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Getting back on the wagon...

Old 12-01-2014, 10:08 AM
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Getting back on the wagon...

I've been MIA from SR and AA and all things recovery for the last little while.

I've been struggling to find the desire to stop drinking. Struggling to accept I can't just find a way to be normal if I really really exert my efforts at controlling this thing. Because god knows I've been having nothing but failure after failure at trying to be sober. I'm sick of feeling like a failure.

But I'm glad to say that I am absolutely exhausted. I don't know what made me decide to start fighting the battle again, when deep down I knew I would lose, but I'm officially weak, exhausted, and sick of fighting. I think I'm ready to give this sober thing my full efforts again.

Day three today.

My fiancÚ told me last night that he thinks I need to find some balance. Either I'm going to a meeting (while working full time) every single day, or I'm doing nothing at all. He said he thinks I need to actually build a new life sober. Start finding ways to have fun sober, new hobbies, ways to enjoy my life. Because I start hitting 7-10 meetings a week and I have no time for anything else and he says it's like I become a b&$tchy robot on autopilot. And eventually I get so overwhelmed and sick of it that I decide I can't enjoy life sober and say skrew it all.

What do you guys think about this? Is it possible that I'm lacking balance and that's why I keep relapsing despite doing meetings/steps/sponsor/etc??

Happy to be back SR hope everyone is doing well.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:12 AM
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Just keep trying new approaches and you'll find what is a good fit for you.
I'm like you in that I have a real problem with all or nothing thinking.
The world is not black and white, we need to find our space somewhere in the grey area.(In most cases.. no grey area for boozing.)
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:12 AM
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Welcome back.

Originally Posted by Mrrryah1 View Post
He said he thinks I need to actually build a new life sober.
I think your fiance is a keeper.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:14 AM
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Hi Mrrryah

i am glad to see you !

i suggest getting bk into meetings strike a balance between that and work maybe 3pw ?

stick close to sr

Your relapsing because your choosing to drink once you choose not to = no relapse

you can do this ive seen you do this mrrryah & how happy it made you

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Old 12-01-2014, 10:17 AM
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Very happy to see you posting again Mrrryah.

As for the lack of balance presenting itself as an obstacle to your recovery, I think there may be a lot of truth to that.

Working all the time and never taking the time for yourself, doing things that are fun, help feed the AV.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:13 AM
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It's painful to read of your ongoing struggles.

Originally Posted by Mrrryah1 View Post
What do you guys think about this? Is it possible that I'm lacking balance and that's why I keep relapsing despite doing meetings/steps/sponsor/etc??
It would be great if the key to unlocking your struggles with sobriety was as simple as finding balance in life. And maybe it is. But I think that balance is the result of a strong recovery...not the foundation of recovery.

I've looked back at some of your relapse threads. I can find nothing that would point to a problem with balance. I agree that you should find sober friends and activities, new hobbies, sober ways to enjoy life. I've found these to be the gifts of sobriety, not the way to achieve it.

Your addiction is powerful, and the reasons you fail are complex. Start looking at your recovery program, and where it's failing, or where you are failing to implement it.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrrryah1 View Post
My fiancÚ told me last night that he thinks I need to find some balance. Either I'm going to a meeting (while working full time) every single day, or I'm doing nothing at all. He said he thinks I need to actually build a new life sober. Start finding ways to have fun sober, new hobbies, ways to enjoy my life. Because I start hitting 7-10 meetings a week and I have no time for anything else and he says it's like I become a b&$tchy robot on autopilot. And eventually I get so overwhelmed and sick of it that I decide I can't enjoy life sober and say skrew it all.

What do you guys think about this? Is it possible that I'm lacking balance and that's why I keep relapsing despite doing meetings/steps/sponsor/etc??

Happy to be back SR hope everyone is doing well.
Welcome back Mrrryah. I think your fiance is giving you very good advice.

I do think though that your return to drinking may still be seated in your inability to accept that you are an alcoholic. Even in this thread you state that you "think" it's time to give sobriety a real try. You have to accept that you cannot control your drinking and also accept that you never will be able to. I tried over and over to conrol my drinking with every conceivable attempt at moderation, and it ALWAYS ended in failure. Only when I finally accepted that drinking is simply something I can never do, ever, did I start making some headway.

It sounds like you have a very supportive fiance and access to many resources that could help with your sobriety. I truly hope you can find the motivation to make this the time that it works.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by doggonecarl View Post
It's painful to read of your ongoing struggles.



It would be great if the key to unlocking your struggles with sobriety was as simple as finding balance in life. And maybe it is. But I think that balance is the result of a strong recovery...not the foundation of recovery.

I've looked back at some of your relapse threads. I can find nothing that would point to a problem with balance. I agree that you should find sober friends and activities, new hobbies, sober ways to enjoy life. I've found these to be the gifts of sobriety, not the way to achieve it.

Your addiction is powerful, and the reasons you fail are complex. Start looking at your recovery program, and where it's failing, or where you are failing to implement it.
Excellent advice!!
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:25 AM
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mrrrryah,

maybe you're overwhelming yourself? would 3 or 4 meetings a week be better? I know I got overwhelmed going daily, it didn't work for me. It is important to do something for your sobriety daily. start the day with a gratitude list, maybe? Also, make that morning committment to stay sober. Write it down. My sponsor used to require me to sit and eat a civilized breakfast. No bolting out the door with a piece of toast in my teeth!

it seemed to set my day off. Try that. While you're having breakfast, make that list, write down your committment. Before bed, make another list of gratitude for the blessings in the past day. Also, take a minute to add up all the things you did right. acknowledge your improvements! read from the BB or another inspirational book, like the 24 hours or such.

These small,little changes can set you up. It's important to do these things on a regular basis. And try to find some regular meeting that's more meaningful for you. A Step study or a women's stag. I know I needed structure in early sobreity.

I'm glad to see you back!

love from Lenina
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:32 AM
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your fiancee is onto something.

what I found is that I needed to have balance in several areas in my life to support my sobriety.

I need to go to meetings - but not every single day obsessively.
I need to read the Big Book
I need to check in here at SR
I need to work the steps and have a sponsor
I need to have active recovery of some flavor every day.... but a balance among these above things. It doesn't have to be all of them.

That is my foundation for NOT DRINKING.

My foundation for Whole Sobriety then is a balance of;

Spiritual
Mental
Physical
Emotional
Creative

Rather than obsess on any one category, I need to strive intuitively to be balancing these elements. If I've been doing a lot of meetings but haven't picked up a guitar, written a poem, drawn a picture with my kids for a while.... I need to ensure I work a creative thing in that week sometime.

If I've been focusing on my inner world, meditating, doing some yoga, going to my counselor - but I've not been for a run or to the gym in several days - I've let the physical side slack off and I'm out of balance.

I need to re-learn how to live in a balanced way that addresses the basic DON'T DRINK - but in a way that also helps me stay sane and positive and healthy and connected to life.

This all takes time and - to me for the last 11 months - it really has been a form of re-building a new me. Learning more about me. Learning new ways to support me. Exploring spirit and self and life and the steps. Not doing ALL of it relentlessly.... not doing one or two things obsessively... but every day paying attention to some specific pieces of it, striving for progress, not perfection.

I'm glad you're back.

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Old 12-01-2014, 11:35 AM
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I think your fiancÚ is onto something!!! He is exactly right!!

That was my saving grace when I figured this simple equation out.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:36 AM
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...and FreeOwl said it perfectly!!
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:44 AM
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Welcome back
Here's some cold hearted sounding advice. Quit drinking, decide right now to never use alcohol again. You can't actually never again , at this moment, but you can decide that you won't. That decision is yours to make, it is scary and awkward, sometimes f2f contact can help relieve the feelings by sharing with others, but the decision needs to be made. If you never make the decision, it is never made.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:51 AM
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Once alcohol use is out of our lives we are free to enjoy whatever life has to offer unfettered.
Choose freedom, you deserve it
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:52 AM
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When I find myself trapped in the very small mental room of "recovery" - in which I feel straight-jacketed and controlled - I need to remind myself that I am the one who locked myself in there, and that at any given moment I have the capacity to let myself out.

When it is a choice between the claustrophobia of "being good" vs. the pirate freedoms, I choose to drink and "be free."

The trick for me is to break through those imaginary walls and have my sobriety be the more spacious alternative.

Too many meetings puts me in the padded walled room, the padding all the stories and emotions of myself and the group, thick and insulating. I love the program, and often love meetings, but my world feels limited and small when all the characters in it are program-speaking-folk and all my non-working time is spent rushing to and from meetings in windowless rooms.

I got sober to be in nature, to travel, to get physically fit, to learn myself, to play music, to run, to make new friends who know only this me...that's the balance for me.

I did 90 in 90 after my relapse, to be sure I was connected socially with the program/felt part of. Seriously, by the end of the 90 days, I knew that if I sat through one more meeting, I would drink just to disqualify myself! The same folks saying the same things, lives stalled and frozen in place...

Now I'm going to two meetings a week, and that is just right for me. I am excited to see people, I feel the support of the community, I have an opportunity to contribute to the community, and then I can move on to this wide, free, anything is possible life that I got sober for.

In the end - it has to be about happiness for me. If I am unhappy, I'm not going to do it. Just like if a person doesn't enjoy gym based exercise, a sense of duty isn't going to get them there three times a week, even though they signed up for a year's membership. I like to be outside; a gym membership is a waste of my money. I know that about myself, and have still tried a few times, re-learning that truth.

Same with the program. Too many meetings, and I can't stand it. I flee through relapse. I know this about myself.

I don't drink. That's all. My life isn't all about that; sobriety is a foundational factor in the good things in my life right now, but it is not the center of my attention. Many people say that is a dangerous place to be, but I feel strong here. There is too much to lose. Building a life so valuable and happy and committed that there isn't any option to throw it away. I think that is a very personal process for all of us, and this is how it works best for me.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:58 AM
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A lifetime of childish emotional responses.... Anytime it gets hard..... Screw this, I'm getting drunk.

I have exactly the same childish emotional responses.

Hard thinking and habits to break, but they have to be broken.

Your fiance sounds like a mature grown up.... Definitely try to keep him around and all the best with your decisions and actions.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:10 PM
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heartcore, that was one of the best posts ever. It really spoke to me today, thank you.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:17 PM
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I agree with bimini, Heart...ME TOO! Thank you!
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:21 PM
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all I know is that when I hear people say they are "on the wagon" it comes across as a temporary thing.
How about I am giving up drinking for good? It may sound like a huge deal. But it's a permanent commitment. The wagon makes too many stops.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by heartcore View Post
When I find myself trapped in the very small mental room of "recovery" - in which I feel straight-jacketed and controlled - I need to remind myself that I am the one who locked myself in there, and that at any given moment I have the capacity to let myself out.

When it is a choice between the claustrophobia of "being good" vs. the pirate freedoms, I choose to drink and "be free."

The trick for me is to break through those imaginary walls and have my sobriety be the more spacious alternative.

Too many meetings puts me in the padded walled room, the padding all the stories and emotions of myself and the group, thick and insulating. I love the program, and often love meetings, but my world feels limited and small when all the characters in it are program-speaking-folk and all my non-working time is spent rushing to and from meetings in windowless rooms.

I got sober to be in nature, to travel, to get physically fit, to learn myself, to play music, to run, to make new friends who know only this me...that's the balance for me.

I did 90 in 90 after my relapse, to be sure I was connected socially with the program/felt part of. Seriously, by the end of the 90 days, I knew that if I sat through one more meeting, I would drink just to disqualify myself! The same folks saying the same things, lives stalled and frozen in place...

Now I'm going to two meetings a week, and that is just right for me. I am excited to see people, I feel the support of the community, I have an opportunity to contribute to the community, and then I can move on to this wide, free, anything is possible life that I got sober for.

In the end - it has to be about happiness for me. If I am unhappy, I'm not going to do it. Just like if a person doesn't enjoy gym based exercise, a sense of duty isn't going to get them there three times a week, even though they signed up for a year's membership. I like to be outside; a gym membership is a waste of my money. I know that about myself, and have still tried a few times, re-learning that truth.

Same with the program. Too many meetings, and I can't stand it. I flee through relapse. I know this about myself.

I don't drink. That's all. My life isn't all about that; sobriety is a foundational factor in the good things in my life right now, but it is not the center of my attention. Many people say that is a dangerous place to be, but I feel strong here. There is too much to lose. Building a life so valuable and happy and committed that there isn't any option to throw it away. I think that is a very personal process for all of us, and this is how it works best for me.
Yeah, baby! THIS.

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