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Old 06-05-2012, 07:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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mourning the loss of alcohol and drugs


Yesterday was very stressful for me - the most since I stopped drinking 49 days ago. So, of course I was tormented by my AV about thought of drinking or using. It didn't help that when running errands I passed 2 different liquor stores and 3 bars. It finally hit me during all of this that no matter what I could not drink or use - I would not. Ever. This was really a powerful idea that really saddened and confused me. Part of me felt I was losing an old comforting friend, and part of me felt I was casting out a demon. Overall I wasn't upset that I couldn't get drunk or high. I was more upset that my safety blanket was forever gone and that I would have to face my problems head on. This seems like a daunting task, but one that needs to be done. Later that night I was able to start working on the cause of my stress and I felt good that I was now resolving my problems instead of ignoring them. The hardest part for me about being sober is being unable to check out of reality when the stress is overwhelming.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good for you to stay the course.

I found it liberating to finally accept that not drinking meant FOREVER. No more wrestling with the idea that one day I could drink, no magical drink date looming in the future. I could stop looking for the loophole that would allow me to try, yet again, controlled drinking. I'm done. Surrender.

Freedom.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Great job, Gordano. Interesting topic, too. Stress is a natural biological reactionówe're wired to feel stress for a reason. I think of it as a horse; untamed, it's dangerous, but when properly harnessed and controlled, it's very a useful thing. And managing it is a lot easier now that I don't have the constant, non-specific background stress that followed me everywhere when I was drinking...

As for the whole concept of "forever", that's the bedrock of my recovery. It was a scary notion at first. Now it's a great comfort. I thank my stars I never have to drink again.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yesterday is history and tomorrow a mystery, but today is the first day of the rest of your life. If you only look at not drinking or using just for today it becomes a less daunting task. Don't know what an AV is but if you're having problems coping with a sober life style then you need to associate with others going through what you are, on a face to face basis. I urge you to get yourself to A.A. or some form of it.

One thing I CAN promise you is that even though you can't "check out of reality when the stress is overwhelming" is that you will get to a point the you'll be able to handle it better and it won't be overwhelming anymore. It's also true that even though we were able to check-out by using, when we sobered up the things we were hiding from were still there and maybe even more stressfull because they'd been allowed to fester.

Another thing about 'checking out' is that when we did, we also missed all the wonders of the world that were happening around us. Personally, I love the serenity of drifting across a mountain lake in my canoe with an eagle flying overhead. If I'd been drinking or using, even if I had made it onto the lake, I'd have been to worried about the eagle crapping on my head to enjoy the world aroung me

You're doing fantastic - keep with it - It's most definitely worth it
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I know there is a different train of though on either not drinking for today, or not drinking forever. I'm still trying to figure out what concept works best for me. I think last night when I realized that I would never be able to drink again was a bit unnerving, but at the same time a comfort like ReadyAndAble said. For me its just easier to say, I'm never drinking again - and be done with it and move on with my life, instead of saying "today I'm not going to drink." I don't know though... right now with only 7 weeks sober everything seems confusing. I have gone to a few AA meetings, but I am still struggling with the AVRT (Addictive Voice Recognition Therapy) concept vs the AA concept.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, it was tough for me to let my "old friend" go too. Then again, that "friend" was stealing my life and everything I cared about. I don't need friends like that. Sure, alcohol gave me a lot ... in the beginning. In the end, it stole from me more than it ever gave me. The gifts in sobriety are so much better.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've had those days, Gordano. Sorry you had one. Hope its better today. Right now, I'm feeling relieved of the desire to drink. I don't have good memories of it at the present. Sure, I can fantasize what I would like to think it would be, or even what it was like, but I quickly see that those are lies. I think I've grown accustom to playing the tape through to the end, which is a little trick I picked up here on SR, from Dee.

For instance, I was at a neighborhood yard party celebrating the end of the school year. Last year, I was buzzed when I arrived, and assumed everyone else was like that as well. This year, I was sober, and everyone actually was like that upon arrival. What's more, I didn't see one person out of control at the party, or even overly buzzed. Oh, how my mind played tricks on me. I'm sure there was an afterparty, like last year, and the shots broke out. But I wasn't there this year. I was home, asleep, to arise to a day I could welcome, rather than despise. I had a good time, and wasn't tempted, because I had a tape from last year, when I could hardly walk myself home.

I enjoy your posts Gordano!
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I just wanted you all to know that I read each of them intently and they are a huge source of comfort and support in my early sobriety. I know for a fact I would not have been sober this long without the kindness and compassion of all of you on SR. Thank you!
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordano View Post
Yesterday was very stressful for me - the most since I stopped drinking 49 days ago. So, of course I was tormented by my AV about thought of drinking or using. It didn't help that when running errands I passed 2 different liquor stores and 3 bars. It finally hit me during all of this that no matter what I could not drink or use - I would not. Ever. This was really a powerful idea that really saddened and confused me. Part of me felt I was losing an old comforting friend, and part of me felt I was casting out a demon. Overall I wasn't upset that I couldn't get drunk or high. I was more upset that my safety blanket was forever gone and that I would have to face my problems head on. This seems like a daunting task, but one that needs to be done. Later that night I was able to start working on the cause of my stress and I felt good that I was now resolving my problems instead of ignoring them. The hardest part for me about being sober is being unable to check out of reality when the stress is overwhelming.
EXACTLY my thoughts! I wish I could check out of my life for a few hours...been thinking about this too much lately.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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EXACTLY my thoughts! I wish I could check out of my life for a few hours...been thinking about this too much lately.
I am grateful for sleep. Sometimes this is the only way I can get relief. Each new day is usually resets my mental attitude.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Here is a good little exercise for you to do gordano....Make a list of the 10 worst things that alcohol and drugs have done for you....And the 10 best things that alcohol and drugs have done for you. Then figure out why you miss it. Try it. You know what I had to do to make it to 11 months sober gordano?...Everything that I needed to do.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Best things:

escape reality
I get to be high
(thats it)

Worst things:

getting arrested
separating from wife
disappointing son
losing job
losing friends
health problems
hangover\withdrawal
anxiety
guilt
depression
missing opportunities
(I could go on and on)

Thanks Sapling, I get your point.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
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In the beginning of recovery, I stayed stopped one day at a time. Today, I know I don't drink, it's just not an option. Today, I have no problem with alcohol around me; it's something that doesn't phase me. I know I won't drink again, for me.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Gordano, I hope you can get through this.

Have you read 'Drinking: A Love Story' by Caroline Knapp. It's a memoir of a young, high-functioning alcoholic woman and her love affair with alcohol. It's a very inspiring book.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:39 AM   #15 (permalink)
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That was quick...I'm not sure I see the the benefits of escaping reality?...I call that missing life.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Gordano, as I was reading through some stuff for a topic in an AA meeting I'm chairing today, I came across this from "As Bill Sees It" :

"Most people feel more secure on the 24-hour basis than they do in the resolution that they will never drink again. Most of them have broken too many resolutions. It's really a matter of personal choice; every AA has the privilege of interpreting the program as he likes.

"Personally, I take the attitude that I intend never to drink again. This is somewhat different from saying, 'I will never drink again.' The latter attitude sometimes gets people in trouble because it is undertaking on a personal basis to do what we alcoholics never could do. It is too much an act of will and leaves too little room for the idea that God will release us from the drink obsession provided we follow the AA program."

I don't know if this helps or if you're even involved in AA, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:48 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Someone once made me a Guarantee - If you haven't lost EVERYTHING you value in life - Keep drinking - You WILL.

Everyone has different things that they value most.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:50 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Gordano, I hope you can get through this.

Have you read 'Drinking: A Love Story' by Caroline Knapp. It's a memoir of a young, high-functioning alcoholic woman and her love affair with alcohol. It's a very inspiring book.
I will definitely check that out. Usually when I get stressed I read a recovery book since it helps reinforce my sobriety.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:53 AM   #19 (permalink)
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That was quick...I'm not sure I see the the benefits of escaping reality?...I call that missing life.
That's very true, but to an addict missing life can be a vacation. My goal is to be a healthy person however, so I can't take any more "vacations" from reality.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Keep on it - one day at a time
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