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Progress - Slow but Sure

Old 10-12-2017, 09:44 AM
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Progress - Slow but Sure

Day 4 after a week-long bender, don't recall if it's the 4th or 5th of the year, but feeling like I'm pretty much over the worst part. What a difference each day makes coming out of the depths of pure hell!

Going through this process so many times over the years (which gets noticeably worse each time), it seems I've pretty much mastered it, as each phase passes almost like clock-work. Not something to be proud of, but at least I've learned to realize that there is a way out of the doom and gloom when I do find myself mired in it.

At least, I maintain the presence of mind to begin the tapering process immediately upon picking up, constantly aware of the fatal potential of that "first one".

While chatting with another SR member yesterday, something remarkable occurred to me. When I look back over my drinking track record over the last few years, I'm now qualifying short bouts lasting a few days to a couple of weeks, as opposed to identifying and tracking periods of sobriety.

Instead of charting islands of sobriety in a sea of alcohol, I'm identifying ponds in a field of sobriety.

In other words, I'm at the point in my "recovery" that, instead of finding dry patches on a slippery slope to gain a foothold, I'm finding slick spots in my climb up a dryer one, and that's progress in my book!

Battling this progressive, terminal disease is a constant work in progress and there is no final victory, yet then again, life itself is terminal, is it not?
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:17 AM
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Welcome back Steadwell. While it's certainly better to be drinking less, i'd wager a guess that you are basically still in the "bargaining" stage of addiction. Week long benders are still week long benders, regardless of their frequency. And they are a very dangerous situation to put yourself in.

Have you given any thought to what you might do to actually quit for good? For me personally, I had to accept UNCONDITIONALLY that drinking even one sip of alcohol is never an option for me, ever. Once I was able to do that, I was ready to start using the tools and support around me to change my life.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:31 AM
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Thanks for your input, I had a feeling that would come up!

There is a meeting nearby at 7:30 that I'm going to. One of the goals tonight is to find a sponsor. I've been using a virtual sponsor over the net, which obviously is not adequate. On-line AA meetings may work when unable to get to a live one but not to serve as a replacement for the real thing. I need to get and remain pro-active in recovery -
complacency isn't acceptable for me. I need the accountability that only a face-to-face sponsor will help with.

P.S. - In my post, "qualifying" s.b. "quantifying". Just a triviality I wanted to note.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:52 AM
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Finding a real-time sponsor sounds like a very good idea to me if you are using AA as your recovery method.

And even though it might seem a triviality - it's really not. Our addiction loves to find ways to minimize/trivialize drinking any way it can. And many times we don't even notice it happening. I played that game for years myself and looking back I have no idea how I didn't see what was literally right in front of my face the whole time.
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:06 AM
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I plan on using AA in addition to other methods. The most success I've had in the past has been 2 years on multiple occasions, the common denominator in those cases being that I was in a controlled living environment, and I don't mean "locked-up", it was by choice.

Since I certainly don't want to live out the remainder of my life in a "controlled environment", I've been trying to cope with life on it's own terms as an independent, responsible adult, which I'm still taking "baby steps" with.

As far as acceptance, 100% determination one moment may not extend to that level at other times, especially when circumstances change. I struggle with that.

I can definitely attribute this site for helping with the "progress" made to this point, don't know where I'd be without it!

Thanks again Scott!
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:38 AM
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5 benders for me this year. Ranging in length from 2 days to 12 days. Otherwise completely sober. So progress. Like you. But the withdrawals are bad. I felt my whole body shaking or vibrating for about 30 seconds one night. Strange images when I closed my eyes. I have not tried tapering. Once I start I get blitzed and then when I am ready or forced to by circumstances, I just stop. I think I can control the withdrawal. So I plan and try to manage it. The reality is you have no idea how bad it is going to be. It is irrational and very frustrating. 16 days sober now. Congratulations on your progress. Good luck.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:24 PM
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Horatio,

That vibration could have been a seizure maybe? Scary.

Congrats on 16 days, that beats your longest bender this year!

Thanks for your input!
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:33 PM
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I always told myself that any sober time I could get was better than no sober time. I regularly put in 3-4 days sober time each week, because I knew the liver clears in 72 hours. So it was all going "just fine" other than Monday mornings being pure hell week after week...until I had the kind of bender I don't ever want to repeat in this lifetime. An unacceptable bender, one I couldn't make excuses for. It was the end for me. I knew it. there was a relief buried in my shame.

Remember that accidents are rampant with problem drinkers. Emotional accidents, physical accidents...traumatic accidents. For us and whoever gets in our path.

This thing here, it's life and death with us. Be careful.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:07 AM
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I went to the 7:30 AA meeting nearby and no one was there. I had just verified the meeting by phone the day before through the main AA number. Apparently, AA has been completely replaced by NA at that location due to low turnout as that was the only non-NA meeting scheduled. It seems that we drunks are becoming extinct in this part of the city.

I won't let it discourage me and consider it a test of my commitment by my higher power. There are other meetings around town and my goal is to seek a sponsor.

Day 5 and starting to face the world again.
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Old 10-14-2017, 03:54 AM
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Made a meeting across town last night at a group I hadn't been to in at least 5 years. Felt more comfortable in the living room of that old house surrounded by other like-minded drunks working their recovery than I believe I've felt in any living room of any house I've ever lived in. Noticed a few familiar faces from the old days.

Didn't get a sponsor but talked to an old recovering alcoholic with 31 years of sobriety that I've known for a number of years. He suggested getting a couple of temporary sponsors. He also suggested 90 meetings in 90 days, which may be a little much for me to take on right now, but definitely wish to get back into regular meetings. A couple a week would be more realistic for me at this point.

Still intending to check out other meetings around town but glad I made it to this one.

Learned that the AA meeting near me (the one I went to a couple of nights ago but no one was there) was indeed suspended due to low attendance but is scheduled to begin again in a couple of weeks.

Good to know that there are still some old AAers around and that we're not all extinct!
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Old 10-14-2017, 03:58 AM
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Hi steadwell - I'm all for acknowledging progress, but please don't forget the real progress begins when the field is dry from puddles and the flowers bloom again

If I used to shoot myself in the foot and now I only shoot my big toe I'm still in pain.

D
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:19 AM
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That's the kind of talk I need to hear and what I will hear at meetings like the one last night.
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:55 AM
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Youíre in position Steadwell. Now is time to go for the win. Good luck😀
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:28 AM
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Your positive input is greatly appreciated Stronger2017!

The thing is though, there really is no "winning" in this game. I think the object is to keep from "losing".
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:42 AM
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Wednesday - day 17 - It was one week ago today that I interviewed for my current position (still feeling the aftereffects of my last bender) but by dusk I'll have 5 days in. It's just amazing how quick things can brighten up when you put down the bottle. But as a reminder, it also astonishing how quickly it can fall apart upon taking that "first one".

Though there never is an absolute victory in this battle, today I feel like I'm winning! Thanks to SR and AA, I feel armed and ready to face the challenges ahead!
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Steadwell View Post
Your positive input is greatly appreciated Stronger2017!

The thing is though, there really is no "winning" in this game. I think the object is to keep from "losing".
I think there is winning, it just doesnít happen for a year. I donít know...
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