Shame is a favorite weapon of our disease

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ebear
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Shame is a favorite weapon of our disease

Post by ebear »

A site-user who recently slipped confided his impulse to keep his latest slip a secret from his face-to-face (F2F) friends. Have you been there? Opting not to disclose even when it’s the right thing to do? How did that work for you?

I have done it. I was ashamed to let people know of my slip, especially the people who I thought had accepted me as a strong voice for the program and the newcomers. I felt like I was part of a proud circle of folks who had made it. Couldn’t I just pretend the slip hadn’t happened? I never want to lie, but I was too proud to expose myself as someone who needed starter help all over again.

So I lied, and of course I drank. Why not? I had split myself into two people again, the public and the private Rob, and the private Rob was back behind a curtain where he could drink.

Getting whole again was hard. Simple, but hard. For a while I just went to Open meetings at which I could avoid speaking. I went to Step meetings and passed, saying I just felt like listening. But I didn’t get better; I just went home, hung up my mask, and drank. And then I made the decision to come clean.

Can anyone relate to that?
If you don't change direction, you'll end up where you're headed.

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PaigeB
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Re: Shame is a favorite weapon of our disease

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ebear wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:53 am
So I lied, and of course I drank. Why not? I had split myself into two people again, the public and the private Rob, and the private Rob was back behind a curtain where he could drink.
I stayed drunk for 17 years. I tried to go back - even went back and told the truth:
I got my 3 year chip after having slipped.

After a few more slips, having not dealt with my shame or working the Steps, I assumed AA was not for me. Even 17 years later when desperation drove me back again I didn't want to play there little game of white chip and yada yada. I just wanted to give my liver a break. 90 days - that's what I told myself. I would do the treatment thing of 90 meeting in 90 days. Then I could go back if I wanted to.

Luckily I was blessed with a Gift of Desperation so great that it stuck. I got a sponsor and worked the Steps even though I didn't think they would work for me. I sit here 10 years passed my last drink - passing it on!

Shame is still a dangerous place for me!
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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avaneesh912
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Re: Shame is a favorite weapon of our disease

Post by avaneesh912 »

That is because we think we had a choice in that action. Maybe when we started it looked like we had to do something about it. But there came a point where everything was at stake, yet we drank. The story of the Car salesman is a perfect one. Not sure if Bill came up with that character or is it a real story after his 7th slip, after he himself narrates what had happen, they have this:
Thus started one more journey to the asylum for Jim. Here was the threat of commitment, the loss of family and position, to say nothing of that intense mental and physical suffering which drinking always caused him. He had much knowledge about himself as an alcoholic. Yet all reasons for not drinking were easily pushed aside in favor of the foolish idea that he could take whiskey if only he mixed it with milk!

Whatever the precise definition of the word may be, we call this plain insanity. How can such a lack of proportion, of the ability to think straight, be called anything else?
Like the car salesman, the account, we all go through that subtle insanity just prior to taking that first one.

The fellowship is also to be blamed. We have all those cliches "Call your sponsor before not after the first drink", "Think through the drink" ......it all sound very possible but people dont understand at a certain point in the struggle the alcoholic just heeds to the desire.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

D'oh
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Re: Shame is a favorite weapon of our disease

Post by D'oh »

We Do have a Choice, it is just that 1 Choice will probably mean Death or a Padded Cell, maybe even the Death of others.

The question is. "Did you learn anything from the Slip?" Was Alcohol an Answer this time? Was it any better?

If nothing else, AA really messes up your Drinking, but So Many never make it Back. Either of My Times, I never found an answer in the bottom of a Bottle, but I have found a Solution, 1 Day at a Time.

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avaneesh912
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Re: Shame is a favorite weapon of our disease

Post by avaneesh912 »

We Do have a Choice, it is just that 1 Choice will probably mean Death or a Padded Cell, maybe even the Death of others.

The question is. "Did you learn anything from the Slip?" Was Alcohol an Answer this time? Was it any better?
So you believe people knowing that a drink would lead to death or padded cell take a drink?
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Daelynn
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Re: Shame is a favorite weapon of our disease

Post by Daelynn »

I've had the same experiences - not wanting to mention a slip and lying by omission. My home group was also big on chips and birthdays, and it was more painful than celebratory for me. In addition to the shame, of a relapse, I knew my sponsor would make me repeat all of the steps again. Another inventory, more reliving of every dreadful experience of my life, every painful past resentment. Her theory was I must not have done it properly the first time. Maybe she's right, but it started to feel like punishment, and the temptation not to say anything was often too great. Or sometimes I wasnt completely dishonest, just about six months behind on the truth. Eventually I would fess up.

But not telling people in a support group or at least your sponsor what's really going on is really sort of pointless when you think about it. If you were in remission for bladder cancer after 5 years and then found a bit of blood in your urine, you wouldn't be afraid to tell your urologist. But we are still ashamed to talk about relapses or cravings.

I have mixed feelings about all of this. I definitely want to be more honest. One complicating factor is I didnt feel as comfortable confiding things to every member sitting around the table for various reasons, and I would I guess I better start getting more comfortable.

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ebear
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Re: Shame is a favorite weapon of our disease

Post by ebear »

My sponsor took a load off my mind when he said I didn't have to share with the whole group any details that made me uncomfortable. It was enough to say that I had slipped. I kept the particulars between us.
If you don't change direction, you'll end up where you're headed.

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PaigeB
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Re: Shame is a favorite weapon of our disease

Post by PaigeB »

Daelynn wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:24 pm
Her theory was I must not have done it properly the first time. Maybe she's right, but it started to feel like punishment, and the temptation not to say anything was often too great.
Her theory might be right ~ but... Maybe you need to do the Steps differently... with a different sponsor.
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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positrac
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Re: Shame is a favorite weapon of our disease

Post by positrac »

I was recently attending a meeting in Flushing off Roosevelt Ave. and a man mentioned he had gone out again. Now this again was almost a daily deal with this guy and I believe shame and his pride were the key elements in the constant going out and I say going out because this is far beyond relapsing!

The man is middle-aged and has a good job and a decent brownstone and divorced. I spoke with him before the meeting and he was full of excuses on everything from drinking to why the sun comes up in the east everyday!!!

I wish we didn't suffer from shame, guilt, remorse just because we didn't have the day we thought we should have had.

I also attended a rehab facility the other night and it stirred a lot of memories even after 30 years. I felt that to some degree it was a refreshing blast from the past and a reminder of what it was like in the early days! I told the group that one of my tools I have used it not forgetting my last drunk and thinking my urge through before I acted. These aren't for everyone and I know these have kept me honest and scared because my worst day sober is so much better than any of my drunk days and for that I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

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