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Made it one year

Old 05-11-2020, 08:08 PM
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Made it one year

Back when I was drinking, or when I was making a failed attempt at putting it down, I used to read this board a lot. Almost exclusively just reading and never posting. I told myself if I ever made a year I would post. I made it a year, and I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences about how it was/felt and what I found worked for me. This goes without saying, but this is just one persons experience. And just one persons experience of doing it for a year. Some of what I say will not be applicable or relevant to many others that read it, but some parts may be.

My decision to quit drinking began with three failed attempts. I would make it 45 days or 90 days and then find an excuse to bail on it. These are notable because the drinking binges/incidents that occurred during these relapses were easily the worst/most problematic of my drinking career. They were painful and embarrassing, but probably could have been worse. It's worth mentioning that I would be what AA classifies as a "High Bottom" I've never been to rehab or jail. Never had a DUI. Never lost a job because of alcohol. I was starting to drink in the morning towards the end a bit, and have been shaky/detoxing probably more times than I can count. It was getting bad and I was fast approaching consequences that were sort of upping in severity in terms of career and family. Another failed attempt would have meant at least rehab, but more likely divorce.
The first 90 days were very unpleasant for me. (the multiple times I did them) There wasn't any sort of pink cloud. I just sort of pushed through it. I hid from the world at times. I went to bed miserable and didn't sleep much. I kinda thought all good times had past me by. I was also dealing with the mess that I had made of things with family and this didn't make it much better. Because of failed attempts, people didn't really believe that I was doing anything but telling them what they wanted to hear. I began to focus on basics. I had food and shelter. I had people that cared about me. I had a job. Wake up. Work. Eat. Sleep. My mind really raced but I just tried to keep it simple. I was a pretty unhappy person but I was pretty unhappy towards the end of my drinking days as well.

After 90 days I think I chemically started to balance out a little bit. I would go out to dinner with folks. Hang out with friends a bit..always with an escape plan. Things weren't quite as bad as I had made them out to be in my own head. Some nights were terrible. Some nights were easy. At 6 months people started to take notice. I didn't really talk openly about it to many people, but the people that really knew me were sort of impressed at that point. Every so often, someone would sort of force the issue of trying to get me to drink in some way. This probably happened twice in a year. The VAST majority of people do not care or respect someone's decision not to drink. I didn't go to things that were a bad idea to go to, but I didn't hide from the world.

Parts of me woke up that had been asleep for 20 years. I have a toddler who went through a phase of waking up at sunrise. He always came to straight to me because I was easy to wake up. I could hear his feet patter down the stairs. I would scoop him up for a minute, and then we would make breakfast and put on cartoons. I bet that happened every day for 3-4 months. It was my favorite part of the day. It made me happy. There were times it was the only thing that made me happy but it was enough. I held on to things like that.

Parts of me were hard to live with during this time. I was moody. I had bad days. I still don't sleep great. That stuff is getting better though. There were times the people that were about to throw me out of the house told me to just have a drink, because they were sick of dealing with the crazy, moody, unhappy me. Didn't happen much, but it happened. I didn't take the advice.

A few thoughts about AA. I've probably been to 100 meetings during the past two years (I failed at this a few times around that 90 day mark). I tried to do 90 in 90, and got as far as 60 basically, but AA just wasn't working for me. I heard some things in those meetings that I will never forget that DID help me very much. I learned to not judge people from how they look. I heard a man who looked like he slept on the street share some pretty profound things about life I've ever heard anyone say. I met some people I disliked and who sort of put me in a bad mental place just hearing their views on things. It's a group of people, and like any group you're not going to like everybody. There we people there who were very nice to me when I needed it. It just reached a point where I was just riding the clock out I didn't think it was helping me stay sober. So I stopped going. Didn't drink though. Accept things you can't change. Pretty simple, but I had to say that in my head quite a few times and it got me through some rough patches.
Some rather bad things happened during the year. I lost my job (after sobering up). Things had been going badly career wise (much of it outside my control) which contributed to the alcohol really becoming a problem. I worried constantly about it, and tried to forget about it with booze. What I was worried about happening DID happen. You now what else, the world didn't end. In my boozed up state, I thought I was going to be finished when that happened. Truth was, I only would have been "finished" had I continued on drinking in the manner I was. My career is fine now. I had some family members do some hurtful things. I faced challenges around starting in a work environment. I did it all sober. Sometimes it was almost impossibly difficult. But it was sort of manageable since I was clear headed. Sometimes I went to bed full of worry. I never woke up in an even worse place though....
I can tell you this, as I type this I am clear headed. I don't regret things, or worry about what I did or said all the time. I am sane.
Thinking about going a year sober at one time sounded impossible to me, and not something I would EVER had any interest in. But I did it. This is going to sound really stupid but I just focused on the basics of not drinking, no matter what, every day. Some days the price of that was almost nothing. Some days there was a heavy price. I'm less self centered now, in my own head especially. I'm just a man trying to figure out life, do my best for my family, and being the best version of myself that I can be. That's all I got. Went all the way around the sun....
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The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Markaburke For This Useful Post:
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Old 05-11-2020, 08:19 PM
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Welcome to the posting side of things markaburke - congrats on your year!
D
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Old 05-11-2020, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Markaburke View Post
Back when I was drinking, or when I was making a failed attempt at putting it down, I used to read this board a lot. Almost exclusively just reading and never posting. I told myself if I ever made a year I would post. I made it a year, and I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences about how it was/felt and what I found worked for me. This goes without saying, but this is just one persons experience. And just one persons experience of doing it for a year. Some of what I say will not be applicable or relevant to many others that read it, but some parts may be.

My decision to quit drinking began with three failed attempts. I would make it 45 days or 90 days and then find an excuse to bail on it. These are notable because the drinking binges/incidents that occurred during these relapses were easily the worst/most problematic of my drinking career. They were painful and embarrassing, but probably could have been worse. It's worth mentioning that I would be what AA classifies as a "High Bottom" I've never been to rehab or jail. Never had a DUI. Never lost a job because of alcohol. I was starting to drink in the morning towards the end a bit, and have been shaky/detoxing probably more times than I can count. It was getting bad and I was fast approaching consequences that were sort of upping in severity in terms of career and family. Another failed attempt would have meant at least rehab, but more likely divorce.
The first 90 days were very unpleasant for me. (the multiple times I did them) There wasn't any sort of pink cloud. I just sort of pushed through it. I hid from the world at times. I went to bed miserable and didn't sleep much. I kinda thought all good times had past me by. I was also dealing with the mess that I had made of things with family and this didn't make it much better. Because of failed attempts, people didn't really believe that I was doing anything but telling them what they wanted to hear. I began to focus on basics. I had food and shelter. I had people that cared about me. I had a job. Wake up. Work. Eat. Sleep. My mind really raced but I just tried to keep it simple. I was a pretty unhappy person but I was pretty unhappy towards the end of my drinking days as well.

After 90 days I think I chemically started to balance out a little bit. I would go out to dinner with folks. Hang out with friends a bit..always with an escape plan. Things weren't quite as bad as I had made them out to be in my own head. Some nights were terrible. Some nights were easy. At 6 months people started to take notice. I didn't really talk openly about it to many people, but the people that really knew me were sort of impressed at that point. Every so often, someone would sort of force the issue of trying to get me to drink in some way. This probably happened twice in a year. The VAST majority of people do not care or respect someone's decision not to drink. I didn't go to things that were a bad idea to go to, but I didn't hide from the world.

Parts of me woke up that had been asleep for 20 years. I have a toddler who went through a phase of waking up at sunrise. He always came to straight to me because I was easy to wake up. I could hear his feet patter down the stairs. I would scoop him up for a minute, and then we would make breakfast and put on cartoons. I bet that happened every day for 3-4 months. It was my favorite part of the day. It made me happy. There were times it was the only thing that made me happy but it was enough. I held on to things like that.

Parts of me were hard to live with during this time. I was moody. I had bad days. I still don't sleep great. That stuff is getting better though. There were times the people that were about to throw me out of the house told me to just have a drink, because they were sick of dealing with the crazy, moody, unhappy me. Didn't happen much, but it happened. I didn't take the advice.

A few thoughts about AA. I've probably been to 100 meetings during the past two years (I failed at this a few times around that 90 day mark). I tried to do 90 in 90, and got as far as 60 basically, but AA just wasn't working for me. I heard some things in those meetings that I will never forget that DID help me very much. I learned to not judge people from how they look. I heard a man who looked like he slept on the street share some pretty profound things about life I've ever heard anyone say. I met some people I disliked and who sort of put me in a bad mental place just hearing their views on things. It's a group of people, and like any group you're not going to like everybody. There we people there who were very nice to me when I needed it. It just reached a point where I was just riding the clock out I didn't think it was helping me stay sober. So I stopped going. Didn't drink though. Accept things you can't change. Pretty simple, but I had to say that in my head quite a few times and it got me through some rough patches.
Some rather bad things happened during the year. I lost my job (after sobering up). Things had been going badly career wise (much of it outside my control) which contributed to the alcohol really becoming a problem. I worried constantly about it, and tried to forget about it with booze. What I was worried about happening DID happen. You now what else, the world didn't end. In my boozed up state, I thought I was going to be finished when that happened. Truth was, I only would have been "finished" had I continued on drinking in the manner I was. My career is fine now. I had some family members do some hurtful things. I faced challenges around starting in a work environment. I did it all sober. Sometimes it was almost impossibly difficult. But it was sort of manageable since I was clear headed. Sometimes I went to bed full of worry. I never woke up in an even worse place though....
I can tell you this, as I type this I am clear headed. I don't regret things, or worry about what I did or said all the time. I am sane.
Thinking about going a year sober at one time sounded impossible to me, and not something I would EVER had any interest in. But I did it. This is going to sound really stupid but I just focused on the basics of not drinking, no matter what, every day. Some days the price of that was almost nothing. Some days there was a heavy price. I'm less self centered now, in my own head especially. I'm just a man trying to figure out life, do my best for my family, and being the best version of myself that I can be. That's all I got. Went all the way around the sun....
Thanks for this. Related to much of it. Every time I try to do 90 meetings in 90 days, I too maybe make it to 60. In reality, that's still a lot of meetings. I too was a high bottom. No jail, DUIs, etc. A lot of that was luck when I was young and more crazy.
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:11 PM
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Congrats on your 1 year!! That’s awesome!! Thanks for sharing!!
Wishing you the best!
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Old 05-12-2020, 03:11 AM
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Fantastic post, Markaburke! That is sobriety right there, beautifully put about several things, right on. It's great having you here on SR, especially now that you're posting and not just reading. And congrats on 1 year!
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:41 PM
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Well done! A year is wonderful!
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Old 05-13-2020, 12:59 AM
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Well done on one year sober, nice feeling isn't it
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