Blogs


Notices

AA...opinions/advice please?

Old 12-29-2011, 12:33 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 129
Question AA...opinions/advice please?

Hello SR, I hope everyone is doing well.
So, I've not been going to AA very long, but I am already starting to resent the fact that I feel obligated to attend the meetings. Honestly, I liked it at first and the people I met were nice but I'm starting to feel like I don't want to go to the meetings anymore. I'm not saying that AA isn't helpful to some people, because I believe that it is, but I also believe that different things work for different people. I would suggest AA to anyone who has a drinking problem and wants help because it can work for some. I believe that it's a good idea to give it a try and see how it works out. I still drank while I was going to meetings, it didn't stop me. I had something else impact me enough to stop drinking. But I feel obligated and guilty for not going, even when I'm not feeling well and just don't want to leave the house. I had a medical issue recently, and the treatment had me feeling very fatigued and run-down. I text my "sponsor" to let her know I wouldn't be at the meeting and I asked her to call me when she could. That was a week ago and I've yet to hear from her. A couple times before, I've sensed subtle disaproval from her, even when I had a legit reason for not making a meeting. At this point, I feel like I'm going for other people; my parents, boyfriend, friends...not for myself. What I mean is, even though I don't feel AA is working for me, and something else entirely is what caused/helped me to change my drinking habit, I'm still going because I feel obligated to. Can anybody relate to this and/or give me some advice? It would be much appreciated!
Carly2332 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Carly2332 For This Useful Post:
Itchy (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 12:42 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Striving to be a better Man!
 
blackstrat6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 266
Blog Entries: 6
"I still drank while I was going to meetings, it didn't stop me."

AA is not a magic bullet, it can't make you "stop". It is a great set of tools for learning to live sober. There are other tools and programs as well but none of them will work unless you want them, you have to want it for you. If your sponsor is making you feel like this maybe you should find another. No fault of yours or hers but we all do things differently.
Congrats on your sobriety! Stay Strong!
blackstrat6 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to blackstrat6 For This Useful Post:
Carly2332 (12-29-2011), Itchy (12-29-2011), sugarbear1 (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 12:53 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Between Meetings
Posts: 8,997
Originally Posted by Carly2332 View Post
I believe that it's a good idea to give it a try and see how it works out. I still drank while I was going to meetings, it didn't stop me. I had something else impact me enough to stop drinking. But I feel obligated and guilty for not going, even when I'm not feeling well and just don't want to leave the house. I had a medical issue recently, and the treatment had me feeling very fatigued and run-down. I text my "sponsor" to let her know I wouldn't be at the meeting and I asked her to call me when she could. That was a week ago and I've yet to hear from her. A couple times before, I've sensed subtle disaproval from her, even when I had a legit reason for not making a meeting.
Maybe AA is not for you...The reason a sponsor likes a newcomer to call them...Not text them...Is so they can hear how you are doing....Whether you are drinking or not...You've already made it clear you were...So...That's kind of a moot point. You don't like the meetings...I had bars that I didn't like when I was drinking.....I can't really blame your sponsor for not responding...I wouldn't have either. Most importantly...You are doing this for everyone but yourself....Good luck finding anything that will work with that mindset.
Sapling is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Sapling For This Useful Post:
Itchy (12-29-2011), sugarbear1 (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 01:08 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
harleyq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 92
Carly,

You are brave to be honest about your feelings. You are trying, and you are posting here looking for advice, so good for you! If AA doesn't work for you, check out SMART recovery, online if the NYC meetings are too far, AVRT works for some, or try a different AA meeting even. Good luck!
harleyq is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to harleyq For This Useful Post:
Carly2332 (12-29-2011), Itchy (12-29-2011), KarrieJay (12-29-2011), onlythetruth (12-29-2011), PaperDolls (12-29-2011), soberlicious (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 01:21 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Belgian Sheepdog Adictee
 
laurie6781's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In Today
Posts: 6,101
Well ............................. guess I was unique afterall. I hear and understand what you are saying, I was not that way.

When I found AA, I did NOT feel obligated to attend meetings, I RAN TO MEETINGS.

Why?

Because in those early months it was THE ONLY PLACE I FELT SAFE. With people who understood exactly what I was going through.

Yep, once I got a sponsor I did call her every day. Of course, I would pray that the answering machine would pick up, because I really didn't know what to say. roflmao

However, as time went on, and I was starting to 'function' a bit better sober, I started to see and understand the request. She just wanted to see if I could and/or would follow a direction. How great was my willingness.

That was a long time ago now. I don't do near as many meetings as I did in those first years in recovery. I do though see folks coming in, not sure they are ready, but coming to meetings, and continuing to drink. I figure well if they ever really get ready to stop, at least they know where we are.

AA is for those that have a desire to stop drinking. Yes I know that Courts 'sentence' DUI drivers to AA and they sure don't want to stop. I do believe California was the first state to do that, at about the time I found recovery. Yes they would sit in the back, they still do. But sometimes, something does get through to those folks to, maybe sooner than it would have otherwise.

I married my 2nd Husband when I was 1 1/2 years sober and he was 3 years sober. He got sober by being sentenced to AA for 1 year, 3 times a week. For most of his first year he said as soon as he hit a year he was going to go out and REALLY CELEBRATE (ie get good and drunk). He never did.

He died 30 years sober, however, there was a bit of a glitch in that. At about 6 or 7 years sober he developed a massive gambling habit. So he never picked up the booze again, but he did change addictions. It was those actions that got me to Alanon, lol

So, if AA is 'not your thing', that is certainly not a crime. Just find something that you can 'dig into' and apply in your life to get to the root of the symptom (alcoholism).

I use much more than AA myself. Sure I worked those steps and learned how to live those steps and apply them in my life. I use a lot of CBT also, because for me I need to see things in black and white. One of my most useful 'tools' is doing a Pro/Con list about a decision. Be that a job change, a home change, a city change, or the purchase of an item. And the costs may not always be just monetary.

So, maybe you need to find a 'different' sponsor, one that you maybe 'click' better with, or maybe you need to start with a Pro/Con list on your drinking. It will give you a better idea, seeing it in black and white if you are ready to quit.

Just remember you can always come here and post, there is always someone around 24/7.

Love and hugs,
laurie6781 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to laurie6781 For This Useful Post:
blackstrat6 (12-29-2011), Carly2332 (12-29-2011), sugarbear1 (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 01:53 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 129
Sapling, I did call her, no answer, figured she was at work, then I text her and asked her to please call me when she could . I wasn't drinking, hadn't BEEN drinking, just wasn't feeling well physically. I've been doing ok since I quit my excessive drinking, though it was fairly recently. I just don't feel that it was AA that helped me abstain from drinking. It doesn't work for everyone, for some it does, but not everyone. I see no harm in going to AA meetings for anybody who is trying to recover from alcoholism, but it's not a guaranteed solution. I guess, AA is just not for me...and I don't know how to explain this to the close people, in my life, that think I need it.
Carly2332 is offline  
Old 12-29-2011, 02:02 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Between Meetings
Posts: 8,997
Originally Posted by Carly2332 View Post
Sapling, I did call her, no answer, figured she was at work, then I text her and asked her to please call me when she could . I wasn't drinking, hadn't BEEN drinking, just wasn't feeling well physically. I've been doing ok since I quit my excessive drinking, though it was fairly recently. I just don't feel that it was AA that helped me abstain from drinking. It doesn't work for everyone, for some it does, but not everyone. I see no harm in going to AA meetings for anybody who is trying to recover from alcoholism, but it's not a guaranteed solution. I guess, AA is just not for me...and I don't know how to explain this to the close people, in my life, that think I need it.
Going to meetings is fine...I love them...Been to two today...The 12 steps are the program of recovery...Plain and simple. Your odds are pretty good if you honestly and thoroughly work them and live by them....Changed my life...And I don't ever have to drink again...One day at a time. But you are right...It doesn't work for everyone...You have to be done drinking and willing to put in the effort. That was me.
Sapling is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Sapling For This Useful Post:
Xena1211 (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 02:08 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Mark75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,947
Hi Carly

Opinions on AA? LOL.

The only observation I have is that we are having a discussion about going to meetings, texting sponsors, all that... None of that is AA.



AA is a program of recovery. A spiritual solution. The 12 steps. All this other stuff is just the messy world we live in and make for ourselves. If you put working the steps at the top of your priority, all this other stuff is just drama. Get the big book, find someone to help you go through it, take steps to get recovered.

Wishing you well...
Mark75 is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Mark75 For This Useful Post:
faceitandfixit (12-29-2011), Sapling (12-29-2011), Sugah (12-29-2011), sugarbear1 (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 02:12 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 129
Thank you Laurie and Harley for the advice :-). I will look into your suggestions as I know I still have a long way to go. The most important thing to me right now is keeping this mindset and not drinking! Doesn't matter what route I take, as long as I stay on the path.
Carly2332 is offline  
Old 12-29-2011, 02:20 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member of SMART Recovery
 
onlythetruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,722
Carly:

It is perfectly ok that you have tried AA and concluded that it is not right for you. You are absolutely not alone in that experience. It's ok not to like AA and it's ok not to go to AA.

However, I want to share with you a couple of things I've discovered. It's kind of a good news, bad news thing.

The good news is that disliking AA doesn't mean you're hopeless. You are not "signing your own death warrant" if you choose a different path.

The bad news is that disliking AA, is not, in and of itself, a different path! By that, I mean that it's important to have a plan, and "I don't like AA" isn't a plan. So, you need to do a bit of reflecting on what YOUR plan is going to be. Do you want the structure of a formal program? Then maybe SMART Recovery would be good for you. Do you want a no-nonsense, independent approach? Maybe Rational Recovery will be your thing. Do you need social support? Then maybe all you need is to post here; this can be a wonderfully supportive environment since even those of us who disagree with each other, in the end all want the same thing: long-term, contented sobriety.
onlythetruth is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to onlythetruth For This Useful Post:
Carly2332 (12-29-2011), Itchy (12-29-2011), langkah (12-29-2011), miamifella (12-29-2011), soberlicious (12-29-2011), sugarbear1 (12-29-2011), Threshold (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 02:20 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
 
irab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 64
The key here is "resentment"
This can be an early sign of relapse. Look at your personal relapse prevention guide - for triggers. Look around at your life for other triggers displaced onto meetings,

The meetings are supposed to be enjoyed - not resented.
You make friends with other recovering people , working the steps
Have a sponsor whom you like and admire.

if this is not working out otherwise:
change aa groups
get a new sponsor
try a different type of 12 step program - some were mentioned already

BUT - its the resentment that needs a careful close look at FIRST
discuss with sponsor
and the group. VENTILATE this out loud. DO NOT keep the feelings inside.
irab is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to irab For This Useful Post:
Carly2332 (12-29-2011), Sapling (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 02:25 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Elisabeth888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,635
It really took me a long time to get it through my thick head that I have to work it. I was not going to get sober by simply sitting in meetings. I have listen and take advice from my sponsor even when I don't like it or agree with it. Obviously I was not very good at keeping myself sober.

I did not even like meetings for the longest time. Now I love them.

I really want what people I know at AA have. That is what keeps me coming back and willing to work the program.
Elisabeth888 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Elisabeth888 For This Useful Post:
blackstrat6 (12-29-2011), Sapling (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 04:25 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
irab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 64
Carrying a lot of resentment - is typical and characteristic of the 'dry drunk syndrome'
These are people who have managed to stay dry - but have not made spiritual progress, in the 12 steps, or spiritual part of their disease. They often work the program " with spiritual bypass" - not really emotionally connecting to the work - in denial - and just subconsciously waiting to use again !

Keep in mind - Alcoholism is a disorder of brain circuitry and a Spiritual disorder as well !
Good Luck!
irab is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to irab For This Useful Post:
faceitandfixit (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 04:43 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Om, Aum, Ohm...
 
Sugah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Punxsutawney/Pittsburgh
Posts: 4,797
If you don't like going to meetings, don't go to meetings. If whatever it is that you feel is keeping you sober now stops working, AA will still be there. I would suggest, however, that if you return, you find a sponsor who will guide you through the steps. Meetings alone wouldn't have kept me sober.

Peace & Love,
Sugah
Sugah is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Sugah For This Useful Post:
Carly2332 (12-29-2011), laurie6781 (12-29-2011), Sapling (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 04:44 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
To thine own self be true
 
Sweets79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 756
Hi,

I recently posted that I had 10 months sober, then suffered a relapse in August. My relapse lasted 4 months. Today is my 6th day of sobriety.

I started going to AA meetings around the 2nd month I got sober and I enjoyed it. But, then I got involved with someone in the meeting, which was a big mistake. It didn't last long, but I found myself going to meetings looking for "him", zoning out, annoyed, my mind in another place. You really have to focus when you are at a meeting, and remember you are there for YOU. Also, you have to find the right meeting for you. Just because people are sober doesn't mean they have all their marbles back. There are a lot of predators and people with bad intentions also.

This brings me to the present. When I relapsed, I went to a different meeting in August. I met a woman and gave her my number. She called me 2 or 3 times after the meeting, and I never returned the call, but I saved her voice mail. I knew I would need her one day. This past month was very difficult for me and I was at the height of my drinking. I was drinking all day, every day. I called her and she kept reaching out to me all month. Finally, I was ready to be sober again and I met her for her 18 year anniversary at a meeting. I brought her flowers, and we spoke. I asked her to be my sponsor, and almost every day I go to her house, where we have tea and study the big book together. It is so relaxing and enjoyable for me. I am blessed to have met her.

You must put in the work. Going to meetings isn't enough. You have to find a good sponsor and start doing the steps. The first time around, I didn't have a sponsor, didn't do any reading, and didn't do any steps.

Also, if you feel any pressure from anyone at the meetings that is making you feel obligated, just don't bother with them. Go at your own pace, and attend when you can.

It may not be for you, but like I said you must try to find the right meetings and a good sponsor. It might not happen right away. Shop around at different meetings, even if you don't feel like it. Try to force yourself. You might feel different.
Sweets79 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Sweets79 For This Useful Post:
Carly2332 (12-29-2011), Itchy (12-29-2011), Sapling (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 04:45 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Re-Member
 
Itchy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 7,579
OTT,
What a well put post! Thanks for the clarity.
Sweets, I am so tickled for you.
Amen Ira!
Itchy is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Itchy For This Useful Post:
Sweets79 (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 04:45 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by Sapling View Post
Going to meetings is fine...I love them...Been to two today...The 12 steps are the program of recovery...Plain and simple. Your odds are pretty good if you honestly and thoroughly work them and live by them....Changed my life...And I don't ever have to drink again...One day at a time. But you are right...It doesn't work for everyone...You have to be done drinking and willing to put in the effort. That was me.
Just heard the results from a study by an independent source. Of those who complete a fourth and fifth step through the program of AA, 60% are still sober 5 years or more after. Gotta do the program of AA. Meetings are great, but they are not the program and don't keep me sober. I have recently cut back a little bit on my meeting attendance, but still attend regularly. But i have a sponsor, sponsees, do service work and am on my second trip through the steps! Gotta do it.

But if you don't like it, and feel it is not right for you, by all means, don't go! Going to please others in your life is going to make you resentful and not very willing, i would guess, to do the work. Nor will you have much to contribute to the meetings or get much out of them. Just like you can't stay sober for anyone else, you can't really work the program of AA for anyone else.

Good luck, and God Bless.
Xena1211 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Xena1211 For This Useful Post:
Carly2332 (12-29-2011), Sapling (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 04:53 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Anna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dancing in the Light
Posts: 57,579
I think that the motivation behind your desire to stop drinking is the most important thing. I think that you should do whatever it takes to recover. I'm not an AA person, but I knew for sure that I had to stop drinking and find a way to recover and I did, and SR has been a huge inspiration for me, too.
Anna is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Anna For This Useful Post:
Carly2332 (12-29-2011), Dee74 (12-29-2011)
Old 12-29-2011, 05:00 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,146
Ott makes a good point. Quitting your involvement with AA might be a great and positive thing if you quickly get active in another program.

If those who care about you see you heavily involved and staying sober any complaints will quickly die down. If you instead continue drinking you're likely to get a ton of flack from them. It does sound as if you need to be at least willing to talk with someone before you drink. If you're not that willing then where you go and what you do won't change a thing.

But, by going elsewhere you'll gain some insights regarding the importance for an alcoholic to actually do things that work that they may not want to do very much and be able to pick up some other information that may become useful.

So no matter what happens, leaving AA can turn out to be a positive in some ways.
langkah is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to langkah For This Useful Post:
Carly2332 (12-29-2011), soberlicious (12-29-2011)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:01 AM.