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Post Info TOPIC: Advice Giving, AlAnon Principles/Traditions, and Group Unity


~*Service Worker*~

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Advice Giving, AlAnon Principles/Traditions, and Group Unity


In terms of what is "right" or "wrong" for us, what we "should" or "should not" do, or what is/is not "healthy", AlAnon is very clear: we seldom know that for ourselves, and never for others, be they new or experienced. That knowledge belongs to god or higher power alone. These pages provide some helpful guidance in this area: ODAT: 57, 221, 256, 306, 331, and C2C: 6, 106

Unhealthy thinking brought us to AlAnon. Following the wisdom and guidance of the program directs us away from those unhealthy habits, use/misuse of unhealthy tools, and the inflated sense of self with which we misdirected ourselves and others.

For those reasons, AlAnon suggests that telling others what, when, where, why, and how to/not to: feel, think, or act is inconsistent with Program steps, traditions, and principles. To do that is to return to unhealthy behavior, place ourselves into the role of God, interfere with the recovery of others, and direct focus to ourselves as the authority rather than AlAnon and the individual's higher power.

In the interest of group unity, helping ourselves, and helping the alcoholic and others who still suffer, most effectively, AlAnon suggests that it's principles be followed in all group activities and areas where AlAnon is spoken. If any are uncomfortable with that, they are free to search for a different group or outlet where advice giving is welcome. 

I am extremely uncomfortable with anyone in an AlAnon setting openly refusing to observe the suggestions, traditions, and concepts of the program. I find no comfort or acceptance in the misapplied excuse that 'AlAnon does not have rules'. I feel that such a justification for behavior that is well outside program principles suggests an attitude that is toxic to group unity and harmful to our main Group purpose which is to welcome, comfort and encourage, not to instruct.   



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Paul

"...when we try to control others, we lose the ability to manage our own lives."  - Paths to Recovery 



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Hi Paul,
Thank you for your post. I'm not sure if this is directed at anyone specifically or just a very good reminder. I struggle with this piece on this board and I have tried to step back from posting on other people's shares too often for this exact reason. My old behaviour can be sneaky and creep back in. Now I try to ask myself if I have any ESH with the topic at hand to share and then I share my own experience and try not to suggest, instruct, advice give. This board is a little tricky as it's a different format than a group meeting.

I've been focusing more in sharing as well and not asking for advice and on sharing in the daily reader shares on this board.

Thanks again for your post.

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~*Service Worker*~

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KT2015 wrote:

Hi Paul,
Thank you for your post. I'm not sure if this is directed at anyone specifically or just a very good reminder. I struggle with this piece on this board and I have tried to step back from posting on other people's shares too often for this exact reason. My old behaviour can be sneaky and creep back in. Now I try to ask myself if I have any ESH with the topic at hand to share and then I share my own experience and try not to suggest, instruct, advice give. This board is a little tricky as it's a different format than a group meeting.

I've been focusing more in sharing as well and not asking for advice and on sharing in the daily reader shares on this board.

Thanks again for your post.


 Yea, sometimes a thread is so interesting adn stimulating tome, that I can "over cook" it on the posting, etc., only because it is something I need to practice....my old behaviour can be sneaky and sneak back in too....gotta watch me and my motives all the time...I think as long as I keep the focus on ME, what I did, what I saw, what I experienced, etc., I think I am in fairly good territory...TELLING a person what to do, I am in bad place....sometimes I get a bit excited when I hear of cases of abuse and its still going on..yea, I can say "get out of there"  or "please find a DV shelter near you"  yea, when a poster is in immediate danger, I can get a bit "advice giving" but i think that is, I hope that is, the only time I get more than just simple ESH......I, too, thought this post might be directed at another and I looked at MY posts b/c I want to make sure I'm sticking with the alanon priciples and I see I kept the focus on me, but maybe a bit overkill on the posts that trigger memories or issues with me........and yea..VERY good reminder...advice giving I do really NOT want to do...what if they follow my advice and it backfires???? I always fear that and thus TRY to stay away from it....but as a control freak, I have to watch me and my motives constantly



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Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***



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Thank you for the reminder :)

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~*Service Worker*~

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Hi Paul Great reminder. Alanon Traditions and principles were developed because the Founders truly understood our disease. They saw that we readily abandoned ourselves in many situations- jumped in, gave advice,and lost the focus on ourselves. Keeping the focus on ourselves, sharing only our ESH which includes the alanon tools that we used, works to keep us focused on ourselves and our recovery.

I too found that alanon's Traditions, principles,and slogans were perfect outlines for how to practice these principles in all our affairs. I know that I learned how to "Do alanon " by practicing the principles in my face to face meetings-- No judgment, blame or gossip, no advise giving, except in the form of an alanon tool . When I was comfortable with this, I brought the attitude out into my interaction with the world and it worked perfectly .

I believe that providing empathy, compassion and support can be done without giving advice. Suggesting an alanon tool and a meeting is acceptable-- sharing how we handled a similar situation works but telling anyone to leave the relationship or that their partner is a jerk is not.
Thanks for the reminder


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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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I've heard in Alanon "my recovery is my business." This was extremely helpful to me especially when I was a newcomer to this program. One of the biggest issues I had when entering Alanon was trying to control and regulate the behavior of the alcoholics as well as others in my life.

I was told that there is but one authority, a loving god - the god of my understanding guiding my life. The program particulary steps 2 and 3 were opportunities to change willful behavior by surrendering to the guidance of my higher power. Additionally through shares of people in the program and the principles of the program, I am offered countless chances to leave others to the guidance of their own higher power.

Of course this is a lifelong process, a journey. I'm grateful this is a one day at a time program because I can continue to focus on myself, grow, work on my shortcomings and aim for greater tolerance and acceptance of myself and others just as we are. My serenity is proportionate to my acceptance.

I'm grateful that I'm among many like myself in the rooms of Alanon and here who are works in progress. It helps me to feel less alone. Thankfully, perfection is not required. I can grow my recovery at my own pace in Alanon. Imperfection is recognized and welcomed with the unconditional love.  

Thanks for your share, Paul. (((hugs)))  TT

 



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Faith unsticks fear.



~*Service Worker*~

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I figure if I keep the focus on me (usually do) and tell MY experience, etc., then I am OK with ME and how I post....IF I go off track, we have EXCELLENT moderators who are kind and work VERY hard to keep this place safe and harmonious and I trust in the fact that one of them will PM me if I ever go astray.....JUST saying

 



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Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***



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Thanks Paul. Total agreement from me.

When I came to al-anon I had no faith in my own ability to think for myself or make decisions. The situations I had lived in had left me sure that I was stupid and my choices were always wrong. I really thought I was worthless. For that reason, I did two things very well- I allowed broken people to abuse me, and I made other people's lives and health and well-being far more important than my own.
There was a particularly wise al-anon friend- (here at MIP actually- must remember to thank her aww) that took the time to hear me yet always counselled me that I had the answers within and that I could trust my HP that made the difference to me. Being allowed the freedom to look within for answers, and being reminded gently over and over that I WAS capeable of finding those answers and that my thoughts, decisions etc weren't in any way faulty- I just needed to learn to listen WITHIN rather than WITHOUT.

I had spent most of my life listening to other people's voices telling me what to do, so much that I was carrying them around in my head, telling me I was stupid or crazy and that I didn't matter. Al-anon taught me to shut out all of those "voices" and hear the one that mattered- the one within. And it gave me the confidence to listen to that voice and "do the next right thing" and after I tried that a few times I discovered that actually, when I listen to what I know inside, I make great decisions for myself and for my child. 

This is what changed my life-being encouraged to find my own feet and have faith in my self. Advice, directives and having my actions/words disparaged only distracted me and weakened my faith in my own inner knowing. I too think they are very destructive tools that do not enhance anyone's recovery.

I also think that when new people come to al-anon they are often looking for someone to tell them what to do (because that is what they are used to) and whilst they can be excited and pleased when someone starts doing so, it slows down their recovery immeasurably and is actually really destructive.

Thanks for posting this Paul; great reminder not only to keep advice-giving out of my own interactions but also a great opportunity for me to sit back and reflect on the fact that I know I have the answers within (because I have some important choices to make today and have been wavering. Couldn't have timed this better tbh )



-- Edited by MissM on Friday 14th of July 2017 03:47:31 AM

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~*Service Worker*~

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 Good topic Paul...

                           I came from a family system where the rule was: Don't do as I do- do as I say!

                           Second and third rules were- make it snappy! And thirdly- my way, or the highway.

                           You will note that none of these rules are conference approved, by Alanon.

I belong to an Alanon where the rights of individuals and minorities are respected. And all members, who want to be heard,

are heard. And decisions are made on this basis.

   cheers, M8. smile...



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One day at a time.



~*Service Worker*~

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 Paul... you quoted from ~One Day At A Time~, and ~Courage To Change~.

           Do you think it is okay to read from ~Hope For Today~, at an Alanon meeting? Thanks. aww...



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One day at a time.



Senior Member

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Thank you Paul for your service and the reminder. It is such a great program and I am thankful for it.

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Sharon 

a4l


~*Service Worker*~

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Yeah couldn't agree more. Lately the board feels like someone died and appointed kings. Though its always a hard balance on a board like this. What exactly is the point of MIP? I wonder honestly. Is it a place to encourage a newcomer? Maybe if there was a clear structure, it'd be less of a blurred line.

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"When one door is closed, don't you know,another is open?" Bob Marley.



~*Service Worker*~

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Thanks to all who took the time to read, consider, and share their program experience, strength and hope on my share. David, unfortunately I do not understand the meaning of your comments and question. Your second is quite puzzling as I referenced C2C and ODAT regarding the topic of advice-giving, you have access to the al-anon.alateen.com site that displays CAL, and are the only one who can answer that question.

I did deliver my share with intent, based on recent board activity, but placed it on its own so as not to hijack an existing thread or target anyone directly. I have been struggling the past few weeks as I have noticed a sharp uptick on the boards of the behavior I described above. Prior to this and in general, I have found most members to have very helpful, program-based shares that aligned with AlAnon principles.

KT, I agree with your point, that it becomes a bit tricky as this is not a formal meeting, and perhaps that is the question I am wrestling with: where does this board stand in relation to AlAnon, and am I in the right place? If I were on a site called 'Mo's Recovery Chat', I would have different expectations of the content, structure, and guiding principles. I see the url 'alanon.activeboard.com' when I log on and 'AlAnon Family Group Message Board' at the top of this page, however, which would suggest to most a strong connection and affiliation with the official 'AlAnon Family Groups'.

Softening the connection, however, is the banner subtitle which states: "The material presented here is not Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature. It is a method to exchange information, ideas, feelings, problems and solutions on a personal level." To me, this raises questions: what does '...on a personal level' mean? Do official AlAnon meetings not reach out at a personal level? Does personal level mean we drop the steps, principles, traditions, and concepts we use as guidance in meetings because it is a message board? Do we then transition back to steps, traditions, concepts and principles a page over on our 'official' meeting room page, expecting no bleedover from the type of interaction left unrestricted on the board?

For a time I hesitated to speak up because in AlAnon we have but one authority, and it is certainly not me, but a loving god as he expresses himself in our group conscience. Tradition One, however, suggests that each of us has a responsibility to speak up if we feel the traditions are consciously or unconsciously disregarded. As I have seen a dramatic increase in comments from a small, but very active and vocal group that I feel seem to deviate sharply from AlAnon principles, I feel the responsibility to bring it up.

Actually, I have said it before in more subtle ways, and that is how I know I need to check myself, lest I become controlling myself. I accept the possibility that I am the only one feeling that a few newer but not new members are out of control in their comments. It may be that I am mistaken in the nature of this group and board, and that after speaking up I see that I need of more program growth and maturity. If that is the case, I will humbly shut my mouth and let the group follow its conscience and preferred direction.

As I have pondered it, however, I just could not see these kind of comments being made in a meeting without the secretary redirecting. In a setting where someone refuses to follow group guidelines, stronger steps are taken to maintain an environment of encouragement and recovery.

I do not wish to be difficult, just looking to discover if it is I who needs to adjust...wouldn't be the first time, and certainly will not be the last... If they are willing, I invite any members of the group with more wisdom and experience in the program and/or this board to pm me and share a perspective that I may be lacking.

Sorry all for this step off the beaten path, and moderators: perhaps I could have checked with you to see if another location on the board would be more appropriate. After pondering on it for quite a while, I dropped this out without notice.

__________________

Paul

"...when we try to control others, we lose the ability to manage our own lives."  - Paths to Recovery 



~*Service Worker*~

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 Basically, Paul you have raised a conscience issue. Which is fine. Not just well within the guidelines, but, in my view vital for the health of an Alanon Group.

You considered whether this was the right place to raise the issue. For me- it is fine.

There is a business forum too, now that John has passed- where we had to deal with Tradition 7.

Some people might prefer that place. At a f2f meeting, where there are newcomers and others I would certainly have chosen another time and place.

This is a great place- where we can meet 24/7. There is no egg timer on the table... and all our sharings, on the board are actually recorded.

Your motive is the health of the group and of Alanon as a whole. Yes. smile...



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One day at a time.



~*Service Worker*~

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DavidG wrote:

 

                           I came from a family system where the rule was: Don't do as I do- do as I say!

                           Second and third rules were- make it snappy! And thirdly- my way, or the highway.

                           You will note that none of these rules are conference approved, by Alanon.

I belong to an Alanon where the rights of individuals and minorities are respected. And all members, who want to be heard,

are heard. And decisions are made on this basis.

 


 Sounds like MY FOO...do as I SAY,not what I do....and oh yea, the "make it snappy"  and oh yea again...it was his way or a beating.....and no, thank goodness, these rules are not in alanon....I agree with you about "rights of individuals and minorities are respected"  ALL members should be able to post from their hearts...say what they mean..mean what they say, without saying it mean and be HEARD and NEVER judged because maybe their post is kinda "ugly" in what they are going trhough or feeling.........personally, on this board, I see a lot of support...I don't see any "mini gods" pushing their weight around....I post and esh when I have something to offer, but there are a LOT of caring, "keeping the focus on them" souls here who are works in progress. like me, so it is comfortable company for me.......JUST saying



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Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***



~*Service Worker*~

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I too thank you for your post Paul....I too have been a bit uncomfortable with some posts. I am one of the moderators, and while we work to ensure no spam, trolls, cursing, etc. we DO NOT judge, censor or send PM(s) as warnings - at least, I don't...

I've tried to figure out a way to gently remind us all of our singleness of purpose. I believe it's awesome that we welcome new members and share our ESH. I too came to recovery trying to control, change, cure others and it's a deep-seated pattern I've worked hard to amend as best I can.

I think it's important to remember that we are all equals and we all have different experiences. I do accept and believe there is only one authority and it's not any of us - it's a loving God, defined individually, that leads each of us on our journey. I believe forums are 'hard to read' and without the benefit of face to face exposure, it's difficult at times to look for the message instead of focusing on the written word.

As with all things recovery, I can best share my own ESH - it was suggested to me early on that my sharing:

- Should always be very gentle, and presented as a suggestion - not using You Should, You Need, You Must statements.
- Gentle is defined as remembering how I felt when I first arrived. I can say that had someone began shouting directives at me, I would have either cried in the moment or ran out the door and cried all the way home.
- Should come from my heart and my experience - I statements.
- Support doesn't have to be deep, involved, It can be as simple as I hear you, I'm praying for you, thinking of you, sending you positive thoughts.
- The only exception is in cases of abuse. Then, I was told to not drone on about my experience, but instead offer support and suggest seeking any assistance possible via local resources.

So - I hear you Paul and I have had some of the same discomfort you describe. I've been sharing less of my ESH as one poster suggested they did not like hearing about the other side of this program, and for me, it's part of my ESH and hard to carve apart. Simply put, I will not change who I am or how I share based on the discomfort of one yet I respect the whole group enough to consider my ESH is not what's needed.

I feel blessed that I'm in an area where there are many meetings and tons of fellowship. I know that's not true for many who have no close meetings or even live in another country. I do the best I can to assume people post as they need kindness, gentleness and compassion - not a list of what to go do. Google can answer that. Perhaps this thread can serve as a gentle reminder that our posts may be the only support one has available, and being kind, gentle and supportive is our mantra...?

I know I am grateful for those who were kind to me when I got here. I owe much to recovery, the program and MIP. I agree that the readings you provided are very helpful for keeping our 'eye on the prize' - our common welfare, group unity and ESH vs. Advice-Giving. We will survive this - I have hope always!

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



~*Service Worker*~

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a4l wrote:

Lately the board feels like someone died and appointed kings. 


                      Well, John has passed and he set up all of the MIP programmes...  my profile describes me as "a service worker". I was not offered this role. Did not seek it. I think, after so many postings, the computer gave me that ranking. Its no big deal.

Sometime, when someone is working in the backroom I would like to have have it changed to what ah am- a common or garden member.

I have been in Alanon 34 years. I reckon, with all the active members here 30 or 40 outside groups would be represented- with all the ESH and combined service knowledge we all bring together... ...it could be 60 or 80 groups all told. That creates a strong coherent group conscience... and the love and respect around here is strong... in my view, unassailable...aww 

...there is room here for each one of us to have a voice... smile I appreciated your share... aww

Its a lovely winter afternoon here, on my side of the world. Friday evening...



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One day at a time.



~*Service Worker*~

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I'm just a lil senior member , according to the computer name under my pic.....works for me....a name is a name is a name....don't mean anything, how I treat me and others DOES mean something.....and I agree that each of us should have a voice so long as there is no attacking or "targeting" or bullying or whatever..which I haven't seen on this board from the folks that I have seen and shared with, anyway........i want to be free to speak my truth so long as I keep the focus on me and my experience, strength and hope......i think the PM feature is a good thing to sort out differences.....

Also, if I came to a board as a newbie and shared my innards out, I would feel lost if all I got was directed to meetings and steps and sponsor work, which is imperative, but also validating the poster and what they have to say..what they are feeling...what they going through and assuring them that they are not alone and I can relate.....I heard the word, "gentle" and I liked that...GENTLE ...something I never experienced as a child...everything I had to obey was by force and terror and bullying and intimidation/threats, etc...control at its very worst.....When I post, I want to see human ESH ALONG with reminders of the alanon principles, suggestions etc.....So far, I have been very blessed to have gotten that...I hope I do the same for the ones whose posts I share on.....I believe in my heart that I do because I CARE!!!!! ..Just saying

__________________

Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***

a4l


~*Service Worker*~

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That's cool David, my profile says the same thing, re: service worker. Yes, everyone has a voice. But no one came here because they were healthy and I'd hate to think some newcomers get the impression we are gurus, any of us. Because we are not. Also, in a meeting format, depending on the group, shares have a time limit. I think we should have a conscience meeting on that, because some of our members are dominating almost every thread. Gonna call the elephant in the room: excessively long posts, forceful posts are off putting. Quoting peoples threads then judging them according to individual beliefs is off putting. I've done it, I feel the urge to do it, I've learned not to, because ultimately, it serves my ego, not my fellowship. I expect to be taken down for airing that but I'll own it whatever comes. Edna.

__________________

"When one door is closed, don't you know,another is open?" Bob Marley.



~*Service Worker*~

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Thanks for your honesty. I'm not sure what or who your referring too here and to be frank this makes me uncomfortable and nothing else really has. I'm like is he talking about me here? I'm a got something to say then spit it out and be clear about it kind of person lol. On the other hand I'm also a but that's your opinion and I don't necessarily agree type person. For me, if you have an issue then maybe a word with the person in private would have been more appropriate, in my opinion.  I can see on line its difficult to have a group conscious meeting but I think it has been done, that way the groups feelings can be considered and a group decision on how to handle it maybe? not sure.

I love the bit that says we have no leaders and the group has a loving God. What I don't get is who says what that loving God has put in the path of someone who comes here in pain? I know we have guidelines but come on, these aren't really adhered too because of the constant stream of newcomers, who I might add, come and go rapid style and often, no offence, give very little back in terms of ESH, no blame but it seems to be the reality, they come and go and there are angels here who have the patience and healthy thinking to give beautiful gentle esh over and over and its understanding and kind then there are those who say it with more passion, for want of a better word. They say it differently but the motives are mostl likely the same and coming form that person progress in this beautiful program. Who gets to say who the angels are? for me theres a place for all of it and I think mostly we do pretty good considering.

Who knows what will work for people, the soft and gentle approach? yeah maybe for some and then the hard hitting reality type of esh? Me, I needed to be told clearly and quickly, 'listen your in denial, your sitting on a big fat pity pot but hey your here now and its all going to be okay.' This is the language I responded too, so if your saying that we should all go softly softly then Its possible I wouldn't have heard the clear message I got. Theres a place for all of us here and to say that someone should go elsewhere based on your own individual interpretation of the guidelines isn't democratic.

Also very recently someone who came here got badly assaulted and I know we cant see the future or predict anything or control etc but I wonder if that kind of ESH would have helped? not sure, we cant be responsible for any of that stuff but all I'm saying is if we filter out the writing styles and only accept one type of esh then we may be taking away another of Gods teachers, maybe its Gods will to have the variety and that way we get to reach a variety.



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~*Service Worker*~

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In earlier program I read a share about giving advise which was about who owns the consequence or takes credit if the advise works for the good or if it doesn't and it turns out bad?  I still use that as a guide line before I share my ESH.  Lessons on ego and pride are helpful.   (((MIP)))  smile



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a4l


~*Service Worker*~

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I really do think that our board is lacking direction. Its as enmeshed as the foo systems we're all familiar with, afflicted by isms. Discussing the board with another member, the suggestion came up that a separate forum could be of use. An off topic forum. I really do feel that this board has helped so many, including me, but the line between program and personalities has become blurred. I'm glad this was raised, this thread.

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"When one door is closed, don't you know,another is open?" Bob Marley.



~*Service Worker*~

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But by the very nature of the forum we all have isms so the forum is full of isms just different levels of isms really. What topics would be off topic? For me I would prefer more focus on recovery more like a meeting but not sure that's possible. It's good to get these things out but it's a we program and focusing on the differences is a big part of our problems. Looking for the similarities is where the recovery is at for me. One major shortcoming for me was intolerance and this board has helped me practice that so I'm grateful for it all. Not sure who has the authority to judge the forum or shares as unhelpful or not relevant tbh ifor my minds open enough I can learn about me from everyone.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Hi all,

I appreciate the thoughts and posts here. I hear that we all care about this board and recognize the impact it can have on others.

I don't have a lot to say or add - I don't get on the board every day, and when I do, I cannot read all the topics. But I appreciate that it is here, MIP was the first place I turned when I needed AlAnon, and I try the best I can to make the daily reading shares part of my routine.

One thing I have heard in several face to face meetings in my area is "take what you like and leave the rest". I guess I take that approach to MIP, and I don't know if my actions are not in accordance with group conscious, but I tend to read the threads that speak to me, and not read others, or not read others in full. It isn't that I am not interested at all, or that I want to cut someone off, but I couldn't keep up with all the threads and posts here if I tried.

__________________

Skorpi

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. - Lao Tzu



~*Service Worker*~

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Thank you all for additional shares, some very good points and food for thought. As I mentioned, I too have given this topic thought and tried to weigh it in terms of Traditions and principles. Minding my own business and allowing for individual differences, etc, vs the program guidance to guard the principles.

A couple of things stood out to me in the last few posts that struck me: 1) while it is true that AlAnon is a gentle program, it is absolutely not an anything-goes program, and 'everyone' is not entitled to have a voice regardless of the content of their shares. A secretary in a healthy meeting will (gently, lovingly) redirect someone who is straying from program guidelines. AlAnon is built upon the principles, traditions, concepts of AA, and in those rooms the same is done.

If an attendee refuses to follow the principles, is disruptive, and carries on in a way that is clearly contrary to the guidelines laid down, there is nothing in the guidance that I have read that says that must be allowed to continue. The unity and recovery of the group as a whole should be guarded.

I thought I was being quite clear, I apologize to those who feel I wasn't. I, too, am a shoot straight, no bs kind of person, and I was working hard to keep it to me, bring it to the group and get a sense if it is in fact just me that needs to move on. As I mentioned, the vast majority on the board are marvelous and stick closely to AlAnon principles.

There really are just a couple who recently are engaging regularly in the type of advice giving that I described in my first post above. To me it is shockingly anti-AlAnon, unmistakeable, and 'elephant in the room' sort of thing as a member put it. It is not subtle, it is not a 'I see it a little differently', it is a 'you did the right thing, you need to do this, don't do that, you shouldn't feel this, you need to feel this, your next step should be, etc. and no, el-cee, it certainly isn't you

It is literally 'telling others what, when, where, why, and how to/not to: feel, think, or act, and I have not seen anything like it in anything that is AlAnon associated. This seems to me far beyond a conscience, personal opinion thing, but clearly a departure from a fundamental principle of AlAnon: we do not tell others what they 'should, need, or must' do when it comes to their decisions. Even in issues of safety, CAL suggests we are careful about telling them specifically what to do (calling the police, etc.,) because we don't know if they are prepared for the repercussions. We don't know if calling the police is the 'right' thing to do. Telling them of the importance of seeking safety is, helping them with awareness of resources, etc.

What this seems to come down to is which parts of AlAnon the group determines to hang onto on the board, and how closely the group want to hold to them. It was clear from the beginning to me that the back and forth interaction was more free. The issue of directing others and advice giving seems to me a more fundamental piece of AlAnon recovery, and is addressable, even on an online forum. Just about any online group I am aware of has guidelines, acceptable and unacceptable posts, and they are enforced to avoid chaos and anarchy. If I am not mistaken, John took steps to protect the group during his tenure, to keep individuals from hijacking the group.

I am simply drawing attention to what I see as a significant departure from the program. I have done that and will now step back. If the group doesn't see a problem, then all is good, I will make the adjustment. I sincerely appreciate your collective patience and careful thought. I wish all a good day (Friday for those on this side of the Rounder!)

__________________

Paul

"...when we try to control others, we lose the ability to manage our own lives."  - Paths to Recovery 



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for what it is worth, reading this thread, I 2nd what el-cee says....I think we ALL have a place here adn the different styles of ESH (without attacking, bullying, controlling) is a good thing for the board....I don't want to keep on this thread, I'm going to move on and TRUST that if i ever go astray, a moderator (and we are blessed to have GREAT ones) will nudge me in the better place.......I think for the most part, we have a great "mix" of differing approaches and , anyway, I absolutely 2nd what el-cee says here...wanted to say something similiar last night, but yesterday was a bad day for me so I kept my mouth shut to contemplate.....I, too was uncomfortable with this thread "is he talking about me???" why not address this in PVT on a PM if there is an issue???...As to the "gentle" "walk softly" types of posts., yea, be kind, but I needed the "shoot straight but be kind about it"
"tell it like it is" is what I needed because I was so messed up...If I just saw replies on my posts only about meetings, sponsor, steps, etc., with NO "personal touch" and a honest "here is what I did" or "yea, I was in that situation and I did this, saw this, experienced this" et al...I needed Meat and Potatoes types of replies on my posts...I was hurting so bad, I needed to know that I was real...not alone...accepted AS IS and some DIRECTION......and I also agree with el-cee..some come here...get their ESH and they "take off to the wind" well a lot of us are grinding it out, working our butts off, ESH'ing everyone we think we can share with, relate to, have a common denometer with...I don't expect all my posts to be "liked" by the receiver or any other "reader" who jumps on and wants to weigh in with their ESH, BUT....the "take what you can use and leave the rest" parting words come to mind here....Someone mentioned posters "dominating threads" well maybe they see another poster replying and they go "OMG..i can relate to THAT person" so they post again...I love activity and lots of posts on my threads...I WANT to be "not invisible" to my fellow travellors...I WANT folks to write as much as they want to on my threads...I'm learning from each and every post...even if I disagree....so on a post are we to ESH it once , twice?? whats the limit?? OR add as much as what i am prompted to write if I relate to another......I am the real deal..I am what you see is what you get...imperfect...struggling to get better....struggling with my fear based issues and if 20 people post on my thread, many of them repeats, I am learning..I am benefiting and so are the OTHER readers....I try to answer as many posts as I can IF I have something to offer..than another comes along andI go "WOW.that is awesome point," and so I post off THEIR reply because it brought up a salient point for ME....maybe for others, too.....as to "using the quotes" I do that to make SURE I am seeing it right AND with my GAD, its hard for me to concentrate sometimes and using the quote, I can "refer to what was said" for me?? it is a display of respect for the other's points...I want to "get what they say correctly"....the quote feature on this thread helps when one has a long post and I want to give them quality ESH on their points....i've never had anyone tell me they don't like it....if they do not??? PM me and say so and I won't do it on whomever asks me not to.....anyway, I absolutely agree with what el-cee said........so ok...I've said my piece...Time to get off the thread

__________________

Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***



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Good morning all.  This has certainly been an interesting thread to read and ponder. I would like to share additional thoughts on the subjects addressed.

On the subject of titles such as service worker guru, etc;

This was established many years ago by the board, founder and the titles are granted automatically based  on the number of posts that person has posted to the board and not on the wisdom aww

Responses to postings :  

Any Al-Anon meeting that  I have attended in the past 30 years does not permit crosstalk .  The exact nature of this board is that we share our experience strength and hope with each other after one person shares. We may not know how to do this as gracefully as we need to, and occasionally may step on others toes. but I see no mean spirited  communication Occasionally I do see non alanon  advise being  offered and maybe that can be stopped 

As far as the board lacking direction.

I am confused about that statement because I see that it is focused on recovery from the dreadful disease of alcoholism l  The pain and anger experienced as a result of the disease and the tools that work. Occasionally I find the copying of entire posts off putting and an infringement on the original poster but I do see that the direction of the Board is recovery.

We could call a Business meeting to  address these concerns.If so  I would  like to request that someone prepare a topic/solution  agenda  for this meeting.  I will be out of town all next week but will be back 7-20.  



__________________
Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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Paul,

This is not a WSO - World Service Organization approved Alanon site. I have been almost since it's beginning. It once did not include the blurb about "The material presented here..." To my recollection, that was later added because this is not World Service Organization Alanon. There was a vote at one time as to whether we would like to go that route. That vote also was also to include our Alanon meeting chatroom being WSO. It was decided by the group in a group conscience meeting that this site would remain independent. I believe there are some older posts of John's on this matter. 

I truly understand your desire for greater Alanon recovery focused sharing here. But to be honest with you, my in person Alanon meetings experience many of these issues too and they go unchanged. Yes, I agree that it's part of a chairperson's responsibility to steer the member back when they are off track. My experience in f2f has been that that often doesn't happen. One of the effects of living or having lived with alcoholism is to either be fearful to confront or fearful of being confronted. Often a chair will choose not address such an issue. I speak from personal experience. It's taken time in recovery and program work to overcome such a fear and it's something I have to keep working on. 

I can only speak for myself, Paul but I have been at this site a very long time and have found it to be invaluable with all it's imperfections. I take what I like and leave the rest. Although we don't give advice in Alanon, this is not Alanon but a gathering of people interested or attendees of Alanon. As you guided David to the WSO site for CAL, I have suggested attendance at f2f meetings and the WSO site for information as well. It's the best guide for all things officially Alanon. 

This has always been a forum of open sharing based on Alanon principles as the individual interprets them and if the individual cares to apply them here. I have found that opennes to be of value to my own personal growth. My internal barometer is a great guide as I interpret someone else's typed share here. When I'm cool, I'm often reading something resolved within myself. Hot.. something unresolved within myself. If literally, how someone chooses to respond to another here feels compromising to my serenity; why is that? 

Our Alanon meeting opening pretty much introduces attendees to what is off limits in an Alanon meeting... no advice giving, not sharing if you are in another fellowship or no sharing outside affiliations to which you belong and concentrating on the Alanon program specifically while in an Alanon meeting. With that said, we're not in a World Service Organization approved Alanon meeting when we come to share at this board. Would I like if people adhered to that? Sure! Is it realistic? No. For one thing, moderators already have to physically edit safety concerns and that is plenty for them I'm sure.

My experience here has been a good one. I think moderators have done a great job keeping this a safe place to recover and keep coming back. I get to share with people from all over the world unlike my f2f meetings where we only have occassional visitors from elsewhere.  My higher power has the filter so whatever is shared here and however it is shared; I receive what I'm meant to receive as a result of my conscious contact with my higher power. That hp is above and beyond my control and for that I'm very grateful.  Please take what you liked and leave the rest.  TT

 



__________________

Faith unsticks fear.



~*Service Worker*~

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I agree TT I would also like to add that although we are not officially under the ALANON WSO umbrela. I do believe we are in compliance with the 5th Tradition:
"Each alanon family group has but one purpose to help families of alcoholics: We do this by practicing the 12 Steps of AA ourselves, (we have a step work board)- by encouraging and understanding our alcoholic relatives and by giving comfort to familes of alcoholics."

__________________
Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


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I was involved in a recent post about science and Alanon, and AA that I went overboard with my responses. I am probably one of the people referenced here. I took the post too personally and tried to be too controlling in my responses. I have always learned that science is not a part of AA or any of the programs that have come from AA like Alanon. I have always thought that if people want to talk about information of that nature people should encourage others to get it from professionals like doctors and rehab specialist. I am a recovering alcoholic and things were said about the AA program, as if people did not want to know the science of alcoholism or that we were not intelligent enough to talk about science. When that is not true, it is just not what the program was meant to be. Anyone can correct me if I am wrong, the conversation began with AA mentioned so I felt as if I could talk about it. I did go overboard trying to prove a point. I did talk to other people in Alanon who said that there is a pamphlet for people who have been in AA. I understand that people come to Alanon to get away from an alcoholic and are looking for another perceptive. I will keep this in mind and only make post where I think it will benefit the poster, is not personally motivated, and is not cross talk. I do not think it is wrong to clarify the intent of AA if someone has already brought AA up though, but this is an Alanon forum and I have to remember that. 



-- Edited by shrnp on Friday 14th of July 2017 10:47:25 AM



-- Edited by shrnp on Friday 14th of July 2017 10:51:34 AM

__________________

Sharon 



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hotrod wrote:

We could call a Business meeting to  address these concerns.If so  I would  like to request that someone prepare a topic/solution  agenda  for this meeting.  I will be out of town all next week but will be back 7-20.  


          I second that motion...

          Betty, would that be a chat meeting?

If so would you consider holding it on the Forum Business notice board? A chat-based meeting would suit people on EST and PST. But not a lot of overseas people. Here in NZ we are 16 hours ahead of EST, winter, and 18 hours summer.

On the Forum Business Board we can all meet 24/7... smile...



__________________

One day at a time.



~*Service Worker*~

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  Its no big secret that I belong to another 12 step group on the MIP Boards. I got 100% support from my Alanon family here when our other group was cranking up. I have been with founding Alanon groups 3 times- and really it takes years to get started... ...and well established.

If a group collapses, or falls over, it is a great loss.

I see strengths in these groups as having momma bears and papa bears... this is how my mind works... and this Alanon group has several of each.

F2F groups look and sound different. Once something is said and done- it is much harder to backtrack. Here, it's a doozy!

So this invisible silent group I picture differently... after a time people and personalities seem to emerge- as real people... -its delightful! smile...

 

PS Americans just love definitions... it must be the style of education y'all get. Sometimes words mean different things in the USA, and in Britain.

      so here is my definition of "doozy"... 

So where did doozy come from? Etymologists believe that it's an altered form of the word daisy, which was used especially in the late 1800s as a slang term for someone or something considered the best.



__________________

One day at a time.



~*Service Worker*~

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First, thank you all again for contributing thoughts and comments. I have taken time to ponder what each has shared, and as suggested, review my feelings, motivations, reasons for feeling like my serenity is compromised. I, too, have benefited immensely from this site, and the patience of other members as I try to grow in recovery.

I greatly respect those who have been here from way back, the wisdom they continue to share, and the guidance they continue to provide. A special mention of gratitude to the moderators, who in no way did I mean to disparage. I appreciate the restraint shown in an effort to not overlord the board.

My share to open the thread was not the most concise, so that added to the apparent for some. In closing, I will try to simply articulate more clearly the specific area of my concern along with what the contributions from the group have helped me to determine.

The reasons I heard for taking a more laid back approach on the board seemed to come down to:
* The board is not WSO approved site
* Even in official AlANon meetings, not all actively redirect straying members.
* Our primary responsibilities, according to Traditions, are being met, no need for change

The Traditions suggest that care be used in the naming of groups because of the possible associations others may make. When I plug in "AlAnon online", this group is near the top (Nice SEO work MIP!). The url I find the page on is alanon.activeboard.com, the banner at the top announces "AlAnon Family Group (one of the official Fellowship names) Message Board, AlAnon meetings are held on one of the group pages, and the meetings are advertised on the message board.

If someone suggested ALAnon to me, the first thing I would do is check out what it was about online. As a person unacquainted with the organisation, I would not have a clue about what the WSO is, but it would seem to me that this was a legitimate ALAnon site.

Over the last few weeks, comments from two avatars have delivered a high volume of comments to most new threads that are often highly directive to the point of badgering, include the recognition that they are not following Alanon suggestions but are going to do it anyway, often instruct others on how they should feel about their qualifier, etc, and invite members to contact them for further recovery work off the boards. At least one of these avatars claims many years in the program, sponsees, etc.

In response to the three reasons given above that suggest there is no need for this to be addressed, and the basis for my originating comment, here are the questions that motivated me to speak up:

* The group is not WSO, but very few would know that, and certainly not the new who are seeking help. Are all group members comfortable with the badgering that is being done by two members in the name of AlAnon? Does the fact that the group is not officially WSO relieve the group of the responsibility to address the fact that for most outsiders, this IS Alanon? Does a lack of "official" WSO mean that we stand by and let these two ravage and attack those seeking help, recovery, and guidance?

* In regards to what goes on in some meetings, I too have seen poor examples of meetings where the focus is not on recovery, members simply trade advice, no CAL is referenced. But is that reason not to actively guide errant members on this board, with the goal of helping everyone understand how AlAnon works?

* I do agree that this site does an incredible job for the most part, thanks to the incredible service of some of the members here. So it is only in the area of these two avatars that I have concerns, and question whether allowing this two to maul every newcomer is truly being encouraging and helping anyone.

I spoke, and I am grateful for the members of the group who responded. I spoke again and received more feedback. After weighing all the responses, it seems perhaps that not all share my concerns, or not to the level that I do. Those with more program experience and wisdom in the program than I have wisely encouraged me to look within. In the interest of group unity, I will not personally pursue the topic any further. I am but one, the group is many.

I hope all will take me at my word that I do not intend to step on toes or disrespect the effort and service of all that have worked and continue to work hard to build what has been a great blessing for many, including myself. Thank you

__________________

Paul

"...when we try to control others, we lose the ability to manage our own lives."  - Paths to Recovery 



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Thanks Paul I will be out of town all next week and honestly do not see any need for a Business meeting at this time If anyone would like to PM me with a topic, agenda proposed resolutions then I will be glad to arrange it

__________________
Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


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Hey David - just want to confirm that my definition of doozy aligns with yours! In my FOO, we still use that word - if I had to guess, I believe it may have come from a few generations back and they were immigrants to the US...

Paul - I want you to know that I hear you....loudly and clearly. I also do agree with some of your observations as I pointed out above. My ESH - when I read a post and it makes me uncomfortable, I try (key word....try) to 'let it begin with me'. Depending upon my own spiritual condition, I may reply or I may ignore.

For those who believe that PM (Private Messaging) is a good place to resolve conflict, I agree in principle. However, I also know of at least 3 members here who no longer post as they felt 'attacked' via the PM. So - as with life - there is always good/bad in every situation/experience. For me, I'll continue to be of service because what MIP returns to me is invaluable. I do love me enough that if my perception of 'value' lessens, I will move on and find other resources.

I don't know that we need a meeting or not, but if the majority wanted to do it, I'd be game. We do have a very special group and place here and I believe it's important that we all work to keep it friendly, helpful, hopeful and open.

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

a4l


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Lack of direction for me means, there are no clear lines of what's acceptable and what isn't. For the newcomer, what looks and sounds like an alanon principle isn't always easy to distinguish. Some of us search out the spiritual aspects of a 12 step program, there are traditions and concepts meetings, open speaker meetings, etc etc. Then there's the meeting after the meeting which is what this board looks like to me. The problem is, there isn't any clearly defined charter of action or guideline for moderators and members. I think there needs to be. What happens when problems arise either with members or moderators? To what principles and whose interpretations of those principles does the board rely on in times of trouble?

__________________

"When one door is closed, don't you know,another is open?" Bob Marley.



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I agree with Paul and couldn't state any of it any better than he has. This IS al-anon to the newcomer and what is said to them can absolutely determine whether they seek any further al-anon support or not. If I was bombarded with directives and told what to think and feel when I arrived, I would have run in the other direction and proclaimed far and wide that al-anon is a bunch of control freaks....stay away!!!!
Luckily I wasn't, I was greeted very gently and I was so relieved to find acceptance and a lack of judgement. I'm very grateful that was the case because I would have missed out on so much if I hadn't stuck around. I might be dead, quite honestly. So I for one think it matters very much if people are actively and forcefully misrepresenting the program here. It has been noted that we are one of the most active al-anon forums on the internet. That's a big deal and something I think we should take seriously.

If others are happy for things to continue exactly as they are, which does of course for the most part work very well for those of us that come here regularly, I think there at least needs to be a more noticeable message to newcomers that this is not purely program-chat and that what they read may not reflect the principals of the program. I wonder how hard it would be to create an automatic welcome message that people receive upon joining, for example, that clearly states this information.

If no-one is down for a meeting, perhaps we could at least invite members to contribute and discuss suggestions, ideas and concerns such as these on a thread in the business forum. At least then, when there is a concern (or a great idea), people will have the chance to feel heard and discover whether others feel the same or not without it appearing in the main forum.



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I believe that the principles of alanon's Traditions , Steps and Concepts are guidelines that are used to  moderate the  sharing  and responses on the Board.  Newer members are encouraged to attend face to face meetings  and obtain a sponsor.

 The 12th Tradition suggests that we place principles above personalities (our own included), not react, not give advice, nor judge, condemn or blame another and trust that guidance for the  group is provided by a Power  Greater than ourselves.

We attempt  to provide  alanon tools by the daily posting of  excerpts from one of our daily readers as well as by attempting  to honor the basic principles  of acceptance of all into this  fellowship of equals .  In addition The message posted at the top of th Board states: 

The material presented here is not Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature. It is a method to exchange information, ideas, feelings, problems and solutions on a personal level.on a personal level. 

 

 

You may find that you may not like all of us but you will come to love us in a special way the same way we already love you" talk to each other reason things out with each other but let there be no gossip or criticism of one another instead let the understanding love and peace of the program grow in you one day at a time.  

  

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I think that this has been a great exchange, as it  is a reminder that  we  can all take the time to  review our responses and make sure they are representative  of alanon 's  philosophy 

 

 



-



-- Edited by hotrod on Saturday 15th of July 2017 08:03:11 AM

__________________
Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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hotrod wrote:

I think that this has been a great exchange, as it  is a reminder that  we  can all take the time to  review our responses and make sure they are representative  of alanon 's  philosophy 


                                        smile Betty... in my view any member can call a conscience meeting, or raise a conscience issue...

                                        around here there is a way to do it that raises issues, but does not create needless friction.

                                       For me it is a sign of leadership- and Paul- ah believe that you have done us proud! aww.... 



__________________

One day at a time.



~*Service Worker*~

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David I am confused as to your statement- No one is suggesting that Paul was incorrect in bringing up the topic



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud
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