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Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Recovery Works... it is Life!

Postby Spiritman » Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:28 pm

Howdy folks.
I have been away for eons.
I miss reading your posts - your sharing of your experience of recovery.
I'm sober, not locked up, and on the way to an AA meeting at 8:00 tonight!

Peace,
The Spiritman
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Missed you

Postby Dallas » Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:28 am

Hey Spiritman,

Yep. I've noticed that I haven't seen you around lately. :wink: I've missed you and your great sharing! I thought you're probably out there busy helping others and that you'd be checking in some time. Nice to see that it was today!

Best regards to you,

Dallas
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Postby Scott: Alcoholic » Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:54 am

Buck V wrote:I hear a lot of recovering alcoholics say "I'm grateful to be an alcoholic!!" Personally I hate being an alcoholic, ...
Buck


This used to be me. But consider the advantage of the alcoholic, really. We get to first hand live the steps toward spiritual connection; our connection to our Higher Power is as vital to our lives as the blood in our veins. Then, as we continue to relive the steps in our own lives, we get to show someone else the steps, help them through and watch them connect to their Higher Power.
If this isn't enough...we are like members of a rather secret, underground society. Not many people outside of AA know what we do, how we do it or why. They're just glad that AA is there because they can feel safer on the streets or know that someone in trouble with booze has a place where she/he can find help. And what do we really do in AA? We do God's work!

We are Secret Agents for God; we fulfull the commission of loving our neighbor - spreading the good news - bringing light to the darkness...
Yeah! Secret Agents of God...Coooool. :)
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Postby Dallas » Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:54 am

Thank you for sharing Scott!!!

I know that it ticks off newcomers... when I say "I'm a grateful alcoholic!" The reason I know it ticks them off... is because I was one! :wink:

It really drives them crazy when I say "I'm grateful to be an alcoholic." But, I need to be honest. And, I mean it with every cell in my body when I say it either way.

The reason that I'm grateful to be an alcoholic... is that I wouldn't be where I am today... if I didn't do everything just like I did it. :wink: If I would have done something else... I would be somewhere else... and I've been somewhere else... and it wasn't as grand as where I am!

Alcohol was my best friend. I honestly grieved when I had to part with it. It was the best relationship that I ever had, up until my relationship with A.A. and a God of my own understanding. Had I not became alcoholic I wouldn't have needed AA, the 12 Steps, or a God of my own understanding. I would have missed all of it! I would have missed the peace of mind, the serenity, and the connection that I feel to myself, to other people, to God, to Life, to all the things that inhabit this planet, and to other things in the Universe that I'm sure will be future discoveries for me.

For a long time, I had a really good life when I was drinking... even during the bad times. But, nothing ever came close to the good that I experience now... as a result of "having to take certain actions that I didn't believe in... and actions that I did not want to take"... just to be able to stay alive! What a bonus this deal is!!!

When I first landed in AA, shaking, hurting, stinking, confused, bewildered, desparate, depressed, angry, lonely, sad, feeling like I was different, like I was damaged goods, full of guilt, remorse, shame and fear... I was surely convinced that my life was over, and the good in life was forever gone!!!

Little did I know that it was actually the beginning of a life that was much better than anything that I could ever imagine!!!

And, a little something more... if I wasn't alcoholic... then, what the heck could have been wrong with me?

Something was wrong with me deep in my soul. Everyday I could feel the something that was wrong with me. I didn't know what it was. I didn't know what the solution was. That's why I continued drinking... I was trying to fix me. And, I became alcoholic trying to fix myself. By becoming alcoholic... it put me into direct contact with the Solution that would and could fix what was wrong with me. And, for that, I will be eternally grateful!

Dallas
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Postby garden variety » Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:42 pm

Hello brothers and sisters,

This is pretty neat that this topic comes at the time it does. Yes by golly, I am glad to be an alcoholic. But when I first came to the rooms, I was like that new guy who in there now who said, "I'm tired of being an alcohlic."

Wow what a change happened, and I can't even tell you when it happened, one day I just realized that this life I now have is the best it's ever been. I really really really am glad to be an alcoholic. I know its because I bought into the 12 Steps being a "design for living that really works". It is the truth. Why do I need to fight something like that? My days of fighting are pretty much over. Somebody once told me "The river flows fine without you pushing it." Boy aint that the truth?

Anyhow, I was talking to one of the sponsees last night, and we was talking about my teenage son who has every doggone charactaristic of an alcoholic, except he isn't one.

One night he comes home, and I smell booze on his breath so I'm going to show him he's an alkie, right. He tells me he drank two 22 oz beers, and he was just coming home to go to bed. Another time, he tells me, well I had three beers (they were "tall boys"), and I just got sick of drinking. He didn't want to drink anymore that night, or smoke his "leafy form" of alcohol. He just left a party early on his own to go home and go to bed. I'm left scratching my head?

There was another time when him and his brother took my car to a party, and they come home pretty well lit. I ask the kid where the hell is my car? He says its at the party. Who drove you knuckleheads home? I called a taxi, that was the right thing to do wasn't it? I'm mad my car is gone, but here this kid is (he's 18 then), he's drunk, but not so plastered that he couldn't think to do the next right thing. Damn I say to myself because I know things could have turned out a lot worse...especially if it was me drinking.

This sponsee knows my son, too. My son drinks 3 maybe 4 times in a year. Those times I mentioned above were some of those times. I say the kid actually finds a place where he says that's enough, and he stops, and he's no more the worse and straight and clean for weeks and months. Then I say to my sponsee, "I wish I could drink 2 - 22 oz beers and stop...that just gets me primed". Well you know the rest I drink until I don't know anything anymore and black out and pee on myself, etc.

I know this is long, and I'm sorry. But here's the thing. I thought about it last night and today. I honestly and truely DONT wish I could drink 2 - 22oz beers and stop. I am totally happy not drinking anything at all, period, AND I don't even have the desire to drink like normal people, even if I could!

This is just a happy thing for me to realize. If I wasn't an alcoholic, I wouldn't have known this kind of happiness and freedom. I can hardly believe it myself, but I swear I'm being honest! Even if I could drink like a normal person, I wouldn't want to. Now what kind of crazy thinking is that? The fight in me is gone...I don't need the stuff to be happy...I just don't need the stuff and don't even want it.

What I got now is a shift in my "dependency". I used to be dependent on the chemical alcohol. The recovery program of AA switched that dependence to where it should have been all along: on a God of my understanding. So now I'm "hooked" on the God thing, and nothing else makes me feel as good. Not even the thought of drinking like a normal person.

Its true what they say, if I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change. Thanks for letting me ramble on.
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Postby Buck V » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:12 pm

I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I'm grateful I found AA and the steps and this fantastic design for living. If I weren't an alcoholic, I never would have. I'm happy and at peace today. I love AA and the fellowship. I enjoy helping others. I have an amazing relationship with my higher power. If I weren't an alcoholic and never discovered AA would I be a better person than I am today? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. Dallas said "By becoming alcoholic... it put me into direct contact with the Solution that would and could fix what was wrong with me. And, for that, I will be eternally grateful!" Me too! I'm also grateful for finding a mechanic to fix my broken air conditioner. I'm grateful I found the mechanic, but I really didn't want my A/C to break in the first place. I know we should not dwell on the past, but nor should we forget it. I don't know this for a fact, but if I were not an alcoholic, an every day drinker for 30 years, the hurt, the pain, the anger, the despair, the tears I caused myself and my loved ones for so many years might not have happened. I guess only God knows for sure. He has some sort of plan for me which I cannot fathom. Grateful to be a sober member of AA today? Absolutely. Grateful that I'm afflicted with this neferious, deadly disease? Never.

Buck
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Postby Scott: Alcoholic » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:51 pm

Hey Buck,

I'm trying not to read into your post above (because I am not that important, LOL!), but please don't misinterpret my take on this topic as some sort of "you should" response. Quite to the contrary, it's good for me to hear (see) it myself once in a while.
I spent a good number of hours going through the 'what if...' things and -in my world- it really only ended up hurting me and those around me more and impeding my own spiritual growth pretty severely (to the point that I no longer had the ability to pass the message on...a pretty low point in my sobriety about 10 years ago).
What I learned from that time is that I don't have to know everything, that what is now is what matters most and that even without a drink, my alcoholic self is still able to bring hurt onto myself and others...so I stay away from it now. I can't undo all of the things that I have done, but I sure can -and do- go to any length to make sure that I am available and willing to do the best that I can in any given situation...even with and for people that I don't necessarily care to be around. I live my words as best I can; I get far better results living the example rather than speaking it.

Today, I try to understand the purpose of my being an alcoholic; that is what my spiritual growth has taught me, anyway. I try to focus on positive stuff...because I've found that I am a magnet for whatever it is that I focus on. If I get too up into my head, start on a roller coaster of mostly negative things...I end up with negative things coming to me - negative people around me and that is something that I just don't want. I've found that -for me- if I focus my head in the positive aspects of life and try to find even one ounce of something good in any situation, positive stuff comes my way and positive people are in my day.
This is still a very wierd thing to me...yet I can test it and prove it any day of the week.

Thanks for the opportunity!

Scott
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Postby garden variety » Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:43 am

Well I wasn't trying to make anyone feel like they should or shouldn't do something. I wouldn't want to rub one of us sensitve alcoholic people the wrong way. It's only my experience, and they tell me to share that just in case somebody else maybe could get something out of it. I mean that's what they told me, so I listened even when I didn't want to, and I tried some of the stuff out that I heard...and it worked for me. So feel free to try what worked for me only if you want to. If not, well just realize that I'm doing what was suggested to me, and that is my responsibility as an alcoholic.

So just for me, none of the years of my drinking from a teenager until 40 came as close to the good that is in today for me. There has never been a better time in my life, and each day gets better. But that's my experience, and nobody else is required to feel that way. I know if I wasn't an alcoholic today, I'd still be a drunk with untreated alcoholism. I don't choose this "illness", I just have it.

I also didn't feel this way early on. I was dry, then miserable, and a whole bunch of other ugly-feeling things while learning how to recover and become a contributing member of the human race. I had resentment that I had this "disease" too. I'm just saying somewhere over time that changed, got transformed if you choose, into something that is a best friend to me and everyone around me today. I tell you what, I'm not going to say I could have been happier without the disease, I don't think I could have been. It took everything that happened to get here, and now that I am here, I'll just settle on appreciating it.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:35 am

Gees you guys are good!!! Keep it coming! Feels like I'm feeding on some pretty good recovery here! :wink: It's really nice and refreshing to read the depth of your sharing and your recovery!

Dallas
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Postby Buck V » Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:46 pm

I didn't mean to come across sounding so negative. Trust me, AA is the best thing that has happened to me for a long long time.

I do hold a huge resentment towards my disease. Please keep in mind, though, that I am a relative newcomer to this program (8 1/2 mos.). There are still some wounds to heal, ammends to be made and trust to be re-established. Scott and GV both mentioned some tough times early in their sobriety. I'm still living some of those tough times and can accept that I will for a while. Today was better than yesterday which was better than the day before and I marvel at the changes I'm seeing in my life. I am seeing some of the promises coming true. But I have to remember that some come quickly and some come slooooowly.

The bottom line is, I want what you've got and will go to any lengths to get it. Perhaps when I have 10 or 15 years, even 5 years of sobriety, or whenever the dust settles so to speak, I will be able to thank my HP I'm an alcoholic. So long as I continue to do those things I need to do every day (don't drink, go to meetings, talk with other alkies, hit my knees in the morning and the evening, and on and on), I just might get there. I jist ain't thar yet.

Buck
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