relapse after a long time sober

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robert
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relapse after a long time sober

Post by robert »

Hi, im robert, im an alcoholic and have recently relapsed after twelve years of sobriety!!, not good!.
Im sharing this for support and also in the hope that it helps someone.
Basically i stopped doing what i was doing, ie, going to meetings, sharing ect.
I was doing some things i shoulnd have been & not doing things i should have been, but within myself i still felt happy & content enough. I had also worked through a lot of painfull stuff in my sobriety within that time and had got to what i thought was a decent place within myself. Meetings faded away into the background because i felt ok!.
my resistance was weekening the longer i stayed away from meetings!! (Although i didnt see this, i was fine!!!).

Can i also say that i was actively looking for a relationship in my life through a dating website and at one point talking to someone, agreed to go for a drink as a first date!. Most females on that site drank and that was ok. But this time i felt a bit of pressure and agreed to go for a drink. (This didnt come to fruition).

Anyway, i was walking my wee dogs one night and while doing so found a small bag with a tiny amount of weed in it and put it in my pocket without really thinking about it!! (Any defence i had, had dissapeared).
Later that night i smoked that tiny amount of weed and that went so well i decided to buy some more!!,
After around 4 weeks of smoking that without any troubles drink entered my mind, i cant remember excactly what i thought but it was along the lines of 'i would be ok to have a drink, that i had came a long way mentally & emotionally and that i would be ok (i had absolutely no resistance or defence to this thought!!) And felt i was being qiute rational about it and that this was progress in my life, that i was moving forward!!, i suppose it was a bit of an experiment!!.

Inevitably i took that drink, feeling assured i was doing the right thing and that i would be ok.
i had a good night, went home not too drunk, went to bed and woke up in the morning feeling ok!!,
No hangover, no fear (which was always present the day after), i was ok!!!.
of course i had some weed the night i went out and the next day.
so that was that!, it was a sucess!!.
i spent the next week rather excited about my sucess, and to be normal and looking forward the the next week when i was going to do the same again, in fact i could hardly wait.
I did wait though and went out for a drink as planned, enjoyed myself, went home not too drunk and went to bed.
the next day when i woke i didnt feel too bad although a little worse than the previous week,
again i had some weed, but this time a bottle of alcoholic ginger beer also, just to feel a little better, nothing too much.
i had planned to go and play golf (alone) and took some beers in my bag for the game which i didnt drink.
that night i had some more weed and some more beers but as the night went on i didnt feel good at all,
i was sort of drinking to enjoy myself but also a little too feel better!! I felt horrible!!! I didnt finish my drink and headed home and thought 'what am i doing'!!! Suddenly everything i had done slammed home!!, I was sort of drunk and stoned but hated it!! I was upset!!, I was desparate to feel sober and clear minded!!. I knew drink wasnt for me!! I cant handle the emotions that come with drink, what it does to me and my body!! (The weed also). I cant drink normally, im not normal when it comes to alcohol, i am meant to be sober of all mind & mood altering substances!!.
the thing is, i knew this at one point!!! I would not have believed the lie!!
But then came the time when i had no mental defence!!.
Im upset!!, twelve years!!.
So here i am, needing support through this!, to try and get my head around it!!.
I feel guilty for my family and my dogs!!.
At times i feel as though i am suffocating, im chocked up and emotional!!.

So there it is!!. I just have to keep going bit at a time!!.
I phoned someone from aa and told them what had happened, and got some support.
ihave been to as many meetings as i can manage from then.
im still pretty emotional!!

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avaneesh912
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by avaneesh912 »

Basically i stopped doing what i was doing, ie, going to meetings, sharing ect.

Did you ever get a sponsor and attempt to work the 12 steps? See the key is to work the 12 steps and have a psychic change (Spiritual Awakening). We then look at the world with a different perspective. The promises we read in the meetings only come through, if we work for them.
Last edited by avaneesh912 on Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

Lali
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by Lali »

EDITED: After rereading your post, I decided to delete mine. I don't think I read yours very carefully. Anyway, I agree with what Kenya has said.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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whipping post
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by whipping post »

Thank you for sharing this.

kenyal
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by kenyal »

You intimate that after a few pleasant episodes things turned darker and you missed having the clarity of thought that had built up through the years you were sober. I know how I thought when drinking and can compare that to my awareness now. I think that's what I'd miss most if I were to return to drinking. The person I am sober would no longer be in this world, replaced by something that functioned less effectively.

A classic relapse after some time sober is the process of winding back the steps until the last one loses it's meaning for us and we drink again.

So the solution is to reintegrate them in order to where they may return to their place in supporting your sober life. You can do this with the help of a member who has a depth of understanding regarding their condition that has proved to serve them well for longer than yours served you, and can help you achieve better for yourself this time around. How you process the years you had and what they now mean could be tricky if it makes you believe you can take shortcuts, or are special in some way. Alcoholics commonly come around for a while and then drink if the solution they've developed is insufficient. Imo, drinking again is nothing more than an indicator of weakness of the level and quality of participation the alcoholic mistakenly believed would be sufficient for them. We seem to get what our hands call for.

Your thinking may be impaired for some months, maybe many. You may want to keep a regular schedule and look for the individual who can best help you.

robert
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by robert »

avaneesh912 wrote:Basically i stopped doing what i was doing, ie, going to meetings, sharing ect.

Did you ever get a sponsor and attempt to work the 12 steps? See the key is to work the 12 steps and have a psychic change (Spiritual Awakening). We then look at the world with a different perspective. The promises we read in the meetings only come through, if we work for them.
Yes, if you read my post you will see that i went througn a lot of changes mentally and emotionally that could only be done by working on myself, and as i say had peece of mind because of this. I viewed the world differantly, loved myself and therefore could love others.
as i say i stopped doing what i was supposed to be doing and paid the price.
sponsorship and twelve steps are a must but this is a cunning subtle illness that does not leave you! I can vouch for that, doing the steps will change the hopless state of a person but wont cure the illness, its a daily repreive im afraid!!.
If you stop doing them however then your in trouble!.
doesnt matter how long sober you are im afraid!! Seen it happen loads!.
So if you think going through thd steps is a one tine fix your wrong my friend.

robert
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by robert »

Thanks everyone for your replies so far they are much appreciated although some maybe somewhat assuming.
i did have a sponsor and worked through thd twelve steps and achieved so much in that time as an individual.
i was a complete wreck of a person when i came into the proggramme, fear was the overiding cripling emotion to the point of complete withdrawal from society.
the fact is i had never emotionally grown up and i did that in AA through having a sponsor and working on myself.
i changed the old ideas that caused me pain and caused me to drink, my whole outlook on life has changed, and i am not the person who came through the doors.
i am now a loving individual who can love others in abundance and i know how to conduct myself.
i like myself because of the person i have become!.

I am aware of myself my emotions and others. I am a good support to myself but having siad that am human and need other people.
the fact is the time came when i did not have a defence against the first drink because this illness is so cunning, patient and sutble.
As someone siad, i havnt lost what i gained in thd 18 years of sobriety in total that i achieved and certainly havnt lost the fundamental basics of what to do when in trouble which is get to meatings, share, face things head on.
so i ask you please to think before you comment, i was asking for understanding and support! Not a list of what to do and how to do it.
i understand there are people from all walks of life in AA with all sorts of delusion going on and dont even know it.
I have already started attending meetings, sharing, praying again, i also intend to join a group and go through the steps again to address any accumulated garbage. (And nobody even had to tell me to do so!)
this as im sure youll understand is a rather emotional time and would appreciate support from those with similar experience.

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tyg
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by tyg »

so i ask you please to think before you comment, i was asking for understanding and support! Not a list of what to do and how to do it.
This is a fatal illness so out of love and concern people in the rooms are going to probably keep suggesting the basics to help that person get(and stay) on solid ground to recovery.

Welcome Robert...so glad you made it back!!

Your experience is going to be helpful to many others. Soon, you will not be regretting the past. You have a whole NEW life ahead of you now. Drifting into worry, remorse or morbid reflection only diminishes our usefulness to others, blocks God consciousness and keeps us from appreciating the journey we are on now.

I had six years and relapsed. I was out there for almost 3 years. I wanted to be sober again but i had a really tough time getting dry. The powerlessness and loss of choice in drink is baffling. I lost a lot and began experiencing severe brain damage symptoms. Guess it took what it took and had to go through what I did to understand that there will be times I have no mental defense against that first drink. My knowledge and willpower is not enough and that, my defense must come from a higher power.

Alcoholism wants me dead or miserable. It is a daily reprieve (of all our shortcomings) contingent on our spiritual fitness. "We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us. pg 35"
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~

desypete
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by desypete »

thanks for sharing that story my friend

i did a simialr thing but after 15 years of being sober or dry or however the soberity experts in aa wish to call it, anyway i didnt drink for those years and i had no police cells or lose anything in those years infact my life got better as i was sober i had been to aa and lasted 3 years around the rooms before i got bored of hearing the same people say the same things

i could tell you word for word what some of them would say, i had done a bit of work on myself with my sponsoer and i did become a bit of an expert on the subject myself, i knew what to say in the rooms of aa that would please the others all i had to do was tell them i was praying to god and the steps have saved me and i was in there club, i was never in the big book club in aa as those hard core guys really freaked me out at times

anyway i went along for 3 years then like i said i got bored of aa but in place of it i had found a life were i could make some good money, so i chased the money cutting down on aa meetings to doing only 1 a week, then i would not go at all promising myself i will do 2 meetings next week etc

i just stopped coming back, and went my own way,

15 years later i tried that one drink, i had a busniess and a lot of money, wife with 5 kids yet i soon forgot about all the troubles drink brought me as i was no longer around aa to be reminded, i put that first drink to the test, i promised myself when i took it that if i ended up in a drunken heap or worse if i end up in trouble again i will know its all true and i will just carry on life without the drink,
i can remember over those 15 years the times like xmas when i would really feel life was cheating me as everyone else was out drinking at that time and poor old me couldn't as it had such a bad effect on me, but 15 years without aa is a long time, long enough for me to forget all the troubles and to give in to having another go at trying to prove to myself i can indeed control my drinking once i take that first drink

anyway i took that first drink and i went home, nothing bad happend, so i went to my club the next time and i tried to drink 2 pints this time, again making promises to myself that if i end up in trouble i will never do it again

well that went well so i went out new years eve and i drank 4 pints and i have happy, joyus and free, i was great, we had a great time, i was the life and soul of the place and me and my ex wife walked home arm in arm singing and everything was just brilliant

there is a pert in the book, chapter 3 were it says if you can go out and drink normally again then our hats are off to you, and i honestly believed i had now proved i can not drink normally again as nothing bad happend and i certainly didnt end up black out drunk

well of course it progresed from there, it wasnt long before i was getting drunk again, and it wasnt long after that then the trouble would come, getting barred from the club i was so highly thought of was the start, then ending up drunk and disordely and getting arrested for it
wakeing up with shame guild and remorse started again, then the dreaded fear of what the hell have i done last night

but by this time i was back into it all full swing, i started to drink and get drunk at home so i wouldnt end up getting arrested or misbehave while i am out in my efforts to make sure i would wake up the next day without that fear and guilt or shame only to end up getting into trouble at home and being arrested and my name going in the paper

so i couldnt do anything to get rid of this dr Jekyll and mr Hyde i would become in drink

the more i drank the more i started to lose, i soon lost my driving licence, for drunk driving and as i worked for myself as a wagon driver it meant the end of my business, so i lived off my savings instead of trying to find work as it was eaisr to stay at home and drink and feel sorry for myself and take it all out on those who i loved

the wife at this time was also drinking as badly as i was and we would fight and blame each other, we loved each other but hated each other when drunk as skunks, the home would be smashed up, the police would be called it just is crazy how it all started going so badly wrong

my 2 small kids were removed from our care as we became unfit to care for them as we were drunk daily, etc

the home was next to go then it was prisons and finaly i ended up in a flat given to me by a chairty to help me try to sort my life out, i had nothing left

my older kids disowned me my ex wife had found another drunk to live with so i ended up with no one left in the world and nothing left but the drink

i finaly gave in i just couldnt drink myself out of the pain anymore it just didnt work, i had been punished enough i didnt want to go to prison anymore, i didnt like me at all anymore, i was in that pit of desperation that so many use in aa and its what i believe for me was the key i needed if i was ever going to have any chance to have a life again

that was all 10 years ago, i got back into aa and the people there took good care of me, they got me around the meetings for a while, they gave me money for food, they came and kept me company in my flat so i wouldnt be so alone, i owe those people my life

soon enough i stated to dry out, the shakes started to fade i came to see now just how mad i had been for every staying away from aa in the first place

hence today i will not no matter how bad i feel give up with going to aa and keeping in contact with other memebers

it did me to much damage the last time and i am not prepared to go back there again

i am growing in aa thanks to the program and my sponsor and the wisdom in the rooms from real sober memebers in aa who have been there done that and got the t shirt so for me i will not let go it is my higher power that i believe in today that if i cut it out of my life then i can never ever stay sober on my own its impossible

but i had to find it out for myself the hard way

welcome back and and keep on coming back my friend

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avaneesh912
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by avaneesh912 »

sponsorship and twelve steps are a must but this is a cunning subtle illness that does not leave you!
I apologize for interpretting your statement as one of those who depended on "going to meeting for sobriety". Early in my sobriety, when I was lost in the fellowship, one of the very first AA talk I heard was that of Don P from Aurora. His association with the fellowship was bit different. In his story all he would talk about was taking a meeting into a corrections facility on a Saturday morning and always working with a person at his house where he would read the big book to the new-comer. He never talked about attending meetings, however, he ran several workshops and I am told, he spoke at an AA meeting evern the day before he died.

So, I knew, meetings was not the answer, early on. And one of the key issue for the alcoholic is the mind not the 1st drink and that if I get out of whack spiritually, I will drink. As simple as that. So, I take the business of staying spiritually fit very seriously. That I can do without attending a meeting. I do go to 3 meetings at the max. Two of them regular and one on Sunday where I take a meeting into a correction facility along with 2 other friends. I am also glad that you made it back because most don't.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Brock
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by Brock »

avaneesh912 wrote: So, I take the business of staying spiritually fit very seriously. That I can do without attending a meeting.
That I think is a very powerful statement, my defense is my spiritual fitness, and most meetings I know of don’t improve me spiritually. So I work on that side of life separately from meetings, but if the occasion arises to speak of spiritual matters in meetings I do so.

One fellow who joined our home group around the time I did stopped coming to meetings after about a year, he does pop in now and again to say hello and see how we are going. He is very engaged and committed to a local spiritual organization, and plays the guitar in their church choir, he also assists in the homeless shelter they run, and he is as happy and contented a recovered alcoholic as any I have seen.

Meetings are a good way to give back by encouraging and assisting newcomers, but after we are properly grounded and living the program there are other ways to stay on the highway.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

robert
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by robert »

desypete wrote:thanks for sharing that story my friend

i did a simialr thing but after 15 years of being sober or dry or however the soberity experts in aa wish to call it, anyway i didnt drink for those years and i had no police cells or lose anything in those years infact my life got better as i was sober i had been to aa and lasted 3 years around the rooms before i got bored of hearing the same people say the same things

i could tell you word for word what some of them would say, i had done a bit of work on myself with my sponsoer and i did become a bit of an expert on the subject myself, i knew what to say in the rooms of aa that would please the others all i had to do was tell them i was praying to god and the steps have saved me and i was in there club, i was never in the big book club in aa as those hard core guys really freaked me out at times

anyway i went along for 3 years then like i said i got bored of aa but in place of it i had found a life were i could make some good money, so i chased the money cutting down on aa meetings to doing only 1 a week, then i would not go at all promising myself i will do 2 meetings next week etc

i just stopped coming back, and went my own way,

15 years later i tried that one drink, i had a busniess and a lot of money, wife with 5 kids yet i soon forgot about all the troubles drink brought me as i was no longer around aa to be reminded, i put that first drink to the test, i promised myself when i took it that if i ended up in a drunken heap or worse if i end up in trouble again i will know its all true and i will just carry on life without the drink,
i can remember over those 15 years the times like xmas when i would really feel life was cheating me as everyone else was out drinking at that time and poor old me couldn't as it had such a bad effect on me, but 15 years without aa is a long time, long enough for me to forget all the troubles and to give in to having another go at trying to prove to myself i can indeed control my drinking once i take that first drink

anyway i took that first drink and i went home, nothing bad happend, so i went to my club the next time and i tried to drink 2 pints this time, again making promises to myself that if i end up in trouble i will never do it again

well that went well so i went out new years eve and i drank 4 pints and i have happy, joyus and free, i was great, we had a great time, i was the life and soul of the place and me and my ex wife walked home arm in arm singing and everything was just brilliant

there is a pert in the book, chapter 3 were it says if you can go out and drink normally again then our hats are off to you, and i honestly believed i had now proved i can not drink normally again as nothing bad happend and i certainly didnt end up black out drunk

well of course it progresed from there, it wasnt long before i was getting drunk again, and it wasnt long after that then the trouble would come, getting barred from the club i was so highly thought of was the start, then ending up drunk and disordely and getting arrested for it
wakeing up with shame guild and remorse started again, then the dreaded fear of what the hell have i done last night

but by this time i was back into it all full swing, i started to drink and get drunk at home so i wouldnt end up getting arrested or misbehave while i am out in my efforts to make sure i would wake up the next day without that fear and guilt or shame only to end up getting into trouble at home and being arrested and my name going in the paper

so i couldnt do anything to get rid of this dr Jekyll and mr Hyde i would become in drink

the more i drank the more i started to lose, i soon lost my driving licence, for drunk driving and as i worked for myself as a wagon driver it meant the end of my business, so i lived off my savings instead of trying to find work as it was eaisr to stay at home and drink and feel sorry for myself and take it all out on those who i loved

the wife at this time was also drinking as badly as i was and we would fight and blame each other, we loved each other but hated each other when drunk as skunks, the home would be smashed up, the police would be called it just is crazy how it all started going so badly wrong

my 2 small kids were removed from our care as we became unfit to care for them as we were drunk daily, etc

the home was next to go then it was prisons and finaly i ended up in a flat given to me by a chairty to help me try to sort my life out, i had nothing left

my older kids disowned me my ex wife had found another drunk to live with so i ended up with no one left in the world and nothing left but the drink

i finaly gave in i just couldnt drink myself out of the pain anymore it just didnt work, i had been punished enough i didnt want to go to prison anymore, i didnt like me at all anymore, i was in that pit of desperation that so many use in aa and its what i believe for me was the key i needed if i was ever going to have any chance to have a life again

that was all 10 years ago, i got back into aa and the people there took good care of me, they got me around the meetings for a while, they gave me money for food, they came and kept me company in my flat so i wouldnt be so alone, i owe those people my life

soon enough i stated to dry out, the shakes started to fade i came to see now just how mad i had been for every staying away from aa in the first place

hence today i will not no matter how bad i feel give up with going to aa and keeping in contact with other memebers

it did me to much damage the last time and i am not prepared to go back there again

i am growing in aa thanks to the program and my sponsor and the wisdom in the rooms from real sober memebers in aa who have been there done that and got the t shirt so for me i will not let go it is my higher power that i believe in today that if i cut it out of my life then i can never ever stay sober on my own its impossible

but i had to find it out for myself the hard way

welcome back and and keep on coming back my friend
Thanks for your reply.
im amazed you lasted 15 years away from meetings!!
I think i was away for about 1 year!!.
Yea there are a lot of experts out there!!.
Im not one of them!, i am a human being (didnt always think that!) with limited information!.
I am also an alcoholic who succumbed to the obbsession and illusion! Powerfull and cunning!.

I love AA, i belong there!, i grew up again in aa and became free from my own self condeming viscious thoughts and learned to love myself.
this is a lesson and i am climing back on board facing things head on!.
humility and god day at a time.

robert
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by robert »

avaneesh912 wrote:
sponsorship and twelve steps are a must but this is a cunning subtle illness that does not leave you!
I apologize for interpretting your statement as one of those who depended on "going to meeting for sobriety". Early in my sobriety, when I was lost in the fellowship, one of the very first AA talk I heard was that of Don P from Aurora. His association with the fellowship was bit different. In his story all he would talk about was taking a meeting into a corrections facility on a Saturday morning and always working with a person at his house where he would read the big book to the new-comer. He never talked about attending meetings, however, he ran several workshops and I am told, he spoke at an AA meeting evern the day before he died.

So, I knew, meetings was not the answer, early on. And one of the key issue for the alcoholic is the mind not the 1st drink and that if I get out of whack spiritually, I will drink. As simple as that. So, I take the business of staying spiritually fit very seriously. That I can do without attending a meeting. I do go to 3 meetings at the max. Two of them regular and one on Sunday where I take a meeting into a correction facility along with 2 other friends. I am also glad that you made it back because most don't.
Thank you so much!! I totally agree!
Ive came through some pretty horific times sober without even the thought of a drink!.
I would say that i was relatively happy when this happened! But your totally right with regards to keeping in fit spiritual condition!! I need it all!! Typical alky!! :lol:

robert
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by robert »

avaneesh912 wrote:Basically i stopped doing what i was doing, ie, going to meetings, sharing ect.

Did you ever get a sponsor and attempt to work the 12 steps? See the key is to work the 12 steps and have a psychic change (Spiritual Awakening). We then look at the world with a different perspective. The promises we read in the meetings only come through, if we work for them.

Thanks for your post, yes i did everything suggested and rather succsesfully.
My outlook on life has totally changed through doing so, In fact i am a totally different person to the shell that came througn the doors!
Unfortunately i stopped doing meetings and i lifted a drink!.
Now what am i going to do about it?? What i was doing in the first place!!.

robert
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Re: relapse after a long time sober

Post by robert »

Brock wrote:
avaneesh912 wrote: So, I take the business of staying spiritually fit very seriously. That I can do without attending a meeting.
That I think is a very powerful statement, my defense is my spiritual fitness, and most meetings I know of don’t improve me spiritually. So I work on that side of life separately from meetings, but if the occasion arises to speak of spiritual matters in meetings I do so.

One fellow who joined our home group around the time I did stopped coming to meetings after about a year, he does pop in now and again to say hello and see how we are going. He is very engaged and committed to a local spiritual organization, and plays the guitar in their church choir, he also assists in the homeless shelter they run, and he is as happy and contented a recovered alcoholic as any I have seen.

Meetings are a good way to give back by encouraging and assisting newcomers, but after we are properly grounded and living the program there are other ways to stay on the highway.
Yes i thought like this myself but i really do need the meetings!!! And not just to give back!! But for me!!
Never cured! Never the teacher! Always the student!.

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