RECOVERY EQUALS LIFE FOR SOME OF US
Our recovery means our life when we finally surrender to the truth of our addictions.
If you have questioned your relationship with alcohol or any other addictive substance including prescription drugs, food, sex, relationship OR love addiction, please know you are not alone in your fear, anger and self-loathing. These feelings are normal and common if you are experiencing a controlling, inappropriate relationship with any of the above drugs.
Recognizing yourself here, in these statements may indicate your possible qualification for a walk down this path. Please know there is a process that has proven to be successful in finding relief from this mental obsession and physical addiction. There is a freedom waiting to been seen if and when you choose to ask for it.
Please read the following example of the form of compassion and understanding that awaits you if you find yourself alone, questioning what the next step may be.
Recovery and freedom from addiction is as unique a process as each individual who seeks help. No two people embrace the journey alike and in that spirit of truth the miracle of recovery awaits each of us when we dare to ask for help.
Patterns and Characteristics of Co-dependence
These patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation.
They may be particularly helpful to newcomers.
- I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
- I minimize, alter, or deny how I truly feel.
- I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.
- I lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others.
- I label others with my negative traits.
- I can take care of myself without any help from others.
- I mask my pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
- I express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways.
- I do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom I am attracted.
Low Self Esteem Patterns:
- I have difficulty making decisions.
- I judge what I think, say, or do harshly, as never good enough.
- I am embarrassed to receive recognition, praise, or gifts.
- I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings, and behavior over my own.
- I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.
- I constantly seek recognition that I think I deserve.
- I have difficulty admitting that I made a mistake.
- I need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and will even lie to look good.
- I am unable to ask others to meet my needs or desires.
- I perceive myself as superior to others.
- I look to others to provide my sense of safety.
- I have difficulty getting started, meeting deadlines, and completing projects.
- I have trouble setting healthy priorities.
- I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
- I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or anger.
- I put aside my own interests in order to do what others want.
- I am hypervigilant regarding the feelings of others and take on those feelings.
- I am afraid to express my beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from those of others.
- I accept sexual attention when I want love.
- I make decisions without regard to the consequences.
- I give up my truth to gain the approval of others or to avoid change.
- I believe most people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
- I attempt to convince others what to think, do, or feel.
- I freely offer advice and direction to others without being asked.
- I become resentful when others decline my help or reject my advice.
- I lavish gifts and favors on those I want to influence.
- I use sexual attention to gain approval and acceptance.
- I have to be needed in order to have a relationship with others.
- I demand that my needs be met by others.
- I use charm and charisma to convince others of my capacity to be caring and compassionate.
- I use blame and shame to emotionally exploit others.
- I refuse to cooperate, compromise, or negotiate.
- I adopt an attitude of indifference, helplessness, authority, or rage to manipulate outcomes.
- I use terms of recovery in an attempt to control the behavior of others.
- I pretend to agree with others to get what I want.
- I act in ways that invite others to reject, shame, or express anger toward me.
- I judge harshly what others think, say, or do.
- I avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a means of maintaining distance.
- I allow my addictions to people, places, and things to distract me from achieving intimacy in relationships.
- I use indirect and evasive communication to avoid conflict or confrontation.
- I diminish my capacity to have healthy relationships by declining to use all the tools of recovery.
- I suppress my feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable.
- I pull people toward me, but when they get close, I push them away.
- I refuse to give up my self-will to avoid surrendering to a power that is greater than myself.
- I believe displays of emotion are a sign of weakness.
- I withhold expressions of appreciation.
The Patterns and Characteristics of Codependency may not be reprinted or republished without the express written consent of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. This document may be reprinted from the website www.coda.org (CoDA) for use by members of the CoDA Fellowship.
Copyright © 2010 Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. and its licensors -All Rights Reserved
I hear you. And from the responses to your message, so do many others. Do you see a pattern here? How wonderful you have admitted that alcohol can be a disease for some people.
You may even be one of those, looking for another alternative to aa for all the reasons you find you do not associate with the program. I understand. The classic aa answer is to continue trying different meetings until you find the message you want or need to hear. Every aa meeting is as different as each of its attendees.
I found the miracle of acceptance and peace as a sober woman by going to a woman’s step study where the women were intelligent, thoughtful, successful ,balanced and alcoholic, all dealing with their sobriety with grace, the best they could, one hour at a time. I wanted what they had and got it just by showing up and being around them. This is where the secrete comes in. Asking for what you want and expecting to get it! You can have it all, you just have to ask for it and listen for the answer.
Perhaps you really don’t want to stop drinking yet. If it brings you pain and self hatred ask to be relieved of its insanity. Know you are loved and worth caring for. Every one of these messages, in their own way is asking you to care for yourself. In the program we say keep coming back because if you do we will care for you until you can care for yourself.
I too am here for you and will envision you free of this mental obsession and physical addiction. We all deserve to be balanced and free to be who we really are.
FROM AA WEBSITE
Is A.A. For You?
Twelve questions only you can answer
Copyright © 1973 by A.A. World Services, Inc.
IS A.A. FOR YOU?
Only you can decide whether you want to give A.A.a try —
whether you think it can help you.
We who are in A.A. came because we finally gave up trying to control our drinking. We still hated to admit that we could never drink safely. Then we heard from other A.A. members that we were sick. (We thought so for years!) We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt and loneliness and hopelessness that we did. We found out that we had these feelings because we had the disease of alcoholism.
We decided to try and face up to what alcohol had done to us. Here are some of the questions we tried to answer honestly. If we answered YES to four or more questions, we were in deep trouble with our drinking. See how you do. Remember, there is no disgrace in facing up to the fact that you have a problem.
Answer YES or NO to the following questions.
1 - Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
Most of us in A.A. made all kinds of promises to ourselves and to our families. We could not keep them. Then we came to A.A. A.A. said: "Just try not to drink today." (If you do not drink today, you cannot get drunk today.)
2 - Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking-- stop telling you what to do?
In A.A. we do not tell anyone to do anything. We just talk about our own drinking, the trouble we got into, and how we stopped. We will be glad to help you, if you want us to.
3 - Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
We tried all kinds of ways. We made our drinks weak. Or just drank beer. Or we did not drink cocktails. Or only drank on weekends. You name it, we tried it. But if we drank anything with alcohol in it, we usually got drunk eventually.
4 - Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
Do you need a drink to get started, or to stop shaking? This is a pretty sure sign that you are not drinking "socially."
5 - Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
At one time or another, most of us have wondered why we were not like most people, who really can take it or leave it.
6 - Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
Be honest! Doctors say that if you have a problem with alcohol and keep on drinking, it will get worse -- never better. Eventually, you will die, or end up in an institution for the rest of your life. The only hope is to stop drinking.
7 - Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
Before we came into A.A., most of us said that it was the people or problems at home that made us drink. We could not see that our drinking just made everything worse. It never solved problems anywhere or anytime.
8 - Do you ever try to get "extra" drinks at a party because you do not get enough?
Most of us used to have a "few" before we started out if we thought it was going to be that kind of party. And if drinks were not served fast enough, we would go some place else to get more.
9 - Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don't mean to?
Many of us kidded ourselves into thinking that we drank because we wanted to. After we came into A.A., we found out that once we started to drink, we couldn't stop.
10 - Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking?
Many of us admit now that we "called in sick" lots of times when the truth was that we were hung-over or on a drunk.
11 - Do you have "blackouts"?
A "blackout" is when we have been drinking hours or days which we cannot remember. When we came to A.A., we found out that this is a pretty sure sign of alcoholic drinking.
12 - Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?
Many of us started to drink because drinking made life seem better, at least for a while. By the time we got into A.A., we felt trapped. We were drinking to live and living to drink. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Did you answer YES four or more times? If so, you are probably in trouble with alcohol. Why do we say this? Because thousands of people in A.A. have said so for many years. They found out the truth about themselves — the hard way.
But again, only you can decide whether you think A.A. is for you. Try to keep an open mind on the subject. If the answer is YES, we will be glad to show you how we stopped drinking ourselves. Just call. A.A. does not promise to solve your life's problems.
But we can show you how we are learning to live without drinking "one day at a time." We stay away from that "first drink." If there is no first one, there cannot be a tenth one. And when we got rid of alcohol, we found that life became much more manageable.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS© is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.
A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes.
Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Copyright © by The A.A. Grapevine, Inc.;
reprinted with permission
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