High Bottoms

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High Bottoms

Postby jade » Thu May 05, 2016 1:52 pm

Hi. I'm trying to stop drinking, at least for a little while. I can't seem to pull it off.

One of the biggest obstacles I'm dealing with right now is apparently having a "high bottom". Whenever I go to a meeting, everyone's story is much, much worse than mine. I went to a beginner's meeting the other night and the topic was finding your bottom and knowing when it was time to seek help.

I thought, great, this is going to help me - I'm going to hear stories similar to mine. I didn't. Everyone had some combination of DUIs, jail time, near death experiences and a variety of tragedies.

I've used alcohol as a crutch my entire life, and it's held me back. I've never had a DUI, although I earned them for sure. I had a drunken car wreck when I turned 21 but for some reason wasn't given a breathalyzer (this was over 20 years ago). I barely remembered it the next day. I miss work frequently from drinking the night before because once I start I can't easily stop. I've been spoken to about it but I've been at my job 18 years so obviously I make up for it by trying to be an overachiever.

I was recently talking to one of my drinking friends about this. She's very supportive, not one of those who will try to dissuade me from stopping again in fear of what that might say about her habits. She pointed out to me that it's funny that I consider myself as having a problem with alcohol when I'm the only one in our group who hasn't made a fool of herself while drunk. I'm apparently just a happy, friendly drunk while the people around me get sloppy and go on their merry drinking way without a second thought.

I would love to find other people in my situation to talk to, so I don't feel out of place in AA. This is making it very easy for me to go right back out drinking again, which I did again last night, and called in sick again today. I know I'm going to be feeling very awkward tomorrow about taking today off, and will get some attitude from my boss. My absences have gotten to the point where it's become a routine "needs improvement" entry in my annual review - and it's the only issue my boss has with me.

And yet, I feel silly sitting in an AA meeting because my story isn't anything like the other people that I've heard so far.

Any advice would be really greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read all this.

Jade

Edited to add: After re-reading what I just wrote, I guess I don't sound so out of place after all.
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Re: High Bottoms

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu May 05, 2016 2:31 pm

Everyone had some combination of DUIs, jail time, near death experiences and a variety of tragedies.


Thats the tragedy in the fellowship today. Open up the floor on powerlessness and un-manageability the topic will be about how much they drank, how many dui they got, how many divorces ......nothing about being unable to stay stopped. And the internal un-manageability of being restless irritable and disconnectedness. You could add more. Boredom, subtle depression, anxiety.....All are part of un-treated alcoholism.
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: High Bottoms

Postby Brock » Thu May 05, 2016 3:46 pm

Edited to add: After re-reading what I just wrote, I guess I don't sound so out of place after all.

Absolutely, and welcome to e-AA, thanks for giving your 'story.'

Thirty or so years ago, I used the fact that everyone else seemed to have had more problems than myself as an excuse not to stay, then when things got worse about twenty years later I tried again and used the same excuse, I still felt I wasn’t that bad off. Finally six and a half years ago, I had reached a position where my story was the worse in the room, I won't bore you with it, but please believe that the life I have found now, makes me regretful beyond words, that I didn't take the opportunity when it was first presented.

Unfortunately some of our meetings seem to be all about just telling our story, whereas the literature asks that we give our experience strength and hope, show newcomers how we recovered, and a message of hope for a bright future. Perhaps if you try a few different meetings, you will find one or two more in keeping with this.

It's a wonderful program, and the release from the urge to drink is complete, there are some steps we take which are much easier in practice than they look on paper. I wish you the best of luck, and please ask any questions you may have.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: High Bottoms

Postby D'oh » Thu May 05, 2016 7:31 pm

I think the easiest that "It" has been explained to me. It being the difference between a heavy drinker and an Alcoholic. Is 1 When you drink, the drink controls you, you don"t control the drink 2 When you drink, you get into troubles.

There is nothing about how much, how often, where you live, where you work, what you have, or anything, just those 2 things.
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Re: High Bottoms

Postby positrac » Fri May 06, 2016 2:57 am

avaneesh912 wrote:
Everyone had some combination of DUIs, jail time, near death experiences and a variety of tragedies.


Thats the tragedy in the fellowship today. Open up the floor on powerlessness and un-manageability the topic will be about how much they drank, how many dui they got, how many divorces ......nothing about being unable to stay stopped. And the internal un-manageability of being restless irritable and disconnectedness. You could add more. Boredom, subtle depression, anxiety.....All are part of un-treated alcoholism.


That part has been around forever and maybe the by product is the all about me deal. We are selfish and self centered and want all of the attention and this kind of goes into sites online like FB as it is all about out doing others to look good. (not always, but a lot) In order to find good recovery I believe it is about being honest with me, not comparing out (which is hard) in meetings and lastly taking responsibility for my actions. This can be a wee bit hard and very humbling when the rest of the room is all about blame shifting.

I remind myself that the majority of the people in the rooms at any given time I wouldn't associate with because they don't have what I want.

I was recently talking to one of my drinking friends about this. She's very supportive, not one of those who will try to dissuade me from stopping again in fear of what that might say about her habits. She pointed out to me that it's funny that I consider myself as having a problem with alcohol when I'm the only one in our group who hasn't made a fool of herself while drunk. I'm apparently just a happy, friendly drunk while the people around me get sloppy and go on their merry drinking way without a second thought.


If you want to remain, get or stay sober then you have to change: People, Places and Things because when you don't have anything they want then you become yesterday's news! This also speaks to you when you sober up and actually find that you belong in the rooms. Hanging with those who reach for the stars is hard when we drunks are bottom feeding. Old habits are hard to break and this is an inside job and starts with you and you alone.

We can relate to points of your story and understand things can become quite challenging when the inability to really stop drinking is the focal point of the day as the sun rises in the east.

If I were to suggest thing it would be these things:
1) Honestly go to a meeting everyday (7days a week) for 90 days <---- yes ninety days for 1 hour as I can assure you that the drinking you do is much more time consuming than one hour.
2) Go to different locations and make the effort to reach out and find a member that has what you desire for future sobriety.
3) HALT----- Do not allow yourself to get Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired because you'll get drunk.

If you have the desire and not will power these can all be achieved in time and they are very easy if you get out of your way and try and learn.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
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Re: High Bottoms

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri May 06, 2016 3:30 am

Is 1 When you drink, the drink controls you, you don"t control the drink 2 When you drink, you get into troubles.


This again is just the physical part of disease. The drama. The main problem is, the blank spot the alcoholic goes through prior that fatal 1st drink. And the un-manageability after he/she put down the substance prior to this current debacle.
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: High Bottoms

Postby clouds » Fri May 06, 2016 4:48 am

Its usually surprising for us that we have to admit this mental defeat against the first drink. Once we understand we can't even form a solid mental defense against the first drink, that we can have these 'mental blank spots, that we are completely powerless against the first drink we really find ourselves in a dilemma. If we understand that the main problem of our alcoholism centers in the mind, that we have no mental defense against taking another drink, no matter how long we have remained off the bottle, we come to a place where we wonder how all the alcoholics in AA got and stay sober.

The solution is in doing the 12 steps and finding a completely new basis of living and thinking.
It takes some work and time. All of us that have found sobriety can honestly say the 12 steps work to give us a way of living without drinking. we are free from the desire to take a drink.

If you are willing to find out how we did it, that is all you need. The answer is spiritual, finding a spiritual basis of life. Honesty, dleaning up the past, making amends, these things clear away the wreckage of our past and we can live a fuller happier life. We find basing life on spiritual principles works where livng life by self propulsion didn't work to keep us off alcohol or for that matter it didnt work for anything else either.

Anyone who is willing to take a look at themselves, be honest and do the simple things of the 12 steps can get and stay sober.
I wish you the best on this journey, it is the best thing I ever did in my life.
" 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: High Bottoms

Postby jade » Fri May 06, 2016 8:38 am

Thank you all for your generous and thoughtful replies. Especially for the reminder to not base my idea of whether or not I belong here on comparing my story to others'. I'm finding that writing out my story is opening my eyes to reality, so I've started that process too. Thanks again for you encouragement and help.
It's the emotional pain that's the bottom. The tragedies are optional. Sobriety date Jan 2 2017.
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Re: High Bottoms

Postby PaigeB » Fri May 06, 2016 8:44 am

When I talk about consequences, I mention them in the context of insanity. Consequences meant nothing when it came to stopping my drinking. It was the internal pain that I went through most of the time... not even always! Sometimes my day and night went well and I fell asleep happy and woke up with the energy to go to work. I raised 4 kids and bought a house. I never worked in one place over 5 years my entire career, but hey, I paid the bills.

You are an alcoholic when you say you are an alcoholic. It took me a long time to get there. I drank through the entire childhoods of my children. I rationalized a lot of bad behaviors and events. I have a story that not many folks have in common with me. I fell asleep in front of the space heater and started myself on fire. My son was 12 or 13 at the time and he and his friend who stayed over night snuck into the kitchen where they found me on fire in the dining room. I cut hair hair, made it to work on time and told my boss I burned my hands and face cooking bacon. Just a story about the insidious insanity of this disease.

You don't have to wait that long and go through all that, unless you want to. But don't die out there. My safety switch is off when I drink and I never know where I am going to end up. It might be jail or it might be the morgue... consequences never stopped me. One thing we alkies all have in common is that once we take in any alcohol whatsoever into our bodies we experience the phenomena of craving and we want more. Do you have that?

So DUI or not, it was pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization that drove me to AA. And it was the 12 Steps of this program that relieved me.
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: High Bottoms

Postby Larryp713 » Fri May 06, 2016 9:19 am

Greetings and welcome! This is a very good topic. I was introduced to AA at 24 years old and they told me that if I was an alcoholic and had not hit my bottom yet, I would hit it in the future. They told me to add the word "yet" when I said I haven't lost this, or haven't had this happen to me. They were right. I knew I could not control my drinking at 24, but it wasn't until I was almost 44 for me to realize I could not live without alcohol and be happy. That is the great dilemma described in the big book - can no longer drink but can't stand life without it. That was the jumping off point for me.

16 months into my recovery and I am still in the toddler stage, but one of the blessings I have is I don't focus as much on what brought people to AA. Everybody has their own path that brings them to that same dilemma. I now focus on how people get and stayed recovered. It is fascinating to me because the program is at the same time beautifully simple and incredibly difficult. The steps are straight-forward, but their spiritual effect on us is not easy to conceive. It must be experienced.

I still have a lot of problems today, but obsessing over alcohol is not one of them. That obsession dominated the last few years of my drinking, and it has been taken completely away because of this program. But I also know that if I stop following this design for living, the day will come again when I face that first drink, and by myself, I will have no defense. I need my higher power, and AA keeps me connected to the God of my understanding. I wish you all the best! Larry
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Re: High Bottoms

Postby jade » Fri May 06, 2016 9:27 am

PaigeB wrote:You don't have to wait that long and go through all that, unless you want to. But don't die out there. My safety switch is off when I drink and I never know where I am going to end up. It might be jail or it might be the morgue... consequences never stopped me. One thing we alkies all have in common is that once we take in any alcohol whatsoever into our bodies we experience the phenomena of craving and we want more. Do you have that?

So DUI or not, it was pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization that drove me to AA. And it was the 12 Steps of this program that relieved me.


Thank you for this. Yes, my battle to control my drinking is demoralizing and painful. My safety switch is off, too, when I drink in that I can't tell myself it's time to stop and go home and go to bed and make sure I'm not going to call in sick yet once again. Lately I've begun drinking into the next day, which is brand new. Yes, I have the phenomena of craving more and more and more once I start, and it seems like the more I drink the stronger that craving gets. My father was an alcoholic and like me, he kept a job and a house and paid the bills - in fact was OCD about it. And for those reasons, my mother insists he wasn't actually an alcoholic even though he was visibly drunk in 70% of my memories of him. So denial runs deep with me. I was brought up with it.

So thank you, again. All of these replies have great stuff and bits and pieces of what I need.

- Jade
It's the emotional pain that's the bottom. The tragedies are optional. Sobriety date Jan 2 2017.
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Re: High Bottoms

Postby jade » Fri May 06, 2016 9:29 am

Larryp713 wrote:But I also know that if I stop following this design for living


I love how you put this. "Design for living". Thanks.
It's the emotional pain that's the bottom. The tragedies are optional. Sobriety date Jan 2 2017.
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Re: High Bottoms

Postby PaigeB » Fri May 06, 2016 9:45 am

"design for living" is on page 42 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, our "Big Book".
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/read-the- ... traditions
Read it here!
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: High Bottoms

Postby Spirit Flower » Fri May 06, 2016 2:22 pm

1. my mother was a functional alcoholic. Drunk to blackout every night that I knew. She died of untreated cancer.
2. I knew I was just like her and hated that fact.
3. I tried to quit and quickly had an emotional breakdown.
4. I quickly ended up in AA. Since going to AA meetings was better than sitting alone in my derogatory drinking, I actually liked AA.
5. I was 26 when I got sober and I have stayed sober for all of my adult life. I am 57 now.
...a score card reading zero...
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Re: High Bottoms

Postby jade » Fri May 06, 2016 3:32 pm

I just wish that I could find other people in the program (even just one or two) that have a "high bottom" like I guess I do. But this thread has made me realize that it is the emotional pain that is the bottom and that the tragedies are optional. I'm going to remember that line, that rings with me. I might stick it in my sig line even though I said it just because I need to be reminded of that.
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