New to AA

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Welcome AA newcomers and beginners! This is your space to post questions, answers, solutions and generally express yourself. We'd like to hear from you!

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Anonymous
celebrated 90 days of

celebrated 90 days of sobriety yesterday....I have been doing a lot of reading....the Big Book and living sober. I have been journal keeping and working through the steps and I don't have a sponsor yet....I am working on step 4 and doing a lot of praying. I have also been mourning the loss of my mother last month with whom I was very close. I live far from home and family, and spent a great deal of time throughout my Mom's illness visiting home this past year. My sobriety was in fact triggered by wanting to be totally present when accompanying and caring for my mother....and it has continued since her passing. I am grateful for the clarity of my feelings despite the incredibly painful loss and numbing emptiness her death has left in our lives. During the past year I also discovered that my youngest brother is drinking heavily. 2 days before my Mom passed she told me in her hospital bed in ICU, with frightened eyes that she had a tragic dream of an accident involving my brother and his daughter....she said that he had been drinking. So, my Mom despite her illness had suspected that my brother had a problem. I am torn about telling him about our mother's dream....I don't know if, or how I should confront him/reach out to him about his drinking....I am taking my own recovery one day at a time and really focussing on the process. I need to get myself to a live meeting as I have only been doing email meetings and sober forums...my first week I must have attended 14 meetings in 7 days which was a true godsend. I live abroad and would really like to attend an English speaking meeting....it is a bit fr from home and not at the most convenient time, but I have decided to commit to going so I can hopefully find someone to sponsor me and help me work the steps.

noduis
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Joined: 2013-09-05
Re: celebrated 90 days of

Congrats on your ninety days, keep adding them one at a time. You wrote, "I live abroad and would really like to attend an English speaking meeting....it is a bit fr from home and not at the most convenient time, but I have decided to commit to going so I can hopefully find someone to sponsor me and help me work the steps."
There is a 'group' called LIM which is made up of members who can't attend meetings and correspond with one another. You might want to contact GSO and join up.
I have yet to find anything in AA literature which says we can't take the steps without a sponsor. In my early days (before computers, cell phones, etc.) I was a Loner and was told that if I used my Big Book and a Higher Power I'd be all right. That advice worked while I was alone and later while I was aboard ship, and still works.

sherib
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Joined: 2014-10-14
Back Again to AA

I am a 44 year old alcoholic, wife and mother of two wonderful kids - back to AA after an 8 year relapse. I was almost two years sober when I relapsed. Gosh, I can't believe I am here and saying this today. I am 72 hours sober and my husband will join me this time in our journey to sobriety and AA. I am happy and very sad at the same time... sad that I have wasted so much time and lived so much insanity ,,, happy because I know the happiness that I felt in AA many years ago. Relapse is difficult and horrible and so hard to come back from. I need to stop beating myself up and ask for help and just be grateful that I am sober for today. Today I feel exhausted - truly exhausted. I will try an online meeting today for the first time.

justafello
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Joined: 2014-10-02
enjoying AA

hello everybody, just recently joined the aa crowd and the grapevine in hopes of being able to understand the literature without disturbing the meetings or pestering a sponsor which I have not asked for as of yet. still working on my fourth step and am not sure when I'll be ready for a fifth. let's just say I'm looking for signs. looking forward to getting more involved with the program and others as time goes on. any advice is appreciated.

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
Enjoy AA

Welcome to AA and GV. A major step for me in AA was when members helped me understand that asking questions and asking for help was not "pestering" but was giving others in AA the opportunity to save their lives by working with me. Many times a question will require me to do some research, crack open my old Big Book or contact other AA's who may have more experience with an issue.

I was very hesitant to ask for help in AA and thought I could do it by myself. Getting a sponsor at 3 months and working the steps with him put me on the path to a new and much better life.

Glad you are here.

justafello
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Joined: 2014-10-02
I am glad I'm here

appreciate your response . am trying and going to meetings. big book also. amazing how much it's helping me deal with myself and my thinking.
avoiding all controversy. why didn't I think of that sooner?

aabrad
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Joined: 2011-05-01
enjoying aa

I commend you for beginning to work on and thru the steps. perhaps asking a person at a meeting ( someone who walks the talk or has been thru all 12 steps) out for a cup of coffee or lunch or maybe just to answer a few questions that you have.
Some times the Signs are right in front of us other times they take several "looks" to see them or hear them.
Some cities have Book Study Meetings or Step Study meetings so look in your meeting guide for these.
Brad

justafello
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Joined: 2014-10-02
great idea

never thought about asking someone out for coffee before a meeting or something. I may just try that. thanks. and I have been a little shy about going to meetings at other places. kind of a Murphy's law kind of guy and don't want to switch anything up.

Anonymous
re enjoying

Glad you joined us.
AA's program of recovery gets off to a good start with the word "We". Among the thousands of things that means is that AA is not about "Us old guys" showing "You young guys" how to stay sober. "We" stay sober together. If it weren't for newcomers (and old timers) thoughts, questions, challenges we could simply catalog our ideas and refer to the number in meetings "Had a 9 today...". I've been part of a group that didn't reach out enough to keep a stead stream of newcomers, it turned into that and failed. A lot of words to say "You are not pestering". Action that fits under the heading of pride in an inventory. I don't need any assistance from mere humans, I can do it by myself, or at least deal personally with a God of my understanding. I couldn't.

I've had exactly one "sign" in thirty four years of sobriety and it was recently and unmistakable. Early in sobriety I was driving home from a meeting and was involved in a car wreck that killed the other driver. I wasn't at fault. Was it a sign? Was there a sign in it for somebody? I looked for one a million times. I didn't find one. Someone was careless, put two cars in the same place at once.

I don't seek advice to stay sober. I look at experience. I don't want to be someone's lab rat. I need to follow somebody's example. Do what they did, get what they got. Like Dr Bob, and Bill before him and Ebbie T before him...

If you are ready for five then you have completed one. What does the word "unmanageable" mean? One, in the sense we use it, it's unique to us, "our lives" and two it's something we developed, "became unmanageable".

Some tell us that it means we can control our behavior but not the outcome. We never could, no one can so that's not it.

Thanks for the opportunity to improve on my sobriety today, I need it.

justafello
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Joined: 2014-10-02
definitely unmanageable

I got that one down pat. I've always held a job and pride myself on making it to work. it wasn't that kind of unmanageable. I let the world and others too far into my thoughts. I would overindulge over uncontrollable things. like politics/religion etc. it feels good to let it go. thanks for listening

Anonymous
enjoying AA

Hi and Welcome!!

Don't be afraid about pestering a sponsor. It keeps him or her sober. Since you asked for advice, my advice is to go to as many meetings as you can and look for someone who looks like they are enjoying sobriety and ask them to sponsor you.

Best of luck to you!

justafello
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Joined: 2014-10-02
a person enjoying sobriety

definately what I'm looking for. hoping time will start to slow down so I can enjoy my sobriety with my kids/grand kids and wife. left them with too many memories of dad hammered. how about dad hammering out a new shed out back. thanks for tha advice. truly enjoying the people in aa.

Anonymous
Back after relapse

Hi fellow a a members , I am back in the program for 16 days now . I am traveling from Florida to North Carolina today and just saying hi .

Anonymous
Back After A Relapse

Congratulations for getting back.....we don't all get back as I'm sure you know. We are so lucky with technology these days.......when out of town, I use my phone to find meetings and if there is a phone number associated with the meeting I call to make sure nothing has changed. And I always raise my hand and say I'm new to that meeting and in your case "just passing through and back to the program 16 days and people are usually so generous with their "welcomes".

Anonymous
Back after relapse

Congratulations and welcome back! Hope you have a group to go to at home.

Anonymous
RE: Back after relapse.

A.A. is abundant on that route. You can go to a meeting
every morning, noon afternoon or evening. I always find
it helpful and sometimes exciting, and I am always
welcomed. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
AA fear...

I have been an alcoholic for 8 years...drinking a pint to a fifth of bourbon or whiskey a day, most of the time ~ it all started when my husband left me and i learned of his affair he had bren having for years and I was so ashamed...so i began a relationship with alcohol, it made me numb to reality. During the first couple of years of tangling with my bottle, my husband gained full custody of my two children which i felt were my only purpose left in life...Unbelievably about 3 years into it I was diagnosed with a form of cancer & aost died...but somehow I beat it? Only to dive deeper into depression and I was so bitter and judgmental all the time. I eventually lost my job, my friends and any desire to even function? Finally my mom stepped into the big picture of what I had painted for myself and I put her through hell as well! I tried sobriety and was sober for 31 days...short lived! I have attended several as meetings during my struggle but I never felt comfortable enuf to share my real story so I really never benefited from the meetings as I should have. I don't like to speak in public or in groups...I don't like when I feel like everyone is looking at me? So I don't go to meetings anymore? Becuz of my feelings of failure when I relapsed...I didn't make it official this go round bcuz I didn't want anyone to tell me how proud they were of me or how much better I look or any of that...Cuz I didn't wanna let them down again? I don't know exactly what day I stopped and it doesn't really matter Cuz I'm taken this one day at a time!

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
AA Fear

Sounds like you've had a rough go of it. Glad you have come to a place where there is hope and a solution. Though cancer is a scourge of our time, so is another chronic killer disease, alcoholism. Thankfully, there is a way out. Give someone the opportunity to work their program of recovery by working with you. There are probably plenty of recovering women in your area who would be willing to come to your home and help you get started. Contact your AA Central Office and let them know you need help.

Anonymous
AA Fear

What I learned is I have a disease called alcoholism. This disease does not want me to attend meetings, walk through fear, or do things I'm a little uncomfortable with. This disease tends to magnify situations and my problems in my head. I think its helpful to understand the disease so I can do things that are opposite to what the disease wants me to do. I finally came to a point where I decided that I would try going against my disease because life was unbearable and scary while going deeper into my disease. So I tried not drinking one day at a time, going to meetings, writing down the various thoughts I had running through my mind, reading the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" or any AA literature I could get my hands on and calling AA members on the phone. Once I came to this decision point and starting doing these things, very slowly it seemed more and more natural to do these things to arrest my disease. I gave up the fight in my mind and committed to 90 meetings in 90 days. These meetings helped me to be more comfortable in everyday living. Remember, that people go to AA meetings primarily for the same reason- to help themselves and others for relief from the symptoms of the disease of alcoholism. Some are sicker than others, which does not matter. What matters is that I don't pick up a drink and do the things that others do to stay sober and the paranoia and crazy mood swings will subside over time and life will get better, then life will get real.

Kelley247
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Joined: 2014-06-29
Good News!!

Recovery is possible regardless of ANY circumstance a person is going through! This is the process I use to reach out to the newcomer...and determine if they are ready to recover from a hopeless state of mind, body and spirit.

Big Book 4th ED page 186-187

They said to me, “Do you want to quit drinking? It’s none of our business about your drinking. We’re not up here trying to take any of your rights or privileges away from you, but we have a program whereby we think we can stay sober.

Part of that program is that we take it to someone else who needs it and wants it. Now, if you don’t want it,
we’ll not take up your time, and we’ll be going and looking for someone else.”

The next thing they wanted to know was if I thought I could quit of my own accord, without any help, if I could just walk out of the hospital and never take another drink. If I could, that was wonderful, that was just fine, and they would very much appreciate a person who had that kind of power, but they were looking for a man who knew he had a problem and knew he couldn’t handle it himself and needed outside help.

The next thing they wanted to know was if I believed in a Higher Power. I had no trouble because I had never actually ceased to believe in God and had tried lots of times to get help but hadn’t succeeded.

Next they wanted to know would I be willing to go to this Higher Power and ask for help, calmly and without any reservations. They left this with me to think over, and I lay there on that hospital bed and went back over and reviewed my life.

I thought of what liquor had done to me, the
opportunities that I had discarded,
the abilities that had been given me and how I had wasted them, and I finally came to the conclusion that if I didn’t want to quit,
I certainly ought to want to, and that I was
willing to do anything in the world to stop drinking.

Kelley247
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Joined: 2014-06-29
There is a solution!!

Below is the process I use to reach out to the newcomer...and determine if they are ready to recover from this fatal illness. Recovery is possible regardless of any circumstance the person is going through!

Big Book 4th ED page 186-187

They said to me, “Do you want to quit drinking? It’s none of our business about your drinking. We’re not up here trying to take any of your rights or privileges away from you, but we have a program whereby we think we can stay sober.

Part of that program is that we take it to someone else who needs it and wants it. Now, if you don’t want it,
we’ll not take up your time, and we’ll be going and looking for someone else.”

The next thing they wanted to know was if I thought I could quit of my own accord, without any help, if I could just walk out of the hospital and never take another drink. If I could, that was wonderful, that was just fine, and they would very much appreciate a person who had that kind of power, but they were looking for a man who knew he had a problem and knew he couldn’t handle it himself and needed outside help.

The next thing they wanted to know was if I believed in a Higher Power. I had no trouble because I had never actually ceased to believe in God and had tried lots of times to get help but hadn’t succeeded.

Next they wanted to know would I be willing to go to this Higher Power and ask for help, calmly and without any reservations. They left this with me to think over, and I lay there on that hospital bed and went back over and reviewed my life.

I thought of what liquor had done to me, the
opportunities that I had discarded,
the abilities that had been given me and how I had wasted them, and
I finally came to the conclusion that if I didn’t want to quit,
I certainly ought to want to, and that I was
willing to do anything in the world to stop drinking.

Anonymous
Still Drinking, But Hopeful

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I'll give it a try.

I've been drinking alcoholically since I was 18, and I'm now 42, so almost 25 years. With the exception of my two pregnancies (during which I was what I guess is called a "dry drunk"), I've only had one real attempt at stopping. It was 2008, and I had just fallen off a stool in my home and broken a rib. My husband convinced me to go to an outpatient, twice a week recovery program, which I did. I remember telling the woman at the employee assistance program that I was working full-time, parenting 2 toddlers, and getting straight A-s in a masters program...all while drinking...so I couldn't wait to see what I could do while sober! She commented that I may already be trying to do too much. She was right.

I can see clearly now that I was not ready back then. I believed I had control, unlike the other people in my group who were court-ordered to be there. I felt superior to them. One of the counselors kept cautioning me that I hadn't gotten a DUI YET, a divorce YET, lost my job YET, etc. I see now that she was absolutely right. I went through the motions of some meetings, half-heartedly got a sponsor, and started drinking 8 months later.

Fast forward to today. Things have progressed very quickly recently. Several weeks ago, I was alone in my house for several days without my husband and kids. I've been day drinking on weekends and in the afternoons for a while, but the few days I was alone to drink as I pleased absolutely TERRIFIED me. I remember not even feeling hung over, but more like I was mentally ill and couldn't think straight (if that makes any sense). I absolutely believe that I am powerless over alcohol. The idea that there could actually be a day when I AM NOT MENTALLY OBSESSED with alcohol seems impossible now...but I am hopeful.

Yesterday, I had a few glasses of wine but waited until my friend came over to really start. I didn't feel drunk when I went to bed, which hasn't happened in forever. I am planning to gradually cut back and go to a meeting just as soon as I can work up the courage.

Sorry to ramble, and thanks for reading if you made it this far. :-)

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
Hopeful

Alcoholism is a chronic progressive illness that removed all that was good in my life. I read once that if alcohol were discovered today, it's primary authorised use would be as a solvent. It worked that way for me. It dissolved my health, job, relationships and career. Today I am many years sober and free in AA. I often say that if I'd known how great life can be sober, I'd have done it sooner.

I did some work with a Native American Tribe once. One poster in our meeting room showed a "horn of plenty" and how alcohol emptied it of all that was good in life. Another poster showed how recovery filled up another horn of plenty with all of the truly valuable things in life. I never forgot that image and can say that my life is full today.

I attended memorials for two long-time AA friends in the past two months. Both events were FULL of friends, family, AA members and community members celebrating with laughter and tears the memories of these sober men.

Don't delay. Get to AA.

Anonymous
RE: Hopeful

Now That is a slogan worth remembering: Don't Delay!
Get to A.A. Today!! Charlie

andrea55
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Joined: 2014-06-30
Still drinking but hopeful

Get to a meeting as soon as possible. You will be welcomed there. Even if you just sit in the back row for your first few times. It's OK, just Go.....

Anonymous
new to gv/ trying to

how do you join this site

Anonymous
New to sobriety

Going on 60 days now and feeling ready to work the steps and find myself a sponsor to help me. definitely taking it one day at a time as any further into the future still makes me feel sad about never drinking again. Feeling grateful that my heart and head are clear and I've made this vital step towards recovery. My drinking was leading me down a sad path of self medicating and numbing myself, my feelings....moving towards more mindful living and decision making instead of letting the alcohol "decide" for me.

aabrad
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Joined: 2011-05-01
New to Sobriety

Thank you for your post and welcome to a new way of living. I commend you on your Readiness to get a sponsor and beginning to work the steps.
Brad

Anonymous
Ngs and needing help

I am just now coming to AA. It has apbeen a difficult and painful journey.
I have hurt many people, most importantly, my wife and partner.
I know that I am not capable of drinking.
I drink one, and have another, and down I go.

I am hoping that AA will give me the strength to rest and to become a better person.

I look forward to joining the community.

Thank you!

Jeff

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
needing help

Welcome Jeff. During my first day of recovery, an older woman who had many years of sobriety looked at me with her twinkling bright blue eyes and said in a gravely voice, "you're in the right place, honey." I never forgot those bright blue eyes that were so full of life or the love in that gravelly voice. You know what, she was right.

Walck
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Joined: 2014-07-31
Downloading audio question

I just subscribed to Grapevine last week. I am 4 months sober at age 66...it's been a long time coming.
My questions are technical.
1) My I-PAD will not allow me to play or download audio tapes...why...normal? FYI, I don't have a smart cell phone, just the $10 a month model.

Anonymous
I've had the same problem and

I've had the same problem and suspect that the fact my phone will not support flash media as the culprit

Anonymous
downloads

X.A. Speakers...
then
Are the lights on.....
you will get some things from there and Recovery Emporium is good.

Walck
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Joined: 2014-07-31
ZIP

Thanks GV, downloaded a unzip app, works fine now.

Anonymous
Big Book Language

Is it just me or does anyone else have trouble with the language of the 1930's? I am having so much trouble relating to the book, some of what is written applies of course but I can't get over how dated the material seems to be. I am newly sober if you didn't already figure that out, but have not experienced much of what is written, no financial disasters or losing jobs etc, no skid row bridges in my past, I simply have a strong desire to stop drinking. I will keep plugging away at it and hope that at some point it will all come together.

Patty

Anonymous
The EZ Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

I recommend the EZ Big Book of AA written by a member of AA. The book is not an official publication of AA, but is a well-written modern translation by a member of AA and approved of by his AA Group.

VirginiaC
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Joined: 2014-09-04
Big Book Language

There are some more modern books out there. I just ordered "A Womans Guide to working the steps" and it's workbook. (I think that's what it's called). I'm expecting the delivery in a few days and I'm hoping it will be a good supplement along side the big book. I also ordered the "big book workbook" so I can go new school and old school. :) ~ Virginia

noduis
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Joined: 2013-09-05
Re: Big Book Language

Yeah, not enough "I'm like", "You know" and "He goes" in it.

Anonymous
big book language

It does seem outdated, huh? The ironic part is the experience, strength and hope it talks about is TIMELESS!!! My sponsor encouraged me to seek and embrace the SIMILARITIES, NOT the differences. That helped a lot! And not just the reading materials, but all aspects of recovery. And, of course, PRAY to see the sameness instead of the differences!! Don't give up!!

Anonymous
Concerning Big Book Lanquage

The Big Book is eloquently written in proper English
with correct grammar. It is a pleasure for me to read
it instead of reading such phrases as " moving forward",
"my bad", "no prob" and "been there, done that".
That being said I feel the content is more important
than the delivery.
Keep reading and consider obtaining the book on disc.
It is a pleasure to listen to.
You may also want to discuss your readings with your sponsor
or other alcholics.

Ray C

clu1992
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Joined: 2012-05-30
re ray

Well said ray, well said!

Anonymous
Remember it is about your

Remember it is about your sobriety and not others.Every day you do not drink it has come together. That is why you do it one day at a time.
Mac

Anonymous
You may have Big Book Study

You may have Big Book Study meetings in your area. Check one or more of these out. They may help, as they did for me. Repeated readings of the Book itself always gave me better insight. There were things that I read four or five times before I actually got what the writer(s) were saying.

For more contemporary stories, the Grapevine, both in-print
and on-line, gives more up-to-date stories of the path to recovery. I also very much enjoyed a book called "Chicken Soup For The Recovering Soul". It's probably not AA Approved, whatever that means, and I skipped some of the stories, but overall it's a good read.

And I'll probably get blasted for this, but a friend with 15 years sobriety had me pick up the NA Basic Text. It was written in the 70's and is much easier to comprehend. And for me at least, the message is almost exactly the same.

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
BB Language

I agree Patty, the book is dated, especially in some of the wording, cultural issues and treatment of women. However, it is the basic text of AA that captured how the founders and early AAs stayed sober and brought new hope for alcoholics into the world.

There are great tools and much wisdom in the book. Like other revolutionary documents, there is great hesitancy among those who owe their lives to AA to change it.

In addition to the main text of the BB, there are the stories in the back of the book and in the GV that are more up to date. There is also the sharing of AA members in meetings each of whom shares their personal story and experience. That is where the principles of AA are brought to life and made real.

We have learned a lot about alcoholism since the book was written and we've seen a proliferation of treatment programs. But, I still don't see a better way than AA for a person to get sober, stay sober and live a happy, joyous and free sober life.

Anonymous
RE: Big Book Language

Keep that plug in the jug! That is what some of the old-
timers used to tell me. Stay close to us and you will be
OK. After four decades, yes I am still OK. Not perfect but
OK is good enough for me today.
Check page 164 in the Big Book. "Our book is meant to be
suggestive only. We realize that we know only a little."
More has certainly been disclosed. I find very few AA
members today who understand what suggestive means. They
will recite the story of the parachute. Pull the cord is
not a suggestion. That is a direction. We offer the BB
and the 12 steps in a suggestive manner. Directions was
changed to PATH, just before the BB went to print.
I was never arrested, never been in a detox except for
AA meetings. I had the best job of my life when I stopped
drinking and was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous. I
kept that job for 32 years and had perfect attendance for
the last 15 years. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
The book is old, that is

The book is old, that is true. It is a spiritual work, not a "read only" affair. One needs to "study" it" letting it's message go down deep. Makes no difference whether a high or low bottom alcoholic, the message is the same. Sadly it takes "time" to fully appreciate it's full depth.

Anonymous
Newly Sober and having rapid mood swings!

I am 27 days sober, the longest clean time I have had in 16 years. I went to treatment and came home a few days ago, began working the steps, am working my 90 and 90. and found a wonderful sponsor. I am excited about my recovery because I am doing it for myself, my family, and to give back...except for the tact that my mood swings are awful. I can be reading or cooking or walking and feeling good, and out of nowhere for no reason (no triggers, etc.) my mind says, this isn't

Anonymous
Nagging

Too many posts here sound like my mother-in-law's program of recovery:
You do this...
You need to...
You ought to...

Thank God I found Alcoholics Anonymous where I heard
I went to meetings regularly,
I read the Big Book,
I got a sponsor,
I worked the steps,
I started doing service work.

Isn't that what Ebbie shared with Bill
and Bill passed on to Dr Bob? Experience, not advice.

They had had all the advice in the world.
When they saw the result of actual experience before their
eyes, their lives changed.

Just like mine changed when I
I went to meetings regularly,
I read the Big Book,
I got a sponsor,
I worked the steps,
I started doing service work.

Anonymous
Alone and Had Relapse Looking for some help

Been struggling for quite some with alcohol. Have been to AA, Been to emergency room 1 1/2 years ago and did rehab over the winter. Right now just coming off another relapse, and I am scared to leave my home for anything. As you know your friends disappear slowly and I was advised to seek help from other alcoholics. anyone else out there that needs to talk, and may want to help me?

Anonymous
RE: Alone and Had Relapse...

You may be happy to hear you are NOT alone anymore. Can you call your local AA line and see if someone will come to your home and give you a meeting? If you can find the courage to do this I think it will help you.

Ray C

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