Wanting a new way of life

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Gardngal
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Wanting a new way of life

Post by Gardngal » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:40 pm

Hi everyone, I am new to this group, have reading posts over the last few days and you all are inspiring. I have been an Alcoholic for the last 8 years. Started when my kids started moving out and I guess I had less to do. We had always been social partying people since I was in my teens. I mainly drink at night and weekends. About a year and a half ago I started shaking a lot at work, didn’t know why at first, but once at home I would drink and feel better. I ended up in the hospital for 6 days on multiple IV type fluids. Could hardly walk due to shaking. This was a humbling experience as well as embarrassing. My work family was very supportive and told to come back when I was better. Did so well for quite awhile then relapsed. I was finally feeling good and found no harm in drinking again. Then it caught up to me again and my work noticed too. I called in sick and my boss said enough is enough don’t come back till you are better. I have been at this job for 31 years and am thankful for their support and understanding. I keep trying to figure out what keeps me drinking and I know stress plays a big role, I get stressed therefore I drink and all is better, but only short term.
I now have been alcohol free for 15 days. The shaking is over and I enjoy being clear headed. I have to do this, my body can no longer tolerate it. But I want to live life without thinking of when my next drink will happen. I have 2 grandsons 2 yrs and 1 1/2 years, I want to enjoy them clear headed. Thanks for letting me tell some of my story. I just started reading Alcoholics Anonymous “the big book” and I don’t want to put it down. I am working hard on my sobriety and hoping to go back to work next week. Happy New Year!

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Brock
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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by Brock » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:21 pm

Welcome Gardngal.

Your story hits home and brings back memories for me, and I expect any alcoholic who reads it. Two things I noticed which I find most important – Firstly “I want to live life without thinking of when my next drink will happen,” this scared me too, because I felt that for the rest of my life I would still feel for a drink, and AA would only sort of keep me away from it. The folks there said the thought of drinking would disappear, I doubted them but did as suggested, ie. did the steps. It works so well, the things which had us reaching for a drink are treated, we find ways to deal with the stress you mentioned, and the life of serenity that I have found is difficult to describe, the last thing on my mind is a drink. And this from a person who couldn’t leave home or drive a car without early morning drinks, in the end drinking them with a straw, because my shaking hand couldn’t hold the glass.

Also, where you mention managing to stop for a while then relapsing, it sounds cruel to say but it’s good that happened, and some of us need that over and over before we can finally say we are powerless over alcohol, the first and very important step. The book gives stories like the accountant Fred, ‘it was the end of a perfect day, not a cloud on the horizon,’ then off he goes drinking again, and the car salesman who mixes whiskey with milk. They go to some length to show these fellows who failed, because they tried to do it without the steps, instead thinking just sitting in meetings was enough.

I enjoyed listening to AA speakers in my earlier days, and still do sometimes, on you tube we can put in ‘AA Speakers’ and a lot come up, you can fiddle around to find the ones who suit you best.

Please ask any questions or make any comments, AA’s enjoy helping each other, you can’t go wrong if you do this program, it’s a wonderful way to live.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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PaigeB
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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by PaigeB » Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:41 pm

Gardngal wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:40 pm
I have been an Alcoholic for the last 8 years. Started when my kids started moving out and I guess I had less to do.... Could hardly walk due to shaking. This was a humbling experience as well as embarrassing. ... I have 2 grandsons 2 yrs and 1 1/2 years, I want to enjoy them clear headed. Thanks for letting me tell some of my story. I just started reading Alcoholics Anonymous “the big book” and I don’t want to put it down. I am working hard on my sobriety and hoping to go back to work next week. Happy New Year!
This sounds Like me - A LOT!! I now have a decade of sobriety heading into this next decade hopeful for a continued term of sane and sober living. We are raising our Gdaughter - now 11 years old.

Peace and Good Love going forward! Keep coming here and get to a meeting near you!
https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

Indianapolis
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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by Indianapolis » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:04 pm

Yep, I resonated with your post also. I also tried to quit for a while -- several times -- and then decided i had it under control and could drink moderately again. I failed and failed for years that way. Finally i gave up, headed into the rooms, got a sponsor -- and i can tell you the cravings are very very rare after just a few months and life is really starting to improve. I can absolutely remember the shakes -- I had to do medical detox the last time, which I hope never to repeat.

Welcome to a sober life. The big book is good, but get to a meeting, ask someone to sponsor you, and dive in. Pick a chair at a meeting and itll always be your chair in that meeting as long as you want to come take it. No one will keep you out of it but you.

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PaigeB
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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by PaigeB » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:18 pm

Indianapolis wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:04 pm
Pick a chair at a meeting and it'll always be your chair in that meeting as long as you want to come take it. No one will keep you out of it but you.
NICE! I heard that early on in my recovery. The guy said, "Your earned that chair. Don't let anybody tell you anything different!" He referenced page 30 out of the Big Book...
"... Pitiful And Incomprehensible Demoralization..."
PAID
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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MyNameIsBetsy
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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by MyNameIsBetsy » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:23 pm

Hi Gardngal, welcome.

I remember shaking and trying to hide it. Your post brought back memories of being at work and not wanting my boss to see me shaking. I hated that, and knew it came from the alcohol. What I didn't know was how to stop drinking. No matter how much I promised myself to NOT drink again, that very evening out came the booze. On and on it went, until one day I found my way into AA.

I'd like to tell you that I was instantly cured. But, that is not my story. It took a while for the cravings to go away. But I heard others in the rooms talk about having the obsession to drink lifted, so I hung on. Got a sponsor. Worked the steps. Kept going to meetings. Then one day I realized that I had not wanted to drink in quite a few days . . . the obsession had been lifted. A miracle!

It will happen for you too.

Sober living is so much better than drunk living. Each day is a gift.

Welcome to our forum, and to AA. Just imagine, those two grandsons of yours will never have to see their grandmother drunk.

Welcome,
Betsy
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."

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Gardngal
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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by Gardngal » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:36 pm

Thank you all for your words of encouragement. Makes one realize how I am not so alone in this. I have been reading a lot and enjoying not drinking. I’m not ready to go to a meeting, but maybe in the future. In past I would have to drink a bit to be in any type of a social setting. Brings me much anxiety so am trying to work on that too. I am learning a lot on here and it has been an inspiringly eye opener.

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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by tomsteve » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:08 pm

Gardngal wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:40 pm
I keep trying to figure out what keeps me drinking and I know stress plays a big role, I get stressed therefore I drink and all is better, but only short term.
i dont think stress plays a big roll. i think its the lack of knowing how to cope with/handle stress that does.

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Spirit Flower
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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by Spirit Flower » Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:00 pm

I’m not ready to go to a meeting, but maybe in the future. In past I would have to drink a bit to be in any type of a social setting.
This is probably just an excuse. Go in to the meeting and sit down. You can pass if you don't want to talk. A few people can genuinely not go to meetings, but most people have access to several different ones. The people there are just like you and will help you work the program of AA. It is working the program that creates the sobriety.
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Gardngal
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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by Gardngal » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:45 am

Spirit Flower, you are so right! I have always taken the easy way out. Get home from work feeling stressed about my day or something that happened or just overall life stresses. Going for the bottle was the fastest and easiest way to feel better. Then morning comes and the cycle starts all over. I am trying to learn different and better ways to deal with my stress. Realizing that it’s not going to happen overnight.

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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by Theo50 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:55 am

Hello and Welcome Gardngal,
I can certainly identified with using alcohol to relieve the pressures of stress in my life. I have managed to find other ways of coping with stress for the past 2 plus years of my sobriety. I also suffer from anxiety and social anxiety is the greatest of my anxieties. Alcohol was the ultimate anxiety reliever for me and made socializing bearable. Unfortunately since my wife has a large and social family. Drinking alcohol is in general, the center of all social events, so I have to keep on top of my coping skills on a regular basis.
I will be looking for a new therapist to help with controlling my anxiety and I recommend getting professional help to anyone else that suffers from this mental disease.
Regarding attending face-to-face AA meetings, please don't let your social anxiety stop you as you should not feel pressured to speak if you do not wish to. If you find that you are, please consider looking for another meeting. The last place that we AAs should feel uncomfortable in, is in the AA program.

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PaigeB
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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by PaigeB » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:54 pm

Gardngal wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:45 am
Spirit Flower, you are so right! I have always taken the easy way out.
Let your feet be smarter than your head. Your head will ALWAYS talk you into drinking.

Let your feet walk into a meeting over and over. Oh, I have things I think I want to/need to DO! But really nothing gets done when I am drinking, thinking about drinking and drinking again. We have a solution, but you have to take positive ACTION - Practical Action. Fear is in your head. No one gets hit by sticks when they come through the doors - if anything AA's are TOO Nice! Hugs and keep coming back and all that! No... Let your feet walk you into a meeting NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK.

Love my smart feet! :wink:
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by Layne » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:37 pm

I’m not ready to go to a meeting, but maybe in the future. In past I would have to drink a bit to be in any type of a social setting. Brings me much anxiety so am trying to work on that too
I find meetings a great place to work on my social skills/anxiety. What better place than in a room full of people who are working on improving their lives. Not only that, but for an hour you protected by the mantle of no cross talk. :~) Even if the chattering monkeys in my head get the best of me and I feel that I am being judged, I just remind myself that we are all just human beings with flaws/foibles and at different places in our improvement process, which brings my focus back to MY improvement process.

It is all good! Check out a meeting. What do you have to lose...besides any misery you might be feeling. :~)

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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by tomsteve » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:40 pm

Gardngal wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:45 am
Spirit Flower, you are so right! I have always taken the easy way out. Get home from work feeling stressed about my day or something that happened or just overall life stresses. Going for the bottle was the fastest and easiest way to feel better. Then morning comes and the cycle starts all over. I am trying to learn different and better ways to deal with my stress. Realizing that it’s not going to happen overnight.
hence the reason i said stress doesnt make ya drink. alcohol has been your solution for stress and it hasnt worked.
theres no drink worthy problem and no problem there isnt a solution for.

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Re: Wanting a new way of life

Post by Gabriel743 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:01 pm

I resonated with your post also. I also tried to quit for a while -- several times -- and then decided i had it under control and could drink moderately again. I failed and failed for years that way. Finally i gave up, headed into the rooms, got a sponsor -- and i can tell you the cravings are very very rare after just a few months and life is really starting to improve. I can absolutely remember the shakes -- I had to do medical detox the last time, which I hope never to repeat. Official Website

Welcome to a sober life. The big book is good, but get to a meeting, ask someone to sponsor you, and dive in. Pick a chair at a meeting and itll always be your chair in that meeting as long as you want to come take it. No one will keep you out of it but you.

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