not bad enough?

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not bad enough?

Postby kelmac » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:13 pm

I went to my first meeting. I enjoyed it though I feel that is an odd way of describing it. It was very cathartic and emotional. As I listened to the other women tell their stories of why they were there however, I began to feel guilty. They had all been to rehab at least once and detailed what seemed like larger problems with alcohol or drugs than I've had and I wonder if I'm not bad enough to be there? Their use also seemed to have effected family members, their children and so on. I don't have children and I don't believe that anyone I know would think I need to be in AA. I try to remind myself that I too have put myself and others in jeopardy and never got physically hurt or caught but does that make me any different? I felt that the women there were also re-building from a lot less than what I have. Is there anyone else in this same sort of category? I've never had a real consequence from drinking or drugs - never been arrested, never been to rehab, never lost a job. thank you
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby ann2 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:05 pm

Dear Kel,

Give yourself some time in sobriety to be able to look at what happened to you drinking and how much you stood to lose. Myself, I thought I was "high bottom" when I got to AA. It took a few years to remember some of the situations that my drinking had gotten me into, to admit that I had lost self-respect because drinking was more important to me than anything.

I never got into the trouble you mention. I was still working, had a place to live, and at 26 hadn't had anything to lose, really. But I was definitely affected by the i nsanity of this disease.

Keep going to meetings, and try talking to some women one-on-one. Let them answer your questions personally. You might learn that a few felt the same way as you when they first started coming around, but after reviewing their drinking they realized that they had already damaged and endangered what was important to them.

So glad you are here, and thank you so much for your post,

Ann
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby PaigeB » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:04 pm

Hi Kel - here's a thought to ponder... heard it in a Big Book Workshop I attended over the weekend...

It is not all the stories and their differences, that would chase me away fast. I was lucky I received the common solution we have in AA and that I got it quickly! Get together with and stick with the winners! Do what they do. You get what they got.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:05 am

I felt that the women there were also re-building from a lot less than what I have. Is there anyone else in this same sort of category? I've never had a real consequence from drinking or drugs - never been arrested, never been to rehab, never lost a job.


I had a house, wife, 2 kids, 2 cars and a stable job. What I also had was alcoholism. Thats what I had to focus on. By gods grace, I quickly ran into some good mentors in the program who guided me in the right path. Which was working the 12 steps and be able to attain what the book calls it as a spiritual awakening/a psychic change so you could have a different outlook upon life. And that is what will keep you away from the disgruntled, miserable state of mind and body.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby Lali » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:59 am

Hi, Kelmac. Most people who wind up here or in a face to face meeting do so because they have a problem. So called "normies" (people who can drink socially and with no repercussions) don't usually arrive here. So, continue to investigate the possibility that you have a problem by continuing to attend meetings. Listen to what's being said and talk to the other women there. We're glad you are here. Please continue to post here.

In my case, I was able to drink for a while without too many problems when things quickly took a downward spiral and I found myself in a world of trouble. And because of the nature of this disease, I didn't even know how deeply immersed in alcoholism I was. I'm glad you are seeking help now rather than later.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby CGPoolman » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:34 am

Hi Kelmac,

I felt the same exact way when I came into AA. I never had a DUI, I held a decent job, family life wasn't perfect but I was holding it together. I always used that as an excuse to keep drinking. Once I started hearing how far some had fallen, it made me realize that even though it hadn't happened to me - I was on the same path. Had I kept drinking, it was just a matter of time before that would have been me. I feel thankful that I hit my bottom when I did. Putting down the alcohol inspired me to make a lot of positive changes in my life, and live a much happier, healthier lifestyle. Since then all aspects of my life have improved: Personal, professional, spiritual, physical, everything. AA is only a portion of my "new life" but it is where it all began for me. You will find a way that works best for you.

Keep at it, I wish you the best!

-CG
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:40 am

This is one of the character defects of the fellowship, today we tend to talk about our personal problems and how bad we got, instead of talking about alcoholism. We could improve the chances of somebody getting interested if we talk more about how life has changed because of working the program.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby Mike O » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:24 am

There are no degrees of alcoholism. There's just alcoholism. If you have it, you have it, no matter what else you may or may not have.
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby Texan » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:23 am

avaneesh912 wrote:This is one of the character defects of the fellowship, today we tend to talk about our personal problems and how bad we got, instead of talking about alcoholism. We could improve the chances of somebody getting interested if we talk more about how life has changed because of working the program.


This is so true. Thankfully there are a number of meetings to choose from in my town, and hopefully a number of meetings for you to choose from as well. kelmac. Don't sell yourself short. I didn't lose my home or my family, but I was oh so close. What I did do was lose a job I loved, not because I was released, but because the alcohol clouded my judgement and wouldn't allow my abilities to deal with change at all. As it turned out, resigning from that job was probably the best thing that could have happened to me as it opened up a whole new world of opportunities for me, ONCE i cleared my head with the help of learning to live life according to many of the principals described in the Big Book. Had certain events not transpired in my life that eventually led me to AA, life would not be what it is today for me. And life today, for me is good! Don't get me wrong though, because I was down in the pits of hell from my perspective, and ones perspective has a great deal to do with describing the personal hell that alcohol can certainly bring on if not attended to and allowed to permeate itself into every fiber of ones being. For some, literally losing everything is what it takes. So drawing a comparison of what you've experienced to what others describe isn't always the best thing. It is very much like looking at a piece of abstract art. Your view of it quite possibly could be very different from the next persons view of the same piece. When you see a rat eating a piece of cheese, the next person might see a flower being pollinated by a bee or being pissed on by a dog. Sorry for the graphic, but I think you might be able to draw the distinction there.....
Keep on Keeping on, One Day at a Time.
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby Roberth » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:17 pm

Hello kelmac, and welcome to E-AA. it doesn't take a lot of explaination.........If you want to stop drinking keep going to the meetings and that's the bottom line.if alcohol hasn't convinced you to stop I surely can't....
Robert
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby kelmac » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:12 pm

thank you all for sharing your thoughts and encouragement. At my first meeting I met a woman willing to introduce me to more women and different types of meetings until I get my footing. I am going to another meeting tonight. I definitely feel worse since my first meeting than before I went at all....because its forcing me to think about and face emotions that I've been ignoring. I am hoping that there will come a turning point. Thanks for caring.
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby Tosh » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:37 pm

That's great news, kelmac, and kudos to that lady who is settling you into A.A.. She could be sponsor material too?

Here's a leaflet on sponsorship:
http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf

Jus' sayin'.

Anyway, you're doing great too. And yeh, sober feelings; they're a bummer to start with; but no matter what - if you really want to live sober - don't pick up that first one. It takes a bit of determination in the early days, but it's not like that forever.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby Chicken » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:27 am

hi kelmac
i can definitely relate.
have sometimes wished for a spectacular rehab story so that it would be great evidence of my need for AA.
i've been told to listen for the similarities and not the differences. this is my third time in AA and my alcoholic mind previously looked at the differences as a "nah, i'm not as bad as them" ticket out of the rooms.
i did some more research and hugged a few more toilet bowls before I came to the same conclusion that i cannot control my drinking
i didn't even get the unmanageability that was spoken off.
i heard someone share that the unmanageability for her wasn't the external stuff like DUI's and not losing a job or family, but rather the unmanageability of emotions and behaviours. now that I related to.

d
x
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby Lali » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:18 pm

Roberth wrote:If you want to stop drinking keep going to the meetings and that's the bottom line.


This is true if you simply want to stop drinking. However, if you want a better way of life and do not want to white knuckle it, you will need to work the steps.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him
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Re: not bad enough?

Postby Tara508 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:40 am

Kelmec,

I'm Tara and I'm an alcoholic and an addict. I share a lot of the same feelings you have. I've heard a couple things both here in these forums and at meetings that may help you. I have gotten to the "powerless over alcohol" part. I know I can't control my drinking and drug use. It was the "life having become unmanageable" part that wasn't resonating with me. My life is pretty manageable. At least from the outside. But take stock of what is going on inside. I know how much I've lied to myself and how I've really lost control of my ability to regulate my drinking. I've also seen that getting worse (this is a progressive disease). When I look internally, I absolutely have to admit that I am powerless and that my life is unmanageable- even though most people around me would ARGUE with me and tell me I'm NOT an alcoholic- of course most of those people are people i drink with. I'm also a world class liar-- so those people have no idea what really goes on in my head. Get honest with yourself- you will know these answers if you are honest with yourself.

Last night at a meeting I was relaying some of the same thoughts and feelings you are describing to a woman and she said: "you should count yourself lucky. You can pick your bottom rather than it picking you, but if you keep drinking, your bottom will come eventually, but it will be lower". That really made sense to me. I have seen my ability to control my drinking get worse and worse over time. And last night I heard a 60 year old man who just finished his 7th stay in rehab imploring us newcomers to work the program NOW. He said it just gets harder and harder as the disease progresses. This too, made a lot of sense to me. I am SO early in my sobriety that I have feelings all the time of "maybe I"m wrong, maybe I CAN drink and use safely", but I keep coming to meetings and talking to people and I'm reminded that down deep I know I can't control my drinking and using and I know its going to get worse, not better and I'm choosing AA.

It can feel strange to tell someone who lost their home and lived on the streets that I am laughing at myself now for thinking that 8 bloody marys on a six am flight when i had a meeting upon landing was a good idea and that for me, that was crazy behavior. For some people, that might not be crazy behavior, but in my life, that was reckless. The fact that I had convinced myself that it was just fine is the real point. It wasn't fine. I am powerless over alcohol and MY life the way I needed to be living it had become unmanageable.

Hope this helps a little bit.

Keep going to meetings-- that is helping me a lot!

Tara
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