Having trouble staying sober.

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Having trouble staying sober.

Postby Aujeremy » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:34 am

This is my fifth time back in recovery. Everytime I can build a few months then I just lose it. I try to approach the program heartfelt and sincere. I attend meetings daily. I don't know if I'm not fully working with the sponsor. I don't tend to call him daily. This time, I've really started praying more and starting my day with prayer. It just seems hard like, I've already lost so much in life and it all seems insurmountable. But I keep picking myself up and trying again. I only went back out there for a week this time but it was miserable. Please give me advice to really take steps to make a successful run at it this time. Thank you for all your help.
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Re: Having trouble staying sober.

Postby highcostofliving » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:33 pm

No advice for you on my end, but I'm pretty much feeling similar. I really take the meetings seriously... but something, somehow just hasn't 'clicked'.... Good job sticking with it... I think there's a reason the meetings end with 'keep coming back, it works'..... I know I'll be at my usual meetings.
"The high cost of living, ain't nothin like the cost of living high" - Jamey Johnson
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Re: Having trouble staying sober.

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:46 pm

Please give me advice to really take steps to make a successful run at it this time.


By reading the stories like Bills, Jim the car salesman story and Fred the accountant story, you will see relying on will power is not a good idea. We will fail. The mind will trick us into taking that first drink. Sometimes we deliberate but at times, we just pick up the first drink. The battle is lost there. We all know what happens then. Hangovers, car wrecks, jails and institution, some even die. So the book talks about taping into this resource. We start cleaning up and establish a good relationship with our higher power. Meetings help but work has to be done.
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: Having trouble staying sober.

Postby Brock » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:03 pm

Welcome here Jeremy, sorry to hear of your troubles. Just like you I did many 'few month' stints, even made a whole year once because of a job that paid really well but had drug testing. Company car the works, chucked it all in and walked to the bar, because with all the money in the world, an alcoholic staying dry still faces an unhappy life. This part of your post I like - “Please give me advice to really take steps to make a successful run at it this time.” Only when I was really down and out like I expect you are, was I ready to take the advise, and the advise is the steps, plain and simple.

I like to look back sometimes at how they did things in the 'old' days, when alcoholics couldn't sit in meetings and take their time with the steps. In some AA rooms I have seen a print of a painting 'the man on the bed,' with Bill and Bob giving him the message, in the book this man said “Oh, but that’s no use. Nothing would fix me.
I’m a goner. The last three times, I got drunk on the way home from here. I’m afraid to go out the door. I can’t understand it.” For three days they visited him, showed him the steps they took, this is what happened on that third day - “That afternoon he put on his clothes and walked from the hospital a free man...That was in June, 1935. He never drank again. He too, has become a respected and useful member of his community.”

In three days, now it sounds like the 'sponsor' you had didn't even get you there in three months! Some people don't like me to say go to you tube, because they think it's some sort of video I am advising people to watch, but it's just the easiest place to listen to AA speakers, of which they are very many. Type in 'AA Chris R' for example, and listen to him who just like you was in and out, until he found the 'right' sort of meeting.

This experience you have had will drive home the powerlessness, you tried so many times can't make it on your own power, then you need a higher power, it's plain as day. Just make a decision yes I will give this higher power a chance, get into steps 4 & 5, and just like it says in the book after step 5 - "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." This has happened for me and countless others.

Please try to find a sponsor who you can ask to take you through the steps quickly, if you can't find one do it yourself as some of us have, as avaneesh said if we don't do that we have no hope. You can let us know how you are going along, ask any questions, we love to answer.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Having trouble staying sober.

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:12 pm

Somehow working the program has become synonymous with going to meetings and calling the sponsor every day. Unfortunately its more than that. Its about sitting with someone or listening to workshops on your own you go through the step steps.

There is whole 43 pages trying to explain what powerlessness and un-manageability is and then there is we agnostics chapter for step 2. Then moving further, the books guides us through like statements like. You are at step 3.....step 4.... step 5... 6 7 8 9.....12. Unfortunately the big book meetings have become a rare commodity.
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: Having trouble staying sober.

Postby Noels » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:24 am

Aujeremy wrote:This is my fifth time back in recovery. Everytime I can build a few months then I just lose it. I try to approach the program heartfelt and sincere. I attend meetings daily. I don't know if I'm not fully working with the sponsor. I don't tend to call him daily. This time, I've really started praying more and starting my day with prayer. It just seems hard like, I've already lost so much in life and it all seems insurmountable. But I keep picking myself up and trying again. I only went back out there for a week this time but it was miserable. Please give me advice to really take steps to make a successful run at it this time. Thank you for all your help.


Good morning Jeremy :) I hope you've been having better days.
Your post really touched me. I do tend to say that its not that hard to give up alcohol but you know what ... we are not all the same so I can only really speak for myself when I say things like that.
What I would suggest today is to concentrate on the "good" you've already achieved so far - whether you've gone back to drinking or not. Five times back is really honorable since I believe we only really fail when we give up trying. You haven't given up trying and THAT would be the positive I would concentrate on today.
I'm going to access my "memory bank" to see if I can offer any encouragement and inspiration from how I finally gave up drinking if you'll bear with me please ....
This is my fifth time back in recovery. Everytime I can build a few months then I just lose it.
The first revelation that comes to my mind is that I also tried a few times before the magic finally happened. Those times I actually went into a clinic for bipolar disorder (my meds had to change under observation) but for some reason I was always placed with the addicts in the addiction program). I managed to stop for a while - sometimes for a few months - yet always returned to drinking again which broke my confidence and made me feel that I was useless.
THIS TIME however (I'm almost 2 years sober), I woke up one morning and realized that those previous times didn't actually count since I wasn't ready to give up alcohol. So the only thing those times achieved was to break my confidence, make me feel low and made me question my ability to really stop drinking. So the first thing I would suggest if I may is
(i) "delete" the previous 4 times from you mind. They don't really count which is why you are back in the rooms. Start a "clean slate" and tell yourself those times simply don't count.
"Those times" I also remained alcohol-free for a month or three, meeting attendance have never been my favorite though so although i always suggest to newcomers to attend as many meetings as they can for the first few months I don't adhere to my own advice. My second suggestion in this regard will be to :
(ii) start thinking of "those times" as a learning curve. With all the meetings you have attended you obtained knowledge - not only about alcohol, the why we drink/drank, Higher Power and the program - that is a good thing since that possibly prepared you for the final where you are ready to give up alcohol / another addiction altogether. So instead of looking at it from a "negative" point of view, see the positive that you have obtained from the meetings.
I don't know if I'm not fully working with the sponsor. I don't tend to call him daily.
I didn't work with a sponsor when i just became sober. I did however, attend big book meetings and 2 meetings a week. Almost religiously i would say. Meetings to me is not what keeps me sober. My personal relationship with God (as i understand Him) is what keeps me going and sober. So ...
This time, I've really started praying more and starting my day with prayer. This is a good thing. I used to make up my own little prayer but what also helped tremendously in times when I was simply negative or couldn't come up with my own words was the third step prayer -

"God, I offer myself to Thee-
To build with me
and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power,
Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!"

i don't recall using the Serenity Prayer all that often but the third step prayer was a daily thing - sometimes more than once a day. Saying those words kinda made it all right for me to not be perfect the entire time and it also gave me the feeling that I handed over whatever I was battling with at that moment.
It just seems hard like, I've already lost so much in life and it all seems insurmountable. But I keep picking myself up and trying again. -this is quite normal for us to feel like we have lost more than what we have gained so don't beat yourself up about it. What i would do in these instances is to take an honest look at why I felt like Ive lost more than what Ive gained. In all honesty, what have I actually lost? I lost making my name "bollie" when I drank. I lost fighting with my hubby (now my ex) and causing unhappiness in his life as well as my son's life. I lost enormous headaches and nights that I was unable to sleep because my head was spinning too much from all the booze. I lost embarrassment because I would be horrible to clients (after hours - jip - i couldn't keep my fingers off my phone when i was "having my personal party"). I lost having to find excuses why I didn't complete work that had to be done on a particular day. I lost having to find excuses for not being at work because my "babalas" and nausea was too great to even bother. I lost the fear when I woke up in the morning after a drinking cession because I couldn't remember what nonsense i made again the previous night. I lost feeling incompetent and useless because of being the person i had become .....
What did I gain? I gained confidence within myself, respect for myself and the ability to actually love myself when I look in the mirror again. I gained the respect of my child. I gained the respect of those clients who knew me when I was still drinking. I gained the will to live again. I’m not going to stipulate all I have gained since my post is already longer than usual. You will be able to elaborate on what you have gained yourself but looking at it from this angle, what you have “lost” vs what you gain, are the losses really so important that it should affect your life negatively now that you are sober?
But I keep picking myself up and trying again. – this to me means you are winning. That is the beauty of being human – even though we may feel like we’ve broken for the last time we have the ability to get up and try again. This is a good thing. This tells me that you are NOT a failure AND that you have the strength and ability to MAKE THIS your last time.
I only went back out there for a week this time but it was miserable. I heard a saying the other day … “ there is nothing worse than a belly full of beer and a head full of AA” and you’ve confirmed that this saying is indeed true since once we have knowledge that knowledge can never be undone.
I feel that you are ready to make this your final run – to become alcohol-free for the rest of your life and by doing that, discover who you really are again. I feel that you now have the courage, strength, knowledge, experience and ability to do this thing so that your life can become happy, joyous and free – free from the bondage that alcohol bring.
Thank you for reaching out and thank you for sharing with us. God Bless. You CAN and WILL make it this time. I believe in you.
Love and Light
Noels




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Re: Having trouble staying sober.

Postby Patsy© » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:48 am

Aujeremy wrote:This is my fifth time back in recovery. Everytime I can build a few months then I just lose it. I try to approach the program heartfelt and sincere. I attend meetings daily. I don't know if I'm not fully working with the sponsor. I don't tend to call him daily. This time, I've really started praying more and starting my day with prayer. It just seems hard like, I've already lost so much in life and it all seems insurmountable. But I keep picking myself up and trying again. I only went back out there for a week this time but it was miserable. Please give me advice to really take steps to make a successful run at it this time. Thank you for all your help.


Good morning Aujeremy,

Welcome back, and this time when you get to AA meetings, find someone to Sponsor you who has been through the 12 steps of AA and has a Sponsor of their own. An AA member who is willing to help take you through the 12 steps, one step at a time.

There are two parts to Alcoholics Anonymous and both parts are Vital. There is the Fellowship, where we gather together and reach out to newcomers and to those who want to stop drinking. We have AA groups that are there when a newcomer or anyone shows up and wants to stop drinking. The AA groups keep those doors open, the coffee brewing, the literature out and AA speakers who can help a newcomer to Identify and be there for them, its one alcoholic helping another....and those AA groups do a tremendous job of reaching out to those who need help to get and stay sober through the teaching and practicing of the twelve steps, which is the sole purpose of an AA group. Identification is key at those AA meetings!

Meetings are NOT the Program of Recovery, they are the Fellowship. The Fellowship alone will help someone to stay dry for a while, but the Fellowship alone will not help to change the person we bring through those doors of AA. Without the second part of AA, a person will come to meetings and stay anxious, irritable, discontent, lonely, confused, angry, lost and not understand why they feel this way when they "think" that they are working the Program. The reason they feel this way is they are DRY with no Program of Recovery. They will remain miserable or most often they go back out and drink to get relief from their own head, where the disease of alcoholism does its best damage!

There is The Program, the 12 steps of AA, its the Process that will help us to change the person we bring to AA. With the 12 steps, WE learn the truth about who we brought into AA, who we really are, the person who drank...and how to change that person from the inside to the outside!

It is so important that you choose an AA member to sponsor you, who knows and understands how vital those 12 steps are to becoming the person that we are meant to be, who stays sober and learns to live life on life's terms.....one step at a time.


A good Sponsor will help you to go through the Big Book to the clear cut directions for the Solution for alcoholism. The Big Book and the Solution are codified so that there is no passing on misinformation! We take the actions necessary to Recover.... HOW?.....Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness.....through the 12 steps of this simple program.

It was shown to this alkie that what those AA members had to pass on from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is a GIFT, to be passed on through Clear Cut Directions. Because my way never worked, and I wasn't capable of staying sober on my own.

If this is your fifth time coming back to AA, then you are not being given the simple Solution that is in the Big Book. There is a saying in AA, Stick with the Winners! The Winners are those who Walk the Talk...they are AA members who have been through the 12 steps and they are reaching out and passing on to newcomers, what was passed to them...The Program of 12 Steps, The Solution!

So please, do not settle for less, get what AA has to offer to any alcoholic who is willing, one step at a time, one day at time, we begin to take a real good look at ourselves, and with the help of God, the AA Group, and a good sponsor ...WE Recover!
Failed 12 Step Call? Not if we walk away sober!
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Re: Having trouble staying sober.

Postby Patsy© » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:04 am

highcostofliving wrote:No advice for you on my end, but I'm pretty much feeling similar. I really take the meetings seriously... but something, somehow just hasn't 'clicked'.... Good job sticking with it... I think there's a reason the meetings end with 'keep coming back, it works'..... I know I'll be at my usual meetings.


Hi Highcost,

"Keep coming back" came from Treatment Centers, Detoxes and Rehabs.....not from Alcoholics Anonymous.

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for many many years always ended the AA meetings with "Keep Coming, it works when we work it".

The "back" part was added by Treatment Centers when they learned they could charge 40 thousand dollars for getting the booze out and having Group Therapy Sessions. And after all that, they end up sending their Clients to Alcoholics Anonymous where they finally get the Solution for Alcoholism...Free Of Charge.

Just a suggestion highcost, perhaps what hasn't clicked is that AA meetings, although vital, will not help you to change the person you brought to Alcoholics Anonymous. That is what The Program of Recovery, the 12 Steps DO, when WE work it... one step at a time.
Failed 12 Step Call? Not if we walk away sober!
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