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PV, I think I can understand some of your feelings. The AA program taught me (slowly) to live one day at a time. That is hard for an engineer like myself to learn. So much of my life had been "reflecting" and "projecting." Guilt, shame and resentments depend on memories of past events, and of course we must plan for the future. When I got to the point that when I reflected back into the past, my first memories became the "bad" times of drinking rather than the "good" times, that spoiled those thoughts that a "drink" offered any promise. Much of my drinking was "a bid for instant relief" from some emotional or physical pain, often self-imposed expectations and the resulting disappointments. When I learned to modify my behavior, I also learned I could lower that emotional discomfort, which lowered the "need" for that drink. Those habits are hard to break.

I did not want someone to tell me what to do! However, while at AA meetings I found that my "reluctance" or "resistance" was lowered as people spoke of their own experience without suggesting what I needed to do. They "tricked" me into thinking that if I did what they did, I might get similar results, namely a bit of serenity. I slowly realized that I did not have much to lose in trying some things that they did.

In attempting to help another person through sharing of my experience, I realize that I have changed much more than I anticipated that I could, that my goals and values have changed, and I can be less angry at the world and myself than I had been in the past. I think I enjoyed the "victim" role where I blamed things on other people or events. It meant that I did not have to work so much.

I hope that you may find a way which allows those thoughts of drinking to diminish or disappear. If you are seeking "relief" if might help if you can identify what the relief is from and that might lead to digging a bit deeper. I realize I wanted to "feel better" but didn't know why I "felt bad."

Good luck, Gapfan :-)
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