We need to get this thread going again.. ....would love to hear how everyone is doing...
Freedom Day: 12/25/11
Millie, I agree. We need some check-ins here!
As I near 11 months sober, I realize that life is certainly different. I am different. The biggest difference is that I'm living with my feelings and it's ok. I'm not sure why I was so afraid to face life sober. It's a far less dramatic way to live, but it's really ok.
Today I was frustrated at work and faced a really awkward situation. I knew I had to work through it. I couldn't just let stress consume me until quitting time when I could grab a bottle of relief on the way home. I took a couple of "me" breaks, paid attention to my breathing, and didn't allow myself to cross the line to feeling overwhelmed. Very simple steps that I've had to learn through practice, one feeling at a time. It hasn't been easy. In fact, it's been downright uncomfortable. But now I can't imagine drowning my anxiety in booze, and I can say that I am PROUD of myself, no matter how badly my day is going.
My husband is also still sober. He's never known me as a non-drinker, so we are getting to know each other all over again. We're working through tough parenting issues that might have split us apart a year ago. Now we're working together, calmly.
Life is good, people, when the constant edginess of needing the booze is gone.
Just checking in to say I'm thankful to all my SR friends that this is 2 Thanksgiving Days sober now! Could not have done this without all of you here.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
What a gorgeous day. Thanksgiving was perfectly fine sober... Better even. Aaah. So much to be thankful for. Goodnight all!
Tim, well said! I was just commenting this morning on how quickly life goes by. Years fly by in what seems like a flash. Isn't there a saying that says something like the goal shouldn't be to add more years to your life, but more life in your years????
Creative writing and violin are not options for me, but piano and art are... I'd also like to learn Italian so i am prepared for my home in tuscany done the road.
Hi, Christy, nice to hear from you! 2 Thanksgivings, yay!
Tim, yes, our needs change as time goes on. I found myself the other day asking why I still feel like I'm a work in progress. More fruitful to think I'm still growing. Too easy to let routines take over. It's a good time of year to be thinking about goals, thanks for the KITA on that.
Ciao bella, Millie!
Sue, Christmas countdown clock is running. I'm so excited for you.
Kimber, glad you're still with us on the sober train. How are some of our other friends doing?
I just read a blog where this past March this woman after two months sober went out to lunch by herself for what was suppose to be two glasses of wine........she woke up in the ER with a .3 blood alcohol level. She does nit remember a thing about what happened or how or what she ended up drinking.
Wow what a reason not to partake after so many days sober.....who knows what it will do to you. Right Millie?
Hope Thanksgiving was enjoyable for all. Mine was pretty good. Decided to make some stock out of the leftover Turkey carcase. Emptied all the older looking vegetables I had in the crisper into the pot, including what I assumed was just a mild chile pepper. It came out a little spicier than I anticipated. I roasted some more peppers because of that, along with some garlic and onions and went with a spicy southwestern theme for soup. Finished up the soup and most of the other leftovers, over the weekend. I don't get to cook much, in my normal schedule, so I enjoy that part of the holiday season.
I have been sober during December, but never for the whole month, so I am looking forward to that. I was maybe a little apprehensive about it, prior to Thanksgiving. I was never the biggest fan of the Holiday season. Not that I don't like seeing friends and family, I just never liked the constant full schedule of it. Looking back at it sober now, a big thing in the past was that all those gatherings, disrupted my normally drinking schedule. My family tends to be heavy drinkers, so often there would be serious drinking times, but some places/situation were more toward not wanting to out drink everyone in the room. Show up with quite a few in you, pace yourself during the event, get home and finish up alone. Being put off your normal routine can still be stressful, but is much easier to accept when I'm sober.
The other thing, since I have been in various states of quitting/not quitting in December before, was when I was not drinking before and not fully accepting of it, I would feel left out when at the parties where heavy drinking was an acceptable norm. I have enough experience now though with being sober this time and past attempts, that I don't miss it any more. I don't think I ever really missed it, to be honest, as much as I missed the idea of it. The idea of it isn't reality though. Reality is well … you've been there too, so I'll spare the gory details.
The Friday after Thanksgiving, the wife's parents had the kids and we went to a basketball game. We had good seats and they come with access to a special reception room. Nice food spread and all the beer and wine you can drink. They only let you take two drinks out down to your seats, but you can come back during the game for more if you want and you go there before the game, up at half time and after the game can hang out to let the traffic clear if you want. We've gotten these seats before and let's just say when I have been drinking in the past, I had taken full advantage of the open bar. I was slightly apprehensive, before going to this also, but it wasn't even a blip on the radar as far as sobriety challenge.
The truth is whether it's a wedding, holiday gathering, business trip or whatever, most people don't drink that much. I did take a look around at the game I was at and there were plenty of people having drinks. Just as many were having cokes or coffee though. Most of those drinking looked to be having only a few, not getting plowed. If I think about it even at some of the biggest heavy drinking parties I have gone too, there have always been some people not really drinking or only drinking a few. There are other problem drinkers anywhere of course. It would usually be me and them getting way hammered, I suppose. Maybe at holidays a few more non-problem drinkers join in from time to time, but looking back, those people don't join in all the time, every time. I think for me anyway a lot of the pressure or anxiety I felt missing it or being uncomfortably not drinking at holiday party or similar situation (when I first started), was the “addictive voice” wanting to see heavy drinking as normal. Heavy drinking is not normal for most people though (and normal drinking is not something I ever did).
Anyway good to see all the posts.
Take care, Todd
Todd, ain't that the truth! Good to hear from you and congrats on 2 months!
Originally Posted by ToddE
I also found it interesting to notice that most people didn't drink that much even in drinking situations. I couldn't believe that people would leave half empty glasses or just take a sip or two and be done. I still vividly remember a conversation with a friend about a place she'd been to; she said she didn't feel like a cocktail so she ordered an iced tea and then raved about how good it was. Now I actually kind of get that.
Beth-just a question about the woman with .3 alcohol. Did she only have 2 glasses of wine or did it turn into more? Just wondering how her blood alcohol could have been that high with only a couple drinks.
Last time i drank it was only 4 glasses and i don't really remember much after that. Didn't drink for a couple months before that though and wonder if it has that much effect when you go awhile without it or is it just me who can't handle my liquor!
Just curious if anyone has had the same thing happen to them in the past with drinking.
Christy, she had to have had more but she doesn't remember what and where. But the two drinks probably led to her mind vaporizing and not remembering continuing.
It's a scary thought. I have read where people having a lower tolerance and feeling drunk after just one or two.....really scary for me because I could pound them down in the day. If my mind still thinks that it can drink like that then I would be doomed!
Here is my post from last year that I was referring to earlier!!!!
Originally Posted by Millie
I hope this post finds you all enjoying a healthy and sober holiday season.
It’s been a long time since I last posted, but I’ve kept up with the site and all of your inspirational stories.
In a few days(28 Dec. to be exact) will mark one year of sobriety for me. Not a single drop. It seems like such a short time ago that I found this site and spent a long night reading and deciding to give it a try.
Those first weeks were very tough. As months went by I got stronger and honestly lost most of the urges to drink.
Now that it’s closing in on a year and Christmas is here, I’ve been hit by the holiday bug to see if I could handle the occasional drink. Part of me says, “You can do it. You can have some wine with dinner. and not start over-diong it again". Unfortunately I have to confess, I really do miss wine. Even though I now sleep like a log, feel so much better physically and mentally, and am in the best shape of my life. I still want to see if I can be the one who manages to come back and be a light drinker. To be the one who can have a glass or two of wine, and not need to finish the bottle and then open another. Do I really believe that I’m capable of not going back to where I was? I don’t know.
All my best to each and every one of you out there who is struggling with similar decisions,
I wish you all a very merry Christmas…
Freedom Day: 12/25/11
Mike, it's good to hear from you! You and I quit the same week a year ago.
Yes, we will always miss the wine, won't we? But for me, taking a drink would be like having unprotected sex with a person with HIV because I'm horny. Not a risk I'd be willing to take.
As long as I've made it this far, I don't see any benefit to trying "just one". It wouldn't improve my life and it might be the start of wrecking it.
Merry Sober Christmas to you!
Michael, so good to hear from you. By the time you read this, you'll have a year of freedom! Woo hoo!
Sue, I love the analogy. It's really helpful to give an example that has nothing to do with drinking but gets the point across!
Michael, I know you posted on the main thread also. Millie responded, and included that I had a similar "normal drinker, just one"--NOT story. Plus there are folks here who had years of sobriety then relapsed. I just think that my she-devil is in hibernation. Although she's sleeping and doesn't bother me, it wouldn't take much to awaken her and it wouldn't be long before she was up to all her tricks. I don't want to go there.
Good luck and let us know how it goes, please.
Congrats, Michael! And you said it, Sue! I think we all have that nagging voice that imagines that "we can do it" as if it were a matter of will. It is not a matter of will, though, it is physiology, and once you cross that threshold, you can't go back. I think about it especially at this time of year, but I have to dismiss it as the addictive voice, just trying to catch my attention. Stay strong and check in, and let us all know how it goes. Hi to all of you, by the way! I am fine, just struggling with my christmas cookie addiction, LOL!
Hi, Tim. I like the idea that drinking will just be something I used to do instead of being emotionally charged. I'm getting there. My theme for 2013 is lightening up, and this fits into that. It's not something that I can push though. Good luck with the personal stuff.
Hey Michael, are you still there? What did you decide to do?
I think I am in the same place... I just don't think I have a lot to add to the nondrinking thread, as I have no desire to drink right now and am not "struggling." I just am a nondrinker now. My focus has moved on to different things..... Right now I am hyper-focused on dropping 30lbs. I am having fun with my FITBIT and logging my food on My fitness Pal. Like I used to do with this site, I check into those sites several times a day and am mesmerized by the success stories I find there. I want to stay involved with this forum, however, because I know I am still a work in progress and only one bad decision away from slipping back down the rabbit hole. I need to continue to read about the struggles the newcomers and some of our old-timers are dealing with so I never forget how bad it was and can be. It is amazing how our memory of how bad it was tends to "fade" the farther we are from it. I think that is why AA continues to be important for many with long term sobriety under their belt.
Tim, I also wish you luck on the personal stuff and am keeping my fingers crossed that you will do what is right for YOU, even if it is harder road. I want you to be happy, I really do. P.S. You need to get your butt back out exercising. I recall warning you that if you stop, it is hard to restart and you responded that I didn't have to worry about you and exercise... hmmmmmm
Hey Millie, Tim, Beth & Carol (and whomever else is checking in or reading along),
I cut back on posting here and on my online meetings end of summer and into the fall. I think moving on is a natural thing. It's sort of like making progress. I figured the holidays would be rough, so I started back in posting more and was doing 3 or 4 meeting a week in December. I think I've done one so far this year, or maybe it was two. Either way I assume, my posting and meeting attendance will drop off quite a bit from here on out, as well. I'm not saying for sure it will or predicting it, just saying I assume that's the way things will progress for me.
The increased activity over the holidays, wasn't even about actively not drinking. I really had little to no concern I would drink. I did think I might be in a few more uncomfortable, pressured situations then I ended up in. It turned out, it wasn't as bad as it could have been, all in all. I was around a lot of drinking over the holidays, but as far as any urges or any real thoughts of drinking, I don't really recall any. I probably had a passing though or two that I chased off, but nothing that sticks out.
Mainly I was just getting back in for mental health reasons. I anticipated I would get down over the holidays and just working through it with extra meetings and postings helped. It's like I was able to get a lot of stuff set in my own mind. I worked through some things with the reflection posts, that I had wanted to try as a little project. That worked out good for me. I think the mental health, getting in a good place”, continual self improvement aspect, is really a big part of all this. At least for me it is. I am sure others will find there own way. Personal growth projects, I can imagine, are not for everyone. I'm keeping mine on the pretty small scale for the time being. I like the idea of continuing down the personal growth path. No predictions on that either, but I believe if I keep it small steps at a time, maybe I can keep going far along that path. Who knows?
Anyway all I was really trying to get at when I started writing, is there is nothing wrong with a little refresher course once in a while, if you feel you want it. It's kind of like getting a flu shot. Just little insurance to ward off those demons.
As a side note, I saw this link on another recovery site yesterday and though I'd pass it along. It was written by the director of SMART, so is a little bit rah, rah on that, but I thought it was pretty good anyway. I clicked through on a lot of related articles on that Huffington as well. There is a lot of stuff out there.
Hi everyone. Just a few quick words (always in a hurry, I know). On the topic of swapping one addiction for another, Tim- I don't think there is anything wrong in that. In fact, I remember that there was one definition of addiction (such a slippery term) that I heard once that resonated. An addiction is something that narrows your horizons and restricts your life, so if the habit you are in doesn't cut you off from others or prevent you from fulfilling your potential, I say go for it. I think most of us really NEED to find a replacement activity, whether it is exercise, going to meetings or hanging out on a forum. Plus, everyone who posts here actually helps others (bonus!). Just my two cents.