Is AA needed?

I went to an AA meeting last night.  I started to fall asleep half-way through. I’m not sure if I was bored, tired, or simply too comfortable. I don’t like the meeting I’m attending, but the place I’m currently working has very few options and I needed to get out of my motel room and be around people – human beings. I didn’t care for the discussion topic either, and as I listened to everyone speak, I was thinking about how alcoholic I am.  Am I REALLY that bad?

I know, without a doubt, that I was drinking too much. I was averaging 3 beers on a dialy basis every day for almost the past 6 months. Previous to that, I had spent almost 90 days trying to be sober. I had a sponsor, or a closed-mouth friend, as they are sometimes called (the AA book never uses the word sponsor) and I was working through the 12 steps of “the program”. But before that excursion into sobriety, I was drinking quite a bit too.  I knew why I drank – to numb all the emotional pain I felt. I had given up on life, I had given up on positivity, I had given up on motivation, I had given up on financial matters, I had given up on trying to be healthy, I had given up on being a father, I had given up on being a husband, I had given up on friendships, I had given up on my career, I had given up on my passions, I had given up on God, I had given up on my religious faith, I had given up on so much and I had given up on everything. I was simply existing, and that existence was becoming unbearable.

If you read the book on AA (Alcoholics Anonymous, just in case some of you are unaware), I was experiencing everything that “The Big Book” indicates are characteristic of being an alcoholic. Almost a year ago, I was working with a therapist that was helping me in tremendous ways and it was her prompting that sent me to AA in the first place. I took he advice, because I was suicidal at the time.  This isn’t just a blatant, over-exaggerating, pay-attention-to-me attention seeking action. I literally tied a noose in my basement, stood on a chair, slid my head through the noose and considered jumping off the chair and ending it all, because the constant arguments I had with my wife were unbearable. Something hit me to convince me otherwise and I began seeing the therapist that eventually told me to go an AA meeting.

I was reluctant, but went anyways. The thing I recognize is that I was doing pretty well while I was doing it, but I have some hang-ups about the whole thing.  For example, there is a chapter that starts out suggesting that people don’t fail when they follow the suggestions in the book. To me, that’s akin to saying high school abstinence programs work well when teenagers don’t have sex.  And after mentioning that on someone else’s blog, yesterday, I really began to think about it. It’s the idea that you can live your life the way someone else says you should live it and then everything will be alright.  Honestly, talking about drinking so damn much makes me want to drink.

I also have some major issues with God. I’m struggling with this concept and I fear that believing in him or her might mean I have some responsibility in things in my life. And some of those things, I’m not so sure I fully understand. AA suggests that there needs to be an active relationship with God “as you understand him”, but this means I will have to take responsibility for some things that I don’t truly believe are right. My understanding of a Higher Power is troubling to me, because I feel so conflicted about that understanding.  On the one hand, I know that my life’s choices can be forgiven and I can be fully invited back into the folds of the faith I once knew. On the other hand, it means that I am doomed to the same feelings I’ve always had. For me, I feel like I have to completely reject the God of my understanding in order to progress.

I’m starting to ramble and I know I’ll need to reconcile this eventually…

I can’t stop thinking about a cold beer today, but I am well aware it’s pulling at me.

I’m on Day 12 and I will make it today.

 

 

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35 thoughts on “Is AA needed?”

  1. You will make it.
    AA as I can see it is a support system, a method of helping people through this addiction, which functions as an illness in how it can damage your life. If it works it’s great and it has helped many people. The question you seem to be struggling with is, does it work for you?

    Ask yourself is your existence better in any way since your recent attendance to AA, if so is that because of AA? No help, or support is a one size fits all cure, you need to work out what works for you, only you can work that out and that’s hard.

    You have a noble heart and poetic soul, something in you wants to survive, whatever keeps that something alive will help you. You are part of a larger world and are not as alone as you feel.

    Keep posting, keep trying, keep being.
    I tell my son this as often as he needs..”Not succeeding isn’t failing, you only really fail when you give up.”

    You haven’t given up, you haven’t failed.

    Keep going

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “Simply existing” sucks, doesn’t it? I have been struggling lately with depression and just not enjoying my life and wanting to sleep all day and cry. Its so easy to get sucked into that hole. Drinking certainly doesn’t help, so keep up on your Day 12. Are there other Meet-ups or something you can do to help you get out and meet some new people? There have got to be some awesome hiking groups out there!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes. I’ve had a couple of really good interviews, but nothing… No response yet and I send follow-up emails and I’m trying to decide if/when I’m being a pest…ya know? I’m just frustrated today and I’m beginning to over-think crap…
          How are you? Any improvement at home? 😐

          Like

          1. Ugh, Overthinking…I am a MASTER of that. I am a little bit of a control/organizing freak so when I want to know whats going on, I want to know NOW. Patience is something I am struggling to be better at so I can feel your pain in not hearing back on the jobs. You have been dealing with this job crap for about year, right? You are ready for some calm and stability. No wonder you want to crawl out of your skin some days.

            Things at home got a little crazy last night…but it’s better today. I appreciate your advice. I set boundaries with him, he set boundaries with her. So far so good 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. My advice mattered?!?!?! I’m doing a happy dance for sure! 🙂
              Boundaries are rarely comfortable, but over time I think people respect them. I’m still trying to set some on my relationship, but there is usually a hole someplace in that boundary that I try and detect but haven’t found…lol

              Yeah, I was laid off in March of last year and I didn’t find this job until April of this year. I have been commuting for work for the past 6 months.

              Like

    1. I admit, the only time I have been truly sober in the past several years, is when I was working with a sponsor on the steps. I had almost 90 days without a drink before accepting a job in another state and I found myself drinking again in no time. Honestly, I struggle with a few things, one of those being my ability to be in a relationship and the impact of my sexuality in how they relate to a Higher Power of my understanding.

      I’m not giving up and I am going to meetings, so I have some hope.

      Thank you, for your comment.

      Like

  3. You are on your way and you have stopped to simply exist. You are working towards the life you envision, even if you are not sure exactly what that will look like. Life is seldom perfect and it comes with conflict and challenges. It’s only natural for you to feel so e of them and question what’s right or wrong.
    I’m proud of you and yes you will make it. Keep going….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m a bit late responding to this, but I’m so proud of you for getting to Day 12! For almost my first year, my higher power was my sponsor and the AA group. Even now, I can’t honestly sit here and say that my Higher Power is this God that lives up in the sky. I do think things happen for a reason and there is some higher power in the world. However, I need something more tangible than that most days, and I find that in the fellowship of AA and my therapists. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I came across your post and can completely identify with so much of this. I struggled with a God of my understanding for so many years. I too could not grasp what that meant and I’d cringe at meeting just hearing the word “God”. The only God I’d ever known was a punishing one that had been instilled in me since birth. So, I went out again, and again and again. Only to find myself back in AA. Somewhere deep inside I knew they had the answers I sought if I stuck around long enough, stop doing things MY way or half-assed, and did the work the way it is suggested. I suggest you get a spiritual sponsor and do the steps asap. Pray to something everyday and focus on what your perfect HP would be. I also suggest you read the Big Book every day (the stories in the back are awesome) and do a 90 and 90. Doing this put me back on track and has kept me sober and working on myself for the past 10 plus years. Whatever you do, don’t ever give up! Good luck to you and God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not giving up. I know I’m struggling, but I also think I would be struggling more if I were drinking. For me, I suppose, I just need some validation that the way I think and feel are not so off-base that there is something really wrong with me…ya know what I mean?

      Anyways, I appreciate your advice and insight and feel free to stop by again. 🙂

      Like

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