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Old 06-03-2014, 08:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Newcomer to sobriety. Kind of.


Well, here's me. I'm just about to turn 30, been a drinker pretty much since uni (so for about 10 years). But it's only really been a major problem for about 3 of those. I'm just glad I've found somewhere, at this stage, where I can post my **** anonymously. Catharisis is helpful, I think.

And one of those aforementioned years, the past year, has been here in Thailand. My drinking here has been absolutely off the charts, the loneliness, the isolation etc meant I ended up going off the rails even by the standards of my native Yorkshire, England (in the North of England - we drink. Oh baby, we ******* drink).

I've done some pretty stupid things over the past year. It's kind of lucky that I've even escaped serious injury, and escaped bankruptcy. Seriously so.

At the moment, though, I'm on the track to recovery. Of sorts. I spent all of March and half of April at a Buddhist monastery, in the mountains of Mae Hong Son - an amazing place, where the monks speak English when they teach, and many foreigners go every year to learn meditation. It helped big time; I learned a lot, and while I was there, I stayed sober for all that time.

But then came back to Chiang Mai for Songkran - Thai new year. And my drinking once again spiralled out of control, spent half of the 4 day festivities with my head clouded over from alcohol abuse, felt as though the time at the monastery might just as well not have happened.

For the past month and a half, however, I've been in Mae Sai, a town on the border with Burma, having got a job teaching English here. Haven't had more than a couple of major benders here (one of those was in Laos, while on a visa run [the complex visa system typically means that Thai visas have to be applied for from outside Thailand, and the closest place to me is Vientiane, Laos, for that, at the Thai embassy]). But every night I've been drinking at least one, oftentimes two bottles of Singha beer - and even that small amount is having an impact on my mind.

Or maybe I'm just noticing it more. Or my body's at the point where it can't take it any more.

Anyway, I've been trying to work myself back onto the wagon that I worked my way onto when staying at the monastery - no drinking or smoking, every evening doing some jogging and meditation (at the monastery we meditated for 2 hours 3 times a day), and even keeping to the monastery diet, no eating after mid-day (all monks have to stick to that rule, only eating after they've been to collect their morning food-alms from local people). Party because of doing all that, I lost 3 inches around my waist line.

At the moment, I've been sober more than 48 hours, and jogged this evening and last evening quite a distance. Next target is stopping the smoking. Last time I smoked was around 4 hours ago. Not so much worried about that one, as I've only been a smoker for 6 months and at this stage it's just a habit, not an addiction. Though at my worst I was getting through half a pack a day, I'm now down to 2 an evening.

And then back to the meditation and the monastery diet. Quite an ambitious bunch of goals maybe. Not sure if I can accomplish all three.

But the great thing about the Dhamma is that it can be practiced anywhere - and it doesn't involve surrendering to a higher power external to the self - it's about realising your own buddha-nature. You ARE your own higher power. Even as, at the same time, you recognise that "the self" is a complete fiction.

Well, that's me. Don't think I've got anything more to say right now. Let's hope I can make it another 24 hours sober, and pass the 24 hours mark without suckling on a cancer stick. Simultaneously focusing on the present moment, and imagining where I want to get to, I guess.

Metta ("loving-kindness") to all.

Agagonnhoj
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome, and congratulations on your decision to stop drinking. Two days sober is great!
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks. Lets just hope I can make it another 24 hours sober and pass 24 smoke free. Feel pretty alone and isolated here, every fiber of my being is saying to me "go on, just go get the one". "Go down the road to the shop" . . . etc.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You can do it-I'm from Yorkshire too! Keep on SR-the people here are great x
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Forum!! Great to have you onboard!!
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi AGAGONNHOJ welcome to SR
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Glad to meet you Agagonnhoj. I was drinking 24/7 when I came stumbling in here. If I can quit, you definitely can. We're all here for you - glad you found us.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome! Hope you like it here. Congrats on getting sober again.

I meditate too (although not as regularly as I used to). It definitely helps.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Welcome to a very friendly and supportive site. I'm glad you joined us.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks, everyone I am, too. Nearly 24 hours no with neither a drink nor smoke. Hopefully the rest will follow.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Late to the party but welcome AGAGONNHOJ

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