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Post Info TOPIC: Reading from the AA Big Book...


~*Service Worker*~

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Reading from the AA Big Book...


 Hi y'all... aww ...

 Was prompted, from a posting last week, or so, to pull put my Bog Book and read the section- on "The Family Afterwards".

This book was the first text used at Alanon meetings in the very early days...

I read the chapter "to wives" the very first... pitched to our "mums" as the first teachers...

 

I have been preoccupied with "what goes" in Alanon. This is not so much about Alanon- but about the fact that I had odd boundaries, or no boundaries in the formation years of my life. I still need to test the limits and boundaries.

I am much more sanguine about this these days,,, since I see lots of other members doing much the same thing! we are in this together, aint we? biggrin ...

other members, too- seem to 'lay down the law'. These members are very sure about what is right and wrong.

 

I would not use The Big Book at a meeting today... but I would discuss it and quote from it. After all out daily readers are chocka-block with quotes- from a wide range of sources.

The Alanon group, from Upper Shewannae, might use readings from The Big Book and no-one would mind I am truly sure!

I believe in democracy... and that changes will pass through conference and conference will continue to approve.

At one time there was a move to make the gender of out higher power a neutral gender. This motion was lost at conference. No matter- our spiritual beliefs are encouraged- and and nature of out beliefs is a matter of choice.

In my family- because of my mum- we were not allowed to talk about religion or politics.

she was a bit better about talking about the illness infecting our family life- but sometimes she retreated into denial. I know now that is is good to find a place of refuge, sometimes... biggrin ...

I have shared before- that I idolised Lois and Bill- and for years they became my default mum and dad...

reading the words, from the BB I am awed at the wisdom and insight. Hitherto I sort of figgered that Bill was a bit of a lightweight.

Not so... and the other writers and editors... it is a brilliant piece of work- we should treasure it!

-D.

 

 



-- Edited by DavidG on Friday 11th of May 2018 07:02:22 PM

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Senior Member

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Hi David,

I've still been lurking. I love the way you shared a few things from the BB and your honesty. "she was a bit better about talking about the illness infecting our family life- but sometimes she retreated into denial. I know now that is is good to find a place of refuge, sometimes..."

I'm too scared to totally dive off and not read, check in with daily's etc yet denial is quite nice till it sneaks up LOL.

It's great how you wrote there are some that lay down the law etc. I'm finding myself in that place. But, (HUGE but) first things first. Some f2f meetings, self inventory and look before leaping. To me that says I am angry since it's not a "matter of fact" type of laying down the law. For myself, when doing so it has to be from a place of peace.

I love to watch Days of Wine and Roses. And of course, all the rest of the classics. What a journey. The most amusing part as I sit here and think on it........just as Bill "ended up with a drink with milk in it"..........Alanon is the same. Somehow all can be going too well, all falling into place then Boom! The emotions take a "drink of shock" out of denial and reality sets back in when the A acts up. :)

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~*Service Worker*~

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I do believe that if an every alanon member embraced the traditions we would not experience these "Laying down the law"inicidents. that you refer to. Conference approved literature has been a staple of alanon because it was part of our early experience that in order to keep the message of recovery simple and clear there had to be guidelines and principles outlining the message . Not sure if this is what you are referring to



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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I work and live both programs so certainly 'speak the language'. I use to be a right-fighter and have retired that hat. I do the best I can to keep things really, really simple and go with the structure of each group based on the group consensus. My favorite Al-Anon meeting has more double winners than not. We still align with the suggested traditions and stay focused on Al-Anon literature.

What I find most fascinating about the Big Book is that a couple people got together and began sharing....by supporting each other, they were able to get/stay sober and began helping others. Every single premise of any 12 step program began with 2 people who were deemed insane and beyond repair by the medical doctors and the psychological doctors. Yet, they found each other, a spiritual center and look where we are now.

We have had many small groups collect and do book studies beyond literature. It's enhanced my program and spiritual growth greatly. We do not consider it a 12-step meeting, but do borrow most of the structure and traditions. I believe there are many ways we can enhance our own program, but I do stay true to what's worked forever it seems when I'm at meetings.

I'm a big believer that everyone who considers a 12 Step program for recovery (AA, NA, Al-Anon, GA, etc.) should read the Big Book - if for no other reason than to understand how it all began. That's just me of course, and as with all things - take what you like and leave the rest!

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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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hotrod wrote:

I do believe that if an every alanon member embraced the traditions we would not experience these "Laying down the law"nicidents. that you refer to. Confence approved literature has been a staple of alanon in order to keep the message of recovery simple and clear. Not sure if this is what you are referring to


 Oh yes, Betty... smile ... sometimes notion pops up here in NZ- which have nothing to do with Alanon... but people accept them as fact. To change this is still a process... which in the end takes tact.

This group is great because we all have ESH from a wide range of people- a great leveller... aww ... this is a great place!



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~*Service Worker*~

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It is indeed David. it is a pleasure to share the journey with this MIP faimlly

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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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 Des folks...P1000603.JPG



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~*Service Worker*~

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Iamhere wrote:

I'm a big believer that everyone who considers a 12 Step program for recovery (AA, NA, Al-Anon, GA, etc.) should read the Big Book - if for no other reason than to understand how it all began. That's just me of course, and as with all things - take what you like and leave the rest!


  Kk,,,. getting back to the foundation work was rewarding to me. I always read a lot and have covered most of the AA and Alanon publications- over the years... 

looking at them now- with new eyes... ...and yes- these last few weeks- with three of us, at least- have shown that MIP Alanon can work as a stand-alone group- of needed- with everything else swirling around- at the same time!

For me, the traditions were not about just reciting them- or memorising them... but putting them into practical effect...

which, to me is simply just 'talking about stuff".

I used to talk "out of turn" a lot- because i knew nothing else. Sometimes I could exhibit wisdom and strength. Sometimes acute wisdom and sensitivity.

But always, at the back of my mind, was this one: "I am cruising for a bruising here".

Not so- I feel like I am in a safe space here- with numerous seasoned members- where ah kin spread and stretch my wings a little... and go a little further...

    smile ah, shucks... wink thanks heaps... 



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~*Service Worker*~

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 WEll to me, it is STRUCTURE!!!  we have to, at least I do, need structure..consistency...what works on Tues. should work on Fri. (regarding slogans, steps, et al)  NOT meaning to be inflexible, shut down to change, but there has to be structure for me because in my life i had No structure..never knew what was acceptable today even though yesterday it was "ok"...not sure I am getting the gist of this thread, but this is what comes to mind for me....yea, be flexible, within a healthy framework of consistence (steps, slogans, daily practice/meditation etc)  I hope this made sense, LOL



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Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***



~*Service Worker*~

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Great share Rose--- Structure is so very important to everyone, especially those who are living in, or having lived in an alcoholic environment where the rules changed continually
The basic principles of program remain unchanged and reinforced through the approved literature. Members are free to establish meetings using different formats as long as they stay within  general guidelines



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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 Yes, thanks Rosie and Betty- for those thoughts...

When I went down to the meeting through the gorge- they spent the first 20 to 25 minutes running through the steps- traditions, concepts and more- passing the book around.

I used to squirm at this happening... thinking- lets cut to the chase- lets get on with the ESH!

Ok- so there was a time in local groups when that was all we did!

I used to always feel for the newcomers- much more than i ever felt for myself. This had changed. I believe i have a balance now...

 

My local group fell over because of something bad that happened. Maybe I should have gone to the district rep. but I did not. I actually believed that the district rep was the source of the problem.

The "Girl Talk" conference had just come through. I was told that If I called a conscience meeting all the women would vote against me. It was over my use of "Hope for Today" as a reader. I was told it was not conference approved, as a reader.

It was a case of mis-applied principles. And applying "Girl Talk" principles in Alanon, in my view, was a breach of Tradition 10.

 

MIP Alanon cannot fix this... people do come to this group looking for group solutions... and always we learn to look to our own resources to find a solution.

I wanted to regain my confidence with my local Alanon district- and plan to get along to the next assembly...

they too are very strong on structure- and call for nominations and votes- even when there is one candidate. In my home town committees- this is often still the case- if there is a 'no contest'.

Hmmm... maintaining something we can all identify with- having a regular predictable format- and policy- is something I can agree with.

But not to the point of being merely picky and pedantic.

 

My old home town was much smaller 35 years ago. And we had our group finances in a pickle jar. The treasurer paid for the room cash- and we took a cash donation, from the group to our assembly... we did have a cheque book- to send away for literature.

as our assemblies we take a wrapped article and hold an auction- which is a lot of fun. This happens each and every time.

 

This group has its own particular culture- and its own rules- both written [the Alanon ones.] And sometimes unwritten unspoken ways of doing things. If each one of us is 'a work in progress'; the groups themselves are too- with the guidance of all the members united... That is what groups are all about.  aww ...



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~*Service Worker*~

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 Hmmm... if the group from Upper Shewannae was reading from the AA Big Book I would say  nothing.

 But if they were popping party balloons and drinking schnapps I would ring the district rep. This is where I sit with tradition 4.

I would expect this group, MIP Alanon, to remain very much, in the middle of the road. Er... footpath.



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~*Service Worker*~

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I know here in NYC alanon we do have many meeting guidelines that are announced at the start of the meeting. These guidelines have been developed over a period of time, based on a Business meetings that the groups held to hammer out the format.  The format includes The amount of time people can share which  is explained as is the fact that only conference approved literature is allowed, as is no cross talk. The reading of the Steps and traditions at the start of the meeting- is traditional as  I see nothing wrong with this as the steps and traditions are the meat and potatoes of recovery and are an important part of the meeting.Members can and are  sharing there issues with their   sponsor and newer members  can listen to the instructions and learn  If they have questions there  is time  after meetings   and literature to help 


I cannot understand how the groups you mentioned  could have destabilized as you experienced unless the traditions were not in play.
If you have an issue with your meeting I know that alanon WSO can help or taking a group inventory would also do the job.

Have you found ACA MEETINGS any  different?



--



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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 ACA meetings have their own culture... much the same as AA, Alanon and the others...

On our MIP ACA we have our daily readings as a feature... I like this- as in my early Alanon days we have group readings from One Day At A Time, and later- Courage To Change. Sometimes we would take a topic from the index- and take up several readings...

Most often- when we had a new member, the whole group would talk from Step One and offer their own ESH. I know this happens some places- and not others...

Early on in my Alanon the person who chaired the meeting could make a few changes... and it was up to the next chair to decide if it would stick- or not- all well within the guidelines... we rotated our chairperson, from meeting to meeting, usually.

Progress, not perfection... wise heads, all rolled into one, here... smile ...



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~*Service Worker*~

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I see I do believe that any group that agrees to abide by the principles of the traditions can aid recovery. I love the First Tradition that states:"Our common welfare should come first personal progress for the greatest number depends on unity. "
To me, that means if the group as a whole decides on an issue, I can accept it or move on to another meeting instead of fighting to get my own way. Daily readings or speaker meeting are important to share the message to newer members .

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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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Havent read all these so may be redundant but bettys reply jumped out to me. If every alanon member were willing to search their resentments then we wouldnt need to lay down the law is my own understanding. The higher power issue is the worst for some and yes even dangerous to bring up because of the very resentments it carries for some on the inside. If we follow those steps and traditions we were meant to 4th all resentments and share with our hp in the center with another. Its not as much about a prayer or hp gender as it is about willing to search us in order to make peace with our past confusion. The idea being to grow tollerance of ourselves and others rooted in love.

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~*Service Worker*~

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I agree MeTwo2 well said

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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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Thx betty i agree even the survival of alanon depends on unity. Our group willingness to get honest and search every area in us individually. Otherwise our unhealed resentments will either weaken divide or lesson the help and hope we receive which is an absolute need. Shrink our meetings with members too. Just hit me now the 3rd step suggested prayer of asking god to deliver us from the bondage of "self" .. pretty sure theres a Reason we say this prayer on step 3 Before moving into 4. 



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~*Service Worker*~

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Yes  I  agree --Our disease is hidden and surfaces when least expected.  Examining our motives and keeping the focus on ourselves is essential.  That is the reason that structure and the traditions are  so important.  



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud
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