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Old 02-02-2013, 08:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Maples Tale


Starting a new thread since the subject of the old one is no longer relevant. Last Monday I woke up terribly hurt, hung over, nervous, depressed, and desperate. I have been an alcoholic for years. I am a 34 year old man, single, live alone, drink alone. Close with my family, told them I was an alcoholic over 2 years ago, they have been watching me closely and have been frustrated by my stalemate with my addiction. Have been trying to quit on my own since i told them. It isn't working... My job is on the line, my relationship with my GF is on the line, my life is on the line. I am sharing my tale after only 5 days, because I KNOW there are lots of others in the same boat and because I KNOW posting daily helps me. Original thread here.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...g-nervous.html

The tale is just beginning.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Day 6 begins.

i actually slept for 5 hours last night. Unfortunately sleep started at 4 am when I finally calmed down. Even on a Friday night when I have no morning commitments, and I am buried in blankets because its 15 degrees F outside, I still cannot relax. This is getting old.

Tomorrow I am going to an AA meeting in Dorchester, my 3rd since Monday. My mentor (not my sponsor, it's only been days, see orig thread) has volunteered to pick me up on the way. I am very excited. The meeting is at 9am, but he tells me if you don't get there by 8:30 you won't get a seat. The speakers are excellent, he tells me. They will make you think and set you up to begin the week on a strong note. I am bringing a notebook, will post what I experience tomorrow.

Last night was major AV. I got in my truck after getting a haircut and literally spent 20 minutes going back and forth in my head about getting a pint. This was the first day I had this happen since Monday. It was awful. I smoked a cig and drove home, and felt incredible. Then my GF cancelled on me, she was tired. Dammit, AV returns. It took me hours to battle it. You would think that as soon as 11pm hit I would be ecstatic and fall into a deep sleep, but for some reason I felt awful for not drinking last night and could not relax. This was totally unexpected. But I survived another day and am ok.

Today I am going to dinner with my GFs best friend and her Best friends fiancÚ. Never met them before. Nervous for a whole new reason... FWIW, My GF knows about my problem.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Things are going to be up and down for a while, Maples. There are going to be a lot of "firsts" and situations that used to make us anxious are going to still make us anxious...more so now that we don't have our medicine. But as you pass through these things, you get a little bit stronger, knowing you've done it already. Getting someone to guide you through the steps is going to make a huge difference too.

Be easy on yourself and keep at those meetings.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey Maples,

You sound like you're just where you should be on day 6 -- mood-swinging, dealing w/ cravings, stressing over everything big & small, not using one minute at a time, and talking to other alcoholics to help you get through those minutes!

I'm so glad you're continuing to push yourself forward! It WILL get better. One thing I've seen already is the improvement in the quality of my relationships, even though my first instinct is still to isolate.

Hugs!!!
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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some great advice here Maples - I'm really pleased and proud of your progress

D
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Maples hang in there, what have you got to lose? Everything by the sounds of it.
It takes time, I understand what you are going through, I have been through it myself and it does get better and easier. keep reading and posting.
How did dinner go?
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Maples, you're doing great, keep it up. What the others said is true, the first week or two are always the hardest. Usually, if you can get past 30 days, you're doing great. Just keep going and remember, you don't have to drink TODAY. And go with that the next day too. You sound so determined, you can do this!!
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi folks, today begins day 7. This is the first full week I have been sober in literally years. I have gotten through 3,4,5 days, but never a full Mon > Sun.

Last night I went out to dinner with my GF and met her best friend + best friend's fiance. About 6 or 7 years ago, being in a restaurant while sober was the bane of my existence. I had severe social anxiety, and other people watching me eat was very painful. My hands would shake, not from booze (my abuse was just beginning then), but from pure nervousness of being in public. I always tried to convince people to find restaurants that had big booths, so I could hide from the other patrons. It led me to a lot of discomfort, and then self medicated alcohol abuse to hide my self loathing later on.

Last night went very, very well. The 3 of them split a bottle of wine, I drank ice water the whole meal. The restaurant was a tiny little hole in the wall place in Brookline that was very hard to get into. We had to make reservations days in advance. The atmosphere was crowded, hot, loud, within close proximity of other customers, and the meal took about 2 hours. All triggers for my anxiety, I would have been miserable several years ago. I would have been miserable 4 days ago! I did fine. I have been taking anxiety medication for a few years, and it seems when you stop drinking it actually helps. (of course it does!). However, the end of the night brought me back to reality. Driving home went straight through the city and my irritability really slammed into me. I was so angry with the lights, the traffic, the potholes, and how long it took. It was uncanny. (deep breaths)

Anyway, this morning my mentor picked me up at 8am and we went to a meeting. He has been talking to me about getting to this meeting since Wed, as it has very powerful speakers. If you don't get there by 8:30, you will be standing. We got there at 8:15 and grabbed 2 seats 4 rows back in the direct center so we could see and hear perfectly. At 8:50 I look around and am stunned that there are people crowded into doorways, standing outside in the hall, piled up everywhere. Probably 200-250 people in total. HUGE for a 1 hour meeting, I am thinking.

The meeting starts. There were 4 speakers, each with ~15 minutes. I won't go into detail about each of their speeches, but suffice to say that these 4 were incredible human beings. 2 of them spent about 10 years in prison, 1 of them was my mentor's godmother. There was solemn understanding as they brought us to their low points, there was roaring laughter at the jokes - one of them was particularly good at working them into his story - there were tears during the tales of recovery. It was incredible. One of the women who spoke related her AV to Gollum battling Smeagol in the Lord of the Rings movie. Not only an effective comparison, but it got the room worked up into a laughing frenzy as she explained it and immitated it.

I took notes, and found a lot of very good lessons in what they told me. Things to relate to and things I learned.
- how some of us hated seeing the sun come up.
- how we are unavailable to show up for important events.
- how succumbing to the addiction makes us feel dirty.
- how recovery will allow us to begin taking healthy risks and how we need those risks.
etc...

I'm overwhelmed.

Tomorrow will be Monday > Monday for me. I return to the beginners meeting where I started last week, where I walked in as low as I have ever been in my life. I cannot wait to walk in that door and show them someone who is not sweating, shaking, stinking, crying, and pleading for help. I still need a ton of help, but I feel I am getting it. I saw several members who saw me in that terrible state this morning, they all told me I looked so much better. It made me beam from ear to ear.

Still battling sleep issues, but off to the gym and then to a sober super bowl party. Have a great day folks.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow I'm so happy for you. I just cant express how excited I get when I hear such poweful stuff. Keep it up, stay on this track, it sounds perfect for you.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Awesome, Maples. There are going to be lots of new experiences and changes as you continue your journey. A few curse words in traffic is a small thing, and they'll be some bigger things that will pull and push you about early on, but worth the price of admission of sobriety.

Keep taking notes, feel present in your own skin as much as you can, and keep at it. It gets better.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks member72 and Paul. I am scared at how well I am feeling. My AV has returned big time, like "you feel good now, you can handle drinking the same way!".

I made some phone calls today to battle it. Cannot wait until bedtime. So darn hard to not do something stupid!

Time to go drive for a bit and smoke my 3rd cig of the day. That's more than usual, as usual = about 5-10 cigs a week.

PS. Screw the superbowl. No Patriots, I'm not watching. I'll read the headlines tomorrow.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Great post Maples,

Brought a tear to my eye. I think you showed great calmness and restraint to wait 2 hours for a meal. It's great to hear people getting excited about getting sober.

We are the lucky ones.

Love
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It sounds like your doing great. I would have loved to hear those 4 speakers from how you described it.

Traffic, long waits, extremely loud people always got me angry when I was newly sober (who am I kidding, after a long day they still do lol) but its worth it to be sober.

Descibing the difference from when you went to your first meeting last monday and how you feel about going tomorrow just shows how each week we get stronger, healthier, and happier as we continue the road to recovery!

Keep up the good work
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't know how I missed this, Maples. Very good stuff indeed.

Just want to say I am so proud of you, and I know others will be very inspired by your words. I love your enthusiasm and upbeat attitude - you're determined. Congratulations on your 7 days. I look forward to following your story from now on.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:09 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey maples how are you doing this fine morning? Thought of you first thing, but could not get to post until now. Hope all is well. ps go Ravens....sorry but you know how it goes.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Maples! Where are you, friend? please post. Let us all know your doing okay.If you need someone to lean on we are all here.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I have a sponsor!!! My mentor agreed to become my sponsor! I am so so so happy, he hosts Tue night meetings at his house and has several other guys he sponsors and I was impressed with their commitment. I was afraid he wouldn't have time for me, but I told him there was so much he could teach me and he agreed! I feel so lucky!
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm happy for you, Mapes!

Please stick with this--it works if you work it!
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:03 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks CF, more to come. I am starting to like this story. It is 2 am now and my insomnia needs a battle but my excitement isn't helping!

Member72, thanks for sticking with me!
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:19 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Well done Maples. I s hold mention early I could do well and hold it together when around triggers, once it was done it was then that I struggled for a while. even that goes away with time. It's an adventure.
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