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Old 10-06-2010, 07:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Grateful alcoholic??


When I go to meetings and hear someone mention they're grateful to be a recovering alcoholic, I just can't relate. What's that about? I'm sure not grateful for it, maybe the recovering part, but not the alcoholic part. My sponsor said it's because people may not have gotten to the program without alcohol, and I said, duh, it's the only darn thing that brought me here, or otherwise I'd never have darkened the doors of this place, and no, I'm not grateful. Come on, after thirty years of wasting my life away with a bottle of booze stuck to my hand, should I really be grateful? Sounds like true lunacy to me.

Am I missing something here?
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i can think of a lot of reasons people say it. But the main one for me is that we are truly the lucky ones. So many people die every year from alcoholism and alcohol related deaths. We got sober before that happened.

I am grateful to be a recovering alcoholic. And i am grateful for the program.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I dunno, kinda sounds like an "AA buzzword" to me anymore. Gratitude is something one shows, not just says every time they introduce themselves.

Perhaps I'm just cynical?!
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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firestorm,

I know what you mean! When I first was hearing that "grateful alcoholic" in AA, it just didn't jibe with my experience at the time.

So, I know this is going to sound crazy too. If I hadn't really needed and wanted to get sober, I would have been driven nuts by my other issues. Since I had to put a lot of effort into my recovery, I became a better person all the way around. I no longer have to take myself so seriously. I can admit it when I'm wrong. I can walk an honest path.

I don't know how to better explain it. I hope you come to know that feeling too.

Love,

Lenina
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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For me - AA and the 12 steps made me a better person (in addition to keeping me sober). That's why I'm grateful, because if I wasn't an alcoholic I would never have come to AA. If I was "normal," I might not be the better person that I am today. I might be a "normal" jerk.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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justanotherdrunk,

That's exactly what I was trying to say! Thanks for getting it out there for me!

Love,

Lenina
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Gratefulness comes within me.

It is living an honest life, free
from secrets and lies.

Being grateful for gifts recieved
in recovery.

Grateful to have a second chance
in life when I wasn't suppose to
be here any longer.

Being grateful for things given
and recieved because of needs
and not wants.

Grateful for my health and
speedy recoveries.

Graditude for this awesome
fellowship in SR. For being
here to read my shares and
responding by sharing ur
own experiences, strengths
and hopes from ur heart.


Grateful to give back what
was so freely passed on to me.

It's helping another alcoholic
achieve sobriety one day at a
time.
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I turn my will and life over to the care of a Power greater than I on a daily basis for guidance, care and protection.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Maybe look at this this way D -

How good do you feel about yourself, your life, your place being all clean, the friends you've made, the "connectedness" you have with life now, .....you maybe even are starting to realize a connection with a HP of your understanding....

Did ya ever "feel" that sort of stuff before? Even before drinking kicked in? I doubt it.

Here's the kicker......you stick with this deal.....you keep working the program, working the steps, living the steps and principles to the best of your ability......and what you feel now will grow about 100x bigger and more powerful.

Guess what, were it NOT for all those years of pain, you never would have done ANY of this stuff....and you wouldn't be reaping the rewards for doing it now. All those years in the past.....so what. Can't do anything about 'em now can ya? All you've got is today and today's prolly pretty darn good BECAUSE of all that pain....that led to AA......that led to surrendering......that led to getting the feeling you get to enjoy NOW.

All we've got is this present moment and, compared to your past present moments, this one's pretty darn good... and it's the result of all those past moments leading up to where you are now.

I'm not proud of a lot of my past.....but I'm glad it happened because without allllll that pain and humiliation, I never would have considered trying this stuff......and "this stuff" is making all the difference in my life - NOW - when and where it counts.



All that said......... it prolly took me a couple YEARS to think and/or mean any of what I just wrote. So, if you "just don't get it right now" that's ok.... maybe you will someday. Why doncha stick around and find out!

-- IN FACT, I DARE YA TO! xoxo
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firestorm090 View Post

...after thirty years of wasting my life away with a bottle of booze stuck to my hand, should I really be grateful?
Good stuff Dallas.

Something I read in the Big Book (1st ed. ) something to the effect of "we don't want to forget the past nor close the door on it"..... Why?

One answer might be that sharing our past experience in our individual ESH helps another alcoholic... Identification and qualification. Important to be sure, but I don't think it stops there.

My own experience with this has been that those thirty years weren't wasted, and even if some or all of them were... even if to some extent... do I then live in regret???... well.... Hell No!... Actively living in regret/shame/guilt is just wasted energy.

Along the way I did some good things, some bad things, good times, bad times... But what can I say really? Well, I am damn grateful to have found a spiritual solution to one of my problems in life, alcoholism. And the big pleasant surprise... This solution helps me navigate all the other problems in my life, and appreciate (hmm... gratitude...) all the good things.

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Old 10-06-2010, 10:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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today i am a grateful recovered alcoholic.
i say that hand on heart.
but....i know where your coming from dallas...i too felt like you do...before the 12 steps.
step 9 promises among other things "we will not regret the past,nor wish to shut the door on it.....no matter how far down the scale we have gone,we will see how experience will benefit others"
this has come absolutley true for me dallas.
the only thing that wasnt on my personal inventory in step 4 was murder.
i look around as i go about my day and i see people living in drudgery,you can see it on their faces.with certain family memebers they are constantly looking to fill the hole in the soul...thinking if they had more money,more prestige..more more more their lives would be better...this is just a couple of examples.
i feel totally and utterly blessed that i have been given a new way of living..
a new pair of eyes and a new heart.
it takes work but boy is it worth it.
so again..i am a very grateful.
i am glad of my previous life for what it has brought me to today.
i was low bottom..if i can do it anybody can....if they surrender.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm grateful to be a recovering/recovered alcoholic. Note the emphasis. I'm just grateful as hell 'cause I'm no longer trapped in the pit of hell. I'm not grateful that I spent that time wasting my money and my life, but am so grateful that I'm no longer doing that.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firestorm090 View Post
When I go to meetings and hear someone mention they're grateful to be a recovering alcoholic, I just can't relate. What's that about?
For me, I was raised in an alcoholic household, taught all of the 'typical' alcoholic behaviors.

If I had never been an alcoholic-like my oldest sister, afaik, I would still have all those attendant behaviors and who knows, might not ever had a chance at recovery.

What I usually hear, a 'grateful recovering alcoholic', and I am grateful to be a recovering alcoholic.

Look at the numbers, 60% of the population can be classified as 'drinkers', maybe 10% give or take are alcoholics in various stages of the disease.

How many recovering alcoholics does that leave out there?

I didn't 'earn' my seat at the table, I qualified for it.

I could still be out there, something I'm reminded of here and at meetings.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Its straight forward to me....

I had a hole in me that the wind blew straight through......never happy and feeling like a square peg in a round hole....

One day along came booze and lite up all the light bulbs in my head......at last i finally feel i fit.....the perfect solution to an unexplainable feeling at odds with the world......

so booze wasnt the problem.....i was the problem.......booze was a solution..if you get me.

So take the booze away and i return to that unexplainable...feeling at odds all the time.

along comes an old guy and a book.......talks of a solution to fill that hole......and this one is a permanent one.....with only good consequences.
so the hole gets filled and i recover.

i finally fit without having to round the edges of the world off.

grateful alcoholic....ooohhhh yeah....because it led me to a solution that filled the hole instead of booze.....a loving god.

just me i guess........but its why im grateful......it just so happens im an alcoholic.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for all your thought provoking replies. I guess I'm still stumped with this, and maybe it will improve with more time.

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful to be in recovery today, and even grateful not to be hungover, but when you throw in the alcoholic part, well, I still think I'd have to flip my lid to be grateful for that. When I think of alcohol today, I just remember that huge dark cloud that I lived under for decades, it seemed to depress, repress and trap me, it makes my skin crawl just to think about it, or worse, ever going back to it. It's the worst damn thing I've ever experienced and it lasted so long I didn't even know it could go away. Today, that dark cloud has lifted or at least moved off my horizon, and I feel grateful for that. But, being human, my mind still goes to what if, what if all those years weren't damaged by booze, well, damn, it makes me mad again.

Oh well, I'm grateful today to be where I am today, but......

Guess I still have tons of work to do.

Thanks again
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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grateful alcoholic....ooohhhh yeah....because it led me to a solution that filled the hole instead of booze.....a loving god.

just me i guess........but its why im grateful......it just so happens im an alcoholic.
Heh... that reminded me of going to a meeting early in recovery and they'd ask "who's got a step?" I'd sit there and hoooooooope someone would throw out a low # so I could have a shot at saying something I thought was intelligent.

Sure enough, some smartypants would say, "Let's talk about gratitude." Everyone would cheer......and say what a great idea......how wonderful!!!....Oh, gratitude is SUUUUCH a good idea to talk about.

I'd just sit there, roll my eyes and think "Great, here comes a pack of lies from all these dopes! There's really not much to be grateful for 'round here other than I'm NOT in jail...kinda (but this place FEELS like jail sometimes).....right now!"

Then I'd sit and pray they'd come to me near the end so I'd have the time to make up a list of things that would sound good to the ppl there - or maybe I'd just listen to one of the liars talk and spin something off of what he said that would sound good....

I hated that I wasn't grateful, I hated lying that I was, and I didn't have the courage to tell the truth.....

You'd think maybe I have a dilemma with "lack of power" or sumthin..........hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

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Old 10-06-2010, 12:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Gratitude did not come automatically nor did it come all at once.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I share often in our Gratitude Forum....
I don't recall ever posting....
"I'm grateful to be an alcoholic"

In other Forums....occassionally ...
"I'm grateful to be an AA recovered alcoholic"

In meetings ....."Carol...alcoholic" suits me fine.

Gratitude is an action word for me
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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When I was not an alcoholic, my life was spiraling out of control and all I had to look forward to were jails, institutions or death. Once I acknowledged that I was an alcoholic and started to do what others had done, my life started turning around. I'm grateful that I resigned from the debate committee, grateful that I'm sober, and grateful to be a recovering alcoholic.

I've been in the program of AA long enough to watch people die because they were sure they were different--terminally unique--and they had all the answers. Except for how to stay sober.

I'm grateful. I'm sober. I'm alcoholic. Any questions?
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Alcoholism led me to AA and specifically to the 12 Steps, which help me get in touch with my higher power, and that's pretty cool

The fellowship teaches me to practice tolerance, empathy, understanding, not judging people according to appearance/socioeconomic status/etc, because we're all just drunks really with a common experience that transcends all that garbage.

There's pain with alcoholism but an integrity that comes with rebuilding life and starting over.

I may have avoided a lot of pain if I wasn't an alcoholic (doubt it, though, cause that's just life) but I also wouldn't be the person I am today and I like that guy.

I guess I'm just making lemonade
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Wanna see why I'm grateful to be an alcoholic D? read this post over by TenNinetySix in the Alcoholism room: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ml#post2730205 (Was: Send Good Thoughts; Now: Amazingly at Peace)
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