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Old 04-16-2013, 07:08 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lifewillgetbet View Post
I didnt read all the posts. But your friend is correct. If you think you may have a problem. You do.
I'm somewhat of a functional alcoholic. I don't count my days but Im National Director Of Business Development for a monster tech company.
Im a drunk. But I guess you could say I am somewhat functional. I would not have the career I do if I was unable to function. I actually did 3 degrees and an MBA. Hammered.
Its was a special scenario.
You will learn a bunch of information form SR. This site has been a blessing.
I suppose I always thought of myself as a functional alcoholic as well. I can only lay claim to having completed two degrees hammered. But I always thought that since I still managed to pay the bills, have a great job in the computer business, and wasn't living in the gutter that I was functioning. I do think the level at which I functioned went steadily down-hill over the years the more I started drinking.

These days, it seems like settling for functioning is a pretty low standard really. I could never thrive in life as an alcoholic. I want something more.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:19 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Just got done reading through this entire thread for the first time. Congratulations! It is very inspiring. I could relate to so many of your experiences, challenges, victories, etc.
I don't know you, and yet I am somehow so very proud of you. : )

You are doing so well in what sounds like a somewhat challenging environment. It is tough when those around us "don't get it". Good for you for sticking with your convictions and continuing to walk your path to a healthier, happier, and more peaceful future.

Although it may not always seem like it, please remember that:
You are not alone, you are doing the right thing, and it is totally worth it!
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:21 AM   #43 (permalink)
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....maybe someday "I enjoyed a day of not drinking" (is that possible?)

yes.
oh yes.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:41 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Thoughts...


Well, my thoughts are starting to clear up a little. I have come to realize this week that my brain was starting to get into pretty bad shape. I suppose the years of alcohol abuse were starting to have a bit of an impact on me.

Now, I'm getting to this point where I seem to have a lot more thoughts running through my head/new thoughts running through my head. When I was drinking, I started to do this thing all the time where I would get stuck looping the same thoughts through my head- generally something negative. I'd pick a problem and focus on it and make myself miserable thinking about how terrible said problem was, even though really, my thoughts about whatever it was were probably were than whatever I was picking to feel bad about.

When I read the symptoms for PAWS one of the things on the list (Why We Donít Get Better Immediately: Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) | What...Me Sober? and Post-acute-withdrawal syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) was rigid, repetitive thinking. Also pessimistic thoughts. A lot of those things I seemed to get a lot when I was drinking a lot. I wonder if some of those symptoms are not necessarily a result of the withdrawal but a result of the drinking.

Regardless, I feel like I'm getting stuck in negative thought loops less. It's become easier to stop the bad thoughts and think something else and there seem to be fewer bad thoughts now. I can feel my thought patterns changing. It feels like trying to use pathways in my brain that haven't been used in forever... it's like driving through a town I haven't been through in a long time and I remember some of the streets, but there are new stop-lights and lanes and buildings and you have to learn your way again even though it's familiar.

Today, I've been more or less useless as far as my job is concerned and I realized I was feeling terribly guilty about it. How useless. Either I do something about it, or I'm wasting my time feeling guilty. I waste a lot of time worrying about things.

But ignoring the fact that I've been useless today, I've had minimal thoughts about drinking. Really, I haven't had a cravey moment yet today and that is certainly progress! I thought this morning at 10:00, "There are days I would have started drinking by now," but I didn't want a drink, I was happy with my coffee. The last several days I had a lot of cravey times, and addicted-type thoughts still, so it's nice that has lessened up.

The last few months, I was drinking more heavily than normal even I think, and I had started to gain a little weight. It was really bothering me that I suddenly could no longer get into most of my pants and the others were starting to be a super tight fit. But already in the last 8 days between not drinking and trying to get a bit of exercise every day, my pants have started to fit better again. I was starting to freak out a little, not so much because I'd put on a few pounds, but because I didn't want to keep putting on more...I knew I had to change the direction I was headed. I knew I had to stop drinking so much that my weight was getting out of control for the first time in my life.

Also, I've been thinking that I was maybe a bit more of an alcoholic than I'd realized. I wasn't really in denial about having an alcohol problem- I knew I drank too much, but I don't think I'd really taken a good look at it in a couple of years. I knew I had an alcohol issue before I turned 21, but wasn't willing to face it then, because I still wanted my time as a 21 year old. Now it's almost 4 years later, I realize my alcohol issue has gotten progressively worse and I didn't really notice... Hard to believe it's been almost 4 years since then.... where did the time go?!? Oh yeah, I was drunk the whole time. (Minus the one time I managed to go like 11 days without alcohol and once when I was so hung over I couldn't get out of bed all day much less start drinking again). So, if I take inventory, I started drinking at 16. Pretty much immediately, I had a problem with it. I liked to drink until I was super trashed. I had many bad hangovers. I found older men to buy me large, cheep bottles of vodka and drank screwdrivers for a long time because I didn't know anything else about alcohol and I liked those ok.

Somewhere along the lines, I started drinking anything I could. Cheap beer, cheap wine in a box, whatever mixed drink I was offered, Bailey's in my coffee. At first I couldn't drink hard liquor straight. Eventually, I liked nothing better than a glass of whiskey or vodka or tequila straight to sip on through the night, maybe a beer on the side. I developed a taste for expensive wine... useless.

I had excuses... that I was a college student, and after that that I couldn't quit before 21 and after that that I couldn't quit after 21 and after that I went through a hard break-up and then another and drowned myself in alcohol (especially after the second break-up).

Things have gotten out of control more than once. I've hurt myself when drunk, said things I didn't mean to, said things I didn't remember, passed-out sitting up, passed-out on the bathroom floor, vomited countless times, been to the ER, was afraid as hell I'd have to go to the ER again, I've had bad experiences with other people I was drinking with having anger issues, I had to call the cops once on my ex because things got out of control when we were drinking (him, not me), I've made countless bad life decisions when drinking. I get into drunken arguments with my boyfriend. I have anger issues because of alcohol. I've damaged my property because of alcohol.

I have almost no social life. I spent all day waiting for time to drink. I'd wake-up wanting to drink. I'd wake-up somewhat hungover, but it had been like that for so long, I didn't realize I was feeling like s*** from drinking because I thought it was normal and I was just depressed or something... My brain hurt. Like I felt like there was too much pressure inside my skull and I don't feel like that now that I have a few days off of the stuff.

My finances are in sorry shape. And I have, um, progress to make at my job if I don't want to lose it. My relationship is dysfunctional and probably going to fall apart if I don't put some serious work into it, or worse, not fall apart but just get more dysfunctional.

It snuck up on me.

I'm glad I'm done. I'm not drunk today. My thoughts are clearing up and I'm starting to see the vastness of what drinking was doing to my life.

It would be easy to forget these things I think and to start thinking that a drink sounded good. So hopefully by writing them down, I can remember...
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:12 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Day 9

Well, Day 9 is about over. Hard to believe I have 9 days in some ways!! This wasn't quite something I had planned it just happened after a bad night's drinking and things getting out of control with my bf. So in a way, it's almost surprising to realize that I am here with 9 days alcohol free!! I've spent so long saying, "I need to quit drinking" or "I need to drink less." It's strange to just be not drinking.

I can feel my brain and body getting better. I've been getting plenty of exercise and eating well. I look better. I've lost a little weight. I sleep better, although tonight I fell asleep right after dinner and now I'm awake again and wondering how I'm ever going to get back to sleep tonight at a reasonable hour.

I notice myself thinking more, imagining more, day-dreaming more. I've had strange fantasies. I think it's just my brain starting to kick into gear again, like starting the AC at the beginning of the summer and a bunch of dust blows out of the ducts first thing.

I am trying to ease myself back into the responsibilities of real life more and more... the first few days, I was really focused on nothing but not drinking and trying to take care of basic aspects of my health like eating and drinking water.

I read that nuts help with PAWS so I bought some at the store today and now I'm munching on them while I write. I try to engage myself actively in recovery behaviors and thoughts almost constantly. I think all day about drinking water, not getting too hungry, getting exercise. I try to watch my negative thoughts that might cause me to drink. I post on SR. And they are all helping! It feels good each time I make a good decision, even if it's a little decision. I feel like I'm making progress.

Proud of my 9 days!!
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:28 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Fantastic job on 9 days....It will get easier and easier.....
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:04 PM   #47 (permalink)
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DG, congrats on 9 days! I'm on day 9 myself. I can relate to just about everything you posted. It is very strange to be at home at night trying to figure out what to do because I would usually be drinking. Last night I almost had a meltdown, but tonight I am feeling much more calm. I know we're not out of the storm yet, but my cravings are fewer and farther between. Good luck
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:45 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Congrats to both of you for your nine days
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:58 AM   #49 (permalink)
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10 days done, starting Day 11

Well, things are moving along. I am definitely proud of myself for my 10 days!! I am getting used to everything, trying to focus on actively doing recovery things to constantly forward the progress.

I have dreams at night again. I wake-up feeling well-rested. I don't know if I've lost any real weight- I don't bother with scales- but my pants fit better and I'm sure I've lost fat and gained some muscle. I feel healthier. I ran 1/2 a mile last night and then walked another 1.5 miles and would have gone further except I felt starving and low on energy so I went to go have dinner.

I have to pay close attention to my diet- if I get hungry I start feeling bad.

And I'm starting to get beyond where I'm thinking about just not drinking and about the other things I need to work on for my recovery- job responsibilities that I've fallen behind on, etc. I'm trying to not let myself stress too much and to ease myself into things a little.

I am looking forward to Day 11!
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:03 AM   #50 (permalink)
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take it slowly ... don't expect too much too soon but it's awesome what you've achieved. Keep it up
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:10 AM   #51 (permalink)
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good for you...accountability isn't addressed as much I'd like to see...Myself and many others abhor responsibility and tend to blame others. You are on the right track. ODAAT
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:54 AM   #52 (permalink)
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good for you...accountability isn't addressed as much I'd like to see...Myself and many others abhor responsibility and tend to blame others. You are on the right track. ODAAT
Avoiding my responsibilities and blaming others is what got me where I was...So I figure it's time for something else if I'm going to go somewhere else.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:24 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Day 12

Well, I am starting on Day 12.

I've never had a Day 12 before. Once on one of my few real attempts to moderate my drinking, I went 11 days with no alcohol and that was the longest I've been since I was 16. It makes it kind of special to me in a way to be on Day 12 now.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:48 AM   #54 (permalink)
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Congratulations. Please be alert of the hazards on the sober path. There is a demon that hides in our ear that might say "it wasn't that bad" and we at times of stress hear it loud and clear. I at first found it difficult to say NO thanks when someone offered me a drink so I stayed out of these situations. It was too tempting to keep booze in the house for me. and on and on. I joined AA even though I didn't think "I was that BAD", how bad do we need to get? I found out I was that bad when I got some honesty within. BE WELL
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:01 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Day 13...almost done!

Well, it's almost bedtime. Day 13 is almost done. Things are getting somewhat easier. It's up and down and a little all over, but I can see them starting to level out a little. I can feel the progress.

Today I felt tired & worn out a bit... when I did my pushups & went to go walking, I didn't have the strength/energy that I did a few days ago... so I didn't push it. I figure my body is probably low on some kind of nutrient after all the years of malnutrition. Maybe low on real energy in general, and I have upped my level of physical activity over the last two weeks, so I know my body is also probably putting forth a lot of energy to start building more muscle again. So I took it easy, went on a slow, short walk. Had a nap (not intentional, just fell asleep). And trying to eat good to replenish the nutritional requirements of my body.

I almost don't know how I feel... oh, wait, I guess this is what feeling sober is like. Still, don't feel entirely used to it. Still think I'm adjusting, too... I'm not sure this is even what being really sober is like, but what being off alcohol for only 13 days after 9 years is like. I suspect I'll start feeling better with more time.

Proud of 13 days though!!
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:44 PM   #56 (permalink)
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2 weeks!!
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:24 AM   #57 (permalink)
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3 weeks!!

Well, I have been spending my time over in the April 2013 class thread rather than staying over here being antisocial. But I wanted to take some time and ramble on about 3 weeks and update this thread.

I am in some ways simply shocked to have 3 weeks. Everyday I wake up not drinking is still a little bit of a surprise, although I am getting more used to it. Now, I suspect if I woke up hungover, it would be WAY more of a surprise. And I'd be so upset if that happened.

Three weeks of not drinking and focusing on eating a healthy diet (as best as I could manage anyway, I'm no dietician and I've spent the last 2 weeks on the road, but it was really mostly healthy, I think), drinking water, stretching out every day, doing a few pushups, taking walks, trying to get enough sleep.

Some things are just magically better:
  • I feel less depressed.
  • I have more energy.
  • I'm less anxious
  • I sleep better and have dreams again.
  • I wake up feeling well rested.
  • My thoughts are clearer and my memory is much better.
  • I'm more relaxed most of the time.
  • I DO get emotional, but I am able to clearly think about it and handle it better.
  • I had some sort of fungal infection or something on the bottom of my foot that magically disappeared. I don't know if this is due to an improvement in my immune system or sweating less or what, but the skin on my feet isn't disintegrating, so I'll take it.
  • WAY less sweaty than I was as a drinker.
  • More motivated again.

I see more progress ahead. There are more changes I need to make in life if I want to be successful and happy at this long-term.
  • Continuing to eat well, drink water & exercise.
  • Changing thought patterns that don't benefit me.
  • I need to learn to value myself more and take care of myself better.
  • Sometimes, I focus too much on others.
  • I need to develop healthy coping methods for when I have problems.
  • I need to work on my relationship.
  • I need to get more caught up at work.
  • I need to develop more of a social network with people not based on alcohol&drugs.
  • I know there are more things.

The nice thing is that I'm not drunk, so I can think clearly and see what needs done. I can tackle things one at a time.

It's hard to look back at how I was living my life. It's hard to come up out of the fog to dealing with the problems that I left myself. I want to get frustrated sometimes, but that isn't the way.

I just need to take things one day at a time, one problem at a time and slowly work through them.

I'm very proud of my 3 weeks.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:51 AM   #58 (permalink)
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3 weeks!!

I'm very proud of my 3 weeks.
You should be. Continued success.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:20 AM   #59 (permalink)
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4 weeks today.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:39 AM   #60 (permalink)
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How are you coming with the "changes I need to make in life" list?

Coping skills are important for the things we ran to alcohol for.
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