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Class of April 2015 Part 9

Old 11-04-2015, 07:27 PM
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Cauliflower, enjoy the book release! What a wonderful moment for your Dad.

Dee, that is a very good question. I need to be more active in my recovery. SR is a big part of that, but I don't think it's enough. I've never been to an AA meeting, but I think now is the time to try that out. I think it will be helpful for me to have in-person support.

I read over some of my SR entries and journal entries from April and May, and I was very adamant about not giving my AV the time of day. The cravings and triggers were there, but I shot them down. I was very focused on the sober person that I wanted to be. Then I fell into a depression and lost sight of my goals. They started faded away. And the AV got louder. And I finally gave in. The AV has used that as ammo: "when you were sober you weren't all that happy. You were tired and depressed. You may as well drink and numb yourself." That's been the standard line for the last three months. I need to fight back. Yes, I did get depressed. But, that is a common occurrence in recovery (and now I have meds to help with that). It will eventually go away or at least lessen. I need to focus on the wonderful things that my sobriety during those three months gave me: a confidence and peace with myself that I've never had, and the ability to wake up every day without a hangover and wishing the day would just end before it even started (to name two). That's what I need to focus on. That's what I want back.

First step to get there is to not drink today. And to recognize that not drinking will most likely be the hardest thing I have to do most days. But it is absolutely the most important.

Thanks, All, for being here and being supportive.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:48 PM
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Sounds like you have some great insight and self awareness there Kim.
Don't waste it - your AV is going down!

D
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:01 AM
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Swim....Sounds good! AA is helpful. At least go to a few different meetings before you judge. They are all different. SR also has live chat meetings that I still periodically attend in Tuesday's and Fridays. I always come out stronger. Any time I have issues fighting AV, or depression for that matter, I attend. Great group of people and I ALWAYS come out stronger.

Bottom line...add tools to your tool box. This disease is progressive. You can see that in how quick things turn when you start drinking. Really soak that in. BELIEVE that it's progressive and things continue to get worse and worse. REALLY BELIEVE IT. When you keep talking to yourself about that, or expose yourself to that (AA/SR chat), you really come to believe that NO MATTER how depressed you get or how bad things get being sober, they would be WORSE if you're drinking. When you can say to yourself "Man...life blows. I am soo freakin depressed, I can't stand it. Thank God I'm not drinking, because I don't know if I could handle being any more depressed," you're golden.
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:28 AM
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Hi all, creeping towards the end of the week

A few weeks ago I was thinking quite a bit about moderation. Not in the sense of being tempted to drink, but in the abstract sense of "by when do I think it will be fine to moderate". Woah! Not so fast, why would I want to do that? I wake up EVERY day feeling fine now, I can do my job properly, I don't miss kids events, I engage more with them and everyone else, I am fitter and healthier. I lost a few friends along the way but they were more like drinking pals it now appears. Now I have a new hobby - life!

Have a good one.

None for me today

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Old 11-05-2015, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Incontrol15 View Post

NO MATTER how depressed you get or how bad things get being sober, they would be WORSE if you're drinking. When you can say to yourself "Man...life blows. I am soo freakin depressed, I can't stand it. Thank God I'm not drinking, because I don't know if I could handle being any more depressed," you're golden.
In some ways, I have been feeling mildly ambivalent about my sobriety recently. No urge to drink at all, just a "whatever" attitude. Inc makes a great point. I suffer from SAD, and while maybe not a problem for those lucky Californians amongst us,it used to be debilitating for me starting around mid September. I was just slogging through each and every day, trying to make it through work so that I could get drinking to "feel better."
Of course, that never happened. Surprising, drinking mass quantities of a depressant only fueled my depression . Thus far, I have not been plagued by my SAD, and I entirely attribute that to my sobriety. That in of itself is a great reason to watch my mild ambivalence and not tempt fate. Living with depression is a joyless and lifeless way to live life.
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:53 AM
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On a happier note, I am psyched to see "Dead and Company" tonight, featuring three original members of the Grateful Dead and a host of talented guest musicians. I have been seeing the various incarnations of this band for nearly thirty years. They have been in my life longer than anyone else except my immediate family, lol! To the uninitiated, it may seem odd, but listening to old shows has been a huge part of my sobriety, as all of the living band members have gone through various addictions themselves over the years and one can hear it in their singing and playing over the decades. Going to shows used to mean going down to the venue six hours early and partying all afternoon long. This will be my second concert at which I will not be drinking. I feel good about it and don't think that I will have any urges to drink, but I will be watching out.

" I know the life I'm livings no good, I'll get a new start, live the life I should..."
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:54 AM
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Stargazer, what is SAD, besides the obvious?
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:04 AM
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Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is depression brought on by the ever shortening days and lack of light as fall progresses into winter. It is far more prevalent in northern areas, as the lack of light is more pronounced. For example, I read that only 2 percent of people living in Florida have it, while 15 percent of people living in New England are afflicted. I have been reading your recent posts and was wondering if this applies to you, possibly, living way up north. It's worth investigating, as I have found work arounds such as using special "Daylight" lamps during the worst of the winter.
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:23 AM
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SwimKim, Inc and Dee are right. With your willingness and toolsbox, that AV is going down! I was caught up in the cycle that you find yourself in up until just 6 months ago. I knew I needed to quit, I knew I had a problem, but I didn't do anything about it because I was scared. Do it not because you are fearless, but do it in spite of the fear, and trust me, you will come out unscathed. I have an analogy for you: Imagine yourself on the shore heading out into the water...you can wimper, and slowly get yourself wet, inch by inch, you go deeper into the cold water. It's so cold! Now, your up to your knees, your feet are used to water, but your thighs are feeling the cold, your fingers are numb because your splashing yourself hoping to get just a little wet. You are inching your way to the final result, where you know you will be swimming freely, not even noticing the cold. Why torture yourself and prolong the inevitable, just take the plunge!
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by stargazer016 View Post
Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is depression brought on by the ever shortening days and lack of light as fall progresses into winter. It is far more prevalent in northern areas, as the lack of light is more pronounced. For example, I read that only 2 percent of people living in Florida have it, while 15 percent of people living in New England are afflicted. I have been reading your recent posts and was wondering if this applies to you, possibly, living way up north. It's worth investigating, as I have found work arounds such as using special "Daylight" lamps during the worst of the winter.
No kidding! It's been so gloomy this week, rain, fog, low clouds, and it surely doesn't help when it's pitch dark outside by 5pm. We need to see some sun soon! I'm just glad I don't live in the the arctic where they don't see the sun all winter. In the winter, when the sun is bright, it usually means a drastic drop in the tempurture to below -30c. Shiver me timbers, another Prairie winter is upon us.....
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Old 11-05-2015, 01:38 PM
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Hope you enjoyed the concert stargazer

D
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:34 PM
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Wonderful analogy, Cauliflower! It actually relaxed me just reading it. I agree, putting force behind my recovery and going after it with everything I've got is what I have to do. Inc, thank you for reminding me about the SR chat; I've never done it but I think it's a great idea. SG, I hope you enjoyed the concert!

Heard from the AV a few times today. Played the tape through. Because I did not drink I will wake up without a hangover tomorrow and ready to face the day.
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
Hope you enjoyed the concert stargazer

D
Thanks, Dee

Had a fantastic time. I was blown away by John Mayer. The band put on a high energy show!

Surrounded by tons of people drinking and felt no urges to partake. It seemed like a lot of parents brought their 21 yr old kids with them for a night out drinking. It's sad to see parents encouraging their kids to think that drinking is fun. It makes for a bad role model. Watching kids get drunk really upsets me now.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:25 AM
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Hi everyone,
Just a quick check in. Running around today.

Have a good one everyone. None for me

Cheers
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:23 PM
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Sounding good swim!
Do you already log when AV is attacking? You may not always be able to, but if you can try to figure out why (depression, boredom, etc), that would be a very powerful log as well. I used the note app on my phone and created one note per trigger. In it, I would add alternatives to address those moments. The list was ever growing. Some things worked, some didn't. But just the exercise of looking at or updating that list as need was very helpful. I trained my mind to immediately think of alternatives on its own after a while. They shut my AV up pretty quick. MY voice was louder and more confident.


Well, was planning on seeing my youngest son today, but he's sick. Gotta wait a week. So..more time for job hunting. See if I can upgrade from my current offer.

SG..sounds awesome. And yeah...I could see how the parents drinking with kids is a problem. I couldn't wait until I was old enough to drink with my Dad. Oddly enough, we never drank together. No idea why. Probably too busy getting stoned.

My moms side is a big family. She's the oldest on 10. I have uncles younger than me. They would party big time and gave a grand ol time. That really set the stage for me. I wanted to have fun like that too.

Out of the bunch, I know of only two you had drug problems. One uncle was a proud pot head. He eventually quit when all his money was going into weed. He later died from lung cancer. Another "uncle" who was my grandfathers brother was an absolute all day drinker. I remember hearing he would have a shot of whiskey first thing in the morning. I couldn't imagine doing that!! Managed to get there obviously.

My dad was also an alcoholic. I didn't know it until later. He moved from booze to pain pills. I didn't understand the addiction. He had a really bad back. He would FREAK OUT if he didn't have his pills on a trip. I thought he was afraid that the pain would get unbearable. Turns out he would go through opiate WD's...which I also ended up becoming familiar with.

Actually...when he died, my mom tossed me his bottle of pills. Really strange. They were divorced. Those pills represented everything my dad was. I think she did it to get them out of her face. Either way...a full bottle of oxy 30's. I chewed then later snorted all of them over 6weeks or so. What a mess that was.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:58 PM
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Good morning! None for me today as I head to work on my "Monday" morning.

Have a great day everyone!
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:20 AM
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Thanks for sharing Inc. Had a similar alcohol driven upbringing, together with heavy smoking. But I don't hold anything against my parents, that was their generation, everyone in our social demographic did it where we lived, even though it caused a lot of pain and anguish. Anyway, so glad everyone here finally escaped that, even if it did take us a bit of time and lots of pain etc.

Swim, sounds like you're figuring this out - awesome!

So I'm well on my way home for my weekend now. I will have been travelling for 14 hours and will get home just in time to take my kid to a game. Never, ever, could have done that in my previous life. I'll be tired but I love my kids too much to think about doing anything else. I'll be taking another child to something else later on. Wish I'd thought this way before but I guess we are where we are. One step in front of the other, in the right direction. That's all we can do.

Thank you all for being here.

Have a great weekend

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Old 11-07-2015, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by stargazer016 View Post
Good morning! None for me today as I head to work on my "Monday" morning.

Have a great day everyone!
Happy Monday SG!
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:45 AM
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Hi, All!

Inc, good questions. I do journal about the AV. There are a lot of situations that cause the AV to pipe up (unfortunately), but they tend to always be when I'm not happy. Back before I quit I used to hear the AV while I was working out (like riding my bike or swimming), and I used to hate that. It was like, just leave me alone, I'm having a good time without you! Luckily I don't get that anymore.

Inc & OMD, thanks for sharing a little about your upbringing and alcohol. I've mentioned before that my dad is an alcoholic, but he quit drinking when I was about 12. So I remember him with a glass of wine after work (which I remember my mom clarified for me when she had found out I had gotten drunk in high school: dad didn't just drink a glass of wine, he drank the whole bottle), or having gin and tonics with my mom (yes, I have loved tonic water and lime since I was a kid). What is unsettling for me is that I've seen him lately have a glass of wine during a special occasion. Yes, the dreaded moderation game that alcoholics are told never to play. It's usually when he's on vacation (he was in Germany and posted a picture of his dinner with a beer), but it doesn't make me comfortable. I suppose it's something I could mention to him at some point.

I know that I would never want just a glass of wine (even if it was a really good glass of wine), because that would make me upset and anxious and want more. I've had that reaction to just one drink since some of my first drinking experiences in high school, so there's no fun in moderation for me.

Well that was a rather long rant! OMD, I hope you aren't too tired from your travels, and enjoy spending time with your kids. SG, enjoy your Monday! And everyone else, enjoy your weekend
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Old 11-07-2015, 01:51 PM
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have a great sober weekend gang

D
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