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BANGKOK 19 November 2018 13:53

gerryBScot

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About gerryBScot

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 07/07/1958

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    http://www.botabblog.wordpress.com

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    ex-small town west central Thailand, now in China

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    Thailand

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  1. gerryBScot

    Small AA Group - Tradition 3

    It's clear from this thread that meetings need strong chairs (!), strong trusted servants and strong conscience processes. We don't need debates.... The minute someone starts using 'you' as in 'you don't need to do the programme', ' you should....' the chair needs to tell the speaker to use 'I', talk exclusively about their personal experience, not offer advice and not cross share. If that doesn't work a quiet word after the meeting, if that doesn't work a group conscience ... And the trusted servants should model this in their sharing too by talking about how the program has helped. But every group needs a core group of culture carriers who are clear about this stuff and also how to deal with it.
  2. gerryBScot

    UK Homelessness Rights

    Many thanks to all for some excellent advice and as a result I am certainly more clued up on developing contingencies and different approaches in the event of the worst case scenario. I am truly blessed in having a wonderfully supportive wife and great kids and I know they'll do whatever it takes to get us through any difficult times and I think they know I'll do the same for them. Once more thanks for the input and I'd welcome any more advice.
  3. gerryBScot

    UK Homelessness Rights

    It's all going to be an uphill struggle in that worst case scenario but getting ready and being prepared will help. Being apart is not something we would want but these would be far from ideal circumstances.
  4. gerryBScot

    Small AA Group - Tradition 3

    I don't want to be misunderstood here. I'm simply against kicking people out. I really don't want the responsibility for someone's death or harm if I tell them they are not an alky and that it is therefore by implication ok for them to imbibe. I think AA's essential character would change dramatically if challenging people became a feature of meetings. But of course it doesn't work this way in the real world. People drift away usually if meetings have no meaning to them. I've yet to meet anybody who was at an AA meeting by accident or in error. Once I was at a meeting where a journo declared they were there for research purposes and a trusted servant took them outside and explained how and why it worked and that because of this, no, they couldn't sit in, even for research. I rather fancy this is the big problem in our meetings in Thailand - our groups lack trusted servants who are grounded in the fellowship and its traditions, members that know how to deal with the range of folks and situations that can crop up.
  5. gerryBScot

    UK Homelessness Rights

    Thanks for the replies and pointers and thanks to Old Git for crowd control. I said this was just simply preparation for a worst case scenario and that has not materialised yet. But yeah Maprao I would be taking your approach which would be to re-establish myself on my own funds and most of all to establish a local connection. Ultimately I would wish to be self-financing without having to rely on the state. Yes Ally I would be heading to Scotland and I now understand the homelessness situation there is different, possibly better in fact. As I say I am simply thinking ahead and to a worst case scenario. So thanks for these pointers.
  6. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of what rights I would have if I and my two kids arrived in the UK and sought housing as homeless people? My dear wife does not have automatic entry as she is a foreign national. My two kids, however, are British citizens and passport holders, born in the UK though have lived in Thailand and China all their lives. Just planning ahead and thinking of worst case scenarios. I should add that both kids are under ten years old and that I have not lived in the UK for about 10 years.
  7. gerryBScot

    Small AA Group - Tradition 3

    I couldn't do very much about it as I am only really a very occasional visitor to Thailand these days and rarely to meetings in Thailand. I am therefore not involved in a group conscience process. If I had been directly involved, I would like to think I would have had a gentle word with the 'author' and suggested: a gift of an AA Big Book with contact details of willing helpers written into it; a reminder to said author to ensure only AA approved literature is shared at meetings; and a further reminder for potentially giving a newcomer reasons for staying away, as proved to be the case here . At the point at which said author told me to go forth and multiply, as I would expect, then I would raise the matter with the trusted servants and have it raised at a group conscience in the hope of seeking re-affirmation of official AA policy. All of which brings me back to my beginnings in AA where I learned so many valuable skills for coping with the real world. My initial sponsor suggested, after I got into trouble through borrowing money from another AA, that I should never lend anybody money; he advised that it was ok to give and that I could give on the express agreement that if the person I gave to got back on tracks that they would pass the gift on to another person experiencing hard times on the same basis. He was a very wise guy - he added that way you'll only give a small amount and more importantly on the basis that it is a gift then it should not be the source of a resentment further down the road. I love AA and what it stands for and I love the common sense and decency of many of the people who were lucky enough to get to its rooms and felt able to stay and get sober.
  8. gerryBScot

    Small AA Group - Tradition 3

    It's good that the focus of this post is moving to some consideration of what happens at meetings. I thought it was all about the newcomer. I know a guy, a newcomer, who showed up at a meeting in BKK in his early days and had a book foisted on him, non-AA literature of course, and told he could give the author the money for it later. This is a newcomer and the author purports to be an experienced AA but is trying to flog the book, so is using the fellowship for their own ends and most importantly being allowed to do so by the trusted servants of that meeting. He didn't see the author for a few months but when they ran into each other the guy took an earful of abuse about his 'debt'. That's a great way to welcome a newcomer ….. not. How is this allowed to happen? Same guy recently managed to string a year together, took the chip, then in the aftermath of the meeting was challenged about counting days and years and taking chips by some one else claiming to be experienced in recovery …..<deleted>! And here I try to follow this thread where some are proposing a kind of sobriety police the implications of which would be inter alia a written membership application and a signed solemn declaration. All this confirms to me my worst fears, those which I had when I lived in Thailand. We of AA appear to be in deep trouble and have lost sight of our primary purpose. Live and let live
  9. gerryBScot

    Small AA Group - Tradition 3

    ...alcoholic.
  10. gerryBScot

    Small AA Group - Tradition 3

    Not sure it's about choice Patrick. I learned in AA that for me to drink again is to die. I accepted it way back then and I accept it today. I accept I can never drink again. I'm not fighting it, never have since I came in. I accept I am an
  11. gerryBScot

    Small AA Group - Tradition 3

    Thanks Patrick and hi. I never stopped pretending. In the early days in AA I had my doubts. Like prior to the 30 years I drank before I went to my first meeting I knew my relationship with alcohol wasn't normal. I knew this from the start at age 14. Like many people who were burdened ( do you notice I am using a past tense?!!!) with alcoholism I thought I maybe wasn't an alcoholic. I learned this doubt had been relatively common among the many people I met in the rooms and usually was the source of much mirth. But I shared about it at a meeting once and instead of being closed down, someone offered the pretend scenario. It was just a feeling and I didn't drink on it then or any other time. I am glad I shared and I am hugely grateful for the pretend scenario. These days it's kind of academic. I don't ever think I'm not an alcoholic but booze is just so far away from me these days. Well not true the minibar is full of it but it's useless to me. I know everything about my life is infinitesmally better, which I attribute to an active AA programme and involvement over jy first ten years. I wouldn't drink if you or any other authority on alcohol said I could and indeed should! But I would be very reluctant to challenge your right or anyone else's right to be at an AA meeting.
  12. gerryBScot

    Small AA Group - Tradition 3

    I am an alcoholic and my name is Gerry.
  13. gerryBScot

    Small AA Group - Tradition 3

    How grateful I remain to that stranger for his advice. Better in here pretending you are than in a bar thinking you are not.
  14. gerryBScot

    Small AA Group - Tradition 3

    An enormous relief that some common sense has erupted in this thread and that real AAs are prevailing. I always thought one of our unifying characteristics was that critical element in our journeys to rock bottom : most of us thought we weren't alcoholics! The deception we wove in our own sick little minds! When I was in doubt, and expressed that doubt at a meeting, a total stranger , a person I had never met before or since, offered the view that I was better off in AA pretending I was an alcoholic than in a bar thinking I wasn't. That stranger, through those wise words, might have saved my life. What might some so-called 'real alcoholic' of the type that posts here have advised?!!!!
  15. Touched down in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, just after midnight, (0010h) with the wife and kids and strolled through immigration and customs without any queuing. Wife, a Filipino, went through the ASEAN lane and given 21 day visa exempt entry; me and kids, Brits, granted 14 day visa exempt entry. Perfect for our seven day stay. We were asked one question: how long are you staying in Vietnam? So in we walked and our driver was waiting for us with a name board outside - all very simple and smooth. Outside airport was remarkably calm, only half-hearted attempts at touting. Driven straight to our hotel with a minimum of fuss. No queuing on check in and genuinely helpful staff. From touch down to check in took one hour all in. All of this is a far cry from arrivals at Suvarnabhumi and recent experiences of staying in hotels in Thailand. While sheer volume of numbers means Suvarnabhumi immigration was, is and will always be busy, I couldn't help feel there was something reminiscent in this first experience of Vietnam of how Thailand used to be.
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