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Post Info TOPIC: Meaning of Unmanageability


MIP Old Timer

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Meaning of Unmanageability
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The Meaning of Unmanageability

When we deny our powerlessness over alcohol our lives become unmanageable.  In Step One, we come to terms with that unmanageability.  Our lives may be unmanageable in a few areas or in many areas.  They may be slightly unmanageable in some areas and totally unmanageable in others.  But they will be unmanageable.  Unmanageability caused by alcohol takes on many forms.  It can include physical, spiritual, and mental problems; financial and legal problems; family and social problems.  The problems may have been obvious to others or known only to us, but they were there in one form or another.


Taken from: 12 Step Sponsorship "How it Works" Hamilton B.



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Senior Member

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Ok, how long in this step?  I agree with it. I def fit the description.  Not a complete train wreck but on that rough road alright.

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Problem with the step is that the sad/scary feeling goes away. The further away from the bad feeling the closer to the drinking again feeling. 

Is there no way to be safe from the tormented spirit?

editing in...A strong deterent happens to be my family.  I love them more than anything in the world. And I could give up alcohol with that as my primary reason.  And then there is the health issues and then there is the worsening of the mentality of this disease.

There are many reasons to quit and really none to keep the habit. Except for selfish desire.

-- Edited by Dakota at 15:26, 2009-01-20

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MIP Old Timer

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Dear Dakota, I really feel for where you are right now. I sense you're between the rock & the hard place, perhaps feeling you can't imagine a life without 'your friend' but if you're powerless over alcohol, like me, your friend will kill you & rob you of everything you love. I was a long way from losing all that was good in my life but the truth is, 'my friend' kept me from gaining so much in the first place.

Right now you feel you've no alternative & you're trying to feel your way in the dark hence the hopelessness. MIP may be whetting your appetite for a different solution in your life but you won't find it until you take your recovery seriously & want what there is on offer.

You will find this in meetings & you will be helped to understand the solution in the Big Book. It takes times but before I took these steps, there was no way I could live a life without alcohol. Initially I tried on my own & came to AA in curiosity to learn about alcoholism as a 'topic'. I didn't realise my own alcoholism at that point. I didn't know what it was. I learned this in the rooms. Eventually I also learned I could not do it on my own as I kept slipping so I got a Sponsor & started to do as suggested & I've been sober since 2yrs 3mths ago.

Life of course can still be hard but it has changed so much when I remember my gratitude & how it was before. I love that I can keep on learning in recovery & I don't have to take a drink today to find out anything I already knew about it. I hope you can find this too. If you're like me you'll already know that 1 is too many & 1000 never enough. I drank simply because I am an alcoholic.

When I take that first drink I develop the phenomenon of craving & I can't stop. I cannot trust myself in drink. I have a personality change because I lived in fear of life whenever I was sober. I drank whether I was mad, glad, sad or bad. It was my default, my escape, my happiness & wanting to feel & be who I thought I was at my best but all of this was illusion & it was killing me spiritually, emotionally, mentally & in time, physically, not to mention alienating me from my friends & family.

I didn't trust others or myself & I had a mental obsession that told me lies about what a drink would do for me despite past evidences. All the while I had this inner gaping, this lacking inside that we call the spiritual malady where we feel we're never quite enough. A longing for something more that feels like you're trying to fill a bath with the plug out. That's why we place so much emphasis on a Higher Power in this Program.

We begin to get a sense that we're not alone. That we're lovable, useful & that we can connect with others who truly understand no matter what our backgrounds, class, colour or creed & we want to help too with this new found happiness & hope that comes without any chemical dependence.

I've heard it said that with alcohol, we were looking for the right thing in the wrong place & I can identify with that because everytime I put that drink to my lips I felt I was disappearing into a world where I mattered, where I could be me, the fear left me & my imagination & passion came alive but it was all pretend & really I was hiding & isolating.

To speak with people drunk now just seems like it would be a violation of my own true boundaries & doesn't compare with the honest heart to hearts I can have with people today with the courage I have now to dare to be me as I am today & to be hopeful about continuing to grow. I don't need drink today to help me with anything. I've found a new life in new terms & I never want that old sadness back that came with the bottle & a hangover.

I've been given a gift in freedom & all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other & just keeep on walking in forward directions.

You can do this too & if you truly want to put the drink down & try a new way of life there are many friends waiting in the rooms of AA to help you. Do not be afraid. It is your bridge to normal living & you will be able to have all the things you hope for & can work towards.

Don't give up on yourself. You are worth it. In recovery love & fellowship, Danielle x



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Senior Member

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Danielle x, I guess you are very in tune with this. I know it, just need to become willing.

This part you said:
"...but it was all pretend & really I was hiding & isolating"

This is so very true. I know so much and yet the problem doesn't have to do with knowledge and to some extent understanding...Because I do understand. Everything you say makes good sense, and others writing here. It is making perfect sense, but to obey the not drinking rule, not taking one drink...

I have been sober for 2 years, a couple years ago. It was good.

Life is what we make of it. Right now it is a mixture of some very good days of alcohol free, to the drinking of up to 8 glasses of wine in an evening. The morning after one of those is like hell. I hate that feeling and am sick of it basically. I just don't like any of it.

I do feel frustrated, and stupid.

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MIP Old Timer

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My desire not to drink was & is so strong it's like a Higher Power to me but on it's own it's not enough. I love that my Sobriety began in the very beginning with a desire & with me saying 'Enough' but after that I had to have ALOT of Help for I could not do this by myself. You maybe baffled right now why you can't stop or why you're not willing enough when it hurts you so much each morning after.

You are here for a reason. Get a copy of the Big Book of AA & read, read, read. I read so much literature in my early days & it's fair to say this is where my tuning into how Sobriety works was helped. I also stepped up my meetings & I had some beautiful people around me who helped me stay away from that first drink a few times in my first 6mths when I literally couldn't do it myself. Those were examples of my HP working through people before I developed a better inner connection for me too.

I had to go to meetings, read the literature & speak with other recoverees to get any of what I have today & I couldn't have stayed sober without this essential help. I had to put myself in a position to be helped. If you want what we have  are willing to go to any lengths there are suggestions you can follow. There is a life after alcohol & though you've spent 2yrs previously without a drink I don't know if you were living in the support of the fellowship & with your own program. It's another experience altogether.

Wishing you the best, Dakota. Keep posting & sharing, Danielle x


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