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Old 01-04-2013, 10:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I found a pattern in my relapses!

So today is day 6 for this go around. I just went back to analyze my progress and found a blatant pattern. Apparently, I can fight the fight and make it through the day to day trials and tribulations and even make it through the seemingly impossible days, but the 3 times I fell were in the days that immediately followed large gatherings in my home where alcohol was served.

In July I made it 32 days, made it through my father-in-laws funeral, made it through the reception in my home (yes, alcohol was served) and then fell the week after. So I started again in September and made it about 85 days, made it through Thanksgiving in my home (where alcohol was once again served) and then fell the day after. Made it another 25 days, made it through hosting Christmas Eve at my home, and fell the day after Christmas.

I think I didn’t see the pattern, because I was so proud of myself for hosting these events without having anything to drink. I am hosting a shower this month. Someone else will be providing the wine and I am sure that I can do this without drinking. But now I know to be vigilant the days that follow the shower.

December 30 is my new day one.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Glad you were able to make that connection I hope that I too can come to that point where I know what will "set me off".
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That's great that you looked back and realized where your weak points have been in the past. This knowledge can prove to be a life savor now that you know about it.

I also found the same pattern with my using. I would make it through the hard stuff and then my old habit of "rewarding" myself for making it through the hard days kicked back in.

It is a huge step forward in recovery to be at a point where you can look back, be honest with yourself, and point out triggers and patterns. Take what you learned and move forward We can do this!
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have heard your story multiple times from other people. They went to a wet gathering and relasped shortly after. IMO this is another reason not to attend events where alcohol is present
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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First of all I totally Identify with you!

It says in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous self knowledge does not keep you clean, in fact you are powerless over the first one, It seems like the only way to fight the fight is on a spiritual plain. Please Let me know if you need any help!
I suggest you find a Solution based meeting, get a sponsor, and go through the steps!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You sound like me. I make it through important events without drinking and then drink after to "celebrate".

I go to extra meetings after having company or visiting and talk to other alcoholics, here and on the phone.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It is great you are making progress.

I think it helps to think about sobriety as unconditional, ie not dependent on how well or poorly, stressed we are doing.

Drinking after so long is more of a decision than earlier on. It can seem like its no big deal.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That is great that you were able to identify the pattern, it will help you be prepared for the day after next time!!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That's great you recognize the pattern now. I agree with poster that talks about rewarding ourselves. We have to stop thinking of booze as a reward-huge
key to stopping I think. The reality is, it's more of a punishment. Maybe plan some real rewards for days after these events so you have something to look forward to for making it through sober.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post
So today is day 6 for this go around. I just went back to analyze my progress and found a blatant pattern. Apparently, I can fight the fight and make it through the day to day trials and tribulations and even make it through the seemingly impossible days, but the 3 times I fell were in the days that immediately followed large gatherings in my home where alcohol was served.

In July I made it 32 days, made it through my father-in-laws funeral, made it through the reception in my home (yes, alcohol was served) and then fell the week after. So I started again in September and made it about 85 days, made it through Thanksgiving in my home (where alcohol was once again served) and then fell the day after. Made it another 25 days, made it through hosting Christmas Eve at my home, and fell the day after Christmas.

I think I didn’t see the pattern, because I was so proud of myself for hosting these events without having anything to drink. I am hosting a shower this month. Someone else will be providing the wine and I am sure that I can do this without drinking. But now I know to be vigilant the days that follow the shower.

December 30 is my new day one.
Maybe it's just me but it sounds more like high emotional things are more of a trigger than large gatherings. Just something to think about perhaps. All the times you mention slipping up come at emotional times, a death, the holidays......see a pattern?
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I know that we can't stay away from every situation where alcohol is being served but in the early days of sobriety we need to make every effort possible. For me, it was more than five years before I was able to be around people who drank without feeling the urge to join them, now after 22 years it doesn't bother me in the least.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I always used to drink after large gatherings in my home, primarily because it was so stressful! The preparation, the entertaining, the clean up, the being "on", its exhausting.
So, I would celebrate when it was over and sit back and relax with a cold one (or 12).

I would suggest perhaps outlining the following day after the big event, and making a schedule of things to do to stay busy. Maybe go to an AA meeting at some point to keep sobriety fresh on your mind. Just keep busy and have a plan! Good luck.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I know that we can't stay away from every situation where alcohol is being served but in the early days of sobriety we need to make every effort possible.
I agree. I'm coming up on four straight months and am continuing to realize this. The first time I tried quitting, I relapsed after EIGHT months and I blame myself a lot for allowing myself to be put in the setting/situation I was in at the time (in a bar, on vacation... in a place where I'd done a lot of drinking in the past.) This time around I'm determined to be more vigilant.

Benice, I think it's great that you've found a pattern to your slips. Do you need to host events in your home where you serve alcohol? I think that would be really hard for me. I have not done such a thing since quitting and definitely don't plan to any time soon.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You drank after hosting events that include alcohol. You plan to host a shower where alcohol is being served.

Seeing the pattern without changing the pattern means you risk repeating the pattern.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thank you all very much for the replies! So much to take from them...

I do not do this alone. While I have not yet embraced AA, I completely rely on my higher power. I am Catholic to be exact. I will admit that on those days I caved, I walked away and allowed my AV to speak. Wrong. Very wrong.

I really appreciate the advice to prepare now for the day and days to follow a gathering. SBTS and Doggonrcarl, I come from a very large family and I happen to be the one with the home that can accommodate the crowd. The invitations for the shower have gone out and I expect 60 people in a few weeks. I have been able to host these events...it is the days that follow that I will have to prepare for. Now that I see the pattern, I may decline to host the events in the future, but the invitations are out for this one.

Thank you all.
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