Member: Toddy N.
Location: Ruidoso Downs NM
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 2:03:07 AM

Comments

I don't know if I'm first or not but I think a good topic would be for each of us to say what we tell newcomers to help them understand AA, what helped us in the beginning, etc. I usually like to tell them what helped me. I didn't go to treatment, was afraid they'd never let me out, so I was on my own through the night sweats, the cravings, the guilt over my past, etc. Things that helped my physically were CHOCOLATE,CHOCOLATE, and CHOCOLATE! I also took lots of vitamins, my body was in bad shape and needed lots of supplements. I also drank a lot of water and other non-alcoholic drinks, I didn't try near-beer or any of that stuff if you are trying to quit drinking why pretend to drink? I spent a lot of time resting, reading the Big Book was great therapy. It was good to know that I wasn't alone. Another thing newcomers need is definitions of AA words. Many don't understand ESH,(Experience, Strength, and Hope:members share what it was like, what happened, and what it's like now) Sponsors,(How to get one, why we need one, and where they are), Big Book,(Maybe even purchase one for them if they're low on funds or loan one to them). We could explain the steps in everyday terms, etc. There are a lot of things newcomers need, and we are there to help them. I also felt left out after meetings, it seemed everyone was chatting with someone else and I was next to invisible, so make 'em feel welcome. ANYTHING we can do to help the new guy/gal will be appreciated by them, even if they're too nervous to say so. So there's my suggestion for a new topic, how do you help newcomers? If I'm not first, sorry! Take care everyone, love, Toddy, an alcoholic.


Member: tonydaduck
Location: USA
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 2:07:22 AM

Comments

i am sorry for my past behaviour and i will do my best to not repeat it. i promise to try to not hurt anybody's feelings this week. i've been such a pest, to put it mildly!


Member: Catherine W  aka  ramonacat
Location:
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 3:07:09 AM

Comments

Catherine here~Grateful to be a sober alcoholic!

A yes...amends! Just did 5 this week from a fourth I did several years back. Kept them for so long because I was sure I had no way of finding these folks. Wrong, Computer search! Found them all! To my surprise. Was able to make the needed amends and let go finally! What a relief! I really needed to do this now, as the old behavior pattern was starting to surface and I absolutely did not want that in my life today. The amends helped me put my life back into perspective and also to remind me that I am accountable today and responsible for my behavior. The old ways just don't work anymore. Thank God and AA.

PS (((Tonydaduck)))What's up buddy? You ok?


Member: Geri W
Location: Ohio
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 5:48:18 AM

Comments

Hi Toddy - sounds like a great topic, "how to help newcomers" because we all were one(some of us more than once). I can relate to your initial feelings about feeling excluded in the beginning after meetings. Took a while to let myself be included in those chats.

I suppose the thing I do most regularly when a new face shows up is to seek them out before or after the meeting, introduce myself, offer my phone number(to women) and tell them I am available to help them get settled into the group. I ask if there is anything I can do "right now" to make it seem more comfortable being here. Some are ready, others seem to brush it off, but look for me next time. I get some calls. I also give them a listing of all the local meetings/times/locations. If it is a guy, I try to direct them to someone who is willing(has shown it) to help newcomers. I offer to let them sit with me and will explain how/what is happening during the meeting. Most folks want to know the "rules" and it's confusing to follow the "program" without someone explaining what's going on.

BTW, I always get more out of it than the newcomer. Just like always.


Member: tonydaduck
Location: New England area
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 8:49:43 AM

Comments

DISCLAIMER: The post above (at 2:07am) is NOT from me. I do not feel any of my previous posts require an apology. I feel I have posted within the bounds of common human decency and the policy of this website.The person or persons who disagree with what I have previously posted are welcome to do so.....BUT,please do not post false posts under my name. I respect and honor your inaliable right to disagree with whatever I post. Know Thyself! Difficult to acheive in a complete way.......but a noble (on going hopefully) pursuit. I am human anf fail as often as I suceed,but I need not go around "confesssing" and whipping myself for being human, or so I will be accepted in these halls. I feel god has been good to me and I accept who I am and am trying to evolve into a better Homo Sapien without publicly flaunting some sort of "moral superiority" over other Homo Sapiens. This "morality" trip (like most things) can be taken to extreme and at the expense of other Homo Sapiens dignity.Live and Let Live. You do not like what I post? Just scroll on by! I have a right to post my opinion and you have a right to ignore it. I respect you......please do likewise toward me. If you do not choose to demonstrate respect for your fellow Homo Sapien I suggest you consort with your "HP". Just a suggestion. To all of you....God Bless You! May the god of your understanding be as loving and kind to you as the god of my understandinng has been to me.


Member: tonydaduck
Location: N.E.
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 8:57:35 AM

Comments

(((Catherine W.))) Yes I am "o.k." Thanks for asking. If your quetion is in response to that 2:07am post (above), I did not post it.


Member: catherine w aka ramonacat
Location:
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 10:12:50 AM

Comments

High,Catherine here.I need desperatly to make amends . To (((tonydaduck))) I am sorry that I posted a post under your name.I have stared drinking again and just went crazy.I had a slip.


Member: Shelli
Location: CA
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 1:47:06 PM

Comments

Shelli here recovering alcholic.

How to help the newcomer sounds like a really excellent topic. There are certainly many things I did as a newcomer to help myself but would not recommend them today due to the situations I was in, I did detox using nearbeer, I was living in a drug dealers home, was a friend at one time, I couldn't afford treatment, I too was afraid they would throw away the key. I had no family that would help and only knew one person in the program, I later married him at 2 years sober, but I do remember at my first meeting, people smiled at me welcomed me, did not pressure me in any way, told some of there personal stories, and the energy in the room was light, humorous and full of love, even though the stories seemed tragic. What I got out of that was a sence of safty. But there was one lady who did corner me and she asked me if I had drank that day? Of course I had, and she asked me if I could not drink just until the next meeting and if I could come to that next meeting and I said yes, hinse my first 24 hours, and in a nut shell thats what I do, try to make the newcomer feel welcome try to get them to not drink for just one day and come to the next meeting, I send lots of pamplets home with them, if they accept them then the seed has been planted and I become a familiar face, then they tend to get there bigbook, phonelist, and they usually save the sponsor thing for last, because I do suggest they watch people for awhile until they find someone they can connect with, some are sicker than others and I have noticed there seems to be those few who seem to prey on the newcomers innocense and before you know it someones drunk. Those few who are serious about there lives & who have really hit a bottom, tend to stick around for awhile and learn to start working a program, and of course for many slipping is part of there recovery, but I'm always there to have a hand out to help when possable, each and every newcomer has to figure out what works and doesn't because I have noticed we all know how to do it our own way once we learn the talk, then we have to learn the walk, and that isn't so easy, all I can do is be an example whether good or bad, I am not AA, I am only a member of a much larger organization, therefore just being there to keep the doors open is whats really important I tend to find that others like to jump right in and grab newcomers to sponsor and thats there part, usually I find when they ask me they have really hit a bottom, because I am a reall book thumper and we do it the BB way or not at all. Just keep coming back. A couple of things that I do suggest that really did help me were long walks and very hot showers. I ate a lot of candy bars too due to the withdrawels, its a surgar thing, however I wish now I hadn't. I put on 15 pounds in the first year of recovery but I only weighed 98 pounds when I got here so I was able to afford it, but today 14 years later and quitting smoking too, I'm just a little over weight for my hight 5'3 and could certainly loose those 15 pounds always more work to be done. (((Room hugs))) Shelli


Member: Tom H
Location: Flyover-States
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 5:19:36 PM

Comments

Hi everyone thanks for being here. I was involved in an issue with an extended family Member that has created a rift throughout my wives Side of the family. The reason for my actions were not unfounded, however my reaction was done in haste. In Discussions with family members they seem to believe I should have been above it.

The issue of amends in this regard is difficult for me. The individual involved is an addict and is well aware of the 12 steps. He is currently using, therefore I feel unwilling to make any amend. Other family members feel I should make an apology, I simple cannot.

I certainly understand that I should not let this person "Take up space in my head" and oftentimes I believe he does not/ (but I am writing about it, am I not) I have it in me to apologize for my reaction but the issue is really having no future involvement with this individual. I suspect my heart tells me I am really trying to please the other family members, and that I would not really be sincere nor completely honest.

That Goodness for a "Day at a Time". My sponsor, and old "keep it simple fellow," says it will come in time. Any thoughts. Take Care All.


Member: Toddy N.
Location: NM
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 7:22:25 PM

Comments

Is anyone going to change the dates at the top of these discussions? It's hard to start a new discussion like I tried to do above if nobody changes the dates and removes previous messages. Newcomers: Keep reading!


Member: Catherine W  aka  ramonacat
Location:
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 9:27:21 PM

Comments

Catherine here~~~the real one...sober alcoholic!

(((tonydaduck)))I believe you. I did post that last one of mine either. Guess we'll just have to let our friends figure these things out for themselves, or ask us! Glad to hear it wasn't you. Love ya!


Member: Catherine W  aka  ramonacat
Location:
Date: 4/9/00
Time: 9:30:28 PM

Comments

DID NOT POST THAT>>>>>thanks for your comments (((tonydaduck)))) hang around...the sick ones eventually get the message or they disappear out of frustration.


Member: bonzo     5/30/80
Location:
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 5:43:56 AM

Comments

Hi extended family, bonzo/alcoholic here, (((ROOM-HUG))) I really love you drunks and druggies that are here in the name of fellowship. AA is for those who want it, that's how my book reads. If you are not here to learn how to stay clean and sober or do not have anything supportive or friendly to say to another alcoholic or addict, please just lurk or leave us in peace. Join us when you are serious. My book tells me not to try and help you unless you want it. Maybe this is not the site for you. We had all the chaos that we could use in our drinking days. We are a fellowship of men and women that come together to help each other stay sober and share how we've achieved a sense of calmness in our lives. Most of us got here feeling like we were being consumed by the chaos and we were at the jumping off point. your petty squabbles are not appropriate here in Staying Cyber, share email addys so we dont have to listen to it. this page is only supposed to be shared on once by each person until our hard working, volunteering ((techs)) refresh it. if its not refreshed when you get here then maybe God has something here He would like you to see. Read the archives if this isn't answering your questions, the great techs at this site have compiled years of posts on topics that might interest you, if you are here to stay sober and gain peace of mind. If you are just here to see your own post printed, then I will say to you what my sponsor said to me, Your best thinking is what bought you your bottom, sit back and listen for a change until you have a change and if you're not willing to listen then you probably haven't hit your bottom cause you think that your answers will miraculously work this time. She made me think and that made me listen. My know it all attitude almost made me drink when I was 18 months sober, again at 3yrs, again at 7yrs, it did however help me lose everything that I held dear and important at that time. my kids, my home, dog, toys, job, etc etc. so please if you're not here to help, leave us room on this page so we can help each other. the web is full of sites that would consider you entertaining, this is not one. We help each other here. This is life and death people. Don't treat this disease lightly. I've seen it kill many even after they get here. Amends, see Step and Trad meeting post this week. helping newcomers, As my sponsor told me when I asked her how she did it, she said never pretend I know the answer to a question if I dont know, hug someone with a new face at each meeting, when we have a newcomer at a meeting, we usually pass around a meeting schedule and all the women or men write their names and phone numbers in the back and we give it to the newcomer. go early, stay late, there's always someone needing to go to coffee & talk before or after the meeting. I suggest having candy handy because of the alcohol turning to sugar in the system and the sugar with drawl, No alcohol whatsoever, not nearbeer with its .05% or 3.2% beer or ron rico with its 151%, alcohol is alcohol!! Don't bs yourself into thinking it's not, it will kill an alcoholic. When they call, I try to get to a quiet place and give them my full attention. We look things up in the big book together. my sponsor had me read 60 thru 63 and 449 thru 452 from my first day of sobriety, I still read it today to get right sized and suggest it often. I cancel plans sometimes when someone I'm talking to hasn't come to at least a few degrees of relief with a problem that they call me about. Even been late to work several times. They are the important one, the only reason I can have plans today is because someone took the time and energy with me. When I get called on a 12 step call, I grab a friend and go, never alone. I owe my life to this program for without it, I would have no life. suggesting service work,washing dishes, setting up chairs, making coffee,etc I found it helpful to have friends with the same amount of time that I had because my sponsor had forgotten about the intense head fog at first, and the tingles in the arms and legs when our bodies start to detox, etc etc but those going thru it shared that it was happening to them too and that made me feel more part of. I reached my hand out and they were there. They did not help me until I asked and would not until I did. and I asked alot cause I wanted all this program promised me on pages 83 and 84. I have had them all for a long time but the degrees that I have them have increased. My life is so good today, better than i had ever dreamed or even considered possible. It didn't happen in anyway I thought possible and nothing happened when I thought it should, always when It wasnt important that it did. then Whalah, there it was. Always had to Let Go and Let God but not till I fought tooth and nail to do it my way. I didn't know how to do it any other way for many yrs. Now I do. Hang in there till your miracle happens. Dear God please bless all who venture here. love and hugs, bonzo -- bonzoc@webtv.net


Member: Corinne
Location: Camino
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 7:24:55 AM

Comments

Corinne, Alcoholic here, there & nowhere in particular!

(((Bonzo))) as always - magnificent post

I'm having insomnia & just came in here to see a whole week of many Tonydaduck postings. Posting only once per week on this page (& the 12&12) is the suggestion: "The format for this meeting is a week long Topic Discussion. We ask that all sharing in this meeting be limited to the topic as it relates to your alcoholism and that each person try to share only once per week (this is not a chat room)" reprinted from top of page for your convenience. Posting to be kept to 300 words or less is suggested on the Coffee Pot because that page gets more traffic - again - read the top of the pages for the suggested posting instructions.

Amends is certainly a topic and this page need not be limited to topics that don't involve the Steps (or Traditions, for that matter), for these are the basic concepts that form the very foundation of the whole program of AA. For goodness sakes, Bill & Bob must be turning in their very graves!

I was very upset to see a newcomer or 2 say that what they found on this site (as well as other AA-related sites) has turned them off to ever going to an AA mtg. That is truly an absolute shame, because these folks obviously came in seeking help and, finding none, have decided AA cannot help them and that they must help themselves, which we who have tried that route to stay sober for any length of time, know it is futile - it tells us that in the Big Book, as well.

I would like to make amends to all the newcomers coming here on behalf of certain fellow posters who purport to be sober, yet by what they are posting here are obviously having a difficult time and seem to be saying things and doing things that are what we like to call "coming out sideways." This does not mean the person is bad, just the behavior. I try to keep these things separate, as it helps when I practice forgiveness.

One key issue in Amends, is the ability to forgive others. Until I can do that, how can I possibly expect others to forgive me?

As for starting on a new topic. Until the page has the new week's date posted at the top, the techs have not had a chance to restart the page for the new week. Once they do, and the page is completely empty, then and only then can the new topic be grabbed onto, because anything posted at the bottom of the old week's topic will be wiped off by the automatic restarting process (by the techs once they get to us). Be patient.

Hopefully, Toddy can get back first to post "How to Help Newcomers" as a new topic, because it is a very good topic.

It would appear that we are not carrying the message to the newcomer very effectively by having rantings & ravings to and from each other in response to posters who are abusive on this site. Cross-talk of this nature would certainly not be tolerated in a live meeting of AA, yet it is an unfortunate fact of this venue. I would encourage our newcomers to ignore the negativity, and call AA in your local area. Real live AA meetings are nothing like what is presented here. In fact, I would urge newcomers to leave Internet AA alone for awhile, or if that is not possible, to just watch for the positive words, as those are the folks truly working the AA program as it is meant to be worked.

By the way, it is true, if you ignore something long enough, it will disappear. I keep hoping that will be true with my own insomnia!

Keep a good thought & a smile in your heart!


Member: Corinne
Location: Camino
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 7:25:24 AM

Comments

Corinne, Alcoholic here, there & nowhere in particular!

(((Bonzo))) as always - magnificent post

I'm having insomnia & just came in here to see a whole week of many Tonydaduck postings. Posting only once per week on this page (& the 12&12) is the suggestion: "The format for this meeting is a week long Topic Discussion. We ask that all sharing in this meeting be limited to the topic as it relates to your alcoholism and that each person try to share only once per week (this is not a chat room)" reprinted from top of page for your convenience. Posting to be kept to 300 words or less is suggested on the Coffee Pot because that page gets more traffic - again - read the top of the pages for the suggested posting instructions.

Amends is certainly a topic and this page need not be limited to topics that don't involve the Steps (or Traditions, for that matter), for these are the basic concepts that form the very foundation of the whole program of AA. For goodness sakes, Bill & Bob must be turning in their very graves!

I was very upset to see a newcomer or 2 say that what they found on this site (as well as other AA-related sites) has turned them off to ever going to an AA mtg. That is truly an absolute shame, because these folks obviously came in seeking help and, finding none, have decided AA cannot help them and that they must help themselves, which we who have tried that route to stay sober for any length of time, know it is futile - it tells us that in the Big Book, as well.

I would like to make amends to all the newcomers coming here on behalf of certain fellow posters who purport to be sober, yet by what they are posting here are obviously having a difficult time and seem to be saying things and doing things that are what we like to call "coming out sideways." This does not mean the person is bad, just the behavior. I try to keep these things separate, as it helps when I practice forgiveness.

One key issue in Amends, is the ability to forgive others. Until I can do that, how can I possibly expect others to forgive me?

As for starting on a new topic. Until the page has the new week's date posted at the top, the techs have not had a chance to restart the page for the new week. Once they do, and the page is completely empty, then and only then can the new topic be grabbed onto, because anything posted at the bottom of the old week's topic will be wiped off by the automatic restarting process (by the techs once they get to us). Be patient.

Hopefully, Toddy can get back first to post "How to Help Newcomers" as a new topic, because it is a very good topic.

It would appear that we are not carrying the message to the newcomer very effectively by having rantings & ravings to and from each other in response to posters who are abusive on this site. Cross-talk of this nature would certainly not be tolerated in a live meeting of AA, yet it is an unfortunate fact of this venue. I would encourage our newcomers to ignore the negativity, and call AA in your local area. Real live AA meetings are nothing like what is presented here. In fact, I would urge newcomers to leave Internet AA alone for awhile, or if that is not possible, to just watch for the positive words, as those are the folks truly working the AA program as it is meant to be worked.

By the way, it is true, if you ignore something long enough, it will disappear. I keep hoping that will be true with my own insomnia!

Keep a good thought & a smile in your heart!


Member: tonydaduck
Location: sunny and sereine New England
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 7:39:17 AM

Comments

Good Morning all you lovely sober people! (((Toddy))) good topic! To anyone new in here:Please do not use this site as an EXCUSE to drink again.If you find that some posts in here are a "turn-off",then just scroll past them.DO NOT pretend you drank or never went to an AA meeting because of something you saw in here.That is justt plain bulls--t and the product of a person thhat is suffering from a lack of sleep.To all homo sapeins in here(drunk or sober): I love you and wish you the very best on your quest to serenity.May the god of your understanding be as loving and kind to you as the god of my understanding has been to me.I am one very grateful alky!.......Bon Journo!!


Member: JCP   ^\^
Location: Penn's Woods
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 9:15:04 AM

Comments

All true communication must be founded on mutual need. We saw that each sponsor would have to admit humbly his own needs as clearly as those of his prospect.—As Bill Sees It, p. 165

J here, a grateful alcoholic:

The way to help newcomers in A.A. is to have a good meeting. My first night I was in bad shape, and several members “worked on me” at a back table – with their slogans and encouragement to make the next night’s meeting without a drink—but I never have remembered them by face or name.

I had been blacked out most of the day, and now I had the shakes and the fact that I remember them at all probably proves beyond reasonable doubt that THEY WERE WHY I did, against all odds after seven years of daily drinking, actually make that second meeting, to complete my first full day without a drink in more than seven years.

I remember my sponsor spoke that night but I did not meet him in person—it was his first lead, and I came to know him later.

As I see it, the best help for a newcomer can be pretty simple. Just a friendly handshake can help. He or she got there somehow, and with a little encouragement they might be back.

No way we can do it for them, so we might as well just enjoy the meeting. Actually, I seldom notice anyone in a meeting who seems as shaking and discontent as I recall myself being. I must have been a little obvious, because I drew the small crowd of my own in back. I am still grateful to them, although I never have had any idea who they were. It works out.

The newcomer just needs to come, and the oldcomers just need to have a regular meeting. The rest, as they say, may become history if some lucky drunk like myself happens to wander in.

Hey, have a nice week.


Member: Millie S
Location: MAINE
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 10:10:21 AM

Comments

Hi I am new to the site enjoyed reading all the messages today.My friend goes to online meetings on aol but I have not been able to access that site as of yet. I don't get out to meetings regularly and hope that I can visit the site regularly


Member: tonydaduck
Location: boston
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 11:35:34 AM

Comments

(((Millie S.))) WELCOME!


Member: tonydaduck
Location: Bos.
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 11:51:29 AM

Comments

(((Corinne))) Hi! I enjoyed your post. Keep comin back!


Member: Arlene C
Location: Northeast Washington
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 1:37:11 PM

Comments

My name is Arlene and I am an Alcoholic. Good topic. When I was a new comer I was greeted with love and caring, and suported as I started working the steps. There was no name calling and put downs, just a group of people trying to help each other stay sober. I can only speak for myself, but I don't believe that all this bickering serves to enhance anyone's soberity. This program is not only based on tolerance but on honesty, so posting in someone elses name, just dosen't cut it. For the new comers. Please try and overlook these very few people and look at the fact that most of us are alive and sober against all odds. Please go to a face to face meeting, I think you will find the answers, I know I did. KEEP COMING BACK, IT WORKS.


Member: Tom S
Location: Michigan
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 1:39:25 PM

Comments

Tom....an alcholic After a long time in sobriety I started drinking near beer and then , of course, relapsed. The last time I relapsed (about 2 months ago) was the lowest that I could have ever crawled. I now am taking AA seriously and am making it a part of my life, just like eating and drinking. This room helps a lot beause I can slip in here during the day at work and get a little extra boost. Somedays, (most days) I feel very lonely and feeel that the mountain I am climbing is insurrmountable. Then I read a post from someone that seems to speak just to me. That is why it is vitally important that this room be filled with love, strength and encouragement. God knows I need a lot of that right now.Peace Tom S


Member: anon
Location:
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 1:52:49 PM

Comments

Tony/Catherine reminder- one post per week on the 12x12 and discussion meeting. One post per day on the coffeepot. If you don't want to be annoying please follow the guidelines.


Member: tonydaduck
Location: New England
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 1:55:07 PM

Comments

I am really enjoying everyone's comments and the sincerity here makes me feel really bad about how obnoxious I have been. God Bless All.


Member: Dr. Bob
Location: in a hospital..where else?
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 2:18:22 PM

Comments

(((Tondaduck))) You had better stop all that posting or you will be commanded to leave! You have posted too many time!!!!!!!!!


Member: Dry in the Desert
Location: Nevada
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 2:23:05 PM

Comments

Good Morning Everyone;

My name is Walter and I am an alcoholic. The first topic I see here is from Toddy concerning sharing with newcomers...Great topic !! And Welcome Welcome Welcome to the newcomers. You are the most important people in the "room".

When I was literally carried into my first meeting (I was expecting a dusty old hall with a podium, spotlights and grim old bums), we went into a lovely older home that was full of happy people laughing, and hugging and talking about their lives, their jobs and their bright outlook on life. I remember turning to the fellow who brought me and asked "Where do we go? to the basement?" He smiled and said "This is it !!" I was so surprised and knew that that was the way out of the nightmare I was in.

When I raised my hand as a newcomer(like you could not tell !! 127 pounds, yellow skin and eyes, long greasy hair and trembeling horribly...) the room said "HELLO WALTER" and some of them smiled. After the meeting, the fellow who brought me said we are going to sit and have a cup of coffee....nearly everyone from the meeting came and shared part of their story with me....

My life today is beautiful on all levels. The miracles are overwhelming....in the words of my sponser "Walter, you can not get where you are from where you were !!"

When I am blessed with the opportunity to share with a newcomer, I try to share as much as possible....I believe it is important to show sober life outside of the rooms. The "meeting after the meeting" is where the real work begins.

Thanks everyone for being here and for letting me share.....this is, in my opinion the closest to a live meeting that we are likely to have in the Cyberworld and for folks like myself who are isolated, we depend on it. To newcomers and oldtimers alike, who are concerned about the negativety and squabbling, this will happen everywhere...Stick with the Winners!!


Member: One who cares about you and AA
Location:
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 3:27:50 PM

Comments

Tony, apparently you do not feel bad enough. Making amends is all good but if you continue the behavier, it's just talk. Walk the walk and be the man/woman you can be.

God Bless You and please quit posting this week, we don't need a repeet of last week.


Member: Jason M.
Location: Iowa
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 4:14:33 PM

Comments

Hello, everybody. Being somewhat of a newcomer to the program myself (2.5 months), I was glad to see that helping newcomers is the topic. What helped me was how nice everyone was. I had never been in a place like that before where so many people came up to me and introduced themselves and shook my hand. It made me feel good and I wore a smile all the way home after the meeting. On the other hand what turned me off was some people being too nice, telling me to call them and that they wanted to get to know me. That can be kind of scary to a person coming to their first meeting. Make newcomers feel welcome so they will come back, without being too overbearing which can scare them off. Also lead by example.


Member: Hilton H  
Location: Belfast,Maine.
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 4:44:36 PM

Comments

Hi Hilton H. here the first meeting I went to on 1/20/82 I was scared and didn't really want to be there but someone said welcome and I stayed. after the meeting a couple of the men invited me back. at that time very few people were glad to see me and fewer invited me back. I decided to stay two weeks to learn to drink like a normal person and get everyone off my back. There are still people on my back and i'm told I can't drink like a normal person . Today I don't want to because it would mean giving up the best thing that ever happened to me. Thanks to my God and A.A. Don't Drink , Go To Meetings, Ask For help And say the serenity prayer until help arrives.Thanx HH


Member: Marco K
Location: UK
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 4:48:07 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm new to this, but I think I could use your help, my head is a little messed up at the moment. Got to stop drinking, I promised my mother I would, causing her grief


Member: David
Location: Los Angeles
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 5:04:45 PM

Comments

My first meeting was scary for me.I had just been relesed from a Phsyciatric Hospital where I spent eight days, that's where my drinking led me. I had never felt fear like I did at this first meeting. When I was drunk I had no fear. I met my first sponser at that meeting. He got me a seat, as a lot of meetings here in Los Angeles are very big. He gave me a directory and his phone number. He then asked me if I had a desire to stop drinking and I said yes I did. Witht that answer he said welcome to AA. I also remeber getting home and having a whole bunch of business cards in my pocket. I guess I had been handed these during the meeting. That was 7 1/2 years ago. It isn't just meetings that have kept me sober, but it was in the beginning. I've had to work the steps continually to get where I am today. Which is happy, joyous and free. I still continue to work the steps and I choose to go to about 6 or 7 meetings a week and also do lots of H & I panel work. Some of the reasons I still go to lots of meetings are I like them very much, I like the fellowship. And because I believe if we do not continue to go to meetings where will who will be there for the newcomers, newcomers? I make sure I put my hand out to the newcomers like it was done to me. I try to make them as comfortable as posible. Which I'm sure they're not. I try to get their phone number and call them. We must be there for the newcomer. I love watching a newcomer come into the program and if they stick around we get to watch them change, if they work the program. There's lots of people who come into the program, just go to meetings then go back out. They then say the program doesn't work, but you know, they never worked the program, which is the 12 steps one day at a time.


Member: Jennie M
Location: Australia
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 5:18:52 PM

Comments

Hi, Jennie M Alcoholic. Welcome Marco, you have made the first step and that is by asking for help. Ring AA in your town and talk to the person on the other end honestly and they can give you some great information about AA. It is hard, but you can do it. Unfortunately we do hurt the ones we love due to our drinking but we can make amends buy reaching out and asking for help. Good luck and God Bless.


Member: Larry M.
Location: Virginia Beach
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 5:40:48 PM

Comments

Larry, alcoholic

I try not to give out too much advice, but I share my experience. When I first came to AA, I really enjoyed meetings - some people don't, but I did. No matter how bad I felt - that "beat-up" feeling I would get after a long day at work which I knew a couple of drinks could "cure" - within 10 minutes of entering a meeting room I felt 100% better. So I always carried a meeting list with me. I circled a meeting for every day/time of the week when the desire to drink tended to get strong (usually "happy hour" right after work). Whenever the desire to drink became strong, I'd go to a meeting instead of to a bar or liquor store. The desire invariably passed during the meeting. I also always kept AA literature with me and would read it between meetings. (This was before the internet. If I were getting sober today, I'd keep a few AA chat rooms on my "favorites" list.)

I found that sweets, especially chocolate, were very helpful for cravings. In fact, if I had a choice of meetings to attend, I would often choose the meeting that served the best cookies...really. :o)

I tried to keep an open mind. I listened to what everyone had to say and tried to get something out of it. In fact, in some ways I was more open-minded when I was a newcomer than I am now. I liked the slogan, "take what you need and leave the rest". I treated the literature the same way. I read it with an open mind, but didn't feel that I had to buy it all at once. My attempt at working the steps was laughable, mostly because I tried to do it on my own without paying much attention to my temporary sponsor, but I'd also heard that there was no "wrong" way to work the steps. I'm not entirely sure that's true, but I do believe that it's better to work the steps poorly than to not work them at all. I was told to always be working a step, so I did. I was also told to try and share at every meeting, even if all I had to say was, "Hi, I'm Larry and I'm an alcoholic" so I did that too.

I also practiced "First Things First". I didn't try to quit smoking or lose weight or any of the other stuff people try to do all at once (this includes smoking pot - I certainly don't recommend "marijuana maintenance" but it's part of my experience). One of the other sayings I liked was, "Go to meetings and don't drink no matter what." I didn't come to AA to become more spiritual, moral, or ethical. I came to quit drinking. All the rest came later. The first thing I needed to do was to learn how to not drink. I have never really lived "one day at a time". A "day" seems like an artificial length of time to me. Some days seem to fly by and others seem to last forever. At the very beginning, I often had to stay sober "5 minutes at a time" or "2 hours at a time". Later, a couple of days at a time could pass without any thoughts of drinking.

So I was a very imperfect newcomer. It's very possible I would have been better off if I'd paid more heed to all the advice I was given...and there was plenty. "Go to 90 meetings in 90 days" "Pray" "Get a sponsor" "Work the steps quickly" "Work the steps slowly" "Watch out for HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired)" "Watch out for people, places, and things..." and on and on and on. But maybe I would have turned around and run off to do more "research" if I felt a need to comply with every piece of advice that was offerred. Who knows?

Anyway, that's my experience.

Peace & Serenity


Member: earl u
Location: mi
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 7:04:05 PM

Comments

I am also new here, and I am glad to find all the great posts. I will be comming back on alot. I found you good people verry helpful.


Member: Nikki B.
Location: Poconos, PA
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 8:45:17 PM

Comments

Hi Everyone, I'm Nikki and I am an alcoholic.

I haven't been here in awhile and see some changes.

When I first came around the rooms I didn't want people jumping all over me. I came to see if I belonged here and when I was ready I reached out for the help. Most meetings will let you know in the beginning if you want to be recognized to raise your hand. It is nice to see the greeter that shakes your hand and says welcome. I will say hi to people and if they want to get people involved in there life, they will usually let it be known somehow.

Like most of the people that I hang with believe when a person is ready, they will let it be known.

As far as the postings that are being posted here, we are sick people trying to get better, so prove to the newcomer that we are getting better and try to act a little more mature, like one posting a week like they request.

Thanks for letting me share.


Member: tonydaduck
Location: innerpeaceville,USA
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 8:48:30 PM

Comments

Each and everyday I receive a post from some cowardly anonymous individual that instructs me to leave these rooms and not post anymore.This display of unimpeded cruelty will only continue in motivating me to exercise my right (as a U.S. born patriot) of the first amendment of the United States Constitution.......FREEDOM of SPEECH! Actually,I was looking forward to a VOLUNTARY rest from these rooms.....in other words I was on the cusp of not posting for a few weeks so I could gain some new perspective and ( in addition) take a "break". BUT each time I see a post that tries to bully me (censorship through intimidation) into leaving, i "dig in my heels" and feel compelled to post yet another post and defend our noble and majestic Constitution. Too many brave people have given their very lives (in combat) defending the Constitution to let one anonymous(and cowardly) poster scare me put of here!God Bless each and everyone in here(wheather you be sober or otherwise),AND......May the god of your understanding be as kind and loving to you as the god of my understanding has been to me. May you experience the gratitude and serenity that i have had the awesome good fortune to receive ......thanks to whoever is in charge! Bona Sera!!!!!!


Member: anon
Location:
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 9:02:34 PM

Comments

Tonydaduck you Fu----g pain in the tush! GO AWAY! Stop posting.You are a no good drunkin BASTARD!!!!!!!You are screwing it up foor newcomers.


Member: Coleen
Location: MN
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 9:48:31 PM

Comments

Coleen here, probably an alcoholic. I've been going to a weekly meeting for 3 weeks. It's great, and I really enjoy listening to "how it was, and how it is now" stories. But so far I haven't been able to identify with many of the stories. My "bottom" was actually pretty high, and I realized that I'm an alcoholic before it did any real damage to my life or my family. One might thing that was good news...but for me it's just another temptation staring me in the face. It wasn't that bad when I was drinking...no big losses. I pretty much drank beer at home, after the kids were in bed. I was always on time for work, and generally things were fine. But it was a habit, and it was getting to be more compulsive. Is STEP ONE an easy one to master....because it's hard to admit that your life was a mess when you were drinking...when it wasn't all that bad. Dont' get me wrong; I think if I had continued things would have turned worse--but it's that "unknown" that tempts me. Do any of you have a similar experience with alcohol? Does anyone identify with my situation? Words of wisdom??


Member: David B.
Location: Kansas City
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 10:07:57 PM

Comments

My name is David. The next sentence, I am a Alcoholic. I read a few comments and I feel a lot of patience and tolerance is needed our Primary purpose for AA is to carry this message. What is a Alcholic What am I what is Alcoholism these are questions for us Alcoholics. The message to the new comer is Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps. Where are these steps they are on the wall. But the Instructions to these steps are in the big book the greatest sponsor of all The first 100 could be the greatest sponsors but they are no longer able to carry this message that is in The AA Big Book of AA. So this is the message for the new Comer is read the first part of the book to see if you are one of us then you can begin with the recovery at Step Three. Thank you all I am Grateful for AA and the literature I Would not have sobriety with out the Instructions to this spiritual awakening Love all of you and thank you for letting me share


Member: GREGG G.
Location: KENNEWICK, WA
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 10:13:27 PM

Comments


Member: Vince P.
Location: Thunder Bay, Canada
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 11:07:04 PM

Comments

My wife is in Amsterdam Netherlands on a holiday. She just phoned me and asked if I could find where there is a meeting as she can't find any listings in the phone book there. Has anyone got an international directory? If you do, I would appreciate an address or phone number she can call. Thanks in advance and keep sober. Vince, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada


Member: Roger A
Location: NM
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 11:20:14 PM

Comments

Welcome fellow alcholics and addicts! Aren't we a lot. Well it's good to hear all these postings. When I was new I found that sweets and chocolate weren't a help, they tended to make me kind of diabetically weak, but that's just where my metabolism was, formost it seems to help. Since I decided to quit drinking I didn't have any cravings for it, because I wanted it and God removed the compulsion. For me this came early, for others it comes later. Still I''ve had to stuggle with the reality of life sober, with what I'd done wrong. The fourth and fifth steps relieved me of much of that guilt, and making amends helped even more. IF you are new, don't drink and pay attention to the program, take it in as you can at your pace. ASK for help, we are on a mission to help. Love to all, and these fake postings are a riot. shame on you kiddies.


Member: Bear
Location: Smokey Mountains
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 11:20:33 PM

Comments

Greetings from the Bear.... Larry M. superb. Your experience sums up much for many of us youngsters in the program. I cant comment on the grass thing... my vices beyond booze were poor diet and a too easy-going lifestyle. I have now expanded that, 90+ days sober, into near diabetic crises sugar attacks. Now thats got to stop. But I digress. About the 'early days' (he said like an ole timer), I read and read everything I could find the first 30 days of sobriety. Plus I found this place. Through encouragements I received from the good folk here, I got the 'courage' (seems like a strong word now... didnt then) to enter a f2f room. Best thing I ever did. Next thing was to get a sponsor. I chose carefully and thats when I really started the program. He took me to meetings every night for 2 weeks, sometimes 2 aday, until I knew where every meeting was in a 30 mile circle, plus I had contacts in each location. Since then I have narrowed the meetings I attend to a 'home group' twice per week, and 3-4 others in various places. A nice mix. Going to meetings almost daily now is not a burden on me or my family. The end results are so positive that the hour or 2 Im away are nothing in comparison to the ugly alternative of back on the booze. Thats my early experience, such as it is. Meetings, sponsorship. That has been the key to success so far for me. That and not taking myself so seriously. A little humility goes a long way. Best wishes to yall!!! Bear,,,,,, <<mk>>


Member: Tom G.
Location: nyc
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 11:31:19 PM

Comments

Tom G. grateful recovering alcoholic,this is my first post at this meeting. By the grace of God and this program I have 34 days back,a new-comer again. Tips for the newcomer {myself inc.}Meetings,meetings,meetings.Get a sponser, step1,step1 step1.pray,pray,pray.listen,listen,listen, be teachable. willingness.


Member: Larry M.
Location: Virginia Beach
Date: 4/10/00
Time: 11:53:04 PM

Comments

VINCE P,

Worldwide info is available at http://anonpress.org/phone

Amsterdam Intergroup: 31 20-6256057

Netherlands GSO is also located in Amsterdam: 31 20-4470191

Peace & Serenity


Member: JMS
Location:
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 12:10:55 AM

Comments

Colleen, I SO identify with you. I'm struggling too with were things that bad. Like you my 'bottom' wasn't that low, like you I drank beer once the children were in bed. It didn't bother anyone, but it bothered ME. No-one dragged me screeming and kicking into AA, I just decided enough was enough, it had become a habit. My family who are not drinkers thought I'd lost it but gave me the space to do what I felt I needed to do. I made my way to AA via the doctor's surgery and took that first step. I had a couple of wonderful years in sobriety.

Complacency, circumstances I've lots of excuses led me to slip and the drinking didn't get any better, no matter how hard I tried to drink normally. I want that peace I had back, but I'm finding climbing back difficult.

This is a very cunning disease, it fools you into thinking that 'it wasn't that bad' and like you I had no great losses and I was always tempted to just try it one more time. Well, I did and I'm sorry.

Thank you for your posting Colleen, it certainly hit a nerve with me I hadn't shared here before, just watching waiting to take that first step back.


Member: laura m
Location: kcmo
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 12:22:31 AM

Comments

Hi everyone I'm Laura and I'm an alcoholic. I am also a newcomer. I would like to know if I can find an online sponser and I would also like to know where I can purchase a big book. Please contact me at little_ivy_69@yahoo.com thanks everyone !!!!!


Member: sunny s.
Location: New Bedford, Mass
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 12:24:08 AM

Comments

I didn't drink every day. I didn't lose my job. My kids didn't know I had a drinking problem. I didn't lose my home. I guess I was a "high bottom" drunk. I was miserable, I wasn't getting along with people, and I wanted to die. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. I've watched plenty of dying people who first thought about stopping early in their drinking careers. They didn't follow up on the thought. It's a miserable way to die. From what I've seen, drunks come to a point of no pleasure in life. Thinking I'm stronger than those folks is just about as smart as thinking that I wouldn't have to get treatment for cancer because I can beat it alone. As for newcomer's......KISS....KISS....KISS. Keep it simple because if they are like I was that is all that's going to sink in. Definitely don't start thumping the big book. Just don't drink today. Get to a meeting. If you get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (HALT), you will be more likely to give in to the desire to drink. So it may sound dumb, but if you are hungry, eat. If you are angry, talk to someone who is not angry and has some sobriety. If you are lonely, talk to somebody, again,hopefully someone of the same sex who has some sobriety. If you are tired, rest, sleep if you can. Most of us drank instead of doing these simple things.If you go to meetings and keep listening, you will hear somebody tell your story. When your eyes quit jumping around, try to read the first 164 pages of the big book- Alcoholics Anonymous. Use a yellow marker on the parts that pertain to you. If you have trouble reading with your eyes, there are tapes of the big book. Please don't be afraid to admit that you have a problem with alcohol. That is why we are here. Keep coming back. We need you. You are in the right place. Remember that some of the stuff you will hear hasn't happened to you YET. This is a progressive disease. Keep It Simple Sweetheart. Don't drink...Get help, detox if you have been drinking everyday or can't stop on your own. Don't drink, but if you do, you are still welcome at meetings unless you make a disturbance. We are just like you. We have to help you to repay the help we got. You are a member when you say you are. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. I've said much too much. Usually, I wouldn't say more than 2or 3 of these things to one newcomer. KISS....KISS...KISS Even though I have to pray quite a bit for some people, I love this site and appreciate the quality sobriety of some other folks. It's just like a regular AA group. Every group has it's share of people who would be easier to take with some growth on them. I'd better stop before I get in more trouble. Sober 24 to all.


Member: Larry M.
Location: Virginia Beach
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 12:46:18 AM

Comments

LAURA M:

You can purchase a Big Book at any AA meeting or through your local intergroup office. I'm sure you can order online, but I'm not sure how. someone will no doubt get back to you on that.

There are a couple of sites where you can read and/or download the Big Book:

http://www.originalgroup.com/on-the-web/bb_index.html

http://www.recovery.org/aa/bigbook/ww/index.html

As far as an online sponsor, you may want to check out some AA chat rooms. I'd recommend going to a regular f2f meeting to find a sponsor, but if that's not an option for you, try http://alcoholism.about.com/health/alcoholism/mpchat.htm

A listing of online AA meetings can be found at http://www.recovery.org/aa/#onlinemeetings

Good luck.

Peace & Serenity


Member: Jack B
Location: CUMBOLA PA
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 2:45:59 AM

Comments

Hi, I am Jack, a real alcoholic.To me the newcomeR needs to be assured that he or she need never ever feel the way they do at that moment again.They need to be shown there is hope, the only message an alcoholic can carry to another alcoholic is the message of hope. The importance of meetings, the absolute necessity of a sponsor and most of all our basic text need to be presented to them.The greatest feeling I received when I walked into my very first AA meeting outside of a detox and a rehab was I wasn't alone.I found genuine sincerity from the old timer who saw me standing on the corner outside, feeling nervous and scared to the man who reached out his hand and said welcome, keep coming back.Hearing be told to come back was wonderful, because I knew it was sincere and today I know this welcome and greeting as the language of the heart.Just hearing welcome and keep coming back can do so much for a newcomer. I took that message to heart and have been coming back sober thru the Grace of God and people like you for almost 13 years now. Thanks and God Bless.


Member: d.s.
Location: northwest wash
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 2:51:59 AM

Comments

im dwight and im an alcoholic,i believe that a person is a newcomer untell they have worked all the steps. so it depends on the person that is put in my path if there 1 or 2 days sober i try to be soporttive try to give some hope. i say, do what ever it takes to say sober for a min, day or week (whatever) you can alway patch it up latter the most important thing is to not drink or use. the other new comers oh say with 1 to 5 or so years that havent worked the steps yet i tell them to work the steps.... this is a 12 step program and you cant give away what you dont have i remember some thing my sponser said when we were done with the 1st step, if you stop here youll get drunk agian. not this time but in the past ive experenced just that. on a mission from god


Member: ..........
Location: ...................
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 3:01:24 AM

Comments

looks like we have some of those newcomers at this meeting


Member: Cec H
Location: COWTOWN
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 3:53:48 AM

Comments

Hi all Cec H alkie here, Coleen, If your having trouble with the 1st step, try it backwards, ie.. got into fight with husband,because of alcohol ect... I had to do it that way, because I couldn't see where alcohol had control of my life or my thinking. As for helping newcomers I like to make them feel comfortable, so I just say Hi, Welcome and if they would like to go to coffee, So if any of you get to Calgary on a Friday nite, the place is called Katmandu, on the corner of 8 ST & 12 AVE S.W.. Another 24 to go please


Member: Jean-Claude T.
Location: Belgium
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 5:28:57 AM

Comments

My name is JC and I’m an alcoholic.

Thanks for the topic, Toddy. Ditto chocolate, sweets and lots of water. We give the newbie a "Just For Today" card and those who want put their phone numbers on it. I always do it and insist on the phone calls, very helpful for me.

One week after my first meeting my wife was inviting family and friends at the restaurant for our son’s birthday party. I told it at the meeting and said I’ll never make it (I had to drink alcohol in a restaurant, no other way, I could imagine the waiter with a gun on my head). One guy said he was at home that day, he gave me his phone number and told me to order a great bottle of sparkling water right from the start and, if I wanted to drink, I could phone him, even if it lasted 2 hours it was better than drink the 1st one (and the followers of course). Everything went fine, I didn’t have to phone him from the restaurant (I did when I got home to say I was allright), but I had his number in my pocket. And with that number I was no more alone against alcohol, I could see the faces of those people I met at the meeting who were sober and happy to live that way. I wanted that!

Thanks for letting me share. jctoller@hotmail.com / ICQ 36308407


Member: Laurie K.
Location: Winnipeg
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 7:36:00 AM

Comments

Hi - my name is Laurie, and I am an alcoholic. I am still baffled by the accuracy of this program's promises. As a newcomer, it was all I could do to suffer the stories of spirituality and genuine good will among my home group. What kind of crazy people were these? At no time in my entire drinking career had I experienced people so eager to gift thier happiness and hope to others. I am so grateful right now, it is hard to share without feeling that I am babbling. Thanks for letting me participate.


Member: Chris H.
Location:
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 11:27:55 AM

Comments

Chris here, and an alcoholic. Well, messages to newcomers is probably one of the more important elements of this program. The Big Book suggests we share our experience, strength, and hope, and I try to do this in the same order when I share. Sometimes, when life is hard, it is not so easy to do, but if I honestly tell my story and where I am at in the program and in my life, that honesty resonates.

When I first got to AA, I could only focus on a few simple things at a time. Some words had more meaning than others, and I really didn't trust many people at all. I still do not trust people with my life, but I have come to have faith in the program and in my Higher Power.

What stuck with me when I arrived were sayings like the following:

"Keep coming back, it works!"

"Easy does it, but do it!"

"The only requirement for AA membership is the DESIRE to stop drinking."

"Go to 90 meetings in 90 days."

"Read the Big Book."

"Get a sponsor."

"Do the steps."

"Start with step 1."

"My best day drunk wasn't worth my worst day sober."

"There is nothing that you'll experience in sobriety that a drink wouldn't f___ up!"

"Stick around long enough to experience the miracle."

"This time, I did it (went to AA) for me!"

"The program workded for me, and it can work for you too, if you want it."

((Blessings to all))

To all those visiting Staying Cyber, and who have a problem with alcohol, I wish you all happiness, joy, and freedom in your path to recovery.


Member: Kim S.
Location: Michigan
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 11:34:01 AM

Comments

Hi all! Welcome ((((((((((HUGS)))))))))) to all newcomers! I am an alcoholic named Kim. To Laura about the Big Book, try this address.. http://www.hazelden.org/..I don't know if they have the BB or not, but they are a recovery related information site.

Newcomers.......I was told "Don't think, don't drink & go to meetings" I was told "90 meetings in 90 days" I was told "get & USE phone numbers" I was told "get & USE a sponsor" I was told "welcome & keep coming back; we'll love you until you can love yourself" I was told "work the steps with your sponsor" I was told "a sponsor is someone who has what you want" I was told "take the cotton out of your ears & put it in your mouth" I was told "H.O.W. the program works is honesty, openmindedness, & willingness" I had to be willing to go to any lengths to stay sober. I had to change the people I hung around with-"avoid wet faces & wet places".

For me, Steps 1 & 2 are conclusions I had to come to in my heart. 1)We admitted we were powerless over alcohol & our lives had become unmanageable. To me this means that I lost control over the alcohol-it had control over me. I had no way of knowing what would happen, where I would end up, or who I would hurt. My life on the outside was picture perfect-2 kids, 2 cars, husband, home, food, etc., etc., but my unmanageability was on the inside. I wanted to die-I hated myself for all I did and didn't do to & for those I claimed to love. Step 2 for me, is believing that I could have what the other people at the meetings had; happiness, peace, serenity, the ability to get thru life's problems without a drink/drug. Sanity (to me) means 'soundness of mind'. The 'insanity' in my life was doing the same things over & over, expecting different results.

Step 3 (Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.) to me means; I decide (daily, hourly, whenever) to follow the suggestions I hear at the tables. I decided to follow the steps daily; in so doing turning my will (thoughts) & life (actions) over to my Higher Power; whom I choose to call God.

When I do all these things, I am happy, joyous, & free. The promises are coming true in my life. Miracles are happening all around me, when I stop long enough to see them. I owe my sobriety, my life, & everything else I have to the people of AA because without them telling me how they did it, I would still be clueless. The steps are in the book, my sponsor teaches me how to work them in my life, & my HP speaks to me thru the other people at the meetings & in my life.

Lastly, I was told "you gotta give it away to keep it". To me that means sharing with the newcomer, sponsoring other women, being an example of G.O.D. (Good Orderly Direction) to everyone I come into contact with; in, out, or around the program. I had to do the steps before I could share my experience with anyone else.

Thanx for letting me share! Thank God for being an alcoholic, today! Peace & serenity to all who travel here!


Member: Lynn S
Location: OR
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 11:57:06 AM

Comments

I'm Lynn and alcoholic. I was a newcomer several times in AA. The last time, it stuck. That was 18 years ago. Chris H. said it all, in my opinion. I remembered all those things and still do. I saw an "easy does it" sticker on a car in front of me as I was racing to work. A good reminder-to slow down. Thanks for being here.


Member: Another Alcoholic
Location: In a Beautiful State
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 12:21:13 PM

Comments

I don't like to post my name here anymore and I don't visit as often as I used to, however, for some strange reason I was compelled to come here after being away for many months and I had a very strong need to share.

To newcomers it is a pretty simple message. CHANGE! My sponsor spent much time with me getting this point across. Finally, one day I got it! By working the steps (honestly) I was able to make that first very important change in my life. Not drinking. Since then and many years into recovery I have had to change many other aspects of my life.

My sponsor was also very wise to point out that just because I got sober it did not mean that life would become a piece of cake. There are many things in life that will be experienced that are not FUN but if we work on changing ourselves throughout the life process we will be amazed at how much better it can be.

Simply stated: "If you keep doing what you always do, you will keep getting what always get."

Change is very difficult for us alcoholics. Sometimes it is very painful but always for me it has improved my state of being in some way or another. I am in a state of huge change right now and am scared as heck. But I know that I have made the right choice and now it is action time. Action is the part that is hard but I trust that my higher power has given me the right message (that little nagging voice in my heart & head) and I will follow that lead. I know that this will be very painful and hard but I also know that if I do not make this change, I will die inside and that will lead to who knows what. Perhaps a drink.

So to all of you newcomers out there. CHANGE is the key to your happiness and joy in this life of sobriety. FEAR will creep in to tell you "DON'T DO IT" but don't listen because it is that very fear that will keep you bound to unhappiness and grief.

It is nice to come back for a visit. Not sure I will do it again soon but thank you for letting me share just for today.


Member: Stanley B
Location: Delaware
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 1:45:32 PM

Comments

Stan here and an alcoholic. WOW, "if you keep doing what you always do, you will keep getting what you always get." Thank you "Another Alcoholic", I needed to hear that again. I say again because I heard it in a meeting this last Sunday. It is clear since I keep hearing it that someone is trying to get a message to me.

I have heard many slogans and clever sayings in AA but they mean nothing if I don't put them into practice and I must agree with Another Alcoholic that Change and Fear are two major pieces of the puzzle. I used to live in constant fear so I spent all my time trying to keep things the same and not rock the boat. All the while I felt like crap inside and did not know why. Then one day it dawned on me that I had to change what I was doing because jumping through hoops to keep things the same was causing more harm than good. I was going nuts so I did what I had to do and made the very difficult change. Yes, it was painful but it has been the one choice that has taught me the most about the real meaning of God's blessings. I always thought that if I just waited for God to open that other door all would be okay. What I didn't see was that God put the door there and it was up to me to open it. Fear kept from opening that door for a long long time but God never gave up because he kept that door in front of me the whole time.

Finally, I have opened the door. I have changed the route I am taking on this life journey and have never felt so good about where it is going. So thank you Another Alcoholic, your post has served as a reminder to me that if I follow my fear and live in it I am destine to be what I have always been.

Newcomers always keep coming back and don't fear the change.

Stanb2001@aol.com


Member: Faye Ellen N.
Location: Clam Gulch, Alaska
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 2:35:32 PM

Comments

Greetings, This topic fits me perfect. I use to attend alanon when my husband was alive and it was so helpful for me. After his murder I began to drink myself. It helped with the pain but the pain was still there on a daily basis. I got a DWI in the fall of 99 and boy it's woken me up to the factthat I can't drink. So now i'm doing outpatient treatment so I guess I'm a new comer. I look forward to learning , sharing and coming back to ny old aa family thats always there for me if i'm willing to not drink. I'm willing again. I need everyones help and support and that whats aa is here for . Thank You


Member: tonydaduck
Location: Bos. Area
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 3:23:29 PM

Comments

(((Faye Ellen N.)))

WELCOME! keep comin back.


Member: anonymous
Location:
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 3:41:48 PM

Comments

What I would tell newcomers, lest they misunderstand and give up, is that "God is not the answer, but the alternative." He is there to deliver you from the problems of life, not solve them. He will not go around with you, ironing out each wrinkle, he will rather fold up your life like a garment and say 'enough', "Follow thou me". Otherwise, you go about trying to conform God to the world, and he will have none of it. "God made man upright, but they persued many inventions". Many get frustrated when God does not respond to there worldly endevors. Again, I say, he is the alternitive to what you now have. It's the world or God, one or the other, he is a recourse, the only other option, and as he is apart from the world, he will set you apart also. You can't mix gas and water, nor can you mix God and the world.


Member: rick
Location: michigan
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 3:53:12 PM

Comments

this is my first time in here.im in a wheelchair do to a drunk driver running me over i was alittle high myself, that was in jan 1996. today i've been sober for 13 months and sometimes i get flash backs when i take the lid off my coffee cup to get the last drop and it smells like wiskey. thank ya'll for the chance to share.


Member: laura m
Location: kcmo
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 4:13:21 PM

Comments

Hi I'm laura and I'm an alcoholic and an addict. I went to 2 meeting this morning and I got alot out of the first one and I;m real glad I went cause I almost didn't. I was having a problem with step 3. A man at that meeting kind of shed some light on that subject. I had some trouble when it came to letting someone else have control over my life, but look at what I did with it when I HAD contol. I becme a severe alcoholic and drug addict and I almost lost my boys over it. How stupid could I be to think that I could do it all on my own. I now know I'm going to ask God for his help to keep me sober. It's been a good day and I'm thankful for AA!!!!!!!!


Member: Roz.C.
Location: Upstate,N.Y.
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 5:15:38 PM

Comments

Hello. I an a newcomer to this site and AA. I just got out of rehab one week ago. I am trying to do 90 in 90, find a home group and a sponsor. I heard in rehab and from AA to just do as I was told and I am willing to do that because my way certainly did not work. What I found inviting at the AA meetings that I have attended on the "outside" were the smiles and friendly faces, outstretched hands of welcome and the sincere giving of phone numbers and the "keep coming backs" I have not used the phone numbers yet but I know that I can if I need to. I have also foung the Big Book invaluable. If you think you have a problem with alcohol then you do. The good news and the gift is that there is help and a way out of the insanity and that is AA. Thanks


Member: Reality
Location:
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 5:35:38 PM

Comments

Dear anonymous, please keep in mind that this is not a religious program but a spiritual one. Since many of us choose to call our Higher Power God it often gets confusing. I take objection to your inference that God and the world do not mix. After all who created the world to begin with. There are many newcomers who walk in these doors who do not have a belief in God but they are just as deserving of our love and help. We should not be discouraging them by making statements like "it is God or the world." Now you must choose! Isn't that what those Heavens Gate people believed? Take a good look at what happened to them, they all ended up killing themselves.

Get Real! It is not an either or situation and there is room to have both in our lives. Maybe you think it is as easy as choosing one or the other but the true reality is that we live in this world and there is no getting around that fact. We are here to assist other alcoholics live in this world as sober human beings. Not preach to them about the evils of the world or condem them to a life of hell if they do not believe in God.

To the newcomer: It is only important that you believe that there is a power out there that is greater than you. Thats it!!! No more. You are not required to call that power, God, Budda or anything else. Just believe that there is a power greater than yourself and work the steps hand in hand with that power. Don't let anyone try to tell you that you must choose between the realities of life or God. That is nothing more than a bunch of fear tactics. After all I live in the realities of this world with my God and I have been happily sober now for 32 years. Now go figure that!


Member: Mary K
Location: Boston (Raynham)
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 5:57:12 PM

Comments

Hi everyone! Mary, alcy

I always do the same thing when a newcomer is at a meeting. I offer my hand, smile, say "Hi, I am Mary and I am an alcoholic - Welcome." If they do not have a cup of coffee I ask them if they would like one. If they look totally confused and uncomfortable I explain a bit about the meeting, ask them if they would like to sit down. If they do I simply say "all you have to do is relax and listen". And I let them know that I am available to talk if they like or if they have and questionsB after the meeting. <<backatyaB>>


Member: Sharon M
Location: Los Angeles
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 6:26:41 PM

Comments

((Another Alcoholic)) - Change Rocks!!! I am with ya on that one. Would love to hear more from you.

((Stanley B)) - Right on, FEAR SUCKS!!! You are an inspiration to me always. I want what you have.

((anonymous)) - Manipulation through Fear is sinful and destructive!!! Shame on you!

((Reality)) - God and the world do work together if we let them!!! 32 years!!! Man o man it sure is working for you.

((Newbies)) - If all you can do right now is keep coming back, than you just keep on coming back because we love all of yous!!!


Member: anonymous
Location:
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 6:34:09 PM

Comments

Let me be the first to tell you, it don't work!


Member: Susan S
Location: Tahlequah, OK
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 7:20:44 PM

Comments

Susan, alcoholic. Advice for the newcomer, hmmm. With 18months in the program, I'm still a newcomer and hope I always am. Complacency will kill me dead. All I have is my story...and every word I ever heard in a meeting. The following are what I have kept as mine: Keep Coming Back, no matter what. Keep the plug in the jug. An attitude of gratitude. Keep It Simple. Trust God, Clean House, Help Others. Honesty, Open Mindedness and Willingness. Pray for help in the morning (Guide, direct, and protect me)and thank you at night. Go to meetings, get a sponsor, read the Big Book.

I must also remember that God loves me and all y'all too.

Thanks for letting me share.


Member: me
Location: ??????
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 7:32:20 PM

Comments

i think everyone is right where god intends them to be even the sick ones that pick other alcoholics thoughts apart,ya, thats just what the newcomer needs to hear (right) you all keep coming back ho work the steps to.....


Member: Duane M.
Location: Central N.Y.
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 9:13:16 PM

Comments

Good evening family.My name is Duane and I'm a real alcoholic.I remember my first meeting,arrived late and it was a sunday morning with everyone talking of GOD.I said to the person who took me if I wanted to go to church I would have asked him to take me.I did not go back for two months after a slip.I did not let them know I was coming back because I didn't know what they meant when they asked that. I went for about a month hearing about the big book,sponsors,12&12's,steps,and a higher power.All of what I knew nothing about until I was in a small meeting and started asking questions.Well they made it my first meeting.I left with a whole new feeling about sobriety. Remember there are no dumb questions!!!!and the meetings you don't feel like going to........GET THERE!!!!!!!! Thanks for letting me share


Member: Tylene u.
Location: Defiance, Ohio
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 9:22:41 PM

Comments

Hi I'm new at this and just learning. Have wanted to do this for sometime. I read a lot of good things here. I shake hands with newcomers and also tell them who I am. Then I get them to talk and just let it go from there. Thinks guys.


Member: DonF
Location: NH
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 9:31:09 PM

Comments

Don, Recovering Alky Coleen, (4/10 9:48) I found that although I was a high-bottom drunk, when I came, and came to, and cleared up, I heard stories I identified with, and I remembered things that I didn't interpret at the time as alcoholic behavior. I recalled events where someone saw the "apple on my head" and subtly told me about it. I missed it entirely. I had to drink for 20 more years, and get sober for 5, before I "got it" and remembered the conversation. I realized gradually how much I planned my life around the next drink, and how many life decisions I made based on good times, parties, available women, and the next drink. Thus,I came to believe that I am truly an alcoholic, and becoming complacent enough to think otherwise, could be fatal, if I thought I could take one drink in safety.

Best thing I could suggest to a newcomer is GET A SPONSOR, QUICK!! He/she doesn't have to be the last one you'll ever have, you're not marrying him/her. You don't just call when you're considering drinking, but frequently, and just talk about living life on life's terms, and day-by-day stuff. Keeping an open dialogue will prevent you from stuffing crap inside and drinking on it. HOW it works: Honesty, Openness, and Willingness. Not a mystery. Simple. Not easy. Donaldo88@aol.com


Member: Joel S
Location: From Texas
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 9:51:36 PM

Comments

Hi all I am alcoholic. All I want to say is I have been coming on this site now for a couple weeks and have read what Stanley B has posted everytime. Stanley B I am with Sharon in saying that I want what you have. Let me say why. Because you talk about real life. You don't just post a bunch of fluff slogans and statements. You talk about yourself and real life. That is what I need to hear since I am a newcomer (2 months). You give real life examples of things you go through and things you do to fix um. I read your post this evening and just got to say that I didn't realize my God put me in front of a door and now I have to decide if I should open it. I been prayin all this time for Him to open it for me. It don't work that way in real life. I read what Another Alcoholic wrote to and your post also gave me hope because you gave me some real stuff to think about (change and fear). I gotta say I hope you visit often and post often like Stanley because I am gettin through another day sober thanks to you to.

anonymous it does work (the world and God). I don't have lots of days sober but what I do have is this life and world that God put me in and I need to walk thru it with Him and not run from it. Thats what I mean about fluff stuff. It don't make sense to tell me that I must ignore the world in order to be in Gods grace. That ain't the way my lovin God works. I spent all my life runnin from the world to the bottle. Now your tellin me that I need to keep runnin from the world to be with God. Runnin never got me no place but drunk. So sorry to disagree with ya but the truth of this matter is that runnin is a poor option. That might work for you but it don't work for me.

Glad to be sober today.


Member: Me Too
Location: ?????
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 10:02:05 PM

Comments

anonymous -- you are out of your frigging mind! Go preach your single minded crap elsewhere!!!! me -- like your posting was so darn positive. Make sure your own house is clean before you go off with your stupid judgements.


Member: A  friend
Location:
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 10:10:31 PM

Comments

Cut the cross talk! This is a meeting forum! Talk on the POT!!!


Member: Dianne B.           
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 11:26:56 PM

Comments

hi everyone. The new comer is a good topic. when I first came thru the doors of AA not one person shook my hand. I looked terrible I had stitches hanging out of my head and my body looked like a human ash tray I guess I scared everybody. Today as a newcomer comes thru the door I make sure I am at the door to give them a special welcome give them a meeting list answer any questions they might want answered. I will also act as their temporary sponsor until they can get a more permanent one. I also advise them to get a group as soon as possible and to go to as many meetings as possible.


Member: john h
Location: abbotsford
Date: 4/11/00
Time: 11:57:58 PM

Comments

never ever doi hope to think of myself recovered enough to trash this site as some do.i am an alcoholic and remember the kindness and concern that was shown to me by the people off alcoholics anonymous when i was a newcomer on many occasions. been around this program afew years now and sitting at home with all that i have i know that i am truly blessed to have been fortunate enough to come in the doors of A.A. newcomers to repeat a cliche are the lifeline of this program and need all of the attention and listening that we can give to them. somtimes things work and relationships develope between sponsor and sponsee that can last a lifetime and in time that sponsee can develope a new relationshihp and that circle begins all over again. We have something here that is truly special, lets keep it going and stick to discussing our illness relating to alcoholism


Member: John Y
Location:
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 12:43:38 AM

Comments

Oh please spare me. I have never seen or heard so much junk in my entire sober life. Doesn't anyone here know how to talk about their life without getting lost in all of the mystical talk. Just read the long list of little nothings posted by Chris H. Yeah, that will keep me sober today! Every time I come into meetings of AA I get so turned off because people spend so much time preaching alot of magical nonsense and I hear very little about how one lives every day life sober. I think Stanley B has come close to being the most straight forward practical person I have heard. The rest of you people live in your own little fantasy worlds. What a pity. I thought I was going to find help here and instead I found a bunch of religious freaks who use god as an excuse to keep running and hiding from reality. No thank you. I want to live in reality. And to our local saint john h, you are so perfect it totally reeks of denial.


Member: one who knows
Location:
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 2:14:40 AM

Comments

tonydaduck, is none other than our old poster of the past "psycho" remember him? He has also signed in under severeral other names on this very page, this week. this is a very sick individual who is not to be taken seriously, especially by newcomers. The other pages are full of him also. But this page will be kept in archive for others to read. sorry, just couldn't keep your secret any longer, It is harmful to this group. a very mean and sadistic game you are playing. A creator of confusion.


Member: Chuck M
Location: Alberta
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 2:48:41 AM

Comments

I'm Chuck, an alcoholic. For years I went to psychiatrics an d psychologists trying to find out what was wrong with me. I recognized that alcohol was not my problem, it was my only solution to escape from my fears and negative emotions. I knew it was a lousy solution but it was the only one I had. Finally I lost all hope of finding a solution and my drinking became full time

My employer forced me to go to AA.[if I wanted a paycheck] I needed money to drink.

My 1st meeting gave me two things, hope that there was an answer and that I did not have to be alone again.

Things happened when I learned that my problem was erroneous thinking. The 12 steps was to give me new and succesful steps to living. The old ideas I had to let go of were any that argued with the 12 steps.

I have found that by doing the steps and living step 11 my thinking has changed. When my thinking changes my feelings change to positives and my behavior changes to positive actions.

So, I tell newcomers that when I got here I did not know what my problem was, what the solution was. I needed information. I started to find the information by attending AA meetings. If you have no answers, that work, start by going to meetings.

On line can be helpful and informative but it is not an AA meeting.

Peace and Serenity


Member: Bill W
Location: AA
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 8:05:45 AM

Comments

Live and let live!

But, Tony, would you cut back on the coffee a little ;-)


Member: Jan S
Location: Australia
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 10:07:42 AM

Comments

Hi, Jan S, Alcoholic, 8mths sober now. Mary K, you sound so lovely. Maybe something in the name, as the woman who took me under her wing, as in got me the tea, sat next to me, explained what was going on, was also a Mary. She also, without me asking, rang on the weekend (always an awful time) to ask how I was. My suggestion would be to NOT ask the newcomer to "share" or sort of "point them out". I felt SO conspicuous anyway and for some, when you finally get through the doors, you've cried yourself silly anyway. Let newcomers just listen to others' tales of recovery - that's comforting enough in itself, just to sit with others and realise they've got past the point of where you're at. No pushing of new members. And, of course, a "Mary" to take their hand and get them settled in a seat with their tea! Thanks to everyone who shares here.


Member: Hilary
Location: Washington State
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 1:30:02 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm Hilary--alcoholic. I am in my first year of sobriety and I consider myself a newcomer in so many ways. The most helpful advice I received is the acronym "H.A.L.T.", as was mentioned by a member earlier. Since I was so sick and so disassociated from my own physical and mental health, I couldn't always tell if I was Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. So I learned that if I felt like drinking I should eat something, go to a meeting, share with others and then go home for a nap. That seems to cover all of the bases and I didn't have to figure out which of the 4 was my problem (although for me, instead of Angry, it should maybe be Cranky). Now this is a habit. When I want a drink, or when I am obsessing on alcohol, or when I am excessively cranky or hypersensitive, I eat, go to a meeting, share and then take a nap.

Love to all and thank you for this forum to share in!


Member: Sonia L
Location: So.Cal
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 1:44:56 PM

Comments

What a wonderful idea...online AA meeting. I am a newcomer working, one day at a time for my next chip (90 days). I think the 3 key things that I do on a daily basis, that keep me coming back and keep me sober are... the phone call each day to my sponsor and my daily 3rd step prayer. Meetings, Meetings, Meetings! Those are the things that I do on a daily basis. I think that it is really true that if your in a meeting and paying attention, you are gonna have a hard time drowning in your own head. It is working for me this time. It is working for me today. May it always work for me...and for you...one day at a time. Thanks for sharing in my recovery! Have a great week!


Member: Another friend of BW
Location: CA
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 4:21:29 PM

Comments

Nice to see you Sonia L, keep coming back, nice to see you keeping it simple. Going to lots of FTF meetings really helped me get my bearings in the beginning.

Have a great week too!


Member: Kim S,
Location: Michigan
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 4:55:17 PM

Comments

Hi folks! Alcoholic named Kim here & I know I'm not supposed to cross talk or double dip, but I cannot help myself on this one. For (((Anonymous))).......AA's 12 steps DO work IF you WORK them. Thanx for another day sober, ya'll!


Member: Jennie
Location: Australia
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 5:00:46 PM

Comments

Hi, Jennie Alcoholic here.

Jan S - Did you find any meetings in Brisbane? Annerley and Windsor meetings were suggested, hope you have found some good AA's to be in contact with. God Bless.


Member: PatS
Location: mi
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 8:23:55 PM

Comments

Hi Tom, I would like to chat with you pstruntz@cheerful.com


Member: PatS
Location: mi
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 8:27:40 PM

Comments

Hi Tom, I would like to chat with you pstruntz@cheerful.com


Member: PatS
Location: mi
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 8:28:29 PM

Comments

Hi Kim I would like to chat with you pstruntz@cheerful.com


Member: fred s
Location: lithia springs atlanta ga.
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 9:55:14 PM

Comments

a friend of bill w says stay sober today !you know what to do , call someone ?


Member: NewDee
Location: Illinois
Date: 4/12/00
Time: 10:57:56 PM

Comments

I like this topic...I'm a newcomer...kind of...I went into treatment 11/99 in patient for 2 weeks, and day patient for 3 months. I loved going to meetings when I got out of the hospital. I found a sponsor that I thought was going to be tough on me and show me the way or at least guide me and tell me whatAA is all about. Unfortunately, the sponsor didn't work for me, but that's ok, I'll find another. As a newcomer, the things that really stuck with me were: the kindness & sincerity everybody had, at my first AA Meeting somebody asked if I had The Big Book, which I didn't and couldn't afford, and they gave me a book and a bunch of phone numbers for free... they said, "Keep coming back!" Also, the stories of what others had gone through before becoming sobre & the negative things they did while they were drinking. I feel this IS important, I know everybody says "The Drunk - a - log" is too long or not beneficial, but it helped me feel better about myself. Those stories made me realize that I wasn't the only person that did bad things & that it was because I wasn't of sound mind. Everything else that AA does for beginners is wonderful. There is one thing that really bothers me about some of the AA Meetings I've attended & that is some members' feelings about Drug Addicts attending AA Meetings. I am also an addict, while starting my recovery, I needed support from any meeting I could find at any given time. We're all here to stay alive! Well, that's my thoughts! NewDee / Alcoholic & Drug Addict


Member: TomS
Location: michigan
Date: 4/13/00
Time: 9:40:59 AM

Comments

To PatS Tried to E-Mail you but kept getting it back. My email is ThomasS833@aol.com


Member: Joe M
Location: WPB Florida
Date: 4/13/00
Time: 10:02:46 AM

Comments

Hello everyone!

my name is Joe Im an alkieanda!

Being a newcomer again, and again and again, and again I feel I know what I would've liked someone to do with me when I first walked through the door. Its what I try to do today. I think Mary K pretty much summed up what I do as well. The most important thing is to approach the newcomer and Hi! Then introduction, coffee and program or just general talk. I know that for myself, each time I came in for the first time, I probably wouldn't remember what had been said, but if somebody actually came up to me and said welcome or hello I WOULD remember that! I am a newcomer but even us babys can still say hello and offer a handshake to the next person. It really helps.

Love and sobriety for all for today!

Joe


Member: martha d.
Location: GA
Date: 4/13/00
Time: 10:10:44 AM

Comments

hi! i am martha. i am an addict and alcoholic. the best thing that someone could offer a newcomer is laughter. (at first i thought i was the only sane person around! what could possibly be so darn funny?) as i continue to grow in my sobriety, laughter has become a priority to my program. i now know that without it, i wouldn't have made it as far as i have. who would have ever thought recovery could be so much fun? i love being high on life!


Member: Davis H.
Location: Portland
Date: 4/13/00
Time: 4:50:01 PM

Comments

Hello all. I am new to AA and this site. I have paid my membership fees as we all have. I feel the newcomer is the most important member in the room and we can't forget that. Remember the first member who affected your life by sharing or perhaps more direct contact. But I do want to address the crosstalk at this site. Tony, you're absolutly correct. You have the right as provided to the US Constitution to post whatever you want as many times as you want. Scrolling past inane postings is something we all can do. In the spirit of AA, and the "physical" meetings, I, myself, would like to see the respect that is shown everyone who shares at meetings here. Sharing is not only cathartic for the speaker, but can touch a newcomer's soul as well as the 15 year member. Let's not forget our 12th step and let's be mindful of each other's challenges and struggles that have lead us to these pages. I know I sound preachy, but perhaps these pages can be better focused on our path. We follow rules in the meetings and surely we can follow rules here. May your Higher Power give you all strength. (I'd appreciate a little prayer from y'all as I am going through a little struggle)


Member: Paul H
Location: Ireland
Date: 4/13/00
Time: 6:34:59 PM

Comments

Nice to have come across this site. A great leveller about this program is that we all started as newcomers.I count myself lucky that I have not forgotten the pain of coming in.That memory has served me well in that I recognise it quite quickly in others....if I am not bound by the bondage of self!


Member: Katy B.
Location: Rockport,ME
Date: 4/13/00
Time: 10:14:28 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm Kate and I'm an alcoholic.

I am at college, and sober for the second time around. It's been nearly 30 days without a drink or a drug for me. I am so glad I found you guys on line. Now I can get the messege at times when I can't be at a meeting ( like when I have to work in the library). I have also enjoyed the AA chatroom, although I can't find it now. Help? Something that has really helped me as a newcomer both times, is the friendly, accepting attitude I find in the rooms. Feeling welcome has helped keep me coming back.


Member: Sam  J
Location: SE
Date: 4/13/00
Time: 11:34:47 PM

Comments

Hi. I'm an alcoholic and the name is Sam. To "anonymous" who posted on 4-11-00 at 6:34 PM. I failed at AA for 11 years. When I finally gave it a chance it started working and has continued to work for 24 years now. I also thought that it didn't work. Honesty, open mindedness and willingness. God bless. Sam


Member: Corinne B.
Location: Camino, CA
Date: 4/14/00
Time: 12:10:07 AM

Comments

'Evenin' ((DMers))!! Corinne, Alcoholic here, there & nowhere in particular!!

a good topic would be for each of us to say what we tell newcomers to help them understand AA, what helped us in the beginning,

Great topic, Toddy! Didn't realize they could clear the site and still hold onto some of the posts that were here from the previous week, so it was good to see that your topic did get saved into this week, after all! Learn something new everyday.

Some of the things I heard early on was to keep an open mind, and a closed mouth - that may sound a bit harsh, but as long as I'm doing all the talking, I can't add anything new from an outside source, so that means I needed to listen up alot when I first got here. I still have times when I don't talk during a meeting. I get a lot more out of them when I am not sitting there thinking about all the wonderful things I think I should say! LOL!!!

Newcomers are the lifeblood of our fellowship! If one comes up to me and asks for my phone number, I give it without any caveats. I remember asking someone for their phone number once, and recall how hurt I was when they gave it, albeit very grudgingly, saying this was a crazy time in their life. Of course, I never called this person. I still see her at meetings and can see she is indeed having a hard time, even with over 10 years sober, which happens, and may even happen to me, so all I can do is pray for her like it tells me to on page 552. The lesson I hope to keep with me, is to remember how bad that made me feel, and not to do it to someone else when they ask me for my phone number.

I have to be selfish, yet self-less in this program - tricky proposition! I have to stay sober for myself, not for anyone else; but to do it, I have to help you... So, I usually talk about helping others as a measure to insure our own sobriety. Passing it on really works! Even if it isn't always received 100%, I've stayed sober in the process.

Trust God, Clean House, Help Others. It works.


Member: Therese
Location: Upstate, NY
Date: 4/14/00
Time: 4:12:35 AM

Comments

Greetings All!

Great Topic! As my sponsor always tells me - Carrying the message IS the purpose of AA. The first 11 steps prepare us to do just that.

Until recently, I did what I saw others do. Said hello, talked a bit, then gave my phone number. Until my sponsor reminded me that Bill didn't just say hey to Dr. Bob - he stayed with him. These days that's an impossible feat. But here is what I *can* do. I say hello, introduce myself. For another female, I give her my number, take hers - stay and chat after the meeting and try to make arrangements to take her to several other meetings to introduce her to others. Then I call her. Just to listen. That was SO important to me early on, the first days, someone listened. Without judgement, gentley offering a few (dealable) suggestions. For a male newcomer, I say hello and make sure they are introduced to several other men at the meeting. Especially those whom I know "walk the walk".

Suggestons for newcomers: Meetings, A temporary sponsor (most meetings do have temporary sponsors lists - if you don't feel comfortable during the meeting to ask for one or don't know who to ask - talk to the group's secretary, they can always help), find a Home Group AND - Service Work. I would suggest being a greeter for a meeting. Or coffee maker! Trust me - you'll soon know many people. And I know I said the purpose of AA is to carry the message - but hey! they gotta have coffee to sustain 'em!

For NewDee who wrote "There is one thing that really bothers me about some of the AA Meetings I've attended & that is some members' feelings about Drug Addicts attending AA Meetings. I am also an addict, while starting my recovery, I needed support from any meeting I could find at any given time. We're all here to stay alive!"

Dee, the primary purpose of AA is to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers. (Tradition Five). There is a whole history as to how that came about, perhaps your sponsor can share that when you read the Big Book together. My suggestion would be that at an AA meeting, keep your questions/ topic focused on your problems with alcohol and share your other issues with drugs with your sponsor or at an NA meeting. Though many of us are cross-addicted and can certainly relate to those whose experiences with drugs, AA does NEED to keep the focus on alcoholism. Hope this helps.

Thank you all for being here. It helps. Especially at 4AM.

Therese


Member: Edie R
Location: S.C.
Date: 4/14/00
Time: 6:27:12 AM

Comments

Great topic Toddy, thank you. As a newcomer I was very scared and confused with no self esteem at all. I instantly felt the love in the room. I could hear the joy in their laughter, I could see the peace and hope in their eyes. I wanted what they had but had no idea how to get it. I did not want to hear the word GOD at that time at all, that came much later. I was too scared to talk, afraid of saying something wrong and getting chewed out. I did get phone numbers but I didn't use them at first. I would only call one woman who later became my sponsor. I try to make the newcomer feel welcomed. I let them know that it gets better. All I usually say to the newcomer is would you like my phone number, [if it's a woman], keep coming back, don't drink, go to meetings, and if I can do this you can too. I also make sure that they have a meeting schedule. One guy in the program still laughs at how scared I was at my first meetings. The wonderful thing about it is that I can laugh at it too. Working step 1 is the only step that needs to be discussed to the newcomer, I believe.

Thanks for letting me share and thanks for being here.


Member: Pinkletink  S.
Location: The Vineyard
Date: 4/14/00
Time: 1:32:26 PM

Comments

I am a newcomer to the internet but 27 years memorial day..if I make it..without a drink [the drug of my choice] with total credit and appreciation going to Whatever helped me to accept AA and stay around long enough to really hear what was being said and to identify with the people who were sharing which marked the end of my dismal 30 years of isolation [the period I drank..abusing alcohol] I too was helped by laughter and gratitude. It is hard to be negative while truly being grateful. I, for starters, am very glad I am still alive! I wake up every morning being aware of that. I agree that AA is not a religious program but a spiritual one. In the beginning the Higher Power talk made me afraid the program would not be for me. Thankfully, I stuck around long enough to completely change alot of my ideas and most importantly my attitude. Early on someone got me by the "having had a spiritual awakening..."stumbling block [for me] by pointing out that a spiritual awakening was simply a change of attitude and none of us would be coming around AA if we had not had a change of attitude. I think the most important decision a newcomer has to make is that they are worth saving...and then "This Above All To Thine Ownself Be True" has meaning. I am so glad my son made me take the leap into Cyberspace where I found all of you!! More next week. Pinkletink


Member: Catherine W  aka  ramonacat
Location: Rainy Ramona, CA
Date: 4/14/00
Time: 7:41:12 PM

Comments

Catherine here~grateful to be a sober alcoholic!

Want to share on the Topic...first will say that this will be my only post...so if another shows up under my name you will know it is the village idiot.

When I go to meetings and hear a newcomer introduced, after the meeting I introduce myself and ask if they have a Big Book. If not I get them one. All alcoholics should have a Big Book. Maybe they won't hang around, but most folks will hold on to a book. I usually put my name and phone number inside. Unless it just doesn't seem appropriate...then its just the book.

If I see them again next time I give them a hug and tell them I am glad they came back. Most of us here in Ramona do the hug and welcome back thing. It sure seems to make folks more at home.

Only if they ask how to stay sober, will I give my little...go to meetings, read the Big Book, find a sponsor, work the steps in order w/out stopping and find a God you can do business with....you will be amazed!!!!


Member: Tonyb
Location: GA
Date: 4/14/00
Time: 11:43:44 PM

Comments

Hi my name is Tonyb.I'm an Alcholic! I'm really greatful to visit this meeting for the first time,I like to say."If you like feeling what you are feeling, keep doing what your doing."

KISS


Member: MARK C
Location: O'FALLON, MO
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 12:24:55 AM

Comments

through the grace of GOD, i have 2 years of sobriety today !!! thank you GOD and A..A


Member: tonydaduck
Location: interpeaceville usa
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 12:29:59 AM

Comments

i know when i was a newcomer the women 13th steped me now that ive been around awial i see that the women do it more then the men but bitch about it the most go figure so to the newcomer watch out for the untreated alcoholic personaly i like to 13th step um


Member: tonydaduck
Location: interpeaceville usa
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 12:30:04 AM

Comments

i know when i was a newcomer the women 13th steped me now that ive been around awial i see that the women do it more then the men but bitch about it the most go figure so to the newcomer watch out for the untreated alcoholic personaly i like to 13th step um


Member: tonydaduck
Location: interpeaceville usa
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 12:30:10 AM

Comments

i know when i was a newcomer the women 13th steped me now that ive been around awial i see that the women do it more then the men but bitch about it the most go figure so to the newcomer watch out for the untreated alcoholic personaly i like to 13th step um


Member: Kelly Mc.
Location: Northern NJ
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 1:20:42 AM

Comments

Hello brothers and sisters, My name is Kelly Mc. and I am an alcoholic.

When I first came around 10 years ago, I was very young, I didn't know how to have a conversation with anyone, I was very sad but I had hope that maybe one day I could be happy like some of the women I saw. I didn't get a warm reception at first either, I don't think it was intentional, I chose to go to very large speaker meetings at first, so no one really knew I was a newcomer, so I would suggest to a newcomer to try a few different meetings beginners, discussions, womens or mens and raise your hand and let that group know that you are new. I was a little slow at getting with that concept. Once I hooked up with a group in February 1990, it has remained my home group until today, I take commitments and have jsut accepted a GSR commitment. I got involved in the service part of the program because the people who seemed most sober and serene to me were the ones putting the meeting together, leading, greeting, making the coffee, handling literature and getting speaking commitments incoming and outgoing for our group. From my newcomer's eyes, service seemed to be the key.

I got with the idea very early on that in order to keep it, you must give it away.

Steps are also integral to recovery. I started stepwork at around 9 months sober. I needed to keep moving forward making progress, I was told that if I am not moving forward in my fellowship then I am moving backward and I was horrified with the prospect of getting drunk and high again. I listened to newcomers to remind myself of that cunning baffling creature that lives inside my head just dying to get the best of me, to make me die and then I would listen to the folks in AA with time and absorb what they did to help keep them sober.

I also know that I am sober only by the grace of God and only through my Higher Power's love have I been able to receive all of the blessings in my life.

WHen I came into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, I had no job, no money and literally no place to live. I was convinced that I would not live past 25 or 30 and I thought I was cursed. I have come to believe that since that day made a decision to not drink one day at a time, I became a responsible and useful member of society, had the same job for 10 years, had a sober baby who has done nothing but bless my life, have perservered as a single Mom all as a result of this wonderful beautiful fellowship.

I do not know if I will help anyone with my words, but is it good for me to remind myself of how many blessings and miracles have come my way. I leave all with love and serenity this day and I am truly grateful to be an alcoholic.


Member: tonydaduck
Location: usa
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 2:40:19 AM

Comments

im tonydaduck and im an alcoholic i tell the newcomer that says they are an addict to go to n.a. we are a program for drunks only and the last thing we need to be is more watered down.i can just imagine what a.a. is going to be like in 10 or 20 years from now. accualy its the courts sending people in before their time that is watering down a.a. thanks for letting me share


Member: Michael B.
Location: AZ
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 4:51:11 AM

Comments

Hi! My name is Michael, and I am a recovering alocholic and addict, sober today only by the Grace of God and the Fellowship. Welcome to the newcomers! Congrats Mark C.! Thanks everyone for sharing!

This is a great topic, Toddy. I think it's very important that we try to consider the newcomers when we share--that's our primary purpose. Of course, what we share with a newcomer varies, depending on the specific concerns of the newcomer, but some basic things apply to all newcomers as those who have been sober for a while know.

The first thing I try to do, although I still need to improve here as well, is to make the newcomer feel welcome. I also try to emphasize how important it is to attend meetings, and then I like to share about some of the obstacles I faced as a newcomer. Another thing I like to mention to a newcomer is that they should read the Big Book, which often helps them, among other things, to resolve the confusion resulting from hearing contradictory opinions about an AA-related topic at a meeting.

Most importantly, I think, and as Bill W. mentions in the literature, is that we make an accurate presentation of the AA program to the newcomer, including setting the best example we as individuals are capable of.


Member: Village Idiot
Location: Ramona,Calif.(Catherineville)
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 7:31:21 AM

Comments

Hi everyone! This is Catherine W. I...hic....hic....just had a few ....and We are making some rabbit stew.My son stabbed the bunny that I tried convince eberybody that I was rescuing.Well,..hic....have a harey day.


Member: Cheryl A.
Location: Canada
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 7:49:30 AM

Comments

Hi I'm an alcoholic. Just admitted (out loud) that to myself and a counsellor last week. I've found out I'm the co-dependent who couldn't even stand me anymore and so became the alcoholic. Thanks for the great encouragement to "newcomers" that your stories tell. Living in a small town, I won't be attending any meetings. I will continue reading your thoughts of hope and encouragement.

Sober now 19 days. Cheryl A.


Member: Sharon A
Location: Chicago, IL
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 11:54:52 AM

Comments

I am struggling with so many things today that I often forget how important it is to reach out to newcomers. The sharing and giving I offer to newcomers always removes me from the bondage of self. I also get put instantly into a place of gratitude. I am so grateful I am sober after talking to a newcomer. The longer I stay sober the more I realize what a precious gift life is. I also realize how hard life is. It doesn't mean I have to drink or drug however I now have the tools to get through those tough times. I too remember my first 24 hours ....scary it was. I had a hard time grasping why I had to quit drinking, I should be able to control it or somehow fix it. This attitude has transferred into struggling with letting go and letting god in every aspect of my life. (Even over the really big, really scary things) I am a control freak that has simply realized I have no control over anything. I have to trust god or god will hit me over the head with a brick until it hurts so much I have to surrender. Over the years the amount of time I remain in pain from the brick has shortened, yet I am still not perfect thank god. That allows me to forgive myself.


Member: Aline I
Location: South Florida
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 4:05:41 PM

Comments

It's difficult being a new comer and being newly sober - dry, as we say. I stayed in my own space for quite a few years before I let anyone else too close to me - for fear they would not like me. I'm into my fourth year of sobriety, and I'm happy to share that the moment I let my willingness and openmindedness take over and accept the helping hand that was extended to me - it's only then that I felt "accepted" in my group. It's still a daily struggle for me not to stay apart. I have to remember that people cannot read my mind and that I have to ask for help in order to get help - that's when the cycle beings. And a truly blessed cycle it is. Thank you for letting me share.


Member: Dennis M.
Location: Kent, Washington
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 6:20:48 PM

Comments

I like to pass along to the new guy or gal the same message that was given to me when I crawled into the program. Mainly that if I could find a way to become honest, open minded and willing, I could have a life beyond my wildest dreams. Of course I would also need to completely abstain from alcohol too!!! But I only needed to stay sober today. Just stay sober "one day at a time". After all, any idiot can stay sober for one day. The most wonderful thing that was passed along to me when I was new was the feeling of being welcome somewhere. The people welcomed me to the program with open arms and I will never forget to do the same for the new person, who like I was, is more than likely full of fear, guilt, shame, and just plain running on empty.


Member: MilesD
Location: Arizona
Date: 4/15/00
Time: 8:54:03 PM

Comments

I have found that newcomers need to know:

1. you aren't required to be an alcoholic, that the only requirement is a desire to stop drinking

2. that they need not believe in God

3. that the program helps people to stop drinking and doesn't necessarily have answers for other problems they may have

4. always be wary of people giving advice rather than offering there own personal experience as an example

5. meetings can be a be very hepful in your efforts to stay sober, but just like church, not everybody there is a nice guy/gal