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Old 12-06-2011, 11:15 PM   #1 (permalink)

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On the edge of a relapse first drink......

I'll start by saying I found this site by googling "How to safely relapse". Both funny and scary...

I have one year and nine months clean and sober. Alcohol is my drug of choice by far and I don't do any other drugs. I know I am an alcoholic and my drinking causes nothing but problems for me. No denial here. I have a long family history of alcoholism on both sides of my family. I got my 3rd DUI in Feb 2010 and decided I was sick of the relationship, law, work and family problems and quit drinking cold turkey.

I checked myself into a six month intensive outpatient program and went to AA for about the first 3 months of my sobriety. I had a sponsor and he was kind of helpful to talk to about how I was feeling. I quit going to AA because all of the talk about how sick and weak we all were really didn't help me. AA did help me to change my habits\routines and who I hung out with for those first really tough 3 months. There have been some tuff moments\cravings but usually I don't want to drink. Even at places where others are getting smashed or just drinking responsibly.

Fast forward a year and six months to one month ago.......... I lost my job.(first time not due to no call no show wastedness). I got a severance and have unemployment coming in. I kept busy for the first 2 weeks and landed another truly fantastic job that will start in early Jan. It is by far the best job of my life and is the most money I have ever made. I have all of this time on my hands now until I start my new position.

For the last week my mind has been fixated on drinking like never before. I keep envisioning myself drinking at home by myself and listening to music like I used to do before I quit drinking. In my mind, I play the tape all the way through from the first drink to the hangover the next morning but even then I get excited thinking about the morning drink to kill the hangover! I used to love that first morning beer, bloody mary or shot!

We had a Halloween party at my place a while ago and there are still a couple beers in the cooler that is in the woods. About a week ago I went up the hill with my dogs and opened one of the beers. I took a deeeeep smell of the beer and then told myself I would drink tomorrow if when I woke up I still felt like drinking. So I poured the beer out. I woke up the next morning and didn't want a drink anymore.

I have continued to have increasingly severe cravings and rationalizing thoughts of drinking just for this one break before I start my new job. A planned relapse of sorts. Today I got cash out of the ATM and drove to a drive through beer store that is a ways away from where I live. With much inner conflict, I circled the store at least 5 times and then finally decided to buy a case of beer. Now I have been fantasizing about cracking that first beer as soon as my fiance leaves for work tomorrow morning at 8am. I can then drink all day until she gets home.

I know this is totally craziness and I remember why I had to quit drinking. I remember all of the horrible things that happened when I was drinking. Jail, hangovers, breakups, fights, lost jobs and more but I still want to drink in the privacy of my home. I know that once I get drunk there is no telling what could happen though. I could end up walking to a bar. I have a breathalyzer in my car so I'm safe there. My family and fiance would worry sooooo much if they knew I drank. But I still want to drink.

I now realize that my will alone is not going to keep me sober. Although it has done pretty good so far, I know I should be at a meeting or on here..... I should have BEEN at a meeting or on here a while ago but for some reason I have been saying "nah I am good now" after the craving subsides.

Being on the edge of the first drink is INTENSE. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. I know that cold frosty present is waiting for me and I'm waiting for the morning to crack that first beer! And then I'll get that first good burn in the stomach you get after drinking about 6 beers and have a tight buzz on. Wait...... but then it's all down hill from there. Then comes the family\friend confrontations, bad feelings, sleepless nights, nightmares, cold sweats, anxiety, deep depression, job and relationship instability, maybe jail time because I'm still on probation, and constant torment of another drink.....

......I am glad I wrote this super long post because I now know that I can't drink now, tonight or tomorrow morning because my life or someone else's may end as a result. Or maybe I would be ok for the first couple weeks or months or years and control my drinking and then end up drunk driving or losing my job or house or wife or child or something. How INSANE am I to even consider a drink! Or a case of drinks! Who knows where I would wake up and with who!? I usually admire my insanity but F this.

I don't believe in hiding anything ever so I would tell my family, friends and fiance that I did drink and then proceed to watch their faces fall in hurt and worry. Not worth it. Looks like I'll be dumping that case of deceitful goodness out right NOW! No need to wait until tomorrow morning. Thanks for listening to me vent and drain my infection for a bit! I'll post back tomorrow! I believe I have found a new tool here. Thanks! Have a good night\morning!
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for being here, and I really hope you poured out those beers. It's very important that you do.

This site is a wonderful tool to help in your recovery. There are great people here with lots of experience and support to share with you. AA works for some people, and for others it doesn't, but I think we all need to use whatever resource necessary to help us in our recovery,

Again, I'm glad you're here, and I hope you hand around a while.
Back again after 7 years of sobriety & 2 years of drinking.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:29 PM   #3 (permalink)

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Thanks Snarf I appreciate it. I am finishing a bowl of honey nut cheerios and then I'm off to pour them out.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm glad to hear you poured out the beer.

In my first AA meeting someone gave me their phone # and said "Just call before you go to the liquor store if nothing else." That gave me the comfort to reach out before it was too late. I remembered to reach out whenever I got the strong craving or bright idea that I should take a drink.

I suggest going to a meeting first thing in the morning and go over exactly what you did. It will be hard because your ego doesn't want everyone to think you need help at almost 2 years sober, but at this point you have been putting yourself at a really high risk. I can't tell you how many times the one drink or one day has taken people completely out of recovery all together. It's like the alcohol takes over right away and blocks out all the good we have accomplished.

I also suggest re-visiting the steps because it seems to me that you don't believe that you are powerless over alcohol. If AA got you sober than hopefully you can trust that it will work for you now.

I'm glad you talked yourself out of drinking tonight or tomorrow morning, but you've described a lot of the equation of what takes place before a relapse.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:45 PM   #5 (permalink)

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Thanks for the advice Nirvana1.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good call finding something to do other than taking that drink!
That great job you're starting - well, in my world, it's never to late to F something up and drinking was my number one way.

With some down time it might be good to look for other AA groups that share a consciousness closer to your own. There is NO talk of weakness in the meetings I go to. Experience, strength and hope only. We discuss overcoming fear, dishonesty - many things that will lead to a better program for living - and living sober.

Powerlessness: for me, that simply means that once I pick up that first drink my future will be changed. Another DUI, another lost job, another - possibly final - trip to the hospital.

That's not weakness, anymore than cancer or diabetes is a weakness. Alcoholism is a physical condition that we must treat daily in order to survive. That takes courage and strength.

Good on you for not taking that first drink!
On February 13th, 2011 I decided there had to be another way to live.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome to the family.
I'd rather live in my car with my dogs than live in a castle without them.

Dogs may not be our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.

Don't wait for the Last Judgement. It takes place every day. -Albert Camus

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Old 12-07-2011, 02:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR Rocker
Glad you decided to dump the beer - you'll find a lot of support and encouragement here

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Rocker. How are you feeling about things today?
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sometimes all you need is to think it all the way through to come to your own conclusion.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:04 AM   #11 (permalink)

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Hey Rocker, Ive read your story, I hope you keep posting, welcome to the forum!
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hey Rocker, this was a very clear reminder of why we need a program of some sort. I hope that you poured that beer out and that you are doing better today. Please let us know how you are.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Use to be Lost4Now... but FoundmySelf and shall never be Lost again!!
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Welcome Rocker!
Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person. ~ Gerard Way

Many things can be preserved in alcohol. DIGNITY is not one of them.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Go find positive meetings and a sponsor to guide you Through the steps. That new job can disappear with this relapse, if you live through it. Don't play with your life.
Someday it will all make sense, so laugh at confusion, smile through tears,
& remind yourself it All happens for a reason.

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Old 12-07-2011, 09:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hi Rocker and Welcome!

I hope you continue to post. Tha was probably the scariest post I've read in a long time (in a good way).

I don't know if this would help you, but for me I associate alcohol smells with certain things. Wine=vinegar, hard liquor=liniment, and beer=vomit. When I smell any of them I immediately associate them with those smells. It's not hard since they all do smell like that. I got on the train this morning and the car I first got on smelled of beer from the night before...I almost got sick and moved quickly to the next car. Just reading abou you cracking a beer and taking an inhale makes me queasy. It's easier not to relapse if the stuff revolts you.

Hope that trick helps!
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There is no room for fear in a grateful heart.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:22 AM   #16 (permalink)

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Thanks StPeteGrad for your support and helpful advice. Thanks to everyone else as well for the warm welcome!

MsJax, I am feeling pretty good today other than the cold rainy mess outside. When I woke up I had a little headache which made me think how thankful I am to not have much much worse today. I'll gladly endure anything other than a self induced, illogical, aaaaawful mess of physical, mental and emotional relapse aftermath and anguish. Before I posted last night, I forgot the emotional torture I have went through. I forgot how a two or three day binge made me feel. I forgot feeling sooo worthless after no call no shows at work and then having to go in and face everyone and knowing they all know what is up but never saying anything about it. I forgot how I felt after I lost the women I loved, lost a job that I truly liked, spent all my money and now see the 35$ overdraft charges pile up 7 or 8 in a row. I forgot how I felt when I woke up alone on a Wednesday morning to find my fiance not sleeping next to me for some reason. I called her to see where she was and she asked me if I remember anything. She said to look at the night stand. I did and found my 3rd DUI ticket. Then she proceeded to REMIND me that she picked me up from the police station after I wrecked into a parked car and hit a mail box. Insanity is all I can say. The fact that I went to the store and bought that case after having all of this(and much much more...) happen to me is pure disregard and under estimation of my enemy. I will learn from this CLOSE call and re-up on my weapons to fight my enemy.

Thanks for asking how I am today MsJax and sorry for the tangent. I am a tangent master. But they seem to help. See... I almost went into a tangent about how getting on a tangent helps.

I believe I'll eat something and then head to the book store to pick up a book I've been meaning to get. Or maybe it's time to get some work done on my tat....

Again, thanks to everyone for your support. It really does help. I've been battling this inner conflict without telling my friends, family and fiance so I didn't worry them and getting it out has really relieved serious pressure. I look forward to giving back the support and help I receive.

Thanks again and have a nice day! Since we are sober and free we can do what ever we like!
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:28 AM   #17 (permalink)

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Thanks LaFemme. That's a good idea. I'll try to apply it. I know if I smell anything that resembles goldschlager I will dry heave immediately. Easily one of my worst hang overs EVER. I'm glad my post was scary in a good way for you! Have a nice day!
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:30 AM   #18 (permalink)

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Thanks for this thread, rocker. This is powerful stuff.

I, too, am baffled at how we so easily forget all the horrible consequences that resulted from our drinking.

I have to play the tape all the way through to remind me.

Congratulations on your 1 yr and 9 months. I have almost a month, you are an inspiration

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Old 12-07-2011, 09:54 AM   #19 (permalink)

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I'm glad you found it helpful and congrats on almost a month SDSurfn! Keep up the good work. Life is soooo much easier and rewarding this way.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:13 AM   #20 (permalink)

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I am only 6 months into my own journey, but one of the things that has helped me is to develop other, healthy habits that make it hard to even contemplate drinking. I've started running again, training up to about 35 miles a week, eating the right things to support that and getting lots of good sleep as a result. I'm back to rock climbing too, when I have time and the weather cooperates, which it isn't today.

Is there a hobby or an interest that you could really jump into during this break before you start your new job? Always wanted to learn to scuba dive? Take up painting? Train for a triathalon? Certify your dog as an assistance animal and take him/her to hospitals to visit sick kids (you could dress as Santa to top it off)? Bake everyone you know homemade Christmas cookies?

I have no idea what kind of things you like to do, but I am sure there's something on your bucket list that you could cross off with a few weeks of time on your hands.

Good luck to you!
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