Good morning everyone. With the holidays approaching, I often think of all the people in my life that I have lost and get depressed, which in the past led me to self medicate with alcohol. Instead, this Thanksgiving (for those of us in the U.S.), I am going to pledge to not drink to honor their memories and spend time reflecting on all the good times we shared together.
For those of you fortunate enough to still have your parents alive or anyone that you love, make time everyday to cherish them and make sure they understand exactly how you feel about them.
Tell them how thankful you are for everything they have done for you and how much they mean to you. Give them a handwritten note or card that they can keep as a reminder. Forgive someone and give them a call this week. Forgive yourself while you're at it.
Life is a short and precious gift, and I am always reminded of that fact every holiday I go to the cemetery to visit my parents. I have many regrets in this area, and I wish I could have one more day with each of them to tell them everything I wish I had said when they were alive. I have lost several friends as well, which I hope will serve as a reminder to all that we have an expiration date too. Stop wasting time getting wasted and really live all the days of your life.
Trust me, the regret of not doing the things you are putting off for whatever reason will someday outweigh the benefits of whatever you are doing in it's place, especially if it's drinking! I know how important having a career is, but will that job be there to comfort you in your hour of need? I suggest it will not but your loved ones will, so divide your priorities accordingly.
Hey Ken that is beautifully said. Thank you so much as usual for your wisdom and strength. I have to admit work has gotten the best of me the past month and your post reminds me of whats important. The good news is I am still sober going into the holiday season. My attitude and depression are much better sober. This is longest I have been sober, about 7 months, in 14 years. But I'm very respectful of this disease and how cunning it is so I will be make sure to be very aware through the holidays. I like your thought to pledge not to drink in honor of someone we have lost.
Sylvane nice to hear from you and like that "remember to remember".
I echo a lot of what Sally and Ruth just wrote concerning finally quitting. I also used a calendar as well the last 4 years of my drinking, each time I drank I wrote down the amount on the calendar. I looked at those calendars recently and the frequency and amount I drank the last 4 years were staggering so I am grateful to be removed from that lifestyle.
I have written before that I believe one needs to be completely sick and tired of the addiction cycle and all the bs surrounding it to finally accept sobriety. In my humble opinion one also has to completely surrender to the fact that it's a battle they cannot control or win..EVER. Plain and simple in my opinion. Of course it took me almost 30 years and several trips through the floor boards of hell but I now understand that reality really good. That being said like Samantha wrote I am also respectful of the disease...Always.
Ken I really appreciate your last post as I lost somebody extremely close to me on this date a few years ago and today I said a little prayer to them and mentioned that I am now sober and plan on remaining so in their memory.
Good luck everybody and to those who are sober do everything in your power to remain that way and to those still struggling never give up trying to give up.
Hi Ken, very thought provoking. My parents were never demonstrative, particularly my father, who has passed away now. I know the three little words will never be uttered by my mother and I would collapse with shock if they were, but I have learnt to accept that, she has been through much loss and I believe its a defence which keeps her sane. She shows her love in other ways. My mother-in-law always ends our conversations by saying 'love you' or love to everyone' and I just cant say it back. Going to work on that because I dont want to regret not saying it - she's getting quite frail now.
Hi Vic, posts crossed. You sound strong even though its a sad anniversary for you.
Samantha, Sylvane, Sally, Ruth, thanks for posting, I so need this forum to give me inspiration. Still not committed to never drinking again but I'm going to try. Cant believe that after how I felt after my slip 22 days ago. Anyway, I'll take a day at a time.
Productive day today, applied for a job, now for more coursework, aargh.
Millie, how you getting on?
Thank you for such profound thoughts, Ken! Now that I have all this time on my hands (wow, only now do I realize how much time I wasted being drunk) I have plenty of opportunity to honor those I cherish. And pledging not to drink to honor the memory of those I've lost is yet another great weapon in this battle that, as Vic points out, we can't control or win ever.
Stay strong everyone. Never quit quitting, and love while you can.
Samantha, good to see you, you are so right about being sober helping to beat depression. Vic was smart to point out what you said about being respectful of the disease. After a time it is so easy to get overconfident in your (my) ability to resist the temptation.
Vic, I have learned a lot from you and your posts give me strength. My condolences on your loss, I will include you in my prayers today.
Marianna, my father was a man of few words, but he did tell me he loved me occasionally. My mom said it every time I saw her! If your parents were like mine, they grew up during the depression and life was extremely tough back then. It produced a lot of people that came from parents who probably never told them they loved them once in their lives. (I'll give you the whole story some day if you ever want to talk about it.) Perhaps if you said it to your mom, it might break down some barrier in her mind and let her open up. At least you would get to experience the joy of telling her you love her! No regrets, you get to decide once you are aware it is up to you. Make every effort to talk to her about every subject you would like to while you have the chance. I hope you have many more years together, but I learned the hard way about taking things for granted.
I had to read this page of posts twice. Thanks to all of you for giving me things to think about. As much as I reflect on myself I still find new ways to look at things by coming here.
Julie, I like the "never quit quitting."
Last edited by Kat; 11-21-2011 at 05:15 PM.
What a great string of posts today. Thanks everyone. I went to an AA meeting today for the first time in 24 years. I wanted to see what it was like because it would be good to have a supportive group IRL. Some fighting going on when I first arrived, but the meeting itself ended up being pretty good. Not sure it is for me, though. I will likely have to explore some other options as well. I am now going to bed, sober. Day 2 complete.
guess its day 1 again
Hi, I just got 14 days sober then got this insane idea that i could drink and stay sober, last night hurt badly, the thing that hurts the worst is the repeated scenerio. somehow counting the days gets me all nervous and then i sabotage myself, but at the same time i get encouraged if my number is growing. I get alcohol in my body and i lose control of my emotions, i have some deep pain that only shows itself with my closest love when i am drunk, and i doubt his love when i get to that special place, and it is hurting us badly, he loves me deeply, and dosent know how to help me, i know he cant really, how can i help him? help him away from the pain i cause...... I want to get sober before i damage him any more. but i seem to know that i have to get sober for me, and i do want it, badly. I have been drinking consistantly for about 8 years, daily, a couple of years ago i realized it was hurting me more than it was fun, ive be trying to quit since. I dove in to AA head first about a year ago but just couldnt whole heartidly be authentic with the program, i felt like i was trying to make it fit me rather than a soulution that really did fit me. So i gave up for the last year and have just been trying to control it, which usually means 4 days sober at best and a very drunken weekend. I am glad to have found this site, i had thought that AA just worked for everyone, i might give it another chance, i really need help. I saw a medical doctor, thats what helped me get the 14 days, but im just doing it on my own and complacency happens so easily, i am repeatedly astounded that i can repeat such painful situations, it hurts so badly, but by tomorrow i know i will be thinking that a drink wont hurt, it might make me feel better.......my god i am insane. hurting.
do you think there is a root to drinking? drinking does seem like a symptom, how can i uncover my root? can i heal the root then not struggle with drinking anymore?
Up for Day 3. It is raining this morning so I cannot take my morning walk. I'll fix some coffee and do some reading instead. Time to pick a more vigorous exercise routine, so I will find a suitable gym. I will also spend time with my wife and daughters doing anything. I already shut down two Facebook accounts to cut down on the stream of noise coming into my life. I will work on decluttering my life, as clutter, physical or mental, is very stressful to me. Anyway, feeling much better except for this sinus cold. Blah...
Hello The Bad, welcome, and you are definitely in a place that can help. Most of us here can relate to relapsing as it seems to be part of the process for almost everyone, so don't beat yourself up too much. It is a topic we have been discussing a great deal lately, so you might get some insight reading through the posts from the last week in this thread and in the "How To Stop Drinking" thread. Read through the articles at the main site by Patrick for much more information. I think it was really smart that you went to your doctor, try to use the information that inspired you to go 14 whole days alcohol free to try again.
Here are just a few of the things I have learned from the discussions of the last few days: quitting is a learning process, every time you try and fail gets you closer to long term sobriety. Plan for problems in advance so you don't go right back to the bottle when things don't go perfectly. From one of Patrick's articles: 1) Nobody totally wants to quit. 2) Those who do quit make the decision anyway. 3) Those who succeed take action following the decision. And another quote from an article from Patrick: "Why was I a drunk? Because it was fun. It was a blast. Until it wasn’t. The unbelievable thing was how long I continued to drink and self medicate after it was no longer fun. The unbelievable thing was the denial, that I clung to the false belief that getting drunk was still fun. But it had stopped being fun a long time ago." This is one of my favorites: http://www.spiritualriver.com/wordpr...iveLiving2.pdf
Please check in often and let us know how you're doing. Best of luck to you and have a great day!
What I'm liking about this site is the depth of emotion in people, on display in their posts. I am desperately trying to stop self-sabotaging with drink and I drink, partly, because I find it really hard to deal with all the negative emotions, thoughts and images I have of myself. I've known for ages that the drink wasn't really helping, all it was doing was giving me a switch to turn off the onslaught of bad feelings. Now I get maybe three hours respite then it comes back even worse. I'm hoping that by joining these forums I'll be able to get some insight and courage to let go.
I like that idea of self-sabotaging yourself through drinking. It makes me sick to think of the things I built for myself and then threw away because of drinking. Like Patrick wrote in the article, I drank because it was fun, until it wasn't. I can easily recognize all the harm drinking has done to me, especially the deterioration in my mental abilities. That prevents me from doing anything in terms of working toward life goals. However, I continued to drink because in the end, at least it would make me feel "right". The stress would melt away, the raw emotions would be quieted, looming deadlines would pushes aside...I could just sit in front of the TV and drink until it was time to sleep. The next morning was where it really sucked. The pain of hangovers, the inability to work, the remorse over missed time with my family, the empty promises to quit, the obsession of the next drink or the fear that the obsession would return despite promises and a regonized need to quit. My bottom happened 5 minutes after I gave up a good job because I couldn't do enough work at the old job to be able to quit. I screwed over a good friend in rejecting the new job. I was utterly lost and without hope. I went in to the bathroom, shut the door, and collapsed on the floor. I had absolutely no idea what to try next. I was out of options for trying to work around my alcoholism. My world was collapsing around me and I didn't know what to do next. I then knew I had been defeated and needed to quit drinking, forever. The alternative was a progressive, downward spiral in my life. The quit drinking did not happen immediately, but the trajectory changed completely. I am now here, reading the articles, following the suggestions 100%, and reaching out to the people in this forum community. Today, I commit to remaining sober for the whole day, no matter what. Thanks for being here. (Wow, I only had the intention of checking in with a brief hi).
Hey, Eric, great to hear you're doing well! I can completely relate to your comment about drinking to feel "right". I, too, drank because it was the only time I could feel "right", at least for the first few drinks. Now that I have 10 days of sobriety, mornings are better - actually the whole day is better and I'm optimistic that I can forge a new "right". I'm grateful to all the people who post here, and have taken much support from everyone. I refer to Ken's plan on a daily basis as I formulate my own, and was particularly helped by Carol's posting about the intangible IDEA of a craving vs. the tangible ACTION of taking a drink. I can't necessarily control the idea, but I can choose not to act on it. As Ruth has pointed out, it's not easy, but it's that simple. I distract myself when the urges come now, by taking a walk, or just doing something (anything) different that what I'm doing when the urge strikes.....so far, so good.
Thebad, I can also appreciate your comment on not feeling authentic in AA. I've been to many AA meetings, and have always felt a bit ill at ease, like a fraud. While I easily admit to being an alcoholic, I have difficulty embracing the concept of powerlessness, and that a higher power will somehow ease the struggle. I know AA works for many people, but it just doesn't click for me. I've discovered an alternative to AA, and am giving SMART (smartrecovery.org) a try. It uses Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy as a foundation and I've actually enrolled in a clinical trial of the program, something I was sadly uber-qualified for - at least I was good at something .
Like Eric, I was only planning to check in and see how folks were doing this morning. I hope everyone continues on the zigzag path to sobriety - may we all focus on our blessings as we continue the journey.
You made the right decision by quitting alcohol Eric & Cordelia and remember you are not alone as many of us on here have been through a lot of heartbreak and pain as well. Now we are all swimming in the spiritual river and letting its waters help us heal.
The good news is from my experience and others here things get incrementally better each day we remain sober. It's a slow turning from the inside out, but believe in the fact that life does improve a little each day. Hang tough hang tight and under no circumstances let yourself drink alcohol and after a while you'll get back in the saddle and slowly start to embrace the precious gift that is our lives.
Conceive, believe, achieve.
Cordeila, you nailed it when you said drinking is only a temporary fix! A band-aid on problems, not a solution, self sabotaging indeed! I think you can find a great deal of help here, it has certainly been a great find for me. You sound like you are ready to try something different now that you have found alcohol doesn't fix anything, the same problems you were trying to drink away are still there tomorrow waiting to be dealt with. I know because I did the exact same thing, as did (probably) everyone here. Please read through these posts and I know you will find a solution that works for you and make some connections along the way. Good luck to you and please keep posting.
Good morning Vic, Julie, and Eric, hope you are all doing well today and enjoy it.
I saw this quote today that I think fits here: "I teach something called The Law of Probabilities, which says the more things you try, the more likely one of them will work. The more books you read, the more likely one of them will have an answer to a question that could solve the major problems of your life.. make you wealthier, solve a health problem, whatever it might be."
-- Jack Canfield, Success Coach (the Chicken Soup For The Soul guy)
any thoughts on non-alcoholic beer, like odouls? safe outlet or not?
Welcome Cordelia and the bad.
Thanks again all of you for the great posts. I am having a tough time at day 5/6 and need to know I am not alone in how I feel. Happy Thanksgiving!
Hang in there, Kat- drink lots of water or soda and sometimes that helps with cravings, just by satisfying thirst... as for non-alcoholic beer, the consensus seems to be that it is a slippery slope, for us who are sensitized to alcohol. I have watched a friend slip right down that slope back into serious drinking again, so I would avoid it. Happy sober Thanksgiving everyone! I am thankful for you and for sobriety!