I went to aa 5 years ago. I knew when I went I had drink drug probs. I went because someone told me I would make good friends there that would help me with my drink probs. I did not know what AA was about till I got there.
I liked it at first and the people. That didn't last long though. I decided I'd try and stay sober. I got a sponsor. After 11 days I relapsed. When I did I met a young man in the pub I'd seen in AA. He told me that he knew all about me as my sponsor was a gossip. I went back because the short time I had went there they had put it into my mind that I couldn't get and stay sober without them.
When I went back my sponsor started to shout and point at me from among the group of women she stood with. She shouted she didn't fucking phone me etc. etc. I walked out I felt really sad inside. I relapsed when I did I was raped. (I was actually going through withdrawals at that time, not drunk.) I went back I shared this not one person said anything to comfort me or help me. No one spoke to me much after my first relapse. I was shunned. Only some men spoke.
I had kept away from my friends most of the time… I was lonely. I was also smoking pot at times but trying to stop. I walked miles to meetings and was rarely offered a lift. Some women would look me up and down like I was nothing. I know I didn't imagine it cause one time I met a woman in there. She was right like me. She got shunned too and we were both stood and we both saw it. I cant show you but you know this obvious looking us up and down like we were shit.
I liked that lassie I was with that day but she didn't stay long. Or the other lassie I just got to know she was a black lass she went to. Someone got to her. In AA there was a man. He was much older than me and I was 43 at time. He said he would help me and gave me his number and said to phone him. He took me for coffee. He was 5 years sober. He said you won't get a bum deal from a recovering alcoholic.
Since he was the only person who wanted to know me I spoke to him. One time I was trying to stop pot but he insisted I go get some and gave me money for it. I gave him money back later. He smoked it with me. After a while he started to come on to me. I said no. He kept insisting. So I told a woman AA about this she said, "You are taking it too seriously. He does that with everyone."
I phoned him and told him I did not want to get involved etc. but he kept phoning. Then one night he phoned me and said I'm having a wank right now as we talk. Do you masturbate so and so in AA does when she phones me etc etc. I put phone down I can't describe how I felt inside. I went into a meeting next day and I said what had happened and shouted what kind of place is this.
I was seeing a psychologist at time. I told her. She said is there anyone you can talk to. (I had a new sponsor) so she said tell her and tell her you don't want to go into groups with men right now etc etc. I phoned her to tell her. She said, "Oh, a man did that to me when I came here but I didnt say anything." I started to tell her that my psychologist had said it not right for me to be in meetings with men right now. I didn't get to finish what I was saying she started to shout who the fuck do you think you are your fuck all special. I put phone down I had a very bad panic attack.
I was very ill with what drink drugs and life had did to me. I had drink and drug induced schizophrenia, acute stress, chronic depression. My panic attacks were such my whole body would shake and id fall on ground and urinate bite through my false teeth plate. Anyway, I relapsed. again and again and again.
I was shunned most of the time. I had one man tell me when I shared about domestic violence I'd experienced that this was my fault. I'd caused it. I had another man come at me and corner me in a meeting shouting you don't think about your kids. Lots of things such as this. When people shared they were sharing at me but I'd be told if I said anything that I was imagining this. My schizophrenia was brought into it…I had a few schizophrenic experiences in my life while heavy into drugs…. I'd see things hear things that weren't there and be paranoid. (No I never tried to murder anyone like in the movies.) Yeh they really gave me cold shoulder after I shared that one. Also kept saying about how schizophrenics may need medication/…I'm not a schizophrenic. I had episodes of drink and drug INDUCED schizophrenia. Or so I was told but after listening to the stories in there I think they all had it worse than me cause they had hallucinations in hollywood multicolour.
Me, I was hospitalised with this once for 4 days, several years before I went to aa. The psychologist I was seeing told me that tho I had been diagnosed with this at that time, that didn't mean I was now. When I had these experiences I was also homeless and being battered on a regular basis. It kinds of adds to the stress. Anyway, after two-and-a-half years of periods off and on I was at my wits end.
I believed I was too mentally ill or incapable of being honest. I found NA. They were different. They were much nicer to me. I felt safe around them. I got clean of everything. but I relapsed I think 3 times. I was a month clean and my old mongrel, he was 18 he died. I felt the pain too much. I couldn't handle the way I felt I smoked a little pot. There was a time I had 9 months then smoked a single skinner. This was a relapse and had to start again. I relapsed again got drunk once. Went back. I got clean and stayed clean for 16 months.
In that time I ran myself ragged doing service. I had to travel out to citys getting home late at night. Tho the people were okay with me I didn't really make friends as such. If I phoned them I'd hear a voice. They didn't phone me. And tho I was asked into their company a few times it was hard for me to go as NA was out of town. At end there were few people who were what I'd call close friends. There was only one I knew whose door I could knock on. She lived a long way away. She was new and still on drugs and drinking at times. She also didn't visit me and rarely phoned me.
There was also one clean step lady who gave me a bit of time but she moved to this city but left quick so I didn't get to know her well and she left but she kept in touch gave me her add and said I could visit her for a day. So I had 2 women friends, both living far away. Since I left I phoned them to tell them i'd relapsed etc. One never got back in touch the other has sent me a post card saying she doesn't know about keeping in touch now…
I felt lonely for that 16 months. With the walking I'd done my legs in I have spinal injuries. I couldn't walk no more. But even tho I had torn all ligaments in my legs I still went through to another city to meet up with my sponsor who had a rich mum, big flash car, a good relationship and was always smiling. I think I wanted to have some of what she had the transport like and to feel so happy that I never stopped smiling. (Now I'm happy as I am.) I waited in the rain till we could read aloud my step work. Then I'd have to rush off to get back to my city so I could go clean offices for to get some money.
So I dropped 2 NA meetings and went to 2 NA instead. When I walked in they were much nicer to me now that I was clean and working the programme etc…but still distant. Anyway. I had been told to keep away from my dad who lives quite a long way from me. I used to visit him every year. I haven't seen him for 3 years now. He drinks. Also my daughter who drinks, I was being told to distance myself, let go. Kind of hard since she had moved in with me till she gets housed. She had been beaten up by her x partner it was his flat so she came here. So this was worrying me, my child's drinking, what had happened to her, etc and also being told to distance myself. My children only have me no father around. We only have each other, my 3 daughters and I and my dad who is old and lives a few hundred miles away.
It was suggested by the lady who lives far away that I move there where she lives. I had been in a depression for a few months. I was told by some I wasn't on the programme yet I was doing all suggestions. I met up with my x partner, someone I'd been with 10 years. I slept with him. I was quizzed about this(he uses drugs, drinks). I was told this was disgusting and also that I'd do anything for a quick fix… I had feelings for him. Also I thought well if I'd do anything for a quick fix how come I have said no to all these men in AA who had stalked me…as that happened three times. One of them harassed me, one had screamed at me I was a devious scum of the earth drug addict because I had laughed when he was near by…(paranoia) he is alcoholic (to be fair tho that man he is struggling to understand what IT is…in and out of there all time like myself. It's not like he was years clean and working the steps to make himself into "a better person" etc. like the other ones who harassed me. And he apologised to me. That day he was going through withdrawals.
One man he grabbed me and tried to … I know that we all had or have problems but its like this kind of thing made me scared to go but I'd be made to feel that I was a bad person if I didn't go. etc…in the 5 years there I had only had sex with my x partner but got called down for it. I was asked one to one if I'd slept with him. I'm a 48 yr old woman and I was answering these questions. I was told to get rid of my x partner. But I'm glad I got out of that with him as he was violent of course when I was told that was my fault I'd caused it I believed that which along with the total isolation I felt among these people I never knew and the fear in my head of what all this was about and because I was now sober and working this programme that is supposed to make life perfect cause that's what I was hearing when I first went there…made it easy for him to get back with me (I had split up with him 2 years before I went to AA) He turned up at my door after I was in AA. …I also spent a lot time saying sorry to him for him knocking my teeth out sticking the head in me fracturing my leg. I could go on…because after all I must have caused him to do that. It must have been my fault that he blackened my eyes for turning a record off late at night when I thought he was asleep and no longer listening to it. That's why he got up and beat me up for turning a record off…of course I'd caused it…because I had tried to end it. Of course he had every right to beat me up when I tried to end our relationship that's the done thing isn't it when a woman tries to leave they are supposed to be beat up and told they can't end it…anyway.
Getting bit upset here. Near the end of my time in AA, NA I was physically knackered. I was stressed out. I was worrying about my children, their drinking, and also what to do about distancing myself, letting go. I was full of guilt from repeatedly hearing things in meetings such as we hurt our children and when the things about children where said their eyes would be on me. (I know I harmed my kids I didn't need them to keep on about it all time. I had went into meeting shared that I thought it was about time I forgave myself and got rid of guilt I felt about my children) From that time on the women's shares who had kids they would go on about how we hurt our children like I wasn't to ever put it behind me. And I'd feel guilt again.
I was full of shame from things I'd done and no matter how much I'd write (step work ) it was never good enough. (I still have some of my step work. I'ts in a big bin liner. There is also the stuff I burned. There is a lot of written work there. I was tired. Inside I was beginning to wonder who I was. It was like all the step work was changing my identity. (I was NO I am an old hippie type…but there is little evidence of that left in me.) I used to have a laugh and joke but I'd became deadly serious. I was constantly wondering if a defect was showing. My voice was strange cause I was watching my p's and Q's all time and wondering if I was saying something defective. and the constant prayer meditation the going over and over of steps in my head etc. (I did all this because I thought I had to do this to get well and stay well) It came to xmas time. I had an argument with my daughter. I said things to her I wouldn't have never said in drink or my pot use. In fact when I think back I was a right laid back lady and peaceful most of the time.
I did change a bit my nature just before I went to AA. I was getting angry etc but that to me was a direct result of domestic violence. Anyhow, I said these things to my kid and I didn't know who was saying them. It wasn't me. She left. After she left I phoned an AA and lo and behold this one came straight to me wanted to take me out round town.etc…isn't it strange I think now suddenly they all wanted to know me.
A few days later I was sat on my bed still in depression feeling so bad inside for hurting my kid…wondering where she was. I'd tried phoning her but no answer. I had been to a meeting shared is done service that week in both AA and NA meetings. I had wrote step work that morning, said my prayers, did my handing over bit. I started to tx and phone people. Not because I wanted to use or drink but because of how I was feeling inside. I phoned my new sponsor. She started to raise her voice. She said, "You just focus on your kids all time. It's your kids, your kids all time. We don't do this for our kids or our partners we do this for ourselves. Do what you want to do. Do what makes you happy." …I sat on bed and thought what makes me happy. And pot comes into my head so I walked to the dealers who lives on my road and got some, went back and smoked it.
That was over a month ago. I tx my home group secretary and sponsor said I have relapsed and now have no desire to stop using drugs all best…one tx back said don't give up hope of recovery etc. My sponsor phoned, said, "I will be here for you when you get back. I'm still your friends" etc. They both said they were still my friends, but I haven't heard from them again.
I found this site since and other sites I now know where AA came from and to be honest I am disgusted by what I have been in to think it was started by this guy who was into kids and from a religion yet they kept saying it wasn't and that it wasn't a cult as I had thought it was but told it wasn't. Well, it sure looks like one to me. I haven't wrote anywhere near the amount of stuff that happened there. It would take too long. Also the way I felt when there, the isolation, the being shunned, made me feel like I was a bit of shit.
Tho I liked the fact that physically I was looking better GUESS I'M VAIN…I had malnutrition at one time all my hair fell out and tho I was in better nick than that when I went to AA I was still thin and the fear and stress when in there and relapsing and everything had took its toll. But that's it. I was looking better. But inside I didn't have this serenity all that.
At times I did but not many. Most time I was stressed depressed. I also got suicidal at times. One time I said I felt suicidal depressed etc. not one person did or said anything they just let me walk out room. I phoned a girl from drug alcohol agency. She helped me that day. I really felt like I was on verge of ending my life and since I'd kept hearing how those who don't get it die by drugs or suicide, well it messes with my head. I don't want to die. You see I want to have a healthy and happy life. But there are times in my life when I feel like I'm going to end it cause of how I feel inside or how im thinking and guilt and shame were what I was living with. Also fear. And isolation. I also thought why have I to be in gratitude to them for what I have.
One time I tried to leave and a guy from NA who up till then I had thought was an okay person and I'd say he had been a good friend not right close but a friend…he followed me home. He walked into my home raising his voice saying so your just walking out after all we have did for you, all you got from us, etc. etc.…That made me feel guilty so really it was them that got me clean and bought my new carpet and hoover them. Not me. I put no effort into it. And my v/work that I got before I went to AA, well I suppose I'd still not be there if not for them and my part time work to they got that job not me…so I went back. Didn't leave…I now no longer felt trapped in drink drugs but trapped in AA/NA.
Anyway. This was over a month ago. I haven't drank or went on to other drugs. The pot, I been keeping it in control. YES CONTROL. I buy a little bit put it in a drawer and only smoke it at night. When that little bit a fiver worth is finished usually 4 or 5 days. I leave it alone for days sometimes 5 days, 3 days, then get another bit. I haven't as yet had any adverse effects from it. I haven't had any for 3 days now. I don't know if it will get a grip of me or not. Don't know if I will stop again and stay stopped or not…I'm trying to tell myself that I won't get worse.
I don't want to get worse but it has been drummed into me for over 5 years that I will. I have been to see a psychologist. He said he can't see me as having a problem, that I seem perfectly okay to him…but since I asked he is going to get me therapy for people who have been abused and drugs etc…I also go on recovery web sites that aren't 12 steps.
I have wrote a lot and yet still could write more. Here's one the man who came up to me and said GOD wants you to change…This was when I had shared, "Why do we have to be rid of our defects"…he also said relapsing was like pissing in the face of god…Tow do they know god wants us to change? I'm into working on myself in some areas…but to say we need to rid ourselves of these what were there I was told 96 defects seems a bit impossible to me. And it must be impossible because the sponsor who screamed and swore at me he'd been doing this stuff for 30 years so how come her defects haven't gone…
See there are also things about the programme that I question. And what about people who don't believe in god…They are forced to believe in god then. I was told to change the belief in god I once had to change it) I believe there is a god but don't believe in organized religion and cults. I had been in a cult a long time before when I was young and escaped it…didn't want to be in one or join any church again…But looks like that's happened without me even knowing it was…
Got nothing against those who do have a church etc. or those who want to and are glad to be in AA and NA and nothing against atheists either. My dad is one, an atheist, and drinker and I love him. He is an okay person…better than most I got to know slightly in AA. Okay so I have been gone from it around 5 weeks. My daughter turned up and we are okay now. My other daughter too was here today. She was in hospital at time I was worrying about my kids her kidneys were packing in and she was pregnant…but I wasn't to worry about my kids!
I hardly saw my children when I was in there. They say we were not there for our kids when we used drugs…Yet I saw more of them when I was smoking the pot. I didn't go out drinking that often most time I was indoors smoking pot. When I was I could communicate, cook, watch tv, play my guitar, read, talk to people, and listen…I was told I was in denial when I wrote that in my step work…Course after I met these people my drinking and pot use changed. Its like I started to fall over if I tried to smoke it. Tho after this 16 months I have used pot again and I'm not falling over. Well, not yet anyway. If I do I will stop using it. (but that's when my thoughts get mixed up cause if the pot gets bad, makes me feel ill, etc. will I be able to stop using it…or will I have to go back to a place I don't want to be have to do things I don't want to do in order to stop and stay stopped) cause that's what I been told over and over for 5 years now… Well, I see my children lots now. My baby granddaughter was here today…I believe if I'd kept going there I'd have become alienated from my family. All I would have knew would be them. I used to hear lots people say there life was in AA. They only mixed with people in AA etc.…
I want to live in the world, do nice things, and be able to mix with different people from different walks of life…INCLUDING MY FAMILY… Thank you for the opportunity to write this.