Then read some inspirational stories from those who have been where you are now.

Lord Wolfs Struggle A Nurse Danny's Story 
Kelly's Story Trust in a Higher Power   .
Understanding the 12 steps   Thank You .
 Low bottom Drunk  Jackies Story .

As the owner of this website I felt a need to include some inspiration for others who need to see themselves as others see them.  It's very hard to look in a mirror and truly see what the world sees in us.  I hope this may help you to get a glimpse today.

Years ago I joined the Army.  I thought I was cool.  I could drink on base regardless of my not so adult age. Well this is neat I thought. Here I am right out of high school and I can drink - Cool. What I didn't know is how Un-cool this would end up.

Many nights our squad of 8 would meet at the bar for that "after work relief hour", unfortunately it wouldn't just stop in an hour. Working as Military Police Officers we saw the world through very slanted eyes. You see the pain, the hurt and the ugly all in one day.  This does tend to take a toll on you after awhile and you become cynical of every one and every thing.  Your closest friends are your partners who are on the road with you. Seldom do you have outside friendships cause you can't trust em, or they 'just don't understand'.  The seeds of destruction were sown at the first gulp.

I found myself one morning thanks to a very stout and wise Senior Staff Sgt. Our group of idiots where given a 4 day brake from the duty rosters.  More like a 4 day college party. From sun up to sun down we had a drink in hand.  By Sunday morning nobody could remember their names let alone drive safe.  Well as I said Monday rolled around, and none of us were in the greatest of shape.  Room still spinning, we had to do the morning Physical Training thing which meant running for 5 miles - not a wise thing to do drunk trust me. When we got back our savior came to all of us and gave us a chewing of the proverbial tail like no-one has ever done.  He especially laid into me since I was the ranking person.

That morning he drove us all to the rehab center for detox, and help. It was best thing anyone could have ever done for me and us.  That was in 1978, but the lessons learned have and will last a life time.  In 79 I had my first relaps one of many.  I figured that since I was working in the Detox Center as a councilor and Liaison I had all the answers. I didn't need Recovery, or AA. After talking to the staff, they convinced me to read more about this disease and get a better understanding of it. I was also told to attend 90 meetings in 90 days. What I didn't know then, was I was being invited into the family of AA.  I was given all the tools my first day, and was assigned a sponsor who would "help me learn more" I could call on him day or night.  Jeff was my man of the hour. He taught me more about myself than I had really wanted to know.  The 12 steps were the hardest thing to ever do for me, because I had to admit to myself that I was human and not Super Man. Here I was, the guy who sat on the other side of the desk now in the same boat as those who I was working with. It took some real hard work and courage to admit that I too had a problem with drinking. It's by the grace of God, or as we call it our Higher Power to stay sober all these years. The nice thing is it can work for you as well, if you want it bad enough. The effort is all on you, but you're not alone, there are those who can help you with it, guide you as you learn and grow.  The brass ring at the end is there will come a time in your life that you too can stand where I am now and help someone else to see the light at the end of the tunnel of life.

I'm an addict named Alan. I was hooked on pain pills for 5 years.  I
had 6 surgeries on my knee from high school injury.  They were all
within 6 years, the last one August 1999, total knee.

Unfortunalty I became hooked on Vicodin (Bancap).  I'm a Nurse, also,
I felt I could take care of myself and be safe from getting hooked.
I found out I'm just as human as the next person.  I didn't realize I
had a problem till approx 2 years ago, thats when I started to think
I might have a problem.  It wasn't till 6 months before my clean date
that I realized, I REALLY did have a problem.

I wasn't ready to admit I had a problem though.  I can't tell you
what other drugs are like, but narcotic pain pills are so incideous,
you don't realize you have an addiction till it's too late.  I became
very depressed, I still can't believe how sad and difficult I was to
get along with.  I was in Case Manager, for 3 years.  I though I was
burnt out with my ICU nursing.  Now I know it wasn't totaly burn out,
but much worse, I was burnt out by narcotic pain pills.

The last 2 months of my using became so out of control, I was using
up to 15 pills a day.  The last week I was using 20 pills a day.  I
honestly felt I was going insane.  I hated myself so bad, I couldn't
look at myself in the mirrow.  Co-workers stated, I don't smile
anymore, just growled.  I blamed my behavior on my depression.  Deep
down, I did know why, I just couldn't face the fact I was an addict.
I believed an addict was one who drank too mucnbsp shot drugs, NOT
me, I just took pain pills.

Clean date January 17, 2001.  The last 2 days of my using were the
worst of my life.  nbspd used all my pills up, couldn't get a
refinbspor 2 days.  that night, I tried tnbsp to sleep, but was
withdrawing.  My wifnbsp 28 years didn'mirrow Inbsp hooked, later she
told me, "your a nurse, I just thought nbspknew what you were doing"
I finallynbspd nbspife the morning of my clean date.  She was quite
shocked,  I had nbsprive myself tnbspe hospital where I work.  That
was the longest hardest 30 miles of my life.  The Er Dr, Nurse are
both good friends, they treated me like a King, although I felt very
undeserving of the special treatment I recieved.  The Dr. got me into
a treatment facilcity that specializes in Medical Professional.  That
was a real new experience.  I felt I wasn't as bad the other addicts,
they all had black outs,  they were all using IV or smoking drugs.  I
only took narcotics, I was better than they were.  Before I was
released, I realized, I was no better, I had blackouts going to work
in the morning, 30 miles driving and I couldn't remember how I got to
work.  Thats when I really started to be serious about my recovery.
I now have a little over 7 months clean.  My family life has improved
180 deg.  I'm closer to my wife than I can remember, my boys 19 & 14
are much closer than before, now they don't mind being seen with me.
I can't  say life has been a bed of roses, but it sure isn't like it
used to.  I can now look myself in the mirrow and like what I see.  I
go to meetings frequently, go on the NA Chat line often.   I'm back
in ICU, and really enjoy it.  I have a great suport system at home
and work.  I have an accountability program at work.  It feels great
to be back, and enjoying living again.

Hi my Name is Kelly I AM AN ADDICT.
I always like saying that NOW. When I first came around I was 21 years
old. I had just berried my Fiancee to and Od of Heroin. Also od'ing the
same evening. My family did an intervention after the funeral. I didn't
even know them or my self. I came to my first meeting in February of
1999. I felt very strange not as though I didn't fit in but like I had
found HOME. I cried through my first reading of "Who We Are" I don't
even think I could understand myself. A couple of
women reached out to me, and who I love today for that. My father had
dropped me off at this thursday night meeting, it had just started (by the
grace of God) My father's word's were "When I stopped drinking and
drugging in 1989 this is were I came, maybe the meetings are still here." I
shared a little my thoughts were wild and sporadic, I really couldn't say
much, mostly how  I didn't know who I was. I was not comfortable with
me. I had gotten  a meeting list, THANK GOD. And called a couple of woman
on that list. The following day I was brought to a group anniversary
were, someone asked to take my picture, which I have. What a reminder,
just to look at that picture today brings me right back there. I wore my
fiancee's sweater for a week because it still smelt like him, and I
couldn't sleep with out feeling like he was next to me. A couple of weeks
later I signed into a therapeutic community, which I desperately
needed. I didn't know how to live clean or live at all. Four months later I
left, The first night back I went back to my Home group the first
meeting I felt comfortable in. I was welcomed and I felt at home once
again.  Two years later I had a relapse. My mother was put
into the hospital and I went through feelings (like when I was 8) and didn't
call anyone, or go to a meeting. Well needless to say, I took a couple
of pills, and acted out this way for at least a month. No one
knowing, hiding and sneaking like the old snake in the grass. I went back
to that meeting I felt comfortable in,got honest, got a new sponsor and
jumped into steps. I love recovery and being alive, I am now 23 years old
with 77 days back and loving life again. I am in a loving relationship
with a man I know I want to spend my life with, living in a beautiful home
together and spending quality time with Him, and my family. I know
if it wasn't for Recovery and that one meeting I wouldn't be writing
today. Just for today I love myself.

For those who think that HP doesn't hear your prayers and pleas for help let me relate this story to you. I was at low point in my life & trying hard to hide it from my wife, and family instead of accepting it and asking God for help. When you hit "rock bottom" you finally start looking up for help.

I was looking for work, and trying to understand what it was I was doing to cause so many doors to close on me rather than open. My wife was in tears since our bank account was at an all time low of $40.oo. With bills to pay and no money coming in we were both scared to death. Finaly the Unemployment checks came in, which helped us to keep the creditors at bay and the lights on. But still no job. I got a bunch of offers, but nothing else. So further in a slump I went. The thoughts of escape started creaping in - what I would do for a drink right about now. That's when I knew I was close to a mistake waiting to happen. I couldn't blow 15 yrs of sobriety for this no way. It has only been a few months since I've made my way home to AA again thinking I wouldn't need it. Boy was I wrong! If it wasn't for the support and involvement with AA Chats I would have never given it a second thought.

I finally asked my HP to find me the job where by I could serve him the most and do the most good. Low and behold the phone rang and they wanted me to come in for an interview". This time trusting all things are possible with the help of the HP I headed out the door.

I got to the store and walked in, asked for the person whom I was to meet, and was informed I had gone to the wrong store. Go figure - Blew this one right? Wrong, they called the other store, and let them know I was on my way. Again HP to the rescue. Making every green light I crossed town in record time. I was introduced to the Asst Mangr and his Head coach there and was given the interview with open arms. They laughed when I explained I don't shop in this store, I use the other one so naturally my brain went south not north.

Durring the interview they gave me a "rate this" form,You have to answer with I agree or disagree on a scale of 1 - 10. When it came to the Drug and Alcohal section. I disagreed with many of the questions. I can remember one being along the lines of if a person was came into work who had been drinking prior to work would you fire them. (RATE 1 DISAGREE 10 AGREE)The policy is to fire or give the person a day off with out pay. Naturally I disagreed. When asked why, out came AA in all it's blazing glory. I explained to them that even the best people have a drinking problem, but it's a better man who can admit it. I'm one who has recovered, I can see a problem before it starts. The key is to step in and get the person help before it becomes a problem. By knowing what to look for with the early signs, managment can "save a good person from going bad".

The next thing I know, I was interviewing for a Team Leader and Coach. Along with it came a $3.oo pay raise. I laughed when they handed me the drug screen sheet at the end of the interview -"Uhmmm guys,I hate to disapoint ya but I'm clean and sober". The Gen Mgr laughed also and said so is he, by 5 yrs now this friday.

So if things aren't going as you planned just remember to ask the HP - his plan does work if you let him do the work. I had to opened my eyes and trust the HP with my life again, and not take control. Cause when I take control - I screw it up big time. So here ya go HP have at it. I'm all yours to do YOUR work.


UNDERSTANDING THE 12 STEPS - an insiders point of view
 In keeping with helping  to understand the 12 steps I've written this from my own experiences and those who have helped me over the years to become free from addiction. I hope it helps you too.

Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives have become unmanageable.

This is without a doubt the most important step and really the simplest to do, yet we balk at it. Why? We initially shared with society the idea that an alcoholic was a bum, a hobo you know the guy on the street looking for change to get that bottle of $2.oo wine. Many alcoholics may become that, but they were alcoholics way before they were homeless. I know you're probably saying I'm not like that so how can I be an Alcoholics or Druggy?   Well Take a step back. Examine your life and be honest with yourself. Can you control your drinking or drugging or are you in the words of this step "powerless."

Alcoholics and Drug users are good at lying to others and even better at lying to themselves. The fact that you can "stop for a while" must be weighed up against the truth of what happens when you take the first drink or snort. I could stop for months at a time, but when I stopped in at the pub for that "quick beer" before I went home, I was unable to stop until I gotten a good buzz on.  You know that numbness feeling in your cheeks.  But, I could stop for months at a time, the hardest part for me was realizing that it never just stopped at "one".   For this reason I now choose NOT to Drink.  Because I know in my soul I can't stop.

Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
For the agnostic or the atheist, this is a difficult step. It requires us to suspend intellectual faculties and cynicism. My feeling is that my intellect and skepticism didn't help me avoid beer.  This "God" person never saved anyone from dieing that I knew.  So how in the hell was he going to save me.  For me this was one of the most strugglesome steps to accomplish - I had to let go - yea right! took years to understand that line. Now some 20 yrs later I laugh at myself - if only I had done this sooner.

Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and out lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
How do I understand God? I have been Christian for years, having been brought up in a religious home. If a God exists and he/she/it is omnipotent, how can I comprehend this being?  I read the bible, and went to church and there were so many unanswered questions that I gave up - hence for me my life changed for the worse.

Again, take a leap of faith, step off the edge of the cliff and into the realm of faith. Whatever understanding you need, God will give you. The only way of approaching faith is to surrender human intellect.

It is not important that your perception of God match anyone else's perception. It may be difficult, for example, for someone subjected to years of abuse by their father may have trouble thinking of God as a "father". That doesn't matter. Define God in the way you can. Just surrender your life as it is now to that which you call Your God or Higher Power.

Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

This is so difficult for everyone.  After years of conning ourselves and others, we now have to shift away from this mind set and examine ourselves warts, blemishes, and all, and they aren't very attractive. Yet it cannot be escaped. To
change our dependency on alcohol or drugs, we need to change ourselves, this cannot not be done without ruthless self examination.  This is a daily process not one that is to be taken lightly either. For every day we step on toes and hurt someone's feelings.  It's understanding the reasons, and whys that helps us to be better people.  This leads us to the next step.

Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
It's easy enough to admit your faults to God, who can be viewed in abstract terms. It's more difficult to admit them to yourself, but to someone else! No way! Stop, let me off this roller coaster. I Quit!

Don't stop now. This is necessary. It acts as an unburdening of all the things you have kept secret for so long from family and friends. As difficult as this may be, it is one of the most important steps in overcoming your addiction.

To understand this step, it is necessary to understand the disease of alcoholism and drug abuse itself. It is a disease which works on three levels. These are the physical, the mental and the spiritual. To confess to God helps remove the spiritual disease and to confess to another human being eases the mental anguish. It also says to us that after years of avoidance we are now going to stop lying to ourselves and to others and to make the necessary behavioral changes to overcome our addictions.

Step 6. We're entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
This seems easy, but there must be a word of caution here. The words are easy, but behind the words must be an earnest desire for the removal of these flaws in our self. Nobody can do this but you, so don't look to a sponsor or family member to get you through this one and Do not pay lip service to this stage.

Step 7. Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.

Here again sincerity is everything. This is a final admission that we have shortcomings. Just as before this can be one of the hardest steps to achieve for you are going against everything that is natural to you - you are trusting in something you can't put a face to.

Step 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Wait a sec, didn't I do that already? Nope!  You just admitted you had flaws.
now comes the task of making amends to them. There are probably so many names it will scare the day lights out of you, I know it did me.  When you have completed the list, go back and add other names from your earliest memories as a child. The more cleansing you do here the stronger you'll become and stay in the future.  There will certainly be those you have either forgotten or avoided and yes you have to add them as well. Remember you can't hide anymore!

Step 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure others.

Stop! I want to get off again  I feel that this step is perhaps the most difficult and certainly the most intimidating. In the last step we did all those wonderful people we loved, well guess who we get to approach now... yep those that we forgot.
Many tears will be shed with step, as you admit not only to yourself and to those you approach how hard and cruel you've been to them over the years.  So be prepaired to walk lightly on this step.  Wait, a sec, what's the Injure mean then? Name calling and fighting are a given here.  I and a friend came darn near to blows when I approached him.  I had to use a 3rd party to make contact with them because there was so much dirt over the years that had to be taken care of.  You also have to look at that persons circle of friends, they may be unwilling to accept the "new you" and rather hold onto the "old you" this too may cause friction in this step. You'll be judged from this day forward by them and any friends for weakness.

Step 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

It is necessary for us to continuously monitor ourselves for faults because the two biggest dangers to an alcoholic and drug user are guilt and resentment. An additional danger is to become complacent. This step asks us to continue to live with humility and a knowledge of our frailties. As a method of conducting this step try the following way of taking your personal inventory:

  A.Become quiet and become aware of the presence of your higher power.
  B.Ask your higher power for guidance to see and understand the inventory you are taking.
  C.Review the period since you last did this. Look for instances when you were guided by your higher power and look too at the instances where you did wrong.
  D.Examine the instances of error and determined who and why you responded or did not respond to the guidance of your higher power.
  E.Plan how you can more effectively conduct your life in harmony with the will of your higher power.

This may not work for you, but try it. The lovely part of this is that it also incorporates the 11th step.

Step 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.

It is through God as we understand him/her that we find our strength to stay sober and to change the old habits that came so close to destroying us. This is your personal time to reflect on all that has and will be. Listen to your inner voice, and your "gut", pay attention when you are in a situation that you shouldn't be and act accordingly.

Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and drug users, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

This step is vital as it shows us what we were and it is in serving that we find redemption.  You become the hope of others who will look upon you for strength when they are weak. Be ready to support and guide them as you begin your new way of life free from your personal addiction.

And always remember that the 12 steps are a way of life for you now.  With out them you'll be right back where you were when you started so practice them every second of the day and before long you'll find that today is over and you will have made it --  clean and sober.  Then tomorrow do it again, and before long it will be a week, and then a month, and then a year.   You have the choice to change but it's your choice to make so what are you waiting for take the leap of faith.

I want to say thank you to all the people that have come into the chat rooms lately, I know that someone is not always there when you arrive - be patient with us. I do alot of work at home at the computer and am usually around my yahoo mail account, if anyone needs to reach me I am reachable on most occassions. If you use yahoo instant messanger my nick is lil_misss2001. My email address is - please feel free to contact me if you need to talk to someone. I am not an alcoholic, I am not an addict, I am not a professional, but I am a person that cares and listens. I grew up with a very abusive mom who was also an alcoholic. So I may not totally understand the total footsteps of an alcoholic or an addict but I can listen...and I do not judge, that is not my place.

and now for my other comments...What do you call 99 rabbits stepping backwards?

That would be a receding hare line....
Remember being in recovery doesn't mean you have given up laughter and fun and humor, hopefully all humor won't be as bad as that joke - but when you go through today, remember to take a moment and smile because I am quite sure it will look very good on you.   ;-)

I was a low bottom drunk,I stayed drunk untill the booze quit me and I didnt have anywhere elts to go but AA.the only thing I got at first was "keep comming back".I went to a treatment place and after 30 days I was feelin a lot better and belived I was an alcoholic,but after 6 months of dryness I figgered I was cured and could go back and drink like I wanted to.We,ll ,let me tell ya,I proved it to myself over and over for the next 7 yrs that I was a real alcoholic.In that 7 yrs I did some of my most destructive drinking.The wreackage I created during that time Im still trying to clean up.I still have drunk driveing warrents in annother state to take care of.But after 5 yrs of soberity life is good!Im doing things I never dreamed I be able to do.I have a relationship with my children now .Im leading a happy,healthy and productive life and thats a merical considering where I came from!!!thank you "Russy_v"

My name is Jackie. I've only started the NA program. Well what brought me here is that I've used drugs in past. I started at a early age. I was 14 whe I was introduced to drugs. I have tried alcohol,trip,pot and cocaine. The only reason I've joined NA is that the same courosity I'd to try coke is back and won't go away like it has in the past. I've been thinking about trying coke again for the past weeks. They say eventually my willpower will run out and I might not be able to handle it. So this is why I am here. I want to confront this issue in my life. I hope it will become uncontrollable. I am scared of losing the willpower I've had for many years. I haven't touch any drug, except for alcohol,in a year. I think that's great.  so I am gald I am here. Thank you for the big welcome its much apreciated.

Hi I'm Danny an alcoholic. I guess I'll start at the beginning. That's where it was suggested that I start reading the Big Book of AA. So that's how I'll start my story. I was born at Harris hospital, Fort Worth, TX. On June 26th, 1961. To Ramon E. Graham and Sandra J. Graham. Two years later on June 18th 1963 my brother Donny was born. A few months later my mom and dad got a divorce. We moved with our mom to my Grandmother and Granddads house. My mom and dad both remarried within the year to other people. For me this turned in to my first visit to hell. I met the devil in a man named Clifton Russell. His main problem was that he drank and popped pills every day. Needless to say, he could get pretty mean. I was about four years old when Buddy (Clifton Russell) gave me my first taste of alcohol. A Schlitz beer yuk! It tasted terrible! This was not the time that I drank and said, " this stuff is pretty good ". I couldn't understand how anyone would want to drink something that tasted that bad. Buddy was also
Back to Granddads house. I was twelve years old and had discovered what was so great about alcohol. It made me feel good and care free. I had my first real alcohol buzz at about twelve. And I new right away that I liked this nasty tasting stuff, because of the way it made me feel. I soon found out that it could help me not feel as well. This is when all my priorities starting getting mixed up. I went from being a straight A student to a C student in about a years time. And didn't really care. I just wanted them to leave me alone. This is when I discovered who "they" were. "They", were anyone who didn't agree with me, or made rules, or enforced the rules. I had started crossing the line between good and bad. I found that the more I crossed it the easier it was to hang out there. All my best buddies and I were drinking together when we could get it. Soon after I turned thirteen I was introduced to the magical herb marijuana. This along with the magic potion alcohol helped me and my closest friends form a secr
We will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary this December 3rd. I feel very fortunate to have Denise in my life. Also, I've had fifteen jobs in the past twenty years, counting my present job. To be perfectly honest, I don't think I've ever really liked any job that I've had. Except, maybe when my brother Marvin and I were contracting together. I sort of liked doing that. I didn't like it as much after I was doing it by myself. For over seventeen of the past twenty years, I didn't draw a sober breath for more than a day or two at a time and I kept asking myself, "why doesn't anything ever work out for me"? My answer to myself had become either I've got really bad luck or I must be a loser. Just over three years ago I was at the end of a three-year depression. I felt as though I was going to lose every thing I had and didn't want to face losing again. My business had fallen apart, I was burned out and didn't want to do it anymore anyway. A car accident had left me with a diminished capacity, because of a ba
They are: Pray in the morning when I wake up, read some AA literature, talk to another alcoholic in recovery, go to a meeting, and pray at night before I go to sleep. By doing these five things I am learning the true meaning of some powerful words that have changed my life. Here are some of them: Honesty, willingness, open-minded, forgiveness, compassion for others, and courage. These words and many more encompass the principals in which AA is teaching me to live by today. I owe my life and the kind of life that I'm living today to AA and the people in these rooms.

Thank you for hearing my story. I love you all, and God bless you.
Your brother in recovery Danny Graham