Saved from more than one visit near the gates of insanity or death

"We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health."
("Alcoholics Anonymous", page 133)


Tim's Story

I recovered from alcoholism in 1998 after 2.5 years becoming convinced I was an alcoholic of the hopeless variety. I have not had a drink since. We are convinced alcoholics can permanently recover.

Drinking for me came at an early age by some standards. I well remember the first time I drank enough alcohol to have effect. I was twelve years old and cooking dinner for my parents and three siblings. I had done this many times and was rather good at it. I was always looking for different ingredients to add to make the flavor better thereby winning the applause and praise of my family members. A popular cooking show came to mind and the cook of that particular show liked to use cooking sherry and also drink a little wine as she cooked. I didn’t know the difference between cooking sherry and wine and the later was what was available so I used some as an ingredient and I drank some.

Wow! What a feeling that stuff gave me! It felt like fire came out of my fingers and toes. The feeling was electrifying. Then I thought “This is what people feel like when they are drunk! I’m gonna have more of this stuff” and so I did.

For a long time I knew my drinking was somehow different from how other people drank. I thought it was cool to be able to drink more alcohol and at a faster rate than anyone else. It wasn't always cool for other people, however, the amount I drank. Some of my drinking companions started to be less willing to accompany me. A couple of years of learning how to "drink like a man" is all it took for me to notice my drinking behavior was different from other people. I wondered why other people could not or would not learn how to "drink like a man". Some of my friends would stop drinking after three or four drinks! I figured they were just lightweights and couldn't help it. Some of my friends said that maybe I shouldn't drink so much. Some of my friends even told me they thought I was an alcoholic. Lightweights...all of you. Why even drink if you're not going to get drunk. My drinking being somehow abnormal never even crossed my mind. I had an idea what it meant to be an alcoholic, so I was not alarmed about my drinking. I didn't fit in that box I called "alcoholic". I later found out that my idea of what an alcoholic is, was not accurate.

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As copied from a Chat Meeting on Sep 7 2015, 7:30 PM

Sarah: Hi, Tim!

Tim: Hi Sarah. Hi all.

Sue: Hi, Tim
JoeO: Hey, Tim!

Hey.

JoeO: Tell us about the "stop trying to stop drinking" deal!

I tried to stop drinking alot. I thought that was what I was supposed to do.
I kept drinking again and again.
I'd come back all beat up.
The people in our group told me to quit trying to quit.
I looked at them as if they had two heads.
I did not understand I could not quit.
After two and a half years....
drunk sober drunk sober...
I was on my way home from detox
Never wanting to drink again!
I got home and went to the refrigerator...
I was hungry and looked in the fridge
And there were 12 beers and a pint of whiskey.
Crap!
I took the beers out of the fridge
lined them up at the sink
Still not wanting to ever drink again.
I opened up one of the beers
went to dump it down the drain
and drank it instead
knowing it was a bad idea.
I took two beers and the pint
sat down in my filthy chair
and drank them...
then I remembered I never wanted to drink ever again.
I knew then that what my friends had said was true about me,
That one day......
I would drink again whether I wanted to or not.

Inserted from "Fred's Story": "As soon as I regained my ability to think, I went carefully over that evening in Washington. Not only had I been off guard, I had made no fight whatever against the first drink. This time I had not thought of the consequences at all. I had commenced to drink as carelessly as though the cocktails were ginger ale. I now remembered what my alcoholic friends had told me, how they prophesied that if I had an alcoholic mind, the time and place would come - I would drink again. They had said that though I did raise a defense, it would one day give way before some trivial reason for having a drink. Well, just that did happen and more, for what I had learned of alcoholism did not occur to me at all. I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots. I had never been able to understand people who said that a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then. It was a crushing blow." ("Alcoholics Anonymous", pages 41-42)

Back to Tim:

I knew then that I was a real alcoholic and had no defense against the 1st drink.
I ended up being able to take step 1 about 9 days later
After a little more of me beating me up with ego and pride and drinking and not wanting to.
There is more if you want to hear it.

JoeO: Keep going, if you wish, and anyone can interject a question or whatever.

I went to my sponsor's house...
On my way there I went by Phil's grocery store...
The thought came to me that "I never bought beer there before".
I bought a case of beer and went on to my sponsor's house.
We met for about 2 hours.
He asked me if I thought I could make it until next week.
I knew I couldn't and said no.
He suggested we met the next night.
I went home and drank that case and didn't go to work or my sponsor's house the next day.
4 days later was our weekly home group AA meeting.
I went a and sat down.
and...
A man in our group asked me what I was doing there.
I said "What? Are not I welcome here?"
He said of course you are but you are DYING and just [messing] around!
No one in the group said a word.
It was silent.
I had the thought that if he was right I'm in trouble.
I didn't even know I was dying but was willing to believe he was right.
I said to him... "You are right."
"In light of me dying I am just [messing] around."
That was the 1st time I had ever had any amount of humility.
Humility before my fellow man.
If anyone in that group would have told that man to take it easy on me I would have probably died.
I would have continued to fight everything and everyone.
But instead I had the opportunity to admit that he was right.

JoeO: That man was the one who had the courage to say what some of the rest of us were only thinking!

That was the turning point,
And I was ready for it.
The teacher appeared when I was ready.

JoeO: If this is okay with you, I will copy what you have shared and add it at your story here at the site.

Yes.

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... more to be added ...


Category: Our Personal Stories


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