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Old 09-20-2011, 10:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello all,

S0, this is my first post, have been lurking for a couple of weeks, and figured it was time to introduce myself, tell a bit of my story.

I’ve drank off and on for about 30 years, and finally came to the realization several years ago, that I am NOT one of those who “can just have one.” I’ve gone through times where I drank everyday with friends, going to the bars, sleeping and then getting up and doing it all again. I’ve gone through times where it was just a “weekend” thing. Somewhere and somehow in between, I graduated to drinking alone every night after work but was always able to go to work the next day. I recall thinking that I was a “social drinker” and was fine with that for years. But, I always seemed to get myself into trouble on the inhibition front… as in I had none! I would never do sober, what I did drunk! I ruined just about every relationship I was in because I always wanted what I couldn’t have… and most times would get what I couldn’t have, and then “wake up” to the realization that my life had taken yet another turn… and just move on with it. Meaning, “Oh look, here I am in yet another relationship” after having to climb over bodies to get there. I’ve been with women and IN relationships, that I NEVER would have chosen sober!

Epiphanies come in small doses for me… for instance, my memory is shot… cognitive abilities are questionable… with the final conclusion that its all due to alcohol abuse. Funny thing is, it hasn’t been difficult to accept that I’m an alcoholic, but its been like pulling teeth to accept the consequences of this long and drawn out behavior! I look back at my life and say, “where did it all go, and what in the hell have I done with my life?”

I quit drinking, cold turkey… on October 5, 2010… and guess what? I relapsed 11 months later, to the day…. That 11 months wasn’t all hell per-se, but I did have some gnarly white knuckling going on at times, but never really for any “reason.” I read a post in here awhile back that summed it all up for me…

“When I first grasped the idea that I'd have to quit for good, it was like breaking up the best/worst relationship I'd ever had, dumping my best friend and kicking the cat all at the same time. I didn't think I'd ever, ever be happy or have a good time without alcohol”

Nothing seemed to be fun, no joy… just irritation that would ebb into anger. I guess I finally snapped on Labor Day. I gave in to that alcohol voice finally… you know the one, always whispering in the back of your thoughts? I relapsed, and I got caught (which is a whole other story in itself, because that very situation became the gravity in which I find myself today).

Anyway… LONG story short… I’m 15 days sober… and back on the proverbial wagon. I’ve considered AA for the first time in my life, because my relapse showed me, that I have absolutely no power over drinking and NO support… and then I stumbled upon this site, while searching for anything agnostic, as opposed to fire and brimstone. Don’t get me wrong, AA is a beautiful thing for those who it works for… I on the other hand, am in no place to tolerate much these days. This site has been a breath of fresh air, and I hope to be able to glean support, and give that support!

Thanks for listening to this somewhat choppy story, cause believe me, there’s so much more, in between the chops~!
FJ
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome FridayJude - Glad you found us and have decided to get sober again!

Congratulations on your 15 days! It's pretty impressive that you had 11 months without any support.....it's so hard to do this on our own. I check in here every day - it really keeps me motivated. AA is great too - I think everyone should check it out for themselves (rather than listen to opinions).

Anyway, just glad you're here. Life is so much better with our sane/sober mind at the helm. Keep reading and posting!
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you Artsoul! Looking forward to this new journey... New because of this support! I would like to mention that I have been going to therapy but sought it out for reasons other than drinking... Alcoholism has somewhat bled over into that therapy recently. The non-support I spoke of relates to my personal life, my relationship.

With that said... Onward ho!
FJ
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."

"The most successful people in the end are those whose success is the result of steady growh... It is the person who carefully advances step by step, with their mind becoming wider and wider - and progressively better able to grasp any theme or situation - persevering in what they knows to be practical, and concentrating their thought upon it, who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree."

never have truer words been spoken, how is everyone keeping? i hope all are doing great..
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey FJ, congrats on 15 days. Glad that you've got it in you to start again after that relapse.

I drank for about as many years as you did, and quit last year around the same time. Also joined this community recently like you. We have a lot in common, especially the feeling of "where did my life go, why did I drink it all away"... Well that's history for me. I'm gonna have a different life, the next 30 years sober. I'll have days that seem uneventful, but I'll appreciate those days for the peace in my heart.

I haven't tried AA yet. I have some big changes coming up, so I might just seek that out. Meanwhile this site gives me some focus and clarity, and reminds me every day that staying sober is a gift that I'm giving myself. Enjoy your new journey, FJ

Peace

Last edited by Toddtoday; 09-20-2011 at 11:52 AM. Reason: Fix
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi FridayJude!

Congratulations on your newfound sobriety!

I've been reading lots of stories lately about people relapsing after relatively long periods of time. It's scary, because it's been over 20 years for me, and yet I know I am still susceptible.

You almost hit a year last time. You know, you really do stop thinking about alcohol all the time after enough time goes by sober. I really don't think about alcohol at all any more, except when I come here and read the stories to remind myself that I must remain vigilant for the rest of my life. It is just SO much easier now to do that with so much time under my belt.

Hang tight. Your recent relapse is not a failure. You have already seen what you are capable of. Now's the time to put it all behind you again.

Good luck as you move forward! I never did AA, but they are a great group and there are so many people there just like you. The value of community cannot be underestimated.

FT
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you ALL so much! Like I said, breath of fresh air!!!
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR FridayJude -
yeah support is vital...I tried to quit on my own...I found, then, I lacked the self belief in myself or my self worth - I needed to be part of something bigger...whatever that was

You'll find a lot of support here

You may find some like minded souls on our secular recovery forum too:
Secular Connections - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Congratulations on your 15 days

D
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi FridayJude - so glad you feel this is the place for you. I instantly felt relief when I found SR 4 yrs. ago. The people here encouraged and uplifted me in a way no one else did. I was able to stop a life long drinking habit.

I never imagined that I'd be able to live without alcohol. How could anything ever be fun or exciting again? Then I realized it had probably been 20 years since drinking had actually been fun and carefree. Even though I'd tried to find that early euphoria, I knew in my heart it wasn't coming back. All attempts at moderating failed, so giving it up all together was my only option. I went from being bitter and resentful to being filled with hope and joy once again.

Glad you are here - we're happy to be on this journey with you.
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Welcome FridayJude,

I couldn't stay sober for 2 weeks without support. Good for you.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Welcome to the family.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I re-read my original post of yesterday, daaayumm! I came off so callous, so uncaring towards all that I've done, all that I've hurt. As if it was a list of bullet points to cross off! A highlight reel of my wake...

I can still remember the grief and GUILT about my choices, and moving on and through each situation as if it was my very survival... and in a sense, I guess it was. I look back now, and know that it was the "alcohol voice" within, telling me to run before the "villagers with torches" could catch up!
In reading this post thus far... its plain to see that I still carry the guilt with me. I remember a friend from years ago, telling me to "drop the rock" and perhaps its time to start working on that here. Kinda like Professor Fudger said in his post to me yesterday, "when one door closes, another door opens." SR is my door...

Failedtaper, this really hit me as well: I've been reading lots of stories lately about people relapsing after relatively long periods of time. It's scary, because it's been over 20 years for me, and yet I know I am still susceptible.

I just read a post this morning about someone who was 2 yrs sober and relapsed... I fear the strength and diligence that it takes to stay sober, because sometimes my self worth just doesn't allow for this! Its a scary prospect, this sober thing... scary indeed! BUT, this I do know... I like me more when I'm sober! (that didn't come out right, hee)

Dee74, thank you for this: You may find some like minded souls on our secular recovery forum too:
Secular Connections - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
Will definitely check it out!

And Hevyn: "I never imagined that I'd be able to live without alcohol. How could anything ever be fun or exciting again? Then I realized it had probably been 20 years since drinking had actually been fun and carefree. Even though I'd tried to find that early euphoria, I knew in my heart it wasn't coming back."

OMG, after reading that, it was like lightning shooting through!!!! I can remember being so excitied at the prospect of being numb, only to find myself hours later... sloppy and irritated and at MY own party of one.... and it never feeling like it did when I was first drinking all those years ago... so why in the hell was I STILL chasing that dragon, for lack of a better word/phrase????? As you said, euphoria.

THIS is why its good to be here! As I read somewhere else yesterday... only an alcoholic can understand another alcoholic!

Here's hoping for another strong day, for each and every one of us!!!!
FJ
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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FJ - It's great to see your enthusiasm - glad my comment helped a bit. It feels good to know we have each other.
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A little voice deep inside me said, "Hello, I am here." It was a small voice, & sounded as if it were buried underneath the cushions of my couch. It was my soul...I had forgotten it.

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Old 09-21-2011, 12:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thank you for sharing your story. I'm a new poster here as well, and I have high hopes for the support from this community.

I completely hear ya as far as relapsing... it really does show you that it's beyond your control. And that's nothing to be ashamed of. It's all about how you handle it, and by posting here I think that's a step in the right direction
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