Need advice

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Need advice

Postby Shoreline » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:15 am

I feel like I'm at my breaking point and I need advice. My last drink was 1/8/18. I used to be active in AA but for the past few months I've only been involved in online AA (this forum). But I feel like I really need to go to face to face meetings and get a sponsor. I have done the Steps twice in the past but relapsed afterwards so I want to do the Steps again, more thoroughly.

Anyway it feels like everything in my life is out of control. After moving to a different city last summer, the AA meetings in my area were not very welcoming and so that is why I stopped going. I also work full time at a job with a terrible work environment (very unpleasant coworkers) so after a long day at work the last thing I want to do it to go to an AA meeting and be either ignored, or gossiped about/laughed at because people know I'm a chronic relapser. Also I have been accused of being high in AA meetings, which is not true, I have never been drunk or high at AA meetings because if I was, the last thing I want is to go to an AA meeting!

There is so much more I could write but basically I feel like i'm at some kind of spiritual rock bottom. I decided that maybe the best option is take a week or two off work so that I can go to as many different AA meetings as possible, find some meetings I like and find a sponsor. But the problem is that I don't know the best way to ask for time off work. i have an Employee Assistance program and they are supposed to help employees find counseling/rehab if needed. But since my last drink was a while ago, I'm not sure they will help me. So maybe I should lie to my Employee Assistance program and tell them I'm still drinking. But then again, I don't want to start my recovery with a lie. Any advice on this would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Re: Need advice

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:55 am

Call your EAP number and tell them exactly your situation. I dont believe it matters when you last took a drink. We have isms to take care off, they will understand. About going to face to face meeting and finding a sponsor, my advice is, pick one of those workshops online based on big book and do the homework. My favorite are the ones by Chris R. Because it will be succinct, so you can move through the steps quick and atleast put the character defects on paper and then let someone (your AA sponsor) take a look at it and see the self-ishness and self-centeredness. When I work with people, I sit with them for 2 hours and go through the 1st step for 3/4ths of the time and help them understand the 3 aspects of the disease. The un-treated alcoholism part, the peculiar mental twist and the craving. At that point, the candidate realizes he/she is doomed will be ready to do the reminder of the steps. They set the pace after that. I believe, if they don't, there is no point in continuing with them. The 1st step is the key. Having the right cognition is most important for permanent sobriety.
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: Need advice

Postby Brock » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:20 am

I agree with avaneesh about the assistance program, they should understand your position, if you choose to tell a little lie about the length of sobriety you have I wouldn’t fault that either, we talk about rigorous honesty in AA, but if your getting the employer to assist you involves a lie, so be it.

Also those workshops he mentioned helped me a lot as well, the easiest way to find them is via you tube, just type ‘AA Workshop,’ apart from Chris R, Joe & Charlie have as well. I found trying to listen to these types of things for long periods a bit of a waste, for me it’s best taken in short periods when I feel like it, when we force this learning we don’t concentrate, and also having a big book to follow along with is good.

There is so much more I could write but basically I feel like i'm at some kind of spiritual rock bottom.

That is quite likely your major problem right there, we know AA is meant to provide a spiritual awakening, we have to not only maintain that but build on it, that’s where the peace of mind and serenity come from. I had much help from various spiritual books found online, and general spiritual speakers on you tube. The thing is just like the big book study, if I forced myself to listen I didn’t learn, so I just surfed around various speakers and found those who seemed to be speaking my kind of spirituality. Same with AA speakers on you tube, we find those who suit us, if you type in ‘AA speakers spiritual’ you get good men like Sandy B, if you don’t like him then try another, theirs lots of good stuff out there.

As we say here often, meetings vary one to the next, and anyone with the advantage of many meetings in their area should shop around, find where we feel most comfortable. When I was new or back from one of the many relapses I had, if someone told me that what I was saying about others in the meetings being against me, and speaking behind my back, was all mainly in my head, I would tell them to f-off. But now I kind of know that many of those things were my lack of confidence, my imagination working overtime, yes we do have some jackasses in the rooms, but not half as many as our ego thinks we do.

I wish you the best of luck.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Need advice

Postby Layne » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:55 am

i have an Employee Assistance program and they are supposed to help employees find counseling/rehab if needed. But since my last drink was a while ago, I'm not sure they will help me. So maybe I should lie to my Employee Assistance program and tell them I'm still drinking. But then again, I don't want to start my recovery with a lie

I agree with not starting with a lie. In my experience, if I validate a lie, for whatever reason, I am opening myself up to more and bigger ones. Kind of like telling myself that one beer would be okay. Just go to them and be honest. Tell them you are struggling in your recovery and would like assistance and to be pointed in the direction of good resources.
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Re: Need advice

Postby 1Peter5:10 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:49 am

I was a very very low bottom drunk (now ~18 mos clean.) In my case if I drink again, I would return to my very very low bottom very veryquickly.

In my case, all the cliches "If you put your family ahead of your sobriety you will wind up with neither." "If you put your job ahead of your sobriety you'll wind up with neither," would come very quickly, if I drink again.

In my case, if I really truly felt I were on the verge of drinking again and no amount of prayer and sobriety network (bet ya don't have one) were helping, I would fly to Florida (where I recovered, where my old network is, where halfway houses, AA clubs etc. are plentiful.)

Failing that I would seriously consider punching a cop.

For me it's true. I really really don't have another recovery in me. If I throw away this gift God has given me I don't see why He'd help me again.

Desperation is a gift.

I wish you well.
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Re: Need advice

Postby Shoreline » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:36 am

Thank you everyone for your suggestions, I will call my EAP tomorrow
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Re: Need advice

Postby PaigeB » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:34 pm

I feel like i'm at some kind of spiritual rock bottom

Been There!
The Merton Prayer
Author: Thomas Merton
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Issue Title: Seize the Day: Vocation, Calling, Work
Issue Year: 2012

This helped me get out of that dark place... and I used Paige's short form throughout the day
"I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
HELP."

Surrender to win.

Get smart feet and get to a meeting. Work the Steps thoroughly this time. Experience the Promises for each Step.

Walk in gratitude. There will be a Light for your feet. This is a "practical program of Action."
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Need advice

Postby PaigeB » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:42 pm

Oh and THIS! The Steps give us Direction.
11th March Daily Reflection

March 11th

GOOD ORDERLY DIRECTION

It is when we try to make our will conform with God’s that we begin to use it rightly. To all of us, this was a most wonderful revelation. Our whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower.
We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God’s intention for us.
To make this increasingly possible is the purpose of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, and Step Three opens the door.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 40

All I have to do is look back at my past to see where my self-will has led me. I just don’t know what’s best for me and I believe my Higher Power does.
G.O.D., which I define as “Good Orderly Direction,” has never let me down, but I have let myself down quite often.
Using my self-will in a situation usually has the same result as forcing the wrong piece into a jigsaw puzzle—exhaustion and frustration.

Step Three opens the door to the rest of the program.
When I ask God for guidance I know that whatever happens is the best possible situation, things are exactly as they are supposed to be, even if they aren’t what I want or expect.
God does do for me what I cannot do for myself, if I let Him.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Need advice

Postby Shoreline » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:53 pm

I called my EAP and told them the situation. Actually they did not even ask me when my last drink was. Basically they told me that I can not get time off work to attend AA meetings. They said that is because AA meetings are available before and after work. I guess I'm disappointed but it was worth it to try and call the EAP anyway. I guess I'm just disappointed in myself, because I used to go to work, take care of family obligations and then go to AA meetings regularly after work. Now I feel like I hate myself and my coworkers so much that not a day goes by that I don't think about walking off the job or starting a fight with someone at work. Plus I'm an electrician and a female, which I sometimes think was a bad career choice for me personally, because even men find this job physically demanding, and as a female I don't know how long i can keep on doing it physically not to mention mentally. So I feel like if I go to AA meetings after work then I will act really angry or quiet/weird/tired and get laughed at, or accused of being high, like before. I guess the situation is to get over myself, and do my best to make it work. I hope this thread is helpful to anyone reading it. I really do appreciate all the help I got from everyone that posted!
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Re: Need advice

Postby PaigeB » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:32 am

So I feel like if I go to AA meetings after work then I will act really angry or quiet/weird/tired and get laughed at, or accused of being high, like before.

We have ALL been there. Seriously - each one of us had to walk into our fist meeting at some point or another. If they laugh or accuse - they must be sick themselves... and then you know that is not the kind of sobriety you want. If it persists, go to a different meeting.

But do NOT think about them and what they do or think or say. "To thine own self be true" applies here. You have to do this thing to save your life. AND your brain will try to talk you out of it in many "cunning, baffling and powerful" ways. So do what I did (if you want to) - Have Smart Feet ~~ Do not THINK... just walk to the door, open it and walk through. Do this no matter what your brain is saying. Let your feet carry you - your mind will soon follow. Once you begin to reap the fruits of the Fellowship and the work done on the Steps, you will WANT to go be with your new friends & fellows.

Check out this thread: To Thine Own Self
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=24322&p=158763&hilit=To+thine+own#p158763
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Need advice

Postby Blue Moon » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:38 am

Shoreline wrote:So I feel like if I go to AA meetings after work then I will act really angry or quiet/weird/tired and get laughed at, or accused of being high, like before.


Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. I've been in meetings where these are all lit. Angry is the volatile one. I found it helped to do things like recite the serenity prayer before going into difficult situations, even if that's an AA meeting.
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Re: Need advice

Postby Rooster » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:45 pm

Hi Shoreline,

I don’t feel as though I’m experienced enough to give you any advice but I’d like to chime in with my support for you and some encouragement. Your home group is out there and they need you as much as you need them! Keep that in mind and don’t give up.
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Re: Need advice

Postby 1Peter5:10 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:05 pm

Shoreline wrote:
... Plus I'm an electrician and a female, which I sometimes think was a bad career choice for me personally, because even men find this job physically demanding, and as a female I don't know how long i can keep on doing it physically not to mention mentally.


I was in treatment with a flight attendant who said staying in all those hotels, boredom, nothing to do but drink etc. etc.. Was a big part of his story.

His therapist told him that was not surprising. He makes a good point, "but what would a normal person do if his job is driving him to drink?"

That said, one of my sponsor's other sponsees (from years ago) is a bartender. I was offered a PT job working in a liquor store. My sponsor asked a few quick questions and gave me permission to take it.

Point being it is DEFINITELY better to quit a job if keeping it means returning to active addiction. But pages 100-101 tell us once spirityal soundness is established we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are supposed to be able to do.

Shoreline wrote:So I feel like if I go to AA meetings after work then I will act really angry or quiet/weird/tired and get laughed at, or accused of being high, like before. I guess the situation is to get over myself, and do my best to make it work. I hope this thread is helpful to anyone reading it. I really do appreciate all the help I got from everyone that posted!


Shoreline, you, your posts, are helping me. It works that way.

The man who saved my life lived in Brooklyn during his first year in early recovery from his cocaine addiction. He tried every NA meeting in Brooklyn and found at least one person at each one completely ruined the meeting for him.

He started driving over the bridge and attending meetings on Staten Island. He found the same at meetings there. He immediately realized it was his weakness, his fault. (He uses very derogatory terms to describe how he was then). But knowing that didn't help. He found the LEAST objectionable one, decided "It's bad, but the alternative is prison," so he went, and kept going.

He says that now, with nearly 2 decades recovery he still finds something at least mildly objectionable at many meetings, but his recovery is stronger, it no longer bothers him.

He said it's not really about whether his objections are real, false, true or overblown, it's about him handling them.

I hope this helps.
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Re: Need advice

Postby Shoreline » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:59 am

"He found the LEAST objectionable one, decided "It's bad, but the alternative is prison," so he went, and kept going."

Thanks for this suggestion. I went to a meeting this weekend that was the "least objectionable" one that I've gone to in a while, and I plan to keep going to it to help get my recovery back on track.
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