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RomAAnce

Used 2013-09-06 Drunks Sleeping With Each Other (AlKHall Sobriety Recovery)

Drunks Sleeping Together

i have a crush on this girl. She’s charming, timid and very pretty.

The problem is, i’m going to ask her out.

It’s a problem because i had no idea how complicated this is. And it is. Very. Hell, dating in civilian life is harsh enough without taking into account things like threats to sobriety, triggers and addictive thinking.

RelAAtionshps in AA

In Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a rule of thumb that newcomers (those with less than one year of sobriety) should not start new romantic relationships–neither with each other nor someone who has more sobriety than them (see the “13th Step“).

Also, and i didn’t know this at first, but ‘fellows’ of the opposite sex (or same sex, depending on which way you swing) are discouraged from exchanging phone numbers as a way of reaching out.

Used 2013-09-23 Reluctance (AlKHall sobriety recovery)

Reluctant to reach out

With these land mines in mind, i took a couple steps to make sure my sobriety came first.

What i Did

  1. Talked to my sponsor
  2. Spoke with people in the program who i admire and who have more sobriety than me

What they said

  1. Take things One Date at a Time: Think only about the date your on, not the next one. Or moving in together. Or babies.
  2. Go in with no expectations. That way, if things don’t work out, neither person is tempted to drown their sorrows in anything stronger than a Mountain Dew
Used 2013-09-23 Winning her back (AlKHall sobriety recovery)

How to win her back (but not her front)

As for what happens next, well, i’ll keep you posted.

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Not Alone

Used 2013-05-28 (AlKHall Anonymous Sonbriety Recovery)Used 2013-05-28 (AlKHall Anonymous Sobriety Recovery)

We will love you until you can love yourself.

–Alcoholics Anonymous expression

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Wet Bar or Dry Drunk?

It’s been a while, but i’m updating the GlosAAry page with a new definition:

Dry Drunk

Used 2013-05-08 Don't rain on my parade (AlKHall Anonymous sobriety recovery)

Don’t rain on my parade

An alcoholic who’s sober but still an asshole.  Someone who put down the booze but still clings to the issues that put it there in the first place.

Used 2013-05-08 Sobriety Unicorn (AlKHall Anonymous sobriety recovery)

Sobriety Unicorn

The Three Asshole Rule

Used 2013-02-26 AlKHall Anonymous sobriety recovery

The Three Asshole Rule

When you meet your third asshole of the day, it means you’re probably the asshole.

Heard in the rooms last Saturday

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It Stopped Working

Used 2012-11-01 It's Stopped Working sobriety recovery alcoholism

It’s Stopped Working

i’m adding this to the SlogAAns & sAAyings page but i wanted to cross post here because it relates to my previous post about timing.

It Works Until It Doesn’t

Addicts begin using their drug of choice as self medication for a variety of ailments, and the treatment is efficient until “using” became “abusing” and “treatment” became “mistreatment”. The old methods work until they don’t work anymore. When the cure becomes the disease, alcoholics in recovery seek out healthier methods of dealing.

(For those of us in Alcoholics Anonymous, this realization is Step 1 material. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.“)

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This adage applies to other areas in recovery as well. Check it out:

  • i didn’t believe in or even need a Higher Power until i did
  • i skipped meditation in my recovery until i didn’t
  • i find it hard to be intimate until i won’t anymore…

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Triggers Lead To Shots

Caution: Triggers Lead To Shots Recovery Sobriety Alcoholism

Caution: Triggers Lead To Shots

Trigger:

A misguided aim to please yourself. The spark that makes you want to shoot yourself in the foot you will use to kick your own ass with.

ITSB and i often ride the same wavelength. In a comment to one of my recent posts, he introduced the theme of triggers, which i’d already been thinking about, as evidenced by the above definition added to the Glossaary.

The other day i walked between two people planted curbside so i could cross the street they thought had too much traffic to brave. i mumbled a polite “Excuse me” as i passed between them, but this apparently was not loud enough because the eldest of the two women looked up at me and barked “Excuse me”. Then again. Before she could do it once more, i looked her in the eye and told her i’d said “Excuse me” and continued on my way.

As i left, i thought about the way i’d dealt with the problem and was satisfied i’d handled it correctly, but that didn’t matter, i couldn’t let it go. For the rest of my commute i kept seeing the woman’s face as she reprimanded me and realized soon enough that i felt uncomfortable, obsessive and anxious. i was triggered.

i’ve always known what triggers are, but not what my triggers are. i decided to write them down as i believe framing things with words makes it easier to recognize them. ITSB already beat me to it by including his list in his comment.

I have a whole set of trigger for “awful thoughts”:

1) Stuck in traffic on my way to work
2) Too much caffeine in my bloodstream
3) Elevators
4) Too much running/over training
5) Republicans making their opinions known

and the mother of all triggers:

6) Low blood sugar.

Any of these ring a bell?

i’ve been working on my own list for the last couple of days and here’s what i’ve come up with…

  1. Other people’s anger
  2. Being alone
  3. Euchre on my cell phone/tablet
  4. Sunday afternoon
  5. Drunk people in AA meetings
  6. One on one conversations with people
  7. Computer problems / broken electronics

The next step is to figure out what it is about these things that trigger me, so i can diffuse them.

Think! Think! Think! Again

Used 2012-09-23 Think Think Think alcoholism recovery sobriety

In AA speak, the slogan “Think! Think! Think!” means stop listening to your gut and start listening to the voice of reason. As alcoholics, we were dogs salivating for booze as soon as the warning bells went off, and the more we drank the faster and louder those bells rang. We we drank instinctively.

“Think! Think! Think!” tells us to stop acting on reflexes and keep our brains turned on.

(In some rooms, the “Think! Think! Think!” sign is turned upside down to tell us that yes, we need to think, but we need to think differently than we did in the past because our alcoholic thinking led us into a bottleneck.)

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i keep saying that coincidence is the language of God and lately the question of my thought patterns keeps coming up.

  • i’ve been overly sensitive lately because i can’t turn off my brain when it comes to my problems
  • i’ve been thinking about how i can’t wait to get to Step 11 in the 12 Steps where it talks about meditation
  • My best recovery friend in the States talked about my “knowledge, IQ and ability to understand (recognize) situations and to give help to others” as a way to manage my overzealous thought patterns
  • At our last meeting, my sponsor said that controlling my intelligence is a key to moving forward in my sobriety

To control these rampant thoughts, my sponsor has suggested writing them out as soon as i feel the panic setting in. i do know that keeping busy helps and that going to meetings really really helps, but if anyone else has any tips (other than more exercise, ITSB! lol) on how to keep the dogs of thoughts at bay, i’d love to hear them.

Thanks for being there, y’all.

Terrible Twos: The Pink Cloud

To begin, here’s a new entry to my GlossAAry. (Yes, it’s pertinent…there’s a madness to my method!)

Pink Cloud

sobriety recovery alcoholism

Where the pink elephants used to live, and what you have left now they’ve gone.

Right next to Cloud Nine, the Pink Cloud is the feeling of relief you feel when you stop pounding your head against the stone wall of inebriation, convinced you will somehow break through.

Not everyone experiences this high in the first year of sobriety, and usually those that do get it say that it lasts only a few months.

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In my previous post, where i discussed how the second year of recovery presents some unique challenges, fellow Recovery Artist Mrs D left a comment saying,

Oh, I want to know more about this .. heading as I am into my second year…

i think in my case, one of the reasons i’m finding it harder to trudge the road of Happy Destiny in Year 2 A.D. (After Drinking) is that i did experience the Pink Cloud. If i remember correctly, it began in my 2nd month of sobriety and lasted about 2 months total. After that, the feelings faded.

Why? Since i was feeling good every day, feeling good became the new norm. If you win the lottery daily, there comes a point when you stop throwing a party over it.

How can we fight this complacency? One of the tools i use is the Gratitude List. Reminding myself of how far i’ve come and the misery i came from is powerful encouragement.

The only other way to really get a taste of the hell i escaped from is to have a taste of the hell i escaped from, and that’s just crazy talk. i’ll take a boring day in Heaven over a rough day in Hell any time.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Fake It 'Til You Make It Alcoholic Anonymous Sayings expressions

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Act like you are happy / capable / together / outgoing / patient / calm / etc. until you actually are.

i’ve reached a plateau in my recovery, which means i feel like i’m not progressing as i should. i feel worse than usual. Sadder. Angrier. Less patient. Lazier. All of these are signs that i have to be more vigilant about my behavior to avoid a relapse.

One of the tools to combat these feelings is to act as though i were happier, less angry, more patient and productive… “Priming the Pump” is probably the tool i have the most difficulty with because i have the impression i’m being insincere and lying to myself and others.

Still, when i catch my thoughts deteriorating, it doesn’t hurt anyone if i force a smile and hope that it eventually becomes real.

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[As you can see in the header of this blog, i’ve added a new page, called “sAAyings”.  Similar to my GlossAAry of Alcoholic Anonymous terms, this page contains a list (to be updated regularly) of different expressions heard in Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings.]

‘N’ is for Newcomer – ‘O’ is for Old Timer (GlossAAry Update)

Just to let y’all know i’ve updated the GlosAAry with a couple new definitions:

Newcomer

Newcomer

Customer In Training

Someone with less than one year of sobriety. Because those new to sobriety are often spiritually and psychologically fragile, it is often recommended that newcomers refrain from making any major life changes (for example selling the house, changing careers, getting divorced) in their first year. There is an unwritten rule that other AA members should not become romantically invloved with newcomers because the relationship wouldn’t be balanced and the sobriety of both members would be threatened.

Be nice to every newcomer, they may be your next sponsor.

Old Timer

Old Timer

The weirdness is still out there.

Part sage, part war vetern, the term “old timer” implies the member has seen it all,  including tough love recovery and has some distilled wisdom to impart. While there is no set time limit when a member officially becomes an “old timer”, 25 years sobriety would seem like a minimum.

When I tell people I’ve been sober for nearly 45 years, I see them look at me like it’s a prison sentence. Condemned to 45 years of boredom and niceness.  I’m here to tell you, the weird stuff is still out there.  When you get drunk it falls in your lap, but when you’re sober, you may have to look for it, but it’s out there. The weirdness is still out there. –Heard in the Rooms