Doing it tough.......

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min25
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Doing it tough.......

Post by min25 » Tue May 17, 2011 3:18 pm

You know what its like when life starts to close in on you? No matter how good sobriety is & how lucky I know I am for having been blessed with nearly 24 years of not having to drink, sometimes it all just sucks. The last 2 years have been the hardest in my life ( death & destruction type stuff) & I know that without AA I wouldnt have survived, but instead of feeling "WOW I got through that" I feel absolutely terrified that if one more bad thing happens I'm going to crumble. I feel so overwhelmed. I'm starting to think I should have forwarded on all those annoying chain emails that promise doom & gloom if you delete them! I know I dont want to drink but I know that as an alkie my intentions dont always count. I'm doing everything I can to stay safe & protect my sobriety, but I feel myself losing perspective. I've always taken comfort in knowing I would only be given what I could handle & that acceptance is the answer to all my problems today, I still do, I guess I'm just afraid that I dont have anymore to give if the call comes to step up one more time. I think I just need confirmation that I'm not being punished, that this is just life & that at some point it will change again if I just keep on keepin on.
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation”

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Karl R
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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by Karl R » Tue May 17, 2011 3:35 pm

Hello Min,

No you are not being punished. And yes...even in sobriety life can be less then peachy.

Someone once told me......keep on....something......will happen. I've half an idea that much of sober living is waiting.....waiting for the next thing. And our part? Being prepared in the steps and our sobriety to help the next person that wanders across our path.

It's good to read you today Min....stick around....and help us be of service to some newcomers and a few long-timers. :-)

regards,
Karl

Joe H
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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by Joe H » Tue May 17, 2011 4:50 pm

WOW I got through that" I feel absolutely terrified that if one more bad thing happens I'm going to crumble.

I stay away from setting up senerios that are given excuses to drink.

There is no "good life" as there is no "bad life," there is only life.

I find when I live one day at a time with a vision of God's Will for me, I live a serene life.

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ann2
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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by ann2 » Wed May 18, 2011 12:52 am

Welcome, Min, I am so glad you found us. I think getting through it without drinking is a miracle. Do i have any assurance that I will not drink the next time? Yes, it's in the program, in the fellowship, in my reaching out and asking for help. I like to go to meetings where people are not shy about sharing the difficulties they know and have known, because I want to know how strong this program is. It has shown to work, and in ways of love and caring -- as long as I don't try to do it on my own. If I think I have to stand on my own feet, because of my 24 years sober or for whatever reason, you can bet I won't make it. In fact, if I try to get through a normal day on my own, I fail. I just can't stay sober by myself. I don't have the resources. The power lies outside of me and I am here to have access to that strength and purpose, and I thank you so much for being a part.

hugs, Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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Step 9
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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by Step 9 » Wed May 18, 2011 1:51 am

Hi min this year for me has been the hardest in my time in AA and like you i did have that thought, F... it & Run. This week something has turned around for me concerning my farther,my wife still needs more tests to see if her cancer has returned,and i face cuts to my finances.
In all this to cope i became a little more active in AA and this has worked for me, even joining this forum has helped.

Hang in their min we have to take the good & the bad stuff.
855 Ardmore Avenue 1935
Step 9 [Phil]

min25
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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by min25 » Wed May 18, 2011 12:49 pm

Thank you all for responding. It can still fill me with awe that people in AA really do care. You've all given me little nuggets of wisdom that strengthen my belief that this fellowship really is my life blood. I feel reinvigorated for no other reason than their are a world of people out there who understand & who can lead me gently back to where I need to be.
Today things dont seem quite so bad!

Min
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation”

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Marc L
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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by Marc L » Wed May 18, 2011 1:28 pm

Hi Min;
I'm Marc and I'm Alcoholic.
There is light at the end of the long, long tunnel.
Sometimes it feels like forever but just hang in. :D

Marc
Recovery won't just happen by Osmosis. You gonna' have to work at it some.
12th Step work ain't just a job... It's an Adventure.

happycamper
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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by happycamper » Wed May 18, 2011 6:59 pm

HI Min, welcome. thanks so much for sharing! I really needed to read your post.
I can relate to much of it except for the long term sobriety and deaths.

I hate to say that sometimes sobriety stinks, cuz it doesn't really. Its just that sometimes I want to be able to kick back, relax, chill out, and have a drink or 2 to sooth the frustration that I experience from time to time .. the anger, the joy or happiness or whatever Im dealing with at any given time. And, I cant ... I cant drink cuz' I know I'll die.

And I often get a little testy with the good old ... 'this too shall pass', God wont give ya more'... etc, etc, stuff that we here touted at meetings or from our sponsors. , Oh and yeah, things will get better, give it time, pray, blah blah blah. Ugh!

I myself have heard all of this, and listened to it ( while dealing with some not so nice stuff going on in my life over the past few years ) .. and ya know what .. all that 'stuff' that Ive been told to do and practice, works !!

I may not like it, I may balk, I may cry, I may feel sad, and suffer from slight depression, and I may act badly toward myself or others when Im goin thru those ruff spots. I may wonder when it will ever end? I may wonder, why me? But I'll tell you that there are some days when I get to the end of them, and Im exhausted ( physically and mentally ) I begin to think to myself that I would have NEVER gotten thru it if I was drinking.

Geez, Im sorry, Im rambling and could go on and on and on ...
One of my 'old timer' friends in AA says it best , " Trust God, Clean House and Help Others". Just 6 simple words to help me get thru , one day at a time.
And I have another friend in AA that says when things are ruff for me, or Im struggling, then I need to change something. My sponsor has ALWAYS told me, that if nothing changes, nothings :D
Faith without works is dead

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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by Joe H » Wed May 18, 2011 8:48 pm

Thank you min25, for being here and for being sober.

I faced many agonizing experiences before sobriety that I tried to fix with booze, to no avail.

Now in sobriety I have faced many trials that have been painful mentally, physically and spiritually. Everything from being homeless to near death, from watching family return from battles in a distant land never to be whole again to the inevitable part of life, the deaths of family and friends. And as Ann has shared, I too have got through it in no small part becauses you said you did. God gave me what I needed to wheather the storm...he gave me you. Through every event I have done something that is unnatural for Joe the Alcoholic, I did not pickup a drink.

Now I have the benefit as you do to look back and sigh ruefully, what would a drink have made better.

Thanks for your lead,

joe

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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by TheresaR » Wed May 18, 2011 8:55 pm

Hi min25

Thank you for posting and I am glad you are here.

I like what happycamper quoted - " Trust God, Clean House and Help Others" - because sometimes, even in sobriety, it is only the real simple stuff I can focus on that keeps me going. Do the next indicated thing. Getting through it sober - you experience life and don't hide from it, whatever the situation is. It is the experience of living through the good and the bad without checking out.
Let go and Let God

min25
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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by min25 » Wed May 18, 2011 9:13 pm

Hi All,

Through your responses I've been motivated to reflect on how incredibly ordinary I am. What a wonderful feeling. My 'specialness' hinders me in so many ways.
My life experience is pretty much the same as everyone elses, its only the details that vary. Someone very wise said to me once that my truth is "reality + my interpretation".
Its that interpretation that is my undoing. I'm so glad that just for this moment I can see everything is as it should be & thats okay - I may even smile!

Thanks
Min
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation”

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Blue Moon
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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by Blue Moon » Thu May 19, 2011 5:33 am

min25 wrote: I've always taken comfort in knowing I would only be given what I could handle & that acceptance is the answer to all my problems today, I still do
Perhaps that's the problem? I've found both sentiments to be a hindrance. If I was only given what I could handle I'd never have become a member of AA. And acceptance is almost never the answer to a problem - "acceptance of the actions required to move towards a solution" may often be the answer, but that's not what most people mean when they talk of blindly accepting things are as they are.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

Mike O
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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by Mike O » Thu May 19, 2011 11:22 am

If I was only given what I could handle I'd never have become a member of AA.
I once believed this but then I realised that becoming a member of AA is in itself "handling" what I'd been given.

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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by Steven F » Thu May 19, 2011 12:17 pm

Acceptance to me means that I trust that God takes care of me. I ask what I should do, I do it, and I trust that the result will be just what it is meant to be. For me personally, it is in an absence of judging situations against the background of what I think they should be. In that sense it is passive, yes. I try not to have "a way", so that I can't say that "things are not going my way" and get messed up about it.

I'll send you a chant from Tibet when I manage to do that perfectly :-).

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marietta
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Re: Doing it tough.......

Post by marietta » Thu May 19, 2011 12:32 pm

So the pink cloud evaporates very early on in this Program. Yet life and all of its challenges continue to hammer away at us. We work the steps, we grow in the program, we get involved in service work, we manage to not only stay sober but learn a thing or two about ourselves, about life, about those things that hinder our progress.

I've come to look at these things that hinder me as opportunities. This does not come immediately, nor really with my permission. First I have to cuss and spit and shout and fight and bemoan my bad luck and insist that God didn't ever want anything good for me anyway. When that all fizzles out and I get some quiet time - or make some quiet time - I can see beyond the surface of my current dilemma. I see that what I thought were hindrances to my progress in the Program were (and are), instead, exercises to strengthen my sobriety. I have all the tools I need to process any problem, and I have done so willingly and gratefully in these past years (after my predictable hissy fits). I have lost three family members to cancer, one when I was only three weeks sober. Talk about hitting the ground running. Friends have died, many friends have left this Program in favor of diving back into the drug culture or into active alcoholism again. My first sponsor shot himself in the head with a shotgun. Divorce, single parenting, a distinctly separate mental illness, extreme money problems, and fear, fear, fear - all of these things have colored my days. None of these things presented as a good reason to drink. I have seen that the Steps are for here and now, for today's situations. They are not something I did in 1984 and completed and got an A+ on and then abandoned to wait for a happy, joyous and free life to descend upon me like a soft, comforting cloud. Like a good marriage, quality sobriety is hard work. And I still have days when I'm too disconnected or angry to want to do the work. Then the best thing for me is to look outside of myself to see if I can help another alcoholic.

If it's not quite accurate that our Higher Power does not give us more than we can carry, it must mean that the load can be shared until it lightens. I offer my shoulder, my experience, my humor, and my love, min25. You are not being punished. Joy is not ours on an everyday basis; we get a glimpse of it sometimes and I believe that brief recognition of joy is meant to last longer than our travails. In times of trouble it recedes to the background, but it still there, as a solid promise of the bounty of sober life. It should carry us through. We know it's there, and it can be ours again. Without the contrast of sorrow and troubles, how would we know joy? And wouldn't an abundance of joy maybe just bore us, even a little? After all, an alcoholic can take the sparkling brilliance of a diamond and see it as nothing more than an annoying, irritating glare, even in sobriety. In the meantime, let us share the load.

PM me if you like.

marietta
"There can be nothing more frequent than an occasional drink." ~ Oscar Wilde

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