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Tried Everything

Old 12-31-2009, 01:58 AM
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Tried Everything

I'm 33 years old and I've been drinking since I was 15. I've got a couple arrests, I've lost jobs (I'm unemployed at my Mom's), I've wrecked cars and I've wrecked relationships. I've been hospitalized for alcohol poisoning a couple times and I've broken a few bones falling. Every so often I decide to quit, and I do manage to go a day or two. I've tried counseling, rehab and AA. I'm pretty much out of options. I would like to just manage it. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:20 AM
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Welcome to SR. Your story could be mine, except for the arrests. How much do you want to stop drinking? Have you had enough?

How long did you have counselling? I started not long after I started AA and I see her weekly. When you were in AA, did you have a sponsor, go to meetings and work the steps? For me AA has been the answer, even though I am not thrilled about being there, in fact some days I hate it but it's the only thing that has been successful in getting me even one day sober. I'm 14 months now. I've made a commitment to myself to not pick up a drink today, no matter what. No matter how bad I feel, no matter how depressed I am, not matter what happens. I got the the point where I was desperate to stop. I was absolutely ready and prepared to do whatever it took. Maybe you're not at that place yet? I also realised that nothing outside of me was going to magically make me better. I had to put in the work and no one except ME could stop me picking up a drink.

I know people who have used the Rational Recovery programme successfully, and a lot of people seem to stay sober by posting here at SR too. Stick around!
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:29 AM
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You sound just like me. However I didnt drink everyday, however once I start I cant stop. More than likley I always end up in some kind of trouble. Been to jail, wrecked cars, hurt family members emotionally and so on. I go months without drinking, than I get the urge and get plastered and same **** happens every time.

For me I have progressivly gotten better, I am not at where I only crave sometimes and I just have to keep my mind on something else and it goes away. My best is 3-4 months without a drink, I **** up one night than go another few months. It takes time and will power.

I havnt tried AA, but I am actually looking into going to try it out. I went to a meeting about a year ago, but walked out right before it started. I want to give it a chance this time and kick the habbit for good.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:36 AM
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Hi Lady Slur
Welcome to SR.

I don''t think any of us are ever out of options.

If one counsellor didn't work, did you try another one or another approach? Did you try different AA meetings? Did you get a sponsor? How long did you do these things?

Did you try other recovery programmes, like the ones here in this link?

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...resources.html

I'm not trying to put you down

I'm just trying to impress upon you that you're fighting for your life here.

If you want to quit, you owe it to yourself to keep trying, keep looking for whatever you can find, until you find the thing that clicks.

You'll find many many people here who did just that.
There is hope - don't give up

D
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:31 AM
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Thanks for the responses.

I stuck around AA for 90 days, had a sponsor, worked the steps and went to different meetings every day. It didn't help at all. I've tried several therapists. Now I'm unemployed, so rehab and counseling are out - not that they worked anyway. I feel like I've been desperate to stop for a while, but nothing seems to work. Maybe I just need to find the will, but after so many years I fear it will never come. I've been told I need to hit bottom, but if arrests, unemployment, car crashes and hospitalizations aren't bottom, I don't know where it is. I've lost everything.
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:45 AM
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Welcome LadySlur

I've had arrests, unemployment, car crashes, and once in the hospital... none of those were my bottom. None of those even caused me to consider quitting drinking, actually.

My bottom was more... hard to pin down. It was thinking about my life and realizing that I might just pull off the lifestyle I was living until... the day my heart would give out, or something along those lines. I realized that if I didn't quit one way or the other, it would be like that forever, and I'd never have a chance to live without the chains of alcohol.

Okay, I started to type this before I realized it's kind of hard to explain what exactly was my bottom. I just plain old did not want to continue living like that.

I know, it's not the "typical" scary, but what I'm getting at is that your bottom is what does it for you--and it might not be what you think it "should" be.

I don't know what else to add about options, 'cause I thought I'd ran out, and AA turned out to work for me--although I'd tried it before. There are plenty of other ways of doing it though. Check out Dee's link.

Take care & be safe,
TB
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:57 AM
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Welcome to SR LadySlur, my bottom was when I saw the next year of my life if I kept on drinking, lose of family (Already in the works), lose of every material thing and then a full knowledge that if I kept on drinking I was going to die a slow, LONELY, painful death!

For many years my worst enemy was me!!! For me, trying my will power ALONE proved to be a complete failure. What my will power got me was physically, mentally, and spiritually addicted to alcohol. I spent the last 5 years of my drinking not drawing a sober breath.

I was in my mind utterly hopeless, I was scared, I did not want to die alone. I had absolutely no idea how in the world I could even get sober, little lone STAY sober!

Before those last 5 years I would stop drinking using the "My Way" program which was My will power, my machisimo!!! Hey it had been more then suffeciant for me to accomplish what ever I chose to accomlish before! Every time it resulted in me convincing myself I was not an alcoholic and I would drink again or me making the decision to drink again before I went nuts.

I gave up!!! I finally realized that the "My Way" program was a complete failure and was desperate enough to listen to other people and do what they suggested.

I saw a doctor, he sent me to detox, detox sent me to AA and a sponsor, AA old timers & my sponsor suggested I take the steps, I did take the steps, I also stayed in the middle of AA, I do service work and I sponsor other men.

You say you have been to rehabs before as well as AA and even had a sponsor and done the steps and after 90 days you made the decision to drink again!

You ask what to do now?

Well you could go back to AA or another program and not make the decision to drink again.

I can only speak from my experience with AA, it worked for me, but the reason it worked is because I WORKED the program! I did not make the decision to drink again!

I have read up on other programs, imho some of them could have worked for me, but ONLY if I WORKED the program with as much desperation as I did AA and every day made the decision to NOT drink JUST for that day and I also decided to WORK the program that day and NEVER make the decision to drink!

I know plenty of folks in AA that have gone to numerous rehabs and came to AA afterwards and wound up drinking again.

Every one of them says flat out that the reason that the rehab and AA did not work before was due to one simple fact............... They were not really ready to quit!!!

I know a man today who went to numerous rehabs/treatments & AA both in jail & out of jail, he now has 8 years sober using AA as his recovery program. What was different for him this last time? He says it was because he was willing to do ANYTHING to stay sober! He was READY to quit!

I can tell you that for me it took more then 90 days sober for the fog to lift enough to where I was beginning to comprehend things.

One can not stay sober unless they stop making the decision to drink!

I drank for 40 years, I spent the last 10 years of my drinking trying to quit drinking, but I kept making the decision to drink again!

1,200 days ago I was REALLY ready to stay stopped, I worked the steps of AA AND I APPLIED the steps to all areas of my life EVERY day!!!

Not when I felt like it, not when it was conveniant, but EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!

EVERY day when I wake up I make a decision that TODAY.... NO MATTER WHAT..... I WILL NOT DRINK! I pray that I will be able to do Gods will for me and that I will continue to let him care for me. If I do those things in the morning first thing, I know that God will once again ensure that my obsession to drink will remain lifted which will allow me to do his will for me.

The only way I will drink again is if I make a decision to turn my back once again on God & his care for me & I then decide to drink!

For me the reality of it all is EVERY day it is MY decision whether I will remain sober & bath in the sunlight or I will turn my back once again on the God of my choosing & understanding and step back through the gates of hell of my alcoholism.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:50 AM
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Welcome to SR, Lady. Just a question, are you ready to quit? Regardless of that answer, I do hope you'll stick around SR. Read and post alot. Lots of information here.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:13 AM
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I would say keep going to at least 1 AA meeting a day no matter what, drinking or not, whether you like it or not. Keep using ALL the tools it offers until you recieve the gift. Then give it away for the rest of your life.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by LadySlur View Post
Thanks for the responses.

I stuck around AA for 90 days, had a sponsor, worked the steps and went to different meetings every day. It didn't help at all.
I attempted a lot of things to quit, moderate or at least decrease the consequences of my drinking. I was on antabuse for awhile. I did therapy. I studied religion. I had several geographical and relationship cures I was sure would work. I collected a whole library of self-help books. You name it, I tried it. Maybe one or more of them would have worked, but I wasn't very good at sticking with any of them, so I can't say.

When I came to AA the last time (there were several other encounters over the years), I made myself a promise. The 12th step mentions "practicing these principles in all our affairs." I promised myself I would stick with it long enough to see how that would work out, how my life and my view of life might change once I had something to practice.

I quoted from your post in order to ask: in 90 days, did you drink? In 90 days, did you take all 12 steps and begin practicing each of them in your daily life? In 90 days, did you take all 12 steps consecutively in complete abstinence?

Quite a lot of people relapse in the midst of the steps and balk at starting over, but I can't see how, in my experience with them, that I could have taken a drink in the midst and continued on as if nothing had happened. The "miracle" requires, I believe, consistent effort and continued abstinence.

So, if you can answer no, yes and yes in the above, then okay. You tried AA and found it lacking. If your answers are any different than no, yes and yes, then I urge you not to cross it off your list yet because you haven't really tried it.

Peace & Love,
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Sugah View Post
I attempted a lot of things to quit, moderate or at least decrease the consequences of my drinking. I was on antabuse for awhile. I did therapy. I studied religion. I had several geographical and relationship cures I was sure would work. I collected a whole library of self-help books. You name it, I tried it.
Same here. I've read tons of books and tried Antabuse, Naltrexone and Campral.

I quoted from your post in order to ask: in 90 days, did you drink? In 90 days, did you take all 12 steps and begin practicing each of them in your daily life? In 90 days, did you take all 12 steps consecutively in complete abstinence?
It was a long time ago. I didn't drink, had a sponsor, studied the materials and worked the steps as best I could. I believed that the program would work if I only tried hard enough, but it really wasn't a very good fit for me. It reminded me of church with all the talk about God and miracles and prayer and such. My desire to drink never waned and I didn't find the AA lifestyle very appealing. I went back for a while after I relapsed, but eventually decided that I didn't want to be one of those people who constantly relapses and talks about it at meetings, because I met lots and lots of those people and they made everyone sad.

I'm checking out the link that Dee provided and am going to hang around here awhile, but right now I'm not considering AA again.

Thanks again you guys for the thoughtful responses. They were all helpful.
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by LadySlur View Post
I've lost everything.
If you've really lost everything, don't you think there is a better life out there, just waiting for you? There's got to be something worth living for that is better than the hell you are going through.

I tried so many times to get sober that I lost count. I tried it on my own, I tried it under the care of a doctor, I tried AA, I tried finding God. I took it seriously so many times and still the alcohol won. After awhile, I found myself thinking, "This isn't even worth the effort. I am who I am, I can't change, and I will live and die this way."

I'm still in early sobriety now, but it is so much different that it was any of the other times I tried to get sober. The only thing that changed for me is that this time I REALLY WANT IT. I thought I wanted it before, but I wasn't ready. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to give up. That's the advice I would offer to anyone trying to get sober...you've got to want it. ****{hugs}}}

Last edited by lostmyway; 12-31-2009 at 06:21 PM. Reason: Additional Thoughts
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:22 PM
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Wow, there are some wonderful replies here. LadySlur I feel ya. I too have been hospitalized getting the ole' stomach pumped, got a DUI and six months later arrested for public drunkenness. I never tried AA, I did alot of research and it just wasn't for me. Not nocking it by any means, but I knew I had to really want to quit and I didn't until now. I can't explain it, this overwhelming desire for a sober life. It's as if I can actually visualize my life without alcohol whereas I couldn't the times I tried to quit before. I can actually see myself sober and happy! I have a goal other than making it to the bed without falling and hurting myself. One day at a time.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:43 PM
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Hi Ladyslur,

The main thing is to not give up.

There is always hope, and sometimes hope is all we have.

I hope you find inspiration here, and begin to live a sober life.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:11 PM
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I may get my head ripped off for saying this but in your state/country can you procure legal cannabis with a prescription? Get it on the black market if not. I know when I would very occasionaly smoke a joint in my drinking days I be disgusted at the idea of having a drink. I remember having a sip of my favourite beer and I physically spat it out. I also know of a man who is now sober after over 15 years of heavy drinking, he got sober by smoking cannabis (illegally), he said it still wasn't an easy road but it worked a treat for him. Of course then you have to stop smoking cannabis when you get sober, that may be hard for some.

If you have tried all of those (in my opinion) amazing drugs then maybe it really is worth a shot. If you don't like smoking you can always cook it into cookies, cakes etc.

No offence to anyone, but I attended 4 AA meetings, I really didn't see how they would ever help me give up drinking. It just wasn't for me, I felt depressed afterwards to be honest.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:20 PM
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I can see how the God/Higher Power thing can put people off AA, but that's the whole point of the programme. I'm fortunate that the meetings here are spiritual in focus rather than Christian because I'm not a Christian. AA promises that anyone who THOROUGHLY follows their path can stop drinking - prayer and a HP is part of the path, so if you haven't given that a go, you haven't really tried everything. There may well be something outside of AA that can help you get sober and I hope you find it because everyone here knows what a living hell active alcoholism is.

Personally, if all I need to do to stay sober is believe that someting outside myself can be accessed by prayer and will help me stay sober, it's a no-brainer. I'd rather go to a lame meeting, drink bad coffee and pray than wake up in hospital one more time after a blackout, or miss more time off work because I'm hungover or coming down or having a paranoid delusion and can't leave the house. I'm really, truly done. I have no idea why praying to have the obsession/compulsion/need to drink taken away works, but it does. I don't want to lose another second of my life to alcohol/drugs.

The disease has a mind of it's own and it tells me that I don't need to stop, that nothing will work, that I'm fine, that we can have just one more drink and stop tomorrow. ANYTHING that tells me it's ok to drink or that I don't have a problem, or that nothing works, is the voice of the disease. It sounds so reasonable and rational, but I know that it's a one way trip to crazy for me. If I drink again I don't think I could stop again. If all it takes is a willingness to believe in a higher power - call it God, call it Buddha, call it Good Orderly Direction, whatever - what do we have to lose? We just have to be willing, or be willing to be willing. No one's going to ask us to sign a statement saying we believe implicitly in the existence and intervention of God as per the Christian bible.

We just need a willingness to begin to entertain the idea that there is something bigger than our human selves that might possibly help us to get better. A definitive idea of what that is isn't necessary.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:22 PM
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No offence to anyone, but I attended 4 AA meetings, I really didn't see how they would ever help me give up drinking. It just wasn't for me, I felt depressed afterwards to be honest.
I felt like that the first few meetings I went to too. Sometimes I still feel that way. However, I could see that people who had a lot of time up sober and were working the programme looked 'alive' and they were doing the things that I wanted to be able to do - have good jobs, travelling, having functional relationships, being happy - so I did my best to make some friends and connect with people in the rooms, get a sponsor etc. I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot because nothing I had tried before got me sober for more than a day or two.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TigerLili View Post
Personally, if all I need to do to stay sober is believe that someting outside myself can be accessed by prayer and will help me stay sober, it's a no-brainer.
People say that belief in a prayer-accessible higher power is easy, but it really isn't. If I could choose my beliefs my life would be much easier, but that's not how it works. We don't choose our beliefs. If we could, I would just choose to believe that I don't like to drink and be done with it.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:46 PM
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You can't choose not to have a disease. Alcoholism is a disease. We can choose how we treat the disease but unfortunately we can't choose not to have it, any more than we can choose not to have diabetes.

I've never heard anyone say that belief in a HP is easy - I don't think it's easy at all. It's a huge issue that I may never resolve to my satisfaction. All I can do is act as though I do belive, pray as though it might work and be willing to believe that maybe there is something that is a HP. That is enough for me so far. It's keeping me sober.

AA may not be for you - there are many people who get sober without it.
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by LadySlur View Post
I stuck around AA for 90 days, had a sponsor, worked the steps

[B]Maybe I just need to find the will[/B.
These two statements are incompatible.

If you had understood and experienced Step 1, you would understand that obviously you lack the will. That's what makes you an alcoholic.

I'm not trying to jump on semantics, Ladyslur. Your sponsor failed to carry the message of AA's simple program to you. You could not have taken Step 1 and still believe that finding the will is a solution. Lack of power is our dilemma. Because I lack the power to quit, that's what makes me an alcoholic. At least according to Step 1.

If you really want to quit, find a sponsor who understands this.
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