Not new to the "program", but new to working it

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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Not new to the "program", but new to working it

Postby Guiseppe » Mon May 17, 2010 5:16 pm

Hello everyone,

I first started in AA in 1984, however it took me until 3 weeks ago to get to where I earnestly wanted to be finished with drinking and start a new life.

I've been attending meetings regularly the last 3 weeks and am feeling a kinship with my HP that I lost over 10 years ago when I lost my marriage. I've asked a fellow I relate to to sponsor me, have been taking time to get up and affirm myself each morning, then spend some time meditating and study the Bible (more on that later). I'm focusing on catching things that used to send me into a spiral that would lead to a drunk; staying away from Bars/Lounges and anything that would tempt me.

I'm just curious...i've been through steps 1-6 before, and I believe in my heart this time IS different. That being said, I feel like I have accepted steps 1-3 in you see that there is a danger of rushing through to this point? Am I setting myself up for a problem?

Thanks for your input!


PS I have been on a "relapse" the whole time until I got sober three weeks ago.

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Postby Dallas » Mon May 17, 2010 10:10 pm

Hello Guiseppe,

I hope you don't mind me using an example, but... it's the best thing that comes to mind right now, to write what I mean, in as few words as possible.

Suppose, that in 1984, the motor on your car blew up -- and you got 1/2th of the way through re-building the motor, and you started driving it again?

Part of the motor might have been stronger, because of newer parts, but you still had some old parts that got even weaker.

You've got motor trouble again -- the motor is fixing to blow up. And, you're trying to decide if re-building 1/4 of the motor... will work, and if you're trying to rebuilt it too fast.

It would seem to me, that the motor re-building pattern now, is just like it was in 1984... with the exception of comparing 1/2 of the work in 84, to 1/4 of the work now???

See what I mean?

If you depend on the motor -- say, you're a driver, and that's the way you earn your living... how long are you willing to drive around with a weak motor that could blow at any minute?

At this point, I would imagine that you're alcoholism has progressed. Things might be running semi-smoothly right now... but something could happen at any moment and alcoholism would over power all your best intentions and motives to stay sober. That's the fatal nature of alcoholism.

The real question becomes "How long to you want to be on a thin sheet of ice... and walking on a ground that could shake at any time and break the ice?"

If you want sobriety, long-lasting and good sobriety... this time, then, I'd suggest that you try doing it totally different than you did last time.

On the bottom of page 58, BB, it told me, when I returned to AA, after being out there... that I was going to have to let go of ALL my old ideas, absolutely... or, I wasn't going to make any progress.

The most damaging to me, old ideas that I had at that time -- was my old AA ideas. They didn't keep me sober the first time... so, why would I want to trust them for the final time?

Best wishes to you,


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Letting go absolutely

Postby Guiseppe » Mon May 17, 2010 11:12 pm


Thank you for your thought - I definitely am glad for the input. I DO think that, in my heart, I am ready for change - to do work - that I haven't been ready for before. There are so many things I could mention that I've done, all things that made me believe in my heart that I really am an alcoholic whereas in the past I never really bought into the consequences.

When I just opened the BB to read the paragraph you mentioned, the first thing that I saw was the first line:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program (Pg 58)

The thought just occurred, I should just keep going to meetings, listen, and NOT rush things. Working steps is good, but the bottom line is staying sober. I NEED to remember I've tried shortcuts in the past, and the result, as the book says, was "nil". I'll talk this over with my sponsor. Good stuff.

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Postby Bensober » Tue May 18, 2010 8:59 am

Good Morning Guiseppe,
As shared the best carefully listened answers are in the Big Book. What helped me second time around was I was told I could actually stop thinking! My mind has a tendency to share things about this, that, & other things that can take me away from my primary purpose…Stay Sober & Help Others! Self will run riot comes from me listening to what my mind tells me is ok about anything. Follow the rules and instructions of the Big Book and getting direction from true experience and strength like Dallas and others on this site for me is a suggestion that is the same as and/or equals a “subtle commandâ€

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Re: Letting go absolutely

Postby GeoffS » Tue May 18, 2010 5:02 pm

Guiseppe wrote: Working steps is good, but the bottom line is staying sober.

Working the steps IS staying sober

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Re: Letting go absolutely

Postby DiggerinVA » Wed May 19, 2010 6:16 am

GeoffS wrote:
Guiseppe wrote: Working steps is good, but the bottom line is staying sober.

Working the steps IS staying sober

That works. It is amazing how many want to work part but not all.

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Postby GeoffS » Wed May 19, 2010 7:12 am

Bars, clubs and dives, not to mention gutters and graveyards are full of those who thought they'd work part of it, hang out in the half measures hallway and take the easier softer option.

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Postby Ranman99 » Thu May 20, 2010 9:28 pm

Great thread, I'm attending a mens step 6 and 7 workshop tomorrow. We have covered off 1 to 5 already. This is a good message for me.

I am now 17 months sober. First time I came into AA was about 20 years ago. I went through all of the steps in 2007 and drank again. I'm extremely hard headed and egotistical :lol:

This time when I came in I was beat. I had lost my second job to drinking and my wife was walking out with my kid. That has not happened yet and one day at a time it does not have to.

When I came back in this time I worked all the steps again in about 3 months. For guys like me faster is better but as I learned surrender and being willing to be thorough from the very start is also kinda important.

This time as I did step 9's I started with the tougher ones and I did not stop I did as many as I could and saved a few for face to face that I will be doing in a months time.

During this process of doing the step 9's this time I had a connection with HP come about that changed my life and also by the grace the craving had been lifted right from my first day back in the program so I am very lucky in that regard. By the time I was 4 months in and had my break through and had had no craving something told me that for the first time in my life I actually had a chance to remain clean and sober and today one day at a time I believe it to still be true.

I now sponsor two guys and I continue to learn. I have been willing to continue to grow and have removed those niggly items that are still in stock.

In reflection I realise that there was a time in my 20's and before I got into a serious relationship that I was actually quite honest about my drinking with my friends and tried several times on my own to stop and that usually lasted about 4 to 6 months max. By my 30's I was hiding drinking from my wife and living an absolute double life and it just about killed me.

Today if I'm off the beam I simply remind myself that I am an Alcoholic and I am lucky to be alive or to not have killed anyone else and I do a fast gratitude list.

Today my gratitude list is always about 20 times longer than my hit list :P


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Postby Tim » Thu May 20, 2010 11:29 pm

Ranman99 wrote:Today my gratitude list is always about 20 times longer than my hit list :P

Well put! :D

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Postby KT » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:23 pm

Hey there, my name is Kathy and I am an alcohic. There is no doubt in my mind that this is what I am. 30+ years of drinking and I finally have accepted and surrendered to the fact. I too, had a couple of attempts at quitting. However, I did not work the steps. I did not turn it over to my higher power who I choose to call God. On Dec 15, 2009 I had my third DUI in 5 years. I am very grateful I did not kill anyone or myself. I just about lost everything including my will to live. With the grace of God I got through all the legal stuff. I was able to keep my job of 23 yrs and begin this journey of recovery. So far so good. I am 232 days sober and loving my new life. I can only give credit to God for leading me in the right direction. I take my time on the steps. Step 4 was a biggy for me and I cannot even explain the relief I felt to get all the junk out. My life is so much better now. I catch myself having pitty parties sometimes but have learned the serenity prayer really helps me. I know this is where I need to be. I really worked on the attitude and gratitude and cannot believe the difference in the way I think now. I am currently working on Step 7. Humility and willingness to have God remove my obstacles. These two along with my attitude and gratitude will help me move in the right direction with God's help. AA is a GREAT program. I am very thankful for another day of sobriety. God Bless you all and thank you for this site and encouragement. Love, Kathy

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