1-2-12

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1-2-12

Postby odat12 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:42 am

I've only been going to AA meetings for just over a week now. I've been waking up at 3/4am every single morning with overwhelming and obsessive thoughts. So last night I woke up rummaging through memories of my father's drinking and how my mother always said I was just like my dad. My dad's been sober for a few years now, since he lost his licence from a DUI. He's also a schizophrenic and has many compulsive behaviours. I'm struggling and reminded daily to realize that I am indeed an alcoholic. The denial-awareness dance is pretty crazy.

Anyhow, my father has been asking me how to quit smoking because he's a chain-smoker and has really wanted to quit and has failed at quitting a bajillion times. I quit smoking a few years back using the twelve step program and thought it would be a good idea to invite him to an open meeting tomorrow and he quickly said yes he wants to go. Anyhow, now I'm feeling like a master-manipulator for even asking him to go. It's an open meeting so he is welcome, whether he believes he's an alcoholic or not and he's been telling me he wants to support me, and AA/Al Anon is the only way I could think of for his support. So why do I feel so guilty? The 12th step does talk about helping other alcoholics. And his drinking has affected me greatly from the past. I still carry resentments from his drinking. I see how unhappy he is and I want him to find some happiness in this life and I don't know any other way to do that except to offer him a seat in the loving rooms of AA.

I've gone to Al-Anon for many years and I know I can't control anyone or their drinking or their recovery. I barely have a handle on my own. I so badly want to ask if I did the right thing, but I know no one can tell me that. When I woke up this morning, I wrote out a fourth step and I read my Big Book, took a nap and called my dad to ask him to go to a meeting. I guess the best I can do is pray that I'm following God's will and not my own, and that it will all work out. I'm nervous and shaky. And this is all hitting pretty hard lately. I cry every single day.

Thank you for listening.
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Re: 1-2-12

Postby positrac » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:10 am

Maybe stop over thinking things for starters.

In this life we can do what we can and merely hope for the best. As long as your motives were innocent and pure I'd say cut yourself some slack.
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Re: 1-2-12

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:45 am

So why do I feel so guilty?
Your father might be annoyed at your hidden agenda.
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Re: 1-2-12

Postby odat12 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:11 am

Well, if he doesn't like it, he'll never have to go back.
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Re: 1-2-12

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:40 am

odat12 wrote:Well, if he doesn't like it, he'll never have to go back.

He is not the one feeling guilty you are. You might be afraid of him is what I mean.
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Re: 1-2-12

Postby Roberth » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:46 am

Hello odat12 , my name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles alcoholic. I read an article in the grapevine a few years back about a father in AA that kept praying for his son to get sober. His sponsor asked him if he thought praying to be a better father might be better. When he stopped pushing the child and became a better example of AA his son got sober.
I know I pushed my son away from AA by trying to get him to go to AA too. Once I read the article, I tried being a better example of the Big Book and he asked me for help. I turned him over to the men in AA and stepped back. I asked him why he came to me for help he say it was because I was the sanest person he knew.
Being the best example you can of the Big Book can work wonders. Just in case you are wondering he is now coming up on 4 years.
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Re: 1-2-12

Postby Patsy© » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:37 pm

I've only been going to AA meetings for just over a week now.

I would suggest that you take the focus off your dad and put it on your own recovery. You have been going to AA meetings for just over a week. Have you joined an AA home group, do you have a Sponsor and some phone numbers of AA members from those AA meetings? If not, please focus on those things, they are vital.

Anyhow, my father has been asking me how to quit smoking because he's a chain-smoker and has really wanted to quit and has failed at quitting a bajillion times.

There is a 12 Step program called Nicotine Anonymous or Smokers Anonymous, perhaps he would benefit from those?

The 12th step does talk about helping other alcoholics. And his drinking has affected me greatly from the past. I still carry resentments from his drinking. I see how unhappy he is and I want him to find some happiness in this life and I don't know any other way to do that except to offer him a seat in the loving rooms of AA.

If you are feeling like a master-manipulator, then perhaps its because you have underlying motives for the invitation to your dad? And yes, that would be guilt producing. Guilt is a useless emotion unless we have done something wrong.
I would suggest that ACOA meetings would help you with your resentments about his drinking. This is about your recovery, not his. The 12 step does talk about helping other alcoholics and we can't give away what we do not have.

The crying daily is perhaps much more about the inside work that you have to do. With one week sober, all the emotional baggage that we have been stuffing down... begins to come up and without the booze holding it down....it comes up whenever and where ever it chooses to.

Step 12 - Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Failed 12 Step Call? Not if we walk away sober!
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Re: 1-2-12

Postby Noels » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:27 pm

Hi Odat :) welcome. Inviting your father to a meeting doesn't seem like manipulating to me at all. If you didn't care about him you wouldn't have worried about him and since he quickly accepted the invitation I wouldn't give it another worrying thought if I was you. As a matter of fact, I use the 12 step program on a daily basis with all that's around me. It could also be that your dad is actually looking for help for himself (in this case the smoking side) but who knows, he may have seen the changes in you and actually "want what you have - (a common saying in the rooms I'm sure you've heard)" but cant bring himself to say that to you directly? Here I also remember the saying "dry drunk". Absolutely hate that saying since logically thinking every alcoholic who stopped drinking is effectively a "dry drunk" :lol: Perhaps he realise that he could be a bit happier (you would know whether this is applicable) and wants to become happy, joyous and free? Remember, the AA motto is that others will see the changes within us and THAT'S how we'll get them into the rooms so I would really not beat myself up about it any longer.

Since there are still resentments hiding away in you it may also be easier for you to discuss it with your dad in due course when he actually understand our program. Perhaps he himself feel bad about things he did in the past when he was still drinking and wishes to rectify that and therefore the interest in going to a meeting?

Be that as it may, don't beat yourself up about this any further. Look at it as a little blessing in disguise since I really cant see a negative regardless of from which angle I look at the situation. Both you and your father can only be better off when both of you attend the meetings.
Have an awesome evening and be blessed,
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Re: 1-2-12

Postby odat12 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:59 am

Just an update...

My father did join me to the meeting this morning and it went well. I actually shared for the first time with him there promising myself that if I felt the need to share that I would because that's what I'm there for. He was happy to be able to support me and the people there greeted him with open arms. And I think it was good for him to see everyone there being so supportive of me. He said he would like to support me and continue to go in the future. I gave him the information for Al-Anon for him to do what he will with it.

My initial reasoning may not have been well-intentioned but I prayed about it and let it go. Maybe my higher power is working through me too, trying to aid me in coming to believe. We've always had a strained relationship and I admit I was worried about the slack. And I know I definitely have resentments towards him regarding things he's done while drinking but I've hurt people too and I'm thinking I might need to start forgiving in order to start being forgiven. It was a good day even if I'm breaking down every couple hours and haven't slept.
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Re: 1-2-12

Postby Brock » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:42 pm

odat12 wrote: And I know I definitely have resentments towards him regarding things he's done while drinking but I've hurt people too and I'm thinking I might need to start forgiving in order to start being forgiven. It was a good day even if I'm breaking down every couple hours and haven't slept.

I have been following along and think odat is doing well, and expressing what she feels here. One thing I would mention, and not to criticize but hopefully advise, is the steps are written 1 – 12 for good reason. When we start thinking about resentment against this one, and screwed up this other one, will have to forgive, then be forgiven, and so on, we are mixing the steps up, and the result is we feel confused.

So maybe take stock and a step back, right we have a good start on step one, we wouldn't be where we are now without that, for 2 & 3 you are already praying for help and therefore believe you need a higher powers assistance, if you can sit and say I am turning my will and life over to this higher power, I have decided to try doing that as best I can, we can look at # 4. And there we will think about resentments, look for our part no matter how slight, list sex harms and fears. It's up in 8 & 9 you will think about saying sorry and forgiveness and so on, don't confuse yourself with that now. When you finish 4 & 5 it says this usually happens, one of my favorite parts in the book -
Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the universe.

Yes our little spiritual belief starts turning into a spiritual experience, we are on the broad highway, things will be much clearer.

We have sayings like 'it's a simple program for complicated people,' we don't need to complicate this, one step at a time is how we keep it as simple as possible, you will succeed this way, and look back on today's trouble's and laugh.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: 1-2-12

Postby odat12 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:18 am

I've heard a speaker say that they got stuck in the "one-two-twelve dance" and as soon as I asked my dad to the meeting that statement came back to me, that's why I called the subject 1-2-12. I acted before thinking. I had to deal with the consequences of that and I decided to let the situation happen as God would have it. I didn't call my dad back and take back the invitation, I just let it play out as it may. And I also didn't allow his presence to affect getting what I needed out of the meeting. That situation taught me that I need to slow down.

I have many resentments and many amends to make and they've been taking over my mind for the past couple weeks but I just write them down in the lists I made, as I've found that writing them down helps me let them go. I am coming to believe and, much appreciation for your reply, this is where I need to be right now.
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Re: 1-2-12

Postby Noels » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:34 am

Hi Odat :D fantastic! :D So glad all went well. Thinking back to when I just got sober ... I didn't really think about anyone I have harmed with my drinking (except for my ex-husband and son) in the beginning. What I did try to do though was to live each day as best I could being the best Noels I could be every day. When i found that I was snappy or not so kind to people who crossed my path on a particular day I immediately turned and apologized to them for my behavior.

I think the difference between having resentments NOW *(referring to the past) vs clearing the resentments in step 9 is that we cant continue to hurt others or be nasty to others until we reach step 9. The minute we stopped drinking we were already on course to a different life BUT whereas we deal with "old" resentments in step 9 we try our utmost not to form "new ones" until we get to step 9.

So past resentments I would say leave for step 9 but try to live each day from hereon being the best Odat you can possibly be. That will ensure no added baggage needs to be dealt with when you reach steps 8 and 9 because you deal with whatever comes your way immediately. One of our members used to say " do the next LOVING ACTION available at that moment ". I find that works for me (most of the time =wink ).

I think you handled the situation with dad really well. Well done! Continue as you're doing because its clearly working.

Have an awesome evening and thanks for letting us know how it went.

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