- Biochemistry of Love, Relationships and Recovery

Biochemistry of Love, Relationships and Recovery




A discussion of topics related to relationships in recovery and treatment

Postby tj » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:26 pm

Well, for about 5 minutes I was the only person on the forum. It was lonely. :( So I decided I'd post and attract some attention. :lol:

I read and heard the warning of not making any big decisions in the first year of sobriety and I am not. I also remember when I got divorced and lost my parents. Again, those were times that I had to let at least a year go by before making big decisions. My emotions were all over the place and I just flat did not trust myself after my parents died. Getting sober has been a little different and a little the same. The first two or three months my emotions would go crazy occassionally, which was better than when I was drinking but still a little scary. At three months, a big shift happened and I felt much calmer and peaceful. Another shift happened at around six months. My viewpoint changed. I "got" some things about sobriety that I didn't get before. It is crystal clear and undeniable to me now that if I drink again, I will die. I can just feel my insides shifting and I know that there is more coming. So for this girl, there are no big decisions. There are some that I would dearly like to make, but I am waiting. And in the meantime, I am getting the biggest kick out of this thread. Dallas and Paul talking about "chemistry" has been cracking me up. Dallas topped it off by talking about going blind in one eye. Well, your mother was right. It will make you go blind. :twisted:

Manette
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Postby Dallas » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:29 pm

Thanks Paul for that right-on show-me the Steak message!!! You really had 72 ounces of beef in that one!!! If someone can eat the entire message of what you wrote... they get the goodies and won't have to pay for it! :lol: :lol: :lol:

When the International convention is in Texas, we'll have to pard'ner up together to try downing one of those huge 72 oz steak dinners down there! I look forward to it! :lol:

Manette!!!!

It's so wonderful to have you finally show up for this one! :lol:

I was thinking about you earlier today and wondering where you were what you were doing... and whether or not our goofy-ness ran you off! :lol:

I've missed you for the last few days!

BTW:

tj wrote:Well, your mother was right. It will make you go blind.


That's just the point I was trying to make! I WASN'T doing it -- and I went blind!!!! :lol: :lol:

Here's how goofy I did my "no relationships in the first year."

They twisted that one on me and said "no sex for a year."

Well.... I just had to prove them wrong! And, I did! :oops:

I waited until my 2nd year to try "no sex for a year."

I was doing really good at it... and then someone said "That means... no sex with your self, either!"

Damn!!! Wouldn't you know it? I had to start the whole year all over again! :oops:

But, get a load of this unbelievable part.... I DID IT!!!!

Yep! ME!!! I was able to do it -- and I felt so proud of myself afterwards for being able to do it, honestly... which meant... starting over and not even with myself!

It made me feel so good about me. And, I could see huge significant other changes in my life and in my emotional well-being.

I felt more sensitive... but at the same time... more in control of my actions and urges.

I had a different respect for myself. I had more confidence. And, part of the awareness gain was... yes, I can live without alcohol... and yes, I could live without sex... if I had to, and it would be okay.

I could still be happy... for 12 months and a day! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Now, like I said... I'm not a saint, and I'm probably the biggest not-saint of all... because I have failed to live up to my standards that I have set for myself... (seems like I just heard some big important guy on TV saying that, too! :lol: ) ... but the doing without for a year helped me to know that I didn't have to make stupid decisions that were risky and were based upon instinctual urges.

I should probably only speak for myself here... maybe I will... so,

I believe that often... people stay in or get in bad and un-healthy relationships -- that it would do them good to get out of -- over sex, or the fear of sexual-insecurity. Either... they don't want to leave because the sex is so good... or, it's bad, too... and they are just afraid they'll end up alone and no one else will want them. The feel damaged or like they are damaged goods.... so, they are lucky to get it once in a while. (Their feelings... not mine). :wink:

It could be... they are just afraid of being alone... but, I think their sexual ideals and the instinct has a big influence on it.

The great news is: we have Steps that deal with our fears and our insecurities... and our sex problems... and all our problems, including alcohol.... and ANY man or woman CAN recover IF (as Paul so elegantly states sometimes...) they TRUST GOD and... take the actions to clean house on the inside and on the outside!

Dallas
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Postby garden variety » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:27 pm

tj wrote: I also remember when I got divorced and lost my parents. Again, those were times that I had to let at least a year go by before making big decisions. My emotions were all over the place and I just flat did not trust myself after my parents died. Getting sober has been a little different and a little the same. The first two or three months my emotions would go crazy occassionally, which was better than when I was drinking but still a little scary.


Listen to this girl, friends. What an example - quiet again - but this time I caught you.

Manette, what you said in 5 sentences is some of the hardest, most difficult times, any man or woman can face in life. You're no kid. You're not just an ordinary "newcomer" - you've been on some rough rides in life. You're on the journey of a lifetime as a sober lady, and showing me a thing or two - I tell you what! I can only imagine the help you will be to countless other women and men on this journey. Boy are we lucky and blessed to have your life touch ours today.

You come here and help men and women in such a humble, quiet, and loving way - Manette, you truly warm my heart. You are the kind of person I feel "convicted" around. You don't even have to say or do anything - your ways make my own shortcomings, like ego, stick out like a sore thumb. I know a few ladies like you, and compassion is your strong suit. I know I couldn't give as much or have such a sweet disposition having lived your experiences - then to top it off being a single mom of 3 kids. You are so much worth staying sober. You are an incredible lady - I mean incredible - may God always bess your heart.

Thanks for helping me today! And thanks for helping me stay "right-sized"
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Postby Dallas » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:23 pm

Ditto. :wink:

Paul, we got ourselves surrounded by a great bunch of women! :lol:

How'd we pull that off? :lol:
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Postby tj » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:28 am

Dallas and Paul--you guys are too kind. You have touched me deeply. I think I am going to copy off the posts onto a document so that I can read them when I am down. Thank you so much. The value of your praise is beyond measure to me.

To set the record straight, Paul is right --I am no "kid". I was a single parent of three kids, but I remarried about 8 years ago. My oldest two are young adults now, one lives around the corner and one lives in Austin. My baby is going to college in the fall. I am blessed.

In my experience, alcoholics think that bringing things in from the outside will cure what is wrong on the inside. Be it alcohol, drugs, or sex, we tend to go for the quick fix. We confuse being drunk with being happy and sex with love. To me sex and love can be two very different things. We tend to get hurt or hurt someone else when we mistake one for the other. Paul is so right. The only way that we can keep things straight is to make certain that the most important relationship in our lives is healthy. The other relationships will then usually take care of themselves. This may not be true for you, but it is my experience.

Have a happy, sober Friday.

Manette
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Postby Susan » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:36 am

We women knew we were surrounded by a great group of guys :D
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Postby Dallas » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:58 pm

Aw shucks.............. :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:


All of you bring a lot of joy into my life everyday!!!

I love hearing from each of you.

And, I learn from each of you.

Thank you for being here and for sharing yourself with all of us.

There are many visitors who just cruise through the forum and read your messages. (Thousands).

Sometimes, they join and post one or two messages... sometimes they post none, and sometimes they don't join... but, they keep coming back regularly to read and feed on what you post.

I know that to be true because sometimes they will contact me using the contact form on the site, and write about how something you shared touched them, helped them, or caused them to reach out for help. And, they share their thanks and gratitude for your sharings. So, thank you from them... too!

Dallas
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Postby Kelly » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:22 am

Yes, you guys are surrounded by a great bunch of women...that's for sure! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Manette, you truly inspire me! It makes so much sense not to make any important decisions for a year. All of you have made that very clear to me. I guess I was just trying to be a little bit humorous with my post on this topic (especially after reading what Paul and Dallas had to say!) (and my being a single woman and all) ...but the truth is that since I've been going to the meetings and gaining more knowledge about sobriety, I've become aware of how damn lucky I am to be a single woman who is getting sober. I have recently learned about many, many people who are trying to stay sober and have a spouse or partner who is not interested in becoming sober. I cannot imagine how difficult that must be. They not only have to deal with their partner who is still drinking or using, they have to deal with the substance (alcohol, or whatever) still being in their presense and in their home. I know that the BB states that shouldn't make a difference and we should be able to still remain sober even if we are in environments where alcohol is present, but my goodness....how incredibly difficult that would be if your mate was still using???? I wish all of you who are dealing with this situation much love and admiration...please keep on keepin on, OK?

So, I guess I'm not as bad off as I thought, huh? I can certainly put off any major decisions for another year (or whatever the timetable happens to be, Paul :wink: ) if it helps me maintain my sobriety! :D

Kelly
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Postby Dallas » Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:03 pm

Thanks for your post Kelly.

For my first year sober... I had one major goal. And, that was to learn how to stay sober for 24 hours each day! :wink: I figured that if I could do that... I might have a chance at staying sober!

I had a lot of major decisions that I had to make during the first year. And, I could be wrong about this... but, I think what Paul was saying is "It's no where in the book... the concept of not making any major decisions for a year." It's just something that somebody made up... and it got passed around like the chants after some meetings.

Just not taking a drink was a major decision for me!

Making a decision that I was really an alcoholic was a major decision for me.

Not going to some of the places I had been going and not doing some of the things I had been doing were major decisions for me.

Running my business and deciding to sell my business, to move out of an expensive apartment... into a guest-house, paying my bills, making the payroll, showing up to the office... those were major decisions for me. :wink:

Here's a real kicker! (I think...) Back in the Pioneering days of AA in Akron and Cleveland... the AA's normally took all their Steps within the first two weeks of getting out of a hospital... (for those who had been hospitalized to detox). You couldn't even attend a meeting unless a "sponsor" vouched that you had "made your surrender and confession" :lol: And, the sponsors personally "led the newcomer" through the Steps.

Talk about 90 meetings in 90 days? They didn't have 90 meetings that someone could go to in 90 days! :lol:

No major decisions in the first year? Read the story in the back of the book... by an AA Pioneer... "He sold himself short."

In this story, we see that this alkie showed up at Dr. Bob's house on Dr. Bob's day off, two weeks after he got out of the hospital... And, Dr. Bob took him through all the Steps in one afternoon! :lol:

Then, the next day... (major decision?) he left for Chicago... and Dr. Bob told him to go up there and start AA! :lol:

Dr. Bob, told him... "Since you won't have any fellowship up there and no meetings... why don't you come back to Akron about every other month and spend a day with us... until you can get AA started in Chicago?" :lol: :lol: Sounds like a major decision to me! And, keep in mind... this guy had only been sober for two weeks! :wink:

For the most part... AA recovery is not practiced today, like it was practiced in the early days of AA in Akron and Cleveland... so, that's probably why it might be a idea for many... of those who do it different today... to wait about making any major decisions in their lives! :wink:

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Postby garden variety » Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:14 pm

Let me add to that another important "proviso". I was told that I should avoid making any major decisions within the first year "if it was at all possible". Around here, what the longtimers were passing on was just common sense. They weren't rigid - and what Dallas says about the pioneers is true. I'm sure "major decisions" could be interpreted a number of different ways.

But up there in Cleveland, those common sense "suggestions" have turned into something ugly and out of context. It stirs many controversies. We talk about this thing today called "Cleveland AA" and they have made the "No relationships in the first year" into a hard and fast rule. Guess what? There's not supposed to be "rules". There's not supposed to be "leaders that govern" - just trusted servants. A sponsor is supposed to be a "trusted servant".

But the horror stories I've heard, especially involving women and their sponsors, have made AA in this region a bit rediculous. I know a girl who has been sober for 3 years now, and each one of her sponsors told her to end her relationship with her live-in boyfriend. She had that relationship for 4 years before she came into the rooms. She has had several sponsors - each one told her if she did not end the relationship, they would not sponsor her. Heresay? NO. I heard it right from one of her former sponsors.

There are female sponsors up this way that won't "allow" a new girl to have coffee with any member of the opposite sex even if it's in a group setting. I have been accused of "trying to get into " someone's pants by her sponsor, and the sponsor quit the girl. The girl had over five years sober. The sponsor probably had an unresolved resentment against men or some kind of abuse issue.

"Rules" in the sense of if you don't follow them exactly as a sponsor says, then he or she will quit you, that is just wrong. But it happens too often. And those "rules" I'm talking about are not part of the program. They are not A.A. approved. They scare away newcomer females, which should be a crime in and of itself. And they give sponsorship a bad name. No wonder many folks believe A.A. is a cult. There are more sponsors than I can count on my hands that if a new lady were to get involved with, they would be more confused than ever.

It's just a thing though. It is what it is. But I sure think it's wrong.

Common sense is a good thing and is always a good suggestion. It's even good to argue about these things with sponsors to have a dialogue. But to threaten a protegee' with "firing them" because they are not following a set of "rules" that are just nothing more than over-controlling micro-management alcoholic insane thinking is not the point of the program.

Sorry for being on the soapbox.
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