she clearly does not practice them in all her affairs. Thankfully I can talk about it with the others in the meeting and we will also have a group consciousness meeting to try to limit shares. Hers are excessive and offtopic. But clearly she is someone who needs help. That's the project of the week:) Thanks for your help.