Member: Kelly M
Location: NH
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 10:13:44 AM

Comments

Hi All, I am Kelly an alcoholic. I would like to here how AA works where all other methods of stopping drinking have failed and why? Thanks.


Member: FrankD
Location: NJ
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 10:22:21 AM

Comments

I have several opinions on this, my main opinion being that I can see it has worked for others, and I want what they have, but my opinions really don't matter much, because I'm just really, really grateful that for this alcoholic, the program of AA works!


Member: tracy
Location: Essex England
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 10:35:59 AM

Comments

I also am amazes how it works, I ahve tried so often to stop,by myself, which we know is a no hoper, and also i have spoken to so called "professionals" but that didn't work, but with AA it is all about faith and sharing with others who have been there, because before AA i had no faith, and would never had dreamt of asking an "earthling" what faith they had, it didn't seem acceptable.


Member: Rivner
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 11:17:28 AM

Comments

Howdy Folks. Rivner-alcoholic. I'm consistently amazed that a room full of con-artists, manipulators, controllers, liars, theives, abusers and felons somehow manage to keep me sober. Go figure. I heard an adictionologist once say that what we have in common is that, in some mysterious fashion, we were all born somehow knowing what the devine plan was supposed to be - that it was to bre about love, compassion, caring, etc.; and, not seeing that happen in front of our face, on a daily basis, gradually drove us crazy and to anaesthesia. Maybe. In any case, I'm sure that at the cellular level, we all connect and have an intimate knowledge of how the other feels. This is the glue. There's nothing else out there that does this. This paradigm of recovery is unlike anything else. Wild mustangs on the mesa have an intuitive sense of each other. The pure-breds and the cold bloods have less so; and make no sense of the 'stangs. We ride a specific trail and relish in the "outlaw" side of it, but reserve the tendancy to "tear-up" at the thoughts of all the inhumanity that shows up and torments us. The Creator, my Great Spirit, let's me know there's a plan for me that can give me peace. I just wish He's let me in on it :-)!


Member: Kim V
Location: kvaughn@madison.main.nc.us
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 11:22:41 AM

Comments

Kim V here alcoholic. AA only works if we follow the simple suggestions outlined in the Big Book. I don't know about you but when I was out there trying every other way to quit, I never followed through with the counslors advise nor was I completely honest with myself let alone anyone else. I spend so many years in denial and until I made the decision that I was an alcoholic and had hit my bottom and had endured enough pain, until then I was just not ready. Also AA gave me the steps to admit my alcoholism, to believe in a power greater than myself, to become willing, and honest, to turn my will and life over tho the care of God. To make a list of my person character defects and to share them with someone else, to make amends so I could forgive myself and stop feeling bad about myself, to be able to promptly admit when I am wrong and fix it and to continue to help other alcholics. I also learned a lot of other good stuff along the way. I was willing to under go years of therapy and explore my alcoholic childhood home. I think the key here is I had enough pain, made a decision and followed the suggestions and did the steps. And the promises came true. I now live happy, Joyous and free. So that's why it works for me. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Steve S.
Location: San Francisco
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 2:57:37 PM

Comments

I was always confused in early sobriety what reading a book, prayer, meetings, sponsers, etc. had to do with not getting drunk. The big part of surrendering in the early days is being able to put your faith in a solution that seems to make no sense. I've been sober since 1984, and have stopped trying to figure it out, but I'm very grateful for the life saving tools that I have been given here. Thanks for being there.


Member: Zeke K
Location: Oil City, PA
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 4:03:47 PM

Comments

The program of AA works because it is a very simple program. Sayings like, "Don't pick up the first drink. Call your sponsor. Go to meetings on a regular basis. Read the big book. Hang around other alcoholics in the program. Read AA literature." Etc. Etc. By doing all of this, you will discover there are more do's in the big book than there are don'ts. So, if you do the do's you won't have time to do the don'ts and even if you could you wouldn't so you don't, so you're sober for another 24 hours. And that's how the program works and that's how you stay sober.


Member: Don T
Location: Ct
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 4:12:13 PM

Comments

Don T here alcoholic ,((Maggie)) Thanks for your reply it means alot to me to know that at least someone was listening ,your right I do tend to judge myself often .This tue. is my last group meeting that I'm ordered to go to so wed. I've made plans to go to a meeting .I will try this again being more open-minded this time.I do have conserns and fears about going though ,because I don't belive in god or religion but I do have my own idea of a higher power ,in my past experiances w/aa its caused me alot of problems,when asked why I was'nt participating in their prayer session I told them and often I was asked indiscreetly to find another home group or maybe aa is'nt for me .I've never critisized anyone for what they belive in .It really hurts when the only people you can relate to (ie;alcoholics) turn their backs on you and say your jepordizing someones sobriety or I'm not serious about my own .Should I go against what I belive and fake it or what? I just thought aa was'nt about god ,but about staying sober.Any suggestions? Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Brett
Location: Indiana
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 5:48:32 PM

Comments

Hi everyone, brett alcoholic here. I used to spend a lot of time pondering the very question you have asked. I also spent time trying to seek out examples of people who didn't use AA to get sober, or people who learned to control their drinking. All the while I kept getting drunk and my life kept getting more out of control. I had reservations, and was trying to be an exception rather then being a part. Always analyzing the whys and what ifs instead of just believing and surrendering. Today I realize I just don't care anymore how or why it works. I just know that it does for me. I think it is one of the many great freedoms that staying sober a day at a time, and working the steps in all of my affairs has afforded me. This drunk is very greatful AA works for me. I am sure there are sound reasons as to why it works, and I am just as sure there are other ways that people can get sober and live a solid meaningful life. After a few 24 hours of being sober, I just focus on what I know works for me today. The steps of this simple program freed me from the insanity of drinking, and the steps continue to keep me in a spiritual progression that allows me to be comfortable with who I am today. I guess I am selfish that way. It works for me, and that is what matters. Why is simply not important to me.


Member: Harry K
Location: U.K
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 5:49:00 PM

Comments

Sorry to hear of your experience Don. This is in fact a GOD programme. GOD meaning Good Orderly Direction. Dogma and rigidity have no place in A.A but it's still around. I know of a man with quite a few years of sobriety and he doesn't believe in GOD either. However he's still one of the most deeply profound "spiritual" people I know in the fellowship. Because at the end of the day this is a programme of "Identification", see if you could seek out other meetings where your views and beliefs would not be judged. Hell, we are all Bozo's on this bus and I defy anyone to deny another persons right to his / her sobriety. The third step says "God as we understood him" use your own understanding of what this is. Stay the course Don, there are no accidents and I don't believe your finding this fellowship was one either. I'm sorry there are as many "evangelists" in A.A as there are in any conventional church. But we're not all that way, keep coming back and as I've heard thousands of times in the rooms, "Don't quit before the miricle happens". Good luck my friend, and you can still stay on line for the message also!


Member: Yvonne B.
Location: Lakeville, PA
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 8:28:42 PM

Comments

The key for me to stay sober was #1 - to get balance in my life.I had too many committments and had to learn to say "NO" and to "KEEP THE FOCUS ON ME".Both took alot of PRACTICE until I could not feel GUILTY when I said "no".It took TIME, ONE DAY AT A TIME. CHANGE: which stands for'Current Habits Are Not Good Enough' I had to tell people HOW I FELT-especially my SPONSOR!!Meetings every day!It works if you work it!! So-WORK IT!!YOU'RE WORTH IT!!


Member: kimberley
Location: seattle
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 8:49:33 PM

Comments

hi kimberley recovering alcholic, thanks for all your shares it certainly keep my week focused, what works for me it to thourghly follow the path of steps and prnciples as well as traditions, this is a custom program for anybody who has a desire, we ought never be organized its one day at atime at your own pace,


Member: AZbill
Location: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 9:37:30 PM

Comments

HI Kelly and anyone else interested in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. There is a whole chapter in Alcoholics Anonymous entitled, oddly enough, "How It Works". The descriptions of and the instructions for our program are are written in "Alcoholic Anonymous" and can be found nowhere else. Even in other "AA approved" literature. AA works because the only thing we deal with in AA in alcoholism. ...We found out a long ago and the hard way that it is better to do one thing supremely well than many badly. Our preamble says it all.. In part it states. "Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others recover from alcoholism." "Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholic to achieve sobriety" Feel free to email me any questions Bill.....az-bill@mindspring.com


Member: Fiona
Location:
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 10:56:25 PM

Comments

When I tried to figure out why it works, I stayed drunk. When I read "How It Works" in the book of Alcoholics Anonymous and did the actions, I got sober and am staying sober a day at a time. I don't care why it works. I'm just so grateful that it does. First 164 pages of the book.


Member: Mike H
Location: Jackson MI
Date: 4/6/2003
Time: 11:31:59 PM

Comments

To me AA and the big book are like a giant classroom. If we do the work and listen to our fellow "classmates" we will pass the course. If we don't do the work then we fail. I know from my experience that my ideas do not work. I have been sober and drunk so many times that I can't count. The reason being I did not follow the "course". Thanks everyone for being here. Mike H.


Member: Mary C
Location: Miami
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 12:04:26 AM

Comments

Hi my name is Mary and I am An alcoholic, I will like to know if AA sponsorship works the same everywhere, and if is ok for a sponsor to ask the sponsee to start the steps all over from no. 1 if she worked 1-3 and only needs to work from 4 on.


Member: Mary C
Location: Miami
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 12:04:42 AM

Comments

Hi my name is Mary and I am An alcoholic, I will like to know if AA sponsorship works the same everywhere, and if is ok for a sponsor to ask the sponsee to start the steps all over from no. 1 if she worked 1-3 and only needs to work from 4 on.


Member: AZbill
Location: From AZbill
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 12:17:47 AM

Comments

HI Mary if that were true I would have had to start all over several times the first year. When someone asks me to sponsor them; I just ask where they are in the steps and go from there. Trust is a two way street. Besides if you are misleading the sponsor you are only hurting yourself and not the sponsor Thanks Bill...az-bill@mindspring.com


Member: Jeff T.
Location: Ne.
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 1:09:00 AM

Comments

Hi all, good topic but i think it`s been said already that if one wants to know how or why AA works, read the Book & find out! I`m sorry to be so blunt but the AA book is so simple that i think we try to complicate it more that we need too, its all in there. They wrote a book that contains the answer to our problems. Its this simple get the book & read it, do what it tell us, and get a sponser to help us if we get stuck on a page or two. I have never found a book like this one that has such clear cut directions. I`m the type of person who if given the chance will try to change things to suite me. Twist the facts to make it work the way i want it too, but not this time, they gave me the answers straight, they also numbered them so i would not switch them around or loose track of what one was next. All this from a couple of x-drunks huh. It`s simply amazing. I`m so greatful they knew i was coming someday. Thanks for putting up with me.


Member: Charlotte S
Location: Taiwan
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 8:17:03 AM

Comments

Hi friends in AA, this is Charlotte, an alcoholic who is missing very much her face-to-face AA meetings. I came to Taiwan to teach English - that was Jan 29/03, and I have been unable to find an english-speaking meeting here in the city of Kaohsiung, so I'm joining my fellows on "the Road of Happy Destiny" on line. Yes, grateful to have the opportunity to read all your messages each week. "Stick with the Winners" is another one I have heard around the tables, and make it a God of your own, as I re-shaped my God, and am now a much happier contented person for it - have actually dropped the "church" thing and feel fine with that. Our programme gives us many choices, and that is a freedom of its own!! I am delighted to have this forum for sharing in the absence of a personal contact meeting. Love in Service, Charlotte


Member: Kathy
Location: KY
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 8:43:33 AM

Comments

Hi everyone, I'm Kathy and an alcoholic. I just wonder why Mary is concerned over working 1-3 again. I know that 10, 11, and 12 are considered the maintenance steps however for me they are useless if I don't work the first three on a daily basis. 1-3 simply remind me that " I can't, He can, Let Him ". If I forget for even 1 minute that I am powerless I know from past experience that my disease will take over completely. Step 12 tells me to " practice these principles in all my affairs". This means that I need to implement the steps into my daily life. I can't just work a step and then forget it. Not if I want to stay clean and sober and happy, joyous and free.


Member: Dan C.
Location: Manchester, NJ
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 9:06:06 AM

Comments

HI Kelly, my name is dan and i am an alcoholic..It would be almost impossible to stay sober without some kind of support..I tryed many times and guess what, I LOST!!!we need to able to hear members speak of the ride through drinking and on the rode to recovery..Meeting are a way of staying connected to group of friends who know what it was like ,and now how is..So don't try to this cold turkey, only a very small percentage have done it that and have succeeded..Made your 90/90 and you will see what a sober life can bring to you..Thanks for letting me share..


Member: Jim W
Location: Oh
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 9:16:36 AM

Comments

Jimbo here, Alcoholic, Thanks to AA and the fellowship there I have now been sober for one week!!! AA is working for me because when I go there or read the "big book" I realize I am not alone. It is comforting to have these people who have been where I am. Just like the people here they are united in a stange kind of way because they all share similar problems and you start to understand that you are not some kind of freak for having a problem that you can not control on your own. I am thankfull for the support they have given me this past week as I am thankfull to those of you on this web site that have encouraged to go there and find happiness. Thanks to all of you!!! First week in the "WIN" colum!!! Jim W


Member: Charlie Darling
Location: Back to Key West Soon
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 10:11:48 AM

Comments

Charlie darling a very Grateful recovering Alcholic. Keep coming back Jim. Boy the promises and the fellowship is what I believe works for me. For the fellowship helps me to remember I am not alone, and my problem is the same as others , and it is great to have someone who understands to talk to. The promises do come true but we have to really want what others have, and today I thank my HP for the fellowship of AA for without it, who knows where I would be. I Love you Family kwduke_1999@yahoo.com


Member: srikanth N
Location: Bahrain
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 10:19:09 AM

Comments

Hi, Srikanth here, an alcoholic. "Learn to listen" and "Listen to learn" are 2 sayings which really helped me in the first months of soberity. I can tell you that I am reasonably sure that from each of your fellow members sharings, you will find something that appeals to you, which could form the basis of your understanding of the program. This also works the other way. What really attracted me to the program is it's "democratic" and "God of your understanding" concept and therefore it is natural for a member to be disconcerted by "evangelists" and such like. However I am beggining to believe that this program is beyond all that and it's principal aim is to quietly guide you towards your higher power. I hope to keep coming back. Srikanth


Member: Norm F
Location: Columbia, SC
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 11:04:28 AM

Comments

Norm- alcoholic. Jimbo, you sound good, keep coming back. One alcoholic sharing with another is how this fellowship got started. We each can identify like no one else can. How it works is exactly how it works.


Member: BridgetM
Location: CA
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 12:05:19 PM

Comments

Hi....first time visitor here. I have read some of the emails about "the big book", how can I get this book of steps? I really need one! Any information is appreciated : ) Thanks, Bridget


Member: AZbill
Location: az-bill@mindspring.com
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 12:08:10 PM

Comments

Charlotte...There is a Robert F that teaches ESL in Taiwan, Also a Betty. I have written for Robert's permission to give out his email. He has been in Taiwan about 14 years I think. I do not know Betty's email. I will send you the email addresse(s) as soon as I have permission and only if you wish. Please email me since I am not sure Robert would want his email address published. Bill


Member: double dipping, sorry
Location:
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 12:30:18 PM

Comments

Bridget, look up AA in the phone book, call them, and ask where you can get a copy of the book. You can be assured of anonymity and support and encouragement. That's the way it works. Bless you and please post again.


Member: robert j
Location: angel beach
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 12:34:15 PM

Comments

How it works is in the book, Why it works is in the clubhouses,meeting rooms all over the world,one alcoholic talking to another it's called...Fellowship.


Member: Pip W
Location: London
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 12:51:49 PM

Comments

Hi Everybody I try not analyze how it works,all i know that by following what was suggested and trying to keep doing that, im coming up to 15mths,after 28yrs out there,i tried so many other ways to stop but never tried AA. It does work if YOU work it,and we are worth it ((Jimbo))Thats great,keep coming back Love and Hugs Pip W


Member: Kelly M
Location: NH
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 1:28:12 PM

Comments

Hi All, Kelly an alcoholic new in recovery. 6 months but you could probably tell that by my poorly worded question! What I really wanted to know was not so much why AA works as why it worked for (You). People who saw me at my end stage drinking ask me how AA took a really bad drunk and made her sober and happy and much healthier which you can see. I don't hesitate to say that Alcoholics Anonymous saved me with just a little willingness on my part. As ((Srikanth)) from Bahrain said, I am at a Learn to Listen and Listen to learn stage. I love this forum because I glean a lot of wisdom from everyone who shares. I can relate to ((Kim V)) on willingness and honesty, ((Rivner)) on what the addictionologist said and someone that said it is like a college course in living life. It does not matter why it works because it does... Let the mystery be! Working with Fiber Optics for years always had me thinking everything could be fixed/ analyzed down to the component level. Not so with alcoholism. Chapter 5 in the Big Book (How It Works) says it all. ((Jimbo)) Congrats on a week! Everyone have a great week. Kelly


Member: lori10302002
Location: md
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 1:55:34 PM

Comments

Iam lori and Iam truely a alcoholic and today Iam a very gratefully for my eime back in the program so many years waste on that drink. and knowing with having two years at one time going thru the steps. then no meetings no praying once again drinking no defence at all. then in and out for the next 16yrs. this time I really had to get into the steps and work them into my life on a daily base and having a network of women in my life that share there experience ,strength,hope.I try not to worry today ,I heard so many times in the rooms,If your going to pray why worry, and if your going to worry why pray. Its great being sober today.thanks for letting me share! lori10302002


Member: Cec H
Location: Cowtown
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 1:56:31 PM

Comments

OK, Kelly M ,I'll give it a shot. In A.A. alcoholics find a way to solve their personality problems. They do this by recovering three things. First they recover their personal integrity. They pull themselves together. They get honest with themselves and with other people. They face themselves and their problems honestly, instead of running away. They take a personal inventory of themselves to see where they really stand. Then they face the facts instead of making excuses for themselfs. Second alcholics recover their faith in a Power greater than themselves. They admit that they're helpless by themselves and call on that Higher Power for help. They surrender their lives to a God as they understand Him. They put their drink problem in His handa and leave it there. Third, alcoholics recover their proper relationships with other people. They think less about themselves and more about others. They try to help other alcoholics. They make new friends so that they're no longer lonly. The try to live a life of service instead of selfishness. I think that just about covers it.


Member: Cec H
Location: Cowtown
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 1:57:13 PM

Comments

OK, Kelly M ,I'll give it a shot. In A.A. alcoholics find a way to solve their personality problems. They do this by recovering three things. First they recover their personal integrity. They pull themselves together. They get honest with themselves and with other people. They face themselves and their problems honestly, instead of running away. They take a personal inventory of themselves to see where they really stand. Then they face the facts instead of making excuses for themselfs. Second alcholics recover their faith in a Power greater than themselves. They admit that they're helpless by themselves and call on that Higher Power for help. They surrender their lives to a God as they understand Him. They put their drink problem in His handa and leave it there. Third, alcoholics recover their proper relationships with other people. They think less about themselves and more about others. They try to help other alcoholics. They make new friends so that they're no longer lonly. The try to live a life of service instead of selfishness. I think that just about covers it.


Member: robin
Location: east coast
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 2:32:40 PM

Comments

hello everyone...4 months today...all your words and wisdoms really help....thanks


Member: Norman C.
Location: Reading, PA
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 3:25:23 PM

Comments

I can only answer for me. The reason it works for me is because I saw others who were sober and having a good life. Their example is what made it work. Norm


Member: Jim W
Location: OH
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 3:50:55 PM

Comments

Hey Robin. How does it feel??? Good job, your an insperation to us newcomers... Jimbo


Member: Pat G
Location: New Jersey
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 9:14:27 PM

Comments

Bridget, until you can get a BIG BOOK from your local AA meeting you can access it online. Just do a search for it. You can start reading it tonight if you like. And to address the question of how it works I would like to share that it has been my experience that by admitting we are powerless over alcohol and surrending to a God of our understanding we are restored to sanity. Then the obsession is lifted and if we work the steps, do our personal housecleaning and maintain our spiritual condition we have a defense against the insanity preceding the first drink. Many alcoholics could stop from time to time but this program enables me and others to stay stopped. Thus the healing of mind, body and soul can progress as at one time the disease did. But we must be every mindful that this disease is incurable and to stay in "remission" we must read the Big Book, maintain a conscious contact with the God of understanding, attending meetings, do the steps and carry the message to other alcoholics. As Step 12 says "having had a spiritual awakening..." This comes from doing the steps the way they are presented in the first 164 pages of the Big Book and working with a sponsor. Just my thoughts on how I finally found the way to stay stopped and why it works.


Member: Jan
Location:
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 9:33:59 PM

Comments

Why has this been working for me? It's the good feelings I get after hearing what other people have to say. It's a high that I get from no other thing. I don't have to feel guilty about it, I won't have a hang over from it, I get a feeling of belonging from it, I have a hard time pulling myself away from it (the fellowship), I am empowered by it and on and on and on. I just happened to think, isn't that what alcohol used to do for me until it turned on me. Wow, that's kind of a crazy comparison, but it is sort of true. The people in the fellowship won't turn on me and won't make me sick in body, mind and spirit. I must say, I'm going to have to ponder on this thought for a while. Maybe that will make it all work out this time. Everyone here has said some many things that have made me feel so wonderful. Jim W., we are not freaks, I did not ask for this hand to be dealt to me, but it was and I am so thankful that I am getting my head above this pool I have been drowning in. I feel like I have been trying to swim to a surface, following a stream of light and I could just not get my head above the water. It did take a catastrophe to push me up to the top. But now that some time has passed, I am grateful because you know, I just could not do it for myself. I tried and tried but I just couldn't do it. Cec, I understand now why I want to be face to face with people in this fellowship. I am "craving" more and more knowledge about how to keep this feeling going and about how to complete myself and be happier than I have ever been. Charlotte, I posted under the step and tradition meeting (I actually thought I was in the Early Sobriety Section!) about going to a meeting this morning. You wished me well. I took you there with me. Your name was written in my mind and I was going to mention it in the meeting. But, no one was there. I came home and called the main office to ask if it was suppose to be and they said yes. By this time half of the meeting should have been over, but I thought no, Charlotte and I need this, so I went back to make sure. No one was there. But I'm happy that I made the attempt. And I got the strength from you Charlotte because I really thought about not going. Thanks to all of you for your words of encouragement. I do have a strong faith in a higher power that I call God. I've been a little confused about him lately but he's been putting angels and answers in front of me all along that I just hadn't seen very clearly. I pray he blesses us all.:)


Member: Diane B
Location: Oklahoma
Date: 4/7/2003
Time: 11:45:04 PM

Comments

http://www.recovery.org/aa/bigbook/ww/index.html copy and paste this if it don't link it Diane here 13 days sober Asking God each day to keep me sober


Member: Victor M
Location: NYC
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 12:40:15 AM

Comments

Thanks for doing serice Diane, that link is great. The reason AA works for me is it addresses every aspect of the disease, the physical, emotional and mental, and it gives me an easy to understand set of directions, that if followed, will not only keep me from drinking, but give my life meaning and give me peace of mind. After what I had been through, I was truly ready to surrender and if you told me I could have peace of mind, I would have done anything. I only wish I had known that what was waiting for me wasn't the end of my 'life', rather it was just the beginning. And if there's any one thing I can remember that saved my life (really) when i was counting days it was the idea that I just didn't have to drink, just for today. Thanks everyone


Member: Taylor B.
Location: WA
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 1:05:14 AM

Comments

Hi my name is Taylor and I just started treatment in my town and think that treatment is just a way that the courts can get money out of you, but i also think treatment works somewhat. What I think that really works is the AA meetings and listening to all the stories from everybody, I really enjoy it and it helps me to stay sober and not drink.


Member: CG
Location: cyberland
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 4:18:44 AM

Comments

CG an alcoholic here. I liked what FrankD said, "I can see it has worked for others, and I want what they have..." I often come back to this thought when things get complicated. It is good to keep it simple. "I'm consistently amazed that a room full of con-artists, manipulators, controllers, liars, theives, abusers and felons somehow manage to keep me sober." Ditto that too Rinver. I also liked what Kim V. was getting at, 'doing the steps works.' I liked what Harry K said. Yep it takes a village, and no one gets to define the path for anyone else. "To thine own self be true," as it says on the chip. If it weren't voluntary, it wouldn't work for me anyway. I realize that doesn't mean society can't force people to meetings, just they won't stay sober, if the only reason to be there is forced attendance. I'd have split and been dead long ago if someone made me do it. By the way folks, for me, sobriety means not drinking and not drugging. What a concept. No comment about shrinks and Dr. prescriptions, that's up to you and your HP. Cec H, you're totally right, that's surely what happens. But if you were just a shrink and told a drunk to do all that stuff, then they'd look at you and go drink. There is spiritual mystery about how it works, because we should all be dead. It's like telling an anorexic, I can solve your problem, just eat. Rivner, I think you caught part of it, big picture style, "we were all born somehow knowing what the devine plan was supposed to be - that it was to be about love, compassion, caring, etc.; and, not seeing that happen in front of our face, on a daily basis, gradually drove us crazy and to anaesthesia," but my feeling is that was just the environmental force to compulsion. I've also seen people who were alcoholic who had the ideal loving family, and they turned out to be drunks. I think there is a physical trigger that makes us different too. For that the path we take is the same, so the steps work on the physical, spiritual, and mental basis for our compulsion too. HERE GOES INSIDER CONTROVERSY (So, take what you want and leave the rest) I don't think the 'magic pill' is the non-alcoholic bullet. Here I mean "prosac" and all it's wonderful forms. Prosac helps "some" people with depression, and I've seen it work. I've also seen people get numb on prosac, miss the gift and the lesson, and go out and drink to death. It can be a double-edged sword. If depression's going to kill you and the doctor puts you on the stuff, and it works, then it saved your life. If you quit feeling a connection with your HP, and drift past the need to grow and forget the steps because you're numb, you're going to eventually die, if your an alcoholic. In this regard that drug can be abused, so like any narcotic for pain etc., be careful folks, keep your sobriety in focus. I also have a little issue with the panacea diagnosis of the new millennium, and that is the wonderful word "bi-polar." I remember when there was no such label. Let's see, if you're up all the time then you used to be manic, and if you were down all the time then you were depressed, and if you run hot and cold your, "what" a new name, "bi-polar. Swing me science. Are there people that are "bi-polar" yep, I've met 'a few.' Also, just about every person who falls out of a treatment center now ends up with that alleged diagnosis. A drunk with mood swings, how silly! You want to know what, most of em' are drunks, plain and simple. Watch us do the steps and watch the severity of our mood swings soften over time. So if you are bi-polar, and an alcoholic, do the steps just in case, and your life will likely get better. It surely may not cure your bi-polar disease, but it will certainly help remove the wreckage so you got a better shot at dealing with your psychological and emotional issues. I addressed the above topic because over 30% of people within the rooms of AA have to deal with this stuff on a daily basis, too, and because the topic is why AA works and other programs and approaches don't seem to. There will always be an tendency toward professional misunderstanding, therefore, on outside issues I have NO real opinion. Take what you want and leave the rest. BACK OUT OF INSIDER CONTROVERSY I really do believe that to keep it we have to give it away. Share our experience strength and hope with others so that we may recover. But, for me it is a selfish program too. If I don't stay sober I've got little to offer you guys either. I made all sorts of self will attmpts to get sober and the result was NADA until I let go absolutely. I got a HP that helps me get through, but I know people who've got plenty of time too, and they don't have a concept of God, but they do know when they've lost the fight, and have found surrender in the face of a force greater than themselves. My path of keeping sober would probably get you drunk so get your own program, just make sure the steps are in your path somehow, and you'll do fine. Cheers to another day sober!


Member: Sandy S
Location: Florida
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 9:50:37 AM

Comments

Where else can you go to get the information on soberity in your life. How to change and live in the reality of the world as it is.The focus of recovery is based on honesty and a belief is something greater then yourself.I still cling on to the idea that I have to have approval from another human being.Developing a relationship with myself and a higher power is where I need to start.First I have to admit that i am powerless over any alcohol and then work the steps.Getting honest with me is the true opening to the god I have searched for all my life.My thinking is the danger.That why working with another alcoholic will help keep me sober.The constsnt reminder that I alone can not fight this disease.Thank you for the forum to express my thought


Member: Craig L (Dogmanor@yahoo.com)
Location: Aloha, Oregon
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 11:16:43 AM

Comments

Craig here, another real alcoholic (page 21) My grandfather, drank alcoholically for many years. He was a continuing source of embarrassment and fear for his family. At one point he just stopped, once in awhile he'd have a shot with friends in the kitchen, but was never seen drunk again. I thought about this often when I tried to control my own drinking. As was said before here, it was not until I was absolutely defeated, that I was willing to do what it takes. "Practice honesty, humility, service to others and most of all a reliance on God. I don't understand why it works, that's not my job anymore.


Member: Bob B
Location: UK
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 1:03:12 PM

Comments

Hi Bob here. I'm an alcoholic. I'm a successful scientist and when I found out (i.e. was told) I was an alcoholic I had no doubts that I was going to beat it by myself. I researched the illness thoroughly. Believe me it is an illness - the literature is overwhelming. Then I applied all the determined effort I could into defeating it. Well it worked. It worked for 3 months. Then it worked for two, then one... You get my drift I'm sure. I was attending AA as well but just couldn't seem to get the message. I was alternating between being a dry drunk and a wet one. It didn't matter whether I was drinking or not - I was just experiencing a living hell. Finally, when everything - career, family and any residual self esteem, had crashed and suicide was the only other valid option, I checked myself into a treatment centre run on AA principles. I hated it. However eventually I managed to see that I hadn't even mastered the first step on my own. Sure I knew that I was powerless over alcohol and it was evident that my life was unmanageable but I hadn't accepted it before(read 'acceptance was the answer' in the Big Book). I had to accept that since I couldn't control it I had to surrender to it. Which leads to the second step - surely I had to accept that if I wasn't in charge then I had to turn it over to something/someone else. As a lifetime agnostic that was so hard. But it suddenly happened for me. I was coming back from an AA meeting on a bus. The girl who shared at the meeting had a horrible lifestory which had little in common with mine. However there was just something about her attitude that got to me. She was just so damm happy - in fact she radiated her contentment with life. That got to me. That night I made up my mind to turn my problem over to God (my name for my Higher Power) and I felt so relieved that I didn't want to go to sleep. Now I don't have to fight so hard. I've learned that I can turn my problems over to God and somehow I get the strength to make it through the day without drinking. That's not to say it's always easy - but it isn't impossible. The wonderful thing is that I can be happy in sobriety. It's bloody wonderful - it feels like a vacation and I don't ever want to go home. (I don't have to go to heaven - just not going back to Hell is good enough). So now I'm a commited member of the Fellowship. Sure some meetings are terrible - but some are so uplifting. I know I've still a long way to go - AA has convinced me that I will have to work on my character defects for the rest of my life. So I try to work the steps - I don't have to be perfect - (that as the Book says 'is an ideal')- I just have to try. I'm content with my sobriety.


Member: Rich P
Location: Colorado
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 2:06:23 PM

Comments

Mary, my second sponsor had me do 1-3 over. I came to hime mired down in my 4th step. He thought that not doing a complete 1-3 was what was hanging me up on the 4th. Robin, congratulations on 4 months!


Member: robin
Location: east coast
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 3:45:34 PM

Comments

hello everyone...thanks for the encouragement....jim w... i'm a newcomer also, so we can inspire each other...as for how i feel...peaceful...


Member: Evan
Location: Arizona
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 4:24:49 PM

Comments

hey all... this is new to me...I have been to one physical meeting but never visited the site before... I am an alcoholic... I have never really been able to say that until now. I know little of AA... But I know that I can't continue to fail sobriety. How do I ensure my recovery... any helpful advice would really help right about now.


Member: Diane B
Location: Oklahoma
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 10:00:41 PM

Comments

Hi Diane here 14 days sober I'm also new just don't drink and I guess go to meetings I've not been to one myself either yet, it's kind of scary to actually go to a meeting in public where people are and might know me, I know I read that don't matter but it is still scary to me, I'm working on some anger today which always trigers me to want to drink and the sad thing is that it was not even that bad a thing to upset me, I think I have a anger problem Hey Jim bo are you still doing good? I hope so I'm making it and won't drink today beside it's already past 9 p.m. which here in Oklahoma the liquer stores close at 9 lol


Member: JimM
Location: Central California
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 10:09:09 PM

Comments

Evan Breathe in , breathe out , and in between take in a meeting. The more face to face meetings you participate in the better your chance of staying sober. And then in the quiet alone moments come here to share and to learn. I hope that helps some. JimM alcoholic


Member: Kathy G
Location: TX
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 10:45:23 PM

Comments

Hi. I'm Kathy and I'm an alcoholic. Thanks for all the shares. Welcome newcomers. You are important to our sobriety to remind us all where we once were. We all put so much effort into testing out our control over alcohol and trying everything in our power to stay sober on our own, why not put the same effort into working the Steps? YOu may not believe in a God,but I've been told at many a meeting to "Fake it 'til you make it," meaning try prayer for a 2 week period, even if you don't believe. Turn things over to God by letting go of them and leaving the outcome in his hands. Work the Steps. Do these things and the 12 Promises will begin to come true. This will give you a start to believing in a Higher Power that truly cares about you and is there every moment to help keep you sober if only you will ask for the help. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Diane B
Location: Oklahoma
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 11:23:10 PM

Comments

hi Jim M well I'm breathing, good suggestion and am looking in my phone book for a meeting so far I see only a couple 40 miles away I may try my next town it's only 12 miles away I'm still very nervious I went to one once with my sister and my X brother in-law is the head of one but he also uses drugs while doing the meeting so that scared me away but that is in another town all together


Member: Kathy B
Location: Indiana
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 11:38:44 PM

Comments

Hi I'm Kathy and I'm an alcoholic.I'm also new to this online stuff and this seems to be just the right site for me.I don't drive,so this can keep me in touch with other AA members when I'm stuck at home.Thank you!


Member: Ray M
Location: Fl.
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 11:39:51 PM

Comments

Ray here,alcoholic. I was told early on the first word of How It Works gives us a clue. He said remember: Honesty-Opened Mindedness-and Willingness.At first the only thing I understood at all was Dont Drink and Go To Meetings and if that didnt work than, Go To Meetings and Dont Drink. And strange enough when I went they would say Keep Coming Back! I recommend to anyone that thinks they may have a drinking problem to get in touch with their local AA. They can answer most of your questions about location of meetings in your area and hook you up with meeting lists, Big Books ect.. anyway, Thanks for letting me share, Peace...


Member: AZbill
Location: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Date: 4/8/2003
Time: 11:42:18 PM

Comments

HI Evan...Where are you in Arizona? I am in Sierra Vista. Home group Fort Hauchuca. You may email me at az-bill@mindspring.com I get to Tucson quite often and I jump fairly regular at Eloy... Member of Friends of Bill W sky divers. Bill


Member: Kelly M
Location: NH
Date: 4/9/2003
Time: 2:42:28 AM

Comments

OK Cec, I have to agree with ((everything)) you wrote along with Pat G. It is all in the Big Book and 12 Steps. We don't get this program by osmosis. I go to many meetings but I was not getting the meat and potatoes from Big Book and Step meetings every week. A long sober AA friend told me to check out a Big Book Step Study. I have been to 3 now and have a BB Step Study Sponsor. I get homework and reading each week. To do all 12 steps it takes 16 weeks, sometimes longer. The one thing I have already noticed is that these meetings are run differently. You can't speak if you are reading or writing a step. You sit and listen to those who have completed the 12 steps. It really cuts down on taking the focus off the step being discussed. Everyone in the room is so serene I at first thought some were sleeping but they were meditating on the speaker. Oh, and the speakers are all speaking on the step as it relates to their life in a detailed manner, no drunkalogues here. I just started but to anyone that wants to work the 12 steps as they are outlined in the Big Book you may want to try a BB Step Study. I would not advise this type of meeting for the newcomer but thought I would put it out there for anyone else interested. I find it fascinating and refreshing. The people at these meeting are walking serenity. By the way I had to start over on step 1 for this study and it did not bother me. I love the AA waltz... 123,123,123 (((AZbill))) you stepped on my toe again! Ouch!


Member: Michael S
Location: Mid-Michigan
Date: 4/9/2003
Time: 5:06:45 AM

Comments

Michael here, sober almost 19 mos. after almost 40 mos. of being in program. I too have a great problem w/ the G-d thing---but truly I have come to see AA as my religion and my fellow alcoholics as parishioners in the same church.I attend alot of meetings, but still suffer "self-will run wild". But AA keeps me focused on keeping my disease in remission, SOBRIETY MUST BE THE PRIORITY. Thanks for listening.


Member: Kevin A
Location: New Zealand
Date: 4/9/2003
Time: 6:11:09 AM

Comments

So I get drunk and then I stop and then i withdraw and put up with the nightmares and then when I feel better I drink again, you would think I would learn, one day perhaps


Member: RICHAD B
Location: KANSAS
Date: 4/9/2003
Time: 9:16:09 AM

Comments

HI EVERYONE I'm A DRUNK FROM KANSAS MY NAME IS RICHARD!! HOW IT WORKS SIMPLE IT WORKS FINE, TALKING TO OTHER DRUNKS AND GOING TO MEETING AND READING THE BLACK AND WHITE ON THE PAGES OF THE BIG BOOK AND NOT JUST THE WHITE ON THE PAGES, AND FOR ME IS TO HUG SOMEONE EVERYDAY TO MAKE THEM FEEL GOOD LOVE YOU ALL RICHARD


Member: Rich P
Location: Colorado
Date: 4/9/2003
Time: 11:11:47 AM

Comments

((Kevin A)) To stop drinking is good, to withdraw is not. My first 6 months I needed the fellowship very badly. I was told I couldn't trust my own thinking, and I thought that was BS, but a year later realized they were right. My thinking was pretty messed up. Sometimes it is hard for a mental patient to self diagnose! lol After a few months sober the nightmares started for me as well. I began to have dreams about something that happened when I was a little boy. Something pretty horrible. I am in therapy outside of AA for that. Now at 18 months, I feel better and Iíll be dammed if I don't think I can drink again! It is easy to give it over to my HP when things are tough. My trigger has always been when things are going great...that is when I want to take back control and run the show. The daily maintenance of our spiritual condition is the key for me. Peace


Member: Jeff E.
Location: SLC, UT
Date: 4/9/2003
Time: 12:38:26 PM

Comments

Hi All...I'm an alcoholic my names Jeff - I love this online disscussion group - I''m usally just a lurker - but, I need to share today... I spend a lot of time reading - self help books, the 12 & 12 and trying real hard to work on my 4th step again. I have a hard time remembering my childhood and I also have a hard time openning up at meetings - I fumble up and just can't get anything out of my mouth at meetings - I have a real problem with this... I can relate with what everyone shares - but when it gets around to me - I freeze up. I have tried to share this with my sponsor and he wants me to start with restentments in my childhood - I can't come up with that many - I think I've blocked out alot of the childhood years. I'm stuck on step 4 and can't seem to beable to share at meetings. I've always had this real bad fear and shyness - that I remember of my childhood. booze was the only thing killed the fear. thanks for letting me share.


Member: Susan A.
Location: Vernon, Connecticut
Date: 4/9/2003
Time: 1:41:17 PM

Comments

Hi All, I'm Susan and I'm an Alcoholic. I think AA started working for me (gave me HOPE) when the Big Book and the people in the rooms told me what my problem was, a solution to that problem, and a simple program of action to get the solution. Relief/recovery started when I decided to believe it, stop fighting anything or anybody, and work at doing what I was directed to do (some say suggestions - my sponsor didn't suggest very much, she directed that if I want what others had, I needed to do what they did). The two-fold disease, the solution of an attitude change sufficient to bring about recovery, and the simple program of action that allows me to find the solution, these things have saved my life and give me a wonderful useful happy life today. I am forever grateful that someone passed this program of recovery to my sponsor, so she could pass it to me, so I can have the honor of passing it to the next drunk in line. (Diane) Try to walk through your fear of meeting people who might know you in your first meeting. After all, they aren't there because they ate too many green beans. (Adelea & Charlotte S.) AA's General Service Office (GSO) has an international meeting directory you can order, also good contact info on a web-page http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/default/en_services.cfm I used to be signed up for AA's Loners International meeting in pring, too, which you can find on the web-page. (Charlotte) I know these cities aren't close to Taiwan, but the intergroup contacts may give you additional contacts or meeting lists: Intergroups, China: Beijing (86) 139 1138 9075(Patrick B.) Home (8610) 532 5424 Work (8610) 532 1510 /// Shanghai (86) 1370-171-5848 /// Shenzshen (86) 755-2653-4305 Thanks for carrying the message.


Member: Rita
Location: Indiana
Date: 4/9/2003
Time: 9:19:44 PM

Comments

Hi everyone,my name is Rita and I AM an alcoholic. When I first started trudging this road, I, being an ego (Easing God Out) centric, thought that if I didn't work the steps or do the 90 in 90 the right way, the perfectionist way, that I just proved to myself that I wasen't a "good" AA, and I deserve to drink and die. That is how this alcoholic thinks. Then you wonderful people told me that the steps were like this: 1 I can't, 2 He/she can,3 I think I'll let him. Then they told me not to drink even if my hiney falls off, and if it did, duct tape it back on and bring it to a meeting. You wonderful people also told me that some days I didn't have to be a perfect AA, I just had to stay sober. These simple tools, the big book, face to face and cyber meetings have helped me realize that I need all of you everyday. You are the messenger for my Higher Power to speak to me. At first I didn't believe it. Then my sponser asked me, "Do you believe that I believe?" I said, why yes of course I do! She then quietly told me that was all I needed to do to start, the rest would be revealed. The first 90 in 90 I believed that she believed. Then that wonderful personality shift the big book talks about happened, and I found out that I had done these simple things: I came. I came to. I came to believe. May the Higher Power of your choosing bless you and keep you well.


Member: davez
Location: berkleymi
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 1:21:11 AM

Comments

A lot to be said about honesty in the program too! ><


Member: SMILEY G.
Location: WA
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 3:20:43 AM

Comments

HELLO, SMILEY HERE, WHEN I FIRST STARTED AA I THOUGHT IT WAS NONSENSE AND I STOPPED GOING. BUT THEN (WITH COURT ORDER AND NOT WANTING TO GO BACK TO JAIL)I STARTED GOING AGAIN. I JUST LISTENED TO EVERYONE ELSE AND REALIZED THEY ALSO HAD THE SAME PROBLEMS. IF U GIVE THE GROUP A CHANCE AND JUST LISTEN THEN YOULL UNDERSTAND AND BEGIN TO THINK THAT OKAY IM NOT ALONE. THEY R NOT HERE TO JUDGE ME BUT TO LISTEN AND HELP. MY COUNSLERS R REALLY EXCELLENT. GOOD LISTENERS AND REALLY WANT TO HELP U. MOST OF THEM EVEN HAVE THEIR OWN STORIES AND KNOW WHERE U R COMING FROM. IVE DONE MY FISRT STEP. BY ADMITTING THAT I HAVE A PROBLEM. ALOT OF ALCHOLICS DO TURN TO GOD. BUT WHAT IVE LEARNED FROM THE PAST IS THAT YOU REALLY DO HAVE TO BE READY. EMOTIONALLY,MENTALLY,PHYSICALLY,SPRITUALLY. AND IF YOURE NOT THEN IT DOESNT WORK. BUT ANOTHER THING THAT MIGHT BE A MUST IS CUTTING OFF THOSE "FRIENDS". THAT WILL BE HARD AT FIRST. IF U REALLY WANT TO STAY SOBER GO TO ANY LENTHS. DONT LET NOTHING STAND IN YOUR WAY. DONT GET ME WRONG ITS HARD AS H... AND IM STILL WORKING ON IT. THE ONLY PEOPLE I SEE THAT REALLY CARE RIGHT NOW ARE MY COUNSLERS. SO THOSE ARE THE ONES I GO TO WHEN I NEED IT.


Member: stacey
Location: seattle
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 6:22:06 AM

Comments

I love this site. I love meetings. For me, it's all about me. But me....I'm different. What a crock!!! I will always find something that's different. WHAT A CROCK!! I found another reason to drink today. I suck at sobriety. Thank you for your shares. That is what it is for me. I go to a meeting at 10am. I found a way to drink by noon. I am embarrassed now. There actually IS a meeting now at 2am but this is way more anonymous. I keep coming back, and what I need to hear is that the practice will help...I'll never be perfect...realizing that is what I need to come to terms with....I keep screwing up but that's what I do best...try again please. I actually had trouble finding this site tonite but I kept trying...just like I keep trying to find sobriety... I get so much from your shares...I am so good at blaming my failure on someone else...this is a good topic...it really is for me, right?, so I can feel good about helping someone else by being honest about what a struggle it is for me...I'm going back to the beginning of this discussion right now so I can review what I've learned from your experience, strength and hope...please...keep coming back if for no other reason than knowing that you are helping me...and you really are!


Member: Shauna W
Location: Murchison, West Australia
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 8:02:37 AM

Comments

Hi,Shauna, a very grateful alcoholic. Stacey it is wonderful to read that you are being honest about yourself, it's certainly a great start! People are only as sick as their secrets-- that's why this alcoholic has had to be rigorously honest to achieve and maintain sobriety on a daily basis. I came to AA on Good Friday, 13 years ago and it took me a month to stop drinking.I thought at the time that I had done it all by myself as I really hated the "self-righteous" sober AA's and "KNEW" that I was intelligent to do this thing on my own, just using AA as a help towards my better future. I was extremely fearful and very, very bitter and angry, really hating "good" people. It took me nearly a year to see that my higher power(whom I choose to call God), had not only led me through the doors of AA but had been there for me when I lay on the floor one night, soaking in stinking sweat, totally beaten,not wanting to live, but being too scared to die---when I begged for SOMETHING!!! to help me to stop the booze and start to want to get well. Since then many miracles have happened, so many that it still amazes me just what life can be for me if I just have a bit of willingness to get well, by humbling myself to my God. I always thought that my superior intelligence would get me any place I wanted, but I ended up in the one place I swore I never would. That was for other weak people. wow, am I glad God IS more powerful than me!!This new life that I live is beyond all my wildest dreams, even the really hard times!I am now extremely grateful that God allowed me to go so far down that I needed Him for my very survival. He led me to AA as I wasn't going to listen to any other way to get me to rely on Him, love and trust Him and slowly but surely strengthen my relationship with Him. All I have to do is hand my will and my life over to Him on a daily basis and He will and is doing all the rest.I live and love AA today with all my heart. God bless, Shauna


Member: Ann M
Location: Aussie
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 12:32:04 PM

Comments

My name is Ann and I am an alcoholic as much as I hate to admit it. I am angry about this. But Stacey, you have the courage to be honest. I know how humiliating it is to go to a meeting and then have a drink waiting in the car on the way home. I hide it under the front seat and I feel sick about this. At times I can only think that suicide is the natural end to all of this. I have read all the comments on this discussion so far and I can honestly say that I have never felt so desperate in my whole life and I am now 47 yo. I have everything going for me, a wonderful loving husband, three terrific grown up children with talents they pursue and three grandchildren, all with their own minds. I launch into sobriety and after a while, I let go into drunkedness. I dont know what to do.


Member: Tracy V
Location: Essex England
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 1:32:35 PM

Comments

((Ann M)) you do know what to do, you are here, and god will do the rest!!


Member: Marsha L
Location: Michigan
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 1:32:54 PM

Comments

Hi Ann, I have never been to a face to face meeting and I am still afraid but getting closer. I can picture you hiding the bottle under the front seat of you car because that sounds like something that I would do. I am 50 and also have everything going for me. When I finally start going to meetings I am going to find a sponsor that I can say anything to and that includes telling him or her about all of my bottle stashing habits. You are not alone. I am a newcomer that believes that AA will work but it will take time.


Member: Mike F
Location:
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 5:36:50 PM

Comments

hello my name is mike, i know i have a drinking problem, whiskey is my down fall ive been sober for 4 whole days now with the support of my family, i think im doing great, ive been to a meeting a long time ago but it was very uncomfortable, if i can stay sober by myself, i know i can do it, i like reading everyones thoughts though it really helps, should i still find a meeting(no matter how it makes me feel) sorry my thoughts are scattered, or should i wait till i relapse, even though i think i can do it.


Member: AZbill
Location: az-bill@mindspring.com
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 6:01:42 PM

Comments

Yes Mike. By all means find a meeting and find someone who can help you through the Steps as written in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. That is our basic program. You need a recovery system. It is more that just stopping drinking. You can be sober and not happy, you can be sober, but not at peace, You can be sober and yet die of alcoholism. This disease does not need us to drink in order to kill us. Get someone to help you that understands this. Bill


Member: Marsha L
Location: Michigan
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 6:45:52 PM

Comments

Hi AZbill, Please help ME to understand how alcoholism can kill us if we are not drinking. This scares me.


Member: Kathy S.
Location: KY
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 9:19:22 PM

Comments

Hi Marsha, I'm Kathy and a very greatful recovering alcoholic. I can only give you my experience. I was one of those people who was certain I could quit on my own. In fact I did. Numerous times. Sometimes for as much as 6 months. I just couldn't stay quit. Those times of not drinking without a program of recovery were the most miserable times of my entire life. For the most part I felt that life was not worth living. I was usually not drinking to please someone else. Family member, boss, judge, you name it. After drinking for 25 years it was impossible to enjoy life without it. After all it was my best friend. It was what made my life bearable. It also turned on me and made my life unbearable. It quit working. I reached a point where I didn't want to live and I didn't want to die. I thank God for the people He put in my life at that time who guided me to the fellowship of AA. They saved my life. Today I understand what the promises mean when they say "we will know a new freedom and a new happiness". It is brand new because I never had it before. My sobriety date is 08/31/97. God saw fit four years ago when I was looking for a job to find me one in a treatment center. I no longer wish to die and I have a constant stream of newcomers into my life to remind me of the misery I once lived in. I know for certain that they help me more than I could ever help them. I also have known the heartbreak of seeing too many complete treatment and still die of this disease. Some of them not drinking, not going to meetings , not doing anything recommended to keep us sober until they couldn't bear the pain of living without alcohol. All so unnecessary. There is help.


Member: Diane B
Location: Oklahoma
Date: 4/10/2003
Time: 11:01:19 PM

Comments

Diane here Sober 16 days just had to pop this in thanks


Member: David W
Location: NJ
Date: 4/11/2003
Time: 3:29:42 AM

Comments

Hi Iím David, an alcoholic. Someone said, "we find that the solution is simple once we understand the problem" Ė I believe the same is true with my drinking problem. In 1933 Dr. Silkworth explained to Bill W. this thing called the disease of alcoholism (explained not "weak will", not moral character or not sin). In fact, it's an actual disease and 2 fold at that. Silkworth said, "Bill you have become physically allergic to alcohol-you don't react like normal people- when you drink it triggers a craving in your body that makes it virtually impossible to stop after once you have started to drink. Also, he said, ďyou have developed an obsession of mind, that is so strong, it makes you believe something that isn't trueĒ-(it doesn't matter how bad you want to stop, from time to time obsession will tell you it is ok to drink, this time it will be different). We alcoholics have a hopeless condition, we can't drink because of the allergy and can't quit because of the obsession of the mind - we are powerless over alcohol! I am sober right before I take the 1st drink, so is my real problem the allergy or the fact that my mind tells me its ok to drink, when the truth is it isn't? The main problem of the alcoholic centers in our mind rather than our body. If our problem is powerlessness, the solution is power. Bill had 2 powers to help him overcome his powerlessness over alcohol: 1. Fellowship [1 drunk sharing with another drunk] 2. a vital spiritual experience. I can't solve this problem with my own thinking, my real problem is my thinking -(it won't work to try and solve my problem with my problem). My friends and family couldn't solve my problem and their human. So I need to find a power greater than human power. The solution that AA offers to the alcohol problem is practical program of action to find that power. Talking about certain set of principles, spiritual in nature, which if practiced will let us overcome an obsession of the mind. We experience personality changes sufficient to find a way to live so we are not restless, irritable and discontented, but instead fearless with peace of mind and happiness. If we are not restless, irritable and discontented: we won't trigger the mental obsession, we won't take 1st drink, we won't trigger the physical allergy (physical craving for more alcohol). What we need to do is change! The program of action (which will bring about the psychic change sufficient to recover) is specifically explained in the 1st 164 pages of the Big Book (BB). Use it as a text book. It is 64 yrs old and the recovery portion of the BB hasn't been changed, it's worked so well, we alcoholics are afraid to mess with it. We are alerted to fact that this not a 1 person 1 author book. The Forward to the 1st edition explains that teh BB has the collective knowledge, experience, and wisdom of "more than 100 men and women." Itís tough to argue with 100 people that recovered from the same thing that's killing me, if I'm a practicing alcoholic. Sometimes we miss boat when we put too much emphasis on fellowship element of AA. Meetings alone won't get us sober - we can't become a parent by going to PTA meetings alone; we must take some other steps! Fellowship only, is not sufficient - we must do something about this personality change, which takes place through the steps. The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have found a common solution - we have a way out, through action as outlined in our basic text. Be careful about what you hear in the fellowship, over the years the program in the fellowship has changed from the recovery program described in the BB - statements like ''don't drink and go to meetings" could kill you if you are a "real alcoholic" - if we could choose not to drink, we wouldn't be powerless over alcohol and we wouldn't need meetings. My experience suggests its good to hook up with someone experienced with working the steps as explained in the BB. Ask them to take you through the work and then do the same for someone else. That's how AA works. Give AA a chance, it has worked for millions. If something else works for you, thatís great. AA isnít looking for a monopoly on recovery, we just want to be helpful for those still suffering. Best wishes for all.


Member: Shirley T
Location: New Zealand
Date: 4/11/2003
Time: 5:11:50 AM

Comments

How it works has been well covered in previous shares. It is all in chapter five. I identify with all who have contributed about finding it difficult to stay sober as that also was my problem. What finally worked for me was to become willing and take step one absolutely - no reservations. I believe God intervened and gave me that willingness because I had a very very small belief that there was a power greater than me. Then I became ready to work through the rest of the steps with a wise sponsor. Sobriety is a joy for me - every day is a gift to be filled with real living. My gratitude is helping others to understand how it works. Bless the techs for this meeting bringing us together from all over the world


Member: Marsha L
Location: Michigan
Date: 4/11/2003
Time: 6:06:33 AM

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To Kathy S., David W., and Shirley T. Thank you for telling me what I needed to know. I am so encouraged by your words. I also am becoming more convinced that there is a power much greater than I had thought. This Power who I call God has not gotten the respect from me until now that He deserves. This allergy and obsession truth has really made me look at myself and I can see that this is how I operate. I am only beginning to understand how crucial it is for me to get help. Yes I was sober for as long as 6 months at a time but always miserable and wondering when the time would be that I would subsequently start drinking again. I have hope now that this doesn't have to be the pattern until death. Now I understand what AZbill meant. To Diane B. Keep going. I am three days sober and feel extremley humble and greatful.


Member: Charlotte
Location: Taiwan
Date: 4/11/2003
Time: 7:33:59 AM

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Jan, thank you so much for taking me in spirit to your meeting, the one that wasn't, but you see it was! You and I were joined in the Fellowship of the Spirit!! The "meeting" I searched for in Kaohsiung had also "folded" sometime ago, but I could feel the presence of the spirit in the Seaman's Club on the Kaohsiung Harbor, and I felt 'connected' just as sure as if there had been an actual meeting. Jan, you will know this feeling too, just so long as you "do the do things" - don't drink..attend meetings..get a sponsor (same sex)..etc... you've probably heard all the suggestions several times.. Best Wishes... Assie Ann - I sobered up at age 44, after several attempts at controlled drinking. I am now 57 and have set out on an adventure of teaching English in Taiwan for six months. Riding around on a Scooter zipping in and out of traffic, just like a "little ol' lady from Pasedena" - GO GRANNIE GO!! (I too have 3 grown children youngest is 31 and 2 grandchildren). Read the promises in the Big Book they do materialize I am proof of that. Love you all - Charlotte.


Member: JimM
Location: Central California
Date: 4/11/2003
Time: 9:20:10 AM

Comments

It feels to me like HP can (and does) restore us to sanity and removes our obsession, however HP never releases us from our allergy.and that is why we continue to work the steps. And that is why we are never more than one drink away from the edge of the pit.


Member: Monica c
Location: Philly PA
Date: 4/11/2003
Time: 12:14:04 PM

Comments

Kelly, I stopped asking why it works and started thinking about how it works..... And if we would have found a better way of living and it was keeping us sober+happy+joyous+free, why did we come to AA?


Member: CAG
Location: Arizona
Date: 4/11/2003
Time: 12:51:24 PM

Comments

Hi Carla here, alcoholic. In my experience it worked for me because I eventually did what I was told. A was angry at the world. Wanted to know why I'd been put in this position [drunk]. I was pissed off because I'd been sent out into the world without an instruction manual and then everydody was hittin' on me becuse I didn't praforme right. Anger anf FEAR are my biggest triggers. I didn't like groups of any kind [I'll just be the target again. Why should I go to some place where everone can look at me and make fun of me or my speech or my life?] You know, I found out that people in AA meeting in perticular arn't interested in what I was doing. They were there to get sober. Nice thing is, they invited me along for the ride! I think the biggest high people at meetings get is passing it along to someone else. It is so cool to see the light go on for someone else! But, I couldn't get to see the Light till I did the steps. We alcholics have so many years of built up psycological crap that there's no way to wade through that sludge to hear and 'understand' what others are saying. Doing the strps cleared my brain over time [you don't have to become an overnight success, Just do it -take that first step- we build buildings one brick at a time]. When I did that first step I was on the path to SOMETHING better [anything was better than the way I'd been living!]. I went through all the steps as fast as I could arrange with my sponser [I wanted the comitty in my head to shut up!]. AA'ers said 'if I worked the Steps the promises would come true for me. They did. God was a dangerous entity to me before I got to AA. I had 'sinned' and was heading for hell. Somehow I was powerless on the street. No matter what I did, I had sinned. Well, when I got into AA they said all that religion crap wasn't what they were talking about. The idea of a higher power [one guy used a doorknob] was something bigger than me that TRULY had my best interest in mind. Humm...Hard to believe. But no one else in those rooms seemed to concerned that they were going to hell. Maybe they knew what they were talking about. It's not the GOD of organized religion. A Higher Power is whatever the person percieves It to be. I'm 10 years sober now. The promises do come true. I do have serinety in my life. I can look at myself in the mirror in the morning and appricate what I see [self respect]. I can talk to others on equil footing. I don't have to agree with them. I have a place in this world, and one in the next deminsion, whatever that is. I leave that up to the God of my understanding. Get a sponser [so that person can help you understand -what the booze fuddled brain can't ]. Do the steps [a psycological clearing of the path so that a person can walk down the road to happy destiny unempedied by roadblocks - usually of our own making]. Go to meetings [so we can take in constant reinforcment of the positive information being put out by others and give what we have learned to those still suffering]. Remember, fear is our biggest handicap. Love over rules fear! Every time. Thanks for letting me share!


Member: robin
Location: east coast
Date: 4/11/2003
Time: 3:44:53 PM

Comments

hello everyone..i'm fairly new to the recovery thing...i just hit 4 months after 20 years of being lost...i realize that AA is an awesome program and many lives are saved by it....but isn't the program based on the God of our individual understanding being a focal point...every meeting i attended involved prayer...i personally find it wrong that some people base their sobriety solely on a book and steps, without giving more credit to God...The Lord put these people in meetings in my opinion...and i believe that when He is called upon for help, He will provide.....and not necessarily through AA...my point is that AA is a solid foundation that God provided for alcoholics to build on.....when you forget who's in charge, you miss the boat...


Member: Marsha L
Location: Michigan
Date: 4/11/2003
Time: 5:36:59 PM

Comments

Robin God is who got me here.


Member: cman
Location: lorain
Date: 4/11/2003
Time: 11:59:33 PM

Comments

I can say I Person that call me a seed to start reading and got ears so can you tell me Whats next READ JERMIAH 50-51 calling to in usa in the bible read it the true 51 - 7 say babylon was a gold cup in the lord's hand; she made the whoe earth drunk the nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad. I can say my self what this world is going to the black whole . I can say thanks inhigher power amen


Member: cman
Location: lorain
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 12:02:20 AM

Comments

I can say I Person that call me a seed to start reading and got ears so can you tell me Whats next READ JERMIAH 50-51 calling to in usa in the bible read it the true 51 - 7 say babylon was a gold cup in the lord's hand; she made the whoe earth drunk the nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad. I can say my self what this world is going to the black whole . I can say thanks inhigher power amen


Member: Philski
Location: Colorado
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 12:31:18 AM

Comments

Thank goodness that AA specifically states that its not affiliated with any religion or bussiness and that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. I failed religion 101 and all but had given up on myself given my hopeless helpless condition. Over the course of working the 12 steps, I can now confidently say that the God of my understanding has been found as a result of using the 12 steps to lead me to a spiritual (not religious) awakening.


Member: alfredo
Location: nj
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 5:47:41 AM

Comments

hello everyone.....i just celebrated ten years last month......i feel great .....but (i hate that word) i haven't had much luck hooking up with a new sponcer since my sponcer pasted away about four years ago and i'm really missing good guidence.......i've tried several but i can't seem to get anything going......i could use some suggestions thanks......


Member: anilg
Location: mt vernon,IL
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 9:02:51 AM

Comments

I am an alcoholic how aa works when others methods have failed is becouse it gets to the core or basis of drinking behavior our insanity to drink and take drugs.and resistance to any other treatments will be there unless we accept HP as the basis of cure.embrace GOD and follow its will to make us a better person and do its steps to remind us what alcohol can do to us.thanks to aa and alanon.


Member: Diane B
Location: Oklahoma
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 12:46:39 PM

Comments

hi Diane here alcoholic day 18 sober some good post and more to think about hye Marsha L I guess you see me on the new comers site as Di Ok I did that and don't know why but on this site I just mostly read I guess being so new I don't feel I can contribute much except I'm staying sober and trying to work the steps Wrote my Daughter and asked for forgiveness for my actions toward her when I was drinking she said she almost cried when she read my letter now to search anyone else I may have hurt but mostly my drinking was secret at Home drinking after a certain time of course there was also the days of my wild drinking and running around with my other drunk friends but then I went to the secret late at night drinking, Now I'm staying sober and see a light at the end of this tunnel of lies anyway glad to be here and thanks for letting me share God Bless


Member: Marsha L
Location: Michigan
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 2:36:22 PM

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Hi Everyone, Marsha L here an alcoholic. (Hi DianeB) It is kind of weird but I ran around wildly before I started to drink heavy. I would be the one to sit and nurse a lite beer all night. My first husband was the roaring drunk and pot smoker. I blamed myself for our divorce and felt so bad that I started to drink alot and brought it in to my present marriage as a secret thing. What a tangle. I swore to stop and then got roadblocks like my unruly stepson came to live with us when he was 13 with alot of baggage and my husband had two major heart attacks and my daughter still blamed me for the divorce. Long story short, I kept making excuses. I am really hot to stay sober and I have a great life and AA is going to make it better.


Member: RN
Location:
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 4:31:18 PM

Comments

Im not sure Im a alcoholic. I do know alcohol has caused problems in my life. Isnt that bad enough?


Member: Anonymous Alcoholic
Location: 2689 Ridgecrest Drive
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 5:31:51 PM

Comments

Thanks Kelly, good topic. I was visiting an AA meeting in Massachusetts last year while on vacation and a guy quoted a New York Times Book Review article on constitutional law by saying... "What you suggest may be all very well in practice," complained the apocryphal French philosopher, "but it will never work in theory." This AA guy said to the group, that phrase reminds him of AA. No one is really sure about the theory of how it works, but it doesn't seem to matter, because thank God it does work for many of us.


Member: Diane B
Location: Oklahoma
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 6:19:47 PM

Comments

Diane here hey Cman good point years ago the Bible even saw we would have a drinking problem


Member: Lynne D.
Location: KC
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 8:18:12 PM

Comments

To RN: You say that alcohol has caused many problems is your life. I never wanted to call myself an alcoholic, but it never got any better until I went through treatment and started in AA. I now have nearly eight years of sobriety under my belt, and tho' I still have my share of problems, I can thank my Higher Power for allowing me to live a normal life without the sledgehammer of active alcoholism hanging over my head. If you really want to make your life better, checking in with other alcoholics is a good first step.


Member: Mike F.
Location: MI
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 8:30:53 PM

Comments

not drinking is making such a difference in my life my head is clearing and my thoughts are more normal and rational by the day and its only been 6 days, im very proud of myself i can only imagine what it feels like to be sober for years! thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts it really helps!


Member: Francis Q.
Location: Mortlake ,Australia
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 8:57:27 PM

Comments

One of the most telling things I realised about successful recovery was when I came to realise that my instincts often let me down .I was mistaken so many times about other people(doing their inventories ).I was wanting things so badly and when I got them I found out later I didnt want/need them at all .And very oddly I found myself admiring beautiful women who turned out (in my mind)not so hot after all .So much for that .(I wonder what they thought of me?)In other words my whole perspective in life was up and down all over the place like a chinese boat muster book .No offence ,its just a sailors patois for topsy turvy.So AA works for me in ways I never thought possible .It enables me to regain perspective and maintain it . Frank Quinlan


Member: mike H.
Location: michigan
Date: 4/12/2003
Time: 9:49:02 PM

Comments

thanks CAG! Enjoyed reading your share -also all that have shared. Today is my 144th day sober and i know that it is only because i admitted i was powerless that i have been able to stay sober( because i tried all sorts of ways on my own). i needed to read all of your shares here this evening - as i did not get to a face to face meeting today. It helped very much soaking in all you have written. It is indeed a miracle how it works, because i know i would have been out there practicing my disease - did for 30 years...The positive feelings i experience from hearing others at the tables - the honesty - the wisdom - the insight - the support... Thank you for all of your posts....


Member: Kevin A
Location: New Zealand
Date: 4/13/2003
Time: 4:17:42 AM

Comments

hi rich p thank you for responding, I didnt mean that i withdraw i meant withdrawal symptons and all the garbage that goes with that and yes i do do it alone and when i stop it is awful and then it becomes good again and you might know that when i feel really good again is when i go and have another drink. And an alcoholic cant have one drink and so i am drunk again.so once again you would think that i would learn, i guess that lots of us dont. I really appreciated that you chose to share with me