Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

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randomswirls
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Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by randomswirls »

I am new here and not sure how this kind of thing works. My brain is not very clear at the moment because of the alcohol so I apologize if I am doing this wrong.

This is all totally my own fault so I hope no one thinks I'm complaining. I am a total loser. I have been trying to get sober for 20 years. That's when I first realized my drinking was out of control. When I finally got to AA I was not one of those who hated it. I actually loved it. I managed to stay sober for some time and was so grateful for what I found there. Worked the Steps etc and was sponsoring. Then i relapsed and have never been able to get it back. Now I am like the joke of meetings and people don't take me seriously (understandably). In the end I stopped going because i felt worse when I left (my stuff not theirs obviously). It was partly because I felt like an outsider but also I guess I feel jealous of other people's sobriety. It is painful to see what you want but can't have.

I stopped going to meetings for a long time then went again even when relapsing because I was so desperate but earlier this year I had an awful experience with a sponsor that was very damaging to me. Then someone else shared some stuff I had said at a meeting which got me in a lot of trouble and i felt so unsafe in meetings that I can't go back.

I want sobriety more than anything in the world. My life is a total wreck and have lost relationship, have no kids, am holding a job down by the skin of my teeth but my work life has been wrecked by this, am in a total financial mess and on the verge of being homeless and have no friends because alcohol is my best friend. Now my health is going too and I am scared. I think it is probably too late. I feel I don't have that trust and innocence that I had as a newcomer. I also feel like i 'know' too much but it is clearly not helpful to me.

I wish I could flip back 20 years and I would do so much differently. Sometimes I feel we get one window of opportunity and if we don't grab it... I know this is all my fault but I still need to find a way forward. I am very socially anxious and found life so hard without alcohol. However I have to stop and stop for good.

I know I am going to have to go back to live meetings at some point but i just can't at the moment after all that's happened. I feel totally unsafe and also very ashamed. People are very into helping people who are genuinely new but people just think I am a waste of their time and space. Which I probably am but I still don't want to die an alkie. I know I can't do this alone but don't know how i will ever trust anyone in the rooms again after what's happened. Rationally I know it is not common but once it happens it is so damaging that it is hard to see anything else.

I took a week off work last week to detox - went through it all and then four days later picked up again. Now I am back stuck in the cycle that I can't stop until I get some more drugs in case I have a seizure. I cant take more time off work so feel like I'm going to have to drink my way through. Then it's Christmas and how will I get through that without alcohol but I don't think I can wait until after to stop.

Is it possible to at least get started using this kind of forum or online/phone resources? I get that it isn't ideal but I don't know what else to do.

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tyg
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Re: Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by tyg »

Please reread your post and see all the excuses that your brain is making up so that you don' t have to make the decision to get into action and do what is proven to work for those who want to recover. Pride, ego and fear is keeping you from going back to meetings. It doesn't matter what has transpired there. When my alcoholism became life or death, it didn't matter what people would think of me in AA meetings. You know what? I found they just wanted me to get well and... people were ready to help me if I just asked them.

Why face another 20 years of alcoholic destruction when the cycle can be broken now? You too can recover....here is how in a nutshell
Pray for courage and help
Go to face2face meetings
Get a sponsor right away
Take Steps w/sponsor
Find other alcoholics to help
Practice Steps 10 and 11 Daily
Be in service at my home group
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~

Robert R
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Re: Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by Robert R »

Thank you for sharing, you have already helped another alcoholic. Thanks to you I will put full effort into this day. That is as good a start as any. Now keep doing the next right thing.
Here are some suggestions; pick up your phone, meet someone for coffee, when they leave pick up the phone, meet someone for coffee ad infinitum and get to a meeting. Don't go inside your head without a responsible adult present. :lol: That last one was written on the back of a 'Just for Today" card given to me at my first meeting.
Remember 'Principles not personalities'
What part of the world are you from my friend?
Last edited by Robert R on Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Don't know exactly where I am going but I'm on my way and it's already much better than where I've been.

randomswirls
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Re: Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by randomswirls »

Thank you for your response tyg. So glad you had the experience that everyone wanted to help you. Good for you. It was my experience first time around. Have you ever relapsed?

While I completely concede my head isn't straight right now I actually do think that it does matter what transpired there. I didn't particularly find that being stalked by some psycho guy who is many years 'sober' to be very reflective of the spiritual principles of this program or of its primary purpose nor conducive to my recovery. Nor did I find being dumped by a sponsor I had had for 3 years in the middle of a 5th Step when I had shared some take it to the grave stuff and having her disappearing off the face of the earth particularly made me warm to this process. Nor did I find having things I had shared in a meeting shared back to people I worked with very helpful.

Sorry but after all that I feel extremely unsafe in AA meetings and that might well be 'pride' or 'fear' or 'ego'... I was hoping to find some recovery here that I could help to get me back on track until I feel strong enough to address those things.

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Brock
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Re: Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by Brock »

Is it possible to at least get started using this kind of forum or online/phone resources? I get that it isn't ideal but I don't know what else to do.
Welcome to e-AA randomswirls, sounds like you have had a hard time recently with the AA fellowship. There are people who can't go to meetings for one reason or another, and who have reported complete recovery and serenity without them. Even before communications got easy with computers and such, the book records the story of the Indian army officer who basically depended on snail mail to get and stay sober.

I myself wished I had stayed 30 or so years ago when I first joined AA, made about a year then and another stint maybe 15 years ago. I haven't had very many bad experiences from others for coming and going in and out of AA, one chairman did look at me and say AA is not a bus to get on and off when we feel like, I got up and walked out. But he was and is the exception to the rule, and generally I have found others quite accepting of the fact that many of us don't get it the first time around, and this is true. I don't know if a survey has been done, but I would bet that more than half of AA members did not find success the first time around. So when you do feel up to going back you should not be ashamed, relapse is quite common.

You report a sponsor disappearing in the middle of “a 5th step,” I always thought the 5th was a one and done, and we sit and do it until it's finished, a few hours of talk and an hour of reflection. But if you have stuff to get off your chest why not try someone like a priest, not telling you to get all religious just a one off visit. Then after that consider if you really need a sponsor or not, some folks do and some don't.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but many of us myself included, are guilty of believing other people are slighting us and not being friendly, or talking behind our backs, it took me quite a while to figure out this was a lie my mind and ego were telling me.

Having the tranquilizers prescribed and on hand as you go through a detox while working is a plan, don't know if you have tried them but many find the speaker tapes on you tube useful, just type in AA speaker Chris R for a start, there are many others you will find as well. All the best and good luck to you.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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PaigeB
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Re: Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by PaigeB »

E-aa offers live chat and email meetings as well as these Forums. Check out:
http://www.e-aa.org/talk.php

E-aa is part of Online Intergroup of AA, which you will find a link to at aa.org
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources

You are never alone. We have all felt fear and insecurity at f2f meetings. Perhaps a call to your local hotline will put you in touch a woman over the phone to help break the ice a little. That is how I got back into the rooms. I called and talked to this gal everyday for a while and finally I met her at a women's meeting at noon on a Saturday. You can use the aa.org link to follow through to your local face2face Intergroup information or you can click on my name and send me a Private Message and I will help you locate the information you need.

Until then you can stick with online AA. Many have gotten sober and stayed sober this way. But if fear is your motive, I think you might have to conquer that fear or it will eat your lunch. We don't shoot our wounded in AA, and no one wears out their welcome here. Unity above everything.

Keep coming back - we will be here.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Niagara
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Re: Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by Niagara »

I don't know what to say. My heart goes out to you. This disease is just awful..so destructive.

Know that you have helped me today though. I'm only 18 months sober. It's easy to forget where I came from, that crazy merry go round. Feel free to pm if you want to just connect with someone...alcoholism was in my experience very isolating.

Lots of good sober time around here...stick around. I've been here since the start, and it's been instrumental in helping me to feel connected and get well...and the occasional kick up the jacksy to keep me on the right track ;)

I really hope you get back into this. I'm rooting for you.

You are most welcome here :)
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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whipping post
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Re: Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by whipping post »

Hi randomswirls,

I don't know why you couldn't try to work it online. I'm sure others have.

Any chance there are other meetings in your area that you could attend? It's nice to be around people who understand our condition.

randomswirls
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Re: Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by randomswirls »

Thank you so much for all your responses - most of which were really helpful. If nothing else, I feel a little more hope. Very grateful for that.

I do know that we can be more sensitive to others behaviour when we feel bad about ourselves (as I certainly do). However I feel positively unsafe in AA meetings in my area after what has happened. I have not posted the details because I dont' want to put off any other newcomers but it was pretty nasty and full on.

In the same way that we are more sensitive when struggling, we are also easy targets for exploitation when we are vulnerable which has been my experience. I totally intend to go back to AA meetings one day but can not do it at the moment after what has happened. Unfortunately there are not many meetings near me and I can't drive.

While it may be an unconventional path (and not one even I would have suggested to a newcomer) I am going to try to get this by using the resources I have. Thank you for reminding me that people got sober with nothing but snail mail in the past. We are blessed with so much more than that today and I found some of the speaker tapes really helpful and inspiring.

I am going to aim for a day of no drinking today...

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tyg
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Re: Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by tyg »

My heart always gets heavy when seeing people struggle. I sure wish we lived in a perfect world were people were decent and honest and never harmed each other. I wish survival was easy. But that's not reality.

If you feel that unsafe going to meetings, than it is important to listen to your instincts and seek out some support to help you. I have learned, anytime I am avoiding facing my fears, situation or people, I can not get well and growth will be extremely slow, if any at all. Occasionally, there can be exceptions if I am putting myself in harms way.

I have had some sponsorship go bad and needed to switch. I have had a couple stalker situations in AA too. One a man(not a sponsee), the other a woman sponsee. I have learned a lot from these experiences and how to be more discerning and hopefully avoid future mishaps. Probably won't be the last due to the environment of AA and helping others. S h i t is going to happen....The Big book talks about some of the troubles we may face helping others on page 97.

I got through my tough situations by bringing my concerns in group conscious at my home group. We formed a game plan. I asked sponsor and other members for support, like: walk me to my car etc. I have changed home groups. It made things less complicated and easier for me. I also asked some of my neighbors for help and told them what was going on (without knowing I'm AA). Though not all wanted to be involved (I understood and didn't take it peronally). I had to call the police. I was about 4 years sober at this time and had a solid footing in sobriety and had made some solid relationships in the program by then.

To answer your question Randomswirls, yes, I've relapsed. When I came back in after a relapse, several people would not sponsor me. But I kept searching and asking, and found one pretty quickly. We have a lot of meetings in my area but AA here is very small, everyone pretty much knows everyone in the AA community where I live. I think people want me well but not all were wiling to help. But I found plenty of help when seeking it out.

Just some thoughts: The AA solution has been left unchanged since it began. Though people recovered with snail mail & telephone, when those people recovered they were expected to start a meeting in their hometown and find other alcoholics to help. I don't believe this program is built upon non-F2F contact. I work with many long distant via internet, Skype phone, email....I find:

--Their recovery rate is way less than those who are active in F2F fellowship
--I don't know the person I am dealing with, their true motives nor whether they are truthful or not.
-- Depending on the type of communication. I really don't know whether a person is still drinking or sober
--It is very hard to "really" know a person or build a relationship without F2F interaction.

But I only speak about my own experiences and what I have discovered.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~

randomswirls
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Re: Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by randomswirls »

Thank you for sharing your experience TYG. I appreciate you taking the time to do that.

I came here because I wanted a safe place to begin my recovery again. You may well be right that I 'should' go to f2f meetings but the bottom line is I don't feel safe. Yes, that may be my alcoholism talking (or it may not be...) but the fact is I am where I am. Yes, I am sure it is fear but that fear is not unfounded based on what happened. At 4 years sober I did feel strong enough to take the kind of steps you did but, right now, I don't. I am not nor have I ever advocated not doing a face to face thing, I am just saying that at this point I can't do that.

In terms of the points you raise at the end...it is perfectly possible to lie, drink and keep barriers up in face to face relationships also... There was a woman in our community who fessed up at 7 years sober to having been drinking for four of them. If I lie to a fellow or sponsor that is my loss not theirs - I am here because I want to be not because I have to be. If I were to lie that would be my problem.

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clouds
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Re: Desperate and worn out my welcome in AA

Post by clouds »

Hi Random Swirls, Welcome!

first I want to say you can't ever wear out your welcome inAA! The door swings both ways and we are always welcome.

However, I think I understand why you are taking the course you are choosing now.

So keep close to the online AA sites, the speakers on Youtube, like xaspeakers, and get busy reading the AA book and taking the steps all over from the start as its outlined there.

As time goes by you may find some meetings in or near your town will seem like the way to go. Easy does It, "we dont struggle".
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.

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