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Old 09-24-2009, 10:57 PM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: West of the big smoke, Ontario
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utting rjmano back together again..

Hi all, I've been hanging around this site now for about 6 months. I'm 33 years old, male, and have been drinking continuously since I was 16ish. Played all sorts of sports when I was younger; hockey, golf, soccer, baseball, etc., generally excelled when I wanted to. In all, I had a happy childhood so nothing to complain about there.

Went to college, got good marks when I decided to try, and landed excellent jobs. Everything seemed to be going great until about 6 years ago until I went back to college for a second degree. Started drinking more and more and more. At first, 6-10 beers at night, 4-6 days a week. Some nights quite a bit more. I remember waking up some mornings and counting 18-20 beer cans - this scared me because I didn't realize that I could drink so much. Anyways, this continued for years. I knew I had a problem at that time but wasn't suffering major consequences. I became more withdrawn, lost interest in everthing, my dreams evaporated and my relationships began to crumble. Like I said, I knew alcohol was a problem, but I didn't see the connection to my personality/lifestlye changes and excessive drinking.

In the past 3 years, I took drinking up a notch. Blackouts became frequent. Lived in the big city, made lots of money. Ended up spending it all on booze and strippers (which I'm ashamed to admit - pathetic). Eventually quit my job and took a job in another city. Things started to catch up with me as I took drinking up another notch. Got a DUI (more shame, could have got one for each day of the week) and was thrown in prison for breach of probation a few days after pleading guilty to the DUI. Missed a bunch of meetings at work while I was in jail, people were wondering where I was, couldn't exactly call/email-in sick lol. Came clean with everyone and was fired a month later. I'm okay with this since I was finally honest with everyone about everything.

I'm now committed to a life of abstinence and sobriety. Attend AA meetings almost daily and generally enjoy the program. There are a lot of different meetings where I live so I like to switch things up. Been sober since early July except for a two-day relapse.

I'm also trying to pick up the pieces of my "life". I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to live sober. I'm no different than someone locked up for years for killing while drinking and driving. I was just lucky - thank god for that and for the safety and lives of the poor people who shared the road with me...

I'm also "feeling" things that I don't particularly like to feel and don't have much experience with - shame, guilt, fear, and generally low self-esteem/confidence. I've always felt okay about myself until the last couple of years so this is new to me. I know people make mistakes and I too am only human. However, I have moments where I feel like a massive failure. I just want to do the right things in life and discover the joy of living once more.

Rambling I know, but thanks for reading.


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Old 09-24-2009, 11:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
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Welcome to our recovery community....
Good to see a new member Rob
Each Day Sober Is A Victory!!
Joy In AA Recovery!

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Old 09-24-2009, 11:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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well thats fantastic that you have remained sober,, congratulations. And as i understand, all these feelings you feel are a normal part of recovery, and there are many more people on this site with so much more experience and advice to give so hang around and take it in......

good luck!!!
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Rob

Welcome back

it does take time to rebuild but I think we need that time...my life now is unrecognisable to me from the one I left and, having had time to grow along with it, I feel it fits me well.

I'm the sum of all my experiences - good and bad - I kinda think it's not what happens to us, or what we did that matters, it's what we do with it all now that counts.

You're definitely on the right track, Rob
thanks for sharing your story!

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Old 09-25-2009, 02:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR Rob, thanks for sharing dude
Standing in a church makes you no more of a Christian than standing in a garage makes you a car.

The past is a strange place. They do things differently there.
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Old 09-25-2009, 03:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Alright Rob

I'm in AA too, been working the steps with my sponsor...the feelings thing is weird isn't it?! There was a route to bar everytime i had a feeling before, now it is getting an understanding of why i am feeling like that and attributing it to something like learning how to live really.

Good money and strippers huh?! Mine was in london when i was about your age, wasn't even about the dances in the end...i rememeber asking a stripper for advice on the direction my life was heading a few times...some of them were nice actually but probably not who i should have been asking...VIP areas, casinos etc...yeah great times! Sometimes ended up in dingy brothels paying for the time to have another drink and not wanting to do anything...crazy!! Don't know whether you had someone to go with but i always ended up with this australian guy in awful places!

I'm 38 now, just got in a couple of months ago...finally got to the point where i was willing to do anything...working the steps has 'got rid' of a lot of the stuff i used to feel when i was trying to stop by myself like the massive failure bit, amazingly that has gone...i guess i am getting more of an understanding of how lucky i am to have this opportunity as i learn more about the real life effects of this disease. I call it a disease (call it mental illness whatever) because the things i did when drinking i simply would not do sober, and im not just referring to being drunk, i mean the days in between too...so it's pretty clear that it wasn't the real me who was doing all this stuff and living like that, making the decisions i made...i don't know about you but i doubt whether i'll be back at the strip clubs sipping a diet coke after an AA meeting...or jacking in good jobs and doing geographicals every friggin year?!

Keep working on it man, i'll do the same...

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Old 09-25-2009, 03:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR rjmano, congrats on the sober time.

Man do I remember when suddenly the feelings came roaring back, the guilt, shame, anger, resentments, & jealousy!!!! Talk about things I wanted to get rid of!!!! I had tried and drink all that stuff away and they were always right there waiting for me every time I came back from oblivion.

Good to see you are going to AA on a regular basis, a few questions if I may and then what I did to deal with those feelings:

1. Do you have a sponsor?

2. If you do have a sponsor are the 2 of you taking the steps?

I got a sponsor the day I got out of medical detox. Why? Well at the time I had no idea, what I knew was I was desperate to not be a drunk any more and in detox they had told us if we wanted a chance to get a sponsor.... they never said why.

Well I had a sponsor, good guy who gave me some great support and suggestions, he was available via his cell phone most of the time, but worked and traveled a lot.

Long story short, I had 2 months sober and came VERY close to a relapse, I was still going nuts for a drink when my emotions went overboard. I got a new sponsor and following the suggestion of the old timers I took the steps with him.

The steps were the key, they freed me of the bonds of my alcoholism, my guilt, shame, remorse, hate, anger, & jealousy. Taking the steps and then applying them daily to all areas of my life with the guidance of my HP of my choosing and understanding has made my life better then I ever thought possible, not materially, but spiritually and mentally.
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Sobriety date 18 Sept. 2006

Sober today thanks to AA
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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that is an awesome share rob. the guilt and shame and such are legitimate byproducts of our drinking. at the very least it says you have a good conscience. keep up the good work my brutha.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Keep coming back, you'll find a lot of support here.
Always remember that you are unique. Just like everybody else.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi, I'm an alcoholic, 5 days sober. I haven't got a thing to add to the wonderful replies here.

This is a wonderful place to recover. You can never change the past however bone crushingly you want to. It's what we do with what we have where we are that counts.
One foot in front of the other; one step at a time

"Anne stopped drinking and never looked back."
That's my story. I read it every morning, and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks 4 sharing, I just love honestly and becoming humble.
These feeling of shame, guilt, remorse will leave in time.
Keep doing the right thing, always the right, honest thing.
Doesn't it feel good 2 know, that U R doing the right thing. Sits well on my heart 2 to know this, when I close my eyes at night.
Stay strong.
I can't find the missing piece of the puzzle!
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm glad you found us.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

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Old 09-25-2009, 08:13 PM   #13 (permalink)

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Thank-you, thank-you thank-you from my heart to all who responded. Especially to a thread with such an inspiring title lol.

I do have a sponsor and have been lucky to develop a good network of friends/contacts in AA. I will begin a step-study this Sunday and will also be working through the steps with my sponsor on the side.

I am so grateful to be alive and to have another opportunity at life. Peace! and a happy 24 to everybody wherever you may be!

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Old 09-25-2009, 08:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Dear Rob,

Wow!!! Your doing great now...good for you! It was wonderful to meet you tonight and thank you for coming to our meeting on SR! Keep up the awesome job friend! (((((HUGS)))))

Love Pancake xo
Sober since January 1, 2009
NON-Smoker since September 16, 2009
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:24 PM   #15 (permalink)

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hey rob,

welcome fellow ontarian! loved reading your post. i'm only 17 days sober & going strong but wanted to pop into the forum to read others' posts. actually it was the 'p' that drew me in! ;-)

anyways, congrats on your new life and on your courage and bravery. and for the great post too.

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Old 09-25-2009, 11:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Great share Rob, thanks
"Today is the first day of the rest of your life"
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