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Old 09-22-2008, 10:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Insanity?!?!

The definition to Insanity doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results...

Over and over again in meetings and what not I hear that definition, my question is....

If I've been doing the same thing over and over again for the last almost 7 years, obviously it's second nature to me. I know being clean is not easy, there is not "easy button" but how do I just one day up and change my routine completely?

I tend to find myself wondering...How are those old friends of mine doing? I wonder if so and so still hangs out here? If I go to this public place maybe I'll run into so and so and then it won't be my fault that I am talking to them...

EEEEERRRRRRGGGGGG I don't really know what this post is about...but I was reading my BB and came across Insanity and kind of got a little frustrated.

I wish there was a how to guide telling me exactly what I need to do to make this work and to be 100% happy with my life...I know the 12 steps are supposed to be my guide but I can't seem to find a sponsor to work those steps with me to my understanding...

Idk if you want to input something here go ahead otherwise THANK YOU for letting me vent....
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Geez, I am just greatful when I have a moment of happiness here and there, I don't worry about being 100% happy with my life.

Keep looking for a sponsor. It took me awhile and now I've got several (AA/NA/OA and Al-Anon) I've also got two sponsees. It just kind of snuck up on me while I was living my life.
I am so thankful for my sobriety

Dios me da la Sernidad
Para acceptar las cosas que no puedo cambiar
La fuerza para cambiar las que si puedo
y la Sabidura para reconocer la diferencia
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Gee, I've never imagined being 100% happy with my life. I am content and at peace with my life, and that''s fine with me.

I'm not an AA person, but I found changing routines and patterns in my life was crucial for me. I made small changes. I started eating a healthy breakfast. After supper I went for long walks. That had so many benefits, I can't tell you. I slipped into new routines that felt comfortable for me.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
It's about learning to dance in the rain.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's progress, not perfection. No one can just wake up one day and change everything in their life without feeling frustrated. For me it took a lot of time, patience and support. You'll get there. Keep on Keepin' on!!!!!
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Maybe doing the same thing over and over..expecting things will miraculously be different isnt the way to go. Do the same thing in recovery over and over...Like change little things at a time and expect to change a little everytime you do.
Nothing is 100% IMO.
But you learn to accept em as they come and learn to deal them better.

Baby steps.
Dont just count your days...Make your days count!

It may not get easier, But it will get better.
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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thank you to everyone for the support and answers...it is greatly appreciated....

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Old 09-24-2008, 04:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Kaialynn, I don't yet know anyone who's found 100% happiness in everything. Satisfaction and serenity? I know folks who come close. The "100%" measure, for me, had to apply to only one thing: that I knew, 100%, I wasn't going to find what I was looking for at the bottom of a bottle. Get to that place with your whole heart, and all other things will follow.

Peace & Love,
There's a train leaving nightly called when all is said and done.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself." Namasté
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:53 AM   #9 (permalink)

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Hey There Kaialynn ---

As I read your original post I found three main things being questioned.....:

1) The definition of insanity as per AA.....the BB, meetings, etc.;
2) Changing my routine completely;
3) The 12-Steps as a guide; and
4) Being 100% happy with your life.....

Well, ok, here goes..... (o:

1) "Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results." --- I see this kinda like this ---- Before I got sober, when I was still drinking and using, I usually included a 12-pack of beer, a bottle of Southern Comfort, and a quart of good blended whiskey with my grocery purchases.....In making my decision to get sober, it would have been 'insanity' for me to keep making these purchases and 'expect' sobriety to follow.....

2) Therefore this was one of the changes I needed to make. As others have already said here, 'all' the changes are not made at once; usually changes are made one little change at a time. I found that the first change I had to make was to change my mind; to make the decision that no matter what, I would not pick up.

3) AA's 12-Steps are a good way to start those changes, but any change in one's 'design for living' would be good (many folks define AA's steps 2-12 as a 'design for living'), at least it would have been good for me. Back when I was still using, my design for living included a good dollop of Southern Comfort in my morning coffees (obviously not a good design if I wanted sobriety.....lol). I will state here that I do not believe that AA has a corner on the market when it comes to good designs for living. I have found a number of very good ones. The thing that makes any of these work....for sobriety anyway....is that one does not pick up (that's the one thing that I have found to be a constant in any recovery program: Abstinence --- without which nobody could attain or maintain sobriety.

4) 100% happy....? What I have found, in my life anyway, is that 'things' do not make me happy (not even AA (or any recovery program) or AA's 12-Steps and working them); people do not make me happy.....If I want to be happy (100%, 75%, 25%, or even < 1%), I've learned that all I need to do is make a decision to be happy....sounds simple, I know (in order to be happy all one needs to do is decide to be happy), but I have found it to be my life's work; a daily thing; a daily decision, and with time it has become easier and easier. ...and for the most part, I can say that today I am happy. 100% happy? Yes, for me, 100% happy; and I hope you can be too..... (o:

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Old 09-24-2008, 10:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with NoelleR.

The insanity speaked about in the literature is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, to mean. I can use or drink and hopefully this time it will be different. (like i can limit my intake, i won't get sick, I won't get depressed, I won't use everyday again...etc.)

The next part about changing your routine, I say, GO FOR IT! Go new places, try new meetings, take risks....just don't pick up no matter what!

As far as happiness goes:

Well, what i have learned is I am not always happy. I have also learned that "things" do not bring happiness, and if they do, it is very short lived. For me, happiness is fleeting....happiness depends on circumstances.

However...joy learning how to come thru adverse circumstances on top. Where you had integrity and a sense of right. Serving others also brings me joy. Relationships with people, my family, my friends, and my relationship with my higher power. I find in giving of myself brings me the most contentment, joy and satisfaction.

Keep on keeping on! Blessings, Sheila
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kaialynn View Post
The definition to Insanity

... how do I just one day up and change my routine completely?

I tend to find myself wondering...How are those old friends of mine doing? I wonder if so and so still hangs out here? If I go to this public place maybe I'll run into so and so and then it won't be my fault that I am talking to them...


I wish there was a how to guide telling me exactly what I need to do to make this work and to be 100% happy with my life...I know the 12 steps are supposed to be my guide but I can't seem to find a sponsor to work those steps with me to my understanding...



I don't think you do just one day up and change your life completely. But in many ways, if you think about you, you've already done just that to some degree. You're life used to be about using. And now your life is about recovery. That's an enormous shift. And obviously a positive one. Give yourself some credit.

Slowly, as you focus on your recovery, and as your renew your committment to sobriety each day, you will make more and more progress. It doesn't happen all at once. But if you truly, deeply surrender to recover -- and don't fight it -- I believe that you will find yourself growing and changing.

For me, it feels like a deep cold creek that I am caught in the current of. It's not fun, it's scarey. It's foreign territory and I am not always comfortable. But it is taking me somewhere. If I don't fight it and I let it move me, I make progress. If I fight it, I can get brought into dangerous whirlpools and eddies that threaten to drown me.

I do go to AA and I find it very helpful. I'm not saying it's the only way but it helps me. If you are in AA, please do try to get a good woman sponsor. It makes all the difference in the world to me. Choose someone who's been sober for a really long time. Not just someone you like or think is cool. That's my advice.

Also, Speaker's Meetings are probably my strongest sobriety tool. Hearing other people tell their stories is so fundamentally supportive of my recovery, I can't express it. We're all so different and yet so much the same. It's amazing to watch someone get up there and humble themselves and speak about how it was before, what happened and how it is now. I always come away energized in my recovery.

One last thing - you said you wonder about your old friend and what they're doing and imagine meeting up with them.... Think of this as a thought, not an action. ALL thoughts are okay and cannot cause harm. It's acting on this thought that could cause harm. To you. To your sobriety. To your hopes of changing your life. Let this thought come knocking on your mental door but just don't answer the door. Say to yourself, "Wup! There's that thought again. Boy, it sure is persistant. Oh well. I'm not answering that door." And then then let the thought walk away, dejected.

Struggling, in and of itself is not a bad thing. Like the others have said, happiness is unlikely to be 100%. Out of struggling comes growth. Like, my creek that I am traveling in -- it's not always peaceful and it can be terribly exhausting and scarey. But I have to surrender to that. Or else I can find my journey arrested. And I can find myself in a whirlpool, going around and around, doing the same thing over and over again.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I agree. We all think about the past. At least once a day, I think about my one ex, M., who used to drink and use so I had to break up with him. Even though he isn't the man that I really loved (it was more of a "using" relationship for both of us. We used together for years), I still miss him and worry about him sometimes. But I don't go by his house or call him. We weren't good for each other. I didn't dump him the first day I got clean, I gave him a chance. I gave him about 60 days, and tried to get him to go to meetings with me, but he just couldn't or wouldn't get sober. So I had to let him go. I think that most of us do have to leave using friends behind or we'd probably relapse.
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