Bluesheep8 · 27/04/2019 09:23
prawn In a bit of a rush at the moment but I may well be back to ask some questions, if that's ok. What you have said so far has really struck a chord with me. Your honesty and ability to pinpoint almost the exact details of my own relationship with alcohol has really hit home. I was referred to a type of alcohol counselling by my gp but in their words, they were "not the right avenue for me" because I am not deemed to be alcohol dependent and don't drink every day. But I do have an alcohol problem in that I become a problem to myself and those around me when I drink. Thank you again for such clarity, I'll be back
Prawnofthepatriarchy · 27/04/2019 11:38
Pengrin it did affect my memory but not in the way you'd expect.
Once I was sober my memory got much worse. I shared this at a meeting and a bloke roared with laughter. He said that when he was drinking he had to keep track of all his alibis/excuses. Work, his wife - he had to keep everyone sweet.
Once sober and living a very truthful life he didn't have to remember all that shit. And his memory got worse.
He was completely right. It affected me in the same way.
But no, drinking didn't affect reading or any other skill. Good thing too, as I was working as a journalist.
Prawnofthepatriarchy · 27/04/2019 11:44
If you suffer physical withdrawal symptoms for God's sake don't do it alone. Get medical help. I used to detox on my own at home with absolutely no idea that it could have killed me.
When I arrived in rehab the doctor gave me a drug called heminevrin for 2 or 3 days.
Going cold turkey from heroin is famously horrible but it doesn't kill. Alcohol withdrawal can and does.
Prawnofthepatriarchy · 27/04/2019 11:54
One other thing, were you scared when you went into rehab?
Absolutely fucking terrified.
I knew it was make or break. It felt like I was hanging over a cliff but there were tigers biting at my fingertips.
I had to let go. I did let go. And not only did I not plummet onto the rocks, but the hands of other alcoholics held me up. It was an amazing experience.
I remember my six weeks there with great fondness. It was the start of a whole new life.
theemmadilemma · 27/04/2019 12:18
@Prawnofthepatriarchy Is it ok if I continue to ask questions?
Your tone is very reassuring.
My next local AA is on Tuesday. I'm going to try to go.
Doctors on the 10th.
The only thing I can't figure out is how I can possibly do 6 weeks rehab and not loose my job. I don't want to admit this to work. I just got another glowing review and I'm pushing for promotion.
Prawnofthepatriarchy · 27/04/2019 13:07
Glad you're finding it comforting, theemmadilemma. Regarding the six weeks off I guess it depends where you work. A lot of large companies used to see taking time off for rehab as no big deal, though this may have changed as austerity bites. But if you work for a small organisation it may be tricky.
Tbh, I've no idea. Could you ask human resources in confidence?
I found rehab immensely helpful. It sort of concertinaed many months of meetings into six weeks. I had nothing to do with my time than focus on my recovery. I was in big house in the country with no distractions. It wasn't posh but the setting was beautiful.
However lots of people get sober just through meetings. You need to plan to go to lots though. One meeting a week isn't enough.
I hope you enjoy the meeting. Don't feel you need to say anything. Just listening is good while you take it all in. Stay for coffee afterwards. Tell people you're a newcomer and people will offer you their numbers.
You need to understand that ringing another AA member doesn't hassle them. Helping other alcoholics is part of how we stay sober. People will want to help you.
I say people, but we tend to stick to our own sex for socializing outside meetings, unless you're LGB. Newly sober people are immensely vulnerable and should be supported by people who have no potential sexual interest in them.
theemmadilemma · 27/04/2019 13:28
I work for a large global. I do think I would be supported in those terms. But am concerned about the outside view. It's the shame.
Thank you so much for your words.
I can see there are pretty much daily meetings local to me. So that's do able.
Thank you so much. You have been a ray of light in a dark time.
Prawnofthepatriarchy · 27/04/2019 15:52
I was on the phone to DF about you and your first AA meeting just now theemmadilemma, and he said I should explain that meetings vary a lot. You're looking for a good fit for you.
You get small meetings, bigger ones (there's a huge Newcomers meeting near me that has about 50 people), and they vary in terms of atmosphere too.
Try a number of different ones. They all follow the same format but each meeting has its own feel. AA is a very loose knit, un-hierarchical organisation.
There's usually literature: free leaflets and books you can buy. Most newcomers buy a copy of the AA Big Book but I found one called 12 Steps and 12 Traditions more useful. It explains each of the 12 steps and the 12 traditions that underpin AA - things like anonymity.
Both of them use rather old fashioned language with an American feel. I thought it was a bit cheesy at first but you get used to that.
Prawnofthepatriarchy · 27/04/2019 16:39
You have the whole world to gain.
Get in there, trust the process. OK, it's maybe suspension of disbelief to start with, but once you start making progress it's exciting.
I remember being so chuffed at my first week, then a whole month. Until then I just couldn't imagine a life without drinking.
Prawnofthepatriarchy · 27/04/2019 16:57
Most seem to happen at the same venue but have different 'meeting names'?
That's quite a common set up. But each meeting will have its own secretary. They're the ones that find new people to speak every week and some do better at finding good speakers. Different people go on different nights too.
In a normal AA meeting someone does a chair, about 20 minutes on their drinking, how they got sober and life in recovery. Then other people join in, sharing anything that feels relevant.
There might be a Step meeting listed. You might find a Step meeting a bit dense at first. The meeting reads aloud and then discusses one step every week and then starts again after 12 weeks. If the group's on Steps 1 to 3 that might be brilliant, but if they're on one of the later steps it might not be very helpful.
If you're interested someone will know what step they're on if you ask on Tuesday.
It's a bit cumbersome trying to explain the nuts and bolts. A lot of what I'm trying to say will make sense once you've been to a few.
Prawnofthepatriarchy · 27/04/2019 17:01
Here's an AA guide for newcomers.
Much more concise and authoritative than me waffling on...
cactuscushion · 27/04/2019 17:22
What do you think of the term 'enabling'? It seems like anything you do towards an alcoholic is enabling them. I know you have to wait for them to want to make a change, reach out and want a different life, but until then it's hard. Being supportive and kind is enabling, cutting contact is enabling. I don't know what I'm supposed to do!
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