Member: sheldon s
Location: mo
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 11:57:08

Comments

I dont know the topic but I am in AA and think I would like to participate in this .


Member: Barry l
Location: PA
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 12:05:47

Comments

I'm Barry and I'm alcoholic,

It's been a long time since I have posted a topic here. As I was updating the site I noticed the post attached below, made an hour ago. Since our primary purpose is to help the still suffering alcoholic. I do not want to overlook this plea for help.

I would like to make the Topic "Overcoming fear of getting sober, again or for the first time".

Beth, pick up your Phone book, call AA now, and talk to somebody. You don't ever have to feel the way you feel now again,
you have taken the first step overcoming your fear by posting here, now make a call and talk to someone, and get to a meeting.

 

POST:

Member: Beth F Location: Western MA Date: 18 Jul 1999 Time: 10:55:40

Comments Isolation is a biggie---has anyone out there tried to get sober again after falling??? I haven't been out of my house in almost a week (except to the package store)and I am embarressed to call someone. Any suggestions???


Member: Pat
Location: Ohio
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 12:12:58

Comments

hi,pat,alcoholic-This topic is so relevant. Unfortunately, i didn't check this site until late last night and then finished all the postings this morning. I've appreciated this site for several weeks. Isolation is where i was when i was directed to AA (via treatment), and it's where i can allow myself to 'end-up' today if i don't do the footwork. It's when i start thinking i can do 'it' myself, and i don't need anyone else. That's my disease coming through loud and clear. Or my negitive thinking justifies what i can't do,like go to meetings or contact someone. I pretty much 'had' to go to meetings to jump through the hoops which had been placed in front of me (gratefully) in the beginning - or i don't know when or if i would have ever arrived in AA. My fear of what others would would think of me if they knew i had gone to AA was controlling my actions in more situations than i was even remotely aware of. Today i've learned i must get into the solution and out of the problem. Going to meetings was an initial step, but i was the one who needed to do it. Then and now, i must at times, put one foot in front of the other, and ask God to replace the fear with faith. More times than i can count, that simple prayer has helped me to not circle through the parking lot (when the opportunity was there), ot not to head directly to the exit sign, particularly when i've been a few minutes late for a meeting. So, to all who have a fear of going to meetings today, i must ask for my Higher Power's help at times after three years of sobriety. Then, I need to 'just do it'. It works. Please give it a try. Thanks for a chance to share. Pat

then


Member: Joel H.
Location: Sandhills, N.C.
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 12:20:35

Comments

I'm Joel, an alcoholic. Beth, don't be embarassed. It's hard to reach out sometimes, but we have to if we stand a chance of being sober. It depends on how bad you are hurting. I know how you are feeling, and when it gets bad enough, you will act. Whatever your situation is at the time, it is temporary, and can be overcome. Just reach out, do it. I can absolutely guarantee you that someone will be willing to listen. The folks on this site are I know, but you need some real contact. I feared everything in this world for a long time. I went to my first meeting when I was 20 years old, and I am 37 now. I am sober 6 months. I fought this thing until I could fight no more. I drank because I wanted to drink more than I wanted to be sober. Sobriety is not easy sometimes, but the pain and suffering I go through to grow and change ever so slowly is far better than the despair I experienced when drinking. People will help, that's what it's all about, all You have to do is take the first step and ask and never be alone again if you don't want to be. I am grateful to be sober today and grateful to know that I do not have to drink or drug or behave as badly as I did One Day At A Time. Thanks for the share.


Member: Angela
Location: NY
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 12:26:34

Comments

HI I am sitting here with a hangover and feeling mad a t myself for once again drinking too much. I have just recently found this website and hope somehow to gain the strength to do something about my problem. Does anyone out ther have any advice about what to do with the nervousness and anxiety you feel when you need another drink but don't want to keep drinking. I am home with small kids and cannot go to a meeting. I look forward to any comments. thanks.


Member: Robert
Location: Nashville
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 12:35:29

Comments

I was in and out of AA for about a year. Couldn't stay sober. Couldn't get drunk-at least without thinking of all the nice people I had met in AA. I felt really uncomfortable at first about seeking the help of AA and am still very sensitive about my anonymity. After about six months sober I was walking through the bedroom one afternoon, the TV was on, and a famous person was on a national talk show discusing his recovery. I heard him say the simple words-"I needed help". For some reason it finally started to click that its OK to reach out. I have to remember that when I go into the rooms of AA that the people in there help me stay sober. There is nothing to be embarrased about.


Member: Pat
Location: Ohio
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 12:59:32

Comments

Hi Pat, alcoholic - My comments from a few minutes ago were intended for last week's topic - isolation. Sorry about my late arrival. However, i feel much of what is relevant to isolation is also relevant to fear of getting sober, since isolation can be a major contributor to most fears we have regarding sobriety and numerous other fears, as well. Prayer works has been such an essential part of my recovery. Just get down on your knees, Beth, and ask God to help you get sober. Then, try to envision yourself picking up the heavy-weight phone. (It's been that way for me.) See yourself dialing the number. Look up the closest AA central office phone number, call, and talk to someone anonymously. I didn't have the awareness that i would benefit from this type of action over the many years that i drank, eventually alone, thinking i was hurting no one (wrong!!) In "How it Works", in The Big Book it says, "Without help it's too much for us." Please reach out and ask for help, Beth. Someone will be there. I remember,and don't want to forget, the helplessness and hopelessnees you're feeling. Do it for you. Thank you again for the opportunity to share. Pat


Member: Elaine C
Location: Washington
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 13:30:56

Comments


Member: Gracie
Location: Texas
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 13:37:34

Comments

Gracie here, an alcoholic. This a familiar topic to me. I was sober for 9 yrs and then drank again. Getting sober again was so much harder than the first time. I will have 6 yrs. soon and I protect my sobriety above all else. That is not to say I don't get nuts sometimes but it doesn't last very long because I don't let it! The way I got sober again was I went to a meeting and asked for help and for friends. Now this was after 2 yrs of resenting AA. Finally I was either going to humble myself or drink again. Drinking again was unthinkable to me because I nearly died on my relapse. Asking for help and being a newcomer again didn't hurt anything but my ego and believe me, my ego can take some bruising and still be just fine.


Member: Beth F
Location: Western Mass
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 13:42:19

Comments

Hi- I'm Beth and I am an alcoholic. I just wanted to thank everyone for the support. I am going to a meeting this evening.I have also gotten back in touch with my therapist and will be seeing her on Tuesday and will be looking into going into a residential program again.

Thanks again and stay safe!!! Beth

PS---Angela I called the 800 number from the phone book and it really helped. If you want to talk you can always e:mail me!!!!


Member: Geri W
Location: Va
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 15:54:47

Comments

Geri, a very grateul alcoholic here. Hi folks.

Beth, Angela and all other newcomers. Welcome! You'll never know how much you help us.

It seems like yesterday that I had to humble myself and ask for help with my drinking. I had reached that place the Big Book talks about - utter defeat. I wasn't sure what was going to happen then. I was the poster child for FEAR. The only feeling was SHAME. I reached the place that either I quit or died - no doubt in my mind. Top that off with being afraid that I would die trying to get sober(I had seen that). You are talking about one frightened woman. But I no longer had a choice about going to AA. I knew it was my ONLY chance. It was that or death at some point.

So I picked up that fifty pound telephone, located an AA club and went there. I stayed until a meeting started. I went into that meeting shaking and crying and scared to death. But I went. Thank God. Because of that first meeting, I've managed to put together a bunch of 24's. Some good, some not so good, but all sober.

I don't remember a thing they said except, you are not alone, you never have to drink again and keep coming back. That was enough.

So if you are thinking about quitting, find a face to face meeting. Go. The rest will follow.

((hugs))


Member: David M.
Location: Clovis, Ca.
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 16:54:58

Comments

Hi this is David, and I am a recovered alcoholic. My first year around the program of A.A. I relapsed several times after attending my very first A.A. meeting in 1992. It took me a month to get a week. I just couldn't get past the weekend. Once I made it past the weekend I made thirty days sber for the first time, but I didn't like being sober and drank on day 31. I sobered up again and this time got ninety days. I literally coulbn't tell the difference in my feelings being sober or drunk, so I drank on day 90. I sobered up and stayed that way for another five months. I didn't like the way I thought, felt, or acted and couldn't recognize any positive "CHANGE" in my life and began to really dislike myself and others and drank again. I was the type of alcoholic that life sucked more when not drinking. It just got worse mentally and physically. The last relapse I was feeling fairly doomed for sure. I talked to my sponsor in between that last relapse, and I was complaining about lack of progress or improvement over the last year I had been "AROUND" A.A. My sponsor pointed out that although drunk at the time that in the last year I had only drank maybe two months of it all total between the several relapses, and that the year prior to coming to A.A. I had been drunk around 300 of the 365 days of the year give or take a few. He then asked me if I still thought I hadn't made progress or improved. I didn't want to hear that at the time, but he was right. He did remind me that it WASN'T okay to relapse. We hear that so often in meetings. Is it okay to play russian roulette? No! Well for an alcoholic of my type taking another drink was the same as playing that deadly of russian roulette. He also told me that I was going to continue drinking and never have any substantial or permanent sobriety until I got into the action steps, (i.e. 3-12). That was not his opinion but a printed fact based on the experience of the first A.A.'s. It's written in the "Big Book" of A.A. on pg. 64. The "Book" also refers to step five as "VITAL" to "OVERCOME" drinking, pg. 72. On the other hand one of the promises/results of step five is, "The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly", quoted from pg. 75 of the "Big Book" of A.A. More relief came as it was promised by those alkies that went before me the further along I got in my step work. I can't pinpoint when the minute to minute, day to day obsession with taking the next drink went away, but I do know that It was gone when I began making my amends. My sponsor also pointed out that the only requirement for me to go to a meeting was a desire to stop drinking. It didn't matter how many times I resigned and resumed and quit again. I have now been sober for a little over six years and I am only 30 years old. I was committed for alcoholic insanity when I was 23. TWICE!! My experience has been that more memebers of the fellowship have had a relapse or two or three or ump-teen, but the y eventually got it. God Bless those that got it the first time because Lord knows that relapse is not a requirement to permanent sobriety. I also had to realize that I was self-deceiving myself when I would state that It's not my time or it is God's Will for me to wait on my steps. This was fearful and prideful thinking. The time for me to work the steps is when God put me in A.A. the first time when I was 23. I don't suggest one step a year or month or waiting a year before working the steps in order to be relived of the drink obsession or craving. Go to a meeting. Find a sponsor that will explain those suggestions on the steps in the "Big Book" of A.A. Take Care Beth, and God Bless.


Member: Theodore
Location: LA, California
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 17:07:37

Comments

My name's Theodore, and I'm an alcoholic. I'd like to thank every one for sharing. This is my first time in a e-meeting. I think it's wonderful. Welcome, Angela, Beth, and Sheldon.

Fear seems to be my biggest stumbling block in my sobriety, even now after 8 years. My sponser always tells me that I have to act my way into rihgt thinking, and act contrary to how I feel. that means I have to pick up that phone, especially when I'm sitting on the pitypot, and thats the last thing I want to do. the idea of calling someone to whine just does'nt sound appealing I have to get to a place where I'm finally sick and tired of feeling sorry for myself and take some action, like picking up that phone, or go to a meetting, or both. Thats when I start to feel better.I know I can't think my way into feeling better. Thats where the magic of AA happens, when one alcoholic reaches out to another. It helps the other alcoholic as much, if not more, than it helps us.

Another thing that helps is God. When I'm in fear, I usualy feel disconected from God,and my fellows. But I know he's there. I say the serinity prayer alot, and ask for courage to face my fears and take action. I know, left to myself I would sit in my sh*t. I need help. I can't do this life thing by myself or I'll end up drunk again. Of myself I am nothing.

I think I got a little sidetracked here, but I hope something I said will help someone. I LOVE AA. Thankyou for letting me share.


Member: Pablo R.
Location: Midhudson Valley N.Y.
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 17:11:50

Comments

Hello everyone, I`m Pablo alcoholic and drug addict. Welcome all newcomers, these`s last few days of sharing has helped me a whole lot. I have just over a year; but reading all of the post`s from newcomers and people just coming back has been a great way of keeping it green for me. Way to go Beth, you have taken a big first step, you asked for help. When you go to yor first meeting, raise yor hand and let people know who you are. Tell them your just coming in and you need help, then they will come to you. As for the topic of the week, fear of sobriety. For this drunk, I didn`t fear getting sober, I was terrifide at taking a look at myself. I didn`t like the person in the mirror. Therefore, at the begining,I just didn`t drink, and went to meetings.After a little time, I started working on my defects. Today, I`m able to identify and correct my defects; and if I don`t see them someone from my support group will and point them out.Also, today I use the word fear in a positive way, like Face Everyhing And Recover. Thankyou for letting me share, your friend in recovery Pablo. email-pablofromwalden@webtv.net


Member: Avril G
Location: Driffield UK
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 17:35:14

Comments

{{{{BETH}}}} Congratulations, love, you have just taken Step 1, and they do say that a journey of two thousand miles begins with the first step. Pablo gave some sound advice, re:letting the meeting know where you are at. Please keep us informed, and Good Luck and God Bless you.

{{{ANGELA}}} Use the money you WOULD HAVE spent on booze to pay a child minder for the kids, so that you can get to a f2f meeting. One phone call could save your life. To all other newcomers to sobriety, or to the cybernet, or the re-treads in recovery, good luck, and thanks for sharing. Pablo is right, you lot help to keep it green for the rest of us.

Out of a 16 yr span during which I attended AA meetings daily, sometimes twice daily, I have recently celebrated 9 yrs of sobriety, so I do know how difficult it is to get back after going back out again. If anyone wants to hear my ES&H on this, please e-mail, it would take up far too much space on here.

Goodie@anon25.co.uk


Member: Joe B.
Location: Memphis, TN
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 17:49:15

Comments

Hello, Sisters & Brothers, Joe B. from West Tennessee here and I'm an alcoholic. I'm so delighted to find this website. I'm a "meeting a day" kind of recovering person (sobriety date: 8/28/89) and value this kind of sharing. For Angela, I encourage you to find some child care (as a father of 2 youngsters, I know that's not always easy) and go to a meeting. It's so important to have that face to face, heart to heart contact you just cannot get any other way. My sponsor sometimes needs to see the look on my face to discern what I'm trying to say. Look up Alcoholics Anonymous in your local phone directory and call the number. Find a meeting (tonight ! if possible) and join us trudging on the road to a happy destiny ! Peace be with you and all of you, my dear extended AA cyber family !


Member: tom k   
Location: south mississippi
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 18:04:25

Comments

hi pat, we all know how you feel as we have all been there. call aa if you're embarrassed about calling someone you already know. everyone is glad whenever someone comes in for the first time or the 2nd or whatevertime. the sole purpose of aa is to help the alcoholic who wants to get sober. You'll be helping keep sober whoever you call. it works if you work it . love tom k


Member: Ariel F.
Location: Central WI,USA
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 18:23:04

Comments

Sunday greetings...Ariel, an alcoholic here. I remember how terrified I was to go back to my AA group after relapsing, especially since at the first opportunity I had to go back, I was still in a half-way house, having relapsed severly enough so that the county committed me for 90 days. I was embarassed, frightened, feeling very low. I didn't know what to say to these people who had been so kind and supportive to me in the past. I felt like I had let them down and had no business being among them any more. Still, I went to the meeting that first opportunity.

When my turn came, I took a deep breath and told my story...the whole ugly truth. An amazing thing happened. To a person, each member there came up to afterward and welcomed me back. Some just said "good to see you again" or "keep coming back." A few told me how important it was for THEM to hear my story, as it kept them fresh in the program. I felt an emourmous weight lifted from me that day when I faced the truth and told the truth to those folks. In 12 days, I'll celebrate 2 years sobriety. It truly has been a gift of God and the wonderful fellowship of AA, especially in the company of my home group. Last weekend I spoke at a breakfast for the first time, telling my story again for a new group of people. I was still scared, especially in fron t of 80 people. But the love and acceptance in this program knows no match.

When I was drinking, I was often afraid and always alone. Today I am still sometimes afraid, but I know in my heart I'm never alone. God and AA are always there for me. I'm grateful that through forums like this and f2f meetings all over the place we alkies can stick together...for it is here that we CAN make it...TOGETHER!


Member: Joe A.
Location: Portrland, Oregon
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 18:57:48

Comments

(((Pat))), (((Angela))), and all other newcomers: Joe A. of Portland, Oregon here. Welcome to the wonderful world of recovery!

I have had to have all of my old ideas proved wrong before I would give them up. Between the time of my first AA meeting, attended only as a way to get out of my cell in prison, and the last drink, a period of approximately 34 months went by. I needed that, too, to prove to my that I could not fix my sick mind with the only tool I had available, my sick mind. I needed input from people whose minds were not as sick as mine, and this is what I have found in AA.

There is a universal fear: fear of the unknown. To a practicing alcoholic, this often takes the form of, "I know I can survive drunk, but can I survive sober?" I needed the example of a whole bunch of other people who had gone through much the same things that had happened to me.

In the "How It Works" that we hear read at the start of many meetings, there are several words which keep re-occurring. I counted them one time,] and if I counted right and remember right, the words "we," "us," "our," and "ourselves" show up 51 times. The word I shows up only once: "I can't do it." I am part of "we," but that's all, just a part, and we have helped me to do for myself many wonderful things I could not have done by myself.

I came into the program a "rage-a-holic," madder than hell at everyone and everything (especially God). Today, thanks mostly to the principle of acceptance, I live with a quiet mind and as peaceful heart. I came into AA hurting in every area of my life, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially. Thanks to the new way of life I have learned to live, I don't hurt any more. Life without misery is nice. I mean, it is NICE!

By the grace of a very loving God and with the help of a whole lot of beautiful people in AA, it has now been 28 years and 5 months since my last drink. Recovery is do-able, a little bit at a time. As they used to tell me, "By the inch, it's a cinch. By the yard, it's hard. By the mile, it's impossible."

May everyone who reads this have a very successful recovery.


Member: Eileen H.
Location: Queens, NY
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 19:30:14

Comments

Hello to everyone!! My name is Eileen and I am a grateful, recovering alcoholic. Today I made 100 days and all I can say is, YAHOO!!!!!!!

I don't think I ever "feared" recovery. At one time I enjoyed drinking. It's when the drink became a "need" instead of a "social item", when the drink became a daily ritual from the time I woke up till the time I passed out . . . I knew that I needed to get to AA. I had once told myself that I was NOT an alcoholic. If that were true I would not have had drinks the way I did. THAT was my "bitter" pill to swallow. I just could not fathom ME being an alcoholic . . . aren't they just bums??? That was the hurdle I needed to get over. And at meetings, I saw rooms small and rooms large and they were all people J U S T L I K E M E.

I guess what I had more than a "fear of recovery" was an attitude at being grouped as "a drunk", "an alcoholic", "addicted". But it was TRUE!! Once I could come to terms with that knowledge coupled with the fact that I had tried AA once before in 1996 (left because of the above attitudes) once I realized that the only one who was going to get better was ME, I was back to AA so quick . . . it would have made your head spin!!

I knew that there would be people there that knew I had "gone back out". I for one didn't care. As a matter of fact, I welcomed the fact that there would be faces there that were familiar to me. And I WAS welcomed back. Big Time.

This time I've taken my recovery very seriously. I was extremely hard to put together even one day back. But ya know what??? I knew that the more time I put between me and a drink, the easier it would get. I knew there were people there to call on. And this time, I did just that.

Alcoholics Anonymous offers the suggestion to the newcomer to make 90 meetings in 90 days. It offers the suggestion to get a sponsor and a home group. The best suggestion AA offers to the newcomer when they come into the rooms is "Get A Commitment". These three suggestions coupled with the first 3 Steps are of VITAL importance (to me) in staying sober.

Pat, you posted you live in New York. There are so many meetings in New York. You are very, very fortunate. And guess what?? Your kids are welcome there, too. Pat, if you're drinking and want to stop . . . we'll be happy to support you. We carry the message . . . the rest is up to you.

My homegroup says "This ain't Dominos . . . We don't deliver". So true. Go to a meeting. Go early and stay late. Get phone numbers. Get a meeting book. Let the folks there write their numbers in the back of the book so you have them all together in one place. We alocoholics are great at misplacing stuff. In early sobriety we have a hard time remembering things too!!

I feel for those on line who live in areas where there are few and far between meetings and meeting sites. I feel I am fortunate to live right outside NYC where there is a meeting to be had at practically any hour of any day. For this, I am grateful.

You know, if any one would have told me a couple of years ago when I was out there drinking that in two short years I would be hearalding the praises of AA I would have rolled over and died on the spot. NOW. I can't say enough about it.

Just remember, "Meeting Makers Make It".

Thanks for letting me share.

Sober, and grateful in New York. Eileen Eileenth@aol.com


Member: JCP  ^/^
Location: W.Pa.
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 19:34:02

Comments

J here, a grateful alcoholic:

Hey, Joe, a few posts above, ever go to the Tower Group? You don't have to answer; I know there are hundreds of meetings there, but I could see that office tower from a distance and possibly find it. Heard the group has moved but not far, since I was there.

So much for the crosstalk:

"Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety." -- Preamble.

I want to quibble because this is a discussion not a legislative session. Quibbling can help fluff up a thought.

I know Barry meant the same: "our primary purpose is to help the still suffering alcoholic," It's close, but I think it's worth thought that maybe "stay sober and help other alcoholics" is (not are) one enterprise.

What sticks with me (I almost laugh, depending on how it is said) when somebody calls us a "self-help" group is all those months I "knew" I was not going to make it even though I had not had a drink yet.

"There's one who has all help." But that one and I only met when I came to A.A. and it took me well over a year even to start to believe.

Have a nice week:

dixyflier@usa.net


Member: Brian O.
Location: Kansas City
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 20:07:28

Comments


Member: Brian O
Location: Kansas City
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 20:18:51

Comments

Hi all, my name is Brian and I'm an alcoholic. Sorry about my blank comments above, I'm new at this. Well, I'm grateful to be here, and I'm grateful that I've been sober since March 12, 1999. It has not been easy, it's been one of the hardest things that I've ever done. I feel much better about myself, but I'm constantly scared, and I imagine it's going to be a long time before the scared feelings go away. I look at it this way, I'm still just a baby in my sobriety, and the way I handled my problems and fears before was with alcohol. Now I have to learn how to handle situations that made me drink before, and that way for me is with AA and my higher power. I pray for everyone out there that is like me. It's hard, but we can do it. Thanks for letting me share, and God bless you all.


Member: Renee R
Location: Michigan
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 21:12:23

Comments

MY NAME IS RENEE AND i'M AN ALCOHOLIC.i HAVE A HARD STAYING SOBER MYSELF. i'LL GET IN A FEW GOOD MONTHS THEN SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN AND I'll find myself drinking again. I've lost basicaly everything and am asking for help if there are females out there who can lend a hand would greatly appreciate it.


Member: Joe Y.
Location: Northern Ct.
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 21:47:15

Comments

Hello everyone. Joe here, a greatful recovering cross addict. ((Beth)) "YAHOO" for you. I read your first posting and it took me back so fast my head did spin. I can relate so well. I too was seriously isolated. I didn't even have a house to hide in. I was living in my truck. I hadn't a clue as to why failure was the only thing I could do well. I got to the point that suicide was the only option left. By the grace of God, I was located before I explored that option. I say by the grace of God because it was just a matter of a couple of minutes. The police helped me get the help I needed which was hospitalization. ((Geri)) thank you too. you helped bring me back also. I was one of those people. If I had tried detoxing on my own, I would have died. I was too far gone. The point I'm trying to get at Beth,(and everyone else with massive confusion) is that I was diagnosed with Manic Depression. They Immediately put me on a maintenance dosage of Zoloft (one of the many anti-depressants). I detoxed in the sike ward they put me in and was transfered to a state hospital. There I finished detox (which took me a month) and worked the program available. There I was introduced to AA with a clear head. There I realized that trying to live life "my way" damn near killed me. "I NEED HELP". The (you) people in AA are the only people in the world that know where I'm coming from. This is a BEAUTIFUL way of life. My life is coming back together "one day at a time". It is still very hard, but with the help of AA friends, I'm doing it. Not my way, God's way. I dumped all my problems in his/her lap and asked for help. It's been almost 3 months now. Without God and you friends, I would not be here sharing so greatfully.

So to all that are having fear of meetings, please, PLEASE, take that first step so you don't get to where I was. I can honestly say that my worst day sober is a hundred times better than my best day using and drunk. Don't overlook the possibility of a chemical imbalance in the brain. In fact with the way we medicated our brains, it probably wouldn't be a bad place to start. I love you all. God bless


Member: James Lupp
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 23:11:04

Comments

My names is James, and I'm an Alky. I just got back from my Men's Group tonight. I was afraid to go, but I went anyway. Every fiber of my existence was shot through with fear. A poisonous fear AA calls TERROR! Fear's do-able, TERROR is crippling. Terror would start on Monday thinking of the liquor stores closing on Sunday. Terror would sometimes just appear for no apparant reason. Terror of being sober, terror of drinking. Driven by a hundred forms of self-centered fear. I was in that rotating door of AA. If you've ever been in a rotating door, you know. You just go round and round. Never in, never out. You are only in the rotating door! It's like if you are going for a trip on an airplane, the trip is more enjoyable getting inside the plane. Come on into sobriety, it's OK to feel good. I', living proof , you don't have to die to take a drink. For the last forty-nine years it has not been necessary for me to take a drink. But for twenty of those years, I did anyway(HA) Don't take yourself so seriously. My brain chemistry is definetly out of wack. It's got a big alcohol deficiency. And boy am I grateful! Sittin here in the mountains but with you all--- In the Fellowship of the Spirit!


Member: Pete E
Location: NY
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 23:41:08

Comments

Pete,alcoholic,

I couldn't overcome the fear of stopping drinking until I hit the ground hard enough. That wasn't as hard as others had to hit, and harder than some others. My threshhold for pain is pretty low by comparison, thank God. Coming back to AA was the only alternative I had left and overcoming the ILLUSSION of the embarrassment and the fear of my first meeting back was the point of conception,if you will, of a life of freedom from the bondage of alcoholism. I held my nose and jumped in!

Keep the faith, Pete


Member: Vicki D.
Location: Salem, OR.
Date: 18 Jul 1999
Time: 23:47:58

Comments

Hello; My name is Vicki and I am an alcoholic and an addict. Thank all of you so much for being there and being on line. Some wonderful things mentioned. Renee, the greatest help you can get for yourself right now is to call AA, ask for a woman, and go to a woman's meeting. Many of us women say, oh but I get on much better with men and I don't trust women". Trust me, right now what will provide you with the help and support is other women. Joe in Portland, thanks for mentioning the "rage". It felt so long as though that was the only emotion I felt although I know what was behind that was fear. That quiet mind and peaceful way of living is a blessing I would not give up for anything in the world. I am so greatful to AA(and all the people) for giving me the contentment. It has taken me many years to reach there and it's my greatest gift. I just spent 3 years living in a very rural area where there were only about 3 meeting a week within a 50 mile range. I have now moved and am so greatful to be where there are so many more meeting. My 14 year old grandaughter is in treatment right now and I want so much for her to have AA available when she comes out of there. Keep coming back, I need all of you. vdecker820@aol.com Vicki D.


Member: Mike C
Location: Los Angeles
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 00:13:50

Comments

Mike, alcoholic

I've been to AA but did not go back because I thought I could handle it myself. I think I drink because I'm afraid of what I'll do when I'm not drinking. I also believe it's a fear that I won't be able to provide for my family and be successful in my career that drives me to drink. I know I need to make a more concerted effort but it's a big step.


Member: john b,
Location: chino valley, az
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 01:01:26

Comments

i,m john and an alcoholic.i understand your desire to be at a meetings. i did not know about this meeting online until tonight. it is the best thing the computer has brought as far as i'm concerned.THANK GOD FOR 24HR MEETINGS & AA


Member: Sue G
Location: Wa.
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 01:12:26

Comments

Hi, I'm Sue, alcoholic like you all. Beth, we are so thankful for people like you. If drinking has you whooped, we know it isn't any better out there where people are still drinking. Not getting help is the shame, not the desire to get help even though it may be coupled with shame and fear. If we did'nt really, really need AA, we wouldn't need AA. We could do it on our own, but thankfully that isn't necessary. Just remember we are like you, when it comes to alcohol we all tick the same on the inside. That's why we are here, we need each other. None of just woke up one morning and decided that we would just love to go to AA because we are a drunk. We came out of sheer desperation seeking a way out of the hold of alcohol. There is no shame in people helping people and we are here to share with you our experience, strength and hope. Just let us. If you like you may e-mail me at suegal5546@aol.com. I'd love to hear from you. Lots of love, Sue


Member: Chris V.
Location: Belleville, Il.
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 01:23:02

Comments

Beth, I was very wary about going to AA meetings when I first got sober, but desparate enough to get out of my craziness to try anything. I was blessed with enough pain to actually give this thing a shot. After just nine months in the program now, I can honestly say that something happens in AA meetings that doesn't happen anywhere else in the world. But I have to show up and at the very least just be there to experience it. Usually just hearing another alcoholic talk can make me feel better because I know that I am in a place where I am understood. I never had that feeling before I came to AA. God Bless.


Member: Mary A.
Location: NJ
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 01:38:15

Comments

Mike from LA, Obviously, you CAN'T "handle it yourself". Your solution is an easy one - go back to an AA meeting.


Member: john r.
Location: chino valley
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 01:50:28

Comments

PLEASE SOMEBODY TELL ME YOUR STORY


Member: john b.
Location: chino valley, az
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 01:59:23

Comments

Mary A.


Member: Bruce G.
Location: Memphis, TN
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 02:00:04

Comments

Hello brothers & sisters, I'm Bruce I'm an alcoholic.

Can you believe the power of this simple program? We, who were "restless, irritable and discontent", sitting quietly at a computer and offering and receiving experience,strength, and hope. Would any of us have had a desire to do such a thing before we picked up this kit of spiritual tools... not likely. Because we have turned to face the light and have been granted a capacity to sense the need for spiritual nourishment, we do things that we would never have dreamed of doing prior to sobriety.

I just got a computer 2 days ago, and it's all new to me, but one of the first things I did once I got online was to search for AA related sites, knowing in my heart that I would find you, my AA family here.

Doesn't the life and way of sobriety compel us to do wonderful things? See you on the happy road!

Bruce G.


Member: Gracie
Location: Texas
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 02:23:56

Comments

RENEE: Gracie here, an alcoholic. I will be glad to send and receive e-mail. That is probably a better way to talk than in this forum. e-mail address is: gracie@eastland.net I have been sober nearly 6 yrs and part of my sobriety is sharing with others.


Member: Albuquerque John
Location: Scotland (today)
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 03:26:11

Comments

Thanks for the topic!

My contribution is very very simple! I go to AA to share about a special moment I had many years ago. See, I am a very selfish person in the sense that I want to hold on to that special moment! Please God I never want to forget it. I call it my moment of "clarity" - the moment when the shit hit the fan. The moment when I overcame my first big fear. The moment when in my hopeless state of mind and body I became absolutely honest with myself. In fact I never thought I could ever face up to the fact that this could actually take place. I never forget, and hope I never will forget what happened.

That was the moment I want to share that my body could not consume any more booze but my mind wanted to. My mind also told me that another drink would kill me - what a dilemma. I was not actually in a state of fear - I was totally scared to death!

The miracle happened for me in the sense that AA came to me in the New Mexican Desert. I owe my life and everything I have to a small group of people who showed me a way of life that is absolutely wonderful.

Firstly, they gave me a "full kit" of spiritual tools to understand exactly what the problem was!! The first 164 pages of the Big Book describe to any suffering "real alcohlic" out there how to stay sober.

Thanks for helping me maintain my sobriety.

A very grateful real alcoholic.


Member: Janice
Location: Western New York
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 05:03:54

Comments

Hi,Janice here.I have to quit.I thought it would be much easier than this.I am trying but have been unsuccessful.I quit 3 times before when I was pregnant with my children and it was easy.There was no way I would drink when I was carrying a child.The weird thing is that I only get drunk about twice a year.I hate being drunk.But I like to be at that 1 drink per hour state of relaxation.I do not get hangovers because I always seem to have the control to limit my drinking.BUT I CANT QUIT!My health is at stake which is why I must quit.I have wanted to for a long time and have prayed about it.I know I need help and would like to join a womens group.I hate the thought of someone recognizing me.I am ashamed and embarassed.Any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.


Member: Vincent B
Location: Belfast N.Ireland
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 05:30:06

Comments

hi all, esp, all you newcommers. CONGRATS on 100 days eileen. i have come to look forward to these 'meetings' hi to avril i always enjoy your posts. it is 10.00 am here in belfast on a wet monday morning. It is a wet day not a bad one. the only experience i can share with those that are struggling is, to find out why you drank, else you will drink again. How many times i heard that at meetings during my early days. i wonder when i read of 'mens meetings/womans meetings', as a male alcoholic i was suprised grteatly at the identification i got with female members. i say suprised coz that the way i felt. no,i am not a mcp. it was a suprise and a revalation that i could identify with anyone, as i felt that i was the only one in the world that felt the way i did and with that the feeling of being so alone (isolation). i found for me it was the way i thought about things, my emotions, etc. not so much the booze i drank, neither the quantity nor the quality. it was to easy to justify everything when it was the booze, but when i had to face up to life, me and reality...not always in that order... i was a different story. i once read, on a toilet door of a bar, "that reality was an illusion caused by lack of alcohol". for me that was so real. thank god and you people that is not the case today. you people told me H.O.W. to get sober. you said get Honest, Open-minded and Willing. It works when you work it. don't mess about with this. the guy that introduced me to AA, richard, went out again after six months. he failed in his attempts to get back again. he throught himself under an express train. MAYBE it stopprd the pain. love you all, keep coming back vinny


Member: ramana g
Location: baltimore
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 08:12:08

Comments

Hi Im ramana. an alcoholic. staying sober means finding alternatives to coping that we still have to learn. We learnt that alcohol is a way we picked, but it is disaster. It is hard to pick another way to cope, but stay ever vigilant and dont get that first drink. With longer sobriety, the new learning becomes firmer, the chaos more manageable, the harmony more constant.


Member: Kelly A
Location: Boston
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 09:46:47

Comments

I made it through my 1st week end. It wasn't as bad as I thought. At one point during a movie I thought shouln't I have to go to the bathroom by now! I realized I didn't really miss it, the drink I mean. I have been able to attend one meeting and I am going to another, either tonight or tomorrow morning. Maybe at this one I will be able to speak up. I still haven't said anything to my husband, however I did confide in a friend, just enough to let her now I was having a problem. I found it difficult at first but got the words out anyway. I am on the dawn of day 9. I wish I could have posted over the weekend, but like I said I am not letting anyone know I have taken these steps. I couldn't sneak away to write or even check the new postings. I am happy I was able to today. Day 9 here, going down


Member: Gracie
Location: Texas
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 10:15:04

Comments

JANICE FROM NY:

My name is Gracie, an alcoholic. It sounds like you are what we in AA call a binge drinker. It doesn't matter what you drink, how often you drink, ect. What matters is what happens to you WHEN you drink!! My first sponsor was like you. Her bottom came when she was in a formal gown at a big function for her husband's work and she passed out, face-down in her dinner plate! She said that was as low as she could stand to go. Now this woman still had all the "stuff". She had a nice car, her family, nice jewelry, ect. You don't have to loose everything to qualify for AA. You just need a desire to stop drinking. My advise is this: (1) go to a meeting, (2) be honest with the people you see there, (3) get some phone numbers of the women there, and (4) quit worrying what people will think, it will be nothing compared to what they would think if they saw you drunk. Do yourself and your family a favor and try this program. It just might save you and your family!!!!


Member: Jamie U
Location: Seattle
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 10:33:12

Comments

Hi, Jamie here, an alcoholic. Well, I wrote last week for the first time. I've never been to a meeting or anything. It's such a coincidence that this weeks topic is fear or becoming sober.

Last week I swore that I was going to quit drinking. Well, friday night came & I had nothing to give me that warm fuzzy feeling but a big bottle of wine. I ended up drinking Saturday & Sunday night also. I feel like I'm losing the desire to try and stop drinking. I don't know what to do. I don't feel like I could live without those great drunken moments in life. I'm recently separated from my husband & extremely lonely.

I know that I need to get to a meeting a.s.a.p. What I guess I'm asking for now is some words of encouragment or maybe to hear someone else's story. I'm afraid that I will never stop drinking. It is so much of who I am. I feel like it's a huge part of my identity. When I try to stop drinking, it seems there are so many hours in a day. What am I to do with all the time? I have a baby so it's even harder to get to a meeting. I know I need help. I'm so glad that I found this site. I hope I overcome the fear & laziness & get to a meeting soon.

Thank You for all your stories!

Jamie


Member: Greg G
Location: Tucson, AZ
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 11:20:10

Comments

Hi I'm Greg I'm an alchololic. Fear... fear of facing life, fear of pain, fear of reality, fear of responsibility, fear of losing, fear of having, and many more. All good reasons to get drunk. Then there are a whole bunch of new fears, fear of who will see me when I'm drunk, fear of what I did (I have no clue), fear of dying, fear of killing someone else, good reason to get sober. These fears are just a few of the reasons I went to AA. I was sober well past my first year when a new fear set in. Fear of my new life. After 24 solid years of drinking I didn't know how to appreciate all the good things that were happening to me. I was never sober enough to appreciate them before. I still had not learned to recognize when my defects were taking over. They all got together and plotted to get the old drunk self king of my life again. They succeded for one night. I went out big!! The battle that followed was a big one. It lasted all nite. But int the end, It was when my higher power came down and helped me that I truly won the battle. I'm back now giong to f2f meetings on a daily basis once again and starting over, a newcomer once again... I like it, I need it, and most of all I am not afraid of what other people think of me being in AA. I want my life back. I want to be sober. and I just tied the record,I was sober for 24 hours. I am still afraid of what today will bring, but I will use that fear to help me today and not hinder me. These thoughts and tools have been given to me by my higher power and the fellowship of AA.If ANYONE needs to talk more PLEASE e-mail me: azsax@ix.netcom.com


Member: Vincent B
Location: Belfast N.Ireland
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 11:53:50

Comments

hi all, esp hi to jamie a week is a long long time. it can seem even longer when you are on your own. i would suggest that you look up your local phone book and get in touch with AA and get to a meeting. this is a good medium but it is,at best a poor substitute for a face to face (f2f). I tried many, many ways to stop and they all worked for a little while but still the agony and the hell returned. i was getting desperate, i went from church to church praying to this god of my childhood to help me stop drinking and get me out of the mess i was in. Still i returned to drink. often after leaving a church. i felt abandoned by god and utterly useless and alone. i felt that i was condemmed to drink for the rest of my life,and condemmed to hell when i died. scared of living and afraid of dying. NOT a nice place to be. i often lay in bed in my small apartment pulling the bedclothes over my head and pretending to myself that i was still asleep. it was during one of these times when i prayed an ernest and sincered prayer "Please God Help Me". in a very short space in time i was directed to AA. here in N.Ireland there are some areas that a person of my religious background should not go, but at that point in my life i didn't really care, besides i was drunk. i went to a boozing session at this guys apartment anyhow i ended up pissing myself on this guys chair. i felt disgusted,again. at around 6am on a sunday morning i left before he could discover what happened, i tried to get a cab, some chance. i seen a guy looking out his window about 50 yards away and i motioned to him" have you a phone" he called me over and tried to get me a cab. it turned out i couldn't get one for about two hours so he offered me a coffee. i accepted and then he offered me breakfast. i replied that i had my breakfast with me pulling out my bottle of vodka. he asked why are you carring that about,i said i'm an alcoholic. i commenced to drink he said i'm an alcoholic too, so i offered him a drink, he said i don't drink. i was bewildered, how can you be an alcoholic and not drink. so he told me about the programme (program) and sent me home 2 hours later with his copy of the big book. i went to bed and woke 1-2 hrs later. i remember sitting in an old armchair a large glass of vodka in one hand and the big book in the other. the tears were streaming down my face. to this day i cannot remember what i read. that was 29 july 1985 the last time i took a drink up to today. all thanks to god and the people in AA. get to a meeting get there soon keep going lots of love to all vinny b


Member: Gerri M.
Location: Alaska
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 14:18:30

Comments

Hello I'm Gerri and I'm an alcoholic, FEAR ...fear is why I'm here.I'm afraid that I'll drink again. My husband said if I drink again, he will divorce me. We've been maried 26yrs and have had 8 children. My 22yr. old daughter was killed 2 and a half yrs. ago , fell asleep at the wheel, they say it was alcohol related. I didn't have the "tools" needed to stop drinking so ever since her death I've been "binge" drinking more and more with worse and worse effects. My last episode was a wake up call from Hell. I was asleep in a door-way wedged between the wall and a garbage bin at 3;30 in the morning ,downtown Juneau. I was awoken by a policeman, he took me to detox 24hr. While there and coming out of a blackout I realized that I had been sexually asaulted the night before!! I was ashamed and fearful to go home. How could this happen to me ? A mother of 8 and Faithful to my husband for 26yrs.?So what? Alcohol is no respector of persons...I have no fear of getting sober ...only of drinking again. My husband on the other hand is afraid to let me go in for the 21day in-patient(he doesn't trust me). I need in-patient because I live in rural Alaska and can't make meetings.I can't do it on my own,I need help. Its been 2weeks since my last drunk and only a few days since my last sip, from an unopened beer can floating down the creek (not unusual for this time of year in Ak.) Anyway the FEAR is mostly my husbands right now. Thanks for listening.God,help us all.


Member: RebeccaM
Location: Portland Oregon
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 16:25:48

Comments

Hi all. My name is Rebecca and I am an alcoholic. I know what fear is. I have experienced it. One time I was out with my boyfriend and sister at a bar and ended up taking off with someone I did not know. The next thing I know I am running down the street drunk and the police picked me up and actually drove me home. I am surprised I remembered how to get there. My boyfriend wanted me to move out, but I told him I would quit drinking. That was 7 years ago and I quit for one month and started again and have not stopped until last Sunday. I have done many, many horrible things when I was drinking. I would wake up the next morning scared and sick. What finally triggered me to get help, was the love and understanding of my boyfriend. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I do not want to lose him or myself. It has been only 8 days since my last drink. I always looked forward to having that beer or drink on Friday nights and I did not miss it at all this past weekend. It was so nice to wake up in the morning and remember what I said and did the night before. I do not disgust myself when I now look in the mirror. And I also have nothing to be afraid of, because without Alcohol I am in control. With alcohol I was totally out of control and I would lose my head become some other person that I did not know. I want everyone to know who much it helps to come to this site and read your response and tell my story. Good luck to everyone and thank you!!


Member: Lyn H
Location: New Zealand
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 19:05:12

Comments

Hi All, - I spent my first weekend in 13 years totally alcohol free this weekend just passed. I feel so good about that. I am making an honest effort, and succeeding so far. Many thanks to Eileen who has been wonderful.

I know that with us drinkers our brains play funny tricks - its like we can justify anything to ourselves in order to drink. Smokers often go through the same thing (just one fag will be alright - I won't have any more after that). My fear I guess is that I have not hit my bottom, probably nowhere near it. I realise I have a problem with my drinking but luckily have never got to the down and out stage. So I try and justify to myself that my problem is "really not that bad". I would drink every day after work, not getting completely trashed but its still drinking. Probably once a week, on a Friday or Saturday night it would be the big one. My heart tells me it is wrong but my head still tries to lie to me. The best I can do is take one day at a time - its been five days now. My biggest fear is saying to myself, or anyone else, I will never drink again - because I can't promise that. The truth is 80% of the time I like drinking.

Does anyone else feel this way!

A big congratulations to Eileen on making her 100th day!

Take care


Member: Elizabeth E.
Location: Southeast TN
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 21:04:20

Comments

My name is liz and I am an alcoholic. By the grace of God and a fellowship of people whom I do believe love me, i'm sober. Isolation is a good topic for me. early in recovery that is what I did. i didn't really know anyone who did not drink so all i did was go to work, come to a meeting and go home. that was my routine for at least the first year of my recovery. i was afraid of what i might do when left to my own devices. i never went anywhere without someone knowing where i was. i was the type of practicing alcoholic that would disapper. so when i came to AA and they told me to do something different, i did. since i did not go to treatment, i had to keep a stringent schedule. i always let someone know where i am, even today. when i am at home alone today, i'm not in fear of myself or what i might do. i know i want to be sober. i'm not in that space where i was when i first start getting sober, scared to stay in the house alone and afraid to go out. that is where the telephone came into play in my recovery. oh, by the way, i still use it a lot. i'm not well. they told me that if my phone is not ringing, i'm not using it. my telephone connects me to other people in recovery if i am afraid (real or perceived. i celebrated six years of blessed recovery on saturday. i keep coming back and keep using the phone. thanks for allowing me to share.


Member: DENIS  H.
Location: IRELAND
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 21:12:45

Comments

MY NAME IS DENIS I AM AN ALCOHOLIC AND THROUGH THE GRACE OF GOD AND THE HELP A.A. I AM NOW IN MY FOURTEENTH YEAR OF CONTENTED SOBRIETY,I SAY THIS NOT IN A BOASTFUL WAY BUT IN THE HOPE THAT IT MAY GIVE HOPE TO THOSE WHO MAY NEED IT. THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN HOPELESSNESS AND DESPAIR. LYN. IWAS ONCE IN THE SAME POSITION, I LIKED DRINKING,WHAT ALCOHOLIC DOSENT,I WAS I SUPPOSE WHAT ONE WOULD DESCRIBE AS THE GRANDIOSE TYPE ALKI. WELL DRESSED, WELL GROOMED, HALE FELLOW WELL MET,GOOD JOB,IN FACT TO ONE AN ALL, HERE WAS A FELLOW WHO HAD IT MADE. FAR FROM IT I WAS ON THE DOWNHILL SLIDE MY WHOLE WORLD WAS FALLING APART.I WAS TOO PROUD TO EVEN CONSIDER THAT I WAS ALCOHOLIC.I WAS ONCE ASKED TO CONSIDER IF I HAD A DRINK PROBLEM TO WHICH I REPLIED NO, MY FRIEND WHO UNKNOWN TO ME HAD BEEN TO SOME A.A. MEETINGS MADE THIS STATEMENT "IF ALCOHOL IS CAUSING A PROBLEM IN ANY ONE AREA OF YOUR LIFE THEN YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ALCOHOL" IT TOOK FOURTEEN YEARS OF SHEER HELL TO ACCEPT THIS SIMPLE STATEMENT,I LOST MY FAMILY,MY HOME, I BECAME UNEMPLOYABLE AND ENDED UP IN THE GUTTER IWOULD NOT WISH THE PAIN AND THE SUFFERING THAT I WENT THROUGH ON YOU OR ANY ONE ELSE.PLEASE DONT THINK THAT IT WONT HAPPEN TO YOU. I HOPE YOU MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION AND HAVE A LIFE BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS. "COME TO A.A." DENIS P.S. THIS IS MY FIRST VISIT AN I THINK ITS GREAT MY SINCEREST GOOD WISHES AND LOVE TO ALL IN A.A. DENIS H.


Member: Joe H.
Location: Arizona
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 21:15:48

Comments

Hi All, I'm Joe and I'm an alcoholic. To Jamie U., I was a lot like you before I got sober. What were people going to think of me, what was I going to think of myself? What am I going to do with all that time I'll have on my hands? Jamie, let me tell you, there is none. After I sobered up and started doing the things I should be doing, I was looking for 48 hours in a day. I didn't know how I found the time to get loaded. I equate my drinking with a pie chart. The little sliceout of the corner was my drinking and that's what I was willing to settle for. Today, I just don't have that little piece and the rest of the pie is mine. I have no fear of sobriety today. I know I have another drunk in me but I don't thuink my ego would allow me to walk back into the rooms. Hence, I stay where I am. Get to a meeting, stick yer mitt out and let people know who you are and that you need help. Thanks all for 12th stepping me today.


Member: Rachel W.
Location: California
Date: 19 Jul 1999
Time: 22:43:21

Comments

Hi, i'm rachel i'm an alcoholic. I am sober today by the grace of god and the program of alcoholics anonymous. Thank you for all sharing I just wanted to say hello.


Member: Frank
Location: NW, NJ ,USA
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 00:02:36

Comments

Hi, Frank here, alcoholic. Been dry in AA now for eight months. Haven't posted in a while.

I had no where else to turn, but back to AA. Last time, I drank after eight months because of anger and resentment. It was hard to admit to the people I knew in AA that I had drank again, especially after earlier times out. I was afraid that some would look down at me but the help was there when I wanted it and reached out.

At one point in sobriety, life was getting real good, I was active in a Home Group, working steps with a sponsor, making meetings and phone calls on a regular basis. I had become gainfully employed and was dating a lady. Had acquired a nice truck. Things were looking up after four years in the fellowship.

As time passed,I got away from what had worked so well for me. Spiritually, I was no where, unconnected and apart. Something bad happened, (the straw that broke my back) and I threw everything away for a "good" drunk. Looking for relief in a bottle. It has been difficult getting and staying back in AA.

I'm glad I'm here, sane & sober because of beliefs and actions I learned and found in AA & the Big Book. I'm fortunate there are many groups and meetings in this area. Thanks for being here on line.


Member: Frank
Location: NW, NJ ,USA
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 00:04:18

Comments

Hi, Frank here, alcoholic. Been dry in AA now for eight months. Haven't posted in a while.

I had no where else to turn, but back to AA. Last time, I drank after eight months because of anger and resentment. It was hard to admit to the people I knew in AA that I had drank again, especially after earlier times out. I was afraid that some would look down at me but the help was there when I wanted it and reached out.

At one point in sobriety, life was getting real good, I was active in a Home Group, working steps with a sponsor, making meetings and phone calls on a regular basis. I had become gainfully employed and was dating a lady. Had acquired a nice truck. Things were looking up after four years in the fellowship.

As time passed,I got away from what had worked so well for me. Spiritually, I was no where, unconnected and apart. Something bad happened, (the straw that broke my back) and I threw everything away for a "good" drunk. Looking for relief in a bottle. It has been difficult getting and staying back in AA.

I'm glad I'm here, sane & sober because of beliefs and actions I learned and found in AA & the Big Book. I'm fortunate there are many groups and meetings in this area. Thanks for being here on line.


Member: michelle s
Location: canada
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 00:48:37

Comments

hi all. Well went to my third meeting in as many days tonight and barely hanging on at 8 days sober. Tonight I said for the first time out loud that I was an alcoholic, I thought I would feel relief, but I was more disgusted with myself for being in that position. Its still a struggle everyday to talk myself into going to a meeting. I saw someone I knew at the meeting tonight and wanted to run screaming and bury my head in the sand. As more time passes its getting harder and harder to remember why I had to stop, consequently I'm having more difficulty now than a week ago. well thanks for letting me share, heres hoping for another 24hrs.


Member: SHANNON                         
Location: CANADA
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 01:44:16

Comments

I Just wanted to say hi to Angela and tell you, you dont have to do this alone. We have all been where you are now. That is the point where you cant drink and you cant not drink. Thats when you need to reach out for help. I had to do that and I am so gratful I did. People loved me until I could care about myself.It has not been easy coming for me as I tend to take back my own will and when I do that boy oh boy am I in trouble.All you have to do is ONE DAY AT A TIME. That little slogan has helped me so much. I hope the very best for you. OH BY THE WAY I'M SHANNON AND I AM AN ALCOHOLIC/ADDICT


Member: Mike E.
Location: Tucson, Az.
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 04:02:49

Comments

Hi Mike Alcoholic & Addict: I Started Out With A Higher Power Of Not Mine But Someone Elses Choosing, Soon I Found Out, That Higher Power Could No More Keep Me Sober Than My Own Best Efforts (Witch Where Not @ All Successful). But That Higher Power Did Make Me Go To Meetings. I Was Deathly Affaid Of Staying Sober. For All Of My Life I Had Lived Trying To Convince Everyone Around Me That I Wasn't Affraid Of Anything, Certaintly Not A Couple Of Drinks (Witch There Rarely Was Just A Couple), So I Went To To My First Meeting Just To Convince Myself That I Wasn't Affraid Of A Bunch Of Drunks. Fortunetly Through A Few Moments Of Clarity I Figured Out That I Was A Alcoholic & My Life Was Unmanageble(1st Step). I Found A Higher Power That Could Could Keep Me Sober. The P.O. (Husband, Wife, Family ect.) Could Not, It Was Up To My Higher Power & I (In Which My Higher Power Had More To Do With It, In The Beginning) I Live Alone With My 2 Year Old Daughter & Other Than For Myself She Is The Best Reason To Go To A Meeting. It Isn't Easy I Know But It Is Imperitive. For Where Would I Be But Drunk & Isolating @ The Nearest Bar Without My Meetings. But Fearing Soberity Is Not Uncommon, But Is Certainly Unfounded. I Injoy My Life & Now After Five Years Of Soberity Can Not Fathom What It Was I Feared So Much. All I Can Say Is Thank's To To The Justice System, To A.A., To All Of You Out There That UnKnowingly Gave Me So Much & To The Newcomers A Sincere Wish That You Go & Keep Going Till You Get As Much I As I Have & More. Thanks For Letting Me Share. Mike


Member: Connie
Location: ST>L.
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 04:04:34

Comments

Hi everyone,

My problem is Connie and I am an alcoholic.

First I like to give all the newcomers a big welcome to this site. It just amazing being away from this group--how much you miss what you read. {{{Brian O.}}}{{{Beth}}} {{{Sheldon}}}, {{{{Mike}}}, {{Renee R.}},{{rebecca}}}, {{{Janice}}}, {{Eileen}}, {{Kelly}}, {{lyn}} and here a big hug for everyone else here {{{{{ROOM}}}}

I can share a lot on the fear of going back out or trying to stay sober. I have those fears when something in my life seems to go a stray. When my life is not balanced.

The reason for those fears is cause I have not let Go of them and turn them over to my HP/God.

Life is full of so many obstacles in our life. I can always chose the route I want to take. No one forces me to take that drink. I am the only one who can make that decision. And the best thing is--when my attitude changes and all I want to do is drink myself to my end of life. Only I can change my attitude back to the reason why I need to be a live and stop drinking. I was told a few times as long as I am only thinking about that drink it is okay. It that action of actually picking up that drink that is going to kill me.

I would like to share something with everyone here. I had a pet cat whom been in my life since 3 months after I got married. Which at that time I was still drinking. This animal went through my sobering up, thru my 3 pregnancy, to my big move from CT to MO and she was 15 years old. Pretty old cat huh. Well she was my best friend and she was a big part of my life. Well I had put her in the Kennel(first time ever-she was going down hill fast kidney trouble)Well, when i got back from my vacation to Idaho, (yellowstone, national park) I received a phone call from my Vet telling me my cat passed away. They had tried everything IV an all. She just didn't have any ump left in her. That tuesday, i had to pick up her belongings at the kennel. Then I had to pick up her body at the animal hospital. My kids wanted to see her and I had to bury her. Now that was really tough, and she cold and stiff. I went to my meeting the next night, shared about it. Left early went to the grocery store. Went directly to the liquor isle, and started to check the wine cooler and how much liquor in them I read one bottle it read 3.9 oz. Thought to myself who is going to know I drank this bottle no on of course but me. I didn't think about no one but me. I really do understand how easily when our state of mind is not in a healthy state we can pick up a drink. I did not drink that night. I was not craving for a drink either or did I want one. It is my state of mind and that alkie thinking the caused me to pick up that drink and read it label. The next morning I called my sponsor and told her what happened. The main thing is I didn't drink

Today I been living my life one second at a time, cause I really don't know what going to happen right in front of my nose. I also have realized life is to darn short to ruin it with a poison to my system. A poison that can slowly kill me. Don't get me wrong. I have had a lot of thoughts about drinking. However, I try to think the drink thru before I actually pick one up.

Wow, sorry it so long guess I needed to share.

Hugs and Peace!!!


Member: Ron   L.
Location: Winnipeg  Canada
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 06:55:06

Comments

Lets remember one of the most important aspects of A.A. We are here to share our experience strength and hope. NOT TO GIVE ADVICE. I have always found that the advise givers are only doing it to advoid looking at them self. This is not advice but only a reminder LOL.


Member: Kelly A
Location: Boston
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 08:33:19

Comments

Was planning a meeting today, Family day trip got in the way. I will attend one on thursday. This is the dawn of day 10 and I know I will not drink today (no oppurtunity) This must be the stage when you start to doubt if you are truley an alcoholic because that is where I am coming from. I am beginning to think Surely.... one glass of wine with dinner won't be a problem, and the old "Well I will buy non-alcoholic beer" I need to keep my brain focused on "NO ALCOHOL". It's just that I can't picture the rest of my life without it. I love a good bottle of wine with a fabulous dinner. It was sort of a hobbie. I feel like I am talking myself right back into bad habits. It's only day 10, I feel good, just not strong. Have a great day all


Member: Bill W
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 10:29:44

Comments

Hi friends, Bill alcoholic. I am at work and have taken some time to read everyone who posted. To all of you who are new to the AA programme or coming back to it, THANK YOU! As you grow in this programme you will understand that I am grateful to you for showing me that alcohol in it's many forms is still out there waiting. I remember my first meeting, sort of as I was still too fuzzy headed from drinking the night before. Fear was there but determination was stronger. I just wanted to quit and would do anything to stay sober. Seems like yesterday but by staying sober just for today I have put together just over 11 years. If I can do it so can you. For one and all I wish another 24 hours of NOT drinking.


Member: Robert B.
Location: Boise  Idaho
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 12:32:03

Comments

Hi. My name is Robert and I am an alcoholic.

I got sober in 83. About ten years before I got sober I was 12-stepped by two men who recognized my disease better than I could. I related to what they said, and recognized some of myself in thier stories-- enough so that I stole a Big Book and got a meeting schedule. But I never went to a meeting. I was afraid! Afraid of abstinence, afraid of being seen, afraid of change, just plain afraid. The next ten years would take me through losses and pain and insanity that I would wish on no one. Of course I will never know what would have happened if I had used that schedule, gone to meeting and given sobriety a try. What I do know is that I have found a solution in AA that makes my life wortwhile. Perhaps fear prevented me from finding a Joy in Living fore a decade longer than was necessary.

Peace Robert


Member: Phil A
Location: UK
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 14:20:40

Comments

Hi All

Haven't posted in the discussions meeting for a whole.

Fear ruled my life, maybe it was due to the fact that I was so smothered in love from family members that they wouldn't let me grow up r find myself, I don't really know or care why I had all the fears, but they were real to me. Those fears kept me drinking for nearly sixteen years, by the grace of God or HP as I understand him I found AA when I was 18, didn't relate to it, I just find it a miracle that I found AA again just over ten years later.

Welcome to all newcomers. I'd just like to say Hi Pablo.

wallyphil@currantbun.com

Peace and Serenity. Phil


Member: glo
Location: albuquerque
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 15:08:52

Comments

Glo alcoholic here. Congratulations Kelly A. in Boston glad to hear you made it to a meeting and plan on more. Meetings have always been so importatnt to me. It's where I feel like I fit. Even when I don't want to go to a meeting if I just show up I'm always grateful when I leave. I didn't speak in meetings for the longest time. I have friends now who were in the rooms when I got there that have very vivid memories of me sitting in the back row trying to be invisible, barely being able to introduce myself and always passing when called on. It didn't matter, I was there in a meeting with other alcoholics and for that time I was totally safe from alcohol and it's temptation. Actually it was probably a good thing I didn't have a voice in the beginning it helped me find my ears. I can get pretty lazy about going to meetings and can come up with plenty of "good reasons" not to go but from experience I know that's my cue to get to a meeting. I heard a woman share once that when those voices in her head (the committee)wouldn't stop she'd just get in her car, tell the committee to get in the backseat and head for a meeting. It made me laugh and I've used that same tactic many times since. Thanks for letting me share.

A note to Albuquerque John: It looks like you're enjoying a summer of travel; just remember no matter where you go....there's no place like home! :)


Member: Bill
Location: Washington
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 16:45:10

Comments


Member: Tom K
Location: pass christian m
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 16:51:13

Comments

Hi Tom alcoholic. Sober since 3/5/83 and owe it all to the Higher Power who helped me overcome the fear of the first aa meeting and intorduced me to my first two sponsors who taught me the Program. I feared everyone and everybody until i realized we were all in the same boat and we stayed afloat (sober) or sank (went back to booze). some make it back into these rooms and are welcomed every time-no matter how many slips anyone has had, but there is an old aa saying "it is a lot easier to stay sober than to get sober" and another "if we don't have a drink today we probably won't need one tomorrow". get to a meeting get a sponsor and it is the greatest thrill of any drunk's lifetime aand all because of aa and not taking the first drink love to all tom k.


Member: john
Location: maryland
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 17:19:27

Comments

Hi, Im johno, alcoholic. Like this meeting a lot, good to see others from a few weeks ago checking back. Fear: thats why I drank, in a nutshell. Dealing with fear: thats what Im doing now. Easy does it... but you have to do it! Or, the wisdom to know the difference. One year sober, but still lacking that wisdom, Im afraid to trust God, afraid to trust myself, but somehow there is a faith in me now that i didnt have before. I see the wreckage around me, but cant fix it. Meetings and the good friends I meet help as does this site, so Ill keep coming back. I think Ill give it time to work. Ive never felt so lonely, but also I am changing my whole way of life and hoping that the promises will come true for me. Ps to the irish folks- I love to go to ireland but am afraid of it now, because i loved the pubs. Its the people, really, tho. Hope i can visit again after i have more time in the program. God bless you and slan.


Member: Janet B.
Location:
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 17:27:50

Comments

Hi I am Janet B. a college student here to learn. Does anyone mind me being here?


Member: Lotta  B.
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 17:48:05

Comments

Hi, my name is Lotta. I am an alkoholic. I found AA in Harare, Zimbabwe some yeas ago. I felt lousy coming in through the doors. But I stayed. It was a revealing feeling that I was welcome. IŽd been so lonely at heart it was amazing what a change it was to attend AA-meetings everyday. As a woman I was to shy to be drunk at bars, so I drank at home. 2 months later I left Africa, after staying there for almost 7 years. Guess if I felt wobbly to land in Stockholm, Sweden where I have lived since I left Africa. I managed to stay sober another 2 months. I still do not know what happened, but I drank one night. The following morning I realised the "oldtimers" knew what they talked about when they were telling me to avoid the first drink and only the first drink. My hangover did it very clear to me that I had failed. I started going to meetings every day for the two years to come, found a loving sponsor, and tried to work the steps the best I could to my ability. My Higher Power has a permanent place in my life today, and little things have a positive glow today, things I did not notice the first years. Like a beatiful sunset, the joy of feeding the hedgehogs living under my summerhouse in the archipelago of Stockholm. I may not be happy everyday, but I am never misarable like I used to be.


Member: Joanna
Location: Portland, OR
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 18:36:59

Comments

Joanna-Member of AA.-It is not easy to remember how it was that I found A.A. I do remember hating me, you and everything. I remember the days that I was sure I was going to die of loneliness or fear. I remember desperatly wanting something to change, but not having a clue that my drinking had anything to do with that feeling. I remember trying to express these feelings to my family and friends, only to have them tell me to "get a hobbie, or a different job, a better boyfriend." I really thought I was crazy. I could not imagine what in the world was going to become of me. I was a bartender, my favorite customer put herself in treatment for her alcoholism, I was freaked out. I started dating someone that was clean and sober my life was changing and I was scared. One day I came to and realized I had to make a change right then, 5 days later I went to my first A.A. meeting and I have been clean and sober since(6/10/96)Once in the rooms of A.A. I finally felt like I was home. I could finally Breathe! I had found the family I had been searching for. It has not been easy. I do often try to remember that the only way my life was headed was down, now it only goes up! I feel good about the changes I have made in my life, not everyone in my life has felt that way. It is o.k. I am sure that I have done the right thing for me and my God shows me that everyday by helping me stay clean and sober. I never saw my drinking as a moral issue, I had no morals to worry about. The way I drank did not require much humility or grace just humiliation and embarrasment. I do believe along with my HP's help I came to A.A. when I had drank enough. Enough was simply enough for me. I was sick and tired of living and feeling the way I had been. There is no easy answer and I do believe A.A. gave me my life, I am beyond grateful and would not change a minute of the last 3 years. I welcome everyone and pray that everyone has a sober wonderful day. One last note, I send a prayer out to the memory and family of JFK, his wife and sister in-law. God does have a plan. With Love, Joanna.


Member: Steve F.
Location: Wenham, Massachusetts USA
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 19:03:36

Comments

Steve F., alcoholic

Hi everyone. I have to go in a few minutes, but just wanted to welcome all the newcomers. I won't try to mention names, because I know I'll leave someone out.

I just read a lot of stuff I can identify with. I too have voices in my head telling me that I'm "not that bad" - that maybe I'm not really an alcoholic because I haven't lost everything yet; because I could go weeks or months without drinking, even before I came into AA. Last night I heard a woman share who went through detox 28 times, and I caught myself thinking "I'm not as bad off as her." This is my disease, alcoholism, trying desperately to get me to drink again. When I feel this way, I go to meetings to listen to other alcoholics share - and I try very hard to identify with what they say, and not compare myself to other alcoholics.

God bless you all, and thank you for being here for me.


Member: Prudence
Location: Wa.
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 21:32:12

Comments

Hi, Prudence Alkie here. Way to go KELLY. 9 days is a long time. Remember you don't have to worry about the rest of your life without alcohol. That is too much for any of us to handle. Just today, 24 hours. Sometimes you can only concentrate on 24 minutes or maybe only one hour, but the fact that you now have 24 hours nine days in a row is fabulous. You will be very proud of this someday and happy to tell all of your family and friends. JAMIE, the fact that you have a baby makes it all the more important that you call AA NOW. Ask to speak to a woman. There are many people out there who will gladly help you...but remember you have to take the 1st. step. You can do this. Well got to go we are having a thunder storm here, yikes!!!!

Peace, Prudence


Member: James Lupp
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 21:46:50

Comments

Hi, I'm James and I am an Alky. You know, I've never told anyone I was an Alcoholic and them not believe me! Fear of fear. That one had me down for about 35years. Twenty of those years were in a bottle. Then I was afraid of the bottle and afraid of sobering up. When I got sick and tired of being sick and tired, I went to AA. I mean, why not! Wveryone was sending me there anyway. So I went (parked around the corner so no one would see me at the meeting, of course!) I was the only newcomer there and they welcomed me like no one had welcomed me in many years. This lady came up after the meeting and said, "You don't have to be scaired." That was all she said.. All I could think at the time was " How did she KNOW!?" She had been reading my mail! That group also told me "We know how you feel" That lady proved it. My feeble mind can not simultaniously process fear and faith at the same time. I tried. Like my sponsor told me , An alcoholic is the kind of person that tried to be two places at once and damn near succeeds. My spelling is as bad as ever. Oh well. Thank you all for letting me be a part of your day in sobriety. Remember that we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling, powerful. The most important word here is REMEBER.In the fellowship of the Spirit. James L.


Member: John M.
Location: WV
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 22:13:47

Comments

Hi, My name is John and I'm an alcohlic. I need help, but don't know what to do. I was in detox and re-hab when I was 22, now I'm 30 and right back where I started. I just keep thinking, why will anything be different this time. My parents and wife want me to go into another program and I do too if will help me. Just don't know what to do. If anyone has any suggestions for me I'm listening.


Member: Karen W
Location: Texas
Date: 20 Jul 1999
Time: 22:45:25

Comments

Hi, I'm Karen a recovering alcoholic. To John M. pickup your phonebook and call AA, talk to someone as soon as possible. You don't have to feel alone, someone is always there to help you. I was so screwed up 11 years ago and didn't know how I could go 10 minutes without a drink or a drug, but one day, one minute at a time I haven't drank for 11 years, but I was not alone doing it, there is someone on the phone, at a meeting, someone willing to help you always. Just keep coming back.


Member: James Lupp
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 00:00:30

Comments

I'm James and for sure an alcoholic. Hello John. Glad to hear you are listening. That is far better than I could do. If you are anything at all like me, you're not back where you were. You're much further along than you were. This disease, I believe it to be a diease, is progressive. It just gets worse, never better. Of course, you've probably figured that out on your own. Just like me. I've learned sharing is listening and talking. So what I did was get one of those sponsor things everyone kept talking about, got busy on those suggested steps, went to those suggested meetings, said a few suggested prayers, as well as a few other suggested things and I've been sober all day today. I had such a rough time getting sober, it took every drink it took, so I'm told. It's not so much how many times ya fall down, it's how many times ya get back up. Sobriety's not for the faint of heart. Get in the invisible boat, grab an invisible oar, and start rowing with the rest of us. WARNING: Hanging around recovering alcoholics will ruin your drinking! John, your free to do as you wish. Most nights I'm up late(mountain time)drop an E-mail. I'm new at computers and appreciate hearing from drunks. Pretty sick, huh? In the fellowship of the Spirit. James L. anniel@ocinet.net I'm not afraid to get or give advise, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck, it's probably a duck. Advise, suggestions, concerns, whatever. I'm not going to tell you what AA is or is not. AA works, if I work it!


Member: TJ
Location: St Augustine
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 07:22:06

Comments

TJ alki here *?* disfuncational families and how to change that. I would like to here about how this effected faimilies, and what your doing to change that. I struggle to stay out of others way and let them learn there own lessons. It's hard for this alki. I pray to HP for the courge to change whatI can ME and to treat others with respect. And Live by example.But I do struggle with this. Can anywone Help!

Just trying to stay away from fixing others Thanxs TJ *?*


Member: LORIELEE D
Location: MURPHYS, CALIF
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 07:25:08

Comments

HELLO AA BUDDIES, LORIELEE AGAIN. BEEN A COUPLE WEEKS. BEEN BUSY. FEAR!!, I THINK IS HEALTHY TO A CERTAIN POINT. BUT IT IS A WARNING SIGN FOR ME BECAUSE I WAS SCARED STRAIGHT. 23 YRS AS A DRUNK ALMOST KILLED ME, NOT TO MENTION THE JUDGE WANTING TO TAKE MY FREEDOM AWAY, AND PLACE ME IN PRISON, BUT I GOT THE 2ND CHANCE THAT NOT EVERYONE GETS IN THIS LIFE TIME. FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN IS HEALTHY, BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW WHAT IT LIKE TO BE SOBER, AND LIVE IN OUR OWNE SKIN. BUT AS SOBRITY GOSE ON, MY FEAR HAS TURNED INTO FAITH IN MY HIGHER POWER. AND THAT GIVES YOU COURAGE TO FACE LIFE ON LIFE TERMS.


Member: Wanda B
Location: AL
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 07:56:14

Comments

Fear hounds me daily as I start this journey into sobriety. So afraid I'll fall and not get up. I've begun going to meetings, and they help. Does the fear go away--ever? Wanda


Member: Linda W.
Location: Texas
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 08:22:27

Comments

I'm Linda and I'm an alcoholic. Hi Everybody. Yes Wanda the fear does go away. When I got to AA 14 years ago I was afraid all the time. Faith in a God has replaced that fear. Through working the steps and the fellowship of A.A. I have an understanding of God today. My experience has shown me over and over that God will carry me through the rough times in my life and keep me sober. In the Big Book it says "At times we will have no mental defense against the first drink, that defense must come from a power greater that us" I had a personal experience with this when I had about 5 years sobriety. When I had 5 years sobriety I was going to alot of meetings, sponsoring people, working a pretty solid program, and I read an article in the newspaper of alcoholism. I decided I wasn't an alky. Nothing I had learned in the program popped into my head to refute that idea. No doubts popped in my head. I was on my way to taking a drink the next time alcohol was available. God came in the form of another member of A.A. knocking on my door. When I opened my door it was like someone had thrown a bucket of cold water on me, everything I had learned in this program came back. That was God doing for me what I couldn't do for myself. Hang in there Wanda, go to meetings, talk with people in the program, work the steps, and you will find your fear replaced with faith in a God of your understanding. Keep coming back. Linda


Member: Kelly A
Location: Boston
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 09:03:38

Comments

Day 11 here. I think one of my problems with this program is that I am not an extremely religious person. People start talking God and it puts me back in church when I was young and forced to go. Bores me to death. Because I am not overly religious does not make me a bad person. I am very giving and caring of others as well as respect others choice regarding religion. However I do not want it thrown in my face when I go to a meeting. A lot of you thank god for your sobriety, what about giving yourself a little credit. Maybe I am lashing out, I don't know. Day 11 here hoping to make day 12. Have a great day all.


Member: J.R.
Location: NYC
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 10:43:49

Comments

Here is my problem. I hit rock bottom, get up the courage to go to a first meeting, get 90 days, then a year, and then everything is going so well, my life becomes so busy, I miss a meeting, then another, then another, and somehow get fooled into thinking I "don't need AA"...and without fail, I start drinking again. This has happened several times. I'm in the cycle again now. I want to go to another meeting, but I'm too embarrassed (ashamed) to admit I failed again. What should I do?


Member: Gracie
Location: Texas
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 10:52:08

Comments

Gracie here, an alcoholic. KELLY: The mention of God made the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I first got sober. At my very first meeting I noticed that God was all over the steps I saw posted on the wall. This did not make me happy! I had tried religion many times and found it lacking. I was forced to go to church as a child and the preacher always scared me with all his talk about hell and God being angry. Luckily, I found a sponsor right away and talked to her about my misgivings about this "God" deal. She told me I did not have to use the god of my childhood and that AA is not a religious program. It is a spiritual program. I think most of us in AA have found it necessary to come up with some concept of a higher power in order to stay sober. No one in AA can tell you what to believe and if anyone tries, walk away from them. In the book Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a chapter you might want to read. It is called "We Agnostics". You sound a lot like me when I first came to the program. Hang in there and all this weird stuff will make sense one day!!!


Member: Rebecca M
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 12:09:51

Comments

Hi, Rebecca and an alcoholic. I agree with Kelly about God being mentioned so much with Sobriety. I too was forced to go to church as a child. I have not been to an AA meeting yet, and all the religous talk has me scared about the program, because I do not believe in preaching religion to another person. I have a question for those of you who have attended a meeting. Is religion and God a main topic of AA Meetings? I hope someone can clarify this for me, because I am really leary about attending a meeting. Thank you.


Member: glo
Location: right here
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 12:25:30

Comments

Hi, Glo again and I'm still an alcoholic. I've heard it said religion is for people who fear going to hell; spirituality is for those who have been there. Someone asked "how 'bout giving yourselves a little credit for being sober..." My best thinking got me drunk, a power greater than myself got me and keeps me sober. KELLY: quit looking for the differences and start seeing the similarities. Hard as you try, you are NOT terminally unique.


Member: Albuquerque John
Location: Scotland (today)
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 13:25:40

Comments

To all who are struggling!!

I can only tell you what I did. Firstly I had a moment of "clarity". That's what I like to call it - see my last posting on this page. Then after the FOG had cleared a bit I had to fill a vacuum in my mind. i.e. in order to find the solution to what I thought at the time was a booze problem, I had to understand the problem!!

Doctor's Opinion at the beginning of the Big Book clearly explains the diagnosis and malady of a real alcoholic. By the way Dr Silkworth is the only doctor that I ever went to who, as far as I am concerned, explained exactly in great detail how I felt.

I had to accept this as a basis of recovery - physical allergy combined with mental obsession. My alcoholism not only was attached to the allergy but I was also very very sick in the mind. There are two parts to Step 1. Why was I allergic to and powerless over alcohol? Also as a result of taking that first drink my mind went crazy and therefore my life was continually unmanageable.

At this stage I had to find a power greater than myself to continue with the programme of recovery. This I did by continual study of the Big Book through to page 164. I found a power greater than myself in these pages, sufficient enough to accept AA's description of a real alcoholic.

Then it was take the prescription and treatment on a daily basis through the Twelve Steps. I owe all I have today to the people down there in SW New Mexico who did what the first 100 did and understood the programme contained in the Big Book. I did what they did!! And it continues.

To GLO in Albuquerque - I miss the Dawn Patrol Meeting 6.30am every morning. Off to carry the message to Portugal soon. Will be back in ABQ in the spring, God willing.

Love to all the real alcoholics out there, including Ron L in Winnipeg.


Member: Albuquerque John
Location: Scotland (today)
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 13:28:28

Comments

To all who are struggling!!

I can only tell you what I did. Firstly I had a moment of "clarity". That's what I like to call it - see my last posting on this page. Then after the FOG had cleared a bit I had to fill a vacuum in my mind. i.e. in order to find the solution to what I thought at the time was a booze problem, I had to understand the problem!!

Doctor's Opinion at the beginning of the Big Book clearly explains the diagnosis and malady of a real alcoholic. By the way Dr Silkworth is the only doctor that I ever went to who, as far as I am concerned, explained exactly in great detail how I felt.

I had to accept this as a basis of recovery - physical allergy combined with mental obsession. My alcoholism not only was attached to the allergy but I was also very very sick in the mind. There are two parts to Step 1. Why was I allergic to and powerless over alcohol? Also as a result of taking that first drink my mind went crazy and therefore my life was continually unmanageable.

At this stage I had to find a power greater than myself to continue with the programme of recovery. This I did by continual study of the Big Book through to page 164. I found a power greater than myself in these pages, sufficient enough to accept AA's description of a real alcoholic.

Then it was take the prescription and treatment on a daily basis through the Twelve Steps. I owe all I have today to the people down there in SW New Mexico who did what the first 100 did and understood the programme contained in the Big Book. I did what they did!! And it continues.

To GLO in Albuquerque - I miss the Dawn Patrol Meeting 6.30am every morning. Off to carry the message to Portugal soon. Will be back in ABQ in the spring, God willing.

Love to all the real alcoholics out there, including Ron L in Winnipeg.


Member: Jon
Location: Camp Meeker
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 13:40:54

Comments

Jon, alcoholic. Starting with the first meeting I went to, I often feel a tugging at my sleeve when I am heading for a meeting. Then I hear a voice telling me that I don't need to go to that particular meeting There will be other better meetings later, so why bother with this one? When I ignore that voice and get to the meeting, those are usually the best meetings. If you are new and afraid to go to a meeting, you are probably being haunted by that voice. It isn't you talking, and it isn't a friend of yours either.


Member: Ladd G.
Location: Wetumpka,AL-USA
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 14:39:22

Comments

First things first,I hope by now you have picked up the phone and called someone,We all have felt helpless and hopeless befor.I do belive in kindness and helpfullness.I also belive in action,I wanted to be sober for a long time,the world is full of people who need to be sober,the only ones who can be helped are the lucky ones who ask for and will recieve help.We all have to start somewere,today is a great day to start your journy,I can really offer you this hope IT IS worth the effort.Im a gutter drunk who by the grace of GOD hasent had to take a drink in a few 24,s...GO FOR IT!........Love Ladd


Member: Chad H.
Location: Clearfeild, Utah
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 14:49:10

Comments

hey fellas and felits, I didnt look at the topic cus I am so sick of this thing, I wnt 8 months and I am drunk, fuck pain i know we all feel it, fuck loss i know we all feel it, I have been trying since 91' to get sober, the best tretment in the world, I have the most beutiful daughter and wife, who I hate to keep hurting. but I still do cus I cant cant get these demons out, I hate the anger, I hate the pain, I am so sick of this starting over and over again , i want to fucking kill myself, cus I hate being drunk and being sober seems just as fucked up, I am sick of freinds dieing, I am sick of my life being a lie, GOD, i beg you to help me, I belive in you, I am gfoing tpo die real fucking soon if i dont stop, please, someone stop with the fucking slogans, HELP ME, i got a 44 right fuckin here and cant take it, but my waife and kid still love me, I have got to live, I am so sick of messing up after 8 years of help!!! someone be real, fuck the book!! talk from the heart!! I dont want to die I just dont see another way, fuck me!!!

Chad in Utah!


Member: James Lupp
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 17:02:47

Comments

Hi Chad, Damn it! Your are telling my story dude! You been reading my mail? I used to be there, in that spot. Hey, we're all gonna die. That's a cinch! I just didn't want to live another day the way I had been living it. It was a cold January morning and I had just finished my "breakfast" in the parking lot outside of work. I was looking at the empty container and the thought came to me that I hadn't really ever had an honest ddesire to stop drinking. I kept quitting for other reassons. Reasons, that at the time made sense. Something quietly happened inside. I woke up! I wanted that drink to be my LAST drink. I was always looking for my next drink, not my last drink. I simply asked, and I didn't know who or what I was asking, but I asked that that drink be my last. As I put it down, something took hold of that drink as I was putting it down. Something powerful. It would take something very powerful to take a drink away from this old drunk. And I started my first day of sobriety, fifteen minutes at a time, Everytime I would start for drink, I'd put of for fifteen mintues. That, my friend was a very long day. I went to sleep that night. I didn't pass out. I woke up the next morning. I didn't come to. 24 hours is a long time. I've gotten worse today. I stay sober one heartbeat at a time. I make plans, I don't plan the outcome.

It is my sincere wish that peace comes to your heart as it has to mine. Living in the mountains here there were times all I had was that Big Book, and it reminded me this is a fellowship of the spirit. I know this is not a chat line, but your here now brother, and that makes you fair game. HA HA HA Hey, drop a line to anniel@ocinet.net You want to be sober? Don't drink. love and light James Lupp


Member: anonymous
Location: most places
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 18:05:30

Comments

Hey, if that God thing runs ya off, the whiskey'll bring ya back. So maybe G.O.D. means : Good Orderly Direction. Please, don't persecute those who use the word God in their sharing of experience, strenghth and hope. I've got no market on this spiritual thing, I'm just a powerless drunk. My dilemma was, where do I go for the power necessary to live sober?"What if God were one of us..just a stranger on the bus." Please, bring all your spiritual views to a meeting. Grateful Opinionated Drunk. That's it!


Member: Jamie U
Location: Seattle, WA
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 18:38:36

Comments

Jamie here, alcoholic.

KELLY A - Your last couple of comments caught my attention. I relate with you so much! Sometimes I feel like maybe I'm not a real alcoholic. I mean, I didn't always drink every night. But the truth is, why whould we be hear if we didn't sincerely have a problem?

Because I have spent so many years drinking, it's also hard for me to imagine my life without it. One of my favorite things to do in the world is make a gourmet dinner, sit by a fire, and drink a bottle of great wine. Why should I have to live the rest of my life depriving myself of what really makes me happy? Then I have to remind myself of all the times when alcohol has caused me problems and affected my relationships. I have to remind myself of the mornings where I wake up wondering what the hell I said to the people I spent time with the night before. I have to accept that I have an allergy to alcohol, I probably will never be able to drink in moderation (even though I will probably convice myself I can again soon). I have never been to a meeting, all of this is new to me also. I admire you for your determination. Don't give up.

Another thing I wanted to mention was the God thing. I have never been a religious person. I try to be, I want to believe in a higher power, but I simply can't. I'm just not convinced by the Bible. So I talked to someone who goes to Al-anon. She said to think of it this way: There has got to be something out there that is above us. It can be just about anything. I don't know, it's hard to go into this on an internet web-site, but I hope you can kind of see what I mean.

Kelly, stick with it. As of now, I haven't even be sober for 48 hours, but I'm truckin right along because I know I deserve to live without alcohol in my life.

Jamie


Member: Angela K.
Location: NY
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 18:55:19

Comments

Hi all - I relate to so many of you and it is so great not to be alone in my feelings. I am alone with 2 kids and no car and my husband won't be home until 10 PM - so I know a F2F meeting would be the ideal but all of you at this website have helped me more than you'll know - You are all my lifeline to trying to stay sober - today is only day 4 and I wanted to drink so bad earlier today when I was feeling really stressed and then I just rememebered that sometimes it's one second at a time. I hope to remain sober but I don't know how to deal well with stress and sometimes the little voice is telling me that I can drink just for today and like someone else said - 80% of the time I love drinking - I feel great until of course it all wears off or I've worried that I've said something wrong while under the influence. i pray for another day of sobriety for all of us.


Member: anne d
Location: opk, il
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 20:31:01

Comments

Hi. just found out about this site yesterday, after a huge argument with my 14 year old daughter. she's the one who said i was an alcoholic. she's probably right, but with me it's like the binge drinking that others were talking about. i can manage to have a (only 1) glass of wine w/dinner. i can manage to not drink at all when i'm driving and many, many other times. but on those occasions when i feel the urge to have more than one, which is usually at home and later in the evening, i can't seem to stop until i'm trashed. the other night i really only had two glasses of wine, but other things were going on here that made everyone's tempers flare up and my daughter just let loose. i feel that i am a very spiritual person, i know that God is with me and that when i trust in God, my life is so much better. i'm in a faith-sharing group that meets every other week. this has been wonderful for me because i know that i have many good qualities and that i'm not a bad person. they, of course, don't know about the binges tho. in any event, my daughter said i needed help. i know i do, i just don't know how much. i've done wonderfully for so long, and then ruin it - i know that with trust in the Lord i can do it. i told my daughter i'd contact aa. i am afraid to call a real live person right now. but i did get on this the very next day (yesterday) and started reading. i was so happy to find this. i feel like i cannot tell anyone i know about my problem and that's what makes it so difficult for me to stay off. support around this house, even tho my kids have told me how they hate my drinking, is not plentiful. my kids love me dearly, but once in a while (as i tell them) it would be nice to hear -- "good job, mom" "you're doing great mom". they may do it for a little while, but because they're kids (and they shouldn't be my crutches)that emotional support soon disappears. there is no help from my husband because he is also an alcoholic. but he's the kind that drinks every night, all night. now he's on vaca so it probably starts after 12 noon, that seems to be his magic hour to start. he was a part of the whole thing with my daughter, but it has never changed him and i know it won't because i don't think he wants to stop at all. his father was an alcoholic, and i see him turning into his father. but anyway, this is not about him because he is his own responsibility. i have to take responsibility for myself.

i am grateful that i found this site because it really helps me to see that i am not so different from others, that i can start to admit what i guess i've known for a while, and that i think that here i can find some emotional support to keep going on in my fight against self-destruction. with the memory of the things that my daughter said to me and with reading and "talking" here, i feel more confident in myself. i also know that, for me, i have to make sure i take time out to pray more every day. for me, this is a very important part of my life for the last five years and i'm sure it will help me now. i feel stronger just knowing that i had the courage to actually post something here. you are all wonderful to share with others/newcomers like us. i haven't had anything to drink since about 10 p.m. 7/19 and it's 7:30 7/21. i know that for someone like myself that didn't drink every day, that may not seem like a big deal, but i think it is, especially if i want to kick this in the butt. so i'm taking a tip from all of you and am going to count my days - one at a time. i discovered myself this a.m. wondering how i was going to handle the weekend coming up because we're going out to friends that do drink quite a bit. i found myself telling myself, hold on, just get through today. worry about that day when it gets here. and so that's what i'm doing.

thanks so much for letting me "speak" -- even if it wasn't really on the topic. i've bookmarked this spot (actually did that yesterday!) because i know i'll need to check in often. by the way, i too haven't told anyone that i've found this spot or what i'm doing.

thanks again.


Member: Geoff M.
Location: Maryland
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 20:34:48

Comments

Hi, I'm Geoff and I'm an alcoholic.

Isolation and fear are big issues for me. When I first forced myself to go to an AA meeting in 1995, I found one that was far away so I was sure that I wouldn't know anyone. I spent three months hiding in the back of that room and talking to no one. Then I went back out for more "research".

In 1997 I went through the same routine for a couple of months, and then again went back out for more research.

Finally, this past January, I once again joined AA and started reaching out.

Last night, for the first time, I met my ultimate fear, meeting someone I knew from the "outside" at an AA meeting. It was someone I knew from work. And you know what? It was one of the most exciting and uplifting moments of my life. I came home last night on a natural high better than anything booze can provide.

Not only that, but he had been attending meetings at our workplace, meetings that I was too terrified to go to, too ashamed to attend. Now, I have someone to attend them with and from whom I can take some of the strength that I need to do so.

Thanks for letting me share.


Member: combackkid
Location:
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 20:40:07

Comments

No one said these 12 Steps you must do They are but SUGGESTIONS of how to live a better LIFE NO ONE SAID you have to believe in GOD Just know we do and it does work The old Saying Believe that I believe I'm living Proof and it took a while so don't give up just before the MIRICAL HAPPENS You must of been saved for a purpose Give yourself a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Member: Tom S
Location: Va.
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 20:43:19

Comments

Hi, i am tom and I am an alcoholic.7days sober today, and scared to leave the house. I do not want to drink, but I bump into one of my friends and they convince me that one woill not hurt. They just don't understand my disease, I wish they could. I have been drinking since Iwas 14. I have tried AA, before and convinced myself that I don't belong here, because Ido not need it 24/7. I understand now that I cannot stop on my own. Ihave gotten into trouble 2times in the last 4months,both were alcohol blackouts. If I don't stop I will die during a blackout or I will lose my family. Idon't want to lose either. thanks for listening TomTom S


Member: Tacey C.
Location: Arizona
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 21:20:36

Comments

Hi. My name is Tacey and I'm an alcoholic. I just read Chad's post and I thought about how many times I felt EXACTLY the same way. You want me to talk from the heart? Alright, here goes. I tried to kill myself two times. Both times I meant it and I had no regrets. Both times I took pills and drank alcohol. I was too chickenshit to use a weapon. Both times I ended up in mental hospitals. The last time I realized that I wasn't going to die. Not by my own hand, anyway. I realized that I would have to live until I died. It was one of the most depressing moments of my life. I also realized that if I tried to kill myself again, they would lock me up in a mental hospital and throw away the key. I had been around the program for a long time. Trying to kill myself did not get me sober. My two beautiful sons did not get me sober. The man whom I adored did not get me sober. Fear, love, anger, guilt, shame--nothing could get me sober.

You know what I believe? I believe that I had to take every single drink, every single drug that I did. I believe that I had to go through every single stinking, nasty, ugly, disgusting event that I went through. I believe that I had to have sex with hundreds of different men, lose my beautiful sons to the state, sell my body for alcohol and drugs, sleep on the streets, in slum bars, with bums who claimed vacant houses. I believe that I had to lose my soul over and over, lose my spirit over and over, lose all that I cared about over and over. I had to because I couldn't stay still long enough to let the miracle of sobriety happen for me. As long as I could run, even around the block, I couldn't stay sober. I had to be beaten down over and over and over again. Because, for me, being sober was so painful, so awful, so uncomfortable, so dark, so unbelievably horrible that I would always surrender to the belief that alcohol would and could help me.

You want truth? Getting sober was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I thought the pain I felt inside was going to kill me physically. I felt like someone had ripped my guts out and I had nothing to anesthize the brutal pain inside. I mourned daily for my sons and their father who were living a good life without me. I had no working skills. I had no money. I had nothing. I couldn't talk to people. I couldn't stand them looking at me. I went through detox without medical treatment and I felt like a trapped animal. I had been around this program for 7 years. I didn't believe I could stay sober. I quit putting any emphasis on time. It didn't matter, I wasn't going to make it, anyway. I admitted I didn't know anything about life. I knew nothing and I had become nothing. I had nothing to lose except my life and I didn't want that. I started working the steps--starting with the first one. I got a sponsor and did what she told me to do, without question. I started praying to a God I didn't believe in and didn't understand. The minutes turned into hours turned into days into months into years. Life went on. I white-knuckled many days of sobriety trying to find my higher power. I found Him. He kept me sober and clean. He still does. I will soon celebrate 17 years of sobriety. You want to get sober and stay that way? SURRENDER TO THE PROGRAM. Study it, learn what it asks you to do and DO IT. Do it EVERY DAY. No matter what. No matter how you feel. No matter how you don't want to do it. DO IT. You probably have the head knowledge. Now it's time to take it to the heart. Keep drinking and you'll lose your family. You'll lose everything. If you're like me, you won't be able to kill yourself--you'll have to live until you die. Be good to yourself by being hard on yourself. You want to stop the pain? Stop running from it. It won't go away, especially if you drink. You want to get sober? Put the booze down, get on your knees, and ask God to remove your desire to drink. Then, get busy. Your sobriety is your responsibility. Yours and your higher power's. We're just here to love you. Why? Because you're a drunk, just like us.


Member: Tobin
Location: WA
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 22:13:10

Comments

Good Day and happy sobriety, this is my first e-meeting, and im happy to see so many people embracing the ideals of AA. God bless you all and lead you through one more day.


Member: Lee R
Location: NJ, exit 100
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 22:19:06

Comments

Tom S. It sounds like your "friends" are not the only ones who do not understand your disease, the very fact that you are still with these friends and getting yourself (yes, you are getting yourself into these situations) shows that you know nothing.

You didn't mention if you made any meetings in the last seven days or if you did how many. If you haven't, get to one. If your afraid to go yourself, call your local intergroup and arrange for a ride or get some numbers and work the phones. If you've been here before these are things you should know.

I too started drinking at 14, and continued nine months ago, probably non stop for the last 10 years. I didn't think sobriety was possible and was fearful to go out. But I didn't make it any harder on myself than it had to be. I got a sponsor, shut my mouth, listened and did (and still do) what I am told.

These online meeting are nice, but face to face is still the best. Get your ass to a meeting, get a sponsor and stop making it harder on yourself than it has to be.

If your an alcoholic, it's not only 24 x 7, it's also a lifetime. If you haven't realized realize that yet, you are destined for more blackouts, jail or like me a shot liver and one drink away from the ultimate bottom. Someplace, where even AA won't be able to help me.


Member: Janet D.
Location:
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 22:35:36

Comments

Hi I'm Janet and I'm an alcoholic. I relapsed. When I first came in I enjoyed the social end of the program the fellowship offered. I didn't believe I guess what the book and every one said that if I didn't have a complete psychic change that comes from working a spiritual program that I would drink again. I was grateful when I finally used the words "I am powerless over alcohol" (I had called myself an alcoholic in the rooms and in the bars)and made it to a meeting (still couldn't use the phone) that I was told all any of us have is one day, 24 hours. Even the person with 30 years of 24 hours is a arms length from a drink. Now I stay close to AA. I have a sponsor who shows me the steps and work them from the Big Book. Life's not always easy but it's always better than the existence I had before. A friend in the program had a brother who was sober 14 years, he didn't go to meeting, he didn't work a program, he didn't allow others to help him, last week he parked his car infront of a package store and drank himself to death. But for the grace of God there go I. Go to a meeting, ask for help, ask questions about the steps and work them. This disease kills.


Member: Ellen B.
Location: Los Angeles
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 23:15:45

Comments

HI! I can't seem to get my nerve up or my act together for long enough to go a meeting. Seems this is the best I can do. I'm glad the web site is here. I feel alot like Angela who has small kids and can't get out. I've gone 2 and half days without any drinks and its really hard! I can't stand who I've become and I'm terrified of going to a real meeting. Thank you.


Member: Eileen H
Location: Queens, NY
Date: 21 Jul 1999
Time: 23:53:02

Comments

Hello everyone. Eileen, alcoholic here. I quote an excerpt from an AA pamphlet, "A new dimension": "There was a time when many of us believed that alcohol was the only thing that made life bearable. We could not even dream of a life without drinking. Today, through the AA program, we do not feel that we have been deprived of anything. Rather, we have been freed and find that a new dimension has been added to our lives."

Another quote, the 12 questions from "Is AA For You". 1. Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days? 2. Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking - stop telling you what to do? 3. Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk? 4. Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year? 5. Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble? 6. Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year? 7. Has your drinking caused trouble at home? 8. Do you ever try to get "extra" drinks at a party because you do not get enough? 9. Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don't mean to? 10. Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking? 11. Do you have "blackouts"? 12. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink? If you answer YES four or more times you are probably in trouble with alcohol. But only you can decide if AA is for you.

We, at Staying Cyber, and many other sites, have decided that the AA program helps us to stay sober One Day At a Time.

For those who posted on this site "I only have a day" "I only have 2 days" "I only have 4 days" . . . that is an ETERNITY. Praise to you!! That is how someone with years got those years. They got them in ONE DAY AT A TIME until those days became years. Each day you do not drink is a MIRACLE. Don't ever forget that. Each journey starts with one foot step.

If you have not heard it before AA is a "WE" program. Stop with the "I". "I" cannot do it alone. WE admitted WE were powerless over alcohol. WE admitted a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Whether that power be the power you find in a face-to-face meeting of AA . . . it doesn't matter where you find the "power". It doesn't matter who believes in God and who does not. What matters is that you do not pick up a drink.

NO one said it was easy. But it's easier with help. About the only thing that is NOT a suggestion in AA but is the way this program works . . . is call someone BEFORE you drink not AFTER. That's how it works. Simple, isn't it? No one can help you AFTER you drink or drug.

I am a single mother of two children ages 17 and 10. I went through AA in 1996 to go back out drinking after 9 months. I came "crawling" back. I now have 103 days. I'm happy to have those days. I happy to have this Meeting Site. I am Grateful for my sobriety. If anyone would like to talk privately you can e-mail me at Eileenth@aol.com

I'll help all I can. Because AA was there for me. And where there is an alcoholic asking for help I will always try to help.

Keep The Faith In Yourself . . . Let The Miracle Happen.

Eileen


Member: LINDA W.
Location: TEXAS
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 00:05:11

Comments

Hi I'm Linda and I'm an Alcoholic. Just wanted to share a few things. On the subject of God and religion: AA is not a religious program, I call my higher power God because that is what feels right to me. If you want to call yours Geronimo go for it. It's a God of MY understanding and my God may not be like anyone else's, but it works for me, and that's what is really important. Please don't let previous experiences with organized religion keep you from AA. AA isn't here to save your soul, we're here to save your ass. I noticed we have alot of people with short term sobriety posting. Keep the posts coming and hang in there. It was hard staying away from that first drink but well worth it. And Chad and anyone else in pain, feeling like this thing just isn't gonna work for you - DON'T GIVE UP 5 SECONDS BEFORE THE MIRACLE. Don't drink and don't kill yourself, go to meetings and it will get better. I promise. I know from my own experience. I have felt many times the program wasn't going to work for me. I just couldn't seem to get it. I wasn't drinking but I was miserable. I just wanted to give up. I knew drinking would no longer work for me and didn't feel I had anywhere to go. Well call me stubborn or persistent, but I kept going to meetings, I didn't take a drink and I didn't kill myself (pretty obvious I guess) and finally the miracle happened and the program started to slip in and work for me. I have had times since where I didn't think it was still working and I remembered how I had felt in the past and that it does work. Sometimes it just seems to take forever. Later Linda


Member: James Lupp
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 00:12:40

Comments

Hello, my name is James and I'm an Alky. AA sure ruined a perfectly good suicide I had planned. I, too, lost everything dear to me, especially after I took the first drink. AA ruined my drinking. AA gave me a higher power that ruined my thinking. AA ruined my isolation. AA ruined my dreams of being on the evening news. AA ruined everything for me. I'm so grateful. I get to participate in life today. The highs and the lows, the whole enchilada! Boy, did I miss alot. Tacey said it for me. Sobriety has been the toughest thing I've ever been into. I had to want to go to any lengths to get sober, and I can't even take credit for it. All the things I've seen posted as reasons not to go to meetings, actually are reasons to go to meetings! My thinking was backwards too. I was sitting on my optic nerve and had a crappy outlook on life. S.O.B.E.R. stands for; Son Of a Bitch, Everthings' Real! Meetings are great, but I can go to P.T.A. meetings all day and I'm not gonna have kids. There's certain steps I gotta take!

Thank You for sharing your minutes, hours and days of sobriety with me today. Thanks for moving my optic to a more scenic place. In the Fellowship of the Spirit. love and light James L.


Member: Vicki D.
Location: Salem OR.
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 00:19:19

Comments

Hi all, I have the joy of being clean, sober, and totally free today. The blessing of AA is incredible. I have 20 yrs clean and 16 yrs in AA and I would not trade them for anything in the world. It is so wonderful to see so many people going on line to talk to others who are having such a difficult time getting to a meeting. Internet, what a miracle!!! Jamie U, you are very fortunate to live in Seattle. It was my home up until 1996. More drunks there than anywhere else. 1500 meeting a week in Seattle and most of them are great. Hope you find one. One of the greatest things I have learned is that since the beginning of AA so many wonderful things have happened which were never dreamed of, such as medications which help the cravings (not antabuse), lots of doctors who really understand addiction, the medical detox, new medications which help the horrible mood problems that happen to many people who just are not able to make it with only AA meetings. Many of those did not exist 5 or 10 years ago. My heart breaks for all of those people in my family (and probably yours too) who tried so hard to not drink and finally died of alcohol. My gratitude for AA is beyond measure and I have attended at least 1 meeting each week for 16 years now. And you know what, the fear is almost all gone. I think it has been forced out by the faith (not religion) Live is marvelous, hang in there all of you. Its too good to pass up.


Member: Gracie
Location: Texas
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 01:53:32

Comments

Gracie here, an alcoholic. W O W Good Stuff In Here Tonight!!!!!! Thanks to all for lifting me up. Especially the newcomers. I get so much from your posts. You let me know that alcohol is still out there. Thank you for the reminder. Hang in there to all of you who are new to sobriety. I need you and AA needs you. Without newcomers AA would someday die and that would be a true tragedy. Love to All!!! Later....


Member: Ardis M
Location: SoCal Mtns
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 04:25:47

Comments

I’m a grateful alcoholic, my name is Ardis. Thank you all for reminding me tonight how terrified I was about going to AA meetings. By every form of self-deception and experimentation I tried so hard to not be an alcoholic. I could not stay sober nor could I get drunk and capture those highs anymore. I just cried and cried in loneliness and pain while drinking and reading my Big Book, which is still stained from those big, heartbreaking crocodile tears! In the end I was shunned by everyone, asked many times to leave or was un-invited not to come to homes, even by the practicing drunks themselves. Isolated in my home, my very young daughter fending for herself and me laying in my own vomit, passed out in my bed. I did finally get the courage to go to meetings by having a few drinks of vodka, as I believed people could not smell the vodka (duh!). I brought at times an open softdrink can ‘spiced” with vodka to meetings also, but I went. I hated it with a passion, but I did not know where else to go, what else to do in trying to sober up and break the cycle. Unwashed, unkempt, but I did go! It was all Greek to me, no inkling about what was being discussed, I could puke if one more said that he/she was a grateful alcoholic. Could not identify, never had a black-out (so I thought), I was not a real alcoholic (sure!), on and on. I did this routine off and on for about 9 months. Until one night some one shared that sobriety was great as he did not have to drive his car to the meeting with one hand over his left eye to see the double yellow line and stay to the right of it. I remember vividly thinking: Oh my god, oh no, I do that all the time. Oh my god , oh no, I AM a real alcoholic! The door of identification was opened and darn if God did not sneak in after all, unbeknown to me. I had one more drink after that, my only HALF a glass of beer EVER, before I threw out the rest and said I have had enough, not knowing at that time that 4-11-85 would be my sobriety date. No one in AA ever un-invited me to come to meetings, no one ever asked me to leave. They just kept telling me for those 9 months to keep coming back, that it would work better if I did not drink during or in between meetings. I still live in the same hamlet in the mountains I sobered up in, and go to the same meetings I went drunk to. Anonymity is not questioned by me as my car is prominent on the Highway for every one to see when I go to our meeting place. People saw me drunk, they certainly may see me sober. Thank you for reminding me where I came from and allowing me to share. God Bless us all AND Tradition 3.


Member: Wendy
Location: Sydney
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 07:40:16

Comments

I'm Wendy and I am an alkie I put my first comment on here on 21 July and it isn't here wot went wrong?


Member: Phil A
Location: Geordieland UK
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 09:04:05

Comments

Hi All

Wendy

I think it's called "Sods Law". Try again.

wallyphil@currantbun.com

Peace and Serenity. Phil


Member: John T.
Location: Prescott, Az
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 11:17:09

Comments

I have 16yrs without drink or drug, but I still struggle. I often have a hard time accepting life on life's terms. I still have the inclination to self-medicate when I feel pain or stress. Though, by the grace of god I no longer have the desire for alcohol or drugs, I have to watch out for other obsessive-compulsive behaviors, e.g. gambling, sex, even certain computer games. (I can't keep Quake II, or Civilization, or I may spend hours checking-out in front of the computer screen.) However, checking-out with any of these other behaviors never really provides any relief. They leave me depressed and ashamed.

When I go to meetings and work the program, I find relief, serenity, happiness. Yet I often have difficulty getting myself to meetings regularly and consistently. One reason is that I am still often afraid to reach out for help. I fear that others will either reject me or judge me harshly.

I know in my mind that no human has a right to judge me, and that the type of people that I want for friends are not judgmental. Further, generally people are too focused on their own lives to judge anyone else. But my brain cannot always convince my emotions to let go of fear.

I have worked hard at program, repeatedly working the steps with sponsors, Joe and Charlie Tapes, 90 in 90s, service work. But still, I struggle. It takes constant effort and constant decision to believe in a higher power, to believe in the program, and to turn my will and my life over. I know that for some people it comes more easily. Many people have an easy natural belief in god that I envy.

I hear alot from people who sound so certain in their faith in god and program. I would like to hear more from people with time who know that AA is the better way, and the only way to survive, yet who still struggle with faith. People with time often sound so good and so sure. I feel alone. It would be nice to know that there are others for whom it is still a struggle after years.


Member: Bill M.
Location: GA.
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 12:34:30

Comments

Bill, alcoholic, It was obvious to me after a while that I couldn't stop drinking on my own, the next decision was who I was going to let help me before I decided to take my life. I had made so many dumb decisions for such a long time, I really had my doubts about someone running around calling themselves alcoholics. I decided if they think they know so much about everything maybe...? They made it real simple for this arrogant drunk. They said "put some time between you and the last drink, go to 90 meetings, in 90 days and try to get a sponsor that isn't so screwed up on religion that he can tell you how to not think and not drink ",. That was thirty three years ago and I continue to put some time between me and that last drink.(1967) The only reason for an alcoholic to drink again is called alcoholism and they told me it was an illness. If you have a second heart attack most folk wouldn't be embarrassed. I wanted to thank those of you who have been drinking again. It just tells me I don't want to be where you are today, it hurts too much. The book says if you have any doubts about your ability to drink, try it again. Some of us die, or have severe brain damage by the time we get to AA. I have never experienced anyone being mean to, or unfriendly to any of the "wet brains", that don't make it in time. After you get a year sober, then write in, now it may be better to just read the Big Book, go to meetings and remember your time may-be more valuable than you think. Love ya. Bill


Member: Bill M.
Location: GA.
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 12:37:30

Comments

Bill, alcoholic, It was obvious to me after a while that I couldn't stop drinking on my own, the next decision was who I was going to let help me before I decided to take my life. I had made so many dumb decisions for such a long time, I really had my doubts about someone running around calling themselves alcoholics. I decided if they think they know so much about everything maybe...? They made it real simple for this arrogant drunk. They said "put some time between you and the last drink, go to 90 meetings, in 90 days and try to get a sponsor that isn't so screwed up on religion that he can tell you how to not think and not drink ",. That was thirty three years ago and I continue to put some time between me and that last drink.(1967) The only reason for an alcoholic to drink again is called alcoholism and they told me it was an illness. If you have a second heart attack most folk wouldn't be embarrassed. I wanted to thank those of you who have been drinking again. It just tells me I don't want to be where you are today, it hurts too much. The book says if you have any doubts about your ability to drink, try it again. Some of us die, or have severe brain damage by the time we get to AA. I have never experienced anyone being mean to, or unfriendly to any of the "wet brains", that don't make it in time. After you get a year sober, then write in, now it may be better to just read the Big Book, go to meetings and remember your time may-be more valuable than you think. Love ya. Bill


Member: Steve F.
Location: Wenham, Massachusetts USA
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 15:31:54

Comments

Steve F., alcoholic

Hello to Kelly, Rebecca, Tom, Anne, Jamie, Ellen and everyone else new to AA or considering AA. I'm no expert on alcoholism or AA, but I do know that I started going to AA meetings 5 months ago, and I haven't had a drink in 5 months. I've read the first 164 pages of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" about 5 times, and I go to 3 or 4 meetings a week. I am looking for a sponsor so I can start working the 12 step recovery program suggested by AA, and I am starting to go out on speaking commitments. I am not a religious person, but I have had no trouble believing that there must be some power in the universe greater than me, and I have no trouble praying to this power for help every day. I don't understand or know what this power is, but I call it "God", for short.

And Kelly, yes, I take credit where credit is due for what I have managed to accomplish in the last 5 months, but I could not do it without help. I could not do it without AA or without a belief in a power greater than myself.

May "God" bless all of you and give you another 24 hours of sobriety.

I go to 3 or 4 meetings a week, I've


Member: John
Location: Maryland
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 15:59:37

Comments

Hi, Im John, Still powerless over alcohol. Fear: Help! The 3rd step says your life, not just your relationship to alochol. Turn it ALL over. That's the problem I have. Ive been always looking to other People for the answers, older men who seem to have it all figured out, mentors. Like it says in the 12+12(step 3 or 4) I find i either run them off or become disillusioned with them. Thats my main character defect, I see now. But I cant find a way to make it on my own! Its not booze I fear its failure at Life. How can I break this cycle?


Member: Judith K.
Location: Boston, MA
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 16:28:11

Comments

Hi room. I am an alcoholic named Judith. Dear John T. from Arizona - your message touched me and I wanted to respond that while I am only coming up on 3 years (7/26), I sometimes feel alone in struggling too. I feel I should have "gotten" the program better by now and should not be still wrestling with life's challenges as much as I have been recently. But, then I gather all my strength and, as you said, get to more meetings and pretty soon I am feeling calmer, more serence, more grateful and more healed. I believe that some of us are victims of more trauma than others when we come into these halls and my sponsor (16 years also!) tells me I am one of those people. She is one too. But she has more good days than bad as her days and years of sobriety grow.

Someone said here recently that the pain and struggling of getting and staying sober was not as bad as the despair of drinking and being hungover. Often that knowledge is all I can cling to.

Keep the faith and give yourself a hug and keep walking toward the light.


Member: Avril G
Location: Driffield UK
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 17:02:14

Comments

Sorry to double post this week but my ISP has changed, and also my e-mail address, and also I just want to thank EVERYONE who has contributed to such a brilliant discussion. Welcome all newcomers, either to sobriety or to the internet, and thanks for helping me to stay sober. My address is for anyone at all who wishes to 'talk' to me.

Goodie@cwcom.net


Member: Pam G
Location: Tucson, Arizona USA
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 17:16:28

Comments

Happy Thursday. I'm Pam and I'm a grateful recovering alcoholic. I'm comming up on my 17th Birthday. One of the things I've learned in recovery, is that alcoholics are really hard on themselves. Father Martin once said, "No one wants to grow up to be an alcoholic." None of us makes a consciencous effort to be an alcoholic or addict. We just are. AA makes many, very strong suggestions to help individuals get sober. Go to meetings, get a sponsor, learn how to apply the 12 steps to your life and don't make any major changes the first year, and of course don't take that first drink because if you don't you won't get drunk. The further away from the last drink the more clear I could think. I began to realize that no human power could have relieved me from alcoholism - not my children, not my husband, not my parents - no one. Why then, had the obession to drink miraculously gone - I came to believe that it was a power greater than me - a Higher Power. My Higher, my willingness and open mindedness and my desire helped carry me through. I could not do it alone and still cannot today. I attend 3-4 meetings a week. I am a relatively happy person and I am leading a productive full life. This is how I have been able to stay sober one day at a time. All newcomers this is a "WE" program taken One Day At A Time. God Bless


Member: emily m.
Location: sf, ca
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 18:37:53

Comments

hi all, emily, i'm an alcoholic. i found this site again today cause i suddenly wanted to go to a meeting... but i somehow NEVER get there. (how funny the topic turned out to be about just that...)My one year of sobriety is coming up (god willing that I get there) and that's got me nervous, I guess. I had a dream that I had a drink last night, and I woke up in a panic, thinking I'd really done it. The relief of knowing it was all 'just a dream' only pointed out to me how important my sobriety is to me, and how fragile it still (and may always be) is ... i try and try to go to meetings. i stare at the schedules and plot the bus routes to get there. and then i don't go. i'm scared and feel like i need someone to show up at my doorstep and chauffeur me there, but that goes against all the 'I must do it myself' laws that i've set up for myself. sound familiar? any suggestions?


Member: Amy J
Location:
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 19:21:06

Comments

Overcoming the fear of sobriety to me is overcoming the fear to live a life I deserve. I have the feeling that I am less than because all my time spent drinking left me in the company of people who didn't care for me. I am in the middle of making a life changing decision in which I am dragging my feet. The fear of the unknown is worse that the comfort of the crap I am in because I know this crap.

I feel the easiest thing I did was to not put the next drink to my lips. I think it is much more difficult to practice these principals in all my affairs. I don't understand how I can sit here and give one person all the power to control my sober life when he would rather have me drinking. My fear is that I don't deserve the great things I see in people with sobriety. I hope to, with the help of my HP become strong enough to make the decision I need to make.

The fear is for me a lack of faith. I have not given my issues to my HP and left them there. I keep trying to let go and let God. I have the tools to work this program and the desire, and I know I can't take the softer easier way.


Member: SandyM
Location: New Jersey
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 21:22:41

Comments

Hi, Sandy - a newcomer to this. I believe I am an alcoholic. Another woman posted about having a fight with her 15 y/o daughter. I too have a 15 year old that thinks I drink too much. My husband on the other hand thinks its all in my head and I just need to know when to stop. We only drink beer. However I can't seem to stop after say...4. I don't get drunk every night but I do get "tipsy". I say to myself everyday I am not going to have a "beer"..but then I do anyway. I'm not usually hung over in the morning but many times I am to a point. I don't know what I am trying to say here. I guess I am just looking for some help to stop. I feel stupid and ashamed sometimes. My sister who's husband is an aa member,tells me I am right now at a "functioning alchoholic" level. Never heard of it but I am starting to believe it. Thanks for listening to me ramble on. Actually there are two more beers left in the fridge that I am going to leave there. In my mind I tell myself whats two more. Am I crazy?


Member: John B
Location: Vista  CA
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 23:52:48

Comments

Hi Sandy. I also thought beer was somehow different, but its not: its just a different choice of poison and ultimately, destruction. I had to have my beer after work, all weekends etc. Just never could put it down. Here is a simple test: Try going to a bar, ordering one beer, sipping it and then leaving. Can you realistically do it? I knew that was a test I could never take or pass. Could you stop drinking any beers for a full week or a month, without being miserable or itchy? Try reading the AA "questions" brochures and answering them honestly. I can tell you AA saved my life after 23 yrs of alcohol. I had well-meaning friends say that they didn't think I had a problem. But only you know the truth in your own heart. Please give this miracle fellowship a try - you can discover the freedom and fullness of life it brings. Its' not just about the alcohol- its about the mindset of we alcoholics - the selfishness, self-centered and destructive attitudes and behaviors. Once you surrender and learn acceptance, you can begin to truly grow. Please let AA show you how! John


Member: Gracie
Location: Texas
Date: 22 Jul 1999
Time: 23:57:02

Comments

JOHN: The only way I know of to get over the fear of failure is to go ahead and take reasonable risks. The only failure is the failure to try. Life, sober is a great adventure. We alcoholics not only get into ruts, we decorate them!!! Enjoy your sobriety.


Member: Mark B
Location: Eielson AFB AK
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 00:35:16

Comments

Mark, dope fiend alcoholic, Ya know, there was no fear initially about getting sober. Just desparation. The fear came when I realized that my life was totally out oc control, that I was totally insane. The fog started to clear after about 90 days, it was then the fear grabbed hold of me. All I knew was drinking and doping, running and gunning. The insane lifestyle. I knew jack about living life without booze and drugs. Reality terrified me. I was taught that it's OK to be afraid, to own it, to cop to it, to be willing to trust in God, knowing he didn't bring me this far to drop me. I just had my 14th clean and sober birthday. When things in life I haven't experianced before in sobriety come up, they scare me because I have nothing to base anything on. I know today that God will carry me, I just gotta go scared. Trudge the road of happy destiny. I learned that when I get through, regardless of the amount of time it takes, I grow in faith. God has never let me down. the prayer footprints is my reality today. God carries my tired young ass.

Mark


Member: Janice
Location: Western New York
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 00:44:12

Comments

Hi Anne D.,This is Janice.You sound very much like me.My daughter also hates my drinking and calls me an alcoholic.I have really cut down and have days without any and some with only one drink.It is really difficult for me to fall asleep without a beer or two for relaxation.I very much enjoy the weekly Bible study I attend and have been praying on and off for God's help with my drinking problem.I first saw this sight 7/19 and did call to find out where a meeting was. I keep thinking maybe I can recover on my own.I guess that is my excuse for not facing a meeting.You sound like a woman with morals as I consider myself to be.Drinking goes against these morals, but I just keep doing it.Sometimes it is easier to accomplish something with a friend.Let's be friends and quit together.It really hurts when your daughter is ashamed of you.Maybe if we try to support one another, our loving daughters will be proud of who we are.Dear God, Anne and I are just beginning to take a step in the right direction.Please give us the strength we need to "Just Say No".I might go to meeting tomorrow.It is not a woman's meeting, so I am not sure.So far the woman's meetings I found just do not fit into my busy schedule.Next time I want a drink, I am going to think about my daughter. I very much care what she thinks of me. Let's do it-----Let's quit!!! Janice


Member: Bruce G.
Location: Memphis,TN
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 01:14:28

Comments

Histeppers, IB Bruce, An alcoholic who did not have to drink today thanks to the Grace of a loving God of my understanding. Here, as in many meetings I have attended, I notice some who question the presence of a God that they can put their faith in, as I once did. For me, and many other AA's that I know, faith begins to grow when we become willing to look at life from a different perspective than the self-centered one that has always been our way. I too had a religious upbringing which served me well enough as a child, but as my alcoholic nature began to manifest itself in me, even before I took the first drink, Self became God and I was bound to drink. My sobriety came as a result of following the suggestions of members of the group that was to become my home group. The first and only thing that I was capable of doing was to pray, something that was foreign and uncomfortable for me to do, but the depths of my despair and the pain of a withering and dying spirit allowed me to take that step as well as others soon to follow. Within a short time, this poor alcoholic, who could not go for more than a few moments without the thought of drinking, found that the desire to drink had left me, so long as I stayed busy, attended meetings regularly, and continued to pray. Simple things to start but the results (willing sobriety), I had not been able to accomplish through any degree of willpower. I know exactly where my sobriety comes from and it is nothing less than a blessing from God, my Father. Religion has nothing to do with my sobriety. Religion has nothing to do with AA unless the individual alcoholic chooses for it to be a part of his or her program. AA and the steps promote a spiritual way of life that nourishes and guides our spirituality. Spirituality is something everyone has but just as our bodies need food, water, and air for sustenance, so does the spirit need nourishment lest it wither and die. We alcoholics lack the capacity to find and tap in to the source of this nourishment without an instruction manual, and you know what that is. When I choose sobriety, I must also choose to become willing to look at life differently if I am to expect to change. When good things began to happen in my life, I tried to see how God had played a part in it, and when bad things happened , I tried to see how I might have contributed to the situation and what kind of spiritual lesson He might be offering me. This promotes a connectedness, a feeling of being a part of, and over time becomes the way I want to see life because it automatically offers serenity if I but choose to accept it. It is my belief that there is only one God, but that no two of us see Him exactly the same. We each see Him in our own way and thus He is truly, to each of us on this big ball of dirt, a God of our own understanding. He becomes your own when you begin to take steps that condition you to receive and perceive His lessons for you of love, hope, understanding, and guidance. Let go of old ways of thinking, follow suggestions, pray, go to meetings, stay busy; that is how I started and there is no doubt in my heart as to whom is running this simple program. "May you find Him now".

Love to you all, Bruce G.


Member: James Lupp
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 01:19:19

Comments

Hi, I'm James, and I'm an alky. I have this fear of not going to meetings. A fear of not talking to my sponsor, afear of not working these 12 steps and a fear of not praying. A fear of not participating in the service of my home group. I call that stuff Grateful Fear. I've been doing stuff like this to stay sober and save what's left of my life. I keep plugging away at it like the drowning man who won't let go of his lifepreserver. An earlier posting from an oldtimer, John, I believe, I understand your dilemma (or what I hear) I try to stay in the practice of working with newcomers. I've been known to get to know bartenders even. They are on the front lines for sure. A great source for finding drunks. I pray each morning for the aclcoholic who still suffers and what I can do for him. The answers will come if my own house is in order. Newcomers have never been always sober on the first aproach. I wasn't sober when I got this powerful message of recovery. I was very drunk and the guy I talked to was not drinking and seemed to be happy about it! That hooked me! He told me about the drinking game and what he did to recover. He ruined my drinking. I never drank the same again. A head full of AA and a belly full of beer is a lousy cocktail. Grab a drunk get intense. Works for me. I can't keep it, if I don't give it away. My sponsor told me "If ya don't love alcoholics, you ain't gonna recover" I can contemplate my bellybutton all day, but this ain't about me anymore. This sobriety, on the best days, is not even mine. Working with drunks,trying to tell the truth, and a working knowledge that my Heavenly Father will never let me down. I appologize for the after-dinner speech, I'm just a drunk away from a drink and a drink away from a drunk. That footprints prayer comes to mind, my beach is just littered with footprints. Thank you all for sharing this sober day with me. James Lupp


Member: Kelly A
Location: Boston
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 09:39:36

Comments

To Steve F. I am not sure if you are the same gentleman I was emailing but anyway~ I went to a second meeting. I was not sure about it, As it turns out it was a step meeting. I felt out of place and uncomfortable. I did listen in on all the stories. At the break a woman came over and offered her help. She was very pleasant, however I felt extremely intimidated. What the hell was I doing there. These people had 18-20 years under their belt! Religion makes me sqirm as well and at the end they all stood in a circle , held hands and said the Our Father prayer. If this group is not leaning towards catholic I don't know what is. By the way Congratulations to you on your 150 days. I give you alot of credit.

Ellen. I was petrified to go to my first meeting....Last week! I am not going to lie to you, It was very embarrassing for me. I didn't find this comfortable feeling that everyone talks about. I have a beautiful home in a great neighborhood, financially comfortable, great base of friends, educated, with a loving family.......The American dream! When I went to a meeting most of the new comers were in a half way house, addicted to drugs, lost their children, everthing that one, who had never been to a meeting, would picture in their head. I couldn't relate to most of them. I drink at home, most of the time it is beer 6+ or wine. But do you know what I realized...I have the same thing that they do. Just because my surroundings are different doesn't change anything. There were a few woman there that had a lot of years under their belt. Those are the woman I decided to focuse on because they have what I want.


Member: Lynn
Location:
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 09:59:49

Comments

I'm Lynn & I'm an alcoholic. I have been a problem drinker for 15 - 20 years, always had a place to live. Now,I'm in day 15, I was initially apprehensive about going to meetings, but have been attending meetings religiously ever since. I have had to endure a lot of shit from my other half, she thinks that I'm lying, and not really attending them. Now,I have found myself in this situation; I have been thrown out of my house, I have no place to go, not even a car to sleep in. How long does it take before life actually starts getting better?


Member: John
Location: Maryland
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 10:11:48

Comments

John, still powerless over alcohol. Gracie-thanks! Kelly in Bean-town: Wow, the catholic thing! Its not just catholics. Here in maryland its mostly protestants, doint the same thing at the end of all the meetings. Personally, i join in although Im a escapee from the catholic church. Why? I suppose theres nothing in the Our father that conflicts with my personal beliefs, and it allows me to hold hands and join the prayer toghther with others. It is the togetherness that helps me. It's a "we" and "us" prayer, and this is a "we" program. So dont feel its drawing you into christianity. A jewish guy says a jewish prayer along with the group, he seems perfectly content with that. Other people hold hands but remain silent. Thats what Id suggest to you. Gradually youll see that not everyone says the words but still holding hands while connecting with your own personal higher power is worthwile. No one will try to convert you. Maybe there are meetings where it is not done but i havent found any.John


Member: Ardis M
Location: SoCal Mtns
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 10:18:39

Comments

Ardis, grateful alcoholic. To Emily in sf: When I volunteered at our Central Office, I did receive phone calls from alcoholics who were afraid to go to their first meeting. I offered to pick them up and bring the person to a meeting. Most declined, but some did not. You may want to phone your Central Office and ask if they can find you a volunteer to help you over the hump, nothing wrong with asking for help. I have done this myself when I went into a rut and stayed away from meetings for a while, for whatever reason, in early sobriety, afraid to go back, those tremendous fears came back. As I had promised myself and my borrowed god, that I was willing to go to any length to NOT drink, I made the dreaded phone call and asked if I could be picked up to get my butt back into a meeting. I did all kind of strange things in early sobriety, the bottom line was, I was willing to go to any length to stay sober. Maybe this is an option for you to get out of your rut? You do not have to do it alone nor be alone, I hope you find the strength. God bless.


Member: Donna M.
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 10:25:43

Comments

Hi, I'm Donna, a very grateful alcoholic. Kelly, I have been watching your progress the last two weeks. Congratulations. My sponsor was an atheist when she came in, and was horrified by the Lord's Prayer. Hang onto this thought. All you have to find is a power that is higher than booze. For a long time I used the people in the meetings because they were sober and I was not. Get to a lot of different meetings. Try them all. Part of your discomfort comes from admitting you have a problem. You are so right. Look to the women with years of sobriety. They have what you want. For the others who don't have time in their busy schedules: Use the time you spend looking for, buying a drink, or drinking. Go to a one hour meeting instead. What have you got to lose? Bless all of you on your road to recovery. I fought this program for the first two years of my sobriety. Today, I am so grateful for what I have received here. Thank you for letting me share.


Member: Gracie
Location: Texas
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 12:04:54

Comments

LYNN: Gracie here, an alcoholic. When I first came to AA I had a lot of those things happen to me too. To just mention a few: 1) I lost my apartment because I didn't pay the rent when I was drinking, 2) my car was repoed because I didn't make my car payments when I was drinking, 3) my family didn't want to see me because I was a butt-hole when I was drinking, 4) I lost my license to practice nursing because I stole drugs at work, 5) the IRS audited me and I had to pay back a bunch of money because when I drank I kept lousy records,6) I had lost custody of my daughter because when I was drinking and drugging I was a lousy mother, ect.,ect.,ect. You get the point, don't you? While drinking, I set a snowball rolling down a big mountain. Now just because I got sober doesn't mean the snowball is going to stop rolling. It will continue to roll until it reaches the bottom of the mountain. The good news is this; if I stay sober and hang on to my ass I just might not have to create anymore snowballs!!! When I walked into my first AA meeting I was told that if I would stay sober and work the steps, God and AA would give me back everything that alcohol took away! And guess what, it happened. Not in my time, in Gods time. It can happen for you too. Hang in there and let the people in the meetings love you.


Member: CathyM
Location: Ontario
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 13:08:44

Comments

Hi! This is the first time i have been here and it was very interesting reading. I have not drank in 3 months and have never been to a meeting. I would like to know, how you find out if you are an alcoholic? I have been accused of this but feel i am not. If there is any tests please let me know...Thanks alot


Member: James Lupp
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 13:37:52

Comments

Hi, my names is James, and I'm an Alky. I have a home group. That is, I have a group I attend often. It is a group that I am committed to. I found out, in time, that my opinion in that groups business meetings counts for something. My sponsor helped me get involved because I wanted to "fix" that group. I also wanted to help. Well, I went to the business meeting and that group of drunks "fixed" me and wound up helping me. But for the first time I felt counted it, a part of, and not a part from AA. Participation at my group's business meetings sure helped with some of that ego-busting I so desparately need. I think it was the initial Committment to my sobriety that helped, in time. I have found the difference between committment and participation is like having bacon and eggs for breakfast; the chicken participated, and the pig was committed. It's a WE deal, not a ME deal. Every group has a right to do as it pleases. What happens inside those rooms, stays in those rooms. I don't care what prayers a group says or not. I'm grateful two or more drunks were committed enough to be there when I was looking for a meeting. In the beginning I thought AA was there for me, that was true, in addition to that, I realized AA is there because some people took the time to give back what was so freely given, and those were exactly the people who had what I wanted. I try to do what they do, WITH them. AS I've stated, conformity was not my strong suite. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination or religion and has no opinion on outside issues. It was just like me to be the kind of person drowning, and someone throws a life-preserver, then I throw it back cuz it's the wrong color. AA has done really all it could do to take the fight over OTHER things and focus on sobriety, the only thing I could afford at the time. I'm on my way to an Area Assembly for Colorado Area 10 and I'm going to say the Lord's Prayer with 400-500 recovering alcoholics instead of my old ways of sitting in a dark place with oblivion wondering when the rest of the world will straighten up. I have this sneaky suspicion they are all gonna say "Keep Coming Back, It works!" That's powerful stuff! WE will be there with you In the Fellowship of the Spirit. love and light. James l. P.S. Thanks Again for the E-Mail and 12th stepping me!


Member: Bruce A.
Location: Crowsnest, PA
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 15:46:28

Comments

Hi everyone. My name is Apollo and I am an alcoholic. When I first came to meetings back in Feb. of 83, I thought i knew everything in 3 mos. so i tried to stay sober on my own. It worked for a week. They say it will get worse. it did and so did I . 3 mos. later I came crawling back to A.A. This time I did what people suggested. I had to surrender to the fact that I am an alcoholic. Cathy, from Ontario, If you look like a duck, talk like a duck and smell like a duck. No doubt your a duck. There is a pamplet called 44 Question. This might help you out . Contact the NY General sercvice Office Of A.A. or just go to a meeting in your area and pick one up. Since taking the suggestions of others, like work the steps starting with #1,study the big Book, Get a sponsor to guide me,Go to meetings, Find a higher Power, Clean house and pass this on to other alcoholics and get a home group and get active in A.A. Since doing these suggestions I haven't found it nessecary to pick up. But for the Grace of God, I have been sober 1 day at a time since 9-10-83. Love you all Bruce A.


Member: glo
Location: abq
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 16:27:52

Comments

Hi! Glo alcoholic. Cathy M. in Ontario call the AA central office in your area (it should be listed in the phonebook as such)and get some literature from them. Perhaps they can direct you to an open meeting. Read the literature and if possible check out a meeting.You'll find out whatever it is you need to know.

Abstinence was not a problem for me. If I never took the 1st drink I was okay. My problem was binge drinking, once I started I just couldn't stop. I hated when friends would say "let's go out for a couple beers". If I was going out I was going out until all the beer was gone or I passed out, whichever came first. When I read The Doctor's Opinion in the Big Book I finally understood what that was about. Once I committed myself to the program of alcoholics anonymous I was sure I could "do it" on my own. Hell, I did all 12 steps in the 1st reading. Slowly I learned, after hearing it said repeatedly, I did not have to do it alone. Then I realize I couldn't do it alone. Today I CHOOSE not to do it alone. That's the way I drank...alone. Today I choose to do it differently.

Albuquerque John:I'm a "Desert Rat" myself. Wednesday evenings, 6:oopm, regular as clockwork. I appreciate your postings. Safe traveling!!


Member: RickM
Location: Cookeville,Tn
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 16:36:37

Comments

The only thing that has helped me over come the fear of anything,is FAITH !Knowing and trusting with all my heart that everything is gonna be alright!MEETINGS<MEETINGS<MEETINGS...God bless and reach out.


Member: Bobby Christenson
Location: Riverton, wy
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 18:07:14

Comments

HI I'm Bobby an alky, It took me over 5 years to over come the fear of getting sober and just over five months ago AA heat hard and heavy and I give all that credit to my higer power without that I Know I would still be out drinking or even worse dead. Iwas to the point that I had no way out. I drank to live and lived to drink, I honestly thought my only hope was suicide, and just in the last few months God has given me so much to live for, all because of soberiety, so there is hope if we even give it a sliver of a chance.


Member: KRISTEN P.
Location: POMONA
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 18:29:25

Comments

HELLO EVERYONE, MY NAME IS KRISTEN AND I AM AN ALCOHOLIC. I HAVEN'T BEEN HERE IN A WHILE, I'VE JUST BEEN DEALING WITH LIFE ON LIFES TERMS. LIFE IS GOOD TODAY THOUGH. I GET TO EXPERIENCE SO MUCH TODAY AND ON TOP OF ALL THAT I AM A SOBER MEMBER OF SOCIETY! THIS PAST WEDNESDAY I WAS ABLE TO MAKE MY AMENDS TO MY MOTHER AND STEP-FATHER. I HAD SHARED A FEW WEEKS AGO ABOUT IT AND WAS JUST SO SCARED TO DO IT. NOT FEARFUL SCARED, BUT EMOTIONALLY SCARED. I'M SUCH A BIG CRY-BABY; BUT I TALKED TO MY SPONSOR, PRAYED ABOUT IT, WROTE ABOUT IT, AND THEN DID IT! I FEEL SO GOOD NOW THAT I DID IT. I FEEL SO BLESSED TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE. THANK YOU FOR SHARING ALL YOUR HOPE WITH ME!


Member: Denise L.
Location: Orange Co.,Ca.
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 20:37:51

Comments

Hi I am Denise and I am a alcoholic.I've been sober 15 years and owe all I am and all I have to AA.When I came in I could not imagine living life forever without drinking.The ol' timers told me not to try.Just don't drink today and go to a meeting and ask God to help. If you make it through the day thank god because you didn't do it.That has been workin for me,in addition to the 12 steps and my sponser. Today I've been kinda down, but drinking never entered my mind. To the newcomers, (Ellen) if your scared to go to a meeting call AA central office in your area now,and someone who understands will come and get you.DO IT, IT'S WORTH IT! God bless all of us.


Member: MaryJ
Location: Seattle
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 21:02:50

Comments

Hi,

I'm Mary and an alcoholic. I believe all of us are fearful, especially when we drink. We fear drinking, we fear sobriety, we fear people finding out. Isolation is what I felt when I drank because I drank alone since I was fearful of other people finding out.

Must run, lots of good comments.


Member: Roy S.
Location:
Date: 23 Jul 1999
Time: 21:46:02

Comments

I, too, like many others it sounds like had a tremendous fear of trying to become sober. Even though I knew that I could not continue on the path I was taking, atleast it was a path I knew. Taking that first step was indeed frightening, but oh so worth it in the end. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Peter H
Location: Berkeley CA
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 00:44:58

Comments

Hey people- To Lynn and others quite new: no one in AA would presume to tell you when things start getting better. We tell the truth(it is what helps keep us sober) and the truth is it is different for everyone. What I will tell you is that it DOES get better! Remember always that there is no bad situation which a drink won't make worse. You can't do this alone and fortunatly, you're not.

As for fear I like False Evidence Appearing Real. Keepin' Simple- Peter H


Member: Ann
Location: Texas
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 01:12:28

Comments

Hello, Group!

KELLY in BOSTON: If you don't feel like you "fit in" at one meeting, go to another! It can take awhile to find a place where you feel comfortable, especially if you haven't lost everything yet. I sobered up just fine among people who had hit some pretty low points and done some bad stuff, and it was good for me to see just where I could end up if I continued on my old path. I'm no less comfortable with the rich sober alkies, though, because they remind me that even folks who appear to have it all figured out are just a screwed up as I am. <g> In a large city like Boston I know there are meetings that are attended by people who you may be able to identify with better. Do whatever you have to do... ask around. There's a particular AA club near where I live that is regularly attended by sober famous people when they're in town, not to mention lawyers, business people, etc. I'm not one for the perpetuation of class lines in sobriety, and have seen some wonderful people go back out because they were too "special" to be with us commoners, but if you still haven't found a meeting where you feel like you're surrounded by folks just like you, keep looking. It's there, believe me. And don't worry if someone you know shows up to your meeting-- he or she is there for the same reason you are!

Regarding overcoming the fear of going to AA: I admitted to myself I was an alcoholic long before I went to AA, but told myself that as long as I could get to work on Monday, I was okay. Then it was "as long as I can get to work on Tuesday," then Wednesday.... Then AA.

I went to AA for two simple reasons: it was free, and a meeting only lasted an hour! I would've preferred some fancy treatment facility, but I had drank my money away. Oh well. I also reasoned that since AA meetings only lasted an hour, it was something I could fit into my busy drinking schedule. If it didn't work, it just meant I'd be an hour behind on my drinking. Not so bad... just drink fast and get caught up! <vbg> I wasn't able to maintain more than a couple weeks sobriety at a time until I spent a few weeks in a detox house, but that's another story. What got me into AA was that the price and the timeframe were right. Oh... and it was close to home, and they had "open" meetings where I didn't have to say I was an alcoholic or anything else. My first meeting was a women's meeting, and that first night one girl told a story that was so like my own, I knew right away I was in the right place. I figured if she could do it, so could I. Today I have as much time as she did the night she told me her story.

My HP (who I call God for the sake of syllable conservation) has been good to me. All the things I wanted for myself but somehow never got when I was drinking I either have now, could have if I wanted it right now, or can see clearly in front of me if I just continue on the path I'm on today. Life isn't perfect, but whose is? There's lots of bad things we have to go through in life just as a function of having been born human-- it's inescapable. Today, I just choose not to voluntarily contribute to the negativity in the world, or purposefully add chaos to my life. I can truly say I love my life today, and I owe it to AA, my HP and a little willingess to persevere.

Thanks for letting me share. Have a great 24 hours!


Member: Eileen H
Location: Queens NY
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 02:17:43

Comments

Hi, Eileen, grateful, recovering alcoholic. For those of you with questions on AA. Go to the Internet. Key in the keyword alcoholics anonymous. You will be connected with the True Alcoholics Anonymous Web Page. On that site, you can read, from the privacy of your own computer, the phamphlets made for newcombers. They answer the questions you have been asking about AA. Am I an alcoholic, etc.? When you are done reading one phamphlet hit the backspace key. It will bring you back to the page you were on so you can select another phamphlet to read from. ALL the answers you have asked will be in there "about AA". Only YOU can answer the question is AA for you. I believe it also has the phamphlet about what AA is and is not all about.

I am NOT religious. If people in AA want to sing praises to their Lord, their Higher Power, etc. it's okay with me . . . because going to meetings keeps me sober. No one in AA EVER said to me "you have to believe in GOD". And NO one in AA asked me to not show up because I don't have a GOD!! Each meeting is ended the way the speaker that particular night wants to end it.

I was told that GOD stood for "Good Orderly Direction" also a "Group Of Drunks". I was also told that some of us "are sicker than others" and there is no difference between living on Park Avenue or the Park Bench. Drunk is drunk whether you drink wine, beer, rye, or vodka.

The reason why we, who have been to AA meetings, advocate going to them is because that is where WE have picked up the knowledge from fellow alcoholics on "How To Stay Sober One Day At A Time". In meetings, we have listened to speakers, we have listened to those in the rooms share their experience, strength and hope. We have exchanged phone numbers, we have seen that what we once saw as "unique behaviour" to ourself was indeed NOT unique at all. It is suggested that you attend meetings if you would like to learn how to stay sober. There is NO POSSIBLE WAY that you will gain from the Staying Cyber Meeting all that you can gain from going to a face-to-face meeting. But, that's your loss . . . not ours.

Feeling that you "need to drink or drug" is by no means a "moral" issue. It is not a control issue. Alcohol is a progressive disease. It starts out small. Just like cancer. If it is not arrested it will kill you. Alcoholism cannot be cured. If it could, we would know about the cure, and we all wouldn't be here, in this meeting, now would we? AA would not have been able to say "we thought we could find an easier softer way" to get sober if that wasn't the case. Just read what we all have posted here. We ALL tried all kinds of ways to stay sober. They don't work. AA does.

Ya know, we also end our meetings by saying "It works if you work it so work it you're worth it". That's not a religious prayer. It's a statement. None of us in AA is saying that your life is going to magically turn wonderful by coming into AA. But your life can become managable if you are sober.

I have kids too. My kids were ready to pack up and leave me because of my drinking. Why would they want to stay? And how can you possibly be ready for an emergency with kids in the house if you're drinking? Even if it's once in a while. What? Are you going to pick the time that an emergency happens? I've been to an emergency room drunk. Almost had my kids taken away from me.

If you truly feel you want to find out more about alcohol and Alcoholics Anonymous try what I posted in the beginning of this message. If you don't go into the AA site there are 14,586 others to choose from. Alcohol is a big problem with the world. You have been fortunate enough to find a site where a few of us have found the way to arrest a very difficult, very serious, deadly disease. Do what you feel is necessary.

I'ld like to end by saying "We join hands to show that we cannot do this alone. What was difficult to do alone we draw strength from one another". Thank you for being there for me tonight, for giving me one more 24-hour period to call "sober". Eileen at Eileenth@aol.com


Member: Frank
Location: NY
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 09:38:18

Comments

Hi, my name is Frank and I'm an alcoholic. This is the first time at this site for me, and the first time I ever posted anywere on the net.

Near the end of my drinking I went to AA meetings on and off for a year. Each time I would find an exchuse why AA was not for me, thoes people were to old, what's this God crap, I'm not like thoes people, don't have the time, on and on. But in that first year I did hear somethings that must have stuck. Also, I was very luckly because I worked and hung out with all sober AA's. It still took time for me to begin to get it.

I was told to keep it simple. Every time I thought I had to stop drinking for the rest of my life I felt as if my mind blew. When I thought that I could not drink oceans of beer, booze or whatever, my mind blew. But, when I gave some thought to JUST NOT PICKING UP THAT FIRST DRINK TODAY, I felt a bit more at ease.

When I felt all the fears of the future would over whelm me I thought "JUST DON'T DRINK AND GO TO A MEETING'. Then it began to make sence! All I had to do to get going in sobrity was "DON'T TAKE THAT FIRST DRINK AND GO TO A MEETING". Everything else I need to get and stay sober I'll get there.

I'm sober 25 years now, and it is by far the best thing that ever happened to me. I wish the same to all.


Member: Albuquerque John
Location: Scotland (today)
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 11:10:49

Comments

Another great day!! Even if it's raining, wet wet Scotland. Got to share this!! I am so grateful these days. What for? Simple, I accepted God's greatest gift - the description of an alcoholic. I got one shot at it and I grabbed it! That was my Spritiual Awakening as a result of accepting deep inside that I am a real alcoholic!

Then it was work, work and more work and changes and changes through the 12 Steps of AA. I cannot describe to you on this site what has transpired in my life and all that has taken place since that day I was running from "them". I honestly don't know who "they" were. All I remember is that booze was making me feel I was keeping them at bay.

I was trying, I think, to escape from myself - see I love alcohol! It gave me the chance to get to AA - I am truly grateful to every bottle I drank!

It was a cold wet usual Scottish morning I vaguely remember, the day I flew with AA's airline to find the solution! And I knew I was heading to a Hopeless State of Mind and Body. I could not reach that state alone without booze. See I was a scared guy - full of fear. So I used alcohol to treat my fears. Sound familiar?

Days later I was found in the state I have described in SW New Mexico by a sober drunk who explained he was looking for a real drunk to help him stay sober. The rest is history. Thanks to him, his group down there and AA worldwide. He even became my sponsor. During the years he gave me a piece of advice I have tried hard not to forget - "Never go to anyone for advice about how to do something unless you know thay have done what you are looking to do! And that includes understanding and practising the Programme of recovery contained within the first 164 pages of the Big Book."

If anyone out there feels deep inside they fit AA's description of an alcoholic then please grab it and accept it. See I found a way out of what I voluntarily entered into with booze. I honestly didn't know how sick I was.

I know in my heart how the promises on page 84 can be achieved if you work for them. My only stewardship in AA is to pass the message that was passed to me. Find God and Clean House.

A very grateful happy joyous and free recovering alcoholic.


Member: Angela
Location: NY
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 12:16:02

Comments

HI all - today is day 7 for me - many times this week - like right this minute - I have wanted to drink but luckily have managed to stick it out. I must say that in just this one week I am not as tired and depressed as I was before. SANDY in NJ - I can relate to you - I too only drank beer and every day said that I wouldn't and ended up guzzling it down anyway -always hoping for that "MAGICAL" high. I'm so new to this and only hanging on by a thread. KELLY A. - reading your posts is what got me to think maybe I could stop drinking also - I relate to you so much. I too have a nice home and family but drink several beers a day. My husband doesn't drink at all and cannot understand my addiction. I asked him yesterday if he noticed I didn't drink all week and he just said that was good he didn't have to buy more beer. Only fellow alcoholics would understand the struggle. Just taking it day by day.


Member: Kerry B.   3/21/80
Location: Idaho
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 13:46:55

Comments

Kerry, an alcoholic

Wanted to kind of quote one of the many members of AA:

Do you know that everyday that you don't drink and work this program that you gain another day's experience - sober. That means that we never stay the same, everyday we are different as we are the people we were yesterday, but with yesterday's experience added to it today. We are constantly renewed, and better for it, even if we don't feel it at the moment.

Progress, not perfection. A day at a time all things are possible, if we stay sober.


Member: Edward P.
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 16:32:34

Comments

I'm an alcoholic and my problem is Edward,to those first two women who shared pick up your phone and call your local CENTRAL OFFICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! . The one lady with children take them with you !!!!!!! We will have someone call you , come to your house if necessary and take you to a meeting . The rest is up to you. You will have to SURRENDER UNCONDITIONALY all CONTROL to a Power Greater than Ourselves. Our program is 12 steps and traditions to guide us to new and wonderous life we never thought possible. It's a Simple program but it will not be EASY. My question to you is " HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT TO BE SOBER ? "I AM WILLING TO DO ANYTHING FROM HOMICIDE TO SUICIDE TO KEEP MY SOBRIETY. I would rather give up my life than go back to drinking. I go to as many meetings as I feel necessary for me today the magic number will be 3 2 real time 1 cyber I don't go because I must I go want to . This is a day at a time just as a diabetic must have their insulin we must have our meetings. If they skip their insulin too often they will die so will we!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wouldn't trade my best day drunk for my worst day sober!!!!!!!!!!! GOD blessed me by letting me do most of the "yets" before I got here, I'm not a RETREAD , I'm clean and sober now for over 16 years I work with newcomers I do service work. I'm going to have to sign off now . 22nd District Central Office will be transfering their phones to me in a few minutes and I'll be standing by to offer the hand of A.A. to all who reach out. MAY GOD (YOUR HIGHER POWER) BLESS AND KEEP YOU IN HIS STEAD.


Member: Rich R, slowly recovering compulsive person :-)
Location: The Motor City (Detroit)
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 16:55:44

Comments

Overcoming fear of getting sober, again or for the first time". Great topic for me today, but I would like to deviate from talking about alcohol. To me, getting sober means from ALL my compulsions. Alcohol, gambling, smoking, overeating AND the Internet. As you can tell (since I am posting here) I am still struggling with abstaining from the Internet. And yet the Internet has caused me as many problems, if not more, than alcohol ever did. I think it is because the Internet makes me "feel good". It's quick (although I can stay on here for hours :-) and EASY. Those qualitites run thru all my compulsions. I think the reason I do things to make me "feel good" is because I really DON'T feel good about myself. I pretty much know what I should do to feel good about myself, but I don't want to do THOSE things. They seem too hard. So I look for a softer, easier way to make me "feel good" about myself. So it is a combination of fear of getting "sober" as well as knowing that if I stop the Internet, I am probably going to have to do some of the work (like the steps?) that I have been putting off. Great topic Barry, thanks for the topic, thanks for the site, thanks for ALL the people who come here to share, thanks to AA for the gift of recovery. P.S. my email is richr_srcp@hotmail.com P.P.S. If this forum had a table leader, I can imagine what s/he might say after a sharing like this: "Analysis paralysis! Don't drink, go to meetings!"


Member: Tom A. 7/25/60
Location: Carlisle, AR
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 17:40:50

Comments

Good Afternoon Group:

My name is Tom A. and by the grace of God and the teaching of this fellowship I haven't found it necessary to take a drink today and for that I am very very grateful. If I make it to 2:45 P.M CDT I will celebrate my 39th year of continuous day-at-a-time sobriety. By the way, as far as I'm concerned any day I don't take a drink of alcohol, I'm sober.

Thank you Barry L. for this weeks topic and I appreaciate all of the responses, but when I arrived here at AA, I didn't have a fear of getting sober, but I had a fear of dying drunk.

Thanks for listening.

Enjoy You Sobriety Today!

God Bless - Tom A. ate@gte.net

P.S. I still go to at least one meeting a week!


Member: Mike C.
Location: MD
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 17:49:22

Comments

Hello everyone. My name is Mike, and I am an alcoholic. There are a few questions that I would like to get some feedback on if anyone would be so kind. I have recently read an AOL discussion regarding recovery and spirituality. In this discussion there was a debate concerning AA as a whole. One way hand, there were some people that were talking about how watered down the message of recovery has gotten in the fellowship and how low the success rate in AA has dropped in recent years. Some studies show success rates under five percent in some cities; which is what the success rate was before the founders ever wrote the Big Book. On the other hand, there were people explaining that these studies were greatly over exaggerated. Yet, looking around in the fellowship today, what you find and hear being said does not resemble even slightly what is written in our book. Sponsers are telling sponsees that they can use dolphins and doornobs for 'higher powers', and then after a relapse they wonder why. These things have no power. The big book uses the word God 127 times, and when you start counting prounouns such as He, Him, heavenly father, creative intelligence ect...., were closer to 400 times. The Big Book uses this 'higher power' only a few times, and it is in reference to God. Now, I understand that we should not complicate things, but looking at this all objectively I can't help but to agree with those that say the message of recovery has been watered down to the point where it is not the message that the founders wrote about. In meetings you here things like, "keep coming back", and "use those phone numbers", and "fake it till you make it", and "hang with the winners", and, "we'll love you till you can love yourself", and "think think think", or "don't think", and "just don't drink and you won't get drunk." Yet, these things are not in our book and were never meant to be part of the program that works. Telling a real alcoholic "just don't drink and you won't get drunk," is like telling an anteater not to eat ants. If a drunk who comes stumbling in off the streets and into a meeting hears, "just don't drink....", they are going to think, "well, I tried not to drink before and failed." Why do we tell the newcomer these things? In other fellowships I hear phrases like, "I'm powerless over people, places, and things." No one in AA or NA is powerless over anything but alcohol or their addiction. If I pick up a chair and throw it out a window, I have power over the chair, the window, and the people's ears that heard it. I didn't fail at the game of life because of anything other than my powerlessness over alcohol/drugs. It would seem to me that there is a whole new program taking place of the one that is written about in the Big Book. We have chronic relapsers in our rooms that start off sharing saying, "I'd like to thank the God of my understanding for giving me another day clean and sober." I can't help but to think, "you understand God?" That's not what step 3 says. It says "Made a decision to turn our will and life over to the care of God as we understood him", and not, "Made a decision to turn our will and life over to the care of God as I understand him." If you look up the word understood, it means "agreed upon". And "We" means the founders of AA. The founders of AA agreed upon God. Our understanding, even in our insanity, is sufficient for making contact, but afterwards, and after cleaning house, God reveals itself to the individual and 100 percent of the time, what we used as an understanding to make contact is absolutely nothing like what we understand God to be after getting out of self with God's help. We don't get to tell God who He is. Our "inadequet" understanding takes away our right to define God. But those with lengthy amounts of sobriety sit back and after constantly telling everyone how much time they have, they watch another newcomer relapse and say to themselves, "well, I guess they just weren't willing enough", or "live and let live." Live and let die more like it. I don't understand what has happened to this fellowship, but I assure you...., even knowing You may be at peace...., that AA is in trouble. When you hear people going back out after 5, 6, 7 plus years of sobriety, you've got to know that they never truely surrendered to begin with. And why didn't they? Because what they got initially was a weak version of recovery that is as common today as relapse. Right here is where defenses arise among old timers. Unfortunately this crafty insanity can hide, and although a person may have found some nice comfortable place in that insanity in which to rest for 10, 15, or 20 plus years...., doesn't mean that they have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence. These are not just pretty words as I'm sure some of you understand. They are real, as is all the promises. I recently heard an old timer say at a meeting, "not everyone can have what Bill had, we can only hope to make it a day at a time." With this type of philosophy there is no wonder why detox facilities are over flowing, or why meth/crack/herione addicts are common even in small cities. We MUST have a spiritual awakening to overcome this illness. Bill's specific and unique experience was his and his alone, but that does not mean that it is a rare person that does. We Must have one. And what better time to have contact with God than when a person is at their lowest; when their defenses are down. When they first come to us. We tell the newcomer to 'keep coming back' placing them on the back burner when we should be right their immediately showing them that it is okay to let go and let God in, right now. You know, the Big Book makes mention of the fact that we can use the group as a power greater than ourselves and people use this to look away from God. Yet this suggestion is in regards to step 2 when openmindedness is the concern; getting a person to look at the possibility that something greater than themselves existing - namely a group of people. But Step 3 closes the door all together on this group higher power concept. 'Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of *God* as we understood him.' The focus in the fellowship today is on meetings, sponsors and people in general instead of God, such as the 'do 90 meetings in 90 days' suggestion. There was a gentlemen with 11 years of sobriety that was sharing three weeks ago at a meeting that I attended that said, "yesterday I was downtown and I met this girl that I know from the meeting. We talked and hung out and had a great time. That's what it's all about. Tearing down those walls, and reaching out, and making sober friends." I hear young folks in AA and NA both talking about "getting together and hanging out and drinking coffee and meeting people is what it's all about". Is it? Is that what it's all about? I thought it was about surrendering to God. I thought it was all about a peculiar mental twist that renders us "hopeless", insane, and powerless without He who has all power. The young girl that this gentlemen met downtown, died three days ago having overdosed on speed balls. THAT, is what it's all about! Wonder why that hanging out and tearing down walls and reaching out and meeting sober friends wasn't enough to save her? But people want to get together and hang out, and hang with the winners, and join the social cluster *!ck, while they are dying by the thousands. I just don't understand. I remember a very wonderful person in AA, that...., when I weighed 90 pounds and was bleeding internally, came to me, took my hand and said, "I love you Mike". I had never seen eyes like that before. They were glowing. She looked right into my soul and said, "what are you holding onto sweety? Just let go." I melted. The love that was coming out of her was too brilliant to keep up my defenses, and I knew that what ever it was that she had, I wanted it. It took work, it took sitting down with someone who also exuded that love and going through the Big Book and doing exactly what it says to do. It didn't take sitting in a meeting hanging out, and taking phone numbers, and finding a "higher power". It didn't take forcing myself to not drink or use, it didn't take picking up on all the useless slogans, and it didn't take meetings. There is nothing magical that happens in meetings. Just because a group of drunks get together doesn't mean that God is automatically expressing himself via the group. Look at a group of drunks huddled in an alley clutching a bottle and tell me what God has to do with it. Just because the bottle is dropped, doesn't mean the insanity has as well, or that the insanity isn't present at meetings. Tradition two does not suggest that the group conscious is the ultimate authority, it says God is. The Big Book makes mention of setting aside one night a week to meet for anyone interested in a spiritual way of life. How this has gotten manipulated to the point of making meetings the solution to the alcoholic/addicts problem is beyond me. I hear people at meetings say, "I really needed a meeting today." I can't help but to think, "hmmm, why don't you really need God?" The Big Book points to God as the solution over and over and over. Meetings are not God, and they are not the solution. Talk about their importance all you want, they are not the solution. Today, commonly, they don't even resemble the solution. There are many many people, and many message boards, and many meetings that have opted the softer easier way which has become the norm today in the fellowship, yet I asked you...., the next time you watch or listen to yet another relapser explain what happen, that you do not wonder why. It is not that they weren't willing, it is because the message as it is outlined in the Big Book is not the same message that is being given in the fellowship. If part of what you are saying to people is "keep coming back" and "use those phone numbers" and "take it easy on yourself" and "hang with the winners" increase the list ad-naseum....I assure you, you are not talking about the program of recovery known as AA. I recently heard another speaker/preacher in AA say that we must 'get out of our heads', yet what people like this are saying is, "use your problem to fix your problem." The fellowship is trying to empower the alcoholic today, and it is very dangerous. The mind that is the problem, can't solve the problem, and the mind is where this insanity called alcholism exists. It includes every thought, every action, every tiny idiosyncracy and aspect of every alcoholic; even those in recovery. However large you envision this problem as being, it is even larger. There is nothing on earth that can solve it; no medicine, no guru, not even the love of friends and family can solve it. I think we think that listened to someone at a meeting is part of the solution. I think we think listening to those with decades of sobriety is part of that solution. I think we think alot of things we'll solve it...., but with all those who have that light in their eyes that are at such peace will tell you...., there is only one solution. God. Yet, we listen to speakers and sponsors go on and on about this and that, when in reality it comes down to you and God, and no one else, and when in reality everything that could come out of the mouth of a speaker or sponsor has already been written in a book that you and I can read. The other day I listened to a speaker for two hours, and when he was done I went over and said to him, "...if you don't mind, I'd like to know why you needed to say everything you just got done saying when you could have said, 'read the Book and do what it says' instead,". We don't need spiritual guides, we need to be guided by the spirit. And the spirit is not a something to catch, it is something to be caught by. Yet, this spirit of the universe, this creative intelligence, this God that we have come to understand in its infinite love...., is not felt by many and is only a rumor. When self still exists, in whatever degree...., it eclipses the God within us all. And getting rid of self so that the light of God can shine through again, is exactly what the steps in the Big Book do, without fail. I have yet to read in the Big Book where it says, "what's in this book, you're not going to be able to understand, so you need to get yourself a sponsor to explain it." It was written so that even the alcoholic could understand it. The sponsor's roll in AA has become almost Godly. People are looking towards their sponsors instead of God, yet look for yourself how many references to sponsors there are within the first 164 pages of the Big Book. Hardly any. That is because the founders knew of the importance of God; something that is only a footnote in many circles. I actually get responses on message boards from those claiming to be recovered saying, "whatever works for you is the right thing", and, "how I may percieve what it is in the Big Book, may not be how you percieve it." And they will go on perceiving it "their way" until another relapse, or until one of their sponsees relapses or dies. It is unfortunate, yet these are things we must start looking at. "My way", is what was killing me. The Big Book did not teach me how to do it, it taught me how not to do it. It taught me how to let God do it. There is no way, or no right way of doing it. There is only God's way. The individual that sponsored me years ago, did not show me 'his way' of percieving the first 164 pages of the big book. He sat down and showed me what it said. People want to interpret, and percieve what is in the Big Book, yet...., how else can you interpret: "...we must be rid of self. We must or it will kill us!" How else can you interpret, "I am now willing that you should have All of me." How else can you interpret, "100 percent hopeless"? There is only one way to take the Big Book. Just as their is only One God, there is only one way to take the Big Book and Our message. Hook, line, and sinker. Yet it is all to obvious that people are still doing it their way, with common statements like, "take what you want and leave the rest." If there was a book that told you how to have your cancer arrested, and how to be fear free and how to find much of heaven, you certainly wouldn't take some of it, or most of it. It doesn't work that way with Our message. But that is exactly what people are doing in the fellowship today. And then they wonder why they don't feel completely connected with God All the time. They wonder why they have 'had a bad day'. They wonder, 'maybe I need to start going to more meetings'. They still wonder. <sigh> Have you ever had tears of joy? Have you broken down in the bathroom in front of the mirror, because you just can't believe how awesome you feel? Have you ever just started laughing for absolutely no reason and couldn't stop? Have you ever felt God tickling your soul? Why these things are hush hush in AA I will never understand. This is what the newcomer needs to know that they can have. This is what our Book tells us we Will have, provided we do exactly as it says. Exactly. Let Go! God is waiting on you child. Thank you. :) Mike


Member: Mike C.
Location: MD
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 17:54:24

Comments

Hello everyone. My name is Mike, and I am an alcoholic. There are a few questions that I would like to get some feedback on if anyone would be so kind. I have recently read an AOL discussion regarding recovery and spirituality. In this discussion there was a debate concerning AA as a whole. One way hand, there were some people that were talking about how watered down the message of recovery has gotten in the fellowship and how low the success rate in AA has dropped in recent years. Some studies show success rates under five percent in some cities; which is what the success rate was before the founders ever wrote the Big Book. On the other hand, there were people explaining that these studies were greatly over exaggerated. Yet, looking around in the fellowship today, what you find and hear being said does not resemble even slightly what is written in our book. Sponsers are telling sponsees that they can use dolphins and doornobs for 'higher powers', and then after a relapse they wonder why. These things have no power. The big book uses the word God 127 times, and when you start counting prounouns such as He, Him, heavenly father, creative intelligence ect...., were closer to 400 times. The Big Book uses this 'higher power' only a few times, and it is in reference to God. Now, I understand that we should not complicate things, but looking at this all objectively I can't help but to agree with those that say the message of recovery has been watered down to the point where it is not the message that the founders wrote about. In meetings you here things like, "keep coming back", and "use those phone numbers", and "fake it till you make it", and "hang with the winners", and, "we'll love you till you can love yourself", and "think think think", or "don't think", and "just don't drink and you won't get drunk." Yet, these things are not in our book and were never meant to be part of the program that works. Telling a real alcoholic "just don't drink and you won't get drunk," is like telling an anteater not to eat ants. If a drunk who comes stumbling in off the streets and into a meeting hears, "just don't drink....", they are going to think, "well, I tried not to drink before and failed." Why do we tell the newcomer these things? In other fellowships I hear phrases like, "I'm powerless over people, places, and things." No one in AA or NA is powerless over anything but alcohol or their addiction. If I pick up a chair and throw it out a window, I have power over the chair, the window, and the people's ears that heard it. I didn't fail at the game of life because of anything other than my powerlessness over alcohol/drugs. It would seem to me that there is a whole new program taking place of the one that is written about in the Big Book. We have chronic relapsers in our rooms that start off sharing saying, "I'd like to thank the God of my understanding for giving me another day clean and sober." I can't help but to think, "you understand God?" That's not what step 3 says. It says "Made a decision to turn our will and life over to the care of God as we understood him", and not, "Made a decision to turn our will and life over to the care of God as I understand him." If you look up the word understood, it means "agreed upon". And "We" means the founders of AA. The founders of AA agreed upon God. Our understanding, even in our insanity, is sufficient for making contact, but afterwards, and after cleaning house, God reveals itself to the individual and 100 percent of the time, what we used as an understanding to make contact is absolutely nothing like what we understand God to be after getting out of self with God's help. We don't get to tell God who He is. Our "inadequet" understanding takes away our right to define God. But those with lengthy amounts of sobriety sit back and after constantly telling everyone how much time they have, they watch another newcomer relapse and say to themselves, "well, I guess they just weren't willing enough", or "live and let live." Live and let die more like it. I don't understand what has happened to this fellowship, but I assure you...., even knowing You may be at peace...., that AA is in trouble. When you hear people going back out after 5, 6, 7 plus years of sobriety, you've got to know that they never truely surrendered to begin with. And why didn't they? Because what they got initially was a weak version of recovery that is as common today as relapse. Right here is where defenses arise among old timers. Unfortunately this crafty insanity can hide, and although a person may have found some nice comfortable place in that insanity in which to rest for 10, 15, or 20 plus years...., doesn't mean that they have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence. These are not just pretty words as I'm sure some of you understand. They are real, as is all the promises. I recently heard an old timer say at a meeting, "not everyone can have what Bill had, we can only hope to make it a day at a time." With this type of philosophy there is no wonder why detox facilities are over flowing, or why meth/crack/herione addicts are common even in small cities. We MUST have a spiritual awakening to overcome this illness. Bill's specific and unique experience was his and his alone, but that does not mean that it is a rare person that does. We Must have one. And what better time to have contact with God than when a person is at their lowest; when their defenses are down. When they first come to us. We tell the newcomer to 'keep coming back' placing them on the back burner when we should be right their immediately showing them that it is okay to let go and let God in, right now. You know, the Big Book makes mention of the fact that we can use the group as a power greater than ourselves and people use this to look away from God. Yet this suggestion is in regards to step 2 when openmindedness is the concern; getting a person to look at the possibility that something greater than themselves existing - namely a group of people. But Step 3 closes the door all together on this group higher power concept. 'Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of *God* as we understood him.' The focus in the fellowship today is on meetings, sponsors and people in general instead of God, such as the 'do 90 meetings in 90 days' suggestion. There was a gentlemen with 11 years of sobriety that was sharing three weeks ago at a meeting that I attended that said, "yesterday I was downtown and I met this girl that I know from the meeting. We talked and hung out and had a great time. That's what it's all about. Tearing down those walls, and reaching out, and making sober friends." I hear young folks in AA and NA both talking about "getting together and hanging out and drinking coffee and meeting people is what it's all about". Is it? Is that what it's all about? I thought it was about surrendering to God. I thought it was all about a peculiar mental twist that renders us "hopeless", insane, and powerless without He who has all power. The young girl that this gentlemen met downtown, died three days ago having overdosed on speed balls. THAT, is what it's all about! Wonder why that hanging out and tearing down walls and reaching out and meeting sober friends wasn't enough to save her? But people want to get together and hang out, and hang with the winners, and join the social cluster *!ck, while they are dying by the thousands. I just don't understand. I remember a very wonderful person in AA, that...., when I weighed 90 pounds and was bleeding internally, came to me, took my hand and said, "I love you Mike". I had never seen eyes like that before. They were glowing. She looked right into my soul and said, "what are you holding onto sweety? Just let go." I melted. The love that was coming out of her was too brilliant to keep up my defenses, and I knew that what ever it was that she had, I wanted it. It took work, it took sitting down with someone who also exuded that love and going through the Big Book and doing exactly what it says to do. It didn't take sitting in a meeting hanging out, and taking phone numbers, and finding a "higher power". It didn't take forcing myself to not drink or use, it didn't take picking up on all the useless slogans, and it didn't take meetings. There is nothing magical that happens in meetings. Just because a group of drunks get together doesn't mean that God is automatically expressing himself via the group. Look at a group of drunks huddled in an alley clutching a bottle and tell me what God has to do with it. Just because the bottle is dropped, doesn't mean the insanity has as well, or that the insanity isn't present at meetings. Tradition two does not suggest that the group conscious is the ultimate authority, it says God is. The Big Book makes mention of setting aside one night a week to meet for anyone interested in a spiritual way of life. How this has gotten manipulated to the point of making meetings the solution to the alcoholic/addicts problem is beyond me. I hear people at meetings say, "I really needed a meeting today." I can't help but to think, "hmmm, why don't you really need God?" The Big Book points to God as the solution over and over and over. Meetings are not God, and they are not the solution. Talk about their importance all you want, they are not the solution. Today, commonly, they don't even resemble the solution. There are many many people, and many message boards, and many meetings that have opted the softer easier way which has become the norm today in the fellowship, yet I asked you...., the next time you watch or listen to yet another relapser explain what happen, that you do not wonder why. It is not that they weren't willing, it is because the message as it is outlined in the Big Book is not the same message that is being given in the fellowship. If part of what you are saying to people is "keep coming back" and "use those phone numbers" and "take it easy on yourself" and "hang with the winners" increase the list ad-naseum....I assure you, you are not talking about the program of recovery known as AA. I recently heard another speaker/preacher in AA say that we must 'get out of our heads', yet what people like this are saying is, "use your problem to fix your problem." The fellowship is trying to empower the alcoholic today, and it is very dangerous. The mind that is the problem, can't solve the problem, and the mind is where this insanity called alcholism exists. It includes every thought, every action, every tiny idiosyncracy and aspect of every alcoholic; even those in recovery. However large you envision this problem as being, it is even larger. There is nothing on earth that can solve it; no medicine, no guru, not even the love of friends and family can solve it. I think we think that listened to someone at a meeting is part of the solution. I think we think listening to those with decades of sobriety is part of that solution. I think we think alot of things we'll solve it...., but with all those who have that light in their eyes that are at such peace will tell you...., there is only one solution. God. Yet, we listen to speakers and sponsors go on and on about this and that, when in reality it comes down to you and God, and no one else, and when in reality everything that could come out of the mouth of a speaker or sponsor has already been written in a book that you and I can read. The other day I listened to a speaker for two hours, and when he was done I went over and said to him, "...if you don't mind, I'd like to know why you needed to say everything you just got done saying when you could have said, 'read the Book and do what it says' instead,". We don't need spiritual guides, we need to be guided by the spirit. And the spirit is not a something to catch, it is something to be caught by. Yet, this spirit of the universe, this creative intelligence, this God that we have come to understand in its infinite love...., is not felt by many and is only a rumor. When self still exists, in whatever degree...., it eclipses the God within us all. And getting rid of self so that the light of God can shine through again, is exactly what the steps in the Big Book do, without fail. I have yet to read in the Big Book where it says, "what's in this book, you're not going to be able to understand, so you need to get yourself a sponsor to explain it." It was written so that even the alcoholic could understand it. The sponsor's roll in AA has become almost Godly. People are looking towards their sponsors instead of God, yet look for yourself how many references to sponsors there are within the first 164 pages of the Big Book. Hardly any. That is because the founders knew of the importance of God; something that is only a footnote in many circles. I actually get responses on message boards from those claiming to be recovered saying, "whatever works for you is the right thing", and, "how I may percieve what it is in the Big Book, may not be how you percieve it." And they will go on perceiving it "their way" until another relapse, or until one of their sponsees relapses or dies. It is unfortunate, yet these are things we must start looking at. "My way", is what was killing me. The Big Book did not teach me how to do it, it taught me how not to do it. It taught me how to let God do it. There is no way, or no right way of doing it. There is only God's way. The individual that sponsored me years ago, did not show me 'his way' of percieving the first 164 pages of the big book. He sat down and showed me what it said. People want to interpret, and percieve what is in the Big Book, yet...., how else can you interpret: "...we must be rid of self. We must or it will kill us!" How else can you interpret, "I am now willing that you should have All of me." How else can you interpret, "100 percent hopeless"? There is only one way to take the Big Book. Just as their is only One God, there is only one way to take the Big Book and Our message. Hook, line, and sinker. Yet it is all to obvious that people are still doing it their way, with common statements like, "take what you want and leave the rest." If there was a book that told you how to have your cancer arrested, and how to be fear free and how to find much of heaven, you certainly wouldn't take some of it, or most of it. It doesn't work that way with Our message. But that is exactly what people are doing in the fellowship today. And then they wonder why they don't feel completely connected with God All the time. They wonder why they have 'had a bad day'. They wonder, 'maybe I need to start going to more meetings'. They still wonder. <sigh> Have you ever had tears of joy? Have you broken down in the bathroom in front of the mirror, because you just can't believe how awesome you feel? Have you ever just started laughing for absolutely no reason and couldn't stop? Have you ever felt God tickling your soul? Why these things are hush hush in AA I will never understand. This is what the newcomer needs to know that they can have. This is what our Book tells us we Will have, provided we do exactly as it says. Exactly. Let Go! God is waiting on you child. Thank you. :) Mike


Member: Mike C.
Location: MD
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 18:00:48

Comments

sorry about the double message :)


Member: Cindy H.
Location: Seattle
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 21:06:39

Comments

Rule 62 don't take yourself so serious.


Member: Tacey C.
Location: Arizona
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 21:37:49

Comments

Sorry for double-posting, but, I needed to respond to Mike. I agree 105% with what your are saying. In fact, I have struggled with the same issues for years. All I can say is that, for me, it is MY responsibility to carry the message of AA. If I do that, the true message is not totally lost. I think what you're forgetting and what I tend to forget also is that God truly is in charge. It only takes one member of a group who is living in recovery to change that group. I've seen it happen. It is good to be aware of the dangers of taking this program lightly. It is not good, for me, to take it personally. I do, of course, but I always am reminded that all I can do is work the steps and stay active.

I have to add that there are also people in AA who relapse after many years and have been around the real program of AA. What I have to remember is that we all have free will. As Bill Wilson said, "We can lead a horse to water, but we can't make them drink it if they prefer beer!!" What helps me is to remember the bottom that I had to hit to finally surrender to the program and how very difficult it has been to stay surrendered. Hope this helps you a little. Again, you are right. Just watch out for what Bill Wilson also warned us about--spiritual self-righteousness. Knowing the truth is not an excuse for me to judge others who seem to not only refuse to see it but also try to pass untruths onto others. Again, don't forget--GOD IS IN CHARGE. Put Him between you and those you resent. It is what the big book tells us to do.


Member: James Lupp
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Date: 24 Jul 1999
Time: 22:25:03

Comments

My name is James, I'm an akly! I juat came back from an Area Assembly where the topic was God's In Charge! He's even in charge of my reactions to what I hear at meetings. Bill W. talked of the one's who fear for AA's future for AA's sake. AA is changing, the meesage stays the same. That happens. The sucess rates of AA are up to God. We carry the message, God delivers it I'm grateful to get to be a part of this. Please, don't be alarmed for AA. The Big Book has been launched and it can not be erased. People are people, look what they did to the Bigger Book, the earth, etc..Face to face with a drunk trying to tell the truth. AA is in God's hands. Thank You for 12 stepping me. James L.


Member: Todd D.
Location: Park City, UT
Date: 25 Jul 1999
Time: 01:19:57

Comments

Hi Todd alcolholic, this is a great topic. I'm currently 48 days sober. That is 47 more days than I thought I could ever go. I have had to deal with alot of fear in the last month and half. Fear of what life would be without alcohol, and afraid of a continued life with alcohol. The first month I was sober I couldn't believe the change in myself and my precieved world around me. I was just climbing on the edge of the pink cloud. I was attending as many meeting as I could, ranging from 1 to 3 a day. I had read the first 164 pages of the Big Book and renewed my relationship with God. Several other members had commented about the dangers of getting better to quick and I still missed all the signs. In the last three weeks I had let my priorities change from sobriety, God and family and lastly work to work, family, God and lastly soberity. I had started to dwell on drinking again and had even planned on how to relapse. I talked to my sponsor about this, all except the thoughts of relapse, in hopes of sympathetic shoulder to cry on. What came about was not what I had expected. He basicly told me that the way I was going was a sure way to fail. I had started trying to make AA fit me instead fo giving myself to the program. I quit going to meetings every day and I would only make them if it fit my schedule. I needed to rearrange my prioraties and put sobriety back at the top of the list. I needed to change my thinking and give myself to AA. It is a state holiday where I live and I tried to make 2 other meeting today and they were both no-shows. I am new to the web and finding this site was my first time search. I am greatful to find it. Thank you for letting me share. Keep smiling at the sunrise!! Todd D.


Member: John M.
Location: Ventura CA
Date: 25 Jul 1999
Time: 01:57:39

Comments

My name is John and I am an alcoholic. Fear ruled my lfe before I came to AA. Death, life, pain, embarasment, to name a few big ones. But when I hit my bottom, went to AA, surrendered to God and joined the fellowship wholeheartedly, these fears diminished. Only through intensive suffering and pain could I seek help from God and AA. Like the stories of people with near-death experiences, my priorities in life changed dramatically. Today I dont try to control life I try to contribute to it, I enjoy life but do not fear death, dislike pain but know that it is inevitable. I live life as it is rather than try to control it. And if I minimize my expectations I am often delightfully surprised.