June 8-14, 1997
Member: Judy K in Maine
Time: 2:16:59 PM
He, everyone. My name is Judy; I'm an alcoholic, and your leader for this week. I'd like to hear your comments on avoiding people, places and things that might threaten your sobriety. I am very careful to avoid places where I may be unconfortable, and I always take my own transportation if I feel there might be a problem for me. I avoid negative people. I take a sober friend with me to family weddings. In other words, I'm conscious of my mental and emotional health. In fact, the longer I'm in the Program, the more careful I've become -- and the easier it is to say "no." But every one in a while my Ego inflates (beyond the usual) and I say "I can handle that!" only to discover that I'm still powerless. I'm more likely to get in trouble if I hear myself saying "I don't need to discuss that with anyone." What do you avoid now? Is it different from when you were newly sober? And -- where do you turn most for help? Does that still, small voice speak loud and clear? Thanks.
Member: Tim G.
Time: 8:03:26 PM
Hi I'm Tim and I'm an alcoholic.
People, places and things were very difficult for me especially when I was first introduced to the program when I was 17. I always thought I was going to be missing something. Now I've found that I don't miss being miserable.
I agree with Judy that having my own transportantion is something that I always do when I know there's going to be alcohol at a function I'm attending. If I go to a wedding reception for example, sometimes I stay for the whole thing and sometimes I leave in a half an hour. It's important for me that whenever I'm uncomfortable at something like this that I need to be able to leave whenever I want to, and luckely I have a wonderful wife who understands this. I also find that going to a meeting on the same day before hand is a big help as well. For me it boils down to what I'm able to handle that day at that moment.
When someone asks me again after "No thanks" if I'd like to have a drink my standard line is "Thanks, but I've had enough"
Member: Tim V.
Time: 8:30:18 AM
Hi I'm Tim and I'm an alcoholic.
Thanks for the topic Judy. Like Tim, in the beginning it was hard for me to give up the idea of "partying". I thought I'd be missing something important. Today, (16 years later) it's barely an issue for me. I don't like being around drinking, smoking, or intoxicated people. Further, I like to be around folks with a spiritual focus to their lives. Hence, I'm rarely confronted with a situation of people places and things that threaten my sobriety.
The only exception is around family, and they rarely gather due to alcoholism shattering those bonds. When we do get together, I try to be a good example of what AA can do for a person, and pass it on. That attitude seems to make me immune to personal temptation.
Lest I become too arrogant, I follow the principles Judy outlined, that I leaarned in my first few weeks in AA. Have your own transportation, have a sober friend, have the sponsors number, talk about it before and after, and arrive lat4e and leave early if necessary.
Most of all, don't drink, just for today!
Many blessings, Tim
Time: 10:02:59 AM
Hi My Name is J.D. and I am an Alcoholic, I knida agree with Tim, I don't seem to spend much time or energy staying away from PPT that threaten my sobriety cause i don't want ot be around them anyhow. Maybe I am cured ? Right ! But today my idea of a good time is meditating or walking in the beautiful green field of Germany, why would I want to go to a bar ?
Member: Judy K in Maine
Time: 10:03:22 AM
A little more on this topic: my sponsee of 8 months just phoned to say she now understood what I meant about "getting off the fence." She says she can't keep "visiting" her drinking boyfriend because it just messes up her head. "I'm finally getting some awareness of what's good for my sobriety and what's not," she said. And another beautiful day was begun!
Member: Teflon Jones
Time: 10:56:23 PM
Hi Folks, my name is Jim and I'm a drunk.In my first attempts at sobriety I failed to change PP&T of my addiction and I failed to get sober. Pretty cut and dried! After busting out of "THE LODGE" I knew everyone in my hometown were eather my enablers or fellow drunks. I'd a never had a prayer to stay clean. So now I live in the charming hamlet of East Stroudsburg where the sun is warm and the AA is strong. Today almost all my friends are people I've met through the program.
Member: The Big Book of AA
Time: 7:02:50 AM
So our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, if we have a legitimate reson for being there.
Therefore , ask yourself on each occasion, "Have I any good social, business, or personal reason for going to this place?. Or am I expecting to steal a little vicarious pleasure from the atmosphere of such places?
Your job is now to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate tp go anywgere if you can be helpful. You should not hesitate to visit the most sordid spot on earth on such an errand. Keep on the firing line of life with these motives aand God will keep you unharmed.
Member: Perry in PA , USA
Time: 7:10:19 AM
When I woke up with an emotional hangover after being in a strip club all night sucking down bottled water and acting like a lunatic drunk... ( I couldn't find my keys, where had all the money gone?, did anyone see me? How can I keep my wife from finding out?) I had to take a hard look at this character defect What the hell was I doing in this strip bar other than trying to steal a little vicarious pleasure. It was only the insurance of a lot of meetings and the Grace of God that I did not drink that night. I have since had to deal with some of my "other addictions". Wow man... I am powerless... And good morning from Eastern PA!
Member: Bob B.
Time: 6:05:03 AM
Hi I'm Bob & Iam an alcholic,
I had many troubles with people, places & things in my early sobreity. I always let rhis cunning , baffling & powerful disease control my thinking that it was alright to stay around my old friends & places. I wouldn't drink sometimes for a month or so but I would be so miserable that I said it was better to drink.
Now I learned tha I don't have to put myself into that position. If my 12 step work would bring into around a bar or a drinking situation,I do as suggested and other people with me.When I am out on a social engagement and I am asked if I want a drink I don't say no I can't drink or whatever, I will say yes I will have a drink, A coke ,water . Usually that satisfies most people.
Judy, thanks for the topic.
Member: Barry L
Good topic,as many have said already, I don't try to temp fate by hanging out in bars I played that game in previous dry periods,allways the same results,everytime I started drinking again I was sitting in a barroom,I realized maybe there was a connection!
I have very few good reasons to go to a bar. Like Perry I have occasional went to strip bars at the urging of another defect of character,luckily I was in the right spiritual condition(well almost anyway)and did not feel the compulsion.The longer I'm sober the easier it is for me to stay away from the strip joints.
One more thing about PP&T for me,I find I don't just have to avoid the ones directly related to partying but any PP or T,that cause major spiritual or emotional unrest,to some extent I can choose to avoid the situations in life that will start up my stinking thinking, and as I grow in recovery,I learn to deal with some of them and then don't have to avoid them.
I am greatful to my HP,and AAfor teaching me to deal with life on life terms
Time: 1:25:52 PM
I never truely knew how important it is to change PP&T until I truely wanted to change.
God gave me the gift of not craving a drink, but some of the isims are eating me up inside. For me I must change PP&T in order to stop the pain and grow.