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Old 10-05-2009, 07:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys, I go to AA and see a therapist but figure I might have an easier time talking with an online group and figured I might as well give it a shot! I started smoking weed and drinking back in high school and really went crazy when I went off to college. It's now been a little over two years and I dropped out of that college and live at home with my parents. I went sober for about 2 months November 2008-New Years 2009 and it just started again. Seems to be a pretty vicious cycle and I can't do it on my own but I don't know how to do it not on my own yet either. I drink/do drugs because I am bored. I don't really know how to interact with other people anymore(and genuinely enjoy myself doing it) so I don't really have any friends anymore except those I get high/drunk with, which sort of backs me into a corner. I don't know how to make real friends because I don't have the slightest clue what to do with them and end up suggesting getting high or drunk after conversation dies down. I have recently joined a gym which is a step the right way but now I feel I am stuck again, and whenever I feel stuck and have nothing else to do, I do drugs. Anyways I have decided to try harder and decided these forums could be good to meet people with the same problems. I am 1 day sober so far..
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hello there and . This is a great place to learn and grow. Lots of support, lots of experienced folks. It really helps. Keep reading and posting. You'll learn a lot. There are people here who have been in your shoes.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Max

You've really picked a good place - you'll find a lot of support and encouragement here
I hope to see you around some more,

Welcome!
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey Max
Nice to see ya! Congrats on being able to see something is not right. To answer your question from my experience:
In order to fit in without drinking etc. I had to quit, find my personality 'baseline' (ME) and real friends seem to come around. Time frame.. Well it does take time but all good things do take time.

Not sure if you have ever played baseball but Sunday I was telling the new 12 year old first basemen to catch the ball first then deal with the runner coming to first base.

Call the ball first (Just don't drink no matter what), then work on the runner heading to first. He will not get the runner out without the ball (Enjoying life).
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR Max, SR has been an awesome addition to AA for me, not a substitute but a supplememnt.

So how many AA meetings do you go to? I spent my last 5 years drinking alone in my garage, socially I was broken, unless it involved drinking I did not socialize with anyone, I really had lost the ability to carry on a conversation without a cold one in my hand and at least half a load or more on.

When I was in detox they suggested daily that if we wanted a chance to stay sober to go to at least 90 AA meetings in 90 days. One of the things going to that many meetings was to allow me to start off socializing with sober people, but not just sober people, but sober alcoholics.

At first for me it was probably like an only child going to pre-school for the first time, I felt lost, oh I talked a lot, but it was about a whole lot of nothing and I was sure I was boring people to tears, but no one ran away, then I learned to listen to others. Listening I have found helps those talking and I learn stuff as well, like how to stay sober, how to laugh with out being drunk.

As time passed I again learned how to socialize with people with out being half lit, I started to make friends not just in AA but out side of it as well. I rarely get bored any more, I am either doing something with my family or something with folks in AA.

Do you go to meetings early to help set up? Want an instant friend? Go early and help set up thr meeting, you will have one! Stay a bit late after the meeting as well, some of the best conversation is after meetings in small groups or one on one.

Many of us are just like you are and I was, we either were loners from the beginning or we became loners due to our drinking, AA is a very safe place for us to relearn how to socialize, people who have been sober a good while have not forgotten what they were like when they first got sober, they are very tolerant of us when we are new and trying to get our social skills in order.

If the friends have not come to you in AA, they will, give it time. Keep an eye out for that person coming to thier first meeting, when you see them walk over and introduce your self, you know exactly how they feel, alone and nervous even in a room full of people.
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Max,

There is a huge difference between going to AA and working AA's program of recovery. Like night and day difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxC View Post
I drink/do drugs because I am bored.... and whenever I feel stuck and have nothing else to do, I do drugs.
Maybe you're bored or feel stuck, and maybe you have something else going on. Maybe you have an obsession. Maybe you are restless, irritable, and discontent. Maybe you can't wrest any satisfaction out of life and the drink gives you that sense of ease and comfort.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi and Welcome,

I'm glad you are here!

There are lots of things to do in life that don't involve drinking. I'm sure you will be able to find interesting ways to spend your time. And, I know many of us have had to make difficult decisions in early recovery, about friends and the people we spend time with. I know for certain, I couldn't be around people who were drinking.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot guys! i was wondering Keith if you could explain what you mean by going to AA vs. working their recovery program.. I feel that this is probably why I have failed in the past, I'm all talk, I say 1 thing and do another.
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hye (((((Max)))))

WELCOME to SR. You have found a great place with lots of Experience, Strength, and Hope (ES&H) from those who have been where you are now.

Quote:
explain what you mean by going to AA vs. working their recovery program.
AA meetings are a great start. The Recovery Program of AA is in the first 164 pages of the book Alcoholics Anonymous (available at most meetings) which explains how to work the 12 steps. In addition it works better, at least for me and many others if one gets a SPONSOR. A Sponsor is a Guide and Mentor of sorts, who has worked the steps and is now applying those steps in their daily living.

An additional resource for you, since you live in Santa Cruz, is Janus Recovery. They have a great rhabilitation facility that you might want to check out. I know they have a 'sliding scale' fee basis and in many cases take those who have no money at all. Whether they have just 'out patient' or not I am unsure of, however, I do know of many success stories of folks who have gone through Janus:

Janus of Santa Cruz - Leaders in substance abuse treatment

There are also some really GREAT AA Meetings in Santa Cruz and Capitola. I know I have attended many of them, not only in my early recovery years ago, but on return visits to various parts of California over the years.

Please continue to post and let us know how you are doing, ask questions, etc as we do care very much.

Again, WELCOME to SR.

Love and hugs,
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Max You can beat this, glad you are here.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Welcome Max- you are in the right place, but as pointed out, this not the only place you should feel welcome.

One thing that I found valuable about AA was that there were many different types of meetings. Some meetings (generally the larger ones) are harder for a newcomer to feel comfortable - mainly due to the size - until you know a few more people. The smaller ones made me feel more comfortable to meet others like me - and I found this extremely helpful in my early days. If you call your local AA hotline and explain that you want to attend some smaller meetings, they can give you advice on some good meetings to attend. Often times a Big Book study meeting works well, but it varies by area. Also, if you have a bad experience at one meeting, just go to another one until you find one that you like.

You are worth it, so don't give up.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Advice from a fellow newb....

I can really identify with your predicament. I have been drinking and drugging for 20 years and I am only 36! I have a good life, beautiful wife and kids, great job bla, bla, bla. So, if life was so good why was I always trying to get out of it? I believe the answer is because we are sick. Alcoholism is a disease that will get progressively worse the longer it is left untreated. And even if you are sober for any duration (well done on 60 days by the way!), the disease is in the corner doing push-ups. Waiting.

I am 3 days sober and drug free, today. For me, I need meetings, meetings, meetings. 90 meetings in 90 days. One of the old timers told me on my first meeting "Don't worry about The Steps, don't worry if you don't understand anything, just get your arse on a seat and take your medicine through your ears!". The Steps and a greater understanding will come in time, but for now focus on One Day At A Time and get to as many meetings as you can. I am no authority on recovery, and have stumbled many times despite my good intentions, but I believe in AA - it works if you work it.

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Old 10-07-2009, 06:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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i was wondering Keith if you could explain what you mean by going to AA vs. working their recovery program.
Max,

I've been involved with AA for a while, and for me, it was an absolute life saver. No doubt about it, I was a hopeless drunk who couldn't stay sober for any length of time. I went to AA meetings, had service positions, tried to work with a sponsor, but fizzled out and returned to drinking. Then I couldn't get stopped again.

When it got to where I couldn't go on another day like I was, I surrendered to the AA program. I was willing to do whatever it took to stay sober. I got hooked up with a group of guys who talked about having a spiritual awakening as the result of taking the 12 Steps. They told me that for them, it was essential and vital that they have that spiritual experience in order to live life sober.

And they showed me how to go about it. They showed me that the Big Book of AA contained precise directions for having a spiritual awakening that would solve my problem. Just like they promised, I had a spiritual awakening as the result of the Steps. My life changed in incomprehensible ways. The drinking problem was gone.

So, the short version is, that for alcoholics like me, meetings and fellowship were not sufficient. I'm not knocking them, they just weren't the actions required to overcome alcoholism. The 12 Steps were.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:36 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Max I am with the others that suggested AA. I am a big, big, big fan of having a sponsor and working the 12 steps. I hope you will at lease give it a try and if you don't like one meeting, try another. They are all different.

Welcome to SR!!!
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I am right there with Keith, I got out of detox and as they suggested I was going to at least a meeting a day and I had a sponsor............ I thought I was doing awesome, then at about 2 months sober something snapped, I came so close to picking up again it was not funny.

Lucky for me I remembered the Old Timers telling some one that the time to take the steps was when they wanted the pain to stop!!!!

Well I was more then ready for the pain to stop, I switched sponsors and started taking the steps, they resulted in a spiritual awakening for me and my obsession to drink was lifted. My life today is way beyond what I thought it would be like.

Meetings and service work for some, but alone they did not work for me, but as it says in the Big Book, I was rocketed into another dimension of life that I never dreamed of, all of this was a result of taking the steps and applying them to all areas of my life on a daily basis.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey fooman, I can identify with your perfect life, I also seem to have a pretty perfect life with my problem being getting high/drunk. I remember a few months ago my parents hadn't caught me doing anything for a long time and my relationship with them was getting almost too good. It pissed me off, like some family out of the 1950's. I almost think I wanted it to get messed up, which is insane. I think I finally see how much I've put myself through and my relationships with those who actually care about me and am ready to just call it quits. It wares on us too much and we don't even realize it because we use drugs/alcohol to try and ignore it.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:00 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Welcome Max. I don't have much sage wisdom for you, but wanted you to know I identify with your situation and that of foo as well. I have pretty much lived the life you described, but kept it up for 20+ years. I gotta tell you, it doesn't get better, only worse. If I could go back and change one thing in my life, and I have many, many regrets, it would be not to have taken up the drinking and smoking. All of the negative things you have described, the stunted social skills, the lost opportunities, only get worse the longer you continue. Try to imagine being in your situation, but at age 40...including the part about living with your parents!! That's where I am and it's not a great place to be. I'm starting to put it back together again, have almost 6 months clean, but I've lost so much.

Both Keith and Taz have some good recovery in their lives and give good advice. Listen to what they have to say and give it a shot. Take care.
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