taking the first step

For recovery discussion

taking the first step

Postby ready477 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:32 pm

here i sit in bed - another day lost to a hangover and filled with regret for stupid things said and done the night before. today for the first time i lied to a friend about drinking - made an excuse instead of saying i was hungover and couldnt keep my promises to see her today. separated, unemployed, depressed. i have to pull out of this mrire. i am finally ready to admit that i can't control alcohol - i have no off switch. my behavior pushes people away and then i wonder why i have no one to turn to. i need to take control of the controllable stuff and get support handling the things i can't control. so this is me, taking the first tentative step. praying for understanding, support and no judgments. a little afraid to click "submit."
ready477
Forums Newcomer
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:21 pm

Re: taking the first step

Postby Brock » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:56 pm

Welcome here ready, there are few things any us can guarantee, but I am positive there will be understanding support and no judgments, because we have all been where you are and probably some of us even worse off.

I expect others will be along with words of encouragement, I am just on my way out, but later I should be back and hope to write again.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3495
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: taking the first step

Postby Chelle » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:26 pm

Hi Ready, I am glad that you are here. Congratulations on recognizing that you have a problem and reaching out for help. This can be a new beginning for you.

Have you looked for face to face meetings in your area? They have helped me to stay sober. I was exactly where you are right now when I reached out for help, but I had to take some action.

You don't have to live like this anymore. Other alcoholics can help you. Keep coming back =biggrin
User avatar
Chelle
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:12 am
Location: Midwest US

Re: taking the first step

Postby Brock » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:19 pm

As Chelle said live meetings are what we recommend, and since it took some guts just to post here, I expect that like most others the thought of meetings with other people is pretty scary. Each newcomer who we have encouraged to go, telling them there is nothing to fear, just a group of good folks drinking coffee and talking about alcoholism, and nothing to sign no commitment to make you come and go as you please, those we encouraged often came back and said how pleased they were they tried it, and that their fears were unfounded. It’s best to try a few meetings because they vary, and some you may feel more comfortable in than others, also it’s not a life sentence of meetings, these are more important at the start while we are struggling a bit to stay away from the first drink.

The AA program I am sure you know is basically a series of steps, but keep in mind that it works in a way that removes the desire to drink entirely, and we get a rocking new way to live that beats drinking any day. I will put up links to some literature, perhaps you will read it when you have time, one is a meeting finder, also please feel free to ask any questions or make any comments here, helping new members is a joy for us.

Is A.A. For You – 12 Questions.
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/is-aa-for ... can-answer

A Brief Guide To AA.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-42_abriefguidetoaa.pdf

Three Chapters From The Big Book-

1.The Doctors Opinion.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbo ... pinion.pdf

2.There Is A Solution.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt2.pdf

3.More About Alcoholism.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt3.pdf

A.A. Meeting Finder.
A.A. Near You.
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3495
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: taking the first step

Postby ready477 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:53 am

thank you for the replies. i have a good friend who has been in AA for a couple of years - she has now been sober for 24 months. i have been to a meeting or two with her but have never done more than listened. i think i will seeek out a meeting without her - somehow i feel this is something i want to start without her. weird - not surer why that is. thank you again for the replies.
ready477
Forums Newcomer
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:21 pm

Re: taking the first step

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:43 am

Ready477,
We all come to AA not a winning streak. Some lose all. Everyday I run into people who don't have a house to live, some are lucky to retain their car. I know 3 at this moment in that state. Its so disheartening. But that is the state of this disease. But there is hope. People do recover and rebuild their lives. One of them has already got a job and starting coming Monday and putting in a deposit for an apartment. Fellowship and mainly the 12 steps gets you connected to your higher power. The obsession will go away as long as we keep growing. Good Luck.
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)
User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 4865
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: taking the first step

Postby Theo50 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:06 pm

Welcome ready477, I am new here as well and just passed my 1 year sobriety date a couple months ago. I had my share of the regrets upon waking up for several years prior to surrendering. I can recommend attending as many AA meetings as you can as they have help me tremendously.
Theo
Theo50
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:11 am

Re: taking the first step

Postby Greywolf » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:18 am

Hi ready477, When I called AA answer service I was so relieved to finally be doing something about my drinking, I almost didn't go to a meeting the next day. I was so far behind in life -- my personal life, business life etc. That's like needing to do something about my physical condition but not having time to walk 30 minutes a day.

I was alone , if not alone certainly lonely. I didn't want to be around people yet didn't want to be alone. I was grateful that someone picked me up to take me to my first meeting and grateful that we arranged for me to go to a meeting the next night. My thought processes were a mess. I needed that kind of help.

Once I got going and met a few people it got a lot easier. (I didn't realize it at the time but I was hooked up with another newcomer who needed a ride to meetings. New comers can be more help to each other -- relying on each other for rides and companionship -- than old farts like myself who are educated 3 or 4 years past our intelligence in matters of AA. We sometimes forget that AA got it's real leaping start with one new to AA man carrying the message back to his hometown after getting sober in Akron.

If you got in the fix you are in now in 2 or 3 days, you probably can start right in on the 12 step program of recovery and find God to watch over you and keep you safe. On the other hand if you are like me and countless others who spent years getting in the condition we were in when we got to be desperate enough to do something about our drinking, you will need to get the alcohol out of your system. There is no rushing this process. Just don't take a drink and let nature take it's course.

While this detox of a sort was occurring, I went to meetings and listened to experiences and learned things I could do to help stay dry/sober, things NOT to do that would put my sobriety at risk. I learned to disregard what my mind told me to do and not do. After all it was my thinking that got me where I was in the first place.

Here's something I did that was very useful. I would listen to an old-timer or anyone for that matter and when I found myself drifting away, I faked listening as best I could. We old farts forget that the attention span of newbies isn't long enough to hear long-winded advice and counsel. I didn't want people to think I didn't care what they had to say because I did. My ability to concentrate was lacking. This will get better. Or "this too shall pass" something you will hear a lot in your early days.

I gravitated to people who would listen or pretend to listen to what I had to say. I didn't have anything to say worth hearing, I just needed to get stuff out.

Any time I could find 2 or 3 or more folks with long sobriety talking, I tried to listen in. Learned some seriously good stuff this way. There was nearly always a message in the stories people told.

To close I am going to offer some advice. You ready? Here it is. Don't listen to advice in AA. Ignore instructions. You can always find someone who will share their experience with you. The thing about experience is you can see the result of the sharing. Advice? God only knows and she ain't saying if advice is worth hearing.
I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care.
Greywolf
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:56 pm

Re: taking the first step

Postby Roberth » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:05 am

Hello Ready477 and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. I will tell you what they told me when I was new. “You will never have to take another drink if you don’t want to, and even if you want to you won’t have to if you are willing to do a few simple things.”
That been true for me and that was over 26 years ago. I got in middle and got busy and I am so glad I did
Robert
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!
User avatar
Roberth
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 700
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:53 pm
Location: In The High Desert of California

Re: taking the first step

Postby Theo50 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:52 pm

Greywolf wrote:.....
To close I am going to offer some advice. You ready? Here it is. Don't listen to advice in AA. Ignore instructions. You can always find someone who will share their experience with you. The thing about experience is you can see the result of the sharing. Advice? God only knows and she ain't saying if advice is worth hearing.


Greywolf, could you please explain this statement. I thought that AA was where I should be getting advice.
Theo50
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:11 am

Re: taking the first step

Postby Greywolf » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:06 am

Theo50 wrote:
Greywolf wrote:.....
To close I am going to offer some advice. You ready? Here it is. Don't listen to advice in AA. Ignore instructions. You can always find someone who will share their experience with you. The thing about experience is you can see the result of the sharing. Advice? God only knows and she ain't saying if advice is worth hearing.


Greywolf, could you please explain this statement. I thought that AA was where I should be getting advice.

While I don't think the statement needs explaining, I will cite an example of why I say what I say. In an AA meeting you can get some very good sounding AA related advice from someone who drank the night before. Not interested in that advice. In an AA meeting there are many with experience, strength and hope to share. I listen to experience and map it on to my situation. IMO Taking advice is a crap shoot.

This is my experience from 55 years ago. Today I manage myself as best I can to always give my experience, not my advice. I admit I'm not always successful.

I'm caught between a rock and a hard place regarding the 12 step program of recovery. I didn't do the steps following Bill W.'s advice/instructions. (He didn't either.) I listened to the experience of others in meetings and after meetings who had taken the steps and had a spiritual awakening. I also discussed, a euphemism for argued, with my contemporaries the steps and how to take them without adding our idiosyncrasies. I'll admit we over did it but it was better for us than talking about how much we missed drinking. =wink

My contemporaries' experience? Two passed after over 40 years continuous sobriety. One passed after 50 years continuous sobriety. And me? I ain't dead yet and it's going on 55 years without a drink or substitute. Numerous other AAers I know who could share the same experience including my father who passed with over 30 years continuous sobriety.

While I might seek advice from a friend who happens to be in AA, I don't seek advice from AA about anything -- especially finance and romance. Have you heard our stories? =biggrin

I doubt this was any help or answered your question but it made a difference to me to share it. Thanks for asking.
I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care.
Greywolf
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:56 pm

Re: taking the first step

Postby DesignatedDriver » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:02 am

Good for you, well done.

I remember my first meeting. I didn't know I was an alcoholic until then. I don't really know why I went if I didn't know I was an alcoholic. I knew that I had a problem and that it was ruining my life. But I think a part of me was hoping that I could go to an AA meeting and see a load of homeless down-and-outs with beards down to their knees so that I could reassure myself that "well, I'm not as bad as those guys" and continue drinking but without the guilt. But it was obvious at that meeting that alcoholics were just normal everyday people like me and their stories described my life. I knew I was in the right place.

When I was a drunk I took no responsibility in my life. I'd accuse and lash out at everybody who I blamed for my problems, I'd envy other people and be angry that life had dealt them better cards than me. AA made me realise that if my life was going to get any better then there was only one person who could make it so, and that was me. Nobody else was going to knock on my door and make things better for me. The world does not care for me or my problems. It also taught me to accept that there are many things I cannot control in this world. But I can control what I do today and that is all the power I need.

Good luck to you.
DesignatedDriver
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:20 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: taking the first step

Postby PaigeB » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:04 am

postby Greywolf » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:06 am
.....
To close I am going to offer some advice. You ready? Here it is. Don't listen to advice in AA. Ignore instructions. You can always find someone who will share their experience with you. The thing about experience is you can see the result of the sharing. Advice? God only knows and she ain't saying if advice is worth hearing.
Theo50 wrote:
Greywolf, could you please explain this statement. I thought that AA was where I should be getting advice.
Greywolf wrote:
While I don't think the statement needs explaining,

If I might help with explaining...???

We in AA don't give ADVICE... we offer suggestions. We share our experience, strength and hope. I can pay my shrink for advice I will never take - he does not understand my mind even after all his schooling and clinical experience. No, I need another drunk who knows what it feels like to LOSE and then through their experience - show me how to recover.
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
User avatar
PaigeB
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 7642
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: taking the first step

Postby Theo50 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:35 am

some of the advice I have received so far from AA meetings:
keep coming to meetings
read the BB
don't pick up that first drink
take it one day at a time
Theo50
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:11 am

Re: taking the first step

Postby Brock » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:38 pm

This is semantics, and I believe Theo is quite correct to give a list of things people have “advised” him to do. If I say to a newcomer I advise you to keep coming, or I advise you to read the BB, what could be wrong with that. Must I use the words ‘I suggest’ or have to say ‘from my experience.’ I am sober in AA, obviously it’s from my experience I am advising you.

I would agree there is the limit we put on that 'advise,' and the literature covers that, regarding not playing doctor or relationship councilor, financial adviser etc. Because doing the steps of AA and being a recovered alcoholic, does not necessarily give us experience in those areas.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3495
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Next

Return to Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests