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Thriving Sober

Old 11-25-2009, 10:30 AM
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Thriving Sober

I hope no one takes this the wrong way.. or like I'm tooting my own horn, but after reading the boards lately I thought maybe some of you with much longer sober living time than I could post about your successes. It seems there's a lot of time spent discussing the nuances of relapse, moderation attempts, etc.. and not much time talking about how much SUCCESS at sober living we also have on this board.

I think it is important, especially for newcomers to understand that this does happen. That people do quit, without 'relapse'. That people are successful in several variety of treatment methods/programs. That there's hope.

I'm just a baby here when it comes to sobriety, but my commitment to sobriety is anchored, and now I feel like instead of living abstinent from alcohol and drugs, I thrive in my sober life.. as short as it's been thus far (11ish months), and it's a fabulous way to live.. and hopefully a light to look towards for newcomers or struggling folks.

I have no crystal ball, I don't know where my life will be in a year, or 5, or 10.. but for right now I have hope. And for now I celebrate my life, my marriage, my job, my successes, and all of yours. There is incredible strength here, and especially this time of year I want to thank ALL of you for contributing to MY strength, motivation, and enlightenment along the way.

Last edited by Dee74; 11-25-2009 at 05:14 PM. Reason: See Dee
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:54 AM
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This is an awesome topic flutter, I wish I had more time to post but I will add my 2 cents worth in.

1,165 days ago I was getting drunk.... well trying to get drunk on the last beers I thought I had in my control alone in my garage, even though I knew I was going into a medical detox the next day, I still felt hopeless and scared.

Why was I going into medical detox? Because I had finally totally surrendered after 5 years of not drawing a single sober breath that MY way of stopping drinking was an absolute total miserable failure, I knew according to the doctor that it was going to take a medical detox simply for me to get sober and begin recovery.

I was granted the Gift Of Desperation, I was willing to do what ever it took to get and stay sober no matter what!

Doctor said detox, I went to detox.

In detox they told us "If you want a chance at long term sobriety when you leave here go to at least 90 AA meetings in 90 days and get a sponsor." Well I sure was not thrilled about that, but I did not want to be a DRUNK anymore so I did as they suggested.

In AA the old timers and my sponsor suggested that if I wanted a good chance at long term sobriety to take the steps with my sponsor. I did just that......... FREEDOM!!!!

Step 12 suggests that I apply all these principles to all areas of my life and to pass the message I had to other alcoholics.

What do I have now? My self worth and pride back, I am free from the bondage of my alcoholism as well as the bondage of self! I am a real part of society, I am no longer a taker, I am a giver.

Sobriety ROCKS!!!!!

May all of you have a great sober Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:13 AM
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This is a wonderful topic flutter! Can't wait for more responses. In the meantime, today is day 36 for me. And like tazman said, I was blessed with desperation. I am willing to go to any lengths to maintain my sobriety! I am doing step 7. I feel really wonderful about what I am doing and day after day my obsession to drink is lessening. I'm overcome with a willingness to be in touch with my higher power and give every part of me and my will over to my HP. Just for today
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:15 AM
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Good thread flutter.

Things are more real now. I don't exist in some kind of bubble where what I said and did, where I went, took place in some kind of alternate reality. Alternate realities are lonely. It's not lonely for me, here in the real world.

I found a kind of faith that I had not found before. It's not the kind I wear on my sleeve and has cute little smilies and sayings.... but a faith that says to me that there is meaning and purpose in my life and in the lives of those I love, and that whatever happens I will be OK as long as I keep that faith.

Not being the center of the universe is liberating. So liberating in fact, it was disconcerting at first, like whoa, this thing actually flies itself....

I can go curl up on a dark dreary November afternoon and take a short nap and when my daughter comes home, we can play some music together, or I can dust off my wrenches and help my son get a starter in the car I gave him when I was done with it....

I don't have to regret the lost time from last night when I went out flying solo and crash landed into my hangover first thing this morning.

Happy Thanksgiving

BTW... In regards to Friends and Family... We, here on SR and in AA and in other programs, are the ones trying to get recovered and set things right... Many of the spouses mentioned there, are not.

Those who post there are not alcoholics, they can never understand... and unless we had an active alcoholic in our lives... we can never understand, truly, what that must be like.... the betrayal... how awful, but they are searching for meaning and strength, God bless them.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by flutter View Post
I thought maybe some of you with much longer sober living time than I could post about your successes.
I'm still pretty much a baby in recovery too, but I haven't felt it necessary to take a drink since the day I walked into my first AA meeting.

My life lately has been blessed with more gifts than I ever dreamed of. I've heard it said in AA that if you tried to write down all the things you think might come to you as gifts of sobriety, you'd sell yourself short. I've already found that to be true in less than 5 years.

I'll share just a few things that've happened recently......

* I got remarried recently to a woman who's also in recovery. It was a divorce that brought me to AA in 2005, at that time I didn't think anyone would ever love me again, nor was I capable of caring about someone else.

* I've got a step-daughter, a step-granddaughter and another one on the way, and my two children and I have a relationship that's nothing short of amazing. I never dreamed of having so many friends and so much unconditional love in my life, it makes me feel rich beyond words.

* A month ago my son commented that going to church was a waste of his time and life. This past weekend he decided (on his own) to go Young Life winter camp. He sent me a text message on the way home to let me know that he was reading the New Testament on the bus, the trip was a life-changing event for him. That's not my work, that's God working in his life. Unbelievable. But it doesn't surprise me.

* Naturally this year has brought a lot of financial struggles my way, I know we can all relate. But all my needs are being met, and the wants have become much less important. My eyes are opened daily to the things that really matter in life.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, I hope we all have something to be grateful for.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:28 PM
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Thank you for the thread, Flutter. Been having a rough time of late and there is nothing like a dose of seeing sobriety working in other people's lives. I'm so grateful I went across town for a late evening meeting last night; the sobriety and stories in that room worked their magic on me. I love when we get what we need, right when we needed it. Full of hope today.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:57 PM
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I have removed several posts.

If this thread cannot focus on our hope strength and success, I see no reason for it to remain open.

D
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:06 PM
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Hi flutter, there are many posts and a few threads updated daily around the Newcomers area that talk abou the joys of recovery and how it is to live clean and sober.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:38 PM
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thanks for the wonderful topic.

today is day 79. the changes are very dramatic. waking up and feeling good. it sounds so small but it is not with me.

i really feel like my brain is mending itself. i'm becoming aware of things from the past and i'm like 'wtf'.....was i thinking. 'i' wasn't....my alcohol addled person was.

looking forward to spending a thanksgiving straight tomorrow.

so...the body is better, the brain is better....relations with my immediate family are better.....it's all good. not a negative in quitting. not a single one.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:25 PM
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Um, overall I feel happier. Happy as in content, not devoid of pain or anguish, or the regular ups and downs that life brings. Sh!t still happens, but I can deal with it.

I'm learning how to ask for and accept help.

My creativity is returning, my anxiety has decreased, I'm fitter, a better employee, my self-esteem has improved, I feel more peaceful, patient and philosophical. I'm finally beginning to face and process stuff that has affected me negatively for many years.

Sometimes I feel like a child again, full of wonder at the world.

As to the Friends and Family of Alcoholics/Addicts boards: like here, it's a place for people to find support, there's a strong emphasis on boundary setting, people need to vent and deserve the space to do so. There's no need to internalise any of it, and if you do, maybe it might help to think about why?
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:39 PM
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I feel like I did before I started drinking - but with added maturity, greater problem solving skills, greater tolerance, maybe even a little wisdom.

I guess recovery afforded me the opportunity to finally grow up.

I'm not perfect but I'm finally comfortable with who I am.
These really are the golden years for me - I spent 15 years of my life a slave to addictions, and 5 years of my life doing very little but drinking all day.

It's possible to break the cycle

D
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:44 PM
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Life still has loads of difficulty, but I'm able to weather storms much more easily now. In fact, everything's easier sober.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:03 PM
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Sometimes I wonder if I am riding the world's biggest pink cloud haha. Sometimes, when I go to this one certain meeting and its filled with long time sober people who are truly happy, I think "I have what they've got"

Im not even a year sober, but this last year has brought about such tremendous change for me, I am on an ever climbing natural high.

Some things still suck. Yesterday I fell and got lots of owies!! But like Mark I am also relieved today, I am relieved to find that I am NOT the one keeping the earth spinning. Whew!
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:11 PM
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I dont have any clean time. Many failed attempts. But I am still trying. And learning new ways to make it happen. Biggest thing for me is to get out of the way and listen to those who have recovery. Whether it be one day or many years. Everyone has some insight on how to get and saty clean. Even if we dont always follow our own advice..
I get alot of my strength here at SR and from my family. I have been told to get some f2f with other addicts. And I have resisted until now.
I am excited to finally give up doing it my way and try what has worked for so many others. Whether it be 12 step or not. There are so many ways to get and keep recovery.
I am so inspired by eveyone here. With long clean time or short. From the ones still struggling to the ones trying their best.
Congrats to everyone for your time and your support.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:35 PM
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Good thread, Flutter....I've been thinking about this....

After 30 years of daily drinking myself stupid, I've been sober for 15 months. 15 months! It's amazing to me to think of my life then, and my life now. It's truly like I"m dealing with 2 different people!

And....not to toot my own horn, but I've found so many things. I'm confident. Panic attacks are gone. I'm grateful....I finally get it that the world doesn't revolve around me....thank goodness! I've finally found peace. I actually think of other people...and put their feelings before my own.

Oddly enough...I don't want to forget those drinking days. They keep me sober. I never, ever want to go back. Ever.

SR is huge in my life. When I'm travelling, I'll think of the forum, and what some of the 'old timers' write of. I find solace in knowing I'm truly not alone.
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:29 AM
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flutter
not much time talking about how much SUCCESS at sober living we also have on this board.
coming up on seven years, for me, i dont believe it realy has to be talked about,

it shows in the actions, being positive!

how we cope with lifes ups and downs, deaths, struggles, the shirt fairy landing!

its shows in the encouragement, the strength, the hope, and the daily discipline to the commitment to this recovery board...

and of course, good ol'e Rule 62


Happy day of Thanks flutter and all the SR Family!


(_rz_)
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Old 11-27-2009, 04:19 AM
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and of course, good ol'e Rule 62
Are you SERIOUS!!!!! LOL
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:03 AM
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I went in to recovery wanting to stop drinking...

But, what I found was a design for living that brings with it--

GRATITUDE;

Grateful for what? Everything the God of my understanding has giving me, good and bad. After all, didn’t I ask him/her to take all of me, good and bad in the 7th step prayer. So it only stands to reason that I would be willing to do the same for him/her… Whose to say what’s good and bad anyway, for what seems to be good or bad at the time many times turn out to be the opposite as time goes by…

I found out that spirituality has nothing to do with religion, but instead is a big word that realy means: learning to love myself, my higher power and my fellow humans, unconditionally.

I went from having NO respect for myself or others to having self respect and respecting others. Not just to be right, but to also be wrong.

I went from having no dignity, to having dignity.

HOW- by getting a sponsor, working 12 little steps in a suggested program of recovery.

NOW, I don't have to write gratitude lists everyday, I am gratitude in motion..

My life is better, and it just keeps getting better...

P.S. I just recieved my 2 year coin 11/22/09.
ODAT 734 day at a times..
Love and hope,

Hope3 :day6


So yes I was powerless over alcohol
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:36 AM
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Alot of people with continous soberiety are doing the footwork. If you watch what they do and mimick their actions, its inevitable to get their results.

Its what works for me.
Gifts of soberiety for me today? I lived to see grandkids; I have a husband; a job; other material things; I am blessed to work with abused angry dogs; I have many many fellowship friends whom are closer to me than my biological family; someone else drives my day...what a relief I don't have to figure it all out by myself. I came from living in an old beater that was wrecked by me many many times to owning businesses. I was a juvenile in lock down to working in the legal profession. Some of us don't speak up alot. We stay local and go to meetings and I am grateful you asked today. Hugs to you. All we have is the here and now.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:28 AM
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look behind you.

what are the ripple effects of you being sober .....to others.

well my mum thought her son would die before her........she sleeps soundly at night......and these days looks younger than me.

ive become something my daughter always wanted me to be.....predictable.
dads coool.......shes beautiful.
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