Burning Desire to Share
Congratulations! You are not just a proven alcoholic but show great progress in being an alcoholic well on your way to successful recovery. Your story and feelings are mirrored for many of us, no doubt - even I have to admit I'm not unique, darnit - but you, by being honest and getting it out there, have taken some of the power away from the very real impulse/craving/self-sabotage feeling that you have. Embrace that honesty! I can get caught up in what I "am supposed to say/think" as opposed to reflecting what's really going on. That's bad for me, as the very secret-keeping that I am prone to, is perpetuated.... The last secret of course, was that the bottle was hidden in car/golfbag/drawer etc al. So accept your progress and try to remember that "perfection" is the enemy of "good" for those of our mindsets. You have done good for 99 days. Keep it up, stay strong and continue being honest.
I hope this letter finds you well. You most certainly sound like you understand the phenomenon of craving our book describes. So that leaves you with the other 2 folds of this disease. The obsession that somehow, some way..... And the untreated spiritual condition. I don't know the type of meetings you landed in, but if your anything like me, it isn't one that that knew how to help me treat the later 2. I was lucky enough to finally be approached by someone in whom the problem had been solved. Who was properly armed with the facts about himself. An understanding was reached immediately. I have been here a couple of times. It appears my spiritual condition can go untreated for about 2 years before I crack, I've proved that to myself a couple of times. I sponsor a guy that can make it 2 weeks,he proves it to me every couple of weeks. Under the right conditions he can make it a couple months. Maybe your threshold is about three months. Maybe not. I pray that you find that person we've described and have yourself a profound alteration in your reaction to life.
I have been sober for 21 months on the 18th of this month! and I am having a moment right now about thinking of having a night of drinking! just for a night. Yes, I know that is out of the question for me but it happens to me as well. Those thoughts of my old life. I hate it and it doesnt happen often' but when it does , it tells me that I am in the danger zone! RED ALERT! that's why I am on this site right now and writing in responce to you! you see-your post helped me and in return I hope I can help you! before my 21 months of soberity, I was sober for 6 months and had that "Why not moment" and after 2 months of drinking more then I ever did before, I ended in detox to start my soberity all over and it was because of my thought"just one night" I now know to hit a meeting,read a book, call an aa member and change my toughts until this horrible thought passes and it will! these bad thoughts area reminder of the desease that we have and we can never let our guard down. My life is so much better now and to have a drink would end it in complete misery. Hang in there my strong and sober aa friend! together we can conquer this !
Thank you for your reply. It was comforting to see someone knowing what I was going through. I hate saying that my problems make me feel like drinking because that really isn't it. I want to drink because I want to drink. My problems are just icing on the cake. They just don't help the situation. I was at a meeting today and so many people were mentioning relapsing not once but multiple times and that is another fear that I am coming across because I just can't accept that right now. I just hope that the meetings and my strength keeps me sober. I will just continue the meetings and the use of this site as my tools. Thanks again.
But the seed was planted that night at your son's party. In my experience, when i'm around alcohol like that or when i joke about drinking, it awakes the craving in me. I start thinking about.
So i know for myself that i must avoid those people, places, and things, that remind my of drinking.
i am a year sober, thank god and this program. my sponsor and i discussed this very subject. go to page 100 and 101 to help with this way of thinking. it will help. peace
You have a lot of people depending on you, so please think
long and hard before taking that one first drink. You have
at least one child who is looking to you for support. Be there and be sober. Taking a drink would be the most
irresponsible thing you could do.
Many if not most of us have the desire to drink after
the pink cloud stage wears off. I thought of drinking
after about four months sober and again at about a year.
I am ever so glad that I did not drink. I found that
what helped me the most was finding another alcoholic
or alcoholics to try to help. Offer them a ride or
just lend an ear. Some members may urge you to "work
those steps", but do not let anyone cram the steps
down your throat. You have already done steps one, two
and three. I hope the meeting helped. ANONYMOUS
I don't feel like drinking today,but i am stressed out,due to resentments that i have against others. I was up most of the night tossing and turning,yelling out in anger at past and present hurts. Angry at those who i perceive as my enemies, cursing them in my heart and dreaming of revange.
I'd pray for them awhile and i'd curse them awhile.
But i am glad that i have a HIGHER POWER , whom i choose to call GOD, to help me out. So i don't feel nearly as alone.
Ira H., Albany,Ga
With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose!
What helped me was learning the step 4 inventory as described in the book alcoholics anonymous.
It taught me how to work through resentments,fear, and sex problems.
Then step 10 taught me how to stay current by taking inventory daily.
No wonder AA has been copied to the tune of about 180 12 step programs. we found the answer to sex,fear, and resentment defects
I have just completed a 90 & 90. In them 90 days i just listened. I just stated my name and that i am a alcoholic. I think that i will continue to do just that until i feel comfortable saying more.
Have you ever asked an alcoholic you are trying to
help: Are you ready yet? How many of us would be sober
today if we had waited until we admitted that
we are "ready". Our first work in helping a newcomer is to
help them to become ready. I believe it harms the newcomer's chance
of recovery to ask "Are you ready yet? Or to tell anyone
"call me when you are ready". The often heard statements
Oh, they are just not ready yet, or we'll be here whenever
you are ready, prevent many from ever seeking help in A.A.
The true method is just to share what happened to
me and end it there. No conditions at all. Thank them for their time and exit. ANONYMOUS
Attraction not Promotion. If they're attracted they will come around.
They may come around for many reasons. If we are not
attractive they may not stay. Anonymous
I have just completed a 90 - 90. For 90 days i just listened. And when it came my turn to share, i just stated my name and that i am an alcoholic.
I heard alot of good and helpful sharing, and i also heard some not so helpful sharing. But i learned from them all.
Sharing that i am an alcoholic, in itself, was helpful to me. The more i say it, the less ashamed i am of it. No, i don't go around bragging about it, and it's still shameful for me to admit to in public. But i don't get as offended when my past drinking history is brought up.
Good thinking...i have found that some newcomers at meetings speak way beyond experience.
Good thinking...i have found that some newcomers at meetings speak way beyond experience.
I feel the most lonely when i am feeling sorry for myself.This causes me to isolate myself from the rest of the group.
I feel lonely in aa sometimes myself. This is usually because i am a loner, and don't associate or inter-act with people too much.But that feeling is beginning to slip away, as i learn to be more accepting of myself and others around me.
I listen to the Grapevine as my meeting at the moment. I re recorded some of the shares onto my digital voice recorder and bring it with me when I shop. It helps me not to feel alone when I am running errands and keeping appointments. I also keep it with me in the kitchen so I can listen while I cook. I feel a part of the program wherever I go if I have my voice recorder with me. I also read these posts.
The outside sponsorship system is a lonely road as no human power can relive us as I watch may who miss the second step and rely on a personality instead of GOD. The outside system does seem to work for a while though.
Loneliness in a crowd only a Alcoholic understands wanna bees are party based people instead of principle based they love the club atmosphere.
Distinguish sharply, are you a party based person or principle based human being
Why do i go to AA? To stay sober or to adleast attempt to stay sober. I have been in and out of those rooms for years, staying sober for awhile, then going back out.
It's much harder for me to stay sober, than it is for the average Alcoholic, because of self-pity and grave emotional and mental disorders, that makes it almost impossible for me to work the steps right. Which makes it hard for me to hold down a steady job or feel comfortable around people.
But somehow i feel that things have changed. I feel hope arrising within me. Through my attempts at following the steps, i see that i'm the cause of most of my problems. Self-pity. Self hatred. Things that have become apart of my make up, since my youth til the present, have attempted to ruin my life and have caused me to be a door mat for the hurtful to walk upon.
So i go to AA to seek a better life through the fellowship of the meetings, and not to party.
It's proof that we are "ALL" beyond human aid only sponsored people are considered sicker than them as the outside system has to put down others to FEEL better tring to fill the void.
A guy rushes into a bar and says to the bartender " Bartender give me six shots of whiskey." The bartender sets up six shot glasses and fills them full. The guy drinks all six shots straight down. He says to the bartender "give me six more shots of whiskey" The bartender sets them up again and the guy proceeds to drink them straight down. About halfway through the bartender stops the guy and says "Hey buddy should you be drinking like that?" the guy pauses for a moment and says "Nah probably not, especially with what I got." The bartender says "Why what do you have?" The guy says "fifty cents."
About five and half years ago my mother, in her 90s, died as a result of a fire in my condo. My wife and I were out of our apartment and my Mom apparently left some food on the burner too long, grabbed the pan with a linen towel instead of a hot pad. The towel caught fire and she dropped it on the floor of the kitchen then tried to stomp the flames out. Her nightgown caught on fire giving her third degree burns on much of her body. The burn ward did all they could but she died a few days later.
We rushed to the hospital when we learned about the fire but my Mom was unconscious and stayed that way. That night when we went home there was a charred spot on the carpet like a police body outline where she had lay burning. If not for my sponsor and my Higher Power, that image would have driven me crazy. As my sponsor sagely advised me, "When you are in hell, keep walking." That's what I did. Thank you God!
What a scene! God and AA are amazing!
Just a twist on your sponsor's advice; I've heard it said like this, "when you're GOING THROUGH hell, keep walking. And if youre catching hell, dont hold on to it!
Sometime it can seem almost like we are passing through Hell right here now. By yielding our will and lives to God we have the promise he will see us through.
Last night, I had an overwhelming fear grip me of going back out and using after almost a year and a half of sobriety!
I immediately talked with several of my friends in my homegroup and they told me to take it easy that I was overwhelming myself with laundry, literature, and other things in my life.
So as a result of being woken up to reality, as a hard knox, my higher power worked through these individuals in a loving, and caring manner to bring me back to the basics: First things first, Easy Does It, and Let Go and Let God.
Sounds easier in principle form but if I want to stay sober that's what I have to do. Nothing! And I mean nothing here people is worth the risk of losing the precious gift of sobriety. Yes these are rough times today but learning to slow it down and treating ourselves good is important so I'm going to go to the library this afternoon and read! Yep. I'm taking care of myself from now on because I deserve it.
Thank HP you did the right thing! I too believe God works through people. They used to say " If you want to see God look behind a styrofoam cup"!
I have never heard this before. Never! They used to say: "There is a God and I'm not It. anonymous
When sponsors fail try A.A. as the Big Book say's it begins within PERSONAL wiliness not people willing !!!
Bill W. wrote in a grapevine article in the early 1960's: "Don't try to become a saint by next Thursday".
The statement was described as an admonition. I think
that could also mean a warning. Yet we tell the newcomer
and everyone at the meeting "That One is God, May you
find Him Now! The reading of "How It Works" at meetings
from the podium must stop, and MUST stop now! ANONYMOUS
Bill also wrote "Our chief responsibility to the newcomer is an adequate presentation of the program. If he does nothing or argues, we do nothing but maintain our own sobriety. If he starts to move ahead, even a little, with an open mind, we then break our necks to help in every way we can."
In my home group an adequate presentation to the newcomer is to read. The preamble, How it works, and the Twelve Traditions at the start of every meeting. YOU are not the most important person in the room. The newcomer is !!!!!
I dissagree and believe that "How It Works" needs to be read at the beginning of each meeting to give a newcomer a sence of what they will find in the literature and program. Just because God is mentioned and put out in hope that they find God is part of what we are suggested to do in our recovery. So why should we try to hide God when we know that as they read the AA literature it is filled with reference to finding God or Spirituality.
When I first sobered up and was reading the Big Book of AA in the chapter to "We the Agnostic" it says on pg46 "And it means, of course, that we are going to talk about God" and that night "I" also read "because without God it won't work." Now I have searched many editions of the Big Book since that night looking for those added words "because without God it won't work" that I read that night and have not found them in any edition.
I know today though that I needed to see those added words because I was on the road as an agnostic and without God I would not be sober today, without the spiritual I would have been doomed, God has done for me what I could not do for myself. I believe God added those words I saw because I needed to see them and it is a Spiritual program in AA, and it works better if I "Let go and Let God" be God!
Just my Opinion
How it works maybe the only thing usefully said rather than get a sponsor and if you don't you'll get drunk - I think I will stick with God and A.A.'s way of helping me introduce myself to him, thank you anyway.
I agree. I needed a POWER greater than myself, whom i could call GOD. Without HIM i wouldn't stand a chance. One day at a time, my HP keeps me sober.
So why should we try to hide God? Why did Bill W. place
How It Works in chapter five? If this were the first thing
a newcomer ought to be exposed to, it would have been chapter one, right in the beginning. In AACA page 159 and 160, Bill explains where he placed it and why. Reading HIW
at meetings from the podium is in direct contrast to Dr.
Silkworth's advice to Bill in the spring of 1935. Bill
writes many times that without this advice A.A. could never have been born. If we continue to ignore this advice Alcoholics Anonymous will eventually cease to exist. I know this is difficult to understand. But it can be understood
with a little or maybe a lot of research. ANONYMOUS
Good stuff. I think if God can perform the miracle of 2.1 million members of AA in 2011, that He can change 6 words in a book.
We had 2,489,541 A.A. members in 1992 according to Estimated Worldwide A.A. individual and Group Membership
numbers from GSO. That is close to 2.5 million. That was after 57 years of steady growth. For the past 20 years
we have been "spinning our wheels", churning. We are failing
most alcoholics approaching us today. We have forgotten how
to help them. Or we never learned the technique in the
first place. Like some of the other pleasurable things
in life, if we don't know the technique, and refuse to
listen and learn we will seldom get the desired results.
I believe that aa will help those who truly want help. Each of us must decide for ourselves what's more important, Quantity or Qaulity. Me personally, i believe that if aa helps one alcoholic stay sober, it has proven itself worth while.
"There are an estimated 1,384,699 AA members in the United States and Canada as-of December 31, 2011, this is the largest in history and up about 11,000 from the previous year. There are also 63,845 AA Groups in the United States and Canada. This is also the largest in history and 972 more than the previous year."
from Area Delegate, Gelong Tashi G., 62nd General Service Conference Report
By using the sentence "this is the largest in history"
you give the reader the impression that Alcoholics
Anonymous is doing just great. Are you really convinced
that an increase of 11,000 members for a whole year is
acceptable? I find it appalling. As a whole, who are
we helping? Basically just ourselves. The word is
churning. How can you be content with only one group
out of four gaining one new member in a year's time?
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to use you elyes if you are still even around as the answer is in the big book as the author discovered to share with others Alcoholics are BEYOND human power as the outsdie sponsor ship system inside A.A diverts them from A.A's facts right in front of our eyes. What is going on here?
"Are you really convinced that an increase of 11,000 members for a whole year is acceptable? I find it appalling."
"How can you be content with only one group out of four gaining one new member in a year's time?"
Personally, I don't think 30 per day is too bad.
Would you please tell me exactly where you found that 'one new member in a year' statistic? The only place I've ever seen it is in your posts.
In the 2011 FINAL REPORT (confidential) from The 61st
Annual Meeting of The General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, I find this information. We have
approximately 60,000 AA groups in the US and Canada. We
had a gain of 14,802 members in the year of 2010. That
appears to be one group out of four gaining one member
for the whole year. That would be about 40 per day.
That may look like AA is total success. But if we
have almost a million and a half members of Alcoholics
Anonymous, and our duty is to help other alcoholics,
is this the best we can do? I do not think it would
be too much to expect each AA group to attract and hold
one new member in a year's time.
As a strange religious cult, we are saving 30-40
alcoholics daily. Imagine how many could be saved if
we use the sledge hammer left for us by Dr. Silkworth
and Bill W. The closest definition of this approach
that I have found is on page 70 of A.A.C.A. Bill W.
writes: THIS WAS IT. This was (and still is) how to
carry the message. This was the missing link which
is again missing in today's AA.
Alcoholism is a strange illness. The solution is
more than a little strange. But that is the method,
technique, which rarely fails. Using this tried and
true method or technique, we can save the 30-40 per day
plus the millions we have pushed away by the way our
meetings today are conducted.
We can easily increase our membership a minimum of
100,000 each year, by making these changes (reversals)
at the group level. I won't even list them. They are
written all over the I-SAY FORUM. And these changes
will not cost us anything in real cash. The cost will
be giving up our spiritual pride and EGO. ANONYMOUS
An A.A. friend mentioned that at her rehab the first
day she was given a copy of the Big Book and 12&12 with
some other literature. I understand that almost a million
copies of Alcoholics Anonymous are sold by our GSO each
year. As a delegate you would know if that is true.
I believe that almost all of these books are placed
in the hands of recovering alcoholics, either by groups
or by institutions. I suppose many are bought by groups
for activities such as Big Book study. But in my locale
the red Big Book study edition is used by some groups.
These are not printed or sold by A.A. headquarters.
What is my point? Out of a million books sold we
gained 11,000 members. That figures out to a success
rate of 1.1%. I know this theory is full of holes, but
it is only one more indication that Alcoholics Anonymous
is becoming less and less effective. Some members may say
Oh, well, "Many are called but few are chosen." ANONYMOUS
Ask yourself WHY WOULD ANYONE LEAVE A.A ?
Question: Was the traditions of A.A. wrote because of the outside sponsorship system prying on people inside the fellowship?
A.A states real clearly greateter than "OURSELFS" "No human power"
Question: Does the outside system taken over the A.A. program?
Honest questions deserve honest answers watch out the sponsors ego is going to come out of it's tree.
Quote: "Out of a million books sold we gained 11,000 members. That figures out to a success rate of 1.1%. I know this theory is full of holes, but it is only one more indication that Alcoholics Anonymous is becoming less and less effective."
Full of holes? Only a net could have more holes.
At one of our local meetings everyone who attends is given a fifty-fifty ticket (free) and at the end of the meeting whoever holds the winning ticket is given a Big Book. In probably nine out of ten cases the book ends up in the hands of someone who has been court ordered to meetings.
At another local meeting anyone who identifies as a newcomer is given a Big Book.
Big Books are given to local libraries and to local middle and high schools.
Our local CPC committee gives Big Books to doctors and other professionals who come in contact with alcoholics, and I have personally given Big Books to local ministers.
You do all this service work, the time and money spent,
distributing a million Big Books. A.A. members all over
the world are tireless in trying to spread the word of
recovery. With all this work and money spent, only one
group out of four gained ONE new member in a whole year.
That is shameful, but it has been that rate for the past
four years. We have distorted A.A. at the group level.
Our effectiveness today is practically nil.
Sure, it is great that 11,000 alcoholic lives were
saved in 2011. It could/should/would be 111,000 annual increase at the very least.
I think it is just too shameful to admit that we are
failing so many. I know, they are just not ready. Our
job is to help them become ready. ANONYMOUS