Gossip in Recovery

NOTE: My opinion does not reflect AA as a whole.

I’m only sharing my experience.

Lately my patience has been running thin with 1 particular person that I have been having to deal with. I have had to do a lot of work on myself to keep my peace and serenity from being thrown right out the window and going back to my old ways. I have been praying for this person and even tried making an amends just to keep my side of the street clean but that just completely blew up in my face and I just could not keep this person focused enough to just talk about us. Let me just say that some of us are sicker then others and I’m no better then anyone else but I do have really good tools that are a part of my life today. I find myself wanting to just remove myself from the situation. Now call it selfish and maybe it is but my sobriety is much more important to me today and being fed everybody’s business does not help me recover, I choose to focus on me and not to hang out with another person who continues to gossip, brag and drop names in the program. Today I can be honest with myself and sick is sick, there is no way around the gossip. On another hand I find some women being consumed by this persons sickness and I cant help them they have to learn on their own I have found in my experience that people don’t learn by being told, they learn by realizing. I had to get enough of it to realize that I needed to make changes.

Gossip is a number one killer in recovery and especially with women.
Gossiping about anyone means I’m still sick and still need to do a lot of work on me.

When you start working a 12 step program those first 3 steps change your life.

  • Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
  • First Step Prayer
    Dear Lord, Help me to see and admit that I am powerless over my alcoholism. Help me to understand how my alcoholism has led to unmanageability in my life. Help me this day to understand the true meaning of powerlessness. Remove from me all denial of my alcoholism. (This prayer is developed from the chapter, More about Alcoholism)
  • Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  • Second Step Prayer
    Heavenly Father, I am having trouble with personal relationships. I can’t control my emotional nature. I am prey to misery and depression. I can’t make a living. I feel useless. I am full of fear. I am unhappy. I can’t seem to be of real help to others. I know in my heart that only you can restore me to sanity if I am just willing to stop doubting your power. I humbly ask that you help me to understand that it is more powerful to believe than not to believe and that you are either everything or nothing. (p. 52:2, 52:3, 53:1, 53:2)
  • Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
  • 3rd Step Prayer
    “God, I offer myself to thee – to build with me and do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always”.(63:2 original manuscript)
  • 12 Principles (“guides to progress”)
  • 1. Honesty & acceptance. (Self honesty brings acceptance)
  • 2. Hope. (Open-mindedness to the idea that we are not God)
  • 3. Faith. (Willingness to surrender to the process laid out before us)
  • 4. Courage. (Willingness to trust that God as we understood Him would see us through the difficult process of facing ourselves)
  • 5. Integrity. (Assuming responsibility for who we have become)
  • 6. Willingness. (Let go of the old and let God bring in the new)
  • 7. Humility. (Knowing who we are and now who we might become)
  • 8. Justice (mercy) and brotherly love. Brotherly love — doing right, forgiveness, understanding, taking responsibility for ourselves and others.
  • 9. Self-discipline and good judgment. (Acts of restitution)
  • 10. Perseverance, discipline and open mindedness. (Self acceptance)
  • 11. Awareness. (Seeking wisdom and God’s will for us) (Spirituality)
  • 12. Love and service. (Being available to those in need, gratitude in action)
  • By the 3rd step there is a transformation if you are working the steps with a sponsor and regularly attending meetings.Stick with the winners and not the gossipers, this means to hang onto the people around the tables that are working their program and not talking their program.Also if a person does not have a sponsor locally this is a red flag for those who are new if you cant get a sponsor locally then there is something wrong.

31 thoughts on “Gossip in Recovery

  1. David says:

    I have 35 years of sobriety in AA birthday 5-14…There is a new breed in AA and I’m not at all happy with it…First of all gossip gets people drunk! Mary tells a group of people (the meeting after the meeting) that she heard Dora is drinking…No one saw Dora pouring vodka down her throat but within hours Dora had a slip; gossip validated Dora’s demise…No one should ever voice hearsay in this program; EVER!
    Come to find out a person who looks like Dora was drinking and poor Dora is now labeled…Also…There is a misuse of helping others…If that help is self serving…a member of our local group is but 6 years sober; nothing wrong with that…However he is very wealthy and hires sober women to clean his home and perform odd jobs…The problem is this…He offers cars for sale and opportunity to these ladies then lords over them by demanding added work without compensation… And if the person balks he threatens to pull the rug from under them…He helps others but his goal is self serving…We have talked but with little success…One should not lead a meeting unless they have at least one year of sobriety (unwritten rule)…i hear people leading with 30 days…WRONG! i am becoming less and less the old timer, if you will, and less apt to sponsor….


  2. David, This has what has become of some of the members. They have the meeting after the meeting and spread gossip. As for me I know what is good for me and I do stick with the women as I’ am a woman but we go to the gym or run errands and discuss personal issue’s and not other people around the tables. I have a built in RED FLAG gut instinct and tend to stay away from those looking for glory to sponsor or for those speaking about others. Thank You for the great example. Your input is very much appreciated. πŸ™‚


  3. ildestino1 says:

    I adore your blog! There is a site called treatment diaries for people struggling with all kinds of things from alcholoism to depression
    Let’s keep in touch!


  4. ildestino1 says:

    are you conncted to Alanon as well or any CoDe Groups?


    • Yes, When I first got sober I read a couple of book’s. Co-Dependent No More and Language of Letting Go both by Melody Beattie. I also attend Al-anon and have good healthy boundaries. *smiles*


  5. revgerry says:

    I’ve been on the other side of the program (Al-Anon, for families) and I loved your post. The third step prayer is the anchor and GPS system for my life. And being able to take responsibility for my own happiness has been key to my recovery from deep depression, common amongst families (and not because of the alcoholic). Blessings


  6. chrissy50 says:

    Wow, I love this. I’m copying down the 12 principles for myself as an Al-Anon soul if you don’t mind. Hey, I got the disease too! πŸ˜€ When I find something that inspires me, I totally want to latch onto it. You’re beautiful. Rock on.


  7. ildestino1 says:

    and I’m a baby in the program on step one!
    Bless your hearts for talking about this! I was shy on my blog
    to talk about my father’s alchoholism and denial as such . .not any more!

    My sponsor has said who would we be w/o our stories let go and let god!


  8. ildestino1 says:

    are you guys aware of the phone bridge? Google alanon in your area for phone meetings and it should come up with phone meetings and a code you can call . . .and a bunch of meetings. It’s a Godsend.

    there it’s also on my blog.

    Chrissy go to http://www.aa.org and you’ll get a ton! of stuff!

    you’ll find 12 steps stories etc.!


    • Thank You for the information, and I’m sure someone can use it. I tend to stick to going to my AA and Al-Anon meetings because I have them much available to me but not always does someone have a car, or maybe they are new and would like to try using the phone bridge. You have been such a good provider in information and I’m much appreciative of this. *hugs* TBH


  9. ildestino1 says:

    Luiz’s Four agreements!


  10. ildestino1 says:

    no problem it’s a book!

    and a theory of living.


  11. ildestino1 says:

    gosh this is your blog I got carried away hope that’s OK!


  12. ildestino1 says:

    I understand I have my own boundaries as well regarding what meetings I go to and what serves me well. Thank you for understanding my goal . . . to give information for someone who might need it. hugs! il


  13. It is sad when people act in a way that disturbs the inner spirit. We are not supposed to gossip, but I do admit to like to hearing about what’s really going on at work or anywhere really. It’s not like I want to believe lies about others, but when I hear something, it ends with me. I have found that most addictive people don’t have hobbies or interests, even reading a good book so they don’t have much to talk about. When they are nervous or like talking, they can only thing about others who hurt them or who they don’t like, etc. I have lost a few good friends when I finally had to tell them in the nicest way possible, I really don’t want to talk about whatever they were talking about. I explained it upsets me and good riddance to anyone who does not respect my feelings. Take care and God bless.


  14. ildestino1 says:

    Po’ have you really lost a friend if you set boundaries? Were they a friend if they leave due to boundaries? Just a thought. Step One πŸ™‚
    Cannot control others πŸ™‚


  15. Thanks for liking my blog, I think it’s important for like-minded people to share their thoughts and stay connected.


  16. ildestino1 says:

    x yes! Hey guys . . . turkeybone . . . um I have NO idea how to accept that liebster award and who has less than how many followers? Happy Sunday! xaviertrevino . . . I come from and alcoholic home father is and mom has dementia . . . if you’d like to read some of my stuff. I will yours as soon as I finish this comment πŸ™‚


  17. ildestino1 says:

    you did? really? lol. this is getting funny.

    OK I got the first part thank you! for the nomination.
    Now what?


    think my next entry is about how you handle worries and stressors.
    I isolate or I over communicate. πŸ™‚


  18. ildestino1 says:

    oh you sent xavier and e mail?


  19. Ellen Antill says:

    Thanks so much for following my blog/website, Storytellers: Women Creating New Life Stories . . . and for holding space for other survivors of abuse . . . for the encouragement and truth you’re putting out there.



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