Hearing Only Negatives

Last night I attended my weekly AA meeting.  I sat listening to one after another speak about their difficult life, their emotional week, their challenges, blah, blah, blah.  I know it’s a place to be able to share (even encouraged), but doesn’t anyone have anything positive to say?  I was handed the “Promises” card to read at the end of the meeting.  I’m still fairly new there (only 6 weeks sober) and it was my first time to read something.  The Promises is a list of all the great things that will happen to you once you quit drinking.  I looked over the list during the meeting since I didn’t have to read until the end of the hour.  I was amazed to see that each of those promises (about 20) have come true for me.  So I thought I’d share that with the group.  I began, “I am Trish and I am an alcoholic.  I’m so happy to be able to read these promises to you because in the last 6 weeks, every one of these promises have come true for me.”   I looked up to see a room of women smiling right at me.  So there you go….something positive.



2 thoughts on “Hearing Only Negatives

  1. Those are just the 9th step promises. Most of the steps have promises in them. The BB has hundreds of promises. My favourite are the 10th step promises:

    “And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone-even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality—safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.”

    I wish these were the ones read. But I do understand why the 9th step promises are read. It took me some time before I found that the 9th step promises were starting to take hold. It was pretty exciting! But it wasn’t until the 10th step ones happened that I was blown away.

    As for the meeting there – it can feel negative at times. That;s why it’s important for us to focus and talk about the solution rather than the problems. Or, if I have a problem, I will only discuss it if I discuss the solution – what step I used, or what I did, etc. to get clarity or insight or a conclusion. That way someone who might be struggling with the same, or even if someone is new, they can see that there is always hope…and that the meeting doesn’t turn into a gripe session 🙂 I have been to a few like that. In those cases I just find myself being grateful for where I am – it may sound bad that way, I know. But I just count my blessings and also remember how negative i used to be 24/7. Nice to know that negativity doesn’t agree with us any more, eh?

    Great post!


  2. Thanks for your post Paul. I didn’t realize there were a number of promises aligned with the steps. I was simply handed a tattered laminated sheet of paper named “Promises.” I still have so much more to learn. You are right. Although though they begin discussing their problems and issues, they do all end by stating how grateful they are to be sober. I will listen differently next Monday evening. Hugs Paul!

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