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A world of new possibilities ... one year and counting

Old 01-12-2010, 05:32 PM
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The New Me starting 1/11/09
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A world of new possibilities ... one year and counting

Hi SR -

It was my 1 year birthday yesterday. I found the day quite normal - sort of anticlimactic. And, I am told, that this is how it is supposed to be in recovery.

As part of my gratitude to SR and all of you who have helped me so much over the last year, I thought I would write down the top 5 things I did to get to one year of sobriety and what I've learned. For the newcomers, it is possible to make it this far, and so I hope there is something here that interests you.

Top 5 Things I Did (or Didn't Do) to put 365 single days of sobriety together:

1. I listened to you say that alcohol was the solution to my problems. When I came in here, I thought I had a problem with alcohol, but you all quickly taught me that alcohol was my solution. I used this new wisdom to turn my attention to identifying and naming my problems -- so I could begin doing something about them. I focused on building the life-coping tools to meet life as it comes.

2. I gave myself permission to recover at a healthy pace - as long as I didn't drink. So often, I am always rushing to complete something. I realized early that my recovery was the most important thing in my life, but I couldn't treat it like any other "life project." It was going to evolve, falter, and iterate -- and I needed to give it time to do that. The key was to give myself the time to go through this without a drink to cloud my progress.

3. I became brutally honest with myself and acknowledged that I needed help from others to get through this. No one likes to feel that they can't do it on their own or that they must surrender, but it is with the brutal honesty that I could hit my bottom and begin building forward again.

4. I stopped trying to control everything. I also had to grow-up as a person so that I would stop worrying and trying to control things that were out of my control. By doing this, an amazing amount of anxiety was released from my thinking.

5. I built tools to counteract my alcoholic thinking. Since alcoholism is a disease of the mind, I actually practiced what I would say to myself when those alcoholic voices started speaking to me. I now can name the emotions I am feeling and I can put forth a better solution to them instead of "let's just drink to make them go away!"


Top 5 Things I Learned

1. Helping other people and thinking about others before yourself ... really does make you happier

2. Regardless of whatever I am feeling right now, it will pass. Drinking won't solve it, but time might.

3. When all your ideas have failed, there is nothing wrong with following others who seem to have been successful. I don't always have to lead. It doesn't need to be my idea. Use what works for others.

4. It is very refreshing to be around other alcoholics. They are some of the most real people that I know and they truly care about my success.

5. I didn't have to believe in the same God as others, I didn't have to go to all the same meetings, I didn't have to agree with all that was said ... but, I did have to work at my sobriety every day. It didn't have to be super time consuming, but I did have to work at it. So, when I was feeling low, attending a meeting, posting on SR, or helping another alcoholic worked well.

Thank you SR. Thank-you to you, my new extended family.

I am only one drink away from being back where I was, but now, I see what 365 days of sobriety can bring... a reasonably balanced, mostly happy, and positive outlook on a new life for the new me.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:35 PM
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Nice Post!!

Congrats on your one year...

Mark
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:38 PM
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Wow, great post and a super list!

I understand the kind of anti-climactic feeling you are talking about. But, be proud of yourself and how far you've come!
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:45 PM
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Great post NewMe

I know what you mean about the anticlimactic thing too...with me, I think I was expecting something far more tangible...

now as I've gone on, I understand more and more than change is not an event, it's a process...

We're doing it

Congratulations!
D
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:54 PM
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Congraulations on your one year!

That was a great post.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:04 PM
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I'm going to remember those tips NewMe, and congrats to you~!
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:10 PM
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Congratulations! And thank you for sharing this wonderful insight! Can't wait til I have my one year!
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:16 PM
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Love this! A huge congratulations on your year!
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:23 PM
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Congratulations NewMe!

Great post! Although I've been sober for the better part of a year and a half I'll be celebrating a clean year in February.

Sounds like you're working the program really well. I'm dry but don't work it nearly as well. It's ok as long as I'm not drinking but still need to make spiritual progress.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:53 PM
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Congratulations NewMe on 1 year!!! That is tremendous!! There should be a parade down main street with a marching band, balloons, confetti and a crowd of loved ones cheering you on!!

I am going to add your tools to my recovery tool box for future reference!! thanks!!

Day 12
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:18 PM
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Congratulations on your one year, really happy for you:-)

You can feel proud of the work you have done and continue to do, and it is a great thing you are not screaming from the roof tops about one year like a crazy person;-)

really good post!
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:43 AM
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Inspiring post, thanks.

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Old 01-13-2010, 04:16 AM
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Nice One!! Good positive post to spur others on!!
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:57 AM
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:15 AM
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