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Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery

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Postby Lee » Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:51 pm

Hello everyone,
I am a alcholic with 73 days sober. This is the first time I have ever tryed to quit drinking since I was 18. I guess I new for a long time that I had a drinking problem but never really cared. I was always shy and a depressed person that looked down on myself but some how always seemed to keep my life some what together.
Then on my forty fifth birthday it all started to crash down around me. THEN I NEW. Either quit drinking or die.
I checked my self into rehab. Got detoxed. Then did the 28 day program. It was by far the best thing I have ever done. Not only has it helped me quit drinking, but has opened a whole new door in my life.
It is helping me be a better person. You people here at Step12 are helpinging me be a better person. A.A. meetings are helping me be a better person. The B.B.,12 & 12, and the Bible are helping me be a better person.
The problem is...
I can't seem to shake my shyness and anixety. I want to share at meetings but I freeze up and don't. Then I feel bad about it.
What can I do? Please help. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thank you.
Lee
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Postby Dallas » Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:02 pm

Hello Lee!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

You seem to be doing just fine with the sharing. Perhaps, you're just thinking about it a little intensely. :wink: And, for me... that would be normal.

If it took you 45 years of trudging to get here... I wouldn't expect that you would expect to expect too much of yourself in 73 days! :lol:

For me, change has been incremental... and it has taken a lot of time.

I suspect that what you're going to discover... is that you've always been a good person... and, a really good person at that. I'll even bet that you'll discover that not only were you a good person all along... but, that you just had some things going on inside you that were making it difficult for you to do the best that you could do... in any given moment.

One of those things that I discovered in myself... was how hard I was on myself. It was impossible for me to do the best that I could do -- when I was always beating up on myself. I didn't need any enemies. I had me against me. :lol:

That appears to be a trait that many of us share in common. We were mighty tough on ourselves. We thought bad things about ourselves and we expressed it by talking to ourselves and saying bad things to ourselves about ourselves. Then, after we were clobbering ourselves, we went out into the world and couldn't figure out why were felt so tired, worn down and depressed, and couldn't do better.

My suggestion would be to relax and take it easy -- but, not too relaxed or too easy. :lol: There will be some work that you'll need to do -- but, don't rush it to the point that you expect too much out of yourself too soon.

The deal about being sober and staying sober, for me, has been to discover living life in a way that I could love living life sober -- and learning to love myself like I would love a dear friend, who was perhaps sick. I would want to do good things for them -- so, that meant looking for ways to do good things that were good for me.

If we can't pass on -- what we haven't got -- then, the greatest thing that we'll be able to pass on -- is to begin to really care about ourselves so that we can really begin to care about others.

Keep in mind -- that you are helping us. Just you being here with your new found sobriety and way of life, and sharing it with us -- is helping us. And, we appreciate it and we appreciate you!

So, just hang out here with us and share what's going on for you, as it's going on for you, and it will help us, and because it helps us, it will help you. And, that's about how it works. :wink:

Thank you for being here Lee. I appreciate you.... and I appreciate you sharing.

Dallas
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Postby garden variety » Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:35 pm

Hi Lee.

Welcome. I was 40 when I started this journey of sobriety. At first I went to maybe 2-3 meetings a week, then I slacked off after about 4 years, and almost went back out drinking again. Then I started going back to meetings every night - I did that for a while, but then I got sick and had some health things happen that landed me in the hospital, so I did cut back to about 4-5 meetings a week which is what I do today.

My point is this - I'd been going to meetings for 6 years before I decided to open my mouth. I just didn't have the confidence to think I had anything I could share that would help anybody. The first time I commented at a meeting was after I heard a speaker tell his story and he had the same year of sobriety as me. I don't know what happened, but I could so much identify with his struggles and his going to meetings every night that whatever it was that I was afraid just went away.

And if you read this forum you'll see I haven't shut up for a long time since. So I been making up for lost time.

For you it don't have to be that way. What Dallas said is right. Don't be hard on yourself and try to relax. Just like Dallas, I was my own worst enemy, too. There's a couple "tricks" I learned that make recovery come together quicker - now these aren't shortcuts either - there aren't any shortcuts. These just make things easier to understand.

One big thing is keeping all my worries and emotions and feelings all contained to 24 hours, or to the time that I'm awake. That means I don't get to speculating about next week or next month or my daughters wedding when I don't have a daughter yet. I can only live one day at a time, and that's the only time that God will help me. You said you read a bible? Well that carpenter fellow says something along the lines of "Look at the birds, they don't toil or reap or put things into barns but they don't go a day without getting fed. Then the flowers don't do anything but sit there and not a man in this world can make clothes to put on himself that look better than those flowers - then tomorrow they might be dead. So why don't you do the same thing and not worry about what's gonna happen tomorrow. There's enough happening today that will keep you busy." (Now don't quote me on that - that's just how I understood his words)

Another big thing is doing work that will help your fellows when you start feeling sorry for yourself, or when you're beating yourself up. The book says that are lives go on real well as long as we do work that is self-sacrificing and is meant to help others without expecting anything in return. That's how we're supposed to stay "spiritually fit". The good thing is after a time we just do this kind of thing automatically. We don't have to think about helping - it starts to come naturally. But don't get me wrong it does take a lot of practice at first. Especially not listening to our damaged brains trying to talk us out of doing helpful things that require work and action.

Then the other big thing is to develop the skill of listening. My mom told me that listening is the greatest gift we could give anyone. I believe her.

Oh but don't let me forget to throw in some of those "essential" things: Honesty, Openmidedness, and Willingness. That's H.O.W. we start the road to sobriety. Another thing Bill Wilson throws in with the HOW is "humility".

-One day at a time
-work and self-sacrifice for others
-HOW and humility

And put off picking up a drink until tomorrow if you get the urge. It really is amazing how everything else seems to take care of itself if I do these few simple things.

God bless and thanks for helping me too.

Paul
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Postby Lee » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Thanks Dallas,

Thanks Paul,

I do think about things to Intensely. I guess it just comes with my nature.
The way I can share my thoughts on here is to write it down on paper first, then type it down. I guess I think to intensely on what I want to say, and by then time is up and I'm to late.
It's kinda like what Paul said. I just don't have the confidence to think I have anything I could share that would help anyone.
I suppose I am being to hard on myself at times.
I will try and work on keeping my problems contained to 1 day at a time and try to clear me head every night before bed.
Honesty, openmindedness, willingness, and humility. I will work on trying to remember that.

I thank you both for helping me on this matter.
I will remember the things that you both have told me.

Thank you again and bless you both.
Lee
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Postby dahlgren » Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:38 pm

Hi Lee, I'm Mike I'm an alcoholic and addict.

I have to concur with Dallas and Paul, don't be too hard on yourself in terms of sharing at a meeting. You will talk when you're ready to talk, none of us ever know what will flip the switch but it will happen. As under-rated as it may seem, just saying your name and what you are with a smile on your face can go a long way my friend, especially if you add how grateful you are to be there that day/night.

The only thing I can share that might be of help is something that helped me in the beginning. The group I went to and still go to had some pretty structured meetings available. Big Book, 12 steps, 12 traditions, Promises and As Bill See's It meetings on regularly scheduled nights. All of these meetings entailed reading sections, steps, trads or a page from the appropriate book. After reading a bit it is opened up for comment in no particular order for anyone to share about what was read and how it pertains to themselves.

I always found it was easier for me back then to make a comment when something had been read that struck a chord with me or was bothering me that night or day. The structure or format really helped me quite a bit and then finding a sponser that was REAL BIG on service work. This sponser drug my butt all over town making me get up in front of other groups and telling my story. I still have nights that I don't feel as if anything I have to say is worth the effort but don't forget you just never know what ends up touching another in need.

I look forward to reading more from you Lee and everyone else and sharing where I can. Happy New Year to you my friend, be safe.

In love and recovery,
Mike
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Postby Lee » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:42 pm

dahlgren wrote ... As under-rated as it may seem, just saying your name and what you are with a smile on your face can go a long way my friend, especially if you add how grateful you are to be there that day/night.


Well I did just that to night at a B.B. meeting.
I even got to read the promises and a couple paragraphs from We Agnostics. I still didn't share on it, but at least I got my mouth open :wink: I listened and learned and I felt pretty good.
WILLINGNESS is what I'll work on more.

Thanks for your listening and help guys.
Happy New Year and God bless.

Lee
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Postby Dallas » Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:22 am

Happy New Year to you, too!!!

:lol: :lol:

The most important little principle that has given me the greatest results in sobriety is this:

Do what I don't want to do.
Be where I don't want to be.
Do what I am unwilling to do.
Do it anyway -- regardless if I believe it will help or not.

For me, it has been about taking actions that I was unwilling take and didn't want to take -- and going and doing things that I didn't want to do, and being where I didn't want to be -- doing things that I didn't believe would help me anyway.

Sometimes, I had to say to myself "Just do it, anyway!"

Sobriety and recovery are not always easy.

It's simple -- but not easy.

It's easy to do what I'm willing to do,
and easy to do what I want to do...
and it's easy to do something I believe in.

The real trick for me has been doing it when it isn't easy.

When I'm doing it -- when it isn't easy -- that's when I'm growing. That's when I'm changing. That's when the transformation takes place. And, that was how I came to believe -- that it really does work -- when I do it. And, it won't -- when I don't.

Keep coming back!

Dallas
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Postby dahlgren » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:10 am

That's all great news Lee, Happy New Year to you. I'm happy for your willingness and desire to grow. Just a suggestion here since you brought up The Promises. Copy them down as 1 through 12 from the Big Book, pages 83-84 and as you go along in your program check them off as you experience each one in your life. I wouldn't be surprised if you have experienced some of them already. I know one of the most fulfilling times in my life was when I experienced the 12th Promise, "I suddenly realized that God is doing for me what I couldn't do for myself".

Keep coming back my friend you have no idea how much you truly help me.

In love and recovery,
Mike
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:49 am

Thanks for your share, Mike.

I appreciate you and thanks for your participation here on the site. I get a lot out of the messages that you share.

I use the promises as part of my 10th & 11th Step daily practice as part of checking what condition my condition is in. I read pages 83-88, Big Book, when I start and finish my day, with a pen and paper, asking myself if I'm experiencing or doing the experiences and suggestions. When I find that I'm low on one of the experiences I can take care of the problem immediately rather than getting down the road too far and discovering one of my check-engine lights come on. :wink:

Dallas
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Postby Lee » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:55 pm

Thanks Dallas,

Thanks Mike,


Do what I don't want to do.

Huummm...

Thats gonna be tuff, but I'll do it anyway because I believe what you tell me will help.
There is an O.D. metting tonight that I will get involved in.
I think I'll write on my hand... DO IT ANYWAY !!! :lol:
And in the process mabey I will experience some of those 12 promises.

Thanks again guys for helping me out and giving me hope.
God bless.

Lee
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