Step 10 and a dry drunk??

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Bushy » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:29 am

How is this even possible? I have just emailed my sponsor with my thoughts on the Step 10 reading (BB & 12x12) and what action I am going to take (written inventory every day). But the thing is, I know that I haven't been right for a few weeks (since new year I think). I am angry, irritable, negative, down, constantly on the verge of tears, unmotivated, I have a knot of anxiety in my chest and I honestly don't know why. I suspect that I may be (unwittingly) running on self will and the way I'm feeling is making me full of self pity (again, unwanted). I KNOW that this is dangerous ground but I can't seem to shift it. I have a HP, I go to 4/5 meetings a week, I give lifts at every meeting, I do service at 2 meetings, I have other alcoholics text/call me and I'm there for them, I have a sponsor, I read the BB, I listen to speakers online, I read this forum so I where have I gone wrong? The only thing I can think is that I haven't done Steps 1-9 properly but I've done them with a sponsor, the BB way and I've been completely honest with her. I would be extremely grateful for any input.
Thank you for listening.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Tosh » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:40 am

Hi Bushy,

Welcome to the forum. I've no real answers for you except that you're human - and 12 Steps or not - we experience human feelings and emotions.

My suggestion would be to keep doing what you're doing, don't drink, and it will pass; everything passes. Maybe have a candid chat, face to face, with your sponsor or a friend and chase some newcomers (intensive work with other alcoholics).

And if you're suffering with depression (you might be), maybe a trip to your doctor is in order?

I also think exercise is helpful to; it helps me anyway.

Regards,

Tosh
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:46 am

written inventory every day


Writing inventory is to figure out the cause of the issue. What is it that you are resentful at? Fearful off? And taking action to overcome those. Just writing for the sake of writing inventory is not going to help. Hopefully, you will find a sponsor who can shed some light on the un-manageabilty.
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: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby clouds » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:53 am

So what is it that you are angry and down about? Maybe you could say how long you have been sober?

I have had a couple of depressions in AA where I couldn't pin point my sadness. I accepted this down time for what it was. Later I had an awakening and discovered some new information about myself and with that came a lessening of a desire to always be on top of things and happy. I got more grounded and habituated to acceptance that my feelings weren't th number one thing to be focused onto.

I think more articulate members may have some better suggestions on your question, but that is my experience.

There is certainly nothing wrong with revisiting the steps.
Also, are you sure the person who is your sponsor is a person you feel completely comfortable with, as in being able to be completely honest and transparent with. I say it because being true is very valuable in sobriety.

This is a good topic. We can expect some rough times over the years and good for you being able to recognize when your spiritual condition may be off the mark.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Brock » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:06 am

Welcome Bushy. I agree with Tosh that maybe a doctor visit might be helpful, you are certainly doing everything else to a greater extent than I ever did.

What I have found however, is that all growth and improvement, (or at least 90%), came from improving my spiritual contact with the God of my understanding. And I am not even a person who kneels to pray, too hard for my old bones, I take quite literally where on page 86 it says 'we relax and take it easy.' Not being or wanting to be a preacher I can't go into details, but over the last few years I have gained such an insight, and feeling of divine mercy being almost constantly with me, just never been happier and more content, I pray you find the same feeling.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Bushy » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:49 am

Thank you all for your replies, I really appreciate it.
I am 16 months in the fellowship and 8 months sober - and therein lies my answer. I think that my expectations (oh dear) have been way too high and I am letting little things get to me. I have been clinging to 'this too shall pass' and it was wearing a bit thin. I realise this is a marathon not a sprint and maybe I'm being too hard on myself. If I am genuinely doing the right thing (getting out of self and helping others) then I have to have faith that this is simply the ups and downs of life without alcohol to numb the emotions. I think I may have let my gratitude slip as well and you all have reminded me how lucky I really am.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby PaigeB » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:22 pm

I have felt many times: I am doing everything I am supposed to do and I still feel miserable!"

I have found this is time for me to bump up the action in my spiritual life (prayer & meditation) or in service to others - a new sponsee, joining a service committee, or adding a new meeting to my schedule.

It might also be that I am keeping a small secret about buying extra lottery tickets. It might be that I am procrastinating on cleaning up my file cabinet or taking on that volunteer position they offered me at Girl Scouts. If the problem does not immediately present itself in my thoughts, I can practice prayer & meditation on the idea and be open-minded about what the answer might be.

It could also be a real problem ~ and there are many. The headlight in the car is out, Mom is sick and the kids' conferences are Thursday - all with a snowstorm coming tonight and tomorrow. Sigh. The headlight can wait and so can Thursday (lol). Mom and the snow are the real things, except mom says she is not "doctor sick" and the snow won't be here until later tonight. Maybe I am making too much of all this - I do so love the drama (lol). I should be grateful I have the opportunity to be an active participant in my life today!

I am glad you are grateful too.
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: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby ezdzit247 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:09 pm

Bushy wrote:Thank you all for your replies, I really appreciate it.
I am 16 months in the fellowship and 8 months sober - and therein lies my answer. I think that my expectations (oh dear) have been way too high and I am letting little things get to me. I have been clinging to 'this too shall pass' and it was wearing a bit thin. I realise this is a marathon not a sprint and maybe I'm being too hard on myself. If I am genuinely doing the right thing (getting out of self and helping others) then I have to have faith that this is simply the ups and downs of life without alcohol to numb the emotions. I think I may have let my gratitude slip as well and you all have reminded me how lucky I really am.


Hi Bushy

Welcome and congratulations on 8 months of sobriety!

It sounds like you're doing great! I experienced brief periods of inexplicable anxiety early on as well. Don't know why or what triggered the episodes but they always hit without warning, then passed and I felt okay again. Maybe my moon was in klutz or success in staying sober was too abnormal and scary? Who knows? What really worked well for me when I could feel a panic attack coming on was to just to ask an AA friend to say the words: "Everything is going to be okay, Mary." As soon as I heard them say the words out loud, I started feeling better. See if that works for you and if it does, pass it on.

Keep coming back.....
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Hal soft » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:23 pm

Bushy wrote:How is this even possible? I have just emailed my sponsor with my thoughts on the Step 10 reading (BB & 12x12) and what action I am going to take (written inventory every day). But the thing is, I know that I haven't been right for a few weeks (since new year I think). I am angry, irritable, negative, down, constantly on the verge of tears, unmotivated, I have a knot of anxiety in my chest and I honestly don't know why. I suspect that I may be (unwittingly) running on self will and the way I'm feeling is making me full of self pity (again, unwanted). I KNOW that this is dangerous ground but I can't seem to shift it. I have a HP, I go to 4/5 meetings a week, I give lifts at every meeting, I do service at 2 meetings, I have other alcoholics text/call me and I'm there for them, I have a sponsor, I read the BB, I listen to speakers online, I read this forum so I where have I gone wrong? The only thing I can think is that I haven't done Steps 1-9 properly but I've done them with a sponsor, the BB way and I've been completely honest with her. I would be extremely grateful for any input.
Thank you for listening.



Nowhere in here did you say anything about prayer and meditation.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Spirit Flower » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:14 pm

Learning how to deal spiritually with the cr@p in your head is whats called "living sober." Get used to it. It is a life long task; because as time goes y=on, you are willing to tolerate less and less cr@p.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Bushy » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:29 pm

I pray every morning (and through the day if I need to) and go to a Buddhist guided meditation class once a week but I have only been going around 6 months.
Thank you for the support, I wouldn't stand a chance without the fellowship and sometimes all it takes is for someone to say 'everything's going to be OK...' I think I'll keep coming back :-)
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Lali » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:27 pm

Bushy wrote:I KNOW that this is dangerous ground but I can't seem to shift it.


Maybe you have unrealistic expectations? Expectations are premeditated resentments and, as you stated, this is dangerous ground.

As someone else said, you might want to talk to a doctor. You may have clinical depression. I, myself, have clinical depression and have found certain medications to be helpful.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby ezdzit247 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:09 pm

Bushy wrote:I pray every morning (and through the day if I need to) and go to a Buddhist guided meditation class once a week but I have only been going around 6 months.
Thank you for the support, I wouldn't stand a chance without the fellowship and sometimes all it takes is for someone to say 'everything's going to be OK...' I think I'll keep coming back :-)


:wink:
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby tyg » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:46 pm

I don't believe someone can be a dry drunk if they doing what is outlined in the first 164 pages of Alcoholics Anonymous and active in the fellowship and reaching out for support. There has been times were I felt like my whole being was rebelling against emotional sobriety even though I was applying the program. During these times, I somehow had the power to persist and stick it out until it passed. Well, my HP gave me the power. The program and fellowship help keep my mind busy with something other than on me. It is a wonderful program. It seems each bought is less severe and shorter in duration. Life is a journey and more will be revealed. I grow a lot from these experiences. Be kind to yourself and don't beat yourself up. Just persist and you'll look back after this passes with new understanding & awareness.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Larryp713 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:39 am

This is a great topic and glad you brought it to the table. I went through a rut at about 7 months sober, and I am in another one after 13 months sober. It sounds like you are very engaged in the program, and one of the gifts of the program is this spiritual barometer we have. I now know when things aren't right before I hit a place where I think about drinking.

If I am not spiritually fit, I need to take some action. That is what the program teaches me. Maybe I need to revisit my character defects and take some action to address those specifically? I couldn't quit drinking on my own, and a lot of these other traits are just as deeply embedded. I need to turn to a higher power and get real... specifically ask for willingness to surrender my defects of character, then act on inspiration I receive. It might come from my sponsor, wife, or just from an idea that suddenly pops in my head. The important thing to do is take action.

Gratitude is a big part of this. If I remember where I started, it is easier to stay positive and get through these ruts. We're human and make mistakes, and step 10 helps us learn from these mistakes and stay on track. I am right there and need to do the same, and am grateful to have read this. Thanks - Larry
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