Too much time, still no sobriety...

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Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby Selectively stupid » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:11 pm

Hi all.
Have been in and out of program for 8...EIGHT.... Years. I have learned much about myself, good and bad. I have made it to a year twice, 2 years once, 3 years once...then out I go. Drinking. So many white chips.
I have had three sponsors. The first, I fired because she yelled at me. The second worked with me five years and we got some awesome work done...but she was so busy with work that I never felt comfy calling her. I took a chance on an unknown who fired me when I would come in the least bit late. So I finally got another sponsor..who forgets me, or gets busy with work. So I again am ready, with nowhere to go. I know I feel better when working program. I don't know why I drink. I feel like I am rebelling but don't know what against! Two generations of my family have died from this, and I watched it all. NOT MEEE. ( glub glub hiccup)

I chair my home group meeting and the ladies all swear I am the best. All I am is the best hypocrite/liar. In town so many good AAPeeps gossip that the word would be out if I came forward. There is a country song that says " I just wanna be bad for awhile"... But good lord. I'm doing this to myself. I'm not good with guilt, I just drink more. I know I need to get my crap together. But after 8 years I am worrying that I am one of those who cannot be honest so that destined me for doom. Anyone out there with ESH? Sinking.
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Re: Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:14 am

Have you read those stories in the Big Book? Especially the ones in the pioneers segment? Those old-timers didn't waste years to work through the steps. Read the story "He sold himself short". Dr. Bob sat with this person for 4 hours, they listed his short-comings and started working on overcoming them and making amends and quickly getting into service work. Modern day philosophy is going to many meetings and jumping into service work, as though that is only going to keep them fixed. If we don't start changing meetings, service work none is going to work. Somebody is going to say something and its going to piss you off and you going to stop going to meetings and straight to drinks. You can look at you own history.
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: Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby positrac » Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:47 am

Eight years and you've not totally surrendered to the powerlessness of this disease called alcoholism. So do you have a desire to stop drinking? You know what you need to do and all of my ESH doesn't do anything except piss a few folks off when I express ideas and or methods to overcome excuses.
:arrow: Really what needs to occur is some of the "boards experts" need to chime in and give you a lesson in sobriety.

You are only given so many attempts at sobriety before you lose your mind, lose your body to disease and or just plain kick the bucket and those things should concern you because you are not EXEMPT from the wrath of addiction.

Ball is in your court.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
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Re: Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby Stepchild » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:14 am

Welcome to the site. I find it hard to imagine being with a sponsor for five years without working this program and having a spiritual awakening. That's hard for me to picture. You say you got some awesome work done...Can I ask what step it is that you actually worked up to?
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Re: Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby Reborn » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:55 am

Selectively stupid wrote:But after 8 years I am worrying that I am one of those who cannot be honest so that destined me for doom. Anyone out there with ESH? Sinking.

There is a lot of honesty in your you can't use that excuse. I believe your problem is willingness...are you willing to go to any length for sobriety? I know you've heard that before but really ask yourself that question HONESTLY. If the answer is yes...the founders of this program laid out a practical program of action in that blue book...all we have to do is take those actions fearlessly and thoroughly and apply what we learn to our daily lives. So stop making excuses and just take the action...find a sponsor who won't put up with your S***....and work the steps like your life depends on it...because it does.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:55 am


Welcome to the forum. Glad you decided to reach out for help with your drinking problem.

I knew I had a drinking problem several years before I finally called the AA hotline in my area for help. The first time I called the hotline I was in a black out. I came to very confused about why one of my hands was holding the phone to my ear, the other hand was on an open phonebook in my lap with my index finger pointing to the AA hotline phone number, and didn't have a clue who belonged to the gruff female voice asking me how long ago I'd had my last drink??? I honestly didn't know the answer to that question and told her I didn't know. She responded to my answer by telling me: "You're not ready yet." and hanging up on me. I immediately copped a resentment and drank at her for several more days before it occurred to me that no one had the right to decide whether or not I was "ready" except me. That's when I called the hotline again--not in a black out this time--and spoke to another sober female alcoholic. All she said was: "I'm going to an AA meeting tonight. Would you like to go with me?" I told her yes, went to the meeting, asked my 12 Stepper to be my sponsor, kept going back to more meetings, and at the end of 30 days I received a chip for 30 days of sobriety. The next day, I felt so good about having stayed sober for 30 days that I celebrated by drinking a 6-pk of beer.... :lol: Went back to meetings, raised my hand as a newcomer, stayed sober another 30 days, and celebrated that chip with a 6-pk too! Long story, short version: I continued to do that for almost 2 years after my first AA meeting and got a lot of first hand experience with the insanity of this disease. I wanted to be sober except when I wanted to drink, and when I wanted to drink--I drank. I could never maintain a desire to be sober longer than 30 days and none of the horror stories I heard in meetings about jails, mental institutions, or the county morgue had any effect on me at all. I had no mental defense against that first drink but even knowing that didn't help me and I was resigned to the fact that I was probably going to die drunk. In fact, I welcomed that scenario because it meant if I died, I could stop trying and failing at this sobriety thing. For some reason--call it God, the universe, the Force, destiny, etc, something--decided I needed a spiritual awakening and I got it. My ego was smashed, my obsession to drink was removed, I went back to AA meetings with a whole different attitude, and I was finally able to actually hear what other sober AA members were sharing about recovering, one day at a time, from this cunning, baffling, and powerful disease we call alcoholism.

I know what worked and didn't work for me when I finally got sober. I know what works and doesn't work for me to maintain my recovery from this disease and keep the plug in the jug one day at a time. I don't know, can't know and won't presume to know what will or won't work for you but I do know AA has all kinds of tools to use and one or many of them will work for anyone who has a desire to stay sober, one day at a time.

Keep coming back....
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Re: Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby Larryp713 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:07 am

Hi SS - I am glad you are still trying. I didn't really surrender and work the steps until 20 years after my first AA meeting, which was driven by a nudge from the judge. The thing is, I learned a lot in those meetings, and all the meetings between, but I never took action. The fact that you have worked the steps and taken action, like getting a sponsor and working with them, shows you are way ahead of where I was.

I am sponsoring a guy right now who has really struggled the last year. He had over three years of sobriety, had one drink with lunch in Vegas, and that started the cycle for him. He stayed dry for a few months, then it collapsed. He has had the roughest six months, almost losing his family and everything special to him, and still has not been able to stay sober. He is finally getting his feet back, celebrated 30 days this week. But it is really shocking to me how quickly it collapsed for him, and how his previous sobriety seems to have completely fallen to uselessness.

Its an example of the great truth for us. Our disease is constantly progressing with us. We don't feel it when we are in recovery because we have that daily reprieve based on our spiritual fitness. If we fail to maintain this spiritual fitness, we will eventually, once again, have no defense against the first drink, but that is not all. We will also fall deeper into that state of despair, feeling guilty of our lost time and not initially feeling as desperate as we were when we first truly recovered, though we will feel real regret of our actions. That is not desperation. Our minds tell us that we recovered before, just do what we did last time and it will work again. That line of thinking will keep us drunk. We forget that we didn't get ourselves sober the first time - a power greater than ourselves did for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We need to be even more desperate after a relapse to truly turn our hearts once again to God and have a new spiritual experience.

My advice for anybody who is getting sober after a relapse which followed significant sobriety is to first physically remove yourself from alcohol and drugs. If required, get checked into a rehab facility, but that physical separation is critical. The next thing is to enter the rooms of AA as a newcomer. 90 meetings in 90 days, or whatever is possible to get plugged into the program again. Get a sponsor and start at step 1. Really devote time to step 1. All the relapse and consequences have done should strengthen the conviction of powerlessness, but instead of feeling guilty for lost time, accept that life is truly unmanageable for us on our own. Next, consider our previous period of recovery and, hopefully, recall that spiritual conversion. It wasn't a white light and singing angels for me - it was the realization that I did not want to drink; even if I could get away with it, the obsession was gone. I felt so grateful at that moment - and I thanked God through sincere prayer. That feeling of peace was indescribable. I get to feel that gratitude when I work the steps with other alcoholics, and it is just as awesome. Hit your knees and surrender to God, then get to work. I believe if you do this with rigorous honesty, you have a great chance to get back to real recovery. I hope that you do - Larry
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Re: Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby 4thDimension » Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:10 pm

Hi Selectively Sweet,

I think it's hard to diagnose why anyone has difficulty getting/staying sober. Working the steps is critical and the first thing to look at if sobriety eludes you. I tried to get sober for 4 or 5 years and the best I could do was 6 months. Then the progression of the disease became so bad, I got the "gift of desperation". That gift got me to work the steps and stay in fit spiritual condition as much as possible. That has made the difference.

Fit spiritual condition. My ESH tells me that is essential.

Other things can make sobriety difficult or impossible - living environment for example. It's tough to get sober around a bunch of alcoholics or family members who undermine sobriety. Just something to check.

How's your gratitude level on a daily basis? They say a grateful drunk won't drink.

Tools. We have tools. Are you using them? All of them?
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Re: Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby kdub720 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:08 am

Wow, great post and replies,
This is why I love this E-aa, such honesty, Thank you guys. Thea leader of a group describing an existing struggle? This is the real deal, And why I do not like traditional groups. Traditional groups are social gatherings, This here is the safe place. Thank you to Everyone who posted on this, and thanks so much Slightly for the courage to bring this up. I have these struggles. No reason to drink, no need, no desire, nothing to escape from, I just think it is against the grain and the anti conformity drives me to rebel. I use the same anti conformity ideals to not drink and be under control of alcohol. It is crazy how the brain works, as one with brain injury issues I work daily with understanding and managing my issues. There was so many great responses in this discussion, "Keep the plug in the jug" one day at a time, was powerful.
Everyone brings up the Big Book stories as a sort of law or rule. I do not identify with the stories, I understand and learn, but the stories do not hit me like they do others. These real life, real time posts are so much more powerful and I thank you all so much for this. Larry, your post was great, full of knowledge and inspiration. All it is about is that choice for another 24. Thank you all. Best discussion I have read.
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Re: Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby Brock » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:21 pm

I would just like to say to the original poster 'Selectively stupid,' that you have had varied replies, and please keep in mind that the majority speak of a recovery from alcoholism once certain things are done. I can't tell you to ignore what some have said about plugs in jugs for 24 hours, that sort of thing gets me in trouble here. What I can do is remind you, and the 24 hour struggle crew, what the program promises, and what is the result for millions, from chapter six, Into Action -
We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.

The problem has been removed it does not exist, this happens when we do the steps and live according to 10, 11 & 12.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:20 pm

"Keep the plug in the jug" one day at a time, was powerful.

We see this all the time. It works until he/she picks up again and they pick up the surrender chip one more dragging time. There is A solution in AA. I am amazed after 6 months in the fellowship you are clinging on to the old ideas.
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: Too much time, still no sobriety...

Postby whipping post » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:46 pm

Hi SS,

How far did you get with your stepwork? I lost the desire to drink after my fifth step when I had been sober for about 4 months. It hasn't come back. I expect as long as I keep the steps incorporated in my life it won't. Eight years of battling the obsession is an awful long time and sounds miserable.
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