Practicing My Story

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Practicing My Story

Postby computer_nerd » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:32 pm

I just attended my first meeting a few days ago. Only a few days without a drink so far. 20+ years an alcoholic. Age 40.

I had no idea how to tell my story on the fly like everyone else because I'm not very social by nature.

I decided for next time to take a prepared statement since I communicate more clearly in writing than in person. I need time to consider my words in order to say what I mean.

Here is what I planned on saying, and thus I introduce myself to the forum:

My name is computer_nerd (using my first name in live meeting), and I'm an alcoholic.

I’ve also been an addict (cannabis), relying on both for over 20 years.

I was a ward of the child welfare system in California from the time I was 6 when my mother dropped me on her friend’s doorstep and took off for Las Vegas, never to return.

I lived with my extremely abusive father for a short time before he got tired of me and kicked me out at 13.

I took my first drink when I was 14. Some school friends and I got ahold of some wine coolers from someone’s older brother and we had a good time consuming them.

Later, I was living with another friend and stealing liquor from their cabinets, especially right before I left for school. I was in the 8th grade.

I eventually tested out of high school because I got moved around so much that my credits (but not my grades!) were suffering, threatening to leave me graduating well behind my class.

I started college at 17, studied computer science for a year and a half, but got bored and found a job in the field instead.

I started in the tech industry when I was 18 as an order processor for a software startup in Santa Barbara. I had a much older boyfriend at this time and he enabled me to get my hands on whatever I wanted. I began to drink hard liquor with regularity, and also developed my taste for cannabis. The two went together wonderfully for me and were my first stop after getting home from work, where dealing with people just stressed me out.

For all of my adult life, I have been a loner, neither seeking nor maintaining any friendships outside of having a boyfriend. People - especially other women - just seem to find me bizarre, and can’t relate. I haven't done any of what is culturally expected of women like getting married and having kids. People don't immediately understand I'm just a nerd who drinks too much. Thus, I’ve never been one to hang out in bars or go out partying with others. I prefer drinking alone with my bowl and my computer, because my computer never judges me “too weird” and I relate to it better than I relate to other people. I always know what to say to my computer. People, not so much.

Over the years, I’ve been homeless a number of times. I’ve driven drunk and stoned many times. I’ve dented cars (my own) from drunken driving. No DUIs, thank goodness. I’ve had blackout rages where I woke up to total destruction of my apartment in the morning, remembering nothing. I’ve said horrible things to my current boyfriend. In short, I have behaved badly because of my drinking and using. Not to mention we have no money left at the end of the month because of how much gets spent on alcohol and cannabis.

In coming to AA, I’m stepping far outside of my comfort zone just by being around other people, let alone talking about my own experiences with drugs and alcoholism. I’m hopeful that I can connect with some of you and try to learn how to live a life free of drug and alcohol dependence as well as deep isolation.

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Re: Practicing My Story

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:41 pm

Welcome to the forums. You are in the right place. Start digging into the big book also known as Alcoholics Anonymous. That books has instructions on how to lead a serene life and also helps you recognize the true problem o the alcoholic/addict. Also find a sponsor who could help you walk through the 12 steps of AA using that book so you could have a spiritual awakening and experience all the promises the program has to offer.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Practicing My Story

Postby Brock » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:25 pm

Welcome here, thanks for telling us your story.

It’s a novel idea reading out a prepared statement like the one you have in mind, I don’t expect anyone would find fault with such an approach. Some might say reading takes something away from the ‘coming from the heart’ story we normally hear, but then you explain why that approach is difficult for you. I have heard many newcomers first share, including some which went something like - ‘Hello I am X, I am an alcoholic boo hoo hoo hoo,’ (tears running down their face). It’s not a big deal, generally the folks in AA are about the most understanding, sympathetic people, we could ever hope to meet.

Meetings vary one to the next, it’s best to find those in which we feel most comfortable with the type who attend, maybe in your area there are ladies only meetings for example. But one thing to watch for, which unfortunately has become a hallmark of certain meetings, you don’t want to find yourself wasting time in meetings, which are run like a support group for people who have had a bad day. Now and then in any meeting someone may have a personal problem at home or elsewhere which they speak about, but basically the meetings should be about the steps of AA, and how people got well, including the spirituality which is the fundamental foundation of recovery, and if the members look happy and serene in their sobriety, you are in a good meeting.

Being a self confessed ‘computer nerd,’ you will have no trouble using the web to your advantage, perhaps go to you tube and type in ‘AA Big Book Workshop,’ there is one by Chris R and also one by Joe and Charlie, probably others as well I don’t know about. If you don’t mind a rougher style of speaking choose Chris R, he also has many other speaker tapes, as do a variety of speakers on many subjects, but he is one who will give you the goods without pulling any punches.

And please stay in touch, let us know how you are doing, ask any questions, we all are AA computer nerds in our own right, and exchanging our thoughts here is part of recovery.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Practicing My Story

Postby Spirit Flower » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:43 pm

Welcome Ms. Nerd.

I am an engineer who never had kids or got married. Just a single woman who doesn't fit the mold of wife. Got sober when I was 26, and am now 59. WTF! I'm getting old! I am totally grateful for my sober life.
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Re: Practicing My Story

Postby Blue Moon » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:41 pm

You shouldn't need to say anything. It's fine to just listen. If called upon to speak, it's fine to.pass.
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Re: Practicing My Story

Postby positrac » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:15 am

It takes all kinds to drink and to find sobriety and the beauty is this deal is an equal opportunity kind of thing..... You have had a hard life and a lot to carry all these years and your story in some ways is like mine and I often wondered in my early years why I was saved and not someone else more deserving? Now I am glad I have endured the years of challenges; some very obvious and others not so much and that is the gift of sobriety is I can endure as I am a survivor by nature because I've had to be from an early age.

I will suggest that in your time that you will need to trust as to find a good sponsor to work the steps as these aren't easily done on ones own as the work is mutual with experienced person in order to understand the aspects of the whole picture we can't always see in early sobriety.

Your story and your willingness to become more social will come in time and just keep coming back even when your insides scream something else. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain and that is the only thing I can promise is it works if you learn to work it.

Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
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Re: Practicing My Story

Postby 1Peter5:10 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:03 pm

Welcome! You're in the right place.

As a former English teacher and newspaper editor, the only important change I would recommend is that after "20 years," you should insert a sentence or rhetorical question alerting the listener that you are about to tell/read your "life story."

e.g. "I'd like to explain a little about my background." (pause)

A story like the one you have deserves some sort of 'alert,' or introduction.
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Re: Practicing My Story

Postby positrac » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:17 am

1Peter5:10 wrote:Welcome! You're in the right place.

As a former English teacher and newspaper editor.

You must cringe and squint and shake your head and have elevated blood pressure over my mess called posts...? One of my weaker skills and thankfully not a character defect! =biggrin

If I were judged on my writing capabilities I would have long either died or be living on the streets begging for money so I could drink. In all seriousness I know my writing is just a mess and patience from all over the years is greatly appreciated.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
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Re: Practicing My Story

Postby Tosh » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:20 pm

That was an interesting read, computer_nerd; it's nice to learn about our new members.

When I share I like the headings found in the Big Book:

1. What we used to be like.
2. What happened.
3. What we are like now

I just use them as a rough guide to my shares.

Well done on the sober time. =biggrin
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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