Still confused

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richjoy
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Still confused

Post by richjoy » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:45 am

HI I am new to AA. I attended my first meeting, and the people were great! But, still I am not sure how it all works. Please tell me if this is the right concept. It is my responsibility to stop drinking on my own, but the meetings help me with issues related to drinking, so I have others to share with. And, at some point I get a sponsor who also helps me with rough times? Is this right? I am not sure what I expected to find, but no one really discussed anything on how to get started and I was so confused I didn't know what to ask. Are there meetings just for new people to explain how it all works? The one I went to was a chapter study.

Everyone there seemed so happy to have stopped, but I dont know how to get to that point. I have tried on many occasions to stop and cant do it. SO that is why I am puzzled how it all fits together.

I read your links on how things work and I think I have the right idea on how to do it but want to make sure.
Thanks for any clues on how to get started, I really want to be successful this time.

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leejosepho
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Re: Still confused

Post by leejosepho » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:54 am

richjoy wrote:It is my responsibility to stop drinking on my own, but the meetings help me with issues related to drinking, so I have others to share with. And, at some point I get a sponsor who also helps me with rough times? Is this right?
Only in today's AA where many people are not alcoholics. But no, the original A.A. is nothing at all like that.
richjoy wrote:no one really discussed anything on how to get started and I was so confused I didn't know what to ask. Are there meetings just for new people to explain how it all works? The one I went to was a chapter study.
What you are needing is what we call being 12th-Stepped where a recovered alcoholic explains alcoholism as we understand it and recovery as we have experienced it and then helps you get started. Few people today know much about doing that, but some of us can help you right here, if you wish.
richjoy wrote:I have tried on many occasions to stop and cant do it.
Exactly, and that is Step One. Are you willing to believe Go as you understand God can remove that problem?
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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positrac
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Re: Still confused

Post by positrac » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:42 am

richjoy wrote:HI I am new to AA. I attended my first meeting, and the people were great! But, still I am not sure how it all works. Please tell me if this is the right concept. It is my responsibility to stop drinking on my own, but the meetings help me with issues related to drinking, so I have others to share with. And, at some point I get a sponsor who also helps me with rough times? Is this right? I am not sure what I expected to find, but no one really discussed anything on how to get started and I was so confused I didn't know what to ask. Are there meetings just for new people to explain how it all works? The one I went to was a chapter study.

Everyone there seemed so happy to have stopped, but I dont know how to get to that point. I have tried on many occasions to stop and cant do it. SO that is why I am puzzled how it all fits together.

I read your links on how things work and I think I have the right idea on how to do it but want to make sure.
Thanks for any clues on how to get started, I really want to be successful this time.
First off welcome to AA and I hope you'll be able to accept this simple program. I'd say 1 hour to assess the AA lifestyle is indeed confusing and maybe not totally representative. What I mean is you have to keep coming back and start with 90 meetings in 90 days and this is one hour of your life and I am sure much less time than you drank. So if you can do this small task you'll become familiar with AA and the meaning of living sober and soon you'll be acting sober and so on.

We are human and we all deal with and or suffer in different ways and so confusing is right. Just relax and give it a honest chance and I believe it will become less confusing. Get involved with the people and try to let your guard down and allow the miracle to happen.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

Larryp713
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Re: Still confused

Post by Larryp713 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:04 pm

Congrats on making it to your first AA meeting. That is a really big step that is more difficult than people give credit for.
The way AA works is one alcoholic helping another alcoholic by sharing what has worked for them. Specifically, what steps did they take to have the obsession to drink completely removed.

Here is how the program worked for me:
The first step was when I finally admitted that I wasn't going to figure out how to live sober on my own. I was told and believed it was the one step I had to get perfectly right. I had to really accept that I can never drink moderately or quit when I was ready. It would never happen.
The second step was just to be willing to believe that there was a power beyond me that could help me recover. I didn't need to understand it, just follow suggestions of recovered alcoholics.
The third step was my decision to really give this a try. That meant changing my way of acting, thinking, and reacting to people and situations. By turning my will over a higher power (God), I become willing to adopt this design for living described in the Big Book.
Steps 4-9 are getting right with my past. I make an inventory of the things that keep me sick... resentments, fears, sexual relationships, other harms. I get to identify my part in all these situations and learn about myself. This self reflection is not easy, but if I do it well, I learn a lot about myself. I shared this with a trusted person so I can overcome any shame I feel about my past, and then I ask God or my higher power to remove the character defects that have caused me and others so much pain (and kept me drunk). When I finally did these steps earnestly, I felt an incredible weight lifted off me. Then I made a list of people I have harmed and tried to make amends. The way I see that is that I don't want to ever hesitate looking somebody in the eye or being available to help them if they need me and should ask. By this time, my obsession to drink was gone. Many others shared the same relief.
Steps 10-12 are how I maintain my sobriety. I am still alcoholic and my past tendencies will return. I need to continue to monitor my interactions with others, and my thoughts and attitudes, and assess my spiritual fitness. If I am struggling, I need to change my actions and get back on the right path. That usually means going to more meetings, talking to more AAs, and trying to serve others more often and earnestly. If I have hurt somebody, I try to make it right as soon as possible. Finally, I find ways to carry this message of experience and hope to other suffering alcoholics.

The best suggestions I heard in my first days of real recovery was to try to go to 90 meetings in 90 days, come early and stay after so I can get to know members in these meetings. Get phone numbers and try to call an AA every day. Get a sponsor (somebody who is really working on his recovery and has the kind of sobriety you want) and be willing and motivated to work the steps as he shows you worked for him. I picked a sponsor in my third meeting. He had shared a couple of times and I heard him talk about a solution and his gratitude for this program. I wanted that. He was great for me and really helped me work the steps, but I had to be willing to follow his suggestions.

14 months later and I am still amazed and grateful for this program. I have seen the promises come true. I have no obsession to drink, and any fleeting thoughts about drinking are easily pushed aside. I have so many more friends today. My relationship with my family is better than ever. Today, I don't have to go to AA meetings. I get to go to AA meetings. I haggle with my wife so I can hit a couple extra during the week. It is a program that saved my life, and I hope you have the same experience. Keep coming back and thanks for helping me stay sober! Larry
Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny!!!

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ezdzit247
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Re: Still confused

Post by ezdzit247 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:38 pm

Hi richjoy

Glad you are here!

AA has a pamphlet entitled "This is AA - An introduction to the AA recovery program" which will help answer your questions about how the program works. Most AA meetings have this pamphlet on their literature shelf or you can read it online by clicking on this link:

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-1_thisisaa1.pdf‬.

I struggled with staying sober for almost two years after my first AA meeting. I wanted the same kind of happy, comfortable sobriety that I saw others had in the rooms and could not understand why I kept getting drunk when what I really wanted was to be was sober. I finally got sober and stayed sober using AA's 24 hour plan. Instead of telling myself I was never going to take another drink, I told myself I'm not going to drink today. I began going to a lot of AA meetings, at least one a day, and listened to other members share how they stayed sober, how they worked the Steps, how they overcame the wreckage of their pasts, how they applied AA's principles to their daily lives and more. I also talked to other AA members after the meetings, exchanged phone numbers, went out for coffee, made a lot of new sober friends and, one day at a time, I learned how to build a new life for myself without any need for alcohol using AA's tools and the experience, strength and hope I received from the fellowship.

Here's an excerpt from the pamphlet on AA's 24 hour plan:

"For example, we take no pledges, we don’t say that we will “never” drink again. Instead, we try to follow what we in A.A. call the “24-hour plan.” We concentrate on keeping sober just the current twenty-four hours. We simply try to get through one day at a time without a drink. If we feel the urge for a drink, we neither yield nor resist. We merely put off taking that particular drink until tomorrow…."

Keep coming back….
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Alcoholic_Nurse
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Re: Still confused

Post by Alcoholic_Nurse » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:22 pm

Glad you're here!!

I'm in my 3rd try at AA and worked to get 2 years sober. My previous 2 attempts only lasted a couple of months. What is different for me this time:

1. I went to meetings and didn't drink between meetings NO MATTER WHAT!!
2. I learned from peoples' sharing specific tools to apply in my life. examples "Let Go, Let God". "Control what you have control over, everything else is someone else's responsibility". "What is my role/fault in this situation?"
3. I share. Working with other alcoholics is how I will stay sober. The fact that I may have a lot less time than the old timers may be inspiring to another new comer. Other alcoholics want me to succeed!!
4. I never, EVER compare myself to someone else…if I do this I will drive myself INSANE!

I've been through a few sponsors and that is my fault. I'm making progress, and "we claim spiritual progress, not spiritual perfection"…

hope this helps, KEEP COMING BACK because YOU (the newcomer) ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE MEETINGS!!! Helping YOU will keep us sober.

D'oh
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Re: Still confused

Post by D'oh » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:29 pm

Very glad you are here!

Walking through the Door for the first time was my hardest step.

Things will make sense to you in time, and then your happy face will be among those seen by the next Newcomer. My first meeting I got the same feeling of hope that you have seemed to have gained. So you don't have to rush it. Just go to meetings, find a member who has what you want (House, Car, j/k) Outlook on life! Ask them to Sponsor you through the steps.

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Re: Still confused

Post by kdub720 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:17 am

Welcome, Glad you made it here. AA groups are difficult for me as I am a private person who does not like to read or speak in front of groups. I find attending groups and sharing on this site has helped me share my experience in the comfortable world of the internet and do not have to worry about running into some one from a group at the grocery store. Ask anything on here you want, everyone is professional and full of knowledge. It is about finding what works for you. Good job on the month mark.

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aaforever
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Re: Still confused

Post by aaforever » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:55 am

I think that as a newcomer that it is okay to still be confused. I started my meetings the same way and at first thought to myself why do I even bother to go, but it took me at least 10 meetings to actually started understanding how things worked because the people there were regulars there and had a lot of clean time and I never could understand what they were saying since most step meetings were about the steps that they last left off on from the last meeting and I guess it really depends on the person chairing the meeting and how good they are. But I have no problems now sharing since my sponsor pushed me to share at my meetings since ahe thought that it would help me. But I didn't like how I talked at the meeting because it felt like it didn't make any sense but now I help newcomers at my meetings since they always are inspired by what I share and always comment on what my opinions are about.
Live and Let Live!

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