Help for alcoholics who want to achieve and maintain sobriety
I thought i would engage with you good folks again to maybe help bring some clarity to what has been a misrable and furthermore extremely testing time for me and more importantly, my sobriety!
Where do i start??? at this very moment in time i feel completly deflated,fearfull,dissillusioned well i could go on but me thinks you may get the picture!!
I am so very worried at the moment that i am getting further away from my programme and closer to a drink and believe you me that i dont want. I just dont seem to pull myself out of this blackhole i,m in at the moment and i am becoming more and more agitated with people in the fellowship due too a few incidents that has squashed a good deal of faith i have in it, including my sponsor.. I know its all my stuff but for the fore mentioned reasons i am finding it hard to humble myself in meetings.. A hell of a lot has happened recently including new home, job and many decisions. Balance, keeping it in the day and the wisdom to no the difference has been all very difficult to achieve and feel like i have been picked by the wave of life and swept away with it without me being able to sit back and work my programme and it all seems to have happened so quickly. All the signs are there for relapse but the my pride and ego and a good dose of resentments are stopping me from reaching out.. i'm not stupid i know its my illness talking to me but when your down there with it, boy its hard to fend off, cunning baffling and powerfull it certainly is!!!! I need a big dose of experience, strengh and hope my dear friends, please help me......
Thankyou and take good care Markyb..
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- Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 7:48 pm
- Location: bury st edmunds, United Kingdom
Hey MarkyB, good to hear from you.
When I say that "I understand" -- I hope that you'll know that I really do understand. I've been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt! I understand.
Rather than focusing on the problem -- I think you've made the right move, to come here, and to share with us, what's going on with you.
Naming the problem is the first step towards a recovery from any of our problems... and you've done that by letting us know that you have a problem.
Now, let's focus on the solution -- Step 2, and even if you don't believe it -- that's okay, because you wouldn't have reached out, if you didn't have at least a little bit of hope -- that there is a solution to your problem.
And, you've done a principle of Step 3, with the problem -- by reaching out for help.
For me, what I do next... is a little inventory on the people and the situation and the events and circumstances that are causing me discomfort.
I do that inventory -- the same way I did my 4th Step Inventory. If you're interested in seeing how I do that one -- go to the home page of this site: www.step12.com
and look for the link to the 4th Step work sheets.... and follow those instructions.
What I would do next... is what I do... I come here and spill my guts with it by sharing it. If you feel uncomfortable sharing it in the forum, you can always send any one of us a Private Message to share it... That's like a mini-5th-Step.
If that sounds interesting to you or if it appeals to you, let me know... and I'll definitely be here for you, for the remaining Steps to deal with the problem.
I understand. And, I understand, how dangerous the situation can be, when it involves either the program or members of the fellowship.
However..... there is a solution! And, it works. And, if there wasn't a solution or if it didn't work... I wouldn't be here to write this message to you! I would be a gone-er... a jumper... I would have jumped off the edge a long time ago! But, I didn't have to do that and I didn't have to drink over it... because there really is a solution that works!
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- Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA
I was in the place where you're at & it seemed my program flew out the window!
There was so much going on, so much to do, so many idiots, I had REAL problems!
I was so miserable that I finally called a man in the program (wanted to hide from the women!)
He told me, "Sounds like you're having a problem with the 1st 3 steps. Where's your powerlessness? Where's you Higher Power? Have you REALLY turned your life & will over to the care of God?"
It was a slap in the face!
I saw that I had to get back to basics. I had lost my clarity & perspective & my primary purpose. I went to a meeting & was drawn to a woman there, impressed by her honesty. I mustered the courage to ask her to sponsor me through the steps again.
It got me back on track & brought a freshness to my program that I sorely needed.
It works. It really does.
My heart & prayers are with you!
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- Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:03 pm
- Location: Denver Co
This is a familiar place for many of us as you can see. There is one thing I can gaurantee you.
In my experience, I have NEVER and I mean NEVER seen a man or woman go back to drinking while they were helping another alcoholic.
Yes using the principles as the folks here have mentioned, especially the inventory, these are things to get started.
But by golly my friend, never forget ACTION. The book says this, and buddy let me tell you what - whenever I come close to forgetting this, somebody always reminds me, which is on page 89 of the book.
"Practical expereince shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail."
I'll also throw out a couple of "sponsor type" questions. These are for you to reflect upon, not to answer online.
1. Do you remember at the very beginning, you agreed that you would go to any length to achieve victory over alcohol?
2. Do you remember when you realized "there was nothing left for us but to pick up the kit of spiritual tools laid down at our feet"? Do you remember how it feels when you don't have anything left? Do you remember that lonliness such as few have felt?
3. Do you remember what the book says, and what we constantly tell each other about others who give us resentments? Do you remember that they are sick people, just like you and me?
4. Do you remember what your primary purpose is? It's not a job, or a relationship, or material things, or getting in someone's face that get's you disturbed, or feeling sorry for yourself, or giving up on God or the fellowship. What actions are you taking to make sure that you are becoming fit for maximum service to God and those around you?
So Markyb, give some thought to these questions, and remember that alcoholics never start drinking because they helped too many alcoholics.
And also please remeber this. Just because I'm asking you these questions, that doesn't mean I haven't been where you been. I know from experience that picking up that first drink will not make those disturbing things go away for long. I found out what hell was when I needed to research this drinking habit a little bit more.
God bless always,
- Posts: 750
- Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm
- Location: Ohio
Had a "newcomers" meeting tonight. Always a shock to me that the thoughts internal and the sharing by others hits home - no matter how long I'm in this program.
Occurred to me tonight that for me - 3rd step is an issue w/ Page 151 - can't live with the expectation of not drinking, can't live with the memory of drinking. Leaves me thinking of drastic measures (like drinking, etc.)
For me - the problem has always been fear of powerlessness - over others treatment of me (more likely my reaction to what I perceive to be their treatment of me, and powerlessness over the "play" - wanting things to come off as I think they should either for my sense of fairness or for personal comfort and security etc.
I started drinking to overcome my discomfort with being around others. And continued drinking alone to overcome my discomfort with being around me. Only thing that helps is the program - by hearing others story of recovery - and using the tools to remember that most of what I feared turned out OK (most of what I feared never happened).
What if there really is a God? What if the current events when viewed 5 years from now seem like non-events in the context of finding peace and comfort (or 5 hours if the case be so)?
Was I ever really in control of others? Was what I wanted from them, or in material goods really going to change the way I feel? Was drinking really a fix for how I felt in the long run? (my story says NOT).
My thoughts generate my emotions, and my alcoholic mind almost ALWAYS run rampant creating a terrorism in my mind that is more creative and ugly than any I could imagine happening for someone else. Why - I don't know. But for me it's the core of the problem.
I'd suggest that the promises themselves are unequivocal. They don't say "If you find a good sponsor", or "If you work the program the right way". Faith itself is for me, working the program in the ugly, halting, often selfish way I do and believing that my efforts will somehow bring results and peace and gratitude for what I have; perhaps even relieve me of the burden of self - tortured by all the thoughts of what ain't happened yet; replacing them with dreams of what will be. As the song goes - "God blessed me once, and he can do it again".
I hope for you that reaching out, going to meetings (and forgiving what seem like obstacles to serenity), not drinking, and moving forward in life one step at a time will in (shortest possible time) transform into thoughts and emotions as described by the promises and the honest testaments from those who remain participants. Not just because I got it and you need it, but because your triumph adds to the context of my faith too.
God Bless and keep you. Keep on truckin' and don't ever, ever give up looking for the peace you seek.
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- Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:59 am
- Location: Dallas, TX
You're so right, you do not want to drink again. It took me a while to drag myself out of that pit of hell and come back to AA. I was absolutely miserable and drinking made me more miserable, felt guilty and full of remorse all the time too. Oh, and the RAGE...now I can do some raging!!
I was looking thru the big book for this...........
This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, "This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."
Ha! What a tall order when I'm ticked off at someone!! Thinking like that goes against every fiber of my being. I like to carry a resentment. Why should "I" grant them ANY pity when THEY'RE the ones who wronged me????? I'll tell you why, cuz I simply do not want to drink again.
So, there's this guy at the meeting that I go to who thinks he's king AA. He gets under my skin really bad. My back was hurting really bad a few of weeks ago so I grabbed one of the two chairs that were comfortable. Well, king AA said.."where are you going with that chair, that's MY chair?!?!". I wanted to DIE right then and there because he said it loud enough for the whole room to hear. I didn't know it was "his" chair. There was nothing in front of it to suggest someone was sitting there.
I left the meeting with that resentment. Over the next several days I avoided him like the plague. When he chaired I wouldn't raise my hand to help clean up after the meeting. When he shared I'd basically try my best to turn my back on him. I was mad.
Then I read that bit up there....................And I thought.......OH LORD, SURELY you do not want me to grant this man the same pity I would grant a sick friend. I balked at that cuz all I tried to do was sit down.
I did it anyway, Mark. When he shares and says I'm Mike, I'm an alcoholic I say..hi mike. I try to look at him when he does share even if I DO wanna smack him. LOL The past two times he has chaired a meeting I raised my hand to clean up. The resentment is slowly slipping away. I can't believe how that's working even tho I didn't want to work it. I wanted to hang tight to that daggum anger cuz I felt like it was justified because he embarrassed me in front of the whole group.
I FEEL better at the meeting now. Even tho I was trying to grant HIM the same pity I would grant a sick friend and be helpful to HIM, I was the one who was feeling better on the inside....
I know my experience with this man may sound juvenile to y'all but it was a big deal to me.
Take care, Mark, and please keep us posted as to how you're doing.
- Posts: 267
- Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:50 am
- Location: Wilmington NC
Well I sure am proud of you doing what you didn't want to do, then getting what you didn't expect to get - which was you feeling better on the inside. That's not a juvinile experience my friend, that's showing me how this deal works. In fact it is a VERY BIG DEAL, and you did a great job of communicating it to us all. You tell me your experience with that uncomfortable subject of resentments, and how it helps you - then it looks like a more attractive idea to me than slapping the fellow silly which he probably deserved.
Now if it were me, see, even though your experience is one that happened to me over and over again, I might have taken a path that wasn't as spiritual or polite. I might have kept the chair and said out loud something like "AA might save our butts, but AA don't save seats" and gone about my business. See that's my sometimes faulty "first thought" logic at work: It's far better to give a resentment than to get one.
See how I get my silly self into trouble? See when I got sober, I never turned in my smart@ss license, so I reserve the right to use it with discretion. You know somebody is needed to enforce Rule 62? I told that to my last girlfriend, and well she did not even crack a smile. She's not my girlfriend anymore either.
I wonder what happened?
Let me tell you my last experience with a "meeting person" type of resentment. This goes right along with what happened with you and that chair fellow, Julie. There was this secretary - a very attractive girl. And my mind went to work. Oh she thinks she is hot stuff! Look at her, acting all full of herself. She can't even read the opening comments without that secretary notebook. I started calling her the "president of AA" right to her face. You must sure be important carrying that briefcase and all - I know you're the president of AA. I got so fed up with her
that I almost quit going to that meeting. She was just obnoxious, and I couldn't stand her. And besides by acting so flippant and stuck on herself, she was chasing away newcomers.
Well now if that ain't a bad case of "alcologic", I don't know what is. I mean I had this girl all but written off going back out drinking again, and I only seen her twice. This other lady friend asked me the next day how was last nights meeting. I just started talking about "Miss Hot Shot" AA Secretary. The lady friend said "Sounds like a little bit of a resentment to me?" I said to myself - clearly not admitting this to her. Dang she's right. Here I am resenting this secretary.
Now this would be funny if I told you I only had a couple months or maybe a year sober. But friends, this was all but three months ago. See, today I woke up just as much of an alcoholic as I was in the beginning.
So you know what I did? Just what you did Julie. I started praying that resentment prayer. Then a month later, I'm at the same meeting, and that secretary girl gives the sweetest comment to the speaker that was from her heart. I looked around almost saying did I hear that right? Then "suddenly the thought crossed my mind" that I should walk up to her and give her a compliment about her comment. That came right from God, because I sure didn't want to tell her that. But darn my feet got to moving and I was in front of her reaching out my hand to shake hers before my mind switched from the resentment channel.
Now I'm face to face with her, looking her dead in the eye, and the only thing I could do to save face was to put on a cheesy grin and compliment her. My mouth opened and out comes "That sure was a nice comment you gave!" as if some stranger possessed my body. She lights up and smiles, then says "Awww. Thank you" in that blasted yuppie "buh-bye" sounding voice that grates my nerves into powdered iron.
What an attitude for someone who talks this AA stuff like me, huh?
Then the next week comes, and she makes another nice comment. I realized that that resentment and prayer, turned into me helping another alcoholic right in front of my stubborn nose. Now my first thought gets it right. Go up to her and compliment her again. If you want her to keep up the good comments that make the speaker feel good about themselves, then go up to her and reinforce her good behavior. Also in that "amazing" way you spoke about, Julie, I felt better too. So I did that, and what does she say? "Oh thank you, but I really liked your comment." Ah shucks now - what did I start?
Fast forward to today. I went to her meeting this week. As soon as she sees me, before the meeting starts, she practically runs up to me and greets me with a smile and a handshake. Now that is pretty remarkable considering I wanted to skin the girl alive and pour salt on her a few short months ago. Then the speaker of this weeks meeting was outstanding. And I watched the secretary. Her eyes were fixed on the speaker, and I could tell by her body language and the tears in her eyes, that she was deeply moved by the speaker's story. I could tell she was totally identifying with the speaker - and not a word was spoken. I watched. And buddy let me tell you what - I was impressed.
Then the secretary banged off a great comment, and it was like she did a triple shot of enthusiasm. She had confidence written all over her face. And she went through those secretary comments like a mother eagle looking for her young ones. The girl was pumped, her enthusiasm was beaming. That same "hot shot Miss AA" secretary that I was afraid she was going to chase newcomers away, somehow got transformed into an AA that had the magic power of "attraction". I know it wasn't there when I first saw this secretary!
Who did the changing? Was it me? Was it her? Was it both of us? No doubt it was God as we understand Him doing for us what we couldn't do for ourselves. For me, my attitude changed from resentment to admiration almost in the twinkling of an eye.
But the real blessing hit me last week when I talked with her, and she talked with me. We are becoming friends. This is the miracle and magic of one alcoholic helping out another alcoholic
. Here are two people, like the book says, would probably never meet or socialize together in a million years. I was almost determined to keep it that way. But somehow, through this program of recovery, we both discovered that we were both on that sinking ship, and we have been rescued and are in this together. What a powerful common bond that happens if I put "self" on hold and reach out to another alcoholic.
No lie Julie, yesterday I had a resentment. Today I have a new friend. Which one do you think I like better? Which one is easier to live with? Which one gives me the greatest benefit with the least amount of energy or effort? It's a hard feeling to beat when I walk into crowded room like that meeting, and there is a smiling face beaming at me - just happy to see me, Paul, the garden variety alcoholic, walk into the room. Wow! Another somebody happy that I'm around.
I don't think I'll ever tell her about the first impression I had about her, or my attitude. It's the lasting impression that counts anyway. Fortunately, that came about through the Eyes of a Higher Power, and not through my own vision.
Heya Julie - thanks for starting my engines today!
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- Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm
- Location: Ohio
Paul, you crack me up. It's better to give a resentment than to get one.....some are sicker than others, Paul!:wink: Thanx for sharing your story about the woman. I've learned a lot thru your sharing. And now I know why you call yourself garden variety, I thought you liked garending. LOL...I'm so duh sometimes.
I probably would have been a smart@ss but I wasn't "that" sober. I was still in a fog and he shocked me when he said that. I've been a barber for almost 30 yrs so being a smart@ss comes easy for me.
I get so judgmental at meetings and I look down my nose at people too. One guy, Cornell, is in a Christian recovery house and he shares from the bible more than he does the big book but that's what keeps him sober today. I need to show tolerance to other people and their journeys. Then you get the ones who say Hi, I'm such and such and I'm an addict. That grates on my nerves too. The other night at a meeting I thought, gee, Julie, you used to say the same thing 24 yrs ago when you first came in. I was an addict, NA wasn't really that big around here yet. Instead I should of been thinking........it's all about us using mood and mind altering substances. It's about being sick and tired of being sick and tired. It's about hurting inside and the restlessness, irritability, and discontent we feel. It's about hurting inside and helping each other.
God is definitely working on my heart and in my life, I'm grateful for that today.
Takin' it a day at a time,
- Posts: 267
- Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:50 am
- Location: Wilmington NC
Hi all, and a big thanks to all your good advice.
Although i havn't quite yet regained my mojo!! i feel as though i am getting there and only because i have taken advise asked for help and started to put the hard yards in again, and the adage "Faith without works" is one i need tattood on the inside of my eyelids because this alchoholic tends to forget where my laziness in recovery can lead him too!!
Trouble is you see is that i suffer from poor me pity pot syndrome from time to time and think that by throwing a bit of self will at the situation will bring about better results
Thus giving into my illness and usually sending my head spiralling up my butt!!! The truth is, i have found recovery in these last few months probably the toughest yet and whats crazy about it is that my gratitude list should be growing. so many good things have happened and i have got to a point where i have gone full circle and i have everything back job,great new flat,family ect and i believe i have worked hard in my recovery to get this far but still this emptyness and fear still can be all encompassing at times and i have found it bloody hard!
I am secretary of a meeting in the week and we are listening to the Joe and Charlie tapes at the moment and last night we where sharing back on them and discussing H.O.W and i had to share that of late my spirituality had been suffering and that i had little of all three especially willingness and that i do love this programme when i,m working it and cuss it and feel misrable when i'm not!!!!!!!! and dont they say its a simple programme for complicated people
....... simple awnser to me is that this programme works, it does for me and many thousands, i see its miracles on a daily basis and have felt and been close enough to my higher power to feel its wonders and that keeps me coming back.
The only spanner in the works is me sometimes and thats why i have to get some help and be guided back to the right road and thats when this fellowship really works..
So again thanks for being there for me and ive awnswered my own question we CAN
take good care all, big hugs Markyb
- Posts: 13
- Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 7:48 pm
- Location: bury st edmunds, United Kingdom
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