Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Alcoholics Anonymous Tradition 7

Ok you fucking cheapskate drunks... pony up.

I will not enter an A.A. meeting if I don't have a buck on me. I usually have two bucks handy and I'll put that in... but sometimes I'm running late so... if I can't dig up 4 fucking quarters, I just won't go.

I can turn the couch upside down and find two bucks. Any bum can scrape up two bucks.

But that's just me. I could care less what you put into the basket... unless it's our 4 member home group. There, if everybody doesn't contribute 2 bucks minimum, then come rent time, somebody has to pony up the rest.

If you're a cheap drunk who had to steal or mooch or drink mouthwash, then I say you weren't/aren't alky. You're just a fucking cheap-assed bum. Or worse. You're a fucking thief.

Ask yourself... how much does one drink cost? Now how much does one fucking A.A. meeting cost?


  1. As a general rule we are pretty likeminded,can't say that we see the same on this post, that's alright though, here are my thoughts.

    "I could care less what you put into the basket"

    I'm guessing that is probably true, sound like you still care about what other people think regarding your contribution. Fuck em' You not attending a meeting just because you don't have a buck does not help the new guy who needs the message and a guy like you who is armed with the fact. I'm not telling you your business, just offering a consideration.

    "If you're a cheap drunk who had to steal or mooch or drink mouthwash, then I say you weren't/aren't alky"

    Seriously? where is this coming from, some sorry dirt poor bastard gets the craving activated, and he will absolutely do this. I always had $ so I never had to do this, but I know I am capable, I would have killed for a drink if I had to.

    Allright, I've said my peace. You and I have spiritual license with each other, which is the only reason I gave my 2 cents. Consider what I said, tell me to fuck off, sit with it, whatever, it's all good, you know where I am coming from.

  2. Ha!

    I exaggerate a little bit.

    What I'm saying is I will scrounge a damned dollar from somewhere before I take off to the meeting. I think about the basket before I go. I would feel like shit if I didn't contribute a buck or two. One buck for the cheap coffee and a buck for the lights being on. Don't tell me the folks who run the meeting don't think about it. In some meeting out here they pass the basket early or in the middle so the scragglers don't miss their opportunity to contribute.

    Now, maybe there are some down and outs who live drink to drink. But most alkies I know clean up well and can earn a good living regardless of the booze. I made damned good money when/while I drank. Bums are willful. What kind of a person sponges off another... or has no problem not paying their way?

  3. I hear you, I am so fucking tired of meetings,deadbeats, problem drinkers and "andas" I can't even begin to describe it.

    I've inventoried the shit out of it, I see where self is blocking me. For the past two weeks I've voted with my feet and not gone. Wow, 2 whole weeks without a meeting and here I am sober.

    There's an idea for a thread, walking away from AA and remaining sober, I'm interested in this selfishly as I have been contemplating doing this for a while.

  4. I did just that... but during my 5th step I was asked to consider landing somewhere. Since my work took me away from my homegroup for almost a year, I tried to get in with another closed meeting group. Somehow I just didn't seem to fit their group conscience. They were build on resenting our original group and splintered off. They've formed a great group of about 30 people...

    But I just can't find my place.

    So I thought I was doing pretty good freelancing. But my 5th step partner told me to consider landing somewhere... may've trying to hit 2 meetings a week. So I did that and I'll probably go there today as it's my day off.

    Now... this spiritual adviser of mine... aka sponsor some might say... challenges me with the belief that I can change my circumstances for the better if I put the power of intention to work. So I did... and at the start of the year i'm back on days Monday Tuesday and Wednesday which will enable me to attend my original homegroup again.

    My whole perception of money is tied up in this power of intention thing... this stewardship of the Power of God stuff. Even though I come off as an asshole on the topic, I think I'm on the generous side. Rich people on the other hand are damned tightwads imo.

  5. I've been watching the bucks roll in at the group where I'm treasurer. We take in about 55 cents per person. Folks who robbed their kids piggy banks for $5 to buy some vodka can't spare $1 now. And I'm not talking newbies, but rather people who have years of AA under their belts.

    But we also make enough off these cheap bastards to pay the rent and buy the coffee, so 55 cents is enough. GSO gets screwed, but there's nothing I can do about that.

    Now I was at a meeting a few weeks ago and got there a little early. They were having a business meeting and obviously the topic was money. As I was pouring a cup of coffee I caught part of the conversation, and I shit you not. "If we cut back on the coffee grounds we can save 100 cups of coffee a year. We can also put up a sign that we expect (expect!) donations of $2.00 per person." I walked out the door to wait til they were finished.

    A woman belonging to that home group came up to me after the meeting. She asked why I walked out and I told her. She said they weren't taking in a lot of money. I asked her if they took in enough and she said "Certainly, but we should take in more." Maybe they ought to look at Tradition 5 and reflect on why the fuck they're there.

    As to walking away from AA, give it a try, Rob. I know a lot of guys who've done it. Only a few who've done it successfully, though.

    It would be hard for me personally to help other alcoholics without going to meetings. And I certainly need them for my own sobriety as well. Maybe I could hack walking away, but not at this point. Then again, I've got a bunch of good meetings I can go to. The advantage of a large metropolis.

  6. I seldom carry cash. One reason it it's the quickest way to burn through money. Next reason is my kids hit me up for the last couple bucks I have on me. So I'll toss a five every other week. We have a small group and I assume my presence is equally important to my dollar. But I pay my fair share. We make enough to keep the rent paid and the coffee pot up and running. As far as I know the group has never sent a dime to New York. Now. If someone else doesn't cough up money? It's really none of my business. #3 says membership shall neither depend on money or conformity. Nuff said. #5 says our primary purpose is to carry our message to the alcoholic who still suffers. Dollar or not we still have a job to do.
    Where #7 gets a little confusing is the part where it says "Every AA group ought to be fully self supporting declining outside contributions" How vague can we be? If I stop by your group for a visit do I cough up a buck? After all, I'm simply visiting. Would that be an outside contribution? What about the "Addict Invasion" who seems to think AA is for them? If they're addicts do they need to cough up a buck? They're not members either. Taking money from an addict would be accepting money from an "Outside Contribution"
    Of course no AA group abides by the traditions 100%. I don't think it's possible. I do appreciate the ones that try their best though. Unfortunately I find that most groups read them as a formality but really don't give a shit. Why single out #7?

  7. Question for Joe,
    I've seen a lot of folks with time walk from AA and relapse, I've seen a lot in AA with time relapse.

    These folks share the following qualities:

    :They never went through the steps as outlined in the book.

    : They never made amends, paid back creditors, and continued to harm people with sex conduct

    The people I know who left AA and are sober and happy do the following:

    :Pray-meditate, incorporate 10-12 in their lives.

    What are your observations regarding this? Both the people who have relapsed and those who haven't?

  8. Interesting question, Rob.

    I've just watched a guy who's had 17 years in the program relapse. He went to meetings, sponsored (spiritual adviser to Patrick) a lot a guys, has worked the steps and all that. His explanation forgoing back out for a night? His spiritual condition sucked. He was doing all the right stuff except for the spiritual side.

    But he came back. That's the important thing.

    My brother-in-law stopped going to meetings after about 18 years. He's been sober and happy for 10 years now without going to a meeting.

    Another guy with 30 years in got pissed at a bunch of stuff going on in some meetings and stopped going. This is after 30 years of what I saw as pretty good sobriety. Last I heard he was thrown out of a topless dancer place drunk on his ass. In this case I think he had problems other than being burned out with AA, though. Hard to say.

    And there are always those who don't work the steps, don't walk the walk. They live the problem and talk the solution. I don't consider them to relapse as I don't think they were ever in the program to begin with. These are the ones who think you get this shit by osmosis.

    The rest of us just plod along, doing what the Big Book suggests as best we can. I personally need to go to meetings. If for no other reason than to see what happens to people who don't.

    But if you're comfortable enough to go without meetings, or the meetings are holding you back, then by all means bail out. I have a hunch that your sobriety is strong enough so that you'll survive. And that you're smart enough to recognize that you feel a relapse heading your way you know where to go.

  9. Thanks Joe,
    really appreciate the feedback. One of the things I like about this site is the range of ideas and respect for each other. I'm a by the book guy, this has been my bread and butter for several years and will always serve as my foundation. Over the years I find that the AA I am surrounded with somewhat constricts the Broad Highway. It sounds like you are fortunately situated to have some decent meetings in your area, we have two, amidst a sea of mind numbing go nowhere discussion meetings.I have wasted a tremendous amount of time trying to change these groups, Jim taught me the spiritual law of invitation, this has helped me immensely.

    I don't know where I am going, I try not to make sweeping statements, I may just take a break for a bit, we'll see. If I ever drink again it will be becasue my spiritual condition sucks. This will happen slowly and will look like a bunch of actions that I am no longer willing to do.

    I use page 52 as a good test to see where I am at. I have a few people who would wake me up if I fell asleep, honestly, I don't see this happen as I like how I feel these days and have a pretty good idea of what I need to do to maintain and grow spirituality. I take my realtionship with God seriously, as it is this that keeps me safe and protected.

    You said" I personally need to go to meetings. If for no other reason than to see what happens to people who don't."

    If that is true, how does that take into acount the strange mental blank spot, the inability to bring this information to consciousness when you really need it. Maybe this keeps you doing the work so that the blank spot doesn't occur? Just curious and looking for more.

  10. Oh shit.

    I walked to my homegroup Monday and forgot my wallet. I stiffed them (myself).

    Now I fee like the cheap bastard I am.

    Thanks alot Patrick.

    Rob, aside from checking your motives (because I believe alcohol is a subtle foe) the answer to our affliction is a spiritual experience followed by constant spiritual growth. AA is just the most popular group to capitalize on this concept regarding alcohol.

    None of us need AA, we all need to get right with God/ourselves/our fellows. The question is, do you really have a better way to do that than AA?

    You probably don't. The grass is always greener on the other side and all.....but MAYBE you do. That's a personal decision but one I hope you'll take under good counsel. You know, we like to fool ourselves.

    People in AA drink, primarily because they've gotten too far off the beam for too long.

    It's always an inside job between you and your God. Everything else is bull shit.

    I know people who got sober using sponsors who were still drinking and died shortly there after. We like to think we're the message in some egotistical way.

    We're not. The message is the message.
    We just carry it and if we don't live by it we don't get the benefit.

    Scary thought. But I believe it's true.

  11. Hi Tony,
    Sorry for calling you Joe, fingers were typing faster than the brain. You are right, I don't have a better way, I think I can use what I learned in AA. AA is no longer a place I go, it's how I live.

    The only thing that keeps me from walking completely is working with others. I still enjoy watching the lights come on with a new guy, if I left AA, I may not be able to find drunks to work with. Thanks for the feedback. Happy New Years to all.

  12. "The only thing that keeps me from walking completely is working with others."

    Yup. I identify 100%.

    At first AA seemed soooo spiritual.
    Now it seems like a bunch of crazy drunks.

    I think that only means I got a little better.

    Now I have to focus on giving what I can and not getting caught up in the (my old) craziness.

    I hear shrinks always have a shrink themselves.
    They need it because they spend so much time with crazy people and can get caught up in the crap. Same with us, I imagine.

    Oh, and Joe is talking to you to ....lol !!!

    I feel your pain.
    But for me, at this moment, I feel like AA is the best place for me. Warts and all.
    I would never assume everyone needs it for the rest of their lives though. I've always looked past AA to the God of my understanding.
    If not, I'd probably be posting on stinkin thinkin by now or something just as useless.....lol.

    God is EVERYTHING or He is NOTHING. I decided to assume He is everything and see what would happen. So far, so good. I can't claim victory until I'm dead though.

  13. I heard it said that you can go to church and pay 25 bucks for a sermon... but in A.A. you can pay a buck and get 25 sermons.

    Damn cheapskates.

  14. Rob,

    Regarding the blank spot, it happens sometimes. But I find that the more involved I am with other alkies, the more I pay attention.

    But getting back to meetings for a minute. When the BB was published there were only 2 AA meetings/groups in existence as I understand it. One in Akron and one in Brooklyn. The Book was written such that a person could use it to get sober on his own. The stories in back were designed to take the place of one-on-one interface between alcoholics. The BB was all anyone needed.

    Fast forward to today. Meetings are everything. Meeting makers make it and all that other bullshit we hear. 90 in 90, get a home group, keep coming back ad nauseum. The BB has taken a back seat to boring speakers, drab discussions and an infinite variety of forums meetings take today.

    Maybe we've become too concerned with meeting attendance and not concerned enough with what we've done with our lives. If our spiritual condition is strong, and we indeed practice these principles in all our affairs, we should look at meeting attendance as a supplement to our sobriety rather than an essential ingredient.

    I have a feeling that there are a lot of people out there who came to AA, got sober, lead meaningful lives today by living the 12 steps and haven't been to a meeting in years.

    Maybe this is what was originally intended when the BB was written. Get sober and get on with your life.

    But then how do we "carry the message" in step 12? I go to the local jail, the Brig, and the Naval Hospital Detox Ward every month, and I suppose this qualifies.

    But to me there's a difference between carrying the message by exposing people to AA and going one on one with a sorry ass drunk in a meeting.

    So I guess I'll keep doing what I do, going to meetings to meet other alcoholics who maybe need my help, even if they are a bunch of damn cheapskates. And listen to people who decided they could safely drink again but found out they couldn't....

  15. There was also a group up in Cleveland with Clarence S. sometime during the torrential beginnings of AA.
    Anyways I too get disgusted sometimes with meetings. I like the concept but the battle to spread the message is difficult and frustrating. Someone walks in the door and by the time the meetings over he's heard ten different messages from ten different people because nobody knows what the book says. Then the poor confused soul can't get sober in a room with an AA sign on the door and a dozen different messages inside. I certainly wouldn't mind helping where I can but there's just too many of them. All too often we in AA have our message trumped by the treatment center hand offs who come spouting their treatment center bullshit. This bullshit echos off the walls and spreads like a fungus. I can understand and empathize with the frustration on Robs part. Short of going back to the basics of AA it's difficult to carry the message. In fact there's even groups called "Back to Basics" that fling the same bullshit as everyone else.
    Try speaking out against it and talk out of the book and you'll be real unpopular in a lot of groups.

  16. I'm just plain fucking bored with AA, AA meetings, and everything that goes along with it. I've been to four meetings in four weeks, my home group meeting every Monday. And the only reason I go is because I have the key to the church and said I'd be there to open up and make coffee.

    I'm not even sure where I stand on the God thing. Not that I've became an atheist, but I'm in a place where I'm questioning all the beliefs I've had about God. I truly am in a place where "God neither is nor is not," as Joseph Campbell says. I know I'm in a transition of a sort, but I don't know where it's taking me. I'm just being open to wherever that may be. I should be concerned, but I'm not. And I think that's what bothers some people. I've been told that I'm setting myself up. Setting myself up for getting drunk? I don't think so, because if it was about attending meetings to stay sober, I'd have been drunk a long time ago.

    I think people that tell me that I'm setting myself up are speaking from their own fear, certainly not out of any concern for my sobriety. Which is fine, I don't expect anyone else to be concerned with my sobriety, although there are a few busy bodies that seem to be. I think that where I'm at threatens their own security, threatens the idea that dependence on AA is what keeps them sober.

    As for going to meetings to see what happens to those who don't go to meetings, I've always questioned that. I see it at the detox where I work. Place is full of people that went to meetings and drank and who saw others drink. Doesn't seem to keep them from drinking over and over again and from going to detox over and over again.

  17. What makes me nervous is those folks who concern themselves with your frequency of attendance and your lack of dependency on meetings in order to stay plugged into whatever source of Power you have found.

    I just was on the receiving end of a 10th step... maybe he reads the blog... so I'd better be careful... but we were just talking about this whole thing. He is one of the only face to face A.A. folks who has any notion of the cyber recovery stuff and the whole anti/XA angle. He is somewhat versed on the Orange stuff.

    But anyways, good to see you again Jim and I bet you're doing great. I think you're going through life stuff, perhaps grieving, growing pains, maybe relationship stuff? Who knows. You know you can call me anytime. God knows I've called you in my rough spots over the last couple of years.

    I've been away from my homegroup so long that I forgot that I was supposed to be concerned about my sobriety and my reliance on things human. I even go so far away from regular meetings that I kind of miss it again. I miss the good meetings, the bad meetings, the ritual of it all. I'm looking forward to returing to my homegroup... next Monday that is... I took this Monday off to do stuff with my wife.

    I'm blessed, I don't deserve the life I have now, and I wish I could give some of this away.

    Happy New Year!

  18. I agree Jim. But there are those of us who go to meetings and don't drink, although we see the bunch that keeps drinking over and over.

    As far as your transition goes, I wish you well with it. I don't think you're setting yourself up for anything. Like Rob, you're strong enough to survive without the AA drama.

  19. all of you need to call your sponsors !!!

  20. If you don't give today because you didnt' have any money on you by mistake or because you are poor that is not a moral failing. It is a human mistake to forget something and being overly concerned about not making any mistakes is a guilt-ridden version of AA. You can make mistakes. Just put in twice as much the next time you are there. If you are too poor to give don't worry. But I give because i have gratitude to AA for helping me stay sober. The best thing I heard is that if you only have a penny to give, give it, it's not about making the rent (in that case) it's about being grateful and giving back. Not that I don't cast a glance over to see how much other people are putting in the pot.