100 days to sort my head out

Old 09-23-2016, 02:26 PM
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100 days to sort my head out

Hey all. I'm closing in on 9 months sober and feel great. At the moment I'm totally secure in my sobriety - there is no chance I will drink. It's a good feeling.

However, recently I've started a weird thing. For some reason I'm telling people - and myself - that my goal is to do a whole year sober BUT after that I'll "see what happens". This is fine in the short term.

BUT come January next year I'll be telling myself I've completed my challenge... I'll be "allowed" to drink and I'm certain that if I allow this frame of mind to continue... I will drink.

I don't want to drink.

So somehow I need to change this thought process. I'm hoping writing this will help. Maybe I need to set myself a new challenge... "Sure, 1 year is great and all... But it's not as good as 2 whole years..."

Hmm.. Just thinking out loud! Although keen to hear from anyone with similar experiences!
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:39 PM
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Yes, I think it is normal if you haven't got to the point of mentally accepting that you will not drink again. You are leaving yourself an option to drink in the future and it somehow makes it bearable for you. I advise against it but I understand where you are coming from.
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:48 PM
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Just remember, whatever state you were in when you were compelled to quit drinking 9 months ago will return soon enough if you drink again. No question about it. Really go back to that time in your head...are you ready to re-live it?
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:51 PM
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Hi MV well done on 9 months, that is your cunning AV talking crap, trying to trick you that you can drink again, ignore AV and squash it dead, best thing is just never drink again, sorry if sound rough but it is what I believe necessary. Alcohol steals life's and souls, wrecks health and family and much more, AV is toying with you, be careful, best of luck, C
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:06 PM
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sober style
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Huge congrats on the 9 months, that's awesome. The issue you raised is really interesting, how you've framed your abstinence in your mind and how you might change that now. You say you don't want to drink, but it doesn't really sound like you're completely sure that you never want to drink again, no matter what. At least that's my impression.
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:52 PM
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It is a trap a gazillion alcoholics have fallen into. Thinking that after a good period of abstinence, it should be safe to drink again. There is a story in the AA book about a guy who stopped for thirty years on his own power because drinking was affecting his work.

When he retired, out came the bottle. He was dead in three years. The problem is the phenomenon of craving that exists only in alcoholics, and is activated by taking a drink. There is no cure, no means by which this reaction to alcohol can be eradicated permanently. What that means is you are guranteed to lose control.

If drinking still looks attractive to you and you want to give it another go, by all means do so. Nothing anyone can say will change that. However, if your real goal is to stay stopped, you might want to think about how you want to live the rest of your life.
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:06 PM
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It's good you're self aware enough to know it's a trap Mav

As painful as it might be, we can never go back - not unless we're prepared to deal with all the other stuff as well.

Make your current life indispensable to you. A life loved, a life you want to stay in, a life you can't bear a great recovery tool
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:57 PM
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setting yourself a new "challenge" will simply move the date for the opt-out clause to kick in.

i quit for six months once, and was surprised how easy that was. later, i realized it had been easy because i had, in fact, not quit. drinking after the time was up had always been on the table. was just a matter of getting there. shrug.

quitting for good and all is different right from day one. requires something different, too. and puts you in a different place vis-a-vis reality and yourself.
not trying to minimize your 9 months.

but i can't see how lengthening the time-frame does anything other than lengthen the time-frame. it keeps you in "until" mode. un-free. holding pattern.

so a good question might be this: you say you don't want to drink...yet, you've now set it up and are preparing yourself and others well ahead of time that you will have "permission" to drink in another 3 months since you will have reached an arbitrary goal...why are you doing this???
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:17 PM
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Hi Mav,

Great to see you posting here!! I am looking forward to our 100 day countdown to celebrate our first of many years sober! Are you going to kick off the countdown for our Jannies?

So many good things are ahead for us in sobriety.

See you in the January class.

❤️ Delilah
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:32 PM
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I'm wondering whether or not this is the first time you, or at least a part of you, have anticipated reaching your goal for the purpose of drinking once you get there.
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:42 PM
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Congrats on nine months sober! Keep going, it gets better and better.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:00 PM
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Oh, how I've fallen hard in that trap many, many times.
This is what works for me now (keeping in mind I'm in very, very early sobriety myself):

I am not going to drink TODAY.
Maybe I will tomorrow. Maybe I won't. I'm not going to worry about it.
Today I am going to stay sober and that is all there is to it.
I don't ever think about quitting the sauce forever. If I do that, it will seem so impossible that I'll think I might as well drink. And I will. So I don't bother myself with it.
Today, no matter what happens, I'm going to remain sober.

Congrats on the 9 months! That's awesome ... you are an inspiration!
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:36 PM
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Wow, thanks so much for all the thoughtful answers. You're all right, of course.

To those who suggested that I haven't fully accepted never drinking again - yea, you're right. Which is annoying as 3 months ago ish I definitely had... Now though I've allowed myself (listened to AV) to drift back towards thinking it's ok.... Maybe I'm different... Maybe I can handle it... Rung 5 or 6 on the relapse ladder I guess.

EndGameNYC - yes... every time I've tried (and failed) to quit before....

Fini... I agree. Setting new challenges is ultimately postponing/delaying the time when I have to face up to things (but at least I'm not drinking...!)

I've read back over some of the things I wrote that brought me back here 9 months ago.... Things I do not want to go back to. What's strange is that there is an AV telling me how nice a drink will be in January... But my anti-AV whoever that is remains loud telling me how bad the next day will be.

I just need to find my way back to that place in my mind where Im someone who just doesn't drink.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:16 PM
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alcoholism isn't something to challenge.
this isn't a contest or competition.

I plan on dieing sober.
but today is the only day I stay sober.
and today is enough for me to be thinkin about.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:30 PM
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Whatever works for you.

When I entered my final round of outpatient treatment, after many months of failures, my goal initially was to just get through the 2 month program and re-evaluate. Not stop forever, forever was too far off, but just make it through the program without tripping yet again.

Within a couple weeks, I moved the goal post back. Now it was, stay sober through the program and for at least another couple months, until after my birthday.

Within another couple weeks, it was, stay sober through the summer (another 6 months later), and then re-evaluate.

But that didn't last long at all, and by the time I was a 4-6 weeks sober I was committed to staying sober indefinitely. And that's how I look at it now, six years later. I don't say, I will never ever drink again, because I can't predict how I'll feel 20 years down the road and because the guilt of making such a promise and then breaking it could be huge given my past history of making such promises and breaking them. But I have no wish at all to drink, I don't miss it or long for it, and increasingly I look at it like I look at weed or cocaine (drugs I quit decades ago) - a dumb thing I used to do long ago, that I've moved beyond and kinda look down my nose at now.

There's a balance, I think, between not getting hung up on the forever trip and bringing your horizons in closer, and making too many short-term goals that leave you longing for finally making it to the goal post and giving yourself permission to drink again.
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