When did you get a sense of serenity?

Old 05-13-2011, 10:27 AM
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When did you get a sense of serenity?

Hello all. I'm hoping to get a little feedback from those members who have realized a sense of serenity and peace through either a 12 step program (AA) or any other form of recovery that you may have chosen to address the issue of alcoholism.

Basically, I'm curious as to at what point in your recovery, and after taking what action (step-work/service work) you began to get a sense of peace and serenity?

I'm terrible at expecting immediate gratification and obviously it's not working that way. I know that I will get out of it what I put into it, and I am active in AA and attempting to work a strong program, but it always makes me feel better when I hear of the success of others who have been in my position.

So...if anyone can share a little of their strength, hope and serenity it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:37 AM
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rode hard and put away wet
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All my life all I knew was chaos. When I was drinking the chaos just got a billion times worse. But I was used to chaos. Made me feel "alive" I guess.

When I started to get sober, I had these moments where there was no drama, no angst, no anguish, no regret, etc.. It confused me and it was actually sort of uncomfortable until someone finally pointed out that what I was feeling was serenity. Doh! What do I do with Serenity??? I Never knew that feeling before but gradually, the more I felt, the more I worked to get it.

I guess, like alcohol, misery becomes our comfort zone. It's what we know and what we're used to. When new stuff comes our way as a result of getting sober, sometimes it takes some getting used to but once I experienced serenity, I wanted more of it in my life.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:52 AM
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Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
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When I realized that Yes! I too could win over alcohol...
I think that hit about 2 months into my AA recovery.

To keep that flowing...I daily connect to God..AA and on here.

Last edited by CarolD; 05-13-2011 at 08:13 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:55 AM
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After I had taken Step 1, understood the foundation of it, I am alcoholic and powerless to control what alcohol does to me if I have any.

Doctors Opinion 1st edition BB of AA
We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all;
That surrender, to alcohol, was like a weight had lifted.
However, the rest of the way for me can get a little bumpy, but Step 1 is a foundation and my serenity can always start at that point because the obsession over a drink is no longer there. "I can never safely use alcohol in any form at all".

Last edited by Pete55; 05-13-2011 at 10:58 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:00 AM
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My insane mind was always racing, never resting and often the cause of insomnia.


Because I believed I had to have the answer to everything and I had to be in control of everything.

When I surrendered control and let go I discovered liberating peace, serenity and freedom.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BHF View Post

I'm terrible at expecting immediate gratification

Yea, I get it...

Hmm... It took me a long time, probably 6-9 months... some of that I think was PAWS, but whatever it was, it took awhile... I am not real big on PAWS as rule, but looking back, I think it partially explains that almost constant buzz of racing thoughts I had... and when that finally settled down, I began to have meaningful progress in the steps.

Music helped, cycling helped, meetings helped, meditation...

Serenity began to enter my life after the fifth step.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:20 AM
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It took 6 months for me to make the shift from "not drinking" to "living sober." The former was a daily, sometimes hourly struggle against the obession to drink. Then one day I had the sense of what a normal person must feel like to not think about alcohol.

I describe that as serenity.

Didn't last long :-) but at least I experienced it and know what this journey is all about.

Good luck.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:27 AM
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I quit obsessing over drinking at about 2 month mark of abstaining, but I wasn't an alcoholic before I started drinking, I was just a human with problems and issues, when I drank, alcoholism became one of those issues and problems and caused a few more. When I stopped drinking I went back to just being a human with problems and issues who used to abuse alcohol and was once addicted to it.

So although I found a feeling of "serenity" once the obsession to drink disappeared, there were still other issues that were, and always will be somewhat chaotic in my life. I think true daily serenity might be exaggerated if you have to live /work/raise a family/earn a living, in today's world. There are just too many variables to feel serenity all of the time.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:44 AM
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I made a deal with my Higher Power (God). No, it wasn't, "I promise to never drink again if you would just get me out of this mess." That "promise" would have been a lie. I cannot keep a promise not to drink. I am an alcoholic and I am powerless over alcohol.

I agreed to follow a spiritual path, to go back to AA and to work the twelve steps (all of them) -- honestly, thoroughly, completely. Basically, "God, I will do anything you want me to do, please show me what that is, show me what your will is for me."

I asked God for only one thing, "Please remove this obsession from me."

God has kept His part of the deal. Before that prayer and before my little deal with God, I had been plagued by the mental obsession about alcohol and drinking. That obsession is now gone -- complete relief and complete release. I simply do not want to drink.

I am now keeping and will continue to keep my part of the deal. I am currently working on my 4th step inventory, making steady progress. When my inventory is complete, I will give it away in the 5th step. I will then work through the remainder of the steps.

I am fully aware that "my deal with God" is for life. There were no conditions attached to the "terms of surrender". And I am okay with that. My life before was pure misery; it wasn't a life worth living, and I couldn't go on like that for another day.

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Old 05-13-2011, 11:51 AM
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I quit obsessing over the drink very early on, though that didn't mean I quit obsessing! I had no choice but to start practicing meditation--being still--very early on. I'm not a "pure" alcoholic; I had major issues with drugs as well, and I had significant pain issues, so if I wanted to be clean and sober, I had to find a way to deal with all that pain. Though my early attempts brought me only moments of serenity, I had them, as early as the first couple of months.

BUT, the moment I realized I had something major going on in my life--that serenity was possible even in the most chaotic of circumstances--happened when I was just a little more than a year sober. My son was struck by a car and came within inches of being killed. Thankfully (yes, thankfully), he got out of it with a compound fracture to his leg. While he was in surgery (emerging later in a cast up to his hip), I sat in the waiting room and realized I was calm. I wasn't awfulizing. I was praying, but I wasn't upset. I had what may be the most perfect moment of faith in my life. At that moment, I realized it worked--and if I could be calm while my baby boy (then thirteen) was under anesthesia for the first time, having seen how close he'd come to having his head crushed, and be okay, I could be okay through anything. And I wasn't disappointed. In subsequent years, I took care of my parents in the last weeks of their lives, I've been through rough financial times, the death of way too many friends in the program, earned two degrees--not to mention raising four kids who were teenagers all at once!

Do I have perfect serenity all the time? Hell, no! But when I'm not serene, I know how to get back there. All I have to do is ask and be willing.

Peace & Love,
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:54 AM
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After about the 3rd week in treatment I came to serenity. I'm pretty calm now into my 4th month, but it is constant vigilance, its not just automatic. But for someone who self medicated with alcohol and took 6 xanax a day, living without chemicals and experiencing little anxiety, is pretty serene.

It's prayer, deep breathing, meetings, quiet time, and just living differently. I use to be pissed at people, I planned on what I would say in any given circumstance, I'd vent, and plan my revenge on people I thought did me wrong. I don't live that way anymore.

Good luck.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:33 PM
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When I detached from the idea that I could somehow "achieve sobriety".
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:57 PM
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Early on in recovery I learned that I could forge a new self with the recovery tool that were given to me. Depending on how I wanted to live the rest of my life, either sober and in misery or sober happy, joyous and free, the choice was mine for the taking. I choose the joyous path and with a well fitted program of recovery that address my particular needed, living the good life has come to me.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:56 PM
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For me it was towards the end of the first year, I lost the desire/obsession to drink early on but I had to learn how to live w/o alcohol and deal with all the issues I'd been running from and that took the better part of a year. I generally maintain serenity with exercise and meditation.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:10 PM
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Gosh...I think of the serenity and relief I felt when I poured that last bottle down the drain. I don't think I fully trusted the serenity until about 2 weeks in when id passed my first test.

It has grown exponentially since.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:03 PM
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I had many issues with shame. Even when active, I was so ashamed about my behavior, and that lingered well into the early part of my sobriety. Learning how to handle the shame was key for me. I guess that relates to acceptance, and the understanding that I had to seperate the behavior I displayed while active from the person within. (If people would bring it up to me, I would say "Thank you for reminding me, but I don't do that anymore".)

I guess it also tied into my being such a judgemental person. All my life, I would judge people based on their behavior. If you crossed me, you were an AH, and I wouldn't let it go. I did the same thing to myself. How can you be a spiritual person if you are constantly beating yourself up, and then try to show compassion for others if you cannot show compassion for yourself?

Another big issue for me while active was to be in control. I would lay awake nights and strategize a grand game of chess in my mind in how I was going to deal with other people in order to get what I wanted. Manipulation. I had so many fights in my own head that would never come to fruition - what a waste of time and energy.

It was the gradual letting go of these traits that opened the door to serenity. I still struggle with these issues all these years later, and find that the more I work it, the more I am rewarded with serenity. If I stray away from program, I do not drink, but very much exhibit the characteristics of a dry drunk. Stinkin' Thinkin'.

Acceptance, doing the best I can with what I've got, stepping one foot in front of the other, letting the outcome be what it will be, and having a genuine understanding that everyone is on their own path is what gives me a sense of serenity. I believe in a Higher Power, although I wouldn't even contemplate it when I was active (lapsed Catholic). I try to remember that everyone is on their own path, and that it is not my job to set them straight, or get offended and react. I have learned boundaries in my relationships, and know who to hold close to my heart, and those that I can still relate to yet hold them at an appropriate distance. I try to surround myself with light. I try to stay grateful, for even in the worst of times, there is always a glimmer of light to focus on.

For me, the amount of serenity I hold lies in direct proportion to me working those principles.
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