New to AA

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EXCELLENT ADVICE ! Thank you . Steve in Boston

Caution! Danger Ahead!!

First things first, you need to be willing to do this for yourself. Not for your sponsors approval of your husbands or anyone else. If you can find Dr. Bob’s article concerning the nature of slips it might be a big help to you. Secondly you didn’t say if your husband was an Alcoholic or not, just that he wanted to go to meetings with you and to do a set of steps with you. If he is not an alcoholic he should (and maybe you should too) check out Al anon. Either way I think you both should do your first set of steps alone with your separate sponsors or closed mouth friend. Maybe go to a step study together but keep your own separate, private journals and do your 5th step separately and read chapter 6 (Into Action) carefully and repeatedly. Then and only then, after having cleared away the wreckage of your singular pass, should you attempt a set of steps as a couple (and even then there is great danger). If you decide to go ahead with it I would advise you to find another AA couple to work with, meeting together and separately male to male and female to female as needed.
Good Luck and Keep Coming Back
Dennis D



I am 6 days sober and I am going to my first AA meeting this week, but I am very young and don't really know what to expect. I know I need to go, but every time I think about it, I have this irrational image of what the meetings are and who is there, which scares me. I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance and some guidance from people who have actually been about what the meetings are like. I'm afraid of being the only 19 year old college student there. Any advice would be very helpful. I know I can't go on in the direction I'm going.

Joined: 2013-07-01
Don't wait another day !

I started drinking at age 15, really heavy from 16 to 20. I'am 49 now wish I had the courage at 19 that you have. Started going to AA 6 weeks ago, on July 13 I'll be sober for 2 months, going to meetings makes me feel better than anything. My regret is that I didn't go to AA at 19 or so like you are about to do. You will be amazed how much your life will change in all areas, and the goals you will be able to reach. Best of luck on your new life!

To Scared

I came in very young (14 the first time I got sober), as well. Some colleges have meetings for students (mine didn't, but my grad school did), and some larger cities have young people's meetings, where many people are young like you. There are still times that I feel a little awkward about my age when I'm the youngest in a meeting, but it goes away pretty quickly when I realize that we're all in it together and have the same disease--whether 20 or 40.

Hi, I am also a newcomer to


I am also a newcomer to AA and went to my first meeting last friday. I promise you - it's not as scary as our minds can make it up to be. Everyone is there for the same reason and I personally felt welcomed. There wasn't pressure to speak up or explain yourself - I just listened but I could relate to a lot of what people were saying.
The hardest part for me was just getting myself there - anticipation always gives me anxiety - but once I got there all you do is sit down and listen. They go over some rules (confidentiality) and eventually they ask if anyone is new so you just raise your hand, tell them your name, everyone says "hi" and the meeting goes on.
I was told by a friend of my Mom's that if the first meeting isn't a good fit, just try another one. I don't know where you're located but I believe some AA groups are held on college campuses. Maybe ask Student Life at your school? I promise you're not the first or only one.
I commend you for your bravery and strength. You'll feel clearer and better about yourself/stronger once you just go, get it over with, and reflect on what you thought/felt during the meeting.

I wish you have a great experience.

re scared

I sobered up 20years ago at the age of 18. i was surpised that there were other young people at meetings. if you dont meet people you can relate to at your first meeting, try other groups until you find one right for you.
Good luck and God bless you.

Joined: 2012-05-26
New again

I do not need that first drink, but God if I have it, wreckage follows.
I've had periods of not drinking up to 5 years.
Stopped after my 2nd dui.
Thought I was in the clear, thought I was safe.
Alcoholics have such short memories,
Started drinking again and was fine for about a year drinking, never got out of control, then something snapped and I was back where I started.
Maybe worse
Just got my 3rd DUI last night.
I have to figure this out, I have no desire to drink, can take it or leave it, till I have the first one, then I cannot control it.
Going to my first meeting tonight in like 9 years.
I'm really going to try this time.

Scared of myself!

I Quit drinking for three years. It was the best most productive three years of my life. I did it with the help of AA. I met a man who knew I was an alcoholic without much arm twisting on his part I was back to drinking with him. Our relationship fell apart and I was hardcore drinking again. I had a DUI before I went to AA and quit drinking the first time and I had another DUI felt remorse went back to AA quit for a month that time. I am in a very dark scary place right now I feel frightened of myself and when I drink I am a completely crazy lunatic I never know what I will do next one drink never is enough hell one bottle isnt enough... I need help and I know it.

Similar experience

I just got my 3rd DUI last Saturday not. I convinced myself I was not an alcoholic and despite p
Easing from my wife and kids I kept on. I really have screwed up and am scared to death, not for me, but more for what I have done to my family. I hope God helps us. The pain in my souls is unbelievable, but I have a weir feeling that is goo about finally admitting I am an alcoholic.Maybe I can now heal. I feel like crap.

Good luck to you. Hope all is ok

day 1

i drink everday.i need to got the shakes

Joined: 2012-05-31

I understand what you are going through. I got my first DUI 2 months ago. I didnt stop drinking until a month later. Now being 32 days not drinking, I am thinking I can conquer this. I am in control of everything. I am scared my alcoholic mind will forget. I know what will happen if I take that first drink. So I think I will not drink today. Or this hour. And I will remember that I am not in control of any of this. Only God is in control. I am powerless over alcohol. I too have no desire to drink. I can take it or leave it, until that first one...I think this is a really scarey place to be. We get a false sense of control. All we can do is pray, and live one day at a time, or one minute at a time. Thank you for sharing your feelings with me. I know I am not alone. And you are not alone.

RE: RE: Spiritual Help

On page 252 in Language of the Heart, Bill writes about the high cost
of spiritual pride. Bill Writes. "So we AAs failed them. Perhaps more
often than we think, we still make no contact at depth with those suffering
the dilemma of no faith." Bill has previously written that although
300,000 have recovered in AA in twenty five years, maybe half a million
more have walked into our midst, and then out again.
Perhaps someone could "copy and paste" more of that page in Lang.
I believe that is what we are doing in AA today. Enough alcoholics
stay to support the belief that AA is "alive and well". Sure 30-40
new members a day is good. But I am convinced that it is not the
best we can do. If every group in the US and Canada helped and held one
new member PER YEAR this would be increased to 120-160 per day. I
believe that is the minimum we ought to accept at this time, this
period in the life of Alcoholics Anonymous. ANONYMOUS

"The Dilemma of No Faith"

The language you quote is from an April 1961 Grapevine article by Bill, in which he describes his own spiritual arrogance and how it had turned many a drunk away from AA. It should be required reading for anyone before they attempt to "carry the message." Google "The Dilemma of No Faith By Bill Wilson, AA Grapevine, April 1961" and you will have access to the original article printed on a number of different sites. If there are 5 million sober people in AA, there are 5 million and one ways to get and stay sober in AA. I keep coming back because what I am doing today to stay sober may not be enough tomorrow when whatever malady, real or imagined, besets me - thus I always have to be on the lookout for the 5,000,001st way to stay sober.

i agree with you it gets better

While I only have 41 days sober I go to meetings 5 days a week I take weekends off to try to spend time rebuilding my marriage of 32 years I have lost 2 out of 3 children du to drinking and a lot of friends who still drink and want no part of me and at 60 years old it is hard to relate to the people that are much younger wish they had a over 50 group . Dave in Michigan

God, Booze and Food

I stopped drinking ten days ago, attended a couple of meetings, and now I'm feeling depressed and frustrated. I'm attending a meeting tonight, but at this point, I'm just listening and trying to get my bearings and the right kind of meeting. I realize that more than one group can help, but I'm reluctant to embrace a strong religious approach. I understand the idea of a higher power and I know I'm powerless over alcohol, but falling on my knees and praying to Jesus (and I'm sorry if I'm insulting some of you) isn't for me.

Any advice?

And, unfortunately, I've been replacing booze with food, but that's just adding to my plummeting self esteem. Please advise and many thanks.

Joined: 2012-05-25
god, booze and food

I was the same. it takes time, you didn't get sick over night , so you won't get well over night. this too shall pass. IT JUST TAKES TIME i reckon. i also am not into the god stuff, but find the serenity "prayer" great a difficult times as a newbie. sort the god stuff out later, meetings and meditation breathing are the road to go. as for food, we didn't worry about it when drinking, did we? natural response. check out . your are doing well, asking for help. hope i didn't add to the confusion. all the best, harry

Joined: 2012-05-25
god, booze and food

I was the same. it takes time, you didn't get sick over night , so you won't get well over night. this too shall pass. IT JUST TAKES TIME i reckon. i also am not into the god stuff, but find the serenity "prayer" great a difficult times as a newbie. sort the god stuff out later, meetings and meditation breathing are the road to go. as for food, we didn't worry about it when drinking, did we? natural response. check out . your are doing well, asking for help. hope i didn't add to the confusion. all the best, harry

reply to God, Booze and Food

My only advice is to keep in mind that with any newcomer (esp those that have been "at it hard & long" such as me) our bodies are going through incredible shock, adjustments, chemical alterations. Part of our body is the brain, which despite the fact that we humanoids tend to poeticize what are brains are responsible for - substituting "my mind" "my heart says..." "In my guts" etc, it is chiefly our brains that regulate emotions, sense of well-being or not. Just as we may have damaged our livers, stomach linings, name your weakspot, our brains are certainly an organ that took a hit during our period of abuse.
Hopefully, your physique, like so many of us, will prove to have been a forgiving, recreating vessel, but short-term you are only normal if you are not "feeling yourself". Our use distorted what "normal" was, and now we need time to return to, and appreciate the "new, real and improved normal".
"God?" Certainly not for me in my early days. "Higher power?" With me, I COULD get my head around that, as it was clear to me from my well-earned bed in detox's (yes plural, sadly) that there was no LOWER power than me in that pathetic state. So sound medical treatment was my first version of an HP. Those folks at least went to college a few more years than me in a harder science:)
Group of Drunks/Good Orderly Direction were new phrases to my ears that subbed for GOD/Jesus, as again, it was irrefutable that AA-folk and following basic advice was a better plan that I had going on in my addled state.
I don't believe AA literature is in refute of such an approach, as props to medical science and arriving at "God of your understanding" abound in the lit.
They embraced science/medical field as well as spiritual tenents. On the science front we know so much more than we did in 1935, in terms of understanding value of excercise and nutrition to our emotional well-being. Conversely, we also know intuitively that life and happiness are not a Six-sigma LEAN excercise where we can always predict output X, because we input Y. (Not sure if that metaphor is even apt, but ya get my drift:)
That is where my spirituality has been reinforced in its OWN time, by being around the program, IN the program and eventually LIVING the program however imperfect my journey has been. Give yourself some credit and a break. Feeling down is the new normal perhaps, but it needn't last long-but do seek medical advice if it persists or worsens; they don't kick you out of AA for being a good steward of your temple!....Good luck, John

No one says

No one says you have to fall on your knees and pray to Jesus. Your higher power is defined by you based on your understanding. No one says you have to go from zero to 100mph in ten days. An open mind is all that's required. Be patient with yourself. The emotional roller coaster you're on will level out over time. It's your brain chemistry correcting itself.(PAWS) The higher power part of the program is important but take it in small steps if you can't take large ones.

You won't find Jesus mentioned in the Big Book

No one should be asking you to pray to Jesus or Ala or Jehovah or anyone's religious concept of a higher power. You don't need to be on your knees either. You will not find Jesus mentioned not even once in the Big Book and the reason no specific Deity named is, so as to be inclusive not exclusive.
My morning prayer take me less then 30 seconds with my eyes wide open over my first cup of coffee. " God show me your will for me today and give me the strength and courage to obey" and the evening it's "thank you for another day of sobriety and I'll try to do better with the Your Will thing tomorrow". This and a dozen times a day a 10 second acknowledgment of Gods presents in my life keeps me spiritually fit.
Please remember that the function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
One of the most powerful things I heard early on was " you don't have to believe, you only have to be open and willing to the possibility of a Higher Power working in your life. If you are willing he/she will show you more and more.
In chapter 5 "How it Works" it points out on pg. 64 that. " Our liquor (and now your food consumption ) was but a symptom, and we had to get down to causes and conditions. If you haven't allready please get a Big Book, read and re-read the first 164 pages, find a sponsor and apply a set of steps to both your drinking and your food intake and most importantly find a home group and keep coming back it works if you work it.
Dennis D.

RE God, Booze, and Food.

Sounds about right. you have made a good start. The only step that we have to get right is the first one. Sounds like you have. the unmanagable part, I think is we don't know when we will drink, and once we start we don't know when we will stop. How could our lives be anything but unmanagable.

About half our origional membership was athiest or agnostic. our experience shows you need not be worried about it. Your understanding will come to you in time, if you are willing and have an open mind.

If your self esteem is plummeting, take action. self esteem doesn't just appear, it comes from doing esteemable action, ie- living to good purpose. If you still have trouble with GOD, do what I did. I called it good orderly direction, and that worked for me, at least since 1992!

One last thing. Avoid hysterical thinking or advise.

Good luck.

re: god, booze, food

I did not worry about the higher power thing until later - my initial concern was only to not drink between meetings, and by going to meetings, I got enough reinforcement (positive and negative) to help me not pick up a drink. Six years later, I still haven't embraced the higher power thing, at least in the Christian sense. I found a good book on Buddhism and AA that was very helpful. And I have discovered many folks in AA who share my areligious views and yet are happy & productive people again because they kept coming around to meetings and didn't drink in between them. For those who got sober by dropping to their knees, god bless them - I am happy that worked for them, but that does not imply that their way works for all. Good luck.

Joined: 2012-03-04
re: God Booze and Food

Welcome to A.A., the fellowship of ex-cons, vagabonds, tramps, thieves and last but not least, con-men and con-women. My suggestion to you is to go to a lot of different meetings on your area to get as many of the diverse opinions in AA as you can. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do. Make up your own mind about the program and in your own time and manner.
There’s a lot of myth and misrepresentation in and outside A.A. at the moment, so form your opinion (in good time) about A.A. from a general consensus of opinion and from Conference approved literature. Having seen and heard what I have these past few years, I’d avoid those meetings and AA members that use interpretations of the AA program in outside published literature; eg, step and sponsorship guides by Joe McQ, the Purpose Group of AA (Dallas) Big Book Study Guide, Wally P’s Back to Basics Beginners classes, Wayne D's Step ‘n’ Ahead Into Emotional Sobriety etc.

If you can find meetings that operate something along the following lines, then I’d go along to ones like these:

An observation of New York meetings 1939:
“They were structured to the extent that there was always one speaker and Bill- maybe half an hour each - and then a long coffee session, a real get together. We were often there till 12 o’clock, started at eight” She also said, “At that time, we did not go into Step work. Didn’t have 90-days requirements. No birthdays – no recognition was made if you were sober a week or a year. If you felt you would like to speak in a year or in a month or two weeks they let you get up and speak, and they didn’t throw you out if you were drunk, either. They felt it was encouraging, hoping some word would stick.” (Ruth Hock, Secretary, New York General Service Office. Extract from Pass it on page 219)

An observation of the fellowship numbering about one hundred in 1939:
“The fellowship is entirely indifferent concerning the individual manner of spiritual approach so long as the patient is willing to turn his life and his problems over to the care and direction of his creator. The patient may picture the Deity in any way he likes. No effort is whatever is made to convert him to some particular faith or creed. Many creeds are represented among the group and the greatest harmony prevails. It is emphasized that the fellowship is non-sectarian and that the patient is entirely free to follow his own inclination. Not a trace of aggressive evangelism is exhibited.” ( Extract from “A new approach to psychotherapy in chronic alcoholism” Dr. W.D Silkworth M.D. Journal Lancet, July 1939. A.A. Comes of Age, appendix E:a, pages 304)

The idea that you have to pray on your knees in AA is a misconception found in Non AA published literature. AA rejected the suggestion of praying on your knees back in 1939. As AA co-founder Bill W recalled:

“When this document was shown to our New York meeting the protests were many and loud. Our agnostic friends didn't go at all for the idea of kneeling. Others said we were talking altogether too much about God. And anyhow, why should there be twelve steps when we had done fine on six? Let's keep it simple, they said.
This sort of heated discussion went on for days and nights. But out of it all there came a ten-strike for Alcoholics Anonymous. Our agnostic contingent, speared by Hank P. and Jim B., finally convinced us that we must make it easier for people like themselves by using such terms as "a Higher Power" or "God as we understand Him!" Those expressions, as we so well know today, have proved lifesavers for many an alcoholic. They have enabled thousands of us to make a beginning where none could have been made had we left the steps just as I originally wrote them….” (Bill W. Extract from “A Fragment of history: Origin of the Twelve Steps” The Language of the Heart p 201, AA Grapevine July 1953)

AA is not a religion,nor is it allied to any religion so you work the program in your own time and manner.

“…How well we shall always remember that AA is never to be thought of as a religion. How firmly we shall insist that AA membership cannot depend upon any particular belief whatever; that our Twelve Steps contain no article of religious faith except faith in God--as each of us understands him. How carefully we shall thenceforth avoid any situation which could possibly lead us to debate matters of personal religious belief." (Bill W. Extract from “We Came of Age” The Language of the Heart p 122. AA Grapevine September 1950)

“Any concept of the Higher Power is acceptable. A sceptic or an agnostic may choose to think of his inner self, the miracle of growth, a tree, man’s wonderment at the physical universe, the structure of an atom, or mere mathematical infinity. Whatever form is visualised, the neophyte is taught that he must rely on it and, in his own way, to pray to the power for strength.” ( Extract from The Jack Alexander article about AA page 19)

“Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religion, nor is it a medical treatment, nor does it profess expertise in respect of unconscious motivations for behavior. These are facts all too often overlooked.” (Bill W. Extract from “Responsibility Is Our Theme” The Language of the Heart p 332. AA Grapevine July 1965)

I hope this info helps.


Thanks! I am glad someone is still awake. ANONYMOUS

Joined: 2012-03-04
re: Info

Thanks for your reply. Actually I was fast asleep; heard a few alarm bells, then woke up. Just to correct a couple of typos: The extract from Dr. Silkworths’ observation contains an extra ‘is’, it should have read “…No effort whatever is made to convert…” The “Purpose Group of AA (Dallas)” should have read the “…Primary Purpose Group of AA (Dallas)…” This illustrates one reason why groups ought to stick to Conference approved literature; when left to our own devices the tosspots like me just can’t seem to print things right. I’d also add Dick B’s guides to early AA groups/AA history to the list of literature to avoid. Poor fellow seems to be a tad mixed up with his timescales and personal religious beliefs.

Mustn’t forget the Washingtonian movement collapsed because they didn’t have an overall public relations policy with authority and centrally edited standard literature; and traditions which all members were willing to follow. Public orators stepped forth, groups diversified, formed affiliations, the public got confused and all of it is history. Same thing could happen to AA anytime we allow.

Newly Widowed

My husband of 16 years passed away right before this past Christmas. He was an alcoholic (not admitting it) and drank
every day. In the beginning of our marriage we enjoyed 1-2
cocktails after coming home from work. Over the years he developed chronic COPD but he said the drinking made him relax. We retired to Florida 10 years ago and the drinking
started earlier in the day. We would go out for lunch, have a few, then come home and have a few more. I was becoming very dependent on alcohol and loved that europic feeling I got. Before long I had to drink more and more to get to that feeling. We had a stocked bar in the house, and the friends we had drank as much as we did. I have had
many blackouts over the years, and many falls in the house.
I have embarassed myself, and hurt my children and grandchildren from my stupidity. Now that I am alone, I do not have anyone in the house to tempt me to drink, but know I must give up some close friends and hope they will understand. I am 66 years old and would like to find an AA
meeting with an over 50 group. I also would like to know myself and why I started drinking. It's only been 5 days without a drink and I do believe in the higher power (GOD)
and I pray around the time my body clock is looking for that first, but not last drink, that I can be strong. Thanks for listening, and I am grateful I found this web site. Reading and listening to the stories has helped.

Joined: 2011-08-26
It is only natural you want members your own age

I will be 65 in 4 days and a widower for some time. When I first came to AA, I worked as a licensed plumber and sought out meets where I had heard plumbers went to. I didn't want to go to meetings where the younger crowd hung out. At that meeting I didn't like those plumbers but God found me a friend that was an electrian .. LOL

I would ask around where the retired folk go (meetings) and preferrably where there are women only meetings to get you feet wet.

When I came in almost thirty years ago, I still had my wife and a job. My pain came mostly from my remorse. I then studied to be a real estate agent thinking that, that was what I wanted to do for retirement.

God had other plans for me as I now go to beginners meetings and work with the younger crowd. Fifteen years ago I started the local AA website to post meeting times and locations. I took an interest in it and am a self employeed web-developer who got all my ideas from the young crowd.

For the first 90 days just go to meetings and try not to drink between meetings and see what plans God will have for you through this great fellowship of ours. Hugh from Canada

Joined: 2011-06-07
The good news is there is hope the bad news is we're it

You might want to stop blaming your husband, your friends, the stocked bar, the time of day, Florida and retirement for your drinking. Did anyone hold you down and put a funnel in your mouth and start pouring the booze down it? Your preconditions on the type of group you want to go to is also troubling. Bill W. observed "We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful"(pg 17 of the BB). To deny yourself of this experience by limiting your exposure to a group of , only this age range, only woman, only my social-economic level is to deny yourself of the experience, strength and hope of the diverse tapestry of the AA family. Forgive me if I seem to be taking your inventory but it seem to me you might need Al Anon as much as AA.

Over 50

I came into AA at 50 and am now 55 and still won't utilize a sponsor! I am getting burned out at meetings and I know that I still want to drink away reality. But alcohol brought me to near death and isn't an option anymore. I am embarrased about being an alcoholic and feel stupid in mtgs where the young people hang out and laugh and have it all together. I feel like a non-entity

re; over 50, mtg burnout

I am the same age but find myself in meetings where I am one of the younger folks present. I think the advantage to a "mature" group is that members are less likely to take their sobriety for granted, maybe figure they may not make it back if they don't stick around. At least that is how I perceive it. I appreciate meetings where folks share not of all the problems they are having in life but rather what they are doing to stay sober, keep the faith, in spite of those problems. And encourage others to work through their own problems as well. I have found myself in occasional meetings where the whine levels are extreme, and/or the pontification levels are off the chart, and I either walk out and/or don't go back, find a different meeting. I need to find and stay on my own path, and find others who can give me a boost when I stumble or falter (sponsor or not). Guess I am not embarrassed by my alcoholism, rather it is what it is, and my awareness of being an alcoholic - and reminding myself of that fact through daily readings, meetings, whatever it takes - helps keep me sober for today.

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Over 50

Quote: "I came into AA at 50 and am now 55 and still won't utilize a sponsor!"
Okay, so you don't utilize a sponsor, so what? I came in to AA at age 35 and am now 76, and I've never utilized a 'sponsor' as sponsors are known today. At slightly over three months sober I was transferred to a location where face to face AA contact was unavailable. I was told that if I used (not just read) the Big Book and a Higher Power I would be okay. I still use (not just read) my Big book and a Higher Power, and I pay attention to all who have something I can use. I'm not ashamed or embarrassed about being an alcoholic, I enjoy life without the desire to drink and I'm comfortable at the few meetings I still attend regardless of the age, race or gender of the others present. Why not give the Steps a try? You might just start enjoying sobriety.

re over fifty

I was at an AA meeting last night where the young people were in there 50's!


It might be a little easier to forgive you for
taking my inventory, if you would stop doing it.

Florida meetings

Use this link from AA website to find group close to you, call that group to find out about meetings in your area, including ones with a more "experienced" crowd. I suspect you will encounter a lot of people with the same story you have.

RE: Newly Widowed

I would like to suggest if you want to quit and stay quit that you find an AA meeting, any AA meeting. As you progress you can find a special meeting or a meeting that you feel special in. Being Florida, (where a very good friend of mine got sober), there are many meetings with people over 50. Also you may be able to find a meeting that is held in a retirement community. The folks there would most certainly be over 50. Most of my friends in AA are over 50 so you won't have any trouble finding people your own age. I do want to say that I have learned from everyone in AA not just those over 50!! Good luck and keep coming back!

Ray C.

Outside Sponsorship

I am a new comer to AA and have 33 days clean and sober. I am currently doing an outpatient treatment program as well as going to AA meetings. Last night i finally asked a woman to be my sponsor (i was terribally nervous) and she said yes. She has 36 yrs sobriety and will be walking me through the Big Book. Is she an "outside sponsor"? If not, what is an "outside sponsor"?

Joined: 2011-08-26
An outside sponsor can be one of two

Those in jail have outside member visitors to their meetings and some become outside sponsors. If the sponsor was also an imate he would be an inside ssponsor. - The same goes for treatment facilities.

Hope this helps.

What's an outside sponsor?

This hurts me deeply to say, but I don't know what an outside sponsor is either!
That being said, sponsorship in AA to me is a very mutual relationship. At first we went through the steps as written in the bb. That way, my sponsor said the book would protect me from him. I didn't know what he meant at the time, but now I understand. If we followed the program of action as outlined in the BB I would be protected from any or his big ideas of how this program should work.
After he taught me the program from the book, I was to do as the book says and bring this message to other alcoholics that needed it AND wanted it.
Now after 20 years of sobriety, I have two sponsorees that i am taking through the steps in the bb, and a group of ten that are taking the steps together in a big book study.
I don't know if all twelve will stay sober, but I sure will if I continue to practice these principals as best i can and continue to realize I have learned more from any sponsee than they have learned from me!

Starting Over

Since 2005, I have been a part of the fellowship of AA, but thought I didn't really need it. One day,while visiting my mother back home in Chicago, she gave me a book called Came to Believe. At first, I thought to myself: "Great! Now my own mother thinks I'm a drunk."

Little did I know how valuable that little book changed my life. I have now almost two years of sobriety, have a wonderful home, and am the LR of my home group. It has not been an easy journey for me. I was stuck on doing my fourth step for a long time, but since December of last year many wonderful changes have happened and I am happy to say that I do not have the desire to pick up a drink.

Starting over in the program gave me hope for a better future and for any newcomer who is doubting whether or not to try this wonderful way of life, give yourself a chance. We all deserve it.

Patty B.


I am a new comer sort of. I quit drinking in 1995 and had about 6 yrs sobriety. AA was very helpful and it really worked until I became complacent with my program and gradually began to drink again. My drinking the last few yrs has been really out of control. I became unable to work because I chose to drink, I destroyed numerous relationships including the one I had with my only son. My husband of 20 yrs is an alcoholic also and we were both abusive to eachother. I ended most of my nights in black outs and spent my mornings trying to remember the night before. In the fall of this last yr I met a man and a few months later I left my husband and moved in with him. Fortunately, this new man, Vic was sober and had been in the program. After nearly two months of living with him I again quit drinking and went back to AA. Things did get a little better since I got a sponsor right away and started making friends in AA. However my life remained a mess. I was living with Vic and had and on again off again relationship with my estranged husband and had very little contact with my son. Understandably he is angry at me for my yrs or drinking but he's also very angry that I moved out and lived with another man. One good thing that finally happened was that I got a job, not one I was real satisfied with but a job none the less. A few short weeks ago I moved back in with my son and husband. I had about 33 days of sobriety and relapsed. Actually I have twice since moving back in. I am having difficulty staying sober here because there are so many triggers and the relationships I have here are tense. The problem is that I have not talked to my sponsor in over a week and I know I should call her but I'm so ashamed to say I screwed up again. I simply quit doing what she told me to do like meetings etc but most importantly I just quit caring about anything. I have two days of sobriety again and I'm just terrified that I'll drink again and I'm having terrible cravings. I just feel stuck. I intend to attend a meeting in a couple of hrs but I'm having trouble getting my priorities straight. I am uncertain of the future of my marriage and although I know it's not right I have continued to have some contact with Vic. I have all but given up on trying to repair things with my son and I'm now on a leave of absense from work due to drinking last week and not showing up one day. I'm just grateful I didn't get fired. Any imput from anyone would be appreciated.

I don't know you but your

I don't know you but your story touched my heart. I cannot imagine what you must be feeling toward yourself right now, but if I were you I'd suck it up and call your sponsor. Right now your best thinking is doing nothing but keeping you drunk and screwing up your life and relationships with your family. That best thing you can do right now is call your sponsor and suck up that pride, your EGO is what's keeping you from helping yourself. EGO stands for: Edging God Out, and if you believe in God then you know that he knows best, not you honey. Turn your fears and concerns over to God and then know in your heart that the quicker you get better, the faster your relationships with your loved ones will begin to repair do I know this you may be asking yourself? Because it's what I have to do. I felt like shit in the beginning myself, and boy I don't care how bad things got there was NO WAY I was going to ask anyone for help...I don't want anyone to know I have problems...which is hilarious because I actually believed that I was hiding my problems when they were painted in bright orange all over my face, actions, and lifestyle. We're not kidding anyone sweetie, and I'll tell you what, the friends and family I have acquired in the last 6 months couldn't compare to any of the relationships I had with old friends that only wanted to help keep me sick in the first place because they were sick. None of those people want to see you get better, because then they would have to admit that they had a problem, but as long as yours is worse than theirs then well it makes them look "normal" and helps them feel better about themselves. Those aren't friends girl, those are part of the problem NOT the SOLUTION. So do yourself a favor, for YOURSELF, and either pick up that phone or go to a meeting...Do what's best for you, and all those good things will follow the promises, and know that those are true you just have to want to change. Have you hit your bottom? If not stop before it gets that far...but either way, you can do it I know you can! And your son will love you for that, him and yourself are all that matters right now!! All those other relationships are keeping you stuck, so unstick yourself and get help!! I'll pray for you...GOOD LUCK, you diserve to be HAPPY!!!


wow lots of common those hoops are not as small as you think...but they are on fire...thats the only way we would jump thur...reminds me of one of those fire re shots of liquor..Fear an resentments to me are the same If my HigherPower can remove the obsession of drink my HigherPower should be able to remove all helping others is takeing out insurance per say of haveing a long as my own house is in order..1 thur 12 in 24 hrs a day is all we have keep it bring along you copy for them to borrow..M.B.

Joined: 2012-03-18
re scared

I have been where you are. I lost my marriage, my daughter (from age 13 to age 20). My son stuck by me.
I thought that the 'out of the blue' divorce declaration would kill me. I proved this point by drinking non stop for four months. Great plan wasn't it. My husband was also an alcoholic and could not admit it.
I was kicked out of my home and moved into an appartment. It was the best, and hardest time of my life. I was able to concentrate on my sobriety without any distractions. I was able to stay sober because of all of the help that AA gave me. From stories to studies to speakers and other members, I found my way through my alcoholism.
Your story took me back go that terrible night that I relapsed. It was thanks to everything I had learned at meetings that I was able to get back up on the proverbial horse.
Good luck to you. You did six years. You have the ability to fight through the obsession. May you find peace.

re scared

what helped me was the 24 hour plan. I could stay sober 1 day at a time. sometimes just a few minutes at a time. I used my propensity for procrastination on booze. you know how you put of doing the dishes in the sink till tomorrow? I did the same thing with booze.
the next part was i had to admit complete defeat to alcohol. i had to fully concede to my innermost self that i am an alcoholic, meaning that i thought about alcohol until i drank and once i started to drink i had no control over the amount i drank.
Now while i was not drinking and going to meetings 24 hours at a time, i took the book "alcoholis anonymous and began to study it.
over time i have become willing to apply the steps of aa in my life. i changed quickly from resltess, irritable, and discontent to happy, joyous, and free.

RE: Scared

I don't know what is right for you but I can tell you what is right for me. I have made a decision to put my sobriety first. That means #1. Ahead of my realtionship, family, job and everything else. sound selfish? Some may think so but without my sobriety I don't have anything else. Some people say "I lost my job, family, house, car, friends". BS you didn't lose anything, you GAVE EVERYTHING AWAY FOR THE LOVE OF SOMETHING ELSE--BOOZE. Why don't you try keeping the focus on YOU for awhile. Get to meeting EVERY DAY. Explain things to your sponsor exactly how you explained things here.
Start reading the book and working the steps. Don't drink! Whether it is a day at a time or a second at a time.
IF YOU WANT TO BE SOBER you can get this thing!! Hang in there!!



I have gone through some traumatic life changes that increased my alcohol and prescription drugs usage since 2001. Nasty divorce, job losses, bankruptcy-(because spouse going behind my back with money), brain tumors, etc. I finally had a wake up call when I overdosed over the holidays. Here is my dilemma. I have been reconnecting with old friends that DO NOT drink. I was so isolated through my marriage(he was abusive) They like to go to a couple bars to see bands that have some of our other friends in them. I am personnally comfortable with that. We go to breakfasts and do other things, but the bar thing is 2 times a month. Can I get some input? I really don't have a lot of friends here where I live, that like embracing life-they seem stale to me-I don't want to sit anymore. I worked for a major airline, and many friends live around the country. Thanks!

re socializing

I have worked construction as a career. each year I work in several towns around my area. I was worried when i first got sober, but soon found that if i pick a meeting in each town to attend where i could get to know the group, i would feel connected to aa. after awhile i was able to meet newcomers in each town and offer experience,strength, and hope.
Over the years as i learned to put others needs ahead of my own something amazing has happened. It seems wherever i go i have great friends in aa.
I was once told that if i hang around a barber shop long enough, i will get a haircut. Whenever i have a good social or business reason for being around alcohol i think of that statemnt.
I don't hide from alcohol, but i also don't seek it out. today i find few reasons to be around booze. the biggest reason i find today to be around alcohol, is that i might be able to help someone. whether i like it or not, anyone who drinks regularly whatches how i react in those social situations. I have had many opportunities for 12 step work following those social events.
So go or stay away and good luck.

RE: Socializing

You say your friends "do not drink" but don't say if they are in AA. It is a very good idea to socialize with as many AA people as you can, at least for a while. You can still keep your old friends, at least some of them but add many AA's to your list of friend. This program is about change. We need to change our playground and our playmates. About bars, the old saying is "if you sit in a barber chair long enough you will get your hair cut". I don't think going to bars, at least for awhile, is a good idea. There are lots of other places you can hear live music.
Yes we have to deal with life on life's terms but we don't have to use bad experiences as an excuse to drink.
I have had cancer, was off work for 19 months, almost lost everything, my mother died and cut my brother and I out of her will, My son died at 25 yrs old from a heroin OD and I DID NOT DRINK! Not because I am special, I am a drunk just like you, it is because I built a good foundation with the first three steps. My son died at 7am and by 10am I was in a meeting! You need to take care of YOU! We can't stop life from happening. Hang in there!!


Joined: 2012-03-09

Hi, Sorry to hear about all the trouble of late. I'm glad you lived through the OD and you're sober now.
There is a part in the book that they talk about going out if there "is a reason" to be where you are.
You need to take care of yourself first and foremost.
I'm a musician myself and in a band now.
When I came back in this time around I had to set limits for myself because my disease is the biggest fool around. Meaning it will always try and fool me into thinking I'm all good.
You're new sobriety is still fresh and so precious.
Just be safe and no your limits!
If you're starting to feel a little squirrely while out then just let your friends know. Of course they will get it if true solid friends.
But enjoy the music and be grateful you got another chance to hear it...
Bill in Chicago

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