- Is AA the right place for someone like me?

Is AA the right place for someone like me?

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

Is AA the right place for someone like me?

Postby thenewguy » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:43 am

Hi everyone -

I am kind of at a crossroads where I feel pretty strongly that I would benefit from the kind of life changes that being part of AA could bring. I can't find any other group that comes close, but I want to be sure the fit is right.

Every time I read some of the literature, or come to an understanding of some of the concepts, I feel like I 'get it' and that I am on some levels envious of those who have a level of serenity, peace, and understanding that I would like to have myself.

I also have some guilty feelings about going to AA as it might be doing a disservice to others, thinking in some part that my own problems and my own issues with alcohol are pretty insignificant. I may or may not even be an alcoholic by many definitions.

I had some experiences with alcohol a pretty long time ago, like a DWI, getting arrested several times for doing dumb things while drunk, that made me shift my focus to drugs rather than on drinking.

After about 10-15 years, I bottomed out about 7-8 years ago. This was not as a result of alcohol alone, sometimes I focused on drugs and drank very little. It is only now that in not using drugs at all, and realizing that drinking is all I have left to escape from 'the boringness of day to day life' that it's role in my life has started to weigh on me pretty heavily. I see that the way I use alcohol is not like a normal person sees it. For me, it is now simply a tool to get drunk. While I can, and sometimes do, go a long time without drinking, I find that I think about it all the time. I feel I am now, for whatever reason, having an obsessive relationship with a substance that at times, was not 'important' to me.

The larger part of my adolescence and adult years - up until a few years ago - were characterized by abusing a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and engaging in all kinds of other obsessive, addictive behaviors to a point where my life was completely unmanageable. For me my use of drugs combined with drinking lost me two jobs, a career, and ruined my finances, relationships. Somehow (this alone to me is proof that there is a higher power) I found a way to crawl out of this hole on my own, and learned to live without drugs, but still continued to drink. I got a good job, got to a point emotionally where I decided I could like myself again, and finally met an amazing girl.

We are now in a relationship, she is 5 years sober, in AA, and part of why we connected was the mutual understanding that we had both overcome some pretty significant obstacles.

Ihave learned a lot from talking with her, and see what she has gained in her sobriety through AA. There is more to being sober than just not drinking or using drugs. I really feel that I could benefit from the introspection and chance to heal that AA offers. I want to move forward with a healthy emotional

In going to some meetings, I feel I relate, but alcohol alone has not have the singular role in my life to the extent that some AAs I listened to. Is my story a fit for AA?

It is time to move on with healing my life, I feel, and I want to get started.

Thanks for listening.
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Postby Dallas » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:27 pm

Hello Newguy! Welcome to the site. You sound like a fit to me. :wink: My past relates to a lot of what you wrote. Myself, and many others -- after we were sober in AA for a while -- discovered that we had been alcoholic for many years before we hit the tragic stages of our drinking. And, that had we come to AA sooner & adopted the tools & way of life -- we could have spared ourselves years and years of misery. This is also true for many younger alcoholics who had become alcoholic in their teens -- then, were able to spend years doing some moderate or controlled drinking. And, some, who stayed sober long enough until they finished their careers and didn't take up drinking again until they had retired.

It's not how deep a grave gets dug -- that determines if someone is dead. :lol: And, it's not how far down a scale that you have gone, that determines whether or not your alcoholic.

I'd suggest that you might want to read the book Alcoholics Anonymous, and give some special attention to Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, and also The Dr.'s Opinion, in the front of the book.

There is ONLY ONE requirement for AA Membership: "Do you have a desire to stop drinking?" If you can answer "Yes" to that question -- you are qualified to join. And, how do you join? How do you become a member? "YOU become a member If YOU DECIDE that you are."

I WISH that I would have had the level of insight & intelligence that you have... years before I got to where I got! I had known someone in AA that was a friend -- but I only spent all my time trying to get them to understand that "they" were not an alcoholic and that they could drink with me! :lol: You see... I had a "wrong perception" of what determines IF someone is alcoholic or not. And, "who or what" determines IF someone is alcoholic? The only one that can do that is: the alcoholic.

You may, or may not discover that "Wow! I'm sure glad I got here when I did! Because, I can see & understand now -- that I was a lot worse off than I thought I was!" (Many of us come to that conclusion after we've been sober for a few years).

I hope that helps. And, I hope you'll keep coming back!

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Postby thenewguy » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:24 pm

Hi Dallas-

Thanks for taking your time to help me. Over the weekend I have been to a couple meetings and also stopped into our local intergroup office to get some literature. In speaking with someone in person at the office, and via the message I heard at one of the meetings, as well as people who I sought out to speak with afterward, I have a better comfort level about my fit with the program.

I read the sections of the big book that you recommended, along with step 1 of the 12/12 publication as well. Now it appears it is up to me to make a commitment to get started making some positive changes.

Thanks again and you have my gratitude.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:06 am

Thanks for checking back & checking in! It's great to hear that things seem to be working. Now, I'd suggest to read from the front cover up through the Dr.'s Opinion, of the Big Book. It's a short section but it's packed with some great info. Be sure to read each page. The forwards & the prefaces, too. And, then -- read Bill's Story. That's Chapter 1. As you read Bill's Story -- take the time to ask yourself, as you go through it, if you relate or identify with some of his experiences. With that -- compared to your own experiences, I believe you'll be able to make a valuable and informed decision about yourself. You'll be able to say to yourself -- "No. I really wasn't like that at all." Or... "Wow! I sure understand what seemed to be going on w/ this guy! Because I relate!"

I do mean it when I say it's really good to hear back from you. Hearing back from you makes my day! If you end up sticking around for a while, someday, you'll understand why! :wink:

Best wishes,

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Postby john boy » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:43 am

hi newguy...

Glad to hear you feel as if you fit...apply no worries to the feelings of guilt you mention, please. All those who I have crossed paths with in the fellowship have something to offer. Take Dallas' suggestion and read the Big Book...

best thoughts,
john boy
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Postby Dallas » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:45 am

btw: Something I've heard often in AA meetings -- since my very first one, is: "The only one's who end up here are the one's that were intended to be here." :lol:
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Postby thenewguy » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:25 pm

Thanks again, everyone!

I will check in from time to time and let you all know how things are progressing.

The kindness of giving your time to help someone is for which I am appreciative and grateful.
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Postby Roger8-1-88 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:18 pm

People how are not alcoholics don't wonder whether they are alcoholic or not and if you’re not an alcoholic….. stick around.....you will do till one comes along. :wink:
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Postby Camel » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:28 pm


Not takin' your inventory, but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck.............it's a duck. Keep comin' back. AA, and people like these saved my life.

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