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Old 10-08-2009, 04:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I am still sober, but it's starting to eat away at me. Last night I was thinking that I have to buy a lottery ticket and from out of nowhere I thought if I win my worries are over and I can have a drink. I mean I don't have to worry about losing my job then. How screwed up is that way of thinking? Obviously my ways of trying to stay sober aren't working, but I'm stuck of what to try. I don't even understand the difference between religious and spiritual, how can I even start to find a way that's right for me the 'don't want to/ do want to drink' alcoholic? One day I post I'm doing fine and messages supporting others and the very next I'm down and question sobriety. What's going on?
Thanks for listening.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Saphie,

Are you doing this on your own?
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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when i stopped drinking before i was exactly like that, the only difference this time is i go to AA and have made new sober friends and most important have worked the steps, and continue to, to be able to start with a clean sheet instead of carrying the burden of all the **** i did in the past:-)
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I suppose I am doing it on my own. I have tried meetings before, but for my own reasons they didn't work for me then. I don't have support anywhere else due to non-understanding of alcoholism. But I have found SR and without I probably wouldn't be on day 15 sober.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Saphie,

I had to find a spiritual connection before I could really begin to recover.

For me, it meant that I had to reconnect with my soul, with my true being. I believe that I am a spiritual being in a human body and I have a purpose in this life.

I believe that drinking is a symptom, so stopping drinking is the first step. Then, the work begins to recognize and deal with the underlying issues.

Congrats on your sobriety!
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I buy more lottery tickets than I used to. Heck yes, I fantasize that my worries will be over and then I can do whatever I want.... But lately, the idea that I would run out and start drinking, doesn't sound as good to me... in fact, it's not really part of the fantasy anymore...

As far as going back and forth about the drinking... What's going on I think is pretty darned normal... Just keep posting, offering others support when they need it, ask for support when you do... If you are on here long enough you will see that nearly everyone does that early on... back and forth....

Religion is not spirituality. I see religion as the organized structure of belief systems to bring us to a spiritual experience. Religion is not God, but rather the finger that points us to God. There are many ways to experience God (or Higher Power....), Religion just offers us the road map, and there are many roads... If you get my drift...

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Old 10-08-2009, 05:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The foundation of my active addiction/alcoholism was the obsession & compulsion to drink & drug daily. That foundation made it possible for me to find the ways and means to get more no matter what and at whatever price. This led to the disease progressing to the point of total & unchallanged control of my spiritual, mental, emotional, & physical condition. i became extremely wrapped up in my self centerdness while trying to escape reality, responsibility, & myself. No matter what i tried, the disease always resurfaced and whatever fragile little world i had created for myself crumbled apart in pieces around me. Instead of looking outside of myself or my addiction/alcoholism, i went further into the problem to find the answears to what my life had become. The more i tried to find what was missing the more lost & confused i became.

The foundation of my active recovery are the spiritual principles of acceptance & surrender. This foundation makes it possible for me to be Honest, Open minded, and Willing to go to any lengths to stay clean & sober on a daily basis.
i stay within the solutions provided by the 12 Steps & 12 Traditions and make whatever progress i can, in humble cooperation with the God of my understanding. i go to meetings where someone can help me stay clean and where i can help them stay clean. i talk with my sponsor on a regular basis and follow the loving direction he provides. i talk frequently with other recovering addicts & alcoholics about the various situations & circumstances i encounter and listen to what worked for them. i remain teachable in learning how to live, without acting on the impulse to self will my life, and focus on what i can do to move forward.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think early recovery is sort of a 'bumpy' road, with a lot of ups and downs. It took our brains a while to become addicted and it will take a while before our brains are functioning normally again. I had/have a lot of anxiety and uncertainly in early sobriety but it does get better, it just takes some time.

Just stay sober one day at a time and remember, this too shall pass.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Saphie it is all normal, being where you are at now for me always seemed to get worse and worse when I was doing it alone, it took me to the brink of insnity and I would drink to feel normal again..... of course feeling normal then was NOT feeling!

Quote:
I don't even understand the difference between religious and spiritual
Hmmm well here is another way of seeing the difference.

Religion is a man made method of acknowledging and some times hoping to establish a connection with a Higher Power as a group.

Spirituality is developing a personal relationship with a Higher Power of our own personal understanding.

Saphie have you ever felt in your life time a connection with a Power greater then yourself?

Was this as a result of practicing a particular religion or was it just between you and that Higher Power?

In AA we say that people go to church in the hope of not going to hell, but people that have been to hell get spiritual to get out of hell and not go back!

Practicing a religion does not always mean one is spiritual.

Being spiritual does not mean one has to practice a religion.

I am very spiritual yet I go to no church and I practice no religion.

I found by searching deep inside of me there resides a spirit that I understand, a spirit that loves me and watches out for my best interest as long as I am in tune with that spirit and remain willing to listen to the guidance it gives me and accept its love, all that is asked of me in return is to do its will for me.

Pretty darn simple for me, I am never alone no matter where I go, that spirit resides in me and guides me and things just seem to go okay, they may not always turn out the way I expect them to or the way I would prefer them to go, but overall things go better for me.

That spirit I speak of knows that drinking is not a safe option for me, so as long as I stay in tune and listen, there is not even a thought of drinking that remains in my head for more then a fleeting moment and those fleeting moments get further and further apart as I continue to work on improving my relationship with my Higher Power.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I found by searching deep inside of me there resides a spirit that I understand
Wouldn't that be our soul and isn't our soul us and how can us be a higher power?
Or is it just intelligence being able to think further, analyze feelings, rather than act on instinct the way animals do?
Can you see how mixed up I am? I am a realist, I believe in evolution and in science. There are times I envy people who are able to find comfort in something other than facts and I do fully respect that. I do however have a hard time reaching my own comfort zone, I guess that is why I have always resorted to alcohol. Maybe my realism has made me the alcoholic and maybe me realising this is my first step to recovery. Oh gee I'm messed up. Thank you for the advise. I have a lot of thinking to do or should I make that soul searching?
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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How I see it...

God, whatever your mental construct of God is, is within us all. And God is everywhere. And that we are all connected in that Higher Power, or, God.

I like the Holy Trinity as a religious concept to help ME understand, the spiritual... Others use different religious understandings.

Saphie.... Seek, and ye shall find!!

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Old 10-08-2009, 06:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Saphie,

I am very much a realist, just like you. And am relatively new to this whole process, and just started going to AA meetings.

I'm wondering, do you believe in electricity? I'm guessing you do, since you're using a computer. Did you know our bodies run on electricity, too? Our brains wouldn't function without it. Neither would our hearts, our muscles, our digestive tract. What if spirituality is just that electrical force, that connects all of us with each other and with the world? What if being spiritual means finding some way to plug in to the rest of the world, rather than sitting alone, thinking we have all the answers?

This is how I've come to understand spirituality, and how I've come OK to go to AA meetings. I'm plugging in with other alcoholics, those who have much more experience and intelligence and can help me along the way. I am still struggling with the concept of "giving it up to God" or whatever, but I'm sure I'll come to some understanding. Standing up, holding hands at the end, saying a prayer ... I may not believe in a "Father" or big guy sitting on a fluffy cloud, but holding hands and saying the words with everyone else plugs me in. And it's like a salve on raw nerves.

I know, I'm probably sounding pretty wacky here, but this is how I'm starting to understand things. I don't need to know all the answers to go with the flow and ask for help ...

Best,
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It's kind of neat that if you look at mine and penny's post, we were obviously typing it at the same time... and the gist of our posts was.... connectedness. Cool.

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Old 10-08-2009, 07:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Hi Saphie I too am having the same problems as you (I even dreamed of winning the lottery so I can drink if I want lol)

Of course I realise that is demented I haven't choosen to stop drinking because of my job or money or even family, I want to do it for myself.

Don't talk to me about spirituality lol to me it means nothing, I don't believe in god or a higher power of any description (and thanks but I don't want a big discussion about what higher power means).

I wish I could tell you that doing this yourself is easy but it isn't, however I think it's possible.

And by doing it alone I don't mean without human resources I mean without an external supernatural power.

In the past I have had long (and sometimes easy) periods of sobriety using both 12 step and secular methods and even by just hanging on by by fingernails.

What is working for me at the moment is talking to other like minded addicts, not necessarily always on sr, and using some basic behavioural techniques.

What has changed since I got sober this time around is putting in the work wish I could say behaviour modificaction is easy but it is damned hard work.

I sometimes hate having to follow the rules I have set down for myself (after having taken advice from others who are succesfully staying sober with the tools I am using) but I do my best and so far it is working.

Soon I hope to be able to start working with a professional in the field of behavioural theory and that should help even more.

What I do know is that having completely given up on the spiritual solution I feel better and more positive than I have in years, I spent so long wondering why I just couldn't get it that I am now feeling more free, ok so I don't get it lets try something else and move on.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
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the most important thing is your health, I can imagine needing a new liver or kidney from drugs but having a zillion dollars wouldn't be all that great
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I am a realist, I believe in evolution and in science.
So do I. I do not like talking religion so let me just say this and drop it right there! I refuse to beleive that God was incapable of creating life that was capable of adapting to change or to change to fit a new niche in the world.

Quote:
Wouldn't that be our soul and isn't our soul us and how can us be a higher power
Saphie I try to not make things to complex, it leads me to confusion which leads to doubt. My soul is me, my soul is what has that connection with my HP. For way to many years I thought in my mind I had all power and where did I lead me? I lead me to 5 years of drinking alone in my garage still trying to run the show all by myself my way.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:48 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I do not like talking religion
Funny because nor do I. Two subjects I do not like to discuss: Religion and Politics.
They are personal beliefs and opinions. Just because I have one doesn't make it the right one. (There is another saying but I won't go there) The only reply I usually give is that my Religion is kindness and good & evil is what is inside each person and we just chose which one to follow. I have been given some very good pointers on here.
I do have the BB and I think its time to bring it back out. Thank you all and I'm sorry if I made my thinking too deep and complex. These first weeks of sobriety are difficult times
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm not keen on talking religion either, it doesn't help either of the people discussing it

I do have to say Taz that linking creation by god to evolution is talking religion
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:59 AM   #19 (permalink)
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and i thought i had it harder because i had to change my concept from a god that "stood over" me to a god that stood with me....
god was someone to be feared not someone to guide...if you get me.

choose your own concept....who knows what your perception will be over time.....in my experience it will change...deepen......and ultimately your dependance will grow.......

You mentioned meetings...for me and only me........nothing happened when i did aa meetings alone.
frustrating sometimes because it did "happen" for alot i saw......they seem to florish..
only when i began to believe that maybe the answer to my miserable sober life was in the book in the form of 12 steps...did that change

actually thats not totally true....i dived in blindly because i wanted what my sponsor had and a few id seen around....i wanted his contentment and peace without a drink.

i worked with him and the book......then slowly i began to believe there was an answer that would work for me...
im glad the step said "a power greater than me" because at the time that was the only concept i could manage.......god was still done with me as far as i was concerned at the time...

my perception of god was formed when i was a kid.....
once i unraveled that perception i was free to seek my own.

just me.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I use a secular personalized addiction treatment program and have a non-theist/deist understanding of a Higher Power. I take spiritual to mean having reverence for all things, especially my body and mind. One way of having a sound mind that is my friend rather than my bane is practicing SMART Recovery. Its a form of therapy that helps me challenge stinking thoughts. Life in recovery is a whole lot easier when I have developed the skills that keep my mind focused on recovery.

I've experienced that my addiction treatment is developing effective sober living skills. It takes time and practice but the results are enormously helpful. IMO this skill provides the deep psychic change required for continuous sobriety.

Keep working at it Saphie! You can recover.
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