- IS SOBRIETY ENOUGH?

IS SOBRIETY ENOUGH?




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Postby sunlight » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:55 am

Leaps & bounds lady, you are growing by leaps & bounds!

I love how you said you want to beat the crap out of him - that"s honesty!
Of course, then I need to get to the place where I realize the resentment's killing ME & work it through to compassion or whatever is necessary. You did that. You amaze me!

I experienced that with my ex, when he was yelling at me & calling me every name in the book & I opened my mouth to reply the same & I COULD NOT GET THE WORDS OUT! I actually felt it would kill my spirit to say those words, yet I could feel something inside me die NOT to say them.( my rotteness?) Hard to explain, but definitely real.
I knew something was happening to me, something was changing & I was so thrilled that I humbly asked God to keep working on me! :D

Thanks so much for the story. I needed to hear that!

Happy 25 days!
I was thinking this morn how you are wiser than me cuz I can't seem to do the quote thing right & you can.
So please share your expertise with me & tell me how do do it w/o making the whole post a quote.

LOVE ya, Sunlight
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Postby garden variety » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:46 pm

Hiya,

I said to get in her face and give her the $5 for the first drink because that's how it's done up here. The longtimers I know, especially one of my best friends who passed away, would describe the person you mentioned as "ungrateful". I've heard longtimers tell folks that were sober and whining or complaining to "get out of my face you ungrateful SOB". Others have told in their stories where their sponsors offered them $5-$10 to buy their next first drink. Sometimes it can get brutal in this region.

But I do understand why some longtimers get that way. I'm not talking about longtimers that are "grouches" and are unapproacable, but longtimers who are always with a new man or woman at their side, who they take through 12 steps. They give a new man or woman the gift of their time, and they'd rather pass it on to a new man who is hurting and desperate than to a "repeat offender" that is whining or complaining. I used to watch some of these interactions. What it did was it taught me how to approach someone with sincerity, but it also taught me that "feeling blue" without wanting to change is a waste of time.

The way I see recovery is either "drop a load" or "get off the pot". The book says in such a heart-ripping way that there are "streams of misery" coming in and out of hospitals and what we now call "treatment centers". How sad that was when it hit me - a "stream of misery". Alcoholics and addicts are dying by the thousands, some can be helped if the whining perpetual new man would go back out and get finished instead of in and out and "manufacturing" their own misery while they're "back in".

I mentioned this before. A price has to be paid. To me it seems selfish to keep going back out and coming back in. I know if I go back out and come back in, I would be welcome no matter how many times it happened. And I probably could "sponsor surf" to get another sponsor. The question I see is, if I perpetually go back out and come back in again, is there a new man or woman from that "stream of misery" that might die because he or she needed the gift of my sponsor's time and was willing to go to any length, but my sponsor was giving his time to me for sixth or seventh time?

I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. I also went back out drinking once. I also have friends that have relapsed and are considered "repeat offenders". Do I love them any less? Heck no! All I'm saying is anybody that wants sobreity must work to achieve it. Our purpose is to "stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety". Tradition 3 says I need to have the desire to stop drinking to be a member. The person you describe who questions if sobriety is enough - do they have the desire? I don't know, but what we do in this fellowship is "work". I can't "achieve" anything if I don't work for it. "Desire" to me is a measure of my "earnestness". If I'm an alcoholic, and I don't have a "full measure" of earnestness, whatever measure less than full that I have will "avail me nothing".

Am I testy? I don't know - maybe I am? :?: I guess it's one thing to be a "repeat offender", but it's another thing to also whine and complain about sobriety. There is one "repeat offender" that I know pretty well. She blows my mind because there is "no reason" for her to be in the fellowship other than her own choice to get sober. She doesn't have those "back problems" like spouse on your back, court on your back, family on your back. She's also never had a DUI or been arrested. But she just keeps on going back out and can't seem to "get it". All I can say is God bless her that she's still trying. But even with her, a ptrice still has to be paid.

Just let me say one more thing:

I LOVE SOBRIETY!!!
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Postby garden variety » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:19 pm

thanx_2hm wrote:Me, 48 years old being a raging maniac. I'm very ashamed of that.:oops:

I am painfully praying for him because I made the mistake of mentioning in a post that I was willing to go to any length to stay sober. That's really hard for me to do when all I wanna do is have someone beat the crap out of him. The more I've thought about it, the more I realize that, even tho I'm praying for him, it's really for me because the resentment is blocking me off from God.

Thanks to GV for kickin' me in the butt and making me see what I needed to see.


Heya Julie,

You're fast turning into a "Jewel" (get it "Jewel-ee"). I agree with Sunlight, that is pretty impressive. I think I also understand where you're at with your 25 days, after the 60 days, and after the "dry 9" years. My heart does go out to you which you probably already know. You and me were both on the same sinking ship, and we've both found this lifeline. As you're growing, you'll be able to help other girls that have relapsed. There is a girl already probably on a barstool, who will ask you one day to be her sponsor. That's how this deal works. You'll be able to touch her heart where no one else had been able.

That's a real blessing to look forward to.

I'm also gald you took time to think about those questions I tossed out to you. What is so cool about what you said is that I didn't "suggest" anything to you. I didn't really even kick your butt into action. You deserve the credit for that. Ha! You kicked your own butt!

There is only one thing I did which is the simplest thing for anyone to do. Let me tell you what, honey - what I did for you used to drive me completely nuts and made me mad as hell whenever somebody did it to me. Heck I'd get mad when I heard about someone doing this to others. That's back in the day when I knew more than a lot of longtimers.

One of the most effective tools in this program comes from step 4. All I did was pick up a mirror and hold it in front of your face. Reflection is a priceless tool. Here's the thing that I learned about you. You are ready to get on with step 4 because you just showed me you know exactly how to work step 4. So congratulations are in order. I'm proud of you.

If you go back in time a little, you might remember that fellow "Baton Rouge" and his "new girl" dilemma. I don't think I "suggested" anything. I just asked a couple questions. Really, I just held up a mirror and he looked into it and saw himself - he saw himself honestly.

That's not a "gimmick" or a "trick". It's just what I've learned from Dallas and my own sponsor, and step 4: TAKE AN INVENTORY. Somehow, somewhere, I always end up asking myself similar questions. I hold the mirror up to my own face. What a gift step 4 has been to me.

I understand how tough it is for you to pray for someone like Tyson. If you want to see how tough it was for me its posted in the "12 Steps" section here as "Step Nine Amends":
http://www.step12.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=903

God bless you Julie and keep up the great work!
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Postby sunlight » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:32 pm

Thinking of sobriety whiners brought to mind this one guy who used to come around our Fellowship Club. We lost count how many times he'd been in & out.

This guy would pis* & moan about everything :x and was cocky as a rooster at dawn.

Once at a meeting he said, "What the hell is a spiritual awakening anyway? Does anyone know what it looks like?"

An old-timer said, "I don't know what it looks like, but I know what it sounds like. It's the popping sound of your head coming out of your as*!"

I'm just gonna keep asking God in my morning meditation what I can do for the one who's still sick & keep my own house in order. Look! it's time to dust!
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Postby Jools » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:12 pm

Sunlight......this is some good stuff, girl!
I experienced that with my ex, when he was yelling at me & calling me every name in the book & I opened my mouth to reply the same & I COULD NOT GET THE WORDS OUT! I actually felt it would kill my spirit to say those words, yet I could feel something inside me die NOT to say them.( my rotteness?) Hard to explain, but definitely real.
I knew something was happening to me, something was changing & I was so thrilled that I humbly asked God to keep working on me! Very Happy


I love that bit you said about you actually felt it would kill your spirit to say those words. I'll think of that the next time I really want to duke it out verbally with someone8). Thanks:)

To quote......

Highlight the area you want to quote with your cursor then click on the quote button at the top of message. Or you can bold it with B button or underline it with the U button..etc. I haven't figured out the other buttons yet. Anyone care to share on those?

Thanks for sharing, Sun.

Hugs,
Julie
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Postby sunlight » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:36 pm

Garden Variety wrote:
You're fast turning into a Jewel"


Thanks Julie ,you are!
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Postby Dallas » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:03 pm

Picture this. Julie 60 days sober and breaking a windshield on a car I sold to a young man who isn't paying me for it. Then I drank for 3 days and now I have 25 days again.


Gee! That sounds like things I did as a newcomer!!! The only difference was... I didn't drink (those times)... and now I've been sober for 22 years! :lol: :lol:

It's also been a few years since I stopped doing those things! I couldn't afford to keep making the amends!!! And, the changes have proved good for my pocket-book! :lol: :lol:

Keep coming back!!!

We really do care about you!

Dallas

P.S. You had more invested than I did ... the other guy just parked in my parking space! So, you really are handling things much better than I did!!! :lol: :lol:
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Postby Jools » Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:34 pm

As you're growing, you'll be able to help other girls that have relapsed. There is a girl already probably on a barstool, who will ask you one day to be her sponsor. That's how this deal works. You'll be able to touch her heart where no one else had been able.


Well, I can't give um something I don't have. I feel like I've taken ten steps back today. Talking the talk is easy. Doing the little things, like raking someone elses yard is easy. It's the big things like today where my faith is tested. Where walking the walk is so dang hard and hurts so much. Why does it hurt to let go?

Anything that has to do with my recovery is a gift from God. Any changes that are made in me is because of Him, not me. I can't take credit for something He does just like I can't condemn myself for feeling like I do today.

I care about you guys too and thought of coming here early today. Other things on the agenda kept my mind busy for the day. When I got home and stopped running from my head it just came crashing in and the tears came full force.

Am I whining?

Sunlight, I see you've mastered the quote thingy.

Hugs to y'all,
Julie
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Postby Dallas » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:37 am

I guess I'm a slow learner.

There have been many times that I've taken one or two steps forward... and took another 10 steps backwards! :lol:

There have also been times that I've taken 20 Steps forward...
and only one step backwards.

The deal for me is to just keep on stepping.
Staying away from the sauce and slowly and incrementaly making a little bit of progress here and there.

Best wishes to you!

Dallas
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Postby MikeM1968 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:43 pm

"Sobriety" is not simply -not drinking-, it is much more than that. Not drinking anymore isn't enough, that's where the program of recovery comes in. The steps, meetings, taking commitments, working with a sponsor, helping others, having a network, prayer, meditation. It's all connected.

The most important part, my connection with H.P. (no, not Hewlett Packard!) - (God, or my higher power) To stay connected I need to do all of the previously mentioned. The only things I needed to know about god were that he definitely isn't me, he wants me to be happy and he doesn't make garbage. Therefor god's will for me is not to drink because I already know that's what brings me to pain, misery, and renders me useless to myself and others. I also already know that one is never going to be enough.

I've done enough research to know what Gods will ISN'T for me. There's plenty of other things that will also lead me to another drink. That's the stuff I've needed to work on to remain sober. My first sponsor used to tell me "when the pain gets great enough, you'll drink" and he was right, thank god I didn't drink. I got myself into some very painful situations in early recovery because I didn't listen and thought I knew what I was doing. Okay, I'll just not drink and go to meetings and do what I want. Still self seeking.

My ego was having all sorts of fun with this new "club" (the fellowship) and I was going to be "Mister A.A., no, an A.A. GOD" and I was going to "get the hottest girl with the most time". I was suffering from A.A. big-shot-ism. I treated early recovery like it was finally my chance to be the popular kid in high school or something. Because now god was going to grant my every wish because I stopped drinking!! LOL

All my ugliness came right out to the surface and I couldn't "blame it" on alcohol anymore. Through all that, I didn't drink. I came very dangerously close when my ego got it's butt kicked deservedly enough times. That's when I started to pray and meditate, and really make the steps a working part of my consciousness. I finally calmed-down, listened and started changing.

Those same people that had to take me down a notch or ten in early recovery still tell me about how "whacked out" I used to be. We all just have a good laugh about it now.

And yes, some days I'm better than others depending on how well I maintain my spiritual condition. I must continue to take personal inventory, and when wrong, promptly admit it. My ego still wants an occasional nibble, I can't afford to feed it.

This is why we have meetings, it's why we have literature, it's why we have a program of recovery. To recover is to get something back which we lost.

Ourselves.

Mike
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