Member: Eugene(Geno) C
Location: NY
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 06:49:48

Comments

Hi All, I'm Eugene(Geno), Alcoholic.

A good topic for me to hear would be "It Works If you(I) Work It", I've been disconected from the program for quite some time, and have not been enjoying the peace & serenity I once had, "you don't know what your missing until it's gone), And I'm still finding it very difficult to get off my u no what and get moving, Anyone else in this position?

Peace Eugene


Member: Pat R
Location: Bronx, NY
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 06:51:45

Comments

I am in the same boat as you I like the chats online and the this meeting.


Member: Helen R
Location: Joppa, MD
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 07:58:49

Comments

An alcoholic named Helen. I went that route about 7 years ago. Then I picked up a drink. I stayed out for 3 months , but I learned a lot. One thing I did learn was to do what you realy don't want. It is usually the thing that you need. I like the peace and serenity I have found inwhat I have learned in going to the meeting you know the one before and after the meeting are very impoirtant also. I go to meetings when I can and force myself when I don't want to. I don't want to go back to the way it was, I coming up of 5 years next week, only If I keep doing what I'm doing , I keep getting what I getting, If that makes any sense, It works for me.This is my first time to send a message on a computer I hope it worked.Helen


Member: Rivner
Location: Santa Fe, N. Mex.
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 08:41:41

Comments

Howdy, I'm an alcoholic, my name is Rivner. This is an excellent topic for me. Over time I've come to personify my disease as a little six inch tall, ugly S.O.B. demon which sits on my shoulder, forever, and peers into my head and watches for a gap in the recovery tape I try to keep running. If he sees any break in the tape at all, that's his cue. He leaps in and begins to slowly take over. First he screws with the ego, then messes with pride, moves on to complacency. After a time I start thinking I really am OK and in control of my life. Sooner or later the recovery tape starts to get foggy and the S.O.B's movie gets more clear. Experience tells me that this process is subtle (cunning, baffling & powerful to boot). There is only one defense against this happening for me, and that is to keep the recovery tape running. It need a consistent input of information (slogans, homilies, proverbs, one-liners from ather alcoholics, drunk-a-logs, repititions of salient passages from the AA literature, etc. I have this built in forgetter, the teflon brain, which seems to loose this good stuff as fast as I pass it in. This seems to be a big part of the nature of my disease. By myself I am not strong enough to prevent the ugly S.O.B. from tossing the information out. I need something(one) stronger and more clever than him, and I guess we all know who that is.

The key to any continued recovery I may be gifted to enjoy lies in vigilance and commitment to keeping the tape running. I have found that spending my mornings at these on-line meetings seems to give me the opportunity to do this. I spend a lot of daily time on the computer for business. It has become second nature to check my Email and drop over to any one of several meetings or chats to "check myself in" for a shto of recovery. I think of how easily this disease compares to the daily insulin shots of the diabetic. I need to keep the word "chronic" in mind. I onec looked up the word "insideous" and found that it means: lying in wait as if to entrap. That perfectly describes the ugly S.O.B. on my shoulder and his job description. If for no other reason than by default, I know what my job is: anything and everything that contradicts the coyote; can't let 'im eat no more o'my chickens!

Glad y'all are here; God's Speed.

Riv.


Member: Sandy L.
Location: Shelton, WA
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 08:54:52

Comments

I am Sandy an alcoholic. I stopped going to meetings for several years after several years of sobriety. I drank only "non-alcoholic" beer and told myself I wasn't really drinking. Finally after my daughter's near successful suicide attempt and attending the family recover part of the treatment program. I read the second step and it said that I could be restored to sanity. I had been battling and losing to severe depression and suicidal intentions for months; had been hospitalized for 3 times; and was no where near to being at peace. When I saw the second step and realized that it could apply to me I went back to meetings and have been going ever since. I will have another three years in March. I do feel like an old-timer tho and definitely a veteran of the wars. thanks for listening


Member: Don W
Location: Akeley Mn.
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 09:12:59

Comments

Don a gratefull recovering alcoholic.. i have been blessed in the fact that i never quit going to meetings, but today i believe that came from a seed planted by my consulor when in a treatment setting..His words to me were a smart, gifted man such as you will find all the answers you need at AA meetings.. So for the first three yrs this arrogant ,self-prideful person that i am.went to meetings looking for the burning bush or flash of light.....Only to here one night to hear from 7 of the 18 people attending that meeting that , They had got sober , life was better and then they quit going to meetings and stopped with there sponsors,, only to go out and relapse..My flash of lite was a simple message to Don.. go to meetings , stay involved,, read the big book .and carry the message..that night was over 15 yrs ago and on meeting nights i am usually still the first person there.. this is what works for me..


Member: richard m
Location: sarasotafla.
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 10:49:34

Comments

i believe that it may be summed up , oh so simply. " don't drink and go to meetings " i discovered that by doing that , i was working the program and practising the traditions at the same time. it must be working . i have been tempted but have not gone back out drinking. in being rigoursly honest, i did try the na stuff ( booth na beer and na wine) i let go of that too. i am glad they haven't come out with na wiskey ( what would be the point). on dec 12 i will get medallion #13. i am looking forwaed to it one day at a time. of all the things that i have heard at meetings, the one thing that goe over and over is the statement from everyone who returned after relapsing, " i stopped going to meetings " now that i am able to use this web tv and attend these meetings, it hasn't changed my face to face meetings, rather it has improved them. many times i wouldn't even read my big book at home ... just keep on winging it.so this provides me with another meeting and the chance spend more time in recovery. may the peace of god be with you......


Member: Tammy L
Location: NC
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 10:56:27

Comments

Going to meetings for me is the most important part of my program. If I do not go I forget the thngs I hear there, and my disease loves to fill in the gaps with crazy stuff like "maybe you're not really an alcoholic" or "just a few beers wont hurt anything".

Last week at my home group meeting a member who has not been coming to meetings shared his experience out there drinking. He wrecked his car and went to jail.

This is what I need to hear and meetings is where I hear it. KEEP COMING BACK works for me.


Member: Preston F.
Location: Santa Rosa CA
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 11:10:39

Comments

Hi I'm an alcoholic named Preston. I've been sober a little more than 10 years and like everything that I love in my life, I need to MAKE time for meetings. My sober life has become very full and it's easy to justify missing a meeting here and there. For me making a commitment to a couple meetings a week helps. Almost everytime I'm feeling really tired, or have a bunch of other stuff to do, I just drag my ass to the meeting, and am really glad I did by the time the meeting gets going. There was a time, at 5-6 years that I felt like I wasn't GETTING much out of meetings, but that was the problem... worring about what I was getting! When I go to a meeting to be a part of it, magic happens. There are dynamics at work when you're a part of this thing, that I just don't get on my own. For all you on the fringe... jump on in, the water's fine.


Member: Marg F
Location: California
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 11:32:46

Comments

Hello, I am new to cyber meetings, although I have been in AA for 14 years...Is anyone here?


Member: BRIAN H.
Location: RAPID CITY S.D.
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 12:13:03

Comments

HI I'M BRIAN,ALCOHOLIC, I would probablely forget that I'm an alcoholic if it were not for all the meetings I go to, I probablely forget that I'm a child of God if were not for all the praying I do. I definetly would not be here sober and carrying the message if it not all of you, THANX.......BRIAN H.


Member: kate a
Location: guernsey,channel islands,uk
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 12:24:33

Comments

im kate im an alcoholic. it seems funny typing it instead of saying it.though ive only been in recovery for 6 months i have realised that you do have to keep coming back. this has been the best 6 months of my adult life. istrongly agree with the saying "your worst day sober is better than your best day drunk." thanks for being here.this is hopefully the first of many shares to come from me on this page.


Member: kristine h.
Location:
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 12:58:18

Comments


Member: Shirley S.
Location: Friendship, NY
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 13:56:49

Comments

I'm an Alcoholic names Shirley; I stayed away for a week once and that was long enough for me. I have been sober over 18 yrs and It Work's if you work the program One Day At A Time. I hope U Get Off Ur U know what and get back to the meetings. I'll keep U in my prayers.


Member: Shirley S.
Location: Friendship, NY
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 13:57:03

Comments

I'm an Alcoholic names Shirley; I stayed away for a week once and that was long enough for me. I have been sober over 18 yrs and It Work's if you work the program One Day At A Time. I hope U Get Off Ur U know what and get back to the meetings. I'll keep U in my prayers.


Member: Tim L.
Location: South Carolina
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 15:05:14

Comments

Hi, my name is Tim & I'm an alcoholic. I've been sober for quite a few years now & during this time God, through his grace, has shown me the importance of meetings. I was a daily drunk for years & when I initially got sober I found God & trusted & depended on him for the strength not to drink alcohol. I also made a decision at that time that I would do whatever God guided me to do, not to drink alcohol. Although it was far from easy, He granted me the strength not to drink. After a few months of being sober I started to notice how much better my life had become & slowly quit relying on God. It all went down hill from there. During that time my brother kept telling me that I should try AA. After about 8 months of being dry I couldn't imagine living the rest of my life without drinking I DIDN'T KNOW HOW. Thats what prompted me to go to my first meeting. I don't remember a lot about that meeting except that I noticed that the people who seemed to be happy & sober where the ones that were relying on a higher power to stay sober & live there lives, which was the same thing that I was doing 8 months earlier but lost. I've been to a lot of meetings since then & have, & still do,work the program & rely on God to run my life. My life has become better ever since. I rely on God for the strength not to drink alcohol & I attend AA meetings for the guidance to live life without alcohol. If I take either of those out of the mix I simply feel lost, alone, & afraid. The combination of the two has kept me sober & happy for almost nine years. This is truly a better way of life.

Very Grateful / Tim


Member: DAVID R.
Location:
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 16:52:15

Comments

My name is David, and I am an alcoholic. Among other things. After 9 years of sobriety, once again I came to the jumping off point. Suicidal depression, hoplessness, and futility. An ANGEL was sent to me through sponsorship and I found out my issues were based on the 8 step. If you want to work it, then MEETINGS arent enough. Try this:Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten,damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness. Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes,including our alcoholism,no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one. In my case ,childhood abuse issues,created patterns throughout my life, including sobriety that kept me asking GOD "Why do I have to go through this?" What am I supposed to learn?". Icould never get an answer besides" I must be learning Acceptance." I finnaly got to the point where i wasnt going to accept no more. Something was wrong but I didnt know what.Ive read the big book and 12x12 I dont know how many times, but there on page 18 was a key to my answer."An illness of this sort-and we have come to believe it an illness......But not so with the alcoholic illness,for with itthere goes ANNIHILATION OF ALL THINGS WORTH WHILE IN LIFE.IT ENGULFS ALL WHOSE LIVES TOUCH THE SUFFERERS.IT BRINGS MISUNDERSTANDING,FIERCE RESENTMENT,FINANCIAL INSECURITY,DISGUSTED FRIENDS AND EMPLOYERS,WARPED LIVES OF BLAMELESS CHILDREN SAD WIVES AND PARENTS........In my case,and were all differant,suppresed rage and fear kept me from contemplating paying my bills on time. and 100 other consequences The BIG BOOK tells us we have to get down to " causes and conditions." I have never been able to accomplish anything because I have always tried to COPE with my feelings and thoughts.I didnt know about the INSTINCTS." POWERFULLY,BLINDLY,MANY TIMES SUBTLY,THEY DRIVE US,DOMINATE US AND INSIST UPON RULING OUR LIVES."..."NEARLY EVERY SERIOUS EMOTIONAL PROBLEM CAN BE SEEN AS A CASE OF MISDIRECTED INSTINCTS.WHEN THAT HAPPENS,OUR GREAT NATURAL assets,the instincts,have turned into physical and mental liabilities." theres MORE AND MORE AND MORE. YOU CAN GO AS FAR AS YOU WANT IN THIS PROGRAM, AND SOMETIMES IT SEEMS REALITY IS FAR MORE ABSURD,THAN INSANITY. ANYONE WHO SPEAKS THIS LANGUAGE OF INTENSIVE INVENTORY PLEASE WRITE ME @ YAHOO ROBINATOR DR2 GOOD LUCK HIGHER AND HIGHER AND HIGHER.................... .


Member: DAVID R.
Location:
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 16:52:34

Comments

My name is David, and I am an alcoholic. Among other things. After 9 years of sobriety, once again I came to the jumping off point. Suicidal depression, hoplessness, and futility. An ANGEL was sent to me through sponsorship and I found out my issues were based on the 8 step. If you want to work it, then MEETINGS arent enough. Try this:Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten,damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness. Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes,including our alcoholism,no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one. In my case ,childhood abuse issues,created patterns throughout my life, including sobriety that kept me asking GOD "Why do I have to go through this?" What am I supposed to learn?". Icould never get an answer besides" I must be learning Acceptance." I finnaly got to the point where i wasnt going to accept no more. Something was wrong but I didnt know what.Ive read the big book and 12x12 I dont know how many times, but there on page 18 was a key to my answer."An illness of this sort-and we have come to believe it an illness......But not so with the alcoholic illness,for with itthere goes ANNIHILATION OF ALL THINGS WORTH WHILE IN LIFE.IT ENGULFS ALL WHOSE LIVES TOUCH THE SUFFERERS.IT BRINGS MISUNDERSTANDING,FIERCE RESENTMENT,FINANCIAL INSECURITY,DISGUSTED FRIENDS AND EMPLOYERS,WARPED LIVES OF BLAMELESS CHILDREN SAD WIVES AND PARENTS........In my case,and were all differant,suppresed rage and fear kept me from contemplating paying my bills on time. and 100 other consequences The BIG BOOK tells us we have to get down to " causes and conditions." I have never been able to accomplish anything because I have always tried to COPE with my feelings and thoughts.I didnt know about the INSTINCTS." POWERFULLY,BLINDLY,MANY TIMES SUBTLY,THEY DRIVE US,DOMINATE US AND INSIST UPON RULING OUR LIVES."..."NEARLY EVERY SERIOUS EMOTIONAL PROBLEM CAN BE SEEN AS A CASE OF MISDIRECTED INSTINCTS.WHEN THAT HAPPENS,OUR GREAT NATURAL assets,the instincts,have turned into physical and mental liabilities." theres MORE AND MORE AND MORE. YOU CAN GO AS FAR AS YOU WANT IN THIS PROGRAM, AND SOMETIMES IT SEEMS REALITY IS FAR MORE ABSURD,THAN INSANITY. ANYONE WHO SPEAKS THIS LANGUAGE OF INTENSIVE INVENTORY PLEASE WRITE ME @ YAHOO ROBINATOR DR2 GOOD LUCK HIGHER AND HIGHER AND HIGHER.................... .


Member: DAVID R.
Location:
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 16:52:51

Comments

My name is David, and I am an alcoholic. Among other things. After 9 years of sobriety, once again I came to the jumping off point. Suicidal depression, hoplessness, and futility. An ANGEL was sent to me through sponsorship and I found out my issues were based on the 8 step. If you want to work it, then MEETINGS arent enough. Try this:Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten,damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness. Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes,including our alcoholism,no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one. In my case ,childhood abuse issues,created patterns throughout my life, including sobriety that kept me asking GOD "Why do I have to go through this?" What am I supposed to learn?". Icould never get an answer besides" I must be learning Acceptance." I finnaly got to the point where i wasnt going to accept no more. Something was wrong but I didnt know what.Ive read the big book and 12x12 I dont know how many times, but there on page 18 was a key to my answer."An illness of this sort-and we have come to believe it an illness......But not so with the alcoholic illness,for with itthere goes ANNIHILATION OF ALL THINGS WORTH WHILE IN LIFE.IT ENGULFS ALL WHOSE LIVES TOUCH THE SUFFERERS.IT BRINGS MISUNDERSTANDING,FIERCE RESENTMENT,FINANCIAL INSECURITY,DISGUSTED FRIENDS AND EMPLOYERS,WARPED LIVES OF BLAMELESS CHILDREN SAD WIVES AND PARENTS........In my case,and were all differant,suppresed rage and fear kept me from contemplating paying my bills on time. and 100 other consequences The BIG BOOK tells us we have to get down to " causes and conditions." I have never been able to accomplish anything because I have always tried to COPE with my feelings and thoughts.I didnt know about the INSTINCTS." POWERFULLY,BLINDLY,MANY TIMES SUBTLY,THEY DRIVE US,DOMINATE US AND INSIST UPON RULING OUR LIVES."..."NEARLY EVERY SERIOUS EMOTIONAL PROBLEM CAN BE SEEN AS A CASE OF MISDIRECTED INSTINCTS.WHEN THAT HAPPENS,OUR GREAT NATURAL assets,the instincts,have turned into physical and mental liabilities." theres MORE AND MORE AND MORE. YOU CAN GO AS FAR AS YOU WANT IN THIS PROGRAM, AND SOMETIMES IT SEEMS REALITY IS FAR MORE ABSURD,THAN INSANITY. ANYONE WHO SPEAKS THIS LANGUAGE OF INTENSIVE INVENTORY PLEASE WRITE ME @ YAHOO ROBINATOR DR2 GOOD LUCK HIGHER AND HIGHER AND HIGHER.................... .


Member: RUDY F
Location: SPRING HILL
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 17:13:12

Comments

RUDY, ALCOHOLIC: JUST GOT READY TO POST AND DISCOVERED BY READING ALL,ALL,ALL DIRECTIONS THAT THIS FORMAT CANBE HAD IN BLACK AND WHITE. NO GREATER REASON TO GO TO MEETINGS,FOR IT IS THERE THAT I FIRST HEARD THAT ALCOHOLICS HAVE A GREAT PROBLEM FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS. SO IT FOLLOWS WITH ALL ASPECTS OF DAILY LIVING. JUST BECAUSE I AM NOT DRINKING, DOES NOT MEAN THAT MY THINKING FUNCTIONS PERFECTLY. MEETINGS KEEP ME FRESH AND WILLING TO CONTINUE TO GROW. ONE EITHER IS GROWING OR YOU ARE GOING, THE CHOICE IS YOURS, I NEED MEETINGS.


Member: DAVID
Location:
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 18:00:43

Comments

SORRY RUDY FIRST TIME IVE DONE THIS DAVID


Member: Tom H
Location: Midwest
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 18:28:57

Comments

I don't know if I am right or wrong but I have a comment. I don't go to meetings anymore. I do some 12th step work, read about addiction, and ask God everyday to be with me and keep me sober. I feel very in touch with my addiction and excessive behaviors. The reason I quit going to meetings is that I simply got tired of listing to the same stories told in different ways and always beating myself up about my past. Why keep re-hashing it again and again. I want to move on with my life. Make any sense to anyone?


Member: Ray R
Location: Florissant,MO
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 20:04:59

Comments

I sure hope those who stopped going to meetings start going again. Every person who goes out and is blessed enough to make it back, always says they stopped going to meetings and stopped talking to people in the program ( fellowship). Tom talked about hearing the same stories. Thats because the disease is the same and the results are the same. Nothings changed out there. I go to four meetings a week. For me that seems to keep me in a good space. When things come up and I don't make those meetings, I feel it inside. That Peace, that Serenity that I never felt before gets a little wavy. But I know what will restore it, a good meeting.I've heard it said that you have to go to meetings until you want to go. Thank you, thats where I am today. I want to go.That is probably the result of my higher power's loving guidance in my life today, I owe all that I am today to HIS and your love. Thanks


Member: Linda O
Location: PTB, FL
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 20:25:16

Comments

Hi! I'm Linda and I'm an alcoholic.

Great Topic! It works if you work it. Sometimes I think I don't work it enough. My BIGGEST problem is control -- I am an absolute, total control freak. I realize that everything depends upon "Letting Go and Letting God;" however, too often I'll try to take control back after giving the situation or problem over to God. That's the down side. The up side is that I'm very connected to AA. I can't imagine my life without it! When I was a drunk I was surrounded exclusively by drunks -- didn't trust anyone who didn't drink. Now that I'm sober, my life is surrounded by people in sobriety. Even though I have ten years in the program, I still make at least four meetings a week and do lots of service work. I don't want to find out what my life would be like without the program.

Tom H., I have a good friend who has been sober for over 20 years and has yet to step foot in an AA meeting. He's sober, but he's the most miserable S.O.B. I've ever met! He has no one to relate to in the "real world" and spends most of his time alone. I feel very sorry for him because he's missing out on the love and support that AA people give one another. Hope this helps.


Member: Linda P (Traveler)
Location: CA, USA
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 21:22:13

Comments

Hi, Linda an alcoholic.

There was a period of time in early sobriety that I was restless listening to people tell their stories, especially if I was able to identify. Once I was able to relate, I had a few different responses that I would experience: 1) a sense of relief for being able to identify myself with others in the room who were alcoholics, as this gave me a feeling of belonging, 2) felt a deep sadness for having to give up the only life I had every know, and 3) fearful of what my life would be like without the anethesia, alcohol.

I was fortunate to have those remind me over and over that meetings were important. One thing that helped me stay plugged in was to get there early to help set up, and stay after to help put things away. It gave me a sense of purpose to be there. Doing this gave me opportunities to get acquinted with recovering alcoholics. These people would encourage me when I would get into hopelessness, and prod me to move forward despite my fears.

Guess my gratitude I have felt over their involvement in my recovey brings me back to meetings to do the same for others. I truly get filled when I am in the joy of giving to others our way of life. Thanks for letting me share.

Love to all Linda P (Traveler)


Member: Gary S.
Location: Warren, Michigan
Date: 25 Oct 1998
Time: 22:57:08

Comments

HI, my name is Gary and I am an alcoholic. I don't have to drink, and it is a joy to be sober in AA.

I even get to be happy much of the time. Going to meetings alone has absolutely no virtue in keeping us sober. We must work the steps in the BB if we want what the BB says we can get. The fellowship/meetings is an important part of life for me, but without the 12 step program actively worked on a daily basis in my life, meetings will do nothing but give me a place to go and hang on. I have, and continue at times, to go through the "why can't I's?" The answer is that I can't because I had my chance at the wheel before God dropped me at my first meeting of AA. "Selfishness, self-centeredness, that we think is the root of our troubles" and that's what I'm doing when I wander off (often just in my mind) into the "why can't I's?" The simple fact for me is that if I want to live the happy, joyous, and free life that the 12 step program offers as .....THE result of these steps..., I must live my life on the basis of give, help, serve, and contribute to life and everyone in it. That's the price I pay for living the selfish life I did before I got to the love of the fellowship, but the pay is terrific for this work. I have peace, power, and joy in life by the Grace of God. When i keep myself at His disposal, life works. When I take charge, life doesn't work. Simple, but not easy. Thanks for being there. Yours in the fellowship fo the spirit, love, Gary.


Member: tony g
Location: ma
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 01:02:02

Comments

tony alcoholic,if i dont go to meetings or pray at least twice a day,istart to go into relapse i can feel it happening then i have to kick out the lousy thinking i do that by prayer,meetings,and SELF inventory,i dont want to play games with my sobriety so i do these things they work.honesty works wonders too,stay with the program its got a great success rate.as Sly and the family stone would say "You can make it if you try"


Member: Larry M.
Location: Virginia Beach
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 01:37:40

Comments

Larry, alcoholic

I identify with a lot of what's already been said. I stopped attending meetings after about 6 mos and spent the next 5 yrs fairly happy, only occasionally reading the literature or attending a meeting. I never craved a drink. I had a good opinion of AA, had always enjoyed going to meetings and reading the literature, but felt I didn't need the program anymore. The people in AA seemed a little too over-zealously religious to me. IMO that was fine for them, but apparently I could stay sober without AA. I did credit AA with getting me sober and was grateful for that, but felt that I was destined to walk a different path in life. (There was definitely some intellectual pride involved!) I thought I was getting better without AA.

Then adversity struck. Life suddenly handed me "a great big lump that [I] couldn't begin to swallow" as Bill W. says in the 12x12. All of the terrible emotions came flooding back and overwhelmed me: fear, anger, rage, self-pity, resentment. I was getting torn up inside. Although I didn't have an urge to drink, I was in trouble and knew it. As it turned out, I hadn't been getting better at all; THINGS had merely gotten better and now they had gotten worse and I had no way to cope with them. Fortunately I remembered that there was a program that promised it could help me deal with these feelings. So I came back to AA, not to get sober this time, but to learn how to live sober.

The key word in our discussion topic is WORK. AA requires effort. I have to work at my program so it will work for me. To get the maximum benefit from the program, I need a full program of step work and service work in addition to meetings. One of the greatest gifts I've received from sobriety is a willingness to work. WORK is no longer a four-letter word for me; it now has positive connotations instead of negative ones. I don't avoid work anymore, I enjoy it! (I can barely believe the words on the page as I type them, having been one of the laziest SOB's on the face of the earth for much of my life.) I know I will reap the tremendous rewards of peace and serenity if I put in the work, so I rarely have to force myself to go to meetings, work the steps, do service work, etc. I find it very satisfying and get much more out of it than I put into it.

Note to Tom H.: I have experienced getting bored with listening to the same people saying pretty much the same things at the same meetings. Meetings can get stale after awhile. We noted this problem recently in my homegroup and have altered our format somewhat to try and get some new perspectives. In my own program, I have always gone to my homegroup without fail, another meeting very regularly and then for my third meeting (I find 3 meetings per week ideal for me) I "make my rounds" throughout the area, attending a different meeting every week. This way I see new faces and hear new things every week. Of course, I have always been fortunate enough to live in areas where there were plenty of meetings to choose from; this may not be an option for you.

Peace & Serenity


Member: Martina G
Location:
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 06:53:19

Comments

Hi, Martina, an alcoholic. This is a good topic. As an alcoholic, impatience is a real, ongoing problem. The pull towards instant gratification is ever before me. Discipline does not come easy to an alcoholic. Nor does doing things that are "boring" or do not give an emotional high. There are no shortcuts to sobriety. It requires a serious commitment to put one foot in front of the other, regardless of how I FEEL, and humbly rely on the wisdom that has worked for others. It works if you just do it!

Have a sober day everyone.


Member: Ter F.
Location: Ohio
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 08:05:07

Comments

Hi everyone. I'm an alcoholic and my name is Teri. I'm grateful to be sober this morning and have asked God to give me the strength to stay that way for another 24 hrs.

Thanks for the topic Geno. When I first got sober, not drinking a day at a time seemed like the hardest thing I had ever attempted in my whole life. I had been a daily drinker for many, many years, and couldn't imagine being able to get through a week without drinking. I knew that alcohol was literally killing me, but I couldn't not drink. I had long ago lost that choice. AA was just a last ditch effort. Even though I didn't know what AA was really about, I was sure it wouldn't work for me. Little did I know at that time that just not taking a drink a day at a time would be the easiest part of this whole deal!!

There were many suggestions made to me when I first became involved in this fellowship. The first suggestion was to go to meetings. I had the audacity to ask an oldtimer, "how many meetings do I NEED to go to?". She looked me dead in the eye and said, "as many as it takes". Then she asked me how many days a week did I drink? That pretty much answered that question. She also asked me what lengths I went to in order to get drunk, and how many hours a day did I drink?

To this day, whenever I feel like I really don't want to go to a meeting, or feel like I don't NEED a meeting, I realize that's exactly where I need to go. It has been drilled into my head that "meeting makers make it". I've heard and seen many people with 20, 25, 30+ yrs. sobriety talk about the importance of attending meetings on a regular basis. I've heard alot of people with long lengths of continuous sobriety say that they still attend meetings daily.

I've also seen many people with long lengths of sobriety stop going to meetings because they "have a life" or don't think they should "hide in AA". Guess what? They get drunk. Not all of them, but enough to convince me that meetings are an important part of recovery. Meetings are an important part of MY recovery.

I know today that AA meetings alone will not keep me sober. But it's where I need to start. It's where I learn to live life on life's terms. It's where I learned the importance of having and USING a sponsor, the importance of having a home group and becoming involved in service work, the importance of WORKING the steps, LIVING the steps, practicing the principles, learning about the traditions, and carrying the message. Last but not least, attending meetings helped me come to believe in a God I can understand.

In Chapter 5 of the Big Book, entitled "How it WORKS", the very first sentence pretty much says it all....."Rarely have we seen a person fail who has THOROUGHLY followed our path."

I know for me, if I want to stay sober a day at a time, I need to follow all those suggestions and instructions in that book. I need to work with other alcoholics on a daily basis. I find other alcoholics who have what I want and want what I have at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Thanks for the great topic and for letting me share.

Love and Hugs to all.....


Member: Bill T
Location: Eastern Shore of MD
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 09:26:05

Comments

My name is Bill and I am an alcoholic. For the first eighteen years of my sobriety in AA I was very involved - I "worked" the program actively and it served me well - read "it" to mean AA and my Higher Power. For the past eleven years I have worked the program less actively - more or less taking it for granted, only going to meetings occasionally - and it has continued to serve me well. But less well than earlier.

The bottom line is I made deposits for eighteen years and then started making withdrawals with only occasional deposits for the past eleven years. And now, confronted with something of a crisis in my life, my reserve is in need of bolstering. I need to get back to carrying the message more actively because "it works if you work it."

The principal holds whether we talk about eighteen weeks, eighteen months, or eighteen years - we need to make the deposits in order to accrue the benefits. We need to continue carrying the message.


Member: Bill T
Location: Eastern Shore of MD
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 09:28:50

Comments

My name is Bill and I am an alcoholic. For the first eighteen years of my sobriety in AA I was very involved - I "worked" the program actively and it served me well - read "it" to mean AA and my Higher Power. For the past eleven years I have worked the program less actively - more or less taking it for granted, only going to meetings occasionally - and it has continued to serve me well. But less well than earlier.

The bottom line is I made deposits for eighteen years and then started making withdrawals with only occasional deposits for the past eleven years. And now, confronted with something of a crisis in my life, my reserve is in need of bolstering. I need to get back to carrying the message more actively because "it works if you work it."

The principal holds whether we talk about eighteen weeks, eighteen months, or eighteen years - we need to make the deposits in order to accrue the benefits. We need to continue carrying the message.


Member: Debbie E
Location: Canada
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 09:30:53

Comments

Hi Debbie here this is my 9th day sober. My first AA meeting was October 23 Friday and they were no women there which did not really bother me at the time. Today I am beside myself and very jumpy but my next meeting is not until Friday night. I am hoping this will pass quickly today. This is the first day I have felt like this. Does anyone have any thoughts on this. I have the BB and am reading it.


Member: Jan T         Ct
Location: Ct.
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 09:55:45

Comments

hi..I,m Jan, alcoholic and non-typist. Debbie, get on the phone and call someone sober if you can't get to a meeting..please! Great topic as you get what you need, and I needed this. am going on retreat this weekend and expect that to restore my spiritual health and get me back to meetings...Who am I kidding? I have a reprieve from this disease, not a cure, and I have certainly noticed a slip in my attitude. I have been sober with your help and God's for nearly fourteen years, why am I risking that for lack of meetings? Gee, must be my disease talking to me again. Thanks for being here for me...think I'll get off my U No What and get to a meeting. God's Peace.


Member: maryann g.
Location: ware,mass.
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 11:47:03

Comments

hi maryann here. i am an alcohloic. id like to congrad. helen r. 5 yrs. , rivner, yes. Gods speed indeed. linda o. from fl. good good message. tom h. do yourself and loved ones a favore. go to a meeting. marg.f welcome to staying cyber. yes. theres alot of us here. it works if you work it, but you really gotta work it. for me. dont drink, go to meetings and work the steps. this is my life and i love it sober. i hate it dry.......i need to do the steps and use them in my everyday life or i get pretty squirrely. im a serious recovering alcoholic that cant do any thing in life without God. bless us all. everybody SMILE AND ENJOY.....


Member: James
Location: NYC
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 12:22:17

Comments

Hi I'm james & I'm an alchoholic.

I'm counting days, and this is my first time at this site. It's a great site you all have here. One thing that crossed my mind reading this thread is something my sponsor says - that the disease is not only "cunning, baffling, & powerful", but it's also PATIENT. He has over 7 years of sobriety, a busy career, the kind of sobriety that seems absolutely unshakable, and yet he still makes lots of meetings. I see people with double digit sobriety at meetings every day.

A lot of people with time tell me that hearing a newcomer like myself come to meetings and share about how crazy I feel, and what a difficult time I'm having getting sober, helps them remember what it was like trying to quit, and helps them stay sober. I can tell you as an absolute beginner that it is a total physical and emotional rollercoaster going through the detox process that involves no sleep and the feeling of drowining in emotions and fear. I feel like I've been tripping for 2 months. I've never had such a difficult time with anything. But I've gotten so much strength and hope from people in AA that I can not give myself. I am quite mystified at how I've stayed sober this long.

Just do whatever it takes to reinforce in your head the fact that your disease is not curable and is very difficult to deal with, it's patient, and it's something you'll have to live with for the rest of your life. Another thing I heard that I liked is, whether you have a day or a decade, the price of sobriety for that day is vigilance.

JB


Member: Anne M
Location: New Jersey
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 12:46:20

Comments

It works if you work it so work it you are worth it. Or to coin a phrase for a friend it works if youwork it it s--ks if you don't. for me meetings are what keeps me sober. Yes sometimes it's the same stories told a bit differently but for me that gives me a sence of belonging. Something I never had while I was active. The meeting after the meeting can be most valuable aswell. Come early Stay late get to Know people take commitments is all part of my recovery. The more connected I stay with others in the rooms and my higher power the better I can cope with life on life's terms something I could never do. When I first came to AA a year ago someone with a number of 24's told me if you want what we have you need to do what we do. So I did. to all of you the only advise I can give is what works for me. If you put as much effort into staying sober as you did picking up a drink you can make it one day at a time. God Bless you all. anne


Member: Marge M
Location: Ct.
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 13:38:29

Comments

Hi, 14 yr's sober,cut back on meetings,drank and have struggeled for 3 yr's now. Have 3 weeks by going to ameeting everyday, instead of liquor store. My alcoholism wants me dead,keeps calling me. Man in group gave up trying and put gun in his mouth. That could easily be me. I'm married 36 yr's, 4 adult children and a grandma and want to drink. SAD(;-( For today I will not drink & go to a meeting.21 yr's of AA, sober most of them but this relapse wants me to give up. I am loved by my long term AA friends. They don,t want me to die. I guess I want to live since I haven't given up YET!!!


Member: John T.
Location: H amilton,Ohio
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 13:40:04

Comments


Member: John T.
Location: Hamilton,Ohio
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 13:46:02

Comments

My name is john and i go to meetings as I drink thats how i stay soeber

Thanks


Member: Mark R
Location: Texas Hill Country
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 14:30:07

Comments

My name is Mark and I am an alcoholic.

The thing I must always remember is that I am not cured of alcoholism--but instead have a daily reprieve from it based upon my spiritual condition. To stop working the steps...to stop going to meetings...to stop working a 10th, 11th and 12th step means (for me) a broken link in the maintenance of a spiritual contact with my power higher...and (for me) that means death.

Thanks for listening...and isn't technology wonderful? LOL

Mark


Member: Georgia M.
Location:
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 15:15:27

Comments

Hi--just touching base with something AA affiliated--meetings,talking to another member,reading a grapevine article, this web site, etc.--keeps my spirit in touch with the idea that I'm connected to something greater than myself. I love you all--have a great day!!


Member: Alicia K.
Location: Bellingham, WA
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 16:56:09

Comments

I'm Alicia & I belong.

Can't get to a meeting today, so I'm glad this one's here for me. I've had 6 sober months & life has been better than I thought it could be. After the first month I seemed to lose the urge to drink completely. And I guess I'd gotten a little too comfortable with the idea that it was gone for good, because my life has hit some rough places this week -- as our lives will tend to do -- & that desire for "anesthesia in a bottle" has slammed me full force again. I want a drink so badly I can barely breathe. I'm just trying to do what I did in those first few days of sobriety: ride it out like a wave, & keep my mind firmly in the present moment: one minute at a time. I find that "turning it over" has helped me stay sober more than anything else. For a control freak like myself that's hard to do. But when I try, I'm able to set down the burden of having to carry my problem with booze all by myself, & somehow that makes not drinking a lot more possible.

Like others have said in this meeting, I got some serenity...& then didn't feel like I needed the meetings so much. I haven't been to a meeting in my new town of 3 months yet.


Member: Doug
Location: Nashville
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 17:35:25

Comments

It works if you work it. On my 90th day of sobriety, the first time around, nearly 2 years ago, a friend and fellow alcoholic asked which step I was on. I stuttered while trying to think of the appropriate answer and replied that I was on the first step. My friend, obviously seeing through my nonsense, then asked who my sponsor was. I felt the appropriate answer to that question was that I was still searching for "the right one". I seemed to confuse maintaining sobriety with dating. Frustrated and confused, I left the meeting that went out that night and got drunk.

I have been sober now for nearly 18 months and it is becoming apparent to me by listening to others and doing what they tell me that this is a program of action in addition to going to meetings, reading the literature, and working with other alcoholics. As such, I am pleased to report that I am on my 9th step and plan to make my first amends this week. I must add too that the action often involves doing things we do not want to do.

Peace!


Member: Nancy M
Location: Maine
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 19:15:15

Comments

a note for Debbie from Canada..... YEE HAA congrats on 9 days!! Don't quit before the miracle...it will come to you. Do read the big book, for me it is as good as meetings when Icannot get to meetings, the literature teaches me how to live sober, whether 9 days sober or 9 years. A great resource for new sobriety is Living Sober, it is only a couple bucks or less. I do not miss meetings, being at a meeting allows others to see it works, by this means of giving it away, I stay sober and get support when I encounter a new problem I haven't faced before at that point in sobriety. Yeah, in 19 years it gets repetitive...so what, stick it out, someone needs to see or hear you!!


Member: john mc
Location: u.k.
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 20:26:11

Comments

"Keep coming back, it works if you work it, it won't if you don't". Sounds that obvious it hardly seems worth saying. Almost every meeting I've attended I hear this mantra, and it thoroughly p%úd me off. You see the problem was I did'nt KNOW how to work IT. I survived, many don't?! Perhaps what we could and should be saying is " Keep coming back it works if you "KNOW" how to work "IT". And if you don't KNOW we'll show you. That's our responsibility.


Member: Ray W.
Location: Sodus, N.Y.
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 21:27:16

Comments

Ray, alcoholic, To Marge F., welcome. To Tom H., no. Someone was at my first meeting for me when I was new, and I owe to the newcomer to be there for them when they show up for their first meeting. Besides, I need the company of others like me.

My sober date is May 8th, 1980. Before that I had slipped after four and a half years of sobreity. I have a home group that I support every week with no exception. That gives me a feeling of belonging. I was told either you are in AA or you are around it. I choose to be in. Works for me.


Member: LIL L.                        
Location: DALLAS TX
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 21:30:56

Comments

HI, IM LIL AND A VERY GRATEFUL ALCOHOLIC. WHAT A TERRIFIC TOPIC. GOD CERTAINLY DIRECTED ME TO THIS MEETING TONIGHT. I HAVE NOT BEEN TO A MEETING IN 3 WEEKS. ALTHOUGH I DON'T HAVE THE URGE TO DRINK, MY ATTITUDE IS GETTING A LITTLE DISTORTED. AFTER SIX YEARS IN THE PROGRAM, YOU WOULD THINK I WOULD GET IT THAT THIS IS A PROGRAM FOR LIFE. ONCE I GET BACK TO MEETINGS, I ALWAYS HEAR EXACTLY WHAT I NEED. I AM GOING TO GET BACK TOMORROW MORNING TO MY REGULAR SCHEDULE AS TONITE'S COMENTS MADE ME REALIZE HOW MUCH I MISS WHEN I STAY AWAY. HOW GRATEFUL I AM THAT I AM AN ALXCOHOLIC AND HAVE SOMEWHERE TO SHARE. THANK YOU ALL.


Member: Kathy
Location: WVa
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 22:00:36

Comments


Member: Ken J
Location: Alberta CA
Date: 26 Oct 1998
Time: 23:10:26

Comments

Hi i'm ken i'm an alcoholic i was told by my sponser that there is more to sobriety than just not taking a drink. if you take the boose out of a horse thief you have a sober horse thief. i realize today that being an alcoholic is a symptom that there is something wrong with ken. and there is alot of ken in ken . so i have to continue my inventory daily. it helps me keep in touch with my higher power which has kept me sober regardless of ken. just for today ken


Member: Lori S.
Location: So. Calif.
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 00:19:38

Comments

Tom H.--I felt just like you for many years, I relapsed right after my 9th year. I was under the illusion of "working it". After my relapse, (I stayed out over a year) when I became sober, many people came to me about how "this year" was a difficult year for them. I shared with them something I wrote, that I'll share now, as I WASN'T WORKING IT. My own sobriety tripped me up, I stopped paying attention, stopped going to meetings, I became too comfortable, didn't realize that one must continue to surrender, to fall down on ones knees in utter desperation every couple of years. Hey, I was sober, I didn't have to check in.... Remember towards the end of your drinking, the mornings waking up with the horrible demoralization that the big book talks about? Anyway, when a person drinks after many years of not, you'd think that feeling would take some time to build up again right? II DOESNT. The first sick hangover, it's back, even if you behaved properly, th's there as if you NEVER stopped. Heavy, shaming, regret, confused, empty and ugly. And because you've put some years in the program, the only way you can look at yourself and get thru the day- is allow the dis-ease to take over. It's not a conscious choice. I belive another word for it is DENIAL. And denial says: "wow, only 4 glasses of wine, didn't even want a 5th, maybe I'm not alcoholic, maybe I just never learned how to drink properly cuz I started so young" etc. Denial lets you be proud again:"Hey, I drank so much last nite and remembered to call a taxi, I didn't drive, what friggin progess!" I must be okay, etc. You get the picture. Denial had me calling my AA friends and saying with a straight face: "oh yes, I'm having some cocktails now and then, but it's different, it's not so important to me anymore, and I don't have that pesky self fueling desire" It was so absurd and I didn't even realize it. Mr. Denial lets you remember the nite you called the taxi, but cleverly pushes to the bottom of your memory the mornings waking up, not knowing how the hell you got there with a fresh bottle by your bed, (did I drive to the liquor store @ 2am in blackout?) or spending the nite at friends and having them tell you how violent you became when you wanted more of their booze in alcohol cabinet, then drank it all after they went to bed. You know the story... But, even waking up in the middle of the nite, sick, cold, ALONE, shaking and scared, and the denial is telling me in all it's sincerity, "it's not the booze, it's not the booze...." Do be aware that your dis-ease is waiting for you with OPEN ARMS, and because of the years in AA we had, we HAVE to go into even greater denial than before (to allow us to drink), so the chances are quite slim of coming back. Any uncomfortableness, hard year, bordom, is nothing, truly nothing compared to those feelings coupled with your head pounding, sick to your stomach and soul to your very core, the dreaded feeling of doing something bad the nite before, sick to face the day feeling that you will have if you let denial whisper to you that your drinking may have changed for you. It hasn't, BUT IT MAY COME IN A EVEN SLICKER PACKAGE. Please God, never let me forget again to "work it".


Member: Lori S.
Location: So. Calif.
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 00:25:13

Comments

Tom H.--I felt just like you for many years, I relapsed right after my 9th year. I was under the illusion of "working it". After my relapse, (I stayed out over a year) when I became sober, many people came to me about how "this year" was a difficult year for them. I shared with them something I wrote, that I'll share now, as I WASN'T WORKING IT. My own sobriety tripped me up, I stopped paying attention, stopped going to meetings, I became too comfortable, didn't realize that one must continue to surrender, to fall down on ones knees in utter desperation every couple of years. Hey, I was sober, I didn't have to check in.... Remember towards the end of your drinking, the mornings waking up with the horrible demoralization that the big book talks about? Anyway, when a person drinks after many years of not, you'd think that feeling would take some time to build up again right? II DOESNT. The first sick hangover, it's back, even if you behaved properly, th's there as if you NEVER stopped. Heavy, shaming, regret, confused, empty and ugly. And because you've put some years in the program, the only way you can look at yourself and get thru the day- is allow the dis-ease to take over. It's not a conscious choice. I belive another word for it is DENIAL. And denial says: "wow, only 4 glasses of wine, didn't even want a 5th, maybe I'm not alcoholic, maybe I just never learned how to drink properly cuz I started so young" etc. Denial lets you be proud again:"Hey, I drank so much last nite and remembered to call a taxi, I didn't drive, what friggin progess!" I must be okay, etc. You get the picture. Denial had me calling my AA friends and saying with a straight face: "oh yes, I'm having some cocktails now and then, but it's different, it's not so important to me anymore, and I don't have that pesky self fueling desire" It was so absurd and I didn't even realize it. Mr. Denial lets you remember the nite you called the taxi, but cleverly pushes to the bottom of your memory the mornings waking up, not knowing how the hell you got there with a fresh bottle by your bed, (did I drive to the liquor store @ 2am in blackout?) or spending the nite at friends and having them tell you how violent you became when you wanted more of their booze in alcohol cabinet, then drank it all after they went to bed. You know the story... But, even waking up in the middle of the nite, sick, cold, ALONE, shaking and scared, and the denial is telling me in all it's sincerity, "it's not the booze, it's not the booze...." Do be aware that your dis-ease is waiting for you with OPEN ARMS, and because of the years in AA we had, we HAVE to go into even greater denial than before (to allow us to drink), so the chances are quite slim of coming back. Any uncomfortableness, hard year, bordom, is nothing, truly nothing compared to those feelings coupled with your head pounding, sick to your stomach and soul to your very core, the dreaded feeling of doing something bad the nite before, sick to face the day feeling that you will have if you let denial whisper to you that your drinking may have changed for you. It hasn't, BUT IT MAY COME IN A EVEN SLICKER PACKAGE. Please God, never let me forget again to "work it".


Member: Lori S.
Location: So. Calif
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 00:35:30

Comments

so sorry about double post.


Member: Kelvin N.
Location: Lexington Park, Maryland
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 00:59:30

Comments

Hi everyone. I'm Kelvin and I'm and alcoholic.

My recovery stays on track if I take the WHOLE program and put it to use in my life. That means going to meetings, doing service work, working the steps with my sponsor , helping the still suffering alcoholic and practicing spiritual principles in my life.

As I undersatand the message right fro m the very beginning of the Big Book, this disease wants me to cut myself off from family, friends, society and the world at large. The disease also wants me NOT to go to meetings, NOT to be tolerant of the still suffering alcoholic and certainly NOT to compare myself into the program and find I'm not alone. This disease wants me to be a hermit, separated from the very things that will make me a functional and happy spiritual being having a human experience.

Early on my sponsor told me to go to lots of meetings and listen for the "language of the heart." I had NO IDEA what he meant, but he said I'd know as soon as I heard it. Listening to honest, open shares by people talking about RECOVERY and not complaining how their tail's still on fire is how I discovered this program really works. If I wanted to endure complaints, I figured, I would have gone to group therapy.

I've softened a bit as the last 19 months of sobriety has soaked into my mind, body and soul. I've found that GOD as I understand him speaks to me directly through the members of Alcoholics Anonymous. His message for me will come if I show up at a meeting and listen for it. If I take with me my old prejuduces that served to separate me from others, I will likely miss what God wanted to tell me and the only loser in that bargain is me.

I've also found that the package that message comes in (a wet drunk, newcomer, old-timer, half-stepper or faithful traditionalist) matters very little. I've many times learned the most from the newcomer or the person who just went back out and was grateful to return, but not sure what to do now. In other words, I can learn something from everyone's experience, no matter where i n their recovery they are, as long as I'm WILLING to listen. My very life depends upon that. I no longer feel I am so unique that I couldn't be in the same predicament (or great situation) as anyone else.

My sponsor told me "nowhere in How it Works is there a part that says 'if this doesn't work, then try this.'" That means I have to stop looking for the one-word solution and accept recovery as an all-encompassing, lifelong endeavor. The benefit is a clean, sober and sane me. But to have that I have to practice the steps and live a life of following spiritual principles that are learned and given to me by working the steps with a sponsor. I don't have any idea what those are until I do each step. So I either do the steps and follow the program as outlined in the Big Book, or I keep mired in the same sick thinking , using poorly made tools for living my life.

Early on I was told just to try this program for a l ittle while and if I was not satisified or didn't feel better my misery would be cheerfully refunded to me.

Today, I don't want any of that m isery and I don't have to have it. There really is nothing else like this program.

Thanks for allowing me to share.

KELVIN


Member: tony g
Location: ma
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 01:33:24

Comments

tony alcoholi,lori thank you for your story itwas kind of scary,but true this disease is always thier waiting,waiting its awful.you reminded me of not to feel complacent ill try to remember when things aregoing to good ill have to work it harder.thanks again,God bless


Member: tony g
Location: ma
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 01:35:15

Comments

tony alcoholi,lori thank you for your story itwas kind of scary,but true this disease is always thier waiting,waiting its awful.you reminded me of not to feel complacent ill try to remember when things aregoing to good ill have to work it harder.thanks again,God bless


Member: Frank S
Location: Portland
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 05:06:37

Comments

My name is Frank and I may be an alchoholic.

While I say that I MAY be an alchoholic, I definitely can say that I would like to quit drinking and since I can't, I am concluding that I have a problem.

I have read all about AA on the web and have taken the "Are you an alchohoic?" quiz. I scored a 4 out of 12.

I am wondering if anyone can describe and contrast some of the other forms of "treatment" like electro shock. A lot of you will probably say that there is no quick fix but I would like an honest appraisal of the options.

feel free to respond here or send me email at fstrong@hotmail.com

Thanks


Member: tammy l
Location: NC
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 08:18:29

Comments

Frank, you asked for an honest appraisal of the options. Here they are as i see them: 1. continue to drink and die 2. continue to go to any lenghts to maintain my sobriety.

Any lengths, as the book says, means i have to do some work. There is no "easier softer way", or if there is we have not found it!!

electroshock has no effect on alcoholism, i have a familty member, now dead, to prove it.

God bless you Frank and all newcomers or possible newcomers.


Member: Rivner
Location: Santa Fe, N. Mex.
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 09:40:44

Comments

Hi Frank, I'm an alcoholic. My name is Rivner.

There was a time when I drank infrequently, but when I did, drinking was important to me. My first wife was Italian and would pour a glass of wine with dinner. After dinner it was always half full. I'd say: "Arn't you going to finish it?" She'd say: "I drink wine with dinner and dinner is over!" Never made any sense to me. The point is that social drinkers don't drink like alcoholics. I was well on my way back then. It's not necessarily the quantity of the juice, but the nature of the grip on the bottle. You've implied that yours is pretty tight. You WILL, eventually "go through the wall" into full-blown wherein drinking will become just about the only thing you do consistently. It will become your daily goal, job, lover, etc. We've all been where you are, and we've all gotten to where I just described, and we've all, along the way, tried to find something easier to do rather than these meetings, reading the Big Book, Step Book, etc. There is a good reason why we are here. Nothing, absolutely nothing else work(ed,s). If you find an easier or softer way we'd all be as eager as a draw string on a bow to hear about it.

I had only 4 out of 20 on the questionnaire once. six months later I had 7, then 12, and eventually I got up to 20 out of 20 and was still looking for some fast and slippery way to walk away from the juice. I needed a huge group of others to throw me the life ring and hang on to the rope, and something stronger than all of them to guide the effort.

I have been to Hell. Trust me. It is everthing they say it is. You don't want to go there. You may have to however if you don't pick an earlier floor to get off before the elevator plummets all the way to the bottom. It is usually a one-way ride. I was lucky; I got to come back. I got puked up and dropped at the doorstep of a homeless shelter with $5, a back-pack and a bicycle. The $250,000 house, wife, kids, cars, jobs were all gone. I was a stubborn, arrogant, low-bottom drunk. If you jump off the greased chute you're on early, you might get to drop the "low-bottom" descriptor off the tag (which we all pray doesn't wind up on your toe).

We love you and hope you decide to make the same investment in yourself. You're dabbling around with a certain amount of self-honesty and that sounds like it's worth saving. Let there be no mistake. What you may be ready to do takes tremendous courage. You are very brave to be even thinking about it.

God's Speed.

Riv. It Works If You Work It.


Member: Eugene C
Location: NY
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 10:21:45

Comments

Geno , Grateful Alcoholic, I haven't said that in about a year, but today I am grateful. Grateful that I didn't give up completely and asked for help. I just want to thank all who shared on this topic, I never expected such a response.

To Frank, read the Book Alcoholics Anonymous. I believe we all looked for the easier softer way before trying the twelve steps outlined in that book and for me that is the easiest way! You will be able to get a copy at almost any AA meeting.

Peace Geno


Member: Eugene C
Location: NY
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 10:30:45

Comments

Geno, Grateful Alcoholic, I haven't said that in almost a year I think. Just want to thank all who shared on this topic, I never expected such a response. To Frank, Get your hands on a copy of the book Alcoholics Anonymous and read it. Rivner was right, what you are doing takes tremendous courage, And I'll just say this, If this program can help an alcoholic like me, It can help anyone!

Peace to All love Geno


Member: Eugene C
Location: NY
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 10:38:00

Comments

Geno, Grateful Alcoholic, I haven't said that in almost a year I think. Just want to thank all who shared on this topic, I never expected such a response. To Frank, Get your hands on a copy of the book Alcoholics Anonymous and read it. Rivner was right, what you are doing takes tremendous courage, And I'll just say this, If this program can help an alcoholic like me, It can help anyone!

Peace to All love Geno


Member: Scott B.
Location: Spokane, Wa.
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 15:07:50

Comments

Hello all. I'm an alcoholic named Scott B. and I've just discovered this forum. My two-cents (and that's all its worth :)) is that I understand much of where the "not-attending-meetings-much-anymore" set is coming from. I, too, have felt as though I'd outgrown a particular meeting or group. Hell, I even felt as though I'd outgrown AA and went off in search of the NEXT phase to recovery.

I have a homegroup with whom I get sick of occasionally and stop going - always to return eventually, but the most important way I deal with the whole "people-in-AA-are-really-bugging-me" is that I go to ALOT of DIFFERENT meetings. I love not being caught in a trap of keeping up the same old facade or having to put up with other people's. Now, I do keep in touch with a sponsor - and ALL my friends are alkies in recovery so that there's always someone to pull my covers when needed! But, stagnation in AA, heretical as it seems to claim, is just as dangerous as not going.

THE MAIN POINT IS THAT I HAVE TO FIND A NEW GUY! I need that newcomer like a drug, man. I love working with people who are hurting and confused and sick. To hell with all the bleeding deacons who act like they know it all, but never reach out and shake the hand of the quaking new person!

I used to think that I had nothing to share with the new person; but then I realized that when I was new, all I wanted was someone to say 'hi' and act like they cared. I cannot stay sober if I don't have some kind of frequent contact with the new person! AA withdrawals are pretty ugly, man.

Y'all have a great day, and treat each other good!

Scott B.


Member: Linda O
Location: PTB, FL
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 17:04:33

Comments

Hi! I'm Linda and I'm an alcoholic.

Debbie in Canada, get your hands on the phone and CALL someone! Wouldn't be a bad idea to load up on candy either -- preferably chocolate. Chocolate saved my sanity and sobriety more than once in my first few days.

Lori S., THANKS so much for your story. It was just what I needed to hear right now. I'm coming up on my 10th and have been "squirrely" for about a month -- definitely restless, irritable, and discontent. Your post was the slap in the face (or butt) I needed!

Frank S., let me get this straight -- you'd rather have your brain fried through electro shock treatments than go to AA? No offense, but I really had to laugh when I read that! I can sooooo relate to that way of thinking. Before I joined the program I thought the "easier, softer way" was to commit suicide! ANYTHING except go into a crowd of complete strangers and admit what I was! Go back and read Rivner's post again -- he said it all. And, like Riv, I hope you'll come back and let us know how it's going. Not only do we understand, we care.

In love and service


Member: Arik P.
Location: Southern Cal
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 17:35:04

Comments

Hi, I'm an alcoholic and my problem is Arik. I really relate to Rivner. I characterize my disease in almost the exact same way. A little, ugly, Terminator looking, M.F., that lives in my head and has only one job, that's to put Arik 6 feet under!!! What's more important than that, is he is cunning, baffling, powerful & subtle, he is never going away, and he will try to accomplish his task by absolutely any means he can.

The most profound thing that I learned in AA is that I don't have to listen to what my head says. The second most profound thing I learned is that today I can differentiate between the voice of the disease, and the voice of recovery. However, the only way I can do that is to continue to put in more recovery than disease. I do this through going to meetings on a regular basis (5/week), working with a sponsor, sponsoring others, studying the Big Book, praying, meditating, doing inventories, and making amends. If that sounds like alot to some of you, it is really a small price to pay for sobriety and the life I lead today.

Going to meetings for me is just the bare minimum not to pick up a drink today. The inner peace, the ability to match calamity with serenity, and the over all level of comfort I have in my own skin are all the rest of the goodies that I get as a result of my efforts in the AA program (Not my program!) If you be new in the program, I truly like to welcome you all and let you know that it works real well one day at a time without the drink. And, that you can stay sober no matter what, whether you think you want to or not, one day at a time for the rest of your lives provided you are willing to fulfill the conditions - those being trust in God, clean house, and help others.

KCB


Member: Ron H.
Location: Miami, Fl.
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 18:08:10

Comments

My name is Ron and I'm an alcoholic. I say that every day at least five days a week in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. "It works, it really does", is what it says in the BB. I say a simple prayer every morning and a simple thank you every night. I try to practice these principals in all my affairs, though it's not always easy. And I try to mind my own business and not take my self (or any body else) too seriously. It's been working almost 15 years just fine. Thanks for letting me share. Ron H.


Member: Ed D.
Location: Grovertown, IN
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 21:43:24

Comments

My name is Ed and I' an alcoholic. Debbie! thanks for sharing with me. No I'm not just 9 days sober but that doesn't matter. What matters is that today is the only day that I have to be sober. As far as wqiting until Friday to go to a meeting, you not waiting that long you just attended one! Take the yung ladies advice and get on the phone please.

It works if you work it. I used to sweat about working the steps and the program until my sponser got tired of hearing me complain about how hard it is to work it. He told me to stop trying to work the program and start trying to practice it. He was right! When I try to practice the principles in all my affairs I find that I am working the program and the steps. In How it Works it says "What an order I can't go through with it. Don't be discouraged no one amoung us hasbeen able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. That is a key for me. It tells me that it won't easy, but its alright if I just seem to stumble along. As long as I'm trying I'm making progress. And I believe thats what my higher power wants is progress.


Member: joyce k.
Location: Illinois
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 21:51:53

Comments

joyce, alcoholic. To Debbie in Canada, congratulations on your 9 days. Call another AA, exercise, clean house, read the Big Book, drink lots of water. I nearly floated away the first two or three months of my sobriety. I couldn't sleep and that bugged me until I realized "what was the big deal?" At least I wasn't drinking. Keep up the good work. God is there helping you. Pray and pray, It really works. To Frank in Portland, I guess if you're here looking for answers, you must want help. But believe me, AA is much kinder and easier than shock treatments. It took me 5 years to admit that I was a drunk. Once I said it out loud it really wasn't so bad. I have a wonderful life with no booze. What a miracle. And I must go to meetings -- it reminds me of where I came from and gives me a terrific chance to get out of myself by helping others or at least trying to by sharing my experience, strength and hope with newcomers. I have been sober a little over 3 years but at times I feel that I know less than when I came in. I think that's OK tho -- keeps me from feeling like "I got it". I will never really have it. All I can do is keep praying, going to meetings and keeping sober one day at a time. God Bless, Joyce


Member: Debbie E.
Location: Canada
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 22:06:44

Comments

Help I am itching all over is this part of my body getting rid of the alcohol (I read somewhere about it) how long does it last.


Member: Dennis M
Location: Kansas
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 22:14:37

Comments

my name is Dennis, I'm an Alcholic. missed my Tues. nite meeting. thought I'd try this. 1st. time. I'm like the guy who said he had a "slow leak" when it came to AA meetings. Have to keep coming back to get filled up again.


Member: Dennis M
Location: Kansas
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 22:19:24

Comments

my name is Dennis, I'm an Alcholic. missed my Tues. nite meeting. thought I'd try this. 1st. time. I'm like the guy who said he had a "slow leak" when it came to AA meetings. Have to keep coming back to get filled up again.


Member: Lois C.
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 23:00:35

Comments

Hello to all! I'm Lois and I'm an alcoholic.

Some of the other posts have touched on what I'd like to suggest. Making a commitment to a home group was -- and still is -- very important in my continuous sobriety. I've changed home groups over the years for various reasons but rarely miss my home group meeting. As some of the longtimers say -- "The only excuse for missing your home group meeting is a funeral -- and it better be yours."

Sure, there were times when I didn't want to go but I went anyway. It usually turns out that I really needed that meeting and didn't know it. At first, I did this because I had to. Then, I did so because I wanted to.

It was suggested to me early on, that I rearrange my priorities -- that I make staying sober #1.

Another thought concerns giving vs. taking. In my drinking days, I was always taking -- rarely giving (unless I got something in return.) I didn't understand the AA paradox of giving it away in order to keep it. There's no better place to take this action, than at my home group meeting.

It is up to all of us to pass it on -- to keep AA going for those yet to come.


Member: Alex G.
Location: VA
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 23:43:16

Comments

Thank HP that this venue exists. I live in a very rural area with only one meeting a night. I'm in early recovery after a nasty relapse (10 yrs sober). I need more than one meeting a day and this site helps a lot! Thank you everyone. I love you all.


Member: Ken P
Location: boston area
Date: 27 Oct 1998
Time: 23:46:40

Comments

My name is Ken and I'm an alcholic.

I have been sober for about seven months and I love A.A.. I try to work the program to it's max. I go to meetings every day, do as many commintments as I can with my group, volenteer for jobs in the group, have a sponser, but It's not enough. I want to do the steps right so I go to a big book step study meeting. A.A. has made a big difference in my life and I am internally greatfull to the program and the fellowship.

GOD BLESS A.A. !!


Member: Alicia K.
Location: WA
Date: 28 Oct 1998
Time: 00:04:38

Comments

I'm Alicia, & I belong. I have 8 months of sobriety, but I guess I got a little complacent. I went to meetings in my hometown quite often, but when I moved here 3 months ago, well...you all know the excuses: finding a new meeting at a convenient time was hard,I felt like I was doing fine without them now, etc., etc.

After my first month of being sober, the craving for booze completely left me, & it didn't return -- until a week ago, when life hit a rough spot. As it's bound to do. And now, out of the blue, I want to drink so badly sometimes it's hard to breathe. Two things help me when it feels like that: "One minute at a time" & "Turn it over". Repeating those over to myself, & sharing at this meeting, will help me hold on until I can find a meeting I can get to here. My life has been better than I ever believed it could be, since I've been sober. I'm going to hold onto the serenity I fought so hard for.


Member: Gary
Location: TX
Date: 28 Oct 1998
Time: 05:03:07

Comments

Gary, alcoholic. The energy and time I once put into drinking are now being put into AA meetings.


Member: Robbie C.
Location: Summerville,SC
Date: 28 Oct 1998
Time: 08:25:49

Comments

Hi, my name's Robbie and I'm an alcoholic. This is my first meeting online. I haven't read all of the comments yet, but I wanted to wet my feet with sharing online. I've enjoyed what I've heard so far. I've been sober 13 years and over the last few years I've gotten to where I average a little over 1 meeting a week. With my schedule that's not bad but at times I could use a little something more. So I thought I'd try the web. I told my wife I was doing this (she's also "in recovery" ) and she asked if I was going to stop going to meetings like some people she knew. I don't want to do that because I need to be around people regularly that I can get immediate feedback from in case I'm off the beam. I really didn't mean to talk this much. Thanks for listening.


Member: Diane B F
Location: NorthWest Hills of CT
Date: 28 Oct 1998
Time: 09:23:09

Comments

Hello Everyone! I'm Diane, an alcoholic, grateful to be in recovery since 4/11/98.

Eugene (Geno) thanks for a great topic: IT WORKS IF YOU WORK IT.

Perfect timing for me. I thought, with all sincerity, that I've been "working it" these past 6 months -- through AA meetings, my mentor, and having faith in my Higher Power. However, two days ago I wanted to drink. It's happened before and it will surely happen again. In the past I've always been able to identify something specific that was causing the urge -- hungry, angry, lonely, tired. But this time... this time was different, because I couldn't identify any reason. I just wanted to drink! There was no AA meeting available. I didn't want to reach out to anyone for help because I couldn't even define the problem myself, so how could I ask someone else to help me. And worse of all, I felt I shouldn't ask God for help, because it would be selfish to pray for myself for "no reason". I did make it through that night, by the Grace of God (who sent Judy to me). And the result of this painful incident is that I've taken another meaningful baby step in recovery... I've come to understand that TO WORK IT MEANS TO LIVE IT! It doesn't work if you just go through the "mechanics"... You must truly BELIEVE and SURRENDER (Steps 1-3). Then IT WORKS IF YOU WORK IT BECAUSE YOU'RE LIVING IT! Thanks for letting me share. Have a sparkling 24!


Member: Robert B.
Location: Boise, Id
Date: 28 Oct 1998
Time: 10:24:36

Comments

Hi. My name is Robert. I am an alcoholic, clean and sober since 5/5/83. I go to an accaisional AA chat online. In addition to my Home group, The Monday Night What It Is! Group, I make 3 to 5 eye to eye meetings a week. There is not a thought or feeling expressed in this meeting I haven't though or felt. My fierst sponsor told me: If I was bored, Iwas thinking about myself-- and no wonder I was bored. He also told me to pray without ceasing. I won't share all he told me; it was a lot, but he said this about meetings and the Fellowship--"Go for the purpose of carrying the message to the alcoholic that still suffers". When I did those things I always got what I needed from the steps the book, and the meetings. There has been some very fine sharing at this meeting. Blessings to all. Robert


Member: Bill H
Location: Yorktown, VA
Date: 28 Oct 1998
Time: 13:10:57

Comments

My name is Bill. I'm an alcoholic. I agree with the comments made about Home groups. I travel frequently, and although I always try to make local meetings, having access to meetings on the web has been of great value to me. Thanks, Bill H.


Member: Tim B.
Location: Crystal Lake,IL
Date: 28 Oct 1998
Time: 13:54:46

Comments


Member: Micheline H.
Location: Hendersonville, NC
Date: 28 Oct 1998
Time: 13:58:40

Comments

Hello out there! To the woman who is experiencing the itchy skin syndrome; I experienced that only once in my life; probably ten days after taking my last drink. Like little "bugs" crawling all over my body. It lasted about thirty seconds and left as quickly as it had come-never to return again. That was back in 1980. Weird sensation, at best! Take care and don't drink even if your butt falls off!!!!


Member: Hacks
Location: Butte, Mt.
Date: 28 Oct 1998
Time: 18:32:37

Comments

Hello! My name is Hacks and I am an alcoholic and an addict. I've been there. I have only been clean and sober for two years. I was about 15 months sober and thought that I was doing great, but was I ever wrong. I went to meetings 5 days a week, knew the Big Book inside and out, I ever knew all of the right things to say. One catch: I wasn't doing what I was telling eveybody else to do. The only one at my home group that knew me well enough to tell I was miserable was my sponcer, but I didn't listen to him. I felt like drinking and using so I went into a great out patient treatment program. The counselor would leave and I would teach the class. The other counselors would joke around about putting me on the pay-roll. After a while I realizwd what my sponcer had been tring to tell me. I was banging my off of the tables wondering why this program wouldn't work for me. I was on a terriblr "dry drunk" I was so miserable that I might as well have drank, but thank god I never. Once I started to work the steps again I was all right. The Big Book tells me not to rest on my lurals. In other words I can't sit on my a#s and expect everything to go good. This is a program of action. So needless to say, when I stoped asking why the program wasn't working for me, and started working it all was well.I am glad that I am here and greatful to be clean and sober today. Thank you for allowing me to participaite in my sobriety.


Member: Chris L
Location: Garland Tx
Date: 28 Oct 1998
Time: 20:04:42

Comments

Hi I am chris and I know exactaly what you mean . Ihave been at this some time also and it seems that some times it would be better if you just went and got the biggest hit that you could have or the best drink that anyone can get. But that is the worst thing that anyone could do for their selves. I know that things may seem like the worst that they have ever been but their not you just can't remember the worst because you were either drunk or high. So just work it till you work it. And hope and pray that things turn out for the good. Of corse things coldn't be any worse than they were during our addiction's now could they. I think that these stepts are the bet thing that ever happened to me and if I have any say so I will be clean for as long as god allows me to live.


Member: Paul M.
Location: Santa Rosa, Ca.
Date: 28 Oct 1998
Time: 22:27:28

Comments

Hi my name is Paul and I am a greatful recovering alcoholic. It works for me today because it quit working for me outside the rooms of AA. The alcohol was working me almost to my death at the young age of 41.Sine I found these rooms I take my program very seriously just like I use to take my 20+ years of drinking seriously. I know in my heart that if I quit working it I will be dead. It sounds simple but this disease is so cunning and baffling that sometimes I still have fleeting thoughts of those so called "good old days". For me the good old days are the days I have now where I live one moment, one second at a time treasuring life like there may be no tommorrow. It works for me. God Bless all of you and welcome to the newcomers.


Member: Chuck M.
Location: Olympia, WA
Date: 29 Oct 1998
Time: 05:43:19

Comments

Chuck, alcoholic. For me this program has never been all that much work.It has been more of a surrendering than a "working." I surrendered to the willingness to grow along spiritual lines. Why? Because I didn't want to hurt anymore. I was a lot of years sober before I had amassed enough of the change the program promises will happen (page 83-84) to become a little bit "enlightened" to what was happening to me. Reasonably early in my sobriety 1976 or 7) I was in the San Diego CA intergroup office and they were selling little cardboard plaques of the following definition of Humility which our Co-founder Dr. Bob Smith used to keep on his desk:

HUMILITY

Humility is perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all about is seeming trouble.

Well, it doesn't take a lot of meditation to see that that is a place which one cannot get to by working for it. If I strive to become humble I will only be proud of how humble I'm becoming. The above place cannot be reached by striving, or by acting, but only by making use of the pains of daily living, a Loving God as I understand Him, and the humbling truth about Chuck's actual place in the scheme of things. The first page of step 7 in the 12&12 says that I need some humility in order to get sober and stay sober, and if I want to be happy in sobriety I need a lot more of that "precious quality." Fine, so how do I get it? Well, step 10 in the same book (page 92) says, "It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us." (the 'with us' is in italics) So taking the step 7 thought and merging it with the step 10 "axiom." I saw, somewhere along the line, that when I hurt inside for whatever reason and went back to step 3 and asked the question, "how do I look at this misery I'm in if I really am willing to continue to implement that decision I made in step 3? Long ago, folks, I realized that that step took away my "right" to be miserable. That you CAN meditate on. It's true. And, further, if I don't have a "right" to be miserable, then it's no fun to be miserable. And then it is just a matter of bringing my thinking back into agreement with my commitment to step 3, making that commitment the most important commitment in my life for the rest of this lifetime, to get rid of whatever mental anguish I was entertaining within me because of the reward for my ego it was offering. Now the kicker is, if I'm changing my attitudes and thought life for no other reason than that it is the way out of my pain, I certainly don't have anything to be proud about in doing that. Any idiot would do so once "the way" was pointed out to him. And if that changed thinking winds up leading me away from the loneliness and ignorant selfishness of egoism towards the oneness and wise selfishness of humility (wise selfishness, because while I still most assuredly want to feel good, I get to the place that Gary S. was talking about where nothing I do feels as good as helping someone else feel better) will I not finally realize that spiritual growth is nothing more than being moved by the experiences of life, properly used and surrendered to, to move me from arrogance towards humility. Can I not further see that if I am willing to be moved by life's circumstances in that direction that I will never hurt very much or for very long. And that if I am not willing to let life move me in that direction can I not equally see that I will soon be under so much mental anguish that I will need some mental anguish pain killers to handle "it all?" I truly thank God for this Inspired program which, IMO, is the greatest spiritual growth program on earth today. ( I doubt if many will read this, so if you have done so, know your were "supposed to" :)) Lots of AA love to all,

Chuck


Member: Sheri C
Location: NC
Date: 29 Oct 1998
Time: 07:40:09

Comments

Hi everyone. I'm Sheri and I'm an alcoholic. Just recently found this online site and I'm really enjoying and appreciating all the comments. Thanks. I'm new to AA and sobriety; (8/5/98) so, God willing, next week I will pick up my 3 month chip.I have a great sponsor, whom I work with often and call even more often. I've joined a home group and am making 5-7 meetings a week. The first time I went to an AA mtg. I KNEW I had come home. Thank God there is finally a place I belong and feel comfortable. The support is incredible. My spouse is supportive as well, but he is not an alcoholic and can't quite understand all that I am going thru and "where I am". I really NEED other alcoholics like myself. I'm a bit disturbed this morning because as I sat here reading and having my coffee I remembered a disturbing dream last night. In the dream, of course I drank. Then I spent all this time trying to decide to hide it and not admit my "slip" to my sponsor and AA fellows. I desperately want to keep my sobriety date of 8/5. After all, that is the date I wrote in my books and on my home group sign up sheet. And of course, "I'm perfect" and "I don't fail at something once I start it" HaHa. Sound familiar? I have lots of work to do and lots of progress to make. Thank God it was just a dream. I don't want to "start over' in my sobriety and go thru these almost 90 LONG days and nights again. It has felt at times like 90 years. For that, I am grateful for the dream. And I am very grateful for all of you. Thanks for letting me share. I am going to "keep coming back". I need all of you.

To the man who thinks he may have a problem: Please go to a meeting and see what you think. Let us know afterwards. AA is the best . I (we) are here for you if you decide you want it. God speed to you.


Member: dora  m
Location: ny
Date: 29 Oct 1998
Time: 11:08:58

Comments

the source of our serenity lies within; serenity has everything to do with how we respond to the moment before us; serenity does not come withthe removal of external problems; but with the internal awareness that we are not alone as we face them'

it is when we pray that we really are; in his will is our serenitysr


Member: Carol S
Location: interior Alaska
Date: 29 Oct 1998
Time: 11:23:47

Comments

Carol S, recovering alcoholic. Just found the means to get on the web and trusted AA would be there. Am profoundly grateful to find this meeting, living in nowhere in the interior of Alaska where meetings are sporadic at best and can be months in between. To Chuck M in WA: I not only read every word you shared--several times--but also took notes. What you said is exactly what I needed--one of those electric shocks you get when you are not expecting it in a meeting. Thank God for AA--and now through the web it truly exists everywhere.


Member: Linda O
Location: PTB, FL
Date: 29 Oct 1998
Time: 19:29:42

Comments

Hi! I'm Linda and I'm an alcoholic.

Speaking of "It Works If You Work It," I could use some advice from the men. I recently volunteered to chair a speakers meeting at our local VA hospital once a month. Last Tuesday night was my first time to do so. I asked both a man and a woman to share their ES&H with the group, and they were happy to oblige. The room was wall-to-wall men! Not a woman in the place!! I knew that the VA would be predominantly men, but I thought that this particular meeting would draw SOME people from the outside. Now I'm having second thoughts about asking women to share at this meeting -- maybe just bringing in men who are vets. I've asked the other people who chair this meeting the other three weeks of the month, but they are totally ambivalent. Any of you guys have any advice?

In love and service


Member: Rivner
Location: Santa Fe,  N. Mex.
Date: 29 Oct 1998
Time: 19:45:35

Comments

Howdy; Alcoholic; Rivner.

Nice work Chuck. I printed it out. I had never bumped into it before. Kind of like walkin' over the hill and findin' a herd of antelope leapin' all over the place. Sweet!

Riv.


Member: Tom A.
Location: Arkansas
Date: 29 Oct 1998
Time: 20:41:04

Comments

Hello Everybody:

I am Tom A. a grateful and sober alcoholic today by the Grace of God. During my first year in AA, I attended 8 meetings a week and I never heard "It works if you work it." but I did hear this "ask your higher power for help in the morning, don't drink, and thank him at night." I beleive they are one in the same. I experienced many new things in AA and whatever it takes to stay away from the first drink is ok with me. My sobriety date is July 25, 1960. And I am so happy to have found another way to make a daily AA contact. "It works if you work it." I might add, "One-Day-At-A-Time." After all "any damn fool can stay sober for 24 hours."

God Bless - Tom A.


Member: Paul K
Location: N. Hollywood
Date: 29 Oct 1998
Time: 23:04:59

Comments

Any damn fool can stay sober for 24 hours. I wish I could . This is me first time here .


Member: Joyce K.
Location: Illinois
Date: 29 Oct 1998
Time: 23:18:00

Comments

Joyce, alcoholic. Thanks for sharing Chuck, I really enjoyed your post and it gave me plenty to think about. It Works If You Work It sounds so simple, but at times I find it difficult. And every day I have to remind myself what a miracle we all are and have so very much to be grateful for. Once I knock my own will out of the way, it sure works a lot better. I still cannot believe I'm sober and it's been over 3 years. AA saved my life and pointed my way to my HP. He was there all the time and all I needed to do was reach out for his hand. Wish I had figured it out a lot sooner. Blessings to all. Joyce K.


Member: Mark R
Location: Texas Hill Country
Date: 29 Oct 1998
Time: 23:54:06

Comments

Welcome Paul K--keep coming back buddy!


Member: Teri F.
Location: Ohio
Date: 30 Oct 1998
Time: 06:35:14

Comments

Hi everyone. I'm an alcoholic and my name is Teri. I'm very grateful to be sober this morning and have asked God to give me the strength to stay that way for another 24 hrs.

Paul K.---The good news is you CAN stay sober for 24 hrs. It will take a little more than just wishing though. If you have a desire to stop drinking, and you reach out for help, the hand of AA will be there for you.

Chuck---I read every word, and yes I was supposed to. Thanks.

Love and hugs to all......

Teri


Member: tony g
Location: ma
Date: 30 Oct 1998
Time: 12:38:09

Comments

tony alcoholic. A Guide to Living. You can"t blame any one but yourself if you stumble twice over the same stone. Have the moral stamina to stand firmlyfor right,truth,and justice. Acquire the habit of being faithful to friendsips and responsibilities. The greatest pleasure in life is to do a good turn in secret and have it discovered by accident. Have a spooky,happy,sober Halloween weekend!!!!


Member: Geno
Location:
Date: 30 Oct 1998
Time: 20:06:30

Comments

Thanks, Chuck


Member: Rick W.
Location: Saskatchewan
Date: 30 Oct 1998
Time: 21:40:39

Comments

My name is Rick and I am an alcoholic. I hvae been sober 1 day at a time since june 6 1991. The answer for me in the early days was to get involved in a "step series" ( a group of folks all studying the steps at the same time from the same starting point. Then getting a sponsor and getting involved in service work, visiting jails and rehab centers,etc. The best oneliner that I can think of is: I can go to meeting to see and hear what happens to those who stop going to meetings so I don't have to experience it personally


Member: gary d
Location: atlanta, ga
Date: 30 Oct 1998
Time: 22:43:44

Comments

hey y'all, i'm an alcoholic named gary, and i have heard enough times what happens to them what don't go to meetings, to make me not want to become one. i ahve also found that if i don't leave the basics, i don't have to go back to them. i am grateful for each and every one of you.


Member: Max R.
Location: Murphy, NC
Date: 30 Oct 1998
Time: 23:19:21

Comments

My name is Max and I am an alcoholic. By the grace of god, I am sober today.

My sponsor explained to me quite early in my sobriety that what we are trying to accomplish in the AA program is achieving a bit of balance in our daily lives. During my first year of sobriety, going to two or more meetings a day provided that balance. The next couple of years, my meeting attendance fell off and I found other meetings through my sponsor. He made me start to find the other people in this world who may not have a drinking problem, but who can help you stay sober.

He took me from total immersion in drinking and all its insanity to a growing interest in the world around me and all it offers.

"The choice between living sober and an alcoholic death is not always an easy one."

God gave me the opportunity to be sober. I have the choice to meet with you and share with you our experience, strength and hope.


Member: Anthony C.
Location: Plymouth, Mich.
Date: 31 Oct 1998
Time: 00:57:19

Comments

My name is Anthony. I am an alcoholic. By the grace of my Higher Power, I have not found any reason to drink alcohol since July 6th, 1991. For that I am grateful. It was not my choice that I joined A.A. It was my choice to stay though, after the fog had lifted from between my ears, to keep coming back. As much as the old me fought this program tooth and nail, those new voices began to take center stage and all those marathon meetings at the pie shops where sponsors told me of the mustard seed of faith that was all that I needed, gradually became more meaningful and important to me. I stuck with winners and gravitated toward the old timers tables. This was so unlike me. To sit and listen and respect and be teachable. Something was happening to me. I was CHANGING. All I had to do was not drink, turn my thinking off and pray (even though I didnt think I was doing it right). As I remained in the program, I discovered other things in sobriety. Things such as fun. Friends. And ME. Hardships havnt ceased in recovery. In fact, I've endured (with your and God's help) the most trying times in my life sober or otherwise. And I still dont understand God's work. Though it is not my job to question it. I do know that nothing is so bad that a drink wont make it worse. Period.

Like many of you, I drank to get drunk. I couldnt not drink. But knew I couldnt continue the way I was going (down). After seeing the light (on three different occasions in a span of five years) red and blue flashers, that is, I was introduced to you and you accepted me for the sorry drunk that I was. Well, I am still a drunk but I am a recovering drunk and not at all sorry for it. Thank you for listening.


Member: Anthony C.
Location: Plymouth, Mich.
Date: 31 Oct 1998
Time: 01:03:36

Comments

My name is Anthony. I am an alcoholic. By the grace of my Higher Power, I have not found any reason to drink alcohol since July 6th, 1991. For that I am grateful. It was not my choice that I joined A.A. It was my choice to stay though, after the fog had lifted from between my ears, to keep coming back. As much as the old me fought this program tooth and nail, those new voices began to take center stage and all those marathon meetings at the pie shops where sponsors told me of the mustard seed of faith that was all that I needed, gradually became more meaningful and important to me. I stuck with winners and gravitated toward the old timers tables. This was so unlike me. To sit and listen and respect and be teachable. Something was happening to me. I was CHANGING. All I had to do was not drink, turn my thinking off and pray (even though I didnt think I was doing it right). As I remained in the program, I discovered other things in sobriety. Things such as fun. Friends. And ME. Hardships havnt ceased in recovery. In fact, I've endured (with your and God's help) the most trying times in my life sober or otherwise. And I still dont understand God's work. Though it is not my job to question it. I do know that nothing is so bad that a drink wont make it worse. Period.

Like many of you, I drank to get drunk. I couldnt not drink. But knew I couldnt continue the way I was going (down). After seeing the light (on three different occasions in a span of five years) red and blue flashers, that is, I was introduced to you and you accepted me for the sorry drunk that I was. Well, I am still a drunk but I am a recovering drunk and not at all sorry for it. Thank you for listening.


Member: Bob F
Location: Springfield, Oregon
Date: 31 Oct 1998
Time: 02:51:56

Comments

Hi all I'm Bob & I'm an alky. Good subject Geno. I was going to suggest that you continue to go to meetings but be sure to participate. Gotta give it away to keep it. I see from your later postings that you already discovered this. (my suggestion isn't original incidently, it's in the 2nd edition of the big book). Your sharing helped me whether or not it was you intention. Thanks for a good topic and your testimony.

Hi Marg F. Hope you stay with these postings to read this. I heard you so please be aware that your posting means some-thing to me too.

Thanks to all of you for being here for me. Stay cyber for me because I need every one of you.

Lotsa AA love to all of you....


Member: Bill G.
Location: Texas
Date: 31 Oct 1998
Time: 09:59:28

Comments

Hey everyone, my name is Bill and I'm an alcoholic. Good topic Geno. I've found that when I don't go to meetings I don't work the steps and if I'm not working the steps, eventually I'll talk myself into taking that first drink! When I first came in the doors of A.A. I wanted wanted what you all had and was willing to go to any length to get it, but I just couldn't "figure it out". Then one day in a meeting I heard an Old Timer say "You've got it figured out when you quit trying to figure it out". I know now that I was looking for a quick fix just like drinking used to give me. Now I try to keep it simple. I go to meetings, read the Big Book, talk to other alcoholics, and work the steps with my sponsor. I'm glad to be sober today. Thanks.


Member: Linda D.
Location:
Date: 31 Oct 1998
Time: 22:14:47

Comments

Hi I am Linda. I have been sober 9 years. I always cringe when I hear people say they quit going to meetings because they get tired of hearing people talk about their problems. There comes a time in our sobriety that we need to go to meetings for other people in AA,not just ourselves. You never know what your presence at a meetings means to another person, or just saying hi to another person can brighten their day. We need to remember what we felt like in the beginning, I know I felt awful in my own skin, and just being in a meeting where someone knew my name could change my whole day. We have to come to the point where we stop taking from AA and give back what was so freely given to us. Thanks for being here. Linda


Member: Larry K
Location: Ky
Date: 01 Nov 1998
Time: 00:16:46

Comments

Dear Linda, Thank you for sharing and believe me most oldtimer's take everyone that comes into the program serious & love each one. We see so many come in ,and, the next thing we deal with is that person's funural.. I as an old alcoholic am tired of seeing this disease ruin good people


Member: Jim K.
Location: Steubenville, OH USA
Date: 01 Nov 1998
Time: 00:34:14

Comments

So you want peace and serenity. This is not an overnight matter. To follow are the only 2 times that you should go to meetings... A. When you want to go & B. When you do not want to go. What about your sponsor - are you calling him or her? Are you continuing to get phone numbers and are you calling those people and letting them know where you are at? What are you contributing (non-financially) to your home group? Are you plugged in? If not - get plugged in. Do you still have a Big Book and are you reading it? Are you giving away what has been so freely given you? There are many many reasons why at times I allow my peace and serenity to escape me but you know what - it all boils down to my wanting to hold on to ME. "My Ego". I allow my self-centeredness to crop back up and cease to pray for the willingness for God to remove my selfishness. Get out of yourself and your self-pity. Get off your _ _ _ & get to a meeting and start working a 12 step program. O by the way...Unless we alcoholics have a complete psychic change there is little chance of lasting peace and serenity and did you know that the spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it. We must never lose sight of the HOW of the program. My sobriety or peace and serenity if you will is God's gift to me...Now my job is to go to any length to keep it and to protect it at all costs.

God Bless You All & Good Luck To You.

Tell em what they need to hear.


Member: Randy S.
Location: Manvel, Texas
Date: 01 Nov 1998
Time: 01:33:02

Comments

Every time that I ever stood up and walked to the front of the room and picked up yet another desire chip, I really wanted to stop drinking. But every time I decided to stop drinking, I would attend meetings for awhile, I would read the Big Book constantly for awhile, I would talk with other alcoholics for awhile, then stop, and wind up in a ditch somewhere. Ad infinitum.

I'm presently nearing seven years this time. While, in hindsight, I've received so much change into my way of life. . . I've made decisions, and trudged through so many emotions and so much loss. . . The greatest change of all is that I haven't stopped being a part of Alcoholics Anonymous. So many times I have heard said, "The longer we stay sober the harder it gets." I'm not so sure about that. I have tons of responsibility today. There's a whole lot more to care about, much more to compare against my past. Still, the basics remain the same. I read the Big Book on a regular basis. I attend meetings (and I can't just attend, I have to contribute). I work with other drunks like myself. I tell all to my sponsor. And I pray and attempt to strengthen my relationship with God. The fundamentals must stay the same or I'll wind up in another ditch.

This is my first meeting on the web. This is cool.

Love yas to love life,


Member: richard m
Location: sarasota, fla.
Date: 01 Nov 1998
Time: 09:02:58

Comments

hello i am an alcoholic , my name is richard . glad i checked back at the end of the week( 10 th step ) i typoed my sob date..it is dec 28 1985..not dec 12////// typo or freudo?... i oly had one beer on the night of the 27th. hmmmmm . could this be more of that cunning , baffeling & powerfull thinking???????? lots of love to all

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