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Old 12-27-2009, 03:52 AM
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20/12/09
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Thought Floodgate

Hey everyone

I am not here to have any response but to just get out these thoughts and reflect some..

I have not picked up a drink in 7 days, for me, pretty amazing. My mind has picked up quite a few or at least wanted to, badly. There have been some pretty challening times, but I am pretty stubborn so when I say all or nothing, thats how it is.

With this part of my life, I am not so sure thats going to be so easy. I have read many many posts and relate to many things here. Part of me thinks I have a bit of a drinking problem, part of me thinks I have addiction issues and part of me just doenst want to think at all.

Today, after 3 days of endless festivities and being around alcohol, I think I am capable to do anything and not drink - those thoughts scare me but also give me confidence. They scare me because from what I have seen, if I am a true addict then its my mind playing tricks on me and may end up at the "one wont hurt" place which is really not where I want to be. The confidence part is where I go, hey, you can go for 7 days and not do it, keep up the good work. I still, after 7 days feel confused - maybe its my lack of patience. I like things done quickly and if they arent get frustrated.

Another thing is that I am struggling with the label of being an alcoholic. I have also read alot of posts that say dont worry about the label part, but for me its not that simple. I am a gay woman, labels have surrounded my life for so long its not funny. Society LOVES to put them on my community, I dont really care for them. I am who I am. So, is it possible to go through all of this without meetings, without labels etc and be successful? Is the label thing, just denial? hmmm

Is it really ok to be so confused about this situation? I just want a clear answer in my head so that I can move forward. I like to know the deal and keep going, whatever direction it needs to be.

I had my mum down for a few days and she said, oh lets have a drink and so I said to her, I dont drink anymore so I wont be having one. She was fine with that and left it there. It came up later and I said to her that it was time for me to be healthy - she smiled at me, tears in her eyes and put her hands on my cheeks and said she was proud of me - a woman of actions without too many words is my mum and I think those gestures spoke a million words.

I just dont want to be confused but am scared of it all too. Sometimes I feel strong and ok to cope and deal with it all and other times I feel like I am a child again who needs a cuddle from mum. Sick and tired of fighting it and trying to work it out, I want a day off from it but it wont get out of my head. I am tired which doesnt help but what I really really want - is my head to just stop..just for a little while..

Thanks for listening/reading..

LH
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:08 AM
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Seven days is early days LH

It's perfectly ok to be confused and it's perfectly natural to have a torrent of thoughts feelings and emotions.

We're used to instant gratification - I want to feel this way - bang - open a bottle. Done.

It's not like that anymore - we have to deal with the gamut of emotions...and we have to learn sometimes to wait for answers....and trust the guys here that had done this before me when they said it would be ok.

Our bodies and minds do heal - but we can't rush the process. Clarity comes, but I believe it comes when we're ready to use it.

I dunno about you, but I needed to learn about patience. I might not have made it if I didn't learn to just chillaxe and let things happen sometimes.

One of the best things I ever learned about was to stay in the day. I still don't always make it LOL but I do appreciate now the wisdom of focusing just on the things I need to do and think about today.

Focus on what you can do today...keep occupied, and take care of yourself...and remember any thought that leads you to think that you need, or deserve, or can handle, a drink is always a lie.

D
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:30 AM
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LOL @ 7 days is early - today, it feels sooo much longer than it is!

Instant gratification - that spoke to me Dee - too true that is, too true.

I am not sure if I am patient or not - I am not sure if who I thought I was is really who I am lol - how confused is that..kinda makes me giggle! I would like to think I am patient but I just dont think I am - maybe I too need to learn that.

So Dee, if I stay in today, how can I get things done for next week? like I have an interview coming up I need to prepare for - do I just hope it goes well or is the think about today thing only related to the drinking part?

Stupid lies - I going to tell them to bugger off LOL

Thanks Dee - love ur posts!
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:46 AM
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What a beautiful moment to share with your mum. And I bet she is so proud of you.....keep it going, you are now giving me inspiration xx
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:53 AM
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LOL the stay in the day thing confused me for a long time too.

For me it's more than 'just related to the drinking part' although it helps me to stay sober to be realistic about my goals and not stress...

but I've always worried about 'stuff'...I've had to let a lot of things go and only focus on what I can do *today*...

I think preparing for an interview next week comes under that heading...but worrying about it, or obsessing over it doesn't LOL.

D
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:59 AM
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You dont have to call yourself an alcoholic....im pretty sure in Australia theres no such thing as "Alcoholism".....they like to call us alcohol dependent

Unfortunately, most people wont know what youre on about unless you label yourself an alcoholic. And even then, most cant comprehend why you cant have "just one or two"......say youre allergic and you get a raging temperature and all over itches. That'll shut em up

You dont have to go to meetings, but I reckon it'll do more good than harm. If youre worried about seeing someone you know, go to the other side of town and wear a wig! Trust me, I havent been to a meeting yet, and the longer you leave it the harder it gets!

Last edited by Ainslie; 12-27-2009 at 05:02 AM. Reason: added a paragraph
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:05 AM
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Hey LH,

You didn't ask for responses but then again, you didn't ask for no responses, so...

I realized I that I actually was an alcoholic two weeks into treatment when they passed out a handout with the Jellinek Curve on it. I had been sober for three weeks at that time, the longest I had been sober in over twenty years. I was definitely starting to have the thoughts like "see, I haven't had a drink in three weeks, I really can stop any time I want to." But as I sat there in the room full of people who I was sure were far worse than I was even though I had been drinking just about every morning for the past year because I was afraid to leave the house sober, the smallest moment of clarity happened and I followed the path down that chart all the way to the bottom of the curve, seeing that everything on it applied to me. Applied to me, not to some other person, not to some idea I had of what a real alcoholic was, but to me. I was an alcoholic.

It didn't take too long after for the denial machine in my head to start back up, but I was unable to forget that minute in time when I knew for sure I was an alcoholic. I think what really hit me after that was the old chestnut that alcoholism/addiction is a disease that tries to convince you that you don't have it. I began to see every thought I had about not being an alcoholic, about being able to have just one now and then, in that light. I realized that I was not going to be able to prove I wasn't an alcoholic by drinking.

Can you recover all by yourself without meetings and labels? I am pretty sure people do it everyday. But the thing is, it's not worth more if you do it all by yourself. I believe it might be harder to do it all by yourself but I didn't go that way, so I don't really know. I do know that people who recover all by themselves generally don't walk around with signs that say "I recovered from alcoholism all by myself, ask me how!" So, if you do it all by yourself, you really will be doing it all by yourself.

As far as labels go, I wear one that says "alcoholic" on it today. But I wore that label for years before I could see it and now that I can see it, it's not nearly so obvious to others. In fact, people who didn't know me seven years ago probably don't even know. Here's another label from the other end of the Jellinek curve, after it reaches the bottom and starts back up showing the stages of recovery:
"Enlightened and interesting way of life opens up with road ahead to higher levels than ever before."
That's another label I wear today
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:55 AM
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Sometimes labels keep us apart, sometimes they bring us together. Sometimes labels are traps, sometimes they are the key to freedom. They are changeable and removeable, though it can take a bit of elbow grease and solvent to get rid of those last bits of stubborn adhesive...

The point I am trying to make is this...for some of us, at some points in our life it was a relief and high point to be able to stick a label firmly on OURSELVES...not being labeled by someone on the outside, but recognizing my own place among a specific group. I've found the label "addict" freeing, it's been a key for me, at this point in my life, opening doors to groups, tools, and real people that are a lifeline for me.

I have other labels I've picked up and laid down over the decades, they served their purpose. Some I may choose to wear for the rest of my life, I don't know, my perspective changes daily. I've had many surprises, and many of them have to do with labels...since I picked up my "addict" label a strange thing has happened, about 6 or 7 others just fell off! I didn't know that I was covering up my addict label with a bunch of other compulsive identity issues...and when I recognized my self as an addict, all of a sudden I didn't need those other identities that I'd been putting so much time and energy into maintaining.

So for me, right now, labeling myself "addict" has actually been very freeing and a positive step. I wasn't ready, able or prepared to do that a year ago. But I am ready now, and it was the right thing to do...for me
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:32 AM
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Well, I agree with you about labels. But, your point is valid, that society wants to put labels on people, to pigeon-hole them. You, however, don't need to put labels on yourself. I am a woman, a mother, a wife, a friend, a volunteer, and among other things, I am an addict. But, I do not let it define me.

And, I was still in a bit of a fog on day 7, so I'm glad you're feeling so good. Being aware of the addict voice is a huge part of recovery. It is diabolical and it will try to trick you. The addict voice does not want to lose, and when it is in most danger of losing, it will speak most loudly to you. Be aware of it, dismiss it and focus on recovery.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:47 AM
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Hey- I guess I freeked at 7 days also (just this past week) I can't say ****. Other than I have been sober before and once you get past the the first week of change your life gets exponentially better in all ways. I am hanging in there, glad you are.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by findingout View Post
Hey LH,

You didn't ask for responses but then again, you didn't ask for no responses, so...

I realized I that I actually was an alcoholic two weeks into treatment when they passed out a handout with the Jellinek Curve on it. I had been sober for three weeks at that time, the longest I had been sober in over twenty years. I was definitely starting to have the thoughts like "see, I haven't had a drink in three weeks, I really can stop any time I want to." But as I sat there in the room full of people who I was sure were far worse than I was even though I had been drinking just about every morning for the past year because I was afraid to leave the house sober, the smallest moment of clarity happened and I followed the path down that chart all the way to the bottom of the curve, seeing that everything on it applied to me. Applied to me, not to some other person, not to some idea I had of what a real alcoholic was, but to me. I was an alcoholic.

It didn't take too long after for the denial machine in my head to start back up, but I was unable to forget that minute in time when I knew for sure I was an alcoholic. I think what really hit me after that was the old chestnut that alcoholism/addiction is a disease that tries to convince you that you don't have it. I began to see every thought I had about not being an alcoholic, about being able to have just one now and then, in that light. I realized that I was not going to be able to prove I wasn't an alcoholic by drinking.

Can you recover all by yourself without meetings and labels? I am pretty sure people do it everyday. But the thing is, it's not worth more if you do it all by yourself. I believe it might be harder to do it all by yourself but I didn't go that way, so I don't really know. I do know that people who recover all by themselves generally don't walk around with signs that say "I recovered from alcoholism all by myself, ask me how!" So, if you do it all by yourself, you really will be doing it all by yourself.

As far as labels go, I wear one that says "alcoholic" on it today. But I wore that label for years before I could see it and now that I can see it, it's not nearly so obvious to others. In fact, people who didn't know me seven years ago probably don't even know. Here's another label from the other end of the Jellinek curve, after it reaches the bottom and starts back up showing the stages of recovery:
"Enlightened and interesting way of life opens up with road ahead to higher levels than ever before."
That's another label I wear today
Thanks- well said.
Dub
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by lionheart View Post
So Dee, if I stay in today, how can I get things done for next week? like I have an interview coming up I need to prepare for - do I just hope it goes well or is the think about today thing only related to the drinking part?
Hi, lionheart. I'm not Dee (he's a one and only), but I'd like to add my two cents and answer your question -- at least in how I relate to it.

This morning, I've mapped out the next week -- two out-of-town trips for my husband, one for me, an adult child catching a flight home, a dinner reservation, not to mention the work I have to do to restructure a class I'm teaching starting January 6th. Lots of planning, so how do I stay in today?

When we talk about "one day at a time" or staying in the moment, it has more to do with our expectations attached to our plans -- expectations which bring with them all sorts of emotions. For example, if I start anticipating how I'm going to feel Wednesday when my oldest leaves, I'll miss another three full days of having him home. It's similar when dealing with past actions. Even though my head knows I can't change what's already happened, my heart will often try to convince me it's not true. Or I can romanticize a past time to the point that my heart wants to turn away from the reality of today -- and I miss what's in front of me.

I can plan, and I can remember, but I can only live right here, right now.

Does that make more sense?

Peace & Love,
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
I've found the label "addict" freeing, it's been a key for me, at this point in my life, opening doors to groups, tools, and real people that are a lifeline for me.
Hey Threshold

That was true for me when I came out too so def understand the freeing feeling about the label - thank you for all the words you wrote, they do ring home alot.
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:11 PM
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@ Dee & Sugah - Thanks for your view on staying in today - that was really confusing me but since I am at a point where most things confuse me its not hard haha but it helps to hear how others view things and I really do like to hear others points of view on how they see things and do things so thank you, it helps!


@ fingingout - thanks, some very useful words and thoughts put down there. I am going to look up the curve thing you mentioned. You make sense, sometimes I wish everyone didnt make sense on here, it would be easier lol

@ anna - thats exactly what i say, my sexuality does not define me, its apart of who i am but not all of who i am. thanks for reminding me of something i live by in another part of my life that can most def apply here.

@ ainslee - ive been to one meeting and back off to another tonight. It cant hurt - i guess i was just throwing thoughts out there - questioning everything that popped into my mind. and from what i am seeing, allowing Mrs Denial in...
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by sunshinebaby View Post
What a beautiful moment to share with your mum. And I bet she is so proud of you.....keep it going, you are now giving me inspiration xx
It was a great moment and it gives me just that extra push and comfort knowing I am supported - she is an amazing woman who stands at the top of hills shouting "this is my daughter and i am proud" no matter what - its hard to find such a woman like that. She is wonderful!

Glad in my post you could find something to inspire you by..take care
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:20 AM
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Hey Lion,

Have heard from you in a couple of days. Everything okay?
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:57 AM
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I like anna's the addict voice will try and trick you bit...for me coming into recovery i had lost all ability to distinguish between the addict voice and gut feeling, i simply could not trust my own head one bit (i was lucky to see this from the start, most still don't whatever their consequences). Only by taking a really good look inside could i begin to see patterns emerging and start to understand and distinguish between the two. The addict in us is extremely patient and very tricky, what may seem like an irrelevant small decision to do something today may lead on to another then another etc until one day you are sitting thinking how the **** did i use/drink yesterday?! This would always happen to me when i would stop drinking for a period, change nothing inside, sure go to the gym, get a new job etc but in hindsight it was only a matter of time, this is why i shared in Dub's thread better to fall off the wagon after a week than a year and learn from it. As my friend says be vigilant always and he is right!

The only way, IMO, to get sober is to have a dramatic personality change, for me i needed to find out how to do it and thats why i went to AA:-)
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:59 AM
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Thumbs up

..tell us more....i'm a Sydney boy..

..n yeah!..alcohol.iz big with me too..

..welcome...Oz..
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by lagirl310 View Post
Hey Lion,

Have heard from you in a couple of days. Everything okay?
Hey lagirl, sorry, got distracted a little and didnt come in here. Im good, things are going well.

Not sure if my PM is getting to you ok or not. Hope things are going well for you too!
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by yeahgr8 View Post
I like anna's the addict voice will try and trick you bit...for me coming into recovery i had lost all ability to distinguish between the addict voice and gut feeling, i simply could not trust my own head one bit (i was lucky to see this from the start, most still don't whatever their consequences). Only by taking a really good look inside could i begin to see patterns emerging and start to understand and distinguish between the two. The addict in us is extremely patient and very tricky, what may seem like an irrelevant small decision to do something today may lead on to another then another etc until one day you are sitting thinking how the **** did i use/drink yesterday?! This would always happen to me when i would stop drinking for a period, change nothing inside, sure go to the gym, get a new job etc but in hindsight it was only a matter of time, this is why i shared in Dub's thread better to fall off the wagon after a week than a year and learn from it. As my friend says be vigilant always and he is right!

The only way, IMO, to get sober is to have a dramatic personality change, for me i needed to find out how to do it and thats why i went to AA:-)
I have been to a few meetings and I am going to another 2 this week - the more I hear the similarities, the more I realise I know the answer - for me, now, its about accepting that, surrendering to it...its hard to let go of control - something I have struggled with for most of my life outside of all of this.

I got up today and did the lawns - I loath doing that, I really do but I am doing things that i dont normally to try and change things up, see them from a sober point of view - I still dont like doing it but I realised its not as bad as I thought it was. Now, I do realise how simple this is - but its about what you are saying - Ive gotta change what is inside - for me, its about changing the way I think.

I am starting to see things from a different perspective and while that addict voice is still hounding me, I can also see the changes and I like those changes so am doing what I can to try and make sure I have everthing I need to not pick up that drink!
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