Friday, June 25, 2010


Good morning everyone! I brainstormed a little too much last nite about what I would write about today, since it's my 1st time stepping in for Em while she's on vacation. I thinkt the reason I couldn't come up with anything LAST nite was because I was getting all worked up about TODAY. In my Recovery, I've found that my alcoholic brain really starts messing with me when I don't live in the moment, one day at a time. When I start worrying about the tomorrows, I find myself falling back into bad behaviors. So I was so happy to wake up this morning, go for my walk and come back refreshed & ready to write.

I did a bit of reading in some of my self-help stash and this is what jumped out at me for today. Unmanageability - "What????.... my life was never unmanageable! Yes, I drank A LOT, but the house was always clean, the laundry always done, the boys were on-time to school, practices, etc., dinner was always on the table - my life was not unmanageable!" Before even choosing a program of Recovery, I knew a bit about the Program I eventually chose to become a member of and started "pre-reading" a bit in their literature. I completely admitted to myself that I was powerless over alcohol......I just had a really hard time with the "unmanageable" part...actually took me 3 yrs to admit that my life was unmanageable. What finally forced me to come to this realization was the fact that as time went on, all the day to day things, chores, etc. were still getting done, but my "alcohol obsessed mind" was getting stronger & gaining more & more control of my life. The last 6 months of my "drinking career" was pretty much consumed with "how, when & where" I would get my next drink. I began to "sluff off" on all that everyday stuff, I would lay around in my jams all day, in & out of sleep, watching TV all day long, getting NOTHING accomplished. I took a good look and by the Grace of God saw what he was trying to show me.....alcohol was beginning to turn the last corner in the race of my life and it was about ready to overtake me and win. I was not about to let this happen. When I realized this & started REALLY taking a good-hard look at how my husband and boys were acting/reacting around me & my drinking, how I was acting/reacting to life when I was drinking, I found that my life was DEFINITELY unmanageable - yes, all the "things/chores/etc." were getting done, but my emotional & spiritual life was bankrupt. I based manageability on "getting things done - tasks". That's not what I wanted my life to be about or defined by. So I did something about it and walked thru the doors to a Program of Recovery on 12/18/09 and it has been the best decision I've ever made in my life.

My hope for everyone out there still struggling today.....take a really good-hard look at your life in it's current condition - are you happy, can you look at yourself in the mirror every morning, do you feel spiritually fit, emotionally fit, are you grappling with fits of guilt every morning after drinking?....the list goes on & on. Take a deep look at every aspect of your life and make your own personal decision as to whether or not you consider yourself alcoholic.......if your answer is yes, do some independent research into some different avenues of recovery.....I personally believe that taking personal action is THE first step on your journey to Recovery. I wish for all of you peace & serenity, as well as the willingness to get help. Hugs to all & have a Fabulous Sober Friday! We don't have to do this alone!


  1. This is a great post Annette!! It is amazing how quickly things can go from bad, to worse, to OMG what have I done this time!!! I'm sure most of us feeel or have felt that way. We are all in it together. I know when I first started coming around this blog I felt I was the only person who felt they were out of control, unable to manage my life and desperate to get better!! I found out quickly that there were a lit of women like me out there!!! I found a safe place to visit and discuss and learn from others. Everyone is loving and supportive and honest with each other in a kind, gentle way. Some of you out there may feel like You can't do it, don't rush yourself, you'll know when enough is ENOUGH!! It took me a few months, almost losing my husband and myself to make an effort to follow through with a program. The best part was everyone on the site supported me and encouraged me to do it for myself!!! You can only start being sober for you!!! Your family is very important, but when I finally came to terms with myself first it helped me to then get better for others!! I am so thankful to be sober, to share and to give you hope!! Please post, please read and please hang around!! This is the best " click" in town!! Lots of love and positve thoughts!!!

    Thanks again Annette!! I'm at the hospital with my family, my aunt is having bi pass today, but I'll try to keep connected on my phone!!

  2. Thanks doggielover for your words of hope & a great follow-up comment to my very 1st Post - man, I was kinda nervous - hope Em likes it, even tho she won't be able to read it until tomorrow when she's on "top of the mountain" - haha!

    I'll be around all day till about 2:45 - then it's off to the ballpark for the weekend - woohoo!

  3. I, too, thought you did a great job, Annette. Unmanageability is a great topic. I also struggled with that, because up until the end, I was able to make it to work and get things done. I was a functioning alcoholic. As it progressed, I started to miss work, started isolating, was spending my entire paycheck and bills weren't getting paid, I was taking out "emergency funds" from my credit card to get my next drink and my next fix. Life was completely unmanageable. The alcohol/drugs were managing me. I really think that's when I knew this needed to stop. I was absolutely powerless. I was consumed. Because of the poor choices I made re: my finances, I had quite a bit of debt from my substance abuse and I just made my last payment in April. It took me 9 years to take care of that debt I created.
    And great point doggielover about getting sober for you and that you HAVE to do it for YOU, not for anyone else. I, too, learned that. If we get sober for someone other than ourselves, what happens when that person is no longer around? If we got sober for them and they're no longer here, we just may go back to drinking. We have to do this for ourselves first and foremost and the ones closest to us will benefit.
    I just came to this web site yesterday after seeing the Dr. Phil show and I can't wait to read more of the blogs. What a great web site! This journey to sobriety isn't meant to be done alone. Thanks again! Have a great weekend.

  4. I'm also from South Africa and just want to thank you for all the encouraging words we can read here on this blog. I have been sober now for 2years and 25days!!
    Thanks so much.

  5. Hi, Annette --

    I appreciate your filling in for Emily. Would you consider posting about the point Amanda makes above? Specifically, getting sober for oneself, no one else? What about all the moms on this site who are thinking it's important to get sober for their kids and that is the motivation? Is that not a good approach? Once the kids are grown and in college, is there a problem on the horizon?

    Emily, I hope you're having a great weekend!

    Still missing you, Randy, but take your time and post when you and your computer are ready. :)

    Doggie lover, how are you doing? My heart still aches for your loss.

    Cali, are you still there?

    I miss Louise and Lil' Peanut if you're both still out there, too! :)

    Thanks --


  6. I need help. My drinking has rapidly progressed since encountering ongoing medical problems.
    I live in a small town and alot of people know me because of my job. Where can I get anonymous help? I keep looking online, but found nothing. I asked my Mom to put me in rehad, She thinks I am being ridiculous. My husband has expressed concerns. He, too, is an alcoholic, but he controls his behavior. What should I do? I keep saying I am going to stop, but I get the drink on all over again. I am functioning, but my life is out of control.

  7. Montana & everyone - Yes, Amanda & doggielover made a great point - YOU HAVE TO GET SOBER FOR YOU...not your hubby, your kids or you dogs - FOR YOU! I had several different periods of sobriety over the past 4-5 years that lasted anywhere from a month to 3-4 months. They were all due to my husband getting pissed about my drinking and pretty much so "telling me" to quit or there would be major consequences. During those times, I kept playing the game, biding my time. I would "heal like a dog" and do as I was told and not drink. However, and this is the KEY as far as I'm concerned. I did it for him, yet I wasn't happy, content, at peace.....I felt more like a prisoner during those times. A kid that was being told what to do. And sure enough, I'd be a good girl for 3-4 months and then it would be "okay" for me to drink again.....until the next time I got drunk & made an ass out of myself. What helped me to get sober for me was that my husband got to a point where he quit acknowledging me, my drinking, my dumbass behaviors and my blackouts....he simply existed in the same house with me & the boys, didn't nag me, didn't try to punish me, had quit giving me ultimatums - he was just silently "here". This gave me a lot of time to sit down & really take a look at myself - inside & out. I would think, "Am I too the point that no one even cares about me anymore?" and that's when I found one morning in December that I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror - I hated what I had become, I hated what I looked like - "I" wanted something more....better for "ME".

    I also look at it this way...I can't be anything to anyone if I don't care about and/or love myself. If I am not doing what is best for me & my body & my health & my mental, emotional & spiritual well-being - I CAN'T BE OF ANY GOOD TO ANYONE ELSE.

    Another thing to add is that what Amanda said is very true. By becoming somewhat "selfish" (if you will) back in December, and deciding to seek out help, spend hours of my weeks at meetings, spend hours of my time outside the home with my sponsor, spend hours of my time on the phone with my sponsor & others in the program - I made not only myself better, but my family seemed to get better too - they weren't on edge about what to expect from me. They saw me being willing to and actually taking action to better myself. My hubby & boys have been incredibly supportive & proud of me this past 6 months and I see an incredible improvement in our family life ever since. No more yelling, insanity - now more peace & serenity. Everyone wins when you get sober.....and especially when you do it for YOURSELF!! Hope this helps!

  8. Anon- 11:01

    I see you have written that your life is out of control.....that is a start! How close are you to a larger town? I completely understand not wanting others around to know of your struggle. I work at my church and it broke my contract to even drink, let alone be an alcoholic. Finally the double life was making me crazy, I really think I was days away from having a mental breakdown. Some how I had heard of a woman who dealt with recovery and I emailed to get her number.

    It is going to have to be you who makes that step of action. There will be people ready to help you, but you have to walk thru the door.

    Hang in there! And not a SINGLE person, my pastor and boss included, who has found out about my struggle and recovery has been anything but supportive. Well my parents haven't exactly been supportive, but they haven't ragged on me....

    I think that ultimately one has to get sober for oneself, but my children are a huge motivator. I want things to be different for them. I want them to see me as different and in turn live differently.

    I want to break the cycle.

    All we can do is live one day at a time and I pray that when my children are grown I will be so far away from drinking, that my drunk days will be a hazy memory. When my youngest graduates high school I will have 17 years of sobriety, God willing. And there IS a woman in my group that has 18 yrs and still sometimes desires a drink. So I don't want to kid myself, but I also have to believe that I will never drink again.

    Above all - there IS hope-

  9. I just read that someone is worried about their drinking, wants to go to rehab and has a husband that is supportive, Your on your way!!! I think you should sit down and look at your options. If your parents don't want to believe that you are an alcoholic, so what, you think you are! You are the only one who knows how much you drink, how much you hide your drinking and how much drinking is consuming your mind. I would wake up and already have a plan to get my vodka and how to hide it and where to put the empties!!!!

    If you are looking for on line help, here is great, I know AA has on line sites, and you can find meeting if you want to go the AA way on line for your area. I have never done rehab, so I don't know anything about it, but I did call my health insurance company and they gave me some resources to call. Out patient programs and also the rehab you normally think of, when your gone for sometime. Remember everything you tell your Dr. or your insurance company is just between you and them, nobody has to know!!

    You have to do what is best for you and if your husband is supportive, maybe sit with him after you have all your options and go over it together.

    Still wishing everyone all the best luck!!

    Hey Montana, great to see you on here!!
    Mommaof3, my sponsor has 22 years and she says her mind lets her think of a drink now and then. That's why we are alcoholics, on a road to recovery. The 1st thought we need to forget, the 2nd thought better have more sense to it, LOL!!! I still find myself thinking of drinking situations, I have to remember I don't drink anymore!!!

  10. To the anonymous poster with the uncontrolled drinking. You can't get sober on line. It doesn't work that way. If you live in a city, odds are good that there is an AA meeting in your town. You can go on line and google AA meetings in your town. If you drank like me, however, you're going to need to go to rehab to get sober.

  11. Recovery is a journey, not a destination. As doggielover shared about her sponsor having 22 years and "her mind lets her think of a drink now and then." And as she said, that is because we are alcoholics, and we are on a road to recovery. Some days it's a long road with many hills and valleys, but it's an on-going journey. I don't think we will ever be done with the recovery process. It's a life-long committment. Sobriety is a choice. Lets choose sobriety, because sobriety ROCKS! Have a good weekend everyone. God Bless!

  12. Dear small town anonymous-My father has been sober for 17 years. He had stumbled several times late last year. He lost his 2 good friends to cancer within a short timespan. One was a recovering alcoholic who he met through AA and the other had never taken a drink in his life. I think my Dad felt a little lost after their deaths. I was a young adult and living on my own when he quit drinking. He didn't go to rehab. My Mom had left him after a particularly bad physical assault and his 3 kids wrote him off. He was sentenced to some time in jail for the assault and ordered to attend anger mgmt classes. He came to me and said he was going to end his life because he couldn't live without his wife and children. I was devastated. I had decided that I couldn't have him in my life if he continued to drink but I didn't want him dead. I wanted him to get help. He knew we meant business this time. No more empty threats of leaving and cutting him out of our lives. We were done. He began attending AA and we all started communicating again. He made some great friends in AA. We lived in a small town and he was a real macho man type and it bothered him that people would now know he had a problem. But guess what? They already knew long ago. Neighbours heard the yelling, people saw the bruises on my mother, people gossiped about the bar fights. He had no friends. He had people he drank with. They didn't care about each other. They were always broke and lending each other money until paydays when they'd be broke again after paying their debts. AA appeared to be a tight knit group. He made friends there. They helped each other, they cared about each other and they understood each other. He never talked about who went to the meetings. He never named names. He was loyal to them and they to him. After a while he readily admitted to being a recovering alcoholic and didn't try to hide it. He had and has so much more respect and admiration from others as a recovering alcoholic than he ever had in his drinking days. By the way, he also quit smoking last his sixties! He had been smoking since he was a child and he smoked 3 packs a day. Best of luck to you. You deserve to be happy.

  13. Such great posts here; love the encouragement and support. I have finally reached out to this site and am now acknowledging that alcohol has power over me.

    I have been to an AA meeting a couple of years ago, however the stories there were so far and above where I am at that I had a very difficult time relating to any of them. I am very functioning, but as Annette suggested that I ask myself a couple of questions, I have to say I have a serious problem. I hate the morning guilt, the weight gain, the foggy brain, but never am not functioning. Just very afraid that if I stay on this path, I could be be one of their stories. I live in small town Iowa, I have my own business as does my husband. Going to AA meeting here really isn't an someone else said, small town = too many nosy people.

    So, any suggestions on how to get started and STAY on track? I can do well for a while then something/someone
    has a special event and Heaven forbid that be left out!

    Thanks, Julie

  14. Hi Montana. Cali here. Yes, I am still here. Always reading the posts. Still haven't made 30 days yet, I am ashamed to say. But each day I wake up with the intent on not drinking at night. Still taking my baby steps. I applaud all of you who have made such great strides.


  15. Hi Julie, I also live in a small town. I started out going to meetings about 10- 15 minutes away. I found a really great group and I continue to go there a few days a week. I got some nerve up and went to an open meeting in MY town. I was so nervous, but at the time I just thought my sobriety is more important than my pride!! I haven't met anyone I know. The funny thing is a lot of people go to other towns, you may be surprised that you don't know anyone at all.

    JUST REMEMBER if you are going to an AA meeting it is Alcoholics Anonymous, no one says anything about who is there, that is the rule. It doesn't matter if it is someone famous or not. All are welcome and there to share and help each other. If you see someone you know, guess what they are there for???? A problem that has become unmanageable to them too!!

    Go to some meetings further from home. Get comfortable, start learning what AA is about, then go to a meeting if you want closer to home. I go to a meeting where a women owns a business in her town. She travels 45 minutes both ways to go to her meetings and she likes it. It's all about your comfort.

    Sorry for talking so much. I just feel so good about not drinking, I just would love you all to have the feeling too!! I am so new to this, but it really is wonderful. Just remember we are here to help and bounce ideas of each other and support one another. We are not professionals, but if you get a little something here to help you on your road to recovery, I think that is what Emily had in mind.

    Annette sorry for jumping in so much!! My Aunt did well in surgery but she is ICU and we were sent home. I think I just need something to keep me from not wanting to drink. My Mom, who doesn't know that I stopped drinking, bought a HUGE bottle of vodka and it is up in the cabinet. Reading and seeing new comers to the site is helping to keep me honest. Thank you ALL!!!

  16. Julie - Doggielover is right - anyone you see there is gonna be there for the exact same reason you are. That's what scared the hell outta me too at first...very involved in the PTA, local sports, live in a pretty upscale community, etc., etc. So far I have not run into anyone I know in over 6 months...and I've been to about 4 different meetings. But in working my program, I will handle that day when it comes, no need to worry about it right now.

    Also, here's something to think about that they say all the time in my mtgs...I bet you would have driven 45 minutes out of your way to get some you can drive 45 minutes out of your way to et to a's all about how willing you are to stop drinking & get sober.

    Just a few thoughts! Doggielover - don't feel like you're stepping on me at rock girl & I'm loving all the great stuff you're saying! You've come a long way baby & I'm am oh so proud of you!!! Keep it up....helping others (like you) earlier on in my sobriety on here is what helped me stay sober thru the first several months - keep up the good work!

  17. A few more things I wanted to share....I have just recently began to tell my close friends about being in AA and sharing my story with them...when I 1st stopped drinking back in Dec. 09, I just told my friends that it was a New Years Resolution that I was starting early because I was trying to get healthier since I was turning 40 in January. They were okay with that, but ribbed me a little. Now that I have shared with many of them, I am finding out that they actually like me better now that I'm not drunk, loud and trying to always be the center of attention at social gatherings - some of them have point blank told me this to my face...and they all have given me unwavering support. All those years I spent drinking so people would like me & think I was funny backfired on my ass!

    Also, I totally agree with Amanda....when I told one of my friends about getting sober & AA, she said "good for you! So is this just like for a year that you're not gonna drink?"...haha...I've heard too many stories in my meetings about those that have been sober a while & then decided they can conrol their drinking & go back out - the majority of them end up right where they left off and get worse really, really quickly. NO THANKS!!! I got as bad as I was willing to accept - I don't want to risk getting worse! So sobriety is a lifelong journey - it never ends & you have to constantly work on it. If that's all I have to do to feel this way (which is really damn good!) then I'll do it!

  18. Someone's mother and teacherJune 25, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    I don't know what to do. I am a teacher and a newly single mother of 3 girls. I drink constantly. I drink on the way to school, at school, on the way home from school, and at home. I have managed to have a great outside appearance with a clean house, apparently happy kids, and a waiting list to get into my classroom. I am desperate to stop the cycle I am in, but dont know where to turn. Im sure the advice would be to go to an AA meeting. My fear is that I will be recognized by current, past or future students. Anonymity is only as good as the trustworthiness of everyone in the room. I just need to know Im not alone while Im seemingly fighting this alone.

  19. Someone's mother &'re not alone sweetie. I ran across a woman that was a teacher & coach. She knew in the back of her mind that she had a problem, but wasn't wiling to admit it. She went to a school function after drinking, was "figured out" by co-workers, and disciplined severely. She also got a DUI either shortly before or after this incident. Today she has around 90 days of sobriety, she is active in AA and she didn't lose her job. Their is hope.

    Also, think of it this way....would it be better for everyone to find out by seeing you drunk and doing something or acting in some way that you shouldn't....or them finding out once you have taken action to address the problem and are on your journey of sobriety??? That was one of the final questions that helped me to walk thru the doors of my 1st meeting. And I'm glad I did, cuz I'd much rather have my friends & family find out that I had a problem and am now doing something about it then outting myself in front of them falling down drunk, them finding my hidden bottles, getting a DUI, etc. - do you see where I'm coming from? Hope this helps!

  20. HAPPY 2 MONTHS OF SOBRIETY DOGGIELOVER!!! I AM SOOOOOO INCREDIBLY PROUD OF YOU! KEEP UP ALL OF THE GOOD WORK......and I'm really happy that you have your life back!

    Love ya girl!

  21. Thanks for the info and support...didn't touch a drop last night, though today/tonight will be extremely tough. Wedding and reception for my best friend's son. Not a good time to try to give up drinking.

    I did tell a couple of my girl friends that I have an alcohol problem and am trying to do something about it. They were extremely supportive though they didn't see it as a problem. I guess I was really good, kept it mostly at home, in the eve with my husband and drinking partner. That is what I am seeing as potentially my biggest road block...though he did say he would support me in this. We have tried this before, ends up in the same old routine. He says to me, "you can have just one or two, THAT won't hurt you." Of course I go with that (eagerly) and end up as I stated earlier.

    This site is giving me hope; hope, faith, and love. So thank you Annette, Doggielover, and Em, (looking forward to meeting you here). Wishing everyone continued success!


  22. Good luck Julie, your on your way, I hope things went well last night. Glad your friends are supportive, you can do it!!