New to AA
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.
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.
Are the lights on.....
you will get some things from there and Recovery Emporium is good.
Thanks GV, downloaded a unzip app, works fine now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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?
I can relate to much of what you posted. When newly sober just out of treatment and now living in what seemed liked a Whole New World without drink & drugs. Going to work and being around the guys I used to drink & party with, what would I do after work since that is when I did my "serious" drinking.
Even going to the grocery store was a panic induced eevent, it took me months before I could even get near a beer isle--where the milk was.
On page xxvii in The Doctor's Opinion in the Big Book there is a line that says " and unless this person (the alkie) can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery."
My psychic change happened just out of the treatment center, I did have 1 slip, but the psychic change was Meetings Meetings Meetings, 2 a night, 3-5 on the weekends, I read AA books and yes I prayed, the compulsion & daily thoughts about drink & drugs left. I did get a sponsor and worked the steps as best as I could. Did I make some mistakes? yes, but I stayed sober soon I had 1 month, then 6 months and then 1 yr.
I have been going to AA meetings for almost a year,at first not for me my problem was admitting I was an alcoholic. I had been drinking so long (35 yrs)that i didnt realize there was a whole different world out there outside of drinking, Ive always been on the edge looking down and as the years went by the problems from drinking increased to the point were i absolutely must make a decision to stop or lose everything what little i have not a uncommon story anyway I started going AA was welcomed with open arms and told keep coming back I was sober for 3 months before i consumed alcohol again it wasnt the same i felt so guilty I admitted it at a meeting and apologized to several people by my surprise they said t happens were human keep coming back I did but found my self relapsing again a short time later i need to endulge into the program more and just let go, just let go life is much better when I dont drink Im starting again and im learning by my mistakes But one day at a time Thanks AA I feel a change coming on.
That's it....one day at a time. Hang in there and keep coming back!
I've been AA for over 3 years and have had 3 relapses, my last 7 months ago. I was angry at myself, felt guilty, ashamed, etc and couldn't figure out why I kept relapsing. An old timer took me to the side and told me until I really BELIEVED I had a problem and that I couldn't fight it ALONE, I'd never have long term sobriety. Maybe sounds pretty simple but I finally realized even after I'd admitted I had "a problem", down deep, I thought I could handle it alone. I now utilize EVERY aspect of AA and surrendered my will 7 months ago. Life is good and getting better.
I just moved to a new town and I'm going to meetings every day. I had to do something because I couldn't get much sober time together where I came from. I'm starting to meet people in the program but still have lots of down time to sit in my head. I have five months now.
I wish it was like the old days when sponsors essentially spent time with newbys on a regular basis. I've asked three women to sponsor me and one was nuts and barely acknowledged me, the other just didn't have it (nice lady but not ready to sponsor - we are still friends) and now this one has only met with me one time in a month. I am so restless and starting to think that my drunk friends might be out for themselves only, but they're easier to pin down! lol I live alone for the first time and lately I've started actually thinking about giving up. It scares me. I know I want to be sober.. I had 20 years once! But now I'm struggling to stay sober and I NEVER thought that would be me. NEVER. Anyway, I'm staying sober today and I want to thank AA very much. Pam
Of the 201 words in the twelve steps alcohol is mentioned twice God or a Higher Power six times. Your post included the word I seven times in the first paragraph alone . What would a good sponsor do besides telling you that they found the answer to their problem in the Big Book. We're good a picking out what we want, not so with what we need.
I'm new to AA although I have been sober for over 14 years on my own. I enjoy the meetings but I don't know how to follow the 12 steps. I have a deep rooted hatred of Religion but I am a spiritual person. Am I supposed to just read the 12 steps and figure it out for myself or are there people or resources to guide me? Thanks.
we do not travel this journey alone . Go to Big Book Meeting and if u can say u would need and want a sponsor to take you thru the steps as written in the BB.
Hi, It is a suggestion that you get a sponsor, ( another Alcoholic), who has experience in helping others with the steps. You don't have to go it alone. I worked them with a really good sponsor and now live and work with others to achieve sobriety. I understand that you may hate religion. AA is not about any particular religion. AA is about clearing the wreckage away of your past. Finding a new way to live in service of others. Getting outside yourself for the sake of another sick person.
This thought occurred to me in AA about finding a power greater than myself to help take the obsession and the compulsion for alcohol.
If a man is drowning, does he try to analyze the life line thrown to him? Does he say: "I don't like that rope. Throw me another". Or turn his back on the life line and continue to drown? No. I think he grabs the line and holds on to it for dear life and gets pulled safely back. After being pulled to safety, might the man show gratitude to the source that saved him?. How might he show his thanks for being saved?
Your self will is strong if you have been sober for 14 years. But is your self will letting you be happy? I'll let you think about that and cheerfully await your reply.
I found a person in AA who had worked the steps and seemed to have his life together and asked him to guide me. How did I know he worked the steps? He talked about them when he shared.
My first group met in the library of a recovery house. Whenever this guy was asked to share, he'd walk across the room and pull a pamphlet off the bookshelf. I thought he was looney but later learned he was grabbing a Grapevine which had the steps on the back cover. He always liked to have the steps in his hands when he shared so he could refer to his solution.
He helped me build a SOLID AA foundation based on the steps that has carried me through many years. There are many wonderful people and groups in AA that can help with the steps.
If you can get a AA meeting guide or call your local AA Central office and ask if there is a Step Study Meeting or look for 1 in the AA Meeting schedule.
www.xa-speakers.org has Big Book study workshops and guides such as Joe & Charlie, Chris & Dave also laced thru the list of speakers at the site some Big Book studies are laced in, I like the 1 by Paul F ?
Start going to meetings, if you haven't already, and find someone that you feel you can connect with, someone who really inspires you, or someone with whom you feel you could share easily with and ask them to be your sponser. I am new to this too and I just got a sponser last week. You need a sponser of the same gender as you and he or she will help you and guide you throughout your 12 step process. Good luck in your journey friend:)
I had the good fortune of attending a group that had step meetings 1 2 3 in rotation. The big kids were in other rooms. We read from the 12 & 12 and people talked about how they had or were taking the steps. I didn't get anything out of religion either but I did some outside reading on spiritual matters. That helped a great deal with Step Two. Read closely, Step Three is simply "made a decision" about a hundred words later in the Big Book explains exactly how to turn our will over to the CARE (not control) of a Higher Power by doing four through twelve.
They are in the Big Book but I prefer the 12 & 12. There are some audio speaker "tapes" online about the steps. No affiliation, just individual members sharing their experience.
Just search for aa talks and a number of sites should come up.
"Am I supposed to just read the 12 steps and figure it out for myself or are there people or resources to guide me? Thanks."
I'll pass on a suggestion I got when I was new. "Use your Big Book and a Higher Power."
Nothing was said about going to church or praying to any particular higher power, just use whatever Higher Power I might trust.
Notice, I was told to USE the Big Book, not just read it or study it or discuss it, but use it. Beginning with Chapter Five it contains simple details of what the founders did and what many thousands still do to get and stay sober.
I have been thinking about AA for the last 6 months know. I know I have a problem...but I am very much against any sort of religious aspect or teachings (at least what I have read).
Please do not think I am selfish, but I do believe that change has to come from within a person without spiritual guidance.
Just asking and looking for some guidance...thank you.
The word "spiritual" can be tricky and has different meanings for different people.
One fall day while riding my bike up a canyon in Idaho I stopped at a particularly beautiful spot to look at the changing trees and the leaves floating down to a small stream. My "spirit" soared and I felt like the day and the world could not be more perfect. I remembered a poem I'd read on the Hemingway memorial in Sun Valley that he'd written for a friend who had been killed in a hunting accident...
Best of all he loved the fall
The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
Leaves floating on the trout streams
And above the hills
The high blue windless skies
…Now he will be a part of them forever
It suddenly hit me that I was a part of this forever. It was another step in my ongoing "spiritual" awakening that was made possible and is nurtured in AA.
The word Spiritual is OK. It is when a group of people or organization says that Spirituality is a prerequisite for becoming sober.
I have been sober for years and years and I am not Spiritual, religious or believe in magic. I have not died a alcoholic death.
Many of us come to AA with similar reservations. Some groups and individuals lean more to spirituality than others. You are not required to believe or do anything and many of us attend meetings for a while before seeing what is working for others before we take action. Some never take any action and simply attend meetings.
Our literature spells out "God as you understand Him". That leave a lot of latitude. For some - Good Orderly Direction for others Group Of Drunks. Personally I have God of my understanding who wants nothing but helps me improve my life if asked. If my life is good, I don't want to screw it up by drinking. It's been good for over thirty years so far.
I just can't swallow the idea that God needs or wants anything from me. What, God's going to feel disappointed if I break some rule. Is he going kick some of his furniture like we do and mope around for days? He's God for God's sake. He doesn't put me in charge of his happiness.
I think you are the first drunk in history to include the words "thank you" in your first post. Thank you! I hope you test an AA meeting. I've never heard anyone say "It's exactly what I expected".
I went to my first meeting today. My last drink was May 30. It wasn't what I expected. I do have a faith in God and I am a practicing Catholic. I was a bit late as I went to the wrong door. Nobody talked to me and I didn't initiate any conversation either. I sat in the back so i didn't have to crawl over people. I just sat and listened....took it all in.
The fact that nobody talked to me was a bit surprising and unexpected.
Hi my name is Sanjeev.I am an alcoholic.I love the way you say"took it all in".After many attempts to stay sober I recently realised that a soaked sponge doesnt absorb much however the contrary applies if its dry.So dont worry about conversations with others some of the best you will have is with yourself and your Higher power that I believe exists within us all.Just keep at the meetings and the magic will duly unfold.God strength.
Andrea, glad you made it to a meeting. I remember it being difficult to head in to my first meetings. I felt like I needed a drink to calm my nerves.
In my home group, if you introduced as a newcomer, you would definitely receive special attention which includes a newcomers packet of AA literature, a meeting schedule and phone numbers. YOu would be asked to share during the meeting and would be surrounded after the meeting by those offering support and help.
However,if you arrived late, folks might not know you are new and you might get lost in the shuffle as group members socialized with their friends. Our group is very social and we tend to gravitate to those we know.
Keep coming back, try different meetings and arrive early to introduce yourself. Also, if you volunteer put away chairs, clean cups or whatever after a meeting, I can guarantee you will meet people and make friends. There is nothing like getting in to service to break down social barriers.
Some AA meetings have greeters, some have newcomer packets and some as you experienced just have a meeting. My suggestion is to try going to another meeting or go to just a women's meeting. If you want some attention, raise your hand if they ask " are there any people here for their 1st meeting/"
The Gift of Desperation opens doors to meeting new people.
The personalities of AA groups and meetings vary as much as the those of the next one hundred people picked at random at the shopping mall. The same meeting next week may be quite different. Don't be afraid to ask. The rest of us are there looking for a solution, sometimes we get tunnel vision and don't notice a new member. The vast majority will do their best to be helpful, a few are too scared to know what to do and a few are just plain nuts. If you have had the guts to face a life with the pain of alcoholism just apply the same for recovery. Listen very closely to the readings that open the meeting. Good members live by those words so its easy to spot someone blowing smoke.
Let us know what happens.
Thanks to all who posted to my experience. I went to the same meeting place the next day....early and introduced myself. I met a few other women and got some phone numbers. I went to a different meeting yesterday and this group had greeters. I saw someone that I met at the previous group and had someone to sit with. I plan to continue to go to different meetings to see what other groups are like and find a sponsor. Onward and upward I go
The program of AA offers a spiritual program that if practiced as a way of life can expel the compulsion to drink and usually makes you feel useful and happily whole. I suggest reading the book "alcoholics anonymous" at least the first 164 pages that describe the program and also there are many personal stories in the story section. I think you will find the "vicious cycle" fitting. The book is free at www.aa.org
Hello. I'm not driving and need to get to doctors appointments and shopping. How do I find a like-minded person in my town to help me?
Our primary purpose is to stop drinking and help others recover from alcoholism. Join AA if that is what you want. If transportation is what you want, many of us have lost our license for a while and learned to use public transportation or paid for taxis. It's part of the high cost of drinking for us.
I have been sober for over two years now after drinking on and off (mostly on) for 30 years (the last 15 years drinking to get drunk 3 -4 times a week). I have never been to an A.A meeting although I considered it many times.
Here is my dilemma. My husband of 17 years continues to drink every single day until drunkenness. He has always been an every day drinker but it has gotten worse. We once quit for a year together and it was an awesome year of sobriety. Then we fell off the wagon together and remained so for a couple of years. Since then the alcohol takes more and more of him and never gives anything back. He has taken to keeping a case of beer in the back seat of his vehicle to drink a few on the way home from work. I am tired of the drinking and having no sober adult in my house to count on or talk to.
I have tried to talk to him about his drinking and he just doesn't take it to heart. He says he can't sleep without alcohol. I tried talking to him this morning about giving up drinking and how it is affecting our marriage. By 2:30 PM he had popped the first can of beer. By supper time his eyes were rolling in his head, slurred speech, staggering, passed out by 8:00 PM.
He keeps beer in the house and it used to bother me, but I thank God I haven't had to struggle with an urge to drink in quite some time.
I don't know what to do. Would I benefit from A.A meetings?
I would go to an AA meeting and share exactly what you posted, I too have a spouse that drinks which at times makes me go through the emotional side of my disease. I hang with my wife til the drunkenness gets irritating and kindly excuse myself and say a prayer for her. They have to want to stop and after seeing me working my sobriety she MAY cut back or just want to do something that does not include alcohol. Hang in there and work your sobriety,let Gods will handle the rest,others with your particular situation will give you much better advice then I will as I am 2 months sober, so AA meetings are a must plus fill your library with the books offered Bog book, 12 and 12 etc... It's not the most intelligent of the species that survives nor the strongest but but the ones most adapt to change. God bless
Alcoholics Anonymous can help the alcoholic but those dealing or living with an alcoholic will benefit more by going to Al-anon meetings.
Reading the first 164 pages of the Big Book (especially chapters 2 & 3) will give you a very solid idea of the illness of alcoholism and our solution (cure).
Reading the Big Book you can determine for yourself if you are an alcoholic or not. Pages 20 (last paragraph) to page 26 are the qualifiers were we can self diagnose ourselves.
Hopefully your husband will also read the book so he can recognize if he is afflicted by alcoholism. Problem is, a person with alcoholism must determine that for themselves and decide whether they've past the point beyond human aide.
The Big Book is free online and will tell you everything you need to know about alcoholism and the cure. There is hope for you and your husband!!!
I'm not so sure you should be posting the word cure when posting about AA. AA is not a "Cure" for alcoholism. It's good to share our experience, strength and hope with other alcoholics. One is never cured until they reach the grave.
You would benefit from the shared experiences at AA. Your situation must be very challenging for you. To stay sober while your partner drinks is probably not an easy task. My heart goes out to you. I don't know if an ultimatum will work with your husband but it has worked for some in the past they call it Tough Love to be nice about it. My grandmother was in the same situation and AA helped her through it, she stayed sober too like you. Good luck to you and god bless.
Wow! That sounds really tough. AlAnon could help too. That is where the family and friends learn other ways of dealing with their problems with the alcoholic.
Only you can decide if you want to benefit from an AA meeting. I would suggest a woman's meeting if there is one available. You will probably hear someone else who has gone through the same thing and stayed sober.
I would suggest getting a copy of the Big Book of AA at a meeting. You could read it and maybe leave it out where he can see it. You already know he can't hear you and won't take advice. So quietly taking better care of yourself could plant a seed of an idea in his head. And, you might need some insurance for the day when the desire to drink hits you again.
If you are an alkie like me, it will.
Go online and read the book "alcoholics anonymous"
Particularly the chapters more about alcoholism and to the wives. It answers your questions specifically.
Good luck and God bless!
Thank you. I will read it ASAP
Bill wrote that we ought not underestimate the value
of the stories in the book. Whenever I give a new person
a copy, I recommend that they read some of the stories
and then begin reading the preface and the forewords.
About two thirds of the Big Book are the stories.
One thing I would NEVER do is to tell a newcomer to
open to Chapter Five and read How It Works". Bill concealed
this information (Truth) in chapter five for a special
timed effect. We want to offer the suffering alcoholic
approaching A.A. with an equal amount of Grace. ANONYMOUS