1. #5341

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    Day 3. Went to a picnic and lo-n'-behold just when I was getting the itch to reach into the cooler for a nice cold beer .... a massive squall blew up off the lake and sent me running home (I was sort of already thinking of doing that anyway). Ah, thank you mother nature. Now, I've got 3.5 hours to closing time. But no money in the bank. And no wish to drink. I could - gulp - actually do work. Let's try that instead.

  2. #5342

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    I'm with ya Tinabela, I'm gonna get a day 6 too. I love Mother Nature. She kept you happily in the garden for three hours today, but also knew when to chase Mel away. She is on our side guys. And I know she is more powerful than some dude named George Dickel. I got a phone call this morning from a friend with a new wife and stepson. They invited me over so our boys could play. They had a blast crabbing while my friend's new wife kept bringing out all these wonderful teas and fruits. She is from another country where they obviously know far more about taking care of themselves than we do. Anyway, it was just a cool experience the universe handed me that I either wouldn't have appreciated or would of passed on altogether had I been hungover. Lets not drink one more day and see how the universe rewards us.

  3. #5343

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    Oh, I'm smiling. Let's be light and have some laughs, especially with ww43's gopher story and Mel's aborted hand in the cooler! Eyikes! I drove to our little country store and bought a MeanBean coffee, a couple of cokes (which I never drink) and a container of choco-peanut butter ice cream. The owners must wonder a bit that I haven't bought beer the last two times I've been there (especially since I was there almost every day buying booze). Then I gallantly drove away showing off the nice crease down the side of my car. Loss of ego - YES!

    That's great, CeeCee, that you went to visit your friends! I know I make assumptions that it's going to be tough to socialize without drinking, then low and behold, with all that wasted anxiety, we arrive, sober, into a fun get-together aware of nice surprises.

    Sylvane: Wonderful on the gracious exit. I'll remember to pay attention to my limits at gatherings if it's seeming tough. It's weird because my friends don't drink to excess. It's just been my dirty little secret - drinking before I show up and drinking when I get home.

    Congrats everyone and a big high-five from me!

  4. #5344

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    Ahhhh, another day done. Pretty tuckered out from actually being productive in a positive way.
    ww43, I hope you are feeling better!
    Tomorrow is a bright new day and I might even head out to a friend's for a mountain bike ride. We'll see what the morning brings.
    To all a good night and sweet dreams under the stars!

  5. #5345
    Beth's Avatar
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    Made it through the weekend with no alcohol! What a feat. I know I couldn't have done it without the meetings and this wonderful forum. Thank you Ken for all your wonderful insight, help, and wisdom. And thank you all your wonderful people!

    Priscilla, it shouldn't be this hard but it is for all of us. Never quit quiting.

    Todd, going to the meetings was first a distraction. Something to do during the time I would have just said eff it, drink. I chose to go to the meeting over the park, meeting with a friend, or something along those lines. I chose the meeting because it would be a safe place. No pressure of seeing alcohol and also no pressure from friends asking why your not drinking. My first meeting I made the mistake (what I call a mistake) of standing up when they asked if there was any first timers. I say mistake because I am not ready to "join" AA. But a positive did come from it. After the meeting I was greeted by some very nice people that offered to help. One suggested a meeting the next day.
    The second time I went I acted more like a seasoned alcoholic. I sat in the back, didn't say anything and left right after the meeting. I agree with you on that it is a good tool to obtain/ keep sobriety. But I am not a public talker so to get involved is not something I see myself doing...... That's why I have you guys. Each meeting was only an hour out of my life but to have them this weekend truly made all the difference in the world for my life. It added 3 days to my recovery! I will continue to use this tool in my recovery. There were no magic answers there but for me right now it was good to connect with others that are battling against this monster.

  6. #5346

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    Good morning. Priscilla, I'll be thinking about you today. I'm new to all this so I have no advice but I'm glad you're here because I believe its helpful. I feel great this morning, but how should I put it, more realistic. Sylvane when I read about you having to leave the party I realized that I haven't been tested yet, but its coming. I admire your strength. I just don't know if I could turn it down in a party setting. Going to a wedding mid June so I'm going to start preparing. I want to look great. Its my husband's family. Yea, the ones who saw me so drunk last week. I've got that wedding in my mind as some kind of goal. Like a stick-out-my-tounge look what I can do type of thing. I hope thats an okay way to approach this. Its highly motivating for now.

  7. #5347

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    I think the picture of me rolling around on the ground while everyone else sips champagne with their eyebrows raised is so funny that I may roll on the ground without getting smashed! Love it. You're absolutely right, Sylvane. They love me and they love love love my boys. My hurt pride, hurt feelings, have actually made me feel angry at them about this, like they should have all just dissappeared while I decided to act like an idiot. The nerve of them to have noticed! I am aware how silly this is but can't seem to completely shake it. I will try visualizing them hugging me. As soon as I get up off the ground

  8. #5348
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    Hey all,..I hope everyone had a great weekend,..from reading through all of the weekend posts, it sounds like it. Awesome to see all of the new people,..it's great to have the combination of the new energy and the wisdom and experience of the longtimers like Carol, Sue, Sylvane, Ken etc. It really makes for a great place,..and always makes me proud when I read that a newcomer has "discovered" this place,...feels right at home,....and joins the family.

    I'm back at Day 17 and going strong. I spent the weekend at our farm in the Smokey Mts. with our 4 kids and another friend that came also. My wife had to work on Monday so she stayed at home alone (with 0 kids) for the weekend,..which never happens, so I'm glad she got to relax and enjoy some time for herself. One thing I really want to say,..and I did my best to really and truly appreciate it this weekend. Both days we were there,..I was able to do things that I would have never been able (or motivated enough) to do back when I was drinking heavily. I got up before daylight on Sunday morning,..made breakfast for the kids,..got them up, and took them all over to the lake fishing. We were all there, rod and reels ready, hooks baited etc. and fishing as the sun cam up over the lake. I was taking fish off of the hook, untangling lines and rebaiting hooks as fast as I could. The kids (ages 4 through 11) all caught lots of fish,.and had an absolute blast. We all went swimming, then loaded up, drove an hour back to the farm,..and were sitting down for lunch by just after noon. The next morning,..we all got up early and made breakfast and then spent 9 hours bailing and loading 400+ bails of hay,..then stacking them in the barn loft,..in the 90 degree heat. One of the hardest days of work I've ever had,..but so well worth it when it was done.

    The reason I mention these two things is the FACT that neither day would have happened when I was drinking. In fact,..I would never have agreed to take the 5 kids to the farm by myself for the weekend to begin with. If I did, I definitly wouldn't have gotten up early to take them all fishing,...of course I would have promised them I would while drinking the night before,..and then came up with reasons/excuses not to the next morning as I stewed in bed. I would've probably yelled at them for waking me up. No way in Hell would I have done the hay in that heat the next day either,..not a chance. To sum it up,..the kids and I had an awesome weekend,..I got a ton accomplished,..and am a hero to the Wife and now have brownie-points built up for the next month!! Go back to October of last year and read a few of my posts and contast them with what I just wrote and you'll see where I'm coming from.

    Thanks for listening folks,..I just wanted to give a couple of personel examples of why this fight is so well worth it. Have a great day!

    PS- Sorry ladies,..I had to lose the Beckham avatar and go back to my original,..Bigfoot carrying 12-Pack of Schlitz beer. I didn't think it would be fair to my fellow male-posters if you all knew what I looked like,..how could you be objective? Plus this one is "deeply symbolic" of the man I used to be (How did that sound?...I just thought of it).
    Last edited by kevin2; 05-29-2012 at 10:06 AM.

  9. #5349

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    ww43, I have been reading your posts about withdrawal symptoms and it spurred me to do some reading on detoxing and specifically how long the symptoms should be expected to last. I found this great 3 part article on PAWS, Post Acute Withdrawal here: http://www.tlctx.com/ar_pages/paw_part1.htm
    It describes something I thought was interesting in asking if you feel good when you are drinking and depressed/anxious/down when you are not, you need to look at what's wrong when you are not drinking. I'll be spending the afternoon thinking about that one!

    Paul, I'm with you on over-thinking everything, I'm trying to learn to let things go. I'm a work in progress on many fronts! Kevin, great posts and thanks for throwing me a bone by taking your real photo down. Everyone, so many great posts, keep up the great work. Priscilla & tinabella, keep trying, don't beat your self up, and remember the basics like eating regular meals and plenty of water. Beth, good job on the meetings, they can really be lifesavers! Ceecee, sorry to hear about your father, hope you can find some motivation from that.
    "People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds. It is something one creates."
    -- Thomas Szasz, psychiatrist

  10. #5350

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    How right you are Kevin. I so get 'not showing up' because I'd be happily toasted at home. And what about, someone might smell the residue on me so I better just hang out alone? Well, day 7 is here and I'm now starting a wind-up to be a little more social. I've been laying low, taking my time, slowing down. People have been calling inviting me out (to do healthy things, as they always have) and it's coming on time to participate. On my first sober day I stopped at my friend's coffeeshop to say hi. I struck up a conversation with a very pleasant woman who I couldn't read very well. Ended up that the three of us had dinner at a place with no alcohol then she and I departed together so I could deliver her to her car. I only mentioned that I'm reading "The Highly Sensitive Person" and that opened up a whole new dialog. It ends up she has a masters in psychology and is a spiritual healer. We shared stories. We drove to the waterfalls and she gave me a Reiki treatment. The way cool thing is that she is traveling through town and trying to figure out if she wants to stay here. Since I know so many people, I was able to guide her to like-minded sources. She is now saying that I was the catalyst to opening up her world here in our community. She's been out more in the last six days than I have in the last six months! So, to make this long story short...had I been drinking I would never have had that experience. Tomorrow I'm going to meet her in town and hit the Farmer's Market.

    And Paul, yes, I for sure have the tendency to think everyone knows what guilt, shame, etc. thoughts are in 'my' head. I've made such a big deal out of my behavior that I think people are having mind-conversation with me. Being calmer now, I don't feel any need to share excuses or offer information that juggles around in my brain. Just playing my cards a little closer, giving simple answers and leaving it at that.

    Hi Julie, Priscilla, CeeCee, Beth, Sylvane and all others! I'm so glad we are all here together.

    Off to make some geranium/rose lotion. The directions are confusing enough, thank god I'm not drunk :-)

    BTW - I just saw a great posting on Facebook by Wayne Dyer..."You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

  11. #5351
    ww43, memory problems and diminished brain function were the main motivators for my getting sober. I used to have a very good memory and could recall specific footnotes by number when discussing articles and reports. In the end, I might as well have been reading a foreign language because nothing would stick in my brain. Moreover, the drinking made me feel miserable and depressed, easily angered, and basically emotionally immature. That was my bottom. Physically, I was more or less fine except for some extra weight (even though I am sure my insides were taking quite a beating). When I cut out the drinking within the first 30 days my brain was functioning much better; I could remember what I read again. Very importantly, my ability to make good decisions and react like a calm, mature adult greatly improved. I love being sober now!

  12. #5352

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    Hello everyone. I made it through the eve of my 7th day but barely. After feeling positive and energetic about quitting all week, today was awful. Irritable, exhausted, sweating, I even looked swollen and just BLAH. I realize I'm going to crave alcohol for awhile, but since early this afternoon I seem to be having more physical symptoms. Is it possible that the alcohol is just now leaving my system? I'll be glad if I can ever offer someone else advice instead of being so in need of it all the time. Finally putting an end to this day but I'll check in first thing.

  13. #5353
    CeeCee, your body will be going through some profound changes after you quit. The severity and duration will depend upon your own physical makeup and the quantities and duration of your drinking career. Feeling tired and irritable are extremely common as your body adjusts. Usually, the symptoms get better after a few weeks, but some can linger for years. For example, alcoholic induced insomnia can still be present two years after achieving sobriety. However, the lack of alcohol creates a sense of peace that makes it much easier to accept and deal with these issues. One thing I have found particularly helpful is physical exercise, this can really help defuse anger, irritability, restlessness, cravings, etc. It only takes a few minutes (5-10) to achieve that effect.

  14. #5354
    Midwest Sue's Avatar
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    CeeCee, you should expect ups and downs in this journey. I had to learn to just let the down times be what they were. Also, women in general have more natural mood/physical fluctuations and it may be hard to determine the root cause for the bad feelings. Be good to yourself, breathe deeply, allow the feelings in, don't overanalyze, get lots of sleep. Know that it will pass and life will improve in so many ways if you hang in there.

  15. #5355

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    Hey everyone, I just wanted to pass this along. I just discovered this concept today and have been reading what I can find about it, it is called Post Acute Withdrawal or PAWS. It explains so much of what we are going through and I think it would be very helpful to check it out. Here is a great article I just found about it: http://www.addictionsandrecovery.org...withdrawal.htm and here is an excellent quote from it:

    "There are two stages of withdrawal. The first stage is the acute stage, which usually lasts at most a few weeks. During this stage, you may experience physical withdrawal symptoms. But every drug is different, and every person is different.

    The second stage of withdrawal is called the Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). During this stage you'll have fewer physical symptoms, but more emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

    Post-acute withdrawal occurs because your brain chemistry is gradually returning to normal. As your brain improves the levels of your brain chemicals fluctuate as they approach the new equilibrium causing post-acute withdrawal symptoms. "

    Makes sense to me. Google that term when you get a chance and check out that article at the link above.
    "People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds. It is something one creates."
    -- Thomas Szasz, psychiatrist

  16. #5356

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    Day 4. And that is big this time around since I have been unable to string even 2 days together for way way way too long. I'm hoping that my brain functioning improves ... also, not looking like crap and feeling like crap. It has been easier with my 'buddy' gone and I need to find ways to deal with the buddy-syndrome. I cave too easily and she doesn't realize exactly how bad my drinking really is (you know the scenario - drink before you go out, drink while you are out, drink when you get home ... except, most people think the drinking is only while you are out. Sigh. God, how tiring.) So far, so good - I'm not complacent, no way.

  17. #5357
    Thanks for the link, Ken. I remember when I quit smoking, that there were lists of the effects/benefits listed by minute, hour, day, week, month, and year. Too bad there isn't one of these for drinking. My pet interest is how long-term alcohol abuse affects the endocrine system, espcially thyroid. The most illustrative effect, though, is the NIH graphic showing the differences between normal, Alzheimers, and alcoholic brains (http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publicatio...images/300.jpg). You know you are an alcoholic if you look at that image and STILL think that drinking might be worth it! :-)

  18. #5358
    Beth's Avatar
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    Good morning all, just checking in. The word for today......Relax. Something I know I can't and don't do. Alcohol was my relaxation and now I must find other alternatives. Ken, great articles. You have diagnosed me and it didn't cost me a thing! What do I owe you? PAWS is me to a T. This has been my whole adult life. The articles give me hope that I can now begin to change and find the life to live happy. I am determined to find ways to enjoy relaxing without the alcohol.
    Eric, great visual and great statement about continuing to drink after seeing that.
    Ww43, thank you for the encouragement. It feels good. Just remember I started this journey in January. It has taken me that long to find the tools I needed. I am always here to go another 30 days with you....Are we starting day 4?
    Priscilla, I agree to at least count the first 30 days. You need to really commit. I not only found that my mind was complete mush but the depression seriously took control of me. Alcohol was/ is the leading contributor for that depression.
    Kevin, I am so happy for you....and your beautiful kids. That is a tremendous success and I am sure wasn't that easy....now reward yourself with some relaxation.....not alcohol meditate or have your wife give you a massage
    Love and Peace to you all
    Last edited by Beth; 05-30-2012 at 03:33 AM.

  19. #5359

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    Eric, Miwest Sue, Ken1, ww43, Mel, and each and every soul on this forum, your presence in my life is so important right now. I got up at 5:30, read your posts, then started researching PAWS. Very good information. I needed to hear that a relapse would alter, okay erase, the progress my brain is trying make in straightening out its chemistry. That it may take awhile, but that the peace I'll quickly gain if I don't drink will make it easier to deal with. Good find Ken1. I'm watching a tropical storm spin closer and closer on the radar, a major trigger for me thanks to Jimmy Buffet I guess. Usually while every one else is stocking up on bread and batteries I'm making a run for chaser. I'm riding this one out dry though. Peace.

  20. #5360
    Midwest Sue's Avatar
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    After reading about PAWS, I realize why keeping a journal in the early weeks was so important to me.
    1. It gave me a place to put all of my random feelings
    2. It helped me organize my scattered brain. I would use it to remind myself of the simplest things that I knew I would forget. What I did today, what I need to do, things I need to buy, how much money I spent, what I ate, etc. It kept me grounded in reality when years of habitual behavior was unravelling.

    I rarely use it now, but it was a lifeline for me. My advice to those starting out: grab a simple notebook that you can keep with you all the time, and start writing.

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