Blogs


Notices

Advice needed on staying sober

Old 05-12-2013, 08:01 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
1stepup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,459
Advice needed on staying sober

Well, its day 5 here for me, I've just got back from taking my kids back to their mums. Trying today to figure out a plan of action that will prevent me from slipping AGAIN!

I have known deep down that I am an alcoholic for years now, and have tried and tried in the past to stop, its the staying stopped that's the problem.

I have been in and out of aa for about two years now, the longest I stuck at it was six weeks (got a sponsor in that time), was doing well but went to a wedding abroad that I shouldn't have gone to, tried to get out of it pleading poverty and telling the friend whose wedding it was that it was too much for me to try and stay dry for (he knew I had a drink problem, but didn't truly realise that I was ill with it), he wanted me there and I didn't want to let him down, just before the wedding I was made redundant, going through problems with ex and trying to get used to the aa steps all in the space of a month and I cracked, drank and got asked to leave, the rest of the 'holiday' was horrible and I regretted going.

Anyway, since the ive been back to aa a few times and managed to stay sober for a few weeks at a time, but I slip up and its back to square one, its harder every time I go back to the rooms because I hate admitting that ive slipped again, but I want to stop or I wouldn't be going back.

Ive also been posting on here since feb which has helped me a lot, I am determined to stop this time. Have been to a couple of meetings this last week and am planning on going tonight.

I have been calling former sponsor but don't know whether to stick with him or start afresh with a new one? I know I need to do the steps but feel a bit unsure as to what is the best way forward in the quest of continued sobriety- I suffer making decisions in my life and am scared of making a wrong choice, in the past ive avoided making decisions because of this but end up drinking as a result and this time I know it has to change.

Do you think I should just go to the meetings for a while before committing to a sponsor or do you think I should crack on and do the steps as quickly as possible? I have had varying advice on this from aa members and don't know what to do for the best.
1stepup is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to 1stepup For This Useful Post:
least (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013), MythOfSisyphus (05-14-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 08:27 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
bona fido dog-lover
 
least's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: eastern USA
Posts: 85,860
Blog Entries: 32
Glad you're giving it another go. I'm not in AA but I'm sure some members will give you advice about it. Hang in there!
least is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to least For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 08:47 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada. About as far south as you can get
Posts: 4,768
It sounds like you are just toying with AA ... you do it when you "feel like it" or are hurting badly. You aren't absolutely sure you NEED it. You aren't ready to commit.

All you need to know right now is in AA's HOW IT WORKS. Please study that short text and embrace it.

All the best.

Bob R
2granddaughters is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to 2granddaughters For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013), visch1 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 09:11 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Recovering ostrich
 
Tamerua's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida
Posts: 2,551
Blog Entries: 6
I say go to the meetings and get a new sponsor. After slipping a few times, your sponsor might ask you to get a new one anyway.

Good luck and congrats on the 5 days!
Tamerua is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Tamerua For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 09:12 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 19
This site has really helped me. Also check out this book Living Sober Sucks. When any of the bad thoughts came into my head that caused me to want to out and drink it helped to read the stories of the other people that lived though what I was going though and how they dealt with it. Today is day 48 for me and its been some of the longest and hardest days of my life and I foresee more long and hard day before me. I've learned I have no one else to blame for what I'm going though right now but myself. I've learned I was just hiding from myself and the world inside a bottle at some dive bar. I don't know where a clean and sober life is going to take me, but it has to be better than a drunk life. Best of luck to you on getting sober. Just prepare your mind for a really hard road ahead of you. Stay with this site and check out the book I told you about and others like it.
Committed is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Committed For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 09:13 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
Joe Nerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bklyn. NY
Posts: 1,859
Blog Entries: 2
Originally Posted by 1stepup View Post
Do you think I should just go to the meetings for a while before committing to a sponsor or do you think I should crack on and do the steps as quickly as possible? I have had varying advice on this from aa members and don't know what to do for the best.
Curious what the varying advice is, and what would possibly keep you from jumping right in? The people who seem the most successful in AA are those who come in with the most desperation, and the most willingness. I was given a bigbook at my second meeting and immediately dove into it. I knew nothing about AA, alcoholism, the 12 steps... I got sober long before it was all popularized. Anyhow, I was hopeless, desperate, and willing to do anything and everything to get sober and feel differently. Nobody told me to do anything, wasn't around long enough to even hear anyone speak about the steps. I jumped right into it all, on my own volition. I had a sponsor like person from before I even went to my first meeting (the guy who introduced me to AA and held my hand through through the entire beginning), and when I started to learn a little I found someone who was more in line with what I specifically needed.

My participation at this site has helped me grow in my understanding of alcoholism, what works, what doesn't, and the varying thoughts and ideas regarding AA. My sober time and experience with meetings and others in the program has taught me much more. It's becoming more and more clear to me that 12 steps are not required for sobriety. Nor is AA. I do completely believe though that the 12 steps and AA are absolutely a solution to this disease. If someone wants to get sober, and is willing to submit to what AA and the 12 steps has to offer, my experience tells me that it works 99.9% of the time. I in fact don't know anyone personally who has worked the steps without resistance who hasn't gotten and stayed sober, although I'm sure they exist.

Why anyone who's open to AA and open to the steps would postpone jumping in completely I don't understand. There is absolutely nothing to lose by doing that, and everything to gain. In answer to your question above, I say get a sponsor, anyone for now, and get started yesterday. If you want to get sober. If you don't, then wait.
Joe Nerv is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Joe Nerv For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Fallow (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013), visch1 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 12:05 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CAPE COD, MA
Posts: 1,020
HI. I'm in AA and it works for people who will surrender the fact that their way isn't working, for them. I whined and twisted most things I heard for a couple years and fortunately people said KEEP COMING. Finally honesty stepped in to help me and being brilliant decided to follow what others successful members were doing. I didn't pick up the first drink, got to about 10 meetings a week, got very active, spoke at commitments and made coffee for years, set up halls and stayed to clean up. Then came the work of examining the reasons for my drinking and working on them. Work, yes! Worth it? YES!
Quite a few years later I still do much of the above but have slowed to about 5-6 meetings a week. I/we constantly have to be aware of the shite fairy between our ears saying things like you'll be ok now with one drink. That sort of thing is what scares me with the "I can handle things now that I'm sober for a month or whatever" I, by lots of examples practice constant vigilance as I probably don't have another return token left. BE WELL
visch1 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to visch1 For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Fallow (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 12:19 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Blu**ed Lines...A ClockWork SR
 
ElegantlyWasted's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: AZ
Posts: 2,529
Blog Entries: 10
" go to the meetings for a while before committing to a sponsor?"

I would sponsor shop. Meaning figure out what you want and think you need in sponsor before picking one. Also, start reading over the steps on your own at the same time. Give them a dry run through in you own mind a couple times and when you work them with your sponsor you should have a better quality experience. At least that how I'm approaching it this time. I got some great advice from this thread...

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...3-sponsor.html
ElegantlyWasted is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ElegantlyWasted For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 12:39 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Pamel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Around and About
Posts: 1,254
1stepup, I would get a temporary sponsor for AA, one for NA, and one for CDA (I happen to like their meetings best). It takes a while to find a sponsor "for good" and temporary gives you a chance to work with different people. Listen to each, and don't fall into the dead trap of saying: "But my other sponsor said...".

We are all only people and there are many ways of sponsorship. Also, when you go to a meeting raise your hand and ask if anyone is going to coffee etc. and join them. These groups are never "closed" so jump right in!
Pamel is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Pamel For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 12:45 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Faith and reason
 
Louise82's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: London
Posts: 942
1stepup, congrats on 5 days and very well done for coming back.

I was just rereading the first couple of pages of 'How it Works' and the bit about being fearless and thorough from the very beginning really jumped out at me. I'm 6 weeks back from a slip after 6 weeks dry and in AA. I believe part of the reason I drank is because I wasn't being fearless and thorough with the program. I think it's important that we are fearless and thorough in diving into the program. Such an attitude will help us get and stay sober.

When I was getting a sponsor, people advised me to listen out in the rooms for shares and chairs I liked, to observe whether those people were working a good program and living the steps. If you decide to move on from your former/current sponsor, thank him for all his help and ask a person such as the one I've described to be your sponsor. Perhaps you already have a potential new sponsor in mind from what you've heard and seen during your previous times in the rooms?

I have ended up with a great sponsor. I'm letting her dictate the pace at which we do the steps as she knows best, she has the experience and I trust her. A sponsor who's right for you will know at what pace you should be working the steps.

I know what you mean about going back to the rooms. After my slip I felt so ashamed, guilty and embarrassed but I went back to the rooms and was honest in my shares about my slip and the response from the fellowship was one of love and understanding. I think being honest helps in this regard so well done for being honest every time you've come back in.

The first bit of How it Works also emphasizes the importance of rigorous honesty. I'm starting to realize that even now I'm not honest enough, neither with myself nor the fellowship (in terms of how I feel day-to-day, how I'm coping, my step work etc.) I believe that getting really, really honest will help keep me sober.

All the best and keep posting to let us know how you're going!
Louise82 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Louise82 For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 12:47 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Gulf Coast, Florida USA
Posts: 5,731
Blog Entries: 22
Originally Posted by 1stepup View Post
Do you think I should just go to the meetings for a while before committing to a sponsor or do you think I should crack on and do the steps as quickly as possible? I have had varying advice on this from aa members and don't know what to do for the best.
I would get a sponsor whenever you could. But you really do have to call that sponsor. A lot of people get a sponsor in name only. I would suggest you do the 90 in 90 like they say. All the suggestions they give are repetitious because they work. Also get a home group, a group you commit to absolutely going to weekly and make coffee. Having a service commitment keeps you accountable. God Bless! Working for me.
deeker is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to deeker For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 02:33 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
1stepup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,459
Thank you all for your responses to my post, I'll take it all on board. Been to a couple of new meetings this week which I haven't been to before and enjoyed them both, I am struck by how the dynamics of each meeting vary. I have quite a phobia to reading aloud to people since high school so was avoiding a 'big book study' meeting even though its one of the nearer meetings in my area in case I was put on the spot and asked to read, but I went to it and although my voice was shaky I read out at my 'turn', also have shared at each meeting so far, which ive avoided like the plague in the past.

My social shyness has hampered my progress in the past but am forcing myself to try and overcome this. There are many factors that hamper different peoples progression in achieving long term sobriety, I find expressing myself so much easier via this site but im not going to let my shyness hamper me anymore. I drank a can of beer before every English lesson at high school aged 14 in case I was asked to read! Its sad looking back that it was abnormal drinking even at that age.

I know it can seem from my post like im 'toying at aa' and 'only going when I feel like it' but that's not the case, I know im ill with this thing, but it took a lot for me to walk into the rooms once aged 30 two years ago, but its taken more to keep going back after slips, and that's what im going to do until 'it sticks'.
1stepup is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to 1stepup For This Useful Post:
Louise82 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 02:40 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Anna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dancing in the Light
Posts: 54,104
I'm glad you got some good advice here.

I'm not an AA person, but I did want to make a comment about your Wedding story. I really had to understand that 'No' is a complete sentence. When I tried to explain a situation, as you did with your wedding story, it just became weak. Saying 'No' is enough, no explanation needed.
Anna is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Anna For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Dee74 (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013), SereneEdition (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 02:47 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
Pamel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Around and About
Posts: 1,254
BTW, 1stepup, when you go to a meeting and are feeling shy, introduce yourself to someone who is standing alone; they will be grateful forever, and you will have a new friend AND probably helped a newcomer feel welcome.
Pamel is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Pamel For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 02:50 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: east coast
Posts: 1,711
Why not give the program (AA) a wholehearted shot? If you get a sponser they will guide you through the rest of the process. It's working for me, I wish you te best
quitforme79 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to quitforme79 For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Louise82 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 02:51 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
1stepup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,459
Anna- you've made a good point there 'No means no', I know in future I do need to put my sobriety before other peoples feelings, im very much a people pleaser and find it hard to say 'No', assertiveness is a skill that I am sadly lacking in!
1stepup is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to 1stepup For This Useful Post:
Louise82 (05-12-2013), Sasha4 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 03:29 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
SereneEdition's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,275
Hi 1step -

Congrats on 5 days & for picking yourself up to try again. Hope you had a good weekend with the kids!

Trying stuff and having it not work is draining. Sounds like re-finding confidence in yourself would help a great deal in the next 2 weeks. What quick wins could you do to help rebuild your foundation so that you're coming from a place of personal strength.

I would also the examine the feedback of 'just toying' with AA' in contrast to your own perceptions as a key to understanding and unlocking your personal pattern. Please hear the essence without feeling judged. There is something that is holding you back from reaching your full potential with the methods that you're using. Understanding why that is, and what is causing it will make a huge difference in outcomes.

You're asking good questions to get to the heart of this. Keep it up! If it feels a little raw, it's a good sign that you're working on the level of change that will make an impact.

(((((hugs)))))
SereneEdition is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to SereneEdition For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 03:42 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 2,844
I also wanted to add that I agree with Anna regarding the wedding story.

It makes me really cross when people are pressured into attending drinking situations or occasions, then when it goes wrong, they are made to feel unhappy or like you asked to leave.

If someone is scared of something, we don't put pressure on them to mix with that fear.
Why should it be any different when it comes to drink?

I understand he/she was probably a good friend but if he was so desperate to have you there the event should have been a drink free zone if you wanted so in my opinion.

I think you should be really firm with people when they ask you to come somewhere where drink will be flowing.

Saying something like 'please stop pressuring me to drink. I cannot drink safely and you are putting my happiness and the happiness of others at risk by forcing me. If you continue I will leave the event'

Has your friend apologised to you about the wedding?
I really feel for you and I feel really angry you were put in this situation. It was not kind and it was not fair.

My very best to you.
I wish you immense luck in your sobriety.

xx
Sasha4 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Sasha4 For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Dee74 (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 03:52 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Crazy Cat Lady
 
DisplacedGRITS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,662
Blog Entries: 3
hey 1stepup! i'd recommend that you keep calling your old sponsor and have that person be your accountability sponsor before you find a permanent one. that way, you have someone you're accountable to every day, not just yourself. you can stop calling that person once you get a sponsor but until then, that's at least one of the alcoholics you call on a daily basis.

regarding the wedding; i'm sorry if this sounds harsh but that's a load of horse dung. the pressure your friend put on you sounds like an excuse to me. just say your went to a wedding you knew you shouldn't go to and you drank. that's the truth of the matter. everything else is just sugar coating it. that's a part of being rigorously honest with yourself. i totally agree with Anna on "no" being a complete sentence. i'm tucking that gem away for future use.

get back into AA and get serious about going to meetings. personally, i'm doing at least 5 meetings a week. typically, i got to a meeting a day but i let myself off one day a week. that's what i need. i go to meetings when i don't want to go because i know my addiction wants me to miss them. go to more meetings than you originally think you can stand. go when you don't want to go. go when you do want to go. call people and agree to meet them at a meeting. go out for coffee or a meal after the meeting. go out for coffee with someone before a meeting! make sure you're not arriving just before the meeting and leaving right afterwards. get phone list and practice calling people and talking. even if you just call someone to ask how their day is, call them. call them and tell them that you were told to call an alcoholic every day and today is their lucky day. what you're doing is practicing reaching out to people. that way, when you find yourself in a bind with your addiction and you're about to cave, you're more comfortable calling people because you've been practicing. don't exist on the fringes of AA. really get in there and make yourself a part of a group. find a group you really enjoy and make it your homegroup. go out to other meetings but always come home to your homegroup. make real world connections with people.

it's a lot to do and it goes against what your alcoholic voice tells you to do but it's worth it. doing what you want to do and doing what you need to do don't always line up. still, i've found that after i went to AA for a while because i needed to i started going to AA because i wanted to. when your needs and your wants eventually line up, it's a wonderful thing. give it time and i'm sure it will happen for you as well.
DisplacedGRITS is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DisplacedGRITS For This Useful Post:
1stepup (05-12-2013), Fallow (05-12-2013)
Old 05-12-2013, 04:13 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
1stepup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,459
Thanks Serine, it is pretty draining, soul searching and examining just where im going wrong, think the confidence thing is deeply entwined in my alcoholism, In the past I have analysed if I have developed this disease through over reliance on alcohol to overcome my shyness and anxiety and abused it to the extent that I just cant ever safely use it again or it was just 'there' in my DNA when I was born- In the last few years I believe the latter- I wasn't drinking 'normally' like others at age 15 (the drinking before English lesson proves this), guess in the end its like the guy on the bridge in the big book with his pants on fire wondering why they are on fire- it doesn't matter- jump in! And that's what I have to do follow the path that others have made without questioning too much of the actions I need to take- if that makes sense!?

Thanks also Sasha, I have had a lot of resentment towards my friend to be honest about the whole wedding situation, think there is still a lot of ignorance still out there about this disease, (when I mentioned to him that I had been attending AA, he told me that I was far too young to be an alcoholic), people still think that its a case of 'pull yourself together' type thing, but of course its not that easy. Think looking back I should have been more firm but ironically I was afraid of losing my friend! Ive got to learn from this and try and have the courage to say no in future.
1stepup is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to 1stepup For This Useful Post:
Sasha4 (05-12-2013)

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 12:58 AM.