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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.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Don't accept Chairs on your Home Group Night

Why? Because you SHOULD, if you have been very obedient, (!) (in regard to THIS process anyhow,) be in a position after Step 9 to feel very good (by and large) by going to just one meeting a week.
This is how I expect it to ''look' for you after Step 9 (using the method I was shown)
You instinctively feel you will never drink again
You feel very safe. Very 'looked after'
You don't feel that you 'need' meetings.
You actually find many meetings a bit 'grubby' (energetically) or uncomfortable due to your sensitivity to other peoples 'stuff''.
Your reasons for going to meetings is to be of service rather than to 'plug up a hole' in some 'emotional leak'.
You feel out of place in a lot of 'regular' meetings because you can't identify with the ongoing struggles you hear other AA's experiencing, or their emotional temperament.
Other AA's, (often nice well meaning people) will look at you a bit oddly when you tell them how you feel and you may end up getting the 'Perhaps you're just not an alcoholic' line I've heard in my time!

So basically. The way I see it, you have a VERY cushy (untypical) deal, because you should have completely severed any sense of a dependency to meetings. Its a very fearless option. I just don't 'do' fear mongering as such.
In fact you should feel like going to meetings is a bit of an effort, because you just don't ever feel like you need them. They're nice, from time to time, but you just don't 'need' them as such.
So you are very lucky. You have a LOT more free time than a lot of other AA's who can end up going to 3 meetings a week or more for YEARS.
The approach I do is what I call a 'HIGH yield, LOW maintenance' option'. You get a LOT of 'happy joyous and free' from your investment of ONE meeting a week.

So because this type of relationship to meetings is very unusual in AA, (from what I have noticed,) it creates a much stronger need to be around like-minded people. So your home group has a RAISED SIGNIFICANCE.
Everybody needs what I call 'Spiritual friends'. The Buddhists call it Sangha. AA calls it 'the fellowship'.
Your home group is the place where you meet your spiritual friends. You need them to identify with, and to get their support. And it helps you make sense of the ways your head is being affected by the way I have introduced you to the Steps. I find it weird how Sponsees turn into Spiritual friends. I never really expect it to happen, but it does! They change so much!!

You will probably find, that you end up being asked to do quite a lot of chairs after step 5.
Here's a stock response. (if it clashes with your home group)
Say - 'thank you very much for asking, but I'm afraid I can't make it on that day, as that's my home group.
Don't just accept it on the premise 'that it's service'. You already have quite a substantial commitment to service in the form of newcomers and Sponsees, so you're not in any great need to find more. Don't worry, they're be plenty other opportunities to do chairs, so missing one won't make a difference.

By the way. There's nothing WRONG as such with going to lots of meetings, IF you want to.
If you like them, and you honestly are getting something from them, then why not? If you feel happy joyous and free going to lots of meetings, why not?
They are free, for god sakes, and you (if you keep your eyes peeled) can meet some good people there. So the rule is (as always) DO WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE. 'To thine own self be true'. Follow your conscience in these matters as your higher power is speaking to you through it.
Personally I would prefer you to be investing your time and energy into step 11 pursuits, but they can be quite costly (compared to going to AA). But if you are a bit shrewd, you can find lot of very high quality low cost step 11 options.

Just try and avoid going to meetings, (other than your home group) OUT OF HABIT. Or because it has become your COMFORT ZONE or a COMFORTABLE RUT. Or someone told you you 'SHOULD'.
Keep re-evaluating your position. Is your mood pretty consistently good when you go to one or two meetings a week? Well then, perhaps you could try doing one, and seeing how you feel then?
If you do nothing on your 'nights off' you will start feeling lonely, or bored. So replace with something else. You may feel a little like a nomad while you go out searching for new places to 'belong' to, but that's temporary, and it wont last. It doesn't mean you're doing something wrong. Its just the predictable way to feel when you are seeking out new friends and new environments. It feels a little insecure at first, but it settles down. It helps if you bring an AA buddy sometimes, just for a bit of solidarity.
I'm a big fan of cinema, and that's an easy way to fill an evening.

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