An Obsession With Doing It Alone

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David A
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An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by David A » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:26 pm

Hey everyone. Been a little while since I posted here. I've been struggling with being dry and resisting going to meetings pretty terribly of late. I keep finding problems with every group. First it was that I hated God (even though honestly I only have major problems with the idea of God when it means I have to do the right thing as well as go to meetings).

Then some very nice atheist/agnostic meetings popped up in my area and after attending those for some time I decided the atheists were wrong but it was really the entire city I was in that was the problem.

Then it was that every group was too angry and that people were "not taking good enough care of their emotions" for me to want to be around.

This has led to me literally spending every day alone in the house, working on being positive via meditation, reading, writing on my issues, and trying to work on my career... But breaking down by nighttime every night, if not earlier. My eating disorder issues have exploded as well and although I am not drinking or using I am having these crazed food binges mixed with periods of starvation every day. I am similarly resistant to the idea of doing OA meetings, wanting instead to do it alone.

I have struggled with this deep obsession with wanting to do recovery both perfectly and with less and less (and ultimately zero) interaction with others in recovery since my first serious attempts at sobriety about 7 years ago (I am once again at 2 months so you can see how well that's worked out for me.)

It's recently come to my attention that I am acting angry, entitled, dishonest, arrogant, and have been doing more and more physical harm to myself as well as emotional harm to others in my flashes of rage.

I've come to the realization I fit the description of a dry drunk to a "T", and that I should go to an AA meeting. I was hoping that others who have been similarly obsessed with needing to do everything alone could share their experience.

Thanks for maintaining this place, and thanks for reading my share.

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by JOP1202 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:15 pm

Hey there, I really appreciate your share. The "doing it alone" part is something I've struggled with the past 10 years, it doesn't work, at least for me it didn't. I'm a very stubborn and independent person and just the fact I have something inside of me that I can't control nor ever get "rid" of, I struggle with, a lot. For the longest time it made me feel weak that I couldn't control my drinking or the fact that I can't do this on my own. That "surrender" was so tough to come to terms with because I was always the one to want to do everything on my own, prove to them and myself that I didn't need help - well, that just led me to go back out (over and over and over).

As for the eating disorder - I am a firm believer that this disease of alcoholism is so cunning that it will seep into every vulnerable or temperamental part of a persons mind, body and soul. If it can't take over your drinking, it's going to take over another portion of your being that is in need of some sort of help. My sponsor has me getting on my knees every morning and night to pray/meditate and speak to something or someone out there since I too struggle with this idea of "God". Something is keeping me sober though and I know it's just not me, my sponsor or AA - something is holding my hand along this journey and whatever it is, I'm grateful for it. Perhaps one day I will discover a true spiritual awakening and go "wow, there it is" but until that happens it's truly just one day at a time.

I do not think it's good for you to continue to isolate. Just being in a room with other drunks is tremendously helpful because even though you may not agree with one single thing a person or meeting says, just being in the same room with people who do understand our struggles, helps. I seriously advise just sucking it up, perhaps swallowing some of that pride (which I know all about) and going to a meeting. I hope you do and respond to this letting me know how it goes. :)

Happy New Year!
J

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by D'oh » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:29 pm

Good share, and I feel for you. The Geographical Cure is tough when "Where ever you go, There you are" I fumbled around with the program when I came in, and still sometimes today. Taking what fits into My schemes and plans and leaving the rest.

I was told however, "Bring the Body and the Mind will follow" So I went to meetings, hung around for the coffee after meetings, did things with fellow members other than AA related. And it did come. The HOW in How it works. Honesty (which you seem to show here) Open Mindedness, and Willingness.

A belief that God (who ever it was) would do for me what (he) seemed to be doing for all of the other members, if I only believed that he would. And there was visable proof at every meeting if I just opened my eyes.

Good luck buddy, you are further down the right path than you feel that you are. The gift is at your feet and there are no strings attached to them.

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by Tosh » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:59 am

sponsorshipQ wrote: I was hoping that others who have been similarly obsessed with needing to do everything alone could share their experience.
I think we all have tried to do it alone at some point in our journey. And I find that when I don't do things the way I should do them, the Great Reality has a way of giving me a kicking.

I've also been around long enough to see patterns that people do in recovery; a common one is just visiting meetings. Some people come and actually fall in love with A.A. and they seem to be able to easily put down the drink and get happy very quickly, but other than just going to meetings, they don't do much. Unfortunately this period of grace seems to last about three months, then they start seeing all the faults with A.A., being sober all of the time isn't so much fun, and they head back out and drink. Yes, I know I'm generalising, but I've seen a good few guys do this recently.

D'oh made a great suggestion about 'bringing the body and the mind will follow'. I'd also tack on that it's better to be a member of A.A. than a visitor and by that I mean find a homegroup, volunteer for some service, find a sponsor and go through the Steps; in that way you'll feel part of it (connected), rather than just someone who visits meetings.

Regards

Tosh
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by avaneesh912 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:23 am

I was hoping that others who have been similarly obsessed with needing to do everything alone could share their experience.
I need to understand that I need the program, the fellowship and if I have time, I need to be of service. The fellowship reciprocates the way we treat it. Like others shared, we are not going to agree to all the shares that goes on in the meeting. What we need to see is, see how we can help someone who is struggling. Even on this board you could see that. Once in a while you will see a wave of negativity and it subsides with the entities that create trouble stop visiting us. Stick around you will see what I am talking about.
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: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by Tom S » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:36 am

Great points,
Thanks

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by kdub720 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:50 am

This is a great post and topic as it is something I deal with greatly. I struggle with traditional meetings. There is so much tradition and very little meat in the topics of the meetings. I want to show up discuss our similar struggles with alcohol and leave. To often I find AA to be a social group. which is great for retired people looking for something to do. I love this site, because it provides discussion and thoughts from recovering alcoholics without the song and dance of a Traditional AA Meeting. I am a social person, but born 100 years to late. I do not like the hugging that surrounds a traditional meeting. The hugs make me uncomfortable. I prefer a firm handshake. I was going to meeting and hugging these people more than I hug my grandma. And that is not the place I want to be.
I have found that I need support, daily reflection and interaction with other recovering alcoholics. Thank you for this site, and to all those who participate. Great topic.

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by PaigeB » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:25 pm

My disease wants me dead
It'll settle for me drunk
But first it has to get me alone.

My best thinking got me here and I cannot think away this disease. Keep coming back.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by clouds » Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:59 am

Sobriety Alone is something that comes up a lot here, its important to discuss it.

I think the 12 steps of AA can be practiced without meetings. We sometimes hear of people who come to AA after having stopped drinking for a time without meetings. AA's solution to the drink problem is solved by doing the 12 steps so there does need to be a way to do step 5 and step 12 -- these steps involve people. Step 5 could be done with a priest, minister, rabbi, imam, yogi etc (sorry if i missed anyone there) and, or with a person who clearly understands what step 5 is, maybe a person in another 12 step program.

There is the possibility that no matter how isolated somebody might be, an alcoholic could show up and you could be able to help them by sharing what you have learned from doing the 12 steps and form a group of two working the steps together.

You could write to the New York central service office of AA and get some Loners addresses and write letters of encouragement and hope to people all over the world who for many different reasons, have no meetings in their area at all, or are house bound and can't get to AA meetings. They could write to you about how they are doing the steps and you could even get a sponsor through the mail.

I have been at meetings when I was in a country that spoke a language I didn't understand, but I went to the meetings anyway. It was good because I did it for my sobriety and I think it may have been good for others at the meeting too even though we didn't communicate in one another's language. I've been to meetings on trips to visit relatives where I went in, sat down, listened and left without anyone saying a word and I felt too much the stranger to communicate, but this also was good because I was there and I always learn something, even if its from a negative standpoint. :)

For the times when I was without meetings to go to at all, when I lived in rural areas n europe, I found that I could read the AA book more, seek internet AA, ( there are aa speakers to be found on line, plus our e-AA group right here!). When I have no meetings I try to help people who aren't in AA but have other types of problems and addictions. Its the same spirit of being of sevice to others and thinking of their needs. Also there may be family members you can become more helpful to, not about the AA program for recovery, but maybe an elderly grandparent or an uncle or aunt, or a neighbor you could visit once a week, read to, or buy groceries for them. There are so many opportunities to help others selflessly now days.

Since sobriety doesn't depend on human power and dependence is to be put on "God as we understand" it, then sobriety is possible as a loner if we have found a spiritual experience from doing the steps.

And it might be just me but I think something is missing without having the fellowship. AA isn't a completely oral tradition, but still there seems to be something like that going on and so often comfort and acceptance can be gotten by going to an AA meeting if you can. I know all meetings have faults, it can be difficult at times, but I encourage you to get to meetings. All you really need is a desire to stop drinking and then the willingness to do the steps.
" 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: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by ezdzit247 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:06 pm

sponsorshipQ wrote:Hey everyone. Been a little while since I posted here. I've been struggling with being dry and resisting going to meetings pretty terribly of late. I keep finding problems with every group. First it was that I hated God (even though honestly I only have major problems with the idea of God when it means I have to do the right thing as well as go to meetings).

Then some very nice atheist/agnostic meetings popped up in my area and after attending those for some time I decided the atheists were wrong but it was really the entire city I was in that was the problem.

Then it was that every group was too angry and that people were "not taking good enough care of their emotions" for me to want to be around.

This has led to me literally spending every day alone in the house, working on being positive via meditation, reading, writing on my issues, and trying to work on my career... But breaking down by nighttime every night, if not earlier. My eating disorder issues have exploded as well and although I am not drinking or using I am having these crazed food binges mixed with periods of starvation every day. I am similarly resistant to the idea of doing OA meetings, wanting instead to do it alone.

I have struggled with this deep obsession with wanting to do recovery both perfectly and with less and less (and ultimately zero) interaction with others in recovery since my first serious attempts at sobriety about 7 years ago (I am once again at 2 months so you can see how well that's worked out for me.)

It's recently come to my attention that I am acting angry, entitled, dishonest, arrogant, and have been doing more and more physical harm to myself as well as emotional harm to others in my flashes of rage.

I've come to the realization I fit the description of a dry drunk to a "T", and that I should go to an AA meeting. I was hoping that others who have been similarly obsessed with needing to do everything alone could share their experience.

Thanks for maintaining this place, and thanks for reading my share.
Hi sponsorshipQ

Congratulations on 2 months of sobriety!

Keep coming back.....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by David A » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:50 pm

Thanks for the responses to my post. I have had many good experiences on this forum...

I am back in the city I originally left. My first day back (yesterday, now) I went to my old home group. There were a lot of people I am very fond of there. It was a mixed experience as all things are, however I have the habit already of going to this particular meeting and I'm really quite ready to just live my life outside of both alcohol as well as recovery from alcohol — and so I can go to this meeting to see the people I love and hear the reminders that drink and drugs are things I have a 100% failure rate in controlling over about 11 years of trying to... And beyond that, I think I really prefer to get my spiritual fix from Buddhism... It's kind of become my main thing over the past several years.

And to tell you all the truth, any meeting and most interactions with human beings generally these days is good if I've done the work throughout the day of being mindful enough to stay in relief from self-obsession. The process of remaining sort of healthily detached which I think is more or less described in the fourth and fifth step as well as in more detail in various Buddhist texts is powerful. And my practice is still pretty fledgling but it's coming along day by day.

Nevertheless, Tosh's point struck home. I have had a case of "just visiting" for a lot of years, and where alcohol and other mind and mood-altering substances are concerned my attachments have become volitional and no matter what control I exhibit over my mind sober I cannot seem to walk away from them once I put one in my body. Unfortunately the same has happened with food but that's an outside issue and I'm gonna be seeing a therapist I used to work with and with whom I had good results. My hunger cues are messed up and it's proving to be a little more involved than quitting drinking and drugs for me.

It's just easier not to drink... The advice to get a homegroup and "stick and stay" as they say is well-taken. I like this group a lot, too.

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by Tosh » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:47 am

sponsorshipQ wrote:And beyond that, I think I really prefer to get my spiritual fix from Buddhism... It's kind of become my main thing over the past several years.
Early on in recovery, to learn how to meditate, I got involved with Buddhism too. I even ended up doing a two year course in Buddhist Thought (philosophy), which was interesting to start with, but ended up boring the pants off me. We studied stuff like the Two Truths (Appearance and Reality) from the point of view of four historical schools of Buddhism to see how Buddhist Thought evolved over the years, from the basic view of Sautrāntika to the highest view of the Madhyamika-Prasangika.

And lots of other stuff, some very dry, some very interesting (Buddhist psychology is very insightful). But nothing really changed in me from this study; it took a 12 Step program to change me. Buddhism isn't as practical (in my experience) as a 12 Step program, when it comes to dealing with our alcoholism, especially our messy pasts.

But really, what is Buddhism? It's a practice (something we 'do', rather than something we 'believe') and the 4th Noble Truth (the path) can be broken down into three areas:

1. Living an ethical life (whatever that means to each individual)
2. The cultivation of wisdom through meditation.
3. The practise of compassion.

All of that is in our Steps. And I also found that I have many more opportunities to 'practise compassion' in A.A. than I do without it.

But I work, I have a family and time is limited, so I felt I couldn't 'do it all' (be part of a Buddhist sangha and do A.A. too), so towards the end of the course I had a chat with the Buddhist course teacher (a bloke in an orange curtain) and he encouraged me to stick with A.A.. He called AA's 'front-line Boddhisatvas', which my ego quite liked. He'd visited open A.A. meetings and had actually read our Big Book. He liked A.A. a lot.

Buddhism is a wide-river; the Buddhism I studied was Tibetan Buddhism (Gelug) which places it's emphasis on the practise of compassion. Of course we can practise compassion everywhere, we can even make compassion the reason we go to the pictures to watch a movie (we need to rest so that we're fit to be able to be useful to others), but recovered alkies have a speciality; a niche area of compassion where we can carry a message of recovery to others just like us. I think that's a gift.

I guess I binned the Buddhism and became a fully-immersed member of A.A. for some very Buddhist reasons. :lol:

Oh, I can list a few well-respected Buddhist teachers who died of their alcoholism too. Chögyam Trungpa springs to mind as being top of the list. Alan Watts is also on there too (I love listening to his talks; he's all over youtube).
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by Tosh » Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:05 am

sponsorshipQ wrote:and where alcohol and other mind and mood-altering substances are concerned my attachments have become volitional and no matter what control I exhibit over my mind sober I cannot seem to walk away from them once I put one in my body.
Sorry to bore; but this isn't the problem; if it were the simple answer would be to just not drink or take a drug. Job jobbed.

But the real problem happened when I was stone cold sober and in light of my history with booze, I always took my first drink while stone-cold sober. The 'insanity' isn't that we drank, got messed up, and did stupid things, for me the insanity was - despite knowing what happens when I drink - I always took my first drink when I was sober.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by David A » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:06 am

Agreed Tosh. That's what I meant when I said the attachment has become volitional — even if I am saying "no, I don't want any" I can be picking up a drink in my hand. My mind is more than what I am conscious of. I have no misconceptions regarding the danger of this stuff for me, personally.

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Re: An Obsession With Doing It Alone

Post by Tosh » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:11 am

Sorry, mate, I'm a Geordie; my English comprehension isn't always the best. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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