New to AA

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Joined: 2012-01-18
Am I an Alcoholic

I too am a newcomer and have a little over a month of sobriety. My drinking, my insanity, was a lot like yours. I never missed work, never went to work drunk, never had any legal problems due to drinking, I had a very stressful job also, but I came to realize that I am an Alcoholic. A couple of drinks a night was generally a pint and sometimes, on weekends, more. Being honest with myself, the saying "one is too many and a thousand arn't enough" is truely the way I feel. Once I had that first drink I loved the feeling.

I don't think anyone can tell you if your an alcoholic and I remember asking myself that question and looking around for an answer when I remembered about a gentleman who called a talk show one night about 2:00a and asked the same question. The reply was from a member of AA who had 30 years sobriety under his belt. He said, "I love green beans, I can eat them morning noon and night. However, never in my 65 years of living have I ever asked another person if I had a problem with green beans!" Only you can answer the question.

Am i an alcoholic

The Web site at has a section for Members to click on, then Click on Literature, and find Pamphlets... P-1, number P-2, and number P-3: Is AA for me? can answer your questions, and P-3 will ask you questions about yourself... these are viewable on a computer in the PDF format so if you cannot view them, download Adobe Acrobat Reader from to your desktop then view the pamphlets... several have more information about alcoholism and AA, but P-3 will give you a general idea about your own needs... Good luck and try to be totally honest with yourself when answering the questions.

Am I an Alcoholic

that is something no one can answer but you now there are some things you can do to help you come up with the answer
if you care to one get a copy of the AA big book two get in touch with AA in your home town and ask were you can find a open speaker meeting no one will hound you they might ask for your address just so they can find either the closest or furthest meeting from where you live its up to you which one you go to a lot of groups will loan you a big book if you ask
lots of hand shakes laughter and good coffee good luck hope this helps ps its free and no membership required

Joined: 2011-11-01
Gift recommendation, please!

I recently began dating a lovely man who will soon celebrate his 25th anniversary of his sobriety. Can anyone help me with thoughtful gift ideas to commemorate this event? Thanks!

re: gift

How about a "One Day at a Time" coin? I have seen fancy coins given for various sobriety birthdays, but as a friend noted on celebrating his 42nd recently, "All I know is how to get through a day without getting drunk," meaning a birthday is just the same as any other day. A humble coin will better express an appreciation for what AA means to so many. But that is just my opinion.

New Comer

I walked inside, but didn't see anything resembling a meeting group; so I asked someone where the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was. I wondered how I should ask. Discretely, but not in whisper; directly, but not like a civilian, as AA members refer to people who can drink normally. The room was in the next building upstairs. One said smilingly, "The meeting's upstairs." A man asked if I was there for the meeting. "Well, yes," I said, "but I don't know if I have a problem."
"Do you want to stop drinking?" he asked. I nodded.
"Then you're in the right place."
I sat in a fold-out chair, part of a curve just beginning to fill up with people. I smelled coffee, got up and poured a cup. The meeting began with formulaic statements read by different people, each one stating their first name and acknowledging they were an alcoholic. The moderator asked if there were newcomers or visitors. I could only sit and say my name.
Soon stories came; and I raised my hand so my confusion could take shape, not one which resolved itself in or through facts, but one which seemed like deeper confusion. As I talked, I noticed people nodding and laughing. I was free falling through sixty-two years in three minutes. The people around me had gained certain invisibility; and that was a leveling like water seeking its own depth and height in light and darkness, storm and sky.
After that first meeting I hung around, and Larry, my sponsor, re-introduced himself. He asked me not to think too much. I had an old baseball coach who used to yell that same advice while I was on the base path, after I'd been thrown out once leading off second base. A woman downstairs turned to me and said, "Nobody comes here unless they need to." This place needs to honor some complexity, I thought; and I fished for my keys.
Six days ago, I first admitted publicly that I am an alcoholic. Periodically I wonder how someone enters "the room," as AA culture knows it, and can automatically simplify things. I argue with a community which has taken residence inside me. I remember my father on the porch, as the R.L. Burnside song says, "an ass pocketful of whiskey." Earlier that day I made a bet -- "yes," to whether he would do violence to my mother; but that actually meant "no" according to my betting system -- everything had to be opposite. I would not be sleeping that night but waiting near the phone to call the police. I never did call. I dialed a few numbers once and threatened to call. But I never heard the voice on the other end of the phone offering to help. Since those days, the reality of booze and its power have attended my imagination. I think about it again; and the way I think about it, the fact that it takes such prominence in my thinking, that it is a complex of my own making that I cannot simplify.
I am lucky not to have perceived my having hit "rock bottom," as I grew up thinking must have happened to recovering alcoholics. I say "grew up," because as a kid in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I attended an organization called "Ala-tots," of all things. I loved my father; I love the idea of him, how he understood his fragility so angrily. I miss his confusion, the way his black hair seemed to shock his face, his vulnerable and dangerous voice.
Nobody says what they don't want other people to hear. There is this question -- Do I want to stop drinking enough to do whatever is necessary to allow me to stop? I'm dishonest in ways I cannot know; I'm willing to do harm in ways beyond my will and knowledge. I'm like everyone else.


When I finally decided to stop drinking I feel alone. This experience made me see that my only friends (so called) were at the bar. Now my desicion to stop going to the bar and begin the process of changing people, places, and things to help me stay sober, I feel alone. I lost everything during this bender and I feel alone. I'm been going to meetings but I see happy people and I'm not happy as I still feel alone. Anyone; any suggestions.
Mando alcoholic

You don't have to feel alone

I stopped drinking just 36 days ago. I completely sympathize with your feeling of being alone. My so-called best friend was my drinking buddy, but now I can't have anything to do with her. I have found much solace in going to AA meetings and working with my sponsor. If you have not gotten yourself a sponsor yet, I strongly suggest that you do. Also, let others at meetings know that you are a newcomer. Ask people during the meeting if anyone wants to go for coffee. I had to do these same things. It's surprisingly easy to find a person or people who are happy to have a coffee and talk to you. AA is a wonderful place where we all have something in common. Congratulations on taking a major important step in your life. I know how hard it is and you are doing the right thing for yourself.

RE: Alone

Welcome to A.A. - A.A. works and works good
what a great start If the second step is taken you will never ever be alone again - If you don't have the willingness there is outside help available call sponsor - If that don't work go back to the personal willingness and trust in God - After you can trust in God the fear leaves and the journey begins.

Go to as many meeting as you can find and your heart will discover what a true fellow ship is but watch out people get easily diverted by people places and things from outside as if they were part of.
A great self discovery program A.A. is.

Joined: 2011-10-06
I feel the same way I also

I feel the same way I also feel very board when I am with these people or at these places. Things are totally different when your sober. But I feel so much better fiscally that I can't let that go. So I guess in time things will become normal again. I hope for you also. I only have 60days tomorrow

where do I start?

I realize drinking is controlling me, I can't control my drinking. It is affecting every aspect of my life, and I want to,need to quit. I tell myself I'm a "functional" drunk, but its not true. I would like to find an online buddy to talk to, because then I can truly be anonymous and truly honest. Can someone help me? I am a 54 yr old woman.



where do I start?

Do not drink today. Pray. Be strong today!

Joined: 2011-10-06
I can

How do we do that does this show my email?

RE: where do I start?

Start with trusting in God and when a sponsor and groups fail you Start with trusting in God and when material goodness fails you Start with trusting in God. We only have 3 pertinent ideas A,B,C

Once you get that down then clean house.
P.S maybe you already started in one form or another.

where do I start?

I too am looking for an "online" buddy but I am not someone who should be sponsor. I received a DUI in April but have found that going to AA has changed my life. I am a little lost as to how to proceed due to being in a small town and not I guess a typical alcoholic. I have been going to weekly meeting and am reading the big book daily. I read daily from the "Twenty-Four Hours a Day" book also. If you decide we might be online buddies please feel free to respond to this thread.


i WENT TO MY FIRST MEETING LAST WEEK. PEOPLE WERE SO KIND. I WAS IN A ROOM WITH PEOPLE , WHO FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, UNDERSTOOD WHAT I WAS FEELING AND GOING THROUGH.I suggest you look up a meeting near you and go. A weight has been taken off my shoulders.When you go to a meeting, you are anonymous, and their is so much support. Please find a meeting.

getting honest

This reminds me how I was early on. When I was going to share my first really honest 5th step with my sponsor, I was thinking I wanted to be in one corner of a dark room with her in the other corner.
Going to a lot of meetings, especially women's meetings helped me to know that I was not the only one with terrible secrets. I heard other people sharing comfortably what I was going to take to the grave. My sponsor shared some startling events that she did in her life and that helped too.
I didn't know that the disease was lying to me and telling me that I was different and the only one who had that secret.
Now, I'm coming up on 22 years and I tell those secrets out loud whenever it will help someone else. The shame is gone.

Joined: 2011-09-28
28 days here, 59 yr od woman

I have 28 days today, have been going to meetings for 21 months. Finally getting it. I originally started AA because my husband was pressuring me, and I knew I had a problem but, I kept sneaking and drinking. I am now working with two women who I call everyday and at 10:00 after the liquor store closes. I had a very high bottom. Didn't lose house, husband, job. Still I felt depressed and scared.
Keep the faith, find some good people and ask them to help you. That finally made a difference for me. I am still fragile but, taking it a day at a time as we say.

One day here, hopefully

Well, I can't drink tonight, as I drank it all.

Joined: 2012-12-25
High Bottom?

A new comer once shared at a meeting that our bottom is when we stop digging. I know a woman who just past away with a little over 20 years of sobriety.
She got sober in her 80s and had a slip after almost 1 year..but lived past 100 sober and happy. Never too late..


Hello congrats

my belief .......forgot to write in, please add

i am still a substance abuser though. smoked for 30 years and still do. now my substances are just nicotine and caffeine.

RE: my belief

It's not who or what you believe in, It's what you rely on God or man your choice always!!!!

my belief

my problem with alchohol is indeed, i cant only take one. i would enjoy then drink more to keep "up" until i would go and fall asleep where i did not have to deal with my various problems. my real problem is that i am a substance abuser. i have throughout my adult life, been and enjoyed getting high on pot. i did it all the time without failing to excel in my work or endeavors. pot became unenjoyable when i developed a paranoia when i used it and i just stopped for that reason. recently i lost my great hands on mechanical job i was lucky to find and was forced to work in a capacity that i could not endure for the same company. then i was going to loose my place to live, all the while i was loosing my ability to work as i had due to various injuries and age related physical failures of my body. as things got worse, i started drinking heavy to get by until i tried and failed to kill myself. before the second crazy attempt i relocated and stayed near a family member and am supported by a wealthy family member who did not help before cause i was living with a family member he hated. totally depressed and messed up i continued to drink heavy until i had to be hospitalized due to a serious and painful medical condition panreitis brought on by the alcohol. i don't drink any more for that reason. i went to a doctor to get medication for various conditions i have blood pressure, cholesterol and was referred to a psychiatrist for the depression and thoughts i was still having about how i would be able to die easily and painslessly, when my time is up in the future. he specialized in substance abuse, and concentrated on the drinking as the reason for my mental condition. he said i would undoubtedly benefit from aa.
my real feeling, or problem one may say, is that i have lived to the age of 55 and have accomplished the things i set out to do. raised a successful independent son, worked till i cant any more. etc. i am a widower for 6 years now, and have no real motivation. life has lost meaning for me. the thing is that everyone tells me things will get better, and little by little they have to a small degree. i don't enjoy any other work accept the mechanical type and there is no market for my skills these days. i don't want to work to learn anything else. my mechanical work was something that i did well naturally due to my abilities in that area. anyway the real fear i have now is to get older, sicker, be in pain, not be able to care for myself and have to live with that as well as be a burden,not me baby!!! i am comfortable and satisfied with what i am and have done, and am not afraid to die. i don't want to, but i would prefer to go than live that way. this world however does not allow that and force you to live as long as possible despite any sickness, pain and suffering. get it??..... lastly i did not particularly like all the references to God in the AA web page. that's my story, and i'm sticking to it :) ok tell me where i am wrong in my beliefs. with out the usual yadah yadah i have heard from everyone so far, (if possible)

my belief

In my neighborhood there is an AA meeting for agnostics. I went a couple of times and people rarely mentioned God, except occasionally to talk about why they had trouble believing in one. Mostly people talked about how things got better when they stopped drinking and why it was better. Maybe there is a similar meeting in your neighborhood? I'm not saying you should go, but I wanted to mention there is maybe an option like that you could check out if you wanted to.

RE: "my belief"

As the other poster suggests, AA is not THE path, rather it is merely what folks like me that could not stop drinking have found to help get through the day without drinking and maybe learn to enjoy life without drinking. It is not for me or anyone else to say what you need or don't need. With pancreatitis, drinking is not a good idea for you, so it you can not drink without AA, great. The "God stuff" in AA always did bother me, but it does to a lesser extent now, and I recognize that if that is what others need to keep them sober, more power to them, as long as they do not try to force their beliefs on me. But I have come to genuinely value something I learned through AA, even though it is something I should have picked up when I was in kindergarten, and that is the benefit to me of helping someone else. I am about to find some charity I can do volunteer work for, drag my self-absorbed 15-year old son along, so maybe, just maybe, he will come to realize that it is not all about him, and that helping others makes us feel better about ourselves and the wider world. As my favorite Pope put it, "In faith and hope the world will disagree, but all mankind's concern is charity."

Respond to "my belief"

One thing AA does NOT do is try to convince someone they should want AA. It's a resource that's available if you want it, but not everybody wants it, and that's fine. There are many paths.

Joined: 2011-09-10
New to member

I just recently had a major confrontation with my sister in law who is clearly an alcoholic. I came to check out aa as I need help in dealing with her and the fallout from being the first in the family who has the strength to confront her. Any suggestions? I desperately need help.

Joined: 2012-09-30
Family Member

Hi, There is a support group for family members that live with alcoholics. It's called Alanon. They can give you the support you need. To find the nearest Alanon group near you, do a search form the internet or check the yellow pages for your area. Good luck and I pray you have patience.

helping a family member

I am a member of AA, have also been to Alanon meetings, and both have been helpful in dealing with my issues as well as how I respond to others' issues. But in AA in particular, I have heard over and over that an alcoholic cannot be forced into sobriety by anyone, that they must choose to do so for themselves. Alanon offers similar comments. And yet I know many people who were essentially forced into treatment by family, job, judges, and they got and have stayed sober. I volunteer for an assistance program for work, where interventions are done for those with alcohol, drug, psychological problems. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't - at least the first time. So there are many resources out there, and whichever one works is best. I agree with the person suggesting attending an open AA meeting as well as Alanon, as it will give you some insight into the nature of the problem and the difficulty you and others face in trying to convince your family member to seek help. But don't rule out seeking other help.

Joined: 2011-08-11

I have not heard much comment over the years about the effect of intervention s in turning people around. I would love to hear your comments on your experience in this regard

Joined: 2011-09-13
dealing with the alcoholic

Members and friends of alcoholics tend to be as puzzled by the disease as the alcoholic themself. Please give Al Anon a shot, they are wonderful and understand. The biggest lesson is that you didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it. You will find love, comfort and support in the Al Anon family, I know I have. I have been married to an alcoholic in recovery for over 17 years and even though she was in recovery, I needed what Al Anon had to offer. God bless you on your journey.

family member

There are many like her. You can help the alcoholic. First
try to fully understand that the alcoholic does not drink
by choice. You may think so. The alcoholic may think so.
We drink because we have a need (often a desperate one)
that only liquor will satisfy. We develop a craving for
more after having that first one. We may take that first
one casually, as we see others do. We lose all resistance
to the second, third etc.
Investigate AA meetings in your area. Quietly attend
open meetings to get an idea of what AA is all about. Keep
your eyes and ears open. Invest in a copy of the book,
alcoholics anonymous. Offer it to your family member.
Most important of all don't be critical or condecending,
in any way. A pious attitude can be harmful. The alcoholic
is very ill, although you may not think so. He/she may
not think so. You will get suggestions to go to Alanon.
You can try alanon but use your own instincts. Alanon,
in my opinion, is most helpful to family members who
are or have been deeply affected from living with the
active alcoholic. There is no greater joy than to see
an alcoholic friend or family member get well. It may
happen or it may not. I believe with the proper approach
almost any alcoholic can get well. Try to avoid further
confrontations. Avoid becoming angry if at all possible.
Most of us would not yell at a cancer patient. ANONYMOUS

New to Sobriety

I often here well meaning folks tell new comers that no one will hurt or reject you in AA. But how can these folks know what the new comer will consider rejection. The term " my higher power " (THAT I CHOOSE TO CALL GOD) was rejection for me! I have read the AUG 2011 Grape Vine (GV) article regarding the "GOD" issue and hopefully it will open some folks eyes to our potential rejection of folks that are "NOT READY".

I have always been a " non conformist " and have been "rejected" by lots of our well meaning AA folks. No one even mentioned a 12step call to this newbee. What happened to " when anyone anywhere ETC ETC "


Joined: 2011-06-07
I became willing

I love how the "nonconformist" always seem to decry the rejection of others when they are the ones turning their backs and walking away. I don't know your story but my guess is that you have spent a life time REJECTING others, their social norms, belief systems and any authority other then yourself.

The last paragraph on pg.658 of the BB describes your life's philosophy .

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--
that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

I'm sure you will reject this assessment as easily as you rejected the possibility that there may be a power higher then your Ego. Please try just to be "WILLING"

Dennis D.

You Became willing - in what?

Did you become willing to trust in God and clean house OR did you become willing to run for for comfort to a mommy and daddy you know call sponsor? A.A fellowship or some followship? it takes a lot of willingness to participate in comm-ism. Take a closer look inside instead of outside.

RE: I became willing

The paragraph referred to (There is a principle) is found on page 568 in the fourth edition of the BB. It appears on page 570 in the third edition. I have found that
alcoholics are just more sensitive than non-alcoholics. I
try to limit my criticism. And yet I am being critical.
Can you offer any solutions? ANONYMOUS

RE: I became willing

This article reminded me of my third AA meeting. At my first
meeting I was drunk. I arrived at my second meeting too late to understand much of what was going on. At my third
meeting I was awake and alert listening to every word spoken. During the break I did not know what to do and was
just standing off to the side. An oldtimer approached me
and to this day I remember what he said: He did not shake
my hand and introduce himself. He said, "you're not going
to get this program by standing by the wall." I just
slithered away bewildered. I am grateful that I did
not have my own car. I would have quietly left. Another
elder realized that I was new and introduced himself and
showed me around. We went to the literature rack and he
gave me a couple of phamphlets. I learned a valuable
lesson that night. First impressions are important. If
at my first meetings, I had been told: Joe here is your
sponsor. You will do as he tells you. He will work the
steps with you, I would have been dead decades ago. Our
fellowship is about unity, not conformity. Criticism
of each other can be harmful and has no place in AA.

New to Sobriety

I just started going to A.A. meetings and what I've shared and what I've heard has helped me a lot. I stiil feel lost and alone, how can I open up and share?

Opening up and sharing

I am also new to AA I had 60 days on the 20th of August. I always try to share in every meeting. I find myself rehearsing what I want to say over and over in my head. But I have become willing to make myself feel a little uncomfortable because what I say may be just what someone else suffering needed to hear that day. So basically what I'm saying is It makes it easier for me to share by thinking that I may help someone else with whatever wisdom I may have. If I have any at all. I finally got a sponser and am going to start working the steps on Friday. I am excited. I really want this miracle that the old timers in AA have.

Openip and sharing

I feel the same way!!!

Raise your hand and open your mouth

Nobody will bite you or reject you. That's one of the great truths about AA. Everyone, especially the most lonely and rejected are welcome. There's always an empty chair waiting for the next newcomer, filled with fear and trepidation to occupy. That's how we continue and maintain our sobriety.

If it's any help, I was in the program 9 years and relapsed. When I came back 3 years later to my first meeting, the only thing I could say when I raised my hand was, "My name is Brian, I need help because I don't know what to do." And the first miracle of my sobriety happened. Four people took care of me for that whole weekend so that I didn't need to drink and began to teach me how to live life.

And if you can't raise your hand, turn to the person next to you and ask them how they are doing. Before you know it you will be sharing with them where you are and they will be doing the same for you. You will have begun the marvelous journey of helping another alcoholic. As they say in meetings here, "Keep Coming Back, no matter what".

Joined: 2011-06-07

At your next meeting try sharing what you disclosed here.
" I feel lost and alone." That simple statement will open a floodgate of discussion and at the end of the meeting a dozen hugs.

Open up and share?

If you're new to sobriety you probably don't know too much about getting and staying sober, so let me pass on what I heard very often when I was new, but never hear now: "First we should learn to listen, then we can listen to learn."
And something I found out through experience:I have never learned a thing while I was talking.
If you really have a compulsion to talk, get to the meeting early and talk to someone, or stay and catch someone afterward.

Open up and share?

When that and your outside sponsor doesn't work try A.A. simply TRUST IN GOD then clean house and share with one that believes in God not a substitute outside sponsorship system.

temporary sponsor westside club Jacksonville Fl (Help)

I have had an alcohol problem since I was 17 and 30 yrs later I am looking for help, yet very reluctant to ask, my therapist suggested I attend a meeting and admit that I was an alcoholic and ask if anyone would be interested in being my temporary sponsor she wants to make certain the person is a good fit for me, however I only live a few blocks away but I can,t bring myself to attend, I was wondering if anyone could assist?

Joined: 2012-01-17
temporary sponsor

Go to the meeting. Your therapist cannot tell you or anyone else they are an alcoholic. Go to the meeting.

Common Sense

Quote: "I am fairly new at A.A. But I do know one thing that alcoholics help alcoholics the best and that they really would go out of there way to help"

I you are already here in A.A. and believe what you are saying why the need for another sponsor?- open your eyes you are surrounded by alcoholics, why the need to have to praise someone?

Temporary sponsor

I am fairly new at A.A. But I do know one thing that alcoholics help acoholics the best and that they really would go out of there way to help so dont be afraid to ask and I am sure you will receive help.Don't be afraid to go to meetings they are all good people just like you.

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