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Self-respect and my 1st AA meeting...

Old 10-22-2009, 07:37 AM
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Red face Self-respect and my 1st AA meeting...

So I got over my fear last night and walked into the women's group meeting...and let me tell you, I'm SO GLAD I DID.

The topic of the night was "self-respect", and I hadn't realized just how much my drinking was related to the fact that I really didn't love myself. Finally I got the nerve to speak - talked about issues in my childhood and an abusive past that led to my feeling worthless. It seemed like the only time I liked myself was when I was drinking. Ordinarily, I was this shy, self-conscious girl who always seemed to say the wrong things. When I was drinking, I was glamorous...beautiful...witty. Or so I thought. In reality, I was the obnoxious girl who threw up on her friends' couches and passed out during karaoke.

Know what? SO many of the women there had similar stories. It was so refreshing. I had a good cry, a good confession, then got lots of hugs and phone numbers. Bought a copy of the Big Book...and last night, when I felt the urge to drink, I called a friend, then put on some good music and snuggled down in my bed to read a bit. It felt good...and I'm still getting used to not waking up with a hangover!

Loving myself...that's a new concept to me, but I'm working on it. I keep telling myself that I was created to be something wonderful. There were many times when I could have easily died, but I didn't. There has to be a reason for that.

Just have to find it.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:45 AM
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I totally agree with you.

I think lack of self-worth is the root of drinking problems for many of us. It sure was for me. After all, why would I poison myself, if I cared? Learning self-love has been an ongoing journey for me since I began to recover. I am SO glad that you are seeking support.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:50 AM
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Awesome!!! I have found that once people give AA a chance they start to really figure out how much they are not alone. I'm very happy that your going sparked something for you.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 51anna View Post
I think lack of self-worth is the root of drinking problems for many of us. It sure was for me. After all, why would I poison myself, if I cared?
Yeah, me too.

And alcohol often validates those feelings, and helps it turn into a vicious cycle.

I'm very happy you had a good meeting Diva!

-Goat
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:21 AM
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Great post! I'm so pleased for you, keep on going back to meetings, do as they say and you can have an amazing life where you feel happy, content and serene...it will take some work...will be worth it though:-)

It's brilliant that you have related so much on your first meeting...
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:58 AM
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Good for you HD, I love AA, its the only place I find where people understand what I'm going through. You will find many meetings to attend, keep going to them, there are great people in the rooms. Take the suggestions, they are very important to recovery. Please keep using those numbers that were given you, they were a life saver for me. Well done.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:25 AM
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I'm so glad you had a positive experience with it. I had the good cry after my first meeting too, but it was alone on my way home LOL.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:50 AM
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I am glad you are here~!!! I was a mess when i first went into AA! I was very emotional about EVERYTHING!! Now, the fellowship of AA is the greatest thing to me! I love all the people and it is the most theraputic rush whenever i go!
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:18 AM
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great news,keep going back,,it will work if you honestly want it.nice to meet you.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:01 PM
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Where's the love?

I have been to a lot of different AA and NA meetings. Really, LOTS, over a period of 9 years, on and off. Only a couple of these groups were truly welcoming and friendly. I've seen lots of tight little cliques. I've seen groups where there is a ritualized, formal kind of "we HAVE to act like we care about the newcomer - it says so in the book - here's your hug, now let me get back to conversation with my REAL friends" kind of shallow "welcome". The people who seem to fit in well are very "hot", pretty females or unusually outgoing types who love the sound of their own voices. I have seen people deliberately ignored or even ostracized for having the wrong " look", having a speech impediment (people having side conversations, fidgeting, sighing, scowling while this person was sharing), being kind of geekish, being an obvious transvestite/transexual at a mostly straight meeting, that kind of thing. I'll admit to being a little shy, but I try to be open, say hi, look people in the eye, smile, etc... in most other places, including rehab, I am able to make a couple of good friends, but not AA/NA. Even people who offered to be my sponsor turned out to be flakey, unusually moody, had more problems than I did (!), or were unavailable (never home, don't answer phone, don't return calls, don't show up where/when they say they will...you get the picture.) I have a couple of girlfriends from rehab who report similar experiences. So, I don't understand why so many people act like AA/NA is such a wonderfully warm, supportive place. I had a pretty serious problem recently (false positive on a UA). I talked about it, was clearly VERY upset, asked (almost begged) for advice and encouragement. No one seemed concerned or even interested. No one talked with me after the meeting. The friendliest person I ever met at a meeting was a married man who was trying to "13th Step" me! Where is the love? What's up? Why are so many of these meetings cliquish, with an invisible barrier between "the inner circle" and "outsiders", and most friendly overtures being shallow formalities, nothing more?
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:40 PM
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Welcome Bettie!

I have made the observation that AA meeting dynamics vary region to region. I have been to meetings in several parts of the US, and they seem to all have a local flavor.

When I lived in Virginia, the meetings were wonderful and welcoming. However, here in rural Ohio, they are decidedly not so.

Seattle is a bit of a cliqueish town anyway... perhaps there are meetings a little outside of town you could try?

If not, stick around here... this place is definitely warm and welcoming!

-Goat
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:11 PM
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I think lack of self-worth is the root of drinking problems for many of us. It sure was for me. After all, why would I poison myself, if I cared?
And alcohol often validates those feelings, and helps it turn into a vicious cycle.
Anna and Goat, that is a pretty accurate description of how it was for me too...

And diva, I'm glad your first meeting was such a positive experience. I go to (secular) women's meetings too, actually I started only going to meetings several months into sobriety because I was too scared to go...and it was so worth getting over my fear too. Would it have been an less hard journey if I had gone earlier? Probably...

To all those who are still hesitant/afraid... just try it. The people there are going there for the same reasons as you, and were all scared too the first time. If you are afraid someone there will know you, well...the person will be there for tha same reason. Yopu can find people that can relate to you, chances are there will be people that have been in similar situations where you have been. No one will force you to go again if you don't want to.
And if you have the possibility to do so, it is absolutely ok to take a look at several different groups and to chose the one that suits you best.
So, you have a lot of support to win, and little to lose.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:33 PM
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HD......:
I find AA to be an awesome adventure in
living sober
for sharing your positive expereince.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:55 PM
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BettieforReal....Welcome...

Sorry to know you have not benefited from
either AA or NA. That must be Frustrating.

There are SR members who are successfully
clean and sober ... also without NA/AA.

I saw your first post in Substance Abuse.
Sorry to know of your chronic pain.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:41 AM
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hebrewdiva I am so glad you found what the majority of folks going to AA found, and am truly ecstatic that you picked up the phone & called some one who gave you thier phone number. AA does work for those folks who work it.

Bettie I am sorry your AA/NA experience has not been what the vast majority of people have found in AA. So have you been sober 9 years?

You know if I found what you are finding in AA, I would do one of 2 things, find another program or start going to meetings you have not been to before.

I have gone to thousands of meetings all over Va. & in Baltimore, I never felt unwelcomed, yes I have found a few meetings that had more then thier share of jerks, but by far the majority of folks with some sober time are cool.

I spoke to a newcomer a while back, he was telling me how glad he was willing to go to a second meeting, because he had a bad experience at his first AA meeting, he then said he was so happy after the meeting was over an old timer came up to him and said "That guy can be a jerk at times, if you really want to stay sober then do not allow any one to keep you from staying sober.
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