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One Year and Under Club Part 50

Old 12-17-2015, 05:32 AM
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Key, that's great!

KIR, several things I did (and am prepared to do again if needed):

1. If I have an urge, I "think it through to the end". This means that I think something like the following - I really want a drink. If I have a drink, I'll get back into my old cycle. What happens then? I'll feel badly about myself, my health will be seriously affected, my finances will be impacted, my world will shrink ....... Etc etc. By the time I get to the end of that thought train, the urge has passed :-)

2. For the first months I avoided any activities that I associated with drinking. That especially included going out to dinner with friends who drink.

3. For the first months I committed myself to accomplish one thing and one thing only - staying sober.

4. I went to AA meetings and had phone numbers of several AA members in my contact list. I initially did call some of them - not in an urgent situation but to practice calling so I'd feel more comfortable if I got into a bad spot.

I did whatever it took. Going back to drinking was such a bad option that I simply couldn't stay on that road.

It really does get easier but I definitely do recall how bad those early cravings could be. If you feel you are at risk of drinking, best thing I learned in IOP and AA was to get in touch with someone you trust and talk about it.
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:45 AM
  # 162 (permalink)  
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Good morning. I feel good now and I'm sure this is the time I'm going to succeed in staying sober. Thanks again to everyone who has given me support and advice when I needed it.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:29 AM
  # 163 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by amp123 View Post

On reflection, however, I have come to the conclusion that having a good time without alcohol is slowly become easier. Someone said to me that the 6-12 month period is when "new normal" just becomes normal...

... It doesn't mean I always feel great about not being able to drink but that "not being able" is very slowly becoming "not wanting to". It's going to take time but a world of opportunity is opening up...
Beautifully said, as usual, Amp!
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:39 AM
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WWS, Amp and Stargazer, great that you are reaching that tipping point where the idea of drinking may still be there yet you feel solid enough that you don't want to. To me that's a huge milestone!

From what I've observed and experienced, the early days can be so discouraging at times.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:41 AM
  # 165 (permalink)  
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Dee,

This will be the first sober Christmas holiday for most of us here. There was a great article on the SR homepage today about "Holiday Foods You Might Not Know Contain Alcohol."

I was wondering if you could repost your chart showing how much residual alcohol remains in food after the cooking process. It was an eye opener for me and helped me to make better food choices over the past holidays.

Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:42 AM
  # 166 (permalink)  
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Thank you all so much. Way, Glee, Amp, Saskia ,Dee, et al...
The links and ideas are so helpful. I'm just going to keep WOmP (working on my plan) and believe things will get easier! I'm thinking I may even try meditating, (which for me is like a fly doing yoga) but I really would like to find a way to just relax and not be so trigger happy with my responses...especially with my little guy!
I got a nice bottle of Chardonnay (DOC) yesterday at our Christmas lunch. I put it in the wine rack with the Reds, which don't tempt me, but I'm thinking I'll give it to my GF today and get it out of the house! I really don't need to prove to myself I'm strong, right?
Have a wonderful Friday everybody!
Hugs from CA,
KIR
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:34 AM
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Absolutely KIR, none of us needs to prove we are strong. We are strong when we stay sober.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:24 PM
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Popping in to say have a nice sober weekend everyone x
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:18 PM
  # 169 (permalink)  
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Saskia - You sound positively serene.

BoozeFree - I completely relate in feeling too exhausted to go anywhere. My sponsor, bless her heart for dealing with me, suggested that being around people can be a way of reenergizing after a long day. I thought she was insane and didn't understand that (1) I work all day in a customer service role, (2) cart my kids to sports where I have to hang out with more people, (3) have a busy schedule, (4) have this autoimmune condition that leaves me fatigued.

She agreed my schedule is busy, and understood where I was coming from, but encouraged me to *try* a meeting anyway on the nights I was available, or get together with friends, even when I felt tired. In the spirit of proving her wrong I went to a meeting after a particularly exhausting week. I felt energized but figured it was an anomaly. So I did it again another day. Felt energized. This got me thinking, maybe she DID know more about this than me (Lol). I can only speak for myself, but for me, not going to meetings or ducking out of get togethers is a form of isolation. For me it's the most insidious kind, because it's self made.

KIR - I think Dee's point about familiar situations triggering cravings is so spot on. So much of the first year sober for me was about breaking those associations, while building meaningful, enjoyable sober ones. And please do dispose of the bottle! Cravings ebb and flow and there is no need to have your DOC at the ready.

Amp - It's really nice to see your "can't" drink turning into your "willingness to be" sober. I think an office Christmas party is a perfect example. I had overbeveraged at so many office parties, even going down in infamy at my husband's former firm. It was all in good fun, but those nights were insane. Last year, my first Xmas sober, it was unthinkable for me to enjoy one of those events sober, but I enjoyed the appetizers and conversation at my office party, then went home. It was all very enjoyable and appropriate and I remember it a year later.

Key - Glad you're figuring out how to live in the moment from time to time. Please share your tips & how your process those situations that used to lead to anxiety or depression!

WWS - Did I read into your message correctly, that for a moment it was not but then you reigned it back in?? I hope I didn't miss anything - I use the mobile app to access the site and I'm not sure if I missed a post?? I'm glad all is well.

Stargazer - Amp does have a way with words! Hope you're well!

Well, Undies, I skipped on the Friday night meeting because I'm a little under the weather. Nothing serious just a virus. Glad I could read the discussion here and reaffirm my willingness to be sober today.

A friend at work (who doesn't know I'm an alcoholic) shared that his mom was hospitalized earlier this week for liver failure. She's an alcoholic, and she's unsuccessfully tried to quit before, but she's never been sick or hospitalized. On top of being sick, she's detoxing, and she's not doing well at all. Prayers please for another struggling alcoholic like us and her family.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:25 PM
  # 170 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by stargazer016 View Post
Dee,

This will be the first sober Christmas holiday for most of us here. There was a great article on the SR homepage today about "Holiday Foods You Might Not Know Contain Alcohol."

I was wondering if you could repost your chart showing how much residual alcohol remains in food after the cooking process. It was an eye opener for me and helped me to make better food choices over the past holidays.

Thanks!
sure thing - thanks for the heads up on the article too



D
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:31 PM
  # 171 (permalink)  
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Hope you feel better soon Glee - prayers for your friend and her mom

D
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:56 PM
  # 172 (permalink)  
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((Everyone))
Glee, I am learning to just "be" that helps me live in the moment. Apparently I have been a major codependent person and scared to death of abandonment. I was left a lot by both my natural parents when I was young and apparently I'm still carrying that around. I have to block out negative talk that happens in my head. Tell it to play nice. Do affirmations to myself. I have to tell myself that just because my husband has plans to do something without me that doesn't mean anything bad. I tell myself everything's okay, it's not the end of the world. I still try to go there, to the black hole. I am not allowing it anymore. I tell myself I'm okay...I don't care...everything's fine...nobody's leaving...everyone loves you... Things like this. I'm detaching with love. I love to be around him all the time but I used to be okay when he wasn't and I for some reason fall apart now. Like I'm trying to use him in place of the alcohol. It's not right. I'm getting better at it. It's one more thing I have to re-learn. Not easy but will be worth it. Do I sound like a crazy person?
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:42 PM
  # 173 (permalink)  
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far from it Key - learning to be me, independent of anyone else, was a really important skill

D
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:59 PM
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Glee- I don't think you missed anything. I just feel good like now I am really kicking this thing.

In my last recovery effort I was about at this time I'm at now (almost 100 days) I was still having strong cravings that were diminishing but one did me in where I went back to my old habits almost immediately.

Now, and I can't explain why, I am not having any cravings or desires for alcohol. It just feels good but believe me I'm not letting my guard down just yet. Most importantly, thanks for your concern and for everything you have shared here. I hope for the best for your friends mom.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:20 PM
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WWS, you explained just how I feel extremely well.

Glee, mostly I do feel serene :-)

Key, you sound like you are very aware of what your issues are. I had a similar experience and at times it felt like a curse to be so aware but in the longer run it has been a huge help. I've never felt as much at peace as I do now.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:21 PM
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Glee, sending prayers for your friend and his mom.
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:25 AM
  # 177 (permalink)  
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Key, I feel that in fact you used alcohol to cope with your feelings of abandonment when you husband did things without you, rather than the other way around,and only now are you realising that the issues are as invasive in your life as they are. I had similar issues and my husband actually used to play on them as a power thing, having that hold over me. It was learning that I had the strength of character to cope with truly being on my own if I was to be left, that gave me the strength to ignore the power play.
In much the same way as I urge surf to an obvious conclusion, I would consider what would happen if hubby left me or died and I was alone. I realised that not only would I be alone, because I have a job, friends, family etc, but that I am a survivor. Sure it might not be fun to be me for a while, but I would be OK. Knowing that gives strength.

BeFree you sound strong.

Amp, WWS, I felt the turning int for me was in making the mental change from 'oh I have to give up.... to I am choosing to live this way... made a huge difference to my psyche. Instead of feeling deprived, I felt empowered.
When people who know I no longer drink ask me if it bothers me that 'I can't drink' I always answer; 'I can drink. I could drink today, right now if I wanted to. I chose not to drink because I don't like the way my life was then.

When I drank I didn't deal with what was wrong in my life, I hid from it. Sober, my life isn't perfect, but at least I am in the driving seat rather than whatever convenient bottle picked me up from the roadside.


Christmas is a vulnerable time of year for recovering alcoholics, however many years we have under our belts. It's the time of year even Normies break out the sherry before the sun is over the yardarm. Adverts tell you that you will achieve maximum sophistication with this liqueur/spirit/port. It doesn't tell you that you will in actuality fight with the family, slump in front of the TV, wake up in your own vomit, end up in ER etc etc etc. People give the gift of a bottle of whatever your favourite tipple was.

So folks, make your plans now for what you are going to do or say to not drink this year. Lie if it helps, use medication, diet, health, designated driver.
Remember, your recovery is your gift to yourself. You deserve it. You have worked for it. Don't give AV headroom, it is the anti-Santa it want you to drink of the gift that keeps on taking. Don't listen. Come here, go to AA. call a stranger in the phone book ( maybe not that one, but you get the picture!) write your feelings down. This may well be the first adult Christmas some of you remember, so enjoy your children's faces, enjoy cooking/ eating. If family stress you, take the dog for a walk. Or the neighbours dog, or the cat, ( again, maybe not that one!) take time out. Give yourself room to breath and remember it's just a few days, your sobriety is a way of life. And one heck of a better way of life than you lived before.

Endure what you have to endure this holiday, and enjoy what you will undoubtedly enjoy.

I am making my plans already. I know I am vulnerable, but I also know I Do Not Drink.

Be Safe, Be Strong, Be Sober.
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Old 12-19-2015, 03:34 AM
  # 178 (permalink)  
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I am feeling strong in my recovery this holiday season.

Consequently I'm not drinking today.

Any other takers out there?

Carlos

PS - I love this thread...good stuff...

PPS - Hey sober bestie, Glee...feel better soon.

PPPS - Have a fantastic day, ALL!
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:26 AM
  # 179 (permalink)  
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Happy sober weekend everyone
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Old 12-19-2015, 05:11 AM
  # 180 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the reminder about Christmas the whole holiday season Toots.

Interesting that getting sober was my resolution this January. Then the afternoon of New Years Day I went to the store and got a bottle of wine and it was another day as usual.

It wasn't until the last part of January that I really got into gear and needed a plan to stop drinking. Shortly after I found Sober Recovery and all of you have been my bedrock of support.

It is good you feel the same way Saskia!
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