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    Thanks for the responses to my post. They were helpful and appreciated. I need to respond specifically to DayTrader, if I may. I recognise where you’re coming from DT, but I genuinely do not have ‘purchasing power’ (or related markers/symbols of this) on my own agenda. I actually live (and am happy to live) a very frugal lifestyle; I am also a committed Christian. KarenElaine linked in well to the point I was making. I was (am?) hoping that my regular participation in AA would equip me with tips and techniques for remaining sober, and to receive and offer support and encouragement to others to do so. As a first time AA participant, it’s probably true that my expectations were to be more in “receiving” than “giving” mode. As I have tried to describe, my own life experiences were so utterly different from those who contributed to the group sharing process, that it felt impossible to glean some practical tips. There were no overlaps or elements of common ground in my and their life experiences, at least as far as they were aired yesterday evening. That is not to say that I will not need to examine what spritual deficiencies underpin my enjoyment of feeling alcoholic inebriation at some point further down the jouney of sobriety I have set out on. But at this early stage I guess my needs are much more practical.
    Today, for example, was a bit of a challenge: street party right outside my front door to celebrate a certain wedding. The British way of having a good time (especially at such group events) is firmly focused around booze. I am a natural introvert, so am not a comfortable party animal at the best of times! So the last 8 hours sitting outside with a group of folk who were slowly but surely getting p****d was a very practical challenge for me on Day 6. This is the kind of day-to-day event that I need to address. I recognise how utterly trivial this is compared to hearing someone at an AA meeting describe how they’ve coped with being abused as a child, lived through a violent marriage and found themselves in a refuge for battered women. My needs are truely pathetic by comparison. Despite this, I am still keen to find a fellowship of support if I can.



    I don’t know if this is of any help to you – but I hope so.

    I have tried a number of meetings and met a number of different types of people with addiction. Some like me, others different, but we share the same affliction.

    And many warned me – I was were you were – still had a home, a job, a relationship, a family – don’t end up like me. Really lovely people from all walks of life. One a doctor, one a dfs salesman, one a social worker, one from the deli at Asda.

    I’m in the UK and I found today hard.
    For me stacks of booze does not celebrate love and marriage.
    Perhaps we celebrate in our own way, quietly making excuses to leave early.

    But above all – some of these members of AA have suffered horrific lows and bottoms and would do anything to stop you experiencing them yourself.

    I think that the awkwardness is not directed to you – it’s part and parcel of a group a people suffering a disease. I find at first there is awkwardness, but at the end of the meeting there is usually laughter and light hearted banter.

    Please keep recovering and coming back here.




    @AllLiesAndJest 2951939 wrote:

    However, I can’t escape the feeling that, with such little common ground, I wonder how I can contribute to others’ recovery or share my own relatively ‘privileged’ challenges.
    I would appreciate your comments please – especially if your experience of AA has been very different, or if I have simply misunderstood how all this works.
    Many thanks. AL&J

    You have observed one of the quirks of AA. At first blush, it would seem that you have little in common with those around you, but as you sit and listen you will find that you share more with them than you do your workmates. You will hear them talk of the many attempts at quitting and controlling their drinking and many will mirror your own failed attempts. You will find that showing up drunk at the wrong time is just as humiliating for someone on the docks as it is in the board room. The lies and excuses we all told ourselves, the ones that set us so far apart from the rest of the world, are as common as dirt for those of us at an AA meeting.

    By the same token, the fears and resentments we all must face takes the same amount of courage no matter who we are or where we come from. Our struggles with family, friends, work over our drinking and recovery, the fear of attending our first drinking event sober, all are shared equally amongst all of us.

    One day a newcomer will walk into a meeting and you will realize that you already know everything important about him but his name.

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