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Sorry! Repost.Waiting a bit to really delve into AA?

Old 11-20-2017, 03:32 PM
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Waiting a bit to really delve into AA?

Hi all!
So I'm on day 12 now and for the most part feeling good. I haven't had many urges to drink and every day I feel reassured that I have made the best decision for my life . Little background on me..I was always a social drinker. When I drank socially it was always to a point of getting VERY drunk. The last time this happened was 13 days ago and I knew that was it. I simply can not drink. Fortunately I never kept alcohol in the house so my drunken days/nights were limited to 2-3 days a week. But they were bad.

I've been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Largely stems from all types of abuse from the ages of 13-20. I have severe anxiety and panic attacks. My depression has actually already improved since my last drink. I'm very thankful for that!

So, short story long..I'm having severe anxiety with attending AA meetings. I went to one a week ago and did like it. Since then my social anxiety has gone through the roof and I have felt paralyzed at the thought of attending another in the near future. In the past I would just drink to deal with social situations...not happening now!

I do see a psychotherapist, I am reading the big book, I get on here and read and I have a friend who started his own AA meeting that has been kind enough to spend a lot of time talking to me in the past week and a half. This has all helped tremendously. I just can't seem to get comfortable right now with the idea of being in a group setting.

I guess my question is...is it ok to do this "my" way for a bit until I feel comfortable enough to attend? I do feel like if I got to the point where I was on the verge of drinking I would just deal with the anxiety and get myself to a meeting...but so far that hasn't happened.

I guess I'd just love some feedback since I'm so new to all of this. When they say that all your emotions , etc are heightened they aren't kidding
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:11 PM
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Sorry! Repost.Waiting a bit to really delve into AA?

Hi all!
So I'm on day 12 now and for the most part feeling good. I haven't had many urges to drink and every day I feel reassured that I have made the best decision for my life . Little background on me..I was always a social drinker. When I drank socially it was always to a point of getting VERY drunk. The last time this happened was 13 days ago and I knew that was it. I simply can not drink. Fortunately I never kept alcohol in the house so my drunken days/nights were limited to 2-3 days a week. But they were bad.

I've been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Largely stems from all types of abuse from the ages of 13-20. I have severe anxiety and panic attacks. My depression has actually already improved since my last drink. I'm very thankful for that!

So, short story long..I'm having severe anxiety with attending AA meetings. I went to one a week ago and did like it. Since then my social anxiety has gone through the roof and I have felt paralyzed at the thought of attending another in the near future. In the past I would just drink to deal with social situations...not happening now!

I do see a psychotherapist, I am reading the big book, I get on here and read and I have a friend who started his own AA meeting that has been kind enough to spend a lot of time talking to me in the past week and a half. This has all helped tremendously. I just can't seem to get comfortable right now with the idea of being in a group setting.

I guess my question is...is it ok to do this "my" way for a bit until I feel comfortable enough to attend? I do feel like if I got to the point where I was on the verge of drinking I would just deal with the anxiety and get myself to a meeting...but so far that hasn't happened.

I guess I'd just love some feedback since I'm so new to all of this. When they say that all your emotions , etc are heightened they aren't kidding

Last edited by Stevie1979; 11-20-2017 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Repost
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:29 PM
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Welcome.

I didn't go to my first meeting until day 17-18 I can't totally remember. I just wasn't ready. Now, I love it and dont want to miss it. My group is amazing I do want to try a larger group too. The doors are open.

Best of luck.
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:30 PM
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I don't think anyone arrives in AA on a winning streak, ya know? I went to a minimum of one meeting a day for the first few months. I really needed to get out of my little apartment and get around people who were more positive than I was. It was good for me to get dressed, go to a meeting and listen. I was pretty lonely at the end of my drinking and pretty depressed/hopeless.

What is it that is intimidating to you? Can you verbalize it? Of course I was riddled with fear as are most alcoholics. Nothing bad happened. There were cookies.

No one can decide for you, you will have to go or not - but I don't think there is anything to actually fear about meetings. You're free to leave at any time. There were a few meetings I left halfway through when something irritated or frightened me. It happens, but it was all in my brain, I wasn't actually in danger.
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:39 PM
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Thanks for the feedback!

It's hard to describe in words what is intimidating me. The one meeting I went to and had nerves beforehand but they felt like "normal" nerves that I assume anyone would experience prior to their first AA meeting.

What I'm experiencing now is more along the lines of severe anxiety and fear of a full on panic attack. I can't fully understand this given I enjoyed the first meeting. I think I must just have a lot of feelings that have been bought to the surface is the last few weeks.

I feel like I'm focusing a good amount of time each day on sobriety whether it's with reading, therapy, conversations, prayer or coming on here. I just don't know if I should really push it or wait until this intense anxiety subsides a little....
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:42 PM
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Not to make light, but that's just normal early sobriety.

Good thing is that at meetings you're just another early-sobriety drinker. They've all been through it and you will find lots of coping tools.

If you like toughing it out alone, by all means do that! There's always someone here, you'll find plenty of things to read. My second week was pretty bad, physically. Hang on.
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:53 PM
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The meat of AA is the twelve steps. Meetings are just a tool that is helpful to some people, but the steps can certainly be worked without attending meetings.
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:33 PM
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Panic attacks are a nightmare If you talking about having a drink then going to the meetings? is that what you mean? i dont go to meetings but it does sound a bit counterproductive.

When my anxiety was real bad (first time i quit) i got my motorcycle license.
the bike scared the hell out of me more than any person or situation could.

I'm not saying go scare the hell out of yourself but maybe try something new
out of you comfort zone or some exercising ?
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:35 PM
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anxiety is a strange thing, i can go on stage infront of a room full
of people and not be nervous at all, but have to send a mate into
the supermarket for ciggarettes. youre not alone.
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by oldmate View Post
Panic attacks are a nightmare If you talking about having a drink then going to the meetings? is that what you mean? i dont go to meetings but it does sound a bit counterproductive.

When my anxiety was real bad (first time i quit) i got my motorcycle license.
the bike scared the hell out of me more than any person or situation could.

I'm not saying go scare the hell out of yourself but maybe try something new
out of you comfort zone or some exercising ?

No, no I would not drink before going to a meeting . Sorry if that sounded confusing.
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:41 PM
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I've had similar experiences to you Stevie. I've found that finding meetings where people get called on by raising hands rather than just randomly being picked has been helpful. Its also been helpful to remind myself that I need to do what's right for me rather than what other people in aa think might be right for me. Sitting in the back early on before I get comfortable in a group can help. I also focus more on talking 1 on 1 with people before or after, rather than the public speaking aspect of it. Speaker meetings can be helpful this way too.
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:29 AM
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Iíve been sober nearly 4 years.

Just over a week ago I did an amends (9th step) thatís been with me for a long time.

I have things Iím sure Iím still 4th stepping.

I go long periods without going to a meeting these days, but keep it near as a tool.

ĎGodí to me is a different-than-Christian concept and isnít a ĎHimí.

And yet, with all of this and more, AA remains a powerful and important tool in my recovery.

If you find yourself angrily rubbing up against something in AA, there may be value in a deeper inquiry of whatís going on for you.

If you find yourself getting value from AA, earnestly and honestly taking it into your recovery as a tool, opening yourself to what it can offer and offering back what youíre able.... then youíre doing just fine, in my experience.
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:41 AM
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IMO, doing AA "my way" would not have worked. I went kicking and screaming into it as a last resort after years of destructive drinking.

I did not get a sponsor til 97 days but I went to meetings, about 82 in 90 and did begin reading the BB. IMO - I am not sure what you mean by a "friend that started his own AA group" because there are guidelines and requirements for official meetings; I have not seen one started by a single person that was an actual meeting, but rather a support group or such.

I have anxiety too (side note: I was also DX with BPD and have found that all the behaviors and symptoms that qualified me for such have ceased once I quit drinking, leaving me "just" the anxiety that is a real problem and not something "caused" by drinking). I have a great psych and she is one component of my recovery program.

My experience is what has worked for me- and diving into the world off AA, listening until I was ready to speak, and knowing with certainty I would follow the program has led me to a better life than I could have imagined. Getting out of my own "Way" was critical.
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:53 AM
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Hi stevie

if you're not getting any responses to a thread, try and be patient.

I know you're new, but we ask people not to repost threads - it gets very confusing, which is not what you want when you're wanting help and feedback

Thanks

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Old 11-21-2017, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
Hi stevie

if you're not getting any responses to a thread, try and be patient.

I know you're new, but we ask people not to repost threads - it gets very confusing, which is not what you want when you're wanting help and feedback

Thanks

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Sorry Dee! Wasn't intending to repost. Was posting from my phone and refreshed and I think that may have caused the post to come up twice. I thought I could delete one of them by editing but couldn't figure it out hence me putting in "repost". I've got a lot to learn here

Appreciate everyone's responses thus far. Looks like consensus is I may need to push myself a bit out of my comfort zone and I will certainly do my best with that. I'm honestly still in shock that I had it in me to go to one meeting.

As far as the friend I mentioned...I don't know the AA terminology yet so do forgive me if I misspoke. He is a colleague of mine who is 6 years sober and he and a friend who are both very involved in AA realized there was a part of town that didn't have meetings so I think they set one up in that area? Not near where I live but that's what I took out of the conversation. Perhaps he is the chairperson? I'm not totally clear on the rules, etc. It could be a different support group.

Anyways, thank you all again. I really do appreciate the feedback. And I will work on my posting skills
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:19 AM
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I guess my question is...is it ok to do this "my" way for a bit until I feel comfortable enough to attend? I do feel like if I got to the point where I was on the verge of drinking I would just deal with the anxiety and get myself to a meeting...but so far that hasn't happened.

i think ti would be wise to honestly check your motives.
however, something i notice:
ya say ya want it to do it your way until you feel comfortable enough to go to a meeting, but if you get to the verge of drinking, you would get the courage to not allow the anxiety(fear) to control your actions and get to a meeting.

why not get the courage now?
meetings are great and are for the ones early in recovery- where those who have recovered carry the message to alcoholics.
but going to meetings and not drinking dont treat alcoholism.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
I guess my question is...is it ok to do this "my" way for a bit until I feel comfortable enough to attend? I do feel like if I got to the point where I was on the verge of drinking I would just deal with the anxiety and get myself to a meeting...but so far that hasn't happened.

i think ti would be wise to honestly check your motives.
however, something i notice:
ya say ya want it to do it your way until you feel comfortable enough to go to a meeting, but if you get to the verge of drinking, you would get the courage to not allow the anxiety(fear) to control your actions and get to a meeting.

why not get the courage now?
meetings are great and are for the ones early in recovery- where those who have recovered carry the message to alcoholics.
but going to meetings and not drinking dont treat alcoholism.
Thanks so much for your reply. Honestly, I feel like my motive right now is to just get through each day...just survive it without the booze. And I'm doing that. The anxiety I could certainly do without but I know I'm going to have to really learn to deal with it. I think it's just so early on and taking me out of my own comfort zone just scares the hell out of me at times. My husband has sat with me on nights when I was planning on going to meetings and I've full on gone into panic. I've also been getting (the past three days) the migraines that I usually only get during certain times of the month. Probably the heightened anxiety/stress but they are debilitating and scary (especially because I don't want to take ANY prescription medication right now this early on in my recovery with alcohol).

This all probably sounds like a load of excuses. I know. But it's what is happening with me. And it frustrates me so much because I felt so good in my first meeting. I shared. I talked to people. I came home and cried happy tears because I couldn't wait to go back and be amongst people who understood how I felt. And since then I feel this crippling feeling right before I'm about to walk out the door. It's ridiculous.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:01 AM
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It's good you enjoyed your first meeting. It takes a while to get comfortable. *I* think a lot of the anxiety comes from having to be honest and 'face' ourselves in an 'ugly light'. Our mistakes,shame,ect..That's a lot of crap to have to honestly see/say you did and own it. You're thinking pattern(s) that led you there.. No one wants to be told what they did wrong by anyone and when you're telling/accepting that yourself can be very overwhelming. At first. Then it becomes liberating. Think of it like swimming lessons. At first you're terrified of drowning. Each time you attend another lesson you relax a bit more. Before you know it you're swimming. Hang in there.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DontRemember View Post
It's good you enjoyed your first meeting. It takes a while to get comfortable. *I* think a lot of the anxiety comes from having to be honest and 'face' ourselves in an 'ugly light'. Our mistakes,shame,ect..That's a lot of crap to have to honestly see/say you did and own it. You're thinking pattern(s) that led you there.. No one wants to be told what they did wrong by anyone and when you're telling/accepting that yourself can be very overwhelming. At first. Then it becomes liberating. Think of it like swimming lessons. At first you're terrified of drowning. Each time you attend another lesson you relax a bit more. Before you know it you're swimming. Hang in there.
You know, I really like that. Very true. Thank you for those words.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Stevie1979 View Post
I've been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Largely stems from all types of abuse from the ages of 13-20. I have severe anxiety and panic attacks. My depression has actually already improved since my last drink. I'm very thankful for that!

So, short story long..I'm having severe anxiety with attending AA meetings. I went to one a week ago and did like it. Since then my social anxiety has gone through the roof and I have felt paralyzed at the thought of attending anothe
Are you getting any medical treatment for the anxiety/social anxiety and BPD?

Do what you need to do regarding AA. I found it useful for the community. Remember you can sit in the back and just listen, if asked to share nobody will judge you if you say pass.

AA isnít for everyone, nor is working the steps. But do some sort of group thing.

Originally Posted by oldmate View Post
Panic attacks are a nightmare If you talking about having a drink then going to the meetings? is that what you mean? i dont go to meetings but it does sound a bit counterproductive.

When my anxiety was real bad (first time i quit) i got my motorcycle license.
the bike scared the hell out of me more than any person or situation could.

I'm not saying go scare the hell out of yourself but maybe try something new
out of you comfort zone or some exercising ?
Funny, I just decided yesterday to get a motorcycle and license. How hard was it to learn to ride? Do you think that it would be easier if youíve driven a manual transmission car all of your life?
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