My name is Jimbo and I'm sort of an alcoholic - Page 2 - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:42 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Welcome back Jimboagust

I think we can get hung up on the labels sometimes. If you want to quit drinking but can't...if your drinking is causing you problems but you still can't stop, then places like SR are the best places for you to be

D
Meetings can vary greatly. There ARE some ****** meetings. There seems to be a "personality" to each. As time went on, I began to see the problem wasn't the meeting but me. Two ways to determine if you're an alcoholic: Go 30 days without drinking AND without thinking about it (like most "normal" people I know**, or, have a drink whenever you'd like but drink ONLY ONE, with no exceptions. Normal people will have no difficulty with either, while the second option would make me insane.

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Old 03-15-2019, 04:39 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I would suggest discussing this with someone who has experience and/or training in addiction. Either an open minded long-timer or a therapist who specializes in addiction. You allude to objections or reservations that prevent you from going all-in on your recovery. Perhaps AA isn't the best fit for you, but the solution won't find you - you have to seek it like your life depends on it. Sooner or later, that will be the case if you continue to drink.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:54 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I think one thing that I learned (and sometimes have to "re-learn" ) is that I can't set expectations of what others will do in meetings. Sure, sometimes they "drive me crazy" but I can't go into it with that expectation....cuz I gotta stay in my lane, as AA tells us, and be there for my sobriety and any assistance that gives to others in some way.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:19 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm currently struggling with the question of whether or not I should try going to meetings again. I know it would help, but it's also going to drive me absolutely nuts. I unfortunately don't have access to any other group meetings in the area.
That was me. I didn't want the stigma of going to AA. The religious part wasn't something I wanted. Actually, my local group, the only help available in my small town, turned out to be mostly hard core Bible Thumpers with beliefs about God that went beyond most normal church goers.

But the people were sincere about sobriety, even though I recognized some of their routes to get there could not possibly work for me. Actually, I liked AA. I didn't debate theology with anyone, but I did put forth my own straight forward nuts and bolts commitment to sobriety without ever bringing up higher powers or matters of spirituality.

I liked AA because I needed to talk about my alcoholism. Mostly, I needed to talk about my joy in recovery, and to express my gratitude. And there was no question about whether I was happy in ridding myself of the yoke of alcohol. It was out of my life, and I needed someplace where I could shout about it. AA is good for that, but you would be a bore at work.

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Maybe I just need to think of AA as being akin to chemotherapy for a cancer patient. The treatment is horrible, but it is nonetheless preferable to the alternative.
Yeah, it was kind of like that for me, until I recognized the joy and appreciation of those in AA who had removed alcohol completely from their lives and harbored no subconscious desires to ever take a whiff of the stuff again. You can sort them out from the rest of the crowd, and they seemed especially happy to add another success story to the membership, even if I wasn't as reverent as was called for in the book.

OK, some of the stuff in AA did drive me quite nuts too, but the good far outweighed the bad. Comparing it to chemotherapy would be a bit too harsh. It was more like an opportunity to learn how to get along with a diametrically opposed ideology without pi$$ing everyone off.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:20 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Hi Jimbo, your initial post really highlighted the unreliability of meetings as a way of finding out how to recover in AA. It is totally random what you may hear.
Consider the following two statements:

AA is a fellowship of men and women who, through regular and frequent attendance at meetings, achieve sobriety. FALSE.

The AA program is a set of principles, spiritual in nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expell the obsession to drink. TRUE.

I have met a lot of folk over the years who have tried to follow the first statement for two or three years, that being the advice they were given in the meetings, and been disappointed that life had not improved. They had concluded that as nothing had changed, AA didn't work and they might as well pack it in.

When they find out about the second statement they often say "nobody told me that" and when they get to work on it, their lives do change for the better.

Your question is answered in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholism has only two components outlined in the following statement.

"We hope we have made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the nonalcoholic. If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer."

Question: How many meetings do you have to attend to have a spiritual experience? The clue might be in the fact that when this solution was discovered, meetings did not exist. We recover by the steps we take, not the meetings we make.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:14 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the comments. It is very helpful and encouraging to read your feedback.

I had a couple of years of sobriety a little while ago and eventually started drinking again. It was controlled, for the most part, but it is definitely starting to ramp up again to a point where I can only go a few days at best without drinking. I've tried almost every method in the book for maintaining long-term sobriety and going semi-regularly to AA meetings has been the only thing that worked (I was pretty active in the recovery racket for those two years sober). The problem is that I always had to drag myself kicking and screaming to those meetings. For a variety of reasons - cultural, personal, philosophical - AA tended to drive me absolutely up the wall. I ironically do not have an issue with the religious aspect, which bothers a lot of people, but rather everything else having to do with the ethos and practice of AA. That being said, I was (and still am) fully aware of the fact that the reinforcing mechanism of going to meetings and the social support of fellow alcoholics made a huge difference in my ability to stay sober.

I'm currently struggling with the question of whether or not I should try going to meetings again. I know it would help, but it's also going to drive me absolutely nuts. I unfortunately don't have access to any other group meetings in the area.

Maybe I just need to think of AA as being akin to chemotherapy for a cancer patient. The treatment is horrible, but it is nonetheless preferable to the alternative.

Again, many thanks for the guidance. Even though I almost never post anything on this site I check in regularly. It is always very inspiring and helpful to see people helping one another and giving support.
Not all of us quit with AA. Many of us quit with the philosophy of rational recovery (myself included) and just obsessively chaining ourselves to sober recovery for life. ....it’s still social interaction with alcoholics. Not the same as face to face I know, but still helpful.

If it’s not for you, post here as often as you can, and read around about the different ways to recover.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:54 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I consider my friend and former roommate a problem drinker. At parties and every Friday/Saturday night he would get completely drunk. Sometimes after work he would crack open a beer or two after he had dinner.

However he would never get drunk during the week and if there were mitigating circumstances he wouldn't drink at parties. The guy had an on/off switch for sure.

Alcoholics have a mentality that we drink because we have to. I think problem drinkers have the mentality that they don't have to but they want to if they can.
Sounds like me honestly. A lot.

Isn't "problem" drinker revealing enough?

If its a problem, it likely needs solving.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:14 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I think that the “subjective demarcation” is the “subjective” label that you put on it......if you think it’s a problem (no matter how you’re functioning), then it is a problem. Also consider that you may call yourself a functioning alcoholic or drinker (I did too), but if you consider your behavior including missed opportunities, risk taking, and physical symptoms, it’s not so “functional”. WHen you maintain sobriety, you will realize that and perhaps also consider that functioning alcoholic can easily progress to what you may call non functioning alcoholics
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:50 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Meant to say ...
I think that the “objective demarcation” is the “subjective” label that you put on it......if you think it’s a problem (no matter how you’re functioning), then it is a problem. Also consider that you may call yourself a functioning alcoholic or drinker (I did too), but if you consider your behavior including missed opportunities, risk taking, and physical symptoms, it’s not so “functional”. WHen you maintain sobriety, you will realize that and perhaps also consider that functioning alcoholic can easily progress to what you may call non functioning alcoholics
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:03 PM   #30 (permalink)
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You can know you’re an alcoholic and not get sober, too, so the posters who mentioned how it depends on how it affects a persons life are correct.

I was a self admitted alcoholic for ten years before I finally quit, as an alcoholic, I loved drinking, so I fit my life and functioning around the drinking for as a long as I could. When it wasn’t benefiting me any more, I stopped.

Losing your weekends to alcohol can be quite a loss. A person can decide that’s enough to stop, even if they don’t drink during the week.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:52 PM   #31 (permalink)
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For me it was easy. Once I had my first sip, I couldn't stop till I was drunk. I'm an alcoholic. No other "yardsticks" needed.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:07 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I call myself an alcoholic because once I pick up a drink I have no control over quantity and what happens. If I could drink a glass of wine or two and walk away I wouldn't be an alcoholic.
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