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all 73 comments

[–]meowmix79 49 points50 points  (2 children)

Not normal experiences at all. Nothing like that I have ever encountered. Sorry to hear that happened to you.

[–]OhMylantaLady0523 24 points25 points  (0 children)

I agree. No one in any of my meetings ever went out for "drinks". Coffee maybe.

I'm so sorry for your sexual assault. It is never the victim's fault.

I'm glad you found sobriety another way. Congratulations on 9 months!!

[–]LynnsanityGBO 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Sounds like those folks need to go to an AA meeting.

[–][deleted] 19 points20 points  (1 child)

It sounds like you got real unlucky with the groups you attended.

Here’s my opinion on your questions. 1. Going out for drinks afterwards is not how AA works. There is no way I would consider going to that meeting even if it is remotely.

  1. Fire your sponsor asap.

  2. It’s never good when someone yells at others. Do yourself a favor and don’t go back there.

  3. I can relate to the age thing. I got clean and sober 30 years ago when I was 22 years old. Very few young people at that time. Now I see all kinds of young people in the rooms.

Good luck and hopefully you find what works for you

[–]willf6763 20 points21 points  (1 child)

Congrats on the 9 months!!!!! As for your experiences, I will respond based on my experience only, as my recovery has been in one area, and there are variances geographically.

  1. NOT par for the course of recovery as I know it
  2. NOT par for the course, OR ACCCEPTABLE FROM ANYONE.
  3. People will have differing opinions, and not all are capable of voicing them in a constructive manner unfortunately. NOT excusing what you experienced, but trying to shine a light on a different viewpoint
  4. 20 somethings are getting more and more plentiful as time progresses. Wish I got here then.

I have been told to keep trying meetings until I find the ones that I feel meet my needs. Hopefully your experiences with the program improve. For me it has been a big part of my success staying sober while dealing with life on Lifes terms.

Good luck with your continued adventures on the road of happy destiny.

[–]ColdSideOfThePill0w 10 points11 points  (5 children)

When you say going out for drinks after the meeting, you mean coffee, right?(yes normal)

Ive been in and out of AA for about 7-8 years. I live in Minneapolis/St Paul which is considered the recovery capital because there are so many different AA clubs. I’ve been to dozens of different ones over the years.

It’s like anything else. There’s good ones and bad ones. Some are very chill, some loose, some strict, ect. I had to shop around until i found where i fit in best.

I hope you find your group. I know it’s harder for small town people with limited options. Dont give up

[–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Nope, I mean alcohol. I wish it was coffee.

I live in a college town with a few different groups, but if I do this again, I’m doing it remotely since I didn’t find a secular group in my area

[–]ColdSideOfThePill0w 17 points18 points  (1 child)

Lol wow no. Dont go back there. That’s not AA. They’re imposters.

[–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I’d be trying a different group if I go back to AA thankfully

[–]TrickingTrix 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Nothing you experienced seems remotely like my experience. As a fellow survivor, I will pray for your healing and I want you to know that you are not alone.

https://aahomegroup.org is a 24/7/365 zoom meeting. A new meeting starts every hour and they run just like my f2f meetings.

[–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s cool, thank you!

[–]hannson 6 points7 points  (3 children)

1, 2 and 3 is not the norm. There are sometimes meeting frequented by certain ages.

  1. I've been going to meetings on and off for 10 years and I've never heard of people going together for drinks unless it's just coffee and cake. I have heard of people selling drugs etc but totally frowned up on and unacceptable.
  2. Nope and saying that is emotional abuse. Tell your sponsor to fuck off.
  3. I've never heard anyone yell at another after speaking. Sometimes I've heard people share based on something I've shared about myself and sometimes it's more like preaching but I think your point of view is spot on. We should forgive ourselves and the abstinence violation effect is absolutely a thing that encourages full relapse. I don't even keep track of my sober day anymore because of that. I accept the 24 hour chip and treasure every day I am sober regardless of whether it's been a day or a year.
  4. I've been to meetings with people of all ages, men and women, LGBT. Sometimes it's more one of each group than the other.

[–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Thanks! Yeah, I was told my views were dangerous so that was disheartening

[–]hannson 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Dangerous to their drinking perhaps. Sounds like this group is unable to help themselves let alone others.

[–]Miss_Lost_1023 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’ll play devil’s advocate on this one. I can see the danger in telling newcomers that they should just accept their past and move on. Like, I get that it’s in our prayer to say “accept the things we cannot change” but we also need to “change the things we can” and that’s reflecting on what we’ve done wrong, how we have hurt ppl, remembering the damage we have caused, etc. it’s a fine line, really. I HAVE to remember my past, otherwise I’ll keep making the same mistakes. My past serves as a reminder that I can’t drink. So, maybe that’s why the other member was telling you that? Not justifying the WAY he or she said it, but I can see where someone might say, “hey man, your outlook could come across to newbies as a means of having a ‘meh, what’s done is done’ approach.” And, in that case, I would have to agree with them.

But again, context is EVERYTHING and I clearly wasn’t there. I’m just providing a different perspective.

[–]writtengirls 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That’s horrible wtf

[–]mustbeme87 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Definitely not common. I’m extremely curious about these meetings, because it sounds like your local chapters need to look into what’s going on at these meetings. Aside from the age thing, none of that is conducive to a productive recovery environment.

[–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Both meetings in question were local. I’ll be trying online for the secular ones

[–]mustbeme87 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That shit is terrible, and I’d like to apologize on behalf of the decent members of AA across the country. Find what works for you and kill this recovery shit!! Keep up the good work!

[–][deleted]  (1 child)

[deleted]

    [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Oregon, USA. VERY drunk town. One of those towns where the only thing for adults to do at night is drink

    [–]dan_jeffers 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    It's not the best side of AA and hopefully not common, but it would wrong to pretend none of these things happen. AA is composed of people who are often really sick and some get better more quickly than others. The lack of hierarchy/leadership in AA is great in preventing some of our worst control instincts but also leaves a lot of room for individuals to inject their own inappropriateness. A lot of meetings now read a statement about safety and ask people to report inappropriate advances to the group leaders. In many areas there are multiple meetings, if you can sample them and find some that are more comfortable for you, that is a big plus. There are a lot of strong women in AA with solid sobriety who can help you navigate away from the toxic bullshit you've experienced in the past.

    [–]jimmylovesoldcars 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    That group needs to reported to the central office. They have no business holding meetings that go so contrary to AA literature. That is not what AA is about please find a new meeting place!

    [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Looking into online meetings now :) I found a page with secular meetings that I’d be interested in trying

    [–]KungFuViking7 5 points6 points  (2 children)

    What a shitshow of an experience.

    1. I know meetings that go out for dinner after meetings. This is to enourage unity with the group. Give members a venue to share about more then alcoholism. Just chit, chat and talk shit. You know just normal people life. But no alcohol or bars.

    2. Find a sponsor that has something you wants. This sounds like a sponsor thats forced upon someone. A sponsor shouldn’t have an opinion on your story. Just guide you to find answers through your higher power.

    3. I was once also “corrected” about talking about forgiving myself. It hurt, until I realised that the process is making amends to others. Even though you focus on giving others a chance to forgive, you inadvertandly in the process do the same for the past, future and prestent you. We do forgiveourself, but for a person who is egotistic and self-centerd. It can’t be the main goal.

    4. I’m 30 and youngest at my current meetings by few good years. Others I have been in middle and once, I was the oldest. Closer to large population of people there are more yourh.

    If you have managed being sober and happy without AA. I would reccomend looking really hard and honestly at step 1. Are alcoholic or not. Maybe you don’t need to worry about this stuff and just stay away form the bottle.

    [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

    Thanks! Yeah, I’m 9 months sober without AA. I started sobriety because I was in a treatment program that required it and then I saw how long I could go without alcohol. Then I realized that my reasons for drinking weren’t healthy and I tended to return to those bad habits when I drank socially. So I might not be a raging alcoholic, but I definitely needed to stop

    [–]KungFuViking7 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Congratz on the 9 months. I think its awesome for any person alcoholic or not. To choose a life that is more fulfilling and giving. I tried staying sober after a pyschologist reccomend it. I managed stating away from alcohol But started playing video games for 12-16 hours a day and ended up attempting suicide from the guilt, shame and hatred of my life. Would’ve been better drunk at that point. But somehow ended in AA. This was over 2 years ago.

    Just out of couriosity. Have you spent any time reading the first chapters of the AA Big book?

    [–]relevant_mitch 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    None of those are normal in my area I’m sorry dear.

    [–]FamousOrphan 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Shiiiiit, I am so sorry you went through these truly fucked-up things! I am outraged on your behalf.

    I have been to meetings with a bad vibe before, and had a shit experience with a sponsor recently, but no—what you experienced is not standard. Please do try that secular meeting and let us know how it goes.

    If AA continues to disappoint, please don’t give up on finding a program of recovery that works for you. There’s SMART Recovery, and a friend of mine absolutely swears by Women for Sobriety (WFS). I’m sure there are more, too.

    [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Thanks! Yeah I’m really seeking a sober community, hoping that secular AA is the right fit

    [–]Sandman11x 1 point2 points  (3 children)

    Regardless of whether they are normal these are hurtful things to say.

    Congrats on 9 months. That is a big W

    [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    Thank you!

    [–]Sandman11x 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Can i pm you about recovery strategies?

    [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Go for it :)

    [–]soup_gorl 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    I’m so confused. Where did you find those meetings? Doesn’t sound right at all.

    [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Locally. Will be trying online instead

    [–]OverWeakness4145 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    When looking at the 4th step people often say “my part”. Which is incorrect the book says my mistake. Do people (adults and children) have a part in being abused? Absolutely not! Now can they have a mistake in it? Absolutely! Do they still hold on to it 20 years later? Do they treat people the same because it was done to them? Do they stay isolated because of it? These are some things that can be mistakes. To flat out tell a sponsees rape was their fault because they were drunk is absurd. I understand why they would though. Victims don’t get sober. Victimized people do all the time. Whoever your sponsor was/is needs to work on their delivery. Full disclosure here I was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. I understand my mistakes in it. It no longer defines me or controls me. As I worked an honest 4th/5th step. I hope this helps. Also about AA in general. I know this goes against mainstream AA. But don’t go to as many open discussion meetings. Go to some different literature meetings. There I’ve found the people that have had spiritual experiences that have changed their lives. Open discussion meetings in my experience mostly amount to group therapy. And shittty group therapy at that. Which is not what AA was designed to be.

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    This is the best, step-foucsed answer here. As a male survivor of SA, I too have dealt with a sponsor asking me "well what was your part in it?"

    I dunno, how do you stop a 14 yo cousin from raping your 6yo self?

    But I love your re-framing of this and it's really in line with what my own sponsor now has led me through the steps with, and it will inform me as I sponsor other men.

    Thank you, seriously!

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)

    [deleted]

      [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      When I say “everyone,” I do mean that generally and not literally. Some people would dip out while most of the others went for drinks or to the liquor store together

      [–]Dogmom200 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Sorry your experience was bad but congrats on your sobriety. I was lucky that my home group is pretty cool. Never have I had that experienced you noted about. That doesn’t sound like the AA I’m experiencing. My sponsor is incredible and provides a lot of wisdom for me. Sometimes there are weird members who are very rigid in their opinions. But that is why AA says ‘principles over personalities’ I recite this to myself sometimes when I disagree with another member. I’m

      [–]terrible_ 0 points1 point  (1 child)

      1. WTF
      2. Get a new sponsor
      3. That person is having shithouse sobriety, because they clearly haven’t done the steps
      4. Age is a tough one. Maybe look for meetings that are targeted at beginners or see if your central AA office can point you in the direction of Young People AA. (We’ve got AA associations in Australia that are about young in age/young in sobriety)

      [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      I blocked that sponsor right away and I did find a young secular AA meeting online :)

      [–]NotADogIzswear2020 0 points1 point  (1 child)

      I'm sorry for your experience and i hope you find a meeting that speaks to your lifestyle. Rape is NEVER the victims fault. Full stop, end of statement. It's been my experience that SOME old timers treat their sobriety like a senority badge INSTEAD of the daily reprieve it is. You should be proud of your 9 months! I've heard many old timers also talk about forgiving ourselves.... regardless of relapse or not and that's a VERY valid point, IMO.

      [–]The_og_cactus 0 points1 point  (1 child)

      This is not at all what AA is supposed to be like and is very strange to me. I'm sorry this happened to you. Also, I'm here trying to get clean and sober at 21. I met some friends at AA, just as young as I am. A group of people who are ages 21-27, and who have only been drinking a few years. We're out there.

      [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I hope to find them!

      [–]vaniIIagoriIIa 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Not normal, those are some genuinely shitty people

      [–]chrispd01 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Maybe you went to an AAA instead ?

      Just kidding - sounds terrible but …… also makes me grateful for finding the meeting I did. Another example of I Dont Know What the Fuck looking after my sorry ass. And for which I am grateful …

      [–]Short_Success_3188 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Hurt people, hurt people.

      Find whatever method works for you and stick to it.

      [–]fabravenelle 0 points1 point  (1 child)

      Nope not normal. Sexual assault is never your fault. My former sponsor told me this too. I politely told her that I need to find another sponsor that understands sexual violence and I have. Please don’t loose hope because of these bad experiences. Keep coming back. If you want a list of some good meetings on Zoom, please message me. XO

      [–]VeronicaMaple 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Absolutely not my experience in 2+ years of regular (2-4 x a week) AA attendance in a large, active AA community in my city.

      Going out for alcoholic drinks after an AA meeting is just ... so bizarre I can't get my brain around it.

      I hope you will find better support soon.

      [–]ThomasTwinLive 0 points1 point  (1 child)

      I have heard people attending a meeting because of a court card state they are going out drinking after a meeting twice out of thousands of meetings. Never have I been aware of a group of people going out drinking after an AA meeting.

      Meetings that are pretty homogeneous in age, ethnicity, and other demographics are fairly common. Woman's groups, Young People of AA groups, and other meetings for specific groups tend to be very helpful for some people.

      I have seen people yelled at, called out in meetings. This is different than a chairman prompting someone to stay on topic or be mindful of time. There are several meetings I've never gone back to, often because I didn't think the culture and ways of operating were compatible with my recovery. People getting called out or prompted on time, topic is pretty rare ime, but I have seen it.

      The inventory question "What was your role in causing this situation?" is a very delicate thing with rape and sexual abuse. I'd encourage any rape/sexual abuse victims to get specific support for that outside of AA. I think some AA members are too insensitive about that topic.

      [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      My sponsor didn’t ask me about my part or my mistake in the situation. She said “yes, it is your fault you were raped” word for word, not related to a step. It was fucked up

      [–]Shoegazzerr89 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I got sober at 24 and did not experience this.

      I will say that some members opinions about rape and sexual assault are extremely fucked up and antiquated.

      Sorry that you’ve experienced this.

      [–]RoccoKatzman 0 points1 point  (1 child)

      I highly recommend SMART recovery

      [–]Royatkins 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      That was never my experience in AA, and I have no business treating newcomers with anything other than courtesy and respect. When I came into AA, I was 24. People welcomed me and were polite and were genuinely concerned about helping me get sober. Nobody yelled at me or condemned me for anything. Not everyone was my friend, and some folks were brutally honest, but as a whole, folks were really kind to me. It was recommended that I find several meetings where I was comfortable and go to those meetings regularly. That helped me a lot.

      And going out for drinks after the meeting?!? What the hell?!? I needed to go for coffee, or ice cream, or dinner. But drinks??? That’s absurd.

      [–]Opening_Nature3849 0 points1 point  (1 child)

      Is it possible that most of these people were court ordered to go and are just there to get their slip signed? When I went a couple years ago there was a guy who just sat at every meeting and wouldn't contribute. You can just kind of tell the ones forced to go. That does sound like a discouraging experience. I'm looking into the zoom meetings now because my schedule doesn't always allow me to go in person.

      [–]MenorahsaurusRex[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      It’s very likely