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Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:09 PM

I'm hoping this forum will help...because I could really use some.

OK as someone who isn't religious, the whole AA thing and its heavy insistence on accepting God was/is a huge turn off. I've been to a few meetings before and the whole religious aspect just didn't work for me. I've had my issues with booze for a while now (several years). I can at times drink lightly and even moderately... and I can go weeks at a time without any booze. But then sometimes I'll be hanging out with friends (at a party or a bar), and two or three drinks turns into some un-Godly amount, I won't remember, because I'll end up blacking out. This of course leads to saying and doing incredibly stupid and awful things which I will have absolutely no recollection of the next afternoon when I somehow end up waking up. The rest of the day is of course gone because I will be hurting so much.

I'm well aware I'm destroying myself.

I have other physical and anxiety issues which are in large part the cause of my drinking. Some of these problems simply cannot simply fix in any way. And what I feel is this cycle of depression and excess consumption. Depression leads to drinking too much, leading to doing bad things, leading in turn to depression. It's perpetual. I admit I may really just need to get some professional help...something I've been avoiding for a while now.

I suppose I can also try finding friends that don't binge drink. That would probably be good, but in all honesty, I like my friends and I think they'd support me if I made an effort to stop. But as many of us know, it's tough hanging out in a crowd where everyone is enjoying a drink and well...you're not.

I've been looking to address the problem for a while now, but I haven't felt this strongly about quitting before...I realize if I keep going the way I do, I'll end up dead or in jail.

52 replies, 6152 views

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Reply I'm hoping this forum will help...because I could really use some. (Original post)
fujiyama Jan 2012 OP
Electric Monk Jan 2012 #1
Tippy Jan 2012 #8
Tippy Jan 2012 #9
tavalon Feb 2012 #27
busterbrown Jan 2013 #51
tavalon Feb 2012 #26
cordelia Jan 2012 #2
Stuart G Jan 2012 #3
Rhiannon12866 Jan 2012 #4
tavalon Feb 2012 #28
Old Codger Feb 2012 #33
tavalon Feb 2012 #39
Old Codger Feb 2012 #40
tavalon Feb 2012 #41
Old Codger Feb 2012 #42
tavalon Feb 2012 #43
busterbrown Jan 2013 #52
irisblue Jan 2012 #5
NMDemDist2 Jan 2012 #7
NMDemDist2 Jan 2012 #6
tavalon Feb 2012 #29
Tripod Jan 2012 #10
Old Codger Feb 2012 #34
Tripod Feb 2012 #36
Old Codger Feb 2012 #37
tavalon Feb 2012 #44
Vanje Jan 2012 #11
NMDemDist2 Jan 2012 #13
cally Jan 2012 #14
Rhiannon12866 Jan 2012 #15
tavalon Feb 2012 #30
Vanje Jan 2012 #12
fujiyama Jan 2012 #16
Rhiannon12866 Jan 2012 #17
cally Jan 2012 #18
tavalon Feb 2012 #31
Old Codger Jan 2012 #19
Vanje Jan 2012 #20
cally Jan 2012 #21
Rhiannon12866 Jan 2012 #22
cordelia Jan 2012 #23
tavalon Feb 2012 #32
Vanje Jan 2012 #24
tavalon Feb 2012 #25
Old Codger Feb 2012 #35
tavalon Feb 2012 #38
monkeyofstick Oct 2012 #45
NMDemDist2 Oct 2012 #46
jonpaulprime Oct 2012 #47
dogknob Nov 2012 #48
Fire Walk With Me Nov 2012 #49
busterbrown Jan 2013 #50

Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Wed Jan 18, 2012, 12:47 AM

1. The first step is admitting you have a problem



I hear you on the AA/higher power/religion thing, though. It's not for everyone. The 'higher power' is up to you to define, though. For some, just thinking Good Orderly Direction when reading or saying God works. For others, that still feels wrong.

Perhaps S.O.S. would be a better fit for you? You can find out about them here http://www.cfiwest.org/sos/intro.htm although there may not be a group near you.

I'm not sure what else to add at this point, other than to wish you luck on your recovery. I'm still working on it, too.


edit to add: You can say it with me if you like, or don't. Up to you.



God* grant me the serenity to
accept the things I cannot change
the courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference

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Response to Electric Monk (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 04:16 PM

8. It helps....

God* grant me the serenity to
accept the things I cannot change
the courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference

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Response to Tippy (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 07:50 PM

9. My daughter is in crisis...She is NA...

she has lost custody of her 3 children. Feeling desperate today I went to Church and prayed for her...When I left the church I drove to the last place we knew she was at last night...Her car was there, I had been searching for her for the last few days...To make a long story short we know where she is at tonight. What tomorrow will bring is a question we don't have an answer too. She said she is going in to treatment, I sure hope this isn't another lie...God grant me the serenity........

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Response to Tippy (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 03:09 AM

27. Oh, man, that really sucks

One day at a time. Or, when it gets really bad, one hour at a time. One thing that has really helped me is reminding myself that enabling the addict is treating them in a disrespectful manner - it's making me the boss of them and a) I suck at it and B) they are the only one who can make this decision I'm trying to take out of their hands and C)I'm slowing down their chance to hit rock bottom because I can't handle it. None of it is as selfless as it seems. When I remember that, I can show him the respect of staying out of his way. As bizarre as it sounds, it's the most loving thing I can do for him. And my recovery is the most loving thing I can do for me.

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Response to Tippy (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:43 AM

51. Very little you can do at this point... Love her and be an example. But surrendering to this

horrible situation is a start. You can not save her. She must save herself. If she is destitute
the salvation army might be a last resort. Otherwise find a rehab which will offer free services. They are out there. Most addicts like your daughter do hit a bottom eventually and see a bit of light which hopefully they will grab on to... But do not take blame for any of her actions at all. Al anon could
be a great value to you. Please trust me.....email me if you want through d.u.

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Response to Electric Monk (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 03:05 AM

26. That simple mantra

is so complex the more I look at it. So very much there.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Wed Jan 18, 2012, 09:42 PM

2. Your story sounds familiar.

One exception is that I didn't have the foresight you seem to possess regarding where your problem may lead.

You've also made the all important first step in admitting you have a problem.'

AA has worked for me, these 19 months and counting. I'm not religious myself, but I am a believer and was open to the "God of my understanding" part. That certainly doesn't apply to everyone.

My home group has a number of atheists, agnostics, Christians, Buddhists, it's all very interesting to me that all are able to take something from the program that works for them.

If you're interested, AA's "Big Book" has a chapter addressed to the atheist and agnostic. It was realized by the founders that the "God thing" could be an issue for some seeking help.

As for your friends who still drink: I kept mine. They've been very supportive on my recovery and have no intent of ever turning away from them. And, I've met some extraordinary people in AA and am forging new friendships that I find very satisfying.

Admittedly, AA is the only program I have tried, but I am certain there are others that may suit your needs. They are worth exploring and I hope you will do that.

I wish you the best.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Wed Jan 18, 2012, 09:47 PM

3. You are not alone..

I have depression and anxiety too.
Used to medicate it with pills and booze. Don't anymore..but

I am able to handle it better. The pills and booze actually made it much worse...
Get some professional help, the meetings helped me.
Be honest, and belive in something greater than yourself..
That can be just the good feeling that you get from a meeting, (I usually get a more peacefull feeling)
The rest you will deal with...Good Luck..you are welcome here..

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 05:37 AM

4. I need to find a post that I once made addressing just this issue.

I'm not religious, either, don't really get the whole "Higher Power" aspect, but AA has worked for me. "The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking." That's it, nothing else is expected. I originally did, as was suggested, 90 meetings in 90 days. Some felt more comfortable than others and those are the ones I've stuck with. In a few days I'll have 33 months, something I never thought I could do. But, like you, I had more than one wake-up call.

I guess what's worked for me is "the power of the rooms." There's something about a group of people, all there for the same reason, that works like nothing else does. I never know when I'll hear something that I need to hear, that applies to me and/or is helpful. And it could come from the newest person in the room.

What really worked for me was One Day at a Time. Saying that you won't ever drink again is just too damn big and intimidating to deal with. I tried that, many times, and that includes medication from my doctor to help me get through withdrawl and a stint in detox. But I always went back, sooner or later. This time, I haven't, but it took me awhile to absorb enough to "get it." I may drink tomorrow, but I know that I can make it through today. Some of us need to break it down more than that in the beginning, an hour or even a minute. I went through that, too.

Also, I remember to "take what you want and leave the rest." If someone has a Higher Power that they call God, that's fine with me. Whatever works for them works for them. I've actually found a lot of people who share my feelings about this when the topic has come up.

The group that I went to tonight doesn't even close with the Serenity Prayer. We use the Responsibility Declaration at that one.

" I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that: I am responsible."

You'll only know by doing what works for you, but it really does work if you make the effort, I promise. My life isn't perfect now. I still get scared, discouraged and depressed. The difference is that I know that I don't have to drink over it.

I lost my mother in September. It's been awful. It was an accident. She spent three weeks in intensive care and then she died. It's stll so hard to accept. But people from AA were there for me, to talk or to be with me when I shouldn't have been alone. But the most important difference was me. I drove over an hour, each way, every day for those three weeks, to be with her in the hospital. There's no way that I could have done that if I was still drinking. So that's one thng that AA has given me.

Let us know how you're doing. We've been there and we care...


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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 03:12 AM

28. The power of the rooms

Oh, my, is that ever true for me. I've been back in recovery for three months now and I am only able to make it to one meeting a week and I missed last week and I've watched my stupid behaviors escalate this week. Tomorrow is meeting night and I WILL be there.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #28)

Fri Feb 3, 2012, 09:27 PM

33. if you can

try to make more meetings, depending on where you live there are usually day meetings, morning, afternoon and evening. Also remember that the definition of an AA meeting is anytime 2 or more members are talking about their drinking or any other problems they have, that is all that is required..Do you have a sponsor? If not make a real attempt to get one and do not be afraid to use that resource, that is what a sponsor is for.

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 4, 2012, 10:58 AM

39. I'm not disagreeing but with my crazy life and a dearth of CoDA meetings, which

are actually the specific 12 step I need, that or nar anon, which doesn't exist here at all! I do a couple of online meetings with the nar anon group and then go wednesday to the al anon group. But I'm still scouting for a CoDA meeting that will work with my weird schedule. I know that the more meeting I go to, the quicker I can find someone who feels right as a sponsor and get this going, but I'm reading tons in the meantime and I know I will find the right way if I just keep my ear and my heart out there.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #39)

Sat Feb 4, 2012, 01:39 PM

40. If

If that is what you feel you need then that is something that you definitely need to look at. My wife tried al-anon when I first attempted to get sober, she actually found that AA worked better for her even though she was no alcoholic, her statement on that was that she felt that AA was a more positive atmosphere in that there were not as many complaining about their spouses AA focused more on the alcoholic and she got more out of that. Worked for her.

Keep on....

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 06:46 AM

41. Well, I guess in one way I'm lucky

This group may offer up some background or even what happened today with the addict, but straight away, they take it to talking about how they handled things, how they might have handled them better, what their feelings are right now. How this applies to their step work.

I still want CoDA because that is at the center of the current exacerbation but I really like this group for what I just spelled out. I do have a friend who said she would be happy to take my to one of her NA meetings. I think I might take her up on it.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #41)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 07:54 AM

42. No harm

Never hurts to look into things, you never know what may help, and speaking for myself I will take help from any direction it comes...

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #42)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 02:02 AM

43. And speaking for myself

I feel the same way. The more I look at this problem of mine, the more I see that I let character defects that I thought I had let go of, come back in. Funny, they are just as toxic as the last time. Hopefully, this time, I'm going to keep on working - at least for today, I am definitely going to keep on working. When I decided I was better and stopped working the last time, things, not good things, slowly sneaked in.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:47 AM

52. To all who read your response...This guy has got it going!!!!!!

I belong to a WE ARE RESPONSIBLE GROUP in L.A. Its a great group always reaching out to the
new comer.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 12:13 PM

5. how do you know my story?

welcome. somehow you and i have been sharing the same story. i have been attending AA meetings since late august last year. I am wiccian, so the christian stuff really doesn't work for me. i'm learning, in the meetings and life, to take what i need/want and leave the rest. my friend group isn't big drinkers, so i can't speak to that friend issue exactly but some of the women and men i've met at the rooms and in parties that are AA in nature, have been some of the most interesting ones ever. the last party i went to, work christmas party, i noticed that some had alcohol, some may not have had it. the ones who began to get lit, looked really silly, and slightly pathetic to my eyes. since i get more quiet, usually, i'm hoping that i didn't ever make that type of impression, at work parties and in real life with friends. i'll still keep going to the work parties, a valuable networking tool and i still love my friends and being with them. hope to see you in a room, or a cyber room as you need. i can offer my full hearted support.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 12:40 PM

7. iris, your wiccian faith is perfect

it's all you'll need for the steps to work, the faith in the underlying connection of everything to everything is a very strong belief system

edit to add, the Creative Power will work as an HP as will the Collective Unconsciousness.


you're totally on your way and don't let some bible thumper in the rooms deter you, just smile sweetly and say "And where is that in the Big Book?" and they can't show you because Bill was VERY careful not to put it in there. you're belief system is as vital and effective as any thing and don't let anyone tell you different !

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 12:30 PM

6. from page 10, 44 and beyond, how I did it

How could there be so much of precise and immutable law, and no intelligence? I simply had to believe in a Spirit of the Universe, who knew neither time nor limitation. But that was as far as I had gone.........

To one who feels he is an atheist or agnostic such an experience seems impossible, but to continue as he is means disaster, especially if he is an alcoholic of the hopeless variety. To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face.

But it isn't so difficult. About half our original fellowship were of exactly that type. At first some of us tried to avoid the issue, hoping against hope we were not true alcoholics. But after a while we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life - or else. Perhaps it is going to be that way with you. But cheer up, something like half of us thought we were atheists or agnostics. Our experience shows that you need not be disconcerted.........

Yes, we of agnostic temperament have had these thoughts and experiences. Let us make haste to reassure you. We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God......

We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. "Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?" As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built........



and that's how i did it, i tested the whole "God Thing" and the results of those tests brought me to faith. I'm still not a Christian or a church person or a bible (or any other holy book) thumper, I just was willing to try it out. I was desperate enough to be willing.

I call my higher power "BOB" (Big Omnipotent Being") or just 'HP' for short. You're welcome to borrow it/her/him until you find one of your own liking

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Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 03:17 AM

29. I have to believe in something more powerful than me,

because if I'm the most powerful thing in the universe, well, that is just too scary to even contemplate. But the spiritual something that I've tapped into, while not being the Christian God, has shown me the way. And offered me grace. I'm so blessed and it would be really too bad, if I let the whole Christian God thing stand in our way (me and her, my higher power).

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 04:26 AM

10. Do you want to hear the truth? If not, don't read this message.

I have the same disease, alcholism. This sucks, and without treatment, it only gets worse. I want to help you understand.... Not everyoune who gets drunk, or blacks out some times, or does things they regret, are an alcholic, but you are. For you and me there comes a power of evil in the drink. It sucks, and believe me I know. Myself, 4 DWI's all most prison, an amazing drug court program, comunity service, many thousands of dollars in fees, inpatiant program, outpatiant program, half way house, transitional housing, outpatiant counsouling, and a year or two more of probation still. I am not able to do this all correctly still, but you know that you have this disease fujiyama. In the rooms you will find a will, strength, encouragement, that you wont find many other places. And mostly a power to fill the void of the drink. It really is what I cherish...... Good luck.... if you choose to do this you will find the answers you desire.

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Response to Tripod (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 3, 2012, 09:31 PM

34. You got it

If there were a way to rec a post I would rec this one... it is a "simple" program but it is not an "easy" program, but I have found as time goes by that it actually becomes somewhat easier REALLY it does, just stick around and you will eventually believe me.

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 4, 2012, 02:46 AM

36. I'm glad you get it.

Nice to have a dirrect reply, I've been doing this a while now, on both sides of things... since 1983. "I love the bounce"

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Response to Tripod (Reply #36)

Sat Feb 4, 2012, 10:16 AM

37. I too

Have been at it for a while, 1984 for me... been a hazardous, interesting, scary trip but well worth whatever effort involved.

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #34)

Wed Feb 15, 2012, 03:04 AM

44. Simple but not easy

Never were truer words typed.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 08:39 PM

11. Lurker here

This thread is speaking to me.
Here goes.
I dont know if I am an alcoholic, or not.
But just recently, my drinking is becoming a problem to me.
So theres that.

What can I expect if I go to an AA meeting?
I'm shy around new people. Almost reclusive, agoraphobic leanings.
Will I have to speak in front of everyone?
That would be hard unless I drink first.
Can I just sit in the back row and listen at first?

What is a meeting like?

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Response to Vanje (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 08:54 PM

13. yes you can sit in the back and say nothing

don't be surprised if if you are welcomed by people when you arrive, but nothing is expected of you.

if you live in a large metro area, there are usually plenty of 'speaker' meetings (usually week end evenings) that tend to be fairly large and no one is expected to speak except the 'speaker' of course.

as for what to expect, meetings vary wildly, in size, in topics, in demographic makeup, so don't judge AA by one meeting (or even several) since they truly vary a LOT!

i would suggest you call the local 'central office' (usually the phone number listed in the local white pages is the central office) and speak to someone there and ask for meeting suggestions for 'sitting and listening,' a local member will help steer you to somewhere you can be comfortable.

if your drinking is bothering you and starting to cause problems, a visit to a few AA meetings won't hurt you and may give you some answers.

PM me if I can help, and good luck!!



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Response to Vanje (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 09:14 PM

14. I've found peace in the meetings and I'm very shy

Every meeting is very different. There are some meetings I don't like much but many that I love. Some meetings are very small and most people talk but you don't have to. Some are very large, have a speaker, and you will not have to say a word. Most meetings ask newcomers to introduce themselves but you don't have to. If you do introduce yourself as a newcomer, members will come up and say hi and offer support. To be honest, the first time I went to a meeting that freaked me out and I went to another meeting. Unless it's a very large meeting, members usually introduce themselves by their first name and say they are an alcoholic but you don't have to say anything. Just say pass and that's all. There are newcomer meeting if you would feel more comfortable there.

Generally meetings last an hour and have some time for members to share. The program works because we help each other stay sober. It's a we program. Members will offer phone lists and maybe literature. We do this because someone once helped us and it keeps us sober.

BTW, many alcoholics isolate from others. One of the gifts of sobriety is opening the world back up to us. I'm still inclined to shyness but I'm much more open now. Feel free to PM me, if you have any more questions.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 10:30 PM

15. I agree with Cally. Every meeting is different.

The first meeting I went to was a speaker's meeting. Three people got up in front of the room and told their stories. I didn't have to say a word and my friend went with me, not an alcoholic, but it was an open meeting, open to everyone, not just alcoholics, so she came with me for support. I did say something to one of the speakers afterwards, since the story resonated with me, and I was impressed that someone could get up there and share all that, but I didn't need to...

The second meeting I went to was a women's meeting. That's where I was welcomed, given phone numbers and eventually found a sponsor. But you don't have to speak at any meeting. You can say that you "pass" or that you're just there to listen, if it comes to that. Everyone there was new at one point, so folks do understand. I've heard story after story from those who said it took them a long time just to find the courage to speak.

You don't need to speak until you're up to it and you don't have to drink to go. It's only an hour. You can just sit and listen for as long as you want, and people usually talk one-on-one after the meeting which is much easier than sharing in front of everyone. It's expected that new people will just want to listen at first, and you never know when you'll hear something that you identify with or that's helpful to you.

There are speaker's meetings, discussion meetings, Big Book (study) meetings, and one I've been to is a meditation meeting. I followed the suggestions I was given and did 90 meetings in 90 days and stuck with the ones that I liked the best and where I felt comfortable. If you just want to sit and listen, that's okay. That's a good first step, just showing up and giving it a try.

That's what I did and that was over three years ago. It took me awhile to "get it," find out what would work for me. I never thought I would make it through a week, but I'll have three years in a few weeks, One Day at a Time. Let us know how you are. We've been there and know how you're feeling.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 03:19 AM

30. They might ask if there are any new people

Raise your hand if you wish, don't if you don't want to. I'm speaking from Al Anon and CoDA meetings but I'm fairly sure most 12 step groups are pretty similar. Many people at meetings never say a thing but they keep coming back so I'm sure they must be getting something they need.

Edited to add: I can't remember a single meeting where the people weren't gentle and kind and they won't give advice, just kindness, understanding and support.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Sun Jan 22, 2012, 08:41 PM

12. Me too Fujiyama

Thanks for starting the thread.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 01:39 AM

16. Well just figured I'd check in again

Thanks for the replies everyone. It's been a week and I haven't had a drink. During the week this was no big deal, but I'll admit dinner and bowling yesterday with friends was tough. And there was a pitcher sitting there calling my name...

But I decided not to answer. My friends were great about it and we had a good time. I'm not going to lie. What's worse than watching friends drink is watching a pitcher sitting there not being drank! LOL. Later I even met some other friends at a bar/club and I have to admit it was very interesting observing drunken people. One person was there with a friend of mine and he was trashed. My friend is pissed at him now. He was making a complete ass of himself. It's rare I can observe drunken people in much clarity, because I'm usually already there to some cloudy extent!

We'll see how this goes. I have a wedding to attend to next week. That will be tougher...but in a way, these are great challenges of will power. As my roommate said (he almost never drinks) - if you can conquer this, you may be able to start pursuing and accomplishing many other things you put your mind to. It's funny, but my resolution for the new year was never really to quit. It was to drastically reduce my consumption...and the first two weeks I had done exactly that.

But many of us have an event (often unexpected) that totally violates our personal moral and ethical code so deeply, that we're forced to make big decisions. I slipped one night. I was invited to a friend's place, and instead of drinking the beer or two I had brought with me, I had some God-awful nasty flavored vodka, which I probably did shots of. I don't remember. When I found out the afternoon afterr who appeared that particular night I blacked out, I was appalled and disgusted. I had basically been unaware of my own actions for an entire night! I wanted that person to never appear again. Whoever that was, wasn't me and won't be. That happened, of all days, on Friday the 13th!

Anyways, it's only been a week, and I'm still not sure I'll never have another drink ever again. But I like the "one day at a time" philosophy. It's very simple, yet powerful. It keeps you focused on the day at hand. It's sets a manageable goal. From that point on, you follow through on it. I'm still undecided on attending meetings just yet. For now, I'd like to do this on my own and find other hobbies and pursuits to spend my time on. And with some help from friends, I may be OK. I think the meetings can be very useful and I appreciate them being available. I'm in a pretty religious area though (in the south) and I'm guessing the meetings will be very Christian based, which is fine if your Christian. In my case, I'm actually thinking others on DU may also be a more effective circle, which is definitely less insistent on a Christian based recovery (a few have PMed me and I greatly appreciate the well wishes). I'm not interested in being proselytized or hearing about being saved by Jesus. In fact that may just turn me off. I just want someone a bit encouraging that understands that it's not easy kicking it. When I went to the meetings the first time, I was in a new town on the insistence of someone. I'll admit, I was also looking for a social circle. I had no real friends in that town yet. The circle is in place. My friends are here and will be around regardless if it's the drunken me or the sober me. Those who won't be here for me, aren't real friends. It won't be easy.

But it's a start...

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 02:31 AM

17. Thanks so much for letting us know how you are!

Admitting that something's wrong is a definite first step. And so many of us have tried "controlled drinking," but if you're an alcoholic, that just doesn't work. Normal people can have just one drink during the holidays, or whatever, but we alcoholics can't seem to have just one. If one is good, six is better. *sigh*

I certainly tried it. So many nights I'd be determined to stop at one or two or three, but eventually I'd give up and vow to do better tomorrow. But tomorrow never did come, since I'd tell myself the same thing then and the day after that. But once I finally absorbed "one day at a time," I finally had some hope.

Instead of putting it off until tomorrow, I finally focused on just that day. There's a liquor store that I often pass on my way home which seems to always be open. I remember the first time I thought of stopping, but just kept going, telling myself that I could always stop there tomorrow. And that's when I finally started putting some days together, telling myself that I just wouldn't drink today.

Kudos to you, since I remember thinking that I couldn't make it through more than I few days, let alone a whole week. It will be three years in April and I'm still tempted, especially when things are going badly, but I know, no matter what happens, I can make it through just today.

Any little bit helps, and you never know what you'll hear that will resonate with you. That's the reason that I continue to go to meetings, since I'm still learning and I'm still hearing things (tools) that are helpful to me. And hearing others' stories is always a reminder of what can happen and how much I don't want to go there again. I've learned enough slogans that I often think of just the right one at just the right time. LOL. "Keep It Simple."

Sounds like you're heading down the right path, and please continue to let us know how you are. One suggestion that I've heard over and over, if you're attending an event where there's alcohol. Leave yourself an escape route, so if you feel you need to leave, you can. Either drive yourself and/or take a sober buddy who understands and will support you. Good luck and hang in there!

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 08:45 PM

18. I'm glad you checked back in and did not drink

I know I wouldn't have stayed sober (4.5 years) without AA. We share what only another alcoholic can understand. At a meeting last week I was laughing with fellow members that I saw some men tailgating and I could describe in detail the amount and type of alcohol on the tailgate. My husband mentioned the absurd crazy hats which I had not noticed because I couldn't see beyond the alcohol. Other alcoholics get how challenging it is to sit beside a full pithcher of beer and get up and leave the table with some left. We get it.

On the God thing. I have a friend in AA who goes to Church and always talked about a Christian God. I was very turned off and didn't like her in the beginning. As I began to understand the program more, I began to accept her and understand that she had no intention of trying to proselytize. She was just sharing her own program and belief. We're friends now and I'm able to learn from her even though we don't share her faith. But just one day at a time and do what works for you.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 03:24 AM

31. For most people, just stopping drinking doesn't stop the alcoholism

I'm sure you've heard the term, dry drunk. But honestly, you are so clearly looking within, if ever there were a person I would bet on being successful without meetings, it would be you. Keep talking to yourself and being introspective. And don't be surprised if you find a small, quiet voice within, your higher power.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:51 AM

19. Seems to me

That you are omitting part of that ,it is stated a higher power "God As We Understand Him" doesn't have to be the god of the bible, never mentions religion at all...took me a while to get that myself but 28 years later my higher power still works, better to fake it than stay drunk. In most of my experiences around the tables the ones put off by the so called religious side are looking for a reason to fail rather than a way to succeed. I am an avowed atheist actually but since I could admit that alcohol was a higher power for me, I needed something that was higher and stronger, the people of AA are plenty powerful enough to do the job, so go to meetings and find a way to stay sober and clean. Put as much efort into staying sober as you put into staying drunk and take the helping hands found at every AA meeting.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Sun Jan 29, 2012, 10:25 PM

20. No alcohol for a week

Some here may not think that is such a big deal. But it IS!


I've been trying to hunt down a meeting.
I live in a very rural area, and its proving to be a challenge.

The Tues and Thursday meeting at the local Senior Center doesn't seem to be active. The lights are out. The parking lot is empty.


Theres a Wednesday meeting in the next town down the road. It was supposed to be at the grange hall.
That was also dark and empty when I went there.


Where is everybody? Did they say, "Fuck it. Lets go grab a beer" ?


I've since learned that the meeting moved to another location.
I'll try again.
Heck, if I get luck enough to find a meeting, I might even TALK to people!

Hey, A&R forum, Thanks for the discussion.
It makes a difference.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 29, 2012, 10:59 PM

21. congrats. Going without drinking is a big deal

I well remember my first week of sobriety and how hard it was to stay sober. It does get easier. Maybe you could call AA around you and explain how hard it is to find meetings. A member maybe willing to call you and help you find one. Although today I went to a new meeting for me and couldn't find it. Eventually I waited outside and saw someone and asked if they were heading to the meeting. She was and showed me the new location. It's tougher though to do that the first few times.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 12:58 AM

22. I totally agree with cally! Kudos to you!

I tried so many times to quit on my own, but I just didn't know how. And I didn't quit drinking just because I found AA, either. It took time for me to learn how others had done it and what would work for me. There was a long time that each day was stll a struggle and, some days, it still is. That's why I still go to meetings. I have 33 months sober today, something I never thought I could aspire to...

As far as finding a meeting, I looked on the internet for any meetings near me. I chose one that I thought was close, but there is usually a phone number, so I called and asked for directions. AA folks are almost always willing to help, since that's a big part of the program. Let us know how it's going and it sounds like you've made an excellent start!

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Response to Vanje (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 09:47 PM

23. Congratulations!

A week is a very, very big deal.

Have you tried to reach the AA central office? I understand they can track down a meeting pretty much anywhere.

I've been coming here to this group a lot the last couple of weeks. Mainly just to read. I have been working a lot of hours lately and that has reduced the number of meetings I've been attending.

There have been some very lovely and meaningful sentiments expressed here; they've been a comfort to read when I get home.

The meetings are important, and I encourage them. It is a "we" program, and for me there's strength in being in the presence of like minded people. They understand our good and bad days and help us make it for the next 24 hours.

Thanks to all who post here.

Please feel free to PM if you'd like.

It does make a difference.


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Response to Vanje (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 03:26 AM

32. There are fantastic groups online

Okay, the Nar Anon group is fantastic. They have nightly online meetings - which is how I can get by with only one face to face meeting a week. But I am fairly sure that there are similar online groups for whatever 12 step is appropriate, especially AA.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 10:18 PM

24. Thanks for the good wishes and good vibes.

It means a lot to me.

Also thanks for the leads on finding a meeting.
I have not given up.
I'll keep my new friends in A&R apprised on developments as they happen.


(I have a good positive feeling about this.)

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 03:03 AM

25. Your higher power can be your 12 step group

or even your "higher self". I'm Pagan and when I mention my higher power, I use the pronoun her or even the name I've given her, Evelyn. No one blinks an eye.

Most 12 step groups I've been in have been very supportive of "God as I understand God". I do think it would be helpful for them to change the wording to "Higher Power as I understand Higher Power".

You're unfortunately correct in your thought that you might have to find other friends. They are triggers for you and triggers will make recovery really hard, and relapse really easy.

You've already got most of the first step. Way to go.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 3, 2012, 09:39 PM

35. What I found

As far as my "friends" were concerned when I stopped drinking they were not as much fun and they actually stopped coming around, we tend to hang with people that do and like the things we do and like.

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 4, 2012, 10:54 AM

38. As an enabler, I have to chose to be different, not only with the addict who took me to my knees

but with every person in my life. And if they get mad at my new, stronger barriers, well, I didn't cause it and I can't fix it. It's interesting that one of my partners has a fairly new partner who is a recovering alcoholic and from that standpoint, she couldn't have picked a better house - we aren't complete teatotalers, but we rarely have alcohol in the house and parties are about fun, not mind altering and we've been like that since way before she came along. often new relationships in the poly realm cause a ripple effect so she could have influenced us to drink less if we really drank much before she came in. It's one way in which I think we fit well. She's not bothered by seeing people moderately drinking and we don't usually even do that. My other partner has a beer once in a while but my IBS says no alcohol and it is blessedly not my drug of choice. My drug of choice is relationships and how I can micromanage them better than anyone in the whole wide world (irony alert - that would be my disease talking.).

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 05:50 PM

45. addict clean in NA

Been clean in NA since 1994.
I know that the only thing that helped with me was a complete surrender.
I did not use halfway,hell I thought drugs were the answer to all of my problems.They were my solution for many years.
But after 3 failed marriages,many screwed up careers,as well as not being a responsible parent.
But slowly,after making many NA meetings,working on all of the issues that made me crazy,well,it has been has been quite
a process.
But like I say,many of the ideas that I had about had to be trashed.
Full surrender worked

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Response to monkeyofstick (Reply #45)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 08:53 PM

46. welcome to DU

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 12:29 PM

47. You've gotten a lot of good feedback since you posted this.

I am new here, but I hope things have improved for you since January.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:20 AM

48. CON: You must define God. PRO: You GET TO define God

It is simultaneously a heavy challenge and a golden opportunity.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 01:41 AM

49. ďWhy donít you choose your own conception of God?Ē

 

~Bill's Story, the AA Big Book.

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Response to fujiyama (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:35 AM

50. You're IN DEEP TROUBLE.... and its only gonna get worse .Way worse.

Last edited Wed Jan 2, 2013, 08:02 AM - Edit history (1)

Forget about the God thing, it is unimportant..Just hit as many meetings as you can. I suggest two
a day. The God thing will come as soon as you get comfortable knowing that it isnít anyones
business to define how you work the program. I suggest going to the same meetings over and
over again establishing a home group. Just sit down relax and try to put some time together.
Get some self esteem into your life by acquiring some sober time. I week 2 weeks....time
like that is a big deal and isnít easy to obtain. When you go to a meeting extend your hand out
and introduce yourself. People in A.A. are pretty cool but were fucked up. I have Great Muscian
friends, Lawyers , MDs etc. and we all treat each other the same and a big part of our sobriety
is dependent on these friendships. Movies, golf, dinners, camping, games vegas are all great
times. But you have to stick to going 2 the same meetings all the time. As time goes by
the anxiety diminishes and and the obsession to drink is lifted and thats huge. It will come if you
keep coming to the same meetings. Again donít worry about God. Iím an agnostic and hate all organized religion with a pure passion. My God is the energy of a.a. which allows me to connect with everyone in the room and allows me to help other people and stay out of my head. Its the energy of the room which is my God. Knowing that there is something beyond our own dumb heads that can make decisions for us is so fucking important. Remember its our best thinking which got us into this shit. Our best thinking I tell you. So we need to believe in something other than what our own head tells us to do. This state of freedom can only come if ypo hang around your homegroup and get some friends.
I live in L.A. and would be glad to be of assistance to you so get back with me or leave me an email
letter!!! This thing works I tell ya...It works. P.s. You are in a fucking mess. Take care of yourself quickly....Please ...

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