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Here's something I'd like some advice on. I have recently decided that I always turn to alcohol when things are bad, and many of my problems stem from this, so I have started going to AA. I'm the type who likes to formulate a plan and stick to it, so I've been thinking ahead to steps 8 and 9, because they are going to be the hardest. For those of you who don't know, step 8 is to make a list of those you have wronged and be willing to make amends, and step 9 is to attempt to make ammends to those on the list, as long as doing so does not cause injury to them or others. I am really not looking forward to that.

I was pretty evil to my ex-wife. She wasn't any better, but I realize now how much alcohol had to do with my part of things. I had a VERY explosive anger when I was younger, and a couple of times it got violent. My temper has calmed, but alcohol still impedes me from groing as a person. We DID NOT end on anything resembling good turns, and other than one or two e-mails, we have had NC at all for 7 years. Should I be concerned with how sending her a brief message may dredge up old pain, or should I just be more concerned with my own recovery and send her my appologies?

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If I may, I'd like to ask more about the actual addiction side of things, like how frequent your drinking was and what the habbits were?

 

PM me if you feel you would rather not discuss in public.

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I'm in Al-Anon, and I am not looking forward to making amends to my ex, who is an alcoholic. I'd rather never talk to him again.

 

But there's a reason we work the steps in order. We can't make amends to someone if we don't know why we treated them badly, which is why the moral inventory comes before the amends. We can't aplopgize for the defects we have until we ask our higher power to take them away, which is why that also comes before the amends. If we don't know what we're praying to be taken away and if we don't accept the fact htat we have defects we need to work through, then we can't make proper amends.

 

Do you have a sponsor? How long have you been in AA? Your sponsor will work the steps through with you and if he or she doesn't feel that direct amends toward your ex is necessary, your sponsor could very well have you make amends in other ways indirectly if there's a chance the amends would cause harm to her or yourself (which is why that part is added on to the step). In our program, that's how some sponsors do it (for instance, tehre's an ex I have who I'd have no idea how to reach whatsoever--changed number and moved away, no facebook or myspace or email that I know of, etc--so there's a chance that my sponsor will have me make amends to him in other ways). Remember, the amends are as much for you as they are the person youre making the amends with. Sometimes they're made just to clear your own conscious and to show you taht your HP is working for you through your program.

 

Do not put much focus on future steps until you get to them. One day at a time. Focus on the step you're on now and only that step. If yoyu haven't started your step work yet, get with your sponsor adn talk about when you could possibly start it or how you'll know you're ready to start them.

 

I just worked through my step one after a particularly trying week with my alcoholic mother and some other things I'm completely powerless against. It was very tedious for me to think through some of the questions but it helped me very much come to terms with what has happened to me in the recent week. I'm no where near ready to make amends with my mother yet, but I'm not worrying. It'll happen when my HP feels I'm ready to.

 

Hang in there, and please PM me if you ever need to talk some 12-step. Thoughts are with yoU!

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Drinking varies for me. In one living situation, depression combined with boredom had me drinking an 18 pack a night. After a particular bad breakup, I was at a particular bar SO regularly that one of the barteneder's would call me by 1130 or midnight if I wasnt in the bar yet, and once I did walk in and they saw me, my martini and beer would be sitting on the bar before I got there. I did go through a period of self improvement a couple years back, but once things got a little rough for me, I was right back to drinking. Pretty soon, any sort of emotion I felt was an excuse to drink. I'm upset, I drink, I want to celebrate something, I drink, I'm happy, I drink. I'm bored, I drink. I'm not drinking now, but its too soon for me to claim victory just yet. I just try to make it to tomorrow without a drink. I don't have so much a physical addiction, at least not as bad as some, as I've always been able to go days or weeks without a drink, but I still use it as a crutch, which is why I decided to go to AA. No one pressured me, and in fact many in my life might kinda look at me funny for doing it, but I never discussed it with anyone. Still, noone in my life knows I'm going. I'm waiting until the whole "making amends" part of it. I was just driving home (drunk, again) from the bar one night and told myself I no matter how hard I kid myself, my drinking is out of control, and I needed help. The next day I woke up, got to work, walked right up to my computer and looked up AA groups in my area.

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That's very noble. I can't add anything to help you because I'm trying to figure out if I should try a course myself. I certainly don't have a phisical dependancy but I do possess similar charecteristics as you descirbe.

 

I wish you the best of luck in any case.

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Remember that alcoholism is not as much about quantity as it is about quality. Here's something I wrote in a thread yesterday where someone is concerned about their father's drinking (re-posting for convenience):

 

alcoholism is much more about quality versus quantity. if his drinking is affecting the quality of his life and relationships and work (even if he's holding a job and being financially stable, he can still be an alcoholic), then it's safe to say he may have a problem. If someone is being hurt by his behaviour when he's drinking, then he may have a problem. if he's just drinking a couple drinks each night and still treats everyone kindly and with respect and not getting drunk, then he may just enjoy drinking.
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thanks hersmudders. I'm still very early in the process, but its helping. I haven't started my steps or gotten a sponsor. I'm enjoying the open disscussions, and preparing myself for the emotional turmoil that facing my past for the first time in my life is going to be. You are right, though, I need to really focus on the here and now, not on the next steps to be taken. I may take you up on your offer.

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thanks hersmudders. I'm still very early in the process, but its helping. I haven't started my steps or gotten a sponsor. I'm enjoying the open disscussions, and preparing myself for the emotional turmoil that facing my past for the first time in my life is going to be. You are right, though, I need to really focus on the here and now, not on the next steps to be taken. I may take you up on your offer.

 

I've been in Al-Anon 18 months now. I did a compare/contrast of how I reacted to my mom's DUI last week and how I reacted 18 months ago to what she did that brought me into the rooms initially (having to do with drunken recklessness also). The differences in how i handled it were astounding though the comparisons showed me some things I need to work on further. The program really works for me, but only if I work it.

 

Get yourself a sponsor whenever you can, even if it's just to ask questions about the program and to talk out anything you may need help with for the time being. Then you can either stay with that sponsor for your step work or get a new sponsor and talk about doing your step work with another one.

 

One day at a time. That's all you need to focus on right now. Good luck to you and I'm glad you're getting yourself the recovery you need.

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I agree with you. It does affect my quality of life. In drinking away my problems, I never delt with issues, and they crept back into my life. Sometimes I would roll out of bed and start drinking, drink nothing but beer all day long, wake up the next day so hungover and dehydrated that I would spend the day throwing up. Or I would drink so much that I wouldn't get up to go to the gym, or I'd sleep through my alarm and be late for work. Heck, I had one job where the manager in charge of my schedule only wrote me in for shifts starting after 5pm because he knew I'd more than likely be late or not show up at all for a morning shift. I wrecked my sister's mustang (and nearly killed myself in the process), I've done countless embarrassing and mean things to people while drunk. This is most certainly a QUALITY issue. My quality of life has been destroyed by alcohol, and I firmly believe that once I can deal with this, my quality of life will increase to a level I've never known before.

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addictions of any kind: alcohol, food, sex, ...even 'emotional' addictions like anger are ways to cover up issues.

 

at my ygga class was an interesting new approach to addiction in that it recognizes biochemical triggers too and has a more wholistic approach...I missed the workshop but the two fellows promoting their research have advanced degrees and have attended conferences on addiction with their new bent, too..

 

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your thoughts?

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