Embarassed to go back to meetings

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Embarassed to go back to meetings

Postby Dronkin » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:45 am

Hello everyone. I knew nothing about AA until I finally admitted to a counselor how much I was drinking. Then, on his suggestion went to my first AA meeting and immersed myself in the program, attending meetings daily and even serving as GSR for my homegroup. I was sober for about 2 years, and it seemed like I was doing well, felt good and healthy, new baby on the way, relationships getting better . ...

cunning, baffling, powerful, I started to think, maybe I can drink moderately like a normal person and drank again and continued drinking for about 2 years after that. I find that I have no choice when and whether or not or how much and always anxious about running out, and I am afraid my health, my relationships, my finances, my future, the likelihood that I can be the person who I want to be is deteriorating. I worry that death, or worse, will result if I continue to drink.

I found myself crying out for help, asking for the willingness and desire to go back. I work out of town sometimes (about 1.5 hour drive), and after drinking 3 beers on the way to work and feeling like hell, walked into a noon meeting thinking that I would somehow be invisible, or at least inconspicuous since I did not attend many meetings there. The last thing I wanted was to draw any attention to myself and my sorry condition.

I was once again among such loving, welcoming, honest human beings. I managed not to drink that day or yesterday or today (yet), and I set my intention to go to another meeting, this time closer to where I normally used go on my lunch breaks, where I would undoubtedly be recognized by so many people who know me well.

That meeting started about noon. Its 12:30 now. I am so embarrassed and ashamed of what I did, and now disappointed that I didn't go. I feel like I must have acted like or seemed like I was in such a good place before I drank again. I don't want to walk in there and just burst into tears. Its terrible but I don't want anyone to talk to me. Its sad that I am so concerned about what people think. I need help. How to I get over my fear and embarrassment? I don't want to be the center of attention.

There were some things I was uncomfortable with the program but I think I need it. I don't think I can abstain or moderate without help. Maybe I should call my old sponsor, again the shame and embarrassment would be an issue, but at least I would be dealing with one person instead of a roomful of them.

Any suggestions, advice, or encouragement would help me. Thank you.
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Re: Embarassed to go back to meetings

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:33 pm

It is your ego that worries about how you look. Deflate it or drink. Yes, call your sponsor. You'll feel so much better.

Everybody else will be very happy you made it back alive. And some day, share how the experiment of the first drink didn't work for you. It may save someone's life.
...a score card reading zero...
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Re: Embarassed to go back to meetings

Postby Brock » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:43 pm

It’s easy to say no big deal just jump back in, but I am not in your position. Although I did slip a number of times, because I was attending meetings to please others and didn’t think the steps were necessary. These words I understand and appreciate - “I feel like I must have acted like or seemed like I was in such a good place before I drank again. I don't want to walk in there and just burst into tears. Its terrible but I don't want anyone to talk to me. Its sad that I am so concerned about what people think.” I am quite sure many who slip act like they are doing fine, otherwise we wouldn’t call it cunning, because everyone would see it coming. If you manage not to cry, and just say you had a slip and don’t want to talk about it right now, they surely would respect your wishes.

There is a 1958 grapevine letter from Bill about slips -
Quantity or Quality

"About this slip business-- I would not be too discouraged. I think you are suffering a great deal from a needless guilt. For some reason or other, the Lord has laid out tougher paths for some of us, and I guess you are treading on one of them. God is not asking us to be successful. He is only asking us to try to be. That, you surely are doing, and have been doing. So I would not stay away from AA through any feeling of discouragement or shame. It's just the place you should be. Why don't you try just as a member? You don't have to carry the whole AA on your back, you know!

"It is not always the quantity of good things you do, it is also the quality that counts.

"Above all, take it one day at a time."

I think it’s a good idea to call your old sponsor, but on one condition, that this person either took you through the steps, or became your sponsor after you did them, and doubled checked that you had done them properly. I say that because you make no mention of doing it, and it’s happening more and more in AA, well meaning sponsors not making sure that sponsees do the work in quick time, maybe because they didn’t do it or need it themselves. Without the steps leading to a spiritual awakening, any alcoholic of the type the program was designed to help, will drink again. That is mentioned so many times in the first parts of the book, that they almost apologize for saying it again on page 43 - “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.” If you did the work and slipped these things can happen, if you didn’t do the work it was not your fault, it was the fault of those guiding you.
There were some things I was uncomfortable with the program but I think I need it.

Perhaps you could let us have a chance to address those here, any misgivings should be aired and answers found.

Reading this over it doesn't sound that encouraging from me, and maybe a bit like ‘tough love,’ but I don’t mean my comments that way, I really wish you the best.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Embarassed to go back to meetings

Postby PaigeB » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:50 pm

How to I get over my fear and embarrassment?

Walk right through it.

Feelings are not facts.

The ACTUAL FACT here is, IMHO, that we alcoholics WILL die if we don't get back into this Thing.

I went back after 17 years! I drank through my children's entire growing years. I caused A LOT of havoc. I walked in all those years later and there were STILL people that remembered me! I had to shake it off.

This is life or death. Go on to the bitter end or accept spiritual help. I laugh, because I looked that the poison I was putting in my body and actually weighed the choice of which was worse! Alcohol really had a grip on me and I am ever grateful that I had Smart Feet and just walked in even though I was terrified, embarrassed and completely unsure of what I was walking into! I earned my seat at these tables - AND - I don't want to die.

I haven't found it necessary to take a drink since August 1, 2009. I couldn't have done it without AA.
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: Embarassed to go back to meetings

Postby Chelle » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:01 pm

"If you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it..." That is what kept running through my mind when I drank after 18 months. I was willing to go to any length, including telling on myself. I was embarrassed and ashamed, and cried thru my share. NO ONE judged me, others cried too. Mostly, people wanted to know what happened. They wanted to know what not to do. Especially the people that came in when I did the first time.

I called my sponsor and met her before a meeting, and then just kept on coming back. If I can do it, so can you! It's only hard once, and not as hard as dying of untreated alcoholism.

I'm so glad you reached out here. There is a solution. You know where the solution is at. Please don't let your ego lead. Your story WILL help someone else.
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Re: Embarassed to go back to meetings

Postby positrac » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:23 pm

When I got chased out of bars for my drinking I found a new bar and so I went to any length to get drunk and so today I have to go to any length to stay sober. And I am a 3 time retread in AA and I and many others like you have messed up and felt ashamed and the real thing is that you are a reminder that thinking we could drink like normal folks is still a real hazard. Find another meeting location and stop with the excuses already because this is a life and death deal and so what matters to you? Pride or sobriety?

I'm strong in my language and I have been sober close to 30 years and so I see the necessity of sobriety and how to safe my family, life and remain sober through the good and bad moments.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
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Re: Embarassed to go back to meetings

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:06 am

and immersed myself in the program, attending meetings daily and even serving as GSR for my homegroup.


What do you mean by immersed yourself in the program? Did you find a sponsor who walked you through the powerlessness and un-manageability concepts? People get mixed up today, they think going to lots of meetings and getting involved in service work is the program. There is the fellowship (the meetings) and the 12 steps which is the key for staging our recovery. They say the first step is the most important step, I agree, but I would say its the most miss-understood step. Powerlessness is not about losing control after we take that first drink, the key is we dont have power to stay away from that first drink. The power comes from watching for the selfish, self-centered conduct so our life gets manageable.
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: Embarassed to go back to meetings

Postby Dronkin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:48 am

Hello everyone. I just want to let you know some of the things people said on this thread that I found to be true in the last 24 hours:

"Yes, call your sponsor. You'll feel so much better." - The comment was like this little nudge. As soon as I saw this, I called him. And true, I feel so much better. We made plans to go to a meeting at my old home group tomorrow night.

"It is your ego that worries about how you look." - That's right it is my ego. Who cares how I look? Today I let go and went into a meeting that I used to frequent. Lots of old timers there and there was NO JUDGMENT.

"NO ONE judged me" - That is what happened when I took all of your advice and went to the meeting. NO ONE judged me.

My post was not really about the steps, it was about removing the roadblock of fear, shame, and pride that would stop me from going back to meetings. This bullshit builds up in someone like me who drinks alone for two years and forgets what it is like to be around recovering alcoholics. As you may have guessed from my post I have obviously not done the steps with a sponsor. That said, I want to thank those of you who emphasize the steps so much in your posts. I had this irrational fear of them (again, probably something to do with ego, pride or something like that, which I hope I will face when I do the steps). I believe that I need to make an honest attempt at really working the steps with my sponsor.

I want to sincerely thank everyone who commented on this thread. What happened for me in the past 24 hours, on this forum, with my sponsor and at the meeting has filled me with a hope that had been missing. When you suddenly stop and have this relentless physical craving and mental obsession like I do, it is one of those little things that can keep an alcoholic away from a drink.

Anyways I am so thankful for this forum, and so thankful for everyone who posted here.
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Re: Embarassed to go back to meetings

Postby Tosh » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:14 pm

Dronkin wrote:Any suggestions, advice, or encouragement would help me. Thank you.


I've been jealous of people like you in the past. Why? Because you've got some great experience of having substantial sobriety, relapsing, and then getting back to 'the program'.

What a great experience to have which will help others who follow your path.

I'm not taking the mick; I'm serious. If a guy relapsed after having a couple of years sober came to me for help, sure I'd take them through the program. But you could SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE of what happened to you after doing the exact same thing and be of more use to him or her.

Nothing is wasted in recovery.

I'm glad you're back with us and it's working out.
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: Embarassed to go back to meetings

Postby positrac » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:01 am

Dronkin


See it was a risk worth taking and we all have slipped and gone out thinking we knew more than the rooms knew and to what end! You'll be ok and I am sure your eyes are much clearer and more alert to what not to get caught up in.

seize the day.
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