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Old 02-07-2012, 11:19 PM
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Step 1

I need some help... I'm struggling with the first step

We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol- that our lives had become unmanageable.

Hello everyone. I'll give you a brief history. I am a 21 year old college student. My entire social life revolves around alcohol. I'm also socially inept and completely self conscious. Most days I can't look at my self in the mirror. I think that a major reason that I am so self conscious is because I am so shameful of my past behavior, the things I did when I was drunk. I've been arrested, been a complete jerk, started fights, said terrible things, been an absolute pig toward women, lost friends etc. To be honest, I don't know how I actually have any friends left. My family is full of big drinkers. My best friend and brother is a huge drinker. The thing is, alcohol makes me crazy. I suffer from depression already and the guilt and shame that I feel after blacking out often times makes me suicidal. But still I want to drink. It makes me feel like a normal person, it makes me feel okay about being me. I've crushed so many dreams because of the trouble I've gotten into when I drink though. Right now, my family, with the exception of my dad and step mom who live 500 miles away, are not pushing me to quit drinking. I honestly don't understand this. My brother basically encourages my drinking and I think that is because that is one of the main things we do when we spend time together. But he has not had the same consequences that I have had when he drinks and also does not have the mental health problems that I suffer from. I left college 3 years ago after getting arrested and went to rehab for a couple of months. Then, I began drinking again. I just do not know what to do. I started going back to AA again and this time I have a sponsor and have made a few friends that I have been talking to regularly. I got about 10 days sober and then relapsed over the weekend. I just did not call my sponsor and didn't talk to anyone in AA. I just flat out decided that I wanted to go out and drink. So today I called my sponsor and told my AA buddies what happened and of course that welcomed me back with open arms. I haven't told anyone in my family that I am back in AA yet. I guess I don't want to tell them because then that would mean the jig is up and I am actually done. This scares me. I guess it is because I am an alcoholic and the thought of not drinking is frightening. Anyways, I'm sure I sound like I am out of my mind. Believe me, I know I am. On Thursday I am planning on going on a trip with my brother and a few friends until Sunday. It is basically a drinking trip and there is NO WAY that I can go and not drink. I really need some advice right now. I don't want to tell my sponsor that I am going because I know he will tell me not to. But I also do want to tell him because he will tell me not to. The trip is going to be fun as hell but I know that when I get back it's back to reality and back to being miserable. I've gotten two 24 hour chips in the past two weeks and I don't know if I can face coming back in a getting another one next week especially after planning a relapse and going on a trip that will guarantee that I'm going to drink. I want to stop drinking but I don't want to stop drinking. Can anyone relate to this? I don't want to lie to my sponsor or my AA friends but I don't want to own up to the fact that I am an alcoholic. I have it in the back of my head that after the trip this weekend I will commit to my sobriety. I don't know what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-07-2012, 11:38 PM
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Hey Sturmy!!

I have been there. I am the same age as you.
About the mental heath issues, I also have depression. I would STRONGLY suggest speaking to your family doctor about this problem, he/she may have a way to help you with that.

Your brother doesn't discourage your drinking because misery likes company. Booze is the bond that brings you two together. If you are really serious about quitting drinking you are going to have to overhaul your life. You will need to cut out people that will threaten your sobriety/are negative about it.(This is what I have had to do) Or, with family, if they are not doing things that trigger you, you could just not talk about sobriety around them if they are going to be negative about it.

When I had the thoughts you have going on in my head, about 2 years ago, I don't believe I'd hit the bottom I needed to at the time. I had people bailing me out left right and center. Right now, I have a lot going for me and because of my drinking I ALMOST lost it all. It scared the sh*t out of me. It made me realize that I don't want to be this miserable alcoholic b*tch. I don't want to lose my kids, my job, my house .... and like I said, I was close to it.
I KNOW, because of multiple relapses, that I CANNOT drink. I CANNOT control it, no matter how much I try and tell myself I can. No matter WHO tells me I can control it, I can't. I am an alcoholic, booze makes my life unmanageable. I've only been back for not even a week and I already feel SOO much better. I know this is where I need to be and I am not leaving.

Make sure you get very connected in AA, get a good sponsor, Big Book, do the steps with your sponsor, collect sober time, speak in meetings, participate.. I never did this before. I believe it is a large reason why I didn't do well.

They always say, if you put HALF as much effort into your recovery as you did into getting drunk ..... you'll be golden.

Good luck my friend

oh and P.S. You know damn well going on that trip is setting yourself up for complete failure .... so much could happen, think about that.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:49 PM
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Hey, welcome to SR. What you wrote reminds me of some of the things I thought and did before I got sober for good this summer. It was always "just this one last time." For me though, there's always a really good reason to have just one last time out drinking. I never wanted to quit even though drinking was making me miserable. My thoughts and words said one thing, my actions another. I let this go on for 2 years - I was drinking and I knew it was wrong. I'd come here or go to a meeting, feel really certain, and then have one last something come up - a holiday, birthday, rough day, great day... it just never ended. This summer, I quit right before I got married because I finally had a seizure one morning after a hard drinking night. That wasn't exactly a great time to quit drinking from an alcoholic's perspective as I had to go to a bunch of parties sober... even stayed sober on my wedding day despite being stressed out to the max with all the family and attention and fuss. The point is, you're probably never going to wake up and be like "Okay, today's the day I quit forever." If you are looking for reasons to put it off, you'll find plenty I'm afraid.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:54 PM
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mmm also .... one day at a time < - - - - super important. Just think about getting through TODAY without drinking. This has helped me.
I was thinking "omg what about my all inclusive vacation!!" who gives a ****. I'll probably enjoy it better sober because I will actually be able to relax! And remember it!
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:56 PM
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Hey bud. I think the biggest thing you need to learn and realize which is very hard in your early 20s, (I am 24, but have nee wanting to quit since 21), is that your reputation doesn't mean sh1t. You need not maintain some level of cool with anyone whose acts and habits are dangerous and disorderly. There is no such thing as being "manly." (Be a man, drink a beer). I am 24 living in a pretty crazy drinking city. Unfortunately, I am missing out on so many other beautiful things within my life just dealing with hangovers, loss of money, hanging with the wrong crowd, and so on. I am ditching some friends that drink....I left my girlfriend for many reasons, including her lack of support when I wanted to quit. It is time to clean house and find out what you want in your life.

You need to do what is best for you and your future. Do not try and make your brother happy by participating in drinking. If he truly loves you as his brother, he will accept that drinking is damaging in your life, and will push for you to get rid of it.

He needs to realize he can either:
a) lose his favorite drinking buddy, but gain a happy, loving brother
b) lose his favorite drinking buddy, and lose his brother forever.

Those are his choices, and anyone else whom supports a drinking version of you.

I hope that didn't sound too aggressive or forceful, but I was just trying to light a fire under ya! Good luck man!
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:19 AM
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The reason you are stuggling with the first step is you haven't taken it yet.

Your story is a perfect description of someone who is powerless over alcohol and whose life in unmanageable, yet you are seeking ways to keep drinking - in fact planning on drinking.

How about opting out of the trip? Just don't go.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by sturmy16 View Post
I guess I don't want to tell them because then that would mean the jig is up and I am actually done. This scares me. I guess it is because I am an alcoholic and the thought of not drinking is frightening.
You know what's frightening?...Try doing what you are doing for another twenty years...If you can make it that long. Forget the drinking trip....That's plain insanity. Take that time to get to meetings...Study the Big Book...Spend time with your sponsor and be working hard on your fourth step when they get back. Pick up the 2000 pound phone and stay connected with your new AA friends that will be there for you....Hang on to your white chip...And change your life. Sounds to me like you are done. What good are you really getting out of alcohol right now? Sit down and make yourself a list...I'd love to see it.
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:43 AM
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You have articulated very clearly the dilemma of people in addiction. I am really pleased you have done this, as I was just starting a similar thread myself. I can compare your experience with mine and it helps me see how "mad" I am being in wanting to drink more, given that I know what the consequences will be. Let's not drink and stay happy! Let's also try and chat here again on Saturday when the crazy cravings should have slipped away.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:13 AM
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Welcome!
I wish you well on your sober journey! Don't stop on any step, keep moving on!!
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:41 AM
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I remember how strong my self-will was in my early years.... I feel your struggle.
I was 45 before I surrendered to AA, the years between 25 and 45 were hard on everyone including me.

The simple fact is that we have to get so bad in our disease that we can't stand ourselves, them we're ready for recovery.

Good luck in your decision.

Bob R
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