Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment
Glad your still with it after a good number of 24 hours.
I think maybe theres a little confusion about the terms. You know when I talk, I automatically think everyone understands me, but it aint always the case.
When I say I have the "illness" or "disease", I'm not saying "I'm an alcoholic". I'm saying that I have the same affliction or illness that you have, and that is "alcoholism". That's not something I made a choice about.
When I say "I am an alcoholic", it means that I am an alcohlic by a choice I made. I can either choose to "diagnose" myself to be an alcoholic and use the "treatment" of the AA recovery program and a God of my understanding to arrest the disease of alcoholism and "get well". Or I can choose to do nothing, and remain a drunk still suffering from the disease of alcoholism. To me that's a real important distinction. I learned that I choose to become an alcoholic when I am convinced about those 3 pertinent ideas:
a. We were alcoholic and could not manage our lives.
b. Probably no human power could relieve our alcoholism.
c. God could and would if He were sought.
So maybe that clears up why I say that I am glad that I am an alcoholic, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks for sharing, and I'm glad each day is better for you. I know folks that can't put together a week over several years.
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Clear as mud. (Kidding! Just Kidding!!)
I think I see where you're coming from but in order to understand it a little better, I had to look at my wife's experience. We met in college about 33 years ago. The school we went to was quite a party school, and man, did we party. Her father was an alcoholic and was in treatment when we decided to get married. She went to a couple of Al-Anon meetings and learned a little about the disease. She paid particular attention to the heriditary possibilities. My wife liked to drink and could keep up with the best (or worst?) of us, but became convinced that if she continued to drink, she would end up as bad off as her father was. The day we got married, 31 years ago, (her father was out of treatment then and never drank again, although was never in AA) was the last time she ever took a drink, except for communion wine. She convinced herself that she probably had the disease of alcoholism but chose not to become an alcoholic. I, obviously, had the disease as well but chose the other way. As did you and thousands of others like us.
Am I getting close?
p.s. Before you lable my wife an idiot for staying with me for so long, I was a rather high bottom drunk (never lost a jub, no DUI's, no treatment centers, yadda yadda yadda). Even though I was a daily drinker, my drinking never really started getting out of control until 3 or 4 years ago and even then the progession was slow. Having a drink at lunch, starting earlier on the weekends, having three beers instead of my regular two at night during the week. My wife was concerned, but I convinced her I could handle it. (We alky's are great persuaders aren't we?). By this time last year I was drinking 7/24. I rarely got truely falling down, passing out drunk, I just drank enough to keep a nice little buzz on all day, every day. I didn't realize I had become, or made the choice to become, an alcoholic until I tried to stop drinking...and couldn't. At least not for any significant period of time. No telling where I'd be today if I hadn't discovered AA. (Actually it was my wife who "suggested" I give it a try). I know for certain I wouldn't be sitting here, sober, and sharing in this forum. Ok, starting to ramble, time to shut up.
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Wow that was such a good share!
It sounds like your wife was one of the lucky ones that the Big Book talks about. She was able to make a choice to quit drinking BEFORE she became dependent on booze. She saw the writing on the wall, and UNLIKE the alcoholic drinker, she was able to choose "no more"...it wasn't too late, and it seems the disease didn't take ahold. It sounds like she's still a cucumber, and not a pickle! But from what you said, she was probably real close and it looks like she knew it. Thank God her dad was the real "McCoy", and that was enough for her to put on the brakes. I think the BB would say she was the "heavy drinker" that had good enough reason to stop. God bless her, Buck, I think you got a real winner!
And there you were, you ended up "over the line". By the time you realized you needed to quit, the disease already grabbed you and you were addicted. You chose to be an alcoholic because you knew what you would face...a downhill battle against a progressively fatal illness. If you didn't make that choice, you'd get worse and eventually die. You'd be a drunk with untreated alcoholism.
I like what you said about how you "admitted" it at that meeting, and what Scott said. It was beautiful! Like God pulled you up by the collar at that meeting and did the speaking for you, through your mouth. God doing for you, what you could not/would not do for yourself. What a blessing, Buck. We call that "advanced Grace". The rest is history, huh?
Thanks again for a great story, and it sounds like you are getting to that place of being happy, joyous, and free. Thanks because you helped me, too.
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Thanks to both of you... GV and Buck! Good stuff!
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Great thread ~ took me a while to read through it all, and I've already forgotten most of what I've read!
My recovery has been the most amazing thing to happen to me in my entire life. This spiritual path, my new way of living and of looking at life, my new pair of glasses, just blows me away. The freedom I feel from the bottom of my heart and soul is awesome. Liberating. Light. Full. To be able to become teachable again has opened up so many doors for me.
I, too, would not want to drink again even if I were guaranteed that I could "drink normally". Alcohol by nature is a toxin, and I no longer have a desire to put it in to my body. It blocks me off from the sunlight of the spirit. I now have more respect for myself and for those around me. I also gave up smoking, I eat a much healthier diet, I don't spray pesticides on my lawn. None of that is AA per se, yet it is my path in recovery, to be a stand-up kind of gal who is responsible and loving and kind and who does not want to do harm to my physical body, to our water supply, to our planet. I attempt to consider God's will in all of my affairs, not just my drinking and alcoholism.
Am I a grateful alcoholic? Well, I'm grateful and I'm an alcoholic. I am grateful that through all of the twists and turns in my life, I have landed where I now am. If I needed to be an alcoholic to do that, then so be it. However, I can't say that if I weren't an alcoholic I never would have found this wonderful life....simply because I have no way of knowing that. However, it is what it is, and it's real good!
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