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); 51065 views.

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


From: MaryLouise3


Rae, I'm fine and we have a slow summer underway, the garden filled with pelargoniums and salvias, my herbs doing well -- I have taken on too much work and feel tired much of the time, not enough energy to hang out on forums or relax with online groups!

I do know that many of us have spent years being undermined  by those closest to us and their harsh or unkind attitudes have made us afraid to reach out and make new friends or get close to people in case we get hurt again. I tiptoe on eggshells around my sisters in emails or phone calls, and that isn't because of our shared problems with addiction but because of a childhood in which our mother played us off against one another or favoured one daughter over the other. And we as sisters know my mother was just acting out what had been done to her and that she was struggling with severe alcoholism and mental illness, couldn't show consistency or steady attention as I know she would have done if she had been able to get support or be free of her own traumas. Over the years I've come to understand from family history how terrifying and damaging those traumas were in my mother's life and how courageous she was to keep going for so long. I have tremendous respect for her, she had none of my opportunities or alternatives back in the 1950s in a British colony.

A friend of mine who has a mother living with paranoid schizophrenia once said to me that her mother may never get 'well' but  has tried over and over again to be a mother and that counts for more than any supposed 'recovery' or comparisons with what other mothers without mental health challenges are able to do.

I agree that people in your life, your old friend too, are sabotaging your recovery, not deliberately perhaps but because they can't see their own woundedness or hostility. Put as much distance there as you can and be self-protective. You have talked before about being a social worker and I know how caring and committed you were, how that burn-out has stayed with you. 

Oh, about gardening (our mutual passion) -- yesterday, I unearthed a great clump of golden turmeric and I am stunned -- it is expensive here and I didn't expect tp get so much from a single plant, I felt as if I was digging up buried ingots of gold. Am now planning spicy laksas and curries for the next few weeks.

Take care, you are much loved and deserve better


Rex (rcclark99)

From: Rex (rcclark99)


Hello Elsie,

I have thought a lot about this forum for the last few days and how much I really miss it. It seems like a place of sanity, peace and reflection which I need desperately at this time.

I'm afraid the last three years have left me bitter and hateful in many ways. I have broken off almost all communication with my three politically conservative siblings and while it has left me somewhat isolated and sad I cannot and will not tolerate those kinds of people in my life anymore.

I know this probably has nothing to do with this thread but I just wanted to get back to reading and posting here and guess I picked one of your posts to butt in on. You might have noticed my bitterness about the current state of our country on my Facebook posts.

While I am sober and will celebrate my 11th sober year on November 15, I am tired, discouraged and sad about the world in general and of course Covid19 has done nothing to improve those feelings. Here in the central U.S. the disease is currently rampaging through the population and we face the possibility of more closures and shutdowns of various kinds of businesses.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate several of you folks still being here including yourself, Mary, Brian, Rae and others. I hope to find time to read a lot and catch up with some of you in the next few weeks. I have found that I need this sanctuary from this world we're living in at this time. I am quite busy with working part-time, workouts at the gym and a personal trainer and napping ;-). I will soon be 74 and of course wonder about all the lost years I struggled with alcoholism and how things would be different without those. But as they say "it is what it is" so we'll move forward from where we are today.

Love to you and all my friends here


From: MaryLouise3


Hi Rex and so good to have you posting here again!

I haven't been able to access the site for a while, my system at fault I assume but finally I could get in today.

You're not alone in the disillusionment, I think  that is global as well as American. In this year of a pandemic, I have been struck by the unselfishness and generosity of so many  in healthcare and service industries and  at the same time appalled by the indifference and stupidity of  so many who put others at risk in public places. The handling of the pandemic and related issues of unemployment and loneliness etc has been so bad. I hope 2021 sees some kind of turn-around.

You've had a rough time  with health recently, Rex, and I'm hoping you're back home now and doing well. I'm busy working on a number of editing and writing projects and reading fiction -- looking forward to new biography on the poet Adrienne Rich that has just been published. I'm also gardening, have put in a new forest lily known as Makaya bella, a lovely white flowering plant for shady places. After staying at home so much this year, I find (ominously) that I dread leaving the house for any reason, not a good sign.

Love to Judy and yourself,  keep well and stay safe.