Long term relapse...

Old 04-14-2016, 08:25 AM
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Long term relapse...

I just signed back on after a long, long time and I feel just awful. I was sober from 7/30/2013 to December 2014. I've been drinking just as heavily as I ever was for the past year and 4 months. I made a half-hearted attempt to get back on track once during that time, but I didn't follow through.

I'm just disgusted with myself and my drinking. My husband and I drink together, we're enablers for each other. He was very supportive the first time I quit drinking and I know he will be this time as well. It's definitely not his fault I drink, he had a long conversation with me the day I started drinking again. Which makes it feel even worse. I had a conversation about it and still decided to relapse. For a year and a half. Luckily we don't have any pets or kids, so we're really just harming ourselves.

I know the feelings of shame and guilt and anxiety I feel right now are chemical reactions to the alcohol, the morning after shame spiral, but it just feels so low. I was so proud of myself when I wasn't drinking. I was happy and thin and healthy. Now I'm depressed and ashamed and disappointed in myself. Also bloated and puffy from the booze. I had quit smoking as well and relapsed on that, too. I just want to be the me I was in 2014.

I really counted on the support of this forum the first time, and I'm so grateful for all the folks here.

Has anyone had a serious relapse? Any advice on how to forgive myself?
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:47 AM
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I'm sure glad you're here.

For me, Alcoholics Anonymous and God have gotten and kept me sober.

Your mileage may vary, but this has worked for me for a long, long time.

I hope that you get and stay sober.

It's worth the effort and daily commitment.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:34 AM
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Welcome back Linnie. Many of us have returned to drinking after a period of sobriety, me included. The good news is that there's no reason you can't stop now. What was it that you were doing during your last stretch of sobriety? It must have worked well if you have over a year sober. Perhaps we can help you make a new plan or change/improve the old one?

Regarding your last question, you forgive yourself by stopping again. The drinking itself is really the most punishing part of addiction - both for you and those around you. Making a commitment to staying sober is the best amend you can make to yourself.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:34 AM
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now's the time
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Oh Linnie, I know exactly how that feels!

I was sober from February 2013 til sometime in the autumn of 2013 (about 8 months). Then I stop-and-start relapsed until July 2015, when I got sober again. By that July I was in terrible, terrible shape. I could remember how great it had felt to be sober but I just couldn't get back there. I was depressed, anxious, physically ill, and very broken. My year and a half of relapse was worse than all of the drinking I'd done before getting sober the first time. Especially since I knew the entire time what I was doing.

In my case (and I do think I was worse off than you) I ended up going to rehab. But whatever way you swing it, it's possible to go back to being confidently sober again. I almost never have cravings anymore. In fact I feel stronger in my sobriety than I did before. Now I know for sure what going back out feels like and I know I want nothing to do with it.

Welcome back, you can do it.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:44 AM
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Welcome bk Linnie
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:12 PM
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Hi Linnie,

I relapsed for 8 years after being sober for 7 years. I'll be celebrating 3 years in a few days so it can definitely be done! It's definitely doable, and you have been around long enough to know what worked for you and learned what doesn't work. Take that experience and build on it. As for forgiving myself, I personally was so "gone" by the end of those 8 years that I was beyond beating myself up. I think that feeling will pass fairly quickly once you get a little sobriety built back up. I've found that the only way to repair the past (and forgive myself) is to do right in the present, one day at a time.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:05 PM
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Thank you so much for your support and very kind words. I think you're right, Grungehead and Fantail. I know what it takes to get sober, and like you, Fantail, I know how awful this relapse feels. Thank goodness for this forum and for you folks and your encouragement! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:27 PM
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Welcome back, Linnie! You've done it before, so you know you can do it. Just get up, dust yourself and try it again. Use this experience as a reminder of how bad it gets when the AV comes knocking.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:43 PM
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I relapsed after being sober for 20 yrs and drank for almost 3 more years before I got sober again. It was harder to stop drinking the second time around but it can be done. I'm proof of that.
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Old 04-14-2016, 06:22 PM
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Welcome back!
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:25 PM
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Linnie hows about forgiving yourself by not drinking anymore. That would be a great reward for your body, mind and sprit. Don't let this disease fool into thinkingiit's the only way to live. Its Not. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. The consequences of giving up on sobriety is tragic. I think you know this.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:21 AM
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It always scares me to see posts like this but they're a good reminder anyone can relapse not careful enough.
I think once that line is crossed into alcoholism we probably have to do things to certain things to maintain our sobroety, for the rest of our lives. For some people that's AA or a higher power. I want to stay with a support group of some sort.
You did it once, you can do it again
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:22 AM
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Thank you all so much. Day two and already feeling better. I work long hours on the weekend, so I'm in the clear through Sunday. I know Monday will be the first day it's really hard and I'm steeling myself against the temptation already. It really helped the first time to "play the tape" of how I would feel after drinking and to promise myself to stay sober through the day when I was really struggling. Usually the next day I was so proud of myself for not caving the craving would dissipate for a few days. I feel really optimistic about getting sober, and my self esteem is already on the upswing since making the decision to get back on the forum and the "wagon." I also downloaded a meditation app, so if it gets really bad maybe I'll spend a few minutes meditating to sort of calm myself down. A little emotional cold shower, you know?
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:15 PM
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now's the time
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That's a good plan. The first couple weeks are rough but you know they're temporary!
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:29 PM
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Linnie - Glad to see you're feeling a bit better today. There's nothing to be gained by staying angry with yourself. Acknowledgment of your regrets is fine, but let it be brief - you need to rise above this.

I was sober 3 yrs. & thought I could have a few now and then. 7 years later, I had two dui's and all sorts of drama & chaos in my life. I guess I needed further proof that I couldn't touch a drop. I came to SR at that point - & now I have 8+ yrs. sober. Some of us are slow learners - but we get there! Glad you are back with us.
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Old 04-15-2016, 06:48 PM
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Hi, Linnie, hopefully your husband is on board with this and will be a supporter not an enabler for you.
Congrats on day 2.
Its hard to start over - but the sooner the better. You must still remember how good sobriety feels. Let us know how you are doing.
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Old 04-15-2016, 08:41 PM
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Hello Linnie, I've only been sober for 6 months so I don't have experience with relapsing. That said, I can see how EASY it would be to do! I read once that giving up drinking comes in fits and starts....that most people do relapse once or twice or whatever before they get sober for good. The fact that you were sober for a year and a half shows you can do it again, so don't despair! Tomorrow is a new day.
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:52 PM
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Glad your back Linnie!
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