Relapse.

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Re: Relapse.

Postby Lali » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:49 am

P.S. Some sponsors start their sponsees back at step one after a relapse, the thinking behind that being that you may not have gotten step 1 100%.

The important thing is that you are back, ready to continue trudging the road to happy destiny.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Tosh » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:13 am

Feeya wrote:How do I tell my sponsor? How do I tell my homegroup? What do I do?


What I did was I didn't tell my homegroup (I didn't have a proper sponsor at the time); I didn't tell anyone. I said nothing. Some months later I wasn't drinking, but I was feeling very VERY flat; like life was pointless - depressed maybe - and at that point I realised I should do something. So I got a sponsor and he took me though the Steps. During this process I celebrated my first 1 year birthday (much to early because I'd relapsed and said nothing) and I sat there knowing I was a fraud while everyone told me how wonderful I was and gave me cake and cards.

At my Step 4 I confessed the situation to my sponsor and he suggested I get honest with my homegroup.

I think it's funny now, but it was a BIG DEAL to me at the time.

I told my homegroup what happened and they were lovely to me. An old timer told me I was brave for being honest. My homegroup gave me a good reputation and I try my best to live up to it.

My suggestion is not to do what I did and just to be honest with your homegroup and sponsor.
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: Relapse.

Postby Feeya » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:38 am

Thanks everyone.
I just got back from meeting with my sponsor over a cup of tea and I told her what happened. She immediatly took my fear of rejection and the feeling of 'having thrown everything away' away.
She has given me homework, wants me to write down everything I can take from that experience, all the good I take from it (like realising that I am powerless, realising that I need to work the program if I want to stay sober etc) but also the bad things (feeling shame, being scared etc).

Thank you Tosh for sharing your experience.
I was thinking about not sharing it at my Homegroup, but I don't want to lie anymore. I am so tired of my own lies and I am so tired of having to remember who I told what and having to remember different storys.
AA, and especially my Homegroup, is the only place where I feel safe enough to not have to lie.
After talking to my sponsor I already felt better about myself, because at least I am being honest, so I hope that after sharing my experience with my homegroup I will feel better too.

Good twenty four hours everyone!
One day at a time.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Roberth » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:47 am

Hello Feeya. Know you’re not the first to slip and I am sorry to say you won’t be the last. Both are Co- Founders had slips. You stated you are back to zero, that only if you don’t learn from your experience.
Robert
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!
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Re: Relapse.

Postby tyg » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:23 pm

Strange how false pride wants to keep us sick. The faster we tell another and don't keep those secrets the faster we can move forward into the solution. I found that as a result of taking the 12 steps I then find the power to get through these mental blank spots. Until the spiritual awakening occurs, we have little defense against that first drink.

The fellowship can offer support and help a lot with doing service, talking with other alcoholics, hearing others ESH etc, but it is not enough. We need a higher power and that is found as a result of taking the steps and utilizing them.

Don't beat yourself up anymore, your experience will help many others and you to can have permanent sobriety.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Reborn » Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:15 pm

I'm glad you met your sponsor and got some perspective. I know alot of folks that relapsed and have not made it back...false pride and false fear have kept them out. I had a sponsee relapse about a month ago..he came to me very ashamed...I told him "you're an alcoholic and you drank some alcohol...imagine that"...he was immediately relieved. I would not suggest waiting a few months practicing the 3rd step..as Lali said its very important at this stage of your recovery to stay active on a daily basis. Get that 4th step done and through the 5th...like myself this is where alot of us find the obsession to drink is lifted. I'm happy you made it back...NOW PUT AWAY THE ASS KICKING STICK AND GET BUSY!!
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Feeya » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:50 pm

Thank you everyone!
I am back at the third step and that's what I'll focus on for now.
I need to learn to let things happen, not planning ahead, just letting them happen while being guided and taking the advice that was given to me.
I am a fighter, I grew up having to fight, so right now the thing I need to focus on the most, is allowing myself to get help without being ashamed. I realise I am an alcoholic, I know I am powerless, now I need to find my higher power and that's a bit of a struggle. I thought I was there yet and had figured it all out but clearly that is not the case.
So I'll keep digging. One day at a time.
One day at a time.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Noels » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:19 pm

Good morning Feeya :D there we go :D you're already back on track and already another day sober and clean. Well done hon :D (and thumbs up ). In the beginning, although I have known and worked with my Creator and the energies and power all my life, it was 'strange ' to pray. So it felt false to me which left me feeling unsure as to whether I was really connecting with my Creator and more so - really humbling myself enough to connect. So one day I decided that the only way to ensure I'm being truthful to myself about this I went on my knees next to my bed and said the 3rd step prayer. It felt good yet very strange but I continued to do this every morning and within a few days the strangeness have left and it felt right. To be on my knees before my Creator. This action SHOWED my total surrender as I have never been and never will go on my knees before any human. So by doing this I admitted to myself and my Creator that it was and is a power greater than me.
Since then I do this every morning whilst saying the third step prayer. It has become a part of me to start my day like this and the connection between me and my Creator is even stronger than when I worked with its energies and power.
You see - our Creator never left us. Our Creator have always been there - waiting patiently for us to reach out. WE were the ones who were lost.
So if you are battling a bit with the HP thing - just try what I did. Maybe it will work for you too. :) and relax hon. Just become still within yourself and each time an unwanted thought tries to enter your mind or things seem out of sorts around or within you just say the third step prayer followed by the serenity prayer. Those 2 prayers covers anything and everything.
I'm glad you decided to pause on this step for a while. This is the step that is the foundation of recovery . If a house is built on a weak foundation the house is sure to collapse after a period. The same with recovery in AA.
So don't worry any longer. Show your HP that you welcome and accept it's presence and your HP will show you its there and always have and will be.
Your sponsor is guiding you well. Trust her while you are learning to trust your HP And yourself.
Have an awesome day and congratulations. It will be a good 24 hours.
Love and light
Noels xxx
There is only Love
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Feeya » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:38 am

Thank you for sharing that!
I will try and do that. I already do pray, but as you said, it feels weird... but maybe I have to get on my knees!

Good twenty four hours!
Feeya
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Re: Relapse.

Postby clouds » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:27 am

Hi Feeya,

You have a good sponsor and much wonderful advice.

Welcome back and I'm so glad you have shared with us these days. :)
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Tosh » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:24 am

Feeya wrote: now I need to find my higher power and that's a bit of a struggle. I thought I was there yet and had figured it all out but clearly that is not the case.
So I'll keep digging. One day at a time.


It was my Step 5 to 9 where I experienced my Higher Power. I'd drove to my sponsor's house - really anxious and not wanting to share my Step 4 with him - but I got there. I shared, he shared some stuff, I shared more, he then left me in his house for an hour to reflect on what I'd just done, then he returned and we did Steps 6 and 7. My Step 8 list was already written (by my sponsor) and we discussed it. I went home and made my first formal amend to Mrs Tosh (of course the real amend takes much longer).

Anyway, on the drive home I felt totally and utterly at peace. That's my experience of my higher power. Anything I add to that experience is just thoughts and concepts.

My suggestion is to focus on the action parts of the steps and the Higher Power thing will sort itself out as you progress.
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: Relapse.

Postby tyg » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:14 am

A very good point was brought up. The Higher Power thing just comes automatically as we move through all the 12 Steps. If you get stuck doing Steps 4, 5, 9 and 10 thru 12 pray for the courage. You will find a power that does for you what you cannot do for yourself. But don't worry about Steps 2 and 3 just keep going.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Noels » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:25 am

Good morning everyone :D I'm a bit confused now. I agree that when we were told that we will definitely have a spiritual experience in step 3 AFTER saying the 3rd step prayer with the lighting of the candle i thought it kinda limited God. Almost as if God would now act on the sponsors instruction which is ridiculous.

We were suggested to light the candle in a quiet moment to meet with our Creator alone at about 7 that night. HOWEVER at around 4 that same afternoon Before I had done this I was in the kitchen making coffee. My cat and one toypom was with me and as I looked out the window into the garden my entire being was filled with unencompassing love. I could feel love all around me in the air. I felt the life in each tree, each blade of grass, love in every gentle whisper of the wind. I felt connected to everything - in love. When I looked at my cat and toypom there was so much love for them. I was overwhelmed with love. So much love that there was NO SPACE for any other thought or emotion. Love all around me, within me and every other living creation, above and below. All encompassing . Never ending love.
That day I realised, understood and accepted that there is ONLY LOVE. Every other feeling, word or emotion is an illusion which we need to experience and overcome to get back to our natural state of being which is love.
So the fact that I had this experience of overwhelming love at 4 before I lit the candle at 7 confirmed that God will not be restricted. However, this experience was with step 3. Why would there be a special prayer with this particular step if step 3 was not the important step where we make the actual decision to turn ourlives AND our will over to the care of God ?
The next prayer is in step 7 and again in step 11. Why then if we can just move on is the first prayer in step 3 and NOT step 4, 5 or 6?
Love and light
Noels
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Re: Relapse.

Postby D'oh » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:26 am

I was Blessed with the 3rd step, when I wasn't looking for it or expecting it also. I was struggling on my 4th step at the time.

It came out of no where, in an unfamiliar place, while I wasn't even looking for it. The only effort on my part, was Openness and it just appeared.

I was in a strange town, at a strange meeting, and listening to a member's share, who I had never met before. I suddenly felt the Love, Belief, and Trust that My God was running the show, and everything was going to be alright, if I stick close to his will.
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Brock » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:49 am

tyg said “The Higher Power thing just comes automatically as we move through all the 12 Steps.” I agree with this, on Friday in a topic by Patsy about 'you will be contacted' I quoted that days daily reflection, which in part said this -
As I recovered and began to face the emptiness and ruin of my life, I began to open myself to the possibility of the healing that recovery offers through the A.A. program.  By coming to meetings, staying sober, and taking the Steps, I had the opportunity to listen with increasing attentiveness to the depths of my soul.  Daily I waited, in hope and gratitude, for that sure belief and steadfast love I had longed for in my life. In this process, I met my God, as I understand Him .


Good morning everyone I'm a bit confused now. I agree that when we were told that we will definitely have a spiritual experience in step 3 AFTER saying the 3rd step prayer with the lighting of the candle i thought it kinda limited God.

I am not sure where this came from, how I interpret the book, (which in another thread lead to some confusion), I don't see such things. At the bottom pg 63 we see “This was just a beginning, though if honestly and humbly made, an effect, sometimes a very great one, was felt at once .” It says an effect I suppose they might mean a spiritual experience, but they don't say that, and there is nothing about a candle. Right after that we see the words “Next we launched out,” this reefers to start step four, and for me the words 'launched out' signifies launching like a rocket with speed. As we turn the page to 64 we see “Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little effect unless at once followed by….(they start speaking of step 4). So the words “our decision” are important to me, because just as we said the higher power reveals itself to us through doing the steps, the same way we are able to turn our will over more and more as we go through the process, even years after we are still getting better at this. Many examples of a decision have been made up, like the three frogs on the log and one makes a decision to jump in the water, how many frogs on the log now. Well of course it's still three, because making a decision to do something was never intended to mean we do it right away, as we get to know our higher power via the steps, we are able more and more to turn our will over to it.

That day I realised, understood and accepted that there is ONLY LOVE.

This is powerful stuff, and Dr. Bob of his three main studies on which he 'meditated,' was fond of reading the words of Paul, where teachings of the power of love are found. The priest and AA friend Fr. Rohr, who we got into trouble for quoting a while back, often says that love is the key.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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