Questions for those in recovery

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.

Questions for those in recovery

Postby Unicorn724 » Tue May 23, 2017 8:54 pm

Hello,

For close to a year I have been stuck in a vicious cycle of addiction and I'm ready to ask for help. From the outside, it looks like I have it all together. I have a stable job, no legal problems, no one knows I'm struggling. I can't hide it anymore. I have problems with alcohol and my drinking leads me to do hard drugs and I have put myself in unsafe situations. I thought I could handle it on my own, but I can't. I am not physically dependent on it, but I obsess about it on my days off from work. I never go to work impaired. I can no longer take this self loathing mental anguish I experience when I drink.

So here are my questions:

Should I tell my family? I have a feeling they will be shocked, angry, upset. I don't want to disappoint them.
Obviously, I need to start going to meetings. But I also feel overwhelmed with all the work I will have to do as far as the steps. I don't know if I'm prepared to invest that much. And does this mean I'm not really ready to quit?

I have been to one NA meeting 11 months ago. I have the AA and NA book. Other than that, this is my first real attempt at stopping the right way. Are all these feelings/questions normal?

Thanks for your input!
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Re: Questions for those in recovery

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed May 24, 2017 4:44 am

First of all, welcome to the forums. We are glad you are here.
Should I tell my family? I have a feeling they will be shocked, angry, upset. I don't want to disappoint them.


If you are bar drinking guy, they wont notice you going missing for an hour. I was a lone drinker in the house. So my wife did get upset when I went to meetings everyday first couple of years. Then found balance.

Obviously, I need to start going to meetings. But I also feel overwhelmed with all the work I will have to do as far as the steps.


More importantly, see if you can identify with someone who has worked the steps and willing to walk you through the 12 steps and help you have a permanent solution.

I don't know if I'm prepared to invest that much. And does this mean I'm not really ready to quit?


I think of it this way. We waste so much of time when we are in drinking. Minimum 3 hours? And the hangover the next day? In all about 6 hours minimum? Is it too much to ask if we were to spend about 1 1/2 hours in a meeting? + 1/2 hour reading?
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: Questions for those in recovery

Postby positrac » Wed May 24, 2017 4:54 am

People know you have issues even when we think they don't. I'd suggest not thinking to much and get to a rehab and or go to meetings and jump in before you can overthink things and chicken out. In my own way I faced what you are facing today and we all can in some way acknowledge your struggles and feelings in the gut; you know the ole what have I done routine!

We spent a lot of time in our addiction and we should make an honest efforts to attend meetings, read and work on our sobriety. Time management is a hard deal to get a hold of and boredom will lead us to doing the stinking thinking and this is no good.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
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Re: Questions for those in recovery

Postby Brock » Wed May 24, 2017 5:11 am

Welcome here Unicorn, I think the questions are quite appropriate, and will attempt to give my views on them, excuse me if I repeat some things others have said.

Firstly I can identify with only doing drugs after drinking, I did that for many years, but after getting in some scrapes, and because the drug habit was so expensive, I turned my back on that. Unfortunately I continued drinking and things went from bad to worse, and many tries to stop that failed, and convinced me that I needed help. AA not only helped me kill all urges to drink, it surprisingly turned out to be a program for a happy and contented life, one I would want, alcoholic or not.

I don't see the point of telling your family just yet, and the amount of work to do the steps I feel you are overestimating. Some people will say you must go to 90 meetings in 90 days, I am not a particular fan of that, especially since you don't drink every day. But the fact that you obsess about it when not doing it indicates a real problem, “normal” folks don't do that, alcoholics do.

I don't know if the book you have is what we call the big book, (official name Alcoholics Anonymous), but it's big with a blue cover, at any rate the program is outlined there, and also in a book known as the 12 & 12, (12 steps and 12 traditions). If you go to as many meetings as you feel able to, buy the big book if you don't have it, listen on you tube to 'big book workshops,' the most popular being those by Joe and Charlie, and Chris R, while following along with your book. And listen also on you tube by typing in 'AA Speakers' and choosing from the wide selection, this helps many of us at first to get an understanding, speakers like the firebrand Chris R, or the more laid back like Sandy B, there is a wide choice. Also if at a meeting someone speaks about the steps in a way that you might relate to, it's common to ask them for one on one assistance as a sponsor.

I would like to put a time frame on this to show that it doesn’t take much time each day, and to complete the steps can be done relatively quickly, Chris R speaks about sitting on the tray of his truck two weeks after he gave AA a serious effort, and crying with joy, because the obsession had disappeared. It varies with each of us, but under no circumstance should it be seen as a long time consuming process, we take pride in saying it's a simple program for complicated people.

Please ask any other questions that may come to mind, I will put up some links to AA material, including to some chapters of the big book, best of luck to you.


Is A.A. For You – 12 Questions.
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/is-aa-for ... can-answer

A Brief Guide To AA.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-42_abriefguidetoaa.pdf

Three Chapters From The Big Book-

1.The Doctors Opinion.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbo ... pinion.pdf

2.There Is A Solution.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt2.pdf

3.More About Alcoholism.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt3.pdf

A.A. Meeting Finder.
A.A. Near You.
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Questions for those in recovery

Postby tomsteve » Wed May 24, 2017 5:33 am

"I need to start going to meetings. But I also feel overwhelmed with all the work I will have to do as far as the steps. I don't know if I'm prepared to invest that much. And does this mean I'm not really ready to quit?"

i cant answer if that means youre not ready.
however, if i would have went to AA when i needed it, i would have went about 20 years before i actually did. i finally went ot AA when i wanted help.
not prepared to invest that much. welp, how much did you invest in getting drunk and finding the drugs? how much work was involved in getting the drinks and drugs?
theres great news,though. the steps are in order. the steps arent thrown into a pot and all worked at once- we work them in order and for a reason. each step prepares us for the next one.

i hope you dont let the fear control you and keep you from something that can give you a life beyond your wildest dreams.
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Re: Questions for those in recovery

Postby Wiganman » Wed May 24, 2017 1:49 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum. You have made the first step in your recovery by facing your problems.

Unicorn724 wrote: But I also feel overwhelmed with all the work I will have to do as far as the steps. I don't know if I'm prepared to invest that much.


The steps are not hard work, and nowhere near as hard as being in active addiction. I wish you all the best and you will find lots of good advice on here.
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Re: Questions for those in recovery

Postby PaigeB » Wed May 24, 2017 4:02 pm

I suggest meditating on the words on page 30 of the Big Book... That is what I did... Meditation works magic.

We learned that we HAD TO...
Fully
Concede
to Our
Inner-most
Selves
that we were Alcoholic.

I Just did each word deeply, marinating on each one deep in my soul... deep - where the shame lives. It hurts a little, but I stayed there with it for a moment.

This is the first step in recovery.

I have a disease.

Now what do I want to do about it? It is chronic and I need help. AM I WILLING?
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Questions for those in recovery

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu May 25, 2017 10:00 am

I don't know if I'm prepared to invest that much.
Really? Well, many people feel like you. So where I come from, they wish you the gift of desperation. Supposedly only the truly desperate will do the work. Desperation is a feeling; not measured by having a job or not.

Personally, I was a "high bottom" drunk. But I desperately didn't want my life to go on as it was. I did everything AA asked. I got sober and have stayed that way for over 31 years.

Our book says to "completely give yourself to this simple program" and "go to any lengths."
...a score card reading zero...
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Re: Questions for those in recovery

Postby Roberth » Thu May 25, 2017 11:29 am

Hello Unicorn and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. Well I guess I am a lucky one. My sponsor introduced me to the principles of AA by taking me through the steps. He believes we could do the first 8 in 8 hours. What took time was I spent the last 25 years applying those principles to my life. I must say I have a fairly good life but I also got something I didn't expect. And the was peace of mind.
As far as family when I admitted I was an alcoholic it was unanimous. I thought I was hiding it well but they I know.
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: Questions for those in recovery

Postby tyg » Tue May 30, 2017 2:54 am

Glad you are with us and welcome to the Forum. It's great you are asking questions and hope to see you keep posting.

This Forum is wonderful to bring questions and discuss recovery but I always get a little extra something, somethin when talking with AA members in real time through face to face (or by telephone) and asking others how they got through these types of situations. My sponsor always gave me their experience then suggested to ask others what they did when I have concerns. Not that I do what they did but, it helps me to determine a course of action right for me by hearing others experiences and outcomes. Have you used the telephone meetings yet? Check it out, here's the schedule:http://www.e-aa.org/links/links.php?ID=83

I didn't tell anyone about my drinking problem or that I am going to AA to quit. Only My kids knew and their dad. I am still not very open to telling people unless it could help someone or my sobriety is at stake. But people began to notice a difference in me and made nice comments about it. My experience shows I could not stay sober nor have the life I have today without AA's 12 Steps and the Fellowship. Regarding whether or not you're ready yet, You'll probably find many answers those questions by reading the links Brock posted to the book Alcoholics Anonymous.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
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