Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Whatcha think?

The 5:30 meeting I recently started attending just changed their format. There was already something they say at the beginning of each meeting that irks me, but I could live with it. But now, I am going to be forced to attend a group conscience! Damn!

Okay, here is what it said before that irks me, but I can live with: paraphrased to the best of my memory: "It is this group's belief that those who count their sobriety in months rather than years often have the best topics..."

Now, here is what they have added: paraphrased of course. "In order that our members may feel safe to share, please do not criticize, offer advice, or comment on what another person has shared."

In their purest sense, I agree with both of those sentiments. However, I think that stating all these conditions at the beginning of a meeting we put a wet blanket on any kind of spontaneity or even genuineness. And I also have to say that it is my experience that some of my greatest teachers have been absolute bastards! Nobody told those old crusty guys that they had to be careful not to hurt my feelings.

I got sober in meetings where those old guys had knives and guns and would be more than happy to tell you to "shut the fuck up, you don't know what you are talking about." I cannot tell you how many of the recipients of this rude behavior are still sober today and still talking about those guys - with love.

Personally, I try to be kind to the newcomer, but I think there is a place for people to tell them to pull their heads out of their asses. Oh well. All groups go through this stuff. It is just important to keep coming back and not to get too upset by it all.

"'Middleton Group #1. Rule #62.' Once the card was unfolded, a single pungent sentence leaped to the eye: ' Don't take yourself too damn seriously.'" -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 149

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a group in need of some Step 3 work.
Keep attending. If for no other reason, just to see how it all plays out. And it will.

NMAMFQLMSH said...

If we are kind and welcoming to a newcomer then what? But you stuck it out and for that I am grateful.
JJ

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more. Less conditions more trust in God.

Be well,
Gwen

Brad said...

We have a clubhouse in Sioux Falls that has gone through some sickness lately. There's not much for good sponsorship. The good sponsors generally leave the clubhouse and find a different home group. (Generally speaking...there still are some good sponsors there, but this is the trend)

Anyway, the worse the situation gets with newcomers wandering around without sponsors, the worse the announcements get. Don't know if that's the case with your 5:30 group, but when my sponsor hears me say something strange in a meeting, he'll call me on it. Sometimes in the middle of the meeting, other times afterwards!

Shannon said...

hmm... that is a tough one.
I feel that way too sometimes, because our group is a front line group and everyone has no problem telling other people to sit down shut up and listen... BUT there are some that say that that I feel are just trying to be 'tough oldtimers' and when those people say that, I feel they are usually wrong, but then there are those who do need to be told that.
I am just nice to them, instead of saying shut up and listened or shut the bleep up. I try to be nice I dont know... nothing happensd in God's world by mistake... so who knows.. LOL I sure dont.. but I can talk about it ahahhaha
love ya MC and I think your storm wont be so bad. OUrs was predicted to be 12 hrs long... LOL try 1hr I will cross my fingers for ya

Pam said...

Since AA groups are autonomous, they are run different all over the world. When I feel that a meeting is "sicker" than me, then I usually find another meeting for that day. But all groups go thru changes, as newcomers enter and folks move away to differnt groups. Most of the meetings I attend say at the beginning "No cross talk during this meeting, all comments should be directed towards the leader". However, people usually comment (when it's there turn) about something someone has said. I go to a meeting on Monday Nights that is so full of conflict right now, that I just have to remove myself. The group had 11 group conscience meetings in a row....after the 3rd one, with no healthy dialog, I stopped going. It's hard when a group is changing....follow your gut on this one.

Mark said...

Ha! I just hate being judged lol - "It is this group's belief that those who count their sobriety in months rather than years often have the best topics..."

Means I'm a dumba** right? hehehe

This one sounds serious - "In order that our members may feel safe to share, please do not criticize, offer advice, or comment on what another person has shared."

So, if I can offer help I'm not allowed to? Isn't that contrary to the 12th Step? "We tried to carry this message to alcoholics."

The first I could also live with, the second is deadly... imho

It's time that some stop trying to re-write the program of recovery to fit their own wants.

Mary Christine said...

Hey Mark! We are on the same page here. Glad I am not alone.

Anonymous said...

We have the same situation here too. Usually the oldtimers would say, they've tasted salts first! Other words it mean, they know better.

I cannot agree with that. If you're old and live much longer than me doesn't mean you're right, right?

Greeting from Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

I guess it's all determined by group conscience. One of our older members says "God leads the meetings." I would opt out of that group were I confronted with such, but to each his own.

BTW, MC, Blogger will require all Blogger members to switch to the new version eventually. Sorry. Maybe by then all the crap will be fixed.

BigSkymAAck said...

This is good. I started on this and got too long winded so I think I should just make a post on my blog.
FAEA

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they could just say "No crosstalk". Ask them, "Are you carrying AA message or our won, and if it's your own, How many people are you killing with it?"

Anonymous said...

I meant "your own"

Motorcycle Mike - Sober Biker said...

Boy, are you right on, get thee to a Group Conscious!!!

Christine said...

hope you stay and give them a good example to follow---
shit hope that wasn't advice
oh well,

Anonymous said...

Anne,

Just checking in to see how you are and enquire about what it is I should be doing. See, with valentines day coming up I would like to plan something but the fact that we haven’t even seen each other yet is a little disconcerning to me. I have been extremely concerned that they way you are approaching this makes me feel like you see me as a complete stranger instead of someone that pretty much totally in your life for a long time. I want you to know that is one of the main reasons I want us to meet as soon as possible because I am not sure if you still recognize me and if NC has frozen an incorrect image of me in yer mind.

I have been concerned over the last few days, weeks, and months about a number of things so I thought I would address them now and send this to you in order to give you some time to think things over. I guess I am concerned that you are unsure of my intentions and who I am as a person. Please know that I do understand that what we went thru during the winter has impacted you deeply and I am not entirely clear on how that has translated into how you are now. I thought I had provided you with a fairly solid base regarding who I am and how I feel about you and I would like to know how my 7 months in weirdoland has effected you. I would like to tell you that I am not a player, I am not playing you, and I never intended to get so sick and whacked that I would become that person you now fear. I guess I always believed that you knew me better and that when that happened it was a combination of a number of things colliding at the same time. If you sense any hesitation or doubt on my part it is simply reaction to you not really providing me with a clear direction and clear information about what has, did and will go on with regards to you. I am at the point where I don’t want to believe regarding certain things – like: are you preggers, are you married, are you single, what exactly is going on health wise with you, where is linds during all this, why do you say u love me yet decided that I should end up in jail, are u sure you really want to live with me, love me, spend the rest of your life with me, marry me? I am not sure why u cannot tell me everything that is on yer mind, or call or see me, because I am not a threat to you in any way, I am having a tough time because I don’t have all the information I need from you in order to help us. For the record, I did and said some really nasty things but please understand those things happened during a really bad patch in my life and I will not repeat that. I do what you to live with me, marry you, be yer man, all the things I have said but I do not know how you expect me to do these things [especially if you want them as well] they way things stand [jail, arrested, harrassement complaints, etc,] because as it stands now I am not allowed to even see or talk with you – so I have absolutely no room to move. If I was to talk, see, be with you right now, ki could very well end up in prison for a very long time. I am not saying that I don’t want to see you, but yer track record to date has me extremely worried – so please tell me how you think this works?


See, I really have no idea what you actually have done with yer life since u left me – so there is a huge black hole in part of our relationship – you know everything about me because I let u know but you do not. you didn’t want me to celebrate yer birthday or new years eve with you yet you say you love me and would marry me. See, I have already bought valentine’s day stuff and I am moving into my new home is three weeks. I would like you to consider what I am doing and what you are doing. I have mad very attempt to be positive, answer yer concermns and questions, etc. And I have come up with possible ideas and solutions and they just get no response, I have been stood up a number of times and I don’t get upset or mad – I just get worried and think what is going on that she simply can be open honest and up front with me. Its things like, I tell you I will quit using smokes and the cake as soon as I see u and even explain why I want that [trust, started with us ends with us] but you have never replied to that, and that is disrespectful and tells me you do not believe in me and maybe u never did. But that is a huge test and a perfect way to show respect and build trust instead of accepting and responding you lash out and condem me. So which is it? Do you see what you are doing as someone takes control of their life and do u think you can explain to me what is going on in a clear way [just like the post I asked for last nite]. I want you to no everything I tell is true. Anyways I hope this helps a bit, and never ever doubt my love and promises to u anymore but I expect the same from you, no more games, vagueness, nameless, lies, and a complete removal of all charges [and proper documentation from authorise to prove to me what u are saying is true – because that is the only way we can move forward

Now on a lighter side of things, I know how much access you have in my personal life and I give it to you because that’s how it works in a relationship – but if u have no intentsion of being with me then u must stop doing these things.
When I would never what that would like to ma, oopopopsy rambled – I was wondering, seeing you are the ultra techy guru – can u aceess my cell phone’s image bank and download the pix and send them to me? or would u tell how to do it?

One other thing, I know elly had moved to Toronto and her health was bad – is she ok? How is yer family doing and how do they view me now? btw, I was reading the paper today and a story jumped out at me – an Ottawa man, Dave Moodie, 40, was arrested after he attempted to meet with a underage teenage gurl and was with child porn as well – is that the same guy that is l’s father? I never knew his last name – and if it is no wonder you are a little cautious. Anyhoo, I hope you are having a great day, and yer horoscope says great things fer ya – so hang in there babe. I am fine myself and there is nothing that is gonna hurt me or bring me down again. I am still dying to see you and I hope you feel the same way about me as I do about you. I adore you.

Love
joe

man, do u know how funny u have been lately – I can’t believe how much of your personality must have gotten sucked up into the vortex. U know this is EXACTLY the woman I remember meeting and falling in love with – confident, smart, creative, funny, open, communicative, everything – but its like NEW AND IMPROVED ULTRA SHINY ANNE! LOL

run 5 miles on the dreadmill (that is what I have begun to call it), and get home safely.

I THOUGHT U HATED FOOTBALL?

watched football the rest of the day, and I guess that is the last time I will do that until next fall. I will miss it.

AND WHAT’S THIS ABOUT AA? WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED? WHEN WE WERE TOGETHER YOU AND I RARELY DRANK AND WHEN WE DID WE RARELY HAD MORE THAN 3 BEERS AND I NEVER ONCE SAW U DRUNK – SO WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT? IF U ARE ON MEDICATION, AND MIXED ACHOLOL THAT WOULD CAUSE PROBLEMS AND I WAS READING THAT CERTAIN ILLNESS AT CERTAIN STAGES MAKE PEOPLE DO EXTREMELY RISKY THINGS LIKE THEY CRAVE AND CAN GET ENUFF – SORT OF LIKE SOMEONE THAT HAS A COCAINE ADDICTION – H’YOOOOOOOOOO

I have recently seen in meetings and discovered that he is sober about 6 months



THOSE ARE YER FEET – I RECOGNIZE THOSE FEET ANYWHERE

WOOO HOOO

Anyway, if I were to leave the group, I would no longer see Mike, and not only do I like Mike and like to see him, but his face lights up when he sees me - so why destroy a fragile little tie like that just because of a stupid format. I hope some day to see that guy get sober and stay sober. He is a young guy, probably younger than my kids. But a terrible, terrible drunk.

PLEASE EXPLAIN? LEAVE WHAT GROUP AND DO I KNOW THIS MICHAEL YOU TALK ABOUT?


i love u