End of Journey

Old 07-09-2018, 11:41 PM
  # 61 (permalink)  
12 Step Recovered Alcoholic
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I've got to be careful how I try and get my point across on this subject. Alcoholics, untreated ones, have a habit of hearing what they want to hear rather than what is actually said.

My experience is that life time attendance of meetings is not essential to permanent recovery, however, working with others when the opportunity comes up does seem to be essential. These comments are based on experience, I travel a lot and go months without meetings.

It has no bearing on my sobrety because I worked the steps and had a spiritual experience as a result. This experience changed my whole outlook on life. I live and act in a different way to when my alcoholic mind was active.

When I was back in NZ recently a woman I spoke to said she heard someone say (probably me) that meetings were not vital. That was all she heard, she stopped meetings before finishing the steps, and got drunk.

I suppose you could find a lot of people today who have subverted the meetings. Instead of beng a 12 step opportunity to help others, for some people they have become "the" program of recovery. The answer to every problem is more meetings, and the cause of every problem is not enough meetings.

I find nothing destroys hope as much as that approach. I remember one time being in a meeting when a woman with 25 years shared she had been away on holiday and after three days without a meeting her whole world fell apart. That's not what the program is about. I was thinking why the heck hasn't she recovered. Where is the freedom we talk about in that kind of existence? That is not what I signed up for.

The solution is to find a sponsor who has taken all the steps and will take you through them so you can have your own experience.

I came out of that with a whole new set of values. Selfish to the core, I was never much interested in anybody else, yet three months in I had a life changing experience and suddenly I found that kind of activity both rewarding and enjoyable. Talk about a personality change.

At the other end of things is what happens to the alcoholic of my type who continues as a taker, who stops giving back? I heard from someone who works in a large rehab, like 1000 people a year or more, spotting an unusual trend. An increasing number of people with time, like 10 + years were turning up having relapsed. I pay attention to this stuff because I have a lot of time up. Curious to find out why, he looked for a common theme. Some had done steps, some hadn't, some did lots of meetings, some none at all, so it wasn't those factors. What they all had in common is that none of them were sponsoring anyone. They were not working with others. The why doesn't matter, wherther they didn't want to, thought they were not good enough, never thought of it, who knows. The result is the important thing.

What does the big book say "Nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail" This has been known for a long time.

Whether we will want to do that will depend to a great extent on how we tackle the actual program, and get that spiritual experience. The step actually says we get the experience first and then we try to pass it on.

Without the experience, my guess is it would be a drag, a chore, a discipline of which we will eventually get tired. Then we stop and then.....
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:10 AM
  # 62 (permalink)  
Reality...what a concept!
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Thank you for this honest and very relevent topic. It is absolutely possible that at some point you will not think about alcohol and just live your life. I liked one of the other comments that its a quiet graduation, in that everyone graduates to that state of mind at their own pace and time. There are those who have walked away from all of it, as you describe, never to think about it again. Then there are others who WANT to continue with the "hobby", as they are still enjoying it and need something from it.

When the day comes that you are no longer thinking about drinking, then you wouldn't be thinking about, or need to be participating in, recovery related activities. Make sense?
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:09 AM
  # 63 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by andyh View Post
by asking on SR, you're asking people who mostly weren't able to just quit & be done with it, so the responses you get are probably going to reflect that.
I feel sure that there are many people who came here for a time, learned what they needed, then drifted away and are off living sober lives. I’m not sure how I will be in the future. Closing in on one year, I feel that I am on somewhat of a continuum, moving closer to a drink some days, swinging closer to serenity without thoughts of alcohol, alcoholism, etc. most days. I view my efforts into growth, understanding, being better today than yesterday as part of what helps me stay sober, but also part of my responsibility to become a better person. That work will continue for the rest of my life.

Those days when things turn a little south, I know I need to put some thought into why I got sober in the first place. Reading the stories on SR is part of that. It reminds me that I am not special, and that no matter where I am on the spectrum of alcoholism everyone’s story could be my own. As Stella said, vigilance.

Will I need those same reminders in 5 years? Who knows. But if I do, I know where I can find them.

Great, thought provoking thread.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:55 AM
  # 64 (permalink)  
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I don't "do" anything to stay quit. I quit and that's that. The idea that I have to do something in order to not pick up a drink and pour down my throat is AV, and I know what to do with those kinds of thoughts, they go straight into the chuck bucket.

I hang out here on SR because I like being around others who've been through it and get it. I also like to try to help new people. I don't do it because I have to, I do it because I want to, and I can do it on my own time and in the privacy of my own home. If I thought I had to go to meetings or do service work to "keep" my abstinence, I would also find that to be a depressing future. It helps some people though.

I'm in my second year and these days I rarely think about drinking even when I'm around it. Being a non drinker has become my personal truth, it's non-negotiable. It requires zero effort. That took some time though, the first few months it was at the forefront of my mind all the time, but gradually I settled into this new way of life until it just became the way it is.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:46 AM
  # 65 (permalink)  
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.... but you are still dedicating every day to the idea of recovery and addiction, after long term sobriety .

My initial question was exactly that scenario, not the thought of craving a drink. I totally get it, if you want to be involved in helping others for ever, and making this journey a hobby or a past time.

not a touchy subject at all, cotwo.
you are making a lot of assumptions, though, and putting your frame of reference on me and my experience.
i neither "dedicate" every day to anything, though yeah, i find the "idea of recovery" and interesting one. what is the "idea", and why are there so many, and what are they and what is my actual experience??? those are some of my questions and musings, just some, and i find them fascinating.

not a hobby or pastime at all...something i have a profound interest in.
sooo many big questions, that lead to other big ones pretty much right off the bat: what is mind? for example: if a person is five months abstinent and thinks of alcohol or drinking a lot....why is that? they are not physically addicted anymore. so it must be in "the mind". so...what is this, and what is this about??
on and on....more and more big questions: how do i live my life? what is a good and "decent" life?

you could say i have a passion for all this.

you are possibly forgetting that people have other parts of days. meaning: you have no idea what i/many others here do with the rest of my day.

in any case, no, you will not need to be here if you do not wish to be. entirely possible to be never drinking again without being involved anywhere with regards to recovery or being recovered.
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