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Anyone ever feel stuck with starting over at the same steps after a relapse?
Hi, Liz, and welcome.
“Stuck at starting over” is what happens when the Steps have yet to be taken, and then “stuck…at the same steps” would indicate they have yet to be understood. There is no A.A. Step ever suggesting “Don’t drink”, and that is because we are people who cannot do that…
…and that is why we have Step One where we admit complete powerlessness over both parts of alcoholism:
1. Powerless over how much we drink while drinking; (physical abnormality)
2. Just as powerless to leave it alone altogether while sober. (mental/emotion obsession for the effect)
To “start over” the A.A. way, stop trying to stop drinking and then take the Steps to have the inability to do so removed.
Thanks Joe. I really do suck at not drinking. I go along feeling great and happy, just started my 4th step, and then something blows in my head and I become obsessed with drinking. I know it will only cause problems and I know I absolutely can’t control it once I start. But I lie to myself and say it will be different this time. And it is. It’s worse and worse, and it’s harder to even want to try to get sober again. I can’t even face my sponsor. And I feel like I desperately need to talk to her.
In fact, I was rocking and rolling at 50 days of sobriety when I woke up so severely depressed that I couldn’t find any relief. Even with chatting with others. I gave in and went straight for a bottle. And then I just couldn’t stop.
>> “I go along feeling great and happy…then something blows in my head and I become obsessed with drinking…”
The mind is capable of holding out only for as long as the mind and emotions are in agreement…and then the mind gives in and returns to its only know source for relief. So, the Steps are about living our ways into some new additions in the emotional as well as the mental department.
>> “…and it’s harder to even want to try to get sober again.”
We had to abandon any and all ideas of sobriety being a solution. Being sober makes out-of-control drinking impossible, but S.O.B.E.R. = “Son Of a Buck, Everything is Real” and we need a completely new manner of living (as learned in the Steps) in order to make living in and with reality possible.
>> “I was rocking and rolling at 50 days of sobriety when I woke up so severely depressed that I couldn’t find any relief.”
I face depression almost daily and have not had to drink for relief of anything at all in well over 30 years. As Bill has shared in his story:
“My friend promised when these things (the Steps) were done…I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems…
“Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid… I must turn in all things (my will and my life) to the Father of Light who presides over us all.” (pages 13-14)
Today I will have a positive outlook on life I will ask God’s forgiveness for my past deeds and I know He will forgive me. Then I will practice Honesty in all I do. That’s how I will begin making my living amends and taking care of cleaning up my side of the street.
Glad to be included in this group! Thank you!
I have reviewed the materials on this site and am enjoying what I am learning. Is posting comments the ideal way to communicate? I have joined the Member Chat, but it is empty. Is there a standing schedule to help find others for fellowship?
Please advise. Many thanks,
Posting comments, questions and bits of experience on various pages could be a great way to have some on-going exchange. As to Chat: We have only one scheduled meeting per week (Mon 7PM CST) and seldom more than three or four of us in attendance. However, our Guest Chat is easily accessible by anyone and everyone 24/7/52 and there is where at least two of us watch for 12th-Step and fellowship opportunities as they come along.
Cool. Thanks Lee.
I am trying to learn about the 12 Traditions as it related to anonymity on the internet.
This is what aa.org has – but is this limited to press, radio, and film? How does this apply to the internet?
Overall, I think it is important to first make these distinctions:
1) Anonymity: “The renunciation of personal prestige as an instrument of general policy.” –Bill W.
2) Privacy: Guarding or obscuring one’s personal identity for social or business reasons
3) Security: Protecting one’s personal information from hackers and/or illicit internet harvesters
We do not have social media logins available here in our Chats because something such as a full-face avatar could easily blow someone’s personal anonymity, and we do not use full names as screen names (Chat) or user names (Postings such as this) for the same kind of reason. As to security in relation to personal information: Our site database contains nothing more than a username, e-mail address and password for anyone…and if you wish, we could go into some more-detailed discussion here: http://www.morethan100.net/
I have been struggling with alcohol for 5 years now and keep relapsing. I feel so depressed and worthless… When things just get so overwhelming I don’t know how to handle the situation, I turn to the one thing I know is there. But this just makes me feel worse, I really would like to know how someone can stay sober for 30 years or so, because I think to myself there definitely must be something wrong with me that I just cannot seem to keep it together for more then a few months at a time.
Hi, Kim. What you describe — that sense of being overwhelmed day to day — was how I thought and felt, too, and I could not imagine being okay sober. I could not keep myself together enough to stay sober for more than a few days at a time, and the idea of being sober for 30 years also seemed overwhelming. I knew I did not want to drink again because of the damage alcohol was doing to me, but I had no idea how I could possibly be okay sober.
What ever is wrong with you, Kim, I suspect is the same as what was wrong with me — alcoholism — and we have a solution for the problem of feeling, thinking and living in such a way that keeps taking us back to drinking.
I’ve been sitting here staring at the screen feeling not alone. Drinking again after 2 and a half years of a gift of sobriety. It’s been years now …… The insane thought returned you can always get sober again…It’s been a long bumpy scary road… I began again to ask for help…Right now God is doing for me what I cannot do for myself…..Thanks for this site…Thanks for your patience …
Sobriety is never enough, of course, and that means recovery is the gift we must actually seek so we never again end up drinking…and please be sure to also know that the belief “you can always get sober again” never works for people who die while drinking.
There is a solution, and sobriety is not the solution, but the problem. Our experience is proof of that reality. Recovery is the solution.
A still-alcoholic mind will continue to take the alcoholic back to drinking. When things get bad enough, long enough, the alcoholic mind says, “Just this once, then I’ll sober up…”, or, “This time, I think I can have just one or two to take the edge off “, or, “The heck with it! I’m going to get drunk just this once and then I’ll sober up again tomorrow…”, only tomorrow doesn’t come, or if it does, it comes screaming right back with the same problems as the day when the alcoholic mind said or thought, “Just this once…” or “The heck with it!…”, and the chronic alcoholic has to drink again. And of course, the chronic alcoholic gets drunk again. And with us to drink is to die.
Without permanent recovery, sobriety (if any) is simply the time the alcoholic suffers through between drunks.
Sarah are your meaning sobriety alone is no good as in order to stop drinking a much bigger change inside needs to happen. Oh my mind is still mushy. Thats what I’m looking for I’m in a mess. My way of living is not working out. The jug…Relationships…Family…..Finances…Health….Work all of it all in disarray. Right now it’s easy to see that. When in withdrawls and sick I’m more aware Im in trouble. Joe was mentioning that thinking that returns have a drink….. As if the brain is screaming for it and I’ll die without it or something worse will happen. Today is difficult as I know I’m not coping well dry. Just asking for help. Attempting to be open minded. Very moody right now. I don’t want to hurt anybody any more. Dolly
Sober alone is not an issue of good or no good…for the chronic alcoholic sober on a permanent basis is unattainable. Consider your own track record for a moment. What is your experience? My own “track record” was such that I was miserable sober. My hope was to find out how to be okay so I would not have to drink.
Alcoholics cannot stop drinking. Give some thought to how you feel when you are sober — restless, irritable, discontented perhaps? That is how I felt unless I could again experience the comfort and ease that came at once with a drink. I wanted so badly to quit, but I also wanted so badly to feel as good sober as I did after a drink or two….problem was, there was no “drink or two”. I always ended up drunk, and drinking that much over the years was taking a toll on my health.
We alcoholics must learn how to be okay — to not live by how we feel and to be able to function without the reeling mind — so we do not have to return to drinking. Sobriety is not the goal of the Steps — recovery is. Permanent, contented sobriety is the outcome of recovery.
that thinking I can get sober again is a lie. Just the plug in the jug doesn’t work for us. I’ve been taken to my knees by this disease and that’s okay as God knows I needed that. Alcoholic Dolly
Kim, I … know just how you feel. I am just starting my first step and you are in the right place. i know i am. these people are wonderful and REALLY care
i understand the depression. I feel like I have to stay in bed so I wont want to indulge drink, eat, smoke…so alot of going to work and going to bed and back to work. So my question is..is depression a withdrawel symptom obviously and will it subside with time?
Hi, Kim. Depression is common when withdrawing from alcohol. Even if you do not have more serious symptoms — and you would do well to get checked out by a doctor if you do — the brain without alcohol is still “re-wiring” itself as far as neurotransmitters (GABA, e.g.), endorphins and other chemicals, and depression is part of the offal. Alcoholics are also people who depend on alcohol’s effect to feel good, or at least keep our heads above water, so we feel the effects of “sufferingly sober” when we’re not drinking. You’ll likely find that if you are an alcoholic, avoiding alcohol by keeping yourself busy with work and going to bed early will only do the job for so long. Consider reading in the A.A. text Chapters Two and Three and see if you see yourself in there. We alcoholics are people who cannot quit drinking for good, and we cannot choose how much or how often we’ll drink. Thankfully there is a solution…taking the Steps exactly as they are laid out in the A.A. text.
How do I become a member?
Hi, Noah. We’ve written to you privately with details about how to attend our semi-weekly
discussions. We’ll plan to see you in our chat room soon.