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Tue Jan 15, 2019, 11:33 AM

For those in 12 steps programs, how do you handle no politics in program?

I've shared at times in meetings that I'm triggered by current events (Kavanaugh hearings!) without mentioning politics. Others in meetings have been more explicitly political and others have spoken about the need to keep meetings safe from outside politics. It does seem harder to navigate with the current political situation.

Recently, we have a dispute about politics at our weekly lunch. I often go to lunch with a group of friends after meeting and we speak more candidly about politics and our other struggles. One person complained that we shouldn't do this because we are not keeping politics out of AA. How does your community handle this? What are the boundaries between friendship, AA, and traditions. I was told early on that once I left boundary of meeting space, that I could talk politics with friends but this is being questioned because gatherings are after meetings.

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Reply For those in 12 steps programs, how do you handle no politics in program? (Original post)
cally Jan 2019 OP
Funtatlaguy Jan 2019 #1
TygrBright Jan 2019 #2
PaulX2 Jan 2019 #3
JayhawkSD Jan 2019 #4
mitch96 Jan 2019 #5
stevil Feb 2019 #6

Response to cally (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2019, 11:56 AM

1. I left a 12 step program because of the overt religiosity.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2019, 12:00 PM

2. I handle it (and our groups handle it) by talking about other things.

There's no shortage of material.

Sure, we mention that "the news" or "current events" or whatever adds to our stress, but keep that general.

For most of us, there's plenty of other things to talk about. The Serenity Prayer is a popular topic.

Gatherings after meetings are generally part of the "let there be no gossip or criticism" thing, and if not actually meetings (because, no structure, no speaker, no step topic, etc.) if they include more than two of us, they're Program.

If I'm in a one-on-one with a sponsor or another group member for the purposes of sharing experience, strength hope, offering support, etc., politics may be an area for discussion in the sense of "am I using it as an excuse to 'let' myself be angry or relinquish responsibility for my actions and choices?" but not in any depth.

If I'm in a one-on-one social situation with someone who's also in the Program and we're not actually doing anything Program-related and I know they're someone who shares (generally) my political orientation, we talk about politics just the way I talk about politics with other friends.

responsively,
Bright

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Response to cally (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2019, 12:58 PM

3. Just Don't Talk Politics

 

It's hard. There's already enough crazy going on. There are a lot of right wing bikers at my hall. I Really don't want to hear anything they have to say about politics.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2019, 01:30 PM

4. Think about the purpose of the program.

 

My first sponsor said something to me that changed my perception of what the program was all about. He said, "I don't want you to learn how to handle your drinking problem. I want you to become a person who doesn't have a drinking problem."

In addition to becoming a person who doesn't have a drinking problem, a big part of the reason for being in the program is to help you become a person who isn't "triggered by current events." You are not going to become that person by engaging in mutual rants about current events. You are going to become that person by sharing the experience of recovery.

For whatever it's worth I have, in the course of 35 years, become a person who doesn't have a drinking problem, and I have become a person who can be engaged in current events without being "triggered" by them. It's a good life. It takes time and a rigorous practice of the discipline represented by the 12 steps to get there.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2019, 02:04 PM

5. Most of the meetings I go to at the beginning of the meeting...

It is stated to limit our discussions to problems that relate to alcohol and drinking..
Works for me.. Very little if no discussion of politics.. a welcome relief..
m

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Response to cally (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 01:12 AM

6. My meeting is mixed

When I first sought a a meeting I sought out a mixed bunch. I found it. I live in a very progressive area so it was easier for me than some. No politics. No bullshit. I was so scared of meetings because I went to a few that totally put me off. Had to find one that fit.

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