One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

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Re: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby Lali » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:31 pm

leng12 wrote:Hi.

Got my One Year Chip last week. It was a complete anti-climax. Stayed in bed 24 hours with a deep sadness. This wasn't my plan last July thinking about hitting one year!

I'm over it now and taking stock. Not making progress on Step Four and still not identifying with page 62. I have a HP in my life and I pray & meditate everyday. I know I can never drink again and plan to see a professional to deal with the underlying reasons for my drinking. I'm still attending meetings as I have commitments I don't want to let down. I think I've conditioned myself into going to regular meetings!

Just can't help being curious if I really need the rooms.


Picking up one's one year chip is a time for celebration, not "deep sadness". Could the sadness have had anything to do with the fact that you are still on step 4 after a year? Most members do not have the psychic change that comes from working the steps until they have completed step 5. IMO, a year is a long time to only have gotten to step 4.

You asked if you still need the rooms after one year of sobriety. I would say yes because you say you have commitments that you don't want to let down. What keeps us sober is doing service work and working with others. So, my opinion is that you continue with the steps all the way through step 12, incorporating the steps into your daily life, and then begin sponsoring people.
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Re: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby Barbara D. » Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:40 pm

I was seeing a shrink when I went to my first AA meeting. I decided it was cheaper putting a dollar in the basket four times a week than it would be to pay for therapy. Now, I know that AA is not for everybody. And even if we do commit to recovery, some people need outside medical help, too.

I was high-bottom but desperation kept me coming to meetings. I never did say I was quitting drinking forever. All I had to do was not drink today. I wanted to get sober long enough to straighten out my life. My 3rd white chip in 1981 was my entry into this way of life. I thought I would pull one super-duper drunk if I made it for my one year chip. And part of me hoped I wouldn't want to get drunk if I got that one year chip. As it turns out, anniversaries do make me squirrely but I was still able to put off taking the drink. It's rare that I think about drinking now as long as I keep making the effort to live the Steps.

Congratulations on taking the first 3 Steps in a year. Some folks zip right through all the Steps in a year. I got through Steps 4 & 5 in a year, and that was a turning point in my perspective. Some people do every thing with a sponsor. I just did 4 & 5 with a sponsor and used 1 on 1s and meetings and lots of parking lot discussions for everything else. I went through a phase where I thought recovery was a college course, that I'd get a good grade and graduate. As it turns our, for me, recovery is a way of life! I even backed off from the fellowship for 15 years after 15 years of being active. Now I'm retired and am so glad to have found AA online. It's good to be a part of again!

Good luck! Barbara D. alcoholic
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Re: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby Brock » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:16 pm

As it turns our, for me, recovery is a way of life! I even backed off from the fellowship for 15 years after 15 years of being active. Now I'm retired and am so glad to have found AA online. It's good to be a part of again!

That sort of thing is what I like to hear, yes it is a way of life a very good one, and we practice it because we enjoy it. The vast majority of newer members I have met really don't enjoy meetings, hard seat, not so good coffee, often same war stories over and over. I believe it is a great discouragement to them to give the impression that regular meetings are a life sentence, so every opportunity I get, I try to show that after we have done the steps meetings become quite optional, providing we are living according to 10 & 11 and practicing the principles in all our affairs.

There are those who say attending meetings keeps them spiritually fit, good for them and best of luck, but please don't pass the message that everyone must do this. Many among us can do fine spiritually without meetings, in fact I find most meetings decidedly nonspiritual. I believe it's tied to our level of belief and faith in God, we are asked to improve our conscious contact in # 11, do that sufficiently well and you become a 24 hour per day example of what this program is all about, not just someone who must attend meetings to recharge their batteries.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby Layne » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:30 pm

Early in my recovery attempts, before working the steps, meetings were vital to me. I needed them to keep coming back back enough so that I could get to the point where I could actually work the twelve steps.

Today, I don't need meetings, but my attendance at meetings is not all about me. I try to give back what was so freely given to me and part of that is doing what I can to insure that meetings are still held, attended, and that the doors are open.

Some times I go to small meetings where everyone shares and there is still time remaining and the tendency is to close early if no one has a burning desire. I always double dip and attempt to keep the meeting going for the full time allotted because I remember the times of desperately needing a meeting and finding a locked door. I can readily remember the feelings of despair, hopelessness, and being at my wit's end at those particular times.

Without meetings, I doubt that I ever would have gotten sober. I owe a huge debt to meetings.
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Re: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby Mike O » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:12 am

Brock wrote:That sort of thing is what I like to hear, yes it is a way of life a very good one, and we practice it because we enjoy it. The vast majority of newer members I have met really don't enjoy meetings, hard seat, not so good coffee, often same war stories over and over. I believe it is a great discouragement to them to give the impression that regular meetings are a life sentence, so every opportunity I get, I try to show that after we have done the steps meetings become quite optional, providing we are living according to 10 & 11 and practicing the principles in all our affairs.

There are those who say attending meetings keeps them spiritually fit, good for them and best of luck, but please don't pass the message that everyone must do this. Many among us can do fine spiritually without meetings, in fact I find most meetings decidedly nonspiritual. I believe it's tied to our level of belief and faith in God, we are asked to improve our conscious contact in # 11, do that sufficiently well and you become a 24 hour per day example of what this program is all about, not just someone who must attend meetings to recharge their batteries.


Amen, Sir.
:D
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Re: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby CindyM » Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:33 pm

I remember when I picked up my 1-year chip I felt like I'd graduated. Like I was finished. In the next year I realized that I was far from finished. Working with another alcoholic in the rooms of AA is what helps me to stay sober. By "working with another alcoholic", I mean I had so much to learn about myself, my program in AA and how to live life "out among 'em" on a day-to-day basis. No way could I give up the rooms forever.
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Re: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby Karl R » Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:58 pm

Hi Leng,

Nice to have you with us. Lot's of good suggestions here.

Try reframing what you are describing from the big book. Reframe it in language that was used in the rough draft of "how it works" many years ago.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after, have been designed to sell you three pertinent ideas:



(a) That you are alcoholic and cannot manage your own life.
(b) That probably no human power can relieve your alcoholism.
(c) That God can and will.
If you are not convinced on these vital issues, you ought to re-read the book to this point or else throw it away!

If you are convinced, you are now at step three, which is that you make a decision to turn your will and your life over to God as you understand Him. Just what do we mean by that, and just what do we do?

The first requirement is that you see that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.


Can you buy everything within this quote? If the answer is yes then move ahead with the directions from this point forward. If the answer is "no" then reread to this point or throw the book away. I found it helpful to review the material one on one with someone who had some successful experience with sobriety.

best of luck,

regards,
Karl
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Re: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby Alcoholic_Nurse » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:41 am

whenever i feel like i don't need to go to an aa meeting i think about how i need to go to keep the rooms open for the newcomer. giving back what was so freely given to me is what keeps me sober.
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Re: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby PhilH » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:46 pm

I can't answer for you. Everyone's experience with AA is different. What I can tell you is, I still need the rooms. That's why I'm here. I needed the rooms.

The fourth step was a real [fill in the blank with your favorite dirty word] for me. I worked, I slaved, I procrastinated, then I finally finished it. I decided to do it with a priest at a favorite retreat that AA in that area loved. I got half way done when he stopped me and told me "You know everything in your life that you have done wrong, tell me one thing you did good. Not everyone is all bad. You aren't. Go and don't come back until you can tell me what you did right also." That saved me. It honestly did. It made me look realistically at my life and take a real searching and fearless inventory instead of an accounting of my sins as I saw them. My problem with the 4th step was it wasn't reality when I did it the first time. I had to get real. But it kept me here and in the rooms and every time I walked into a room, that big hole in me got filled up a bit more. And eventually it vanished.

As for picking up my one year chip? My sponsor fixed that. I was told to stay on Step 1, 2 and 3 for the first year because I was going to be like Doctor Dolittle's push me pull you. I would give up control and take it back. And after I got that first year chip, then we would talk about working on the 4th. Smart sponsor. It took me a year to stop being a crazy functioning drunk and just become functioning. I got the chip, walked out the door and was greeted with "Now about that 4th step."

And when I feel I don't need meetings? That's when I need them the most because the old me who knows everything is coming back. Just for today, I'm sober. Just for today, I'm in AA. And yep, I do see a therapist because I need to see one about issues that took me a long time to work out and now with a crisis in my life, I'm back in therapy because I don't want what I use to have.

You? It's your choice. I can't tell you what is right for you. I can only tell you how I did it for these 26 years and it seems to work because I'm here. I have the serenity I would have done anything to gain and would do anything to keep. And today, it is okay.

Just remember if you sit in the barber chair long enough, you'll get your hair cut.
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Re: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby kdub720 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:41 am

This is another tough one, I reach goals and marks, yet have a hard time with the victory aspect. I am more impressed with my 24 hours than my 6 months. I know that it is a great accomplishment, yet it is hard to celebrate. I also do not like to celebrate my birthday. It is about being better people and not dependent so I suppose what we think is a victory is. Keep plugging that bottle and rock on.
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Re: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby PaigeB » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:31 am

I was near a raving loon on Monday when I picked up my 7 years. Felt better the very next day.

Keep trudging.
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: One Year Sober. Do I need the rooms?

Postby serendipity » Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:41 pm

Congratulations to you leng!


And thank you for sharing this PaigeB
PaigeB wrote:"Every AA meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we ..." pg 33 of 12 & 12

"For by this time sanity will have returned... We react sanely and normally... That is how we react so ling as we keep in fit spiritual condition." pg 84-85 BB

Here are some fun acronyms for what the ISM stands for...
Incredibly short memory
I sponsor myself
I sabotage myself
It's still me
Internal spiritual malady
and
I skipped meetings

I don't know exactly what part of my program is the key to my sobriety, but I am not going to start eliminating things to find out... it is too risky. This really IS life or death. We have a daily reprieve and reprieve means - Stay of Execution.
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