I have been in recovery since the day before 9/11. Had one relapse, and now have 17.5 years of sobriety. My relapse happened right in the middle of all of the infidelity trauma. And after I survived it, I finally started getting good recovery. Not just from alcoholism, but also from the mind-f*ck of being utterly betrayed by the man I trusted the most in the whole world and his head games.
Give me a moment to be very very frank with you about recovery from alcoholism. It is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it is 1000 times more rewarding than the effort I put into it. I am a completely different person than I was while I was active in my addiction. I wasn't willing to do the hard part until my back was against the wall, and I knew that continuing to drink would definitely kill me. I was locked in a rehab for 3 days, and knew that even though I hadn't been drinking for 3 years, my disease had been progressing at a rapid pace during that time. My disease really wanted me dead.
So I finally handed my will over to God and did the seemingly impossible task of a thorough self-examination. I was broken and miserable at the end of it, but my fellow alcoholics were there to support me when I was done with it. God, I hated me at that time. But I kept going because I was just so desperate to not let this disease kill me. When I shared my self-examination with my sponsor, she explained that I was a child of God, He loved me, and if I wanted to be forgiven, all I had to do was ask. What a mind fuck that was. I had always thought God hated me, was torturing me because of it, and I would never be forgiven. I changed that day. Between the time I dropped off my kids at school and when I picked them up, all of the self-hatred and the need to drink left me. It was really a miracle. As they say in AA, nothing changed and everything changed. All of the effort was so worth it.
Not everybody that tries AA succeeds at it. But I definitely am not the strongest, smartest, most devout person that has been a member of AA. I don't know why God chose me to survive. Maybe to be of service to others? So I try to be of service whenever I'm asked now. All I know is that I was so very desperate to not die, and this disease was coming after my ass but HARD.
If you're thinking of trying AA, here are some things to keep in mind.
You're not going to feel comfortable the moment you walk in the door. They try to provide a LOT of support to newcomers. Don't let the fact that all of the attention is on you overwhelm you. You will never find a group of more supportive or understanding people in the whole world. It is perfectly acceptable to be broken and all kinds of fucked up, because everybody in there either is or has been exactly the same way.
Take what you want and leave the rest. Not everyone has the same beliefs, and some of the people in there are sicker than others.
Hang around after the meetings and make new friends. They will be the best you ever make in your whole life. When they ask if you want phone numbers, take them. Even if you don't call anyone right away, you'll use them eventually.
Don't worry if you don't think you can do the steps. You do them on your own time when you're ready. Also, don't worry about getting a sponsor on day one. Yes, get one sooner rather than later, but take the time to get familiar with some of the people in the program before you pick one. Ask other people about their sponsors and what they like and don't like about them.
Read the Big Book. Just read it. Including the stories at the end. You can skip ahead and read them like short stories when you're reading the Big Book if you'd like.
Listen to old-timers. They've figured out how to survive this fucking awful disease.
If you work the program well, you get so much more than you think you deserve. You didn't deserve to get this disease in the first place. Nobody ever takes their first drink hoping to get addicted to it and have their lives spiral out of control. Never ever stop because you're afraid you don't deserve recovery.
I wish you the best of luck and all of the peace and serenity in the world.
ETA: OK, that was more than a moment. But I hope you got something out of it. ((((Hugs))))
[This message edited by Solarchick at 10:23 PM, Thursday, August 4th]