I Don't Do AA . . .
Thursday, July 12, 2012
. . . but I might give it a try. I've got 24 alcohol-free days under my belt, and I'm feeling pretty good. I quit smoking five years ago and so when my family and my doctor put the hammer down on my drinking, I just accepted that I'd do it and that's that--kinda how I finally accepted quitting smoking. If I could quit smoking, I can quit drinking. But, I have my days when, occasionally, I'd still like a smoke, or more expectedly, I sure do crave some booze. Usually, I have someone around to talk to, but not always. I've been watching stuff on Netflix about addiction and that has helped me. But I know there are going to be some trying moments.
I have resisted Alcoholics Anonymous because I felt it was "too much into the God thing", which I am not. I did check out the twelve steps and I thought, "This is so not me." My daughters agreed. One of them helped me find Women for Sobriety. I am working their thirteen steps. The biggest problem is the lack of local group meetings--there are none.
But today, my Netflix movie was "My Name Is Bill W.". If you haven't seen it, it is a powerful movie--and I say this after believing that I would think it was lame or stupid. I think I "get it" now with all the AA God stuff, if the movie holds true, and reviews say it is accurate. It's not that I'm a diehard atheist, or even agnostic, I just don't feel all that religious at this point in my life. But, let me tell you, this movie spoke to me--"My Name Is Bill W." grabbed me and talked right to me.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
I live in Sweden that is very secular so the concept of God is not easy around here... but there is nothing like a little cancer if you want to become religious.. joke aside I entered AA and could not believe that it would help me because I just couldnt understand how. But I had tried so many ways and I used to succeed for one week, two weeks, sometimes months, but inevitably sarted to drink again. Sill I was not in big trouble but I could see that it was slowly progressing and I knew that I needed to do something before I passed that point of no return.
So I went to AA - and from that moment I was sober. I did not understand how it worked, I did not believe int the texts, I did not particulary liked the people, I felt awkward and strange and I was filled with doubt all the time - but I was sober and I did not have to put any effort into that.
And then the miracle happened that I had not counted on - I also changed inside. Very slowly I started to feel better about everything. I started to feel hope and trust, I started to be grateful for being me. That was a gift I had not counted on...
I still have not truly learned that lesson - for the moment i have not been to an AA meeting for two months - I have been to Acoa but I know I need the AA too. And what happens when I don´t go to meetings is that I start to change a little inside again. Not fast and I am very far from wanting a drink been sober seven years) But I start to get some of the old anxiety back and I know that if I don´t get myself to a meeting, I will sooner or later be back in the mental state I was before I joined AA.
Thanks for reminding me why I go to AA and that I need to do it!
1685 days ago
I am so glad that you had the experience of what we call identification. It is overwhelmingly powerful when the stories of others who have recovered touch our hearts in a way that no other can.
Bill W.'s story is incredible but, even Bill, did not feel unique in his experiences. "My Name Is Bill W." is very accurate, which makes it even more amazing. Another wonderful movie is Lois Wilson's story "When Love Is Not Enough". It was done by Hallmark a few years ago starring Winona Ryder. Lois is the founder of Al-Anon. She was a heroic woman, as are all our family members and friends who stick with us.
I am a member of AA and sponsor other women. The best part of AA is that it respects everyone's personal beliefs about spirituality and "the God thing". The only requirement for membership "is the desire to stop drinking".
Choosing AA as a program of recovery is a very personal decision. My experience has been, that in order to really benefit from AA, it is necessary to read the Big Book, go to more than a handful of meetings, listen to the stories, find the similarities, and have an open mind.
I was not able to stay sober without the support of others who had been successful before me. The community support and the process of the steps gave me the scaffolding and tools I needed. It is very much like Sparkpeople in that way. They both encourage community support, a program of action, honesty, self evaluation, and faith that all of these things together will bring positive results.
I wish you much luck on your journey. Sobriety is gives me blessings every day that I had no idea were mine to behold.
1685 days ago
Comment edited on: 7/14/2012 1:13:32 AM
Realizing that you have a problem is a hughe step. Hope you do find a support group as it makes it easier. Good luck to you.
1685 days ago
I'm part of this "Living Above the Influence" community, even though I seem to disappear from time to time. I'm glad you're here, too. There are some wonderful people here, and the group as a whole are ready to listen, support, and walk through the rough spots with us.
Not into the "God" thing? That's OK. I had different reasons for not participating in AA. I did attend four or five meetings, and gained from the experience, before I decided that it wasn't for me. (It could be just the group that I attended. There are lots of groups, and each one is different -- each one has its own group dynamic.) Personally, I am religious, but I try not to be obnoxious about it -- and whether you see things my way or not, I'm still glad to have you among my friends here. There's a lot we can learn from each other, and I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.
I'm planning a trip with my family -- going to Europe with a youth orchestra. Among the adults going, there will be several "partying" drinkers -- and I'm looking for ways to decline the offers to join them gracefully without damaging the friendships. I already have ideas, but this could be a good discussion!
Welcome aboard -- and glad to have you here!
1685 days ago
Good luck! I got turned by "Bounce" which was such a strange story, but seeing just that little flash of the big book made me intensely curious. I love 28 Days. You gotta have a sense of humor, even when it's life and death.
I had trouble with 12 steps originally because I was too much into my concept of God at the time. It took a few years for me to get the hang of it.
1685 days ago
Good luck on your journey. Hang in there and remember your Spark friends care. If you need help, just ask. We're here for you. Have a great day! :O) Patti
1686 days ago
However, or whatever spoke to you, kudos to you!!! Really... just take it one step at a time!!
1686 days ago
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