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So many failed attempts...

Old 02-13-2010, 09:38 PM
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So many failed attempts...

Hi,
I'm new to these forums. I just poured a case of good beer down the drain, I want to quit drinking once and for all. I've missed the past two days of work from a drinking binge, in fact, I've been missing a lot of work lately due to my drinking. I've tried so many times in the past to quit, but I always end up going back to my old ways. I'm a bad drunk, I mostly drink alone until I'm blacked out.
I miss my sober self, everything was so much better when I was in that state.

I find that I drink out of boredom and the fact that I'm lonely. I find that I drink also to shut off my mind. Sometimes my mind just won't stop racing. Any advice on staying sober for good? I've only been able to stay sober for about 2 months in the past 13 years. (the reason why I was sober for that long was how guilty I felt after what an event that took place at a party) I'm scared of what will happen to me if I keep drinking. I've gotten behind the wheel so many times drunk it's unbelievable that I haven't gotten a DUI or got into an accident.

A few people have suggested AA, but I find it hard for me to do something like that. A bunch of people sitting around talking about drinking, I think it would make me want to drink. I've read Allen Carrs book on quitting drinking, but that only lasted for a few weeks. Would substituting alcohol with something else, like, marijuana be the answer? I feel like such a loser, why can't I overcome this addiction? Help, support anything, please!
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:44 PM
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Welcome! Glad you are here. This is a great place for support. I found that I wasn't able to recover on my own. I needed help. One thing I would say--trading one drug for another isn't the answer. You might end up with 2 addictions in the end. What I later found out was that alcohol wasn't my problem--it was my solution.It was my escape--which is what it sounds like to me when you mentioned switching to pot.....a means to escape. There is hope! Help is available. You don't have to walk through this alone. We do recover.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:50 PM
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That's exactly what alcohol and pot are, my escape. It's like pushing a big reset button for my mind, but I just can't take the hangovers and the feelings of guilt any more. Any suggestions for a healthy escape?
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:54 PM
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Welcome to our recovery community...

Your going to "meet" many of us who are winning over alcohol.
I did and do find AA to be an awesome adventure
You might want to attend a few meetings before you
say it's not for you....

Other SR members are sucessfully sober who do not use AA.
They will be sharing their experiences with you too.

You never have to be alone ... or drunk again...
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:01 PM
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Welcome to SR! Keep reading and I think that you'll find a lot of wisdom here. There are many recovery options besides AA. I happen to like AA myself. People have many misconceptions about the program...it's less about drinking than about finding more healthy ways to cope with our lives.

Angelina...I have read many wisdoms on this forum..but I REALLY liked what you just said: "I discovered that alcohol was not my problem, it was my solution". (Sorry if I misquoted)...that's brilliant, IMHO.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:01 PM
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Another thing I'm afraid of is how I got back into being a drunk again. When I was sober for 2 months, my life was great, I got back into shape, landed a new job. Then, one day I was walking by a bar and thought, oh, I can have just one... one turned into 15+ and I ended up leaving the bar at 2a.m. Next thing I knew, I was like, oh well, I messed up my sober streak, and I was right back to my binge drinking.
I'm afraid I will just fall back into that again. I know someone will invite me out for drinks and then I'll just be put back into my old self again. I want to be social, I want to have friends, but it seems like so much of my social life is revolved around drugs and alcohol. How do you guys deal with those situations?
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:06 PM
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As far as recovery is concerned I would suggest going to a few meetings--whether AA, NA, or some other program and see what you think. I currently attend NA and CR (Celebrate Recovery).

As far as a healthy escape, do you have any hobbies, sports, or other interests that you could get into. Even exercise can be a healthy escape as long as you don't over exert yourself--especially in early recovery. Anything but drinking to cure boredom and lonliness--find something positive that makes you healthier or happier as opposed to something that will harm you.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:14 PM
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What was your first AA meeting like?
Did you have to speak?
Did you have to get a sponsor right away?
Did you feel like a loser or were surrounded by people you thought were beneath you? (btw, I'm not a snob, I'm just saying...)
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:16 PM
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Hi Dave

You sound a lot like me, even if you're not quite where I ended up.
I'm nearly 3 years sober, after drinking all day everyday for a few years before that.

I don't do AA - but I also couldn't stay in my old life either - all my old mates, the social lubrication, the parties - and the evitable drinking before and after these social occasions....

Drinking was my constant companion. I couldn't live that life anymore.

I had to make a choice between not changing and getting deeper and deeper into misery, or making a break.

It was hard - but it was the best decision I ever made. I had to look at why I wanted to escape so much, and really work on solving the issue, not self medicating on it.

I tried marijuana too - same results different drug....until you deal with why you want to escape and what you what to escape from, you're just spinning your wheels in my opinion, Dave.

Maybe your situations different, but I had to get serious about not drinking...ever - it really was life or death for me....

speaking of which, if you drank at all like I did, please see a Dr about detox...it really is a sensible move to help kick things off.

I hope you find as much help and support here in finding your solution as I did

Welcome!
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:30 PM
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Thanks for the advice Dee 74.
I don't need detox, I haven't reached that point yet, thank god.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave520 View Post
I want to be social, I want to have friends, but it seems like so much of my social life is revolved around drugs and alcohol. How do you guys deal with those situations?
In the beginning I had to avoid the old crowd..people, places, playgrounds (hangouts)--which included certain bars where I drank. It also meant I had to keep away from some friends entirely--especially those that were still drinking/drugging. I had to protect my sobriety at all costs. Some of my friends were alcoholics/addicts and some weren't, but I was and I knew I had to stay away from all the drama, chaos, and confusion which usually surrounded me (especially when I was drinking). I made new sober friends in recovery. Out there I had many acquaintances but few which I would consider to be true friends.

-------------------

As far as AA meetings--which that is where I started years ago....
*My very first meeting I was completely terrified and nervous, but I had to go. (I was ordered by the court because of a DWI.)
*You are not required to speak at a meeting--you can if you want to though.
*When to get a sponsor is up to you--you don't have to get one right away. (It is a good idea to listen to others share and find out who has worked the steps before choosing a sponsor.)
*Most people who find themselves in AA or any other recovery program didn't get there by being on a winning streak. (I couldn't look down on anyone else. I had enough problems of my own to deal with.)
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:39 PM
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Does it get easier as time goes by? I'd like to get to the point where it's not a big deal, where I just don't think about drugs or alcohol anymore....
Do you ever miss getting drunk or high?
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:02 PM
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Staying clean/sober is definitely easier than getting clean/sober. Eventually you do get to the point where you don't struggle daily with thoughts of whether or not to use or drink. Do I ever miss getting drunk or high? Hmmm....I sometimes miss how it was "before"--before things completely spiraled out of control. I don't miss being drunk but sometimes I do miss the people i hung out with (mostly at the bars). As far as getting high--well.....I chased that feeling for years--trying to get the same effect I did that first time. I don't miss the side effects--lack of sleep, paranoia, etc. Today I like having a "clear" mind to think with. I am actually happy too. Before--I let the drugs/alcohol determine my mood and personality. I am free from all that today. I am not merely existing anymore. I enjoy being clean today.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave520 View Post
Does it get easier as time goes by? I'd like to get to the point where it's not a big deal, where I just don't think about drugs or alcohol anymore....
Do you ever miss getting drunk or high?
I'm still pretty early in my recovery, but yes sometimes I do. Tonight I was watching the Olympic Women's Hockey game, and I missed it. I thought to myself "oh, it would be so much fun to be sitting in a pub cheering the team on". Then I realized, I would be in a pub full of strangers sitting by myself watching the game - how much fun is that really? It was much cheaper to be by myself at home and watch the game, and I won't feel like garbage in the morning.

I find other things much easier, though. The fact that I get up in the morning and it does not take me hours to get moving. I don't have to worry about whether or not I wreak of booze. I don't have to wonder what things I did the night before - who I texted, who I was an @ss to, how I made it home. I don't have to worry about whether or not I ate the right food to avoid throwing up the next day. I don't have to worry about disappointing other people because I am now able to keep my commitments since I am not busy nursing a hangover.

In the end everything is about balance. Some days it is really hard to not drink, but the benefits of not drinking far outweigh the benefits of picking up that first of many drinks. Over time you will come to see how much easier life is without alcohol. No one can predict when that moment will come - it may take days, weeks, months, but it will come.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave520 View Post
What was your first AA meeting like?
Too long. They just held a regular meeting and there was too much info to take in at one time.
Originally Posted by Dave520 View Post
Did you have to speak?
No you don't have to speak. Even if they ask who the newcommers are you don't have to say anything.
Originally Posted by Dave520 View Post
Did you have to get a sponsor right away?
Nope, take your time and find someone that is working the program that you can communicate with.
Originally Posted by Dave520 View Post
Did you feel like a loser or were surrounded by people you thought were beneath you? (btw, I'm not a snob, I'm just saying...)
I was a LOOOOOOser. I was hung over,wearing the same clothes I had the day before. They were clean, most of them were dressed decently, they smelled good.
Originally Posted by Dave520 View Post
Does it get easier as time goes by? I'd like to get to the point where it's not a big deal, where I just don't think about drugs or alcohol anymore....
Do you ever miss getting drunk or high?
Not in long time. I ride motorcycles and I often find myself around people drinking and nobody cares, not even me. It's just not an issue at all anymore.
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:29 AM
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iīm 26 and a chronic relapser. Starting smoking weed since I was 14. Alltogether I got about a year and a half of sobertime...

Just keep trying, come to peace with the fact that drinking just isnīt your thing... Since I joined SR a few years back and I started more actively learning, accepting and changing my addictive beheaviour I got more sobertime compared with the ten years before that...

I will deal with my addictive beheaviour, and so will you!
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:06 AM
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Do you ever miss getting drunk or high?
Not anymore. I'm getting used to waking up feeling good. I'm getting used to not feeling ashamed of myself or guilty for spending money I can't really afford. I'm getting used to having my self respect back, as well as the respect of my kids.

Sure, there are times I'd love to just 'escape' but I remember how bad it always turns out if I drink.

Hang in there. It does get better. Welcome to SR!
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:06 AM
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Hi Dave and welcome.

You will make new friends in AA. People who actually care about you and understand you.

Meetings are not all about talking about drinking. If you go to a meeting listen out for the people who talk about the solution - talk about being happy and free from alcohol. That's what you want too.

You don't have to talk it you don't want to. I go to a small meeting so there is a chance for everyone to share and they will ask a newcomer at the end how they are feeling. They don't have to answer, they can cry if they need to. We understand. But they do talk and find it helps. We all know exactly how desperate you feel and how lonely it is and how scary it is to walk into an AA meeting.

Try it, you have nothing to lose. It doesn't even cost any money - all they ask for is a contribution at the end, whatever you want to give.
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave520 View Post
Hi,
I find that I drink also to shut off my mind.
I totally relate. I sometimes just want PEACE, and drinking gave me that. Unfortunately, it is not sustainable. I can neither afford to drink financially, psychologically, or physically. It was a temporary measure. It was a LOAN. I've decided to start paying it off, not getting into more debt.

Beyond that, I'm clueless.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:06 PM
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Hi Dave, I can relate being a chronic relapser myself (and thinking "This time will be different... I can control it!")

I started reading a book called Sober For Good by Anne M. Fletcher. It has helped me to understand why my past attempts to quit drinking have failed and what to do differently going forward. She also offers alternatives to AA in case that isn't a good fit for you/the reader. I went to a few AA meetings, and while everyone was friendly and helpful, I did feel a little out of place.

I'm trying SMART recovery -- which is an alternative to AA, in addition to following some of the advice from the book I'm reading.

Good luck -- You can do it!!!
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