Burning Desire to Share
Hello, I have been sober for 90 days. Several months ago, before I quit drinking, I had blood tests that indicated low thyroid function. I am wondering if my chronic drinking for 30 years could have damaged my thyroid -- and if so, is it reversible? Has anyone observed a correlation between alcoholism and thyroid issues? ( I do have another appointment with my doc to get retested but it is not for another 2 months ).
A responsible doctor wouldn't try to begin answering your question. Anyone else doesn't know and should be ignored. So where does that leave you? The time is right now. We can't undrink the past nor hurry the future. The only thing you can do about your thyroid is keep your appointment and follow your other doctor's instructions. On the other hand there is a lot you can do about your alcoholism. A whole book-ful.
Welcome to the adventure.
God destroyed my life
Actually God didn't destroy your life...you did. I did the same thing. God gave us free will to make our own decisions and most of us made a mess of things trying to do it our way. That doesn't mean God left us though, we left God. If you think you can do it on your own then have at it! See how that works for you again. More power to ya, but I know I "had to have God's help!" Good luck and God bless!!!
I had that problem too.
AA helped me with Step two and I found a different God. He fixed my destroyed life.
Curious. How much alcohol did this God of yours pour down your neck?
Alcohol ruined my life
Still going to my meetings. Last nite was steps 2-3-4. Was a good meeting and putting my all into it. 11 mile bike ride to and from for last nites meeting but the time to myself was really needed. Sometimes I have to put myself back in my place and was offered a ride home but declined to have time to reflect on what I heard in the past hour. Glad I did, it was a better trip home than it was going there thou I was already tired from biking there! Hope! ---Stan
Keep it rolling Stan. I biked to meetings during early sobriety in Chicago and earned the name, Bicycle Bill. My 5 mile ride to and from became a time to breathe, relax and reflect - a time of peace. I knew that my anxieties and depression would ease during the meeting as I listened to other members share and began to open up about myself. During the journey home, I'd feel lifted up, filled with a sense of hope.
26 years later,I have a much different life in a totally different part of the country but I still ride to meetings - on a much nicer bike. I mentioned at a meeting last week that during early sobriety, in order to ease my anxiety & depression I would occasionally ride to a meeting that was 45 miles south of me and then ride back. That really took the edge off. A member asked yesterday if I still did that. I answered that I did not; that thanks the program, I was a bit older and much less anxious.
Keep rolling back.
In the FINAL REPORT for 2012 I see that we had 1,388,727 A.A. members at the end of 2012. That is
an increase of 4,020 compared to 2011. These are estimated numbers (US and Canada).
I heard a member last evening who stated that he had been in several institutions, jails, etc.
He said that every one of them told him to attend A.A. meetings.
With an estimated thirty million alcoholics in the US, is this the best we can do? I consider
these numbers to be shameful. Something is dreadfully wrong. Is anyone else concerned? I can't
be the only one left who remembers what Alcoholics Anonymous was like when we were growing
at a healthy rate. For 57 years our membership grew at the rate of doubling about every ten
years. At today's growth rate, it will take us three hundred and fifty years to double our membership
again. The solution is presented in this forum.
The solution which our current leadership will offer is just to stop counting. They have
already hidden prior numbers, which were available to the membership until last year. These
historical numbers are hidden in the vault with salaries of our paid trusted servants. ANONYMOUS
So estimates of membership are stuck at one or two million and this is terrible? With what other disease is success measured by the number of patients who stay in rehabilitation? AA meetings are running over with those seeking or maintaining remission rather than recovery. Meetings, year after year, ignoring responsibility to family, community and, in fact, themselves. More than once I have occasion to visit the home of a “Mr. AA” for some errand to find the only house on the block that hadn’t been painted in years or encountered the spouse, a widow to meetings instead of the bar.
I can anticipate the backlash to this alternate view of success, of recovery. You are not reading in this post that EVERYONE has the ability to recover in AA and discontinue meetings forever. I’m sure some can site numerous horror stories and anyone paying attention can site success stories. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to leave half-baked. If the promises listed after step nine aren’t a norm in your life, I wouldn’t be hopeful for you. Some need more than others. Some have more to give than others. Some like meetings more than others. Alcoholics are world champions at doing exactly what they want to do and hanging the label “The Best Thing to Do” on it. Many AA’s in retirement have plenty of spare time and love a captive audience for their stories. Does including their numbers in the head count prove that AA is any better, more successful?
I remember it in my own experience and I see it repeated today. As a newcomer, I could relate to those sober for a few months or a couple of years. If they could do it, perhaps I could too. I wanted what they had. Old timers with thirty or forty years? They might have well have been from a different planet. Of course I could relate to parts of their stories. Of course they were an essential asset providing service to keep things running and on track. I just don’t see that AA needs every single newcomer to become a lifer. Many non-alcoholics need every minute of the day to meet the responsibilities of family, health, career, and community and enjoy some time being happy, joyous and free. For those of us in recovery, are there more hours in the day or fewer demands on our time?
I spent a few years in AA getting my life together and moved on. I used the tools I was given and enjoyed a sober, productive life. I checked in from time to time. I know, and know of many more, that have done the same, with sucess. Now that I am retired, I have time to give something back. I enjoy it and there seems to be a place for me. AA just doesn’t need millions of old timers to avert failure or be any better.
I think AA is doing fine. Our message is strong. I think you did a hack job when you applied the scientific method. To arrive at those conclusions which I found erroneous, is just not good science. There are so many variables to why the numbers seem the way they do. To suggest AA is failing based on lower numbers is a fabrication in your mind. Think, Think, Think!
This is from the summer issue of "Box 459"
"Estimates of Groups and Members as of January 1, 2013 (1)
United States 59,321 1,295,656
Canada 5,093 93,071
Sub-Total 64,414 1,388,727
Correctional facilities (2) 1,499 36,838
Internationalists 3 15
Lone Members 0 67
Total 65,913 1,425,647
Outside U.S. & Canada (3) 48,726 705,902
Grand Total 114,642 2,131,549"
What you neglect to mention is:
"1. The General Service Office does not keep membership records. The information shown here is based on reports given by groups listed with G.S.O., and does not represent an actual count of those who consider themselves A.A. members."
At a recent local meeting a self described 'oldtimer' ranted about the declining membership in AA. He based his argument on the number of Big Books in circulation vs the number of members. Both of you might think seriously about finding something good to say about AA, rather than give newcomers the impression that AA is facing away.
If membership increase is what you are seeking why do you try to portray AA as a good place to stay away from? I haven't found it so. The membership runs the organization through it's frequently replaced representatives. If you or your ideas didn't find favor, get over it and try again next year. Maybe polish up your salesmanship in the mean time.
I was in an on again off again relationship with someone in the program. We last broke up on Christmas Eve and was I extemely distraut. Even though I have had a good sponsor (although she practically had to hold my hand through the entire relationship), home group, connections with other women, etc.. it took a toll on my program and well being. Everytime I got back in it I felt crazy and cycle starts all over again.It was unhealthy and we are both at fault for fear of intimacy but moslty me. However I can not seem to get over this person so I have chosen to avoid meetings, certain places, emails and texts, etc.. so I don't slip again. Most recently he showed up at one of my meetings and was extremely angry when I would not engage with him. His texts pointed out almost every character defect I have. I feel awful and am doubting my approach of avoiding him because I am not being thoughtful and kind. I'm trying to stick to safe meetings, joined district, practice meditation, had to get a second job to clean up the past and don't want to lose what I have. I struggle with female friendships and never share about the relationship with them or at meetings. Anyway I still feel alone alot of the time and wonder if the disease has got the best of me since I can not face the breakup. I feel like I will pay dearly for this.
Hello, I am in the same situation as you. I am an AA member and it is the most important thing. I tried a lot of tools to get out of the situation and the best for me were: get professionnal help outside AA fot that problem, protect my privacy as much as I could within AA and I tried Al-Anon groups. Hope this helps.
I completley understand what you are going through right now. In my early sobriety I got involved in a relationship with a man and it almost cost me my sobriety. I guess the only advice and hope that I can give to you is to share my strength hope and experience involving this situation. I learned that my sobriety comes first and that I have to do what is needed to maintain it. I had to see the man I was involved with and yes it was painful, uncomfortable and awkward,but, with prayers and support from the women around me I got through this difficult time. I had major trust issues with women when I came in but I simply learned that I needed them as I could not trust myself with men until I had more time under my belt. I didn't have alcohol to turn to anymore so my next choice was inappropriate relationships. The women I have in my life right now are very close friends ( there are only two)and I trust that what ever I share with them it stays with them and there is never any judgement. It took me a little while to figure out who I could trust, and who was going to be a true friend. Prior to AA I had no one I could trust. So those women are out there, just try to keep an open mind! I've learned that becasue I'm sober doesn't mean I have to be perfect. Infact some of the most valuable lessons I have learned are through bad choices and mistakes. I belive in you and know that you can push through this. You are worth it! ask for help from other women and your sponsor, step out of your comfort zone. I've found my biggest growth has come from facing my fears. My sponsor always said to me "if what you did has a name, then it's been done before so stop being hard on yourslf. It's progress not perfection." Hope this helps you :)
Run away as fast as you can !!!!! He is a Narcissist Unless you cease all contact - changing your phone # and e-mail. you will continue to be driven crazy by his antics. There is nothing romantic about this.
Most alcoholics can't distinguish between a relationship and a hostage situation. Sounds like you are both there.
Word count in your post:
“The main purpose (of our book) is to help you find a Higher Power that will solve your problem”. p45
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
in the story, FORGIVEN,Oct Issue, the author claims is given a four year prison sentence for being a passenger in an automobile accident which kills the driver. i find in hard to believe she gets a four year prison sentence for ridding drunk. I know it is impossible to back check all the facts in the manuscrips you are planning to publish but a measure of common sense should apply. I have been a long time sub. and do enjoy for the most part.
Well it seem every couple of months I relapse. I hurt my wife with false promises. Not that I do it on purpose. Back in 2005 I went to AA directly from getting out of jail (DUI) and worked the program and got some good time sober. The meetings did work until I stopped going. I cannot take this anymore and makes me sick to know how bad I make her cry. I got a couple of days under my belt and she just can't take me hurting her feelings any more. I just hope I'm not to late this time. I will be going to a meeting today and get a sponsor. This is something i must do because I'm just not strong enough on my own will power. I want this to be the last relapse and will be doing whatever it takes cause not only do. I love her and dont want to hurt her anymore but in addition the disappoint in myself is unbearable. I know it gets better in time and never want to have to go thru this feeling EVER again. Thanks for letting me vent. ---Stan
I hope you have good AA where your are.
If all you have is "Go to meetings and don't drink in between" and "meeting makers make it" they are selling remission, not recovery. I followed (sometimes kicking and screaming) Alcoholics Anonymous' suggested program of recovery as written in the Big Book and 12 and 12 and have enjoyed not only sobriety for 33 years but living the promises as detailed after step nine.
"May you find Him now".
Hi Stan: Good for you! It is never too late to be off this merry-go-round called alcoholism! I had been on it for over 40 years -- and the love of my life left because of it. It's too late for me to get him back -- but I applaud your willingness to keep trying.
I, too, keep coming to meetings and am now 319 days sober. I am so grateful to my God for this -- God is good -- life is good.
I am starting over again and have 2 months sober. I am so glad you are taking the first step. I had 5 yr sober and went back out. I guess i had to really do this deal with both feet in. I didn't have a sponser last time...i do this time. Will pray for you...
I had 19 months after getting out of court ordered rehab. I went to meetings and had a sponsor and did some of the steps (some of them I was not willing to do). After I got off probation I stopped going to meetings and went back out for 7 years. I finally got tired of my life and begrudgingly went back to AA. I would go to meetings, sit there not hearing a word, and as soon as I got home pour myself a drink. I did this for 2 months before I finally reached out to someone I knew that had 11 years sober and asked "Why can't I get it this time?". She said to me "You're not hitting your knees and asking God to remove the obsession". I thought that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard. I didn't believe in "God". How was I supposed to pray to something I didn't believe in? But I did it anyways. Every morning I got up and simply said (in my head not out loud... I wasn't ready for that) "Keep me sober". Never believing it would actually work. It did, so I decided I didn't need to do it anymore. I relapsed with 2 months sober. Since that happened I wake up every morning and still in my head ask MY god to keep me sober. Next month will mark the longest stretch of time sober in 20 years. Prayer... Sponsorship... Fellowship... Meetings... Steps... Vigilant studying of the Big Book... That's what keeps you sober (not in that order), but you can't pick and choose which ones you do.
Welcome back to AA Stan. It' great that you're going to meetings and getting some time sober. As we say, Keep Coming Back!
For me, I needed not only meetings but what was at meetings and what made meetings exist at all; recovery through the steps of AA. Early on, I bought a Big Book and 12 and 12 and tried working the steps on my own. At 3 months, I nearly relapsed at a wedding where I had an overpowering desire to drink. After the wedding, I asked a guy who always talked steps at the meeting I attended to help me with the steps. Since that day, I have not had a thought or idea to drink for over 25 years.
Remember that the reason that meetings exist at all is that some people in the program choose to give their time and effort to make sure we have a room, tables, chairs, coffee, cups snacks, literature, sobriety chips, a meeting format.....These are members who realize they keep their sobriety by giving it away to others through sharing and service.
Stan- Just wanted to say, "I hear you!". Keep coming back & come to online grapevine a lot..put in key words for how you're feeling each day & find inspirational stuff to read...that's what I do & go to meetings & different meetings and service. Sober 22 mths now. Thank God & Good Luck to you..1 minute at a time!
Hang in there Stan; I stopped drinking countless times. It's just that I couldn't keep from starting again; often every day. Sometimes I would last a week without a drink.
At the end of my drinking career, I asked "What's different this time." I found the answer to that question around the tables of AA. Those folks were surely better off than I and had something I wanted.
Gradually I gained enough self-esteem to want sobriety for myself. And as I made amends to my wife and family, I made amends to myself.
It gets better Stan; a lot better. Stick with AA and be good to yourself.
That's are M.O. We destroy everything in our path. If you take all the false promises we alcoholics make in our active drinking days or some in our recoveries it would stretch out to the dwarf planet Pluto. In AA we learn to change our choices which lead to favorite outcomes. It's easy to talk about what we will "do" especially after a drinking bender but, when you actually start executing the "do" through actions is where the true recovery begins and by that you will discover a true peace of mind and a life that's escaped you so far.
I actually forgot how much I liked these meetings.Was a large group and took away some good info, always a positive. like my previous post stated, I never drank when going to meetings and a more positive outlook after some good time under my belt, I just CANNOT forget the fact that I cannot do this alone no matter how many times trying. Sticking with it cause I don't even know if I have a chance left this time with my wife but I'm tired of being sick and tired. After a couple weeks or months its the same old same old and getting worse with the blackouts. This will keep me grounded and help me not forget the past. ---Stan
Stan, my heart goes out to you. I understand how hard it is to live with alcoholism and hurt the ones you love. You don't mean to do it, but have no control once you start drinking.
Keep going to meetings. That will keep you on track.
Take it one day at a time. Things will get better with your wife as time goes on and she sees your diligence in the program.
First off, thanks Tami. Since waking up couldn't get with it , ya know, "the fog" that feeling of self pity, worthlessness, sad, can't think straight etc....ALL day long plus I wasn't looking forward to the 5.5mile trip on bike to a meeting but knew I was going wether or not I felt like it. Got there still foggy minded and meeting began. A few familiar faces seen from back when I was working the program and had time under my belt by the end of the meeting I felt on the ball,clear, a temporary weight was lifted! I'm sure it'll be back tomorrow (the mood) cause its been less than week sober but it gave me great hope for the rest of today, plus reminded me after having a couplea months working the program after leaving the meeting one day I felt my clear headed ness and uplifted spirits as usual leaving a meeting but ya know what, that feeling never left! What a great feeling of not lugging they 10 ton weight around!!! THAT is what I want back, may take sooner but may take more time, the only thing I can say is does happen!!! And am going to work my ass off to get it back and keep it this time. What a great feeling it is but for now ill take it one day at a time --- Stan
I have been in and out of aa for about 12 yrs. I have had a lot of relapses, longest time sober being about 2 1/2 years with working the steps. I just had a very bad relapse after about 6 months. I know it will get better with time but it is so hard at the moment. I have young children and my husband of course isn't willing to let me see them for a while. Any hopeful responses would be greatly welcomed. I am back in the program with a sponsor but just so so depressed and afraid. Thank you for listening
Thanks for posting that. Unfortunately, the price for a life beyond our wildest dreams often starts with feeling hopeless.
Surrender is the starting point of the AA way of life. Admitting I am powerless over alcohol is essentially saying that I cannot keep me sober. Surrendering is a shift from all those years of trying to control my drinking to the notion that perhaps someone else had an answer.The first word on this step is "We", this ties in nicely with our first tradition, which speaks of unity. If we have taken the first step ( an inside job- no sponsor can give you surrender) we have come to realize that we cannot keep ourselves sober ( lack of power, that was our dilemma!), we need to find a power, and for many of us that power was first experienced when we encountered people in AA. There was power in those rooms, even if we couldn't identify it we could feel it. And for many of us who came in on the fence, hearing the stories is where we began to make the connection between our drinking and that true nature of our problem.
I would suggest reading page 18 of the Big Book
"That his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured-these are the conditions we have found most effective. After such an approach many take up their beds and walk again." (BB page 18)
That describes the ideal sponsor
I can completely relate to the depression and fear. After decades of coming in and out of the program I finally became hopeless, then willing. Hopelessness was my pathway to sobriety. Until I was hopeless, I did not work the program as it is suggested. Willingness enables my Higher Power to work in and through me. There is hope, I am living proof of "it works if you work it!!
In order to transfer our message of recovery to other alcoholics who are suffering, we must
achieve a balance of grace and truth. To tell a prospect he or she is going to die if they
don't stop drinking may be the truth. But it may be too much truth if we offer no real understandable
solution. We offer the solution in person, as an example of someone who has
recovered, doing so without arrogance or pride. Grace and truth have to be balanced.
On the other hand we cannot just say "whatever happens is God's will. He will take care of
it". We have to participate with grace. We thank the new person for the opportunity to try
to help her/him. That is the way we stay sober ourselves. Without the newcomer A.A.
would wither and die. Spiritual pride and arrogance are nauseating and obvious to alcoholics
who are still drinking. This may be our last and only chance to use attraction not promotion.
When I tell you what you need to do I am not being of maximum service. When I tell you what I did I am. We lay the spiritual tools at their feet for THEIR inspection. We do not cram them down their throat
navvsteve: For about forty years Alcoholics Anonymous was
a fellowship. In AACA page 276, Bernard Smith gives us a
definition of a true fellowship. As a fellowship, Alcoholics
Anonymous offered a solution the suffering alcoholic could
rarely resist. We have morphed from a fellowship to a
Fellowship: a twelve step program. A.A. works best as a
fellowship. The evidence is in the numbers.
In theory, we do not cram anything down anyone's throat.
In reality, I observe that we do just that at
almost every meeting. Very few members know what is
meant by suggestion. It took me 35 years to develop a
true understanding. It takes a lot of self-discipline and
self control to just offer our fellowship as a suggestion. ANONYMOUS
i feel like ur cramming fellowship down my throat!
I have been sober for 14 years now. I attend AA once a week, sometimes two meetings. I am happy with my new life. My first few years were difficult. I worked at a gas station while I went back to college and received a special education degree and teaching license. I was homeless in there as well. Thanks to the Fellowship today, I have a meaningful career now and I recently got married for the first time. Despite, all of this I feel I have nothing to give away. I don't know the steps by memory and I don't think I could quote one page from the Big Book. I never had a sponsor too. I really love being a member of AA and enjoy the meetings but, I just pass when its my turn because I don't have any wisdom except "Don't drink and go to meetings" The other thing is I feel shame because everyone one around me seems miserable and they are working so hard on their steps and my life is going great today simply because I put the cork back in the bottle and learned to live in the world and not my head. I learned that dreaming is easier than the actual footwork but the rewards are much greater facing life on the street instead of in fantasy. Perhaps that's my two-cents of giveaway. Jamison
That was a fascinating share. The people around me who are working the steps don't seem miserable at all. They have problems-health problems, work problems, illness and death in families--but they are working through them. They share their problems and how they deal with them sober in meetings. Is everyone around you living in their head, and you're the only one living in the world? Hmm. Fascinating too that you logged in here to share it.
I love AA too, I've been sober for 19 years, I have a great job and have recently gotten married too. And I have a sponsor and sponsees and I'm working on the 6th step over again.
I to have been a victim of marital abuse. I married an alcoholic 23 years ago and thus I became his
drinking partner. I have been mentally abused by my soon to be ex to the point I believed I was a no good
nothing in the world person who he could control exclusively. The day he left me for dead on my bedroom
floor and had no intention of calling 911 I knew right then he wanted me dead. It is amazing that a man
who promises to cherish in sickness & in health would do that all for the sake of getting my money.
April 1, 2013 was my last drink and I am not looking back, only forward. I attend 5 meetings a week, and have become actively involved in my home group. Life is getting better but I still have a long healing process ahead. I am taking one day at a time and hope others out there will benefit from my story of alcoholism. I truly believe in my higher power and that is holding me together and my sponsor is right there for me in a
moments notice. She is truly an angel that god put in my life. The friends I have made in AA and knowing that if I need to talk I can call anyone in the group for advice. It is a wonderful place in my life.
A grateful recovering alcoholic in NH
Lately I've had a few flashbacks of my drinking days as well the abusive relationship I had at the time. I have 2 years and 4 months sobriety, and for almost 2 years I had the same nightmares every night. It was like living it over and over again. I won't go into details or drunkalog, but now it's the flashbacks in my waking hours. my sponsor tells me to rely on my higher power which I have given my life and everything over. I did my 4th and 5th steps, as well right up to 12. I think however maybe I did miss something but what? I don't know? the good thing is I know I'm in the present and this usually helps, but to deal with the flashbacks at the time is like Re-living it again. Anyone else had these? And has anyone got rid or solved this problem?
Have you tried possibly working a 4th Step exclusively around that abusing realtionship? Might be worth a shot...
Its been my experience that when something is weighing on our hearts and minds it might be God telling us its time to work through all of it.
This sounds quite serious. There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor. The AA program is wonderful and the steps can bring tremendous freedom and recovery. However, if I am completely honest with myself, I may uncover issues where I need additional help...depression/anxiety, sleep disorders, relationships, marriage, eating disorders, financial matters...AA gives me the freedom, honesty and humility to ask for help. Best of luck.
seek professional help!
I'll make this simple....what happens if you don't find anyone you "would like to be like"?
I know that sounds conceited but am frustrated. They're not supposed to be your friend or therapist..right? Well..why do I want to spill the beans of my life on someone who is not a friend?
there is a pamphlet called 'questions and answers on sponsorship' in the big book it talks about finding a closed mouth friend and how important it is that we find some one we trust