Know I have a problem

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Know I have a problem

Postby Megan99 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:25 pm

Hi, my name is Megan and I'm an alcoholic.
I've known this since I was 16 when I first started to drink. Neither my mom or my dad are alcoholics but it definitely runs in our family, and I just knew, even then, that my relationship to alcohol was different than my peers. I went to my first AA meeting a year ago, to mollify my family. I stopped going very shortly and just stopped drinking around my family (clever me) I am terrified of the idea of not drinking, it is basically the only time I'm happy. But I am also terrified of what will happen if I keep going. I have a really good job, that I've kept because I have a really understanding manager. I have a 7 year old that I haven't F*** up too much (yet)
I have been reading posts on here, hungover, at work, telling myself I will go to a meeting after work but I haven't made it to one.
I am powerless over alcohol, I can't do it on my own. But like a lot of people I don't have any concept or belief in a higher power. It feels like the biggest cop out to say this but maybe you all can be my higher power for a hot minute. Not sure if it works that way, though I would ask
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby Brock » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:23 am

Welcome here Meagan.

The lack of a higher power is something which comes up here fairly regularly, and while I don't usually contribute in trying to suggest alternatives, I have seen it recommended that non believers consider using the AA group, the face to face live one, as their higher power. This is also suggested in our literature, each time you see them at a meeting and most seem to have recovered from the need and obsession to drink, and are living happily, it may have you thinking these people have some power, power you need yourself.

When you say you went before to keep your family off your back, that is quite common in AA too, of course it doesn’t work, we must want it for ourselves, and I am very pleased that you seem to be in that position now.

The question of how I am going to be happy without drink, is the one which baffles us all at first. Here you need a little faith in the AA program, which has worked for millions who had the same concern. Yes there will be a struggle here and there until you get about half way through the 12 steps, there will be temptations and times you will need your will power, but then you will realize something amazing has happened, this is what the book says -

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. ...we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.


And that book doesn’t lie.

I expect others will be along to give their words of encouragement and advise, please try this program with your best effort, you will not regret it, best of luck.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby D'oh » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:03 am

Hi Megan; and welcome.

I am always grateful to hear people that make the doors somewhat a High Bottom case. The First Step and an Open Mind is really all you need to get started, Not that High Bottoms have it any easier, perhaps harder not knowing how Hellish, the Hell can get. I had to go back out and find out for myself what the 10-15 years of literal Hell the rest had gone through to find out that I just can't drink.

So yes, you can use the Fellowship as a Higher Power (They are, they don't drink, something I could not do) but just keep an Open Mind, more will be revealed.

Good Luck and Journey on your Road of Happy Destiny, you have already taken the Hardest Step.
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby Duke » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:22 am

Welcome Megan. I'm glad you reached out. The answers are here for you. The program works.

Good luck.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:29 am

Code: Select all
But like a lot of people I don't have any concept or belief in a higher power.


You don't have to any concept of a higher power when you start working the steps. The faith comes when you actually start experiencing the promises.

We start cleaning up and then we experience this power.
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: Know I have a problem

Postby Lali » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:35 pm

Megan99 wrote:I have been reading posts on here, hungover, at work, telling myself I will go to a meeting after work but I haven't made it to one.


Sounds like me awhile back. Sitting at work hungover, telling myself "Tonight I will go to a meeting". I did that for years but never made it. Until I finally DID. Then I wondered what took me so long!

Please remember: Nothing changes if nothing changes.
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby porcupine » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:14 am

Hi Megan,

I was in a similar situation. I've been in AA for about 11 months.
When I came in I hadn't lost my job - in fact my job circumstance was such that it enabled me to drink 24x7. I have kids who are young enough to not really be aware of the problem. I hid most of my drinking from everyone, even my closest friends had no idea how far I'd gone.
What happened for me was I started going absolutely crazy. Crazy trying to manage all of the secrets and lies. Crazy with the guilt and remorse of the way I was behaving every day, waking up at 2am to take a handful of antacid knowing I had to stop but knowing full well first thing in the morning I'd be back at it again as soon as I was alone. Crazy with depression and anxiety, hating everything and everyone and not wanting to be a part of life any more.
All I can say is that going to my first meeting was by far the best thing I've done in my life. Just knowing that I wasn't alone with this insanity was such an incredible relief. It's only for the grace of this program and my higher power that I didn't lose everything because I was absolutely on a path to an early grave.
One of the sayings in my local meetings is that getting into AA is like getting off a train. Some people get off early, some people go the full journey and even do the circle line over and over. It doesn't matter where you get off the train, and you don't have to lose everything to get off the train either. But for the alcoholic, staying on the train ends in either institutions, jail or an early death.
Feel free to PM me if you need any help from a fellow newcomer :)

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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby Roberth » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:33 pm

Hello Megan, and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic.
There is plenty of wiggle room about a higher power. One thing that I have learned is the when we are new tend to limit ourselves to a childhood church god. Not saying that’s a bad thing but that seems to give many of us trouble in the beginning.
They told me I could use AA as many high power (Group Of Drunks)to start with. They also told me the steps would help me find the best one for me. Being an atheist that worked for me and I just celebrated my 25th year
Robert
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby ezdzit247 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:52 pm

I am powerless over alcohol, I can't do it on my own. But like a lot of people I don't have any concept or belief in a higher power. It feels like the biggest cop out to say this but maybe you all can be my higher power for a hot minute. Not sure if it works that way, though I would ask.


Hi Megan and welcome.

Kudos for honesty! IMO honesty is never a cop-out. Lots of AA members have successfully used their home group as their higher power and or/ their sponsor as well so please feel free to do either or both if that works for you.

Glad you decided to get help for your drinking problem. There's a lot of experience, strength and hope posted in these forums from other AA members. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Keep coming back.....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby Lali » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:02 pm

Megan99 wrote: I have a 7 year old that I haven't F*** up too much (yet)


I found that age 7 is about the time kids start becoming aware of what the adults around them are doing. Your timing is right for change!

And, as I like to say, nothing changes if nothing changes.

Wishing you well.
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby thebowsie » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:48 pm

[quote="Megan99"]Hi, my name is Megan and I'm an alcoholic.
Hi Megan. Well, it appears you have the hard part down - admitting that you are in fact an alcoholic. For me, myself and I (the three of us collectively) :) that was the hard part. Thinking back (I've been sober coming on 18 years without ever taking another drink) I, too, knew I drank too much. The question I would ask is do you really want to stop drinking? I am here to tell you that it can be done - and yes, "One Day At A Time." Believe me I used to LMAO when I heard that and voila 18 years later I'm still sober and have a lot more wrinkles. Just for perspective on January 14th, my husband will celebrate 31 years of sobriety in AA - he was 30 when he got sober and has remained sober.

My advice would be yes, to attend meetings. You are not required to speak or even identify yourself as an alcoholic. Just sit and listen and maybe you'll hear a bit of your own story by listening to someone else with a similar story. You don't have to move through the steps with lightening speed - the first three steps really are the foundation of what will become your own program. Sit on Step One if that's what it takes. You admitted you were powerless over alcohol and your life has become unmanageable. That step was placed first for a reason. The timeline for what will become your sober program is entirely up to you. There are no rules in AA but success equates from taking the suggested steps, in order, with the most important step being Step One.

As you become more comfortable with the fact drinking is not an option, you may want to dip your toes into the pond of finding - or creating a Higher Power for yourself in order to look at taking Step Two. It may be helpful to retain a sponsor - someone that can guide you and answer questions you may have. The withdrawal from alcohol is tremendous so I suggest getting a physical and discuss with your Doctor the fact you are trying to get sober. The physical side of this program for a new person is paramount since withdrawal is physical and mental in that you just want to take "one" drink to make the physical pain go away or relax. I speak from experience as I was a Stage 4 Alcoholic. I, too, had an understanding employer but seriously you don't want to bottom out physically. That really sucks!

It's no cop out in saying you don't understand what is meant by Higher Power. Sit on Step One for as long as it takes and listen to experience, strength and hope. After a while, you'll better gauge what might work for you. The ONLY requirement for membership in AA is a desire to stop drinking. That being said, the steps have been successful for millions of people that got and stayed sober. Whatever comes during this beginning for you - just don't drink. I did it one minute, hour, day, year and now years at a time. Not necessarily something a new person wants to hear - but if nothing else, takeaway the fact that continuous sobriety can be achieved and there are so many others that have done the same. The effort to improve your life is up to you and if that means for you, stopping drinking, then that is entirely up to you. There are countless people out there that can help. I'm new to this forum and hope this helps.
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby Noels » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:00 am

i]Just so you all know, my husband will celebrate 31 years of continuous sobriety as of January14th, 2017 [/i]

CONGRATULATIONS to your husbands 31st sobriety birthday Thebowsie :D

Xxx Noels
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby Kdlaw99 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:32 am

Hi, Apologies for jumping in on this thread but new to this and not sure how it works. Just wanted to get some feedback from people re some issues I am experiencing here in London re AA. I am really struggling with the meetings in London as I find them to be unfriendly and frankly unhelpful. I joined a meeting for approx 15 months and became involved re washing up, became a greeter etc and thought I was making a connection with people which is what I wanted from AA (otherwise what is the point of going to meetings?). However, after 15 months of regular attendance I was never asked to do a chair to share my story even though people of less that 3 months sobriety were doing chairs and in addition not one person gave me their tel number and the three people at meeting I asked to be my sponsor refused. Consequently, I left that meeting some months ago and I have only been to one or two meetings since that time and I have generally found the atmosphere to be not conducive to sobriety. Hence, whilst I love the AA programme and the literature etc I just cannot seem to get anything from the meetings. Does AA have a process for reporting meetings? is there any quality assurance process in place? should there be a role / job description for potential sponsors? Can anyone help? regards, Kevin
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby Brock » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:21 am

Welcome here Kevin. I am very surprised at the crappy experience you have had, when new people who have never attended a meeting come here asking for advise, they are usually advised to attend different meetings to find one which is the best fit for them, they can then say I would like to be a member here and it becomes their home group, this section from the pamphlet “The AA Group Where It All Begins,” explains some of that idea -
Traditionally, most A.A. members through the years have found it important to belong to one group which they call their “Home Group.” This is the group where they accept service responsibilities and try to sustain friendships. And although all A.A. members are usually welcome at all groups and feel at home at any of these meetings, the concept of the “Home Group” has still remained the strongest bond between the A.A. member and the Fellowship. With membership comes the right to vote upon issues that might affect the group and might also affect A.A. as a whole—a process that forms the very cornerstone of A.A.’s service structure. As with all group-conscience matters, each A.A. member has one vote; and this, ideally, is voiced through the home group. Over the years, the very essence of A.A. strength has remained with our home group, which, for many members, becomes our extended family.

So we see as a member accepting service responsibility, you then have a right to vote on any group matter, in another part of the leaflet, (you can Google the leaflet to read it), we see that minority or new member opinions are given equal standing, and they warn about letting older members dominate.

Because of the experience you have had at this group I would probably choose another one to join, after going to a few to see where I felt most comfortable, but you could just challenge this group by asking how come you have not been invited to vote on matters like who the group asks to chair, because you should have been part of this all along. My feeling is this group seems to be one of those undemocratic ones, which don't follow the traditions and principles, often led by one or two AA know all's whose ego has gotten the better of them, so challenging their way of operating might just be a futile exercise.

By way of quality assurance or reporting, each district has an inter group to which all district groups belong, and usually a representative from each group to attend their monthly meetings, again in your own group you should have been informed of this and told who the group representative was. If you Google something like “AA Inter Group” followed by your area, Greater London or whatever, you should get their website, if you wanted you could report your experiences there via e-mail, doing this might help them buck up and fly right in future.

On line you will find leaflets on sponsorship and everything else AA, here - http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/aa-literature

Best of luck at finding a better home group, and hopefully members who are most pleased to accept sponsorship responsibility, the only reason for not accepting might be that they have their hands full with others, but then this should be explained politely to you, in fact most groups have a list or show of hands of those willing and able to sponsor others. Also congratulations on holding out this long under the crappy conditions you have faced, I guess you may not have done the full steps yet while waiting for a sponsor, please put this at the top of your priorities, it can not be emphasized to strongly how much easier and happier sober life gets after doing these steps, may the AA gods be with you.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Know I have a problem

Postby tomsteve » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:00 am

glad youre here, megan. I suggest to not put the cart before the horse. before even being concerned with a HP, make it to a meeting. make a plan of attending meetings regularly.
then find a sponsor to help guide ya through the steps.
but heres something to think about.
came to believe in a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity........ by working the rest of the steps.

I didn't have a concept of belief in a HP either. I found it by working the steps.
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