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Old 03-17-2015, 11:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Breaking the spell : advice asked


I'm determined to break this spell, so any feedback is appreciated.

Three questions:
1. What age did you manage to achieve sobriety?
2. What did you do to achieve it?
3. What do you do to maintain it?

I probably (should) know that I need support as I've failed solo. They say find mentors in what you want to be successful in, so I'm thinking of the AA route. It would possibly kill the isolation too which is probaby contributing to the slipping.

My problem is that I want to quit drinking for good, but then I just seem to suddenly change my mind. I've been trying to examine why. As a coping mechanism when I can't figure a personal problem out? Wallowing in isolation? Anger? Family issues and past issues. I spent too long at home during Christmas and felt I was carrying some emotional hangover that I couldn't shake off for weeks after. Never again.

I'd like to just break it once and for all.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I think you have put your finger on it. 'Then I change my mind' could be my motto.

I am starting again after 11 months sober last year. I 'changed my mind' and drank again. But perhaps my mind was changed for me by the addiction. It seems we need every tool we can summon up to stop that happening. A positive attitude - i.e. seeing sobriety as an escape from a deadly trap rather than giving up a pleasure, one to one support, if it is available (that's what I am doing), and maybe group support. That usually means AA, though other brands are available.

Good luck to you friend.
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1. 41 (after drinking in a problematic way since about 15 - not all the time, but once I started drinking you could bet I'd be blackout or at least legless drunk before I'd stop).

2. I started off on my own, and almost lost my sanity mistakenly thinking that just 'not drinking' would be enough. Finally I realised that alcoholism IS a kind of insanity, and I needed contact with others who understood me, so I got myself to AA, going to a variety of meetings 'til I found the ones where I felt most comfortable. I listened for similarities to learn from and overlooked the differences between myself and others in the fellowship. I read and listened LOTS. Gradually I started taking more of an active part. Helping with chairs; washing up; etc.; sharing my thoughts; and learning to accept help. I also has some counselling which my boss referred me for when the dry-drunk-depression hit me big time and she got proper worried about me (unlike my Doctor who said I'd just get over it)

3. I'm continuing with meetings at AA and coming on here. Reading lots. Working through the 12-steps and learning to take responsibility for myself and LIVE sober (not just be a dry drunk), and learning to understand my fears and anxieties; my resentments; my character defects and strengths; and coming to terms with my past so that I am ready to live my future. In social situations I have become very selfish. My sobriety comes before anything or anyone else. If people don't understand that then that's kind of tough, as it's non-negotiable. I do go out, but on my terms, and often will escape, Cinderella like, into the night to get away from alcohol and drunk people who are starting to get on my nerves (karma hey!!) but a lot earlier than midnight unless there's a good band playing.
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think you're asking yourself the right questions. Maintain sobriety for me is working on the stuff you wrote in the second paragraph. Coping mechanisms, anger, etc.

Before I could do that, I absolutely had to stop drinking. I took it off the table. No matter what, I wouldn't drink. No changing my mind. The rest has been a work in progress. I come here every day and read and post. I attend AA meetings for the fellowship.

Age? I started working on getting sober at 39. I turned 50 in November and I have 15 months sober. I'd recommend quitting sooner than later.
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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For me when the plan wasn't working it was time to change up the plan!!

Isolation never worked for me, support was key to counteract what my mind was trying to sell me, the reasons why I should drink!!

You can do this!!
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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PS. These are the AA promises. They actually DO come true!

The AA Promises
1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed
before we are half way through.
2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience
can benefit others.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for
ourselves
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us -
sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
What's the world coming to when you can't trust an recovering alcoholic ex degenerate gambler huh ?
 
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I got sober at 31 and i accepted that i cant drink alcohol safely or responsibly

I went mtns group therapy seen an alcohol addiction outreach team i done service & volenteered and i completed 2 new college courses
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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36, I started going to AA, I still go to AA and still take suggestions. I honestly don't do enough of the other things we are supposed to do and I'm feeling it lately... Not that I want to drink but I'm in a negative head space for sure.

You can do this; pick a plan, any plan and see it through.
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrimsonKing View Post
1. What age did you manage to achieve sobriety?
43

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrimsonKing View Post
2. What did you do to achieve it?
I accepted that I am an alcoholic and that I cannot drink, under any circumstances, without major repercussions. I also accepted that I will ALWAYS be an alcoholic and that there is no "cure". So the only solution is to never, ever pick up even one drink - for the rest of m life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrimsonKing View Post
3. What do you do to maintain it?
I use the support of SR and my family on a daily basis. I try to help others as well who were in my same situation as me, help newcomers, and learn from those with much more sober time than I.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah the reason why I asked about age....is I think I have a lot of self-anger and self-hatred that i have not taken care of this sooner.

I'm 38 and feel like a dick that I've not put this to bed sooner. I can remember at 29 thinking "there's no way I'm going to drag this into my thirties" after an unsavoury incident....and 9 years later, the same ****.

Rather than be happy when I hear somebody has achieved sobriety before my age I think I feel a pang of jelousy and then self-loathing; coming from that place of knowing I am a bloody idiot. What an ego.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm now 58, securely and unconditionally abstinent since August 2011. The answers to the rest of your question are here: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ined-long.html
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I would have felt the same top, Crimson. Hell, when I hear someone got sober at 30 I get a little jealous!

So now what? What's the plan of action to stop?
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Rather than be happy when I hear somebody has achieved sobriety before my age I think I feel a pang of jelousy and then self-loathing; coming from that place of knowing I am a bloody idiot. What an ego.

If you do go to AA and do the 12-step programme, one of the things that you can learn (if you choose to!! - I can think of at least one person who has made the decision to stay angry as it's his 'right') is how to get past those resentments. Resentments against yourself, and against other people. Raging against yourself or others isn't a good way to keep sober and happy. Go steady on yourself. Many people need to hit rock bottom before they find the incentive to fight their addiction. Much better to put that emotional energy into getting a sobriety plan of action together for yourself now. No amount of anger will change the past.

'Grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.'
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I was 39/40 when I got sober. I found this community was a great help and I recommend you throw tyourself into it

The bottom line tho was I decided I didn't want to drink anymore - no matter what.

I accepted that I could never be the kind of drinker I wanted to be...which was basically someone who drank as much as he could without any ill effects.

I saw the way that Drinking road ended and it wasn't pretty.

D
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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1. 41 (after drinking in a problematic way since about 15 - not all the time, but once I started drinking you could bet I'd be blackout or at least legless drunk before I'd stop). Yeah that pretty much sums me up

2. I started off on my own, and almost lost my sanity mistakenly thinking that just 'not drinking' would be enough. Finally I realised that alcoholism IS a kind of insanity I'm starting to believe that, and I needed contact with others who understood me and that, so I got myself to AA, going to a variety of meetings 'til I found the ones where I felt most comfortable. I listened for similarities to learn from and overlooked the differences Nice point, I'll remember between myself and others in the fellowship. I read and listened LOTS. Gradually I started taking more of an active part. Helping with chairs; washing up; etc.; sharing my thoughts; and learning to accept help. I also has some counselling which my boss referred me for when the dry-drunk-depression hit me big time and she got proper worried about me (unlike my Doctor who said I'd just get over it) I need this too, you have a good boss.

3. I'm continuing with meetings at AA and coming on here. Reading lots. Working through the 12-steps and learning to take responsibility for myself and LIVE sober I hear that (not just be a dry drunk), and learning to understand my fears and anxieties; my resentments; my character defects and strengths; and coming to terms with my past so that I am ready to live my future. In social situations I have become very selfish. My sobriety comes before anything or anyone else. This is what I need to adopt: an almost siege mentality to my own sobriety...which I've not done and social situations have screwed me over (my reaction to them) If people don't understand that then that's kind of tough, as it's non-negotiable. I do go out, but on my terms, and often will escape, Cinderella like, into the night to get away from alcohol and drunk people who are starting to get on my nerves (karma hey!!) but a lot earlier than midnight unless there's a good band playing.
Thanks for taking the time to write all of that. I think the AA is where I need to head. Be actively sober rather than taken it as a given that 'I don't drink anymore thus that's that'.
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I kicked off at age ten, by the end of high school I'd been hospitalised three times as a resuLt of drinking, including a stomach pump.

Periods of control, and abstinence, but it just got worse.

Nothing scared me sober.

Beatings, car prang's, locked up..... Blah blah blah

No matter what I resolved or promised or vowed..... It just didn't happen.

An example of the category 3 "hopeless " variety alcoholic.

Throughout the history of alcoholism, there have always been three types.

Those who abuse alcohol for a period of their lives and eventually they get sick and tired of being sick and tired and they resolved "never again " and they quit.

Those who abuse alcohol for a period of their lives and eventually something really bad happens, normally something that threatens their security or health or both and they quit.

Then there's my type, nothing stops us, we want to stop, but it just never happens, despite repeated attempts, therapy, medicines..... Whatever.

Anyway...... Long story short, I have stopped and stayed stopped working the 12 steps and having a spiritual awakening.

Age 42.

Will power was sufficient to end drug use, but with booze that was a somewhat unhelpful power
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Don't be too hard on yourself Crimson, I knew I was an alcoholic at age 18.
Now going on 50 I will have 2 years in exactly 2 months. I had to go through 30 years of hell to figure out that 'my' way wouldn't work. I needed the guidance that I found in A.A. and by working the 12 steps. I have to do the things I don't want to do. It is way easier to stay sober than to get sober. It get's better.
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:50 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Began recognizing the need to 'cut down' and that drinking was sorely impacting my life in my late thirties. Though in my early thirties I'd gotten a DUI and been sentenced to AA, and in my early 20's had been in trouble with the law and had been blacking out and binge drinking since 14.... I hadn't 'recognized' any issue until my early thirties. So, at that time I began actual efforts to moderate and to go entirely without. I managed a 45 day no-drinking stint at one point. But apart from that.... couldn't go more than maybe a week or so without going back to drinking and was often drinking when I'd truly not wanted to....

So then in my late thirties I got ANOTHER DUI.... and with that and a few other escalating incidents around my family life, I could no longer deny the problem. At 39 I managed to string together 5 months of sobriety whereupon I decided I was "fine". Had only needed a "reset". Then came another 1.5 year relapse and the worst-ever pattern of blackouts, binges, habitual uncontrollable drinking. Mostly alone and in 'secret'.

I finally entered into what I consider real sobriety at 42. I did it with AA and SR and counseling and big changes to my lifestyle and focus on healthfulness and a genuine DESIRE to choose sobriety. It has been rich, rewarding, challenging, frustrating, depressing and wonderful. It has been far from easy but it has been more worth it than I'd ever imagined. My life is improving all the time and my mind and body are feeling better than ever.

It took me all those years and all those negative consequences because I was too stubborn to admit to myself what I was doing to my life, because I was too stubborn and proud to seek help, because I was too afraid to change. I am sure - had I been willing to accept in my early thirties and embraced AA and sobriety - that my life would be unrecognizable in its goodness today. I would have one less DUI on my record and would be financially secure and so much further ahead.....

But, that was my path and I accept and don't resent. I cherish my sobriety and my life today and I'm grateful every day that I made this choice. Life is deep, rich and joyful and every moment of it is a choice; to LIVE it and embrace it - or to blot it out with poison.

I choose life....

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Old 03-18-2015, 04:25 AM   #19 (permalink)
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1. I was 38. Had recognised my problem drinking since age 18.
2. I truly wanted to change.
3. Constant vigilance ie AVRT. sounds like hard work but really is just a good habit that can be acquired.
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:36 AM   #20 (permalink)
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1. I was 38. Had recognised my problem drinking since age 18. 2. I truly wanted to change. 3. Constant vigilance ie AVRT. sounds like hard work but really is just a good habit that can be acquired.
Same age for me. I didn't want to change though. I thought I had a problem at 18, went to AA, decided I wasn't as bad as those people and continued my self destruction through drugs and alcohol all the way up until I was 34/35. I made it 30 days and again, felt I wasn't that bad. I finally got some time now...at 38. I use AA, AVRT, SR, and anything else I can get my hands on. The difference now is I have an open mind. I don't have to be as bad as someone else, I was bad enough for me.

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