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R. Lee 05-10-2009 11:03 PM

new to site wanted to start a thread
 
I'm new to the site & thought I would try it out. 42 yrs. of drinking. I knew I was an alcoholic for the last 23 yrs. of drinking when I hit my bottom in 1982. I tried to quit on my own several times & always went back out for more. I have been sober since 9/2004. I go to about 5 A.A. meetings a week.

jerryg 05-11-2009 09:12 AM

R. Lee,
Welcome to the site.
It's good to hear you have maintained your recovery. and you continue to seek support. Feel free to share your story and insights. What have you learned over the years of experience with sobriety and AA. Have you ever been a sponsor? I ask that because it can be an important part of recovery in AA. It's an individual choice, I'm just asking. Again, welcome.
Jerry

R. Lee 05-11-2009 10:51 AM

Jerry, Thanks for the welcome. I have sponsored several people. I also lead a jail meeting with inmates at our local county jail once a week. I'm a firm believer in rewards of 12 step work.

CarlyO 05-12-2009 06:44 PM

Hi RLee,

Welcome to the forum ! I think it great that you are sponsering people and helping out, I am sure it helps you just as much. I hope you will continue to share your experience, strength and hope here, in fact maybe you could share your story sometime.

Again, welcome and glad you are here- take care , Carly

R. Lee 05-12-2009 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarlyO (Post 333744)
Hi RLee,

Welcome to the forum ! I think it great that you are sponsering people and helping out, I am sure it helps you just as much. I hope you will continue to share your experience, strength and hope here, in fact maybe you could share your story sometime.

Again, welcome and glad you are here- take care , Carly

Thank you CarlyO. Just back from the jail meeting. 7 inmates. 4 guys were in the jail 2 yrs. ago going to the same A.A. meeting. Now they are all back. One of these inmates had 20 yrs. sober 2 yrs. ago. He was in for child support. (2nd part of the 1st step) In the last 2 yrs. he convinced himself he could do some controled drinking. ( 1st part of the 1st step) Drinking graduated to cocaine. For sometime before getting locked up again he got sober, got a sponcer & attended A.A. meetings. He knows alcohol is cunning baffling & powerful & is just waiting for the right moment when you think hey maybe I can handle it a drink. Jail is real proof of the revolving door. I have never heard anyone say it got better after going back out it. Guys like these teach me it is not getting any better out there. Hey I almost have another day under my belt!

CarlyO 05-14-2009 06:39 PM

Hi R.Lee,

You know hearing about your experinces reminds me of how true - imo- the adage of "jails , institutions or death. " It scares me as I am familiar with 2 of the three and have no desire to face the 3rd anytime soon!

I just wish there were more alternatives than Jail, or at least better options while incarcerated. But that is my soap box. Thank God for people like you who take meetings to people.
And yes, the revolving door, one thing I try to explain here is that this is a progressive disease,I believe it, it only gets worse. If I relapsed tomorrow I would pick right up where I was.

Well, here's is to another a day without alcohol R. Lee ! Take care : ) Carly

R. Lee 05-14-2009 10:46 PM

CarlyO, I stayed around long enough to hear one way to stay sober is to give it back. I'm about to wrape up another 24 hours. It was not the best day. I'm human & alowed to make mistakes. I just have to work to become a better man. I will try harder tomorrow.

CarlyO 05-17-2009 11:56 AM

Progress not perfection, eh ; )
Hope all is well - Carly

R. Lee 05-18-2009 01:29 PM

R. Lee's story. I started drinking when I was 18. I got very drunk the 1st time I drank. I was raised in a household where my parents didn't drink so I had to be very careful until I left home ater high school to join the Marine Corps in 1963. Once on my own I drank every chance I got. After being discharged from the Marines in 1967. I brought my new wife of a few months back home to Metro Detroit. She was very pregnant. I joined a suburban Detroit police dept. I was drinking very hard at this time. I managed my drinking around my work. My wife left me after 3 children & 5 years of marriage. My idea of a functional life was to pay my bills & child support. I got remarried within a year. That marriage lasted until 1980 with another child. I still payed my bills continuing on with my functual life. In 1982 I was fired from the police dept. for an off duty drinking incident. I had hit my bottom. I quick drinking on my own for 7 months. I was a dry drunk. I thought I was sober. I got my job by through an arbitrator. I started drinking after life on the police dept. was good. Sill paying my bills. In 1984 my 1st wife & I got back together. She had been in A.A. since 76. I quite drinking for her. I tried A.A. for a month & a half. I did not like A.A. I sayed a dry drunk for a total of 7 months again. We we married in 88 & divorced in 89. Cindy had remained sober. I retired from the police in 93. I moved to a rural area never missing a bill or a child support payment or a drink. I drank alcoholic until 2004. I manipulated Cindy to move up with me. She stayed with me off & on until 98. Cindy had a slip in 99 after 23 yrs. sober. We were dating & I was in my glory. She stayed out for 3 months & got back to A.A. & has remained sober to this day. Cindy moved back with me in 99 & we have been together ever since never remarrying. In Febuary 2004 I had to have by pass surgery. I quit drinking for 4 months again a dry drunk for health reasons. I started drinking again in July and drank alcoholic until 9/5/ 2004. I loved to drink right until the last day but my drinking pattern for this last 7 weeks had realy escalated. I found myself in situations that I had never been in before. I had wanted to stop for many years but I thought I had to quit forever & I wasn't about to until I was ready or I was forced to by a drunk driving or some other alcohol incident. On 9/5/04 I came home from a good day of drinking sat down in my recliner & had this overwhelming desire to quit drinking. I asked Cindy to take me to a A.A. meeting & she said no. You have to do it for youself. She knew I knew where rhe meeting were. I swallowed my pride & went to a A.A. meeting the next day. I was overwhelmed with A.A. this time. It had been over 20 yrs since my last A.A. meeting & I was 60 yrs old. I stayed in A.A. not around it. I did not believe in god so I could not work the higher power steps. I thought I was quitting the rest of my life. I got the 1st part of the 1st step that I was powerless over alcohol. The 2nd part was no problem my life was manageable. It has always been that way. I stayed around long enough to realize that my life indeed was unmanageable. I had always put my self 1st. I learned that my drinking was a symtom of my problem. My problem was a thinking problem. I learned that I had to worry about staying sober 1 day at a time. I could go back out if I hadn't had enough. If I wanted another day all I had to do was wake up & practice the 12 steps to the best of my ability. The only step I had to work 100% was the 1st step. Progress rather than perfection. After a couple of yrs in the program I learned that there was something higher than a human. What that is I don't know but I can turn things over because I'm no longer in charge. All I have to do is the footwork. It was suggested to me to get a sponsor, read the BIG BOOK, work the steps, turn things over I'm not in charge, give it back the 12th step & go to meetings I can't do it alone.. I have come from a alcoholic always thinking of my self 1st with many character defects to a sober man (not a dry drunk) that is happy joyous & free. What a life I have today.

CarlyO 05-19-2009 06:49 PM

Hi R.Lee,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. It always amazes me what we are able to overcome, your story is a testament to that !
I love hearing other people's stories, I find them so inspiring, I always learn something. I am sure your story will help others - so again, thanks for sharing it.
Take care R. Lee : ) Carly

R. Lee 05-20-2009 04:49 PM

Thanks Carly.

dawnny 05-21-2009 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by R. Lee (Post 333553)
I'm new to the site & thought I would try it out. 42 yrs. of drinking. I knew I was an alcoholic for the last 23 yrs. of drinking when I hit my bottom in 1982. I tried to quit on my own several times & always went back out for more. I have been sober since 9/2004. I go to about 5 A.A. meetings a week.

I think your doing great. I'm new to this site to, and so far I love talking to people like myself. I've been clean for 5 months, and I feel great being on sub. I can't wait to say I'm clean for as long as you, that's a great accomplishment. Dawnny

R. Lee 05-22-2009 05:05 PM

dawnny, Thank you. My suggestion is to stay into today. The one who has the most sobriety today is the one that woke up 1st.

jerryg 05-22-2009 07:05 PM

R. Lee,
Thank you for your story. You offer some hard won wisdom. Thank you for sharing.
Jerry

R. Lee 05-25-2009 10:38 PM

Thanks Jerry. When ever I share it is only my experiance, strength & hope. I have to give it away to keep it. It is up to the others to either accept it or disregard it.

dawnny 05-26-2009 10:04 AM

R lee, how are you doing. justwondering? I have to go do a color, i have my shop at home. at least it keeps me busy. talk to you later

R. Lee 05-26-2009 03:09 PM

dawnny, It is a good day being sober. 1 day at a time. How about you

CarlyO 05-31-2009 10:50 PM

Hi R. Lee ,

Just checking in with you, It sounds like things are going well. Yes, staying in today, I needed to hear that ! Keep us posted on how you are and the work you are doing with others. Take care, Carly

R. Lee 05-31-2009 11:19 PM

Carly, Thanks for asking. Yes a good day. We have 2 grandchildren up from Nashville for 3 weeks. We are in the 2nd week. A 15 yr. old granddaughter & a 11 yr. old grandson. It has been wonderful. They are our oldest sons children. My son got the brunt of my menal abuse. To think he would now trust me with his kids is one way to say that the promisees do come true. Two yrs. ago he would have nothing to do with me & I was 2 yrs sober at that time. He wanted to see the walk rather than the talk. The only guy I sponsor has not called me in over a week after he put off doing the 5th step on the day we were to do it. I had to fire myself from another 2 months ago for 13th stepping after I suggested he stop or find another sponsor. The jail meeting I help with is going pretty well & I'm going to get involved with the local drug court as a volunteer. I hope all is well with you & the others that have come to this site. R. Lee

CarlyO 06-02-2009 09:49 PM

Hi R Lee,
That is awesome about your healthy relationships with your kids
and grandchildren !
And happy that you can enjoy spending time with them.
I am very interested to hear how the Drug Court goes, they promised and promised to get one in our area but instead they keep sending people to jail instead of providing alternatives or even treatment.

You seem like you really care about giving back, I know it helps you, and you do so freely - but in case no one has said thank you today for all that you do .... Thank You R Lee for caring about others : )

Have a great time with your Grand Kids ! take care, Carly

R. Lee 06-05-2009 11:29 PM

Carly, I live in a county of 10,000 residents. One traffic siginal in the whole county. The drug court works primarily with younger offenders who have been convicted of alcohol & drug offences. I work with the alcohol offenders. They get the chance to stay out of jail if they meet the requirments of the drug court. These requirements include breathalyzer tests every day sometimes more than once a day at the sheriff's office, curfew, & staying away from other offenders. Court is held once a week. The offenders are given an assignment each week & then in court they report to the judge on that assignment along with a represenative of the Michigan Department of Corrections & the county prosecutor. There are 3 phases of the drug court. As you move up there are less restrictions. It usually takes about 2 years to complete but can take longer. I get involved by volunteering to drive offenders to the court when they have no other means of transportation. Most have lost their drivers license. By the way I missed this week & have obligations next Wenesday. Thanks for asking, R. Lee

clover6/8 06-10-2009 01:31 AM

i do pray, to who i don't really know yet, or may never need to find out, whoever is listening will let me know if i am being heard--meditation is a personal preference and what works for you, you have to find that calm quite place inside you that allows you to really hear yourself and be able to let it all go--day to day life right now makes for deep self analysis and breaking down of the harden out shell and just trying to accept and hopefully move foward to a better place, a better me. I will not drink today for you because I love you. I will not drink today for me so you can love me again like you used to. I will not drink today hoping us is not lost forever. I will not drink today in fear of loosing my heart and soul, to a bottle of vodka. how did i get here, how did it get this far?

R. Lee 06-10-2009 05:34 PM

Clover6/8, That's right one day at a time. R. Lee

CarlyO 06-10-2009 08:25 PM

Hi and welcome Clover
 
Hi Clover, welcome to the forum and thanks so much for sharing that. I hope all is going well with you : ) Take care, Carly

CarlyO 06-10-2009 08:31 PM

Hi RLee,

Just checking in, I hope you are doing well. I have been away for the past 5 days, it is good to be home and I wondered how everyone was doing here !

The Drug Court sounds like a good alternative to jail, I do hope more options for getting quality help will become the norm in all towns/cities.

I am sure the grandkids are keeping you busy, have fun with them and take care, Carly
: )

R. Lee 06-10-2009 10:45 PM

Carly, We took the grand kids down state so they could be with cousins & family for a few days until they fly home Sat.

CarlyO 06-17-2009 10:13 PM

Hi R Lee,

Well this month is flying by, I guess the kids are gone now? I just wanted to say hi and check in with you. I hope all is going well with you : )
Take Care, Carly

R. Lee 06-18-2009 10:45 AM

Hi Carly, We are off to a Big Books study meeting at noon. Things are good. I hope all is well with you. I wish more people posted here. I will check in every day. It is one day at a time. R. Lee

CarlyO 06-18-2009 11:30 PM

Hi R. Lee ,

Glad all is well with you. Yes, things have slowed down, it happens, then before you know it the forum gets busy again. At first it was difficult for me, people would post and then disappear and I would worry about them. But you and I know- it takes what it takes. I am just thrilled that Deede, Laura and others are doing so well !

Do you ever read over at Friends and Family? I know they appreciate hearing from us about what it is like for their loved ones who are struggling with alcohol issues. Sometimes they have no insight into the why's and how's of alcoholism. And going over there reminds me of what I put my loved ones through- I never want to forget that.
Anyway, thanks for being here and sharing -- and yes, one day at a time : )

Take Care, Carly

R. Lee 06-20-2009 05:05 PM

Carly, I must of missed your post here for a couple days. I will check out family & friends. Thanks, R. Lee

happyguy 06-22-2009 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by R. Lee (Post 333553)
I'm new to the site & thought I would try it out. 42 yrs. of drinking. I knew I was an alcoholic for the last 23 yrs. of drinking when I hit my bottom in 1982. I tried to quit on my own several times & always went back out for more. I have been sober since 9/2004. I go to about 5 A.A. meetings a week.

well done Lee, your story should be serve as enough encvouragment for everyone grappling with alcohol addiction. They should belive that it is posisble to remain sober for a long time.

R. Lee 06-22-2009 04:11 PM

Thank you happyguy. Welcome to the site!

CarlyO 07-03-2009 07:12 PM

Hi R Lee,

Just checking in with you, hope all is going well with you and your family. As always, thanks for sharing your experience, strength and hope with others !
Have a Happy 4th : ) Carly

R. Lee 07-03-2009 11:38 PM

Thanks Carly. Everythig is good here. We went to a meeting tonight. Keeping life simple & staying in today. Hope everything is good with you. Have a great 4th. R. Lee

LauraC 07-03-2009 11:43 PM

Hello R. Lee

I just wanted to thank you for your interest in me and this site. It is appreciated. I hope you and your family have a happy and safe 4th.
Laura

R. Lee 07-04-2009 12:03 AM

Carly, Thank you for your kind words. Now I can say what I wanted to post 25 minutes ago. My wife has 10 yrears sober today. I work the program staying in today. That is why I didn't mention it earlier. I'm going to go give her her coin now. Just to prove alcohol is cunning baffleing & powerful. She had 23years & went back out for 3 months in 1999.

CarlyO 07-04-2009 06:12 PM

Hi R. Lee,

Congrats, WOW 10 Years is amazing! I am sure you are proud of her as she is of you! Please tell her WAY TO GO !! Have a Happy birthday celebration : ) Carly

CarlyO 07-22-2009 12:24 AM

Hi RLee,

Just checking in with you, how is the jail group going? Sponsees?
all is fine here, bad storms Monday, knocked out electricity - internet . But we needed the rain and my son and I saw the biggest , most gorgeous rainbow I have ever seen in my life !
A dear friend visited us, I met him back when I first started out on this road, back when I lived in a different town. He has 13 years and going strong, it was great to see him and catch up on the news of our ol' group.
Some are still doing well, some have hit a few bumps in the road, and sadly a few have died as a result of this disease. Such a loss, a waste - and a reality check.

Hope the family is well, take care, Carly : )

R. Lee 07-22-2009 08:00 PM

Carly, The jail meeting are going good. We had 5 inmates last night. One is going into rehab to serve the last 90 days. He has been in & out of rehab several times always going back out. He has 3 kids in foster care as the mother is also a drug user & a drunk. He says he wants it. I hope he works for his sobriety this time. The drug court is getting tired using its resorces to give him another chance. We had 3 other repeaters from 2 years ago. 2 talk the talk. 1 gets out in about a month. The other will do his last 90 days in rehab.
I'm glad that you were able to see someone from you old group. It is great to see real sobriety. Always a few bumps. For me it has a couple of people in the program. I know principals before personalities. 1 guy with 24 years says things to my wife to get a reaction out of me. I spoke to Cindy & she said she just ignore him. My sponcer said he had the same problem. I chose to ignore him with out a resentment. What hurts is not what he says but that he wound attempt to mess with my sobriety. The other is a guy I sponcered refused my sugestion to quit 13th stepping. I had to let him get another sponcer. He has been in & out 3 times since January. Right now he is back in about 2 weeks. Oh well let go let God.
The weather here in northern MI has been very cold for summer. It has been that way all summer 60s & 70s.
The great thing is I don't have a desire to drink today. Our health is good. Children & grand children are doing good as far as we know. My mom & dad 89 & 90 are doing good.
This site helps me stay sober. So I say thanks to everyone for sharing. Thanks for the post& stay well. R. Lee

CarlyO 08-15-2009 07:05 PM

Hi Rlee,

Just wanted to say hi, so happy that all is going well with you and your wife.
I just re- read your last post- Who knows why people do things like that, the important thing is that you dealt with it without a resentment!
And it is too bad your sponsee did not heed your sugestion with 13 steppin' - unfortunately he will probably have to learn the hard way. Just know you did your best, that is all you can do.
Again, glad you are here and that you are wiling share your experiences, you are helping many who are posting and even those who are just reading, not ready to post yet.

BTW , I envy your cool summer ! - it is quite hot and humid where I live, August is always the worst month !
Hope the Kids and Grands are doing well, take care, Carly : )

R. Lee 08-15-2009 10:10 PM

Carly, Thanks for the positive things you say to me & the others on the site.

My sponsor & I took the inmate I mentioned in above post across the state to attend his rehab. If everything goes well he will get out on Oct. 8th.

Summer arived here about 10 days ago. We have been able to enjoy the weather on the motorcycle & the fact we live on a lake. We hope that we will have a late fall.

I hope everything is well with you. Thanks for everything you do. R. Lee

Saint 12-15-2009 12:04 PM

Lee,

Thanks for sharing your story - very inspirational. I am glad things have worked out for you.

Saint

R. Lee 12-15-2009 08:51 PM

Saint, It is great to be sober this time of day! Your welcome! By the way the inmate we drove across the state to rehab lasted less that 2 weeks before climbing out a window & leaving. He is now in prison.

Saint 12-15-2009 10:35 PM

Lee,
You're right of course - It is great to be sober this time of day isn't it! Thanks for pointing that out.

Regards

R. Lee 12-31-2014 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by R. Lee (Post 334277)
R. Lee's story. I started drinking when I was 18. I got very drunk the 1st time I drank. I was raised in a household where my parents didn't drink so I had to be very careful until I left home ater high school to join the Marine Corps in 1963. Once on my own I drank every chance I got. After being discharged from the Marines in 1967. I brought my new wife of a few months back home to Metro Detroit. She was very pregnant. I joined a suburban Detroit police dept. I was drinking very hard at this time. I managed my drinking around my work. My wife left me after 3 children & 5 years of marriage. My idea of a functional life was to pay my bills & child support. I got remarried within a year. That marriage lasted until 1980 with another child. I still payed my bills continuing on with my functual life. In 1982 I was fired from the police dept. for an off duty drinking incident. I had hit my bottom. I quick drinking on my own for 7 months. I was a dry drunk. I thought I was sober. I got my job by through an arbitrator. I started drinking after life on the police dept. was good. Sill paying my bills. In 1984 my 1st wife & I got back together. She had been in A.A. since 76. I quite drinking for her. I tried A.A. for a month & a half. I did not like A.A. I sayed a dry drunk for a total of 7 months again. We we married in 88 & divorced in 89. Cindy had remained sober. I retired from the police in 93. I moved to a rural area never missing a bill or a child support payment or a drink. I drank alcoholic until 2004. I manipulated Cindy to move up with me. She stayed with me off & on until 98. Cindy had a slip in 99 after 23 yrs. sober. We were dating & I was in my glory. She stayed out for 3 months & got back to A.A. & has remained sober to this day. Cindy moved back with me in 99 & we have been together ever since never remarrying. In Febuary 2004 I had to have by pass surgery. I quit drinking for 4 months again a dry drunk for health reasons. I started drinking again in July and drank alcoholic until 9/5/ 2004. I loved to drink right until the last day but my drinking pattern for this last 7 weeks had realy escalated. I found myself in situations that I had never been in before. I had wanted to stop for many years but I thought I had to quit forever & I wasn't about to until I was ready or I was forced to by a drunk driving or some other alcohol incident. On 9/5/04 I came home from a good day of drinking sat down in my recliner & had this overwhelming desire to quit drinking. I asked Cindy to take me to a A.A. meeting & she said no. You have to do it for youself. She knew I knew where rhe meeting were. I swallowed my pride & went to a A.A. meeting the next day. I was overwhelmed with A.A. this time. It had been over 20 yrs since my last A.A. meeting & I was 60 yrs old. I stayed in A.A. not around it. I did not believe in god so I could not work the higher power steps. I thought I was quitting the rest of my life. I got the 1st part of the 1st step that I was powerless over alcohol. The 2nd part was no problem my life was manageable. It has always been that way. I stayed around long enough to realize that my life indeed was unmanageable. I had always put my self 1st. I learned that my drinking was a symtom of my problem. My problem was a thinking problem. I learned that I had to worry about staying sober 1 day at a time. I could go back out if I hadn't had enough. If I wanted another day all I had to do was wake up & practice the 12 steps to the best of my ability. The only step I had to work 100% was the 1st step. Progress rather than perfection. After a couple of yrs in the program I learned that there was something higher than a human. What that is I don't know but I can turn things over because I'm no longer in charge. All I have to do is the footwork. It was suggested to me to get a sponsor, read the BIG BOOK, work the steps, turn things over I'm not in charge, give it back the 12th step & go to meetings I can't do it alone.. I have come from a alcoholic always thinking of my self 1st with many character defects to a sober man (not a dry drunk) that is happy joyous & free. What a life I have today.


Happy New Year!! Everyone be safe & think through that 1st drink.

Tryntryagain 12-31-2014 02:38 PM

Good evening R Lee. Bright blessings to you.

If i could collect all my New years wishes of all my life i would wrap them up and hand them to you for this year. If i did it wouldn't be enough.

Thank you R Lee. Think through the first drink.

Happy New Year.

Hugs, strength and loveness to you R Lee.

gmasusie 12-31-2014 04:33 PM

RLee,

Thanks for reminding us that there are consequences of our behavior. Have a great new year.

Love, Susan

lostdog 01-01-2015 11:08 AM

Thanks R. Lee, you have come a long way, staying sober day by day. Happy New Year!

Saint 01-01-2015 04:25 PM

Happy New Year Lee!

jenm 01-01-2015 06:53 PM

Hi R Lee! I am so so so grateful for you and your advice and inspiration. I noticed your very first post was on my birthday! :) I hope you have a Happy New Year with all the blessings you deserve. Love, Jenm


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