Restoration to Sanity

“Restoration to sanity becomes a very real hope, because we see it happening around us. Sanity is contagious! …Success in quitting other addictions seduced many of us into believing we were really working the program and had everything together. The unmanageability of our lives proved otherwise. Many of us merely switched addictions. Knowledge and pride were our chief obstacles here.” (SA WB pg. 90-91)

“But what about the real alcoholic? …Here is the fellow who has been puzzling you, espe­cially in his lack of control. He does absurd, incredi­ble, tragic things while drinking. He is a real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” (AA BB pg. 21)

I always need to remind myself, “we are all here because we are not all there”.  I turn to the Serenity Prayer and try to mind my own business.

“For that matter, we’ll meet some people in AA or elsewhere who won’t be exactly crazy about us, either. So all of us try to respect the rights of others to act as they choose (or must). We can then expect them to give us the same courtesy. In AA, they generally do. Usually, people who like each other—in a neighborhood, a company, a club, or AA—gravitate toward each other. When we spend time with people we like, we are less annoyed by those we don’t
particularly care for.  As time goes on, we find we are not afraid simply to walk away from people who irritate us, instead of meekly letting them get under our skin, or instead of trying to straighten them out just so they will suit us better.” (AA Living Sober)

“More remotely identifiable triggers are such things as feelings of loneliness, alienation, world-weariness, boredom, isolation, “the lonely crowd,” and other manifestations of unfulfilled God-hunger.  Also, nudging us to reach for our drug are such things as a heightened state due to anything from compulsive work, anger, resentment, anxiety, fear, excitement, or haste, to such things as stimulating foods or beverages or even intellectual or aesthetic excitement. …Susceptibility to such triggers is one factor behind our use of the program slogan HALT — Don’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Hungry.  With many of us, an agitated state of mind – haste, hurry, or “hyper,” for example – seems at least as perilous as hunger.  And hunger itself can lead to binge eating, as many of us so well know.  Binging on food can trigger the sexual addiction. Angry.  Anger, resentment, and negative thoughts toward ourselves or others create the inner disturbance that isolates us and sets us up for our drugs.” (SA WB pgs. 33-34)

Teleconference Management

Lately, I’ve noticed several meetings whereby there was significant disruptions.  Unfortunately, this led to dozens of callers dropping off the line.  So, there are two ways of looking at this—We can either continue to try to live in chaos or we can try to fix the problem.

Tradition #2: “For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.” Am I absolutely trustworthy, even in secret? Do I have to save face in group discussion, or can I yield in good spirit to the group conscience and work cheerfully along with it? Read more

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  1. When you first call into the teleconference the line should be automatically muted by default.  This is a simple feature that the administrator needs to enable @  This will eliminate a large percentage of background noise that other callers hear when people innocently create.
  2. The moderator needs to take command of the meeting by utilizing the available features and tactfully following the 2nd Tradition.  See Meetings – How They Work – page 185 in the White Book.
  3. These challenges need to be planned for and addressed during a business meeting / group conscious.  However, interrupting the meeting to try and consult the group can be very difficult while emotions are high.  Perhaps it is best to simply defer to the literature and try to end the meeting on a positive note.
  4. Perhaps the most important step is to reach out to any callers who may be having difficulty by exchanging phone numbers and calling them directly, one-on-one.  Often Carrying the Message of hope and practicing the 12th Tradition is simply listening to another addict and giving them an opportunity to share openly without judgment.