How did you recover?

#1

Hi lovely sober people,

I am 20 days sober today and trying to remain hopeful, positive, grateful, but I am failing. Every sober day I feel worse. Mentally I am at the lowest I’ve been in a very long time. May is a particularly difficult month for me with Mother’s Day and the anniversary of my mother’s suicide.

I am going to the same AA meeting every week, going early to help set up, staying late to clean up and chat but I do not know how to progress in the program. These women are amazing and welcoming but I guess I just don’t know what kind of help I should be asking for. Do I need to put a certain amount of time in before asking for a sponsor? Should I be worried about accepting a sponsor that I do not know at all? Is it better to wait and get to know the people in my group before jumping into a sponsorship?

I don’t want to rush but I am worried that if I don’t start working on my shit I am going to relapse. I am sober but still very very broken.

Anyone care to share how they began to recover and not just live sober?

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#2

Hey Jane, i have been clean and Sober now for 4 years. I go to meetings with my sponsor. I do step work and apply them to my everyday life. I surround myself with people in Recovery just like me. Yes everyday is a struggle but remember that everyday you wake up its another day day clean and Sober

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#3

Have you shared about how difficult May is for you? Just saying it to a room of people, even though they aren’t responding back, could make a HUGE difference for you.

As for sponsor…some people get a sponsor the first day. I am at almost 6 months and still no sponsor. I think considering how you are feeling a sponsor would be extremely helpful. She can help you navigate this mentally low days.

Stay strong. Just remember that a drink will NOT make you feel any better. It just delays the inevitable. You need to feel these emotions even if they are hard. “You have to go through it to get to it”!!

You can do this.

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#4

Hey there, welcome! Well done on 20 days! You deserve to be proud of the progress you have made already.

For me, I threw myself into my recovery. That includes sometimes more than 1 meeting a day (I maxed out at 4 in a day when I was really struggling around xmas), listening to AA speaker tapes (free on youtube), spending a lot of time on this app reading and posting, and reading books (AA book Living Sober really helped me very early on).

As for sponsorship, that is very individual. I was going to daily meetings for about 6 weeks before I asked someone to be my sponsor. Before that, I talked a lot at meetings, sharing what I was feeling and how I was struggling, I asked for advice about sponsorship, and, importantly, I began connecting with the women outside of meetings. We swapped phone numbers and called/texted each other daily to check in.

Recovery is a long process, but all these things helped me get stronger and keep fighting to get through the days. Then it gets easier and then it gets different.

well done for going to so many meetings, getting there early and staying late. You are right where you are supposed to be, so just stay the course and keep staying away from the first drink. Feel free to reach out anytime :slight_smile::hearts::bird:

#5

Thank you! It is encouraging to see so many people on this forum with so much sober time.

#6

Thank you @VSue . I guess I wasn’t sure if I was welcome to speak since I don’t really have much sober time. Are there rules about not sharing until you have a certain amount of time? I’ve kind of just felt like I’m there to listen and take any offered advice.
I think I need to ask for help I just don’t know how.

#7

Also feeling these feelings f*cking sucks. I know that sounds childish but ah! Can’t I avoid them? Kidding, of course…

#8

Thank you @aircircle . I think jumping into more meetings like you did might really help me. I’m only going to one a week. The hour feels like 30 seconds and I find myself sitting there wishing it wouldn’t end. Also didn’t know about AA speaker tapes.

Connecting outside the meetings also sounds like a good step. I’ve had numerous women give me their phone numbers but felt I’d be invasive or rude reaching out. I haven’t built relationships or friendships for years, they were kind of impossible to maintain while being drunk all the time.

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#9

In my area, newcomers are welcome and ENCOURAGED to speak at meetings. It is important to share where you are at in the early days and it helps those with more time to be reminded of the challenges of very early sobriety. I found sharing my thoughts and feelings at every meeting very early on to be helpful, and also talking to the women before and after the meeting to let them get to know me, as for phone numbers, ask for advice and support etc to be very helpful to me. :hearts::bird:

#10

Trust me - they WANT you to reach out. Newcomers reaching out helps them stay sober. It is not invasive - they would be delighted to hear from you - I PROMISE!!

Once I started start texting and calling others, things got a lot better. I aimed to do 90 meetings in 90 days and went to a meeting most days and if I missed a day in a week, I doubled up another day. In my first 3-4 months, I went to 7-10 meetings a week. Now I am at 7 months, I am more like 5-8 a week.

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#11

I felt that same urge to get straight to it and think that made all the difference this time. I had made attempts to quit before, but never been so willing to jump right in and do whatever worked for others.

Getting a sponsor straight away is a good idea. How to go about it varies depending who you ask.

My first found me after I shared pretty early on. When he moved, we have a box you can put your name in to get one. I tossed my name in and got another (the guy I would have asked anyway, lol).

I was fortunate as he worked steps much more clearly than I could have imagined.

Between all that, there was lots of great suggestions around the forum, too. This lot is great!

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#12

Speaking at meetings is highly encouraged. It doesn’t matter if you are 1 minute sober or 10 years sober. Talking helps you to get things out that are bothering you and helps you to move forward. Remember that no one there is going to judge you based on what you say. They have all been in the same exact place you are. I. A month sober and go to 2 meetings a week and I share every single time. I feel that it’s important to share because you never know what you are going to say that’s going to give someone a different perspective or help them in their otherwise shitty part of recovery. Your speaking can helps someone 10 years sober as much as it can help someone with 1 minute. Plus it’s a good way to get out how you are feeling. Just last night a member spoke about how the last week was hard because 3 years earlier his wife passed away and he found himself doing the exact same things he did 3 years ago before she passed. What you talk about doesn’t always have to be about what’s being discussed, but how you are doing and feeling hard hard times you are having with your recovery. Good job on 20 days! Tomorrow is 21 days. Look forward to all of the good that is going to come from your sobriety. Don’t dwell on the past. The past is the past and it can’t be changed or altered, bit you can change your future. Keep it up and keep strong!!

#13

A person can share on their first day if they need to. I didn’t share for about 2 months because I was too afraid to speak up but there are no rules. The only rules are no cross talk (let the person talking speak without interruption) and don’t share a 2nd time until everyone has had a chance to share once.

#14

Congratulations on 20 days. My only advise is keep busy. It will get better as you get more days under you. Stay strong.

#15

Congratulations on your recovery best thing i ever did was go to aa … i got advice to go to as many meetings as possible and look 4 the lady who i could relate to and who i had a conection with… i jumped in so quick i choose the wrong sponsor i felt i couldn’t say what i wanted to say and as this is a programme of honesty i wanted to get it right so i got a new sponsor… shes the best ever … im so comfortable telling her anything… im greatful to my first sponsor she helped me on my way and ill always be greatful to her … im in aa even though i got addicted to crack and heroin… but thats the path alcohol took me too… good luck on your journey x x

#16

I’m four and a half months sober and just want to say that yes, it is possible to “not feel these feelings”. I don’t have all the answers, but after struggling with wanting to stop drinking and relapsing for 10 years, I had a mental shift from idealizing alcohol in any way to realizing that it truly did absolutely nothing for me. Since then, I have lived alcohol-free with zero struggle.

Part of this was through reading Annie Grace’s book This Naked Mind, but I think part of it was also just being fully ready to live differently. I changed my internal belief that I was a person who “needed” alcohol to help me cope with certain feelings or situations to seeing myself as a person who did not need alcohol at all and was no more interested in drinking it than I would be in drinking bleach.

I don’t know how getting there would work for you, but for me it came from critically examining my beliefs about alcohol and dismantling them.

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#17

Nice one @Larkspur.

Mindset. Just keep telling yourself that you no longer drink. You no longer need alcohol. @Jane.c.
Don’t listen to the voice that is telling you your missing alcohol. Or that your no fun any more, or that you can drink in moderation etc etc.
Beat that voice at its own game, I think they call it positive affirmations.

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#18

So I could go and just sit there and not open my mouth ? Like not for months if I didn’t want to? I didn’t know that x

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#19

Yes yes yes. Just sit there and not say a word. I promise no one forces you to do anything.

#20

Do you go to AA Geoff? I’ve read so many posts and profiles here I get mixed up . If so when did you start ?