when will I stop being haunted by the past.......

Old 09-08-2008, 12:40 PM
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letting God take the wheel...
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Home is where the heart is-Colorado and Oregon
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Unhappy when will I stop being haunted by the past.......

You know, the fears of someone "finding out"...finding out what? I am not sure exactly..I have had my share of stupid drunken embarassments..And the guilt..oh God that horrible feeling eating away at my soul..the guilt and shame of the unknown..I am pretty sure there has got to be some embarassing shamefull "unknowns" in my past..Oh Dear God please let them just go away....Ahhh...When do these horrible feelings subside... I look at these amazing women in my AA meetings with 20 some years sobriety..glowing and happy and not living in fear of their past..I want that soooo bad... I want to know when and how does it happen...Is there a certain amount of time? I am not a bad person...I am a very sensitive kind loving person and I am pretty close to God but I have a tendancy to be really really hard on myself when it comes to forgiveness towards myself and my past drinking... I am a stupid sloppy embarassing drunk that makes the real true me, the sober me..want to just cry and cry....I love myself enough to make an effort to be sober..I want lifelong sobriety soo bad this time..more than ever before....Its just so hard some days when I just feel like this dark venemous cloud is hovering over me...Please friends help me, tell me that it will get better...share your I really need it..I feel sooo alone and in my head...Counting down the hours until my meeting tonight..... _sigh_
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:14 PM
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You're doing the right things, sweetie! You're going to meetings, you're committed to being sober, you know that the sober you is the "real" you. You're on the right path! Just remember that healing takes time, both physical healing and emotional healing. In time you will forgive yourself...or be able to laugh off the past. Because it WILL be the past. What happened "before" doesn't have to follow us into "now".
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:25 PM
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I know how you feel, Lou Lou. There are so many things that bother me now that I'm not drinking that I didn't have the time or energy to think about when I was drinking. Sometimes it's overwhelming, I just want it to go away. That's one of the reasons I like coming here and going to AA and listening to speaker tapes. Hearing other's experience, reminders (like yours dancinggirl, thanks) that it will get better if we stay on the path and don't drink, seeing other people make it, gives me the hope I need.
Hugs to you, and keep up your excellent work!
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:28 PM
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I think it's helpful to keep in mind that most people spend 99.99% of their time thinking about themselves regardless of what you have done. Really.

How do you recall someone else's drunken behavior? Is it along the lines of "Wow- they were really drunk"- end of thought... or perhaps "That was stupid"- end of thought.....


Is it " OH MY GOD that person was drunk and did stupid things and their acts will live in INFAMY FOREVER and everyone everywhere will constantly think about how ridiculous they are and how they should be forever reminded of their awful behavior!!!!"

I have been around lots and lots of drunkeness and I assure you that the first set of thoughts is much much closer to reality.

After 2 seconds of thinking about you, most people are back to obsessively thinking about themselves.....just human nature I guess!

I hope this helps you. You are obviously a thoughtful and sincere person. Drunk people always do stupid stuff.
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:47 PM
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If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and selfpity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

That promise about the past read at the end of a meeting always it's home with me. The past is a part of who i am today.

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Old 09-08-2008, 02:22 PM
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For me, the turning point was step 5. Once I had confessed all the shameful, guilty things I COULD remember, I stopped obsessing about the things I could NOT remember.

The Promises that Paul quoted are after Step 9, in the Big Book, pp. 83-84. Here are some Step 5 promises, from the 12 & 12, p. 62:
Provided you hold back nothing, your sense of relief will mount from minute to minute. The dammed-up emotions of years break out of their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon as they are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing tranquillity takes its place.... This feeling of being at one with God and man, this emerging from isolation through the open and honest sharing of our terrible burden of guilt, brings us to a resting place where we may prepare ourselves for the following Steps toward a full and meaningful sobriety.
And pp. 57-58 (still Step 5):
This vital step was also the means by which we began to get the feeling that we could be forgiven, no matter what we had thought or done.
Then Step 9 cements it and takes it to another level .... don't give up before the miracle!
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:11 PM
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Sounds like me LouLou, I keep ruminating until I am in a deep dark place. Trying my best to let go and tackle this head on.

As snickers says, ppl don't dwell on our actions, they have their own stuff to think about. Easier said than done though.

Take care
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:28 PM
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Hmmm snikers comments made a lot of sense. And to think too much about the past is to fall in the trap of thinking to much about yourself. There is no easy way to get rid of guilt, whether it's well founded or not, I know as I have done pretty bad stuff. But to think about the past, whatever happened, is not good. Try to concentrate on the moment - watch the news, read a newspaper, anything that is a diversion. Things will improve daily. To let go off things is the path to real sanity in my opinion - letting go of bad things and good things, and accepting and trying to enjoy the present.
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:48 PM
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where the light is
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You can't change the past. It's over. Forgive yourself, learn from it and move on. You only live once - why keep hurting yourself by living your mistakes over & over in your head?

This was almost a mantra that I repeated to myself earlier in my sobriety. Takes time and effort but eventually the guilt is replaced by acceptance and excitement about life. You will get there.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:06 PM
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I totally relate to how you are feeling because I have felt the same exact way! My sponsor tells me that I can't have 20 years of sobriety in 4 1/2 months. She is constantly telling me to stay where my feet are and stay in the moment. If you aren't working the steps, that is the only thing that has helped me and it has gotten a lot better!

The hardest part for me during my sobriety was between 30 and 90 days. If you are between those days, just hang on tight, go to a lot of meetings and pray. Most people relapse during this time because it is soooo hard! You can make it!!! Don't let the disease trick you into believing you suck. It wants to you to drink. It wants you to die!

Things do get so much better, I promise! Just don't drink! If you drink, the He11 will just get worse and you will suffer more. You can do it!!!

Good luck!

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Old 09-08-2008, 09:46 PM
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I'm so glad you posted this LouLou, thank you! I think it's something we all can relate to, and in that respect, those feelings you are having are GOOD, because you will hopefully be able to look back from a better place, and remember what this used to feel like.

It is really good, too, that you see what you want to have in others when you go to your meetings, and that you want it really bad. If you really do want it, keep going, and get the phone numbers of those people. Walk right up and ask them. Call them & hang out with them. They'll tell you & show how to get it. Do what they say to do. I think it's really that simple, at least in my own experience so far, it has been!

You don't have to figure all the answers out and solve all the problems and deal with all the guilt and shame today. Just little steps. One day -- sometimes one minute -- at a time. That's all. You get to have all of that if you want, and you don't have to do it alone. My thoughts & prayers are with you!

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Old 09-08-2008, 10:04 PM
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I know this wont help. But for me I just have to laugh at myself.
And remind myself. That is the reason to stay clean.
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:57 AM
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Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
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When I formally did AA Steps 4 & 5
Poof! no more guilt or remorse.

Hope this will be true for you too.
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Old 09-13-2008, 04:40 PM
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letting God take the wheel...
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Posts: 100
havent been on in a few days but I have been going to meetings and I just read and LOVED all of the responses..Thanks guys keep me sober..just got my one month coin last night, felt really good...last time I tried to get sober it lasted all of three months...I look forward to passing that up and hopefully going on like this forever....some days are better than others as far as my being inside my head and dealing with all the past shamefull events and I feel great...LOve you ALL!!!!!!
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:41 PM
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i understand the fear of people finding out who/what i was.
it scares me so much that i don't like talking to strangers. even if somebody smiles at me i wonder if they're really being friendly of it they're smilling because they know.
in fact i hope to move away soon.
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