I cannot tell you how many emails I get that say something like, "I have to stop drinking, my whole life is collapsing around me, my family is giving up on me, what do I do? How did you do it?"
And I respond to every single one of these emails individually. I don't have an answer that I cut and paste because everyone is unique. HOWEVER, I could cut and paste certain things. Because I include the same shit in every email. I usually include something like, please come back and tell me how you're doing. Because I LOVE hearing from people about the struggles and the victories - all of it. But guess what? I rarely hear back from people, like EVER. They aren't ready or they don't like my answer, hell, I wouldn't like my answer. I didn't, back in the day when people said the same shit to me. Over and over and over. I didn't listen, so I'm never surprised when people don't listen to me. Even though they ASK FOR HELP, they still aren't willing to do whatever it takes to get and stay sober.
First of all, I am no expert. I know nothing except finally stopping the bullshit and now my own story. I only know what worked for me. I can't tell you if you're an alcoholic or an addict. Only you can do that. I can't do the work for you. Only you can do that. And it's hard as hell. No sugar coating, and no, "oh it's not that bad." It's bad, my friends. You wouldn't be emailing me, a stranger, if it weren't bad.
So, here's my quick and dirty list of what to do (FROM MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE - NOT THE ONLY WAY TO DO THIS BY FAR), even though I know you won't do it:
- Go to an AA meeting.
- Talk to people there - OF YOUR SAME SEXUAL ORIENTATION because you know what doesn't help with sobriety? FLIRTING and ATTENTION SEEKING. Talk to people even though you really don't want to, and tell them how miserable you are. They will help you. Get phone numbers.
- Go to another AA meeting.
- Call those people you met that nobody wants to call, but call them anyway. And honestly tell them what's going on.
- Go to another AA meeting.
- Use every single excuse you can think of - you can't get to a meeting, you don't like the people, you don't like religion, you are different than everyone there, they don't "get" you, blah blah blah - and then stop using all the damn excuses and just sack up and do it. Take what you like and leave the rest in the rooms. Nobody wants to go to AA. And it doesn't work for EVERYONE. But if you want it to work, it will help you in some way. It doesn't just fix you. You have to do the work. We don't like to do hard work, I get it. I didn't want to either, until I decided I was worth it and would do ANYTHING to get sober.
- Go to another AA meeting. You catch my drift? Then eventually, when you stop dicking around, you will work the 12 steps and that's when it really gets hard. And you know what, 11 years later, it's still hard because life is hard. But it's also wonderful when you get to a place of gratitude and forgiveness and acceptance.
Now, not everyone uses AA and that's fine. Again, this is my story and I don't believe in everything about AA, but I believe enough of it because it is the only thing that helps me stay sober. NOTHING ELSE WORKED FOR ME.
This isn't an ad for AA as that is against what AA is about and I'm the first person to say it isn't perfect, but hey, look at your life now and if it ain't working and your drinking is causing havoc, what have you got to lose? Misery is always refundable. Give it a try. Report back to me and tell me how much you hate it. That means you're right on track if you KEEP GOING and doing the hard work and DON'T DRINK. I'm just posting this here because I hear from so many of you and clearly there are many miserable folks out there who on some level want to change and are struggling. I just want to give you some encouragement. You know what I'll say now, right? ONE DAY AT A TIME. ONE GOTDAMNED DAY AT A TIME.
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