Hello again - it's been a very long time.

This is for alcoholics and addicts in 12 Step Recovery. Introduce yourself or read introductions from others!
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:27 pm

Hello again - it's been a very long time.

Postby Jellymint » Wed May 04, 2011 2:59 am

Hi Dallas. I was wandering on the web today and came across a post I posted here in 2006: http://www.step12.com/forums/viewtopic. ... 74d4ec9d92

I was so surprised to read it myself!! Life has taken me on a journey. My sobriety date is July 5 2007 so I am coming up on 4 years. That's almost one whole hand! or two peace signs which I think I'll take *smiles*

AA saved my life for a number of years. After my July tumble, I went into residential treatment which was enlightening. 21 meetings a week for the longest time kept me in this world. Then I started having troubles with it. I was so desperate to get what I saw those around me getting, a gradual easing of their suffering. They were able to begin to incorporate and assimilate the concepts and wisdom of AA philosophy and action them in their lives. I witnessed the changings. I participated in the step work, applied myself wholeheartedly but no matter what I tried or how I tried it, I kept smashing into a wall. I wasn't drinking but I was hurting so very bad. People kept telling me that I had to let go, that I needed to search honestly, that if I just do the work and follow the path and begin to live my life according to the principals not only outlined in the books, but demonstrated in the very people around me who have achieved a comfort of serenity. I was failing. Instead of strengthening, I was degrading and I didn't know why and I didn't know what to do about it. What I did know is that I was no longer able to sit in the rooms and not be able to reach out and taste some of what they were receiving. I felt isolated - separated from the pack and it hurt me so much that they were there reaching out to me but an unknown fear and panic and inability to engage was overwhelming.

It was at this point that I was diagnosed with complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. I went through a residential trauma program and learned that working the program in the main stream AA fashion - the one that saved my life - was counterproductive now as it was activating my PTSD. One of my specific traumas revolves around being in a cult for 4 years earlier in my life, the fear of brainwashing was deeply ingrained that it was running the show underneath. I learned that I needed to approach AA in a way that was safe for me. I have just recently started going to meetings again. I need them as I am struggling with the desire to drink my pain as I heal from the trauma that has been awakened. It is difficult, however I am able to go with an understanding that it does apply to me, that it is helpful to me, that there is so much there that will move my healing forward. I am able to pull this around myself somewhat so that when I sit and listen and "hear" the stepwork, I am working toward running it through my filters and finding that way to move through the barriers. *Laughs* ... listen to me. I should qualify here that I have been to three meetings in the last month. It is a beginning.

Anyway. I wanted to say thank you for your support post. When I read that a few months after I posted my introductory post, you had posted wondering how I was doing, it really touched me. Thank you Dallas. I am not sure if you know of others who are specifically dealing with PTSD, not sure if there is a forum or a thread or a gathering of something so specific but I thought I would throw that out there.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your amazing dedication to this site.

*smiles* Lauren

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Postby Dallas » Wed May 04, 2011 9:19 am

Hello Lauren! It's great to hear from you!

Yes -- I started a thread on PTSD here:
http://www.step12.com/forums/viewtopic. ... light=ptsd

When you read that, you may notice, that, I understand. :wink:

What you wrote above, reminds me of my own experience of coming into AA. I had been trying sooooo hard to do what the others were doing in the AA meetings that I had attended -- but, I was getting worse -- while they were getting better.

Here is what I discovered: They were doing a type of AA, that's very popular -- but, it wouldn't work for me. I was getting worse -- doing what they were doing.

I did find a solution -- or, I wouldn't be here to write this! :lol: :lol:

The solution that I did discover was THE ORIGINAL AA -- that they were doing when the Big Book was first written -- which is MUCH DIFFERENT than "the popular AA" that's found in many meetings today.

There is a HUGE difference! I'm grateful that the Big Book was still around and that I had the luxury and opportunity to hook up with two men, that had also re-discovered "the original plan of recovery" that's described in the Big Book -- and "how to apply it" to myself and to my problems. This made ALL the difference in the world for me and it helped me to recover from alcohol-ism, and to solve all my other problems that I had going on, too!

I hope you keep coming back. I've missed you! And, I'm so happy to hear that you're still alive, too! We face a condition that is fatal -- if we don't find the right solution to treat it.


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Postby sunlight » Sun May 08, 2011 12:08 am

Hi Lauren. :D

I was diagnosed with PTSD when I was drinking. I didn't even know what that was, but it was kind of a relief to have a name for what I was feeling. So what did the doc do? Prescribe a pill! Their answer for everything. :roll: And I loved the stuff. It made me feel drunk without any of the signs of inebriety. The problem was it didn't do much for the PTSD, and I eventually went back to just drinking.

It wasn't until I took the steps that I realized the grip the disorder had on me had lessened. But not totally. Every night when I did my 10th step I could feel the fear lurking under the surface. I felt so helpless.

My former sponsor ( who is now in the big meeting with all the AA's who have passed on ) was concerned that I still had so much pain and fear around this. She told me she had prayed about it and that God had given her a plan for me. If you're interested, you can PM me & I will share it with you. I didn't understand what she was trying to do, but I always listen to my sponsor. I knew she cared about me. Plus I respected her immensely. I did what she suggested and came to know in the depths of my heart what the book tells me - that the people who harmed me were spiritually sick. Now I knew this intellectually, but not in my being, where it makes a difference in my thoughts and actions.

The relief came gradually ( the only thing that was lifted immediately was the compulsion to drink! :lol: ) but it came.

Also, attending Al-Anon regarding family issues, and reading their literature, was helpful in learning to take care of myself.

Through all this, I became strong! And the funny thing is, the stronger I become, the more loving I feel! I don't need to keep people out. I can welcome them into my heart and enjoy them and love them because the fear is gone. It's just gone. I don't even need to "protect myself". I am free. And happy and joyous too! :wink:

There are still times when something will trigger a reactive emotion, and I have to remind myself, "That was then. This is now" or "I am safe. Today I am safe." But I stand in awe at the miracle sobriety has given me.

Thank you for letting me share. I am here to tell you there is hope. Don't give up. There is happy destiny for us. :mrgreen:

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