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I'm an alcoholic and need help, but can't turn to professionals Watch

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    Please don't de-anon this mods.

    I've been privately battling alcoholism now for several years and fell off the wagon this last weekend pretty badly. I'd been sober for over 6 months, but my friends (who don’t know about my problem) convinced me to have "one drink" at a party on Saturday and I've been on a bender since. I called into work complaining of a stomach virus and as far as I'm aware they're none the wiser. But I can't have another week off and don't know if I can face the weekend without booze. I've never been to an AA meeting and was wondering if I should try it. I called earlier today but as soon as they said welcome to AA I just froze and put down the phone. I'm a staunch atheist and don't know if it would be right for me to go to an essentially religious event (or that it would work) but I just can't face the world at the moment without kind words or drink, and I know the latter would kill me. Please don't abuse me: I know this is pathetic but I really need some advice on this.

    Thanks
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    To my understanding, AA isn't so much about giving yourself over to a God, it's more a about realising that you, on your own, don't have the power to stop, and opening yourself up to the support of others. You need a centre of strength, whether that's God, your cat or the flying spaghetti monster.There may be some groups more focused on a religion than others, but if the first one doesn't fit, try another, there's normally several a week. Realise that whatever differences you have with the people in that room, you're going to have one major life experience in common, and that's the one you need to be focusing on right now.

    Best of luck.
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    You're not pathetic.

    It takes a very strong person to battle against an addiction like alcoholism, and it sounds as if you had been doing amazingly. I'm sure that you can do amazingly again.

    As for the Christian identity of AA, I suppose it would depend on whether you feel that you could accept the spiritual nature of the teachings without accepting any (if there is any) reference to a Christian god. I do understand your reluctance, but I think that, definitely in this country, there is a move toward encouraging everyone, whatever religion or non-religion, to feel comfortable. AA used to start with a prayer; now quite a few meetings just start with a moment of silence. I think that, now, the spirituality of AA tries to help you find a state of self-acceptance and inner strength through letting others help you, rather than aiming to convert you to a religion.

    I hope everything works out for you - you seem to be a very brave individual, and I'm sure you can make the right decisions to help yourself cope with this problem. Feel free to PM if you need any more kind words, anytime!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I've never been to an AA meeting and was wondering if I should try it. I called earlier today but as soon as they said welcome to AA I just froze and put down the phone. I'm a staunch atheist and don't know if it would be right for me to go to an essentially religious event (or that it would work)
    Why not? there doesn't really seem to be much of a better alternative for you. I think it would help you, it's confidential and you will get the support that you need. I'm sure that they would welcome an atheist just as much as a religious person. If you have any reservations about attending a meeting, just ask them over the phone.

    If you're going to give up alcohol, it's all or nothing, especially if you're an alcoholic. It's no good drinking moderately or just having one drink because the only person you're kidding is yourself. You and I both know one drink is going to turn into 10 or more. I've tried giving up alcohol in the past and the main thing that always gets me back on it is peer pressure (although I can't totally blame that as it is my choice to drink still). I think it helps if people know your problems because then they won't be as inclined to persuade you to drink, and will understand that you're not just being a spoil sport for not drinking.
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    • Thread Starter
    #1

    Thanks for your support. I actually live in Maine and was wondering if you guys knew if the AA system was as secular over here as it is in your country. My father is an alcoholic and got sober after twenty years on the sauce , using AA as a mechanism, but he was an Episcopalian and sought his "higher power" in God. I just don't have that. I think I'm me, I'm an individual like everyone else, and there's no extrinsic being able to solve my problems. Only me, and I'm so weak to have gotten to this.

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    If the AA system around you is so religious, there must be some alternative. Talk to a doctor maybe? If you were in the UK I'd suggest you go see your GP, but I don't know how the healthcare system works in the US.
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    I went to my first meeting last night. Thanks for the encouragement. Hopefully things will start working out again.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I went to my first meeting last night. Thanks for the encouragement. Hopefully things will start working out again.
    Well done! That's a great thing to have done and you are taking control of your future. You have every right to feel very proud of yourself and there is no reason why you cannot become sober again as you are obviously capable. I wish you the best of luck.
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    Hi,

    I have just seen this thread and felt compelled to reply to you.

    Firstly, very well done on going to your first meeting! That is a huge step to take and I know how very difficult it can be to do, because I did it too, a few years ago now.
    To begin with I found it incredibly hard to connect with the meetings and saw everything through the defences I'd put up to everything, especially to anything that might actually help! And the term God, combined with the Serenity Prayer they all said at the end while holding hands, initially freaked me out entirely. So, for a while, I went back to drinking and, in my case, using drugs, until I realised that I was so darn miserable that nothing could be worse. I'd got to the point of severe paranoia, nasty blackouts that often resulted in physical injuries, and isolating to the extent of losing all but one friend (a fellow user). It was awful, and I just didn’t think I could ever stop.... but something in me knew that there must be more out there to life than what I was doing.

    I'd stop for a month here and there throughout my 13 years of drinking and using and tell myself I was all better, I believed I was! and that I didn't need anybody. But I did gradually start to see that for me the stopping was the easier part - staying stopped, and learning to develop peace within myself, well that was a whole new, alien, concept to me - and a scary one too at times, because I didn't believe I deserved it/that I could enjoy just drinking coffee or tea/spending weekends doing things other than drinking/using - but the peace and laughter I didn't think I could have was something I had seen and, I think, felt in some way in the AA meetings I'd initially gone to, and it had stayed with me, until one night I went back (very hungover and with fresh injuries from falling off a central reservation onto tarmac) and seemed to hear and see it all differently. It was totally bizarre. And I just thought, ok, one meeting today that's all I have to do. And I thought that thought every day for months and before I knew it I honestly didn't crave alcohol anymore (the thought crossed my mind, sure, but that was it: a fleeting ‘I could drink tonight’ and then it was gone), I was laughing like I never knew I could, with friends who understood my (very!) weird brain and are just as addicted to coffee as I am now, I've stuck at college courses for the first time ever, and above all, I feel peaceful!

    That isn't to say things have been/are easy, life after all keeps happening regardless - I still live in temporary homeless accommodation, and I have a lot of health problems, but that's ok. It just is. What I do know is that if I'd carried on drinking/using drugs things - I - would be so much worse.

    Anyway, I did still struggle at times with the 'God' aspect, but it quite naturally for me became the ‘Great Out Doors’ - especially the stars, because they are so beyond me and my ability to do anything to them, but they are there and give me this immense feeling of calm and awe, that for me that is the power greater than myself. That, and the moon! And the ocean It is essentially anything that isn't ourselves... even the meetings to begin with. You will find your own when it is the right time for you.

    You have shown enormous willingness to live a life without alcohol, and willingness really is all you need to start with. You are doing so well, just try to stay focused on one day, or hour, or minute at a time. Just get to bed without a drink for tonight and that is a massive achievement. Truly. Well done for sharing on here too.

    Please do PM me if you want to talk/ask anything.

    All the very best to you.
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    Well done on going to a meeting. You aren't weak; you are doing something, you haven't quit yet, you are still trying.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Well done on going to a meeting. You aren't weak; you are doing something, you haven't quit yet, you are still trying.
    Why on EARTH would you use the anon feature for that reply?
 
 
 
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