Member: deb
Location: NW
Date: 5/21/00
Time: 10:57:35 PM

Comments

Hi my name is deb and I`m a recovering alcoholic about to celebrate my 10 month birthday. :) I would like if eveeryone would share their favorite tips for staying sober. One I learned in treatment was that there is a process to taking the first drink: the thought, the desire, the craving, the drink. If I can stop at the thought, I won`t drink. If I continue till I have a craving, I`m going to drink. I was wondering if that is one way a person slips. Thanks for sharing and letting me share~ love, deb


Member: Doug B
Location: Punxy,P.A.
Date: 5/21/00
Time: 11:11:19 PM

Comments

To the 13"th stepper. Although I'm not one to take anothers inventory its been my experience that people like yourself opperate on very low self esteem and prey on the vulnerability of the new comer. Maybe you should take your inventory ,(with your sponsor),and find the good inyourself letting go of your ego.EGO , Easing God Out. Progress not perfection.


Member: Sober today
Location: Upright on the beach :-)
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 1:57:49 AM

Comments

To JL Gray regarding "slips". Makes interesting reading, but what happened? The glass just come across and you fell in? Slipped, so to speak :-)

Been there, done that the first time around in early sobriety. Since then I realized that sobriety is an inside job. Sobriety doesn't just happen. Its plain hard work, perseverance, and most of all not lifting the first drink:-)

In reading your post here, it begins to sound as tho perhaps there's a need to take responsibility for yourself and sobriety - but you've got to want it real bad. A desire to stop drinking! When that became real for me, I was ready to apply the program, the 12 Steps of AA. Try it and see what happens. Sobriety didn't come easy for me. It was hard work. But its there for anyone who wants it :-)

Hugs matey. One day at a time.


Member: Manny B.
Location: Las Vegas,Nv
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 4:27:22 AM

Comments

In our book in chap.5 it says in part demands rigorous honesty.& it means it.Our lives in a.a.cannot become happy,joyous & free until we learn this lesson.So the a.a.'s who continue on the path of old ideas by continueing to screw over others in any way can not attain this freedom of spirit inside.Thats a high price to pay to stay sick.I do not want to pay it .so in the long run really wins the ones who screw over others or the ones who don't. wou tell me.


Member: Heather H
Location: Scotland
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 8:08:57 AM

Comments

I've been trying to get sober since January 2000 and thought I was doing well. The longest however, I've gone without a drink has been 10 days then more recently 7. As soon as the week without a drink approaches my mind reminds me of how well I've done and tries to convince me that 'It wasn't so difficult' or worse, 'My last binge was not too bad'. Since waking up this morning (one week since my last 'screw up' I've been patting myself on the back and licking my lips at the same time! The feeling of a need for a drink is so powerful at times and normally/sadly I give in to my stupid yet very powerful thoughts of persuasion - I DO NOT want to do this. It's all very well keeping away from the first drink but to me the hardest thing to do is ignore my devious mind! I am at a point now where I realize my weaknesses a bit better and I'm aware of the signs. The best approach is - Tell someone immediately. Get help - from experience sitting around trying to combat the urge to sip alone does NOT work. I've made my self 'Get A Life' posters and I repeat that message over and over. I tell myself that this feeling will pass and tomorrow I'll have gone over the 7 day mark. I'm clever and plan to do so much with my life and this wont happen if I listen to a tiny, fraction of my brain. I want to drink but I can't drink it's as simple as that. 1 drink will NOT lift my spirits - 1 drink will knock me back to square 1 and I'll hate myself for it. I like being sober and I want to stay that way. Good luck to everyone and take my advice DO NOT TRY to do this alone it's too tough and it's a lonely life.


Member: Debbie H
Location: Arizona
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 3:24:55 PM

Comments

Hi Deb, my name is Deb also, I kinda disagree with the logic of if you get as far as having the craving your going to drink, but we are different, what keeps me sober, could get someone else drunk, God willing I will have 8 years on the 29th of this month, course I could pick up a drink tomorrow, will I ? , I think I have a good chance of not doing that, but like they say we are never cured, there have been times I had cravings , it's been awhile (Thanks God) but still Ive had them , and as long as I recongize and pay attention, I know they will pass , I do not have to take a drink, Congrats on 10 months....what an acomplishment, wow that first year is a tough one, staying sober day to day I pray every evening , I make sure to always thank Him no matter how lousy the day might of been , I can always find something to be gratefull for, sure I might have to look really hard , but its there..(lol) I have lots of reminders around me, so I never forget where I came from. I try to reach out to others.I work the steps, I also stick with the winners, thats a big one...and pray pray pray ...its so simple really, but sometimes hard to do, if that makes sense to you...tee hee..I just do what is suggested, and it works, day by day...


Member: Jason C
Location: Calumet City, IL
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 4:52:57 PM

Comments

Hello, My name is Jason and I am an Alcholic and addict...

I am truly greatful to my higher power and all my friends in AA for keeping me clean and sober today, each morning when I wake up I turn over my will and my life over the care of my higher power and I pray that he keeps me from picking up a drink or a drug. I have completely surrendered to the AA way of life just for today for the rest of my life because I know there is no other way of life for this alchoholic. I have 3months of uninteruptded sobriety and I am starting to live life on lifes terms. I go to f2f meetings on a daily basis and Friday I will have completed my 90 in 90. I know this is just the beginning of my recovery but with God and AA in my life time is neither here nor there. As long as I continue to follow suggestion and no matter what happens in my life dont drink or drug then all will be well. My life is not perfect but I have a lot of friends now and a sponsor that I enjoy sobriety with. I dont let myself get down about anything that happened yesterday and I try not to worry about what tomorrow will bring. I am Living for today one day at a time and I thank my heavenly father every night for another day clean and sober.

I love you all, thanks for listening and remember there is nothing in this world that a drink wont make worse.

Stay Sober and LIVE!!!


Member: xnuclearfission
Location: Florida
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 6:02:11 PM

Comments

Wow that craving is tough to get over. I guess you just have to struggle with the obsession in the beginning. It took me a month before the weekly bender craving went away. But I was dual diagnosed. Alcohol and ciggarets. Both of which I no longer do. I only have 120 days but the cravings are gone. I depend on God now and I am working the steps with a sponcer. Love xnuclearfisson


Member: Chris H.
Location: Florida
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 6:36:20 PM

Comments

Hi guys---Chris here-alcoholic addict...bulimBoy i'm glad to be here...I finally got out to go to a face to face meeting...My first in a cou;ple of years...boy was it great to be back...and I did't feel judged, only welcomed...I lost you guys for a while and then I quit trying ( honesty is one of the best ways for me to be sober , as hard as it is and I don't always succeed---I want everyone, even you guys who I don't enen know!! to think better of mm than I am) anyway I'm back and hopefully I will be able to get to more ff meetings and keep this up...Rigorous self honesty is one of the things that helps me the most in keeping sober and seren...Boy it is difficult for me and as I said I don't always achieve it.. I am learning though, not to beat myself up when I don't and to try harder next time. What a freedon this program gives me!! Hang on until the miracle happens!!


Member: Jack
Location: Midwest
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 6:52:34 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm Jack and an alcoholic. Heather, I've certainly been where you're at and would drink after periods of time when I thought I was doing very well. Try not thinking about how many days or weeks you've gotten through and just work on today. This may sound trite but it's all anyone really has and it's all that counts.


Member: MK
Location: GTA-- Canada
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 7:16:06 PM

Comments

My name is MK, and I am an alcoholic, but just recently admitted this. My life has been turned completely upside down in the last two years. This is when the drinking started. I have read some truly terrible ordeals that people have gone through, and the amazing 'come backs' they have achieved. My question is (remember I am new); What is the purpose of a sponsor? Do you (the new member) choose him/her? If so, how and when (for example, at the first meeting you attend? After a certain 'step?'.. etc..). What makes a good sponsor? Why does one need a sponsor, if they have all the people at the meetings to 'help' them? DO you NEED a sponsor? Why/Why not? How long does one have a sponsor? Is this person the one to call when the going gets rough?

Tell eachother your stories, good or bad. I have a rough idea of how AA works, and the meetings, my mother was an alcoholic, and you would THINK I would learn by going to meetings with her (I was a young teenager at the time), yet I don't have any recollection of her sponsor.

Thanks to this website. For two years I was unable to go to a 'real live' meeting, for I was living in a foreign country, where English was not the first language. I am just about to start my 'in-person live' meetings, but have these questions regarding the sponsor.

((hugs)) to all... mk ps... I am a bit confused over the actual subject here this week... some of the above comments were sent during the last weeks, I believe.


Member: Al C.
Location: Florida
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 7:21:37 PM

Comments

I'm an alcoholic my name is Al. I think the slip is my thinking, the fall is the drink. Alcohol is far too cunning, baffling, & powerful for me to follow my thinking mechanics. IT WILL WHIP ME EVERYTIME! I usually know my thinking is screwy because I feel miserable. I then stop and ask Gods help. I go to a meeting daily, have & talk to a sponsor, read the B.B, & ask God to help me stay sober one day at a time. That's a good start. Thankyou for sharing, Al.


Member: vic v
Location: n.j
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 7:33:52 PM

Comments

HI,i'm vic an alcoholic knew life had become unmanageable and tried to give up alcohol on my own [no support being available where i live] and failed now i have flown 26 hours to reach the usa and got into a prog and a sponsor,feel good,been dry for two months and hope to continue with the help of the higher power.


Member: Debbie P
Location: Northeast
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 7:37:36 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm new to this board. I would like to respond to MK from Canada. I was told that I needed a sponsor when I first arrived in AA. I was told to listen at the meetings and identify someone whom you admired. Someone who had what you wanted in sobriety. Serenity, time in the program, a happy growing sobriety. Get to know a few of those people and when you are comfortable ask that person to be a sponsor to you . Someone you can call and talk over personal things that you may not want to bring up in the rooms. I found a sponsor important to my program. She became a true friend. I was able to talk about relationships, jobs, how to manage finances, children - - all the things I needed to learn or relearn to help me remain sober. Don't get me wrong, I talked to others about certain things too. But my sponsor was my example. You do have to be careful though not to put that person on a "pedastal"...they are human and can fall too.

Best of luck to you on your journey.


Member: Susan S.
Location: Florida
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 7:39:56 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm Susan, alcoholic We have all been there Deb....it gets better! I've found all of the suggestions worked for me....still does! Don't drink, go to meetings, live in the steps, ask God, help others....don't overthink it, relax & enjoy this wonderful life in sobriety! You'll find your way... the promises do come true.


Member: ConnieN
Location: Minnesota
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 8:29:16 PM

Comments

Hi, Everyone---I'm Connie and I've been a recovering alcoholic since about November of 1999. Heather I can honestly say I've been right where you are...for quite some time. My most recent sobriety date is April 8, 2000. Up until that point, I was much like you--barely making a couple of weeks before I'd tell myself how silly all this was and that I really didn't have a problem. After all---I only drink three or four beers every night for weeks and months on end. What was wrong with that? You need to get yourself a sponsor--someone who is stronger than you are, someone who has some time under their belt. This sobriety thing is hard and you need someone who has already been there. Not drinking is oftentimes the easiest part. Learning to deal with the issues that have caused your drinking is the toughest. But if you're willing to work for it, there really IS a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...I can see it from here! Hang in there all of you newcomers!


Member: Harry K
Location: U.K
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 8:30:12 PM

Comments

Hi Deb congradulations on your 10th month! Do you have a sponsor to work the steps with? If not you would really help yourself out by getting one. If you do and you've already decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it, than URGE her to take you through the steps! Do so as if your life depends on it . Why? Because it does.Your compulsion to drink will be lifted after step 5 (page 75) but you need to get there first. Good luck and God bless you!


Member: GREGG G.
Location: KENNEWICK, WA
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 9:14:52 PM

Comments


Member: Sheri F
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 10:23:48 PM

Comments

No matter how long you have been in and around AA we all are just one drink away from insanity, jail and/or death. For me to drink is to die. When I stop working the 12 Steps of AA, I am setting myself up for a fall. I don't slip, I will consciously make the decision to pick up that drink and for me that would be death. Not only physically, but spiritually, and emotionally. I have found that by going to a LOT of f2f meetings the first few year and finding that person that I admired and wanted to emulate for a sponsor, I have not had to drink in 22 years. i was told to remember my last drunk and how I felt, not just what I did.. and if I wanted to feel that way again, I could drink. Thanks but no thanks. The willingness to be willing to go to ANY lengths for this thing called soberity was a MUST for me. I wanted to be a productive upstanding citizen, wife, mother, etc. and I sure wasn't when I was drinking, anything but. To the new persons, keep coming back, all it takes is a desire to stop drinking and the willingness to be willing to take directions from a person you you think walks the way they talk. A willingness to find self honesty and the willingness to stick around the AA'ers to prove the "oldtimers" wrong when they say you'll never make it. I was told that "Sheri" you can't be honest so you will be drunk in a year." Well, I'm a stubborn Swede and a bull headedGerman and I thought to myself, "I'll fix you." In the last 22 yrs. I discovered that I was the one who was getting "fixed" and today AA is now a way of life that I will defend to my last breath. By the way, the "Oldtimers" last month admitted that they made that statement to get me mad enough to stick around so i could have a life. Thanks "Old Farts" I'm now an "Oldtimer" and a grateful one. Keep coming back, bring the body and your mind will follow. I promise you . May God Bless and Keep You. Sheri F


Member: King B.
Location: Calif.
Date: 5/22/00
Time: 11:29:48 PM

Comments

Hi I'm new at this site and willing to share my tips on staying sober especially when I was new.Go to alot of meetings, get a support group, get involved in service.GET A HIGHER POWER.


Member: Kristin L. (10 yrs.)
Location: Cent. OH
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 12:00:44 AM

Comments

Alcoholic called Kristin... People in the rooms here often say meeting makers make it. I see meetings as very important to my program, but meetings don't keep me sober. The 12 steps keep me sober. First working them, then living them.

I can sit in meetings all day long and be drunk. The only way meetings help is in conjunction with 12 steps.

As for cravings. There is a difference between compulsion and craving. If I have the compulsion to drink and it hasn't been taken from me by my loving Higher Power, then I will probably drink. Cravings are a whole other animal. I will have cravings until the day they throw me in a hole. I'm an alcoholic for crying out loud.

Cravings only last a few minute if I don't entertain them. When I used to get them in early recovery I would call my sponsor, read AA liturature, get to a meeting and tell on my disease, pray. All of the basics.

These are the things I still do 10+ years later in my recovery. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!

Good luck!


Member: MissNiceLife
Location: Texas
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 12:31:15 AM

Comments

No mental power over the first drink. How often we have heard someone who was fine and found a drink in there hand. This is powerlessness and insanity. When I did not know how to turn my life over to God as I understand him this happened to me over and over again. My sponsor taught me the difference between a thought and a craving and gave me the freedom to talk it through with her. She also taught me that Think Think Think means think it all the way through. Have the thought, Think about last drunk, remember results and reach out to help another alchoholic. This turned out to be invaluable to me. When I am helping another alchoholic I get out of the way so God can do his work! I am so grateful for the power of God that comes in when I get out of the way. God bless ya Deb and thanks for the topic. It just keeps getting better babe.


Member: 13th steper
Location: in bed with a different newcomer tonight
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 2:21:34 AM

Comments

13th steper alcoholic DOUG B what do you think your doing, taking my inventory or are you the on line sponser self apointed of coarse


Member: ChuckM
Location: Alberta
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 2:29:23 AM

Comments

I'm Chuck, an alcoholic

When I felt like I wanted a drink I tried to deny that I felt that way because I did not want to go back there. Doing this I could not escape from thinking about it.

Then it came to me [intuitavly] that I could say yes I want a drink [you damn well right I want a drink] BUT I won't have one today, or this morning, etc.

By doing this I could get the thought out of my mind, I was no longer in conflict with myself. I had admitted my feeling and yet had acted on my rational thinking. Then I asked my God to please guide my thinking.

This process went on for 12 days and I have never had the urge to drink for the last 20 years. BUT I ask my God for another day without drinking EVERY day and give thanks every night because I never want to go back. I want to remember that it was my God that did it not me.

Peace and Serenity


Member: Jack B
Location: Cumbola, Pa
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 5:00:38 AM

Comments

Hi I am Jack an alcoholic.Congratulations Deb on ten months sober. Not too may tips I can give you on keeping sober other than this.The real alcoholic,does not drink no matter what.Come hell or high water, good, bad, or indifferent we just don't pick up the first drink. Make meetings,get a sponsor who realizes that she is just a messenger of the Big Book, and not its author and work the steps.Hang around with us for about 15 or twenty years, if you don't think it will work find something else.God Bless you and again congratulations on ten months sober.


Member: Ken C
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 5:04:37 AM

Comments

Need a sponsor?

Go to a meeting. Then ask the chairperson if they have a person responsible for putting new (or old) members together with a temporary sponsor. In our group we have such a person, in fact he "chases down" new faces and tells them that he has this job, so they can come to him at any time and he'll match someone up for them. If your group dosen't have such a person, why not bring it up as a suggestion for the next business meeting?

Let's get active!! Sponsoring keeps this old member young in the program and a heck of a lot sharper than I would otherwise be.

Love to all - Ken


Member: Fred M
Location: MD
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 7:09:12 AM

Comments

I'm Fred and I'm an alcoholic, sober today thanks to my Higher Power.

///Deb/// Congratulations on 10 months sober. What an accomplishment. I can't add much to the tips and wisdom already stated here. I liked and agreed 100% with what Chuck M said, above. For me, the constant communication with my Higher Power saved me. The first few days, it was minute by minute. Lately, after many years, I talk to him several times each day, trying to follow the guidance on how to pray in the Big Book, Step 11. At first, I did not know if prayer would work. Now there's too much evidence to deny it, so I just stay at it.

One thing that has not been mentioned for staying sober is serious exercise. When I quit, I was a big fat alcoholic. I started out the door one afternoon to run a mile and ended up walking home after a block or two. I stayed at it though and lost 80 pounds. Today, I'm an average size alcoholic who hasn't picked up a drink in a lot of years. Exercise helps me burn off excess energy, helps my self esteem and self respect, and allows me time by myself to pray. Just a thought. It helped me. Thanks for letting me share. Love, Fred


Member: Tom
Location: Holt, Mi
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 8:53:25 AM

Comments

Hi. My name is Tom, an alcoholic. I have found that no matter how long I have been in sobriety I still have times when I crave a cold beer. When this happens, I say the serenity prayer over and over and try to really get the true meaning from it. I also have found that these cravings pass if I involve myself in something physical, even if its pulling weeds in the garden. Don't be afraid to talk to yourself and tell yourself that you no longer drink and the regardless of the cravings you will not succumb to them. (Probably the best place to talk to yourself is privately and not at the mall lol)Hope this is helpful. Hang in there and God bless


Member: The Poet
Location: Tuscaloosa, Al., USA
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 9:03:04 AM

Comments

Hi, I'm Michael and I'm an alcoholic. I have read some good things and some not so good. I would like to respond to what I consider the "best of" and the "worst of"....considering SPONSORSHIP: I can't express strongly enough how important it is to have a sponsor. I had 11 years of sobriety which ended with my relapse beginning in 1997. Oh, I did alot of good things during the 11 years. I spoke all over the southeastern US and tried to carry the message to the best of my ability, only there was ONE person not hearing it...ME. Looking back, the wheels didn't come off of my program all at once the day I drank. It was a gradual process that began long before. I cut back on talking to sponsors, I cut back on meetings, I quit listening to what you folks had to say. I like to think of relapse in this way: If you take a frog and throw him in a pot of boiling water, he has sense enough to jump out. But, if you put him in a pot of lukewarm water and GRADUALLY turn up the heat...degree by degree, he will boil to death. The signs of relapse happen long before the drink. Alcoholism isn't so much about the ALCOHOL...it is about the behaviour. If the behaviour has begun picking up alcoholic traits again,if it quacks and waddles, chances are it's a duck. I like the wisdom of Debra P. from the Northwest and what she had to say about sponsorship...very wise. To the so-called "13th-stepper"...some are sicker than others. You can't undermine what is going on here, though I am sure that is your intention. Not only do TRUE recovering people have a set of Twelve Steps to live by, but we also adhere to Twelve Traditions, as well....it is obvious that you don't live by EITHER, so your options are very limited. Locked, covered up or sobered up...the way I see it, you only have two options available to you...half measures will avail you NOTHING.


Member: Kim S.
Location: Michigan
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 9:10:28 AM

Comments

Hi all! Alcoholic named Kim, here. I agree with all of the suggestions about staying sober that others have given. It's what I do & they work. I, also, agree with the description of a sponsor....mine is someone who had what I wanted, teaches me how to live the steps on a daily basis, & I can trust completely to be there, help, & guide through her own experience, strength, & hope. A sponsor, to me, is a teacher. I knew NOTHING when I got to AA & still know very little, but I do know that this program saved my body & gave me a life worth living. The person who said meetings don't keep one sober was right; but that is where I hear how the steps work for other people & can learn to apply them in my own situations. I can also meet the newcomers & give back what was so freely given to me. That's how this thing works for me today. Thank God for AA & for my life!

PS...Dr. Paul (author of 'Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict') has recently passed away. It was posted on the 'Alcohol Addictions' message board. [[[http://www.sobervoices.com]]] This address will take you to a site dedicated to his memory. Acceptance (pgs. 448 & 449) was written by him & has helped in my life more times than I can count & I will be forever grateful for his story. Thanx for letting me share.


Member: Gerrie G
Location: Jo'burg SA
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 10:00:33 AM

Comments

Hi I am Gerrie, an alcoholic fairly new to the 12 Steps. This is my first response. It would seem that locally, sponsoring new members is not featuring as prominent as in America. I am therefore extremely grateful for the guidance I get from reading through the views, ideas and thoughts shared by other 12 Steppers on this forum.

The way Deb handles cravings works for me as well, hopefully I am on the road also to achieve 10 months. I make a clear distinction between the thoughts, the craving and acting out the desire. I do not have control over the thoughts and cravings about that first drink. They come unexpectedly, fast and quick, seemingly out of nowhere. I know that if I do not put an end to it, they stay with me and surely stir that desires for having only one or two. Make life miserable to say the least. Hopefully, as I proceed with the Steps,these cravings will also diminish. But I have control over acting out, thus whether I take that first drink or not. My trick is to imagine the thoughts and resulting craving being generated by a personality which I call Alkie. I discuss these "invitations" from Alkie to join him for a drink or to go to a pub for a lunch, seriousy with my HP. Spilling the beans so far landed Alkie every time in trouble with my HP, as my HP tells me every time, "Alkie should know better than to invite you after what happened the last few times you went drinking". If I dont remember this, my HP will surely remind me during our discussion. The idea is not new. Many responses said that this is how to deal best with desires. But, my point is - do not delay discussing these thoughts with your HP. Do it immediately to short circuit the logical progression from the thought to where it would seem logical to acting out. Anyway,lately my HP and myself just tell Alkie to take a hike. These invitations are getting boring, we have better things to do. Best wishes to all.


Member: Laura M.
Location: Tx
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 10:24:34 AM

Comments

Deb congradulations on your 10 month, keep doing what your doing a day at a time. Heather, I remember my last drunk honestly and it was not a good experience. I was told to go to 90 meetings in 90 days, get a sponser, come early to the meetings and stay late, help set up and clean up afterward. in other word, GET ACTIVE. I found my sponser in my home group and learn to talk to her about good and bad things. I talked to her about life. As a drunk it was life I was having a problem with so I needed help to live sober. My reaction of reaching a drink no-longer was available to me. I still have the same sponser today 15yrs sober. She came to visit me in texas for my 15 year anniversity and we had a great time. We are friends, but when I need a sponser she's there. So how do I stay sober? I don't drink, I got a home group and I got phone numbers I could call when I thought I couldn't handle it. And I called alot. I made sandwichs for the meeting, I cleaned ashtrays after the meeting and then I went for coffee wtih other members. I drank alot of coffee but I stayed sober. Funny, I still remember my last drunk, and as I was told when I forget how bad it was I will drink. I also remember the person I was. Hard, Angry, Scared, and I had to learn to talk without the street language. I know you can do it One Day at a Time. Or if that is too much, I broke it down to 1 minute at a time. use the phone, before you drink not after. I would call people at 3:00am, with no problem I was an Alcoholic who needed help and hadn't drank. We are all here for you. We have all been there and know what you are going through. Tonight, go to a meeting and shake hands, I'm an alcoholic and I need help. Good Luck, and Pray to your Higher Power.


Member: Tom
Location: WI
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 10:48:45 AM

Comments

Deb, I sure do kwow how tough it is during the first year. Besides watching the seasons changing and doing everthing different in life including the steps. Staying away from people of my past, and being with all new people. For myself it ment a total life change. Keep faith in yourself and you HP! Congrats to you.


Member: tony g
Location: ma
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 11:27:16 AM

Comments

if i have thoughts of social drinking,i am in relapse ,but i'm human and sometimes those thoughts pop into my head,i have to laugh at how it is just a fantisy for me to drink again,i can't,i'm an alcoholic.i don't want to go back to all the bullshit alcohol has to offer,to be sober is to give yourself a whole new life...in the beginning of sobriety i cryed alot and pounded my head trying to come up with a way around all this...i couldn't do that,i had to surrender....read the big book,and i go to meetings,the answers will come,little by little thanks for listening,i'm tony an alcoholic


Member: Donna M.
Location: Muskogee,Oklahoma
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 11:46:47 AM

Comments

Hello, Donna, A recovering alcoholic. Deb, there are many of us who deal with the craving for alcohol everyday this is not a reason to /for relapse. This is when we work the hell out of our program. That is the whole purpose for it being there. Congradulations on your ten month b-day. Remember this program words one day at a time. no matter how long your sober. Love Donna M.


Member: Nancy  H
Location: Massachusetts
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 2:46:06 PM

Comments

"One day at a time". The concept that all we have is right now, all we can do anything about is right now, has been most helpful to me in sobriety. I have gone to meetings, made coffee, worked the steps, sponsored, been sponsored, read the Big Book,etc. But if I don't drink today I stay sober. If I don' lie or cheat today I stay honest. If every time I leave my children and grandchildren, I tell them that I love them, I stay on good terms.

AA has given me so much more than sobriety.


Member: anonymous
Location:
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 4:58:41 PM

Comments

The setting aside of our old ideas, comes with the establishment of new ones. Step three for me is this new direction. Having been without hope and without God in the world, what is there, but to drink and bemoan the having missed my calling? It's difficult to explain, but there is an instead to be had: What does an athlete do when he sits on the bench but drink? When once he enters the game, he leaves his drinking behind. So it is with God, when once you enter into his plan. Step three is an occupation, one which takes away idleness. We seek to be on the bench, so that we might drink; then we drink because we are on the bench!


Member: Charles
Location: Hosuton
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 4:59:27 PM

Comments

I picked up my first desire chip 15 years ago. I was sober 13.5 years. My wife passed away, and six months later I let down my guard and let the disease take over again. If I had been going to meetings and following my program I don't think this would have happened. I actually thought that I could drink socially, I knew better, but the dishonesty took control. I went to my first meeting today and picked up my desire chip. I've been trying for months to quit on my own, but was not being honest with myself. I'm tired of being sick and tired (again)! I know it works if I work.


Member: Jim
Location: WV
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 7:54:46 PM

Comments

Jim Here, Alcoholic. Sorry to break in on such scintillating discussion, but does anyone want to doa little "reaching out?" Sponsor a new fellow who is going out to Branson, Mo over the weekend. Does anyone know of meetings or phone numbers to call in that area. "When anyone anywhere reaches out..." Thanks, Jim


Member: real oldtimer
Location: Tully, N.Y.
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 8:29:29 PM

Comments

A relapse is a planned drunk.


Member: Anonymous
Location:
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 9:48:21 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm Donna, alcoholic. Relapse is a very scary thought for me. I've been told relapse is a progression. I used to think it could happen at any time even though I'm "working" my program. With an alcoholic like myself, it starts mentally and spiritually and then the physical act of taking that first drink. One is too many and a thousand not enough. It's been proven to me time and time again. And each time I drank, my situation was always worse than the last. I've heard relapse is not a requirement. I know people who have came in and stayed. I've been sober over 8 years now fully knowing I will never graduate from this cunning, baffling and powerful disease. I'm so grateful most of the time for being a recovering alcoholic but at the same time it is scary when you hear about relapse. It's not unusual for alcoholics to think or crave a drink, I've been told. It's what we do with the thought. Share about it with a sponsor or close friend, reach out and help another alcoholic, double up on meetings and share about it, come early and leave late, work the steps the best you can. I'm only speaking for myself. This is what's been suggested to me and I've seen it work. Easy does it but do it. Most of all for myself is praying for God's will for me, and the strength to carry it out. Thanks to everyone. God works through every one of us. Thank you for letting me share.


Member: Jane G
Location: KY
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 10:21:42 PM

Comments

Hi Deb, I am Jane and an alcoholic. Congratulations on 10 months. I have learned from the fellowhsip that working the first step and smashing any idea that I can drink like a normal person is the most important step in the program. I still have cravings and I am 4 years sober. I am an alcoholic and it is normal for me to think about drinking. Today, I do not think about it as often and the difference today, is I do not obsess over drinking and act out my craving. AA is a spiritual program and the steps lead us to surrender and depend upon a Higher Power.Even if I was spiritually fit, there will come a time when I will not have a defense against the first drink. Relying on a higher power is the only way to ensure that I do not pick up. Also, I believe that if I had not done an inventory, I would be drinking today. I have seen many people who stop at step 3 and many of them go back out. Will power only works for so long. This is a we program and we need the support of a sponsor and the fellowhip to recover. Good Luck


Member: Alison F.
Location: Los Angeles
Date: 5/23/00
Time: 11:26:20 PM

Comments

To Micheal "the poet"- Thanks for calling it as you see it. Speaking of sponsors, I have 8 years sober and never had a sponsor. Actually I had one for a while, but she was so flaky and did not live the program as I wanted to that I drifted from her and never found another. To the person asking about sponsors: I DO NOT SUGGEST THAT YOU DO THIS! A sponsor is a very important ( and for many- essential) part of recovery in AA. So much so that 6 years later I am on a search for one. I have been fortunate ( and unusual) in the respect that my cravings have been mostly non-existent. I have also been fortunate that I was married to someone also in recovery.I know that this helped me in my early years(AGAIN, I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS EITHER!). However, it no longer works, as I am growing and he is not. We are separating and one more time I am returning to the program for sanity and stability and serenity. I have been away for many years and it is like returning home.The commaraderie, the comfort and the humour at meetings is essential for me to keep an even sober keel in a very screwy, uneven world. This site helps greatly. Thank you all.


Member: Gunnar
Location: Copenhagen
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 12:31:54 AM

Comments

Hi, Gunnar alcoholic from Denmark. Thanx for all what you share. Sober for almost a year thanks to my higher power and the 12 steps. Been a long journey for me. Went to my first meeting in 1992. Has done everything I possible could to avoid taking the easyer way...to me the 13' step is the only step that gets me drunk. To day I see AA not as much as a place to go, but as a way to live. I try to do so to the best of my ability one day at a time. Still have cravings and obsessions...not as much for alcohol, but it seems that God will lift anything for me if I ask him. In his time. Great to be here.


Member: sunny s
Location: new Bedford, Mass
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 1:04:03 AM

Comments

If we are powerless over alcohol, what is it that keeps us from drinking? It sure wasn't anything I figured out on my own. It wasn't my thinking, my will,or anything about me except for one thing. I surrendered to a higher power and asked for help. I agreed to the trade offered in the third step. I said ok, if you help me I will help you to help others. I haven't had a drink since and I work the 12 steps regularly.

I read the big book like they said, with a yellow marker for the parts that pertained to me. I found someone to help me get started on my 4th step, and I wrote on that and still do from time to time. The higher power hasn't seen fit to remove my ability to get resentments, so yes, I do go from step 10 to step 4 as needed.

Most important, I keep my bargain with H.P. I do my best to carry the message, and I don't take the first drink. I stay as willing as I can to surrender to the higher power's will. I solicit my sponsor's thinking and opinions on my best thinking and my worst thinking because she knows my defects. She is trust worthy to tell me if she isn't saner than me today. If she isn't, I have other AA friends among whom I usually find a sane and useful spiritually inspired response.

I keep it up front, that this is a spiritual solution. There is a higher power and I'm not it. When I get mad at HP and don't surrender for a few days, the itty bitty shitty committee starts meeting in my head. The higher power can and does remove that insanity as long as I surrender and stay in fit spiritual condition. Sometimes I get carried when I'm not in fit spiritual condition.

I don't ever (one day at a time) let alcohol become my higher power. That is the most important part. I can not put alcohol or drugs in my body without surrendering to their power. They never gave me any gift equal to the smallest bit of serenity or inspiration that HP has given me. Alcohol did lie to me many times, and took away my ability to respect or safeguard any gift life brought me.

I listen to newcomers sharing their misery, and I practice gratitude. I teach others to do as I was taught. I surrender to a spiritual solution.

I have been through many painful things in sober life, and a drink has not occured to me as the solution for over 10 years. The people who told me that the desire could be removed were absolutely right. As long as I surrender to HP's will, I don't expect to drink. My HP never says "Yes, my child, a drink will make it all better."

i was told that I could not think 2 things at the same time. So, if I said the serenity prayer over and over, I couldn't think about drinking. I found that to be true. I was also tole to start praying for other people and that would make my head a better neighborhood. I've found that to be true.


Member: Jan
Location:
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 1:15:40 AM

Comments

Charles, hi,I'm an alcoholic named Jan. Been there done that.

Life is wonderful if we don't drink--right? I had many years of sobriety. Then I was going through changes (i.e.experiencing life). I was experiencing a loss but not a loss of someone I loved-I'm so sorry. But my loss was causing nervousness and stress that was so physically unbearable, I thought if I didn't get some relief my head and stomach were going to burst.

Well that's my excuse--anyway, I blew it. I thought I was suffering before, but there is no suffering like suffering when your a drinking alcoholic.

Anyway, I'm going on being sober for five weeks. I've finally managed to pass up that first drink after trying and trying and trying.

I prayed the serenity prayer outloud constantly (the advise of someone on this site by the way), kept going over and over how rotten I felt with those hangovers; and, how much of life I missed when I drank. I concentrated on how happy I am when I don't drink. I kept AA and its promises and guidelines in my thoughts. I couldn't and can't get enough of what everone has to say. It makes me cry, laugh and feel good. Thank God for all of you.

Charles, and everyone else, I'm not happy with myself but I can't change what happened. Every day is a new beginning and offers me a chance to try, try again. Hang in there you all and good luck--me too!

Thanks for all the good words. Love to all.


Member: Linda S.
Location: CA
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 1:23:22 AM

Comments

Hi Deb, I'm Linda an alcoholic. Wow you have the thought and then the craving, I have the craving and then the thought, but I remember it's not the first drink that gets you drunk. I have 13 days today.


Member: monk
Location: dublin
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 1:53:54 AM

Comments

I'm sitting here craving dope and nothing I have read has offered me any hope. Why can't I surrender?


Member: Frank D.
Location: Vancouver WA.
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 8:45:01 AM

Comments

Howdy all, i'll be frank with you all i am an alcohlic. One day at a time is a very big happening in my life today, on to sec. to sec. sometimes. AA and the people in our program have shown me a new way to live. I like having the right to chose to drink or not to drink, AA has shown me as i said before a new way to live so as i do my life one day at a time, work the steps the best i can, stay honest, and work with others, & chose not to drink one day at a time. I have for alittle over five years now. Step one lets me know whats in store for me if i chose to drink. My sponser knows me quite well and if i stay honest with my self i know its only a phone call away to find relife if my thinking gos south so to speak. I know there is a power greater then myself, yes i think of it as God, and know the power our 12 steps have if i don't forget that. Thanks for being here, and God bless us all!!!!!


Member: Jenny
Location:
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 9:25:50 AM

Comments

This is to "anonomyous".

GET OFF YOUR PULPIT! If I want religion I will go to church. Your preaching makes me want to puke!!!! Religious nonsense talking did not get me sober.....this program and the people in it did. There are too many people in this program who talk a great talk but when you ask them to demonstrate it with action. They give you a blank look. "Turn it over to God" you say? What the hell does that really mean....Give us something to work with instead of a bunch of nice sounding words.

When people first get sober they need more than alot of god talk. However, this program seems to yield more and more "bull shitters" as time goes on! There are too many people out there preaching a bunch of NOTHING instead of reaching out and actually working with another drunk. I for one am sick of all the "magical, mystical" BS that has infected this program.

I need more than just talk. I need to be with people who put things into action (like working the steps). I am outta here!


Member: Tim K.
Location: Connecticut
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 9:39:44 AM

Comments

Hi, I'm Tim and I'm an alcoholic. Someone at a meeting last night said something that really hit home: "When we relapse it's because we've forgotten our bottom." This is my second time in the program and, I have to admit, when I went back out last time it was because I had forgotten all the pain and the horror in my life that got me here the first time. When I think about drinking now I summon up the image of my last drunk, crashing my car, being arrested, and all that came as a result.

The other thing about "cravings" is that, as I am in the program longer and the cloud lifts from my mind and my life, I can feel when the old mess starts to creep back into my head. That is a warning sign, even before I start thinking about drinking again. When the serenity starts to disappear, when life starts to feel out of control and unmanageable again, that's when I need to buckle down and work the program more.

Hope this helps...


Member: sunny s
Location: new Bedford, Mass
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 10:40:48 AM

Comments

Gotta double dip. A resentment is like banging your head against the wall and expecting the jerk to get a headache. If I wanna follow the program, I gotta pray for the jerks. Then I don't have to make amends for what I think.


Member: Sam J
Location: Southeast
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 1:50:44 PM

Comments

Hi! I'm an alcoholic and the name is Sam. I would like to comment on the first two posts. Congratulations Deb! on the 10 Mo. birthday. When I was new in the program I heard an old timer say that he had never seen anyone drink on a day when they had asked their higher power that morning for help to stay sober. I try to do this every day. I realize that everyone works the program a little bit different but this works for me. Best of luck to you. As far as the 13th stepper, I can understand a new person making this mistake because they don't know any better. However, after one has been around AA for a while, such as myself, taking advantage of a newcomer is the equivalent of child molesting because that new person is just as vulnerable as a child. I can, however, feel sorry for the 13th stepper also because they seldom stay sober. When I got a bit of sobriety I felt like it was time for me to stop being the bastard that I was when drinking. Thanks for letting me share. God bless. Sam


Member: Debbie
Location: Arizona
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 6:30:56 PM

Comments

For Charles in Houston , Welcome Home my friend, Welcome Home.... , all my love to you


Member: Debbie
Location: Arizona
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 6:42:06 PM

Comments

For Charles in Houston , Welcome Home my friend, Welcome Home.... , all my love to you


Member: Debbie
Location: AZ
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 6:43:30 PM

Comments

well that's just great , I did it twice , yes yes it did say only click once, and I did read it, sorry folks ......sheesh


Member: Ken C
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 7:10:35 PM

Comments

Monk from Dublin asked "Why can't I surrender?"

I remember asking that myself, many times. Finally I thought about an army surrounded and out of ammunition, food, and water. Only when we see our situation as hopeless, can we consider the choice being surrender or die.

Regarless of how bad our last or present situation may be, it may be nothing compared to where alcohol (or drugs) will take us if we return to drinking or using. It's important to see the next destination:

Loss of the ability to follow through on choices. Loss of self respect. Loss of jobs - and employability. Loss of family and friends. Homelessness - Skid Row. Loss of physical health - esophageal bleeding, cirrhosis of the liver, etc.. - Death by accident, complications, or suicide.

"It can't get that bad" is something thousands have said - but without proof. Want proof that we can't avoid such destinations? Think for a bit about how Dependent we become on our drug of choice. Think about the Craving, then think about how those two guarantee Behaviour that won't be tolerated by our body's or society and how that those three things guarantee reaching disasterous destinations shown above.

Finally, the choice is ours, to go on to vainglorious insanity or death, or to accept an honourable surrender to reality as it is for us that are addicted.

Surrender is the acceptance of reality and the defeat of fantasy.

Love to all - Ken


Member: Cheri
Location: NY
Date: 5/24/00
Time: 10:04:24 PM

Comments

The only slip I know off is not really a slip it is a conscious decision to drink. We need to be ever vigilant and surrender. I've learned it takes the same motion to pick up a drink as it does to pick up the phone, in the beginning for me I would pick up the phone every time I thought off that drink or go to the nearest meeting and rat my disease out, the power of sharing. I've been with AA six years and am glad to say by the grace of God I have not had to test the waters again. I believe in AA and the fellowship and I will continue to maintain my foundation (a strong foundation is very imprortant) and grow in the 12 steps. This is a fellowship for people who want it and those people have the desperation of the dying. Bottom line for me and I feel all of us Alcoholics is we drink we will die. Living life on lifes terms can be very difficult at times but with the fellowship in one hand and God in the other anything is bearable and not worth picking up a drink over. This has been my experiance and I have had losses I never thought I could bear in my sobriety, I lost my Father to this disease and I've lost a baby in sobriety and I knew drinking would not bring these people back or make the pain any easier to bear, only the grace of God and AA could get me through and they did and they still do. I honestly believe a life situation is just that add a drink to it and then it becomes a crisis. This has been my experience and I love AA, The fellowship when we find our way to it is truly a gift. Thanks for letting me share, I've been going through another tough life situation lately and it helps to remember where I came from and what I believe in. Life for me lately is bearable as long as I keep it in the moment and I'm capable of that today because of the gift of AA in my life. Peace to All.


Member: ds
Location: nw
Date: 5/25/00
Time: 4:02:51 AM

Comments

monk maybe you havent hit your bottom yet, when your there youll know it. youll be ready to do what ever it takes to not drink again, willing to go to ANY lienth to quite drinking. im not convinced that the courts flooding aa with poeple, they call alcoholics is the best thing. i think there are alot of poeple that dont get a chance to hit thier bottom. when you hit your real bottom youll work the steps like your life depends on it, because it clearly will. back to last weeks topic thats one of the reasons there are so many decetfull, untreated alcoholics in the program that are unwilling to work the steps. when the student is ready the teacher will apear good luck maybe you need to try some experamental drinking


Member: David B
Location: KC
Date: 5/25/00
Time: 8:57:25 AM

Comments

Hi My name is 'David I am a alcoholic. What I do to stay away from that first drink. Morning prayer and meditation. Then read some of the readings for the day and during the day I use the 11th step and the 10th step and the 12th step because I can't drink and live and of myself I cant stay sober. God Loves us all. thank you for the reminder of what i am to do


Member: Michelle
Location: Kansas
Date: 5/25/00
Time: 11:03:15 AM

Comments

Hi, I'm Michelle and I'm an alcoholic and addict...first I feel compelled to respond to monk, I've gone to meetings since 1987 and now have a little over two years. My perception is that though I relapsed after three years of sobriety I learned alot during that time. For me, personally I have hit several bottoms. The first time, I was down to 86 lbs and I lost my 2 month old daughter to SIDS. It wasn't my fault, but the guilt was overwhelming. I continued to use trying to mask the pain. "Partying" wasn't part of the game anymore. Two weeks after her death, I got sober and stayed sober for those three years. I lived in an Oxford house for 8 months, moved out and continued going to meetings, talking to sober people yet didn't have a sponsor. I was doing it on my own along with my periodic prayers to my HP. After doing that for two more years, I got complacent and decided that the meetings were no longer necessary and now I just celebrated two years again. I believe we all have different bottoms at different points of our lives. Her death was the only thing that saved my life. Hell, it kept me sober for three years. After being out there for 5 months, I wanted to die. I made a decision to use and it took quite a bit of time to lead up to it. What they say is true though, a head full of AA and drugs/alcohol don't mix at all. All I could do is remember how decent my life had been before using and what it took to get that serenity again and I made it back to treatment. Again, I had diminished down to 89 lbs again and was suicidal. I stood in a hotel room five stories up and contemplated jumping from the window and when I tried opening it...it was painted shut. Apparently my HP was taking care of my decisions that day. I've been sober since. I can't say it's been easy. It's been real hard for me to accept life. Michelle


Member: luis l
Location: lv nv
Date: 5/25/00
Time: 12:41:10 PM

Comments

read the book get a spoucer.help others.trust god.clean house. louie pr


Member: luis l
Location: lv nv
Date: 5/25/00
Time: 12:43:00 PM

Comments

read the book get a spoucer.help others.trust god.clean house. louie pr


Member: anonymous
Location:
Date: 5/25/00
Time: 4:30:13 PM

Comments

I suppose a newcomer would have to be someone new. That is to say I'm pondering the issue. You see against me it's been; I want to stop right there, cause everyone always says "for me it's been this and that, I never hear anyone say against me it's been thus and thus or such and such. [Are they all optomistic?] Nevertheless, against me, the policeman poured my beer out. Now some might say that's for me, maybe that makes me a newcomer. On the other hand, if he poured it out, how could I be? You see, he said I was drinking in public, being homeless I'm always in the public, but not in the public eye! He said I was an alcoholic, but he lied about everything else, am I to believe him on this one point? Am I, or am I not a newcomer, for instance, was that beer half full or half empty? One could say he prevented me. Or one could say he prevented me and then charged me for the very thing he keept me from doing! These police go around on bicycles these days, and that's cheatin. Got off his bike he did, climbed clear down the bank and under the bridge, passed the beer bottles and into the darkness and searched me out. Ah, times are hard, time to be about step three For who can win when that that's for me is against me?


Member: anonymous
Location:
Date: 5/25/00
Time: 4:30:44 PM

Comments

I suppose a newcomer would have to be someone new. That is to say I'm pondering the issue. You see against me it's been; I want to stop right there, cause everyone always says "for me it's been this and that, I never hear anyone say against me it's been thus and thus or such and such. [Are they all optomistic?] Nevertheless, against me, the policeman poured my beer out. Now some might say that's for me, maybe that makes me a newcomer. On the other hand, if he poured it out, how could I be? You see, he said I was drinking in public, being homeless I'm always in the public, but not in the public eye! He said I was an alcoholic, but he lied about everything else, am I to believe him on this one point? Am I, or am I not a newcomer, for instance, was that beer half full or half empty? One could say he prevented me. Or one could say he prevented me and then charged me for the very thing he keept me from doing! These police go around on bicycles these days, and that's cheatin. Got off his bike he did, climbed clear down the bank and under the bridge, passed the beer bottles and into the darkness and searched me out. Ah, times are hard, time to be about step three For who can win when that that's for me is against me?


Member: Nancy M
Location: NW
Date: 5/25/00
Time: 6:30:44 PM

Comments

Hi I'm Nancy and I am an alcoholic/addict. Staying sober is a conscious daily activity and what is required for me to do so is never far from my thoughts/actions. I became a very solitary and secretive drinker towards the end of my drinking career and I have found in sobriety that the saying "you are only as sick as your secrets" to apply to my alcoholism as well. When I have drinking dreams, cravings, I find someone in recovery to talk to. It gets that stuff out of me and it makes me feel like I am taking care of myself. It was hard for me to get to the point of admitting I was alcoholic and admitting that I needed help. I struggled with that for over 10 years. True acceptance that I am an alcoholic and powerless over alcohol has been the foundation on which I have built nearly 10 years of sobriety. I could never have done this without other alcoholics in recovery. Thanks to all of you.


Member: jerry n Great Bender
Location: NEPA
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 12:42:46 AM

Comments

I'm an alcoho;ic, and my name is Jerry. I haven't been to this meeting for quite a few months. It has been very helpful, when I started working 2nd shift, and missed my faca2face meetings. Since then, I found other 2nd shifters and started mid-morning meetings in my area. In response to Deb, who inititiated the discussion, I can only share the advice given to me when I was newer to the program. " One does not think their way into right living, rather, one lives their way into right thinking." By continuously striving to do and being in God's will, one's thinking and attitudes are transformed into a mindset that makes a drink uninviting, unwelcome and unnecessary. Thanks for letting me share. I'm glad you are all here, and I wish you all another serene 24.


Member: John P.
Location: Eastern Ontario
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 1:26:28 AM

Comments

You know if your unsure if you are an ALCOHOLIC or not then just keep on drinking. However,if you are having difficulty not drinking and wish not to do so then there is a solution, and ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS has it. I can attest to this. I am not sure what the answers are however, I do know you have to start by not taking that first drink. I then found that the suggestions of other ALCOHOLICS either worked or not, however I became willing to try and discover what worked best for me. Anything that brought me closer to a drink, was not working. I wish you all the success on this the most marvelous journey that I ever experienced, but it is not without difficulty. But anything worthwhile seldom is. If your new in the program just hang in there things to get better. I think your great for making the effort. It is lack of effort that I do not respect. My heart goes out to you. This is the most difficult thing you will do for yourself, however it is the most worthwhile. When all else fails try prayer!!! I found that it works.


Member: TB
Location: MI
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 2:20:26 AM

Comments

Alchy's suck!


Member: TB
Location: MI
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 2:23:26 AM

Comments

A fucking alchy killed my family. You are all murders to me!!!!!


Member: jd
Location: ca
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 2:29:19 AM

Comments

You will never be with God. Once you sin, that is never washed from your record. You are fools if you think your going to heaven after all the pain, suffering and harm you so selfishly put your family, friends and society through!!!!


Member: k1
Location: south dakota
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 9:16:23 AM

Comments

Deb Hi I'm K1 and i am an alcoholic. i just jumped to the beginning to keep with the theme of the page. i'm sure someone has told you you need to clean house (do fourth and fifth steps), find a sponser, read the big book, attend meetings, and don't drink today. these were the messages that i heard over and over in the process of recovery. i remember the first part of my recovery, most people say the first year was the hardest, well the first two years was the hardest for me. they told me i would have mood swings and i did. it wasn't until i threw my self so to speak into the program. one thing that helped me alot was the spiritual experience i had in the treatment program which helped put the plug in the jug.

now i only struggle with day to day problems. i have been sober one day at a time for 13 years. i am a professional in a small time and must juggle the program with people i work with. i know there are probably pros and cons to that but my preference is to keep my program separate since i am helping them psychologically.

keep coming back, one day at a time. i will go back and read the wisdom of the program another time. thank you.


Member: Deb K
Location: West Kootenays
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 9:48:37 AM

Comments

Deb K, recovering alcoholic... Congratulatons on your 10 months Deb, good on you! Good topic as well. I have enjoyed the responses and well remember my early sobriety. For me, my sponsor was invaluable. I had to have a tough one as that was where I was at.I needed to hear things like if I go back out I will die. That I needed to know my dis-ease. I learned through that sponsor that as well as working the 12 steps to the best of my ability that there were things to stay away from out side. That there was alcohol in cough syrup, in mouth wash, coffee beans are "cured" with alcohol. If I took these things, they fed the cravings. I also learned that my body was screaming for sugar, without the alcohol that my body was used to my system craved that as well. I learned to understand me...that it only takes 27 days to form a habit, to try scratching my head for 27 days and then on the 28th day I would do it automatically. (I did) I was weekend warrior at first. I was "fine" on Monday as I was still full of booze, Tuesday wasn't so bad either, Wednesday I began to get irritable, Thursday was looking for a fight, Friday I was justifyabley (lol) out there again. That was my habit. Then It changed abit, Wednesday I would just have a beer or a cocktail to smooth things over abit.... What I am trying to say is that I, being of above average intelligence (lol) had to understand things. My sponsor told me these things so I could understand why my cravings were happening. I had to find new habits. I learned when my cravings would strike me the worst. I could be somewhat prepared. I understood that my habit was to drink to cover up any feeling that I was having at the time. Nothing can replace a HP or working the 12 Steps but at that time I was still too angry at HP to go that route. My sponsor realised that I needed something to work with until I could let a HP into my life. Life does put up tests, but they are only tests. I love the saying "this too shall pass" because it does. I think one of the imporatant things for me was getting to know my dis-ease istead of fighting it. Acceptance. Thank you all for being there for me and I wish you all another 24...


Member: tony a
Location: montana
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 11:02:41 AM

Comments

Congradulations on your 10 months. I was sober for 10 years and went out a couple of months ago, Iknow why this happend. I had stoped going to meetings and reading the big book.I have kids a good wife ,everything I ever wanted from this program, but I failed to do my maintenence. Iwas traveling out of state had a couple and almost lost everything. I rolled my new into a river.and was allmost killed myself. I couldnt beleive this could happen to me.I dident think I was drunk. Well I thank god for one more chance at life and I-we can do it . and remember it works if you work it.


Member: tony a
Location: montana
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 11:03:15 AM

Comments

Congradulations on your 10 months. I was sober for 10 years and went out a couple of months ago, Iknow why this happend. I had stoped going to meetings and reading the big book.I have kids a good wife ,everything I ever wanted from this program, but I failed to do my maintenence. Iwas traveling out of state had a couple and almost lost everything. I rolled my new into a river.and was allmost killed myself. I couldnt beleive this could happen to me.I dident think I was drunk. Well I thank god for one more chance at life and I-we can do it . and remember it works if you work it.


Member: Lynn S
Location: OR
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 12:08:27 PM

Comments

Hi! I'm Lynn and alcoholic.

Get a sponsor, read the Big Book, 90 meetings in 90 days, and don't drink. And.....follow the suggested steps-they work! It works if you work it and it won't if you don't.


Member: Sandy B.
Location: Lyons, CO
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 1:39:48 PM

Comments

What helped me most, early on, was the meetings. I needed PROOF -- to hear & see real live people who talked openly about how they did this sobriety thing. I was told not to compare, but to identify, and I was amazed to hear things I could really understand and relate to from people I would never have met ("we are people who normally would not mix").

The meetings are still crucial to me today, as is the phone. I was afraid to call people early on, partly because I thought if I called it meant we would have to become best friends, tell each other everything and have lunch once a week for the rest of our lives -- if I called once, right?

Today I know that a few minutes on the phone is just that -- an opportunity to restore my perspective, get a grip on reality, share a smile, or just say hi. And I have several close-mothed friends I do trust with the hard stuff.

A few weeks ago another AA who winters with us here said that he would gladly go through everything he has been through to get to where he is today. That's the kind of proof I still love to hear, and want to follow!

Congrats on your 10 months, Deb, keep coming back Ecliptick, and thanks to all the others who shared. I'll be back to this group!


Member: Shelli
Location: CA
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 1:49:22 PM

Comments

Hi Deb, my name is Shelli and I'm a recovering alcholic of 14 years if I say sober one more month that is.

My favorite tip to any newcomer is "JUST DON'T DRINK, even if your a** falls off." And you won't get drunk, no matter what happens. I firmly believe once we stop drinking the work begins and if you establish a pattern of slipping you are going to have a very difficult time of it. Most alcholics and addicts for that matter a very sensitive people and we are always looking for someone to hurt our feelings, so if we don't take ourselves to seriously, and we attend lots, and lots of meetings when the stuff does hit the fan we have the tools to deal with it. There only one person on this planet that can make you drink and that is you, and if your listen to yourself just remember the information your recieving is that from an alcholic mind that will do anything to trick you into that first one, the real culprit. So keep it simple and keep coming back no matter what. ODAT


Member: Stuart
Location: Sussex UK
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 2:43:40 PM

Comments

Thanks Shelli, hi Deb,

I am a recovering alcoholic and I am sober today and thats what counts, not how long, just for today. If I can put enough hard work into getting sober as I did getting a drink (god the amount of effort I put in just to get a drink, unbelievable)I'll get there. I have to put in the work to get the benefit, its like going up the down escalator. You never reach perfection(the top)but as long as you put one foot in front of another, you wont be taken to the bottom. THINK DONT DRINK The best thing I can do is to talk to other alcholics and attend meetings and dont pick up the first drink. Today Im sober.....I'M getting smart, hope you do to. Its so great this program. God bless you all. When your in England look up the meeting in East Grinstead (so grateful)


Member: Dan G.
Location: Salem, Ore.
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 3:57:42 PM

Comments

Keep coming back it works,...if you work it!!!!!

Dan


Member: Marjolein
Location: Netherlands
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 3:59:40 PM

Comments

Well, well, here I am at last... Alcoholics Anonymous isn't so well known here in Holland as it is in english speaking countries (not in the phone book) and for a long time now I have dithered about wondering if maybe I really should stop drinking/was I an alcoholic?? But lets face it, people who AREn't alcolics don't sit about wondering if they are now do they ;-) Sooooooo, suddenly I got the great idea, look up some stuff about AA on the web. And yes, before long I had an email address of a contact person in holland. And within hours he mailed back with a 3 telephone numbers of workgroeps in the town where I live... Now all I have to do is call one of them But I'm not so brave on the phone as I am online so I'll probably dither a bit more before I call... Meanwhile maybe writing/reading some of the stuff here might help. I've decided several times to just stop drinking whilst alone, but never really keep it up for long. And thats not the answer is it... Anyway, sorry I don't seem to be answering the topic question here do I... em, maybe a good tip is to read a book by a recovered alcoholic when the thought of a drink gets too insistent. I'm re-reading Caroline Knapp's excellent book Drinking right now. I identify a lot with her, same age and sex, and the stuff about hiding things, living a lie is all too familiar. Losing control of life. Does anyone else have book titles they can reccomend?? Good luck everyone - I hope one day I'll get further than the occassional short 'on the wagon' periods I've managed on and off over the last years. Oh, before I forget - another tip which might help - the time when I drank least was when I was training for a marathon 3 years ago. I couldn't run if hungover and I was obsEssed with completing the distance (haha - obsessed, ach you're an addict or you're not an addict! ;-) and at the time that obsession made me able to manage my drinking. Well, hell, at least it was a hEAlthier obsession ;-) However, it passed and I got back together with the drink... Oh, another tip - falling in love with someone who barely drinks helps too!! But alas, she wasn't enough to distract me for long enough... I really have to start making a commitment to mysELF... jaja, I know the theory... now for the practise. Wish me luck...


Member: Marjolein
Location: Netherlands
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 4:52:56 PM

Comments

Sorry - can't resist posting once more - hey, indulge me I'm new here ;-) I've just been looking in the archives and one of the past topics was Great One Liners Thought it might be useful as a 'favourite tip for staying sober' to make a list of favourite phrases which help. So I just did. Here are some of the ones I liked most. ----------- "Isolation is the darkroom of life where all negatives are developed" Later when the wreckage of my past started to catch up to me and all I could do was whine and again feel unique I was told to get out of the problem and into the solution. Alcoholism is the only prison where all the keys are INSIDE" There is nothing so bad that I can't make worse by taking a drink!!! ----------- Hope this was maybe useful - I'm certainly glad I found this site - at last I feel I'm DOing something about stopping drinking instead of just thInking about doing something... oh. one last question - a lot of people begin their messages with "I am x and a real alcoholic" Like there are fAke alcoholics or something?? "my name is x and I'm just pretending to be an alcoholic cause it seems like a fun thing to do..." ??!! Nah, I dOn't think so ;-) Oh its so good to be sitting at the computer and nOt to be swigging something alcoholic!! I think I could get to like this feeling...


Member: 13th steper
Location: in bed with a newcomer
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 6:31:23 PM

Comments

hi deb this is 13th steper, we can still get a quicky in before you get a year


Member: Becky P.
Location: Fl.
Date: 5/26/00
Time: 7:10:40 PM

Comments

Hello all- Becky here, the-girl-who-cannot-and-will not-drink!!

It feels so good to say that! It's so true. Knowing that has relieved me of so much terror, fear and worry. I really like THINK DON'T DRINK--and the message from "real oldtimer". I remember my first meeting liberated I felt. That's all I need to help me get over cravings. My HP is behind me ALL THE WAY!!!!! =)

Here's to another free 24!!!! p.s. ((JD)) I feel your anger. You are not alone. I believe there are many here who have lost loved ones. You are NOT alone. Love and peace.


Member: Mark H
Location: South Dakota
Date: 5/27/00
Time: 1:43:30 AM

Comments

Hi! Mark, alcoholic. I understand what Deb and Heather are saying. I went through 60-65 days sobriety recently, and then one day found myself at the bar, wondering what i was doing there. What I did after the hangover, was pick myself up out of bed, retraced what had happened-Why did I do this to myself? What feelings did I have that drug me in there? I had feelings going on inside that I've been so used to having, depression, anxiety, fear among others, but the point is I needed to realize that these feelings are part of the addiction, and part of the process of recovery. I tried to contact a sponsor tonight, couldn't get ahold of anyone, and I've been searching for some peace. My higher power is here, and that helps a tremendous amount, because I don't need to schedule a meeting with him, I just ask for him, and he's there. I found some things that I am doing each day, I hope it helps. I was told this at a meeting: Do this everyday 1) Read the Big Book, 2) Go to meetings, and 3) Ask to know God's will for you today in the morning, follow that to the best of you're ability, and at night thank God for the things that happened to you during the day. Number 3 is on page 208-209 in the Big Book. I need you people to help me stay sober. I need my higher power to strengthen me and keep me sober. If I listen to him, and be rigorously honest, with myself and others, I will. I am today, and I Am Thankful for that.


Member: deb
Location: NW
Date: 5/27/00
Time: 4:45:09 AM

Comments

Thank you with all my heart for sharing and caring, and reminding me of where I`ve been and where I am now. I am grateful for a loving HP & all of you. Your experiences and advice have been more than meaningful to me. Thank you! love, deb


Member: Denise
Location:
Date: 5/27/00
Time: 10:07:07 AM

Comments

to 13th stepper: The women on this line will understand this... To do what you are doing is not only molestation of a person you could be in for quite a surprise!!! I was lucky nothing DRIPPED or OOZED.but soon you might need medical services for the past advantages to a newcommer you are in contact with.


Member: Dean
Location: Illinois
Date: 5/27/00
Time: 10:09:48 AM

Comments

To 13stepper, a good male friend told me females in AA have it much easier than men since theyonly have one head to think with. It's obvious which one you choose to reason? with. Disgusted with your triviality. Illinois


Member: Denise ls
Location: New York
Date: 5/27/00
Time: 10:19:27 AM

Comments

Now that I have said my mind on that issue!! I am sorry I had to!! I now have 30 days to celebrate!! I am a lucky one my husband and my 4 children are the most supportive people in my life.If I say I want a drink they now give me a hug and point at my serenity plaque on my wall. I think having everyone that is close to me know what's going on knowing the trueth and how I am feeling at all times makes them the best support I could have.I now use many insperational things for my daily strength. GODS PROMISE: God didnt promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow or sun without rain. But God did promise strength for the day comfort for the tears, and a light for the way. And for all those who believe in his kingdom above, He answers their faith with everlasting LOVE.

Thank you for letting me share DALS


Member: 13th stepper
Location: in bed with a newcomer
Date: 5/27/00
Time: 2:36:25 PM

Comments

13th stepper alcoholic, its been my expereance that woman 13th step just as much if not more then men men just get the blame for it all. i think low self-estem efect us all. and we look out side our selves to fix that


Member: Michael B.
Location: AZ
Date: 5/27/00
Time: 7:33:00 PM

Comments

Hi! My name is Michael, and I am a recoering alcoholic and addict, sober today only by the Grace of God and the Fellowship. Welcome to the newcomers! Thanks everyone for sharing!

Excellent topic! Two of my favorite suggestions are "First Things First" and "One Day at a Time."


Member: Door
Location: Illinois
Date: 5/27/00
Time: 7:48:18 PM

Comments

13stepper. I feel sorry for you. Looking outside yourself for self-esteem surely does affect us all, but looking at our own inadequacies and correcting them the best way we can is usually the best road to sobriety. We cannot change anyone but ourselves, and the big book speaks to using others as the wrong way. I can only change me. I am powerless over people, places and things. Conversely, if I work the program I cannot expect others to change my own feelings of inadequacy. I have to work to achieve that. May you get some real serenity soon and self-worth, not other-people worth. Th is one of the presents the program gave me. Peace, happiness and self-worth to all.


Member: Denise ls
Location: New York
Date: 5/27/00
Time: 8:15:46 PM

Comments

Hello everyone!

Another little ditty that helps me everyday:

LOOK TO THIS DAY: YESTERDAY IS ALREADY A DREAM, AND TOMORROW IS ONLY A VISION, BUT TODAY WELL LIVED, MAKES EVERY YESTERDAY A DREAM OF HAPPINESS AND EVERY TOMORROW A VISION OF HOPE.


Member: james h
Location: cali
Date: 5/27/00
Time: 10:32:24 PM

Comments

My name is James I'm an alki from Cali.This is the only I have,if I remember yesterdayis but a memory(guilt,shame,&remorse)Tomorrow is but a dream(restlesness,irratability,&discontentment)Today is a gift thats why its called the present and Ican do anything today that needs to be done if I'm willing to do the work,Truely a gift. The fellowship&Program of A.A. has given me a H.P.and way to build an relationship whith this H.P.I have stuck around long enough to see H.P.do the things for me that I could never do for myself.If your new dont leave 5 minuts befor the miricle happens for you


Member: Carrie S
Location: Australia
Date: 5/28/00
Time: 1:30:44 AM

Comments

hi DEB, hang in there kid, i went thru the same thing as you, for nearly 2 years into my sobriety and survived! It's now been ten years and I don't want to drink today. "Pick up the phone before you pick up a drink" was the advice given to me and it worked. I drank to deaded the pain so what I need to do is find out what causes the pain and eradicate it. The pain will still be there after your done drinking so get rid of the pain and there will be no desire to drink(5th Step). I also had to stop thinking about the future for a long time and just live in the now which took away the idea that I could NEVER drink again. I chopped it down into hours for starters, 'just dont drink for the next hour' I would tell myself which took away the enormity of what I was expecting myself to do. Even now after ten years if I skip meetings and stop conversing with my friends in the fellowship about whats really going on in my head then my head will start to play games with me, find yourself some friends and a sponsor who you can be really honest with about whats going on in that grey matter of yours, 'a problem shared is a problem halved', and dont forget, that monkey on your shoulder will keep telling you you need a drink even if you dont. hey JD, go get yourself on a programme, and 13TH STEPPER I'll pray for you and your victims, you are messing with other peoples lives.