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AA

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3 malibustacy


    Hello all,

    Just looking for some feedback from all you helpful folk. Have finally accepted the fact that I have a drinking problem. This came about after yet another weekend when I went on a binge and even though I was already drunk I still couldn't get enough drink and it's starting to embarrass me and I'm sure my friends. Add to the fact that I can drink a bottle of wine easily in one night (usually a work night and maybe 2/3 bottles during the week) and I know I'm on a slippery slope and I know I need to stop. Plus I also don't like the person I am when drunk as I'm a mess.

    I did try and do a dry January (even set up a thread in the hope that it would push me) and it didn't turn out well at all, I think I lasted 4/5 days. Problem is as soon as I have a bad day or even if I'm bored I will automatically turn to a bottle of wine - it's a cycle I need to get out of.

    I just want to ask what people's experiences are on AA? Obviously I've given up the drink which for the first few days will be easy but I know from personal experience as time goes on it gets harder and I will need some support. Problem is I'm not one for talking about my feelings so not sure AA would be good for me?

    I will also be going to my GP when I get a chance but just wanted to get people's feedback on this first as there seems to be a lot of meetings around me that I could just pop into. I suppose it's the fear of them making me talk about myself or having to stand up and say I'm an alcoholic which scares me.


Comments



  • First of all - every AA meeting is different!

    I was at one today which was different to any I've been to before - we sat in a circle, we all read different pieces on a certain theme (meditation) and it went around in a circle with everyone being given a (strictly timed) time to share - either about meditation, or anything else. There was a break halfway through, which has never happened in any meeting I've been to before. Everyone else there was a lot older than me, and knew each other very well, but were very welcoming to me.

    My more usual experience is that chairs are laid out all facing the front (if that makes sense.) There is a secretary running the meeting, and a speaker who speaks for maybe 15-20 minutes. Both of these sit at the front of the room. After the speaker, anyone who wants to can "share". You just speak up. You're encouraged to keep it quite brief, so that everyone has a chance to talk, however some meetings are more flexible than others in this regard.

    There is a bit of rhetoric at the start of the meeting, and it usually ends with the Lords Prayer. I'm atheist, I find it difficult to find the "higher power" required for AA to work. But, I still get benefit out of the meetings, almost every time. Whether I choose to speak at them or not. (There is no pressure to speak if you don't want to.)

    Be aware that a bag will be passed around for a collection, as AA is self-funding ... you can put in as much or little as you want, or nothing.

    A lot of people find more benefits from the chats before/after a meeting than from the meeting itself, so don't be afraid to arrive early.

    It's easy to find meetings online, as a beginner I'd advise you to go for the regular meetings rather than the "Steps" or "Big Book" ones, they're clearly marked on the website.

    Finally, I'd strongly suggest you give Lifering a go as well as (or instead of AA.) Lifering is less well known and has a much more positive spin than AA. I find both of great benefit to me - AA is good when I need to consider my past, Lifering is good when I'm feeling positive and appreciate a bit of a boost! Loads of info on the websites for both.

    Hope some of that helps. :) Feel free to PM me if you want any more info!




  • I suppose it's the fear of them making me talk about myself or having to stand up and say I'm an alcoholic which scares me.

    And just to clarify, you don't "have" to do anything.

    You do not have to talk; it's perfectly acceptable to just listen, especially for newcomers. (Although of course you're more than welcome to speak.) But you will be put under NO pressure to do so.

    You do not stand up (or at least not at any meetings I've been to.) Most people start by saying "My name is **** and I'm an alcoholic", however this is not essential. Sometimes I start by saying "My name is **** and I have a problem with alcohol dependency." Sometimes I start by saying "My name is **** and I'm a problem drinker." Sometimes I simply start by saying "My name is ****" and go from there. No one has ever given out to me for any of this! It's all acceptable.

    You don't need to label yourself as an alcoholic to get help from and recover from your problems.




  • I am a recovered alcoholic, sober 14 years now. I am an active and very grateful member of AA :)

    My group isn't too focused on the sharing of random "feelings" or the like, we are what's known as a solution-focused group, meaning we share our experience with the program of recovery in the Big Book (AA's basic text). We focus on actions-and it's working very well for us, keeps our heads in the day, for living life One Day at a Time is truly a beautiful and effective way to live. In short: Once the problem of alcoholism has been understood and accepted, the AA program is then all about action, and when we start living right, it follows that we will begin to feel right as well.

    This is a good site, free, where you can hear some AA's share their experience:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/OdomtologyBooks

    And there are hundreds of meetings all over the country daily:
    http://www.alcoholicsanonymous.ie/Information-on-AA/Find-a-Meeting

    I do agree that meetings can vary widely, and if you attend some you don't feel suit you, just keep seeking and you are sure to find one that fits. Happy people that can laugh at themselves is often a good indicator you've landed somewhere good ;)

    Welcome and best of luck!




  • By the way, you mentioned going to your GP. If I were you, and if you're in the catchment area, I'd bypass them and get in touch with Stanhope Centre. You can self-refer, no need for GP. You may be waiting a couple of weeks for an appointment, but it's worth it - they provide support, counselling and education for both problem drinkers and concerned family members and friends. For everyone from - someone like you - who isn't quite sure if they've a drinking problem, to hardcore alcoholics. They are absolutely amazing and I couldn't recommend them highly enough.

    They're HSE funded by the way, so no fees involved (unless you were to end up doing the six-week residential programme, which costs €100 per week - still pretty damn reasonable!)




  • OP AA can be one of many tools used in your fight against your addictions, it's a great source of support and for most it's great being around like minded people who have the same goals as you, as been said sometimes the talking before and after the meeting can be very supportive and helpful.


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  • Your story sounds very similar to mine. I was drinking too much wine in the evenings from Wed to Fri then usually a bingey night out on Saturday. I would never be able to predict what way the night would go. Sometimes I'd be fine and come home at a decent time without having gone to crazy other nights I would black out and be out for hours often with no recollection of any of it and be in a terrible state of anxiety and depression for days afterwards.

    I drank out of boredom and to stem anxiety that I wasn't even really aware was there. I seemed to be putting a lot of effort into managing my drinking over the last 10 years. Trying not to drink the full bottle or trying not to drink on a Monday or Tuesday. There were criteria I had that would make it a problem and I felt that if I stuck to a plan then I could convince myself that it wasn't a problem. I can see now looking back that when you have to put that much thought into your drinking it's not a good sign. Anyway it all came crashing down around me when I had my first baby in 2014. Suddenly I didn't have the energy to 'manage' my drinking and I started to drink more often. All of my nights out became messy affairs and after the final night I just surrendered. At first it was because I didn't want my sons childhood to be influenced by alcohol in any way but now I'm doing this for myself.

    I haven't drank in 9 months. I have yet to attend an AA meeting for a variety of reasons. I'm not ruling them out completely but for the stage that I was at I didn't feel that they were a good fit for me. Instead I have been attending a therapist, listening to podcasts, reading drinking memoirs, reading blogs and am a member of a closed private Facebook group of mostly women who talk about everything connected with drinking and giving it up. They are mostly made up of American, Canadian and some British women. Very few Irish but I have a feeling that's going to change soon. You can use an anonymous name there which helps. I think Ireland is very badly lacking in alternative options for people experiencing problems with their drinking, particularly those in the early to middle stages. Our culture doesn't support us giving up until we are physically addicted or having major consequences like drink driving or losing a job.

    Here are a list of some of the things I mentioned above that I have found helpful and they might help you too:

    Podcasts:
    The Bubble Hour
    Home

    Blogs:
    Unpickled
    Mr's D is going without
    Hip Sobriety
    I fly at night

    Books:
    Drink, a love story
    Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnson
    Blackout by Sarah Hepola
    *there are many more of these but once you get started you'll find them easily anyway.

    If you google any of them you should find the links. Congrats on coming to this conclusion. It's a bumpy road but I can honestly say I am so much healthier and happier and enthusiastic about my life than I have ever been before. Good luckx




  • Well done, there's a lot more stigma about being a female alcoholic and ESPECIALLY about being one with a child. My son was also born in 2014, I've still a way to go on the road to recovery but I'm on the right track and doing all the right things!

    You're dead right that you NEED to do it for you and not for your son - your problem is not a reflection of how much you love or care for him. I couldn't even begin to recover until I finally accepted and believed that, and I still get quite annoyed when people say to me that I need to get better for his sake ... it was said to me only yesterday and I had to set the person straight. People say it and mean it well but have no idea how damaging and counter-productive it can be. If I could magic away all of my addiction and psychiatric problems JUST by thinking about how much I love my son, I'd never have developed those problems in the first place. For a vulnerable mother with these issues, it can really make you question yourself. Yes, I have issues with alcohol and my mental health BUT I also love and adore my son and am a good mother ... the two concepts are not mutually exclusive, so long as you tackle the problems with all tools and resources available to you and don't just ignore the problem.

    Sorry for going off on a tangent there! :o




  • Just by way of an alternative to AA you might give Life Ring a look. Its a secular based group that tries to focus on the week just passed and the coming week. I find it a fantastic support.

    dublinlifering.com




  • Sorry for going off on a tangent there! :o[/QUOTE]

    Not at all I totally understand. Both are most definitely mutually exclusive. Well done to you too. At the start I used to think 'why did I not sort this before I had him when it would have been so much easier' but the truth is it was actually easier to lie to myself that it wasn't a real problem until he arrived. He made me face my reality.




  • Lady Mac wrote: »
    a member of a closed private Facebook group of mostly women who talk about everything connected with drinking and giving it up. They are mostly made up of American, Canadian and some British women. Very few Irish but I have a feeling that's going to change soon.

    Hi there, I'm not sure how closed FB groups work, can you PM me how I could get in touch with this group please? Thanks!


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  • Hi there, I'm not sure how closed FB groups work, can you PM me how I could get in touch with this group please? Thanks!

    Actually I'd be interested in joining too please! :)




  • I'm not 100% sure how to add you both but leave it with me and I'll get back to you asap x




  • Hi, I'm trying to find womens only AA meetings. Does anyone have info on these?

    Thanks




  • greenexile wrote: »
    Hi, I'm trying to find womens only AA meetings. Does anyone have info on these?

    Thanks

    I'm not sure if there are any women's only AA but I know Lifering in St.John of Gods have one on a Wednesday night. I've been to one and it was a lovely group.




  • Hi all,

    Just bumping this thread as I too am having personal difficulties.
    I'm 34 and most of my friends are settling down / having kids, etc., and I'm still getting wrecked every Friday and Saturday only to spend the rest of the week trying to understand the world. The cycle is never-ending. Plus, I'm spending ridiculous amounts of money and ruining my health in the process. My behavior has become more reckless recently too, so I can't disguise it any longer - I defo have a problem.

    I've been to counseling and even went to an AA/NA meeting back in 2014 after a particularly huge bender. The counseling was beneficial in some ways for obvious reasons, but after 3 sessions I never went back.
    I was considering approaching a family member who has had friends with similar issues in the past, but I feel extremely ashamed. This is for a number of reasons but mainly because I can't deal with it on my own. Also, I would hate for my folks to know because they're getting quite old and I wouldn't want them to worry.

    I've been thinking about heading to a Lifering meeting for some time now, I just need to work up the balls to actually go and then if I do to continue attending and get serious about it.

    If anyone had any info or could point me in the right direction, I'd be extremely grateful.




  • whoopa14 wrote: »
    Hi all,

    Just bumping this thread as I too am having personal difficulties.
    I'm 34 and most of my friends are settling down / having kids, etc., and I'm still getting wrecked every Friday and Saturday only to spend the rest of the week trying to understand the world. The cycle is never-ending. Plus, I'm spending ridiculous amounts of money and ruining my health in the process. My behavior has become more reckless recently too, so I can't disguise it any longer - I defo have a problem.

    I've been to counseling and even went to an AA/NA meeting back in 2014 after a particularly huge bender. The counseling was beneficial in some ways for obvious reasons, but after 3 sessions I never went back.
    I was considering approaching a family member who has had friends with similar issues in the past, but I feel extremely ashamed. This is for a number of reasons but mainly because I can't deal with it on my own. Also, I would hate for my folks to know because they're getting quite old and I wouldn't want them to worry.

    I've been thinking about heading to a Lifering meeting for some time now, I just need to work up the balls to actually go and then if I do to continue attending and get serious about it.

    If anyone had any info or could point me in the right direction, I'd be extremely grateful.

    I know this might seem extreme to you but it sounds like you are really struggling. Have you considered a rehab centre like cuan mhuire? It's a huge step but you would have the company if others and lots of support and a break away from the stresses of life to focus on yourself. The first step as they say is recognising alcohol has gotten the better of you but don't feel ashamed because that will only make you feel worse. Even the fact you're contemplating making a change is a brave step. If going away is not an option if you are near bray or near the dart line/bus line BCAT in bray is fantastic. Also chat to your GP a decent GP will give you support, monitor your health and let you know of there are any other support groups that could help you. Don't be worrying just head to a meeting, you might try a few different ones till you find one you click with but you'll find you will be welcome and don't forget all the people there have been in the same boat, some worse a d some it could be their first time there too. Once you make it a routine and part of your life you will become stronger and more clear as to what you want. As said do visit a good GP quitting cold turkey isn't healthy so you need to be under the care of a GP plus you'll probably be asked to pop back so having regular appointments with your GP can give you some structure too. Hope that helps. You can do it, talk to a friend you will be amazed everyone has a story of a family member who struggled, people are more understanding than you'd think once you open up




  • greenexile wrote: »
    Hi, I'm trying to find womens only AA meetings. Does anyone have info on these?

    Thanks

    There are none as this would breach several of AA traditions and principles, mainly Tradition 3. And besides the solution is the same regardless of age, sex, religion or gender bias.




  • aabarnes1 wrote: »
    There are none

    Not true, there is a women's meeting Monday nights in Ranelagh, I will post when I get the details, pretty sure there is a few more around the city as well.They do exist, same with gay meetings, i.e:

    (Dublin City)Capel Street L.G.B.T.


    http://www.alcoholicsanonymous.ie/information-on-aa/Find-a-Meeting


    And here is the women's meeting link:

    Ranelagh Mountainview Road Stars Don't Fall Group : Monday's @ 7pm

    http://www.alcoholicsanonymous.ie/information-on-aa/Find-a-Meeting




  • aabarnes1 wrote: »
    There are none as this would breach several of AA traditions and principles, mainly Tradition 3. And besides the solution is the same regardless of age, sex, religion or gender bias.

    Apologies, I stand corrected However no-one can be excluded from any AA group.




  • Amazingfun wrote: »
    Not true, there is a women's meeting Monday nights in Ranelagh, I will post when I get the details, pretty sure there is a few more around the city as well.They do exist, same with gay meetings, i.e:

    (Dublin City)Capel Street L.G.B.T.


    http://www.alcoholicsanonymous.ie/information-on-aa/Find-a-Meeting


    And here is the women's meeting link:

    Ranelagh Mountainview Road Stars Don't Fall Group : Monday's @ 7pm


    http://www.alcoholicsanonymous.ie/information-on-aa/Find-a-Meeting

    Quite correct, apologies. However you would have to question why you feel the need for a speciality meeting...


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  • aabarnes1 wrote: »
    Apologies, I stand corrected However no-one can be excluded from any AA group.

    Nobody is excluded from a meeting but the pre amble states it is a womans, GAY, mens group.

    Inclusivity as you stated tradition 3 only require is a desire to stop drinking.




  • aabarnes1 wrote: »
    Quite correct, apologies. However you would have to question why you feel the need for a speciality meeting...

    There is many reasons and on the context of identification, Women in the fellowship sometimes feel personal female issues are best kept to females, Same with folk who identify as GAY.




  • Nobody is excluded from a meeting but the pre amble states it is a womans, GAY, mens group.

    Inclusivity as you stated tradition 3 only require is a desire to stop drinking.

    The long form is much better, really ;)

    "Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought AA membership ever depend on money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."
    -Third Tradition, Long Form, 1946




  • Amazingfun wrote: »
    The long form is much better, really ;)

    "Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought AA membership ever depend on money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."
    -Third Tradition, Long Form, 1946

    What does that mean 'provided they have no other affiliation'? Does that mean a member of AA cannot be involved with any other support group or one on one counselling etc.? Or does it just mean they can't allow other groups traditions etc. effect or influence the running of AA?




  • Hi, basically it just means exactly what you said in the last part of your post, " can't allow other groups traditions etc. effect or influence the running of AA". As well as not having any attachment or motives to another organization using the AA name. We cant exclude anyone from AA, they are members if they say they are. We cannot judge anyone nor can we make an AA out of a non-alcoholic. Remember, the 1st 3 chapters of the big book including the docs opinion are basically written for you decide if you are one of us, if you decide that you are not after reading that part of the book, then AA as a fellowship is more than likely not the place for you.It's a decision for you ultimately.
    They had to write this tradition, as in the early days there were too many groups with so many different rules and some groups would not allow anyone in if they had issues other than alcohol, they had alcohol issues alright but were denied the chance of recovery, so Bill wrote the 3rd tradition to stop this kind of thing.




  • its one thing to stop drinking its a second thing to live a full and happy life which is hard without alcohol. AA taught me how to embrace and enjoy life without Alcohol, as a pessimist about the whole AA thing before going it saved my life and changed it in a way I can only wish I did many years before I took the plunge, but hey better late than never.


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