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Postby gailermels » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:38 am

Hi -- I'm Gail and I'm an alcoholic...

By the grace of God and through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous I am sober today. However, I am ashamed to admit that I have not attended a meeting in over a year. Recently, I've been feeling a strong desire to return to the rooms. I know that I'd be welcomed back by the group but, for some reason, I just haven't been able to bring myself to go. Honestly, I think it's fear. In fact, I know it is. I guess I need to find a way to deal with that. I'm so glad to have found this Discussion Forum, though -- I've been reading through lots of posts and responses -- and I plan to take part in an online meeting today. A person has to start somewhere...

Also, when I worked through the steps with my sponsor I feel I didn't completely finish step 9. I have not formally approached several people to whom I owe amends -- primarily my two oldest children. My husband, who is also in active recovery and is an incredible support, tells me that I am making a living amends to them by staying sober and doing the next right thing. I guess my question is whether or not I need to address the damage I did to them through a verbal or written apology. Would dredging up the past pain cause more harm than good? That's the question I need to consider, I guess.

Thanks to everyone for being here and for sharing your encouragement, strength, and hope!
Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake. (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 417)
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Re: Return to the Rooms

Postby Spirit Flower » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:33 am

Welcome back!
Hope you go to a meeting. They really will be glad to see you.
As far as children amends, this is a good topic to talk over with someone face to face.
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Re: Return to the Rooms

Postby Brock » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:50 am

Hi Gail and welcome here. I actually like to see people say they haven't been to a meeting in a long time, it acts like a sort of counterweight to the 'meeting makers make it' crowd, and AA has many of those. We do get reports here of relapse after a long while sober, and many say they stopped going to meetings, but for me more importantly they also say the spiritual side of their program slipped. It is very possible to keep up the spiritual without the meetings in my experience, because it's just a much nicer way to live, but if some need meetings to remind them that's fine too. I just prefer the new person who is sitting on a hard chair anxious like hell, understand that meetings are not a life sentence. Most recovered alcoholics I know go basically for the 12 step obligation, and I have come to enjoy some meetings anyway, 12th step or not.

I like your husbands idea regarding living amends and use that myself, none of my family members have had anything but that. The question for me and perhaps for you, is am I satisfied with that, enough that what I did to them in the past no longer weighs on my mind, I am so I don't plan to make any formal type apology. And bringing up the past hurt as you say may make matters worse. Others may be along with a different opinion, thanks for a good question and best of luck.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Return to the Rooms

Postby clouds » Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:14 am

Hi, glad you are here Gail.

I felt that with some close people in my family, they had heard "Sorry" enough times in the past so amends to them were going to have to be my sobriety, by me not being drunk on special occassions and no longer worrying for my parents, thingslike that. Its hard to say sorry after years but sometimes I have had to do that. Also, sometimes I have an experince in my life now that makes me realize how a past thing I did affected someone and did harm them so I have gone to them and told them I was thoughtless, ungrateful or rude. I also, years later, have admitted to wrongs if I felt it would free the person from some mental or emotional pain that I could be responsible for, for example if I lied, I could set them free with the truth, as long as it doesn't bring harm to them in thepresent.

Thinking about such things, maybe writing them down and then talking with someone you trust is always good.

The steps are principles of living it says in the BB and so always available if we need them.
" 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: Return to the Rooms

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:58 pm

Hi Gail

I totally agree with the advice shared in this post:

As far as children amends, this is a good topic to talk over with someone face to face.

The someone I would talk this issue over with face to face would be an older, experienced clinical psychologist or a marriage & family counselor, preferably someone with a strong background in child development and ACA issues in particular. Both you and your husband might also gain some insights about what the "next right thing" is from attending some ACA meetings and listening to what adult children of alcoholics share. Good luck....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of leave the world a better know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Return to the Rooms

Postby D'oh » Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:31 pm

Hi Gail.

Great Start with being here. Yes I was one of those with long time Sobriety, that believed that I could handle it on my own, with my HP.

Totally forgetting my belief that my HP, works through the ESH of other's in their shares at a Meeting, a F2F Meeting. I once Sponsored one that said "If God ever called him on the phone, he would hang up". Believing that it was just another Telemarketer.

Not that my HP doesn't share here on these forums, but the Fellowship is much deeper in 3 dimensions. The meetings after meetings, the happy faces, all of the love and hope shown without words. They won't bite, they will more than likely be grateful to have you back.
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