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Old 01-04-2010, 08:21 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by NoelleR View Post
You say, "... I'm in AA, in the middle of doing 90 in 90. I pray multiple times a day, call my sponsor everyday, meet with him at least once a week, I go to IOP two nights a week. What am I doing wrong?..."

I don't know about 'doing wrong' but I don't see anything about what step you're actively working on.

So, what step are/were you working on? I have NEVER known anyone to relapse who was actively working on a step.


NoelleR
I just completed step 1 and we were about to start working step 2. B/c of the holidays, our normal Sat meetings were put off for two weeks, so I was in between step 1 and 2.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by keithj View Post
I've worked with a couple guys who relapsed while in the middle of the steps. Their work was pretty solid, and I don't think they were doing anything wrong. It's kind of a miracle that any of us make it through any given day without drinking. It's even more of a miracle when it ceases to be an issue. But these guys just reviewed a few things and picked up where they were. Both of them have multiple years sober today.
I hope to be just like these guys. I want multiple years of sobriety and a solid recovery. Today is day 4. Hopefully I can get my sponsor to call me back, but if not, I'll get another one at the next AA meeting and move forward.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Kjell View Post
I just completed step 1 and we were about to start working step 2. B/c of the holidays, our normal Sat meetings were put off for two weeks, so I was in between step 1 and 2.
Don't be too discouraged then, Kjell. You've got as far as knowing in your heart that you are powerless. And you've demonstrated it with a concrete example. That's a huge step, and one that many people never take.

Next step is to know in your heart that you need to tap into some power. Lack of power is our problem. But where were we to find this power? Well, that's exactly what this book (Big Book) is about. It's main object is to enable you to find a power greater than yourself which will solve your problem. Blah blah blah.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Kjell View Post
Thanks everyone. I can't say it enough, I'm not done trying and even though I'll probably not be allowed over my parents house and they may not help me with rides, I'm determined to beat this. That's their decision and I'll respect and honor whatever they decide.

One thing I know for sure, I just can't be in a situation where I'm home "alone" and there is alcohol in the house. It seems that sometimes I can win that war and sometimes I lose. My losses are really starting to pile up and they scare the hell outta me. I don't want anymore L's, only W's.

38 days down the drain. So much lost over one night. It's certainly not worth it and completly insane...
Hello my friend-
I am so like you. Except you have a great string of sobriety going, and one slip. I am not going to sugar coat it- you know the deal. I am having the same problem or similar- I am quitting on and off for a few weeks now can't seem to string it together.....and I think I might know why. Two things (for me)- one: my wife drinks two glasses of wine each evening, not even close to alcoholic (IMO)- which means its in the house and I have caved many times over the last month or so. two: I am scared crapless of WDs, my work consists of meetings/presentations/speaking in front of many people, and the last thing I need is a panic attack in front of 300 people. Also the last thing I need is to die from drinking....anyway good luck- you have a lot of company.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:56 AM
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38 days down the drain. So much lost over one night.
Kjell those days will never be lost, sit down in a quiet spot and pray that you can be honest with your self. Now go over what you were doing RIGHT during those 38 days, perhaps write them down. Now comes the tough part look over with all the self honesty you can muster and see if you stopped doing anything that was keeping you sober or that which you may have down "Half arse"..... keep in mind that "Half measures availed use nothing."

The reason as you already have said is with in you.

After this sit down with your sponsor, let him know where you feel you were lacking.

Are you calling people EVERY day besides your sponsor?

I used to think when I called some one in the fellowship I was bugging them, then I found a lot of them were thanking me for calling them.... Today I have people call me as well as me calling folks. When people call me they help me, they are not a bother, they are a pleasure & I am honored they would call me.

You have got some sage suggestions here, keep in mind that in AA it is one alcoholic helping another alcoholic to stay sober, not just one sponsor helping one alcoholic.

Reach out Kjell, you help others and it helps you even more.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:10 AM
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Kjell,

So glad you're back on the wagon!!!

In my hard core drinking days, your situation would have went something like this for me...

Me: They took all the alcohol from the house. Just out of curiosity let's check the freezer.

*walk to kitchen open freezer*

*freezer door creaks open and my heart races like I'm opening a treasure chest.*

Alcohol: Well hi there! It's been a while, where in the heck have you been? I've missed you and you've missed me, let's face it we are meant for each other you and me. Look, you've got a limited opportunity here - I'm freezing cold so you won't feel the burn...and that sadness you feel? HAHAHA! say goodbye to that once you get your mitts around me. Just go ahead and uh...that's it...that's it...it was freezing in there!

Me: Just one more time, after all I told them to rid the house of alcohol so this really isn't my fault. I'm an alcoholic, this is what I'm supposed to do when I see alcohol. This is their fault not mine. It's check out time Bit%$es!

*glug glug glug*


Pretty twisted logic now that I have 20 days under my belt, but that's how it would have gone down for me. I've found some bottles in those 20 days but I just didn't want to go down that path anymore so I tossed 'em. I could only find the power to do that once I decided that it was sobriety or bust, I've given four years of my life to alcohol and that's four years too many.

I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired that I got a second wind of being sick and tired and finally decided this is it.

That said, I'm glad you're back and making progress!!!

P.S. Whoever said, "the love of money is the root of all evil" obviously wasn't an alcoholic.
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:34 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Kjell View Post
38 days down the drain. So much lost over one night. I don't want anymore L's, only W's.
I would suggest stop seeing it as a zero-sum situation. As long as that is your state of mind, you're still trying to manage and you're stalking your own obsession. I'm thinking that on NYE, your disease analyzed the situation (home babysitting and not "allowed" to drink), chalked it up as a L and immediately decided to convert the L to a W -- which for it was grabbing the bottle. "You" going the for a different "W" the next time is just an equal yet opposite futile endeavor. Let it go.

If that makes sense, based on these experiences you should be able to work through Step Three in about two minutes. You're letting it go. Then start on four.

Chris
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Untoxicated View Post
In my hard core drinking days, your situation would have went something like this for me...

Me: They took all the alcohol from the house. Just out of curiosity let's check the freezer.

*walk to kitchen open freezer*

*freezer door creaks open and my heart races like I'm opening a treasure chest.*

Alcohol: Well hi there! It's been a while, where in the heck have you been? I've missed you and you've missed me, let's face it we are meant for each other you and me. Look, you've got a limited opportunity here - I'm freezing cold so you won't feel the burn...and that sadness you feel? HAHAHA! say goodbye to that once you get your mitts around me. Just go ahead and uh...that's it...that's it...it was freezing in there!

Me: Just one more time, after all I told them to rid the house of alcohol so this really isn't my fault. I'm an alcoholic, this is what I'm supposed to do when I see alcohol. This is their fault not mine. It's check out time Bit%$es!

*glug glug glug*
It did go very much like that, except I wasn't blamming them. I was just shocked. I'm now seeing that I didn't have a plan just in case, just maybe they didn't get it all out. Once I saw it was there and plenty of it, I caved quickly. I don't even think I thought about it. Just did it.

Looking back, man I should have picked up my little brother (and his Xbox 360) and headed to my house. Again, I should always think "what will I do if people are drinking or if I'm somewhere alone with alcohol" before I go anywhere. I guess I didn't prepare and blah blah blah. Me is sick and now people are hurt and even more distrustful.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:18 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by chrisinaustin View Post
I would suggest stop seeing it as a zero-sum situation. As long as that is your state of mind, you're still trying to manage and you're stalking your own obsession. I'm thinking that on NYE, your disease analyzed the situation (home babysitting and not "allowed" to drink), chalked it up as a L and immediately decided to convert the L to a W -- which for it was grabbing the bottle. "You" going the for a different "W" the next time is just an equal yet opposite futile endeavor. Let it go.

If that makes sense, based on these experiences you should be able to work through Step Three in about two minutes. You're letting it go. Then start on four.

Chris
Thanks! I hope my sponsor (or new one) lets me get on to step 4 as soon as possible. So far I've had to wait weeks both times and I've drank before I got there. Now, I'm not blaming either sponsor or AA. I just want to get better is all. Whatever way is best.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Kjell View Post
Thanks! I hope my sponsor (or new one) lets me get on to step 4 as soon as possible. So far I've had to wait weeks both times and I've drank before I got there. Now, I'm not blaming either sponsor or AA. I just want to get better is all. Whatever way is best.
Truly "working the steps" is often not a quick process. It's not like when you get to Step 12, you are cured or anything. The idea is to learn how each step works for you in your life.

When I was in rehab I went through the first 5 steps. I say went through rather than worked because that is what it really felt like. I spent a little more than 2 weeks and while doing the Step 5 inventory was somewhat of an emotional release for me, I really didn't understand the meaning behind each of the steps.

Once I got out of rehab I truly worked the first 3 steps with a sponsor. He made very sure I was completely clear how each step worked before moving on to the next. Different sponsors do it different ways, but I personally think you are better off taking your time and really getting your arms around the program and how it works. If nothing else, this teaches you patience, something we addicts and alcoholics are usually very lacking in. While my personal recovery path took me in a different direction than AA/NA, the time I spent with the program, and what I still continue to learn from it's members here on SR, is very helpful in my recovery.

Just remember, it's not a race, it's a journey, and everything, both positive and negative, can be a learning experience. Take care.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:53 PM
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parents_came_over_today_and_more

My parents came over today (along with my sister who I live with) and we talked about what happened.

To make this brief, of course it wasn't all nice, but I listened to what they had to say. They asked for their key back, not to punish me, but so I can't come over and possible drink. We all decided it's best for me to not go down to their basement. It's just too much over there. I am allowed to see my brother, they'll continue to help me get to and fro AA and IOP (and much more was discussed). We talked a lot about my character defects and about my self centered and selfish ways.

I told on myself at my IOP meeting tonight. I guess the next step is to talk to my sponsor tomorrow and see who else I need to tell (family members who are helping me with lawyer fees and IOP costs to name a few).

Thank you all who responded and viewed this post. I'm grateful for you sharing your experience and suggestions.
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by tyler View Post
...but I personally think you are better off taking your time and really getting your arms around the program and how it works.
While I respect your experience with this, Tyler, I wholeheartedly disagree. The most difficult time for an alcoholic is when they have no solution. When we stop drinking, we have lost our only solution. So that time between the last drink and some relief from the Steps becomes a make or break time for most alkies.

Make or break in the sense that willingness is essential. And most of us are not willing to do the "self-searching, leveling of our pride, and confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation." That gift of willingness is often the result of desperation.

I always worry when someone comes into the program, things start going well, they get the job and the girl and the driving back. And that desperation is gone before they've found a solution. Then there is no motivation to do any Step work. And in a few short months, life sucks all over again. Being sober sucks and they get thirsty.

That's assuming that they even get that pink cloud bounce of not drinking. Many never do. They come in desperate and are told to take their time. So they hang around for a couple months with no solution and they drink because they are powerless not to. White knuckle only gets you so far. And they wonder why AA doesn't work even though they've missed the whole program while sitting in the rooms.

I do agree completely that a thorough understanding is necessary. Or maybe a thorough acceptance at the heart level is a better way to put it. But that doesn't take a lot of time. A few hours sitting down with someone who knows that Big Book from a spiritual perspective can oftentimes be plenty to get through the first 3 Steps.

And really, it's not about how a sponsor does things. It's about where the new guy is at. I can't set the pace with a new guy. He's at the Step he's at, and there is just no forcing it if he is unable to accept certain truths. If he is able, however, there is no benefit to going slow.

I wrote this in general, 3rd person terms, but this has been my own personal experience with taking my time and getting drunk versus launching into a vigorous course of action and conquering alcoholism. It's also my experience in working with others.
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:37 AM
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Work the steps as quickly as possible to the best of your ability, read the promises as in the Big Book and expect them to start coming true around step 9.

The chapter about how to take the steps is called 'Into Action', it is not called 'chill out for a bit and take your time' or 'how we procrastinated and did the steps'...

Taking your time with the steps is IMO, and the opinion of my sponsor (and without doubt would be the opinion of Bill W and Dr Bob...as is clear in the Big Book by their stories and entry into sobriety), really ignorant and dangerous...this gives you a great example of the crosss section of sobriety that is in the rooms and also show you that it is not dependent on sobriety time...find someone who has worked the steps as quickly as they could and to the best of their ability who's sobriety you like the look of and ask them to help guide you through the steps.

It's your life and happiness at stake here so make sure you listen to the right suggestions and always double check that it is in the Big Book. I would be drunk today if i had not worked the steps...i thank God for bringing my sponsor into my life, it would have been an absolute disaster with a let's do one step a month kind of sponsor!!
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:02 AM
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When it comes to experiences with AA, I would tend to defer to those here on the board with more experience than I have. Though I have gained a great deal from the program, it has only been a part of my personal recovery process. As Keith said, that is his personal experience. Every sponsor has their own way of working with you. I do think it is important to find a sponsor you are comfortable with. That doesn't mean someone who's "easy" on you, but someone you think you can learn from and improve. Many people leave the program after having a sponsor who "just didn't work out" instead of trying to find someone else to work with. Of course if this starts to become a pattern, it's time to take a hard look in the mirror at what the real problem may be. Again, this is just my personal experience and what I've observed, please take it as just that. Take care.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:11 AM
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kjell if you are serious about getting a new sponsor, I would suggest looking for what I unknowingly at the time got for a sponsor, a man that has a number of years under his belt, takes one through the steps as they are spelled out in the first 164 pages of the BB.

He took me through the steps as rapidly as I needed/wanted to go through them, but he also made sure that I was ready to go on to the next step. He told me that he was willing to take me through the steps as rapidly as needed.

The steps for me were the key for me, they led me to a conception of God that I chose & understood, they led me to an understanding of myself, the good, the bad, and the ugly, they led me to clean up the wreckage of my past without harming others and finding the ability to forgive myself for my past, they have led me see me for who I really am, to be able to change as I need to change in a manner which has allowed me to be of maximum benefit to others.

The steps led me to being set free of not only my alcoholism, but of myself.

If you stick with your present sponsor be open with him, be honest with him, if you are struggling let him know. A sponsor can do nothing unless he is aware of the struggles of a sponsee.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tazman53 View Post
kjell if you are serious about getting a new sponsor, I would suggest looking for what I unknowingly at the time got for a sponsor, a man that has a number of years under his belt, takes one through the steps as they are spelled out in the first 164 pages of the BB.

He took me through the steps as rapidly as I needed/wanted to go through them, but he also made sure that I was ready to go on to the next step. He told me that he was willing to take me through the steps as rapidly as needed.

The steps for me were the key for me, they led me to a conception of God that I chose & understood, they led me to an understanding of myself, the good, the bad, and the ugly, they led me to clean up the wreckage of my past without harming others and finding the ability to forgive myself for my past, they have led me see me for who I really am, to be able to change as I need to change in a manner which has allowed me to be of maximum benefit to others.

The steps led me to being set free of not only my alcoholism, but of myself.

If you stick with your present sponsor be open with him, be honest with him, if you are struggling let him know. A sponsor can do nothing unless he is aware of the struggles of a sponsee.
I believe I have a good sponsor and would prefer to stick with him. Of course, looking back, I was not completly honest with him about everything (again, something I'm working on). I also need to talk with him more instead of always calling and saying "hey, i'm checking in and everything is ok" (something else I need to work on).

I'll speak with him tonight. Thanks for your suggestions...they're very helpful.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:40 AM
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Kjell my friend you are not alone, being open & honest for me in early sobriety was like pulling hens teeth, some how I managed to do it, but it was not easy it took time and beginning to see that opening up and being honest brough good results even though sometimes telling the truth was not easy.

I have a friend in the rooms that shares sometimes that in early sobriety he sometimes would lie even though telling the truth was prettier.
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:00 PM
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As I've looked back over my life, I realized that there was not a single person of note that I had ever been completely honest with. Not my parents, my wife (now ex), theripists, even the good folks here at SR.

About 6 months ago I started meeting with a new theripist. I don't even remember how many I've worked my way through anymore. I seemed to make a good connection with her, and I decided that I would be COMPLETELY honest with her, no matter what. (A good sponsor would be fine as well) I've managed to do that, and it is amazing how much easier it is to be honest with others now. I'm not going to say I don't ever slip and toss out a lie anymore, but when I do, I think about it, and often go back and tell the truth. Before my instinct was to lie, even when I didn't even need to. Part of it is a lack of trust in anyone, including myself, part probably just habbit. But I am now learning to trust and breaking that habbit. It feels good.

Maybe that is what is meant by "the truth will set you free." I hope you can work things out with your sponsor and develop that relationship of total trust. Take care.
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