What to do when you have a thought of a drink

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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What to do when you have a thought of a drink

Postby consultmoi40 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:13 pm


This is my first post and I am a chronic relapser, I would love to have the tools available to stop me from taking that first drink

What tools do the members use in order to stay away from that first drink and a relapse ?

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated


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Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:37 pm

I used to couldn't make it over two hours without a drink.
Now, I no longer think about drinking.
And, my last drink was a little over 25 yrs ago.

I can only tell you what I did, and hopefully, others will share what they did.

1. I had to get to a state of mind where I wanted to be sober -- more than I wanted to live. That meant to me: that if sobriety killed me, I'd rather die sober than die drinking.

2. I began to try to help other alcoholics to stay sober.

3. I had to use every ounce of my will power to not take the next first drink -- until I could find something stronger than my will power to help me.

4. I had to get over the physical craving that my body was going through because it was withdrawing from the alcohol and demanded a drink. That took me a few days of praying my arse off and being crazy as heck until the physical craving was gone. I KNEW that if I took one drink -- it would set off the craving again -- and physically, my body just couldn't handle getting sober again.

5. I went to a lot of AA meetings and hung out with a lot of AA people in between meetings. And, tried to find someone who needed help more than I did -- and made myself available to try to help them stay sober.

I began volunteering to answer phones at the Central Office and to go on H&I panels.

6. Eventually, I TOOK the 12 Steps. "Taking" the 12 Steps is NOT the same as Practicing the 12 Steps. "To take the Steps" produced a transformation in my mind and personality, to remove the mental and emotional obsession with drinking.

7. Then, I still had to put a lot of energy into "changing my thinking." In addition to the Big Book, I began to use some other tools that I had learned to assist me in changing my thinking. Some of those tools, I found in a book, titled: Feeling Good, by David Burns, M.D. I was able to identify several negative thinking patterns that I had, and I used those tools to work on eliminating and changing those patterns.

8. I continued to study & read the Big Book, and continued to take the 12 Steps.

9. I continued and still do continue to work on my mind, especially my subconscious.

10. I try to grow spiritually -- through contribution to others.

11. One of the BEST tools that I discovered was:

Instead of thinking "don't drink" I turned that into "stay sober." Big Difference. The subconscious mind does not understand "don't" do something. And, "will power" is NOT to "not" do something. Will power is TO DO something.

I had been using my will power to try to "NOT" drink. That wouldn't work for the long haul.

But, it would work -- to use it "for" something -- "to do" something.

So, I'd muscle up all the will power I could TO DO the things that were necessary for me to do -- TO STAY SOBER.

That's what works and still works for me.


Note: My next steps were to acquire discipline & structure. That, I learned and still learn through my sponsor. And, I continue to focus on "growing in understanding & effectiveness" in ALL areas of my life, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, knowledge, work, relationships, maturity, etc.

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Postby consultmoi40 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:59 pm

Thank you so much for your inspirational wisdom, I am only 2 days sober and I can't seem to manage staying sober for more that 14 days.

I am afraid to go back into AA because it seems as though members only want to help those who are successfully recovering and not those who are struggling, I assume this is because they are protecting their own sobriety but I still hold a resentment against this and for them in AA who turn their back on me

But I still continue to try and I havent given up because when I give up I fail and to fail is to die

People who say "I work the program of AA on a daily basis" confuses me simply because if I ask an AA member what does working the program mean to them each answer is different, I thought it was a simple program yet to me it is very complicated

I will take your advice swallow my pride and get back to AA meeting, perform my daily prayers and help others, talk to my sponsor each day and start on the steps

If I manage 15 days this time I have only started to succeed

Once again Thank You so much for your guidance

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Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:08 pm

Thank you, for your courage and your honesty. I appreciate you and I appreciate your sharing.

The first requirement for AA is: you've got to fail, to qualify. :lol:

Most of the alkies that I get help are the constant & habitual slippers. I don't get the easy ones. So, I do understand where you're coming from.

My sponsor failed at AA for the first 10 years of his trying AA. They used to literally -- physically throw him out.

Last November, I celebrated with him, for his 53rd consecutive year sober. He's now in his 80's and he's the most active AA I've ever known or seen. He sponsors tons of men and women, works his full-time day job, built the largest AA meeting in the world -- and flys over 150,000 miles each year, all over the states and the world, carrying the message of AA's hope & recovery.

So, use him as an example -- of what a habitual slipper can do when they do get this deal. The only time there is a loser in the game of sobriety is: the one's that give up trying.

Start looking at your past as your greatest asset. You know, first hand, more of what doesn't work than many AA's will ever know. And, that fact alone -- once you figure out what does work -- will qualify you to help hundreds and possibly even thousands of alcoholics -- that even the other alkies can't understand. You've been there. You've tried most all of it.

Keep coming back. Start thinking of all the one's that you can help, once you figure out what you've got to do. You'll be able to help them like no one else can.

For me, I believe that's the "Big Secret" to this entire deal. It's one alcoholic attempting to help another alcoholic -- and while they're trying to help the other alcoholic -- it keeps them sober. Read the first paragraph of Chapter 7, Working with others. That's the key to physical sobriety.

You don't have to wait to start doing that. You can appoint yourself as the "greeter" greeting & shaking hands & welcoming people to the meetings. You can clean off tables and stack chairs and help clean up after meetings. You can get there early and help set up the meeting. You can wash coffee pots, learn to make coffee, and do all kinds of stuff like that -- which HAS to be done by someone! And, it's something that helps everyone -- newcomers & oldtimers alike.

If you have a Central Office, go there and tell them that I suggested that you go there and volunteer to do something. Tell them that if you're not sober long enough to answer the phones -- you at least want to listen and learn how to answer the phones so that you'll be ready when they do let you.

Find some oldtimers that make 12th Step calls and ask them if you can go with them on 12 Step calls.

And, start reading the Big Book, and stick with that book alone. No other books or literature until you master the Big Book. Start on the front cover and read up to page 103 -- skipping NO PAGES, THEN, read it again. And, begin to do the things you're reading in the book.

Two more things that will help is:

1. Start everyday with a "To-Do List" have at least 5 things on this list that you are sure you can accomplish. Keep it real simple. You can even make #1 Brush your teeth. #2 Make your bed. then, you've only got three more to do!

This will start immediately helping you to feel better about yourself.

2. Go out and ANONYMOUSLY do 5 good things for someone, and don't let them find out that you did it. Little simple things. If you need ideas for this let me know.

You CAN do this! At first you'll have to force yourself to do it. These are the little things that will help you get past 15 days. :wink:

And, check back here, at least once each day.

Instead of looking at things like "success" and "failure" start looking at things as "results." No judgement calls on the results. You don't need to call them good results or bad results -- just results.

People used to ask Edison, inventor of the light bulb and many other inventions "How did you keep going after failing 10,000 times to create a light bulb?" Edison is reported to have said "I didn't fail once -- I succeeded in discovering 9,999 ways to NOT create a light bulb!" :lol:

Attitude & Perception.

Keep coming back!


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Postby Jebtion12345 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:14 pm

Hi there!

I could be labeled a chronic relapser as well but this time coming back in after after 5 years of tedious "research" I embraced the idea this is a one day reprieve. I knew I had to let go of labeling myself a chronic relapser. I think it sets me up to fail. Plus, it fills me with shame and feeling of "less than" which definitely doesn't create a positive perception for me to build my recovery upon. I am powerless over alcohol and if I wave the white flag and surrender, accept help, and dive into some actions that sometimes don't feel comfortable I too can remain sober and be happy. I have to not only have faith it can work for me I have to take an action!

My years of researching how not to work the program showed me I need to read the Big Book and work the steps with a sponsor who works the steps.

I also go to lots of meetings and try to go to step meetings, Big Book meetings, or beginners meetings.

Reading the Big Book has helped me so much in understanding the disease of alcoholism, the mis-use of willpower, the need for a Higher Power, and so much more.

I spent all my twenties coming in and out of AA. I now see it is turning into an asset as Dallas mentioned. I can help others which helps me stay sober. I am early on still in recovery and am trying to do small things such as hold the door for someone, help a coworker out at work, anything to get me out of me.


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