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So hard to restart AA and recovery after many failed attempts

Discussion in 'Narcotics Anonymous' started by 996, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. 996

    996 Member

    Truth is, I have been in and out of treatment centers and AA since I was 13 or 14. I had gone through treatment 3 times and spent 6 months in a half way house before I was old enough to drive.

    I managed to accumulate several years of sobriety here and there, worked the steps, sponsored people, was on like a speaking circuit for young people and have done stretches where I attended 3 to 6 AA meetings a day for months on end.

    I know the big book backwards and forwards and can still recite how it works from memory. I, however, have lost confidence in the program and that it can actually change me. It never really has no matter how hard I worked it.

    Some say or will say, I just have not hit a sufficient bottom to let go. I cannot tell if that is the truth or just the only explanation that can b offered by those who believe in AA. I still view most in AA as a glum lot and I have always hung up on if you want what we have because I could look around the room and say to myself I really did not want what many had.

    Even with my life screwed up, I still talk to my sponsor daily, for hours on some days. He is the greatest person, but even he is not really happy and struggles with 20 plus years of sobriety (he is around my age 43 or so).

    Even when I am using, I talk to people in AA and hear nothing but drama, resentments, and general unhappiness even from those who are supposedly the winners with more time.

    Point is, when AA is new to you, you have hope and think wow this can really help. I miss that innocence about being new to the program and just having that blind faith that this can work.

    I do admit that some of the best years of my life were while I was clean and sober, but I also had my most successful years while not being sober. Pain pills gave me that energy to work 14 hour days and 7 days a week to be a super lawyer. Without them, I lack drive and motivation. I have also had some of the best days and weeks of my life here recently while using.

    I, however, cannot continue to use and I have to stop living a selfish life. Using always ends up in the same place for me (maybe 9 treatments center check ins . . .).

    I am totally willing to have an open mind and try things differently. I, however, still don't believe I will change and my character defects are too engrained and burned too deeply into my soul.

    Drugs and alcohol have a way of quieting the character defects and treating my untreated alcoholism. So far the steps and God has not proved sufficiently strong enough to treat my untreated alcoholism and character defects have a way of becoming more glaring when you remove alcohol and drugs.

    I want so much to have a better life, have peace and rekindle my relationship with my children. I would do anything for it. I pray every day for direction because I have no idea which way to go as every aspect of my life is a mess.

    How do I set aside past failures and believe that some way some how this will work for me.
  2. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    Working the program obviously did help you when you were doing it, evidence multiple years of clean time. I'm sure your life was not awful during those periods. I would suggest that right now your mind is far from clear about anything as you are under the influence of active addiction, which warps your thoughts and perceptions about everything. So first things first, get yourself detoxed, get the drugs out of your system. Do what you have to do, CT, IP, or start a taper if you honestly think you can stick to it. Detox is not going to kill you, continuing to use is going to (continue to) kill you. Then if you are really finished with the program maybe try a different plan besides 12 stepping. Rational recovery possibly. There aren't that many options theses days because the field of addiction recovery is very new compared to human history. But there are options. You do have the source of strength and guidance within, you have to be willing to do what it takes to tap into it. It takes a lot of repetition and reinforcement for deeply ingrained patterns to begin to change. If you are in it for the long haul then you will find the means to go the distance.
  3. Sluggo

    Sluggo Well-Known Member

    3 to 6 meetings a day? wow...bummer.

    AA/NA is not gonna 'fix' you...only you can change....no one can force change on you.

    gratefully...the rooms of AA that I frequent (usually twice/week is all) are filled with hope, recovery, and laughter. there are the 'glum lot' meetings...lots of problems and little solution. i avoided those for the most part...now I can go and try to help.

    quantity of sobriety (time) has very little to do with recovery. just cause someone has 2 years or 20 years sober...doesn't mean they're recovered or guaranteed happiness. there are folks in the rooms with 90 days that are just on fire...and folks with 2 years that are fast asleep and miserable. i had to be willing to change....not expect to change...or change by osmosis. just cause you can memorize a cookbook, doesn't mean you've baked the cake.

    like Bonita...I advocate finding your solution wherever it is....no one can decide that for you. all we can do is share what worked for each of us individually.

    the way of life presented by AA works for me...accountability, honesty, humble, service. its a great way to live. Ibo worked for Bonita...AA works for me (along with daily zazen).

    you need to detox. otherwise...same old crap.

  4. Joplinfrk

    Joplinfrk Well-Known Member

    All I can offer is support because you've already received great advice.

    The past is the past. Every moment you are above ground you have the option to make changes. First things first: time to sober up. Detox is a tiny part of the whole process; the real work comes after that.

    Hang in there and give it another go..

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