How I got here AGAIN! How I got here AGAIN! | allnurses

How I got here AGAIN!

  1. 3 Well here goes, first time I have done a first step in a long time. As it is 0400 I hope y'all don't mind me using this forum to get some stuff out.

    I dragged myself into the doors of AA in September of 1987 (ya 23 years ago). Have been through some very rough times over the years, deaths, breakup of 14 yr relationship, job losses, bankruptcy etc. No matter what was thrown at me I knew that I didn't have to drink over it, all I had to do was work the steps, go to meetings, and pray like Hell.

    Fast forward to present. I am 52 yo, I have two pre-reqs left before I (hopefully) start ADN clinicals in August 2011. I am still clean from alcohol, pot, Rx drugs. What I can't comprehend is how two years ago I got addicted to huffing aerosol video head cleaner. THERE I SAID IT!!

    The last sentence is incorrect, I know exactly how it happened, I just never thought it would happen to me (slight ego problem). I quit working my program, pretty simple. [now come the excuses] I was 29 yo when I entered an outpatient program, my therapist there informed me that I must deal with my sexuality if I was ever going to get and stay sober. Fortunately I lived in a city with a very active GLBT AA community, they took me in, loved me and with their support and God's love for me I began a great journey towards being a sober, pretty well adjusted gay man.

    Three years ago I moved to a small town [bible belt] to help care for aging parents, my previous career had fell apart with the decline in the housing market and the depression. I went to a few meetings when I got here, with my resentments of having to move and loose my friends and my meetings nothing stuck.

    Yes my life has become unmanageable. This little habit is costing me $140.00 a week (I make $8 as a security guard at night while in school), I am on the verge of getting kicked out of my parents home and I just received a notice from school that I have been administratively withdrawn from my English class for attendance [required for NS] I am going to my first NA meeting Monday, I just had to do something towards recovery NOW. Thanks for listening.
  2. 14 Comments

  3. Visit  luvche profile page
    #1 1
    Congrats for taking the first step (again). And keep taking it, no matter how many times you need to.
    Even in small town communities, with some persistence, you can usually find a small group that will welcome you AS YOU ARE with open arms.
    Next step, find out what you can do about your English. Some colleges have ways to put you back in if you and your teacher(if willing) find a way for you to make up what you missed, on a time schedule. Then both go to the dean, or whoever.
    Whatever happens, one extra semester of school wont hurt you. No one says you can't start your program over either!
    Good luck!
  4. Visit  lifesaver_x2 profile page
    #2 0
    The first step is always the's to the steps getting a little easier in the future!

  5. Visit  waldo_1984 profile page
    #3 0

    Welcome to the forum, great post by the way. Takes some guts to spill everything and put it out there for a large community to see, a forum like this tends to be a little bigger than the meeting rooms.

    As I read your post I saw a lot of things you had written that made me say, "Step 1, Check! Step 1 again, check!!" That's an exciting thing, Cowboy, you've reached a place where you're willing to admit this habit owns you, that's when we start to get better. That's when we stop digging and slowly start climbing our way out of the mess we have created.

    You said you've been in AA before so you're familiar with how this program works, WELCOME BACK! And just remember, we all have to make that choice every day, are we or are we not going to stay sober today-I leave that one up to God.

  6. Visit  bigrigcowboy profile page
    #4 4
    Thanks y'all, 7 days clean today. Have found a great NA mtg too. This disease sure as hell is cunning, baffeling and powerful. Thank God I chose to work my program and stay clean TODAY!!
  7. Visit  sissiesmama profile page
    #5 0
    Quote from bigrigcowboy
    Thanks y'all, 7 days clean today. Have found a great NA mtg too. This disease sure as hell is cunning, baffeling and powerful. Thank God I chose to work my program and stay clean TODAY!!
    Hey cowboy - glad ur here with us! My name is Anne, and I'm an addict. Been a nurse since 1991 and in recovery since 1999. Always like hearing other posters stories. I feel like I can learn from each of my AN friends in reading their stories. Sometimes with us it's not just one day at a time, just a minute at a time - I have to tell myself that over and over.

    Congrats on 7 days! That's great!

    Anne, RNC
  8. Visit  savgal1211 profile page
    #6 0
    So, more evidence that AA does not work. It is a Cult and if you Google "AA or cult" you will get 1000's of responses! Look, my father quit drinking rum and cokes and smokng Chesterfield's, after 50 yrs, COLD Turkey, no psych drugs, no AA. no group therapy, NOTHING!! he just decided enough now, and stopeed, been 17 yrs now, and not 1 relapse!!
    So, you need to rwalize that addiction, is not a disease and it is ALL WILLPOWER!!
    What other disease has a patient go to meetings 3 or more times a week, chain smoke ( a HORRIBLR addiction), and drink coffee endlessly. NO disease does!
    Is there a CT scan or blood test for addiction, ANY test? NOPE, negative.
    So, if anyone tells you it is a "Disease", ask them the above points.
    Noone quits engaging in compltetley voluntary self destructive habits till they have a "Pivot Point".. Plain and simple.
    My dads's? Well, he had an acute onset of CHF and he nearly dies, and he always said "I own't quit my drinking and smoking unless it kills me."! Well, he was darn near dead, so he never, ever looked back.
    This is th ebottom line, . Period! Cancer doesn't have meetings or useless syrupy mantras.. What "Disease: does? NO DISEASE.
    Addictions are choices and it belittles all other patients with REAL illness that they di dnot choose, to say drinking and drugging is a disease! YOu quit when ready, not untill!! Now,if someone enjoys the little hand holding and cult chanting and that keeps you off the sauce, have at it!! But stop complaining that you have a disease!!
  9. Visit  SNB1014 profile page
    #7 0
    Quote from savgal1211
    Addictions are choices and it belittles all other patients with REAL illness that they di dnot choose, to say drinking and drugging is a disease! YOu quit when ready, not untill!! Now,if someone enjoys the little hand holding and cult chanting and that keeps you off the sauce, have at it!! But stop complaining that you have a disease!!
    your excessive use of caps and unorthodox style of encouragement aside, i couldnt agree more. i had to attend a couple na/aa meetings after a dui and i wanted to scream this at all of them.
    i am all for doing whatever works. if it is meetings, religion, taking the traffic stopping route home from work so you bypass your trigger booze stores, etc etc- do it. but there WAS a point when it wasnt an addiction- there was a point when it was a concious choice to go out of your way to buy booze, drugs, whatever your vice may be. poor choices lead to unsatisfactory outcomes.
  10. Visit  oceansummer profile page
    #8 1
    Quote from savgal1211
    Cancer doesn't have meetings or useless syrupy mantras.. What "Disease: does? NO DISEASE.
    Ummm....there are plenty of different meetings for people with all kinds of diseases.....
  11. Visit  savgal1211 profile page
    #9 1
    I pray for those suffering from addictions, I pray for the Pivot point! I think it is a choice to engage in these self destructive behaviors, and again, it belilltes those suffering from real diseases, the ones through no fault of their own( Cancer, MS, Lupus, etc..) they suffer. It is like a girl who gets stone faced drunk, goes to some dudes house, and has sex, and the next day, the little chickie hollers "Rape", no, that is not rape. Rape is a horrible and violent crime against a woman, through no fault of her own, Not the drunk girl who chose to get high and return to a man's house!( Oh boy, guess that might stir up more, huh?)
    Anyway, to the poster who says there are Meetings for other diseases? yes, support groups, words of hop, not the TREATMENT of the CURE!! There is no group that one attends for the rest of their life to keep MS or Cancer or CHF at bay, and to prevent the disease from getting worse.

    AA is a cult and the worst thing in the world is to be around one of the Cultist and have them spout off the holier than thou attitude and the empty platitiudes.

    And what in the Hell is a Dry Drunk? Hah!
    If you no longer drink or drug, then you ar enot a drunk or a drug addict and the only reason AA wants you to keep calling yourself one, is so you will remain a cultist.

    Rational Recovery is abetter model, if one must go this route.
  12. Visit  AimeepawsRN profile page
    #10 1
    Wow! 12 steps saved my life. Addiction is a disease. Hey Jack, where are you and can you provide that info on addiction and how it is a disease? I am sure there are plenty of anti 12 step blogs out there for the individuals that feel it is a cult. For the individuals that have become sober without the 12 steps and stayed clean, great!!! I believe that everyone has their own way of healing and to call AA groups a "cult" is extremley offensive. Have a wonderful holiday everyone!
  13. Visit  rn/writer profile page
    "Willpower vs. disease" is a needless distraction that wastes a lot of time and energy on a distinction that accomplishes nothing.

    For those uncomfortable with the word "disease," you can substitute the word "condition." Some people are born with the innate tendency to crave alcohol and become dependent on it with little provocation. Others may have begun life with less susceptibility, but choices over time have rendered them unable to easily walk away from a drink or ten.

    The vulnerability is a given. Whether it existed genetically from birth or developed gradually is moot. Once it's there, it's there and the person doesn't have a choice about whether or not to feel the pull any more than a block of iron can resist magnetic attraction.

    The desire, the craving, the pull--that's the condition (aka disease).

    No amount of willpower can enable a person to decide not to have the condition. You don't get to decide you won't have the desire or the craving. You do get to make choices about how you will manage your life with the condition. And even this is incredibly difficult for many.

    AA may not be the right solution for everyone, but it has helped so many to get honest and be accountable to others who understand the corroded thinking and mental games that precede the destructive choices. To call it a cult is to impugn an organization that has done an incredible amount of good simply because it doesn't fit everyone.

    I see the "condition vs. willpower" debate as about as useful as asking people if they walk with their right foot or their left. You can probably cover some distance using either one exclusively, but you can travel a lot farther if you use both together.

    In practical terms, this means that addicts of any kind must come to terms with the fact that they have a compulsion (condition or powerful inclination) to use. And non-addicts need to respect the intensity of that compulsion and not just tell them to "knock it off."

    AND addicts have to humble themselves to a future of radical honesty and a lifetime of one small choice after another (willpower) if they want to live. And non-addicts need to understand that absent the support and inspiration and relentless accountability of knowledgeable others, many will not be able to keep their eyes on the prize and will falter.

    The compulsion to drink and drug IS a powerful force that goes far beyond choice. But, having identified the compulsion, choices matter greatly. And having a network of people who have already navigated these waters (and know the excuses and the terror) can make the difference between recovering and falling apart.

    If AA is not helpful to you, by all means, look for some other method. But please, let's not spend any more time attacking something that is a positive force for change for millions of people.

    Time to return to the original topic, supporting a brother in his quest to achieve and maintain sobriety.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Dec 20, '10
  14. Visit  PhoenixTech profile page
    #12 2
    Thank you RN/writer.

    You responded in a very tasteful, factual manner without recriminations of any sort. Simply very well said.