Have you worked all the steps with a sponsor? If so, did you complete a thorough 4, 5 and 6th step? I am re-working the steps again. I hope this helps. Jan
I'm Robbie. I'm an alcoholic and drug addict. My sobriety date is 5/22/1981. Sorry for the long post, but Freddy asked for help.
Dearest Freddy, I know from experience it's possible to stay clean and sober in spite of unknowingly continuing to run from the past. Some things in my own past stayed hidden in my brain for a long time. One of note didn't finally reveal itself until I was 18 years clean, fairly serene, and absolutely sober! So it was not my conscious running.
But The way I found out was that when I shared at a meeting about it (I thought I'd dealt with it in a 4th and 5th step) a dear friend unknowingly got me upset after the meeting by joking with me about that part of my chair. I had to then take the 4th (aka the 10th when practicing the maintenance steps: 10, 11, & 12) on my resentment against him. For a time I was in denial he had really sparked a resentment, I thought he was just "being childish". He honestly didn't know he was being hurtful. I finally forgave him, and was able to get back to being fairy serene and happy. That's one reason we take the steps, right? Also to be SOBER, "happy, joyous, and FREE". Notice I capitalized SOBER? The book tells us if we skip over this step (any of them really, but specifically the 4th step) then we WILL GET DRUNK! It's true! I've witnessed it happen in AA firsthand. I thank God for my sobriety in spite of my inability to be totally "fearless and thorough" all the time. We do the best we can, one day at a time, and don't pickup the 1st one!
So why needlessley torture yourself with your past? You appear to want sobriety, and if you don't take especially the 4th step, you will very likely GET DRUNK! Don't do that! Pray to your HP for the willingness to do it. REVIEW your 3rd step. Did you not turn your "will and your life over to the care of" your own HP? I'll finish by saying: if you don't have a SPONSOR you can talk to about the steps and issues in your past (and present life) then GET ONE and USE YOUR SPONSOR. We don't have to do this alone, and if you haven't done the steps,.the guidance a sponsor provides is invaluable. Above all, the one on one contact with a human being will always be more effective (and actually easier) than trying to do it online. The 4th &5th step content will want to, and should be, kept private. No one has to know what you write in your 4th step. Hide it, gaurd it, that's OK. The 5th step is another separate step. You do it after 4. Then IF directions are followed ( the 5th taken a person who can hold a confidence) it will never be public if you don't tell it yourself. One day you might! To help someone else! Take care. Call your sponsor. Go to a meeting. Read the Big Book. And above all: don't drink, NO MATTER what happens! I'm praying for you Freddy.
Well I know for sure the answer for you and many others in a like position.I have witnessed it and cried and got depressed & felt desperate & panicy with others over it in A.A. for 45 years. Very easy, one day at a time.
Well this is "IT".
#1. Give to your still abusing loved person/people,your own personal living example of pretty-happy,stable, drug free living. That's #1..
#2. It doesn't help anybody much by offering loving or angry,"anti-using",lectures or attempting to manipulate with "If you loved me" speeches & tactics & statictics. These offerings can barely break through a users mind.They are generally stalemates and moot.
Users are not stupid or bad people. Pill,drug,alcohol,abusers, are not usually amoral nor of a low I-Q.
Users are people running blind on instincts even unknown to themselves! They are living with the irretractable inborn hidden powerful addict genes.
Our/your/,loving,well intended charity such as "helping" them with even a little money,or a warm place to crash,or transportation etc.kills them even quicker.
Definitely quicker.Begin to stop it today.
If you want to help a seeming "alchie" in your family and your "in" A.A. already; success increases when you treat them just like you treat newcomers entering the program.
Know. We are not our illness!
This is not a dress rehersal. Yesterday and tomorrow are but dreamed puffs of fog only...
c.k. One of them. Now responsible for my own sober living. Me.
There is not a lot you can do for you parents and brother only try and have a chat with them and leave a big book in their house and they might decide for themselves
my parents & my brother are drunks but they deny they are one so what can I do
I understand why you would want to help your parents and brother, but that is an HP job.
I came home after 2 years of sobriety to help my parents, as they both were diagnosed with Cancer. I arrived to my childhood home and realized how sick my family was.(very helpful in understanding my disease, and realize how much work I still had to do) It broke my heart to see my dad stuck in his denial, and my mom enabling him. I wanted so much for them to see how great my life had become because of sobriety.
The reality is all I could do was not act the same way I use to and be an example of what sobriety looked like, even in the mist of death, hospice and sadness. My father actually blew pot smoke in my face when I was telling him I was celebrating my 3 years of sobriety. To say the least I wished that they would have found sobriety and the freedom that comes with it...but they both died this year.
I guess this long story is to say the only thing you can do is...have some acceptance, live your program, and give them to God/HP. I know its hard and they don't understand, but deep in side they are proud of you and wished they could have what you have. Fear is a strong foe.
Good luck, and let the serenity prayer be your guide when your around them.
I have been sober 2 weeks due to AA. You have to love them and not judge then. For me I thank GOD for AA. The happiest I have been in years, but 1 day at a time for me. Go to meetings 7 days a week to keep me strong.
Maybe leave a big book lying around and they might decide for themselves if they have a problem
It's true. A lot of my "indexes of maladjustments" are not always removed but they're converted to assets, if I'm willing to let go of them! Robbie R. ECF
The 12 Steps can be described as a way of life.So can the Drill:Don't Drink,Go to Meetings,Read the Big Book,Say your Prayers(or Meditate),Talk to your Sponsor(or another Alcoholic).But honestly,they are principally a means toward an end.If they are not about not drinking,then I've been in the wrong place for the past 20 years.
Amen re toda's Grapevine quote! We often forget that the 12 steps are not the aim of AA. The aim, called "AA as such" in Tradition Nine short form, is to carry the message. Bill says so one way or the other 62 times in the first 164 pp of the BB, which is where the program part of AA is. Too often nowadays we hear something like, " I came in, put the plug in the jug, was taken through the Steps by my sponsor, and now I'm just so very happy." Bill and Dr. Bob did not have the 12 steps and yet they were able to stay sober. When we compare AA in its unadulterated form, the form that got 75% sober at the writing of the second edition and the form that gets 80% sober and teaches them to retain it with the Wasingtonians, then it is clear: it is identification and letting go of ego (anonymity). terminal uniqueness (my case is different and therefore what you in AA do won't work for me), and the obsession with self satisfaction (getting credfit, being a better speaker, being a BB or 12 Step Thumper and on and on) thal is the door to sobriety. And then as we work with our AA fellows in a group (not just a meeting) to provide service with love, we graduallly experience a spirtual awakening within reality that replaces the chemical delusions in fantasy that alcohol gave us.
The 12 Steps help us be able to achieve that, they are means to an end, not an end in themselves. And they don't care how you work them or why: they work if you work them.
I thought you might like to read the rest of the article:
ATHEISTIC, arrogant, egotistical and intolerant as I was, and further, armed with a few years certain knowledge of the fact that I am an alcoholic, made my surrender, after a practical --drunken --raging --drunken --cunning --drunken --methodical --drunken --hopeless battle with alcohol, all the more totally abject.
Totally and abjectly surrendering to the fact that I was powerless over alcohol and that the persistent and stubborn belief that I--I--I did have, had brought my life to a state of unmanageable chaos, I came to believe, thru the testimony of those happy and contented people who told me of "the way," that there existed a power that could relieve me of this senseless urge to destruction. The fact that, to me, this power was ethereal in that I could neither feel, taste, hear, smell nor see it, meant nothing, in the light of the mass of concrete and irrefutable evidence, but further proof of inadequacy in me. Therefore, humbly, if regretfully, accepting the truth of this inadequacy, I decided to find, by conscientious adherence to the directives of those who were living proof of the benevolent potency of this power, a means of knowing His nebular quality, I would follow His dictates with the hope of eventual understanding of and communion with Him.
Impasse! To this point, humbly accepting facts, I had come with dawning hope and eagerness. Now after a keyed-up, fervent and conscientious execution of the directives, I was, in all honesty, not a bit nearer to a conception of this power's will for me. Desperate queries brought only calm admonishment to "take it easy" and "it will come."
Very well, a calm and thoughtful recapitulation of the directives was in order. Point by point I checked them until I came to one that I had missed its full significance. "Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps. . ." If I was to continue my reasoning on the premise that these folks were right, and the proof was still as evident as ever that they were, then the key was in these Twelve Steps.
Reason--I was told by some that reasoning could be of no use in the search. This called for an analysis of the righteousness of this power. First, last, and eternally, this power would be just. Having endowed man, above all living things, with the power to reason, any debate us to its efficacy would be pointless. Justice--it became self-evident that any human being born into this world with the power to reason, regardless of mental range and capacity, would have equal and inherent faculties for the recognition of the will and desires of this power. Therefore this faculty had to be of a simplicity that would be part of everyday life regardless of locality, race or color. I realized that my unconscious assumption that I was looking for something alien to my life could have caused me to look too high and too far away.
A new start was made on the directives, this one to be exhaustively thorough. "A searching and fearless moral inventory." Exhaustively thorough--the thought struck me, "I have been wrong in so many things maybe I don't know right from wrong." Surprise! I found that the instinctive supposition that we are taught what is right and wrong is erroneous. We are taught, if we are lucky, the advantages of doing right, or the disadvantages of doing wrong. A component part of every human being is an inherent and abiding sense of right and wrong. This sense was the root and cause of law which in its intricate ramifications today is no more than a means to force all to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. To those that triumphantly cry "the Ten Commandments"--Justice--countless humans neither read nor write and thru no fault of their own, live and die with no slightest knowledge of the Bible. Further--strict adherence to this one rule makes nine of the commandments superfluous and non-essential.
What pulled the trigger on a deed and branded it right or wrong? An analysis of the deeds on the wrong side of the ledger in our inventory revealed that only the flouting of this basic law caused that feeling called hurt conscience. Simple and logical--if a harm to a fellow man causes a disagreeable reaction, it certainly implies negation, so inversely a good to a fellow man causes an agreeable reaction hence positive. Here was a law of cause and effect common to all. Finally I had a definite "yes" and "no." Now to bring this conscience out of depths from where it had been shoved every time that it had raised its head. This is, to me, the sounding board of the power. I realized that all consultations with my conscience would be an open book to His omniscient eye--that the cunning contrivances of my mind would gain only what they merited--that the sincerity and honesty with which I interpreted His will and carried it out would be the measure of the benefits that I would receive.
Many months had elapsed in arriving at these simple conclusions. One day I caught myself feeling pity for a man whom I had, in the past, despised with virulent hatred despite all efforts to the contrary. Gradually, with quiet and thankful wonder I realized that I had been experiencing a spiritual awakening for many months, in fact from the time that I had called for help that dark and dismal night.
It was then that I realized fully that the Twelve Steps are not steps to take progressively in order to arrive at a conclusion, but a code for living--the constitution of a way of life.
Three years have passed. Three years of growth--growth in the capacity for growth. The calm certainty that if I live today by these precepts I need have no fear for tomorrow.
Peace--Freedom from fear--Freedom from want--Contentment. Gosh! Ain't Life Wonderful!!!
Good message. I would have ended it this way: And they
don't care how you work them or why: Rarely have we seen
them fail. (We ought to offer them without adding conditions). ANONYMOUS
If only it were true, that we have no need for rules and regs... Too many are coming into play for my group right now and it's not helpful to me.
It takes 2 to have a meeting and 3 to make a group.
You and big book
Reading this quote, the Words of an old standard popular hymn flooded right to my mind !
"I once was lost....but now I'm found; Was blind but now I see!"
Was Lost and Blind.. AND NOW I SEE"
Like this Londoner, My Instinctive denial kept me blind to my life of active alcoholism.And like Him;
I have found calm, cool,, responsible 12th step sober living; has all my immature, nuts living beat to heck !
2/1/13 c.k. Me.
I am alcoholic and I don´t know why. Now it isn´t important for me, it doesn´t my reality.
Find and listen to Clancy I talk about Alcoholism: A Disease of Perception. Try to identify with the feelings regardless of the situations and events in his story.
And you will know why.
It doesn't matter. Understanding is the booby prize. Robbie R.
I recently moved jobs because I was fed up with all the petty disfunction and unprofessionalism. I am in a job now with alot of oportunity to fullfilling the wish I've always had in my business. I find myself starting with about half the pay - this is hopefully only temporary until I become estabilished. Why do I want to go back where I was miserable?
Good for you gut feeling is best the higher power will not give you more than you can handle
First things first. Try the 4th and 5th steps. And think of work as an opportunity to do what it tells us on p. 77 of the BB: we get sober so that we can be spiritually fit to be of maximum service to the people around us.
I think that quote is the very essence of our one day at a time slogan. Yesterday is but a dream. Tomorrow is but a vision. Today is our reality.
Sobriety conceals what alcohol reveals!
After 25 years in AA every day only realize that is only by the grace of God that I can say today I'm recovered for that hopeless state of mind impossible to conquer with out His help all that I have is a daily reprieve
Yes excellent comment. Gormet food for thought ! I like it.
I came here in 68 or 69 it-still holds true.Thank you. C.K.
When I arrived Alcoholics Anonimous I wanted stop drink for a few month and handle my drink again. I wanted it for several months but I had to give this idea, because the experience showed me that it was faulse. I saw a lots of people to be a drank again because they thougt that they could handle their drink.
I had a parnet who protested because there were people who came to the group and out drank,he is drinking now and return to alcoholic carrie because he left the gruop and he thought that he could handle his drink. he forgot that he was alcoholic and he forgot that he never could handle his drink.
I had a parnet, who was a engineer, who thougt that he could handle his drink because he was diferent. He usually said that there was diferents kind of alcoholism and diferent grades os alcoholism because he didn´t want stop drink.
Here's a wise quote that I've heard in many AA meetings:
"Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die."
— Malachy McCourt, Irish-American writer and actor (b. 1931)
And; I have come to believe that Malachy heard this originally from Nelson Mandela, initial originator. And I'm also fond of;
"do you have to be an Irish Catholic to be an alcoholic?"
"No! But it helps"
And.another borrowed A.A. old used quote;
"the easiest way to a slip is holding onto a resentment"
AND one of my personal favorites "Yesterday's a cancelled check.Tomorrow's a promisory note.All I really have is today."
Last for now: ";KEEP IT SIMPLE". IS FROM THE REGULAR ORIGINAL SLOGANS THAT often Hang now and have hung on our walls since Bill W.Days. " Keep it simple" No more no less.
"Keep it simple."
(The "stupid" addition is sometimes added by "Fools like me".
"Stupid we alchies are not.
Is that what a conumdrum is?
Sincerely with love to us sober and not sober addicts.Colleen K.
A simple slogan, "Keep it Simple", became a bumper sticker,
"Keep it Simple Stupid", about thirty years ago.
A conumdrum is trying to convince today's A.A. membership
of mistakes (blunders) we have made while our membership
denies that anything is wrong. Most A.A. members think our
fellowship is "alive and well", "TWO MILLION STRONG."
We had two and a half million members twenty years ago.
We ought to have eight million members today. What has
happened? No excuses please, just reasons. The reasons are
posted on our forum over and over. Does anyone care enough
to even investigate? ANONYMOUS
The A.A. way of living can truly be a blessing. I must keep the addict at arms length and stay with the alkies
I tried to that but have been barred from attending for a 1 year period without given an explanation and when I tried to attend a meeting they closed the meeting within 10 minutes. No I was not drinking, but I was tired of having 1 man constantly pushing me around in the rooms. The group decided to get rid of me.
Horse feathers !
Commedian isn't the only carreer choice.
That experience is called a hallucination fellow user.
I love you.Off the sauce Colleen K. Maine
I can barely believe you wrote the above.
#1 No one has ever been "barred" from an A.A. meeting.
# 2 No one closed a meeting caused by the sight of you or your unexceptable behavior.
#3"I don't believe you were pushed around the rooms by any A.A. member.
#4We don't "GET RID OF PEOPLE",in A.A.
The clubs can ban people from them, it is their property. However the only requirement for membership at a real AA meeting is a desire to stop drinking....underline stop, not stopped.
i have never heard of a group telling someone they are barred from coming to a meeting.
where is the meeting that you went to?
i would suggest you go to another meeting.
donot allow the disease to keep you away.
if you want to get sober you can.
I was comparing my experience with other mates for a year, but I never asked if I was powerless over alcohol or not. I concluded that I was not alcoholic, alcoholic or was less than those around me. After several years and a relapse, I had to wonder if he was an alcoholic and assume the answer. I assume that cost was an alcoholic and I was powerless to alcohol nte, no matter who drank more or less than others or that I had not had the problems they had other important thing is the damage that alcohol makes me.
Today I read the January 1 Grapevine which
made the important point that all are welcome
from all types of beliefs. I was pleased to see
a reference to Muslims but noticed the term
used was Mohammedans. This is not a correct
term because Islam is based on only worshipping
Allah (God) and Muhammad (peace be upon
him) is the the messenger of Allah. Islamic
teachings stress that we are judged by our
intentions and I know the intention is to
show the amazing inclusiveness of AA and
not to offend anybody. Inshallah (God Willing) many more Muslim alcoholics will find the help available in our
Quite a while back; A then, old timer said to me;" Colleen they call what your doing," playing sematics".
Explaining further to me;That I was focusing on"words" to keep myself from focusing on really important stuff like A.A.principles like steps,meetings,traditions,sharing sobriety stuff reading A.A. liturature etc.
I get it.I got it still. ( :
Yesterday (Christmas), I sat at a table loaded with good things to eat and said grace for my family . . . wife, Barbara, Step-daughter and two lovely step-grandchildren, ages 10 and 3. All of it; the table, the food, the ability to say a simple prayer, the wife, the children, are blessings of 27 years of living sober. I owe my life to AA's steps, traditions, and concepts. Thanks for the daily reminders of "what works."
Congratulations on those years of sobriety, keep it going.
At meetings I often use a borrowed statement regarding a new life in AA: "I walked through a door I didn't open." This is the reality of the program when we let go of "My Way" and seek God's way, following instructions from recovering people that have started their journey towards humility and hope.
Entering the doors of AA in 1986, I was grateful for losing the urge to drink but lacked the humility (substitute honesty) to fully appreciate the gift of sobriety and begin working the steps with my sponsor. I realized the AA folks around the table had a lot more going for themselves and others than I did. Gradually I started to relate rather than compare, picked up healthy thoughts and behaviors, and began to understand how the Big Book' phrase "exactly how we have recovered" applied to me. I needed reminders that this process wasn't all my doing like "I'm not the center of the universe any more," "I'm special," and "Me thinking about me!"
Early on, someone described a dark vision of sobriety as "a long, gray tunnel, having man holes along the way. Every year someone lowers a cake. You blow out the candles and, head down, continue along the tunnel." After 26+ years in the program, this has NOT been my experience.
Gone is the striving for success at any cost, baffling relationships, and fear of economic insecurity; plus a lot more. Although I'm an old guy, unable to function as I once did, I have hope for the future. Life is good!
If I do not bring to the hat, will be difficult to carry the message to faraway places that we can go as a group. If I do not bring to the seventh will be difficult to publish or edit our literature. If I do not bring to the seventh tough to relocate the message to hospitals, clinics, institutes, etc. It is difficult to go to distant cities where no AA groups. If I don’t bring the hat will be difficult to have an area office or an office of general services. It is too difficult to service free, but it is more difficult to service and pay the bill. I know it because my group didn´t pay the bill of the people who service into the town of Gijon.
So many of us skimp when the basket gets passed. I got sober in 1992. If I was giving a dollar then, is that still enough?......We think not. My first sponsor used to complain that he paid ten thousand dollars to a rehab to find out that AA is free. Alcoholics Anonymous is NOT free; there is no charge levied, but it does cost money to put on meetings and facilitate the service structure. If I could afford to put a dollar in the basket seven days a week when I was new, shouldn't I be putting at least 7 dollars per week in the basket now, even if I am only attending three meetings per week?
I found through research and going to Area Assemblies why I need to support my group, district, Area and the General Service Office. I also see the need for Intergroup and the services they perform. Self support is the only way to leave AA the way I found it. It expresses my gratitude in action. I believe we are not self supporting because we do not carry that message of the 7th tradition like we do 12 step work. I was totally uninformed. Thank God for Sponsorship !
I think that to talk to a newcomer and invite him to a coffe is more important than made a good speech. Last week a oldtimer said in the meeting that a lots years ago he shook hands and weeping newcomer, he told him "Don´t worry there is a solution" and the other man answered that He was crying because it was the first time in years someone was shaking hands.
Well after 8 years I relize that life will continue to create situations that require acceptance. From the people driving in the rain to the authorities in sports organizations that have their own hidden agendas. Today I believe that due to the fact I have experience with allowing people to be who they are and do what they do, life is a little easier. It seems that my initial reaction is similar to how I have always been, but I don't take actions of tongue and pen without pausing first. That is when I believe I allow God to help me thru.
Some would consider me with 28 years of sobriety an oldtimer in the program but today, I am back to basics. Steps 1, 2, and 3. I live with my eldest son Richard and his wife, Robbie. She died Dec 6 of AIDS and Hep C after 28 years of their life together. They met in their early recovery and married after she was diagnosed. He stayed with her through horrendous medical crisis and expense as she stayed with him through multiple relapses. They had a good marriage. She died after a prolonged struggle finally believing he might be alright as he had been back at daily meetings for about a week and made many promises to her.
Last night he bought a gallon of Jack Daniels and drank half of it. I thank God for my sobriety and a program of recovery that helps me understand that there is no way I can control his choices or his drinking. That the best thing I can do for him is to stay out of God's way as he works through this crisis, trusting the outcome, no matter what I hope for him. The program has given me the gift of disappointment in place of fear, compassion instead of anger, and trust in a process I will never fully understand but know in my bones works, if he will surrender to Creator's will for him. I feel grief for Robbie, sorrow, disappointment and compassion for him and great gratitude for all that the Program has given me to weather the Dark Days.
God bless you. Your comments will touch many today.