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Old 02-05-2002, 04:48 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
in the dumps
Posts: n/a

Hi, I've been posting in the NA and AA forums for about a month looking for some suggestions on many different questions. I have been going to AA meetings every day for 3 weeks.

It was recommended for me to post this same quetion in NAR-ANON and AL-ANON forums.

Please help me with some suggestions!

Ok, here is the question.
First things First -- what do I put first?

Many people at the meetings say first thing first is their sobriety.

If you read in NA forum Pray for my Children. And have been following my other posts. Here are more choices:

My children and wife.
My sobriety -- yet to acheive.
Going to meetings.
Working the steps.
Myself -- doubt it!

Many people will give the argument "how can you put your wife and kids first if you are not totally into your sobriety. Are you really there for them if you are not sober"
My wife complains that I'm gone out to meetings too much. And I know that the kids miss me (clean and sober or not!)
I feel like I should be going to the meetings and making "first thing first" my sobriety. 5 minutes later, I change my mind to think I should spend more time with the wife and kids.

Please reply with any suggestions which may be helpful. Right now I feel like my kids should come first but that would get in the way of everything else.

in the dumps -- don't know what to do.

P.S. Thank-you in advance for your replies.
Old 02-05-2002, 05:39 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
smoke gets in my eyes's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: That's what I'd like to know.
Posts: 2,416

Hi Dumps!
You do have a lot on your plate.

Okay, I know somebody is gonna slam me, but my personal feeling is that you should do the thing that makes you feel best about yourself. Self esteem is a key issue in recovery and in relationships.

If going to meetings monopolizes your time, but it's the thing that makes you feel best, so be it. It's temporary. If the guilt of being absent from your family negates the positive things you find there, maybe it would be okay to back off a day or two a week.

Recovery first, yes. But avoiding unnecessary guilt helps sustain recovery.

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Old 02-09-2002, 07:58 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 710

If I am not sober.... I have nothing else period.
I put my sobriety first today because of the simple truth... if I don't... I will have nothing anyways.

I came through those doors thinking that I would become a better mom, a better friend, neighbor, a better human being.... all the things that only sobriety can bring, because when I wasn't sober all I had was selfish, self seeking motives.... to get my booze.

Today "First Things First"... simple, my own sobriety. I can only be there for others IF I am sober first.

Love ya
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Old 11-07-2003, 05:13 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 1
There are things that must be done first before other things can be done. There are basics that must be done first before more elaborate things can be accomplished.

We begin with the first verse of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus begins by putting "first things first".
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Old 11-07-2003, 06:15 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 413
Just my opinion. But I would think your wife and kids would prefer to have you sober.

Have you explained to the kids that this is a temporary thing. Youre sick and youre going for treatment. And that hopefully this treatment will make you better.

You might also want to point out that when your drunk youre not really "there" even if your home.

Just a thought from a wife but if before you always disappeared when you drank then your wife may consider this just another excuse to get out of the house. Sorry. ;-) Its up to you to convince her that youre not just out having "fun".

If you want to earn extra credit with your wife apologize for being a weasel EVEN if you dont think youre a weasel. If you read thru some of the old posts youll see a continuing thread that the Codies are upset because the A's wont apologize for the stuff theyve done.
If you cant say it then write it in a letter.
You didnt say but do they go to Alanon.

Last edited by Cecilia; 11-07-2003 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 11-07-2003, 06:34 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 102

You just gotta put sobriety first, get some strength in it, then you can pick up the pieces. That doesn't mean to say you can't do something nice with the family, too, and it sounds like all of you could benefit from a hour or two of special time every week.

Even with sobriety being first, say you do meetings every night, you still have Saturday afternoon for family time, something easy and pleasant like a museum or a park or a zoo. Something non-related to the problem, a neutral place. That would help to give them hope and reassurance and you would feel better, too.
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Old 11-07-2003, 09:21 AM
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....or at least hoping I am.
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 29
From a codie, I would say put sobriety first but you also need to try to help your family understand. Like Ceciela said, your wife may be thinking that it is just another excuse. I know that when my A husband first started doing th 90 meetings in 90 days it concerned me a little, but I knew that it would be temporary. I think it may help if you sat down and had a family meeting and told them exactly what was going on and let them express their feelings and concerns and come to an agreement about spending some special time w/ them to help ease things. I know for our family - if my husband is not clean he is really not doing our family any good. He has to concentrate on his staying clean.
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Old 11-07-2003, 09:53 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Utah
Posts: 330
I would think also, that if your wife were aware of the times that you were for sure going to meetings that it would help. I know that if it is unplanned it may ruffle her feathers. If you pre schedule the meetings that you are going to attend, she will feel like you have included her as well as made sure that she did not have plans at that time. Make sense? The sober partner so often feels left out of the recovery process. All of a sudden you have a new outlook, new friends, peoples phone numbers all over etc... Although recovery is what I am sure your wife and children want, it is a big change for them too. I think planning and including them makes it seem less selfish on your part, even though where sobriety is concerned when it comes down to it you do have to be a little selfish.
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Old 11-07-2003, 01:14 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 91
Often family members who are not in recovery question the need for meetings. One suggestion.....invite your family to events where they can meet people in your group. A connection with your recovery group can ease a lot of fears.

My family was not in recovery, so I just gave up TV watching for meeting time. While they vegged......I went to my meeting......and was back in time for some family time. After awhile the family got used to my routine.

If I do have to make a choice, it's based upon common sense. Birthday dinner at home? Pick a meeting where it won't interfere. Request to do chore rather than go to meeting? Go to meeting and do chore afterwards.

This is a great question for your sponsor, btw.
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Old 11-07-2003, 04:15 PM
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Why can't your family be the first thing...including yourself and your sobriety. Without you present and sober family does not exsist.

You need your meetings alot right now...could the quality of your time at home use an adjustment? Can you bring home take out or cook a couple nights to keep your wife a bit happier? Is there something you can do for her to make it up to her and not compromise or grovel?

I am afraid she is not seeing any change that directly affects her since you are gone at meetings so much.

For me it is not what you say it is what you do. Regret is a bad bad thing for my own recovery and I do my best to behave in ways that will leave me no regret.

Hugs and good luck,
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