Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

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Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby LisaW » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:14 am

...and I'm terrified to go back to the rooms. I feel ashamed and embarrassed. I am not drinking now, but I also know I can't do it alone. I pray every day for the willingness to return to a meeting. I haven't been to one in two years. Any words of support or wisdom from those of you who have been in my position would be greatly appreciated. Posting here is a small step toward being willing to return to the rooms. Thanks for listening.
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Re: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby Duke » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:31 am

Welcome Lisa.

What I can tell you is that I've never seen anyone return to anything but a very warm welcome in my area. I can also share that my experience is that the continued connection with my fellow alcoholics has always been essential to my peace of mind. So, from my point of view, the sooner you take the action of going back, the sooner you're on the road to recovering what you found before.

In the meantime, we'll be here. Good luck.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
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Re: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby positrac » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:36 am

LisaW wrote:...and I'm terrified to go back to the rooms. I feel ashamed and embarrassed. I am not drinking now, but I also know I can't do it alone. I pray every day for the willingness to return to a meeting. I haven't been to one in two years. Any words of support or wisdom from those of you who have been in my position would be greatly appreciated. Posting here is a small step toward being willing to return to the rooms. Thanks for listening.


Hello Lisa and I have to ask a question regarding life as you know it now. How many times have you failed at something and or got in trouble at work or yelled at by close family member or BF/hubby and what did you do? Did you high tail it out of town?

If you say no to anything so far then I suggest going back into the rooms and facing the group. You aren't the first one to slip and you won't be the last. I had to come in and out 3 times before AA stuck for me and yes it is shaming of sorts and the stares and whatnot. But now we are grown ups and we have to step up and admit our wrongs and get to living life.

At this point I think you have nothing to lose and much to gain.

Be well and keep coming back it really does work.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
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Re: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby tomsteve » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:37 am

welcome,lisa. im very glad youre going to make it back to the rooms. I haven't been in youre shoes, but know a bit about fear. it sucks. but the great fact is there is a solutions for fear- something to not let it control me- courage.

All these failings generate fear, a soul-sickness in its own right.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 49


"Fear knocked at the door; faith answered; no one was there." I don't know to whom this quote should be attributed, but it certainly indicates very clearly that fear is an illusion. I create the illusion myself.

I experienced fear early in my life and I mistakenly thought that the mere presence of it made me a coward. I didn't know that one of the definitions of "courage" is "the willingness to do the right thing in spite of fear." Courage, then, is not necessarily the absence of fear.

During the times I didn't have love in my life I most assuredly had fear. To fear God is to be afraid of joy. In looking back, I realize that, during the times I feared God most, there was no joy in my life. As I learned not to fear God, I also learned to experience joy.
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Re: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby positrac » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:43 am

positrac wrote:
LisaW wrote:...and I'm terrified to go back to the rooms. I feel ashamed and embarrassed. I am not drinking now, but I also know I can't do it alone. I pray every day for the willingness to return to a meeting. I haven't been to one in two years. Any words of support or wisdom from those of you who have been in my position would be greatly appreciated. Posting here is a small step toward being willing to return to the rooms. Thanks for listening.


Hello Lisa and I have to ask a question regarding life as you know it now. How many times have you failed at something and or got in trouble at work or yelled at by close family member or BF/hubby and what did you do? Did you high tail it out of town?

If you say no to anything so far then I suggest going back into the rooms and facing the group. You aren't the first one to slip and you won't be the last. I had to come in and out 3 times before AA stuck for me and yes it is shaming of sorts and the stares and whatnot. But now we are grown ups and we have to step up and admit our wrongs and get to living life.

At this point I think you have nothing to lose and much to gain.

Be well and keep coming back it really does work.



I was told early on to think my drink through and this has really worked for me because of my healthy fear of alcohol.

Humility is really had to eat about now and I can't blame you either. But what doesn't kill makes us stronger and you will be stronger I do believe.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
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Re: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:54 am

I feel ashamed and embarrassed.


Meditate upon this. We are ashamed and embarrassed because we think we had a choice in drink. If we were not spiritually fit, we don't have a choice. So forgive yourself and go back to the home group and admit what happened. And take a dive into the 12 steps.

Read the chapter More about alcoholism more thoroughly. They talk about the peculiar mental twist that precedes the first drink. We absolutely have no choice at that moment. A person relapsed after 20 years. After coming out of detox, his guilt/remorse was killing him that he drank again after 15 days, luckily there was little bit of consciousness in him that he reached up to others. We sat with him for 2 hours and guided through the 3 steps and handed him the inventory worksheets to have him fill it. Don't wait, this guilt is going to force you back into that blind spot. Find a sponsor who will help you see the selfishness and self-centeredness in your life.
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: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby Blue Moon » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:35 pm

LisaW wrote:...and I'm terrified to go back to the rooms. I feel ashamed and embarrassed. I am not drinking now, but I also know I can't do it alone. I pray every day for the willingness to return to a meeting. I haven't been to one in two years. Any words of support or wisdom from those of you who have been in my position would be greatly appreciated. Posting here is a small step toward being willing to return to the rooms. Thanks for listening.


I hear similar stories on almost a weekly basis at the meeting I most-regularly attend. If you feel shame and embarrassment, which is not an unreasonable position to be in, perhaps you've not fully grasped Step 1. I could probably stop going to meetings for 2 years and not drink, but if I stop doing what need to sustain a recovered state of mind (aka "fit spiritual condition"), then I'm destined to drink again whether I'm in the room or not.

Relapse happens because we either didn't get Step 1, or took back Step 3. Returning to the rooms under our own steam after a relapse is a 3rd Step action - to put our will (thinking) and our lives (actions) into the care of something we don't necessarily even believe in.

So I suggest you just go do it. After all, you found the strength to post here.
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Re: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:24 pm

Hi Lisa and welcome.

I was a chronic relapser for about twp years after my first AA meeting. I thought I had finally "got it" because I was able to stay sober for almost two years. I thought I was recovered, but I relapsed again. I refer to my last drunk as my best drunk because that's the one that finally surrendered me to the AA program. I was terrified to return to meetings too. I knew I would probably be judged, and I was, but I also knew if I didn't go back I might not ever stay sober again. That possibility terrified me more than any injuries to my pride and ego over identifying myself as a newcomer again.

The following is an excerpt from an A.A. Grapevine article by Nancy O., one of the first women to get sober in AA entitled "From wagon trains to jets":

A twenty-four-hour program

When I was about seven years sober, I started doing Twelfth Step work with alcoholics who were in relapse, and I did this exclusively for the next seven years. The first question I would ask someone was, "Were you on the twenty-four-hour program?" I never got a yes. You work differently with relapsers; they've been around AA, they know people, they know open meetings, they know closed meetings, they know names. Sometimes they're well-known because they used to do a lot of Twelfth Step work themselves. When I was living in Westchester, I'd pick people up and take them into Manhattan to one of the big meetings. This was 1951 or later. I'd say, "We're going to sit in the back; never mind the speaker, just look around the room and tell yourself that all these people are getting sober. They don't know me, they've never seen me before in their lives, they're just getting sober the way I am. And if I practice the AA program, I'll get sober too." I would never talk about anything except getting re-established as a member of A.A. that and the twenty-four-hour program -- and so I was forced to practice it.


Glad you found these forums and decided to reach out for help. My ESH is not to wait for enough courage to do the next right thing. Be onery and do it anyway.

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: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby kdub720 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:00 pm

This is a great place to talk listen and reflect. It really helps and encourages me as I read stories and responses from like minded people with a goal. I appreciate every topic posted here.
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Re: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby tyg » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:23 pm

When I came to AA I managed to stay dry 6 years but did not work the 12 Steps at all. I relapsed and was out there almost 3 years because I was not willing to get completely honest and do what works to expel the obsession permanently.

The lashes of alcohol got me to a point I no longer cared what people thought about me. I became willing to go to any length, no matter what. The Fellowship welcomed me and found that to be true for anyone who wanted to stop drinking...whether they are wet or dry.

Welcome to the Forum, I hope to see a lot more of you around here.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
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Re: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby D'oh » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:08 am

Welcome Back Lisa, you can do it!

I went back through the doors freely. Room to spare.

After over 15 years of the Program, and 6 years of "Doing it on My Own" Broken Again I walked back through the doors.

I even had to have a couple of shots before going to the first few meetings, to stop the shakes and sweats. So I was sick and smelly, and I still wasn't asked to leave, or even sit in the corner. Instead, I was asked out for coffee after the meetings, for coffees the next day, and told to "Keep coming back"
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Re: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby clouds » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:26 am

Welcome back Lisa! Glad you are here. :D
" 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: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby Carolyn » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:40 am

Hi Lisa, thank you for having the courage to admit you've had a relapse. PLEASE come back to meetings, we need you !!
I drank again after 13years sobriety, & until then, didn't really understand what people meant when they said that pride can kill - oh, boy did I find out !! I relapsed because I gradually stopped doing what had kept me sober for over a decade i.e. practicing AAs Twelve Steps, going to meetings, sharing honestly with my sponsor, praying, carrying the message to the still suffering alcoholic. I forgot how Cunning, Baffling, Powerful & oh so Patient this illness is and believed the lie the disease tells me that "it'll be different this time" and I can safely take that first drink.
In short order I was in a mess again, dazed & confused, wondering what the hell had happened.
I knew where the answer lay, what the solution was but I was too ashamed, guilty, remorseful &, yes, too full of pride and lacking humility to come back to meetings and admit what had happened. My sponsor, who tried everything from really tough love to gentle persuasion, also said (& I know she was correct) that I was being selfish - how dare she ?!?! I WAS being very selfish, not only was I suffering but my beloved family & friends were being tortured by my illness AGAIN, and this time I knew what I SHOULD do, I KNEW AA worked. I stayed "out there" for two years & got back by the Grace of God & the love of this Fellowship.
Like myself, you have a very powerful message to carry Lisa - to tell our AA friends that it definitely doesn't get any better, we alcoholics cannot safely take that first drink, of the "yets" that happened as a result of our relapse, that it doesn't matter how long it is since our last drink - this disease can still kill us (I like the analogy of a stereo:- if you turn it up to maximum volume then unplug it at the mains, when you plug it in again - whether it's a week, a month or years later - it will still blare out full blast !!).
My wise sponsor kept re-iterating that I had an important message to bring back to AA and that I'd be welcomed with open arms & not judged at all - she was right and it will be the same with you my dear friend. If you think about it, apart from the fact that we of all people have no right to judge anyone, any AA who looks down on another for having a "slip" is on fairly dodgy ground themselves thinking it can't happen to them, which is a spiritual sickness in itself. I know - I thought it happened to "others", that it couldn't happen to me. All of us are just an arms length away, just one sip away from another drunk and are only sober TODAY by the Grace of God & the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I've been back 6 years now (definitely ODAAT) and perhaps an AA who's thinking of missing meetings, skipping their quiet time, not talking to their sponsor, becoming complacent or dodging service and they hear my story may think "oh my word, but look what happened to her when she did that". I can be both an example and a dire warning today !!!
PLEASE, PLEASE come back Lisa - as I said we need you more than you realise at the moment
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Re: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby Carolyn » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:49 am

ps I found Bill Ws thoughts on "slips" (Sobriety Loses It's Priority) in As Bill Sees It, both encouraging and enlightened. Whilst his writings on the subject don't shirk from their serious nature, he's not overly dramatic about them and helps put things in perspective
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Re: Relapsed after 9 years of sobriety....

Postby D'oh » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:24 am

helps put things in perspective


Even before my own Slip, I truly saw them as a Fact Finding Detour on the "Road of Happy Destiny"

Don't concentrate on the "happening", just on the lessons being taught.
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