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In ten minutes I'll be attending my first AA meeting.

Old 03-23-2010, 05:54 PM
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In ten minutes I'll be attending my first AA meeting.

Scary stuff! It's the walking up to the building that has me a little uneasy. "Who might see me?", "What if I see someone I know?" I know, I know. These are trivial compared to my problem and the need to get better. Wish me luck!

Walking out the door to my first AA meeting oh my God, oh my God,
Eliot

It can't be that bad, right? ...Right??
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:01 PM
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I wrote this same post about a year and a half ago.. you'll be just fine, I
promise. I was worried about being 'recognized' too, but then I was kindly reminded by a few folks here that I probably hadn't had much concern about so many people seeing me while I was drunk, why be concerned about people knowing you're doing a wonderful thing for your life!
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:14 PM
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You sound ready! Please report back.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:15 PM
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Good for you for doing what you need to do!
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:20 PM
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Yes, please report back. I had my first experience less than a week ago. It went great. Everyone was extremely warm and welcoming. I left feeling with uplifted spirits. I hope you did as well.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:20 PM
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Said a little prayer for you, Eliot.

Drinking is far worse than attending an AA meeting. Everything will be ok.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:57 PM
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I've never heard of anyone dying when they walked in
I've sure known many who died because they did not.

My 1st meeting was a speakers meeting.
This man had such a horrific story....I left
caught a taxi....went to a bar.

"Geez! I'm not really an alcoholic afterall!"

3 years later....I could no longer hide from
my reality. Thank God I went to my
2nd meeting and found my new fantastic life.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:57 PM
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I attended my very first AA meeting and all I got was this lousy T-Shir... uhh. Lousy token? (With a smile people, with a smile.)

Yours in rare brevity,
Eliot
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:04 PM
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how dare they give you that token!
Now you can be reminded of how to live a
healthier productive joy filled future.
Drat!

Glad you lived to update us
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:32 PM
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This originally began as a private message to CarolD as a response to her sharing her very similar experience as I had. I admit to clandestine motives by not posting as a public reply. I realized, though, that I'm on this message board to be honest and open; I mean, come on, Eliot! So, without further ado - my not-all-that-exciting PM to CarolD. (It's really nothing special.)

We had similar experiences.

I decided in the meeting that "I was going to drink tonight." The stories and experiences told by others were actually somewhat of a trigger for me!

I shook hands with John and thanked him for talking with me afterward - he was nice, familiar to me -though a stranger; I left the meeting and walked as quickly as I could to the liquor store around the corner where I bought a bottle of wine just in time (Here in WI, retailers are not allowed to sell alcohol after 9PM.) I was the last customer. I honestly expected the "open" sign to turn off as I approached. I did not run, though - I could have. (Only an alcoholic would have run!...jk?) But I did walk as fast as possible.

Why? Because I am high-functioning and that is a big, big part of my problem! I'll drink a bottle of wine tonight (1/3 down), [editors note: 1/2 down, what with all the copying and pasting business] wake up tomorrow and be fine. Go to the office and say, "Happy Wednesday, everyone!" I am an alcoholic, without a doubt. (You'll notice I won't 'say' that last paer.)

Somewhere along the line in that meeting I thought, "Hmmm, I guess I'm doing the right thing tonight. Though, when I get home, it would be nice to hit the white wine and throw something together for dinner (live-alone bachelor)." And here I am.

I am glad I went to the meeting. I liked.

I am going to go back(to the meeting); honest, I am. ("Honest or not, Eliot, it's your life, your decision." Yes; I agree.) Next Tuesday, if not sooner. It's for me. But I didn't connect tonight. We all have the exact same story but not quite the exact same story. I've no great insight into my take-away from this night. I met some nice people. I met John, afterall.

Yours in loquaciousness,
Eliot.,
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:00 PM
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Eliot,

My first AA meeting wasn't a rip-roaring success. It was mostly middle-aged men with awful stories of DUI's, broken marriages, lost jobs and other stuff that had never happened to me. I think there were two older women there, too. I was 26 but looked younger.

All I remember that was said to me was "Are you in the right place? This is an AA meeting, did you know?" That was in 1978.

My next meeting was in 1986, in rehab. I didn't warm up to AA for a long time but I did do my after-care meetings and AA meetings as was asked of me. Things started to make sense.

Anyway, I recommend you look at all the recovery methods you can. I liked Rational Recovery. It made sense to me.

Don't quit trying.

Love,

Lenina
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:10 AM
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Hi Eliot,

I hope you do go to another meeting or two or three etc. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. Many people still drink when attenting at first.......but at least they know what the solution is and where to find it when they are ready to quit.

As to people's stories, we encourage that you look for similarities rather than differences. The alcoholic mind will look for the differences to convince you you are not like them.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:09 AM
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[B]As to people's stories, we encourage that you look for similarities rather than differences.

Just wanted to thank you for posting that quote Intention. It's something I need to remember.
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:53 AM
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I went to my first AA meeting drunk on my butt!!! It was just to get my wife off my back about my drinking. Funny thing, they did not throw me out!! Heck I had folks welcoming me, one guy gave me a Big Book & told me to keep coming back!

Well I went to my second AA meeting 5 years later while I was in detox, the people were just as friendly there as they were at the first meeting.

Elliot I have watched folks come to meeting after meeting drunk & then one day they got it!!! They showed up sober & were just as welcome as they were when they were drunk.

AA offers a SOLUTION, some of us do not want it and die, some of us take some time for the fog to clear enough to see that there is a SOLUTION in AA, others are simply not willing to do the work needed to hang around long enough for the miracle of the SOLUTION to happen, some of these folks make it back, others don't & die.

AA is not the only solution, but it has saved millions of us from jail, institutions, prison, & an early grave. The key I have found is honesty & a willingness to do what ever it takes to stay sober.
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:08 AM
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Elliot I have watched folks come to meeting after meeting drunk & then one day they got it!!! They showed up sober & were just as welcome as they were when they were drunk.

AA offers a SOLUTION, some of us do not want it and die, some of us take some time for the fog to clear enough to see that there is a SOLUTION in AA, others are simply not willing to do the work needed to hang around long enough for the miracle of the SOLUTION to happen, some of these folks make it back, others don't & die.

AA is not the only solution, but it has saved millions of us from jail, institutions, prison, & an early grave. The key I have found is honesty & a willingness to do what ever it takes to stay sober.

I walked out of my first AA meeting after five minutes. Then I contacted a friend who was in AA and she took me to my next meeting....a very different story. I realized that I need not worry about being "found out," since everyone else was there for the same reason I was!

AA meetings are a slice of life and reflect the neighborhood, community, culture of the surrounding area. I have found AA meetings that were intolerably "religious," and others that I just couldn't relate to. My approach is like trying out new restaurants: if I don't like one, I just don't return. I don't stop eating out. I try others.

AA is IMO not a "no drinking" program, but a "design for living" program. My essential problem was really my thinking, not my drinking...the drinking was a maladaptive solution. It took considerable time in AA, and completing the 12 Steps, for me to learn to think differently. To get a "new pair of glasses," as Chuck C., a friend of Bill Wilson, wrote.

As for high bottom/low bottom....yadayadayada....I am, and was an intelligent, high earning professional when I got sober the first time. Because I compared my story with others, I didn't think I was so bad....so I went back out and tried it some more. I spent five years relapsing...suffering all those consequences that I hadn't had YET...when I first got sober. I've learned that YET can be accurately defined as "You're Eligible, Too." I went to half a dozen very high end rehabs....ended up sleeping on the floor of a church. Haven't had a drink since.

Today, I maintain my spiritual fitness, practice the principles of AA in all my affairs (well, mostly, anyway<G>), and have been recovered for over a dozen years. Happy, joyous and free....and smarter than ever now that I realize I know so very little.

blessings
zbear
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:19 AM
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"Why? Because I am high-functioning and that is a big, big part of my problem!"

Don't leave 5 minutes before the miracle they say. Maybe tell yourself "I will not drink on the evenings I go to meeting, I can drink the next night" Kinda a twist on one day at a time. Some people stay on their hampster wheel and just ADD AA to it, for a while. It's painful to watch. Try not to fall into that routine. Most eventually do get it. Just give it some time. I'm excited for your future as a fellow "High functioning one" You want to know a secret - We really arn't. When you grow in sobriety, the more clear it becomes that there's no such thing as "High functioning" just the illusion. We were all hanging by the thinest of threads without knowing the full extent of it.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by EliotRosewater View Post
I realized, though, that I'm on this message board to be honest and open; I mean, come on, Eliot! So, without further ado - my not-all-that-exciting PM to CarolD. (It's really nothing special.)
Eliot, your honesty is very special...especially when you're being honest with yourself.

I thank you for being honest and open with us. That's a very big deal.
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:41 PM
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Good to know you won't wait as long as I did
between meetings.....
That 3 year span for me was simply miserable.
I became situationally depressed from alcohol.

Even with AA....I did return to drinking.
I thought I was doomed to lose my mind.
Why did I drink tho I wanted to quit forever?

When I read ...."Under The Influence" by Milam & Ketchan
Eureka! My brain and body no longer processed
alcohol correctly. My mind was saturated.

Back to AA ...re -connected with my God
I've not had another drink .
AA Step work shifted me from shakey sobriety
into solid recovery....

No, AA is not the only way....but it continues to
be an awesome adventure for me.

BTW....we have a sticky in our Alcoholism Forum
with excerpts from "Under The Influence"
Perhaps you will find it of interest.

Last edited by CarolD; 03-24-2010 at 05:56 PM.
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