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Old 12-21-2016, 01:51 PM
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Been a while

So it's been forever since I posted here and I hope everyone is doing well. I am happy to report I have been clean and sober since 10/6/15 so coming up on 15 months in a couple of weeks.

To be honest tho I've stayed sober the last 9 months or so by sheer force of will. I still live at a sober home/halfway house which I attribute heavily to my sobriety given the accountability.

For the first 6 months or so of my sobriety I worked a program, took most suggestions had a sponsor and worked my first 3 steps stopping, like many people, at step 4.

Anyway the typical story I started going to less meetings stopped calling my sponsor and stopped spending time with sober supports. All I really ever do is sleep and go to work.

I recognize that it's not healthy and I'm pretty unhappy. I live in Florida now but came home for the holidays and came vey close to drinking on the plane because I knew I could get away with it.

The main thing sustaining my sobriety right now is not wanting to hurt or disappoint my family but I know that cannot last forever. I'm afraid I'm already in relapse mode at the point where I cannot turn back and am not sure if I want to the addict in me thinks about all the drugs I haven't tried (I work at a detox and hear about them constantly) it also says that if I just stay away from H I'll be fine but alcohol has caused more than enough problems and I know that's what I would turn to.

Has anyone else been in this dilemma? How did to solve it? I am currently looking for a sponsor but part of me is procrastinating because I want to just get a relapse "over with"

I feel ashamed to have a year or sobriety and still be so sick
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by FenwayFaithful View Post
All I really ever do is sleep and go to work.
Fifeteen months is awsome, but if all you are doing is thinking about relapse, something is wrong. There is more to a sober, fulfilling life than work and sleep. And if aren't seeking that, I can see why your thoughts turn to drugs and drinking. It's the quick and easy way to get what recovery brings us the hard way.

Hope you turn it around.
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by FenwayFaithful View Post
I started going to less meetings stopped calling my sponsor and stopped spending time with sober supports. All I really ever do is sleep and go to work.


Has anyone else been in this dilemma? How did to solve it?
I think the answer to your question is right at the beginning of your message. Assuming what you were doing initially was working, you could solve it by

A. Going to meetings again
B. Call your sponsor
C. Start spending more time with sober supports
D. Do more than just go to work and sleep.

Sounds kind of simple, and it is - just not easy. Coming here was certainly a good step, and trying to find a new sponsor is too. Keep doing those kinds of things to get you back into the sobriety community and you'll go far.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:08 PM
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At three months sober, I was still miserable. It was suggested that I start practicing gratitude every day. At first it was a struggle coming up with good things, as I was still very depressed. But it quickly became a habit, and now it's automatic to be grateful for all my blessings and to notice the good stuff.

Try keeping a gratitude journal. Every day, write down at least three things/people/events you are grateful for.

It helped me turn my life around toward the positive, rather than always focusing on the negative.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:12 PM
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Good to see you again FF

For me I had to not only stay sober but work on all the underlying stuff I used to drink over - basically 'if I'm not happy, why not?' and - most importantly - what can i do about that?

any ideas for yourself FF?

D
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:21 PM
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Great to have you back, FF. Congratulations on your 15 sober months. I'm sorry you're feeling unhappy & unsettled. I hope you can find a solution, & that talking things over here will help.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:56 PM
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the idea that you are at a point in relapse mode where you annot turn back is nonsense.
telling ourself it is inevitable .......you do have choices. many. and many were outlined by Scott,coming from our own story.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:27 PM
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gee, these typos I don't catch...supposed to be ' cannot' and 'your own story '.
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Old 12-22-2016, 01:37 AM
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Hi FF. Yes, I understand totally, I seemed to spend most of last year in that place. It's a miserable place for sure, when we are in that constant battle with our addictions. I knew that at some point I would relapse, it became inevitable for me, and I felt the same self-loathing and disgust as though it had already happened.

I can tell you that relapse after such a period of sobriety is hideous. Please do anything and everything to avoid it. I've never before been in such a low place.

Your recovery seems to have stalled, the same way mine did. It sounds like it needs a kick-start, something new, something different. You are already reaching out and that's a positive. Our addictions like nothing better than to isolate us in secrecy and lies.

My advice would be to find someone you can connect with face to face, a new sponsor maybe, and work the steps. Stopping at step 4 is so common....moving through them will bring you relief from the agony you are in presently.

Sobriety can be beautiful, but we can't stand still. My non AA friends have all worked on themselves in one way or another, discovered new interests and friendship groups, embarked on therapy, taken up meditation etc.

Wishing you well, and keep in touch
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Old 12-22-2016, 02:48 AM
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I agree with the above.

Also, remember that getting out of ourselves is often the best way to get past that sheer force of ego that can carry us along. Maybe look into some ways that you could help others over the Christmas period. Are there soup kitchens or churches or charities that could do with some help. Or maybe a neighbour who could do with some help or similar. Not always something amazing - one New Years Day I volunteered as a marshal for a local charity running event. It sure beat isolating and feeling useless.

Maybe your AV does want to get you procrastinating and settling for a relapse. That'd be fairly true to form wouldn't it. Cunning and baffling. Lucky you have a choice about whether to listen to that s.o.b. isn't it. Why not make the choice to tell your AV to do one, and take the actions that you know will help you stay sober and get back on the path to recovery.

I'd suggest rereading your old Step 1, and rereading those AA promises, and then making a decision about what you want to give yourself for Christmas. What you want 2017 to look like. Or possibly even 2018, and 2019. Because we don't always bounce back from a relapse.

I suspect you want to stay sober and get well and find serenity and peace. That's why you're here and posting. Just because your AV is shouting louder than you in your head right now, it doesn't mean that it's right or you have to listen to it.

If we want to stay sober and recover we just keep doing the work. It's that simple. It just feels complicated right now because you stopped and that AV is taking advantage of that. If we don't work on our recovery then the addictive thinking will keep leading us to the same places it always did. Nothing changes if nothing changes and all that.

Choice is yours. Stick with the Alcohol Thinking and stay in pain, or strive for recovery, reaching out for help from others and one day hopefully giving help to others to help them get past where you are now. We all have so, so much potential if we can lean into our fears and do the work.

Wishing you sobriety, recovery, peace and serenity for the future.

BB
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:06 AM
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Has anyone else been in this dilemma?
yes, I have been on a premeditated drunk

How did to solve it?
I got my ass back into meetings and the steps.


It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.
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Old 12-22-2016, 04:21 PM
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Hi FF. Long time no see.

The thing you said about all the drugs you haven't tried stuck out to me as a similar situation that put my AV into overdrive. For me it was hearing about some booze I would have liked but never gotten around to trying. At first I kind of felt like I had missed out and it made me want to drink. I changed my way of looking at the situation to "thank God I never tried it because I would have gotten myself in even more trouble on that stuff". You're not missing out on anything so don't let the AV convince you that you are.
One of my mantras is whatever I have to do to stay sober I'm going to do". Do whatever you have to do to head off the relapse.
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:35 PM
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Hi Fenway,

You are very close to the crossroad. Recognize it for what it is: a life or ultimately death situation.

WE don't keep secrets, our secrets keep us. Get to a meeting today, like your life depends on it. Find a sponsor now, and work the rest of the steps. For me, 4 & 5 enabled me to objectively look at my past, and led to self forgiveness and healing the wounds of my past. This stuff never goes away, it owns us until we deal with it.

Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:57 PM
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Thank you all for your advice, words of encouragement and most importantly words of caution.

I do agree that just sleeping and going to work is not a healthy way to live. And that an imperative part of my recovery/sanity is to help others. That is part of why I sleep and work so much, because it helps me get outside of myself. However, I work at a detox, which helps me give back but also means I am around a lot of very sick addicts.

I do know that I was doing better when I was attending more meetings and had commitments but I still had many reservations in the back of my mind. My list of reservations of my first step was extensive and I admitted that I wasn't sure if I COMPLETELY surrendered to the fact that I am an addict/alcoholic. My sponsor at the time had my move on with the steps saying the rest would potentially help me with my denial/rationalization. (Like I only did H a total of 4 times in my life, I just happend to OD and ended up in treatment)

I honestly can't imagine the shame/pain that would come with relapse after so much time (in comparison to the 3 months I had previously) All I've heard while I'm home is how proud my parents/family are and how "well" I'm doing. Honestly I hear that from A LOT of people, as this is the first place I've admitted how much I am truly struggling.

I am already in contact with my coworker about finding a sponsor once I get back to Florida so hopefully that will help.\

Thank you all for listening. I've got to take action because if I don't I know for a fact I AM going to relapse. Without a doubt. If I continue down this path there is no other way, which probably proves I'm an addict in itself because if I didn't have a problem I wouldn't need a solution
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Old 12-23-2016, 02:22 PM
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So I leave back to Florida tomorrow morning and I am ready to go. Had lunch with my aunt, cousin and sister today and my sister was giving me gripe about how quiet I was. I also decided to quit smoking before I came home and it's been about 48 hours since my last cig (I have a vape however it's out of juice now eek) so I've been pretty irritable.

I find the whole socializing process to be exhausting especially with normies. Like I feel like I have to act a certain way or whatever, it's easier just to stay quiet. I don't know.

I have dinner with the other side of my family tonight, my social "fuel tank" is basically on empty. I found myself to be much friendlier when I was drinking and using, now I just keep to myself, which make me feel rude but whatever.

Just venting a little before I head back out.
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Old 12-23-2016, 03:56 PM
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Hang in there man. We all know it's not easy. But it will get better. Just take action. Massive amounts of action.
I remember my 15 months sobriety. I was over thinking things. I did not understand the concept of keep it simple. Finely it dawned on me. Just let it go. Let the drink go. It's over. Gone for good. Time to move on. It's that simple. It's freedom. You can have that too.
Drinking for us will never work. Never. The sooner you realize that, the easier it gets. Keep posting. We're always here for ya.
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Old 12-23-2016, 04:30 PM
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Yea on getting off the nicotine. I'm on day 40 (again). Every time I have tried to get off the smoking I get renewed alcohol cravings.
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Old 12-24-2016, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by FenwayFaithful View Post
I find the whole socializing process to be exhausting especially with normies. Like I feel like I have to act a certain way or whatever, it's easier just to stay quiet. I don't know.

I have dinner with the other side of my family tonight, my social "fuel tank" is basically on empty. I found myself to be much friendlier when I was drinking and using, now I just keep to myself, which make me feel rude but whatever.

Just venting a little before I head back out.
That's feeling that we have to act a certain way is generally something we put on ourselves. We kind of want to be that outgoing, chatty person. One thing that (gradually) through sobriety has been a gift to me is the dispelling of this notion. In party situations I am neither outgoing nor overly chatty. And I've learned to be okay with that. To accept myself as quieter, more reserved, and a pretty good listener who can show a genuine interest in other people. Most of my chatter when I was drinking was just my ego off its leash - blah blah blah me me me I think... I did... I know... I want... blah blah blah. I recognise my old self in other drunk people at parties and cringe as that mirror to my past is held up, and I suspect that the person boring everyone stupid with their hot air really does think he or she is entertaining, witty and sociable, just as I did.

It takes others a little while to get used to our quieter selves as well. Often they're a bit worried that we're upset or ill as it's so rare that we're letting others get a word in edgeways. I suppose that their concern is a small price to pay for them having to listen to all our guff in the past though eh. Just reassure them you're fine. I sometimes try to think (in advance) of some questions to ask others about themselves and their lives (its easier to think of them when I'm not under social pressure). That way if I don't want to talk much, I'm still interacting, being polite and part of things.

Not sure I'd have wanted to be quitting cigarettes at the same time as early sobriety AND Christmas. Is that because smoking is a trigger for you? If so, then I suppose it's necessary to do it all at once. If , on the other hand, it's alcoholic all-or-nothing black-and-white thinking then tread cautiously. It's be easy to think that a relapse on the smoking front as a justification for drinking as well, as our AVs are sneaky that way.

One thing smoking used to give me (I stopped a while ago) was an escape . It meant I could excuse myself socially and step outside for a cigarette break. Or even pop to the shop to buy tobacco, papers, filters or a lighter. When I stopped I realised I missed those little people-breaks. For a while at work I still went for a breathing walk - I'd kind of figured that when I was smoking was, ironically, the only time all day when I slowed down and focussed on my breathing, so I decided to do a little walking breathing focussed meditation instead. Sometimes I practiced a little amateur mindfulness by writing haiku in my head. They were sometimes a but sweary but got saner with time.

Anyway. Hope something of my own experiences might be helpful to try at this stressful time. Just remember, it's not for long. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you CAN get through this.

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