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Finally contacted AA

Old 09-10-2017, 04:01 AM
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Finally contacted AA

So after a miserable weekend rull of relapse, I finally got in touch with AA.. I am meant to call tomorrow to arrange a meeting (face-to-face) and then start attending meetings. On the one hand I feel hopeful yet somehow feel destroyed at the same time. I know it will get better.

What were your initial experiences with AA?
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:06 AM
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Good for you LW.
No experience with AA, but this seems like a step forward for you.
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:07 AM
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I was really happy when I finally went to AA, i felt so welcomed at my very first meeting, and felt i am getting a lot of support, understanding, encouragement, and even laughter and good times.

Go for it! Hope your local group is good, and take my advice, get a sponsor and work the steps ASAP!

DO you know if your local group is a small or a large one?

I have mianly gone to smaller meetings with 8-15 people, but once i visited a huge meeting with 60-70 people. All were good, but i am glad my first meetings were in smaller groups where I felt more comfortable, I might have been a bit more scared and unwilling to open up if my first meeting was a huge one.
The big meetings are really good after a while, as you meet more people (and more people from all walks of life) - but my suggestion would be to get a "home group" with not so many people in it, if you, like me, might be a bit uncomy in huge crowds
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:15 AM
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I was very sick physically when I quit (not to mention emotionally, mentally etc) and my first visits to AA were mostly spent sitting and listening- sometimes I couldn't sit still for the whole hour, but I did almost the recommend 90 (meetings) in 90 (days) - I did about 82, and I am 565 days sober today, and have found my sweet spot for meetings is 4-6 a week - and I mainly....let it sink in. There is a lot to learn and you just have to have a desire to quit drinking to be there- that's it.

As you are able, pay attention to "those who have what you want," look for similarities (not differences) in your experience and those of others, and above all - don't drink. That's the only way the program, as you learn and experience it.

There are also different kinds of meetings, so I strongly suggest you try different ones, especially if the first you attend is off-putting for some reason.

Some will tell you to get a sponsor and start working the steps right away- it's ok not to get a sponsor immediately (I didn't til day 97 and had "emotionally" worked steps 1-3, then we started at the beginning officially when we began working together).

Giving it a legit shot after I had railed against AA for years was the ticket to my sobriety and the beginning of my life in recovery.

Hope to see you around here- let us know how it goes.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:45 AM
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The first serious time I went- was 19 months ago- and have been sober since. In a very real sense- it saved my life. People accepted me- horribly underweight, I stank of wine, and could hardly walk- because of the pain of grafts- for burns- I got from burns I received in blackout by a falling ciggie catching a fibre glass splint on my arm on fire (falls- booze) that actually did kill me- I was revived 3 times. My family abandoned me- ended up in a place run by active drug users/dealers.
Someone- who is my sponsor and friend- simply asked me around for coffee. The human contact alone was very important. Give it a go. Do not just write it off with 'They all talked about god and it freaked me out', or 'It wasn't for me'. Alcoholism is not for anyone. It works- if you let it.
Empathy and support to you.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:28 AM
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Congrats on taking action. Action is what keeps us sober.
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:39 AM
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Hi LoneWolf, I've been in and out of AA for the last couple of years, I guess. I tried out a variety of meetings (twice) to select which I would attend each day. Every meeting is different and has it's own culture or flavor. Initially, I observed and sort of enjoyed those differences from a sociological perspective.

It didn't take long for people to notice I'd been around for awhile and to start talking with me. That was awesome. One thing I learned is that in addition to taking people's phone numbers, I should give them mine. This resulted in a few people texting me to find out how I was doing. Very helpful because I'm pretty shy with new people.

One of the things you will learn in AA is that "being destroyed" is actually a good thing - it gives you the desperation to do anything it takes to be sober, which is actually a gift.

Do let us know how your call goes tomorrow, eh?

O
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:43 AM
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AA was a huge relief for me. I finally felt like I'd found somewhere I belonged and where people understood me.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:29 PM
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Hi Lonewolf,

Anything that supports us in recovery is a good step. I hope your meeting goes well. Check in and let us know after, and read and post as much as needed until then to help you stay sober.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by LoneWolf04 View Post
What were your initial experiences with AA?
It really screwed up my drinking. Glad you're among us - welcome.
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by LoneWolf04 View Post
I finally got in touch with AA...... On the one hand I feel hopeful yet somehow feel destroyed at the same time....
I had that feeling of destruction also. What had been destroyed, in me, was the idea that I could quit all by myself, without any help.

It turned out that abandoning that way of thinking was the best thing that could have happened.

Sometimes, when something looks like a very bad thing, it is just the opposite. At least that was the case for me. AA was central to things finally changing.

I have a feeling you are going to encounter some friends you have not met yet.

All the best to you.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:30 PM
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AA is good for me. Three things you should take with you to your first meeting - words from the big book, interpretation by me:

Honesty - you have to admit your problem. It's the first of the 12 steps.

Open mindedness - be willing to listen and take it all in. Don't be cynical and don't prejudge. A lot of people have a lot of ideas of what AA is and what goes on at meetings. Let it happen. This is also related to the 2nd step.

Willingness - commit to showing up, sharing, listening, and sticking with it. This also sounds a lot like the 3rd step.

After that, keep working the steps, but with a sponsor who has done them all themselves.

A lot of good can happen if you start this way.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by LoneWolf04 View Post
So after a miserable weekend rull of relapse, I finally got in touch with AA.. I am meant to call tomorrow to arrange a meeting (face-to-face) and then start attending meetings. On the one hand I feel hopeful yet somehow feel destroyed at the same time. I know it will get better.

What were your initial experiences with AA?
My approach was the same as yours. I got to spend time with a recovered alcoholic before I went to a meeting. He answered my questions and explained what AA is and what it isn't, how the meetings work, what alcoholism is. I learned more in that couple of hours than I would have in fifty meetings.

He took me to my first meeting that night and looked after me for the next few weeks while I found my feet. In hindsight I can really see how effective that approach was. That smooth introduction to AA was like a head start and it really paid off.

Your plan worked very well for me.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:58 PM
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I'm so glad you contacted AA, great news! As mentioned above, just go and have an open mind, they will help you if you ask.

Wishing you the best!!
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:26 AM
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Hi Lonewolf04 , well done for contacting AA and starting your recovery journey .
I remember my first call to AA , I was fearful embarrassed but the female on the phone made me feel comfortable and arranged a meeting to attend . On the night of the meeting which was a lovely summer night I was sober 3 0r 4 days but very nervous . The hall was next to a big park and I walked round there for 1/2 and hour then plucked up the courage to go in . There were around 15 people both men women all ages and every single one of them shook my hand or hugged me , I never felt so welcomed at anything .
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by LoneWolf04 View Post

What were your initial experiences with AA?
my initial experience was fear- fear of the unknown.i had no idea what i was walkin in to, but it had to be better than drinking.
as the fog wore off my experience was that i finally found my home- i found a group of people that had been in my shoes- they knew how messed up my mind was and they had found a solution- one they were willing to share with me and help me learn how to work and live that solution.
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Old 09-11-2017, 03:20 PM
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I went and was anxious but I enjoyed it. I thought the people were wise but just realised they were reeling off cliches they had learned. I finally realised maybe some of these people weren't lying and they enjoyed a life without alcohol better than they did drunk and I stuck with them.
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Old 09-11-2017, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by LoneWolf04 View Post
What were your initial experiences with AA?
I was not keen on signing my life over to anyone, much less a bunch of tea totaling dudey do rights. But lacking any other viable alternatives, I stuck with it, found a sponsor who had what I wanted & did what he asked. That was almost 8 years ago, and I haven't had to drink since - AA literally saved my life.

One suggestion: check out multiple meetings in your area, no two groups are exactly alike. Find one that speaks to you, and make it your home group.

Good luck, and don't give up before the miracle happens.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:35 AM
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Thank you all so much for the messages and support. I got in touch and I am meant to meet someone an hour before the Thursday meeting and go ahead and join. The hardest part so far was actually making that phone call. Like you mentioned above, fear of the unknown is a factor.. I am so used to trying to control the outcomes, but has it worked so far? Not really... maybe in some certain aspects but surely not when it comes to controlling myself, my state etc when drinking alcohol is an option. So I'm pretty sure as uncomfortable as getting started will be.. it pales in comparison to drinking again and the misery it brings with it.. I am trying to keep this quote in mind: if you can't beat fear.. do it scared.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:42 AM
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good for you- not so a-lonewolf.
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