New to AA
One of the first things I noticed when I started going to meetings was how easily I "found myself" in other people's stories, how easily their story could have been my story. I love the story of the "jaywalker" from the Big Book I can always relate to that one. I will never forget a judge asking me if I knew the definition of "insane" and he stated "it's doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I remained "insane" for several years after that but immediately remembered it after reading about the jaywalker. The so-called war stories you hear in meetings are good to a point, but the real answer lies in the pages of the Big Book and following the steps.
Glad to hear you have a sponsor. I feel that is the only way I can get past Step One. I thought my story was unique as well until I attended enough meetings that I heard my own story or parts of it in almost every meeting I attend. That fact in itself gives me great comfort - that, and seeing that these fellow AA's have the further experience, strength and hope that I so greatly desire. Keep coming back - It works if YOU work it!
How many times have you been through it? It is a part of recovery...and it's spelled using. :)
Anyone else get this? I itch all over - came on day 2 - will it stop soon?
There's only one solution..... Lots of Gold bond medication.(only joking) The reason why you itch so much is the fact your body is reacting where you are not drinking. Therefore your body being under lots of stress which in some cases makes you itch, while other people may break out in acne, the sweats, shakes, ect. So don't worry time heals, but just worry about today.
I grew up Catholic and took my first "inventory" and "5th step" (confession) when I was 7. It was meaningless and remained meaningless to me until I did my first real 4t & 5th step in AA at age 33. Only then, when my life was on the line, did the power of this practice become apparent to me. And what is the power? It is being completely honest with myself, my HP and another human.
Don't get to twisted around the axle with this. Just get a pencil & paper and start writing. The BB has instructions, your sponsor should be able to share experience, 4th step guides are ok. The key is to get honest and write. Start simple. What are you pissed off about and what are you afraid of? List people, places, things, institutions, principles, ideas...You will have plenty of writing to do. You can look at things from a broad perspective such as, "I've always been afraid to....I've always been afraid of, I've always resented...to a narrow perspective where you list all of your fears and resentments during a day. My sponsor showed me that when I'm afraid and resentful, I'll usually find dishonesty and self centerdness in the mix.
Anyway, the key is to just get honest & write.
Also, DO NOT THINK ABOUT TAKING A 5TH STEP WHEN YOU WRITE!! Write as if noone will ever see what you are writing because they may not. Not thinking about the 5th will free you to be more honest on the 4th. Also remember, the freedom of this program is that some day you will be able to speak freely, and may even embellish, stories about what you did. You will be free.
Before writing, I say the 3rd step prayer and then ask for help with the honesty, courage and guidance to write.
If something comes to mind, I write it...I don't say "no I don't resent that one" or "I don't think think that Now". I have given the Sacred the steering wheel and I put down what comes to mind. If it comes to mind, there is something important for me to learn from it.
I do it exactly as the book shows. I make my grudge list complete. I asked for help, so if a person comes to mind, they go on the list.
And my very first inventory had to be divided into 3 sections of grudges. The first was those I can do Now. Those I could do sooner or later. And "no flipping way" Because my sponsor knew that some of us have been through terrible things that really hurt to remember, "no flipping way" folks were done with my sponsor right there. I do the same with the folks I sponsor.
And beginning with the first name I write 1 resentment per line on the left page of the open notebook. I make my 4 columns on 2 pages straight across. Some folks say to finish the resentments for everybody on your list before you go on to the effects.
Some folks say go straight across for each person. Let an experienced step sponsor guide you.
And the prayers are important.. Thank you after each session of writing..and 3rd step and please before each session.
I don't leave off the step prayers as I go through. At least half the growth and healing comes from the willingness to say the step prayers over and over. If your sponsor doesn't know what the step prayers are, you could go through that section of the book and highlight every place where it says "we ask God" etc...and I use the exact words as much as I can...except the thee and thy stuff....
I am grateful to have lived 23 years sober.
I am new to AA. I never had the trouble that most AA's seem to have - losing my spouse,home, job, etc. I never got a dui or spent time in jail. I never drank in the morning, but when I drank, I could not stop. I checked myself into detox on May 1st of this year, and that evening I attended my first AA meeting. I had my doubts that I was a 'real alcoholic', for my problems were not as bad as other people's problems. I stayed in detox for 7 days. After my last meeting there, I came to realize that I was an alcoholic; I'd just been been denying it. The day I got home, I went to my first AA meeting in the outside world. I could see myself in other people's stories. I have gone to at least one meeting per day, and sometimes two, and plan to do the 90 in 90 days.
I now have a home group and a sponsor. In my first few meetings I did steps one and two. Step three came soon afterward. I feel blessed that so far, the steps have been easy. I am now looking at starting step four and I know it will take time to get through it. I've heard and understand that we never really finish step four, because we should continue to take a moral inventory pretty much daily.
I would love to hear from others that have had a similar experience and how you got through step four.
Anonymous in Florida
Hello Florida. I'm in Georgia. Got sober 3-4-92. Best decision I ever made. I knew when I took step 4 that I was serious about trying to stay sober. I found the big book a little confusing. I got a legal pad and starting writing all the wrongs I felt people did to me in my life and all the wrongs I did to other people. I would hide the pad between writings. By writing everything down and telling someone in step 5 it was a cleansing of the soul. I feel it is necessary for anyone who is serious about staying sober. We've all done things in our lives we wish we could take back. We can't, but we can put the plug in the jug and get on with the rest of our lives. It is trully a wonderful life being sober. If we can do it so can you. I'll see you on the road to happy destiny. Be well.
I like reading this site it is teaching me alot! I have 90 days of soberiety yeah, but it hasn't been a bed of roses. I too have not had the same bottem as others but my bottem has been profound and is what brought me to AA. I've been so concerned that I'm doing everything correctly that I overwelm my self. I thought I had done the steps 1-3 and began to look at step 4 in my workbook it scared the @#@$
out of me. I miss interpeted it to mean to take a inventory of myself and all I had done wrong that over welmed me to tears!(Hopfully I can soon speak in a meeting without crying never cried so much in my life, never been this honest with others either). Back to the steps, my sponsor told me to go back to steps 2-3 and really look at them again. I relize I haven't surrendered yet! Relizing this I don't think I've ever given up any control of anything and I never let myself or any one else near the real me WOW I really said that to the universe! I know my HP is going to reveal to me myself and allow me to hear from others what I need to hear to guide me on this jouney, he is already doing that. Well thanks for listening to this newbie and I thank my HP for this place called AA
Out here in Oregon
Felt like I was reading my story... I feel the same way.
You already have one sentence of your fourth done and look at the WOW it gave you. Imagine what another will do. (and pick up a pencil)
"I realize I haven't surrendered yet."
Step three is "made a decision..."
Four through twelve are exactly how.
Check your Big Book.
Three frogs are sitting on a log. One makes a decision to jump off. How many frogs are left on the log. Three. I didn't say he jumped, did I?
Millions of us have done it. You can do it.
Made a list of things I want to be forgiven for.
I don't care where your workbook came from, If it scares the @#@$ out of you, sounds like a good one. We can't be the garbage-free people that is promised after 9 and keep carrying garbage around.
Write down that next sentence.
Just curious, what 'workbook' are you using? Is it from Alcoholics Anonymous? I'm familiar with the second, third and fourth editions of the Big Book but have never seen a fourth step workbook.
The workbook is "A WOMAN'S WAY THROUGH THE TWELVE STEPS" by Stephanie S. Covington,Ph.D.
out here in Oregon
I would suggest using the basic text of AA for a fourth step. the fourth step starts on the bottom of page 63 in our book "Alcoholics Anonymous"and ends on page 71. very simple. If you have not done the steps from the big book, I would suggest to try them first. You are of course in AA, why not try the AA suggested steps? Over 32 million copies of the big book have been sold to date. belive me, alot of sober alcoholics have used the big book format as a basis of working the 12 steps origionated in the book "Alcoholics Anonymous".
But the Big Book is so very unstylish. If women use the Big Book Ms. (oops, Dr.) Covington,Ph.D. wouldn't make any money selling her workbook.
Was it approved by the GSB? (General Service Board)? Jim.
do you ever recommend the 12 & 12 for "working" the
twelve suggested steps? IMO, using only the Big Book
is depriving some of additional information. For example,
Bill writes on page 50 in the 12&12, Just how do I take an
inventory of myself? How do I go about this? I would think
with ten more years experience, more would have been
revealed. Bill was sober less than five years when the
Big Book was written. Keep that computer and your brain
working. Believe it or not, we both share the same
passion. We have gotten "ours". We have lived long lives,
lives we would have missed, but for Alcoholics Anonymous.
We both have deep concern for the future generations of
alcoholics. I have to add "and addicts". If A.A. fails,
N/A and O/A will also suffer. I see this failure already
happening. Our difference is that you don't see it yet.
But hopefully you will soon. But it was very difficult to
change beliefs I have had thought true for such a long
time. My beliefs were changed by tragic events. For
35 years I thought A.A. was "alive and well". Nothing
wrong here, Ma. Ain't it grand that the wind stopped
blowing. Today I see our fellowship as barely alive,
on life support. And it could go indefinitely. ANONYMOUS
"do you ever recommend the 12 & 12 for "working" the
twelve suggested steps?"
Don't you see any difference between the 12&12 and a PHD's step workbook?
The twelve traditions all speak of what groups should and should not do. I believe if we as individual members of AA don't observe them we do just as much harm to AA.
Tradition six says an AA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise. When a sponsor encourages his/her pigeon to use workbooks from outside sources he/she is endorsing an outside enterprise. and unless the sponsor makes it clear that the workbook is from an outside source he is lending the AA name to that source.
Concerning the Big Book/12&12 question, Bill's version of the Big Book was heavily edited by the other members, plus several friends of AA, to make sure there were no loopholes for unwilling alcoholics to slip through. He had no such input when writing the 12&12.
Thank-you all for your comments, I do have the big book and am reading through it also. Currently on page 269 some people say it is a dry read I disagree for my part I've learned so much. AD10416 I have read several of your replies to many on this sight you seem very angery are you doing step work do you have a sponsor? Also you come across as a know it all! I hope you have a group you feel close with and apart of. My heart goes out to you because there must be allot of pain behind your anger.But I do thank-you because it takes all different personalities to make AA work. I have gleened nuggets of wisdom from you, here is a peice of wisdom not from me but the big book." If we are not sorry, and we continue to harm others,we are quite sure to drink. We are not theorizing. These are facts out of our experience" pg. 70 second paragragh last couple of sentences. I think I've shared long enough.
out here in Oregon I'm a alcoholic
When we tell a guy it looks like he put his big boy pants on, it's complimenting his courage not telling him he's got a big butt. When I tell a woman, believe me, I mean the former, not the latter. Looks like you put big boy pants on. Good for you. I tried to reinforce your choice for a fourth step guide early because I assumed somebody would try to rain on your parade. I don't recommend non-conference approved literature in AA but I have bookshelves full that have been a great help to me.
And don't forget "We realize we know only a little". Alcoholics Anonymous c 1935
Now, wear out some pencils.
I did a fourth in an AA orientated treatment center in 1981. In part I was given a list of character defects; greed, lust, sloth, irrational fear etc and was to share how these had been a part of my life.
When I got into it I could clearly see how they dominated my life at age 12, 18 and 30,32. Before drinking, starting drinking, ending drinking, in early sobriety (untreated alcoholism). What a worthless collection of junk I had started with and practiced all my life. Think about the Boy Scout (?) trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly ,courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent. I pretty much zeroed in on the opposite of all of them.
Writing them and then reading them on my fifth provided immediate released from some of them and continuing the steps have diminished others to a large extent. Having them removed removes any desire to drink. I have nothing I need to escape from. The world and I am on good terms.
Thanks for joining us and Good Luck.
I did mine about 3-4 months sober. I found I could only write for about an hour before being emotionally exhausted, so don't force yourself to do the first one at one sitting. I made myself write 2x/week. Making an appointment with my sponsor to do Step Five got me to wrap it up.
My first one was a rambling autobiography, I did list resentments like in the book, but most of it was freestyle writing. I didn't get everything, but I've done one every year since so I've had opportunity to throughly clean house.
Put some good stuff in there, and pray before you start writing. You can also share your progress and problems with your sponsor or another alcoholic while you are doing it, you don't need to wait until Five to share if something is a stumbling block.
Welcome to the Fellowship, jump on in, the water's fine!
I appreciate your help. I like the idea of just working on it a couple of times per week - I'm sure that will make it easier.
I have grown up in an alcoholic home. Have lots of family and friends who, admittedly, are. Yet until recently, I have realized that I am, too, an alcoholic. I would really like to get into program but I am scared. Scared of what others will think and even more scared that my family will take away my children once they know... Could someone please give me some advice?
I use the what ifs to stay out of the program for years and years. No consideration of whether my daughter would be better off without a drunk me in the picture. Fortunately, a DUI took the choice away from me. Coming into the program was hard. Some of the what ifs happen, some didn't. One of the biggest shocks for me as I got sober was everyone already knew about my drinking. I was not as smart hiding it as I thought, But 18 years later, I have not only my children but my grandchildren and great grandchildren with me. The program gave me that and much more. If you want this you can have it, but you have to work for it. I don't know where you are but try to get to a offline AA meeting. Talk to people, ask for help. I have believe in AA since my first meeting. It is my religion, my church, my lifeline. Life is good (not easy but good) today. I will keep you in mind.
I have been an alchoholic and an addict for many years i have been clean off drugs now for a while but still drink. I binge drink. With my new husband i met in rehab. With my kids and new born baby cannot go to meetings (no family or bbysitters). I drink when i am bored, stressed, or instead of eating to loose weight. Have worked steps in the past for drugs but well lost right now. Help
My advice would be to go to a meeting away from where you think people will recognize you. It's supposed to be an anonymous program, but you can't stop people from talking. Or just go to an "open" meeting and check it out. It can't hurt....
After reading Working With Others I stopped giving advice. I became more helpful.
I was in the program when I was 17-almost 20. I thought I had this under my belt. That I would never drink again. In the few years I drank I had more issues than people do their entire lives. Well I'm a mom now, and have been off and on mostly on the past years, I drink wine, and lie that it's my break. I feel like I have been protecting this disease of mine. Drinking plenty of wine, but managing to stay away from hard alcohol. So that I maintain, I still blackout. But am much calmer. My husband doesn't drink, I can see my children don't like it when I do. I stay away from them in my back yard. The rest of the time, I do mom things and spend my time volunteering. I've been going to meetings, about a month ago had two weeks. I just can't get it. We use to have this guy in meetings, ill call him Paul, his nickname was really relapse Paul. I thought why can't this guy get it. Being sober is so much fun, and so much better to live life. I feel I was so not understanding, how this disease could just take over my life. I can't speak in meetings, I start to cry, which I never do. I can't bring myself to speak. And realize this is hurting people around me. I pray that I can stay sober, I again have one day. I'm embarrassed and extremely tired. It seems like so much work protecting my disease. When I should be protecting my family. Well thanks, this is the most I've gotten my story out. I won't say I feel good, not there yet.
I have never posted before but what you wrote spoke to me. I am also a mom who drinks wine-repeatedly trys to get sober and just has not gotten it yet. I have achived some sobriety over the years and wander in and out of meetings but have yet to get a sponsor or work the steps. Over the last three years I have come to accept that I am an alcholic but in my denial I thought I had done a much better job in hiding it from my kids. It is breaking my heart that I hsve hurt them in this way and I really want it to be differint this time. This is Day 6 of being sober and I am trying.
The thought of the old car wreck is only one of the dozens of tools in my AA kit that keep me away from the first drink. Many are positive not scary. Being scared away from drinking isn't enough.
The promises after step nine in the Big Book all come true for me. Not some, sometimes. Their fulfillment is simply a part of life now.
Admitting and accepting our alcoholism are two different things. Long before I even thought about quitting, I admitted to myself anyway, I was alcoholic. “Sure, anybody who drinks like I do must be an alcoholic, so what?”
Through using the steps I believe I have accepted my alcoholism. I have a deadly, progressive, completely unpredictable disease with symptoms ranging from merely disgusting and heartbreaking to killing and taking innocents with me. I am one drink away from all that. When drinking enters my mind, in less than a second a tape starts playing of a utility pole ripping my car apart. (Happened when I was 21 with lots of years of drinking left). No one can develop that kind of knee jerk reaction on their own. I pretty much quit driving and drinking toward the end but while drinking, I couldn’t possibly maintain the consistent judgment to keep it up. Do you think that a single one of the DWI’s you see in the news every week ever planned to get drunk and drive? Hundreds every week with two strikes against them, trying to control it, and earning that big number three, the felony one or worse. Even if you don’t drive, there are plenty of other disasters waiting for you.
It’s no accident that the first word of the first step is we. When I think “My alcoholism isn’t that bad, I’ve never done anything like that”, I add “yet” because I have listened to enough stories and honestly reviewed my own life to see that WE are alike. We felt the same, we drank for the same reason, we got the same results and for some unknown reason I was given the opportunity to bail out before I progressed to the hell that many experience. Not yet and not at all if I keep doing a few simple things.
Day 6. That’s good. If you haven’t listened to our stories and read them in the Big Book you may not have realized that sobriety does not cause sobriety. Our stories are filled with quitting, quitting, swearing off, quitting. For us only a program of recovery causes permanent sobriety.
I can drink normal, I can have 1 or 2 and put it down. No problem at all. I rarely drink hard liquor or do shots, I don't drink alone at home. I party with my friends, I sometimes use drugs. I'm in my early thirties now, in my early and mid twenties I drank a lot and did a lot of drugs. All my friends did. I am starting to realize that its not normal. In the last 6 months I've only drank a hand full of times. I don't care either way if I drink or not, it doesn't bother me. I drank a few pitchers with a friend the other day and once I started to get a buzz, I hated it. I was freaking out, how am I gonna get home. I put it down and drank two pitchers of water, got some food, chilled out. I didn't like the feeling. I didn't want it, so I stopped.
My boyfriend is in recovery for the 4th or 5th time, he's doing really well. I didn't drink his first 90 days, I did it to support him, I didn't know what else to do besides listen. I'm still not drinking much and I'm losing my mind. I'm always anxious, I'm losing weight, I'm having trouble sleeping, I'm always tired, I can't concentrate on anything. I cry and cry and cry and I have horrible anxiety attacks, they get so bad I dry heave. I see him growing as a person, he's happier, calmer, easier to be around. He pays less and less attention to me, he doesn't understand why I'm so upset all the time and he tells me, you're "dry". You used to drink to mask whatever is wrong with you. You're dry dry dry dry, work a program. I started therapy instead. Its making me feel worse.
I did research on this "dry" thing he keeps talking about and I don't know, it kind of makes sense. I go to meetings with him all the time. Most of the stuff I hear makes sense, I understand some of what these people have been thru however I don't think I'm an alcoholic I can drink like a "normal" person. Can I still work a program? Truth is I don't know if I'm an alcoholic or not, no one has ever said to me, you drink to much, or you have a problem. My biological father was an alcoholic according to my adoption records. How do I know for sure, can I take that first step even if I'm not?
If anyone has advice or words of wisdom, please reach out to me.
I have found that before I got sober that I spent a great deal of time wondering about my drinking..Trying to keep count, spacing the drinks, and comparing my drinking to others. I am much smaller that most people and if I compared the amounts we could consume, then compared to them, I be a light drinker..
It's not the amount,it's what happens when you drink, but I've found it's even more important to realize what happens when I don't drink.
People who are not alcoholics,don't think about drinking all the time and worry about what will happen when they do drink and how much and who drinks more....on and on..They also don't get irritable restless and discontent when they don't drink.
May I suggest surrendering and not drinking for awhile, one day at a time and attend meetings. At the same time attend our sister fellowship Alanon. See what happens..Only you can label yourself and alcoholic.
Anyone can be in the early stages of alcoholism. It can ramp up to an irreversable dowfall at any age from 8 to 88. If you drink and it causes you problems, I would be suspicious.
If you have made and shared a really accurate accounting of your drinking/using you sound like every alanon story I have ever heard. You experience all of the dis-ease (bad feelings) that alcoholics have but don’t get the escape from them that we get (got) using chemicals. Their stories conclude with something like “I can’t believe I was willing to feel so terrible for so long.” Perhaps you can leave it behind too.
The shortest definition of an alcoholic that I have found is on page 44 of our book of experience “Alcoholics Anonymous”. It says something like “If when you honestly want to you cannot quit entirely or when drinking you have little control over the amount you drink, you are probably alcoholic.
My wife is allergic to pistachios. After one trip to the emergency room she quit entirely. I also quit entirely so she would not have a reaction to me. It was a non issue. In your case if you substituted pistachios for alcohol, could you quit entirely?
I think only in AA do you diagnose yourself. The only problem is that our outstanding characteristic is denial that we have an alcohol problem. That’s why AA has a singleness of purpose to deal with alcohol and alcohol only. Otherwise we have a hard time getting over the denial of our alcoholism.
Good luck to you and God bless you!
I am new to the AA program bought the AA book read it thru and thru and could not find any mention of having or noting a sobriety date. I am told by members follow the directions in the group with a sponsor, and he does not know why we do this either. Does any one out there know why or where this came from?
It was explained to me once that we have a sobriety date that acknowledges a time in sobriety for newcomers to see as something attainable for them IF they work the program.
Whenever I hear someone who can say I celebrated X amount of time today, I think I can do that too.
Whether they have 30 days or 30 years, it's the reinforcement that AA works for those who work it.
An anniversary is a time to pat yourself on the back and say good job too. Don't forget to remember your good or positive qualities and accomplishments.
I think picking up chips r great and have felt that way for 34 yrs. it helps me to be apart of . It may be a gift but for me it's required a lot of hard work!
I don’t know where it came from but was already established here in the middle of the US thirty three years ago when I started. AA has a very unique organization. Tradition 4 “Each group should be autonomous….” How your group deals with sobriety dates is its own business. Personally I think it is overemphasized. How can we read “Probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism..” followed immediately by “Now, has someone earned an award for keeping himself sober for 30 days, 60 days…..?” Of course it isn’t said exactly that way but it seems to indicate the thought behind it. I don’t congratulate people for accepting a gift. I don’t participate myself and merely thank those celebrating anniversaries for joining us, no need to rain on their parade because I think differently. It’s also screwed up because someone with thirty days has more problems and fewer solutions that someone with thirty years. It would be boring if all of the animals in the zoo were alike. Welcome.
Closing on the 30 days sober mark and am astounded at how much better I feel. The quick response of my brother and a long time member of AA
to my request for help, brought me to the door a door that I had to enter on my own. Finding out through meeting so many others from all walks of life that this disease is widespread and truly deadly brougt a new understanding of the acceptance of a "Higher Power of my understanding", not one that some one else mandated is giving me strength to face my challenges and move forward.
Thanks to all who listen and those who share their incidents and their courage to make the steps to recovery.
Thanks for sharing Frank.
I have been sober for a number of years and have recently re-visited step 2 "Came to believe..." Mainstream religion hasn't provided answers that I can understand. Apparently I'm not alone in that given the number of titles in Religion, Alternative or New Age Religion in a book store. Filled in a lot of blanks for me.
Welcome to the adventure.
I've tried to stop drinking many times and I can't my husband is a drinker and doesn't think I have a problem. I hate that I drink and I don't know what to do. I don't want to destroy my marriage but I think I need to join AA. I have before and then my husband convinced me I didn't have a problem so I started drinking again. No one is to blame but me. Any words of support?
I have the same experience except my wife is the drinker. The very first day I told my wife that I was an alcoholic and was going to attend AA to sober up, she told me that she didn't think I was an alcoholic and that she would not change or stop drinking. I talked to my sponsor about it and he informed it really didn't matter what she did or thought, it only matter what I did. It took almost three years for her to accept that I had the disease and that I was really changing how I lived and how I acted around her. I can say today that after 23 years together the past 13 have been the best we have ever had. If we take care of our problems, we tend to be better around all those in our lives. Life is all about the ride and I want mine to be a sober ride.
Sound like he is afraid he will loose his drinking buddy.
Do what is right for you! Maybe the marriage will work out
and maybe it won't. Maybe you will end up saving your life and you husbands life! Who knows? "To thin own self be true". It doesn't matter what other people think, what is
important is what you think. If you think you have a drinking problem and you want to quit then do so. Read the
book Alcoholics Anonymous. Go to meetings. Good Luck.
Me and Sober.
Alcohol is, at its best, a solvent. It does a good job of dissolving greasy sticky substances as well as marriages, jobs, health and happiness. If anything were going to ruin my marriage it would be alcohol. My best chance of enjoying a happy thriving marriage is sobriety.
Sobriety could not save my wife's first marriage. Yet today, we are together nearly 14 years (both sober members of AA) and have a wonderful family. Her adult children have dinner and hang out with us every Friday night and have never seen us drink. Can you imagine 20 somethings hanging out with their parents on a Friday night? That's how crazy our sober life has become.
At a speaker meeting yesterday, four people with from 5 to 23 years of sobriety shared how AA & sobriety had ultimately led to tremendous improvement in their lives, marriages, family relationships, health, careers...and that today they were happier than they had ever been being the people God had meant them to be.
Certainly many of us continue to experience marital, job and other problems well into our recovery. That's life. But AA helps us navigate through life's ups & downs, twists & curves and gives us the opportunity to become what we were meant to be.
Thanks for sharing your situation.
A phrase that is repeated often in AA comes to mind: be true to yourself. I had to quit drinking for myself, not because my spouse or others thought I did or didn't have a drinking problem. If you want to quit, AA can help. As to the relationship issues, those things work themselves out one way or the other, and at least in my case I have found it easier to consider my options/choices rationally when I am sober.
You write beautifully. Why not just read those words at a meeting? I promise no one will make fun of you. We all have things about ourselves we don't like. You are not alone in your struggle. I tried the isolation thing as well. It doesn't work for long. It leads to sneaking a drink now and then. You need to share your experience in person with someone. We don't mind being tortured. Most of us live tortured lives before AA. We understand. We can't do normal conversation either. We've all lost something from alcohol. You aren't any differant from any of us. Stop pitying yourself and get to stepping. I see a long and hard step 4 ahead. Hope to hear from you on the other side of it. Congrats for the 8 days. Care to make it nine? Turn to page 112 in your big book and read the first 3 words. NOW Do it. HOW do we get there? HOW indeed. By being Honest,Openminded,Willing. That's H.O.W.
Hi, I'm an alcoholic that's been trying on and off to quit for years. This go around I started back in Jan 2013 after my husband gave me an ultimatum. I found a good home group, got a sponsor, went to meetings. Sober for 2 weeks than drank when my husband went out of town for the weekend. He found out and was extremely upset with me. Went back to AA and tried harder, another 2 weeks of sobriety and then screwed up again. Confessed to my husband and begged for forgiveness. Prayed and really put my heart into succeeding. He even started going to Al-anon meetings. Got to 23 days and was feeling really good. Planning and looking forward to getting my 30 day chip. Drank again while out of the house, came home drunk. Needless to say my husband is more than disgusted, he's at the end of his rope. Says he won't go to Al-anon anymore because he says by my actions I don't care and am just blowing off all the help and support I've gotten thus far. Went to a meeting with my sponsor the next day and am now on my 3rd day of sobriety. I really want to succeed, I know alcohol is poison to me but I'm so scared my husband is going to leave me and I don't know what to do except keep trying one day at a time. Can anyone give me any advice? How to explain to a non-alcoholic the insanity that says "I can handle this" even thought you know intellectually that you will be disappointing all of the people who love you. I will be grateful for any help or advice. Thanks, Mary
Mary, here is an example of putting "principles before personalities."
This bickering... so silly. Especially because you are new, especially because "one alcoholic helping another alcoholic" is the tenant AA is based on. Not fighting.. and certainly with a newcomer.
I'm sorry Mary. Most meetings you would NEVER see this. What you will see, feel, and hear is SUPPORT.
I believe relapse is part of recovery too, for some. Some get it right away (stopping drinking) and some it takes a little longer. So it's part of recovery until it's not. For a lot.
That said, I was in a meeting the other day where a man with 26 years went out (drank) and after a number of months of drinking, came back into the program. And this ain't the first time I've seen this. And it won't be the last, unfortunately.
None of these people can say they'll never drink again. It's not the way we look at it. But there's a very good chance many will not drink again, and a chance some will. Again, I've seen it alot, even the "old timers..."
Mary, I understand how hard stopping is. I agree it does have to come before your marriage, or anything. It has to be #1. That kept me from getting sober for a long time.
Make it #1, Mary. Pick up the phone instead of that drink (also something I struggled with for a VERY long time.)
My other advice is, when you see bickering start like this - run. Go to another Board, post, or better yet a meeting. Or call your sponsor. i KNOW how hard this is Mary, it's exactly how I felt.
You can do it, Mary. I believe in you. :-)