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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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Disappointing return to 'regular' meetings..


LondonTreeJune09, originally uploaded by Irish friend of Bill.

I thought I should write because I haven't for awhile.
I'm still supposed to be doing important paperwork due end of June and July, so I feel obligated with various fairly dreary and difficult tasks. They never really go away.
I haven't looked around much for new women to sponsor, but the few I did meet did not seem too interested. Either they have sponsors or they are giggling round the under 5yrs males in AA who look like AA has become a useful resource when it comes to picking up women. Whatever. I haven't bothered to find out one way or another, but as I hear of new women getting pregnant and seeking abortions, and worse.. I generally assume that 13th stepping is alive and well across most of AA.
I'm not much good with giggly women, it has to be said. Thankfully I know just enough women who have been around longer to not have to listen to it very much.
Its a bit depressing seeing the state of AA one way or another. The people who show up in different meetings asking for money so that people will not realize they do it every week, the 13th stepping, the lax and ineffective sponsorship, and of course the low recovery rate and high relapse rate. Very depressing. My experience tells me it is avoidable if they are willing to follow suggestions you see. That's why its hard to watch.
I haven't looked very hard to be honest, but I suppose I have been attending a meeting that is mostly very new people, and the sense of misery and despair is palpable. That and the chronic dependence on relationships.
So yeah I am a bit shocked by the degree of (what I see) as 'acceptable' negativity.
Perhaps if I invest in one meeting a bit I will start to see a different side or I can try to be a positive influence on the 13th stepping, relapse rate and general levels of anguish. Who knows.
But thing is. I know the only way I will see a real and satisfying change in an individual is if I sponsor them properly. Otherwise its very piecemeal.
I am not very motivated to look for new women to reject me in favor of some low life AA bloke on the pull, but I will carry on looking.

In theory one always learns something new about oneself, but I dislike rejection as much as the next alky. And I take great offence at being labeled (wordlessly of course) as some kind of man hater, because I do not recommend relationships with men in aa. Quite wrong. Never mind. The only reason that rankles is because I have yet to meet a woman who understood what the HELL I meant by that till they go out with a reasonably sane non alcoholic. Whatever. I'm not even going to even TRY to explain that one.
But alkys are pretty sick. Pretty maudlin, negative creatures. I much prefer people without the same kind of mental illness, albeit in remission. Nah.

Anyway. It just goes to show that I am wrong even about having nothing (apparently) to say. Quelle surprise!
Being wrong is pretty ordinary. So nothing new there.

Right well the sun is shining and I am off to burn 1000 cals in the gym :)
Have a nice Tuesday out there :)

6 comments:

Syd said...

I think that the state of things at meetings depends a lot on the meetings. The open ones here have all that you describe. The closed ones with step and BB studies are much better and seem to have people who focus on recovery and not on their selfish, self seeking, dishonest, inconsiderate selves. I hope that AA will remain strong. I wonder sometimes how it will with all the young people who seem so lost.
Good to have you back posting Irish. I miss your wise words.

Kathy Lynne said...

good to hear from you...I see some of what you describe as well and it can get frustrating...I always remember what I heard in one of my first meetings about recovery...and sitting in meetings...they said if you had to take action..otherwise it was like sitting in a garage and waiting to become a car.

Mike L. said...

Really good to see you posting again, I've missed you. Up front: I'm a man and sober 7.5 years. ;-}

I don't doubt at all what you're seeing because I see it here as well. BUT, one thing I would recommend is that you get back to regular attendance at meetings --- not so much for your own needs (which I don't mean to dismiss) but more so because of the need of the meetings for you. Especially the women with little time.

The newcomers, men and women, are very vulnerable and sensitive and they need you. I suspect that if you were a regular attendee and spoke your truth at, before and after the meetings, more of these women would be more apt to approach you with the hope of getting an iota of what you've got.

I've never asked someone if they want me to be their sponsor. They've all (been stupid enough to..) asked me. They've come to know something about me and my program and my past/present and get to the point where they think they can trust me a little.

I know that you and I have a different approach to sponsorship and I'm not trying to convert you to my style. I just suspect that once you were more of a regular, the women who most need help would see you as someone they could trust and who could hopefully help them get/stay sober and live a better life.

Take care!

Mike L.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

I can offer no advice, I just follow the BB and work with my sponsor, I am not one for giggly anyone and find that the reliance on relationships to "fix" us a drearly and droll way to be in the world...I get frusterated at meetings at times, but have two I rely on to help me recognize that recovery works if we work. I thank you for this post and so glad to see you back!!!

G

johno said...

love the photo :)
sometimes I get jealous that I cant just go any pick up any old guy when i need fixing! yeh it comes with all its consequences I know. Just saying sometimes I get jealous. ok back to my pack of biscuits...

Anonymous said...

The same laxness is happening here too, Irish friend. I remember reading in 'LouiS'REMEMBERS' Bill was despairing because ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HE WAS TRYING TO HELP kept RELAPSING. LOUIS SAID 'WELL, IT IS WORKING BILL. YOU'RE NOT DRINKING'. IF WE KEEP PUTTING OUR HAND OUT IT KEEPS US SOBer. it's all about meeeeee... (Australia). P.S. It was great catching up.