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Thread: One Day at a Time - Do You Know Bill W?

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    Default One Day at a Time - Do You Know Bill W?

    Thought I would put this up for anyone who wants to stop by and bs. Life, problems, whatever, anything related to alcohol or too much partying, what you did about it, and how you are dealing with it now. If that's you, c'mon in.

    I was on the fence about it, but my life story is already out in cyberspace anyway. No point in hiding now. Maybe some people can be helped by this, maybe not.

    I had another place where I used to stop in, I miss some of those guys. There was some good stuff in that thread, one of the things that I liked about the place. Life goes on. I don't go to meetings that much anymore, but still try to take life one day at a time. I'll give it a shot and try to come here when I can.

    Anyone who feels funny about putting things out on the internet, you can always pm. I'll help if I can.

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    Hey Dark, Thanks for getting this started. When I first came across a thread like this on another site, I thought it might help. That thread has thousands of posts and many, many guys have been helped. Coming to grips with a problem means knowing that alcohol or drugs are hurting your life, health and relationships. Maybe this is a place people can come to check out their thoughts. We drunks come with many backgrounds and stories. Some of mine make me laugh when I tell them but there is a sad ache of the life I missed living in a haze. Recovery started with a couple of simple words. "My name is Mick and I'm an alcoholic".

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    Yup, Mick, my name is Dark, and I'm a recovering alcoholic.

    Found this cool online site with thoughts for the day:

    November 27, 2008

    Thankfulness

    How thankful I am today, to know that all my past failures
    were necessary for me to be where I am now.
    Through much pain came experience and, in suffering, I became obedient.
    When I sought God, as I understand Him, He shared His treasured gifts.
    Through experience and obedience, growth started,
    followed by gratitude.
    Yes, then came peace of mind -- living in and sharing sobriety.




    For today, I am thankful for all the people who extended their hand to me in the beginning years. I was lost, and had no idea where to begin. I have gone back to those rooms from time to time, and many are no longer there. There's a completely new crop of people, like the new session of school in the fall.

    But it's a lifelong "school" and learning experience for us. We can always learn from others.

    I wanted to wish all the members here and their families a great Thanksgiving and Holiday Season! This time of year I seem to notice others who are less fortunate. With the way the economy is going, I seem to see mopre people down on their luck. You can't help everyone, but a few words of kindness can go a long way. It feels good, and your kindness might be the spark that other person needed.

    Just the other day, I was talking about some people who helped me years ago when I was down on my luck, One of them was in LE, Mr B. Those were some dark days back then, and he pulled me aside and said, Rich, you screwed up, but you'll make it out of this. Life goes on.

    And it does, so I wanted to try and put some words out there for the people who may be suffering this Holiday Season. If your life looks like it can't get any worse, talk to someone, try to listen to the advice of others.

    It can get better, and it will, if you work it. Don't give up, think of the people who will miss you if you're gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mick2360 View Post
    Some of mine make me laugh when I tell them but there is a sad ache of the life I missed living in a haze.

    I couldn't have said that any better, Mick. We all have some outrageous war stories. I know the focus is on today, but when I think of all the quality time that I threw away living in that haze, wow. Good to keep the memory green.

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    Lots of wisdom in understanding how addiction and mistakes helped make us the men that we are today. If you are suffering today, please believe me that it can get better. I remember the feeling of hopelessness and I expected it to change immediately when I tried to stop drinking. Sometimes I would fail and start to drink all over again; sometimes for a year, then a few months and gradually with longer periods of abstinence in between. AA was always an open door. People would show me the steps, encourage questions and provide guidance. Those of you who are fellow drunks probably know how I reacted to guidance but eventually, I was able to stop altogether. It has been sixteen years. The life that I have today is beyond my wildest dreams and I am very, very grateful for the chance for a life.

    No matter where you are today, if you are doing things that hurt yourself and those that you love there is help. Jump on, make yourself known we can talk about the journey we know as recovery. There is no shame in recognizing that your life needs to change. Happy Thanksgiving. May your life get better from this day forward.

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    Thought for the day:

    November 28, 2008

    On The Edge

    No one who drank as I did wakes up on the edge of the abyss one morning
    and says: Things look pretty scary; I think I'd better stop drinking before I fall in.
    I was convinced I could go as far as I wanted,
    and then climb back out when it wasn't fun anymore.
    What happened was, I found myself at the bottom of the canyon
    thinking I'd never see the sun again.
    AA didn't pull me out of that hole.
    It did give me the tools to construct a ladder with Twelve Steps.






    People talk about hitting bottom. I hit bottom many times, only I convinced myself each time it wasn't the bottom. I would screw up, feel terrible about it, and rationalize it wasn't that bad. People talk about banging your head against the wall and achieving the same results. I had to have my head smashed against a wall, and face death, before it was enough to scare me straight.

    Words and logic from others did nothing, no matter how well-meaning they were. I had to learn life's hard lessons by myself. Remembering where I came from, and how hard it was to get out of there, helps me to keep my memory green and to stay sober today.

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    November 29, 2008

    Escape Act

    I was at a dead halt - spiritually, mentally, and physically.
    Depression smothered my muffled thinking even more. . .
    Thank God I never gave up on meetings,
    so my Higher Power finally got through to me.
    I realized I'd been playing the great escape act all this time.
    I know now I have a lot of work to do.





    I knew that routine well. The good thing was that meetings were kind of the thing that saved me from further trouble. At first people said make 90 in 90 days. So many people have trouble with that, they think: How the heck can I make so many, I have a life to live, I'm busy, dammit!

    Letting something or someone take priority over out sobriety is part of the cunning, baffling, and powerful nature of our addictions.

    There are times when meetings don't fit the person - guys will say to me, yeah I know I should be going, but the people at that one I go to down the street are a'holes.

    Well, find another street, and another meeting.

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    November 30, 2008

    Seeking Serenity

    The program may not always be easy to practice,
    but I had to acknowledge that my serenity had come to me
    after working the Steps.
    As I work the Steps in everything I do,
    practicing these principles in all my affairs,
    now I find that I am awake to God, to others, and to myself.


    Thought to Ponder....

    Serenity isn't freedom from the storm;
    it is peace within the storm.






    The thing about serenity for me, is that I don't view it as a goal or milestone. Otherwise it's too difficult. Instead I look at it as a gradual process.

    The stuff about God I have been reading in the AA site I am doing the c&p from is a little heavy. Honestly, some of ythat turns me off at times. The way I look at these readings is to take what you want from them, and kind of minimize the rest.

    I remember on another site there was a guy who was against the concept of meetings and God. He was so strongly set in his thinking, calling the meetings "brainwashing sessions". He was viewing people in recovery as being under some kind of mind control, so he naturally was against it. I think some of his resistance was hurting him in a negative sense because he closed his mind to all of the possibilities.

    The cool thing about meetings and trying to recover is no one tells you exactly what to do unless you ask for advice. Just take what you want, leave the rest, that's what works for me.

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    There's a lot to be said for taking what you can and leaving the rest; except that alcoholics and addicts are notoriously willful men and women. It took me awhile to humble myself enough to put myself under the guidance of another person who had been successful in achieving sobriety. Mustering up that level of trust was difficult, just not as difficult as dealing with the wreckage caused by my ongoing drinking.

    As far as the thought to ponder, now, fifteen years later, i know that I am not immune to the troubles of life. I do know to keep calm, do not drink and keep taking appropriate steps to whatever I am dealing with. Life gets better and when there is a loss to be dealt with, I know that I am in a better place to deal with it. When I was drinking, honor and dignity were about not losing face and never, never taking a step back. Now they mean showing up, doing my level best and treating others fairly no matter what the situation. Honor and dignity come from meeting the standards I have set for my life, not meeting the expectations of others.

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    3 1/2 years sober today.

    It's all grace.

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    December 1, 2008

    One Among Many

    As a lifelong know-it-all, people-pleaser, caretaker, mind-reader,
    problem-fixer, and control freak,
    I am incredibly susceptible to believing my own propaganda.
    Of course, pretty soon someone lets me know that I am very dispensable,
    and my input or advice isn't needed, thank you very much.
    When I go to meetings, I am reminded that I am one among many.
    This is truly a "we" program.





    Some of the dangerous thinking we get into as alcoholics is that we are unique, and no one could possibly have the same problems as us due to our uniqueness. Uniqueness is to be prized when you are talking about creative pursuit, art, hobbies, stuff like that.

    But the more I distanced myself from other peopel because they didn't drink the same thing I did, or ingest the same substances I did, the more I was isolating myself.

    A good friend once said to me he couldn't possibly be an alcoholic because he went to a better school than me, and didn't grow up hanging out with street people like I did. He looked as alcoholics as winos in the streets, and only viewed addicted people as those with needles in their arms, or the ones you see hanging outside the methadone clinics. Those were the "messed up" ones. Since he didn't have those same circumstances in his life, he was ok.

    He's dead now, partly because he didn't want to open up about his alcoholism and other things bothering him.

    An intelligent guy, too intelligent for his own good. Anyone ever recall hearing that phrase?

    So I know that no matter what my different experiences are, I am the same as every recovering alcoholic and addict out there. Deep down, we all go through some of these same feelings of isolation, desperation, remorse, self-doubt, and feelings of powerless from time to time.

    One of the things that sticks with me is when I first went to meetings they had all these corny phrases. Now they ring true in my head at certain times. The one that comes to mind after today's reading is:
    "Together, we can do something I cannot do alone"
    Alcoholism is sometimes described as "self-will run riot".

    Sometimes it's good to tune in and not only hear, but listen to the experiences of others. It helped me. If you're willing to listen, it can help you too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mick2360 View Post
    There's a lot to be said for taking what you can and leaving the rest; except that alcoholics and addicts are notoriously willful men and women. It took me awhile to humble myself enough to put myself under the guidance of another person who had been successful in achieving sobriety. Mustering up that level of trust was difficult, just not as difficult as dealing with the wreckage caused by my ongoing drinking.

    Mick, your point about alcoholics and addicts being notoriously willful is more accurate than what I said, and right on the money.

    Many alcoholics will not humble themselves to the advice of complete strangers. They say the first thing we should do when hitting a meeting is shut up and listen. Alcoholics who want help need to realize that the advice being given to them comes from not from theory, but from the school of hard knocks.

    So my advice about taking what you want and leaving the rest came from that other site where G started that thread. Once in a while, someone would come in and slam the thread, or AA, because they felt we were brainwashed, or they didn't agree with the principles and practices of AA., or the mention of God, etc, etc

    Some would say those people need to suffer more before they are ready to listen. If they're still arguing with people who have years of sobriety, maybe they arent ready? That's where the shades of grey come in. I believe everyone deserves a second chance to repair their lives. Some don't see it as a chance, they come in kicking and screaming.

    Bottom line, I agree they should listen to everything they're told, but how do you deal with people who are still active and negative on 90% of the program, or negative on it because they hear "God" mentioned too much? I feel they should come in anyway and look around, even if they aren't ready. You never know what will rub off, or when someone will come back and say - "Ya know, that thing you were talking about just hit me, now I understand..."

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    yeah it's funny how over there one guy would say "too much God stuff" and another would say "you're worshipping the group and not God at all."

    maybe cuz there's so many members it's like instant argument no matter what is said.

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    Jon, Great to see you here! Keep coming back!

    Dark, There is a lot of disagreement over various aspects of a twelve step program. I was lucky; I was sick enough and desperate enough to follow advice. It saved my life. We come from different angles on the God aspect of the program. Acknowledging that and putting it aside, agreeing to disagree if you will, there is still a lot I can learn from you. How can I not respect a man who carries a googan bucket with such confidence and dignity?

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    BE the bucket

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    A Sixth Sense

    A genuine sense of humor touches, tastes, hears, sees,
    and even smells the world in a unique way, a kind and colorful way.
    This new sixth sense AA meetings have given me is a blend of awe, wonder,
    and gratitude -- a magic potion, you could say.
    Behind this glow of laughter and acceptance is the light of forgiveness.
    A sense of humor transforms restless, irritable, and discontented sobriety
    into quality sobriety.
    "We aren't a glum lot," the Big Book says. Now I know why.


    Thought to Ponder....

    Take time to laugh -- it is the music of the soul.



    They say laughter is the best medicine. If we can laugh at out troubles and disappointmentments in life, sometimes that is all that is needed to take stock, regroup, and move on.

    The life of an alcoholic is marked by resentments and jealousies. I have dealt with many people who held irrational jealousies. There have been times when my resentments prevented relationships from being the best they could be with other people. Learning to let go of these is not easy, but it is a healthy process.

    And laughter is like a natural medicine. I love to laugh, make fun of me anytime you want, I ball bust people whenever I can.

    Life is so short that it's no fun to go throughout it serious all the time. Fun is precious as long as we are not hurting or disrespecting anyone else at the expense of our fun. They say it takes more muscles to frown than smile, so pass along a good joke to a friend today, it may be the one thing that brightens their day. You never know when will be your last day on earth - live it like it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSkies View Post
    The life of an alcoholic is marked by resentments and...irrational jealousies.
    yeah that was me.

    still struggle with the irrational part. and resentments. not so much jealousies anymore. but i know as soon as i say that, i'll be given a chance to eat my words.

    at least i won't deal with it by going off somewhere with a half case.

    thanks for the heads up

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    December 3, 2008

    Carry The Message!

    Carry this message to other alcoholics!
    You can help when no one else can.
    You can secure their confidence when others fail.
    Remember they are very ill.
    Life will take on new meaning.
    To watch people recover, to see them help others,
    to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you,
    to have a host of friends -- this is an experience you must not miss.
    We know you will not want to miss it.





    What this means to me is that I must help others. If they don't ask, there is nothing I can do. If they do ask, I am obligated. There were so many people who helped me in the beginning of my recovery. I was in my darkest hours then. It can't get any darker than that.

    Even though life today is no picnic, it's better than where I was. I didn't know how to ask for help, I didn't want help, and I thought I was beyond help. Today, I still have trouble asking for help, sometimes I let my pride get in the way. But that's the foolishness of beeing an alcoholic or in addiction, we deny we need help when we need it most.


    As I said, many helped me in the beginning. I could not have done it without them and my willingness to try this concept of "surrender". People continue to help me to this day, sometimes when I least expect it. This blows me away. I am continually amazed by the generosity of people, many whom were once strangers and have become friends.

    In this same manner I am obligated to help others. Someone asks, and I must do the best I can to deliver the message. I have to think of the gratitude I have toward those strangers who were williing to help me, and pay it forward. I know there are people reading this who might benefit. Some might read it for entertainment, waiting for me to screw up or whatever. I have already screwed up more than most earth people out there. I take a risk putting all this stuff on the internet, but I don't care. Some have pm'd or emailed me and said this is a good thread. I wish more people might jump in, even if they don't think of themselves as alcoholics, but that's up to them.

    Meanwhile, I will try to put the message and these daily thoughts out there. If anyone had any issues they are dealing with, and feels putting it out there is too personal, you can always pm me privately. I will do whatever I can to provide help, advice, or try to give you any resources you need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonthepain View Post
    yeah that was me.

    still struggle with the irrational part. and resentments. not so much jealousies anymore. but i know as soon as i say that, i'll be given a chance to eat my words.

    at least i won't deal with it by going off somewhere with a half case.

    thanks for the heads up
    You said it, Jon. The life of an alcoholic is like a tribute to Murphy's Law sometimes, whatever can go wrong will go wrong. The last 2 days have been one fiasco ofter another for me, but like you said, at least we won't be drinking over it.

    I have the same struggles with resentments and jealousies, I think we wouldn't be human if life was perfect for us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mick2360 View Post
    How can I not respect a man who carries a googan bucket with such confidence and dignity?

    Hey man I told ya I was easy to find. Here's the pic, effumall.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 002.JPG  

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