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Class of June 2014 Part 4

Old 08-24-2014, 01:23 PM
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H&N- Crazy! Yeah, I've been looking for ways to fill my time and I'm not sure I want to go full blown masters degree quite yet, so I decided on a graduate certificate. It's 4 classes and I feel it's a great way to get my toes wet and see if my brain still works

Rachelle- Keep it up!

Day 73.

Pretty good weekend all around. I went out with a friend on Friday and had dinner, which we followed with a cigar and a walk downtown. I had a bit of an anxiety attack, though. I think it might have been a product of still only being 8 days off of the meds. I remained calm and just came home and took a valerian root to calm me down. I think the anxiety was rooted in the fact I felt kind of out of place downtown just strolling through a park. It would have been a great setting on a date, but it felt strange with just a friend. It was also quite muggy, so blah.

Yesterday, I did a similar dinner and cigar with a friend. The cigar we had was at a bar, however. I'm more than comfortable in that setting for a bit. Obviously, it's not somewhere I plan to spend large chunks of my free time, but it's nice to be in a socialize from time to time.

The lack of socialization and entering new social setting sober is still something I need to work on. An inability to drive and a poor public transportation system has stunted by grow a bit. Good news is, I will have my license back in 32 days. From there, I think I am going to try out the SMART recovery meetings here in Omaha. Also, I have a solid discount through a gym via work and with school starting, I can at least go to coffee shops to study.

That's all for now.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:24 PM
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Noolan I like your plans. Sounds like a great idea with your certificate. I did not move from my bed which I called my office all day today and got almost a whole class done, one more to go and two more papers and I'll be done! I think I will actually be able to accomplish this! Noolan what is your occupation? I'm a school social worker, undergrad and masters in social work. Work mostly w teens, I teach two elective classes with a special ed teacher to teach coping skills to teens with mental health issues. I am going to work in a bunch of lessons in the book, the relaxation and stress reduction workbook. I think that's the name?? Anyway I've been doing some of the exercises for my anxiety and they do help! Thought I'd share!!
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:36 PM
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H&N- Keep it up! I'm presently in insurance; wasn't exactly what I thought I'd end up doing when I pursued a bachelor's degree in political science, but I never thought I'd be an alcoholic either The certificate is in Sustainability and Corporate Innovation, in other words a focus on addressing the environmental and natural resource challenges of now and in the future from a business perspective.

It's good to hear your managing anxiety well. I'm getting better at it, but spent a late portion of this weekend researching natural supplements for it. Regardless, I think I'd like a career more geared towards something I believe in. Do you find your job rewarding?

Day 73... Again... There's that counting problem again.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:25 AM
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Good Morning everyone. I haven't checked in for a while but I'm still moving along. I'm glad to see other people still here doing the same. I still have moments when I think I'd really like to just sit down or go out and have a beer. But they are getting farther between and less intense. I'm up to 87 days currently and in all I've got about 8 months out of the past 10 sober (since Nov 2 of '13).

Sept 1st bring around 3 months which is exciting and I'm looking forward to.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:17 PM
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Kiya I'm glad you are doing so well!

Noolan so funny how we fall into careers we never thought! My best friend got her degree in teaching and never taught a day in her life! She went into sales and sells medical equipment

Was frustrated warier bc I go to a tues night meeting each week, by husband plays basketball on tues and my mom watches boys. This week my mom couldn't and husband just assumed if miss my meeting. He does not get how important aa meetings are to my sobriety. I called my sponsor and feel better. I'm going to a meeting tomorrow !
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:21 PM
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Oh and yes my job is amazing! I feel so lucky to have an opportunity to be in a environment and role that I can really be there for kids during very crustal life events and support them. Today was deal with a suicidal kid that was in crisis due med change. Get a child set up with online learning since she is about to have a baby, and calm down a parent that is feeling hopeless due to finding out her 16 year old is pregnant! It is truly amazing!
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:54 AM
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Day 73.
- I bounced around and job hopped over the yrs. Never finished college. Not able to now with a lot of debt, but I'm an EMT, working 15hrs a day. Been doing it for about 2-3 yrs. Booze and depression kept me in this cycle of getting miserable and changing jobs. The job I have now is the "perfect" part time job. No benefits. I've just been scared to reach out and try to improve now that I have a 1 yr old and 5 yr old depending on me. Scary to me, but benefits are a little hard to come by in rural America. Actually put out job apps yesterday ! I'm starting to scour job websites ( I don't know of that many).
There's a lot of minimum wage jobs out there, but I just can't make it on that. Gotta do better.
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:52 PM
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Better news, now. At least for the next month, I could possibly have the opportunity to work up to 50-55 hrs a week. Gotta be thankful for something, right?
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:52 PM
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Kiya- That's progress! At least in my mind

H&N- For me, I'm happy just to have a job I can stand. My prior job literally involved me suspending my morals for 40 hours a week. Often times, I just thought if I could gut it out for a couple years, I'd find a job I didn't hate, everything else would work itself out. Turns out that wasn't the case and while my job certainly gave me an excuse to use, it was also my means to cope with other aspects of my personality I'm still discovering.

JL- Money ain't erry thang, but it can be nice from time to time. I used to work at UPS and they had full benefits for part-time workers. The pay wasn't great, though.

Day 75.

Work kicked my butt today ya'll. I haven't given a proper update in awhile, but will do so tomorrow morning. Stay strong.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:10 AM
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back on deck - glad to see you guys are going ok

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Old 08-30-2014, 08:30 AM
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11 weeks 1 day.

Hey Juners,

Hope you are all doing well. My Thursday was crazier than anticipated and yesterday I had my wisdom teeth removed, so excuse my lack of updates. I'm happy to report the minor surgery went well and I'm presently resting in bed and posting from my new laptop I purchased for school.

A big concern of my family/therapist was having to take opiate based pain meds. I'd be lying if my AV wasn't excited as well. So far, no issues, though. I have had a few moments of a light buzz, but they are the lowest dose of hydrocodone, so the high is mute and more importantly, the pain is not felt. I've had a few thoughts of only taking one pill and pocketing the other for later use or an extra strong dose, though. I haven't and won't because, well that would be using again, right?

The question is a good transition into thoughts that have filled my head lately. Ever since my near relapse a couple weeks ago, back when my AV found a vulnerability in my sober defenses with a simple discussion about going to Europe next spring, the questioning of my sobriety FOREVER has creeped into my head again. Some days I wake up and have all the confidence in the world I will never drink again. I think back to ALL the times I had embarrassing/scary/terrible moments and all of those out weigh the positives that come from drinking. Also having gone to concerts and realizing alcohol robs me from a deeper connection to music, I have these tangible items I can see, use, and feel to motivate to never have to be in those places again.

On the other hand, as I progress and start to see real moments of growth not only since quitting drinking this time, but the person I was at the start of the year.(I started therapy at the start of the year) Part of me has been thinking a lot about the future. Not from a X amount of time I can try drinking again sort of way, but if I continue to progress and grow, will that person be stronger and more ready to moderate and deal with addiction? This is now the question that I'm truly pondering. Is this my AV or me talking? I've identified character defaults and flaws, both related to my drinking, others just in the way I was living. For example, I wasn't able to let my ex in. Sure some of the lies involved masking and downplaying my partying, but a large portion of it involved an inability to let her in. In my screwed up thinking, I thought I needed to tailor my presentation of myself, my life, and feelings in a carefully controlled light. Digging deeper, this was more related to me not having an sense of who I am, what I want, where I am going, and really a lack of confidence in myself. My patterns ever since I graduated high school have been grind out X task and just make it to this time. First it was college. I'd always tell myself, grind out classes/work in order to make myself a better life down the road. Along the way, I figured things would work themselves, which in some ways they did. I really don't regret any aspects of those times to a huge degree;however, while being in college, I started functioning by saying, just get through these classes/work and in the summer you're going on this vacation or this party, etc. Being a kid with a love of partying and music, surely music festivals were a match made in heaven, right?! Well, they were. Just sitting here typing it gives me goosebumps. All the amazing bands, random times, and moments I'll remember for the rest of my days. These events however gave me an excuse and a social setting where drug use and partying was completely accepted and in some ways encouraged.

Fast forward to the last few years, I graduated college, got a decent job, but one in which I hated. It literally required me to suspend my morals for 40 hours a week. So what did I do in that time? Well the old reliable grind it out/party my balls off method. This time, though I had a salary that provided much more disposable income than previously. So this accelerated the weekends into overdrive. Now dropping 100 dollars Friday and Saturday on a bar tab became routine. Oh and the extras that went along with it, those suddenly went from a quarterly a year event, to an every weekend event. I mean, drinking has been a constant since I was 18, but it wasn't till my first year out of school did my taste for the extra circulars really takeoff. For awhile, it worked. I mean in the best sense blackouting and partying can. I was happy, at least I thought I was happy. Looking back now, I know I wasn't. It wasn't until I met my ex, did the veil over my eyes start slowly rising. She pushed me down this path, not intentionally, but when she came into my orbit, the gravitational pull of her pushed me out of the spin/cycle I had been living.

Now I didn't think it would take everything that has occurred since the past May to push me here. Alas, it has and I'm over feeling sorry for what could have been with her, with my past. I'm damn lucky not to be in jail, have a good job, and the perspective I have now.

Getting back to my original point, though. I have this new perspective from all the work I've been doing towards myself. Now, I know I need to keep pushing forward and continue to live sober for the foreseeable future. So when I have these thoughts of, well maybe once you reach a point where your strong enough, mature enough, blah blah, you'll be ready to drink or smoke pot again. I shouldn't really say strong enough, I guess what I mean is. The pattern of living I had was unhealthy. With or without booze, that was so focused on just getting through the one day, I didn't have time to sit back and reflect/discover what exactly my intentions are for the remainder of my life. So now that I am, part of it makes me wonder at times if this new perspective and path to discovery will result in a person capable of handling smoking pot or having a social drink at some point. Part of me hopes this journey continues and the life I build sober will make me see that I don't need to drink or anything else to have a good time, because I know i don't. Still part of me wonders if I'll reach a point where I can have a social drink or toke.

Anyways, that's a TMI update for you all. I know right now, I'm not focused on anything but continuing down this path. School starts this week following the holiday and I'll be able to drive again in 27 or so days. From there I plan to join a gym, attend a few SMART meetings for a change of perspective, and hang out in coffee houses on my new laptop doing homework and making eyes at cute girls.

Stay strong.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:34 PM
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I have all the same thoughts! I think since I'm working on myself and changing myself so much I will be able to moderate at some point. When I go there, i start thinking of how that would work.. The moderation. Would it be only on weekends , only a certain number? Then I realize. I don't want to moderate. I want to drink most nights. I want to drink when I'm stressed, when I'm celebrating, when I'm mad, ect ect for me it's def the av. I have committed to myself I will stay sober for one year and will reassess. So far I am hoping I don't WANT to go back. I'm struggling with feeling like I would have more time if I was drinking at times. I know the consequences arnt worth it but at times I still think it could be worth it. Such as three glasses of wine with my friends may be worth the hangover in the morning. The problem is it would t just be the hangover it would be the drive home, possible DUI, marriage problems.... I totally get where your thoughts are on this. I'm hoping these thoughts get less and less as time goes on. 90 days today!!!
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:42 AM
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My wife drank some Smirnoff apple drinks the other night. I didn't want any booze then, but I keep getting these ideas like can just drink every now and then. I know that it's crap, and I drank 5 days out of 7, but that alcoholic thinking has me feeling like it's been yrs since I had a drink instead of 78-79 days. I've read ppl posting about this and now I'm feeling it. This is the hardest thing I've personally dealt with! I hope it passes.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:11 AM
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Good Morning everyone, I've been through the "I've been x time without a drink I can try it now" a couple times now over the past year and it hasn't worked for me any of the times. I started drinking the day I turned 21 essentially and never looked back. I told my doctor I thought I had a problem the first time probably 2 years later but didn't quit. I quit for 3-4 days in Feb of 2013 maybe and that was the extent of my sober time for 8 years. There were some heavier periods early on but at this point I was about 8 beers per night Mon-Thu and 12-14 range probably on Fri/Sat/Sun. Then November 2nd to December 1st (or so) of 2013 I put together 30 days consecutive. Then said to myself it's the holiday season. I got through Thanksgiving without drinking. I think I can handle this now. So I had a couple beers Friday night, then again Saturday night, then Sunday afternoon. The next week I waited until Thursday, 3 whole days in a row and felt pretty proud of myself. Within 2 or 3 weeks I was drinking a 6 pack a night at least. More than that on the weekends. I wasn't quite on the pace I was before my 30 days sober but I was working my way up there. I quit again Jan 14th of 2014. I went 102(ish) days. This brought me to sometime in the 2nd of last week of April. I was over 100 days and said look at me. I've never made it this long without drinking before. I really feel like I can handle it now. So I had a couple beers the last night of vacation then a couple more the next afternoon once we were home. Then waited 5 days until the next weekend and had some beer each day of the weekend. 3-4 a day. I made it until Thursday the next week again and at that point it was daily again within 10 days of picking up the first drink. I spent the month of May working my way back up to almost a 6 pack per day on weekdays and more than that on weekends. June 1 is now my sobriety date. I've accepted that fact that I'm either drinking or I am not. There's no balance in it for me I'll all in or all out. And ultimately there is now doubt in my mind that if I'm all in it will kill me at some point. It might not be today or tomorrow (although it very well could) but it would be the death of me at some point. Today marks 95 days for me so I'll be at a new record before I know it. This time I know I just can't drink though. It's not an option I'm even allowing myself because I've seen twice now where it ends. I'm not sure it helps those dealing with the 'I think i can handle it now' feelings. I don't really have any advise to offer just my experience with it over the past 10 months. I can say that the feeling are not as strong this time up to this point. The other times I failed was when I quit putting myself first. I stopped taking my morning quiet time in prayer. I quit reading and working towards recovery and slipped back into the trap. Everyone take care and be safe today.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:12 PM
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CRAP, I just lost a really long post...

My online class has a live lecture I want to catch in 20 mins, so I'll just say this. Happy tomorrow is 12 weeks, thanks for letting me express my doubts, and I'll come back soon to follow up on those doubts. Still a lot to explore and I'm hungry to keep on this journey.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:29 PM
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Congratulations Noolan

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Old 09-04-2014, 09:26 PM
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Kiya, thanks for sharing. I have had thoughts of testing myself do your post really helps me realize that is not an option. I would exactly what you did in the past. I'm so happy you are on a good path now!

Noolan, congrats!

All is well here, my 36 bday is sat. Fist sober bday once I was 16!!!!
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:54 PM
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Hey guys, just wanted to check in as it's been awhile since my last post. Tomorrow is 90 days and I'm thrilled to have made it this far. This has been a crazy journey and I wouldn't be here without this resource. Class started last week and it's nice to feel like things are moving in forward. Everyday my strengthen over alcohol seems to grow more and more.

Anyways, stay strong kids!
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:49 PM
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Congratulations Noolan

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Old 09-12-2014, 06:08 AM
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Don't test yourself. It ain't worth feeling guilty. I just did it 2 days ago, and it wasn't fun, I felt bad and am mad at myself for throwing away money on a 6 pack of beer.
It's so not worth it
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