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Old 09-16-2014, 09:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Third time lucky ?


Hi there. I'm Mcfearless. I'm male and in my late 30's.

So this won't be the first time I've attempted TOTAL sobriety. In fact this is my third.

The first time I was going through some pretty nasty stuff in my life. Not interpersonal stuff , but really nasty stuff. I was diagnosed with aneurysm in my brain and while I waited for the radiosurgery to eradicate it (which lucky for me it eventually did) over a period of 5 years I was pretty much living on borrowed time. And pretty much constantly freaked out. So I would drink myself into a stupor pretty much every evening. Wake up with the terrors of my situation and then drink myself back to sleep. I almost don't feel any shame for actions in this context.

Things eventually became so bad that the life I was living as a drunk was so undignified. I was useless to anyone. I couldn't do a valuable days work. I figured that I may as well clean myself up as the reality of dying wasn't any worse than this. So I got myself into a clinic and I sobered up pretty well for a month or two. I felt AMAZING....

...so amazing I thought I could drink sociably again. I did. Then in the evenings on my own again. Then I just slipped down a slippery slope as I grew fearful again due to have a brain angiogram to test if my radiotherapy had done its work . And.... back to rehab.

While in rehab I had some clarity (as one does when sober and tranquilised with pax and valium) that I should jump forward the brain scans and just face things head on. I did and the news was really great. I was just one step away from them cutting the shrunken aneursym out and after 5 years I could have my life back. I was so positive and happy about life they agreed to let me out after 2 weeks.

The second time I had quite a long period of sobriety. I felt amazing ! I had the brain surgery and survived it with no side effects. This 5 years nightmare of total terror was behind me ! I had a second chance at life ! Nothing could bother me now ! Heck why would I even want to drink ?

That was 2 years ago. I started drinking a year ago again. First socially because you tend to forget. Everything seems to be doing so well and you've survived worse things so why limit yourself in what you can and can't do ?

I started drinking nightly again. I'd drink a bottle of wine a day in the week and 2 or 3 beers on top of that. weekends was non stop. Mondays I'd barely survive the day at the office. I was full of anxiety constantly. I stopped looking after my appearance. I alienated all my friends. I gained weight and couldn't stand the sight of my puffy face and constant sickliness.

Up until about a month ago. I decided to ween myself off alcohol slowly. I started to keep myself to 3 or 4 beers a night. Then 2 or 3. Then to not drink during the days on the weekends. Finally this Friday I just said enough was enough. After a sleepless weekend I actually have started the week in quite a good way. In fact I've immediately started exercising and my new found energy and lack of anxiety is fantastic. In fact...

I feel amazing !

Now my point is that I've been here before. My question is does anyone else relate ? I'm sure I can go the days and nights without booze without much more than a few sleeping pills etc. It's all new and fresh and exciting to be sober now....but what when the novelty wears off ? How do people keep themselves motivated to never fall back into the trap ?

Intellectually I know I can't drink. I know if I start I don't know when to stop. I know it makes me anxious and a vile person. But I knew it the last two times too. Perhaps someone could share how they maintained this process ?

Thanks again for any responses in advance.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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MC, good question. I have the same one... Congrats on getting through your tough past!

I'm only 70 days sober today and relapsed last year after 9 months clean. I got complacent and thought I could moderate. Same old story... once a week turned back into heavy drinking daily; morning to night on the weekends and noon to night on many week days.

I've got a different mind set this time. I don't want to drink anymore, ever. I remember how horrible I felt last holiday season when I was drinking all of the time.

I'm interested to hear how others with longer success respond to your question. It is hard to keep our guard up when the "newness" of sobriety wears off.

Best of luck!
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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MC, good question. I have the same one... Congrats on getting through your tough past!

I'm only 70 days sober today and relapsed last year after 9 months clean. I got complacent and thought I could moderate. Same old story... once a week turned back into heavy drinking daily; morning to night on the weekends and noon to night on many week days.

I've got a different mind set this time. I don't want to drink anymore, ever. I remember how horrible I felt last holiday season when I was drinking all of the time.

I'm interested to hear how others with longer success respond to your question. It is hard to keep our guard up when the "newness" of sobriety wears off.

Best of luck!
I do feel that this time I am approaching it with a much more positive attitude. Not something I HAVE to do. I mean I can function with the levels of drinking I was recently doing. My career is going pretty well etc. But now I am looking at it as towards all the benefits.

My liver probably isn't totally wrecked yet. But it will be if I carry on this way. So a good dose of fear of again having to live with some dread disease so soon after I survived one is certainly one motivating factor. Here's what else I've decided to do :

1) Take up running and getting fit/slimming down. Getting rid of the booze bloat. Vanity as a motivating aspect I'd sum this one up as.
2) Trying to find ways to spend my weekends entirely away from alcohol. Taking up fishing and camping and things that keep me away from bars.
3) Writing a blog (cliche alert) as a dialogue pretty much to myself. Analytically recording all aspects within of my progress. Charting and mapping out where I am going as a way of rationalizing why I'm better off without the poison.
4) Coming here and trying to learn from the experiences of others...

Thanks again for your response. And well done on the 70 days. Is it getting any easier ?
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
What's the world coming to when you can't trust an recovering alcoholic ex degenerate gambler huh ?
 
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Its acceptance knowing that i cant drink alcohol safely resonsibly etc

now i know im alcoholic and ive woken up you couldnt make me take a sip of alcohol for a trillion pounds/dollars i swear to that

why would i drink it offers nothing makes me look disgraceful causes me to not be myserlf

i would strongly advise you never touch another drop of alcohol again in your life

we are all diffrent i wish you the best of luck
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Forum!!

The important thing for me was to stay connected with a circle of support, I would sign into SR each morning, and still do, to set my day up with a healthy reminder by reading the newcomer and my own threads of where I have come from and where I don't want to go back to.

Our minds are great at forgetting the bad memories, the novelty can wear off quickly and old ways can be just around the corner, if all we have to keep us motivated is our own minds, my own mind could convince me of anything early on in Sobriety in isolation, I therefore needed something outside of myself to give me a second opinion on things, when my mind was selling me all the reasons of the day as to why this time would be different!!

I needed a constant reminder of why would it be any different?!!
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mcfearless View Post
Perhaps someone could share how they maintained this process ?
I haven't drank in over four years. I don't consider that long term sobriety, not compared to the 35 years I did drink.

How did I get past the "novelity" of sobriety? I took the option of drinking completely off the table. I vowed to never drink and never change my mind. Any thoughts of drinking are dismissed as the stirring of my addiction. Any compromises I make with my addiction that will lead to drinking is the insanity of alcoholism. Recognized as such, I can settle into my sobriety without getting complacent.

If I drink, it will be a choice. A poor one, but a decision I will have made. If this happens, I hope I'm not surprised by the results.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I haven't drank in over four years. I don't consider that long term sobriety, not compared to the 35 years I did drink.

How did I get past the "novelity" of sobriety? I took the option of drinking completely off the table. I vowed to never drink and never change my mind. Any thoughts of drinking are dismissed as the stirring of my addiction. Any compromises I make with my addiction that will lead to drinking is the insanity of alcoholism. Recognized as such, I can settle into my sobriety without getting complacent.

If I drink, it will be a choice. A poor one, but a decision I will have made. If this happens, I hope I'm not surprised by the results.
As simplistic as that sounds I find that idea quite powerful. I like how that attitude assumes the power over the disease rather that begrudges its limitations. Thanks very much.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What do I do? I go to AA or SR and hear/read a story like this.

I'm heading off to a business retreat this weekend. Quite a few of the attendees seriously like to party, and half the purpose of the function is to socialize. One of these days an event like this just might trick me into thinking One won't hurt. So, knowing that, I walk into this room (virtually; you get the picture), find your story, read it, and say, "Thank you mcfearless!"
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Awesome story, btw. And a blog is a wonderful idea.
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I must say reading stuff here from the experience of others is a starc reminder how this isn't a thing that exists uniquely as a failure in us as individuals. Everytime should I need a reminder as to why I don't want to drink I will come on here in future. For inspiration and warning.
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Today was a tough day. I has bad sleep and woke up parched. I have been drinking energy drinks and geeeb tea and rehydeation powders and water and water and water and srill thirsty. Never had this when I was drinking nighlty so it seems ironic to happen now. Does anyone have any experience of what is goinf on with by body here in day 5 and 6? Feels like I have a.bad hangover.

Still.absolutely no desire to drink alcohol thoufh. But In curious as what belies these symptoms of massive thirst despite constanly drinking liquids.
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hope this does't count as medical advice, because we aren't allow to give any, but you might want to cut out the energy drinks, as caffeine is a diuretic.

Better advice might be to see your doctor with your concerns.
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Old 09-18-2014, 01:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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yep... I can relate.

The further I get from the last terrible bender, from the negative consequences, from the reality of what it was like being a slave to booze - the easier it is to feel like I have an ability to control it.

I really think that is one of the biggest reasons why service work, helping others, being involved in supporting the recovery journeys of other people - is key. It's why I keep on coming back to the newcomer's forum and reading newcomer stories relentlessly.

It's why your own story is powerfully helping me stay sober today, reminding me that it's right out there waiting for me.

We can sober up and put some real good, quality time behind us.... but if we let ourselves get too detached from the reasons we chose sobriety, it can all come rushing back with one simple decision to 'just have a couple here and there'.

I know because I did it too. I went from 45 days sober some years back, feeling great, right back to binges from hell. I went nearly 6 months, then spent basically a year and a half drunk. I've watched my own history, my own pattern, my own EVIDENCE bear out what will happen - and yet somehow a part of my mind continues to conjure up the notion that maybe NEXT TIME it will be different.

And, hey, maybe it would. But it's just not worth the risk.

Anyway; I'm glad you're back on the sober path and I'm glad you're here and grateful for your sharing.

I think it's really just critical to keep on posting, reading, hitting meetings from time to time, and maybe helping others when you're solid enough in your own sobriety to do so.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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yep... I can relate.

The further I get from the last terrible bender, from the negative consequences, from the reality of what it was like being a slave to booze - the easier it is to feel like I have an ability to control it.

I really think that is one of the biggest reasons why service work, helping others, being involved in supporting the recovery journeys of other people - is key. It's why I keep on coming back to the newcomer's forum and reading newcomer stories relentlessly.

It's why your own story is powerfully helping me stay sober today, reminding me that it's right out there waiting for me.

We can sober up and put some real good, quality time behind us.... but if we let ourselves get too detached from the reasons we chose sobriety, it can all come rushing back with one simple decision to 'just have a couple here and there'.

I know because I did it too. I went from 45 days sober some years back, feeling great, right back to binges from hell. I went nearly 6 months, then spent basically a year and a half drunk. I've watched my own history, my own pattern, my own EVIDENCE bear out what will happen - and yet somehow a part of my mind continues to conjure up the notion that maybe NEXT TIME it will be different.

And, hey, maybe it would. But it's just not worth the risk.

Anyway; I'm glad you're back on the sober path and I'm glad you're here and grateful for your sharing.

I think it's really just critical to keep on posting, reading, hitting meetings from time to time, and maybe helping others when you're solid enough in your own sobriety to do so.
Thanks for the sagely advice. I really think this time I am going to do it. I am under no illussions over the power alcohol has over me. I'm going to wear my sobriety with pride rather that drag it around as a burden.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wow, your story is amazing. Definitely a second chance at life! I've tried and failed before, too. I'm on Day 1 now after moderating for the past week in anticipation of stopping completely today. I just finally accepted that I cannot control my drinking, and it will completely ruin my life if I don't stop. The last time I tried stopping, I disrespected the disease and had the illusion of control. Now, I am humbled and open to possibilities. I hope it works this time.
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You must have been terrified with the aneurysm thing and I do empathise with that totally. I worried about health endlessly and still do a bit, but it finally got through my head that being drunk is almost like a living death anyway, so anything has to be better than that.xxx
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
What's the world coming to when you can't trust an recovering alcoholic ex degenerate gambler huh ?
 
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Hello think we spoke in chat

wish you all the best nearly 7 days keep it up

i was shy too in time youl start to feel a lot better

all the best
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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You must have been terrified with the aneurysm thing and I do empathise with that totally. I worried about health endlessly and still do a bit, but it finally got through my head that being drunk is almost like a living death anyway, so anything has to be better than that.xxx
Well before I was diagnosed I was the biggest and most neurotic hypochondriac already. I had a morbid life crippling fear of death. So I wasn't ever going to be the best person to get the news that you have a ticking time bomb in your head the size of a golf ball. In many ways I was put through the most rigid form of exposure therapy possible. Exposed constantly and inescapably to your own biggest fear is a cruel and unusual form of torture. As you can imagine the end result is a pretty strung out ancient soul that is forced into deep nihilism as a coping method.

Learning to attribute meaning and value back into your life was a challenge at first. I had created the whole "mcfearless" persona as a way of feeling just some level of control over my life. I had become a master of not caring about anything. Then when I found myself in the never expected and absurd situation where I suddenly wasn't dying (well not as immedietly) it was great of course. But I couldn't really maintain a reason not to drink.

Through time though as I discover a sense of self worth and appreciation for life again, it seems obvious to me that the first thing to go has to be habitual self destruction. And there's no better way to describe alcohol.

I'm only a week in, but I can honestly say that the idea of drinking doesn't romance me in the slightest like it did before. I really think I'm done with that. Now to just fill in some of the spaces that drinking used to take up in my life. Like ALL MY SOCIAL LIFE.

This on the cusp of the weekend is going to be a major challenge. I know if I avoid people I will trigger loneliness...which will trigger drinking. I am scared if I see people they will be drinking...which will trigger....drinking. I'm scared if I see people who don't drink that they will trigger boredom...which will trigger drinking.

I'm not sure my brain chemistry is ready to handle mundane activities yet. There's only so much walking, reading and gym you can do. Oh well, I never expected this to be easy.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hello think we spoke in chat

wish you all the best nearly 7 days keep it up

i was shy too in time youl start to feel a lot better

all the best
Yes we did. Yes, I've been too shy to go to my first AA meeting alone. Without booze I am very shy as I don't really know who I am meant to be sober. I know AA is meant to be all about acceptance, but being a recovering drunk doesn't make people immune to forming cliques and judgements. And none of us like to do the awkward lonely dance around a clique.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:13 AM   #20 (permalink)
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For me, when I was drinking, I barely had enough energy to survive. I know about the horrible Mondays; the anxiety, the self-loathing... I never realized how depressed I was - until I wasn't...

Now, I have so much more energy - to do my job, to clean my house, to tend to my appearance, etc..

I also have energy to help others. That is one of jewels of AA I believe - helping others as a means of getting out of ourselves. I have tended to have alot of self-pity that "I can't drink..." Well, when I am helping others - in whatever capacity - I seem to forget my self-pity; and feel grateful for all of the blessings I do have.

I heard a talk this week, and that point hit home with me - for me, this life is not about feeling sorry for poor-pitiful me - and running away to my hidey-hole with enough booze to make my self unconscious... I am an amazing, smart, beautiful, caring woman, and I have a lot of experience to share with others - THAT is the life I want....

I also think that focusing on "today" is key. Each day, we begin again. It will never be a time other than NOW.

In moments when I am extremely bored - I try to do some challenging yoga poses - that in my drinking years were nearly impossible - or, I clean my kitchen/bathroom floors...

There is always something to do......

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