Thursday, January 17, 2008

A very good question..... refer to the Traditions

Gledwood asked...

Can I ask you something about AA~??

Is it true you are meant to turn up "sober"? Are there any rules about this?

Please tell as I'm fascinated. I've only been to 2 AA meetings and everyone but me there claimed to have pissed and shat the bed due to their drinking... my main prob's drugs so NA has been my main one

I'm not 100% sure about NA ... some people there seem to take it rather too literally without working it out for themselves... though having said that I've seen it does work for those who "keep coming back and work it"

please rsvp at my (main blog) if you can! many thanks!!

Go say Hi and share your experiences

Heres mine...

Hi Gledwood, thanks for stopping by. Good question!!

I must say that everything I will say, is my experience and my interpretation of the traditions in action TODAY. If you ask the same questions tomorrow, I may have learned something, looked at it from another angle and changed my mind on something! I do not speak for AA as a whole. GSO in York would give you more of a general take on this.

Ok, heres my take on it... got your coffee....ready??

"Sober" I am not sure exactly what you mean by this? not obviously drunk/24 hours+ continuous sobriety/had a drink but not noisy/not having mood altering substance inside them?

There are NO RULES that you HAVE to turn up to AA meetings sober full stop. There are no AA rules fullstop.

Most people I see at AA meetings havent drank that day i dont think!, some have though and are welcome. In the spirit of "Tradition 1 Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity". Some groups do ask "noisy drunks" to leave the meetings, and to come back when they are ready to hear the message. Most AA's I know will continue to offer support to that same "still suffering" outside of the meeting. It is said that the "noisy drunk" is not in a position AT THAT MOMENT to hear the message and the group must be protected for the newcomer who is ready THAT DAY. The group must continue to stay strong for the suffering alcoholic to come back to when they are ready to hear the message.

Also many people I know/meet come to AA meetings to pass on and hear the message of recovery, experience, strength and hope... as opposed to a listening to a noisy drunk, we did enough of that in pubs, some of us were the noisy drunk!!

Having said all that not everyone that turns up to an AA meeting having had a drink that day or hour is noisy, and most people I have met, who have had a drink just want to sit and be quiet and not want a big deal made of it. At my home groups we welcome anyone into an AA meeting whether had a drink or not.

I have seen a noisy drunk asked to leave a meeting when they continued to disrupt the meeting, AFTER being asked to be quiet politely. I have seen a fight break out, they didnt come back of their own accord, no-one barred them.

We are dealing with alcohol and alcoholics, lack of Power is massive, compassion is asked for. In the spirit of "Tradition 4 Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole". you may have come across a meeting which has and will ask someone to leave, and thats probably because its the conscience of the group to do that. And Tradition 4 says thats ok.

One could say that its a fine line, to ask a drunk to leave, and not in the spirit of "Tradition 3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking" BUT would you ask anyone if they have the desire to stop drinking, before letting them in a meeting? I wouldnt.

So for what its worth, I would only apply tradition 1, regarding the noisy drunk or someone disrupting the meeting fullstop, in asking someone to leave a meeting.

Regarding "everyone" sharing loss of bladder/bowel control. I always suggest to people if they can, try and not judge AA in a few meetings, and to stick with people they come across who seem comfortable and conduct themselves in a way which is appealing. And to stay away from people who dont. I notice you are in London, there are over 700 meetings, if you have a Where To Find meeting directory, try beginner or newcomer meetings and or step meetings... on the whole I find them more reliably message carrying... although I havent tried them all!! All meetings are different, Trad 4, if you keep on going you will eventually find what you are looking for.

I hope that answers your question. I wish you you much peace in your recovery, I haven't been to NA, so I cannot compare sorry. But if you are not sure which fellowship, and would like to try AA again, then give it another go?

Thanks for stopping by, great thought provoker!!

Recovery love


ps I just saw you said "my main prob's drugs so NA has been my main one"

so apologies where I said "if you are not sure which fellowship"

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