"alcoholic"

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"alcoholic"

Postby Blue » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:36 pm

Hi all,

I'm trying to stop drinking - not successfully. Some friends are telling me to go to AA and I've been to some online meetings but I really have a problem with the word, 'alcoholic'. I've been wondering why. I have no problem saying that I can't stop drinking once I start, that I get scary physical withdrawals if I try to go a day without, that it's wrecking my health and finances and I'm about to lose my job and I feel like crap without it. I know it's a problem which I need to fix and am failing at fixing. I"m happy to admit all that. But not to say I'm an alcoholic and I'm really uncomfortable when people refer to themselves as that in meetings. I guess it's the stigma of the word - but all that which I mentioned amounts to the same thing, so I don't know why the actual word matters.

I don't know. I guess I just want to ask if this sounds weird to people? I don't know if I can keep going and just ignore the word, like it shouldn't matter so much but it does..

Ben
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby D'oh » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:22 am

There are, what are called "Open Meetings". Theses are Meetings that Anyone can attend, see what is up, listen to other people's stories, and not have to say anything. You can try to find one of these Meetings.

Also, the 3rd Tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous, is The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

By attending, you are not required to be Alcoholic, or say anything.
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:25 am

Welcome to the rooms blue. We all come into the rooms with different ideas on what alcoholism is meant to be. To me it was the guy living under the bridge and the ones pan-handling at the gas stations for a buck or 2 and going into the store to buy liquor and even in the rooms we talk about drinking lot of alcohol and getting DUIs and being incarcerated. When we see a new comer, we get all excited to share our tragic war stories to impress each other, who come into the rooms under the worst condition. None of these makes a person alcoholic. There are few disco drunks who gotten DUIs that have safely returned to normal state.

So what are the traits of an alcoholic?

The utter inability to stay away from alcohol no matter what. Worse yet, being uncomfortable when not drinking which leads them back to alcohol. And once we put a drink or two, we cant control the amount of alcohol we consume. They are stuck that vicious cycle of alcoholism. So if you see, its just not losing control after we take that 1st drink.

Edit:BTW, read one of the stories at the back of the book or Bills story to see the progress of the disease. The Story "To handle sobriety" the last story on the 4th edition, will give us a clear indication of how the alcoholic acts. The person stops because his doctor advises he has an enlarged liver. And when the liver recovers in 9 months he goes back and it says, it all started off with just a couple. Worse yet, the 9 months of dry time was so un-pleasent.
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: "alcoholic"

Postby Brock » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:00 am

Welcome here Ben.

We normally get folks coming here saying they might be alcoholic, and asking us to tell them what the signs for that are. We could use your words to reply - “I can't stop drinking once I start, that I get scary physical withdrawals if I try to go a day without, that it's wrecking my health and finances and I'm about to lose my job and I feel like crap without it.”

As has been said, the general public tends to think of an alcoholic as a bum with a brown bag, and I find in my area especially ladies introduce themselves saying their name clearly, and then mumbling ‘alcoholic’ under their breath, as if they too are ashamed of the word. If you go to a meeting and say ‘hi I am Ben, I have a drinking problem,’ or words like that, everybody should understand, it’s not mandatory to say alcoholic.

One of the great things protected by AA traditions, is that AA has no rules, come or go as we please call ourselves by whatever name we choose. And the fact that you are uncomfortable when others call themselves alcoholic, is something you will get over, I believe you will eventually use the word in referring to yourself, if you give this program an honest shot.

Like ‘live’ meetings we have no real rules here as well, just some guidelines to keep things flowing and decent, please ask any other questions if you have any doubts, best of luck.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby Roberth » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:01 pm

Hello Blue and Welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. You might have a problem with the word “Alcoholic” simply because you don’t want to be one which is very understandable. Whose childhood dreams were to grow up to be one? No one I know did, yet I know so many wonderful people who are.
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby PaigeB » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:26 pm

I know a gal who says "I have alcoholism".
I know a guy who says "I am addicted to all mind altering substances."
I know someone who says, "I have a desire to stop drinking"

Maybe some variation will work for you. Don't let your aversion to a word kill you! I had trouble with the word God. I had to get over it. My HP is different or the same - it doesn't matter. I suggest you might want to practice some semantics and get moving through the Steps - or get busy dying. Your choice.

Said with Love. :)
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby Blue Moon » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:56 pm

Blue wrote:Hi all,

I'm trying to stop drinking - not successfully. Some friends are telling me to go to AA and I've been to some online meetings but I really have a problem with the word, 'alcoholic'. I've been wondering why. I have no problem saying that I can't stop drinking once I start, that I get scary physical withdrawals if I try to go a day without, that it's wrecking my health and finances and I'm about to lose my job and I feel like crap without it. I know it's a problem which I need to fix and am failing at fixing. I"m happy to admit all that. But not to say I'm an alcoholic and I'm really uncomfortable when people refer to themselves as that in meetings. I guess it's the stigma of the word - but all that which I mentioned amounts to the same thing, so I don't know why the actual word matters.

I don't know. I guess I just want to ask if this sounds weird to people? I don't know if I can keep going and just ignore the word, like it shouldn't matter so much but it does..


Hi,

If you are alcoholic, then whether or not you label yourself as alcoholic is the least of your troubles. So let's hope you're not.

You say there's a stigma. I'm not sure that this applies too much nowadays, except perhaps in the circles we mix with whilst drinking.

Meanwhile, you're welcome at open meetings. There you don't need to label yourself at all.
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby Blue » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:15 pm

Thanks everyone. That helps.
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby Tosh » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:56 am

Blue wrote:I'm trying to stop drinking - not successfully. Some friends are telling me to go to AA and I've been to some online meetings but I really have a problem with the word, 'alcoholic'. I've been wondering why.


I've been sober long enough for a friend to ask me why I still called myself an alcoholic. I believe in the early days of A.A. they used to call themselves 'ex-alcoholics', but as these ex-alcoholics sometimes picked up a drink again, I think they just kept it simple and said 'alcoholic'.

Some labels are useful and some are not. I think the label 'alcoholic' is a useful one to me, and to other alcoholics, so I'm cool with it.

As for any stigma or what other people think, I couldn't give a rats-arse. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby Jojo2 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:58 am

Blue wrote:Hi all,

I'm trying to stop drinking - not successfully. Some friends are telling me to go to AA and I've been to some online meetings but I really have a problem with the word, 'alcoholic'. I've been wondering why. I have no problem saying that I can't stop drinking once I start, that I get scary physical withdrawals if I try to go a day without, that it's wrecking my health and finances and I'm about to lose my job and I feel like crap without it. I know it's a problem which I need to fix and am failing at fixing. I"m happy to admit all that. But not to say I'm an alcoholic and I'm really uncomfortable when people refer to themselves as that in meetings. I guess it's the stigma of the word - but all that which I mentioned amounts to the same thing, so I don't know why the actual word matters.

I don't know. I guess I just want to ask if this sounds weird to people? I don't know if I can keep going and just ignore the word, like it shouldn't matter so much but it does..

Ben



Welcome Ben. Nothing 'weird' about what you say. I can relate in that I certainly had no ambitions to include alcoholic on my cv, quite the opposite given how much alcoholism featured in my background. I, too, reached the stage of knowing ' it's a problem which I need to fix and am failing at fixing'.
At last I was ready to reach out for help and contacted AA. I wasn't too sure what to expect, but I was desperate and reasoned I had nothing to lose by attending a meeting. I didn't think beyond that meeting. I remember being nervous and fearful of what I would do if, for some reason, they did not accept me or I was not 'eligible'. I had already reached the stage of proving it was not something I could do alone. Reaching out for help was not easy for me, in fact, it was a totally alien concept. That was the tough bit over with.

The meeting was in candlelight, with, eventually, about 25 people sat around a long table. I was warmly welcomed. I remember refusing tea or coffee as I knew I was shaking too much to hold the cup! I also remember the man opposite keeping my water glass topped up throughout the meeting.

As I listened to the shares, I felt convinced that someone had been speaking to these people about me! How else would they have known I had felt like a square peg in a round hole my entire life ? Who had told them my story? Some of the people at that meeting are still in regular contact.
When they came to me at the end of the meeting, something very strange happened. With no hesitation I said my name and stated I am an alcoholic. I still think about that moment as I had no intention of saying that. Like you, I was conscious of the connotations and misunderstandings associated with that word. Prior to the meeting I could not have imagined me saying that. Was it my need to not draw attention to myself by being different? Who knows.

What I do know is that I left that meeting embraced by a profound sense of belonging and hope. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt that I was in exactly the right place and all would be well. As others have said, nothing is mandatory at AA. Only you can decide whether you are or not and the majority will not even notice what you say. I know many who choose to state ' I have a problem with alcohol'. For me, it was a sense of relief almost to finally find out what the problem was. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Knowing there was a solution and wanting what those people had, was far more important to me and has been ever since.

I couldn't wait to get to the next meeting and find out more, but the second meeting was much closer to home. What if someone recognised me ? It could seriously jeopardise my career as I am well known in the local community. That took me a few moments to conclude that anyone who recognised me would be there for the same reason.... and off I went. Incidentally, that concern has never arisen again or become an issue in several years.
The feeling of belonging and hope that so overwhelmed me, did endure, however, and remains to this day. Wherever I am, I can pop into a face to face and it's like being enveloped in a familiar, warm blanket.

I made a conscious decision to be willing to go to any lengths and I determined that nothing and nobody would ever frighten me away.
My sponsor used to say to people "I'd rather live sober in AA wondering if I'm really an alcoholic, than die drunk trying to prove I'm not."

Jo

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck ...
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby tomsteve » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:52 am

a great thing with the steps of AA is step 1:
we admitted we were powerless over alcohol.......
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby positrac » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:45 am

I use the term not being ready to surrender alcohol and change your lifestyle; some have disagreed with my logic and I'm ok with that as it might be a regional term, or understanding of social stuff. But until you get tired of being sick and tired I suspect you will battle with to do or not to do.....
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:08 am

You are dying both inside and outside and you are worried about being called an alcoholic? Get over it. 99% of us thought that before we went to AA.
...a score card reading zero...
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby Blue » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:42 am

when you put it like that...
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Re: "alcoholic"

Postby positrac » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:27 am

Blue wrote:when you put it like that...

We drunks like success stories and success comes in all forms with regards to getting sober, learning to live outside the alcohol bubble and living life on its terms through the steps provided in AA. It is a simple program for complicated people and it is one of these between the grey matter between our ears.....

So if you have a desire to stop drinking then that is the only requirement and the rest will follow in time if you allow it.

:arrow: Lastly you have to want sobriety more than any other person you know on this earth for the miracle to happen!

:arrow: And you've got to get sober for you and you alone for this to stick and for progress to happen. Ask anyone in AA who has done it for the wife, GF/BF, kids, dog/ cat job, house, or whatever and if they have all stayed sober for a really long time then you can do it. If not then I am not BS'ing you.
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