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Old 12-11-2009, 11:51 AM
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The good news is that my brother returned from Afghanistan this week, healthy, happy and in one piece. The bad news is that weíre drinking buddies. I wonít see him for another eight days, but we spoke yesterday and heís already planning an escapade to our favorite watering holes when he visits over the holidays.
I have been sober for seven months today and eight of the past nine months. The one-month lapse earlier this year occurred when I visited him before he went overseas. ďWhatíd-ya mean youíre not drinking?!Ē he said. I know itís my fault that I slipped then, but I got it together a few weeks later and havenít drank since May 11.
I will tell him face to face that Iím not drinking anymore, period, because I am an alcoholic. Havenít said that to anyone in person before. I fully believe we can go out with a couple of other guys, Iíll be the designated driver, and have a good time. Nonetheless, this has been the situation Iíve dreaded the most since getting sober.
We really donít have much more than drinking in common, so I worry that weíll be drifting apart even more as a result of my sobriety. Thatís life, I guess.
On a broader topic, Iím realizing that the holidays can really suck for folks trying to remain sober. Such a dark, cold time of year where I live. Iíve been sober over the holidays before, but never in my mind, for good. There will be constant temptation in the next month. But Iíll be OK. May be spending extra time around here on SR, or perhaps Iíll attend my first AA meeting. That scared me a lot seven months ago, but not so much anymore.
Iíve found that a helpful personal reminder is, ďIf you drink, you will die.Ē Seems to get my attention when my mind wandersÖ.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:12 PM
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I understand your fear. You have a huge decision to make. You can drink with them and bring back all the hell that goes with it or you can stay sober and remain on the road to recovery. Do you really think you can play the designatied driver role and not drink in this situation? That doesn't sound like a wise move to me. I'm thinking you need to stand firm, tell your brother whats going on with you and how important it is for you to stay sober and stay away from people, including your brother, when they are getting drunk. Also, it may be time for you to get involved with AA. I wish you all the best.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:39 PM
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I think you'll be fine. You are planning ahead, which means you are going prepared. You've got 7 month under your belt, that's fantastic. Also please remember your brother will have changed. Nobody will know how, but his tour will have changed him. Go with the flow. I think you both will be just happy that he is safe, well and homeand while you drive him home, please say thanks from me.
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:53 PM
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Hey man. Good on you for staying sober. Speaking as a soldier myself and from having many drunk nights after guys have come back from Afghanistan...please stay strong and don't drink with him. He's probably seen stuff and done things that are going to be overwhelming to him as he's drinking....he's probably going to get very emotional..but theres not much you can do or say to make anything better.
Stay stong....screw drinking, and you'll do just fine. It would probably help if there are other buddies around to drink with him to keep him occupied.
Cheers
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:57 PM
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The honest talk with him, is of course the best thing you can do. Let him see how serious you are about your sobriety.

These things that test us in sobriety, also make us stronger. My very best wishes to you.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:13 PM
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I'm so glad he's back safely ...
Well done on your sober progress.

I do think an honest talk is the way to go.
Blessings to both of you
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:16 AM
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7 Months is fantastic!!

Remember the one day at a time philosophy and don't be ashamed to tell him that you are an alcoholic and thus must not drink or else you will die.

I can only speak for myself personally but I am loving AA at the moment. I am going to as many meetings as I can and I share at every meeting I attend. The program of AA is really starting to reap rewards for me Oneday at a time as I am feeling a lot more peacefull and tranquil in my mind much of the time and of course not thinking too much about drinking either. It truly is a great program with some great recovering alcoholics/addicts in it and I am learning more and more about myself and my alcoholism at each meeting I attend and everytime I read the big-book.

It really isn't worth drinking over somebody and just remember that you are an alcoholic and that he isn't. Never forget that.

peace and Love Friend xxx
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:45 AM
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Freeport congrats on the 7 months sober.

Sounds like you have a good plan, if I may suggest one thing.... instead of waiting until he is there face to face to tell him you are serious about not drinking, perhaps it would be a good idea to tell him before he gets there, it will give him some time to digest it.

I have a feeling that there is more then just drinking that ties the 2 of you together, he is your brother after all which means there is blood and history that link the 2 of you together.

My son did both Iran & Afganistan, it messed with his head a bit, but he is getting help for that and has also quit drinking which has helped him deal with things instead of escaping things.
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:14 AM
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Thanks everyone for all the replies. Great to hear from some great folks who have helped me reach this seven-month mark. I will tell him face to face, but several days before he was planning to hit the town. I like the idea of letting him absorb my life decision a bit. Also, some great reminders and levity here: This isn't all about me. It's about my bro, too, who saw some terrible things in Afghanistan. (He was imbedded with British troops in a tough area.) He needs my help and if it feels right, I may remind him that alcoholism has been a problem in our family. He needs to be careful, too. Hope everyone is having great holiday season.
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