Self hatred and fear of people

For recovery discussion

Drinking in the Movies

Postby Astrid » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:35 pm

What surprised me so much is that it made me start getting drinking thoughts at all. You guys have no idea how much I have struggled with coming to terms with the fact that I'm an alcoholic. I so desperately just want to be normal, whatever that is. It's actually awesome for me that I can see that people drinking in movies is triggering because it means that I'm like taking a step back from my addiction just going like wow this is something beyond my power, this is something physical, this is not something I can control! I feel that the more I can recognize that truth the more hope I can have of recovery.

I feel like it's different for people who've been sober a long time. I can't even imagine having 20 years or something like that, I have a friend who was 40 years of sobriety And honestly whenever I hear that I I don't even believe that those people are really alcoholic because I feel like if you're really alcoholic there's no way you can have 40 years of sobriety time you must not really like to drink.
"The difficulty lies in our own imagination. It takes time to overcome the restrictions that we place on our own ideas." - John Tabak PhD 'History of Mathematics'
User avatar
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:39 am
Location: Connecticut

Re: Drinking in the Movies

Postby ann2 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:02 am

Astrid wrote:You guys have no idea how much I have struggled with coming to terms with the fact that I'm an alcoholic. I so desperately just want to be normal, whatever that is.

That's why we're all here, dear. Because we struggle so much, and get the help we need here.

It's only different being sober a long time because nowadays I have the experience to know that applying the AA program works. but the feelings are often the same. And when I get into denial mode, saying I'm better or different or gotten over it, I can listen to newcomers and see exactly where their experience fits in with mine.

We are still suffering alcoholics, Astrid, except that we don't suffer as much as we used to, thanks to using the tools of AA. Many of us suffer only very briefly until we get reminders to do what it says in the book. We see the effects of our using the help of AA more quickly nowadays, because we're familiar with how it manifests itself in us. I don't become wiser, more popular or prettier because I find the help I need to be sober today. I do however find relief from the necessity to drink.

What I do with that determines pretty much the extent of my suffering. If I try to use it to be popular or pretty, or define wisdom by people's applause, I will probably not be a happy camper. If however I go back to the suggestions of AA -- especially those about being of service, and meditation -- I am pretty much a bouncing elf of glee :)

And when I'm busy doing stuff that *really* make me happy -- helping others, being in conscious contact with my higher power as much as possible -- the mental obsession, our basic problem, is not a factor. Without the mental obsession, things like watching movies of people drinking are neutral.

On the other hand, I'm alcoholic and it's easy for me to kid myself. I may enjoy seeing how these things don't bother me from time to time, but I don't understand why I should prove myself constantly. I got other things to do, and if I don't like a movie because it glorifies drinking, that's my prerogative.

And maybe paying attention to that dislike is important to my sobriety. I don't know. I don't have to question things like that much. I just check in with HP and go from there.

"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
User avatar
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 7941
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: Self hatred and fear of people

Postby tblue818 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:59 am

peace wrote:I feel more alone than ever in A.A. I could not reach out for help at the beginning, because I could barely talk to anyone. Then eventually I got a sponsor and worked most of the steps (near the end) hoping my fear of people would go away, but it hasn't - yes I've been able to stay sober but at what cost. I am more fearful now than when I first came in. I feel like I've always hated myself so much and that I don't want to live is why this program is not working for me. I don't fit in with a.a. people or anywhere for that matter. The big book is great but I find meetings terrifying and they just make me want to drink or take anything that will get me out of myself. I'm going to try other meetings. I can't share this at f2f meetings so I posted here.

I do hope that regardless of the misery still present - you are convinced beyond all doubt that alcohol/suicide is NOT the Answer. Options, always, but not True Answers. Many in AA say that relapse is caused by "not going to meetings, etc.". But I speak from experience that relapse happens when the misery in sobriety equals or exceeds the misery of drunkenness that brought us to AA in the first place.

I didn't drink (and had no desire to do so), but at 4 yrs sober I hit a 3-4 month 'sober bottom' that I just couldn't find my way out of. My 'best thinking' in that patch of insanity wasn't to take a drink - the only 'solution' that kept nagging me was a bullet to the brain. I tried everything AA I knew (and that was substantial to that point), and began trying new things. All for naught. Until...

"When you come to the end of all you know to think, do or say...take a leap of faith and trust that you will either land on solid ground or be given the ability to fly."

One of the grand treats of AA, to me, is having the experience of some of the sayings of AA. I'd read that one countless times in my online group - and then lived it. Don't give up - there's always More.

It has been my experience that none of my twisted thinking/views of life/behaviors just packed up and left - I first had to find new and better tenants to replace them or unravel them.

In 16 years sober, you are the first person I've read (although I'm sure there are more of us) that going to f2f meetings made us want to drink. I got sober in online AA. Many said that if I didn't got to f2f meetings, I would not stay sober. Well, after a couple of months sober, I finally screwed up the courage - cuz I didn't want to drink - and went off to a meeting. Mind you, my cravings were largely gone and I was incredibly hopeful about this program called AA.

The meeting was a drunkalogue and it was all I could do to stay in my seat until the end - the cravings were back and strong. As I was driving home I thought, "What is wrong with me? AA people online feel better after going to a meeting!" I had no clue as to the nature of the problem - I only knew there was something wrong with ME, not the meeting. That, in itself, was major growth. :)

I had always been largely a loner in life and was a barely functional recluse by the time I got sober. My father was a loner and my mother had always told me I was just like him. So, it was genetic, right? Nothing could be done about it, but part of me still wanted to change at least a little and experience the life I was reading about in all the shares. Then one day I had the thought, "I was born a loner, just accept it." And the next thought that came into my mind was, "You weren't born a loner, you became one." I didn't know where that radical thought came from (at the time), but I began in earnest to see if it was true - a new slice of Hope!

I still don't have the core answer to the problem, but as Mark R. used to say, "I'm on the verge." <bg> For me, the answer lies with my relationship with my mother. At first, I put all my effort into that (getting nowhere) until someone suggested that I work from the outer rings into the center. It had worked for them. I went that route and it has worked well for me, too. I'm now near the core and on the lookout for more strings to pull.

Just yesterday, while looking for a paper completely unrelated, out fell a snippet I'd kept from a share at some point in the journey. It didn't even sound familiar when I began to read it. But the last line (that had been underlined) read,

"I was escaping ridicule, and it seemed that just to be noticed was a form of ridicule."

Knocked my socks off. Eureka! He had even shared that one of his freinds from high school commented that his picture wasn't in the yearbooks for three of four years. I had *always* hated my picture taken - even as a child. And now I knew why. AA....whatta deal!

That, for me, is what lay behind my fear of people...fear of ridicule. My inner Ego spidy-sense could see ridicule in people's eyes, in tone, in their dismissivness.... Ridicule of my looks, dress, ideas, presence. Everyone was my mother. LOL

But, of course, I know from AA that my problems have nothing whatsoever to do with my mother. She is simply the most powerful, over-arching mirror in my life of what lies within me.

The fact that you are aware of self-hatred is, to me, a very helpful thing. I didn't know it until someone in online AA suggested something really simple: "The next time you are in front of a mirror, wrap your arms around yourself in a big hug - and keep them there."

"Good grief. How hard can that be?" But I did it anyway. And the revulsion that rose from the pit of my stomach took my breath away. When I told her about the reaction she said, "Yep. It was that way with me, too. Self-hatred." AA - the Marvel Path. It also explained my horror of people trying to hug me in an AA meeting. Or my mother trying to hug me. heh.

You wrote: "I can't share this at f2f meetings so I posted here."

That's the beauty of online AA. If I'd had only the option of AA without AA online, I doubt I would ever have stayed sober. It was the promise of changing my thinking and how I saw life that was the 'hook' of the BB. There was so much insanity in my thinking, so much anger, that hearing countless drunkalogues and a few snippets of wisdom from the topic meetings could not have begun to touch it before I gave up. Worn down by weight of living with the mess that was me is what brought me to alcohol for relief. If AA had only promised to return me to my former state - what good was it?

One day at a time, one mind tool and insight at a room at a time, the Light turns on.

I picked at AA in the beginning. Then one day someone got my number and said, "If you are looking for a way out, there are hundreds of them. The trick is to see something you want and don't quit until you get it. Then look for something else you want and keep going." My 'hook' became the Promises; in particular: "We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us." I wanted that more than alcohol. Still do - cuz partial isn't enough. <s>

Heart huggers to ya,


Online AA is where I learn and grow. F2f AA is occasionally where I go to 'see what condition my condition is in'. My 'put into practice place', so to speak. (As well as venturing into other places that once repelled.) I'll never be a fan of hearing shares in 25 words or less. If I can't get stuff out of my head to look at it through new glasses, and allow others to see where I am stuck and offer their es&h, it's a show-stopper. I also want to see fuller pictures of others to identify with.

From my observations, the reason some thrive in f2f AA is the 'after meeting meetings' - something I was not equipped to be part of.

"I feel like I've always hated myself so much and that I don't want to live is why this program is not working for me."

AA may not be working for you because you don't know how to dip into the Well. When I was spiritually bankrupt upon entering AA, those who had 'oil' shared theirs with me until I found out how to 'dip for myself'. One of the reasons I was a loner was because I found people painful. I was so sensitive to slights that a rude cashier (not from anything I did) could send me into a two-week depression.

When I first got sober, I slept 16 hrs a day. I asked if this was normal. Someone wrote that while sleeping kept me from drinking, the real object was to learn to LIVE sober. It's the same way with my bent toward introvertedness - the object is to live and thrive in this world with others, and not live in fear of them (which is fear of the reactions that occur in me when I'm around others). Reactions/emotions are the touchstones to growth, in my experience.

A deeper underlying reason I didn't want to be around people was the unseen rage that lay just beneath the hurts. Fear of myself and how I might react/overreact in situations if there wasn't a door handy. Today, I can look for the door but choose to stay and peel the onion I may be experiencing. What a difference.

AA not only saved my life but gave me one worth living. All those years I spent in frequent suicidal ideations because life was not worth living - AA told me I was right - that life wasn't worth living (except for the hope of a different life). AA promised a life worth living - and that promise has also come true for me.

Just a suggeston, but maybe try a real-time email AA meeting. I got sober in Lamplighters and it is the format that makes it more like an f2f meeting. Boards have the advantage of saved posts over time, but email groups have more 'connection'. Lamps isn't for everyone, but the freedom to be broken while seeking balm for the wounded places is what attracted me. The f2f meetings were far to civilized and sweet to make me think I had anything in common with them. In Lamps, you can watch people change and grow....or not. <g> Anyway, just a suggestion.
Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.

"Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got."
User avatar
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:17 am

Re: Self hatred and fear of people

Postby Sandy Vee » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:47 pm

I'm so disappointed in some of the men and women in our group. we had a man 13th stepping the new women, targeting the most weak. The man is married and telling these women he is leaving his wife for them. Then devastating these women. They have no self esteem and are at their rock bottoms when they come. Most have left the group to who knows where. I've approached the man myself. The Chairman for the group Conscience has approached him. Finally the Club (That owns the property) barred him. But now the entire group is in uproar and angry about him being barred. Even some of the women. For the most part, people who are actually working their programs understand how harmful this man has been to these women. His unwillingness to stop, and even flaunt his infidelities has been so discouraging. I'm only 7 months into the program and am struggling so hard to stay in my own lane on this. But I'm finding it impossible to let these things continue and not make some sort of stand. There are only a small handful of us women in a building where moderately speaking, aprox. 1000 people walk in the doors every month. Now because I've come out in the open about how I feel, I've been told to "Be Careful". I've had men offer to loan me their guns. What the heck is all this? I understand that were aren't suppose to through people out, but if they're are actually doing harm to our group and it's members, isn't there an exception?

I've started leading a women's meeting to help try to catch these girls from the next man who finds this acceptable behavior and initiated some of the "Old timer" women and men to be more diligent in educating their sponcees. What else can be done now? Our group is divided and there is no unity right now. Just let this pass? Perhaps the habitual 13 steppers will leave? :?: :?:

I'm FULL of FEAR. :(
Sandy Vee
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:33 pm

Re: Self hatred and fear of people

Postby PuppyEars » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:13 pm

What thee hell is going on in the rooms of aa? All I read is predator stories lately. I live in a very scumbagish major u.s. city but have never heard one story of predators in the rooms I attend. I hope it gets resolved.

Btw this forum was a goldmine for reading material a few years ago. I may become a lurker just to read.
User avatar
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 195
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:39 pm

Re: Self hatred and fear of people

Postby misslissy1982 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:13 pm

Are you or have you ever been in therapy? I have been in therapy since I was 13, I'm 33 now and believe that it does help. I am very shy and don't feel comfortable at meetings either but I will try different ones until I find my comfort zone. I think it is important that you keep trying and don't give up. I am in a small outpatient therapy group for substance abuse and mental illness. There are about 8 of us in a group. I was terrified. After hearing that I was not the only one with low self esteem and self medicating we are forming friendships and bonds. I can speak in front of them and feel supported now. I still cannot speak up at AA whether it be 5 people or 50. Everyone there has a common goal of sobriety and your story might change another's life. Just take it slow and do not give up. You can do it!! :D
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:47 pm
Location: Fountain Valley, CA

Re: Self hatred and fear of people

Postby kdub720 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:04 pm

Nice post. This is why I am on here. I can share and learn without the face to face meeting and being called on to read. I hate the traditional meetings because it is a social thing and I am not social as I am uncomfortable and never share or express any thoughts. Meetings work for people who like to be around others, I do not trust anyone at meetings, thus I can not be open and honest. This site has changed my whole world. I get the discussion and truly anonymos interaction and never have to worry about seeing people from meetings at work or while I am with family.
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:03 pm


Return to Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests