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Old 02-28-2014, 10:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sometimes I feel really stupid


I went to an AA meeting this morning. I hadn't been to this one before. This one was a speaker meeting and a man shared his story. He really struggled to get sober and had several hospitalizations, DUIs, rehab stints along the way. It brought up a lot for me. I don't know what I expected of myself but I really did think I could just go to AA and post on SR and be fine. It is going to take a LOT of work to maintain sobriety. I just gathered from listening to this man's story that he really had to reach a personal bottom before he could do the work it takes. And it was evident this man has worked really hard to be sober. I don't believe my bottom has been that bad (because I haven't had DUIs (yet), hospitalizations (yet), etc) but I DO have to really work hard for sobriety just like everyone else.

So, I realized this morning that it is pretty much up to me to fight the cravings for alcohol and really put in the effort. Why I didn't realize that so fully before is beyond me. I feel kind of dumb about myself right now. It isn't going to be an easy road to be sober. Why did I think it would be?
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Some days will be easy and you'll wake up and realize that you didn't want to drink the day before and you'll be happy. And other days you'll have a trigger moment (wanting a glass of wine while cooking dinner, going out for pizza, hard day at work, whatever) and you'll struggle. Stick with it. Be strong. Reach out to others who are on the same path.

It isn't easy. But few things that are worthwhile are.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think it's stupidity that makes us underestimate the grip that alcohol has on us. I think it's the nature of alcoholism.

I always thought that when I decided to quit, I'd quit. No problem. What I failed to realize was that my drinking was less a decision and more a need. And I thought that quitting was going to be done with a decision. Quitting might have been a decision...staying quit has taken work. As you're finding out.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would agree, sobriety is hard work. But then again, so are most things worth having in life.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This journey is not one of rainbows and Unicorns. Once we put down the alcohol, there is a great amount of learning that takes place. I went in and out of sobriety for many years, and I thought many different things through out those years. The thoughts were like this: I am not an alcoholic. I can handle this. I can moderate. I am an alcoholic, but its okay. All I have to do is put down the bottle. I cant live without alcohol. I can live without alcohol. I am worthless. I am stupid. I am strong. I am great. I am an alcoholic due to circumstance. etc....

The thoughts will come and go. Keep moving forward. I hear many thoughts throughout the day, but the one thing that i do not allow myself to do is pick up alcohol. You are not stupid. Yes, it is work. For me, this is a lot easier than where I have been. You are doing well. One day will be a lot easier than the next and vice versa. There is no right or wrong way on this journey, it is simply to abstain and to make that the priority.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My opinion about reaching bottom is that it is highly personal and there is no comparison. Most of my consequences from drinking were not very dramatic, but, they constituted disturbing losses in my life.

I lost the ability read at night because of constant inebriation. The shakes prevented me from being able to write using a pen and paper. I also stopped doing the thing that meant most to me in life.
Maybe the first two losses don't sound dramatic. But I believe that if the alcoholic loses something they value, or the ability to do something they value, that is reaching bottom. I don't think it has to be dramatic like crashing a car, getting a dui, etc. It can be quietly destructive.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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true it's not that easy to stay sober but if we have made a decision to stay sober it's not that hard
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sometimes I feel omnipotent, so I am imposing a 96 hour moratorium on self-deprecating subject lines out of you, 2bh! Only POSITIVE subject lines for the next 4 days.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I turned it around and used the experiences of my 'drinking buddies' as motivation.

I have never had a DUI. My buddy has had 3. Lesson learned, by me anyway. (He is still drinking heavily and driving...)

I have never been to jail. He has and I even went down at 2am and bailed him out. Lesson learned.

I have never been in a drunken fight. He has, with his ex wife and got his ass kicked BTW. Lesson learned.

I could go on but I think you get the idea. Bottoms are subjective and hitting one is an experience that is best avoided.

You are doing GREAT! Congratulations on your sobriety!
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I totally understand.

You're not stupid - you're struggling with addiction.

It does take work - but that work becomes incredibly rewarding.

You can do this!

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Old 02-28-2014, 11:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm so glad that you really 'get it'. It is so much more than stopping drinking isn't it? I had to rebuild myself from the inside out. It was overwhelming at times, but it's an amazing journey and I consider myself blessed to be where I am.

Don't feel dumb, feel very smart for having made another step towards recovery.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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3 months sober

sorry I meant to post this on the main thread sorry 2b.
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Last edited by cusper; 02-28-2014 at 11:21 AM. Reason: wrong thread
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There's a lovely saying about wearing sobriety as a loose cloak.

That means I'm not sure about words like 'fight' and 'work' as applied to recovery. To me it's much more about surrendering; letting go, keeping out of the way, and just putting one foot in front the other. For an alcoholic like me, those things do take disciplined effort and direction from others more experienced - however, this doesn't constitute that holding on tight, gritted teeth hard work - it's effort of a very different kind, at least it's that way for me. And anyway, don't know about you, but active alcoholism was bloody hard work. Enough of that for one lifetime.

Or, could be, I'm just lazy
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It does take effort to stay sober but it's so rewarding.
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm glad you realise that it takes work - it does...but after a while it will become work you'll want to do and it won't seem like a chore

Remember too 2B - bottoms are really just a personal decision to stop.

I didn't stop until I'd almost literally killed myself, but it's not mandatory to go that far - I'd hate people to think they have to be homeless and living in a cardboard box to reach their bottom

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