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Old 04-27-2018, 01:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Acceptance around being an alcoholic?


Hi,
So I'm needing some support. I hate saying I'm a newcomer because I've been in the program for four years and had 2 years clean at one point... but I haven't been able to keep more than a few months together over the last year...so I'm a newcomer. What I would like some experience, strength, and hope on is how you came to accept being an alcoholic. I'm very angry that I'm an alcoholic... like so so angry. I don't have a lot of motivation to do the things I need to do every day to stay sober... and that scares me. It terrifies me. I get resentful that I can't just wake up like normal people and go to work and then come home and watch some TV and go to bed and simply stay alive by doing those things. I think it's unfair that I have to remain disciplined with recovery just to stay alive. I've gotten really lazy and unmotivated and I know I can't stay in that place or I'll end up going back out. I have a lot to lose but I don't want to wait until I've lost everything to find that motivation. Anyway, my sponsor thinks I need to find some acceptance around being an alcoholic. I just don't know how to do that. What's your experience with it?
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not much experience here, am 6 days sober but was chatting to my younger sister this afternoon. She doesn't drink, well she may enjoy a glass of rose now and then (baffles me how she can just have the one?!) but she does suffer from ocd and anxiety. About 10 years ago she had a complete breakdown. Even though she is so much better now she has had to have counselling and cbt therapy to live her life as best as she can and her disorders still have a debilitating affect on her day to day life.

I suppose my point is that not everyone who isn't an alcoholic is just happily getting up and doing their thing everyday. A lot, if not most, people probably have their demons to face. The fact that you are angry and do not want to be an alcoholic does not make it true. I most certainly did not put "alcoholic" on my list of things I wanted to be when I grew up. But that is what I am. This previous 10 day binge which has nearly killed me has certainly proven without doubt that is true.

I will accept it because I want to live and I want to live a life and be as happy as I can. I also know I am much more than just an alcoholic! Sorry, I know you wanted advice on how to accept it,but just wanted to add my thoughts.
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, I suppose it's just a case of deciding to stop trying to argue with the world about the unfairness of it. Yep, it is a but of a bum deal. But people have worse things to deal with. After all, we can choose to work on our recovery and have absolutely amazing lives. We get to have all those promises come true if we want - how amazing is that?! All we have to do is stop fighting and say, it is what it is, but there is a solution.

Gratitude is a pretty amazing tool against the "It's not fair"s. I bet you, like me, can think of pretty much hundreds of things that you have access to that a massive % of people on the world can only dream of having. And that's before we even get sober.

I found that a good question to ask myself in the middle of a self-pity attack was "Do you WANT to be happy or are ya just having a rant because it makes you feel strong to be angry?"

Acceptance isn't what makes our alcoholism so.
But lack of it (denial) is what keeps us ensnared in it in its active form.

Have you done your step 1 with your sponsor? I'm kind of presuming that you have and that it's not that you don't recognise that you're an alcoholic. More that you're using up so much energy in howling for the moon and resentment wishing it weren't so that you have no energy or time for working on your recovery.
Honestly - the recovery work takes up a lot less energy and time, and is a lot less painful than living in the mire of all that rage and resentment and self-loathing. You can just choose not to attach yourself to those things. At first you might need to make that decisions every 2 minutes. But after a while it'll just be once every 10 minutes, then every half hour, etc etc.til you find that resentment has lifted.
The resentment prayer is helpful. Do you pray or meditate? I remember thinking the meetings were pretty much 'it' and being so shocked when I found out about the daily work that people were doing on their own. Thing is, it's much less like hard work than living like I used to was. Chances are you'll find the same thing.

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Old 04-27-2018, 02:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Waking up in rehab, looking up at the ceiling and seeing sprinklers, and wondering when I'd put them in. Took a few minutes to remember where I was, wandered out in the halls to confirm.

First exposure to the first step of AA. Counseling and group work.

By the end of the first week I had to admit that once I started drinking, I had no control over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable. Non-problem drinkers simply NEVER wake up in rehab.

This was my first and last attempt to get sober. For me, it was crossing a line. There was a gradual point in my drinking/using career where I became an addict. Once that line was crossed, I could never go back to "normal drinking." Once I really bought into the idea that there was no such thing as one drink for me, I crossed another line into sobriety. This was different, it was fast and like I'd flipped a switch.

I'm just done. Nearly a year later, it's worked. The positivity in my life is so much greater than it was when I was drinking/using, and that's what keeps me from EVER going back to it.
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Old 04-27-2018, 03:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What exactly do you mean when you say you “have to stay disciplined with recovery just to stay alive?” How did you feel when you had one year sober and then when you hit year 2? Was there ever a feeling of peace where being sober was just who you were? Or were you still angry at that point and still feeling like you had to try really hard just to stay alive?

It does sound like your anger and resentment is holding you back. I wish I knew how to help but for me I just accepted that I couldn’t change this part of myself and that life was really worth living without being drunk all the time. I didn’t want to be drunk anymore. I don’t even use the term alcoholic really. I just know I won’t ever drink again because it adds zero value to my life at this point. I spent so many years drunk and high, I got my fill. At this point I can just work and come home and watch tv or whatever.- I do live a normal life because there is no resistance, no anger or resentment about it.

Maybe once you let go of the anger the acceptance will follow?

Is there a part of you that still wants to drink?
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Old 04-27-2018, 03:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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. I think it's unfair that I have to remain disciplined with recovery just to stay alive.

this gives the assumption that people that have no problem with alcohol dont have to remain disciplined to keep their lives moving in the right direction.
alcoholic or not, discipline in a necessity.

Anyway, my sponsor thinks I need to find some acceptance around being an alcoholic.

i think the first thing to have that would be to understand what it means to be an alcoholic.

the first step:
we admitted we were powerless over alcohol....
even with that, it was good for me to understand what that meant.

i couldnt do step 1 without understanding it.
i couldnt do step 2 without understanding it.
i couldnt do step 3.................

and not my understanding either. my understanding got me drunk.
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Old 04-27-2018, 03:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My recovery has been greatly strengthened by practicing gratitude. Instead of feeling resentful that you can't drink, be grateful you're choosing sober life. I don't see sobriety as a punishment, but as a reward.
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I love what tomsteve said about the fact that even normal drinkers have to stay disciplined. I am almost a year sober now and life is still hard. I workout every day. I meditate and am constantly exploring ways to be a better person and mother. I struggle with mood issues and finding peace in my mind. But I’m sober. I can’t even imagine trying to tackle those things drunk.
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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20 yrs ago I stopped drinking for 4 yrs attended AA and was very involved with commitments. Looking back to see that I was a dry drunk who never took the first step. I was angry that everyone else was getting away with drinking and it just kept gnawing at me. My life did get back in the outside but inside I was the same guy and it was only a matter of time.
I came back to AA six months ago. Alcohol conquered me. First couple of months wanted to drink everyday. But I didnít. I knew the game of over. I ran out of time with my drinking and thatís ok. I guess I stopped fighting and I feel so at ease right now. Itís hard for me to explain but I hope this helps.
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't have any wisdom, but I just wanted to say that I really connect and resonate with your post. As much as I think I'm ready to recover, my actions and repeated relapses indicate that I am still fighting the reality. I'm not sure how to shed the anger and the bitterness about being different, having to fight this addiction, the psychological and mental burden that alcholism brings. Lately, I have been trying to put things in perspective. My struggle to not drink is daily and grinding, yes. But when I look around at all the suffering and hardship in the world it seems more manageable. Everyone has a battle to fight. We are the lucky ones because ours has a workable solution.
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Sunflowerlife, When I say I have to stay disciplined I mean I have to get on my knees and say several prayers, then do my daily devotion book, and then meditate/do yoga each AM. I know those are small things in comparison to the price you pay for picking up a drink. I'm also BSing myself by glamourizing what my drinking would look like in my mind rather than reminding myself of what it really looks like in the end. I also mean having to make my amends and just getting in the middle of the boat of AA. I get a lot of social anxiety, so other than a few friends in the program, I pretty much hang around the edges of AA. I mean I go to a meeting every single day , call my sponsor, take a meeting to the detox every week, and greet at my home group. I love doing those things. I guess I’m just frustrated with the mediation and yoga. Last time I got relief really quickly by doing all of these things but this time that spiritual connection just isn’t there. During those 2 years I did get a lot of relief from the program. My life got really really good but I cut back on things towards the end and got involved with a guy which led to a relapse. When I first realized I was powerless over alcohol 4 years ago, I was angry for about a year. I’m not sure when the anger went away but it eventually did and I became one of those annoying people that said I was a grateful recovering alcoholic. Lol. I know the program works. I guess God has graced me throughout the past year with allowing that spiritual connection to come back within a month after a relapse. It’s been the same song, different verse all year long. I relapse, I get serious about my program, life gets good, and then I feel like I can cut back on things. I’m not unique in that. I feel like I’m echoing the story of every other person who has relapsed.  I know drinking isn’t an option though which I guess is why I’m mad. I’m just not happy right now and want a way to check out for a little while rather than putting in the work. I guess I’m feeling entitled to constant peace and happiness without having to work for it. I’ve got to have faith that if I keep doing the next right thing then that peace will return. When you’re feeling ****** it makes you think you’ll always feel that way… but that’s not the case… I’ve got to act myself into right thinking.  Sorry if that was discombobulated.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You made plenty of sense. Iím sorry recovery feels like or IS so much work for you. My strength in spirituality isnít linear I have found. I go through phases where I feel so connected and then times when I feel so lost, even sober. I donít do AA but I am always involved in self improvement. Therapy, Reiki and now a class on awakening. It IS hard but I really just think this is life in general. We have to sort and sift and and forgive and hope to forget things and learn to love like we did when we were children. Maybe if you thought about it as a struggle for the modern human rather than just the struggle for the alcoholic, it wouldnít feel so heavy. Life is hard! But self improvement and discovery is priceless. And we both know that drinking cannot help the process.

I think in time you will feel better about all of this. I donít know when but I have a feeling it wonít always be so fueled with anger. Give yourself permission to feel this way, knowing it wonít last forever.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livelaughlove10 View Post
I don't have a lot of motivation to do the things I need to do every day to stay sober... and that scares me. It terrifies me. I get resentful that I can't just wake up like normal people and go to work and then come home and watch some TV and go to bed and simply stay alive by doing those things.
The only thing I need to do to stay sober is not drink.
I can work, come home, and watch TV without drinking.
I don't find it terrifying.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hi LiveLaughLove

I felt like you do for a long time too.

Things got worse until I nearly died from my drinking - thats really terrifying - much worse than the fear I felt of change.

Being desperate not to die really makes you sort out your priorities in a hurry.

I m not suggesting of course that you follow my lead in that respect - I think you can find acceptance at a much 'higher bottom' than I did

SR was very helpful to me in realising that there was a good life after drinking and that there were genuinely happy non drinkers around - much more happy and at peace than I was a drinker.

I wanted some of that

Not drinking reconnected me with the real me, a me I'd forgotten about.
That's a really good reason for anyone to quit and stay quit.

If drinking is causing you or your loved ones pain that's another good logical reason to quit and stay quit.

Remaining 'disciplined with recovery' takes some work sure but no more work that it takes to keep all your balls in the air as a hard drinker.

Eventually it becomes like breathing,

I don't think about breathing at all until I have an asthma attack - then I have a range of things to do to get through out of that breathless situation.

It's the same with drinking thoughts or cravings - the vast majority of the time they're simply not present - but when or if I have them I have a range of things I can do to deal with them and they die away and I get on with life.

Everyone wishes they were taller smarter more witty or more attractive, but most of us come to terms with who we are.

I'm a man whose relationship with alcohol was always toxic. Remove that toxicity and things get a lot better

D
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Old 04-27-2018, 06:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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meditating can be simplified:
turn off the radio. i can be meditating while rding in the car,working in the yard,cutting the lawn......
praying is talking meditating is listening.
step 11 is laid out pretty simply in the bb and does mention throughout the day.

HOWEVER
something i read:
I also mean having to make my amends

the steps are in order for a reason. there are 10 steps before 11.
what does step 12 say?
having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the stepS.....

step 11 promises,which occur somewhere after the previous 10 steps:
What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.

We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.

trudging sucks,but always a great return IF we work for it.
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