Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doing the Work

Today I am doing some recovery work that I have known I needed to do for like forever...what happens when you don't do the work you know you're supposed to is it comes at you x-boyfriends you owe amends to Face book friending you and such.

So off I go to tell another alcoholic all the sorted details about my past that I have yet to reveal. Fun?! it?!...yes!!

Wish me luck!


  1. Steps 4, 8 and 9 at the same time? Good luck, Emily!

  2. This is the part of a Twelve Step program that I don't get. What if you don't buy into every part of it but want the meetings and sponsors? Is it one of those all or nothings?

    Don't get me wrong - I am sure there is value to everything that is proposed. But, what if someone just doesn't want to do that step? What happens?

    Thanks. I am very curious.

  3. I don't belong to AA and doubt I ever will. I don't buy into every step, either. Fortunately, I've found other organizations that are different and experts that agree with me (for example, google "Dr. Marc F. Kern" and/or see:

    The bottom line is that AA works for some folks and doesn't work for others. Dr. Kern reports in a radio broadcast that AA works for only a very small percentage of people (something like only 15% are still there a year later? You'll find the radio broadcast and can listen for yourself if you google him). I completely agree with his statement that there is "no one size fits all" in terms of overcoming alcoholism. Gotta find what works for you ...


  4. In response to the first Anonymous, nothing "happens" if you dont work all the steps. No one in AA is going to force you to do anything you don't want to. In fact, the steps are more beneficial to you if you have the willingness. The steps are suggestions to work as a program of recovery.

    For me, when I entered the rooms of AA, I was willing to do whatever it took to stay sober. I heard and saw that "rarely had we seen a person fail who has thouroughly followed our path." That sounded like pretty good odds to me!
    Even thought I don't neccesarily want to work all the steps, I am willing to do every last one of them if it means I will stay sober and know a new way of life. I am about through with my 4th step. Like Emily said, it is not at all fun, but I know it is worth it. For me, what has always stood out as the best way to stay sober is to "trust God (of your understanding) and clean house" Easy, but not simple.

    I am doing the steps and trusting the program because it has worked for millions of people before me and I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
    For me, I don't just want to be sober. I want to be happy. I want to know a new way of lt. ife. And I am trusting that working the steps will help me achieve that.

    That is just MY experience, strength, and hope.

  5. I have to agree AA is not for everyone. I found it to be "clickish". The men were vulgar in their speech and on smoke free nights would even smoke while being the speaker. I found after an AA meeting all I wanted to do was get out of there and get a drink. I went for about a year, didn't drink, hoping things would get better. I even had a sponsor, who when I would call on would tell me I don't have but a couple minutes. She never tried to help me at all. I am so glad most people didn't have the experience I had. I live in a small town so maybe that made some difference. I stopped AA, stayed sober for 3 years and then went back to drinking heavily for many years and now, on my own, have almost 3 years of sobriety. I can say AA did not work for me and no one seemed to care, it was almost like I didn't fit their stereotype. My opinion only. For you that it works for God bless you. I go to my higher power in my own way and it's working this time.

  6. Anonymous above --

    Can you share any insight about how you managed to stop drinking on your own for 3 years now? What did you do? What do you do when you feel a craving? Were some days harder than others? When did it get "easy", if it has?

    Thanks --

  7. Response to Anonymous' questions: I went on about a 2 week drunken binge about 3 years ago, fell and hurt myself really bad. I live by myself and a friend had to break my door to get in. Don't know how long I had laid there. That was really my bottom. I could not take care of myself for over 2 weeks. The humiliation was consuming. I prayed 24/7 some days because I could not sleep. I went through Hell for weeks, and I made a promise to God and myself that I would never take another drink. The only way I could have gotten through it on my own without medical help was that a higher power and physician (God to me) was with me. Since recuperating from that experience I can truthfully say I have not had a real strong craving. My "light bulb moment" was after all the years of drinking was realizing I was drinking AT a person who I felt had done me wrong, AT my insecure feelings, and AT anything I couldn't deal with. I had to learn a different way to cope. Drinking did not help any of these situations, just made me really suffer. I have, for really brief periods of time, had small cravings but I know now I don't have to drink at anything, and remembering my experience of 3 years ago stops me, as well as my promise to myself and God. It's easy now, I am around other people who drink and it doesn't bother me. Hopefully you, or no one else, will have to hit the bottom I hit. Reaching an understanding of what is causing you to drink will hopefully lead to a solution of how not to drink. If this is of any help to you leave me a post. Thank you for your interest.

  8. I think everyone has to find what works for them. What works for me is AA, this website and my husbands support.

    AA helps because I have people I can talk to and that can understand where I am coming from. i have met people that share with me and guide me when I ASK for help. You have to ask. I do believe in a higher power as they say in AA, I feel stronger knowing that my higher power is on my side. My higher power is all the people I have lost in my life that are trying to guide me with God when I listen!!! My father, my grandparents, my cousin and my aunt, with God. Thats a pretty strong higher power, no matter what, one of them is always watching over me., I believe. i have to admit, I am a strong willed person, but I never was able to stop UNTIL I entered AA. I must admit some AA meetings are not the right fit for me, but they have so many out there to attend, find one that suits your needs and personality. I KNOW FOR A FACT that when I had a really awful day last week that I was so thankful to have my sponsor to call. I couldn't find a meeting and there were bars on every corner. I called her and I got through it, if she wasn't home I would have called someone else. AA gives you an unlimited amount of contacts that can save your ass at anytime. Granted, some people in AA are total jerks and more self centered than you can imagine, but I would hope if they had my number and needed to speak to someone they would call me and I could be the person to listen and help them through a tough time. We may all be different, but we are all alcoholics, and if they were sitting at the bar next to you offering you a free drink, YOU WOULD TAKE IT (or at least I would), so why not just be open and except their help in AA?

    I love this site because we can all help each other, i just celebrated 4 months yesterday and I am so blessed and thankful to everyone here and AA!!

  9. I agree, AA is not for everybody, but if it works for you, good. If it doesn't, find what does work for you.

    Anonymous above, thank you for your story. Wow. I have never hit bottom, not even a "high bottom" but I know I drink too much. I don't get sick, don't pass out, don't miss work or any family functions, don't black out, never drive when I've had even one drink, I just see myself drinking too much, especially over the past few years. So I want to nip this in the bud.

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you state that if a person can understand the cause of WHY they drink, it will help to find a solution. I just can't figure out my cause...any insight on how you reached your light bulb moment?

    Anonymous, too

  10. Anonymous, too - Knowing I couldn't drink again I did a lot of research and reading on the subject of alcoholism, prayed a lot, and about 2 years into my sobriety it was just as simple as a light going on in my head one day saying you don't have to drink ever again, your drinking was by choice to escape. That almost sounds like I think I'm not an alcoholic, but I know I am an alcoholic. I know if I take another first drink it might be my last drunk, the last one was close to being my last. You say you're drinking too much and if you feel you're getting out of control with it, first thing I would do is try just not doing it. It's not for me to say that you're not an alcoholic but compared to the way I drank you don't sound like one, but on the other hand you wouldn't be on this site if you didn't feel you have a problem, or that it could become a problem. Is it that one drink is calling for another and another? The longer you drink the more you have to drink to get the same effect. Your body builds up a tolerance and wants more and more. Maybe that's what has happened in your case. It's your decision if you feel you need help and what kind of help to get. Are you bored with your life and feel drinking makes your life seem more interesting? What works for one person, as you said, does not work for all. That's why each individual has to do what works for them. I have come to terms with myself that I don't have to try to be perfect, I don't have to do everything someone wants me to do, I can have a life of my own without feeling guilty. I don't have to get drunk to cope. That's what works for me. Good luck with what you choose to do. Did this help in any way??

  11. Hi, Anonymous --

    Yes, that helps. I think I drink (in the late afternoon before dinner, usually while cooking dinner) because I'm bored and tired after working. I have a great family, too. If I lived alone there are many times when I would just skip dinner (too tired, not really hungry, don't need it as I could afford to lose some weight) and I'm sure I wouldn't drink. But the family needs to eat and dinner is good and important family time.

    But maybe this relates to your comment about I need to realize I can have my own life without feeling guilty? Maybe the family could pitch in more to help with meals, or I could cook one or two big meals a week and we have leftovers a few times...I need to keep thinking of ideas.

    When I'm very honest with myself, I know I don't want to never drink again. But stopping for awhile is a good idea, a good start. Maybe after I stop for awhile, I'll realize no more is the way for me. The dilemma is that I do enjoy the relaxed and happy feeling three or four glasses of wine or beer give me. But I never used to drink that much. Used to only be a maximum of two glasses of wine while cooking dinner, so you're right again.

    I hope you keep posting on this web site.

    Anonymous, too

  12. My opinion. Don't overthink and over analyaze. If drinking is interfering in your life, there is a problem. If not, no problem.

    Do not worry about "the rest of your life." If drinking is a problem today, deal with today. Do this everyday. The answers will come.