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Thread: It's my turn

  1. #261
    Registered User. 4theboyz's Avatar

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    It's my turn

    Well today marks one week of sobriety and the 4th time I have been able to chip off a first week sober and it is my goal to make it my last first week. I made 6 AA meeting in 7 days and they have been extrordinarluy helpful it helping me build the foundation for the next phase of my recovery.

    I laugh in how I recounted in a recent meeting the numerous times I postponed quitting drinking because a big party was on the horizon, or the upcoming holidays or vacation or this or that!. I have so much going on in my life there would not be 2 weeks in a row without some booze filled event to attend and last week to try and stop drinking was the Mother of all weeks I could have picked.

    Halfway through the week it dawned on me that not only did I have a concert to go to with 6 of my old fraternity brothers but my wife was going away for the weekend and I would be alone the whole time. That was an ideal situation to drink the weekend away with no one around to nit pic either. So I began to prepare myself for this gauntlet of challenges. I locked up what ever beer and wine I could find in the wine cellar closet and gave my wife the key. Mentally I knew I could handle not drinking with my buddies as not only was I committed to staying sober this time out but I find it is easier to do when you are around people who will hold you accountable. It is alone when I find myself in the most trouble.

    So Thursday night the night before my wife was to leave I find the key to the wine closet in the desk drawer in the kitchen!!! I cursed my luck but strangely I did not say anything to her and I still don't know why I didn't. Friday after work I came home and knew I had a few hours before I went to the concert and found myself opening that drawer for that key and it was gone! I was both happy she took it with her and sad that I still had this almost unconscious auto-pilot desire to drink.

    A moment passed and I rejoiced in this challenge I faced and rising above that craving to not drink. I made it through the concert no problem, went to bed and woke up to a beautiful hangover free Saturday morning. I went to an AA meeting and began to see hope in this new routine of my life living each new day sober and with a determination I have not yet had to remain sober and live alcohol free. I know look forward to the meetings and learning how others have found their way to live their lives sober.

    Doggygirl, thank you so much for your care and support all these years and also for pointing out the link! Have a great day DG!

  2. #262
    Registered User. 4theboyz's Avatar

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    It's my turn

    Day 12

    Hard to believe I am here again....day 12. I am 99.9% sure I would not be here if it weren't for finally going to AA. For over 3 years I wrestled with my alcoholism and staying sober, but what I am finding out is I have been struggling with so much more than just the booze. The booze it seems was merely the medicine to my inability to cope with life as I saw it. Booze turned life into a putty I could mold into most anything I needed it to be other than it was so it felt less threatening, more sensual, easier, less painful.

    But now...12 days into my recovery, instead of wrestling with just my alcoholism I am wrestling with the tenants of AA much as I did before I joined. The God thing and admitting you are powerless thingies were roadblocks to my ever going to AA. I am very much a control freak and have never ever felt there wasn't anything I didn't have control over until I did realize that the more times I tried to quit, the worse my drinking became and 12 days ago I finally admitted to myself I was not able to do this on my own....I needed help.

    I was not powerless when I walked through those doors to my first meeting that is for sure as it took a mind numbing resolve to do that. But once there I felt an immediate relief for I saw in the eyes of all those there a welcoming empathy and that they were genuinely happy to see me cross that barrier to their world of a desire to not drink.

    Navigating the steps and traditions are all formalities meant to provide structure and guidance to your new found sobriety, but what I have found the most beneficial is what is not actually written in the books. It is the words and interpretations of the people who have traveled this path before me that bring clarity to the steps and traditions.

    Just the other day I read one mans interpretation of the serenity prayer and a couple things really hit a raw nerve with me....it was more like hitting a live wire.

    "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference."

    After 12 days I cannot truthfully say I have accepted the things I cannot change, nor do I possess the courage to change things I can, or the wisdom to know the difference. This is all too new to me. But a man who called himself Barefoot Bill, wrote about the serenity prayer and what it meant to him....and his few words brought a whole new meaning to my struggle with alcohol and my life in general

    About serenity he said...

    "Serenity... Again a word that is misunderstood, that most folks take to mean a quiet, unruffled, calm, undisturbed, tranquil condition in the circumstances of life about us. In truth what it really means is Presence of Mind in the Here and Now, viewing the Reality of whatever conditions and circumstances that may be occurring ... Not fighting Reality with illusions of how things should or should not be."

    Not fighting reality with my own illusions of things should or should not be! Now that is a pretty powerful and profound statement as that is EXACTLY what I have been doing for a large part of my adult life. And when my version
    of life didn't materialize or happened differently than I planned, alcohol erased those frustrations and resentments that I so struggled with and life became tolerable....for a while.

    About accept he said...

    "To Accept... to acknowledge the Truth of Reality, to take what is offered or given, to receive willingly... As we are given Life, one moment, one condition, one circumstance, one happening at a time... the things I cannot change
    ....Reality, period...Reality cannot be changed. It simply is. And no amount of mind bending illusion creating will change it.
    The Truth is the Truth and it needs no defense. The only thing we humans can do with Reality is change our point of view, our perspective. Reality itself will remain unchanged."

    And no amount of mind bending illusion creating will change it! Damn straight! Lord knows I tried. I threw gallons of vodka at my version of life and it didn't change a damn thing. Accepting and realizing that my life is what it is and that instead of fighting it, simply accepting it as it is and the people and things that are in my life is where the healing for me begins. I suppose this is also the surrender part of AA where I stop fighting and start doing.

  3. #263
    Registered User. 4theboyz's Avatar

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    It's my turn

    Oh....before I forget...I heard a terrific story at my meeting last night. One man related how his sponsor gave him a small sticker maybe 2" long by 1/2" high. He said put this on your mirror in your bathroom and read it everyday.

    The sticker said....

    YOU ARE THE PROBLEM

  4. #264
    Registered User. Unwasted's Avatar

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    It's my turn

    4, I've been following your posts and finding them very helpful. I'm planning on going to AA tomorrow (I've been to one meeting and feel I need to continue). It sounds like it's helping you. Thanks for taking the time to journal about your experience.

  5. #265
    Registered User. Doggygirl's Avatar

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    It's my turn

    Hi 4tbz! LOVE what barefoot Bill had to say about the Serenity prayer! I'm so glad you shared that. I've read some of his writings about the Steps and it's been really helpful to me.

    Spending a lot of angst and anger and upset over what I think SHOULD be is certainly a trap I lived in and drank over day in and day out. And it's one of those things I really have to watch myself about today. It's a waste of time and perfectly good energy. I'm so grateful for AA and learning these things about life that I just never figured out before on my own.

    Congratulation on 12 days! That rocks! Love reading your thoughts about your experiences. Love that about the mirror too.

    DG

  6. #266
    Registered User. 4theboyz's Avatar

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    It's my turn

    Well....I knew this day would come and it was a biggie, a toughie and a heart breaker but I knew I had to do it.

    I told my oldest about all my "meetings". He was asking my wife why dad was working so late all the time now. So this morning as I dropped him off at school I told him. It was a good thing...I knew it would be...he is a smart kid. It broke my heart to tell him his dad was an alcoholic but he knew and seemed relieved to hear me say those words.

    He asked if they were helping it? I said they were and he smiled.

    "It"....I now know the name of the Elephant in the room....let me introduce you to "IT".

  7. #267
    Registered User. Unwasted's Avatar

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    It's my turn

    4 - wow that was a major accomplishment. I think you're probably right about your son being relieved. Kids are so smart - they don't miss much. I can remember being at a party with my husband years ago (family kind of thing with both kids and adults)when his son was about 8 years old. I asked him where someone was and he said 'doing what adults do - drinking and smoking on the patio.' Sad, huh! And he meant it........that was his concept of an adult and rightly so. Not many who don't drink - fewer now who smoke but every adult in his life was/is a drinker......Sometimes I still can't believe how pervasive drinking is in our society.

    Anyway, congrats on stepping up to the plate and being honest with your son. That could not have been easy, but it was honest, and will help you stay sober.

  8. #268
    Registered User. Doggygirl's Avatar

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    It's my turn

    4tbz - wow that must have been so uncomfortable. I hope it is a relief to have the "honesty" in place with your son. Have you ever been to any meetings where there is an Alateen speaker? What an eye opener that is. I don't have kids so never had to deal first hand with that issue. So didn't really give much thought to what they figure out and when. WHAT A SHOCKER. Most of these kids had something figured out long before they were school age.

    Honesty sure gives us a solid platform on which to move forward, doesn't it. Good for you.

    DG

  9. #269
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    It's my turn

    4tbz,
    Congratulations on your work. Like DoggyGirl and you I was anti-AA. The simple message I got early on was "don't drink today and come back tomorrow". When I finally did that I got sober. The first 30 days were difficult for me. But like the say, it did get easier.

  10. #270
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    It's my turn

    4tbz, You post really brought tears to my eyes. I think it is an amazing thing that you are having this conversation with your son. It seems so pure and honest. I really respect you so much for being that Dad.

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