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Old 09-16-2014, 07:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I need help getting and staying sober. It's time I realise that. I feel awful right now. Awful. On Friday I completed a training course for a new job. We all went out to celebrate Friday evening. I stopped drinking at about 4 am this morning (Tuesday). Luckily the job doesn't start until next Monday. But it's in a different city so I have a lot to do this week and I can barely function. The job is a great opportunity but I know that if I don't stay sober I'm going to mess it up. Friday everybody started with a beer or two during the lunch break. I was able to resist and I drank water with gas instead. So glad I did because nearly everyone was drifting off etc in the afternoon. I was happy to still have my clarity and full attention. I wish I had of being able to resist that evening too. Sadly, I lost my clarity, judgement and common sense.

My stomach is killing me and I keep going from boiling hot to freezing cold. I have the shakes and that horrible sense of dread.

Although my memory is hazy about the weekend I know one thing: my behaviour was deplorable. It needs to stop now. Alcohol changes me beyond belief. It alwasy has done, this is nothing new. It changes me into a different person and I do absolutely ridiculous, careless and reckless things. I do not care when I drink. I leave a big trail of destruction in my wake.

If I know this and I have for a long time, why can't I just say 'I don't drink'? When I don't drink, I don't miss it and things start getting better and better. But then I just suddenly 'decide' I will have that wine or whisky I've just been offered. Why do I suddenly change my mind like that? I regret it every time. Twenty years of the same pattern....
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Why do I suddenly change my mind like that? I regret it every time. Twenty years of the same pattern....
Probably out of habit. A 20-year pattern is fairly well ingrained. Time to make a new pattern. Say "no" to that offered drink a few times and it gets easier and easier every time.

You can do this.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR, AncientMariner! If you want support in giving it up for good, this is a great place to get it!
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Mariner, and good job in realizing you need to quit. It is not easy but it can be done. You will find lots of support here on SR. Also suggest you see a Dr. A Dr. can be a lot of help and support, and help you detox safely. I drank lots of gatoraid, and lots of water, and it did help. When I really wanted a drink I ate ice cream, it seemed to stop cravings. Read all you can here, post often. We are on this journey with you. On SR you are never alone.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR, Ancient Mariner. I am glad you are here with us. Many of us (most of us?) have been in your situation - knowing that we are self-destructing our careers, our family life and our future. Knowing what is at stake, and having the resolve to turn things around, are the first two prerequisites to getting sober.

The third requirement is that you have a plan for getting and staying sober. Merely wanting to stop is not enough. If you spend some time reading through the various posts and articles here at SR, you will see what plans have worked for others, I am sure you will get some good ideas.

You can pull out of this tailspin. Many, many of us have. If we can do it, so can you.

So, about that plan.......
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome! We're mostly a bunch of quitters who didn't give up on ourselves or each other. Stick around, it may help you quit (did me) and help you stay quit (ditto).
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome,

I'm glad you have decided to stop drinking.

As you will see reading here, there are many methods to stop drinking, but it is important to have a plan. I hope you continue to read and post.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR A.M.



Probably out of habit. A 20-year pattern is fairly well ingrained. Time to make a new pattern. Say "no" to that offered drink a few times and it gets easier and easier every time.

You can do this.
Thanks. Yeah it's exactly what I've started thinking. I've programmed my mind real good with this pattern. It's almost what I expect...so enevitably it repeats itself. This negative pattern needs to be broken. It needs to be a full on goal to break this pattern completely and move my life forward...and forward....instead of back down.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi AncientMariner,

I am on Day Two of getting sober and feeling better already. The one thing that sticks out in your post:

If I know this and I have for a long time, why can't I just say 'I don't drink'?

Instead of saying "I don't drink," try saying, "embracing sobriety." (Or sobriety is a gift.) Why? Well, for me I have noticed that it really seems to help put a positive spin on what I am doing by "embracing" something, instead of saying "I don't ..."

That way it is all gain, and not like I am "losing something."

Hope that helps. So glad you are here with us. This forum helps a lot of people.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hello and welcome to SR This is a great place for support
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi AncientMariner,

I am on Day Two of getting sober and feeling better already. The one thing that sticks out in your post:

If I know this and I have for a long time, why can't I just say 'I don't drink'?

Instead of saying "I don't drink," try saying, "embracing sobriety." (Or sobriety is a gift.) Why? Well, for me I have noticed that it really seems to help put a positive spin on what I am doing by "embracing" something, instead of saying "I don't ..."

That way it is all gain, and not like I am "losing something."

Hope that helps. So glad you are here with us. This forum helps a lot of people.
Hi Cecilia,

thanks for pointing that out, you're right. I actually said something similar to a flatmate today. That I was saying to myself all last week 'I musn't drink, I musn't drink...', that I somehow put a negative, twisted message into my head, I concentrated on what I didn't want.

They say cultivate the opposite of what you are trying to avoid...
'in the face of negativity, cultivate the opposite view' some yogi as opposed to 'they'

Yeah, I suppose if I say 'i'm quiting alcohol' it implies a sacrifice and there is definatley no sacrifice. 'I'm embracing sobriety' or 'I'm choosing to be teetotal' gives a different, more positve mindset.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks. Yeah it's exactly what I've started thinking. I've programmed my mind real good with this pattern. It's almost what I expect...so enevitably it repeats itself. This negative pattern needs to be broken. It needs to be a full on goal to break this pattern completely and move my life forward...and forward....instead of back down.
I've been reading a book lately about thought processes, and I find it has applications to my alcohol addiction. The thing I want to highlight here is that the brain prefers easy. It prefers to do what it has always done. To make the associations it has always made. In my case the normal association was taking a drink when offered. To stop doing that I had to commit myself to the mental effort involved in turning the drink down. It took some effort at first because turning the drink down was unfamiliar and it caused discomfort in my thought processes - confusion, anxiety, stress.

After turning that drink down for a while it became the new normal. Now I can do it without any mental discomfort whatsoever. I believe that if I now accepted a drink my brain would experience discomfort once again as it was experiencing something that has become abnormal.

Commit yourself to not drinking. Turn down those drinks when offered. In 6 months it will not seem like strange behavior at all.

Congratulations on your decision to pursue a sober life. You will not regret it.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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My mind was addicted to alcohol, and so all the great intentions I may have had when faced with the situation of drinking went out the window, sheer willpower and resistance is no match for your mind getting an endorphin rush!!

You can turn this around, build a system of support to help you through the tougher times and make it happen!!

You can do this!!
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:22 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by firstymer View Post
Welcome to SR, Ancient Mariner. I am glad you are here with us. Many of us (most of us?) have been in your situation - knowing that we are self-destructing our careers, our family life and our future. Knowing what is at stake, and having the resolve to turn things around, are the first two prerequisites to getting sober.

The third requirement is that you have a plan for getting and staying sober. Merely wanting to stop is not enough. If you spend some time reading through the various posts and articles here at SR, you will see what plans have worked for others, I am sure you will get some good ideas.

You can pull out of this tailspin. Many, many of us have. If we can do it, so can you.

So, about that plan.......
Hey, thanks. It's true, I have a plan for most things that I wanted to achieve in life. But getting and remaining sober I suppose I have always left it to 'will power' and 'chance'. For sobriety/choosing to be teetotal, I've never had a plan of action. I'd work hard on other areas of my life thinking the more my life improved and the more I developed myself I would enevitabley make wiser, healthier choices. I might get away with that 90% of the time but it's the 10% that's doing some serious damage.

I'm considering the AA route. I've always been on the fence about them. (without wishing to start a debate) probably it seemed a bit too religous to me and I didn't want my whole life to revolve around meetings. And I also think I was stubborn 'I can do this myself'. However, I get the concept of the higher power and any organisation that gets like minded people together with the objective of obtaining a positive goal has to be a good thing.

I'm changing cities soon where I wont know anyone. This can be a positive because it can start a clean slate with regards to friends that I make. I can start off by introducing myself as a teetotal person. That is to say, have a teetotal identity from day one.

I also need to be ruthless with the people I let into my life and if we are not on the same energies/wavelenghts to recognise that and let them go. Too many people I know here only like going out for drinks, nothing else.

There's a couple of things that I have wanted to get into lately. They don't involve alcohol. But they both involve people and self-development/confidence. I've been procrastinating about doing these things for too long. Time to do it now! They would be two non alcohol related events that I could be doing on two nights of the week.

...and i seriously need to get back in the gym. I need to return to the days of 'my body is a temple!'

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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What's the name of the book?
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:36 AM   #17 (permalink)
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this is gonna be a tough one.

your post tells me that the job you've started comes along with a hard-drinking culture of peers. I know very well from first hand experience the influence that brings. Even when we desperately WANT sobriety - it is incredibly difficult to pull out of it when we're surrounded with that sort of momentum to drink.

You mention being on the fence about AA.

I'd like to strongly suggest you make it part of your plan. At least for now. You're headed out of town to another location with a pack of hard-drinking work mates.

The only chance you really stand is to find and plan a clear alternative course of action. When everyone else knocks off to start knocking them back - if you don't already have plans that are clear and committed, you will default to the peer pressure and the habit.

So - look up AA meetings in the town you're going to be working in. Also look up gyms and get a membership arranged ahead of time. Look into interesting things in the area that you might like to check out; museums, nature hikes, waterfalls, points of interest, cathedrals... anything and everything that might catch your interest and take you to a non-drinking environement and then plan it.... down to the day.

You need to have it all ready to go so that when the pressure is on you can simply say "nah, thanks though guys I'll see you in the morning. I have plans.".

You can do this
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:39 AM   #18 (permalink)
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also - based on your post above.... consider this;

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-recovery.html
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks

Thanks for your replies and encouragements everyone. I feel a lot more positive and hopeful than I did this morning. Although pysically I feel as if I was battered....I suppose I was. I thought my heart was going to come through my chest with the anxiety. This is just not worth it.

After the first few replies I was actually reduced to tears. For me that tells me I'd reached my limit. My breaking point. It also shows me the power of reaching out and asking for a helping hand and realising there are people in the same boat...people who have overcome the same problem....people who answer that call.

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Old 09-16-2014, 02:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Like you, I was totally turned off by the higher power element of AA. I am not religious and it felt like a cult, to be honest. Since my first halfhearted attempt at sobriety, I am officially desperate and will try anything and everything if it will make me want to stop drinking for good. I wish you the best of luck. We're all in this together.
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