- The dirty "S" word

The dirty "S" word




Topics and discussions related to being single and or dating while in recovery

The dirty "S" word

Postby Susan68 » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:11 pm

Hi, Susan from New Jersey, alcoholic, working on 90 days (at 40 days).

Mmm, mmm, mmm. Lately I have been thinking about the fact that I am single at 41. Never been married. I thought for years about what type of man I could bring into my life and, interestingly enough, alcohol was always the first consideration. I used to think my alcohol consumption would always be driven by the company I keep. When my friends were big drinkers, I drank likewise. Until about a year ago (when I started picking my friends by their habit for drinking) if I was with folks who didn't drink much, I would follow suit. I ended a friendship in 1996-97 with someone because I was convinced she would "turn me into an alcoholic." How silly that seems now. We had a boat-load of fun, I must admit. We spent 3-4 nights per week in NYC, SoHo, Village, Chelsea. Good times, lots and lots of beer and wine. Lots of hangovers too; waking up not rememering where I parked the car, etc. Anyway, I digress. . .

I used to think I had to find a man who drank "just right" -- too much like for the drink would "turn me into an alcoholic"; a tee-totaler would probably irritate me because, let's face it, no sober person enjoys hanging around someone who is drunk. So, I figured someone who drank "just right" would be able to enjoy a certain level of alcohol consumption with me, but would keep me from "turning alcoholic" by drinkikng too much.

Lately, I came to realize that the truth was something vastly different.

Thanks for letting me share. :)
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actually

Postby Susan68 » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:15 pm

From December 2008 through February 2009 I didn't seek out too many "friends" -- was quite content being in my apartment, alone with my dog and my wine or my beer, drink myself to sleep every night. No real interest in sharing that time with anyone.

Progression . . .
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Postby Dallas » Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:10 am

I understand! Well... at least part of it! I never though about what kind of man I wanted in life! I've never been interested in men! :lol: :lol:

The progression. The similar thoughts. The similar behaviors.

I owned a large nightclub once. I stayed sober for the first year it was open... Well, almost first year. I wasn't in AA or anything... but, I knew that if I had the first drink I'd end up doing stupid things... that might cost me the nightclub and the big house and all the toys.

I enjoyed being around drinkers. Non-drinkers were no fun. I figured that if they were non-drinkers you couldn't trust them. They were phonies. No fun and no sun type of folks! And, of course... I loved being a drinker too! I loved alcoholc and everything about it. It was like my secret Power that was almost as great as I was... and helped me to be the Higher Power that I thought that I was! :lol:

I didn't enjoy being around women that drank too much, though. I kind of felt like it was better if they had a role and responsibility... of being sane enough to look out for me when I wasn't too sane! :lol:

I loved the big parties. Being the big spender. The big supplier of fun and all that went with it. The center of attention and the center of the crowd.

As my drinking progressed... I got selfish. I wanted to drink alone. Not just because I wanted to be alone... I didn't want to share my alcohol with anyone else. You see... they would run out... and end up wanting "what was mine!"... and I was afraid I might run out at a bad time when I couldn't easily replace it!

I remember how long ago I had two mottos: Don't touch my car and don't mess with my lady!" :lol:

Then... it went to "Don't touch my car! Take the lady if she wants to leave with you -- but leave my dang car alone!"

Then, it progressed to... "You can take it all you can have it all -- I don't even care... BUT DON'T TOUCH MY BOTTLE! THAT'S MINE!" :lol:

Now that I'm sober... I still think of "what kind of woman would I want in my life?" I just can't seem to decide. I must be still waiting to meet her! And, I'll know it when I meet her! :wink:

The tragic thing could be... I'd start drinking again... and then meet her! That would suck. She might be attracted to all the changes that I've brought about in myself... sober. And, have it together so much... that she wouldn't want me as a drinker! (Intelligent. She'd have to be intelligent for me to be attracted to her... and smart enough not to be with me if I was drinking).

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Postby Susan68 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:34 pm

Hmmm, yes, that's interesting Dallas about the "coveting one's alcohol." I used to think I was being really giving and generous when I'd let someone have one of my SIX beers. I used to think, "don't be stingy Susan -- i'ts so unseemly." But then again, I always knew I could go get some more, and I typically did. :lol:

Not to be flippant about the alcohol abuse a'course . . .
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Postby sunlight » Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:20 pm

Hi Susan,

I was told when I was newly sober to not get in a relationship because I was still sick, so the relationship would be sick. (I thought that since I wasn't drinking, I was fine.)

Did I listen? Heeeel no! Were they right? Yep. :oops:

When the student is ready, the teacher appears, or the boyfriend. :wink:
I had to stay focused on my recovery by taking the steps and giving of myself in service before I had anything to offer anyone else.

I grow roses. I have to wait patiently for them to bloom. But I do everything I can to ensure that they do - weed, feed, prune, water... They bloom when they're ready. So do we. And how sweet it is when we do! And then, we're a gift to everyone, just like the rose. :D
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Postby Susan68 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:55 pm

sunlight wrote:I grow roses. I have to wait patiently for them to bloom. But I do everything I can to ensure that they do - weed, feed, prune, water... They bloom when they're ready. So do we. And how sweet it is when we do! And then, we're a gift to everyone, just like the rose. :D


Hmm, hence the name "Sunlight."

I don't like thinking of myself as "sick." For that reason, I don't like calling it a "disease." But even still, I am seeking to change my life through AA. I just don't know why the need to begin regarding oneself as completely destitute and begging, ready to eat poop if someone says to do so. It's seems antithetical to something I have always believed, which is you don't need to make someone "assume the position" just because he/she is down on his/her luck. You know, everyone says, 'get a sponsor, get a sponsor' -- okay, but I feel like its more pressure than I can stand right now. I can read the book myself; I don't need someone giving me ultimatums. Going back to the temporary sponsor issue, everytime I tried to just make it a little relaxed and friendly, she was always trying to make it "formal" and "teacher/student." So I found myself assuming this silly, unreal posture to satisfy her. Seemed unhealthy. I started resenting her; and I know she was truly trying to do the right thing.

I gotta find something else to do today other than this!!! :shock:
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Postby Dallas » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:22 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I don't like thinking of myself as "sick." For that reason, I don't like calling it a "disease."


Ditto. "As a man/women thinketh... so is they... and so they become" :lol:

I had gotten physically and mentally twisted a bit as a result of my drinking. Quite a bit! :lol: But, I drank long and hard. Most AA's that come in to AA are not as sick as the long hard drinkers got... but, there are some that were very sick before they picked up the first drink. Drinking made them well... until the drinking started making them sicker.

A lot of the things that I heard when I first came to AA made blood spew from my eyes! :lol: Sometimes... it still does! :lol: Of course... when I turn on the TV and listen to some news... that sometimes makes blood want to spew from my eyes, also! :wink:

"At first glance"... and on "hearing some things the first time"... in AA, I would say that most folks would be shocked.

It takes a while to figure out what certain things mean and the meaning behind certain things when the things seem meaningless.

It's like when I first heard "You've got to smash our Ego! Ego is the enemy!" :lol: :lol: I thought "Hey! If I didn't have an Ego I wouldn't be here! My Ego is what helps me to survive and want to be better!"

Or... when I first heard "You've got to get rid of Self! Self is the problem!" :lol: :lol: I thought "Hell man! I've been spending a lot of time destructing myself! I'm not such a bad guy! That's why I'm here! I'm a good guy trying to do something good for myself!"

I later realized that I had some specific difficulties that were going on -- that were causing me to have severe reactions to the things I heard.

a. My bottle was talking to me. It was saying "Hey man! I love you man! Don't forget about me! I've been with you through thick and thin! What do you say we go out for a little drink together?" :lol:

b. Some of the things I heard didn't make sense because they sere senseless. (And, they still are! )

c. Some of the things didn't make sense to me... because I didn't know what they were talking about... and often, the person talking didn't know what they were talking about... so it was confusing. I had to find out for myself what certain things meant -- and when I found out -- often it was quite different than what I thought it meant.

One thing that was suggested to me was: "Dallas, try to put your mind on hold. Try to pause your thinking. Just try some of the actions... without thinking about it and without judging it... and do that for about six months. At the end of six months... then, think about it and make a judgement. Did your life get better? Was it worth it? Do you think it would be helpful to you to continue what you've been doing for the last six months... or, try something different?"

So, I often pass that suggestion on to others. Try to suspend thinking about things and making judgements for a little while. Just take some actions and see what happens. You'll have plenty of time left in your life to pursue different interests. You probably won't like it at first. But, just try it for a little while -- without thinking about it -- and down the road, then look back and make your judgement.

My most difficult obstacle was trying to suspend my thinking and judgements about things. The thinking kept me from experimenting with the actions.

I still do that today. I try to try new things... and hold off on the jugements until I've given it a chance ... to see what happens. Then, I review it and decide if I want to keep trying it.

Periodically, I do that with AA. "Is this working for me? Is it moving me forward in my life -- or is it moving me backwards? Is it moving me towards my goals and objectives in life -- or is it moving me away from it?"

It's kind of like swimming, riding a bicycle, driving a car, playing guitar, reading a book or trying new foods... If I didn't try it a few times I would have given up on it.... before I had given it a chance... to see if it was something that I wanted to continue.

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Postby garden variety » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:29 pm

Susan68 wrote:I don't like thinking of myself as "sick." For that reason, I don't like calling it a "disease." But even still, I am seeking to change my life through AA. I just don't know why the need to begin regarding oneself as completely destitute and begging, ready to eat poop if someone says to do so. It's seems antithetical to something I have always believed, which is you don't need to make someone "assume the position" just because he/she is down on his/her luck.


Hiya Susan! That one definitely gets the HIGH FIVE! :D

You really said a lot there, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. I understand. You don't regard yourself as destitute and begging. That's probably because you aren't destitute and begging. You are also absolutely right about "following directions" of a sponsor who is an over-controlling micro-manager. I love the way you express yourself!

To me it looks like you recognize that you possibly have a drinking or chemical abuse problem. But it also looks like you probably have your wits about yourself. You probably don't have the need for another grown adult who is a complete stranger to "dictate" the course your life should be taking now that you decided to take a closer look at the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

If you are an alcoholic, there is no requirement to be destitute and begging. You don't have to be eating out of dumpsters either. In fact, you might be "normal" in every other way except when it comes to drinking. It may be that it's only there you may find that you are incredibly selfish and dishonest.

If that's the case, then you and me share a common problem, which is why we're here. We share the MALADY of alcoholism. Although alcoholism is categorized as a "disease", more than that, it is a chemical addiction which means that there is an actual physical component. The "malady" part of alcoholism means that alcohol also has a "peculiar" effect on the brain of a person with the disease of alcoholism.

We are in a class of drinkers unlike any other. Alcohol has a peculiar effect on our brain chemestry which manifests in an associated acute and peculiar mental and emotional "illness" common to alcoholics. Another component of our disease that is more controversial is that the "malady" also manifests at a spiritual level. So the "malady" of alcoholism is a "three-pronged" illness which effects our bodies, minds, and souls - each of us to varying degrees.


Susan68 wrote:You know, everyone says, 'get a sponsor, get a sponsor' -- okay, but I feel like its more pressure than I can stand right now. I can read the book myself; I don't need someone giving me ultimatums. Going back to the temporary sponsor issue, everytime I tried to just make it a little relaxed and friendly, she was always trying to make it "formal" and "teacher/student." So I found myself assuming this silly, unreal posture to satisfy her. Seemed unhealthy. I started resenting her; and I know she was truly trying to do the right thing.


This is great Susan. You are 100% right - nobody seeking to become healthy needs a sponsor that is "giving ultimatums" - those don't even work with children. Clearly you are an intelligent person, and you seem to also have a notable degree of honesty. Many of us were not quite as clear about things when we came into AA. If you find yourself assuming a "silly" and "unreal" posture to "satisfy" your temporary sponsor, then indeed you're right. You are being dishonest to yourself by posturing. Yet you still recognize that she was trying to do the right thing - and you give her credit for that.

That is a very good and honest assessment. You sound like a sensitive person. You seem to be taking the needs of another person into consideration, instead of just yourself.

So what I'm reading is that the "disease" of alcoholism has not profoundly disintegrated your sense of honesty and compassion. That is a great place to be when you're starting into sobriety. My "thought centers" of honesty and compassion apparently got destroyed by alcohol, so you might say that the mental component of alcoholism was more harsh on my brain than yours. For me, I had to "re-learn" honesty and compassion. That means that I had certain alcohol-related brain damage, and it took me more time and effort to "re-train" my brain to apply honesty and compassion into my decision-making processes.

It is entirely possible that you won't have that kind of problem. That would be a great plus in your recovery. The book says there is a "range" of the severity of alcoholism and the damage it does to alcoholics. On page 84, it says:

"No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others."

Now we read this at meetings in what's called "The Promises". But I can't and won't disregard this. This tells me that there are some alcoholics that recover at a "higher" point on the scale of life than me, and there are some alcoholics that recover at a lower point on the scale of life than me. Where my recovery takes place on this scale is totally irrelevant. The only purpose "the scale" has for me is to remind me that not all alcoholics are alike. It also reminds me that the "malady" of alcoholism is PROGRESSIVE. The more I drink, the more I'm guaranteed to go "far down the scale".

So what I'm saying, Susan, is that wherever you are on the scale, if you make the decision to quit drinking for life, your experience will benefit others. And that's the whole purpose of being sober. Look at how beautiful the book puts it on page 73:

"At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us."

Susan, it doesn't get any simpler than that. We're all alcoholics that are trying to put our lives in order. That is pretty obvious. But if I want to become content and happy living a lifetime that is free of drinking, then I look at our "real purpose" and strive to progress in my service to God and those around me.
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Postby Susan68 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:52 pm

Garden variety,

I am so grateful you took the time to reply with your post to some of my comments. I read each word slowly and twice. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I really want to embrace this program in the healthiest way and it's very beneficial to me to read things like you just wrote. Make me feel hopeful and calm.

And may the Good Carpenter and Shepard bless you. :)
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Postby Susan68 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:53 pm

I am also grateful to Dallas, Tim and everyone else who took the time to read my posts and reply. It's time consuming, but it means a lot.

This site is great. I hope more folks coming into the program find it.
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