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New beginning

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:54 am
by Lucky
Hi all,
New to this forum and haven`t been to an AA meeting in several years. Unfortunately haven`t gone more than 2 weeks without drinking for over 20 years. And that 2 weeks was a struggle. I have the genetic curse that makes me an alcoholic and have used that excuse to enable myself for far too long. My b-day is 2 days away and after turning 40 last year I know the '2nd half' of my life has to be different than the first half. I remember taking my first sip of warm Pabst in a friends basement in 2nd grade and having my first blackout drunk on Halloween night at a keg party when I was 15. Throughout the years there have been many, many ugly times I wished never happened and some I don`t even remember. How I am still alive is a miracle. Somehow I have managed to have the time and money to drink when and where I wanted...which for too long has been from noon-midnight everyday. Have traveled and partied following various bands where the culture does not focus on sobriety whatsoever (grateful dead,etc). The money and the time has made things too easy...although the hangovers and the shakes are never easy. I always thought in the younger days I would get tired of it eventually and then it would be 'easy' to quit....but a 20+ year habit is not 'easy' to quit.

So here recently I have run into money issues where I have to decide whether to continue the lifestyle or feed my family and keep my home. My wife has picked me up out of the street with cars whizzing by...I have wrecked cars...broke my arm and numerous other episodes including 2 trips to jail for possession of alcohol under age. I should have seen it all coming in my youth but for some crazy reason I just coming back for more!

I have told myself I wanted to quit...told myself I needed to quit...told myself I HAD to quit. But for some reason this time of my life just seems right. I`m looking at my financial situation and the fact that I have 3 boys who have never known a sober father and that scares the hell out of me. The oldest will graduate high school next year and I don`t have a penny saved for his college. That`s the bad news. The good news is I am not in prison...I have a good wife...and I have a family that loves me even though I haven`t been the best father through it all. I guess I`m waking up again to what I`ve suppressed through the years one chug at a time.

So anyway I`m going to have to start with the basics and take one day at a time. I don`t feel the strong urge to attend a lot of meetings or have a sponsor as I never really connected to anyone at the meetings I have attended. To be honest it would take going through A LOT of ppl to find someone who really knows where I have been. The one gesture that stood out to me most was at my first meeting. My mother had passed away within the previous week and it was a rough time. I had a broke arm in a cast after drunkenly showing my kid 'how to skateboard'. The broke arm occurred about a week before Mom passed away. My wife drove the 1 1/2 hours to the funeral and I drank a bottle of bourbon on the way home afterward and ate nerve pills. The next day I knew it had to change and soon after I attended my first meeting where a man pointed out the cast before the meeting began. His comment was "Well...at least it got you here." He was a bit gruff and asked if I had the big book and the reflections book. I said no and told him I didn`t have the cash on me which I didn`t. He bought both for me and handed them to me so fast I didn`t have a chance to thank him. That`s what I see as helpful. He wasn`t allowing me feel sorry for myself....he wasn`t asking to be my sponsor or shove his thoughts on me. He just wanted those books in my hand and the rest would be up to me. I didn`t do it right the first time but I know it is a lifelong journey. The more time that passes between me and those beers yesterday the easier things will get. The more time that goes by will time that I am regaining my pride and strength.

Just found this forum today and would like to share from time to time. With hard work maybe in the future I can help others as well. But for now I have to be selfish and work on me. Thank you all for allowing me to be here and have a good day all. :D

Re: New beginning

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:10 pm
by RustyS
Hi Lucky, I'm Rusty and I'm an alcoholic. Good share. I can relate with a lot of what you shared.

Read your Big Book and come to some meetings. Try different ones. Maybe you'll find a group you like and even hook up with a sponsor to work the steps with.

Take care,
Rusty

Re: New beginning

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:00 pm
by Lali
Welcome, Lucky! If you try some more meetings, I'm quite sure you will find that there are people whose stories are the same as yours. How badly do you want this? It's a huge lifestyle change and IMO we need people to help us in this journey. I know for me, in just the short time that I've been sober, my financial picture has really turned around. I'm not talking about lots of money, I'm talking about security. And I'm so grateful to Alcoholics Anonymous for my new life. Do you still have your Big Book?

Re: New beginning

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:48 pm
by happycamper
Welcome Lucky!

I found for me that when I was reluctant to attend meetings, get a sponsor and work the steps, I stayed drunk.

When I went to meetings, got involved in service work, obtained a sponsor and worked the steps, prayed to a God of my understanding and helped others I stayed sober.

Hmmmm... imagine that :D

Re: New beginning

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:59 am
by ann2
Hi Lucky, welcome, glad you're sharing.

There is a method that works, and it takes but a little effort -- minor compared to what we go through for drinking.

But as you say, drinking is what we are used to. Not drinking, any part of not drinking, is a crisis.

But the way of living we find in the 12 steps makes it not only possible, but preferable.

That's why I'm happy and sober today -- not because of meetings, although the support and companionship for me there is very helpful (if I get over myself enough to allow it in). What does the trick for me is following the steps as outlined in the Big Book.

My understanding is that I couldn't say I had given AA a fair shot until I actually followed those directions. So I finally sat down to do them, just to say I had. And what a difference it made.

I've heard many others say the same. I hope you hear them too.

Ann

Re: New beginning

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:31 am
by Frankie
Welcome Lucky!
The Steps first, but I need the fellowship too, this is another place I can hear my Higher Power (Through Others) and a place to give back. Meetings also help me stay accountable. I do believe this accountability has saved me many times.

Glad you're here!

Re: New beginning

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:29 pm
by LadyByrd
Welcome Lucky and thanks for sharing your story.
Everyone is very friendly and supportive here.

LB

Re: New beginning

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:24 am
by johnd
Hi Lucky,
I hope you ask for help today and try and plan your day around a meeting I know the weekends in my area have lots of meetings at all times of day so hope it's that way for you too. :)
My name is John if I can help just let me know

Re: New beginning

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:41 am
by Lucky
Thank you all who have welcomed me! I do agree meetings are helpful to many people but it is nice to know there is a forum such as this one where there seems to be someone here to listen no matter what time or day it is. It`s like another tool or safety net in a sense. And it`s nice to be able to see your own text from a previous time so you can keep tabs on your thoughts and feelings I guess....rather than promising yourself to get better at 3am which you don`t recall the next day. Anyway....it`s going to take some time for me. In the past I had tried to force too much change on myself at once and had too high of expectations which only sets me up for failure and depression so that the whole cycle repeats. Hard living has taught me a lot and now I think it`s time to sit down and learn the lessons it has provided. In time I know I can get to where I need to be. Today is my 41 birthday and I am sober this morning. I may not be able to go cold turkey and bang out the 12 steps this weekend but I can start by being kinder to myself. Slowing myself down and then gradually tapering is the best I can do. Honestly I am a shoe-in for in house re-hab but with no insurance that is not realistic. I just have to do it on my own one step at a time. I didn`t get to this point overnight and it won`t be resolved overnight either.

But it is comforting to find this forum where everyone has a common goal and understands each other! Thanks again to everyone who welcomed me! Today the sun shining in a beautiful blue sky and it is my birthday. I do wish my mother were still here because it was her day as much as mine. I realize there is a void even after 6 years but I really loved her and knew she loved me. So I am going to enjoy today and I hope everyone here enjoys theirs as well. I realize this forum is hosted in the UK and I am in the states. Here, we honor our Veterans on November 11 and I have always known this wasn`t just my special day but also it was a day for our Veterans. My mother taught me that early on. So even if you are not in the US please take time to thank someone who is in the service for what they do. I feel honored to share in this special day for everyone who has provided me the opportunities I have in my life. Everyone have a great weekend! :D

Re: New beginning

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:59 am
by PaigeB
You don't have to do it alone. Let AA help you. There are no dues or fees.

Re: New beginning

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:50 pm
by Lali
Lucky wrote:Slowing myself down and then gradually tapering is the best I can do. Honestly I am a shoe-in for in house re-hab but with no insurance that is not realistic.
Lucky, it's not my place to try to determine whether you are an alcoholic or a hard drinker. I will say that a "real" alcoholic cannot "taper off". I'm willing to bet that nearly everyone here, if not everyone here, has tried at some point in time to taper off, to no avail. Most alcoholics have tried tapering off, drinking only on Wednesdays, drinking only when sad, drinking only when happy, drinking only on even numbered days, drinking only after 5:00 p.m., and on and on and on. It doesn't work for us. If you want to go to rehab, there are state run rehabs that are free or at least affordable and there are private rehabs that take payments. Google "Substance abuse" in your city and state to find something. Be proactive!

Re: New beginning

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:16 pm
by Frankie
Lucky wrote:Today is my 41 birthday and I am sober this morning.
Happy Birthday !!!