Sobriety (off topic or not)?


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Jan 16, 2013 - 05:38am PT
The last few weeks have been truly eye-opening for me. I have learned so much. I'm finding Al-Anon to be a huge help.

Now if only the addict in my life could see some of the things I'm seeing...

Trad climber
ontario canada
Jan 16, 2013 - 06:47am PT
no one in aa can tell anyone what to think or do about anything-although many may try to push their will on you.remember these are rooms full of people learning howw to live-ie-they are human.keep an open mind-take what you find useful and leave the rest.going to aa is not joining a cult with set "rules" of conduct,it is simply somewhere where people who are alcoholic are helping each other stay sober,one of those ways to stay sober is by helping others stay sober[the 12th step].I was very put off early on by those that would either imply or directly declare what I"must do""must beleive etc."but thats not how it works.the steps are suggestions-you are not required to do anything.if you are alcoholic-in aa you'll find other alcoholics who are trying to stay yourself a favour-keep an open mind and read the never know,it might save your did mine.
eventually I beleive,for the alcoholic it comes down to this-die,go insane,go to prison or go to AA.

Trad climber
Jan 16, 2013 - 07:54am PT
Dirtbag- Glad you found some help via Al-Anon. Many AA'ers do that program too, after they have gotten steady with sobriety. Like I said, it was very helpful for me in dealing with that dysfunctional work relationship I had. And it is useful for me nearly every day, including here on Supertopo!

Keeping the focus on myself- what a powerful concept!

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 16, 2013 - 09:12am PT
At one time I had enough 30 days chips to encirle the planet.

At one time I watched a stunningly beautiful and quiet woman collect a 24hr "desire" chip so many times I lost count.

I wanted to say the right thing, but I couldn't.

She kept coming back though.

I've often wondered what became of her.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 16, 2013 - 09:59am PT
John, I just run away from people trying to covert me to their religion, even a really nebulous one that lets you define a higher power anyway you want, so with all respect that approach is a massive turn off. Athiests are not people who haven't spent time thinking about religion or the meaning of life, they just came to different conclusions, and their beliefs are just as much a part of their identities as others.

There are plenty of atheists in AA. The question is: What are you holding onto which you feel people are trying to "convert" you away from? What part of you needs an adversary to push off of.

AA is not for everyone, but it is especially for those like me who need to "quite fighting anything and anybody." There's too much ritiousness, blind willpower, and aggression hooked up to this, the Royal Road to the Next Drink.

Woody the Beaver

Trad climber
Soldier, Idaho
Jan 16, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
+1 for what JL says. I'm a totally secular guy, and I never figured people in AA were trying to convert me to some religion or other. I was, and still am, grateful to the meetings for the chance for me to STFU for a bit and listen to some wise, funny and somewhat dinged-up people talk about what their experience was like. When I went in, I didn't feel like my way of doing things was working all that well, so why not listen? I heard a lot of neat stuff. That was 10+ years ago. I still don't climb gud.

Gym climber
Jan 16, 2013 - 03:36pm PT
Holding on to common sense.

That's what people are holding on to.

But if a metaphorical, imagined higher power, makes you alien from the true self that's drowning in booze, then more higher power to u, may your higher power, kick your true selfs ass....

Hope you're feeling better John!

Much Respect!

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Jan 16, 2013 - 04:41pm PT
I just keep it simple. My higher power has morphed over the years. It's easy now. I don't try to define. I just live. Let others have opinions and let them spin. I am more myself than I have ever been and more at peace with all others. Even my x-wife.

I like the Beatles with the refrain: Let it be


Trad climber
Toshi's Station, picking up power converters.
Jan 16, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
So today is Day 1. it's time. the cost is just too high and there are things (my sanity, peace of mind and emotional balance) I desperatly want to maintain. I cannot live a graceful and loving life the way I've been. I hurt other people that I care about and this makes me deeply sad.

I'm grateful for this thread. thanks for letting me share.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jan 16, 2013 - 05:59pm PT
Right on.

Sport climber
Home away from Home
Jan 16, 2013 - 06:02pm PT
Support to you, Michelle. I've been there... quitting has done wonders to my Life.

Allen Carr has a great book on the subject if you need additional support...
"Allen Carr's Easy Way to Control Alcohol"

~peace, Leggs

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jan 16, 2013 - 07:15pm PT
Good on you Michelle. That was about as succinct and well expressed as it gets. You've good your eyes wide open! The best of everything for you!

Trad climber
Toshi's Station, picking up power converters.
Jan 16, 2013 - 07:31pm PT
thanks folks. I'm struggling right now with mindfully and objectively looking at myself and how my behaviour. accepting the ugly parts of me is just no fun. I hurt myself and people that care about me way too many times and like I said, the cost is just not worth it. I've been sort of cruising along and living an unauthentic life. I want to be a shining, loving light that the people around me get nourished from but I'm afraid of being that person. one thing in my favor is that I am stubborn as hell.

on the God topic. I just don't know. I've been casting my pain out to something out there, seeking guidance. no burning buahes but its good mindfullness practice.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 16, 2013 - 07:50pm PT
Way to go Michelle. We all had the speed wobble at first but they don't last forever - easy to say, hard to believe if you're just hanging on.

Per the higher power thing - an imagined metaphorical crutch is just one way to configure it. The mistake is in believing that God MUST be this or nothing else. Most of the people I know who seem to radiate the charmed connection with and apparently are hard wired into that most nebulous higher power vibe cannot quantify or explain it and insist the trying to do so is just another adventure in spinning in the toilet. The trick, I believe, is to get that power to work in your favor, or put differently, to somehow align ourself with that power, which is a behavioral, not a cognitive process. Remember the motto: Knowledge availed us nothing. Not something, but nothing at all. It's very counterintuitive to a mind spinner like me.

But I've seen miracles . . .

Again, hang in there Michelle. You have all of us at your back - of that you may be sure.


Trad climber
Toshi's Station, picking up power converters.
Jan 16, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
mostly I approach things in a Zen sort of way. I'm a strong advocate of personal responsibility and that I am totally responsible for the choices I make. sometimes, like now, the image in the mirror is ugly. avoidance only makes it worse. In a way, I feel sort of free and awake. I've been snoozing at the wheel. I hope that someday someone may find my story as usefull as the stories of others have helped me.

I've been around on ST for a while and while I like to make fun of it, I've met some awesome people and made alot of e-friend that are valuable. its nice not to be alone :)

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jan 16, 2013 - 09:08pm PT
Good for you, Michelle. Glad to hear that you're taking this step. If you need any support or need to talk, please send me a message. We are all here to help each other.

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Jan 16, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
Michelle sending good vibes your way. That personal inventory part can be hard to handle. Just get it done and move on. It really is worth the effort. I just love living in my own skin. Even when I am in pain.

I don't get down on myself for stupid stuff. I just say I will learn to do it better. I really work on the self talk stuff and don't let myself say things to me that I would punch someone else in the mouth if they said it to me.
Try to be good to yourself through the tough parts.

It is always good to have friends and peers to help with the perspective part of getting sober. It helps also to have friends that will call you on crap too.

It really comes down to balance and patience.

Just letting you know there is another someone out there that cares.

All the best

Jebus H Bomz

Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Jan 17, 2013 - 04:54am PT
Work your own program. That's some of the best advice I've heard lately.

Social climber
Jan 17, 2013 - 06:07am PT
Best wishes for finding what you need, Michelle. I come here often for strength and counsel in the daily struggles we all face. Most helpful. Though a life of sobriety is not my expectation, I am 3 months now without intoxicants. I'll be back to check in but without a chip in my pocket. You guys and gals are my program.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 17, 2013 - 09:18am PT
"Work your own program. That's some of the best advice I've heard lately."

That's all we can ever do IMO.

Our tendency to work someone else's program (and the insanity and grief that causes) is why Alanon was created. That's an exceedingly slippery but effective program if you can ever get hold of it.

The greatest advice I ever got in Alanon was from an old timer. I was complaining about not knowing what to do with an impossible significant other. He said, "Leave her alone." In other words: Let her work her own program. Or not. Anything else is playing God, and that doesn't work for sh#t.

Leaving people alone, to wrangle things their own way, but with mutual support, is the essence of recovery IME. The only thing I can say for sure about an alcoholic is that they should never take a drink. Beyond that is truly beyond me, and is none of my business.

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