I'm Barry and I'm an alcoholic,
I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this meeting.
My topic is "carrying the message and 12 step work".
Sometimes I don't know,how much I should to to help the newcommer. Is giving them my phone number enough or should I get theirs and call them? Should I take them to a meeting only when they ask me or should I show up at their house and drag them to one.
I was sponsoring one guy and he'd call whenever he was in pain every 2-3 weeks, same story,I'd take him to a meeting,tell him to work on the 1st step, and go to a meeting and call me everyday. He would'nt, he'd call back again sobing about how nothing was getting better,talking about 8th and 9th step stuff ,but had'nt gone to any meetings. I'd talk about steps 1 and 2 ,but he was'nt getting it, did'nt seem willing.
I have'nt heard from him in a while. I don't know if I handled it right,should I have done more?
I've been told we can only carry the message not the drunk.
Hi all my name is joanie and I am an alcoholic.12 step work is a gift that God gives us when we need to grow. I find that when I am in need of guidence and understanding God will send me someone who has that exact character defect that I need to work on and most of all become aware of. Together with the newcommer we work thru the problem into the solution.When I stay sober it is successfuf and when we both benefit it is MAGIC.love to all joanie 0
Barry, thanks for the topic. I've wondered many times about these things myself.
I have feelings similar to Joanie's. I think there is some amazing, magical thing about the way we in AA relate to each other and work together to stay sober.
When I came to AA, I was greeted and made to feel welcome. I was surrounded by (or maybe gravitated to) people who had an obvious love for the program. People sat and talked with me and answered my questions and helped me. We stood outside the meetings sometimes for hours to talk. I never saw a lot of these people except at the meetings, but those were valuable hours spent together. And I had telephone numbers to call. I was invited to go on retreats and to AA events, and I went.
I pass these same things on today. I don't really know how to do it any other way, because certain things haven't happened to me. But those particular things HAVE happened to other people, and they know how to do their own kind of work.
People are sent to me because they need what I have and I need what they have. It's quite incredible and wonderful. One of my favorite sayings (which I first heard in the rooms of AA) is: "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." (We are always simultaneously both student AND teacher!)
As much as I might want to or try to, I can't help everyone. But I can definitely help some.
Thanks, Barry. Another good topic. I was told early that it's a selfish program. If I've tried to carry the message honestly and I'm still sober, than it has been successful -- happened to Bill W. He kept reaching out, and nothing happened EXCEPT he got a few months under his belt. In 1970, there were few women in the Program. I sponsored 2 women and the 3 of us met every week to discuss this strange new philosophy, like easy does it and don't take the first drink. Tonight, here in Maine, 6 women will gather at my house for an hour or two. It's Old-fashioned AA -- Back to Basics. I'm formally sponsoring 3, and the others have been invited by my pigeons because they just seemed to be floundering. These women know they need to reach out because meetings are just not enough, but a group of women sharing sobriety is. I keep telling them how much they're doing for me, and they're beginning to believe it! All we have to do is share our experience, strength and hope -- and the question of whether I did it "right" fades away. I'm still following an old rule that says "talk to one person you don't know at each meeting." If everyone did that, instead of gathering in "cliques," the newcomer would never feel left out. One other thing. Whenever I have a 12th step (which could be happening with a chance meeting at ShopnSave) I always ask HP to direct what I have to say. Keeps the ego out and the message in. At last night's meeting, one man said he'd been "sponsoring himself" and whenever he did that he got in trouble. Nice way of putting it. HP speaks through people. Hence, I need to be with people and "Keep coming back!"
good topic Barry! I'm Jim J. and I'm an alcoholic. I have the same fear as you Barry. How aggresive do you carry the message? I have been gifted by the chance to work with newcommers on a regular basis. I have taken on two new pigeons this week alone. There is no need to worry about me having to many sponsees because the first thing I do with these newcommers is ask for a little tiny bit of work and mabey one simple, easy suggestion and generally that is the last I see of them. Funny thing is that the few that are WILLING to do some work and perhaps listen to a suggestion or two seem to stay around and begin to get well(imagine that). The problem I have is letting go when someone starts to go off the track. I hear old timers share how sponsors showed up on thier porch, literally dragged them to a meeting. No questions asked! Boy them were the days. Now if I were to do this today I would be shunned by this liberal AA mindset that prevails. Probably arrested for harrasment too.
As usual, I come to a meeting and I hear exactly what I need to hear. I think this is part of the magic that has been mentioned. When Barry mentioned his topic to me earlier in the week I was really looking forward to the meeting because Ive been having the same thoughts and feelings about my latest pigeon. I suggested to him to call every day and he calls once in a while, I suggest that he reads and he does not. Although he has taken some suggestions, one of which is to get involved, which I think is very important. I have also wondered when and how often I should contact a pigeon instead of letting him calling me.
One of my biggest fears is that I will say the wrong thing and scare someone off. My sponsor has assured me over and over that this is not going to happen, but I still have that fear. I also pray to God asking for help when I am sharing my experience, strength and hope.
I think theres a fine line between feeling enough pain to go to any lengths and going to far, winding up dead or incarcerated. Talk about a miracle, my bottom lead me back to the program, while there are many whos bottom have led them into the ground. I have two pigeons, ones in jail and the other is sober, but as everyone has mentioned the key is that Im still sober, and for that Im grateful. Thanks to everyone for a great meeting.
Hi I'm Bob & I'm an alcoholic
Barry, thanks for the topic. For me carrying the message is what AA is all about. I would not be here today it was not some other AA carrying the message to me.I had the message shared to me hard , easy, loving. I feel there is no wrong way to carry the message. I always ask my sponsor pray to my HP for guidence & having enough faith in my HP & sponsorI am always directed in the right path. Especially in 12 step work because everything my sponsor tells me, he has all ready tried & works. It doesn't mean that all that I 12 step or sponsor will get this wonderfull program & most don't .It helps keeps me sober as did Bill W. I am so grateful for the AA that took the time & effort to keep 12 stepping me.I was every sponsor nightmare, not so bad now.As it says in the AA service manual page s7
We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and those who haven't been given the truth may die.