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Non AA sobriety success

Old 08-24-2010, 10:13 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Thanks Robert for letting me know, I will now attribute it to the mantra I learned from the Bonnie Franklin, Valerie Bertinelli, show I used to watch as a young one.

Sorry for putting anything associated with Mackenzie Phillips side by side with AA.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by stanleyhouse View Post
I also take an off label drug for cravings and headaches. I don't know if that helps at this stage but if it does I am grateful and do not discount my efforts or my sobriety because of it.
Hi SH,

Just out of curiosity, and only if you want to share, but this reads to me like maybe your using a certain green herb? If not, what helps with cravings?

Thanks,

Traid.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:07 PM
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Seems like you're making a big assumption to me.

I've never tried any, but there are a number of medications available on prescription that deal with cravings.

I think people have a right to disclose as much or as little of their medications as they like here.

I like Valerie Bertinelli too, but lets try to stay on topic
D

Last edited by Dee74; 08-24-2010 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:13 AM
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Campral is one med used for cravings. I have had good results from it....

Congrats on your success stanleyhouse! It sounds like you have developed a program that works for you.

I would however beg to differ regarding the 90/10% ratio. I really don't notice, on SR for example, a tendency for AA people to insist AA is the only way. I am AA but I frequently suggest other programs to people. I know that AA is not for everyone.

What I suggest to everyone new to sobriety is to find some kind of program: essentially anything that works.

About item four on your list: I have found it successful when going to social events with alcohol to drive. The DUI laws where I live are very tough and your license will be taken from you by the police on the spot if you are over limit. Hosts at parties as a result, will not offer any alcoholic beverages to drivers and there is always a group of non-drinkers who are driving at the party, and I always find a little sober oasis among these folks.

My second tool is to always have an exit plan. If I am at a party and the sight of bottles and glasses of wine starts to bother me, I leave. I tell my husband in advance that I will be leaving and I won't wait for him. I make sure there is public transportation close by or I'll take a taxi.
The "exit plan" method works for me, I was at a party two weeks ago and had a great time, but around 11PM when everyone had eaten and started drinking wine again, I left. The quality of the party changed as people drank more and I knew I had to get the HXXL out of dodge! The metro station was two blocks away.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:15 AM
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My recovery is my recovery and it's personal to me.

I think it's very easy to forget that there are many (maybe the vast majority?) who likely get and stay sober and clean without formally being on any recovery programs at all. Who certainly never make a great song and dance about it. It has to be that way. Naturally by hanging at AA you see AA. SR you see SR. The same goes for any other method. I think certainly a lot of people I look up to and respect in comedy and music are that way. I think many realise drinking ain't a good option and stop. They do what they have to do to keep it that way.

There are many things that don't sit comfortable with me about AA. All of this 4th dimension stuff is just like, man, Keep it real. Get off your high-horse. You feel good, you feel good. Simple.

I've had nearly 14 months sober now. My recovery is my recovery. I love sharing on SR and if it inspires or helps others, then great. You stop drinking, you live a life catered around supporting that, you change sufficiently as a person so that you no-longer seek refuge in mind-altering chemicals. You pass the message on about how great it can be. Simple.

I don;t like the point scoring element that I often feel is naturally there at AA. But then I guess it's the negative thinker in me maybe? Or maybe it's making sure I keep that essential quality of mine - staying down to earth and keeping it real. Intouch with the reality of the situation. It's easy to lose your head up your own ars* if you ain't careful.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:35 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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I was a binge drinker for 20 years and a daily drunk for 10 more years after that. I drank my last beer on June 21, 2009. I've been able to stay sober and work on my recovery without any formal program. I realize that not everyone is able to do this and I don't bash any program that can help an alcoholic recover. I find that reading and posting here at SR helps keep me humble and focused. I just hope that all of you still struggling can find the joy and inner peace that I've found in these past 14+ months.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:54 AM
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Topamax

Thanks to everybody for sharing and offering the reading suggestions.
Sabrina and Triad77, I originally started taking Topamax for cravings and was told it was considered off label. When I left the treatment center I asked how long should I stay on this medicine and their response was "if you do not have any side effects and you don't have cravings and you are successful in sobriety, it is up to you." You cannot drink when using this medicine.
Further along in my sobriety I decided it was time to deal with my constant use of ibuprofen for daily headaches and was surprised to find that Topamax at a higher dose was the prescribed med. So now it is the headache and craving preventative and I don't take pain relievers anymore.
SH
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark75 View Post
?
Mark, the limbic system.is part of the most primitive part of our brain...it is also the part that equates alcohol with pleasure. It is possible, with work to retrain this part of the brain to equate alcohol with pain. This is done by pulling up your worst memory of drinking anytime you think of alcohol and then remembering it in vivid detail. When I was in early recovery...I would consciously make myself think of alcohol and then I would remember being sick..it got to the point that even the slightest thought of alcohol triggers my gag reflex.

We talk about it a lot in the secular section of the forum...I will post some links when I get into the office.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:40 AM
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Thanx
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:42 AM
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Thanks for posting that, LaFemme. It's an interesting thought. I wonder if you could do that with other stuff in life -- like eating certain fattening foods.

I haven't posted to this thread because I'm sort of half-way between AA and not working any program. I got sober 1/1/2008 though sheer grit and determination. There is something to be said for stubbornness. There have been positives to not drinking. I've no problem admitting that. In many ways, though, it's been the unhappiest two and a half years of my life. I'm lost without my drink.

SR has opened up a new world for me, one where I can see the possibility of happiness. The fellowship and kindness I've experienced here have meant so much to me. SR also opened me to the idea of working some kind of program by helping me understand a bit more about what's out there. I've learned that I have no tools or plans for dealing with the day-to-day emotions we all have live with.

Of late, I've been reading through the AA literature. It's a slow go, but I'm finding a lot of stuff that resonates with me. I've also downloaded The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

I know I'm looking for something, a way to deal with the typical alcoholic "me, me, me" and a way to let go of the anger and resentment I feel over nothing. Like I said, AA's teachings resonate with me, even though I am not a religious person. Once I've educated myself on the AA program, I'll probably try a meeting or two and see what I think. If that doesn't work, I plan to keep moving forward and retraining my mind using whatever tools I can find.

See, I know I can stay sober without a program. The thing is, I don't know if I can be happy without making some kind of change. I desperately want to be happy.

I really appreciate all the books and ideas everyone has posted. You've given me a week's worth of reading material.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Supercrew View Post
Thanks Robert for letting me know, I will now attribute it to the mantra I learned from the Bonnie Franklin, Valerie Bertinelli, show I used to watch as a young one.

Sorry for putting anything associated with Mackenzie Phillips side by side with AA.
Hope you're not taking it the wrong way (hard to read good natured humor vs. sarcasm in words on a screen). If I had a nickel for every time I said "One Day at a time" I'd be a rich man today. For many, to suggest that the expression didn't emanate from AA is sacrilege. But you'll simply not find it in AA literature, other than as a model for living (not staying sober).

The reason I think it's important to make the distinction is that I believe that "One Day At A Time" thinking interferes with long-term sustainable recovery. I see the expression as a celebration of a daily battle with the compulsion to drink or use, and it implies, for me, that a daily battle is what I'll have to face for the rest of my life. And that's simply not what AA promises.

I apologize for hijacking your thread, but wanted to make a point clear that I thought was important for people investigating various methods of recovery.

And Valerie Bertinelli was WAY HOT.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by RobertHugh View Post

The reason I think it's important to make the distinction is that I believe that "One Day At A Time" thinking interferes with long-term sustainable recovery. I see the expression as a celebration of a daily battle with the compulsion to drink or use, and it implies, for me, that a daily battle is what I'll have to face for the rest of my life. And that's simply not what AA promises.
Wow Robert! I couldn't agree with you more! I am not a fan of the one day at a time philosophy except maybe in early raecovery when you are getting your feet under you. I am excited about my future! I am living in the present but for the first time in a super long time I can look forward with anticipation and happiness to a sober life.

Lildawg, I feel for you...you deserve to be happy, and a life lived without alcohol is the best kind of life there is...whether you are an alcoholic or not, in my opinion. I don't envy normal drinkers. I will pm you some books that helped me and I am going to post that info on the limboc system. If I can find my way back to being a happy person then so can you:-D
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:56 AM
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I personally am not for or against AA, I just havent gotten that far yet. I'm only on day 26, but I feel like I have done a lot of soul searching, and I have a lot of resolve to change my lifestyle on my own. I have already been in about 4 situations, including my only sisters bachelorette party, where alcohol has had a strong influence, and I havent touched a drop. If I did feel like I couldnt do it alone, I'd look into something else, but for now, SR has been my lifeline for support. And honestly, when I'm having a hard time, and crave a drink, I grab a big glass of ice water, lock myself in my room with a good book, and wait til it passes.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:30 AM
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Here is a link to the article I was referring to:

booz&brain - Science of Addiction

And here is the thread that discusses this and some other things:

Secular Connections - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by RobertHugh View Post
The reason I think it's important to make the distinction is that I believe that "One Day At A Time" thinking interferes with long-term sustainable recovery. I see the expression as a celebration of a daily battle with the compulsion to drink or use, and it implies, for me, that a daily battle is what I'll have to face for the rest of my life. And that's simply not what AA promises.
I like where you're going with this. Sobriety doesn't have to be about white-knuckling it every minute of every day of the rest of our lives. Thankfully, too, or else I would have relapsed long ago.

For me, "One Day At A Time" is just a constant reminder to live in the present and not worry about tomorrow or the next day or the next.

Sort of like breaking large challenges into smaller challenges. If someone said to me when I initially got sober that to remain sober I would have to learn how to socialize without drinking, go to 90 meetings in 90 days, have a spiritual awakening, manage stress, anger, depression, boredom, and so forth...well, I would have despaired.

But today I get to work on socializing. And tomorrow on anger. So One Day At A Time

lildawg, I get where you're coming from completely :ghug3 Quitting drinking was the easy part for me, but learning how to have a healthy sober life...that takes work. I use some principles from Taoism and Buddhism to get rid of my ego (as much as I can LOL).
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:47 AM
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i've used SR exclusively to remain sober.

but i'll be honest. the more time i get behind me the less cravings i have.

i'm coming up on one year. i honestly don't miss it 99% of the time.

i'll sometimes hear a song and it triggers a craving but it passes so much easier than it did the first couple months.

fortunately i've always been a pretty happy person. i'm a guy. you give us grub, a good pair of sneakers and we're usually pretty content.

in my life experiences i've travelled the world quite a bit in the military when i was young and on a bunch of medical mission trips.

i've seen extreme poverty and people whose children died due to lack of medical care that we take for granted in the states.

whenever i remotely feel sorry for myself in regards to anything, i think of the folks i've seen that have been in these circumstance and quickly remind myself no matter what my problem is....i'm not worried where my next meal will come from or if i have a place to sleep.

it keeps me as a glass half full person i guess.

dang i like to ramble....back on point....my sobriety comes strictly from this place....it's a lifesaver.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:55 AM
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I may not use the 12 steps but I do find some aspects of AA beneficial. I do attend local open AA meetings because they offer a place to give and receive support in recovery. And I have made some good sober friends through the meetings.

As for a program of addiction treatment, SMART and CBT principles offer a good fit too my secular view on things. My choice in treatment also offers me instructions in how to live a life that promotes over all well-being.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by a fallen man View Post
i'm a guy. you give us grub, a good pair of sneakers and we're usually pretty content.
I thought guys needed one more thing to be happy;-)

Ohhh and I have to give credit to zencat for the link about the Limbic System...I can't take credit for finding it!
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:10 AM
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For me, "One Day At A Time" is just a constant reminder to live in the present and not worry about tomorrow or the next day or the next.

Sort of like breaking large challenges into smaller challenges. If someone said to me when I initially got sober that to remain sober I would have to learn how to socialize without drinking, go to 90 meetings in 90 days, have a spiritual awakening, manage stress, anger, depression, boredom, and so forth...well, I would have despaired.

thanks Draciack, you've said it well....I follow my signature, practice and progress. In the last 6 months I KNOW i've become a much happier and healthier person..even though it has been a very painful time in my life with my break-up and my mother's illness. I'm not drinking my way through my problems anymore.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by LaFemme View Post
I thought guys needed one more thing to be happy;-)
i think i used the term 'content'.....happy is a higher level. lol.
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