The struggles of just learning how to be sober

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The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby Caruh7 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:05 pm

Hi, at my age (22) I feel like most of us don't think we are alcoholics. We like to say it's because we are young, or just are wreck less or, like me, (with social anxiety) just named it off to the fact we didn't have friends and it was because we couldn't be ourselves. This post goes to the people who know or down the know how to go from there. I am an alcoholic but I haven't gotten sober yet. My struggle is the fact that I am scared of new people and want new people. It's a hard situation as most everyone here would get. How would you gain new friends? Well my old self would say.. Alcohol, but we all know that doesn't better ourselves. The struggle I have now is the future, knowing alcohol can't be in my life. I'm scared of it. I haven't ever dated and I don't even know if I want to. Another side wants company to make me happy. Either way for me now, I know I am in the midst of the grieving stages of being sober. First there is denial, none of us want to be called or even think we are alcoholics. Then there's anger, we are enraged that we let it get this far and how we let our friends or family down, or more ourselves down.Then there's bargaining, we say we can drink one drink a week or every other day or whatever speaks to you. Then there's depression, we don't figure it out. We still fail and embarrass ourselves or throw ourselves into a pit we don't think we can be in. But then there is acceptance, once we battle all those and are able to see we can do it. We accept we can't drink and can positively move on we are free! I believe in all of this. I am still at a bargaining stage. I am afraid of never drinking. I am afraid I can't live a normal life due to my fears of dating and people in general. My personality says I'm the opposite but for some reason I can't. I am motivated and want to be more than anything but I got locked into alcohol. I am learning to live without. We all just have to get on be bus and get it right. I will learn and I will succeed. I just don't know how people's young as me have been able to gain the willpower to say no. And don't listen to me. Listen to the facts. We can do it! And we will!
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby Stepchild » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:11 pm

That's a great share...Actually amazing for me to hear. I started drinking at the age of 13 and I took to it like a duck to water. My life centered around it. I came from a large family that alcohol played a major role in. The way I drank was normal to me....They talk about that in The Doctor's opinion.
I can't even imagine what my life would have been like if I'd been introduced to the book Alcoholics Anonymous at the age of 22....Rather than the age of 51. I never knew what an alcoholic was....But I guess in all honesty I knew my drinking wasn't normal. Alcohol was the center of my universe.

It cost me a lot....Damn near killed me. You posted something that really hit close to home for me.....

I am afraid of never drinking. I am afraid I can't live a normal life due to my fears of dating and people in general. My personality says I'm the opposite but for some reason I can't. I am motivated and want to be more than anything but I got locked into alcohol.


I lived like that for most of my life. I could have written that. I think the greatest gift I received from taking AA's 12 steps....Besides the fact I haven't had a drink in over 5 years. Is I could live without that fear...I mean really live. That it is possible.
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:40 pm

I am learning to live without.


Yes, if you read the Doctors Opinion, there is one paragraph that gave me lot of hope:

On the other hand-and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand-once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules.

Couple of places Bill talks about we being rocketed into the 4th dimension of living. We go through life without the need for any mind altering substance.
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: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby D'oh » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:38 pm

Hi Caruh, thanks for sharing.

Have you been to a meeting yet?

I still remember the 4 days of when "I knew I could not drink anymore, but couldn't imagine a Life without drinking." 4 Days of literal Hell.

Then my first meeting, scary also but after I realized that others, have been able to live without a drink. And seemingly Happy doing it.

To this day I remember none of the words said that night, but I still recall their faces.
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby positrac » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:34 am

I was 23 and a 3 time retread to AA and I finally accepted I had issues with the drink. When I came in the rooms a lot of older folks ruled the halls because young kids and young adults weren't as common back then in AA. Oh the disease was alive and well in the younger community and it took time for things to change.

I had a hard time living life with the people my age because we were supposed to be going buck wild and I knew I couldn't and learned to move into a different direction. You'll have to figure out what works and what doesn't for you and the social circles of things because peer pressure can be an issue.

I would suggest that your no mean NO!

You can achieve this life style and eventually you'll feel more at ease with it all.
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby PuppyEars » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:43 am

Hi caruh.
The program of alcoholics anonymous makes promises to those that take action on certain steps.
And you are in luck because one of them promises happens to be:

Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.

It does not come without working for it tho.
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby Larryp713 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:39 am

Hi Caruh,

I am Larry, an alcoholic who was driven by fear and ego for a long time. I was "advised" to try AA by a judge when I was 24, but I knew I was an alcoholic before that. I didn't drink like most of my friends, and they didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I did. I went to AA, knew I was in the right place, knew I needed to get sober, and I kept drinking on and off for the next 20 years. But even in the off periods, I was controlled by this illness. By the grace of God, I surrendered to this program 20 months ago and now know a new freedom and happiness.

I get to work with a lot of young people. It is hard, but not impossible, for them to finally "get it" and really try to work this program. Young people can get sober. I know a bunch of them, and they are incredible examples to me. But its harder. You often haven't lost as much, haven't "tried" enough ways to moderate, and don't appreciate the juxtaposition of a sober, free life vs a life run on self-will.

At those first few meetings, I received a lot of dire warnings that if I was a real alcoholic, my disease would progress and I would die if I didn't change. It sure did progress. But a couple of the guys would listen to me and chuckle, tell me to keep coming back and that AA would be here when I was ready. I am so grateful it was.

What all alcoholics, young and old, need to figure out is how willing are they to recover. Don't worry about how you're going to live life without alcohol, or all the people you are going to have to interact with. To start, you just need to be convinced that you are powerless over alcohol and your life is unmanageable. If you are truly there, and can be honest, you should be willing to take some simple steps. They will be very difficult, but not complicated.

Of the many great promises in the book, I love those in the 9th and 10th step. Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us; we will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us; we haven't even sworn off alcohol, the problem has just been removed - that is the great miracle. Whenever you are ready, we in AA will be there. It is in our responsibility pledge and I know many take it seriously. All the best - Larry
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby Roberth » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:29 am

Hi Caruh and welcome to E-AA. You might want to check out this pamphlet “Young people and AA” at AA.org
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/is-aa-fo ... ple-and-aa
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby Brock » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:43 am

Larry offered a message of facts filled with a good dose of hope, the kind that makes this forum the excellent AA resource it is.

Like him I was given this message many years before I finally accepted it, we don't look back on things we would change, but if we did that would be the top of my list. It is so hard to believe that without drink life would improve by leaps and bounds, that some of us insist on more years of suffering.
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby Feeya » Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:59 pm

Hi Caruh,
Your struggle sounds very familiar.. the part of being scared of new people but at the same time wanting new people in your life is something I identified with for the longest time.
My biggest struggle used to be, and I am only speaking for myself here, that I would hide behind the multiple diagnosis of personality disorders and social anxiety. Those diagnosis would allow me to isolate, would give me an excuse not to try something different, would make me feel like I was in fact the loneliest person in the world.
Another thing is the 'never drinking again'. What helped me there was just not focusing on 'never again'.
The 24 hour plan of AA advises that 'just for today' we won't drink. To me, in the beginning, that was such a relief. Not having to have to worry about forever and always... Just focusing on the here and now, and only making plans for the 24 hours ahead of me.

After working the steps that will get easier. The fear of 'never again' faints and even though I still live in the here and now it does become less of a threat, less of a focus.
Now a days I am not so concerned about the future, for the most part... I will cross that bridge when I get there and trust my HP to only confront me with things I can handle...

Working the steps makes me realise every single day that I am responsible for my actions and that I can no longer hide behind excuses, even though life sometimes scares me to death, I have to move forward, I have to keep going. On the other side of that fear is freedom.

Thank you for sharing with us.
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:15 am

But I guess in all honesty I knew my drinking wasn't normal. Alcohol was the center of my universe.

It cost me a lot....Damn near killed me. You posted something that really hit close to home for me.....


But since the problem of the alcoholic centers in the mind, he/she is going to go to the bitter end. What awakens each individual is something different for each one of them. The guy at the 1/2 house was sharing that the boat went, he kept drinking, the car went, he kept drinking, the house went he kept drinking and eventually the wife left. That made him think. Another guy shared that his 2 year old asked him to leave the house. That put a spark in him. He has been in the fellowship for 13 years. In and out. We can only share the masterpiece the fellowship has coined but, there is something within the alcoholic that awaken them. Thats where we got to depend on the higher power.

I read this part, it tells it all:
How true this is, few realize. In a vague way their families and friends sense that these drinkers are abnormal, but everybody hopefully awaits the day when the sufferer will rouse himself from his lethargy and assert his power of will.

The tragic truth is that if the man be a real alcoholic, the happy day may not arrive. He has lost control. At a certain point in the drinking of every alcoholic, he passes into a state where the most powerful desire to stop drinking is of absolutely no avail. This tragic situation has already arrived in practically every case long before it is suspected.
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: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby FluffUSPS » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:56 am

You're right. LEARNING how to be sober. That's what it was for me. The Big Book mentions how I can't imagine a life with or without drinking. In living, many things are automatic. I do them so much it becomes a habit. Drinking was much the same. Except the habit became a part of my soul. So today, in sobriety, I use the instruction manual...the tools...to rebuild my life. And my soul. And I'm always learning along the way. 8)
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby serendipity » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:21 pm

This was a great read. I never thought about applying it with the 5 stages of grief, but it certainly rings true to me.

Anger for me, too, was also being resentful towards those that were upset with me or not wanting to have me in their lives. I had to let go of that. I'm waiting for my amends step to hopefully rebuild some of the bridges I burnt with my stupidity during my drinking.
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby Taralou » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:12 pm

Caruh7 wrote:Hi, at my age (22) I feel like most of us don't think we are alcoholics. We like to say it's because we are young, or just are wreck less or, like me, (with social anxiety) just named it off to the fact we didn't have friends and it was because we couldn't be ourselves. This post goes to the people who know or down the know how to go from there. I am an alcoholic but I haven't gotten sober yet. My struggle is the fact that I am scared of new people and want new people. It's a hard situation as most everyone here would get. How would you gain new friends? Well my old self would say.. Alcohol, but we all know that doesn't better ourselves. The struggle I have now is the future, knowing alcohol can't be in my life. I'm scared of it. I haven't ever dated and I don't even know if I want to. Another side wants company to make me happy. Either way for me now, I know I am in the midst of the grieving stages of being sober. First there is denial, none of us want to be called or even think we are alcoholics. Then there's anger, we are enraged that we let it get this far and how we let our friends or family down, or more ourselves down.Then there's bargaining, we say we can drink one drink a week or every other day or whatever speaks to you. Then there's depression, we don't figure it out. We still fail and embarrass ourselves or throw ourselves into a pit we don't think we can be in. But then there is acceptance, once we battle all those and are able to see we can do it. We accept we can't drink and can positively move on we are free! I believe in all of this. I am still at a bargaining stage. I am afraid of never drinking. I am afraid I can't live a normal life due to my fears of dating and people in general. My personality says I'm the opposite but for some reason I can't. I am motivated and want to be more than anything but I got locked into alcohol. I am learning to live without. We all just have to get on be bus and get it right. I will learn and I will succeed. I just don't know how people's young as me have been able to gain the willpower to say no. And don't listen to me. Listen to the facts. We can do it! And we will!


Hey, I'm Tara.
I'm also 22 and I have said everything you described in your post.
I've made excuses for my drinking, told myself and others that its okay for me to drink and act the way I did because I was 22 and didn't have kids, I didn't drink in the mornings so it must be okay! I've told myself every lie I could think of.

This is attempt number 3 or 4 in the last 18 months of me trying to get sober and stay sober. I now know that I HAVE to get sober this time, or there is going to be nothing here for me, when I drink I'm not living, just existing and I wanna live!!!!
I don't know where my willpower to not drink is going to come from other than me and the support I'm getting from others. I don't know if I will be sober tomorrow but I sure hope so
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Re: The struggles of just learning how to be sober

Postby PaigeB » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:03 am

Welcome BOTH Taralou & Caruh7! Check into some Young People meetings in your area!

Here's a thread... viewtopic.php?f=41&t=21454&p=143065&hilit=YPAA#p143065 but there are others here too.

Also you can search the web with YPAA or Young People in AA... I know the Empire State Convention is in NY THIS WEEKEND! In 2017 the International Conf. will be in Chicago, Illinois!
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