Member: Donna R
Location: Winnipeg. Can.
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 6:54:15 AM

Comments

" How about giving with without expectations." that must be a first for any alcoholic, and a hard lesson to be learnt


Member: vv
Location:
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 9:51:40 AM

Comments

What are expectations. Just conditioned responses to one of lifes situations. This is not just for alkies but for human beings in general, infact your comment comes from a conditioned mind


Member: Mike H
Location: Jackson MI
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 9:56:09 AM

Comments

Mike, alcoholic. That is a tough one. My drinking days were full of "what can I get from.....". I now try to give what I can without expecting anything in return but I still have trouble with my ego. I still feel hurt sometimes when I don't get recognition for things. The old "See me, thank me, give me something in return" attitude must be changed or I can get resentful and even angry. Good topic.


Member: Mike-turd
Location: NOT Jackson, Miss
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 10:35:55 AM

Comments

Alright, I'll have to dissent from the standard AA rhetoric of it being a "first" for an alkie to do a random act of kindness. I DID in fact do things, albeit on rare occasions, for others without expecting anything in return. I mean we could get into the whole philosophical argument of whether or not there even is "true altruism." It's an ages old question that has nothing to do with alcoholism and we all have to choose our own beliefs about it. I know I did very kind things on occasion when drinking, as I do on occasion now. I do think they are more often and less time in-between these days, but that could even be debated. For myself, the bigger issue has become keeping quiet about it and not muttering anything about it. Not even the slightest of hints. I try to even put it completely out of my mind and just let it be what it is, helping my fellow man as much as I am humanly possible. Maybe there's some "karma" involved or God is keeping a scoresheet or whatever. The point is, nobody knows for sure and I don't do anything because of it, I just do--period. Is there some "payoff" for me in that I "feel" better about myself for doing it? Sure, to some extent, but it's not about that either. The St. Francis prayer, not the 11th step prayer as some people refer to it out of ignorance, pretty much sums it up. The biggest area I'm focusing personally at present is trying to understand without being understood as I fought that for years. I'm still working on it, but WOW is it making a huge difference! I've succumbed to being consistently misunderstood, especially in AA, and yet truly attempting to understand where others, also especially in AA, are coming from intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.........


Member: Jim J.
Location:
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 12:21:14 PM

Comments

Jim J. alcoholic Giving without any expectations not a chance of that happening in my life with the bottle. I'd get what I wanted and if there was a chance of me stealing back what I gave I'd steal it back. I got drunk so I could tolerate those who couldn't tolerate me. When I came to the program. my first reaction was, " what do these people want from me," I trusted no one, When I had five years sobriety one of my good friends in the program who I had not seen for some time came to town and over the phone told me he wanted to take me out for dinner, My first reaction was what does he want, "money"? After dinner I asked him what he wanted he replied, this is it, to have dinner with you. Oh I could give you the shirt off my back, and I was good at that, but I never forgot that from then on you owed me, After a long time in the program I feel I am making some progress. It could be that I no longer require your material goods and maybe I have found some enjoyment in giving of myself without having any expectations, Not a easy lesson to be learnt. Thanks for a great topic.


Member: Melissa
Location: Canada
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 12:52:41 PM

Comments

It's a hard lesson, all right, in that it was so completely frigging foreign to me, to give without expectations! I don't think God keeps a scoresheet, but I know for sure I did! I was constantly being "Saint Melissa", okay actions, with a moldy, stinking motivation always lurking just below. I was such a worm, a mutant, a piece of dung, that I had to work overtime to do things for you so that you would think I was actually a good person. Yick. Change the belief, and the thought and therefore the action changes. I probably do fewer "good" things than I used to but the ones I do are clean, because there's nothing underneath. And I do believe there is some mysterious, swirling "something" out there, because in my life, I have received things, material and spiritual that have been delightful surprises. Perhaps it's true that what we put out there, does, in time, return to us.


Member: Gloria
Location: Edmonton Alberta Can
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 12:55:17 PM

Comments

Gloria and I'm an alcoholic. When I came to the program I not only had to learn how to give without having any expectations, I had to also learn how to receive... Two hard lessions that where made easier by watching those who went ahead of me. I once saw a lady receive a bouquet of flowers, she never said "what are these for, or Oh you shouldn't have wasted your money," She just said, "Thank you my child," The big book says... If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengh to get it- I would like to be gracious, courteous, And I think that it will come to me if I stick with the winners


Member: L-RAY
Location: SCOTLAND
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 2:04:33 PM

Comments

Good subject Donna-to give without expectations! when i was drinking and early soberiety i thought that i should be rewarded for what i thought was favours! i never really done anything without wanting something back-money-sex-gratitude ect, to-day i dont expect anything back and its nice to recieve aswell" i used to be the big man and say " its ok" but i never thought of the other persons feelings that for them to give and me to accept was ok. ive found out through this program that its nice to be nice to my fellow man " inside and outside of A.A. Regards L-RAY


Member: Kathy F.
Location: Texas
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 3:49:42 PM

Comments

I'm Kathy, an alcoholic. I have expectations but I have been taught not to rely or act upon them. This practice sometimes results in my giving first, before thinking; but I have learned that eventually an expectation will cross my mind. If I limit talking about how I believe another should respond to my goodwill, or discussing how they should think or behave in a general way, then I've succeeded. Being truthful to myself, my higher power and my sponsor (or other human being) about my expectations is very helpful.


Member: Carlc
Location: NM
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 5:06:31 PM

Comments

Giving without expectation is self explanatory why do we need to make a Ricki Lake, Jenny Jones, or Geraldo show out of it? Selfishness and self centeredness is the root of our problem, we can talk about it until the cows come home. What we do about it is much more important than yakking about it. If nothing changes nothing changes, that is why we have a whole chapter into action. Also someone please explain to me how you can call a person who is dying from one of this planets deadliest maladies a loser? This gift we have is priceless and it comes from God yet we look down at people who are dying and call them losers, such arrogance.


Member: Dennis S.
Location: NY
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 5:09:43 PM

Comments


Member: John P.
Location: Tampa Bay
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 6:23:54 PM

Comments

Hi John P. Alcoholic, Melissa hit on a very good point. One that I can certainly relate to. In my drinking days I was always doing something for someone else. I didn't really care if I got anything in return. My motive? I guess I thought If I did something for you, you would think more highly of me. Like going to an expensive bar, buying rounds for everyone on my credit card And worrying about how I was going to pay for it later. Today I still do things for others, but with a different motive. I have been blessed with a new, sober life, which gets better with each passing day. By helping others I'm really helping myself stay sober. By helping another alcoholic, I offer him the same chance I had, at a happy, sober life. What better gift can anyone offer? Good Topic! John P.


Member: SJD
Location: NW
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 10:21:44 PM

Comments

This is a hard toic because as humans, we like recognition for what we do. It is hard as a recovering alcoholic to not accept praise for what we are doing. Becoming sober has been the most difficult thing I have done, and it would be nice to get some recognition. Giving without expectaions is diffucult because when you do something, you expect something in return. I think this is an important lesson for everyone, not just alcoholics.


Member: Rich M.
Location: Miyazaki, Japan
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 10:40:18 PM

Comments

Hi, my name is Rich and I'm an alcoholic and also powerless over other drugs. Thank you Donna for introducing this weeks topic, giving without expectations. This topic is very difficult for me because I can't think of very many occasions when I have given without expecting something back. When I make a 12th step call, I hope that what we say will help the person we are calling on, but I also know that the 12th step call will help me to remain sober another day. The same is true about working with newcomers and sponsoring people. I find that when I help others, I get something out of it. Even when I perform an anonymous act of goodwill, I know that I feel better afterwards. It's an interesting topic. Thank you.


Member: Pam B
Location: Daytona Beach
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 10:43:05 PM

Comments

Hi - I'm Pam - an alcoholic, Good topic. 1st I began learning from the BB quote - "the bigger our expectations - the bigger our disappointments will be" By my self-willed thinking I would do this or that (whether by being demanding & threatening violence - or - by being 'virtuously' kind & nicey-nice & giving & so sweet & so self-sacrificially generous . . .) with the one intent in mind: to achieve the expected outcome that I want! Self-centered - (all things were always all about me - whats for me - what do I want - what am I trying to get another person to do My Way, etc. The whole universe revolved around me.) - Selfish - (no consideration for anyone else - their feelings, the loss it would be to them, their dignity to decide things for themselves or what they may want to do instead) - Self-seeking - (the action I took to achieve the desired/expected result I was after.) For me. always all about me - what I want - what I need. Too bad about anyone else. Dishonest - (even had myself convinced that I was doing it for them half the time!) But then whenever the expected results did not turn out the way I had expected - poor me! poor me! outrage! - self-righteous indignation! - fierce resentments! - pour me a drink! A beginning in this program for me was that I had to drop expectations & cease making those unreasonable demands upon others - if I wanted to achieve sobriety & keep it. Saying The Serenity Prayer each time I caught myself in the act again began helping more than anything else did. To help further w/that, my sponsor had me write a daily Gratitude List to share w/her when I phoned her each morning - as well as giving thanks each night for every thing I could think of to thank God (my HP)for - 'because' - I didn't drink today (as well as then giving thanks that I didn't drink today) The more that the genuine Gratitude to God (my HP) grew in my heart - the more & more I began feeling that I OWE back so much more to this program than I could ever repay. To be able to do any kind of service work helping out my Home Group or to greet & welcome people coming in the door - to clean the coffee pots or wash ashtrays or sweep or wipe down tables & chairs - anything became a gift to be able to - because I owe so much more than I could ever give back in return. I thank God that I can do something. That IS my thanks (or I'd feel like a slug doing nothing in return)- I don't want nor need thanks or recognition from people - I still owe way more than what I would ever be able to repay. Learning to say 'you're welcome' when someone does give thanks or a compliment was something I also had to learn & grow to be okay with because I felt so lowly after all the things I'd done to con & use & manipulate people with that I'd literally cower. It took me a long time to be comfortable in my own skin with that. When I am in a position that I am able to give or do for someone in need - I am in AWE (ie Gratitude to God) that I have grown to be ABLE to have feelings of love & caring & wanting to help someone else - because I never even had real feelings for anyone. I thought I "loved" someone else if they were providing what I wanted for me. Honesty is - I couldn't think nor feel past my own selfish gain to acknowledge anything toward someone else. So I do receive a return every time I give. It comes from God ;) & nothing that this earth itself could offer compares. Thank God for my disease, this program & all of you. Thanks for letting me share. Pam


Member: david h
Location: Nashville
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 11:46:52 PM

Comments

David alcoholic, expectaions are just resentments waiting to happen. Im in the music business so i have to deal with my expectaions all the time and its tough. This is just the topic I needed to hear.


Member: david h
Location: Nashville
Date: 7/13/2003
Time: 11:46:56 PM

Comments

David alcoholic, expectaions are just resentments waiting to happen. Im in the music business so i have to deal with my expectaions all the time and its tough. This is just the topic I needed to hear.


Member: aj
Location:
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 12:17:50 AM

Comments

aj, alcoholic. great topic, donna. need to hear it right now. i read somewhere that bill w. saw expectations as dependencies and that dependencies were really demands for the possession and control of people, places and situations. rooting out these dependencies was his key to being able to joyfully give without expectations -- something that at times took every ounce of his will power and effort. thanks for being here.


Member: Becca
Location: California
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 1:18:20 AM

Comments

Hi I'm Becca, alcoholic. Wow expectations and depending on people to give you want you want. I have to keep an eye on that all the time. I am constantly reminded of my bad habits and the build up of resentments. I try and listen to the louder voice that says, you are an alcoholic, you can not afford this behavior. I try to let the feeling go and replace it with something more positive and God like. I catch myself wanting validation and a "prize" for being good. I have to remember to give without thinking I should receive. Lessons and relearning. Such a process. 104 days today. I'm a newcomer. New to so many things. But I pray every day on my knees. One is: Pettiness Prayer: Keep us, Oh God, from pettiness. Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed. Let us be through with fault-finding and leave off self-seeking. May we put away all pretense and meet each other face to face without self-pity and without prejudice. May we always be patient, never hasty in judgement and always tolerant. Teach us to put into action our better impulses straightforward and unafraid. Let us take time for all things, make us calm, serene and gentle. Grant that we may realize that it is the little things in life that create the differences, in the big things, we are as one. And may we strive to touch and to know the great common heart of us all. And, Oh God, let us not forget to be kind. Thank you so much for letting me share. And thank you for being there. I wish all a wonderful week and a wonderful new life.


Member: kieth
Location: europe
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 1:29:45 AM

Comments

""" I got no expectations so put me on a train"" life gets better when i accept it as it is, and not try to manpulate people, places or things, and yeah ,,who are the "losers" anyway??? I never got that either, Is it the ones who are dieing from this disease?


Member: Misha
Location: Rowlett, TX
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 1:30:03 AM

Comments

I always get what I need here. Mike-turd, thanks. I needed to hear the part from the St. Francis Prayer....about not having to be understood in order to understand. Thanks for sharing. One more thing: someone said this at a meeting and it stayed with me....resentment marks the spot where I think I am a victim. Thanks for being here.


Member: rich
Location: usa
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 2:45:15 AM

Comments

so three men leave a ftf meeting and one declares to the second,"i haven't any expectations" and the third man thinks, "i wonder if he expects me to believe that" yikes! it never ends!


Member: Pat H.
Location: Northern Va.
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 9:03:54 AM

Comments

One of the things I heard in a meeting that really has stayed with me all these years is "unrealistic expectations are premeditated resentments". My greatest unrealistic expectation is reaching goals without doing the footwork. I want the results,but without any effort on my part.I need constant reminders that I need to do the work if I want the results. I find those reminders in meetings.Thanks


Member: joe s.
Location: Michigan Rezdog
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 9:11:45 AM

Comments

joe s., alcoholic. a simple exercise from my sponsor turned out to be rather difficult. practice a genuine act of humility by doing something for others, expecting nothing in return and (here's the kicker) don't tell anyone about it. it's like those other 23 hours ... easy to talk about at closed meetings, harder to live it daily. miigwetch!


Member: Craig L (Dogmanor@yahoo.com)
Location: Aloha, Oregon
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 11:37:21 AM

Comments

Craig here, another "real alcoholic" (page 21). The big book tells me, my disease has three aspects, physical, mental and spiritual. Part of my spiritual malady is thinking your opinion of me is important. In sobriety today I do service and I do expect in return the Peace of mind and Joy I get to have. These gifts are not available to me when I don't take the right "actions" required. My motives may be all screwed up, but it seems I still get the benefit in spite of myself. My poor little alcoholic mind doesn't understand this. Thank God it doesn't have to.


Member: Paul C.
Location: Atlanta Area
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 3:01:23 PM

Comments

After reading Bill W's letter to a friend,posted in the Gravepevine(found it in 'Language of the Heart')I made a better search of my own motives for what I was feeling at the time...(resentment,a feeling that 'Life had let me down' -also a strong conviction that few,if any others were 'keeping their eye on the ball')I tried his suggestions,namely; eliminate all expectations,and found almost instant relief!To be in hope only of 'knowing His will for me,and to recieve the power to carry it out'has been one of the more promising aspects(no pun intended)of my recovery process.I no longer wait in hopes of God granting 'my wishes' but am keeping an eye,as it were,out for the knowledge of His.-thanks


Member: James B.
Location: L.A., Florida
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 6:59:32 PM

Comments

If I do not drink today I can expect that I will be sober: IF I am sober today I can expect to learn and grow: IF I learn and grow today I can expect blessings far beyond my wildest dreams. Yet, when I expect things in return for what I give, there is no gift at all: bridled in our distorted concept of expectations is the ugly head of GREED. It is alright to have expectations, just as it it is alright to have hope. It is not alright to expect or hope in specifics, disappointment will follow evertime. Stay sober, stay hopeful, stay sane, and, expect every day to be brighter than the day before.


Member: Sunshine
Location: PSL,FL
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 8:19:15 PM

Comments

I have always thought of myself as a giving person until I dicovered that I was a person with an addiction. I realize that a lot of my giving was done in a self-serving manner. AA has tought me how to give without expections. I can not practice a good program when I expect to much of others or myself. If I do I will drink or drug. If I can keep focus on doing God's will and not mine, I will be okay.


Member: Harry M
Location: Indian Head Sask
Date: 7/14/2003
Time: 10:05:06 PM

Comments

Harry M I am an alcoholic. We were living down by the lake and I thought that I would buy my wife a boat. I had no expectations what so ever when I gave her a new boat and motor costing in the thousands of dollars, As the weeks went by and she never once took her boat out, I summoned the courage to ask her if she was displeased with her gift. she replyed " Im deathly scared of the water and can't swim.


Member: Seth Y
Location: Delaware
Date: 7/15/2003
Time: 12:43:40 AM

Comments

I have to agree with what some people are saying about learning to give without expectations being a problem that affects all of humanity, not just alcoholics, but i think that's what AA is really about not, not just staying sober, but being a better person, the sobriety being a tool to achieve that goal. Since my DUI and loss of license I have been getting rides from several coworkers and two of them gladly take me home without wanting anything, (except maybe me thinking of them as a better person) while two others rarely give me rides, and when they do, they want to give me a ride whether i need it or not, just so they can ask me for gas money. The last time I asked one of them for a ride to work the next day he said he would, but after I wouldn't lend him any money that night he just didn't show up the next day, didn't even bother to call and let me know that I would need to find someone else to take me to work.


Member: AnilG
Location: Mt vernon,Il
Date: 7/15/2003
Time: 9:31:50 AM

Comments

I am an alcoholic giving with or without expectation is something i believe in. I believe that it is my duty towards my children or wife or parents to do my part or duty inthis life and not to expect anything in return becouse it only brings unhappiness.when I have no expectations then if something is done for me it is good i feel happy about it. thanks to aa,


Member: Bob
Location: UK
Date: 7/15/2003
Time: 10:39:57 AM

Comments

Bob here - I'm an alcoholic. I've been looking at the shares and I've learned a lot. So thanks guys. I find this one tough. I don't think I can divorce expectation from giving. Perhaps it's the definition of 'expectation' that's problematic. And like the fellow who is NOT from Jackson (?) I spent a lot of my drinking days being a people pleaser - definitely giving of my time & money helping others. Of course it was erratic - I was frequently very selfish and uncaring. So now I'm more guarded. Tell me this (and this is a trivial example) - If I go out of my way to give a newcomer a ride to an AA meeting I still expect him/her to say thanks. Is that wrong? I can handle the rejection if they don't - that isn't a problem. (And if they don't come back that's no problem either - it just wasn't their time.) The bottom line, I suppose, is that I still try to project my value system. So maybe I should work on this. Anyway - it's food for thought. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: KAthleen
Location: Florida
Date: 7/15/2003
Time: 11:44:15 AM

Comments

Hi all, Kathleen here alcoholic, good topic. I try to check my motives. Unconditionsal love... used to be everything I did it was so I could get something in return. I still get something in return when I practice unconditonal love and giving without expecting something in return. I get a good peaceful feeling inside.. This reminds me off the 50 cent toll that changed my day and attitude quite a few years ago. It was a very hot summer day, and I was in an old beat up car, with no a/c and was broke and misearable, but sober. I was going from the beach to the city which requires a fifty cent toll. Well the traffic was lined up for a mile or so, and I had to dig underneath the seats to get enough to pay my toll, you know, the dirty grimy nickles and pennies and the such. There was this fellow on a side street trying to make his way into the line of traffic to get thru the toll. he had a beautiful new jag or something like that. No one would let him in.. so I said to myself, what the heck, and waved him in front of me. Well when i went to hand the toll taker my dirty coins, he waved me on and said "the guy in front paid your toll."... :) That little act of kindness from him lifted my spirits and made my day. And since I have passed on the same act of kindness and it feels good.... Anyway..good topic and thanks for letting me share... Kathleen


Member: mr. rogers
Location: valley group, ny/pa
Date: 7/15/2003
Time: 12:30:04 PM

Comments

expectations are ok--feel free to have them, and please bear in mind that no one other than you is under any obligation to live up to them.sometimes it seems that we tend to think that everyone is like we used to be--that is now the exception, not the rule. many or most of us gradually learn to give of ourselves simply because we're so grateful for what we've been given in sobriety. if we forsee anything at all in return, it's more of a hope than an expectation--it's not about giving it back-- it's about passing it on...


Member: mr. rogers
Location: valley group, ny/pa
Date: 7/15/2003
Time: 12:30:24 PM

Comments

expectations are ok--feel free to have them, and please bear in mind that no one other than you is under any obligation to live up to them.sometimes it seems that we tend to think that everyone is like we used to be--that is now the exception, not the rule. many or most of us gradually learn to give of ourselves simply because we're so grateful for what we've been given in sobriety. if we forsee anything at all in return, it's more of a hope than an expectation--it's not about giving it back-- it's about passing it on...


Member: Paul P
Location: Calif
Date: 7/15/2003
Time: 8:15:29 PM

Comments

True expectations are completely okay. It's our reaction to our expectations not being met that's the issue. How many times have I been just destroyed by not receiving the praise, not having coworkers recognize my "greatness", not getting treated like I think I should be treated? When it all comes down to it, it is ego and fear that are my worst enemies. As I write this I think how others will understand and perhaps write something that validates what I am saying...my EGO is always working to do me in. AA allows me to see it, to understand it, to laugh at it and to let it go. Now letting go...there's a topic! Thanks for allowing me to be here, Paul.


Member: AZbill
Location: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Date: 7/15/2003
Time: 11:53:43 PM

Comments

Hi Bill here, Alcoholic from Arizona. When I do a days work, I expect a days pay. When I work the 12 Steps I expect a spiritual spiritual wakening commensurate with my output. When I am halfway through. the Steps I expect the promises do start coming true. When I am speeding across the desert I expect a traffic ticket. I am grateful when I don't. I do not cuss out the Cop for doing his job when I do get caught. Expectations. You bet. My life today has exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations. But I had to do the footwork and I expected the results. Again commensurate with the amount of work I put in it. Thank you, az-bill@mindspring.com


Member: Ron L
Location: Winnipeg. Man. Can.
Date: 7/16/2003
Time: 1:29:24 AM

Comments

My name is Ron and Im an alcoholic. In my first two years of sobriety. when I was wondering what love really was. I watched as a mother gave to her children and expected nothing in return. I also watch as she gave to her children and done without herself. She tried to do that to me and I bolted form that house never to return. A lesson that I will never forget. Yet a lesson that I now try to follow, I'll give a cigarette to a down and out drunk of course I expect nothing in return. I don't give him any money as I don't like to contribute to the problems of the world.


Member: Lm
Location:
Date: 7/16/2003
Time: 2:42:34 AM

Comments

I love the way this program gives me what I need, when I need it regardless of the fact that I may not know that I need. I remember coming to the program and feeling that for sure somebody would sing my praises about how hard I had worked and what a wonderfull person I was that I had gotten sober. It was even harder for me to find that A.A. doesn't work this way and neither does the world. I was caught up in a cycle of high expectations and very low serenity. The worse my serenity got the higher the expectations, the more I failed the more I hated myself and expectations continued to soar. To turn this around I had to accept that I was a good person, a valuable human being that was morbidly ill. I had to start beleiving that I was not the scum of the earth in order to quit making it up with high expectations, and a constant fishing for compliments. The more I stuck with the program the more I began to see things. I noticed that there were very "serene-looking" characters at meetings that showed all the success of a program well worked. I saw that they were quiet when speaking and always listened to others repectfully and their quiet manner of speaking was always so profound. I started to admire them and I decided work towards this way of behaving, as a foundation for rebuilding myself, I no longer succumbed to to impulsive loud and unwanted sarcasim inorder to gain attention. In fact I studied all my attention- seeking- traits and worked towards their elimintation with the help of steps. I made my amemds took my inventory, I beleived in a higher power and prayed to him regularliy and lo and behold!!!!..... Serenity came! and with serenity I less needy of praise for things I had done or acheived. Today; the more serene I am the less arrogant, the less I worry about making a performance for the world. Its magical and we are lucky that in A.A. we get it ever so freely without much fuss. How can one not return this gift freely and as quietly? this is what my conscience asks me today whenever I slip to my old ways and mannerisims. I would love to wish you all awonerfull 24. And to thank you for being here. lm


Member: Gail O
Location: Southern California
Date: 7/16/2003
Time: 5:20:56 AM

Comments

I'm somehwat new to AA. Can someone please explain how the idea of giving without expectation and giving to the point of being used by others intertwines? For example, you constantly give someone a ride somewhere and that person never offers to drive or reciprocates even though they are able. Is it wrong to have an expectation that there should be some reciprocity in some things? Am I missing the point? Is there a point where you end up being used even if your intentions are good? What are the boundaries? Am I totally missing the point?


Member: frank m
Location: arizona
Date: 7/16/2003
Time: 10:01:08 AM

Comments

dealing with stress in sobriety


Member: Kelly M
Location: NH
Date: 7/16/2003
Time: 10:21:19 AM

Comments

Hi (Gail), I think you mean feeling taken for granted? I have felt that way and that is when I back off. I can't let myself be taken advantage of if I don't play victim. I was raised to be a giver and it comes naturally and I get happiness from the act of helping. My parents always said it is better to give then to receive. I made up a saying years ago that helps explain how I feel about giving: "True charity is something freely given from the heart with no hopes of recognition". It is in the anonymity of the act that brings the greatest rewards for me. If someone knows about it, it does have the same grace. Of course being taken advantage of is totally different because you are surrendering your will when you don't want to. Your in control of that and when giving feels bad it probably is not healthy. You are in control of who, when and where you choose to give and remember that. Peace. Kelly


Member: Chris
Location: Chicagoland
Date: 7/16/2003
Time: 10:44:31 AM

Comments

Chris, Alky. You made your own point, Gail. If I am giving someone a ride expecting some sort of reciprosity, whether it be gratitude, gas money or anything else, then I have already placed a price tag on my own actions. If I am giving someone a ride in order to stay sober myself, or to perform service work, than my reward doesn't rely upon the person I'm giving the ride to, my reward is my continued sobriety. It's the expectations that kill us, if I place expectations upon other people and how they "should" respond to any given situation, then I'll always be disappointed. Not everyone sees me as the altruistic guy I see myself as sometimes. :) The trick is to distill the motivations and expectations down to realistic levels. Whenever I'm trying to be a "good guy" I'm always disappointed when others don't give me the adulation I think I deserve. If I do the things that I beleive make me a "good guy" for my own piece of mind or because I feel that is the proper way to act, than I have no expectations of others to treat me special. The flip side is not allowing others to walk on you or take advantage of you. My sponsor had me make an amend once where I had to confront my boss on his behavior toward me. I had always thought I was supposed to be sober enough, or man enough to "take it". Part of being a whole person today is to be who you are and not let other belittle you or treat you wrongly. I've had to learn to stand up for myself without resorting to knee-jerk reactions or getting into a shouting match. Sometimes it's as simple as calmly saying you disagree with them. Welcome to the grand adventure....


Member: TomP
Location: NE Iowa
Date: 7/16/2003
Time: 4:35:41 PM

Comments

Tom and alcoholic. If I don't have expectations for doing something why would I do it in the first place? We all expect something when we take any action. The key is "unrealistic" expectations. Like expecting I would be sober and have it all figured out in a few months of AA. Only God can give us the Grace (unmerited gift) we need without any expectations. Expectations are like plans. The old joke about telling your plans to God to hear Him laugh. If you want to see Him ROFL then tell him your expectations.


Member: Kelly M
Location: NH
Date: 7/16/2003
Time: 5:24:37 PM

Comments

Hi Kelly back, I need to make a correction. I meant to say, It is in the anonymity of the act that brings the greatest rewards for me. If someone knows about it does (not) have the same grace.


Member: Jules
Location: Chicago
Date: 7/16/2003
Time: 9:29:51 PM

Comments

Expectations. I had them today. I expected people would appreciate my extra long and hard hours at work. I expected respect for solving the problem, again. I expected, expected, expected. I really expected to fill a hole in me that beckons to be filled by a real spirit, not an phatom source my ego has selected. A spirit I find amoung others here-- talking, sharing and reflecting. People, who in sobriety, can find enough serenity that they can sometimes have no expectations. Then are able to do the truely unexpected. Freely. Happily. Julie


Member: Steve F.
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Date: 7/17/2003
Time: 5:17:10 AM

Comments

Hi, my name is Steve, and I am an alcoholic. I really don't know what to expect from life or from AA anymore. After 23 years of sobriety, I really feel depressed, possibly because of my expectations. My wife's businees is bankrupt. We have talked to a lawyer about our options. Over the past year I have given her all of my money and listend to and believed her story about how a "turn-around" was just around the corner. Now reality is here, and the truth is that by law we are going to lose our home and all of the rest of our assets, and the bank is going to garnish my income to pay off her debt. I co-sigend for her loans. I have written an inventory of my own actions over the past year concerning this mess, and the most glaring defects I have discoverd are rage, self-ptiy and people-pleasing. I never expected or even thought that life would hand me this crap to deal with. And this is where my situation links up with the topic of this meeting. Expectations can get me drunk. I have honestly never felt so close to taking a drink, as I do now. I am just so sick of default notices from the bank and suppliers, of my wife's depression, of the bleek economic outlook that the lawyer has painted for us. I pray about this situation. I ask God to help me deal with it. That His will be done and not mine. That He direct my thinking. But it still doesn't help me feel any better about it. God has given me more than I can handle. The intuitive thing about drinking that makes it so appealing is that I know it will releave my mental torture. It will end my marriage (which I do not have the guts to do) and either put me back in the nut house or in a grave. And those options appear much more promising to me than the punishment imposed by insolvency courts, bank lawyers, garnishment, and court eviction notices. I do not have the trust or faith that God is demaning from me to believe that this nightmare will ever end.


Member: J-Rae
Location: N.D.
Date: 7/17/2003
Time: 7:02:21 AM

Comments

J-Rae, alcoholic...Expectations...Great Topic....I so can relate to many of the shares here... In the Big Book, The story entitled "Acceptance was the Answer", states not only great thoughts, experiences, and ideas of acceptance as living in the sober life, but also many ideals of expectations... The writer states toward the end of his share that "Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations." (4th Ed.,p.420) The author ends his share with, "I must keep my magic magnifying mind on my acceptance and off my expectations, for my serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance. When I remember this, I can see I've never had it so good. Thank God for A.A.!" My 'take' on this is that if I have expectations of what 'I' should get when giving, my motives are sick, and I will experience no serenity for it. By living the program of AA as outlined in the Big Book, expectations decrease as I accept life on life's terms, and my serenity increases. Yes, Thank God for A.A.!


Member: Jim
Location: PA
Date: 7/17/2003
Time: 8:43:52 AM

Comments

To Steve F. -- God never closes one door without first opening another. The trick is for us to find it. As someone who had a business begin to go down the tubes and gave up his sobriety in the course of saving the company only to loose the company because I had given up my sobriety, I can tell you that what I say is true. When I let the material things go and got clean again I found the open door. I didn't make much money but the spiritual reward has been great. I had a recent fall and almost lost what I had because I started to listen to those who see material wealth as the end all and be all. I actually began to think my life had no value because I wasn't making the big bucks anymore. I was wrong. You are in my prayers. Not only those of petition but also those of thanksgiving. Thank you for your post it helped me see me a little more clearly for today. Day 5 again.


Member: L-RAY
Location: SCOTLAND
Date: 7/17/2003
Time: 5:02:33 PM

Comments

(((Steve-F)))sorry to hear about your problems! what will happen will happen buddy ! thats not taken lightly, ive been there and got through it! my ex took everything and i got nothing except bills to pay! my HP helped me through it "but i had to seek advice" and i was helped! to-day 16 years later ive got back on track and have a good life" sober" so the best of luck and i hope it works out ok for you, Regards L-RAY


Member: anonymous
Location:
Date: 7/17/2003
Time: 7:18:57 PM

Comments

I was heavily into AA. Expectaions that I would learn to accept my poverty,failures,submission to alcohol(still am sober)I listened to AA--had my HP through religion already,left my old friends,left a relationship to keep out of dating for a year, stayed away from my family if they bothered me or upset me,had 3 dysfunctional sponsors and then my mother got Renal carcinoma. NONE of my AA buddies called me (and I went to 2-3 meetings a day for 4 mos.) They knew my situation. My forth sponser told me to take 10 minutes and turn it over---in the middle of this incredible crisis--please. My "old" friends and family came out of the woodwork and we supported each other. I never felt the same in meetings again or towards AA philosophies. I have never felt so isolated and alone. To be perfectly honest I felt I left a cult---"HP(whatever or whoever you want it to be),leave the people you once hung around with,no dating or relationships for a year,talk to your sponsor daily,read the big book" I'm sorry my big book is the Bible. Repress all bad things happening by" taking time to think it over then put it behind you or turn it over." well, I haven't had a drink for a very long time now and I don't consider myself a "dry-drunk" because I am not in AA. My family and friends are supportive and I regret joining AA except that it started me sober--I'll give it that. I'm now lonely and isolated because I listened to AA guidelines and my friends and family grew up around me. Money is a necessitie--you need to live and put a roof over your head and food in your mouth. Yes, God is there and will guide you if you work for it--don't drink. My expectations bottom line of AA is that it failed me and I'm sad to say it has all the elements of a cult.


Member: Sito T.
Location: Vega Baja, Puerto Rico
Date: 7/17/2003
Time: 7:42:15 PM

Comments

Steve F. this is for you. When I came to this program my expectations were that everything was going to get better. I saw a member cry at a meeting because he lost a grandchild in a car accident. I've been sober for the past seven years and what I have learned is that the AA program prepares me for adversity. Working the steps has helped me to gradually accept the reality I live in. Pray to your higher power now more than ever. I wish you the best and remember you can't take that first drink no matter what. God Bless you.


Member: to anonymous
Location:
Date: 7/17/2003
Time: 10:55:27 PM

Comments

anonymous - clinging to old fixed ideas (Bible) is how you failed


Member: M Parker
Location: england
Date: 7/17/2003
Time: 11:23:00 PM

Comments

In my drinking days i wouldnt give anything without expecting something in return,always cash for drink.even in the first 9 months of my sobriety in which i did not attend AA i still expected things from favors and jobs i would do for others,since joining AA and the short six months i have been attending my thoughts are reaching new plains something i hadnt known before even before my drinking started i never knew or thought i could be so happy and content these thoughts of self do and WILL pass. to my friends please hang in there one day at a time these days will turn to months and so on and always remember you can do anything when your sober.


Member: RH
Location:
Date: 7/18/2003
Time: 7:09:19 AM

Comments

I'm R and I'm an alcoholic. 'Anonymous' - my heart goes out to you. Although you are disilusioned about A, I'm glad that you're at this online meting. Father Joe Martin tels us that 'A is a hospital for sick souls' - those of us in A claim 'spiritual progress, rather than spiritual perfection'. Sometime I've ben disilusioned by the behaviour and atitude of individuals in A. They may let me down, but the program never does. The Steps promised me a spiritual awakening, and I have that on a daily basis, contingent on my spiritual hygeine.I hope and pray that one day, you'll trust enough to try AA again. AA reminds us to place principles before personalities. It is a life-saver for me. Go in peace.


Member: Dys
Location: Sugar Point
Date: 7/18/2003
Time: 7:47:41 AM

Comments

Wow great topic. Certainly has generated a lot of positive shares. It is not wrong to have expectations, in fact it is part of the human condition. My problem is that when my expectations become demands I get in trouble. When I quit drinking 21 years ago I expected my life to be great and they weren't. By sitting and listening in meetings, doing the steps and reading the Big Book I found that drinking was just a symptom of my living problem. The good and bad times people were living through with grace I had no clue how to do. Things are not always going to go my way, people will let me down. Will I become resentful and wallow in self pity and make a bad situation worse? It says in the Big Book that resentment is the number one killer of alcoholics. Through my 'learning' experiences I have found that having faith in God has helped me out of the jackpots in which I found myself in sobriety. As I identify my defects and ask God to remove them I find that I demand less of my fellow man. Every morning I ask for God's will to be my guiding factor and most times I live in peace and serenity. I never expected that this was what I needed all along. The best things happen when I don't expect them. God Bless you all.


Member: Brian C
Location: Connecticut, USA
Date: 7/18/2003
Time: 7:54:42 AM

Comments

Hi Anonymous, My name is Brian and I'm an alcoholic. I've read your email and think that I'll say a prayer for you. Sometimes AA isn't for everyone and maybe not for you. I know its the only thing that worked for me. I was reading in a daily meditation book this morning that gratitude for all our blessings is important. I have found that if I think about all the things that happen in my life, it seems like God is preparing me for my path through life, wether the things that happen is good or bad. You are not alone with your problems. God just wants you to be there and help other people and get close to Him with constant prayer and dependence upon him. You will find that he is always with you. Ask him to show you a sign. I always have found that things that come up in life are reminders of how much I depend on God to help me get through situations.


Member: TWB
Location: Colorado
Date: 7/18/2003
Time: 9:46:22 AM

Comments

Ah. Expectations vs. acceptance; great topic. Thank goodness for the story "Acceptance Is the Answer" in the 4th edition. It has been a great help to me. I live with a "normie" who doesn't "get" the program. I see the results of her expectations exceeding demands every day, and the chaos/arguments this causes with our neighbors. Now the neighbors think we're both jerks!! It is hard to know the right thing to say, so far I just say nothing. Normies are just wired different than us, so all I can do is keep the focus on my own recovery; I pray that I may someday be an example of compassion and respect for myself and others.


Member: Lynda C
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date: 7/18/2003
Time: 10:31:49 AM

Comments

Hi all, Lynda here, alcoholic, first time sharing online. I am currently paralyzed by my expectations. Got a situation with an alcoholic daughter who "asked for help to change her life". Well, always the codependent, i expect she means she wants to get sober and all it will cost me is a couple grand to bail her out of her do-do. Imagine my excitement! Of course, the do-do has hit the fan...she has the money and is now avoiding me and mommy has a resentment! Big surprise eh? So here I sit nursing this sucker and feeling kinda good in it---after all, I deserve it right? My little girl wouldn't be having these problems if she hadn't been raised by this drunk right? Of course that's wrong...its a disease and this disease is active in her but that is really none of my business. She knows all about aa...been there in and out since she was 16. No, the disease I need to worry about is the one that is killing me right now! Time to get off my butt and do some work...pray, inventory, meetings, sponsor and the like. It's amazing what a little tiny weeny expectation can do to a person's serenity eh? Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Susan A.
Location: Vernon, CT
Date: 7/18/2003
Time: 2:26:24 PM

Comments

Hi, All, I'm Susan and I'm an Alcoholic. What a lot of good experiences to read about and think on. Thanks for the topic, Donna R. I can't add much, except something I heard a woman say at a meeting the other day about the 'results' of having expectations - Resentments are not getting what I wanted in the past, Anger is not getting what I want in the present, and Fear is that I won't get what I want in the future. Thanks, All, you've helped me a lot this week.


Member: Kari B
Location: California
Date: 7/18/2003
Time: 3:37:37 PM

Comments

I'm new to AA. This past Christmas I ruined the holiday for my entire family because of my expectations for others. It was after Christmas that I realized that my drinking was the root of my problems. I have slipped a couple more times since, and just came off a 1 week binge. I've been sober for 6 days and two days ago I stepped into an AA meeting for the first time in my life. Alot of what is being said here, clicks for me. I go out of my way to do wonderful things for everyone and then I get royally upset when they don't do the same for me.


Member: siobhan c.
Location: washington
Date: 7/18/2003
Time: 6:31:28 PM

Comments

siobhan here, alcoholic. hang in there, kari,it is worth the effort. i never had a problem really with giving. it is part of my control- freak nature. if i give to you, i get a say in how you live your life....or so I thought. if you didn't behave the appropriate way (to my mind) i would get so filled with 'righteous indignation'. i mean, how dare you take what i 'freely' offered and not behave the way i want. i still have difficulty with expectations of other people, but i am a work in progress. i still like to give to others, that has always been easy. it is incredibly hard to let go of my expectations of other people. thanks for letting me share.


Member: Rick W
Location: Pa
Date: 7/18/2003
Time: 9:05:21 PM

Comments

Is there any on line meetings in (room) this is ok but rooms are better Rick.x drunk


Member: Tom D.
Location: IL
Date: 7/19/2003
Time: 12:20:25 AM

Comments

Tom, alcoholic... Havin BIGG problems with THAT one! My wife says to "quit smotherin her"...I want recog every time I do something...havin trouble just "livin"...I'm still sober, at least.


Member: Steve F.
Location: Germany
Date: 7/19/2003
Time: 6:35:12 AM

Comments

Hi, my name is Steve, and I am an alcoholic. I just want to thank Sito T., L-RAY, Jim, PA for sharing your experiences directly with me, and the others who shared thier experiences, strength and hope indirectly. All of your comments helped me to see the futility of my attitude. I have been to a meeting since I wrote my comments and have decided to surrender, to let go and let God, and to just get out of His way so that He can do His work. Whatever the outcome is, I am willing to accept it. Returning to drink and standing at a bar somewhere feeling sorry for myself and blaiming everyone else for my seeming misfortune is not going to solve anything. I am continuing with my 4th step. Thanks again for sharing.


Member: Kelly M
Location: NH
Date: 7/19/2003
Time: 9:20:36 AM

Comments

WAY TO GO STEVE!!! Best of luck. Kelly :)


Member: Mike H
Location: Jackson MI
Date: 7/19/2003
Time: 10:50:34 AM

Comments

Mike, alcoholic. Check out AA links on this website for additional places to go.


Member: CHris H.
Location: Fla.
Date: 7/19/2003
Time: 2:58:02 PM

Comments

I'm Chris _I'm an alcoholic/addict---Not expecting anything in return for my good deeds has been a big lesson for me to learn..Most of my good deeds were to get people to either like me or to please them...I have had to really keep track of my motives...As someone else said, I do less good deeds now , but i do try to check my motives at the door...It has been a frustrating process, because I used to get a lot of cudos for all the things I bought people. or neat things I did for them. But often it would wear me out beaucse I wasn't taking care of myself..I have alot to learn in this area , but reading everyone's words has helped...Love to all...