Burning Desire to Share
Hello My name is David and I am a Alcoholic.I have been sober for 5 years now.
One of the many tools l have to stay sober is l rember my pastwhen l was drinking (which wasnt good at all)and the guilt l carried.
I rembered the Hell l inflicted on people all in my Family,my Mother had the Police around every time I was drinking and the Hell l was going through myself,l was on a slippery slope and didnt top until l had assalted my Mother then l stopped and went into Detox and five years down the track Im 5 years sober.
If I have no reason to go near a Drinking Place I stay right away.
Thank You and god Bless.
Whats great about A.A is that even a bad example can be good.
Things in A.A are not learned there developed and if we hadn't already learned from our past go out and develop it.
It's as simple as, that no human power can relive us and ONLY but for the grace of God there goes my human sponsor.
One suggestion is to stop drinking entirely for awhile & go to AA meetings; maybe a variety of meetings in your area. You can always go back to drinking later. You might also find people who have had experience similar to yours.
I had an experience similar to yours. At some point it occurred to me that once I reached a certain point in my drinking, I couldn't stop.
It is said that if you are seeking AA, there is a high likelihood that you may have a problem. Nobody but you can determine if you have a problem with Alcohol. For myself, I thought the same things that you do.. I did not lose my job or get DUIs or anything like that but I did feel deep inside that my drinking was unmanageable. I have almost 90 days in the program and I am so happy that I have my AA family. I encourage you to attend a local meeting and find out more about the program and yourself. Thank you for sharing :)
I've found myself out of place at meetings before when I hear people speak in "we" terms when they are not speaking for me, they don't even know me.
Also, once I tried a group where some really full of himself
guy jabbed me really hard in the back because I wasn't turning around to face him as he very longwindedly described how much he knew about life, AA, and everything in the world. What he didn't know is that I have severe damage to my vertebrae and discs in my neck any I can't twist around like, I was just patiently listening. I went there for help and support but not for anyone to lay a hand on me because their ego required my full attention. Also, at meetings I have to walk through a sea of smokers just to get to the meetings, and the smell of coffee gives me a headache and always has, I must be allergic to it, 'cause everyone likes the smell except me.
I really do need a support group to help me through this, I have tried numerous groups over the years. Why is smoking and drinking coffee so prevalent? Aren't they addictions, too? It's keeping me from being able to partcipate and get the help that I need. I want a healthy lifestyle... period. Not just apart from alcohol but apart from as many carcinogens as possible.
This chatroom is so much better than sitting uncomfortably around strangers, some of them really scary looking people. Some of these posts are written by very insightful people, and I can really appreciate that.
I'm gonna try another group today, this time at a Catholic Church that I've been to several times, maybe they don't allow smoking on the church grounds. I know they have nice handicapped parking for people like me. Maybe this will be the group with more reverence.
I still wish I had told that guy to keep his hands to himself, but I was the newcomer, it was a room full of men, only one other woman and she was in a swimsuit with a cover-up. Not the group that I felt comfortable in at all. A horrible experience, exactly what I didn't need.
I have been sober for 14 years now and in the beginning I found everything wrong with every meeting I went to. Not every meeting works for everyone, but I had to realize that something was wrong with my thinking also. My negative attitude was a big part of the problem. I was told to look for the similarities and not the differences and to shop around for other meetings. Eventually I found a Home Group and a place for myself in AA. As I began to heal my thinking, which Alcoholism is a "thinking" disease as well as a "drinking" one, then the smoke, peoples ego, etc. didn't bother me as much.I began to realize I needed AA like I needed air itself. Keep looking around and don't give up because you had a bad experience.AA does have a solution in the steps, a good sponsor is important also. Keep the Faith and keep coming back.
I am sober through the grace of God a little over 28 years and I have to admit the quality of sponsorship has declined over the years. In the 80's we could tell who was new simply by their language, the way they dressed, and the general lack of respect and manners. You could see progress when a person began to clean up their language a bit and that they actually showered and dressed for the meeting, or the actually cracked open their wallet and brought their own Big Book or 12 & 12 to the meetings.
My sponsor told me during that first year that since I wasn't drunk anymore it was time that I stopped talking, acting, and dressing like one. Apparently this doesn't happen anymore.
I begin the question the validity of the program when I hear that someone just keyed her boyfriends car - but she didn't drink and she still has 5 years of sobriety! Or a man that looks like I should cross the street to avoid him talks about the 15 years he has.
I believe that we have to change if we are to learn to live a sober life. Behaving badly while stone cold sober is not an improvement for me. I am about living sober. I want peace and serenity in my life and I want to give peace and serenity to those around me.
Good luck to you! Perhaps the person who suggested that you register as a loner has something there - combining AA online with sober correspondence could be just the answer for you.
My name's Mike, I'm an alcoholic.
I've put together many 24 hours. I've watched people force handshakes & hugs on members for years. I want members to know that its ok to hold up a hand & say, STOP, PLEASE DON'T TOUCH ME. I am an athlete. I race on asphalt. When I train, sometimes I'm not wearing the leather suit I race in. My injuries mostly consist of road-rash. Please respect my space. Thanks.
A.A. is not a simple program for complicated people that CANNOT intuitively handle situations that still bother them.
I have been in sobriety for about 4 years now(do not have that much time sober though) and still do not have a good intuition on helping or even talking to others. I am an only child that is also an isolating alcoholic.
I tend to be the person that scares the newcomer away still. Even in regular conversation I tend to make others feel awkward. I have a better understanding today then I did in the beginning of having regular conversation. Something you think would come naturally right. No I am still learning social intuition.
You know how in the Big Book it says,"We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us."
'Intuitively' is not the correct word here. The word they are looking for is clairvoyance. Intuition is more something that you can learn in school or through trial and error. If you look up clairvoyance in a dictionary you will see that clairvoyance is like seeing the world through Gods eyes and being able to handle every situation in that way. The past will only be seen as a stepping stone for a better future.
This God is what your after...if God exists.
Intuitive is the correct word if we are talking about God not a sponsor. I had a friend ask after six years around the program when this is going to happen, Being six years sober and still not able to see we are living it surprised me.
I think they had one to many sponsors diverted and incapable of being true to there self's.
The ideas of A.A in the A,B,C's, I TOTALLY agree with
The purpose of the Big Book to introduce me to God, I TOTALLY agree
The promise to intuitively handle situations that use to baffle me has happened
I have a tremendous amount of friends I talk with today caring how things are.
The non understanding part seemingly undermining A.A's principles, promises and idea's is
the outside sponsorhip system thing that is not in the Steps nor Traditions or in the 164 pages of the program
The only sense it seems to make is helping one that knows NOTHING of A.A. to it's doors, after that, it seems very very harmful and destructive to both parties involved and opposed to A.A. And the people already here.
I guess loneliness can take a person to some strange place but why be lonely with all these nice people around in A.A? Trying to understand that with God I 'm never alone and around friends I am never lonely and understand it's not about me or you but the message of A.A.– Why all the craze about getting a outside sponsor already her inside? where did it come from if it opposes A.A.'s ideas principles and promises ?
Wow! The coffee stinks, the people don't look right, someone might touch me because I don't have a 'hands off' sign, Etc. Etc. Etc.
All very good reasons to stay away from meetings.
I needed help to get and stay sober. One very good reason to go to meetings.
Why not try following the suggestions in the Big Book? And contact LIM as a Homer?
The day I walked into a womans mtg after coming back I fell apart at the seams and if it wasn't for the kindness of a hug by many of these woman I may not have stayed.
"I needed help to get and stay sober. One very good reason to go to meetings."
If you Go to give and not get - they will all be afraid to even touch you no sign will be needed.
I don't know why AAs have such trouble with atheists. The notion in AA's Big Book - "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?" - is a concept that practically no organized religion would accept (there are a few, but most wouldn't). A lot of the AAs I know don't go to any church or accept any kind of creed. So when AAs say "God," it's like when AAs say "jackpot." It's a word that other people use, but it has a completely different meaning in AA. We talk about God in AA because it's good cover; the truth is that a lot of AAs don't believe in any God other than "their own conception." To me, that's a working definition of an atheist. So lets stop giving atheists such a hard time.
We are all atheists chasing the spirits in Alcohol, In the big book it states the whole purpose of the book is to introduce you to a higher power that can intuitively handle situations that us to baffle us - There are only 3 "PERTINENT" ideas of alcoholics anonymous in the A,B,C's other clubs in and around A.A. have pertine-eer ideas of their own.
Not about who's right
Not about who's wrong
It's about who's left
If an institutional outside sponsorship system works for an atheist so be it - I like A.A. myself
I personally do not understand how any organized religion could possibly accept the concept of every person choosing
his or her own conception of God. That is one reason why AA
works so well, and one reason why Bill W. leaves us with a stern warning about trying to start a new religion. This warning is found on page 232 in AA Comes of Age 1957 and on page 345 in Language of the Heart, April 1963 issue of the
AA Grapevine. Bill W. writes: "Speaking for Dr. Bob and
myself I would like to say that there has never been the
slightest intent, on his part or mine, of trying to found a new religious denomination. Dr. Bob held certain religious convictions, and so do I. This is, of course, the personal privilege of every AA member." Bill goes on to write: "Nothing, however, could be so unfortunate for AA's
future as an attempt to incorporate any of our personal
theological views into AA teaching, practice or tradition.
Were Dr. Bob still with us, I am positive he would agree
that we could never be too emphatic in this matter."
I believe that most religions help addicted members
to get well by using their own church beliefs. I have met
several of them. They don't label themselves as alcoholics,
but when they "witness", their stories reveal that they
fit the role. But these methods are very limited.
Alcoholics Anonymous offers any alcoholic a way out of
the alcoholic dilemma. All that is asked of the alcoholic
approaching us is a desire on his part to get well. There
is absolutely no other requirement for full membership in
Alcoholics Anonymous, written, implied or otherwise. No
member's religious beliefs should even/ever be an issue.
We have a technique for helping alcoholics which rarely
fails. As with other special things in life, if we do not
know the proper technique, and are unable or unwilling to learn it, we will seldom get the desired results. The successful approach to reaching a suffering alcoholic was left for us by Bill W. and Dr. Silkworth. It is basically the "cart before the horse idea" offerred to Bill by Dr. Silkworth in the spring of 1935 just prior to Bill's leaving for Akron, Ohio. Bill writes several times in our literature that without this advice, AA could never have been born. In a nutshell, it was this: Stop
preaching to suffering alcoholics. They want to get well
but can't swallow all the God Stuff. Just share your own
story (EXACTLY), what you were like and what happened. STOP
If we study and understand that part of our AA history,
Alcoholics Anonymous can be restored to an acceptable
rate of effectiveness. The success rate for 2010 is just
shameful. Only one group out of four could count ONE new
member for the whole year. (US and Canada) ANONYMOUS
I am early in sobriety and have a question with regards to religion in aa...I think the idea of using "higher power" is creative and allows folks from different religious backgrounds (or none at all) the ability to identify with a "God" of our understanding, however, although I am a Christian, I don't know how appropriate it is to recite "The Lord's Prayer" which is a Christian centered prayer and based on a sermon Christ gave to followers, at the close of meetings. The Serenity Prayer is one thing...God could be Higher Power, Jah, Yahweh, Buddha, etc., but I don't think it's fair to impose that prayer upon others if they are not of that faith. Please share your comments...that's how I'm learning and staying sober one day at a time (90 days on January 1st). Thanks, and I will 'keep coming back."
Hi guys & gals, I’m Jack!
I’m new to the forum and just saying hello.
OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG I have 7 years today...woot!!!! How could this have happened??? Oh yeah...It was the program of Alcoholics Anonymous as outlined in the Big Book! :)
WELL! There you go.It works!
I am still a kid at 15 years.
This program saved my life.
There is no other program equal to Alcoholics Anonymous!
WELL! There you go. It works! Thanks for that simple vital
message. Without any conditions such as, "It works if you work it, so work it you're worth it, I die if I don't work it, etc, etc, etc. Alcoholics Anonymous saved my life and made life very much worthwhile. I believe that Alcoholics
Anonymous has no equal yet. Dr. Silkworth and Bill W. left
us with a wonderful gift: A gadget, technique,device, method, which rarely fails the alcoholic who has a desire to get well. I am no longer a kid, but I had 15 years 26
years ago and am still sober and active in AA. Enjoy!!
Great job. Thank you for sharing.
I am grateful to be sober today thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous. I'm grateful for the 12 steps and that God is showing me how to live today in accordance with his will. I am grateful that I have a God of my understanding. I am grateful to be a student in AA. I am grateful for the AAGrapevine. I am grateful to be a member of AA today. --- grateful member of AA in the United States of America
With that much gratitude, you can be a real asset to our wonderful fellowship. Just don't ever lose it by picking up
the first drink. (a day at a time of course). I am still in awe of what Alcoholics Anonymous has done for me. I have heard that gratitude is an action word. We get sober by
grace and keep it by giving it away. We have struck a mother lode and keep it by mining it for the rest of our lives and giving away the entire product. We must study the history and learn what seems to work and what really works.
The start is understanding that we are a fellowship, not
just another TWELVE STEP PROGRAM. Then we can truly help others. ANONYMOUS
It will be two years tomorrow morning since i had a drink in my hand. Only about 6 hours to go, it is 2300hrs here in Australia. I am 45 and a single mother of a 2 year old. First child and finally not a drunk anymore. This fellowship and the people within it astound me every other day, but i guess i have come to realise that now the real world starts for me. I only ever bothered with looking through the bottom over a glass or bottle, so i never really got to see this planet the way it is, in all its magnificence and all its sorrow.I nowunderstand there cant be a utopia on the otherside of the beginning of sobriety. The world just is, whether it be pretty at the time or allowing me to find out that my son has been molested... My higher power gives the strength, and AA gives me the tools to deal with that and not get sh#@-faced over it, because that will not be any help to my son at all. There will always be somthing that will come up in the future that doesnt fit with the "rose cloured glasses" set, but i will stand up and be counted as one who is dealing with it sober and with the help of my higher power and my sponsor, my boy and I can enjoy our part of the universe, it can only get better. L. Australia
I hope you are doing well with another month on your belt. You are right that it just gets better. I've been visiting Australia for the past month biking around the Cairns area and want to say thanks very much for AA in Australia. It's nice to know that whereever I travel I can meet with people in AA. Keep coming back and let the fellowship grow. There isn't as many meetings as I'm used to, I hope more people join up soon in northern queensland.
Mary B from Canada
how do i find more acceptance of my present health conditions beset on me
There are a lot of people in program who have gotten sober only to be diagnosed with serious (sometimes terminal) illness. Some have found others who are going through similar experiences and have found enough support in that to get through whatever the problem is without drinking. But there are other support groups outside AA for other problems, whether it be for people with cancer, chronic pain, whatever. And there are many good (and bad) books available for help with an infinite variety of medical problems. C.S. Lewis wrote several books on how to reconcile his Christian faith with the daily problems in life, one specifically dealing with the problem of pain. And then there is John Donne's "Devotions" (a depressing read). I find the story of Ramakrishna's battle with throat cancer to be inspiring in terms of keeping the faith.
I always find that the surrender that takes place when I talk to my sponsor always brings unexpected results.
The way to find acceptance is to take the 12 steps as outlined in the first 164 pages of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The 'Welcome' page of the October Grapevine starts with the sentence, "Relapse can often be a part of recovery,....."
This psychobabble from some addictologist's book makes about as much sense as "Drinking can often be a part of sobriety." Too bad our meeting in print is getting away from carrying the AA message of recovery and going to the treatment industry message.
No one ever said I had to pick up a drink to have a slip / or relapse.
Relapse can often be a part of recovery. There are some
members who come to their first AA meeting and never drink
again. Some of us need a little more convincing. My last
relapse was the event that pushed me toward surrender. I
never want to forget that torture. Even Bill wrote that
it may be best to allow the prospective member to do
more research, after being offered AA, as I remember it.
I think I can safely say that all AA members are only one
drink away from being drunk again. I am deeply saddened
when someone starts drinking again, after a period of sobriety. Some do "come right back", but it seldom ends
there. After slipping it is easier to slip again. Especially
if we think we "got away with it". Alcohol may be just an
inert liquid, but alcoholism is indeed cunning, baffling,
and powerful. Sometimes it takes another beating by John
Barleycorn to really deflate the EGO at depth. ANONYMOUS
I have always admired the alcoholic that has gotten the program right off the bat and never relapsed. Unfortunatly I'm not that kind of alcoholic. I had to go back out a few times, but I did manage to "keep coming back" to listen where I went wrong. Like the book says, "... sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly..." I'm not proud of going back out, but I feel it did strengthen me each time I came back to the rooms with arrows in my butt. I also feel I can relate better with the guy that gets caught up in that revolving door, and maybe have a little more compassion for him, and help him get out of that routine. Maybe even better than a member that has never relapsed and that may have grown calloused or impatient for the relapser. We all have different strengths. The one who has never relapsed can defenitly help encourage some from ever relapsing, but we still need to remember the ones who have troubles finding that strength and make them feel comfortable to "never give up" and to always, "keep coming back".
It's interesting that there are several stories in the first 164 pages of the Big Book (including Bill's and Dr. Bob's) where a return to drinking is part of the person's recovery process. Perhaps you are listening too much to the opinions thrown around in meetings rather than reading the literature.
I find that now with all this treatment talk that is coming into our meeting (Which is my fault it I allow it) we have to be more vigilant in service to these treatment Centers. In our district we have not had a qualified C.P.C. sub-committee chair for the pass 8 years. Again that is our fault because the body has voted on personalities instead of principles. Thus this has been a vicious cycle that really hurts the Alcoholic who still suffers. As a fellowship we must continue to grow along spiritual lines and not treatment talk.
Hi ambassador Alchoholic: what I could never do for myself; My higher power who is Eternal in every way; loving in every way, patient in every way and longsuffering in every way.. Alchoholism is the opposite it is final, it is unloving, it teaches impatience, intolerance, it creates suffering in me and for others around me friend foe stranger alike, I hate the effects of alchohol what it did to my mind, body soul, weakened me to near death, caused decision making in my mind to be confused cloudy manipulative selfish and unwilling unopen dishonest. It took my Supreme being and today because I AM led me from my couch while reading His Word and the AA Book I've discovered all the rewards and made it through the steps yet again with nearly 3 yrs sobriety and able to overcome every temptaion intense as they are to take that first drink.. prayer, faith , Trust, and results.. my first AA meeting was 18 yrs old sent by a first seargent in the military.For me living a life without the spiritual which is Holy and doing right because it is right and keeping my human body free of all pollutants in which I would willing place into my body has meant a new life for me beginning at about 40 yrs old in which I wished I would have known at my beginning of AA which I do now.. instead of milk in my cereal in the mornings it was beer..and instead of restful sleep it was passing out, and instead of good nutrion it was overindulging at times and starving myself at others.. The encouragement message I have for overcoming the lie is The TRUTH... a mans personal testimony when told could be filled with lies because I can't verify it.. but a testimony in which was witnessed is believeable because it has history, those we hurt, are own, maybe letters written to others, nightmares and torments from the behaviors which are never remembered as we try to think about them but always come when least expected to ruin a good day.. I AM today sober and praise and am thankful that my Creator kept me one more day..thats all thanks for letting me share..
It took me 10 years to get 3 years of sobriety. During those 3 years I didn't go to meetings. Now that I'm back going to meetings, I get tongue tied when its my turn to share and I can't s ay anything but "glad to be here". During my first 7 years I shared up a storm and now nothing comes out. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can start sharing again. I feel like im in the spotlight when its time for me to share and its very uncomfortable.
Tulsasunflower, Tulsa, OK
Yes, I have found that sometimes sharing can be over rated. I seem to learn more if I put the cotton in my mouth instead of my ears. I also found that if I'm in a small group and I know I almost have to share before the end I find myself missing what everyone else says, because in my head I'm trying to come up with something to say. Today I try to relax, listen, learn, and if I do these things first and save my share for last, I usually have a few more things to relate to from the shares of other members.
Please reread your letter and maybe you'll see the connection For seven years you "shared up a storm' and couldn't stay sober. For three years you've been unable to share and haven't had a drink. Perhaps during the three sober years you've been listening and learning?
To quote the oldtimers at my early meetings, "First we learn to listen, then we listen to learn."
My own experience has shown that I've never learned anything while I was talking.
Thanks for returning to A.A. and giving us another chance.
As a previous writer said, maybe we will get it right this
time. I hope you find that we still have the world's
greatest coffee, a quality never before tasted. When I first came in I said very little for months. My name is
Joe and I am an alcoholic. I am a newcomer and I pass. It
was about two years before I was able to speak at a
meeting as a speaker. My suggestion is to just tell us
who you are and whether you consider yourself an alcoholic.
You do not even have to state your name, but if you don't,
someone will yell "who are you", so it is easier to just give your first name initially. I believe that listening
is far more important than talking. By listening carefully
to what others share, you help them. If you learn anything
that is a bonus. But we are here to help ourselves and
I believe more important to help others. If any member
makes any demands move away from them as politely as you can. I would say "WELCOME BACK", but that is a group
chant which I personally dispise. So thanks for returning.
I was lonely before AA and I was lonely for 9 years in AA because I wouldn't put myself out there and get to know others. I ran on the age old concept that had ruled my life forever, They should come to me. The other reason I didn't approach others was a huge amount of fear of people and especially possible rejection. The only thing that resulted from that behavior was I went back to my old friend "the bottle" and stayed out for over 3 years. When I was fortunate enough to hurt enough to come back to the rooms I knew that I simply could no afford to behave the same way. So, I reached out from the first day and let people know I needed help and the miracle was, help was there and has always been there no matter what has happened in my life.
The best thing I did to break the "I'm so lonely" pattern was took a commitment as a greeter at meetings. If nothing else, it made me talk to people and be pleasant about it too. :) The miracle is in getting to know others by name and short conversations, they also got to know me and friendship blossomed.
Your inquiry is very thoughtful. I know many sober AA atheists and they work the steps like anyone else. The key, of course, is working towards a God "of your own understanding."
A starting point (and an exercise my first sponsor had me do) is to list the areas where I am powerless - such as, the sunrise. :) I don't have to believe in a benevolent creator to recognize my humility before the great forces that drive our planet and the universe. From there, an atheist can form an opinion about the higher power from their own experience and heart - and have a meaningful experience with the steps and sobriety without feeling like they have to endorse beliefs that don't ring true for them.
I've also heard God described as "good orderly direction."
You gave a very good alternative for the atheist or, for that matter, anyone who wants additional "evidence" of a higher power.
In the August 2011 issue of Grapevine the author asks why there is so much fear and prejudice, specifically toward atheists and agnostics. I can only speak for myself. Because I don't know how to help them! The article clearly expresses the author's frustration of feeling, perhaps, inadequate if an AA member finds no Higher Power, and of course, everyone has the right to their opinions and sentiments. But I already knew how to complain when I got to the rooms of AA. Today, I'm learning to become a part of the solution.
With this thought in mind, it would have been more beneficial to suggest ways of working steps 2, 3 and 11 with an agnostic or atheist. I live in a rural area and am very aware of the faith beliefs held by most local citizens. I have encountered atheists and agnostics who desperately want to get sober yet I do not have a clue on how to help them work the "God Steps". Everyone who wants to gain sobriety has the right to the hand of AA. I would imagine that there are atheists and agnostics that are sponsored by those that do believe in a Higher Power. And I would imagine they achieve contented sobriety. But how does one go about guiding an agnostic or atheist through the steps? Are there resource materials? If so, I've not been able to find them. What has worked for you? What were the stumbling blocks and how did you get over them? I want to help; to give the same chance that has been so freely given to me, but I can't give away what I don't have. As it stands, I feel that the hand of AA that I hold out to these newcomers is empty.
Atheists claim there is no God, or that they don't believe in a god.
How can someone hate and or fear something that doesn't exist or that they believe doesn't exist?
I believe that true Atheist don't want to acknowledge that
there is anything greater then themselves...it's an EGO
issue!...Easing-God-Out that's what EGO stands for in A.A.
i feel for you! i too srtuggle with spirituality...however
i do belive in God...it is with-in every man,women,and child
that is mentioned in our Big-Book...i don't know how i know
that but i do...i have had many spiritual things happen to
me that i have no answer for! i have gone back to drinking
a few times over the years in A.A. since 1987 i should have
been dead by now and i'm not!! try to act as if there is a God talk to it and tell him you don't belive...and would
he help you too!!!try it what have you got to loose!!!
if its mentioned in the bb, it is necessarily true? i dont know any greater example of egomania than someone who claims knowledge of god.