Search for Addiction Treatment Centers Near You Forums Alcohol Abuse True reason why I won’t go to AA

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  • #30969
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I have been thinking about the reason why I refuse to go to AA. My main reason was my anxiety and panic attacks, being afraid of sitting in a room full of people during a long meeting. But I managed that before and I always could take some Valium/Xanax the first time.

    For many people the main problem is believing in God. Personally I don’t believe in God as a person, but I am not an atheist either, more agnostic, with some believe that our universe isn’t that organised and beautiful without a reason. So yes, I could believe in a Higher Power and follow the AA program.

    But yesterday I discovered the true reason and it’s step 1. I still somehow believe that I am not powerless over alcohol. I still have the feeling I can stop when it’s going too bad, that I will lower my consumption when my life will be better, that there will be no need to drink that often when my anxiety gets better.

    So what now? Do you really have to hit the bottom to believe in step 1? Do I have to lose everything to admit I am powerless? Do I have to wake up and drink a beer in the morning? When will the moment come to admit? It’s like my mind is split in half, one part constantly seeking recovery (like now) and one part telling me it’s not that bad, that drinking is something that people do.

    Just some thoughts on day 5.

    #160472
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Wow, you could have been describing me. I use anxiety as an excuse, too. I am also of the duality of brain that says, on one side, I have a drinking problem, but the other says it’s not that bad.

    I’d love to hear some wisdom from those in AA recovery about this.

    #160496
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    @nakur 1482501 wrote:

    But yesterday I discovered the true reason and it’s step 1. I still somehow believe that I am not powerless over alcohol. I still have the feeling I can stop when it’s going too bad, that I will lower my consumption when my life will be better, that there will be no need to drink that often when my anxiety gets better.

    So what now? Do you really have to hit the bottom to believe in step 1? Do I have to lose everything to admit I am powerless? Do I have to wake up and drink a beer in the morning? When will the moment come to admit? It’s like my mind is split in half, one part constantly seeking recovery (like now) and one part telling me it’s not that bad, that drinking is something that people do.

    Just some thoughts on day 5.

    Nakur,

    Denial of your alcoholism has kept you chained to addiction…

    Hopefully you will not have to hit rock bottom in order to be on the road to recovery…

    Think about it…How much pain are you willing to accept until you know you just can’t live in the chains if addiction?

    #160477
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    It’s the disease talking.

    “You aren’t like these people”
    “You’re just scared … things will settle down and you can go (come) back to it(me)”
    “Those AA people .. they’re some kind of cult … you don’t need this”
    “I just need to get these bills/this job/partner/family situation settled first”
    “Those people think EVERYBODY is an alcoholic”

    that’s the disease.

    the Self – knows.
    the disease … lies.

    nakur –
    at the same time – it’s great to see you embarking with honesty.
    that’s a good sign.

    #160468
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I had the same problem with Step 1 .

    Me, Powerless? I found the idea laughable and later repulsive. However, as my drinking continued to worsen and my options for relief became fewer and fewer, I decided perhaps to take a more in depth look at Step 1. I spoke with some of the “old timers” in the programme about it. I read up about it in the “12 Steps and 12 Traditions of AA”. I asked for Step 1 to be a topic during “Step meetings”.

    Little by little I began to develop my own understanding of what “powerless” means as defined in Step 1. In todays society we tend to think of “Powerless” as failure or impotence, we couple it with weakness and surrender but this is only true in context. In fact to my amazement the more I studied Step 1 the more I was able to identify just how many things I was Powerless over and identify the ones I did have power over.

    To give you an example, I am powerless over the weather, traffic, and peoples attitudes and yet these things all had the ability to spoil my day. In this equation the only thing I could possibly have any power over is how I allow these things to affect me. Being able to identify that which I am truly powerless over has been able to empower me. It is one of the great paradoxes of Step 1 🙂

    Now getting back to the poerlessness as mentioned in Step 1. Being powerless over alcohol does not necessarily mean I do not have the power to say no every once in a while nor to pour the dang thing down the sink. No. I do have this power within me. But what I am really powerless over is the effect that alcohol has on my body once I start drinking it.

    If I could somehow drink alcohol and use my mind to will away the intoxicating effects so I would not get drunk and act stupid in front of complete strangers I could probably say that I had power over alcohol, but I cant. I can no more drink alcohol and not get drunk anymore than I can take poison and not get sick.

    I am powerless over the effects of alcohol once I put it into my body.

    If I could drink alcohol and not get drunk, I would not even be here.

    #160515
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I very much believe in God, however I do not believe and will never believe I am powerless. I have done my fair share of AA meetings, but I have done a lot of research and believe that any knowledge of addiction is empowering, which to me negates AA’s belief that we are powerless. I do not believe anyone should be shamed, guilted or belittled in order to recover. For me it works to leave religion out of my recovery. My god has given me the power and strength I need to remain sober. If I mess up or slip I will forgive myself and start a new.

    This is just my own experience with 12 step groups. There are many people who have benefited and will continue to benefit with the help and support of such groups.

    No, I do not believe you have to tell yourself you are powerless, lose everything or hit a bottom. I’m NOT romancing my own addictions but when I was drinking and even popping benzo’s like candy every day for 4 + years I never hit a bottom, didn’t bankrupt myself, I even have close friends who just notice I stopped drinking, and even some of my family won’t really acknowledge I am an addict. I have no real down and out stories of sleeping on park benches, being homeless. Hell I have more war stories from my xhb’s addiction to crack than I do my own addiction.
    You don’t need to HIT a bottom or lose anything, I believe the first step is just admitting you have a problem, if you have that down, you can then “choose” to correct it. There are some that need to “test” their problems to see if they are real, I think almost every addict does it. When I first sat and thought about my drinking I would say, ok, I’m not going to drink for a few days, and even though I would stay sober for those two days I found myself constantly thinking about it, counting down until the two days was up and then when it was up.. I had proved my point, only I didn’t.. LOL It took a bit more time for me really to understand that and I did so by reading, learning about addiction, learning that it is NOT a MORAL or sinful disease and ACKNOWLEDGING that I was not a bad person because I was different. That was the biggest eye opener for me. If I listened to people who told me I was sinning or that I had a “Moral defect” I’d be still drinking and feeling hopeless.
    I’m not morally defected. I was born an addict, each addictor I chose to use was in itself self-medicating of the underlying disease. If I chose to believe I was JUST an alcholic, would make sense I was a nicotineaholic, oxygenaholic, caffeineaholic.. see where I’m going with this? Each addictor I took in awoke the disease. I was in control ONLY when I learned about what made me tick, accept it and then change it.

    I’m not saying you should not give AA a chance, look at your reasons again why you don’t like to go, if there is a solution that will help you with that, do it. Give it a fair shake but make your decisions based on what YOU feel, not what everyone tellse you to feel. Yes, you will hear war stories and horror stories of other people’s bottoms, but that doesn’t make you different because you have not hit a “bottom”
    You simply know you have a problem, take it from there.

    #160470
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Greetings Nakur,

    I share the panic attack problem with you and before finding recovery, I used alcohol to control the panic attacks. In my case, there was some connection between the amount I was drinking and the panic attacks. I don’t know if the alcohol was the only cause, but I do know that I haven’t had a panic attack in the past (almost, very nearly, don’t want to jinx it) five years since I stopped drinking. Initially, I was prescribed Paxil by my therapist but I stopped that three years ago, so now it’s just me and a higher power.

    I think my participation in A.A. helped with the panic attacks because I had to get used to being in a room full of people and eventually even talking to a room full of people. You’d have to know how bad it was for me to appreciate what a miracle it is that I can stand in front of a room of people and talk without feeling like my body is going to shake and vibrate itself into a million little pieces.

    I also think that my alcoholism kept me from doing anything to treat the panic attacks. It’s not like I didn’t know that treatment for panic attacks was available, but I suspected that any treatment was going to start with me having to stop drinking and I did not want to stop drinking even though I pretty much had to drink in order to get through every day activities that most people take for granted.

    Vicious Circle.

    It’s not just that I was powerless over alcohol (or my addiction as we say in N.A.), it’s that my life was completely unmanageable when compared to people who were not in the grips of active addiction. Well adjusted, happy human beings do not live like I did, convinced that the thing which was slowly killing them was actually what they needed in order to survive.

    Anyways, that’s my experience. For me sober is better. Always.

    #160516
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    To give you an example, I am powerless over the weather, traffic, and peoples attitudes and yet these things all had the ability to spoil my day. In this equation the only thing I could possibly have any power over is how I allow these things to affect me. Being able to identify that which I am truly powerless over has been able to empower me. It is one of the great paradoxes of Step 1

    Now getting back to Step 1. Being powerless over alcohol does not necessarily mean I do not have the power to say no every once in a while nor to pour the dang thing down the sink. No. I do have this power within me. But what I am really powerless over is the effect that alcohol has on my body once I start drinking it.

    Ahh now to me that makes great sense. I like the way you explained this.

    I always thought step 1 should be broken down to 2 individual steps which would make it easier to understand
    1. Admit you are addicted 2. Make a conscious decision to change
    Thats just my opinion. I never related to the part about life being unmanageable because there are many out there like me who come to the conclusion they have a problem even before their life becomes unmanageable. I’m not sure of the statistics, I just know from my own experience, I never really hit a bottom or lost anything, but I knew I would..eventually.. if I kept on going.

    #160494
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Well Nakur,

    You don’t have to ‘hit bottom’ to go to AA, as a matter of fact, you can go to AA even if you are drinking. People have various opinions about this, but the truth is that some people do attend meetings ‘wet’. As far as I am concerned, they are the most important people in the room.

    I am not advising that you do this, I am just trying to point out that there are many in AA that have not yet ‘hit bottom’.

    The only requirement for membership is a DESIRE to stop drinking.

    You don’t have to sign anything, you don’t have to speak, you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to.

    You are a member if you say you are, and no-one can kick you out.

    Just go and listen, and form your own opinion.

    Best to you,

    Ted

    #160495
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    @Peter 1482535 wrote:

    I can no more drink alcohol and not get drunk anymore than I can take poison and not get sick.

    I am powerless over the effects of alcohol once I put it into my body.

    If I could drink alcohol and not get drunk, I would not even be here.

    Well said Peter!

    #160482
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    My god has given me the power and strength I need to remain sober.

    Doingwell my God has done the very same thing, with my God I am not powerless over alcohol until I have that first drink, once I have that first drink I am powerless.

    Do you have power over alcohol every time you have a drink?

    I don’t!

    #160469
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    But what I am really powerless over is the effect that alcohol has on my body once I start drinking it.

    Alcohol aside… the things we can learn at AA meetings are great tools for living life. I have found that the 12 steps help me in all areas of my life. What brings many people to the point of finding the steps is alcohol but even if alcohol wasn’t an issue… the 12 steps are great tools to gather together and use daily.
    That right there is the one benefit I have gained by finding out I am an alcoholic.

    #160510
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I can relate to this fully. I am not saying that I am an atheist, but I do not want to use religious arguments in my recovery. I think it is my day 5 too, used to binge drink, but now I enjoy being sober. Thanks for your post.

    #160517
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Do you have power over alcohol every time you have a drink?

    This is a tough one to answer and I don’t want to come off sounding like I am “different” but I did not always drink to get drunk. For me the drinking was self-medicating but just to the point of taking off the edge.
    NOW in all honesty if I had not made a choice to stop I knew enough about how addiction works to know I would have gotten there. I could almost always drink just 2 or 3 or how ever many I decided to drink without getting drunk. I had NOT reached a point of my life becoming unmanageable however I KNEW that it would get there if I kept going. I hope that makes sense. I’m not unique, I think I just saw the light of day in time for it not to get to the point of losing control.. it was inevitable.

    #160483
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I still somehow believe that I am not powerless over alcohol. I still have the feeling I can stop when it’s going too bad, that I will lower my consumption when my life will be better, that there will be no need to drink that often when my anxiety gets better.

    Nakur I felt very much like you for years on that powerless issue, so many people do not get what is really meant by that, I learned that the powerless over alcohol comes into play once I have that first drink.

    I was able to admit that I am powerless over alcohol once I have that first drink. Once I have that first drink I can not tell you what will happen next. I may not have another one or I may drink until I pass out.

    I was so far along in my alcoholism by the time I finally came to grips with that fact about me that I had no choice but to drink to even begin to feel normal. I had been sober for several months before I came to grips with the second part of step 1 that my life had become unmanageable, I thought that even though I had no power over alcohol once I had that first drink that I was still managing my life, in reality my wife was managing all aspects of my life except 2 things I continued to manage to do, work and drink!

    So what now? Do you really have to hit the bottom to believe in step 1? Do I have to lose everything to admit I am powerless? Do I have to wake up and drink a beer in the morning? When will the moment come to admit? It’s like my mind is split in half, one part constantly seeking recovery (like now) and one part telling me it’s not that bad, that drinking is something that people do.

    Nakur one hits bottom when they decide to stop digging. Everyones bottom is different, my bottom was at the edge of a cliff, rock bottom was at the bottom of that cliff, at the bottom of that cliff was everything I owned and cared about and my death. I still had it all materially, but it was hanging by a thread, I had lost everything spiritually, I had lost my pride, my self-esteem, my ego was busted, I had turned my back on my Higher Power whom I chose to call God, my life was ruled by alcohol! All I needed to do was continue to drink and off the cliff I went!

    Every persons bottom is different, one has hit thier bottom when getting and staying sober becomes more important then drinking, when one is willing to do what ever it takes to get and stay sober.

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