Hi Julie, I hope today is going much better for you. Geoff gave you some good suggestions.
Julie wrote:Drinking didn't work for me but neither was just going to meetings. I finally pulled out those phone numbers and started calling,
I understand! I nearly died from not drinking and going to meetings. It wouldn't work for an alcoholic of my type (as I later learned). For me to achieve and maintain sobriety -- it would require more than going to meetings. And, I thank God, that I found the solution that would work.
Yesterday evening I visited with a good AA friend from the past that I haven't seen in a few years. I learned that he's been having some major health problems. Heart problems. Now, cancer. He was not my sponsor -- officially --
but he was one of the guys that helped me just as much or if not more than a sponsor would help. I identified with him as an alcoholic and as a person. He shared kindness, and love and friendship with me. He often talked to me in little one liners that it took me several years to figure out what he meant by them, and then he would share some simple ones -- that I could understand what he meant at the time that he said them. His name is Jim B., and he's one of the finest examples of A.A. that I have ever known.
Yesterday, Jim made the comment and a question of "what is a spiritual experience?" And, he made reference to the Steps, and particularly Step 12.
Here was his answer: "The first spiritual experience that I had was when I realized that God was doing for me -- what I could not do for myself."
To me, that was profound.
We have to take full responsibility and accountability for our own sobriety. It isn't a sponsors job to get us sober or keep us sober. They can't do that. If they could, and would -- we wouldn't need God. If a sponsor could keep us sober, or if meetings would keep us sober -- we wouldn't need God.
In my case -- God was helping me to stay sober. He must have been helping me to stay sober, I discovered, because I sure couldn't do it alone... but, I did have to do ALL THAT I COULD DO.
So, as God was helping me to stay sober -- I'm still an alcoholic. Right? So, I became very miserable, full of pain and misery, depression, restless, irritable, couldn't even finish a sentence when talking -- and that's what I was like sober.
I had three choices:
1. To return to drinking and find temporary comfort, and then die painfully drinking while I was very miserable, full of pain and misery, depression, restless, irritable, couldn't even finish a sentence.
2. To try and stay sober as long as I could and go to AA meetings and then die painfully drinking while I was very miserable, full of pain and misery, depression, restless, irritable, and not finish sentences.
3. Discover the real solution -- that God has made available through A.A. And, that solution is God's tools that He has provided to me -- in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
It is my responsibility to read the book, study the book, and pray that God will help me understand what I'm reading in the book -- and then ask someone who has read the book that understands what's in the book because "they've followed the instructions in the book"... "if I want what they have"... So, I need to be sure that I'm asking someone that has followed the instructions -- and is comfortable living sober, their life is working, and they are reasonably happy, joyous and free... while sober.
When I find those people... even now... just as in my beginning, I try to hang close with them. Keep in touch with them. Find out what they are doing that I might be able to do, also.
Even though God helps me to stay sober, and AA friends and sponsors help me, the bottomline is that I am responsible for my actions. And, my actions will either lead me closer to a drink or further away from a drink.
Hang in there. If you are waiting for "the miracle to happen" forget it. The miracle will not happen unless and not until you use the tools and resources that God has provided to you. There is no easier, softer, way. We HAVE TO WORK FOR IT. And, when we work for it... we trust God, clean house, help others... the miracles begin to happen. I call them miracles... because we can't produce them alone. We need God's help and God's tools and we need ALL of the other of God's children.
Everyone in AA is important. Everyone not in AA is important. We are important. If one of us is not important then none of us are important. If one of us is important -- then all of us is important. There is no most important person in any room any where. They are all most important.
It takes the entire package offered to us: The Steps, the program, the people, new and old, and God.
I wish you and all of you(s) the best.