- Living with Obsession

Living with Obsession




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Postby Joseph » Thu May 14, 2009 4:52 pm

Thanks for the well wishes Julie, ya it's going pretty good. Not quite ready for goin to the restaurants yet, i've decided. I have been tryin to change my thought patterns mind you. Thanks and talk soon.
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Postby Jools » Fri May 15, 2009 2:39 pm

Hiya Joseph,

That's a great decision if that's what you need to do to not think about drinking.

The whole thinking thing sounds so easy, but to me it's been hard. Heck, if all I had to do was change my thinking I wouldn't have come to AA. I need people in the program and the 12 steps to teach me HOW to change my thinking. I started drinking b4 I was a teenager so a lot of the time my thoughts are like that of a child, my anger is like a child's anger and I'm just now learning how to grow up.

Forgive me for not quoting big book stuff because I'm just not that good at memorizing things, but I do know what I need to bring about that change in my life where I won't have to obsess about drinking.

Keep coming back,
Julie
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Postby tim-one » Sat May 16, 2009 7:27 am

Ataboy, Joseph. Good decision for yourself!

I found out that to stop drinking, I had to give up drinking.

To stay stopped, I had to give up some people, places, and things, that made me want to drink. I found out that many of them helped me keep drinking in the first place. And some of the people didn't like me not drinking.

Good riddence. Foul weather friends, I discovered.

Not fun at first, but the joy of actually experiencing life and the actual CARING of AAers filled the empty places God is cleaning out in me.

You go boy !!! Work it for the promises (BB pgs 83 & 84). Easier to work FOR something instead of AGAINST something ... to me anyway.

Love ya, bro.
Tim-one
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Postby Anja » Mon May 18, 2009 2:02 pm

Think you made a good choice. There's really no need to rush into any piece of the old lifestyle. With the gifts of the program eventually you may have no desire to even attend an event where alcohol is served.

There are times when I am with peope who are drinking. Wedding, family reunions. I am uncomfortable in a drinking atmosphere. It's okay with me. I don't want to be comfortable when people around me are drinking. I watch people drinking and talking about their frustrations. I watch the serving people bring more of the alcohol. And I think to myself, all around me people are talking about their life entanglements or exhibiting the frustration that goes along with them. And all the while, rather than getting out there and doing something constructive about it, they are feeding the fire instead.

All these good folks, caught up in the delusion, unawares.

When I want to be with people I care about who are using alcohol I always remind myself that I am voluntarily stepping upon the top of the slippery slope. And it isn't really the alcohol that's my problem. It's easy enough for me to say "no" to an offer. The problem for me is the attitudes and behavior that occur around me when people are drinking. And even more important, the kinds of attitudes that I can pick up which will mean extra work for me later.

It may not happen, but once will be all it takes. ("Do you feel lucky, punk?" Heh.)

It might be judgementalism creeping in on my part. It could be concern and picking up on signs of someone else's problems. It could even be a sort of contact high which leads to carelessness. Any of those things will obligate me later to pay for my choice.

Do I want to make my recovery more smooth or more difficult?
______________________________________________________

While I read the Big Book regularly, as Julie, I often won't have the correct corresponding quotes from the literature due to memory problems. So I appreciate anyone calling it to my attention if I'm not in the loop. Thanks.
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Postby ccs » Mon May 18, 2009 6:47 pm

OK, so you are thinkin' drinkin'...
But now that we have thought about it, knowing that we have already admitted that we are insane in the second step, we really don't give a damn about what we think, feel or believe, because all those thinkings, feelings and believings are insane...the only thing that counts from here on out is what we do...If we don't drink, we don't get drunk and go more insane....If we do what we are told to do, we stand a chance of staying alive and recovering from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body...

The way it happened for me, my head was putting it on me something fierce, I called my sponsor,(I had learned to dial the phone), puked out what it was that the swarm of bees in my head was telling me, and before I drew another breath said "I feel like getting drunk."

He said "OK", and hung up the phone... P***D ME OFF!!!!

I got so damn angry at him I forgot all about getting drunk, the only thing I could think about was getting to the meeting that night and telling him what a rotten SOB he was, and I did...big time. (Didn't bother him one damn bit that I was angry with him.)

He just looked down the side of his nose at me and said, "Well, did you learn anything?"

HUHHHH?

"Did you learn, maybe, that it is all right to feel like drinking if you don't do it, that it's all right to be p***d off if you don't drink. Are you drunk now?"

No, sponsor, I am not drunk....

"Are you still alive?"

Yes, sponsor, I am still alive.....

"So what's the big damn deal?"

Oh, OK.....

"Damn it, how many times am I gonna have to tell you that we don't give a damn what you think, feel or believe, the only thing that counts from here on out is what you DO...and that the answer to all your problems is in the book, the steps and the fellowship, if you will just DO what you have been told to DO for the first time in your life."

Oh, OK, sponsor...I guess I better get busy on the steps...

"Yes, and in your case the sooner the better."

Oh, OK, so all I was doing was thinkin' drinkin' and that is insane....

"Yep, your disease talking to you."

Thanks, sponsor, I feel a lot better about it now, just stinkin' thinkin'

"Yep"

Oh, OK, want a cup of coffee?

"Believe I do."

See you in the morning meeting?

"Yep, see you there..."


"Barefoot Bob"
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Postby Jools » Wed May 20, 2009 9:57 am

When I want to be with people I care about who are using alcohol I always remind myself that I am voluntarily stepping upon the top of the slippery slope. And it isn't really the alcohol that's my problem. It's easy enough for me to say "no" to an offer. The problem for me is the attitudes and behavior that occur around me when people are drinking. And even more important, the kinds of attitudes that I can pick up which will mean extra work for me later.


This is good stuff, Anja, I've never really taken a look at what people are saying or doing while drinking because I'm too busy thinking, gosh, that drink looks good.

Some are sicker than others.

:wink:

Thanx for sharing with us.

Julie
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Postby garden variety » Fri May 22, 2009 12:59 pm

I have loved ones, friends, relatives, and aquaintences that actively drink. Some are alcoholics, and drink alcoholically. Others drink socially. Still others drink only at gatherings to get blasted.

What I remember now is that, at one time, I was "all of the above". I remember that when I begin to entertain destructive thoughts about a man or woman who is drinking, getting drunk, or "POD" (Pass-Out Drunk), I'm heading in the wrong direction - better reset the GPS!. In other words, when I start to think badly of any kind of drinker because of the way he or she drinks, then I'm pointing one finger at them while my other three fingers are pointing back at me.

I recently spoke with an alcoholic friend who was drinking while I was visiting. She was embarassed, feeling guilty, at times in tears, but she was still drinking. She became aopolgetic. She asked me how I could sit and talk with her while she was actively drinking and could not get sober, with me knowing she relapses so much.

I said her drinking was something that has to be worked out between her and her God. I'm here to be a friend and help you with what you need help with, I'm not here to judge because I really REALLY understand why you drink. Then suddenly, Al-anon thinking kicked in and the light bulb went off in my mind :idea: :idea: :idea:

I realized through the depth of my soul. I was square at step one. I said this to her:

"I'm powerless over alcohol. But today I'm not powerless over my own alcoholic consumption. But since I care about you and I'm a friend, I'm still powerless over alcohol - but its the alcohol you drink".

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was powerless again! I was powerless over alcohol in my friend's life. I couldn't judge her. I couldn't stop being her friend. I couldn't stop her from drinking. I was soooo powerless!

It wasn't a slippery slope for me. It was my first step once again, except it involved a friend. Her "powerlessness over alcohol" was making "our lives" - the moments in time we share as friends - "our lives had become unmanageable."

Right then and there in front of her, I took the first step again - I made that public admission of powerlessness. What an eerie feeling came over me. As a result of that experience, I suddenly became a member of Al-anon. As a result of all my sober relationships with other alcoholic friends, family and loved ones, and by talking the 1st step, I'm a member of Al-anon too.

I have experience, strength, and hope that I can share with a non-alcoholic friend, relative, or loved one of an alcoholic. Today I understand how it feels being sober, and having a neutral attitude toward alcohol, while someone I love still drinks. There have been times while sober that someone I loved tore my heart apart because of their drinking. These times, it really isn't me - it's no longer my problem of alcoholism, but it's still the same problem of alcoholism and it's destructive in the same ways. Dallas knows exactly what I'm talking about. Many of you know too how it feels to have the shoe on the other foot.

I'm not afraid of alcohol. It would be wrong of me to allow an attitude of intolerance against alcohol to take hold of me. It would cause me harm in helping other alcoholics. It would be wrong for me to think I've "overcome" alcoholism, and that I'm somehow "in a better place" than a drinking alcoholic - or that I should distance myself from people who drink. Then I really would be on a slippery slope. Because I never overcame alcoholism.

WE overcame alcohlism. But it wasn't a single person's own will or human power that sobriety happened to any of us. Our only defense against the first drink MUST come from a Power greater than ourselves. Without such a Power in my life, I woud have no choice when it comes to drinking. I would drink - I couldn't do anything else but drink. I know this to be a proven fact based on the track record that covers the first 40 years of my life.

For this alcohlic, I understand that any attempt at shielding myself from the temptation of picking up a drink would surely fail. I don't get on my knees every morning and ask God to keep me sober. Like Dallas said, it's not God's job to keep me sober - it's my job to keep me sober. That's because I decided I wanted what you all have, and I was willing to go to any length to get it. Heck yeah, its my job to keep me sober.

What I get on my knees and ask God for every morning is for His Power to stay sober - for the knowledge of His will for me and the Power to carry that out. That Power is the fuel behind each and every self-sacrifice and unselfish constructive action I make or take. My problem was never not knowing what to do to stay sober, or how to do it. My problem was never a lack of knowledge - it was a lack of power.

I guess what I'm saying, is that when I'm around friends, relatives, and loved ones that drink alcohol, I believe it's my job to remember that I was the same way at one time or another. They say in my home group "Remember well your beginnings. The results will take care of themselves." If I forget where I came from, it won't be long before I forget where I am, and where I'm going.
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Postby Dallas » Tue May 26, 2009 2:32 pm

As I was reading this thread today -- I made an interesting discovery for myself!

I just spent the last week in Las Vegas. I was with my nephew and we weren't there for any AA or sober related events.

Today, I just observed that I was surrounded by lots of people all week that were drinking lots of alcohol -- and I didn't once think about me having a drink... and only once did I think of someone else's drinking... and that was a comment I made to my nephew about a lady that I observed that "she sure is ripped!!! :lol:

A different lady I met was telling me, for some reason that I didn't know... that she doesn't use drugs. And, I asked her... "Are you sober?" She didn't know what I meant so I asked "Are you a friend of Bill W.'s?"

She said "Oh no. I drink once in a while but very little if I do."

I wonder how she understood the question and was able to rapidly answer it... when the question was "Are you a friend of Bill W.'s" and not understand the question "Are you sober?" :lol: :lol:

Dallas
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Postby tim-one » Tue May 26, 2009 4:10 pm

Nice to have you back, Dallas! Have a nice trip?

The lady who said, "I sure am ripped" reminds me of Animal House. The guy panicked, "I can't feel my legs" and then celebrated, "I CAN'T FEEL MY LEGS!" :)

It occurs to me that there are so many of us out there that it becomes more likely every day that normies pick up on the Bill W. thing. Maybe we need secret underwear like the Masons.

Immediately after my wife discussed my progress with a friend, the friends said we should get together and go to New Orleans. :shock:

I can't think of ANYTHING to do in Nawlins 'cept drink. Don't like the place anyway. Didn't lose anything there I need to go back for. Especially THAT!

Love,
Tim-one
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Postby Dallas » Wed May 27, 2009 2:28 am

Thanks Tim. The trip was great!
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