I noticed, looking at my archives, that I’m writing about half as often as I did at this time last year. I never set out with a goal of how often to write, and I’ve balanced it usually with the other things I do. What I do is have a full-time job (with generous time off), sleep, read books, crochet, read message boards, watch TV and DVDs, walk, brush, train and obsess over my dog, clean the house, cook (not often), shop (hardly at all), email, talk on the phone, go to meetings, other miscellaneous recreation, commute, read blogs, read and watch news, bathe and do person hygiene stuff, work on my fear of flying, exercise a tiny bit, talk to people in person. That’s all I can think of.
I’ve meant to focus my thoughts here, in this blog, on the oldtimer experience. I often can’t resist the “when I first stopped drinking” mode that permeates so many AA meetings. But I try. With other people, other books, other blogs, I appreciate oldtimers more than I can say. Even when those oldtimers are concentrated on “when I first stopped drinking,” their very presence cheers and inspires me.
In person, when I hear someone mention, for example, “Carmelita, who has 20 years of sobriety,” I cringe inside. I feel I do not live up to the amount of sober time I have. I feel someone would never refer to me in that way.
I mention AA, I link to AA, I quote AA, this is about my AA experience. I sincerely hope that no one thinks I am in any way endorsed by or related to AA beyond being a member. I am not. I owe my life to AA and I would never harm it. I hope that my experiences and thoughts reflect positively on AA. My experiences in AA are extremely limited, and I only write about my experiences. AA is world-wide and I am not. I have not studied AA, I just go to meetings and read information. AA gave me my life and so it is the most important thing in my life. That said, I believe that people who write in criticism of AA should be allowed to do that as well as I can write its praises. I will not reveal my real name or my full face because I follow the traditions of AA. I will reveal my politics because I do not speak for AA.
Some search terms that lead people here:
aa meetings topics : This is my most popular page. I have fun collecting topics and welcome suggestions.
aa character defects list : I do keep a list, and some of it is inspired or comes from AA literature, other parts of it do not. I mean it to be helpful only. I know many people struggle with understanding and listing character defects.
do alcoholics regret : Yes, I think they do. My understanding of the AA program is that not regretting the past is an ideal I am to strive for. I don’t think we ever get there.
terence this is stupid stuff analysis : Lots of people get here this way, and it makes me cringe a little. This is a poem that had lots of meaning for me when I studied it in school. It involves alcohol and drunkenness, and so I related and still do. I pity the poor English student who comes here seeking enlightenment. I should probably add a disclaimer to that page. I hope no one has suffered a bad grade due to my influence.
aa meetings how to chair a meeting : Things like this are so varied from place to place. I’ve lived lots of places but really, not that many, and all in the US. I wonder why people seek information like this on the internet rather than asking someone in their group.
running into someone you know at an aa : Well, it happens, and sometimes it results in a very happy ending. In my experience, the person usually doesn’t, as most don’t, stick with it, and they fade away. There are people out there who have seen me at an AA meeting and who are not members themselves any longer. This has never had a bad impact on my life in any way. Bottom line is, you’re there for the same reason. My drunken behavior would be much more noteworthy than my presence at an AA meeting.
embarrassed to attend an aa meeting : See above, and be honest. Your drunken behavior is much more embarrassing than your attendance at a meeting.
what’s the point of aa meetings : That would be to stay sober, and to help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.