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Day 5

Old 11-05-2017, 02:57 PM
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Day 5

Day 5 and holding strong. I must admit, I do keep looking at the time, thinking I still have enough time to go buy a bottle. This is hard.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:00 PM
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Things will ease up as you get some sober time behind you - we go through many phases. You're doing a wonderful job, Sohard.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Hevyn View Post
Things will ease up as you get some sober time behind you - we go through many phases. You're doing a wonderful job, Sohard.
Thank you. I really hope you're right. I really do.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:51 PM
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As time goes on, it will seem ludicrous to go get a bottle of wine, because you don’t drink.

Don’t entertain those thoughts. You’re a non drinker so think of the thoughts as not fitting your lifestyle.

I haven’t entertained thoughts of drinking for quite awhile. It’s just a non option. So I do other things and end up thinking about those things instead.
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:06 PM
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You;re doing well sohard - it really will get easier
I'd no sooner buy a bottle now than play in the traffic

D
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:26 PM
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Nothing wrong with thinking it. You're new to sobriety. Acting on it is another thing.
You came here. You posted how you're feeling. That is great. I still think of booze once in awhile, I mean how can I not it's everywhere. I don't go buy a bottle though.
It's just a thought in my alcoholic brain. Maybe it'll never go away. I don't know.
But I do know this, I never intend to drink again. What I've learned while sober trumps those thoughts. I'm an alcoholic and I can never safely drink.

I'm glad you came here and posted your thoughts. That's progress, my friend.
Best to you.
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Sohard View Post
Thank you. I really hope you're right. I really do.
Sohard,
How are you holding up? Are you ok?
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mac4711 View Post
Sohard,
How are you holding up? Are you ok?
Thanks for checking up. Day 6 and holding on. I read over all my previous posts and the advice I've gotten, hoping something would stick. I think I need to stop looking ahead a lifetime and take it day-by-day. Someone said if you do that, you can end each day with a feeling of success. I'm hoping that occurs for me. So, for the time being, I'm just going to think about making it until bedtime instead of making it for a lifetime. I'm hoping that helps. Can I ask, how long did it take until the mental obsession (or whatever you want to call it) went away for you? I know everyone is different, I'm just curious.
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:26 AM
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Sohard,
To answer your question I need to distinguish between cravings and obsession. I am coming up on 4 months now (Nov 11) and the cravings have largely subsided. I listen to my body/mind, and when I'm sometimes thinking of drinking it is really mostly a sugar craving and I'm going for ice cream. This used to be a daily occurrence in the first 2 months, now it's down to 2 days /week.
The OBSESSION part is a whole other story. I'm obsessed with staying sober and so I read SR for hours, make plans, think about fortifying my defenses - it's not about quitting anymore, it's about staying sober. Now that I've suddenly got more time and energy on my hands, what kind of life do I need to build? What was wrong that drove me to medicate and how do I fix it? I expect this 'phase 2' to last maybe 2 years, and after that I can switch to 'maintenance mode' and just keep on living a life sans alcohol. I say 'maintenance mode', because living will always be a work in progress, lol.
As far as you are concerned, you are in early recovery and my recommendation would be to take your sobriety very, very seriously. It is truly job #1, because from what I've gleaned from SR so far, we addicts fall in one of two categories:
a) the problems are all related to alcohol and you fix the root cause by quitting. After that, you're not out of the woods yet, because you still need to rebuild your life and learn sound coping strategies, but you're off to a great start
b) it's a dual diagnosis, a combination of mental problems (anxiety/depression) and alcohol dependency, where alcohol was used to self medicate. In this case, same as in a), job #1 is to stop drinking and then work with a therapist and/or a doctor to address the problems that caused the drinking. After having these addressed (either through therapy or medication), it's about rebuild one's life, same as above.
So for now, cling on to your sobriety like it's your last straw, think about it like a captain sailing his ship through a storm: It does get easier, you've heard it here on SR a thousand times! Of course your mileage may vary, maybe it is 4 weeks, maybe it is three months, and even then of course the work isn't over yet, as I said above.
But you know what: By that time the fog will start to clear, you'll start to see the possibilities of your new, improved life, many of the symptoms of the disease in your body will be gone, in a nutshell: LIFE WILL START TO BE AWESOME!
So, patience, one day at a time, have a plan for every hour of your day, anticipate and/or avoid triggers, change routine associated with drinking, in other words, DO THE WORK! And in a few months, you'll exit on the other side with a big smile!
Any questions, fire away, I'd love to help as much as I can.
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:54 AM
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Sohard, I'm on 3+ months myself and Mac's post above is pretty much what I do.
If I have a drink craving, I eat something sweet, ditto the ice-cream.
Also if the cravings really bad and you think you'll give into it, come on SR and ask for help, someone will talk you out of it.
I used to say every morning, for the next 24 hours I will not drink. It got me through that day.
Cravings became more manageable for me at 2 months, but everyone is different.
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Old 11-06-2017, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mac4711 View Post
Sohard,
To answer your question I need to distinguish between cravings and obsession. I am coming up on 4 months now (Nov 11) and the cravings have largely subsided. I listen to my body/mind, and when I'm sometimes thinking of drinking it is really mostly a sugar craving and I'm going for ice cream. This used to be a daily occurrence in the first 2 months, now it's down to 2 days /week.
The OBSESSION part is a whole other story. I'm obsessed with staying sober and so I read SR for hours, make plans, think about fortifying my defenses - it's not about quitting anymore, it's about staying sober. Now that I've suddenly got more time and energy on my hands, what kind of life do I need to build? What was wrong that drove me to medicate and how do I fix it? I expect this 'phase 2' to last maybe 2 years, and after that I can switch to 'maintenance mode' and just keep on living a life sans alcohol. I say 'maintenance mode', because living will always be a work in progress, lol.
As far as you are concerned, you are in early recovery and my recommendation would be to take your sobriety very, very seriously. It is truly job #1, because from what I've gleaned from SR so far, we addicts fall in one of two categories:
a) the problems are all related to alcohol and you fix the root cause by quitting. After that, you're not out of the woods yet, because you still need to rebuild your life and learn sound coping strategies, but you're off to a great start
b) it's a dual diagnosis, a combination of mental problems (anxiety/depression) and alcohol dependency, where alcohol was used to self medicate. In this case, same as in a), job #1 is to stop drinking and then work with a therapist and/or a doctor to address the problems that caused the drinking. After having these addressed (either through therapy or medication), it's about rebuild one's life, same as above.
So for now, cling on to your sobriety like it's your last straw, think about it like a captain sailing his ship through a storm: It does get easier, you've heard it here on SR a thousand times! Of course your mileage may vary, maybe it is 4 weeks, maybe it is three months, and even then of course the work isn't over yet, as I said above.
But you know what: By that time the fog will start to clear, you'll start to see the possibilities of your new, improved life, many of the symptoms of the disease in your body will be gone, in a nutshell: LIFE WILL START TO BE AWESOME!
So, patience, one day at a time, have a plan for every hour of your day, anticipate and/or avoid triggers, change routine associated with drinking, in other words, DO THE WORK! And in a few months, you'll exit on the other side with a big smile!
Any questions, fire away, I'd love to help as much as I can.
Thanks so much for this detailed email. Anything I can learn is a big, big help to me. I might comeback with more questions. Thank you!!
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:47 PM
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I don’t always go to meetings, my life is way too packed: but when I’m “off” I fit one in. For example sitting there wishing I could drink a bottle? That would be a no excuses meeting time, I’d be out the door heading to one.

Today I feel really good, really up. So I’m headed to a meeting.

For my reminder. I’m not “fixed” and I know it, but feeling too good can make you think you are, your addiction will feed off that.

I’m always on guard, whether I’m low, whether I’m high, whether I’m busy or bored. Always on guard. Sobriety is number one and I’m living and enjoying my life, but keeping sober is an undercurrent that flows under all.

I wouldn’t drink now if you paid me a million dollars. Staying sober is more important than anything, because without it, I lose Me. For once...I’m choosing me! I wish that for you too! Congrats on day 6.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:10 PM
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Mac,

Okay, I have a question after all on the above. I am now 7 days sober. It has gotten marginally easier. For instance, I had an intense craving today that I was able to ignore, fully recognizing it would pass. However, I've also realized that I've been churning over your words above for the past couple of days. I definitely fall into the "dual diagnosis" group you described above. I have had intense anxiety and depression my entire life. Thankfully, I am finally medicated correctly and feeling stable. It is truly a blessing. All good, right? But, then a little voice inside my head started saying "Well, since you are now correctly medicated and in therapy, you can drink every ONCE in a while, because you are no longer doing so to SELF-medicate. You're just getting to enjoy what every other person does." I just hate that this voice it here, practically taunting me. I do know it has no validity to it. I do know that once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. I'm just wondering how the hell to get that voice, which is telling me I'd no longer be self-medicating, out of my head. I know if you could solve that, you'd be a billionaire. But any suggestions are welcomed.
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:48 PM
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Sohard,
Drinking now is foolish and you know it. I am following the different 'religious' schools here on SR (AA vs. secular approaches) and it is remarkable that as much as folks disagree about stuff, there is ONE THING that the old hands of all schools agree on, namely that you must not pick up that first drink, because you can't control it.
I know you're scared because you can't image this apparent jail sentence, that you have been sentenced to life without parole (sorry, alcohol!), but guess what: Change your perspective, say to yourself in the morning: 'I will not drink today' and then follow through until the next morning. What you will find is that over time the lure of alcohol will fade and as you are building your defenses and increase your knowledge, its appeal will fade more and more.

Give it some time, get some distance between you and your last drink. How about the following: You're on day 7 right now, why don't you and I agree on a moratorium? You'll wait for another 7 days and then we will have another chat about this? The risk/reward of waiting another 7 days is immense. You have practically nothing to lose, but so much to gain. Think about it and have a great evening!
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:58 PM
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You're doing so well! It's bloody hard and sometimes it can feel like it's inevitable that you'll go back but shift your perspective. Rather than thinking about never being able to drink again and how you may feel crappy about that, think about what you're gaining; more money, power over your life, your health, no hangovers, no more waking up and thinking 'Oh no, what did I do this time?!'

You can do it!
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:41 PM
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One way is to always think it through to the end, to the last drink of the day and how that feels. You’ve had some recent drinking, so reflect back on that night and what it was that brought you back here instead of just continuing on as a drinker? If you were going to drink every now and then, that night would be an example of a drinking night. Chances are if that night had been pleasurable for you, you probably wouldn’t have come back here.

If it were me, it would be ideal if I stopped at the 2-3 glasses with mom and sister. Unfortunately, I don’t stop at that point....
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Stayingsassy View Post
One way is to always think it through to the end, to the last drink of the day and how that feels. You’ve had some recent drinking, so reflect back on that night and what it was that brought you back here instead of just continuing on as a drinker? If you were going to drink every now and then, that night would be an example of a drinking night. Chances are if that night had been pleasurable for you, you probably wouldn’t have come back here.

If it were me, it would be ideal if I stopped at the 2-3 glasses with mom and sister. Unfortunately, I don’t stop at that point....
This is a very good point. If I could just now drink regularly, then why did the recent drinks with my mom and sister last for two days?? It's amazing how obvious this is once you point it out.
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Mac4711 View Post
Sohard,
Drinking now is foolish and you know it. I am following the different 'religious' schools here on SR (AA vs. secular approaches) and it is remarkable that as much as folks disagree about stuff, there is ONE THING that the old hands of all schools agree on, namely that you must not pick up that first drink, because you can't control it.
I know you're scared because you can't image this apparent jail sentence, that you have been sentenced to life without parole (sorry, alcohol!), but guess what: Change your perspective, say to yourself in the morning: 'I will not drink today' and then follow through until the next morning. What you will find is that over time the lure of alcohol will fade and as you are building your defenses and increase your knowledge, its appeal will fade more and more.

Give it some time, get some distance between you and your last drink. How about the following: You're on day 7 right now, why don't you and I agree on a moratorium? You'll wait for another 7 days and then we will have another chat about this? The risk/reward of waiting another 7 days is immense. You have practically nothing to lose, but so much to gain. Think about it and have a great evening!
Yes, you totally get it. I'm scared about my life sentence w/o parole. And I really like your idea about the moratorium. It's a deal. I'll wait another 7 days and see how I feel.
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Sohard View Post
Yes, you totally get it. I'm scared about my life sentence w/o parole.
Another way to think about this is that you've actually just been set free. You now have the ability to do pretty much anything you set your mind to, whenever you choose. When you were still drinking, alcohol was holding you back from a whole host of things.

Thinking of sobriety as a punishment is your addiction talking.
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Old 11-08-2017, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottFromWI View Post
Another way to think about this is that you've actually just been set free. You now have the ability to do pretty much anything you set your mind to, whenever you choose. When you were still drinking, alcohol was holding you back from a whole host of things.

Thinking of sobriety as a punishment is your addiction talking.
I really like this! Thank you!
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