When everything else has failed...

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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When everything else has failed...

Postby Dallas » Sun Jun 03, 2007 1:08 am

When everything else has failed...

After I had returned to drinking in May of 1985, after being sober in A.A. for five months, I found it utterly impossible to get sober again. I tried everything. I was baffled why I could not just go back to attending A.A. meetings and get sober and stay sober! It was then, that the true meaning of the first Step made sense to me. "I was powerless over alcohol and could not manage to get sober and/or stay sober."

I would be sober when I left my home for the A.A. meeting, and by the time I got to the meeting -- I would be drunk. So, after about five months of trying to get sober by going to meetings -- I finally gave up.

I would sit alone in my apartment -- drinking and reading the Big Book, and feeling sorry for myself -- that I had been sober and could not get sober again.

While drinking and reading the Big Book (which I do not suggest for anyone!) -- I came across some ideas of some things that I thought I might be able to do -- so that I could at least stop feeling so guilty!

Below, I've included some of the page references from the book, that gave me the ideas that I tried, just in case you have tried everything else -- even A.A. -- like I had done -- and, you've been unable to stay sober.

Here is what I did:

I started showing up drunk at the A.A. Central Office, in Van Nuys, California -- sometime in the summer of 1986. I would go in and buy cases of Big Books -- and put them in the truck of my car, so that I could go pass them out to people who appeared to be as drunk as I was. (I suggest that you do this part different, than I did. See if you can get someone who is not drinking -- to drive you to the Central Office -- or else, you might get arrested for drinking and driving!)

If you try this -- you can do what I did, if they ask you "What's your name?" -- My answer was "I'm anonymous". And, when they asked, "Well, what's the name of your group, so that we can record the sale..." I replied "We're anonymous." And, when they asked me where my group met -- my answer was "We're anonymous, damn it! Is that a problem for you? Just sell me the damn Alcoholics Anonymous books!" -- And, it worked for me, just as easily as it will work for you.

Then, it didn't matter to me -- if I couldn't sit in an A.A. meeting sober. I stayed drunk and went out finding prospects who would take a book from me. (And, I did start to feel a little less useless and guilty... but, not much less).

My general approach was usually something like "Hey buddy? Got a minute? You kind of remind me of myself, and if you're like me -- you may be interested in getting sober. If you want to get sober -- take this book and read it, and then go to an A.A. meeting, get a sponsor, and do the stuff in the book -- and, whatever you do -- if you get sober -- don't start drinking again, or... you'll definitely end up like me! I was sober once in A.A. and now I can't get sober again. You only get one shot at it -- and if you screw up and start drinking again -- you'll be like me, and you won't be able to get sober."

Once in a while -- I was able to find someone who was desparate enough to take a book from me. I don't know if they read it or not -- but, I had hoped that they would read it and get sober, so that they could enjoy what I would never have another chance to enjoy -- which was sobriety.

I did that for a couple of months. I don't remember how many times I did it because I was usually, kind of drunk when I was doing it.

Anyway -- On November 14th, 1986 -- for some unknown (to me) reason I stumbled into a situation where I got a second chance at sobriety. I got on my knees (in broad daylight!) in the parking lot of a carwash -- and began begging and praying that, whoever the God was that was helping drunks to be sober in A.A. would help me.

To keep this story short -- I'll just end it with this. I haven't had a drink since that day, on November 14th, 1986. And, I believe -- that if I got a second chance at it -- you can, too!

I also believe -- that probably -- the reason that I've been able to stay sober -- is because I've made it a part of my life to keep doing, daily, what those page references below refer to -- in addition, to getting a sponsor, going to meetings, reading the book, praying and taking the 12 Steps.

Dallas B.

-- Here are the page references that I mentioned above --

"It is important for him to realize that your attempt to pass this on to him plays a vital part in your own recovery."
--Alcoholics Anonymous, Working with others - page 94

"In late 1934 I attended a patient who, though he had been a competent businessman of good earning capacity, was an alcoholic of a type I had come to regard as hopeless.

In the course of his third treatment he acquired certain ideas concerning a possible means of recovery. As part of his rehabilitation he commenced to present his conceptions to other alcoholics, impressing upon them that they must do likewise with still others. This has become the basis of a rapidly growing fellowship of these men and their families."

--Alcoholics Anonymous, Dr.'s Opinion, page xviii

"Finally he shook his head saying, “Something has happened to you I don’t understand. But you had better hang on to it. Anything is better than the way you were.â€

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Postby garden variety » Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:32 am

Wow Dallas!

That was a great story about how you got your second chance. If that dont beat all - buying them books and giving them to drunks while you was drunk. Then being a smart alex saying your all anonymous. Dang and doing that was just like you said in the book helping out another drunk - and it worked when everything else falied. Its like its proof that no matter how stupid stubborn or drunk we get - if we follow them simple rules this program is gonna work - sometimes sooner or later.

Thats really a beautiful story. I mean your a real died in the wool alcoholic and I could see myself feeling sorry for myself and doing the exact same thing if Id a thought of it. I could really identify. So you made my day! Thanks I appreciate you too.

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My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:25 am

When that sneakin' suspicion of thinkin' that I could use a drink--just for the relief of it ### really doesn't happen that much anymore, but I'd be dishonest if I said it never happens anymore)...if I 'think' about needin' a drink...what filters into my brain are a few simple questions:

Really...you need a drink? You need a hang-over? You need to be so sick you can't move? You need to keep drinkin'?--cuz...y'know--a drink never happens, stupid; You need liver disease? A heart-attack? A coffin? Wanna pick out the flowers now? Write your own epitaph? That says maybe--here she is--even had AA...still...here she is--with an arrow that points downward. Need that drink now? Answer--maybe--but NOT willing to face the rest of it...NOT willing to go back to that...NOT willing to erase all the good stuff's that's happened...and most importantly...NOT willing to pick up...have no desire...no honest desire...to pick up. I admit, it would be a relief, but that relief would last barely a fraction of a second, if that. Today...I'm able to project beyond that drink, and see--ironically--that the possibilites, as a result of that 1st drink, do, in fact...have an end. I know that the wording doesn't make sense, but, the meaning sure does ### ####. Being sober, that's a breeze for the most part...staying sober...now that takes a lot of work...but it's worth it.

Keep comin' back, kids,

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Postby Dallas » Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:04 am

Thank you, Paul. I appreciate you, too!

Anne --

When I used to think about drinking -- there were many times when I tried to think it through. And, during those times -- I did a lot of thinking!

I've heard other people say something like "replay the tape." My tape is broken. :oops: And, there seems to be blank spots on it!

Sometimes I've wondered... was how many times I was without the mental defense against the first drink... like it's mentioned in the Big Book. During those times... it would have been impossible for me to think it through.

That's what makes me powerless! :wink:

"Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective
mental defense against the first drink
. Except in a
few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can
provide such a defense. His defense must come from a
Higher Power
-- Alcoholics Anonymous, page 43

"The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure,
have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will
power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at
certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient
force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a
week or a month ago. We are without defense against the
first drink
-- Alcoholics Anonymous, page 24


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Postby anniemac » Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:16 pm

I tell ya, Dallas, you are just an amazing guy. What a great story that is. I'm glad you shared that with us.

As for the "think the drink through" ~ that expression, when said to a newcomer, is a big pet peeve of mine. If I had had the ability to think the drink through, back when I was still drinking but not wanting to be still drinking, then I would have had no need for A.A. Any time I attempted to think the drink through, all I ended up with were a bunch of rationalizations that weren't true: "it'll be different this time", "I'll just have one or two", etc.

However, I will say that now, thus far in sobriety, I have been able to think about the consequences. I don't know when I crossed that line to being able to think the drink through, or if I will always be able to successfully do so, but I'm figuring that so long as I am in fit spiritual condition then I have the resources to think it through. If I'm off the beam, though, and have not been maintaining my spiritual condition, then all bets are off and who knows what thoughts my head will come up with.

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Postby Dallas » Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:30 pm

I think it's important to do my part and take the actions and use my brains. Our book refers to being returned to sanity, and acting and thinking normally. It is important that I do all that I can do to participate in my recovery. I'm grateful that a Higher Power, through the 12 Steps, continues to do for me what I can't do for me during those "certain times" when I can't do for myself. :wink:


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