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Old 12-18-2010, 03:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Day 75 and tough


Hey fellow non drinkers/ i have been sober almost 2 and a half months now and I have felt it difficult of late. having gone to AA meetings very regularly, I have built up a strong support network for not drinking. Unfortunately I am not seeing the recovery magic that I expected to see despite my best efforts. I have seen AA members having exhaustively walk the steps relapse after years of sobriety, which leads me to the conclusion that AA is a program of support thru sympathy rather than anything else. Why else would this happen to a long termer after several years of sobriety?? This is only one case out of dozens Ive come across over the months. I am less enthused by promises of sobriety after this, but I do realize the value of the group for just hanging out for a while and talking and listening to people who understand my position. Thats it!
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Eddie

I'm not in AA but I believe any of us can relapse if we stop putting the effort into our recovery - after all I haven't stopped being an alcoholic, I've stopped drinking.

I have worked damn hard on my life and myself tho - I have a life full of purpose now and of meaning - and I'm grateful for all the gifts recovery has given me.

If I ever start to take any of it for granted tho, I may find myself in trouble.

75 days is great - but it's just the start of the journey.

I dunno about you but I drank for years. For me it was 90 days before I felt remotely normal, let alone good.

Why not focus on those who have long term sobriety and who continue to keep it, Eddie? There's several of them right here on SR - those are the people I'd be looking at and focusing on

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Old 12-18-2010, 04:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I dont think anybody can promise us anything eddie.
Its up to us I think.
2 and a half months?...youre way ahead of me.
I've got 6 days so youre the senior man.
My own AA experiences have been less than stellar, just like you.
But I still dont want to drink , just for today.
Ultimately , its my choice right?
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Mornin ! The reason long term people go out and drink is because they are alcoholic............don't make it any more complicated than that. This thing never goes away. It stays with us even when we're not drinking. Now that I've utterly discouraged you here's the good stuff. There are far more long term people who DONT drink. I've got 15 yrs and every bit of hell I went through has been paid back to me 10 fold in goodness !!! I always like to point out that this program does not make boy scouts out of us. I still have the potty mouth, I still love off color politically incorrect humor. But now I also love myself and those around me. ONE DAY AT A TIME it seems has become old and worn out. IT'S STILL TRUE. Keep track of your birthday but stop counting your days. Stop counting other peoples days. You have TODAY. WTF are you going to do with it ? There's just too much fun and beauty out there, too many things to laugh at to go back in to that darkness. It is worth the effort !! I'm not one of the lucky ones that walked into a meeting and never drank again. I spent 5 yrs going in and out till I finally got truly sober.
SOMEBODY thinks your worth saving or they wouldn't have pulled you out of that hole in the first place. ; )

Just keep buggerin on !

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Old 12-18-2010, 05:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Unfortunately I am not seeing the recovery magic that I expected to see despite my best efforts.
Congratulations on 75 days that's quite an accomplishment eddie.

I'm just curious, what do you mean when you say, "recovery magic?"
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Is your life better than when it was when you were drinking?

If it is then maybe it's time to look into ways to make your life more enjoyable. Are you doing things every day that bring you joy? For me sometimes it's as simple as that.

Not drinking gives me options (energy, freedom). My happiness comes when I use those new gifts in productive ways, you know?

re: relapsing. I think people relapse all the time. What % of people who lose weight keep it off? 10% or something? I think it's easy for anyone to fall back on their drug of choice. I'm not convinced there's any magic in recovery. Just choices.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Congrats on your sober time. I'd say to give yourself more time to 'even out'. Early sobriety can be a bumpy road but if you keep at it, eventually it will smooth out.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Eddie, congrats on 75 days. I'm on 37 and it is a test everyday. I was looking for that "magic" also but I'm starting to realize that there isn't a sober fairy to guide me through this. We are all alcoholics and ultimately we all want to drink. We just have to make a choice everyday to not take the first one. Like a lot of people say here, there are good and bad days sober, just like there were when we drank. Hopefully the farther we get a long there are more and more good days and we learn how to handle the bad ones on a much more even keel.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You probably know this, but it's not the program that keeps people sober.. it's up to each person to stay fit in their recovery, and truly live in recovery. I don't know why people with long term 'recovery' end up drinking again.. it's a hideous addiction, and I know I must always be vigilant on where I'm at with my life, my coping skills, my overall recovery progress.

It's not magic.. I wish it were. I think it's good you're observing how crazy this stuff can be, how we always have to be prepared for life to happen, for our guard to weaken. No one can truly promise you sobriety, but yourself. Hang in there!
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes, agreed, it's not AA or any program that keeps you sober. It's ultimately about you and what you do on a daily basis to keep yourself program.

Congratulations on 75 days and I wish you continued success.
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Eddie......good to know you are sober
Congratulations

Instead of looking at the AA members who returned to drinking
I suggest you stick close to the many who have not.

Have you started your Step work yet?
That's when my solid recovery began.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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yeah bugger it im just been selfish. I know the difference between sober and not sober. i gotta just find something better to do wit my time.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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hey eddie,
am glad to hear you are giving AA a try.
my best guess at why folks that are "on the programme" have relapsed is probably because they have not done a fearless and thorough step 4 and 5.time after time in the rooms i have heard of folk that have either returned to drinking or commited suicide after supposedly taking the steps,only to then found out that there was somethign they kept hold of.
we are supposed to take regular inventory too,and if we dont then little resentments build into big ones etc and resentment is our number one offender,it kills more alcoholics than anything.
there are many many people in the rooms that say they are on the programme eddie.
like carol said,look for those that are staying sober,dont let your alcoholic thinking attach you to the ones that arnt.
look for folk that seem genuinly happy,joyous and free.
i went to meeting after meeting for weeks,i was actually blessed it only took that long before i heard a lady talking about a spiritual awakening,taking regular inventory,making amends,God.
seek and you shall find eddie.
your friend charmie.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I love the promises of AA but only once I started to see them come true for me. Before I started actually working the program of AA, I was just treading water and relapsing all the time and the promises didn't magically materialize for me.

Turns out I was neglecting the part of the promises where it says "Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.' The "if we work for them" part.

When I hear people who relapse then make it back to AA, they never say they were successful at drinking or happy about their lives while in the throes of a relapse. They also say that they'd stopped working the program to some extent; that they failed to put sobriety first. The first thing I hear from people who relapse and make it back is "I stopped going to meetings". So, in other words, it's not because of AA that people relapse; it's lack of AA that does it.

I don't think of this as being a program of sympathy. Empathy may have more to do with it, but I see the program more as a plan of action. That's just me.

Glad to hear you're sober! Great news!

Much love.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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yeah bugger it im just been selfish. I know the difference between sober and not sober. i gotta just find something better to do wit my time.
Hey Eddie. Glad you have managed to string 75 days straight together.

Don't leave before the miracle happens.

We have tools we use to keep us on the straight and narrow. Our tools are top shelf. We have tools for most applications. If we need, we can get advice and a loaner tool or two from others in the program.

We don't keep ours in a big roll away box. Ours are in a book. Or at a meeting. Or on a wall. Or across from us at a table in the form of a sponsor. Our tools are the steps. And the acceptance and hope we get from each other.

I have never seen evidence that the program failed. Anyone. I have seen us fail each other. I have been a Pallbearer for a few who opted out. Some were my own family.

This is going to get a little long winded. Humor me, while I tell of an old Native American legend.


An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Like the instruction manual says, we are not guaranteed a life time of sobriety. As recovering addicts / alcoholics, we are never cured. All we are granted is a "daily reprieve" based on our spiritual condition. Based on how well we tend our garden. Based on which wolf we feed.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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thanks lushwell,nice post.
good to meet you!
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Great post, lush!

Eddie - I remember when I was a couple months sober telling Topspin that I just wanted a "break from sobriety!" I was tired of having to do life PLUS staying sober and just wanted a vacation from it all. Of course, wanting that mental escape was what helped me get addicted in the first place.

When things seem really, really tough, I often remember this quote (from the Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck):

"Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is diffcult - once we truly understand and accept it - then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is diffcult no longer matters."

Keep hanging in there - 75 days is awesome!
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:14 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks Artsoul, life is tough is a good foundation all right. I was at a meeting again last nite and I left feeling empty. The darkness is in my head and I gotta deal with it without blaming other folk for it. Sorry for the rant but this is the way I felt for a while now.

Charmie, good to hear from you too, but it is a dangerous game to assume 'not taking the steps' leads to suicide. Those poor guys needed additional help to taking steps. Unfortunately they didnt get it.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:42 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Eddie I didn't say that not taking the steps leads to suicide and please don't think for one minute that I am playing any sort of game.I had 2 friends this year commit suicide after supposedly taking the steps.one was Keith,36 lovely wife and step children.fabulous job and home.lovely chap.the other was Pam 61,she came to new York with my partner and I last year for her 60th birthday.She told me stuff she never wrote down in her 4th step to do with family.so Eddie...I beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start.I try only to share my experience these days,then at least I know I'm not sharing crap for the sake of it like I used to from a bar stool to anybody who would listen.
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