LifeRing Recovery

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LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.

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Going Forward (with clarity)   Sobriety/Recovery Journals

Started 2/16/14 by Elsie (Elsiek); 50979 views.

From: cookly


Thank for being here Elsie and Brian. I'm  sober today and I was sober yesterday. This is tougher than when I got sober in Oct because I was so very sick then, drinking was out of the question. Not so physically ill now, just overwhelmed and extremely sad. 

See, I still tend to believe anything my friend K says..we've been close since we were in our 20's..before the marriages and births and deaths that intertwined us and formed a complicated history. She's willing to speak the ghastly truth to me and I've always believed her. It's an enormous shift in thinking to consider she's not right about what a horrible piece of shit I've always been. I understand her perspective though; she is the widow of my best friend who died due to drinking. She will never forgive either of us. The main takeaway point I hear is... yes it's wonderful for the alcoholic when she gets sober  but it makes no difference to the friends and family, the hurt and mistrust is permanent. She says, first of all, your daughter and I don't believe you've ever sobered up and it wouldn't matter anyway.

She's done some internet reading and is obsessed with step 4. She doesn't understand that it's not done with a fucking sledge hammer all at once, right away. It's a long, careful, organized step with a sponsor..not intended to be inflicted upon a friend by someone who's not alcoholic. 

I understand that alcoholics lie and make up nice fantasies but I know I have had sober periods,( sometimes years long) ..some of which she was present for. She says no, that didn't happen, and doesn't matter if it did. 

 My dtr declined to visit this summer after a few years of us getting along fine.  She said I just don't trust you. K says of course she doesn't trust you, and she never will. So, not much motivation there..and while I type this I also understand I can't stay sober to please or cajole someone else. I used to think, give it time, don't be impatient, let them see you living a clean life, but now I fear she is right, which means I need to live without her and without my dtr. It can be done, its just hard. 

I am in touch with local MH resources but I've already detoxed on my own. They do call me everyday though just to chat,make sure I'm up and dressed and eating, and that helps. I'm talking with AA women which also helps but I don't see myself fully engaging in the program again and doing the steps. I pretend it's because I'm an atheist, but really I cannot bear that 4th step again with the nagging suspicion that it's all for naught. 

I haven't read others' posts here, hard to find my way around and like K says, just too preoccupied with myself. Brian I can probably figure it out ( thanks for your offer) once my brain gets some focus and body anxiety eases. I am concerned and curious about how you're all doing. K says I have enormous empathy. . . for animals. I reminded her I was a social worker all my adult life and that empathy ended my career..We called it burnout. Hearing tragic stories day after week after month and year, finally crying in the  bathroom everyday. She said no, that's just another attention seeking behavior. 

Getting by  with help from some practical help on sunday bringing in all the house plants, the tropicals and ferns..everybody back in the house. Feels really good to have them back, especially the giant trees I like to  sleep under. Cukes and tomatoes are pretty much done. Pot harvest is planned for @ Oct 18 and that's always a fun sober get together. 


Brian (BrianB125)

From: Brian (BrianB125)



Many, maybe most, people don't understand alcoholism.  Many think of it as a moral failing, which is not surprising because that is the core idea of AA.  And sometimes it's worth remembering that our "friends" sometimes have issues of their own and may not be the most objective observers of us.  I think all you can do is to keep plugging away, finding your own way.  That doesn't mean you don't ask for help along the way, and it sounds like you are doing that.  

I brought my plants in West Virginia in last week, we've already had a couple of frosts.  Still waiting for my paw paws to get ripe.  A neighbor told me they don't ripen until there is a good frost.  Seems strange for what is basically a tropical plant, but what do  I know.

Keep letting us know how you are doing.



From: cookly


You help keep me grounded with talk of our mutual interests. The needs of the garden must come first; it grows according to season, not my moods, and that is a beautiful thing. 

 Since it's been legal in Canada for awhile, I feel comfortable talking about my crop..I have six huge pot plants; three Sativa and three Indica. None are 100 % either strain, just a higher percentage of one or the other. I check them everyday with a magnifying glass and have postponed harvest a few times; they are still not ready.  Friends are standing by ready to help and there will be a lot of sharing. The retail pot stores charge @ 140.00-160.00 per ounce, much of that is for taxes and outrageous packaging. So we share, like we do with tomatoes and beans and other garden crops. 

I didn't sleep well last night, still struggling with whether or not I should disengage from my friend and her devastating bio of my life. I refuse to abandon our friendship but I can step away and listen to more positive voices. That's the goal for today. 

Didn't take long for AA to rub me the wrong way..after some personal discussion, they turn to the Program.. I must join,and pray, and do service. I asked about service and she said.. to the program ! We give talks and distribute literature and fund the facilities. I asked about service to the individual but she didn't seem to understand. She said ' AA is my life', and that scared me ! I have no desire to join a cult. 

My brain is working better today; the horrible catch-22 is that a drinking person's brain is not right, and we only have that one brain to guide us into sobriety. I understand about wrong drinking thinking, and maybe that's why I allowed my friend to almost convince me it is hopeless. We absolutely need other people to guide us. Thank you for being here and being that other brain I need. 


From: LolaBug


Rae!!! I am just seeing these posts now and I am so very sorry for what you are enduring! I cannot believe your friend said that to you. I think it was rather cruel of her.

SOME people ARE able to forgive. My family and best friend (known her since we were 6) have forgiven me. I don't know why. Did I deserve forgiveness? Who gets to decide that? I quit AA before I finished the steps and now loosely follow Women For Sobriety and RR teachings. I never did any formal amends. My goal is to try every day to stay sober and be a good human being.

I'm sorry those around you are being so severely unforgiving. Maybe it's time to cut ties and concentrate on you being your best self. 

I put up with a lot of crap as a child and young person because good little girls smile and always try to please. I did not start drinking because I was selfish; I drank because I had no idea how to BE "selfish," how to stand up for myself, how to set boundaries. I believe this is a problem many, if not all, women alcoholics have. Jean Kirkpatrick, the founder of WFS, said, "I've never met a woman alcoholic who needed more humility."

Maybe you need a break from K and her "honesty," i.e., her opinion. As for your daughter, stay sober and keep the lines of communication open. Love her and allow her to be herself. I have a friend, one of us, whose daughter cut her off for years. They are now on good terms. Things change; miracles happen.

Bless you.

  • Edited October 10, 2020 2:23 am  by  LolaBug
Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)


Hi Rae

Glad to hear you've had a couple of sober days.  It sounds like a difficult place to be with your friend and it might take a bit of time to believe in your own power again. Because that power is definitely something you possess and you will find it even if you're not quite there yet. 

Honestly, AA would have us feel that we have been the most despicable humans ever when drinking. I always think it's worth remembering that Hitler was teetotal smile Of course he took a shedload of other substances, mainly amphetamines I think. And then Trump is teetotal, quite scary to think he is thinking his best thoughts and living his best life (!!!) the point being that even those who don't drink or drink only moderately are absolutely capable of wrongdoing and selfishness and in the case of those two individuals ego and megalomania!  I'm essentially an agnostic who thinks Jesus was probably a good bloke, and he said that we should not point out the mote in someone else's eye when we have a beam in our own. But I think I'm allowed to have a bit of a pop at Hitler.  

As lolabug says, alcoholics tend to have a lot of humility, maybe at times too much, so we will let other people ride over us roughshod, believe their every criticism. step 4. Is that the Inventory of Wrongdoings?  Excuse me if I find the whole idea rather hilarious.  I'm surprised I never got issued with a list called that just before my first confession, with all those sins we were told we had committed aged just 7. I didn't tidy my bedroom, I was rude to my teacher ( who lets face it was a sadistic b***h) and I had bad thoughts about my friend. There are a lot of catholics, lapsed mainly, in AA, seems to me they are used to that kind of self-flagellation. They were RAISED on it. I was raised on it, and I carry enough of it round with me still without other people bludgeoning me further. 

Making Amends. I'm with you, it isn't about driving round the county presenting people with bunches of flowers on your knees begging for forgiveness.- most people would look at you sideways and say- what exactly have you done that was so bad? People generally have their own things to worry about. No, it's a much more gradual process about living better, initially making amends to yourself by looking after your health, and just being able to show up for others and keep your commitments in future. We might feel sorry for things we have done, but we can't change the past. I may have drunk a lot when my kids were small, but I have been able to demonstrate to them that if there is a problem we can do something about it.  and you know what, sometimes I'm less than a wonderful human being even now...

We are not condemned to a lifetime of drinking. 

I might sound very lighthearted in this reply. I'm actually not. I'm struggling with many things right now, most particularly a feeling of not having fulfilled myself career or creative- wise.  I'll be back soon to expand. Right now my dog is telling me loud and clear that she needs some attention, so I'd better go before she wrecks the place. 

Elsie xx


From: cookly


Hi  Elsie, I keep hankering back to your analogy of snakes and ladders.. you go up, then slide down a bit, but not usually right to the bottom. 

I'm learning about my friends and family.. trying to riddle how some of them are not happy with me being sober.. changes the power dynamics I guess. It's surprising and disturbing.I assumed everyone wanted me to be sober but now, not so sure..I'm getting a lot of resistance. Good news is, I know my need for sobriety is only mine, and not done to please other people.  

I am sorry to hear things aren't going well for you.. you are such a lovely human being ! 


From: MaryLouise3


Such a variable experience in some ways, addiction. I'm also a fan of Gabor Maté but I don't know that all addictions stem from certain early traumas, I think cultural differences play their role. And support from family and friends, financial stability, desire to change, co-existing disorders, social stigmas -- on and on.

Love in a Time Of Cholera was written by Gabriel García Márquez, If I copy and paste, the font doesn't seem to change...

Ageing is something else I hesitate to generalise about -- I find I stopped wanting to colour my hair for no particular reason,  that since I never leave the house in lockdown, I can wander around in slippers. I like feeling older and more irresponsible.

Love to you, E.



From: MaryLouise3


Hi Rae, sorry to hear this. We do have to get sober for ourselves, I suppose. Though I've found trust and forgiveness from others has come over the years.

Do take care, always good to hear from you.



From: MaryLouise3


Rae, I think too that stepping away from negativity is always a good idea.

Your daughter's choices are her own and if she won't make a gesture of trust and move forward, that's her loss. As I recall she has always been a difficult person and not someone who has great empathy. I have found through the years that I recognise when people can't seem to stop themselves from saying things that are cruel and often untrue.

Love and a hug, keep on trying. I like E's Snakes & Ladders analogy very much! No way to go but back up --



From: cookly


So good to hear from you MaryLouise, I was wondering how you're doing...How are you doing ? 

After two weeks of crazy making dissonance, I've come to a sober conclusion I can live with. It's a measurable fact that a few people close to me are not being kind, almost trying to sabotage. It's a horrible idea but I don't see another explanation. So, I will look after myself and not agonize about what other people think.. such a futile and foolish thing at any time. I have other friends who treat me better, in fact most of them do. 

Thanks for writing, I do hope you're doing alright.  Love, Rae