here for support

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here for support

Postby isabelle » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:11 pm

hello everybody. it is nice to be here.

i am no newcomer to aa. i attended meetings in my town for about two years, in which time i became one of the sole chairpersons for our saturday night group. in that time i have had slips and stumbles, taken steps and fallen back but managed to come out of it 18 months sober. after giving birth to my second child i made the decision to stop going to the meetings, as i was always uncomfortable "airing my dirty laundry" with strangers face to face, no matter how significant the support system. with a tenancy to have a slight bit of social anxiety i always felt like i was being judged during my sharing, which made me nervous and uneasy.

it only took about 6 months for me to start drinking again, convinced i was able to drink like a "normal" person. it started out slow, only on the weekends, and then turned into thursday and the weekends and eventually almost every day. i was able to put it down for a period of days or a couple weeks at my choosing but then i found as stress rose around home i turned to it more frequently. feeling helpless, guilty and remorseful i avoided the meetings because i felt like i had let them down. not only them, but me, and i was not prepared to go face them and admit it. but i knew i needed help. i tried marriage counselors, complaining to everyone about my husband who was always in my face about my drinking. lying about the severity of my problem so they would tell me i didn't have one. i told myself numerous times after my five day binges (which usually by the second day was started by shots of rum at 7 in the morning to "kill" the hangover) that i wanted to quit. i made promises to my husband, lying to him and myself to make both him and i feel better, but all that did was let him and me down, making things worse in the end. i still haven't headed back to a meeting, i guess why i am here is to get some sobriety under my belt before i walk back into those rooms and admit my faults to my fellow "survivors". i may never go back into the rooms because of my level of anxiety but when i found out about this i felt like i may have a light at the end of what has been over a year of a very dark tunnel. i want my life back. i want my marriage back. most importantly this time i want to do it for me. doing it for someone else (my husband) last time made things very hard. i had a sponsor i could never get a hold of and got stuck on my step four for almost 8 months. i never did do the full 12 so you can imagine how difficult it was to stay sober for so long. i was miserable, taking it out on my husband. it was a long 2 years. but this year has been longer. i am here now, and that is what counts. first day sober in six and it's time for a change.

thanks for listening. nice to find aa online support.
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Re: here for support

Postby ann2 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:15 am

Hi isabelle, welcome. I hope you make a lot of use of the online support.

Other people may use meetings for more personal errands. That doesn't mean you have to. I never air my dirty laundry in meetings -- meetings are a place to share about the solution which is found in AA and the Big Book. If what I have to share doesn't add to my understanding of recovery, then I talk about it in private. Even when sharing about my recovery in meetings I am very very general (not to say that people don't sometimes read between the lines, but that's on them, not me).

What we get out of AA is the spiritual growth that makes sobriety possible. Instead of alcohol, I rely on a power greater than myself. I do it imperfectly, which is why I go to meetings -- I need the exposure to the solution as often as possible. But I don't get sober through talking about my problems. I will always have reasons to drink -- always. It's the solution I find *instead* of drinking that matters to me.

It's quite possible to go ahead with a 4th and 5th step without a sponsor, or with the support of trusted friends in AA with whom you have no formal sponsorship arrangement with. For some, the BB is our sponsor. I got a lot of help myself when I came online and started to get the perspective of alcoholics all over the world saying the same thing -- the answer was in the steps, not in my local group's interpretation of recovery. And it was very helpful for me reading the text of what people did to achieve the spiritual awakening which is the result of taking the steps. I could understand better reading rather than listening.

So yes, I am happy to give support -- but really what I am here to do is pass on the message of recovery that even applied to me, and which I am sure can help you too.

Big hugs,

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
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Re: here for support

Postby RustyS » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:26 am

Hi Isabelle, welcome. I've only been sober 11 days. I went to my very first meeting on my 3rd day of sobriety and I wish I hadn't even waited that long. We are here for you.

--Rusty
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Re: here for support

Postby Lali » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:21 am

Are you going to let pride get in the way of your sobriety - your marriage - your life? Honesty - with yourself and others - is sooo important in sobriety. In my opinion, you need to get honest with yourself, your husband, your fellow AA members and start working those steps and start getting well.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him
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Re: here for support

Postby PaigeB » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:33 am

I have to throw in my 2 cents worth and I second Ann2's position: The solution is all that matters. OH, how I could go into the list of tragic situations! But I have learned that people who have much more & much less tragedy than myself have been able to get sober using this program. Having one-on-one support & direction of a sponsor was indispensable. Get a sponsor, read the Book, go to meetings and share the solution.

Glad to have you with us! We are here 24/7!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: here for support

Postby isabelle » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:09 am

hello everyone and thank you for your response.
i wanted to add that i wasn't meaning to offend anyone when i was sharing my story. i did find some comfort in the meetings which is why i was able to stick it out for so long. especially with the service work, i enjoyed helping people make a difference in their lives. for years i have been a very independent person and i have had a very hard time asking for help. even now, with my dui.. i find it easier to lock myself in my house all day with my two year old then phone a friend and ask for a ride. i realize that i need to let go of my pride if i am going to be able to recover. that was my hardest part the last time..the lying to myself and to others and hiding the real truth. in time i imagine i will be able to walk back into the rooms, maybe sooner than later. right now i am spending as much time as i can with my big book and 12 X 12 and my addictions counseling dealing with stress management techniques and doing my best to stay sober. i am an alcoholic and my life is unmanageable. day two and no drinks yet. and even though i have no desire to drink at this moment, going to work tonight is going to be my hardest feat yet. thank you everyone for your words of advice. i just really needed to get all that off my chest yesterday. the meetings i went to was a lot of people all talking about their personal lives and i was under the impression i was supposed to do the same. yesterday i brought my big book out of storage for the first time in over a year began reading phrases about acceptance. i realize that i need aa to stay sober because nothing else has worked... not like this program did. what i need is to find the courage in myself to walk back into the rooms. as a people pleaser, i have always felt like i let everyone down. this is my problem, not theirs. i am just happy i was able to find online support because my life is so crazy right now with loosing my license and having no child care most of the time.. i was just happy to find something i could turn to right away. thank you.
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Re: here for support

Postby ann2 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:36 am

isabelle wrote: the meetings i went to was a lot of people all talking about their personal lives and i was under the impression i was supposed to do the same. yesterday i brought my big book out of storage for the first time in over a year began reading phrases about acceptance. . . . . <snip>. . . .i am just happy i was able to find online support because my life is so crazy right now with loosing my license and having no child care most of the time.. i was just happy to find something i could turn to right away. thank you.


Gosh, you are so very welcome, isabelle, I know exactly how it is with the kids and the lack of child care. It's yet another good reason to stay home, and being an alcoholic I can find oh so many. But maybe, it's just possible, that your higher power put this in your life right now so you could discover the real way to get sober, which isn't in group therapy, not for an alcoholic like me -- it's in taking action, in following the steps that are listed in the BB.

You may not believe it, but that doesn't matter -- do it anyway! I had as much skepticism as anybody and the effect on me was profound, no, life-altering.

I'm sorry that meetings give the impression of having the answer just by getting together and whining. If only! I love to whine!! it was my desire to whine, in fact that got me taking the steps, because I figured once I'd done them people would be forced to listen to me! hahahahahhah. Anyway I'm glad it worked out the way it did for me.

I have two little girls, one is 10 and one is 5, and it was when the oldest was 2 that I first came online and heard the solution that I'd missed by attending meetings. Definitely, meetings are precious to me -- made even more so by my living in a foreign country and my lack of personal freedom being a mother -- but I can live without them. I can't live without the 12 steps in my life, and thank GOD I don't have to. Thank GOD.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
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Re: here for support

Postby isabelle » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:04 am

thank you for that ann. one of the greatest comforts i found in aa was realizing there is an entire world full of people that are in the same situation as me. it doesnt feel as lonely as sitting in my basement drinking coolers at 7 in the morning.
i have just sent a request for an online temporary sponsor and i am getting started on my steps right away. i believe one of the greatest reasons i failed myself last time was because i didn't take immediate action. i found myself asking more questions and being lost in the confusion of not knowing what i was doing.. easier than asking for help. this time, i want to get started right away. 40 hours since my last drink.. and instead of stopping at the liquor store after dropping my oldest at the school this morning i headed home and came straight on here. i find comfort in this.. and i can do as much work as possible while my little one plays on the floor. i have also sent a request to join the online meetings, i think that would be amazing to be able to attend a meeting whenever i can without having to arrange any more rides. one of the hardest parts of this dui is that it freed up so much more time to drink.. and without the responsibility of having to drive (which is what kept me sober during most of the day) it is just another excuse to get drunk. not to mention the strain it has put on my home life. my life has been so out of control since i started to drink again that i have completely lost myself in all the rubble. i appreciate so much anybody's words of wisdom.. but will be making the most of this that i can before i can walk back in the rooms again. last night i had no intention of going back.. but today there feels like there is hope. i know my higher power has been working hard for me.. i have been running into old homegroup members all over town lately.. in taxi cabs, at work, at the grocery store. one even handed me a new list of the local meetings and said he could pick me up any tuesday should i be able to go. i believe truly that my higher power, whoever she is... is doing the best she can to get me back to health. so i know (which was one of the hardest parts of my first time in sobriety, never believing.) that i have done my step 3.
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Re: here for support

Postby ann2 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:17 am

isabelle wrote: last night i had no intention of going back.. but today there feels like there is hope. i know my higher power has been working hard for me.. i have been running into old homegroup members all over town lately.. in taxi cabs, at work, at the grocery store. one even handed me a new list of the local meetings and said he could pick me up any tuesday should i be able to go. i believe truly that my higher power, whoever she is... is doing the best she can to get me back to health. so i know (which was one of the hardest parts of my first time in sobriety, never believing.) that i have done my step 3.


How precious and beautiful and isabelle, you've written it down here and you can come back and read this when you feel you have lost the belief. Here's the proof that trusting and waiting pays off. Next time it gets hard remind yourself that things do change . . . keep writing down the good stuff, let us share in the miracle with you!!! Big hugs and love, Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
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Re: here for support

Postby isabelle » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:56 pm

30 days today.


thank you everyone for all your support through your words of wisdom, online meetings and relative chat forums. although the new walk of life is not at all an easy one i can say this, it is far easier then the one i was living 30 days ago. here's to today, this moment, this minute, this second.. because in reality.. that is all we need worry about.
one day at a time
one hour at a time
one minute at a time
one second at a time

:D
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Re: here for support

Postby Mike O » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:47 pm

Excellent, Isabelle.
Well done on 30 days.

-Mike :)
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Re: here for support

Postby ann2 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:36 am

isabelle wrote:although the new walk of life is not at all an easy one i can say this, it is far easier then the one i was living 30 days ago.


Hear, hear!!

Cheers!

You go girl!

love, Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
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Re: here for support

Postby Frankie » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:04 am

Well there you are. I've missed hearing from you :D

Well done and Way to go on your 30 days!!! :D
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