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Old 06-20-2012, 01:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How did any of you actually do this?!


It feels like it is taking all of my energy and time just not to drink. It's day five, and a really stressful meeting came up that I have to deal with this afternoon. Usually I would have four or five cups of vodka with ice and a slice of lemon. And the time would fly, and I would manage to deal with the meeting from a comfortable, "rosy" perspective. Now I am so stuck. How do you deal with life on its own terms without trying to run away through drinking? How did you do it?
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm only 18 days in, but It often helps me to think about all the mistakes I made, all the embarrasment that came with drinking and then i'm thankful that I don't have to worry about that anymore. Drinking is just NOT worth it. you CAN do this!!!
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The first week is hell EJ, the worst, it's not gonna be this hard always. It consumes you and uses up every inch of will power. Whitching hour with kids is hell initially without booze. I'd power through with a strong coffee and chocolate. And keep eating as I never liked booze on a full stomach. Every week was easier till the month mark for me. Then it sort of felt more normal to not drink. I get pleasure from the evenings sober now. There are still hard times as I'm only at 5 weeks but I know the 3 month mark I'll feel even more 'normal' with out a drink in me. All the best hon, keep going, u have to! The only way out is through! X
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For me it really was one day at a time effortjoy.

Early recovery is not easy - it was hard - but then drinking was pretty hard too for me by the end.

I trusted the folks here who assured me it would get better so long as I stayed sober and kept reaching out for support...and it did

Keep the faith effortjoy - you're doing the right thing

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Old 06-20-2012, 01:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It gets easier. The first days were the hardest for me.

1. One of the things that helped me in the beginning was "playing the tape all the way to the end": "If I drink now I will feel....and then in an hour...and by tonight....and tomorrow morning I will wake up hungover feeling like crap."

2. Writing out my Pros/Cons list and referring to it often
My cons list was pretty dire....ending up passed-out drunk on the couch in the afternoon like my mom, and then dead at 49.

The pros list was all the things I dreamed about but felt impossible to achieve.

3. For the first month especially, getting to bed sober was my Number One Priority. It was hard, with work and family and STRESS, but I rearranged my priorities so that I could string together sober days.

4. Making non-drinking plans for my prime drinking hours, 5-8PM.

5. Hanging out on SR, reading all the hopeful posts, soaking up knowledge and Recovery Tools.

You can do this.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Five days is quite an accomplishment. I remember when I went five days...I couldn't even recall the last time I had been sober five days. So well done!

Quote:
Originally Posted by effortjoy View Post
How do you deal with life on its own terms without trying to run away through drinking? How did you do it?
One of the things that helped me was the recognition, finally, that drinking wasn't was "normal" people did to deal with life. Do you have someone in your life who has been dealt with life's harsh blows without drinking?

I did. My sister. When our mom died, she suffered terrible depression, but didn't jump in the bottle like I did. She's had relationships go sour, but never took refuge in alcohol, no matter how bad she felt. And that was it...she never ran from the bad feelings like I always tried to do.

Being sober doesn't mean things will never be bad. It means we accept that things are bad, that they are bound to get better, and sticking our heads in a bottle isn't going to make the bad go away. In fact, it only makes things worse.

Stay strong. You WILL see changes if you don't drink.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How did any of you actually do this?!

i prayed like crazy, went to AA meetings, and didnt drink in between.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I had to decide I would do whatever it took to never drink again, read a ton of books including the Big Book, Rational Recovery, beyond the Influence.....Stayed on SR ALOT
Mainly,
I decided drinking was absolutely not an option....ever again.

I had to want to be sober more than I wanted to drink.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I didn't deal with day five. I was only aware really of day 7 and 8. It was like the indifference between natural childbirth and getting drugs. I chose in hospital detox and drugs, no natural detox for me, I have a yellow stripe a mile wide on my back after failing to quit daily every morning for years while sick as a dog.

But boy were the next few weeks a roller coaster! We hung in there because we had to or die for some of us. For others it was because we were losing or lost the love of our lives. Some have no problem getting through it without drinking from behind bars. I did learn one thing though. Each day I didn't drink was one more day of healing I would never have to do again. Think that one through. You will never again have to deal with day five. It does get better every day but there are setbacks and fast forwards all along the first couple of weeks. We are here for you like all were here for us.

Keep posting as others will read your posts when they first come here and read before they dare to actually register and post. And so will I. The simple response is you can, it is up to you, if you will.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You are on day five. That is great. The beginning is the hard part. Keep going an hour at a time. It will get easier. Your body will quit protesting. Try urge surfing. It helps me alot. Keep going and don't look back. Don't glamorize the drinking.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It is hard now for you to imagine that it does get easier but it definitely does. At 5 days it is still early. You wanted to stop for a reason keep that in mind. I use the support of AA and this forum to stay sober, over a year now and my life, work life are doing better than ever I don't need to block things out anymore with alcohol.

The need to have 5 vodkas before a meeting is not normal.

You can do this if you want it.

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Old 06-20-2012, 03:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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day 5 is early, but these are the hardest times. days will turn into weeks before you know it. i'm sure on day one or two you were counting hours.

the receptors in your brain are sitting there idling, waiting for the "usual" fix. well, it ain't coming. so they start sending strange signals throughout your nervous system, which we interpret as urges to drink. eventually the receptors that are used to receiving the fix will get tired of waiting and re-adjust, thus the recovery process.

the human mind is a pretty cool toy, but it's a very fragile one as well.
the only thing you can do now is to resist that first drink and ride it out... it does get better and easier with time. we are naturally wired to adjust and adapt.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What you're feeling is completely normal, effortjoy. It's a huge adjustment to learn to live in a new way. The fake calmness that alcohol gives us is damaging. It's no way to live. We aren't really present in our daily lives, just phoning it in.

You will begin to feel better soon. You'll go through many phases as you heal and learn to live without getting numb. It's going to be worth it, we promise.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I went to lots of AA meetings, and got involved with a group of people that had a solution.

I surrendered the idea that I could battle alcohol singlehandedly, and accepted the fact that (for me) only a spiritual solution would suffice long term. This paired with the desperation to not die from alcoholism allowed me to be teachable and learn a new way to live.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Effortjoy, 5 days sober? You are FANTASTIC. Congratulations. I "suffered through" it. At 5 days I was just like you. It gets easier as the days go by. You can do it.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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It's easy to feel hopeless during those early days ... most of the times I relapsed, it was during the first month. The first week is especially hard, but it can be done. You have five days ... for an alcoholic that is a certain triumph. Just hang on. I know that's easier said than done, but it's the truth. We are powerless over alcohol. And no matter how bad you feel, alcohol will only make it worse. That's a certainty.

Do you journal? I find it really helpful. I journaled my last drunk and every time the thought of drinking comes to me, I read that. Makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. We alkies are notoriously good at forgetting what our drinking did to us ... we have short memories. Writing it all down and re-reading it during the tough times reminds me that there is no drink that will make my life better ... only worse. All the people I hurt regularly ... the horrible physical crap I put my body through ... the hopelessness ... the despair ... my journal brings those memories back to the present and they are horrifying enough to keep me from taking that first drink. Because I know that that first drink, although it may bring temporary relief, will take me right back down into hell.

Hang on, even if you have to do it by your fingernails. A recovery program of some sort and face to face support would help too - don't know if you have those, but I have found them to make all the difference. We're here in any event.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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effortjoy, well done on 5 days sober, the early stages are difficult.

I got through it by reading a lot, going to meetings. Going on another board and posting, coming on here. Week 2 I went to stay with a friend and took 5 days off work, went swimming, lay in bed, went to meetings, went swimming, read, posted on here. I really kept busy and read a lot about what alcohol does to you and why you should stop (and read about PAWS, I found this site useful Why We Don’t Get Better Immediately: Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) | What…Me Sober? ). I then started eating properly.

I thought I wasn't physically addicted but I definitely had withdrawal symptoms... I kept losing things, and felt awful.

I couldn't understand how some people seemed to be doing well... then realised we're all individuals and that there were a lot of people who were suffering going through early stages.

Things that made me glad though is that I could see real chinks of light, my depression lifted (despite feeling awful) and a couple of weeks later I started to feel physically better.

Now nearly 3 months on I'm very pleased I did it. After a lifetime of drinking your body and mind take a bit to re-adjust, but it's definitely worth it.

Good luck, and keep posting. It gets better bit by bit, and then you really start to notice how much better life is without booze poisoning you.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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How did I get through day 5? Well, I spent most of it hiding in a tent at the Download festival. Told the beast that if she didn't shut up then I wasn't going anywhere.
I'm only on day 17. This is my 6th attempt in just over a month. I can't say I have done it, but I'm doing my best. One day at a time. Going to meetings, trying to eat well. Keep occupied. Get my rest. Have fun. Stay away from people and places that I associate with alcohol.
You can do it. It does get better than day 5. It gets easier too. And that's because it's meant to. So don't give in. You're better than that.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:55 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Effortjoy,
How are you doing today?
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I worked my tail off at first and let myself go through all my emotions. I figure i've been deadening myself to emotions for so long that it's about time to experience them, the bad with the good. Yes, i's draining but that's how it is in the beginning. 5 days is not a long time in the grand scheme of things. I'm at 3 1/2 months and honestly that's not very long considering that i've made a lifelong commitment. You may find that it takes a couple of weekes before you feel you energy levels start to even out and some sense of normalcy return to your body. In the beginning i had to take the "fake it 'till you make it" mentality. Personally i ate out or had my husband cook a lot, slept a lot and didn't do a lot of cleaning. I met my minimum obligations and let my body and mind heal. Give yourself time and be gentle with yourself. It gets better and after a while you won't be able to understand how you were able to function with all that alcohol in your system. Your body and mind are amazing things but you need to give them time to heal and you need to be gentle with them for now. You'll have plenty of time to run them through the ringer again when you've healed up.
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