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Old 01-19-2015, 09:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Well, I did it.


So, I posted last week how my AV was planning it's attack for my long weekend. To drink for 2 days, then detox for 2 before going back to work on Thursday. That's not exactly how it went down. I drank for 2 days, then 2 more days. Then called in "sick" to work on Thursday. Also had day 6 (Friday) covered at work in case I was still "sick". There's a bug going around at work that everyone's getting so it wasn't too much of a stretch. So, I continued drinking the second I knew I was covered at work on Thursday. Friday it was finally enough and I needed to just lay on the couch all day and try to hydrate. Couldn't keep anything down by that point anyway, so there was no point trying to drink any more.

Something that scared the hell out of me happened on one of the days of my binge (not sure which day). I'd only had a couple of drinks that day and was running low on vodka. Couldn't risk running out of the stuff, so I decided to go get some more before I got too drunk to drive. So I got in my car and went to the nearest liquor store, which is right around the corner from my place.

At the store I grabbed my bottle and went to the checkout. The lady behind the counter asked for my ID. I just stood there with a wad of $ in my hand not comprehending. I slurred "what?" She asked again. So I just stood there, not sure what she was asking me. I truly did not understand. Just stood there looking through my wad of cash for something that might help. "If you don't have ID I can't sell to you." So I staggered off without a word.

Of course, my ID was in my wallet in my back pocket, I just couldn't figure out that that was what she wanted.

So I got back in my car and drove to the next closest liquor store which was a few miles away. Got my bottle without showing ID and went home.

First: I had drank so much that I couldn't comprehend the simple task of taking my wallet out of my back pocket to show my ID. Didn't think I was drunk, just hungover right then. Yet I just stood there looking like a drunken idiot.

Second: I drove in that condition! I could have been arrested or killed somebody. I'm lucky that lady behind the counter didn't look out the window to see if I was driving and call the police. She definitely should have.

Third: WTF?! Going from 2 weeks sober to THAT?!

This is my third failed attempt at staying sober since I joined here in November. I'm not broken, but I am shaken and more than a little scared.

Today is day 4 again. Going to start working on a plan today. My plan before was to just not drink. It seems I need more than that.

So, that's my update. I've been reading here on SR for the last couple of days but haven't posted because...I don't know. Shame, I guess. Hope everyone's well.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi.
First, do you want to have some sober time. If yes the answer is not to swishy washy have the first drink even if you’re A$$ falls off.
Try to focus on not drinking no matter what. You can do it even if you want to drink more than you want to get sober.

BE WELL
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WHAT I USED TO CALL BOREDOM I NOW CALL SERENITY.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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welcome back.
that is scary. Thank god nobody was hurt (yourself included)
congrats on day 4
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My plan before was to just not drink. It seems I need more than that.
I think it is key that you realize this.

Way to pick yourself back up

More power to you SDH!
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome back SDH. What do you think you might do for a plan this time around? Hope we can help you build one. As you realized, not drinking is not a plan. A plan has steps ( and I don't just mean AA steps ) and actions you take each and every day. For some that means meetings. For some it is therapy or counseling. Others spend a lot of time with self paced methods or even SR itself. Whichever you choose though, it will be work and you will be uncomfortable at times. The reward is well worth it though.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Haven't yet formulated a plan. For today I'm going to spend a few hours cleaning my apartment. Dirty dishes everywhere, couldn't be bothered to take out the trash so counter is completely full of half-eaten food, empty frozen dinner boxes, random crap.

I'll be going shopping later and will try to find something useful, like maybe a day-planner or something. Never done this before so not sure how to begin.

I keep track of drinking vs sober days on my wall calendar, but maybe get a fancy full year calendar like mns1 mentioned in another post to keep visual track of my days.

Had looked for an AA meeting before and found a Monday night O meeting that might work for me. Chickened out going before, but maybe some face to face support would help.

Going to start my workout regimen today. Was putting it off until I was over the first few weeks so I could just relax and eat and be generally lazy. Maybe it's time to skip the taking it easy for a few weeks step and just jump in.

That's pretty much all I've got at the moment.

Oh, and I started to put word out that I'm trying to quit drinking over the weekend. No reason to keep it a secret, that just seems like a blank check to relapse as it has been. Hoping for a little support and accountability there.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, that's very scary.

You need to try something different. I'm not here to criticize, but to offer some of my own experience as a warning.

There's a thread that has several comments about sneaking around while drinking, planning where to hide our bottles, plotting our purchases...when, where and how to drink in secret, covering our asses should we get caught, what to do when we get caught, how to improve our plans for the next time after getting caught, with the ultimate, grandiose goal of concealing all of this clandestine activity in order to preserve our drinking behaviors. How exhausting. And humiliating. Many of us have done the same thing.

Your plan was equally elaborate...covering a work day in advance, riding the smokescreen of a "bug going around" at work in the service of plausible deniability, going over a range of contingencies, and adjusting your plan based on an increasing desire to drink above all else.

You either planned this all out from the start, made it up as you went along, or, like any good alcoholic, improvised on the spot, having had ample experience with the kinds of secret missions with which many of us are so familiar. What could go wrong?

Here's the thing...At some point you must have known fully what you were up to. It is precisely at that moment of clarity that you need to act in order to save yourself. Your plan could have easily ended with someone dying, and the fact that someone did not die is not a good enough reason to do it again. I say this not to humiliate you further, but because none of my mounting losses motivated me to stop. Living in NYC, I never drove while I was drinking, but at some point it no longer bothered me that I was losing everything and everyone dear to me.

I've become a bit of a broken record around here about getting as much help as we need in the early days of sobriety. I don't believe that we're in the best position to decide what kind or how much help we need when we first get sober. Many of us seem to put more time and energy into buying a new car or planning a vacation than we do in making a plan for sobriety.

I didn't at all intend to stop drinking after losing everything, after detox, after rehab...so I got as much help and support as I could bear. I was involved in things that would help me to get sober every single day for the first eight months, despite my desire to resume drinking once I got back on my feet. Doing what I did not want to do seemed to be the line of least resistance for me if, in fact, I were to get back on my feet as quickly as possible. (How's that for a plan?!) I went through the motions in order to start drinking again. And then it all changed for me, not suddenly, but very slowly.

I'm coming up on three-and-a-half years of sobriety following a three-year relapse after twenty five years without a drink. I don't regret a single moment of the time and energy I put into at first getting back on my feet so I could drink again, and then doing whatever it took to stay sober.

I'm no one's hero, and I'm not exceptional in any way in comparison to others who struggle with alcoholism. I've suffered heartbreak, regrets, and consequences of destroying myself, yet I'm now living a life that I enjoy, that has purpose. There is absolutely no reason why anyone else can't do the same.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Write your plan the sooner the better SDH
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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EndGame, I do not feel criticized. I'm realizing now that I need to gather tools and not just "white knuckle" it. I just need to figure out what those tools are learn how to use them.

And yes, I've become pretty good at improvising.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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thanks for that great post EndGameNYC.

I found that when relapses happen, my brain becomes like swiss cheese, and I easily get confused because my brain disfunction is at an all time high. take a look at your decision to drive to two different liquor stores while intoxicated, that is just as bad a decision as to continue to drink. Unfortunately, our brains are just not functioning right when in the initial stages of sobriety, and adding in alcohol completely overwhelms the delicate brain chemistry we have been able to build....

This is such a fragile state, I really hope you can do something to stop those habits.

SR is great, as is AA, as is AVRT. Personally, I like the personal contact of AA. it helps me to have a face to face connection with many people. It also allows me to do some of the difficult emotional learning I did not do because I was under the influence for much of my adult life.

Keep reaching out, you can do this!
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:08 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm realizing now that I need to gather tools and not just "white knuckle" it. I just need to figure out what those tools are learn how to use them.
Yes, there is so much more to recovery than not drinking. It takes some work and effort to deal with issues that caused the drinking. You can use any of the various methods of recovery AVRT, AA, SMART, books, therapy, whatever you think will work for you.

I'm glad you were scared by what happened and that you are working on changing things.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I mentioned that this is my 3rd fall since I decided that I really need to do this. I can say that I have learned something from each of them.

First fall - call from an ex trying to reconnect brought up emotions that i'd never dealt with. Drank on it. Lesson: Things are going to happen. Deal with life on life's terms. In the end it is only me that can make me drink.

Second fall (and this is truly ridiculous) - was legitimately ill. Felt so sick it was like I was hungover. Might as well drink it away. Lesson: You are going to get sick sometimes. Deal with it. Don't indulge the bigger sickness.

Third fall - no particular reason, just some days off that needed filling. Lesson: have plenty of tools at the ready to combat these times. Because there WILL be times.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Good job on letting people know your done with the drinking. When I started this path I tried to hide it from my friends. This decision had failed results many, many times.

Once I let them know my decision, it was like a weight lifted from the shoulders.

Don't give up. I am not proud to say that I have had many failed attempts, but I keep getting back up and making the changes I need to in order to stay sober longer than I did before. You are not alone!!
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm glad that no harm came to you or anyone else. Like you I'm amassing a number of tools in my tool box. I wish you well and I'm glad that you won't be drinking anytime soon before getting behind the wheel because as I write my son is driving to the Boston area to meet some friends. He's initially going to Northeastern and then to Harvard.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks, Charlie. I was planning to wait for a couple of months sobriety to tell anyone that I was quitting for good. I was telling people I was taking 30 days with no alcohol, but that's just lying. I need to own this. It's not like it's a surprise to anyone that I have a drinking problem. And I just might find some support there.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:36 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I mentioned that this is my 3rd fall since I decided that I really need to do this. I can say that I have learned something from each of them.

First fall - call from an ex trying to reconnect brought up emotions that i'd never dealt with. Drank on it. Lesson: Things are going to happen. Deal with life on life's terms. In the end it is only me that can make me drink.
Much of the learning I have had to do is to deal with the emotions I was washing over with alcohol. Learning to sit with them and not react to them has been difficult, but it helps to understand this will happen.

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Second fall (and this is truly ridiculous) - was legitimately ill. Felt so sick it was like I was hungover. Might as well drink it away. Lesson: You are going to get sick sometimes. Deal with it. Don't indulge the bigger sickness.
I felt physically sick a lot during the years I drank and alcohol always made me feel better. I didn't matter if it was a head cold or stomach virus, drinking never changed.... part of the early recovery to me has been dealing with the physical sickness...


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Third fall - no particular reason, just some days off that needed filling. Lesson: have plenty of tools at the ready to combat these times. Because there WILL be times.
HALT.. The Lonely is a killer for me. it would always get me. I started going to AA just to see more people and feel more part of a community.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:44 AM   #17 (permalink)
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GC, thanks. Sounds like your son is on a great track! Both great schools, and Boston is such a college town he'll meet lots of other students and make some valuable connections, I'm sure.

I was never a regular drunk driver, this was an exception for me. In the past I would have planned it better so as not to have to leave my apartment until my next day of work.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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GC, thanks. Sounds like your son is on a great track! Both great schools, and Boston is such a college town he'll meet lots of other students and make some valuable connections, I'm sure.

I was never a regular drunk driver, this was an exception for me. In the past I would have planned it better so as not to have to leave my apartment until my next day of work.
I get you on the drunk driving. Obviously I'm on SR because I believe I have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, but one of the big tools in my box is not to drive drunk.

Boston is a great town that I love visiting even though living in the NY metro area we have a sports rivalry. My son's trip is purely social as he's a sophomore at the University of Delaware. He has a ridiculously long winter break and is visiting friends who have already gone back to school.

Wishing you the best.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Gonnachange, sorry I misunderstood. Thought you meant he was planning to attend NE undergrad, Harvard for Grad, or some mutation of that scenario. Hope he has a great time, here!
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