Hi all

New to AA? Got questions? Here's the place to ask. Note that no one person speaks "officially" for AA. AA meetings in your local area are always the best source of information. Note that anyone may post and reply to messages in this forum.

Hi all

Postby Kyng » Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:46 pm

Hi,
I'm a 26 yr old alcoholic and its been 4 days since my last drink.
I've been going to the AA program in my area and have a sponsor. For the past four months I've been in and out of AA meetings trying to get ahold of my drinking problem but I have no control once I start. I was on another forum and post about AA, but alot of members seem to be a part of other programs and don't really reach me the same way meetings (or the AA speaker recordings that came into my life today that I haven't been able to pull myself away from) do. I then searched for AA based forums and came here. Thank you all and I hope my sobriety sticks this time.
Thank you.
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Re: Hi all

Postby Brock » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:11 am

Welcome to e-AA Kyng.

I have looked around other forums as well, and you are right that some seem to be more geared towards controlling drinking, we of AA know that this is something we will never do, and our first step which we must grasp fully tells us so.

It is quite normal to make “false starts” in AA, I and many others here have written about this. My problem was thinking how the hell can I enjoy life without booze, even though I wasn't really enjoying life with it. Thank heavens I finally gave AA a proper try, and by the time I was half way through the steps I knew this thing would work. Not only did the urge to drink disappear, but a serene life started to emerge, and it keeps getting better and better, the promises in the book are not a lie, if you stick with this your life will become much much better.

I also liked the speaker recordings, even though I am a good number of years sober now I still listen now and then, my favorites include Sandy B. and the firebrand Chris R. You may find it easiest to locate these via you tube, and also you will find a long over ten hour tape of “Joe and Charlie Big Book Study,” if you listen to a bit each day while following in your book, the you tube tape saves the place at which you stop each time.

You may ask any questions here, there is a good amount of sobriety to be found among the members, all the very best to you.
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Re: Hi all

Postby Spirit Flower » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:53 am

Welcome Kyng! :D
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Re: Hi all

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:41 am

Kyng,
Welcome to the board. The main problem of the alcoholic is that, he/she will go back to alcohol. The mind will always trick him into taking that first drink. And then something happens to the body and mind we drink more than originally plan.

We know that while the alcoholic keeps away from drink, as he may do for months or years, he reacts much like other men. We are equally positive that once he takes any alcohol whatever into his system, something happens, both in the bodily and mental sense, which makes it virtually impossible for him to stop. The experience of any alcoholic will abundantly confirm this.

These observations would be academic and pointless if our friend never took the first drink, thereby setting the terrible cycle in motion. Therefore, the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than in his body. If you ask him why he started on that last bender, the chances are he will offer you any one of a hundred alibis. Sometimes these excuses have a certain plausibility, but none of them really makes sense in the light of the havoc an alcoholic's drinking bout creates. They sound like the philosophy of the man who, having a headache, beats himself on the head with a hammer so that he can't feel the ache. If you draw this fallacious reasoning to the attention of an alcoholic, he will laugh it off, or become irritated and refuse to talk.


So, left on our own resources, we will go back again and again. Consequences will not come to our mind. We are insane when it comes to alcohol. And we get restored to sanity by working the reminder of the 12 steps.
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: Hi all

Postby thebowsie » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:34 pm

Hi Kyng. One Day At A Time - really lame right? I thought so too at first - my last drink was April 11, 1999. Since 4/12/99 when I received my 24-hour chip I have not had another drink. To be sure, when in the beginning of sobriety, that's the last thing you want to hear. My advice to you is sit on Step One. For any alcoholic, that's the most important step you'll ever take. There is absolutely no prize for racing through any of the steps. Set small goals for yourself. That's what I did and the goal was simplistic in nature - just not taking a drink. Minutes led to hours then days, now years. When you are ready, you'll progress to Steps Two and Three - that will be the foundation of your program. With a strong foundation, the rest of AA's helpful steps will be easier as you refer back to 1 through 3. Your sponsor should help you with this - however, the program you make for yourself, will be yours. Give it time, listen to the experience, strength and hope of others.

You'll be stepping for the rest of your life but right now, recognize the fact that your system is withdrawing off of a drug. You may want to get with your physician and let the doctor know you are trying to get and maintain sobriety. There's so much more to life than drinking - again, not really something I wanted to hear when newly sober. I remember how proud I was to take my 30-day chip and then again when I was able to raise my hand when it was time to let the meeting group know I was sober one year. Just know that there are millions of alcoholics that have been in the exact same place as you are now - new to sobriety. At some point the desire for alcohol will go away - you can trust me on this as I was a Stage 4 Alcoholic and believe me - you do not want to go there physically. Just no matter what - don't drink.

My husband just received his 31 year chip and he got sober at the age of 30. In his wallet, he carries his aged 24-hour chip and says that's the most important chip he ever received. You can do it - I know you can. Take it slow and you will maintain your hard-earned sobriety. That's my opinion and my experience combined with the strength and hope I received from others.
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Re: Hi all

Postby Lali » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:46 am

Hi, thebowsie. Could you please elaborate on what you mean when you say "sit on Step One."? Of course, it would be pointless to move on to steps 2-12 without having "gotten" step 1. But once an individual has gotten step one, i.e., has no problem admitting that they are powerless over alcohol and that their lives have become unmanageable, I am sure that you agree it is time to move forward. The steps ARE the program. Given the progressive and fatal nature of alcoholism (in just the last 3 years, I have been to 5 funerals and we have a small AA community here), I could not afford to sit on any one step. I think that you believe as I do, but the newcomer, reading the words "sit on step one", may not understand what you mean by that.

Thank you for any clarification you can provide.
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Re: Hi all

Postby thebowsie » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:47 pm

Hi Lali. Thank you for your thoughtful question and I will try to elaborate on my previous post.

If you really get Step One & fully accept the fact you are an alcoholic (super hard for new people who are withdrawing from the drug itself along with modifying behaviors that included drinking) Steps 2 and 3 to build the foundation of what will be your individual program will be a bit easier. More or less a huge reminder of the fact that drinking leads to un-manageability personified. That's true no matter your length of sobriety. The program is there not to help you STOP drinking but to understand and improve your life while trying to and maintaining continuous sobriety. That's why I say Step One is the most important for without it - 2 through 12 are meaningless.

Flying through the steps just because someone wants you to in my opinion isn't the correct answer. The eurphoria I have seen with a bit of sobriety under an individual's belt just because they completed steps sometimes is not helpful - especially to a new person. A solid foundation is imperative (my foundation is Steps One, Two and Three.) I never understood some people that were so vocal in meetings about how great their program was, saying all of the "right things" and then coming in and taking another 24-hour chip. That to me was confusing as I remembered everything they had said previously when they were sharing. Being new, I was struggling with life coping with the fact alcohol was no longer an option. Lesson learned over and over throughout the years by others - if you don't drink - you wont get drunk or ever have to take another 24-hour chip. By the grace of God - my higher power - I only have one 24-hour chip.

As a Stage 4 Alcoholic I had no choice health-wise but to admit I was an alcoholic. I was living the terrible nightmare of extreme withdrawal (something I wish on no person ever) and I made the decision to live. I was told by a very wise person that actually knew me after my hospitalization to medically detox - to attend AA meetings, sit down, shut up and listen...a person with one day more sober that I had knew more about staying sober than I did. For me, that worked and drove the AA's nuts in the meetings looking for their newcomer story fix. I said my name, that I was an alcoholic and I passed. I think the first time I really shared in a meeting was when I took my one year chip. That didn't mean I was silent outside the meetings forum - just inside as I, too, looked to gain the experience, strength and hope of others and asked questions about things that were said in meetings that I did not understand. While what was personally suggested to me early on new to sobriety probably wouldn't work for most - for me, that's my experience. After almost 18 years of continuous sobriety - I still step along through life.

My hope is for everyone to maintain their hard-earned sobriety and I include myself in that statement also. The desire to drink has long since been removed but the steps 4 through 12 taught me how to analyze and take corrective action on behaviors that could be and can be destructive. It really did begin for me with Step One and that by far was the most difficult step I had to take. For any person reading my post - know that stopping drinking can be done - one minute, hour and day that will lead to months and years at a time. One Day At A Time. However fast or slow you take the suggested steps (in order)... just no matter what - don't drink! Help will always be there if you but ask for it.
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Re: Hi all

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:19 pm

More or less a huge reminder of the fact that drinking leads to un-manageability personified.


See some us try to focus on the un-manageability. Thats what leads us back to a drink. So in order for us to know what is un-managable, we take inventory. Thats why the book talks about for a permanent solution, we need to get to the causes. Throughout the book Bill talks about "Clean house" "find God" "work with others".

From this doctor, the broker had learned the grave nature of alcoholism. Though he could not accept all the tenets of the Oxford Groups, he was convinced of the need for moral inventory, confession of personality defects, restitution to those harmed, helpfulness to others, and the necessity of belief in and dependence upon God.

Same he does that in There is a Solution chapter where he talks about inventory and then the Creator entering into us and He gets to do the Job.
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: Hi all

Postby Lali » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:44 pm

Thank you, bowsie, for taking the time to reply to my post. Truly, I'm not trying to be difficult, but the answer to my question was still not clear. I certainly agree with all that you said, but I'm still needing clarification as to what exactly it means when you say "sit on" Step One. I'm afraid that the newcomer will perhaps be confused as well. Some may take it as literally as I did. In other words, despite the fact that one may have taken step one with no reservations, he should sit on the step anyway? For how long? (Those were the questions I had in my original post). I, like you, don't like the idea of flying through the steps; they should be worked thoroughly, of course. (At the same time, some of us are sicker than others and to "drag the process out" too long could be fatal for some alcoholics).

My feeling is that one should keep up a steady momentum while working the steps - when one is "finished", move right on to the next. I like that my sponsor met with me every week - for approximately one or two hours - so that we were always working on a step. Some steps took more weeks than others as we read through the book and discussed what was read. But our once a week meeting was set in stone and helped me to be accountable as well.
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Re: Hi all

Postby thebowsie » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:48 pm

It's a metaphor for accepting the fact you are an alcoholic. It shouldn't confuse any newcomer-based on my experience, it was the biggest step I ever took. Without that initial acceptance of Step One, I never would have been able to move forward getting into action taking the suggested steps. That's my take. As many AA's that are out there is as many opinions you will encounter. Some you will agree or disagree with or just say blah - ok. My sharing either on this forum or in a meeting is my experience. I can definitely say to any newcomer without any reservations that I wouldn't wish becoming a Stage 4 alcoholic on anyone. The disease of alcoholism is progressive and I am so glad I made the decision to live and arrest the progression. Unlike some that are lucky enough not to remember, I do remember the end of my drinking vividly and never want to experience that physical and mental pain again.

As to a time frame for Step One - it's up to the individual on the whole acceptance thing. Each person is unique so I have no "right" answer to that question. The only thing a newcomer needs to know is millions of AA's have succeeded by using the program's outline and incorporating it into their own individual plan for living sober. In the beginning for me it was one minute, hour and day at a time. It was about all I could handle when newly sober. Best wishes.
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Re: Hi all

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:58 am

I do remember the end of my drinking vividly and never want to experience that physical and mental pain again.


Have you read the big book? Flip to page 24. The book says we wouldn't be able to bring into consciousness the miseries with force and that we will take a drink. And that is because of that peculiar twist around the first drink due to un-manageability. It manifest in different people in different form. And thats why Bill talks about getting to the causes quickly:

Though our decision was vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.


Again some of us here believe that if the alcoholic doesn't get hooked to the power the book talks about, he/she is bound to go back. Thats why you see there is a constant turn-over in the fellowship. Many people losing their sobriety (long-term) because of hitting the blank spot like the Account story.
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: Hi all

Postby Brock » Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:48 am

There is little doubt that we must fully accept step one for success in AA, how long that takes some people is the question. For myself, having 'tried' AA two or three times for several months each time, over a thirty year period, I can put my failure down squarely to lack of acceptance of step one.

But then at age sixty, my family having run out of more comfortable options, to be admitted against my will to a third world excuse for a psychiatric hospital, without a ward for alcoholics or addictions, so put in with the vagrants rounded up in an effort to clean up the city, there I lay for three weeks, the first few days restrained in bed. The vagrants stole everything I had I was down to one pair of underpants, for putting me there at first I thought I might kill my wife when I got out, but then my head started to clear, I was able to look at where I had reached, the once successful and respected engineer lying with the vagrants, my wife's tough love was paying off. I knew enough of the big book to not only fully accept 1, 2 & 3, but mentally plot out my step 4, (we weren't even allowed a pencil and paper so I couldn't write it).

So for me I didn't need to sit in AA to get the first step, and I hope and pray that others who reach the level of desperation I have, are not told to 'sit on step one.' I have no doubt that someone with the experience and obvious common sense like I believe thebowsie has, would understand that in my case the sitting on step one is absolutely unnecessary. But we are dealing with all sorts of sponsors, and the danger remains of someone who is not only ready, but desperately needs to move on through the steps, being held back by someone who doesn’t know better. Probably accompanied by the stupidest and most dangerous words which I have heard sponsors say – 'That's the way my sponsor did it with me.' Would be sponsors really must be able to identify one case from another, in order to determine the pace at which the steps are done.
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Re: Hi all

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:58 am

When someone says "sit on step one," particularly if I am reading the words and not in person, it means to me to stay there. That is what the words say. In person and in a full conversation, it might be different.

For long term sobriety, spiritual growth is needed. Spiritual growth is more than step one.

(Bowsie, I have 31 years just like your husband).
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Re: Hi all

Postby Reborn » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:58 am

Welcome to the newcomer who is posting here...also don't "sit" on anything if you're going to work the program of AA. Its like walking up the down moving escaltor...if you keep moving you will make progress but if you stand still you'll go back to the bottom. If you can read the the Doctor's Opinion through page 43 and identify with what they are talking about you are most likely alcoholic. Page 44 sums it up nicely....

In the preceding chapters you have learned something of alcoholism. We hope we have made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the nonalcoholic. If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.

Of course you have to read the proceeding chapters...but most people who have made their way to an AA meeting probably have at least experienced some kind of issue with alcohol or they wouldn't be sitting there.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Hi all

Postby Lali » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:53 pm

Thanks, guys, for understanding the point I was trying to make. (Maybe I'm not as nutty as they say - HA!) Sometimes the way we word something, no matter how good our intentions, can lead to a serious misunderstanding.
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