Warning Signs

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Warning Signs

Postby 1Peter5:10 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:03 am

Warning Signs.

I am Bob and I am definitely an alcoholic.

As fortune would have it, much of my descent follows the Big Book as if had been written for me and about me.

Most of my resentments fall neatly into two large piles:
1) series of deaths in the family about which I have posted here
-and-
2) a 24-year mostly dysfuntional marriage, the details of which are, and shall remain, private.

But I just spent an hour or so on the phone with a friend and fellow AA and as we talked about our similar but different stories, one thing that became crystal clear was that before, during, and still after active addiction, we both had the bad habit of ignoring warning signs.

I ignored them in my dysfunctional marriage, I ignored them in my finances, ignored them in lots of places.

It was therefore, only natural that I ignored the warning signs about my drinking.

I'm not sure it works this way with everyone, but for me, head-in-the-sand denial did not begin and end with alcohol. Denial is one of my character flaws. It is specifically one of the flaws that led to my downfall.

Left to my own devices, I tend to be "Captain Denial." Drinking did not cause my denial. My (capacity for) denial caused me to blow through one warning sign after another.

Drinking exccessively was a symptom of my denial.

Denial can come from an excess of ego ("I'm a MAN! I'm big and strong! That will never happen to me!)

It can also come from fear and self-indulgence. ("Oh No! Not me. That CAN'T be true. If it were true, then I'd have to stop running up my credit cards, call an end to my failed marriage, stop drinking, and do all sorts of stuff I don't want to do.)

In earliest sobriety, (I have 18 months sober coming from a very very low bottom), I spent a LOT of time analyzing my particular mix of the above flaws. How much of that was ego? When was it fear? When was it self-indulgence.

I failed to come to any conclusive answer. I fail at a lot of things that way. My analysis apparently just isn't very good. But God has blessed me by sending some great teachers, and somewhere along the way I learned that all that analysis produces no fruit. What I have to do is recognize that I tend to deny thungs, perhaps more so than other alcoholics, and to try not to live that way anymore.

It is entirely likely that if my denial returns so too will my drinking and my hurting other people.

I don't want to live that way anymore.

Thank you for letting me share.
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Re: Warning Signs

Postby PaigeB » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:03 pm

There are still times when I do not know the true from the false.

There are still times when "do the opposite" eludes me ~ I only know one way and I need those Great Teachers to suggest what IS the next Right Action. I need to take the action of reaching out like you did when you made a call... I got a new sponsor and committed to a new walk through the Steps.

I need to remember that Half Measures still avail me nothing and that I am willing to go to any length to recover from the insidious Dis-Ease.

Thank you for sharing!
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: Warning Signs

Postby Shoreline » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:20 pm

Thanks for sharing. I have also been trying to talk to at least one or two trusted people before making any major decisions. (This is something I learned in AA)
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Re: Warning Signs

Postby Rooster » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:54 am

Thank you for sharing Peter.

I am similarly dysfunctional when it comes to ignoring warning signs and ignoring/denying my own alcoholism was a contributing factor to the now dysfunctional nature of my own marriage, which time and adhearance to the principles of AA may or may not remedy. Acceptance over denial is one of the most important lessons I’ve been taught by the fellowship and your post has strengthened my resolve - thank you.
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Re: Warning Signs

Postby 1Peter5:10 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:33 pm

When I was in treatment, making an insanely complicated mental process of the third step, (my sponsor would not let me take 'officially' until months later), I came across a book of Bible scripture for 'Life Recovery.'

Desperate but not-very-willing I paged through it and found the story of Samson, the strong man.

    1.) Samson had devised a riddle concerning a lion and honey.  His wife begged him for the answer. He told her, and she secretly gave away the answer to Samson's enemies.

    2.) Later, after his wife was killed, he fell in love with a woman Delilah who asked him the secret to his great strength.  Samson said  (falsely)“If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

    Delilah told this 'secret' to Samson's enemies who attempted to use it against him.  They failed.

    3.) Delilah turned on the tears, and the charm and again asked him the secret to his strength.  Samson replied (again falsely) “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

    Again Delilah told this 'secret' to Samson's enemies who attempted again to use it against him.  Again they failed.

    4.)  Again Delilah plied her wiles again with the same result. This time Samson's false answer had to do witb braiding his hair and pinning it down.  The result was the same.

If you keep petting the same dog again and again, and it keeps biting you, sooner or later it's not the dog's fault. Quit blaming the dog. It's your fault. What is the definition of insanity? DUH!

    5.)  Once more Delilah came to him.
    Judges 16
    16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.

    17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said. . .
*****
What can I say? I am not telling anyone you have to accept my God as your God, but that day, I had an interim experience of the educational variety.

The story of Samson was about denial? Somehow I had missed that.

I still believe the story of Samson is a fairy tale, but I came to realize I had been reading the Bible wrong. I had been reading with a closed mind, and that things had been there all along that I had never quite seen.

I wish you well.
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Re: Warning Signs

Postby 1Peter5:10 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:47 pm

Among my friends in AA is a woman who kept going back to her abuser, and a man who had trouble accepting that not one, not two, but several women, each in turn, were interested in him mostly for his money.

LOL the three of us should form a club. :mrgreen:
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Re: Warning Signs

Postby positrac » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:33 am

1Peter5:10
I still believe the story of Samson is a fairy tale, but I came to realize I had been reading the Bible wrong.
I had been reading with a closed mind, and that things had been there all along that I had never quite seen.

You are right because I was read these stories as a kid at home and in Sunday School and they've stuck with me my whole life. We all missed the burning bush, or did we? I think I have those moments and it is all in the details and if I allow myself to get quite, relax, let go and just trust things will work out in the time they are supposed to then my life is so much better.

Good points and we all believe in different things and so I know what has worked for me and that is that. :D
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
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