Member: Mary M.
Location: North Carolina
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 13:09:03

Comments

Hi everyone! My name is Mary and I'm a grateful, recovering alcoholic. I believe the best place to staart is Step One. Admit powerlessness over alcohol, over other people. When I finally understood what that meant, I felt so relieved that I no longer had to be responsible for everyone and everything. It was such a relief!!! Now I know that I can change only myself and I have had to learn and practice and pray daily for acceptance of everthing else. It's the groundwork on which everything else is built. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Linda P
Location: CA, USA
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 13:23:33

Comments

Hi my name is Linda, an alcoholic. Since there are so many new people visiting the site, I would like to have the topic: Relapse Prevention---what does a person do not to drink in a time of crisis, or trials in life.

I believe in going to any lengths to stay sober today. That is all we have, one day. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet been born. Living in the now was important for me so that life could seem a bit more manageable. When I first got here I was niave to all the ways in which to live one day at a time without drinking. As time progressed in recovery, I learned about the 12 Steps and what it would mean to live a life sober working them.

Got a sponsor to help me with the steps, and to give me some moral support when I was feeling weak or disturbed. She was then, and still is, helpful to me when I have emotional hangovers. Those are far better than the physical hangovers I got when drinking. Least I remembered everything that happened--LOL. (laugh out loud).

There came a time I needed more than AA, as there were problems I was having unrelated to alcoholism once I got sober. Not everyone has to do what I did, but I was really sick emotionally. I sought outside help for those issues. Our book talks about having fine doctors, etc... that we need to avail ourselves of them if needed. And I did that.

I did suffer a relapse almost 14 yrs ago, and have been sober since then due to recognizing the triggers that start off my thinking drinking would be a great idea. So far those triggers have been disarmed. I came to believe in a Higher Power since that time, which has helped me tremendously in my day to day walk.

I went to lots of meetings, and still do keep in touch with alcoholics daily. I found sobriety to be well worth the initial struggle. Hang in there everybody.

May everyone have a wonderful week. I'll peek in here from time to time to see how others have responded. Love to all. Linda P


Member: Linda P
Location: CA, USA
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 13:26:20

Comments

Hi, Linda an alcoholic--looks like Mary beat me to the topic. Guess I spent to much time on it. Step 1 is a great topic Mary.


Member: Becky L.
Location: Fairmont,MN
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 15:22:18

Comments

Hello,I'm Becky,and I am an alcoholic. I came into AA back in October,and have repeatedly found myself returning to step one. For me this step is very difficult,because I can't seem to stay focoused.It's not that I denie being an alcoholic,it's that my self- esteem and confidence are so low that I repeatedly set myself up for failure out of habbit. I end up thinking I have this step down and moving on with my sponser,only to quickly end up with a drink in my hand.

If anyone else out there is having this problem I suggest to SLOW DOWN!!!!!Remember this is not a race and you need to move at your own pace.

I have also found it helpful to talk to alot of people not just my sponser.When I talk to others about my problem,they often offer ways of solving it that I wouldn't think of on my own.

The fellowship of AA helps me stay sober , and , when I'm with a bunch of AA people, I generally am not thinking about drinking.Instead I'm staying focoused on the solution.

Remember: You can't think your way into better living.You must live your way into better thinking.


Member: Tom F
Location: Claremont NH
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 16:00:24

Comments

Hi everyone I'm Tom and I AM an alcoholic Step One is a very good topic because if I can't get step one I certainly won't be able to work the rest of the steps. It took me a long time to accept that I am powerless over alcohol and that my life was unmanageable. It wasn't that hard to admit that I was an alcoholic but to accept that I was always going to be an alcoholic and would suffer consequences if I chose to pick up even one drink was really hard to swallow......After repeated attempts to prove that I was different than other alcoholics, and I could go back to controlled drinking, I finally was able to surrender to the disease and accept that booze had me licked for good. This is the only disease I know of where one has to give up fighting it and give up the battle to win. I surrender to my alcoholism each and every day and through the help of my Higher Power and other members of the fellowship I am finally able to stay sober One day at a time...Very greatful to be sober today and to have found this meeting.......God Bless TOM


Member: David O
Location: Wales
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 16:58:35

Comments

Hi! May name is Dave and I'm an alcoholic. I think that Step One is, in one sense, the most important Step of our program. I say this for the simple reason that if I can't take Step One, my recovery can't begin. All I am asked to do in this Step is to be honest with myself (maybe for the first time for many years) and admit that I have a disease called alcoholism.

Once I have done this I must move on. All Step One does is to bring me into the light so that I can at last see exactly what is wrong with me. Surely, the most important thing then is to do something about it and this is where, of course, the rest of the Steps come into play. I cannot stay on Step One, for to do so is to stay in the problem. As a recovering alcoholic, the program encourages me to live in the solution (Steps 2-12).

So yes, Step One is imporrant, but only as a launch pad to the new life which AA promises to us all. And I have discovered, thank God, that it is a life worth living in which I can do so many things which I thought I could never do and so, over the years, have learned to love and respect myself as the wonderful human being my Maker created. I hope you all discover this too, a day at a time and that the promises of this program come true for you too. Thanks for all your comments and for helping me to stay sober.

God Bless You. Dave


Member: Mark C.
Location: Shelter Island,N.Y.
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 17:10:24

Comments

Someone came up to me afew years ago after I had gone backout for more evidence that I was an alcoholic and they said to me " Ya see that first word, in the first line of the first step...WE", I had always tried to quit on my own, at first I went to a couple of meetings , had this AA stuff figured out, went and sat at Sunday afternoon football games with 3 liter bottles of Coke and 3 packs of cigarettes while my "buddies" polished of a keg. Of course that made me crazy, so I'd show up with a bag of reefer all the while claiming "I don't drink!". I came back to the rooms two and half years ago and I had to leave my so called "buddies" behind and start making new friends in recovery.

I didn't have to look far for "unmanageable" evidence. My third DWI landed me in county jail for 8 months and inb there THEY tell you when your going to sleep , when to eat , when to work, when to watch TV, when to go out in the yard etc,etc,etc...! It was obvious that I wasn't managing my life, the courts and correctional officers were. My first sponsor told me one way I could do the first step is to pick out a really bad experience in my story and remember it.Mine is when I got off the third floor elevator in county jail there is poster straight ahead with a picture of a correctional officer holding a cell door open,across the bottom of the poster it reads "MEET YOUR NEW BAR TENDER."So when ever I'm in 7/11 standind and gazing into the wrong cooler I just remember that poster and where drinkind takes me.


Member: diane n.
Location: hallandale fl.
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 18:20:59

Comments

step one is the one step you can't 'bluff' it took me years to get here and i have to work at it every day to make sure i stay here. it's verry hard admitting your powerless over a stupid thing like drinking or anything else fr that matter,but with the grace of god and the rooms of a a i've been able to remain powerless for nine years. 'to surrender is to win'.


Member: Bonnie C
Location: Seattle
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 20:04:18

Comments

Hi extended family, bonnie/alcoholic here, (((ROOM-HUG))) So happy to be here and sober today. thanks for the topic (((mary m))) step 1 and the other topic from (((linda p))) relapse prevention. step 1- when I got here I had run out of answers but I didnt really know what my problem was, I thought it was my loveless marriage or my kids that were out of control or my burnout at work or the stupid things that I would do while just trying to relax with a few *right*. I thought if these people or situations would just be as they were supposed to be then I wouldn't feel so uptight all the time. THEY were why I drank I thought. Funny, I never really thought about the compulsion that was set up when I took the first drink. I would plan on stopping after work for just a couple with my friends then get home to work on a project with one of my kids or something I had been planning for weeks and have to stay at the bar until closing time, then waking up the next morning feeling remorseful and guilty or worse full of shame, not knowing why. then adopting an attitude of *screw you* I'll do anything I want to do but with that underlying gut twisting knawing that something was falling apart and I had no way to stop it. the last weeks of drinking felt like I was on a hampster wheel in my self made prison. I had no more answers that worked, so when my dear friend, who had 9 months in the program took me to my first meeting, i admitted I might have somewhat of an alcohol problem but possibly not as bad as you folks did, but I wanted so badly whatever it was that made you look so together and KNOWING. I thought, well I'll give it a try. At one of my first meetings I heard that I wasn't responsible for drinking before I walked in those doors but after coming in I AM responsible, ewwww that sucked! so after I was told I was responsible I heard that only one out of 33 ever make it and there were only 32 people at that meeting and once again I thought *screw you* I'm gonna make it! so now I was responsible and the odds were stacked against me! what to do? I was told to go to 90 meetings in 90 days, dont drink in between meetings,get phone numbers and use them, if the compulsion arises, hug the rug, embrace the pain and wait till the miracle happens, don't quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens, make my bed, read 60 thru 63, 449 thru 452 and 83 and 84 in the big book daily, I did for 5 yrs. I was ready for I had admitted I didnt have anymore answers, my best ones bought me a chair in an AA meeting. In my early days when recovery wasn't chic yet, I would check to see if anyone was looking before I got out of my car to go in. today I am proud to be amongst my fellows. so neat to be a part of. if youre having a tough time, work harder or if youre working at it really hard and it doesnt seem to be working, play a little then work on the areas that give you pain. for RELAPSE PREVENTION - don't drink and see step-1 and inventory inventory inventory, every area that gives you pain. At 10 yrs sober I was in a place with my co=de issues where I had to hug the rug and work my @ss off to save my life. thank God I did for yesterday I celebrated 18yrs of this life saving miracle with my family and friends. this gift is here for all of you to just reach out and claim for yourself. God Bless all who venture here. bonzoc@webtv.net


Member: Ken H.
Location: Ottawa Canada
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 21:28:29

Comments

Hi my name is Ken and I am an alcoholic. When i fisrt came into the walls of AA, I looked at, studied and digested step one. "WE ADMITTED WE WERE POWERLES OVER ALCOHOL" and then moved on to step two. When I got honest with my sponsor and shared with him that I did not understand why my life was so upside down, he just directed me to step one. This time he made me look at the whole step and especially the last part "THAT OUR LIVES HAD BECOME UNMANAGEABLE". Wow did this ever change my life. I no longer have to manage evey aspect of my life. What freedome. All that is required of me is to do what I must do on a daily basis and leave the out come to God of my understanding. I have admitted that I am only human and there is a lot in my life that I do not have control over. The serenity prayer helps me to sort this out and works very well. I guess the message I am sharing is to look at the whole step one and not do what I have done. Trust me it will save you a lot of grief. Wishing all another 24 hours. In love andf service Ken H.


Member: bj in miami
Location:
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 22:16:25

Comments

someone mentioned about how to stay sober during a crisis-I started off with them. Found myself pregnant by the time I was out of the fog. I delivered her this month in l970; then proceeded to raise her in aa - had not planned to have a child and definitely not to raise her alone...by the time she was l6, she was alcoholic, few years later while doing coke daily, she delivered my coke additted grandson; i raised him for 4 l2 years - 6 months ago she reclaimed him and aa and they seem to be doing great; i am trying to accept being without them - one day at a time. the message i carry is that since i first ask god to take my will and my life, he has and by doing so has kept me sober. of course i had to do the foot work but he even alllowed me to do that. thanks for letting me share and say a prayer for me and mine because there is power in prayer. bj in miami


Member: Sanders W.
Location: Graceville, Fl.
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 22:59:28

Comments

Hi all Y,all, I am very definately a real alcoholic and my name is Sanders. I have been trying to read mail and watch the Bulls and the Pacers play basketball. The Pacers came close to beating them but lost so now it will be up to the Utah Jazz to get the job done. Isaid they came close and I know that " close " only counts in horse shoes and hand granades so that did not help tonight. Congradulations Bonnie on your 18 years sober. I am always happy to see this beautful program working for others.----------On the first step; I am going to make a point that I feel is very important but it is also easy to mis understand what I am trying top say. I'll do my best to explain it but if you do not get what I am saying please ask and I'll try to explain it better. Years ago, I heard an old timer make a statement that, at the time, I thought was pretty dumb but over the years, I now understand the point he was making. He said " I really hate to see a person come into AA and get well real fast ". I have seen many people come in and get "well" real quick and then they are gone, and some of them are able to come back.Slow down, as someone earlier has said. We are not running a race and there are no schedules to keep up with here. It is my feeling that the first step is the only step we can and MUST take 100% if we are going to get sober and then stay sober. When I finally gave up and admitted and acepted the first step I was willing to do anything I was told to do. I had a sponsor that worked with me every day and I went to meetings every day for several years. I had heard old Bill T. say that the only thing an alcoholic fights in the beginning is a drink itself, and I came to believe that. At each meeting I went to I ask several of the old timers to keep an eye on me and to listen to what I said at meetings and if any of them heard me starting to " chase rabbits " other than dealing with my problem to please tell me. My sponsor told me to always say something at the meetings and to never pass, not to show them how smart I was but to let them know where I was mentally. Those people I asked to watch and listen to me were still doing that when I left the area 2 years ago and they were asked that 22 years ago. I can honestly say this was one of the best things I ever did for me because they would jump me real quick when I started to wander. It may be something some of you new people would like to try. I suppose what I am really trying to say is to make sure your feet are both solidly on the ground before you get your head in the clouds. Just take your time and don't rush it. Enjoy the ride and build a good solid foundation in your sobriety trip. Hope this makes sense to you and remember the promise made to me nearly 23 years ago. If you don't take a drink, YOU will get better in spite of yourself. I love all Y'all Sanders


Member: mike w
Location: saudi arabia
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 05:47:26

Comments

Hello all, mike here, alcoholic. Step one for me is the, like i've already heard, 100% step. If i am not totally convinced that I'm an alcoholic, and my life had become unmanagable; I'll drink again. it has happened to alot of people, as someone who has relapsed. I try to keep this program simple, well , I guess thats the only way i can handle it, i do what the old timers told me in the begining. don't drink, go to alot of meetings, work the steps to the best of your ability, and work with others. I fail alot, but as my old sponsor says, no matter what, even if your butt falls off, don't drink and get to a meeting. this sounded a little dumb when i was a newcomer, but anything was better than drinking, you see i was gonna lose a military career, a wife, house, the whole 9 yards, so as the big book says, i was made ready for this program. seems we alcoholics have to be pretty badly damaged to grasp this program, or at least it was that way with me. Thanks to AA and my Higher Power ( which i found through AA), my life is 100% better, in fact there isn't even a comparison. when i complain today, i need to think where i was 6 years ago. Two things help me, gratitude for my sobriety, and acceptence that i'm an alcoholic. Thank all for sharing, life is good, when i count all the blessings i have, hope you all have a great day. liked what you had to say Sanders. ODAAT mike w


Member: mike w
Location: saudi arabia
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 05:49:48

Comments

Hello all, mike here, alcoholic. Step one for me is the, like i've already heard, 100% step. If i am not totally convinced that I'm an alcoholic, and my life had become unmanagable; I'll drink again. it has happened to alot of people, as someone who has relapsed. I try to keep this program simple, well , I guess thats the only way i can handle it, i do what the old timers told me in the begining. don't drink, go to alot of meetings, work the steps to the best of your ability, and work with others. I fail alot, but as my old sponsor says, no matter what, even if your butt falls off, don't drink and get to a meeting. this sounded a little dumb when i was a newcomer, but anything was better than drinking, you see i was gonna lose a military career, a wife, house, the whole 9 yards, so as the big book says, i was made ready for this program. seems we alcoholics have to be pretty badly damaged to grasp this program, or at least it was that way with me. Thanks to AA and my Higher Power ( which i found through AA), my life is 100% better, in fact there isn't even a comparison. when i complain today, i need to think where i was 6 years ago. Two things help me, gratitude for my sobriety, and acceptence that i'm an alcoholic. Thank all for sharing, life is good, when i count all the blessings i have, hope you all have a great day. liked what you had to say Sanders. ODAAT mike w


Member: Amy GC
Location: Switzerland
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 07:27:43

Comments

Hey world, Amy the alcoholic. Thanks for the double topics of step one and relapse prevention, which also go hand in hand like last weeks 2 topics . I would like to say that step one was and is hard for the hardheaded (me included). I , like some of you above, thought that the problems associated with my drinking were under my control. (Big word there being MY). This is something hard to share because it is so personal but if it helps even one person than I am glad I shared. I came into recovery by my own will (excuse me, make that God's) meaning no court sent me or whatever...but my best friend, my drinking buddy from school became sober 3 or more years before, gave me the best advise of my life. I was crying to her about my life being out of control "all because of this alcoholic husband, no love, dumb job that is below my education...blah blah blah", how she even listened to my nonsense I will never know. She finally said "Amy, I love you and if you want to come stay with us then come, but I think you now need some help! go to the mental marriott and take a break. " The idea of ESCAPE sounded perfect until the doors shut behind me and they began to straighten out the crazy life I was leading. I had no idea how sick I was. To sum up this part of my story I will say that the beginning of my recovery was one of the most special times in my life. The people I met, the love I felt, the help I received. But here is a funny one for ya, my first day I announced that I was about up to step 8. (EVERYONE LAUGH OUT LOUD). Powerlessness. I had to admit to my addictions with a double whammy of admitting there WAS a HP who had me in the palm of his hand throughout my dangerous escapades and it was time to apologize and thank him...same with my mom...That was how my step 1 began but I do have to repeat it to myself from time to time as we all do. Relapse prevention...Linda I am almost scared to share on this issue because I do not have 13 years sobriety (but you are SUCH an inspiration to me and I mean that sincerely). I can only tell what helped for me, and I guess we are all different. Firstly I had to seperate from all party friends. I worried so much about this in treatment, thinking that I would have no friends and so. What surprised me was how they all seemed to vanish when I was once again able to be social but sober. I thought "they will miss me, want me to go out, not understand, etc." In fact most did not want me around to spoil their own party (such as my ex) and I really survived with the love and help of people in this program. My therapist said we all have to have a support group and that to set this support up ahead of the time it is needed is best. For example, what were the tricky spots? For me it was any kind of celebration (I could celebrate almost anything). AVOID CELEBRATIONS first year if you are too scared it will hurt your sobriety. With time this one goes away and you once again realize the point of a celebration IS the point not the party along with it. At my wedding here my husband and I toasted with grapejuice and I whooped it up until 2 am (wedding parties go on forever here) without alcohol. We did serve to our guests and it was interesting to really observe how one behaves from the first glass to the 10th, for example. I didn`t even have his headache the next am but didn't want that in my new life. I remember an old timer smiling at me one of my first meetings in NC and he said "I will love you til you love yourself" I thought how dare he? Now I truely know what he meant. I started drinking coffee (only about 5 cups a day) which now is a habit I enjoy . Chewing gum produces seratonin in your brain (or any repetitive task ) that calms you down. Hard candy was a must, my favorites were sour apple and watermelon. TELL PEOPLE about the disease when you feel up to it. For example, I found this english women`s Bible study group 2 years ago and I told them one of the first meetings (before I had painted a pretty mask) that I was a recovering alkie and altho I got no AA help from them I got lots of prayers and they sure never offer me wine (or ask why not) when we go out or socialize in other ways. There are many who know I do not drink and my big concern when first recovering was "what will they say" In fact the intelligent say nothing, don`t notice. The dummies may want a partner in crime but I am fed up with dummies as friends. I like you all so much more. YOU ARE REAL! The last word of advise I can think of regarding relapse prevention is this, one day at a time, one minute if necessary, ask for your HP's help and he will help you. Someone said last week that they knew they had another drunk in them but was not sure if they had another recovery. That reminded me of a funny german expression: Everything in life has one end (except the bratwurst which has two).

Finally I will close with a Rhaeto Romanish (translated) proverb. That is my husbands mother tongue and this is painted on the side of their family house here in the Alps "Happiness lays by the roadside, some choose to stop and take it and others pass it by." Newcomers, each day for you is a cause to celebrate but just wait for the miracle, when the desire is lifted and you will want to pass it on...Love Amy GC PS Mark C. and BJ thanks for what you shared.


Member: Michelle
Location: CO
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 11:49:54

Comments

Michelle alcoholic- step one hit me over the head with a 2x4 the first time around. I had no where else to go, I had bottomed out for sure. Then, when I felt better with a few months of AA under my belt, I decided it was other people that coulnd't stand my drinking, but I could handle it. So I started sneaking. Nothing could be worse than a head full of AA and a belly full of booze. I finally ran out of excuses, and broke all of the rules I had set forth for myself such as don't drink more than 10 drinks, Don't drink two days in a row, don't have a hangover, don't drink and drive, yada yada, broke them all. I was so disgusted with myself because I had no one else to blame but me. That is when I finally UNDERSTOOD step one, and realized that I was powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable. Then my sponsor explained to me that I needed to reword that a little: I am powerless over people places and things, and my thinking had become unmanageable. I still go back to this today, as I believe its true and allows me to get out of my own way and allow God to work in my life. Thanks for the great topics this week.


Member: Jodene
Location: OKC
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 12:22:27

Comments

I absolutely agree that Step One and relapse prevention go hand in hand. After my first sobriety date,I actually stayed clean and sober for 22 months. Trouble reared it's head at about one year. I got involved with someone. When my sponsor STRONGLY suggested this was not a good decision for him or me, I fired her. "I didn't have to listen to that garbage" was my attitude. I STOPPED DOING WHAT HAD GOT ME SOBER IN THE FIRST PLACE---cut down on meetings, didn't pray and meditate as regularly and hey, I didn't NEED to write EVERY day anyway. After all I had now replaced that with this relationship. "Hey, I can handle this!" Needless to say, I drank again, and again, and again. It took me only 3-months to accept in my heart and gut that I REALLY AM an alcoholic. Forty-three days later, the man I was by that time engaged to drank, drove and died. Complete and utter powerlessness became something I had a deep and abiding understanding of. It was only then that my real sobriety started. Today and every day since 7/17/89 I thank God that He is in total control of my life.


Member: Karen
Location:
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 12:43:36

Comments

Step One is a great topic. Though I can now admit that I'm powerless over alcohol, it's very hard for me to admit my powerlessness over other things. I can't control the weather or my boss or stupid network executives...Sorry about that. Anyway until I accepted that I was powerless over alcohol I was lost. Now I see like one of the stories in the Big Book says, "alcohol was my master."


Member: Steve D
Location: New Jersey
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 13:13:07

Comments

I'm Steve, alky.

I have relapsed twice. After the first time of being sober 6 months, I drank. I came back into the program, did what people told me to do, knew that I wanted to stay sober and did not drink for over 6 years.

Towards the end of that 6 year period, I fell into a deep clinical depression. I was treated successfully but in emerging from that depression, I felt that perhaps I could do certain things (like drink) with more control than before since I seemed to have put things into perspective. Well, for a little while I did drink normally: not often, no drunks. Over time that too changed.

I still didn't drink often (I was exclusively a weekend and vacation drinker) but guess what? If I had one, I wanted more (and more). One is too many, 1000 are not enough.

Needless to say, I had stopped going to AA and did not have the benefit of objective input to straighten out my thinking. And, once again, I came to the point where drinking was not fun anymore. I did not like what I saw in the mirror in the morning after drinking, had to call in sick, headaches, forgot what happened the night before.... You know the drill.

I have managed to put together several weeks at a time, but on Memorial Day I had a party and drank to excess.

Step One is important but it's what comes before that's critical as to whether people will buy into the AA concept.

Thanks for letting me share.

PS: Amy, I have been to Switzerland numerous times and can relate to the writing on the house and the mentality of the Swiss. It is one of my favorite places.


Member: Amy GC
Location: Switzerland
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 13:51:01

Comments

Steve D & Jodine visit the coffee pot!


Member: Karen M.
Location: Pittstown, NJ
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 21:31:12

Comments

The part of step one that always gets me is that by admitting our powerlessness over alcohol, we actually gain the power of choice in our lives. As long as I denied I had a problem, alcohol ruled my life. But when I faced my alcoholism honestly and began to choose not to drink a day a time, God provided the people, the support, the resources to help me. Alone, I could not get sober and stay sober. Together, WE have the power to stay sober one day at a time. I am grateful to have been given this gift and I choose not to turn my back on it. And as a result, my life is a testiment to what can happen if we live by the steps of AA. Thanks for listening (reading). KarenM.


Member: Angela R.
Location: Orlando, Fla
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 22:18:11

Comments

Hi everyone! Boy am I glad I found this site! I am 6 months pregnant and 5 1/2 months sober. I just threw out my active acoholic boyfriend (the father) today. We met in AA and relapsed together. However, when I learned of the pregnancy I quit drinking and asked God to remove my obsession to drink, while he continued to drink. I know I am doing God's will by not letting myself get any sicker by letting this man stay with me because When he is around and drinking I feel so sick and depressed. And when He is gone and I am helping other people and attending meetings reguarly I feel happy and healthy. I am scared to have this baby alone and I am scared for this man because I know the realistic statistics of the number of people who will never "get" this wonderful program. As each day passes with God keeping me sober I see how my life has been unmanagable and sick. I have to take the first step every day as to not get too "cocky" with everything God has given me in the short strech of sobriety. I am truly, truly blessed and loved by Him......Even if the father of this child cannot love me now or worse himself. Please say a pray for him and me tonight and thanks for the site!!!! GOD BLESS!!!!


Member: Doris H
Location: Springfield, Oregon
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 22:44:56

Comments

Hello Everyone, My name is Doris H and I am an alcoholic. "" WOW"" , that felt good. I have missed all of you soooooo much. I'm back and I love it. Being away from Staying cyber for a wek has made me realize how much I have come to depend on this avenue for support and help in the program that I am using to stay sober. I also know that I could stay sober without this p"place to go" but it would , I am sure, be harder and it wouldn't be nearly as much fun. The main thing that I "do" to stay sober is PRAY, and sometimes I pray very hard. I have developed a wonderful new realationship with the Great Spirit and I can feel his power within me more now than at any other time in my life. I can feel His closeness and his understanding. To say nothing of His guidence. When I am faced with travails I Pray and I feel the answers. Another thing I am getting better at is conciously acknowledging my gratitude. I remember to say "Thank You" a lot more often and faster these days. When I say "Thank You" to God, I feel like I can feel His smile. I almost feel as though I am being patted on the top of the head. (that's nice) I am certianly not perfect, but I am not perfect but I am trying. By the way, Linda, I like your choiice of a topic this week. It, for me, has been very timely. Thank You all and God Bless - - - Doris H.


Member: Doris H
Location: Springfield, Oregon
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 22:49:48

Comments

Hello Everyone, My name is Doris H and I am an alcoholic. "" WOW"" , that felt good. I have missed all of you soooooo much. I'm back and I love it. Being away from Staying Cyber for a week has made me realize how much I have come to depend on this avenue for support and help in the program that I am using to stay sober. I also know that I could stay sober without this "place to go" but it would , I am sure, be harder and it wouldn't be nearly as much fun. The main thing that I "do" to stay sober is PRAY, and sometimes I pray very hard. I have developed a wonderful new realationship with the Great Spirit and I can feel his power within me more now than at any other time in my life. I can feel His closeness and his understanding. To say nothing of His guidence. When I am faced with travails I Pray, and I feel the answers. Another thing I am getting better at is conciously acknowledging my gratitude. I remember to say "Thank You" a lot more often and faster these days. When I say "Thank You" to God, I feel like I can feel His smile. I almost feel as though I am being patted on the top of the head. (that's nice) I am certianly not perfect, but I am trying. By the way, Linda, I like your choiice of a topic this week. It, for me, has been very timely. Thank You all and God Bless - - - Doris H.


Member: Doris
Location: Oregon
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 22:56:54

Comments

Hi there again, Sorry about the double posting. New server and still the same old mind. "OOPS!" Doris


Member: Cindy H
Location: Dayton, OH
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 23:59:44

Comments

Hi, I'm Cindy - Alcoholic/Addict. It has taken me about eight years to really accept Step One. I could say I was an alcoholic over and over, but I really did not think that I was powerless over alcohol or drugs. I used to think that someday, when I had a better job, better boyfriend, more money, etc. that I wouldn't be so damn depressed and wouldn't need to abuse chemicals anymore. Little did I realize that it was the alcohol and pills that were keeping me from having a better job, better boyfriend, and more money! I relapsed on Memorial Day because although I knew I was an alcoholic, I thought I would try some more of that "controlled drinking" that Step One recommends if there is any doubt. My memory has been refreshed as to exactly why I cannot drink and cannot control it if I do -- mental obsession and physical allergy. My sponsor suggested 90 meetings in 90 days again and get back to basics so that is what I am doing. Being powerless over alcohol is something that I am beginning to believe will actually empower me to accomplish greater things. By finding this program, I discovered God and what spirituality was about -- and I truly feel that I can accomplish anything with His help! Thanks for the topic and letting me share.


Member: Vic O.
Location:
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 04:05:26

Comments

Hi, I'm Vic, Alcoholic. Please keep this site up. There is so much optimism in your words. I think that relapse prevention and sobriety are about hope. Step one is about surrendering. How can you surrender, if you don't have hope? Thank you all for you're powerful words.


Member: Brad W
Location: Stationed in UK
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 04:15:11

Comments

Brad Alcoholic

Been having a hard time with step one. Keep going back out there.I moved out last night to get away from the problems at home. Hopefully this will allow me to get to more meetings. I've been trying to work AA for six months, but keep forgetting step 1. I want it to work, but I keep screwing it up. Thanks for being here.


Member: Mike W.
Location: Eastern Montana
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 08:17:03

Comments

I'm Mike, an alcoholic. Step one was very easy for me when I began to attend AA meetings. While in an out-patient treatment program, I started drinking again. I was lying to the couselors and other people in the treatment center. I missed a couple of weeks of treatment and in the interim met a woman who was active in drug and alcohol use. Within a month, I married this woman and two weeks later we divorced. I had not drank for about two months and the behavior and further progression of my disease during this short time of further drinking terrified me. This was when I went to AA completely at my bottom, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. Step one was quite real to me because of what had recently happened in my life because of alcohol usage.

Today, I am truly grateful to God who has provided this program to people such as me. Without it I would not be alive. Instead, I have a fulfilling personal and professional life. I thank all who have come before and after me in this program.


Member: J.L.
Location: Massachusetts
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 10:25:22

Comments

Hi! My name is Jay, and I am an alcoholic!

I consider myself to be very fortunate. The catalyst for my comming to AA was that Alcohol stopped working for me.

I had a nervous break down in 1971 behind the lifestyle I was living and the substances I was putting into my system. At that time I made the connection between my circumstances and the drugs I was using. I promised myself that I would stop using drungs and I did; the problem was that I didn't know that alcohol was a drug. When I put down the other toys alcohol took over. Somewhat gradually at first, but picking up momentum as the slide went on.

For years , following my breakdown, I used alcohol (I believe I was self medicating with alcohol) to mask the fear, the anxiety, the terror in whose grasp I found myself when not drinking.

Early in 1978 the alcohol stopped working. By this I mean that the fear, anxiety, the terror not only returned when I was drinking but was becomming intensified when I drank. I got to a point where: I couldn't drink, and I couldn't not drink.

I couldn't drink because, as I said, the fear, and terror which I had masked so long with the alcohol was returning when I drank; but I couldn't not drink because I had come to believe over that period of time that the alcohol was the only thing allowing me to hold on to my sanity.

This was a terrifying place to be. Out of desperation I approached a friend of mine who was recovering in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. One thing led to another and he brought me to my first meeting on 18 February 1978, I haven't found it necessary to pick up since that first meeting. This has very little to do with me. It has to do with the Grace of God, my sponsor, and people like you who shared their experience, strength, and hope with me, and loved me until I could love myself.

My sponsor suggested that I needed to get sober first, if I needed to deal with "other" issues. such as my sanity, I could only do that sober.

I prayed very hard for the "Obsession" for a drink to be removed and was blessed because that happened early on.

I have only come close to relapse twice that I am aware of, on both of these occassions I lost my grip, However, I called my sponsor prior to picking up; on one occassion he "babysat" with me for a few days, until the insanity passed; on the other occassion I ended up in the hospital where my sponsor, and family visited and supported me.

An old timer told me many years ago that he never met anyone too "stupid" to get sober, but he had met alot of people who were too "smart" to get sober. As a result I try not to become to smart around here, I never want to feel that I have "outgrown" the program.

Thank you for letting me share.

J.L.


Member: John E.
Location: Kentucky
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 11:34:12

Comments

Hello, my name is John and I am a recovering alcoholic. A lot of excellent things have been said. I had to smash the idea that I could use any type of mind or mood altering drug successfully. I had no problem seeing that I was powerless. I had been around the program before and relapsed twice. The first time I didn't work the steps, and the second time I balked at step 9. Proabably the most important things I had to change in the beginning (so that I would have a chance to get sober), were the people I hung out with, the places I went, and the things I did. Today I have to continually practice the principles in all my affairs. I have to continue to work the steps with sponsees. I know in my mind that all I have to do is balk again, and I can be right back out there.

Thanks,


Member: Sanders W.
Location: Graceville, Fl.
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 13:49:45

Comments

Hi, I am very definately a real alcoholic and my name is Sanders. Brad W. move over to the coffee pot. I too wanted this program to work so I thought but I found out I just wanted to want it to work and there is a big difference. Love in the fellowship Sanders


Member: Eddie
Location: waianae Hawaii
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 14:33:48

Comments

Hi everyone Eddie here, and I am a alcoholic

Good topic, mary. Step one is the only step that you have to buy 100% if you're going to make it. That what th old timers told me. I was in treatment 5 different times, and in and out of AA some many times that I lost count. I love that part in the 12X12 the last couple of paragraphs of step one that talks about "under the lash of alcoholism we are driven to AA" I could just imagine that old chalston heston movie Ben Hur, and how he beats those horse. That's how my alcoholism beat me into the program, and after such a beating, you never want to go back.

Thanks for letting me share .


Member: Jane
Location: Ma.
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 16:07:09

Comments

Eddie, I love your posts--so visual! A brief written Step I inventory really helped me to see and begin to accept my alcoholism. Bonnie, you are on the mark when you say that writing is a great tool. ( I still resist it though; lazy...).

I wrote beginning with my first drink--don't we recall every blessed detail, like our first kiss??!! Then I did a short rundown of what alcohol did FOR ME and what it did TO ME, going thru my drinking history.

This great tool helped me with acceptance of my disease. Relapse prevention means to give as much attention to my recovery as I gave to my drinking. "You never have to drink again" were magic words to me as a newcomer. By the Grace of God, I haven't --yet. Love to all, Jane


Member: Steve D.
Location: NJ
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 16:20:01

Comments

Steve, alcoholic.

Step One has multiple parts.

Relapse for me occurred when instead of starting at the beginning of Step One and working the steps forward, I started sliding backwards. I doubted that my life was unmanageable and because all of a sudden I had my wonderful life fully under (my) control, I doubted that I was powerless over alcohol. I also forgot the "We" part since I stopped going to meetings and interacting with fellow AA-ers.

Realization that I hit my bottom (again) was when I found myself in situations I was too embarassed to talk about when I had a chance to search my soul. And, of course, the common element driving all those situations was alcohol.

Hope started coming back when I admitted first to myself that I do not want to go on this way because I know there's a better way. I am giving up trying to beat alcohol just for today.

Once I come to this point, I am ready for Step 2.

Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Mark L.
Location: Seattle, WA
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 16:29:22

Comments

I'll stick my neck out and say that Step One - like all the steps are subject to personal interpretation. This is definitely the case for me. 4 months of sobriety has given me plenty of time to mull over Step One. But I can't seem to make it fit my mindset and circumstances completely. Am I "powerless" in my addiction - The answer is NO. If I were "powerless", I would not have found AA/NA and tried to make it work for me. Was my life "out of control" - NO, but the influences of alcohol & and drugs were keeping me from doing the things I truly loved and blinded me. I guess I was lucky to never have felt the pain of being fired, being homeless, being hospitalized, being kicked by the demons of addiction while I was down - but additction was keeping me out of enjoying life the way I wanted to.

To me, being powerless means not being able to act or have influence over a situation. In active addiction, you may not be able to infulence yourself to stop, but others can help you see the way - then you are NOT powerless, you needed the push from behind - so it's a matter of semantics as to when the "powerlessness" stops. At some point you have to become lord over your addiction instead of the other way round.

Being "out of control" also has to stop at some point. I don't see myself any different from anyone else who has to clean up the mess in the wake of active addiction. The "out of control" point for me was the little things - Pick up your house, do the laundry, pay the bills (on time :-), enjoy yourself and your friends, enjoy your hobbies.

Step One is an important step, It starts the process of change. Once the change begins, the pretences of Step One seem to be a heavy burden to carry every day in recovery. If I thought for one minute that I was powerless to change, I'd still be blasted!.

Thanks, Soapbox mode off!


Member: David B
Location: Idaho Falls
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 23:49:28

Comments

I'm David, a Recovered Alcoholic.

Step one was put at the front of the list for me. I came to AA after thirteen years of drinking. I was having siezures behind booze in 1980. I decided it was time for me to quit. I had siezures behind not drinking booze. I struggled for over a year to prove to the world (my exwife) that I could quit drinking and using all by myself. . At one time I made it thirty-five miserable days but I failed at every attempt.

I believe the failure I experienced is neccessary for an alcoholic to finally accept step one.

When I heard the first step for the first time in my first meeting I was utterly relieved. I had never understood that I was powerless over alcohol, never gave it a thought. During that meeting I was given snippets of recovery from 12 or 13 other members and in my heart I signed on. I knew either my ex had contacted each of them and told them what to say or I really belonged here.

I consider myself very fortunate in that I haven't had to drink or use since that first meeting. My sponsor who I met on my third day had me begin writing about how I was doing. Some days my writing consisted of OH SHIT I feel like crap but It's OK today. He had me call him every day, if I wanted to or not. He would not call me. He had me start praying to whatever God I felt comfortable with. I know I'm talking about multiple steps here but unless I had accepted the first step in its entirety I would never have surrendered my superior alcoholic intellect to anybody or anything.

When we accept step 1 we WANT to work the rest of the steps. If I am balking at the working of a step it is merely because I have rejected a portion of step 1.

Bitchin' topic. As to two topics that is a LOL. (laugh out loud) Both topics are the same. God at work again. Mary and Linda, you just translated the same message with different words.

Thanks, love ya ALL DB


Member: Sanders W.
Location: Graceville, Fl.
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 00:11:45

Comments

Hi All Y,all, I am very definately areal alcoholic and my name is Sanders.------- Mark L. from Seattle, keep it simple, keep it simple, keep it simple. Go over to the coffee pot and we can all talk back and forth.------- I have never seen anyone too dumb to get this program but I have seen people too smart to get it.


Member: JACK G.
Location: HTFD. CT.
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 01:07:17

Comments

HI Jack G. here,a greatful rscovering alcoholic.

It took Me a while to accept the part of this step that suggested that I was powerless over Alcohol AFTER ALL I COULD STOP DRINKING ANYTIME I WANTED TO.THE PROBLEM WAS THAT I COULD'NT STAY STOPPED.OH SURE I COULD STOP FOR A DAY OR TWO,OR EVEN A WEEK .THIS AFTERALL,PROVED I WASN'T POWERLESS OVER ALCOHOL "RIGHT" WRONG. MY SPONSOR POINTED OUT THAT THE REASON I FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO ACCEPT WAS PROBABLY DUE TO THE FACT I HADN'T ACCEPTED ALCOHOLISM AS MY DISEASE .HE GAVE ME A BIG BOOK AND THE TWELVE AND TWELVE.THESE TWO BOOKS MADE ME THINK HOW RIGHT MY MY SPONSOR WAS.I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL TO HAVE THIS DISEASE BUT IT IS A BIG DEAL IF YOU DON'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT .

MY LIFE WAS NOT UNMANAGEBLE ,AFTER ALL I HAD A GOOD JOB,PAID MY BILLS,ETC,THAT IS UNTIL IT CAME TO A POINT IN MY DRINKING ,THAT THE ONLY THING THAT WAS IMPORTANT TO ME, WAS THAT I HAD ENOUGH BOOZE.AT SOME POINT EVERYTHING ELSE TOOK A BACKSEAT,MY JOB ,WHICH I LOST,MY FAMILY,WHICH BY THE GRACE OF GOD I STILL HAVE.I GUESS I HAD TO REACH THAT BOTTOM BEFORE FINNALY ACCEPTED ALL,"ALCOHOL HAD MADE MY LIFE UNMANAGABLE AND I WAS REALLY POWERLASS OVER ALCOHOL. FOR ME THE ANSWER IS"ACCEPTANCE,ACCEPTANCE,ACCEPTANCE. THANKS FOR LETTING ME SHARE MY THOUGHTS WITH YOU.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL,SOBER MEMBERS OF AA AND THOSE THAT HAVE NOT YET FOUND THIS WONDERFULL WAY OF LIFE.

UNTIL NEXT TIME,BE GOOD TO YOURSELF,YOU COUND'T DO IT FOR A NICER PERSON.

JACK G.


Member: Martina G
Location: CT
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 07:17:48

Comments

Hello - I'm Martina G, an alcoholic. I am powerless over alcohol because I am now addicted to alcohol and no longer have any control over the addiction. Addiction is a physiological condition. However, when I left rehab over 12 years ago, I was given a keychain that says "I am responsible". Power and responsibility are different things. Ultimately, I believe God has all the power, but He does not excuse my responsibility to care for myself and others. If I continue to choose to follow the path of addiction rather than choose to follow the path of sobriety that has been laid out to me, then I have made a decision to not be resonsible. At that point, alcohol would surely have its way with me, as I would be giving myself over to its power.


Member: Joanie O
Location: Portland Pa. USA
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 07:38:23

Comments

Hi all, Joanie O alcoholic here, great things said here recovery is progressive like our izm. The first step is the one we must do 100% it preceeds all the others. When we do the first and accept it and work it and do it God takes over us and we remain sober. To all newcommers hang in and TAP into that higher power let Him take you away it works. Asfar as relapse prevention my first relapse lasted 10 years and only my higher power got me back. Ther are 37 signs of relapse it is when we say oh its ok that we let our guard down, then everything else starts to happen we dont make our beds we let go of important stuff and all goes to you know where. I have to work this program 24 hours every day and life is GREAT love to all missjoanieJoanie


Member: Rich R
Location: Detroit (USA)
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 09:49:49

Comments

It's a lot easier to STAY sober, than to GET sober.


Member: Tammy L
Location: Burbank, CA
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 14:33:49

Comments

Tammy alcoholic here. When I first got sober I was utterly hopeless. The first meetings I went to terrified me because I had never been able to stick to anything that I had tried before. I was scared to get my hopes up about staying sober only to end up in the same h--- hole I always did. Luckily my sponsor had me write out my first step thoroughly. It took me days of writing and going through all of the painful memories of my drinking. Like Jane sai before, I remember every detail of my first drink. I think God stepped in and helped me with my first step, because while I was writing it became clear to me how powerless I was and how unmanageable my life was. After completeing this step I was no longer afraid and the obsession left me. Thankfully, I haven't had a drink since August 2, 1984. I have come close once, but that's where my connection to my HP once again saved me. Thank you all for sharing your experience , strength & hope. To the newcomers Keep coming back. Mark L - Like Sanders said Keep it simple!


Member: Renee P.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 17:09:02

Comments

Hi, I'm Renee, an alcoholic and an addict. The first step - always a good topic, and I've heard A LOT of good things here. There is a lot of sobriety in this "room". I'm relatively new to the program, just over 13 months. I agree with everyone else here that the first step is the only step that we must work perfectly in order to remain sober. I am truly greatful to be able to read the words of experience and hope from those of you with many years of sobriety, as well as the words of experience and pain from those of you who have relasped. Your words of honesty are so important because they terrify me, as to what will happen if I stop going to meetings, following suggestions, and communicating with people in the program on a regular basis. I also haven't taken a drink since my first meeting, and I hope I never find the need to. Jodene, I really appreciated your sharing. When I read it, I thought "Wow" that is a sobering experience. And I had to stop, and ponder the words sober and sobriety for a few minutes. (The intellectual in me loves to ponder the meaning of words.) But it is good to be sober today, after years of seeking unrealistic, everlasting happiness. Because through sobriety, while not always happy, has allowed me to experience true joy. I didn't know what joy meant, until came to believe and communicate with a higher power -- well that's second step stuff. And I'll end with this, I think that, as I read earlier, the best relapse prevention is prayer. IT IS TRUE, that there will many times that the only thing between you and a drink or drug is your higher power, and he/she/it will every time if you only ask, and trust that it will be done!


Member: Scott J
Location: New Hampshire
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 17:33:55

Comments

Hi, I'm Scott, an alcoholic. I'm relatively new to the program at 15 months and I too am grateful that I've haven't had a drink since my first meeting. Looking back, it seems I've been getting exactly what I need, when I need it, by going to meetings and carefully listening to everyone who shares.

It seems that the first few weeks I was coming to meetings, I heard about "surrender" at every meeting (strange, I rarely hear it now.) It baffled me. I had been fighting to control my drinking, and when that didn't work to quit drinking, and I couldn't do it. So I come to AA and hear that I should just give up?!? Surrender? I thought the speaker must be somewhat confused. But then I heard the same message again and again, meeting after meeting.

So I listened more carefully. What I learned was that I could not control or stop my drinking by myself because the disease of alcoholism is much more powerful than I. My one chance at overcoming my obsession with alcohol would be to enlist the aid of a power greater than myself. My concept of that power does not matter, as long as it is outside myself and greater than myself.

Hoping that this power could relieve me of my compulsion to drink, I admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that my life was unmanagable, and I surrendered my fight against the disease. It works. The last time I drank was back when I was still fighting it.

To simplify AA concepts, I like to be able to visualize them. I imagine that before I came to AA, I was standing between my Higher Power and my disease, with the disease reaching out to strangle the life out of me and my Higher Power holding out His hands to embrace and protect me. Seeing the danger on one side, I turned to face and fight the disease with my back towards God. I fought and I lost, again and again. When I came to AA, I was given the direction and faith to surrender the fight, turn my back on the disease, and walk into the embrace of my Higher Power. I believe that as long as I continue to refuse to fight the disease, and instead ask the help of God, AA and my sober friends, it cannot reach me.


Member: Pete F
Location: Ohio
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 20:59:46

Comments

Step one...took me many years to arrive at the first step. i wish i would have come to terms with my problems long before, but I was afraid that it would be too hard to stop drinking. What I eventually found was that it was too hard (after much misery)not to stop. I knew I had a problem long before I admitted that I was powerless. I am happy to be here tonight, grateful that I took that first step on June 3, 1997. Today I mark one year since my last derink and one year since I seriously admitted to myself that I needed to change everything. Hasn't been a perfect year, and I haven't been as ambitious about really working the rest of the steps as I should have been these last 52 weeks, but I have avoided picking up. One year ago, if someone would have told me that i would go without a drink for a year I would have been very skeptical. The fact of the matter is that I didn't do it alone, thats the part I didn't get last year. All those folks in all those meetings were a big part of my success thus far, and let me not forget my higher power who has rewarded me in counless ways through the last year. My big anniversary present from the higher power was the news that my wife and I are expecting our first child! Life isn't perfect sometimes, but there are moments that are pretty close. Thanks to all who have helped me feel my way through this first phase of my development, and for the newcomers: the first step is a big one, but you should think of it as an investment not a gamble. Peace, out. frankspg@email.uc.edu


Member: Pat
Location: CT
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 21:57:28

Comments

Hi, I'm Pat, an alchoholic.

Thanks to all who wrote in to this forum on the topic(s). I need your input into "how you did it"; with the help of the steps, sponsors, other AA's, and most of all, for me, anyway, a real working relationship with a Higher Power. This last tool is what brings the joy that I thought I was looking for when I was "out there". But instead, I was drowning or snorting or smoking my way to self-destruction. The oblivion did not mean my problems were gone! (What a revelation that was!) :-) I guess some need it simpler than others.

I just know that today, keeping my serenity, staying sober, involves remembering that "I am (we are)powerless over alchohol, and my life (our lives)has become unmanageable."

With renewed hope, Pat


Member: Jane
Location: Ma.
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 22:53:09

Comments

Best wishes, Pete F. on you 1st AA Anniversary. We share this special date. Gratefully, Jane 6/3/80


Member: nicole m
Location: sydney australia
Date: 04 Jun 1998
Time: 09:55:21

Comments

Hello to all out there. My name is nicole and I am the daughter of an alcoholic.My mother has been sober for four years now and had a re-lapse for one day, was sober for five years before that. I would just like to say how fantastic it is to see there are so many people realising that alcoholism is a disease, and it can be controled I know for a fact that my mother is a new person by going to AA and that I love her so much for actualy helping herself. I have a two year old son who love's his grandmother very much, but who probably wouldn't know his grandmother if she were still sick.I am forever gratefull to AA and hope my mother will stay sober, for herself for myself and for her grandchildren. keep up the good work nicole


Member: Charlotte B
Location: Mississippi
Date: 04 Jun 1998
Time: 11:45:00

Comments

I'm Charlotte and I'm an alcoholic. I'm grateful to be in recovery, a gift received through the grace of my higher power. I have not found it necessary to pick up a drink or drug since June 14, 1996. My first reading of Chapter 3 in the Big Book, the night after my first AA meeting, and those last few dayrs before, drove Step 1 deep into my heart. Today, I can go back to those pages for a refresher course...a much simpler way of doing research than going back out. Reminds me that I did an awful lot of "relapsing" before I ever set foot in AA, admitted I had a problem, or realized my life was in chaos. Thanks to my higher power, aa and the people in it, and practicing the HOW (honesty, openmindedness, and willingness) of this program, to the best of my ability, one day at a time, that pitiful, incomprehensible demoralization has been replaced by hope. Today I have a choice and I choose to be sober. First things first.


Member: bill b.
Location: Tacoma WA
Date: 04 Jun 1998
Time: 17:46:31

Comments

I do not believe in the term "Relapse", that is a treatment center word. Whenever i have left the program, it was by choice! i have yet to see someone walk down the street and suddenly end up drunk!


Member: Mark A.
Location: CA
Date: 04 Jun 1998
Time: 19:04:12

Comments

The first step is a good topic, I have been sober only 14 months and had to go over the possibillities of drinking again many times with thoughts in my head. The first thing I like to do is consider the allergy that I have that makes me a bottomless pit for alcohol. then I consider the outcome of this cycle for 19 years, its results, I what I have to protect now.The thing that works best for me is a faith that this thing works and has worked for many years, for many people. Since my life is umanageable I depend on a sponsor with no reservation on his direction. I have seen a lot of relapse in the past year living in a recovery program,my experiance is faith without work is dead. Thanks for a life. Mark


Member: kiml
Location:
Date: 04 Jun 1998
Time: 23:30:21

Comments

hi, i dont know if i'm an alcoholic yet. i like to think i have control over my life, but i continuasly find myself searching for ways to numb out, one of them being a few drinks. it has taken me frm my family time, and my marraige is a wreck. any suggestions?


Member: mike warner
Location: saudi arabia
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 05:16:03

Comments

mike w, grateful recovering alcoholic. ..WAY TO GO PETE, congrats on the 1 year; your a miracle and proof that the program works. I like your god analogy scott, it's cool to see how others describe their HP's. When I came in the program in 92, I just wanted to get out of trouble, and maybe learn how to drink.. but i knew in my heart that drinking was gonna kill me. it was a blessing when an older lady told me i didn't have to drink anymore if i didn't want too. I'm an alcoholic, that is a fact, i today have the fellowship of AA to help guide me through life, and learn to deal with both others and myself. this program is a gift, i don't deserve it, but you all and my HP have given me a new life, ........thank you, love you all. my prayers are for all the newcomers, hope that you all stay sober today, cause this is all we have...now. ODAAT mike w


Member: Cherise D.
Location: Pennsylvania
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 07:18:42

Comments

Hi Im Cherise and I'm a Grateful Alcoholic!

When I came in, it was after my Dad fired me from the company I was once to own, my husband was in jail for drugs, I had no friends or family left, I had a 1yr.old daughter and was in a shelter in Paterson NJ.I finally went to Detox in Paterson and moved to PA. Shortly after I arrived Children and Youth saw it fit to remove my baby from me Boy was I angry!!I get sober and they take my child. She was the only thing I had left to love.(I thought). Yea I'd say my life was unmanageable.

But I guess it took a little time to admit it was due to alcohol and drugs. I fought the courts, God, and everyone around me!"How dare them do this to ME!!!! Until I surrendered and really believed I was powerless, I was able to believe it was God's will for me and my little girl.

I started to have hope that if I keep doing what you people tell me to do God's miracles will start to happen. I started accepting, instead of fighting, and went from homeless, to having a job and an apartment. 4 months later my child was returned to me. If she was never taken away, I probably would have never had the chance to look at ME, and to have stopped blaming the world for where I ended up with my addiction. I thank God, this program and all of you for helping me see the powerlessness of this disease.

Angela you and yours are in my prayers, I've been there and hope you find what I have in God and in this program!!!!

Thanks for listening and have a great day!


Member: Jeff B.
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 08:05:52

Comments

Hi, I'm Jeff, and I'm an alcoholic. To kiml- look in the white pages of your local phone book under Alcoholics Anonymous, and ask them where a local meeting is. AA does not demand that you do anything, and will not pressure you into any kind of decisions whatever. I would urge you to go and listen to people sharing their experience, strength, and hope, then decide for yourself what you need to do. There are millions of us out here who have felt exactly the way you are feeling now. The people in AA will help you recover, if that is what you decide you need. Best of luck- there really is a solution in AA.


Member: THERESA
Location:
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 08:29:18

Comments

HI I AM THERESA AND I AM AN ALCOHOLIC ALL YOUR COMMENTS HAVE FILLED ME WITH SUCH LOVE. IT WONDERFULL TO HEAR HOW THE FIRST STEP HAS HELPED YOU ALL.THE FIRST STEP OFTEN REMINDS ME OF THE PROVERB "THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH ONE SINGLE STEP" THIS IS THE EASIEST JOURNEY FOR ME BECAUSE I AM ALWAYS ACCOMPANIED WITH MY HP. ON EVERY UNSUCCESFUL JOURNEY I TOOK I THOUGHT I COULD DO IT ALONE. EVENTUALLY I HAD TO SAY MY LIFE IS UNMANAGABLE I CANNOT CONTINUE ON THE WRONG PATH, I SURRENDER!! PLEASE HELP !! THAT IS THE BEST STEP I EVER TOOK. I AM SO GRATEFULL TO MY HP. FOR INTRODUCING ME TO AA & STAYING CYBER. ASK AND THOU SHALT RECEIVE. I LOVE YOU ALL THERESA.


Member: Kathryn H.
Location:
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 12:18:31

Comments

Hi! My name is Kathryn and Iīm an alcoholic. Step One in combination with relapse seems to be a reality - certainly with me. The obsession of alcohol (and marihuana) has always had control over me. I started when I was about 13, it was all to cool to get high, and that I did. I remember the first time I got high (in the bathroom at school) I had swiped a bottle from home and showed off. Since day one it was alcohol who was showing off, showing me how it was boss. It took me so many years to try out just about every combination of excuses I could come up with to prove to alcohol that I was boss. I continued to get loaded in high school parties thinking that I was the so "cool" ending up in my own vomit, then in college it was "artsy and intellectual" to be a bohemian and drink alone and fester in negativity and questioning my existence and ending up all too many times locked up in my own studio drinking myself unconciuous for days on end. Then after college in post graduate travels through Europe it was the "sophistication" of being a world travelled social drunk, ending up in strangers beds in stranger places. Then when I should have learned my lesson for the nth time, I tried abstencia for months at a time searching for a "healthier lifestlyle", here again I tried to redefine drinking - the dynamic at the core of my denial. I finally ended up at few months of AA meetings because of the ultimate embarassement: I got drunk (again) and this time fu... by best friendīs husband. I thought that this was the bottom that I had finally needed to accept the fact that I was an alcoholic, but I never accepted the fact that I was not the boss. I stopped going to the meetings, married an alcoholic, stayed sober on alcohol for about five years, had two kids, started smoking pot after year two, stayed married for about four years of verbal and physical abuse, and then finally slowly eased myself into another phase of controlled drinking. First the social drinker - a drink every month or so, within two years I had built up to a "hypocritcal drunk". Every 4 days or so I would shop for a bottle of booze - every time at a different supermarket and each time with a few other items in order not to by just the booze, then I would wait until it was dark - the kids off to bed or "taken care of", and no one else around and then just drink and drink, just enough to feel anesthized but not enough to have an ugly hangover the next day. This formula never really quite worked either, a particular highlight was when the kids came back with the sitter and couldnīt get in (I had accidently left the lock on from the inside), what awakened me from a drunken stupor was a the light of a flashlight in my eyes (after trying several times on the door, on the phone, the sitter and builing manager had called the fire department) a fireman was peering into my window to see if I was alive. Another fine moment provided by my master. There were so many bottoms, so many ways a tried to reinvent my drinking in order to keep my master. I am now back in AA, going on 3 months, I,m here only thanks to my higher power, I can definitely not stay sober alone. I have basically dedicated my life to proving so. Alcohol had become more important than anything, not only my "self", but of my children. Sobriety (not abstencia) has to become my master if I am to have even the smallest opportunity of recovery. Thank you all for this wonderful program, it is the only way that I might have a chane at saving my life. Yours in recovery, K


Member: Steve D
Location: NJ
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 15:36:02

Comments

Steve, alcoholic.

Bill B from Tacoma, you are 100% right. Any relapse (call it whatever you want) is not accidental. No one forces alcohol onto (or into) you.

I knew that I was going to drink, after being sober in the program 6 years. I had reduced the number of meetings I was attending and felt better about myself emerging from a depresiion I had gone through. It was just a matter of when and where, not "if". I did not have that resolve that I would do anything (anything) not to drink. I felt I would hold out as long as possible and if that didn't work, well then I would drink.

To stay sober, I have to want to work the program.

Thanks for letting me share.

Steve D


Member: Mary M.
Location: North Carolina
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 18:20:16

Comments

To Kiml- I'm with Jeff...go to a f2f meeting. Don't stop at one, there are different types and no two are the exactly the same. For a newcomer, I think it is not unreasonalble to ask you to promise yourself that you will go to three meetings before you judge the program. three of your choice. What have you got to loose but the insanity of using?

E-mail me if you would like someone to listen.. serenity1st@msn.com


Member: Karen M.
Location: NJ
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 23:02:00

Comments

My name is Karen and I am an alcoholic. To Kim L.: Early on someone in a meeting told me "If the cure fits, you may well have the disease." I wasn't sure if I was an alcoholic and couldn't even say it outloud, but I knew that it says in the first step, "I was powerless over alcohol and my life was unmanageable." I have also heard alcoholism likened to riding an elevator that only goes down. You can get off at any floor. But it is a progressive disease and it will only get worse without help. Recovery in AA is the elevator that goes up. I hope you'll give yourself and your family a chance by really checking AA out. It's recommended that you don't drink for 90 days and make 90 meetings during that time, and if you don't think you're an alcoholic at that point, you can certainly go back to life as you know it. I don't know where you're from but AA is virtually everywhere. Talk with the women. They'll help you figure it out. God Bless. Karen


Member: Member#*
Location: California
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 23:55:45

Comments

Member#* I have a friend---->my brother's friend, anyway he's been talkin to my bro about how he wants to quit. I think girlfriend quits ?????when he's a drunkin jerk. He know it. But, I check in on him, and last time he tells me he's willing to do anything, and he's doing good has 11 days. Well, we talk and he tells me how good things are: no fights with girlfriend or anyone else, has a job now. I tell him he's doin great ask if he wants to go to meeting. He said not ready for that. I ask are you reading B.B. and he said he up to about page 60. He stars askin me all kind of questions and I feilded them as best as I could. He asked if he had to say sorry to all past wrongs. All I felt I cpold say was, you just must be willing to. Maybe you will not have to do that.

I felt scared. I do not have answerts. I'm not teacher&& I do not want to be....... I tried to be honest about the steps and the B.B. and even co-sighned his problem with the group.

I told him that he didn't HAVE to go to meetings if he worked the book to the best of his abilities. But, that if he wanted to it was always there.

I left fealing like I should call and fill in all the gaps and apologize.......or something I do not know.

What ever......I think I know Yea,yea My higher powers in charge of everything. But I just feel wrong. At the time I tried to control myself. I DID NOT WANT TO BE PUSHY OR GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO SAYWE ARE A CULT.

aNYWAY, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME i'VE HAD TO DEAL WITH THIS(SORRY) I was reading and thinking about the into service portion of the Book with my Spon. And BOOM this guy wants to stop drinking.....I think. Any way I do not want to screw this up if it's gods work.

What ever. I just wake up.


Member: Sanders W.
Location: Graceville, Fl.
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 00:51:57

Comments

I am very definatelly a real alcoholic and my name is Sanders. Member #* I was reading your post and wanted to share one thing with you. You can tell your friend that he MAY be able to get and stay sober with the book only and no meetings but if he does, he will be one of very few who have been able to do so. I have been sober for nearly 23 years and I have never seen anyone who could get and stay sober without meetings. Tell him if he is serious about getting sober and wants answers to his questions, they are to be found at the meetings.---- I am not coming down on you, I just want you to understand how important meetings are and then you may be able to convince your friend.-- I hope he comes around but either way remember one very hard learned lesson for me and that is that AA is for people who WANT it and not for people who need it.

Love you, Sanders


Member: Dominic
Location: Hawaii
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 03:36:23

Comments

Hi I'am Dominic and I am an Alcoholic. Does anybody know where there is a AA Chat Room? mtnlion@pixi.com

Dominic


Member: Dominic
Location: Hawaii
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 03:37:14

Comments

Hi I'am Dominic and I am an Alcoholic. Does anybody know where there is a AA Chat Room? mtnlion@pixi.com

Dominic


Member: Jigger J.
Location: USA
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 09:26:53

Comments

Dom:

Hang in there kid! Check out this site: http://www.sonic.net/robd/echat/main/

An Anonymous Friend


Member: Member#*
Location:
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 12:59:11

Comments

Member#*, Sanders I am trying to tell this guy about coming to meetings but he is resisting it. He is in control of his own destiny.He,he,he,he,he,he,he,he,he. I am afraid that if I'm too pushy he'll never5 want to try at this thing (maybe I'm not expressing myself right). I hear people talkin about the program like it's a cult, and I do not want to be the guy who gives "my man" trhat idea. Is it better to introduce him to the program through the book and hope that evintually he wants/needs F2F metting contact??? Or, is'nt it better to have the book to work with than nothing. I go to meetings, but I read a book share of people who couldn't go to meetings, but stay sober with the principals in the book.

And another thing on my mine, I'm nnoo teacher or recruiter. I do not want to teach. It's too much responsability and I have my own views on AA issues and do not think it's fair for me to impose them on him. I ddooo nnoott feel that I'm teacher matterial. And, I hate recruiters. I always think of them as brainwashed drones.

Anyway, I've told him about the meetings and can't think of anyway to covince him. Do we have to go to meeting in order to truely want to stay sober I do not know. But, I don't wnt to waist my time on an unwillinmg drunk either. He has showed his willingness, I think, by white nuckleing it for 12 or 13 days now.....if he's still hainging in there. I'll be going over there today. It tells me to work with others when all else fails, and lately I've been in a spiritual disconnection mode. How can I show this guy how to live when I'm not sure how to myself. I've just got use to being sober: going on 2 years. I am not only not perfect I've got to struggle just to make progress....in my mined. I mean others say I've changed, but I sometimes still feel live a doomed sinner....I'm good at sinning, and that pisses me off. I want to be a good person, but I've got little control over controling my pleasure center.

Anyway, I do not want to be pusshy or seem like a mormon to this guy.....I',m not downing mormons. But, heck I'm going crazy.

Sometimes I wish my H.P. would just hury up and get here and save all of us. I mean we are all sickoos even the normes are. Because if we aren't all saved then I know that I do not deserve to be.

One confused alckie.


Member: Sanders W.
Location: Graceville, Fl.
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 13:33:48

Comments

I am still very definately areal alcoholic and my name is still Sanders. Member #* I know sort of how you feel as when I first came in to AA, I was assigned a guy who had no drivers permit so I "HAD " to take him to meetings so HE would not get drunk. I realized later it was my sponsor's way of helping to keep me sober. Anyway, Jim was forever asking me questions about the program and I was scarred to death to answer him because I didn't want to give him the wrong answer, so my standard answer to him was for him to just hang on and when we get to the meeting, there will be someone there thatr can answer your questions for you. This must have worked because I didn't get drunk and Jim died 10 years later with a heart attact but he died sober.-------I'll say it again AA is for people who WANT it and not for people who NEED it. You canm also carry the message and not the alcoholic.------ All this crap about AA being a cult does not even deserve a comment. I noticed last week when the person put it on the screen, no one responded to it and I think that is just great. I will not respond to it either and I suggest you put it out of your mind and take care of yourself. I love all of you in this program and fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Sanders


Member: Member#*
Location:
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 14:12:58

Comments

Member#*, Hey Sanders thanks for some feedback. I've heard many people discuss how AA IS a cult though. I was not saying that I think we are. I was saying that I do not want to be the person who was pushy, or give "my man" the excuse in the future if he drinks again that AA isn't for him because he does not want to be a part of "that AA cult". I just do not want to be that guy, and would rather he goes elswhere for advice. But, I know him for many years, and he use to tag along with my bro when my bro was taggin around with me. So, he's seen me drunk, and pretty ugly. But, a few months ago he seen me sober. Asked me how long I told him and he didn't believe me, for a while. He use to look up to me as a tough guy. Now, everytime I talk with him he wants answers about what he's read. [I know what it says but I'm not sure the messege I got is the messege my H.P. want for him] so I try and be vague saying what does it do for you, and well, maybe you don't have to right every wrong:just be willing. He just got sober and I do not think its my right to influence his perseption of a higher power, or hit him so hard with all the aspects of recovery that he goes running off scared of recovery even to the point of death.

What ever I'll pray about it, and I'll just keep dropping in on him. Maybe that is all my H.P. wants me to do. SEE, that's just it I do not know.


Member: todd b
Location:
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 19:23:52

Comments

hi im todd alcholic and im looking for a meeting online im new at this any one out there that can help i would be very grateful


Member: MIKE L.
Location: MUSKEGON, MI
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 20:49:21

Comments

HI I'M MIKE, AN ALCOHOLIC, SOBER NOW FOR 18 MONTHS. NEVER ATTENDED AN ONLINE MEETING BEFORE. REALLY APPRECIATE EVERYONE SHARING. 1st STEP IS AN EXCELLENT TOPIC. HAD I NOT GOTTEN THE 1st STEP RIGHT I DOUBT I WOULD HAVE MADE IT AS LONG AS I HAVE. FOR SO LONG I THOUGHT I COULD MANAGE ON MY OWN, IF EVERYONE WOULD JUST LAY-OFF ABOUT MY DRINKING IT WOULDN'T BE A PROBLEM. I'M GRATEFULL TODAY I DONT HAVE THE TROUBLES I USED TO. WHAT A RELIEF TO ADMIT POWERLESSNESS AND UNMANAGEABILITY. I APPLY THE FIRST STEP DAILY IN MY LIFE AND IT IS AMAZING HOW MUCH LESS WORRYING AND STRESS I HAVE. I LOVE MY LIFE TODAY. I HAVE A BIG FAMILY WITH A FEW POTENTIAL ALCOHOLICS THAT I'M VERY GRATEFULL FOR. THAT MIGHT SOUND WEIRD BUT THEY ARE PRETTY GOOD REMINDERS OF WHERE I CAME FROM. THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO SHARE


Member: Dawn D.
Location: Upper Penisula, MI
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 22:00:48

Comments

Hi I'm Dawn, I'm an alcoholic. Gosh, I haven't said that in a while. Any way, the first step for me , even with a few 24's under my belt, is the most important step. I have to remind myself on a daily basis that I am POWERLESSNESS. I don't like it, it is just a fact that, for most days, I have learned to live with. I'm new to this "on-line" meeting thing, so far I think it's great... we'll see. Thanks


Member: jerry h
Location: vancouver bc. can/
Date: 07 Jun 1998
Time: 02:26:48

Comments


Member: Barry L
Location: poconos pa
Date: 07 Jun 1998
Time: 07:44:41

Comments

I'm Barry and I'm an Alcoholic

To Bill B. I used to say the same thing about relapse being a re-hab word, until a few weeks ago studying the Big Book

Page 35, "So we shall describe some of the mental states that precede a relapse into drinking, for obviously this is the crux of the problem"

Relapse does'nt just happen, when I let my mental/spirtitual state deteriorate, I am heading towards a drink.

Old timers have told me these steps are a suggested Program of recovery, there is only one step that you have to do 100%, and that is the FIRST STEP, and I have to take that Step 100 everyday if I want to remain Sober.

Thanks


Member: Randy S.
Location: Baton Rouge,La.
Date: 07 Jun 1998
Time: 08:54:21

Comments

Hi I'am Randy and I am an alcohlic!! The first step for me was the start of a "TRIP" that took me to places "I" would have never gone! It made me look at someone who did not interest me, who was boring,who was all ways in trouble with law,with family, with the boss,ect. That,as you all know, was me for the first 18 months on this "TRIP"!! Today,8 yrs.,7 months and 29 days later, the "TRIP", is better than anything "I" could have planned in 10 lifetimes To all New People who just started the "TRIP", hang in there, it will "amaze you before you are half way through" Soberity and Peace always! Randy S.