Ruth, thanks for sharing that information. I did Google it and learned a lot. If you check out the graph on page 28 of this document, or page 4 of 9 of the PDF: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publicatio...22-1/25-34.pdf , it really explains the concept in a simple graph. I could not copy and paste the graph, but you really should check it out everyone.
From my first relapse after starting to post here:
And from my 2nd:
Originally Posted by carol
Eric, and others struggling, it starts with a THOUGHT! We're so used to it we can't distinguish between thought and action. With what action will you follow the thought? The automatic lifting of the glass, so comfortable and seemingly so comforting? Or with instantly replacing it with a zero tolerance STOP! thought, getting up and going for a walk, coming here and posting or reading an old post, anything, everything, just NOT a drink. Have you poured all the booze down the drain or the driveway (interesting thought, that one) or put it unopened in the trash for an early pickup? For months I wouldn't go to the grocery store except before noon, otherwise it was too risky that I'd weaken and buy another bottle (or two) for the evening.
Originally Posted by carol
It is possible to be free. I'm 59 now. So many years of mindlessly drinking, so many years of trying and failing, guilt and shame. As Ruth said earlier, this time, I was finally ready to get help, even if that meant the dreaded AA and/or rehab. I was ready to ACT.
Danny, I've been thinking of you ever since you posted, and I went back and read your other posts. You're NOT a loser. It's the alcohol. Whatever it is about our brain chemistry that makes us get addicted and others seemingly able to take it or leave it, it ain't a character flaw. But that's no excuse, either. Please don't be afraid or be too proud to seek help. You sound so lonely and depressed. It's so hard to try to do everything alone. This forum has been a miracle to many of us, for me certainly the first time I was ever honest about how much I was drinking and what it was costing me. But there's no shame if coming here is not enough by itself. Sorry, nonmalfeasance, but much of the time doctors aren't all that helpful, and John's alerted us that there can be consequences of having alcohol abuse on the permanent medical record. But Danny, I still suggest you go and talk at least about how lonely and sad you are feeling, and that you are concerned you may be drinking too much, and see if help is offered. I finally did go to AA meetings to support a family member (long story, some other time) and found them surprisingly good, and definitely helpful to him; he had researched and didn't want to go to meetings in a church basement or somesuch and found a stand-alone location that is used only for AA & Al-Anon, and that turned out well. When the s*** hit the fan and we had to forcibly remove him from my mom's house, he already had a lead on a half-way house from people he had met in AA; perhaps because it was of his choosing it has worked out.
I do believe that had I not been ready to do anything and everything to stop, up to and including rehab, I'd still be doing my start/stop thing. It wasn't a particular bottom, although I do have some real lows. I just felt like if I kept going I would surely die, and I committed that in 2011 I would REALLY do something about it.
OK, another long post from Carol, pent up I guess and maybe too much caffeine. I owe so much to this forum and all the people here, yes including y'all that are still struggling. I know that freedom is SO much better. I know that stopping is hard, and yet so easy in the end. Just don't drink. And take massive action 'cause otherwise all those blasted triggers and the day to day environment are still there to tempt and thwart and all that. Thanks, everyone.
Beth, Kevin, Ruth, Ken, Carol and everyone else. Thank you for your kind support. I feel cautiously optimistic now. I went back and read my old posts and I am determined to recapture that confident and happy feeling I get after being sober for a while. The Kindling effect scares me to death, but is a clear indication of just how much damage we do to our bodies with drinking. As it is said, drinking damages every single organ in the body (especially at the rate I drink). I am sober today and will stay that way. Thanks again and I look forward to checking in tomorrow.
Please keep your heads up Kip and Eric. Both of you have proven to yourself that you can beat the bottle. It's just a constant daily renewal until we automatically start thinking right. Thanks for all the encouragement from you long-timers; Sally, Ruth, Carol, and others. Today is day 6 for me. Good luck to all.
Hi everyone. Day 14 for me – yay! That’s two weeks in anyone’s language. I feel like I am on an even keel and each day I feel an improvement within myself. I’m now aiming for one month. Thank you everyone for all your support and guidance.
Beth: Way to go – day 4. That is really fantastic. Be a champion today!
Molly: Amazing work – day 8. You are doing so well. Good on you for resisting the temptation.
Eric and bdog: Hang in there. My thoughts are with you.
Ken1: Thank you. I certainly do not miss getting caught up in all the negativity the media so often bombards us with. It’s pretty much routine with me now and sure I don’t miss it. I think it is so right about only being able to control our current thought. Once I was able to accept that, it freed my mind up so much – no need to try to ‘control’ everything in life, but just accept what is! I also try to set the tone for each day, with positive affirmations and visualisations. The key I think is also release any pre-conceived expectations – ie. once again, you can only control your current thought – so, if the day hasn’t turned out the way you had thought that’s okay. It still can be a great day, just depending on how we look at it.
Ruth: Thank you for your post about kindling – I had never heard of this term before. It sounds logical and I guess it is another reason for having a few day 1’s as possible. Thank you for all your posts and the informative and inspiring things you say.
Carol: Thank you too for all your thoughtful and inspiring posts. I sure look forward to each post and not to worry about your posts being long (I don’t think they are anyway), as they are just what I need. I would also like to second what you say about people thinking they are losers – it is the alcohol. Each and every one of us is good enough and deserve the very best in life. The key of course is being able to accept that about ourselves!
Danny: I can relate to the feelings of loneliness and sadness. A couple of affirmations I use are simply ‘I believe in myself!’ and ‘I am good enough!’. If you don’t believe these things about yourself, that’s okay, I found it very difficult to start with also, but keep persisting and I’ve found it can really help.
Sylvane: I love walking in the rain also – it’s just a great feeling. Hang in there.
Bryan: Great work – keep going.
John: I think it would be fair to say you have the support of all of us here on the forum. Bounce back and keep reading and posting.
Kip: I trust you are okay. Hang in there. Let us know how you are doing if you feel okay about that.
I just wanted to say a few words on ‘massive action’. Sometimes we might feel that massive action involves doing something that is way beyond our reach. But, as Patrick says, pick something now – the most important thing for you at this time – and do that until it becomes habit. I see as including some things that are not necessarily so massive, and as such, hard to do. Very briefly, I had never kept a journal before and I now have written in my personal journal every day for the last 14 days. For someone who may have kept a personal diary through a lot of their life, keeping a journal may just be second nature and not a massive action. But, for me it is a ‘massive action’. So, I guess the point I’m trying to make is that ‘massive action’ does not necessarily need to be like moving a mountain or something like that, but one particular thing in and of itself may be just the massive action one needs to take to help them along the journey. I trust this makes sense.
To everyone, thank you again for being here to help me along the way. You are all helping me in so many ways. Have a great sober day.
Just say no!
Since relapse is a discussion today I would like to share a quick story. This happened a little over 2-weeks after I started my journey with abstinence from alcohol, and joined this forum.
I was out looking at rental property with a realtor back in December. I am currently in the market for purchasing rental property as a retirement investment.
At 50 I am starting to realize just how much a person needs to retire comfortably, and with the low interest rates and low housing prices...along with my age I think it's the right time to move on this type of investment.
Anyway, at one of the houses I viewed that day the tenants where there. I started visiting with one and he informed me this particular house was part of a project that housed recovering alcoholics & drug addicts.
This really caught my attention to say the least since I was just starting out on my own road to recovery.
He told me they all worked together to pay the rent, do the chores and so on. But here was the attention grabber.
He went on to say there was one main rule. If you're caught drinking or using drugs you're OUT of the house! End of Story!
No second chances, no questions ...DONE, OUT of the House.
This really surprised me. I ask him...don't you guys try to work it out with the offender so he can get back on track? His reply was a stern NO. He said straight out... that is the agreement going in, and it is understood by all in the household.
Ok, to the real point...
This attitude just shows the seriousness this program takes on the commitment to sobriety. Talk about tough love!
"Zero tolerance, no prisoners"
In a way, we all have to take our own commitment this serious....This addiction we are all trying to break is going to be the biggest fight of our lives!
Hope you all find the sobriety you're looking for. Later!
Hello everyone, Day 18 for me today. Last night went out for dinner with my Partner, he is 110% supportive but sometimes forgets what that actually means when I say "I have given up alcohol". He tried a different drink last night a Pear Cider instead of Apple. I havn't said anything to him directly but not thinking about what I am going through and taken with his drink he just straight out said "this is really nice, try some" It took all my might not to choke him on the spot!!! I immediately wanted to yell at him "Hellooo remember, I am not drinking" but instead I just walked off. I know he didn't mean any harm - it just plain slipped his mind but some days it feels like everything is out to get you.
James G - word of warning, I went 12 months without a drink 18 months ago and was so pleased with myself I thought that I had "cured" myself of my problem.... and could drink again - (like a normal person!!!) it only took the 2nd drink back to realise that 12 months being abstinent did nothing for me. I still had the cravings, the voices in my head urging me to have 3 or 4 or more drinks. The little voices would say, "hey its only 1 more, it can't do any harm"... How wrong they were.
So in light of that I have decided to stop deluding myself and finally admit I can't drink anymore and to just deal with that. One day at a time of course!!!!!.
Keep sober everyone. Tomorrow is Australia Day for us in the land down under - a public holiday. I am going to celebrate it with my new found buddy - Cranberry Juice and Soder!!!
Good morning all. Day 25 for me. JacquieC.....My husband said 'how long are you goining to keep this up for?' WTF.
I did a really good post yesturday morning and just as I was about to press Post Quick Reply button, my cat Vinney jumped up onto my laptop and turned the dam thing off. For a fleeting moment of my imagination...he became a house slipper because I could have inserted my foot so far up it's arse it would have been snug!!! I then couldn't be bothered to so it again. But here I am, a day later.
I came home from work last night around 6pm. My husband had already left for work. There on the kitchen work top was a big boquet of flowers with a note from him saying 'well done on not drinking' I take it is was from the husband and not Vinney! LOL
In a brief moment of cynisim, I thought 'I bet he's after some duvet gymnastics'! I thought this is a Miss Piggy kinda voice tone! Poor man.
Anyway....These posts are incredible. I can't individually mention you all because it's only 9am and my brain could bleed through the tension of forgetting someone!
There are some posts that say that being asked out for a meal etc poses a challenge. I have my usual acid reply that I give out. By the way............saying NO must now be part of your daily mantra.
Alison, fancy coming out for a drink tonight?
1. NO....thanks. I've taped American Idol (why can't I sop staring at Steve Tyler's gob? It's massive!)
2. NO....thanks. I'm having a night in folding my dog's ears back. It's funny because he looks like an alien.
3. NO....thanks. I'm............wait for it............I'm bleaching my moustache!
Now, No.3 is a real show stopper. Wait for the silence on the other end of the phone. They will find someone else pretty quickly. As for you men, I could give you a couple of ideas but I do not want to bring this pure and enlightening forum into distripute.
I must finally add. I can control staying off the booze...........It's having no control when I don't! I can't start because there's not a stop switch in my brain. That's the long and short of it folks. Zero tolorance.
Anyway folks. Signing off dear fellows. Keep clean and serene..............Alison
My friends... Day 2.. Sally, Molly, Morgan, JeffR1, Beth, Sylvane, Markymark, JacquieC, JamesG and all others..thank you so much for your concern. You all are simply wonderful. Reading your insights brought me back to the world. It's strange..I told my wife last night that it kind of took a relapse to make me see the real value of the forum. It's hugely important because before there was nowhere to turn. And the value of the 23 days. I felt like crap yesterday and I had to work in our lab building a tire. (worry not, you won't have a chance to buy that one-it's scrap!) The act of action and thought as I pulled that first glass towards me was like nothing else. It's a different world now because I am a nondrinker; the rules have changed if that makes any sense. Oh..and my body didn't like those glasses. I was very sick afterward. That rarely happened before; I usually passed out before being sick. So things are different. Very.
Ironic, hey even funny, is that I read my tail off to digest this whole forum up to the current days..Then crashed and got way behind because of your wonderful support.
Off for a morning run. In college 28 yrs back it was a mile a beer. If a glass of wine = couple of beers..I gotta get at it. Love to all..have a sober Wednesday...Kip
Day 2 here and I feel great this morning. I woke up early and had some insights about my drinking. I am one of those who will focus on reading another book or article looking for that magic piece of advice, or technique, or insight... Do I need more philosophy, more religion, more leadership skills, etc? My insight was that I can't continually chase more of that. Some is fine, but I need to spend most of my time doing it. For example, just take one of Patrick's articles and do what is suggested in it. Yesterday, I asked an old friend how he stopped drinking, because I knew he had stopped for about 6 years. I was anxiously waiting for the story of bottoming out, rehab, AA, etc. He did reply, but it was nothing like any of that. He recognized he was having a problem and DECIDED to quit. He made the decision and never looked back. He automatically had adopted the no tolerance policy and immediately started working to improve his life. Today, I will spend more time doing the things I need to do. Today, I recognize that I am already equipped with the knowledge and skills I need to live sober.
Eric...you got it in you! Now don't look back!
Originally Posted by Eric
Man, the posts are getting better and better, deeper and deeper, I thank all of you. Tomorrow will be 3 weeks but that is tomorrow. I have today to focus on, today to win, today to stay sober. To all of you who have relapse, THANK YOU FOR YOUR POSTS. I think that is the most important time to post even though the alcohol will tell you not to. To remind us of the mental emotional and physical devastation it brings or it least to me, EVERY TIME. It is awesome, if I can use that word, to see clarity slip back in your posts as you get a couple of days back into sobriety. you will get addicted to that feeling if you keep starting over. I am starting to get a life away from the bottle and that is weird, to find new playgrounds. The money i have saved is ridiculous and i keep thinking I didnt pay a bill, getting stuff done like folding clothes and picking stuff up. I can say that food tastes good. The myth that alcohol is a stress reliever is just that. I have never had less stress, but I am cautious. Hope all stay sober today
JeffR1, I think we see the world in the same way, I also believe in the power of affirmations and positive thinking. Obviously one must back them up with right actions, but they are tools that give you the proper foundation to make anything possible. I am also into quotes and find they carry a lot of power. Several years ago, when my father was dying, I ran into an older man while pumping gas on my way to the hospital. It was snowing, and he looked at me and said "how's it going?" I replied "not to good, how about you?" He answered back with a smile "any day above ground is a good day son!" I don't know if I was putting out an energy that made him ask me that or if God put him in my path, but that phrase changed my life! I think about it every time I'm feeling low. I saw this quote this morning: "Lost time is never found again." -- Benjamin Franklin. Two short, simple, and profound statements that make me you think. Life is a short and precious gift, so make the most of every second. What a waste to spend one second of life drunk.
Eric, you sound good. You are right in that taking action is the key. I think that it is also important to constantly immerse one's self in positive material whether it be books or whatever. You may just find that one pearl of wisdom that crystallizes it all for you. We are exposed daily to so much negativity, that it can only serve to boost one's chances of success. Just look at all the compassion you are receiving here, it's awesome! Complete strangers reaching out to lift someone up, if only the rest of the world could follow the example set here! Best of luck to you in your efforts, swing for the fences!
Marky Mark, if only I had invested all that money wasted on booze, I probably could have bought a vacation home or who knows what else. Oh, well the past is history and can't be changed, so onward and upward. It's funny you mention that about alcohol relieving stress. When I was at my worst, heaviest drinking, I was depressed all the time. I thought I was drinking to make my self feel better, but I was doing just the opposite. We all now know that drinking makes us more depressed and I was just pouring gas on the fire. I can now pop right up out of bet and look forward to whatever life throws at me instead of struggling to summon the strength to just get up. I used to be a victim (in my mind only) and think poor me, life is so unfair. I now think of my job in life is to solve problems. When people ask me what I do, I tell them I'm a problem solver. I could not have done that when I was drinking, I would have given them a list of all the things in my life that were wrong and how much I hated my job. Good sober day to you and everyone else.
*picking herself up, dusting herself off* I refuse to say I'm at Day 1 again - It's Day 11 (minus 1). Mornin' everyone.
Great job Kip and Eric on the new attitude! Ken and Mark---great insight on the stress relief and depression. It's funny how we and society tell us that we need to have a drink to calm down. But what you guys said is the absolute truth. ALCOHOL ONLY WORSENS DEPRESSION! You may feel short term relief, but hours later it is big time depression for me--pure guilt. Great job guys. Day 7 for me.
Last edited by Bryan; 01-25-2012 at 11:09 AM.
Well done Kip for getting back to it quickly. I saw this in one of Patrick’s articles:
‘If you relapse, get yourself back to a safe place as soon as you can. Prolonging a relapse or just “enjoying if for a while” is a recipe for disaster.’, and, ‘All that matters after a relapse is that you do something about it NOW.’.
You are so right about the rules changing when one is a non-drinker. Hang in there. Best wishes.
Thanks Ken1 for your post. I remember reading in the back-posts what the older guy said to you at the gas station. It certainly is a powerful message and I have actually mentioned that quote on several occasions since then.
I agree with you that quotes and affirmations can be great tools so long as they are backed up with right action. In this regard, I can highly recommend a book which I have found to be really helpful, ‘You can heal your life’, by Louise L. Hay.
To all, Louise Hay suggests that ‘We are each responsible for all of our experiences.’, ‘Every thought we think is creating our future.’, and that ‘The point of power is always in the present moment’.
She is of the view that our thoughts and emotions can cause dis-ease and sickness in our body and that we can heal our lives and bodies by changing the way we look at things.
I found it very interesting to note that she is of the view that addiction and alcoholism can often be associated with the following type of thinking or beliefs:
• Running from the self.
• Not knowing how to love the self.
• ‘What’s the use?’ thinking or belief.
• Feelings of futility, guilt, and inadequacy.
Louise Hay suggests we can heal ourselves by changing our thoughts and beliefs. It is a highly recommended book. There is also a DVD docu-movie on the book which is also excellent.
I trust you all have a great sober day.
Freedom Day: 12/25/11
So much strength and positivity here!
Jeff – thank you for the book recommendation. I’m going to look that up now.
Bryan - way to go on one full week! I’ve been rooting for you.
Molly - Just say no, again and again. You are here for a reason.
Ken – Love the simple quotes. Thanks! Here’s one that I keep remembering from a book called Drinking: A Love Story – “If I’m not an alcoholic, I don’t need a drink. If I am, I can’t have one.” Either way, no drinking. Oh – you say you need one? Then part two applies: you can’t have one.
Marky Mark – glad you are adjusting to life away from the bottle and gaining some awesome perspective. 3 weeks! Hurray!
Eric – love your post about saying NO and not looking back. That’s what my husband did and he is my inspiration. Zero tolerance.
Kip – good to hear that it was not worth it. Your body is telling you that enough is enough.
Alison – you crack me up! I’ve been smiling all day thinking about your excuses for not accepting invitations to go out! Good humor doesn’t need to be fueled by alcohol, clearly!
Jacquie – Congrats on 18 days and thanks for reminding us that there is no “cure”. No, we can’t go back to just one or two. Our chemistry doesn’t work that way. We are a “special” group and just need to deal with it.
James – I appreciate you leading the discussion on Zero Tolerance. It’s the only way I can do it.
Carol – You and I have so much in common, it’s scary. I can’t wait to have many months behind me as you do. Thank you so much for all of your sharing.
To all of you here, I want you to know that you have been such a big help to me in my first month. I look forward to many more conversations as we fight on together.
Be sober and enjoy each moment!
Sooner or later we will ALL need someone to lean on!
NOTHING... NOTHING! Is harder than zero tolerance...... But folks I am doing it! End of Day 5! Two long days of traveling and I am a non-drinker....ready for a long sleep and to wake up sober without a hangover. You guys are my rock right now!
Molly.... You need to be kind to yourself and stay connected to this sight. There is insight here that will explain to you what happened in the last 24 hours.
Well done Beth and everyone, excellent posts, reading them helps massively. I love some of the affirmations and have set up a new thread in the hope we have a central area where people can post their favourites.
Day 18 .. Sunny