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Old 09-16-2012, 06:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sobriety seems to be more than just not drinking

When I decided to quit alcohol last year I changed my lifestyle and worked hard at becoming a better person. I felt as good as I have at any other point in my life. I did this for over 6 months but I slipped up in June of this year. There have been stretches since my relapse when I haven't drunk but it hasn't been the same as my 6 months+ stretch.

I feel like this active sobriety is what I have been missing the past few months. For me, sobriety is about a lot more than just not drinking. It is about working on yourself in all areas of life. Day after day I slowly was becoming a stronger person and I let one night of drinking impede my progress. My latest drunken episode on Friday has been a wake up call. I am an alcoholic and I can't handle a single drink. I will never drink again and I will not change my mind about that. I am very grateful for this forum and all of your support.

Does this idea that just not drinking is not enough to remain sober? Does there have to be something to replace your drinking life? I think so.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, you are absolutely right. Stopping drinking is necessary and is the first step. But, for me, I had a lot of work to do on myself. It wasn't so much finding something to replace drinking, but learning how to live my life without numbing my feelings and not dealing with things as they came along. Like you, I consider my recovery to be working on myself and it's ongoing.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I believe you do have to replace your drinking habits with new positive habits. If not, you'll get bored, lonely, etc. and those can be triggers. At least, they were for me. Isolation isn't good, either. For me, AA was a God-send. But so was making new friends who were sober and supported me. I'm also getting more involved in fitness, active at school and looking for a new church.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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mainza, yes, yes, yes to what you said. I didn't realize that until I got to AA. The last times I've trying to quit I lasted 3-4 weeks and then got arrogant and thought I could drink like a normal person. Hahahahaa. I just stopped drinking but didnt seek any support. Last time I quit drinking, a couple years ago, someone asked me how it was going, and I said, oh fine, nothing's really changed. Well DUH! Thats why i ended up going back to the bottle. Nothing changed inside me. I was the same person, the same drunk just not drinking. I didn't do any work. Now it's different, and I've grown more in the past 12 days of sobriety than I have in the past five years. And I've only just scratched the surface.
Best wishes to you M, I know you're going to be successful this time. You sound very determined.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Very thought provoking post. I think if you replace drinking with good habits and things you enjoy you'll have a much better chance of success. It's just sometimes hard to find things to replace it with that give the same release that we're used to with a drinking lifestyle. People who exercise and do things like yoga seem to be doing better with the whole process..
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I always joked, that drinking was my hobby but I was dreadful at it. And that's what it was. I would go to the shops, choose my booze and fags.. and go home with a warm fuzzy feeling that my night had been planned for me - and it would be a good one! Whilst drinking, I would chat online, chat to friends, text friends.. and end up in trouble (ex boyfriends, new boyfriend, kids dad, anyone)...

Now my hobby is cooking, cleaning the house, being a responsible adult. Watching a movie, having a bath. Just the NORMAL things I should be doing that I wasnt when I was drinking.

I would do the bare minimum. Just drink.

In 4 days, the house is tidier, have gone to the shops to buy things I have been putting off.. little insignificant things that I need... but none of which I would have bought until last minute.

If drink is your hobby, find another one.

Just my opinion .
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think so also. After years of drinking my entire coping ability to deal with life was to turn to the drink/drugs. For me I need to face life as it is and have develop the life skills to remain sober no matter what.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Drinking wasn't just my hobby, it was my second job! And it was going to be my ONLY job if I didn't quit.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Great post, mainza - what you said is so true.....

Alcohol had certain "benefits" for me and I didn't want to give those up. So I had to find ways of getting the same benefits without drinking (like dealing with my racing thoughts, accepting my emotions, dealing with insomnia, depression, restlessness etc.).

I was a revelation to me that I could start finding solutions (real solutions) that might actually help, instead of making things worse.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Mainza, I so understand what you are saying. I have also been on a roller coaster of sobriety and drinking, sobriety and drinking. I have found too that the more times I try to quit, the harder it becomes. It's such a scary place to be

Yes, sobriety is more than just not drinking....I am finding this out the hard way. I know how to "not drink" and I've done it for a week, a month, 3 months - heck I even had an 18month stretch! But I always go back to drinking...becuase I'm not truly working on being sober. I'm only working on "not drinking".
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