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Old 01-24-2010, 09:07 AM
  # 301 (permalink)  
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Beginning week #6 dry. :-)

Most medical studies indicate that by the end of this week my liver is likely to look normal by ultrasound and/or biopsy.

But I guess that makes me no less an alcoholic. By brain still has a ways to go.

My question to the gang is, I understand why alcoholics slip in the first two weeks or so, but what causes them to fall off the wagon on day 40? 90? Two years? Only by knowing these answers can one glean how to prevent relapse in one self.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:26 AM
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In my experience, relapse has occured for a number of reasons at various times. I've relapsed after a year clean, after 4 months, and numerous times after putting together a few days or weeks.

Most commonly for me was allowing my mind to trick me into beleiving that i'm not really an addict, that one drink or drug would be ok. It never works out like that, as the first one reignites my addictive thinking, behavior, craving...

To battle this i must remind myself daily that i am indeed an addict and do things to support my recovery. For me that includes going to meetings, talking to my sponsor and recovering friends, working steps, meditation, prayer, chanting, exercise, good nutrition, and the big one; avoiding at almost all costs the people, places, and things that were associated with my using.

A good tool that i use daily is the H.A.L.T. method of self-analysis. It's common that when i get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired i can revert back to old behavior patterns and that can get your guard down and lead to relapse. the actions to combat these states of being are fairly obvious. If i'm hungry i eat something. If i'm angry i pause and take some deep breaths, maybe pray and/or chant for the person i'm angry at. If i'm lonely i call someone in recovery and/or go to a meeting. If i'm tired, i rest. It works!

I also mentioned a few pages back that i try to practice mindfulness throughout my day so that i'm aware of what's going on around and most importantly inside me. This keeps me in the present and on my toes with all the stuff that life throws at me. I facilitate this through daily meditation practice and the rest of the day i use a simple technique of pausing and taking three complete breaths before driving, getting on the computer or answering the phone at work, before interacting with customers or associates, etc... Whatever works for you...

Another simple technique i use when i find myself in daily life not being mindful is to say outloud to myself what it is i'm currently doing, rather than worrying, remembering, planning, fantasizing; all the behaviors that rob me of awareness of the present moment. For example, if i'm working on a job quote at work at find myself replaying a conflict with an employee earlier in the day over and over in my head, i will pause and say to myself "I AM working on a quote for _____." These I AM statements bring my attention back to the present moment and allow for mindfulness.

Good luck!

Everyone have a great day! It's day 28 for me!
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:44 AM
  # 303 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Stealthealer View Post

My question to the gang is, I understand why alcoholics slip in the first two weeks or so, but what causes them to fall off the wagon on day 40? 90? Two years? Only by knowing these answers can one glean how to prevent relapse in one self.
I would guess complacency, and getting far enough away from the pain of your bottom to forget how much it hurt.

I know that, when I quit smoking with the aid of a support group, the people who went back after having significant clean time were often the ones who had never changed their thinking and had spent years believing they were depriving themselves of something wonderful. I used to call them "white knuckle quitters" because their whole lives seemed to be one big act of resisting the desire to smoke.

For me, I had to learn an awareness of the kind of thinking that would get me in trouble and learn to confront those thoughts for what they were, but some people never made the effort.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:58 PM
  # 304 (permalink)  
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For me....i THINK i risk drinking again when seemingly unsurmountable problems surface in my life. eg broken relationships, death in family, health problem etc.
I seem to change mentally when this stuff happens...i slip into really self destructive thought patterns where i dont care my life is going down the drain.

I feel so positive now tho so i really dont want this to happen,
Im trying to give myself the tools to deal with this stuff as it arises. I think having someone you can call 24/7 is a great idea. and working the step work in AA seem pretty good.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:39 AM
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Still here. 31 days, 11 hours, 33 minutes. There's multiple times when I feel sad or bored and I think "This is where I used to go have a drink." On the plus side, the desire to drink has, for now, left me, other than the occasional crazy scheme that develops in my mind. My cravings used to be really bad, so things are much easier now.

Have had a few using dreams. I wake up and think, o crap, here we go again, but then I realize I'm exactly where I was when I went to bed, and that I didn't get up, get dressed, and go to whereever I was in my dream.

I have depressive episodes. They last about a half hour, and it is very hard to do anything, I want to just lay there and mope. I try to get up and call somebody, go to meeting, work out, eat. Something, anything, it hurts to just lay there.

Hopefully, my brain and endorphin pathways cooperate. Hurray 12/09 class.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:13 PM
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Back...

Um. Just took the last shot again... dunno why I did it at about 34 days sober, but it surely wasn't any fun.

Take care y'all
TB, with a headache
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:01 PM
  # 307 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by thirtybubba View Post
Back...

Um. Just took the last shot again... dunno why I did it at about 34 days sober, but it surely wasn't any fun.

Take care y'all
TB, with a headache
o
I hope you wake up ready to face the battle anew, TB. Some of us slip on a wet floor and bruise a knee, and feel better in two days....others fling themselves headlong down the castle stairs and require the trauma ICU and months of physical therapy....let's hope this is a case of the former....all the best 2 U.
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by thirtybubba View Post
Back...

Um. Just took the last shot again... dunno why I did it at about 34 days sober, but it surely wasn't any fun.

Take care y'all
TB, with a headache
sorry to hear you slipped TB :hugz: as with the previous post, i 100% encourage to pick up where you left off, i had a similar experience and got absolutely tanked at 2 weeks sober & it was just HORRID!
I just strengthened my recolve & went straight back on the wagon & it has been really good so far. fingers crossed
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:18 AM
  # 309 (permalink)  
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Best of luck, Unbroken.

I thank all y'all for y'alls support. I feel like an idiot.

To clarify, it wasn't quite one shot (that was what I had just drank down when I logged in) that took me down, but yeah, y'all, I'm back with this. Talked to my sponsor. Did a few stupid things this weekend that I remember--and most of it I don't.

Woke up today kinda early, standing outside looking at the fields in the morning realizing I haven't really been enjoying the best out of days. Even in a bad situation, there are good things too. Been a long time since I was up that early unless I had to be somewhere.

Anyways.

Take care y'all,
TB
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:41 AM
  # 310 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by unbrokenchain View Post
This is my last post on Dec 09. I joined with the desire to stop all drinking from December 31st, 2009. The way it all panned out I realized I've been doing a good job of gradually reducing my alcohol consumption for a long time. "Everything in moderation" has always been my motto. I thought that considering my life "ideals" and what not, even 2 drinks a nite was a defeat, but in retrospect, I am reducing year by year. Also I feel kind of out of place here since everyone is for total sobriety. Whenever I try to do something unnatural to my body I get a SHOOOOOOCK and go on revolt.

thirty bubba slipped recently, with "one shot", for me if it were only one shot I wouldn't give up. It would be no big deal. Numbers are just numbers. Dates are just dates.
calculations are excellent. But there is a time and season for everything under heaven and man doesn't control the ALL on her own volition.

The all or nothing thing doesn't appeal to me, unless one is like a binge drinker with seemingly no restraint (in this case I really have no advice or experience because there are too many obligations for me to become such, namely a job, people I love and care about etc) . So I'm taking the path of moderation and looking forward to the day when I develop sufficient number of positive escape mechanisms that don't include alcohol and feel no need to drink at all. Actually, I KNOW that day is close, but I know for me, my temperament anyways, setting logical rational expectations don't work
it's about intuitively figuring out the universe as an individual...all the plans designed to fit the masses just don't work. One has to come to terms with Life on their own.
Surely there are people in the same boat and talking about it, "I did this, I did that same as you" sure helps one feel they are not alone... in the end, it's an individual world exp.
one has to work out.

Lots of Love!
and peace out.
I am a binge drinker with no control, so I proscribe to the all or nothing method. I'm sure many people here are in the same boat. Most people I've met in recovery are raging alcoholics (or some other drug), so the whole moderation thing is impossible with them. Of course, this doesn't describe everyone with a drinking problem.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:25 PM
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After I read thirtybubba's post, I had a really hard time. A combination of work and some family stress had me thinking how I could slip out, pick up a bottle, and sneak it into my favorite hiding place. I told DW I needed a break, and instead put on my headset and jumped around in the basement to my favorite angst-laden music. That helped.

I think the fact that I took yesterday off from my run played into my weakness as well. I am addicted to the enorphins, a.k.a as the "runner's high."

Back on track today. The sober streak remains intact. (Day #38)
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:05 PM
  # 312 (permalink)  
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Technically I should be in this, I haven't drank since December 20something-th. YAY!
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:02 PM
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Welcome Fakey!

TB, sounds like you're doing the right things to get back on track. Good for you!

Very good discussion on relapse. Thanks, Stealthealer, for bringing up the question.

The first time I stopped drinking, I abstained for over a year. Then, while on vacation, sitting at a restaurant with people that I didn't know that well, I allowed myself 1/2 a beer. 2 years later I was back to drinking daily. It happened slowly so I was able to convince myself that I could control it. Last year, I tried to give it up at the beginning of each month but would start again after a week or so.

If I didn't experience this personally, I wouldn't have believed that a person could relapse after a year without some major trauma in their lives. I had developed patterns of thinking for how to abstain in specific environments like home, at friends' homes or local restaurants. When I was on vacation, I declared myself exempt. You know, that "just this one time and I'll jump right back on" thinking. After that, it was a constant struggle even in environments that I had conquered already.

This time around I'm becoming more aware how subtle the triggers can be. It's very hard to control your environment especially if you don't know how your subconscious has linked alcohol to the pleasure centers in your brain. It's much easier to just check into SR (or AA) at least once a day to wipe the slate clean or load up on ammunition, however you want to approach it. So far, it's working for me.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:23 PM
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for some reason i cant control my drinking...i tried for about 3 years & wrecked myself. failing health, almost died 3 times and destroyed all the meaningfullrelationships i had built over m,y life. i turned into a very unhappy soul, where the only pleasure i was getting out of life was getting drunk. i was pretty good at pretending i was ok & a 'normal' human being. i just wanted people to perseve me to be normal and got good at doing. except when i was rotton drunk.

Put simply. i was/am basically an addict who is unable to control alcohol.

I also have/had plenty of reasons why i should never binge drink. study, family, health, sanity etc. yet a few 'quiet' drinks would invariably end up with me drinking myself into oblivion. and of course my life slowly but surely fell to bits.

I have now accepted that i cannot drink ever again, well i could take a drink but the hell that would ensue is just not worth it.

I am learning to enjoy life without drugging my brain with ethynol...slowly. will be 2 months in a few days...lookin go forward to the rest of my life

go me


hope everyone else is ok and hanging in there.
for ya support it helps.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:30 PM
  # 315 (permalink)  
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Welcome Fakey.

Um, sorry, Stealth. I didn't mean to give you or anybody a hard time. Just being honest. Glad to see you're still holding at 38...


Triggers...

I've found, letting things overwhelm me, going on autopilot (ie, being preoccupied and just doing what seems natural), and--especially--the idea of a million days ahead of me sober (after getting used to sobriety), are the things that I've relapsed behind.

Too much stress, too little stress... those too.

I can say one good thing about keeping a journal of my 'triggers'--those that have actually set me to drinking, as well as those that have only produced physical-type craving, and also those that just cause the thoughts to come... being able to see it all wrote down does help.

In my defense, I don't believe I've messed up behind the same thing. Hope I ran out of things to slip me up, or at least that I've got a better grip on the things I can use to fight them...


A part of this time round had to do with feeling left out of things. I don't have a family, or work or anything else going on here... or a car and I live about 20 miles from everybody else, who mostly live near each other.

Relapsing has made the AA people talk to me after meetings and stuff again--although I hope I don't end up seeing it as a way to feel like I belong again. It's not really worth it, to say the least. Hope I remember that.

Just my little wrote-out thoughts on relapse and the thirtybubba... For me I suppose, as much as for anybody.

Take care y'all,
TB, with a slight headache but feeling better overall.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:49 PM
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37 days and counting...been somewhat absent from this site due to work and going to AA meetings and life in general. Tonight, its time out, time for me to sit still and relax...

Hang in there those who slipped, congrats to those still going and welcome to the newcomers...
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:18 AM
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sorry to see you go unbroken...but the door defintely swings both ways here...anytime

good to see you other folks here


D
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:23 AM
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Take care Unbroken. We'll leave the light on for ya.
Sorry to hear about your relapse TB. It's ok though. For many(myself included), relapse happens and can be the spark to really get you dedicated to your recovery.

Today is day 31 for me! w00t! Picked up my 30 day keytag at a meeting last night. I felt ambivilent about it at first, as i have a collection of white chipskeytags and 30 day ones too. But when the time came it felt good. It is an accomplishment for people like me. And i'm feeling great about things in my life. Don't ever want to get another one of those white ones.

Life is good today. Hope everyone has a great one.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:44 PM
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Well, today is day #39 for me, and in three hours, I can consider myself IN day 40.

I am trying not to be pragmatic about the drinking. I suspect that, alot like unbroken, I could have "averaged down" my weekly consumption, and as long as the trend line was downhill, I could consider it a victory. But for me I don't think that would work...undoubtedly I would find some excuse to bump up a notch here and there....leading me back to where I was.

However, I am not sure I'm a believer in all-or-none either. Never is too endless a word (as is always).

SO here I am thinking about all of you one-day-at-a-time-ers and how much sense that makes. Problem is, I know too much about physiology and my body- my liver is likely back to normal, my brain is functioning fine, and I have an otherwise healthy lifestyle. There is realtive order in my life. I could go on a 3 day bender now, then quit again for another 40 days, and I'd be back to baseline normalcy once again....

Am I fooling myself or just over-thinking, boiling things down to the most simple common denominator?
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:23 PM
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I'm still holding on. Have had a few 'bumps' in the road lately and have been tempted to drink it away. But I knew it was not an option and am glad I'm staying sober to deal with these rough spots.
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