New to AA
Step Zero: This has gotta stop.
Before I made a sincere step one I was at step zero. Step zero was a place of reflection which I see as the beginning of self honesty where my alcohol consumption was concerned. This has got to stop reminds me of the defeat I felt after another bout of drinking. Doubt is precious to me. It produces thoughts which lead me out of my own limited beliefs.I am grateful to a Higher Power for my sobriety.
I have been wandering in and out of AA for 4 years. Today I have 131 days of sobriety- the most I have had in the last 4 years. Not sure why this time is feels differerent but it does. I have been told to keep trying because you never know which time you will be successful.
AA is the easy way. If there were an easier way to quit and stay quit and live a good sober life, I'd be doing it.
Remember that AA is not just about quitting drinking (only the first half of the first mentions alcohol), it is also about building a satisfactory sober life
You say you become complacent with your control. The problem for alcoholics is they have no control. That is the disease of alcoholism. Normal drinkers DO NOT TRY TO CONTROL their drinking. They just do it. A line from "We Agnostics" in the AA Big Book summarizes the situation succinctly.
"If when you honestly want to you can not quit entirely OR if when drinking you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic."
AA gave me a life that I could never have imagined. It is the easier softer way to stay sober.
I could not quit on my own, even though I was starting to lose everything. I went to an AA meeting, where I met a bunch of folks who also had been unable to quit on their own, but who by going to meetings regularly and not drinking between them, had been able to not drink for a while. At m first meeting, someone announced they had gone a whole month, another person 6 months. I was also told, however, that we only live a day at a time, and therefore only have to stay sober a day at a time. Maybe if you start going to AA meetings,listen to what others have done and are doing to not drink, you'll find something that works for you. I did.
No, it likely won't be easy but neither is dying from alcoholism. I've seen it.
You described my alcoholism perfectly. To find out how to stop and stay stopped I attend Alcoholics Anonymous and read the Big Book and other AA literature.
It has been working without interruption for over thirty four years now as it does for millions.
Many of us have found "Our liquor is only a symptom..." like it says in the Big Book. Stopping the drinking does not stop the disease and the disease will always tell us it will be different next time.
It hasn't even been 24 hours since my last drink yet. But I guess its a good place to start. I haven't been to a meeting yet, but I've been looking into it. Where and when. I started reading the Big Book online. I've wanted to quit for a while, but its so much easier to find an excuse to go and buy another bottle of wine. I don't know how much support I can get from family and friends. Should I mention I think I might have a problem, they all say "No". It sure would help, though. I do realize I've let it take over my life. Not every day, but any day is one too many days. Its up to nearly every other day. A bottle and half of wine. I've blacked out and done things I don't remember the next day. Its a problem. I simply don't think I can do it alone. I'm going to need someone to talk to. Someone who'll understand.
I am literally in the same boat as u right now
Tell you family and friends, chances are they know you have a problem and even if they don't, most people support friends and family who are seeking to live a healthy live. Unless they're your drinking buddies...Good luck!
This is almost exactly my situation. I also am up to drinking every other day. I feel lost when it comes to controlling this bad habit.
If you read a few of the posts of people under this topic, you will see that every single person who has found their way into AA had the same problem -- they simply could not stop drinking on their own no matter what the consequences were to themselves. I came into AA and learned how not to drink one day at a time from folks who had learned to do just that. No magic, just support and encouragement that gave me hope that I could stop and the courage to try.
If you think you have a problem with alcohol, you probably do. I hung out with a group of big drinkers and alcohol was one of the food groups in my home. I wasn't going to get much support for recovery there. But I knew I had a problem and I got help and ended up in treatment and AA.
It really didn't matter how much I drank or how often. It was that when I drank, I couldn't always control the amount I took. I often drank more than I'd intended and drank to inebriation. Because of the consequences from that (blackouts, hangovers, sickness, embarrassment,health & legal problems...), I'd try to quit and could not stay quit. That, I learned, is alcoholic.
Many years later I look back and realize that getting sober was the beginning of real life for me. I sometimes say that if I'd known how good life could be sober, I'd have sobered up much sooner. BUT and it's a big but, a good sober life for me was founded on the POWER I found in AA and the people and tools that helped me live one day at a time happy, sober and free.
There are many types and flavors of AA meetings around today. Hit a few different meetings and see what you think.
You are taking the 1st steps to living one day at a time sober. Reading the Big Book will provide some insight and answers to Who is or What is an Alcoholic, The Solution ( Read the Chapter There is a Solution ) and the Steps we took in the Chapter How It Works.
You mentioned talking to/with someone who will understand, you will find that person or persons in an AA meeting. If you live in a medium to large sized city, there might be an AA Hotline that you can call 24/7 and speak with another recovered alcoholic about wanting to drink or thinking of drinking. Many AA members have another AA member that is their Sponsor, the Sponsor listens, shares their experiences relating to your problem or questions. They can help you with the Steps.
If you have insurance you might consider going to a treatment center or alcoholism. I went thru a treatment center and it gave me a good start into a life of sobriety, helped me with my family--getting reintegrated with them on a sober basis.
Your family, do they drink like you? or are they "take it or leave it" type of drinkers. Is there a family member you really trust? tell that person you are going to quit. If you are uncomfortable around family when they are drinking. Don't be around them or leave when the drinking begins. Being around relatives or friends that drink heavily, get drunk I think you'll be in for an eye opener or family reality show, I know I was.
I managed to put off going to AA for a while by printing off schedule of meetings I found online from local AA website. Names of meetings were odd since I didn't know what "the Big Book" was (sounded like a cutesy name for the Christian Bible), who Bill was ("As Bill Sees It" was name of one meeting), etc. I was also just afraid of losing my primary coping mechanism: alcohol. At my first meeting I discovered I was not alone, there was hope, and that all the support I needed to stop and stay stopped was right there in the rooms of AA. Thus began a new chapter in my life, one full of hope and promise. I am glad I didn't wait any longer to get help, as I might not have made it in if I had.
Please quit while you have time to quit. Search out and
find six A.A. meetings to attend. Then attend them. We
welcome you. You certainly sound like one of us. You can
just observe (at open meetings). You can just pass. You
don't have to say anything, or admit that you are or
may be an alcoholic. We do not call any attendance roll,
no sign in sheet. You don't even have to use your real
name, if you chose to remain that anonymous.
There are two million of us in A.A. today, worldwide.
Join us. Sobriety is better than any wine you will
ever find. ANONYMOUS
nothing can buy soboriety.the peace and serenty are beautiful.NO ONE HAS EVER WON THE WAR WITH ALCOHOL.ALCOHOL ALWAYS WINS
Please tell me what to do.
Here are some suggestions that have worked for many 1000 of alcoholics.
The How Serious Are You? If you have booze in your house throw it away, dump it down the drain.
Look up AA online and find a meeting and go to it. Raise you hand if your a new sober person--doing this hopefully will get you some phone numbers or offers to go out for lunch with a group of sober AA members or get a sponsor. Go to meetings like you drank, if you drank every nite after work then go to a meeting every nite after work--this helps to fight off the drink after work habit.
Get a Big Book read the 1st 164 pages and do what what it tells you to do.
Prayer, meditation, talk to the sky ask for help to stay Sober Today. Yes, this does work, everyday.
If you have insurance there is always going thru a treatment center. There you will be detoxed off of alcohol and depending on the center you will be given an introduction to the 12 Steps--.Re enter the mainstream of life with sober time & sober tools to help you stay sober.
** If you are a daily blackout drinker you might want to seek medical advice about detoxing off alcohol. BE SURE to tell the doctor your DRINKING HISTORY or the DAILY AMOUNT you Drink.
You were honest with us on the Grapevine so this is your 2nd Chance to be honest with your Doctor.
You don't have to go thru this alone, AA members are here for you. Yes were even in the phone book Alcoholic Anonymous or Google us aa meeings your city & state.
Don't start today, or don't drink any more today, and find and attend an AA meeting, tell them you are new and would like to quit. They will help you get through the rest of the day without drinking. If you start to experience withdrawal, specifically the DT's, get to a hospital.
I have been sober for 159 days now. I went through detox, re-hab, outside counseling and went to 4 AA meetings a week for months.All which was good and beneficial. After a lapse of going to some meetings because of a hip surgery and recovery, I went back to my home group meeting and was very upset. When asked from the Chairperson, was there any anniversaries.....I asked what is the next level of anniversary after 90 days? No one could answer this, not even the chairperson. One old-tenured AA quipped"91 days". Later at a break of the meeting, a tenured AA said to me the anniversary coins does not mean anything. They are not sanctioned by AA. This appalled me! I said to myself then why does a home group support this? So, I lost alot of respect for the home group and AA in general. I will not return to this home group because they have tenured AA's who look down their noses with no rspect for the newbees. Counting days are important! The oldies count their years, so why can't we newbees count our days? The coin anniversary program is worthwhile for all! It's the old AA's who show bad manners who are killing our objective of attending meetings. I hope someone will listen and DO something about this!!
Did you go to meetings for recovrey from alcoholism or tobe the center of attention every month or so?
Not all localities use chips and those that do use them don't always give them for the same lenghts of time. If you had taked the time to ask you'd have found out that using chips and medallions are individual group customs, not AA tradition.
Byt the way, 'anniversary' means yearly, not monthly or weekly or daily. And I was taught in elementary school that after ninety came ninety-one, and then ninety-two, and so on.
No one said you can't count your days, but expecting everyone to congratulate you for each one is a little self centered, don't you think? And after roughly five months and ten days you're not really that much of a newcomer. See page sixty-nine in "As Bill Sees It":
"Watch any A.A. of six months working with a Twelfth Step Prospect."
Maybe you should start working on your recovery instead of counting days and getting resentments.
That's what I love about you nodius and AA.
don't worry 90 plus guy. when I was new, I also wanted recognition (a lot of it) for what I should have been doing anyway. You know, not drinking, going to work, paying bills, ect.
We experienced a similar issue in my home group. Traditionally, we recognized with chips 30-60-90 days and then years. One day a new member hit 9 months and wanted a chip. This created some controversy within the group. It just had'nt been done. There was nothing personal with the member and no rule to guide us one way or the other.
After some heated discussion during our monthly business meeting, we decided to carry 9 mo chips.I think we realized that it was not worth fighting over.
That said, this has nothing to do with "AA". Each group is free to manage itself in ALL matters, including chips. I would suggest you attend your group business meeting and offer this as a topic. If you want someone to "listen and DO something about this" that is where it all happens.
I had to learn to work on changing my own insides, my own sobriety and work on my own inability to deal with jerks without drinking. Those folks might or might not stay sober, but I have for a long time now. One day at a time, my Higher Power and I work on me. The day that I figured out that HP was not going to change other people so I could stay sober was a big day!
For a while I had been thinking about giving up alcohol or cutting down. I would have 2 glasses of wine on Thursday night, then each night over the weekends. I started going out again when my kids grew up. It was fun to go to clubs and parties and dance the night away again. At a couple of clubs I decided to smuggle alcohol in as prices were far too expensive. I would go out from 11pm - to 3.30am and also started going to a club from 10 pm - 7.30am at the weekends. I would buy a small bottle of whisky and keep it in my bag. I started having a drink before I went out on quite a few occasions and would buy alcohol and keep it in the house to take out with me. On occasion i would have a sneaky rum and coke from my stash in the bedroom and started drinking at home two glasses of wine a night on days when i was feeling stressed from work. I would often go out and see bands and have 2 -3 large glasses of wine. It seems looking back that my drinking was hidden in social activity and hence harder to detect than most. If I was out at a gig I might have to 2-3 glasses of wine. On the odd occasion a whole bottle. On a visit to a doctor she told me to moderate- she was not at all concerned about what i told her, (another alcohol services worker said his colleagues thought that my issue was fairly moderate). I found this really difficult as when I tried to control my drinking before I was fine for little while and quite regimented then I would have the odd occasion where i would just say that i couldn't be bothered and I would drink what I wanted. Anyway to cut a long story short i started getting paranoid about my relationships and felt that people were starting to turn against me. I felt isolated like people weren't on my side that is the people I care about!In 20 years i have had occasional mishaps like 20 years ago I nearly blacked out a party, I was quite argumentative and opinionated when i drank, I also got a really bad burn . I also suffered from what I called mild depression. I joined AA and have been sober for 2 months this weekend. Before I joined I don't think I could have imagined my life without Alcohol or going out and not taking a drink. I thought I would be in hell but through AA i've hooked up with people who want to stay sober. I now divide my time between AA and meditation. However, I have had to analyse my behaviour and diagnose myself as an alcoholic. No one was aware of my issues. Do I sound like i'm an alcoholic to you?
Yes. Also sounds like you are in mourning over its loss in your life. Not sure that normal people obsess over alcohol's role in their lives.
Thanks i needed your response!!! Thanks for taking the time out. I am an alcoholic you are right. I do mourn the loss of this poison in my life !!!what an idiot I am but I can't help it. It's been 2 months and I am going to keep on going.
Thanks whoever you are for keeping me on track. Much Love stay strong ….xx
Wow. This is cool. No registration required, complete anonymity. Questions, many. I have great ambivalence. I went to doctor last year told me I had very high levels of triglycerides. He put me on some meds. He wanted to see me again in several weeks, wanted those trigs down so I just stopped drinking for 40 days. Diagnosis, fatty liver. Right after the appt, start up again, nightly maybe 8 to 12 oz 80 proof or abit more. My tolerance is high. I'm a robot, get up (usually feel fine, only when I have some 103 do I feel it), go to work, lucrative career, no issues with absenteeism, no lack of focus at work. The only visible issue is my co-workers possibly can smell the bourbon on me every morning. I have a long term relationship with my girlfriend (10+ years), I simply limit my intake when I'm around her. I'm very functional, own my home, pay my bills, etc. Physically, my right side aches/hurts. Is it possible for a liver to actually hurt? Never an issue with appetite, I come home, have a couple of drinks and then eat like a lumberjack. Yesterday, went for a 6 mile hike. I know there are different kinds of alcoholics. Which kind am I?
I have had a similar experience...I was a great liar to friends, coworkers, family, etc. almost nobody knew. I'm an alcoholic. Someone told me yesterday that if you have to ask...you probably are.
There is a great line in the AA Big Book that lays out the basis of alcoholism...."If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic."
YOu have to be careful with alcoholics, though, because we are tricky. A doc asked me once if I had any problem controlling my drinking. At that time, I could honestly say, "no, I always have just as much as I want." Of course, I drank a lot and I'd never really tried to control.
I also said that I drank mostly on weekends & holidays. Looking back, I realized that my weekends began on Thursday with our local "PUb Night", and ended back at the pub with MOnday night football or some Monday reason for drinking. Thus, by my definition, the weekend was Thursday through Monday and my week was Tuesday & Wednesday. I chuckle at that now.
Finally, I developed a painful medical condition that required me to "quit or cut down". Cut down meant less than 4 drinks in a sitting. That meant I had to count. This is what finally nailed me. I found that once I started, I had little control over the amount I drank. I'd zip by the 4 drink limit and rationalize with, "well, I won't have any tomorrow".
Having failed at "cut down", I tried to quit and struggled with that. In the face of medical complications, I could not quit and could not cut down. Diagnosis, Alcoholic. That diagnosis had to come from me, though. I had to admit to my innermost self that I had this thing.
I should mention that during those final 4 years of struggling, I finished a masters degree, played Rugby at a high level, was a competitive long distance runner and international marketing manager for a top 100 firm. I guess you could say I was "functioning" as the seeds of my destruction took root and began to blossom. At the very end, it was increasingly difficult to keep up the charade as I declined physically and at work.
I have learned over the years that if any of my many "normy" friends had a medical condition that would benefit from not drinking, they would just stop. End of story. They don't struggle with that sort of thing at all. It would be like me giving up Pepsi...no problem, just a beverage.
Welcome to this Forum. And welcome to Alcoholics
Anonymous where you will soon be. Which kind am I? IMO,
you are one of the high functioning alcoholics written
about by one of our ex-AA members. Even if you are not
a "real alcoholic", you will do until a real one comes
along. Simply you are clearly someone who ought not be
drinking alcohol. You must stop and soon. If you find
that you cannot stop your consumption of alcohol, find
help. Don't stop looking until you find help, whether
AA or one of the other fellowships. I say fellowship
because they are on-going, not just a stop-gap measure.
In Alcoholics Anonymous I found a way of stopping,
staying stopped, and being content without alcohol.
(over four decades now).
Find and attend at least six A.A. meetings. Six different
meetings if at all possible. You will be exposed to all
options. Good Luck! See u in the rooms. ANONYMOUS
Only you can determine if you have a problem with alcohol. I will say that the amount of alcohol we drank did not define whether we were alcoholics. Also, I will echo the other writer who stated that normal people, finding out that they have a liver problem exacerbated by alcohol use, will stop drinking completely. Alcoholics will not.
I found your description of yourself interesting, "I am a robot." That's pretty much what I was in my addiction. I was a slave to a whole host of compulsions. Now, whatever I am, it's not a robot.
Maybe you are, maybe you aren't an alcoholic. Maybe you can take or leave drinking, maybe you can stop without any problem. I was able to limit mine at various stages of my life, including while in professional school, early on in my career. But whenever I started drinking, I drank a lot. Sometimes I limited my drinking because of girlfriend/spousal disapproval, and often when I did I was quite resentful that I had to limit myself. Over time, I lost the ability to choose whether or not to have a drink. Continued with my athletic endeavors - one friend referred to me as an "athletic alcoholic."
I have a friend with pancreatitis. Not caused by drinking, but certainly aggravated by it. So he quit drinking. No problems, no regrets about not being able to drink. That is a "normal" response. As an alcoholic, I would have looked for the loophole.
So you need to diagnose yourself, but maybe go to a few open AA meetings to see if anything resonates with you. And be honest with yourself and open-minded to the possibility that you have a problem. Maybe you don't.
My first sobriety was in November of last year , I relapsed last week . And coming back was difficult but I did , I figured out that my first time I wasn't putting forth the effort in my program that I really needed to . I did manage to make it to the 3rd step with my sponsor and was feeling really good for awhile but having underlying issues of depression and faltering in my program led me back to the bottle . This time I know a little more about myself as a sober person . As long as can recognize what led me back to drink I.E not taking my medication and not going to meetings , I think I can do it . I do know that having a sponsor that you can relate to someone who has had the same experiences that you've had is a must for me . Just both being alcoholic isn't enough .I think for me it is more helpful to have someone who understands issues like mine , I'm not saying that's why I failed but I think it makes a difference . Agree?
There is a good pamphlet available on the AA.org website concerning other medications. The short version is that AA is not a substitute for any medications I might be prescribed, whether for high blood pressure, depression, schizophrenia, whatever. As for sponsors, I guess we all have different needs in same - I need someone to periodically call me on my BS, and generally keep me accountable. My sponsor and I are completely different religiously, politically, socially, but we both have faith in the program, that honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are the key. I have a few "pseudo" sponsors with whom I have more in common perhaps, and I rely on them for help in certain areas of my life as well. Whatever works best for you is best, meaning whatever keeps you sober.
Following the third step prayer in the Big Book where we “MADE A DECISION…” are about ninety words expanding on making this decision. The paragraph that follows “Next we launched out on a vigorous course of action, the first step of which was a personal housecleaning…” spells out EXACTLY how we carry out this decision. Our founders learned that our prior experience and our thinking is not an adequate preparation to develop the slightest idea of how to identify and carry out anything like life on a spiritual basis. That is why there are nine more steps in recovery. If you complete these you will not need to continue numbering your sobriety dates.
I have been clean going on my 3rd day,not the longest I have been clean but I am doing it now because I want to and not because I was too hung-over to drink.I went to my first AA meeting by choice not by force ie. probation or incarceration,I am scared because I want this and do not want to fail,these meetings have some really good messages but could be boring as hell,just need some prayers to go my way because my children and family deserve better and so do I and my liver,I have to say my new way of thinking I already like!!!
Keep the faith and keep believing that you are doing the right think for you and your family. When you have an urged to go back to the past think of how bad it was and think there is a better way to enjoy life. Find new positive ways to spend your time. Once you do, you'll start to realize there are better ways and you'll feel good about yourself.Not every AA meeting is beneficial to you and yes, sometimes boring. But, when you least expect it you'll hear something that you can personally relate to and it will cause you to think I can't go back to my old ways. Put your time into positive actions for you, your children and family. I'm now at 135 days of sobriety and having fun keeping my streak intact. Keep going to the meetings you'll learn alot about yourself and make new genuine friends. Good luck and stay strong. Pray every day!
I really really wanted sobriety when I wandered into the rooms of AA of my own volition, and listened closely to what each and every person had to say out of fear that I might miss the key to sobriety for me. When the Preamble and How It Works were read, I tried to understand what each word and phrase meant to me. So I did not really encounter boredom early on, and you probably won't either. For me, listening led to understanding, understanding to compassion, and once I felt compassion for others, I was able to look at myself with a little of the same. Good luck
Hi, I am at two weeks. I have been in and out of the rooms but this time is different. I am committed to ninety in ninety and am really working the steps, not speeding through them. I am really tired today and just want to hide in bed. Going to a meeting in a couple of hours. Just wanted to say hello.
Hello Two Weeks!
Hang in there and go to a meeting today.
There is one key piece of information that I can’t find in the literature and don’t hear often enough. I couldn’t learn how to sober up and then sober up. I had to stop drinking and learn to live with the consequences. I’ve never seen it done otherwise in over thirty years. If it could, I think that would mean that alcoholism could be cured with reasoning, thinking. “Figure it out and I won’t need to drink”. A lot of really smart people have died from alcoholism before figuring it out. Still do. Alcoholics Anonymous put together a program of action that arrests the disease. Do certain simple, although not always easy, things and the biggest problem in your life will simply be removed as it was for me and millions of others.
We just don't drink, one day at a time. Some of those early days are pretty long. Living Sober gives some tips, but the stories of how we got through those early days is what seems to help newcomers most.
I am 97 days sober and grateful for every minute of it!! I do have a question. There are only 4 women in AA in my country. One has kind of attached herself to me. At first I was very hopeful, but now I find her depressing and negative. Am I allowed to feel this way? She lets me know that I am not being "honest" and that I am led by "fear" and basically need to mind her. She calls me but I don't feel we communicate and I am left very depressed. I am stuck between not knowing if I a doing the correct AA thing and my personal feelings. I feel that there are some control issues with this person that just aren't for me. She is trying to get me to move away from my home and she tries to get me to feel like she feels. It makes me uncomfortable. I have a terrific sponsor, so I am not sure why this person keeps trying to sponsor me. I would love to have coffee or lunch with her, but when I suggest it, she tells me she can't be bothered but then spends hours on the phone telling me I can't get too lonely..... So, is it okay to limit my time with her phone calls? I am sure she means well, I can't handle the negativity right now. An ideas?
"She lets me know that I am not being "honest" and that I am led by "fear" and basically need to mind her."
Ask her to show you in the AA literature where it says you turn your will and life over to another human being.
Somehow you must get through the "fear" and be "honest" with
this controlling AA member. Be as kind as possible. She sounds like a phone person with unlimited minutes. Be pleasant to her at meetings. Detach with love and without
guilt, and do it soon. Stay away from her and all others
like her. There are many. ANONYMOUS
Definitely it is ok to set boundaries and not spend time with her. I would follow my sponsor's advice....unless it was to go ahead and spend time with her. Maybe later when you have a solid foundation you might see her differently or be called on to be of service to her. She does show you that we all have much to recover from.
This is my beginning of my journey to live sober. I want to do this for my health and my family which I love very much. I'm about to be a grandma soon and I want to be there for every moment Sober I'm hoping ill have others to talk to on this road to recovery. New grandma
Hello new Grandma.
I am new at this too, but already know this is where I need to be if I am going to beat this thing. Just one day at a time. You are not alone and I wish you well.
It has been over 80 days without a drink,
Leaving me feeling I'm on a cloud colored pink.
Every day I do not drink,
I feel satisfied that I did not sink.
I awake feeling happy with lots of new stuff to do.
I go about my day positively and do not stew.
I go to meetings and learn so much,
I meet new people with pleasure and such.
Sobriety is where I want to be,
It gives me hope for the future as I can see.
There's no time and reason for a drink,
I'm better off without it so I don't stink.
There are better things to do than pick up a bottle,
By not doing so, I'm ready for life's throttle.
Day by day I live and pray,
For I am committed not to sway.