Hi, I'm Joe

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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby Mike O » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:34 am

sideout wrote:But most important is working the steps.

Joe


Absolutely.
A belated welcome to the group, Joe.
:)
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby grateful899 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:45 am

Hi, Joe,

I stopped drinking cold turkey. Having sufferred from depression and anxiety all my life, I drank to stop the painful thoughts and stressful feelings. I was delighted when the state liquor store around the corner announced they would begin opening not six but seven days a week. Nothing would bother me now, as I could buy my best friend a wine bottle to rely on for comfort whenever I needed. I also was addicted to caffeine, drinking multi cups of coffee a day. One night after drinking coffee and two glasses of wine, I went to bed to be awokened by an intense thumping heart beat. I took my pulse and had to stop because I became so scared of how fast it was going.

I became fulled with anxiety, so much so, my impulse was to run out and knock on the neighbor's door next door to help me. Instead, I called the ambulance, the paramedics gave me an ekg and said I was experiencing mutiple pvcs (skipped heart beats) a minute. and recommended I go to the hospital. I didn't want to and they said if I refused, they said they would call the doctor to speak to me. I then agreed and after arriving at the emergency room I was put on a heart monitor where the rapid heart beat and pvcs continued. I was given ativan and admitted and placed in the hospital's cardiac care unit. From the ativan, overnight rest, and the wine and coffee leaving my system my heart returned to normal beats. The discharge doctor said the pvcs were caused the wine and caffeine. I decided at that moment to quit drinking both wine and coffee cold turkey. IT WAS NOT EASY! I now had to deal with my severe depressive episodes and anxiety without the wine. Bearing the painful thoughts came like an on slaught all day long. To make matters worse, the Pesnnsylvania State LIquor Board now allowed super markets to sell wine and beer. The first few times I went grocery shopping, I thought it would be an impossibility to get out of that store without buying a bottle of wine. I would have conversations in my head "you're not strong enough to go out the door, go buy the bottle." Then, "think of that night you would up in the cardiac care unit of the hospital get out of here." Fortunately, I was "scared straight." Instead of numbing my pain now with wine, I let them happen. Having not had a glass of wine in four months, I now realize the wine was making my emotional life worse not helping. I would wake up the next day filled with self loathing. That is gone. I feel physically so much better, I am bearing the pain, which has considerably lessened, and am dealing with life, living with reality. Before, I always thought of myself as a weak person that couldn't cope. Now I feel good about myself and realize I am much stronger than I thought. I received a gift certificate to go out to dinner. I went to the restaurant and they didn't have any tables ready, but said I could sit at the bar while one became available. By now I was eager to take the test. I sat at the bar ordered decaf coffee (yes, I now drink decaf) and my dinner. Racks of wine were staring me in the face. I said they look good, but NO! I am not going to do that to not only my heart but my self confidence again.
The tongue will always want the liquor; but my spirit and mind now wants whats best for me. Feeling healthy, and having good sself esteem. Remember alcohol not only ruins our bodies but ruines our concept of ourselves. Alcohol makes us feel weak and depise ourselve. But, I will not let it do that to me any more. You need to fight it with every fiber of your being as I did, and you will win and instead of being a dependant person will become a very independant person. Good bless and good luck.
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby Brock » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:12 am

Welcome to e-AA gratful899. Thanks for your story, that demonstrates how you have managed to stay sober and resist temptation for four months, congratulations on doing that.

Please understand that anything I say is not at all critical of people who, “need to fight it with every fiber of your being,” as you have mentioned. I do believe that quitting drinking at first calls for a fair amount of guts and will, and yes it is a fight, but our program promises that we don't have to fight. For example from chapter 6 -
And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone, even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and 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. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.

I particularly like the part where it says - “Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.” That is what I wanted, not to fight for the rest of my life, and that is exactly what I got, the problem does not exist, it has been replaced by the coolest way to live anyone could imagine.

Also, throughout our literature, we see it stated over and over, that if we try to do this with will power and guts alone we will fail. The big book devotes much space to give the story of the car salesman, and the accountant who tried this way, but landed flat on their backsides, in spite of thinking they could fight it. After the examples in these true stories from early members, which appear in the chapter 'More About Alcoholism,' the last words in that chapter say this -
Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.

Maybe you have been attending AA, and doing the steps to find this complete freedom, and just didn't mention it. But if you have not, and believe that it should be a struggle, please consider what I have said. There are many good folks here with solid sobriety, who all find staying sober is no struggle at all, and if you like please continue to post, new members like yourself are the lifeblood of our fellowship, we will enjoy hearing from you, and especially those newer than you will be helped by your words.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby grateful899 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:03 pm

Brock,

Thank you for your post. It was very, very helpful to me. I don't want to have to struggle so hard every day to stay sober. Today, I went to the super market and as I passed the wine aisles, I gazed at the bottles, and said it looks good; but no. But then, thought perhaps one drink wouldn't hurt. I again said no and proceeded to shop for groceries. Wow! Made it through I thought, give yourself a pat on the back. But your post made me realize I don't have to struggle like this, and eventually I might fall. I do need the AA program.

Yes, your post gave me a welcome sense of relief knowing there is another way. I haven't been to an AA meeting in several years, and always went sporadically. My ego was telling me I can do it alone, and look how strong I am. But it has only been four months, and the battle is exhausting at times, and I don't want to live on the bring arguing with myself anymore. You made me realize struggling like this, I may one day succumb again. I do want to feel at peace and not even think about it. You made me realize AA can offer me that, but I need to work the program.

How generous, how kind, how wonderful of you to show agapey love to me. To help me in that manner. It is 9:00 p.m. now, too late for a meeting tonight; But I will attend one tomorrow. The hope and peace of the program as you described it is what I am looking for. I now realize that trying to do this by myself is futile. Thank you so much. You didn't have to take the time to post what you did, but the beauty of what you have inside is what I want for myself. God bless, and thank you again.
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby Brock » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:56 pm

I am so pleased you took my words in the way they were meant, one time I said something similar and the person unfortunately got upset, that I shouldn't tell someone they might be doing it wrong. I have never known a person to respond in such a gracious way as yourself, when I have tried to share my experience in the past, thank you for that.

The majority of members here and in live meetings I have attended, are fans of the idea that we should attend as many meetings as possible in the first 90 days, there is a saying 90 in 90. But some people simply can't do this due to other commitments, and so we just go as often as we can. Also, when I first tried AA there were some members who were at every meeting, and they were years sober, I thought yikes I don't want to be stuck to these meetings everyday for life and so I quit. I found out later that some folks just enjoy meetings, maybe their life doesn’t have much else going on. But that the majority after doing the steps and having the spiritual awaking, stay happily sober just by maintaining their spiritual condition as outlined in steps 10,11&12, and meetings can be almost optional. Many of us here say we have come to enjoy the meetings we do attend, and also to assist newcomers, I go to one or two per week myself. I only mention this because I don't want anyone getting the wrong impression as I did, in simple terms constant meetings is not a life sentence.

It's also good to find a sponsor just by asking anyone who you see and feel you could relate to, especially someone who speaks about the steps and looks like they have the sort of sobriety the program promises. Coming here and asking any further questions, or keeping us informed of your progress might help as well. When I first came to AA and others said helping me would be a pleasure, and it would help them also, I really didn't believe it. But I have found it is very true, and I believe you will find the same thing, typing these words just before bed will have me sleeping very well, and I wish you the very best at your meeting tomorrow.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby Cristy99 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:42 am

Great discussion!! Good info from everyone....thanks!!

I just re-read this post from saturday and it seems very out of context. Funny, that's the way I feel most of the time. :lol: So here is what I am referring to:
Sideout wrote: "And yes, the one year rule in regards to making major decisions."

I am finding that some of the things said in meetings....the "RULES" need to be taken with a grain of salt. ESPECIALLY if one is NOT a youngster....teens, 20's, possibly even 30's.

Someone somewhere has learned a painful lesson, this a rule is formed. They want to prevent others from the same pain. That's great!! It's useful in many cases.

I think we need to dissect the advise in relation to our own situation, knowledge, and maturity levels.

Although there are many examples, here is one that I have been bothered by:
I asked someone to speak at our speaker meeting. Her eyes got huge and I could almost see her heart beating out of her chest. Her reply: "well I CAN'T say no..." she sounded trapped, afraid, exhausted. She does a TON of service work because "she can't say no. " She works full time and has so many service commitments, I really don't know how she does it all....noticing this after making a point to notice ALL SHE DOES after I asked her to speak and was disturbed by her reply. So the rule...DONT SAY NO WHEN SOMEONE ASKS YOU TO DO SOMETHING. I have to call BS on this as a hard, fast rule. YES...if you are not doing much, do more!! But if you are doing so much that you can't work the program, it's too much. If someone asks you to do something you are not ready for and you have so much fear that it is triggering you to self medicate, you are NOT ready.

Sorry to ramble, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Last edited by Cristy99 on Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:11 pm

My ego was telling me I can do it alone, and look how strong I am.


You are not alone. I take meetings into a correction facility. Most think because they are sober/clean now they can do it outside the facility too.So out of 200 inmates about 5 people show up each week. They dont realize they will be back pretty soon once they get out of the facility and they face life on life terms. An average alcoholic takes about 20 years to come to a realization they can't do it on their own. Some do get lucky and if they are conscious enough they pick up that powerlessness part and dive into the program.

The peculiar mental twist the book talks about over and over again and also illustrates using stories like the man of thirty, the car salesman, fred the accountant story in More about alcoholism... to drive home one factor: that the alcoholic left on his/her own resource can't keep away from that 1st drink and that the defense must come from his/her higher 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: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby Brock » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:45 pm

I agree with Cristy about that one as well, some of these sayings like we can't say no to AA service, are way too much like bumper sticker statements for me. I think service is a great way to get to feel more at home in your group, but there should be some volunteering in the deal. We can explain how much it helped us, and suggest new members try one of the 'jobs,' but I have seen people put in a position where they don't have much choice, and it is possible to get a resentment over being pushed into this sort of service, too much of anything isn't good and so on.

It applies I think to sponsoring as well, if you aren't able to give the sort of time this might need, or already sponsor a certain amount of newcomers, it's not that hard to very nicely thank someone for asking you, and explain that you wouldn't be able to give then the sort of attention required.

What we joke about here sometimes, is when jobs need to be filled, and the chairperson says we need a new volunteer for coffee maker, or treasurer, or any other 'non glamorous' job, arms remain stiff at members sides. When they say we need a new chairperson or meeting leader, shoulders can be dislocated from hands being raised so fast. It's the old ego, we all suffer from it, and in so many areas of our literature, and probably every book on spirituality, we see that ego is the thing we must try to get under control, before we can truly experience what the book describes as - “We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the spirit of the Universe.”
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby Cristy99 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:32 pm

Thanks Brock!! =biggrin =biggrin
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby Angel1974 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:10 pm

I got a lot out of everybody that posted. It's been 2 weeks for me and I feel so many emaotions that I don't know how to deal with . By the grace of God I have made it 2 weeks this time . I went to my first AA meeting last year New Years and got so caught up stayed for all the meetings . I did not want to leave because I felt so welcomed and not alone . But to make a long story short I didn't make it home until late as I stayed for the midnight meeting . My husband was very upset and I got so mad because I thought I was doing something good right? So I went and bought a 6 pack just to punish him . I didn't even really want it but that was my revenge. I showed him as I went more and more downhill after that. Now trying to do this on my own made things worse . It has taking me a whole year and lost relationships , jobs , etc... now I am trying again on my own but realize that as my emotions are severely out of control Day to day that I can't do this on my own . So I haven't went back to a meeting since then so discovered online . This is a start . I feel isolated and alone . I have prayed about this and this is what I found for now. My 2 days at AA taught me a lot as well as the people that share and have made it . So anyway I feel like I am rambling now. But thank you to each and every person that posted . I have related to each story in some way. I was feeling like I couldn't even do AA right. Like I have failed but I have stuck to the one day at a time and your posts have made me feel less alone...Thank you! I do believe that God sent me to this forum and answered the questions I had swirling around in my head . I know I was supposed to start out with this but I am an alcoholic and believe I will overcome this.
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby Brock » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:45 pm

Welcome here Angel. Sorry it took a while for your first post to go up, the delay only happens with the first one, any others will go right up.

I liked very much the honesty in your words, and I can relate to someone close to me not understanding what I was trying to do at first, we expect those closest to us to offer the most support, and sometimes they don't.

I hope to write a bit more later, and expect others might as well, we have a good AA recovery site here, there are online sponsors available, and just good down to earth loving folks who have found the answer and share it here.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby JohnDaniels » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:27 am

Angel1974 wrote:I got a lot out of everybody that posted. It's been 2 weeks for me and I feel so many emaotions that I don't know how to deal with . By the grace of God I have made it 2 weeks this time . I went to my first AA meeting last year New Years and got so caught up stayed for all the meetings . I did not want to leave because I felt so welcomed and not alone . But to make a long story short I didn't make it home until late as I stayed for the midnight meeting . My husband was very upset and I got so mad because I thought I was doing something good right? So I went and bought a 6 pack just to punish him . I didn't even really want it but that was my revenge. I showed him as I went more and more downhill after that. Now trying to do this on my own made things worse . It has taking me a whole year and lost relationships , jobs , etc... now I am trying again on my own but realize that as my emotions are severely out of control Day to day that I can't do this on my own . So I haven't went back to a meeting since then so discovered online . This is a start . I feel isolated and alone . I have prayed about this and this is what I found for now. My 2 days at AA taught me a lot as well as the people that share and have made it . So anyway I feel like I am rambling now. But thank you to each and every person that posted . I have related to each story in some way. I was feeling like I couldn't even do AA right. Like I have failed but I have stuck to the one day at a time and your posts have made me feel less alone...Thank you! I do believe that God sent me to this forum and answered the questions I had swirling around in my head . I know I was supposed to start out with this but I am an alcoholic and believe I will overcome this.


Hi Angel,

I'm working the phones now but I have to tell you, you have made an impression on me. Keep coming back because I want to hear more from you. You're message is amazing!
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:59 am

So I went and bought a 6 pack just to punish him .


This is the peculiar mental twist we all go through. We don't think of the consequences. Resentment the book talks about the number one offender of the alcoholic. The grouch and brainstorm is the dubious luxury of a normal person but not for an alcoholic.

We launch into a course of vigorous action. We look at ourselves and see where we have to change. You are in a great state of surrender. Reaching this point, the book talks about 2 alternatives. To either blot out the consequences and keep drinking or pick up the simple kit of spiritual tool.
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, I'm Joe

Postby D'oh » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:06 am

First off, by no means am I an exact example of "How it is to be done" far from it to be truthful. But this is a couple of thoughts of "How I experienced it"

My first time in the program, I knew that I couldn't Drink anymore, I just could not imagine a Life without Drinking. Until I felt the "Hope" I received at my first Meeting. I did not know "What AA was or the 12 Steps" I just knew they had something that I wanted. I fumbled along, got a Sponsor, went to some meetings, read the BB, and went through the Steps. (twice actually in the first year)

I had 3 jobs in the mean time, to try to keep from going crazy in my head. Eventually, I started to get it, my 3rd time through the Steps, and enjoyed Serenity for many years. So much so, that 3 Meetings a week, became 1 and then 1 a month. (life gets hectic and all) Job, Kids, Family Illnesses and losses. Until one day I just drank. It worked so a week or so after I tried again, then I was worse that the first time.

The second time I made it to the Doors was Different. I had lost everything, Broken, and was much more ill. Alcohol was a Medicine at this time, to keep from Shaking, going Crazy, to Sleep, and so on. I knew where the "Answer was" I just had to live long enough to get it. I did 90 in 90, I did 120 in 120. I drank the first 8-10 just so the shakes wouldn't take over. But through the Grace of a Higher Power, I got it.

So, I am just 1 person, who has seen it 2 ways. A Newcomer has So Much going through their heads in the beginning, 90 in 90 is a good tool to have some of the Program sink in if nothing else.

Today, I still do 3-4 meetings a week, maybe not because I need to, but because I want to. And may I never forget that this Program is a Gift, that I get to use Daily, but that I don't Own.
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Re: Hi, I'm Joe

Postby Cristy99 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:33 am

Thank you D'oh!!!

I need to hear over and over that slowing down on the program (for me) will mean relapse. And I don't know if I have another sober in me.

Life is getting too good to be flushed down the toilet.

HUGSSSSS!!
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