Hi Fia. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on putting a couple of days together! Seems to me that finding this board and posting shows a real strong interest in recovery.
By the time I was 18, I knew that alcohol was making me sick and miserable, and by the time I was 20 I was trying to quit. My first AA meeting was at 25. However, despite many years in and out of and around AA, I didn't "get it" or "it" didn't "get me" until I was 45 years old!
Looking back, it seems I was trapped in a profound inability to look and see outside myself. All I "knew" was that life with alcohol was awful, but life without alcohol was impossible. I bounced back and forth between those two miserable places for a very long time. The fact that there were many many others who had struggled with the very same thing and had found a way to live sober (and happy!) never penetrated through my self-centeredness or dysfunctional self-reliance. And I was way too afraid and full of mistrust to even begin to think about truly reaching out and asking for help. I assumed that help didn't exist. (God, it makes me sad just writing this.) It was only after I was completely shattered that the blinders fell away and I was able to begin to accept help and start to learn how to be a healthy human being through AA and the 12 Steps.
I hope you find three things inside yourself as soon as possible:
(1) The down-to-the-bones knowledge that alcohol simply does not work for you.
In terms of what I really wanted for myself -- some measure of happiness and a sense of well-being -- there is no going back. More alcohol, more drinking means only more of the same misery.
(2) That there is a true option to active alcoholism.
I was amazed when my eyes finally opened and I saw HOW MANY people just like me had found a way to live without drinking, and they were so much more happy and content than I ever was. (Yes, I had to ignore the grouchy ones!) That was my basis for hope.
(3) That if it worked for them, it can work for you.
For me, this was a matter of faith because all I knew was what I had known, which was active alcoholism. But having realized that there was no going back, and that others had found a way, I became extremely determined to learn and practice the Program and develop a new way of living based on the Steps. Desperation fueled my faith that if it worked for others, it could work for me. I spent many months in meetings thinking and saying "this #### better work", but I truly didn't know if it would for me. But there was no going back. And slowly, a sense of well-being, at first just the tiniest flickering flame, did alight in my belly, and over time it grew and became much stronger.
Find a great sponsor, go to more meetings than you can imagine, read the literature, work the Steps all day, every day. As others promised me, if you do that you will know a freedom and happiness you can't imagine.
By the way, as I found out, this #### DOES work!