- Just made 5 years.

Just made 5 years.




Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

Just made 5 years.

Postby swoodfield » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:09 am

Hey guys, I read your forum every once and awhile and am now writing to get some experience strength and hope regarding my state of mind as of now.
I recently picked up five years, and have been having a lot of mental trouble since then. I feel like my gas tank is running on empty spiritually, and I am at somewhat of loss about the whole issue.
My sponsor of about a year and a half is moving this week, and I have found a new one within the last day, but we really having gotten into the nuts and bolts of this empty feeling I have had lately. Its been lasting on and off for about a month now and its really started to take a tole on my mind and serenity.
Heres what's going on. I feel like I am really struggling with Step One again, and the idea of drinking has been bouncing around in my head for the last week now, and I cannot seem to get rid of it for more than several hours. Its way in the back of my thoughts and its quite scary. I hear myself thinking the most insane and irrational plans and ideas. I continue to pray about the issue, but the willingness to do some serious work just does not feel like its there. I feel like my life has changed dramatically since I got sober, but I just don't feel like the obsession has been completely removed.
The last several weeks have been busy, I started school last week, helped my girlfriend move to her new apartment, worked, worked with sponsees, am trying to find a new job that I think I will like better, and a really good friend of mine just went back out and refuses to admit it, so I have been letting him live rent free in my head because of his dishonesty. I have been worn down in these last few days and haven't found much time to relax. I have maintained my three meetings a week that I commit to as well as keeping my prayers up. I looked up some relapse symptoms on the internet and its kinda scary to compare them to what's going on with me. Impatience, Self-Pity, Omnipotence, resentment,cockiness, expecting too much from others etc....
I spoke with my new sponsor tonight, and he says we are gonna re-visit some stuff with 6 and 7 and get it worked out.
All I know is that I am ready for some relief, and I got alittle tonight after the meeting. But I really am feeling like I'm on the edge, and wanted to put it into print and let the world know. Secrets kill, that I know. I just wish I was as fired up about sobriety as I used to be, I don't feel the fear I used to have about not-drinking and I want that fear back so badly. I don't want to be bored with Sobriety.

Thanks Guys and Gals
swoodfield
 
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Postby tim-one » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:29 am

Thank you for your honesty, brother. I needed to hear that this morning.

I agree with you that writing it out and saying it outloud to someone else is important. I've come to do that immediately when I notice one of those thoughts quietly scrolling across the back of my head.

"Did You hear me just think that, God" "Sure did. I'm tickled YOU noticed it, kid."

It sounds on the surface like you're doing the right things. I hear this from a lot of older guys where I hang out. My sponsor went out on me when I was on step 9 ... got a new sponsor the next day. My grand sponsor (first sponsor's sponsor) went back a few months later.

These guys are hot AAers. Always active, helpful, involved ... real Big Book thumpers. So solid. After much deliberation and counseling from their sober elders, they decided what happened was that they were so involved with feeding others they didn't pay enough attention to feeding themselves.

1.They unintentionally slacked up on steps 10, 11, and 12 daily.
2. They failed to express their weaknesses in meetings.
3. They lost track of their humility - "I got this thing down." big-shotism.
4. It's a general suggestion around here to re-do your stepwork every year with a different sponsor, taking a respit from sponsoring in the mean time. They hadn't done that for a couple of years.
5. While they had maintained their spiritual "rituals", they had still lost their attitude of dependence on their Higher Powers. Again, "I got this thing."

The group came up with some suggested remedies:

1. Become a newbie again - before they need a dry chip.
2. Back to the more menial service work - out of the limelight, back to humility.
3. Attend a couple of 3 day retreats - calm down, relax, pay attention to themselves, and just love the fellowship.
4. Rework the steps - back to the basics. Forget what they know and start from scratch.
5. Attend a "relapse prevention" group - I don't know if anyone else does this. It might be an idea from a rehab deal. But the AA groups I know of get real benefit from it. Small groups discussing daily life and how to handle specific situations (like yours) with a sober attitude. A problem is shared and feedback is given from the Big Book and practical ES&H from others.

Of course, the proof is in the time. I know the elders who did the counseling - real long timers with lots of mixed experience both staying sober and coming back in.

I'm inclined to think you're in a good place in that you reckognize what's going on and you're looking for pre-emptive remedies. Nice work, brother. For me, it's a good sign that I'm in touch with myself ... a little fear once in a while keeps me humble, focussed, and real; knowing that I AM an alcoholic and will never be anything else.

If feeling precarious doesn't convince you of step 1, I don't know, bro.

Again, thanks for sharing that with me. You helped me today. I don't need "boomerang ribbons" today.

Love,
Tim1
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:17 pm

swoodfield wrote:I feel like I am really struggling with Step One again, and the idea of drinking has been bouncing around in my head for the last week now, and I cannot seem to get rid of it for more than several hours.


Welcome to the site! Glad you're here and thank you for sharing! Your sharing helps all of us here, and will help those that haven't gotten here yet! :wink:

And, congrats on your five years!

Struggling with Step 1, as you've described it -- for me, would be heavy 911 terror alert for me! I would call out all resources and immediately get focused on Step One! This is dangerous biz at any age of sobriety -- and experimentation could be fatal, or even worse. What's worse than dying? Living half-dead, in a situation of no hope for a change for the better, unable to live comfortably and unable to die.

Most AA's that drink again after five years of sobriety -- never make it back. And, the few that do are very few. Newcomers often come in and go out and in and out.

I've gone through some times in sobriety that are similar to what you're experiencing. So, I really do understand, and I have the highest and best wishes for you!

Remember, the only sober alcoholics that drink again -- are sober alcoholics that forget that it's not alright to drink again.

First things first.

Dallas
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Postby gunner48 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:24 pm

When I first came to AA back in 1988 I went to alot of meetings, didn't do any of the work required of a Alcoholic of my nature. Stayed dry for a time, had a most profound experience (The only thing I have ever experienced that is worst than active drinking is UNTREATED ALCOHOLISM). My mind racing, causing unlimited harm to those about me, unable to sleep, going into isolation, total confusion. I made a decision in August of 1989 to let AA work for me. I started at the front of the book (forward to the first addition) and started reading 2 pages a day trying to understand what the book was saying to me and taking any action called for. My sponsor never ever ever asked me to do anything that was not outlined in our Big Book. Read it, understand it and do it.
The results was that in 90 days I had worked the first 8 steps and was active in doing steps 9-12. My life slowed down, I was able to effectively work on the things that were blocking me from life itself. I'm real glad I didn't have to understand my unmanagability nor did I have to have a relationship with God before working these steps. I got those from working the steps
Today I still read 2 pages of the big book each day, I talk with at least 2 other alcoholics daily, I do not deney it if something is troubling me. AA worked in my life because I was willing to do the work required.

UNTREATED ALCOHOLISM still remains the worst thing I have ever gone through.

Peace and Love Gunner
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Postby swoodfield » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:25 pm

Just wanted to let you guys know that things went better today. And I am so grateful for the sound experience, strength, and hope that comes from Alcoholics Anonymous.

I have stepped up my meetings and plan to attend one every day through Friday. I did also touch on being in a bad spot in the meeting tonight, although I didn't provide nearly as much detail as I did here last night.

It's a scary place to be in my head right now. But you gentlemen helped so much, and reminded me what untreated Alcoholism can to do you.
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Postby Dallas » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:00 pm

Try to find yourself a newcomer to help. If you have trouble finding one, contact your local Central Office, Intergroup, or hotline... and volunteer to take calls. That will work miracles for you!

Also, see if there is a local treatment center or detox facility. You can find newcomers there that will be happy to see you! And, it will make you feel good.

If you can't do any of the above... make a connection at your local hospital... and offer to make yourself available to babysit the drunks that come in there.

The real key to happiness while sober -- for me, and what ALWAYS gets me through my tough times -- is to find a guy that's real fresh and new -- and spend some time with him.

When you see what horrible shape he's in -- it will make you feel really good that you have your problems and not his! :wink:

Dallas
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Postby MichalF » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:41 am

Nice to meet you here. Thank you for a sharing.
Mike
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