I recovered from alcoholism in 1998 after 2.5 years becoming convinced I was an alcoholic of the hopeless variety. I have not had a drink since. We are convinced alcoholics can permanently recover.
Drinking for me came at an early age by some standards. I well remember the first time I drank enough alcohol to have effect. I was twelve years old and cooking dinner for my parents and three siblings. I had done this many times and was rather good at it. I was always looking for different ingredients to add to make the flavor better thereby winning the applause and praise of my family members. A popular cooking show came to mind and the cook of that particular show liked to use cooking sherry and also drink a little wine as she cooked. I didn’t know the difference between cooking sherry and wine and the later was what was available so I used some as an ingredient and I drank some.
Wow! What a feeling that stuff gave me! It felt like fire came out of my fingers and toes. The feeling was electrifying. Then I thought “This is what people feel like when they are drunk! I’m gonna have more of this stuff” and so I did.
For a long time I knew my drinking was somehow different from how other people drank. I thought it was cool to be able to drink more alcohol and at a faster rate than anyone else. It wasn’t always cool for other people, however, the amount I drank. Some of my drinking companions started to be less willing to accompany me. A couple of years of learning how to “drink like a man” is all it took for me to notice my drinking behavior was different from other people. I wondered why other people could not or would not learn how to “drink like a man”. Some of my friends would stop drinking after three or four drinks! I figured they were just lightweights and couldn’t help it. Some of my friends said that maybe I shouldn’t drink so much. Some of my friends even told me they thought I was an alcoholic. Lightweights…all of you. Why even drink if you’re not going to get drunk. My drinking being somehow abnormal never even crossed my mind. I had an idea what it meant to be an alcoholic, so I was not alarmed about my drinking. I didn’t fit in that box I called “alcoholic”. I later found out that my idea of what an alcoholic is, was not accurate.
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As copied from a Chat Meeting on Sep 7 2015, 7:30 PM
Sarah: Hi, Tim!
Tim: Hi Sarah. Hi all.
Sue: Hi, Tim
JoeO: Hey, Tim!
JoeO: Tell us about the “stop trying to stop drinking” deal!
I tried to stop drinking alot. I thought that was what I was supposed to do.
I kept drinking again and again.
I’d come back all beat up.
The people in our group told me to quit trying to quit.
I looked at them as if they had two heads.
I did not understand I could not quit.
After two and a half years….
drunk sober drunk sober…
I was on my way home from detox
Never wanting to drink again!
I got home and went to the refrigerator…
I was hungry and looked in the fridge
And there were 12 beers and a pint of whiskey.
I took the beers out of the fridge
lined them up at the sink
Still not wanting to ever drink again.
I opened up one of the beers
went to dump it down the drain
and drank it instead
knowing it was a bad idea.
I took two beers and the pint
sat down in my filthy chair
and drank them…
then I remembered I never wanted to drink ever again.
I knew then that what my friends had said was true about me,
That one day……
I would drink again whether I wanted to or not.
Inserted from “Fred’s Story”: “As soon as I regained my ability to think, I went carefully over that evening in Washington. Not only had I been off guard, I had made no fight whatever against the first drink. This time I had not thought of the consequences at all. I had commenced to drink as carelessly as though the cocktails were ginger ale. I now remembered what my alcoholic friends had told me, how they prophesied that if I had an alcoholic mind, the time and place would come – I would drink again. They had said that though I did raise a defense, it would one day give way before some trivial reason for having a drink. Well, just that did happen and more, for what I had learned of alcoholism did not occur to me at all. I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots. I had never been able to understand people who said that a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then. It was a crushing blow.” (“Alcoholics Anonymous“, pages 41-42)
Back to Tim:
I knew then that I was a real alcoholic and had no defense against the 1st drink.
I ended up being able to take step 1 about 9 days later
After a little more of me beating me up with ego and pride and drinking and not wanting to.
There is more if you want to hear it.
JoeO: Keep going, if you wish, and anyone can interject a question or whatever.
I went to my sponsor’s house…
On my way there I went by Phil’s grocery store…
The thought came to me that “I never bought beer there before”.
I bought a case of beer and went on to my sponsor’s house.
We met for about 2 hours.
He asked me if I thought I could make it until next week.
I knew I couldn’t and said no.
He suggested we met the next night.
I went home and drank that case and didn’t go to work or my sponsor’s house the next day.
4 days later was our weekly home group AA meeting.
I went a and sat down.
A man in our group asked me what I was doing there.
I said “What? Are not I welcome here?”
He said of course you are but you are DYING and just [messing] around!
No one in the group said a word.
It was silent.
I had the thought that if he was right I’m in trouble.
I didn’t even know I was dying but was willing to believe he was right.
I said to him… “You are right.”
“In light of me dying I am just [messing] around.”
That was the 1st time I had ever had any amount of humility.
Humility before my fellow man.
If anyone in that group would have told that man to take it easy on me I would have probably died.
I would have continued to fight everything and everyone.
But instead I had the opportunity to admit that he was right.
JoeO: That man was the one who had the courage to say what some of the rest of us were only thinking!
That was the turning point,
And I was ready for it.
The teacher appeared when I was ready.
JoeO: If this is okay with you, I will copy what you have shared and add it at your story here at the site.
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… more to be added …