I need help

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I need help

Postby Fiona224 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:56 pm

I am a wife and mom in my early 40s, I've been an alcoholic practically all my life. I was addicted to narcotic painkillers for 15 years, been clean from those for almost three years, but deluded myself into thinking I could continue to drink. Despite the fact that my drinking has never been what anyone would call subtle or ladylike. Blackouts and horrible scenes are so inevitable that I prefer to drink alone. So the last 20 years have been about increasing isolation. It's bad. It's horrible. I've cheated my children out of so much. OK. So I have a library of AA and NA literature, and it is an amazing, just revolutionary concept to me. It is a path I want so much to pursue. I study on my own, and I've gone to women's meetings on and off over the years, but it causes tension in my marriage, and I always go back to drinking and hiding.

I'm dying inside and I honestly don't much care. What I do care about is my children. I can't leave them like this. I want to be sober. Not just for them, for me. When I can grasp at hope, I do want to live.

My marriage is very troubled, and I don't know what to do. I want to be brave and really pursue this - I want to get sober, and I believe that I really need the fellowship of AA and someone to talk to about this for me to stick to this. But my husband is not supportive. Things are so tense - I don't care one bit what he thinks of me - this is what is so hard to explain. It's not that I'm some shrinking violet who can't stand up for myself. That is not the case at all. But I can't stand to see my children hurt or confused by his erratic tantrums. I work so hard to keep the boat from rocking, because he cannot take responsibility for his words or actions. He has wild mood swings, he is angry nearly all the time, and he truly believes that other people are to blame for his frustration.

I don't know what I'm asking for - I just need help, I need advice. I want to get sober, I want to go to meetings and find people that I can listen to and learn from. But I am just so afraid of the turmoil. Of having to leave my kids here with him (my town doesn't have childcare meetings) and subject them to his irresponsible behavior. He is not abusive (he's really a coward - he just confuses them, it's so hurtful and unfair). I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. I know that I cannot leave this marriage unless I am solid in sobriety. But I don't know how to get sober in this environment where I am so triggered and anxious all the time.

It has helped me tremendously to learn to surrender, and especially to read the big book and the chapters on steps 2 and 3. It has been a tremendous relief and a source of strength and comfort to find a God that I trust - I don't even have a clear idea what it is but there is something that I TRUST will catch me when I let go of my own petty schemes and my self-absorption. It has helped me to detach from his antics, and to begin to understand what is and what is not my responsibilty. But I'm so scared, because I've been married for 12 years and never been happy. Substance abuse has been my only comfort. I don't know if I can get sober without help - face day after day of this anxiety.

I'm just really scared.
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Re: I need help

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:19 am

Welcome to the board Fiona. I would suggest that you find an on-line sponsor for now and start the recovery process. Also keep looking for a stable option for you kids so they can be safe for couple of hours. Then you may start visiting local f2f meetings.

Also there are some great workshops that walk you through the 12 steps. Use them. Use the on-line sponsor. The permanent solution is having a spiritual awakening, an attitude shift (read the appendix 2). You seem to be a conscious soul and have already read the chapter 2 and 3. The peculiar mental twist will keep you in the vicious cycle. Realizing that will propel you to the rest of the 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: I need help

Postby Brock » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:21 am

Welcome here Fiona, I may not have much advise to give, but I wanted to welcome you and perhaps share a few thoughts.

With new members here it’s usually a matter of telling them that meetings are not scary and they should try going, encouraging them to get the literature and read it, also very often trying to convince them that there is a God, and to find one of their own understanding and this will help them greatly. All of these are things you have pretty much in the bag already, it’s mainly that you can’t get out to meetings.

We often with unsupportive husbands who have problems of their own, suggest they be encouraged to go to Al-anon, your husband certainly does not sound the type that would go for this.

We do have a section where you can request an online sponsor, this one on one contact may be helpful, I will put the link to that. Also I would think that if you made it to a meeting, and publicly stated your problem, you may find one or more ladies who might be happy to meet during the day, sort of start a small morning meeting. Whoever you find to assist, even if it comes down to doing the steps without that assistance, I hope they will recognize where you seem to be already, and have you start and complete steps 4 & 5 quite soon, these usually offer great relief from the cravings, followed of course by the other steps.

For the anxiety that so many alcoholics seem to suffer from, the program and especially coming to trust our higher power, goes a long way in relieving that. I also had a two to three tranquilizer a day habit along with the booze, I now find no need for such things and feel pretty cool inside, the program promises serenity and you deserve that. Perhaps others will be along to offer their own advise, you are with friends here.

http://www.e-aa.org/form_sponsors.php (Online sponsor request).
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: I need help

Postby D'oh » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:45 pm

Hi Fiona, Great seeing you type here and ask for help. Hopefully you will review the replies.

You have made a Vital, and Hardest Step, asking for help.

Now, forget the excuses, and get to a Meeting, if you can\t do it alone, pick up a phone and call the AA Hotline in your Area. I am sure many will come and talk, or even bring you to a Meeting. You can use a Forum like this, until you can do it, but please Go or Call.
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Re: I need help

Postby Fiona224 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:26 pm

I can’t thank you enough for your thoughtful replies. I am brand new to this site, and I’m not sure what the appendix is that you referred to but I will look around for it, I just wanted to reply with my thanks first. I have practiced surrendering about a million times today. I cling to that. I prayed a great deal, and I’m really not at all sure what I believe in, but a couple of things came to me and I felt so thankful for them.

The first was when I was just trying to ask for clarity - not for my pain to go away or comfort or anything but just to know what is the right thing to do? I have no clue - none. I feel so lost. Then I realized how much my husband is also hurting. He’s not a terrible guy, he wants to be loved as we all do. I’ve let him down many times. I felt real compassion- I saw how we are both just really sick people. He lashes out at others, and I withdraw and go numb. I’m scared of that, I’m scared of what I’ve taught my children.

The second realization was that though I’m desperate to bid rid of the bondage of self, a good bit of my despair is self-pity. Most of it is real honest to god how can I go on like this, but there is a portion of me that is having a temper tantrum because I’m not being appreciated enough for all my efforts to be good and do the right thing. That crap needs to go. I don’t exactly know how to go about this exactly, but i was startled by this flash of insight into how much of my pain is of my own making completely.

There is a women’s meeting on fridays that I can get to, and I’m going to go, without worrying about how I can’t make it to enough of them. Like you said, why not just be honest and tell them my situation? And I will definitely follow the link given - I had no idea there was such a thing as an online sponsor. Thank you very much for that. First I will look through the rest of the site for the appendixes and figure how where everything is.

You’ve really helped me, thank you.
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Re: I need help

Postby Jojo2 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:17 am

Good morning, Fiona and welcome.

I can certainly relate to the isolation and the feeling of relief when I was finally ready to surrender and to ask for help.

This is a Programme for those who want it. At my first meeting I found a sense of belonging and a sense of hope that has never left me. All my fears proved to be False Evidence Appearing Real, with nothing to be scared of.. we are all sick people trying to be well, not bad people trying to be good. Another useful acronym I learned for FEAR is to exchange Forget Everything And Run for Face Everything And Recover. The thing with running is that wherever I go ... there I am.
We all do this one day at a time and try not to project.

I look forward to hearing how you get on at the Womens' meeting. You will be made to feel very welcome and given a welcome pack with Literature for newcomers. Other female members will volunteer their telephone numbers to give you a connection when you need or want to speak to someone.

A temporary sponsor is a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous who is willing to share their experience, strength, and hope with another alcoholic as a way of service to help insure their own sobriety.

Their main function is to help guide the new person towards the 12 Steps, and also, where appropriate to help guide the new person to face to face meetings and a f2f sponsor in their local AA community.

An excellent introduction on sponsorship, permanent or temporary, with questions and answers, is this pamphlet
from GSO :

Questions and Answers on Sponsorship:

I am pleased to hear you are reading the Big Book. I never tire of Chapter 5: How It Works.

If you have the Fourth Edition, Appendix ii is on pp 567-568 ~ after the Personal Stories.
Here is the link to read it online


https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigb ... diceii.pdf

pp 568
With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves.
Most of us think this awareness of a Power greater than ourselves is the essence of spiritual experience. Our more religious members call it 'God-consciousness'.
Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience can recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial.
We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
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Re: I need help

Postby positrac » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:47 am

Like many of us we suffer from addiction(s) and I know I traded one for the other and then both at the same time then drop one and continue the other until I was used up, my world as I knew it had closed up shop and it was me and the grim reaper rolling dice on who might win out for my soul! Yes a wee colorful and yet you've posted mostly the same thing in your own words.

Fiona getting sober is got to be for you first and yes you are a mum and so you have that instinct to protect and be motherly. But being sober is so much more than just for them...... You've got to find the burn inside to get right with Fiona first and then your love for the kids and your quality of sobriety will flourish! Ask any women on this site, in an AA meeting and you'll see I've got a point. Maybe getting into some kind of in-patient care facility could be the break you need to at least clear your mind because getting sober verbally is easy, and the follow up is the hard part because I know for me I love to BS myself into believing I can still do this life and not pay for my deeds after the fact!

Fiona what can you do today? How can you make efforts to move out of your current situation into a better one? If you need a hint I could suggest this: One foot in front of the other and I can assure you that momentum will guide you sober for just today if you allow it.

Shoulders back, chin up and try and smile and look ahead and it can only get better. Smile and try and be open to suggestions because you have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.
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Re: I need help

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:17 am

what is the right thing to do

You are already in action. Just continue this with the same vigor. The appendix I was referring to is at the back of the Big Book where you already read chapter 2 and chapter 3.

The online edition of it is here at: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous

And if you scroll down, you will see appendices.
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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