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Old 12-16-2011, 04:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Trouble saying goodbye


My name is Amanda, and I'm an alcoholic. I am currently having a problem with quitting. I know I have a problem. I know it's gotten worse, and I know I need to quit. I also want to quit. The thing is that alcohol is such an integral part of my life. How on earth will I relax? How will I deal with stress? How will I be a social person? How will I explain to people why I'm not drinking at family events/social gatherings. I am an awful liar. I'm going to have to be honest about not drinking because I'm an alcoholic. I'm 31, yes, I know I have a problem with alcohol, but is it forever, or a phase? Imagining a life without it is very difficult. The longest I've gone without alcohol has been 4 days (since march). I never make it past day four. How do you say goodybye?
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wish I had the answer. I am right there with you and it seems that no one has the answer. I am told, "just dont drink today."
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You wake up one morning, look at yourself in the mirror, and wonder who is starring back at you. Who is this person? Is that me in there? Where did I go, and WHAT ON EARTH HAVE I BECOME!

Thats kinda how it happened for me anyways. There was no second guessing if I needed to quit. I knew it was time. Alcohol had me in FULL control. and I no longer was in charge of my life. I couldnt function without drinking. I woke up in the middle of the night dry heaving, and the only thing that would stop it was drinking more. Waking up in the morning, and taking 5-6 shots of vodka before I even left the bed because I didnt feel "normal" without alcohol.

I did had those same thoughts Amanda. How would I live life without alcohol when everything I did was based around it. Fun, social, stress relief. It was my cure all medicine. To just take that completely away seemed like crazy talk! But at the end there, like most of us here, I wasn't drinking for fun anymore. I wasn't drinking because it relieved stress. I drank because I got sick if I didnt, and I didnt feel mentally normal without it. There was no drunk anymore. The whole fun drunk part flew out the window a long time ago.

So, yes I needed to quit. In my last days of drinking, I was no longer Ryan.

Your main question is how will you live life without drinking. Well, these are valid questions. But simple to answer. You just will. When you first get sober, it will be hard. You will feel confused on how to be yourself without drinking. All completely normal. See we alcoholics can't remember who we used to be a lot of the time. We drank for so long that we pretty much buried our old selves. Forgetting who we once were. But we are still in there! It will just take time to wipe away all the dirt we threw on ourselves. Continuing to drink will only make that hole deeper as time goes on. Until one day, that hole is at its maximum depth of 6ft. Death

But I can tell you this. Its never to late to stop drinking, but one day it might be to late. If that makes sense to you.

You will relearn to live life sober. You will realize all those questions floating around in your mind will be a thing of the past. It just happens if you really want it to. You will find out your true friends wont even care if you drink or not. You will find out you make much better company sober socially than you ever did drunk, and people will notice that. You will realize most of your actual stress comes from drinking itself, and what stress you do have left will be relieved because your sober mind will be able to deal with it easier.

Being sober is WIN WIN Amanda. Take it from me. I was an entirely different before 8 months ago. I know those questions you have. Being sober is SUCH a better way of living. It feels soooooooooo gooooooood!

Stay strong my friend!

-Ryan
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi,

You don't have to explain to anybody why you're drinking or not drinking. A simple 'Yes, please' or 'No, thanks', should be all that is necessary. There is no reason to give people the information that you're an alcoholic, unless it is a close and very trusted friend, in my opinion. Nor would you expect someone you met to tell you their darkest secrets either.

Alcoholism is never a phase. It's forever. There is a line which we cross, an invisible line, and when we cross it, we can never go back.

And, you can learn healthy ways to relax. Yoga is great, as is any kind of exercise and meditation also helps.

It's hard to stop drinking and to begin to heal, but we are here to offer support and please know that you can do it.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Amanda. I felt just the way you did at 31. I couldn't imagine my life without alcohol. So I kept drinking. I tried to use willpower to control the amounts. The results were tragic.

I lost everything trying to hold on to my crutch. Searching for the fun it once was, I put myself in many dangerous & unpredictable situations. Even when it was no longer enjoyable or relaxing, I insisted on continuing. At the end of my drinking career I had alientated my friends & family, had terrible financial problems, had 3 dui's - including jail time. My life was a living hell - all because I didn't have the sense to do what you're doing now - taking a cold, hard look at your drinking pattern & what it's doing to you.

I finally realized I needed to experience life without my anesthesia. Being numb and in a fog isn't living. Nothing was getting accomplished. I was holding myself back from experiencing life the way we're meant to.

Please keep posting - we are with you and you can lean on us. You aren't alone with the problem any more.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ryan, what you said touched me deeply. Thank you for saying the words I absolutely needed to hear. I've called several rehabilitation centers and I'm attending back-to-back meetings tonight.

abby,
Unfortunately I already had a drink today, but no more now. Off to meetings. Thanks for your response

anna - thanks you're always the voice of wisdom here (I lurk a lot)
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Amanda, a great honest question.

I JUST had this conversation with my boyfriend, who after 7 months sober threw his hands up and said he'd rather be drunk.

It is hard, it's not just giving up something bad for us, for many it's a lifestyle, rabbit's foot, social function, mood stabilizer,etc etc etc. So there is a very real and appropriate fear and grief that occurs when we say goodbye. But say goodbye we must.

The way to push us to actually say goodbye is to develop some faith and trust that life sans substance is possible and has tons to offer us. I find that hanging out here and reading helps me develop that trust, hope an faith.

All the good people here have not come here and don't spend hours posting here to tell me a bunch of lies out of some bizarre desire to make a stranger give up booze. They are here to share their stories because they want to help others find freedom and a better way of life.

When I find myself low on hope. I read, read, and read some more posts here. (some people go to f2f meetings as well)

Our relationships with these substances is an abusive one. And we need to get out of it, and not go back. Grieving for a time is normal, struggling a little as we rebuild a life, and create new healthy relationships, is normal. But going back is not a viable option.

If you are missing the old days, the fun and fellowship, again, come here and get reminded about the whole truth of our relationship with these substances. If it was nothing but a party, none of us would want or need to quit.

The good news is that once we are free of our addictive substance and the strangle hold it had on our lives, we are free to choose from thousands of ways to spend our time, money, etc. Our world doesn't get smaller, it gets wider. And we build real skills, rather than counting on a bottle or pill to get us through. Instead of being dependent, we grow into independence.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think Ryan covered it about as good as you can...I'm six months sober and he made me want to quit again....Nicely done.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There are two types of "quitting drinking". There is Abstinence and Recovery. Being bummed out about not being "able to drink normally" is quite normal. You'll get over that eventually.

I saw a similar post in here a few days ago. Here's a quote from my post on that thread:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seared View Post

Among many other differences, abstinence looks at giving up drinking as a sacrifice, and as though you're giving something up. Recovery means looking at a new life, with new opportunities, without being encumbered by blackouts, DUIs, and Drunk-in-Publics.

In most respects (you can google for the other aspects of the differences) I consider myself to be in recovery, but I'm still having trouble with this one. That there's hundreds of millions of people in this world that drink and have fun without getting out of control. I'm still frustrated at times that I'm not one of those people, but there's no fixing it.

I am starting to realize there are other fun things to do in the world, and that wild college parties are behind me anyway. I had a tough time accepting that I can't go to drinking-type events anymore, but they aren't much fun sober, and they're not very fulfilling anyway.

It's a tough road, but there is more to it than just "not drinking". I'm not that far along myself, but there is a better life ahead.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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For me I knew I had to quit when I wanted to remain sober more than I wanted a drink. That's when I knew....I knew it was time. After drinking for 30 years and going through all the drunk scenarios, feelings, situations, hiding, lying to myself and everyone around me I had to finally swallow my pride, kick myself in the @ss and get on board the AA journey.
You have alot of questions...all good questions and once you start your path you will figure them out. Things will come to you in time...not only will you realize that you really can relax without booze and you really can have friends that don't drink or that you don't drink around, you will also realize that you have feelings that matter. Feelings and emotions that have been supressed and now that they are open and raw you can now get to know who you are without the booze. I can pretty much guarantee you will like yourself.
Wishing you peace and strength on your new journey.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I had all those same fears. They are really typical alcoholic thoughts.

My analogy is not great but it's the best I've got. When I was drinking it was like being in a small drafty room with a candle. Desperately trying to keep lit what I saw as the only source of light and heat.

In sobriety I've left that room. Seen a whole house filled with heat, light, people, books. Even a garden.

Alcohol is central to everything in your life because you're an alcoholic. In sobriety you'll experience a depth and complexity of experience that cannot be rivaled by alcohol.

I had no idea how much I was shorting myself.

I haven't had a religious experience or anything. I have a really normal life. Not perfect by any means. I am a SAHM with small kids. But I love little things now. I'm looking forward to tomorrow (taking a long shower at the gym in the morning, Christmas shopping, a holiday party). I love driving around at the moment because I can see everyone's lights. Tonight, I love our Christmas tree and my new pajamas.

I never even NOTICED half of this stuff before.

Always great to 'talk' to people here. Stick around!
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi Amanda

I had trouble saying goodbye too - I'd drunk for 20 years - to me my drinking defined me - it certainly was the cornerstone of my day - there was not many things I did without a drink by the end of my 'career'.

But my drinking was killing me, I hated my life and the man I'd become - it was quit or die.

I chose to quit

I had all those questions too - How will I relax? How will I deal with stress? How will I be a social person? How will I explain to people why I'm not drinking? Will it be forever? What will my life be like?

The simple answer is - you won't lose out by choosing not to drink anymore - noone would be here if that was the case.

Millions of people relax, destress, and are sociable without drinking - you'll just join their ranks

It's not always an easy road when we try and change our lives...it can take a while to learn new skills, but you'll do it - and you'll find support here too

If you're a drinker like me, and alcohols been a problem for you for a long time, you might have to think about permanent lifestyle changes. I had to accept that the relationship I had with alcohol was fundamentally toxic...there was no coming back from that.

Personally I found that thought of forever too immense at the beginning though....so I just focused on the day ahead - 'not drinking today' sounded a lot more achievable to me Eventually I realised I wanted to live that way for good.

I'm nearly 5 years sober now. 5 years ago I was drinking all day, everyday - if I wasn't physically dead, I was dead in spirit.

I have my life back, I have 'me' back and I look forward to each new day.

That's all pretty special for someone who was where I was.

Quitting was the best decision I ever made - it's a leap of faith for sure, but I wouldn't lie to you - it's so so worth it Amanda

welcome to SR!

D
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks so much to you all for responding. Your words have helped immensely. I went to my first meeting today and it was truly wonderful!
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Wow - that's awesome that you went to a meeting! What has helped me more than anything is knowing that others have walked the same path and found a better life on the other side.

It's totally scary, for sure, but that's only when you start thinking about the future, imagining that you won't be able to deal with it sober. If you stay in this very moment and start to connect with it, you'll probably find you're doing OK. The "now" is all we really have, so it's just a matter of making the best of it and being good to ourselves.

FEAR = false evidence appearing real. You can do this!:day6
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Not much to add, RyanRed nailed the answer to this one.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:15 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Thanks so much to you all for responding. Your words have helped immensely. I went to my first meeting today and it was truly wonderful!
That's awesome.....A simple little thing called HOPE.....It can work miracles.
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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alcohol is an abusive relationship.no different from any other.
you will say goodbye when it has mauled you enough ,or it will kill you
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I didn't lose my drinking. I gained sobriety. From there I can do, or not do.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
How on earth will I relax? How will I deal with stress? How will I be a social person?
You can think of it as being similar to learning to ride a bicycle. At first it seems scarier than it really is, and there is an initial learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, living without alcohol becomes second nature.

Quote:
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There are two types of "quitting drinking". There is Abstinence and Recovery.
I'm not changing my signature line.
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