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Day 412...The Hard Stuff

Old 05-10-2013, 08:21 PM
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Day 412...The Hard Stuff

Well I am on Day 412 without even a sip of alcohol. All though I haven't been active in this forum I have browsed it quit a bit over the last year. I just wanted to get some stuff of my chest that I am sure many of you have heard before but I have no one I can vent to as they wouldn't understand. I apologize for the long post but Friday nights are still a challenge for me sometime and I try hard to keep busy until 9:00 or so and the temptation passes.

I am a functional alcoholic..weekend warrior I guess is the best term. Rarely drank at home but get out on a Friday night and it was no holds barred. Drink from 6PM to 2AM. SoCo and coke and shots until I couldn't remember the night unless I read my drunken texts and deleted my drunken Facebook post.

If there was an activity on the wekend that involved alcohol I was in. During the week I would go out with the intention of having just a couple beers and some wings and 2 out of 3 times I was succesful but that 1 out of 3 I would meet a friend and the shots would start flowing and it would be Midnight and then a hangover at work the next day.

This was my pattern for over 30 years. Since I could go for weeks without having a drink I never thought I had a problem. The last few years though my age, I'm turning 50 in June this year, was starting to catch up with me. Now the Friday night binges were taking 2 days to recover. Was easily drinking 15-20 SoCo and cokes on a Friday night along with shots. I was useless until 5 or 6 PM on Saturday night and wasted many a wonderful day sick hungover on the couch.

A couple of my closest friends started asking me how I was and said they worried about me a bit. Then I started to notice if someone called me on a Saturday to go have a few at some event on Saturday afternoon I was pulling a bottle of Vodka out of the freezer at 9:00 AM and slamming a few good swigs and I was good to go.

About this time someone also came into my life that I realized I couldn't continue to drink around if I wanted them in my life. A story for another day.

I knew I had to do something or it was going to catch up with me. So on Friday March 23rd, 2012 I sat with a couple of my good friends who had showed concern for me at my hangout and at 11:58 PM I finished my SoCo and coke and patted them on the back and walked home and haven't had a drink since.

Now the Hard Stuff...

It took a complete lifestyle change and here is the stuff I am struggling with.

1. All the friends I had I realized really were not friends but simply drinking buddies. I see them in the grocery store and say hi and we have nothing to talk about. I miss them but I guess the only thing we really had in common was alcohol and buying shots for each other.

2. Finding friends that don't drink. Everyone drinks! I have a few close friends who have been my friends since I was 10 years old. They will always be there but the challenge is finding new friends. I haven't and it can be depressing.

3. Alcohol is everywhere. It was over 6 months before I dared go to the Outback for dinner!!! I still have a hard time. The drink flyers are there...the waitress has to pitch the drink specials. I can still taste them but so far have fought it off. Sometimes I even have to turn the radio off when a good ole drinking song comes on! I have realized I will always be exposed to the alcohol pitches and it's my problem and no one elses.

4. I miss the old stomping ground but realize I can never stop in and visit. To dangerous for me. I have been to a couple functions there I simply had to go to. I get there right when it starts, eat, visit and leave and never stay for more than an hour. Have to leave before the Jell-O shots come out. I drive by and look in the window and see the band playing and it is calling me. I can never go back and it's hard as I was there for years 3-4 nights a week.

5. I actually did have fun...and I miss it. I laughed and partied and flirted with the girls and they flirted with me. We would laugh until we cried. I can honestly say many a nights I actually had a blast dancing and singing and socializing. It's gone and I know I can't go back or I won't stay sober. I read post on here where people say they go out and just drink soda with the gang. To dangerous for me.

6. Sometimes I feel like a werewolfe. I need someone to come over on Friday night and chain me in the house and come back Saturday morning and let me out lol. So far I have done all right on my own and keep extra busy on Friday nights but it scares me I may slip at some point. Friday nights are my danger nights and I have a feeling they will be for the rest of my life. Right now I have someone in my life that helps keep me busy but I fear if that ends I will be in real danger.

7. I can still taste that alcohol and the sweet release after downing the first few. I close my eyes and imagine it and it's so real. I can clearly taste it and feel the warm feeling even without taking a sip. Will that go away?? I do hope it does.

So my biggest goal right now is finding friends to do stuff with that don't drink and it has proven challenging. My real good friends support me but even that makes me uncomfortable. I won't even go over and sit on the deck with them anymore as they sit there and drink a soda and they never did that before so I know they are doing it for me. It's nice of them but they should be able to enjoy a beer on their deck. I have the problem not them.

Again I apologize for the long post and I am going to make an effort to log in here once a day and contribute and comment and encourage people. I am going to have a clean and sober 50th birthday this year and am looking forward to it. Thanks everyone for listeneing to my rambling. It got me safely through an extra tough Friday night
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:39 PM
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Hi bucolic

I think learning to live sober is actually the biggest part of recovery.

For a long time I was an alcoholic trying to live sober - I had the same friends, I went to the same places...nothing fit...

Eventually I drank again...

a few more years went by - then I stopped again. This time I became a hermit...I stayed sober but I was unhappy, and unfulfilled.

The key is I think is a middle way - getting sober and finding ways to be happy that way.

Finding friends is hard if you're thinking 'ok...here I am...making friends'...
Remember how it was when you were a kid? you just made friends.

Find things you're interested in - hobbies activities interests - the chances are you'll find people you like and make friends

do you think you might still be in a mental place of between drinks?

seems like you're missing it, and the lifestyle, and the friends - weekends seem like a prison sentence... and you haven't really started on building a new life?

If you can't think of anything else to start off on, I recommend volunteering - it got me out of the house, got me thinking about other peoples problems, and ti got me back into relating to people without alcohol being the focus of attention

D
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:07 PM
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Very powerful story and wonderful follow up. Thank you for sharing that.

You need to be super proud of what you have accomplished. You see, I envy you and hope someday I feel what 412 is like.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:41 PM
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Congrats on the 412 days!
I can relate to many of your struggles.
I too take regular walks by my old hangout, as I walk by, I try to look inside to see if I recognize anyone, I usually do. My biggest struggle is that I have many more good memories of using than bad ones, as I too was a high functioning chemically dependant person. It's been over 18 months since my last drink. Weekly AA meetings have really helped me this time around. Drinking really isn't even a passing thought anymore, even on weekends. My subconscious must be thinking about it though because some times I have alcohol/drug related dreams. I wake up feeling riddled with guilt until I fully awaken, then I realize it was just a dream.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:59 AM
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Thank you so much for sharing your story. You expressed it very well and I found it very inspiring to read. Welcome! I on the other hand am feeling very inexpressive tonight, but thanks for sharing and I look forward to your other posts.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:22 AM
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Bucolic glad you posted. You posted on the downside- is there an upside?

In my second year I have taken up a new hobby that gets me out and mixing with people with the same interest.

I agree the is a downside but my body and mind could not take it anymore anyway- was it really sustainable?
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:43 AM
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I am younger, but you told my story. Weekend warrior here as well. I'm 2.5 years in and still have some of same struggles. They do get easier. With patience I have found other friends. It took about two years but I have found other activities and some good people. I thought I never would, but things are coming around. Be patient and try to put yourself out there a little in activities that are new. Thanks for the great post. Keep us updated.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:45 AM
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Hi and congratulations on your sober time



I had to let go of my old crowd too, most of whom were drinking buddies and fairly easy to drop, but there were 1 or 2 special people who I still miss very much. I'm still in contact with them, and have been to see them once or twice. Our friendship ran a lot deeper than just drinking together but by taking out the big ingredient of alcohol things fundamentally changed between us. Mostly for them I'm thinking, because I moved the goalposts. They miss the old me, the one who was loud and outrageous and fun to be with. Now I'm more quiet and reserved and we can't connect like we once did. But, with time, I see that those 'fun' times all too often led me to anxiety and shame. Danger too.

Is there a chance you could be looking back with 'rosť coloured glasses' at those times?

I'm re-connecting with old friends now, the ones I left behind in my need to get drunk. The ones who tried to drink alongside me but who knew when to stop when I didn't. The ones who gently suggested my lifestyle was getting out of hand and so I purposefully dropped because I didn't want to hear what they had to say.

It sounds like you need to start actively building a new sober life instead of looking back. Look at things in your life that you enjoy doing and do them more. Take up a new hobby or sport. New friends appear in places you least expect them to sometimes.

Thankyou for your post. Good to have you with us x
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:52 AM
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Bucolic, Day 412...The Hard Stuff? You are FANTASTIC. Congratulations.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:32 AM
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Hi Bucolic,

I have just passed the year mark as well. I found the first few months of sobriety miserable, but then things really picked up. At a year, though, I realized I was losing one of my motivational goals - simply to get to a year sober (thankfully cravings are now in the past). Though staying sober will be a continuous goal, I realized that I needed a new goal to keep me moving in a positive direction. I booked myself into a 10k race in October and plan to run a half-marathon next April. After getting some basic fitness back (I'm just up to 5k) I'll join a local running club to help make sure it doesn't become too much of an insular pursuit. I can relate, though, to the need to have something to replace our previous activities. I go to Church now on a Friday evening - that's so different to Fridays in the past, but it's a really nice relaxing way to start the weekend (I started going Friday nights to help me with that most difficult time of the week, but soon found I loved the calming influence regardless of whether I was struggling with cravings or not).

Glad you're here. Looking forward to more of your posts.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:01 AM
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Bucolic! Wow congrats 412 day is amazing! I'm only 33 days. You are so unbelievably articulate! Have you thought about writing as a new past time hobby? I hope you made it through your Friday night witching hour and wake up proud this morning!

I was a home drinker so I am always at my old haunt! I'm trying to relearn the things I loved to do with drink in hand! Grilling outside on a sunny day is still a trigger.

When you talk about your soco and coke it reminds me of my old friend wine. We talk about it likes its an old friend or ex lover. And that's just what it is its a really awful ex who best us and humiliated us and brought us to unbelievably bad places but the sex was great! (Metaphorically speaking). When I want to drink I try to remember the pain that old friend caused and how far I've come. You have come so far keep on fighting I am proud of you and hope that I make it to day 412!
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:40 PM
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Thank you all for the encouragement, praise, and suggestions!

do you think you might still be in a mental place of between drinks?

seems like you're missing it, and the lifestyle, and the friends - weekends seem like a prison sentence... and you haven't really started on building a new life?
Hopefully I am not between drinks and won't go back. As long as I stay busy I seem to be ok. Your right it is time to start on getting out of the shell and pick up on all my hobbies I used to love!

You posted on the downside- is there an upside?
There is most definitely and upside and I am going to write a post on those next. I suspect it will far outweigh the struggles I posted here.

Now I'm more quiet and reserved and we can't connect like we once did. But, with time, I see that those 'fun' times all too often led me to anxiety and shame. Danger too.

Is there a chance you could be looking back with 'rosť coloured glasses' at those times?
I think you nailed it here. Without alcohol I am actually very shy but give me a few and as the song says "You can't get me off the Karaoke machine". I will say many times I went over the previous night though and was embarrassed at the way I acted.

I go to Church now on a Friday evening
Great Idea!!!

And that's just what it is its a really awful ex who best us and humiliated us and brought us to unbelievably bad places but the sex was great! (Metaphorically speaking).
LOL...never thought of it that way but boy what a great analogy !! And just like an EX you get back with them and it's good for awhile but pretty soon your right back to what made you break up in the first place!


Again thanks everyone for the great words and advice. I am going to write another post on the good stuff that has come from my sobriety. There has been a lot!
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:47 PM
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The only thing that got and kept me sober in the long run was AA.

All the best.

Bob R
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 2granddaughters View Post
The only thing that got and kept me sober in the long run was AA.

All the best.

Bob R
Agree with Bob. AA /NA where I got clean and sober. AA/NA is where I learned to laugh at myself. AA/NA is where I made some of the best friends of my life. They are the very same people I drank with, they are cool, they just don't drink anymore. They are just like me and we have the same goal in mind, to stay clean and sober.We have plenty in common, mostly feelings, which makes our relationships more than just small talk surface stuff.

My friends in the fellowship would be there 24 hours a day if I needed them and visa versa.

We have an activity a month. Memorial Day a huge picnic on the beach with a speaker. June a camp out. July a kickball game. August Movie night. We have bonfire meetings at least 3 nights a week.

it's where I learned to have fun again. I wouldn't trade my experiences in the fellowship for anything. But I had to put forth effort, go to meetings regularly in order to make those friends. And I had to be a friend.

I never think about alcohol, I see alcohol hardly if ever and if I do , I have people that have my back. Try it! You'll see. You are missing out on some of the most satisfying friendships you could even imagine.

P.S. AA/NA has helped me work a program to deal with the underying issues of my alcoholism/addiction (The Steps). So The obsession has been lifted and I no longer have to be busy, busy, busy. I can just sit and be, doing absoluteley nothing and enjoy it.
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