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Meeting topics/discussions

I've been reading and hearing a lot lately about what is/is not appropriate to talk about in meetings. That we are supposed to keep those discussions to issues relating to alcoholism. I've been seeing it said that when it comes to feuds with the boss, or the wife, ones financial situation, even the dog taking a dump on the carpet that these are things best left for discussion with ones sponsor. I have a problem with this.

Those of us who have been sober for any length of time KNOW that it isn't alcohol that is the problem. The REAL root of the problem is that we tend to over react to people, places, thing's and situations out of selfishness and self centeredness. The prospect of living life on life's terms and not our own that can still baffle us. It is the small things piling up until we explode that is the problem. The disease is just WAITING for the straw to break the camels back. To take us to the brink of the pit and to often jumping in.

Really now. Is it the bottle or is it the self that must be dealt with. Yes we DO have to have time to allow our minds to clear but then the hard part comes. If we can't talk about the real problems of life how can the solution be enjoyed.

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

jim aa meetings i was taught is not group therapy every problem i have im suppose to run them thru the steps then the solution i got from that is ok to bring to the meetings. AA is not my dumping ground for my problems my sponsor and my other spiritual advisors is what that is for. But hey thats what those of us who have done all 12 steps and have recovered do. Thats my exp
deleted_user
deleted_user

Woo Hoo someone agrees with me!lol! I've already wrote something about this on many threads and get told I'm angry, but here goes again, Ithink personal problems are for before or after a meeting, or with your sponsor or thro steps 10 and 11 with your HP, I dont want to hear about peoples break ups and make ups, or financial worries! I cant help them! I can guide people thro the steps so they reach a HP and stop them drinking but I dont even trust my own advice on relationships so why the hell should someone else!

Seriously tho I have covered this in detail and everyone on here knows my feelings about meetings being dumping grounds for non alcoholics and lonely people who dont need the program of AA!


Let the abusive posts begin!!!!!!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Oh anyone who hasn't read what I feel about the topic of this thread just look at the what I believe thread I started not long ago!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Absolutely Nod. Having worked all 12 Steps until I could live them with the guidance of God, I agree that the problem of living life on life's terms can still be baffling. These topics must be discussed; otherwise how can one hear the solution? I also don't like AA to be used as a dumping ground. I enjoy solution oriented meetings but there are times when a member of the group may be going through something REAL that they must talk about. From there the rest of the group shares the solution in order to help the member who is suffering. I don't worry so much today what others share. Like m8bear says "every share is not for me"
deleted_user
deleted_user

I am in basic agree3ment with you blues, Especially regarding the talking about stuff with a sponsor or counselor first. Meetings are for shareing our own experiences in recovery from the disease of alcoholism, not assholeism.

Frankly,I think that is the reason the "Singleness of purpose" remains a part of our program. Of course, at an open meeting, anything can and does get discussed. We had nearly gone all the way around the room at one small open meeting when I realized, that based on the comments made, I was the only person in the room who had a desire to not drink. Talk about spooky feelings....I was just at a meeting, 30 minutes ago where the topics were "Preditors at Meetings' and "Gratitude". It was a pretty good open meetings. But since I am not the victim of a preditor, or one, I had absolutely no experience to share on the Preditor topic, and what was shared was of no value to me. I had opinions, but no exprience to back them up. I am grateful for the wake up call.
nodp2day
nodp2day

I want to apologize as it appears as if I left something out when I wrote this. I tend to take things for granted in this group. The caliber/quality of real sobriety is very apparent in this group. Though many have differing views on some subjects the bottom line is the same. To help the alcoholic that is still suffering.

The meetings I attend here in Houston are all about the same. Every meeting has a topic and it always has to do with maintaining sobriety. Sometimes the topic is about not drinking yet many times the focus is on maintaining ones emotional sobriety. Without emotional sobriety the drink, as far as I am concerned is inevitable. We talk a lot about the stress of life. Anger, resentment, sadness all the things that kept us in or could take us back to a bottle. Not one time have I been in a meeting where, once the bitching ended, the solution was also offered and discussed at length. Those that missed the solution became so focused on the problem that they couldn't get it out of their head. I left many a meeting where something pissed me off only to have someone tell me later what it was that GOD revealed AFTER I shut down.
leejosepho
leejosepho

In my own experience, the question here is not the matter of the topic, but rather the purpose for the topic or the way in which something is actually being *discussed*. I recently attended a "no crosstalk" meeting, and you can be sure I will *never again* knowingly do that! I knew all about "dumping" before I ever came to A.A., and now I know how to actually try to help someone else who might otherwise waste all our time doing the same.
donttread
donttread

In practice here is what happens. You don't bring up "problems with spouse as a topic" you bring up "Anger" or "Relationships" or "Serentity " and talk about how problems with your spouse are affecting you in terms of AA lingo.
In a way it's kind of a silly game, which I hate. On the other hand it does tend to keep the conversation soultion focused vs. a BMC session
But make no mistake about it, we must allow members to talk about that which is affecting their sobriety and serenity.
m8bear
m8bear

You know what is the hardest thing for me in my meetings.....trying not to judge the person sharing thinking I know better. I am not in charge. Whether someone shares about the mess left by the plumber, the Harrods Sale (yep, it happens!) or living in the solution, I sit and listen (or switch off! haha).

Isn't it great we get to know who's sobriety we want and who's we don't? Living in the solution works for me :)
deleted_user
deleted_user

Oh God is truly merciful! Where I live we do not have any discussion meetings (although there are some meetings where people will share as though it is) I am so grateful for my home group where we are focussed on carrying the message and living by the principles of the programme. I am with phil608 and bluesaway on this one. Anyone wants to come and talk about their 'stuff' need to do that before the meeting, in the break or after the meeting - or arrange to meet up with someone for coffee but leave it OUT of the meetings.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I get your point Nod, that recovery isn't about alcohol but we do not have to sit and listen whilst someone weeps and wails their way through a long and tedious story of their husband/wife/dog/kids/boss and how they have pissed them off.

I have had my own fair share of difficult stuff in my life before and after I got sober, but I have never shared for 10 minutes about how crap my life is blah, blah, blah.

My husband died in 2005 and it broke my heart but I never sat in meetings and wept and wailed and gnashed my teeth. I talked about that fact that I was hurting but how wonderful it was that I knew that I could live through it, that it wouldn't kill me and that I can allow myself to have feelings, I can allow myself to miss him, in fact I still do but my life didn't have to come to a halt because of it.

It never stopped me from 12 stepping or sponsoring - THAT'S what those of us who have recovered should be sharing about - the fact that we now respond to life differently through God and the principles of the programme. That's what gives people hope- that when the things happen that they most fear, they will be able to survive and live through it with integrity, faith and courage.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi

I guess I have two different opinions on the issue ( go figure an alcoholic who can't make up my mind...lol).

I was at a meeting not too long ago where the topic started becoming about mental illness more than alcoholism and I was getting angry, luckily as we went around the table it got back to alcoholism. We are not counselors, psychiatrists or doctors and those things should be left to experts.

On the other hand, there were alot of "ISSUES" I had when I was new that I needed to discuss with someone who was not crazy like me. It was a big part of my recovery and still is to talk about whatever is going on with me especially if it is something bad because I used to hold all that stuff in till I exploded. Not a pretty sight!

In my groups when someone is rattling on when we gently ask them to give someone else a turn. I also tell my sponsee not to talk too long and to listen more.
nickyj18022002
nickyj18022002

I have moaned about meetings in my area but i am feeling pretty grateful for them at this point. I think I have only ever been to a discussion/topic meeting once in my recovery and I am so glad about that.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I suppose this topic is relative to whether I have had a spiritual awakening or not. My reliance should be upon God and His will for me through prayer and meditation - by using the spiritual tools I have been given.

If I do need to sound anything out with other alkies it will be with my sponsor - i.e. someone who knows me, or some of my close friends in AA who also know me.

The only reason I go to meetings these days is be unselfish in fellowship - to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers. This is by sharing a message of hope and sharing the solution. I also go because I enjoy being a part of the fellowship.

It is perfectly understandable that those newcomers - or people relatively new to AA - who are not totally clammed up with fear will share on things that are worrying them, whether they are "on topic" or not. This is where we older AAs can come in and share on how the solution worked for us in a similar situation - or at least draw some parallels.

I have seen recovered AAs go through life-threatening illnesses, bereavement, divorce, loss of job - you name it, but they were never so selfish as to take up meeting time in a heap of self-pity and confusion about it. They rely upon their God (or HP if you prefer) to give them courage and strength and the knowledge of His will for them. Not only do they have God but they also make sure they still have a sponsor and close trusted friends they can turn to if need be.
deleted_user
deleted_user

M8--Were you at one of my last meetings? lol I actually did have serious plumbing problems last week and the stress and worry got me so agitated I knew I needed a meeting. Yes, I did share about the plumbing problems, but in the sense that as an alcoholic, I am often overwhelmed by life's problems and wanted to seek refuge in one of my isms--drink, sleep, shopping spree. I told the group that I was very happy to be at the meeting, that I am grateful to have AA in my life. I might have talked about my problem for 3 minutes or so. As a general rule, people who share at discussion meetings might talk about their personal problems, but then they always relate them to the solutions AA offers or, if not, someone in the group will then comment on how that person needs to call their sponsor, go over one of the steps, etc. Yes, there are the occasional newbies who come to bitch about their life and are still mired in self pity, but they generally don't like the comments they get for doing so, and they either get more serious about the program or never come back.