Day 3...and struggling (updated...day 14!)

For recovery discussion
jackie8226
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:08 am

Re: Day 3...and struggling

Post by jackie8226 »

Thanks Rusty! Yea, I've tried AA several times in the past (never actually stopped drinking while going to meetings...turns out you should probably do both to be successful) and never got a sponsor but definitely saw how much better it went for people with one. I got really lucky that last week I connected with a woman and we had a chance to chat after a meeting and she recommended her sponsor to me. I just really needed some solid support from someone and the meetings recently weren't cutting it. It was amazing, I was literally in tears of frustration just had finished another not-so-great meeting and was waiting for the 8 o'clock meeting to start but pretty much decided I was gonna say "screw-it" and go across the street for a beer. I had kept telling myself that if I just stayed and went to another meeting something positive would have to happen but I was getting so down and frustrated with the last THREE that hadn't seem to do much. It had only been a week, right? I'd just start over again tomorrow. Just at that moment, my sponsor called me and said she was on her way over with one of her sponsee's and really talked me through all the crap. Not to mention, finally having that human connection with her other sponsee was amazing and just what I needed. This program really does bring good things, and you definitely have to put some work in to get out what it can give.

User avatar
Frankie
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:12 am

Re: Day 3...and struggling

Post by Frankie »

Sound like you are doing pretty well. :D Keep working it! :D

MadameM
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:21 am

Re: Day 3...and struggling

Post by MadameM »

How you doing Jackie?

I, too, have struggled at meetings. I just made it a week and know I need to find a meeting, get a Big Book, and find a sponsor.

Keep up the good work!

User avatar
johnd
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 721
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:50 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Day 3...and struggling

Post by johnd »

Hi Jackie,
I'm John alcoholic new to this on line format. I read your earlier post I'm glad to see you taking Action and really use that sponsor of yours. Keep atending different meetings find one that you like . Get involved, if they need a coffee maker take the job get there early help set up the hall, these are the little things that will keep you occupied not obsessing if you will drink again or not. get a phone list from whatever groups you particapte with. If a group goes out on speaking commitments tag along get to know these members. It's a good time to listen and ask questions. As my 1st sponsor told me I wasn't that unique or unusual in my thinking and reacting. I will check in from time to time ok just keep coming you're going to be o k I was told by many long timers that i'll never have to drink agin as long as I'm doing what they do.
John D
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans- Anonymous

jackie8226
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:08 am

Re: Day 3...and struggling

Post by jackie8226 »

I'm Jackie, I'm an addict/alcoholic and I have been sober for 10 days. It seems to be getting easier right up to the point when it feels impossible. I wouldn't say I get cravings, but my thoughts get obsessed around "Should I just have 1 drink?" "Why can't I just have a drink?" and "Why am I even thinking about having a drink?" Unfortunately, my sponsor and I can't meet up until Saturday morning and I'm getting real pissed at the world today. I'm frustrated that normal people can just deal with S*** differently...I'm frustrated about all the crap that I've had to go through and deal with and that I don't even get to drink to deal with it. I'm pissed that the guy that assaulted me gets to get off on a technicality, I'm frustrated that I had to deal with an abusive roomate who made my last 4 months a living hell, I'm jealous that people I used to be friends with so easily moved on and away and are happy and I feel alone, and I'm real annoyed that on top of everything else, I have to quit drinking which was the only thing I was able to "control" - I could choose to go out and get smashed because thats how I wanted to deal with things...and now I see I don't have that choice and that sucks...what do I have now? I get to sit at home, alone, not drink and think about all the bad things that I never wanted to think about again. Things just seem impossible right now...

Sorry about all the venting...I'm re-reading and feel like I sound whiny but I need to freaking whine sometimes...thanks to anyone for reading it through...I guess I just need to get stuff out to someone who'll listen

User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3743
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Day 3...and struggling

Post by Tosh »

Hi Jackie,

Those thoughts you're having are far from unusual for any of us in early recovery, but believe me they will pass. The bottom line is that if you drink, things will get worse, and if you don't drink, things will get better. You will have to put some effort into your recovery, your life; no-one can do this for you.

And it's a lot easier when that monkey is off your back, believe me, and the Steps will remove the obsession to drink, and help sort out some of that negative thinking.

I spoke to a sponsee this afternoon who wanted to kill himself last week (I said he couldn't 'cos how would that reflect upon me being his sponsor? :mrgreen: ); and this week he's feeling completely different to what he did last week.

Jackie, tough it out for now, if you're feeling shitty, it will pass, don't drink, put some effort into the program, and see how life changes for the better; and it will. I like what Sandy B says, "If you've been in A.A. for a while and you're not happy, you're doing it wrong!" Stick around, and if you need to vent, we're here.

Take care,

Tosh
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3743
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Day 3...and struggling

Post by Tosh »

Jackie,

When in early sobriety, when I was down, I'd listen to some speakertapes from XA Speakers:

I'll PM you a couple of speakers that I like, maybe try listening to one or two? They'll take your mind of your problems; promise.

Right, XA Speakers is playing up right now; I'll send them when it's working; or if you get on line there before me, find the following speakers:

Sandy B (Saturday Morning Live)
Chris R
Clancy I

But there's hundreds, possibly thousands more.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

Lali
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 4296
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: Day 3...and struggling

Post by Lali »

Jackie, when you get to step 4, that is when you will work through all of your resentments. They will go away. Resentments are the number 1 offender for alcoholics (paraphrased from the BB). In other words, resentments are likely to have you drinking before anything else. In the meantime, until you get to step 4, pray over these resentments. I don't know if you are ready yet, but the BB tells us to pray for these people we resent as they are sometimes sicker than the alcoholic is. If you are not ready to pray for them, just pray that these resentments don't lead you to drink.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

User avatar
ann2
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 7938
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: Day 3...and struggling

Post by ann2 »

Lali wrote:Jackie, when you get to step 4, that is when you will work through all of your resentments. They will go away.
And new ones try to get formed . . . but we're aware of them now. For example, I got mad in traffic yesterday at somebody's bad driving. After my initial anger, I was reminded that I have perhaps done the same when the kids were waiting for me, or when I suddenly noticed I was in the wrong lane . . . perhaps meaning absolutely!

I didn't have to justify my anger -- I could let it go, and ask forgiveness for the bad driving I'd inflicted on others, and give this person not only a little slack but also gratitude for showing me myself.

Without recovery, I'd have thought it was a blame to maintain. In recovery, I can share my higher power's love and understanding, even if just internally.

(And who's not to say that might be the most important way?)

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

User avatar
LadyByrd
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:06 am
Location: UK

Re: Day 3...and struggling

Post by LadyByrd »

Hi Jackie, well done on getting to Day 10, that is great. Stay strong.

I've just started working on step 4 this morning, making my list to show to my temporary sponsor when the time comes. I think it is going to help a tremendous amount.

But mostly I wanted to say well done for doing so well!

LB

happycamper
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 931
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:36 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Day 3...and struggling

Post by happycamper »

Hello Jackie and welcome!

Ahhh, your last reply which I believe was yesterday was full of the .... poor me's and why me and why cant I , and how come they can, blah blah blah.
All very typical feelings in early sobriety, so you are definately not alone.

Its tuff getting threw those first few days, weeks and even months. That is why we use our sponsors, other AA memebers, the telephone, literature, and yes, even God to pray to to ask for strength to get thru just one more day.

Your sponsor should get you involved in some service work, immediately. Being a greeter at the door of a meeting is a great way to meet new ppl. Making coffee, helping set up and clean up , etc.
Go early, stay late, go for coffee at the restaurants or other members' homes. Get involved, and before you know it you wont have so much free time on your hands.

Be grateful for the simple and blessed fact that you are sober today :D .
We are here to help you, please stick around!
Faith without works is dead

jackie8226
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:08 am

Re: Day 3...and struggling (updated...day 14!)

Post by jackie8226 »

Thank you all so much for your comments! Well, I'm now 2 weeks sober :) It does feel good but the feeling things is...uncomfortable. I feel like I'm having just waves of emotions, good & bad and I'm not entirely certain how to handle them. I'm also becoming much more aware of the difficulty I'm having with the powerlessness part of Step 1. My sponsor and I are going to be really digging in depth to it this week but I am connecting powerlessness with loss of control and I don't think that's quite the aim of the Step. I don't want to not have control of my own life, I want to feel responsibility for what happens, for my actions. I am REALLY getting into say the Serenity Prayer over and over, which is helping a lot with my natural need to try and "help (a.k.a. control the outcomes of) other people and their decisions. Today I think I'm just feeling incredibly overwhelmed with the holidays and the changes I'm making and the results that will have on the upcoming weeks and months with family. I need to take a few moments and just try to take it day by day. Thank goodness for the meetings! I'll be hittirg up my 2 favorites tonight. The last 14 days have really been something else...I'm glad to be where I am right now and very proud & grateful to be sober.

User avatar
johnd
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 721
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:50 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Day 3...and struggling (updated...day 14!)

Post by johnd »

Nice going Jackie,
Sometimes during the stretch of the "Holidays" I go to more meetings just for the very reasons you are sharing . Even though I have quite a bit of time in AA, I still need to stay close to meetings. I have come to a great deal of acceptance with the family and friends that either are in or not in any 12 step programs. But for me I need the people who feel the the same as I do. I'm not concerned about that 1st " sucker drink", I just never no what memory will be triggered .
It seems that any upheavel that has gone on in my life always happens around the Holidays. So I just go to a meeting or spend time with another AA friend a little more than most. I'm pretty lucky in my area (Boston) that we have alkathons for
Thanksgiving day, Xmas, and New Year's. I spent many times at these events in my earlier sobriety. It's great for the new comers and those who are situated that they can't be with family or friends during this time. So I encourage you and others to make sure during these events that you plan your day around a meeting and always have an exit plan if you feel uncomfortable in any social situation. Keep Coming Jackie and thanks for letting me share. I'm John Grateful Alcoholic :D
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans- Anonymous

User avatar
ann2
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 7938
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: Day 3...and struggling (updated...day 14!)

Post by ann2 »

jackie8226 wrote:<snip>I am connecting powerlessness with loss of control and I don't think that's quite the aim of the Step. I don't want to not have control of my own life, I want to feel responsibility for what happens, for my actions. I am REALLY getting into say the Serenity Prayer over and over, which is helping a lot with my natural need to try and "help (a.k.a. control the outcomes of) other people and their decisions. <snip>
Good way to notice our alcoholic way of thinking -- how we want to control via "helping" at times. We really, really want to be in charge. That's the alcoholic mindset that you can read about on pp.60-61. But step 1 is about the lack of control we have over drinking, specifically, and the powerlessness is about how my illness runs everything if it's active. So in fact, it's about how I don't have control, basically.

It took me a long, long time (and some visits to Al-Anon) to apply this idea to the rest of my life. I'm glad I was able to, but it was complicated. First, I needed to get sober, and being very specific about step 1 applied to my alcoholism made that possible.

Glad you're here and thanks for keeping us updated!

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3743
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Day 3...and struggling (updated...day 14!)

Post by Tosh »

jackie8226 wrote:I'm also becoming much more aware of the difficulty I'm having with the powerlessness part of Step 1. My sponsor and I are going to be really digging in depth to it this week but I am connecting powerlessness with loss of control and I don't think that's quite the aim of the Step.
Step 1 says that we were powerless OVER ALCOHOL. Nowhere in the Big Book does it say that we are powerless over our lives. In fact the Big Book tells us that 'lack of power, that was our dilemma'. The aim of the Big Book is to enable us to find a POWER greater than ourselves which will solve our problems (page 45 refers).

While I was drinking I had little or no control over my life; I was getting chased by bailifs, couldn't afford to run my car legally, I wasn't allowed to sleep in the 'big bed', I often woke up in a wet bed, and had bad personal relations. Now my bills are paid, my car is road legal, I'm back in a big bed which is dry in the morning and I have good personal relations with my family and friends. Where's the lack of power in that?

Step 1 isn't about being poor little pitiful things; A.A. is about getting more power into our lives, not dwelling on the lack of it. And people who say that they're powerless over people, places, and things have missed something. Sober and connected = POWER!

Just recently I heard a guy whose been sober about five years saying that his mother is an alcoholic, and she's just fallen down some stairs, and he's having to look after her, and she's in a pitiful state and that he feels so powerless, and he finished with the cliché of being 'powerless over people, places and things'. But that's rubbish; he's sober, he's taking care of her, he understands why she's the way she is; he's not angry at her, he's being a good loving son. He wouldn't be able to do any of that had he still been drinking. He's got more power in his life; definitely; he's not powerless.

But of course 'power' is a concept. To me it doesn't mean I have the power to do 'magical things'. I'm still going to get cancer 'n' stuff (possibly), so how that 'power' manifests for me, is that I'm not only able to influence my external conditions (which I can to some extent now I'm sober) but more so the power to change my internal condition; to staying positive, and towards the upsets we all suffer in life so that they don't hurt so badly or for as long. I've even been given the power to make amends for the extensive wreckage of my past; that process in itself was/is a spiritual experience, which leads to a better connection and more 'power'; more contentment, more peace, more happiness, more power to make myself useful to others.

I now understand why my sponsor made a 'big fuss' about pointing out the 'powerless over alcohol (only)' aspect to me; people who say that they're 'powerless over everything' sound really negative and don't help the newcomer; however, I do realise that this is only my opinion; but it isn't in the Big Book either.

I also understand that you're equating powerlessness with lack of control; but that is slightly different. In this respect 'control' means that we strongly expect a certain type of outcome in a given situation, and if we don't get it, we get very frustrated aka spiritually low; which is dangerous for us alkies. As an example, I recently began to make amends to my ex wife and two children. I knew from the start that this would be a difficult process, so I made a firm commitment to accept whatever outcome arose; I just knew I had to focus on my side of the street and do the 'right thing'. As it turns out the amend was rejected, and because I knew a few things from A.A. (i.e. not to get too try to control or become too attached to an outcome), I wasn't badly hurt; though I still did hurt (I'm still human).

I have however been given the power to find some peace within that situation and who knows what'll happen in the long run?

Lengthy post; I'm sorry; but if you made it through it, I hope that's been some help!
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

Post Reply