Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What are meetings like in Pueblo Colorado?

I know of only one other meeting in town that's anything like my homegroup's closed A.A. meeting.

Most other meetings have a "chip chick" or a "chip chico" who gives the new 24 hour people a Keep Coming Back chip, they give a red chip for 30 days, a gold chip for 60 days, a green chip for 90 days, a blue chip for 6 months, a purple chip for 9 months, and a metal medallion for 1 year, 18 months, 2 years, etc.

Oh, and a hug.

These meetings are geared towards the Newcomer.

The new people get to share 1st, but are asked to not talk about their drug of choice or how much they used because we've all used to excess... That's exactly what they say and how they say it. Then the 30 day people get to share, then 60, 90, 6 month, 9 month, 1 year, 18 month, etc. Then they say "Just for today!" Then more ((((((((hugs))))))))) and claps and cheers. (the hugs only appear to be uneven. One-armed-Louie had an incident to his left arm at a bar one night... bars are rough down here in Southern Colorado)

Then ... did I say they read the Daily reflections and Courage to Change? Then the chairperson says, "Does anyone have a topic?"

Then I whisper, "Chair the fucking meeting."

Then it's 6:35 pm.

Then they pass the basket, and the meeting goes on till 6:55 and they have someone read the promises and we close with the Lord's Prayer and at the end, they all say, "Work work work."

So, that's good for the newcomer how?

1 comment:

  1. Well they're not all like that.

    I found yet another good meeting. Sunday at 5:30. It's a young people's meeting, but they didn't kick me out. Must mean "young at heart".

    Anyway. I got scolded for going to a meeting and when some lady showed up, she had brought a busload of people, ex-military, with PTSD. I decided to chair the meeting and open it up to them, as it was typically a closed AA meeting.

    The meeting was awful. I didn't seem to connect with them, nor they with me. I told my "spiritual advisor" about this and he told me I was playing God and should have not done that.

    Maybe he's right. Then what can be done? If those guys want to try 12-Step help, it would seem that someone from A.A. should sit down with a couple of them and get a big book and have them plot out a recovery program for them specifically. Replace the word Alcohol with PTSD or something.

    I asked the lady who brought them about why she's trying A.A. and not some other recovery options. She's recovered alcoholic/addict and said she's not confident in anything else. Said one of the guys had tried Rational Recovery, but when it came down to it, got nothing from it.

    I talked with a guy who thought he knew something about it as he is ex-military. He said these PTSD people can get hit with up to 20 some tramas all at once. Then down the road, just one trama can bring on that feeling of all 20 all at once. Sounds spooky to me. He also said it's common to try to rationalize or explain the unrational. I guess I'd agree with that; somethings cannot be explained. Some things just suck.

    He also said that you cannot treat a mental obsession or a spiritual malady with a clinical solution.

    But they sure try, don't they? There's money in them there hills.

    If you want to try A.A.'s 12 Steps for the recovery of alcoholism or some other affliction, then do it. If you don't, then don't do it. Seems pretty simple.

    But I'm really finding that the magic of A.A. is one alcoholic sitting down and talking to another alcoholic. A.A. can't be everything to everybody. They cannot solve all the world's problems. We see enough friction with drug addicts trying to get well in an A.A. meeting.

    Here's A.A.'s 3rd Tradtion Long Form;

    "Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.

    That seems pretty black and white to me. PTSD could start their own 12 Step Program and use the A.A. book like C.A. does and just change the word alcohol with PTSD.

    I hear C.A. has become very successful doing that; moreso than N.A. who tried writing their own book.