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I'm thinking about going to AA now as I think my drinking has got out of control again.

Last time I quit, which was for over a year, I completely went it alone.

Since relapsing I've been trying to do the same thing, but sheer willpower can't pull me through.

I looked into getting some medication online but that was turned down (I think because I've had seizures in the past).

I may talk to the GP about it but, this being England, I have doubts whether I'd be prescribed anything on the NHS.

Thinking about AA... Do you have to talk at the first meeting? I'm scared and don't want to talk about stuff in front of people, not until I feel comfortable. (I get really bad social anxiety) Do they insist you talk to the group? Anyone know how it works?

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  • Posted

    Seizures from going cold turkey or seizures similar to epilepsy?


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    • Posted

      Seizures similar to epilepsy - and it's been 12 years since it happened. At the time alcohol was identified as a trigger factor (they all occured when I was hungover) but the specialists I saw didn't see this as the main factor. 

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    • Posted

      Then probably for you, the best route is a detox with diazepam or similar and thecurb Campral to help the craving. There is anothe medication and Joanna might join the thread and comment, called Selincro, but they might rule that out because of your previous seizures, Joanna will know.

      Your GP will refer you a alcohol treatment charity who can prescribe the medication. He may give you a prescription for diazepam but is more likely to leave it to the charity.

      Every time you relapse, your body digs in deeper with alcohol, so the withdrawal symptoms get worse, it's called kindling. Google alcohol withdrawal kindling. Your brain also gets hard wired that it can't stop thinking about alcohol 24/7, it drives you nuts, so eventually you drink just to make it stop.

      Talking about it doesn't realy help that much, unless the people counselling really understand alcohol addiction does to you, how it affects your central nervous system and your neural pathways.

      Believe me, getting medication is the most likely way to succeed.

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    • Posted

      Hi Peter,

      I've just looked up the local NHS instructions/guidance in your area and all medications approved for alcohol dependence are to be prescribed by your local alcohol recovery centres only.  I would suggest that it is worth self refering yourself as their their are 2 medications that can be used to help support your abstinence.  It would be at least useful to know if they are medically suitable for you, even if you chose not to try them.


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  • Posted

    No you don't have to talk at the first meeting. You are there to 'taste it'. Have you read their book? It is very enlightening! Also no one is judging you as they are all there for the same reason.

    Also where in England do you live? In my area there is a Recovery Programme for people with addictions; they support you on your road to recovery. A little different to AA but both work well for different people.


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  • Posted

    Hi peter.

    AA helped me a great deal...it was somewhere to go....boredom or still time is a good breeding ground for wanting a drink. 

    You could meet new friends there...people like you....people that drank like you, people that drank worse than you, people that drank less than you...but people that really understand the struggle, the relapses and the desire to stay sober.

    They have many quirky sayings...but after time...some of them can become  your saving grace.  I have an example: They always say "Live and let live".  Meaning...do your thing...don't worry how others are living their lives.  

    There used to be a woman at work that would make my blood boil everytime she opened her mouth and on most nights after having to spend ANY time with this woman during the day...I would drink....I started to repeat this "live and let live" motto in my head everytime I felt my anxiety creeping up...and during my sobriety that is just one of the things that helped to keep me sober the "quirky" mottos. 

    I was sober 8 years....I attribute ALL of that sober time to the things I learned in AA.  

    Yes, they talk about God a lot...but just ignore that if it is something that annoys you.

    NO..no one forces you to speak in AA. And my guess is...that after a while of you becoming comfortable with any certain group...you will WANT to speak.  I have really bad anxiety as well...and I would be nervous and awkward at times...but I knew just sitting there for that one hour...I would be sober that night....its like magic...when you leave there...you feel like you are beating the alcohol....you feel like you are getting  your control back.

    Please go...there are people that don't agree with AA and some of them are in this forum...as I noticed you have not really recieved a reply on this question as to if you should go to AA or not.

    All I can tell you....is just like every pill works differently on people....AA works differently for people.

    Give it a try...you owe it to yourself...and another thing they say in AA is...You have tried it (to quit) your way and it didn't work...maybe it is time to try something else.  smile

    I don't presently attend AA....that is just because I am very teary eyed when I think of it because my sponsor died last year...and every time I have been to a meeting as of late...all I do is think about her, miss her,,etc...it brings up too much negative emotion for me right now.  But, I have been to at least 3 meetings in the last 4 months.

    Anytime you have a question about AA you can ask me - I went almost everyday for 6 of my 8 years sober.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your message. I'm sorry to hear about your sponsor, too.

      Yesterday something happened that stressed and upset me in the morning, I had to work all day and I was panicking. I had this feeling in me that I would drink (after managing a few days sober) and it was a rotten feeling. I tried to intervene and even wrote a kind of letter to myself to try and impose some reality and convince myself to step back... but still... I gave in.

      This morning (with the usual morning guilt) I thought 'if only there was someone I could have spoken to or a place I could have gone - I really think that could have made the difference.' Hence wondering about AA, as I have done in the past. Thank you again, your account of it makes it sound less scary and like something I might be able to do.

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    • Posted

      Other things you may hear that may scare you (when you are at a meeting).

      You MUST get a sponser (No, you don't HAVE to do anything...I waited at least 3 months before I got a sponser).

      You MUST DO THE 12 STEPS.....(NO, your #1 goal is to stay sober...possibly go thru the 12 steps someday when you are wanting to).

      Something I do think is helpful...is if you take a liking to someone....someone you heard speak...and if you can after a few meetings muster up some strength to approach that person and tell them how they have helped you...they may offer a phone # for you to have someone to talk to.  I met my best friend in AA...

      She came up to me after a meeting and said I helped her...we had small chit chat...exchanged numbers...and became best buddies.  

      By approaching someone it doesn't mean you want them as a sponser (unless you do).....

      Somethings on Sponsors...some act just like normal friends and don't do a lot of preaching or give a lot of orders...like you MUST start Step 2...lol.   Some will give orders...and that is when I would just distance myself and stop calling them.

      DO THINGS AT YOUR PACE....the goal of AA is to help us stay sober....and you CAN do that by just going to meetings for a while and not putting any added pressure on yourself.

      If someone approaches  you with one of the MUSTS that I mentioned...REMEMBER ME...and REMEMBER You are an individual...Do what works for you....and your answer to those people should be...Thank you for your thoughts...I can consider them.

      I had a guy tell me in a meeting (I was asked to share my story at the start of the meeting and I said NO)...The guy says to me...you NEVER say NO ....I said..Maybe you don't say NO....but I DO....He debated that I would not stay sober by saying NO......I shrugged him off.

      We later became friends....AND he has passed away now...from going out drinking...I remained sober for 8 years after his comment that I would NOT.....SO.....DO YOU.

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    • Posted

      Amazing response, and thank you so much for taking the time to write all this for me. It's really useful stuff for me to know. I'm going to look into it all, hopefully I'll be able to tell you how it went. I'm pleased if my thread as also made you think of going to a meeting...

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    • Posted

      You will be surprisingly proud of yourself and feel very much elated after you go to your first meeting.

      Walking into a first meeting is "brave".  Remember, the people in those meetings have the same problem - if they pick up a drink....they got there because at some point they were desperate to stop drinking...just like you...and they were scared to.  In my 6 years of experience going to AA I have NEVER seen anyone be cruel to anyone.

      If anything....the people in the meetings are some of the most caring, loving, peaceful people you will ever meet.  Most of the sober ones....love seeing the "newcomers"....you may hear as I did at many meetings...the newcomer is the most important person in the meeting...and that is because it reminds people that have been sober a while what h*ll it was to start a sober journey....it keeps them sober.....

      Just as you struggling to go to a meeting...I have been too...not just because my sponser died..but because i feel I have failed....because I have drank for the last 3 years....and its not that  I think they will embarass me...its just my pride....BUT, I know meetings work...and I know I will be accepted with open arms....and because of you my friend....I'm going to go to a meeting....I can't tell you to go and be brave if I won't do the same....and I will.

      Please go...and then it would be great if you would share your experience with us.

      Thank you.

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    • Posted

      Hi Peter, I am UK based and being on here a few months now has got my alcohol right down from 2 bottles a night to 1 and now a glass a night.  But lack of sleep get to me badly and last weekend I buckled and drank Sat/Sun (slept like log).  Worried for this w/end.

      I have an AA meeting plac 5 mins walk from me which is held on either a Saturday or Sunday but I am too nervous to go and feel self conscious on my own.  I am spiritual but not God wise!

      It will be good to hear how you get on.

      The guys on here are wonderful biggrin

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    • Posted

      Thank you Gwen, yes there are some amazing people on here. I'm really glad I discovered this forum.

      I looked up AA meetings and I'm the same as you - Sat and Sun there's a meeting just a stone's throw from my flat. The idea of going there is a bit much for me, but at least I can say that I'm considering it... I will let you know what happens. Have a good weekend, and take care of yourself.

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    • Posted

      Hi Peter - and also what does not help is that the AA meeting is in a church right opposite a couple of friends houses - when I told the hubster that I was considering going and where it was - he was horrified.  So if I do get up the courage to go, it is a dark wig and dark glasses for me!! lol - well one has to keep a sense of humour with this flipping nightmare we are dealing with. 

      You take care also and have a good one.


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    • Posted

      True, but it's not like anyone would know you were there for AA is it?... I mean, if I saw one of my neighbours coming out of the church hall, there are easily a dozen other things it could be. I only know the fact AA meets locally due to having looked it up myself this week...

      I'm a fine one to talk though... I was gathering my courage to maybe go to a meeting earlier when I realised the local church hall has several spaces (main hall, parish rooms etc). That killed me. The idea of walking into a room and saying 'am I in the right place for alcoholics anonymous?'... I have to say I'm not ready to do that yet. If only there was a little sign! But that would defeat the object of the anonymity of course... Aargh!

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    • Posted

      I don't think I can do the meetings in my area but I agree they are for some people and not for everyone.

      I like how you said you don't need a sponsor.  You don't need to do the 12 steps.  My favorite motto is:  Take what you need and leave the rest.  That I have done!  

      Let me know how your make out if you do go to a meeting.  smile 

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    • Posted

      Yikes...I spent the day with my family today.....I have to remember that sobriety NEEDS to be first if I want to suceed at "winning". 

      But, the weekend isn't over smile

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