Last edited by Susan *nelson; 12-25-2011 at 01:42 PM.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!
My first Christmas with my extended family — completly sober -- since probably 1980. It was very different from the past holidays. I saw family interactions from a different perspective. Sometimes that was good sometimes not so good. Still a very good occasion for so many reasons. I think today is day 12 for me.
Thanks to everyone on this forum that went before, and contributed their experiences here, to make my journey easier.
“Our first recovery task during the holidays is to accept ourselves, our situation, and our feelings about our situation. We accept our guilt, anger, and sense of loss. It's all okay. There is no right or perfect way to handle the holidays. Our strength can be found in doing the best we can, one year at a time.”
“In quietness are all things answered, and is every problem quietly resolved. In conflict there can be no answer and no resolution, for its purpose is to make no resolution possible, and to ensure no answer will be plain. A problem set in conflict has no answer, for it is seen in different ways. And what would be an answer from one point of view is not an answer in another light. You are in conflict. Thus it must be clear you cannot answer anything at all, for conflict has no limited effects. Yet if God gave an answer there must be a way in which your problems are resolved, for what He wills already has been done.”
These two sets of words got me through today, thank you Dreamweaver and JeffR1. At the point of the most anxiety today, when I was failing Christmas, as though Christmas were a subject in school with tests and pass/fail, I was failing. It was the moment I knew that drinking would take the fear and the pain away. The words above helped me to just be in the moment, feel it all and I was surprised, but the worst feelings passed and alcohol wasn’t required. There was a moment later in the day that I thought I was going to be cornered to drink, but fortune was smiling on me and I escaped. Whew again.
So, as of right now, no matter what went right or did not, I didn’t drink, and so I get to say yay!
This day will pass, wishing everyone the cheer of a sober day, just for today. Thanks EVERYONE for being here on this journey.
Good on you Pearl! To know I have been able to help you in some way also helps me to heal. Thank you.
Hi Regina. I'm new here, but I've read all the posts on this thread in the past couple of weeks so I remember you. You have contributed much to everyone here. Hang in there.
Hi also to everyone else.
Dreamweaver, such nice words to help those us who have a bad time over the holidays. I am one who is so relieved that one is over with one to go. I don’t do very well at all from loses in the past due to drinking and bad choices. Those words helped but its sad that I or anyone has to fall into the categories of not being able to enjoy this time of year like when so many can. Thank you again for helping.
I agree with you bdog, thanks Dreamweaver for your post.
I caught the end of a movie this morning that ended with the narrator saying "and they lived happily ever after." I started thinking, what are we waiting for? I think we wait far too often for some far off achievement or event to take place and we tell ourselves, "I'll, finally be happy then." We wait for graduating college, getting married, having kids, getting a great job, winning the super bowl, whatever it is for you. Generally, when you achieve your goal, you're left there thinking, well now what? I think people are action and goal oriented, that you have to constantly be striving to be better, to improve yourself, but you have to be careful not to become totally obsessed with that. You have to make up your mind to be happy, to be grateful for what you have right now and then you can focus on getting more from life. Abraham Lincoln said that "most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be." I think he was right. Could it really be that simple? That I've been missing it all these years because of my attitude and my approach? Absolutely.
Carol I am so proud of you I have been reading your posts and its awesome!! I have just started on my journey Yesterday. Dec 26,2011
Dec. 27: I’m sitting in my dining room, it is snowing and there are birds at the birdfeeder, it is lovely. Made better by the fact that Christmas Day is behind us, and although I feel hung over, it is from staying up much too late watching movies, and eating too much Christmas junk food , but yay, no alchohol. This is new for me, because usually I would drink too much and just be asleep.
Some of my friends are missing the ‘drinking Pearl’. They ask me if I’m better. I’ve been thinking about how to respond, but I think the things I would share are really only relevant here with other people who drink too much:
Do I feel better? Yes, in my mind I feel better. Or I just feel bad less. I am in control of what comes out of my mouth, so I don’t have to feel bad there. I can drive at any time. I don’t have to put any energy into how much I’m going to drink, because I can drink all the gingerale I want. I am learning to be me in my own skin, so I don’t have to put energy into hiding me, the real me, the drinking me, all the places my mind would go and try to figure out how to be ok and still drink more. Without the alcohol it seems like I don’t need to take so many things so personally, in a negative way. I’m sure there is more, but I’ll stop here. I do have some worries about how my relationships are going to progress, but I have to take care of me and I fully believe the rest will follow. That’s what these posts here on SR tell me, and I believe.
With much thanks as always to everyone here, for sharing your pain, your joy and your journey.
Cheers today to a sober day.
I think I have been forgotten on this forum. I wish you all health and sobriety in 2012.
Regina - you have not been forgotten:] I remember you and your situation....I can only imagine what it would be like to live with another person who too has a problem with alcohol and chooses not to do something about it. How defeating that could be. I am blessed that my husband only drinks once in a blue moon. You need to be strong for you!! For your children. The holidays are hard times for many of us - it brings up such a flood of emotions and drinking has always been a big part of that scenario. No one forgets you - I think we are all just wrapped up in our own heads right now struggling to do the best that we can through this season. Keep posting, even if no one answers. I feel that way at times but then I remember this is "keyboard therapy" for me, not to get replies but to express how I am feeling, to put it in writing so I can reflect back, to encourage me to never give up. So hang in there Regina - don't ever quit quitting - you are so worth it!!
Regina, you are not forgotton to me. I know you - because I am you! I too feel forgotten even though I am relatively new to this forum. I check in here five, six, seven or more times each day to see and read what people are experiencing, how they are going and to get feedback on my posts.
I feel frustrated at times that not many people seem to be posting - I need that right now as this is a really hard time of the year for me to deal with. Sally is so spot on that this time of the year brings up a flood of emotions. I, though am really needing (perhaps like you), to maintain contact with people in the same situation as me to get me through.
'Keyboard therapy' is great and serves a good purpose, but I can sort of get that from writing in my own journal.
I need feedback from people who know what I'm experiencing, those who know what I'm feeling. I feel frustrated that people don't seem to respond to my posts. I have been divorced for some time and don't have anyone in my life that I can talk to who understands what I am going through, so I look to this forum for the support and guidance I so desire.
Please don't feel alone - you are not alone. I trust that I will be of free of the grip of alcoholism and I trust that for you also. You are good enough, you deserve the very best in life. Feel free to PM me if you so wish.
Sally: You are so right - 'don't ever quit quitting'! We are all worth it!
Ahhh! December 28th. I actually enjoyed the holiday which in our case went on for 3 days. I had a couple of fleeting thoughts of drinking but nothing major. At my mother's house I don't think anyone even noticed. This was partly helped by my discovery that pomegranate juice with a little seltzer in a balloon glass REALLY looks like red wine. Fake em' out I say. Also most people don't care whether one drinks or not, and aren't paying the least bit of attention.
My worst recent craving to drink was last evening turning up our road returning from my office. It came on suddenly. I could picture myself drinking and there was a thought of maybe doing it sometime just once when no one was looking.
What! What! This is a ridiculous idea because once I do it I think "Well, maybe just for one more day." this goes on and on until whatever- the planets are in proper alignment or something and that can be a long time. Sneaky, sneaky addicted brain. Ignore, ignore. Regard these thoughts as crap advertising flyers.
I have been cleaning out my files and came across this post from JPVD – (I hope you don’t mind if I quote you) - but I obviously kept it for a reason and it may help someone else. It concerns relapsing.
“Every time I relapse I learn and adapt and I have yet to relapse twice for the same reason; soon I hope to run out of reasons to relapse! Already I look back on my short time sober and I realize the many times when I had a tough day, or tough situation, or a good day, or a small reason to celebrate and DIDN’T involve alcohol. The amazing thing is that I didn’t have to remind myself NOT to drink…I just didn’t think of it. Amazing when you consider I used to look for (and find) any reason, and I mean ANY reason, to drink. I did not drink to celebrate, I would celebrate to drink.
Please remember that what we are doing is an incredibly difficult and brave thing to do. It is a monumental mountain to climb, but every step is as helpful and satisfying as the last and the next…and if you slip and relapse you do not slide all the way down to the bottom! Just get up and keep stepping from where you left off.”
And I might add - Life goes on…we are all human…but only you can make this life what you want it to be. Don’t ever give up:]
Hi everyone- Jeff and Regina- don't feel forgotten! I read your words and they go into my replies, even if I don't mention you or anyone else by name all the time! We are all here together and we are all working things out to the best of our abilities. Don't forget that you can PM people if you want some more personal contact. Allyson, have you checked out the other thread (30, 60, 90 days...). There has been a bit of discussion about that urge to relapse, and I mentioned that all the talk of other people relapsing makes my tricky brain think it is inevitable, so maybe I ought to do it! I know, it is just a thought, and i am not going to, but the urge is there. I like your analogy with the fliers selling crap! Now if I could just end the sugar abuse! My mother-in-law is coming over later to force some more cookies on us!
Hey Jeff and Regina, I'm here for you as I know is everyone else. Keep posting. The threads are quieter at the moment. Maybe because of the holidays I dont know. Allyson so good to see someone else from CT. :-) Glad to see you posting and yes I have noticed when people start drinking they dont pay attention to what I am drinking! That has helped alot to make things easier. Sally love that quote. I was telling my husband the other day I used to drink over a particular issue. His comment was "it seems like you drank over alot of issues". Well geez thats true. Always a reason. I finally figured out as much as I miss alcohol at times I can't drink. I tried hard but I give up. When I drink it becomes brutally addictive and I'm not going there again.
Jeff and Regina, I have several family members in AA that used to 12 step me. One of them used to say when your alcoholic its like your going down an elevator. You never go up. Your always going down. And its up to you to figure out what floor to get off on. Alcoholism never gets better. Only worse. Thats what has helped me to keep sober this time. As it clicked in my head this was not a moral issue but an addiction. So Jeff no matter what your going through with the holidays and divorce just dont drink. When it comes January you will feel stronger. At least that has been my experience. The alcoholic in me gets weaker every time I learn to say no.
Thank you Ruth and Samantha. I appreciate your words of encouragement. Six billion people in this world and how easy it is to feel lonely or alone at times! Being responsible to oneself is often the most difficult task. I will keep on trying. I remain hopeful for the future. Thank you again. Have a lovely sober day everyone. Regards, Jeff.
Building up strength one day at a time. Heading into day 35 tomorrow. Finding myself starting to miss having that special micro brew! Also, starting to realize my drinking was used to mask my insecurities. Micro-Brew thought gone! The old cliché of..."doing the right thing isn't always the easiest thing" This sure does ring true in tackling complete alcohol abstinence.
One thing is for certain...I would not be at this point of sobriety if it were not for this message board and everyone on it! One nice feature is you can look up all your previous post. This enables you to have a log of you sobriety process. I think it is a good idea to go back and re-visit your older post now and then. This should help you in your resolve on why you entered into this decision.
Actually just talking to myself but hope this helps those who are struggling to get a foothold on their original commitment to move forward. If we continually fill our minds with hope we will slowly push out the deceitful thoughts of despair.
Stay the course my freinds...I'll do the same!
Last edited by James G; 12-28-2011 at 06:23 PM.
Hey guys and girls
Belated Christmas wishes to you all. Found it bit easier than expected,feelings wise i mean, was first without my Mam,so we did things a bit diferently,ended up been a busy day which was good. went to grave which was a first,one of my sisters and i have not been to grave since funeral. Will be easier to go now again. Then visited relatives n had evening dinner, i went to bed early actually which was good.
So sober living will be entering its 2nd year for me,lol even though only sobering up this month...haha 2011,2012...cheating...slightly ha.... hope to get a sponsor n gop to aa meetings to help,this site has helped me get this far which is great and broke the dam for me in making me open up not just to u guys but to myself,self denial my worse trait and my addictions favourite.
so best wishes to you all,i havent read the last few pages of posts yet,so hope if anyone new on that you get the streenght n support to enter recovery n save ur life xx
Juliet just read that, i hope you find something that isnpires and helps you. Sad to read that you are so disillusioned on here. I have not encountered anyone looking sympathy really, its part of recovery wherever u go,i mean any group setting ul get annoyed with people sharing stuff,sometimes people go on and on about same old thing n u want to hit them,lol or people who relapse every day and u feel like screaming....i guess its learning to not get too upset by it. Its what bugs me about groups be they online or in person. However for me personally i now realise that my need for their help outweighs my annoyance with some elements. I agree with you that nobody can do recovery alone and i hope that I will eventually b able to receive one to one help. It is easier to join groups etc initially as wiating lists long and prices high for treatment. Take whats good n what helps u from here and leave the rest...thats my motto at minute.
Neil, access is different in the States, and thats what makes living here a blessing. Best wishes to you in your recovery. I am already inspired.