Burning Desire to Share
That line helps remind me that though I may share a common disease and program of recovery with my AA brothers & sisters, that there may be other conditions we do not share in common. It helps me to be less judgmental and more understanding.
I probably could have been diagnosed with multiple conditions if I sobered up today instead of 28 years ago. Anxiety, depression, OCD, bulimia, ADD...During early sobriety and through the process of working the steps, I was able to name my conditions, especially the depression & anxiety, and slowly work through them. Thankfully, I was able to do so without medication.
The program of AA was effective for me in dealing with problems other than alcohol and I am truly grateful for that. However, I am in no position to judge someone else's condition. All I can do is share my experience honestly and with love.
Page 133 in the Big Book is the thing that finally got me to understand that AA is not the solution for every problem. I suffer from mental disorders that I would consider pretty grave when I'm suffering a black night of the soul or a completely fear driven day.
I do go to a psychologist and a psychiatrist. They both know that I am a sober alcoholic but they exclusively treat my mental disorders, not my alcoholism.
I don't make a secret of my mental disorders in meeting because I know that there are others that may be present that are also suffering, but maybe suffering in silence.
In all of this, what I have found is that the doctors help keep me sane enough to be able to be a member of AA, keep a handle on my emotional swings (mostly depression and anxiety) and let AA do the rest. AA has taugh me how to be a completely different person through the process of ego-deflation, working the steps (getting rid of those dark secrets being a big one for me) and learning to ask others for help instead of trying to do everything on my own.
I would not consider myself damaged or dangerous, just a little broken and trying my best to keep it all together. Isn't that what every alcoholic in AA is trying to do? I just have a few extra issues and am active in seeking extra help to handle those issues.
I had a lot of grave mental disorders pretty much my whole life including anxiety, depression, and ADHD. However after I did the steps like 4,5,6,7 I lost all anxiety and depression. I don't suffer anymore, which is a blessing. This didn't happen overnight, but its possible. my higher power took it away, and has taken away things that were destroying my life.
I don't say this to mock you, I say this because I know that there is hope. If you want more help, buy the book called, "Hope and Help for Your Nerves," by Dr. Claire Seekes. life does get better, just keep working hard and you will get it.
Thank you for sharing. Like you, I too have, extra issues such as you describe. I am slowly finding the path God wants me to take and listening carefully for his will and not my own. I was made to understand that if I believe I can be a vessel of God's love, power and way, my fellows are that as well. I am working on trust and emotional issues so I can better serve and strengthen what is pure and good in every way. I also believe that there is reflection of God in everything and everyone. I just need to act upon his spirit's guidance in my life and trust God's plan It will not happen overnight but I do know it will happen for someone or something that requires God's attention and I am happy to be a part of that process. I wish you well and have hope for you on your spiritual journey.
".... he or she has a ligament motive ....."
"ligament - definition of ligament by the Free Online Dictionary ...
Anatomy A sheet or band of tough, fibrous tissue connecting bones or cartilages at a joint or supporting an organ. 2. A unifying or connecting tie or bond."
OK "legitimate" then.
336 words and you found a mistake.
Congratulations for zeroing in on the very heart of the matter.
Jim, You may be elderly, but you are quick. My comment
will be that we ought never announce up front that any
member might be incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. We who are
here may need to know that, but should we tell that to
the newcomer? I am convinced that HIWs needs to be returned
to Chapter Five where Bill placed it. ANONYMOUS
Trust me. If you have to date, date with AA friends, AA fellowship. The winners. They are the true friends to date. Life will be changed. Involve yourself with AA activities, do service in the group. Serve tea, coffee. Welcome new comer. Wipe out his sweat with your T-shirt. Share your life story with him. Listen to him with compassion. The false dependency will disappear.
Love and hugs
Seriously, are saying this dating stuff just to hook up with someone? There's a time and place for everything and the rooms are not a place to find a date. I did this once, and the person went out and drank, and I left. The second person drank only a few days after I dated for a few days. so life lesson learned for me. Don't be a dunce like me because it hurts, especially when the person may die.
You shared, "Trust me. If you have to date, date with AA friends, AA fellowship. The winners. They are the true friends to date." To me, this is awful advice. My suggestion would be to focus on your recovery in AA and to avoid dating any addict period. Because when that cute cuddly person relapses you will loose all your belongings, your computers, your electronics, your credit cards, etc. A person in relapse will do anything to get to their next drink. You've just become nothing but a means to end for someone else. I see it all the time in the rooms. For a few moments of pleasure people in the rooms throw their whole lives away. Once you get healthy enough to date, look for someone outside the rooms. I came in to AA to learn how to not pick up the first drink; not to learn how to pick up women. The rooms are full of sick damaged people with deep dark secrets and traumas pretending to be sober. The rooms are our medicine not our playgrounds with feel good toys. Real recovery is outside the rooms.
you wrote "The rooms are full of sick damaged people with deep dark secrets and traumas pretending to be sober."
Actually, we are sober. Now we are trying to get mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Why were you expecting something else?
You said, "Actually, we are sober. Now we are trying to get mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Why were you expecting something else?" Well, that's my point. People searching for salvation from their misery is not the healthiest place to look for dates. I come to AA for my alcoholism and not my social outlet. If you find comfort with the field of damaged people great. I rather spend time outside the rooms with the company of healthy people. To me, many people in the rooms have a narcissistic element to their recovery. I've met the most selfish-self-centered people in the rooms that think the world should stop and give them a medal because they quite drinking. People should spend the time in the rooms putting their hands out to the newcomer instead of chasing dates and making plans to go bowling. The rooms are big enough for you and me. I don't have to agree with your opinions and you are free to delete mine anytime you like. Live and Let Live
Alcoholics Anonymous ought not advertise or promote in any way. Why would we need to promote
the gift of a new life for relief of suffering. Most of the world today has heard of A.A. What
they have heard about us may keep suffering alcoholics from approaching us. That image has to
change if we are ever going to return to an acceptable rate of effectiveness. We can change it
if we begin now. In a few more decades it may be too late. It may already be too late, but we
have to try.
Our leaders seem to think that we need to spend more money. The reversals which will restore
A.A. will not cost us any cash. A few simple changes can head us in the right direction. Stop
all chanting at all A.A meetings and functions. Stop all "praying" at meetings. Pray elsewhere
on your own time. Simply open A.A. meetings with the Preamble and the serenity prayer. Close
meetings with the Lords Prayer, according to the dictates of the fully informed group conscience.
Bill W.'s Dear Russ letter offers an explanation of the use of the Lords Prayer. But the Group
must make the decision, not just a few members. The coercion to
join in the ring around the rosy circle has to end. Holding hands
has ruined the whole thing. Stop making a spectacle of the newcomer.
Stop allowing the newcomer to make a spectacle of himself/herself.
EGO deflation is vital. Delete today's role of sponsorship. The
real sponsor will reappear. We all come together in Alcoholics
Anonymous as complete equals. We must learn A.A.'s definition
of suggestion. Again, attraction, not promotion. Study that special
technique (method) of carrying the message, (which is the
responsibility of the A.A. GROUP). How could any suffering alcoholic
refuse the offer of a new life. We simply lay the tools at their
feet. Allow them complete freedom to pick them up. Don't tell them
if they don't pick them up they will die. Let the Big Book tell them
that. Allow John Barleycorn be the enforcer. These are only a few
of the blunders we have made over the past thirty years. ANONYMOUS
the only blunder I see is your comment about opening and closing with a prayer then saying stop praying at meetings! Only in AA will you read something so funny! Remember rule 62, don't take yourself too Damn seriously!
"Stop all praying" but open and close meetings with a prayer.
Makes perfect sense to me.
Stop all group prayer. An A.A. meeting is not a prayer group. The decision of how a group opens and closes its meetings ought to be made by the group's fully informed
group conscience. The kindergarten "ring around the rosy", holding hands in a circle has to cease. We began this
ritual around 1980 in the Northeast. How well has this
served us? Just one of our blunders. Dogma and distortion
have all but destroyed Alcoholics Anonymous. You might
say that spiritual pride has brought A.A. to its knees.
Many will remain in denial. I am grateful to see that
some members are waking up. ANONYMOUS
Regarding your new and improved AA (or will you call it AA Lite?). I hope you can exercise a little restraint. Seems like those who want to purify an organization sometimes get a little carried away by their success. Take the Puritans in Salem, Mass who became so pure that they ran up a body count that made America’s serial killers of the last two decades look like Boy Scouts.
Groups are free to develop their own format if it doesn't hurt AA as a whole. Some groups have formats heavy on the religious and ritual side and while other groups have formats without prayer and the god stuff. Ours is in the middle. We saved 15-20 minutes of the meeting by eliminating all the rituals and readings because our group grew so much and there wasn't enough time for people to share. Are you afraid of diversity in the rooms? Most people aren't. If a group has a different format then ours then this doesn't mean they are bringing down AA. We have to be flexible and AA is not fascist organization. Its hard to believe that at one time this was never an issue with members. In the current AA era there seems to be a radical element trying to protect and defend how AA used to be. And the funny thing is, AA was never like the fantasy picture of AA they are trying to defend. How weird is that?
All you need is a coffee pot and a church basement. As soon as word gets out that you’ve opened perfect AA without all the embarrassing, difficult, demanding, praying, and chanting detritus word will spread like wildfire and you’ll need your own personal general service office to take care of business.
I totally agree with you about the chanting-praying-holding hands in a circle (for those who wish ? ). It does make us look like a sect , worse in a convention where this circus is repeated over and over in a span of a few hours.
Quite the show for all the people we invite as guests , professionals and all.
This is sobriety? What about a moment of silence at the beginning and end of meetings?
Then we wonder why AA has not grown in the past 20 years or so in north america.
One day we also will have to really upgrade the Big Book .
I have been told that someone should not date during the first year of their sobriety. I am working on my first year again, but i have been single for well over a year and minus the last 4 months i was sober. I feel like i am ready for a relationship but am confused on how to go about that and where to look. I have tried online dating before but that hasnt worked out at all. And im just not sure how to go about this or if i should continue to choose not to date or any of that jaz...
What I'm about to say is my opinion. the reason why they say don't date the first year or two years is because the individual is sick. How can a sick person whom doesn't know who they are look for a date? When your looking for someone, ask yourself what do I want in a relationship? What am I looking for in a person that I want? What do I like, dislike, expect, don't expect, and boundaries? I learned the hard way that I can't depend on someone for happiness aka co-dependent. If I'm unhappy, it means there's something wrong with me. I've been in to many relationships before I found out that happiness had to come from within not what's out there.
hi Gg. I had 3 relationships in my first year of sobriety. After being sober for a little more than a year, I decided to try to do God's will with my love life, not my will. I am getting outside help for my relationship issues. Samuel
Getting sober with AA is a great opportunity to start a new life. I learned to socialize sober, dance sober, date sober, make love sober, ski sober, bike sober...basically, live life sober. The greatest thing was that for the first time ever, I could follow my heart because I was in touch with my heart. I worked at a ski resort for my first 10 years sober and had a blast. I took up bike riding, then racing, then building race courses and hosting races. It was a dream come true. Through all of these activities, I remained an active member of AA. It was my rock. I also made the best friends of my life - male and female. I met and hung out with healthy AA members and normys and eventually dated. These were the best relationships I'd ever had and I learned something from each one. Eventually, at 12 years sober, I met a gal in AA who became my wife. It's great having a spouse who understands and works the program. On top of that she is fit, fun and funny. A true gem. Thank God & AA for giving my new life.
Everyone says "Don't get involved in your first year," but then everyone does anyways. Just like are parents who said "Don't drink and smoke," while they were drinking and smoking in front of us. How about the people already in a relationship or the ones married? The important thing is to not pick up the first drink no matter what crazy fixes the desires have gotten us in to. If you are a man try and think with the head on your shoulders and take a lot of cold showers after meetings. If you are a woman ask another woman. I can't give advice on that one.
My experience in dating in AA is as follows.
A few quick flings during the first couple of years, with associated agony and ecstasy
A good marriage to a woman I met in AA who was in Alanson
Which lasted 14 years and finally fizzled
Then in my early fifties three dates over the next two years (seriously) that couldn’t have felt more awkward generating questions like you have now.
Meeting a wonderful lady through our mutual AA network
Resulting in twelve wonderful years of marriage so far.
Have seen many AA’s do the same with AA or non AA spouses, many with excellent outcomes, some not.
I think Dr Tebot’s characterization of untreated alcoholics as being self centered, impatient, and having a low tolerance for frustration is the perfect formula for bad relationships. AA’s twelve step program of recovery solves that. Just EXACTLY like we are promised.
You follow the recipe, you get the cake.
Date with AA friends. Have their Cell numbers. Stay in touch with AA friends. They are great souls. They have the capacity to change life.
Love and hugs
What on earth is spiritual dating I'd like to know please reply.
"Spiritual Dating" in AA to me is an oxymoron. What exactly is "spiritual dating?" Who spiritual dates...monks? There is nothing spiritual when the loins are on fire. If you want spiritual dating then love yourself and follow goodness. Any form of dating is never spiritual because a truly spiritual person would not even have a need to date in the first place. Inventing philosophies and terms to disguise inner desires is never spiritual, but ego driven. I would recommend taking yourself to a movie alone. That's spiritual dating to me to use the ridiculous term.
My belief is the reason for say no new relationships during
you first year of sobriety is so we work on ourselves for a change. This, just as the rest of the program, is a suggestion not a rule or a law.
I got into a relationship at 5 months sober and did not handle things very well so I guess I was not ready.
If you think you are ready and you have spoken with your sponsor about it why don't you just take your time instead of going out and looking for a relationship. Let it come to you. Remember, people in the program often come with a lot of baggage and people outside of the program are often
involved in activities we "alcoholics of our type", shouldn't be involved in. What's the rush? Take it low and
slow and let your Higher Power put the right person in your life.
Greeting Gg! I too have battled with this relationship vs. no relationship. I first came into AA in July 2012. I remained sober for a little over 6 months with the help of my higher power, a sponsor, service, and going to meetings. Unfortunately, I lost the sponsor and did not find another, stopped going to as many meetings and drank again on January 3rd 2013. Thanks to my higher power I returned to AA the following day and picked up a white chip. I have been sober since (got a new sponsor and did the things I had been neglecting). I don't regret this experience as it taught me many lessons. Do you have a sponsor? My sponsor told me to just focus on myself for the first year. I had every intention of following this advice until the opportunity to date someone (in AA) presented itself. Being the alcoholic I am, I disregarded my sponsors advice and dated him anyway. This turned out to be a mistake. I thought I was ready but in fact I may have been looking for something to fill the void of alcohol and the loneliness that goes along with the first year of sobriety. I spoke with my sponsor about this and stayed honest with myself. I ended the relationship and it felt like a weight was lifted. For me, I still had a lot of work to do on me! Moreover, I found myself irritated by the demands and expectations of another person. As far as where to look? In my experience this is one to turn over to your higher power. It seems every time I look for someone to date, I either find the wrong person or it just doesn't happen. Pray and wait and before you know it the right person will come. AA has taught me that you may not always get what you want when you want it but your higher power has a plan for you. He/she may have other things in mind for you before you are fully ready for a relationship. I am sure if you keep working hard on your sobriety, a perfect an amazing person will come into your life...at just the right time. Be patient and remember it is your higher power's time line not your own. I hope this helps and it didn't sound all preachy!
SS (grateful recovering alcoholic)
Get yourself a puppy. Rose
To take that suggestion a bit further ... get a plant, if it doesn't
Die get a hamster. .. then the puppy. ... if all of the above survive more than a year then maybe you are ready for a relationship.
This was my sponsors advice to me. :)
Where are you with the steps?
I have been sober for just almost 3 months.Yesterday i drink one glass wine.I was schocked that i was so stupid and dronk a lot off water afterwards.Is this a relapse? Do i have picked up my 24 chip in AA?Who can answer me about this? Thanks
Go to step 2 and find the two words that sum up this step.
Why would you drink the poison koolaid anyway?
Yes. It is a relapse. If you knowingly picked up an alcoholic beverage and drank it then it is a relapse.
Maybe you weren't sober for 3 months, maybe you just had
a period of "not drinking" for 3 months.
Why don't you let this be an opportunity for you to show you
we alcoholics have truly lost our choice to drink or not drink and an alcoholic will always drink again unless they
surrender, admit to their innermost self that they are alcoholic, become willing, take action, work the program and remain teachable. If you do all the things people in the
program tell you to do you can get your alcoholism in remission, not have to drink again and only need to get sober one time! Good Luck.
Thanks for you reaction. I am for 6 years in AA but i can't "feel"the surrender and i think that's the reason that i many times relapsed.But i am still struggle with step one.I go the meetings and working my programm.I don't give up!
Greetings from a member off aa nederland
I stayed sober in the begining because I was told I would die if I drank again. I stayed sober for almost 21 years, one day at a time.
Than my husband & adult son left 7 said they were starting
over up north. I found a bottle in the house & drank it. I was hanging out in casinos where there was liquor. I was very overwhelmed with that lifestlye. They came home after 3 days.
I was very suicidal & was just put on lithium. I could have killed myself. That's when I got serious with Aa. I got a new sponser because mine disapeared. I started going to meetings again.
Just tell God, I can't you can, I will let you. I just came home from a bigbook meeting. They help. My sponser is treasurer there. I love AA now. I have 11 years again.
Write everything down that bothers you & talk to your sponser or at least God. Jesus is my helper. Trinity Broadcasting helps me also. I hope this helps. Lynn
A big problem with alcoholism is the unpredictable results of drinking. One of the reasons we think complete abstinence is required. A large percentage of inmates in jails and prisons were drunk or stoned when they got caught doing whatever it was that got them there. Do you suppose a single one of them predicted the outcome?
It’s troubling, though not uncommon, to see someone in relapse more concerned with how it looks than what it means. The good news is that there is a solution.
Thanks for reaction!
It's your business not mine whether you drink or not. AA recommends complete abstinence from alcohol. I have heard a number of members talk about the anguish they went through being dishonest about their sobriety date and finally got honest about it. Why go through the misery then fess up anyway?
When you call yourself stupid for drinking, you are calling several million of us the same. If you drink like I did, you have a disease that compels us to drink, smart or stupid, young or old, black, brown or white.
All of us have a good REASON to stay sober, AA provides a METHOD to achieve that. They are different.
Thanks for reaction.I know now that's not stupid! It's the disease who's tell me:pick up a drink. I know there are a several million of us/me who suffered from relapsing.
But i don't give up!
I have been clean off of heroin for 10 years. When I lost my Dad to Cancer, I relapsed and drank. Poor decision. I picked up 6 months and then relapsed again and drank. Then I went back to AA and have been sober for 9 months as of June 28th. I have a great sponsor and friend.
I've been sober for about a month and half. I'm 53 and have pain in my joints. This started about a week ago. I don't know if I've had it all along and alcohol was masking it, or if it is some type of withdrawal. I would be interested in hearing from others with a similar issue. Thanks, Julie
I'm 2 years sober and I'm 26 years old, and I have a lot of arthritis. Which is what you possibly have. Hard to say what you did to your body in all the years you drank. I've had more pain the last 2 years and learned to suck it up. I had seen myself in a wheelchair from terrible back pain, and last year I could barely walk because my foot hurt so bad. The doctor told me its arthritis, and it can spread everywhere in your body in different joints. I used to go in a closet at work and cry from the physical pain, but these 2 years of my life have been the best because of my sobriety. I don't have pain so much anymore because I keep active. Beleive it or not, but exercise has prevented a lot of joint pain.
You could just be old. I'm 55 and experience various pain levels everyday and I've been sober for many years. Honestly Julie, it could be any number of medical conditions. The body does weird things during withdrawal. The joints become dehydrated and full of uric acid crystals from alcohol abuse. Water, proper diet and exercise were the best medicines for me as well as, avoiding heavy caffeine drinking, processed foods and sugar. Have you had a physical exam? This would be an important thing to have done. We must take care of ourselves at this age. Mary
I finally got enough wear and tear to go to a orthopedic surgeon to check it out. Exam, x ray. Good to KNOW instead of having the committee that meets in my head forecasting doom. Gave me some tips on engaging in various work activities and prescribed the best non mood altering over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pills.
I've also had depression manifest itself as physical pain so bad that I thought I would never work again. I've dealt with it successfully too.
Welcome and good luck.
I can relate to your post. I was 55 when I showed up in the rooms of AA. In my case the joint pain showed up after the first 30 days and only lasted several months. It was suggested to me that I drink lots of water and very closely watch what I was eating.
It also helped me a great deal to start walking everyday. At first it was all I could do to walk a few blocks, but very quickly I was getting some relief. So in true alcoholic fashion, if a "little is good a lot is better" I started walking 30 miles a week and did that for the first couple of years. It help the joint pain and also decreased my waist size and improved my self-esteem.
Keep coming back, everything gets better with a solid program and without the alcohol.
I didn't sponsor for many years for many reasons, but I wanted to be sure I was armed with the facts of self. The good the bad and the ugly and indifferent. Now I have a few ladies on the go and one thing I dislike is when they call me and say how good things are going. ( I don't care how good they are going) My job is to help you work the steps use the principles work the traditions. I want to be able to tell you how to over come your character defects and become a useful member of society. I want to hear your bull so I can help you see the truth about yourself. I want to help you become humble and use God on a regular basis. I like to cut to the chase and be assertively nice about it.
Kamloops BC Canada