Struggling, So Time To Make Some Changes

by Dick on July 11, 2012 · 11 comments

in Addiction, Recovery, Relapse, SMART Recovery, Sponsors

With the nice summer weather upon us and the abundance of parties, I have been having a hard time. July 4th weekend was particularly difficult. A cold beer would have really hit the spot….

I’ve determined that my current program needs some changes. I’m going to get a new sponsor.  I have fallen out of touch with my current sponsor, plus he’s not the right match for me anyway.

I need to get back to regular therapy. I still have a lot of unresolved issues stemming from my upbringing and genetic makeup. No matter how much success I have or material goods I obtain, I have this hole in my soul or something that I need to fill with reward and recognition. The two mottos I most remember most in my household growing up was my dad’s “We don’t play to win, we play for blood” and my mom’s “Just get over it.” So that’s what I did. I was an assassin who killed and maimed the competition while simultaneously burying inside all negative feelings and emotions. Instead of killing the enemy, it turned on me, and I wound up destroying myself. I need to find some type of peace within my inner soul so I don’t feel the need to dull the pain.

I checked out a Smart Recovery meeting on Monday night, and I really liked it. It reminded me of the group sessions we did at Hazelden. A lot more constructive cognitive help than you get at a typical AA meeting. I will definitely go back.

I have become increasingly disenfranchised with AA. I love the fellowship but I still cannot get through some of the doctrine, especially God/Higher Power piece. I wish I could be more spiritual because I see how beneficial it is to people, but I can’t seem to get there without a huge internal debate and argument. Being a lawyer in recovery sucks sometimes. I love my friends in AA and I love the fellowship. So I will keep going to my 3-4 meetings a week.

Well, that’s about it. Feeling pretty shitty about it. Then I feel better. Then shitty. I just want to get it. Why is it so hard?


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  • Suzanne

    Hi Dick, sorry to to hear you’re struggling. Hang in there! A new sponsor is probably a good idea; maybe change up some AA meetings? Do you have a lawyer’s meeting in your town? We have one here, I go occasionally – it can be a good perspective, an enhancement to the ‘general’ fellowship…and sometimes not (lawyers are as crazy, sometimes more so, than the general crowd :-)). Anyway, you can do it, just take it minute by minute if you have to and play the ‘beer tape’ to the end – we talked about that in the meeting I was at this am, where people were talking about two lawyers that went out after 5+ years of sobriety – ugh. Keep blogging and just don’t drink today. I’m behind you and you can do it.

    • Dick

      Thanks Suzanne!

  • B. (Below Her Means)

    I can empathize with this struggle so much. I just wrote about it too:

    • Dick

      Thanks B. Love your post!

      • B. (Below Her Means)

        Thanks so much.

  • Anson C

    You didn’t get into the program to join a debating society. Just let go and let God and it will all fall into place. I’ve heard people talk about using the fellowship as their Higher Power. Check out the 12 and 12, also The Steps We Took by Bill McQ, it helped me a lot.

    • Dick

      Anson, I’ve never had God in my life and I’m an atheist, so that’s not going to work at all. Plus, I believe all the God stuff in AA is simply a cognitive technique to not focus on the root problem, which is inner turmoil for the vast majority of alcoholics. We still need to figure out why we self-medicate with our addictions. Don’t you think?

  • byebyebeer

    It all sounds completely normal to me – the ups and downs, the triggers on holidays, the struggle accepting AA at various points. Your solution sounds decidedly proactive and healthy. I hope you find the peace you deserve and be patient with yourself in the process. It’s hard because it’s new and because it’s hard work…you’re doing great.

    • Dick

      Thanks Bye, your words help.

  • T

    Dick: I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. I haven’t yet, but it’s only been 10 days for me. I have been avoiding dinner with friends, etc because I know I’ll want a beer or a glass of wine, which will lead to another, and another…you know the story. I’ve been to lots of meetings, and I too and having trouble with AA because of the “powerlessness” and “God” talk. I wrote a bit about that in my blog, how staying sober is a choice, how my Higher Power is Sober Me, how I need to build up Sober Me so she is the prime mover of my life, not Alcoholic Me. I really like the LifeRing approach, which emphasizes positive strategies for staying abstinent, and is science-based. AA isn’t the only way to get sober, use whatever works for you. I can see myself increasingly dropping AA for LifeRing, although some of the people I’ve met in AA are amazing and supportive, and if I ever need a meeting because I feel myself spinning out of control, I’ll go to the first one available, whether it’s AA or LifeRing. I hope you feel better soon. Good luck.

  • tired- ofdrinking

    this quote really rings true for me: “No matter how much success I have or material goods I obtain, I have this hole in my soul or something that I need to fill with reward and recognition.” growing up with an alcoholic parent, always felt i had to prove something, and there was never enough attention … i’m going to have to think more about this, thanks for the provocation.

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