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|04-11-2010, 12:46 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: South Seas
Dee's Story Part 2
Looking around SR recently I found this I'd written about the day I quit:
Not only have others helped me here, more than I can say - but I've found helping others has become a major part of my recovery as well.
Its been good for me, after all the years of self absorption and self imposed exile, to realise that other people need help too - and its been a bonus for me to see I still had something to offer.
It's been a long journey - and a lot of stages - first not drinking, then staying stopped, then delving deeper into the whys of drinking...
Fear's a good motivator to get sober. But to stay sober, I've had to look honestly, even brutally, at myself.
I realised I'd never really been serious before about getting sober. I was always trying to live with, or control, my drinking.
I see now there's no such thing as 'living' with it - you're always reacting to 'the call'...always just being carried along for the ride.
The only surefire way I know to get out of the cycle is to stop drinking.
For me that was about admitting I had a problem, and accepting I can't drink or use drugs. I can't do the things my friends do, or live the way I see things done on my TV or in movies, or on the street, in restaurants, and bars and clubs.
And it's never going to change.
I've had to deal with the removal of my main crutch in life. I used alcohol for 20 years to make me more sociable, to relax, to not hurt, to not feel, to sleep, to be happy, to not be angry....the list was endless.
It's a hell of a jolt to deal with all that, sober...not to mention all of life's little crises that will come up, besides. It's a lot more responsibility - I didn't realise just how much responsibility I'd avoided over the years til I got sober.
But I decided there was never again going to be any reason valid enough to drink over.
It's a simple statement, but it's not an easy task.
It takes total commitment, work and maintenance, but I believe it's possible, if you've the willingness to change your life.
No matter how bad things get, and they have at times gotten pretty bad, I know a drink won't help.
Dealing with mountains of stuff one bite at a time - one day, one hour, one minute - at a time helped. I shouted down the voices in my head. I trusted that the people I 'saw', and read, here on SR day after day were right.
I filled the time when I might have been drinking, or craving, with helping others here - or otherwise just doing *something*...anything, but giving in and drinking... because I knew that whatever else I could try was better than what I'd tried before with drink or drugs.
And then, when I finally got used to not drinking - I had to get used to the idea that that's just the initial part of the journey.
It's so much more than living without drinking or drugs to me - I think when you're doing it right, it's about leaving the old alcoholic life behind and simply...living, full and well.
Its about dealing with the resentment that change brings too.
Sure being an alcoholic sucks - sure it's unfair, sure it's made me mad - ...but it just is. Resenting that is just self defeating tho- it just brings me back to old mindsets and old behaviours.
In a way ending up where I did, how I did, helped. I really appreciate things now.
Along the way somewhere I stopped being bitter and became glad for what I had - and I'm still grateful for that. I'm not a saint - I may not always wear a smile, and my life's not perfect, but it's a million miles from what it was, and I try to never forget it.
I drank for a lot of reasons - to stay sober I need to make sure I'm dealing with those reasons in healthier ways now.
It's very clear to me writing my story and looking back that I totally and utterly dropped the ball.
Sure, other people's preconceptions about me made things hard, but in drinking and drugging over them I wasn't dealing with them...I ran away.
I passively accepted them, I let them define me, and in turn let them define the relationships I made.
I fed the furnace of addiction without even knowing it, and I made a lot of mistakes, for a lot of years.
I'm still the same man and I still have the same problem of other people's preconceptions and my reactions to them. I still have the same physical issues, and I still have some pretty rough days...but I don't run away anymore.
I'm glad to have that second chance.
I may have started this off through fear, but I've come to like the man I am now. He is who I am - not the other guy I became.
I'm not giving him up, or the great new life I've built.
I've faced challenges - and I found to my surprise I met them, and I keep meeting them.
No word of a lie, that's better than any beer buzz I ever had.
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