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I just can't let go of alcohol

Old 04-07-2019, 01:21 PM
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I just can't let go of alcohol

I am in an outpatient program which includes 2 weekly meetings, homework, and weekly sessions with a therapist. I was sober for almost 80 days which is the longest I have been sober since before I was 12 years old. I drank and now I cannot seem to get back on the sobriety path.
During those 80 days I always held on to the fact that I could still drink if I wanted. I had not fully given it up and I think that is why I drank and why I continue.
I do not want to drink because my life is so much better without it. I just cannot get rid of this thought. If I think about never drinking again, I feel like I will not be able to do it so I try to just make it through today. In the back of my mind though I am thinking that I can still drink.
I want to surrender and get rid of these thoughts but I am not sure how to do it.
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:14 PM
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Well, it's a decision. A one-time decision with no contingency clauses.

Every time the thought to have a drink comes up - don't have a drink. Keep doing that.

One day at a time works for a lot of people. If you decide to never drink again, you'll always be not drinking today.

Whatever it takes.

Doesn't mean the thoughts are going to completely stop, it merely means you won't act on them.
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:16 PM
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I understand entirely. The problem for me is that alcohol almost instantly stimulates my brain's reward system, so naturally I'm always looking for it. Anything can happen, good or bad or neutral, and alcohol is the go to answer.

The problem with this is obviously that alcohol abuse has side effects. I found that the longer I was sober, the more aware I was of its side effects even though at times I still craved its stimulation of my brain's reward system.

Granted, I relapsed and you can see from my signature that addiction is a life long challenge. But never give up on yourself. You got this.

There is also the problem that alcohol abuse also tends to lead me to bad decisions; ya know, like having drunken conversations via text messages with my boss who also happens to be my dad's boss. And for me, that sort of behavior has led to more drinking.

I have written this post about me because I can't just speak for alcoholics in general; I can only share my experience. But there are some well-developed resources out there that define some common characteristics of alcoholism and common characteristics of recovering / recovered alcoholics.

I was sober for 13 months at one point, and found that I was commonly thinking about the possibility of a drink. Then it happened; followed by scary stuff.
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Old 04-07-2019, 04:24 PM
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I totally understand where you are coming from. For me, the magic fall off day was 45. I couldn't get past 45 days sober for anything. Every time I picked up, I went a little further down before I would try to get sober again. It happened so many times, I had eventually found myself at a bottom that I couldn't imagine getting out of. It seemed impossible.

One day, more dead than alive, I went for help. The most important thing to me at the time, was taking it SLOW, I had to realize that I didn't need to concentrate on never drinking again, I just didn't drink that day. I had to remind myself, that I never had to feel as sick as I felt on day one again. The smaller increments were less scary and were more doable to me.

I had to accept that I can't fight Alcohol and win. I lose ever single time I try to show it who is boss. I literally kicks my A**. After I gave up the fight and admitted I was powerless, I had a chance to succeed, One day became two, then three and eventually, I made it past 45 days...then I just kept going, one day at a time.

Hang in there, and most importantly, never quit quitting. This is a cunning disease, it will make you think you can manage a drink, then it has you back in it's grasp. Awareness of that is a powerful tool.

Cathy
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Old 04-07-2019, 04:33 PM
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This was my experience as set out in the book Alcoholics Anonymous:
"There was a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it - this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish."

That was me. I lost the power of choice in drink, and I never got it back. In fact I was so pessimistic about my chances, I didn't even record the date of my last drink.

My solution was to through myself unreservedly into the program of AA. I had pretty much got the full implications of step one which includes the delusion that I could drink like other drinkers at some future date had to be smashed. I was at a meeting most days for the first few months, had a sponsor, and got straight into the steps.

By the time I got to step nine, at the three month mark I realised that the drink problem had been removed. I was not thinking of drinking or not drinking, I had found a better way to live, I was in a different space entirely.

By the way I did try a couple of meetings a week on the first go, and got the same result you did.
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Old 04-07-2019, 04:47 PM
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Why are you continuing with the outpatient program if you are drinking?

It's one or the other. What do you want? It's choice, then work. You can do it, and putting yourself in the right place like a good program is a great idea. But it's a waste of time and money if you're drinking.
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:18 PM
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Hi Diha

I had to take the option of drinking completely off the table. For me it wasn't 'I can drink if I want to' - it was 'I can have the life I want and be the person I want to be - or I can drink'

...one or the other but not both.

Making a commitment is scary - but not as scary as not making one IMO.

D
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:06 PM
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You're capable of a lot more than you even know, diha. We all are. Your brain is lying to you when it tells you that your future has to include drinking, it just doesn't. You need to start thinking about yourself in different ways. And you need to try some new things to fight this threat, pull out all the stops, whatever's necessary. This is literally life or death time for us, this drinking issue.
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:52 PM
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I have a meeting set up everyday this week. I am not going to quit the program even if I continue to drink. I am making progress either way and that is better than giving up.
I wish that the desire would just go away. I hate alcohol.
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Old 04-07-2019, 09:37 PM
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Practice gratitude every day. That helped me stay sober and made me happier too.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/o...pier.html?_r=0
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:25 PM
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I was just reading about gratitude on another page

http://https://gabbybernstein.com/5-...ober-recovery/
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:36 PM
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Sounds so familiar.

I went to outpatient rehab and wanted to drink every single day I attended, then finally quit rehab after 7 weeks and drank.

From 2008-2017 I quit for up to four months maybe 3-4 times, made it to two weeks a handful of times, did lots of 6-8 week quits.

Every damned time I wanted to drink still, I wanted to drink every day and I just waited until the day I knew I would actually crack one open again, and that’s what always happened.

In 2017 things got a lot worse for me and it was all related to drinking. I drank a lot more, I became more chaotic, I became mentally unstable, my blackouts worsened, my relationships were hanging on by a thread, I was terrified for my health and I honestly was starting to lose that final grip on who I was, deep down inside, because it was as if I had become the bottle itself. I didn’t know what was alcohol and what was me, were all these humiliating and scary things happening because of alcohol or because of my personality? Slowly losing my grip on reality and losing my sense of self, with each drink.

After a bad birthday weekend, Monday rolled around, at this point I just realized it had been two to three years of misery caused by alcohol. Abject misery. I knew in my heart that if I put it down, I could get myself back, and I would never again do or say something that I didn’t fully intend to do or say. With all my wits about me, I would always be at the helm of my own ship. The tide had turned.

I hated it now. I hated what it had done to me. I hated how it allowed people to pity me. I knew I was worth more than that. I hated how it allowed people to take advantage of me. I hated how it stole me from myself. I hated how it was taking me down, not little by little anymore, but in huge chunks, I was losing so much every day I drank. It was as if at that point, I just knew.

I had a wave of relief. At that point I took everything I’d learned about rational recovery to heart and I vowed I’d never let myself down again with that vile substance. I was done.

Every time I felt a single TWINGE from that moment until now, even just a slight restless feeling, or a slight feeling something was off, I shut it down hard.

I shut it down hard for a long, long time, like over a year. Then I let up my guard a little and realized that I felt comfortably sober, that I have no desire to drink, that even if I fully allowed myself to drink, I don’t want it. It just sounds awful. All of it. The taste, the effects, it’s effects on others, the whole thing. I’m completely over it. Even more than that? Sobriety became a beacon for me. It became the one thing that guides my life. Sobriety is the light the leads the way for me. I always say to everyone that I identify as a sober person, and that is the first thing that defines me. Without it: it’s not just my life that isn’t possible: without sobriety, I don’t exist.

My rehab stint was in 2016. Not too long ago. Never would have believed then, when I was hoodwinked by alcohol addiction (the ultimate mind trick) that I’d be standing here today, giddy from the fact that I’ve got nearly 19 months. I can’t tell you how incredible the blessing of being free from alcohol truly is. You’ll just have to experience that for yourself.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:01 AM
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I just can't let go of alcohol
and under your user name it says:
I can do anything!!!


I wish that the desire would just go away.
it was about 6 months before i made a full 24 hours without even thinking about a drink. well worth every second of fight i put in.

drinking wont make the desire/craving/obession disappear-T.I.M.E. will
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:19 AM
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I can understand wanting to drink. There is an appeal there of all sorts of good things, sophistication, good times (like in the beer commercials), and pleasant feelings. But these things are lost on alcoholics. Maybe we could achieve them at one time, or maybe they were always fantasies.

When you say you still think you can drink, I assume that means getting the fantasy part, because there is really not much other than that in drinking I can think of, and I've long recognized that I don't get the good anymore. On top of that, my drinking was growing out of control.

I still didn't want to quit. I wanted to be normal. I thought being normal and drinking normal was the most important goal I could strive for. Except that I couldn't do it. I had to quit, and there is no easy way. Now that I've been quit for 24 years, I laugh at those thoughts that life cannot be complete without alcohol. Where did I get such a weird idea to begin with? I don't know. I guess I'm as susceptible to believing stupid things as the next guy.
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Old 04-08-2019, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by diha View Post
I want to surrender and get rid of these thoughts but I am not sure how to do it.
Surrendering won't necessarily get rid of those thoughts...but it will make you far better prepared to deal with them when you do have them.

Acceptance/surrender or whatever you choose to call it is the key to getting sober though, in my opinion at least. And the most encouraging thing to know is that it's a choice you, or anyone can make at any time. Some choose to follow a very formal path like AA and publicly share their surrender with a group. Others choose to use a more internalized process like AVRT or therapy, counseling, rehab, etc.

Bottom line though, if you want to surrender you can do it anywhere and anytime you like. And SR is here to support your choice no matter how you go about it.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:24 PM
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Diha,

Great posts here. What Sassy said -- amazing.

For me, it was a decision, no more, no less. Not an easy decision, but once taken, no other option is on the table.

The main thing for me to realize was that I can stop, but I can never ever control my drinking. As Dee would say, never confuse abstinence with control.

Unlike Sass, I do sometimes still think it would be nice to have a drink, but then I remind myself that I dont drink and that is that. Becuase I never have one drink. None of us do.

I never did any formal anything. Read books, hung out here and Hip Sobriety, all part of the process, but at the end it was a decision. One only I could take and keep.

I hope for you you will make the same decision. As Sass said, it is freedom. Control. Integrity. All there for the taking...grab it.
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:12 PM
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Hows it going diha?

D
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:26 AM
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Thinking about you.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:47 AM
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Hi Diha -
I am only 8 days sober - I think maybe if you want happy sober lifer and believe you can have this if you dont drink, then you can stop. This is where I am now and it helps against wanting to drink. And the wanting to drink passes. I have to believe that life will be better. And I do. If I did not believe this then I would probably be drinking now.

You stand at a junction of roads. One leads down into despair, pain, misery, death or insanity. The other leads up into the sunlight, freedom, happiness.

You make a choice. It is impossible to travel both roads.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:47 AM
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diha - There is not much I can add to this thread in the way of new thoughts as so many have already posted a variety of excellent comments. Many of us struggle over and over again. What I really like about this thread is the idea of the struggle that never seems to end for some of us. But we don't quit trying.


Oh - and I like bacon too. I might even be a baconoholic!

I wish everyone here a sober healthful day.
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