What happens when you fail?

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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What happens when you fail?

Postby Dallas » Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:15 am

What happens when you fail?

Just because some of us failed in our first attempts at sobriety in AA, it doesn't mean that failure is a requirement for recovery!!!

What happens... when you fail to stay sober in AA?

The can only way I can answer that question, is if it is reworded, to read “What happened to me... when I failed to stay sober in AA?â€

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Postby Tim » Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:59 pm

I wandered into my first AA meeting on the 50th anniversary of AA's founding. It was an important introduction to AA. I needed sobriety, but I was not yet ready for it. What brought me back later was an attraction to AA. I had no idea if or how it could work for me, but I was attracted to the people in AA. I became willing to listen to them, to follow their suggestions and to give sobriety a try because they were an example to me that AA worked for them and might work for me.

I look on each attempt at continuous sobriety until my last drink on June 17, 19__, as a step in the right direction. I was self-centered, emotionally immature, striving for perfection and running away from life. It took all those failed attempts at sobriety to bring me to the point where I was able to pronounce the words "powerless" and "unmanageable" with some meaure of conviction.

Sobriety is a gift that keeps on giving. I am blessed to be on the right road today.

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Postby Candy » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:27 am

I failed for ten years!!!! But I kept coming back. Today I'm sober for over a year, LEGAL now!!! Plus I'm out-a-jail, no holds and FREE TO DANCE BABY! Got a car. Got tags. Got insurance. And I'm gonna drive 'em crazy! I'm HAPPY!!!! and SOBER!!! Yeah, so what if I was in jail part of the time? You ever been to jail and tried to stay sober and clean? I did it! So can you! (just in case you're reading this from jail... I read the forums here in jail a couple of times but couldn't log in or post a message).

keep 'em coming back!


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Postby Serenity » Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:15 pm

Dallas wrote:What happens... when you fail to stay sober in AA?

Thanks for this topic Dallas.

I spent a couple of years bouncing in and out of AA doing sobriety on the installment plan. I was convinced that AA was not working for me and decided to quit trying. On my next binge alcohol nearly took my life and everything else with it. Once I hit bottom AGAIN I came back to AA for one last try. That is when I learned that "I had been failing to stay sober because I had been failing to work AA."

In my years of bouncing in and out of AA all I was doing was going to meetings and not drinking. I thought this was the program. Dont drink. Go to meetings. Get a sponsor. Get phone numbers. Call for help. Sound familiar? Sound easy? It is. It is one of the easier softer ways and it did not work for me.

After my last re-entry :oops: my new sponsor showed me the big book and said "This is what you have failed to do." My sponsor was right.

Peace, Love and Sobriety to you all!


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Plan of recovery described in the book

Postby Charlie M. » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:02 pm

Thank you for your message Serenity. I relate and I identify with you.

I was sober in A.A. for seven years and did not even realize that the actual recovery plan of A.A. is described in the Big Book.

Someone gave me a cassette tape with a talk by Dallas B., where he pointed out that the very first page of "The Doctor's Opinion" states,

"We of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the reader will be interested in the medical estimate of the plan of recovery described in this book.

Wow! That blew my old ideas about A.A. right through the window! I had been under the impression that the Big Book just contained "suggestions" on how to stay sober. I did not know that there was an "official A.A. Plan of Recovery" that was designed to keep an alcoholic sober and I had been to hundreds of A.A. meetings and read all of the A.A. books.

It makes me wonder how I staid sober and where my head was at for the seven years! Now my sobriety is more than being physically sober. I am now recovering and treating my disease. My mental attitude has improved 1000% percent. I now know what it means to be happy and at peace with myself. I no longer need medication to treat my depression and my depression is gone. I no longer have anxiety attacks. I have energy that I never had before. I can't believe the difference in my life now compared to what it was before.

Thank you for the help Dallas. I thank God and I thank A.A. for my life and my sobriety today.


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AA screwed up my drinking...

Postby toddmtn » Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:47 pm

This is not the first time I heard of or thought of this concept.

I first came into the program when I was 26, 27 years ago. I got a yuppie for a sponsor. We worked steps 1 2 3 and 12 together. No inventory or any of the other ego-leveling steps I needed to stay quit. Somehow, 1,2,3 and 12 were enough to keep me around the program for 3 years. I got married then (1st time)...now I had a new higher power. Though I stressed that I was alcoholic and could not drink, we shared a 6-pack with no backlash. I drank 4, she drank 2 and that was that. We went to dinner a couple of days later with her cousins in Denver and I was in on a couple of carafs of red wine...again, no backlash. That was it. Controlled drinking was working...so I thought. Then, when I got back to my home town, I bought a bottle of crown royal, and I was off and running again for 7 more years. THE ENTIRE TIME, I KNEW I DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THIS ANY MORE if I didn't want to. Problem was, I wanted to!! The long and short of that was that I was not D-O-N-E. I also know this is a progressive disease, and I picked up not where I'd left off 3 years prior, but I dove back in with a readily advanced vigor!! My drug of choice has always been MORE, but alcohol is always the gatekeeper for me. My periodic bout lasted another 7 years...culminating in a REAL moment of clarity ...that being, I heard a small voice saying 'when is this **** gonna end...? ...When is it EVER gonna end? Like Bill W., I was going to join that endless procession of sots that had gone on before me. I saw this happening. A small, firm voice told me 'You can go back to AA.' (I have learned to recognize that little voice now.) The committee in my head immediately responded with 'No you can't...they'll all laugh at you!' or 'It's too late for you!' and other crippling thoughts. But the small voice prevailed, and I crawled back in here...to AA...on my knees. I WAS willing to go to ANY lengths to stop this nightmare. I really was!! This time, I picked a sponsor who scared the **** outta me...He took me thru ALL the steps this time in about 6 months. I was too ready! I've been back now for over 17 years. I celebrate 18 next month. This program has not only showed me how not to drink, but how not to drug, and further...how to LIVE. I still hit 1-2 day depressions and such, but they only come once a month or so nowadays. I am happy at least 95% of the time...and I accept things so much faster than I used to!! Life Is Good!

Happy 20th birthday Dallas, btw...

...Todd :!:

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Postby Dallas » Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:29 pm

Wow Todd!!! Thanks for that awesome sharing! I felt just like I was in a meeting sitting right up front listening to you share! That seems to happen when people share the language of the heart from right down deep in their gut and their soul! Very moving experience for me! I hope to read more from you. And, thanks for the happy wishes! I can always use those!

Keep coming back! You've got lots to share and I'm sure that many people who come to this site would also welcome hearing more from you!


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Postby Dallas » Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:24 am

What happens when you fail?

I just kept coming back and finally figured out that I was doing it backwards... made some changes, and haven't had a drink since!

What was causing me the most problems was I was spending more time on trying to figure out how not to have the next drink... rather than figuring out what I needed to change so that I could focus on living sober.

There's a big difference in thinking about not having the next drink and thinking about living sober.

Thinking was 99.9% of my problem. If I spend 99.9% of my efforts on the problem instead of on the solution -- naturally, I would attract more of the problem!

The great think about life - is that we can change what we're doing up until we're no longer able to change what we're doing!


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Postby catsup » Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:43 pm

wow what a wonderful series of posts. reading these stories about people's failings really has helped to get me thinking straighter.

the first time i got sober i was swept away with joy and excitement. A.A. was a new discovery and, in the beginning, i went to tons of meetings and connected with some great A.A.ers. it was a spiritual awakening for sure. i had sponsors but never seriously sunk my teeth into the steps. as time passed i went to fewer and fewer meetings. i used working in the addictions business as an excuse not to go to meetings at all, after a while. i was doomed and didn't realize it. finally, i left that work and in a year i was drinking again. i remember the delusion that i could have only two drinks in the evening. my relationship was breaking up and i moved and ended up on a binge that lasted for years. finally, i hit bottom again - my liver enzymes were off and my doc told me to not drink alcohol. it has been two weeks now and all i am using for support is this site. it is fairly easy for me to not drink at this point, but i know that challenges are ahead when summer comes. i guess part of me is almost planning the next drink when the summer cocktail invites start happening.

i think that the first time i went to A.A. and got sober it was a gift. this time i am hoping that i get myself back to meetings, in spite of my fear that "everyone will know." embarassment is a self-centered thing that can kill, in my case.

thank you all for sharing. this thread has had quite an impact on me.


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