How do you make the life change?

12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
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How do you make the life change?

Postby burton » Sun Dec 11, 2005 11:59 am

I know I am an alcoholic - but how do you make the decision to make the life change? Every where we go it's about cocktails - my husband is also a big drinker. Somewhere along the line though, I've lost the sense to say no or to stop before I am so drunk that I embarrass myself and my family. This weekend, it was my sisters wedding and my kids had to witness this event. I know I need to stop, but I'm afraid.

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Postby Dallas » Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:15 pm

Hey Burton,

Welcome to the forums at Glad you stopped by, and hope you'll consider sticking around with us for a while.

burton wrote:I know I need to stop, but I'm afraid

I sure do understand that problem!!!

Before I came to AA, I was so afraid that I would wake up sober, that I tried not to sleep for very long. What worked for me for a while, was I bought a dozen of those Big Ben type alarm clocks. I bought the wind up type, so that if the power went out, it wouldn't leave me at risk to be sober!!! I would set each clock to go off at 2 hours difference, so that they would wake me up every two hours and have a few drinks. You might want to try the Big Ben system that I used. It did work for a while for me and helped me keep drinking so I wouldn't face that fear of being sober.

I just knew it would be the end of the world, if I ever got sober. Some people have a hard time relating to this. Seems like only an alcoholic would understand... but, my life was horrible sober. I couldn't stand it. Besides being alcoholic, that's the major reason that I kept drinking. I was terrified that one day, by accident, I would wake up sober.... and I wouldn't be able to handle it.

I had been to an emergency room a few times... later, I discovered that it was always happening near the same time I was drinking. And, I landed in jail a few times. Nothing to do with drinking... but I was drinking before I got there. I mean, I wasn't drinking while I was driving. I was driving after I was drinking. I wasn't drinking during a fight or anything. But, people always seemed to pick a fight with me after I had been drinking!

Life sucked sober... and a bunch of unfortunate events kept happening to me and my life. Like, when my wife divorced me. The nerve she had!!! Sometimes, I only had a few too many drinks and didn't want to get arrested for driving again after drinking... so I didn't go home. She wasn't very understanding.

Besides, I was a really big and important business person. I had a big payroll and business to run. How would I ever go to a business luncheon and not drink with my clients and customers? They would think I had a drinking problem if I didn't drink. As long as I had a few drinks during the lunch, I could have the patience to put up with being with them, and having to be nice to them to get them to do business with me. Once in a while, some unfortunate thing would happen to me at the luncheon, that would have embarrassed me, like getting asked to leave the restaurant during lunch... but that wasn't as bad as having my customer think that I had a problem with alcohol and that was why I wasn't drinking.

The only time I had any peace, serenity, or happiness was after a few drinks. The times didn't last very long. But, at least it was a few minutes here and there of good times.

Then, the alcohol started causing me a problem. I had always been nice to alcohol, I couldn't see why it was turning against me, too!!! I started developing these shakes and involuntary movements of different parts of my body. The alcohol used to fix that for me... but, it stopped working. Then, my skin started turning a little yellow and some doc had the nerve to tell me that alcohol had something to do with it. He also tried to tell me that the pain I was having was because my liver was getting pretty damaged. He wasn't a very smart doctor, though. He thought that too, had something to do with my drinking.

I just reached a place in life where I knew that I would die without alcohol, and that I would also die with it. It would kill me not to drink, and it would kill me if I kept drinking.

For a while, it didn't bother me, that alcohol was going to kill me if I kept drinking it. That's because I was still having a few brief moments, here and there, of being able to at least think "well, someday it's going to get better for me." But, it never did get better while I was still drinking.

It was about 20 years ago that I first came to AA. And, with one look at the people in AA, I kind of felt like I'd rather be dead than to end up like them!!! So, I went back to drinking. And, it got worse. And, worse. And, worse. And, worse. That made me want to get sober... but, no matter how hard I tried... I couldn't get sober. Even went back to AA, and tried to get sober again... and that didn't even work. So, I was kind of screwed. Some people call it hopeless. I felt like, it was more like doomed!

Then, something happened. If this message wasn't already so long... I'd tell you about it. But, something happened, and then I went back to AA with a different attitude. And, some different thoughts. I did their deal, and still do it, and on November 14th, of this year, it was my 19th consecutive year of being completely, totally sober. No drinking, drugs, pills, pot, or anything.

I guess, in a way, I'm still afraid. I shouldn't be afraid, because if I keep doing the deal... I'll never drink again. But, the reason, I still have a little fear is... knowing me... it would be real easy to stop doing what I'm doing that keeps me away from the next drink. And, that's what scares me most now.

If just being physically sober was all that I got from this deal... it would be enough. But, I've gotten so much more!!! My life now is better than anything I ever imagined that it would be! I even know now, what real peace, happiness and joy are. And, I have it most all the time... not just for a few minutes at a time... like it was when I was still drinking.

Hope you keep coming back. You're welcome here all the time!!! Glad you're here.


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Postby burton » Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:19 pm

Thanks Dallas for your reply. I actually made it through my first event without a drink - my work Christmas Dinner. I was doubting that I could do it - but right before I left my daughter said, Mom, you look great - why don't you try drinking Sprite tonight. I totally embarrassed myself in front of her yet I've raised her to be such a great person she was not mad just concerned and offering her help. When I walked back through the door at 10:00pm she just stared at me until she figure out I had not been drinking - and then instead of going to her room and slamming the door, she sat with me to tell me about HER night.....It was a great way to go to bed - knowing I had made it and noone was angry with me. Except my husband, who is always angry with me. He would rather me be able to handle my drinking then to not drink at all. I've been trying to do that for years and I am at the point now where I know I have no choice left but to stop...I did not ever drink every day - which is how I would justify it - hey, come on now guys, I haven't had a drink in a week, so what if I got drunk - I work hard...or it was a Christmas Party, a know how it goes.....but the problem was when I did drink it was to get drunk - not to enjoy the drink and then I almost always get angry - and then the fights start.

Anyway - I'm glad I found you......

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Postby Angel » Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:31 am

Welcome Burton..My name is Angel and I am an Alcoholic/Addict. Congrats on making it thru without a drink.I just had a similar experience..I just came back from visiting my daughter in Conn. and all her million of friends. They're very sweet girls. We went out to a restaurant for a Christmas Party..They're were 12 of us, YIKES!! The alcohol was flying..we had a pre-party affair at my daughters house and they were all drinking wine. That didn't bother me much. Then we went to the restaurant, as we were waiting for our table, the booze started flying again. Again, that didn't bother me either. When we got to the table the girls ordered drinks, mostly wine. The girl across from me spilled her wine on the table (no big deal), until I started smelling it. The rest of the evening, all I could do is smell that wine and I wanted some so bad. There were many things I could of done, as I think about it now. I could of moved. I could of asked if they would clean the table better and maybe other things, but I didn't. That put me in a very dangerous situation. Well, I got through it (none of the girls got to drunk, except one but she made it home fine..Thank God) When I got back to my daughters, she wanted to go out with her friends to play pool..I said sure go ahead and when she left, she had about 4 bottles of wine in the house a couple of them were opened. But oddly enough, I didn't even think about them. I went to bed and read and went to sleep without giving it a thought...As Rusty would say "Miracles of Miracles" So, God was with me that night and for that I will be forever grateful.. Thanks for letting me share..Your Friend..Angel :D And Pls. "Don't Quit Before the Miracle Happens" a common A.A. slogan. :wink:

Rusty Zipper
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Postby Rusty Zipper » Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:56 am

hey Burton, welcome to Step12... there aint, much more i can say, that D & A have'nt touched on... when your ready, get a group, a sponser, and work the new life change... fasten ya seatbelt... cuz you in fo da ride of your life! welcome, and stick around... Da Zip :wink:

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