Help for alcoholics who want to achieve and maintain sobriety
OK! SO, I met w/ my potential sponsor last night & it's a GO...
Turns out she also has an adopted daughter (my daughter's age range) and HER sobriety date is **Nov 1st **8 years ago!) Now how cool is that!?
We have the SAME sobriety date!
Anyway, we seem a grand match...She has never gone-back-out in her 8 Years and takes sobriety VERY seriously...
I'm a Happy SOBER Girl...and I'm 42!-- today is my bellie-button-birthday.
Last Night I had my SECOND in 12-Days-sobriety, Drinking Dream...BUT, I wouldn't/didn't drink ...& fought for my sobriety even in my dream ...
Am STILL VERY TIRED though...Sigh...more like EXHAUSTED!!!
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- Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:34 am
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Well congrats Anne Marie!
As long as you keep the same sobriety day as your sponsor... and she doesn't drink again... you'll never have to worry about those drinking dreams, again!!!
If you don't keep the same sobriety day as your sponsor... and you return drinking... I GUARANTEE YOU... your worse nightmares about drinking... will not only come true... they will be worse than the dreams!
How do I know that? Because I've been there and done that!
If you stay sober... and do what's necessary to live without alcohol... you won't have those dreams... as often.
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Way to go! It sounds like you found someone who you can really identify with. I have to tell you, after working with my sponsor for about 5 days, he has added so much to this process. In fact it would be impossible for me to view myself and my past actions fearlessly without his help. This journey is such a blessing, and to have someone to lead you..priceless.
On the sleeping thing, I am right there with you. Last night, I went to bed about 10. I have never needed more than about 6 hours sleep and sure enough, 3:30 rolls around and I am up. So I make myself go back to sleep. 4:00 and 5:00, same thing. But I need to be up by 6:00. Sure enough the next time I opened my eyes it was 6:25. Luckily I live close to church, because I was in the seat 6 minutes after I woke up!
Dreams. I haven't had drinking or using dreams yet, but I know they will come. They always do. I did have a dream that someone hijacked my computer remotely and I couldn't post here anymore. That one WAS scary.
But I am so glad that you are here and when you have one of those dreams that means that you are getting well. Keep it up! And I am glad that we're in similar stages of recovery. I'll keep telling my story, you keep telling yours. If one man or one woman sees what we write and gets hope from our stories, that is what it is all about
May Peace be with you.
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- Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:56 am
- Location: New Orleans
What a fabulous thread, ladies and gentlemen
...from beginning to present. Lots of food for thought, and action. Each and every one of you have helped me to stay sober. I am reminded by the newcomers (and congrats on the numbers of days)...that I don't want to go back there. The financial chaos that didn't go away when I drank (imagine that
), and trying to figure out ways around and over and under the mess
, the deception ### ####...of sugar coating the truth so that everything didn't look so bad ### of myself and the mess around #### internal and external insanity that alcohol did not stop or cure, nor was it a great hiding place. It was a case of full-blown self-destruction. The days&months that followed my last drink/drunk is both a blur, and unforgetable. The understanding of those strangers in AA side-swiped me. How could they know? How could they understand? They didn't know me (now, along with self-destruction...self-pity
). BUT...they did. They knew, because they'd been there
. The jitters went away, and, sleeping, and eating, and life (marriage, financial...well...money is what it is--you wither got it or you don't--you make it to spend it--you spend it to live)...but...for sure...everything balances out. I didn't know what sanity was...never mind the part of: God as I understand Him would restore us to sanity...what was sanity? Certainly was never in my world. God as I understand Him, indeed...had began to restore me to sanity...while I was trying to comprehend what sanity was. I began practicing the art of manipulation and deception when I was in grade 3. Alcohol was in abundance, and as much a part of life as getting dressed in the morning...in fact...it was a part of getting dressed in the end...but I grew up that way. Pouring the wine at occasions/gatherings...like a giant shiney trophy to a 4 year old. Eager to help clean the dinner table afterwords so that I could empty out who ever left theirs behind. I was an alcoholic by the time I was 10--at that age was the first time someone had denied me wine with dinner...that was a first, and I was insulted and outraged...but I didn't let that outrage out, I held it in seethingly, easy fix, though...just go a different direction and get some anyway.
In working my steps, I have recently come to realize that, there is one trait that seems to be a defect...that one is courtesy (consideration as Dallas puts it). I slowly dawned on me (like a stone boulder trying to seep in to this thick skull of mine), that I lack courtesy. Sure, manners are there when they are to be there...please&thank you, etc. But, common courtesy...I tend to fall short on. Ego and arrogance...if you fall asleep when you know you have an appointment coming up...I'm not going to wake you up
. The question is: why not? "I'm nobody's babysitter!"
....No...I'm not...however, I don't have to be so obstinate to the point where I lack courtesy, care, and consideration. This 'way' I have...only keeps the disease active, keeps the negative going 'round and 'round...and where negative is, positive is not. It's a wall, I guess? It's a reverberation of the hurts that were inflicted onto me, and it echoes the negative words of: "each man for himself", instead of...offering my will and life, and being a servant of God as I understand Him, and being open to do His will.
Sorry that I veered off the trail, there. I just wanted to share this. Keep putting those words up here, cuz I can't do this alone. Thanks for keeping me sober, and for reminding me that I don't want to go back to those days.
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- Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:11 am
- Location: alberta
Good to hear you. Courtesy has never been a character defect with me - it's the CONSCIOUS positive choice I make to overcome the defect. Meaness is the character defect which is hand in hand with self-centeredness which is hand in hand with egotism which is hand in hand with over-indulgence and the list goes on.
Courtesy is not the natural reaction for me - it has to be practiced and learned. The thing I'm learning about character defects and shortcomings is they don't have to go away forever. I humbly ask God to remove them only for today - they only need to be gone during the time I'm awake which is the time when I'm most dangerous. Then usually they're gone for the day and I get 100% of my 7th step prayer answered. Then I'm free from the bondage of self and I can make the choice to have courtesy. That is freedom for me.
About the "perfect first step", I was taught that for it to be perfect, I have to admit to my innermost self that I'm alcoholic and I no longer have a choice when it comes to drinking alcohol - if its there I can't leave the stuff alone. It says that in the book, too. So a first step that is not perfect is when I'm not being honest with my innermost self and think that somehow, someday, I will be able to drink again like normal people. Or as folks around here like to say, there's still "a giggle left in the bottle" which means I still think in my innermost self there is still a good time in drinking.
To use Dallas's example I would smell the smoke, hear people telling me hey your house is burning down, see the flames, and even catch afire, but in my innermost self I would think "its not going to burn me this time."
So with those things in mind, I agree with Carol that the first step has to be done perfectly - for me it has to be done each day because I can forget things like this if I don't get reminded enough.
Then of course like Dallas said, I'm still needing the Power to do what I can't do and that is stay stopped from drinking. That's where step 2 comes in. Each day after step one I do step two because I can only come to believe today. If I came to believe yesterday but I'm still powerless today, if I don't come to believe today then I'll be running on self-propulsion. They always say I can't stay sober on yesterday's actions. So for me I have to do step two each day, too.
I also do step 3 each day because I'm learning to trust God to be my Director for the day also. He is my Principal, I am His agent. That's what the book says. I always do much better when my will is under the care and direction of a Higher Power. You see I got a track record all over the state of Ohio that lets people know what happens when Paul's will is in charge.
You see my track record includes this peculiar label that some good folks give me - this label is "defendant". This name puts me against the good people like "Plaintiff number one" and "Plaintiff number two". Sometimes the "Plaintiff" is the whole darn State of Ohio! Imagine that - everybody in the state is making me defend "my will" that happens to start directing things if I pick up a drink - or if I don't do the first step perfect.
You see, then in the state of Ohio, in three different counties, the whole world can take a look at the track record "my will" has made for me. All the good people of Ohio are allowed to see for themselves the "public record" of what happens when "my will" is in the director's seat. And that is not a pretty sight I tell you what!
So that's why I do the 3rd step every day also. But this is just my take on life. I know others who stay sober differently. For me, I'm not taking any chances - this works and I'll stick with it.
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- Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm
- Location: Ohio
Here's how I practice the first 3 steps every day:
When I wake up, I say "Hi God, it's me, Carol, the alcoholic (Step 1). I'm gonna need your help today (step 2). Your will, not mine (step 3)".
As you can see, I'm not big on formality or rote memorization of prayers -- but this works for me, and keeps it fresh in my mind throughout the day.
I agree that these steps need to be done every day, along with 10, 11 and 12-- but those can be discussed in another thread!
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- Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 8:31 pm
Thanks everyone for shedding a light of a different perspective for me. This is what I truly love about AA and the fellowship. I need to listen to learn (imagine that
--not exactly a new concept, is it?
). After reading the last couple of posts, there is a certainty within me (I'm not sure how to word it)...I do steps 1-3 as a part of my daily reprieve, to get my day started. When I don't...for example, if I sleep in a little, and hit the floor a-running like Fred Flintstone, things are very quickly, and very noticeably unmanageable. But, I can always 'start' my day...by stopping...sitting down, and...start it again. I know, today...what it takes to set things in a counter-productive direction--I know, too...what it takes to turn those kinds of days around.
Growth, growth, growth...sometimes big spurts, sometimes with a leap like that of a snail...but always moving forward. Thanks all for being the guide-posts on this journey.
In the Spirit of the fellowship,
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- Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:11 am
- Location: alberta
I reckon we can all have different understandings about everything, except one thing... and still stay sober!
The beautiful thing about the AA miracle of the 12 Steps, is... that not everyone has to understand it like me to stay sober... and I don't have to understand it like someone else... or, I probably wouldn't be sober!
For me... I believe that what's MOST important to me... is that "whatever way that I understand it is the way I should be doing it... and whatever it is that I understand about it... I had better be doing it!"
Over the last 21 years... I've watched AA's who have different understandings with each other --- and they do it different ways... and many of them are staying sober, they are happy, joyous, free, and in-touch with their self and with their Higher Power, (as they understand it), and they are being of service, helping others, particularly alcoholics... they've become better citizens, husbands, wives, employees, employers, fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters..... they are recreating and reconstructing wonderful lives, they have risen from the death and the ashes of their addictions -- to a miraculous way of living and being... all because we were so fortunate... to have a little band of 100 struggling alcoholics... way back in 1935... who found a way out, and they had a desire to pass it on to us, for generations to come.
And, just look at the positive results in our world... that came from the difficulties and struggles that they endured! They stayed sober through the tough times. They sacrificed their time, effort, money, and what they had to give... to write a book to show other alcoholics what they were doing -- to LIVE sober! They wrote a book... that showed how they took certain actions, and not only were they staying sober.... they had actually been rocketed into a 4th diminsion of life! An unknown world of existence that none of them had even dreamed or imagined. The closest words that they could find to describe their experience was that they believed that they had found some sort of Heaven... that they were at peace, and they felt safe and protected... and it was to them, as though... they were walking hand-in-hand with their Creator!!!!
Just imagine how that feels -- to feel "safe and protected"... and like you are actually trudging this road of happy destiny "hand-in-hand with your Creator!!!" It sends goose bumps all over me to think about it!!!
I have so much to be grateful for -- and I hope that I never forget my debt to ALL those who were necessary... from the very beginning of time... all the way through 1935, and 1939, and up until the time that the message of Alcoholics Anonymous was finally passed on to me, so that I could be in a place of willingness... with an open heart to accept it.
When I look at the big picture of "how is Dallas, the alcoholic able to be sober today?" ... I can not comprehend ALL the efforts that were paid by so many people... before I was even born... so that after I was born, and eventually became alcoholic -- that God's help would be able to reach me.
It's just beyond my mental comprehension!
And, the fact... that through not-perfect people, a perfect message, could not-perfectly be used by other not-perfect people... and, it could be so powerful... that it was nothing less than a miraculous re-birth!!! Go figure that one!!! Isn't it wonderful... to have opportunity to share the opportunity of being not-perfect!
Several years ago, I remember a popular book that helped many normal people... and it was "I'm Okay and You're Okay."
I never felt really okay... unless I was drinking!
Then, I land in AA, and what I hear is: "Your not okay. We're not okay. And, that's okay. Because that's why were here!"
I also want to remember the other alcoholics who came to AA and tried to achieve and maintain sobriety... that didn't make it. The many who dropped a buck in the basket, who kept the lights on, who participated to help carry a message... to others... even though they never seemed to be able to translate the message into actions -- for their own sobriety. It took their efforts, too. I kind of look at them as fallen soldiers. They enlisted but never made it beyond the battle field... but, because of their efforts, too, I was able to receive the message of Alcoholics Anonymous.
God's love, and grace and mercy....... towards His not-okay, not-perfect children... His rebelious defiant little brats... His little self-obsessed obsessors! His little commandment tramplers! His crumb-catchers turned carpet baggers! My how He loves us all!!!!
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