My first time posting and I'm nervous...

Alcoholics and Addicts in 12 Step Programs sharing their personal recovery stories with hope to help others who alcoholics and addicts who want to recover using the 12 Steps.
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My first time posting and I'm nervous...

Postby flowerbud » Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:21 am

Hi everyone;
I am not sure if this will work or not, but here goes...

My name is Nicole and I am an alcoholic. My sobriety date is Dec 29, 2005, so I’ve got a long way to go. I love reading these forums and appreciate all for the sharing. From this side on my screen, I can see the caring and the honesty with each other and all of you sober drunks, is very reassuring.
This is not my first time at trying AA. My first time was in 1975. To the best of my estimation, I started drinking around 14-15. My father had purchased a hotel in a remote little village, and for an alcoholic mind like mine, it was too easy. It did not take long for the stealing and lying to start. Left home at 16 but still work for my Dad. Having my own little apartment was very convenient and needless to say, I had lots of “so call friendsâ€

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Postby Dallas » Sat Jul 29, 2006 5:43 am

Nicole, it's great to have you here with us, and it's wonderful that you shared your story with us. Thank you!!!!

None of us will talk about doctor stuff and medication stuff here, because we're not medical professionals... and one of the boards guidelines is to leave the medical stuff alone... regarding our opinions and suggestions in that regards. :wink:

I do relate to many of the conditions that you mentioned, and I could add a few to the list! :wink: And, I can say that with time, effort, and taking the 12 Steps... most all my conditions are history, gone, vanished, and a few will pop up once in a while, and I've learned what it is that I'm doing that creates them.

It sounds like you're into some good stuff, especially with the Charlie & Joe BB Study CD's. They are awesome! I feel a tremendous amount of personal gratitude to Charlie and Joe, in regards to what they have shared with us.

You mentioned that your sobriety date is December 2005. Mine is November 14th, 1986. The reason that I mention that... is because if both of us never drink again... neither one of us will be any more physically sober than we are right now. The alcohol is out of our body. It's gone. And, we will never be any more physically sober than we are right now. The body can only be totally 100% sober... it can't be 200 or 300% sober....

As alcoholics, of our type (you sound like my type :wink: ), we're now faced with the decision as to whether we want to recover mentally, emotionally and spiritually. And, we have an opportunity to reconstruct and rebuild our lives. Just like it took some time for us to get physically sober, it will take us some time to recover mentally, emotionally and spiritually. And, it will take us time to reconstruct and rebuild our lives.

One of my most favorite paragraphs in the BB, (because all the paragraphs are my favorites) is on page 128-129, in "The Family Afterward." When I read it, I don't assimulate it so much as towards the "Family" but as for my own individual self... it reads:

"Like a gaunt prospector, belt drawn in over the last ounce of food, our pick struck gold."....

All my life, since the time I was a little kid... something inside me told me that there was more than I was living. I spent most of my life looking for that something. For a while, in my life... the alcohol and drugs made it seem like I had found it! But, most often, it seemed like I was near to finding it! ... "Just a little more... and I would get it!" But, in reality, I never got it. It was only an illusion... that I was near to finding what it was that I was really looking for. That something that was missing inside me. That something that would fill the big hole. That something, that would release the tension on this big spring in my gut that would tighten and become physically painful, until I could treat it with alcohol.

After I finally landed in AA, after failing my first time in... :oops: , I needed some big time relief! The meetings weren't making me better. The AA activities and invovlement was not helping me. And, I was doing tons of it!!! I was getting worse... as I watched others appear to be getting better. Sure, I was sober... but, my life was miserable and painful.

Having no where else to turn, and having tried everything I could try, I discovered the solution, as described in the Big Book.... And, the Charlie and Joe tapes helped me a lot with that, also! It showed me some things that I had not been seeing. I learned about "taking the Steps" instead of "working the Steps"... (as it mentions on page 59) ... "Here are the Steps we took."

When I was about halfway through Step Nine... was when my pick really hit the gold that I had been looking for my entire life! I discovered what had been missing. And, I began to feel complete, and whole, with nothing missing.

It was such an awesome experience for me, that I started to have some fear that "If it's this good... I'll probably be loosing it soon!" (Always had that feeling like the bottom was soon to fall out!).

And, that's where the other part of the paragraph on page 129, kicked in for me... "For a time he may try to hug the new treasure to himself. He may not see at once that he has barely scratched a limitless load which will pay dividends only if he mines it for the rest of his life and insists on giving away the entire product."

WOW!!! A limitless load of good!!! Imagine that?

Gold runs in veins. And, in mining, they refer to "the mother load" as the source of the veins of gold, that run out from the "mother load."

In other words... as good as I thought it was... and it was better than anything that I could ever imagine... I had tapped in to a limitless load of what I had been looking for, my entire life!

I could see that there was two conditions to keeping tapped into it.

1. It will pay dividends, only if I mine it for the rest of my life. And,
2. I have to give it all away! I can't keep any of it for myself!

For me, that means keeping on keeping on with the 12 Steps. "These were the Steps that I took"... and "These are the same Steps that I continue taking... after I took them!"

I realize this is a rather long reply... so... I hope you get at least a little pick full from my sharing! :wink:

Perhaps, it will suggest where you may be, in regards to that limitless load... and what your next Step is to be.

I'm sure glad you're here with us!!!! Keep coming back! I'm interested in hearing more from you!


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Postby cinderbobble » Sat Jul 29, 2006 8:17 am

Hi Flowerbud! Hard to add to what Dallas says, he's right on, but I'd like to add that one of the things that helped me was when I would find at least one person who I could telephone. That one contact gave me the support and strength I needed in the meeting. When I was able to do that, I began to feel that connection I needed. I hope that you can find good meetings, and strong fellowship where you are. I must admit that I was never one of those that thought the phone weighed '500 pounds!" and I hope you don't either. It has worked for me. Much of my story correlates with yours, in the feelings of hopelessness. Believe it or not, that is one of the biggest assets you have in that it leaves your higher power to room to work in your life.

I am still derelict in many ways, however, I enjoy meetings, being active, and my life is far more functional than it was. I used be totally unemployable, now I have two jobs. One full time and one on-call. Sometimes I need to be reminded where I have been, so I can measure where I am today. Your story has helped me immensely. For as they say, when you call (or post here), you are helping us more than we are helping you. Please take care, and keep coming back, or as they say, better yet, don't leave!

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thank you for your replies

Postby flowerbud » Sun Aug 06, 2006 2:08 am

Good afternoon;
Thank you Dallas and cinderbobble for your encouraging words… they did hit home and make me think. Like a typical alcoholic, I’d like to have it all and like yesterday. I should be more patient, but at the same time not forget where I am coming from. I need AA and I know I have to do this. I have gone to a few meeting since I last wrote and even though it was hard, I have to remember that “God “ will never put me in a situation that I cannot handle. The idea is to do it even if I think I will break. In my heart of heart, I want this; I want the AA way of life more than I’ve ever wanted in my life. This spirituality that surrounds alcoholic anonymous is the way I want to live my life. BUT, I also know that it is I that has to take the actions necessary and I am the only one that can walk “myâ€

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Postby Dallas » Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:51 am

Nic, thank you for sharing. As I read what you wrote, I really felt the language of the heart, and I do so much identify with what you wrote.

"What if"... for now, as a way to get through with taking Step 3, that you make a decision to turn your will and your life over to "the care and resuts of the 12 Steps"? That's pretty simple. It sure couldn't hurt you.

Use it, as your decision to take Steps 4 through 9... and just see what happens. After you get through Step 9, give yourself permission to bail out on the idea if you don't like the results that have been produced. If you do like the results... continue on with Steps 10 through 12.... and if you don't like the results after Step 12... you can always just stop taking the Steps.

My educated guess is... you'll be amazed at the results, way before you are half-way through!

For me, I was stuck on Step Three.

Gees, what if I turned my will over to God, and then I didn't like what He wanted me to do?

There would have been nothing new in that for me!!! For my whole life I was doing stuff, that my head said "if there was a God"... "He wouldn't want me doing this"... and I went ahead and did it anyway. And, even since taking Step 3, I'm sure there has been many times that I fall short of even my own goals!

If I was so good at running my life, with "My Design For Living"... (before the 12 Steps)... I was producing some really odd results in my life! After I made a decision to really try the 12 Steps... the results got better, much faster than anything that I had ever previously tried.

And, even today... I can always stop doing them. :lol:

Perhaps, what's blocking you now... is not Step 3, it's possibly Step Six and Step Seven. If that is true... go ahead with Steps Three through Five, and I'll share a little secret with you on how to easily get through Step Six and Seven. :wink:


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Postby wareagle10 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:07 am

Nic: I read your post with great interest and am impressed with your thought processes. I have always had a problem with the "God stuff", I was also stuck on ALL the God steps. I still am, and, this is almost 23 years later!!!

I found that I couldn't become a hyprocrit by professing a faith in a God that I never had a relationship with in any form. If I were to accept this "God" and failed in meeting the criteria then I am once again a failure. What if I say that I believe and now have a God in my life yet I continue to do the things that I have always done, then, I have lied, and, that perpetuates the disease, only this time sober.

It was suggested to me that I just try to be the best person that I know how to be. I will never be perfect, and, certainly I will never be a Saint. If I just try to tell the truth more often, and, if I just try to get out of myself and help another person once in a while (more than I ever did), and if I just tried to be a bette human being, that's all that anyone can do, and, that, in a way is being "Godly".

I don't have a faith in a God, but I do have a faith in a Group Of Drunks, those are the people in AA, I go to meetings where I am accepted for who I am, not for who I am not. I expect that someday I may find that ellusive God person, or, maybe not. I am not going to worry about it nor am I going to drink over it.

I hope that you find your answers and that you continue to post here. It's good to read what you have to say, I look forward to many more.

Take care and straight ahead, John.

Tina L.
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Postby Tina L. » Sat Aug 12, 2006 7:47 am

hello flowerbud. welcome. glad ur here.

tina xoxo

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Step 3

Postby flowerbud » Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:53 pm

Good Morning everyone; :lol:
I’m still here…
Thanks Dallas for caring words. Your suggestion as a way through with Step 3 gave me something to think about. I thought we had to do the Steps in their order? In any case, I will be doing my third Step and will try my very best to let God lead the way.

My problem (I think) is that I am to concern about the “religionâ€

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Postby Dallas » Sat Aug 12, 2006 4:34 pm

Nicole, great to hear back from you!

I'll try to keep this one short. :wink:

One of the differences that I've noticed in many of the more religious spiritual paths, and the 12 Step spiritual path is this:

1. Religious paths seem to promote belief and faith first... and then you'll see results. "Believe and then you'll see."

2. 12 Step spiritual path promotes take the "actions" first... and then you'll see results, and the results will influence belief and faith. "Take the actions first and then you'll see."

Another difference appears to be:

1. Religious paths seem to promote a specific way of believing about God.

2. The 12 Step path seems to promote "start where you are... and let go of the ideas that are blocking you... get honest. Be willing to believe something. Keep an open mind. And, the rest will follow.

It was my concepts and ideas about God that were blocking me in my spiritual path. I was trying to use other peoples ideas and concepts about God... and those were specifically what was blocking me.

I used to wonder... "Well... if God is so big, why can't He/She reveal their self to me ... instead of me trying to figure it out someone else's way (that I don't understand and that confuses me, and that just doesn't make sense to me)."

For me, it was like this: I didn't know what it was that kept pulling me towards this Something. The only thing I knew about this Something... was what I read and heard through others. (Maybe... gossip from others who didn't even know the Something?)

As long as the gossip was running through my head... it was too confusing for me. That's why I had to let go of the gossip first... and start with my own personal experience of the Something.

So, how did I do that?

I said "Okay Something! All I know about you is what I've read... and the gossip that I've heard about you! I keep hearing that You do stuff for me, and that You care about me, and that you Love me, and you Help me. And, I'm confused. Can I just start at ground zero with you and learn for myself what You are like?"

Then... I took a notepad, and started to write down the Characteristics that did make sense to me. Kind of like this:

1. It appears to me, that Something has been helping other people.
2. It's highly probable... that Something has been helping me, too!
3. If Something has been helping me and others, then the Something must like to help. And, if that is true... the Something must be caring.

That was enough to get me started. Later, I was able to add more things to my list... that actually made sense to me.

One day, my sponsor said "So... how's your list going? Care to read it to me?" And, I gave him my list. After he read it, he said "Huh. Imagine that! That reads just like the Something I know!"

My best thoughts to you......... and to all.


garden variety
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Postby garden variety » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:34 pm

Hi Nicole,

Welcome to Alcoholics Anonymous. Don't feel too bad or lonely, because you are among your own kind. This is the only place you can come to and hear people laughing about getting drunk and peeing on themselves. We get the gift of "Love and Laughter" that "transforms" the ugliest stories into something beautiful that really can help another person help themself. There are so may of us who tried to kill ourselves the quick way like with a gun, but we all were taking the "scenic route" by drinking because that path will kill us too, but slower. There are many of us with "conditions" upstairs that do require the care of mental health.

But the big thing is: "DON'T TAKE THE FIRST DRINK"! If you don't take the first drink, the other conditions at least have a chance to get well with the right help. But if you drink, you're not helping a mental health doctor get you the help you need. DONT PICK UP THE FIRST DRINK. That gives things a chance to get better, or at least help you get the correct treatment if you need something else more than sobriety.

Now about that third step, don't "read" too much into it. Just read the words. This step has nothing to do with "God's will" and EVERYTHING to do with "my will":

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him."

Nothing about "God's Will" there, right?

If your having trouble with the "God thing", it doesn't matter. This is the only place where you get a chance to "tell" God the way you want him to be. God is exactly how YOU design you concieve you find him. Your job at the second and third step is go out and be willing to find a God that you understand and best suits you. Then you turn over the care of your life, and your "thoughts and actions" to the care of YOUR God that YOU understand. If you don't understand my God, or someone else's God, fine you don't have to. You are the only one that needs to understand the God of your understanding. But your gonna need to find a God and understand a Higher Power of some kind when step 7 tells you to "Humbly ask Him".

Take it slow and easy, one day at a time and don't "rush" the process. Just "trust the process" and believe all of us here, peculiar people of your own kind, that the outcome will take care of itself if you let it. And get professional help if you think you need it.

We're all here to help you help yourself, and to be your cheerleaders when you start taking actions to help yourself. We might also kick you in the behind if we see you getting stupid. But all in all, always remember that hope, Love and Laughter is always here for you, and together WE can handle things we could never handle alone.

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