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MrPatrickThai

Too Many Non-Alcoholics in AA

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58 minutes ago, jeab1980 said:

Did you ever consider the old boy was infact reaching out for help!

 

I don't know too many people show up at an AA meeting for a lark.  So I generally assume they're there for help.  I suck at hard-ass AA.  That wouldn't have worked on me, though it's the only thing that works on some guys.  But I can't tell who those guys are based on the facade they present when they're all guarded, walking in as a relative noob.  

 

So my goal is to make them feel welcome enough to want to come back for another meeting.  That simple.  Just come back.

 

At zero dollars per meeting, they have plenty of time later to figure out if they've made a mistake.  And if they are a candidate for hard-ass AA, I introduce them to one of my hard-ass friends.  And if they're women, they get introduced to my women friends. 

 

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9 minutes ago, impulse said:

 

I don't know too many people show up at an AA meeting for a lark.  So I generally assume they're there for help.  I suck at hard-ass AA.  That wouldn't have worked on me, though it's the only thing that works on some guys.  But I can't tell who those guys are based on the facade they present when they're all guarded, walking in as a relative noob.  

 

So my goal is to make them feel welcome enough to want to come back for another meeting.  That simple.  Just come back.

 

At zero dollars per meeting, they have plenty of time later to figure out if they've made a mistake.  And if they are a candidate for hard-ass AA, I introduce them to one of my hard-ass friends.  And if they're women, they get introduced to my women friends. 

 

You didnt get the rest of his post he dismissed him out of hand the old guy didnt get the chance to go to his meeting.

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8 hours ago, impulse said:

 

That's one opinion.   And it's a common opinion.  My AA line (My sponsor, his sponsor, his sponsor, and all the guys they sponsor) are big on reading only what's in black and white because reading between the lines and complicating stuff with our opinions is generally what got us in trouble.

 

“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

 

Doesn't get any simpler or more clear than that.  Regardless of why the short form is the one that made it onto all the charts in front of every meeting.

 

By way of a more "reading between the lines" discussion, lots of alcoholics don't know they're alcoholics until after they've been around to hear enough stories that a few of them ring their bells.  Which was certainly the case with me.  But it's hard to hear enough stories to ring the bell if they don't let you into the meetings. 

 

Admittedly, there are good arguments on both sides.  One of the downsides of AA in Bangkok is that there aren't 1,000 meetings a week like back home (or 1,000 meetings a day like So California) where we can pick and choose the meetings that more closely adhere to our own beliefs.

 

Edit:  And just to be clear, I have no problem with the meetings who take a group conscious and collectively decide to take issue with DUI's sentenced to AA by the courts (Validly because of privacy issues), or that a recovery center's patients are disruptive and no longer welcome.  But I do take issue with any individual or clique that decides on their own who is welcome and who isn't.

 

There are plenty of meetings in Bangkok, where I got sober. Sadly, there's not enough literature-based ones for my liking. 

I agree with you that young people especially deny/don't that they're alcoholics and a desire to stop drinking is good to get them in the rooms.

However the tradition does state that "Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism." And there is good reason for that.

I agree with you that it is up to the group conscious to decide who is disruptive.

 

 

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As Bill W wrote in the Grapevine:- 

"Our membership ought to include all who suffer alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."

This is a sweeping statement indeed; it takes in a lot of territory. Some people might think it too idealistic to be practical. It tells every alcoholic in the world that he may become, and remain, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous so long as he says so. In short, Alcoholics Anonymous has no membership rule.

Why is this so? Our answer is simple and practical. Even in self protection, we do not wish to erect the slightest barrier between ourselves and the brother alcoholic who still suffers. We know that society has been demanding that he conform to its laws and conventions. But the essence of his alcoholic malady is the fact that he has been unable or unwilling to conform either to the laws of man or God. If he is anything, the sick alcoholic is a rebellious nonconformist. How well we understand that; every member of Alcoholics Anonymous was once a rebel himself. Hence we cannot offer to meet him at any half-way mark. We must enter the dark cave where he is and show him that we understand. We realize that he is altogether too weak and confused to jump hurdles. If we raise obstacles, he might stay away and perish. He might be denied his priceless opportunity.

So when he asks, "Are there any conditions?" we joyfully reply, "No, not a one." When skeptically he comes back saying, "But certainly there must be things that I have to do and believe," we quickly answer, "In Alcoholics Anonymous there are no musts." Cynically, perhaps, he then inquires, "What is this all going to cost me?" We are able to laugh and say, "Nothing at all, there are no fees and dues." Thus, in a brief hour, is our friend disarmed of his suspicion and rebellion. His eyes begin to open on a new world of friendship and understanding. Bankrupt idealist that he has been, his ideal is no longer a dream. After years of lonely search it now stands revealed. The reality of Alcoholics Anonymous bursts upon him. For Alcoholics Anonymous is saying, "We have something priceless to give, if only you will receive." That is all. But to our new friend, it is everything. Without more ado, he becomes one of us.

Our membership tradition does contain, however, one vitally important qualification. That qualification relates to the use of our name, Alcoholics Anonymous. We believe that any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. Here our purpose is clear and unequivocal. For obvious reasons we wish the name Alcoholics Anonymous to be used only in connection with straight A.A. activities. One can think of no A.A. member who would like, for example, to see the formation of "dry" A.A. groups, "wet" A.A. groups, Republican A.A. groups, Communist A.A. groups. Few, if any, would wish our groups to be designated by religious denominations. We cannot lend the A.A. name, even indirectly to other activities, however worthy. If we do so we shall become hopelessly compromised and divided. We think that A.A. should offer its experience to the whole world for whatever use can be made of it. But not its name. Nothing could be more certain.

Let us of A.A. therefore resolve that we shall always be inclusive, and never exclusive, offering all we have to all men save our title. May all barriers be thus leveled, may our unity thus be preserved. And may God grant us a long life --and a useful one!

Bill W.

The A.A. Grapevine, February, 1948

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2 hours ago, impulse said:

I don't know too many people show up at an AA meeting for a lark.

I was walking up the road from the Bangkok group meeting one evening when I started asking a woman about how long sober she was. She said, "oh I've never drank, I just go to the meeting to improve my English"! 

There were a couple of overeaters there too, who went as there was no OA meetings. nobody had the balls to tell them to get the hell out. Maybe because they were women, a rare breed in Thailand expat AA.

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On 05/10/2017 at 12:34 PM, MrPatrickThai said:

Good on you mate!

 

Too many people now scared of hurting other's feelings! You did the right thing, as far as I'm concerned. But perhaps invite him to an open meeting.

Yes, that's what I have done. 

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6 hours ago, jeab1980 said:

Isnt prevention better than the cure. How do any of us know if that chap didnt go on and is now an alcholic? So you made it clear he wasn't welcome!. Sorry but what you did is wrong as far as im concerned you appointed yourself a Doctor and specialist ? Did you ever consider the old boy was infact reaching out for help! I seem to recall i always said im not an Alcholic honest i just need to cut down. Luckily the person i talked to listened and questioned me a little more over a period of time.

There is no cure per se. This was only 2 weeks ago and the guy is nearly 80. I think by that age one knows if they are an alcoholic or not. 

I knew I was an alcoholic at 17, when getting delerium tremens. Non alcohols don't get those, don't need to be a specialist to know that.

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9 hours ago, MrPatrickThai said:

There are plenty of meetings in Bangkok, where I got sober. Sadly, there's not enough literature-based ones for my liking. 

I agree with you that young people especially deny/don't that they're alcoholics and a desire to stop drinking is good to get them in the rooms.

 

I'm going to drop out of this discussion, but I'd suggest going to meetings in a couple of dozen cities before you make that claim, or decide what AA is all about.  And go to some meetings that make you feel uncomfortable.  It's a personal growth thing.   About 6 months in, I became a traveling salesman and spent the next 10 years on the road, generally leaving home by car on Monday, returning on Friday night.  My first action when I checked in to the hotel was to look up Intergroup and call to find a meeting. 

 

I got to go to meetings in dozens of cities all over the USA, and moving 5 times, got to have half a dozen "Home Groups" and several sponsors.  Really opened my eyes to the strength of the program, and conversely, how many screwed up, manipulative and predatory people there are.  There are towns where I'm surprised anyone gets sober.  And other Podunk places where I fell in love with the people.  Bottom line is that it was a humbling experience to find out how little I knew, and how my Home Group didn't have a monopoly on sobriety.

 

I've been welcomed in NA meetings, CA meeting, in gay meetings, in Debtors Anonymous meetings, and in others- (no women's meetings for me, though- I'm told they're kind of militant about that).  Because the 12 steps are the 12 steps, and the recovery is the same.

 

I had people insist on coming to my hotel to take me, a complete stranger out to dinner before the meeting, then include me in the after-the-meeting meeting.  I know of no other organization where that happens on a regular basis.  What a blessing-  built in friends in every city in the country.

 

There's always some controversy about the topic at hand, and I come down on the literal reading of the 3rd tradition, short form because I may have missed out on all of that had those little old ladies not taken it to heart at my first meeting.  No telling how my life would be different.

 

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1 hour ago, MrPatrickThai said:

Hi Impulse, please before you drop out listen to the above speaker and let us know your experience about meetings in the USA. You have much experience. 

 

Thanks for the link and will do once my VPN kicks in again here in China.  Where I'm 100+ km away from the nearest meeting.  And they're playing with the VPN because of the big cheese political meetings going on this month.

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AA members convenient definition of a 'heavy drinker'

 

A person or persons who have proved to carry the ability to stop drinking without the aid of an external support  'programme'

 

You guys are starting to sound more like the freemasons than a self help group!!

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5 hours ago, 473geo said:

AA members convenient definition of a 'heavy drinker'

 

A person or persons who have proved to carry the ability to stop drinking without the aid of an external support  'programme'

 

You guys are starting to sound more like the freemasons than a self help group!!

No, the is the medical experts definition too. Even Carl Jung said the alcoholic could not quit without a complete psychic/spiritual change.

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10 minutes ago, MrPatrickThai said:

No, the is the medical experts definition too. Even Carl Jung said the alcoholic could not quit without a complete psychic/spiritual change.

Fine if the statement is protected by actions whereby as soon as somebody stops drinking without support and spiritual guidance they are immediately downgraded to 'heavy drinker'

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23 minutes ago, 473geo said:

Fine if the statement is protected by actions whereby as soon as somebody stops drinking without support and spiritual guidance they are immediately downgraded to 'heavy drinker'

Not downgraded, there's nothing wrong with being a heavy drinker.  

 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/heavy-drinkers-arent-necessarily-alcoholics-may-almost-alcoholics-201411217539

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