The Thinking Prior To a Return to Drinking or Relapse

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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Postby Dallas » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:29 pm

"Uncover. Discover. And, Discard! What you're looking for you're looking with!" Chuck. C.
:lol: :lol:

Works for me. I got the goose bumps, too. :wink:

Thanks for sharing that paragraph, Paul.

Wasn't that in Chapter Two?

One of the things that I love and that amazes me so much, is the I can pick up the Big Book today and read a page today -- then, read the same page tomorrow, and I swear that it seems like a couple of words will change. I've often wondered if maybe it's a spiritual book of some kind or something. Like something alive and living.... giving life and living to those who feed on it. The thing that keeps it fresh and amazing for me is that something I know today will be different than something I knew yesterday and tomorrow. That reassures me that I'll never know it all. :lol: And, why I keep an open mind. I wake up in the morning and ask myself "well, I wonder what's going to change today?" And, I've learned to expect change -- and, that whatever change there is -- somehow, it will fit into my big picture that I look back on, and see that life actually got really better because of all the changes.


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My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:34 pm

Be where your feet are.


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Postby Dallas » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:49 pm

It just leaves on conclusion for me to come to. "If It's already there -- what's blocking from tapping in to It?" So far, the only answer that I've discovered is my self and the things about my self that need to be removed or changed so that I can keep plugged in. And, the great fact is: if I ever took another drink, it wouldn't be because I had to take the drink.

If He, the Higher Power is already inside me, I have no victim stories. :wink: There is nothing and no one to blame. I must take responsibility and be accountable for my own choosing and my own doing (actions) that will either keep me drinking or keep me sober, or keep me in misery and pain or cause me to be happy, joyous and free (while sober). :wink:


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Coming back to The Fellowship?

Postby Bison » Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:47 pm

Hi, all. Just a short time here reading the messages, but it is what I have needed. I believe I have reached the point (after a 3-year relapse) of being 'sick and tired of being sick and tired.' No sense in juggling the whys and the wherefores- I wanted to drink, plain and simple, sure that alcohol was not the problem, but a symptom.
Where to go from here? Do I have the (ahem) balls to show my face at a meeting with tail between my legs and admit the error of my ways? Will I embrace the Fellowship which I have been so cynical about in the past?
I do have a wife- when I mentioned to her that I was contemplating returning to A.A. she replied, "it's about time." Oops. I guess someone HAS noticed the change in my moods and behavior?
A very delicate topic here- during this 3-year tour of flirting once again with self-delusion as well as self-destruction, I have been unfaithful to her. Anybody have any magic way to make that guilt leave?
My name is Scott, and I am an alcoholic.

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Postby garden variety » Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:39 pm

Hi Scott and welcome,

Well I don't think any of us has the answers for your situation except for today. And that is the best place to start. There is a solution and you already said you've been reading about it.

It really doesn't take "balls" as you mentioned. But it does take a few things about as simple, at least thats how its been taught to me. And you probably seen me write this a hundred times:

Honesty, Open-mndedness, and Willingness. That's HOW sobriety gets started. The honesty to admit you've lost the fight against an opponent that will whoop your butt every time you get in the ring (that opponent would be alcohol). Open-mindedness to follow a few simple suggestions, a path that has been cleared away back in 1939 that if it's thoroughly followed there's no way to fail - that path will essentially lead you to the point of making a start on belieiving there is something bigger and stronger than Scott and alcohol. And the willingness to trust the recovery process which is the program of AA, without insisting to limit the thing with your own "rendition". The book says those things are essential.

Then if you want to hang onto sobriety for the rest of the day, many of us found that work and self-sacrifice for others to be something that saves the day. In fact, when all other measures fail, there is nothing more effective at ensuring sobriety than intensive work with another alcoholic. In my area, I have NEVER, and I mean NEVER seen an alcoholic relapse when he's busy helping another alcoholic instead of feeling sorry for himself. We lump all of this together and call it a "Spiritual Program of Action". For me and many others, it takes more than thinking, and more than deciding - it takes DOING.

The question for you to answer with a sincere heart is one you didn't ask in your series of other questions in your post:

Do you want what we have and are you willing to go to any length to get it? If the answer is honestly yes, then you are ready to take certain steps.

You introduced yourself as Scott, an alcoholic. If you are an alcoholic, you may have "wanted" to drink this last time, or maybe not. That's not the issue. If you are an alcoholic, then you no longer have the ability to choose when it comes to alcohol. An alcoholic like me, and a whole bunch of us here, has no effective mental defense against the first drink. His or her defense must come from a Higher Power.

The only choice you will have if you are one of us, is the decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of a Higher Power each day. Then if you launch into a rigorous course of action based on the 12 steps, I'd be willing to bet the results will speak for themselves.

But we're here for you Scott and welcome you, and you're welcome to jump in anytime - the water is fine today!

Thanks for your kind words and for helping me today.

My name is Paul, and I am an alcoholic

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Postby Dallas » Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:05 am

Hello Scott,

Welcome to the site! Glad you're here.

Bison wrote:Where to go from here? Do I have the (ahem) balls to show my face at a meeting with tail between my legs and admit the error of my ways? Will I embrace the Fellowship which I have been so cynical about in the past?

Well, you might not be embracing us, but... in regards to the Fellowship -- but, you've already got hold of us here! :lol: :lol:

So, that's one obstacle out of your way! :lol:

Now -- for the next one:

1. You're here. You didn't have to go very far! Obstacle 2, out of the way. :wink:

2. Which one of us got here without our tail between our legs? Failure seems to be the only requisite to get here. If we didn't fail, we wouldn't be here. We would have probably just quit drinking or been able to control it. My name is Dallas, I'm alcoholic, and I failed a few times, and that's why I'm here! :lol: So, there's obstacle #3, out of your way! :lol:

3. It's probably a decent idea to be a bit cynical! None of us got here because we were Saints! And, a member doesn't even have to be sober to me an A.A. They let anyone in! Even me! :lol: (Maybe I was thinking of "skeptical"... but, that's a good idea, too! ).

The last obstacle that I can see -- if it were me, I would need to answer a couple of questions -- and that would close the deal for me.

1. Do I want to experience embarassment or hurt feelings or injury to my pride... for a little while... Or,

2. Do I want to experience misery, torture, embarassment, pain, demoralization, and horror... as I watch all the good that was left in my life... go down the toilet... for the rest of my life... forever... because I was too proud to save my b-u-t-t by coming back?

The choice is always ours to make. And, I believe you've made a good choice by at least coming back... this far.

The only thing you've got to lose -- is your life.

And, the thing that you've got to gain, that's most valuable (or, it would be to me)... is your life.

After I had been sober in A.A. for about 5 1/2 months... I went back to drinking. I tried for about five months... to come back. And, I couldn't get sober now matter how hard I tried. I was going to different meetings... thinking that "those A.A.'s in the meetings I used to go to... will know I failed! Oh crap! Can't have that! They had already told me I was doing it backwards and wouldn't be able to stay sober the way I had been doing it."

Well, I became convinced that I was alcoholic. I was doomed. So doomed that even A.A. wouldn't work for an alcoholic of my type. I was convinced of that, too.

But, where else could I go? I knew that I couldn't just "not drink and go to meetings." I believed that if there was a God, He rightly hated me and wouldn't have anything to do with me, nor would He help me. And, I knew A.A. wouldn't work for me.

So, not having any other place to go -- I went back to A.A. I even prayed to a God that I didn't believe in and didn't believe would help me. And, that seemed to make it worse! The more days and few months that I was sober... I got worse.

My sponsor had already told me that if I didn't let go of my old ideas absolutely... there was no hope of a hope of a hope for me. And, he said he never seen one of my type make it. He said I was too smart to get it.

So, I dumbed up and took actions that were against my better judgement to take, and did things that I didn't believe that would work -- (and, I still do that)... and I've been sober since November 14th, 1986.... with no drinking or pot or pills or any other stuff in between.

Today I have a pretty good life. I'm reasonably happy, joyous and free.

Do I still have problems? Sure I do. Like tonight. After my 8 pm meeting, where I had to talk on Step Three -- I got a strong urge to go check on my little sister. She has been the closest always to me, in regards to blood family.

I went by here house and it was dark, except for a couple of lights on. I had been calling her all day -- and got no answer. When I went to her door her dog acted scared and didn't even bark. I couldn't get her to answer the door. So, I called the hospitals to see if she was there. She wasn't in the hospitals, so I called her son, and met him at my sisters house.

To shorten it up -- we called the police and made the decision to break in the door. My nephew (an ex police officer) kicked the door in, and we walked in to find my sister dead on the floor.

That's a problem. It hurts. I've been spending a lot of time with her over the last few months trying to get her out of a hard place.

I brought her baby home with me, (her dog), and tomorrow, I've got to get together with her son (her other baby) and try to be helpful and help arrange things.

I had to call my other sister, to let her know of our baby sisters death tonight. She's my oldest sister and has 13 years sober in A.A.

My mom is in a nursing home. I took care of her for 13 years, before my baby sister showed up about 18 months ago to take my mom off my hands.

I'll have to tell my mom, who is in bad health and it will break her heart.

My mom still doesn't know about my older brother, who died in July of this year -- as a result of untreated alcoholism. He died all alone in a weekly rental flop house and it was weeks before any of the family knew he was dead and buried.

These are problems. And, there is pain and sadness.

However, now I get to use, once again, all the principles that I've learned in A.A., over the last 21 years, to help my nephew and my mom and other sister to get through this.... and, to take care of the dog. (Dog's are family, too. Their God's dogs. He made them).

I haven't thought of drinking or taking a pill. I've thought about how grateful I am, that because of A.A., I am sober today, and I am equipped to help my family.

We never know when something horribly will happen. We never know when our last day or our last moment will be. Mine could be before I get to click the submit button.

Scott, staying sober has been a pretty good deal for me. And, I know that it can be a pretty good deal for you, too, if you want it, and you're willing to go to any lengths to have it.

I'm glad you're here. If I can be helpful to you -- please let me know.

Dallas B.

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Postby Jackie » Wed May 28, 2008 11:48 pm

This appears to be a very deep topic especially to me a 4 month sober drunk.
I can relate to the thinking that can lead to drinking, usually it starts with thinking of one's self in a Selfish way.
examples : I'm tired , I'm stressed, nobody understands me, I'm taken for granted, nobody loves me, even my dog hates me.
Now if you write this down and have a look at it the picture is clear I've regressed back to where I was when I was drinking, acting like an overindulged 2 year old. Perhaps for this alcoholic if they would put Vodka in a baby bottle and gift wrap it with a security blanket and a Teddy thrown in, Labeled " Not suitable for DRUNKS" I might have caught on sooner.Or not!
I cant change the fact I'm an alcholic but I don"t have to dwell on the fact. So when the thot pops into my head to have a drink I punish myself with a few chores I simply detest, by the time I'm done the thot has gone west and the physical exertion has eliminated the "the pity pot" feelings and they are replaced by a sense of accomplishment cause I have done the things I was procrastinating about.
As a teenager I used to spend a lot of time in the potatoe patch with a hoe, my mother was a wise person, I was punished for my bad behavior and my rebellious nature was quelled by physical exertion. I didn't even have the energy to feel sorry for myself. HMMM potatoe patch, Vodka maybe thats the cause! lol!
This is just me rambling on trying to throw my 2 cents in the pot.This journey I'm on is incredibly fascinating. I'm learning I really don't know a Darn thing about life and enjoying the feeling. I quit worrying about the tommorow that may never come and trying to get the most of moment I have now.
To all of you have wonderful sober nite and God Bless

I'm Jackie and I'm still an alcoholic.

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Postby GeoffS » Thu May 29, 2008 12:52 am

Your right jackie, the thought of the drink always preceeds the act of drinking.
Also whenever I made the decision to drink again, I did that sober. I was always sober when i picked up the first drink.

So if the problem is my sober thinking, then the solution is that I need to change that somehow. Thankfully I've found a bunch of folks just like me who have found a way to change their thinking. They did it following the directions and twelve steps as laid out in the big book of alcoholics anonymous.

By following that and taking useful helpful actions, I've managed not to drink for a while now.

Sometimes it is good to distract yourself from thoughts of drink, but can it work forever? The program of AA and guidance from a HP seems to keep people sober long term, so I'm going to try that and change my thinking, so it doesn't need distracted so often.

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Postby tj » Thu May 29, 2008 5:31 am


I so hear what you are saying. In my first few months sober, the next right thing to do was often take a walk and remove myself from the situation whatever it was. Physical exertion helped me deal with all of these new feelings that I had. It somehow made them less intense. I also found that my urge to drink and overwhelming emotions hit me at the same time. Gee, I guess there was a connection. :shock: Now I can work through the emotions with my sponsor or another alcoholic and also realize that they are just emotions and they will pass. I still also take alot of walks. :) Thanks for sharng, Jackie and keep coming back.


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Postby Dallas » Thu May 29, 2008 1:05 pm

Thanks Jackie, GeoffS, and TJ,
I enjoyed reading what you all wrote.

Jackie... I so identify and understand! :lol:

If I dwell on the negative angles at being an alcoholic -- it will make me feel like I need a drink! :lol:

When I dwell on recovery, being better, and being alive in the moment, it feels so good that I feel like I want to stay sober... that a drink would mess it all up! :lol:

Living in the now, in the moment... WOW!

Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery

Living in the present is a present -- from living in the now!

Enjoy the moment of now!

I could say "Gee wouldn't it be great if we could all take a walk together some day!" That thought is not bad -- but it leaves a potential to flip-flop on me.

All I have to do is close my eyes and think of walking together with you all right now... and it's done... and I'm doing it... now. Fellowship in the Spirit. And, the spirit is Now. :wink:


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